Thursday Morning Open Thread: Good News

end of the republican world
(Pat Oliphant via GoComics.com — click link for full-sized image)
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Odds are the world won’t end a week from Friday, although some Repubs may wish it had. A ray of hope, for those of us in the 99%, from Bobby Caina Calvan at the Boston Globe:

WASHINGTON — The Senate’s Democratic leadership announced committee assignments Wednesday, and as expected Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren will have a seat on the Banking Committee — befitting her previous role as a fierce watchdog on banks and Wall Street.

Warren was also named to two other committees — one on aging, and the other on health, education, labor and pensions — that will provide her with additional platforms to work on issues affecting the country’s middle class…

The Globe‘s Noah Bierman had an interview with her in the Sunday paper:

Elizabeth Warren is resigning the tenured post at Harvard Law School that took her 30 years to achieve. She has met privately with her former opponent, Scott Brown, who addressed her as professor instead of senator-elect. And she has spoken half a dozen times with majority leader Harry Reid about her new role in the Senate…

“Here’s how I see this,” Warren said. “My job is to be effective on behalf of Massachusetts, and so what I’m trying to parse through is the difference between how much of this is about your own initiative, how much it’s about finding other bills that are really what you’d like to see get done and offering to be helpful, [and] how much it’s looking for the little cracks that are windows of opportunity.”

Certainly, Warren is not promising a retreat. She said she will continue to be an outspoken voice on her priorities, which she described as filibuster reform, lowering college debt, financial regulation, and public infrastructure and clean energy investment, all of which she said will help the middle class. She said she wants to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which the Supreme Court also announced on Friday that it would review…

She described her crowning policy achievement, the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that raised her national profile, as one of those cracks of opportunity, a once far-fetched notion that became possible after the bank bailouts infuriated much of the nation.

“I knew they were going to have to rewrite the financial rules,” she said. “And if they’re going to have to rewrite the financial rules, that’s going to create an opening to rethink consumer finance.”…

Dave Weigel at Slate highlights some of the other significant Democratic assignments:

– Sen. Michael Bennet moves from the Budget Committee to the Finance Committee, which puts him into much closer contact with the financial industry right as he takes over the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
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– Tammy Baldwin, arguably the most progressive new member of the new Senate, gets Homeland Security, Budget, HELP (Health, Education, Labor), and Aging.
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– Angus King, the independent who’s caucusing with Democrats, gets Budget, Rules, Armed Services and Intelligence for his troubles.
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– Sen. Mary Landrieu, arguably the most endangered Democrat up in 2014, chairs the Small Business committee — again, nice connections to industry. Same with Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who’s up in 2014 and chairs Commerce….

What else is on the agenda for the morning?

43 replies
  1. 1
    Anonymous says:

    I need your guys’ advice on something. I have what I believe is evidence that a writer plagiarized an article in a liberal publication for a conservative publication. The problem is, I don’t know how to proceed. I’ll explain the situation below, but for the time being I have to obscure some details. And this explanation is way too long, but I hope some of you will read it. I will provide a brief “tl;dr” summary at the bottom.

    Back in mid-2009, in the comments section of a general discussion website, this author, “Sam” claimed that he/she wrote it for the conservative publication because the “liberal magazines” viewed what he/she saw as innocent victims of a malicious government policy as being evil and preferred to publish articles that made that claim. I agreed that this group of people were indeed innocent victims, but I didn’t believe for one second that liberal magazines published any such articles. I asked “Sam” for 3 examples. “Sam” arguably came up with 1. After some more back-and-forth, “Sam” claimed that I would be unable to find an article in the liberal press which argued for these innocent victims, at least not one written before his/her piece.

    Not only did I find an article in the liberal publication, it was published 8 months before Sam’s. And not only was it published 8 months before Sam’s, it seemed obvious that Sam plagiarized large portions of “Leslie’s” article in writing his/hers. Leslie’s article was published in 2003, and Sam’s in 2004. Before you ask, I have no idea why Sam would have challenged me to find an article that came out before his/hers when Sam knew that his/her article, the one Sam made a point of bringing to the attention of the regulars, was plagiarized. The only thing I can think of was that Sam simply forgot that he/she had stolen it from Leslie.

    Because we were on the same side of this very significant issue, I carefully weighed my options. I considered laying my cards fully on the table and letting everyone participating in the thread that Sam’s article was likely plagiarized by quoting the similar passages. But I felt that the issue at stake, and the innocent victims involved, would be hurt by burning Sam like that. I considered warning Sam privately that he/she needed to cut out his/her smear of liberal publications. But I realized that if Sam made my threat public, I’d end up being the bad guy.

    So I went with another tack: I wrote a very long comment, explaining all of the logical flaws in Sam’s arguments, and finishing with a link and brief excerpt from Leslie’s article. I knew that everyone else would fail to read all the way through it (a problem likely to happen here as well), but Sam would realize that I knew what he/she had done. And hopefully it would serve as a warning.

    I then found out about two weeks ago that Sam had won a prestigious award. Out of curiousity, I Googled “[Sam] plagiarism” to see if anyone else had managed to catch on. After all, it had been 3 years. Not only had no one else caught on, Sam had written about another writer’s travails with plagiarism, and mentioned that he/she believed that plagiarism should be dealt with harshly. At another site, Sam complained about the fact that academics, although fully citing him/her, had “practically plagiarized” his/her work. Sam also mentioned his/her desire to go to graduate school for further studies on this and related topics.

    And that’s when I decided that people needed to know what Sam did. The thing is, I am not a writer, journalist, or academic, and my say-so wouldn’t be enough. So I e-mailed Leslie, and asked him/her what he/she thought of Sam’s article. No response. I contacted 2 journalism professors and asked them if they thought this was a case of plagiarism. They begged off on evaluating the articles, citing personal time constraints. I then contacted the editor-in-chief of the liberal publication that Leslie wrote for. The editor-in-chief decided that too much time had passed, and it wasn’t worth following up on.

    And now I have no idea what to do about this. Any suggestions?

    Summary

    * In 2003, Leslie writes an article for a liberal publication.

    * In 2004, 8 months later, Sam plagiarizes Leslie’s article for a conservative publication.

    * In 2009, after Sam dares me to find an article on the topic in a liberal publication, I find out that Sam’s article was, to my layman’s eyes, plagiarized in large part.

    * I give Sam a veiled warning, because I was deeply hesitant to burn an advocate for a group of people who were under fire and needed help.

    * In 2012, I see that Sam has not only not learned humility, but is pontificating on plagiarism.

    * I contact Leslie, get no response. I contact 2 journalism professors, they beg off on making an evaluation of the article. I contact the editor-in-chief where Leslie published his/her article; editor-in-chief says it’s too old.

  2. 2
    JPL says:

    Thanks Anne for the update on the new assignments. Hopefully the new Senators make a difference and are not silenced.

  3. 3
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Good for Senator Warren. Hope she’s able to do some good in D.C.

  4. 4
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Yup. Miss Elizabeth just might be a household name in four years. This will be worth watching.

  5. 5
    scav says:

    Seriously, still harping on Professor? Flaunting pettiness must be counter-intuitively attractive among the bitter elderly caucasian hetero-xianist crowd — strikeout “counter”. And as for Brown’s “As I’ve said many times before, victory and defeat is temporary, . . . Depending on what happens, and where we go, all of us, we may obviously meet again.”? It’s been said before.

    “What though the field be lost?
    All is not lost; the unconquerable Will,
    And study of revenge, immortal hate,
    And courage never to submit or yield:
    And what is else not to be overcome?”
    __
    “since by Fate the strength of Gods
    And this Empyreal substance cannot fail,
    Since through experience of this great event
    In Arms not worse, in foresight much advanc’t,
    We may with more successful hope resolve
    To wage by force or guile eternal Warr
    Irreconcileable, to our grand Foe,
    Who now triumphs,”

  6. 6
    Yoüf says:

    You mean “Professor” Warren?

  7. 7
    WereBear says:

    I am so impressed that she gave up a tenured position at a prestigious school for the somewhat uncertain path of elected office.

    She really cares, it seems. All is not lost, then.

  8. 8
    piratedan says:

    love it… watching Morning Ho…. Repubs on the panel arguing with the numbers wonk, he states that the Pres has given numbers. the R’s say it’s not real math unless it includes cuts to Medicare and SS, doesn’t matter if it’s labelled entitlement cuts unless those specific programs are cut.

    A part of me wants to walk on the set with a two-by-four and take out some kneecaps about how much personal wealth has been generated over the last twenty years and tell them to reach into their fucking profits and suck it the fuck up before you touch either of those programs you duplicitous fucking bastards.

    Still carrying on as if the Prez’s specific proposals is vaporware and insist the Prez has to do his math as if he’s a submitting a term paper to the teacher before they will deign to offer anything in return. Thank god I am still paying this dipshit’s pension. Maybe if we attacked THOSE entitlements we might be able to reach an understanding.

  9. 9
    JPL says:

    Where is Raven? He normally listens to Joe bloviate so we don’t have to.

  10. 10
    Schlemizel says:

    I’m disapointed that the has not gotten more interest:
    Countdown Clock – Days Till Ted Nugent is Dead Or In Jail

    Also thought his cartoon was pretty good:
    The GOP Cheer Squad

  11. 11
    Raven says:

    @JPL: Hi.

  12. 12
    Baud says:

    I knew Warren would get Banking, but this:

    Warren was also named to two other committees—one on aging, and the other on health, education, labor and pensions

    is a really nice platform for her (and us) too.

  13. 13
    Raven says:

    Some fucking right wing CUBAN asshole, Al Cardenas, is on Joe now.

  14. 14
  15. 15
    JPL says:

    @Raven: I blame Tunch

  16. 16
    Joey Maloney says:

    She has met privately with her former opponent, Scott Brown, who addressed her as professor instead of senator-elect.

    Classy right to the end.

  17. 17
    Hal says:

    She has met privately with her former opponent, Scott Brown, who addressed her as professor instead of senator-elect.

    Bitter, party of one, bitter, party of one.

    This reminds me of that Daily Show clip from a couple of weeks ago when McCain and John Kerry were speaking to the press, along with other Senators, and when McCain introduced John Kerry, he introduced him as Mr Speaker. Cause McCain is just soooo fucking funny, and isn’t afraid to make from of his witch hunts serious non-partisan concerns…

    The burn came from Kerry, who when McCain was finished and it was his turn to speak said “Thank you Mr. President.” Ouch! I laughed and felt oddly uncomfortable. One of those times when a joke is more like an arrow to the heart. I pictured McCain going home that night and crying into his pillow.

  18. 18
    Punchy says:

    BJ stil browkin. Kant see poast titul using Andoyd mowbel device….

  19. 19
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    While I expect good things from Sen. Warren, I would caution against setting expectations too high for what she can accomplish – especially in her first couple of years.

  20. 20
    jurassicpork says:

    Family can be a blessing during the holidays. They can also be the bane of your existence, as this Christmas is proving.

  21. 21
    Ash Can says:

    Hopefully Scott Brown will never hold elected office again unless he grows the hell up, which is highly unlikely.

    And yes, this site is teh fuxx0red. I’m sure Tunch had something to do with it, such as using the server as his litterbox.

  22. 22

    …Scott Brown, who addressed her as professor instead of senator-elect…..

    What a dick.

  23. 23

    Hmm. That was weird.

  24. 24

    Instead of my name and all that I’m getting “Warning: Missing argument 2 for wpdb::prepare() …”

    Anyone else getting that? I can see everyone else’s name when the page loads.

  25. 25
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Anonymous:

    You might consider sending this situation to, say, The Ethicist column at the NYT (used to be Randy Cohen, I think it’s somebody else now) or keep trying to find a non-involved professional you are comfortable with, such as an ethics professor at a university or a member of the clergy or someone. The fact that several years have passed shouldn’t matter. It’s shocking to me that the journalism professors and the editor weren’t interested. If you do end up getting advice or action, please provide an update.

  26. 26
    Mark S. says:

    Really good article by Linda Greenhouse discussing the standing issues in the marriage equality cases. There are some really interesting separation of powers issues in these cases.

  27. 27
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Anonymous: Contact the editor of Sam’s publication. And then post it on some boards where people would notice. Show your work. Phrase it as a question if you have to, i.e., “Is Sam a plagiarist?”

  28. 28
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @Anonymous: Can’t you name names so we can look for ourselves?

    One of my papers for a professional publication was plagiarized and the plagiarized version appeared in a different professional publication. The editor of that publication came down hard on the plagiarizer.

  29. 29
    rikyrah says:

    I think it’s terrific that Warren is on the Banking Committe..Anything that upsets the GOP and Banks is ok with me.

  30. 30
    Jack Canuck says:

    Just found out that I didn’t get an ongoing lectureship doing pretty much what I’ve been doing as a sessional (i.e. adjunct) lecturer for most of the last three years with no stability, shit pay in terms of actual hours worked, close to zero institutional support, and really damn fucking good evaluations from students. So sorry, someone else just slightly better came along, thanks for your effort, oh, we probably have some more sessional teaching for you. So I’m having a really good night. Just got home from a two and a half hour walk in the rain trying to work off some steam, and now it’s the middle of the night and I’m not remotely wanting to go lie in bed and stare at the ceiling.

  31. 31
    Steve says:

    @Anonymous: There are no good reasons why you wouldn’t name names or let us see the plagiarism. I suspect this is some kind of “clever” gotcha.

  32. 32
    Original Lee says:

    @Anonymous: I would consider sending a letter to the awards committee of the prestigious award Sam won. Include copies of both papers (making sure that pub dates, issues, name of journal, etc. are very clearly on at least some of the pages). Express your concern that the reputation of the award might be tarnished if Sam did plagiarize the other paper.

  33. 33
    Roger Moore says:

    @WereBear:

    I am so impressed that she gave up a tenured position at a prestigious school for the somewhat uncertain path of elected office.

    I’m impressed by her in general, but not by that in particular. I have no doubt that she’ll have an easy time finding another tenure track position if she leaves the Senate at an age young enough to want one.

  34. 34
    Yoûf says:

    @Jack Canuck: Congratulations on your narrow escape from academia!

    The AAUP is now working on recommendations that faculty not sign confidentiality agreements if they wish to participate in Shared Governance. SERIOUSLY?!?!

    (Article in The Chronicle… Paid subscription, unfortunately)

  35. 35

    Prediction: Scott Brown will be Governor of Massachusetts one day.

    Ugh.

  36. 36
    redshirt says:

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God: Probably. Seems like the kind of guy you could have a beer with.

  37. 37
    WaterGirl says:

    @Jack Canuck: Big slap in the face. I’m so sorry.

    Sometimes I find comfort in the old saying: If you sit by the river long enough, you will see the bodies of your enemies go floating by.

    Here’s hoping this new hire turns out to be a bust and they see the error of their ways.

    My first inclination was to say “Screw them!” Would that have been more helpful?

  38. 38
    Mnemosyne says:

    Wow, Obama’s intricate plot to sink Warren’s political career by pretending to support her campaign sure did fail spectacularly, didn’t it? Now he’s stuck having her as a high-profile senator on several prestigous committees that support his stated policy goals. Where did he go right?

  39. 39
    cmorenc says:

    @Jack Canuck:

    Just found out that I didn’t get an ongoing lectureship doing pretty much what I’ve been doing as a sessional (i.e. adjunct) lecturer for most of the last three years with no stability, shit pay in terms of actual hours worked, close to zero institutional support, and really damn fucking good evaluations from students. So sorry, someone else just slightly better came along, thanks for your effort, oh, we probably have some more sessional teaching for you. So I’m having a really good night. Just got home from a two and a half hour walk in the rain trying to work off some steam, and now it’s the middle of the night and I’m not remotely wanting to go lie in bed and stare at the ceiling.

    I had a law-school classmate at a private law school very well respected within the Pacific Northwest region who had clerked for over two years at a modest-size high-power medical malpractice defense firm in the city where this school was located. She is a very bright workaholic woman who had, by the second year she worked there, become entrusted with important parts of the trial preparation for high-stakes cases. She got very good reviews from the partners for her work, and continued working there as a clerk for months after her graduation, with the expectation she would likely be offered a full permanent associate position as part of the firm’s next expected round of expansion the following spring. Well, guess what? They wound up offering that position to a Harvard grad with much less actual relevant experience because…well essentially the same reason you got nudged out…because “someone slightly better came along” because the partners thought the announcement they were adding someone from “Harvard” was better for the firm’s interest than announcing they were adding someone from “respected, but still local law school”.

  40. 40
    cmorenc says:

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God:

    Prediction: Scott Brown will be Governor of Massachusetts one day.

    Even if this prediction does come to pass, Scott Brown can do immensely less harm to not just the nation, but even locally the state of Massachussetts, as Governor of that state. Even Mitt Romney could only do so much harm while he was the governor of Mass.

  41. 41
    Anonymous says:

    SiubhanDuinne @ 25 — I did consider the Ethicist, but Klosterman would tell me whether I should pursue this, not how I should pursue it. As for the journalism professors, I don’t blame them: I’m pretty sure they get contacted about this sort of thing all the time.

    arguingwithsignposts @ 27 — I don’t want to contact the editors of the conservative publication. I can’t imagine what good would come of it.

    Jerzy Russian @ 28 — You know something, why not.

    The original article: http://www.villagevoice.com/20.....n-doctors/

    The later article, which I believe plagiarizes the original in large part: http://www.reason.com/news/show/29239.html (Note that the Reason article requires you to answer 2 marketing questions before letting you read the article.)

    Steve @ 31 — As I said, I am not an author, journalist, or academic. I am fairly certain that there is plagiarism here, but I am not absolutely certain. So if people’s responses were overwhelmingly “Just let it go” or “If the author and editor-in-chief don’t care, you don’t have grounds to complain” I would have dropped it. But go ahead and take a look for yourself, and let me know if you think this is some sort of trick on my part.

  42. 42
    Anonymous says:

    Original Lee @ 32: Sorry, I missed your comment above. I agree that this is a reasonable next step, but I would like to see what people here think. Specifically, I’d like to see if others believe that the Reason article plagiarizes the Village Voice article.

  43. 43
    fcc says:

    @cmorenc:
    We do tend to hire Republicans as Governor from time to time, mostly (I think) to remind our legislators they are replaceable. Apart from that our Republican Governors are placeholders, and largely irrelevant.

    And no, health care in Ma is not Romney Care, he caved to a juggernaut that would have buried him, and his contributions made the system less effective. Having secured the interests of the insurance industry, he then abdicated and spent two years traveling the country calling the citizens of the Commonwealth assholes.

    Weld won because John Silber, and went out well liked because mostly Grateful Dead.

    Checking Wiki, I learn Silber was the first person to chair the Texas Society to Abolish Capital Punishment. You just can’t make stuff like this up.

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