Monday, November 26, 2012
Finally, the dreadfully cruel and irrational Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) — sure then President Bill Clinton's biggest mistake, worse than lying about his cigar shenanigans — appears on the way finally to dying under paper and gavel at the Supreme Court.
The AP carries a terse and clear recap of the cases the SCOTUS is considering this week. It would only take one to decide it. For a little poignancy and perhaps a misty eye, add the tale of the dying career soldier who wants her wife to get survivor benefits set up before she goes.
The ruse is well past it's expiration date. The anti-gay types who use Limbaugh and NOM approved code phrases like special rights need to let it go. Legally married people should have the same nights, as in regular normal rights, as any other. Hampering, harming and hindering homosexual marrieds is unconstitutional, uncivil and simply wrong.
Let the SCOTUS get this over with. It was a mistake for it to become the compromise that kept Congress from a bigger blunder of trying to debate a national marriage law back nearly two decades ago. It is all the more obvious that it was stupid then and still is.
Oh, and even the most conservative on the Court have noticed that the nation has moved beyond this particularly irrational fear. Same sex marriage has shown us all that it only brings joy and equality to those directly involved as well as those who know and love them. The only harm has been to them in the hassle and unequal rights by DOMA and states who won't recognize legal marriages.
Make it so, SCOTUS.
Friday, November 16, 2012
I'm all over this Will Dorcena candidacy for Boston Mayor. If Tom Menino goes for a sixth term next year, this could make for a grand political theater.
Locals who have spoken to me directly say even with a year head start, he is doomed, doomed and doomed. He though radiates optimism and confidence, figuring he can be yet another grassroots miracle fable.
Dorcena had a re-kick-off event last evening in Dorchester at Phillips Old Colony. This was a relaunch because while he announced at the beginning of 2012 — regardless of whether Da Mare is running, he has been sidelined with his wife and new son. He had to square all that and make sure everyone was hale before simultaneously working for a mortgage bank and running for Mayor.
So last night, his 40th birthday, he wished the ailing Mayor well. At least, as he concluded, "I hope the Mayor gets better quickly...so we can go out there and do the battles."
Disclaimers: I as well as the present and would-be Mayor live in Hyde Park. Dorcena's house and home office is only 1.6 miles from Menino's home. I know Da Mare and consider him charming. I've gotten to know Dorcena and both like and respect him as well.
His platform is beefy and based on the one he used in his come-in-late/lose-big-as-unknown run for City Council. Then he described and offered solutions in five areas. Unfortunately, his new campaign site does not yet have positions or even a bio. It went live a few days ago. You can go to the old site to read his bio and proposals.
His four planks in the slightly edited platform are revamping the school system, reducing crime, hiring local, and engaging and informing the public at every stage of decision making. Those are standard challenger areas. The difference is as Patrick did with his initial campaign, Dorcena puts his neck out with detailed proposals. He risks all by giving other candidates targets.
From A to B
We Bostonians love to play experts on our sports and politics. We had to drop the the Sox-always-break-our-hearts, but we keep the suicide-to-run-against-Menino shtick.
In January, I asked Dorcena how a not so high profile newcomer planned to beat the big guy. Last night I tweaked that with a question about how badly taking off most of the year for family blunted or changed that strategy.
He beaming candidate wants to stay on track and keep the same plan, including:
- ringing every doorbell in town, talking one-on-one, two or however many
- holding town-hall meetings in all 22 neighborhoods to introduce himself, put out his platform, and fire up those who want those massive improvements and changes
- broaden his team to create a sizable field organization
It was unlike other such campaign events in several ways. First, there were no bribes. The hall got lined with dozens of his posters and yard signs. Otherwise, there were 2x3-inch stickers for him on the tables and ice-water pitchers and cups on a sideboard. No noshes, no beer, no swag. He was about his message.
Second, that message along with his name and face will dominate. His signs have a clean, modern font in our flag colors. In the posters, which his crew put at every city polling place last week, his smiling face is there. That makes it stand out from typical campaign signs. They tend to go with what they think will be a winning, memorable slogan instead.
Dorcena was nonplussed. He also kept with his theme of disclosure and candor, saying how many he expected.
While it's nearly a year before the voting, local media could have roused themselves from their fall naps. None of the we-run-anything local TV stations showed. The event was within shouting distance of the Globe. While the Herald ran a short saying the announcement would happen (apparently unaware that he had kicked off in January already), there was nothing today.
The closest the Globe got was Brian McGrory's column on various possible candidates for Boston offices and higher. Near the bottom, he dumped out some dark horses for mayor, apparently to show insider cred. He's never good at that.
The Herald's Peter Gelzinis ran a juicy gossip piece that didn't mention Dorcena either. Instead he speculated on the pending fight to become President of the City Council in case Menino has to step down due to his multiple body troubles. The column delights in predicting blood on the fifth floor, figuratively at least. None of the Councilors loses sight that the prez becomes Mayor in such cases, as Menino did when Ray Flynn went off to the Vatican.
I suspect that Dorchester News' Gintautas Dumcius and the Phoenix' David Bernstein will do their usual jobs — solid news and cute/speculative respectively. The lumbering dailies and broadcast are likely to wait until late spring or summer, or if Menino decides to swat at Dorcena, before noticing.
Even with diminished staff, the bigs could do better by us with political coverage.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
The counterpoint to winger excuses for massive GOP loses this election has been a surprising, to me at least, self-control by Dems. I have read on winger blogs and heard on Fox carefully picked and over-expanded examples proving, absolutely, unequivocally, so-there proof, poof, proof, that Democrat are vindictive and vicious winners.
I honestly don't see and hear that. For every smirking Dem, there must be a dozen or more relieved ones. Most of us accepted that the slow economic recovery make seem swell in contrast to the larger world's, but still sucks for us. Plus state-level Republican gerrymandered districts gave terrific advantage to them. This was certainly the GOP's year to pluck the Presidency without even reaching.
Moreover, as recently as 2010 when Scott Brown took the special election for U.S. Senator from MA and again later in the year when Republicans took control of the U.S. House, the crowing and cackling were deafening. Spiking the football was far too mild a metaphor. I suspect with the Bush years in mind and emotion, they were like Bostonians used to championships and feeling entitled.
My own delusion was that a substantial number of Romney/Ryan supporters would play nice, mildly praise the winning side and say they'll make sure it doesn't happen next time. Very little of that has been evident.
A lucid example was over at the often doctrinaire redstate.com, there featured writer Erick Erickson was fair and smart. He admitted defeat without whining and delusional or paranoid self-lies. He specified what the GOP had to fix.
On a personal level, I thought perhaps Brown and Romney supporters might show a bit of grace and even good humor. Not yet. Even among school classmates on Facebook, those with the most extreme slurs against Barrack Obama and Elizabeth Warren have simply ignored the election. Their feeds have regressed to light news and noise, none of it political.
Sure it would be satisfying if wingers showed some social skills and even went the personal responsibility route. Their party likes to claim they are for personal responsibility and accountability after all — but apparently only if those inconvenience or embarrass Dems.
I've given up looking for hints of conciliation. That may only come when GOP Congressional leaders show it is acceptable to do some things for the good of the nation. That's bound to happen, but why do they make it so hard and so temporally distant?
Instead, unlike the Gingrich/Koch/Rove types that want and foresaw a regime of Republican dominance crushing all opponents, Dems in the main would like a working two-party system. They say as much and do more than their part to act on it. When Republicans claim that bipartisanship can mean only do exactly what they want, they make a zero-sum game.
For that two-party thingummy to work, Republicans have to have a big rethink again. Everyone's numbers show they have alienated women, that majority of voters, in large numbers. Quite justifiably, Latinos, African-Americans, Asian-Americans and other groups don't trust Republicans. They still hold sway among older, white men, the party's dwindling party.
What could be plainer than:
- Admitting Dems' policies and positions worked better even in what should have been a gimme election for the GOP
- Considering all the groups where Romney, Brown, Akins and so many other lost, and mapping those races to Republican policies and positions
- Rethinking what they really want — self-righteousness or political power
There is still a big GOP subset, led by the House Tea Party folk, who say and seem to believe that they can sway a majority of Americans by being more extreme, more xenophobic, more government intrusive into personal decisions, more restrictive in voting rights and on and on. Those folk don't have any extra brain cells to rub together to keep their skulls warm in the winter.
Here's hoping Mitch McConnell and John Boehner do enough deal cutting and cooperation in the lame-duck Congress and early into 2013. Beyond being better immediately for us all, that would provide license for GOP voters to come to terms with the election results and for the GOP itself to accept that they have to alter strategy and platform to ascend to power again.
I can guarantee that Obama would be happy to share credit or let GOP leaders take credit. When they try at all, he has. He prefers to think of his role as enabling reasonable people to act together. There's another lesson Republican leaders get for free.
I can't say that I'm eager for the next Republican President, but like most lefties, I like a vibrant political discussion leading to laws we can all live with and benefit from. And like most lefties, I like a good election battle that brings lots of voters to the polls to have their say. Smearing the ovals and other voter tricks gives us ownership of the results.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Let us be pleased by Karl Rove. He is so arrogant that he intends to lead the huge winger donors astray at least in 2014 and perhaps two years later. We should be delighted that he intends to be so willfully foolish. He can play pied piper to the nasty rats while we children do not follow him.
In the WaPo article linked above, he learned that he can be even stupider than the allegedly savvy Mitt Romney. Rove doubles down again and again on his failed scheme to take over the nation. He expects to fine-tune his Crossroads superPACs strategy.
Let him vacuum a billion from the rich bozos!
When he successfully engineered George the Lesser's election and then there came the mid-term takeover of the House, he was adamant that a GOP dynasty, a Reich (without the Nazis, I assume), would drive progressives, liberals and the humane from power in America forever and ever, amen.
Now following the billion or so (at least $400 million by Rove) piddled away in what should have been an unlosable election, he is so delusional that he cannot accept that his promises and plans failed. He points to tiny, shiny details — Crossroads' small staff, they pay a third or less of the going rate for those who construct their ads...
His widely covered (and forever on Youtube) crazy talk about Dems suppressing the vote by pointing out the truth about Bain Capital's record and worse the total mental moments on Fox denying the actual Ohio vote tabulation are clear. Those donors who likewise deny reality have had their lesson.
Dems should stand back and let him do his asinine things.
Friday, November 09, 2012
We should not be surprised that cynical liars, like Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, reacted abominably to the election. Likewise, we can expect delusional and manipulative entertainers like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter to feign all manner of cover stories.
Whether the inane, illogical and in some cases vicious response was a defense mechanism is irrelevant. We, and I hope our re-elected POTUS, have to keep in mind two points:
- Republicans lost this election at the top of the ticket and in Congress
- the winners must dictate the terms going forward
Particularly on Facebook, the emotion and vitriol were startling before the voting. The nasties have been mute since.
I managed not to respond to even the worst of the lies in the new memes, those "photo" messages, mini-posters. They presented and restated disproven, desperate slanders on the President and other Democrats.
In fairness (the Dem and progressive weakness of showing kindness to the malicious), I admit that my side did engage in insulting Romney, Ryan, Rove and in particular the absurd GOP party platform. Honesty and reason were generally on our side in contrast.
Yet, as we heard in the post-election statements of Speaker of the House Boehner and Senate Minority Leader McConnell, they have no intention of working for the good of the nation. They would let Americans founder to prove their repudiated points and viewpoints. Both have made it plain that Obama needs to bring out the big brass ones to cow them into doing so.
He did that with equal pay for women, DADT and most notably healthcare reform. Doing so seems to be all that the current GOP leaders understand and respect. Compromise, to them, means doing only what they want.
One would think, if one thought, that they would recognize after the election that they would lose their Congressional power and likely the 2016 election if they do not help America to economic recovery. This time in attempted voter suppression and in the previous redistricting in Republican-led states after the 2010 elections to overcome demographics. That was an even bigger failure than the inability to put Romney in during a gimme year of terrible economic times.
Come 2014 when Obamacare kicks in and when the recovery continues over GOP unwillingness to help, Republicans are certain to lose control of the House. Likely too if filibuster reform does not beat them to it, Dems are almost certain to get a supermajority in the Senate.
So there we have the elephants honking away in the wild as though their side hadn't gotten skunked. Boehner and McConnell both blustered that Obama had to forget the policies that brought re-election and support theirs that voters rejected. Get real!
For their supporters, the pretense is that each party is equally as obstructionist and uncompromising. I'll join the chorus of Dems, nonpartisans, and ordinary smart people in calling BS on that. The POTUS' mistake in his first two years was to give in too much to clowns who had no intention of doing anything they were not forced to.
I'm looking forward to the too-often-timid Obama staring down the bad guys.
Media, paid/bloggy/cable/network/online/print, flog their meme — they ask whether Obama should bring in Romney to the cabinet or as an adviser...or even editorialize that it would be smart.
On the plus side, having advisers who don't agree with you can produce sharper and more clearly vetted policies and decisions. Also a plus, mollifying the also-ran side makes political and emotional sense.
Romney, however, comes with huge and obvious negatives. The worst certainly is his lack of credibility. Frequently over the past 6 years of running for President and shockingly common in this year, he went from vacillating wildly on positions to baldfaced lies.
After hundreds of very public lies, Romney would not come into the EOB or WH with trust. I try to imagine him one-on-one with the POTUS or at a table of big shots. Who could hear anything he said or read any paper he presented without questioning? Everyone should have every reason to doubt every word Romney says or prints.
Moreover, from his days in the MA state house, the former governor has displayed the most colossal ego possible on anyone not running a dictatorship or in a mental institution. That so skews his judgment with iffy motivations that he is further tainted.
Perhaps a smart and gracious Obama could accommodate those major flaws. Perhaps he could accurately weigh Romney's offerings. Perhaps he could filter the thoughts and words to get useful and actionable output.
Why would he and why should he have to?
There are plenty of savvy and honest conservatives. Pick ones you can trust, I say.
Thursday, November 08, 2012
Scratching my old bald head, I have to wonder how an often astute Chris Matthews came to call Mitt Romney's belated concession speech as perfect and the best he's ever heard. The MSNBC Harball host does suffer from touches of drama-queen superlative disease, wherein this or that is the worst, best, most this or that. However, I struggled through election night after nearly 16 hours running my Boston polling place, and then heard that same speech-ette.
Call Your Own: The speech is available on several sites, including as a transcript at the NYT. His smarmy, not-quite-human delivery is also on video, but his mannerisms detract from the words.
However, this thing about Romney's speech was a slow, solo delivery. He had problems with President Obama not building up his party and staff enough in his victory speech, but the plaudits for Romney were even more peculiar.
The concession was at best OK. In fact, its substance was almost entirely in two sentences up top:
I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory. His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations. I wish all of them well, but particularly the president, the first lady and their daughters. This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation.He went on and on self-centeredly and sanctimoniously, before tucking in near the end:
The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work.He qualified even that, suggesting that an equal parallel was teachers leading kids to understand the process. Eh?
The speech though was almost entirely about how hard his staff and family had worked. It overlaid piety about his strong religious perspective (odd for someone who repeatedly viciously attacked his opponent and was incapable of telling the truth).
Playing through some more, older Matthews clips, I finally got it. He has a strong emotional need to be part of historic moments. It's good to research old speeches, even before he was born, but it's great for him to be the first to call and describe the new that are certain to become classics.
He is deeply involved in Kennedy lore, all the previous generation's Kennedy's. He seems to think and feel he gets greatness by osmosis by citing deeds, legislation or speeches by Jack or Bobby or Ted.
So there it is. He really liked John McCain's concession four years ago. He absolutely loved Romney's two days ago.
You can easily make an argument that McCain's was brilliant, well-delivered, and of content bound to become classic. Romney's was so-so. Matthews is driven to ID and name superlatives. He could use some objectivity here.
Posted by massmarrier at 9:52 AM
Let me have a puerile moment here thinking the Republicans might re-moniker-ize themselves from GOP into CRAP — Confederacy, Rockies, Ancients Party. That was their voter base this time and why they lost the POTUS and numerous Congressional seats.
In a cynical war, stated early and often, they had a united stand despite their conflicting subgroups. Their unity came from negativity, when they admitted they were about to lose the demographic edge that has kept them powerful. They counted on whites, on men, on the elderly, and reactionary swathes in the Deep South and the Mountain West.
The shameless, anti-democracy, anti-rights efforts this election cycle was as bad as any during the 50s and 60s. Then Southerners were terrified that who were then called Negroes would take over their world....if they were actually allowed to vote.
And this election as in the bad old times allowed was the key word. Law and respect for other be damned (very anti-Christian, I'll add)! If only voter suppression schemes could hold down turnout in Democratic and democracy favoring groups, notably African Americans and Latinos, CRAP could prevail. Then, they'd sew up a couple more SCOTUS slots in the next four years and stage a production of delusional regression.
Well, they not only pissed off the traditional low-voting-rate minorities, they infuriated many high-voting-rate women.
Party officials and pols in Congress and on the state levels made ham-fisted efforts to keep the POTUS from a fast economic recovery. As if that weren't cynical and destructive enough, they spoke up for and introduced legislation to severely limit or even withdraw rights and freedoms Americans, particularly women, already have.
At the same time, the winger media joined Romney, Ryan, Brown and other candidates in opening lying and using scare tactics in their campaigns. No ruse was too dirty or too low...if only it got them their wins and the power to institutional their aims. After all, given demographic trends and suddenly attentive women voters, this likely was the last grab.
You'd think that Obama was hopeless when he tried to get us out of the Great Recession, only to have the CRAP controlled House and filibustered Senate severely throttle his efforts. Yeah we're well ahead of Europe in recovery, we're headed in the right way in all indicators, and Romney/Ryan would only made vague, trust-us promises with no road map or details. As hungry as Americans were for faster results, the majority wasn't buying crap from CRAP.
A month ago up in my Boston neighborhood, the always astute U.S. Rep. Mike Capuano told us, "A year ago, I didn't think Barack Obama could win reelection. Now I don't think he can lose."
In the loose fraternity of people names Michael, he's long been one of my favorites. He has an amazing prognostication ability.
Now the question that talking heads and typing fingers across the country and beyond want to rant about — will Republicans rethink their failed extremism. Corollaries are;
- Do the stupid mega-rich donors who pissed away maybe billions to buy this election hold back in mid-term and the next POTUS election?
- Will CRAP take hard looks at post-Citizens United/buy-elections strategies?
- Do FOX and other mendacious, hyper-partisan media tone it down so they either deliver accurate news or keep it as a decent level of twist as the likes of MSNBC do?
So far the nearly 90 Tea Party U.S. Reps are not being logical or smart. Word from those speaking is that Romney/Ryan lost the un-losable election not because they were abject liars who had an extreme agenda out of touch with most Americans. Instead they hold that if only the smarmy duo was more right-wing, more extreme, nastier, CRAP would be on top of the pile.
Here's betting for the Reps that dozens will lose their seats in the mid-terms in two years.They are the politically walking dead, as voters continue to recall failed pledges, promises and palaver.
Fox though seems too invested in their irrational lunacy. Like the Boston Herald, they have an identity and a position and distinguishes them. They have so long pretended that even the most objective news outlets are untrustworthy and the enemy. Even though their advertising and other revenues are at risk, until they take huge hits there, they are unlikely even to think of telling their listeners and readers facts and supportable opinion.
There's little hope for the House until the worst of the crazies are driven out. There's little hope for winger media even mid-term.
We might though see some individual donor and SuperPAC changes. You don't have to be smart to be rich. Sometimes those traits go together. For others, fortunate timing, opportunities presented directly, inherited wealth, and connections from school and family can seed money gardens enough that very ordinary people can grow them big.
Many of the very wealthy are not total fools. The Karl Rove sorts made huge promises this time,guaranteeing the defeat of Obama and a Senate majority. Millionaires and billionaires were suckered by an investment opportunity. They could get favorable tax changes and for some the lure was of harming, hampering and hindering women, gays, Latinos and others. Greed and hate bundled together with donations!
Rove certainly was unmasked. The billing was that he was brilliant based on successes he had selling George the Lesser Bush to the country. Here with a vastly easier pitch, a gimme election, he likely lost all credibility with winger tycoons.
I'm calling no major rethink at least until after the 2014 elections.
The RNC Chair Reince Priebus is right there with the delusional liars on the ticket. He seems equally amoral. One would have to have a sense of shame and of honor to correct course.
Fortunately, Obamacare actually kicks in during 2014 and all predictions are that our economic recovery would pick up speed regardless of who won this week. Demographics also favor more pragmatic, self-interested folk...those young, Latino, female and African American voters the CRAP wanted to crush this time.
Unless the Republicans do rethink their failed positions, they'll lose a lot in 2014 and fail again in 2016. Don't tell 'em.
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
Four wins for marriage equality yesterday are more than sweet. This surely is proof of the tipping point that has hung tantalizing close for so long.
- Maryland — Same-sex marriage legalized by ballot, to begin January 1
- Maine — The plug uglies trying to overturn the SSM law lose 53% to 47%. SSM stays the law.
- Minnesota — State constitutional amendment to forbid SSM loses 52% to 48%
- Washington State — SSM legalized by ballot 52% to 48%
Meanwhile, WWII and early boomer generations are dying off and/or mellowing in the face of reality. SSM hurts no one and nothing, and helps millions of couples and kids. Get with the program oldsters!
Overshadowed by Barack Obama's reelection and our MA win for Elizabeth Warren, marriage news was perfect yesterday. Americans are showing the savvy and compassion we all knew was coming. We impatient sorts are feeling much, much better.
Literally and figuratively, Will Dorcena put a new face on the Boston mayoral race. Rather, after 10 months in the shadows, he has reemerged to take the fight to the incumbent Thomas Menino.
As shown in his initial announcement early this year, Dorcena is not intimidated. He is sure to be called foolhardy or brave or quixotic or...
Yesterday his suddenly ubiquitous campaign signs made it plain he's spoiling for the fight, whether or not Da Mare is in the race. He told me he intended to have signs at every one of Boston's polling locations. In fairness, many precincts share a spot, so it's not as intimidating as the math would have it, but it's still serious work for him and his minions.
In our local world, this is a poke in Menino's eye, an I'm-not-afraid-of-you taunt. He said he was sure to stand out with large signs with his picture. He hides nothing.
Pix note: These snaps are Creative Commons. Use 'em if you want, just credit Mike Ball once first.
That seems like bluster for someone who lost his only other run — in the last City Council race. Then as opposed to this way-early announcement, he got in very late. No one can say that this time.
Media, pundit and pol speculation is rife about who'd contest next year's race, depending on Menino's decision about candidacy. Numerous Councilors have muttered their interest and many observers rattle off at least four names should the Mayor decide to retire.
Dorcena is a relentless optimist. He figures his doorbell ringing will combine with his recruiting volunteers and influential supporters alike will give him the office. He has a deep, wide and specific set of problems and solutions he thinks will sway the voters.
TBD. Meanwhile, he has a shell of a site up, ready to take money, but with no content yet. He promises to lead with his problem/solution set soon.
Until yesterday, he seemed to have disappeared from early in the year when he first announced. He was running his business and making sure his new baby and his wife were in good shape. He says they are.
This has all the makings of a fun political year.
Sunday, November 04, 2012
Gosh, the never-ending campaign in ending. Praise to all gods!
My big endorsements can't be any surprise:
Barrack Obama for President.
Sure our economic recovery is slower than anyone, including the POTUS wants. Yet with all the GOP Congressional rejection of his jobs plans, we are ahead of the rest of the industrialized world and on the right path in jobs, securities markets, and housing. Taking a flyer on Romney/Ryan with no specifics and endless deceit would be self-destructive beyond all reason. Obama's nowhere near progressive enough to suit me, but there is no comparison here. Obama next week.
Elizabeth Warren for US Senate.
Sen. Scott Brown now has the record he lacked as a do-nothing state rep and senator. It reeks to high heavens. He has voted with the Dark Side on all important bills, stymieing recovery, and trying to do the same with equality, women's rights, and hard-won liberties. In his campaign, he refuses to discuss his record, makes incredible personal attacks, and lies without shame or cease. Warren has already shown her heart and (much, much brighter) head are in line with MA values. She has accomplished more with her advocacy in Washington without even the power of elected office than Brown has or can promise. For God sake, let her get to work and help us and the nation. This one is even easier than the POTUS. Warren.
MA ballot question 1 — Do not vote.
This is the trick on the ballot. On its face, a yes vote makes sense, to allow anyone including service stations not affiliated with a particular car company access to all the computer repair codes and related information. If at least 70% of voters ignore this, it will not have any effect even if nearly 30% approve it. That's the way of ballot questions. The legislature recently passed a law which the governor signed that does all this, on a slightly different schedule than the ballot question. If it passes, the legislature will waste time undoing its law and aligning its efforts on a new version. Ignoring this choice would be good for all concerned.
MA ballot question 2 — Yes.
The death-with-dignity question, dubbed assisted suicide by its opponents is a sensible and well constructed version of the law in effect in Oregon for the past 15 years. There it has been proven effective in helping terminally ill patients stop suffering and having their lives prolonged against their will...and dignity. It has numerous safeguards, as in multiple physician consultations, evaluations and delays. This is humane.
MA ballot question 3 — Yes.
The medical marijuana proposal is simple enough. Several states have already approved and implemented it. The rationale is to provide palliative options for those with conditions not easily or well treated with stronger, harsher, more expensive chemicals. In states where this has been the law for years, some people game the system to get pot. They can and do get it illegally now. As well as helping those who need it, I see this as a solid step toward aligning marijuana sales with those of alcohol, taxed, regulated and controlled. We should drop the early to mid-20th Century reefer-madness mindset.