Saturday, October 28, 2017

Slow Saturday Special: Warren a Kept Woman

Shown off on front street, too:

"They’re running against Warren. Should they run away from Trump?" by Jim O’Sullivan Globe Staff  October 25, 2017

For Republicans seeking the nomination to oppose Senator Elizabeth Warren next year, orienting themselves in relation to President Trump has required a series of early strategic decisions. How these GOP hopefuls talk about Trump could determine which of them emerges to face the state’s top Democrat and how he or she fares in the general election.

Massachusetts was one of Trump’s worst states in the 2016 presidential election. He garnered just 34 percent to Hillary Clinton’s 61 percent. But it was among his best in the Republican primary — the first state to give him 49 percent before several other candidates had effectively dropped out, leaving him with fewer competitors in the later states.

Polls show that Trump’s unpopularity among the broader Massachusetts electorate has only increased since the election.

That means that the deeper into Trump’s embrace the Republican candidates run in the primary, the more difficult time they will have returning in the general election to the party’s more moderate mainstream. That brand of GOP centrism has traditionally proved more fruitful in Massachusetts, working for Governor Charlie Baker, former US senator Scott Brown, and former governor Mitt Romney.

Romney already escaped, but watch out for that Scott Brown though.

Thus far, the four GOP Senate campaigns — entrepreneur Shiva Ayyadurai is also running — have adopted sharply different strategies.

State Representative Geoff Diehl has made the clear decision to bind himself to Trump — both in the primary and against Warren. The fourth-term Whitman lawmaker has promoted his work on behalf of Trump’s campaign last year.

“We look at the overall numbers,” said Diehl adviser Holly Robichaud, explaining that both Trump last November, when a larger electorate went to the polls, and a 2014 ballot measure repealing an automated gas-tax increase received more votes than Baker got in 2014.

“What we need to [do] is turn those people out to vote,” she said.

Wealthy businessman John Kingston has so far been most vocal in his criticism of Trump. As Trump neared the GOP nomination last year, Kingston unenrolled from the party and tried to help lead a draft for an independent candidate to oppose him. Kingston, also a Romney devotee, wrote in a June 2016 CNN op-ed that Trump’s “behavior disqualifies him to be a PTA member, let alone president.”


So that is why the Globe is minimizing the harassment!

In an e-mail, Kingston spokesman Jon Conradi said “the vast majority of” voters prefer “results and common sense before political gamesmanship. That is why John’s independent stance toward the White House would not only be good for Massachusetts, but why it is also sound on the campaign trail.”

Like Kingston, Groton Republican Beth Lindstrom has sought to appeal to the party’s establishment wing. While Kingston has been more confrontational with Trump, Lindstrom, a longtime GOP operative, has adopted a more balanced tack.

In her August announcement, she faulted Trump for his response to the violence in Charlottesville, Va., saying “the hatred spewed by white supremacists and neo-Nazis is ugly and bigoted,” but her campaign declined to comment this week on questions about Trump.

Ayyadurai is jockeying with Diehl for right-wing support, hoping to claim a share of Trump supporters. But, so far, Ayyadurai has demonstrated little momentum. Of the $1.21 million in contributions his campaign reported last week for the third quarter, $1.15 million came from the candidate himself.

If only it was one dollar, one vote, huh?

Since Trump began his presidency, many Republicans across the country have reaped benefits by aligning themselves with him in GOP primaries.

Trump obviously got killed in the general election in Massachusetts, but 300,000 Republicans voted for Trump in Massachusetts,” said Will Ritter, a former Romney aide who cofounded Poolhouse, a Virginia-based political consulting firm, and is unaffiliated with any of the candidates in the Massachusetts race.

Maybe killed isn't the right word in this charged political climate.

“The idea of the anti-Trump Republican is fool’s gold, and has not come through yet. No one has yet been able to turn it into a viable political strategy,” Ritter said.

Makes you wonder about the alleged poll numbers cited by the Trump-hating pre$$, doesn't it?

That reasoning could crumble, though, against a popular liberal incumbent like Warren — especially when the GOP nominee for Senate will share a ticket with Baker. The governor’s race will carry its own state-specific issues and be accompanied on the ballot by a handful of flash-point ballot questions.

While Baker has sporadically criticized Trump since before the election, his political team has been publicly ambivalent about whether a pro- or anti-Trump Senate nominee would be more beneficial to his reelection hopes.

“It’s obviously tricky, because in the governor’s case, most people see him on a day-to-day basis and understand that he’s dealing with a whole host of state issues and like the fact that he’s a check and balance in the state,” said Richard Tisei, a former state Senate minority leader who was the party’s 2010 lieutenant governor nominee [and] who also waged unsuccessful congressional bids in 2012 and 2014. “When it comes to running for federal office, you’re immersed in federal issues, very much a part of the political atmosphere on a federal level.”

Ritter, the GOP consultant, called Warren “extremely hard to beat” next fall, and suggested that national Republicans would be pleased with their party’s Senate nominee here if he or she could hamper what they perceive to be her 2020 presidential ambitions.

“A success for a Republican against her in the Senate race would be keeping her in Massachusetts,” he said.....



"The stories of sexual harassment on Beacon Hill are overwhelming" by Yvonne Abraham Globe Columnist  October 27, 2017

In the weeks since producer Harvey Weinstein was outed as an alleged rapist, a habitual harasser, and consummate creep, it has become soul-crushingly clear — if it wasn’t before — that sexual harassment is a plague that goes way beyond the glamorous confines of the film industry.

Massachusetts politics is lousy with it. In interviews, a dozen women who have worked in and around the State House over the past two decades described a climate of harassment and sexual misconduct, perpetrated by some of the men who hold a disproportionate share of power in the Commonwealth and who shape its future.

Aides, lobbyists, activists, and legislators told of situations where they were propositioned by men, including lawmakers, who could make or break their careers; where those men pressed up against them, touched their legs, massaged their shoulders, tried to kiss them, grabbed their behinds, chased them around offices, or demanded sex.

In deep-blue, liberal Democrat Massachusetts? 

I just can't believe it, I just can't believe it!

For these women, the political scene has been a minefield in which they rely on warnings from others who have learned the hard way which lawmakers they should avoid. There seems to be no escaping the hostile environment, even in the hallowed House chamber, where one woman saw lawmakers gathering around a cellphone to view pornography during formal sessions.

That's how they are "earning" their increased pay, huh? 

No wonder they are not getting anything done.

These incidents are not relics of a distant past. Most date from the early 2000s onward. The meeting in which the legislator offered to trade his vote for sex took place around 2007. The legislators huddled around porn in the chamber more recently than that. Such things still happen, those interviewed said. 

The pussy, 'er, cat is out of the bag!

Nor is such harassment unique to Massachusetts. Last week, 140 women in California’s State House came forward to denounce the culture of sexual misconduct in Sacramento. Women in Illinois politics launched a similar effort Tuesday. In Rhode Island, a lawmaker said a more senior legislator told her that her bills would go further if she did sexual favors.

It’s a measure of how little has changed in Massachusetts that all of the women here spoke on condition that their names not be used. Even after the revelations of the last few weeks, they remain convinced that speaking publicly about harassment would ruin their careers.

Some of their tormentors have left politics, a couple of them under clouds. Others are still fixtures on Beacon Hill. The women noted, too, that there are also plenty of decent men in state politics — some of whom stepped in to defend them against those who objectified and harassed them.

Who could they mean?

Politics is like Hollywood in some ways.

Yeah, it is all a BIG SHOW!!

It is run largely by men, who exert great, and barely checked, power. It is stacked with young women who rely on these men, and the connections they provide, to advance their careers. It is replete with late nights, social gatherings, and alcohol. There is no way to opt out of that system if you want to work in public service, these women said.

Maybe it is time to BAN BOOZE if that is part of the "system."

“I chose not to complain because it was not worth the price I was going to have to pay,” said one woman, who still works on Beacon Hill. “You put up with it for the greater good.”

Now THAT is wisdom!

So, though she knew some other legislators would have been disgusted by their behavior, she did not report the elected officials gathered around a cellphone in the House chamber to view pornographic images. And she simply walked away when a lawmaker — his hands planted firmly in his pockets — suggested she lean over and kiss his ring. He is still in the Legislature.

Who he?

Every woman who experienced harassment did the calculations, and the math always came out the same way: It was easier to remain silent.

Word gets around about which legislators and aides to avoid, but the system feeds itself. 

So it's an open secret.

As long as the boys’ club prevails, women who want to succeed in politics will be silent about harassment. The Weinstein story finally broke because enough women agreed to make open accusations. There’s no guarantee the dismal news out of Hollywood will change anything here, though.

I disagree with her assessment regarding the origins of the Weinstein scandal. The other women only piled on after Ashley Judd -- a Republican? -- came forward!

Oh, I'm sorry; I'm not her sister's keeper.

“I have no idea where this goes,” a lobbyist said.


There are some hopeful signs. In a statement, House Speaker Robert DeLeo said he was “infuriated and deeply disturbed” to hear that women had described being harassed in the State House.

Related"House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo’s move came shortly after a Globe columnist reported a series of incidents of sexual harassment at the State House and amid a broader spate of stories about such behavior....."

It's only “a dozen women?” 

He wouldn't be one of the "fixtures" they were talking about earlier, would he?

Senate President Stan Rosenberg sent a statement to say his Senate takes the issue of harassment seriously, giving every employee, from senators to staff, antiharassment training at the start of every legislative session. And, in light of current events, the Senate is planning events to remind members and staff of their rights to protect themselves. 

Good thing Stan is gay.

That is all wonderful. But there’s only one sure way to fix this: Elect more women. 

Just make sure they are the right kind of women, 'kay?


What, no “faces and names” of the scum?

RelatedTell us your sexual harassment experiences

Scouts honor?

"The story behind a Mass. woman’s online comment that is sweeping across the Web" by Steve Annear Globe Staff  October 27, 2017

As she paused from ranting on the newspaper’s website to take the call on the house phone, little did she know that her iPhone never stopped recording her voice. The contents of her private conversation were accidentally transcribed directly into the story’s comment box, and then inadvertently posted to the Times’ website.

What could have been written off as a simple goof by a devoted commenter with an opinion to share instead cemented the 70-year-old’s legacy as the author of what New York magazine declared was the “single best comment of the year.” As a screenshot of the comment that was shared on Twitter went viral, others said the Internet faux pas was enough to get them to renew their subscription to the Times.

According to The New York Times — which highlighted the comment for its hilarity in a separate blog post, sending the Internet into a tizzy — Christine McMorrow is a frequent flier when it comes to commenting on Times stories.....

She must be the NYT's last Mohican.


Also seeThis N.H. college student gained Internet fame with one photo


"The USS Ashland picked up Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava after a Taiwanese fishing vessel spotted their crippled boat Tuesday and alerted the Coast Guard [after] they drifted thousands of miles in what turned out to be a five-month ordeal in the middle of Pacific....."

You mean to tell me the Korean missiles missed them?

They should have aborted the trip.

"A former bus driver accused of kidnapping and raping a 13-year-old special-needs student in Saugus in 1998 faced a judge Friday for the first time since fleeing the state 17 years ago. Henry Gonzalez, 44, was arrested in the Dominican Republic earlier this year and returned to the state Thursday night to face charges....."

It's a good thing Massachusetts cares about its children.

SJC chief calls attorney shortage for child care and protection cases ‘a constitutional emergency’

Okay, kiddo, time for bed even though there is no school tomorrow. Sorry.

Yes, I will read you a bedtime story (before I sneak off to the casino).

What will be waiting for you tomorrow:

"Doughboy Donuts property sold, but pastries and coffee are staying put — for now" by Katheleen Conti Globe Staff  October 27, 2017

The site of the popular Doughboy Donuts & Deli in South Boston has been sold for $3.5 million to a developer who wants to build a 159-room boutique hotel on the property next door. But the Boston Creams and jelly doughnuts aren’t going anywhere, at least not for now, the shop’s owner says.

The deal is the latest multimillion-dollar transaction in one of the hottest corridors in Boston real estate, where high-end residential buildings and retail space are springing up on parcels that once housed single-story commercial and light-industrial operations.

For 39 years, Doughboy Donuts has been a neighborhood mainstay frequented by politicians, construction workers, police officers, and EMTs.....


The owner of the 24/7 operation that has achieved cult status among connoisseurs of indie doughnuts is a woman!

So what costume will you be wearing this Halloween?