Posts Tagged ‘Scott Brown’

Elizabeth Warren is really for US – and is the right choice for US Senate

October 14, 2012

Scott Brown wants you to believe he is for the regular guy and familes. OK – fine – a lovely position to hold – but is it really how he has worked in Washingon? Scott has voted against tougher regulations on the pharmaceutical industry, against labeling GMOs, against restraints on farm-raised fish (which are known carcinogens) and against US citizen’s rights to buy similar prescription medicines from Canada. On top of this he took a $2500 campaign donation from Gerry Conigliaro, the owner of New England Compounding Center, Framingham – the same firm that is responsible for the deaths of 12 people and life threatening illnesses of 126 others. The embarrassment from this donation has led Brown to disassociate himself from it by donating it to the Meningitis Foundation of America after the fact. But none of this should matter – right? Because Scott Brown is for us – not for gigantic corporate interests and all any of us should be concerned about is what percentage of Native American blood Elizabeth Warren has.

People around here think Brown is OK – just because he is not as scummy as Boehner and Kantor. Well to that I say what difference does that make if he votes how they tell him to vote and not in the interests of those he is supposed to be serving.

Less than one and done for Scott – let’s send someone to Washington who works for people – not corporate interests – please vote for Elizabeth Warren for US Senate on Election Day.

The Three I’s – Immigration, Illegals and Irony

May 10, 2010

Immigration reform is a hot topic in the United States, particularly if you live in a southwestern border state. The issue is growing and Arizona’s recent immigration law[1] ( read blog post ) which will allow law enforcement to demand papers of anyone that they pull over with reasonable suspicion of being illegally in the country. The law is not supposed to be used in any way that could be construed as racial profiling, but with the problem in Arizona being mainly with immigration from Mexico, and the population of the state containing over 2.3 million legal people who are of Latino, Native American or Pacific Islander/Hawaiian origin[2] I do not see how this will be able to avoid profiling and harassment of legal residents and citizens of Arizona.

There are a number of pages on Facebook that purport to be supportive of the Arizona law and at the same time claim there is no racial bias or bigotry. Yet it does not take long to find a page that spews so many non facts and does not back up anything they say with any documentation. One in particular is “Not Giving Welfare to Illegal Immigrants”[3] This page approaches 40,000 members and thinks that people come into the United States in gigantic waves from Mexico and immediately latch onto breast of the nation and start suckling the welfare and food stamp benefits. Not to take the steam out of their engines but it is not that easy.

Welfare is only available to US citizens or people that are allowed into the country legally. There are exceptions (such as children that are legal and their parents are not) where the system is not perfect. But even so – the Constitution states that if you are born here you are a citizen – I would hope no one is suggesting that we separate children from their parents over this issue as that would prove an even bigger entitlement burden upon the state. Features of the 1996 Welfare Reform Act include:

Benefits available to immigrants include school lunch and breakfast programs, immunizations, emergency medical services, disaster relief, and others programs that are necessary to protect life and safety as identified by the attorney general, regardless of immigration status. Illegal immigrants are barred from the following federal public benefits: grants, contracts, loans, licenses, retirement, welfare, health, disability, public or assisted housing, post secondary education, food assistance, and unemployment benefits. States are barred from providing state or locally funded benefits to illegal immigrants unless a state law is enacted granting such authority.[4]

To get far enough along to be considered for welfare a Social Security card is required. These cards cannot be picked up by any illegal immigrant the morning after they hop the fence near Ciudad Juarez. An illegal cannot get a Social Security card – only US citizens or those who are here legally with work visas can obtain this important card.[5]

We find our country moving towards a rampant form of nationalism and protectionism which is downright scary. Nationalism was a strong instigator in both World Wars and is something we see in violent conflicts throughout the world – from Africa to the Balkans to the Middle East. Of course, racism is a dirty word – either you are racist and cannot admit it – or you are not racist and you are reaching for a label to attach to the opposition. People that support the legislation passed in Arizona will swear they are not racist and that they do not support racism – but the Arizona bill is designed to be racist. If you are not racist but you favor a law that will harass over two million legal Latinos what are you? Over one third of the legal population must have their papers in order at all times or risk immediate arrest and surrender to federal authorities. A law could work (but would be impractical – but only be a bit more than the new law) if it required law enforcement to require papers from everyone that they pull over – the ambiguity of reasonable suspicion needs to be removed and cannot be tolerated in a free society.

Arizona may only be the start. This week Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker unveiled his “Baker’s Dozen,” a plan to correct the ills of the Massachusetts government and economy. Item seven is a gem that wants to require anyone wanting to collect welfare to prove that they are legally here.[6] Also in the past week Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) introduced the Terrorist Expatriation Act[7] which if passed would allow the State Department to strip the citizenship of any person who aides, allies or joins a terrorist organization without any formal charges or any trial. These laws seem innocent enough on the surface but they show a willingness of law makers to erode the protections of the Constitution and are reminiscent of the Nuremberg Laws in 1930s Germany that led to further persecution of the Jews and other “undesirables.”

We now arrive at the third “I” – irony. The United States is unique in the world as it was created by immigrants who arrived on our shores at first for religious freedom and later for economic freedom. Since that time the nation has grown by leaps and bounds because people wanted to come here for a better opportunity for themselves and their families. Most of us would be a part of a poor agrarian society in some backwater country if we were lucky, or the victims of war and other atrocities if it not for our good fortune to have had forbearers who came to America. In their time our families were not always welcome but they worked hard and in time were accepted – as most of us our now. We should embrace the immigrants of today to honor the memory of our immigrant ancestors. Yes, we may be Italian, Irish, German, from Asia or Africa or from any other country, continent or religious background – but we are first and foremost Americans. I welcome others who want to be here and better themselves and we should make it easier for those who want to be here to work and get a better life. Also ironic is that so many illegals are here to work in illegal jobs that no one wants to have and that are never prosecuted by the government for paying sub-minimum wages or evading payroll taxes. We could easily crackdown on the immigration problem by forcing businesses to pay fair wages and employment taxes and offer reasonable working conditions. Reform is needed – but not at the price of human rights, liberty and decency.


[1] http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/sb1070s.pdf

[2] http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/04000.html

[3] http://www.facebook.com/illegal.immigration?v=wall#!/illegal.immigration?ref=ts

[4] The inset paragraph highlights some of the features and restrictions of the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, which was passed by a Republican Congress and signed by President Clinton – it sharply curtailed the prior welfare system and gave recipients a limited amount of time to collect relief. The full text of the bill can be found here: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c104:H.R.3734.ENR:

[5] http://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/

[6] http://www.charliebaker2010.com/Bakers%20Dozen.pdf

[7] http://lieberman.senate.gov/assets/pdf/TEA_full.pdf

Scott Brown – The Independent Voice…

April 20, 2010

 

…of Partisan/Populist Politics

 Massachusetts voters took part in an election of national significance last fall to replace the US Senate seat formerly head by the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy. The Democrat’s candidate, Martha Coakley ran perhaps the worse campaign in the history of Massachusetts, if not the country. Populist Republican candidate Scott Brown came out of nowhere and seized on the pulse of a lot of angry voters and took an election that was ripe for the taking. Even though a lot of his platform and record did not sit well with over one million voters who voted for his opponent Martha Coakley he won handily on Election Day. Brown promised to be an independent voice of Massachusetts and he told us all he was in favor of small government and would be hard at work for the working family.

 Brown’s long term voting record in the Massachusetts Senate and House has shown him to be all over the place. He has supported pro-life and pro-choice; for animal rights and against animal rights; for labor and against (although he is consistently against government regulation and pro big business.)  Brown believes everything that has happened during our economic downfall is in no need of any government oversight. His love of small government and trimming back spending found him two weeks ago supporting an expensive engine option for a new military aircraft – the parochial Brown supported this as it would create jobs in Massachusetts – the interesting part of this is that this was a rare occasion where the Pentagon had stated that they did not want these engines and they were not necessary. Brown supporters point out that Brown supported a position that Coakley would have supported; this is true – where it becomes disingenuous is when you consider the small government/cut spending platform that Brown rode to victory.

 The Senator appears like a deer in the headlights when he appeared on this past weekend’s news panel show, Face the Nation. When questioned if the nation is heading towards socialism he came back with a disjointed response that was all over the place and did not answer the question. He discussed immigration, the wars and health care then railed on President Obama for not doing anything about jobs. Someone should point out to Brown that he recently voted for a jobs bill supported by the President.[1] In fairness perhaps Senator Brown is just not used to the scrutiny one faces at this level. There is little heat on state reps and state senators – on the playing field he ascended to in January it is an entirely different ballgame – everyone is watching and the cameras are rolling.

 Senator Brown is also playing with numbers – does he really think no one is going to look at his facts and closely examine them? Brown stated that the new financial reform measures that are on the table will cost the Massachusetts economy 35,000 jobs. When questioned about his statistic the Senator said he was given the numbers from executives at Mass Mutual – a financial sector employer based in Springfield, MA. When Mass Mutual was questioned by the Boston Globe they replied:

 MassMutual officials initially said they provided Brown with no such estimate. Yesterday, company officials explained that they had given Brown an estimate of how many jobs have been lost in the Massachusetts financial sector since the recession — which they told him was about 33,000 jobs — and said the current legislation could further exacerbate the problem.[2]

Those numbers are for past job losses – not projections. These numbers are disputed by the Department of Labor and Workforce who claim 18,700 financial sector jobs have been lost since the start of the recession.[3]  When you lie with statistics you are supposed to be subtle – a small variation, a graph that does not tell the entire story – not blatant misstatements. The general practice requires that you at least start with some numbers that are at least valid – Brown did not do this.

Senator Scott Brown won an election but if he hopes to win his next election for a full term in the U.S. Senate he is going to have to use real facts, understand the issues and vote for his constituency – not the partisan line and not how the Republican Party powers that be say he should vote. The Senator should be more concerned with the everyday citizens who have had their hopes and dreams pulled out from under them by illegitimate and unsound business practices on Wall Street. Massachusetts and the nation need government oversight and enforcement which will help all citizens, not provincial plans and pork that create just a few jobs to get a few votes. Senator Brown WE are watching you.


[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/19/scott-brown-struggles-to_n_543177.html

[2] http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/04/20/democrats_hit_brown_over_job_loss_estimates/?page=2

[3] http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/04/20/democrats_hit_brown_over_job_loss_estimates/?page=2