For years we've heard the tax cuts enacted by Congress a decade ago at the request of former President Bush described as "tax cuts for the rich." Now that they are expiring at the end of next month we discover that they actually were tax cuts for 96% of the population, and that the largest group standing to lose money if the cuts expire is the middle class. Funny how the Democrats forget to mention that fact all those years they were calling for the taxcuts to be repealed. The fiscal bullshit will be flowing like water in the coming weeks, so here's a good video explaining the basics.
The press conference this morning by Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse on a casino for Mt. Park in Holyoke did not get rave reviews, as suggested by this Mary Serreze photo.
A surprisingly strong backlash against the proposal has come from Northampton, with Mayor David Narkiewicz releasing the following statement:
My position with regard to casino gaming in western Massachusetts remains unchanged. I view any casino development in our region as a serious potential threat to the social and economic vitality of Northampton and have made it clear since my candidacy that I will advocate for the best interests of our community as the Commonwealth’s gaming process moves forward.
The City of Northampton has worked for decades to create a unique economic environment with a strong base of locally owned businesses, great schools, safe neighborhoods, and a vibrant downtown that is an unmatched retail, dining, and arts and entertainment destination for the region and New England.
I have not spoken with the Mayor of Holyoke about any prospective casino in his city, but I certainly look forward to hearing from him after this morning’s announcement.
I have serious concerns about a resort casino located six miles from the heart of downtown Northampton and will work with other surrounding communities to protect our interests and the interests of the region should any casino proposal be advanced in Holyoke.
It's a fact that casinos have been known to suck some of the life out of downtowns, an unpleasant prospect for Hamp which will not be all that far from the casino. On the other hand the development involves Eric Suher, whose entertainment empire is Northampton dependent, so can't he be counted on not to foul his own nest? What makes this issue such a bitch is that the law legalizing a casino in Western Mass has already passed, meaning the only relevant questions are where it is going and who will run it. I'd much prefer to see the local businessman Suher in charge than one of the national casino chains behind the other proposals. Of course the best solution is to take the casino business completely away from the government (which has no business running casinos) and give it to the private market, but fat chance of that much commonsense ever entering into the discussion.
Ankle bracelet monitor model Lindsay Lohan and friend.
The scandal plagued Massachusetts Probation Department is back in the news for fucking up again, this time over "lost" equipment that has undermined their ankle bracelet monitoring system. Somehow I suspect that a better word than lost is "stolen." A complete housecleaning of that hack heaven department, including mass firings, is long overdue.
Read more here.
There's a good article in the Valley Advocate about a tempest in a teapot over art on the downtown Northampton trestles.
I'm surprised the article doesn't mention what adorned that trestle for much of the 1970's and 80's. Around 1976 through some acrobatic vandalism someone managed to paint in large white letters "EAT THE RICH" across the whole length of the trestle, where it remained for at least ten years. It was a different Northampton in the 1970's, where rents were so cheap I used to pay my rent selling joints. By the late 80's however gentrification had advanced to the point where the graffiti was obviously inappropriate, since to follow it would require the citizens of Northampton to dine on themselves.
Read the article here.
Former Springfield City Councilor Mitch Ogulewicz, now a resident of South Carolina, recently put on his Facebook page one of these JFK cards which were everywhere when I was a kid. You couldn't go into anyone's house and not see one stuck up somewhere. I think they were passed out by churches, and not just Catholic ones. Politico has a interesting little article today about an incident involving JFK and Latinos. Read it here.
Yes, the Rolling Stones are but a pale shadow of their former selves, but it's still nice to have them around. Here are a few snippets from their 50th anniversary show last night.