Senatorial Wisdom From Massachusetts

A Senator from Massachusetts made an insightful statements about the future of our nation. That Senator was Daniel Webster.

Senator Daniel Webster stated:

“There is no nation on earth powerful enough to accomplish our overthrow. Our destruction, should it come at all, will be from the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government.”

Holly Robichaud posted an article in today’s Boston Herald illustrating the wisdom of that statement. She lists the ways you could destroy America from within:

The first step would be to jeopardize the country’s financial stability. Increasing the national debt by $7 trillion is a good starting point, and letting the debt keep growing until it overtakes the country’s gross national product is the death knell.

Another way to unbalance our finances is to encourage everyone to become dependent on government handouts instead of being self-
sufficient. When takers outnumber taxpayers, the system will collapse.

The second step would be to destroy U.S. credibility abroad. Spying on our friends doesn’t help our relationships.

…Another step would be to toss out our governing principles. Ignoring our Constitution along with the two other equal branches of government destabilizes the fabric of our society. Changing laws by executive fiat rather than the legislative process undermines our democracy. Our Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution so no one person could dictate. The document empowers the branches of government so there are checks and balances. Without them, we become a dictatorship.

Lastly, you would neglect one of the basic principles: protect the people. Thomas Jefferson said, “A nation without borders is no nation.” Allowing people from other countries to hop, skip and jump over the border is a nonviolent invasion.

The obvious conclusion is that our destruction is happening as America watches television and tunes out politics. Unless the American voter wakes up and begins to pay attention and get involved, we will see Senator Webster’s prediction come true.

What Sharia Law Means

Yesterday the Boston Herald posted a story about a pregnant Pakistani woman who was stoned to death by her family because she married a person her father did not approve of.

The article reports:

The woman was killed while on her way to court to contest an abduction case her family had filed against her husband. Her father was promptly arrested on murder charges, police investigator Rana Mujahid said, adding that police were working to apprehend all those who participated in this “heinous crime.”

Arranged marriages are the norm among conservative Pakistanis, and hundreds of women are murdered every year in so-called honor killings carried out by husbands or relatives as a punishment for alleged adultery or other illicit sexual behavior.

Stonings in public settings, however, are extremely rare. Tuesday’s attack took place in front of a crowd of onlookers in broad daylight. The courthouse is located on a main downtown thoroughfare.

A police officer, Naseem Butt, identified the slain woman as Farzana Parveen, 25, and said she had married Mohammad Iqbal, 45, against her family’s wishes after being engaged to him for years.

…Nearly 20 members of Parveen’s extended family, including her father and brothers, had waited outside the building that houses the high court of Lahore. As the couple walked up to the main gate, the relatives fired shots in the air and tried to snatch her from Iqbal, her lawyer said.

When she resisted, her father, brothers and other relatives started beating her, eventually pelting her with bricks from a nearby construction site, according to Mujahid and Iqbal, the slain woman’s husband.

It will be interesting to see if any family members are brought up on charges for this killing. Evidently the father of the woman did not have a problem with the idea of stoning her to death because she had fled an arranged marriage. This is the culture that grows out of Sharia Law. This is the same Sharia Law many Muslims want to bring to America. This stoning is one of many reasons all Americans need to oppose Sharia Law coming to America.

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Not Everyone Cheers When The Playing Field Is Leveled

Michael Graham posted an article in the Boston Herald today about the recent Supreme Court decision on campaign donations.

Michael Graham explains why the decision is important to Massachusetts:

The U.S. Supreme Court’s campaign-finance ruling is the first ray of sunshine to reach the Massachusetts Republican party in a long time.

To understand why, you need to know three simple facts about who pays for campaigns, facts that are almost never reported in the mainstream media:

• Six of the top 10 campaign donors are unions. And their money overwhelmingly goes to Democrats. Incumbent Democrats in particular.

• Sixteen of the top 25 campaign funders are liberal, Democratic organizations like ActBlue ($97 million in campaign cash since 1989), which also give disproportionately to incumbents. Only three of the top 25 are Republican.

• None of them are the Koch Brothers. (They rank 57th.)

If you haven’t figured it out, the purpose of campaign finance restrictions is to protect incumbent politicians. This shouldn’t be a surprise given that these laws were passed by … incumbent politicians.

And in Massachusetts, “incumbent” is a synonym for “Democrat.” (When it comes to federal office-holders here, that is literally true.) So any change that makes life more difficult for incumbents is good news for the local GOP.

Union money has bought and sold elections in Massachusetts and some other states for a very long time. This ruling levels the playing field and lets other people with money play. That is why the Democrat party is making such a big deal about it.

The unintended consequence of this ruling may be that being able to be in public office long enough to go from being broke to multi millionaire may no longer be possible. It may be that being in public office may no longer be a career. Keep in mind that our founding fathers envisioned a government made up of ordinary citizens. Unfortunately we have forgotten that concept and created career politicians.

Not everyone loves it when you level the playing field.

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A Rather Interesting Definition Of Equality

Lately there has been much discussion about what health insurance should cover and what it should not cover. Obamacare has added to that discussion by requiring that approved insurance policies cover pediatric dental care for single people or that single men have coverage for birth control. Yet many cancer patients and people with serious diseases have found that they are not fully covered. We have heard their stories.

I have previously posted stories about Robert, now Michelle, Kosilek (rightwinggranny.com and rightwinggranny.com), a convicted murderer currently serving prison time in Massachusetts. These stories have focused on Mr. Kosilek’s battle to force the Massachusetts taxpayers to pay for his sex-change operation so that he can spend his time in prison as Michelle Kosilek. The latest decision to come down from the Massachusetts court was that the taxpayers should also pay for Mr. Kosilek’s legal expenses in this case.

Now a taxpayer has gone to the courts claiming discrimination in this case. Today’s Boston Herald is reporting that Anita T. Phoenix, 59, a Cambridge transgender woman, has filed a federal lawsuit earlier this month claiming that Medicare and MassHealth discriminated against her because they would not pay for her transgender treatments.

The article reports:

State Sen. Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester), who has supported the Department of Correction in the Kosilek fight, said the lawsuit shows the dangers of the controversial case.

“It will open the door not only to other law-abiding people to make that claim, but people who are incarcerated to seek other forms of surgery that they wouldn’t otherwise obtain,” said Tarr. “What we’re talking about here are extraordinary measures that most citizens can’t afford and wouldn’t undertake. If we set a precedent in allowing Kosilek to obtain this kind of surgery, what we’d essentially be doing is opening the door for all different types of surgeries that are extraordinary to become the subject of entitlement.”

In 2012, federal Judge Mark Wolf ruled the state must pay for Kosilek’s surgery. DOC is making preparations for the operation should a pending appeal fail.

It seems to me that Mr. Kosilek’s and Ms. Phoenix’s is, to some degree, elective surgery. Health insurance does not pay for face lifts or Lasik eye surgery because they are considered optional. When I had cataract surgery, the toric lens they implanted was not covered by my insurance–I had to pay for it–the insurance company would have paid for a lens that had no prescription, but that would have left me still paying for eyeglasses. Frankly, I am much more sympathetic to Ms. Phoenix’s cause than I am for Mr. Kosilek’s cause. It would be a travesty of justice if Mr. Kosilek, a convicted murderer, has access to free health care that Ms. Phoenix, an average taxpayer, is not able to access freely under her health insurance.

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This Year’s Boston Marathon

On April 21, approximately 36,000 people will participate in the Boston Marathon. Yesterday the Boston Herald posted an article about this year’s runners. If you are interested in supporting a runner, please click on the “Team for Kids” link under the picture at the top of the page.

The Boston Herald reports:

Competition for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society marathon team’s 135 spots was three times as fierce as usual, with more than 500 people applying, team coach Kelly Flynn said. “Every charity, within a month, all the numbers were gone and every charity had a wait list.”

Sarah Lucas, a coach for the Boston Children’s Hospital team, said last year’s events struck a nerve in the running community. “People want to show their resiliency and make it as positive as they can instead of shying away and letting the acts affect them,” she said.

The Boston Athletic Association increased the official field of runners by one third, from 27,000 to 36,000. As many as 45 percent of all the runners will be traveling the route for the first time, the BAA reports.

“People’s interest in every element of this year’s marathon — runners included — comes from a determination to show that they will move forward to live their lives as they choose, no matter what someone may have done to try to stop them,” BAA executive director Tom Grilk said. “That is the essence of ‘Boston Strong,’ and it motivates everyone.”

I am so impressed by the runners who will be participating this year. May they all safely complete the race.

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Punished For Doing The Right Thing

Yesterday the Boston Herald posted an article about Erin Cox, former captain of North Andover High School‘s volleyball team. Erin got a phone call from a friend who had been drinking at a party. The friend asked Erin to come get her and drive her home. Erin went to the party to pick up her friend. Unfortunately, at that same time,  police from Boxford, Haverhill, Georgetown and North Andover showed up.

The article reports:

They arrested a dozen underage drinkers and warned another 15 underage youths that they’d be summoned to court for drinking.

Erin Cox was one of those told she’d be summoned for drinking — even though she wasn’t, even though Boxford police Officer Brian Neeley vouched for her sobriety in writing in a statement Erin’s mother, Eleanor, took to court Friday. She filed a lawsuit hoping to reverse the high school’s punishment: Erin was stripped of her captain’s position and suspended, mid-season, for five games.

“Don’t drink,” we tell our high school kids. “And don’t go to a party where kids are drinking,” we tell high school athletes, or you, too, could get suspended from the team.

Erin Cox understood all this, as well.

“But I wasn’t drinking,” she told me. “And I felt like going to get her was the right thing to do. Saving her from getting in the car when she was intoxicated and hurt herself or getting in the car with someone else who was drinking. I’d give her a ride home.”

Erin did the right thing. She may have saved someone’s life that night. The school needs to rethink the punishment–it doesn’t fit the crime.

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Political Speak In Massachusetts

Holly Robichaud posted an article in the Boston Herald today about the tech tax passed by the legislature and the governor earlier this year. It was repealed on Friday. It was understood from the beginning of the negotiations on the tech tax that the law would be confusing and detrimental to businesses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. However, the governor and the legislature chose to pass it anyway. Now the elected officials in the Massachusetts House and Senate find themselves in the embarrassing position of having to explain why they voted for the tax to begin with and why they repealed it.

Ms. Robichaud quotes many of the very interesting explanations in her article:

Rep. Danielle Gregoire was against the tech tax, for the entire tax package and then against the tech tax. To cover up her inconsistency and having more positions on an issue than John Kerry, Gregoire wrote to her local paper attempting to spin the record. According to her, opponents are “using parliamentary minutiae for political gain.”

How dare her political opponents protect the interests of the voters.

Another interesting explanation:

Rep. Carolyn Dykema, whom I have worked against, tweeted “impact of tech tax more broad than understood. Will have ripple effect across economy.” Dykema voted against holding a public hearing on the tech tax, then voted to strip the tech tax out of the bill, then voted three times for the tax package, and then voted to repeal the tech tax.

This makes my head spin.

And another one:

Rep. Diana DiZoglio went with the Clinton defense of blaming politics. “It is my hope that any political games over this would be stopped. My Republican colleagues and I were on the same page regarding this tax vote. Unfortunately, we differed on whether or not to sustain the governor’s veto.” Let me translate — Republicans knew to vote against overriding the veto and I caved to pressure from the speaker.

As long as the voters of Massachusetts keep electing these people, this will continue. We have the leadership we deserve.

How Much Is Enough?

Will there ever come a time when the government feels that it has enough money to run the country, the state, or your town? I am beginning to wonder.

Holly Robichaud at the Boston Herald posted an article today about the tax bill passed by the Massachusetts House yesterday. While reading the details of this bill, please keep in mind that state revenue is presently $575 million above predictions. So what did the House do? They raised taxes!

The article reports:

How much are taxes going up?  Bacon Hill says $500 million.  Do you trust them?  $500 million is just the first year.  This is a tax package on steroids.  It gets bigger every year with no end in sight. 

Bacon Hill indexed the gas tax to inflation which means it will increase every year.  This year it is an additional 3 cents.  Next year it will increase again and the following year and the following year and the following year…..  It is the gas tax increase to infinity and beyond. 

Bacon Hill also tied the tax on underground storage tanks to inflation.

The cigarette tax is going up $1 per pack.  This is a direct attack on poor people. 

Unless the voters of Massachusetts change the way they vote, we can expect to see more of the same.

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We Are Supporting The Terrorists That Want To Murder Us

Yesterday the Boston Herald posted an article giving some of the details about the government assistance the Tsarnaev family received between 2010 and 2012. The family received more than $100,000 in taxpayer-funded assistance–ranging from housing to food stamps and cash.

The article reports:

The state has handed over more than 500 documents to the 11-member House Post Audit and Oversight Committee, which today met for the first time and plans to call in officials from the Department of Transitional Assistance to testify.

…Transitional assistance officials also told the Herald tonight that the agency was conducting its own investigation into whether Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s family ever notified the DTA about his extended trip to Russia, and has since expanded its probe to include a full history of the benefits received by the entire Tsarnaev family.

This is a very interesting situation. On one hand, if a family is asking political asylum, they may not have the means to get established immediately in the United States. On the other hand, is it practical to give immigrants handouts rather than encouraging them to work? This family had been willing to work–they were simply not successful enough to live in Massachusetts.

On Saturday, the Washington Post reported:

America, the golden door, had already welcomed two of his brothers when Anzor Tsarnaev crossed the ocean with his family in 2002. Anzor’s brother Ruslan, who had immigrated just a few years earlier, already had a law degree and was on his way to an executive job and a six-figure salary. And at first, Anzor, his wife, Zubeidat, and their two sons, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar, seemed as energetic and brimming with initiative as their relatives had been. Anzor, a mechanic, fixed up cars. His wife turned a cut-rate apartment in affluent Cambridge into an improvised salon, offering facials at attractive prices

This sounds like a family you would welcome to the neighborhood. But the scene changed:

But over the past four years, even as members of their extended family found their piece of the American dream, the Cambridge Tsarnaevs’ experience in their new land curdled. Money grew scarce, and the family went on welfare. Zubeidat was accused of stealing from a department store. Anzor’s business, never prosperous, faded.

My point in posting this is simple. There was no way to know that the Tsarnaev family was going to become involved with terrorism. The money they were paid was appropriate for the situation they were in–as Americans they were as entitled to it as anyone else. (I know that is not a popular opinion, but it is true–welfare is not the culprit here).

The problem with the Tsarnaevs was the fact that our homeland security does not yet work as well as it should. The attack of September 11, 2001, could have been prevented if egos and bureaucratic rivalries had not been the order of the day (I recommend reading The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright). The bombing on April 15th could also have been prevented had their been more follow up on the tips from Russia and more cooperation between state, city, and government officials. If we are to survive as a nation, we have to learn to work together–and that includes rival bureaucracies. Otherwise, we will see more of what happened during the Boston Marathon. The Welfare Office is not to blame–they are in charge of welfare–our security people are in charge of security.

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As The Economy Struggles To Remain Above Water Massachusetts Raises Taxes

The Massachusetts state Senate passed a bill last night that will raise taxes on the residents of Massachusetts about $500 million dollars. The taxes will take the form of increases in gasoline, cigarette, and corporate taxes. So tell me again why a business would want to relocate to Massachusetts?

The Boston Herald posted the story today. The article states:

The plan calls for raising the gas tax by 3 cents and tying future increases to inflation, increasing the cigarette tax by $1 perpack, imposing new taxes on computer system design services, allowing the MBTA to sell naming rights to stations and redirecting funds from other areas of the budget.

 The bill is a blow to Gov. Deval Patrick, who had been seeking $1.9 billion in new taxes for transportation and education. The House version of the bill also raises taxes by $500 million, but the Senate — after a veto threat — pulled money from other areas of the budget to bolster revenues closer to the $1 billion sought by Patrick. Last night, the governor seemed resigned to the diminished scope of the package.

 

Barbara Anderson, well known in Massachusetts for her work against tax hikes, posted the following on her Facebook page:

 

From media reports, the Senate Transportation bill that passed yesterday includes a 3-cent gas tax, a $1 tax on cigarettes, and $244 million in utility and business-related computer fees. Sen. Bob Hedlund, who appeared briefly at the rally during a Senate break, led the Republican effort to remove language indexing the gas tax to inflation beginning in 2015, but his amendment failed. Watch that tax on computer fees: very unfair to small businesses, and could be the beginning of expanding the sales tax to other services.

Raising taxes in less than ideal economic times is not a good idea. This move by the Senate will slow the growth of jobs and opportunity in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is not a good idea.

There is, however, something good in this tax bill (if it actually happens). The article in the Boston Herald reports:

The bill, which is designed to pour money into the highway system as well as the perennially cash-strapped T, includes two amendments that would pull the veil off the T’s pension system after years of scrutiny by lawmakers, judges and law enforcement — and a week of Herald reports.

Sen. William Brownsberger (D-Belmont) said he filed the legislation to make the MBTA Retirement Fund subject to the state’s public records law and require the board to post pensions payments on the state’s Open Checkbook website after he saw the Herald’s reports last week on the secretive pension system. He said he filed similar legislation about four years ago that failed to gain attention.

If the transparency actually occurs, it will be a good thing for the taxpayers of Massachusetts.

 

You Can Depend On Politicians To Want More Taxes

In Massachusetts you can always depend on the leaders of the Commonwealth to want to raise taxes. This is loosely related to the fact that the majority of the leaders in the executive and legislative branches of government In Massachusetts are Democrats. Well, this year is no exception to the rule.

Holly Robichaud posted an article in the Boston Herald today about Governor Patrick’s latest tax plan and the political theater surrounding it.

The article in the Herald reminds us of a few basic facts:

To sell Speaker Robert DeLeo’s $500 million tax package, there is a whole lot of political theater being staged to fool low information voters into being grateful it’s not Gov. Deval Patrick’s $1.9 billion plan.

When initially announced last week, Patrick pounced by stating that no Democrats lost their seats because they voted for his sales tax increase in 2009. There are Deval’s statements and then there are the facts. In 2010, the GOP doubled their numbers in the House.

It might be a good idea for Democrats to remember the consequences of raising the sales tax as they prepare to vote on the present tax bill.

Ms. Robichaud also notes that Democratic Party Chairman John Walsh has publicly warned Democrats that they will face challenges in primary elections if they do not support higher taxes.

I have lived in Massachusetts since 1978. I have spent a certain amount of that time wondering what in the world was in the water that caused the residents to vote the way they do. We are responsible for the government we have–we elected it. Until the voters of this state wake up and decide to protect their income from the kind of fraud we see in the EBT program and the constant demand for more of our money from the statehouse and legislature, the political theater surrounding tax hikes will continue.

I will be leaving Massachusetts by the end of this year and resettling to a place that has more respect for the fact that I wish to keep the money I earn. I will continue to blog about the perils of big government and its endless appetite for taxpayers’ money, but I will be glad to be in a place where that appetite is slightly smaller. More to follow…

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Sequester Cuts For Thee But Not For Me

Today’s Boston Herald is reporting that as Democrats in Congress scream that the sequester cuts are the end of the world, the Democrats in the Massachusetts congressional delegation spent nearly $200,000 in bonuses, pay hikes and new hires in a timeworn tradition of end-of-the-year handouts. Despite their concern about closing the federal deficit, the Massachusetts congressmen increased their payroll by $196,000 in the last three months of 2012.

The article reports:

Local Democrats tried to place the lion’s share of the blame on House Republicans for forcing the sequestration because they hold a majority in the House.

“Most of them come to Washington because they don’t like government, they don’t think government should play a role in our lives. Maybe they don’t know anybody who needs heating assistance,” Capuano said at a local anti-sequester rally in February.

Ian Prior, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said, “The fact that the delegation is bemoaning all the cuts and saying they are standing up for the working class while they are passing out bonuses and beefing up their staff is rank hypocrisy.”

Until America’s voters wake up to the fact that they are being taken to the cleaners by their so-called representatives, I think we can expect more of the same.

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Fuzzy Math In Massachusetts

Holly Robichaud posted a column at the Boston Herald today about a statement by Massachusetts Treasurer Steve Grossman concerning the cost of illegal aliens to the state.

The article states:

At this eight-town South Shore Democratic Caucus, like Gov. Deval Patrick, Grossman came out in favor of in-state tuition breaks for illegal immigrants, putting him at odds with middle-class voters and union members, but firmly on the side of moonbat liberals who don’t believe in enforcing our laws. Is it no wonder why Democratic State Party Chairman John Walsh doesn’t like primaries?

…Grossman went on to deny that it costs money to give these breaks. To quote him: “(Opponents) say it will cost us money. Once again, this is absolutely wrong.”

The article points out that in-state-tuition breaks are subsidized by the taxpayers of Massachusetts and do actually cost money.

The article points out:

Vaughn (Jessica M. Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies) estimates that taxpayers are spending anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000 per illegal immigrant student, depending on the school. Using her estimates, if just 100 illegals get the break, it will costs us $300,000 to $1.5 million for one year. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, more than 225,000 illegals live in the commonwealth. So it will be more than 100 students.

My questions here is simple, “Why should an American citizen from a state other than Massachusetts pay more to go to college in Massachusetts than someone who is here illegally?”

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Why Massachusetts Needs Two Political Parties

A one-party political system does not work, regardless of which political party it is. As Dr. Benjamin Carson stated in his address at the National Prayer Breakfast, “But, why is that eagle able to fly, high, forward? Because it has two wings: a left wing and a right wing. Enough said.”

Anyway. The Boston Herald is reporting today that the glitch in the Massachusetts welfare department has cost the Massachusetts taxpayers $3.4 million in overtime.

The article reports:

More than 900 employees in the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) — mostly caseworkers — shared in the $3.4 million OT bonanza between November 2010 and May 2011, the department acknowledged after a Herald public records request.

DTA authorized the wages — an average of roughly $3,500 each — so staff could address a backlog of 30,000 clients whose eligibility had to be recertified after the agency overpaid food-stamp clients by $27 million in federal money.

I suppose we should be grateful that at least the overpaid food-stamp clients were paid with federal money. Federal money–are these the same people who keep telling us they can’t cut spending?

The article also reports:

The welfare department has been undergoing a shake-up since ex-Commissioner Daniel Curley was forced to resign on Jan 31, after a devastating inspector general’s report claiming another $25 million in taxpayer money is going to welfare recipients who aren’t eligible.

One of the people who has been on top of this from the start is state Rep. Shaunna O’Connell (R-Taunton). Her response to this mess was, “The governor recently called this leakage — I would call this an avalanche. This is an astronomical number to pay out in overtime for outright mismanagement.”

Hopefully she will continue to hold the Massachusetts government responsible for their total mismanagement of taxpayer money.

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The Black Hole Tax Money Enters

Remember the dust up in Massachusetts when before the election when the state Welfare Department sent out voter-registration forms to welfare recipients? There were links between the Elizabeth Warren campaign and the state-funded campaign to register voters, but that was quietly swept under the table by the media. There is another part of the story, however, that may be even more interesting to follow.

Today’s Boston Herald posted an article explaining that many of the forms sent were returned as undeliverable.

The article reports:

Red-faced state officials admitted last night they are trying to find as many as 19,000 missing welfare recipients — after the controversial taxpayer-funded voter registration pitches the state mailed to their addresses last summer were sent back marked “Return to sender, address unknown.”

The Department of Transitional Assistance contacted 477,000 welfare recipients who were on their books from June 1, 2011, to May 31, 2012, after settling a voter-rights lawsuit brought by Democratic-leaning activist groups that demanded an aggressive voter information effort by the state. That $274,000 push by DTA resulted in 31,000 new voter registrations — but revealed an alarming number of welfare recipients whose residency in Massachusetts can’t be confirmed.

The article reports that many of these welfare recipients continue to receive their benefits through direct deposits to their bank accounts although the state has no way of knowing whether they still live in the state. This is just one example of how well the states manage the money taxpayers give them.

The biggest mistake we ever made in America was putting an income tax in place. Prior to 1913, there was no federal income tax, although one had been levied briefly during the Civil War and was later repealed. The second biggest mistake was using withholding to pay the tax. If everyone realized how much they were actually paying in taxes, Americans might demand that the government shrink to a reasonable size!

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Some Of Us Have Just Realized That We Really Are All In The Same Boat

Howie Carr posted a wonderful article at the Boston Herald today detailing some of the consequences of the re-election of President Obama. The focus of the article is the fact that the people who voted for him will suffer the same consequences of his victory that the rest of us have to deal with.

The article lists some of those consequences:

Take the instructors at Community College of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh.

Their hours are being cut back so the college can get around Obamacare. All you teachers, hope you enjoy being adjunct professors, because you ain’t getting tenure anytime soon. Wonder who they all voted for on Nov. 6?

One story had a quote from a CCAC English instructor who had a “vague hope” that his health care insurance costs would be going down under Obamacare.

…Fortunately, all the “womyn’s studies” instructors at CCAC can pick up their insurance by getting jobs at, say, Olive Garden. But wait, I forgot — many fast-food and supermarket chains are also cutting back to work weeks of 29 A hours maximum.

(Employers have to provide health insurance to anyone who works at least 30 hours.)

“Part time is the new full time,” Michelle Malkin wrote.

Now, not only is he not going to be eligible for full insurance, he’s taking a $600 a month pay cut because of his reduced hours.

Howie Carr also lists the financial decisions made as a result of the election:

You know, like George Lucas. Only thing is, he just sold his Star Wars studio to Disney for $4.05 billion to beat the Jan. 1 tax Armageddon. By some accounts, Han Solo’s real father will be saving more than $200 million.

…How about the Walton family, the owners of Wal-Mart.

Their scheme is to pay out this quarter’s dividends on Dec. 27 instead of Jan. 2. That’ll save ’em a cool $180 million. The rich get richer and the poor get … part-time jobs.

The problem with raising taxes on the rich is that most of the rich are rich because of hard work and smart decision-making. Does anyone believe that ‘the rich’ don’t have the brains (or the accountants) to avoid many of the confiscatory taxes the Obama Administration has in store for them? Taxing the rich will not bring in more money (google the “Laffer Curve”), it will simply change the shape of the job market and result in American money leaving the country.  But, as I said, we will all face the consequences of this election.

 

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Adding Insult To Injury

On September 4th I posted a story about the Massachusetts taxpayers being required to pay for a sex change operation for Robert, now Michelle, Kosilek, who murdered his wife in 1990.

Today the Boston Herald reported that U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mark L. Wolf has ruled that the taxpayers of Massachusetts should also reimburse Michelle Lynne Kosilek for years of legal bills.

The article concludes:

Kosilek has survived two suicide attempts and has threatened to castrate himself over his gender distress, according to Wolf, who ruled that sex-reassignment surgery was the only remedy for Kosilek’s “serious medical need.”

It was not immediately clear how far back Kosilek’s lawyers are eligible to recover costs and fees. He has been suing the DOC for surgery since 2000.

I am sorry that Michelle Kosilek is so emotionally messed up. I am sorry that he killed his wife in cold blood, but it seems as if things are getting a little out of hand here. A person in the private sector would have to pay for this surgery themselves, why in the world are the taxpayers paying for the surgery and the court costs?

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What Are The Rights Of A Private Vendor ?

Today’s Boston Herald posted a story about Andrea Taber, owner of the Ever So Humble Pie Co. in Walpole. Ms. Tabor sells her pies at the Braintree market on Fridays. She has caused a controversy by refusing to accept Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards as payment for her pies at the market.

The article reports:

“I don’t think American taxpayers should be footing the bill for people’s pie purchases,” said Andrea Taber, proprietor of the Ever So Humble Pie Co. in Walpole, who peddles her wares at the Braintree market on Fridays and now finds herself in the middle of the state’s raging fight over welfare benefits.

The article concludes:

Businesses must apply and be approved to accept EBT cards, and normally are not obliged to do so. Department of Transitional Assistance Commissioner Daniel Curley said the state wants welfare recipients to “access healthy food,” but he declined to weigh in on whether farmers markets that choose to accept EBT cards can compel their vendors to take part.

I have very mixed emotions on this issue. I would like to think that EBT cards are used to make healthy food purchases, but I really don’t like the idea of anyone being able to control another person’s food purchases. The issue is complicated by the fact that the taxpayers are paying for those food purchases, but it still feels intrusive to me.

It will be interesting to see how this controversy ends.

 

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Using Taxpayer Money To Support Democrat Candidates

Howie Carr posted a story today in the Boston Herald about the voter registration forms that are being sent out with welfare checks in Massachusetts. What is being done in Massachusetts may be technically legal, but it definitely does not pass the smell test.

The Boston Herald reported yesterday that the group behind the plan to send out voter registration forms with welfare checks is headed by Elizabeth Warren‘s daughter. Elizabeth Warren is the Democrat candidate running against Republican Senator Scott Brown. This little exercise in democracy will cost the Massachusetts taxpayers $275,844. A letter and a voter registration form is being sent with every welfare check issued in the State.

The article in yesterday’s Boston Herald reported:

Demos, a group founded in the late 1990s to counter conservative think tanks, also counts President Obama as a founding board member.

The Herald reported today that the group recently forced the Bay State to send out nearly 500,000 voter registration cards to those on welfare at a cost of $276,000. Demos also has sued nine states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Louisiana.

The Bay State lawsuit, filed in conjunction with the ACORN offshoot New England United for Justice, comes as Warren faces a tight battle with Brown in a nationally-watched battle that could decide which Party controls the Senate.

Brown said he supports allowing all legal voters to register, but said officials shouldn’t do so with taxpayer dollars.

Note the ACORN connection. Unless all of us learn to fight for the integrity of our elections, these people are not going to go away.

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The Massachusetts Fourth Congressional District

The Republican primary in the Massachusetts Fourth Congressional District has three candidates–Elizabeth Childs, Sean Bielat, and David Steinhof. The Democrat primary candidates are Rachael Brown, Joseph Kennedy III, and Herb Robinson. Of the six candidates, Joseph Kennedy III is the only one who has raised over a million dollars.

Meanwhile, back to the Republican primary. Holly Robichaud posted an article at the Boston Herald today about the voting history of Elizabeth Childs. According to the article in the Herald, Ms. Childs did not join the Republican party until eleven days before filing the paperwork to begin her run as a candidate. Ms. Childs has been endorsed by former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman and ex-Massachusetts Republican Party Chairwoman Jennifer Nassour,

When Ms. Childs spoke at the local Republican Town Committee, she described herself as a fiscal conservative and a social moderate. She also mentioned that she supported federal funding of abortion. That is not the position of a fiscal conservative.

I am a former Democrat. I voted for George McGovern in 1972. It is obvious that my politics have changed over the years. The contrast between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan had a lot to do with that change. Ms. Childs does not seem to have any explanation for her sudden political transformation or the timing of that transformation. That seems to be a problem with Republican voters in the Massachusetts Fourth.

Sean Bielat seems to be leading in the primary, but both Sean Bielat and David Steinhof have ideas that are much more in keeping with traditional Republican views.

 

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When Elected Officials Ignore The Wishes Of Their Constituents

No, this is not an article about President Obama and healthcare–it is an article about the misuse of the cards given to welfare recipients. In Massachusetts we have what are called EBT cards, which allow people collecting welfare to purchase food for their families.

The Boston Herald is reporting today that Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick vetoed the reforms of the EBT card laws.

The article reports:

While signing the state’s $32.5 billion budget yesterday, Patrick rejected an outside section containing the welfare benefits card reforms that had been hammered out with bi-partisan support in the House and Senate — an effort spearheaded by House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop).

The reforms would have banned EBT buys of guns, porn, tattoos, jewelry and manicures. He allowed the banning of EBT cards in tattoo parlors, gun shops, casinos, cruise ships, strip clubs and adult entertainment centers, saying the independent EBT Card Commission had ruled out the idea of banning specific products “for reasons of feasibility, enforceability (and) cost.”

The purpose of the EBT card is to allow people in need to provide food and necessities to themselves and their families. To allow these cards to be used for non-necessities is unfair to the taxpayers who may be going without these luxuries in order to pay their tax bills!

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Calling For Sunlight

Today’s Boston Herald posted an article about the Cape Wind Farm Project and the lack of transparency in the approval process.

The article reports:

In a letter provided to the Herald, the alliance cited a trove of bombshell internal Federal Aviation Administration emails that suggest the agency buckled to political pressure and downplayed fears that the 440-foot tall spinning turbines would interfere with radar and ensnare small, low-flying aircraft.

The Herald reported Saturday that FAA documents obtained by Parker’s group through a public records request contain repeated references to political support for the proposed 130-turbine project five miles offshore of Cape Cod.

“You’ve got a very clear green agenda from the Obama administration, and very clear agenda from the Patrick administration, wanting to have America’s first offshore wind farm, seemingly at the expense of public safety,” Parker has told the Herald. “It’s like offshore wind at any cost.”

The article and the comments remind us of some of the problems with the Cape Wind Farm Project. Aside from the question of whether political pressure played a part in its approval, there is the fact that it will raise the cost of electricity significantly for Massachusetts residents. There is also the fact that the life of a wind turbine is approximately 25 years before it will need to be removed. What a mess! This will never be a practical project–it will never save consumers money, and we will still need carbon-based back-up electricity to ensure that Massachusetts residents have electric power 24 hours a day! It would make much more sense to refine the technology for natural-gas generated electricity (which is extremely environmentally friendly) and save consumers money and generate jobs in America (America is the Saudi Arabia of natural gas).

Man has been looking for the perpetual motion machine since the beginning of time (that is one of the few things I remember from high school physics!). Green energy is simply another reflection of that quest. At some point in the future, there may be viable green energy, but the government will accomplish nothing by forcing the issue!

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The War On Cupcakes In Massachusetts

When California schools put in place a strict ban on any kind of junk food vending machines in their schools, young entrepreneurs quickly got busy and made a fortune selling twizzlers and Hersey bars. Are the new Department of Public Health rules going to create a legion of young brownie bakers? Well, Massachusetts may have slightly more common sense than California. (Really???)

The Boston Herald reported today:

State lawmakers overturned a controversial ban on school bake sales this afternoon after a fierce public outcry over school nutrition guidelines that also prohibited pizza, white bread and 2 percent milk.

…State Rep. Brad Hill (R-Ipswich) offered the amendment, which leaves it up to local school committees whether to adopt the Department of Public Health rules, after hearing about an Ipswich school arts group that would have had to cancel bake-sale field trip fundraisers and fielding complaints from the local football Boosters concerned about their concession stands.

The bill now has to pass the Massachusetts Senate and be signed by the Governor.

I am just not convinced that this is the correct approach to obesity. Two percent milk is not a major cause of obesity. When the generation over fifty grew up, most of us drank whole milk–we were generally not obese children. Every Friday, the school served pizza for lunch. Generally white bread was the most popular kind. What has changed? How about ending recess, banning tag, banning dodge ball? Did those things have more of an impact that two percent milk? I suspect they did. Video games have not helped either (although I am probably addicted to angry birds.)

Don’t do away with bake sales–I suspect that those foods baked at home are healthier than those foods bought in the store. Also, I love the chocolate chip cookies!

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The Massachusetts Senate Race

Scott Brown, Republican U.S. Senator represent...

Scott Brown, Republican U.S. Senator representing Massachusetts, at a U.S. Senate campaign event on December 31, 2009, in Plymouth Massachusetts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Senate race in Massachusetts is going to be interesting. Scott Brown took the seat in a special election in 2010 after the death of Senator Kennedy. He was embraced by the Tea Party and traveled the state extensively to win votes. Senator Brown has not voted in line with the wishes of the Tea Party, but has definitely been his own man. I have not always agreed with his votes, but will be voting for him again–he is an honest man, and I believe he is trying to vote in the best interests of Massachusetts and America.

The other candidate for the Senate seat is Elizabeth Warren, currently a law professor at Harvard. Ms. Warren has made a few misstatements in her campaign that may be a problem for her.

Today’s Boston Herald reports:

Despite claiming she never used her Native American heritage when applying for a job, Elizabeth Warren’s campaign admitted last night the Democrat listed her minority status in professional directories for years when she taught at the University of Texas and the University of Pennsylvania.

Other than the fact that the statement calls into question Ms. Warren’s basic honesty, it really is no big deal.

The Herald further reports:

The Herald reported Friday that embattled Harvard Law School officials touted Warren’s Native American heritage — she reportedly has ancestors from the Cherokee and Delaware tribes — as proof of the faculty’s diversity.

The Warren campaign has said the U.S. Senate candidate never allowed Harvard Law to claim her as a minority hire. Warren herself has said she could not “recall” ever listing her Native American background when applying for college or a job.

It really is no big deal whether or not Ms. Warren was hired because of her racial background or not–it is a concern, however, that she feels necessary to lie about it during the campaign.

 

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Sometimes Politicians Do Things That Are So Arrogant It’s Almost Funny

The State House in Boston

The State House in Boston (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Thursday the Boston Herald reported that a six-member conference committee of lawmakers in Massachusetts charged with creating a bill to boost government performance, accountability and transparency and increase oversight of spending have decided to hold their meetings in private.

Representative Peter Kocot (D-Northampton) stated:

“Holding open meetings, during which negotiators would discuss differences and seek common ground on bills overhauling government administration and finance laws, might inhibit frank negotiations.

“If you look at the rules of committees, the joint rules, conference committees are not included in those rules. Conference committees operate under a separate set of rules and typically it’s been very common practice in the Legislature to close conference committees so that the members of the conference committee can have a frank and open discussion of the merits of the bills.”

Good grief!

Massachusetts is a one-party state. If you would like more transparency and more honesty in the Massachusetts government, you need to make it a two-party state. Even if you don’t agree with one of the parties, having two parties in government tends to make government more accountable.

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