Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
Update: They did play this on City Life. Thanks to John and George.
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN | July 3, 2012
If you followed last month’s story about the ousting and reinstatement of University of Virginia president Teresa Sullivan, it might surprise you to learn that many Massachusetts Republicans believe that Sullivan was forced out over academic fraud she committed 23 years ago with US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren.
That theory was put forward on breitbart.com, the immensely popular conservative pseudo-journalistic Web site. And, while that site later conceded that the UVA situation had nothing to do with the alleged (and entirely unfounded) claim of misconduct, that retraction has not made it to local conservatives — including Rob Eno, proprietor of RedMassGroup, who stood by his post linking to the original article when I spoke with him last week.
This is just one example of how the national right-wing smear machine has begun insinuating itself into the race between Warren and Scott Brown — and it’s just a taste of what is sure to come this fall.
When the fabricated story appeared locally, I opted to twist the premise around versus trying to argue the merit.
ZOMG! Liz Warren is not only a hoity toity, Ivy League, eggheaded elitists; she isn’t a very good one at THAT!!!!
I realize that the GOPers are going to scrape the bottom of the barrel in their opposition research, but to hold Warren up against a credential that the GOPers normally flog is odd.
What, the only good Harvard elitist is a “bad” Harvard elitist?
I realize that Scott Brown supporters are desperate, but they need to remember; after November we will all still be here. Campaigns are flashes in the pan. Don’t get burned.
I often marvel at the editorials that puke forth from the Blog Of Record. So often, they are cobbled together from similarly shallow sentiments expressed by denizens of the national right wing punditocracy and flavored with the rants of the “Bumper Sticker Braintrust,” plopped and swirling around the Topix(Disqus) bowl. The utter lack of depth offers no civic sustenance, whatsoever. The lack of substance must aid digestion and regurgitation by the parroting hordes.
On occasion, the Editor forgets himself and his business model. Thus, we find The Sun caught spinning a shadow of itself. Maybe, the self loathing forces an aggressive act of projection? For some reason, I think the head shop over on Dutton Street isn’t short on self-love. Lack of conscience does that.
Anyways, today I read these words:
But if Warren knowingly embraced the unsupported information to get ahead, she is guilty of a shameful mistake.
In the latter case, we’d have to seriously consider whether she has the character and integrity to represent the people of Massachusetts in Washington, D.C.
Just the other day, Joe S. wrote something that reminded me how loosey goosey The Sun is with numbers. He wrote:
… they then justified their approach based on the number of responses to an associated poll. If they continue to justify their work based on 1100 “contibutors”, …
I’ll leave as a foregone conclusion that online polls don’t mean shit. See Freeping. For many readers of The Sun, not much is a foregone conclusion. And by readers, I mean Lowellians and most specifically - Lowellians that vote.
Not so long ago, in a galaxy right here at home, Lowell had the Massachusetts Department of Revenue breathing down its neck, had gobbled up all its free cash and then some, and had what was effectively a structural deficit. When City Manager Lynch was hired, we were treading water near a very dangerous whirlpool. These budgets were the brainchild of the previous CM and rubberstamped by previous Councils - likely because the budgets were so obfuscated it was hard to tell what you were voting for.
That’s what makes Councilor Rodney Elliot’s comments at the meeting this week that Lynch is “addicted to taxes” so utterly ridiculous. Far from showcasing himself as the fiscal watchdog, Elliot seems to just be fiscally forgetful - and completely blind.
Let’s remember that the property tax increases of the last few years, while not zero, were NOT increased as high as they could have been (the levy limit, and beyond) like so many other struggling communities. Let’s also recall that the mere annual costs of doing business, and delivering the same level of service, go up, not down, and that the level of local aid has been - to say the least - a little rough, despite the state holding the line as best they could. Let’s also take a look at the charts that show the slow closing of the structural deficit, to a point where a negative balance in our free cash account has gone to a pretty impressive positive. Let’s also not forget that our cost of borrowing money has gone down because our fiscal house was put in order, with ratings increases for muni bonds saving us an awful lot of money.
All that could not have been accomplished by ZERO tax increases. Empty rhetoric notwithstanding.
Elliot is ridiculous and his math is sketchy. He constantly pretends he gives a crap about budgets but really, he’s just knee-jerk-reflexively anti-tax no matter the circumstance. That sort of leadership we could live without. I’d say we’re in damn good shape if Lynch is easing off the rather moderate tax increases of the last 5 years. Our budgets are clearer and better defined, and our free cash is once again where it should be. We here in Lowell are set up for a bright future, and if all Elliot can say is “I’ll believe it when I see it” because Lynch’s budget numbers cause him to sputter to come up with a way to be negative, well, he was on the Council back in the bad old days of structural deficits and I don’t remember him being quite so hard hitting back then.
I for one am glad our property taxes have been responsibly managed, that the city keeps on finding ways to become as efficient as possible, and that this year, the property tax increase will be minuscule. But let’s face it, a few tens of dollars extra per quarter for solving our budgetary near-crisis was a small price to pay for sitting pretty in the catbird seat right now. Unlike some people, I have a longer memory and can appreciate where we’re going by looking at where we’ve been before.
Kudos to the city administration for all the hard work - I know it’s a thankless job, but some of us at least understand what you’ve accomplished.
Oh, this is priceless. I won’t even steal any of them, you should go read for yourself “Scott Brown’s Top Ten Sexist, Homophobic, and Racially Insensitive Moments” - man, I forgot about some of those. Awesome!
If you guessed the title of this post has to do with famous native American plants and that this is an oblique reference to Native Americans and that in turn references the nonstory that is the “story” about Elizabeth Warren and her distant Native American heritage, you’d be right.
I read through the various incarnations of the story online and really tried to find the controversy here. What, exactly, is the oppo-research-driven point Scott Brown is trying to make? Because this is lame:
Brown’s campaign manager, Jim Barnett, said the story “raises serious questions about Elizabeth Warren’s credibility.”
Um, OK…let me get this straight. Warren hears lots of stories growing up about her Native American ancestors. She was in a directory listing minority lawyers. She gets a job at Harvard University. Harvard, being criticized for having too many white faculty, tout her heritage as well. (You can argue Harvard was stupid for doing this, as the right solution would be to really hire more minorities, but I digress.)
Does anyone in their right mind think that Warren was not qualified for the professorship or any of the promotions she got while there? And what does it matter if she claimed (and has) a few drops of native blood in her veins and was listed in a directory? Not a hell of a lot, right?
Ahh, but you see, this is a dog whistle, my friends. This is about that perennial Republican boogyman, Affirmative Action. You see, Brown is insinuating (though he can’t explicitly SAY it because he’d sound like an asshole) that Warren got to where she is today by Affirmative Action and not by her own hard work, sweat, smarts and qualifications.
We’ve seen this before. We’ve seen it in attacks against Governor Patrick, and against President Barak Obama. You see, if you are a minority, or a woman, you MUST have been helped along by Affirmative Action. It could NEVER have been on your own terms. Cuz, you know, minorities and chicks, they aren’t really that smart.
This is an oblique attack on “reverse racism” as Republicans (you know, privileged old white men) like to call it. And by extension, an attack on the viability and qualifications of minorities and women to gain positions of power. It’s an age old time honored method!
Wake up, everyone! Scott Brown is as Empty Suit as they come. He votes against our best economic and social interests, his record is clear on that…and he is grasping at anything, ANYthing that could possibly hurt his opponent, a mark of a desperate man who has little else to offer. He puts out attacks which are thinly disguised Republican victimhood memes. What kind of Senator…no, what kind of person would do this? Certainly not someone we want in OUR People’s Seat!
By the way, I’d like to know what credulous idiot believes this bullshit?
Brown, speaking briefly to reporters on Monday, and said it’s up to Warren to answer questions raised by the media.
I mean, who here, by a show of hands, doesn’t believe that this “story” wasn’t spoonfed to the Globe BY the Brown campaign? Please. We weren’t born yesterday. Drumming up a lame controversy so that you can quote the controversy when the media covers it is soooooo last George Bush.
Update: Hesterprynne makes a really, really good point about Brown’s attack on Warren’s Native American heritage given his “Card Those Minorities” votes as a state Senator.
File this under “Plain as the nose on your face.”
“We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.”
“The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”
“When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.”
(h/t Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire)
Maybe by now you have read the offering from Lowell’s “Blogger in Chief?”
It starts out in a rather pedestrian tone:
Executives at the U.S. National Park Service and the Lowell National Historical Park are for preservation, period.
It is their single-minded job to preserve what they consider to be national landmarks and significant articles of value that promote their cultural, historical and educational mission.
They do a good job.
But, Campi quickly turns to set up a conflict. Not so much between the Park Service and Enel, but more between Lowellians that respect history and those whose lives are turned upsidedown when the Merrimack floodwaters come:
The Park Service wants to keep the flashboards on the Pawtucket Dam because they represent early 20th century history — not because it is a good way to regulate the Merrimack River’s waterflow.
Enel North America wants to install a technologically advanced balloon crestgate system at a cost of $6 million. At the push of a button, Enel would be able to control the water’s height, produce more electricity, and increase profits.
Enel says the system would also help control flooding issues in the Pawtucketville flood plain where 12 to 15 Lowell homes are at risk of severe damage during storms.
This is just turning into a bizarre set of examples of a total misreading of plain old English.
Does Scott Brown actually know how to read? Does he have any skills at all in reading comprehension? Did Tufts neglect this very important part of his education? I know I learned those skills in grammar school, but man, if he got into college without them, one would have hoped Tufts could have picked up the slack somehow. I have never seen an adult this epically bad at plain old reading comprehension.
Because now Brown is reading extra meaning into a letter Ted Kennedy sent a dying Pope about religious exemptions where he wrote
I believe in a conscience protection for Catholics in the health field and I’ll continue to advocate for it as my colleagues in the Senate and I work to develop an overall national health policy that guarantees health care for everyone
and claiming that Ted Kennedy would share his view of the Blunt amendment! Who in their right mind would think Kennedy would support this amendment?? Kennedy was specifying that a doctor or nurse should have an exemption from performing a medical procedure their religion disagrees with (a la abortion etc). NOT that employers should be able to discriminate against covering birth control for employees of their non-core institutions like hospitals.
This is beyond sad and insane. I can’t believe a sitting US Senator would be this dumb and exhibit such poor intellect. Never mind how bad it would be if Senator Brown knows exactly what the language in the letter (and in the Blunt amendment) mean but has decided to lie about it, an even worse situation. A wrong interpretation of an obvious plain English statement, or a lie to distort and exploit Ted Kennedy’s legacy - either way, it’s flabbergastingly terrible.
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