Thursday, June 29, 2017

Capuano’s Challenge

Mine is getting through each day:

"Cambridge councilor plans to challenge Capuano" by Joshua Miller Globe Staff  June 28, 2017

Cambridge City Councilor Nadeem A. Mazen, the state’s highest-profile Muslim elected official, is planning a run against US Representative Michael E. Capuano in next year’s primary, according to several people familiar with his thinking.

The councilor is plotting a bid to unseat the 10-term Democrat in a congressional district that includes Somerville, Chelsea, Everett, Randolph, half of Cambridge, one-third of Milton, and the majority of Boston.

If Mazen pulls the trigger, it would pit a 33-year-old MIT graduate, entrepreneur, and two-term city councilor against a 65-year-old former Somerville mayor and alderman — two progressives in one of the most Democratic districts in the country.

It truly is a war pre$$, right down the seemingly meaningless word choices. Wow.

And what is the point?

Capuano has not faced a serious electoral challenge since voters sent him to Washington in 1998.

Paul Trane, a longtime friend and political adviser to Capuano, said the congressman is running for reelection in 2018.

“He’s one of the most anti-Washington-style congressmen in America,” Trane said. “If people look at his opposition to Donald Trump, taking on big banks and the Wall Street CEOs, his opposition to the never-ending wars around the globe, this is a guy who is in touch with his district.”

That is the first I have read or seen regarding any opposition to the wars coming from any politicians.

Unseating any incumbent congressman in a primary is a steep uphill battle.

And Capuano, a pugnacious liberal with a strong local base of support, is largely seen as being politically in line with his district, Massachusetts’ most Democratic and one of the most Democratic congressional districts in the country. (Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by more than 70 percentage points in the district, according to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.)

Capuano, a half-Irish, half-Italian Roman Catholic, was the longtime mayor of Somerville before his congressional victory. In a 10-person field to succeed retiring representative Joe Kennedy II, Capuano racked up big vote totals in Somerville and won overall by a comfortable margin nearly 20 years ago.

A graduate of Dartmouth College and Boston College Law School, Capuano has the brass-knuckle progressivism and Ivy League pedigree that has made him appealing to both the resients of the old ethnic neighborhoods in his district and the new gentrifiers, who have transformed large swaths of Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville in recent years.

In Congress, Capuano has been outspoken on key liberal issues, from opposing the war in Iraq to pressing for federal transportation funding to extend the Green Line.

A close ally of Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi’s during her tenure as House speaker, Capuano helped lead a task force to revamp the way Congress deals with allegations of misconduct.

But Capuano has appeared to drift away from Pelosi’s inner orbit, saying in 2015 that she should go or change her approach, and that House Democrats need leadership who understand “if something that you’re doing is not working, change what you’re doing.”

The Seventh District is demographically diverse. It had a 56 percent minority population in 2012. (Districts are redrawn after each decennial US Census.)

Mazen, whose family moved from Illinois to Andover when he was 5 years old, is the son of an Egyptian-born father and Indiana-born mother. He graduated from Phillips Academy Andover in 2002 and from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2006 with a degree in mechanical engineering.

Was he aware or a victim of abuse?

The founder and chief executive of Nimblebot, a creative agency that makes animated content for technology, nonprofit, education, and government clients, Mazen ran for and won a seat on Cambridge City Council in 2013. He was reelected in 2015 and in 2015, he cofounded Jetpac — a nonprofit justice, education, and technology policy advocacy center devoted to training more Muslims and other underrepresented minority people to organize and run for public office.

Capuano would start a race with a sizable fund-raising advantage and the ability to raise millions more. Members of Congress have access to powerful party fund-raising apparatuses, giving them the ability to raise huge sums in short period of time.....



"Seth Moulton seemed to be in Nancy Pelosi’s fan club. And then he wasn’t" by Annie Linskey Globe Staff  June 28, 2017

SALEM — Cowboys don’t always make the best legislators, particularly in the House of Representatives, but his actions are consistent with a tradition of Massachusetts lawmakers displaying the kind of ambition that attracts national attention.

US Representative Joe Kennedy III, another rising star in the delegation, said strong leaders rock the boat.

Unless their name happens to be Trump.

But he hews closely to the party line when bills come to the House floor. He’s voted with Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, 94 percent of the time, according to a tally by CQ Roll Call.

[His] criticism of Pelosi is being tracked closely in his district, where he’s receiving a measure of support for those comments.

Who he?

Retired General David Petraeus, to whom Representative Seth Moulton directly reported in Iraq in 2005 as a lieutenant and again during the surge from 2007 to 2008 when he was a captain, said he handpicked Moulton to be part of his team, a group that was trying to rebuild Iraqi military and civilian institutions, precisely because of Moulton’s willingness to take risks and battle bureaucracies.

Petraeus said he sees some parallels between what Moulton is doing in his political career now, by taking on his own party’s leadership, and what their team was trying to achieve in Iraq. But he also offered a warning of sorts.

“He’s heard me say: ‘The bold move is the right move . . . unless it’s the wrong move,’ ” Petraeus said. “You’ve got to understand when you can really push the envelope.”

Can't get a better patron than that, can you?

Moulton acknowledged that he found himself on the wrong side of important people while serving in the military.

Moulton has forged some deep ties across the aisle, including with Republican intellectuals who respect him though they do not always agree with him. A prominent member of this group is Bill Kristol, the founder of the conservative Weekly Standard magazine.

And one of the original members of the Project for the New AmeriKan Century, a neocon war-mongering outfit.

He sees a place for Moulton in finding common ground with House Republicans on smaller bore issues that are important to his district, including combating opioids and job retraining.

“You could see some legislation with interesting sponsors, not from the leadership, not from the top, but bills that come bubbling up in 2018,” Kristol predicted. “That could be something where Seth would be an obvious person.”

And on a personal level at least, Moulton does have some relationship with the 47-year-old leader of the House Republicans: Paul Ryan.

He got special permission from Ryan to propose to his girlfriend, Liz Boardman, on the Speaker’s Balcony, a gorgeous terrace in the US Capitol with a commanding view of the National Mall. And Ryan even shooed away others so Moulton would have the patio to himself..... 

Biparti$an$hip at its best!



Related: Wednesday's Supreme Bona Fides

From today:

Samsung investing $380m in S.C. to manufacture appliances

The Trump effect.

Tillerson tightens limits on filling State Department jobs

Travel ban to be implemented Thursday for 6 Muslim nations

So what is on the docket for next year?

"Man destroys new Ten Commandments statue at Arkansas Capitol" Associated Press  June 28, 2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A man yelled ‘‘Freedom!’’ as he crashed his vehicle into Arkansas’ new Ten Commandments monument early Wednesday, nearly three years after he was arrested in the destruction of Oklahoma’s monument at its state Capitol, authorities said.

The privately funded Arkansas monument had been in place outside the state Capitol for less than 24 hours before it was knocked from its plinth and smashed to pieces.

Michael Tate Reed, 32, of Van Buren, Ark., was booked in the Pulaski County jail shortly after 7:30 a.m. on preliminary charges of defacing objects of public interest, criminal trespass, and first-degree criminal mischief. An arrest report lists his occupation as ‘‘unemployed/disabled.’’

Kind of looks like he has a mission, 'er, job.

Arkansas Secretary of State’s Office spokesman Chris Powell said officials believe a Facebook Live video posted on a Michael Reed’s Facebook account that depicted the destruction is authentic.

In a 2015 e-mail to the Tulsa World , Reed apologized for wrecking Oklahoma’s monument and said he suffered from mental health issues.

Arkansas’ granite monument was installed Tuesday morning on the southwest lawn of the Capitol with little fanfare and no advance notice. A 2015 law required the state to allow the display near the Capitol.


For a minute I thought it was terror.

"Mississippi man takes Confederate flag fight to Supreme Court" by Emily Wagster Pettus Associated Press  June 28, 2017

JACKSON, Miss. — A black Mississippi citizen is taking his case against the state’s Confederate-themed flag to the US Supreme Court.

In papers filed Wednesday, attorneys for Carlos Moore said lower courts were wrong to reject his argument that the flag is a symbol of white supremacy that harms him and his young daughter by violating the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection to all citizens.

His attorneys wrote that under the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruling against Moore, ‘‘a city could adopt ‘White Supremacy Forever’ as its official motto; or a county could incorporate an image of white hooded figures and a noose hanging from a tree into its county seal; or a state could incorporate a Nazi swastika, as an endorsement of Aryan/white supremacy, in its state flag.’’

Mississippi’s is the last state flag to feature the Confederate battle emblem.

Mississippi has used the flag since 1894, displaying its red field and tilted blue cross dotted with 13 white stars in the upper left corner. Voters kept it in a 2001 election.

However, several cities and towns and all eight of the state’s public universities have stopped flying the flag amid concerns that it is offensive in a state where 38 percent of the population is black.

The lawsuit Moore filed in February 2016 says the Mississippi flag is ‘‘state-sanctioned hate speech,’’ and seeks to have it declared an unconstitutional relic of slavery.

US District Judge Carlton Reeves dismissed it in September without ruling on the merits, saying Moore lacked legal standing to sue because he failed to show the emblem caused an identifiable legal injury.

It will be October, at the earliest, before the Supreme Court will say whether it will take the case. The Mississippi attorney general’s office, which has defended the state, declined to comment Wednesday.


Imagine how Palestinians feel when they see the flag of Zion.

Also seeAppeals court ruling opens door to Ohio resuming executions

"In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a trio of death sentences, saying the way they had been imposed constituted cruel and unusual punishment. (The ruling prompted states to effectively impose a moratorium on executions until their capital punishment laws could be revised.)

You know, you feel like you are going back in time when reading the narratives constructed by the Bo$ton Globe.


In 1956, actress Marilyn Monroe married playwright Arthur Miller, and in 1967, actress Jayne Mansfield, 34, was killed.

Needed: An end to the GOP’s pointless health care saga

Collins came through in the clutch.

Maybe she can help with the nurses?

Michael McCarthy gets life for murder of Bella Bond

"Police seek woman after death of her infant son in Lynn homeless shelter" by Jan Ransom Globe Staff   June 28, 2017

Two years after a 4-month-old boy died in a Lynn homeless shelter, his mother has been charged with endangering her child.

Police are now searching for Laci Kirk, also known as Laci Brand, 23, who was indicted by a grand jury Tuesday after the death of Charles Brand III at Independence House, according to the Essex County district attorney’s office.

The indictment on charges of wanton or reckless endangerment of a child comes despite a finding by state child welfare officials that the boy’s death on Sept. 26, 2015, was not the result of neglect or abuse. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner concluded that Brand died of natural causes.....


Why take so long getting cause of death?

"A man was arrested in Lynn after kidnapping his 3-year-old son from his home and assaulting the child’s mother Wednesday morning, police said. Rosba Taylor, 25, does not have custody of his son, Kyrie Taylor, police said. Rosba Taylor took off with the boy just before 9 a.m. and drove towards Lynn in a dark green Jeep Cherokee with a broken windshield, authorities said. Police patrolling the area spotted the Jeep and arrested Rosba Taylor, who was unarmed, without incident on State Street near the Lynn Marketplace at 11:34 a.m., Lynn police Lieutenant Michael Kmiec said. “This was just an example of good police work and good communication between different departments,” Kmiec said. The 3-year-old was unharmed, State Police said. Lynn police took the boy back to the station, Kmiec said....."

He was known to police.

"Medford hospital sharply cutting inpatient services" by Priyanka Dayal McCluskey Globe Staff  June 28, 2017

Hallmark Health System plans to significantly slash inpatient services at its struggling hospital in Medford beginning this fall, the company said Wednesday.

Officials said they plan to close 50 of the 98 inpatient beds at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, including all 40 medical/surgical beds and all 10 intensive care beds. Medford-area patients who need those services would be directed to Hallmark’s other inpatient facility, Melrose-Wakefield Hospital in Melrose.

The remaining inpatient beds in Medford would serve psychiatric patients only. Emergency services, urgent care, and many outpatient services — including weight loss, sleep, and diabetes programs — would remain open.

About 65 people are expected to lose their jobs as a result of the planned changes. The health system, which has been losing money, had announced 57 layoffs in November.

Many community hospitals have struggled to turn a profit and stay competitive in the changing health care industry, and Hallmark, with its hospitals located just north of Boston, faces acute competition from the many brand-name academic medical centers a few miles away.

The company’s chief executive, Alan G. Macdonald, told employees that the company is on track to lose money again this year, about $16 million.

For several years, Hallmark had planned to be acquired by Partners HealthCare, the parent company of Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s hospitals. Partners had planned to reduce inpatient services at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, converting it to a short-stay hospital, but Hallmark and Partners dropped their merger plans in late 2015 after ongoing concerns from Attorney General Maura Healey and others that the deal would bolster Partners’ already great market power and raise costs for consumers.

Hallmark then went looking for a new merger partner. In January, it became part of Wellforce, the parent company of Tufts Medical Center and Lowell General Hospital.....


Also see:

Council endorses mayor’s $3.15 billion spending plan

Rabbits are hopping all over

Where are the cats?

It’s probably going to be a very, very busy traffic weekend on Cape Cod

Time to turn around.


"New Orleans police have arrested two more men in connection with the assault and robbery of two Massachusetts men on Saturday, authorities said. One of the victims is still in critical condition, police said. Rashaad Piper, 20, and Nicholas Pogozelski, 18, were arrested Wednesday on charges of assaulting two men from Boston, robbing them, and then fleeing the scene. Two other men were also arrested for the attack. New Orleans police believe everyone involved in the assaults have been arrested, officials said. Piper and Pogozelski were charged with second-degree robbery."

"Pastor to face trial in granddaughter’s faith healing death" Associated Press  June 29, 2017

WERNERSVILLE, Pa. — The pastor of a fundamentalist congregation that eschews modern medicine will stand trial on a charge he should have alerted authorities when his 2-year-old granddaughter was dying of pneumonia last year, a Pennsylvania judge ruled Wednesday.

District Judge Ann Young reversed a different judge’s decision in April to throw out the charge of failure to properly report suspected child abuse.

Young called the death of Ella Foster ‘‘tragic, sad, beyond belief,’’ and told Rowland Foster, 72, she was not questioning his religious beliefs.

A forensic pathologist said the girl’s condition would have been easily treatable.

Foster’s defense attorney, Chris Ferro, said prosecutors will have difficulty getting a conviction at trial, which will require a more stringent level of proof.


Also see:

"A Texas man’s 3-mile daily walk to work has inspired a group of strangers to collect enough money to buy him a car....."

"A Florida woman told sheriff’s deputies she killed her 12-year-old Chihuahua because she was tired of the dog biting her....."

I will let the court of public opinion decide on the newsworthiness of the items above.

UPDATE: Mother whose baby died in shelter pleads not guilty to child endangerment