In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Thursday, December 2, 2021

Brown’s Senate win could bury Obama’s agenda

The stunning Republican victory in Tuesday’s Massachusetts Senate race will force Democrats to fundamentally rethink the meaning of Barack Obama’s election to the presidency, especially the notion that Americans want more government help in matters such as obtaining health insurance.

Scott Brown’s win in a liberal state will do more than vastly complicate Obama’s bid to overhaul the U.S. health care system and pass climate-change legislation. It will prompt politicians of every stripe to redouble their efforts to understand voters’ anger and desires ahead of the November elections for Congress, governorships and state legislatures.

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Republican Brown captures Massachusetts Senate seat

In an epic upset in liberal Massachusetts, Republican Scott Brown rode a wave of voter anger to defeat Democrat Martha Coakley in a U.S. Senate election Tuesday that left President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul in doubt and marred the end of his first year in office.

The loss by the once-favored Coakley for the seat that the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy held for nearly half a century signaled big political problems for the president’s party this fall when House, Senate and gubernatorial candidates are on the ballot nationwide.

More immediately, Brown will become the 41st Republican in the 100-member Senate, which could allow the GOP to block the president’s health care legislation and the rest of Obama’s agenda. Democrats needed Coakley to win for a 60th vote to thwart Republican filibusters.

Democratic fingerpointing began more than a week ago as polls started showing a tight race, with the White House accusing Coakley of a poor campaign and the Coakley camp laying at some of the blame on the administration. Obama flew to Boston for last-ditch personal campaigning on Sunday.

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Independents told Democrats, Obama to take a hike

John Triolo, a 38-year-old retail sales manager, is like more than half the voters in “true-blue Democratic” Massachusetts: an independent.

Triolo supported Barack Obama’s bid for the presidency because he wanted change. But on Tuesday, in a race seen as a referendum on Obama’s legislative agenda, Triolo cast his vote for upstart Republican Scott Brown over the once heavily favored Democrat, Martha Coakley.

“I wanted change,” Triolo said of Obama, “I thought he’d bring it to us, but I just don’t like the direction that he’s heading.”

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Defeated Democrats ramp up the blame game

The buck stops … Well, it was hard to tell just where the buck stopped Tuesday as Democrats in Boston and Washington began dodging blame and pointing fingers at each other even before the first returns were in.

Cool-headed analysis of what was driving independents to Republican Scott Brown’s column? No. The issue was who botched Democrat Martha Coakley’s Senate campaign more: her state people or national Democrats.

Most spoke the classic Washington way, under the cloak of anonymity. But President Barack Obama’s senior adviser took precise, public aim at Coakley’s camp as Brown closed in on the late Sen. Edward Kennedy’s seat.

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Is health care reform on the critical list?

Democratic lawmakers who once saw health care overhaul as a historic quest are now anxious about getting the debate behind them, with Tuesday’s Massachusetts Senate race underscoring how hard and joyless the effort has become.

Regardless of whether Democrat Martha Coakley squeaks past Republican Scott Brown, their down-to-the-wire campaign has shaken some Democrats’ belief that most Americans will see the proposed health delivery changes as worthwhile. Emboldened Republicans, meanwhile, see the Democrat’s struggle in liberal Massachusetts — where health care was a central issue — as a harbinger of GOP gains in November’s midterm elections.

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Massachusetts: Judgment day for Democrats, Obama

This isn’t what Democrats had in mind. The race to fill the late Edward Kennedy’s Senate seat in liberal Massachusetts neared its conclusion with not only its outcome but also the fate of President Obama’s agenda in question.

A win by Republican Scott Brown on Tuesday would eliminate Democrats’ 60-seat supermajority in the Senate and imperil some of Obama’s key legislative objectives, including an overhaul of health care — a longtime cause of Kennedy’s.

The swift rise of Brown, a relatively low-profile Republican state senator, in his race against Democratic state Attorney General Martha Coakley has spooked Democrats who had considered the seat one of their most reliable.

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Death toll rises, chaos reigns in Haiti

Relief workers say pockets of violence in Haiti’s devastated capital are hindering a slow increase in much-needed aid delivery, and some residents have banded together to protect the few possessions they have left.

As thousands of others head to the countryside, people in one hillside Port-au-Prince district blocked off access to their street with cars and asked local young men to patrol for looters.

“We never count on the government here,” said Tatony Vieux, 29. “Never.”

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NBC’s late night soap opera continues

Jay Leno turned serious on his show to discuss the late-night chaos at NBC, telling viewers that he’d been doubtful about launching a prime-time show but was prevented by NBC from going to another network instead.

Leno, in explaining events from his standpoint, also said Monday that he had told NBC he’d return to the “Tonight” slot only after Conan O’Brien rejected the network’s plan to put both men on in late night.

NBC continued negotiations Monday on an exit deal with O’Brien that would clear the way for Leno to reclaim the 11:35 p.m. EST slot occupied by “Tonight,” which he hosted for 17 years before turning it over to O’Brien last spring.

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