My many spies within Boston City Hall inform me that MyFoxBoston.com -- channel 25's web site -- is blocked. That is, City Hall employees cannot access the web site.
When they try, they get the message: "You have attempted to access a web page which does not fall within the acceptable Internet Use Policy for the City of Boston."
Governmental auditing and oversight is extremely important -- as sage political scientist Seth Masket explains today, when this function is lax you end up with Senator Palpatine diverting quintillions from the Republic's budget to secretly fund construction of a Death Star.
(I would add that this example also illustrates the importance of a vibrant free press, which had clearly withered to irrelevancy by that time.
I've been following the so-called birther story from its earliest days, so naturally I took interest in yesterday's big news of Barack Obama finally producing the other birth certificate.
A lot of people, particularly on the left, took the opportunity to repeat the charge that birtherism is an inherently racist belief.
In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix -- in print and online now -- I write that all signs point to Boston Mayor Tom Menino running for re-election again in 2013.
There are a lot of recent signs pointing to this, and a growing sense of it among those in and around City Hall. Of course, it could just as easily be Menino wanting people to believe he's running again, to avoid becoming a lame duck as everyone scrambles for position in what would be a fantastic free-for-all election to succeed him.
The terrific political-science journal The Forum has three interesting essays in its new issue, dealing with politics and media. In one, Greg Marx, formerly of the Columbia Journalism Review, compares political media resistance to academic insights to sports-journalism resistance to sabermetric insights. In another, two academics, Brendan Nyhan of the University of Michigan and John Sides of George Washington University, offer suggestions for how academics can help political journalists do their job.
Everyone knows the state purse strings are tight; still, state arts-and-culture advocates were taken aback late last week when the House of Representatives’ proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning in July recommended cutting the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) budget 18 percent.
At $7.5 million, funding for the main state-sponsored entity providing grants for everything from local cultural organizers to student arts programs would be more than 40 percent lower than just two years ago.
Just want to add my two cents, and local example, to something being discussed in the blogosphere today about deficits and public perception and politics. Spoiler alert: my two cents is that political analysis should always assume that voters don't actually care about government budgetary problems, regardless of what those voters say.
Maureen Feeney makes it official: she won't run for re-election to Boston City Council. This has been much-rumored, and a decision one way or another was expected by -- well, by today, when signature papers first become available for those seeking to run. So there it is.
Feeney, 63, has remained popular in her Dorchester district, even as it went through dramatic changes during her 17 years in office.
It strikes me as a big deal, in GOP 2012 politics terms, that Tim Pawlenty has come out firmly opposed to Congress raising the debt ceiling. Although he's toyed with the notion before, it's really just in the past few days -- including his speech at Friday's Tea Party rally in Boston -- that Pawlenty has flat-out called for a no vote.
I really do enjoy a good political rally, and yesterday's Tea Party event on the Boston Common had the two key ingredients for success: the sun was out, and the sound system was good. And, although turnout was so-so -- maybe 300 people -- it was a good mix of earnest believers, crazies, curiosity-seekers, counter-protesters, and media.
My regular readers know that I'm a Gen-Xer (born 1967) who frequently looks at politics through a lens of generational politics and culture. So I think it's incumbent upon me to point out what I think is obvious but seems to be rarely, if ever, noted: entitlement reform is going to screw Gen-X royally.
Putting aside Medicaid, the other two big entitlement programs are Medicare and Social Security -- which are both, essentially, mechanisms for one generation to take care of the previous generation.
Visiting New Hampshire today, Mississippi Governor and presumed Presidential candidate Haley Barbour mentioned that he is a huge Red Sox fan. Andrew Cline of the Union-Leader, wary of pandering, asked for details and got Barbour reminiscing about his mother taking him to Sox spring training from his earliest years, and giving him a Red Sox jacket for his 12th birthday.
In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix -- in print and online now -- I have articles about Mitt Romney's path to the nomination, and the operatives who will be running the various New Hampshire campaigns. Plus, on the blog, my new rankings of candidates' chances!
I pegged these articles for this issue a few weeks ago, as signs suggested that Romney would be announcing sometime in mid-April, and I got lucky with his announcement (of a Presidential Exploratory Committee) earlier this week.
"This debate over budgets and deficits is about more than just numbers on a page, more than just cutting and spending. It's about the kind of future we want. It's about the kind of country we believe in."
That's from the very first paragraph of Barack Obama's big deficit-cutting speech today. If you spent time watching last year's Massachusetts gubernatorial campaign, it probably struck you as rather familiar.
Much has happened in the two months and change since my last rankings, but my Top 3 remains the same: Tim Pawlenty, Haley Barbour, and Mitt Romney.
I wrote at that time that I could only see realistic chances for five people -- those three, plus John Thune and Rick Perry. Thune has since opted out, and Perry has made very clear that he's not running.