Archive for January, 2008

Meek Inherit Nothing Podcast

We have see the winnowing of huge baskets of candidates for both parties in the Presidential race. Change is inevitable come November and January, but what type and under what leadership?

Posts of the Week

Mike turned east to the Financial Times political blogger Clive Cook. In US economy brings worries for both parties, he notes that:No right turn sign

It is important to remember that the Democrats do not, contrary to what you might suppose, have the general election sewn up. In head-to-head polls, and within the margin of error, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are both about tied with John McCain, the Republicans’ improbable front-runner. It would be a mistake to think that the Republicans’ presidential prospects are so bad that, recession or no recession, the Democratic nominee is bound to win. Victory may well turn on who gets the politics of the slowdown right.

The national economic anguish discredits Bush specifically and Republicans in general, but “More than they think, the Democrats need to tread carefully.”

icon for podpress  Now It Gets Interesting [43:43m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Yas on Courts Podcast

Click the player below for the very powerful session today. We kicked legal issues around today with David Yas, the publisher of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

He is a keen observer of and commenter on such issues as same-sex marriage and duties of our Supreme Judicial Court. He definitely has views on how secure the Goodridge decision establishing SSM here is and what the prospects are for such equality regionally and nationally. We also hit on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and how real legislating from the bench is.

Posts of the week

Ryan found his gem, Obama and Reagan’s Slipping Halo over at Many people have come down to quickly condemn Barack Obama’s Reagan praise, others have been just as quick to defend Obama. Jane Hamsher, on the other hand, gets it. Whether or not Obama thinks Ronald Reagan was the right President for the right time,

There’s enough hagiography of Reagan on the right, I don’t think Democrats really need to go there.

Hamsher also correctly notes,

No, Ronald Reagan didn’t appeal to people’s optimism, he appealed to their petty, small minded bigotry and selfishness. Jimmy Carter told people to tighten their energy belts and act for the good of the country; Ronald Reagan told them they could guzzle gas with impunity and do whatever the hell they wanted.

Mike got a double hit off The Los Angeleno says she hits “the issues that others can’t or simply won’t from a decidedly Black point of view.” For the current Dem hopefuls she writes that in yesterday’s debate she was screaming at the TV. More broadly, she takes them all to task with:

“I want to see the candidates take their debates to the streets. If they can campaign in our neighborhoods and take pictures with strategically placed Blacks for their websites and the media to show they like Black people and care about Black people, then come and talk to the people and stop talking at and about the people.”

She has another post on a marriage-equality reception that got her (bad) attention. She wrote:

I just have a hard time taking these types of groups seriously when I never see the group nor its members in the community on any issue of relevance but can always manage to get an email about marriage. The last time I looked we were flirting with a recession, unemployment was at its highest, and L.A. was still the homeless capital of the nation.

icon for podpress  Courts: Bystanders or Big Shots? [50:08m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Courts Podcast Teaser

Legal decisions can seem like medical-journal studies. In the latter, doctors flog this month’s results as now-we-know-the-truth — and MSM from daily papers to CNN to Parade spread the pseudo-news. Court decisions can be the same. In our desire for authority, we say, “After (insert ruling), everything changed!”

In both cases, it’s usually just one more wrinkle in the great prune of life. Medical studies are often ephemeral truth, as the next ones contradict them. Court rulings can creep laboriously for years until they reach often vague resolution.

Fortunately, some observers are not so faddish. At Left Ahead!, we’ll bring one such for our podcast on Tuesday, January 22nd. The multi-titled (VP, editor-in-chief and publisher) of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly joins us.

David Yas will give us his views on big issues like separation of powers and the role of the courts, and narrower ones like whether our Supreme Judicial Court overreached on Goodridge.

At Marry in Massachusetts, I delighted in a column of his two years ago, the message to anti-same-sex marriage types that they lost. Get over it.

He doesn’t seem to have any tolerance for bluster in lieu of substance.


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Mitt and the Abyss Podcast

We covered the Michigan, Nevada and South Carolina primaries, with emphasis on the GOP side. We spent a bit of time on Cape Code and wind turbines in general. We also looked with hope on the three big developments in Massachusetts education this month.

Ryan and Mike love the idea of Mitt Romney advancing by winning Michigan today. He’d be the easiest and most fun to beat, plus his continued campaigning would do the most to scatter Republican loyalties and votes. Ryan thinks Mitt is likely to edge McCain in Michigan. Mike has seen Romney’s lead go from 30% to even and agrees with the Andrew Ward news analysis in today’s Financial Times. The article describes Romney’s tenuous connection and amusingly lists the many family electoral failures. He concludes that “If Mr Romney does win today, it may have less to do with his family background than his record of turning round troubled companies, rescuing the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics from financial crisis, and turning a $3bn deficit into a $700m surplus in Massachusetts.” We here know the latter item is not true, but they may not in Michigan.

Post of the Week

Mike sucked it up and turned to a winger blog for insight this week. PoliGazette had McCain’s Republican Enemies by Michael van der Galien. In turn, it referenced a Washington Post piece cataloging all the nasties in and out of Congress that John McCain has annoyed. While moderate Republicans (yes, they exist) and some independents like McCain, the fundies and other extremists want him out of the race. He hasn’t kissed the rings of the right religious types, he supports legislation that doesn’t favor extremists’ pet projects and goals, and he has the nerve to ask for commonsensical laws like background checks for purchasers at gun shows. As McCain adviser John Weaver put it, “Here’s who John McCain has angered: self-described conservative lobbyists who basically represent special interests. They’re angry at him because he has put the national interest in front of their special interests.”

icon for podpress  Mitt and the Abyss [42:44m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Podcast Archives

If you want to download individual podcasts for replay off your computer, choose the show you want below. Right click on the title and save the MP3 file to disk.

Our podcasts are available in several streaming formats by visiting here. If you want to download individual podcasts for replay off your computer, choose the show you want below. Right click on the title and save the MP3 file to disk.

3/25/8 How Now Round Sal We look at how casinos lost and what’s next. 57 min. 13.4MB
3/11/8 Blob of Bloggers We detail next month’s BlogLeft gathering, plus sundry politics. 44 min. 10.4MB
3/4/8 Questionable Casinos Mike does quick hits on casino proposal using iffy figures and progressives having to guess whose for civil rights. 29 min. 6.7MB
2/26/8 Bumbling Toward Casinos We discuss the unlikeliness of casinos as a revenue panacea and hit on what we want to see from the governor and legislature instead. 64 min. 15MB
2/19/8 Attack of the Blogs We kick around how important different types of blogs are in campaigns and beyond. 59 min. 14MB
2/12/8 Eying Hillary v. Barack Quarreling (and a bit of quibbling) over the attributes of the two Dem candidates. 43 min. 10.2MB
2/5/8 Super Prove Day Mike only with a short check-in on Super Tuesday. 12 min. 2.8MB
1/29/8 Now It Gets Interesting The Presidential candidates choke and fall. Change in November is inevitable, but we ask what kind and under whose direction. 44 min. 10.2MB
1/22/8 Courts: Bystanders or Big Shots? We bring in David Yas, head of Mass. Lawyers Weekly to decipher how the SJC and other courts act, or don’t. 50 min. 11.8MB
1/15/8 Mitt and the Abyss Michigan (and Nevada and South Carolina) primary, heavy on the GOP, plus wind turbines and education. 43 min. 10MB
1/8/8 The The Also-Ran Bucket Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, with from-the-road comments from Humble Elias. 53 min. 12.5
1/2/8 The Prez: Fearless Forecasts We look at the pending Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary. 61 min. 14.2
12/18/7 Parents Rights and Wrongs Ryan calls in from the State House casino hearing after we talk about the extreme parents-rights subgroups. 65 min. 15.3
12/11/7 He’ll Be Your Huckabee In which we snort at Mike Huckabee and the other leading GOP candidates. 64 min. 14.9
12/4/7 Term Limits for Boston Pols Boston City Councilor John Tobin joins us. 64 min. 15.1
11/27/7 Gambliing with Our Future Laura Everett of Casino Free Massachusetts joins us. 56 min. 13.2
11/20/7 School for Progressive Politics Ryan learns more about how to elect progressives. We kick around term limits, down to Boston mayor and city councilors. 42 min. 9.8
11/14/7 Sorting Sundries Ryan went to a New Bedford casino forum – and spoke. We hit on die-hard anti-gays, cooperation between governor and house speaker, and Boston public safety among others. 55 min. 13
11/6/7 Big Ideas on Hold We still talking about whether our governor can get the legislature with his program. Plus there’s local elections, protesters at theThe Laramie Projectand more. 49 min. 11.4
10/30/7 Things Boston We kicked around the pending City Council election, with the threat to Team Unity Councilors. We spoke of what had to continue and what had to change to make Boston great again. 54 min. 12.6
10/23/7 Free speech and bullies We examine the Cirignano/Loy trial and its implications, with Pie and Coffee and WCCA-TV’s Mike Benedetti. Plus, we hit on trends in casino gambling here. 56 min. 13.2
10/16/7 5th CD results and More ENDA Ryan and Lynne chatted up Niki’s race and more on ENDA. She called in from Tsongas HQ and Mike did a mobile on his mobile, reporting the first day of the Cirignano trial from the train. 64 min. 15,1
10/9/7 ENDA Conundrum a tightening race in the 5th Congressional District and lots of casino theater make for a notable week. 64 min. 15,1
10/2/7 5th CD and Progressive Opportunities a tightening race in the 5th Congressional District and lots of casino theater make for a notable week. 36 min. 8.6
9/25/7 Lock ’em up We hit on prison reform, casinos in lieu of other revenue sources, and the GM strike. 54 min. 12.7
9/18/7 Casino Battles Loom We take a first look at Deval Patrick’s casinos proposal, whose for and against, how likely it would be to help the state, and what shot it has in the legislature. We discuss Patrick’s excellent 9/11 speech. 54 min. 12.7
9/11/7 The Election Season We dissect the 5th CD primary results, ask if we see any increased safety from our post-9/11 ventures, and discuss the much-delayed report on casino gambling here. 36 min. 8.5
9/4/7 After the Cheers MassEquality’s Marc Solomon joins us to talk about the amendment battle and what’s next. We range from local to national. 55 min. 12.9
8/30/7 U.S. Rep Juggernaut? Dick Howe joins to handicap the 5th CD primary. Whose likely to win, who should win, what that victory will mean in issues and next year’s election. 63 min. 14.9
8/21/7 Whose Ox? Ryan and Mike muse on whether the legislators can transcend pork feeding, on the Larry Cirignano case, and on the looming 5th CD primary. 40 min. 9.5
8/14/7 Still Taking Names Know Thy Neighbor’s Tom Lang joins us on marriage equality and the Presidential campaign. 62 min. 14
8/7/7 Toxins in the Statutes Wiretapping and casinos. 40 min. 14.2
7/31/7 You Betcha, Voters We hit on casinos coming (maybe) to Massachusetts following the downstate vote. Plus, the 5th CD updates. 32 min. 7.5
7/24/7 Bad Laws, Stupid Laws Massachusetts is not free from restrictive marriage laws, destructive variants of ballot initiatives, and more. 44 min. 10.3
7/17/7 Just How Progressive? We ended up talking up Al Gore after hitting the 5th CD development and concentrating on what Gov. Patrick can accomplish in his first year. 53 min. 12.3
7/10/7 The Possible and the Ideal What can we reasonably expect in Massachusetts after two decades of infrastructure neglect. Plus, we kick the impeachment can up and down the hall. 53 min. 12.3
7/3/7 And Then What? Just Ryan and Mike. We started on the commonwealth budget with no new corporate taxes to fund it. The Scooter Libby travesty of sentence commutation dominated. Ryan ended up on casinos. 65 min. 14.8
6/26/7 Hunger for Congress Our take on the endorsement of marriage equality by the commonwealth’s legislature. What’s next for all sides and what cleanup must follow. 89 min. 19.7
6/19/7 Love & Liberty in Massachusetts Our take on the endorsement of marriage equality by the commonwealth’s legislature. What’s next for all sides and what cleanup must follow. 65 min. 15.2
6/12/7 Faint Hearts/Stout Hearts Update and musing on this week’s ConCon. A questioning caller from St. Louis. All Three of us endorsed Jamie Eldridge for the 5th CD to replace Marty Meehan. 66 min. 15.6
6/5/7 DINOs and Diehards How Democratic are our legislators, including Senate President T. Murray, plus 5th CD candidates on health care, Pride Week and more 53 min. 12.4
5/29/7 The Great Divide sco joins us (about 30 minutes in) to handicap the 5th CD, after we hit health care, funding and casinos 73 min. 16.7
5/22/7 Health Mass ’05 Sorting throught health-care confusion, updates on the 5th CD rate and a bit of the ConCon. 59 min. 13.9
5/8/7 Battles Back on Beacon Hill The ConCon and consideration of anti-marriage-equality amendment set to start. Bay Windows‘ Susan Ryan-Vollmar guest. 64 min. 15.1
5/1/7 Musical Chairs Continuing Wresting by Gov. and House Speaker. Other races. Abstinence education and even gun control. 67 min. 15.3
4/24/7 Bubbling Cauldron Continuing Wresting by Gov. and House Speaker. Other races. Abstinence education and even gun control. 58 min. 13.1
4/17/7 Big Cheese House Speaker and Governor battle budgets and laws. U.S. Rep. race update. 57 min. 13.0
4/10/7 Here, There, Everywhere State and Congressional special elections. Old-media/new-media forum. 67 min. 15.3
4/3/7 Hot Months of Spring Local and state special elections. 2007 ConCon 27 min. 6.1
3/27/7 Jumping in with Six Feet We introduce ourselves and start our commentary 59 min. 13.9



LeftAhead is a new online webisode programming with a progressive outlook on politics in Massachusetts, occasionally dabbling onto the national scene. With weekly shows and a blog, it’s a new tool for the budding Mass Netroots movement and lefty blog readers everywhere.


Also-Ran Bucket Podcast

In relatively rare strong disagreements, we couldn’t agree on which GOP loser should emerge from the primary-to-convention process to lose in November. Mike figures Huckabee would be the easiest to defeat. Lynne and Ryan like our smarmy former Gov. Willard Romney.

We got regrets for not being able to call in from Humble Elias as Chimes at Midnight. He trotted up to New Hampshire over the weekend to attend Mitt Romney functions. We read his emailed report.

Posts of the Week

Andrew Sullivan put a wonderfully cynical spin on the Iowa caucus. He noted that twice as many voters went to the Dem caucuses. “Clearly independents prefer the Dems.”

In addition, Republicans identified in entrance polls as 88% somewhat or very conservative, 11% moderate and only 1% liberal. Sullivan concludes, “One is a national party; the other is on its way to being an ideological church. The damage Bush and Rove have done – revealed in 2006 – is now inescapable.”

icon for podpress  Also-Ran Bucket [53:16m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


The Prez Podcast

The usual suspects hit on the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary for Presidential candidates. Our guest was Susan Haley, head blogger of BelowBoston. She’s been an ace at tracking the polls and how the candidates are presenting themselves.

It turned out that we had all we could handle dissecting the Dems and mostly what was happening in Iowa.

icon for podpress  Fearless Forecasts [60:33m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download