All of us at ISBCC and ISB here in Boston are deeply grieving the loss of life by fanatics in Paris and Nigeria. These extremists disgrace Islam, and Muslims worldwide have denounced their senseless violence, as Imam Suhaib and other scholars have made abundantly clear.
I also know that many of us are simultaneously deeply frustrated that the acts of this tiny handful of extremists once again have raised doubts about the Mercy of God and this central tenant at the core of our faith. I feel this frustration myself.
Yet, as opposed to remaining frustrated, it appears to me the Prophetic response to such tragedies is to channel that frustration into re-committing ourselves to being a Mercy to mankind. "The default of our Prophet's character (Peace be upon him) was Mercy". At an individual level, let us re-commit ourselves to doing those little acts of kindness that make a big difference in the lives of people: feed the homeless, help a stranger cross the street, or help your neighbor shovel the snow (snow is expected tonight in Boston.) At an institutional and community level, let us re-commit to becoming a benefit to our communities. In Boston, the ISBCC and other mosque's need to address the homeless crisis, need to help improve our public schools, and work with the city to provide more affordable housing. If you're interested in getting involved in these initiatives contact Rasha Azoni-Hannigan at email@example.com.
May God help us move in this direction and keep us on the straight path.
Your Executive Director - ISBCC
Let me ask a few questions on the statement:
1. Where exactly are these 'Muslims worldwide' that have condemned the violence? A Google search would leave you empty. I have not yet seen any long winding marches through the streets of Boston, NYC or Washington on the subject. They were quick to march when Charlie Hebdo issued a cartoon, but not to protest any murders. One man in Paris who took part in the recent march had this to say:
"Our religion is the religion of love. ... Our religion loves Jews ... loves Christians. We are not terrorists," one Muslim man said, his voice rising.
He lifted his arm and gestured to many people around him who came to denounce violence: "We are all Muslim!"
The Massachusetts House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Thursday to abolish term limits for Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, extending indefinitely the reign of one of the most powerful politicians on Beacon Hill.
The vote came six years after DeLeo put the limits in place, trumpeting them as a blow for more ethical government.
On Thursday, the speaker said that his position had "evolved" and that it would be good for the House to have an experienced leader with a strong track record.
Continuing the tradition of 4 corrupt Speakers in a row, Robert DeLeo proudly accepted the praise of creating term limits for his office only to waive them away after his stranglehold on power was completed. The move was correctly panned by good government groups and the Massachusetts Republican Caucus voted against the change in unanimous dissent.
But what of our own party?
The Minority Leader has the power to appoint the rest of party leadership, unlike the national Republican caucus where they are elected separately.
The Minority Leader controls committee appointments and uses the power of these appointment to control the actions of the caucus both inside and outside of their roles as legislators.
The Minority Leader controls the salaries of the caucus member by controlling the "bonus" money that comes with leadership roles.
The Minority Leader is not term limited and the Republican House Caucus has the ability to term limit the position without the approval of the Democrats. It can be done by simply changing their own internal rules or through voluntary term limits.
It's time for our Minority Leader to stop viewing corrupt Democratic Speakers as a model to copy and start viewing them as a tragedy to avoid.
Secret audio recordings recovered from Tripoli raise even more questions about America's involvement in Libya and suggest that the chaos now consuming the North African nation could have been avoided at the very outset.
Top Pentagon officials and a senior Democrat in Congress so distrusted Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's 2011 march to war in Libya that they opened their own diplomatic channels with the Gadhafi regime in an effort to halt the escalating crisis, according to secret audio recordings recovered from Tripoli.
The tapes, reviewed by The Washington Times and authenticated by the participants, chronicle U.S. officials' unfiltered conversations with Col. Moammar Gadhafi's son and a top Libyan leader, including criticisms that Mrs. Clinton had developed tunnel vision and led the U.S. into an unnecessary war without adequately weighing the intelligence community's concerns.
"You should see these internal State Department reports that are produced in the State Department that go out to the Congress. They're just full of stupid, stupid facts," an American intermediary specifically dispatched by the Joint Chiefs of Staff told the Gadhafi regime in July 2011, saying the State Department was controlling what intelligence would be reported to U.S. officials.
The audio recordings raise serious questions about Clinton & Barack Obama's Libya gambit:
Brad Jones, the House Minority Leader, issued the following statement after the vote to grant Bob DeLeo and unlimited amount of time as speaker:
"During today's rules debate, an amendment was filed to reinstate term limits for the office of Speaker, which had previously been set at eight consecutive years. Although the proposal failed when put to a vote, the fact of the matter is that, even if the term limits rule had been retained, Speaker DeLeo would still continue to lead the House over the next two years. The members have spoken, and although not everyone may be pleased with the results, it is my hope that we can move beyond this vote and not allow this one issue to distract us from the important legislative agenda and budgetary challenges that lie ahead."
Really, when everyone in Massachusetts politics, even liberals like Scot Lehigh in the Boston Globe are deriding the legislature for this vote, the leader of the opposition is saying, hey it's no big deal.
A sweeping proposal to cut taxes for Maine families and businesses could upend one of the most widely accepted practices in the country: the property-tax exemption for nonprofit organizations.
A recent budget plan by Republican Gov. Paul LePage calling for an overhaul of individual, corporate and sales taxes also would make Maine the first state in the nation to require colleges, hospitals and other large charities to go on the property-tax rolls in their municipalities.
“It would be a stunning development,” said Daphne Kenyon, a fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge, Mass. “I think there would be all kinds of reaction, from litigation to nonprofits’ possibly moving.”
An interesting chart here:
Channeling every Boston mayor in history, should Charlie Baker follow this line of thinking? Maine does not have a history of "payments in lieu of taxes" made by nonprofits as does Boston and other jurisidictions.
A couple weeks ago I was disheartened to announce that the new higher minimum wage rate was going to cost me 3 workers. I was troubled because 3 of the workers on my payroll would have to go. Alas, I have found a way to save their jobs in the short term in part due to lower energy prices..
So I was reviewing the gas mileage rates for travel as mandated by the federal government. With a bit of research I discovered that the rate is not actually mandatory - it is optional. Federal law states that mileage can be reimbursed at 57.5 cents per mile for business travel in 2015 - up from 2014. I did a little homework and found out that this rate is not actually mandatory - it is optional and organizations don't actually need to reimburse at all if they don't want to.. So I am cutting the mileage reimbursement rate by 20 cents per mile. This saves the organization hundreds of dollars a month.
The second observation I made was that my energy costs are significantly lower right now than before. Gas is less expensive, which helps my argument with cutting the reimbursement rate, and propane prices are lower as well. I WILL save enough in total to cover the cost of the 3 workers I had planned to terminate - at least for now. This is good news indeed..
So what are we to learn here?
A) Gas prices affect businesses?
B) Labor prices affect businesses?
C) V3PN is a genius?
D) Supply and Demand works?
E) If energy prices go back up 3 people lose their jobs?
F) Businesses are stymied by government rules and red tape?
This is how business people save jobs. They do not save jobs by looking up statistics on Wikipedia and posting responses based on hypothetical calculations as offered by politicalengineer. They get into the income statement and balance sheet and dig up every penny they can afford in order to make things happen.
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2015, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck will be:
57.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, up from 56 cents in 2014
23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down half a cent from 2014
14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile, including depreciation, insurance, repairs, tires, maintenance, gas and oil. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs, such as gas and oil. The charitable rate is set by law.
The reimbursement rate for mileage went up even though the price of gas went down. Mileage reimbursement rates for medical care went down - I thought Obamacare was supposed to help people. And finally, charities are still second class citizens under Obama... Lord how we know Democrats hate charities because they take work away from the government...
(He should have picked a Republican for an elective position. This was a significant misstep by the Governor. - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)
Yet again Charlie Baker has forsaken building the Republican Party by appointing a Democrat as Bristol County District Attorney. This was the perfect opportunity to build the party by installing a Republican in an elected position and giving that person a head start in the next election.
Doesn't Charlie understand that if he doesn't grow the party that he will be defeated in 2018. Charlie does what he thinks is good for Charlie rather than what is good for the party, not realizing that they are one in the same. Shame Charlie, shame.
Jordanne Anderson, former Fattman for Senate campaign manager, has been nominated for the prestigious American Association of Political Consultants' 2015 Pollie Award for Local Campaign Manager of the Year. Anderson, at just 22-years-old, steered the campaign of Rep. Ryan Fattman (R-Webster) to a landslide 56% to 44% victory over 44-year incumbent politician, Sen. Richard Moore (D- Uxbridge).
Considered the "Oscars of Politics," the Pollie Awards are the most prized and sought-after awards in the political communication and public affairs industries. Nominations are submitted by political professionals from across the United States. Christopher Lyon, a New York-based political consultant who helped elect Rudy Giuliani Mayor of New York City in 1993, nominated Ms. Anderson for the award.
"In nearly 30 years in politics, I don't think I've ever seen a local campaign challenging an incumbent better run than the Fattman campaign," said Lyon. "It's not easy to defeat an incumbent. In the rare instance when you do, it's typically a victory of the narrowest of margins. But Rep. Fattman won in a blow-out. That's an incredible accomplishment! Jordanne Anderson did a singularly impressive job making it all happen and successfully implementing a highly effective campaign plan. Jordanne deserves to win a Pollie for her work."
Today, the Baker Adminstration announced that the Governor has instituted a three month pause on all new regulations as a first step to ridding the state of job killing regulations. In a press release the administration stated:
Governor Charlie Baker today announced a 90-day pause on all new regulations to allow for the Administration's long-term goal of streamlining unnecessarily burdensome regulations on the Commonwealth's small businesses and job creators. The three month time frame will halt new regulations and those in the renewal process in order to enable the administration to implement new guidance that regulations going forward communicate a clear, desired and effective goal and focus on the development and implementation of the 2016 Fiscal Year Budget.
"If Massachusetts is to succeed in creating new jobs and making state government more efficient, we must tackle burdensome regulations," said Governor Baker. "Regulations void of a clear and concise purpose increase the cost of doing business and make dealing with state government more difficult. This temporary freeze will allow us to review codes already on the books, ease the unnecessary amount of bureaucratic red tape and focus on crafting the next budget."
The regulatory pause was outlined in a memo issued to all Cabinet Secretaries today by Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore, who in accordance with Executive Orders issued in prior administrations, has final approval before any regulation is filed. The three-month period is effective until March 31st.
We are very glad to announce that Rick Green was unanimously re-elected as Chairman of the Board of Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance for 2015 today. This will be Rick's 4th term as Chairman. Also serving is Jim Rappaport as the Finance Committee Chairman, Mark Cohen as Treasurer, Brian Bialas as new legal counsel, Mike Kane as Clerk, and Danielle Huntley, Cindy Terwilliger, and Brad Williams as directors. For more information on the board, officers and staff, please visit our website.
Governor Charlie Baker is riding the news cycle. As the news that Boston is the designed U.S. host in the international sweepstakes for the 2024 Olympics, the new Governor expressed some doubts.
Gov. Charlie Baker hedged on throwing his full support behind Boston's 2024 Olympic bid, telling reporters today "there's a lot to learn about this" as the Hub prepares to make its pitch to the International Olympic Committee as the United States' bid city.
Baker, emerging from his first Cabinet meeting on his first full day in the Corner Office, also said he'll explore tapping a point person for the administration to tackle questions surrounding the city and state's Olympics bid, as well potentially setting up "regional conversations" for public input beyond the community meetings already announced for Boston.
"I'm where I think many people are, which is there's a lot to learn about this," the newly sworn-in Republican said when asked if he supports the bid. "I've only been in office for less than 24 hours, I haven't seen the bid book. I don't think I need to see the bid book.
This is a pretty gutsy move and shows Baker's cautious side particularly as the city's elite is celebrating the designation.
Move number 2 of the day is no less striking. Governor Baker called for a hiring freeze to help stem a $500 million state deficit. It's small step that will save $6 million but a needed one.
Governor Charlie Baker today, in one of his first actions in office, directed Acting Secretary of Transportation and Chief Executive Officer Frank DePaola and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to follow through on the Baker-Polito administration's commitment to release immediately $100 million in Chapter 90 transportation funds critical to job creation, public safety and economic growth.
"I am pleased that one of the first acts of this administration is to fulfill our commitment to ensure local governments have access to the infrastructure funds they have been promised for transportation upgrades," said Governor Baker. "The release of these funds represents a step towards creating better jobs and building stronger communities in Massachusetts."
A letter from Governor Baker was issued today informing local officials of his decision to release the funds. Each community's share of funding is predetermined by a formula that includes factors such as population, road miles and employment. The release of this $100 million constitutes the remaining one-third of additional Chapter 90 funding authorized in 2014.
"After serving as local elected officials, Governor Baker and I understand the need for a strong partnership between our communities and state government," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "Today's announcement sends a clear message that our administration will be responsive to the needs of local governments across the commonwealth."
Chapter 90 reimburses cities and towns for costs incurred for eligible transportation projects. Cities and towns must submit receipts to the Highway Department district in which they are located which verifies that the expenditures qualify for reimbursement under Chapter 90. The Highway Department districts in turn submit these receipts to the Department of Transportation's Fiscal Department which facilitates the reimbursements to cities and towns. Funding for Chapter 90 is accomplished through the issuance of bonds.
Today, Governor Charlie Baker delivers his inaugural address to a joint session of the Massachusetts state legislature. Remarks as prepared for delivery:
"Mr. President and Members of the Senate, Mr. Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives, Lieutenant Governor Polito and Members of the Governor's Council and the Cabinet, Chief Justice Gants and Members of the Judiciary, Former Massachusetts Governors Weld, Swift and Romney, Reverend Clergy.
"Jan Cellucci and Angela Menino - I've known and admired you both for many years. And remain a huge fan of the energy and joy your husbands' brought to public service. And other distinguished guests - My thanks to all of you for being here today.
"To my fellow citizens, it's with great humility and high honor that I assume the office of Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
1. If police in Paris carried guns this would not have happened. The police officer would have had a fighting chance instead of begging for his life. I could same the same about all the victims.
2. Are we sure the 3 killers were not Al Sharpton, Mayor DeBlasio and Barack Obama seeing as at least one cop got shot?
3. I will not hold my breath waiting for Michelle Obama to hold a sign saying "# Bring back my cartoons
4. Islamic terrosists are cowards. They don't have the balls to start a real f*ckin war on a battlefield mano-a-mano. Instead they run into an office building taking everyone by surprise and shooting people before they have a chance to get into it with them. If Obama had any balls and truly believed that fighting terrorism was righteous then he would demand Al Qaeda and Isis meet him on a battlefield in Syria or Iraq or anywhere else in the middle East and settle this like REAL men. We have cowards opposing cowards... If I were Mohammed I would be ashamed to have cowards fighting for me. Nothing but a bunch of pussies.
5. Editor Stephen Charbonnier is a hero. Before he was killed he looked one terrorist in the face and stated "I would rather die standing than live kneeling". That should be a best selling T-Shirt starting tomorrow..
6. In 2012 the White House (meaning Obama) criticized the publication for its free speech efforts. This means Obama has been on the wrong side of absolutely every issue domestic and international since being elected to public office.
7. Next week Hillary will meet with the victims families and insist that as President she will find the people who made the anti-Muslim movie causing this violence.
8. Had this happened at the White House the terrorists would have been on the second floor residence eating lunch before the Secret Service knew what was happening.
9. Somehow the Democrats in Washington will tie this to global warming.
10. The US federal government can hack into my computer and audit my activities whenever they want, but for some reason they can't seem to plant a virus on the websites run by Al Qaeda terrorists planning death squads. Why is that?
Numerous media outlets are reporting that Chris Christie is coming to Massachusetts tomorrow for the inauguration of Charlie Baker. He should just stay home.
The Governor of New Jersey is an ethical train wreck that would be more at home in the legislature of Massachusetts than chumming around with a governor-elect that pledged to change the way business is done on Beacon Hill.
Less than two years before Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones paid for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's tickets and travel to NFL games, government documents show Christie personally pushed the Port Authority to approve a lucrative contract for a firm part-owned by Jones. Christie nonetheless accepted the gifts from Jones, despite New Jersey ethics rules barring gifts to public officials from persons or entities that those officials "deal with, contact, or regulate in the course of official business."
On March 19, 2013, Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a press release announcing their selection of Legends Hospitality LLC to operate the observation deck on the top floor of One World Trade Center. The next day, the Port Authority board -- which is appointed by Christie and Cuomo -- specifically cited the governors' announcement in voting to approve the contract for the company, which is jointly owned by the Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees and Checketts Partners Investment Fund.
That is not the only extent of the Christie administration's ethical failures, that go far beyond a bridge shutdown.
January 1st always brings a feeling of optimistic hope to my life. A new year, a new beginning, a new chance to make good on promises to work and family. This year I get another new job - I get to lay off 3 people.
I don't want to lay them off. Their work is okay and though they are not world beaters they can help make a difference in the organization. Its not that they were difficult, offensive, ill-trained, abusive, or disobedient in any way. The reason I am laying them off is because the state has made it too expensive to keep them on.
17 months ago I was hired to lead a non-profit organization. The organization has suffered over the years and has not been in the black for 4 years - until this year. I had to terminate some bad employees, retrain some others, cut costs, and renegotiate almost every contract for every vendor we have. Every 60 to 90 days I had to stand before a Board of Directors and explain financial matters using rhetorical gymnastics not seen before. It has been a year of great accomplishment due to the hard work of many people who finally get to say 'we hit our goals'.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard chatter in conservative media circles about a nascent challenge to Speaker John Boehner. At first glance you may be thinking that there is no way that the speaker can be unseated without a majority of the GOP caucus. But there is. Daniel Horowitz (full disclosure Conservative Review, where he is senior editor is a client of mine) explains at Conservative Review:
As noted before, even without an alternative, members are free to vote for whomever they choose when their name is called by the Clerk of the House. If 29 members vote for someone other than Boehner, the process goes to a second ballot and a brokered conference meeting. That is where conservatives' leverage begins to negotiate concessions from the inevitable litany of people who will toss their hat into the ring.
But the supposition of Republicans not being given an alternative is irrelevant at this point.
Basically all that needs to happen, to get the ball rolling is for 29 brave souls to vote for anyone but present for Speaker, when the roll call vote happens tomorrow. Then a brokered conference will happen and Boehner will not be Speaker. It is that simple.
Horowitz also joined me on Herald Radio last Friday to explain.
Barney Keller, the former communications director of the Massachusetts Republican Party under Peter Torkildsen and Jenn Nassour, has a new job in DC. Keller has been the communications director of the conservative Club for Growth over the past few years. He is now an Executive Vice President with Jamestown Associates, the firm that did Baker's TV ads after the first ad company was fired.
Join me in wishing him good luck in his new position and take a look at what he's doing at this link.
Barney Keller, Executive Vice President
A political and communications expert, Barney Keller, joins Jamestown Associates after nearly four years as the Communications Director at the Club for Growth.
During his tenure at the Club, Barney helped lead the organization's issue advocacy campaigns and acted as their primary spokesman. He also served as a political and communications adviser to the Club's affiliated PAC and Super-PAC, contributing to the election of US Senators and Congressmen, including Senators Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, and Ben Sasse.
Prior to joining the Club for Growth, Barney worked for Pat Toomey's winning Senate campaign, Rick Lazio's campaign for Governor, as well as the Massachusetts and New Hampshire Republican Parties.