Geoff Diehl's recent post http://www.redmassgroup.com/sh... mentions the annual CEO Magazine survey of then views of corporate CEO's on the business climates of each of the 50 states. No surprise that Massachusetts ranks near the bottom (47th). But this year, CEO Magazine has posted comments from the CEOs.
What is really telling is that these comments are anonymous. CEOs are reluctant to openly criticize the governments of the states or countries in which they do business less the pols use the regulatory and taxation apparatus to attack them or their firms. Of course, there are exceptions like the CEO of Honeywell, a technology and manufacturing giant. http://bostonherald.com/busine...
"If I were designing Hell for a company, I couldn't do as good a job as Massachusetts has. We will be leaving the state within the next year."
"We are moving out of CA, MI, MA and NY in 2013 and terminating our employees there. The regulatory and tax environment has become untenable."
"Massachusetts is returning to the state of Taxachusetts, thanks to Governor Deval Patrick and the overwhelming Democratic party majority in both houses of the Legislature."
"Taxation and regulation are always the key barometers. Massachusetts and Oregon are the worst."
There is a real cost to the tax and regulatory climate-and the hostility to the market and capitalism evidenced by the Governor, legislature and the bureaucracy. Companies are not investing in Massachusetts. According to E&Y's recent survey, Massachusetts lags badly in private sector capital investment (at page 9). http://www.ey.com/Publication/...
CEOs are the ones who make the decisions that determine where investments in productive, good paying jobs will be made. And as far as America's CEOs are concerned, that's not going to be Massachusetts.
Wouldn't it be something if our Senate candidate could/would articulate our core message of a smaller, more nimble, less intrusive federal government as well as this instead of focusing on small ball issues like pay freezes and term limits. (Bold is mine)
This has nothing to do with what party is in power. That's why Americans should not mistake this for a battle between Republicans and Democrats. They should understand that it is a fight between Washington and everyone else.
Consider other examples of this fight between Washington and the people. The Associated Press, hardly a right-wing organization, is now a victim of privacy violations and excessive overreach by the Department of Justice. Private companies are being strong-armed by the Department of Health and Human Services to contribute to a "voluntary" fund to promote Obamacare. The administration's response to the sequester - which cut a paltry sum from Washington's $3.7 trillion budget - was to punish innocent Americans with long lines at airports and no more White House tours. The Environmental Protection Agency is accused of waiving fees for favored environmental groups but not for right-leaning organizations.
Though the recent examples involve a Democratic administration, Republicans have shown they are just as tempted to abuse the power of government. At its core, the IRS scandal is not the result of one political party attacking another. It is the inevitable consequence of a federal government that has gotten too big and too expensive to control. The federal government's massive bureaucracy is inherently dysfunctional, corrupt, intolerant, and incompetent - regardless of who is in charge. These are not random incidents perpetrated by bad actors. They are systemic features of the $4 trillion enterprise known as the federal government.
When the IRS can harass tea-party groups, when the Department of Justice can monitor reporters' conversations, when the EPA can adopt double standards for ideological allies and opponents, when Health and Human Services regulators can openly extort the businesses they regulate - in short, when there is no accountability - we are no longer citizens but subjects.
Conservatives often have a difficult time explaining why we support a smaller, more limited federal government. These scandals make that job a little easier. It's not that we don't like government, but we don't like government intimidating and harassing media outlets, businesses, citizen organizations, or anyone else in the manner these scandals have brought to light.
And we understand that because this kind of corruption and incompetence is inherent in any massive, unaccountable organization, simply passing a new law will not solve the problem. To prevent the next abuse of government power, we need to reduce government power.
On the second ballot tonight at the Republican State Committee Chanel Prunier, won the National Committee Woman spot. The final vote was 44 votes for Prunier 26 votes for Sheila Harrington and 2 abstensions.
Sneed[Columnist who likes to refer to himself in the third person] hears President Barack Obama, who is this/close to Holder, has set his sights on Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick as a possible replacement "when the heat dies down on the latest hot-button scandals to hit the U.S. Justice Department," said a top White House source.
Last year, Holder became a hot button over a congressional probe of the sale of government guns to drug cartels.
This time it's the double whammy of an IRS scandal and the U.S. Justice Department's seizure of Associated Press reporters' phone records - which has caused a media uproar.
- promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)
The President has a press conference today at noon. In it, he will probably take the stance that "I am appalled by what happened, and heads will roll."
Specifically, that probably means Eric Holder resigns.
There's a certain Governor of a liberal northeast state who has been mentioned in the past as a potential candidate to replace Holder.
(Thank you Representative Diehl for weighing in. - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)
House and Senate conference committee members are still deliberating over the Transportation bill that includes "new revenue" (aka "Taxes"). I believe there are 7 reasons why Massachusetts taxpayers shouldn't have to pay higher taxes.
For the past 5 months our state revenue has continued to grow, according to DOR. Just last month (April) the Commonwealth collected $359 million above projections. That's 71% of what the House voted in new tax increases ($500M - H.3382). When you add in previous months, it is clear that "new revenue" is not needed. Below are the 7 reasons...
1. April tax collections are up 14.3%. Overall tax collections are up 5.5% over 2012 and $510 above benchmarks. This represents 5 straight months of collections over benchmark.
2. My 'Tax Amnesty' plan. According to figures released from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, there are 232,725 delinquent income taxpayers owning an average of $5,654 which totals $1,315,827,150. Business taxpayers total 66,200 and owe an average of $35,723 which totals $2,364.862,600. If the state collects a minimum of 15% of the $3.6 billion owed, this will generate $540 million. New Jersey enacted a similar plan and raised over $600 million.
Formerly friendly news outlet, the Washington Post summed it up pretty well.
It was that kind of afternoon for the former Time magazine White House correspondent, who, in the face of deep skepticism, continued to assert that Obama is committed to robust investigative journalism that is unobstructed by the government. Carney used the word "unfettered" a dozen times in his insistence that Obama believes in an open press.
"How can it be unfettered if you're worried about having your phone records seized," asked ABC's Jonathan Karl.
The press secretary explained that the Justice Department was conducting an investigation into leaks of classified information in issuing a subpoena for the AP records, and he emphasized that Obama understands the need to prevent leaks if they could jeopardize national security.
Oh and Megyn Kelly had her own take, which you can see after the jump.
The leaders of at least four local conservative organizations are outraged at notion that the IRS targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny. Yesterday, Paul Craney of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, Christen Morabito of the Greater Boston TEA Party, and Barbara Anderson of Citizens for Limited Taxation and Government sent the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation a letter.
Craney et al are particularly alarmed at the chilling effect on the rights to free speech and free association, guaranteed by the First Amendment that the questions these groups were asked raise. The groups were asked for things like everybody they personally talked to, what they posted on facebook, who they associate with, whether or not the leaders ever personally talked to government officials, and whether they ever gave media interviews.
Today just got much worse for the Barack Obama administration, it seems that the Associated Press has learned that their phone records have been seized by Eric Holder's Deparment of Justice. The Associated Press is reporting.
In a letter of protest sent to Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday, AP President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt said the government sought and obtained information far beyond anything that could be justified by any specific investigation. He demanded the return of the phone records and destruction of all copies.
"There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters. These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP's newsgathering operations, and disclose information about AP's activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know," Pruitt said.
This might make people long for the days of Richard Nixon.
Diane Hessan - google her and you will find her fundraiser on ActBlue for Deval Patrick where she raised $5,250. She was one of the "Business Leaders for Patrick and Murray" in 2010. A finalist for the 2012 Mass Technology Leadership Council CEO of the Year. She of $5,000 to the Dem State Party in 2010.
Nicholas Lowe - He's new to the game but pumped $1,000 to Markey last May (2012) but where did he come from? Let's check his profile as partner at his current firm:
"Nick began his career as a Congressional Aide for Congressman Edward J. Markey (D), U.S. Representative for Massachusetts's 7th congressional district. Nick spent two years with Congressman Markey, where he focused on telecommunications, environmental and foreign relations issues. He worked closely with Congressman Markey's legislative team as they helped implement the new regulatory framework created by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the first significant overhaul of United States telecommunications law in more than sixty years. This historical Act represented the deregulation of the broadcasting market and marked the first time the Internet was included in broadcasting and spectrum allotment. "
Yeah - shocker - a Democrat fundraiser and a campaign staffer of Markey's highlight his ad.
He's been in Congress for 37 years and he can't get business leaders who didn't work for him to show up in his ad?
On these pages we are not often in agreement with Congressman Michael Capuano (D-Somerville). Today, however, we are in full agreement with the Congressman. He called the recent revelations regarding the targeting of conservative organizations Nixonian, according to the Boston Globe.
He said the recent reports that IRS targeted small-government groups for extra scrutiny were in a different category. Asked to discuss the reports, Capuano said that if the accounts were true, "There's no way in the world, I'm going to defend that. Hell, I spent my youth vilifying the Nixon administration for doing the same thing."
President Richard M. Nixon attempted to wield his control of the IRS as a way of pressuring political enemies.
At a White House press conference on Monday, President Obama said he first learned of the IRS controversy from news reports.
Massachusetts senior senator has filed her first piece of legislation. http://www.warren.senate.gov/d... The legislation demonstrates that Ms. Warren knows nothing about how the nation's financial system works.
Ms. Warren's bill would reduce the rate on new student loans to 0.75%--the Federal Reserve's discount rate-for one year. Ms. Warren claims that's the rate that banks borrow from the Federal Reserve so student should be able to borrow at that rate as well. From her release:
Some argue that it's too expensive to keep government loans at low interest rates, but the federal government makes low-interest loans all the time - just not to everyone. Big banks can borrow money from the Federal Reserve with an interest rate of less than 1 percent. Through the Federal Reserve discount window, a bank can get a loan at a rate of about 0.75%.
How does this demonstrate Ms. Warren's ignorance?
First of all, loans at the Fed's discount window are not made to "big banks" "all the time" as she claims. Only banks that have severe liquidity problems borrow in that manner. Banks that borrow at the discount window are subject to strict regulatory oversight and a large number of additional reporting requirements. Moreover, unlike student loans, discount window borrowings must be collateralized meaning that the bank must put up assets of at least the amount of funds borrowed so that the Fed is not at risk. The total amount of discount window borrowing is trivial. Right now, there are only $9 million in discount window loans outstanding on the Fed's balance sheet (they appear under "Primary Credit" and "Secondary Credit" on the Fed's balance sheet.) http://www.federalreserve.gov/...
So the rate that she proposed be charged for student loans is in no way comparable to the type of risks and circumstances by which banks borrow from the Federal Reserve. Moreover, it is flat out wrong to say that "big banks borrow from the discount window all the time." For a longer discussion of the obvious problems with Ms. Warren's arguments, check out Megan McArdle's piece in the Daily Beast: http://www.thedailybeast.com/a...
Second, Ms. Warren's proposal codifies into law some of the lending practices that led to widespread consumer defaults during the financial crisis. As MSNBC reports, her legislation would set the interest rate on loans to 0.75% for the first year only. http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/05/08... Thereafter, it would rise to whatever Congress sets the rate at. This is the classic example of a teaser rate loan-a loan that offers a low initial rate and then rises thereafter. Indeed, in 2009, Ms. Warren characterized teaser rate loans as "sleaze-ball". http://www.creditslips.org/cre... "What about the teaser-rate and sleaze-ball mortgages sold by everyone else? I guess those home owners had better pack fast." How come it's OK with her when the sleaze-ball is the U.S. government?
As usual, Ms. Warren's frames her arguments in a populist tone. However, the fact that her legislation has attracted zero co-sponsors says a lot about how extreme-and wrong-her views are. http://www.salon.com/2013/05/0...
One week from today, the MassGOP State Committee will gather once again at the Newton Marriott. Among other topics, our agenda includes the election of a new Republican national committeewoman to replace former Lt. Gov Kerry Healey. I plan to vote for Chanel Prunier because I strongly believe that she is the best choice for the position.
Thirteen months ago, I wrote in this forum in support of Chanel, and I cast my first vote as a member of the state committee in support of her candidacy. At that point, I didn't know Chanel personally all that well. I think I had met her maybe once before the vote was taken, although I certainly knew of her reputation as a smart and energetic supporter of Republican candidates at all levels.
Since then, I have had the privilege of working with Chanel on the MassGOP's Candidates Committee, and I have found her even more impressive than described. Her knowledge of local, state, and federal politics in Massachusetts is nearly unparalleled, and she has proven tremendously able to provide financial, strategic, and really any type of advice to myriad candidates in our party.
The recent special election in the 12th Essex District is a particularly good example of this. Along with many others, Chanel was instrumental in helping elect Leah Cole as the 30th member of the Republican caucus in the Massachusetts House, even though Rep. Cole's district had been represented by Democrats for decades previously. I know that numerous other state representatives would credit Chanel with being similarly influential in their victories as well, particularly those who were first elected in 2010.
Chanel and I don't see eye-to-eye on every matter; in fact, we supported different candidates in the recent primary for US Senate. Nonetheless, I believe that the role of the national committeewoman is less to set policy, and more to focus on strategy and fundraising. I believe that Chanel's proven ability to raise lots of money very quickly, and her longstanding commitment to achieving increased Republican success at every level from school committee to Senate, make her an excellent candidate to serve as national committeewoman.
State committeewoman Helen Hatch (4th Middlesex) and Rep. Sheila Harrington (1st Middlesex) are also running. Helen has a long history of service to our party, and Rep. Harrington has done yeoman's work in fighting for our beliefs and our values against long odds on Beacon Hill. All three candidates are conservatives, and I believe that either one would serve our party well. For the reasons outlined above, however, Chanel would be best able to fill the role of national committeewoman.
If you are a member of the state committee, I very much hope you will join me in supporting Chanel on May 16th. If you are not, please encourage your state committee members to vote for Chanel; you can find their contact information here (http://www.massgop.com/about/state-committee/). I look forward to working with Chanel and everyone else to turn Massachusetts red (or at least more red) over the weeks, months, and years to come.
The writer is the state committeeman for the Middlesex and Suffolk District.
The move from "kept" Catholicism to evangelical Catholicism is for everyone, the pope seems convinced. "Kept" Catholicism has no future anywhere, and not just because of aggressive secularism and other corrosive cultural acids. "Kept" Catholicism has no future because it doesn't merit a future: or, as the pope put it to his former colleagues, "A Church that does not go out, sooner or later gets sick" in the hothouse atmosphere of its own self-absorption, which Francis has also called "self-referentiality." When the Church is about itself, rather than the Gospel and the invitation to friendship with the Lord Jesus Christ, the Church betrays the Gospel and the Lord. How? The "self-referential Church" falls victim to "a kind of narcissism that leads to spiritual worldliness and to sophisticated clericalism," which in turn are obstacles to what the bishops at Aparecida called "the sweet and comforting joy of evangelizing."
The pope's thoughtful diagnosis on what ails the organizational nature of his own religion should (with adjustments) be applied to the Republican Party on a state (if not a federal) level. Does the Massachusetts GOP "merit a future"?
The Bay State GOP has become a shell of itself from its Yankee glory days. Why? Well, a small clique of people exploit the party to maintain their business interests & have little or no interest in the ideals that drive the party's base. This clique is hostile to the party's most idealistic factions - social conservatives, neo-libertarians, & constitutionalists - & rightly view them as a threat to their power & influence. Many Republican activists sadly refuse to address this "elephant in the room" or pretend it doesn't exist. So they shouldn't be surprised when other activists leave the state, become unenrolled voters, or go through the motions of politicking without any genuine passion.
The Democrats have a similar problem but their fight is one between the Old Left & the New Left. The defeat of Stephen Lynch by Ed Markey in the recent special primary held for the open US Senate seat reflects not only the New Left's consolidation of power within the party but a cautionary tale of how the Old Left's "worldliness" & political "sophistication" has led to its erosion & decline as a major component within the Democrat Party.
The rate of voters enrolling as Democrats may not be as severe as those enrolling as Republicans but the rate remains a downward one nonetheless. Unenrolled voters outnumber Republicans & Democrats due, in part, to the dissatisfaction said voters hold against BOTH political parties. These voters could be open to a third party - or a revitalized party.
Political revitalization is a possibility for the state GOP but only if its activists get real with confronting the malaise which afflicts the party. The party needs to return to the fusionism model (or a neo-fusionistic version of said model) that was very successful in the past. From that foundation, the GOP needs to adopt a practical ideology wherein the Massachusetts Republican Party is viewed as the conservative liberals up against the radical liberals who run the Democrat Party (& who obsess about running the lives of Massachusetts voters). Just as Catholics are being urged by their pope to rediscover their inner radical to overcome the institutional narcissism of their religion, so, too, must the state GOP embrace not only its party's own radical past but the radicalism of Paine, Jefferson, Madison, et al who dared to believe that people can run their own lives within the framework of a constitutional republic. The ashcan of history awaits Bay State Republicans if they refuse and/or fail to revitalize themselves & their party.
If you can possibly tear your eyes away from the lack of coverage on the Benghazi terrorist attacks try watching this new video about late term abortions. In this video the 'Doctor', if I can use that term loosely, refers to the baby as 'like meat in a crock pot' when describing the procedure which includes terminating the life of the unborn child and then leaving it in the womb for an additional 3 days until it is 'soft' enough to deliver.
During this hidden interview the Doctor makes the 'squishy' noise to describe how the fetus gets soft. Furthermore, he admits that he has done 4 of these late term abortions (later than 26 weeks) in the very week of the interview.
So how is this not an attack on our children and women? How is it that the Republicans are the bad guys in all this? How is this in any way moralistic or ethical? Oh yeah, it isn't, which is why most states have outlawed the procedure of late term abortion. This Doctor is a murderer - plain and simple!
So progressives, grab your bowl of popcorn and get comfy for the video - watch below:
(Ed Markey is spending so much time in Maryland that he thinks google and facebook are headquartered here in Mass... - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)
Maybe that is because 20 years ago broadband was not available!
Broadband was not commercially available until about the year 2000, which is only 13 years ago - Ed! Prior to that people used dial up connections to the Internet. In fact, 'broadband' was just a buzz word of the National Information Infrastructure Act which came about in the 1990's. The results of this Act would not be implemented for several years. So any idea that almost no one had broadband 20 years ago (1993) is like saying almost nobody had a microwave oven in 1946 (the year Ed Markey was spawned born). Duh!
Worse yet, if you watch the video, the people speaking suggest that Ed Markey's efforts to break up telecom monopolies was crucial in getting all the websites named (Facebook, Google, Skype) available to everyone. What? What does breaking up telecom monopolies have to do with the creation of Facebook or Skype? Those are websites! Ed's argument simply doesn't make sense!
To make the argument that breaking up telecom monopolies created websites is like saying that 'paving a road created the hybrid car'. Oh wait a minute, I get it, this is another one of those Elizabeth Warren type arguments that infrastructure spending causes business. Remember 'You drove your product to market on roads we paid for'? Yup, now its Ed's turn to suggest that you sold your product on websites he helped create by breaking up telecom monopolies. Its right out of the progressive handbook - government spending causes progress...
I wonder if he will also take credit for the other websites on the Internet? Websites like Youtube, which Tamerlan Tsarnaev used to learn to make bombs and preach his hate of America? Will Ed Markey also take credit for website offering pornography? I guess those websites would also have come about by Ed Markey's remarkable work breaking up telecom monopolies.
Problem is - most low information voters like 'you-know-who' will truly believe Ed had anything to do with the Internet.
Today the House Oversight and Reform Committee, chaired by Darrel Issa (R-California) is scheduled to hear testimony from three "whistle blowers" regarding what happened at Bengazi on 9/11/2012. The hearings start at 11:30. Below is a live stream of the proceedings.
MassGOP Executive Director Nate Little circulated the agenda for upcoming State Committee meeting on May 16. The meeting will be held at the Newton Marriott Hotel located at 2345 Commonwealth Avenue. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm.
1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Establish Quorum
4. Secretary's Report
5. Treasurer's Report
6. Report of the Bylaws Committee
7. Report of the Special Committee on State Committee Elections
8. 2014 Convention Committees: Site Selection Committee and Rules Committee
9. Chairman's Report
10. National Committeewoman Election
11. National Committeeman Report
12. New Business
It has been a couple of months since the RNC's Growth and Opportunity Report and lots of other post-mortem-style commentary on the Republican technology problem. There have been a lot of interesting articles in the press about how things are going, and it is hard to understand what is going on. Many people have asked me for a take on how things are going, as everyone cares about the issue. OK.
Here is what I will be covering:
- The three-sentence version
- The long version
- What should the rest of us do now?
The three-sentence version
The RNC's admirable goal of an open, extensible voter information data "app store" required that they hire software firms outside their non-technical social network of cronies, but they did the opposite, of course. The goal of one enormous voter database for the whole party is unrealistic, and would totally unmanageable even if it could be built. I believe that Republican techies are better off building apps for Nation Builder's Election Center, which already exists, can be used for campaigns now, and will surely become the model for the RNC sure-to-be-scaled down ambitions, and experience there will be the best preparation for anything to come from whatever succeeds GOP Data Center.
(Let's point this out again. PPP, a DEMOCRATIC polling firm, has Gomez down 4%, and Markey WAAAAYYY under 50%. That's with PPP's left-of-center "house bias". On January 5, 2010, Rasmussen, with it's right-of-center 'house bias' had Scott Brown down 41%-50%. Gomez is polling as well, and Markey is polling way worse, much earlier than in 2010.
I'm going to have a longer post on why conservatives need to bury the hatchet with Gomez (no, Mike, not IN him!) but for now, we have time to talk. Today, see what you can do to help elect Gomez. - promoted by Paul R. Ferro)
PPP's first poll of the general election in the Massachusetts Senate special finds a close race, with Ed Markey leading Gabriel Gomez by a 44-40 margin.
Gomez is starting out as a pretty popular candidate, with 41% of voters rating him favorably to 27% with an unfavorable opinion. Beyond having good numbers with Republicans he's at 42/24 with independents, and actually seen narrowly positively even by Democrats at 33/32. Voters meanwhile are more divided on Markey, with 44% holding a positive view of him to 41% with a negative one. He's at 31/50 with independents.
For a Republican to be competitive in Massachusetts they need to win independents by a hefty margin and get a fair amount of crossover support from Democrats, and right now Gomez is doing both of those things. He's up 47/31 with independents and winning over 21% of Democratic voters. Both those numbers suggest that some folks who supported Stephen Lynch in the primary are being a little reticent about supporting Markey in the general.
Markey's elect number is under 50%. This is not a good place for a Democrat to be starting in Massachusetts. It is no secret that I was not a Gomez fan in the primary. Gomez however is much better, even if he only agrees with me 60% of the time, than Ed Markey, who agrees with me probably closer to 10% of the time.