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Opinion page editor Rick Holmes and other writers blog about national politics and issues. Holmes & Co. is a Blog for Independent Minds, a place for a free-flowing discussion of policy, news and opinion. This blog is the online cousin of the Opinion ...
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Opinion page editor Rick Holmes and other writers blog about national politics and issues. Holmes & Co. is a Blog for Independent Minds, a place for a free-flowing discussion of policy, news and opinion. This blog is the online cousin of the Opinion section of the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass. As such, our focus starts there and spreads to include Massachusetts, the nation and the world. Since successful blogs create communities of readers and writers, we hope the \x34& Co.\x34 will also come to include you.
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By Rob Meltzer
Jan. 20, 2014 12:07 p.m.



I just got done listening to a 30 minute long Canadian satellite radio program which dissected the new American bi partisan spending bill. Just try finding something like that in America–folks who have actually read the whole 1600 pages and who have digested it, let alone an audience of Americans who really want to know what’s in it. But what I like about the way it was parsed was that they looked at who wins and who loses in a number of categories. What programs were funded. What were not. Who brought home the bacon? And why? And who made the decisions on these committees? Politicians facing elections in 2014 did rather well. So did New York and New Jersey, which both have potential presidential candidates lurking in their state houses, and a delegation with enough clout to make sure that both parties were represented in that distribution. What i though was curious, and what  I wanted to mention, was the biggest loser in the entire thing–the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. totally hosed. Gone is Ted Kennedy and John Kerry. Gone also, is Scott Brown, who Congressional Republicans supported. In fact, the Canadians noted, Massachusetts’ delegation was not only totally ineffective in this round, but totally absent in the decision-making. They noted specifically that in the past they looked at the Massachusetts giants to see how much was being sucked up for the Bay State, but this time the answer was zero. As they concluded, while most of New England was shafted, with some exception for New Hampshire, there was nothing at all in this package for Massachusetts except for proof that for the first time in nearly 140 years, Massachusetts power in the House, Senate and White House is totally in eclipse.

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