Today's Podcast deals with our inability, in the conservative movement to tell great stories. Dan Bongino, the former Secret Service Agent running for Senate in Maryland said it well at CPAC. Today's is a short Podcast.
Two weeks ago I attended a conference put on by the Franklin Center for Public Policy. At this conference we heard from the Moving Pictures Institute a conservative motion picture collaborative. They have put out some great movies, including The Cartel which is about education in New Jersey.
(Radio Shack is closing 1200. - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)
Staples has announced that 225 stores will be closed use to poor performance for the 5th quarter in a row.
This is not just another little retailer hitting a wall in the Obama economy. This is a Massachusetts based retailer that sells 'business and office supplies'. Why is what it sells important? Because it reflects a larger problem with the economy - soft performance in small business!
Economists watch retail performance all the time. They watch how well places like Home Depot and Lowe's perform because those retailers reflect how well, or poorly, the real estate markets are doing. Economists watch retailers in tourist locations to track how well, or poorly, the vacation/recreation markets are doing. In the case of Staples these economists are watching how well small business is doing. And when Staples closes 225 stores it means small business is not doing well at all...NOte: Staples already closed 42 stores last year.
The savings are expected to come from supply chain, retail store closures and measures including "labor optimization, non-product related costs, IT hardware and services, marketing, sales force and customer service," the Framingham, Mass.-based company said in a statement Thursday.
It also hurts Massachusetts as Staples is based in Framingham. I know many people from Staples corporate office and they work hard. Most at manager level and up work 6 to 6.5 days per week. They have great systems and processes and there are no mistakes being made that would contribute to a drop in performance. If as the quote above states the cuts will come from IT, marketing, sales, supply chain then those jobs are based in Massachusetts. I would dguestimate that around 200 jobs will be lost in Massachusetts. This is brought on by the Obama economy.
Massachusetts has lost literally dozens of retail organizations over the last 5 to 10 years. This one is particularly painful because of how it affects Massachusetts and what it means on a bigger scale..
Joining us on today's Red Mass Group podcast is Andrew Beckwith of the Massachusetts Family Institute. Our topic is how people can get involved to react to the ruling stating that upskirt photos of women in public is not against the law.
Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) today outlined his Opportunity Agenda for America.
The Opportunity Agenda will empower Americans through economic freedom and high-quality education. This includes tax reform to increase economic freedom and expanding school choice so every child has a chance at a quality education. Senator Scott is also working to find ways to help redevelop our poorest areas without pushing current residents out, to bring down energy costs that consume a quarter of after-tax income for families making $30,000 or less, and to ensure that those who want to attend college can do so without incurring debilitating debt. Senator Scott also continues his work to get our national spending under control. In his first hundred days, he worked with colleagues to introduce a Balanced Budget Amendment.
Watch Scott outline his agenda.
Scott is placing a strong emphasis on School Choice. spoke with fervor about the issues of school choice. He addressed school by saying, "They should be free to choose home school, public school, charter schools, parochial schools. It should be the parents' choice. When the parents have a choice, the kids have a chance."
State Representatives Marc Lombardo (R-Billerica), and Jim Lyons (R-Andover) have set up a meeting tomorrow, where members of the legislators can meet Lou Pelletier.
Pelletier is the father of Justina Pelletier, who has been at the center of a custody battle with DCF over treatment recommended by Children's Hospital, that was contrary to prior medical advice given to the Pelletiers. Over the past two weeks public pressure has grown on DCF to return Pelletier to her parents. Leading that fight has been Lyons and Lombardo.
In order for members of the legislators to hear Mr. Pelletier's side of the story, the legislators have set up a meeting at the State House tomorrow, as progress is seemingly being made in her case.
State Representative Lyons states: "I am very happy to see that progress appears to be taking place in the Justina Pelletier case and I look forward to the day when she will be reunited with her family."
State Representative Marc Lombardo adds: "I look forward to hearing from Mr. Pelletier as he shares his experiences with DCF. I hope the Pelletier's can welcome Justina home in short order."State Representative Lyons states: "I am very happy to see that progress appears to be taking place in the Justina Pelletier case and I look forward to the day when she will be reunited with her family."
State Representative Marc Lombardo adds: "I look forward to hearing from Mr. Pelletier as he shares his experiences with DCF. I hope the Pelletier's can welcome Justina home in short order."
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, today ruled, that it is not illegal to take a picture up the skirt of an unwilling female in public. Once again making Massachusetts the laughingstock of the nation.
Massachusetts' highest court has ruled that a man accused of secretly snapping photos up a woman's skirt on an MBTA train did not break the law.
The State Supreme Judicial Court on Wednesday dismissed charges against Michael Robertson of Andover, who was arrested in August 2010 by Transit Police.
The SJC said there were certain things that the state had to prove, and none was proven under current law to be illegal.
That the defendant willfully photographed, videotaped, or electronically surveilled; the subject was another person who was nude or partially nude; the defendant did so with the intent to secretly conduct or hide his photographing activity; the defendant conducted such activity when the other person was in a place and circumstance where the person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy in not being "so photographed"; and the defendant did so without the other person's knowledge or consent.
The SJC ruled that those criteria were not all met, and that if you wear a skirt in public, there is no expectation of privacy because you are not nude, or partially nude.
The SJC did suggest that, like other states, the legislature should update our laws.
Today, I'm getting in the car with Chip Jones, a conservative activist from Phillipston, and we are driving down to CPAC. We are going to try to avoid the President in Hartford to the best of our ability.
As we drive, you can listen to two of the highlights of CPAC 2012 for me. Andrew Breitbart's call for Unity, and Dan Hannan's plea that we Americans don't give up on our liberties.
Primary elections were held yesterday in five special elections. Of those seats, three have Republcian challengers. The general elections have been set in those seats. Boston.com has the story on all three races.
First up is the Monica Medeiros for Senate special primary, which the Globe did not cover.
Representative Jason Lewis of Stoneham has claimed victory in the Fifth Middlesex Senate District Democratic Primary. He will face off against Monica Medeiros, Melrose City Councilor. The general election theme was set by progressives last night, with NARAL quickly endorsing Lewis. They will use their normal war on women rhetoric, completely ignoring that, Medeiros - the Republican - is a woman.
Next is the race to replace Don Humason (R-Westfield) who moved up to the senate. The Globe reports:
Voters in Westfield also went to the polls in a special primary election to fill the Fourth Hampden District House seat vacated by Donald F. Humason Jr., now a state senator.
The only Republican candidate on the ballot, Councilor Dan Allie, received 462 votes, while the lone Democratic hopeful, veteran John C. Velis, got 393, according to unofficial results. Turnout was at less than 4 percent.
Finally a race that is a great pickup opportunity in a swing district, as the Globe reports:
In the 16th Suffolk House District, which covers parts of Chelsea, Revere, and Saugus, Democrat Roselee Vincent claimed the party nomination with 1,132 votes, according to unofficial figures from the three communities.
She was trailed by Linda S. Rosa, who notched 632 votes, and Joshua D. Monahan, who had 467.
On the Republican side, Todd B. Taylor, the only GOP candidate on the ballot, received 165 votes.
Under Deval Patrick the Executive Office of Health and Human Services has been a train-wreck. Whether it be EBT abuse, DCF, marijuana dispensary licenses, and especially the drug lab scandal, all of the major scandals of the Patrick administration have stemmed from mismanagement at this executive agency.
The Forensic Drug Laboratory at the Hinton State Laboratory Institute ("Drug Lab") in Jamaica Plain was ordered closed by Governor Deval Patrick on August 30, 2012, after one of the lab's chemists, Annie Dookhan, admitted to tampering with drug samples, raising serious questions about the integrity of the testing performed at the Drug Lab. In November 2012, at Governor Patrick's request, the Office of the Inspector General ("OIG") agreed to conduct an independent, top-to-bottom review of the Drug Lab. The OIG's mission was to carry out a comprehensive investigation of the operation and management of the Drug Lab from 2002 to 2012, a period in which the Drug Lab was primarily overseen by the Department of Public Health ("DPH"), to determine whether any chemists, supervisors or managers at the Drug Lab committed any misfeasance or malfeasance that may have impacted the reliability of drug testing at the Drug Lab, and to make findings and recommendations following its review.
On today's podcast Jim Lyons joins us to talk about the Justina Pelletier case. Jim talks about what changes are needed in Massachusetts Law and the way these cases are handled. Lyons stresses that parental rights are what should be the court's first concern.
Lyons also calls on Chairman David Linsky to swear in Olga Roche, the Commissioner of DCF, to ensure she is testifying under the penalties of perjury.
You can listen to the Red Mass Group podcasts on the go. Just download the Soundcloud app at either the Apple App Store, or Google Play. It is a free app.
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What has happened in Massachusetts over the past week and a half with Justina Pelletier and her family, shows that sunlight is the best disinfectant.
For over a year, the parents of Justina Pelletier had lost the right to make medical decisions for their child. After Justina was transferred from Tufts Medical Center to Children's Hospital, following her doctor, the staff at Children's made the unilateral decision that her treatment by Tufts doctors constituted "medical abuse". DCF got involved and all parental rights were stripped from two loving parents.
To add insult to injury, the family court judge in Massachusetts put a gag order on Justina's parents. The Boston Globe, and Beau Bearman of the Hartford Fox affiliate reported on the case, but the reporting - especially in Massachusetts - was lost on the public.
Approximately two weeks ago, Justina's father broke his silence, going against the court order. Over the past two weeks, the case has garnered national attention, and the attention of a handful of Massachusetts legislators, led by Marc Lombardo (R-Billerica) and Jim Lyons (R-Andover).
Like many others, we watched with great interest as the Massachusetts Republican Party debated and voted on its platform last week. (The full text can be found here.) However, we were focusing on those parts of the document that deal with our big issues: fiscal responsibility, a healthier business climate, and better government. With just over eight months left until the 2014 statewide elections, we decided to highlight what we view as the eight best ideas related to those topics. They're presented below in the order in which they appear in the platform. We hope all candidates in the 2014 elections will seriously consider supporting them. Full list after the jump...
I've been saying the MassGOP platform statement on Abortion is pretty non-controversial. Calling abortion "tragic" is something most reasonable people can agree on. Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi agrees.
WHAT'S SO extreme about using the word "tragic" to describe abortion?
Hillary Clinton did it in 2005. As she prepared a run for president, Clinton, then a senator from New York, said opposing sides in the abortion debate should find "common ground" to prevent unwanted pregnancies and reduce abortions - which she called "a sad, even tragic choice to many, many women."
This week, the Massachusetts Republican state committee adopted a platform that keys at least partly into a similar sentiment: "We affirm the inherent dignity and sanctity of human life," the Republican platform reads. "We believe that every instance of abortion is tragic. We advocate policies that will assist a woman during a crisis pregnancy." The GOP platform also states support for "traditional marriage."
Vennochi is exactly right. "Tragic", used to describe abortion is only extreme, to the pro-abortion crowd. There is a vast difference between pro-choice and pro-abortion.
I'm starting a podcast series for Red Mass Group using Sound Cloud to store, and embed the podcasts.
The first podcast reviews what happened this week at the Health Connector Authority and has remarks from Charlie Baker. Let me know what you think. Be brutaly honest. Your generous contributions have enabled me to purchase equipment to make this possible.
Massachusetts implementation of Obamacare continues to cause problems, site will not be ready until June, and may need to be scrapped and restarted from scratch.
Massachusetts Health Connector officials, earlier this week, told board members that the number of paper applications waiting to be processed has grown from 50,000 to 54,000 over the past two weeks. The time to process the applications has been reduced to 39 minutes from two hours, however.
The Connector Authority also contracted, at a $1.1M price tag, with Dell Technology Services to fix the non-functioning file exchange system. This system is necessary to allow HIPPA compliant transfers to insurance companies. Under the original $3.45 million Romneycare compliant exchange the file transfers were happening. As outlined in the work order request , changes were necessitated by Obamacare's new rules. "In addition, new Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements entail transmission of enrollment information to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for the purposes of enrollment reporting, payment of Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC) to QHP Issuers, and Cost Sharing Reduction (CSR) reconciliation", said the report.
Richard Tisei, a Republican candidate for Massachusetts 6th Congressional district said, "This entire situation is unnecessary. Only a few months ago Massachusetts had our own working enrollment system."
The Daily Caller has asked Connector authority spokesman Jason Lefferts how much the manual processing of applications will cost the Commonwealth. He has been unable to provide an answer. The Boston Herald reports that a Minnesota based firm, Optum, is hiring up to 318 people to enter the paper applications.
Congressional candidate Tisei also added, "Every day it becomes even clearer that Massachusetts needs a waiver from Obamacare. We need to get back to doing what we were doing so successfully before this one-size-fits-all law was implemented."