November 24, 2005

Oh the huM&Mity!

The NYT reports: In a replay of a similar 1997 incident, the M&M balloon at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City flew out of control, struck a lightpost, and fell to the ground.  Two people suffered minor injuries.  Many witnesses are expected to relive the frightening incident the next time they think about popping those tasty chocolate morsels into their mouths.  (OK, the NYT didn't report that last bit.)

Before: Mnm1_2

After: Mnm2

Posted by David at 10:38 PM in Random | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm heading off to the homestead for the traditional gathering of family and friends, and the annual exercise in overeating.  I chipped in a donation to Rosie's Place this morning.  If you have a chance, pick a similarly worthy charity and do the same, or volunteer a couple of hours, in the spirit of the day.  Today's Globe has helpfully published a large list of organizations looking for monetary and in-kind donations, and for volunteers.

Here's hoping you and yours have a wonderful holiday.

Posted by David at 12:46 PM in Random | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

The Good Old Boys Strike Again

Kudos to our absentee Governor for vetoing the bill passed by the Gold Old Boys in the House and Senate that would have placed new restrictions on wine shipments via mail. The Legislature acted after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that states must allow direct shipments to consumers from out of state vineyards. The vetoed bill tried to undercut the Court's ruling. Romney said the measure did not help consumers but protected existing liquor distributors in Massachusetts. Indeed. This kind of back-scratching legislation is what has given the Democratic Party, and especially the Massachusetts legislature, a bad name among many Massachusetts residents and national observers. Raise a Thanksgiving glass for consumer choice.

Posted by Bob at 10:24 AM in Massachusetts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 23, 2005

Phoenix profiles O'Flaherty and Schiavone

Adam Reilly (who else?) writes up an interesting piece on this very interesting race that pits Christopher Schiavone, a gay ex-priest, against incumbent Rep. Eugene O'Flaherty (D-Chelsea), a non-gay F-bomb-tossing Irishman (part of his childhood was spent on the Emerald Isle).  And remember: if you read what the alert commenters at Blue Mass. Group like CharlestownGayGuy have to say, you knew this race was coming at the end of August!

Posted by David at 11:55 PM in Massachusetts, Vote 9.16.2006 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)


Yeah, so Romney and Healey's anti-immigrant-education stance hasn't been going so well lately, and now the State House News Service reports in its roundup (note to MA bloggers: sign up for this) that voters aren't buying:

On the question of in-state tuition rates for the children of illegal immigrants, respondents were asked , "Would you support or oppose legislation allowing children brought into the country illegally to pay in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities as long as they have lived in Massachusetts for the last three years and have graduated from a state high school and have signed a sworn affidavit that they are applying for U.S. citizenship?" Exactly 54 percent said they'd support the proposal; 43 percent said they were opposed. [my emphasis]

I think the wording of the question pretty much decided how most folks would answer -- there's quite a few qualifiers there that Romney and Healey are hoping you don't notice. We got yer nuance right here...

Also get your hot fresh Schadenfreude here: Healey's approval/disapproval is 32/33, with 37% with no opinion.

"If I'm Kerry Healey, I'm seriously, seriously concerned," said [SHNS pollster] Chervinsky, who's conducted polls for media and politicians for 25 years. "She has as many people who view her unfavorably as favorably. That's horrible for an incumbent running for office. That should be 60/30."

Tom Reilly and Deval Patrick both beat her in a face-to-face. (Chin up, Patrick campaign!)

Posted by Charley on the MTA at 11:08 PM in Massachusetts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Hilarious anti-Alito ad

People for the American Way is not my favorite lefty interest group, at least when it comes to judicial nominations - they often strike me as shrill and as playing fast and loose with the details of complicated cases.  But their new anti-Alito ad is a must-see.  Most of it is more or less what you'd expect, though it's much better done than the Roberts ads in that it makes a point while actually being fairly accurate.  But the end of the ad is truly inspired.

Posted by David at 10:41 PM in Law and Lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The wingnut-wanker continuum, revealed at last!

Wingnutterywanksmall From the always hilarious Editors over at Poor man, this fantastic graph of political figures and pundits, plotted on an x-axis of wankery vs. a y-axis of wingnuttery (click to enlarge).  Read the whole post to understand why they went to this trouble.  I, for one, am glad they did - it made me laugh out loud.

Posted by David at 11:14 AM in Random | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Dan Payne departs from Deval Patrick's campaign

Today's Globe brings the news of long-time Democratic media consultant Dan Payne's departure from the Deval Patrick campaign.  Payne had been advising Patrick since before Patrick decided to run, and had said back then that "if he decides to run, the governor's race automatically becomes a national campaign," presumably because of Patrick's ties to the national Democratic party through his service in the Clinton Justice Department, and also because Patrick is the first serious African-American candidate for Governor in Massachusetts history.  One does have to admit that, at least at this early stage, Patrick's candidacy does not seem to have generated the kind of national interest that many had predicted.  (Payne wasn't the only one - the Globe said early on that a Patrick candidacy would "surely bring national attention to the contest.")

I emailed Payne, noting that we've been generally supportive of Patrick's candidacy, and asking whether he had any concerns at this point about the campaign's overall prospects.  Here's what he wrote in response:

When your opponent is taking on the gov over auto insurance rates and you're celebrating your 100th home-made web site, something's not right.

Ouch.  Payne's reference to the "100th home-made web site" is to the campaign's recent announcement that 100 people had joined "Team Patrick," a feature on the Deval Patrick web site that allows anyone to create a page explaining why they support Patrick and urging their friends to do the same.  That does strike one as an underwhelming milestone.

Look, I don't know any of the personalities in this shake-up, and the Globe article suggests that there is some tension, to say the least, among those involved.  So who knows what the back story is here.  And it's maybe a tad unfair to point to Reilly's role in the auto insurance controversy - he is the Attorney General, after all, and he would have a prominent role to play on the subject even if he weren't running for Governor.

That said, I've already sounded a couple of notes of caution about how the Patrick campaign seems to be progressing (or not, as the case may be).  And Payne knows a whole lot more about running campaigns, and has a much better sense of where an upstart campaign like Patrick's ought to be at this point in the cycle, than I do.  The Globe article says that "Patrick ... is faced with the task of convincing the Democratic establishment, party activists, and major donors that he is a viable candidate."  To be sure, he's got a bunch of the activists with him.  But at least in a statewide race, that doesn't seem likely to be enough.  You've got to have the big donors, and, like it or not, you've got to have at least some of the establishment.  Barbara Grossman is a good start.  But who else is coming on board?  And when?  Where's that "national attention" we thought the race would get?  And when are Patrick's "I have no idea who you are" poll numbers going to start declining?  Thanksgiving is here, Christmas is around the corner, which means no one's paying attention until New Year's, at which point Romney will announce that he's not running, so that consumes headlines for a while, and suddenly the primary is only a few months away and Reilly still has four million bucks in the bank.  I'm still hopeful that the Democratic primary is going to be a real race.  But I'm getting nervous.

Posted by David at 10:53 AM in Massachusetts, Vote 9.16.2006 | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack (0)

Romney sidelined by Delahunt-Chavez oil deal

Mitt Romney is supposed to be the Governor of Massachusetts, isn't he?  Sometimes it's hard to be sure.  When asked what he thought about the fact that Congressman Bill Delahunt (D-Quincy) had managed to score 12 million gallons of low-cost heating oil for Massachusetts residents, Romney had this to say:

I'm delighted to hear we'll be able to purchase oil at a lower price than the market for our citizens.

What a quote.  "I'm delighted to hear" - like he read about it in the paper.  Come to think of it, he probably did.  I also love the fact that he sounds so surprised by the deal - as though he had assumed that, gosh, the market's the market, and there's nothing anyone can do about it other than sign bills that the Democratic legislature passes. 

If Romney cared, he could probably make something happen, as this deal proves.  But he just doesn't seem to care.  While other elected officials are busting their butts to help low-income residents of Massachusetts heat their homes, Romney is out ... well ... what's he doing again?  Oh yeah.

Posted by David at 09:46 AM in Massachusetts | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Gotta love this

Blueusa Probably doesn't mean much at this point.  But it sure feels good (click to enlarge).  The backup is here.  Thanks to Kos.

Posted by David at 08:55 AM in National | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)