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Massachusetts
  • Poll: Mitt Romney Remains Home(state)less

    Mitt RomneyAs my co-blogger Dennis has reported, Mitt Romney may become the first person to win the presidency while losing all three of his supposed home states. Muddying this attempt at history is the fact that voters in at least two of Romney's home states refuse to acknowledge him as one of their own

    Massachusetts voters don't even really regard Romney as one of their own despite his time as Governor — only 25% say they consider him to be a Bay Stater, while 65% say they do not. There doesn't seem to be a state that wants to lay claim to Romney — when we polled Michigan last month, only 24% of voters said they considered him to be one of their own to 65% who said they did not.

    If California rejects him, Romney will be homeless, despite his many houses.

    Luckily for him, if worst comes to worst, his money will be waiting for him at the "shelter."

    Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Massachusetts, Michigan, Mitt Romney, Polls
  • Romney Campaign Attacks Barack Obama for Failing to Pander to Red Sox Fans

    mitt romneyDuring last night's trip to the proverbial ATM in Boston, Barack Obama took a lighthearted barb at Red Sox fans as he thanked the organization for trading Kevin Youkilis to his hometown Chicago White Sox.  "Finally, Boston I just want to say — thank-you for Youkilis," was the line that precipitated a chorus of boos

    As boos swelled up from the floor and down down from the double balconies at Symphony Hall, Obama chuckled.

    "I'm just saying, he had to change the color of his socks," the president said with a building grin.

    "I didn't anticipate boos out of here," he added as some of the boos turned to the low rumble of "Y-o-o-u-k."

    Naturally, the Romney campaign responded with a single-minded focus on the economy, pointing out that Massachusetts still has a 6.5% unemployment rate  by mocking the president for his failure to abandon his White Sox fandom and pander to Boston fans. In this morning's email to reporters, the Romney camp wrote, "Maybe the President should have congratulated the team for winning the World Series in 2004 and 2007. Instead, he chose to mock them."

    The subroutine that governs Romney's ability to identify playful sports banter, without mentioned team owners, clearly needs a little work, because precisely 0% of voters are going to be offended by a sports fan's casual ribbing of the opposition.

    At the same time, it's nice that Romney hasn't yet fired his position on Red Sox Nation. Now he just needs a position on immigration, pay equity for women and tax policy.

    Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Barack Obama, Baseball, Boston, Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, Sports
  • Mitt Romney Is a Man Without a Home (State)

    If Mitt Romney manages to surf Barack Obama's current wave of bad news and plunging poll numbers all the way into office in November — which is starting to look like a real deal possibility lately — he'll most likely do it without the benefit of winning any of his three home states

    [N]ever before has a presidential candidate written off their home state. Or all of them, in Mitt Romney's case.

    Despite headquartering his campaign in Boston, the former governor of Massachusetts isn't going to win his home state this fall. More significantly, he isn't going to try.

    Ditto California, the state where he owns a beachfront La Jolla home complete with a $55,000 car elevator. And likely Michigan, the state of his birth, where his father served two terms as governor.

    If he can do it, he'd be only the second winning presidential candidate to accomplish such a feat. James Polk managed it back in 1844, but he did it while only losing two home states. So, Romney would be the first president to get the hat trick.

    Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mitt Romney
  • Massachusetts Town Adopts $20 Fine for Public Profanity

    While national politicians offer few solutions to deal with rising deficits, one Massachusetts town has a novel solution for the debt crisis. At last night's town meeting, following a unanimous voice vote in support of a "get off my lawn" resolution, the residents of Middleborough voted 183-50 in favor of a proposal to impose a $20 fine on public profanity. Now we wait for the end of the Red Sox' season and watch the coffers overflow.

    "Middleborough" and "Monday night" are strange ways of spelling "Salem" and "late 17th century," but we will just have to believe that the story came via the Associated Press and not Cotton Mather's Wonders of the Invisible World

    Officials insist the proposal was not intended to censor casual or private conversations, but instead to crack down on loud, profanity-laden language used by teens and other young people in the downtown area and public parks…

    Matthew Segal, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, said the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the government cannot prohibit public speech just because it contains profanity. The ordinance gives police discretion over whether to ticket someone if they believe the cursing ban has been violated.

    The ACLU's freedom-mongering aside, treating swearing as a civil violation rather than a criminal offense, actually represents a libertarian step for the Plymouth County community. Since 1968, Middleborough has had a bylaw criminalizing public cursing, though the statute was rarely enforced due to the rigmarole of the "courts" and the "Constitution."

    As this move comes on the heels of Mayor Mike Bloomberg's decision to ban sugary soft drinks in containers over 16 ounces, some are wondering whether the cursing ban extends from the same feelings of personal inadequacy. Bloomberg's salt cravings are well documented; perhaps the soda ban allowed him to look down on unhealthy sugar consumers — the first time the 5 and half foot mayor has looked down on anyone. Meanwhile, Middleborough is home to Assawompset Pond. They too are probably overcompensating.

    Photo by Patrick Strattner/Getty Images


    Tags: Civil Rights, Extremely Local Politics, Massachusetts
  • Mitt Romney's Own Private Solyndra

    Unlike the 105 years it will take before Venus is again observable between the Earth and Sun, we'll never go a single day without seeing the phenomenon of political hypocrisy.

    Last Thursday, Mitt Romney held a "very special episode on government spending" press conference in front of Solyndra's closed headquarters, hoping to drive home his argument that government shouldn't be in the business of picking winners and losers in the private sector. That privilege belongs to venture capitalists, who also pick the players, the game, the rules, the winners and then charge you for parking.

    But, lo and behold, Romney had his own little Solyndra back in Massachusetts

    A Lowell-based solar technology company that received $1.5 million in state loans when Mitt Romney was governor has filed for bankruptcy, opening the presumptive Republican presidential nominee to charges of hypocrisy.

    Konarka Technologies disclosed Friday that it had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and would fire its 80-member staff and liquidate its assets.

    The two companies are actually very similar. Both had promising business plans and raised millions of dollars in private investment as well as federal grants. They also began getting funding under the oil and coal lovin' Bush administration.

    Great news, right? That means we can all agree that both Republicans and Democrats think solar energy is important enough to invest in and work together on, even if it means taking an occasional loss. Did you laugh out loud at that sentence? It was probably the funniest thing ever written.

    Stay tuned for other astronomical events this week when Romney responds to the Konara story, and be sure not to look straight at the total eclipse of the truth.

    Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Barack Obama, Energy & Oil, Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, Solyndra