Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
By now, you’ve probably seen all three lying scumbag ads from Scott Brown tripling down on the Cherokee heritage thing. In it, he outright lies, since there is evidence that Warren did NOT get ahead because of her listing herself in a lawyer’s directory as having Native blood, and there no evidence whatsoever that she did get ahead. Yet the ads say over and over “she got ahead” because of it. (The ONLY argument you can make is that Harvard, for a time, “got ahead” by listing her a female minority briefly. However, Warren was hired by then, and she had nothing to do with that. To accuse her of “lying to get ahead” is to A) assume she is lying about her heritage that was passed down by her parents, and B) that everyone and everything that has come out about how she never used this to get her jobs is lying. Occam’s Razor, people.)
You might have also seen the latest ad where Brown attacks her work on the asbestos case he has been bringing up over and over at debates. He selectively pulled out quotes from the Globe which were seriously out of context, and distorted the truth to the point of lying again.
This is the result of having a Karl Rove acolyte running your campaign. Everyone remembers the swiftboating of John Kerry - lying about his war record, taking what is a big strength of Kerry’s and making it an albatross around his neck. It became so synonymous with Karl Rove tactic it became its own verb.
I think the voters of Massachusetts deserve way better than Karl Rovian, swiftboating lying scummy campaigns. And so do the people affected by the asbestos lawsuit against Travelers…not a one of the victims, workers, or any other person on the victim’s side of that lawsuit from Travelers has said anything but positive things on Warren’s role in the case, preserving future victims’ rights to sue and get compensated. The “disastrous results” Brown quotes in his ad are from long after Warren left the case, in a decision that Warren utterly disagrees with (vacating the payments).
So also say the Asbestos Workers Local 6. If Warren indeed was on the side of wrong on the asbestos case, these are the people you would think would be applauding Brown for his attacks and highlighting of this issue. Instead, they are calling on Brown to pull his ad immediately for being a lie. Via BMG, their open letter (bold mine):
Dear Senator Brown:
At your first debate with Elizabeth Warren, you accused her of siding with Travelers Insurance Company to deny people with asbestos poisoning their benefits and added, “I hope all the Asbestos Union Workers are watching right now.”
As the Business Manager of Asbestos Workers Local 6 – which represents 450 asbestos workers in Massachusetts – I can attest that many of us were watching and were shocked and upset by your mischaracterizations and politicization of this serious issue. We were also disappointed to see your totally unsupported and unsupportable subsequent allegation that asbestos victims “have died as a result of her efforts,” as well as to see you repeating these false attacks in your second debate and in a new false, misleading, and offensive television attack advertisement.
The truth is that Elizabeth Warren represented Travelers at a time when the company was on the same side as a vast majority of asbestos victims. Elizabeth fought for a principle that most asbestos victims agree with strongly: that settlement trusts are an important part of the law and should be continued to be used. To say otherwise is either ignorant of the facts or a cynical lie designed to trick people to vote for you.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. There is no cure for mesothelioma and the average life expectancy from diagnosis is generally from six to eighteen months. In our union, many of us have watched family members and or friends suffer and die painful deaths from this horrible disease.
We think it is inappropriate of you to use misleading personal attacks to distract people from your record against working families in Massachusetts, and we think it is offensive for you to campaign on the backs of suffering mesothelioma victims to win votes.
We would like to request a meeting to discuss this issue with you further as soon as possible and certainly before the next debate on Oct. 10, and before you make more false attacks. We are indeed watching your comments on this and other issues and have a keen interest in them.
Francis C. Boudrow
International Association of Heat & Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers Local #6
303 Freeport Street
Dorchester, MA 02122
Anyone wanna take the bet that Brown will meet with them or pull his ads? Didn’t think so.
If you haven’t already had your “duuuuuh” moment, please watch this. If simple freaking facts can’t sway you, then nothing can, except maybe if god talks to you or something. I’m told he does to Rick Perry.
I’d like to give a shout out to all my tea partying pals. I hope you told the birthers to go pound sand.
Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan is stepping up his call for Congress to let the Bush-era tax cuts lapse.
In an appearance Sunday on ABC’s “Meet the Press,” Mr. Greenspan used his strongest words yet to urge lawmakers to let them expire. The risk of a U.S. debt crisis, he said, is just too big. Mr. Greenspan, who retired from the Federal Reserve in 2006, had endorsed the cuts back in 2001 championed by then-President George W. Bush.
“This crisis is so imminent and so difficult that I think we have to allow the so-called Bush tax cuts all to expire. That is a very big number,” he said, referring to how much the U.S. government could save from letting income taxes go back up to levels last seen under former President Bill Clinton. -snip
Of course, we know that POTUS will poo poo this to some degree ’cause he has his very own ‘read my lips’-esque campaign speak that draws a line at $250,000+/-. So, there is that.
Data, being ambivalent, only offers this guidance: Top 1% pay 28% of federal income taxes, and earn 23% of all income.
And finally, where is the rally that squawks about the $880/month I’m dolling out for crappy health insurance we can’t afford to use? Can I see a single payer plan that would spike my taxes by $5000? I’d be saving money then.
This will probably be just a blip on the news, but it should be screamed from the rooftops: the Supreme Court has overturned the ability of government to regulate the political spending of corporations. If you thought your politicians were bought and sold on the open market under the current flawed loopholes of campaign finance, you ain’t seen nothing yet. This is a big deal, folks.
The premise of conservative judges to rule this way is the application of the “free speech” provisions of our Constitution, which they say corporations have a right to. This is because under precedence, corporations are considered to have “personhood” - one of the most terrible rulings ever made, by the way.
And also patently not true. We completely block the free speech of corporations all the time. For instance, cigarette companies - they are banned from advertising on any broadcast or cable medium, and a lot of print mediums. A bit of a curb on those corporations’ free speech, don’t you think? But you don’t see that being overturned in the Supreme Court. Just political speech. WTF?
I’ve long said that the danger in the Bush conservative court was not the threat to choice, or other social liberties we’ve enjoyed. It is in the extremely pro-corporate background and history of these people Bush put on the Court during his term that would kill us.
Just to add: The Court says this is about Freedom of Speech. But given the concentration of wealth into corporations, some people’s speech is more important than others.
Also, I think this is a good point by Pogo in comments:
So David, as our resident legal scholar, and this is a serious question and the serious answer depends on what the majority opinion says, but could this lead to stronger criminal sanctions against companies and executives that break the law?
Instead of the usual fines and civil penalties, now that corporations are granted the same rights as people (as absurd as that sounds) it seems they should face similar penalties people face when we break the laws society creates. So instead of Exxon paying a fine of $100 million for breaking the law, the chairman of the board does six months in jail…or the company is sentenced to one month of not being able to conduct business in the jurisdiction where the law as broken? Yes, these are crazy thoughts, but no crazier than this ruling.
Here’s living proof that its demise was prematurely declared.
Here’s what we have learned about the interrogation of detainees, torture, and the big reason, why.
The truth is that when the CIA didn’t give Cheney the info he wanted about an Iraq-al Qaeda connection, he marginalized the agency:
In the initial stages of the war on terror, Tenet’s CIA was rising to prominence as the lead agency in the Afghanistan war. But when Tenet insisted in his personal meetings with the president that there was no connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq, Cheney and Rumsfeld initiated a secret program to re-examine the evidence and marginalize the agency and Tenet. Through interviews with DoD staffers who sifted through mountains of raw intelligence, FRONTLINE details how questionable intelligence was “stovepiped” to the vice president and presented to the public.
So who thinks Pelosi isn’t telling the truth? Most people should believe she is in this her-versus-them moronic debate. Occam’s razor demands it, given everything that we know about the situation, don’t you think?
And yet, the media sheeples have once again, with rare exception, given in to the right wing bitch and moan brigade and now we have a slipping of the approval rates for the leader of the Democratic party in the US House.
Constant vigilance, people, these liars and cheaters are not done with this country yet.
One of the most common and most corrosive aspects of our political discourse is the endless assertions — based on nothing — about what “Americans believe. It is exceedingly conventional wisdom that Americans generally view the world through the prism of Jack Bauer and therefore want our government to torture, want Guantanamo kept opened, and do not want suspected Terrorists to be tried in civilian courts inside the U.S. It is even more commonly asserted that Americans do not want, and even further, would never tolerate, criminal investigations into the various crimes of Bush officials.”
Turns out that there is polling on these questions, and the American people seem to have missed the memo from the village about what they are supposed to believe. Of course the polling is phrased to try and push them toward village conformity, but alas the village is doomed to be disapointed (that is if they really cared if their claims about American opinion had any basis in truth).
Greenwald has the details but here are some hits:
By a wide margin — 58-40% — Americans say that torture should never be used, no matter the circumstances.
…a majority of Americans (50-47%) believe that the Obama administration should investigate whether the Bush administration’s treatment of detainees was illegal.
Americans would have opposed (52-42%) the issuance of pardons by Bush to those “who carried out his administration’s policy on the treatment of terrorism suspects.”
I guess it turns out that Americans get, unlike Fox, that Jack Bauer is as advertised… entertaining fiction. Of course the village will no doubt go on misunderestimating American opinion. They will claim insight into ‘conventional wisdom’ and assert that these majority views are actually only the opinion of the far left.
One can hope now that those who dismissed anyone that was ‘reality based’ are out of office, real reality might begin permeate the consciousness (and conscience) of the village.
At long last, our eight-year national nightmare is over. I can’t tell you just how these two terms have dragged. Or maybe they have for you, too.
Things I thank “President” Bush for:
1) Making being smart seem cool again. No one could ever think having a national figure talk like a hillbilly moron is impressive ever, going forward. The fact is, we voted overwhelmingly for President-Elect (until noon tomorrow!) Obama because, above all else, he was pretty much the smartest guy in the pack. It feels good to be smart! (Now, if we could translate that to local governing we’d all be better off…)
2) Getting myself, and millions of others, active again in politics. It took a complete fuckup to do it, but you will now get to watch the younger generation (those who are just now coming into voting age or have in the last six years) become voting, campaigning, citizens - many of whom will themselves run for office. Not only that, but by and large, they will be lifelong liberals. The Republican party lost a whole generation of voters, and if you think their electoral woes are bad now, just wait a bit, as the old conservatives die off and the GenY’ers begin to make up a larger segment of the voting population.
My own awakening came on the eve of the Iraq war. I have long been a digester of political news and information, especially since age 20, when I met Mr. Lynne with his geeky wonkishness. But before Bush, I never did more than vote (which I did religiously, as it was instilled in me by my family), even though I always knew what was going on. That was what made the Iraq war an anathema - I knew, being an informed citizen, that it was all bull. Smoke and mirrors. I was enraged by my government.
From peace activism (which after a few years felt like a futile effort - even if you get 75% of the American people at your side, still Bush didn’t get a rat’s you-know-who), to campaigning and knocking on doors for candidates, to blogging, I will never be the same rather-apathetic voter again. I take my job as citizen very seriously now, and it’s all thanks to trust-fund moron boy.
3) Though I’d rather we hadn’t, I thank Bush for going so far down the neo-conservative domestic and foreign policy path that it showcased what an EPIC FAIL such adherence towards deregulation, government handouts for the rich and big business, and empire building brings to a nation. The military arrogance of our leadership, the borrowing of money from an oppressive Communist nation to finance our buying of that same country’s (often shoddy) products, all these things are not progressive values. They are stupid, right-wing, pro-business values.
The fact is, the people who have done the most damage to the conservative agenda are the conservatives. Let’s hope it lasts a generation or more! Here’s to another era like the one pre-Raygun - decades of relative economic stability and upward mobility via progressive policies. Smart ones; I am not saying every liberal idea of the last century was the best one in every case. But the failure of the alternative (conservatism) to continue such prosperity cannot now be discounted.
This is the last contemporary post with the category “Bush Administration.” Though I still hope I get to use the category postmortem, if only Congress and the Justice Department will do its job and investigate the abuses of the last eight years. We cannot let such precedent stand. That would be a grave mistake.
Only a few more months, let’s see how much damage Paulson can do on his way out the door to sabotage Obama’s chances of fixing this economic nightmare. Sigh.
And AIG is dipping its hands into the pot again. Why aren’t more heads rolling?
January-freakin’-20 can’t come fast enough for me. Obama already has a plan to make it seem like the Bush years never happened.
Update: Regular dkos economic writer Jerome a Paris has more. Go read. Then be prepared to upchuck your breakfast.
Mere days from assuming the presidency and closing the door on eight years of Bill Clinton, president-elect George W. Bush assured the nation in a televised address Tuesday that “our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over.”
President-elect Bush vows that “together, we can put the triumphs of the recent past behind us.”
“My fellow Americans,” Bush said, “at long last, we have reached the end of the dark period in American history that will come to be known as the Clinton Era, eight long years characterized by unprecedented economic expansion, a sharp decrease in crime, and sustained peace overseas. The time has come to put all of that behind us.”
Bush swore to do “everything in [his] power” to undo the damage wrought by Clinton’s two terms in office, including selling off the national parks to developers, going into massive debt to develop expensive and impractical weapons technologies, and passing sweeping budget cuts that drive the mentally ill out of hospitals and onto the street.
During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.
“You better believe we’re going to mix it up with somebody at some point during my administration,” said Bush, who plans a 250 percent boost in military spending. “Unlike my predecessor, I am fully committed to putting soldiers in battle situations. Otherwise, what is the point of even having a military?”
On the economic side, Bush vowed to bring back economic stagnation by implementing substantial tax cuts, which would lead to a recession, which would necessitate a tax hike, which would lead to a drop in consumer spending, which would lead to layoffs, which would deepen the recession even further.
Wall Street responded strongly to the Bush speech, with the Dow Jones industrial fluctuating wildly before closing at an 18-month low. The NASDAQ composite index, rattled by a gloomy outlook for tech stocks in 2001, also fell sharply, losing 4.4 percent of its total value between 3 p.m. and the closing bell.
This is incredible. Matt Stoller (as seen on dkos) writes that some intrepid bloggers got onto a private (secret?) conference call between Wall St execs and Treasury officials.
The ‘Treasury boys’ on the call made it clear that “the tranching is a mere formality, and the Treasury boys as much as said so. They could take the $700 billion max as soon as the bill has passed.” That was always obvious.
And they admitted that “the exec comp provisions sound like a joke, They DO NOT affect existing contracts, they affect only contracts entered into during the two years of the authority of this program and then affect only golden parachutes.” Both of these provisions were ‘concessions’ sought by Democrats. Of course, no one could have predicted this bill’s ‘concessions’ to Democrats were farcical. No one at all.
Make no mistake. The bill as it stood was mostly Paulson’s blank check with some Caesar dressing. Unfortunately, there is a gun pointed at our heads to do something, anything, to restore confidence and credit flow to the market, even if it hoses the taxpayer and mortgages (the subprime kind) our future.
Bush-Cheney will go down as THE worst economic president in history. He already had that distinction on foreign policy, and his economics have sucked, but this rivals the mistakes made pre-Great Depression. Thanks, Republicans. Thanks, George W. Frak Me Bush.
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