slides: 13 Best MINDSETTER Columns of 2013
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
From the political musings of former Massachusetts Speaker of the House Tom Finneran, or conservative talk radio personality Michael Graham; to the educational insights of Worcester School Committee member John Monfredo, our expert opinion columns provide insight into some of the most important topics facing our state and nation.
From the politics of gay marriage to the educational issues surrounding common core standards, here are the 13 Best MINDSETTER™ Columns of 2013:
Related Slideshow: 13 Best MINDSETTER™ Columns of 2013
By Tom Finneran
The Brothers Tsarnaev set off more than the two bombs they are alleged to have planted at the Boston Marathon a few weeks ago. In fact, it appears that they have also detonated a political bomb that will tumble candidates and shape debates through the next presidential election cycle.
By John Monfredo
Statistics show that students with more than 20 absences per year have less than a 1-in-5 chance of graduating. By ninth grade, school attendance is a better predictor of graduation than eighth-grade test scores, according a study by the University of Chicago.
By Grace Ross
One cannot help but be impressed by the things the Governor got right in his State of the State address this year nor avoid being disappointed by the things he seems to still misrepresent.
As the very famous Republican, Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.”
By Arthur Christopher Schaper
With the 2013 US Senate primaries ended in Massachusetts, the residents of the Bay State have their choices to replace out-going (hardly outgoing) US Senator John Kerry: Gabriel Gomez of Cohasset, or Congressman Edward Markey of Medford, or is it Malden, or is it Maryland (Chevy Chase, to be precise, and this is no National Lampoon, either). Frankly, the first question Massachusetts residents ask has to do with his primary residence. In other words: "Where does Markey make his mark?" On the street, they would say: "Where do you stay, Markey?"
By Matthew Helman
Stephen Lynch has long been the most conservative member of Massachusetts’ Congressional delegation. As Lynch himself crassly put it, “Calling me the least liberal member from Massachusetts is like calling me the slowest Kenyan in the Boston Marathon.”
But, whether you agree with Lynch’s conservative politics or oppose them, at least we used to know where he stood. That is, until he entered the Democratic primary in the upcoming special election for U.S. Senate.
By Don Roach
Last week I had the opportunity to have meet Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker and hear him speak on a number of issues facing the state.
For full disclosure I had not heard of Charlie Baker prior to meeting him last week. I’m not a big Massachusetts political aficionado as my state political knowledge ends at the town limits of Burriville. Nonetheless, I did some homework before seeing Baker finding that he was known for four things, his time as part of the Weld administration, the Big Dig, turning around Harvard Pilgrim, and losing to a seemingly beatable Deval Patrick in 2010. Well, there’s one more thing and that is, among Republicans, Baker has been viewed as the ‘next big thing’ in Massachusetts for quite some time.
By Bill Randell
Over the past few months, I have gotten a lot of feedback.
- We need other destinations; for example, Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach, Florida Gulf Coast destinations and New York City.
- Tickets are lower out of Boston.
- Direct Air had better prices.
First, starting November 7, 2013 daily service begins to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale with JetBlue. If we can make these two routes successful, I am sure all of these other destinations will look into ORH.
By Paul Giorgio
Let’s get this straight, Scott Brown is delusional. He is nothing more than Sarah Palin in a suit. No, scratch that--Sarah Palin in a Barn Jacket is more apropos. His latest gambit in his attempt to be relevant is laughable. '
Last week former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown showed up in Iowa ostensibly to test the presidential waters. Then again, maybe he might have thought that the Marshfield Fair didn’t offer corn dogs as good as those at the Iowa State Fair.
By John Monfredo
According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (known as the Nation’s Report Card), data revealed that only about one-quarter of American students scored at or above proficient in their knowledge of United States History.
Student’s lack of basic civic knowledge should be a concern for everyone. Nationwide, the worst performance was by seniors in high school with 12% reaching proficiency. We all know that most of education reform has focused on closing the achievement gap in English Language Arts, Math and Science. However, we also need to look at the basic knowledge that our children are acquiring in knowing the concepts of American History.
By Rena Grasso
hree months past Newtown, we have yet to satisfy the national cry to “do something” about our epidemic gun violence. In the past, ghastly mass shootings have spurred efforts that have dead ended in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), flawed by loopholes, and a now defunct ban on semi-automatics.
Moreover, Americans are divided on what to do, except to strengthen NICS, with which 90% of Americans including 72% of NRA members, agree. These numbers will probably pressure Congress to improve the NCIS, despite NRA opposition.
By Tom Finneran
Of all the dumb statements that people make, the “jobs that Americans won’t do” statement takes the cake. Of course, I can’t say for sure that it’s entirely untrue. But if it is true, I quake for our country. Which brings me to my friend Ulysses. Ulysses is black. Ulysses is old—70 plus years. He grew up in North Carolina at a time when racial bias and hostility were much more pronounced and severe than today. Yet growing up, Ulysses and his friends, all black, regularly worked side by side with white kids from the same community.
By Arthur Christopher Schaper
Congressman James McGovern (or "McGovernment", as one GoLocal reader pithily commented), has opened up a new office in Worcester. An incumbent Massachusetts Democrat (yes, a deadening tautology, but bear with me), Rep. McGovern now has three offices in his 2nd Congressional District. My Congressman, Henry Waxman, only has two offices, yet his Congressional district spans the entire Santa Monica Bay, from the South Bay to the Valley.
By Michael Graham
t's a perfect political storm: President Obama's popularity is down, voters are angry over his unpopular health care law, and Republicans are energized and excited about voting. Just the conditions a minority party like the Massachusetts GOP needs to pick up a governorship and send a couple of Republicans to Congress.
Only one problem. I'm not writing about 2014. I'm writing about 2010. And while the Republican tide swept over nearly the entire country, it stopped dead at the border of Massachusetts.
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