Wednesday, January 27, 2010

2L4O? Plus--Rage Against the Old Boy Machine

Progressive Martha Coakley caught between 2L4O rock and Old Boy "Dem" Machine hard place?

Looks like the Old Boy "Dem" machine failed to turn out for Coakley.

From a Kos diarist:

. . . after the primary, everyone usually comes together. The coming together just didn't happen this time. . . . [this long-time Democratic Party worker] . . .didn't get called to campaign like she does for every other local, statewide, or national campaign. The machine volunteers did not deploy from Boston.

Yeah, let's all lather/rinse/repeat the hypnotic "she's weeeeak, she's weeak, she's weeaak" theme again. Cui bono? Coakley too liberal for the Old Boy Machine? Or does Capuano have ambitions that will be best served by trying to knock out Coakley (who beat him in the primary, and was not supposed to) at this point, so he can face Brown in 2012? Dunno.

All politics is local, turns out. Cause the Old Boys did not turn out for Martha.

The Old Boy Dems, even across blogtopia, continue to spin Martha's really excellent demonstration of good personal boundaries setting aside time to spend with her family as "lazy" because no one will notice what a sexist spin that is, since family time is just silly gurrl stuff and real men oops candidates work round the clock and ignore their families because that's how they stay big and strong.

[insert chest-pounding here.]

That uppity, uppity Coakley.

Really, who does she think she is?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

MASen: First Battle In the 2L4O Rebellion

Five thirty eight has the stats, but they think their eyes deceive them!

Which is really rather amusing.

By a 68-27 margin, voters in last Tuesday's election supported the universal health care law in Massachusetts; this included a majority of Scott Brown voters! But these same voters opposed the Democratic health care plan, which is quite similar to the Massacuhsetts law, by a 43-48 margin.

What accounts for the discrepancy?

I know. But they don't.

Here are stats for "Brown" voters:

QUESTION: Would you favor or oppose the national government offering everyone the choice of a government administered health insurance plan -- something like the Medicare coverage that people 65 and older get -- that would compete with private health insurance plans?
ALL 86% 7% 7%
MEN 84% 8% 8%
WOMEN 88% 6% 6%
DEMOCRATS 88% 6% 6%
REPUBLICANS 63% 22% 15%

"Brown" was "elected" by Medicare for All/Public Option/single payer people.

And that, boys and girls, its what is now known as the first battle in The 2L4O Rebellion.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Progressive Martha Coakley: Collateral Damage in the Public-Option Rebellion

The numbers are in; the truth comes out.

This turns the MA election upside down: MA was not a victory for GOP, not at all. In fact, it was the exact opposite.

It was a defeat for conservatives, and a triumph for liberals: the Public-Option Rebellion.

From RJ Eskow:

Here are the first results from after-vote polling in Massachusetts: By a 3 to 2 margin, Obama voters who voted for Brown thought that Obama's reform bill "doesn't go far enough." And those Obama voters who didn't bother voting felt that way by a 6 to 1 margin. 82% of Obama voters who went for Brown (and 86% of those who stayed home) support a public option. And 57% of Brown voters said that Obama is "not delivering enough" on change.

In this stunning victory for progressives that sent a sudden shocking a wake-up call to timid Dems in Washington, it's ironic that talented, passionate progressive Dem Martha Coakley wound up being sacrificed as collateral damage.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dean Poll: pro-public option voters defeated pro-public option Coakley

This is a black swan game-changer, and really worth viewing.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Dean says his polls show pro-public option Martha Coakley's loss in MA as protest against Obama centrism by pro-public option Dems and independents.

2L4O: Too Liberal for Obama

Are you too liberal for Obama?

Get your 2L4O t-shirts now!

Bayh, Lieberman: Brown Loss Means We Must Take a Right Turn

Yes, it is time to turn right, right into the arms of big pharma, big banksters, and the rest of them, because it wouldn't have been good for an actual progressive to get into power, would it? Because Martha Coakley has an actual record for actually doing that.

The powers that be really dodged a bullet on Tuesday, and Lieberman knows it.

Democratic Senator Evan Bayh echoed Lieberman's sentiments yesterday, telling ABC News, "The only we are able to govern successfully in this country is by liberals and progressives making common cause with independents and moderates. Whenever you have just the furthest left elements of the Dem party attempting to impose their will on the rest of the country -- that's not going to work too well."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Thanks for nothing, MA


So (expletive deleted) stupid.

And so (expletive deleted) wrong.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Vote for Progressive Democrat Martha Coakley

On the merits of her record.

1. Opposes sending more troops to Afghanistan.

2. Supports a woman's right to choose.

3. Supports health care coverage for all.

4. Achieved record settlements in enforcement actions against Big Pharma.

5. Supports civil and reproductive rights: filed constitutional challenge to DOMA.

6. Supporting the environment; supporting consumers by litigating ratepayer protection to the tune of $100 million dollars

7. Strong record on domestic violence, survivors of abuse, crime victims, preventing human trafficking.

I don't have time to review everything, it's on on her website, in detail. This election is about electing a superb candidate from MA to the US Senate, MA Attorney General Martha Coakley.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

More on the Amirault Cases

A reader gave me a link to materia on the Amirault child sexual abuse convictions, a case that had passed through the hands of 3 MA Attorneys General, O'Reilly, Harshbarger, and Coakley, a case Republican governor Jane Swift refused to commute.

Witness praises Amirault decision

By John Ellement, Globe Staff, 2/23/2002

CAMBRIDGE - Jen Bennett wants to give Acting Governor Jane Swift a bear hug in appreciation, and she wants Gerald Amirault to admit he sexually abused her when she attended the Fells Acres Day Care Center in Malden in the 1980s.

Bennett was one of nine children who testified against Amirault during his three-month trial in 1986, which ended with his conviction on multiple rape and molestation charges. He was sentenced to 30 to 40 years in prison.

Bennett spoke out yesterday about Swift's refusal this week to commute Amirault's prison sentence, a decision denounced by Amirault supporters as politically motivated and unjust. They contend that no one was sexually abused at the day care center and that Gerald Amirault is a wrongly convicted man.

''I just want to give her a great, big hear hug,'' Bennett said of Swift.

As for Amirault, ''I want to say to Mr. Amirault: Admit your guilt, you did this. He is where he is supposed to be. I will fight against you to the end. He destroyed my childhood.''

Harriett Dell'Anno, whose daughter was one of the victims, echoed Bennett's insistence that children were sexually violated and also thanked Swift for keeping Amirault in prison. Had she coached her daughter to falsely accuse Amirault, or had she allowed investigators to coerce her daughter into making false claims, Dell'Anno said she would deserve to be in prison.

Of the sexual abuse, she said simply, ''It happened.''

Laurence Hardoon, who was the trial prosecutor, said yesterday the preschool age of the witnesses did inject some inaccurate information into the inquiry. But, he said, mistaken memories by some of the children accounted for at most 5 percent of the information against the Amiraults.

Hardoon also said the quality of the investigation and the actions of prosecutors, police, and social workers working with the children were all scrutinized intensely during Gerald Amirault's trial - and still the jury convicted.

He said Amirault supporters are focusing on 2 percent of the children's claims that ''seem inexplicable and they are conveniently ignoring the 98 percent of the case that was overwhelming'' against Amirault.

Amirault's sister, Cheryl Amirault LeFave, and their late mother, Violet Amirault, were convicted in a separate trial. Both women were later released on appeal.

Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley, who inherited the case from former district attorneys Scott Harshbarger and Thomas F. Reilly, said Amirault's insistence that he is innocent does not make it true.

She drew a parallel between John Geoghan, the former Catholic priest sentenced to 9 to 10 years in prison Thursday for molesting a child. Like Amirault, Geoghan insisted that he, too, was innocent, she said.

''Admitting to child abuse is a very difficult and often, a never-seen thing,'' she said. Coakley said it was time for Amirault and his supporters to end their pursuit of an early release from prison so that the victims can finally begin to fully heal from the trauma he caused them as children.

A spokeswoman for Swift, Sarah Magazine, repeated that the acting governor made her decision knowing that ''there are strong feelings on both sides of this issue.

Full story here.

And from the Chief Prosecutor of both Amirault trials, Larry Hardoon:

Letters to the Editor: The Real Darkness Is Child Abuse


Copyright (c) 1995

As the chief prosecutor of both of the Amirault cases I am writing to prevent the public from being misled into believing that an injustice occurred as Dorothy Rabinowitz alleges in her Jan. 30 editorial-page piece "A Darkness in Massachusetts."

Her suggestion that the convictions were based on "some of the most fantastic claims ever presented" presumptuously ignores the reality of the cases. The three Amiraults -- Gerald, Violet and Cheryl – were convicted after two trials before different judges and juries almost one year apart. They were represented by able and well-known defense counsel. The convictions were upheld after review by state and federal appellate courts. The McMartin case in California was the result of a botched legal system and Kelly Michaels's conviction was overturned because of legal errors. Contrary to Ms. Rabinowitz's implication, the Amirault convictions were neither of these.

The first trial involving Gerald Amirault lasted a record three and a half months. Nine children and their parents testified and were subject to extensive cross-examination. The second trial of Violet and Cheryl Amirault involved five children. The entire proceedings were public and extensively covered by the media.

The children testified to being photographed and molested by acts that included penetration by objects. To the average person unfamiliar with the gruesome-ness of child pornography, the allegations of penetration by objects seem bizarre. The testimony of a postal inspector experienced in child pornography was properly admitted to educate the jury regarding the plausibility of the children's testimony.

The overturned order of the trial judge changing Violet and Cheryl Amirault's sentences five years after they were imposed was nothing more than a political squabble between the judge and the parole board over who dictates the appropriate release time for convicts. Violet Amirault was convicted of threats to commit a crime and Cheryl Amirault was convicted of assault and battery for acts committed while in prison. These subsequent convictions may have played a role in the decision of the parole board to deny parole.

Amirault was handled differently from cases in other parts of the country. The initial investigation and interviewing of the children was divided among different investigators, contrary to the assertion in the story that the allegations were developed through one pediatric nurse. Uniquely similar disclosures came from children with no connection of any kind to each other who were handled by different teams of investigators. Many children involved in the prosecution were from families who were initially hostile or skeptical toward the prosecution. Only after these children made unexpected disclosures directly to parents did they join the prosecution effort. The implication in the article that the children's allegations of abuse were tainted by improper interviewing is groundless and not true.

Studies show, as did testimony from a nationally recognized pediatric gynecologist, that most sexually molested young children have absolutely normal physical examinations. However, in Amirault, the majority of the female children who testified had some relevant physical findings, as did several female children involved in the investigation who did not participate in the trial. The findings included labial adhesions and hymenal scarring of the sort present in a very small percentage of non-sexually abused children.

The defendants had a full and fair opportunity to present any evidence they wanted the jury to consider. Although it has no significance in a court of law due to the presumption of innocence and the right against self-incrimination, the choice by Violet and Cheryl Amirault not to testify in their own behalf at trial can certainly be the subject of conjecture by the public at large. They passed up the single most important opportunity they had to tell their story. Isn't this fact, unmentioned by Ms. Rabinowitz, something the public ought to know?

The investigation and handling of these cases was not flawless. In 1984, when the Amirault case began, law enforcement was just beginning to cope with the explosion of sexual abuse into the criminal-justice system. Improvements have been implemented since then, many of which had their inception in that case. Today, there are still more innovations that can be implemented by the judicial system to make the process fairer to both the children and the defendants in these cases.

Ms. Rabinowitz's article is a superficial, one-sided look at a case handled extensively and carefully by the legal system. The victims and their families in these cases have been irrevocably harmed by what was done to them by the Amiraults. Every argument raised by Ms. Rabinowitz was ably presented by the defense at the trials. The juries, by their verdicts, rejected these arguments. Justice was done.

Laurence E. Hardoon


Source, here.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Teabaggers versus Coakley

"All things are ready if our minds be so."

Send Arthur Silber Money

I just sent Arthur Silber money because he is ill and could use some help. Not a lot just what I could afford. I invite you to do likewise if you can. I am sending him money even though I have um, issues, in that aspect of life myself, because I believe he has more issues than I do, and because I think it is important to support the thinking of thinkers. I agree with much, though not all, of Arthur's thinking, and even though I utterly disagree with him about some important things such as the MA senate race -- and think that in this respect he totally has his head up his *ss and just couldn't be any more f*cking wrong about progressive Coakley versus waterboading enthusiast Brown, I am still sending him money because of the other 98% of his stuff which I think is brilliant. So it is ok with me that he is 2% completely batshit crazy wrong wrong rong. Though I wish he weren't.

So, whatever. I wish someone would go out there and find him and bring him to a warm cheap climate, perhaps Costa Rica?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Progressive Dem Coakley versus waterboarding enthusiast Brown

Pro-torture candidate for Senate in MA, Scott Brown, is rising in the polls against progressive Dem Martha Coakley. You'd think a Republican would be easy to beat in MA, but apparently the teabaggers are all riled up about beating Coakley.

Brown on waterboarding:

Brown . . .took a hard line against the coming terrorism trials in New York City, lambasting Attorney General Eric Holder by saying, "It's time we stopped acting like lawyers and started acting like patriots." He also defended the use of waterboarding, disagreeing with Sen. John McCain (who endorsed him recently): "I do not believe it is torture.

Here's a link John Cole of Balloon Juice put up at ActBlue, for fundraising.

If you can't donate, and you think it's important that MA's senator be anti-torture, write a letter, blog a blog, if you can.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Is That Egg On Brit Hume's Face Or Is He Just Happy to . . .

Hey, kids!

Remember--it's never too late for a loudmouth "Christian" talking head to slam a major world religion he knows absolutely nothing about!

Have an auspicious Western New Year, everyone!

Kvatch's take, here.

Buddhist Jihad, here.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Matthieu Ricard: Habits of happiness

Happy New Year.