"If the right of free and open debate is taken away from the minority party, and the millions of Americans who ask us to be their voice, I fear that the partisan atmosphere in Washington will be poisoned to the point where no one will be able to agree on anything."
The Senate has had the filibuster in place for 225 years. It held during the lead-up to the Civil War, when one senator actually physically attacked another on the Senate floor. It lasted through the Great Depression and the battle over FDR's Court-packing plan. It lasted through many wars. Now our president sees an obstacle to his control of government, and a practice of over two centuries falls.
Silver lining- it may take 51 votes in the Senate and a Republican president to overturn the biggest power grab in recent history, Obamacare. That's a concrete, achievable goal. Let's start working today to achieve it.
The tendentious Eric Dondero, self-proclaimed Libertarian Republican, is intrigued that state Senator Robert Hedlund is "the go-to guy" for a quote in the Boston Herald.
The Hedlund quote:
"They are freaked out," state Sen. Robert Hedlund (R-Weymouth) said after U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry, Victoria Kennedy and the party's Senate campaign committee all rushed to back Markey, a consummate Washington insider.
"Let them coalesce and let them have a non-primary situation and keep the rust on him," Hedlund said of the 19-term Democrat, who has never had a serious re-election fight but would likely face battle-tested Republican Scott Brown in the race to fill Kerry's seat. "Fine by me. You're going to have a huge contrast in how those two will campaign."
Dondero praises Hedlund as the sort of libertarian that could appeal to his faction in the GOP -- though the former "disgrunlted" aide to Ron Paul doesn't raise the possibility of a Hedlund for U.S. candidacy.
"Bob Hedlund is an all-around libertarian: Hardline free marketeer, devotee of Austrian economics, supporting an end to the Fed, a return to the gold standard. Hedlund's also stridently anti-moocher, last year introducing legislation to stop EBT card users from using taxpayer dollars to buy booze, cigarettes, junk food and crack cocaine.
On civil liberties, he's a down-the-line "rock 'n roll" libertarian, an amateur guitarist and night club comedian, and frequent guest speaker at pro-marijuana legalization rallies throughout Massachusetts."
Bob Hedlund is a breath of fresh air in the MA GOP. From what I heard Hedlund was also against the Iraq War, a wise position in hindsight and one that might put him at odds with "national defense" libertarian Dondero.
One of the most enduring paradoxes in the American ethos is the way that Americans simultaneously regard higher education with reverence while viewing intellectuals with suspicion. American anti-intellectualism is based in the notion that the universities in which our greatest thinkers thrive are singularly free from the practical tests of real-world viability that are needed in order for great thoughts to become good policy. One such great thought that has received remarkably little attention in the campaign for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts is Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren's plan to radically transform the public school system in America into a voucher system that abolishes local control of public schools.
The SUPRC poll has Warren up by 7, outside the margin of error. Her favorable ratings are up and Senator Brown is losing a small portion of his advantage among independents.
This is not January 2010.
Overall, the Senator has run a decent campaign but the reality of a one-party state with little room for error is now apparent.
An analysis will be written post-mortem. It should be based on the premiss that campaigns that allow talk radio to set the agenda are bound to fail. Minutiae about Native American background, law licenses and law practices consume the right blogosphere without any political return to capital.
Senator Brown has overcome before and there is no reason to give up hope. But this is not a pretty place to be as an incumbent.
Update: There's a little glee among the fever swamp about the SUPRC poll at BMG.
According to WRKO, Senator Scott Brown is pulling out of tomorrow night's media consortium debate at WGBH inferring that a disaster is not the time to put politics front and center. Is he right? Or does this seem like he's chickening out?
UPDATE: Warren also pulls out of the debate according to the Herald.
Meanwhile David Bernstein gets caught off guard thinking that Scott Brown's preemptive move was self-serving. Now that his newspaper's candidate (Warren) has pulled out for the same reasons -- concern for public safety, Bernstein has to sort of dial back. The dart toward Brown doesn't look so good now.
"So, now I think they're both being ridiculous and hypocritical. The debate doesn't affect public safety and cleanup any more or less than the ads both sides are airing; if those stay up, the debate should go on."
The pox on both houses is a little lame, I'd say. Voters view ad-buys a bit differently than they do watching whether politicians take advantage of the news cycle during the crisis.
Let's get to the easy off-the-mark lame-stream media narrative that will appear tomorrow: that Brown was mean in retorting to Professor Warren by saying he wasn't her student. He wasn't; Brown was just was quick on his feet and data-driven, sharp as a knife, a street kid ready to brawl. Brown captured the ground, held it and expanded upon it. There was plenty of Brown charm as well.
Brown reminded the voters that he is a Massachusetts native and had a feel for the people of this state. She does not she is a creature of Washington and Cambridge. She is not a great candidate (Where are you Marisa DeFranco?)
Warren stumbled failing to relate to the sports culture that is Massachusetts. It was an opportunity to show some humanity; Warren leaves us cold. She is unlikeable and even her ideological supporters know it. Her talking points about pleasing every part of the liberal Democratic base is growing old. Does anyone care about birth control pills at this stage?
Brown enjoyed a Reaganesque moment when he said that he thought Warren was a great professor and that he would work hard to make sure that she remains one. Debate over. Moments like this win over the Reagan Democrats and hold onto the independents who will split the ticket on November 6. All that's missing is a trip to the Erie Pub.
Dick Gregory was awful. The debate consortium didn't learn its lesson from 2010 that you import an outsider (see David Gergen in January 2010) at a huge risk. Brown handled Gregory well and actually benefited from the newsman's hard questioning. The only slip up took place when Brown was asked by Gregory on his favorite Supreme Court justice but this pales in comparison to Warren's reaching for good answer to a question about working with a favorite Republican. Someone forgot to brief her that Lugar won't be in the next Congress. The voters in Indiana got sick of his style and aloofness. Brown was smart enough to remind everyone that Warren will vote with her team 100 percent of the time. She will not be bipartisan.
Brown shined on the Dream Act speaking honestly. He earned points with the blue collar Democrats who think immigration is a rigged game for the elites.
But Brown also shined on drawing the distinctions with Warren, particularly with his commitment to bipartisanship and his defense of tax cuts. There is no question who the fiscal conservative is on this race. He reminded us which business person exactly wants to send their money to Washington to be wasted? Big score for Brown.
Watching RMG's online thread one can only conclude that the moon-bats at Blue Mass Group and Blue Mass Group Lite are pulling their hair out. Warren is not a good candidate. Oddly the liberals sounded like tired conservatives railing about the media when they carried on about Mr. Gregory. What goes around comes around. It's called Karma. Can we now get a kind word for Jon Keller from BMG?
With two debates under his belt, Brown has demonstrated he has the instincts on on a pretty good line of attack on Warren. He did not raise the issue about her law license -- a grand distraction and pet issue here at RMG that serves no purpose at this stage. Character is important but it's about the economy.
Updated with -- finally-- an apology sort of, but a good move I think
8:43 p.m. | Updated
BOSTON — Senator Scott P. Brown’s campaign issued a statement Wednesday evening saying he “regrets” what he called “unacceptable” behavior by some staff members who participated in the tomahawk chops and Indian war whoops at a campaign rally.
He also issued a verbal warning to those staff members who took part — and to all of his staff — that such conduct would not be tolerated, according to a statement from his office.Hello my name is and I work with (name of local program) and we provide legal assistance to many low income working people in your district.
“The conduct of these individuals goes far beyond what is appropriate and proper in political discourse,” the chief, Bill John Baker, said in a statement. “The use of stereotypical ‘war whoop chants’ and ‘tomahawk chops’ are offensive and downright racist. It is those types of actions that perpetuate negative stereotypes and continue to minimize and degrade all native peoples.”
Updated with Rachel Maddow last night confirming Scott's Senate Staff were involved. As Federal Employees, they should be fired under the Hatch Act. Why didn'[t they stop it? SUCH a pity.
The video shows Brown staffers including Greg Casey and Jack Richard, but the footage of Brown supporters engaging in this behavior would have been damaging even without actual staffers. Casey and Richard's appearance just adds fuel to the fire. . Brown released his first real negative ad of the campaign after the first debates, attacking Warren's self-reported herritage.
Warren was up shortly with a response ad that is, well, a vast improvement over her earlier ads. It makes her appear sympathetic and likable, something she's struggled with throughout the campaign.
Boston has a sad racial history and this latest episode just adds to the global perception that my hometown is populated with a bunch of whiskey-drinking knuckledraggers who hate the New York Yankees.
The Herald is reporting that Mayor Menino is set to endorse Elizabeth Warren in her bid to regain the seat for the Democratic Party.
"After months of speculation, Mayor Thomas M. Menino is set to endorse Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren at an event in Roslindale tomorrow, sources close to the mayor told the Herald.
Menino has balked at endorsing the Harvard professor for months as speculation swirled that he may sit on the sidelines in her heated race to unseat U.S. Sen. Scott Brown. The mayor, whose political clout in the city could significantly help Warren, will formally endorse her at a public event at 4 p.m. tomorrow, a person close to the mayor told the Herald today."
Given the Mayor's tortured speech in Charlotte defending his party's values, the endorsement is not a surprise. The mayor was playing cute all these months telegraphing the impression that he is a kingmaker. The doubt that was thrown into the mix only signified that power.
Brown will still do well in pockets of the city.
He has Ray Flynn in his corner.
(My name is Rob, I'm a man and I fold clothes. - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)
Has it come to this? Name-calling from the party of the high-minded? With their candidate for U.S. Senate floundering and failing to gain any kind of meaningful traction on the huge head start she enjoys, the Democrats are reduced to calling U.S. Senator Scott Brown an "honorary girl".
Imagine if a Massachusetts Republican pronounced his or her opposition in a similar sexist fashion. The press would be outraged.
Walsh, who six hours after making his initial comment back-peddled and apologized, believes that Brown is running a campaign based on images. (Now that's rich for the affirmative action party that cleared the way for a flawed candidate like Elizabeth Warren.) But the more the Democrats attack the more Brown holds steady in the likeability quotient.
Brown spokeswoman Alleigh Marre said Walsh's comments were a sign of desperation.
"When a candidate starts to fall behind in the polls is when they resort to name-calling and personal insults," Marre said. "Scott Brown is pro-choice and wants all women to have good jobs with equal pay. Elizabeth Warren should be ashamed of herself for these negative attacks."
Walsh issued his apology about six hours later, shortly after the Brown campaign issued a second statement from the leader of the Women for Brown coalition.
Chairwoman Angela Davis connected the Walsh statement with one Warren made in a column published in the Boston Sunday Globe.
In that piece, Warren said that, unlike Brown, she feels embarrassed to to run ads focused on her personal life, adding, "You probably won't see me folding laundry."
Davis said: "It seems Professor Warren and her spokesman can't decide if they are just too good to fold laundry, or if household chores are suitable only for women. Professor Warren should apologize for her own elitist remark, and denounce her spokesman's insulting comments suggesting folding laundry is a 'girl's' job."
Life is hard when you are chairman of the Democratic party in the bluest of bluest one-party states and you are saddled with a mediocre candidate who won't be caught folding laundry.
Elizabeth Warren is unquestionably a liar. She told the public that she never used her false "Indian" status to get ahead, but then admitted she told Harvard she was a minority. When asked by the media, she refuses to say whether she considers herself a minority and refuses to let Harvard and UPenn release her employment applications.
Warren supports increasing taxes by $3.4 TRILLION!
Warren is opposed to Fracking, removing American oil and gas from the American ground. She instead prefers us buying Saudi oil (which is then used to support fundamentalist madrassas) and paying $4 per gallon of gasoline. She also opposes the Keystone Pipeline - again she prefers imported Venezuelan Hugo Chavez-oil to Canadian oil.
Warren lectures the job producers while she teaches one class at Harvard for $350,000 per year. Plus don't forget her consulting jobs - trying to deny settlement money to asbestos victims and flipping house which were foreclosures (including one taken from a veteran).
Warren says in her ads that the US should be more like China - does she suggest we implement labor camps or forced abortions?
This past Thursday, Boston Mayor-For-Life Thomas Menino walked back his threat to prevent Chick-fil-A from obtaining a license to do business at a location alongside the Freedom Trail near Faneuil Hall (or anywhere else in Boston, for that matter). Menino had previously, in response to Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy's vocal opposition to gay marriage, written a letter to Cathy expressing his outrage at Cathy's pro-traditional marriage position, saying he would do "everything I can to stop them" from opening shop in Boston. After days of wild jeering from both the left and the right (the right claiming that Menino had no authority to undermine Chick-fil-A's right to do business in Boston), Menino conceded, saying: "I can't do that. That would be interference to his rights to go there...I make mistakes all the time. That's a Menino-ism."
On Friday Menino further "clarified" his remarks saying that he could not (and never had intention to) interfere with any legitimate enterprise obtaining the requisite permits to do business and that what he meant was that "we would do everything we can, bully pulpit-wise."
If I were in charge of the Democratic Party in Massachusetts, I don't think I'd let Mayor Menino near the bully pulpit. On his most recent pronouncement before this one (bully pulpit-wise) the Mayor suggested that grand theft auto was, as far as he was concerned, a rather flimsy excuse for deporting illegal aliens back to their home countries. And (to mention another more serious incident) the Mayor recently cited [John] "Hondo" [Havlicek] for his outstanding contributions to the successes of the 2012 Celtics. That's not the kind of mistake you want to make in a city like Boston, sports-wise, that is.
Elizabeth Warren elected not to pay the optional higher tax rate, POLITICO is reporting.
Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown's campaign accused Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren of "hypocrisy" after she admitted to not paying higher taxes than the state requires.
"I paid my taxes and I did not make a charitable contribution to the state," Warren said at a news conference on Friday, the Associated Press reported. The income tax rate in Massachusetts is 5.3 percent, but the state gives taxpayers the option of paying 5.85 percent.
For all the sanctimonious lecturing we had to endure about paying our fair share, at the end of the day, she chose not to give more than the bare minimum. As the one percenter in the race, she should have set a noblesse oblige good example, done her "patriotic duty," and paid at the higher rate. She's no better than her hero Warren Buffet, who preaches a millionaire tax while fighting the government over $1 billion in unpaid taxes. Higher taxes for thee, but not for me.
On a related note, shame on our local papers for falling for the Friday newsdrop trick. Look over there, the Sox are playing the Yankees at 100 year-old Fenway! Nothing to see here. Good reporters would have demanded an answer to this question before now.
Unlucky folks in Western Mass and the South Coast. You'll be getting a healthy dose of Professor Shrill. It is a fairly substantial buy this early. Seems she is focused on rallying her strongholds in the cheaper media markets.
(Professor Warren just gave Senator Brown a large gift. I would expect American Crossroads GpS ads to start soon. - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)
As Congress continues to debate critical tax and funding issues down to the very last minute, an event that has become all too common and, in my opinion, needs to stop, the issue of whether to approve the construction of the Keystone pipeline from Canada to Houston has taken center stage.
President Obama has declared that he will defer any approval of the pipeline until 2013, conveniently after the 2012 presidential election. The pure politics of this decision is best described by Newt when he said the following during the Thursday night debate in Sioux City:
"Once again, President Obama has demonstrated that he cares more about appeasing radical constituencies than making energy more affordable for American families and businesses, creating more American jobs, and lowering our dependence on oil from unfriendly nations.
Only days after we learned that at least 9% of Americans were unemployed for the 30th straight month, the President has made a decision that will only prolong this suffering by delaying a project that could have created 20,000 new American jobs next year. The Keystone XL pipeline would have sent 700,000barrels of oil a day from Texas, Oklahoma, Montana, The Dakotas, and Alberta to Gulf Coast refinereries, which would lower staggering gas and diesel prices for Americans and replace oil imports from overseas.
The Keystone XL pipeline creates critical infrastructure for American economy without a single penny of taxpayer money. As part of my Day One Plan in the 21st Century Contract with America, I will approve this project on the first day of my administration."
Whether to approve the pipeline now or ever is also an issue that places Elizabeth Warren in stark contrast.
Deep in the human heart there is a persistent need to emote. Sometimes, without anything funny we still feel the need to laugh. Sometimes, with no object of anger, we still feel a need to rage. And often, in the absence of a source of our sorrow, we nevertheless need to cry. Call it the will to vent. The visceral release when we express emotion, even when it is utterly unfocused or yet even misdirected, feels good. How else to explain the throngs of protesters who are even now pouring out in cities across America, erecting tent cities and sleeping day after day on the hard ground (OK, maybe on uncomfortably firm air mattresses), demanding social justice, free college education and higher credit scores? And how else to explain the popularity of the viral video starring the newest Siren of the Left, Elizabeth Warren, who is running for the Senate against Scott Brown, wherein she makes an impassioned plea for, well, more roads. Oh, and more teachers. And more police to protect us.
Some are tempted to put up their feet and await Scott Brown's inevitable victory. They should ask Martha Coakley how that stategy worked out. Some think the Commonwealth would not be dumb enough to elect an ivory tower liberal elitist with no electoral experience. They should ask Tom Reilly and Muffy Healy how that worked out.
Many of us have dismissed Elizabeth Warren as unelectable. We do so at our peril. The most recent news: she's raised over $3 million already, and she's been an official candidate since September 14. The Globe has the story:
For Brown to win, he will have to work harder than he did last time. And so will we. Any Democrat will have tremendous structural advantages, like a 3:1 registration lead. Brown has the tools and the talent to meet the challenge, but he'll need all the help he can get.
The fundraising news and the close polls should serve as a wakeup call to all of us. To paraphrase the president: It's time to put on our campaigning shoes.
1 Watchdog Net $47,318
2 P Street Project $23,850
3 Progressive Change Campaign Cmte $20,000
4 Democracy For America $11,202
5 Soros Fund Management $8,000 6 Progressive Change Campaign Committee Fe $2,236
7 Progressive Change Campaign Cmte Fe $1,726
"I am not going to be their candidate,'' Khazei said yesterday. "I am not their profile. The party insiders in Washington don't have a great track record. Ultimately, the voters decide, and that's who I am going after.''
Emphasizing that point, Khazei challenged Warren Thursday to reject money from lobbyists and political action committees, both of which are major sources of cash for Republicans and Democrats alike. It was a challenge the Warren campaign promptly declined.
(You mean the good professor isn't who she says she is? I'm shocked I tell ya. Lets see Doug Rubin work his magic on this one. - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)
POLITICO picked up this story about Prof. Warren's refusal to reject PAC and lobbyist money. Let's hope this goes national. I just forwarded the link to Drudge...
Alan Khazei waited one whole day to begin to draw lines in the sand with Elizabeth Warren.
The City Year co-founder is using the Harvard professor's own words to ask her to reject all contributions from political action committees and corporate lobbyists.
"In her opening campaign video, Warren said, 'Washington is rigged for big corporations that hire armies of lobbyists,'" Khazei noted. "If she's true to her words, she'll join me in rejecting contributions
from every single PAC and corporate lobbyist."
As the Boston Globe notes, Warren did not take her Democratic colleague up on his offer.
But an adviser to the Khazei campaign tells POLITICO that the campaign won't allow the issue to die, organizing a citizen-driven 'No PAC' petition in the coming days.
It's meant to show a direct contrast with Warren and challenge her on her highly touted liberal credentials. The implicit message: "Words are good, but we need action."
Another theme that Khazei hopes to drive against Warren: She's top down, he's bottom up.
That framing was telegraphed in an email Khazei sent to supporters Wednesday when he stressed, "we are running a different type of campaign that is being built from the ground up, offering voters a fresh approach and new ideas."