South African Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela died peacefully yesterday at his home. He was 95 years old.
The anti-Aparthied revolutionary icon who spent 27 years in prison as punishment for his attacks against South Africa's racist regime also led his country to democracy & became the nation's first black president.
It wasn't easy. Mandela's renunciation of violence made it possible for him to work with then-South African president Frederik Willem de Klerk to find a political solution to the nation's troubles. His election in 1994 as President ended the nation's global status as an international pariah & paved the way for black South Africans to have full equality.
Perhaps Mandela's biggest contribution towards national healing was his creation & promulgation of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission that was charged with investigating past human rights abuses & had provided a platform for the airing of grievances. For South Africans across the political & color spectrum, the process of watching victims forgiving those victimizers who publicly asked for forgiveness was a cathartic one.
Like America's George Washington (& unlike most African leaders of the post-colonial era), Mandela never sought political power as a way to enrich himself. He stepped down from the Presidency & enjoyed his private life.
He formed the Nelson Mandela Foundation & The Nelson Mandela Children's Fund as a way to do charitable work.
Mandela was a selfless humanitarian & a genuine statesman. He will be greatly missed. RIP, Madiba.
It is expected that all candidates and campaign managers will attend. This training is also for State Committee Members and Town Committee Chairs and members.
I can't post the graphics but here's the text:
Save the date!
I wanted you to be the first to know about a new MassGOP all-day workshop in Marlborough we are having on February 15th. This will be a fantastic opportunity for candidates, campaign staff members and activists. The workshop will teach you the fundamentals of...
(This is a great pick up opportunity for Republicans
- promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)
Thinking local is the key to victory for Democrats. With Rep. Turner retiring what are the prospects for a GOP pick-up in 2014?
On Wednesday, Dec. 4, Rep. Cleon H. Turner, D-Dennis, formally announced that he will not seek re-election and will retire on Jan. 6, 2015, after ten years of service in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.
Turner said that he ran for the Legislature because he wanted to reconnect the state government with community needs. Having bridged that gap, he said Wednesday, he is proud of his work with town administrators, selectmen and other local officials in formulating and passing home rule petitions and dealing with state agencies.
"Reminding my colleagues that Cape Codders are not all rich and that Cape communities have significant issues with housing, homelessness, education funding, elderly issues, mental illness and other issues remains a challenge that I will continue to work on in my final year in office and that the Cape delegation mustn't give up on," Turner said.
Anybody up for the race? The Cape doesn't seem to be as conservative as RMGers seem to think. Turner was pretty liberal.
According to public records the recently redesigned Health Connector website, referred to as HC 2.0, cost twenty times more to develop than the initial Health Connector Exchange. A review of public records, confirmed by Health Connector spokesman Jason Lefferts, shows that $3,449,520 was spent on initial development of the Romneycare Exchange. The Health Connector has signed a $69M contract for the still malfunctioning Obamacare exchange, of which $11,000,000 has been paid according to representatives of the Health Connector.
In an emailed statement Lefferts told Red Mass Group, "total payments to CSC [the HC 1.0 contractor] from Jan. 2007-Sept. 2009 total $3,449,520." As time went on tweaks to the code and maintenance were needed, Lefferts continued, "additional website development and maintenance costs from 2009-Sept. 2013 total $5,290,124."
The Boston Herald has reported heavily on the development of the new website. Consistently reporting that the new site cost $69,000,000. That is an approximate 20 time higher initial cost.
It's official Charlie Baker has picked former state rep Karyn Polito as his running-mate.
Some quick observations:
1) The ticket is a pretty good fit geographically. Western MA voters should be happy.
2) Polito did reasonably well in 2010 in her unsuccessful run for state Treasurer against Steve Grossman. She also has legislative experience.
3) The Yankee-Italian makeup is not to be discounted. See Weld-Cellucci during the glory years. In the Cellucci mold, she brings a decent resume of experience in the House; she would be tasked with interacting with the legislature.
4) Conservatives should be pleased generally and the Tea Party shouldn't complain. Polito is no RINO (a term we hate).
5) The Polito pick is a move to diversify the GOP slate statewide (expect more to come even if finding candidates for all four major statewide seats is a struggle.)
6) This should mildly worry the Democrats who have no break-out candidate and are yielding the slow-motion month of December to the MA-GOP.
7) Inside sources suggest that Polito's pick is an endorsement of the NewMasssPlaybook which emphasizes minimizing the electoral gap for GOP candidates in urban districts. No wonder the GOP's convention will take place in Boston next year.
8) As in 2010, the GOP ticket allows candidates to max out on donations before year end, an advantage that can't take place on the Democratic side.
Moments after Charlie Baker announced he was running as a team with Karyn Polito the Massachusetts Democratic Party furiously tweeted out a link to the following press release:
BOSTON - While Republican Charlie Baker attempts to reinvent himself following his failed 2010 gubernatorial campaign, the Boston Globe yesterday revealed Baker is cooperating with Tea Party backed Karyn Polito "behind the scenes" about teaming up to form the Republican Party ticket.
"In spite of what he's saying, he is the same Charlie Baker who ran in 2010," said Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair Tom McGee. "Charlie is crisscrossing the Commonwealth trying to reshape his image but privately he is trying to appease the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party."
Polito, who has become a fixture at Tea Party events in Massachusetts, was given an award in August by Tea Party extremist and former Republican Congressman Allen West. The event, billed as a "passing of the torch" from West to Polito, included remarks from the former Congressman who once compared President Obama to Hitler and called the Democratic Party a "21st Century plantation."
While Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly support marriage equality, Polito supported banning gay marriage and even served as campaign chair for Tea Party favorite Michael Sullivan's bid for the Republican nomination to fill John Kerry's U.S. Senate seat.
The "Tea Party" event in question was put on by the Hausman Memorial Free Speech Speaker Series, a Jewish lecture series held at the Ahavath Torah Congregation in Stoughton.
Seemingly the Democratic Party in Massachsuetts hates free speech. Of course Karyn Polito has also hob-nobbed with Sarah Palin in Boston, but two women talking doesn't really have the same sizzle does it?
Hi all, happy holidays. We have two really great media video clips for you - about 4-6 minutes each, both about what happens when the federal government oversteps its limits. Both well worth your time:
As Jim points out, this is not an anomaly, this is the philosophy underlying Common Core - in their minds it's unfair to suppose that kids have historical context. This seems more like a Race to the Bottom, the least common denominator, removing human agency from history.
In both healthcare and education, the evidence we've seen so far points to at least one clear conclusion: putting the federal government in control is creating more problems than it is solving.
Karyn Polito sent out a Media Advisory that she will be announcing her future political plans tomorrow. As Dan Winslow already pulled the prank of doing this and not announcing, it is pretty safe to say Karyn will not be.
All indications are that she will announce a campaign for Lieutenant Governor.
Karyn Polito To Make Announcement Regarding 2014 Election
Shrewsbury- Tomorrow, Karyn Polito will make an announcement regarding her plans for the 2014 election cycle at Brody's diner in her hometown of Shrewsbury.
"You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." - Rahm Emanuel
In the days after the Boston Marathon bombing representatives from Health Care for All used the tragedy as a chance to sell Obamacare, and Health Care Reform. Health Care for All you may remember had received $1.8M+ in Obamacare grants before this article was written.
Hannah Frigand, an employee of Health Care for All wrote the following on MySouthEnd.com
In Massachusetts we pride ourselves on the fact that all of our residents have access to health insurance. After a week where so many in the Commonwealth have been hurt both physically and mentally, it is important that people have access to the care that they need. The last thing that our neighbors should have to face after being victims of the Marathon bombing is insurance issues and medical bills.
I work for a free HelpLine at Health Care For All. Health Care For All is a non-profit advocacy organization the promotes quality, affordable health insurance for all Massachusetts residents. The HelpLine is a free telephone and internet service that answers questions about health insurance and connects people to their health coverage options. The counselors at the HelpLine are able to complete applications for free and low-cost insurance over the phone in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. We want to make sure that in this time of need, people know their options. You can reach the HelpLine at 1-800-272-4232 or at www.hcfama.org.
We can also refer people to our partner organization, Health Law Advocates, which offers free legal assistance for medical bills, as well as helps with health insurance grievances and denials.
Our organizations' thoughts and prayers are with all the victims and their families. We hope that we can do our part in helping to heal Massachusetts.
-- Hannah Frigand, HelpLine Manager, Health Care For All
The left stops at nothing, and doesn't let any crises go to waste.
On October 30, 2013 President Barack Obama gave a speech at Boston's Faneuil Hall, aimed at quelling a growing groundswell against the implementation of his signature achievement. Behind the President were 32 people, who were billed as supporters of the Affordable Care Act. But they were more than mere supporters, over half - by there own admission- were affiliated with the progressive community organizing, and advocacy group Health Care for All. And over the past few years they have been recipients of over $2.5M in Obamacare grants.
As reported previously by Red Mass Group, public documents show that in Fiscal Year 2012 and 2013 Health Care for All received over $1.8M in grant money to publicly advocate for people to sign up for Obamacare. In FY 2014 they are poised to receive more than $700,000 to continue this work. Including knocking on 40,000 doors in a canvass effort.
According to grist.org Massachusetts is poised to ban fracking.
Legislation that would impose a 10-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing is making its way through the Massachusetts state legislature. On Wednesday, the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture passed the bill, which would also prohibit the dumping of fracking wastewater in the state.
"Although the state isn't seen as a rich source of shale gas, there could be limited deposits in western Massachusetts," the Associated Press reports. As EcoWatch explains, "Local concern about fracking has grown since the U.S. Geological Survey identified shale gas deposits in the Pioneer Valley last December. Moreover, as New York mulls large-scale fracking next door, drilling operators could soon view Western Massachusetts as a convenient dumping ground for toxic fracking wastewater."
Western and Central Massachusetts have much higher rates of unemployment than those areas inside 128. If there is shale gas there, why would Massachusetts want to ban economic activity?
According to public records and public statements, the Massachusetts Health Connector Authority gave a progressive community organizing group money to knock on 40,000 doors, just days before the 2013 municipal elections. The Health Connector Authority is, by law, the Commonwealth's Obamacare health exchange.
Health Connector public documents show that the Commonwealth has received about $260 million in federal grants to implement the "Affordable Care Act" (Obamacare) in Massachusetts. Of that the Connector authority has been granted $180 million. These documents also show, that since the 2012 fiscal year, the Connector Authority has spent 1% of these grants or $1,845,427 with a progressive, health care community organizing group Health Care for All. In addition in fiscal year 2014 the Connector is poised to spend $726,682 with the group.
Health Care For All is a 501(c)3 non-profit that bills itself as an organization that brings "social justice values into the healthcare system". They state that the community organizing values that they employ can be used in other areas needing social justice. They employ full time "community organizers" to carry out grassroots work. They are funded by a variety of groups and individuals including large donations by labor unions, such as the SEIU, and are a member of George Soros' Open Society Foundation network.
You can help Red Mass Group while doing your shopping this year, like in years past. If you click on the link below to do your Amazon Shopping Red Mass Group will get a commission. Your gonna do it at least once this holiday season anyway so why not click the link, it doesn't cost you anything more.
Oh and you can skip the middle man by clicking the donate button at the upper right.
When we kickoff Thanksgiving weekend with family, turkey, and football, we're inclined to be grateful, and to reflect on the things that we're thankful for in our lives. I have already read many beautiful, grateful, and truly heartfelt Facebook posts, Instagram posts, and tweets about family, friends, pets, and so many other things that make America the greatest place on Earth.
We're always told that politics should not be discussed at the dinner table, especially during Thanksgiving. Political conversations can be divisive, so I avoid them during this time of year that I truly value as a special opportunity to bring people together. It has become a personal rule for me to avoid politics around the holidays.
This year, however, I truly feel a need to break my rule, because, this Thanksgiving, I am overwhelmed with political gratitude.
Democrats AND Republicans are tired of fake politicians. We, the American people, are done with forced smiles, teleprompters, and political games. We are so desperate to find a candidate from either party who is truly genuine.
I am so proud to say that I have found that candidate.
The Commonwealth has another opportunity to elect Charlie Baker to our Corner Office in less than a year. Charlie is an interesting guy. He was the CEO of a massive healthcare company, and he certainly does well for himself. Charlie Baker is a successful man. We agree on a lot, but not everything. In a time when the party is struggling with a serious branding problem, the last thing Republicans need is another rich white guy leading the charge.
Given the lawlessness being perpetuated by President BarackObama (& his obsequious lackey in the US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid), you'd think that the Republicans as an opposition party would begin the process of impeaching The One for the blatant unconstitutional actions he's taken that threaten the viability of America's constitutional republic. Obviously such a process would only happen should the GOP take over the US Senate in next year's elections. But even then, I doubt that Republicans will have the guts to do the right thing. This is why:
1) Republican Are Bitterly Divided Among Themselves - With the current civil war now under way between the Establishment Republicans & The Tea Party Republicans, the party is going to be too self-absorbed with its own internal conflicts to even bother with uniting against the Democrats (let alone Obama). The GOP Establishment started the latest phase of this civil war at last year's Republican National Convention when their faction approved rules changes that would make it impossible for even Ronald Reagan to be a delegate. With the slight-of-hand antics that were pulled at their convention, it'll be equally hard for the GOP to attack Obama's slight-of-hand tricks with the Constitution.
As a person who has been around paper and print for most of my professional life, I understand fully that print is not dead. Its on life support, but good creative drives and feeds good print. For those that are looking to buy the Worcester Telegram and Gazette now that John Henrey has put it up for sale, watch this TED Talk. It is given by Jacek Utko who redesigned the look of a few European newspapers and dramatically affected their sales, in a positive direction.
(Street theater. Are puppets involved. - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)
The SEIU needs more members going forward. One way to reach that goal is to support Obama's immigration reform. Today the union, along with the phalanx of usual suspects goes full frontal on the all-powerful Massachusetts GOP down at Merrimac Street. It will make for nice agitprop.
BOSTON - Immigrant workers and their supporters will hold a rally for immigration reform in front of the Massachusetts Republican Party Headquarters in Downtown Boston on Tuesday in solidarity with the "Fast for Families."
On November 12th, faith, immigrant rights and labor leaders launched the "Fast for Families: A Call for Immigration Reform and Citizenship," taking place on the National Mall, steps away from the Capitol. Leaders and immigrant members of the community will fast every day and night, abstaining from all food-except water-to move the hearts and compassion of members of Congress to pass immigration reform with a path to citizenship.
The rally at the Massachusetts GOP headquarters in Boston is one of dozens of actions taking place across the country in solidarity with the fasters in the nation's capital. Immigration reform supporters nationwide, including some members of Congress, have also pledged to fast in solidarity with the "Fast for Families."
"We want to extend unwavering support to the fasters around the nation who are bravely highlighting the moral crisis we face with this broken immigration system," said Roxana Rivera, District Leader of 32BJ SEIU New England District 615. "We are holding this action to highlight the suffering of immigrants, and what this broken system has done to our families. We will leave behind old and worn shoes, empty of the persons who once filled them, as a symbol of those people whose presence has been taken away from us."
Memo to SEIU: more open immigration lowers wages for existing working class immigrants; it's simple arithmetic in slack labor markets. For immigration to work, wages have to increase for current workers who make near minimum wages. But we know that it's not just economics, SEIU's support for immigration "reform" is political.
That's what today's rally is all about: building out the progressive movement.
One needs to hear what the members -- not the leadership -- of the the AFL-CIO's private sector unions have to say about this.
An analysis of Massachusetts Health Connector Authority salaries in comparison to those in the private sector shows Connector employees are on average making more than their private sector counterparts. Red Mass Group was provided fiscal year 2014 Health Connector Authority salaries, by the authority on Friday November 22, 2013 and reported on them on November 24, 2013.
One of the common arguments by progressives upon reading the original Red Mass Group reporting was to ask how the salaries compared to similar employees in the insurance industry. In February of 2013 the Insurance Journal published a compensation survey report on insurance agencies. This is the most similar private industry to the Health Connector Authority. The Connector sells insurance plans and makes in effect a commission on those plans to fund its activities.
According to The Health Connector Authority it had 248,043 members in FY 2013, which is equivalent to 248,043 policies sold. This would put the Health Connector authority in the $100M or more premium dollars sold in the Insurance Journal survey.