Professor defeats centerfold

WarrenYou can call her Senator Warren now.

As more votes come in, WHDH is calling Elizabeth Warren the winner over incumbent Scott Brown. Among other things, Warren becomes the state's first woman senator.

While statewide the race was close, in Boston, city results show Warren winning 65-35.

Mark Leccese: "Tough night for the Boston Herald. And their pollster."

Next up: Secretary of State John Kerry?

H/t Andrea Garvey for the headline.

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Ok, then!

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In an interesting aside once again proving there is both order and chaos in the universe, my Dad spent the first half of his day ferrying people to the polls for Obama in his SUV up in NH. He then went to Logan and picked up a Romney bundler and took him to the BCEC where he is now, though I suspect it will be an early night for him.

I was scheduled to pick up another big donor ( I Googled him) at United at 5:30, so around 4:30 I drove by the BCEC to check out the scene and see if there were any cops there that I knew and sure enough I ran into one. He said D and Summer would be closed and that the inbound side of Summer Street would become two lanes going each way.

The only people around at that time were a million cops, and two million media types all doing stand ups in front of the place.
The best part was that the only people holding signs were the two brave old ladies holding Warren signs.

My passengers came in and were predictably silent. They were your typical big money Repubs who just wanted to get to the hotel and change after a 5 hour flight. After about an hour's wait we headed out to the Westin Waterfront, where all guests were required to check in before heading over the sky-walk to the Convention Center.

Sure enough, Summer Street was closed at Melcher, so we had to go around to the haul road by the Pavilion where you were greeted by BPD and Secret Service. After the perfunctory check with the mirrors and German Shepherds (none of us in the vehicle were searched or wanded...can't have that, now..) we were allowed to proceed past the public works trucks arranged in a manner that I perceived to be such as to stop a truck bomber and then I was the only car on the road ( as Secret Service had closed all of Summer Street by then) as I made it to the Westin and dropped my people off.

Of course since no cabs were around a guy who looked like Eric Cantor gave me a hundred to take him to the Charles Hotel.

I'm sorry...

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I keep forgetting to preface m screeds with the fact that I am an executive chauffeur.

Hooray

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for the Brave Old Ladies!

When Brown was elected

I noted that he had a choice: he could represent the GOP or represent MA, but not both. Moreover, representing the GOP would result in his being a spaceholder for a couple of years while the Democratic party got its act together and found a better candidate.

He started out just fine and seemed to represent MA, but then the GOP offered him money and support if he represented them instead. Then the GOP failed to do their homework and really didn't get their money's worth from all the stuff they spewed - I mean, "vote NO on Elizabeth Warren" is NOT an effective message in these parts, neither is Rove's "occupy" scare ad.

Brown had his chance, and he made his choices.

Interesting

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She ran as the champion of the middle class - but if you look at the town by town results, she is winning the richest and poorest towns with the middle class towns generally trending Brown.

No surprise

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Middle class white Americans have been voting against their interests for the past 30 years.

And condescending liberals

And condescending liberals have been telling the middle class that they know what is best for you without regard for your own beliefs.

isn't that the nature of

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isn't that the nature of politicians, left or right? One side doesn't trust you with your wallet, the other doesn't trust you with you heart. Anyone who thinks either side is altruistic and concerened only about "the people" is naive

It's allowed.

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And you don't have to listen.

That said, you can't be a troglodyte and take everyone else down with you. Just like with your bible, your beliefs shouldn't impact how everyone else operates.

Nobody is "stealing your money" via taxes. You pay taxes as a fee for being part of our civilization and taking advantage of the things we all share. If you don't like it, you're welcome to live in Somalia. They don't have any problems at all with government, big or small. You can keep all your hard-earned dough to yourself.

But you do have to listen

But you do have to listen when they outlaw large soda, and enact ridiculous educational reform while they send their kids to private school. Your beliefs impact everyone just as much as some conservative's beliefs.

Conservatives and Liberals all pay into the system. It's not a problem w/ government. It's a problem w/ how much govt. and the 'I know what's better for you' but I'm different philosophy.

I'll remember that "ridiculous" bit

The next time the republican party starts obsessing about and trying to regulate my neighbors' family lives and sex lives and my reproductive medical care options.

cool, so you are the pro-gay

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cool, so you are the pro-gay marriage, pro-pot legalization, anti-death penalty kind of Republican. I like you

Thx. I'm not even a

Thx. I'm not even a republican (well, maybe a Rockefeller republican if they still existed).

Republicans are not limited to the crazy religious-right. Just as the local moonbats are not all of the democrats (even if they wish they were).

I think the majority of independents straddle the line between liberal-republican/conservative-democrat.

Seems to be up to ~74% now

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I know Brighton had pretty big turnout. I remember in particular that W21-P9 ended up with 78% for Warren. Guess we'll see it all posted soon.

P.S. Adam, you missed best possible pun: "Brown out"

7+ miles and 300+ doors later

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Saturday and today, I knocked on well over 300 doors and walked over 7 miles to make sure people in Brighton and Allston were getting out the vote and it appears that effort really paid off. Good.

The best part of it all is fulfilling the irony that had Republicans just confirmed her to run the Consumer Finance Protection Agency, she never would have overthrown their buddy in Scott Brown.

Very nice

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Were you working out of 433 Washington by any chance?

Yep

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Yeah, I was in there just long enough to grab canvass data and roll out again.

Cool

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I was handing out the data, we probably interacted and never even realized it.

Behind the desk?

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Does the street "Appian Way" yesterday ring any bells? I believe you told me it's your favorite.

Aha.

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I knew it sounded Roman-esque (as opposed to Romanesque). Nice to meet you.

Congratulations and a question

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We are sending 11 Democrats to a Washington where the House of Representatives doesn't need them and they know that Kerry will vote 97% of the time with Dems and Warren probably more than that.

Why would the Republican controlled house vote to send any money to Massachusetts unless they absolutely had to (for example -
Romneycare dollars that are only guaranteed through 2014)? Why would any of them even waste their time opening the door for a single member of our delegation? What leverage do we have in Washington? Why won't they just write us off as an uncovertable moonbat nation?

We pay the bills

Also, the GOP doesn't own the senate or the White House. They can throw their little tantrums and act like three year olds screaming NO NO NOOOOO! all they want, but they won't get anything for their districts if they don't play nice.

Pay what bills

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Because we pay a lot of taxes? Who cares, they'll take that and send it somewhere else. They can play nice - just not with the moonbat (and possibly criminal) reps from our state. If I were a Republican looking to deal - Id' walk right by Lizzy and Senator Ketchup's door and I'd deal with someone who might throw me a bone from a state where a Democrat looking for a few "I crossed the aisle" points needs a few Republican votes to get re-elected (I'd start with Bernie Sanders and Angus King and then think battleground states). I wouldn't even open the door if somebody from Mass came knocking - would be a total waste of my time because in the House I don't need them and in the senate I'd never expect to get anything back.

My big fear is they cut off our extra Romneycare bucks after 2014 - do that and you can forget the middle class - this whole state will get hammered. Guess then we can fall back on Obamacare like everyone else - our elite doctors and hospitals will be soooo happy.

Revenge is a dish best served cold.

One More Time

It doesn't matter one steaming pile whether we send all democrats or if you decide someone is a moonbat or not - what matters is SENIORITY and the simple fact (stated once again slooooowly) that the GOP has the house BUT the Democratic Party holds the White House AND the Senate. That means they can posture, whine, and act like toddlers all they please but they still have to make deals and grow up sometime if they want any of our money for their personal Red State Special Parasite State Porkbarrels That Their State Won't Fund to make it through the Senate or get past President Obama's pen.

Can I repeat that one more time for the reality challenged wingnut here?

Reality challenged?

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That means they can posture, whine, and act like toddlers all they please but they still have to make deals and grow up sometime if they want any of our money for their personal Red State Special Parasite State Porkbarrels That Their State Won't Fund to make it through the Senate or get past President Obama's pen.

True - but they don't need anybody from Mass to make those deals - and the President is on such thin ice to make things happen that he's not in a position to stand up on our behalf any time there's a half way decent deal on the table, even if it excludes us. We have zero leverage and if I'm a Republican with a vote/card/dollar to deal, I'm going to trade it with someone who might pay me back some day -and that's not likely to be Kerry or Warren and it's definitely nobody on the gang of 9(serious question - when was the last time Kerry did anything important other than lose to GWB?).

You've obviously never played this game before.

Thin ice?

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What does he have to prove at this point? He won. He's not going to lose another election.

Obama can't just sit on his butt and celebrate

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Have you seen the stock market today? Only one day's "vote" in the financial markets, but if we don't get a compromise solution to our tax and budget issues we are going into a DEEP funk (and we might anyway thanks to issues beyond our shores - but you can only control what you can control).

He has to broker a deal. His fault or not - if the economy tanks he (and the Dems) get the blame and will pay in the mid-terms AGAIN. If it's bad enough he will have to deal with a fully Republican legislature - he has to deal and fast - or his presidency and possibly the Democratic senate fall through that thin ice. You can try to blame it on the Republicans, but if you can't fix problems after 6 years you can only blame it on the other side for so long. At some point the people blame the logjam on the leadership - his fault or not.

He can blame them, but he doesn't really have to

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It's all very public goings-on. He's not campaigning for re-election, so it's not like he has to make a public display of it if the Republicans pull a McConnell again. They'll make it loud and noisy and public for him.

I agree that he doesn't have a ton of political capital, but I heard a strategy this morning that I think is likely to play out: Go over the cliff.

Then lower the taxes to match what the final bargain will be. Voila. Nobody actually voted to raise taxes, but the taxes will go up, and everyone gets to vent their spleen.

Vent your spleen

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but a lot of pain in between.

Possible - I've heard people on both sides of the aisle - quietly - say that might not be a bad political strategy. Only problem is it'll play havoc with the financial markets - hit the rich - actually probably not - they have almost infinite patience if their money is managed well. It'll play havoc though with things like 401k's, insurance companies and public pensions.

Could work - it' far from a free lunch though (and two quick stats for those that want to raise taxes, an idea I'm not wholly against - the federal government is taking in 18% of the GDP in taxes. At or close to a record high-that's usually what total spending is. The top 1% are paying 38% of the federal income taxes - raise their taxes 10% and it might get you to 40% - but you also might hit the point where people say screw it and don't work - especially households with at least one successful person in the couple - once you hit the high tax rate - coupled with state income taxes and possibly city income taxes in some places you are already paying almost 50% in taxes. Throw in payroll tax - that's 58% and if you are self-employed it's 66% - at some point why get out of bed in the morning - food for thought - would you go to work if you brought home 34-50 cents on the dollar?)

I keep hearing this argument

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There's this notion that people will just quit working if they're taxed too much. And certainly, there is a threshold where that's true, but I don't think it's as low as people claim.

If you've been working hard enough during your life to get in a position where the taxes affect you that much, you probably have put a lot of sweat into it. You're not just going to walk away from the labor force and quit working. The ethic is in you. You might take a few months off. Even a year. But you're going to be bored, and you're going to want to be productive. We see it in retirees all the time.

And anyway, it's not like there's a point at which the inflection changes and you start earning less for making more. Yes, there is wonkiness with brackets and such, but generally speaking, if you get a pay raise, you will get more money. It may be of decreasing impact, but hey - that is a wonderful problem to have and I think there are plenty of folks who would love to be in that situation.

Laugher Curve....

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The idea that rich people, who worked just fine in the 1990's, are going to stop working if their taxes go up tomorrow is absurd since they still wouldn't even be Clinton era tax rates.

The problem is that nobody is thinking about this from a lowest energy potential theory. Rich people will put their money at the "lowest point", its most rested state. If they can take the money out of their company and put it in their pockets cheaply, they'll do it. But if it is cheaper to reinvest it in their company or start-ups, they'll do that instead. It's all about comparative risks and rewards. The risks and rewards for doing stimulative activities with their money haven't really changed. But playing financial games or escaping the tax system has devolved to being all reward and no risk. Make it unfriendly for them to sit on their hands, make some of them have to gamble where losing is a possibility again or lose a percentage to the government that won't feel comfortable either, and the rich will finally start earning their keep again.

Different rich

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You are talking about Mitt Romney rich. I'm talking about the working wealthy - very different story - especially if there's a big gap between the primary bread winner and the spouse. I know a lot of people who have made exactly the decision for the spouse not to work or even consider closing down a small business - unless you have a potential huge upside - it's not worth the time and aggravation when you are taking home less than 50 cents on the dollar. Most people would get more satisfaction staying with the kids or volunteering at a favorite charity.

This "different rich" thing is being almost totally ignored

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Without intervening in the Swirly, Kaz, Cutriss and Stevil throwdown, I think this is good time to mention that which I did elsewhere - that there is a hell of a lot of difference in dollar terms in what these relative terms mean in North Platte v. Boston.

For example - I heard Capuano say on 'BUR this morning that (paraphrasing) he was okay with the wealthy paying a little bit more, and that he thought that the $250K threshold was an acceptable a compromise. He used it as an example of him willing to compromise because he personally thought that number was too high.

That's fine until you link that number with relative terms like "rich" or "wealthy". My own feeling is that a household income of $200K around greater Boston does not make you rich (and certainly not Romney or Bob Kraft rich), particularly if you have a couple of kids and are paying off undergrad and graduate student loan debt (which very many people who make that much money are). I don't know for sure, but I'm pretty confident that $200K/yr at least makes you "richer" in North Platte than it does here.

People in Washington are throwing around arbitrarily arrived at numbers where if your household is above it you're "rich", and under it, "middle class" (until you're poor). This kind of simplistic approach does not take into account innumerable factors, including, at a minimum, widely varying costs of living across the country.

I realize that there is no reasonable way for all relevant factors to be evaluated, but at least with respect to cost of living discrepancies, there is a ready-made and easily applied way to take account of this. The federal government could simply apply the cost of living adjustment and locality pay standards that it uses for its own employees to federal income taxation. That would go a long way toward making people think they are getting a fairer shake.

Until that happens, there are going to be a lot of households in the 128 and 495 belts (who often determine the outcome in statewide elections) making $250K with a couple of kids and student loans who are going to wildly disagree with the notion that they are "rich" and can and should pay more in federal income taxes. That's going to be a big problem for Mike Capuano and others if they end up running for a vacated Senate seat.

Marginal tax rates

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Can I point out the known-but-often-forgotten fact that raising the top marginal rate means that someone who makes exactly $250,000 taxable income a year doesn't pay a penny more?

If you raise the top marginal rate by 3.5% then a person who makes exactly $250,001 taxable income a year pays only $0.035 more. Not exactly breaking the bank there...

(This is simplified a bit, but the point should be clear)

A tax break on income under $250,000 is a tax break for 100% of Americans with taxable income. Not 99%. 100%.

I understand the marginal tax rate structure, but

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perception is reality, and the perception will be that because a household A has income of $250,001 it is considered "rich". My point was that the earners in many households like A don't feel rich, and are not going to like being considered rich by politicians or the tax code for a variety or reasons.

This is particularly true if other non-wage taxes are going to be raised if you hit the $250K trigger, as has been proposed for capital gains, dividends, etc. That makes the overall tax burden significantly higher than $0.35 or 0.39 on each dollar earned over $250K.

I'm up there

And I feel very wealthy and blessed. I got to go on a foreign vacation, pay cash when the water heater blew, pay out of pocket for renovations and cash for the kid's braces, and a lot of things that people don't get to do at all or pay for so easily. I also subsidize a second household so that my aunt doesn't live in poverty because of her disability. Then there is the perverse reality that the more money you have, the less you pay for things because you don't have to borrow or pay fees. That makes me feel filthy rich and completely blessed.

Oh, and my teen sons don't have to shove newspapers into dry-rotted bedroom walls to stay warm - like I did at their age. So, maybe, wealth and plenty is a matter of perspective.

I also make good money, as does my husband, because we spent a good seven years in that 47% group while we attained the education levels needed to now be fortunate enough to be in a top earning group.

Is $250K rich?

His point is, is a working couple making $250K in the Boston area "rich"?

I don't think so, not even close. People can argue all day about what constitutes "rich". To put it into perspective, that's two cops working some OT. Every once in awhile, the Globe will have an article about a given town's top earners, and cops and firefighters crowd out almost everybody else. A six-figure salary ain't what it used to be.

Saying that, whenever the issue of raising taxes is presented, it's always using examples of Warren Buffet or Romney. OK, fine. But then that's followed up with a proposal of raising taxes to working couples making more than $250K? Huh? In other situations, one would call that bait-and-switch.

FWIW, I know that to solve the fiscal crisis, taxes have to be raised for almost everybody. I accept this and am willing to pay more to straighten things out. And no, I don't make anywhere near $250K.

I'll tell you what I think rich is in Massachusetts.

Being "rich" in Massachusetts is when you decide that one or more of your children are going to go to private schools like Milton, Nobles, Roxbury Latin or Middlesex, and you send them to those schools and write the tuition checks for 34K a year and you pay those fees for your children through their college years where you start to write checks for 60K a year for each child. You don't even think about filling out financial aid forms, since you have more than enough in your account to cover those tuition checks. You might not make 250K a year, but you have a trust fund which can pay for things like tuition, real estate taxes, and down payments on whatever home you want to buy.

Short sellers ≠ accurate bellweathers

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Have you seen the stock market today?

The exact same thing happened after Obama won his first term - and then the major indices proceeded to double over the next four years. I'm completely fine with some short-term, me-first traders shooting themselves in the foot if it's followed by another multi-year climb of slow but steady improvement.

Sandy will definitely put a crimp in the next round of economic numbers. Together with uncertainty about the 'fiscal cliff' negotiations, i expect we'd have seen downward pressure on stocks for the next month or so regardless of whom was elected.

Consider it a good time to pick up some under-appreciated stocks or re-jigger your index funds.

No problem

We're all enjoying your delicious tears as you work through the many different ways to say WAAAAAH!

See my comment on Mass and Nixon

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Mass got the last laugh on that one, I'll get it on this one. Patience is a virtue.

PS - can't find your other post on who racked up and solved deficits - but a little civics lesson for you. Presidents have a say of course, but Congress has the power of the purse, not presidents. If you spend too much (like the Dems under Reagan) or balance the budget (like the Republicans under Clinton) - Congress should get most of the blame/credit. The Republicans - sadly for them - went nuts under Bush II - which is why I voted for Kerry - I was two years ahead of that game. The Dems went off the deep end in '08 (that didn't take long) and paid the price in '10 with the rise of the Tea Party.

You also might want to revisit history class as well - one of the reasons Reagan and O'Neill got together to raise the military budget was to pressure the Russians to raise theirs - which was designed to drive their command economy off a cliff. Also part of the reason we funded the rebels in Afghanistan. Hats off to bipartisanship - it worked. It is debatable whether the surpluses in the 90's can be attributed to a "peace dividend" or the Republican revolution or simply a booming economy - but again - there was a lot of bipartisanship between Clinton and Congress. Could have had more of that with Brown. Instead we elected a woman who was blamed for at least a part of the 5% sell off in bank stocks yesterday. Brilliant! Hope your 401k or pension fund doesn't own any of those nasty things you might want to leverage in retirement. Another 15 or 20 more Senators like that and every pension fund in America will be broke if it isn't already - are you listening public employees? Fortunately that was partially offset by a 10% rise in health care stocks celebrating the increased demand (and pricing) they expect under Obamacare the evil oversized devilchild of Romneycare.

See you in 2014. Maybe you can have a study session with Swirly while she brushes up on her math. You can help her with her first algebra question - what is 10,000 divided by 10,200 and how does someone being "more independent" turn that into anything close to 0.5?

Enjoy those tears. They are shed for your children. Like our money, the adults are stealing even that from the next generation.

My headline suggestion:

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MA Voters to Brown: Get the Truck Out!

We haven't heard the last of Brown.. (and other political moves)

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The cascade in a nutshell:

Kerry appointed Sec. of State.

Special Senate election: Gov. Patrick v. Bill Weld (you don't think that he just moved back to MA for the hell of it, do you?).

Brown v. Babyface Murray for the Gov. election in 2014.

I would love to see a Patrick-Weld race. For a change we would have two really bright people running for office. The governor's race noted above would be substantially less profound, but would be a close one given the statewide infrastructure each has.

What can Brown do for you?

Brown is a good man and CAN be a good rep - he just got in with the wrong crowd when he tried to go national primetime. I suspect that his experience with the GOP Litmus Testing Machine also dragged Tisei down as well, as we know that those with good intentions with an R beside their name will get bullied into lockstep votes by the knuckledraggers running the party of NO.

Running for statewide office is a logical and sound next step for Brown.

If the Scott Brown who graciously conceded had been the Scott Brown who returned from Washington and the Scott Brown who campaigned for reelection, the race would have been much tighter. I think he can only be that Scott Brown if he stays home.

What if he just loses the "R"?

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If he's that serious about coming across as a moderate and independent voice, why not just be an "I"? I think that could be enough to tip the scales in his favor, and the odds are decent he won't be running against a woman again, so he won't get beat up as much over Lilly Ledbetter and such.

He may still caucus with the Republicans after the election, but at least it would get him elected. Whether or not he keeps the seat ultimately depends on just how "Independent" he keeps.

Capuano?

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I'd think Capuano could get Kerry's spot. He showed well against Warren, but ran into the national party buzz saw behind Warren in the primary (and with good reason).

Then a blue House district would have to pick a new Rep instead of a new Governor.

Agreed

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The last cycle he was fairly... angry... when communicating with voters. I feel like he's been able to funnel his passion, or what have you, into more productive venues recently. He took a couple of meaningless but nasty comments from Romero on the chin in the Fox 25 debate I watched, and responded without even a hint of the rage monster that lives inside him.

If he has truly learned to control the hulk, then I think he's probably a good and viable candidate. He's got a progressive record to run on, and can spar with Brown or whoever else in a way that wont turn the voters off.

what he needs to learn first

He won't be the senator from the Great State of Somerville. When he ran against Coakley, he didn't seem to grasp that being a senator was different than representing a geographically tight district.

And, I don't think that he beats Weld

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Not only that, but I don't think that Capuano could beat Big Red. I can't think of any MA democrats who could, especially in a special election (without a presidential election to bring out an additional 1M voters).

Weld is what so many claim to be crying out for - the socially liberal (or libertarian) fiscally conservative candidate (previously known as a Republican until the national Republican party cut its own throat by embracing the southern-fried, tea party, ultra right religious nonsense).

While he might not be so on UHub, Weld is still pretty popular around greater Boston and the rest of the Commonwealth. I think he would run up a much bigger vote than Brown did in the special election two years ago.

What evidence do you have that Weld is not popular here?

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I love how some folks try to portray the mostly moderate, primarily middle class uHub community as a bunch of Che-tshirt-wearing fifth columners.

Fwiw, I liked Weld - and voted for him. But it really pissed me off (and I suspect a lot of other Commonwealthers) when he blew off the job we elected him to do in order to take a shot at what appeared to be a less difficult, but potentially more lucrative berth as Ambassador. I will admit to some shadenfreude when his own party shot him down. A perfect example of the canabalistic proclivities of the right wing of the GOP.

Sorry, Jeff F, I didn't mean to offend.

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I have no evidence one way or the other, hence my use of "might".

Incidentally, I hope that you are exactly right in your assessment of the UHub community (even as I am sure that a fair number of the members of said community will dispute it). One thing is certain - I am not going to ask for evidence one way or the other.

My view of this website is that it is not a like a peer-reviewed scientific journal or bound by the conventions of scientific investigations in general. I like to read about other's personal anecdotes or thoughts just as much as anything else because it gives me insight into what is happening in other people's lives and what they are seeing around town. The predisposition for some UHubbers to demand statistics on every little point (I am not suggesting that your request for evidence in this case was a demand for statistics), which as we know can be easily manipulated and which most of us don't have the time to review anyway, is, in my view, silly in a forum like this.

On a different point related to your comment, I'm not sure what "middle class" means anymore beyond this: it means very different things in North Platte and Boston, and that this difference matters a lot when you start talking about specific dollar amounts that move someone from "middle class" to "rich" (and the coming federal income tax implications of that distinction).