Our Waitress in Bird in the Hnad

During my time in Lancaster PA last week I didn’t really have any time to go anywhere or do much of anything as I was constantly doing interviews (the last 11 of them are still uploading as I type this) except for dinner with DaWife in the evenings. On the day we drove back however we stopped at a farmers market in Bird in the Hand and at the famous Bird in the Hand Restaurant and Smorgasbord for breakfast.

Our waitress was enthralled by my stories of covering now President Trump during the campaign and I was enthralled by the place (the food is spectacular) , the people in it (her included) and Lancaster itself for one important reason.

It was so Normal.

I spoke to her about how, horse and buggies in the streets not withstanding, normal it was and how wonderful it was to be in a place that is normal surrounded by normal people acting in normal ways.

I’m 55 years old lifelong Massachusetts resident which means I’m old enough to remember when Massachusetts was normal, when being normal was considered a virtue and stating basic truths was not a crime that could get you fired from a job or the subject of a lawsuit. It was hard to explain just how abnormal things have become here but last week the Massachusetts legislature did it’s best to illustrate the point for me.

It seems that in the grand tradition of passing last minute legislation to keep the public from seeing what they are doing the Massachusetts House was trying to quietly pass a piece of legislation that the Senate President had easily passed in the upper chamber by a vote of 36-1 adding a third gender “gender X” to Massachusetts Drivers licences.

 

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Karen Spilka, who said the proposal recognizes the rights of transgender individuals.

“Everyone should be free to live their lives in the way they feel most comfortable,” the Ashland Democrat said. “For those who do not fit neatly into the traditional categories of ‘male’ or ‘female,’ a nonbinary option is a simple way to ensure their ID matches their true lived gender identity.”

Democratic Senate President Harriette Chandler called the measure “a common sense policy for modern-day Massachusetts.”

Spilka, who is in line to replace Chandler as the new Senate president next month, said she decided to file the bill after hearing from a constituent urging her to push for the change.

 

Strange how if it’s such common sense nobody seemed to notice all these other genders until just a few years ago.

Given that pretending there are more than two genders is a sine non qua these days to be a democrat leader in Massachusetts, not to mention nationwide, it was no surprise that Spika, the Senate President in waiting who might want national office, would push this bill in the Senate. With the Democrat super-majority in the house and a GOP governor desperate to prove that’s he’s just as woke as the next guy (if you’re allowed to say “guy”) was a mere formality and Ms. Spilka would have a liberal badge of honor to help her to a national position in the party if she wanted it.

So the house leadership on the very last day of the session while I was in PA brought up the bill hoping to pass it quickly and quietly in the bustle of last minute business.

Then came GOP House member Jim Lyons who has a history of shining the light of reality in the chamber:

 

Jim Lyons is often described as an arch-conservative. After all, he is the rep who a few years back forced the state to admit that it annually doled out $1.8 billion in welfare payments to illegal immigrants. The Democrats have never forgiven him for that.

 

Lyons of course didn’t have to power to defeat the bill but he DID have the power to offer amendments and so he decided to use that power. Gender X? Aren’t there 73 genders according to facebook? Why should only Gender “X” be recognized?

I’ll let Howie Carr pick up the story from here:

Lyons began filing his affirmative-action amendments. Number 6 added as a gender “cis.” Amendment 9 — cis female, 13 — cis woman, 14 — cisgender female, 18 — cisgender woman …

By now, on the floor of the House, puzzled Democrats were coming up to Lyons, asking him what he was doing.

We can’t discriminate, he archly informed them. This is Massachusetts. Gender is an evolving paradigm, to coin a phrase. All genders must be protected. Equal protection under the law.

Amendment 21 — gender fluid, 22 gender non-conforming, 23 gender questioning, 25 gender variant, 26 genderqueer …

In all, 73 genders, 73 amendments to Spilka’s bill.

Under House rules, Lyons would have 10 minutes to debate each gender he proposed to add to the driver’s license. And then three minutes for a roll call vote, 73 times.

by the time Amendment 35 was filed the house decided that actual business of the state had to take precedence over virtue signaling so at 10:45 PM last Tuesday, while I was getting by to my hotel room with DaWife in Pennsylvania, the bill was withdrawn and died with the end of the legislative session.

But the icing on the cake was his response to a reporter upset by his actions:

“Are you saying you want to leave some genders behind?”

The folks at Powerline are still worried

It’s a great story. But satire is hard these days. My fear is that Rep. James Lyons may unintentionally have given us a preview of drivers’ licenses of the future.

It’s a fair point, after all if Lyons hadn’t stood up this would not be the law of the state, but there is one important thing to consider

I think not and here’s why.

If this bill was a no cost bit of virtue signaling then the legislature would not have kept it for the last hours of the last day of the legislative session to bring it before the house. They would have passed it in the light of day with cameras rolling and commentators from CNN and MSNBC there to interview the noble legislative heroes who fought for the cause of gender x.

But the Democrats in the house know how many genders there really are and so do the votes back home and while in Boston and Cambridge et/al this might be an easy vote, for a democrat without leadership or national ambitions who has to actually face normal people and ask them for their vote being on record 73 times to enshrine 73 made up genders from gender non-conforming to intersex woman might not play as well with actual voters back home as it would at Netroots.

That’s the dirty little secret here, The Democrat leaders and members in the house and Senate know what normal is, just like the waitress at the Bird in the Hand does but those leaders don’t have to courage to say it aloud.

I can’t wait to go back to Pennsylvania and if you are a Massachusetts resident with young children who doesn’t want to deal with this anymore, I’d suggest it might be a much better place to raise a family.


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A few days ago when writing about Charlie Baker’s attempts to eliminate conservatives from the Massachusetts Republican Committee and noted that his mailer on the GOP state committee didn’t mention the special election for State Rep on the same day where the GOP has a chance to pick up a seat with a strong pro-life republican Dean Tran facing Planned Parenthood supported Steven Hay.

Tonight I got the following email

Hi Members and Friends,
 
I know that many of you do not go on facebook, so I am sharing this information on this message.
 
Governor Charlie Baker will be in Fitchburg at 2:00pm at Destare, 320 Main Street this coming Saturday, February 27 to spearhead a rally for Dean Tran for State Representative.  This is one of the Fitchburg events that Charlie will be involved in with Dean Tran.  They will tour Fitchburg, visit Dean’s campaign headquarters and go to Destare for an enthusiastic rally in support of Dean.
 
I will keep you posted as I hear additional information and changes in the event.
 
Hope to see many friends on Saturday!!

As you might guess I’m very pleased to see this and it suggests that moves in the state committee notwithstanding he is willing to spend political capital to try to elect Republicans statewide, even social conservatives, after all the Governor of a state is a defacto leader of all the members of his party no matter where in that party a member is.

It’s of course going to take more than one special election to remove the veto proof majority in either house of the Massachusetts General Court but one must begin at the beginning and if we see these trips repeated in November than Charlie Baker will have done more for conservatism in Massachusetts than any governor in the state for generations.

At the very least it suggest that while he might have supported Chris Christie for president he isn’t going to repeat his mistakes as governor.

In my coverage of the Fitchburg July 4th Parade I had the chance to interview Congresswoman Nikki Tsongas as she marched.

In addition to her answer on the Swatting letter (she knew nothing about it) there was some news made concerning Obamacare

DaTechGuy: The president’s healthcare plan has been upheld as constitutional will you be campaigning on support for that plan?

Congresswoman Tsongas: Absolutely, I’ve been a strong supporter for it from the outset. We need to provide adequate healthcare for the millions of Americans who do not have it and we need to work very hard at bringing down the cost so that we can all afford to buy the insurance we need.

In an election where the result is going to decide if Obamacare remains the law of the land, this position, and props to her for not equivocating on it, could make a big difference come November.

Just to remind you Scott Brown won Fitchburg with 58.9% of the vote vs Coakley’s 39.9%. That 19 POINTS out of 9461 votes cast.

If I’m Nikki Tsongas, I’d be spending an awful lot of time here over the next 4 months.

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I attended the Twin City Tea Party Christmas Party on Wednesday. Justin Brooks the outgoing president and candidate for State Rep was honored by the group:

Near the end of the party I talked to him about his candidacy:

Brooks has built a solid record as a Tea Party leader, it remains to e seen if that will translate into votes in Leominster against a popular incumbent but half the battle is being willing to fight it.

State Senator Jen Flanagan (D) and State Rep Kim Ferguson (R) spoke at the twin City Tea Party tonight at the Border Bar and Grille to talk about Redistricting.

They spoke mainly about the process and spoke a lot about the Federal requirements concerning majority minority districts.

They answered a fair amount of questions and I have plenty of video that I will update with as soon as they are uploaded.


Continue reading “State Senator Jen Flanagan and Rep Kim Ferguson at the Twin City Tea Party 11-28-11”

As Roxeanne pointed out yesterday Peter Durant won YET AGAIN in the Worcester 6th district this time by practically a landslide, 56 votes!

If I was a more cynical man I’d say this was the the deciding factor:

With observers from the U.S. Department of Justice in Southbridge looking to ensure the integrity of the ballot process…

Additionally people from the secretary of state’s office, Empower Massachusetts,and the Tea party were on hand to keep an eye on what was going on.

Democrats only had a single seat in play, as opposed to races that they were worried about up and down the ballot so a clean election isn’t expensive, but consider; even with two ringers independent candidates in the race Durant wins by 56 votes as opposed to 1.

Republican Peter J. Durant of Spencer last night ended state Rep. Geraldo Alicea’s tenure at two terms with an apparent 3,325-to-3,269 victory in a special election for the 6th Worcester District House seat.

Independent Peter J. Boria of Charlton placed a distant third with 1,275 votes, but finished second in his hometown. Independent Robert J. Cirba of Spencer had 71 votes.

I suspect the Telegram story concerning the Southbridge city clerk easily cost Alicea enough votes to lose, but if you really want to find the difference in this race it’s this figure:

6,587

That’s each candidate’s total vote in November.  That means that 5234 fewer votes were cast than last time around.

Now I suspect there was some funny business going on last fall, but I’m pretty sure that it didn’t amount to 39% of the total vote.

Even if we rashly assume that every one of the votes for the two ringers independent candidates would have gone to Durant that means that 1916 Durant voters didn’t show up and 3309 Alicea votes didn’t show up.

If you are a democrat unhappy with this result but didn’t vote yesterday, blame yourself.  If you are a Durant supporter who voted in November but stayed home yesterday all I have to say is, you’re damn lucky.

One of the questions that was asked at the time of the Democratic Revolt in Wisconsin was why are the left and the Unions going all in? After all Wisconsin is a traditionally blue state and if the Republicans went too far wouldn’t Democrats be swept back into power and easily roll back any “extreme” changes?

Today in the Boston Globe, the answer has been given:

House lawmakers voted overwhelmingly last night to strip police officers, teachers, and other municipal employees of most of their rights to bargain over health care, saying the change would save millions of dollars for financially strapped cities and towns.

The 111-to-42 vote followed tougher measures to broadly eliminate collective bargaining rights for public employees in Ohio, Wisconsin, and other states. But unlike those efforts, the push in Massachusetts was led by Democrats who have traditionally stood with labor to oppose any reduction in workers’ rights.

This is all the more amazing when you consider that there only 32 republicans vs 128 democrats. (In the Senate the spread is 36-4).

Last year the Democrats and the Unions were terrified by this election, they went all out, used every bit of muscle and political power they had to preserve their power. The public unions were out in force (by an odd coincidence schools in most towns were closed due to a “development day”. The Democrats managed to hold the red tide back They kept every statewide office and only lost about a dozen house seats (yes that 32 is after a big win for the GOP).

Yet less than six months later, the fiscal realities are coming home, and state legislators in Massachusetts seeing that the tactics of the left and the Unions in Wisconsin could not only stop Scott Walker but were not even powerful enough to win a Supreme Court Seat felt bold enough to make these changes. This unmasked the reality of the Union’s declining power, ineffective tactics and scant public support.

The question remains if these changes are enough or if they are cosmetic. (I can’t imagine the House taking such a vote without knowing the Senate would back them up) but there is no question that if the Unions are no longer strong enough to make Democrats in Massachusetts toe the line, their relevance in states any less blue is on the way out.

Update: Great minds think alike but the Captain gives the possibility that the bill would not pass.

You might recall the Worcester 6th race, the shenanigans we talked about concerning recounts, the judge ruling that a man who claimed his vote wasn’t counted could vote after the fact to tie the election, the Democratic legislature instead of having a new head to head election allowing independents to cut down on the GOP vote. Now the Worcester Telegram this morning report on the icing on the cake.

Town Clerk Madaline I. Daoust was in the process of selling her house to a key figure in the disputed 6th Worcester District election during the same time period she testified twice under oath that she did not know the man.

Run that through your head a second, the Southbridge Town Clerk, the person who makes sure elections are honest, testifies under oath, not once but twice. that she doesn’t know the man claiming to have been “disenfranchised” when she’s selling her house to him?

How do you get to such a point? Easy, you have an election where every state office is returned to the one party state. She is not afraid of the Attorney General, She is not afraid of the Secretary of State, she certainly isn’t afraid of the state Legislature. As the Telegram is a paper that leans left she likely didn’t fear them either. Lucky for us they are honest.

Corruption thrives when people are not afraid of the law or it being enforced. In Southbridge the Democratic machine is not afraid of the law, of the state and are certainly not afraid of the voters.

Now the question becomes what will the judge do? Will he throw out the previous ruling and declare Durant the winner? Will he cite the clerk and claim it’s too late to change things” 3 weeks before the re-election. My guess is the latter.

Who is to blame for this? It’s us, the Voters. The voters of Southbridge voted for their city government, the voters of the district for sending Alicea to the General court and the voters of Massachusetts sending the same tired crew back as Governor, Attorney General, and Sec of State year after year. We had our best chance to change things last time and we did not.

And it will be up to us the voters again. Until and unless we demand a change we won’t get one.

Or to put it another way, we always get the government we deserve. We will shortly find out what we deserve.

Update: A classic bit, The telegram asked Ms. Daoset why she didn’t tell the court that Mr. Miranda was buying her house her answer was: “They didn’t ask” saying you don’t volunteer information that’s court 101.

Now I’m Sicilian and maybe that is the answer I might expect to hear from people in certain family businesses, but if you are the City Clerk I would have thought that the court and the city would not have to pull answers out of you concerning clean elections.

Well it took a lot of lawyers, cracked and broken election boxes, and some interesting handling of ballots during a recount but the Democratic machine managed to get the result they were looking for:

A Worcester Superior Court judge is ordering a new election for a contested Massachusetts House seat after ruling the November contest ended in a tie.

The ruling by Justice Richard Tucker means Democratic incumbent Geraldo Alicea of Charlton will again face off against Republican challenger Peter Durant of Spencer.

An earlier recount of had placed Durant one vote ahead.

But Tucker ruled a single uncounted vote for Alicea should be included in the official tally, ending in a tie.

Of course the democratic legislature might just choose to steal the election outright:

Representative Michael T. Moran, a Boston Democrat who co-chairs the Legislature’s Election Laws Committee, said the judge’s ruling would now be reviewed by a special House committee of two Democrats and one Republican.

The committee will make a recommendation about next steps to House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, he said. “The strongest option is to have a reelection,’’ Moran said. “But you have to look at everything.’’

“It’s fair to say this is extremely, extremely rare, and it poses a whole set of different issues and problems,’’ Moran said.

Red Mass. Group:

The correct answer for Moran would have been, “we have asked the Secretary of State to schedule the election for as early a date as possible.” He did not say that. Leaving the door open to the seating of Alicea.

Speaker Deleo and the rest of the Legislature should know that we the people of Massachusetts will march on the State House if they pull this again. As recent events in the Middle East have shown 2011 is a whole lot different than 2000 or 2001. Through the internet we can easily organize demonstrations, and they will be held.

This is what happens when you have a one party state. Remember we have done this to ourselves.

Yesterday we had the video of the State Senate candidates, today we have the candidates for State rep for the 37th Middlesex District at the tea party candidate forum.

Jen Benson is the Democrat in her first term:

She made the case against term limits, and she pointed to the federal mandates in what we can and can’t do, it’s a fair point.

I know this next clip is kinda short but I had to break them up.

Next up is Kurt Hayes:

As the republican he had more in common with the crowd.

Hayes and Benson were both impressive, it is interesting to see that both argued against Term Limits (I say we have term limits, they are called elections and if we don’t take advantage of them it’s our own fault. As a native of NH Benson seemed a lot more conservative than the avg democrat and that has some appeal to this crowd.

As a bonus extra here is Scott Bove candidate for Sheriff of Worcester County, he only had 5 min:

His point about experience in the system is a very good one.

Overall this was a superior exchange to the first one. Benson was making the case that you need one term to get to speed but I don’t know if that’s the right take to make (true or no). Neither candidate hurt themselves and I personally think Benson helped herself more than Hayes simply by exposing voters who would normally vote against her to her positions

Update:
That was Kurt with a K. My bad there.