link to BPR 2/26/13 Interview with Foxwoods’ Scott Butera

http://www.wgbhnews.org/post/bpr-charlie-baker-candidate-mayor-john-connolly-first-girl-win-state-wrestling-title

Like it or leave it, casinos are coming to Massachusetts. Jim and Margery spoke with casino “turnaround artist”, Scott Butera. Butera is the chief executive of Foxwoods, and has been reportedly eyeing  valuable land in Massachusetts.

FYI:  Jim Braude and Margery Eagan joined WGBH’s BPR (Boston Public Radio) as co-hosts in February.

Posted in Milford Casino, Political News - Blackstone Valley, Political News - MA | 278 Comments

200 HSBC staff paid more than £1m in 2012 (UK Guardian)

Revelations about bankers’ pay come as HSBC reports a fall in profits to $20bn (£13bn)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/mar/04/hsbc-pay-top-earners

HSBC paid 204 of its staff more than £1m in 2012, a year when Britain’s biggest bank made profits of $20.6bn (£13.7bn) despite being fined £1.2bn by the US authorities for helping Mexican drug barons launder money through the financial system.

At the start of a week in which Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland are both expected to publish the pay of their highest earners for the first time, HSBC disclosed that 78 of those who took home more than £1m were based in the UK.

Britain’s biggest union, Unite, described the scale of the pay as an “outrage” given that some of its members at HSBC take home £14,000 a year and are facing changes to their pension schemes and holidays.

The bank paid $200m of corporation tax in the UK on the profits, which were lower than the City expected, causing the shares to fall 2.5% to 710p.

Posted in Political News - International | 72 Comments

Voters in Swiss referendum back curbs on executives’ pay and bonuses (UK Guardian)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/03/swiss-referendum-executive-pay

Swiss voters have approved measures to curb executives’ pay and outlawed golden parachutes that can result on directors pocketing multimillion-pound payoffs.

Exit polls suggested almost 68% of those who turned out for Sunday’s referendum, and all of Switzerland’s 26 cantons, were in favour of the measures, which also include giving shareholders a binding vote on executive pay, banning golden hellos and banning bonuses that encourage buying or selling firms. Boards of directors that fail to comply face jail terms.

In Zurich, Switzerland’s financial capital [ . . . ] analysts were suggesting that an overwhelming majority of 71% of voters approved the Minder initiative.

“The people have decided to send a strong signal to boards, the federal council [Swiss government] and the parliament,” Thomas Minder, the businessman and Swiss senator behind the measure, told the state broadcaster, RTS. Minder said he was not surprised by the projected results.

. . .

According to the proposed law, executives of listed companies who failed to abide by the new rules could face up to three years in jail and fines amounting to up to six years’ salary.

The Swiss government and the upper house of parliament opposed the initiative, warning it could provoke an exodus of big companies.

Posted in Political News - International | 1 Comment

Casino Free Milford is heating up!

As many of you are aware, one of the casinos allowed under the expanded gaming law has been proposed for a parcel of land in Milford. So far, the only selectman opposed to it is Bill Buckley – both Dino DiBartolmeis and Brian Murray have remained on the fence about it, at least until a firm proposal is in hand.

But the grassroots opposition is taking no chances, gearing up for a town-wide referendum which is the next step after a decision from the Board of Selectmen to proceed. I’m volunteering for the effort, heading up the voter outreach sub-committee. We will be using my organizing software, I’ve installed a stand-alone copy with just the data for Milford here:

http://tehans.com/cgi-bin/org/login.cgi

We are meeting in the Milford library this coming Wednesday, 3/6, at 7 pm to begin the process. Join us!

Posted in Political News - Blackstone Valley | Tagged , , , | 65 Comments

The Filibuster debate and the requirement that approval of two-thirds of Senators (67) is necessary to change the body’s rules

http://www.bostonreview.net/BR38.1/charles_fried_frederick_schwarz_filibuster_constitution.php

“Even vice presidents have agreed. Although often overlooked, one of the duties of the vice president is to act as president of the Senate, including issuing advisory opinions about internal Senate procedure. Vice Presidents Nixon, Humphrey, Rockefeller, and Cheney all confirmed the inherent constitutional power of a majority of Senate members to enact rules changes.

As Nixon described it: “The right of the current majority of the Senate at the beginning of a new Congress to adopt its own rules cannot be restricted or limited by rules adopted by a majority of the Senate in a previous Congress.”

Posted in Political News - National | Leave a comment

NYT: Joe Nocera’s blog, currently “The Gun report”

http://nocera.blogs.nytimes.com/

currently “The Gun Report”, topic seems to have started 18-Jan . . . didn’t review much beyond that date . .  .

Posted in Political News - National | Leave a comment

WaPo: Strom Thurmond’s mixed-race daughter dies at 87

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/strom-thurmonds-mixed-race-daughter-dies-at-87/2013/02/04/660e074e-6f3d-11e2-8b8d-e0b59a1b8e2a_story.html

“I am Essie Mae Washington-Williams, and at last I am completely free,” Washington-
Williams said at a news conference in 2003, after revealing her secret in an interview with The Washington Post.

She was born in 1925 after Thurmond, then 22, had an affair with a 16-year-old black maid who worked in his family’s Edgefield, S.C., home. She spent years as a schoolteacher in Los Angeles, keeping in touch with her famous father.

interesting the way that’s phrased . . in my book, when a 22 year old man has sex with a 16 year old girl who works for his family . .  . at the very least it’s statutory rape !

Posted in Political News - DC | Leave a comment

WaPo: The ‘rabid’ hate aimed at Trayvon Martin

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2013/02/05/the-rabid-hate-aimed-at-trayvon-martin/

if you follow any of the links, be prepared  . . . the ‘raunchy tweet’ from Todd McKinnon . . REALLY IS . . . and probably NSFW !

I’d missed this analysis of the bloodstains on George Zimmerman’s clothing
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/post/george-zimmermans-dna-problem/2012/09/30/40605a58-0a46-11e2-a10c-fa5a255a9258_blog.html

Of the 47 stains tested for the presence of blood on Zimmerman’s shirt and jacket, Trayvon was a “partial minor DNA profile” in one stain and a “possible contributor” in another. He was “excluded as a possible contributor” in a third. That’s just three stains out of 47.

“Unless Trayvon Martin was wearing gloves and a bonnet, it would normally be expected that there would be some evidence of him on the garment,” said Kendall Coffey, former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It’s Time to Stop Validating Ignorance

http://bigthink.com/big-think-tv/its-time-to-stop-validating-ignorance

In protesting the Kansas State Board of Education’s decision to allow intelligent design to be taught in public schools as an alternative to creationism, Bobby Henderson audaciously argued that “Flying Spaghetti Monsterism” ought to be given equal time in classrooms as well. 

The idea behind this colorful parody was simple. Religious tolerance is one thing. It is quite another thing to teach children unfalsifiable claims. 

According to the physicist Lawrence Krauss, author of A Universe From Nothing: Why There is Something Rather than Nothing, the notion that the earth is 6,000 years old, as opposed to 4.55 billion years old, is simply an error, and a very big error indeed. To teach such an error, Krauss says, has consequences. It would be like “teaching kids that the distance across the United States is 17 feet. That’s how big an error it is,” Krauss tells Big Think. 

 

Posted in Humor/Satire | 158 Comments

GBVDems get a mention in Milford Daily Voice

The Milford Daily Voice is a new local news site, similar to the Patch sites that have been springing up around here lately. I recently had a chance to talk with the local reporter, Richard Sobey, and he quoted me in an article about the upcoming Milford caucus:

Click here to read the article

Lots of exciting stuff happening this spring – see you on the campaign trail!

Posted in Political News - Blackstone Valley | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment