Archive for Energy

Alex Buck Podcast

Not your usual politician, as Alex Buck describes himself, joined us today to pitch his positions and his aims if he becomes Susan Fargo’s replacement in the MA Senate for 3rd Middlesex. He says he tells voters in his front door speech that’s one of his pluses.

He warned us that his campaign site is almost fleshed out, but won’t get his platform and issues for a few more days. Meanwhile, click below to hear his views and goals on a very wide range, from education to taxes to growing our economy to mass transit to the role of government.

Buck layered a masters in public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School on his mechanical engineering bachelors. He talks about his vision for an economy that educates for and enables the likes of life sciences, biotech and clean energy. He is firmly against giving tax breaks to individual companies (comparing that the mere fertilizer when an industry’s entire environment should foster all companies who enter it or expand in it).

He sees education from all-day kindergarten through public support to keep state colleges affordable to workplace education as pivotal to building and expanding these essential industries. Listen in as he addresses why he thinks we are one of the few places in the country that can pull this off.

This was the fourth in the 3rd Middlesex Senate series. Mara Dolan was the first, Mike Barrett the second, and Joe Kearns Goodwin the third.

icon for podpress  Alex Buck [31:48m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Khazei Calling for People to Rise Up

Alan Khazei somehow manages to be simultaneously smart, politically experienced and optimistic. Speaking with us today of the dreadful economic and employment problems as well as awful political forces, he still is confident we’ll get through it as a nation and thrive.

Doing so will require both strong governmental action and popular uprising to correct the problems. Click the player below to hear him describe the problems and solutions.

The highly accomplished social entrepreneur is not about to relax after withdrawing from the race for the Democratic U.S. Senate seat nomination. He proposed the widest ranging and most specific platform of issues with sub-issues in the race. Many of these are progressive goals he has worked for over the past several decades. He intends to find ways to accomplish them.

In case there is any doubt, he does not see the incumbent Sen. Scott Brown as a possible champion of what’s necessary for the nation. Toward the end of our half hour, he notes that Brown came in with a perfect opportunity to form a bipartisan caucus. “He could have done anything,” Khazei said. Instead, Brown has not been the game-changing leader people need and expected.

He spoke to us of the travesties of the Citizens United decision and the codification of corporations as people and money as free speech. Instead of these and such regressive moves as states requiring voter ID and otherwise limiting election participation, he wants same-day registration and other moves to open the process to more Americans. The greater the number of voters with access determines who’s elected and the quality of government, he said. To fix the dysfunctional political system requires people to rise up and demand it.

For the economic and employment side, he sees the need for state and national government to do all possible to get more Americans back to work. In the process, that can mean modern equivalents of the NRA, WPA and CCC. With that could come repairing the nation’s infrastructure and modern benefits like retrofitting green building features. The larger process would put more of us to work and more money and growth in the economy. Listen in as he describes the role national service and similar efforts can play.

Again and again, he returned to the point that “ultimately, it’s going to take a citizen movement” to implement these actions. In that vein, he said early on that far too many politicians and bureaucrats in Washington are “stuck in the Beltway.” Many are not aware that “there are a lot of great answers” beyond.

By the bye, he did not endorse anyone for the Senate race, but did say that he would campaign for the eventual nominee if asked.

icon for podpress  Alan Khazei [34:14m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Beacon & Capitol Hills Podcast

Exciting times start this week, both in D.C. and MA. We kick around what we expect in both locales.

Dynamics promise many battles and real disadvantages for the GOP as it takes over the majority in the U.S. House. For one, the new, large crop of Republican governors will face severe financing problems, particularly after their states have exhausted the federal aid provided for the past two years. They’ll want supplemental funds, while the national party has pledged to cut $100 billion from the budget…not compatible needs and goals.

On the local level, we call what the governor and legislature need to do to keep the economy healing, grown jobs, and tweak our health reform.

Listen in as we hit the high and low lights in both places.

icon for podpress  Beacon and Capitol Hills [56:18m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Grace Ross Podcast

Of course, we spoke of AG Martha Coakley and of the Tea Party and of Israel. Today’s guest was Grace Ross, after all.

We were just Grace and Mike, but we covered her analysis of the recent election, which led to many topics. While a professional and relentless activist, she has run for MA Governor twice — first as the Green-Rainbow nominee and recently in an effort to get on the Democratic ticket. She chomps and nibbles at the powers through advocacy, filing (often successful) legislation, and sometimes running for office.

She helped found the Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending. Her principal economic and political positions are available in her book Main St. $marts.

Listen in as she speaks of:

  • The vastly misunderstood and best champion at the state level against major corporate interests run amok (Martha Coakley)
  • How she was smeared as an anti-Semite in 2006 for poorly worded Green-Rainbow platform statements
  • The worst of the Bush 2 legacy — “We fear our neighbors now.”
  • How the energy ridden recently by the Tea Party is not right wing, rather populist energy
  • The commitment to the revolutionary spirit alive and well in MA
  • More than ever, we need real people, not sexy campaigners, running for office
  • Populist candidates having a shot at office if they do enough groundwork between major elections

We spent some time on how in the recent election, the GOP did well in General Court and some local elections and were shut out of statewide races. She admits she has “a bunch of friends who are Republican elected officials” and that she misses “the traditional Republican candidates we had in Massachusetts.” She thinks too many of the Dems and Republicans here do not identify with ordinary citizens, who are concerned with jobs, mortgages, education and such.

Listen in as she explains what she sees as ways for them to present concrete examples of alternatives.

icon for podpress  Grace Ross [60:02m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Niki Wired for Re-Election Podcast

U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas joined us to discuss trends in Congress and her pending battle for a third term. Following U.S. Sen. Scott Brown’s special-election victory, seven from the GOP and four independents have targeted her seat for the fall vote. At her day job, she sees time and opportunity still for solid legislation after the financial reform fight.

Rather than seeming worn by the health reform and financial regulation battles, she was energized. In fact, she told us that passage of health reform energized both houses of Congress.

Listen in as she discusses the likelihood of energy legislation and even immigration policy revision. For the latter, she suggests that Arizona’s new law on immigration illustrates how Congress has to act on the policies.

We also discussed her positions on the military’s don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy and the PATRIOT Act. She tells us what she expects to happen with each.

She also addressed criticisms that she hadn’t sponsored enough bills, which seems to be a talking point of GOP challengers. She details her successes in such areas as safe body armor for our soldiers, enabling the National Guard to attract doctors and dentists with student loan help, and a new model to reduce sexual assault in the military.

icon for podpress  Niki Tsongasa [40:51m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Lida Harkins for Senate Podcast

State Rep. Lida Harkins is aiming for the Norfolk/Bristol/Middlesex Senate seat Scott Brown vacated when he headed to D.C. She told us how she is at least as progressive as Dr. Peter Smulowitz, whom she faces in next month’s special election primary. She also discussed how she’ll beat the Republican in the race, Richard Ross, in May.

Harkins explained her qualified support for casinos, which she views as fait accompli and whose nature she wants to help construct. She ticks the list of the district’s concerns and said she’ll cover all 12 cities and towns in this truncated race. She talked a lot about the big issue for the district, jobs.

Listen in as she speaks of what has been accomplished in ethics reform and what needs to happen in terms of transparency and finances. Moreover, we covered a wide range of topics from getting our money’s worth from tax credits to corporations to her understandable pride in leading the charge in the House for same-sex marriage.

icon for podpress  Lida Harkins [49:56m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Democratic Sutures Podcast

Doctor stitchWe led with healing Democratic bent brains and bruised feelings after a long, tight primary. Beyond that, there was a motley set of issues today — updates on casinos and taxes, the elusive Massachusetts Republican candidates, and even a sudden possibility that Rhode Island would plant its wind farms before we do.

Projecting the last two primaries and interviewing unannounced U.S. Senators and other superdelegates, the AP called the nomination for Barack Obama. That seems inevitable and forces the question about how we kick the crazies and incompetents out of the White House…and we hope out of a blocking minority in the Senate.

Ryan and Mike figure that once John McCain emerges to speak and to debate, Obama and progressive ideas will skunk him. The differences couldn’t be clearer and Americans are sick of death, poverty and other GOP-led failures. We also think McCain is too volatile and simple-minded to hold his own in one-on-one campaigning. It’s looking good for November.

icon for podpress  Democratic Sutures [46:01m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Deval, Make It Work

Lynne got to play our intrepid reporter this week. She reprised her Left In Lowell interview-like-object with Gov. Deval Patrick last week when he was in her fair burgh. She had gotten 30 minutes with him, addressing local and commonwealth issues.

We teed off from those topics to cover bond issues, other funding possibilities, and how Patrick and get big progressive projects moving.

Posts of the Week

Lynne cited a Treehugger post on how an Italian city dumped their gassy mowers for fluffy ones. Industrial Turin is working on rehabbing its image from a polluted factory town. Sheep now maintain the grass.

Mike was amused by the always out there howling latina. She can’t forgive Obama for eclipsing her candidate and supports Clinton even if it will mean trying to game the superdelegates and tell the voters to take a hike. Two in this vein include 1) praising Sen. Jim Webb for saying the supers should vote regardless of their states’ voters choice, and 2) quoting a Vivian J. Paige email with the convoluted reasoning that “the superdelegates are not rubber-stamps for the public vote. To say otherwise is to ignore the reason why they exist.”

icon for podpress  Deval, Make It Work [57:54m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download