Tuesday, August 30, 2005

What's The Matter With Kansas

Instead of preventing gays from marrying maybe Kansas should prevent pedophiles from marrying.

Kansas is one of the few [states] allowing children as young as 12 to marry...

(...)

The two became a couple, according to Crystal's "Happy Anniversary" drawing
on the wall, on Sept. 17, 2003. She was 12 and he 20.

(...)

Mr. Bruning said he was shocked that more than 80 percent of the 250 people
- most from outside Nebraska - who had contacted his office opposed the
prosecution. Similar sentiment abounds here in Falls City, where people say
putting Mr. Koso in jail would most likely land his wife and child on welfare,
an unnecessary double-burden for taxpayers.

"They are trying to make a right out of a wrong," Mardell Rehrs, 67,
said of the couple on Monday morning. "Give them a chance."

Lies ...For the Children

As the equal marriage debate heats up again with the upcoming Massachusetts Constitutional Convention, it is a sure bet that the radical right will again bring up the argument that they are trying to "protect the children."

As part of this argument they will again bring up the false claim that it is "a proven fact" that "children in same-sex couple homes are 11 times more likely to be abused sexually."

The Southern Poverty Law Center debunks the lie:
As was pointed out in a lengthy article by Carl Bialik, the Wall Street
Journal's "Numbers Guy
," Adams' statistic ultimately came from Paul Cameron, a
gay-bashing activist whose research was discredited long ago and whose
organization, the Family Research Institute, is listed by the Southern Poverty
Law Center as a hate group. Adams told Bialik she derived it from an article on
the far-right WorldNetDaily Web site. That article cited another by Cameron that
was published in the journal Psychological Reports.

Cameron looked at the 270 cases of sexual abuse of foster children
reported to Illinois authorities between 1997 and 2002, 34% of which were
same-sex in nature. Citing other studies that conclude gays make up 1% to 3% of
the U.S. population, Cameron concluded that "homosexual practitioners" were
vastly more likely to abuse children sexually than far more numerous
heterosexuals.

But Cameron had no idea if the abusers were in gay or heterosexual
partnerships. In other words, a foster parent in a heterosexual relationship who
abused a child of the same sex was jammed by Cameron into the "homosexual"
category – a gross error that was amplified by Adams when she later told CNN
viewers that the same-sex abuse had occurred "in same-sex homes." Adams
compounded this wildly unscientific approach, Bialik reported, by simply
dividing the 3% into the 34% to derive her 11-fold statistic – despite the fact
that neither she nor Cameron had any information about the percentage of gays in
Illinois, as opposed to the United States as a whole.

And while Cameron and the far right seek legitimacy by claiming the 'studies' are peer reviewed and published in academic journals the Boston Globe sheds more light:

But Cameron's adoption study, and at least 10 more of his works, appeared
in Psychological Reports, a small journal based in Montana, which says its
studies are peer-reviewed, although editor Doug Ammons said: ''No reviewer has a
veto right." The journal, which typically charges $27.50 per page to print an
article, is portrayed by Ammons as a ''scientific manifestation of free
speech."

By contrast, the largest professional journals, which are often cited
as sources of medical information -- such as Journal of the American Medical
Association and the New England Journal of Medicine -- say they will reject an
article if any peer reviewer raises serious objections about its methodology.
Those journals do not charge for publication.

(...)

As Ammons, the editor, put it, ''No opinion of a reviewer will ever veto,
by itself, an article . . . We just simply invite them to comment. If they
disagree with some aspect, they are free to submit a comment."

''People want to anoint something published in a scientific journal as
`The Truth.' It isn't and it can't be," Ammons said. He added that his
publication does not have a political agenda, and he said he personally
disagrees with much of what Cameron has written but believes he should be
published.

Baker Won't Run

From The Herald:

Stuck in political limbo because Gov. Mitt Romney has yet to make his own plans clear, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care chief Charles D. Baker yesterday announced he won't run for governor next year.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Herald cautions on marriage

The Boston Herald today on the marriage debate.

Even amid this complicated new reality, though, one fact is crystal clear.
The compromise amendment that bans gay marriage while establishing civil unions
for gay couples is going down to defeat on Sept 14. House Speaker Salvatore F.
DiMasi – an inveterate vote-counter, not to mention gay marriage supporter – has
all but guaranteed it.

That's bad news for those people – the majority, we'd venture to guess – who support traditional marriage but want to grant same-sex couples some legal protections. But it's how both sides have chosen to play their hands, despite the very real risk of losing it all.

The problem I have with this statement is it masks the fact the majority favor equal marriage. Fox news reported that the Herald's own polls "found 49 percent said they support legalizing gay marriage, while 38 percent oppose it." And "Fifty percent of Massachusetts residents surveyed for a Boston Globe/WBZ-TV poll surveyed said they agreed with the (SJC)ruling, while 38 opposed it."

The anti-gay forces initially hid its own 2004 poll results "that showed less than majority support for its effort efforts to prevent legalized same-sex marriage in Massachusetts."

Finally, a poll by Mass Equality found "By a margin of 62% to 35%, voters say that gay or lesbian couples should have the right to enter into a legal marriage. Moreover, fully 64% favor ensuring equal rights for gays and lesbians, including the equal right to marry."

No guess needed.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Andy Card For Gov?

On today's Chris Matthews Show, Howard Fineman of Newsweek said that Andrew Card, Bush's chief of staff and former Massachusetts state rep, is working behind the scenes to take over as Secretary of the Treasury.

Lowell Reps Against Marriage

From Lowell Sun:

State Rep. Colleen Garry, D-Dracut, an opponent of same-sex marriage who voted for the 2004 compromise, said she will continue to support it. She says it's too late to start the process over. “I think we're in a difficult situation now because so many people have been married, and we need to provide coverage for them,” Garry said.

“I think my constituents were happy with the way I voted the last time. I think people have gotten used to this situation now.”

Garry added that the proponents of the stricter constitutional amendment that does not set up civil unions “had their chance the last time, and there weren't the votes. That's not going to change. I think there has been a realization that the world has changed.”

State Rep. David Nangle, a Lowell Democrat who opposes gay marriage, said he would likely once again approve the Travaglini compromise measure.

“I've always been in favor of putting it on the ballot,” Nangle said. “I don't believe things have changed and I've kept an open mind in this process.”

angle said he has been “sort of undecided” on the concept of civil unions, but that he felt he was left with little choice to support the compromise measure in 2004. “I was always against same-sex marriage, but if I didn't vote for what I did, nothing would be done,” Nangle said.

State Rep. Thomas Golden, D-Lowell, another opponent of gay and lesbian marriage, also is likely to support the Travaglini measure again. “Civil unions are obviously important. The vast majority of folks I've spoken with have no problem with civil unions whatsoever,” he said.

Strategizing a Christian Coup d'Etat

From LA Times:

GREENVILLE, S.C. — It began, as many road trips do, with a stop at Wal-Mart to buy a portable DVD player.But Mario DiMartino was planning more than a weekend getaway.

He, his wife and three children were embarking on a pilgrimage to South Carolina.

"I want to migrate and claim the gold of the Lord," said the 38-year-old oil company executive from Pennsylvania. "I want to replicate the statutes and the mores and the scriptures that the God of the Old Testament espoused to the world."

DiMartino, who drove here recently to look for a new home, is a member of Christian Exodus, a movement of politically active believers who hope to establish a government based upon Christian principles.

(...)

Christian Exodus activists plan to take control of sheriff's offices, city councils and school boards. Eventually, they say, they will control South Carolina. They will pass godly legislation, defying Supreme Court rulings on the separation of church and state.

"We're going to force a constitutional crisis," said Cory Burnell, 29, an investment advisor who founded the group in November 2003.

"If necessary," he said, "we will secede from the union."

1,2, 3, 4, What Are We Fighting For?

From NYT:

The secular leaders said the draft, which was presented to the National Assembly on Monday, contains language that not only establishes the primacy of Islam as the country's official religion, but appears to grant judges wide latitude to strike down legislation that may contravene the faith. To interpret such legislation, the constitution calls for the appointment of experts in Shariah, or Islamic law, to preside on the Supreme Federal Court.

The draft constitution, these secular Iraqis say, clears the way for religious authorities to adjudicate personal disputes like divorce and inheritance matters by allowing the establishment of religious courts, raising fears that a popularly elected Islamist-minded government could enact legislation and appoint judges who could turn the country into a theocracy.

And does staying the course mean giving up?

The Americans said Saturday they had given up trying to broker an agreement after days of frustrating efforts to negotiate on behalf of the minority Sunnis.

"We are not going to continue to be the messenger," said a senior
American official in Baghdad who declined to be identified, invoking the customary diplomatic anonymity.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

He Is Not Stupid

From the Globe:

Despite polls showing him trailing potential Democratic rivals, Governor
Mitt Romney is confidently predicting that he would trounce the competition if
he decides to run for reelection next year.

''Well, I win by a landslide in Massachusetts if I run for reelection. And
that's very possibly what I'm going to do," Romney said in an interview with
Chris Matthews that was televised nationally yesterday on the MSNBC political
talk show ''Hardball."

So what else his he going to say. I know I can't win reelection in Massachusetts so I am running for President!

Why Should Mitt's Kids Serve?

From the Herald:

Gov. Mitt Romney, who has comforted the grieving loved ones of soldiers killed in Iraq and promoted National Guard recruitment, yesterday said he has not urged his own sons to enlist - and isn't sure whether they would.

The Herald posed the question as Romney - a potential 2008 White House contender and backer of President Bush's Iraq policy -was honored by the Massachusetts National Guard after he signed a bill extending pay for state workers on active duty.

``No, I have not urged my own children to enlist.I don't know the status of my childrens' potentially enlisting in the Guard and Reserve,`` Romney said, his voice tinged with anger.

5 Cars From The House

Walking home from dinner at 10:05 and getting ready to cross Harrison Ave in the South End. All of a sudden one police car and then others speed down Harrison with lights flashing and sirens blasting from district D-4 headquarters towards Mass Ave. When they go at that speed you know there has been a shooting. We will have to wait until tomorrow's paper to see who got capped.

But I don't understand. Why are the cars in the house? If you know you have a problem in an area wouldn't it more sense to have the officers on patrol!

I went to the neighborhood crime watch meeting Thursday night. Great turnout. Probably 125 to 150 people. I'll try and post tomorrrow about it.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Typical Family Can't Afford Typical House

From State House News Service Weekly Roundup email:

...the median cost of a Massachusetts home rose $512 this week. OK, that
math is a bit speculative, but only a bit: the Massachusetts Association of
Realtors reported that the median price of a single family home here rose to
$375,000 in July, up 7.1 percent. That works out to $512 a week, and the
inexorable increase is arguably the most significant item on the state's policy
agenda.

Quantifying the problem is tricky but not too hard, especially if you
all you want is a rough but accurate idea of how bad things are. They're bad.
The median home price is $375,000, said the Realtors. But the median family
income for a family in Massachusetts is $74,400, according to the fiscal 2005
estimate of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. ...a 30-year
mortgage at 5.75 percent with a 10 percent down payment will buy you a home
worth $334,978. In other words: the typical Massachusetts family can't afford
the typical Massachusetts home.

The result of this equation is measured not in dollars, but population:
Massachusetts is the only state in country to report a population drop in the
last set of estimates, and its capital city now trails Jacksonville in
population. People want to live here but just can't.

And another reason the high cost of housing is bad, as the email went on to say, is:

Testimony about the high cost of living in Massachusetts was one of the reasons
cited as the Base Realignment and Closure Commission explained its decision not
to expand the mission of Hanscom Air Base, and bring upward of 1,100 new
positions to the Bedford facility.

Byron Rushing...Awesome State Rep

This guy is the real deal. A first glance, with his long beard, you say who is this guy. But he really works at representing his district.

From the Boston-Baystate Banner:
The beginning of Thomas Finneran’s reign as House speaker saw his
arch-opponent Representative Byron Rushing bounced from his wood-paneled
second-floor office to a cramped, fifth-floor room. On the way up he lost the
extra pay that came with the chairmanship of the Insurance Committee as well as
the extra staff.

Midway through Finneran’s reign, Rushing appeared unruffled as he took the
helm of a group of progressive legislators and launched a largely symbolic but
politically significant challenge to Finneran’s stranglehold on the
speakership.

While many progressive legislators in the House cut deals with Finneran to
maintain or obtain committee chairmanships or win pork for their districts,
Rushing seemed comfortable as the spokesman and leader of a group of 40-or-so
representatives who openly opposed the autocratic speaker’s virtual stranglehold
on Beacon Hill.

(...)
Rushing is now the highest-ever ranking black House member — the only one
to have been elected to a leadership position. His appointment sent a signal to
both black lawmakers and progressives that there is a new era of inclusion in
the State House.

(...)
While Rushing hails DiMasi’s openness, he cautions that progressives will
not have a carte blanche to move any legislation they choose. DiMasi’s
leadership represents a broad array of political views. For example, Norwood
Rep. John Rogers — one of the most conservative legislators in the House — sits
on the influential Rules Committee.

“It’s a different ballgame now,” Rushing said. “People will tell you that
the proof is in the pudding. We haven’t been able to fix things overnight. But
we have the right people in the right places.”

Death In The Garden

Herald photographer:

I can't believe I saw him die right in front of me.

I had just parked on Charles Street yesterday afternoon for a photo assignment at the Public Garden when I noticed three guys inside the park sitting in an oddly tight circle.

I had my camera on the seat next to me, so I took a look through the telephoto lens. One of the men was tightening a belt around his upper arm. Then I saw the needle.

I started taking pictures.

(...)

Hub drug-abuse deaths, the vast majority of them due to heroin overdoses,
soared 44 percent between 2002 and 2003 as the city reeled from state substance
abuse budget cuts, according to the Boston Public Health Commission.

Marriage Amendment May Fail

According to the Globe:

MALDEN -- House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi predicted yesterday that next
month the Legislature will reject a proposed constitutional amendment to ban
same-sex marriage and allow civil unions, the strongest signal yet that the
compromise given preliminary approval by lawmakers last year is headed for
defeat.

''Everybody anticipates that there won't be enough votes to pass this,"
DiMasi, a supporter of same-sex marriage, said in an interview. ''That seems to
be pretty clear."

But:

Still, a big question mark remains because of upcoming developments that
involve same-sex marriage.

By Sept. 7, a week before the Legislature convenes, Attorney General
Thomas F. Reilly must decide whether to certify the separate 2008 measure or
reject it. If Reilly agrees with gay-rights supporters that the 2008 initiative
is unconstitutional, some lawmakers who oppose same-sex marriage might change
course and back the Travaglini-Lees measure when the Legislature convenes.

One of those opponents, Representative Philip Travis, Democrat of
Rehoboth, declared the 2006 amendment defeated at the unveiling of the 2008
initiative two months ago. Travis said yesterday, however, that if Reilly does
not certify the 2008 petition, he will have no choice but to back the compromise
that's before the Legislature.

Another way of looking at the map

Red versus blue except it looks like the blue has most of the red. At Daily Kos.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Jim Kelly Can Be Gone From City Council

For those of you new to Boston, specifically the South End, Bay Village, South Boston, or parts of Chinatown you have the chance to make a difference. This is city council district 2.

For the first time in years, I believe almost 20, Jim Kelly, the city councilor has an opponent. Oh. You don't know about Jim Kelly. Well, lets just say Jim Kelly reminds me of Lester Maddox, the Governor of Georgia when I was growing up. There is the possibilty Jim has evolved his views over the years. But there is one group he still works against.

Susan Passoni is running against him.

Since they are both Democrats whoever wins primary day (September 27) is it. Last day to register to vote is September 7. But why wait? Do it here now!

Separate But Equal Is Not Equal

Please contact your State Reps and Senators and ask them to vote against the outlawing equal marriage for gay people but establishing civil unions. You CAN make a difference!! And it only takes 5 minutes.

The Legislature set Sept. 14 yesterday as the date it will debate a
separate measure, aimed at the 2006 ballot, that would outlaw same-sex marriage
and establish civil unions. The early date dismayed gay-rights advocates who had
expected far more time to lobby lawmakers.


''The September date for the next Constitutional Convention is unfortunate," Marty Rouse, campaign director for MassEquality, said in an e-mail. ''We now have only three short weeks."


Meanwhile, the right wing extremist are trying to introduce another constitutional amendment (the 2008 initiative) that would outlaw marriage and civil unions.

Pressure mounted yesterday on Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly over a
proposed citizens' initiative to ban same-sex marriage, with two former
attorneys general and several dozen lawyers urging him to rule the effort
unconstitutional.

Reilly has until Sept. 7 to certify the ballot question, which foes of
same-sex marriage hope will go before voters in the 2008 election. The pressure
on Reilly, including a legal brief filed by same-sex marriage opponents, puts
him in a delicate situation, as he begins a campaign for governor.

(...)

As for the 2008 initiative, a letter to Reilly signed by former attorneys
general James M. Shannon and Scott Harshbarger and nearly 80 lawyers from
Boston's top law firms echoes an argument that gay-rights groups have already
made: that the state Constitution disallows any ballot question that would reverse a judicial decision. (The Supreme Judicial Court legalized same-sex marriage in a November 2003 ruling.)

(...)

Reilly has not always supported same-sex marriage, but says he accepts the
SJC's decision. His primary rival for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination,
Deval Patrick, is considered an advocate for gay rights.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

As Dangerous As Gay Marriage

Indiana Congessman decries divorce:

Rep. John Hostettler told area clergy that divorce on demand is as
dangerous as gay marriage
, and pastors' actions will be key to strengthening all
Indiana families.
Speaking to an Indiana Family Institute program of about
25 people Tuesday at Crossroads Christian Church, the six-term Republican from
Blairsville, Ind., said a greater emphasis of faith in public policy and
partnerships with local churches could be the solutions.

"The picture of marriage is the picture of Christian salvation," said
Hostettler, who describes his elected office as a ministry. "Any diminishing of
that notion - whether homosexual marriage or any other degradation of marriage -
is something we must fight in public policy."

(...)

The Indiana Family Institute, a nonprofit with close ties to Focus on the
Family, invited ....



and you know the Massachusetts Family Institute folks feel the same way. By the way, today is the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention. It is suppose to be a short session to set the date for the next session when the anti-gay marriage amendment will be debated again.

For those of you opposed to equal marriage for gay people don't forget. "They" have your marriage rights in sight also.

The Same Old Game

Reilly packs payroll with PR advisers: Top salaries go to image-makers:

As Attorney General Tom Reilly ramps up his run for governor, he is packing
his public payroll with a team of political advisers and strategists – most of
whom are paid more than his top attorneys.
In fact, one of Reilly's top operatives, Stephen Bilafer, is listed on state
payroll records as filling the $100,000 taxpayer-funded position of ``senior
counsel'' to the AG – even though he is not a lawyer.
Also in Reilly's inner circle at a taxpayer cost of $100,000-a-year each are chief of staff Stephen Kerrigan and ``bureau director'' Brian Delaney, a public relations guru and former press secretary to U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. Pay for assistant attorneys general, who prosecute court cases for the state, ranges from $30,000 to $79,000.
Bluring the line:
The line between state duties and the campaign has been further blurred recently
with appearances by a Reilly press assistant taking notes at press conferences
by Reilly's potential opponent, Gov. MittRomney. And Bilafer, who insiders speculate will head Reilly's 2006 gubernatorial bid, has been quoted in news stories on campaign-related issues.

More:

Attorney General Tom Reilly's taxpayer-funded team of strategists and
image-makers includes:

``Senior counsel'' Stephen Bilafer: $100,000 a year

``Bureau director'' Brian Delaney: $100,000 a year

``Chief of staff'' Stephen Kerrigan: $100,000 a year

``Bureau director'' David Guarino: $87,000 a year

``Division director'' Corey Welford: $60,000 a year

But don't forget:

Romney's PR machine has also come under fire after the Herald reported that
taxpayers foot the $350,000 annual bill for 13 staffers who prepare the governor
for public events.

More Militant Clerics

From Pastor to Political Activist:

But Miranda is not satisfied. He has written a master plan to ''reclaim the
state of Massachusetts for Jesus Christ"
and penetrate a culture he feels is
being lost to promiscuity, activist judges, and the legalization of same-sex
marriage. He is organizing Protestant ministers and Christian activists around
the state and encouraging them to bring modern marketing techniques to the
church.


The 17-page treatise appeals to evangelical leaders to work together
to ''proceed systematically to penetrate and reconquer" institutions of culture,
business, and politics in a state that he said has become ''saturated with a
godless, secular outlook."


In May, 34 church leaders and Christian activists from Boston responded to his invitation and met in a small convent in Roxbury to discuss the plan. In September, the group will meet again to define its long-term goals.


''I called together these key leaders to talk about how could we put together an initiative to sell our product better, to be more relevant, and to communicate the message of the gospel in ways that would be a lot more digestible to the general public," Miranda said during in an interview in his spacious office overlooking Northampton Street.


He wrote the plan more than a year ago in the aftermath of the legalization of same-sex marriage. The vitriol he said he witnessed between both sides inspired him to draw up the plan, which calls on Christian leaders to unify and strengthen the church, recruit high school and college students, and imbue them with a ''clear, militant Christian worldview," and increase the influence of Christianity in the arts, media, and politics.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Affordable housing

BARNSTABLE - The Cape Cod Commission has released a study linking the Cape's affordable-housing shortage to the construction of big commercial development projects.


More:

''The real issue here is that the jobs that are being created on the Cape don't
create enough money to (allow workers) to afford the houses there,'' the
consultant said yesterday. ''Commercial developments benefit from their location
on the Cape and that gives developers a responsibility to contribute positively
to the overall needs of the Cape.''

15 Rounds at 1030?

Gun fight caught on video:

Carlos French was sitting at his computer in his South End condominium when he heard the rapid fire of gunshots crashing past his kitchen window upstairs.

A bullet lodged in the air conditioner by his mother's bedroom. The 70-something woman, he said, was frightened for her life during the shooting between the occupants of two cars Wednesday night.

''At first, she thought it was the cabinets crashing down," said French, 36, a real estate agent who moved into the Victorian building on the corner of Shawmut Ave. and West Newton Street last year. ''But I knew what it was. It was 15 to 20
shots."

There have been 4 significant shoot outs in this South End neighborhood since April. Customers at a local bakery almost got shot during one shoot out. Residents return home to find drug addicts shooting up on the stoop. Calls to 911 go unanswered. The hoodlums ride up and down the street on mini motor bikes.

A neighborhood crime watch meeting is set for Thursday, August 25 at 6:30 PM at the Blackstone Community Center on East Brookline Street. The presence of Mayor Menino and Police Commissioner O’Toole is being sought. Think they will show?

Do You Really Think Mitt Is Running...For Gov?

Lt. Governor Kerry Healey just became the $13 million woman.

And that's unlucky for anyone else – Democrat or Republican
– who's planning to run for governor next year.

Republican Healey's financier husband, Sean, pocketed $9.1 million last week by cashing in share options in his financial firm AMG.

That's on top of the $3.9 million he collected in May, giving his wife access to a potential war chest of $13 million for a gubernatorial campaign.

Look out Charlie Baker.

And look out Tom Reilly, Bill Galvin or anyone else nosing for the Democratic nomination.

Healey campaign adviser Rob Gray confirmed yesterday the money had
political overtones.

Republican show time

The Republican primary should be fun to watch:

In these days when skeletons in the closet can sink a political career before it starts, there would seem to be little logic in Norwood selectman Gary Lee's decision to run for governor.

Just don't tell that to the 50-year-old gubernatorial hopeful.

``I have to accept my life and move forward and if I think I can do something to help, I have to try,'' said Lee, a 17-year selectman who had his law license stripped after admitting to beating his wife in a booze-fueled 1999 rage. ``I'm a big boy. I'm
ready for this.''


Lee says he's already endured intense local scrutiny for the drunken assault on his wife and 6-year-old daughter and can take the heat of a bruising GOP primary against Romney or Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, if either runs.

I'll bet he runs on family values.

War Prezdent Wanna-be

Romney backs Bush stance on troops. Do you think Mitt will change his position once Jim Dobson and the rest of the religious right wing start asking why are American Christians dying in Iraq to create an Islamic republic?

Monday, August 22, 2005

Health care for all

From the Lowell Sun:

BOSTON -- Health-care advocates are backing two grass-roots efforts aimed at dramatically reducing the numbers of uninsured people in Massachusetts, saying the remedies being considered on Beacon Hill don't go far enough.

One proposal, which the Legislature will consider this week, would amend the state constitution to give every person a right to “comprehensive and affordable” health coverage, requiring the Legislature to craft such a plan and the voters to approve it.

Simultaneously, a group of advocates is gathering signatures for an initiative petition that does not seek to provide universal coverage but would raise the cigarette tax to cover more low-income people and mandate larger businesses to offer health insurance to their employees.
I am glad to see that that the vast majority of Massachusetts citizens are covered but we can do better.
With 7 percent of its residents without health insurance, Massachusetts has a comparatively low rate of uninsured among the 50 states, Harvey added.
And I don't mind seeing one way of paying for it being:
* Increasing the $1.51 excise tax on cigarettes by 60 cents per pack (which would raise more than $160 million in revenue per year).
And since we are only eight highest we have room to go.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Wishful Thinking

Poll shows hurdles for Romney :

As Romney weighs whether to forgo a reelection bid to prepare a run for president in 2008, the poll found that his chief Democratic rival for the governor's office, Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly, has continued to hold his lead over Romney. Reilly leads Romney by 51 to 38 percent in a matchup for a potential 2006 governor's race. In March, Reilly led 48 to 41 percent.

The survey of 503 adults, completed last week, found that 41 percent said Romney has accomplished little as governor, posing a challenge if he tries to promote himself on the presidential trail as an effective chief executive and political leader. Only 16 percent said he has accomplished ''a lot" and another 34 percent think he has been blocked by the Legislature.

The portion of adults who think he should be reelected remains at a precariously low level, with 30 percent saying he should be given a second term, and 51 percent saying someone else should be elected. That is statistically the same finding as in a Globe poll in March.
Still, 50 percent think he has accomplished alot or been blocked by the Legislature. I think Mitt is gone. While I thought if he stayed he had no chance of being reelected, this article causes me to pause. I don't think Tom Reilly can win. When you take out the vote for the Greens, Libertarians and others he won't get to 50. But that does not mean someone else can't beat Mitt.
In another sign of Romney's weakness, the poll found him almost even in a matchup with Patrick, a relatively unknown unknown Democratic candidate, with the governor getting 41 percent and Patrick 37 percent.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Mr. Watson

"Mr. Watson...Come here...I want to see you" said Alexander Graham Bell. On March 10, 1876 Bell invented the telephone in Boston.

Hopefully, this blog will serve as a telephone where those who are interested can discuss and analyze Massachusetts politics.

My family are all Democrats. For years, maybe because I was in the military, I was what is called unenrolled in Massachusetts, or an Independent. There were things I did not like about either the Democrats or Republicans. In Massachusetts, there are many Democrats in Name Only (DINOs). But the 2000 election and the campaign of George Bush pushed me over the edge. I enrolled as a Democrat and got involved. I got involved in a State Senate race. I wrote checks for other campaigns. I worked in the battle for civil rights with the Freedom to Marry organization. I guess this is just another step in the journey.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by. And please bear with me while I learn the details of setting up a blog. Hope to see you again.