Skip to comments.Howie Carr thread, Week of Aug 17, 2008
Posted on 08/17/2008 5:13:15 AM PDT by raccoonradio
Howie thread beginning with his Sunday Herald column
Bedeviled by police details
By Howie Carr | Sunday, August 17, 2008 | http://www.bostonherald.com
Police details are a racket - a protection racket. Its cop welfare, period.
Its the ultimate symbol of waste, fraud and abuse in the public sector. Every time someone drives by another $40-an-hour detail cop staring into a hole on a dead-end street, its one more vote for Question 1 on the ballot to abolish the state income tax.
Gov. Deval Patrick knows this. Chances are, Question 1 is going to pass and the Legislature is going to be called back for a Christmas session to deliver a hearty bleep you! to the taxpayers. So when the solons reinstate the state income tax to keep the hackerama humming, Deval wants to be able to say, Hey, at least were doing something about paid details.
Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.
Plus, Deval needs something on his gubernatorial resume beyond gay marriage and changing the State House light bulbs. So now he can say he vetoed the cost-of-living increase for state retirees, and he took on paid details - but just on the state roads, 10 percent of the total, and only those highways with low speed limits.
In other words, this initiative is as meaningless as everything else Deval does. Still, the cop unions are going crazy, just like the NRA does whenever any gun-control legislation is introduced.
It used to be that there was sympathy for the cops argument that they needed more money. But that was before the Big Dig greedfest, before Boston cops arrested and handcuffed a then-Boston Edison foreman for trying to end a blackout in Roxbury without a paid detail on hand. That was before the local weekly newspapers began running annual lists of the best-paid municipal employees, at the top of which are invariably cops who were not the valedictorians of their high school classes.
Just to pick one Boston cop, totally at random: Thomas M. Menino Jr. The mayors son last year collected a base pay of $69,814, plus another $13,043 in details, $33,153 more in overtime, $16,562 for very important college degrees under the Quinn bill, $4,304 in retro pay, plus $650 in other pay.
Total annual take for Mumbles Jr.: $137,526.
I met a guy last year who owns a parking lot in downtown Worcester. Years ago, he said, cops were always asking him to park their cars at his lot, so they could carpool into Boston to attend law school, so that they could supplement their incomes and retirements.
You ever hear of a cop going to law school anymore? the guy said. Of course not. Why bother? They make too much. Yhey cant afford to take any time off, even if they wanted to.
I know,, its a public-safety issue. Forget that 49 other states dont need cop details, but ye olde commonwealth does. And we apparently dont need them at school crossings. Old ladies can handle that chore, even though its for the children.
Granted, some situations do require a police presence. And yes, detail cops do make the occasional arrest. Very occasional. Figure one high-profile crime stopped by detail cops every three months. A few weeks ago, it was that 400-pound lesbian from Fall River on the Expressway. If details cost $50 million a year, a real lowball figure, then lugging that Bristol County heifer was a $12.5 million pinch.
And if the cop bangs in sick to work a detail, his city or town then has to bring in another cop . . . on overtime. There is so much detail work now that its being farmed out to guys whove been retired for years, wannabe town auxiliary cops, even sheriffs deputies.
For sure, there are other ripoffs going on in the public sector. How about those wacky Boston firefighters, or the $39 million in fees that Beacon Hill lobbyists collected in the first half of 2008, or the Turnpikes swaptions?
The difference is, all of the above go on behind closed doors. Everybody sees the cops doing nothing. Which is why recent polls indicate such lopsided majorities want to put an end to it. But their elected officials are petrified. The cop unions threaten the municipal pols by saying, Were going to get our dough one way or the other. Do you want it assessed in your voters utility bills . . . or in their property taxes?
Back in 1995, the head of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers let the cat out of the bag. He said having cops on paid details reduces the probability of corruption.
Not possibility, but probability. In other words, we can let them rob us legally . . . or theyll rob us illegally. Some choice. Some state.
Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/opinion/columnists/view.bg?articleid=1113347
Mon & Tue show ping(s)
Col. Hunt saw the debate perf & now is no longer for Obama.
Is Howie promoting the Special Magic Radio enough today or what! Of course I have it...”Not AM. Not FM. XM.” (Soon
to be SiriusXM or XMSirius or something)
Ch 121, baby! Fox News!
Actually, I think it was after listening to Andrea "Alibi Ike" Mitchell on NBCBS that he changed his mind.
That said, after listening to the good Colonel, I think he got too close to a few too many shells during his service. I hate to say it, but whenever he fills in for Howie, I almost always close my Media Player and go to some music or stuff.
Wed column & show ping for Wed & Thu
Two Americas: One gets zilch and the other filches
By Howie Carr | Wednesday, August 20, 2008 | http://www.bostonherald.com
John Edwards was right: there are two Americas. Theyre just not the two he was talking about.
The two Americas are Public Sector America and the Dreaded Private Sector America.
In DPS America, its not the Great Depression, but things are not good. Workers are being laid off, bought out, cut back, outsourced and RIFed. Those who remain are getting hit with higher health-insurance premiums, discontinued retirement plans, a deflated stock market and ever-rising property taxes on plummeting property values.
But its still morning In Public Sector America. Let the good times roll. Nine percent pay hikes, free cars and gas, endless overtime, a three-day weekend every month, fake disability pensions, plus you get to steal everything thats not nailed down.
This isnt a democracy weve got in Massachusetts, its a kleptocracy.
Memo to the public-sector unions: forget $5 million to defeat Question 1. You may need $10 million to buy enough ads to keep the hackerama going in November. Either that, or instruct your members not to keep getting arrested at the rate of one a day.
Question: how do you tell a public employee in Massachusetts?
Answer: the red dye on his hands.
Its not just the daily rip-offs, its the size of the thefts. It used to be, whenever a T employee got caught stealing, the scandal was called Quartergate, because they were grabbing change. But this guy Gilberto Carrasquillo, the Ts hack du jour, was allegedly pocketing 10s and 20s at Kenmore Square. This $70,000-a-year parasite was so flush with dirty money that he could even leave behind a marked sawbuck or two, just for appearances sake.
Back in the 1940s, a mayor got indicted for taking 10 bucks for a curb cut. Now the perps cant be bothered with anything less than a double-sawbuck.
Oh, and it appears that Carrasquillo is related to one of those crooked cocaine cops now cooling his heels down in the federal pen down in Oklahoma City. You remember those guys, the boys from the Boom Boom Room. They were taking tens of thousands of dollars to protect drug dealers who turned out to be undercover feds.
Again, consider the unprecedented levels of corruption. Twenty years ago, the feds bagged BPD detectives for grabbing a few free meals at Cafe Budapest. These filthy cops were getting filthy rich on a protection racket that wasnt paid details.
But at least the G-men threw the book at Nelson Carrasquillo. Check him out on the Bureau of Prisons Web site and youll see that they dont even have a release date listed for him. Thats heavy.
But did Nelson Carrasquillos kinsman learn anything? Hell no. Because this is Massachusetts, the Grease-A-Few-Guys state. Until he got fired Monday, Gilberto had 22 years in - one more, baby, and he could have hit the road too. But no, he had to stick his hand in the till.
Gilberto Carrasquillo had an excuse, of course, an alibi. They all do. He only robbed the fare box four times.
They cant help themselves. None of them. Same with Sen. Marzilli. The district attorney brooms his first sex-assault case, and a couple of days later, he drives his Prius to Lowell and pervs four women in two hours.
I am still perplexed by John Buonomo, the reprobate register of probate in Middlesex County. As Ive told you, we here at the Herald literally tipped him off that wed been told there was a crime wave going on in his office. After receiving two tips about rampant thievery in his office in East Cambridge, we called and asked him if he knew anything about it.
No, he said. Then he tiptoed down the hall to steal some more money, some of which he then cleverly stashed in a box under the desk in his own office.
He couldnt help himself.
Heres another difference between the Public Sector and the Dreaded Private Sector:
In the DPS, everyone is acutely aware of surveillance cameras. Buonomo, Carrasquillo, the indicted Mass Pike toll takers - not so much.
Or maybe they think the hacks have figured out that if youre connected, you can always get everything straightened out, no matter how sordid it is. Am I right, Carl McGee? Hey, look at all the state reps whove been bagged for OUI and then re-elected. Hey, look at the city councilors whove been arrested and then elected to the state Senate.
Not only that, but you serve in the Legislature while not even living in the city youre supposed to be representing. You can go for a tax break in some other town, and nobody indicts you, or even hits you with a fine, youre just allowed to announce that you wont be seeking reelection.
Two Americas. One works, one steals. One cant wait to move out of Massachusetts, the other is waiting until they can start collecting a phony disability pension.
Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/opinion/columnists/view.bg?articleid=1113938
Are other states like this? I know the jokes about the stupidity and venality of state reps are pretty universal, but even so . . . New Jersey maybe? Arkansas?
I don’t know if other states are like us but how about the fact that about 96 per cent of our politicians are Democrats?
And we’re surprised? They’ll just get re-elected, most of them. Want to win an election in MA, become a Democrat and
maybe change your last name to Kennedy.
I did hear or read somewhere (and I think Howie’s mentioned it) that MA is about evenly divided between libs and conservatives. It’s just that the Dems gerrymandered so successfully that they’re in control. I know people who haven’t voted in years because they’re so disgusted — sometimes a argue a bit, but when something like 90% run unopposed, it’s hard to be convincing!
Just wanted to record this for posterity: From a Chump Line caller:
Hey, Howie! If you work for the Fire Department and you lose your job for impersonating a police officer, . . . is your pension figured on your salary or the salary of the police officer?
I heard that one!
OK, Friday column ping and show ping. btw John DePetro
who used to do mornings on WRKO is in another controversy.
(He called Matt Amorello “Fag Matt—wife wears the pants”
and later got tossed for calling Grace Ross “that fat
lesbian”). Now doing a show at WPRO in Providence; the ratings came
out recently and he really went up—because his wife
supposedly submitted six ratings diaries (DePetro denies
knowing about it...)
Turn other cheek to judges kiss
By Howie Carr | Friday, August 22, 2008 | http://www.bostonherald.com
Hey, Deval, dont even think about handing Judge Easy Ernie Murphy a big fat kiss in the mail with one of those involuntary disability pensions.
You turned him down a year ago when he started begging. Whats the difference now, except that the Supreme Judicial Court has given you cover by claiming this nut-case is permanently disabled?
Can someone tell me, when did the SJC, and its handmaiden, the Commission on Judicial Conduct, morph into the State Retirement Board?
These black-robed rogues are winging it again, just making up the law as they go along to fit their personal agendas, just like they did with gay marriage.
The SJC, led by Dr. Margaret Marshall, accept that Easy Ernie is disabled, so now hes one step closer to a $97,000-a year pension - 75 percent of his base pay, even though hes a couple of years short of fully vesting for a regular state pension.
Of course, the judge could apply for a regular disability pension. But that would expose the millionaire judge with the cognitive deficits to examination by a panel of three physicians, and who knows how those sawbones would rule?
If youre a judge, who would you rather have examining you in your moment of pension need, someone who went to medical school, or Dr. Marshall?
Heres how this involuntary disability pension deal works. It was set up a century ago, when judges were appointed for life. Inevitably, as they aged, some of them got senile. This was a way to remove them, humanely, with a 75 percent pension. The governor signed an involuntary disability petition, and the Governors Council then approved it.
Lately its become a way to take care of judges who are either ill and whose pensions havent vested, or to reward jurists who, for whatever reason, decide to take early retirement, which Ive never understood, because I always thought getting a judgeship was early retirement.
Of the 14 judges who have checked out this way since 1991, two were ex-state reps, one was the brother of a mayor and another was a fund raiser for a governor. One judge claimed he was disabled after hours of hand washing. This petition was filed after the OUI charges against him were dismissed.
Its a good score if you can manage it. Consider Judge Hands - he checked out back in 2000, and hes still collecting $6,760.07 a month. Thats quite a Bounty, get it - Bounty paper towels.
Now its Easy Ernies turn. So the SJC gives the governor a way to reverse his earlier denial, although Deval probably doesnt dare take care of Murphy before the election. Heres the reason in two words: Question 1.
Youll notice that under this terrible punishment, Judge Murphy gets full pay for another four months. Which will take the hacks safely past Nov. 4, when the voters have the option of putting an end to all this nonsense by abolishing the state income tax with Question 1.
Every week, theres a new poster boy for a state government utterly out of control. This week its Easy Ernie Murphy, who wrote what the lawyers insist we call allegedly threatening letters to the publisher of this paper.
Judge Murphy was appointed to the bench by Gov. Argeo Paul Cellucci back in 2000 after the traditional nationwide search. According to the questionnaire he filled out for the Governors Council, in the three years preceding his nomination, he and his wife donated a total of $1,500 to Gov. Celluccis political committee. Stop me if youve heard this one before.
Now, ask yourself this: If you or I wrote allegedly threatening letters to somebody, would we get a disability pension, or a visit from the cops?
I wonder if Attorney General Martha Coakley is following this case. She must know who Easy Ernie is. After all, he gave her $250 in 1998.
So heres how itll work if, after the election, on his way out the door (maybe), Deval decides to give Easy Ernie the kiss. He wont need any examinations by any physicians - none of the nonsense thats so bedeviled, say, bodybuilder/fire inspector Albert Arroyo. No, all it takes is a simple letter from the governor, followed by a hearing before the Governors Council, and then the vote, and I can already tell you how that one will go.
Itll be either 7-1, with Mary-Ellen Manning the only dissenter, or 6-2, depending on how Marilyn P. Devaney is feeling that day.
Easy Ernie Murphy. Vote No on Question 1. Dont deprive this man of his $97,000-a-year pension. God forbid he has to get by on the $3.4 million judgment he received from this newspaper.
Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/opinion/columnists/view.bg?articleid=1114404
Didn't Howie notice that, through the libs, the courts have pretty much morphed into everything? If they hadn't made their bones and didn't have to be taken care of, I'm sure even the libs would notice the next logical step is just to let executive and legislature wither away -- well, maybe they'll have to keep a few typists and their PR people . . . ;-)
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