Blogfather's blog

Mass. GOP Help Wanted Ad

The Massachusetts Republican party should run this Classified Ad: 

Help wanted: Six-year contract, part-time position, paid health insurance, unlimited expense account and franking privileges if hired for this job.

Candidate must be able to wage a long-shot campaign against an entrenched and mystical 73-year-old,  43-year incumbent. Candidate must be willing to spend a large hunk of  own personal fortune to  get the job with minimal financial support from National and State GOP.

Benefits:
  • Joe Possible launching pad statewide office even if candidate doesn't get this job. (One recent candidate became Governor, one became State Treasurer (on right) and another was and is under a dark cloud.)
  • National media exposure.
  • Use of Rest Room in the U.S. Senate office building.
  • Lunch with Tom Delay and/or Dick Cheney, whichever one is still at large.

The ad will probably not run, at least not in Boston Globe, so the Democratic candidate for the job, Ted Kennedy, has a $7,700,000 campaign chest and no decernable opponent for an eighth six-year term in the U.S. Senate and is the odds-on favorite to continue the Camelot Myth ad nauseum, ad infinitum. As Tim O'Brien, the state Republican party's executive director, said last January, he and other GOP leaders are actively looking for a candidate to run against Kennedy, but admitted they are not having much luck so far. "Finding someone to run against a Kennedy in Massachusetts is a difficult task," he said. To date the only applicant for Ted's job is a one-term Selectman from Wakefield.

The ideal GOP candidate would resemble Joseph Malone, who ran against Ted in 1988 and set himself up for winning the state treasurer's office in 1990. Joe remained Treasurer until 1998 when he gave up the post to run for governor, but lost the Republican nomination to Paul Cellucci. During Malone's term a number of Treasury employees, some of them his friends, defraudedthe Commonwealth. Nothing tied Malone to the crime directly, but his privatizing policies and protection of ranking aides did make the scam easier to pull off.)

Then Mitt Romney run against Kennedy in 1994. The campaign gave him the experience and exposure to run a successful campaign for governor eight years later.

Jack E. RobinsonRomney spent $6,000,000 of his own money attempting to oust Kennedy and received national attention when polls showed him running even or slightly ahead of Kennedy at one point in the race.

Then in 2000 the GOP ran Jack E. Robinson whose checkered background got him dropped from the ticket, and this year he was in trouble again for attempting to hide his yacht from a Cape Cod town treasurer.

Maybe next election the state GOP will find a black Morman with a big nose who is loaded. 

As John Ullman of The Cape Codder used to say, "a fool and my money are soon parted."

And the Champion Blogger is...

 RappCity by a landslide.

If you click the "What's Hot" button in the top, left of the cctoday homepage, you can see which "Cape Blogger" gets the most traffic and even which individual "post" is Numero Uno. This page also ranks the most read and commented upon stories and the most popular links.  The lists below rank differently, the first counts "referrers" while the second counts each "comment" posted. In either case, it's a huge win for everyone because thousands or Cape Codders are reading and commenting on our new "Cape Blogs".  Greg O'Brien deserves a smiley face since both his blogs made the list below in as #6 and #10. Gary Lopez got 136 comments on his "Stupid is forever, igprance can be fixed" post on COG. Can you imagine any newspaper editorial ever receiving than many response? Since his post is a tad "in your face", we'll give him this face and our heartfelt thanks for building much needed  fires in Barnstable.

10 most popular blogs
 1. RappCity - (10,899 references)
 2. Dead Bloggers Society - (6,481 references)
 3. Media Watch - (5,025 references)
 4. Citizens for Open Government - (4,719 references)
 5. Cape Cod Living - (4,207 references)
 6. Codfish Press - (2,603 references)
 7. Peter Porcupine - (2,310 references)
 8. Cape Cod Crusader - (2,075 references)
 9. Cape Fine Diner - (2,021 references)
 10. Boston Cod - (1,962 references)

10 most commented on blog posts

 1. Stupid is forever, ignorance can be fixed. - (136 Comments)
 2. Barnstable bought 45 miles of asbestos cement pipe - (102 Comments)
 3. How Katrina Turned me Republican - (95 Comments)
 4. Cindy Sheehan's patriotism - (83 Comments)
 5. Barnstable Needs a Government that is Accountable to the People - (74 Comments)
 6. F.A.I.R. is UNFAIR to taxpayers… - (72 Comments)
 7. An Open Letter To The President From A Cape Codder Who Voted For Bush - (70 Comments)
 8. 5,500.000 Reasons the Water Acquisition Should Go to the Grand Jury... - (68 Comments)
 9. See No, Hear No, Speak No Bias: Liberal Bias in the Mainstream Media - (61 Comments)
 10. Vex, Lies, and Videotape - (54 Comments)

Koch's coke, Christie's milk & Kurker's fuel oil

Looking over the recent blog entries on cctoday I was struck with this prescient one which we published on Labor Day by Spyro Mitrokostas wherein he describes the distress some plutocrats have at others making their kind of money;

"Labor Day on Cape Cod"

As I was looking out over Great Island, I heard one of those obnoxious ads by the Alliance (to save the view for the privileged few) on the radio, repeating the lies about the birds, the fish and the air, but mostly hocking their new tactic; Cape Wind stands to make a profit from the project!

Kurker complainingSo now it's about profits. Isn't it strange that this has come down to the capitalists from Osterville, and may I say uber-capitalists, objecting to the capitalist from Bass River making too much money. Didn't Egan make too much money selling computers? Didn't Koch make too much money selling, well, coke? For that matter, isn't Mihos making too much money selling gas and milk? And how about Kurker (on left) making too much money selling boats?

I think what the capitalists from Osterville object to most, is that the capitalist from Bass River is making too much money in their backyard. I bet that's what grates them the most. It would be better if they were the ones doing the profiting.  To read the rest click  "Labor Day on Cape Cod".

Everything you need to know about Bill Koch...

 ...but were too polite to ask

"That's the reason I came here (Florida) it's tax friendly," said Palm Beach's William Koch, 63. He makes no bones about why he moved Oxbow to Florida after Massachusetts tried to raise his taxes. He said, "If they're going to treat me that way, screw 'em."

Forbes Movers & Shakers 

Koch Relocates In Palm Beach for $5.2 Million
Angelo Kich Angela Koch (on right), ex-wife of energy magnate Bill Koch, has just purchased a home in Palm Beach, Fla., for $5.2 million. According to a local broker, the 5,000-square-foot home on a double lot is located "on a nice street, but not the estate section" of Palm Beach. The sellers were Jim and Susan Keenan. (Susan Keenan was formerly married to Barry Goldwater's son.)

Koch arrested on charges of domestic assault

By all accounts, Bill and Angela Koch's four-year marriage was stormy:  Bill was arrested on charges of domestic assault last summer at the couple's Cape Cod home. Angela filed for divorce in September and was granted a $16 million settlement in mid-February.

Bill Koch, the majority owner of Oxbow Corporation, an energy firm headquartered in West Palm Beach, lost a protracted court battle with his two brothers over his stake in the family oil business in 1998. An avid yachtsman, he won the 1992 America's Cup against Italy and sponsored an all-women's America's Cup team in 1995.

Big boys profit on mom-and-pop's tax break


Many of Florida's largest private companies use tax exemptions created forsmall businesses, bypassing any corporate income tax.


Sydney Freedberg & Kitty Bennett, Published ENN.com, December 28, 2003

When Florida enacted a corporate income tax in 1971, the governor and Legislature gave most small businesses a break.

Their goal: Spare mom-and-pop firms while making the state's largest companiespay 90 percent of the tax.

But look at some of the mom-and-pops who don't have to pay today:

# Oil man William Ingraham Koch has a fortune estimated at $650-million, a $24-million mansion and a West Palm Beach energy company, Oxbow Corp., with$450-million in estimated sales last year...  At least 11 of the top 30 private companies based in Florida are structured in ways that allow them to bypass the tax, a St. Petersburg Times survey shows.

"That's the reason I came here -- it's tax friendly," said Palm Beach's Koch, 63. He makes no bones about why he moved Oxbow to Florida after Massachusettstried to raise his taxes.

He said, "If they're going to treat me that way, screw 'em."

"I've done a lot of sailing and, well, the rules aren't fair," said Bill Koch, the oil man. "Well, life ain't fair. You play according to the rules that are given to you."

Koch, son of the founder of the nation's second-largest private conglomerate, is known for his $9-million wine collection, the $68-million he spent to win the America's Cup sailing trophy and his art cache with works by Picasso, Matisse and Renoir.

Left the state to avoid paying our taxes  

He is also known for litigiousness. When Massachusetts denied him an abatement on taxes he paid in a 1983 stock transaction, Koch sued.

He purchased and assigned the stock to Delaware corporations, and Massachusetts argued that he used those corporations simply to avoid taxes,not for any legitimate business purpose.

After a 10-year battle, the courts sided with Koch. He got $46-million - and left Massachusetts.

Koch acknowledges the quality of Florida's public schools is a problem. But he's dead set against making companies like Oxbow pay a Florida income tax.  

"Put it in someone else's backyard", Koch 

Worth a re-visit:The Providence Journal interview last month with this comment about Cape Wind, "I was telling one of my guys when this [wind farm] first came up, 'I wish I'd thought of this!' But as a businessman, I said I wouldn't have put it in my backyard -- I would have put it in someone else's backyard!".  

Colorado group fights (Koch's) coalbed methane wells - Rocky Mountain News

A citizens' group in western Colorado is fighting a proposal to explore for methane gas in nearby underground coal seams, saying the plannedtest drilling could devastate the area's water supplies.

The Grand Mesa Citizens Alliance, an advocacy group, has asked Delta County commissioners to reject a proposal to drill three test wells, a move thatwould set the local government against the state and set the stage for a court battle over what has become one of the biggest environmental issues in the Rocky Mountains.

The county board met on Monday to consider whether to approve a drilling proposal from privately held Gunnison Energy Corp. (owned by William Koch) of West Palm Beach, Florida and has two weeks to reach a decision. Colorado state regulators have already approved the plan.

According to the National Petroleum Council, coalbed methane accounts for some 12 percent of untapped gas reserves in the the region. While reserves in the area are believed smaller than those the Powder River Basin in Wyoming, worries about possible environmental damage have raised concerns among residents about the effects on tourism, ranching and agriculture.

Reserves in the West are seen as key to President George W. Bush's plan to boost domestic methane production, especially since the Senate rejected a drilling exploration plan for environmentally sensitive coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

Environmental activists have lobbied to block the development of coalbed methane in parts of Wyoming and Montana, saying water from the wells may be tainted by salinity. Methane is a clean-burning natural gas found underground. Drilling for thefuel involves pumping large volumes of ground water which holds the gas in thecoal through pressure.

Once the water is removed the gas is freed, but problems can arise because the water, which can contain sodium bicarbonate, is potentially harmful to humans, cattle or crops if it is allowed to run off.

DAMAGES FEARED, RESERVES UNKNOWN

"We just feel the methane coalbed mining has a potential to do a lot of damage," Barbara Heck, co-chair of the Grand Mesa Citizen's Alliance, said. She and her husband operate a vineyard in the area.

Gunnison Energy has leases on 90,000 acres in the North Folk Valley in western Colorado, but reserves are not known, according to Gunnison Energy President Bernard Cherry.

The company wants to test four wells this summer, study the results over thewinter and then go ahead in stages if the project makes economic sense, he said.

The next step would about 15 to 20 wells, he told Reuters. "Any widespread drilling would have to be subject to a full Environmental Impact Statement, state and federal oversight and citizen involvement," he said.

Gunnison Energy is one of several companies owned by William Koch, who won the 1992 Americas Cup and established the Oxbow Group in 1983 after being ousted from the family business, Koch Industries, by his brothers. Lawsuits between the two sides have been settled.  

Rodgers on Koch 

Maybe the best quote about Bill Koch and Christie Mihos is from Mark Rodgers of Cape Wind, '''Bill Koch made his fortune on coal and oil and now he worries about living 6 miles away from a clean, renewable energy project. While most Massachusetts citizens worry about sky-high oil and gas prices, Koch and Mihos worry about the distant view of a clean energy alternative from their large oceanfront homes. "

Seduced bybthe wind: Koch can't keep his mouth shut 

In today's CC Times story Koch is quoted as asying, "I freely admit I don't want to look at (the turbines)," adding that the environmental and cost benefits of wind energy are overblown. Those perceived benefits, Koch said, can be "seductive." He compared it to walking into a strip bar, and falling under the gaze of an exotic dancer. "It's so seductive, but if you go over there you can get in a lot of trouble, and get a lot of diseases." 

Cindy Sheehan's patriotism

I hate to weigh in on the snit-fit between Dead Bloggers Society and RappCity, but questioning MS Sheehan's patriotism is unkind and uncalled for. A grieving mother's words should not be taken out of context. She paid a very high price for her use of the First Amendment.

The woman, who was arrested in front of the White House today, lost a son in Iraq, and she's confused and angry at "why" she was forced to make this horrible sacriface. The rest of her statement this weekend was, "This war is immoral, it will end. The darkness will never overcome the light... We mean business, George Bush. We're going to Congress and were going to ask them, how many more of other people's children are you willing to sacrifice for the lies? We're going to say shame on you. Shame on you for giving Bush the authority to invade Iraq. Not one person should have died for that, not one more person should die."

In her complete statement San Francisco State University on April 27 she said, "I was raised in a country by a public school system that taught us that America was good, that America was just. America has been killing people ... since we first stepped on this continent, we have been responsible for death and destruction. I passed on that [expletive] to my son and my son enlisted. I'm going all over the country telling moms: 'This country is not worth dying for.' "

Casey SheehanRobert RooneyA recent comment on Dead Bloggers Society offered a web site where anyone else can see a thousand of the faces of service persons who have died in our latest wars, not only Robert Rooney (on the left), but also Casey Sheehan (on the right).

They are all brave American's who I fear have died in vain. 

Cape Wind after Katrina

There has been a sea change in America and on Cape Cod.

It is named Katrina, and it's nickname is $3 a gallon.  No one with a brain in their head, or a heart in their chest can any longer be against a wind farm in Nantucket Sound or anywhere else.

This isn't about Teddy or Dougie's view from the deck any longer. This is about tens of thousands of lives, and the very existence of tourism on Cape Cod or anywhere else. What do imagine will happen totourism, cCape Cod biggest industry, when gas goes to $4 and then $5 a gallon and then stops being available as happened in 1973.

Any man, woman or child who raises a voice or spends a penny to stop "renewable energy anything" from this day forward will be branded a scoundrel and a fool.

Let's see how long it takes the APCC and the Cape Cod Times to figure this out. 
Wind power after Katrina

Two local newspaper views of the gas price effect

The headline in today's Upper Cape Codder reads ;
Gas prices didn't scare weekend visitors

The headline in today's Cape Cod Times reads,
Gas woes deflate holiday trade

Which is correct? It depends on whom you ask. The daily always asks the same people which is a form of wish fulfillment. If you read the both stories the weekly seems to have spent more time "on the street", and my own observations confirms their view.

The Labor Day weekend's business on Cape Cod was terrific everywhere I looked.  I ate on the Main Street sidewalk in front of Alberto's Ristorante in Hyannis Sunday as I do every Sunday in season, weather permitting, and I have never seen more people on the street.

On Monday evening I expected to have no difficulty getting into a restaurant in Orleans, but every one I tried had a line out the door, and I tried them all, Barley Neck Inn, Land Ho, Rosina's, etc. 

Only the room tax numbers will correctly confirm how business was here last weekend after the spike in gas prices. But as someone who's been involved in tourism here for over forty years, through four or five recessions and two gas boycotts, I assure you no one cancels a vacation in which they expect to spend a couple thousand dollars because the drive here will cost an extra $10 to $20 for gas.

Are YOU canceling your holidays this Fall? 

Brewster's Lefty is world class

The scene from a Gulf Coast bridgeThere is a blogger in Brewster named "Lefty" who is reporting on the government's failures in the Gulf Coast as well or better than any newspaper or other media in the U.S.

Here's the first 'graf of today's post, "There are some who feel that, since the people of New Orleans knew they were living in an area vulnerable to natural disasters, the rest of the country, including our federal government, bears no responsibility for the fate of that city. A sort ofcaveat emptor philosophy, based on the belief, not in itself without merit, in personal responsibility for one's own choices. A city is built on a flood plain; that city gets wiped out -- their problem, not ours.

I disagree..."   See the rest here.

Wareham's Davis as Bush's replacement

President DavisActress Geena Davis is from Wareham where she attended High School and is well remembered by her local peers. This Fall she will star in a new ABC sitcom called "Commander in Chief" where she portrays America's first woman President. No one is more apt for the part. Columnist Maureen Dowd wrote this about her new role;  

A lipstick president

September 1, 2005
WASHINGTON — The president is working up a sweat, keeping that perfectly toned body perfectly toned. I slide past stone-faced men with earpieces and ask the president how it's going.

"Good," she says, grinning. "People ask me if there could really be a woman president and I say, 'Of course, it's the 21st century."'

Geena Davis was shooting a rowing scene at the Potomac Boat House on Monday morning for her new ABC show, "Commander in Chief," about the first woman president.

Luckily, the first woman president is tall, a shade taller than W., so she's eyeball to eyeball with generals and ambassadors. And she's a redhead. Redheads, a recent study showed, have a higher tolerance for pain. In the show's premiere, a lot of pain is dished up for Davis' character, Mackenzie Allen, the vice president of a conservative president who keels over before the first hour is over.

Nobody wants the vice president, a political independent, to be Madame President. Not the president, who tells her before he dies to resign so his ally, the archconservative speaker of the House played by Donald Sutherland, can get the job. Not the president's chief of staff. Not her sulky, sexy conservative teenage daughter. Even her supportive (and faithful) politico husband gets skittish after East Wing staffers begin calling him "the first lady" and arrange his meetings with the White House chef.

Sutherland's Nathan Templeton condescendingly asks her, "How many Islamic states do you think would follow the edicts of a woman?"

"Well, not only that, Nathan," she replies sarcastically, "but we have that whole 'once a month will she or won't she press the button' thing."

He laughs nastily. "Well, in a couple years," he says, "you're not gonna have to worry about that anymore."

The creator and writer, Rod Lurie, also had an embattled woman vice president in his 2000 movie "The Contender." (He named his TV president and vice president Bridges and Allen; the stars playing those roles in 2000 were Jeff Bridges and Joan Allen.)

He told me he modeled his female president not on Hillary Clinton but on Susan Lyne, the smart, elegant former president of ABC Entertainment who is chief executive at Martha Stewart Inc. He said he wanted someone "of rather unimpeachable integrity, very kind, very calm."

As Geena Davis was bursting into the Oval Office, and the other TV president, Martin Sheen, was dropping in on Cindy Sheehan in Crawford, Hillary was plotting for real...  (You can read the rest of the column - mostly about Hillary's campaign for the same job - in the Rutland Herald  here. )

Westfield gets developed, we get open space

An Editorial in The Providence Journal this morning has the right slant on Otis;

The Providence Journal online"No one can accuse the Base Closure and Realignment Commission of being a rubber stamp for the Pentagon. In New England, at least, the BRAC rejected some of the Defense Department's proposed base closings, and so saved a major military presence in this part of the country.

Dollars and cents aside, this is probably a good thing. The Pentagon's proposed closings would have so concentrated defense work in "red states" -- states that had voted for George W. Bush -- that the Northeast's commitment to the national military mission might have been sorely undermined, and disruptive political bitterness aroused. This might not have been intentional, but the effect could have been divisive.

The largest New England facilities saved by the BRAC were the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, in Maine, and the Naval Submarine Base New London, in Connecticut -- each with thousands of jobs. Then, on its last day of deliberations, the BRAC unexpectedly reversed the Defense Department's proposed expansion of Hanscom Air Force Base, outside Boston, and voted to close Otis Air National Guard Base, on Cape Cod, with plans to send its fighter jets to Barnes Air National Guard Base, in Greater Springfield.

The last move left political leaders astonished. Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy called himself and others "baffled." "[I]t defies logic, it defies intuition, it defies understanding."

Militarily speaking, that may be so. Certainly, the closing of Otis must defy understanding by the more than 500 workers whose jobs will be moved to the Springfield area.

But from the commonwealth's strictly selfish view, the move might serve the long-term best interests of both Greater Springfield and Cape Cod. For whereas the Springfield area lags behind eastern Massachusetts in economic development, overdeveloped Cape Cod's greatest lack is open land.

Otis will apparently continue to serve the Coast Guard, which is part of the new Department of Homeland Security. But if the major Otis operations close, there is, with proper planning, a tremendous opportunity to set aside the huge tract formerly known as the Shawme State Forest for thoughtful environmental, residential and business uses.

Our political leaders need to recover from their bafflement and get to work planning for Otis's long-term future."

See the base close-up and personalAnd Jack Coleman said it here first 

The above is one more example of this great newspaper's habit of getting ahead of the curve every time. It should be recalled, however, that cctoday's Jack Coleman had it right over a month before the rest of the world. See his April 15 story "Otis on notice" here.
 

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