Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 5, 2010

MASS BACKWARDS.... Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), after changing his mind and demanding to be sworn in yesterday, took the oath of office shortly after 5 p.m. His first official act as a federal lawmaker was to hold a press conference.

And at his press event, Brown once again insisted, as he'd done as a candidate, that the economic recovery effort that prevented a depression "hasn't created one new job."

A reporter gave him a chance to clarify, asking, "It didn't create one new job?" The new senator replied, "That's correct."

Except, of course, that's not even close to correct. Massachusetts' new senator -- a man filling the seat once held by John Quincy Adams, John F. Kennedy, and Ted Kennedy -- has a habit of popping off on subjects he knows nothing about.

Brown's comments are at odds with the analysis of the Congressional Budget Office, which says the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, aka "stimulus", saved or created 600,000 to 1.6 million jobs in the third quarter of 2009. The White House's Recovery Act website, recovery.gov, says stimulus grant recipients reported creating 9,261 jobs in Massachusetts during the fourth quarter of 2009.

The Obama Administration says Brown's got his facts wrong.

"Economists of all political points of view, including those from the non-partisan CBO, estimate that the Recovery Act has created or saved between 1.5 and 2.4 million jobs across America," said Jay Carney, spokesman for Vice President Joe Biden, the administration's top Recovery Act booster and watchdog.

"Unemployment is far too high, which is why the President is so focused on jobs. But it is beyond dispute that if it were not for the Recovery Act, as many as 2.4 million more Americans would be unemployed today."

In other words, it took Scott Brown a total of 10 minutes before embarrassing himself, repeating a blatant falsehood, and sounding like just another confused Republican who doesn't understand the economy.

Steve Benen 10:55 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (39)

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In other words, it took Scott Brown a total of 10 minutes before embarrassing himself, repeating a blatant falsehood, and sounding like just another confused Republican who doesn't understand the economy.

Well duh. Ever seen a leopard change from spots to stripes? Me neither.

Posted by: Realist on February 5, 2010 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Brown's assertion is nothing more than a boilerplate Republican talking point not anchored in a reality based world - his hackery is showing already! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on February 5, 2010 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Scott Brown is Bob Roberts without the catchy tunes. Is anybody really surprised that he's a bog-standard Replicant?

Posted by: Cap'n Chucky on February 5, 2010 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

This is the mantra of the Republicans these days. McCain has been saying it for weeks.

The Republicans have learned from Lenin, "A lie told often enough becomes truth."

Everytime a Democrat opens their mouth the phase "the stimulus worked and prevented another Republican Depression" needs to come out in that conversation. Over and over and over.

WHAT I TELL YOU THREE TIMES IS TRUE

The Republicans have learned from Lenin, "A lie told often enough becomes truth." Everytime a Democrat opens their mouth they must say, "the stimulus worked and prevented another Republican Depression."

The Republicans have learned from Lenin, "A lie told often enough becomes truth." Everytime a Democrat opens their mouth they must say, "the stimulus worked and prevented another Republican Depression."

The Republicans have learned from Lenin, "A lie told often enough becomes truth." Everytime a Democrat opens their mouth they must say, "the stimulus worked and prevented another Republican Depression."


Posted by: Kurt on February 5, 2010 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

"it took Scott Brown a total of 10 minutes before embarrassing himself, repeating a blatant falsehood"

The error is to assume he knows enough to be embarrassed. He merely knows enough to repeat Rush Limbaugh's talking points.

The voters in Massachusetts, especially those with jobs saved or created by ARRA, should be embarrassed; and, even more so if they voted for this hack.

Posted by: withay on February 5, 2010 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

i know scott brown. he lives two towns away.

1) the dude is in way over his head. he is the definition of a post turtle. he has the added bonus of being as dumb as the fence post upon which he is placed

2) he'll be a party hack and nothing else.

Posted by: ahoy polloi on February 5, 2010 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately he only embarrassed himself in the eyes of people who already see that the Republican party has gone off the rails.

Posted by: Rick Taylor on February 5, 2010 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

Embarrassing himself to who? Sounding like just another confused Republican to who? The discerning, well-informed, unbiased and aware voters, who will look at each other and say, "What a mistake, putting THAT cookie-cutter Republican, lying chump in office"?

Dream on. These days, the country seenms to be more and more behind the Republicans, because what America loves more than anything else when things are going on that it can't understand is a good fight. The average American voter believes what he or she hears on the TeeVee and talk radio, and whoever gets out there first yelling, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more" captures the moment. There's no doubt in my mind that you couldn't find 5 people out of 500 on any street in any U.S.city right now where that broadcast was aired who would dispute that the Recovery Act is an embarrassment that hasn't created any jobs.

Never mind how inexperienced Scott Brown is - he has learned the only lesson in politics that really matters; if you smile the right way, people will believe you are honest, and that the gullibility of the electorate is always for sale to the earliest, loudest bidder.

Posted by: Mark on February 5, 2010 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

So far, I'm not impressed with Senator Scott Brown. That comment about the stimulus really makes him look like a light weight. I can't wait for his interview with a real journalist. You know, someone who is up-to-date on politics and can ask a follow-up question.

Scott Brown says he is independent. He's going to get lots of chances to prove that in the near future. I think the senators will be voting on the jobs bill on Monday.

I wonder how long it will take for buyers remorse to set in for those politically savvy folks in Mass.

Posted by: Ladyhawke on February 5, 2010 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

10 minutes to be caught out in a lie? Not surprising to those of us in Massachusetts who've previously seen CosmoBoy in action.

Posted by: genome on February 5, 2010 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

"It didn't create one new job?" A saved job is not a new job. Congressional Budget Office, which says the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, aka "stimulus", saved or created 600,000 to 1.6 million jobs in the third quarter of 2009.
That's a million job spread! Which is it? 600,000 or a million. The MA unemployment rate is going up BTW.

Posted by: Rick on February 5, 2010 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Most of the politically savvy folks in my state didn't vote the other week... So I guess there's no buyers remorse.

Posted by: hortron on February 5, 2010 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Ladyhawke.....but will the savvy folks of Mass. admit it?

Posted by: Sharon on February 5, 2010 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Actually he already has a record with politifact with a false statement made 12 days after being elected. Guess this will now make it two.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/feb/03/scott-brown/politifact-debut-brown-says-federal-jobs-pay-twice/

Posted by: Dave on February 5, 2010 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

A reporter gave him a chance to clarify, asking, "It didn't create one new job?" The new senator replied, "That's correct."

In a strange way, I feel kind of sorry for that reporter. Not smart enough to know that response was coming with no follow up at the ready but smart enough to know he is a tool...one half step above unemployed.

Posted by: Kevin on February 5, 2010 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

But Hortron...where is the logic in that. not voting becasue you want to send a message is a sure way to turn disapointment into to dropping out. Where is that fixing what is wrong? It makes it harder to fix!

Posted by: Sharon on February 5, 2010 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Jobs? People are frantic over the lack of jobs in this current economy. Brown can say what he wants because in the grade scheme of things, people don't see jobs. The job market is so weak that for every opportunity that exists, hordes of people are applying for them - truly a scary thing.

Regardless of the number of jobs 'saved' - it is not even a dent to the true economic travesty rocking all points within. The massive 700 Billion dollar bailout of the banks have left the general population out in the cold with a future of temporary positions at cut-throat rates and the mass transportation of jobs to other nations.

This is not what I voted for, the normal 'News' (let alone entertainment) channels have turned their back on the cancer within our own society.

Main street looks like a war zone. Shuttered stores, empty parking lots and a disenfranchising of Joe Worker who has seen every investment destroyed, every job opportunity shipped overseas and every hope slammed by yet more dire economic news.

This is the great depression of 2010 and until it is embraced, America and it's citizens will continue to be gutted by the very rich squeezing the souls and pocketbooks of those hanging on for bare life.

Posted by: Dean on February 5, 2010 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

How exactly does it embarrass Brown if none of the "reporters" challenge his statement?

Posted by: ckelly on February 5, 2010 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Most of the politically savvy folks in my state didn't vote the other week... So I guess there's no buyers remorse.
Wrong, buddy. If these folks were politically savvy, they'd have been out early and often voting for Coakley, and this stub-brained galoot wouldn't have got a sniff of the Senate.

Posted by: Cap'n Chucky on February 5, 2010 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

I think Brown's point was that because there's still a net job loss, the stimulus hasn't done anything, regardless of how many more jobs would have been lost without it. In other words, until we've ended and reversed all job losses and are into net job creation, Obama is a dumb poopyhead.

Best to get acquainted with this talking point, because you're going to hear a lot of it.

Posted by: shortstop on February 5, 2010 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

How exactly does it embarrass Brown if none of the "reporters" challenge his statement?

Posted by: ckelly on February 5, 2010 at 11:19 AM

Bingo! And I'd bet there were at least a few of the assembled "reporters" there who knew that statement was complete bullshit, but just sat there and nodded politely, basking in Brown's "he-man" glow. Just pathetic.

Posted by: electrolite on February 5, 2010 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Has Brown just resigned himself to being a senator for only three years? How does he think he's going to be re-elected by being a party-line Republican hack? Maine is a more Republican state than Massachusetts, *and* Snowe and Collins are both popular incumbents, and they still have to at least occasionally vote differently from their party to maintain themselves in the state (they both voted for the aforementioned stimulus, for instance).

If Brown wants even a chance of being re-elected, he'll have to be to the left of Snowe, it seems like. Instead the dude seems to be planning to be a partisan hack. Does he really think he'll beat a decent Democratic candidate in 2012 after three years of voting the GOP line?

Posted by: John on February 5, 2010 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

"...repeating a blatant falsehood, and sounding like just another confused Republican..."

I really don't see how this is embarrassing himself. Its standard operating procedure and there are no consequences, so really what's the problem?
He is a Republican after all.

Posted by: henk on February 5, 2010 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

Angel from the centerfold.. This country is nucking futs. The Republic of Jesusland and it's hypocrisy is just too much to behold, my spite is immeasurable now; off the fucking chart..

Posted by: Trollop Abuse on February 5, 2010 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Hint to reporter: Brown's home town almost certainly got federal money last year (funneled through the state), and that almost certainly prevented layoffs and/or property tax increases.

Ask him about that.

Posted by: dr2chase on February 5, 2010 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

But as I understand it, his daughters are "available" -- according to Brown himself.

Brown will continue to embarrass himself, to the greater embarrassment of the Dem's, who couldn't find a candidate able to bury this doofus in the election.
You'd think they wanted to hand the GOP a 41 vote majority.

Posted by: SteinL on February 5, 2010 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Pay attention. You're looking at the beginning of his Presidential campaign.

Posted by: doubtful on February 5, 2010 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

Ten minutes?!? That's it? He's going to need to pick his game up a bit. Slow starter, I guess.

Posted by: jsacto on February 5, 2010 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Mr. Brwon has to pay back the right wing billionaires for getting him elected. Since the Right wing billionaires espose stupidity ; then Brown will to.

Remember Republican constant rhetoreic works in confusing Americans. Now with Corporations free to speak with tons of money the Republican Rhetoric of lies, deceit and amorality will be even wors. Teh Republicans want to destroy our economy, our prodictivity. american, Education and foreign policy beyond usage of blanket military might.

Posted by: MLJohnston on February 5, 2010 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Of course, none of the reporters asked him whether keeping jobs that would otherwise be eliminated would constitute a job and if not, how tax cuts and spending freezes would not only prevent job loss, but also create new ones during the most severe recession since the Great Depression.

The probably just stood there, slack-jawed.

Posted by: bdop4 on February 5, 2010 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

In Dubious Battle...

doubtful: Pay attention. You're looking at the beginning of his Presidential campaign.

Perhaps.

But remember, Fred Thompsom already tried the I'm-just-a-pickup-driving-man scam on the national scale. It didn't fly. But then again we've come a long way the last couple years. America may indeed be ready for a candidate who boasts about the size of his carbon footprint....


Posted by: koreyel on February 5, 2010 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

The good-hearted, salt-of-the-earth people of Massachusetts put Scott Brown in the Senate to "send a message"; remember?

Nobody said it had to be true. He might get a D- for truthiness, but he gets an A+ for early transmission and signal strength.

Posted by: Mark on February 5, 2010 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK
His first official act as a federal lawmaker was to hold a press conference.
Remember when Hillary Clinton took her Senate seat in 2001, and the Republicans were convinced she'd be a showboat, expect special treatment, and so on? Senator Clinton requested or expected no special treatment, did not go out of her way to seek the limelight, diligently learned the ways of the Senate, and did her work. And now Scott Brown, who of the 100 U.S. senators has the least amount of seniority, holds a press conference 10 minutes after he is sworn in. Hey Republicans: hypocrisy much?

Posted by: navamske on February 5, 2010 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

MA will have 6 years to savor its buyer's remorse.

Posted by: paulo on February 5, 2010 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

MA will have 6 years to savor its buyer's remorse.

Nope, only three. Centerfold Brownie gets to fill out the rest of Teddy's term, no more. Either he wises up, or come 2012, someone like Capuano or Frank will eviscerate him.

Posted by: thalarctos on February 5, 2010 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

ummm, scott? apparently the stimulus created your job.

Posted by: mellowjohn on February 5, 2010 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

It is a shame that the seat held by Kennedy is now held by an empty suit, he looks like Romney but there does not seem to be much underneath.
What has Mass. done to our country?

Posted by: JS on February 5, 2010 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Nope, only three. Centerfold Brownie gets to fill out the rest of Teddy's term, no more.

He won't get reelected in Massachusetts in 2012. But he will run for president that year. doubtful's right.

Oh, come on. You really think they won't try it?

Posted by: shortstop on February 5, 2010 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

It isn't about embarrassing ignorance with Republicans it is about disinformation.

Posted by: Jeremy on February 5, 2010 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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