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Great Moments in Powerpoint

No, not the Gettysburg Address. (Full site is here.) At a recent conference for government procurement officers, the chief procurement officer of the Director of National Intelligence’s office gave a powerpoint presentation. She hid the labels on Slide 11 that gave our national intelligence budget, but after it was posted online, you could double click on the chart to see the (understandably classified) actual numbers. Using the data on Slide 11, and dividing by the ratio on Slide 10, inquiring minds now know that our government spends $56.52 billion on intelligence. Ooops. Tip of the pen to Slate for the initial links.

Worcester’s Heroine of Education Reform

A heartfelt thank you to Dr. Roberta Schaefer of the Worcester Regional Research Bureau (WRRB) for all her hard work and efforts on the Board of Education (BOE) over the last 11 years. Roberta’s work on the BOE has been both tireless and exemplary. And, like Tom Birmingham , Roberta is worried about the future of education reform in Massachusetts. As she has told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, the appointment of MCAS opponent Ruth Kaplan to the BOE highlights a disquieting trend: This appointment, coupled with the governor’s refusal to fund the Education Quality and Accountability Board and the recent legislative hearings directed at removing MCAS as a graduation requirement, unfortunately indicate that the governor and his legislative allies […]

Tom Waits and Jack Markell running for Governor of Delaware

From a website (DownWithAbsolutes) that is so cool it starts with a quote from Tom Waits (“I offer champagne to real friends, but real pain to sham friends.”), we get the news that Jack Markell (D), three-time State Treasurer (click here for his website), has thrown his hat in the ring in the race to become governor. Jack would be dumb not to run. I mean this guy won the 2002 Treasurer’s race with more than 66% of the vote. In the most recent race (2006) he received 70.5% of the vote. So why bring all this up? Ha-ha, you have a mind like a trap! Well, near the top of his list of accomplishments on the www.markell.org site is–you […]

Media hounds…

Who is?  We are!  Two op-eds in two days.  Ahem, you might want to dig Jamie Gass’ piece in the Metro West Daily News entitled “Teacher licensing rules just got more complex“. How about Alice White’s “City officials silent on looming health care liability” in the New Bedford Standard-Times? Then there is a wonderful piece by Howard Greis entitled “Lawmakers should reject Patrick proposal to drop EQA” in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

Happy Bunker Hill Day

Caught the annual parade in Charlestown on Sunday. This parade usually gets a good turnout of political types and the crowd’s reaction (or lack thereof) can be a telling sign. My award for the parade are: Biggest Reaction – Michael Flaherty, hands-down, got the biggest reaction from the crowd. And he gets extra credit for the retro-cool innovation of handing out emery boards with his name on them (Editor’s Note: This is not a retro-cool innovation, he’s serious.) Who The Heck Is That – City Council-At-Large Candidate Marty Hogan apparently marched in the parade. No one had any idea who the poor fellow was. It’s still not clear which of the roughly 3 – 5 people marching behind his banner […]