Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Beacon Hill Makes Me Doubt My Sanity

I spend one day writhing in agony due to a stomach bug, and wake up to find the whole world has gone mad. Bernard Cohen is "resigning," as Jon Keller so eloquently put it, and Gov. Deval Patrick hopes to replace him with James Aloisi. Who helped plan the Big Dig. Which is a large part of why our transportation system is royally screwed. How, exactly, is this a good idea?

I'm partial to Cohen, who hasn't been afraid to speak the truth about the state's doomed transportation systems, and am sad to see him go. (But, let me be clear—I'm unemployed, and wouldn't take that job for all the cushy benefits and pensions you could throw at me. It's like being made captain of a ship that is actively sinking.)

And in other crazy news, House Speaker Sal DiMasi has taken up the reformer's mantle in this transit funding brouhaha.

THE CHINESE SYMBOL for crisis is a combination of the characters for danger and opportunity.

I'm pretty sure that's how some of the sorority girls justified their ill-advised tattoos when I was in college. But after the cheesy start, DiMasi makes the case that a toll hike is a dumb way to try to save the Turnpike. Instead, DiMasi argues, we need to reform these agencies, then raise the gas tax.

Which is exactly what Senate President Therese Murray argued in a Globe editorial last month. So, if my math is correct, two out of three Beacon Hill leaders are on the same page about how to handle this crisis. While the third is busy appointing a man to lead the troubled agencies who helped put them on the road to hell.

This is going to get very interesting.

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