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Taxes and Tolls

As promised, today’s Mass Media headlines on the homepage will be devoted to toll hikes and gas taxes – yesterday’s were to casino gambling – and all of it – new tolls, taxes and pleasure palaces – in pursuit of revenue to cover the cost of road and bridge repair, local and state obligations to public employees and retirees, and with maybe a little something left over for property tax relief (or so the Governor hopes). I have no problem with the Governor and Legislature publicly discussing new sources of revenue to cover the cost of some pretty enormous liabilities staring us in the face. My problem is the exclusive focus on new revenues. There is a flip side to […]

Always double down on 11

That is, of course, unless the dealer is showing a face card. There seem to be four, and as far as I can tell only four, newsworthy stories in the Commonwealth these days: the Patriot’s spy scandal, ’78 redux, higher tolls and gas taxes, and (can’t you just hear the incessant tingling of the slot machines) casino gambling. In the spirit of the press’ focus, we have devoted the entire Mass Media list on the homepage today to coverage of the Governor’s casino proposal, including editorial reaction from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Springfield Republican and South Coast Today. Tomorrow’s focus will be tolls and gas taxes. In the interim, if the dealer’s showing a 6 and you’re sitting on […]

PACho Libre?

OK, I swear to god this is true. Friends at the Mackinac Center passed this on. The Michigan Education Association PAC has a wonderfully revelatory video they released in the spring. It’s called PACho Libre and, yes, you can see it for yourself by clicking here. A dark day in the future pro wrestlers have wrested control of the public schools and given a body slam to thinking and learning (and of course to funding). Up steps a teacher, who, uh, wearing a Nacho Libre mask, courageously takes on the wrestlers and then goes toe-to-toe with the equivalent of Vince McMahon, the real enemy, who is “The Legislator.” Gulp. The suspense is too much. Now this 21-minute piece of nonsense […]

Not yet a Declaration of Independence but Getting There

In an op-ed in the Saturday Globe, Father Monan and Michael Keating deliver some very good news on the Trial Court. In March 2002 Pioneer released A Declaration of Independence, a detailed and highly critical report on the mismatch of resources to court caseload. On the heels of the Pioneer report, Chief Justice Marshall established the Visiting Committee on Management in the Courts and invited Father Monan, Chancellor of Boston College, to chair the committee. The Monan Commission “issued an harsh assessment of court operations” a year after the Pioneer report and developed numerous recommendations. Two points of good news from the Mass Trial Court that deserve special highlight: The Trial Court has adopted the National Center for State Courts’ […]

Shameless Plug

Actually, this is more a vain attempt to bring attention to a new Pioneer website feature, what we call Mass Media, a daily compilation of articles from newspapers across the Commonwealth. In the wake of today’s Boston Globe headline, I’d like to offer a quick thought on casino gambling. I should disclose at the outset that Pioneer has not studied the issue and, therefore, has no institutional position on the prospect of legalized casino gambling in the Commonwealth. Neither have I, personally, staked out a position on the issue. I admit to a certain trepidation regarding it, but that does not mean the potential benefits to the state wouldn’t outweigh the costs. Besides, I don’t believe government’s role should include […]