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Does anybody know what Kerry is up to these last few days?

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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-02-11 08:54 AM
Original message
Does anybody know what Kerry is up to these last few days?
Edited on Wed Nov-02-11 09:03 AM by Mass
I am asking because he still has to even release a statement concerning the snow storm and seems to be totally oblivious that more than 200000 still do not have power in his state. So seems Patrick. I know that there is little they can do, but the silence is striking, particularly by comparison with other events where he was so proactive.

By comparison, Brown seems interested, even if it is probably only posturing for election sake.

This is the only thing I could find

http://www.olver.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content...

Apparently, he has enough time to ask for money for Bulger's victims. May be he could start a bill that would make these repairs more efficient?
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Luftmensch067 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-02-11 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
1. I don't know of anything specific
And I imagine you mean it might look that way to the general public, but I'm sure no one here believes that JK is totally oblivious to people who are struggling with power outages and other problems in the aftermath of the storm.
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-02-11 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Yes. It is just it is such a mess and so widespread.
We had my MIL here in the Boston area because power in Longmeadow will not be reestablished before at best Friday evening (She is 91, so there was no way we would let us sleep in a cold house without power or food - a tree fell on the driveway, bringing down power line, so we could not even get out of the driveway). So, it is really surprising to see nothing on his website or in the media.
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Luftmensch067 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-02-11 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. I am so sorry to hear about your MIL's power!
And I'm shocked, I must admit, about nothing being on the website. That is not good, I agree. Just checked the official FB page and nothing there as well, or on Twitter.

I did find this headline on the senate site, actually: Following Early Winter Storms, Kerry Urges Increased Home Heating Aid for Families in Need, dated 11/1/11, in the Press Releases section, but it's not really specifically addressing the power issue.
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YvonneCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-02-11 11:24 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. I'm sorry to hear of your...
...difficulties, Mass. Hope things improve soon. :hug:
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Luftmensch067 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-02-11 12:46 PM
Response to Original message
4. Just called the Boston office and asked them to put something up n/t
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-02-11 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. It's brand new
I am also very puzzled by the fact this article figures very prominently on the website.

http://kerry.senate.gov/press/in_the_news/article/?id=f...

Aside from insulting Kerry by saying he has the slenderest public record, it also says he could be the key to the committee, which, coming from Major Garrett, means he would be the most likely to side with the GOP. Is it really the message he wants to push?
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Luftmensch067 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-02-11 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I swear
Writing about JK seems to addle any reporter's brain (and this one may have been addled from the start...) They write the weirdest, most convoluted things!
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-02-11 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. It is a strange choice
Even the idea that a motive could be "fiscal legacy" is weird unless the goal is also to do something good.

I did not see the hearing this week - no cable, no internet. I do think his questions in the open hearing before that very interesting. He used his 6 minutes to get some OMB statements on record:

- The stimulus raised GDP, this means it has a deficit reducing impact - and the Obama stimulus package includes pieces that have some of the highest impact - especially the infrastructure one. I assume that this is a precursor to estimating the value of the growth and the deficit reduction due to it. (Van Hollen backed this up = and spoke of much of the deficit being due to not being at full employment.)

- He asked about the impact of not renewing the tax cuts on the top % - getting in a snarky "who saw their income increase 400+ % (Can't remember the real number).

This suggests that a primary concern Kerry has is that the proposal be one that helps the economy grow - rather than the Republican plan that with all its cuts would actually harm the recovery and create greater future pain. He seems very concerned that not handling this well means that there will be another committee in a few years. (Consider a nightmare situation of doing it with a Republican controlled Senate and House!)




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YvonneCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-02-11 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. His questions yesterday seemed to center on...
...tax code reform (legislating a smaller group to do it apart from the supercommittee because it required more time than they have to do it right).I read somewhere ( :) ) that he is working with a smaller bipartisan group within the supercommittee (6) to find solutions and compromise.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-02-11 07:03 PM
Response to Original message
7. That really is weird as he has always responded
My first thought was that he might have been overseas, but see there were votes as early as Monday - and he was there. I assume he is swamped with the supercommittee, but he really should have put out a statement. Not just Kerry, but where is his staff?

(We just got cable and internet back, but we were in the lucky half of town that only briefly lost power - for an hour or two today - maybe because the cable lines and power lines traverse the same poles. Our county was the worst hit in NJ and there are gigantic trees that fell on roads taking down wires and blocking the roads. A few areas were completely blocked on Saturday. I've lived in the county for nearly 40 years and this is the worst I have ever seen.

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YvonneCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-02-11 11:18 PM
Response to Original message
9. Saving the...
...economy? :7 Supercommittee? GREAT speech yesterday on the Senate floor.
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MBS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 07:03 AM
Response to Original message
12. at a book-signing party in DC
. . .for Chris Matthews' new Kennedy book

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/reliable-source/pos...

for Chris Matthews' new Kennedy book.
It was a book party for Chris Matthews, in honor of his new Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero. But when the author picked up the mike at the Hay-Adams on Wednesday, it suddenly felt like a campaign rally. The MSNBC yakker name-checked more than a dozen pals, famous and non, Joe Biden-style.
Sen. Lautenberg and Sen. Kerry are here! . . . Ed Markey! . . . Joe and Mika best team in the morning, you were great today!. . . and who? And Tinas here! Tina Urbanski!
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. No one in NJ, to my knowledge, is asking where Lautenberg and Menendez are
- neither have any comment on NJ's problems on their web site either.

Not justifying Kerry not having staff put up the type of things they did after the hurricane and tornado, but just to show that Massachusetts really does expect more out of its Congressional team.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 09:51 AM
Response to Original message
13. Late, but here's a response - Kerry's comment on his facebook page
Edited on Fri Nov-04-11 09:52 AM by karynnj

There's a fundamental problem with the system if this keeps happening storm after storm. It's not the utility workers, it's the system itself. After the damage from last year's ice storms and Hurricane Irene, how the hell do we have more than a hundred thousand people left in the dark again? How many storms do folks have to suffer through before we get this right? I know Governor Patrick's leading the charge with the utility companies, but the bottom line is we need to get this straightened out before the worst of another brutal New England winter, period." - John Kerry


I may be in the minority here, but I really am not sure that this particular problem could have been solved by anything short of COMPLETELY revamping how electric energy is delivered to homes, but there likely had to be a way to clean it up faster. As long as electricity is carried by wires connected to telephone phones in heavily treed areas, the trees were going to fall and they were going to take down telephone lines. I do understand the frustration Kerry expresses here and am glad that he did defend the utility workers.

In my area, like western Massachusetts, there are still many people without electricity. The problem was a heavy freak early snow storm when leaves were still very abundantly on the trees. This led not to just large branches falling - something I've seen in storms in the past, but thousands of huge trees - that looked healthy a week ago - falling. Following detours to get out of the lake community we live in, I saw trees where root systems easily over 5 or even 10 feet in diameter were pulled up as giant trees fell. It may be that in our rocky, high clay soil, the roots were less deep than in other parts of the country. (I also learned we were extremely lucky to retain power because we were near where it entered the community and there were no problems affecting the wire in our direction. Friends who are about a 10 minute walk away were without electricity for 3 days.)

From the explanations in the local paper, the electric companies had to first survey all potential dangerous situations to insure there were no live wires - before any tree removal could be attempted. Then the trees had to be removed before the wires could be fixed. This meant that the power company had to go to each location at least twice - and meant that no work could start on the trees until the electric company had deemed the wires safe. Given this, the question is how to more efficiently get everything fixed.

The first thought was whether anything could be mechanized. One question I have is whether there would be a way that the first step could be done automatically without impacting safety- ie if the wire going from pole A to pole B - with the power coming from A were to fail, it would seem that a sensor, obviously with battery backup, at pole B could signal pole A that they were not getting power and to cut the power there AND turn on a prominent green light on both A's and B's sensors. This would assume that it is possible to turn off the electricity at each pole. There then has to be a safe way to test that the line really has no power. I am not an engineer, not do I understand the electrical distribution network, but this is conceptually something that is obvious - but the flaw (if it were possible) is that it would be helpful too infrequently to accept the cost and the false alarm turn offs that very likely would happen as sensors failed which would quickly take a huge number of homes off line.

So as making the wires safe and repairing them must be done by skilled electricians, the question is how can they quickly get a larger force than they had. As it was, there were many trucks from the parent company of the utility and many independent electrical contractors were working on the wires. Could a national emergency force - similar to the National Guard - be given the extensive training to do this - and simultaneously given electrical work in their regions needed on federal projects (that the Republicans will vote down)? It would seem the National Guard - if allowed to stay in country, could help with the trees. If not, it seems that my utility - which was heavily criticized after hurricane Irene may have pulled in all the resources available to them.

It may be that a state or federal investigation and task force to improve response could streamline the process so situations are minimized. The other thing is that towns may need to consider that emergency info should not just be sent by internet, but maybe by short cell phone messages. My town had several public buildings open for people who needed them, but all the info was by a very efficient email - that many without power (or without internet) could not get.

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YvonneCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 05:49 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. When the news of the power outages in the NE were reported....
...in the news here, one of the reporters connected that story to the idea of rebuilding infrastructure. He remarked that in certain other countries (whose names I forget) all the power lines are underground. Because of that, they never have power outages during storms. His suggestion was that burying power lines would be a great 'job creator' for our economy...use the infrastructure bank to do THAT.

I think that's a GREAT idea! ;)
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. I bet this would be a GREAT time to sell that idea in the Northeast!
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Oh yes. I was not suggesting that Kerry did anything wrong, but
at the same time, so many people dont have power in NE (even more in CT than MA) and this connection to things he has been proposing for years seems so obvious.

BTW, it seems my MIL will have power Saturday night. So, we will be able to bring her back home on Monday afternoon. She will be happy (and me too, because the house is too small to have her on a permanent basis).
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YvonneCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. I'm SO glad to hear things are...
...getting better for you and your family, Mass. :grouphug:
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. Still no power. May be tonight
Edited on Sun Nov-06-11 11:20 AM by Mass
We just learned that one of my MIL's closest friend passed away last week. My MIL tried to call her every day, but could not get her on the phone. Finally, power was reestablished Friday night in her complex (80 senior people) and we were able to get to the complex manager. While she was in a precarious health and this could have happened at any moment, we learned that the complex manager had asked help to the town, fire department, police, to help these elderly people, with two buildings out of the three without even a generator, but the town was totally overwhelmed and did nothing (which concurs with our own experience). Ny MIL's neighbor, with 3 young kids, is still out of power. He has a generator, but he is using it sparsely as it costs a lot of money to operate.

School restarts on Monday, but there are still wires on the ground and parents have been advised to drive kids to school to avoid accident.

Frankly, we can only hope that some leaders take these issues in charge so that there is a real support, as there are more and more storm.
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YvonneCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Wow. That's awful, Mass. I only lived in that kind of weather...
...once (Chicago) but I was a child. As an adult, I don't know if I could do it.

I hope your leaders DO step up soon to help people with immediate needs. It sounds pretty overwhelming. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts. :grouphug:
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Wow, that is really not good
It is really bad that the town and higher government were not able to do more to help people that frail. I hope that they really will learn and work on the long term solution, but in the meanwhile get better contingency plans for outages like this.
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. Yeah, power is on and with it, heat,
Edited on Sun Nov-06-11 09:40 PM by Mass
Not sure the telephone is back, but, thanks to cell phones, she can move back to her house tomorrow. Long eight days.
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YvonneCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-04-11 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. I agree. It could be sold here in the SW...
...too, because of the fire danger when high winds knock the lines down, causing fires. Many of those fires in SD a few years back started that way.
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