Friday, November 28, 2008
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.
Recession? What recession?
See Howie's take here.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
See the article here which had the quote of the year:
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.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
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?
Friday, November 21, 2008
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.
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
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.
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.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
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
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.
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.
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.
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
See the article here.
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
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!
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.
See his thoughts here.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Congrats Jay and good luck getting by on that "high 50's salary" the Transcript mentions ;).
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?!?!?!?
Teachers are a curious bunch!
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
See his column here.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
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.
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.
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
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
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.
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:
"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."
"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
Herald has the story here but PolitickerMA.com is throwing cold water on the move to oust Jones. See that side here.
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.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
The story is here but the relevant part is below:
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.
See the full story here.
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.
See the column here and when you're done, don't blame me, I voted yes on question one.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
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:
Friday, November 7, 2008
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!
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.
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
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.
Bill O'Reilly spoke with Carl Cameron about it on the O'Reilly Factor - you can see it here.
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
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.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
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.
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.
But, that does not mean I am pleased. I think we may need to start learning the words to the following song:
Time to get another beer...
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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:
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).