Archive for October, 2008

John Kerry Shares a Bit


We trotted to Lynn on our usual podcast day to hear Sen. John Kerry on the economy. He also gave us a short interview afterward.

Check out our other blogs for coverage of his financial address:

Pix notes: Images courtesy of Kerry’s staff. Click on one to see our splendid selves or the Senator.  Use your browser button to return.

kerrylean.jpgWe followed up with clarifications on the bailout and oversight for current and anticipated bank combinations. We also got his views on and plans for high-speed rail as part of his infrastructure-improvement program. In addition, he described the types of progressive legislation he expected to pass under an Obama administration with a 60-seat Senate majority.

icon for podpress  John Kerry on the Economy [10:28m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Netroots Podcast

We got a lot to chew on from Raven Brooks, executive director of Netroots Nation (formerly YearlyKos).  We had a wide-ranging conversation within the political, media and blog worlds.

Brooks gave tips on how bloggers can work effectively, whom they should meet to do the best job and how they can spread their messages. Of course, from his perspective, the primary question remains how we can advance progressive goal.

He responded to our own questions about the interplay among bloggers, pols and media. He also forecast a bit about the role and influence of bloggers on this and the next election cycle.

icon for podpress  What's Next, Netroots? [55:32m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


What’s Next, Netroots?

raven.jpgThe folks who brought you the YearlyKos convention and who bulled ahead with blogging will be our podcast focus next week. On Tuesday, 10/21 at 2:30 p.m., Netroots Nation Executive Director Raven Brooks is our guest.

We’ll be talking blogger power, citizen journalism, and local politics.

You can listen live to the stream or come back here after the show to use our player or download the session.


The Other Second Suffolk Candidate

Perhaps it’s our narrow field of vision, but none of the three of us here is willing to cede much of a chance for victory to William Theodore Leonard next month. He is one of two candidates on the ballot for the Second Suffolk state Senate seat held by Dianne Wilkerson.

Sonia  Chang-Díaz won the Democratic Party slot. There is no Republican candidate. Defeated incumbent Wilkerson is not on the ballot, but is running a sticker campaign, despite losing nearly all endorsements and other support. Leonard is on the ballot as the Socialist Workers Party candidate by virtue of gathering enough signatures.


He is what most of us would call a hard-liner, offering the SWP platform as his own. As a union organizer and former  meat packer, he walks his talk.

He favors:

  • Immediate withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan
  • Legalization of all immigrants in the country
  • Full relations with Cuba
  • Stopping Boston’s Safe Home Initiatives
  • Massive aid to Haiti’s hurricane victims

He has been getting his campaign message out by ringing doorbells and speaking at public rallies and such. Otherwise, he does not have the traditional resources of candidates.

Moreover, we don’t apologize for hosting Leonard. He is one of two candidates on the ballot.  You are certain not to hear his perspective from either Chang-Díaz or Wilkerson.

icon for podpress  Other Second Suffolk Candidate [45:14m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Battle Scar

Well, Lynne didn’t advance to the next round in the FOX New Radio blogger battle. I thought she more than held her own though.

You can catch her and the other bloggers — left and right — here.



Carla pitches yes on 1

We finished our cycle on ballot initiative Question 1 to eliminate personal state income taxes in two slashes by January 2010. Co-founder of the Committee for Small Government, Carla Howell, told us in very firm terms why she wants voters to smudge YES on 1.

The three of us are no-on-1 types and Carla was gutsy to go mouth to ear with us for the better part of an hour. She and Lynne particularly were wired.

Yes link: Carla says you can’t really get enough information in the booklet the secretary of state mailed out. She recommends the recources on the Vote Yes on Question 1 site.

No link: The report the Mass. Taxpayers Foundation released this week has a lot of research and analysis and very different figures and conclusions. Find The Enormous Consequences of Question 1 here.

Howell was not shy about calling that research group unregistered lobbyists or saying politicians want to keep their gravy train running as the reasoning behind keeping personal income taxes as is in Massachusetts. Honestly to me, the MTF looks like a 76-year-old non-partisan public research group with lots of respect and awards. She sees that otherwise.

A point that we kept returning to is that surely there is fluff and fat in the state budget, regardless of which numbers you like and use. However, would taking $12 billion to $14 billion in personal income tax revenue out of it be an effective way to get the legislature to find and reduce the unnecessary. Howell is positive that it would.

The babies were floating everywhere in the podcast. We swapped babies in the bathwater or bathwater instead of babies or even babies on the chopping block. Fortunately, there’s lots of info in the links above to keep you out of the metaphor jam.

I’m a no-on-1 guy, figuring the average state family could count on a little of $800 back, with only the rich getting substantial thousands of dollars. Another side of that would surely be that state and local property taxes or sales taxes would have to rise to levels like New Hampshire’s  to compensate.


icon for podpress  Budget Liposuction [52:19m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Reversion for Today’s Podcast

Once more into the breach…

We are back to Carla Howell, co-founder of the Committee for Small Government for today’s podcast.


Question 1 Sub Not Second Team

aucoin.jpgFor this afternoon’s podcast on Question 1, Rich Aucoin steps into the lead. He’ll Carla Howell will tell us why Massachusetts voters should vote to eliminate personal income taxes.

Aucoin ran with the Committee for Small Government co-founder Carla Howell in 2002.  She ran for governor and he as lieutenant governor. He now works with the committee. He often speaks on Question 1 and other committee goals.

You can listen to the stream live at 2:30 p.m. today or catch the show later here.


Taxes Question Bubbling Here

In a month, Massachusetts voters have a second chance to pass a ballot initiative that would stop collection of personal income taxes. The present 5.3% rate would halve in January and disappear the next January.

On the no-on-1 side, we had Michael  Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation on last week. Tomorrow is Carla Howell, chair of the Committee for Small Government. She leads the yes-on-1 forces.

Over the weekend, Widmer’s research team released a report on the effects of Question 1.

Tune in tomorrow live at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow and if you haven’t heard Dr. Widmer, be sure to do that.


LA Host Headed to FOX News! Well, Sorta

Hi, it’s your friendly podcaster Lynne of Left Ahead! and Left in Lowell, here to tell you all about stranger-danger—oh, that’s not what I have to talk about? I need to plug my “national debut”? OK then…

Our robust and august hosts at BlogTalkRadio are teaming up with FOX News Radio for a “Battle of the Blog Talkers” on FOX Across America hosted by Spencer Hughes and carried on and Sirius XM Radio. From October 6th through the 9th at 2-3pm, four liberal and four conservative BTR hosts will battle it out (with listener voting via web and text) for two slots each side on the Friday, Oct 10th show, and one winner from each “side” (liberal and conservative) from Friday’s show will get the chance to join Spencer in co-hosting a special FOX News Radio Election 2008 series live from 8 to 9 a.m. EDT the week of October 20th.

It turns out these people are weird (insane? silly?) enough to invite me to participate.

It so happens that I’m slotted for the Monday, October 6th show (2pm), up against fellow liberal blogtalker Julie Pippert of MOMocrats. Listeners will vote for whoever they think did the best that day, and the winner will move on to the Friday slot with three other winners from the right and left to the Friday show, from which winners of each side (by listener vote) will move on to the week of October 20th morning show.

It’s sort of Survivor meets talking heads. If you talk good enough, they might not vote you off the island. 🙂

On another note, we’ve been assured (repeatedly) that liberals will get a fair shake on the shows. The format calls for uninterrupted time for each contestant. 🙂

I know it’s sort of Crossfire-esque. On the other hand, it’s sort of like a mini debate club event, and just maybe a lot of fun. That is, if I can keep from talking a 100 miles a minute. 🙂 I hope I can count on your listening, and your vote (if you think I did the best anyway!) on Monday afternoon!