Open Thread: Interim Senator Mo Cowan

No, I’d never heard of him, either, and I live twenty miles north of the State House. From the Boston Globe:

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has picked William “Mo” Cowan, his former chief of staff, to serve as the state’s interim US senator until the successor to John F. Kerry is chosen by the voters in a June 25 special election…

Cowan said he was “honored and humbled” to get the temporary post, which will make him the first African-American to represent Massachusetts in the Senate since Edward Brooke held the seat as a Republican from 1966 to 1978…

He said he was not running for office and was not a “candidate today or any time in the future.” The governor asked him to take the job Tuesday, he said…

In choosing Cowan, Patrick rejected former US representative Barney Frank’s request to be given the job.

“I know Mr. Cowan is committed to working hard and in socially-fair and economically-efficient manner toward resolving pending budget issues,” Frank said in a statement.

A primary election for the seat is set for April 30 and US Representative Edward Markey is so far the only high-profile Democrat to formally enter the race. However, US Representative Stephen F. Lynch, the former president of an ironworkers union from South Boston, is expected to ­announce by Thursday whether he will run for the Senate, say his political associates.

Former US Senator Scott Brown, who lost to US Senator Elizabeth Warren last fall, is considering whether to enter the race for the Republicans.

“I am very pleased to welcome Mo Cowan to the Senate,” Warren said in a statement. “As former chief of staff to Governor Patrick, Mo brings a deep knowledge of the issues facing the people of our Commonwealth to the Senate. He will be a committed, hardworking interim Senator, and I look forward to working closely with him to protect the interests of Massachusetts families.”

Well, it was the Governor’s plum to award, and he has made his choice. Assuming that Cowan is honest when he says he is “not a candidate, today or at any time in the future” and that Patrick only asked him to take the job yesterday, one might wonder if our Governor had tried and failed to entice some other candidate into the role. As long as Cowan votes the Democratic party line as presented by President Obama, I guess we Democrats will have to accept… but I’ll always regret not getting to see Barney Frank face down the Senatorial Teahadis.

The people at Blue Mass Group seem underwhelmed at the moment. The Fox-News-postive commentors at the Globe are, on the other hand, ecstatic…
Apart from the disappointments which are the natural lot of Democrats, what’s on the agenda this afternoon?

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150 replies
  1. 1
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    but I’ll always regret not getting to see Barney Frank face down the Senatorial Teahadis.

    There was also his media presence, which would have been amplified by the office, and I think he would have put some starch in the broader caucus. Maybe. Possibly. Who the fuck knows? VSPism reigns.

    Good that there are two African Americans in the Senate, or the first time ever. Kinda sad that neither was elected, and the one who has a chance of being elected to a full term is a fucking whackadoo.

  2. 2
    Linda Featheringill says:

    That scritching sound is me erasing the Gov from my short list of promising, up-and-coming politicians. This move might play well in Massachusetts but it does nothing to endear him to the national community of progressive Democrats.

    Of course, it may be that he has ambitions for only state political offices. I wouldn’t know.

  3. 3
    NotMax says:

    Sets up Cowan to run for Gov?

  4. 4
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Well, it was the Governor’s plum to award, and he has made his choice. Assuming that Cowan is honest when he says he is “not a candidate, today or at any time in the future” and that Patrick only asked him to take the job yesterday, one might wonder if our Governor had tried and failed to entice some other candidate into the role…

    Yeah. Right. Ha!

  5. 5
    boss bitch says:

    Barney Frank face down the Senatorial Teahadis.

    I don’t get this thinking. Do you want entertainment or do you want to get things done? Frank would not have been anymore effective than Reid, or Schumer or any other Democrat in the Senate. So what’s all the moaning about?

  6. 6


  7. 7
    trollhattan says:

    Know what pisses me off? Asshole politicians like this.

    Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, introduced a bill on Wednesday morning that would let schools guard against shootings by arming staff.

    Assembly Bill 202 would allow schools to spend money on “schools marshals” who would be trained and permitted to carry concealed weapons at all times.

    The bill would exempt marshals from a provision in the California Public Records Act requiring disclosure of concealed weapons permit holders, allowing schools to keep secret which staff members are armed.

    Donnelly said concealing the identity is a key component of the bill, a measure that would keep would-be assailants in the dark while drawing “an invisible line of defense” around children.

    “We have a moral obligation that the next Vicki Soto, who is faced with inexplicable evil, that she not be left defenseless,” Donnelly said, alluding to a teacher at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School who shielded her students with her body during a December massacre.

    “Moral obligation” my arse. This cretin was arrested carrying a loaded pistol while trying to check in for a flight. Now he’s an expert on child safety?

  8. 8
    handsmile says:

    [I’m reposting what I first wrote five hours ago on an earlier thread; nothing I’ve read since changes my opinion that this is a needless own-goal:]

    WTF! Was Patrick’s horse not available? This selection seems utterly arrogant. How selecting his former chief of staff will advance Patrick’s state legislative agenda escapes me. Is this just another example that pissing on progressives supposedly demonstrates one’s gravitas in seeking higher office, as Patrick is rumored to desire.

    That Cowan is African-American is completely irrelevant in this case. In the fiscal/budgetary battle royales that will dominate the interim Senator’s tenure, Barney Frank has the abundant experience, knowledge, personality, and media savvy and reputation that national Democrats desperately need. Mo Cowan has exactly none of these.

    With conservative Democratic congressman Stephen Lynch about to announce his Senate primary challenge to Ed Markey, once more the Massachusetts state Democratic party reveals its rank amateurism.

  9. 9
    boss bitch says:

    This move might play well in Massachusetts but it does nothing to endear him to the national community of progressive Democrats.


  10. 10
    cathyx says:

    What’s his beef with Frank?

  11. 11
    Roger Moore says:

    It’s a total grandstand, too. Any bill that has exclusively Republican co-sponsors has approximately zero chance of passing the California Legislature.

  12. 12
    gwangung says:

    Disappointing, but not worth getting butt hurt about. More important to get a Dem elected to the seat more permanently.

  13. 13
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Linda Featheringill: I think Frank would have been cool as the interim guy, but i am not going to write off Deval Patrick based on this decision.

  14. 14
    David in NY says:

    @cathyx: It was his toy and Barney was trying to take it away. (just guessing)

  15. 15
    kindness says:

    This is a WTF moment. What does the Governor have against Barney Frank?

  16. 16
    Anne Laurie says:


    What’s his beef with Frank?

    Best I can make out, the concensus is “Barney went public about wanting the job, and Deval hates to be pressured like that.”

    I’m still wondering who the Governor wanted to take the job, if he only called up his old coatholder yesterday. He said at that get-go that he wasn’t interested in running for the Senate himself, so it’s not that he was waiting for a draft-Deval groundswell…

  17. 17
    jgaugust says:


    There’s that number again…

  18. 18
    FlyingToaster says:

    @cathyx: I doubt Patrick has any beef with Frank.

    I suspect there were a couple of phone calls from DC to the tune of “JESUS FUCKING CHRIST please don’t send him back; it’ll make our jobs harder.” And DP is buds with BHO and certainly willing to listen to the Majority Leader’s office, so it’s hippie punching time in the Commonwealth again.

    I believe the Governor when he says he’s going back to private practice after this term. Time to start scouring the benches (or the mayors’ offices) for his replacement, or we’ll end up with Governor Centerfold.

  19. 19
    Hill Dweller says:

    Let’s not pretend Barney Frank running to the nearest camera and professing his desire to get the position didn’t destroy any chance of being the pick. By all reports, Gov. Patrick was less than thrilled.

    Also, too, Frank announcing he wouldn’t be voting for some of the President’s nominees(although he did walk it back a bit) couldn’t have helped matters.

  20. 20
    boss bitch says:

    How selecting his former chief of staff will advance Patrick’s state legislative agenda escapes me.

    How was Frank going to do that?

    In the fiscal/budgetary battle royales that will dominate the interim Senator’s tenure, Barney Frank has the abundant experience, knowledge, personality, and media savvy and reputation that national Democrats desperately need.

    You know who else lacks the experience and knowledge of Frank? Elizabeth Warren. There are enough Democrats in the Senate with decades of experience and knowledge to handle these “battle royals”. I don’t see how Frank could have made these battles easier.

  21. 21
    Mandalay says:

    Can someone help me with a very basic math/logic problem? A multiple choice question has five true-false options, and you have to select the three options which are true.

    The probability of being correct if you blindly guess are: (1 in 5) times (1 in 4) times (1 in 3) which is 1 in 60.

    But picking the three true options is the same as picking the two false options, and then selecting the other options that are not false. The probability of being correct if you blindly guess the two false options are: (1 in 5) times (1 in 4) which is 1 in 20.

    So the probability of picking the three true options is different to the probability of picking the two false options, but common sense (?) tells me that the probabilities should be the same.

    This is not a trick question, but a testament to my very limited skills in calculating probabilities. Can anyone explain where I am going wrong?

  22. 22
    trollhattan says:

    @Roger Moore:
    Agreed. Reading some of the proposed provisions, I can see Donnelly writing them down as dictated by an NRA staffer over the phone last night.

    The “Bee” comments are, as usual, best left unread.

  23. 23
    22over7 says:

    I think I read that the governor will be on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show tonight to explain his choice. Since O’Donnell is an unabashed Barneyfile, it should make for some good television.

    OT, since this has been a crap day for me so far, I bought a 7 lb pork shoulder roast, and have made plans to brine it, rub it, and cook it for 10-12 hours so that it is ready for Sunday pulling. Devilled eggs may be forthcoming also.

  24. 24
    trollhattan says:

    How long before they release the Deval Patrick phone tap tape? “I got this thing and it’s fucking golden.”

  25. 25

    Not much different than the choice he made in 2009 when Ted Kennedy died. Deval Patrick seems to want to play it safe with these picks. Is Patrick always this cautious? Don’t know much about Massachusetts politics.

  26. 26
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @cathyx: At this point, we don’t even know that he has a beef with Frank. What we do know is who he appointed. Maybe information will come out the indicates that there is a problem between them, or we may find out that Patrick really beleives in appoint a pure caretaker to the interim job.

  27. 27
    Sad But True says:

    @jgaugust: beat me to it by 3 minutes. hoping this number catches on even more now.

  28. 28
    Suffern ACE says:

    @handsmile: Have you seen our senators lately? This whole thing where Frank becomes the point person on budget is laughable. Frank would be more effective using his media presence and connections to find out and tell us what the fuck is going on in negotiations, but I really doubt that Frank would be doing much of anything. What, they gonna make him Chair of the Banking Committee for a few months months? Let him sponsor a bunch of bills? Invite him to join a Gang of (InsertNumber). Sit on a reconcilliation committee? Your seniority in the Senate has nothing to do with time served in the House.

    He should enjoy retirment. If he wanted to be involved in the negotiations, perhaps he should not have retired.

  29. 29
    trollhattan says:


    Can anyone explain where I am going wrong?

    Question the first: Are you drunk?
    Question the second: If not, why?

    Sorry, but am decades removed from my last stat class.

  30. 30
    Jim C says:

    I heard he picked Cowan because he found out Roland Burris wouldn’t be able to establish residency in time.

  31. 31
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @gwangung: yup

    @kindness: Who knows? Very few politicians have small egos, Barney Frank much as I like him is no Biden-style backslapper, and Charlie Pierce indicated that DP had already felt the Kennedys leaned on him to name a crony to fill out TK’s term, and didn’t want to appear weak.

  32. 32
    Allan says:

    @handsmile: “Arrogant” is the new “uppity”.

  33. 33
    FlyingToaster says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur:

    Is Patrick always this cautious?

    Always when dealing with the Feds.

    He’s less cautious with the Lege, but still not any kind of in-your-face, “my way or the highway” operator.

    His really bold move last week was to propose making the state tax structure more progressive (increase income tax and lower sales tax, keeping most of the existing deductions), and to remove soda and candy from the “no sales tax on groceries” classification.

  34. 34
    jgaugust says:

    @Sad But True: It really is amazing how often it comes up and always in connection with the crazies

  35. 35

    BTW why didn’t we have the same snit over the 2009 choice Deval Patrick made after Ted Kennedy’s death? Paul Kirk? ……… Yawn ….

  36. 36
    Mnemosyne says:


    If it’s any consolation, I guarantee you the bill is going to be voted down since Democrats have a 2/3rds majority in both houses of the California legislature. The guy’s still a dick, though.

  37. 37
    Allan says:

    BOSTON (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank — who had publicly expressed interest in being the state’s interim U.S. senator — is among those praising Gov. Deval Patrick’s selection of William “Mo” Cowan for the post.

    In a statement, Frank said Cowan was committed to working in a “socially-fair and economically-efficient” way to help resolve the nation’s budget problems.

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Wednesday that Cowan brings a deep knowledge of the issues affecting Massachusetts and that she looks forward to working closely with him in the Senate.

  38. 38

    @Sad But True: lol, put that in the thread below. I wonder if we see it because we’re looking for it?

  39. 39
    Djur says:

    I don’t understand either the surprise or the outrage here. We’re talking about an interim appointment to the Senate. The way seniority works in the Senate makes it much less likely for a newly appointed firebrand to have any impact at all, much less one who the other Senators know is only going to be around for a few months. It takes years to get any influence in the Senate.

    All we need here is someone to sit in the chair and vote the right way.

  40. 40
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @Mandalay: Here’s where you’re going wrong:

    The probability of being correct if you blindly guess are: (1 in 5) times (1 in 4) times (1 in 3) which is 1 in 60.

    Those probabilities are incorrect. In the first blind guess, there are 3 correct answers out of a set of 5. The second (if the first was correct) has 2 out of 4. And the third, 1 out of 3.

    That said, I’m not sure if it’s as simple as saying (3/5) * (2/4) * (1/3). There might be conditional probabilities that you have to calculate. Or I suppose I could just enumerate all the possibilities and see if it really does come out to 1/10, but I’m feeling a bit lazy on that count.

    EDIT: OK, so I did enumerate them, and I came up with 1/10.

  41. 41
    Chyron HR says:


    Yeah, but Barney Frank and Liz Warren are just Obotomized Obot Opologists who Mindlessly Worship Dear Leader.

    How long until FDL denounces Senator Cowan as a “house n****r”?

  42. 42
    steppy says:

    That number comes up again. 27% of respondents believe that “God plays a role in determining which team wins a sporting event.”

  43. 43
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    this reminds me, following yesterday’s link to Kornacki’s brief history of Jersey politics. There was an article years ago, late 90s I think, about feuds between same-state, same-party pols. The most lively feud was between Torricelli and Lautenberg, who hated each other loudly; Thad Cochran and Trent Lott didn’t speak to each other; and Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins had a very cool relationship. Figures those last two non-entities couldn’t even work up a good feud.

  44. 44
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @steppy:27% of respondents believe that “God plays a role in determining which team wins a sporting event.”

    if he’s betting with Satan again, which Harbaugh brother is Job?

  45. 45
    liberal says:

    They are the same.

    If I read the question right:

    The number of ways to choose three objects from 5 is C(5,3) (really want to use sub- and superscripts, but don’t have them). It’s 5!/(2!)(3!). There’s only one choice of three that’s all three T’s, so it’s the reciprocal of that.

    The number of ways to choose two objects from 5 is C(5,2). Which is 5!/(3!)(2!). Same number.

  46. 46
    joes527 says:


    The chance of guessing the yes’s correctly is (3 in 5) x (2 in 4) x (1 in 3) = (6 in 60) = (1 in 10)

    The chance of correctly gessing the no’s correctly is (2 in 5) x (1 in 4) = (2 in 20) = (1 in 10)

    Now if you can ‘splain the Monty Hall problem ….

  47. 47
    FlyingToaster says:

    never mind, I see that someone did the actual math.

  48. 48
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Mandalay: It doesn’t matter what order you pick the correct choices in. So there are actually 3x2x1 = 6 different ways to get the right answer for the true choices, and the probability comes to 1/10. And there are 2 different ways to get the right answer for the false choices, which also comes to 1/10.

    In general, the number of ways to pick k objects out of a set of n, where the order does not matter, is “n choose k”, which is n!/(k! (n-k)!) (where the exclamation point means factorial, e.g. n! = 1*2*3*…*n). Notice that this expression is symmetric between picking k objects, and picking n-k, just as you’d expect, since specifying some subset is the same as specifying the members left over.

    Here, 5 choose 3 = 5 choose 2 = 10, so the probability of getting the right ones is 1/10 in either case.

  49. 49
    Mandalay says:

    @Sentient Puddle:

    You have nailed it. Thanks.

    ETA: And to several others who have also put me straight, thank you.

  50. 50
    wasabi gasp says:

    Mo’s surname is, sadly, not cowbell.

  51. 51
    cathyx says:

    Interrum senators are given an opportunity to showcase themselves as the next candidate and give them a chance for people to learn his/her name for the upcoming election. It’s stupid to give the position to someone who has no intention of running. If you care about your party and you want to see a democrat get the senate seat, you don’t play games like this.

  52. 52
    rda909 says:

    Barney was a total ass trying to bully his way into this out of nowhere. Behaving like a little child. Great job, Governor Patrick! Cowan will likely vote the same as Senator Warren on almost everything, and won’t create any drama during the election, unlike Barney who would be grandstanding constantly and providing lightning rods that would hurt Markey in his race against Scotty Brown.

    Of course, the media will try to further drive wedges between Democrats with this, and so many of you will play along just as they want with the proper poutrage, or we all can choose to move forward and live up the name “progress”ive, and unite to make, you know…progress. Your choice.

  53. 53

    @Mandalay: There are 10 possible combinations of 3 true and 2 false statements. The two false statements can be first and second, first and third, first and fourth, etc. Because there are 10 possible ways of blindly guessing and only 1 is the right one, your chance of answering the question correctly with a random guess is 1/10.

    For n statements of which k are true and n-k are false, the number of possible combinations is n!/(k!*(n-k)!) . The exclamation mark means factorial; 5 factorial is 1*2*3*4*5.

  54. 54
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @cathyx: If Wha you say is true, Frank would have been a bad choice.

  55. 55
    Mandalay says:


    Question the first: Are you drunk? Question the second: If not, why?

    Several other posters have given me the correct answer, but you have the best answer, and I am about to follow your advice with some Dos Equis. Thanks.

  56. 56
    boss bitch says:


    Why is it stupid to give Cowan the seat? There are currently two Democrats who want to run in the upcoming election for MA Senate. How does Patrick decide which one should get appointed? And if appointed when is he going to have time to campaign? He’s on capitol hill while Scott Brown gets Mass. to himself everyday?

  57. 57
    FlyingToaster says:

    @cathyx: That might work in a different state, but not so much here.

    Name recognition is close to meaningless; EVERYONE knew Martha Coakley (and at least 60% of Democrats hate her) and nobody had ever heard of Scott Brown except for the readers of GQ. And yet, Brown won.

    In a special election in Massachusetts, you have to either, a) have a machine (Coakley in the Berkshires) or tap into a machine (Menino’s in Boston plus the Warren volunteers in DTCs across the rest of the Commonwealth); or b) have enough money to both air-bomb and put feet on the ground.

    Markey can tap the machines (both Menino, the regionals and the Warren/DTCs), plus he’s got about 3 mil in the bank. He’s going to have to spend a lot of air miles between now and June to visit the town committees across the state and get people to go GOTV. And, I should note from my morning e-mail, he’s already started.

    The only person with name recognition in the race is Scotty. And a lot of voters have still a bad taste in their mouth from the recent election.

  58. 58
    Mandalay says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Wow! When I become Ruler of the Universe and need a mathematician you should expect a phone call.

  59. 59
    aimai says:

    @boss bitch:

    I don’t think that is true at all. I think Frank wouldn’t have been “more effective” than other Democratic Senators who are long termers but he would have been very much more effective sitting at the table with them than Mo Cowan who has neither a track record with National Politics nor a future in them. Anyone Deval appointed would have been a straight up vote for whatever the Dems decide to do but Frank, far more than Cowan, could have been a window into House politics, and the entire history of the budget so far. That institutional knowledge would have been much more significant than the simple “yes” vote that Cowan will give.

    On the other hand I can see an argument–not a good one, but an argument–that nominally leaving the seat open to a “fair fight” assuages some of the deep seated rage that the 3 MA Republicans always feel and will always feel after the drubbing Scott Brown took. In some weird 11 dimensional chess way perhaps Patrick feels that taking the seat away from a provocative pick like Frank makes the real contest a little less bloody? Hard to say.

  60. 60
    trollhattan says:


    Then my work here is done [shoves back chair and grabs imaginary hat]

  61. 61
    aimai says:


    That is 100 percent incorrect about the positioning of the interim senator seat in MA. The interim senator doesn’t even fill out the remaining years but only a few months. After Kennedy a “caretaker” was appointed to fill out the few months before the special election with the understanding that he wouldn’t run and this time around its the same. No one expected Patrick to appoint someone who would run and that wasn’t the idea behind the appointment structurally.

  62. 62
    TG Chicago says:

    Already in this thread we have people comparing an African American Senator to a man’s horse and calling him a coatholder. And speciously equating him with Roland Burris.

    I’m not making any accusations; I’d just like to suggest that people be a bit more thoughtful.

  63. 63
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @aimai: It might also be that there were several FA toons who wanted their guy in and would have been pissed if some other faction’s guy got the job. Cowan might have been a safe bet that upset no one. Pure speculation on my part.

  64. 64
    Roger Moore says:

    The thing that you’re missing is that order isn’t important. For each set of three random answers, there are six possible orders you can choose them in (3*2*1), so your odds are actually 6 in 60 or 1 in 10. Similarly, for a set of two random answers, there are 2 possible orders you can choose them in (2*1), so your odds are actually 2 in 20, which is also 1 in 10.

  65. 65
    rda909 says:

    @TG Chicago: Don’t forget Governor Patrick being “utterly arrogant” in comment #8 for having the gall to make his own choices, as you know, the GOVERNOR, and not being bullied into decisions by the 99% white, online progressives and one of their standard-bearers. Might as well just say, “uppity.”

  66. 66
    Davis X. Machina says:


    I don’t understand either the surprise or the outrage here.

    It’s the internet. We default to outrage.

  67. 67
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    one of the rumored candidates, according to an ex-staffer of DP’s, was a Bank of America official, which Cowan is not.

  68. 68
    handsmile says:


    Having served in Congress since 1976, Markey must have an appreciable degree of name recognition, certainly in the eastern half of the state (I can attest he’s known in Worcester/central Mass); not as much as “Cosmo” Brown to be sure, but far more than Stephen Lynch. Which prompts me to ask:

    1) Why is Lynch, a conservative Democrat, launching a primary challenge to Markey?
    2) Does Lynch pose any significant risk to a Markey primary victory?


    As I’ve stated above, I can see nothing but a bad argument for Patrick’s selection of Cowan, and your first paragraph here shrewdly presents the reasons. But I am puzzled by your second paragraph: what “fair fight”, as it was agreed that whomever Patrick selected would serve only in an interim capacity? Regardless of the Democratic candidate in June’s special election, Brown will make every effort to ensure it’s “bloody.”

  69. 69
    Roger Moore says:


    Now if you can ‘splain the Monty Hall problem

    The Monty Hall problem isn’t that hard. When you guess one of the three doors, you have a 1 in 3 chance that you got it right. When they open a second door, you still have a 1 in 3 chance that your first answer is right, so there’s a 2 in 3 chance that the prize is behind the remaining door.

    The key thing to understand is that opening the door to show you that there’s nothing behind it is not random, so it doesn’t give you any extra information about whether the prize is behind the door your originally took. If they did choose the door at random, then 1/3 of the time they’d reveal the prize, and the other 2/3 of the time you’d know that you had a 1/2 chance of having the right door.

  70. 70
    Davis X. Machina says:

    1) Why is Lynch, a conservative Democrat, launching a primary challenge to Markey?

    It’s a one-party state. In legislative races, the primary is the general. Brown’s an anomaly in this regard.

  71. 71
    Mandalay says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Right, I should have ignored ordering. Like so much else in life, the error is obvious only after someone else points it out. Thanks.

  72. 72
    aimai says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Yeah, sure. I’m sure Patrick had his reasons. The issue isn’t best pick/worst pick. Both picks had their pluses and minuses. I’m personally disappointed for the obvious reasons but this isn’t really a death cage match between white people and black people over this Senate seat, despite some of the posters. Its a difference of opinon about the politics and the policy behind a short term appointment among people for whom politics, as we here in MA like to say, is a blood sport. We care about the Senate Seat as much or more than Patrick does–considering he is about to leave the Commonwealth and the Governorship and head back to Chicago.

  73. 73
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Roger Moore: I look at the Monty Hall problem this way. Opening the door does not give you new information about your original choice. Instead, it creates a new choice between two options.

  74. 74
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur:

    BTW why didn’t we have the same snit over the 2009 choice Deval Patrick made after Ted Kennedy’s death? Paul Kirk? ……… Yawn ….

    Yeah, how’d that work out again? Oh, yeah. Brown got to run against a non-incumbent.

    People of above average intelligence learn from others’ mistakes. People of average intelligence learn from their own.

  75. 75
    Suffern ACE says:

    @boss bitch: Hmmmm. And why would the people who want to run resign from the house? Which is what they would have to do if they were interim Senator. You can keep your house seat and run for Senate. But you can’t, as far as I know, keep your house seat and be a Senator at the same time.

  76. 76
    Allan says:

    @TG Chicago: They can’t help themselves, poor things.

  77. 77
    aimai says:


    Oh, my suggested argument in favor of Patrick naming an essential “no name” to the post was that in the eyes of the great Suburban fringe independent/republican voter who turns out for a Scott Brown type person perhaps putting in someone that no one has ever heard of is less of a thumb in the eye than Frank.

    Brown is not going to make a bloody battle out of this–he is going to work hard to be cool, calm, and nice about it. People really started to dislike him during the last election because he lost his nice guy cred. If anyone is going to attack Markey it is going to be surrogates and the Boston Herald, not Brown. If he runs he’s going to try to aw shucks it back into that seat because not only will he have to get over on Warren’s voters he’s going to have to pretend that although he is going to “balance” her that he is also going to work with her.

  78. 78
    Mandalay says:

    @TG Chicago:

    I’d just like to suggest that people be a bit more thoughtful.


  79. 79
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yes. Yes, he would have, unless he changed his mind about retirement.

  80. 80
    liberal says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    The most lively feud was between Torricelli and Lautenberg, who hated each other loudly…

    Well, IIRC, Torricelli was an asshat, so Lautenberg was on pretty firm ground there.

  81. 81
    Djur says:

    @Davis X. Machina: People at that link are loftily declaring “Barney Frank would have had influence” like that means anything. Barney Frank had influence in the House. The Senate is not the House, and if Barney Frank had marched into the Senate expecting to throw his weight around, he’s not nearly as clever as I think he is.

  82. 82
    GregB says:

    The beef with Frank were fears of his hot-dogging style while grilling colleagues. His enemies will now relish in him being toast and all of his hopes of being interim Senator add up to a hill of beans piled-up to his wiener. Maybe Barney can spend some time to ketchup with the latest Onion.

  83. 83
    liberal says:

    @Davis X. Machina:
    Hmm…if so, then why did the Republicans hold the governorship from 1991–2007?

  84. 84
    muddy says:

    @Roger Moore: As far as Monty Hall goes, I believe they change out what is behind the curtain depending on how the lengthy patter is going. Your odds totally change after the first choice.

  85. 85
    aimai says:

    Republicans held the governorship because MA likes to ticket split and it was the one place the suburban voter could stick a thumb in the eye of what they felt was a corrupt democratic one party state. And each of those governors, btw, ran as more or less centrist “reasonable” republicans and technocrats. Oh, and because once the Dems put up JOHN SILBER who was the most hated man in the world causing lots of of dems to vote republican for the first time in their lives.

  86. 86
    handsmile says:


    Appreciate your reply. Our mileages do vary on how much the appointment of Frank would have motivated the “great Suburban fringe….Scott Brown type person” in June’s special election, but as you are a Bay Stater (I’m just an ex) you have the better perspective.

    Your assessment of Brown’s “nice guy” strategy in the upcoming race makes a great deal of sense, but I’m not sure if I hope you’re right.

  87. 87
    Jay B. says:

    If Frank wanted to work on national issues and have a real impact on legislative outcomes he COULD HAVE STAYED IN HIS SEAT. He was a senior House Democrat with a key assignment and a seat at the table, as opposed to being the interim junior Senator for a few months. Markey will be the Democratic nominee for the special election, being an interim would have helped him not at all — it’s not as if Brown won in the last special election because people didn’t know who Martha Coakley was, it was because she was awful and Brown was the only other choice. It literally couldn’t matter less from a substantive perspective which Massachusetts Democrat takes that seat, so long as it’s a Democrat and they vote in the right way.

  88. 88
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: That’s what I figured. Court intrigue kind of stuff. Easier for Patrick to pick someone with no profile than to do anything that risks taking sides in some byzantine internecine power dynamic. But I don’t know nearly enough about that stuff to know if Frank affiliates with any faction.

  89. 89
    Davis X. Machina says:


    if Barney Frank had marched into the Senate expecting to throw his weight around, he’s not nearly as clever as I think he is.

    He’s like the old warhorse in the book of Job:

    As often as the trumpet sounds he says, ‘Aha!’
    And he scents the battle from afar,
    And the thunder of the captains and the war cry.

    Me, I think Barney panicked at the height of Tea-mania, and the Brown election, and now regrets it.

    Even after redistricting, he had a safe seat…this is Massachusetts, when does it ever send Republicans to the House? Silvio Conte’s dead these 20 years. But he panicked. Or got tired. Or a little of both.

    The Senate appointment meant a chance to partially undo the consequences of his decision to bail out of the House.

  90. 90
    liberal says:

    IMHO, that’s not a “one party state”.

  91. 91
    Anne Laurie says:

    @TG Chicago: I’d like to know why Governor Patrick only gave his good friend & former subordinate 24 hours to decide what he’d do for the next five months. Heck, I prefer a longer lead time when my friends offer me concert tickets!

  92. 92
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    The reason for not choosing Frank is obvious; his abrasive style would have disrupted the comity of our selflessly bi-partisan Senate.


    FWIW, I’d guess that Patrick had at least one conversation on the topic with Obama or with his chief of staff. His choice may have been influenced by that.

  93. 93
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @aimai:Me, I voted for Frank Hatch, instead of Ed King. Only Republican I’ve ever voted for. Crossing over to vote against a Democratic walrus for governor is an old Bay State tradition. With a permanent veto-proof Dem majority on Beacon Hill, it’s a largely ceremonial position anyways.

    Ask Governor Celluci, for example.

  94. 94
    TG Chicago says:

    @rda909: Agreed.

    Here’s where I admit my ignorance: I didn’t realize Patrick is black. To me, “Deval Patrick” sounds Irish (and maybe it is).

    Anyway, I get that people wanted Frank to get the nod. But as others have noted, what would have been the substantive difference? Is it possible that Frank would have used the bully pulpit for some good purpose? Sure. Is it also possible that he might have gone overboard and said something that could hurt the D’s chances in the special election? Yeah, that’s also possible.

    So Patrick decided to give the plum to somebody in his circle rather than somebody we know and love. But it’s not that big of a deal.

    Question: Does this placeholder Senator get any sort of pension or other Senatorial perks after leaving office?

  95. 95
    Closeted epistemic (formerly Lojasmo) says:


    or we’ll end up with Governor Centerfold

    Good. It will serve you fucker right for electing him to the senate, and Romney as Governor.

  96. 96
    Closeted epistemic (formerly Lojasmo) says:


    They day ends with “Y” and you’re reading Balloon Juice. SATSQ

  97. 97
    Davis X. Machina says:


    A hypothetical Governor Centerfold will still face a state senate that’s 9-1 Democratic and a 130-30 Democratic house.

    Hell, East Germany occasionally did better….

  98. 98
    Suffern ACE says:

    @TG Chicago: No. He is not eligible for a pension. You need to serve at least 6 years in the house or one term in the Senate to get the pension. He will get the pro-rated salary.

  99. 99
    El Caganer says:

    @TG Chicago: I thought the horse reference was to Caligula.

  100. 100
    FlyingToaster says:


    1) Why is Lynch, a conservative Democrat, launching a primary challenge to Markey?

    As we say in Fiddler on the Roof, “AM-BITION!” More importantly, it’s probably his only chance. By the time another seat comes empty, he’ll likely be either too old or too conservative for the statewide electorate.

    2) Does Lynch pose any significant risk to a Markey primary victory?

    I’m not sure. I suspect that Lynch has slightly higher name recognition from both donating the kidney and from his days in the Lege and his (formerly televised) St.Patrick’s Day Breakfasts. From the liberal side of the fence, he suffers from the same problem as Coakley; his social conservatism (read, pro-forced-birth) makes him anathema to most of the DTC activists across the state.

    The biggest problem is that Lynch could pull the Menino machine out of the primary race; he’s got the Southie crowd (Ray Flynn, et. al) on his side, where Menino is based out of Hyde Park.

    Right now, since both of the candidates are out of the Congressional Delegation, I don’t see Scotty being able to air-bomb his way in (2012), and I don’t think he can out-campaign either congressman (2010).

  101. 101
    Maude says:

    @Anne Laurie:
    Maybe he picked someone else and they backed out at the last minute.

  102. 102
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @liberal: a couple years ago, I went back and checked my hunch: “blue states” NY, MA, IL and CA had had more Republican governors than Dem over the previous twenty-five years. All four have had Dems for the last few years, so that stat’s a little wobbly, but it does put the whole “blue state” thing in perspective. WI sent the first openly gay person to the Senate, voted for Obama, and gave the state senate back to the Walker GOP. Go figure voters.

  103. 103
    handsmile says:


    I have a passing knowledge of how Congress works and the amount of legislative influence a new, much less interim, Senator will wield. If seniority were all, however, then there would be a great deal less enthusiasm for Elizabeth Warren’s election.

    Given Barney Frank’s considerable acumen, I suspect he did not “expect to throw his weight around” in the Senate chambers. But I am deeply disappointed to learn that he will not be there now for three principal reasons: 1) there was certainly no Democratic House member and very few if any Senate Democrats who is as knowledgeable about fiscal/budgetary matters; 2) those very issues will be among the most dominant legislative debates in the next several months; 3) his mastery of the Village media had no equal among his Democratic colleagues, a critically important asset in presenting or refuting the terms of those debates.

    Frank has the strength of mind, the quickness of wit, and the institutional knowledge to have been a very effective interim Senator for the next five months.

  104. 104
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @FlyingToaster: Coakley is anti-choice?

  105. 105
    FlyingToaster says:

    @Closeted epistemic (formerly Lojasmo): Romney bought the 2002 election, fair and square. And Tom Finneran’s handpicked candidate tried to use Washington consultants for a Bay State race.

    We have a tradition of electing GOP technocrats over Democratic crooks & cranks (see Weld v Silber).

    I’m just hoping the Prince of Darkness decides he’s been SoC long enough. I’d vote for him for Governor in a heartbeat.

  106. 106
    handsmile says:

    @El Caganer:

    Yes, that was the allusion.

  107. 107
    FlyingToaster says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Nope.

    Coakley is also known as “Satanic Panic”. I believe she is guilty of prosecutorial misconduct in at least the Falls Acres case, and probably two others as well. And a case where I was called as a witness was certainly mishandled by her (then Middlesex DA) office.

    She’s a “law and order” Democrat. Fortunately, she is not terrible on sticking it to banksters, and she’s definitely pro-choice. If I were recommending a Federal office, it’d be Attorney General, not anything elected.

  108. 108
    TS says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    Let’s not pretend Barney Frank running to the nearest camera and professing his desire to get the position didn’t destroy any chance of being the pick. By all reports, Gov. Patrick was less than thrilled.

    Also, too, Frank announcing he wouldn’t be voting for some of the President’s nominees(although he did walk it back a bit) couldn’t have helped matters.

    Exactly – and what is needed in the Senate is a sure vote for the President’s nominees – not a debate from the democratic side of the house. Barney wanted his own voice to be heard – the Governor wanted an interim Senator.

    A more relevant issue to get upset about is surely someone suggesting that the AR-15 is the weapon of choice for women to use to “defend their babies” WTF.

  109. 109
    handsmile says:


    Thanks for your detailed reply. One rumor I’m aware of is that Lynch might fancy a gubernatorial campaign in 2014, now that Patrick has declared his intention not to seek re-election. A state-wide Senate primary campaign would help to advance that “AM-BITION” as well.

  110. 110
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Same state Democratic party of bright lights that ran Coakley. I’m pretty convinced at this point Warren was a lucky accident, put over the top only by an inordinate amount of national money.

    Pink Shorts Brown will get his 6 year term yet.

  111. 111
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    I didn’t realize Patrick is black.

    @TG Chicago: I’ll be goddamned, I Googled it and you’re right.

    That name screams “Irish” to me. Well, I’ll be. Learn something new every day.

  112. 112
    FlyingToaster says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: That wasn’t the party. That was the 4-way primary that the state party declined to winnow down.

    Coakley had Vicki Kennedy and the Berkshire County DTCs all in for her; Capuano had to contend with half of the Somerville DTC following Sal Albano and friends (that’s a feud, my friends), Alan Khazei is the City Year guy with no money and Pagliuca is a friend of Romney’s. And once Coakley won the primary, she stopped campaigning.

    Given that the Senator from GQ has already tried badmouthing Markey on drive-time call-in radio, and spent this week drunk-tweeting, I don’t think he’s quite the shoo-in. I’m just hoping we have a real Democratic candidate (hint: Galvin) to run against him.

  113. 113
    liberal says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    A related question (but not the same, obviously) I’m very interested in is why so many states vote Democratic in presidential elections, but not at the state level; and not so much the reverse(*) (Dem state level, Rep pres level).


    (*) I guess it hasn’t always been like that but recently it has been.

  114. 114
    liberal says:


    Falls Acres case

    Fells Acres, right? That’s the Amirault case.

    At the time she ran, people were making excuses for her like “well, as a prosecutor, it was her duty to…”


  115. 115
    liberal says:


    If I were recommending a Federal office, it’d be Attorney General, not anything elected.

    Based on her Wikipedia page, the only appropriate office would be in one of the Circles of Hell. What a revolting human being.

  116. 116
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @liberal: In Wisconsin, some of the Madison and Milwaukee wards are so Democratic that that no Republican bothers to run. We are talking 90+% D. But they are geographically limited. So what you can find is Ds winning by very large margins in the cities and Rs winning by much smaller margins in the more numerous rural and suburban districts.

  117. 117
    Lolis says:


    I think you are right. Dems wanted someone who wouldn’t attract positive or negative attention or be a lightning rod in case it would help Scott Brown win. Whether or not this is wise, I don’t know. Democrats seem to like to hide a lot and that doesn’t seem good.

  118. 118
    FlyingToaster says:

    @liberal: Thanks, I think my spellcheck got me there.

    Yep, Fells Acres.

    Also the overprosecution of the AquaTeenHungerForce LiteBrite art students (charged with bombing and terrorism) and several other cases where the charges were ‘way beyond the offenses.

    I held my nose and voted for her in the Special, but I’ve always voted against her for Middlesex DA and MA AG.

  119. 119
    FlyingToaster says:

    @liberal: She’s going to run again for AG, and win.

    I will again write in Tom Reilly, since he was actually competent at the job, and not odious.

  120. 120
    Jay C says:

    Re Martha Coakley: this bit from her Wikipedia bio is pretty inexcusable:

    In 2001, Coakley successfully lobbied Acting Gov. Jane Swift to deny clemency to Gerald Amirault, a defendant in the Fells Acres Day Care Center preschool trial, whom many regarded as a victim of day care sex abuse hysteria. Prior to this, clemency for him had been recommended unanimously by the Massachusetts Parole Board,[6] and his co-accused mother and sister had already been released from custody.[7] Wall Street Journal reporter Dorothy Rabinowitz cites her pursuit of the case despite lack of corroborating evidence as an example of questionable judgment on Coakley’s part.[7]

    As late as 200-fuckin’-1 she was still trying to somehow get points (How? Why?) off the Fells Acres Day Care debacle? Words fail….

  121. 121
    Randy P says:

    @Mandalay: There are three true answers. The chance that your first pick is one of them is 3/5, not 1/5. Chance that the next pick is right is 2/4. (4 choices left, 2 are right). The 1/3 for the 3rd pick. Result: 3*2*1/(5*4*3) = 6/60 = 1/10.

    Chance first false pick is right: 2/5. Chance 2nd one is right: 1/4. Result: 2*1/5*4 = 1/10.

    Or: there are 10 different groups of 3 you can pick from 5 objects. Chance of getting the right one: 1/10

  122. 122
    smintheus says:

    Deval Patrick’s Harriet Miers. Amazed that nobody has said this. The guy has no apparent background in DC, no experience in elective office, and his main qualification seems to be that he owes his career largely to Patrick.

  123. 123
    aimai says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    He made a ton of jokes about it when he was running. He’s been a good governor, on the whole, and I’m happy to have voted for him and definitely would have voted for him again. MA politics and especially the Republican/Democrat split is really very old fashioned. If you really want to get a taste of what Democrat means–or meant–here you should read Jack Beatty’s brilliant biography of Curley, I think its called The Rascal King. Once the ethnic whites and Bostonians seized power from the old Republican upper class things were never the same–Weld got in by offering an almost parodic “noblesse oblige” style counterbalance to local politics and politicians. We have what seems to be a very mediocre and shallow base of talent inside the state to run and next-in-lindism gave us Shannon O’brien who was creamed by Mitt Romney (who stepped over the still warm body of Jane whats her name to do it). But Mitt benefitted again from the notion that rich upper class guys aren’t corrupt and will look out for the general welfare. (We learned our lesson).

    Patrick’s an outsider and people thought he might be a clean sweeper type. He gives a killer speech. But we were all wondering how long he’d stay in the Governorship because its always been an attempted stepping stone to other things rather than an end in itself.

  124. 124
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @smintheus: No, that’s unfair. Best case is he’s Deval Patrick’s Ted Kaufman (a reliable Democratic vote – more so than Joe). Nothing bad about that per se, except that it gives up the points that an incumbent would get in the general. In Delaware that was irrelevant. Castle probably would have beaten anyone and O’Donnell would have beaten no one.

  125. 125
    Ruckus says:

    What if Gov Patrick felt that Barney would draw so much attention that a dem candidate might have a hard time getting a second look. That might just open the door for Brown go get back in. Would having Barney in for a short time be better than having a better person to replace him? This is a place holder. I don’t think Barney has ever been a place holder in his life. At least not in the last couple of decades. So this may not satisfy many of us but it may be a smart move politically.

  126. 126
    WaterGirl says:

    @rda909: “Arrogant” can be the new “uppity” in some cases, but if you’ve ever read handsmile in the past, I suspect you would share my view that you are off the mark in making that suggestion in this case.

  127. 127
    Nosey Parker says:

    @NotMax: Deval has disappointed me too. If he wanted a person of color, why not councilwoman at large Pressley, who used to work for Kerry? And she’s a two-fer–we’re short on women in the Senate, too.

    Instead, Deval showed himself to be a bit petty. Warren wanted Barney Frank, too, she said so at her swearing in ceremony in Boston.

    Deval better not be sending me requests for campaign contributions. He may be the governor who can do what he wants but that doesn’t mean he should appoint a crony with no experience w/elective office or public life. This looked like a spite appointment to me.

  128. 128
    WaterGirl says:

    @Ruckus: I am not very happy with this decision, but I definitely will take consolation from your speculation.

    It’s shocking, I tell you, that there might be a bigger picture here than I am aware of! :-)

  129. 129
    Jeremy says:

    @smintheus: And did Warren have a deep background in DC ? Or experience in elected office ???

    The reason why I see some complaining about the disrespectful tone / language is because this was not said about Elizabeth Warren (who I like by the way) who ran for a full term and lacked serious experience.

    This man is qualified for this task and he will do a good job.

  130. 130
    Allan says:

    @smintheus: Mo Cowan is over 30, has been a US citizen for more than 9 years, and lives in the state he will represent. There are no other qualifications for membership in the Senate.

  131. 131
    smintheus says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Kaufman had lots of experience in Washington. Cowan has approximately none. I don’t see how Cowan can even get up to speed in less than 5 months.

    @Jeremy: Warren ran for office and the voters decided she was qualified. Nobody has ever cast a vote for Cowan. Warren has 6 years to learn her job; Cowan doesn’t. Besides, Warren did have considerable background with DC politics, far more apparently than Cowan.

  132. 132
    smintheus says:

    @Allan: And Harriet Miers met the qualifications for a Supreme Court justice. What is your point?

  133. 133
    boss bitch says:


    Frank would have sat his butt in that seat and held it until the MA election was over. Nothing more.

  134. 134
    boss bitch says:

    Who knew Rep. Frank was the God Father of Congress and all Democrats. Media and budget genius like no other.

    What Frank has over many other Democrats is a great sense of humor. Unfortunately it didn’t lead to getting President Obama’s bills passed. We have other Democrats who are just as knowledgeable and can explain things on the teevee. Let them do that. We will use Frank’s charisma on the campaign trail or something. All reasons against Mo Cowan are nonsense. In 2 weeks nobody will give a shit.

  135. 135
    Anne Laurie says:

    @boss bitch: I sincerely hope you’re right. Because if we do hear about him, it’ll probably mean he’s done something that won’t make anybody happy.

  136. 136
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Nosey Parker: councilwoman at large probably doesn’t want to resign to serve three months as senator.

  137. 137
    eemom says:


    For fuck’s sake. Holding a Senate seat as a placeholder for a few months is not in the same ballpark, not in the same motherfucking GAME as a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.

    Have your gripes with the choice, but don’t compare it to Harriet Miers. That is fucking ridiculous.

  138. 138
    Jeremy says:

    @smintheus: It’s a freaking interim appointment ! !

    He will only serve in the position for a while also the only reason why people are complaining is because Frank didn’t get the position. And just because Warren was voted by the people does not make her some experienced, qualified person. She has about as much experience as Mo right now.

  139. 139
    Jeremy says:

    @eemom: Exactly ! And all of this talk about Deval Patrick and Mo Cowan has been borderline racist. The constant questioning of experience when we heard none of this about the interim appointment for Ted Kennedy who happened to be white.

    Now I’m not calling people racist but the rhetoric doesn’t sound right.

  140. 140
    Allan says:

    @smintheus: It was not GWBush’s decision alone to appoint Harriet Miers to the SC, it required Senate approval. The voters of Mass. delegate the power of temporary Senate appointment to their governor, and he has made his selection. Feel free to rend your garments over it, but I don’t think you have any input into the process.

  141. 141
    smintheus says:

    @Jeremy: Sounds like that’s what you’re doing all right.

    @eemom: The comparison to Miers is apt, which is why I made it. Miers was nominated because she was a Bush crony, full stop. Cowan was appointed because he is a Patrick crony, full stop. Both are/were virtually unknown and had little relevant background.

    But thanks for pointing out that SCOTUS and the Senate are two different bodies.

    @Allan: I still don’t see what your point is.

  142. 142
    Suffern ACE says:

    Yep. We need a united front, yet we’ll fall apart over the interim appointment of a temporary senator.

  143. 143
    Jeremy says:

    @smintheus: Well what I said is valid. I love how some act like this appointment is so important when the only reason why is because you wanted Frank and no one else. Your criticism is over the top and it’s ridiculous.

    Like I said earlier. I did not hear all of this complaining about the appointment for Ted Kennedy in 2009.

  144. 144
    Suffern ACE says:

    @smintheus: unknown to whom? He was the chief of staff. My guess is that the politicians in Massachusetts know him.

    Are you worried that he bought his seat? That maybe some special interest group demanded a favor? Does he have a reputation for taking bribes? He hasn’t run for office, sure, but then he hasn’t taken campaign contributions either. I don’t get this outrage.

  145. 145
    Suffern ACE says:

    I suppose he could have picked Vivian Kennedy. I wonder if picking a Kennedy would reduce those charges of cronyism.

  146. 146
    wrog says:

    The probability of guessing the three true propositions is actually 3/5 x 2/4 x 1/3 or 1/10. The probability of getting the two false propositions is 2/5 x 1/4 or 1/10

    Or you can notice that 5 choose 3 is 10, i.e. 10 ways to choose only one of which is right.

  147. 147
    smintheus says:

    @Suffern ACE: I’m not “worried” about anything. I’m saying it’s a crony appointment, pure and simple. When pols appoint cronies to plum jobs, they catch criticism for it. I don’t get faux naivete about cronyism.

    @Jeremy: Kirk had lots of relevant experience.

  148. 148
    TG Chicago says:

    @Suffern ACE: Ha! Nicely done. Thank you also for the answer to my question.

    @El Caganer: I got that. I still felt it was inappropriate to allude to a man who served as Chief of Staff to the Governor as a “horse”. He wasn’t Gov. Patrick’s butler, y’know?

  149. 149
    Allan says:

    @smintheus: I can see that.

  150. 150
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Allan: Sorry, dude, be you never so ENLIGHTENED in your attempts to have the last word, you’ll always be a self-righteous little white guy.

Comments are closed.