Barney hasn’t lost his touch

There was a time when former Congressman Barney Frank said you couldn't pay him enough for sitting on a panel with Karl Rove.  As it turns out, he mused, "you can."  Frank is doing well on the speaking circuit but returned to his roots on Friday, speaking to the New England Council.  The long-time Congressman …

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Corner office may be way out of D.C. for Capuano

The House has passed a budget.  The Senate has passed a budget.  But we're not likely to get a budget, Congressman Michael Capuano told Monday's New England Council breakfast meeting, because Congress is still kicking the can down the road, drifting toward the next crisis, probably this fall.  The only difference between the majority party …

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Joe Kennedy takes measured approach to government

The scion of a multi-generational political dynasty, Massachusetts' new fourth district congressman is youthful, charming, and unpretentious. He reflects an honest humility appropriate to someone who has been in Congress for just three weeks.  Speaking to this morning's meeting of The New England    Council, Joe Kennedy also avoided liberal generalizations, emphasized the importance of public/private partnerships and showed a tendency to be …

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Frankly, Barney’s best for interim senator

Wanted: Smart, courageous,  savvy individual for temporary posting. Location: United States Senate. Experience: track record of experience in complicated political settings with record of success in achieving goals.  Education: longtime immersion in complicated policy challenges with particular expertise in military budgeting and entitlements. Skill sets must include ability to work collaboratively with people across the …

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Murdoch, Bloomberg call for GOP to have courage on immigration

News Corp chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg came to Boston Tuesday to hail immigrants' contributions to our economic vitality.  Touting the findings of a report by the Partnership for a New American Economy, the two cited the shortage of skilled workers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, …

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Niki Tsongas builds bipartisanship, one small step at a time

Three-term 5th district Congresswoman Niki Tsongas marches to a slightly different drummer than her colleague Mike Capuano, the subject of yesterday's blog posting.  Her rhythm is not a march exactly, more a step-by-step piecing together of small scale bipartisan initiatives in an environment in which bipartisanship is an unnatural act. Tsongas knows that, as one individual,  she …

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Cong. Mike Capuano, a liberal and proud of it

Mike Capuano is not apologetic about his belief in government. He doesn't try to  cast himself as a progressive or any other adjective that cloaks his unabashed liberalism as anything other than what it is- an admiration for what government, however flawed, can do to help people. He deplores the mire in which Congressional lawmaking …

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Much desired troop withdrawal from Afghanistan won’t be all happy endings

Withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan will likely result in tragic outcomes, especially for women and children. But keeping U.S. forces there to prevent those problems would take many years, an unacceptable amount of resources and, in any event, would not, even then, guarantee success. That’s the bottom-line message to be taken from Congresswoman Niki …

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Obama’s real deficit problem is the lack of enthusiasm among his supporters

If President Obama loses his reelection bid in 2012, it may be because he has disappointed so many who had such high hopes for him in 2008. This surely is not true for a relative handful of individuals, who bundled campaign contributions and raised a lot of money for the President, and who were richly …

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Barney Frank’s back to his old self, provocative and, this time, unsettling

It was vintage Barney Frank at last Friday’s meeting of the New England Council. He was savagely funny, insightful, acerbic and provocative. This was particularly true when he discussed the federal deficit and lifting the debt ceiling, the deadline for which seems to have now been moved from May back to August. He ruffled more …

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