The Legislature has adjourned for five months after passing or
failing, in a last-minute chaotic rush, the bills that it didn’t
have the discipline to get to during an easygoing 19-month session.
Anxious moments for
proponents as Gov. Deval Patrick considered a veto of Melissa’s
Bill, which had been passed by a determined, if tardy, Legislature.
Melissa Gosule was a 27-year-old woman who was raped and murdered by
a career criminal (27 convictions) out on parole. Her father’s
“three strikes” bill prevents parole for any offender who’s been
found guilty, three times, of violent crimes like murder and rape.
What is it with some
liberals like our governor, who care more about murderers and
rapists than their victims, both past and future? Do these
“progressives” relate to the killers somehow?
I know that some
politicians and judges coddle drunken drivers, thinking that “there
but for the grace of God go I,” but do they also imagine they might
someday be jailed for three violent crimes and will themselves need
the mercy of the court?
Patrick had added a
provision, quickly rejected by legislators, allowing three-time
violent repeat offenders to apply for parole “after serving either
two-thirds of their sentence or, in the case of a life sentence, 25
years.” He finally signed the popular bill, pledging to try for more
“judicial discretion” next year.
I know this is a silly
question, yet I must ask: What does “life sentence” mean, exactly?
It must be one of those
meaningless phrases, like “illegal immigrant.” Patrick vetoed the
Legislature’s bill requiring all drivers to prove legal
Massachusetts residency in order to register their car here.
On the last day of the
legislative session: Bad news for doctors, good news for grocers. A
compromise health care bill solves the problem of rising health
costs by simply telling the private Massachusetts medical system
what it can charge. Health spending will be allowed to grow no
faster than the overall state economy. Who knew it was that easy?
Let’s hope we don’t get sick at a higher rate than the state economy
The expanded bottle
bill provision was removed from the “jobs bill.” I’m hoping more
consumers will curbside-recycle their water and juice bottles so
that it doesn’t return next year. Good news: There will be a sales
tax holiday, mid-August.
Life went on outside
Beacon Hill. There’s an interesting Associated Press story about the
Obama administration stepping up efforts to fight Medicare and
Medicaid fraud. You’d think they’d have addressed this before they
added Obamacare to the entitlement mix, allowing people to scam the
entire health care system instead of just part of it.
Where there is
government money, there are criminals looking for illegitimate ways
to get it, and since the government didn’t have to work for it,
digging out fraud isn’t its major priority. Interesting that
opposition to Obamacare has encouraged some token activity here;
once the debate is over, no one will care about fraud anymore.
Speaking of health, you
know those curlicue compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) that we’re all
being forced by the federal government to buy as a “green”
alternative to standard incandescent bulbs? Researchers at Stony
Brook University have found that, along with the already known
hazards from mercury, the ultraviolet radiation from CFLs may cause
Well, that was
inevitable. The mystery here is: Shouldn’t the government have
researched potential damage from these bulbs before passing a law
requiring their use? Fortunately, I bought a supply of “lifetime”
incandescent bulbs in preparation for the green changeover.
There are bigger
problems in the world than light bulbs. Here’s something that’s been
bothering me since July 22, when Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu appeared on Sunday morning talking-head shows to inform
the American public that Israel is preparing to go to war with Iran.
But I didn’t see seen any major news stories about this; the big
issue of last week was some big-city mayors like Tom Menino wanting
to ban fast-food chicken companies whose owners oppose gay marriage.
It took Mitt Romney
visiting Israel to call attention to the possibility of another war
Nothing I can do about
that, so am enjoying the summer Olympics from London, wasn’t that a
fabulous Opening Ceremony? Loved the history of England thing,
though it seemed a tad grim about the Industrial Revolution.
According to the book I am currently reading, “The
Road to Freedom” by Arthur Brooks, industrialization dragged
those countries that participated out of desperate poverty into a
higher “income, standard of living, health, literacy — every
measurable aspect of well-being.”
London did a happier
job of celebrating the British cultural revolution. What fun to see
the queen jumping out of the helicopter with James Bond! However, it
bothered me that the ending felt like overkill: Lighting the torch
was enough lighting drama, did they need fireworks, too? Almost
seemed a grand finale, never to be topped at any future Olympics.
Well, it’s August, time
to enjoy the extraordinary Olympic athletic achievements, while
enjoying more reading and ice cream from Coffey’s in downtown