Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shocked, shocked I tell you...

So yet another liberal is busted for not paying taxes. This time it is Kansas Gov. Kathleen "Never met an abortion I didn't like" Sebelius, President Obama's pick to be the Secretary of Health and Human Services. This is the third major appointment of Obama's that had to apologize for "mistakes" on their tax filings and the second HHS one!

Once again, a liberal says one thing and does another.

Keller on Patrick and Walsh

Jon Keller of Channel 4 has been killing Gov. Deval Patrick for months now. This is what he has to say about Affaire de Walsh:

After the way you:

* bungled the announcement of Marian Walsh's appointment;
* hung her out to dry in the ensuing heat by stifling her efforts to explain herself;
* poured lighter fluid on the flare-up over her hiring by dismissing complaints about it as "trivial;"
* botched your belated efforts to explain the choice yourself;
* and got caught in a web of bogus spin over your office's role in the matter...


...why would anyone with any shred of controversy attached to them want to risk coming to work for you ever again?

Walsh is out

State Sen. Marian Walsh today decided not to take a hack job with a hack state agency at a hack salary of $120,000 (down from $175,000). Walsh's appointment by Gov. Deval Patrick has been slammed from every newspaper, commentator, blogger, and grandmother in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Patrick tells all us to make sacrifices, to pay higher gas taxes, higher tolls on the Mass. Pike, to pay taxes on candy and tonic but he continues to make appointments like Walsh's. The Boston Globe, to their credit, was all over this story and really forced the hypocrite's hand. Hats off to them.

One question I have. Last week the governor was begging people to give Walsh a chance and was defending the job despite the fact that it has been vacant for 12 years. How come all of a sudden it is no longer necessary??? We all know the answer. Patrick knows that NOTHING will happen vis a vis taxes, fare hikes, etc. unless the state starts walking the walk. However, it is too little too late. Patrick will be a one term governor.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Days of goodbye

Today was the funeral for my aunt Fran Hicks. The mass was held at Most Blessed Sacrament Church in Wakefield. Fran and her family were parishioners there for decades so it was fitting that her funeral would be held there. My cousin Jason gave the eulogy and when he was done, there wasn't a dry eye in the house. He was brief but amazing.

Fran's ashes were buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Malden. My grandmother (Fran's mother) is also buried there so Fran was buried with her. After the cemetery, we all went back to the Church hall for a beautiful lunch.

Fran was always a unifier in the sense that she got along with everyone and was the link that held everyone together. Thus, it was fitting that at her wake and funeral a son and a father embraced for the first time in a decade, two cousins acknowledged each other's existences for the first time in many years, and an ex-husband hugged and spoke with his ex-wife. While I question how long this Era of Good Feelings will last, it is nice that Fran's last gift to her family was bringing people together...one last time.

Hello from heaven

Yesterday was the wake for my aunt Fran Hicks. It was great to see everyone and to have people under the same roof for the first time in years. All of my aunts and uncles were there and 9 of my 10 cousins were present.

Wakes can be sad but they are also a time to reminisce and catch up with people as they bring people together. I love the story telling, the pictures, and the camaraderie. Last night was no different and I heard a great story that blew my mind. A few hours after my aunt died on March 22 and after her body had been moved, my uncle was on the computer. He likes to "play the ponies" and was on a website looking at some races. One of the horses in the race he was watching was called "Hello from Heaven."

Enough said.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Patrick exposed

So Gov. Deval Patrick has fallen all over himself saying the appointment of State Sen. Marian Walsh to a $175,000 job that remained vacant for 12 years was necessary and prudent. He also implied that the process of picking Walsh was above politics.

However, the Boston Globe has found that the appointment was nothing more than political hackery at its best. They obtained e-mails from Patrick's staff that show the administration was involved in the job description, salary, and talking points for the criticism that would come out.

Read the whole thing here...if you want your blood pressure to explode!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Back to normal...sort of

Sorry for the lack of postings this week. This is the last week of the third quarter and I had a ton of papers and projects to correct. Grades aren't due until Tuesday morning but my aunt's funeral is Monday so I need to get everything corrected and submitted before I go home today. I think I am in good shape. I have a test and a set of papers for AP US History to correct today but I have a lot of free time today so I will get them done throughout the morning and afternoon.

I think tonight I am going to watch the Netflix movie that's been sitting on my TV for almost 2 weeks and have some red wine. I have nothing to do tomorrow so I am going to enjoy the next 48 hours or so. Then after that, reality will set in as my aunt's wake is Sunday and her funeral is Monday. She has been dead for almost a week now so people have been able to grieve but I think the floodgates will open up again this weekend. She was cremated so there won't be a body - that will be a first for me. I kind of hope it is your typical Irish wake - lots of laughs and memories, but also poignancy.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

No love for O

I find it quite amusing that Notre Dame is burying the fact that President Obama will be speaking at Commencement on their website. There are five main stories on the main page and no mention of Obama is found. They do mention Mary Ann Glendon, who will be receiving the Laetare Medal but nothing about the Messiah's speech.

If you dig deeper into the university's news page, the Obama story is not on the main page after the jump.

If Obama is so amazing and the university will engage him in dialogue, shouldn't the university be blasting that news from the mountaintop???

I didn't think so.

God Bless Bishop D'Arcy

I love Bishop John D'Arcy. The Boston native and fellow BC High alum, has been the Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend since 1986. He loves Notre Dame and is very supportive of them. But, he does not back down when their actions fly squarely in the face of their mission.

Now, Bishop D'Arcy has announced that he will not attend Notre Dame's Commencement this year because of the honorary degree being granted to President Obama.

Read what he has to say below, it is awesome (especially the part I put in bold). If only more members of the Church had the same courage and conviction of Bishop D'Arcy we'd be a better Church.

On Friday, March 21, Father John Jenkins, CSC, phoned to inform me that President Obama had accepted his invitation to speak to the graduating class at Notre Dame and receive an honorary degree. We spoke shortly before the announcement was made public at the White House press briefing. It was the first time that I had been informed that Notre Dame had issued this invitation.

President Obama has recently reaffirmed, and has now placed in public policy, his long-stated unwillingness to hold human life as sacred. While claiming to separate politics from science, he has in fact separated science from ethics and has brought the American government, for the first time in history, into supporting direct destruction of innocent human life.

This will be the 25th Notre Dame graduation during my time as bishop. After much prayer, I have decided not to attend the graduation. I wish no disrespect to our president, I pray for him and wish him well. I have always revered the Office of the Presidency. But a bishop must teach the Catholic faith “in season and out of season,” and he teaches not only by his words — but by his actions.

My decision is not an attack on anyone, but is in defense of the truth about human life.

I have in mind also the statement of the U.S. Catholic Bishops in 2004. “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” Indeed, the measure of any Catholic institution is not only what it stands for, but also what it will not stand for.

I have spoken with Professor Mary Ann Glendon, who is to receive the Laetare Medal. I have known her for many years and hold her in high esteem. We are both teachers, but in different ways. I have encouraged her to accept this award and take the opportunity such an award gives her to teach.

Even as I continue to ponder in prayer these events, which many have found shocking, so must Notre Dame. Indeed, as a Catholic University, Notre Dame must ask itself, if by this decision it has chosen prestige over truth.

Tomorrow, we celebrate as Catholics the moment when our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, became a child in the womb of his most holy mother. Let us ask Our Lady to intercede for the university named in her honor, that it may recommit itself to the primacy of truth over prestige.

Monday, March 23, 2009

More on Jenkins

You know, Father John Jenkins has two degrees in Philosophy from Oxford so he is a very bright guy. But his justification and philosophical word games on his decision to grant President Obama an honorary degree would make Bill Clinton blush. Father Jenkins can parse words with the best of them and his argument is textbook sophism.

Father Jenkins says that Notre Dame's honorary degree "is not intended to condone or endorse his position on specific issues regarding life. That's not what we're honoring." He also said, "The invitation of President Obama to be our Commencement speaker should in no way be taken as condoning or endorsing his positions on specific issues regarding the protection of life, such as abortion and embryonic stem cell research."

How can you separate the values the man espouses? How can you honor a man but say you're only honoring him for some things and not others? Adolf Hitler was an captivating leader who rejuvenated post-World War I Germany. If Father Jenkins were the President of Notre Dame in 1940, would he have granted an honorary degree to Hitler for his leadership and say, "The invitation of Chancellor Hitler to be our Commencement speaker should in no way be taken as condoning or endorsing his positions on specific issues regarding the human person, such as the Jewish question and the Aryan race."

Pathetic.

Naivety, my name is Jenkins

President Obama was invited by the University of Notre Dame to give the Commencement Address to this year's graduating class. The choice of Obama, one of the most pro-abortion Presidents we have ever had, is causing a lot of headaches for Father John Jenkins, CSC, the university's president.

This is the same Father Jenkins who allows the vulgar Vagina Monologues to be performed on campus. I met him once when I was a seminarian with the Holy Cross Fathers and he has a reputation as being a thoughtful person but the decision to invite the man who never met an abortion he didn't like is an abomination.

Father Jenkins is trying to rationalize his decision by saying "We are not ignoring the critical issue of the protection of life,” Jenkins told campus paper. “On the contrary, we invited him, because we care so much about those issues, and we hope … for this to be the basis of an engagement with him."

Please, Father. If you really think President Obama is going to change his views on abortion because of a speech, you're very naive. He is going there because Indiana is a swing state and he wants to rub it in to Catholics that he was asked to speak at the most prominent Catholic university in the nation.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Prayers

Please pray for the repose of the soul of my aunt, Fran Hicks. She passed away this morning around 7am after a very long battle with cancer and other ailments. She died peacefully at her home in Florida.

I last saw Fran about a month ago when she was up here to see her doctors. We had a sort of farewell party for her as we knew she would not live much longer. We were hoping she would die up here around her family but she wanted to go back to Florida. My mother went down there last week to see her and was planning on going back again next week. Luckily her funeral will be up here in Wakefield.

Eternal rest grant unto to her O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Keller on Patrick

Piggy backing off of my previous post, you must read Jon Keller's damning criticism of Gov. Deval Patrick over at his blog. He says that the Patrick, who ran as an outsider in 2006 and who came across as approachable and intelligent, is now a shell of his former self and has morphed into a Beacon Hill hackosauras (my own made up word and I'm not sure I even spelled it right).

Read it all here but there is a taste:

Meanwhile, there's been precious little to show the public by way of real leadership. Arguably, the most meaningful moment of his term so far came early on when legislative leaders fed up with public-employee-union intransigence were prepared to force the unions to give up their local fiefdoms and join cost-saving state-run pension and health insurance programs. Fresh off their multi-million-dollar campaign bet on Patrick, the unions rolled him, and he backed their demand that those reforms be voluntary. Had he shown some spine back then, he might have real results to point to today. Instead, his flacks are reduced to whining that he doesn't get enough credit for implementing police detail "reform" that is watered-down and unlikely to produce significant savings. No wonder. Perhaps because he spent so much of his time pre-campaign out of state, Patrick never absorbed the longstanding public fury over that wasteful only-in-Massachusetts perk; when I asked him what he planned to do about details shortly after the inauguration, he needed an explanation of what they were.

Speaking of flacks, the conventional wisdom loves to blame his aides for Patrick's woes, and it is true that some in the first wave of hires were spectacular failures. But this fish rots from the head. For the most part Patrick ducks interviews with potentially-tough questioners, absurdly, because there isn't an interviewer in town he couldn't handle. The chip on his shoulder about media coverage that came roaring out shortly after his election (a success fueled in no small part by relatively-fawning coverage) has only grown larger and more onerous. He has failed to understand the difference between the media's approach to a well-run insurgent candidacy and a poorly-run executive branch. At this point, even the most sycophantic lefty blogs are turning on him, and he has no one to blame for it but the snippy, hostile, never-contrite alien who took over the body of the media-savvy candidate who won in 2006.

Patrick round up

Dan Kennedy at Media Nation has a pretty good round up of what the pundits had to say this week about Gov. Deval Patrick's tone deafness. His latest flap is saying that the stories about Marian Walsh, Carol Aloisi, etc. are "trivial."

Kennedy does not come out and say it but it sounds like he thinks Patrick will be a one-term governor. What he does say is that Patrick is "another disappointment."

See Dan's rundown and his commentary here.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

New website

The Archdiocese of Boston launched a new website on St. Patrick's Day, the patron saint of the Archdiocese. I am so glad they have a new site as the old has not been updated since it began about 10 years ago. Tiny dioceses in Texas had better websites than us!

See the new site here, it's great.

Pope and Condoms

As usual, the media is taking their shots at Pope Benedict XVI for holding up Church teaching against artifical birth control. Their arguments and critiques are so stale and predictable.

The media and those on the left feel that if the Church approved of condoms, then HIV/AIDS would decrease. As if people who are having unprotected sex, presumably outside of marriage or in instances of rape, will balk at using a condom because the Church "forbids it." I can see some teenagers or 20-somethings now: "We can have sex but I am a Catholic so I am not going to use a condom."

Please. It's like when Tony Soprano refused to grant his wife a divorce because they were Catholic.

He doesn't get it

Joan Vennochi, who I find myself agreeing with more and more lately, nails Gov. Deval Patrick on his inability to recognize the anger of voters over $175,00 hack jobs, $60,000 a year no-show jobs, a vacationing governor in Jamaica with State Police protection...all while asking for personal sacrifice and tax increases from the voters.

Read her column here but below is the money part:

A governor deserves a vacation. But vacationing in Jamaica with a State Police detail while the talk back home revolves around new taxes is guaranteed to rile up the folks back home.

State Senator Marian Walsh is a fine legislator who chaired the taxation and banking committees and bravely backed gay marriage despite pressure from constituents and the Catholic Church. But picking her to fill a $175,000-a-year job at a state bonding authority that has gone vacant for 12 years will be controversial at a time when state budget cuts are underway - especially if it's not clear that her salary isn't paid by taxpayers and the job won't enhance her pension benefits.

The governor is telling taxpayers that a 19-cent-per-gallon increase in the state gas tax is an absolute requirement for fiscal survival. He also insists he will fix the broken-down transportation bureaucracy. Then it turns out the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, which pledged in September to begin laying off 100 toll collectors, has yet to fire any workers. But the Turnpike Authority did find a way to hire two managers at an additional cost of nearly $250,000.

Meanwhile, the sister of the state transportation secretary toils as chief of staff in an office that has no staff.

It's the symbolism, governor.

Another nail in the coffin

Gov. Deval Patrick's hope to raise the gas tax, tolls, etc. was dealt two more blows today. The Boston Globe reported that aides to former Speaker of the House Sal DiMasi (who resigned months ago) are still on the state payroll at a cost of $14,000 a week. In addition, the Boston Herald is reporting that Patrick is giving $26,000 pay raises to two county sheriffs. Those counties: Nantucket and Dukes, two tiny, tiny counties, one of which doesn't have a prison.

This news comes on the heels of reports that the Mass. Pike has not laid off one single person since announcing they would do so. Not only that, they just hired a project manager for $150,000.

Good luck with those tax hikes, governor. Keep telling us how we need to sacrifice, keep telling us the state is making cuts, keep telling us that we need to help. Once you do, we will.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

How many more...

Howie Carr makes an amazing point in his column today about hacks trying to justify tax/fee increases. They always try to assuage us by saying the increase is about the "cost of a cup of coffee" a week at Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks or a sandwich for lunch. First off, when I hear that I want to scream. I don't buy coffee everyday, I get it free at work. I also bring my lunch everyday and I shop at Market Basket. I don't spend a ton of dough.

Nonetheless, Howie's point was that after a while, with all the fees and tax increases the state is proposing, the coffee and sandwiches start adding up:

The problem is, a cup of coffee here, a turkey sandwich there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money. And how come, if it’s such short money, the state can’t handle the shortfall by, oh, firing a few hacks, starting with Aloisi’s sister?

The reality is, the hacks want to raise your taxes in order to keep their friends’ snouts buried in the public trough. Aloisi himself let the cat out of the bag at his meeting with legislators the day after the Turnpike board rubber-stamped the March 29 toll hike.


According to solons who were there, Aloisi said they couldn’t lay off toll collectors because, number 1, there was a “depression” going on, and number 2, so many of the sticky-fingered millionaires were sent to the Pike by the legislators themselves.

And now we find out not one toll collector has been laid off - not one! And the Pike is still hiring. One new Pike hack is a moonbat from Cambridge named Trellis Stepter. He got his new $90,000 job as “manager of special projects” a few weeks after he ponied up $150 to
Deval’s campaign committee. What a coincidence.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

No shows

Today's revelation that Secretary of Transportation James Aloisi's sister had a $60,000 state job to literally do nothing reminded of the time Pope John XXIII was asked how many people worked at the Vatican. His response: "About half."

To my fellow Irish and those who wish they were Irish...

Lá Fhéile Pádraig

Dime droppers

Secretary of Transportation James Aloisi, the biggest snake in state government, has ticked a lot of people off since he took office some months ago. And what happens when you upset people - they drop dimes on you to the media.

The Boston Globe revealed today that Aloisi's sister, Carol, was making $60,000 to literally do nothing. Her title was Chief of Staff but she worked for no one and had no staff to chief. She was "working" in the office of former State Rep. Rachel Kaprielian who had resigned months earlier to become the Registrar of Motor Vehicles. When someone came in to use the vacant office, they found Carol sitting there doing nothing.

She worked for Rep. Cheryl Coakley-Rivera at one point and had less than flattering words to say about Carol. In doing so, she also gave a stinging indictment of the culture at the State House:

The 49-year-old Aloisi was assigned by DiMasi's office to work for Springfield Representative Cheryl Coakley-Rivera in 2005, first overseeing the staff of the Joint Committee on Public Safety & Homeland Security and later the Joint Committee on Children & Families. But her work was marked by absences and health problems, beginning with a back injury that kept her out several months, Coakley-Rivera said.


The injury came weeks after Coakley-Rivera raised questions about the accuracy of Aloisi's time records with House personnel officials, a state official said.

The relationship between Aloisi and Coakley-Rivera soured further after Aloisi, a Democratic state committeewoman, served as a delegate to two Democratic Party conventions - one in Lowell, and the presidential nominating convention in Denver - while she was unable to work because of her back problem.


Also last summer, Aloisi was among the State House aides who got a 3 percent pay raise, according to state payroll records.

Coakley-Rivera, who went without a chief of staff for months until DiMasi assigned her a new one in late January, said she was "extremely disappointed" in Aloisi's performance during her last year.


"In my opinion, she took advantage of not only her chief of staff position, but her political connections," she said.

"There are people at the State House who work really hard and care about their jobs and the people they work for," she said, citing as an example her receptionist, who shows up "religiously every day" and then puts in a full shift at a hotel "to make ends meet."


"But there is another percentage who pretty much do nothing for a good portion of their workday and make very good salaries with benefits," said Coakley-Rivera, who now chairs the Joint Committee on Labor & Workforce Development. "That's why we need reform. We have to start cutting waste."

Monday, March 16, 2009

Same old, same old

Michael Jonas of Commonwealth Magazine has a fantastic critique of Gov. Deval Patrick and how he has become a "business as usual" governor. Patrick campaigned on a platform of change and reform and with his recent appointment of State Sen. Marian Walsh to a hack $175,000 position, he has shown that he is nothing more than a hack himself.

Jonas' thesis is that Patrick's appointment of the hack of all hacks, James Aloisi as Secretary of Transportation, and Jeffrey Simon to a $150,000 position as "Stimulus Czar" has made him "one of them" (my words, not Jonas). Patrick now has no political capital to ask people to sacrifice and accept tax hikes and toll increases since he is not sacrificing himself.

Anyway, Jonas' article is so good, I have posted it all below (h/t to Dan Kennedy at Media Nation):

From "No Ordinary Leader" to "Business as Usual."


It's hard not to see that as the trajectory Gov. Deval Patrick is on after the latest slap in the face to those expecting more from an administration that pledged to sweep out the culture of patronage and cronyism on Beacon Hill. The new outrage: the appointment yesterday of state Sen. Marian Walsh as the $175,000-a-year assistant director of the Massachusetts Health and Educational Facilities Authority.

HEFA, a quasi-public authority that helps nonprofit institutions finance capital projects, seemed to be functioning fine without anyone in the assistant director's position, which has been vacant for more than a dozen years. Yet the administration decided now was the time to fill the post -- with the state budget bleeding red ink and talk of new taxes very much in the air -- by handing the job to one of candidate Patrick's earliest backers in the Legislature. Walsh, a West Roxbury Democrat, has served stints as the Senate chair of the taxation and banking committees, but has no formal background or training in the world of nonprofit bonding and debt.


With the state budget for the rest of the current fiscal year alone now as much as $1 billion out of balance, even after previous cuts totaling $2.5 billion, nearly everyone realizes that some form of tax increase is coming, along with more huge cuts in spending. State leaders need residents to view the crisis as something we're all in together, but the tough times come at a time when public faith in state government is low -- and falling. Stories of outrageous pension abuses by one public official after another, plus corruption and ethics charges on Beacon Hill, are all feeding the distrust of an already cynical citizenry.

To secure any kind of buy-in on new taxes, state leaders have to show that they are serious about taking on sacred cows, ending time-honored practices that enrich the connected crowd, and sharing in the sacrifices they are asking of beleaguered taxpayers whose retirement accounts are in free-fall and whose jobs may be in jeopardy. That's why Transportation Secretary Jim Aloisi's recent dismissal of Senate President Therese Murray's call for "reform before revenue" as a "meaningless slogan" seemed to be the most tin-eared comment that could possibly be made at this time. (And this from the insider who was hired, despite a Big Dig-stained background, because of his keen grasp of politics and state government?)

It's also why it struck such a raw nerve to see Patrick hire last month as the state's new $150,000-a-year "stimulus czar" a guy who gamed the state pension system for the kind of ridiculous windfall the governor has regularly decried as the sort of excess that must end.

News of the Walsh appointment came on the same day the Globe reported that ex-House speaker Sal DiMasi handed out a raft of pay raises and promotions to State House staffers on his way out the door. It's the kind of news story pairing that that begins to make Patrick look much more like he's part of the problem on Beacon Hill than the cure.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Beauty of Facebook

I just recently got into Facebook and I must say that I am hooked. Once you have a kid, you don't get to see people as much and it's nice to "see" them and keep up to date via Facebook. But, one of the best benefits is catching up with people that I haven't seen or spoken to in years.

Case in point - this past Friday a classmate of mine from elementary school, Jason Grant, friended me on Facebook. That started a chain reaction and I friended four other people from my 8th grade class. There were 27 of us and I keep in touch with 3 of them so add those 4 from Facebook and we have 7 of the 27. (8 if you include me). I am trying to track down others. Seeing these people 20 years later has brought back a flood of memories and I even broke out my 8th grade yearbook this afternoon and saw people's faces that I have not thought of in years.

I must say that I got a little choked up "seeing" people that I never imagined ever seeing again. Life just takes you in so many different directions and when you have a chance to reconnect and go down memory lane, it all comes back to you in a powerful way.

Nailed it

Last week, people hailed President Obama has a hero for lifting President Bush's ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. In his remarks, Obama was very political and ideological saying that science must trump politics and that scientists should "do their jobs, free from manipulation or coercion."

Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe destroys the argument that the government should stay out of scientists way and not allow debate on the ethics and morality of scientific research:

But science is not an unqualified good, and scientific ends do not justify any and all means. It is not "manipulation" or "coercion" or "ideology" to insist that scientific research - especially when funded by taxpayers - be restrained by moral and ethical guardrails. The loss of those guardrails can lead to such abominations as the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, in which government doctors - with the support of the American Medical Association - deliberately withheld medical treatment from infected black men in order to better understand the natural progression of venereal disease. Those who raised ethical qualms about the study were disregarded by the Public Health Service - an example of what Obama might call rejecting the "false choice between sound science and moral values."

For once she's right

I loathe Boston Herald columnist Margery Eagan but she hits a homerun today taking on State Sen. Marian Walsh and her absurd new hack job that will pay her $175,000.

You can read the whole column here in which she talks about the recent pay hikes and money grabs the hacks have been getting but the best parts are below:

Her defenders protest: Her new job isn’t funded by tax dollars. That’s not the point. Here are the points: atrocious timing, enraging symbolism, more in-your-face patronage and the message sent to panicked taxpayers, which is: Shut up and eat cake.

You know this isn’t just about taxes. It’s about what we need and can’t afford while the sneaky and greedy retire early, double dip, fake disabilities, work one day for a year’s pay, etc., etc., and get away with it. Struggling New Bedford so far has lost 38 police officers and 38 firefighters. Among them is new father Leo Pike, now on his third tour of duty in Iraq. We can’t pay him. But we can pay Marian, all those legislators and all their friends.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pure evil

The biggest snake in state government is Secretary of Transportation James Aloisi. This guy is such a jerk and is your typical government hack. Aloisi was recently brought on board by Gov. Deval Patrick because of his insider (i.e. Big Dig) experience and connections to the Legislature. However, because he is such a slimeball he is failing miserably and he has truly ticked off Senate President Therese Murray by saying her mantra of "reform before revenue" is a meaningless slogan.

But, as a YouTube video shows, this piece of crap was saying for weeks that reform must come before revenue (taxes) but all of a sudden he changed his mind because he wants us to pay higher tolls, higher gas taxes, and higher sales tax while his hack buddies get huge raises and pensions.

Take a look here (h/t to Red Mass Group):

Viva la revolution

The Boston Globe reported yesterday that in the last eleven months, Speaker Sal DiMasi and his successor Robert DeLeo (who just took office) raised the salaries of their hack buddies by $900,000!!! That is on top of the $500,000 pay raise the legislators are getting themselves.

This news comes a day after Gov. Deval Patrick appointed State Sen. Marian Walsh to a hack $175,000 a year job - a position so crucial that it sat vacant for 12 years.

If we allow a gas tax increase, toll hikes, sales tax increase, etc. then we are absolute suckers. Do not sit back and take this crap from these people. They talk of tough times and the need to trim budgets but never sacrifice themselves. And what do we do? We re-elect these people year after year after year. They feel emboldened and feel like you don't care. So, if you voted for Deval Patrick and any of the hacks who got raises, you know who to blame for this mess.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

More on Walsh

There are more details on the $175,000 a year job State Sen. Marian Walsh just accepted. She will be the Assistant Director of the Massachusetts Health and Educational Facilities Authority. I know, I've never heard of them either.

Interestingly, if you go to the MHEF website and go to their news section, you will see that there are TEN press releases dated March 11, 2009 (yesterday) about all these wonderful grants they are giving to organizations around the state. Care to guess when their last press release was before March 11? January 23 - and before that November 26.

This is not too hard to figure out. They knew that they would be under a lot of scrutiny today about this appointment and they figure that they should post all these press releases to make it seem like they're an indispensable organization giving tons of dough to worthy causes.

Funny there is no press release about the Walsh appointment.

Nice try folks.

Another worldwide search

Gov. Deval Patrick once again proves that he is nothing but talk when it comes to the financial crisis facing the Commonwealth. With the state facing a projected $1 billion budget deficit, the governor appointed State Sen. Marian Walsh to a $175,000 A YEAR position as the assistant director at a state bonding authority.

Of course the governor is asking all of us to pay 19 cents more a gallon in gas tax, he wants to raise the tolls on the Massachusetts Turnpike, and he orders low level state employees who actually do legitimate work like social work be laid off...but he still appoints his buddies to high level state positions.

Of course this appointment comes as the governor is laying on the beaches of Jamaica. This guy obviously is not interested in a second term. He is as politically tone deaf as Thomas Menino.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Forced business

You've seen the commercials for eHarmony - the online dating service. Apparently they only match up heterosexual couples but because some people need to complain about everything, a homosexual man threatened to sue the company for not allowing homosexuals to participate. The New Jersey Attorney General said the suit had probable cause so eHarmony will create a companion site for homosexuals.

Since when do businesses have to cater to all segments of society? I don't shop at Victoria's Secret because they sell women's products. Should I sue them to sell boxer shorts and white t-shirts??

There are plenty of online dating sites that only cater to homosexuals (and that border on being prostitution rings I may add) - shouldn't they be forced to have a companion site for heterosexuals as well?

This is just another case of a person who has a lot of time on his hands and wants to be a tempest in a teapot. It is because of people like this man that minority groups get a bad reputation. They complain about something just to complain and to make a politically correct point and they tick off everyone else. Good way to get people on your side.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I'm the one...

I have never been a huge fan of "ER." I had watched it on and on since it began in 1994 (my freshman year in college, Oh Man) but I started watching it weekly when I began dating my wife in 2003. I lived in South Boston at the time and she in Stoneham and I would visit Lynn a few nights a week. Her and her roommate always watched "ER" and not wanting to go home early, I would often stay and watch (this was when the Big Dig was still being worked on so I often got stuck in traffic or road closures heading home that late - grrr). Nonetheless, after watching "ER" week after week, I kind of got into it.

I stopped watching as closely the past year or two after almost all the main characters left - Dr. Carter, Dr. Kovac, Dr. Lockhart, Dr. Pratt, etc. But now with the series wrapping up in a few weeks, I have been trying to watch more faithfully.

Carter is back and has cancer so this week Dr. Benton, Nurse Hathaway, and Dr. Ross visit him as he awaits a kidney transplant. I am not fan of George Clooney but it will be cool to see the old timers again. They also had an awesome flashback with Dr. Greene earlier in the season - he was always my favorite.

Science over politics?

Today President Obama signed an order overturning President Bush's ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. In doing so, he said that science should come before politics.

Interesting, I am pretty sure Adolf Hitler felt the exact same way when his henchmen preformed "scientific research" on Jewish people.

Lone wolf

There is only one sane person on the Massachusetts Turnpike Board and that is Mary Connaughton. Not surprisingly, she was appointed by former Gov. Mitt Romney. Gov. Deval Patrick and his minions, especially Secretary of Transportation James Aloisi, do not like her because she speaks her mind and stands up for the tollpayers.

Alosi, who is making a lot of enemies lately, told the Boston Globe:

Patrick's new transportation secretary and the chairman of the authority's board, James A. Aloisi Jr., is not nearly as charitable. His treatment of her during a recent vote to raise tolls - in which she was the only dissenter - attracted criticism from Senate President Therese Murray and a call for an apology from the state Republican Party.

"Respect is a two-way street," Aloisi said, a few days after cutting Connaughton off repeatedly during the Feb. 24 meeting and removing her from a spot on the authority's audit committee, where she had freer access to agency documents. "And I wasn't treated with respect and I haven't been treated with respect by her since the first day I took this job."


"She's a distraction," he continued. "She's a gadfly. And I have more important things to do."

This is the same guy who said that "reform before revenue" was a "silly little slogan." That upset Senate President Murray who coined that phrase.

The Globe article about Connaughton was very critical of her and expressed surprise that there was actually dissent on a board. The Globe must feel that everyone must be lapdogs for the governor and never, ever question him and fools like Aloisi.

I for one am grateful for Connaughton - she is not some flack for Patrick and actually stands up for the people. I can't say the same about Aloisi who is as loathsome as a skunk.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Media whoring

The Obama Administration, especially Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, likes to take on media personalities who don't worship at the altar of the Leader. Case in point: Rick Santelli of CNBC took on the Obama plan for dealing with the housing crisis and Gibbs took Santelli on from the Press Room podium like a big baby.

Now of course their line of attack is on Rush Limbaugh - and the media, like the lapdogs they are, are falling in line. Howie Carr talks about the White House barrage on Limbaugh in his column yesterday, see it here.

Well done

Yep, President Obama is now on the road to being the most pro-death President in U.S. history. Obama never met an abortion he didn't like and now he wants to use human embryos as experiments. Yep, what a hell of a guy.

From today's Boston Globe:

President Obama plans to sign an executive order on Monday overturning his predecessor's restrictions on stem cell research, and scientists in the Boston area and nationally reacted with a mix of excitement and relief at the prospect of expanded funding.

The White House sent out an e-mail yesterday saying it was planning a ceremony "on stem cells and restoring scientific integrity to the government process. At the event the president will sign an executive order related to stem cells."

Sources in Washington said the order would lift the restrictions on federal funding of research using human embryonic stem cells, which were put in place by President George W. Bush in August 2001.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Sir Ted?

I am sure you've heard that Sen. Ted Kennedy will be knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. However, the Boston Globe points out today that Kennedy may not be eligible for such an honor. Article 1, section 9 of the Constitution says:

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Kennedy's office told the Globe they're looking to see if he can accept the honor so we shall see.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Baker as savior?

In today's Boston Globe, John Vennochi takes up Charlie Baker's potential run for governor in 2010. She does bring up a good point - that Baker was a big shot with the Weld and Cellucci administrations when the problems with the Big Dig began to surface. One wonders if Baker was behind the idea to transfer the Big Dig to the Mass. Pike - a move designed to extend the life of the Mass. Pike hacks.

But, in the end, Baker is a star in the party and the GOP needs someone to run:

But in a party starved for credibility and gravitas, Baker is a star. He's a Harvard graduate, a former state Cabinet officer, and widely viewed as Harvard Pilgrim's savior.

It will be much harder to save the Massachusetts GOP, which explains why Baker is still only thinking about running for governor.

And.....

Stonehill College in Easton, MA is a Catholic college founded by the Congregation of Holy Cross (the same order that founded the University of Notre Dame). I was once a seminarian with the Holy Cross Fathers and spent a lot of time at Stonehill meeting with priests and other guys who were thinking about entering.

It seems that some non-Catholic student is mad that Stonehill, a Catholic college, is upholding the teachings of its faith by not allowing birth control to be distributed on campus. So, this girl got some condoms and began leaving them in boxes around campus. She was told to stop by the college and she now has them on her dorm room door. They have essentially told her she better stop that too.

I love how people who work at or attend a Catholic school like Stonehill or Boston College and get mad when the school acts Catholic. If you don't like it, leave. Every year at my alma mater, Saint Anselm College, people would get all worked up because meat wasn't served on Fridays during Lent. They were pretty much told to go pound sand (if a very pastoral way).

See the story here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Howie won't be a Fed

So Howie Carr's 2007 tax returns were recently audited and he found out yesterday that he is free and clear. Now that the government has established that he is not a tax cheat, Howie says he is no longer eligible for a post with the Omaba Administration.

Good stuff, read it here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Beaker as Rick Astley

Any fan of the Muppets will appreciate this video. When Beaker started singing, I lost it:

Monday, March 2, 2009

Productive afternoon

It is amazing what a snow day plus a baby in day care can do for housework! In a few short hours, I was able to:

1. Fold and put away a TON of laundry
2. Make the bed
3. Wash towels
4. Tidy up the bedroom
5. Clean the dishes and kitchen
6. Sweep and mop the living room floor
7. Run to the bank and CVS
8. Change lightbulbs
9. Make my lunch for tomorrow
10. Iron my clothes for tomorrow

Now I am going to go pick up Kevin and see some of my hardwork destroyed!! Tonight I have to correct tests but I am hoping Lynn will help me. There's a lot to like about being a teacher but correcting is not one of them.

Snow day

We were supposed to go back to school today but Mother Nature had other plans. I got the call around 10:30 last night so I was able to sleep in a little. I am glad school was cancelled because I wasn't fully ready to go back. Hopefully I will use the day off today a little wisely but there is a lot of housework to be done too.

But, all I've done so far is clean the kitchen and I still need to fold laundry, sweep the floor, and run to the bank....OK, I am logging off now...I mean it....

Hard hitting reporting

The race for Mayor of Boston will be hot this year with 4 candidates (if Tom Menino runs again). It will be young faces vs. a 16 year incumbent.

The Boston Globe got involved in the race today by doing a hard hitting, world exclusive article on Menino........and his office's cleaning lady.

Wow, Pulitzer worthy work boys. Thank you for adding to the discussion.

Dracut Native Named Bishop of Biloxi

Bishop Roger Morin, Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans, was named the Bishop of Biloxi by Pope Benedict XVI.

This is great news for Dracut folks as one of our own gets his own diocese! He was ordained a priest on April 15, 1971 in Dracut and served as a priest for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. It sounds like he was supposed to be ordained for the Archdiocese of Boston but after visiting New Orleans in 1967, he decided to become a priest there.

Rocco over at Whispers in the Loggia has the lowdown:

For the third time in the last seven weeks, the nation's longest diocesan vacancy has been settled.

This morning, Pope Benedict appointed Auxiliary Bishop Roger Morin of New Orleans as bishop of Biloxi.

At the helm of the Southern Mississippi church of 68,000 -- which took $70 million of damage in 2005's Hurricane Katrina -- the 67 year-old succeeds a fellow New Orleanean, Thomas Rodi, who was named archbishop of Mobile last April and has since done double-duty as apostolic administrator of his former charge.

The head of the US bishops' Catholic Campaign for Human Development -- which garnered elevated scrutiny in recent months over its longstanding, now-ended relationship with the community group ACORN -- the Massachusetts native visited the Crescent City in 1967 at the invitation of then-Archbishop Philip Hannan. Spending that summer working with the city's poor, he returned the following year and never left, being ordained for the NOLA church three years later.

With a master's in urban studies and a background in community affairs -- he spent 1978-81 on loan to City Hall as a special assistant to the then-mayor, working for $1 a year -- Morin led the planning for Pope John Paul II's 1987 visit to the city and the 1993 bicentennial of the archdiocese. Named vicar-general on Rodi's appointment to Biloxi in 2001 and an auxiliary to Archbishop Alfred Hughes in 2003, the appointee oversaw the operations of the New Orleans church through the "hundred-year" chaos of Katrina, leading its rebuilding, aid and consolidation efforts since.

Now the Gulf Coast's metropolitan, Rodi will install Morin in Biloxi's Cathedral of the Navitity on 27 April. In a statement this morning, the archbishop praised his new suffragan for "foster[ing] the revival" of the New Orleans church post-Katrina "with faith and perseverance."

Morin's "dedication and talents" were a gift to the Mississippi church, Rodi said, adding his assurance that the diocese was being placed in "wonderful" hands.

The number of Stateside vacancies again fallen to six, now atop the pile is St Louis, from which Archbishop Raymond Burke was transferred to Rome last June 27th. On a related note to this morning's move, the Crescent City likewise awaits a change of command -- Hughes reached the retirement age of 75 in December 2007.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Ummmmmmmmmmmmm

Super soaker, kazoo, golden face mask, tie-dyed clothing, and Mickey Mouse ears...no, not New Orleans at Mardi Gras but rather Mass at Rochester Institute of Technology.

I kid you not, see here.

"Sins of the past"

I confess that I am no fan of John Vennochi of the Boston Globe but lately she has been growing on me. She has not been afraid to take on Mayor Menino, Gov. Patrick, and other insiders. She has become a voice of reason (shudder).

Today she takes the Secretary of Transportation Jim Alosi to task for saying we need to atone for the Big Dig's "sins of the past" and raise the gas tax and/or tolls on the Massachusetts Turnpike. But, legislators aren't buying it and are angry with the governor for proposing a 19 cents tax increase and the Turnpike Board for blackmailing the Legislature with tolls hikes if the gas tax is not raised.

Patrick talks a good game promising property tax relief, more cops on the street, pension reform, ethics reform, transportation reform, Flagmen, etc, etc, etc but nothing ever gets done. I for one think he will be done in 2010, people have had enough of him.

Jacoby musings

The lone conservative at the Boston Globe, Jeff Jacoby, has a good column today of random thoughts. You can read the whole thing here but I wanted to point out my favorite parts (the last sentence being the best):

SUPPORTERS of abortion rights bristle at the term "partial-birth abortion," and sympathetic journalists often make a point of setting it off with scare quotes or injecting a phrase meant to dilute the term's grisly legitimacy - for example, "a controversial procedure that critics call 'partial-birth abortion' " (as the Los Angeles Times puts it), or "a ban on so-called 'partial-birth' abortion" (to quote Reuters).

But what happens to such fastidiousness when it comes to terms coined by liberals? Terms like "Fairness Doctrine" - an Orwellian label for government stifling of untrammeled political speech over the airwaves. Or like "Employee Free Choice Act," a benign title for legislation that would deny employees the right to a secret ballot in workplace elections. Strange, isn't it, how the concern with terminological exactitude kicks in at the appearance of a freighted expression from the right, yet fades into the mist when the language comes from the left?

There'll always be an England, but will there be Englishmen to inhabit it? Not many, if Jonathon Porritt gets his way. The chairman of Britain's Sustainable Development Commission declares that "having more than two children is irresponsible" and that couples who "decide to procreate" should first consider their "total environmental footprint." According to the Sunday Times, Porritt wants the British government to "improve family planning, even if it means shifting money from curing illness to increasing contraception and abortion." Ending or preventing human life, in other words, should take precedence over extending or saving it.

Such misanthropy is not unique. Greenpeace co-founder Paul Watson, now president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, wants to "radically" reduce the world's human beings by five-sixths. Alan Weisman's 2007 best-seller "The World Without Us" celebrates the Eden the world would revert to if only mankind would vanish. There is even a Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, which urges "people who care about life on planet Earth" to "refrain from further reproduction."

Those on the green fringe do indeed care about life on Earth - every kind of life, it sometimes seems, but one.