Today’s show was on the casino deal in Middleboro. Among the several votes at the town meeting, Middleboro voted both against casinos and for them. On the non-binding, ‘do we want casinos in Middleboro’ vote, the town gave a resounding no. On the question of whether or not Middleboro would support the Womponoag casino, the town voted yes by a margin of 2-1.
Odd that, despite the facts that point to the contrary, many in the town thought the casino was all but a done deal – and voted for it out of a fear they’d get nothing if it didn’t pass. Yet, Middleboro’s ‘vote that counted,’ is – in reality – just as symbolic as the vote they took on whether or not they’d support the ethereal casino. Why? It isn’t up to Middleboro whether or not a casino will be built there; it’s up to Deval Patrick and the State Legislature. Let’s hope Beacon Hill won’t rush to judgement as did the town of Middleboro; if one casino is built in Massachusetts, because of the way federal law works, more will follow. This is a decision that needs to be properly vetted and decided carefully, once the casino cork is out of the bottle, it will never fit back in.
Posts of the Week
Ryan’s Blog of the Week comes from Emptywheel at FireDogLake. It’s a post on the NSA wiretapping program, covering a letter sent by Senator Rockefeller to Dick Cheney.
But when Bush signed the Appropriations Act, he signed a mumbo-jumbo filled signing statement specifically addressing that section of the Act. Effectively, the signing statement claimed that since the Annex to the Act that referred to other data-mining programs was classified, any reference to such programs wasnâ€™t really part of the duly-signed law. It was just â€œadvisory.â€
Oh, those pesky signing statements. Well, Rockefeller is having none of it. Senators knew what they were doing when they defunded any wiretapping program that would spy on Americans or use data mining to find new Americans to spy on. Yet, Bush gave the program a new name and thought everything was hunky doroy. Of course, this is the same President who tried to bully a hospital-stricken John Ashcroft into providing cover for the wiretapping program in the first place. Any person who can make Ashcroft look like a nice, tame old man has a special seat reserved for them where the weather is always warm – spying on the Americans he’s supposed to be protecting will only help him get a chair with a view.
David was first to start the analysis of the new report on the Community Preservation Act, as Mike’s post of the week. Over at The Eisenthal Report, the post notes that this is not working as it’s supposed to work. The Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston concludes:
- Rich communities have taken advantage of this and poor ones have not.
- The aim of more affordable happening isn’t working with CPA.
Pages 21 and 22 of the report detail exactly hot to fix the problems with fund-revenue distribution rules, use guidelines, and reporting requirements. The current implementation seems sadly in the spirit of the institute’s namesake, Jerry Rappaport. We can do better.