Archive for June, 2008

SSM Amateur Hour Podcast

As part of the summer service program at the First Parish in Brookline, Mike delivered a sermon on same-sex marriage. It concentrates on why Massachusetts was the logical first state for SSM. From Colonial times, legal marriage here has clearly been a civil contract and not a sacrament.

He looked ahead on what’s to be done here and elsewhere.

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Mass(achuetts) Education Podcast

Our governor, Deval Patrick, is trotting out a fully developed, 10-year education-reform and advancement program. As is, it’s a lightning rod for naysayers and unlikely to get funding. Plus, why the devil didn’t Deval do the netroots and grassroots thing?

This week, the full program should emerge. He’s been revealing bits of it in a series of public presentations…after the fact. Check with his office for the full version after tomorrow’s roll-out at the JFK Library.

The ambitious multiphasic program is a veritable Santa’s bag stuffed with goodies, like:

  • Smaller class sizes, particularly in younger grades
  • Universal pre-kindergarten
  • All-day kindergarten
  • A statewide tracking system per student to measure achievement and needs
  • Additional statewide evaluation and help for at-risk students
  •  Adult basic education and English as a second language programs

There are also hints of free tuition at community college and more.

Immediate negative reaction has included where’s the money coming from and will big cities get all the attention and cash?

The first is certainly a fair question. The governor has not been able to get the legislature to fund necessary maintenance, much less his grander plans. The capons in the legislative roost all cluck, “No new taxes. No new taxes.”

Ryan thinks some of this is possible and may happen piecemeal. Mike figures that unlike many of Deval’s proposals, the apple-pie positive nature of education may make this a more palatable effort for raising taxes. It is both a 10-year program with lower per-year prices and something the legislature may be able to cut down, pretending they were saving taxpayers money as well as doing good by the commonwealth.

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Senators Mix It Up Podcast

The three of us figure Obama will win, but can’t decide until the contest gets one-to-one by how much. We hope it’s a lot, with coattails that may give Democrats enough authority to reverse the terrible domestic, foreign and economic policies of the past eight years.

We were astonished at the beatification of TV news-ish guy Tim Russert. He was a good talking head, but not a honorable journalist, what with helping get us into Iraq with hist stilted coverage and guest choices. Perhaps his idealization will inspire young journalists to become what some are saying he really was.

On the big race, we concurred that McCain is pretty stupid, hypocritical and doomed. We figure this will overcome American’s hesitance to embrace change. We’re not sure whether a new Dem administration would be long-lasting. However, after drastic failures by the past three Republican ones, we have a better chance than ever.

icon for podpress  Senators Mix It Up [64:14m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Massa-choosing Podcast

Stalwart Ryan was our surrogate at the state Democratic convention this weekend. He led a workshop on Netroots communicating/tech stuff.

The major news from the convention was competition for long-term U.S. Senator John Kerry. Despite his efforts to quash a primarySe lei siede in tardi la posizione giocando il party poker con una catasta decente e nessuno e’ entrato il piatto, sarebbe corretto per alzare con le mani deboli come 22, la SCURE e K-9s. challenge from Gloucester attorney Ed O’Reilly, Kerry will have to battle for his seat in the September primary. O’Reilly needed 15% of the delegate to get on the ballot and got over 20%. The winner faces Republican Jeff Beatty. No one outside of the challengers’ camps seems to give either of them a shot against Kerry. However, O’Reilly’s strong contrasting positions (pro-marriage equality, for example) may shake Kerry out of his political nap.

Ryan spoke to podcasting and blogging technologies. Mike mentioned video-blogging god Steve Garfield. Steve uses a Nokia N95 cell phone that is really an HD video camera and posts his vblogs directly to the internet every day. We may get there someday to join him, but admire his work meanwhile. One of the concerns of podcasters and video bloggers is where the devil to keep those big files. There are many freebie choices, most of which let you post directly to the Net wherever you specify. Start with Flickr and

Ryan has posted two of his presentations so far here. More will follow.

Somehow, we ended up in lavish, justifiable praise of Lowell, where the convention was. There’s the Spinners, union history, the folk festival and more and more. Go.

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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