Left In Lowell

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August 31, 2012

What Kind of…

by at 5:06 pm.

What kind of sitting US Senator talks like this?

“And I’ll be back tomorrow getting Mickey Ward’s endorsement. She’s welcome to come up to Lowell, if she can find it.” [bold is added]

This is the sort of nanna-nanna-boo-boo rhetoric that you see these days in politics. Mostly (though not entirely limited to) conservatives. (Never mind that Ward, as Jack’s post below mentions, rebuffed Brown after he figured out Brown’s voting history, just as the Brown campaign was planning on swooping into Lowell and getting his endorsement.) This also ignores that Warren was recently in Lowell at that very same gym Brown was heading to.

This mocking, churlish, childish and whiny kind of politicking was on full display last night with Clint Eastwood’s “surprise” (I’ll say) speech at the Republican convention last night. Where he did such things as pretend Obama, represented by an empty chair, told Mitt and Clint to go f*ck themselves. If you’ve been living under a rock since last night, you can go watch it here.

Brown’s been caught saying really childish and stupid things before. He consistently refers to his opponent as “Professor Warren,” and while at first glace that looks like a mark of respect, his entire campaign’s been built on painting Warren as an uppity but undeserving Harvard Professor. There are instances like Mitt Romney joking about no one asking to see his birth certificate, which has the double duty of dog-whistling to the bigot contingent of his party. I do understand, zingers abound on the campaign trail (though I do wish they’d all just leave comedy to the bears). But there’s a difference between a simple gaffe, a well- or badly-placed joke, and malicious rhetoric intended to belittle. There’s addressing real policy differences with humor, and whining because the other side calls you out on your policies and values. The difference really comes with how much hate and anger is put behind the so-called “joke” or comment. While most Democrats I know (pols and voters) just want to have a good substantive debate about the issues and what’s at stake - and I have evidence of this in how most of our primaries are conducted - it seems that most of the other side desires to obfuscate the truth with their “humor,” and drum up hate and anger.

I’m not a huge fan of Bidon and his foot-in-mouth syndrome, but frankly, I’d even take his stupid gaffe-generating humor over the insulting, asinine, hateful, and largely untruthful insults from the Republican candidates that only intends to bring out the worst in their followers. The worst, as in throwing nuts at a black CNN camerawoman and saying “This is how we feed animals.”

You think those people were delegates at the RNC by accident? If you spend your time lying about welfare reform under Obama, as a dog whistle, and cracking jokes about birth certificates and elitist professors or producing an impression of “foreign” about your African American opponent, you should not be surprised when such awful incidents happen.

Home Ice Advantage?

by at 10:36 am.

Click HERE to register. You’ll see this:

Photobucket

Update: ‘The Fighter’ bails on Brown

“I can’t support Scott Brown,” Ward said. “I just can’t do it.”
Within 30 minutes, Ward either did some Googling or someone close to him reminded him about where Brown stood on some hot-button political topics.
“I found out Scott (Brown) is anti-union and I’m a Teamster guy,” said Ward. “I found out he’s also against gay marriage and I say if you love someone you should have the same rights no matter who you are.”

August 29, 2012

Not Racism. It’s Patriotism! *rolls eyes*

by at 2:59 pm.

.
Joe S. Says:

It’s no wonder Brown skipped the convention - he would not want to be associated with this:
http://www.harpers.org/archive/2012/08/hbc-90008805

Or this:
http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/08/cnn-rnc-convention-camerawoman.php?ref=fpblg

Here’s the video:

Please go console your Republican friends. They must be feeling a bit down, right about now.

August 28, 2012

Robert Mills Tweeted It!

by at 4:18 pm.

Of course, I am referring to last night’s news that City Councilor Kevin Broderick will resign from his seat. This is what Rob posted on his Tweeter account (@Robert_Mills) at around 8:30 p.m. last night:

“City Councilor Broderick just confirmed to me that he plans to resign tomorrow night to spend more time with his wife and five kids.”

The impact of CC Broderick’s resignation on the City Council, Lowell Politics and the immediate future of this City is significant but that will be the subject of a later post.

Today I want to celebrate the new media, emerging political influences and Robert Mills.

In the past, news of such magnitude would have begun in an inner circle and then migrated to the powers that be in the media. And then the rest of us would have read or heard (most likely filtered) news many hours after the information was initially available.

Now in the most democratic form of information dissemination, Lowellians received the news, (140 characters) with no commentary or slant. For a few hours last night, before the spinning began, we were all privy to a piece of raw information to decide for ourselves what impact it will have on Lowell’s political life.

Within a half hour of that tweet, facebook, e-mails and phone calls had the town buzzing. So before Rob had an opportunity to post it on the Sun’s breaking news section, the news had gone out to the stake holders.

As my friend Jack said this morning on City Life, Rob is a well-respected reporter who deals with facts and works hard to dig up all the facts. Here is the link to the story that Rob wrote that appeared in today’s Sun. For a guy who does not like to report on political issues, Rob did a good job.

August 24, 2012

Warren Needs To Work On Her 1-2 Punch

by at 10:53 am.

Elizabeth Warren stopped by Lowell, yesterday. The Blog of Record has some footage.

Jen Myers has a few photos at her new blog, Room 50.

I think Warren will win in November, if only by the shear mass of Democrats turning out. This is not a special election. In 2010, Brown got 1.2 million votes to Coakley’s 1.1 million. In 2008, Obama got 1.9 million votes to McCain’s 1.1 million. This suggests that McCain’s supporters turned out, for Brown, plus another 100K. I’d expect Obama’s total from 2008 to be a ceiling. But, I can’t see Brown making a victory out of the potential 700K voters in between him and a full term in the Senate.

That said, I’m not too happy with the TV ads out there for Brown where prominent Democrats are “giving permission,” as it were, to other Democrats to vote for Brown. Her strategy in Lowell should be to ‘lose by less.’ That way her large margins of victory in more solid Democrat areas will carry the day.

August 23, 2012

Catching Up To Data

by at 10:52 am.

LowellStat Program Awarded Community Innovation Challenge Grant
April 2, 2012 by Office of the City Manager

April 4, 2012
Congrats to Data Nerds Everywhere
by Lynne at 11:32 am.

City wins recognition, and money, for data analysis
Posted by sunthecolumn on August 22nd, 2012

(more…)

August 21, 2012

The “Story” Has Sides

by at 9:55 am.

Allow me to highlight this Letter to the Editor:

There are two sides to every story, but no matter how the story of Lowell’s latest political feud ends, I know I’m not alone in saying that Wally has earned the respect and admiration of many people across the city.

If you click in through the hyperlink, you’ll find a warm testimonial that asserts that a measure of a person is greater than the sum of their parts. The LTE’s author reminds us of other parts of Wally Bayliss, ones that many of us may not know.

In my haunts, I frequently hear a person or group dissected into components. We weigh the components on a scale of “good ‘n bad,” hoping to rationalize whether we attack, defend or watch in our next move. I think that is human nature and politcal folks fall into this habit, being mostly human. ;v) This LTE reminds us how our bias, the filter we apply in measuring, can skew the measurement, one way or another.

I don’t like the way Wally Bayliss conducts the people’s business. I will argue that it fails to meet the “industry standard,” set by towns and municipalites in our Commonwealth. I’ve attended a few License Commission meetings and have watched several more on LTC’s video archive page. I’m convinced that Wally Bayliss is not the right fit for the modern era. It is clear, to me, he does not comprehend the role of the institution he chairs. To let him stay on is to accept a mockery of municipal governance, imho. (more…)

August 20, 2012

Poverty is Big Business, Still

by at 1:36 pm.

Poverty is Big Business

Poverty is Big Business in Lowell

Today’s episode: State: LHA must release Sec. 8 list

LOWELL — The Secretary of State’s Public Records Division has determined the Lowell Housing Authority did not comply with the state’s public-records law when it denied The Sun’s request for a list of property owners with multiple Section 8 voucher tenants.

In an Aug. 8 letter to LHA Assistant Executive Director Mary Ann Maciejewski, the state’s supervisor of records, Shawn Williams, wrote that any responsive record identifying property owners with multiple Section 8 tenants is public record and must be provided to The Sun.

As of early April, there were nearly 1,250 tenants in the city with Section 8 housing vouchers from the LHA.
-snip

LHA provides tenant-based and project-based vouchers to those eligible for the Section 8 program.

Those with tenant-based vouchers can choose to live in any private housing unit that meets the requirement of the program. As of early April, the LHA provided 1,116 of those vouchers to participants.

Project-based Section 8 vouchers can only be used at designated properties. The LHA subsidized the rents of 120 project-based participants as of early April.

I’d like to see this list of landlords. How many live outside of Lowell? We spend a ton of energy griping about city officials that live outside of Lowell. Should we get a handle on “absentee landlords?” This list would help with that. Also, how often are the rental units inspected? By whom? Let’s protect those living in these units by ensuring that everything is on the up and up. Transparency will help. Disclose the list now.

August 17, 2012

It’s All Downhill From Here

by at 7:31 am.

So, after a fairly lengthy back and forth, 58 comments at this point, on a mutual friend’s Facebook page, former Commissioner Ray Weicker made a wee hours post that shows us a thing or two:

Photobucket

I took this screen grab at about 7:45 am, just in case you want a point of reference. (more…)

August 16, 2012

On To The Front Burner

by at 12:34 pm.

This matter has been left alone, simmering. Then, BAM!

Photobucket

My darker side loves the scam, as proposed by the US Attorney. Two old tyme politcal hacks, ply some nitwit for “the Vig.” The Mark is designed to fall prey to his own acceptance of the crooked game. But, as Bob Dylan warned us, 40 freakin’ years ago, the Times They are a-Changin.

The trouble here is not the culprits. It’s the lingering suspicion that this is not the last of it. Conspiracy theory is as simple as 1,2, 3. *sigh*

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