Whowhatwhy.com with some controversial takes on recent events. Are we even allowed to question the official version? The Marathon Bombing: What The Media Didn't Warn You About
With the media’s constant “coverage” of the Boston tragedy, it’s easy to think you are well- informed. But are you? Here is some perspective you probably didn’t get from your favorite mainstream outlet.
Just Asking: Media Outfoxed On Spate Of Bizarre Shootings?
Should the media line up behind a Fox News reporter facing jail time for her refusal to name sources? Of course. But they might also look into where reporters get those “scoops”—and how they shape public perceptions. Particularly in the cases of these “lone nut” shooters that have become increasingly common, leaks from law enforcement should not be taken at face value.
Priscilla at Newshounds digs up a clip from last week's O'Reilly Factor on Fox in which Watters shows off his right-wing brand of humor [hint: Mallard Fillmore is funnier] with clips he brought back from the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, where he obviously was stalking the hallways in search of liberal celebrities to harass.
But his key clip moment in Charlotte came when he decided to harass the mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino, about Menino's opposition to allowing a Chick-fil-A in Boston because of its owners' anti-gay politics -- linking it, a la Tony Perkins, to the attempted shootings at the Family Research Council offices in Washington.
Here's how Watters put it:
“Do you feel bad about the fact that you've created all this controversy that this crazed gunman went up and shot up this conservative outfit.”
Just roll that one around and enjoy the delicious, though bizarre, hypocrisy of it all.
First of all, as Priscilla observes:
Mayor Menino did not engage in incendiary rhetoric which would have, in any way, motivated the shooter. He said that he would block the chicken franchise, Chick fil-A from coming to Boston because he objected to what he felt were intolerant views against gays by the president of Chick fil-A. It does not appear that Menino ever mentioned the Family Research Council.
Nor, might we add, is there even a whiff of evidence that the FRC shooter was inspired to act by anything that Mayor Menino said. Nothing, except the conjecture of right-wing jackasses like Jesse Watters and Bill O'Reilly.
There have been buzzings about a potential Senate run by Elizabeth Warren for some time - but things kicked in high gear Tuesday afternoon when EMILY's List Director Stephanie Schriock tweeted she'd meet with Warren in Massachusetts the day previous. Roll Call also reported Warren was "wooing democrats at Boston house parties."
Today the superhero of the economically disenfranchised announced she is filing paperwork to open an exploratory committee for the U.S. Senate race against Scott Brown who replaced Ted Kennedy after his death.
Scott Brown has been no friend to regular Americans. When it comes to big banks on Wall Street, Brown refused to vote for a tax on banks and hedge funds with over $50 billion in assets. When everyday families can't make ends meet, surely Brown could support them over companies with over $50 BILLION in the bank?! But no. Americans took the hit once again because Brown refuses to put people first.
In a piece by Yves Smith on Naked Capitalism Elizabeth Warren becomes the target of a fantasy Presidential run, but the same benefits of her unwinable race against President Obama can also be true as a viable challenger to Scott Walker.
Warren has been branded as a scourge of banks. Even though it should be common sense that selling exploding toasters is bad business, the fact that she talks repeatedly and persuasively about the need for rules to have markets work well makes her a threat to much of Corporate America. Note that their heated opposition to the idea of fair play reveals the importance of treating customers badly, looting the official coffers, or both to their business models.
[Please sign the petition, above, and ask Boston to stop allowing the federal government to turn our local police into border patrol agents.]
Boston has made one mistake too many in trying to enforce federal immigration law.
The city is currently enrolled in the federal program with the Orwellian name Secure Communities (S-Comm), which forces local police to check the immigration status of anyone they arrest. The Obama administration wants to force every local police force in the U.S. to enroll in this program by 2013, but states and localities across the nation are resisting. If migrant communities are afraid to go to their local police officers to report crimes, then all residents are less safe. Following the governors of Illinois and New York, the governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, recently declined to participate in the program.
While the program is under review in Boston, the latest Boston Globe article from Maria Sacchetti makes clear that the time for Boston to terminate its S-Comm program is now. With DREAMer Lizandra DeMoura now in deportation proceedings, this program has manifestly done enough damage to our communities.
It's easy to understand why the federal government approached Boston about doing this. As one of the most pro-migrant major cities in the U.S., involving Boston early would blunt criticism against S-Comm later. Immigration and Customs Enforcement also promised all participants in S-Comm that the purpose of the program would be to target the worst of the worst for deportation.
Someone should tell Scott Brown: If he voted with the Democrats more often, this wouldn't be happening in his home state. Of course, I'm assuming this problem is repeated all over the country. No wonder the Taser incidents keep going up:
Massachusetts spends far less than other states on training for police officers, committing less money to its police academies than it did 20 years ago, according to a state legislative report that says the result is a fractured system with an outdated curriculum that fails to keep officers abreast of the latest trends in law enforcement.
Even academy instructors are falling behind on key topics like Taser and pepper spray use, firearms use, defensive tactics, and first aid, says a draft report by the Legislature’s Municipal Police Training Commission.
“There are a number of police officers, because of the lack of money departments have, they’re not getting any [specialized] training at all,’’ said Kenneth Scanzio, legislative director and vice president of the Massachusetts Coalition of Police and a member of the commission. “There’s a lot we have to work on to get our police training to better standards.’’
As quickly as they had latched onto his campaign four months ago, they repudiated him yesterday through a flurry of blog posts, editorials, and Facebook messages.
“His career as a senator of the people lasted slightly longer than the shelf life of milk,’’ said Shelby Blakely, executive director of New Patriot Journal, the media arm of the Tea Party Patriots, which includes various Tea Party groups around the country. “The general mood of the Tea Party is, ‘We put you in, and we’ll take you out in 2012.’ This is not something we will forget.’’
Brown’s crucial support infuriated critics who believed that the financial legislation will lead to a bigger and more intrusive regulation. Americans for Limited Government wrote an online editorial called “A Lamentation of Scott Brown.’’
Some of Brown’s former supporters posted blistering comments on his Facebook page. “Scott Brown is a turncoat and I am ashamed that I did so much campaigning on his behalf,’’ wrote one. Another former backer wrote, “I am hereby officially un-liking you.’’
Much of the criticism appeared to be coming from interests outside Massachusetts. If the right continues to be disenchanted by Brown, it could hamper his fund-raising, most of which came from out of state.
Christen Varley, president of the Greater Boston Tea Party, said she doesn’t think people are “ready to throw him under the bus . . . but there’s a lot of questions and a lot of chatter . . . and a lot of perplexed voters.’’
Brown has to win reelection so he can't just kowtow to the anti-government Tea Party crowd -- which means he'll side with the Dems on occasion, and that is going to be a problem for him. Was he ever a real Tea Partier? Sports Talk radio in Boston helped torpedo Coakley as much as anything else. He's more like a pinup poster hottie for the likes of Sally Quinn.
Oh please. He'll probably lose his seat not because the teabaggers wield their mighty swords, but because he won on a fluke against a bad candidate in an off year with an electorate that was mad at the world. But hey never underestimate the arrogance of opportunists and charlatans. These guys will make a lot of money and help progressives defeat Brown, so I'm all for it.
Update: Speaking of Scott Brown, when I read Erick Ericksson's revealing remarks that hot women like Nikki Haley don't like ugly poor men, it occurred to me that many of the Tea Party heroes are pin-ups: Brown, Palin, Bachmann, Rubio. (Rand Paul is the exception --- not that he's particularly unattractive, but he's no Cosmo centerfold or beauty pageant winner.) Since Scott Brown was never actually a Tea Partier and Palin actually hails from the corporate/social conservative wing of the party, I'm guessing that these folks are just suckers for a pretty face.
UPDATE: Scott Brown told Schieffer that he hasn't heard anything about jobs since he's been in the Senate, but Steve Benen reminds him that he voted on a couple of jobs bills already. What a nitwit. He's lying only a couple of months into his new gig. Welcome to the House of Lords.
Scott Brown made his first appearance on Face the Nation Sunday, and while he distanced himself from Sarah Palin and wouldn't answer Bob Schieffer's question asking him if he would have appeared with her if he wasn't working, he gave an awfully good impression of her by not including any substance in his answers to Bob's questions -- only right wing talking points.
I found it rather bizarre that since he has been part of the legislative process in Boston before he became Senator, his performance made it sound like he had zero knowledge on what's wrong with the financial reform bill other than saying that President Obama is now putting his political arm in the debate so he's going to filibuster the bill.
SENATOR SCOTT BROWN (R-Massachusetts): Well, I think the President's political arm is now taking over this debate. And it's unfortunate because I, like many others in my state and throughout the country, want banks to be banks. They don't want them to be casinos. They don't want them to take risky bets on our money. And, I think that this is an issue that we can clearly come to common ground and just solve the problem. Where there're problems, we should fix them. But the regulation and the-- the bill that's being proposed by the banking chairman dramatically affects businesses-- mutual-- for example, Liberty Mutual, MassMutual. These folks are-- are caught in that-- that-- that regulation as well. It's going to cost potentially twenty-five to thirty-five thousand jobs. And--
BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): Well, now, wait a minute, Senator. How-- how can you say that?
SENATOR SCOTT BROWN: Well, I-- I can say it very clearly because the-- the regulations that are-- they're trying to reel in with some of the risky he-- hedging-- that bets are doing also affects companies like-- like I just described in Massachusetts. It's-- it's very clear. And-- and speaking with Secretary Geithner the other day I-- I certainly noted the-- the President's comments. But, Secretary Geithner has some of the same criticisms of the bill. In that, it doesn't end the bailout mentality of the big bank--the too-big-to-fail concept. And, in addition, there are a lot of things in the Dodd bill that-- that are just bad for business, small businesses in particular. And we should do better. And, I've-- I called the President out the other day and the administration to do better and stop politicizing these issues and just start solving problems.
BOB SCHIEFFER: But don't you think that Senator McConnell might be a little bit guilty of politicizing when he-- he comes out and just says flatly, "No, we're against it?"
SENATOR SCOTT BROWN: He's not saying-- he's not saying no to financial reform unless I'm mistaken because that's never the impression I've gotten in the seventy-three days since I've been there. Throughout our caucuses, that issue has been in the forefront with the teams that are negotiating with the banking chairman to try to find common sense reforms and-- and address situations like the one that I just pointed out with-- where companies are-- are caught in the big web. And, when you have government interfering in-- in-- in businesses-- small businesses' lives and just throwing-- like a-- a one-size-fits-all approach just to score political points, it's-- it's sad. We should be looking at real issues-- I'm sorry, real solutions to these
problems. And, to politicize, it is clear what they're with, you know, trying to score points and he should do better.
The interview went on like this for about thirteen minutes or so. He wouldn't answer any of Bob's questions and just repeated prepared lines that fell flat. He was unimpressive and appeared to be just like another political hack who's going to vote with the Democrats whenever he can so he'll be able to say he's a true independent voice for the people of Massachusetts to get reelected to the Senate. It's fine to be prepared, we all do it before we go on TV, but I thought he would be able just list a few reasons why he's against the Dodd bill instead of flatly rejecting it like Frank Luntz has instructed them to.
He didn't offer specifics about what he thinks should be in a financial reform bill, but said he'd filibuster the current bill rather than let it come to the Senate floor.
Bob didn't bother to push him on anything either except when it came to Palin. I can see that Scott Brown is a bit shaky about Our Lady from Alaska.
BOB SCHIEFFER: well, would you have, for example, gone to the rally in Boston and appeared with Sarah Palin had the Senate not been in session?
SENATOR SCOTT BROWN: Well, I’ve been to rallies before. I spoke a couple of years-- last year at two rallies in Worcester, before I was elected. And, you know, my role now is, as an elected official, is to do my job. And that’s not-- that wasn’t-- those weren’t the circumstances. And I have great respect for-- for Sarah and what she’s doing. She’s got a lot on her plate. And, she’s plays a role in-- in-- in that movement, and-- and-- and just the-- the-- the Republican Party. And-- and--
Notice how he referred to the Tea Parties as "that movement?" He also had a hard time with Shieffer's question about whether Obama is a socialist.
BOB SCHIEFFER: But, do you decline to answer my question: is he pushing the country towards socialism?
SENATOR SCOTT BROWN: I don’t think he’s making proper choices when it comes to dealing with the-- the free market and free enterprise and allowing businesses to-- to really run themselves and create jobs. And as a result, larger government is happening and we’re creating
jobs but they're all government jobs. And the private sector is definitely-- definitely suffering.
This interview was about as softball as it comes and what I came away from it was that Scott Brown is a political fly weight. Not knowing, but speaking "Luntz" is the new "in," people.
Oh, and did you know his daughter got a job on CBS? I'm not saying she didn't deserve the job because you know, American Idol really prepares oneself for political reporting.
By noon, more than 55,000 voters cast their ballots in Boston - up from an estimate of 24,000 during the December primary. That puts Boston on pace to produce more than 150,000 votes. In raw votes, if this keeps up, that'll be slightly more than the 2002 or 2006 state elections, but well below presidential years. (The surge in enrollments in '08 means that a slight increase in the number of voters would still be a significantly lower percentage.)
It's also above the election eve forecasts. The Secretary of State predicated roughly double the December turnout - so far, Boston is actually up 130%. And with lines discouraging voters at some precincts and a snowy morning, coupled with much more intensive GOTV efforts, there are some indications that turnout may actually tilt toward the afternoon.
It's too soon for optimism. Turnout had to exceed projections for Coakley to have any chance. Well, it has - so she's still in the running. But we're going to need more numbers before we can guess whether she'll pull it out.
I would stress the readers caveat that this is really nothing for Dems to get too excited about. What it does suggest is that the kind of big turnout Coakley would need to pull this off seems to be happening. Solid turnout is a necessary but by no means sufficient condition.
In contrast to the light turnout for the party primaries last month, there are already signs of a heavy turnout. In the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's district in Barnstable, they're estimating a 60-percent turnout by the end of the day.
For you Bay-staters, what are you seeing on the ground? And for the rest of you, have you made your calls? Polls are open for several more hours. Keep on pushing.
When I heard that "The Brady Bunch" turns 40 this Fall, I knew I couldn't bring myself to post the "Marsha Marsha Marsha," "Ow, my nose," or especially the "It's a Sunshine Day" musical number. Then I found this Jamie Foxx tribute to the theme song. Watch to the end: Jamie Foxx doing Prince doing the Brady Bunch theme? Priceless.
In the United States, Philadelphia carpenters went on strike in 1791 for the ten-hour day. By the 1830s, this had become a general demand. In 1835, workers in Philadelphia organized a general strike, led by Irish coal heavers. Their banners read, From 6 to 6, ten hours work and two hours for meals. Labor movement publications called for an eight-hour day as early as 1836. Boston ship carpenters, although not unionized, achieved an eight-hour day in 1842.
In 1864, the eight-hour day quickly became a central demand of the Chicago labor movement. The Illinois legislature passed a law in early 1867 granting an eight-hour day but had so many loopholes that it was largely ineffective. A city-wide strike that began on May 1, 1867 shut down the city's economy for a week before collapsing. In 1868, Congress passed an eight-hour law for federal employees, which was also of limited effectiveness.
In August 1866 the National Labor Union at Baltimore passed a resolution that said, "The first and great necessity of the present to free labour of this country from capitalist slavery, is the passing of a law by which eight hours shall be the normal working day in all States of the American Union. We are resolved to put forth all our strength until this glorious result is achieved."
The United States is the only advanced economy that does not guarantee its workers any paid vacation time, according to a report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research. As a result, 1 in 4 private-sector workers in the U.S. do not receive any paid vacation or paid holidays.
The report, No-Vacation Nation, by Rebecca Ray and John Schmitt, finds that European workers are legally guaranteed at least 20 paid vacation days per year, with 25 and even 30 or more days common in some countries.
The gap between paid time off in the United States and the rest of the world is even larger when legal holidays are included. The United States does not guarantee any paid holidays, but most rich countries provide between 5 and 13 per year, in addition to paid vacation days.
“Relying on businesses to voluntarily provide paid leave just hasn't worked,” said John Schmitt, senior economist and co-author of the report. “It's a national embarrassment that 28 million Americans don't get any paid vacation or paid holidays.”
Remember, this is not the time to be grateful for what little you have. This is the time to fight.