Monday, May 30, 2011

Misc. Stuff

I really enjoy the Science Fiction channel but their programming manager needs a huge dope slap. Why? The other night they had on a made for TV disaster movie about two monster storms converging on Chicago with a series of E-6 tornadoes devastating the city. Prior to this focal point of the movie was a series of similar tornadoes devastating the Midwest. This movie was presented a few days after Joplin. As the movie was playing 15 more were killed in the Midwest in the exact area where one of the TV monster storms had a path of destruction. I guess the programmers didn’t get their prescription for sensitivity pills refilled.

Gale Sayres was a marvelous professional football player. The “Kansas Comet” was flat out the most evasive running back I have ever seen until Deval Patrick started to swerve over the whole Sal DiMasi mess. The governor seems to be telling just enough in hope of keeping the hounds at bay.

Once again Barney Frank has showed there are two sets of rules - his and those for everyone else. His justification for putting the push on to get a former lover a gig in Washington is the old “Everyone does it.” This shameless hack would be skewered if he was a white heterosexual Republican.

I am mystified by the amount of attention given reality “stars” and the money that is tossed towards them for making fools of themselves. Heck….I do that on my blog and get nada.

How long will it take of old behaviors to surface at the MG&E? I have no illusions that all will be transparent, pristine and proper now that a public caning has taken place. They will eventually push the threshold a bit to see if a migration back to business as usual will take place. I’d be vigilant regarding contract negations, travel adventures and cost comparisons to other publics.

The Middleborough Historical Association will have one of their premier gatherings at the Fireside on June 7th at 6PM. This encompasses a short business meeting to be followed by a dinner and a guest speaker William Martin. The dinner is $28 per person and you do not have to be a member to attend. If you wish trot through the portal around 7:45 to catch Mr. Martin please do so. All are invited as you don’t have to be a MHA member to attend.

The Red Sox may have many of us paying a visit to the Crow Mart for a large helping of bird. Several early season failures have come out of their stupor to suddenly make the early season 2-10 start a very bad memory.

Borders bookstore is just about to become toast. Borders and its evil twin Barnes & Nobles have all the charm of roaming down the aisles at a big box store which is exactly what they are. Some have tossed in a coffee/desert bar in an attempt to give the feel of those quaint bookstores that have still managed to survive in a selective niche. Like I really want a desert directly from SYSCO?

The real reality is that electronics will virtually kill off most bookstores and newspapers. I have even joined the Kindle revolution and will say it is not on par with a real book but close enough not to make it a deal breaker.

President WOW (Walk On Water) has suggested that Israel return to 1967 borders. I’m sure he would also be willing to have the United States return to 1848 borders. Israel will not compromise it’s security especially knowing that a fickle U.S. could potentially turn neutral if the oil faucet is turned off.

Jerry Stiller and the Capital One commercials are enough to make me stuff money under the mattress.

With the warm weather comes the bugs and the weeds of which I hate both.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Had an enjoyable trip to Baltimore and to Washington, D.C. (AKA - The scene of the crime). Baltimore is unique in that it contains historical importance in three important periods of American history - The Revolutionary War, The War Of 1812 and the Civil War. In fact the first casualties of the Civil War happens in Baltimore as a regiment of soldiers from Massachusetts were changing trains to Washington and a riot by southern sympathizers broke out and four soldiers and twelve civilians were killed.

In Baltimore it is easy and cheap to get around. Light rail from the airport is $1.60 and uses the honor system - try that in Boston. Downtown the Charm City Circulator is a bus line with three routes covering much of the city and is free. The Metro bus system and subway are also very reasonable.

If you wish to stay right at the inner harbor you will have to cough up some serious dead white guys but if you choose to wander a bit away bargains can be found. We stayed five blocks from the inner harbor and three from Camden Yards for $79 a night at the Radisson Lord Baltimore. A Travelzoo bargain.

To get to Washington you can either get elected, become a MG&E Commissioner or take the MARC train and that is also cheap (AKA - inexpensive) at under $4. That takes you right into Union Station and access to the Metro system which is also about $2 a ride depending upon time of day.

Unlike some well know local politicians some of us actually hunt out a bargain for a hotel and that is what I did. Check outside the city for the Crystal City, Pentagon and Roslyn area. Make sure a Metro station is nearby and there is also places to eat besides a pricey hotel unless, of course, you have a MG&E expense account. We managed to stay at a Doubletree for under $90 a night including taxes. Transport to the Smithsonian and Mall area was about ten minutes on the Metro.

Washington is really a bargain paradise as almost everything is free thanks to our tax dollars. The monuments are impressive and provide one with substantial walking exercise. The museums have something for everyone so I managed to get trapped in displays of Flemish art from the 18th century among other things. The city was crawling with kids on school trips and that managed to conjure up thoughts of exactly why I retired. Nothing like watching the harried teachers and chaperones ushering their flock around and attempting to round up strays. Been there and done that.

Whenever we go to the area my wife - The Lovely Cynthia - “encourages” a trip to Mt. Vernon. This time I did not object since a new museum had opened and I was interested in seeing it. Spectacular but I also had to do the tour of the mansion which IMHO is just not that impressive. If you are a first timer or have kids I’d suggest the boat cruise down and back otherwise the Metro and bus lines will get you there.

George Washington was an amazing person and set the tone for the presidency and is on the top of my list with Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan. I was also “encouraged” on our blister inducing monument death march to go to the fairly new FDR Memorial. FDR is way down on my list of presidents but a very impressive job was done on his digs. We also avoided the White House tour - been there and done that many times and a long wait for the Washington Monument another been there for both of us.

Now back to one of my favorite travel sites and that is Travelzoo. TZ is great for hotel bargains and I have used it many times and they break it down by city. Most of the time it connects directly to the hotel web site but with a special promo code so you can get the deal. As with anything check out other sites and the hotel site for any promotions that may match or exceed that. I’ve actually never found one. Also go to Trip Advisor for hotel rating by customers. Great site. My only real knock is that too often some real specials are bait and switch since the site that has the deal may not really offer it. They connect a lot to Cheap Caribbean and that happens with that site frequently.

An excellent site for airfares is Airfare Watch Dog. This site has many unadvertised promotions and specials that usually are only delivered if you sign up on an airline web site. They break down the restrictions but also usually connect you to another site. Anyways, most sites air fare prices will be similar but double check with the specific airline for promotions.

When I run or waddle with BB much of our conversation centers around entitlements as you can tell if you waste your time reading his column or blog. BB pretends he is a liberal but he is Tea Party fiscal conservative on the financial aspects of pensions, benefits and salaries of public employees . Then toss in the usual budget busters of Medicare and Social Security. I was thinking of Bumpkin when I read an article about Stanley Thornton who collects a disability check since he suffers from infantilism.

Now Stanley at 350 pounds wears a diaper, has a crib and wears clothes suitable for a baby. Yet Stanley does drive a car, does not display this behavior in public, built the crib himself, has held jobs in the past and uses a computer to take out his ire over a politician - A Republican naturally - who questions why this character receives a disability check?

Stanley is symptomatic of what has eroded the SS system for decades. In education I use to get two or three forms a year to fill out so that a child could get what we called “funny money” over a disability of which the most prominent was ADD/ADHD. Getting that diagnosis is rather simple if you know the right physician to go to. So you end up with millions with serious issues and millions more running a scam and no way out. Just look at the legal humps that advertise about representing you in a disability issue with SS.

The great example of government handouts was a character in Michigan that won 2 million on the lottery and bragged about still collecting food stamps.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn has displayed the manners of a male member of the Kennedy clan. Strauss-Kahn is the one who is now the former director of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) who is in lock-up in NYC thanks to a rape charge regarding a hotel maid.

Now Strauss-Kahn has just been charged and has not been tried. My feeling is they’ll hammer the maid’s background or simply buy her off. Strauss-Kahn was also on the fast track to become President of France. What is even more amusing to me is that this diehard socialist who is so “for the people” thinks nothing of having it mandatory in his arrangements with the IMF to go first class with everything. Now other women are also coming forward to make similar pronouncements of sexual exploitation. Maybe Strauss-Kahn can take up residency in California and become governor?

The Red Sox have climbed out of the cellar and have briefly been in first place. The AL East is a very balanced division and a huge turn around from top to bottom of bottom to top can happen with a bad or good week.

A new book has portrayed Sarah Palin as cold and calculating. Nice to see the female pols acting like their male counterparts. Next thing you know will come the earth shaking pronouncement that some on Wall Street are “Cold and calculating.”

Monday, May 16, 2011

FEMA Grant/Patches Kennedy/Barney Frank/Other Stuff

The Sting was a great movie about running a con game and in my opinion that is how grants operate. The idea with a con is to make the mark (not BB) think they are winning and with a grant you target a need and have a nice front end load (money) but the back end load is what kills you and that back end is it will become your responsibility for future funding.

Middleboro has a dire need for full or as close as your can get to it for fire services and a FEMA grant is available. No doubt about the need as that is a slam dunk. Now we’ll read all about numerical magic that may show just how the future funding will magically appear since the feds always have strings attached and in this case the strings are cut in two years. So what happens down the road? More layoffs of the newly hired? Reduced station hours - again? To quote Cuba Gooding: “Show me the money!”

What and where are potential sources of revenue? State just may open the door a bit with a little chip away at collective bargaining allowing some health care savings. The G&E will be shoveling some more PILOT money into the dismal coffers of our quaint community. Maybe negotiations with the myriad of town unions will get some needed cash flow? But extra cash means a feeding frenzy as everyone lines up for their collective share of the pie. This is an example of where government on all levels needs to be up front about anything and everything - you do it show where the money will be coming from.

I’ve loved to rake “Patches” Kennedy over the coals since I have always considered him the ultimate political lightweight living off of family name and connections. His issues with depression and addiction are well documented especially the more public displays that were a family and personal embarrassment but when you read his comments on his situation it really strikes an emotional cord. The guy is battling and will all his life. His exit from politics seemed to be a big plus for him and he has eloquently expressed that.

Occasionally I do actually agree with the Congressional king of spittle Barney Frank. Barney was yapping away about Republicans and their amnesia regarding putting some moderate clamps or road blocks in place for oil speculators. Speculators actually comprise most of the market and they do not drill, work on a platform, explore or anything else except display a casino mentality regarding oil futures. This has resulted in price escalation even when a glut of gasoline and oil appear. Even when consumption figures decrease. They do nothing but push paper around and take a financial risk with the end result being sky rocketing prices based on perceived down the road market conditions. When a shot is called wrong they can lose millions and even billions but even when wrong we still pay high prices thanks to an inflated commodity.

OBL is reported to have had quite a stash of porn. I wondered where all my stuff went.

OBL also had three wives. A Muslim custom is multiple wives and we do the same only consecutively.

Another Muslim was arrested for interfering with a flight by yelling “God is great” and attempting to get into the cockpit. Naturally one of the excuses of his legal hump is he was trying to get into the bathroom. I often yell “God is great” when my prostrate cooperates.

Now up at the plate is a potential tax on candy and soda under the guise of obesity. Yeah - like any of us really believe it is motivated by concern and not revenue.

I wonder if they will also tax diet drinks? Probably.

Will the nutrition nannies also target processed foods? Loaded with salt and just look at those ingredients.

I look at some of the visible physical conditions of supporters of revenue enhancement on soda and candy and wonder why they don’t practice what they preach?

There is also a proposal to now tax plastic bags at the supermarket with the stash being divided among the store and the revenue enhancers.

As I got older I noticed I sometimes forget where I’ve parked my car at the super market. What is especially alarming is when I have walked to the market.

And on the super market trail Stop & Shop is finally moving out. I really am not particularly fond of S&S and have often wondered why the Middleboro store has managed to survive since it always seems like a sparse number of customers when I do stop by.

I can’t imagine any pet messier than a parrot although my wife - The Lovely Cynthia - claims husbands could be considered their equal.

The local Dairy Queen has had some nice coupons. Many buy one get one free items.

Dustin Pedroia has been chasing out of the strike zone fastballs the way Charlie Sheen chases skirts only Charlie has had more success.

BB finally “educated” me on the value of a Kindle. I do prefer a book but not by enough to make it a deal breaker. I have loaded in about fifty books and almost all were free. Already paid for itself.

I have observed and participated in MCAS for about fifteen years and have come to the conclusion that teaching to the test has dramatically increased test scores but has dramatically reduced ingenuity, spontaneity and creativity in the classroom. Just an opinion.

Cameras to catch traffic violators is technology for diligent law enforcement or revenue enhancement? Just another way to legally be a pickpocket.

A nice grant for firefighters but the downside is what do you do when it runs out?

I am amazed that the most expensive of hotels charge - and a high price - for using wireless. $15 a day is not unusual. Yet a coffee house around the corner or a Motel 6 will have it free.

Another nickel and dime pathetic fee from high end resorts is a “resort fee” which is just another scam to help the bottom line.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Public Execution Of MG&E

I will say that the MG&E management and Commissioners did display a modicum of survival skills the other night when faced with an onslaught of pointed questions. Chief inquisitor, Lincoln Andrews, had them - to use a boxing term - on the ropes especially “The Traveling Man” Don Triner. If this was a boxing match the referee would have quickly brought it to a halt and declared the collection from the MG&E victims of a TKO. “Consultants” and all.

Mr. Andrews showed he is capable of roasting a lot more than the editor of the Gazette and he continued a verbal execution that was all based on the MG&E putting on a display that was a mile wide and an inch deep. The tap dancing that took place by the MG&E collection that would have made BoJangles Robinson proud except the end result was what would expect when one side has the high ground, facts and a pile of angry ratepayers - to use another famed boxing term - No Mas. Capitulation. MG&E in full retreat. Cute graphics, double-speak and pricey consultants didn’t quite cut it.

What eventually came down was a moratorium on travel, more rate reductions and an increase in PILOT as the MG&E was in high profile damage control. IMO this will only increase the blood lust as the operations and especially contracts will face even more detailed scrutiny by those who have this apparently bloated “Public Municipal” firmly in their target zone. I’m sure the inner sanctum at the MG&E is hopeful that just maybe all those concessions will get the hounds off the scent for a bit but I suspect they’ll be more questions raised and more and more.

Now Commissioner Joseph Ranahan and a local resident, Brian Giovanoni, mentioned that any increase in PILOT is tantamount to a tax increase. Even Sandra Richter - the 110K spokesperson for MG&E - put the kibosh on that train of reasoning. This will just be a bit more out of their stated 4% profit. What was shocking was that one - Mr. Ranahan - actually takes up space on the Commission and didn’t comprehend this. Maybe Mr. Ranahan can answer why - on his watch - Braintree has about 35% more in revenues than Middleboro and pays a PILOT of 1.5M to Middleboro’s $400,000 while keeping rates 2.7 cents lower than the MG&E? How about a little less travel and a bit more diligence in what we placed our trust in - that the commissioners would protect our investment.

What is clear is that the excessive travel produced little of value to the rate payers and a nice plum “bonus” or sorts to elected officials. Mr. Triner can always return to the DPS (Dreaded Private Sector) and once again get the luxury he apparently craves.

But the MG&E can proudly state “We’re #1!” in the all important category of executive pay for a municipal as headmaster Granahan pulls in top dollar and not far behind is the rest of the illustrious management team that ranks either in the middle or very high depending upon how one wishes to include/exclude personnel in municipal comparisons. As Disraeli once said about three kinds of lies: “Lies….damn lies…and statistics.” Depends on what they wish to include and how they wish to interpret or frame it. So far it’s not flying since the third rate dips**ts that comprise Bub Town fully realize a pile of horse droppings when they hear it. All the consultants in the world could not rescue Humpty Dumpty Granahan. Say, how about that 7M?

Next is those gas rates and the bottom line is their bottom line will soon be a bit less since this is a collective “Gocha” and that will also see a decrease. I’m sure they were just ready to announce that even without a public outcry - yeah, right.

Of course the promise of further rate reductions (bribes) is on the agenda as they make an ill fated attempt at damage control. Seemed local Rich Young didn’t really buy into the all of a sudden generous mode of the MG&E. My, Rich, you are such a skeptic! You actually think they would have some concern over lowering a rate that could/should have been lowered so that some may have actually afforded to occasionally pay their bills during a harsh winter? And, yes, what better time to have a reduction than in the warmer weather.

Now - to follow up on Rich Young - how about a rebate? Seems the locals have been paying a wee bit more than we should have and probably for years. Maybe that 7M could be 5M?

However all this public scrutiny has had a very positive impact as the MG&E will now come to their collective senses (I hope) and actually work for the owners and the Commissioners will actually be somewhat independent and oversee rather than be a compliant partner. Gee…why did it take a new guy - Mike Solimni - to get the webs of amnesia wiped away?

Saturday, May 7, 2011


The following PR is brought to you by the Middleborough Historical Association.

2011 marks the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War.  One aspect of the war, which is not often brought to light, is the volunteer work of women on the home front.  In 1861, just months after the war began, the U.S. Sanitation Commission was created to coordinate the efforts of women who wanted to contribute to the war effort of the Union States during the Civil War.  The women raised money, collected donations, worked as nurses, ran kitchens in army camps, made uniforms, and administered hospital ships and soldiers’ homes.

Join us on Saturday, May 14, to learn more about the women’s volunteer efforts when the women of R.I. Battery B  Civil War re-enactors  present a dramatization of the Providence Ladies Relief Society tea meeting of 1863, to collect donations for the war effort.  This is a return visit of the popular event held thirteen years ago at the  M.H.A. museum.

Tickets are needed to attend the tea meeting dramatization (complete with tea and cookies and of course you may bring your own special tea cup) to be held in the Carriage House at 11 a.m. and again at 2 p.m.  Since their is limited seating, it is advisable to order your tickets ahead by calling 508-947-3394. Tickets are $5 for M.H.A. members and $7 for non members. Please indicate which seating you plan to attend.  Tickets will also be available at the museum grounds on the day of the event.

I am never really one to feed into the collective angst of the various environmental factions - especially the more radical renegades of the ilk - over the aspect of oil/gas exploration specifically domestic exploration and development. With the ongoing “crisis” over fuel expenses the primary concern should be one of the economic viability of Jane and Joe public being fiscally solvent and that is where the President can step in. Time to lease out some off shore oil contracts and open up other areas that have been closed to drilling and risk the occasional and what appears to be rather isolated incidents like that of The Gulf. The Executive Branch could also require that not one drop of oil taken from our lands leave this country.

Would be nice to see a reward - a very dynamic reward - offered for the individual, company or conglomerate that could come up with a viable alternative to our dependency. In the next ten or so years crucial decisions will have to be formulated on both current policy, alternatives and long range policy and an enticement is always a great motivator. Might even have to do it as a Manhattan Project for energy.

Meanwhile it will only get worse with a roller coaster ride based on speculation, international crisis - teal or perceived- and consumption especially from the Asian markets. Every two steps forward in a price rise will only lead to one step back. Prices will climb and economic growth will be muted.

I was rather confused - a real easy task as you can imagine - over the recent water restrictions in Middleboro. According to what I scanned you cannot wash you car. Now what about someone like myself who has a special protection sealant on my car. I cannot take it to the car wash since the brushes provide potential damage. The sealant allows be to avoid waxing and all I have to do is hand wash, rinse it off by hosing it down and then dry it with a cotton cloth. Maybe this was a misprint in the paper or I am just reading it wrong?

The MG&E is an issue that just will not go away.

Hack holidays of Bunker Hill Day and Evacuation Day have survived a House vote. This was an issue our local “Team” of representatives voted against.

The kiss and hugs crowd is showing incredible distain for the collective bad manners displayed spontaneously by Americans (and others) for celebrating the death of OBL. Saw another talking head on TV today wringing her hands over our thirst for vengeance. I consider it rejoicing over justice finally being achieved.

Charm pricing is the idea of advertising something for $8.99 rather than $9. Some of this is the result of language since in English we read left to right and what sticks in our mind is the first number.

Another thing to generally ignore is volume purchasing at the super market. The buy five for $5 since in virtually all cases - unless advertised - you will get the same $1 price buying just one.

Virtually everything is negotiable on large ticket items especially furniture. Just ask for a lower price especially if you are spending a bundle. Many times furniture is a 3X item meaning it is boosted three times over cost.

When I get my car serviced with an estimated cost that goes into three figures I routinely ask for a 10-15% discount and have never been refused. This is especially true at shops such as Midas who will negotiate off their estimate. Just ask especially since this is a highly competitive market.

Clothing is an item that is also marked up substantially especially at a boutique store. Margins are usually in the 60% range which means that $100 dress (I take an 8 and BB a 14) has a profit of $60 and a cost of $40. A few years ago my wife - The Lovely and svelte Cynthia - was faced with a dilemma over purchasing four dresses with a budget that said three. I spoke to the clerk and said “We’ll write a check right now for the three most expense dresses if you toss in the fourth one gratis.” Sale was quickly consummated.

Electronics use to have a similar margin to clothing but that has changed dramatically in the last five or so years. You can still get a 15-20% markdown but it may take a real effort.

A great way to negotiate is if you know someone in the same purchasing situation as you are. If you and a friend are in the market for a similar plasma TV or car then negotiations will be eased and discounts greater.

What the internet has done is to make comparison shopping and true cost readily available with a bit of research - and it is not isolated to the big ticket items like cars.

I’ve started to watch the School Committee meetings on channel 20 and am getting the impression that many of the usual suspects have already bailed or are in the process of bailing out. I also get the distinct impression that the previous superintendent was not exactly a top of the line leader.

The Red Sox are not the worse team in baseball and talent wise may just be the best but they are a total disappointment at this point. The old “Fire in the belly” seems to be totally absent from this group and the performances are lethargic with what appears to be a “Let the other guy do it” attitude. Maybe it was too much money?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Roasting Jane/Political Stuff

I was required to attend a roast of Jane Lopes by my wife - The Lovely Cynthia - which was in retrospect a good decision. No doubt watching the Red Sox performance would have resulted in excessive damage to a plasma TV. Anyways, I was dressed and perfumed by Cynthia for public presentation. I knew this must be a huge event since Cynthia was actually going to be seen in public with me. Thankfully she did not Duc Tape me.

I had no clue as who this Lopes person was other than it was something to do with a newspaper as I heard some casual bar talk about “Hack writer” and “Hatchet Queen.” Cynthia did point her out and she appears to be a reasonably well kept older woman wearing the pant suit version of a Bill Belichick outfit. Just think Botox.

One thing I noticed is that many of the roasters backed out at the last moment so that is usually a clue that no one really gives a you know what. Looking around the hall was obviously “papered” (giving away tickets) to at least give the imagine of a semi full house. I guess at these roasts your “friends” usually show up so I can sympathize about having no friends.

The highlight of the evening was Lincoln Andrews - who obviously had many years of pent up rage and anger stored up and was given the golden opportunity to skewer Ms. Lopes. Was he feigning his ire? I think not. He - like the rest - had a score of scores to settle. Now Mr. Andrews managed to combine the worse antics of Don Rickles weaved into his own unique presentation. I mean he was good! So good that the roastee - despite excessive wine consumption - was actually attempting some form of crude heckling to counter the onslaught. This only encouraged Mr. Andrews who had a wealth of one liners…two liners and ten liners to offer up along with the highlight of Ms. Lopes entire career - a faux house of ill repute that she attempted to save from the developers axe. Say, Jane, how did that work out?

The entire affair did raise some significant coin for the Parks Department and Jane probably has a enemies list comprised or has just grabbed a local phone book and will start with “A.”

Thank you, Jane, for actually making me want to wait for the mail truck to arrive on Thursday afternoon. You know my addiction to weekly locals and as one who travels considerably I always grab them. When I say the Gazette is top notch I mean it is superb. That begins at the top. Just your community resume alone made you an ideal choice for this “honor.” And the reality is it was an honor based on respect, love and your giving back to Middleborough.

Oh….The Gazette is still only fifty cents and when Jane eventually gets her pension she will realize why.

All of a sudden the Massachusetts House has turned into a group of Republicans. In an overwhelming vote they decided to limit collective bargaining and thus gave cities and towns a potential break on the exasperating issue of health care. The whine from the unions just cranks me up as they promise to “punish” those 111 who voted in favor of this long due legislation. The unions just don’t get it. They could see for years this fiscal tsunami heading their way and did little expecting the long illustrious history of union toadyism on the part of the long entrenched Democrats would offer protection from this state becoming another Wisconsin and Ohio. Surprise!

The real fact is just looking at the G&E contracts and carrying over similar structure to city, town and state governments demonstrates clearly why the general DPS (Dreaded Private Sector) worker bees have zero sympathy. How often do you see the term “Suspended with pay” when a public employee is caught in some type of personal or professional quagmire? Doesn’t happen the DPS.

The legislature also managed to actually address an issue that has been ignore for decades and that is public assistance - fancy PC term for welfare - fraud, abuse and so on. No longer can our tax dollars be used for the ever important lottery tickets, booze and tobacco. Fines will also be levied on those businesses which participate in the broad range of scams. My only concern would be level of enforcement. Don’t expect much with that.

Alan Khazel - love child of the anti gaming crowd - has offered up his body Aztec style to face Scott Brown. Khazel has an interesting and varied political background with a good portion of his carcass resting and firmly planted on the left side of the political spectrum. I give Trump a better chance.