RIP WaPo Editor Ben Bradlee

Legendary Executive Editor and Washington Post VP passed away this evening at the age of 93.  He is survived by his wife columnist Sally Quinn among others.  Bradlee is probably best known for his support of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in their Watergate reporting.


RIP…John Laughlin, IUPAT…union activist to the core…political field marshal and excellent writer…you will be missed.


Charlie What Happened to your Tax Reform Centerpiece 5 - 5 - 5

Here is Charlie Baker in 2010 waxing poetic on the will of the people and making Massachusetts affordable and competitive.

Photo link to C-Span clip

Baker: To simplify our business and get that back to 5%. I think we should repeal the increase in the sales tax as well. We need to create a Massachusetts that is affordable and competitive to get people back to work. 200,000 people are out of work.

But today, the Globe posted an interview with Charlie on taxes, funny, that 5 – 5 – 5 thing, well you are SOL. Charlie Empty Suit 2.0, it doesn’t matter your positions and think tank work over the course of your lifetime matter, just smile and make up something that you think people want to hear.

In your last campaign, you supported lowering the income, sales, and corporate tax rates to 5 percent. Why do you no longer support that plan?

Massachusetts is facing a different set of economic realities with the national economy on the rebound. My mission will be to improve life across Massachusetts, including communities and geographies that are seeing a slower economic recovery. Lower and fairer taxes are an important part of creating jobs and accomplishing that goal.

Blah, blah, blah, blah blah, jobs, blah, blah taxes. Wait what was the question?

That my friends is a whole lot of nothing, yes lower taxes which I’m not in favor of you know, lowering. But I said it. See.

Let me translate his real answer for you: I would like to be elected governor

Do you support rolling the income tax back to 5 percent, in line with the voter-passed ballot question in 2000? Why or why not? Would you commit to doing immediately upon taking office?

I support upholding the will of the voters by rolling the income tax back to 5% as quickly as possible.

Well how’s that for specifics folks.

But let me translate for you again: I would like to be elected governor

Looks like Charlie learned a lot from good ole Mitt, but what we don’t need is a clownish political caricature, pushing empty promises.

Vote No on Q1: The terrible conditions of Mass Roads cost motorists $8.3 Billion a year

That is Billion with a B. This costs the average driver in Boston nearly $2k in vehicle maintenance, traffic delays, and crashes. If you don’t live near Boston, don’t worry because you can find out how much it is costing you here.

Tell your friends, tell your neighbors, tell your conservative uncles: voting yes on Question 1 will have real serious impacts on their wallet. For every $1 we spend on road funding, we get back $5.20 in reduced vehicle maintenance costs. Voting No will only benefit them.

Reminder: the IOC is filled with awful people

Just a little reminder of the people with whom Boston will be getting into bed for the next ten freaking years if we host the 2024 Olympics.

Russian Tennis Federation head Shamil Tarpischev called the Williams sisters the “Williams brothers” and added “it’s scary when you really look at them” …

The WTA [Women's Tennis Association] suspended Shamil Tarpischev for a year and fined him $25,000….

Tarpischev, who is a member of the International Olympic Committee, said the comments were a “joke” in a statement.

“I didn’t want to offend any athlete with my words,” he said. “I regret that this joke has garnered so much attention. I don’t think this incident deserves so much fuss.”

So, yeah.  You can read about a bunch of the other reprobates on the IOC at this link.

Christie Won't Release Results of Pay-to-Play Investigation of Charlie Baker's Firm

Well now.

General Catalyst and Baker have denied that Baker had anything to do with persuading Christie officials to invest in the firm. To try to verify that assertion, IBTimes filed a separate request for any General Catalyst documents sent to the New Jersey Department of Treasury prior to its investment. Those documents would show whether General Catalyst specifically promoted Baker’s involvement in the firm when pitching its investment to New Jersey.

Christie officials are pushing back the due date to release those documents to Nov. 6 — two days after the election.

This pretty much speaks for itself.

I hope you can see I am a strong alternative to the incumbent

Since I am running for Governor’s Council in District 3 and the incumbent has refused to debate me, I would like to post a Q & A session I had in Arlington. I hope you can see I’m not the monster some of you think I am:

Public Health Implications of Earned Paid Sick Time

Policies that affect the health of individuals also affect the health of the community. MassBudget’s new fact sheet Earned Paid Sick Time: Supporting Healthy, Thriving Communities examines the effects on the general public, families, and the workplace when workers who are sick, or caring for a sick child, are required to go to work.

In Massachusetts, about 1 in 3 workers do not have earned paid sick time. The rate is higher for those working in jobs that require frequent contact with the public, such as in the service sector. In fact, over half of workers in the service sector, which includes food and child care workers, do not have earned paid sick time. This fact sheet looks at the evidence about the effects on public health when workers don’t have paid sick time to address their own health issues or to care for a sick child.

Joke Revue: Some Fear Ebola Outbreak Could Make Nation Turn to Science


Some Fear Ebola Outbreak Could Make Nation Turn to Science

NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report)—There is a deep-seated fear among some Americans that an Ebola outbreak could make the country turn to science.

In interviews conducted across the nation, leading anti-science activists expressed their concern that the American people, wracked with anxiety over the possible spread of the virus, might desperately look to science to save the day.

“It’s a very human reaction,” said Harland Dorrinson, a prominent anti-science activist from Springfield, Missouri. “If you put them under enough stress, perfectly rational people will panic and start believing in science.”

Additionally, he worries about a “slippery slope” situation, “in which a belief in science leads to a belief in math, which in turn fosters a dangerous dependence on facts.”

At the end of the day, though, Dorrinson hopes that such a doomsday scenario will not come to pass. “Time and time again through history, Americans have been exposed to science and refused to accept it,” he said. “I pray that this time will be no different.”

CNN Defends New Slogan

NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report)—The president of CNN Worldwide, Jeff Zucker, attempted on Wednesday to defuse the brewing controversy over his decision to change the network’s official slogan from “The Most Trusted Name in News” to “Holy Crap, We’re All Gonna Die.”

“This exciting new slogan is just one piece of our over-all rebranding strategy,” Zucker said. “Going forward, we want CNN to be synonymous with the threat of imminent death.”

North Korean Government Reassures Citizens It Has Deep Bench of Brutal Madmen

PYONGYANG (The Borowitz Report) — As the mystery surrounding the absence of dictator Kim Jong-un deepens, the North Korean government on Wednesday issued an official statement reassuring its citizens that it had “a deep bench of brutal madmen.”

While it offered no comment about the status of Kim, the statement from the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) emphasized that “making North Korea an authoritarian horror-drome is not the achievement of one man; it has been and will always be a team effort.”


Hazmat Worker Sees No Reason To Throw Away All This Perfectly Good Food

DALLAS—Claiming he would hate to see a carton of unspoiled milk and an entire loaf of bread go to waste, hazardous materials removal worker Jonathan Parker reportedly saw no reason Friday to throw away perfectly good food while disinfecting the apartment of an Ebola-stricken patient. “This pork roast can’t be more than a couple days old,” said Parker, lamenting the idea that a large hunk of parmesan cheese, fine-looking grapes, and a full head of cauliflower would be destroyed and deposited in a remote biohazard disposal site. “These eggs definitely look like they’re still pretty fresh. And that container of yogurt doesn’t expire for three more weeks—and it’s blueberry, too.” At press time, Parker was reportedly spotted carefully placing several grocery bags full of snacks and fresh produce in the trunk of his car.

Daniel Kurtzman:

“Colorado police are worried that children on Halloween might mistakenly eat edible marijuana. Marijuana is legal there and includes candies and baked goods. You can tell if your kid is high if he won’t stop asking ‘Why?’ when you answer his questions, or if he believes he has an imaginary friend.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made his first public appearance yesterday in over 40 days. But since he saw his shadow, that now means 60 more years of nuclear winter.” –Jimmy Fallon

“Because of health scares, they will be taking your temperature at airport security. Well, that should speed up lines.” –David Letterman

“In North Korea, dictator Kim Jong Un made his first public appearance in over a month. He’s put on weight and he’s carrying a cane. Kim Jong Un is a top hat and a monocle away from being a Batman villain at this point.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“President Obama was in California over the weekend to attend a fundraiser hosted by the creator of ‘Farmville.’ Obama and the creator of ‘Farmville’ have a lot in common. They both really wish it was still 2009.” –Jimmy Fallon

“Last week was the big fundraiser for President Obama hosted by Gwyneth Paltrow. It was hosted at her house. And people say Obama never reaches out to the inner city.” –Craig Ferguson

“A lot of people have a three-day weekend because of Columbus Day. In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue and 522 years later a lot of people still get Monday off to celebrate. No one’s received more credit for getting lost than Christopher Columbus in the history of mankind.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“This week a spokesman for Harry Reid said that even though Joe Biden makes a lot of mistakes, he is still able to connect and tell us what’s on his mind. That sounds less like a vice president and more like a chimpanzee that knows sign language.” –Jimmy Fallon

Reality-based Yes on 2 Comment of the Day

From johntmay on this thread:

One ride was all it took

My wife was opposed to the bottle bill until I took her for a short ride on our tandem bike through a section of the Charles River Basin in the Franklin/Norfolk area. In the space of five miles, she counted over 50 discarded water/juice bottles and maybe five beer cans/bottles.

Say what you will, the deposits work. At the very least, those who do litter will now pay an automatic five cent tax.

I'm voting NO on Question 2 - expanded bottle bill

I have been watching my Twitter feed, and found out some folks are promoting #NYYY as the progressive vote this November. Of course, my reaction was one of swift outrage!

#NYYY? What is progressive about the New York Yankees?

Then I looked at the thing a little more carefully, and figured out that some Twitter tweeters were selling NO on 1, and YES for 2, 3, and 4 as the progressive positions on the Massachusetts ballot questions.

Except that I am a progressive Boston Red Sox fan, and while I have problems supporting anything that starts with the letters NYY, I also have problems voting for Question 2.

I am also an urban dwelling progressive, with an 895 square foot condo in a building with several single source recycling bins next to the dumpsters in the parking lot. We make good use of the recycling barrels, and we end up throwing out more recycling than trash in the dumpster.

The deposit bottles? Either they end up in the recycling barrel, or they sit around our little kitchen until the next trip to the store. Which store? It depends on the bottle. Beer bottles to the package store. Whole Foods gets the Whole Foods brands, and never the Diet Coke. Can’t take Diet Coke to Trader Joe’s, either. So, we need to sort bottles and cans around multiple recycle bags cluttering the area to the right of the cat food bowl, or we need to toss nickels into the recycling bin.

Wonk Post: US Senate Battleground Polling

From HuffPo/Pollster:

Boston Foundation: Why won't you help US out?

I recently read a post by Delores Ann Woods about her interaction with the Boston Foundation. The Boston Foundation declined to help fund a program for ELL and special needs students. Woods writes : “When BPS canceled many buses all over the city, it destroyed West Roxbury Academy’s successful after-school tutoring program to help struggling students, ESL students, and special education students–anyone who wanted extra help to restore grades or to pass their tests.”
When Dolores asked TBF for help they told her that they do not fund that sort of thing. She was asked if BPS had any emergency funds set aside. I’ll answer that question: BPS is operating on emergency funds. Charter schools are not. Many charter schools and foundations have millions$ in the bank, yet seek to siphon more and more Chapter 70 funds that should go to BPS. According to James Vasnis of the Boston Globe BPS Superintendent “McDonough said he can envision a day when all Chapter 70 money will end up at charter schools if more of them continue to open in the city. Charter school advocates are lobbying for unfettered growth of charter schools in Boston.”

My question to TBF, and in particular TBF CEO Paul Grogan, is why, exactly, do you not fund “this type of thing”? Grogan, who makes about $600,000 , and who also is very interested in how much Boston Public School teachers are compensated ,should give Dolores an answer. She is entitled to one. The push to expand charter schools, led in no small way by Grogan, has cost West Roxbury a much needed after school program because transportation has been axed. If Grogan truly wants to put kids first, here is his opportunity to make things right. We could call it the “Reparations Movement”. I’m sure philanthropists would buy into that advertisement model.

Regardless, TBF has 1.63 MILLION dollars in discretionary grants that it will be awarding this quarter: Don’t you think the kids at Westie High deserve an explanation? I also wonder if TBF would be interested in funding an eyeglasses program that I would like to pilot. If the TBF talked to teachers, rather than rail against us, maybe we could actually start closing achievement gaps. I look forward to a response. I won’t hold my breath – I don’t work at a charter school.

Colum Whyte
Joseph Lee K-8
Dorchester, MA

Senator Warren: The Game Is Rigged

This quote is all over the Internet today:

“The game is rigged, and the Republicans rigged it,” Warren declared to a room of 400 boisterous supporters in Minnesota on Saturday while campaigning with Senator Al Franken.

I wanted a bit more context for it, so I looked here among other places.

“Republicans believe this country should work for those who are rich, those who are powerful, those who can hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers,” Warren put it in Colorado the day before, her arm around embattled incumbent Senator Mark Udall.

In both cases, Warren followed the rebukes with some variation of the same rile-up-the-troops pep talk. “We can whine, we can whimper or we can fight back,” Warren challenged her audiences.

Warren took that same message to Iowa on Sunday, making two stops for Senate candidate Bruce Braley, who needs her help mobilizing the Democratic Party base in a midterm race that couldn’t be closer.

Most of the rest of the article is “Will she or won’t she?” speculation. A poll out today shows her with 10% support, whereas Joe Biden has 13% and Hillary Clinton has an incredible 65%.

I don’t think she’s running, but frankly I’d rather she didn’t. I’ve been a Warren skeptic since the beginning, not because of any flaw of hers, but because I just hate to see us anoint candidates. It almost always leads to trouble.

But she’s sharpened her message, and clearly gotten more comfortable with the political arena. I hope that continues, and she can become a real force in the Senate.

Minutes of the most recent Public Meeting of the Boston Elections Commission

Minutes of the most recent Public Meeting of the Boston Elections Commission are available by email request at

Seth Moulton: All Patriot, No Act

When a news story about a politician’s military service appears two weeks before an election, it’s usually not good news for the campaign. Particularly when the byline reads Walter V. Robinson, Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter for the Boston Globe. Robinson has taken down many false pretenders. I can only imagine the stomach-knot felt by Moulton’s advisors when they were told, “Walter Robinson called and he has questions about Seth’s military record”.

But this story has a different ending, as Robinson writes:

The American political graveyard has more than a few monuments to politicians and public officials who embellished details of their military service, in some cases laying claim to medals for heroism or other military honors they never received.

And then, uniquely, there is Seth W. Moulton, the Democratic nominee for Congress in the Sixth Congressional District, a former Marine who saw fierce combat for months and months in Iraq. But Moulton chose not to publicly disclose that he was twice decorated for heroism until pressed by the Globe.

Turns out Moulton received the Bronze Star and a Navy and Marine Corp Commendation for Valor…and he told no one, not even his parents.

As Moulton points out, it is not uncommon for combat veterans to keep their experiences to themselves:

In an interview, Moulton said he considers it unseemly to discuss his own awards for valor. “There is a healthy disrespect among veterans who served on the front lines for people who walk around telling war stories,’’ he said. What’s more, Moulton said he is uncomfortable calling attention to his own awards out of respect to “many others who did heroic things and received no awards at all.’’

The passing of a spiritual giant

The world, and Boston, has lost a spiritual giant. Thomas Shaw, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts for 20 years until his retirement earlier this year, died of brain cancer yesterday.

In my view, he epitomized the sometimes conflicting roles of spiritual leader, institutional authority, and gentle friend. He was a courageous and relentless fighter and advocator for those at the fringes of society — the very poor, the oppressed, the sick, and the outcast. From the Globe’s obituary:

For Bishop Shaw, once called upon to be a leader, fulfilling the will of God meant becoming a citizen of the world far beyond the doors of the serene monastery on Memorial Drive in Cambridge that was his home for nearly four decades. Though he preferred the life of a monk, he appeared in national TV interviews, lobbied State House officials, worked as an unpaid congressional intern, traveled to distant dangerous lands, and created programs to address urban violence, particularly among the young.

Among Boston’s most powerful clergy, Bishop Shaw was an early, key advocate for gay rights and for the ordination of women, gays, and lesbians as priests in his denomination, and in a 2012 interview for a documentary, he let it be known that he was gay and celibate. Long before making his sexuality public, he guided his diocese through a stormy decade while a conflicted Episcopal Church decided whether it would consecrate a gay bishop and allow clergy to bless same-gender unions.

He was a leading supporter of elevating an openly gay priest, V. Gene Robinson, to become bishop of New Hampshire. Nonetheless, to better grasp the deeply held opposition some cultures have to homosexuality, Bishop Shaw went to Africa in the late 1990s and immersed himself in the Episcopal Church’s health and education projects in Uganda and Tanzania.

A decade later, he traveled to Zimbabwe on a secret mission to express support for Anglican worshippers who were subjected to human rights abuses and to bear witness to their suffering through letters to US officials back home. “I don’t think I’ve ever been any place where the oppression has been that overt,” Bishop Shaw told the Globe upon his return.

To see close up how public policy is forged, he moved to Washington, D.C., in early 2000 and spent a month as a congressional intern working for Amory Houghton Jr., an Episcopalian and a Republican who was then a US representative from New York and now lives in Cohasset.

The following year, Bishop Shaw incurred the ire of Jewish leaders when he joined others outside the Israeli consulate in Boston to protest that country’s treatment of Palestinians. Uncharacteristically, he traded his monk’s garb for a purple cassock that announced the gravitas of a bishop. His participation surprised many Jews, and he subsequently spent years mending the rift through discussions with leaders in the Jewish community.

I will miss Tom Shaw.

And Now Arizona amd Wyoming Get Marriage Equality

A Federal Judge stuck down Wyoming’s Ban today, then a US District Court stuck down Arizona’s Ban today as well

Congratulations to the residents of Wyoming and Arizona.

Note: At this time, Arizona is reflected in deep blue, but Wyoming is still in light blue.

Don't miss the Globe's feature on Kate Donaghue!

In case you missed it, today’s Globe has a big story (page B1) on Democratic volunteer extraordinaire, and long, long-time BMGer (her “person number” is 134, making her one of our longest-term still-active users, and taking her way back into our Typepad days), Kate Donaghue.

Dozens of friends are expected to canvass in her honor Sunday for her 60th birthday, with Governor Deval Patrick slated to appear.

“She’s a force of nature,” said John E. Walsh, the former state party chairman, who now runs Patrick’s political action committee. “Nobody really does it quite as well, as hard, or as effectively as she does.”

Elections don’t win themselves.  People like Kate win them.  Congratulations, Kate, and happy birthday!

It's Time To Stop Press's Free Pass for Tisei

The recent endorsement by Bay Windows of Richard Tisei is disappointing, but it actually highlights how the broader press coddles Tisei as a novelty because of his status as a gay Republican.  Let’s challenge the press on this.

What is the press not doing?: balancing its coverage of Richard Tisei by pushing him to defend his positions on Republican 1% tax policy or destructive policies on health care, or labor issues, or the minimum wage, or oil company profiteering, or Citizens United, or dismantling social security, or any other bread and butter issues that affect the unconnected, the poor, and the vulnerable – not to mention undermining the last two years of Obama’s presidency with his inevitable vote for Speaker Boehner.

It’s well past the time when any one potentially vulnerable community can afford to endorse a candidate based upon a narrow community interest, without thinking about how that candidate’s policies will affect our fellow human beings and the greater nation.

The House’s prime function is taxing and spending policy.  I respect Bay Windows’ right to make the endorsement, but it is disappointing in its narrowness and should serve as a call to us to challenge the press to challenge Tisei and stop the free ride.

Terry McGinty
Fred Rich LaRiccia