Deval Patrick: too little, too late or a ray of sunshine?

There is no better campaigner than Deval Patrick. He's charismatic, warm, visionary and inspirational.  He appeals to our better sides, and has the kind of personality that really could help to heal the searing wounds of division. That he is African-American indicates his potential appeal to a constituency whose enthusiasm is essential to a Democratic …

Continue reading Deval Patrick: too little, too late or a ray of sunshine?

Charlie Baker: the vision thing

For Democrats hoping to unseat Republican Governor Charlie Baker in 2018, my advice is: hang onto your day job.  Would-be opponents will charge that Baker may be an okay manager, but he lacks  vision. Making the charge stick will be difficult, if not impossible. Baker's immediate goals upon taking office may have lacked rhetorical flourish. They were: rebuilding relationships …

Continue reading Charlie Baker: the vision thing

Obama still stands for hope, alloyed with action

"When they go low, we go high," is Michelle Obama's credo.  Last night, her husband exemplified that commitment.  He spoke to the best that is in the American people, the power of faith, the ability of ordinary people to come together over shared values.  We will remain the most powerful and respected nation on earth …

Continue reading Obama still stands for hope, alloyed with action

What will it take to fix ACA?

When President Obama back in 2010 said of the flawed Affordable Care Act, pass it now, fix it later, perhaps he never dreamed of the extent to which politics would have paralyzed the U.S. Congress.  In the past, with major laws like Medicare and Social Security, legislators took an engineering model approach. Pass it. Test …

Continue reading What will it take to fix ACA?

If ACA is a turkey, then Obama’s a lame duck

The talking heads are calling this year's snafus in the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act Obama's Katrina, likening it to the FEMA debacle in responding to the deadly 2005 hurricane that wasted Louisiana.  I think the handling of the ACA roll-out is worse. Katrina is a code word for an epic bureaucratic screw-up, a failed response to …

Continue reading If ACA is a turkey, then Obama’s a lame duck

Clock ticks as extremists carry the day

The Red Sox move on to the ALCS, Gronkowski may play for the Patriots on Sunday, a Newton-based foundation is poised to save Boston's First Night Festival, the school buses are rolling in Boston after an illegal one-day strike, so all's right with the world. Not so fast.  Even these positive headlines can't compensate for …

Continue reading Clock ticks as extremists carry the day

Gomez v. Markey a study in contrasts

It's easy to think of ourselves as thoughtful deliberative voters with no single litmus issue for judging a candidate, but that theoretical criterion came up short last night in the final moments of the Senate debate between Gabriel Gomez and Ed Markey. The defining (litmus, if you will) issue for many became preserving or overturning Roe …

Continue reading Gomez v. Markey a study in contrasts

Parsing the Lynch and Markey stereotypes

Sometimes it's easy to categorize U.S. Senate candidates Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch.  Congressman Markey is the unreconstructed liberal, right?  His values on gun control, abortion, climate change, gay rights, and virtually everything else are unequivocally left of center.  And Steve Lynch is the conservative in the race - especially when it comes to social …

Continue reading Parsing the Lynch and Markey stereotypes

Health care – the end of the beginning and the beginning of hard work

Thanks to CNN and Fox,  Thursday's SCOTUS announcement was an emotional roller coaster.  Like the Dewey-beats-Truman headlines, they both were so eager to be first that they were wrong.  Shame on them. This time, print media at least made a stab at reading the Supreme Court decision before pronouncing the individual mandate dead.  And, of course, it wasn't.  …

Continue reading Health care – the end of the beginning and the beginning of hard work