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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

No more excuses

C'mon, admit it. Is there any excuse for losing a body? Or botching the tests of DNA samples? Or not telling the truth about the real cost of things?

Have the lies surround Iraq, weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein's culpability over 9-11 hardened us so much that we now tolerate things out of a sense of frustration.

Yet, the excuses keep mounting. Consider this defense of suspended Medical Examiner Mark Flomenbaum:
"My impression of what's going on is that Flomenbaum is perceived by the current administration as a liability to them, and they're either posturing to say, 'We've gotten the bad apple out,' or they are making irrational decisions," said William Schneiderman , a former director of emergency medical services for the Boston metropolitan region, who does not know Flomenbaum.
Or read between the lines of this remark from a long-time spokesman for state transportation projects, explaining why the estimated cost of the Big Dig is rising -- again:
"As we've worked with the administration to update the project's costs, the Turnpike [Authority] has been fully forthcoming," authority spokesman Jon Carlisle said in a statement.
In a nation whose national leaders reward lies and incompetence with medals -- and fling slurs at those who disagree with them -- we focus on Paris Hilton and Anna Nicole Smith rather than the sad truth that we have lived with "leaders" who promised pie in the sky and delivered pie in the face.

In Massachusetts, we are seeing the fruits of 16 years of Republican cronyism within a system that has outlived its usefulness. Once, the independent authorities -- such as those that run the turnpike and port authority -- were successfully shielded from politics because board members served staggered terms and weren't beholden to any one person.

But the failure of that system is evident in the stench that emanates from the Big Dig -- and the Weld, Cellucci, Swift and Romney chums who overran budgets and under monitored quality. Or in the incompetence of the public safety system whose leaders could have done better by installing Quincy in the medical examiner's office and Gil Grissom in the crime lab.

Deval Patrick's efforts to take responsibility -- and accountability -- for those agencies is running up against the natural tension between the executive and legislative branches. The ability of lawmakers to reward friends and influence policy is just too great to resist -- especially after Democrats were shut out of running the state for 16 years.

It may or may not be too early to declare Flomenbaum a failure. But Patrick deserves credit for taking on the issue in contrast to the overwhelming disinterest of his predecessor -- who now runs around the country claiming he was a great executive who stood up to lawmakers.

It also lends a strong argument to his campaign take control -- and ultimate responsibility -- for what happens in state government.

The buck needs to stop somewhere.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why am I not surprised that Outraged Liberal neglected to add ""The sad thing is that we stand to lose someone who came to the office passionate about what he does and with impeccable credentials," he said." to his comments. I imagine doing so would have buffered his goal of creating sensationalism.

May 06, 2007 8:42 AM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Sorry but the medical examiner's office does a great job of creating sensationalism on its own.

If you feel that strongly about Flomenbaum's passion and credentials, how about answer my initial question -- can you actually come up with a valid excuse to lose a body?

May 06, 2007 9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does the mindet of a liberal not surprise me? I guess one can extrapolate your thinking to suggest that upon the loss of life of each member of the military that the Democratic President should be removed? If not, why not,? that occurred under his watch.

May 06, 2007 12:39 PM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Still haven't answered the question. Just like a conservative to dodge things they don't like to answer.(hey if you want to stereotype, so can I!)

Perhaps you failed to notice I took the classic liberal wishy-washy dodge of saying I haven't made my mind up about Flomenbaum's culpability in failing to turn around an institution that was neglected and allowed to wither for many more years than he was around.

So when it is appropriate to lose a body?

May 06, 2007 1:22 PM  

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