Monday, March 2, 2009

Sate House Roundup ..worth the read

By Jim O'Sullivan
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, FEB. 27, 2009…..."I got backed into the corner of my grocery store Saturday," Senate President Therese Murray said Wednesday, "and couldn't move, by people yelling at me."

The mob, who spotted Murray despite her weekend attire of sweats and a baseball cap, had sensed that the climate on the Hill has begun to emanate the strong odor of pending taxation. On a lot of things.

In the queue, per Gov. Deval Patrick's fiscal proposals: Hummers, Tootsie Rolls, Dr. Pepper, Motel 6 stays, Budweiser, telecommunications services, and lunch.

There's an estimated $20 billion less than needed to maintain existing transportation infrastructure over the next two decades, a $900 million or so hole in this year's state budget, and that whopper of a $3.5 billion deficit due to kick in July 1. Not to mention the seemingly doomed Big Dig debt deal that has the state on the hook for a $363 million payment, a situation "out of our control", turnpike executive director Alan LeBovidge said Thursday.

Republicans on Thursday tried to make the claim that new revenues were not needed, a suggestion preposterously D.O.A., given current trends. Many of those consumer products, though probably not all, will cost more sooner rather than later due to the state increasing its take.

"There's no question that we're going to need more revenue," Murray said outside her office, at a safe remove from the belligerent horde. "How we get that revenue, the devil's in the details, and we're working on it."

And, of course, gasoline. They want to tax gasoline, do the kings and queens of the Hill. The frame for this debate this week became, finally, the signed, sealed and delivered $100 million toll hike, assigned in two stages beginning next month, and set to double tunnel tolls by July. The choice foisted upon the House and Senate: Patrick's 19-cent gas tax, or a variation thereof, or significant toll hikes. Or a better idea, if you've got it.

Patrick's 141-page bill went bafflingly unfiled until 5:15 on Tuesday afternoon, three hours or so after the Pike vote. No one seemed to be able to explain this final delay in any detail, but it's accurate to report that the few extra hours - after a vote conditional to the success of legislation that had not yet been fully authored - cost the administration something dear in the court of mild dementia that is the Legislature's collective consciousness.

Lawmakers, some of whom must now explain to constituents (i.e., voters) why they failed to prevent a $100 million toll hike AND still support the nation's highest gas tax, gathered outside the inexplicably chosen small meeting room and fairly buzzed with negative energy. Sen. Karen Spilka was "profoundly disappointed." Rep. Steven Walsh claimed North Shore and Metrowest working families (i.e., voters) had "a gun to [their] heads."

Rep. David Linsky, gifted two weeks ago with subpoena power as chair of the House Post Audit Committee, flexed that juice right away. Even after the meeting, Turnpike and Executive Office of Transportation staff could not furnish legislators or reporters with a copy of the $100 million motion that had just carried, prompting Linsky to threaten, seemingly in partial jest, one newly hired EOT official, "Do you need a subpoena?"

The governor spent part of the week in Washington, gathering with other governors to talk economic recovery with the president. The gubernatorial takeaway, public version, was $594 million in temporary Medicaid relief for the Commonwealth, a faucet that opened Wednesday as part of the $15 billion all the states will receive under the new economic stimulus.

The Legislature spent part of the week doing … not much, publicly, anyway. The Senate called a formal session for Thursday, and then scrapped it with zero public warning. The House, two weeks after committee assignments, sort of lazed through the week, and members say they are growing impatient with a pace that, aside from numerous meetings that register nil on the real-world-impact scale, is charitably described as languid.

Top deputies to Speaker Robert DeLeo, who say things like "Bob had his game face on" when he filled out committee assignments because he matched reps to skill sets, concede that it is time for the House to stop spinning wheels and begin business in earnest. It is not just the outside perception held by the viewing public, but lingering divisions over the DeLeo-Rogers fight and, more recently, DeLeo's distribution of leadership plums that have some in the House out of sorts.

STORY OF THE WEEK: Most of the dissent on whether or not to raise the gas tax came from the infirm minority, but just how to do it remains an elusive compromise.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "You're out-Matt Amorelloing Matt Amorello." - Mary Connaughton, Tuesday, to Transportation Secretary and Pike board chair James Aloisi, invoking the name of the departed Pike board chair and former state Sen. Matthew Amorello. Anytime a state government figure's name becomes suitable for use as a verb, it is cause for some review. In this case, Connaughton appeared to be referring to Aloisi's leadership style, as board meetings presided over by Amorello were notably contentious affairs. No different than Tuesday, when Patrick's newly chosen transportation chief and one of only two Romney-era holdovers on the board had at it repeatedly. Regardless, Matt Amorello, wherever he is, must have felt a little wistful.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK, NON-AMORELLO DIVISION: "We go to work, we pay our taxes, and we all feel like we're being screwed by you people." - Louis Antonellis, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 103 business agent, detailing Wednesday to the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center board how the union feels about the state's handling of the $1 billion industry incentive, which he labeled "corporate welfare" and deploying the ever-pejorative "you people." Board officials said the incentive has created about 900 jobs so far.

-- END --
02/27/2009

44 Comments:

At March 2, 2009 at 4:06 PM , Blogger concerned voter said...

So everyone is fed up, and everyone is angry at their reps at the state house, and the reps are angry. So what? I want to know what they are going to do, but sounds like all they are going to do is say, I can’t believe this happened. If someone wrote this story line in a soap opera, everyone would say it was not beleivable. Only in Massachusetts could this type of uneithical, irresponsible, uneducated behavior earn you a raise! I have given up on this state completely. Time to move to NH, or RI, or anywhere that is not MA!

 
At March 2, 2009 at 4:26 PM , Blogger fed up in framingham said...

In an economy where MA should be trying to entice businesses to come to our state, how do you think this plays to the companies we are courting to come here and do business? And we wonder why we have a problem with taxes here. First, we are unethical in how we use the money we get, second, the executive and jucicial branches of the state government have for years assumed they had unlimited constituents pockets to dip in to to pay for their mistakes and misuese of money, and third, we can not attract business to come here because we are so messed up. My company shut down their MA offices in Septmember, partly because of the economy. But they had 3 New England offices, and needed to shut down one of the 3, and MA was chosen because of things like this. Come on people, lets face it, we can not do anything about this. There is far too much laziness and abuse of power by these people to ever be able to change it ourselves. Move to another state, it is the only way to get out from under this uneithical behaviour, embarrasing lack of work ethic, and just plain laziness of our reps. These people at the State House should all be ashamed of themselves, but they are not, and the fact that they are not is the bigger issue.

 
At March 2, 2009 at 5:04 PM , Blogger Fred J. said...

I am horrified by this, but not surprised, and that is a pretty sad statement don’t you all agree? These people clearly have no conscience. And with no conscience, they are never going to see the error of their ways, they will just continue doing what they have always done. When the state is in shambles, they will all point their fingers at someone else to blame. And we will all be the ones suffering, not them. I can’t even stand to read this stuff anymore because it is so frustrating to see this type of news and know we are powerless to change any of this.

 
At March 2, 2009 at 5:09 PM , Blogger Old soldier said...

I suspect lots of people did not go to work today, so are not looking at this blog as they may normally do. Will be interesting to see how many people respond to this tomorrow. The other thing is, people have probably given up on changing things, and that means no one is even going to bother commenting anymore. How do you combat that apathy that is bound to come into play here soon? Twenty months before we can fix any of this is an awfully long time to wait!

 
At March 2, 2009 at 5:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abhorrent! What else is there to say?

 
At March 2, 2009 at 5:40 PM , Blogger B. Murray said...

Unbelievable. These people at the statehouse have awfully big ones to think they can get away with this. Oh, wait a minutes, they did get away with this already. What the hell is wrong with us allowing this to happen? I am fed up, but what can we do really? Protesting might make them listen, but it won’t fix what has already been done.

 
At March 2, 2009 at 5:41 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

We can't... I can't leave now. I won't leave.. unless horizontal. I can't sell everything I have.. I'd lose big time. My family goes back to 1610 in this country, New England and they stood their ground.. so will I.

All of you make sense and clearly understand the trouble we all face. And I'm willing to be the farm, that out of the 6 million plus in the state, 2 million are unhappy with the State of the State. Remember, when the founding fathers wrote our constitution, 1/3 were against it, 1/3 didn't care and 1/3 wanted it. Positive change can happen again, if we can solidify the unhappy independents and un enrolled, we too can make good things happen. All it takes is time and unfortunately, many of us have to much time to spare.

 
At March 3, 2009 at 10:47 AM , Blogger Brian V. said...

This is awful, but in light of the rest of the picture, I am not wasting too much time thinking about how useless these people are. But you can be sure I won’t be voting for any of them in the next election. What is the deal with the bigger picture? More money going to AIG and the market falls by over 300 points yesterday? I know I am no financial wizard, but is sure don’t look like this stimulus package is working. What the hell is going to happen if it fails? Don’t you think it is about time we start asking those types of questions? I am not talking about blaming anyone, but just about preparing for the worst if that is in fact what is going to happen. I have a family to take care of here, I need to know realistically what to expect coming down the road. Am I going to still be out of work in another 3 months when my unemployment insurance runs out? How do I feed my wife and pay my bills at that point?

 
At March 3, 2009 at 11:30 AM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Brian,

All valid questions you raise, but keep in mind a few things that I've picked up. EUI benefits will be extended, Obama is still sitting on that stimulus money for his own reasons, Citi today announced a plan to help their mortgage holders a reprieve of 3 months on your mortgage payments if you loose your job. It would be around 500.00 a month. Lastly, the market is slightly up as I write this, but many say, (and it makes sense to me), to not judge the economy solely on what the market does. The stock market is where the big boys and speculators live. Not all of us are involved directly, though many of the companies we work for have a financial interest, it may not tell the whole story. Retail sales are up slightly, good for some, new home starts are down, bad for some. Applications for food stamp assistance are up, by huge numbers, unemployment numbers are up in this State, but not nearly as bad in say California. Some companies are making money, Credit Unions and small banks are lending money, auto repair business is way up.

There's no end to the speculation of what might happen with AIG, Citi, Bank of America, or the 12 other financial institutions going to be subjected to the "stress test". I have to believe in Obama's plan to clean up the mess, I have no choice in the matter. I do think, Citi and a few other money players will have to be taken over in some way, if for no other reason, but to sell off the profitable parts, to get back some of our tax dollars. A bad bank with toxic assets is better than an AIG who has it's hands into so many countries and industries that failure would be more devastating than anyone could possibly predict.

I keep my eyes on what Mass is doing in the smaller picture. I would never ever have any impact on how our Federal Reps vote on things, but at a local level, we all should be very aware of what's happening in our own towns and cities. This is the place we should have somewhat more input. If we could get a strong hold on our States political elite, things would be better for us all.

 
At March 3, 2009 at 12:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I fell sort of like chicken little here, but hey, isn’t the sky falling down? And shouldn’t we all be a little more worried about it than we are? I am sure that a huge fall in the market since the President’s speech on 2/17 was not the expected outcome. So since everything they are doing seems to be failing, shouldn’t we be preparing for the sky to fall in on us? The hell with our state government, they are useless, and much to dumb to deal with any of the real problems we are facing. Come on, a degree in something to do with horses is not much use in this economic turmoil. I think we need to stop complaing and start preparing.

 
At March 3, 2009 at 1:35 PM , Blogger Dylan said...

The sky is not falling and the end is not near. You people are starting to sound like religious fanatics or something. Hey, if you have a computer to be blogging on then you are not living in your car. It is not that bad. The media is twisting this to scare us all. They want us all to start saving money and they want the banks and the credit card companies to stop making money, so they are playing all this up to scare us. I have a job, my wife stays home, we pay our bills and we are planning a vacation. And there are lots of people like me. Stop whining and go get yourself a job!

 
At March 3, 2009 at 3:34 PM , Blogger Edward said...

I am a financial planner by trade. A few questions for you Dylan. Do you have money in the bank? If you do, you are not getting the interest on that money you use to get. Do you have a 401K? If you do, no matter what it is invested in, it has lost a lot of its value in the last 10 months. Do you own a house? If you do, then it is worth significantly less than it was a year ago. Do you drive a car? If you do, no matter how good your credit is, you are going to have a problem getting a car loan to replace it for the next few year. How about driving that car. If you drive, you are going to be paying more for gas with the new gas tax, and we won’t even talk about if you drive on the Pike. Are you a one income family? If you are, then expect your credit limit on all your cards to be dropped, and some accounts may even be closed? Do you have a job? If you do, chances are you are not going to be seeing much in the way of a raise next year? Do you live someplace in MA, or any state for that matter? If you do, then you should expect to see less services from your town, and more fees to have those services. Do you have insurance of any kind, health, life, property, car? Well, if you do, you should be ready for those prices to increase as the option for carriers gets smaller as some of these guys go out of business. So Dylan, unless you live in a tent, on another planet, commute via a teleporter, have absolutly no savings other than what you hide in your mattress, don’t plan to retire for at least 10 years and don’t own anything worth insuring, you are feeling the effects of this economic downturn. So, you are either a very stupid man, or an alien. Which is it?

 
At March 3, 2009 at 4:15 PM , Blogger Jerry G. said...

Dylan you are being blinded by your own stupidity man. What planet are you living on? The market has lost almost ½ its value, how can you not expect that to impact you? Cost of food goes up, ability to get credit is tougher, value of your house is going down. You may not think you are being hurt, but that is because you are too stupid to understand the economics of all of this. Pull your head out of the sand man and look around you. We are in one hell of a mess here.

 
At March 3, 2009 at 4:37 PM , Blogger 6th Middlesex constituent said...

Jim time to tame the troops here. Can’t attack someone for saying he isn’t hurting, even if you think he IS hurting but just too stupid to know that. The issue is not Dylan’s status, the issue is the state of the national economy. Lets remember that and not get side tracked here by some guy wearing rose colored glasses.

 
At March 3, 2009 at 4:45 PM , Blogger new to blogging said...

Hey, if Dylan thinks he is fine, leave him alone. And when he realizes he is not quite as fine as he thinks he is, and looks for some help, we can tell him he is just imaging being in need of assistance. We don’t have to beat him up. Anyone that arrogant and dumb is going to get theirs without any help from us.

 
At March 3, 2009 at 5:11 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Ok people... I get it.

Everyone has the write to free speech on this blog... let's just not insult anyone... please.

Some of us work in fields that seem to be very well off and this could explain why some feel better about our current crises than others.

Some of us old guys feel the pain of the crises more than some and some of us just can't go a get a job, it's not that easy as it once was. We boomers who have worked through many highs and lows in the past 40 years are looking for stability and security. Younger folks haven't had to live with high mortgage interests, gas shortages and multiple wars to be concerned about.

Generational differences aside, we (meaning everyone in this society,in every country), are in deep trouble and we can't ignore that. It is the truth, like it or not, believe it or not.

For your information: Gov Patrick will be at the Natick Library tomorrow at 6PM, to discuss the road and bridge repair plan for the Commonwealth. Here's where the stimulus money meets the road. Look for this to be a Democratic love fest, complete with hand holdings. For the rest of us, who care, this will be about how the money will be spent. Could answer some of the questions asked in this forum.

 
At March 3, 2009 at 5:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a big headline on CNN today about the fist jobs being created from the stimulus money, 60 jobs in MD. Yeah, you read that right, 60 jobs. You have got to be kidding. Creating 60 jobs in an economy where there are millions out of work should not be a headline on CNN. 6000 jobs, maybe. I know this is a slow process, but lets wait to report until there is something worth reporting, don’t you think? Jim, any idea when MA may see some new jobs created?

 
At March 3, 2009 at 5:23 PM , Blogger Jamie said...

Nice job Jim, and what you say is correct. I hope all those people writing here on this blog are at the Library tomorrow to hear the Governor and ask questions. He has to know how bad it is for those of us who are suffering, and he won't know that if we don't tell him, so lets all show up and peacefully tell him how much we are suffering, and ask when we can expect to see some releif.

 
At March 4, 2009 at 8:31 AM , Blogger SoxFan said...

I don't know what to beleive anymore, but I do know our representation at the state house is nonexistent. Why do we even bother asking them for anything or expecting anything from them? We know they are not listening and that they have their own agendas, and seems like now we know they don't even bother showing up for work! So I say lets stop wasting time complaining about them. It doesn't do us any good anyway.

 
At March 4, 2009 at 9:20 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I need a job, and I am willing to actually work for my pay check, so maybe I can replace one of these bozos. I have as much knowledge and intelligence as my rep. Well, maybe I don't know as much about hourses, but the rest of it I am pretty sure I can match her on. Where to I apply, and how do I get these people fired?

 
At March 4, 2009 at 11:30 AM , Blogger Dylan said...

For the record, I am not stupid and I don’t live on another planet. I am just careful, don’t trust banks, don’t live beyond my means, and don’t depend on the government to do anything for me at all. I take care of my family myself. That’s what my daddy did, that is what I do. My wife makes the home, I make the money, and we are doing just fine thank you. You can put me down all you want, but from my vantage point, I must be doing something right since you are all hurting and I am just fine.

 
At March 4, 2009 at 4:56 PM , Blogger Framingham resident said...

Hope many of us will be showing up in Natick tonight to see the Governor. We need to be united in what we say, without seeming to be an "organized opposition" group. Jim is right, all the reps will be there holding the party line, so in order for us to have any chance of being heard, we need to be calm, intelligent, and determined to be heard. Good luck to all of us, and don't sit home tonight an them complain on here tomorrow. Jim can not be the only one fighting this fight!

 
At March 4, 2009 at 5:45 PM , Blogger Angry in Framingham said...

Im not going to the Library to speak to the governor. That is a complete waste of time, he is not going to let any of us regular people speak to him. This is all arranged, a press opportunity, before he takes off for his trip to Jamaica, that we, the taxpayers, are paying for I am sure. Hope someone asks him about that at the meeting tonight. Jim, let us know how it goes, although I don't have high hopes for this at all.

 
At March 5, 2009 at 8:11 AM , Blogger Harry said...

Hope you can give us an overview of how the meeting with the Governor went last night. Did not see much about it on the news, but I did see you in the audience when they scanned the crowd. Nice to know you were there as you said you would be. Was the meeting worthwhile, or just another love fest for the dems?

 
At March 5, 2009 at 10:33 AM , Blogger Linda and George said...

Jim whats your take on the continued bailout of AIG? Aren't we just throwing good money after bad? Maybe they are just too bad off to save, or maybe they are not using the bailout money as they should, but how much are we going to give them before we say enough already?

 
At March 5, 2009 at 11:42 AM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Folks,

Last night at the library, was indeed a love fest, only this time, they kept their mouths shut. I've haven't seen that much kissing, since the last wedding I went to. All this loving, while we have rising unemployment, foreclosure, increased food pantry requests, etc, etc. Is .19 cents a gallon not going to affect everyone in the State, inculding business? Do the legislators feel any pain?

One thing that I went away with is, almost everyone raised their hands to support tolls on other highways in the State... Combing the transportation agencies into one big one makes sense to me, on time and reliable train service was brought up by working mom. He get's it.. I think, but is playing chess with the Speaker and his loyalists to see who can maneuver better in turbulent waters. Deval is no dope and also knows, 2010 is around the corner and he has perhaps some competition in the next race.

Deval also said he would not sign any bill, that did not include reforms of the Transportation system. Also.. a good thing. But time is running out and March 29th is the deadline for the Legislators to act, before the Toll increase is applied.

Many things are on the table on both sides of the State House.. and then their are our concerns. Lot's at stake here for everyone's economic future in paying user fee's and increased taxes.

Both sides are equally to blame for the massive confusion now and since the legislature has such poor work ethic, I'm betting the farm, it goes to the wire... and we will see how bad the system works for us.

A sunset provision was talked about for gas tax or a rate increase based on the health of the economy... the first will be ignored down the road and the second will hurt us more, when things get better.

It will be interesting and very note worthy to all, to see who votes for what at the State House in the next few weeks. I'll post those votes when I get them.

Keep an eye out for updates

 
At March 5, 2009 at 12:00 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Linda... George,

The AIG thing continues to baffle the experts, but I seem to think that we will end up owning all of AIG's good parts.

I watched an interview with the former COE AIG for many years and he was blameless, which we all seem to know, he was not. He claims all the troubles started when he left, but the cries from the outside world, as to how bad AIG was on trouble, started long before he left.

AIG has had 4 injections and still is baring breathing. To let them go into some form of bankruptcy would hurt us now... but I stress... I am no by any means, educated in the high high financial worlds. My first mortgage here in Mass was 25,900.00 at 10 1/4%. My calculator doesn't even have that many digits and it's very hard to understand, just how far reaching a company can be. They are, or were, one very large company out of control that had their hands into the world of finance.

 
At March 5, 2009 at 12:56 PM , Blogger 50 stud said...

Jim thanks for the thoughtful and informational insight. I think you are not alone in being out of the realm of understanding this AIG stuff. Heck, the experts clearly don't understand what is going on there. You are right about paying attention to who votes for what in the coming weeks at the Statehouse. They all preach that they are aware of our wants, but they seem to forget that they are paid to do what we tell them, not to do what they want to do. Tough economic times require tough decisions, so lets see who makes the right ones, and who remains clueless to what they are suppose to do. Thanks for all you do to keep us informed. Again I say, much appreciated.

 
At March 5, 2009 at 2:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just heard the market is down another 300+ points. This news seems to get worse everday. Is it really even possible to stop this downward spiral? And even if we can stop it, isn't it already too late for many of us?

 
At March 5, 2009 at 4:08 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

50 Thanks

Anon,

Now that Obama is talking Health Care reform, the fat cats can't be assured of the huge profits to be made there. All the talking heads seem to feel we are still ok with this and point to gainers, like Walmart. Discretionary spending is up along with the basics.

I'm glad to be poor sometimes.. I'd go nuts trying to figure where to put my money if I had any and not sleep at night, wondering if I had lost it all.

And speaking about 50, let's get outside this weekend and enjoy what sunny weather we can

 
At March 6, 2009 at 8:24 AM , Blogger Anderson said...

Simple pleasures, like Jim's suggestion that we enjoy the good weather this weekend, are something we are all going to have to learn to appreciate more. Won't be able to afford much else for pleasure. So take what you can get from the things the government can't tax or take away from us, nice weather, loving family and friends, good music, cheap wine. There is always something good to enjoy right there at no cost if you look around for it. We do Saturday night at the movies in our house now, rent a DVD, make popcorn, and enjoy a great movie, all for under $10. Can't beat that price!

 
At March 6, 2009 at 11:14 AM , Blogger Rich said...

THis whole screwed up mess is the fault of a few greedy people, and of the people who turned their backs when they saw what was happening. Our legislators are not players in this game, they are little, unimportant people who think they are important because they were elected, but they have no ability to make a difference anywhere. Let's face it, do you really think Pam Richardson has any idea at all about this economic mess we are in? I would be surprised if she could tell you what a credit default swap even is! The hell with what they are not doing, even when they are in session, they are not doing anything worthwhile! Maybe we are better off with them staying out of the state house. Seems like every single time they meet it costs us, the taxpayer, more money!

 
At March 6, 2009 at 1:41 PM , Blogger Eric said...

I have a simple question. A simple answer would be appreciated. When will there be jobs to apply for here in MA? Everything else I can deal with if I have a job. Anyone have any intel on that question?

 
At March 6, 2009 at 2:41 PM , Blogger Old soldier said...

What’s the deal with this Countrywide guy making money off his former customers who lost their homes because of his bad loan practices? I don’t understand exactly what is going on. Jim, can you explain it to us in layman’s terms, and then tell us why he is being allowed to do this?

 
At March 6, 2009 at 3:02 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Solder,

Yes.. your eyes don't deceive you.. that SOB, who some say, is responsible for the sub prime loan problem, who left CW a year ago, is now number one guy at Pennymac. He is named in a few indictments coming soon to a court room near you. And it is also true, that he will make millions on buying foreclosed property at fire sale prices, hold them until the market comes back and make more millions. I understand what he is doing is perfectly legal, or so say the talking heads. AND... if anyone is helped out by Pennymac, with mortgage refi, he again will make money from the guarantee put forward by the government, a whopping 1000.00 per mortgage.

A killer for sure... but on the bright side, Madoff is accepting a plea deal with the feds and will go to jail, but will have to share with us the list of people, (his customers) that we don't know anything about... this could be worth a billion or two... to us.

There are a few people who perhaps deserve to spend the rest of their life behind bars and perhaps starting today, some of them will come to light and the working man MAY be able to get some justice and a few bucks back. If not, the thousands and thousands of people taken in by these scoundrels may take matters in their own hands.

 
At March 6, 2009 at 3:02 PM , Blogger Alpha Dog said...

Anyone catch the news about Madoff today? There must be some pretty big fish in his pond if they are willing to let him walk away scott free just for giving up those other fish. I think we could be in for a big surprise on this one!

 
At March 6, 2009 at 3:09 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Eric,

Deval is taking a vacation to Jamaica for a week. I'm sure he hasn't been given any checks at this point from Obama, but the money is coming. Hang tuff for a few more weeks, it's all in the works, but I can't say exactly when it will happen. But I am confident it will.

 
At March 6, 2009 at 3:14 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Alpha... how correct you are.

And AG Cummo from New York will get to the bottom of the Merrill Lynch/Bank of America scam and that too, if he gets his way, will show us the top 30 or 40 people who got billions in bonus money... now there's a list of fat cats we can wrap our hands around eh?

 
At March 6, 2009 at 3:36 PM , Blogger Can't think of a name said...

Don't know how you stay on top of this stuff Jim, but thanks for doing so! I come here once a day just to see what is new and what has happened, and I am never disappointed. THe input from you, and the other bloggers, makes for interesting reading and some thoughtful consideration. Keep doing what you are doing, it is a thankless job, I am sure, but those of us who depend on this do thank you and appreciate your efforts, and there are more of us than you may think who come to this site and catch up, even if we don't always comment a post here ourselves. Have a great weekend with the warm temperatures, and catch up with you all here on Monday.

 
At March 6, 2009 at 4:22 PM , Blogger 6th Middlesex constituent said...

Seems this blog gets a bit out of date when the weekend gets here, which is fine since I am less likely to be here checking it out on the weekends. Just givin you a hard time, everyone deserves a few days off, even you Pillsbury. Hope everyone has a good weekend, see you all here next week for another episode of “Life in These Here United States of America”.

 
At March 6, 2009 at 5:21 PM , Blogger Junior said...

Hey,lets all just have a few drinks or a few joints, enjoy the weather, and ignore the news for the weekend. We all need a break from all this depressing talk. Nothing going to happen over the weekend that can't wait until Monday to be looked at. So catch you all back here next week. Same time, same channel. Actually, different time, don't forget to reset your clock this weekend.

 
At March 9, 2009 at 11:53 AM , Blogger Michael said...

Seems like there is not much new happening, which I take as a bad sign. Shouldn’t we be seeing some releif from all this stimulus money by now? Has any of that money going to the states actually gone out yet, and if not, then why not? We have been told it is coming, and wasn’t the package approved on February 17th, which is 3 weeks ago. I know 3 weeks is not a long time, but hey, the approval part was suppose to be the time consuming part. Why is Obama sitting on the money instead of sending it out? This wreaks of something not quite right if you ask me. I like the man, voted for him, and do believe he is doing the right things. But this delay is making me more than a little uncomfortable with things.

 
At March 9, 2009 at 1:35 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Michael,

A few towns around here got a million seven to bolster law enforcement. Theses were grants out of the stimulus money.

The main man, Obama pick for watchdog over the stimulus money, 787 billion dollars, a guy named Earl Devaney. He's the guy charges with making sure money that is being sent, doesn't end up as party favors for a select few. As I've read in the WSJ, many of the systems and procedures laid out as requirements, to get stimulus money, are just not there yet. They actually have around 350 million dollars in their coffers to help with the process of watching where this money goes.

He also states that fraud typically accounts for 7% of all big contracts... that's 55 billion in fraud they already have reasoned. The man and his lieutenants will have their hands full.

My point, we have to be patient, money growing from the tree's is just not happenings in all this snow.

 
At March 9, 2009 at 1:53 PM , Blogger James said...

We are complaing about MA legislators not being in session, and I think we are justified in that complaint. But aren’t we better off when they are not in session? What exactly are they going to do if they are in session? They need to know what we can expect from the Feds before we can really move on anything, and the Feds are dragging their feet on getting that to us. Seems like politics as usual in DC to me. New guy, new policy, new vision, but the same old delivery system. Money gets to AIG and the car companies instantly when it is approved. Here we sit waiting for our money weeks later, and notice, it is OUR money we are waiting for. If the new President wants to continue to have our faith and our support, he has to stop talking about what he is going to do, and actually do it!

 

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