Monday, November 30, 2009

Further and further into irrelevancy

That sound you hear? It is the Episcopal Church becoming more and more irrelevant. Their latest? The Bishop of Massachusetts, Thomas Shaw, is allowing priests to witness gay "marriages."

This part kills me:

“I’m absolutely thrilled,’’ said Fowler, who is the rector of St. John’s Church in Jamaica Plain. “Now when we say we’re an inclusive church, we truly, fully, sacramentally are.’’

Ugh.

Of course the Church's prayer books contain the language "man and woman" so Shaw suggests that priests refer to the internet for prayers and rites. Ahhh, that's one heck of a Church - getting its sacred rituals from the world wide web. So holy. So blessed.

Ugh again.

Back to reality

Politico has an interesting story today on 7 stories President Obama doesn't want you to know. You can read it all here but below is an example that I agree with wholeheartedly:

He’s in love with the man in the mirror

No one becomes president without a fair share of what the French call amour propre. Does Obama have more than his share of self-regard?

It’s a common theme of Washington buzz that Obama is over-exposed. He gives interviews on his sports obsessions to ESPN, cracks wise with Leno and Letterman, discusses his fitness with Men’s Health, discusses his marriage in a joint interview with first lady Michelle Obama for The New York Times. A photo the other day caught him leaving the White House clutching a copy of GQ featuring himself.

White House aides say making Obama widely available is the right strategy for communicating with Americans in an era of highly fragmented media.

But, as the novelty of a new president wears off, the Obama cult of personality risks coming off as mere vanity unless it is harnessed to tangible achievements.

We're at the point now that you can't even watch an NFL game without seeing him. Have you see the Play 60 commercial with him playing football with kids at the White House? Give it a rest Mr. President.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Kirk speaks again

Once again "Sen." Paul Kirk is showing that he is nothing more than a mouthpiece for Ted Kennedy. Yesterday the Globe reported that he is asking President Obama to delay the Cape Wind project and today he writes that Obama should not increase troop levels in Afghanistan.

I have no doubt that if Kennedy were alive, he would be making the same argument. Kirk is simply doing Kennedy's bidding, be it on health care, the war, or being NIMBY on Cape Wind.

How long until this hack is out of office?

Selfish

Do you know what the average salary of a teacher in Wilmington was in 2008? $61,603! That was an increase of $13,490 with 24 fewer teachers from just 4 years earlier. This doesn't include the amazing health insurance, summers off, and pensions.

Today's Lowell Sun reports that the Wilmington Teacher's Union is angry at the town for hanging up Christmas lights!! They say that money should be spent on the town's employees like them. What a bunch of crooks. These bums make a ton of money for working 9 months a year and what is their response? Give me more.

The unemployment rate in the state is 8.4%, people are being laid off left and right and these people have secure, high paying jobs and they're asking for more!!! Not only that, they want the people of Wilmington to sacrifice things like Christmas lights so the teachers can get more money.

The union recently rejected a contract which would have given them no raise this year but a 2.25% raise next year. Are you kidding me? This the problem with government workers. They have no concept of the real world and just want more and more and more. Michael Widmer agrees, telling the Sun:

Massachusetts Taxpayers Association Executive Director Michael Widmer said many unions don't believe municipal officials when they tell them that the situation is only bound to get worse.

"There is a misunderstanding that some things will return to normal in fiscal 2011. That's just not the case," he said. "The unions have been slow to understand that we're talking about fundamental changes. Collective benefits always increasing, 3 to 4 percent raises, step increases -- those are products of an era that is ending. But eras don't end placidly."


Widmer predicts the union's continued resistance to changes in the financial landscape may worsen budgets in the long run, especially in communities that will seek to raise new revenue through Proposition 2 1/2 overrides.

"There will be resistance and resentment from taxpayers that the unions haven't done more," he said. "In terms of public support for local government, it's a problem."

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Shocked, shocked I tells ya

This fall Gov. Deval Patrick appointed Paul Kirk to replace Ted Kennedy as interim U.S. senator. There was some cries of foul as Kirk is nothing more than a Kennedy family flunkie and this was seen as a reward for him.

Well, Kirk has repaid the favor to the Kennedy family for pushing for his appointment. Kirk has now come out against the Cape Wind Project and has called upon President Obama to delay it.

Gee, which prominent family lives on the Cape?? Which late senator fought against this project??

Friday, November 27, 2009

Two Takes on Immigration

I don't get that jacked up about illegal immigrants (partly because my maternal grandmother came here from Ireland under her sister's name so she was technically an illegal) but I do get very annoyed at stories like the one Howie Carr tells today. Grrrrr...see it here.

The Globe has a interesting story on increased border control up in God's Country - Northern Vermont. See that here and a photo essay here.

Some Thanksgiving thoughts

Some interesting columns on Thanksgiving out there:

1. One on FDR changing the date of Thanksgiving to help out retailers - and the year in which there were 2 Thanksgivings

2. Did Norman Rockwell get Thanksgiving wrong?? Blasphemy but see here.

3. The Pilgrims arrive.

Another one in the books

Another wonderful Thanksgiving. As usual, we went to my parent's house in Melrose where there was a pretty big crowd of uncles, sister, in-laws, and family friends. Over the past few years, Thanksgiving had dwindled down to 6 people but now it's up there again. After dessert, even more people came over (about 15) so it was a packed house all day!

Kevin and I started the day by going to the Dracut-Methuen football game. We got there just as the first half ended so we watched the halftime show and caught most of the 3rd quarter. Kevin was running around with this carriage and I was afraid of some carnage so it was time to leave. The good news is that Dracut won and is the Merrimack Valley Conference champs (again) and off to the playoffs.

Today Lynn, Kevin, and I are heading to Brookfield, NH to visit with our friends the Nelsons and we're thinking of going to Lowell's parade tomorrow night. During the day the Lowell National Park's trolley will be doing the "Polar Express" thing so we may hit that as well. We're doing another big Polar Express trip next month out in the Berkshires.

Hope everyone had a good holiday!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Norman Rockwell's "Freedom From Want"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Do-nothing Legislature Part II

Kevin Cullen of the Globe destroys our joke of a legislature today for ending its formal sessions last week and for refusing to come back to work. It is a fantastic column that you must read. See a preview below but read the whole thing here.

I didn’t plan on writing a column today. In fact, I had no intention of writing the rest of the year.

I’m still working, mind you, and expect to be paid. I simply didn’t plan on writing any more formal columns. Sort of like how all the State House pols aren’t really taking the rest of the year off. They’re just not in formal session.


I was going to work the phones, meet people for lunch, put my feet up on the desk, and read the paper. You know, like, informal journalism.

Unlike taxpayers - who have a terrific sense of humor and put up with Beacon Hill “rules’’ that allegedly force the Legislature to adjourn after the third Wednesday of November in odd-numbered years - my boss is a humorless slave-driver. He ignored a perfectly reasonable argument, didn’t look up, and simply said, “Please leave my office.’’


If you’re keeping score at home, here are a few things that will have to wait until at least January, when, fresh from almost two months of informality, the overworked, underpaid members of the Legislature return to formally doing the state’s business.

First, and I’m sure you’ll find this shocking, the Great and General Court never got around to getting rid of the Suffolk County paid holidays of Evacuation Day and Bunker Hill Day. Patriots and historians all, they put this off for a day also known as the 12th of Never.


They didn’t have time, they said, to get to the education and criminal justice reform packages.

And, of course, they put off doing anything about retesting elderly drivers. There’s been a lot of jive thrown around as cover - that it’s unfair to single out the elderly, that setting an age for retesting is arbitrary. Blah blah blah

Just say no

Jeff Jacoby's column today in the Globe makes the case for voters to vote for anyone but Attorney General Martha Coakley and U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano in this year's Senate special election. Calling them career politicians, Jacoby said he rather vote for Alan Khazei or Steve Pagliuca because they know what the real world is like.

I agree but I'd also add this - Coakley and Capuano are nothing more than liberal, wack job moon bats who bow at the altar of left-wing extremism. They are very, very dangerous.

See Jacoby's column here but below is a taste:

Congress is filled with permanent members of the political class, government lifers addicted to the influence and prestige that come with high office. In a setting that glorifies politics and fawns on public “servants,’’ the air is thick with the arrogance of power, a narcotic that deludes politicians into thinking not only that they are capable of exercising authority over others, but also that they are uniquely qualified to do so. Rare is the senator or congressman who hasn’t heard of Lord Acton’s warning that power tends to corrupt; rarer still - perhaps nonexistent - are the members of Congress who believe it applies to them. The longer they remain in public office, the more certain they are that they belong there, and the more willing to bend their principles to make sure they remain there.

But the problem with career politicians isn’t just their fondness for the perks and privileges of government life, or the sense of entitled superiority that those perks and privileges induce. It is also how readily they dismiss or circumvent the ordinary standards of the private sector.

ABC News recently reported that to secure the vote of Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu for his health care bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid inserted a provision funneling an extra $100 million to her state. Instead of clearly saying so, however, the added language - which provides an “adjustment’’ for “certain states recovering from a major disaster’’ - does the opposite. According to ABC’s Jonathan Karl, the new section spends more than two pages defining which states qualify for the “adjustment,’’ pages of dense legislative verbiage drafted to avoid what could have been “written with a single word: Louisiana.’’

Do-nothing Legislature

Let us review this year's legislature:

1. They accepted a 5.5% pay hike

2. Speaker of the House Sal DiMasi was overwhelmingly re-elected despite a major ethical cloud hanging over him, then resigned 2 weeks later, and is now going on trial for corruption

3. Changed the Senate vacancy law...again...to solely benefit their political party...again

4. Passed 72 laws in the fall...66 of which were mundane home rule petitions and sick bank requests

5. They are making their staffers take a a 5-day furlough but they're not

6. Refused to extend their formal session and actually work in December (oh the horror) despite a major budget deficit and a deadline to apply for federal education money

So, after all these wonderful accomplishments, what do these people come up with this week? They are clocking out today at 1pm and are taking Friday off.

Yes folks, this is your Great and General Court.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What liberal media?

Tonight President Obama hosted his first State Dinner with the Prime Minister of India. The media was happy as a kid on Christmas, falling all over themselves about the event.

Some called it the "hottest ticket in town" and "exciting" and others wondered what "magic" would happen at the dinner. Read this goo from CBS and then compare it to the media's coverage of President Bush's state dinner in 2001.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Lost opportunity

I got a call tonight from some campaign flunkie for Rep. Michael Capuano. I was all set to tell the guy off after Capuano's comments about the Catholic Church last night but my phone died!!! It had been off the charger for a while so it was out of juice.

Just as well, I would not have been very charitable.

Monday, November 23, 2009

By the way...

If Martha Coakley is going to bash the Catholic Church for its handling of the sexual abuse crisis, then let's examine her role.

From today's Globe:


When Martha Coakley was the Middlesex district attorney, her office prosecuted the Rev. John J. Geoghan based on an allegation that he squeezed the buttocks of a 10-year-old boy a single time at a public swimming pool. The highly publicized 2002 conviction won Coakley widespread praise for bringing the first successful criminal case against the widely accused pedophile, a priest many had called “Father Jack.’’

But seven years earlier, Coakley, then the head of the Middlesex child abuse unit, had Geoghan in her sights and took a dramatically different approach. Back then, three grade-school brothers told investigators that Geoghan had inappropriately touched them during numerous visits to their Waltham home, and had made lewd telephone calls to them. Rather than prosecute, Coakley agreed to grant Geoghan a year of probation in a closed-door proceeding that received no media attention at all.

Because of the deal, Geoghan faced no formal charges and no criminal record.

Get me some blood pressure pills...

So Rep. Michael Capuano and Attorney General Martha Coakley slammed the Catholic Church tonight. They were asked about the Bishop of Providence asking Rep. Patrick Kennedy to refrain from receiving communion because of his pro-abortion stance. I for one have no position on this issue but Capuano said:

"And they wonder why people stop going to church. As far as I’m concerned, they haven’t written me. Maybe they’ve just written me off, I don’t know.”


And you wonder why you're going to lose in this special election, Rep. Capuano. I've never heard a politician say something like this about a church. Have you ever criticized radical Muslims for when they've said something negative about America and in turn say, "And they wonder why people stop going to mosque."

I think we know the answer to that question.

I have a lot of things I can say about this man but I will hold them.

Coakley, who invites priests to her swearing-in ceremonies, said:

“I also disagree with the institution and the role they played in hiding pedophile priests for years,” he said. “It seems to me a little bit ironic that a church that was willing to overlook the victimization of many, many children over several years is now turning around and saying to people who are good Christians, good Catholics, that, ‘You can’t join this.’”

So, you still going to try to portray yourself as a good old Catholic girl from North Adams, Mrs. Coakley? You've shown your true colors, madam.

I am seething right now.


Baker taps Tisei

Charlie Baker has announced that his running mate will be State Sen. Richard Tisei. Tisei, from Wakefield, has been in the state Senate for 18 years and prior to that he served in the House. He's a good guy, more of a liberal Republican, but so is Baker.

I grew up in Tisei's district and he was always good in responding to letters and constituent concerns. He'll do a nice job if elected.

The one concern I have, however, is that with Tisei running for lt. governor and State Sen. Scott Brown running for some other constitutional office, the Republicans risk reducing their numbers in the Senate even more (they currently have 5 members). I doubt another Republican will be elected in Tisei's district so count that as a Democratic pick-up. The hope, I suppose, is Republicans picking up a seat somewhere else in the state.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ken Burns Update

I am slowly but surely getting through all of Ken Burns' movies. Last month I finally watched "Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony." It was excellent, actually one of my favorites thus far.

I am also slogging through "The Civil War." I've seen most of it but only in pieces. It's nine parts so it takes time to watch it all. This means that all I have left to watch is "Unforgivable Blackness" and the rest of "Jazz" (I've seen some of this 10 part series). Maybe these will be my Christmas vacation viewing as Kevin is napping.

Good stuff.

She's still around?

Martha Stewart was interviewed by one of those Hollywood gossip shows and was asked about Sarah Palin. Stewart replied:

She's a very boring to me. Very boring, and a very, to me, kind of a, a dangerous person. I mean, to, she's dangerous.

Sarah Palin is dangerous?? Here is a multiple choice question. Which of the following women has spent time in federal prison?

A. Sarah Palin
B. Martha Stewart

If you guessed B, you're correct! So, an ex-con who spent 5 months in federal prison is calling someone else dangerous?

I guess this means Stewart didn't vote for the McCain/Palin ticket in 2008. Oh wait, she can't vote, she's a convicted felon!

Joan to the rescue

In today's Globe, Joan Vennochi comes to the aid of her sister Sarah Palin. While the two have nothing in common other than both being women, Vennochi feels Palin is being unfairly targeted. In case you didn't hear, the latest issue of Newsweek has Palin on the cover in tight shorts and a running shirt. Palin said the picture is taken out of context as it was a picture she did for a running magazine.

Vennochi sum up the liberal hatred for Palin perfectly:

The conventional answer is that liberals hate her conservative, prolife politics; have contempt for certain elements of her family history; and either don’t like her Wal-Mart lifestyle, or believe she’s faking it. They also fear she taps into populist anger that will somehow catapult her into the Oval Office, no matter how bad Katie Couric and Tina Fey made her look.

But, Vennochi also says there is more to it than that. Mike Huckabee is similar to Palin politically but he doesn't get any flack from the media. Using Hillary Clinton as an example, Vennochi makes the argument that the media's hatred of the media is something deeper - sexism.

See her thoughts here.

Hack Pensions

Will you be getting a pension when you retire? Nope, me neither. But don't worry, the hacks on Beacon Hill will - fat pensions. I guess Charlie Baker, who is running for governor, wants to cap state pensions at $90,000 but, as Howie Carr points out today, it will only apply to new employees. How many hacks are in the pipeline now? Thousands!

Howie's column here but below is a taste:

We now have a system where most public-sector jobs pay infinitely better than comparable positions in the DPS - the Dreaded Private Sector. Despite the occasional photo-op layoff, the majority of local hacks have no fear of ever having to go out and actually do a day’s work for a day’s pay.

And behind it comes the pension.

Look how hard the layabouts fought to protect their two hack holidays. And they won. Sorry Charlie, but there’s a better chance of convicting Sen. Galluccio of drunken driving than there is of prying the snouts of any of these vermin out of the public trough.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Whose more tone deaf?

I am starting to wonder who is more politically tone deaf - our governor or the legislature. The House of Representatives announced today that their staff will take 5 unpaid furloughs...but the members will not.

Less you forget, this is the same legislature who accepted a 5.5% pay raise in January.

As Howie Carr says, don't let this impact your faith in the Great and General Court.

Fools.

Quick one

Have to teach in a second but wanted to post Howie Carr's column from today. Good stuff on the joke who is our governor.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Do-nothing Legislature

While Gov. Deval Patrick is indeed a screw-up and a horrible governor, the state Legislature is at times no better. This year's formal session ended yesterday with some major bills ignored. To be fair, they did pass pension, transportation, and ethics overhauls, but they also re-elected the now indicted Sal DiMasi, they increased the sales tax, they refused to cut out hack holidays, they continue to hire hacks while the governor is cutting front line people like social workers, etc.

Now, with a chance at securing millions of dollars in education money from the national government, the House refused this week to vote on a major education because of turf wars between Speaker of the House Bob DeLeo and Patrick (and, I am sure, because of intense pressure from the teacher's unions).

Massachusetts Liberal has some great thoughts:

After returning from summer break, the House and Senate spun their wheels during the fall. Sure they passed about 60 laws and counting since Sept. 1, but they were the mostly of the sick leave bank, land-taking and bridge-naming variety.

And when it came to the crucial issues at hand -- a reeling economy -- the silence was deafening.

I take that back -- lawmakers have once again risen to the defense of the Quinn Bill and hack holidays as off limits in the budget-cutting process.

As for the one significant reform piece of legislation -- on that carries the potential of increased federal funding -- well, sorry Deval. The Senate was just too preoccupied to take it up until the last week of the session and the House didn't want to rush it through.

Besides, there's plenty of time in January before the federal funding deadline looms. And that way Patrick will have no choice but to swallow what lawmakers put before him or face the prospect of being blamed for the loss of federal dollars.

By many accounts, Patrick is a less than skilled executive, one who doesn't push hard for his objectives. It is his weakest selling point to an electorate looking for a leader next year and a theme that has been and will continually be hammered upon by his gubernatorial rivals.

But count me as one of those who think it is the performance of the Great and General Court that can and should be the focus of attention. The legislative foot dragging while the commonwealth is reeling from the recession is appalling.

Throw that into the context of DiMasi, former Sens. Dianne Wilkerson and James Marzilli and current poster child Anthony Galluccio and you have the image of an out-of-control band off politicians who equate taking away Evacuation Day with taking away Christmas.

Thousands are out of work and here's a chamber that works part-time, protects its perks (and its own) while everything around it crumbles.

Or that's how Patrick's campaign commercials will say it.

Sadly, there's no real solution in sight. The Republican Party's continued slide into irrelevancy makes it unlikely the local branch will be able to field a credible slate of candidates to challenge incumbents and change the nature of the branches. Maybe they are working hard behind the scenes, but I doubt it.

A new governor? If you really belief a new man or woman will change the dynamic that has existed on Beacon Hill for the last 20 years, you are eagerly awaiting the rival of the jolly fat man in the red suit next month.

There are myriad problems facing the Commonwealth and few solutions. The ones that exist are not easy. But in the face of this reality, members of the Great and General Court will no doubt be proudest of this headline as reflective of their "accomplishments" in 2009.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln

So at midnight U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd will become the longest serving member of Congress in American history- almost 57 years. Politico has a fawning article on Byrd today which begins with laudatory quotes from colleagues. But, it's not until page two that the article mentions two tiny little facts - that Byrd led a 14 hour filibuster against the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and he used to be member of the KKK (he was the Exalted Cyclops) . The article mentions his KKK past as if its mentioning his membership in the Elks.

In 1944, the esteemed senator from West Virginia said:

I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side... Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.

If Byrd were a Republican would we see the same type of coverage? You know the answer to that.

Doesn't get it

So once again, tone deaf Gov. Deval Patrick is thinking about making another bonehead move - now he wants to give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants and allow them to attend state colleges at the in-state tutition rate.

These are 2 of 131 recommendations a board made to Patrick about reforming immigration laws in the state. Good luck getting the Legislature to vote on these initiatives in an election year, governor. They've already made horrible votes on tax increases, re-electing Sal DiMasi as speaker, retaining hack holidays, weak pension reforms, etc, etc, etc. They are loath to make another unpopular vote, especially since you're as popular as a skunk at a party.

I've said it a million times - if you vote for Patrick in 2010 you are the biggest sucker.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fishy

So we always knew that President Obama's team was playing fast with the stimulus numbers but this is a little fishy.

The official White House website on the stimulus package says that 2,873 jobs were created in the 00 NH Congressional District, 3.2 jobs in the 6th District, and 2 in the 27th district.


Last I checked New Hampshire had two congressional districts.

h/t to NRO Corner

UPDATE: Looks like a widespread problem. See here.

Later, senator

In the fine tradition of State Sens. James Marzilli and Diane Wilkerson (not to mention countless others), State Sen. Anthony Galluccio is finding himself in more hot water. Last month he was involved in a hit and run (he was the hitter) in which he hurt a 13 year old boy and now it has been revealed that Cambridge Police had to give him a ride home the same day...at 4:39am...because he was too drunk.

Looks like another fine senatorial career is coming to an abrupt end.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Blow ins

Looks like some New York City restaurant wants to open a location on the Boston Common. Its name? The Shake Shack.

Um, folks, this is Boston, it is frappe. Also, why make the Common a commercial place?

The Hub Blog has a great post on this:

Not to sound too provincial, but do we really want a N.Y. chain-wannabe on Boston Common? I tilt toward Jeff Miller’s plan, if only because it at least strives for a local flavor. But you just know the same types who think “SoWa” is such a cool name will go with the “beloved” Shake Shack – and then they’ll lecture us about having an inferiority complex while they’re off aping everything Manhattan. They’ll never understand that it’s not about New York – or Kansas City. It’s about losing a little local character every time they plunk an out-of-state chain or name on an historic area.

If anyone ever says SoWa in my presence, they will regret it!!


Me and the boy

It was an all Flaherty Male weekend as Lynn was gone all weekend. After I did a stint on the radio yesterday morning, Lynn headed down to Middleboro for a scrapbooking event. From what I gather, it was just a big old scrapbooking party at a VFW type place. Lynn's sister lives in Middleboro so she joined her for the day. I was happy to hear that - they never get to see each other since we literally live on opposite ends of the state!

So, since it was pouring out Kevin and I decided to head to a local Catholic school's Christmas Fair. There wasn't much that interested us really - lots of crafts and stuff. Kevin was more interested in the dancing Santa Claus. We each did enjoy a donut and I bought some apple cinnamon bread and we then took a ride to the library. We didn't do a whole lot there, it was mostly me chasing after Kevin and asking him to be quiet! It was then nap time and that evening we did the grocery shopping.

Today Lynn met up with some old college friends down on the Cape. She was going to bring Kevin but I knew she wouldn't be able to have a good time with him running around so I told her to leave him. So, Kevin and I went to the 11:30am mass at our Church and then to my school's championship football game (which we won!). Kevin was uncharacteristically good at mass as I had him pretty occupied the whole time with a coloring book and pretzels.

Now he's eating some leftover pasta and then it's off for a bath (he got into mud today at the game). It was fun to spend time with him, good old fashioned daddy/son time! But, hopefully it's an early bed time as I have a lot of work to do tonight. Lynn will be home late as she had to go to mass at 5pm and then had a meeting afterwards.

Running mates?

I missed this on Friday: Howie Carr weighed in on Republican Charlie Baker reportedly asking Independent Tim Cahill to be his running mate in next year's governor's race. Baker has a right to be worried - Cahill could take away a ton of votes from Baker and throw the election to Gov. Deval Patrick (which almost happened two weeks ago in New Jersey).

See the column here but a taste below:

It’s time to flip a coin. I’m serious. Heads or tails. The winner runs for governor, and the loser gets to be the other guy’s running-mate on the Republican ticket. If both of you get together right now, you can begin planning the transition in January 2011.

Not even ACORN will be able to pull it out for Deval. Or even the Globe - assuming there still is a Globe next November, that is, after all the layoffs next January.

No way Deval Patrick can be reelected in 2010. Let me rephrase that - no way he can get over 50 percent of the vote. But if two candidates are on the ballot against him, then he only needs 34 percent of the vote. Sadly, despite his disastrous term, he could still conceivably get 33 percent-plus-one. There are that many moonbats infesting this benighted Commonwealth, that overly medicated, guilt-ridden, non-working trust-fund crowd living off the monthly check from either their parents or their uncle (Sam, that is).

The next Attorney General

Howie Carr has a good column today speculating on who will be the next Attorney General for Massachusetts. It's pretty clear that the incumbent, Martha Coakley, will be our next U.S. senator (shudder) so it's time to start thinking about the interim AG.

Under state law, the Legislature appoints an interim AG if the current one resigns. Howie throws some names around like State Reps. Charlie Murphy and Jim Vallee but he thinks neither of them will get the nod. Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo has already said he doesn't want the job.

Whoever gets the job will have to go up against State Sen. Scott Brown who is running for the U.S. Senate on the Republican side. He will not win the Senate race but he is getting his name out there.

Anyway, see the article here but a portion is below:

It’s imperative for the Democrats to hang onto the AG’s office. So here’s one solution being bandied about. Have DeLeo order his minions to elect Bill Galvin AG. If Galvin is no longer the secretary of state, the Legislature will have to fill that vacancy too, and it could go to . . . DeLeo.

DeLeo can’t survive a high-profile race. But secretary of state . . . maybe.

It would be the perfect golden parachute for him. Even if Bobby loses next November, he gets in a year at $130,000, which will boost his kiss in the mail.

Galvin’s already run statewide five times, and he was around the last time a GOP tidal wave rolled in and wiped out the Democrat party. Running for treasurer in 1990, he got washed out to sea too, but now at least he knows enough to check the weather forecast before going near the beach.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Move on

Wow, I need to read National Review's Corner more often. This is just brilliant:

George W. Bush inherited a recession. He also inherited the Iraq no-fly zones, a Middle East boiling after the failed last-minute Clintonian rush for an imposed peace, an intelligence community wedded to the notion of Saddam's WMD proliferation, a Congress on record supporting "regime change" in Iraq, a WMD program in Libya, a Syrian occupation of Lebanon, Osama bin Laden enjoying free rein in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, a renegade Pakistan that had gone nuclear on Clinton's watch with Dr. Khan in full export mode, and a pattern of appeasing radical Islam after its serial attacks (on the World Trade Center, the Khobar Towers, U.S. embassies, and the U.S.S. Cole).

In other words, Bush inherited the regular "stuff" that confronts most presidents when they take office. What is strange is that Obama has established a narrative that he, supposedly unlike any other president, inherited a mess.

At some point, Team Obama might have at least acknowledged that, by January 2009, Iraq was largely quiet; Libya was free of WMD; Syria was out of Lebanon; most of the al-Qaeda leadership had been attrited or was in hiding; a homeland-security protocol was in place to deal with domestic terror plots; European governments were mostly friendly to the U.S. (unlike during the Chirac-Schröder years); and the U.S. enjoyed good relations with one-third of the planet in China and India.

The fact that in the Bush years we were increasingly disliked by Ahmadinejad, Assad, Castro, Chávez, Kim Jong Il, Morales, Ortega, and Putin, may in retrospect seem logical, just as their current warming to the U.S. may prove to be cause for alarm, given the repugnant nature of these strongmen.

Bottom line: Obama's second year as president is coming up, and it is long past time to move on and let historians judge the Bush years.

Nice try

Piggy backing off of Jeff Jacoby's column this morning about President Obama's ego, this great piece from National Review:

“As America's first Pacific president,” said President Obama in Tokyo, “I promise you that this Pacific nation will strengthen and sustain our leadership in this vitally important part of the world.”

It is true that the president was born in Hawaii (sorry, birthers), lived from ages six to ten in Indonesia, and attended a Honolulu prep school. But he is not our first Pacific president. Richard Nixon was born in California in 1913, and spent much more of his life in the Pacific region than the current president has. Moreover, while Barack Obama made his career in Chicago and Springfield, Ronald Reagan made his in Los Angeles and Sacramento.

And the incumbent is hardly the first chief executive to have lived in another Pacific Rim country. William Howard Taft was governor-general of the Philippines. Dwight Eisenhower had military postings in the Philippines and the Panama Canal Zone. Herbert Hoover worked as a mining engineer in Australia and China; he even learned to speak Mandarin. Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Bush 41 all served in the Pacific during the Second World War. What they did as adults was perhaps more consequential than what Obama did as a child.

The Great I Am

Jeff Jacoby has a special Saturday column in today's Boston Globe on President Obama's mega ego. You need to read it all (see here) but below is a taste:

At the start of his presidency, Obama seemed to content himself with the royal “we’’ - “We will build the roads and bridges. . . . We will restore science to its rightful place. . . . We will harness the sun and winds,’’ he declaimed at his inauguration.

But as the literary theorist Stanley Fish points out, “By the time of the address to the Congress on Feb. 24, the royal we [had] flowered into the naked ‘I’: ‘As soon as I took office, I asked this Congress.’ ‘I called for action.’ ‘I pushed for quick action.’ ‘I have told each of my Cabinet.’ ‘I’ve appointed a proven and aggressive inspector general.’ ’I refuse to let that happen.’ ’’ In his speech on the federal takeover of General Motors, Obama likewise found it necessary to use the first-person singular pronoun 34 times. (“Congress’’ he mentioned just once.)

At this rate, it won’t be long before the president’s ego is so inflated that it will require a ZIP code of its own.

Then again, how modest would any of us be if we were as magnificent as Obama? “I am well aware,’’ he told the UN General Assembly in September, “of the expectations that accompany my presidency around the world.’’

In 1860, writes Doris Kearns Goodwin in her celebrated biography “Team of Rivals,’’ an author wishing to dedicate his forthcoming work to Abraham Lincoln received this answer: “I give the leave, begging only that the inscription may be in modest terms, not representing me as a man of great learning, or a very extraordinary one in any respect.’’

Obama has often claimed Lincoln as a role model, but it only goes so far.

New Bishop for Fort Wayne-South Bend

Today Pope Benedict XVI named a replacement for Bishop John D'Arcy, the bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana. D'Arcy is 77 and all bishops submit their resignation at 75 and the pope accepts it or waits, as he did here.

I love Bishop D'Arcy. He is a Boston native and a fellow graduate of Boston College High School. He is not afraid to stand up to people (and for the truth), most notably Fr. John Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame, for granting President Obama an honorary degree this past May.

I met D'Arcy a couple of times when I was in the seminary with the Holy Cross Fathers at Notre Dame and he was very friendly and easy to talk to. I hope he comes home to Massachusetts for his twilight years and contributes to the Church of Boston - it will be nice to have him back!

Friday, November 13, 2009

DeNucci moving on

My father worked at the State House for a number of years doing construction work. He said the nicest guy that worked there was Auditor Joe DeNucci. He would always talk to people, no matter if they were some big shot or a janitor.

Today DeNucci announced that he will not run for re-election. He has been auditor since 1986 and he said he wants to move on.

This may be a good opportunity for the Republicans to pick up a constitutional office. The Globe says since the 1960's they've only held one constitutional office other than governor and lt. governor. They didn't say which one but it has to be treasurer - Joe Malone held that job in the 1990's.

Thought for the day...

Is there anything more disgusting than the abortion special interest groups?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It has begun

In today's Lowell Sun there was an article about Byam Elementary School in Chelmsford which has banned any recognition of Christmas from its "holiday gift shop."

A flier sent home with students for the gift shop, which will run from Dec. 1 to Dec. 4 and benefits the school's PTO, states no Santa, candy canes, stockings, Christmas, Hanukkah or other "religious items" are welcome.

Hmmm, so they're having a "holiday" event but the students cannot mention the "holiday" they are celebrating.

It's funny that a Massachusetts public school is banning any and all mention of "holidays" when the state Department of Education lists the public holidays in the states and bolds statewide legal holidays. What is one of those bolded public statewide legal holidays? Christmas.

Will there no mention of George Washington on Washington's Birthday at Byam Elementary School? Will the children of Byam Elementary School ignore Christopher Columbus on Columbus Day? Guess poor old Martin Luther King is going to lose out at Byam Elementary School, huh?

Here's what I suggest. If Byam Elementary School is going to ignore a statewide, legal, public holiday then people should ignore their fundraiser.

See why I teach in a Catholic school?

The best

I may have posted this before but someone on Facebook was talking about Johnny Most and it got me thinking of the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals against the Pistons. See below:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Keller gets in on the action

Jon Keller of Channel 4 nails Rep. Michael Capuano for his obvious political flip flopping on the health care bill:

Q: Have you ever seen Mike Capuano and John Kerry photographed together? And are you sure it wasn't a fake?

Nice.

Man of principle

Line up Rep. Michael Capuano for a Profile in Courage Award.

Yesterday when Attorney General Martha Coakley said she would vote against the health care bill if it banned funding for abortion, Capuano said Coakley had a "lack of understanding of the legislative process" and that a legislator must "have the skills to build consensus and the courage to make difficult decisions, and the wisdom to know when to choose progress over perfection."

Well, what a difference a day makes. Now, Capuano says he too will vote against the bill if it restricts funding for abortion. Gee, Rep. Capuano, what happened? You said Coakley lacked "understanding" and one needs to "build consensus" to pass legislation. Do you now think differently or was it that all the radical abortion groups pounced on the anti-abortion provision and you risked losing the vote of the precious baby killing lobby?

I think the latter.

Rep. Capuano. A true man of his word...except when it will hurt him politically.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Losing the war

It is said that after Walter Cronkite came out against the Vietnam War, Lyndon Johnson said, "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America."

Well, Deval Patrick can something similar today about his base as two liberal bloggers, Dan Kennedy and the Outraged Liberal have criticized him for the increase in the hacks and the funding of a bridge for Foxboro Stadium.

Kennedy said the following:

I will only disagree with Mr. O.L. to this extent: Patrick has now been governor for nearly three years. Yet Mr. O.L. still refers to the governor’s actions as “screw-ups” and questions “whether anyone in the Corner Office is paying attention.”

No. At this late date, the only reasonable conclusion is that this is who Patrick is.
He shoots, he scores!

Another extremist

So once again, in an effort to prove to all liberal moon bats everywhere that she is one of them, Attorney General (and Senate candidate) Martha Coakley said today that she would have voted against the health care bill that was passed in the House on Sunday because it restricted funding of abortion.

You've got to be a hard core, wack job, ultra liberal to say you would vote against one of the biggest Democratic bills since Medicare because of a provision on abortion. Coakley is clearly outside of the mainstream in America and needs to be stopped in the primary or the general election.

This is just too much...Martha Coakley is dangerous.

No room in the fields

The Globe has an interesting article today on the plight of Civil War reenactors in New England. Already handicapped by people being more interested in the Revolutionary War they are now having trouble finding space big enough to stage their enactments.

I confess that I am not much of a Civil War buff. I actually am more interested in the events that led up to the war rather than the battles. Case in point: on Saturday I went into Boston for a talk on John Brown at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Anyway, see a snip of the article below:

“The mindset on other parts of the country is so different. History is the Civil War. You knew about the American Revolution, but it didn’t happen in your town,’’ said Richard Dobbins, founder of the Duxbury-based American Civil War Research Database, the largest online searchable American Civil War database.

Julie Marin, a Groton Civil War event organizer, said she was frustrated that state officials had not made more public land in Eastern Massachusetts available for large-scale living-history activities. Her group, she said, has liability insurance and has worked well with local police, fire, and town officials to enjoy smooth reenactments in the past.

Marin doesn’t blame anti-Civil War bias for her group’s trouble in Groton. She chalks up the difficulties to skyrocketing land prices and the housing boom of the past decade, along with people “still learning what we’re about and what we have to offer people,’’ said Marin, who often portrays General Grant’s wife, Julia, wearing homemade skirts with stiff petticoats.

Tom Higgins, recruitment director of the Attleboro-based 28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, said his reenactment community is planning smaller events at mostly private venues farther afield.

He concurred that many New Englanders are desperately in need of a crash course in Civil War history, to balance out local fervor for that “other war.’’

“You can see that when you go to some events [in costume] and people ask where the Redcoats are,’’ he said wryly.

What to do...

My school always gives us the Monday of Veterans Day off instead of the 11th so it's a nice long weekend for me. Kevin's not feeling so hot today (little bit of a cold) so he's going to stay home with me today. Just checked the weather and it's supposed to be 67 out so hopefully we can spend some time outside.

I visited the Lowell National Historical Park yesterday for a talk and picked up a nice pamphlet on walking tours of Lowell. Perhaps we will check some of those out. I've been trying to walk more too so I think a walk is on the agenda (went for a 90 minute walk last night around Dracut).

So many possibilities...

Who is Michael Capuano?

Rep. Michael Capuano, a candidate for the Senate who left of Mao, is trying to portray himself as a common man from the mean streets of Somerville. But, the Herald points out today that the common man has expensive tastes:

Capuano spent nearly $12,000 over the past two years wining and dining a total of 67 times at posh restaurants such as Sonoma wine bar and Charlie Palmer Steakhouse, both in Washington, D.C.

The dining spree includes:

  • $1,065 at the Taverna restaurant in Washington, D.C.
  • $444 at the Capital Grille in Burlington
  • $122 at the Block House, a steakhouse in Hamburg, Germany
  • $229 at Cafe George V in Paris
  • $443 at the Tune Inn restaurant and bar in Washington, D.C., a more relaxed and well-known hangout for young staffers on the Hill.
  • Sunday, November 8, 2009

    Extreme Liberal

    Yesterday (or was it this morning) the House passed their version of the health care bill. As part of the deal to get some conservative Democratic votes, they agreed to vote on an amendment to ban health insurance companies who participate in the federal exchange to cover abortions. The amendment passed 240-194 with one member voting present.

    How did the esteemed representative from Massachusetts' 5th Congressional District vote? No.

    She couldn't disappoint her gal pals over at Emily's List, you know.

    Not that this is a surprise but you can now officially call Rep. Niki Tsongas an ultra-liberal.

    Sham Artist

    The Globe reports today that since Gov. Deval Patrick took office in 2006, the number of employees working in the state transportation departments have gone up 20%! Not only that, the high level employees are making 25% more than they did under former Gov. Mitt Romney.

    This despite the fact that Patrick has promised major cuts and reforms in the transportation departments.

    I've said it a million times now...Patrick is nothing more than a snake oil salesman whose promises of reform and change were nothing more than hollow campaign pitches.

    Hmmm, kind of sounds like someone else we know.

    Saturday, November 7, 2009

    Get out

    I never knew this but I guess the U.S.S. Constitution shoots off cannons twice a day and plays the national anthem each day as it raises and lowers the flag. Nice stuff.

    But some yuppie over at the Charlestown Navy Yard is complaining, saying the noise is too loud and disruptive. Screw you yuppie (pardon my French). These idiots have infiltrated Boston over the past 10-15 years and now expect 200 plus years of tradition to change because their chi-chi friends get jumpy.

    Move back to Weston if the city is too loud for you.

    Jerk.

    Follow the leader

    This is a few days old now but Joan Vennochi had a fantastic column the other day about how members of the Legislature do/vote whatever the leaders want them to do, no matter how odious the legislation.

    Case in point. In 2007, the House passed a bill that would have lifted the cap on resold tickets for places like Ace Ticket. The bill was pushed by Speaker Sal DiMasi because his buddy, Richard Vitale, met with him privately and asked DiMasi to push the bill through. Vitale was paid by a ticket group to meet with DiMasi which would count as lobbying but Vitale did not file statements saying he lobbied DiMasi as required by law. Vitale is currently facing charges.

    You can see the column here but I love the conclusion:

    What’s as disquieting is the go-along culture under the Golden Dome. It’s unchanged. House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo wanted a sales tax hike instead of a gas tax hike. Lawmakers went along with his desire, even those who saw it as Band-Aid over a still-festering wound.

    “I have long felt and even included in my seconding speech for Sal DiMasi, that we have not gotten to the point of collaborative leadership,’’ said Kaufman, who, under DeLeo, chairs the committee on revenue.

    Voters send representatives to Beacon Hill. Once there, institutional leaders vie for their loyalty.

    That’s when the people’s lawmakers start turning into the leader’s sheep.

    This is your governor...

    Schools underfunded. Sales tax increase. Local aid slashed. Social workers laid off.

    But, don't worry folks. One of the richest men in New England is getting a bridge built on your dime so his customers can get to his multi-million dollar stadium even easier so they can pay $10 for a hot dog even faster.

    See here.

    Major victory

    Last night Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi caved and is allowing a vote on a provision to be placed in the health care bill saying that abortion could not be covered by insurance companies who participate in the health care exchange.

    The Catholic bishops made a huge push on this matter and my parish had bulletin inserts last weekend. Let's just hope it actually passes.

    Tuesday, November 3, 2009

    Mayor Mumbles wins...again

    REPULICANS TAKE VIRGINIA GOVERNOR'S RACE!!!!

    History in Lawrence

    According to Tommy Duggan of Valley Patriot, Lawrence has elected its first Hispanic mayor. Perhaps he will speak to non-Hispanics now that the race is over!

    30 minutes to go...

    Most polls close in 30 minutes but they've already closed in North Adams and according to iBerkshires, the long-time mayor John Barrett is going to lose.

    Will this be a bad night for incumbents?

    What to do?

    I never know how I lived all my life without a DVR. I actually don't watch a ton of TV but what I do watch are mostly documentaries or shows on PBS (guess I'm showing my age). The only scripted shows I watch are "The Office", "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Entourage." The last two are only one a couple of months out of the year and I've seen more of these on DVD than first run.

    Anyway, tonight is one of those rare nights when there are number of things I want to watch.

    1. Election results on CNN
    2. Frontline on PBS
    3. HBO documentary on Obama's 2008 campaign

    The good thing is that I can DVR the last two and, even if I missed them they will be re-run a number of times. The Obama documentary will be a fawning love fest I am sure but as a politics junkie I am looking forward to seeing it.

    I still have a ton of other stuff on my DVR that I haven't gotten to: American Experience episodes, Herbert Hoover documnentary, Curb episode, etc, etc, etc. Thank God for the DVR, gives me something to look forward to.

    Monday, November 2, 2009

    Best night of the year

    I get jacked up for any election, be it presidential, state, or an override election. Here in Dracut we vote for town offices in May so we don't have an election tomorrow (we do have Town Meeting tonight so I do get my fix) but there are a ton of other races to watch:

    • Big mayoral race in Lawrence between State Rep. Willie Lantigua and City Councilor David Abdoo. Will Lawrence elect their first Hispanic mayor?
    • City Council and School Committee races in Lowell. Will embattled CC Alan Kanzanjian lose?
    • Governors races in New Jersey and Virginia. Is the Obama magic over?
    • Boston mayoral showdown between Mayor Tom Menino and CC Michael Flaherty (no relation). Is this Menino's last hurrah?
    Stay tuned.

    What a shock

    So yesterday all of the major transportation agencies in the state merged into one super agency called the Department of Transportation. This is a good idea and was actually first proposed by Gov. Mitt Romney. But because he is a Republican it didn't become a good idea until a Democrat (Gov. Deval Patrick) pushed for it.

    But, of course this is Massachusetts and all it seems that happened is a new name. Patrick named 3 hacks to the department's 5 member board and they're now saying this merger won't save the promised $6 billion (over 20 years). Rather, it will realize no savings. This is in part because the MBTA union is refusing to switch to the state's health insurance plan.

    Welcome to Massachusetts.

    Sunday, November 1, 2009

    Good things happening

    I confess that I was never a fan of Marty Meehan. He is liberal and he broke his promise to only serve four terms (he served 8 1/2). He eventually resigned from the House in 2007 to become the Chancellor of UMass Lowell and I have to admit he's doing a hell of a job.

    Since taking over, the school's enrollment has increased dramatically, he has raised a ton of money for scholarships, the university purchased a hotel in Lowell and turned it into a conference center and dorm, they purchased a rarely use boat house on the Merrimack River, and just this weekend they purchased the Tsongas Arena.

    Lowell is now becoming a college town and the students are transforming the city. Yes, they cause traffic and their buses block a lane on University Ave. during rush hour but I am very happy to see the changes the university is bringing. They are quickly becoming the premier (and most important) organization in the city.

    Between UMass Lowell and the Lowell National Historical Park, the area is becoming a hotbed of culture, events, lectures, history, etc, etc, etc. Things are looking good.

    Hack of all hacks

    I haven't written much lately as you know because work and Kevin have been keeping me busy. But, Howie Carr's column today got my blood boiling.

    One of the biggest hacks in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is David Balfour. He has been sucking from the state's teet for 30 years and now at the age of 56....yes, 56, he is retiring. Howie estimates that this bum, who has done nothing but have lay about, do nothing, no show jobs, will receive a pension of about $70,000 a year.

    So, while you struggle to pay your bills, think about your unemployment, and worry about putting food on the table remember that David Balfour will be sitting pretty collecting $70,000 at the age of 56 for DOING NOTHING. This guy is such a hack that when he ran for Mayor of Melrose some years back (after being fired by Gov. Mitt Romney from some hack job), he lost like 75%-25%. Even my father said, "That guy is nothing but a hack!"

    This comes around the same time that Gov. Deval Patrick is making $600m in cuts to the state budget and laying off 1,000-2,000 state workers. Who are being laid off you ask? Fat cats like Balfour or Patrick's Milton neighbor who do nothing all day? Nope, front line people, social service people, people who actually make a difference.

    If you vote for this man in 2010 you are nothing but a sucker.