Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Governor’s Council Fiasco Claims First Political Casualty

The Governor’s Council mishandling of the nomination of Joe Berman to a Superior Court judgeship has been a front page story for close to a month.
This morning it claimed its first political victim.

And it wasn’t Joe Berman.

Councillor Jennie Caissie has been positioning herself as a potential running mate for Charlie Baker for several months. 

After all, it has been well known that Baker wanted to name a woman to help balance out the ticket.  (And by picking a running mate before December 31st, Baker can tap the donor base twice – once in each calendar year.  So time has been running short.)

But three weeks ago Caissie aggressively interrogated Berman on his role as a member of the New England ADL Board.

Last week, after panning her performance at the Berman hearings, the Boston Herald editorial page acidly noted: “And to think some in the GOP were foolish enough to tout [Caissie] as lieutenant governor material.

That was the last impression voters – and Baker --  read before Baker’s decision.

This morning, Baker chose Karyn Polito, a former candidate for Treasurer. 

Would Baker have chosen Caissie otherwise?

We’ll never know, but it’s hard to think that her performance at the high-profile Berman hearings did anything to help her chances.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Governor's Council and Qualified Nominees

I attended the Governor's Council meeting yesterday morning, and came away shaking my head.
Some context: at the Council meeting yesterday, the nomination of Joe Berman for a seat on the Massachusetts bench was hotly discussed.  

(Full disclosure: Joe is friend.  In addition, my law firm has worked side-by-side with Joe as co-counsel, so I know him both personally and professionally.)

Joe is a clearly-qualified candidate, with degrees (cum laude) from both Dartmouth and Michigan Law.  Joe is a vigorous advocate who nonetheless holds himself to the highest ethical standard.  He has received the President’s Award from the Boston Bar Association for his pro bono work.  His peers have voted him one of the Top 100 lawyers in New England.
Let me say that again: his peers voted him one of the best 100 lawyers in all of New England.

No one at the Council hearing yesterday, nor to my knowledge, in any previous hearing, has raised questions about Joe’s qualifications. 

I urge the Governor’s Council to confirm Joe Berman for the Massachusetts Superior Court.

We're back...

Full post coming soon

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ray Kurzweil Speaks About His Role at Google

Late last year, Google announced that it had teamed up with AI guru Ray Kurzweil to collaborate on AI applications both in search and elsewhere.  Last week, Kurzweil hosted a Google Hangout, and then sat for an interview with Wired Magazine.  Among the highlights was his description of what he is doing for Google:

My mission at Google is to develop natural language understanding with a team and in collaboration with other researchers at Google. Search has moved beyond just finding keywords, but it still doesn’t read all these billions of web pages and book pages for semantic content. If you write a blog post, you’ve got something to say, you’re not just creating words and synonyms. We’d like the computers to actually pick up on that semantic meaning. If that happens, and I believe that it’s feasible, people could ask more complex questions.
Wired Magazine article

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

National Robotics Week Continues

National Robotics Week continues this week (and through April 14th, although events continue throughout the month of April.) 

For more info see:
National Robotics Week website
Twitter: @roboweek
Facebook page