GrassTopsUSA Exclusive CommentaryBy Don Feder 09-30-09
It was a Massachusetts moment last Friday, when Vice President Joe Biden swore in Kennedy-family servitor Paul Kirk to fill Tedâ€™s oversized Senate seat until a special election in January.
In 2004, when our other Senator, John Forbes Kerry, was the Democratic nominee for president, Massachusettsâ€™ one-party state legislature (88% Democratic) passed legislation denying Republican Governor Mitt Romney the power to make an interim appointment should Kerryâ€™s seat become vacant.
But now we have a Democratic governor, and Obama forbid the Party of Plunder should be without its 60th vote in the Senate until the special election scheduled for January 19, 2010.
Last week, the legislature gave the power of appointment back to Governor Deval Patrick â€“ all perfectly legal and typically shameless. The urgent need for citizens of the Commonwealth to have full representation in the Senate for the 90 days prior to a special election depends on the governorâ€™s party affiliation.
Earlier in the week, Kerry attached an earmark to a defense appropriations bill requiring taxpayers to cough up $20 million for The Edward M. Kennedy Institute and Driving School on the campus of the University of Massachusetts at Dorchester. The Institute will be part shrine (a â€œrepositoryâ€ for Kennedyâ€™s papers â€“ including his candy-bar wrappers, quite a collection) and part â€œcivic-learning centerâ€ â€“ a mini-Kennedy School of Government, to mint Teddy-clones.
Sticking this earmark in a defense appropriations bill was a nice touch, in that Kennedy was an inveterate opponent of defense spending. Republican administrations retaliated by closing most of our military installations. Ft. Devens, the Boston Navy Yard, Westover Air Force Base and Otis Air Force Base are only distant memories.
Who needs military installations? In the next war, we can send graduates of The Edward M. Kennedy Institute into battle.
At the Kennedy Institute of Government and Marine Life, there will be no replica of Dike Bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, no bust of Mary Jo Kopechne, no shot glass from â€œAu Barâ€ in Palm Beach, Florida (starting point for the 1991 Kennedy Easter-Weekend date-rape trail), and no diorama of the D.C. restaurant, La Brasserie, where the over-aged frat boy and his pal Chris Dodd used to stop off for a waitress-sandwich.
That is to say, The Institute will be about as boring as the Senator himself â€“ sans teleprompter.
Now we can move on to the next act of the Massachusetts Follies. After renaming every highway, street corner, public building and pothole for the great one, we face the daunting task of choosing his successor. The frontrunner, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, is an altogether fitting heir to the Kennedy legacy.
Coakley championed speech-suppression zones around Massachusetts abortuaries. Emilyâ€™s List gets moist at the mention of her name.
In July, our Commissar of Justice filed papers in federal court to have the Defense of Marriage Act overturned. This would force every state to recognize same-sex marriages contracted in Massachusetts and a handful of other states where theyâ€™re legal.
Coakley declared that DOMA, passed by Congress overwhelmingly in 1996, â€œcodified an animus towards gay and lesbian people.â€ And laws against polygamy codify an animus towards Big Love. Laws against sex with minors codify an animus towards Roman Polanski.
For the residents of 30 states which passed amendments to their state constitutions, by referendum, banning homosexual marriage â€“ Massachusetts gives you the lone digit salute. In the Bay State, the attitude of the governing elite is â€œshut up, stupid, and do as youâ€™re told.â€
This government-uber-alles mentality is reflected in the very deep thoughts of Congressman Ba-ney Fw-ank â€“ the gay, socialist Elmer Fudd â€“ another member of our stateâ€™s Congressional menagerie.
Speaking at the National Press Club on July 26, the Congressman confided: â€œIâ€™ve had people come to us and complain â€˜Well, if you do that, I canâ€™t make money.â€™ The answer is thatâ€™s not my job. Weâ€™re not here to help you make money. We are here to help have a system (national socialism) in which you will make money as an incident of your providing funds to those who will use it productively.â€ Ba-ney gives great arrogance.
Left to their own devices, business people and citizens donâ€™t use their money â€œproductively.â€ Their sole purpose in the eternal scheme of things is to provide funds for a wise, benevolent and ultra-efficient government to spend on nationalized health care, corporate bailouts and $1,000 toilet seats.
A keen observer of life and the world around him, Fw-ank claimed he had no idea the male hooker he lived with in 1990 was running a prostitution service out of his apartment.
Today, Ba-ney will tell anyone dumb enough to listen to him that the collapse of the housing market was due to free-market Republicans. That must make him Milton Friedman.
In the â€˜80s and â€˜90s, Fw-ank was in the forefront of efforts to force Freddie and Fannie to encourage high-risk mortgage lending. When the Bush administration tried to impose tighter regulations, he insisted â€œthese two entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not facing any kind of financial crisis.â€ In recognition of Fw-ank's inestimable contributions to the crisis, Democrats made him chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and Fern Bar.
Massachuestts is famous for inflicting its political delinquents on the nation at large â€“ among them Tip Oâ€™Neill (House Speaker, 1977-1987), who never met someone elseâ€™s money he didnâ€™t want to spend; Mike Dukakis (Democratic presidential candidate in 1988), who couldnâ€™t understand why furloughs for killers was a turn-off for the national electorate, and boasted of his ACLU membership; and Kerry (his partyâ€™s presidential candidate in 2004), who told a Congressional committee investigating the Vietnam War that he and his Swift-Boat comrades committed war crimes.
In solidarity with the downtrodden, Kerry married not one but two heiresses. The current Mrs. Kerry, formerly Theresa Heinz, has an estimated net worth in excess of $700 million.
Just how liberal is Massachusetts? How Muslim is Mecca? How nuts is Ahmadinejad?
Massachusetts is the only state that went for George McGovern in 1972, when the first Democrat/socialist presidential candidate lost his home state of South Dakota. In 2008, when Obama captured 53% of the national vote, Massachusetts produced a landslide 62% for the messiah.
According to an August Gallup survey, there are almost twice as many conservatives as liberals nationally, 40% to 21%.
In Massachusetts, the ratio is only 30% to 29%, making Massachusetts the most liberal state in the nation â€“ to the left of New York and New Jersey, where self-identified conservatives outnumber liberals by 6 percentage points.
In Kennedyland, we hate guns, smoking (tobacco) and business. We love taxes, alternative lifestyles, illegal immigrants, welfare recipients, social experiments and public-works projects to rival the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
The state where once the embattled farmers stood and fired the shot heard round the world has the nationâ€™s most restrictive gun laws.
Bartley-Fox (1974) provides a mandatory year in prison for the possession of an unlicensed handgun â€“ even if itâ€™s unloaded, dissembled, and locked in the trunk of your car.
According to Jim Wallace of the Mass Gun Owners Action League, in the past 10 years, licensed gun owners went form 1.5 million to 220,000. In the same period, gun-related homicides were up 80% and gun-related assaults up 200%. In Massachusetts, reality is never allowed to interfere with political illusions.
We have a statewide ban on smoking in public places â€“ signed into law by Romney and rigorously enforced â€“ but every year thousands of potheads spark up on the Boston Common, at their alleged Freedom Fest, in full view of the police.
The first state to have gay marriage, we are about to enact a â€œTransgender Rights and Hate Crimes Law.â€ As Mass Resistance explains, â€œprotected behaviors can range from someone who simply â€˜expressesâ€™ himself or herself to be the opposite sex, verbally or by clothing â€“ to someone who has parts of his or her body removed or mutilated and takes huge doses of hormones to attempt to â€˜becomeâ€™ the opposite sex â€“ to someone who simply insists on using facilities meant for the opposite sex.â€ Violations are punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and up to a year in prison.
The legislation covers businesses, public accommodations, and schools. If a bearded man in a dress seeks employment, business-owners canâ€™t discriminate against him. There is no religious exception. How about an altered altar boy in a sheer negligee?
Yes, but what are we doing for the Transphibians?
Another bill, which passed the Massachusetts Senate in April, provides for mandatory vaccinations when the state health department decides thereâ€™s a â€œpandemic.â€ It also provides for warrant-less searches of homes, quarantine of those refusing vaccination and arrest for those who violate the quarantine. For public-health workers enforcing the law, jackboots will be optional.
A mandatory vaccination bill goes nicely with the stateâ€™s first-in-the-nation universal health insurance â€“ thought to be the model for Obama-care. When it was instituted 3 three years ago, it wasnâ€™t supposed to cost much. This year, not much was $1 billion. Also under Mass-care, health insurance premiums have jumped 7% to 12% this year, twice the national average.
Massachusetts as a laboratory for social experiments? Calling Dr. Frankenstein.
Massachusetts has directed state workers not to cooperate with the feds in enforcing immigration laws. In April, State Representative Pam Richardson proposed letting illegal aliens vote in state and local elections. From transgendered rights to enfranchising illegal immigrants, Massachusetts is in the vanguard of Bizarro World legislation.
We also have a program affectionately dubbed â€œwheels for welfare.â€ Some pony-tailed dude in Cambridge donates his old Volvo to the Commonwealth. State taxpayers repair the vehicle, provide insurance and a AAA-membership and donate it to a public charge. Says House Minority Leader Brad Jones: â€œItâ€™s mind-boggling. Youâ€™ve got people out there saying â€˜I just lost my job. Hey, can I have a free car too?â€™â€
Speaking of transportation, the Big Dig â€“ which re-routed I-93 through a 3.5 mile tunnel under the City of Boston â€“ is officially the most expensive highway project in the country.
When it started in 1982, the estimated cost was $2.8 billion. It ended in 2006 weighing in at a staggering $14.6 billion (or $8.08 billion in 1982 dollars).
It may be extravagant, but at least the construction is shoddy. As far back as 2001, the Mass Turnpike Authority, which oversees the disaster, knew of thousands of leaks in those sections of the tunnel beneath Boston Harbor. On July 10, 2006, a ceiling panel weighing 3 tons came loose and smashed into a car, killing the passenger.
Massachusetts no longer has the highest taxes in the nation, thanks to a voter-enacted cap on real estate levies. It does have the 4th. highest corporate income tax rate in the nation (9.5%) and ranks 45th in the State Business Tax Climate Index of the Tax Foundation. Guy Darst, formerly chief editorial writer for The Boston Herald, noted in a 2007 Wall Street Journal piece, â€œJob growth has been flat since 1999.â€
Between 2003 and 2006, 33 states outstripped Massachusetts in growth of personal income.
Some of the most restrictive zoning laws in the nation have helped to make Massachusetts the 5th most expensive state in which to buy a house.
In 2005, the average sale price of a home in Little Rock was $181,395, in Colorado Springs $211,667, in Des Moines, $247,000 and in the blue-collar city of Springfield, MA. $389,283. In Framingham, single-family homes go for over half a mil, and in tony Lexington, $729,500. Wellesley and Boston? Donâ€™t ask.
Massachusetts is experiencing a middle-class hemorrhage. Between 2000 and 2004, each year, the Bay State had a net population loss of roughly 42,400, an exodus exceeded only by those leaving New York. The influx is mostly welfare recipients, illegal immigrants, yuppies and college kids. Refugees from the Peopleâ€™s Republic of Massachusetts include Joe the Plummer types, retirees and those just tired of being pushed around by a police-state government.
In the 1939 film â€œDrums Along the Mohawk,â€ set in upstate New York during the Revolutionary War, the Reverend Rosenkrantz, preacher at the Colonial settlement, begins his sermon with: â€œO Almighty God, hear us, we beseech Thee, and bring succor and guidance to those we are about to bring to Your divine notice. First, we are thinking of Mary Walaber. She is only 16 years old, but she is keeping company with a soldier from Fort Dayton. Heâ€™s a Massachusetts man, and Thou knowest no good can come of that.â€
Preach it, pastor!
Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains his own website, DonFeder.com.