Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving recap

As usual, Lynn, Kevin, and I went to my parent's house in Melrose for Thanksgiving. When we got there at 2:00, half of the house was out of power. My father had to cook the turkey at my cousin's house down the street (they had power). Then, about 2:30 the entire house lost power! They had to cook some of the vegetables and gravy on the grill. The power outage seemed isolated to that street as someone around the corner had power (we borrowed their potato masher since we couldn't use the mixer). My father said it was like Plymouth Plantation.

But, just as we were about to sit down to dinner at 3:15, the power came back on. All was well.

It was a typical Thanksgiving. There were about 10 of us for dinner then tons of cousins, aunts, and uncles came over later on. The house was packed. I think Kevin was excited to see someone his side because he hugged his cousin Luke and would not let go. He wasn't too pleased to see his other cousin Mary as he hit her on the head about 5 times. I played bodyguard for her the rest of the night.

Today I got an oil change nice and early (it still took over an hour) and Kevin and I are headed to the bustling metropolis of Brookfield, NH to visit some friends (Lynn has to work today). Sunday I am going to my first Patriots' game in about 20 years. The only other time I went to a game, there were only a couple of thousands of people in the stands and they lost to the Colts. I've never been to a game at Gillette Stadium so it should be fun.

Do as I say, not as I do

Gov. Deval Patrick is an old fashioned Democrat - he says one thing and does another. He announced this week that over 100 state employees are losing their state cars in order to save money. Well, it seems that the governor has decided to hold on to his own state car. Granted, the governor needs one but Patrick drives (or is driven in) a Cadillac DTS. You may recall that he was beat up pretty bad in the media last year when he got this souped up car along with new office drapes and other accessories.

Recession? What recession?

See Howie's take here.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Something to be thankful for

A good way to top off Thanksgiving...reading that Rosie O'Donnell's variety show tanked in the ratings! This blow hard, who has made a career of late being a liberal windbag, actually thought she could come back and win over viewers? Rosie - you burned every bridge there is, why bother?

See the article here which had the quote of the year:

"NBC's variation, in particular, seemed unlikely to attract a broad audience given O'Donnell's divisive personality."

Happy Thanksgiving

Norman Rockwell's Freedom From Want

Tough Thanksgiving

It is going to be a horrible Thanksgiving for this lady. See the story here.

Washington on Thanksgiving

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor-- and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be-- That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war--for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions-- to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

President Elect

Barack Obama is trying to appear presidential and in command before he takes offices on January 20 - I get that. But, it drives me crazy that he speaks with a sign on his podium that says "Office of the President Elect." There are two things wrong with this: he is not the President-Elect until the Electoral College meets in two weeks and there is no Office of the President-Elect.

I know it is more to show he is ready but the government/public administration geek in me makes me anal.

Fox News has a good article on this here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Loaded headline

Talk about an activist headline (from Yahoo):

"Will Calif. gay-marriage ban open door to more discrimination?"

Playing the race card

In today's Globe, columnist Kevin Cullen calls the arrests of Dianne Wilkerson and Chuck Turner a double standard. While admitting that Turner is a loon, he questions the FBI's tactics of releasing photos before the indictment (fair question) and asks why only black people have been arrested thus far. He asks the question, paraphrasing Turner, why aren't more white people being arrested and set-up?

Tell me, Mr. Cullen, if it were all white politicians being arrested would you be asking why more black ones weren't being targeted?

This isn't the first time Cullen has played this game. Back in June, when the Celtics were on the way to the NBA Finals, he praised the fact that an almost all black team was being embraced by Boston. He said black youths in Dorchester and Roxbury can now have a team like them to admire. Back in the 80's, he said, black children wore Lakers' jerseys because they had more black players than the Celtics. What would Cullen have said if today, white kids from the suburbs refused to wear Celtics jerseys because the team is almost all black?

Talk about a double standard!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Agreeing with Eagan

One of the most loathsome columnists and radio talk show hosts in Boston is Margery Eagan. But, I must confess that I agree with what she has to say in today's Herald. Eagan takes on Gov. Deval Patrick's complaint that there is too much cynicism in Massachusetts. To which Eagan replies:

With due respect, Governor, anyone still breathing around here is either totally jaded, or insane.
Here’s what...we learned on Friday - just Friday:

That Massport approved a $30 million Logan contract with Parsons Brinckerhoff, the robber barons who, along with Bechtel, mismanaged the $15 billion Big Dig leak-a-thon/collapse-a-thon/fraud-a-thon. Paying for the Big Dig is why tolls are going up. And Parsons Brinckerhoff wasn’t even the low bidder.
With due respect, Governor, when once asked on my radio show why these companies weren’t barred from doing business here ever again, you predicted we’d all remember this disaster, and never hire them.
Whoops.
That the ex-Boston firefighter arrested for smuggling pot across Texas has a $71,000 annual disability pension, tax-free, for life. And Dennis Hogan is but Dianne’s age, a chipper 53! Governor, when you advised us last week to ditch the cynicism and “start thinking big about the solutions,” I did some thinking. I thought: Maybe if we taxed all these tax-free pensions, we wouldn’t have to raise the tolls - or have a gas tax either!
That the people who don’t pay either tolls or a gas tax, or even for gas, are our beloved state legislators, including the beleaguered and embattled Sal DiMasi. He may soon become the third House speaker in a row to resign amid a criminal investigation. Dave Wedge reported in the Herald Friday that legislators’ campaign funds pay for their cars - leases, maintenance, gas and tolls. Plus, they get a taxpayer-funded per diem travel allowance. For his trek from East Boston to Beacon Hill, Sal gets $10 a day.

I don’t have room to remind you about the Boston cemetery worker who got caught stealing gas from a city pump he was supposed to be guarding. But if you don’t get the picture, Chuck Turner framed it nicely by declaring that 90 percent of pols have their hands in the till.
With due respect, Governor, this is why we’re either cynical, or dead.

Who subverts the Constitution now?

There are a number of calls on President Bush and Vice President Cheney to resign early and find some way to get Barack Obama and Joe Biden into office early. Now, for the past eight years we have heard nothing but accusations of how Bush and Cheney have ignored the rule of law and taken liberties with the Constitution. Now, liberals are so eager to enthrone the Leader that they want to completely ignore the fact that the Constitution provides for a 3 month transition between the election and the Inauguration of a president.

Back in October, some eggheads from Harvard proposed that if Obama were elected, Cheney should resign, Bush would then in turn name Obama as vice president, Bush would resign, and Obama would become president (he would then appoint Biden as his vice president).

We've been down this road before. It seems that FDR wanted to get into office early because of the Great Depression and tried to get Herbert Hoover to name him as Secretary of State and then resign along with the vice president, making Roosevelt the president. Not only that, when he was president, FDR wanted to stack the Supreme Court with sympathetic Justices who would rule more favorably on the constitutionality of his New Deal policies.

In 2007, Gov. Deval Patrick pushed Mitt Romney out the door the night before his inauguration because he wanted the day to be about him. The departing governor typically has a ceremonial "Lone Walk" down the steps of the State House after the new governor takes office but Romney had to do it the night before so Patrick could have the swearing-in ceremony outdoors with throngs of people worshipping at his feet.

If Republicans ever proposed anything like this, they would be excoriated. Can you imagine what the media would say? But, they're the ones now who are pushing for some crazy schemes. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH. It is going to be a long four years.

I know my Civics

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute recently authored a civics quiz. In a report titled "Our Fading Heritage", ISI said that 71% of those who took it failed. The average score was a 49 and 0.8% received an A. More amazing, elected public officials who took the quiz got an average score of 44.

Well, I took the quiz and got a 90.91%. I got the following three questions wrong:

10) Name one right or freedom guaranteed by the first amendment.
A. Right to bear arms
B. Due process
C. Religion
D. Right to counsel

I picked due process but the correct answer, of course, is religion. I should have gotten that one.

27) Free markets typically secure more economic prosperity than government’s centralized planning because:
A. the price system utilizes more local knowledge of means and ends
B. markets rely upon coercion, whereas government relies upon voluntary compliance with the law
C. more tax revenue can be generated from free enterprise
D. property rights and contracts are best enforced by the market system
E. government planners are too cautious in spending taxpayers’ money

The answer is A but I picked D.

29) A flood-control levee (or National Defense) is considered a public good because:
A. citizens value it as much as bread and medicine
B. a resident can benefit from it without directly paying for it
C. government construction contracts increase employment
D. insurance companies cannot afford to replace all houses after a flood
E. government pays for its construction, not citizens

I spent the most time thinking of this one. I guessed A but the answer is B. That makes sense.

See how you would do. The quiz is here. Also, see a story on the sad findings here.

Father Francis Mary Stone

I have never been a big viewer of EWTN. Before Comcast took it off my cable, I would watch it occasionally. I was more caught up in the personalities than anything. For example, I read Raymond Arroyo's fascinating biography of Mother Angelica.

One of the priests from EWTN, Father Francis Mary Stone, suddenly left the station and the order last year. In a letter he said he had entered into a relationship with a widow whom he was counseling (you can read between the lines) and needed time to discern his vocation.

Well, it now seems that Father Francis Mary did more than enter into a relationship with the widow - he had a child with her. Yikes. He now has a business called Dave Stone, Inc.

I got the story from the Deacon's Bench - see his coverage here.

Back to basics

Amusing Howie column today on the loss of a great political tradition: the bagman. See it here.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Media admits its bias

Well, well...the media finally admits that it was completely in the tank for Barack Obama. Too bad they admit this two weeks after the election. See here.

Deval thinks we are cynics

Gov. Deval Patrick recently complained that there is too much cynicism in Massachusetts. According to the Herald, he said “We are awash in cynicism in the commonwealth, but the cynical are not smart; they’re just pretending to be,” Patrick said. “The truth is, we’ve got big problems, and we better start thinking big about the solutions. Ideological purity from the left or the right, in times like these, is like trying to put a Band-Aid on a broken bone.”

Gee Deval, why are we cynical? Let me count ten ways:

1. $7 tolls in the tunnels and Tobin Bridge
2. 2 state senators arrested, one for bribery another for sexual harassment
3. Boston City Councilor arrested for bribery
4. Boston city workers stealing gas from the city and falsifying their hours worked
5. Registrar of Probate arrested for stealing money from copy machines
6. You promised lower property taxes - never happened
7. You promised 1,000 new cops - never happened
8. Mass Turnpike still exists despite its bond being paid off
9. State legislators taking a per diem but having their campaigns pay for their cars
10. Sal DiMasi is still Speaker of the House

Shall we go on?

3 Day Howie Weekend

Another bonus Howie column today thanks to the arrest of Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner. It is kind of a re-hash of his show on Friday night but it's still gold. See it here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

American Idol Meltdown

I've probably watched a total of ten minutes of "American Idol" ever so I don't know who these girls are all worked up over but this is hysterical:


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Father Winter

It is snowing!

Another day, another arrest

Another Boston politician is going down the drain. Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner was arrested today by the FBI for taking bribes. His case is closely connected to the Dianne Wilkerson one.

This is the same guy who a couple of years ago found a picture of an American solider having sex with a Middle Eastern woman and called a press conference to decry the rape of innocent women in Iraq by American boys in uniform. There was only one problem - the picture was from a porn video.

Good bye Chuck.

Howie and the Hacks

Great Howie column today on the exortion, I mean, gas tax plan Sal DiMasi has proposed in lieu of hige hikes on tolls. It speaks for itself, see it here.

Why I never donate to political campaigns

I have not donated any money to a political campaign in years. One of the reasons I don't is that after the election, politicians use the money for frivolous things like meals, salaries for their family, etc. Now, the Herald has discovered that some state representatives and senators are having their campaigns pay for their vehicles BUT they're still collecting the per diem legislators get when traveling to and from the State House.

Speaker of the House Sal DiMasi, who wants you to pay more in gas taxes, has his campaign pay the lease on his SUV ($845 a month), the gas ($2,563), tolls ($261), and car washes ($83). But, Mr. Speaker pockets the $10 monthly per diem for his ride from the North End to Beacon Hill.

Don't blame me, I voted yes on Question One.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Budget Crisis? What are you talking about?

Remember we were told that if we voted to eliminate the state income tax there would be huge cuts to state government? We simply cannot afford losing the income tax, they said - it is a reckless idea. Gov. Deval Patrick made a huge deal of laying off state workers and cutting back on spending. Others were encouraged to follow.

Well, Mayor Tom Menino must have missed the memo. Since announcing a hiring freeze, the City of Boston has hired over 50 new workers at a cost of $2 million.

Don't blame me, I voted yes on Question One.

Dinner Impossible

One of my favorite non-cooking shows on Food Network is Dinner Impossible. It started about 2 years ago and featured a British chef named Robert Irvine who was given an impossible dinner task to complete in about 8 hours. It was great TV and I watched it every week.

Then, it came out that Irvine lied about his resume and was fired from the show. He was replaced by Iron Chef Michael Symon but the show just wasn't the same.

Well, I guess I wasn't alone in feeling that way because now Irvine is coming back!!! I am so pumped.

All Hail Leader Obama

Need I say more about the cult surrounding the Dear Leader.

Next thing you know we will be having grand annual celebrations to honor his birth.




Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Good night

State Sen. Dianne Wilkerson of Boston FINALLY resigned today after she was indicted for taking bribes. This comes on the heels of the resignation of State Sen. James Marzilli who refused to resign months after he was accused of sexually harassing women in Lowell.

I thought they would hold out until January 1 so they could collect another year on their pension but they both got into trouble: Marzilli travelled to Germany on state business despite not showing his face at the State House in months and of course, Wilkerson's indictment.

Good riddance to them both.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Broken record

The hits keep coming now that the election is in the rear view mirror. Now it seems that the Supervisor of Cemeteries for the City of Boston (who made over $101,000 last year) failed to properly supervise his underling (who brought home a cool $79K in 2007). Here are the charges:

1. Misreporting the amount of hours worked (i.e. leaving work early)
2. Taking long lunches
3. Drinking beer during work hours
4. Stealing 20 gallons of gas a week from city owned pumps

Hmm, so these guys make close to $200,000 a year to work in cemeteries, defraud the taxpayers, and steal thousands of dollars of city gas. Tell me again why we voted down Question 1.

Massachusetts at its best

Dan Kennedy of Media Nation has a fantastic column on the Guardian (U.K.) website about the foolishness of Massachusetts voters and the people they elect. You can see the whole column here but I have highlighted the best below. Once again, don't blame me: I voted yes on Question 1.

For a brief time, fully 5% of our 40 state senators were facing criminal charges. But that distinction was lost last week, when Jim Marzilli resigned after he was caught attending an environmental conference in Germany. Not much of a crime, you say? Let me explain.

Marzilli, who was arrested last June on charges of attempting to grope several women on park benches (he also allegedly came close to knocking over a hot-dog vendor while running from police), had not reported to work for lo these many months. So when he turned up on a European junket, his long-suffering colleagues sent word that they'd finally had enough.
Marzilli's departure leaves us with only one tainted senator, Dianne Wilkerson, who, according to the FBI, was recently caught on a surveillance camera stuffing $1,000 in cash into her bra – part of some $23,500 in bribes she's charged with taking on behalf of an aspiring bar owner in need of a liquor license.

Wilkerson has been an ethical disaster area for years, having served a sentence of house arrest during the 1990s after she, uh, forgot to pay her taxes. Her term's up in January, and she's promised to resign before then – but she won't say how long before. Meanwhile, she now says she needs a taxpayer-funded lawyer on the grounds that she's broke. Obviously she needed a bigger bra.

I could go on. So I will. The speaker of the Massachusetts House, Sal DiMasi, is under investigation for demonstrating generosity to his friends that would be admirable if he hadn't allegedly violated ethics rules – and possibly state laws – in so doing.

The charges against DiMasi – who, to his credit, successfully stood up to governor Deval Patrick (a friend of president-elect Obama's) and stopped his disastrous proposal to bring casino gambling to Massachusetts – may or may not end his political career. DiMasi has been adamant in denying any wrongdoing. But it must be said that both of DiMasi's predecessors as speaker, Tom Finneran and, before him, Charley Flaherty, resigned and pled guilty to federal charges in order to avoid doing time behind bars.

Have we hit rock bottom? Not quite. Both of the likely successors to DiMasi, Bob DeLeo and John Rogers, have ethics issues of their own. Give the nod to DeLeo, as his issues appear to be relatively trivial.

The great thing about Massachusetts is that if nothing is too small, nothing is too large, either. And absolutely nothing is larger than the Big Dig, the massive, leaking network of tunnels beneath the city that has cost federal and state taxpayers some $15bn. We're still paying. We just learned that it will soon cost $7 for the privilege of driving through one of those tunnels – a chump's reward to us for having voted down an ill-considered but tempting ballot measure that would have repealed the state income tax.

Last Sunday, the Boston Globe reported what many of us had suspected about the Big Dig: that the slight easing of traffic jams in downtown Boston has been more than offset by new, bigger traffic jams outside the city, resulting in longer commutes than ever before. Still, we take pride in the fact that it's been nearly a year and a half since anyone was crushed to death by a falling concrete ceiling panel. And so it goes.

Certainly, some of our problems result from our long indulgence of one-party rule. The reason I've omitted the fact (up until now) that every pol I've mentioned is a Democrat is not because of liberal bias on my part. It's because there are no Republicans in Massachusetts.

Arrogance of power

Alaskan Republicans had their chance to unseat Sen. Ted Stevens in the state primary but he easily won the nomination. Now, he is a convicted felon and he has lost re-election to Democrat Mark Begich, the Mayor of Anchorage.

Thanks Ted.

How the Media Got Obama Elected

Just watch:


More male teachers wanted

As I mentioned earlier, I attended a Teacher's Conference over the weekend at Salem State College. There were about 100 or so teachers there and of that number, less than 10 were men. I knew that women outnumbered men in the teaching profession but that really solidified it.

The Globe has an article today on the push to hire more men as teachers, especially in elementary schools. According to the Globe, only 24% of all teachers in Massachusetts public schools are men. That is a staggering number. Many men stay away from elementary schools for obvious reasons but I never considered it because I could never deal with the basic subject matters and nurturing that is required. High school is a perfect fit for me.

You can see the article here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

So sad it's funny

So State Sen. Dianne Wilkerson, who has spent her public life avoiding paying taxes, her mortgage, and (allegedly) taking bribes is soaking the taxpayers one more time. Wilkerson claims she cannot afford an attorney for her trial and has asked the court to appoint one for her. Guess who pays for that lawyer? Look in the mirror.

See the article here.

Media's Love Affair with Obama

Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post and CNN has a great column today on the absurdity of the media and its fawning over Barack Obama. He recognizes the historical nature of this election but feels that the media is crossing a line from reporting the news to "mythmaking." See the article here but some good lines are below:

The media would be remiss if they didn't reflect the sense of unadulterated
joy that greeted Obama's election, both here and around the world, and the pride
even among those who opposed him. Newspapers were stunned and delighted at the voracious demand for post-election editions, prompting
The Washington Post and other papers to print hundreds of thousands of extra copies and pocket the change. (When else have we felt so loved lately?) Demand for inaugural tickets has been unprecedented. Barack is suddenly a hot baby name. Record companies are releasing hip-hop songs, by the likes of Jay-Z and Will.I.Am, with such titles as "Pop Champagne for Barack." Consumers, the Los Angeles Times reports, are buying up "Obama-themed T-shirts, buttons, bobblehead dolls, coffee mugs, wine bottles, magnets, greeting cards, neon signs, mobile phones and framed art prints."


A barrage of Obama-related books are in the works. Newsweek's quadrennial election volume is titled "A Long Time Coming: The Historic, Combative, Expensive and Inspiring 2008 Election and the Victory of Barack Obama." Publishers obviously see a bull market.
MSNBC, which was accused of cheerleading for the Democratic nominee during the campaign, is running promos that say: "Barack Obama, America's 44th president. Watch as a leader renews America's promise." What are viewers to make of that?

There is always a level of excitement when a new president is coming to town -- new aides to profile, new policies to dissect, new family members to follow. But can anyone imagine this kind of media frenzy if John McCain had managed to win? Obama's days of walking on water won't last indefinitely. His chroniclers will need a new story line. And sometime after Jan. 20, they will wade back into reality.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lazy, lazy day

Today has been one of the laziest days I have had in a while. The windy, cold, raw day was conducive to doing nothing.

Kevin got us up around 7:15am so I decided to go the 8:00am mass at our Church. Lynn and I have stopped going to mass with Kevin because he is so insane there. He will not sit down at all and we spend the entire mass at the back of the Church or outside. When I got back Lynn and Kevin were gone - they went to some music game thing (I have no clue) in Tewksbury (Lynn swears she told me about it) and they didn't get back until after noon. I spent the morning reading the paper, checking the net, and finishing watching HBO's "John Adams."

Kevin slept from 1-3 and I just watched football while Lynn went to the gym. I did some errands around 4 and at 6:30 we're going over a friend's house for a while.

The laziness will end when we get home tonight - I have to write a test for tomorrow. Ugh!

Jacoby on Palin

Jeff Jacoby, the lone conservative in the Boston Globe Op-Ed pages, has an interesting column today on Sarah Palin's future. He highlights her surreal popularity among Republicans (91%) and her likability. He also mentions the knee jerk hatred the Left has of her and nails the reason this is the case:

I suspect that the loathing of Palin by so much of the opinion elite is driven not by contempt for her brainpower but by fear of her political potential. She is cheerful and charismatic, an unabashed and likable conservative who generates extraordinary grassroots enthusiasm. Tens of thousands of voters showed up at her campaign rallies, and even now, when she appears on TV, record-breaking numbers of viewers tune in. "Her politics aren't my politics," Lorne Michaels said after Palin's appearance on "Saturday Night Live." But "I watched the way she connected with people, and she's powerful."

Whether Palin has the skill and stamina it would take to win a presidential nomination, let alone capture the White House, it is way too early to tell. But the smart money says she is a force to be reckoned with. That may be just what her critics are afraid of.

Howie on New Speaker of the House

Two Howie Carr columns in one weekend - to what do we owe this honor? Today the Captain highlights the two pols who may succeed Sal DiMasi when he becomes the third Speaker of the House to leave in disgrace. The two, John Rogers of Norwood and Bob DeLeo of Winthrop, both have their baggage but Howie predicts that DeLeo will get the nod just because he is "less dirty."

See his thoughts here.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

New CAO in North Adams

One of my good friends, Jay Green, was recently named the Chief Administrative Officer in the hamlet of North Adams, MA. I went to Saint Anselm College with Jay and was actually his RA his freshman year. He spent the past three years as an Assistant DA in Berkshire County and is now helping run one of Massachusetts' western most cities.

Congrats Jay and good luck getting by on that "high 50's salary" the Transcript mentions ;).

Identity theft in Dallas

One of the most pervasive and heinous crimes today is identity theft. Down in Big-D, it seems that the Dallas School System has hired people who do not have social security numbers (i.e. illegal immigrants). Yet look how ho-hum the Dallas Morning News is in reporting it (note what I bold):

Years after being advised by a state agency to stop, the Dallas Independent School District continued to provide foreign citizens with fake Social Security numbers to get them on the payroll quickly.

Some of the numbers were real Social Security numbers already assigned to people elsewhere. And in some cases, the state's educator certification office unknowingly used the bogus numbers to run criminal background checks on the new hires, most of whom were brought in to teach bilingual classes.

Social Security Numbers already assigned to people elsewhere. You mean STEALING SOMEONE'S IDENTITY?!?!?!?

Alone in the wilderness

I went to a great conference today over at Salem State College called Best Practices in Education. I went to four workshops and there was a keynote address by a 94 year-old retired teacher. During her introduction, the speaker said she cast her first vote for Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal and she was glad to cast her most recent vote for the New New Deal. Everyone in the room clapped. Not only was I one of the only males there, I am pretty certain I was the only one who voted for John McCain.

Teachers are a curious bunch!

Nothing better

There is nothing better on a Saturday night than "The Godfather" being on TV. Although I have it on DVD and have been it a million times, I always watch it when it is on TV (at least pieces). Godfather, some red wine, and a sleeping baby...good times.

Bonus Howie Column

Howie Carr doesn't usually have a column on Saturdays but the vote of the Massachusetts Turnpike to raise tolls on the tunnels to $7 and at the Allston toll to $2 sprung him into action. He makes a great point (as he also did on his show last night) that Massachusetts voters continue to vote the same old people year after year after year into office and what do we get - more and more of the same. We have gotten what we deserve.

By the way, wasn't it brave of the Mass. Turnpike to vote for the increases on a Friday ten days after the election? I guess the original vote was supposed to be October 31 but they voted to delay it until the election was over.

Don't blame me, I voted yes on Question 1.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Throw the bums out

Howie Carr hits another homer today calling on the State Senate to expel Sens. Marzilli and Wilkerson. Marzilli is accused of sexual harassment and Wilkerson is accused of taking bribes but they continue to collect state paychecks.

See his column here.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pot calling the kettle black

In Lowell, MA there is a debate on what sort of sex education should be taught in the public schools. Currently Lowell High School offers an abstinence only program called Healthy Futures and they want to replace it with a program by Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is one of the most vile organizations in the United States and its bread and butter is performing abortions on women. They have ruined more lives than one can ever imagine.

Which makes it so absurd that the president of the Lowell Teachers Association said in today's Lowell Sun: "It is very clear that Healthy Futures has an agenda tied to their funding..."

Gee, and Planned Parenthood doesn't?

Another reason my son will be going to Catholic school.

Charlie Baker: Savior?

Charlie Baker, the CEO of Harvard Health Care is consistently mentioned as a potential candidate for higher office. He served as Bill Weld's Secretary of Administration and Finance but has been in the private sector now for over a decade.

I don't know much about Baker but he is seen as a sort of financial wunderkind. He was actually the commencement speaker at Salem State when I received my Masters degree from there and he gave a really nice talk. I for one don't see him going back into politics. He seems to be quite happy and successful, why give all that up for political headaches?

See more here.

Rebuilding the Republicans

The Massachusetts GOP is in a state of complete disarray. Their chairman, Peter Torkildsen, is stepping down after the GOP lost 3 more seats in the Massachusetts House and there is a loud cry to elect a new House Minority Leader. The party needs fresh blood, fresh ideas, and fresh leadership if they are going to survive as a party. Political parties come and go so I would not be surprised is the Mass. GOP ceased to exist unless major changes were made.

Red Mass Group has an interesting take on the qualities needed in a new leader and to avoid being in the minority party. See it here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Jesuit Humor

Anyone who went to a Jesuit school will appreciate this one:

The Dominican and the Jesuit both enjoy cigarettes, and wonder if this conflicts with their prayer lives. Next day, the downcast Dominican is annoyed to see his Jesuit friend smoking comfortably over his breviary. "How come you're allowed to do that? My spiritual director said I shouldn't smoke while I say my prayers." "You asked him the wrong question. I asked if it would be all right to say some prayers while I smoke."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

This takes the cake

Of all the fawning and absurdity by the "media" since Barack Obama's election, this paragraph by Time Magazine's Nancy Gibbs takes the cake (h/t to Newsbusters):

Some princes are born in palaces. Some are born in mangers. But a few are born in the imagination, out of scraps of history and hope. Barack Obama never talks about how people see him: I'm not the one making history, he said every chance he got. You are. Yet as he looked out Tuesday night through the bulletproof glass, in a park named for a Civil War general, he had to see the truth on people's faces. We are the ones we've been waiting for, he liked to say, but people were waiting for him, waiting for someone to finish what a King began.

Typical

In today's South Coast Today (a newspaper from the South Coast of Massachusetts), there is an article on the potential for Massachusetts to soon have two open Senate seats. That is, if John Kerry is tapped to serve in the Obama Administration and if Ted Kennedy loses his battle with cancer. No one will even touch the Kennedy situation but people are jockeying for Kerry's seat.

Of course, in 2004 the Democrats changed the law that dealt with a vacancy in Congressional seats. Prior to 2004, the governor would appoint a successor. Fearing an appointment by Republican Gov. Mitt Romney to replace a potential President John Kerry, the Legislature changed the law to call for a special election within 145-160 days of the vacancy.

South Coast Today quotes State Rep. Garrett Bradley of Hingham, the chair of the Election Laws Committee who said, "I'm giving thought to the real possibility that we could be unrepresented in the United States Senate at a critical, critical time." Thus, he is thinking we need to change the law back.

If Rep. Bradley is so concerned about the state being underrepresented in the Senate, why then did he vote to override Romney's veto of the change in 2004 (You can see the roll call vote from 2004 here)?

I am sure Bradley will fall back on what he said in the quote, that these are crucial times and need a quick resolution. Well, if anyone believes that than welcome to planet Earth.

Say good night Sal

Word now comes that Speaker of the House Sal DiMasi did know that Cognos (a Burlington software company) was in the running for a state contract. DiMasi has countered that he never knew anything about the Cognos deal. Cognos is accused of having many of DiMasi's buddies on retainer and the software deal was seen as a quid pro quo.

Now, a 2005 e-mail from former Commissioner of Education David Driscoll has emerged that says DiMasi was "OK" with the contract going to Cognos. Driscoll also said:

"The speaker was very interested in our bid...his interest was in making sure we did not pick a bidder he does not have confidence in."
Massachusetts politicians have had enough of their ilk ruining their reputations (i.e. Wilkerson, Marzilli) so I don't think DiMasi will survive this one. He will make the third straight speaker to leave under dubious circumstances. Ha! The Democrats are practically handing seats to the Republicans in 2010.

Thank God for Cardinal O'Malley

Fantastic article in today's Boston Globe about Cardinal Sean O'Malley's concern about Barack Obama's abortion record. The article begins with a look at O'Malley's past work in the civil rights movement:

"When I was in high school, I joined the NAACP and did voter registration in black neighborhoods when I wasn't old enough to vote myself, and I was there at Resurrection City after Martin Luther King was murdered, and living in the mud with thousands of people on the lawn of the Lincoln Memorial and having off-duty redneck policemen throwing canisters of tear gas at us and shouting obscenities," O'Malley, now the cardinal-archbishop of Boston, said in an interview yesterday, his eyes welling with tears.

"So, to me, the election of an Afro-American is like the Berlin Wall falling. I mean, for my generation, I suppose young people today can't appreciate that, but to me it is something very big."
But, his apprecation is tempered by Obama's "deplorable" record on abortion:
But O'Malley, an ardent opponent of abortion, made it clear that he is aghast at the specter that Obama might ease access to the procedure. The cardinal made his comments on the opening day of the semiannual meeting of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore.
"My joy, however, is tempered by the knowledge that this man has a deplorable record when it comes to prolife issues, and is possibly in the pocket of Planned Parenthood, which, in its origins, was a very racist organization to eliminate the blacks, and it's sort of ironic that he's been co-opted by them," he said.

"He is the president, and everyone wishes him well, and we will try to work with him. However, I hope he realizes that his election was not a mandate to rush ahead with a proabortion platform."

Great stuff, you can see the whole article here.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Changes in the House

Looks like there is a move to replace State Rep. Brad Jones as the Minority Leader. I don't know a whole lot about Jones but he seems like a guy who tries hard under very trying circumstances. But, I think many people are looking for a fresh start and he may fall victim to that.

Herald has the story here but PolitickerMA.com is throwing cold water on the move to oust Jones. See that side here.

A sort of day off

Our principal gave us today off instead of tomorrow so we would have a three day weekend. Kevin is at daycare today so I have about 6 hours of unbridled free time. It is a dream come true!

Unfortunately, I am meeting with our insurance agent at 11 and then by the time he leaves, I will just have enough time to eat lunch, clean the house, and get some work done for tomorrow. Oh well, I'll take it just the same.

Um, OK

Want to know how far some are taking the Cult of Obama? According to the Topeka Capitol-Journal:

Plans are being made to promote a national holiday for Barack Obama, who will become the nation's 44th president when he takes the oath of office Jan. 20."Yes We Can" planning rallies will be at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. every Tuesday at the downtown McDonald's restaurant, 1100 Kansas Ave., until Jan. 13. The goals are to secure a national holiday in Obama's honor, to organize celebrations around his inauguration and to celebrate the 200th birthday of President Abraham Lincoln, who was born on Feb. 12 1809.

I like turtles

Watch this and laugh, laugh, and laugh (note how fast the reporter gets out of there):

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I told you

So it seems that Barack Obama will make good on his promise to destroy the pro-life movement with the stroke of an Executive Order pen. He is planning on overturning President Bush's ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research and I am certain he will rescind the Mexico City Policy and sign the Freedom of Choice Act within weeks, if not days, of taking office.

The story is here but the relevant part is below:

Obama himself has signaled, for example, that he intends to reverse Bush's controversial limit on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, a decision that scientists say has restrained research into some of the most promising avenues for defeating a wide array of diseases, such as Parkinson's.
Bush's August 2001 decision pleased religious conservatives who have moral objections to the use of cells from days-old human embryos, which are destroyed in the process.
But Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) said that during Obama's final swing through her state in October, she reminded him that because the restrictions were never included in legislation, Obama "can simply reverse them by executive order." Obama, she said, "was very receptive to that." Opponents of the restrictions have already drafted an executive order he could sign.
The new president is also expected to lift a so-called global gag rule barring international family planning groups that receive U.S. aid from counseling women about the availability of abortion, even in countries where the procedure is legal, said Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. When Bill Clinton took office in 1993, he rescinded the Reagan-era regulation, known as the Mexico City policy, but Bush reimposed it.

A new blog

My wife is going to kill me but I have decided to start a second blog. I started Dracut Musings in July because I was bored and was just looking for something to do during the summer. I never envisioned anyone reading it and thought it would just be something to do while Kevin was napping. Now, less than six months later, I have had almost 6,000 hits and its focus has become national and state politics.

I don't feel enough attention is paid to local politics and government so my new blog will be solely focused to the political life of Dracut. My second blog, Dracut Politics, will be less partisan than this one and will be more of a resource for residents and politicos.

I will of course continue this blog as I have a lot of fun with it. Thank you for your continued support and readership.

They finally get it

Newsweek's Evan Thomas and Jon Meacham finally admit that the whole Obama aura borders on "cultish" (my word) and he is somewhat "creepy." They pointed out that it was unusual for him to appear by himself on stage Tuesday night while he was giving his victory speech. I was thinking the same thing: where were Biden, Michelle, the children, etc? In my mind, Obama wanted to be alone, to bask in his glory with his worthy followers. This was his moment and he was going to share it with the one person he loves the most, himself.

See the full story here.

2012 already

The 2012 campaign began the moment Barack Obama was elected president. Politico highlights some of the Republicans who are already getting their ground game started.

Some of the names mentioned:

Mike Huckabee (who I voted for in the primaries) is making appearances in Iowa and South Carolina and also has a weekly TV show on Fox News. I like Huckabee a lot and I would support him again but I wonder if he still has any gas left in the tank.

Sarah Palin will be speaking at the Republican Governor's Association in Miami next week. Despite the mud being thrown at her by McCain operatives, she is wildly popular among Republicans but is she damaged goods?

A blast from the past: Newt Gingrich is lining up for a potential run. I like Gingrich a lot but I think he is too associated with the rough and tumble ways of Washington.

Bobby Jindal is speaking in Iowa under the guise of how to prepare for flooding. But, I am sure there are ulterior motives. If Obama bombs, Jindal should go for in 2012. But, if it looks like Obama will cruise to re-election, Jindal should stay out of it and look ahead to 2016.

You can see the whole column here.

Don't blame me...

For those of you who voted to keep the state income tax this past Tuesday, read today's column by Howie Carr. Howie highlights the back-room and back-scratching ways of the Boston Licensing Board. These details came to light when corrupt State Sen. Dianne Wilkerson was caught on camera allegedly taking bribes in exchange for helping restaurant owners obtain liquor licenses from the Boston Licensing Board.


See the column here and when you're done, don't blame me, I voted yes on question one.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hail the Leader

Don't think Barack Obama views himself as The Leader and we as his minions? Read on and read carefully.

Mega tip of the hat to Newsbusters. Barack Obama's official Transition website, Change.gov, was launched this week. Under the heading "America Serves" it read:

The Obama Administration will call on Americans to serve in order to meet the nation’s challenges. President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in underserved schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps. Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year. Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.
But, now it reads:
The Obama Administration will call on Americans to serve in order to meet the nation’s challenges. President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in underserved schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps. Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by setting a goal that all middle school and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year and by developing a plan so that all college students who conduct 100 hours of community service receive a universal and fully refundable tax credit ensuring that the first $4,000 of their college education is completely free. Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.
This man was going to force students to perform community service. FORCE! Of course, they were caught and now they "set a goal" for students to do it and college students will receive a tax credit for doing a good deed. And they said President Bush was a dictator.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Chief of Staff

Imagine if John McCain appointed a former director from Freddie Mac as a member of his administration (not to mention his Chief of Staff). In addition, what if he appointed someone from the "hard right", a Newt Gingrich type who had the reputation as an attack dog? The media would be screaming and going nuts over McCain's poor judgment, lack of sensitivity to his political opposition, and for choosing someone with ties to the nation's recent financial crisis.

But, luckily for Barack Obama, he does not need to worry about the press criticizing him. Thus, it is no big deal that his new Chief of Staff is Rahm Emanuel: a far-left liberal who has no record of reaching out to Republicans and who served as a director for Freddie Mac.

You actually thought the media would go after the Messiah? Ha!

Reporter volunteers for Obama

Interesting story out of jolly ol' England. A reporter for a newspaper in Britain was caught drunk out of his mind in a Miami street on Wednesday morning. He said he was filing a story on the campaign and was copying much of it from a BBC story. He also said on the video that he was resigning from his job and gave the f-word salute to his employer.

Funny...but what I found more jarring was that a reporter (albeit a foreign one) was volunteering for a presidential campaign. The story and video is here.

Go get 'em Barney

Barney, President Bush's dog, took a swipe at a Reuters reporter recently while he was out for a walk on the White House grounds. All I can say is good boy!

See the video below (h/t to Newsbusters):

Hacks, hacks, and more hacks

Prior to 2004, whenever a U.S. Senator or Representative died or resigned in office, the governor of Massachusetts would appoint a replacement. However, when John Kerry was running for president in 2004, the Democratic controlled Legislature changed the law because the governor at the time was Republican Mitt Romney. Their rationale, of course, was that they did not want a Republican appointing a replacement for Kerry.

Fast forward four years. Now, it appears that Kerry may get a position in the Obama Administration (please God let it be so). Of course, the Legislature wants to change the law back to the old way because the governor is a Democrat (Deval Patrick) and God forbid the filthy people elect a Republican.

This is so typical of the partisan Democratic hacks on Beacon Hill. When Romney proposed merging the Mass. Highway Department with the Mass. Turnpike, the Democrats blocked it. But, when Patrick later proposed it recently, all of a sudden it was a great idea.

Howie Carr has more on this here.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Can't get enough

Despite the fact that Barack Obama scares the hell out of me, I do like the inside politics and the planning of a new government. I was a Politics major in college so I get all excited about public administration, government structure, office holders, etc.

If you're a geek like me, you'll love the new section on Politico called Politico 44 - a whole section devoted to the Transition and the Obama presidency. It is constantly updated - see it here.

Post mortem on Palin

You can tell that there were tensions between John McCain and Sarah Palin as there are a ton of negative stories coming out from insiders in the McCain campaign. They obviously want to embarrass her and make her look nasty and vapid. True or not? I am sure there are some truths to the stories but it seems like it is people trying to settle some scores.

Bill O'Reilly spoke with Carl Cameron about it on the O'Reilly Factor - you can see it here.

Ronald Reagan: Icon

On last night's Mark Levin Show, he played the audio of Ronald Reagan's 1964 campaign speech for Barry Goldwater. It is a brillant speech and a sort of Conservative Manifesto. If you haven't read or heard it before, see it here. It is a good reminder of where we can go after this week's drubbing.

Wilkerson will resign...but when?

Disgraced State Sen. Dianne Wilkerson of Boston has said she will resign from the state Senate but won't say when. I can tell you when - January 1, 2009. That way she will have another year under her belt and will qualify for more money in her pension.

It is absurd that public employees who work just one day have that count as an entire year for pensions. Yet voters still rejected a repeal of the state income tax. Don't blame me, I voted yes.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Media celebration

Mark Levin has a fantastic take on the media's reaction to Obama's election:

Let's not fool ourselves. If Barack Obama had been a conservative Republican (a la Lynn Swann, Michael Steele or Ken Blackwell) the response to his election would not the same as it is today. Before the election, the liberal and media commentariat were putting out different arguments for an Obama election — including that this was not an election about race if he won or it was an election about race if he lost. But now that he has won, I am hearing this is victory against racism. But I didn't think modern America racist. Of course, there are individuals and pockets that are. But that's different. I don't remember the same tests, such as they are, being applied to the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. I understand that's different than a national election. However, it simply cannot be denied that there is a double standard as applies to liberals and conservatives regardless of race or gender. Indeed, if Hillary Clinton had been elected president, we would be hearing similar words of celebration; but if Sarah Palin had been elected vice president, we would be hearing very nasty things, as we have since she was nominated.
He's right. I remember when Joseph Ratzinger was elected pope, the media went crazy asking if he was too conservative (dito for John Roberts, Samuel Alito, George W. Bush, etc). But when a liberal is elected, we never hear any concerns about how they will govern.

Howie's take

Howie Carr's column today has his take on yesterday's drubbing of Republicans. He pointed out a very sad factoid:
Here’s how bad this election was. The night before every election, in the final hour of my radio show, I always give any candidate who calls in one minute to make a final pitch to the voters.
Monday night, I had 29 candidates call in, from two states, from U.S. Senate to county commissioner. Yesterday at least 27 of them lost, maybe more, and I’m only sure about one guy who won - Sen. Scott Brown.
Ouch. See the whole column here.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Over

Well, it's over. As a history teacher, I can certainly appreciate the history of a black man being elected president and I congratulate those who have suffered for so many years because of the color of their skin. This is their vindication and perhaps an indication that our country has atoned for its sins. John McCain gave a wonderful concession speech and highlighted the historical significance of this election.

But, that having been said, I find the crying of people on CNN a tad over the top. Perhaps I cannot understand being a white person but journalists, even after 9/11, said that they must contain their personal feelings when reporting and commenting on the news. Should the same apply here? Maybe, maybe not, just my thoughts.

Now, what about 2012? I think, unfortunately, that Sarah Palin cannot come back. We will have to wait and see how Obama does over the next couple of years and see what happens in the 2010 elections. If Obama tanks, then my money is on Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. If not, there just may be a token opposition in 2012 like Bob Dole was in 1996.

This will be exciting. I look forward to seeing what Obama does but I will not back down on abortion. Also, I think it is a good opportunity for the Republicans to step back and reevaluate. There will be opportunities for fresh faces and fresh ideas...I hope they emerge stronger and more focused.

Where do we go from here

National Review's David Kahane has twelve interesting points on where we go from here (I like numbers 11 and 12 the best):

1) We got this the old-fashioned way: we earned it. The other side took the fight to us, and we never took the fight to the other side, except coyly and obliquely. That's not a mistake we should make the next time. "Honorable campaigns" are for losers. Next time, call 'em as they really are, not as you wish to see 'em.

2) Where was Bush? Once again, and right to the bitter end, he let his passion for "loyalty" supersede what was stragetically right for the party, not to mention what was best for the country. I think his reputation has nowhere to go but down; yes, he got one big thing right, but he got everything else wrong. Enough of this family in our country's politics!

3) Good riddance to Liddy Dole, the woman who gave us the national drinking age of 21 and a host of sozzled underage college students. She won't be missed.

4) Hillary comes out smelling like a rose, plus unbloodied. She and Bill are already scoping out 2012.

5) Time to clean house. McCain should have been president in 2000, not in 2008. No more "it's my turn" for the last loser. We need to be looking for our candidates in the ranks of returning war vets — think Eisenhower in '52 as the model — and let the Dem's shifty lawyers run the country for a couple of years. Then hit them across the board with people who know how to lead. Gen. Petraeus might be a good place to start. Lots of junior officers, too.

6) You know what? McCain never did sell himself as a leader. He sold himself as a maverick.

7) One upside: McCain/Feingold is now dead, as is public financing. Talk about being hoist with your own petard!

8) That Gang of 14 thing really worked out well, didn't it? Say good-bye to the courts. And we were so close...

9) Joe Lieberman was worse than useless. When he could have made a difference, he didn't cross the aisle to caucus with the Republicans. Now, it doesn't matter. Thanks, Joe.

10) Age matters. McCain ran an "honorable campaign" because he never really understood in his heart that the other guy had no intention of doing so; he didn't "get" Obama's generation, or Axelrod's.. Obama would lie about public financing, "oppose" gay marriage but also oppose Prop. 8 and never see it as morally contradictory. The world that McCain understood and operated in is vanishing, and tonight is visible evidence.

11) Unlike the Democrats, let's show some class in defeat. That doesn't mean lie down and roll over: it means fighting for what we believe in, doubly so now. But their sneering childishness is not for us; and now that they've won, they won't be able to control it even in victory. This is an unlovely party filled with unlovely people, as America's about to find out once the Obama pixie dust wears off.

12) Understand, once and for all, that the old media is part of the Democratic Party now. Ignore it. Never send Michele Bachmann onto Hardball again. Never send Sarah to play nice with Katie. We need to develop and create our own work-arounds — Fox, talk radio, NRO, etc. — and use them. Don't play by their rules: make our own.

Silver lining

John McCain won Dracut 7,284-7,216. Close but still a win.

It's over

McCain cannot win with Ohio now in Obama's camp. I congratulate the soon to be President-Elect Obama and wish him the best over the next four years.

But, that does not mean I am pleased. I think we may need to start learning the words to the following song:

0-5

In the competitive races in which I voted, it looks like I will be 0 for 5. I voted for McCain, Beatty for Senate, Yes on 1, No on 2, and No on 3 (see my previous post about how I planned on voting here). Each of these races went the other way.

Time to get another beer...

Ugh

It's not pretty...

The worst part about tonight

I have resigned myself to the fact that this will be a bad night for me politically. But the one thing I am dreading the most is the Democrats going crazy. Not only are the Democrats bad losers (i.e. 2000 Election) but they're even worse winners. Between the media, left wing blogs, and rank and file party members, I am going to puke.

Bill's blog is back

My cousin Bill Hicks' blog is back up and running. He took a little hiatus to focus on his work and family and is now back to posting regularly. Check it out here.

I did my part

Kevin and I went to vote today around 4:30 at Dracut Junior High. There was no wait whatsoever and I was out of there in less than 5 minutes. The other precincts were busy, guess my neighbors aren't home yet. I noticed that my wife voted already as her name was checked off so Kevin had a double dose of democracy today.

One minor exciting moment - the girl in front of me got in some trouble for wearing an Obama button. A poll worker angrily told her to cover it up. I have a McCain rubber braclet (like the Lance Armstrong one) but I left it at home because even I knew you can't wear stuff like that in a voting location.

After that we ran to Hannaford where I got some adult beverages for tonight - I bought Kevin a donut hole for being a good sport all afternoon. I will get some Chinese food in about an hour or so and sit back and watch the results. While I am not holding my breath that my guys will win, I still enjoy the process.

Good reminder

My friend Andrew Nelson has a good reminder for all of us today over at his blog. Take a look here.

Super Bowl

Today is like the Super Bowl to me. I love election day - local elections, mid-year elections, tax override, etc., I love them all. Even though I am sure I will be disappointed tonight, I still get excited about the process and the suspense.

I got caught in traffic this morning driving to work. There were hundreds of people going to Londonderry High School to vote and it caused a massive back-up. I will be voting after I pick up Kevin. We'll head to the polls around 4:30 and I pray that there will be no lines - Kevin is not very patient.

Tonight I am going to order Chinese food and get some beer and sit back and watch the results. I cannot wait!

Monday, November 3, 2008

New blog

Last week I mentioned about the Massachusetts GOP needs to light a fire under itself and cast itself as a real alternative to the Democratic Party. The very next day I found a blog that the Senate Republicans (all five of them) have to highlight the goings on at Beacon Hill. You can see it here. It is a nice start.

If I were running the Mass. GOP, I would adopt the mantra of the national Democratic Party in 2006: a Culture of Corruption. The Dems. did an effective job of highlighting the corruption of Congressional Republicans and their ineffectiveness as lawmakers and took over the House and Senate in 2006. In 2010, the Mass. GOP can do the same thing: highlight the corruption and failure of one party rule. Two Democratic senators have been arrested, the Speaker of the House is being investigated for conflict of interest, the House Majority Leader has been in some shady land dealings, and the state budget is a mess.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

How I will vote

With less than 48 hours to go, I thought I'd let you know how I will be voting this Tuesday:

President: McCain/Palin (R)

U.S. Senator: Jeff Beatty (R)

U.S. Representative: Will leave this blank, no way I am voting for Niki Tsognas (D)

State Senator: Will leave this blank, I will never vote for Susan Tucker (D)

State Representative: Colleen Garry (D)

Question One (repealing state income tax): Yes

Question Two (decriminalizing marijuana): No

Question Three (banning dog racing): No

The Simpsons make history

One of the greatest shows ever will soon make television history. While the show has lost a LOT of its fastball, it is still one of the only "regular" shows I still watch. See how history will be made here.

McCain on SNL

Check out John McCain's amazing performance on SNL last night:

Must read

If you are still thinking about voting no on question one or are scared to vote yes, read today's column by Jeff Jacoby in the Boston Globe. Here is the best part:

One of the clichés of the tax-repeal opponents is that those of us who support Question 1 are ill-advisedly trying to send a message to Beacon Hill. "Find another way to send a message," advises Michael Widmer of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. The MetroWest Daily News, editorializing against Question 1, says enacting it would amount to a demand for more efficiency in state government, but "it's hard to imagine that message will come as a surprise to the elected officials of Massachusetts." Peter Meade, the chairman of the No on Question 1 Coalition, doesn't hide his disdain: "If you want to send a message," he snaps, "get a Hallmark card."

But make no mistake: Voting against Question 1 will send a message too.
Vote no on Question 1, and you're flashing a thumbs-up to the political culture that readily indulged and empowered Wilkerson, notwithstanding her long history of ethical and legal violations. Vote no, and you're reassuring the state's political bigs that it's OK with you when they urge voters to re-elect cheats - as Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino urged the reelection of Wilkerson, despite knowing her to be a convicted tax evader and serial violator of campaign-finance laws.

Reject Question 1, and you're asking for more of the same: more of the corruption that unchecked power spawns, more lifetime legislators and uncontested elections, more logrolling with public-employee unions, more patronage positions for unqualified hacks, more voter-passed initiatives that get trashed by the Legislature. Vote no, and you're looking at more irresponsible budgets, more "temporary" tax increases that turn out to be permanent, more hostility to saving money through privatization. Reject Question 1 and you're voting to perpetuate the whole fetid, greed-glutted cult of the public trough - the lavish pensions for "retirees" in their 50s, the paid holidays for public employees only, the jaw-dropping overtime pay, healthcare benefits, and "disability" scams.

You want to send a message? Vote against Question 1 and you'll be another Oliver Twist: "Please, sir, I want some more." And if that is what you want - if the status quo suits you fine, if you're all right with the you-grease-my-palm-and-I'll-grease-yours system of which Dianne Wilkerson is but a symptom - then by by all means vote No.

Going home

Thanks to a hostile media and a Democratic party that to this day contends the 2000 election was "stolen", President Bush has never been able to gain traction. In addition, he has had to contend with grave matters like 9/11 and the financial meltdown. People forget, however, that we have not been attacked since that Tuesday in 2001 and for most of his presidency, our economy was on fire.


The Washington Post has an article today that highlights the final days of the Bush Administration and the unfair shake he has received. See it here.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Just a great picture


H/T to Amy at Charlotte was Both.

Town Meeting

Most people pay little to no attention to local government and politics, focusing more on the state and national levels. However, I would argue that the government that impacts our daily life the most is local (i.e. schools, trash pick-up, plowing, etc.). I never understood why people hardly vote in local elections and never attend municipal meetings.
I used to attend aldermen meetings in Melrose and keep close tabs on local pols. I have not been as diligent in Dracut and I confess that I have never been to a town meeting (yet I keep up to date on politics and I've never missed an election). Having always lived in a city, the town meeting is a foreign concept to me. But, our fall town meeting is this Monday and I think I am going to attend. The biggest issue is appropriating $450,000 for a study on whether we should renovate or replace Dracut High School. Not a very sexy issue but crucial to our town's children. Shawn over at Dracut Forum has more on the meeting.
It will be interesting to see what happens. Lats year voters turned down a vote to replace Town Hall. Now, with the economy in the tank, I have no idea what will happen.

Doing his part

My cousin Bill Hicks sent me along this video...I laughed my butt off at the old lady at 44 seconds. It's actually suposed to be a video to scare Obama voters to get out and vote and it is done by MoveOn.org. But those of us who support McCain (like Bill) will appreciate it.

Unfortunately when you embed it, it removes the name of the "voter." In this case, my cousin Bill. So whenever it says "undefined" it should read Bill Hicks. It takes some of of the fun out of it but you get the point:

Halloween and All Saints

Last night Kevin went trick or treating with his cousins in Melrose...sort of. He kind of got the hang of it but he melted down pretty quickly. We then went over to my parents house where he had some of his candy (note to self, M&M's make him crazy). He was awake the whole way home but he fell asleep right away when I put him in his crib.

Today of course is All Saints Day. The good deacon over at Deacon's Bench penned a nice homily for All Saints Day 2007 and posted it again this year. I actually used it last year when I taught about All Saints Day - it is a nice piece. See it here.

This year, I showed my students a real nice 8 minute video about the saints and All Saints Day. I heard about the video from Deacon's Bench as well. I need to start paying this guy - two years in a row he has helped me come up with my All Saints Day lesson plans! The video is here (I would have embedded it but half the screen got cut off).