Daily Archives: June 30, 2010

Vespa Violence: Olympian Attacked In Brookline

Published June 30, 2010

Jenny Thompson in better times (AP)

Jenny Thompson in better times (AP)

BROOKLINE (not BROOKLYN), Mass. — Olympic swimmer and Dover, N.H.’s own Jenny Thompson, winner of multiple gold medals, was attacked on her Vespa on Monday night. Police say the thugs tried to steal her bike!

According to a police report, “two [men] got out of the car and Thompson said to them ‘Did you know your headlights are out?'”

One of the men then said to her “your lights are out” and punched her in the face. (WBZ)

A Brookline resident and proud scooter rider myself, I have never been so afraid to ride anywhere as in the Boston area. (And I have done so in both Southern California and Naples, Italy.) In other places, people smile at you. Here, they try to kill you.

The WBUR newsroom is right on the Brookline border, and my green Buddy is parked out front. I hope.

Debating Smoke-Filled Rooms In Smoke-Filled Rooms

Published June 30, 2010

I smell compromise in the air. Or maybe it’s smoke.

Senate President Therese Murray said the Groundhog Day-style debate (my analogy) on casino gaming will extend into the Fourth of July weekend if lawmakers can’t agree. They’ve used parliamentary procedures to delay debate five times this week. Now, surely no one wants to be cooped up in the State House this Saturday.

They ban it in Atlantic City. (AP)

They ban it in Atlantic City. (AP)

It’s fortuitous timing that House Speaker Robert DeLeo — who first introduced the expanded gambling bill — is our guest today on Radio Boston. He’ll be taking your calls and comments live in the studio at 3.

One of the sticking points is a proposed ban on smoking inside casinos. Some Democrats had tried to overturn the ban; Sen. Steven Panagiotakos said it would cost the state $94 million in lost revenue. Sen. Susan Fargo, a casino critic, saw his $94 million in lost revenue and raised $6 billion in lost productivity from smoking illness, according to a recent state report.

I have no opinion, because I’m a journalist and journalists are robots without feelings (like Supreme Court justice nominees). But doesn’t it seem to make sense to allow one vice if you’re going to allow another? I don’t smoke, and I don’t really gamble, either, and I don’t think either is “good for you.” Anyway, what do you think? I know, a lot of you don’t support casinos, period. But it appears all but certain that casinos in Mass. are a reality.

Brown Unveils A Different Jobs Bill

Published June 30, 2010

Sen. Scott Brown may be popular, but he’s under fire for trying to block a jobs bill that could help thousands of families in Massachusetts. Just look at some of the comments from Hubbubers:

Scott Brown’s vote against unemployment benefit extension and medicaid has shown his true colors. He sides with the big guys and doesn’t care about those little guys suffering from the down turn. His latest vote was a disgrace!

Scott Brown has surprised me a couple of times with breaking with his party, but only on much less meaningful measures – and he’ll tout those as proving his independence from the GOP.

That’s got to be hitting the junior senator where it hurts. He prides himself on political independence.

Now the newsroom gets word on a new jobs bill — a Brown jobs bill — that would tap $37 billion in unspent stimulus cash to fund summer jobs programs, unemployment insurance and state aid.

From Brown’s statement today:

“I have been in Washington for five months now, and if you’ve followed my voting record you know that I have crossed party lines to support good ideas when I see them. But, as you know, bi-partisanship is a two-way street. I hope that my Democratic colleagues will support this common sense legislation because it is not only good for Massachusetts, but the entire nation.”

See? He’s still independent. Here is Brown’s press release from the future.

Update: Felix Browne, a spokesman for Sen. Brown, called to say I mistakenly wrote $37 million. That’s not very much money these days. Not that it’s any excuse, but I composed this post on my iPad, which has caused me to commit much worse errors. Anyway, the correct number is $37 bajillion.

Update: The correct number is $37 billion.

An Improbable Memoir

Published June 30, 2010

Gov. Deval Patrick’s new memoir is available for preorder on Amazon — and it doesn’t come out till April 2011.

Um, why is a sitting governor writing his memoir? Do Charlie Baker’s political gains have Patrick pondering the end of his career?

Update: OK, I don’t think anyone actually believes Patrick is writing a memoir because he fears for his job. The book has been some time in the making. The real question is, Where does he find the time? Patrick is at every ribbon-cutting and televised event in Massachusetts, as he should be, not to mention running the state.