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Is Christy Available?

On the heels of Tuesday’s results, Obama’s ability to take a punch and deliver an effective counterpunch is the key question going forward in this race. But I’m not sure that the Axelrod Formula, summarized by the NYTimes: Over the last year, though, Mr. Obama has struggled to deliver that examination [of Clinton’s record]. He picks up the cudgel, and then sets it down. The problem is that Mr. Obama has built a campaign persona as the man of hope, a young candidate with oratorical skills who promises to build bridges across the ideological divide. allows for this type of behavior. If you recall the experience of another Axelrod client – Deval Patrick – he was able to avoid most […]

Louisiana beat us

A follow to Meister Poftak’s post on the Grading the States report card released by Governing magazine and Pew’s Government Performance Project on the quality of governance in the 50 states. Just think about it: Last year Governing magazine splashed House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi’s face all over America for the work that he, former Senate President Travaglini and former Governor Romeny did in crafting the health care reform act. So much change, so fast. Governing rates Mass governance a C after a review of fiscal management, the use of technology, the state workforce, and infrastructure. (I understand the rating on the workforce – the grade must have taken a nosedive after I left…) Where do we stink? Well, we are […]

We beat Rhode Island and New Hampshire

But that’s about it. In the latest Governing Magazine assessment of state management, Massachusetts finished 48th out of 50. In particular, our performance on infrastructure was quite poor, meriting just a D+ grade, but you may have already heard about that. A tip of the pen to the redoubtable Robert David Sullivan of Beyond Red & Blue for the point about infrastructure. 031308-testimony-to-bonding-cmte.doc h4409-governors-transportation-bond-bill.pdf h4562-house-transportation-committee-transpo-bond-bill.pdf masstrans-framework.pdf driving-questions-powerpoint-edited.ppt 2008-02-19-ian-bowles-on-sect-13-parkways-letter.pdf Language for Proposed Transportation Reforms DeLeo Letter on Transportation Bond BillLanguage for Proposed Transportation ReformsLanguage for Proposed Transportation Reforms

Farm Subsidies, Part XXXVI

This space takes a dim view of almost all farm subsidies as market-distorting and wasteful. And as part of the nascent Pioneer Staff Caucus for good food, I find the evidence that the incentives contained in the farm bill to produce a handful of commodity crops — in essence creating a market through government interference — is neither healthy nor good for farmers in the long run. Yesterday’s NYTimes ran an op-ed from a farmer in Minnesota who pointed out another wrinkle in the farm bill — if you try and plant fruits and vegetables on land that had commodity (corn, soybean, rice, wheat, cotton) crops, you lose your government subsidy and you are penalized the market value of that […]

Counterintuitive News

It’s too early, I realize.  But the state is $245 million ahead of where we projected we would be at this point in the fiscal year and $674 million ahead of the same point last fiscal year. Given all the chatter about a recession, its interesting that we aren’t (yet?) feeling the pinch tax-wise. If that $245 million holds, keep an eye on where it ends up — spent out in a ‘supp’, flushed into the Bay State Competitiveness Trust Fund, or put back into Stabilization.   What, you thought it would fund an income tax rollback?