Massachusetts

Mike the Mad Biologist

Category archives for Massachusetts

What Was the Massachusetts House Thinking?

I didn’t think we would see assaults on unions happening in Massachusetts. I was wrong: Last night, the Massachusetts House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill (111-42) to strip public-sector workers of their ability to bargain collectively for healthcare. The rhetoric surrounding the bill, proposed by Democratic State House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, is in…

Given the fundamental problems that New York City’s ‘proficiency growth’ evaluations of teachers have, it’s absolutely unclear why Massachusetts, which leads the nation according to the gold-standard NAEP, would want to adopt them (we’ll return to this point later). Yet the contagion of stupidity that is educational ‘reform’ knows no bounds: The proposed regulations would…

Removing Urban Highways: Thank the Big Dig

Over the past couple of months, there has been a spate of articles celebrating cities that are getting rid of their urban highways. The Christian Science Monitor had an article discussing New Haven’s urban reclamation efforts. NPR reported the following: How did this happen? After all, this is the country that always saw roads as…

Last week, The National Journal broke the story, since confirmed by other sources, that the Obama administration plans to cut billions of dollars from the LIHEAP program that subsidizes energy costs for the needy (italics mine): President Obama’s proposed 2012 budget will cut several billion dollars from the government’s energy assistance fund for poor people,…

It would be for the best. First, some general thoughts. I had the distinct sense Obama was trying to run the clock out. He knew he had to say something, but has no room to maneuver. Thanks to his mediocre first two years and his enabling of conservative talking points (which one wonders if that’s…

I ask this because Boston’s local gourmet pizza chain, Upper Crust, which is loved by foodies, has been massively exploiting its undocumented workers: Tobins [the owner of Upper Crust] needed lots of kitchen help; the Brazilians worked hard and didn’t complain about workweeks that routinely stretched to 80 hours. Marilac prospered as Upper Crust’s immigrant…

Or, at least, don’t obey Massachusetts law and receive the healthcare they are entitled to. Esterline Technologies demonstrates that much of what passes for ‘rational business decision making’ is actually ideology combined with petty personal vendetta. From Yves Smith: This story illustrates how far some companies are willing to go to preserve their bottom lines…

Keep in mind that this GE plant primarily makes parts for defense contracts–these jobs are provided by a guaranteed contract: General Electric Co. has made an unusual offer to the state: Give us $25 million in tax credits, and we won’t cut any more than 150 positions at our aircraft engine plant in Lynn. The…

Yes, I’m travelling today, but that doesn’t mean I can’t harangue you (and, yes, I sent in my absentee ballot). If you’re a member of the Coalition of the Sane, tomorrow’s election, at the national level, is unappealing. The Congressional Democrats’ unofficial motto of “Vote for us because we won’t be as dreadful as the…

Bestest City Council Resolution EVAH!

Gotta love Cambridge, MA: Policy Order Resolution O-32 IN CITY COUNCIL August 2, 2010 VICE MAYOR DAVIS COUNCILLOR CHEUNG COUNCILLOR DECKER COUNCILLOR KELLEY MAYOR MAHER COUNCILLOR REEVES COUNCILLOR SEIDEL COUNCILLOR SIMMONS COUNCILLOR TOOMEY ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to investigate with the MBTA the possibility of installing a long flat…