Thursday, March 5, 2015

Picking Them Early


For John, BLUFIt is a long way to Tipperary, and a long way to the Summer of 2016.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



The ground seems to be shifting underneath the feet of Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  Not just Drudge, but also Memeorandum is talking about it or around it.

I, for one, never thought it would be Ms Clinton.  My belief is that the Democrats will go for a "Southern" Ticket:

  • For President—Senator E Warren
  • For Vice President—Former Senator Jim Webb

On the Republican side I see:

  • For President—Governor Scott Walker
  • For Vice President—Governor Bobbie Jindal

Frankly, I would think a ticket with Governor Scott Walker and US Representative Paul Ryan would be the best for the nation, but as all you trivia experts know, you can't have a President and a Vice President from the same state.

Regards  —  Cliff

  I hope that none of you believe The Drudge Report is a report actually written by Mr Matt Drudge.  It is not.  It is a news aggregation site.  That is to say, it is a set of headlines, with links.  The genius of Mr Drudge is in how he juxtapositions the headlines and the photographs.  Right now it is Business Insider, Washington Post, Business Insider, Yahoo News, Weekly Standard, Gateway Pundit and National Journal in the Upper Left Hand Corner.  The "Headline" is from Accuweather.  Once in a while there is an actual Drudge story, when he is leading the various press outlets, but mostly news aggregation from all over the place.
  Because the US Constitution says so.  Well, the Twelfth Amendment.

Progress with Homelessness


For John, BLUFPeople are working homelessness.  It is hard.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Yesterday was the Monthly meeting of the Lowell Hunger/Homeless Commission, Mr Brent Rourke, Chairman.  The Guest Presenter was Ms Rose Evans, from the Massachusetts Dep't of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).  They moved from the Department of Transitional Assistance in 2009.

Their goal is to speed up housing of the homeless.  Family housing is with DHCD.

There have been no eligibility changes since 2012.  However there have been rules changes and ER changes.  The goal is Uniform shelter rules.  Both hotels and shelter providers.  The hotels and motels are overflow. This is an area where the Governor wants to take action.

[Here is an article from Tuesday's edition of The Boston Globe on the Governor's initiative.]

At this point the average stay in shelter is 7 months across Commonwealth.  The success rate in terms of families returning to homelessness is about 13% return rate.  There are some families who cycle through.

We now have case management in hotels and motels, 16 hours a day, seven days a week.  The goal is to, amongst other things, interrupt the isolation that leads toward depression.  The focus on those in hotels and motels is on rehousing. One of the problems the office faces is getting jammed up by law suits.

This program is a $42 million line item.  The money is for buying facilities and services.  And healthcare for homeless.  70% of shelter of homeless individuals paid.  Families' expenses paid at 100%.

One of the items of larger concern (at least to me) is that 13% in Shelters identify as Domestic Violence victims.  And there is no real exit strategy.

One of the issues is that large numbers of folks are refusing medical services and falling out.  This is particularly the case with mental health.  And services can be forced without a court order.  One person stated that this is "not a good enough answer".

Rose Evans responded—We are working it.  A major topic of conversation.  Then there is the sex offender population.

Rose Evans noted that Sheriffs and Hspitals discharging right to shelter.  This needs to be addressed before discharge.  A representative from the Department of Correction noted that there is a serious mental health population with DOC.

One individual noted that the Rep Payee program works, including providing socialization.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Constitution


For John, BLUFCongressional principles in conflict.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Yesterday, in a telephone conversation, City Life Host George Anthes suggested that I don't respect the US Constitution because I did not initially tumble to the idea of "one man, one vote" for the School Committee of the Greater Lowell Technical High School.

I would like to be clear that I fully support "one man, one vote".  I have lived where it has not been in effect, like Alabama in 1964-5, where a lack of redistricting from 1910 to 1972 resulted in rural domination of the State Legislature.  It was not good for the State or its Citizens.

The question with regard to the Greater Lowell Technical High School was if the three towns would find their interests swamped by Lowell.  This is a US Senate Model vs a US House of Representatives model.  In the US Congress Wyoming, Vermont, North Dakota and Alaska have one US Rep each, but each have two Senators, just like California, Texas, New York and Florida.  This Congressional arrangement was the result of "The Great Compromise at the Constitutional Convention in 1787.

It appears to me that it is unlikely the courts will view the Greater Lowell Technical High School School Committee as a "Senate" like organization, one based on the Great Compromise, but rather a House of Representatives like organization.  Thus, for the towns there is the danger of being squashed.

One solution, perhaps, is to have a bicameral School Committee.  It isn't like we pay the current members anything, so it wouldn't be very expensive.  The other option is to just hand GLTHS over to the City of Lowell and then have the towns purchase seats during the school year.  Is that Councilor Kennedy's real objective?

UPDATE:  Given the current situation, I like the idea of GLTHS going to Lowell, but with its own School Committee and its own Superintendent, separate from the current School System.  And, I would suggest that the school property, and the land between it and Lowell, be transferred to Lowell.  And let the towns buy seats at GLTHS, as their needs dictate.  Busing may be a problem, but I believe it can be worked out.

Regards  —  Cliff

  As it is, GLTHS is a drag on Thyngsboro resources, for which the town is not compensated.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Future of Republican Party in Congress


For John, BLUFSomething is happening in the Grand Old Party.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



There is a lot of comment about Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, but there is also this view—We're Almost There In Taking Over The GOP From Bottom To The Very Top, by the Dread Pirate Cates.

Hat tip to the Instapundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Netanyahu Derangement Syndrome


For John, BLUFWhatever, Israel is uniquely our problem.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



I am not sure I understand what is happening in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's mind re the Netanyahu speech.

Here is how The Hill views it—"Netanyahu speech divides Dems".

I found the first Link on Facebook, the second on Instapundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Running in Lowell


For John, BLUFCandidates are emerging.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



On City Life this morning Host George Anthes asked former City Councilor Joe Mendonça if he would be running this year, for City Council, and Joe said yes.

Then Host George Anthes asked GLTHS Committee Member Ray Boutin if he was running for anything this year and Mr Boutin said he would be running for a full term at Greater Lowell Technical High School.

Not on the show, last Sunday, someone asked me if I would be running for Lowell School Committee.  My response was like that of then Episcopal Father (later R/C Cardinal) Henry Edward Manning, "Only if they need me to solve a crisis".  I said that if no one else ran I would, but I would rather not.  I say let Fred Bahou run.  He has the time and this time it would pay him some money.  Yes, I think that is a winner.

Regards  —  Cliff

  He had been asked about making Bishop in the Anglican Church.

Clash of Civilizations


For John, BLUFWhile the Administration negotiates in private, we can hear, in public, the arguments against cutting a deal with Iran.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



While we await The House and the Senate to convene at approximately 10:45 a.m. for a Joint Meeting of Congress to receive His Excellency Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, we can contemplate Commentator Roger Kimball's missive, here.  It is titled "The Lessons of Culture, Benjamin Netanyahu Edition".

I think the schwerpunkt of Mr Kimball's opinion piece is contained here:

Those attacks, he said, were part of “a war to reverse the triumph of the West.”

Netanyahu was right then, and he is still right. For the prime minister of Israel, it is an existential — a life-or-death — issue. (Actually, it is an existential issue for the entire world, as Ilan Berman shows in his forthcoming book Iran’s Deadly Ambition.) The tiny, dynamic country of Israel is surrounded by Islamic states of varying degrees of radicalism, monstrousness, and doctrinal identity; nearly all are united in hating Israel and plotting for its destruction.

Actually, I would argue that in the current state of affairs in the Middle East Israel has some degree of support, or at least cooperation, from Egypt, Jordan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  But, Iran and Daesh and some other nations are a problem for Israel, and for us.

As one person noted this morning,

They [The Arab Muslim Societies] have no historic experience or religious context for representative arrangements, inclusiveness, democracy, power sharing, what ever you want to call it.  They have authority, tribes, families, military leaders, royal families.  Life is zero sum, not win/win.  They may want to change this mindset one day, but only they can change this.
Only they can change this.  In the mean time, we have to stay alive.

Hat tip to the Instapundit.

Regards  —  Cliff