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The Senate Race That Never Was

I’m sitting here watching Jim Braude’s Broadside and he’s lamenting that a race for an open Senate seat has yet been able to induce exactly one brand name Democrat. This comes on the heels of today’s somewhat surprising announcement (or lack thereof) from Congressman Steve Lynch that, despite pulling nomination papers, he won’t be running after all. I say surprising because his nascent campaign had, in fact, scheduled three events for today – one in Springfield, another in Worcester and again in Boston. Conventional wisdom had it that these were kickoff events. I say somewhat, however, because, to be honest, I’m not, really. Just as I will be even less surprised if Congressman Mike Capuano also declines to run. (He […]

More Doors Equals Faster Service

I’m a big fan of the planned expansion of the MBTA’s Fairmount Line. Its a little used commuter rail line that runs from South Station to Readville. In between are some of the densest areas of the city that don’t have ready access to subway service. The MBTA has (slowly) been adapting the Fairmount Line by adding stations, in an effort to provide more service to these communities. Some supporters of the expanded Fairmount Line have been pushing for DMUs, which are self-powered vehicles that could operate on commuter rail lines but might be able to provide more subway-like service. When the MBTA looked into this option, they found that DMUs had significant benefits — quicker acceleration, lower operating costs […]

Would you rather be….

secretary of transportation in Massachusetts or drummer in Spinal Tap? Good luck and g*dspeed, Jeffrey Mullan.

Waiting Times for Medical Care in MA

Ok, a bunch of folks — Globe, Newsweek, USA Today, Cato, Heartland Institute — have picked up a Merritt Hawkins survey of physician waittimes. And more specifically, that wait times in Massachusetts have increased over the past five years — which at least some observers ascribe to the impact of healthcare reform here. That’s all well and good, until it shows up on one of my favorite sites — Adam Gaffin’s Universal Hub. Then I need to step in. There are a couple of problems with the report — 1) Sample size — To get data from Boston, they called between 9 and 18 doctors in each specialty in both 2004 and 2009. (And not the same doctor’s each time.) […]

Pension Reform II may cost you money

I’ve blogged in the past about the comments of several members of the Pension Reform Commission who have talked about possibly raising the amount spent on pensions for public employees. Now that the Commission has submitted their initial list of potential proposals to PERAC’s actuary for costing, several members have reinforced my initial opinion: “The whole idea of cost neutrality, I don’t know how you balance that when it gets to the legislature,” said state Sen. Kenneth Donnelly, a former commissioner with the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission. “I think the chairman (Munnell) believed it would be good to have a cost-neutral proposal. I don’t know if that’s really possible,” the Arlington Democrat said. and “Reform does not mean ‘take […]