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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ax me no questions

Things are about as bad as they can get when you have to hold a press availability to talk about all the jobs that federal stimulus dollars have saved in Massachusetts -- right before you swing an ax to eliminate about 2,000 of them.

And that's probably why Deval Patrick is heading to Worcester to do the deed, hoping a press corps that has seen its own ranks thinned in recent years won't have the staff or resources to tag along.

Fat chance.

Patrick's Statehouse show to highlight how the state retained approximately 8,800 full-time jobs -- primarily teachers, police and firefighters -- is the spoonful of sugar to help make the sour medicine go down. Yes, it's bad out there, but just imagine how much worse it could have been.

We won't need to imagine much longer. The cuts to eliminate a new $600 million gap are likely to be deep and wide. -- could be in harm's way.

One area to keep a special lookout for is mental health and retardation services. Advocates have been keeping a vigil outside the offices of Patrick, Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray in fear of significant cuts.

Mental health advocates may have gotten a boost of support in the wake of this week's stabbing and shooting at Mass. General, which highlighted the broad issue in shocking but well-timed way for those deeply involved in the issue.

The depth and breadth of the Great Recession has been staggering. And it ain't over yet. It is about to get even uglier.

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