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Member since: Tue Mar 8, 2005, 07:39 PM
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Republicans accuse Markey for not respecting the People's Pledge that Gomez rejected.

Remember the People's Pledge, the one that Brown and Warren signed, and later on Lynch and Markey.

[link:http://www.wbur.org/2013/05/06/markey-gomez-money-pledge|Gomez rejected it as another politician trick and refused to sign it.
Well, yesterday, with the type of consistency that is the hallmark of the Republican Party, the NRSC attacks Markey for not adhering to the pact that their candidate rejected.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) put out a release today screaming that “Ed Markey is the first to violate the “People’s Pledge.”" That would be the pledge that is not in effect, because Gabriel Gomez refused to sign it.

I mean, wow.

The NRSC is calling Markey out over a report that NextGen, an environmental advocacy group—pardon me, a “radical extremist army” according to the NRSC—plans to spend money on behalf of Markey. Which, aside from the fact that it hasn’t actually happened, would not technically be a violation, because Markey’s obligation (since he cannot, by law, actually stop outside groups from spending) would be to contribute to charity an amount equal to half of whatever NextGen ends up spending, once the group actually spends it—all of which would of course be predicated upon there being an actual agreement in place to violate, which there is not because Gomez refused to sign it.

And even if we granted NRSC all of this, and agreed that “violate the People’s Pledge” means “have an outside group announce plans to spend money on your behalf in what would be a violation of the People’s Pledge if the candidates had actually entered into such an agreement,” it would still be a lie to say that Ed Markey is the first to violate the pledge.

That’s because Gomez has already violated it.

As Paul McMorrow writes over at CommonWealth, the Massachusetts Republican Party—an outside group under the People’s Pledge—has spent more than $300,000 on ads currently running; you’ll notice they disclose at the end that they are paid for by the MassGOP.

So what we have here is a group that is in the active process of “violating the pledge” on behalf of the candidate who prevented the pledge from being in effect, berating the other candidate for allegedly violating the pledge.

Which is why my very, very favorite part of the NRSC release is the last sentence:

Ed Markey is a walking, talking, breathing embodiment of Washington hypocrisy

(PS. The NRSC is located in Washington.)

Senator Uses Farm Bill To Ban Some Ex-Convicts From Food Stamps For Life

Shame on Vitter, but also shame on every single Senator, Democratic or Republican, as nobody objected to this amendment.

Probably to be archived in the series "poor people do not vote" and neither do felons, so why should we care?


During Wednesday’s debate on the Farm Bill, the Senate unanimously agreed to ban certain ex-convicts from receiving food assistance for life.

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) claimed his amendment would prevent “murderers, rapists, and pedophiles” from ever receiving food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Under this amendment, anyone convicted for a violent crime or sexual assault will be shut out of the program for life, even if they served their time or committed the crime long ago. Their families will also suffer, as their share of SNAP benefits will exclude the convicted family member.

As Robert Greenstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities notes, these sentences have historically been handed down to more minorities than white offenders:
Given incarceration patterns in the United States, the amendment would have a skewed racial impact. Poor elderly African Americans convicted of a single crime decades ago by segregated Southern juries would be among those hit. The amendment essentially says that rehabilitation doesn’t matter and violates basic norms of criminal justice.

So, thank you so much, senators.

More war on poor people...

Gomez (R-MA) calls his opponent dirty.

Who would have thought that I would regret Scott Brown (as a Republican candidate)?

He was bad, but far from the level of whining and stupidity than Gomez is showing, and frankly this is telling a lot about Gomez. After having whined about ads that were presenting his own positions accurately, he now has one calling Markey dirty for some supposed attacks.

It is bad enough that the Boston Globe feels compelled to get out of their usual "impartiality to call out Gomez.

Gomez releases new ad calling his opponent “dirty Ed Markey”

Republican Senate candidate Gabriel E. Gomez is releasing a new television ad that labels his Democratic opponent, Representative Edward J. Markey, “dirty Ed Markey.”

“Negative ads from dirty Ed Markey, smearing Gabriel Gomez, comparing him to bin Laden,” a narrator says in the ad, which shows clips of two of Markey’s ads attacking Gomez. “Now, Markey actually blames Gomez for the Newtown shooting. Disgusting. Thirty-seven years in Congress. Dirty Ed Markey.”

The ad, which will begin running statewide Wednesday, then urges voters to “try something new…Gabriel Gomez, businessman, Navy pilot, Navy SEAL.”

Despite what the ad says, Markey has not blamed Gomez for the Newtown shooting. Markey has released an ad that highlights Gomez’s opposition to an assault weapons ban and to limits on high-capacity magazines, “like the ones used in the Newtown school shooting.”

This election cannot finish quickly enough.

Gomez (R-MA) shocked his positions are stated accurately


In the Massachusetts Senate race, Republican nominee Gabriel Gomez is reacting strongly to a TV ad launched Thursday by Democrat Ed Markey criticizing him for opposing a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, which the ad noted were used to carry out the Newtown, Conn. shootings.

“Gomez is against banning assault weapons,” a narrator in the ad says. “And Gomez is against banning high-capacity magazines, like the ones used in the Newtown school shooting.” The narrator continues: “The more you know, the clearer the choice.”

On Friday, Gomez accused the longtime Democratic congressman of blaming him for the Newtown massacre, which killed 20 children and six adults and sparked efforts in Congress to beef up gun laws — which have so far fallen flat.

n his most recent TV ad, Markey blames me for the horrific Newtown shooting,” Gomez said in a statement Friday. “I guess after 37 years in Congress you lose your sense of decency. Exploiting a tragedy for political gain is sick.”


Obviously, the video (at the link) does not blame Gomez for Newtown any more than a previous video linked him to OBL, but, when you do not have any good answer, start whining.

Not a good week for Gomez, who is still behind in every single poll including his own, has been called out for a tax scam, for having stiffed a couple companies working for him (an assessor and a plumber. He apparently paid the assessor today, 8 years later).

Gomez's tax deduction scam - MA Senate Race

Gomez looks a lot more like a Romney wannabee every day . The Boston Globe revels yesterday that he took a tax deduction of nearlu $300 K for doing something he was already obliged to do by law. Yes $300,000. So, invest

How do we know it is a big deal. Andy Hiller, generally more susceptible to go after Democrats for small issues (See Patrick's drapes), tell us it does not pass the smell test.


Until today, Gabriel Gomez's house in Cohasset may have been his castle. But now, it could turn into his political prison.
It's not clear whether Gomez broke the law, but it's crystal clear Gomez got a giant tax break that doesn't pass the smell test.
This is Gomez's home in Cohasset, which he bought in 2004 for $2.1 million dollars.
In 2005, he got a $281,500 federal income tax deduction for agreeing not to make any changes on the exterior of his house, which is in an historic district.
The problem: Cohasset also prohibits changes on historic homes.

"I've been inside the rules for eveything I've done my whole life,” Gomez said.
“But the Internal Revenue Service does call this a tax scam,” Hiller said.
“I don't have any comment on that. You have to talk to the Internal Revenue Service on that."

Gomez: “I don't apologize for any success I've had. I'm proud of everything I've done, I'm proud that I've earned everything I've done."
Memo to Gabriel Gomez: this is not something to be proud of, if you're running for political office.
Because it makes you look like a rich person taking advantage of tax laws very few people know about.

Read more: http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/politics/massachusetts/10010583400581/the-hiller-instinct-gomez-s-house-tax-deduction/#ixzz2StNd9gPK

Oh, and he also does not think he should release his tax returns for the year he took the deduction. Granted, it is many years ago, but given the deduction he took, should people not have the right to know?


The Gomez campaign on Thursday again rejected the Democrats’ request to release the 2005 tax return, arguing that the candidate has been transparent with his taxes, having already released returns for six years beginning in 2006. The Globe first requested Gomez’s 2005 return on Wednesday

Swiftboater Gomez (R-MA) calls himself swiftboated

The Markey campaign has put on the web a video including footage of a video OPSEC made to swiftboat Obama after the Obama take out. Gomez was spokeman for the group, which is what Markey wants to put in evidence.


But Markey's campaign says Gomez is complaining about the Massachusetts congressman featuring a video the Republican nominee created himself — and demanding Gomez apologize to President Obama.
"Before he was a candidate for Senate, Gabriel Gomez was a spokesman for a secretly-funded special interest group that spent half a million dollars during the 2012 election attacking President Obama over the killing of Osama bin Laden," said Markey campaign spokesman Andrew Zucker in a statement. "Now Gabriel Gomez is trying to distract from the fact that he attacked the President of the United States over the death of bin Laden by attacking Ed Markey…. For leveling such baseless charges, Gabriel Gomez owes President Obama an apology."

Well, Gomez is attacking the video, saying that it tries to link him to Osama Bin Laden and tells Markey to take the video down.

Gabriel Gomez, the Republican Senate candidate from Massachusetts, on Saturday demanded Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) take down a web video that features the Republican candidate briefly sharing the screen with terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.

The web video in question highlights Gomez's work for a special interest group called the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund that filmed a video during the 2012 campaign accusing President Obama of politicizing bin Laden's death.

Markey's ad features Gomez defending OPSEC on MSNBC, and then a clip of the video produced by the group that accuses President Obama of "politically capitalizing on U.S. national security operations and secrets."

That video clip, originally produced by OPSEC, includes images of both President Obama and bin Laden. Because it is shown next to an image of Gomez, the Republican Senate candidate and the terrorist leader appear on screen next to each other for about eight seconds.

“Career Politician Ed Markey has started his campaign with a textbook despicable political attack to attempt to connect me with Osama Bin Laden in the minds of voters," Gomez said. "This attack is an insult to my service and an insult to the intelligence of the people of Massachusetts. Congressman Markey should direct his campaign to immediately stop this ad, stop his mudslinging and debate me on issues that Massachusetts voters care about, the economy and jobs.”

Gomez is not a total idiot, so he knows this is not the intend and therefore he is a liar.

Pity the poor reporters - Digby -

or, are these idiots paid to write this.

There are people whose life will be forever changed by this event. Some, including a 8 year old, have lost their life. His mother and sister are in the hospital with serious wounds, and have both been amputated. It was two days ago, and all you can write about is this insanity? Shame on you (not Digby, Dylan Byers and Roll Call).


Pity the poor reporters

by digby

The plaintive wail of the impatient journalist waiting to be spoon-fed the news:
"The range of suspects and motives remains wide open," FBI Special Agent Richard DesLauriers said, for the umpteenth time, at a press conference early Tuesday evening.

For many journalists I've spoken with today, this ignorance is tortuous. The identification of the attacker(s) and the reasons for the attack will likely have enormous political (and potentially geoplitical) ramifications, which will vary greatly depending on whether the attacker(s) is domestic or foreign, acting alone or as part of an organization. We're standing on the verge of a very important national conversation about something, and we have no idea what it is.

Others have managed to find solace in this. Over at the American Interest, Walter Russell Mead welcomes the waiting period. "It allows us to treat the horror on its own terms, to see the pure evil of this act divorced from any rationalization or justification," he writes. "Each hour that has gone by since the blast, each new report of heroism among the survivors and responders, each new detail about the identity of the victims clarifies the essential truth of the situation: there is no cause that can justify this deed."

I agree with that last point, but find no similar solace. I want to know the cause -- not because I'm eager to politicize the tragedy, but because I want to know where our national conversation is headed. A great deal of political, financial and emotional capital depends on the answer to that question.

Right. He doesn't want to "politicize" it he just wants to know where the political, financial and emotional "capital" will be spent.

I have read a lot of fatuous reporting on this event but I think this one may take the cake. The idea that they are "tortured" because they don't yet have all the information is just ridiculous. Moreover, the whining, passive tone is embarrassing. Reporters should be beyond busy right now (and many are), trying to get the story. Find new angles, write about the victims, get perspectives from people who've been there or from experts, contextualize it. Just waiting around for someone to tell you who did it so you know whether it's going to be a "left" or "right" story isn't actually journalism. I don't even think it's blogging. He could, for instance write about something else. It's not the only story in the world.

This is a perfect example of what's wrong with the beltway press. They literally see everything in the world in terms of the way it's divided up (in their minds) politically. This is a very shallow view of humanity and it's telling that they are anxious and "tortured" when faced with a lack of the information that would allow them to fit their news pegs neatly into their designated holes. I've always thought there was a psychological dimension to this and this seems to confirm it.

This attitude is a problem and not just for the press but for all of us. The world is a messy place and we need journalism that doesn't rigidly adhere to a particular narrative in order to understand it. It's gotten us into a lot of trouble in recent years.

Just do your job, report, report what you know ...

Let me add to this this inane claim by a guy on Roll Call. Seriously, there is a link between this tragedy and the fact our delegation has only two very freshmen senators? WTF?


Boston’s Crisis Coincides With State’s Fall in Clout

The Boston Marathon bombings exposed not only the vulnerabilities of one of the nation’s iconic sporting events, but also the new limitations of one of its most iconic political institutions: the Massachusetts congressional delegation.

That much was clear when the state’s leading political and law enforcement figures assembled for Tuesday’s morning-after news conference. Speaking for the largest all-Democratic delegation at the Capitol was the state’s senior senator, Elizabeth Warren, who hasn’t been in office for even 15 weeks. She felt compelled to use her moment at the podium to assert that no clout was needed from her at a time like this.

“We did not have to reach out to the president,” she volunteered. “The president reached out to us.”

Standing silently by Warren’s side was the junior senator, William “Mo” Cowan, the appointed answer to a future political trivia question. His five-month sinecure will be over in June.

Iraqis? What Iraqis? (Digby)

Read the whole piece, please. Once again the media do what they do best, ignoring the point of view of the rest of the world.


Marc Lynch has a great piece in Foreign Policy pointing out the odd fact that nobody who's talking about the Iraq anniversary has bothered to ask the Iraqis what they think about it. Interesting, no?

And it's a problem:

Myopia has consequences. Failing to listen to those Iraqi voices meant getting important things badly wrong. Most profoundly, the American filter tends to minimize the human costs and existential realities of military occupation and a brutal, nasty war. The savage civil war caused mass displacement and sectarian slaughter that will be remembered for generations. The U.S. occupation also involved massive abuses and shameful episodes, from torture at Abu Ghraib Prison to a massacre of unarmed Iraqis in the city of Haditha. The moral and ethical imperative to incorporate Iraqi perspectives should be obvious.

The habit of treating Iraqis as objects to be manipulated rather than as fully equal human beings -- with their own identities and interests -- isn't just ethically problematic, it's strategically problematic. It helps to explain why so many American analysts failed to anticipate or to prevent the insurgency, why the political institutions the United States designed proved so dysfunctional, why Washington drew the wrong lessons from the Anbar Awakening and the surge, and why so many analysts exaggerated the likely effects of a military withdrawal.


Let's not let a little failure get in the way of a ripping tale of All American know-how. I'm sure we'll be doing the same thing for quite some time. The bipartisan national security consensus says that we may have blundered in the beginning, but we recovered nicely and perfectly executed the dismount. Too bad it's bullshit.

Lynch concludes with this:

Want to understand what went wrong in Iraq in all its complexity and chaos? The Internet is full of Iraqi academics, journalists, NGO leaders, and political activists with interesting perspectives on the invasion. It might also be useful to hear from the refugees, the displaced, and the families who lost everything. They will disagree with each other, have little patience for the pieties of American political debate, and refuse to fit comfortably into analytical boxes. On the 10th anniversary of the invasion, we should be hearing a lot more from them -- and a lot less from the former American officials and pundits who got it wrong the first time.

No kidding.

Deficits are the new Iraq - David Atkins - Hullabaloo.

Happy to find somebody who says what I have been thinking again and again while watching the coverage of the 10 year anniversary of the Iraq War.


I mentioned a few days ago that the failure to prosecute the crime of the century in defrauding the world to invade Iraq is a moral stain that will never fully wash out of the fabric of society until justice is done. It impacts the trust of the military in civilian leadership; it harms the trust of voters in the statements of their government; it destroys the credibility of the nation in eyes of the global community; and it creates an entire generation of new terrorists determined to attack the industrialized world.
To truly learn the lesson of Iraq is to ask oneself what critical policy issue of the day carries the same force of conventional wisdom and marginalization of contrarian voices. What issue of the day is incredibly divisive among normal American people, but has nearly unanimous consensus in the Beltway? What contrarian belief on a matter of major policy earns the same quiet, amused contempt from centrists and conservative Democrats? What policy disagreement earns the outraged ire of conservatives normally designated for enemies of the state? On what subject is it allowed for straight journalists to unequivocally state support for a policy position without the need for a credible opinion from the opposing side? On what topic would a Nobel-prize-winning expert on the subject in question be mocked in person on television by a panel of low-rent pseudo-journalists and failed former Congressmembers as if he had called the moon landing a hoax? On what public policy does the widely accepted conventional wisdom in Washington also very neatly align with the interests of influential corporations and the world's wealthiest individuals?

I speak, of course, of the bipartisan march toward deficit reduction and the bizarre exclusion of Keynesian or countercyclical solutions from acceptable discourse on the economy. It's not the only issue of its kind, but it's the most important.

Make no mistake: find the major issue that creates that creates this uncomfortable dynamic, and you will find the new Iraq. In 2003 it was foreign intervention. In 2013, the issue on which conventional wisdom is so neatly aligned against all reason is deficit reduction. In 2023 it will likely be something else.

But the real lesson of 2003 has far less to do with the rush to war in the Middle East, and far more to do with the rush to exclusionary conventional wisdom among the Very Serious People in Washington.

The danger of using Twitter irresponsibly. NECN announces Patrick's running for a third term.

This one is simply ridiculous, and the fact it was tweeted and retweeted as many times is a pretty good sign that people do not take the time to think and react too quickly.

The idea that Patrick would use such an informal setting to reverse his position on not running for a third term is ludicrous, particularly after he has said so many times he would not run for a third term or run for another elected office. but the person tweeting it is somebody working in a news organization, NECN, and was taken seriously by others.


Does anyone truly think Deval Patrick would announce for a third term at a routine appearance in the middle of a Wednesday?

Yet that's exactly what an unnamed NECN staffer thought -- and prompted tweeted -- to thousands of followers. The resulting firestorm reinforces the wisdom of the old journalism rule "if your mother says she loves you, check it out."
So when he told at audience at UMass-Boston that "Thank you very much for the warm welcome and for hosting us today and for the setup to the announcement that I’ve come here to make, which is that I intend to run for a third term as your Governor" it seemed real enough to at least one person.
Twitter has proven to be a marvelous tool for staying informed -- as long as the tweeps are responsible. You learn who is and isn't by trial and error, and NECN has dinged its brand as a result of the unfiltered reaction.
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