Thursday, December 31, 2009

MA Senate Race Brown, Coakley, Kennedy - Where Are the Polls?

There has been more than a few bloggers that have asked why there have been no polls, as of yet, on the Mass. Senate Special Election Race, this blog included. Normally, one would expect that Suffolk University would have been polling all along - after all, they did poll the Democrat Primary back on December 7th (here). This poll indicated that Martha Coakley was basically untouchable, and the general collective think was that no further polls may have been necessary. In most instances, the seat is considered "safe Democrat" - why bother polling?

Change is good and change is constant. On good authority, a national pollster will begin polling "soon". There are several factors to consider as to why the wait, or what may have changed to prompt the first poll of the 2010 election cycle. One thought to consider, the changing political landscape, including that of the Massachusetts. How long must one wait for the poll to appear? No answer on that one, but "soon".

Massachusetts – Demands Churches Who Offer Shelter to Homeless Meet State Criteria

The Old North Church - image Marriott Hotels

New England winters are hard, temperatures often drop to below freezing for weeks at a time, and those who have no access to shelters (given the overflow), will often appeal to a local church as it offers a place to survive the night. Enter the Commonwealth of Massachusettswho feels the need to tell Churches that they must follow certain guidelines in order to offer shelter!

The separation of Church and State aside (as so much is ignored regarding the Constitution in the Commonwealth, what’s one more thing), the Massachusetts Board of Building Regulations and Fire Prevention has decided that guidelines are in order as follows: (from

Churches can now be used as temporary shelters for a maximum of 35 days – but for no more than seven consecutive days at any time – between Sept. 15 and June 15 each year.

A temporary certificate of occupancy must be obtained from the municipality, and no smoking is allowed in the church. In addition, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms must be installed and maintained.

Also, a plan showing occupancy capacity, a seating diagram, and the location of exits and aisles leading to exits must be posted near the main entrance, with a copy given to the Fire Department. The Fire Department must also both be notified before a church becomes a temporary shelter and know how many people will be sheltered.
While authorities are aware churches around the state have opened their doors as shelters in the past, they also want to find a balance between providing a place to sleep with fire safety concerns.

The Commonwealth has no problem using hotels as temporary shelters for the homeless and shelling out millions in taxpayer dollars – yet they do have a problem when it comes to a Church doing so for free. It boggles the mind that the Commonwealth, constantly in the red (see Mass Health Care), would want to discourage Churches (increased paperwork and regulations that possibly would cut into these non-profits budgets), who would be willing to lend a hand for free!

This situation (and many others)cannot be about control, it has to be about stupidity. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts should have a litmus test for all employees, appointees and let’s face it, elected officials, with the main criteria being “common sense”. A lack thereof would eliminate that person from the position. The millions being spent by the Department of Human Services for hotel stays could be used to actually purchase facilities (surely there must be hotels for sale?), immediately cutting costs per diem (they may even be able to grab a few properties for back taxes). Those facilities could be coordinated with a variety of departments, in order to offer a wide range of services to those living in the facility – once gainful employment could be found, rent could be applied to those who chose to remain in the building. This would serve to save taxpayer dollars, and give people a hand up, so to speak.

However, as this is the State of Denial of all things Reasonable, the concept would be to demand those places where a free night at the inn (Church), should be regulated out of existence. It simply flies in the face of reason.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

MA Senate Race: Brown Strikes First - TV AD Begins Run Today

Breaking news fromThe Boston Globe - Scott Brown, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, is the first of the three candidates for the MA Vacant Senate seat, to begin to run television ads. Martha Coakley has yet to begin advertising.

The ad, shown below, entitled Different People, Same Message, speaks to the conservative values of John F. Kennedy.

Mass Senate Election: Coakley - Show Me The Money Attitude Dominates Media –Brown May Be David to Coakley’s Goliath

An article on the Hot Air Blognetwork asks why the National GOP has not pumped more into the Massachusetts Special Election: According to this article – local Republicans are “outraged” that the national GOP only donated $50,000 and a phone system to Brown’s campaign.
Over at the Herald, Hillary Chabot headlines: “GOP lets Scott Brown fend for himself, Local Republicans outraged committee not giving more in Senate battle”. (The Hot Air article quotes from the Herald.)

Interestingly, both imply that without the GOP sending millions into the State, Brown’s chances of besting Coakley are limited.
Brown’s answer to the Heralds suggestion: priceless

But even Brown has downplayed his lack of national GOP firepower in his race against Democrat Martha Coakley, saying, “We’re doing very, very well on our own, and I don’t want to be beholden to anybody at this point.”

Brown may know a thing or two about campaigning in Massachusetts that the pundits at the Herald and Hot Air do not (or the plethora of nay-sayers, pick one) It’s not always about the Cash – it’s about the issues, and Brown is on the right side (no pun intended) of the issues that are most bothersome to Massachusetts residents, whether they are Democrats, Republicans, Unenrolleds, Libertarian or Green Party affiliates.

Those disgruntled unnamed Massachusetts GOP sources that are so bent out of shape regarding the lack of cash (alleged, as the NRSCC has declined to play its hand as far as what it may or may not give to Brown within the next two weeks), should do well to remember that money does not always translate into votes. Mitt Romney is the case in point – he won the Massachusetts Governors office, not because he was exceptionally well-funded, but because his opponent, Shannon O’Brien, went over the top on the issue of abortion, especially when it came to parental consent, or her promise to lower the age of concent to 12 – as soon as she made that comment, Romney surged in the polls and the rest, as they say, is history. One need not even go into the 2008 presidential primary, where Romney’s millions we’re bested by Huckabee thousands.

What everyone is discounting is the Massachusetts electorate, and the palpable fear of Health Care Reform and the dismal state of the Economy and Jobs, regardless of political party affiliation. It is with these voters that Brown has the edge. Exactly how much of an edge, no one knows for sure – there have been no polls on the subject, either locally or nationally, it is just assumed that Coakley will best brown – and everyone should know how dangerous assumptions can be.

Notes: Watch The CNN Debate (broadcast nationally) on Sunday January 10th at 10 AM

One can volunteer to make calls for Brown (from any state in the nation) by visiting Brown for Senate Brown is asking for votes and volunteers.

Browns latest video

Alternately, one can visit Martha Coakley for Senate” and be reminded that tomorrow is the deadline for FEC filing (December 31st)– so hurry up and donate.

Martha Coakley’s Latest Video:

Monday, December 28, 2009

Iran Continues to Implode – How long will it be before Ayatollah Khamenei & Ahmadinejad Board that Plane for Paris?

Update Iran: Protests continue to erupt and the violence from the current regime appears to know no bounds – as a recent post on Twitter suggets: "This regime is much more brutal and disgusting than the shah ever was. The also are ANTI-IRANIAN! The Shah loved Iran! One has to understand that without the aid of social networking sites, the voices of seventy million Iranian people, held hostage by a tyrannical government would go unheard.
As it stands today: Protests continue to erupt through Tehran – photographs available Here show the determination of those who, although they are vastly outnumbered by the murderous regime of Khamenei and Ahmadinejad, and may not have developed the wherewithal to withstand the continued onslaught by imported Hezbollah thugs that are hired by the regime to destroy their own people.

A tactic used by the brutal regime for decades, is now back in practice, (see Reading Lolita in Tehran), whereby bodies of protestors are taken (specifically if they are high profile) and disposed of - they "disappear" - this does not allow for the family to mourn – or in the case of the current regime, for the people to react. The latest body to go missing: Mousavi’s nephew. It has been confirmed by Al Jezzera that Mousavi nephew was murdered (Al Jazeera is relying on Iranian State TV).

The protests have continued into the night:

What is different at this point in time is that the Western Media is now paying more attention to the plight of those, who, although it is said they lack a particular leader, are none-the-less, a movement towards the freedom of Iran – the goal, peace, democracy and to break the yoke of tyranny.
CNN World has reported on the deaths of protestors, and even the New York Times, has a timid headline : ”Police are have said to killed 10 in Iran Protests."

It is a revolution that has been unfolding since the suspect vote that brought Ahmadinejad to the presidency for a second term, each protest (peaceful) by the people of Iran (it is no longer confined to the capitol) has been met with unspeakable violence e, arrest, torture and executions.
An excellent survey is available from The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, located in New Haven CT. The latest release “Speaking for the Dead”, Survivor Accounts of Iran’s 1988 Massacre” is now available. The accounts of torture, specifically towards women, are beyond the pale. This foundation, lost funding under recent budget cuts, go here to learn more and offer support – This is, after all Khamenei and Ahmadinejad Holocaust – the victims, Persians and Christians who want a free Iran.

Most compelling: A Christmas Message - Maryam Rajavi - 24 Dec 2009 - view hereon You Tube

Sunday, December 27, 2009

U.S. MA Senate Candidate Scott Brown Opens 8th Campaign office in Holyoke – Coakley/Brown Debate Schedule

Addendum: Scott Brown 2012 Campaign Offices (and now there are 10):
To volunteer for Scott Brown’s Campaign – offices are show below with contact information and Social Network sites. Offices are open seven days a week.

1. Western Mass HQ, 37 Harkness Ave East Longmeadow, MA USA WesternMass

2. MassVictory Cape and Islands HQ 338 Main Street, Hyannis, Massachusetts 02601

3. MassVictory North Shore HQ 20 Conant St., Danvers, MA 01923

4. MassVictory Merrimack Valley and Middlesex Co HQ 963 Chelmsford St Lowell, MA 01851

5. MassVictory South Boston HQ 337 Summer St Boston, MA 02210


6. MassVictory Boston (West Roxbury) Office HQ 100 Spring St Boston, MA 02132

7.MassVictory South Shore HQ 168 Court St Plymouth, MA 02360

8. MassVictory Norfolk-Bristol County HQ 1600 Providence Hwy Suite 167 Walpole, MA 02081

9. MassVictory Metro West HQ 1671 Worcester Road, Framingham

10. MassVictory Central Mass HQ, 18 Grafton St Worcester, MA 01604

For Maps, Directions and Additional Information visit:

The Debate Schedule between Scott Brown (R-MA) and Elizabeth Warren (D) - Candidate

1. Sept. 20, hosted by WBZ-TV, Channel 4, the Boston CBS affiliate
2 Oct. 1, hosted by the University of Massachusetts-Lowell
3 Oct. 10, hosted at Springfield's Symphony Hall and broadcast live on several media outlets, including CBS-3 Springfield, ABC-40/Fox6, and on WFCR 88.5 FM
4. Oct. 30, hosted by a Boston media consortium.

Addendum: Scott Brown now has 9 offices in Massachusetts - Map and Directions here

Scott Brown, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, was in attendance for the Grand Opening of his Holyoke Campaign Headquarters yesterday. Brown was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd of well-wishers and volunteers – the event was standing room only. In addition to Holyoke, Brown now has offices in Boston, Danvers, Hyannis, Littleton, Needham, Plymouth and Worcester. Brown, a moderate Republican, has three weeks to reach the independent voters, who are key to winning any election in the Commonwealth. There are several televised debates scheduled on Brown’s campaign website:
  • January 6, 7 PM - WGBH/Boston Globe/New England Cable News/WBUR Debate

  • January 8, 7 pm - WGBY Springfield Debate

  • January 10, 10 am - WCVB/CNN Debate

  • January 11, 7 pm - Edward M. Kennedy Institute Debate (University of MA, Boston)

  • Martha Coakley’s website does not indicate any additional debates, however, a Boston Globe article from Dec. 24th indicates that she will attend additional debates, with the caveat that Joe Kennedy, the Liberty Party candidate is included. Coakley continues to avoid debating Brown one-on-one, by including Kennedy, some analysts speculated that Coakley’s intent was to highlight the similarities between Kennedy and Brown, however, Kennedy’s taken to attacking Brown at every turn during debates (and easily debunked by Brown), giving rise to speculation that Kennedy (corrected) may be more closely associated with Coakley and his inclusion in the debates are to take the heat off Coakley; although a fiscal conservative, the majority of Kennedy’s policies are more left of center, and aligned with Coakley.

    Although this particular Senate Race has not been polled by any known institute since the primary, internal polls place Coakley in a less than desirable position, which is said to be one of the reasons she refused to meet Brown one on one in a debate. The general media consensus is that Ms. Coakley has already won the race, which may prove to be a bit premature.

    The Candidates:
    Scott Brown for Senate
    Martha Coakely for Senate

    Current Prediction (No Crystal Ball): Coakley: 41%, Kennedy: 14% Brown: 43%
    The 14% to Kennedy is an historically above average percentage, however, one can anticipate that Kennedy will pick up a percentage of votes from Democrats who did not a) watch the debate, and a percentage of independent voters disenfranchised with both major parties. Coakley should pick up the majority of the 36% of registered Democrats (keep in mind light turn-out during special elections). The balance goes to Brown.

    Wednesday, December 23, 2009

    Second Mass. Senate Debate: WBZTV Boston: Brown, Coakley, Kennedy Trade Barbs - Analysis

    MA U.S. Senate Debate on WBZ TV: Brown, Coakley & Kenndy - image: Boston Herald

    U.S. Senate Candidatesappeared on WBZ TV Boston last night for a debate moderated by Boston Reporter, Jon Keller. The Boston Globe and The Boston Herald both have articles summarizing the hour long debate that was available on WBZTV Boston Website, and will be telecast on Sunday morning in the Boston Area only (TV 38 & WBZTV).
    In the debate, independent candidate Joe Kennedy appeared to target Brown, rather than Coakley, while barbs directed at Brown were easily deflected. One challenge by Kennedy was that Brown makes his legislative resume available on-line – which, Brown replied, it has been on-line for 12 years. The Massachusetts Legislature has information on-line for all State Representatives and Senators available here.

    Both Brown and Coakley gave the usual back and forth rhetoric common to candidates that have spared in back to back debates, Coakley, relying on her record as State Attorney General, repeated several times that her department makes the Commonwealth money, while Brown repeated his anti-tax message on more than one occasion.

    The moderator, Keller, gave Brown and Coakley the majority of the questions, throwing a “bone” to Kennedy on occasion, which although normal in all debates where major party favorite candidates are present, hardly seems fair. In the radio debate, Kennedy had more of an opportunity to highlight his similarities to Coakley, and in the televised debate, again, his attacks on Brown, give the appearance the both Kennedy and Coakley are somewhat simpatico.

    Notice appearance: Brown comes off as the boy next door, the son of a single mother who managed to get through Boston College, become a lawyer, successfully run for office, and take the time to serve his country in the Guard – He stands by his record, one of moderation that, that indeed allows him to state that he would be an independent thinker if elected to the U.S. Senate. Interestingly, Brown is more than aware that the Independent vote is what will drive the Senate election, and that is where he stands to gain, and is most comfortable. Should Brown continue in this vein, he will pick up the 12% of the Republican vote, with approximately 35 to 40% of the independent vote (given that some independent voters will trend Democrat and based on past elections.)

    Coakley on the other hand is the epitome of accomplished woman, she has the air of the “Seven Sisters” about her, she is polished, and has an air of elitism – however, she noticeably flushes when Brown throws bars, such as the suggestion she might be “robotic” in her votes should she be elected. Brown’s barbs tend to hit home, and although in the first debate, she did complain that Brown was attacking her, in the televised debate she refrained from complaint. One pattern, oft repeated by Coakley, was her use of Bush/Cheney as the cause of all problems she would go to Washington to fix. Brown had to remind Coakley that she wasn’t running against Bush, rather against him. What Coakley might have missed was a recent Gallop Poll that indicates 44% of those surveyed want George Bush back in office. She also used the refrain “the past 8 years”, while Brown pointed out to the here and now of massive spending. Coakley appears to be playing to the base. She needs to somehow prove she is an independent thinker, and move away from the Bush-Cheney rhetoric, which will not play with the independents, although it may be too little too late, given the sound-bites are now on record. In appealing to the Democrat base, she can count on at least 30% of the vote.

    As to Kennedy, he was given little airtime, and he spent most of that time focusing on Brown – that said, he should have been better prepped, as his attacks were easily deflected. The local Boston News is making the fallacious point that Kennedy will be a sore spot for Brown, while from this viewpoint, Kennedy might be more effective if he focused on issues (for his own sake), rather than attack Brown without obviously being prepared. Kennedy, in this tactic, will pick up approximately 2 to 6% of the vote, which is historically the case for Independent (third party) candidates in Massachusetts, unless he peels away votes from Coakley, given his anti-war stance.

    Overall, the debate allowed those the Boston area, and those in the rest of the Bay State who might have been aware of the debate, the ability to view the candidates (albeit online).

    Note: Still waiting for the first public polls to appear.

    Tuesday, December 22, 2009

    Obama ends year with growing disapproval - Parker Griffith (D-AL) first to switch to GOP – Health Care Drives Debate

    According to Rasmussen ReportsDaily Presidential Tracking Poll, Obama’s approval rating has hit another low; with only 25% of respondents approving of the president’s job performance. Key among issues is the Health Care Reform Bill currently before the Senate; with a majority (55%) of American’s hardly enamored of the legislation.

    One of those, Rep. Parker Griffith, a Democrat Congressman from Alabama announced today that he would be switching to the GOP Politico broke the story earlier today:

    A radiation oncologist who founded a cancer treatment center, Griffith plans to blast the Democratic health care bill as a prime reason for his decision to switch parties—and is expected to cite his medical background as his authority on the subject.

    Griffith is one of many “Blue Dog” (fiscally conservative, pro-life) democrats who were recruited by Rham Emanuel in 2008 in order for the DNC to gain a majority in the house. Over the summer recess, many of these conservative Democrats heard from constituents who were not at all pleased with the plan to “reform” the nation’s health care system, reduce Medicare, increase Medicaid, and add trillions to an already bloated deficit.

    The Alabama GOP issued a press release noting the “pleasant surprise”. Griffith’s district had traditionally been held by a Democrat, but has trended Republican in the past few years. Should Obama with Reid and Pelosi continue to pursue a course of action that is clearly not palatable to the majority of American’s, those Senators and Congressmen who, like Nelson (NE) and Dodd (CT) signed on over the past weekend, will most likely be forced into early retirement. The question remains how many Democrats who are facing stiff GOP opposition in their states and districts will choose early retirement, and or a change in Party.

    Mass. Senate Seat Special Election - Next Coakley Brown Kennedy Debate Tonight 7PM on Boston

    The second debate for Candidates for U.S. Senate (Coakley, Brown and Kennedy) will be taped tonight at the Brighton studios of WBZTV Boston. The debate, which will be streamed live on WBZTV (here) will be broadcast on the 28th. Those interested in catching the debate can log on to WBZTV at 7:00 pm according to the website.

    Update Iran: With the Death of Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, how long can the current Regime Hold Sway?

    The Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri died this past Sunday. The cleric was part of the original revolution that brought the Ayatollah Khoemeni to power, and was Khoemeni’s first chioce as a replacmenet. Montazaeri declined, citing the every growing violence of the ruling clerics against their own people, and up though this last so-called election, Monatzeri was outspoken against the brutalities of the regime. During his funeral, Iranains were, once again, repressed by the regime , as police attacked mourners who came to pay their respect to the 87 year old cleric who was a lone voice of sanity in a nation ruled by violent, power hungry, old men.

    According to the Toronto Star analysts covering the situation in Iran, are calling Khamenei a “symbolic Leader”, one who’s time is fading, in face of a nation who no longer embraces Islam overall, but would prefer a more secular style government.. Those closing monitoring the situation are not certain what type of government will emerge. One has to understand that with any revolution or change in leadership in the middle east, the risks of a dictatorship are heightened, however, the Persian people overall are better educated, and understand the workings of a Democracy (having tasted the ability to vote, although in an election that was tainted), and would most likely move towards a more centrist and stabilized form of a Republic or Democracy. Should it take six month or several years, (age and time are not on the side of the mullahs), the world would be better served by a free Iran, one that would offer a stabilizing force in an area that has long had only one voice of reason in Israel. Adding a second Democracy, would present a boon to the area, in terms of peace as well as economics. It is also highly doubtful that a government run by the people of Iran would fund Hezbollah, who are the “hired guns” of the current Grand Ayatollah, and have been instrumental in brutalizing those who seek a Free Iran.

    Monday, December 21, 2009

    First MA US Senate Debate Abridged Transcript: Coakley, Brown and Kennedy - Analysis

    Tonight at 8PM, the candidates were in the studios of WBZ 1380 AM Boston for a conversation with host, Dan Rhea – Mr. Rhea began by noting that there would be no phone calls taken, and that it was scripted, “fair and balanced.” The following is an abridged version, as stated.

    The first question: “What makes you think you can be an effective Senator from Massachusetts?”

    Brown – thank you for having us into this discussion – the differences between me and Martha, (host: and Joe Kennedy) because I have consistently fought for fiscal restraint on Boston hill – Brown lists his issues (Host: what would make you effective?) I’m somebody that can be there fighting for the ordinary citizens of MA, the ones that are worried about paying the bills – Being a legislature, my 30 years of military experience, and owing my own business, give me the experience.

    Martha, because I have a record of being an effective leader, bringing both democrats and republics Together to get solutions done – I’ve had to deal with the economy and address health care reform, and address climate change in my positions as attorney general – bringing money back to Mass from Merrill Lynch – I have a record that says I’m going to get solutions, that are going to fix the problems

    Joe Kennedy – public life – more effective, as a virtual unknown – I've spent 17 years in the private sector and helped more than 4 dozen corporations get off the ground – I understand what difficulties small business faces
    Public sector experience, I don’t think it’s about that- jobs are created in the private sector and that’s what fuels the economy – Host: but you would have no party to affiliate with, if you are asking caucus, I would probably lean republican.

    Topic Health care

    Host – The Senate Version does not include a public option, not as restrictive on abortion – Martha, I’m not accusing you of flip-flopping but, are you tailoring you message – running to the left in the primary and getting out to the right?

    Health care – get people insured, and to keep costs down – I’m disappointed in the Senate bill, but it does a lot of good stuff, though provides coverage for children

    Host: it’s weaker – from your perspective?

    Less effective – the goal of reform should be getting people covered and bringing costs down, it’s an effective first step – if that’s the case then I would support this bill.
    This is a bill I would support and vote for, not just to move it among.

    The Senate version – Not in any way shape or form for the health care bill as it exists; I would spend my time, trying to repeal this bill.
    (Kennedy –this new health care bill is similar to what Romney Care does, but it does not address the cost – and this bill just expands coverage

    Brown: I don’t’ think the bill will be cast before then, wither it’s Martha or me, I would vote no – during the primary Martha took a principled position, but she has already abandoned her principle, but I would not vote it, it will cut half a trillion dollars from Medicare, effecting jobs in Massachusetts, I don’t know why people would vote for it in Washington ,and if I go down there, the first thing I’ll look for is this bill good for Massachusetts and it’s not.

    Martha, we took that approach with private health care and get people insured and then we would address costs, we have about 90 to 98% covered and now we’ll address that, we really don’t know what health care costs, and the national piece that allows the competition to bring costs down, including that we agreed going forward that there would be a Hyde amendment,federal dollars would not be used to fund abortion – not I’m talking about the senate bill – if the Stupak amendment gets in the bill she would vote against it.

    Martha (brown interruption) it’s funding, mandates and how to get the bill out? – We have a good bill, why would we throw it out – this bill is just not good for the people who live here– in a 2nd year recession.

    Moderator to Kennedy:
    How many of your signatures were secured by professional help?

    About 68% -

    Moderator: I don’t think that any non-party candidate – both of your opponents have long records of public service and are highly qualified, are you qualified to run for the senate or for the school committee –

    Kennedy: the document I’m holding – the constitution, was not meant that the public sectors are career politicians – with all respect to Scott (who took a term limit pledge)

    Host: I would not categorize either one as career politicians
    Although Joe Kennedy is a member of the libertarian party – he is designated as an independent - a member of the Liberty party

    What’ more important the environment or the economy?

    Brown – both – the cap and trade scheme is not good for businesses – we need to take an approach , with wind, solar, - well, we need to get off our dependence of foreign oil – it’s also tied into our economy – if you look at health care the economy and the expiring tax cuts, there’s so many things that are going to affect the people, how are they going to pay the bills – how is Martha going to tell the people they have to pay for that?

    Coakley: As attorney general I wear a lot of different acts, I worked over the last three years, as we look at large utilities that want increases, we have been very proactive to make sure we provide clean and effective energy –we are concerned about the environment – Scott acts as if there is not a climate change issue, so, if you think there is a climate change issue, you have to work on I t- we’re going to work in new England…

    Moderator: Your convinced – more global warming or climate change,

    Martha – they are interchangeable

    Moderator: Financial Times in Canada had a piece saying you have to get the population under control, 9 billion 10 billion - in order to control global warming

    Martha – that may be but, we have to do something - like the Boxer bill, that companies reduce their energy down – by 20% -

    Brown – I said the climate is always changing – is it man made or is it factors that happen naturally I want to make sure that we get scientific data so that we understand it perfectly – I worked for Reggie and we were sold a bill of goods, and I made a mistake and I admit it – I would not do that in Washington, under this home workers would pay an extra $1700 dollars a year for energy –

    Why is the president doing this – then?

    Kennedy: you have to address issues that are important the problem is that we have to control the dollar if we don’t and the dollar collapses, we can’t do anything about global warming – if we take away our dependence on foreign oil we’re in the black.

    Host: Afghanistan – surge huge issue, republicans criticized Obama for taking so long – he wants to send 30,000 troops, Martha you disagree what do you know what Obama doesn’t know.

    Coakley: I might be open to changing my mind, taking into consideration what I don’t know – I just don’t believe that 30000 troops in this period of time, a mission that is directed in keeping us safe, costs 30 billion dollars a year, how much is the commitment -? What I think and why.... but I believe that this is an issue that is expensive, and we have been sending our troops over, 3 or 5 times a year, I think we should be focused on Al Qaeda and Pakistan.

    Brown, 30 years in the military – I agree with the President and I didn’t criticize when he took his time, my fear is that the Al Qaeda will use Pakistan - Martha was right it costs, but there was a trillion dollars in a day on that stimulus, so what about those costs?

    Moderator: Bringing our people home – how do you define finishing the job?

    Brown: Finishing the job is to insure that the al-Qaida and Taliban do not restore bases, first thing – and they are using civilians as shields, you mentioned Bin Laden, and she mentioned she’d like to support the trials in New York, instead of spending the money on our soldiers.

    (Martha, its attorney general holders position, but it’s a good decision)

    Brown to Coakley are we going to Mirandize Bin Laden and give him a big show for al Qaeda?

    Coakley: Scott's going to be in Afghanistan for ever –

    Brown: Dan with all due respect I think it’s not accurate it’s disingenuous as her president in her own party made this position.

    Joe Kennedy – I’m a non-interventionist, I don’t think we should be in Iran or Iraq, but we need to put a thoughtful plan in place bring troops home, it’s a war that’s expensive, that we should not be in and we can’t afford, and I trust the Pakistan government.

    Barack Obama gave himself a B Plus - Scott what grade would you give him

    Brown: I think he has been faced with some interesting challenges, I think he’s done a wonderful job with N. Korea, a c plus, because I’m afraid of the stimulus and tax bills – there’s a trillion on the table

    Martha: all the problems that Obama is facing are coming from the Bush administration – we had to sue the environmental agency would not address health care reform, and an economic mess– he gets an "A" for effort – that’s because Republicans have said we would not allow the president to do anything

    Kennedy: I give him a d plus – the Bush administration did a bad thing to our economy of course the war mongering

    Supreme Court nominees: President Obama praised chief justice Roberts and then voted against him because of roe vs. wade Do you have a litmus test?

    Martha: I would vote for qualifications – look at the records I would be hard pressed to – abortion – if someone did not support roe vs. wade, I would not vote for them

    Joe Kennedy – roe versus wade cannot be overturned, I would not nominate someone who would overturn it

    Brown, as a Boston College graduate, I would look at qualifications I want to be sure someone is not going to be legislating from the bench – we all support roe vs. wade, I’m against partial birth abortion and she’s not, and she’s in favor of lowering parental consent –
    Martha, Emily’s list supporters have endorsed you – does that mean she supports late term abortion?

    Coakley: yes, I do – There are circumstances in which it’s legal – I don’t support it for convenience.

    Kennedy: Federal funding for abortions, I am against federal funding for abortions, but I’m adopted and when you are adopted, the abortion is.. - I support roe vs. wade, because it is the federal government - federal funding I don’t – it should not happen. Pro-choice should mean pro-choice, if they go into Planned Parenthood, they go straight for an abortion, but they do not get another choice, in today’s educational system, they are taught to go to Planned Parenthood first.

    Moderator: Joe – quick question, in your opinion, Joe, if you became a United States senator what is the top marginal rate be for income tax.

    I am against income tax – the goal would be zero – to eliminate the income tax, the 16th amendment – was incorrectly ratified – but the point is you can’t put it back, but if you can get it down to 20 to25 % I’d be happier.

    Scott Brown, the rates are high now, and the bush tax cuts are going to expire, that’s going to be an increase, I would do a 5 to 7 percent reduction in the current rates, from 35 to 30% - an across the board, every man woman and child, the marriage penalty will come back, we will have no more child tax credits

    Coakley: I support a tax policy that will allow for the middle class so that they can keep more money in their public, the bush tax cut was beneficial to the top 2% - I have said, that part of the bush tax cuts expire for the top two percent, the conversation was around the piece, there were other benefits that the president supports – that he may extend – if Scott says Martha this or Martha that I want to have a chance to answer my own questions – the reason we have to address this mess, is because of Bush failed policy – top tax rate should be 35 to 40%

    As noted this is an abridged version of the debate: Overall, the addition of Kennedy in the debate gave Brown an opportunity over Coakley. Many of the anti-war and Bush Syndrome language from Brown will sit well with those Democrats looking for an alternative. Brown had a slight edge over Coakley, she appeared somewhat flustered when Brown brought up statements she had made during the Democrat debates – and accused him of attacking her, overall she was the left of Kennedy candidate, and Brown came off as a moderate Republican.

    Brown, Coakley & Kennedy Preliminary Debate Schedule for Mass. Senate Special Election – Coakley concedes to Two Debates.

    According to the Boston GlobeMartha Coakley, Democrat running to fill the Massachusetts vacant U.S. senate seat, has agreed to two debates. The first on the Dan Rea show, WBZ AM, Monday (tonight?) at 8PM and the second to the held on WBZ TV and steamed live on the website, (for those who live in the rest of the state). The WBZTV debate will be taped, and then broadcast on a Sunday morning. These debates will include the Libertarian Candidate, Joe Kennedy.
    Coakley and Brown have been invited to debate on several news organizations, including WCVB on January 10th at 10. A.M (shown locally and then simulcast nationally on CNN), as well as a January 11th debate sponsored by the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. The Boston Globe along with NECN, WGBH and WBUR has also invited the candidates to debate on January 6th. Coakley has yet to accept any additional invitations.

    Apparently, Ms. Coakely refuses to debate unless Kennedy is included – analysts have offered several theories regarding Coakley aversion to debates, including – using this tactic to avoid debating Brown one on one, believing that if Kennedy is included in the debate, it will serve two purposes, one to allow those viewing the debate to see Kennedy and understand that he is not related to the Senator (although, the fact that Mr. Kennedy is running as a Libertarian may be the first clue), and second, in order to use the clock to her advantage, giving both Brown and Kennedy the opportunity to be drawn into one on one de bates, allowing her to sit it out. On the flip side, Coakley could be asking for the third party candidate to be included for the sake of Democracy – third party candidates rarely make a difference in the overall vote, especially in Massachusetts where it can be anticipated a third party candidate will draw approximately 6% of the electorate. That said the avoidance of debates with Brown, specifically any that are televised to the state and the nation, gives the impression that perhaps Ms. Coakley can’t stand the heat in the proverbial kitchen. It is hoped that Ms. Coakley will accept both the WCVB, Kennedy Institute and Globe debates; as those three would allow the citizens of Massachusetts an opportunity to make an informed decision as to who they would prefer in the race. Limiting a race of this import news organizations that few of the Commonwealth’s voters are able to access, may appear to some like a smart move, but it may also be an opportunity lost.

    Coakley bears the additional burden of being a woman running in Massachusetts, a state that is not overly gung-ho when it comes to electing women. The last woman to run for a major office was Kerry Healy in the 2006 gubernatorial race. Several factors contributed to Healey’s loss: negative campaigning, a bad party brand (Republican) and the fact that she was a woman. The addition of the third party candidate, Christy Mihos, only accounted for 6% of the vote, making little to no difference in the Healy loss.

    Coakley is facing the same, although this is Massachusetts, the Democrat brand is now tarnished (Afghanistan, Health Care, Cap and Trade, etc., etc.), and although the President maintains unusually high favorable ratings (compared to the balance of the nation), the policies do not. Secondly, although neither Brown nor Coakley has released one television or radio ad since winning the primary, should Coakley’s ads smack of negativity towards Brown, it may not play as well as hoped.
    Coakley, is viewed as the frontrunner based solely on Massachusetts Democrat voter registration (36% of the voters), she must appeal to that 51% of the electorate who are designated unenrolleds. As of this writing, it is anyone’s game – Coakley has the backing of the SEIU, as well as the DNC, and of course, the endorsement of former president Bill Clinton, which will play well with registered Democrats. Brown, has been taking advantage of the press, (set up Google alerts for both Brown and Coakley – the results are interesting to say the least), and, and is now featured prominently on the front page of the National Republican Senatorial Committee with a link to a Boston Globe article featuring his post primary video "Daughters Know Best".

    As of this morning, there is no information on the WBZ AM website as to the debate, however WBZTV 38 Boston via Keller’s Blog, has the debates air times along with an opportunity to submit questions for all three candidates. (Of note: a poll is offered on the Keller’s site regarding who one might choose as of today. Total respondents: 126, with Brown taking 81%. This is hardly scientific, but mentioned due to the minimal reach offered by the medium. ) One would hope that equal time would be given to all three candidates, including Ms. Coakley, in order to allow those capable of viewing these debates the ability to make an informed decision. Of course, it would also be hoped that the balance of those who would cast a vote in this special election, have the opportunity to view one of these debates, CNN would do the trick.

    Friday, December 18, 2009

    Can Howard Dean Save the DNC? – Dean Possible 2012 Candidate as a Growing number of Congressional Retirements Announced.

    Howard Dean, former Governor of the State of Vermont, is not in favor of the current “rush” to push a health care bill through Congress, specifically if it does not include a public option see Deans PAC Democracy For America (here). Dean, was responsible for Vermont’s Current Public Option, one which, has not fare as well as Dean had hoped. Dean’s main concern is that the current bill in the Senate favors the insurance companies, and will do nothing more than raise premiums, without a public option in place.

    That said, no-one really knows what is contained in the Bill, as Harry Reid’s version has yet to hit the Senate Floor and is unlikely to do so until Christmas Eve. The new Reid/Pelosi Strategy to push the Obama administration agenda, is to literally hold members of Congress hostage until they vote on what-ever is hidden in the 10 ton bills that are thrown at them, with no time to even peruse 10 pages let alone thousands. The point, Obama promised health care reform, and we’ll deliver, no matter what it costs and no matter how bad a plan it may be, in order to “make history”.

    In an era where making mistake after mistake appears to be the norm, and the likelihood of a second Obama term is growing less probable by the day, Dean has been positioned as a possible candidate for 2012.. He’ll face some company in that primary, as Hillary Clinton is now polling at a 75% approval rating - Clinton understands that the Administration is in deep trouble when Gallop recently announced that 44% of American’s would like to see Bush back in office. Those polls may indicate more than a bit of buyer’s remorse. Clinton, who, by all rights, should have been the standard bearer for the DNC in 2008 - (after all, she did have the popular vote,with the exception of the votes of Pelosi and her daughter, pushing the super-delegate vote in favor of Obama – no sisterhood there) would, be able to trump Obama handily in any future matchups. The problem that Dean and Clinton face is a steep decline in the value of the Democrat stock – brand gone bad, so much so that over twelve congressional representatives are seeking retirement, rather than face the music in their home districts – an article here "Democrats Heading for the Exits”,from the new ledger, is a quick, prophetic read. It was precisely this mix of public disgust, and bloated bills that allowed the GOP to sweep into power in 1994. Can Howard Dean or Hillary Clinton save the party in time for 2012? It now appears unlikely, even at this early date, the Ghost of Carter’s programs past, will make it almost impossible for the Party to recover. That said Dean and Clinton would be fine standard bearers for the next available round. It makes political sense to begin to position now – in order to start rebuilding the brand.

    Dean appears to have taken the first steps in doing so, by actively criticizing the administration and being furiously rebuffed by White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs who called Dean “irrational” for opposing the version of the senate bill. That was when Dean shot back with a quip regarding his less than enthusiastic future support for one Obama.

    One would bet that the war of words would be won by Dean, who was responsible for the Democrats rise to power with his 50 state plan,and therefore understands politics a bit better than those junior politicians currently in charge of the White House. As to congress, Pelosi and Reid (and a host of characters), appear to be pushing for speed, rather than accuracy, in order to either make themselves look good (see 154 billion dollar job creation fiasco in the making), or to make history (health care reform that has huge price tag and unknown results) for the sake of Obama. Dean, as a party elder, who knows a thing or two, (even should one not agree with Dean in principal), understands one thing more than any other, if the powers that currently be, do not reign in spending and produce reasonable and responsible legislation, it will be the undoing of the Party.

    Thursday, December 17, 2009

    154 Billion Dollar “Job Creation” Packages Narrowly Passes House – Pelosi Pins Democrats 2010 Hopes on Jimmy Carter Strategy.

    Nancy Pelosi hopes 150 Billion Dollar Job Stimulus will Save Congressional Jobs - including her own - image

    From Bloomberg: The House narrowly passed a bill authorizing 154 billion dollars in additional debt for a job creation package yesterday. The vote, (roll call here) was 218 for, 214 against, on a Bill that is designed to extend unemployment benefits, maintain jobs in the public sector and “create” jobs through construction projects that are hoped to be ready for 2010.

    Flashback to the 1977 Job Creation “Stimulus” Package that Jimmy Carter and his comrades in Congress pushed through in roughly the same fashion. Carter’s plan called for spending 30 Billion (1977), and included a scheme to create 800,000 jobs over a two year period. Yes, jobs were created, however, so was an unsustainable rate of inflation that broke the back of the middle class – it was deemed “the misery index” and included of all things, tax cuts, to those earning the least (or those who would be entitled to full refunds regardless).

    30 years later, Democrats are praying that this new plan works. House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, needs a boost as falling poll numbers indicate that she may be either demoted or retired in 2010, along with a good percentage of her “flock”. An article in Politico indicates that several of Nancy Pelosi’s troops are announcing retirements (Brian Baird (D-WA), at a time when she is convinced that if the White House and Congress can boost the economy in any way it would affect “job creation” (or saved jobs) in Congress. Nancy calls this “full campaign mode”. In other words, if the people believe that jobs are will be created, and hopefully ignore the increased debt ceiling (which will have to be paid back by – the taxpayers at some point over several generations – unless tax cuts, generous tax cuts, are put into place and there is complete halt to more government programs) and happily vote the incumbents back into office.

    Nancy is taking a risk in that the public is ready to party like its 1979 – with or without a Ronald Reagan. Should this bill sustain those public sector jobs, and extend unemployment benefits, while putting a road construction plan into place, it may indeed save and create jobs, but the risk of increasing inflation as the dollar is weak at present is palpable. (Increasing the debt ceiling will only shove it further down the proverbial latrine.) While the rank and file begin to pay $10.99 for a pound of hamburger, and wonder how they will make ends meet, (inflation!), the blame is going to be planted squarely on the shoulders of those who voted “yea”. Those who did not, including 40 some odd “blue dog” democrats (those who know their jobs are on the line), are hoping that the Democrat Brand is not so tainted that they lose their seats by virtue of association.

    To Recap, in order to try and save their political hides, the Democrats in Congress (and assuming the White House) put the country’s already diminished fiscal health at great risk by creating a job creation/stimulus package, ramming it through the House (which, incidentally happened exactly that way under Carter, and historically failed) – just in time to “look good” for the 2010 elections. Words fail those who cannot comprehend the lack of common sense, and lack of understanding in general of the basic of our economy, that have been displayed by this Congress, who, since 2006, has done nothing but drag our nation further downward – not for love of country or some misguided ideology, rather for self-interest.

    Recommended Interesting website: Teabombs Worth a visit. The premise: individuals create accounts which allow them to vote for incumbents with less than savory records (Nancy Pelosi is currently leading the pack), they can then vote for their challengers as well. The end result, those who “win” – will be targeted – by funds given to the challenger in order to bolster their campaign. Currently, Pelosi is in first place, followed by Boxer and the infamous Barney Frank, Harry Reid, Chris Dodd, Charlie Rangel, Maxine Waters, Arlin Specter and Sheila Jackson Lee round out the top ten. The top three challengers: Liz Carter (vs. Hank Johnson, GA), John Dennis (vs. Nancy Pelosi) and Earl Sholley (vs. Barney Frank). If one thinks that this is a partisan website, think again, Republican’s who have exhibited less than stellar fiscal records can be found amongst the incumbents listed. That said this may be predictive of those in the top 10, as far as job preservation and creation are concerned.

    Wednesday, December 16, 2009

    Massachusetts Public School - Drawing Jesus Christ Crucified May Result in Mandatory Psychological Evaluation.

    8 year old rendition of Christ on Cross - image Washington Post

    Taunton Massachusetts: The first reports came from the Taunton Gazette - an eight year old was asked to do a drawing about the meaning of Christmas, he drew Christ Crucified, and the result – removal from the school and a mandatory psychological evaluation. Apparently, the teacher (those who must report on any situation where a child may be at risk) considered the drawing too violent. Subsequently, in this teachers mind, alarms went off and all proverbial Hades broke loose.

    Christ Crucified - artistic rendering - image

    This situation was considered so bizarre, that it has made national headlines via the Associated Press. The parents wish to remove the son from the school, where he was so traumatized for being punished for drawing a picture of Jesus during a class assignment on Christmas, that during the interrogation, he told the authorities that the picture was a self-portrait. (Fear of using Jesus name the cause.) .

    Now the Taunton School district is fighting back on a technicality - the boy was not suspended, rather he was not allowed to return to school until he underwent a psychological exam

    The eight year old, lacking certain artistic skills, drew x’s instead of eyes on the portrait of Jesus; this is what unnerved the teacher (so alleged by the school). There should be two courses taught to educators prior to them being able to go near children: one, a class on art and the limitations of those who may not be Michelangelo, and the second, a class on World Religion, including Christianity and its symbols. These in particular so that when faced with a Christian holiday, certain Christen symbols would not be so alien that an unnecessary visit to the shrink could be avoided. (Not to mention tons of bad press.)

    Worth listening - From WRKO – The Howie Carr Show – Discussion on Taunton Teacher and School District action and policy regarding violence in Christianity.

    Tuesday, December 15, 2009

    Obama – Poll – A Meager 24% Strongly Approve of Presidents Performance – The import of 2010 Congressional internal polls – why the GOP May be Gleeful.

    Somethings Up - image reeks of science

    Rasmussen’s”Daily Presidential Tracking Report” now has the Presidents overall job approval rating of 44% - or at “least 44% of the respondent “somewhat approve” of his performance. The worrisome number is the 42% who strongly disapprove, with a total “somewhat disapproving” at 55% - these are some of the lowest poll numbers to date.

    Those numbers are roughly falling into line with former President George W. Bush, at a time when those who were on the campaign trail (challengers and incumbents alike), did their best to avoid the President – polls can and do paint a toxic picture (depending upon interpretation) of the state of any political challenge.

    One has to assume that by the mid-year 2010, should these numbers not improve, those incumbent Democrats who are facing jubilant Conservative or Republican candidates, may not wish to include the President on the campaign Trail. Early indicators of results; Virginia and New Jersey, where the President, Vice President and anyone with high administration credentials spent a good deal of time attempting to rally the troops – with the end result of two significant losses. Special elections held at the same time were hardly blow-outs for the DNC, with margins well below what they should have been given the Democrat registration in California’s 10th. The New York 23rd was a circus, with the Republican pulling out days before the election and endorsing the Democrat over the Conservative Party candidate. That Republican still received votes, perhaps not enough to have pushed a decision in favor of the Conservative, but the results were so close, it was definitely no mandate.

    In races across the country, in places known best for being firmly in Democrat hands, challengers have risen out of the Republican so-called “ashes” to take on some of the highest profile Democrats available. These Republican/Conservative challengers are coming to a "knife fight with a gun", tech savvy and ready – and yet, somehow, all seats are considered “safe” Democrat (most media).

    In Massachusetts, the Special Senate Election sees Martha Coakley, the Democrat frontrunner, doing her best to frustrate the debate process – going too far as to make a tactical (depending upon point of view) error of asking to include the Libertarian Candidate. The theory being bandied about – Internal polls show Brown, the Republican, more than capable of taking that seat.

    Over in the 4th Congressional District, Barney Frank has been raising funds and spending a good deal of time in his district. Frank is facing multiple challengers for his seat; both from Republicans and Democrats. One campaign sees a somewhat lackluster Republican challenger strangely optimistic – it has been rumored that even several Democrats volunteered to help in their internal polling - Apparently, Frank’s seat, besides his war chest and his visits to the 4th, is not particularly “Safe”.

    Hampden’s second, where an almost invisible Richard Neal (D) faces an interesting candidate in Northampton Doctor, Jay Fleitman. Flietman is also upbeat – which is not the norm for the Massachusetts Republican. The norm has been, last minute candidates, entering late and finishing last.

    Unless a miracle occurs in both Nevada and Connecticut, both Harry Reid and Chris Dodd, will be retired in 2010. Regardless of what candidate either man faces, they are being outpolled. Polls from these particular races, among others, can be found combined at Real Clear Politics where the red so far outnumbers the blue on the plus side, that it has Biblical overtones. (Speaking of which: See James Dobson Focus on the Family plan for 2010 – 2012 here You Tube Video 2007)

    What of the Speaker, Ms. Pelosi? Yes, Virginia, there is trouble in San Francisco – although this race has been kept (so far) off the radar, a challenger to Nancy Pelosi, has risen from the Bay Area, one very confident, Republican, John Dennis.

    2010 the year of Show me the Money

    Enter the much dismissed and despised by Washington; those “Tea Party” and “9-12” groups. These particular groups are not only vocal but raising money hand or fist to support candidates based mainly on economic issues – or those who aren’t fond of increasing the federal debt and taxing the people to the third and fourth generation. Additionally, they are not trained activists, union members bussed to an event, but the rank and file voter – your neighbor, your aunt, the guy next door – who simply has had enough – which makes them a bit more formidable than one would assume. A recent article in Politico tells the story Conservatives Grab For Tea Party Cash Those conservative (some Republican, some Independent candidates - see Hoffman in the NY 23rd) are looking at additional funding – between both major parties, and the PACS (let us not forget Emily’s List and, the SEIU and the Federal Employees Unions who are raising money hand over fist (the unions on the backs of its employees) it is estimated that spending on political ads will rival that of 2008.

    The question that must be asked, however, is how much money does it take to win or lose an election, especially if the voters have had enough?

    Polls at this point, it should be noted, are used more for strategy by competing camps rather than as a voter’s guideline – those will come later in the year: for example should Reid and Dodd, still be trailing by double digits in September - then a new House may be in order. Both Pelosi and Frank, who have had remarkably easy re-election campaigns in the past, may be in for the ride of their political careers. Although, again, too early to call anything, should one see the President’s numbers remain the same through summer 2010, and the aforementioned avoiding him like the political plague, and then end up losing to Conservatives (again draw a distinction), the handwriting will be on the wall – for 2012.

    Monday, December 14, 2009

    MA Special Senate Election - Martha Coakley (D), Asks That Libertarian Party Candidate Be Included In Any Debates – Will This Help or Hurt Coakley?

    The primary had barely ended, when calls for debates between the two front-runners, Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Scott Brown began. One of the debate invitations includes a simulcast on CNN, which would allow all Bay State Residents the option of watching the debate. Brown immediately accepted, while Coakley sat back a day or two before offering a compromise. Coakley has askedthat the Libertarian Candidate, Joe Kennedy be included in any debates.

    On the face of it, Coakley request appears to be one of inclusion and fairness, that said, that said, analysts from the Boston Globe suggest that the inclusion of Kennedy would make it easier for Coakley in the long-run – the argument, Brown would have a difficult time standing out in a three way primary where the Libertarian Candidate may peel votes away from Brown.

    The Boston Herald wasted no time in pointing out that Coakley had declined to debate a GOP opponent when she ran for Attorney General in 2006. During the primary debates, Coakley was chastised by her opponent, Rep. Capuano, for skipping a debate, and during one debate she did attend, a remark she made regarding foreign policy drew national comparisons to Sarah Palin. Palin who said (paraphrasing) that in certain places in Alaska one can actually see Russia (which is true) was parodied on Saturday Night Live as having said “I can see Russia from My House”. Coakley, when asked about her foreign policy experience, drew on the fact that she had a sister who lives overseas – thus the comparison and the handwriting on the wall.

    Martha Coakley may not want to debate in equal time, due to the fact that what she may say might end up on the front page of the Globe or Herald in negative terms. One will then, most likely get a full treatment of how she wore her hair, with a full critique of her dress.

    The candidates, in real terms, offer the voters some difference, but that’s where it ends. Brown, the Republican, is a moderate, who has worked tirelessly for women and children’s rights during his Mass. Senate Tenure. He is known to work across the aisle to accomplish something that would benefit his constituent. He has the experience in the Senate. Coakley, as Attorney General, has her back-ground as the State’s leading crime fighter, which also comes with some baggage, as she can be considered a Beacon Hill “insider”. Enter the Libertarian: Joe Kennedy, whose name recognition alone, regardless of the fact that newspapers are quick to point out there is “no relation between Kennedy and “The Kennedy’s”, those that do not subscribe or read the Globe and/or Herald, may think otherwise. In addition, looking at policy, as a Libertarian, he believes in free markets, personal freedoms, and to change foreign policy decisions that have “hurt our reputation” (shades of Bush), he supports same sex marriage, and he is for wholesale marijuana (state by state) use, to include personal use and the ability to farm. He is for a woman’s right to choose, in other words he supports abortion, and, although not in support of the current Health Care Plan before the Senate – Kennedy appears to be somewhat of a liberal as to personal freedoms (as are most Libertarians) and closer to Coakley in political think than to Brown.

    Brown is is for tax cuts, enforcement of immigrations laws, support of Veterans, in support of Gun Owners rights, sees Marriage as between a man and a woman, and leaves it to the States to decide, and finally on abortion, he is taking that same tactic, although he would like to see abortions reduced, is against Partial Birth Abortion, and for parental notification.

    Coakley's Issues - begin with her promise to work tirelessly for the Presidents Health Care initiative. She goes on to equate equal rights with the right to an abortion (a different take) and is against the war in Afghanistan, yet supports the President in all decisions.

    In retrospect, there are fewer differences between Coakley and Kennedy than Brown, and any disenfranchised Democrats, who may not want to pull the lever for a Republican, will certainly have no qualms about voting for a Libertarian, especially one who has a branded political name. Brown as a moderate will appeal to those independents that have sent Republicans to the Governor’s office on more than one occasion. In calling for a three-way debate, Coakley's intent may have been, as noted in the Globe, to drive voters away from Brown to Kennedy, thereby giving her the advantage. However, when one breaks down the issues, adds in name recognition that is almost like a drug to Massachusetts Democrats, then Martha may be doing herself a disservice.

    The election itself and the outcome on the 19th will come down to three factors, regardless of the debate, should the National GOP mount a defensive in Massachusetts – (there have been several indications this is the case) Brown will have an advantage, and the team with the strongest grassroots organization (again Brown) will stand in better stead, specifically if the weather is inclement. Finally, should the voters in the Commonwealth, specifically those Democrats who are going to the polls, get beyond their distaste of electing women to offices higher than Attorney General, while having the option to vote for a Kennedy, Coakley may end up going the way of Shannon O’Brien (lost to Romney). The next four weeks should be of interest, watch for increased advertising from Brown and Coakley, the debates (should they occur given Coakley record of avoidance), and the usual polls from Suffolk University.

    Friday, December 11, 2009

    Will Massachusetts Go The Way of Kentucky? Kentucky State Senate Special Election, Republican Wins by 12 Points, Despite 2 to 1 Democrat Advantage

    Kentucky’s state special electionslast Tuesday resulted in two wins for Republican’s, on in the 96th district and one for State Senate in the 14th District. The State Senate Race generated greater interest in that the District was thought to be firmly in Democrat control, (Kentucky Sec. of State)with a 2 to 1 voter margin favoring the DNC. In addition, the Democrat, Jodi Hayden outspent the Republican candidate, Jimmy Higdon, focusing on job creation, while Higdon used the threat of nationalized health care and invoked the name of Nancy Pelosi – which appeared to be enough to push the district in his favor. Meanwhile, in the 96th State Congressional District, Jill York, Republican Candidate, won the seat over Democrat, Barry Webb. This is also of import due to the fact that Ms. York, is the first Republican to hold that seat in over a decade, where Registered Democrats also outnumber Republicans(Kentucky Secretary of State).

    According to the blog ”The Hill”: Kentucky Democrats blamed the losses on the fact that National Issues were made the focus – so what of the Massachusetts special U.S. Senate election? After all, Massachusetts is not Kentucky – Massachusetts is seen as a northern “liberal” state (if not the most liberal), and Kentucky, a southern state, whereby most southern states are thought to be Republican strongholds. Historically, the opposite was true, the southern states being firmly in Democrat hands until the later part of the 20th century, with Republican’s (abolitionist) dominating northern states. As hearts and minds changed and the focus shifted from civil rights to labor, the Democrats picked up advantages in the north and established a stronghold in Massachusetts.

    With that in mind, by all accounts, Democrat Martha Coakley should handily defeat the Republican candidate Scott Brown, simply because Democrats hold a majority status in the state. (In Massachusetts registered Democrats making up 30 plus percent of the voters, while Republicans are at approximately 11%). In addition, Coakley is expected to far outspend Brown in the short time leading up to the January 19th special election.

    All politics are local

    That said Coakley had been running ads up to the Democrat Primary last Tuesday, ads that promised she would go to Washington and do the President’s bidding; specifically voting for Health Care Reform. This message resonated well with the Massachusetts base – but both parties are far outnumbered by a larger force in Massachustts Politics: the unenrolleds voter which makes up the majority (50 plus percent) of registered voters in the Bay State. There are several polls on the subject, with the latest coming from CBS: noting that American’s support the Government option and, on top of that, they are willing to pay higher taxes to make this happen. Other polls, however, appear to contradict the CBS poll, With the latest polls showing that support for the administration’s health care plan has fallen to to 36 percent. Who to believe? Ask newly elected Kentucky Senate Senator, Jimmy Higdon.

    In order for Coakley to win this particular election, she will have to hope that the majority of the State Electorate is of like mind – that the unenrolled voter is firmly behind the President. If not, then Brown, regardless of a disparity in Republican and Democrat registration, and a smaller “war chest”, will make history as the first Republican to hold a U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts since the early 1970’s. Contrast and Compare the ads below to give a hint of what’s to come. All politics being local, Kentucky and Massachusetts may have more in common than one would think.

    Martha Coakley on the Need for Strong Public Option

    Scott Brown on Fiscal Responsibility

    Scott Brown on Kennedy’s Tax Cuts

    Thursday, December 10, 2009

    Boston Globe Paints MA. Special Senate Election Candidate Coakley in Poor Light, Bolsters Republican Scott Brown – Massachusetts and Women - Analysis

    In what some might consider a departure for the Globe, an article entitled
    “Divergent strategies for Brown, Coakley”, “Senator takes aim; AG looks past him”, appears to have been written with an eye towards straight reporting – giving quotes from both contenders for the seat, as well as those who are supporting Coakley.

    The article begins by noting that there are stark differences between the two candidates, which is an understatement. The interesting quips that follow:

    “Brown, a state senator from Wrentham, signaled he would go after the attorney general with everything he had. She indicated she would do all she could to ignore him.”

    Coakley, after a press event with her vanquished primary rivals, retired to her campaign headquarters in Charlestown, seeing no need to hit the trail on her first day as the Democratic nominee.

    Reading these two line, one can surmise that Coakley, confident of victory, sees no need to work for the votes of Massachusetts – she comes off as more arrogant, smug, than self-assured. The article follows-up with a quote from Rep. Capuano, who was Coakley’s chief competitor in the primary:

    “There is no way in hell we’re going to elect a Republican to Ted Kennedy’s seat,’’ US Representative Michael E. Capuano, Coakley’s chief primary rival, said at the unity event in the Kennedy Room of the Omni Parker House. “Period.’’

    Perhaps Mr. Capuano has forgotten, but it is the people who elect public officials, and the U.S. Senate seat belongs to no one, and no party, rather, the people. Although Capuano made the statement, the general tone of arrogance and dismissal continues, and the majority of the article is focused on what Brown plans to do, and what he has done in the short time since the votes were tallied on Tuesday night. The focus on Coakley less in volume and continues to show her as dismissive.
    Towards the end of the article, the Globe reports that two organizations have invited both candidates to debate, one of which will be televised nationally on CNN (given the high profile of the race). The Globe reports that Brown immediately agreed to both debates, while Coakley did not. The writer follows with this quote from Coakley:

    “We know we’ll be debating,’’ Coakley said. “We look forward to debates with him.’’

    In this instance it appears that Brown is eager to debate Coakley, immediately accepting both invitations to debate, while Coakley is again, dismissive.
    What this article does, is to draw Coakley as an “indiffernt, arrogant woman”, while Brown is shown as more of a programmatic man. Although not in agreement with Coakley’s platform, as it is standard Democrat Party line, while Brown is preferred due to an Independent (verifiable) record, what is of concern is the possibility of subsequent articles appearing using adjectives such as “shrill”! This followed by a critique of Ms. Coakley’s attire, while addressing issues that affect her platform as an afterthought. Coakley has already experienced this type of press: during a debate with her Democrat Rivals in the primary, noted that she had foreign policy experience because she has a sister living in Europe (paraphrasing), which led to more than one “Palin comparison”. Massachusetts history should keep Coakley on defense – the Commonwealth has yet to send a woman to an office higher than a U.S. Congressional seat.

    The Globe piece may have painted an accurate portrait of Coakley – she is after all the perceived frontrunner, given her cash on hand, and the fact that in most instances Massachusetts voters choose a Democrat over a Republican, therefore, she would feel not need to be out campaigning, nor a need to rush into any debates; as it is being reported by most press (based on Massachusetts history and cash on hand) that she is a “shoe-in” so to speak. That said, since the 2008 general election, women, beginning with Hillary Clinton, followed by Sarah Palin, have experienced the press as anti-woman; basically telling both women; yes, you have talents, but no you’re not ready to compete with the “boys”. It would be fair to give the public an accurate portrait, based solely on issues, one hopes that is what will occur in the weeks leading up to the election on January 19th.

    Read the full Globe article here

    Wednesday, December 09, 2009

    It’s Official - Martha Coakley (D) and Scott Brown (R) Win in Mass. Special U.S. Senate Election Primary. Brown has backing of the GOP. Analysis

    Massachusetts voters will go to the polls on the 19th of January to choose the next U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. The seat is currently being held by Paul Kirk, an aide to Ted Kennedy, who held the seat for decades until his death in August. Kirk was chosen by Deval Patrick as an interim replacement in order to insure that the Democrat Party held onto their 60 seat margin in the Senate. Martha Coakley the Democrat frontrunner in a 4 way primary, is intent on going to Washington to further President Obama’s “agenda”. Scott Brown, according to the Boston Globe, has placed the Mass. GOP back in the spotlight, and interesting perspective to say the least.

    Brown, who has a strong grassroots organization has the full support of the Mass. GOP, which, on occasion, will front a candidate with strong credentials and a better than average chance of winning an office. Jennifer Nassour, Massachusetts Republican Party Chair, appeared on New England Cable News Network NECN) in the role of a political analyst, Nassour suggested that that GOP will be supporting Brown in this election. A statement released after the results by GOP Chair, Michael Steel confirmed this: (CNN)

    Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, in a statement released Tuesday night, praised Brown, calling him an “accomplished Republican state senator with a long record of public service and solid leadership," and took a swipe at Coakley, saying she "spent more time planning a run for Senate than serving the people of Massachusetts."

    Brown, with the support of both the State and National GOP, is a formidable candidate to take on Martha Coakley, former MA. Attorney General, regardless of the fact that Massachusetts politically, has few Republicans in office. (This disparity in elected officials political affiliation is the reason being given by some news outlets as to why Coakley will win the race). The race will not be decided by either Republican’s, who make up approximately 11% of the electorate or Democrats, who make up approximately 30% of the Massachusetts electorate, but by the majority – unenrolleds, who make up over 50% of the voters in Massachusetts.

    The Candidates pros and cons

    Coakley supports the Presidents “agenda” in a state that still give Obama high approval ratings, but, that’s where the honeymoon ends. Only 26% of Massachusetts residents approve of the Commonwealths Universal Health Care Program, and a poll earlier in the year by Gallop indidcated that in all 50 states over 50% of the respondents considered themselves conservative. That said, Coakley is a woman, running for the office of Senate, which should be a plus in this liberal state, however, that said, Massachusetts, as a whole has yet to put a pro-abortion, Democrat (or Republican for that matter) woman in an office higher than Lieutenant Govenor (See Jane Swift). Coakley does have governing experience, from her stint as the Commonwealth’s attorney General. The premise that women should vote for a woman simply because she is “a women” does not hold water in the bluest state, where women tend to vote for women who are qualified and will only chose a male should they perceive him as more qualified.

    Pro-abortion – does it matter in Massachusetts? Historically, yes, the issue of abortion handed former Govenor Mitt Romney the governor’s office, when then Democrat, Shannon O’Brien, ran on a strong pro-abortion platform, including a last minute appeal to women in the state that included a promise to ban parental notification of abortion for women 14 years of age. Romney surged in the polls and took the office handily.

    What of Brown? Brown is a moderate Republican, who is often referred to the conservatives in the Bay State as a RHINO (Republican in Name Only). Brown, who understands that abortion is a states issue, is in favor of reducing the number of abortions, and is against partial birth abortion and for parental notification. Brown has severed in the states legislature, specifically the Senate for for three terms which goes to experience. He is also not afraid to cross the aisle, or vote against normal conservative values, should he feel it would best serve the Commonwealth and/or his constituents. Additionally, during his stint in the Senate, Brown kept his constituents informed on all issues facing the Commonwealth through monthly newsletters, which were specific to each community in his district

    Both candidates have an issues page on their respective websites:

    Martha Coakley for U.S. Senate
    Scott Brown for U.S. Senate

    It is worth the read as both offer bullet points where they stand on the issue.

    Can Republican Scott Brown make history as the first Republican to take a Senate Seat in Massachusetts since 1972? Absolutely, given the current state of the economy, his experience, his ability to reach out to all voters based on personal ideology, and most importantly, backing from both the state and national GOP, Brown stands to make this race one of the most competitive for a Republican candidate since memory serves. Coakley, who has the backing of the DNC, and endorsement from party luminary Bill Clinton, also has the backing of the DNC and the SEIU (see White House Union), which speaks volumes when it comes time to get Democrats out to vote.

    One can expect the first polls to come out of Suffolk University within a week or two. When reading a Suffolk poll, keep in mind that 8% of the respondents in the poll are culled from the University itself, they run smaller samples (400 to 500 respondents), keeping the numbers of unenrolleds, republican and democrat respondents fairly in line with the Commonwealths Electoral makeup. One can expect the first poll to show Coakley with a commanding lead – perhaps. Should Brown start airing ads across the Commonwealth, now that his opponent is known, all bets are off.

    As no-one has a proverbial crystal ball on hand, including the Globe, and company, it would be difficult at this point to predict which candidate will resonate with those unenrolleds who matter so much in the bluest of states.

    Side note: the confusion of voting in the Bay State. Yesterday, while casting ones vote, a choice was given as to ballot, Blue for Republican, Red for Democrat! Freudian?

    Tuesday, December 08, 2009

    Iran Update – Government Attempts to Shut Down Communications, yet Nationwide Student Protests documented – Students Demand Government Overthrow

    Student Protestors Dec. 7th Iran - image: LA Times

    Although the Iranian Government apparently did its best to shut down communications from within Iran, videos from students have made it to media outlets worldwide. Previously, protests were confined to Tehran and a few outlying larger cities, the protestors keen on noting their disgust over election fraud which had elevated Ahmadinejad to office. Yesterday, students across the country protested, from universities to high schools (see YouTube video below), and the protests had changed from one against a fraudulent election to one of government overthrow. An excellent article from ABC Australia outlines the current round of protests and the reason why the government may be powerless in the face what is deemed “revolution by proxy”, referring to the use of electronic media to both communicate and strategize, despite the best efforts of the regime.

    The bravery of the Persian protestors is impressive, a groups of students from Mahsad Universality have trapped government forces (see video below), as the second day of unrest continues. Forces are reported to have surrounded schools and universities, while emergency executions and arrests are taking place. Although it is the youth that have shown a fearless opposition to the theocratic and corrupt regimes in place in Iran, there are 70 million people living under the hard lined theocratic rule of the Mullahs gone mad with Nuclear power. The protests that began months ago, and brutally halted by the ruling elites hired Arab forces, has failed to squelch the fire within the Persian heart that years for freedom.

    As reports and condemnations against this latest round of repression, imprisonment and murder by execution of students comes from media worldwide, one wonders how long it will be before those currently in power, once again, board planes for exile in Europe. The brutality of the regime, and its denial of loss of power, are furthering the flames of revolution – the protestors of Tir, not beaten, rather seething and seeking the second, third and forth chance to effect change in Iran. It is only a matter of time before the Persian nation rises.

    Students trap government forces inside University

    Students trap government forces inside University

    High School Students Protest

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