Archive for October, 2013

Endless Concessions Podcast

How ’bout that GOP loony rap about the POTUS and Dems never compromising, never conceding? Madness.

We held forth on the many, many areas, particularly budget levels and specific cuts, where both the POTUS and Congressional Dems rolled over. Then, the GOP pols took each as a new starting point and got even crazier in their demands. We spoke of the imaginary budget and deficit problems and causes (like Social Security) and the real (like the financial meltdown, multiple unfunded wars, absurd and untenable tax cuts, and an unfunded Medicare expansion by W).

Fortunately for the nation, a bloc of progressive pols, lead by the likes of Sen. Warren, are supplying the leadership, morality and sense that the POTUS and Dem leaders have lacked. This promises to have more reasonable outcomes in the debt-level and budget battles tarting tomorrow with the conference committee. Ryan holds that the Prez is finally understanding what’s possible.

We sidetracked on whether we’d be willing to give up Warren in the Senate if Hillary Clinton does not run for POTUS in 2016.

Lackaday, we figure on more of the same Republican nastiness in November and December. Also, we figure that too many GOP House members are in very safe districts to swing control to the Dems, but we do figure that like 2012, they’ll lose seats and the returning cowards will be nervous from left and right.

Ryan aptly defined the GOP pols as “playing chicken but they don’t know when to stop.” I think the newly gutsy Dems can help them with that.

icon for podpress  Endless Concessions [27:35m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Obama’s Concessions, Then Boston’s New Mayor

We’ll take an 8-day break from our maybe over-coverage of the Boston municipal elections. This week, we’ll talk about how likely the POTUS will be to let happen what he’s been proposing for months — cuts and other changes to Social Security and Medicare. We’ll get into how much he and Congressional Dems have conceded already.

If you can join us live for that discussion, go here tomorrow, October 29th at 2:30 PM Eastern.

Of course, the next week, the day after the election, we’ll talk the Boston municipal results. There’ll be a new Mayor-elect for the first time in 20 years. Plus with four vacant District Council seats open, others challenged and four at-large Councilors to choose, there are likely to be big changes in that body.

If you can join us live for the recap and commentary, go here on Wednesday, November 6th, at 2:30 PM Eastern.

As always, after the shows, you can hear or download them back here at Left Ahead, at the show URLs, or on our iTunes page.


Connolly on His End Game

Weeks in the making, I was pleased to have the other shoe today, the second of the two finalists in next month’s final for Boston mayor, John Connolly. See last week’s show for Marty Walsh.

Connolly called in between two events. He gave me full attention, but was only on for 17 minutes. If you’d like to skip my intro, context setting and blather, drag bar ahead to 8:30 minutes in the player below, or your own if you save the file for later.

I had prepared policy questions before we rescheduled the show several times. Meanwhile polls have come out, much money has been raised, and lately many pols have endorsed, most for Walsh. Knowing we’d be short of time, I trimmed the topics considerably.

Listen in as we start with the largely artificial controversy about whether three years full time in the classroom gives him leave to say he is a former teacher. He believes those remain transformative years that inform his work and politics. He jocularly said those who would denigrate that as being like birthers.

For the next few weeks:

  • He does not believe the campaign will get nasty or classist.
  • He thinks both sides have enough money and staff for a fair race.
  • He won’t be changing his approach for the next two debates (tomorrow and the next Tuesday evenings).
  • He thinks that voters will ultimately decide between the candidates’ platforms.

Note: If you’re wondering where normal co-host Ryan has been, be aware he recused himself from the mayoral shows because of political (and blogger activities that might conflict.

Among other topics we got to was housing. I challenged him on what seemed like spongy lingo in his development planks. Phrases like “As mayor, I would leverage the resources and influence of the Department of Neighborhood Development, the BRA an the Housing Trust” do not inspire me to believe his administration would drive enough of the right kind of housing. Listen in as he talks about how he’d get it done.

He also claims that women, those financially struggling and communities of color like his economic plans to do more than bring some jobs. He also wants business founding via entrepreneurial centers. His vision is folks in places like Dorchester and Roxbury starting companies and hiring neighbors.

Both shoes have dropped, rather both shows.


icon for podpress  Connolly final [26:40m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Boston Final, Other Half

After much scrambling to grab time with Boston mayoral candidate John Connolly, we’re set. If you want to hear him live, join us at 11 AM Eastern Monday, October 21st here.

Note this has been pulled in a half hour from 11:30. Let us pray.

His show will be available on demand for downloading or listening on line at that URL, back here at Left Ahead or on our iTunes page afterward.

The other finalist for November’s election, Marty Walsh, was on last week. You can hear him here.

I had to toss my list of questions. Much has happened — polls, fundraising, endorsements, the first debate.



Walsh Talks Boston Final

walsh.pngAnd then there were two…MA Rep. Marty Walsh was on today talking issues both broad and very specific. He will be in the Boston mayoral final Nov. 5th. against City Councilor John Connolly.

Before you listen below, I’d advise opening his campaign site’s platform (Issues) page. You can tunnel down into his eight topic areas. We refer to some of that in today’s show. In particular, his integration of technology into policy may be surprising and even refreshing.

We started with a discussion of transparency and accountability, and not just as passing mentions, buzzwords a candidate may feel compelled to allow in literature. His platform has those ideas and terms interwoven. Listen in as Walsh explains how he thinks his obligation as mayor to constituents would include these throughout. He later reflects this attitude in other areas during our conversation.

Some of his concepts for improving Boston are simple, but important, such as being able to pay real-estate taxes online. He spoke of his own frustrations in trying to find information, such as details on Boston schools, which should be easily available online. Other concepts involve tens of thousands of new housing units, plus new or expanded industries to put jobs where residents are. He claims he envisions adding housing units and business in ways that will let residents stay in their neighborhoods and maintain those areas’ identity while Boston grows.

He also said that he shared or was taking good ideas from some of the others who had run in the mayoral preliminary. Two, Felix Arroyo and John Barros, endorsed him today. Also, he likes Mike Ross’ approach to transit oriented development.

Click below to hear how he differentiates himself from Connolly, although both have reputations for and careers built on progressive positions. Walsh makes much of having been a legislator with a record of voting on thorny issues, not just talking about them. To my relief though, he agreed that the campaign must remain about issues and not devolve into class warfare, or as I put it, work boots against tassel loafers.

Also, Walsh dealt bluntly with the labor issues and the numerous areas of negotiations bound to face the next mayor. Noting he had sat on both sides of the table, he said he’d be active in negotiations, laying his cards on the table at the beginning and saying what the limits were.

He was plainspoken.


icon for podpress  Marty Walsh [30:52m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Walsh Talks Final Push

Exciting times here in Boston, with the first new mayor in 20 years. Two are in the November final and Martin J. (Marty) Walsh will be with us next week.

Join us a little later than usual but still on Tuesday to hear what he’ll stress in the last two months of campaigning. He and his opponent have the formidable task or great opportunity, depending on your viewpoint, of swaying voters outside of their neighborhoods and bases. Swathes of the city did not support either in the preliminary. The game is afoot.

If you can listen live, join us at 4 PM Eastern on Tuesday, October 8th here. Afterward, you can listen to or download his show at that URL, back here at Left Ahead or on our iTunes page.


18 Minute Shutdown Rant

Bobby BubblesOne wonders…like a childhood favorite book from my grandmother’s era, Bobby Bubbles, have the wingnuts in the US House lived too long in their delusional floating reality? Will they plunge (Icarus-like)?

Ryan takes no blame today for Mike’s 18-minute rant on the governmental shutdown. There may not be much new here. I did cite Ezra Klein’s insightful and, I would hope, accurate WaPo column on the pending shutdown. He figures or at least fantasizes that if House Republicans can force a shutdown, that will be cathartic for them and they won’t then try to force a US default later in the month when it comes time to raise the debt ceiling. Also, I mention Robert Reich’s clear piece on his own blog that draws attention to legal limits that prevent Congress from killing a law by defunding it.

Otherwise, I have no patience with GOP leaders, losers and liars trying alternately to spread the shutdown blame equally to Democrats, and then to pretend that Dems won’t “compromise,” a.k.a. give them their list of 21 patently absurd demands. I am beyond disgusted.

The 18-minute rant made me feel better. Thank you for your indulgence.


icon for podpress  Shutdown [18:26m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Two-fer Week: Shutdown Madness, and Connolly

Last-minute update — John Connolly had to reschedule. His show will now be on Tuesday, October 15th at 2:30 PM Eastern. Catch it live here.

Wee wreckAt our usual showtime, we’ll have to deal with the government shutdown and the pathetic GOP attempt to pretend they are not at fault. For something completely different, John Connolly is in the final for the Boston mayoralty and he joins us on Friday morning.

To hear our wisdom and/or rants about the shutdown mess, go here at 2:30 PM, Tuesday, October 1st.

Both shows stream live and afterward, each is available at its show URL, back here at Left Ahead, and on our iTunes page.

Let’s try not to get metaphorical (one’s a train wreck and the other a cage match). They just are very different shows.