Barney Frank intervenes in keeping district GM plant open.

(Via Protein Wisdom) How fortunate the subjects* of MA-04 are to have as their overlord someone who can make certain that the collective pain of an automotive company bailout ends up collectively pains everybody else but them:

Rep Barney Frank (D-Mass.) won a stay of execution on Thursday for a General Motors plant in his district that the automaker had announced it would close.

No other lawmaker has managed to halt the GM ax. As chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Frank oversees the government’s bailout program, known as TARP. Frank’s staff said the lawmaker spokes with GM CEO Fritz Henderson on Wednesday and convinced him to keep the Norton, Mass. plant open for at least 14 months.

GM announced Monday in its bankruptcy and restructuring plans it would close of nine of its plants and idle three others. The automaker said it would also shutter three service and parts operations by the end of the year — one of which is in Frank’s district.

Bad luck for the folks in the yet-to-be-determined plant that thought that their jobs were safe, and now have to lose them because MA-04’s subjects are special – more accurately, because their overlord is special – but I’m sure that the Democrats will find a suitably Republican district to punish.  After all, once you’ve decided that some animals are more equal than others, why not go whole hog, as it were?

Moe Lane

PS: This would be the time where I would suggest that the subjects of MA-04 should make the decision that they want to be citizens, again: only, I can’t quite make myself believe that there’s any chance that the suggestion would work.

*That should be an insult that would start fights in bars in this country; but it’s not.  Alas.

Crossposted to RedState.

IRS puts tax lien on Kerry’s 2004 campaign.

(Via NTCNews‘ sidebar) Good luck with getting that resolved, Senator:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Internal Revenue Service has filed a $819,848 tax lien against Sen. John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign, but Kerry on Wednesday blamed an IRS clerical error for the claim and said his campaign owes no tax penalties.

The Massachusetts Democrat said the IRS mishandled payroll tax forms that he said were correctly filed by his campaign in 2005.

Apparently the junior Senator from Massachusetts is finding it impossible to make the IRS see reason on this issue. For the record, I believe him; there’s precisely the “But we jumped through those hoops already” puzzled/confused/warily exasperated tone coming from his staff that one associates with dealing with a government bureaucracy with the bit in its teeth. The truly interesting part? Usually a Senator has enough power to get an honest-to-God mistake rectified; which might say something about the validity of Kerry’s case, but probably says rather more of the Senator’s influence.

I would like to think of this as a teachable moment for Senator Kerry about various aspects of our tax code: only, well…

Moe Lane

Crossposted to RedState.

Ten steps for fixing Massachusetts.

They’re all good ones, but #4 resonates:

No. 4: This one is for the Republican party: Run candidates in every legislative district, even if you have to put up the lame and the halt. That was how Tip O’Neill did it in the 1940s – he’d field Democrats in even the most Republican districts, getting the challenger’s name out and waiting for the GOP incumbent to retire or move on, at which point the Democrat would have more name recognition than the new Republican. Every cycle, Tip’s Dems picked off a few more GOP seats. The Democrats finally took over the Massachusetts House in 1946, and haven’t looked back. The other plus: Whenever a summer scandal breaks (think OUI, think young girlfriend working for lobbyist, think money-laundering scheme), the Republicans would already have a candidate in place to take advantage of the anti-incumbent vote.

#4, in fact, has resonance outside of Massachusetts. Frankly, that’s one of the reasons that we won LA-02: if we hadn’t had keeping running candidates there we would have never been able to take advantage of Jefferson’s weakness. Make ’em work for it, and wait patiently for our chance to take the shot. I also like Jules Crittenden’s #11/#1: having these people work part-time appeals on general principles. The less time that they’re there, the less opportunities to spend money they’ll have.

Moe Lane

This would be the point where people tell me that Massachusetts is impossible to reform, impossible to repair, and impossible to flip. So we shouldn’t even think about trying, because we don’t have a chance in heck of doing anything useful.

Funny: that’s what they said about Louisiana.

Crossposted to RedState.