Archive for December, 2007

Wodin’s Day Special

We can’t seem to get the foot off the sticky floor in time. So, this week only, we move the podcast from Tuesday to Wednesday. Our fearless forecasts for the Presidential candidate caucus in Iowa and primary in New Hampshire will be on January Second at the usual time, 2:30 p.m.

Listen for guests Susan H from Below Boston and perhaps a surprise guest.

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Parents Rights and Casino Hearing

This week’s podcast covered the deceptive parents-rights subgroup that favors control over their children’s minds and bodies. Then Ryan called in from the State House after a day in the budget hearing about casinos.

We alluded to Mike’s series on the former, including:

These contain links to the movement and its agenda.

icon for podpress  Parents Rights and Wrongs [65:05m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Huckabee? You’re Kidding!

We hit on Mike Huckabee, the surprising sudden front runner in the GOP race for the White House. While it’s obvious that serial marrier, adulterer and divorcer, pro-gay, pro-choice Rudy Giuliani will trouble many conservative Republicans, what about that Arkansan minister? Well, we homed in on his many actions and positions that are very opposed to what his target voters say they want. As for us, it is more absurd that someone who says his fundamental Protestantism drives and defines his policy might get on the ticket. The many ramifications of this are sure to turn of increasing sets of voters who learn what his guitar plucker from Hope thinks and says.

Here’s how the show took form:

First 38 Minutes: Stuck on Huck
38-51 Mins: Lynne joins us to talk about just who runs the GOP
and whether they’re in charge now, as well as the actual
dynamics of the Republican Primary.
51-60 Mins: God and Huck, briefly hit up Hillary and Obama.
61 Mins to the Quick
Finish: What’s Up for Next Week & Ryan Rushing
Christmas.

Posts of the Week

Over at Main and Central, Lurch wrote on how Democratic Congressmen could show some guys. As the post puts it, (Rep. David) Obey “thinks he may have discovered a simple solution that he feels might goad Congress to stand up on its hind legs for once.” That would be controlling the funding for the disastrous and illegal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq by holding the funding. To do this, Obey wants to remove all earmarks from the budget bills. That would toe the line to President Bush’s bluster about balance budgets. It would also rob all the pork-bearing Congressmen of the sweet local deals they bring home to show their voters how valuable they are to them.

By the bye, the document with the Huckabee answers to those pointy questions about issues like isolating those with HIV is here.

Ryan’s Blog of the Week comes from none other than Kos, at DailyKos, for making a simple and sadly true point:

I posted on Saturday, with the floated deal to trade war funding for an $11 billion increase in domestic funding, we find out two facts about Steny Hoyer (and any other Democrat who signs along):

-They are happy to prolong this war as long as some of their pet projects are funded; and
-Given that another year of war means another 500-1,000 dead G.I.s, the price Democrats put on a life of each of our soldiers is about $10 million.

Crass and disgusting. Morally contemptible. But inside Democratic circles, that’s all kosher in the search for that elusive, still-to-be-seen this decade, beast called “compromise”.

Enough said.

icon for podpress  He'll Be Your Huckabee [63:37m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Term Limits…Just the Facts

Click below to play the 13-minute podcast of Boston City Councilor John Tobin speaking about the philosophy and particulars of term limits for his body and the city’s mayor.

The whole 64-minute session is available for download or listening here.



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Term Limits for Boston Pols

Bright, ambitious and innovative Boston City Councilor John Tobin joined us today. In a far-ranging discussion, we touched on Twinkies, Mayor Menino, term limits, and free wireless.

John is Mike’s District (6) Councilor. He has an impressive agenda for the city.

He is not shy or dissembling. At the end, we asked whether he’d run for mayor. It was a definite yes. He said he was ready, particularly if Menino did not run again in two years.

He covered his thought on the benefits of term limits for Council and Mayor. He has already introduced this in Council. If this does not come up for discussion and vote, he’ll bring it back in January.

If listeners want to skip to particular thoughts, here’s a rough, imperfect outline of when we talked about what:

-3 minutes in: Tobin comes on, we quickly hit up WiFi and other issues.
-17 minutes in: It’s time to chat about Term Limits and why it could benefit the city of Boston in ways we’d all expect, as well as not expect.
-25 minutes in: It’s time to talk about pressing issues in Boston, especially how it can be a better city for its kids.
-47 minutes in: How what happens in Boston can be a blueprint for progress in other cities and towns across the state.
-52 minutes in: Mayor John Tobin? Tobin finishes off his conversation by talking about whether he’d run for the executive office, or not.

Posts of the Week

Mike thinks the most significant blog post this week was a short and sarcastic gem by Charley on Blue Mass Group. As we have lamented here and on our individual blogs, the legislature has sat on the clear solutions to our budget shortfalls. Now that we face cutbacks in essential services as a result, Charley enumerates what the lawmakers haven’t done. Let’s get with the program, folks.

Ryan’s Blog ‘o the Week is on mandating health care. Ryan and Mike must be channeling the same thoughts, because both link to different Charley on the MTA posts. While Charley would prefer a single-payer health care system, he correctly notes that for a health system to work, care must be mandated – the only question that exists is who is mandated to pay for it (consumers, employers or the government).

Health care is and must be a social good. It simply doesn’t function if folks are free to opt out. This isn’t some technical issue; it’s as fundamental as balls and strikes in baseball….

One of the main problems with our health care is that very freedom of opting out — or of insurers to boot you out. If you’re free to opt in or out, you buy insurance if you’re a bad risk and you stay free and easy if you’re a good risk. That means insurance is more expensive for people who have it; and they end up subsidizing the people who were uninsured to happen to end up in the hospital. It’s called adverse selection.

So for the system to work at all, you’ve got to get everyone in the system. Someone’s got to be mandated to buy coverage. You can do one or more of these three things:

Mandate employers to insure their workers. (Including the self-employed!)
Mandate individuals to buy insurance.
Mandate the government to insure everyone: Just sign ’em up!

Of course, Charley prefers the latter, but for the new Massachusetts system to work, people can’t be allowed to opt out. That will only mean more of the same, where healthy people are quite willing to opt out, leaving the rest to pay the burden (both from more expensive rates and from covering the uninsured who end up needing emergency care). As always, Charley proves he has a great grasp of the health care issue. Hopefully, Beacon Hill politicians are listening.

icon for podpress  Term Limits for Boston Pols [64:37m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Future of Boston City Government?

Our guest on today’s 2:30 p.m. podcast differs in many ways from his fellow Boston City Councilors. John Tobin:

  • Has been a political animal from his degree (political science from UMASS/Boston) to legislative aide and director jobs into Council.
  • Makes outstanding and unique use of new media, as in having the only video blog around and hiring new-media god Steve Garfield as his web designer and webmaster.
  • Puts his neck out for such innovations as citywide wireless and returning phys. ed. to public schools.
  • Otherwise stretching behind the safe tactics of constituent services into such broad areas as distribution of state meals taxes, outlawing mini-motobikes and such from streets, and GPSes on school buses.

We’ll start with him talking about his ideas for term limits for Councilors and (gasp) the Mayor.

If you can’t catch the podcast live, you can click the same link up top later for a listen or go to the Left Ahead! archive to listen or download the MP3.

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