Thursday night September 8, 2011, more than 100 people gathered at the Lafayette Club on Fletcher Street for a candidate forum conducted by the Citywide Neighborhood Council. Fifteen of the seventeen candidates participated (Rita Mercier was at a Cemetery Commission meeting and Fred Doyle at his own fund raiser). The program consisted of each candidate making a two minute opening statement on the topic of crime and public safety, then each candidate answered a single question that came from the audience. Finally, each candidate had one minute for concluding remarks. I recorded the two minute opening and the one minute closing for each candidate and have posted these as individual clips to YouTube. The audio may not be the greatest, but I believe all clips are loud enough to be heard and understood. Just click on the candidate name below to launch that candidate’s video.
The next regular breakfast meeting of Greater Lowell Area Democrats after the summer break will be held tomorrow – Saturday September 10, 20011 – at 8am SHARP at the Independence Grill at the Radisson Hotel in Chelmsford.
The regular agenda will include: ongoing topics such as the status of state redistricting plans and the status of “Keeping the Fifth”; updates on the candidates for the US Senate Democratic nomination and a planned debate at UMASS Lowell; dates and deadlines for local ward and town committees; housekeeping details on the Annual Brunch and a 2011 Distinguished Dems recognition; and other topics on the minds of members.
Member of 3MAD are meeting at 9am at the Chelmsford PD – the agenda includes Votebuilder training.
GLAD Members, Associates and interested Democrats are invited to attend the GLAD meetings along with elected and appointed officials.
Directions: Independence Grill at the Radisson Hotel – Exit 34/Rte. 495 – take right off Rte 110 at the hotel sign / parking in front and behind the hotel.
The entry below is being cross posted from Marjorie Arons-Barron’s own blog.
Before President Obama’s much heralded jobs speech last night, NPR’s Scott Horsley called it a “Hail Mary pass.” The reason we remember Doug Flutie’s “Hail Mary pass” is that it worked. Such last-ditch efforts don’t often result in touchdowns, and it’s unclear how we will remember what President Obama’s did last night.
Rhetorically, he made the most of it. Though we’ve heard most of it before, he was energized and forceful. Dare I say, leaderly? Or, as consultant Michael Goldman observed, “Who was that guy and what did they put in his cereal?”
To reinforce that the ball is in Congress’ court, he repeatedly exhorted it to “pass this bill and….,” we’ll get the benefits of extending unemployment benefits another year, “pass this bill and….,” we’ll provide tax cuts to companies hiring workers, generate credits to companies hiring veterans (even John Boehner applauded that one). The rhetorical device, and urging the people to reach out to their Congressmen, was effective …if people were listening.
Obama was also compelling in evoking the vision of an America that used to be, a nation that is tough and capable of meeting any challenge. He showed “the audacity of hope.”
On the other side, the President was somewhat slithery in his promise that the new jobs proposed in transportation and education “will be paid for.” He wants the $447 billion price tag incorporated into the mission of the 12-member “super committee” tasked with coming up with a deficit reduction plan by Thanksgiving. Obama will submit his proposal to that committee next week, but honk if you’re confident the committee will achieve what needs to be done.
The President kept intoning that many, if not most, of the strategies he is calling for have, in the past, had bipartisan support. Maybe then, but this is now. On this the Republicans were stone-faced. While we outside the beltway may agree that it is long past time to “stop the political circus,” it was chilling, but predictable, to see the Republicans sit on their hands when he spoke of traditional bipartisan support for such proposals or when he said “it’s time for us to meet our responsibilities.”
Obama did his best to create a sense of urgency. He reminded listeners that “the next election is 14 months away. The people who sent us here don’t have the luxury of waiting 14 months.” With that line, everyone applauded.
According to the Wall St. Journal, Moody’s chief economist says the plan would add two points to GDP growth, add nearly 2 million jobs and reduce unemployment by a point. But Republicans are dead set against a new stimulus package, despite the nation’s flat job growth and even the desperate need for infrastructure repair. And they’re unlikely to support raising revenue by closing tax loopholes.
Some Democrats and independent economists believe the last stimulus wasn’t big enough, and without it things would have been much worse. But, it’s hard to prove a negative, and, in recent months more Americans have come to doubt the stimulus was the right approach.
With even lower public confidence today, it’s unclear to what extent this approach will get some traction. If it doesn’t, Obama may have used an unusual forum to kick off his 2012 reelection campaign, mimicking Harry Truman’s 1948 successful run against a “do nothing Congress.” Many of us have partisan conflict fatigue and want fresh faces and fresh ideas. But there’s work to be done now. Meeting the challenge is hard, and the question remains as to whether the politicians are up to the task.
Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Regular contributor Jim Peters shares the following essay:
“First Encounter Beach” is well-known to anyone who has traveled to Cape Cod and gotten as far as Orleans or Eastham. It was the strip of land on which the Wampanoags and the Pilgrims attacked one another, with no one killed and no one maimed. It empowered the Pilgrims, they knew that they could hold their own against the Wampanoags if necessary. Later, in what can only be called a massacre, they attacked five Native Americans and killed all of them while having invited them into their own homes. As a warning, they took the head of one of the Native Americans and posted it on a lance, sticking it in the ground. Some Native Americans in the Cape Cod, Plymouth area, decided that the Europeans had a stronger god than they did, and moved on before the god could get angry with them. Think about it, millions of Native Americans versus a few Pilgrims and the Europeans took over the land.
One of the most famous prostelitizers and missionaries was the Englishman, John Eliot. It was John Eliot who sat with Passaconaway and learned that the name of the great river was the “Merrimack.” The “Strong Place.” It was John Eliot who baptized Passaconaway in a ceremony that I believe the Native American chief did not understand. How did I come to that conclusion? Simple. Passaconaway died poor and alone, a recluse, a man who still believed in one great truth, that he was a god. A man believing he was a god, who could turn himself into a tongue of flame in the quiet of his own home, was not a man who accepted Christianity as a progression. read more »
“Lucy Larcom Park” by Richard Marion (c) 2011
To see more artwork, visit www.richardmarion.net
Here is a perfect example of a hyperlocal video.
Our staff noticed a bat just hanging out in the library. We called Animal Control, but they were already closed for the day, so our maintenance man took care of it. An hour later, he was still hanging on the net outside.
This video was originally posted by chelmsfordlibrary.
With economist and housing expert Karl “Chip” Case, the popular Lunchtime Lectures at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center starts another season on Monday, Oct. 3, 12 noon to 1.30 pm, at the ICC at 50 Warren St. in downtown Lowell. Case is the co-author of the highly regarded Case-Shiller Index, the leading measure of home prices in the US. He will discuss the relationship between home prices and the economy. He is professor emeritus of Economics at Wellesley College and has many other prestigious affiliations.
The talk is free and open to the public, but a reservation is required for this program because a light lunch buffet is provided. Seating is limited to 100 persons. To reserve a place, please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 978-934-3107 (Paul_Marion@uml.edu).
The series is co-sponsored by the venerable Moses Greeley Parker Lectures, UMass Lowell, Middlesex Community College, Prof. Bill Mass of the UML Center for Industrial Competitiveness, and the Cultural Organization of Lowell (COOL).
Future programs in the series include “What to Look for in the 2012 Presidential Primaries,” a panel discussion among media and political experts moderated by UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan on Nov. 7, and author Jane Brox’s presentation on “Writing About Place: Local to Global” on April 23, 2012.
Aside from the particulars of the policy proposals made by the President last night, I was happy to hear his robust defense of the role played by government at the federal level. Our ideal of a representative democracy composed of 50 states is not 300 million maverick independent contractors trying to cut in line to get the best reward. There has to be a fair balance of competition and cooperation. Some things, big things, as he said, are done best when we act together. Some things won’t get done unless we act as a majority. At large in the land is a gathering attack on the idea of governing at the federal level, of national public action funded by tax dollars. I won’t repeat Pres. Obama’s examples and exhortation to get back on the high road of responsibility and vision. I was glad to hear his words on this and his passion. There is a reason that places like Massachusetts chose the word “commonwealth” as a way to describe the organization of the state. The “United” in USA doesn’t mean that certain states share borders like Vermont and New Hampshire. The President talks often of the nation as a work-in-progress making its way to a “more perfect union.” I liked his urgency last night. I liked his faith in Americans to do five things at once. To do big things now and for the future.
In today’s NYTimes, opinion writer David Brooks signs on to President Obama’s jobs surge plan outlined last night in a pumped-up speech to Congress and his fellow Americans. Brooks writes:
There is clearly now a significant risk of a double-dip recession. That would be terrible for America’s workers, fiscal situation and psyche. This prospect is enough to shock even us stimulus skeptics out of our long-term focus. It’s enough to force us to contemplate the possibility of another stimulus package.