Sunday, April 23, 2006

Globe Watch Review

I've wanted to blog about some of the stories in the Globe today all day long, so I finally put aside a few minutes to address them.

First, there was a fantastic op-ed on Cape Wind. Basically, the article suggested it was shameful for Cape Wind to be dealt with by back door D.C. insider politics.

THE RECENT back-room, closed-door attempt by a congressional conference committee to kill the wind farm planned for Nantucket Sound is shameful. If the action stands on the floor of Congress, its consequences will be severe.

Regardless of whether you support Cape Wind's proposal, as we do, or oppose it, it is hard to see the action as anything other than a subversion of the public interest in fair, honest, open decision-making.

Could anything be more simple and true? I love the term Lynne coined - the Good Ol' Boys. Do we really want GOBs in DC deciding policy for something so important and so local? Why should an Alaskan Senator play such an important role in Nantucket Sound?

Finally, the authors hit a point I've been nailing for months now:
The Cape Wind project has received considerable attention in foreign capitals and news media. Policy makers and citizens across the globe are watching closely and with hope. The message Cape Wind sends is that at least in one tiny corner of our country there is a turnaround in America's view of its shared responsibility for the planet's health and future. The conference committee vote sends the opposite message. This alone is reason enough to reverse the action.

Next article was a companion piece that was against Cape Wind. While it offered some reasonable points, I thought they pale in comparison to the message Cape Wind sends as well as the actual benefits (2/3rds of the power of Cape Cod, all without air pollution).

I just want to address one point from the article:
This issue won't be settled by a congressman from Alaska, but rather the governor of Massachusetts.

Why the Governor? Why not the State Legislature? Why not a referendum? Call me cynical, but if there were a Democratic Governor and a State Legislature filled with Republicans able to defeat a veto (if the situations were reversed), I somehow suspect the wonderful Senator from Alaska wouldn't have given a veto to a federal bill to the governor and instead given the option to the entire state government, with a Congress able to defeat a potential veto. There can be no doubt: this was a political ploy, nothing more and nothing less.

Finally, the Globe's headline story today was the new paid family leave bill. Here's the summary of what the bill entails:
Senate leaders this week will propose legislation to offer all workers in Massachusetts up to 12 weeks' paid time off to care for newborn and adopted children or sick family members, financed by an employee payroll premium of at least $1.50 a week.

The bill, which would pay employees their full salary, up to $750 a week, would create the most generous paid leave policy in the nation.

How refreshing to see Massachusetts continue on its road toward progress. The bill isn't perfect, but hopefully through a bi-partisan effort (or at least with a congressional olive branch to members of the House) we can get something like this bill through. With all these wonderful bills passing left and right, I somehow suspect the population decline is going to become a problem of the past (if anyone can truly call it a problem now... Lest I be mistaken in that the world is becoming a bit cramped): what better way to lure workers and employers to Massachusetts than a skilled workforce with guaranteed benefits?

PS: Since I've vowed not to use the name "Watch" in a title of any of my blogs, I need some new suggestions on just what to call these posts on the Globe. Any ideas are appreciated.

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