Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
Update: “Those who have sought to demonize health reform need to put an end to their scare tactics. This needs to begin a new day, where the test is not what you can oppose but what you can propose.” - John Kerry
Pardon me while I spike the ball. This is a (another) “Huah” moment. Ne Desit Virtus (”Let Valor Not Fail”)
Senior al-Qaeda leader Abu Yahya al-Libi was killed in a drone strike in Pakistan on Monday, US officials say.
Abu Yahya al-Libi, variously described as daring and charismatic, was becoming a familiar face to the jihadist movement through his appearances on the internet.
American counter-terror analysts have long argued that killing individual al-Qaeda leaders degrades the organisation by forcing the promotion of less experienced operatives. Drone strikes, they say, make al-Qaeda look vulnerable and undermine its global standing.
Behind the drone operations, of course, lies an unseen intelligence operation which fed US commanders knowledge of Libi’s whereabouts. We can’t know how that worked, but we can speculate that it involved the use of satellites and drones to track militants, listening stations to intercept their communications and agents on the ground to provide first-hand information.
The reach and apparent effectiveness of US intelligence in the region may well be as of much concern to al-Qaeda’s leadership as the death of their comrade.
Washington believes that following Osama Bin Laden’s death last year, Libi, an Islamic scholar from Libya, became al-Qaeda’s second-in-command after Egyptian-born Ayman al-Zawahiri.
If I’m gloating, it’s not as a soldier. It’s as an “Obama Democrat.”
Don’t be a chickenhawk! Vote Democrat in 2012.
We get lots of blame or credit on this blog for being more influential than we are. (Blame if you are on one side; credit if you are on another.) I have always maintained that we honestly have had a lot less to do with major and minor political events here in Lowell than people think. All we do is talk about things on a little website and put a lot of what people are thinking out there in a public way. Sometimes you could maybe call that a catalyst for change; but we certainly know our place in the conversation, and it’s not all that huge. We just call ‘em like we see ‘em.
However, the one thing that I will take credit for (and have in the past) is the small margin of victory that ousted Mike Hayden from the Greater Lowell Technical High School Committee in 2009. Our exposure of Mike Hayden’s hateful little website and discussion of the shenanigans at the GLTHSC might have been responsible for the narrow margin between him and George O’Hare, returning O’Hare to the Committee along with Fred Bahou, and bumping Hayden out. I gladly take the heat on that one!
Now, it appears, we WILL have a vacancy on the GLTHS Committee with Lenzi leaving (don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out) and Hayden has withdrawn his name, so he states.
Aside from his whiny whine about someone outing his interest (what, you sent it to 15 politicians and expected it to remain a secret? Are you nuts??) I especially liked this tidbit:
Secondly the amount of negative talk and blogging on my interest was enough for me to realize that my family and I do not need this negativity in our lives. … My political days are over.
Always happy to oblige! And dare we hope??
But I must object to one thing…any negativity is completely what you created yourself. I only quoted you, your comments, and your own website, and outlined a very suspicious pay package for the previous Superintendent in the 2009 race. You did it to yourself.
I do so love how these people project their own faults and foibles onto others who would point them out in order to make the discussion fair. It entertains me. So transparent, so easy to understand, and yet they cannot see it themselves.
Wonder if we’ll be seeing Hayden pop up any more in blog comments? I really do miss having Hayden to kick around…so to speak. Well, to let him kick himself around, rather.
Heard today on WCAP news: Bernie Lynch is indeed interested in the open Cambridge City Manager position. I suppose this is the moment you come back at me saying the word “duh” and all, but color me unhappy about it!
I had a friend and colleague whose husband was a manager of a golf course. The only way to “move up” in the gold course management world is…to change jobs to a more famous, prestigious golf course. Even if it means moving hours away to a whole new state. So I’m not surprised Lynch is contemplating putting his hat in the ring (or inevitably going to do so, whichever you see fit). The only way to “move up” in your career as a municipal manager is to find a bigger city with more prestige, more responsibility, bigger budgets, etc.
But I hope that CM Lynch doesn’t take it personally when I say I hope they find many faults in his application and tell him to go back to his old job. Or that they like the Billerica town manager much better (who is also reportedly interested in the job according to ‘CAP)!
So often, I hear the Bernie Bashers spinning yarns of Lynch escaping to Cambridge. Well, I better get used to it!
Cambridge — Robert Healy’s over 30 year tenure running the city of Cambridge as its city manager will come to an end a little over a year from now.
“I will be 70 years old in August of ’13, not that I’m going to stop working,” Healy said in a brief interview after the City Council voted to extend his contract for another year. “We won’t be here next January talking about the same thing.”
Healy said he would not reconsider his decision to retire but thought staying on while the City Council looks for someone else to take the helm “made a lot of sense.”
Maybe the Council should give Lynch a new 5 year contract, this year?
Bet you never thought I’d write that, did you? But he’s correct - the outrage over the firing of the Mayor’s assistant, Diane Bujnowski, particularly from Bud and Rita, is just not warranted. (Surprise, the Budrita outrage machine is overwrought again.)
First, as Gerry notes, prior to Diane, it was actually very unusual to keep a Mayor’s aid on past the term of the mayor who hired them. The fact that Diane has been around this long is an anomaly, not the norm.
The Sun article never mentions that BEFORE Bujnowski it was a tradition for the Mayor to hire his /her own aide but when you have a cub reporter covering City Hall who was only 8 or 9 and growing up in the people’s republic of Cambridge when Bujnowski started, he may NOT know the history.
Of course, we can’t expect a reporter to do any research so they can put an article into context instead of using yet another non-controversy to whack Mayor Murphy (and as always, by extension, CM Lynch) over the head. *rolls eyes*
Secondarily, I must respond to the outrage in comments on both Topix at the Sun and Gerry’s blog, to those who are angry he “blindsided” Diane: as I noted both on Topix (not yet moderated through) and on Gerry’s blog (also not moderated yet as I just posted it) - hell, let me just quote myself on his blog, it’s easier (with further edits in brackets):
You NEVER give an employee two weeks’ notice. EVER.
You would be taking the chance that that employee, disgruntled and still able to access their email, servers, and the physical location, would cause the employer damage, like changing passwords they have ultimate access for or other things.
You ALWAYS blindside someone even if it’s just a downsizing or layoff that has nothing [bad] to do with the employee in question. You pull them into your office, tell them they are being laid off/fired, and then they get escorted to their desk to clear it out and then escorted out of the building (after giving any keys, access cards, etc to security). I’ve been on the receiving end of a layoff in the past, and it wasn’t even a contentious situation, and this was what I faced. It sucked hard, and I was unhappy about it seeming like I wasn’t trusted, but in retrospect (I was young then) it made sense.
And hence the fact that in the article linked, the woman has all sorts of quotes about being blindsided and told things were fine and how it was a slap in the face, well, that’s how it feels, even in normal layoffs and such. [I was hurt when I was laid off all of a sudden, too.] OF COURSE Lyle would be able to get such quotes from her, [when her feelings are raw and she feels terrible…which of course fuels] controversy, and giving Bud and Rita plenty of ammo. I’m shocked, shocked that the Sun would make hay with this. Not.
Hell, if I were Murphy, I’d worry a little bit about her cozy relationship with past mayors who have anti-Murphy/anti-Lynch agendas. Maybe she’s trustworthy, but maybe not, or maybe Murphy couldn’t make a clear determination of her trustworthiness. Things have been leaked [in the past] from City Hall to damage someone else’s tribe, after all.
And yes, I am starting to use Jack’s terminology sometimes. It’s handy.
By the way, you should note that the news of her replacement has been broken (by, let’s face it, a real reporter) - Jen Myers on Twitter.
Yeah, that’s right. It’s recent returning vet, local blogger, and outstanding all around awesome guy Greg Page. Let’s see Bud and Rita complain about that. And it’s just awesome, anyway. Congrats Greg! (Careful, you might have jumped from the frying pan and into the fire!) Good luck and I know you will rock in the role.
Speaking of hirings and firings, I might as well take this moment to mention that I have, myself, been hired for an actual 9-to-5 with a commute (to NH no less, hold your sarcasm please, I know, I know) which, while it should mean “not as much blogging from me,” really just means, carry on as usual, since I’ve been pretty scarce ’round these parts lately. But it bears mentioning anyway. I started last week, so I am limited in my access during the week.
Edit: My comment about trustworthiness is total speculation and NOT meant as an affront to the employee in question. I don’t know her from Adam and from all accounts everyone liked her. But even inadvertently, a relationship with a past mayor, even innocent, could pose a problem in today’s environment of fake outrage and knee-jerk anti-Lynch sentiment from certain quarters. Like Budrita.
From Rita Savard:
We’re here and it’s time to Howl! Please join us tonight at the Back Page for open mic and a whole lotta howlin’ at the launch party for Lowell’s new online A&E magazine.
Don’t forget to order up our signature Howlin’ elixer, courtesy of the lovely Courtney Sott. It’s got some bite!
See you there, 8:30 p.m. to close, 15 Kearney Square along the Eastern Canalway
And the snow? Pfffft!
Not our district, but exciting news none the less! Alex Buck of Chelmsford has announced he is running for the seat of retiring State Senator Susan Fargo.
Alex is a friend of mine via previous campaigns like Patrick in 2006, and a really great guy. Smart, progressive, and full of ideas. Also running: Joe Mullin of Weston (don’t know him) and Mara Dolan of Concord (she produces a Democratic cable access show, and I’ve met her a few times, and she seems good too).
Should be a spirited and fun race to watch! Hey, sometimes we gotta be interested in things outside of Lowell, ya know?
Edit: I have been told there is another in the race, Mike Barrett of Lexington, a former Rep from Reading and Senator from Cambridge…who also ran for Congress.
Seems to be shaping up to be a competitive race!
I’m sure you have heard by now. (The Sun in its infinite incompetence likes to move their links around and let the previous one die. Link edited - Lynne)
Let’s all take a deep breath and consider our next steps carefully. The City has acted:
The challenge we face, as a community, is that events have been escalating and rhetoric is as heated, as the finger pointing. We have to be better going forward.
Starting with the residents of Lowell, we need to carefully craft a sustainable solution that all the stakeholders can find acceptable. No one “party” will get all that they desire, as we have several competing interests. It is upon our civic leaders to lead by example and gingerly walk this process to a fair outcome. So, as the Zen Master says, “Empty your cup.”
Please bring something to the table on this Open Thread
Ask yourselves, who runs the show, the boss or the employees? Now, with a straight face, please explain to me how something like this can happen?
From The Sun:
LOWELL — The new city treasurer resigned on Monday after just one week on the job.
City Manager Bernie Lynch said on Tuesday that Greg Labrecque said he quit because Lowell wasn’t a good fit for him.
“We think he’s a good fit for us,” said Lynch.
Observers have told me that there was resistance by city workers to Lebrecque’s efforts to change the way things are done. That the political drama queens, coupled with carefully couched insubordination from staff, made Labrecque’s path back to Groveland a no brainer.
Most certainly, this whole thing will be laid at the CM’s & CFO’s feet. The drama queens never rest. They feed off the anxiety and attention of their dead tree benefactor. However, one can get a sense that the CM will not bend under the load of bullshit he is about to be assaulted with.
“His appointment gathered some political resistance and attention. It was something that he wasn’t comfortable with given the types of changes that he was being asked to put in place in the treasurer’s office,” Lynch said.
Please note: “changes that he was being asked to put in place .”
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m thinking the CM is stating very plainly that he will send another, and then another, if he has to. That The Wall in City Hall will Fall.
Or, he will.
PS. Speaking of walls, how does this bode for the City Clerk office? I hope the Council has the CM’s back on reform efforts. The “Townie Turnstyle” has got to go.
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