State Administration and Finance Undersecretary Jay Gonzalez told lawmakers Thursday he believes it’s “quite likely” that the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority’s bond insurer’s credit rating will be lowered further, which would leave the fiscally ailing agency on the hook for a balloon payment valued on Wednesday at $363 million.This is just nuts that we've allowed fiscal neglect and structural neglect to go on so long. And now, at the worst time in our economy in may decades, we are going to have to dig deep to pay down the state's credit cards because we legally cannot run a deficit. This debt service, especially stupidly avoidable stuff like balloon payments, eats cash, lowering the amount of money that will actually go into the real-world economy. Friggin' brilliant.
The mayors noted that Louisiana -- according to Dun & Bradstreet -- "is home to 7,013 arts-related businesses that employ 27,117 people." And it says that in 2008, Louisiana received 27 grants worth $1.3 million from the NEA.
"Mayors clearly understand the important contribution of the arts to our local communities, financially and in terms of the quality of life for our residents," said the letter signed by Miami Mayor Manny Diaz.
For anyone born after, say, 1970, the world has been shaped by Ronald Reagan's remaking of government's relationship with private interests—a vision of lower taxes, less regulation, and maximum economic leeway for those at the top. In this view, the pursuit of wealth is the warp and weft of America; everything else will follow.Who's gonna' tell the Dittoheads that our constitution's framers were "socialists?"
By contrast, the preamble to the Constitution tells us the nation's reason for being in 52 words that can be reduced to six principles: society, justice, peace, security, commonwealth, and freedom. Individual riches don't make the list. They are a product of American society, not its guiding purpose. Progress, then, must begin with a return to the best of the values that created this Second American Republic—one born, it's worth remembering, from the failure of the Articles of Confederation, whose principles (weak government, unfettered capitalism) found their resurrection in the economic policies of the past three decades.
The money comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which President Obama signed on Tuesday in Colorado. The ARRA, the latest stimulus act, will provide billions of dollars in an attempt to boost the national economy, in addition to providing billions to pump up school systems across the country.$1.3 million for North Adams will go a long way towards keeping a fragile system from crashing.
The act allots $13 billion in Title 1 funding, which provides for the poorest students, and $11.3 billion in IDEA funding, which is for students with disabilities. It also provides for school construction and modernization tax credits with $24.8 billion, as well as a $53.6 billion for state stabilization funds, of which the Bay State's use will be determined by Gov. Deval Patrick.
Last week, 15 patrons with laundry-lists of overdue books and movies were summonsed to Northern Berkshire District Court for show-cause hearings, she said.
"It was very successful -- about 3/4 of the cases were settled either before or on the day of the hearing," Gross said. We had several people bring in the missing materials before the court date."
Rumors began circulating last week after a foreclosure notice for the 11-acre South State Street property was published as a legal advertisement. According to the Northern Berkshire Registry of Deeds, Chung took out a $474,000 mortgage on the property last April.I hope this works out for Jae. We ate there this past Tuesday night (Cheap Sushi night!) and my fear was that it would be the last time.
"We're not closing," Chung said Thursday. "I've met with the president of the (Adams Co-operative) bank and we've made a deal. We have restructured the loan.
".... the property tax, which is the most regressive tax."Umm, no. The sales tax is by far the most regressive because poor folks pay a far higher portion of their income into it. Conversely property tax is based upon the assessed value of property. The owner, if she/he cannot afford the taxes, usually has the option of selling. That doesn't hold true when you are paying sales tax on a jug of laundry soap.
Guyer, who was given a seat on the powerful Ways and Means Committee and named a vice chairman of the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, blasted Pignatelli on Facebook, a massive social networking Web site that has become one of the most popular online destinations.Oops.
Pignatelli's "such an idiot," Guyer's Facebook posting read. "I have been biting my tongue for four years about his BS ... came to a head today with what he said in that article. The happy horse crap 'we are all one in the delegation' facade is O V E R."
The posting dragged into public view a feud that has been in the background for months.
The average City man believes that you are engaged on a hare-brained expedition in face of competent advice, that the best hope lies in your ridding yourself of your present advisers to return to the old ways, and that otherwise the United States is heading for some ghastly breakdown. That is what they say they smell. There is a recrudescence of wise head-waging by those who believe that the nose is a nobler organ than the brain.The letter itself, originally printed in the New York Times 75 years ago, describes a situation very similar to where we are right now. The major difference that makes Keynes' three pronged approach to battling "the slump" is that, today, the Federal Reserve has already lowered interest rates effectively to zero, which makes the other two "factors" so important:
Individuals must be induced to spend more out o their existing incomes; or the business world must be induced, either by increased confidence in the prospects or by a lower rate of interest, to create additional current incomes in the hands of their employees, which is what happens when either the working or the fixed capital of the country is being increased; or public authority must be called in aid to create additional current incomes through the expenditure of borrowed or printed money. In bad times the first factor cannot be expected to work on a sufficient scale. The second factor will come in as the second wave of attack on the slump after the tide has been turned by the expenditures of public authority. It is, therefore, only from the third factor that we can expect the initial major impulse.If you have no clue what the heck this post is about, but are curious who this guy Keynes was and want a basic overview of his theories, click here.
They recently realized there are some 75 employees working at the Senate’s own printing plant, a plain brick building on the outskirts of Albany. On Long Island, they found a small television studio, which had been set up — all with public money, with two press aides on hand to help operate it — for the exclusive use of Republican senators to record cable TV shows.Wasn't it the newly elected National GOP Chair who declared
Democrats also came across what they are calling the “Brunomobile,” a $50,000 specially outfitted GMC van, with six leather captain’s chairs (some swiveling), a navigation system, rearview camera and meeting table. Joseph L. Bruno, the former Senate majority leader who was recently indicted on corruption charges, traveled in the van after his use of state helicopters sparked a feud with the Spitzer administration.
Then there are the parking spots, always at a premium near the Capitol. Democrats had been given roughly one spot per senator — there were 30 Democrats last year — and guessed there were perhaps double or even triple that controlled by the majority. Instead, they have learned, there are more than 800.
And Democratic leaders must determine what to do about 45 workers toiling away in a building close to the Capitol who appear to have been engaged in quasi-political research for the Republicans.
"Not in the history of mankind has the government ever created a job."I guess Michael Steele never met Joe Bruno.
THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS BERKSHIRE SS. SUPERIOR COURT No. 09-026 To Jae H. Chung, residing at 142 Blythewood Drive, Pittsfield, Massachusetts 01201, and to all persons entitled to the benefits of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. WHEREAS, Adams Co-Operative Bank is a corporation having a usual place of business at 93 Park Street, Adams, Massachusetts 01220, claiming to be the holder of a mortgage covering real property situated at 1111 South State Street, North Adams, Massachusetts 01247, given by Jae. H. Chung to Adams Co-Operative Bank dated April 21, 2008, and recorded in the Berkshire Northern District Registry of Deeds, Book 1327, Page 827&c, has filed with said court a bill in equity for authority to foreclose said mortgage by entry and possession and exercise of a power of sale: If you are entitled to the benefits of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act,as amended, and you object to such foreclosure of said mortgage, you or your attorney should file a written appearance and answer in said Court at Pittsfield, in said County of Berkshire, on or before the 18th day of March, 2009, which day is the return day of this subpoena, or you may be forever barred from claiming that such foreclosure is invalid under said Act. Witness, BARBARA J. ROUSE, Esquire, Chief Justice of our Superior Court, the 27th day of January in the year of our Lord two thousand nine. Deborah S. Capeless CLERK. A True copy. Attest: John D. Lanoue. Esq. Donovan & O'Connor, LLP 1330 Mass MoCA Way North Adams, MA 01247 (413)663-3200 2/11/09
THE doctor who sparked the scare over the safety of the MMR vaccine for children changed and misreported results in his research, creating the appearance of a possible link with autism, a Sunday Times investigation has found.
Confidential medical documents and interviews with witnesses have established that Andrew Wakefield manipulated patients’ data, which triggered fears that the MMR triple vaccine to protect against measles, mumps and rubella was linked to the condition.
The research was published in February 1998 in an article in The Lancet medical journal. It claimed that the families of eight out of 12 children attending a routine clinic at the hospital had blamed MMR for their autism, and said that problems came on within days of the jab. The team also claimed to have discovered a new inflammatory bowel disease underlying the children’s conditions.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee says he's surprised a Texas peanut plant run by a company responsible for a national salmonella outbreak operated uninspected and unlicensed for nearly four years.
Sen. Tom Harkin asked during a hearing Thursday if he should be alarmed by this and asked federal health officials how many other food plants are operating off the radar without regular inspections.
Stephen Sundlof, the FDA's food safety chief, told Harkin each state handles licensing and inspections differently.
It will be interesting to see how Google's new geo-locator service, called Latitude, plays with small business. Launched yesterday, Latitude transmits the user's location back to Google [using standard 2nd generation cell phones] for display using the service's online maps.I'm sure that your friendly neighborhood stalkers will love this service, too!
Bosley said he was loyal to DiMasi. He said he remained neutral in the speaker's contest until the retirement of DiMasi, who stepped down this week amidst the investigation for ethical problems.I've personally heard Dan's interpretation of DiMasi's plight and I have no problem with him sticking with his trusted colleague and friend until the end. Politics being what it is, seeing someone pass on the chance to twist the knife is a rare demonstration of character.
On Monday, Bosley committed to DeLeo, but DeLeo had already secured enough votes to become speaker.
Bosley, who has been a leader in blocking casinos for the past 15 years on Beacon Hill, said he would play any role for DeLeo that the new speaker decides. He said he has no expectations.
Ever since he began working on the troop surge, [Petraeus' mentor] Keane has been the central figure manipulating policy in order to keep as many U.S. troops in Iraq as possible. It was Keane who got Vice President Dick Cheney to push for Petraeus as top commander in Iraq in late 2006 when the existing commander, Gen. George W. Casey, did not support the troop surge.Evidently Petraeus and his mentor honestly believed that St. David P. was too popular to be contradicted by his commander. And now they want to create a public relations blitz to try and change the President's mind:
It was Keane who protected Petraeus's interests in ensuring the maximum number of troops in Iraq against the efforts by other military leaders to accelerate troop withdrawal in 2007 and 2008. As Bob Woodward reported in "The War Within", Keane persuaded President George W. Bush to override the concerns of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about the stress of prolonged U.S. occupation of Iraq on the U.S. Army and Marine Corps as well its impact on the worsening situation in Afghanistan.
Bush agreed in September 2007 to guarantee that Petraeus would have as many troops as he needed for as long as wanted, according to Woodward's account.
Keane had also prevailed on Gates in April 2008 to make Petraeus the new commander of CENTCOM. Keane argued that keeping Petraeus in the field was the best insurance against a Democratic administration reversing the Bush policy toward Iraq.
Keane had operated on the assumption that a Democratic president would probably not take the political risk of rejecting Petraeus's recommendation on the pace of troop withdrawal from Iraq. Woodward quotes Keane as telling Gates, "Let's assume we have a Democratic administration and they want to pull this thing out quickly, and now they have to deal with General Petraeus and General Odierno. There will be a price to be paid to override them."
Keane, the Army Vice-Chief of Staff from 1999 to 2003, has ties to a network of active and retired four-star Army generals, and since Obama's Jan. 21 order on the 16-month withdrawal plan, some of the retired four-star generals in that network have begun discussing a campaign to blame Obama's troop withdrawal from Iraq for the ultimate collapse of the political "stability" that they expect to follow U.S. withdrawal, according to a military source familiar with the network's plans.If an active duty officer is involved in such a scheme, I believe that would be a clear violation of the law.
The source says the network, which includes senior active duty officers in the Pentagon, will begin making the argument to journalists covering the Pentagon that Obama's withdrawal policy risks an eventual collapse in Iraq. That would raise the political cost to Obama of sticking to his withdrawal policy.
If Obama does not change the policy, according to the source, they hope to have planted the seeds of a future political narrative blaming his withdrawal policy for the "collapse" they expect in an Iraq without U.S. troops.
Just weeks after Citigroup averted total collapse with a $45 billion shot in the arm of taxpayer cash, the bank jetted its former CEO and his family on one of its corporate jets to a posh Mexican resort for New Year's, The Post has learned.I am referred to as - "sources familiar with the trip" -GRRRRR. I provided a published, eyewitness account.
Sandy Weill, 75, hopped aboard the tanking bank's Bombardier BD 700 Global Express on Dec. 26 with his wife, Joan, daughter Jessica, her husband and their children. They flew from Westchester County Airport to the Los Cabos shore region in sunny Baja, according to aviation records and sources familiar with the trip.