Left In Lowell

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October 8, 2012

Proof Positive Scott Brown is a Douchebag Liar

by at 10:34 am.

I’ve already proven it before, but this bears real repeating: Scott Brown is lying about Elizabeth Warren on many fronts. The most despicable lie is not the racist “and, as you can see, she’s not” questioning of her heritage…lying, despite evidence to the contrary, that she got any benefit from letting a law directory know her verbal family history of native blood. No, the most terrible lies of all are around Scott Brown’s crass use of the dead and dying to win political points, in regards to the misleading - nay, downright untruthful - representation of Warren’s work on the Travelers Insurance asbestos case.

I’ve already pointed out that asbestos union workers are angry at Scott Brown. These are people who have family members or friends who have died or are dying of asbestos poisoning. If Scott Brown were telling the truth, these are the people who’d be applauding him. But he’s not telling the truth - he’s lying, and using their tragedy to smear Warren. As the letter from Boudrow states, “Warren represented Travelers at a time when the company was on the same side as a vast majority of asbestos victims” trying to preserve the use of settlement trusts as a tool for victim compensation (both present and future), joining the case to argue in front of the US Supreme Court.

But nothing showcases the hollow morals of Scott Brown like his latest ad on this subject. Since his campaign is either too scared or too incompetent to post the ad on his YouTube account, I took the liberty of waiting until it came on the air, and filmed my TV with my smartphone. The end result is that I missed the first few seconds (mostly the “I’m Scott Brown and I approve this message”) but got the rest online.


Here is the Globe article quoted in Brown’s ad. He selectively takes out quotes, all of them out of context, but the worst one is the last quote he pulls. I’ve highlighted in yellow the beginning of the sentence Brown’s ad highlights in green with the voiceover reading.

Photobucket

Brown’s ad says, quoting the Globe, “the results were ‘disastrous for victims.’” The quick focus and movement around the image of the article is, I’m certain, so you can’t read any of the rest of that sentence, which is in full, “But after Warren left the case, it continued to twist and turn through the legal system, leaving a result that has been disastrous for asbestos victims.” Hardly a condemnation of Warren when you read it in context, is it?

Here is Warren’s response to Brown’s ad, two ads featuring the real story of victims. They can’t go into as much detail as I can in a blog post, but they do call him out:

But this is what we can expect from Empty Suit Brown. He has nothing to run on that the Massachusetts voters would support, so he is attacking from his position of weakness with Karl Rove tactics of lying to smear your opponent on their strengths. Don’t let him get away with it. Your job is to tell your friends and neighbors about how Scott Brown is using victims of asbestos poisoning, against their wishes, to score misleading political points.

September 20, 2012

S&P: No, Trickle Down Doesn’t Increase Revenues

by at 7:41 am.

Poor Gov. Chris Christie. Coming off an awful Republican convention in which he was a keynote, Standard and Poor’s “lowered its credit outlook for New Jersey from stable to negative.” Why so? (Bold mine.)

While Standard & Poor’s did not change the state’s AA- rating — one of the worst among the states — it warned the more drastic step of a lower rating loomed if Christie’s nearly 8 percent growth in revenue failed to materialize.

[…]

“We revised the outlook to reflect our view of the risk of revenue assumptions we view as optimistic, continued reliance on one-time measures to offset revenue shortfalls, and longer-term growing expenditure pressures,” John Sugden, a credit analyst for Standard & Poor’s, said.

[…]

Christie has spent much of the year boasting of a “Jersey Comeback” — an assertion that has fizzled in recent months as state revenue has fallen short of expectations, unemployment has risen and foreclosures remain a drag on the real estate market.

What’s Christie’s risky revenue assumption? That cutting taxes will increase the state’s revenues! The Governor’s response to S&P? Double down!

Unswayed by the latest batch of economic news, Christie repeated his call for an income tax cut at an appearance in Bergen County and said it was a “joke” that Democrats had not yet delivered the cut.

I hate having to state the obvious, but…trickle-down economics doesn’t work. Cutting taxes does not increase revenues. It decreases revenues. If I get a pay cut at work, I don’t take in more money than I did before the cut.

Why is basic math so hard for conservatives to understand? Look, we can disagree, and do, about what government should be involved in and how much it should spend. But can we, please, just agree on basic freaking addition and subtraction? George H.W. Bush called Reagan’s supply-side plans “voodoo economics” over thirty years ago - he was right then, and he’s still right. Tax cuts have slashed revenues in states who have implemented them, and destroyed our national budgets. Conservatives complain about deficits but make them worse…the Bush tax cuts account for a very large percent of our deficit right now, along with his war bill, and the severe downturn he left behind him.

If I was a more cynical sort, I’d say that most trickle-down adherents actually know that what they peddle is a crock of snake oil, but they inflict the country with this policy anyway so that when the deficit inevitably balloons, they can slash the budget in places that will hurt the worst off in our country - that they really, underneath it all, mean “trickle-UP” - cutting taxes for the wealthy so their buddies can get even more gawd-awfully rich and the gap between them and the rest of us gets wider.

And a number of conservatives do know this, and do do this, aka the Norquist “drown it in a bathtub” admission. But I believe the real core of the Republican party, especially its voters, are merely obsessed with “supply-side economics” in a religious way, clinging to trickle-down dogma. You know, like when you see an interview with Tom Cruise, and the host tries to talk about the science of mental health, and Tom Cruise bounces up and down on the couch in denial that mental disease even exists, because his crazy ass religion tells him so. You can try to get him to stop bouncing and listen to the empirical evidence, but dogma prevents him from hearing you.

Well, that’s most trickle-down adherents for you. They keep bouncing, because if they stop and actually think logically, never mind view and digest the evidence against it, it would throw their entire worldview upside down, and that is a very uncomfortable place to be.

(Article via dkos.)

July 24, 2012

Updated: Romney’s Rant Wrong - Case Closed

by at 7:12 am.

The conservative folks in America have been making quite a bit of hay with this quote by President Obama:

If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

In an effort to distract from the refusal of Mitt Romney to release more of his tax returns, the GOP noise machine has focused on the quote above, flogging it like the proverbial dead horse.

So convinced in the focus group tested power of this meme, the Romney campaign crafted this TV ad:


“My father’s hands didn’t build this company? My hands didn’t build this company? My son’s hands aren’t building this company? … President Obama, you’re killing us out here. Through hard work and a little bit of luck, we built this business. Why are you demonizing us for it?”

The problem is ….
(more…)

July 21, 2012

Dracut Wingnut

by at 8:04 am.

I woke up and opted to listen to Warren Shaw’s show on WCAP. This is not my normal routine, but on occasion I check the show out. I think Shaw bends towards a more conservative view, but generally, I think he does a good job conducting the conversation. His guests, most likely reflect the AM radio listeners. (Note: I listen to the show via internet.)

Luck would have it, Shaw is interviewing two republicans, Cathy Richardson and George Boag, who are vying to challenge Democrat Collen Garry in November. I’ll tell you now, believe it or not, I was just sipping my coffee, half listening to the show. I figured I’d listen to their views on state issues. The idea of writing a blog about this was the furthest from my mind.

But … then Cathy Richardson opted to share her wingnut views.
(more…)

July 14, 2012

They Won’t Play This On City Life

by at 11:11 am.

Update: They did play this on City Life. Thanks to John and George.


Mitt Romney accuses President Obama of not talking about the issues, but he has run a campaign of carpet bombing and tearing down his opponents.

July 4, 2012

Updated Twice: Crushing Right Wing BS

by at 1:09 pm.

Update:

This goes out to Mike Hayden, a loyal follower.
(more…)

July 3, 2012

Friends Don’t Let Friends Parrot Right Wing Nuts

by at 9:38 pm.

Massachusetts voters are about to get an up-close look at the right-wing smear machine

Fighting Dirty
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.
-snip

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.

June 4, 2012

The Sun Sells Itself … Out

by at 8:18 pm.

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.
(more…)

May 23, 2012

How Quickly We Forget

by at 10:32 am.

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.

May 1, 2012

Brown’s Top Ten

by at 12:22 pm.

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!

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