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Rollins confirmed as US Attorney; whom will Baker pick to replace her as DA?

Vice President Kamala Harris had to cast the deciding vote, but the US Senate today confirmed Suffolk County District Attorney as the US Attorney for Massachusetts.

That, in turn, means Gov. Baker will get to choose somebody to replace her, at least through the end of next year, as Suffolk County District Attorney.

Think Boston Councilor Michael Flaherty, a Democrat who backed Baker and a long ago assistant DA, is looking over business-card templates?

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Comments

Then David Halbert, who finished fifth in the at-large council race last month, would become at at-large councilor.

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I voted for David Halbert, so if this is the result I won't complain, but it seems odd that if a councilor resigns you just go back to the last election and pick the losing candidate with the most votes. Most of the time there are a fair number of plausible candidates and they can't all be elected — as was the case in the last election — but you could imagine a scenario where the candidate edged out was really bad and lots of people voted against that person. Why make that person a councilor?

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Saves a lot of money actually

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but you could imagine a scenario where the candidate edged out was really bad and lots of people voted against that person.

like Althea Garrison?

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with a Kitchen Aid theme?

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That during Zoomed hearings, most of the time Flaherty just puts up a photo, but when he does go live, he sits somewhere other than his kitchen.

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Government is stupid and useless. It took a 101st person to decide whether or not a lawyer was competent because 100 people couldn't form a majority? My God, just end America already.

Says more about our senators than it does about Ms. Rollins.

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After 2024, "competency" won't be a factor in who gets confirmed.

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Time for a unicameral legislative branch.

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If you ever look at the language creating the "lower house," you'd see it's a legacy of slavery.

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But the idea that North Dakota + South Dakota has 2x as much representation and voting power as California or Texas is absurd.

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ME, VT and RI also don't merit six senators by this metric.

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3/5s was a compromise with the southern slave states in establishing a Federal legislature. It's not a legacy of slavery. Slavery did leave an imprint on the original structure of the House. But to call it a legacy of slavery is too broad a brush.

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The biggest problem with the House is that the cap on representation means it's no longer proportional, insofar as it ever was.

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Time to repeal the 17th Amendment.

It made more sense for US Senators to be delegates from the various State legislatures. In that system, their focus would be on their states' issues. Instead, with direct election, we have glorified Representatives who focus more on their parties' issues than on their states.

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Thanks to Mitch McConnell and his cronies (I don't believe this that is truly a party issue) the Senate is dead when Mitch rules. A single body could too easily fall prey to the abuses and gonad squeezing that Mitch enjoys doing. A third legislature could help balance out the dictatorships that Mitch and his butt bodies want.

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Says more about our senators than it does about Ms. Rollins.

It says nothing about our senators and everything about us, the electorate.

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I don't know about you but I only get to vote for two Senators from Massachusetts, and they did not seem to struggle to answer the question at hand correctly.

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if I am to accept the premise of your argument as true, it's not "government" that is stupid and useless here but rather every Republican member of the US Senate that is stupid and useless. But those are your words, I'm just merely here to point out that 50 of those 101 have one thing in common with each other that they do not share with any of the other 51. Perhaps it's just a coincidence.

But I am not ready to throw away America over this, Will.

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Here's a lobster for a pack of smokes. That's the end of the relationship.

Borders are a cancer, but we clearly need to have them, so let's redraw them efficiently.

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Borders are a cancer, but we clearly need to have them, so let's redraw them efficiently.

"Efficiently" meaning what? Borders between what?

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That the jerkoffs who want to teach creationism and want to sue a pregnant lady for not forcing a suboptimal life onto a defenseless embryo don't pick my president and members of my national legislature.

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I will support your proposal to throw away America if your subsequent proposal to deliberately gerrymander conservatives out of having any meaningful voice in our national politics becomes a reality.

That would be one of the most undemocratic ways of bringing about political change that I can think of that doesn't involve using physical violence.

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These borders got drawn by a bunch of syphilis-infested slave traders who have been dead for 200 years. The only thing stopping us from advancing past the ideas that they established is inertia.

We as a people have lost the ability to be contrarian and to think around corners. What's the opposite of something? Let's all channer our inner George Costanza.

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That the jerkoffs who want to teach creationism and want to sue a pregnant lady for not forcing a suboptimal life onto a defenseless embryo don't pick my president and members of my national legislature.

So, you either want extreme gerrymandering that will prevent these people (who do live in concentrations) from ever electing any representative, or you want mass disenfranchisement.

I don't like these people making these decisions either, but damn, that's a weird flex for a libertarian.

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I am unenrolled. But gold is shining a lot brighter than blue and red the last decade.

Gerrymandering? I want them to not be the same country as me if we're going to have nation-states at all. Hell, I support the Electoral College...but it doesn't work if irrational actors get to play.

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Gerrymandering? I want them to not be the same country as me if we're going to have nation-states at all.

I don't either, but I don't get to insist that they up and go somewhere else, any more than they get to insist that I do the same -- much as they'd like to. So let's just establish that that's an absurd fantasy: fun, but ain't ever gonna happen.

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but rather every Republican member of the US Senate that is stupid and useless

Alternately, it's every Democratic member of the US Senate who is stupid and useless. Or it's the US President who is stupid and useless for not finding a less controversial person from among the thousands of qualified prosecutors in the country to serve as US Attorney.

For example, yesterday another individual was also confirmed as a US Attorney by a voice vote, meaning no serious objections from any of the 100 members of the US Senate.

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but I also don't actually buy what Will is selling either.

This was the first time in almost 30 years one of these votes was even held for one of these positions. Let's just assume for a second that a very small number (maybe even just this one) US Attorney confirmations actually get roll call voted on. Is one out of 50 statistically significant here?

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For republican senators this would mean "anyone but a strong black woman who has been an effective district attorney for her county"

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Loretta Lynch was twice confirmed US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York without controversy.

It’s almost like her policy positions were being held against her.

To be fair, the politicization of appointments like this is yet another sign of the decay in civil discourse in this nation. I could see a few votes against Rollins, but in the time she’s been DA, she hasn’t been the horror show people (myself included) thought she was going to be. As much as Lessing and Ortiz were qualified, she’s qualified.

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getting played by the Overton window. Civil discourse isn't 'decaying' like some kind of natural process - it's actively, specifically being targeted and destroyed by right wing activists, successfully.

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I mean, there was absolutely no controversy over any appointments the Senate handled during the previous administration. None at all. Chuck Schumer said "we support you, Mr. President, so will not vote against any of your nominees." That's exactly how it happened, right?

I guess we could go back to Bork, or maybe Tower, to see when things got rolling in this process, but at this stage we are seeing Rachel Rollins, with the support of both of her home state senators, having to deal with this. That and the Soviet refugee who had to withdraw her nomination due to an academic paper she wrote pondering state control of banks, or what she fled.

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You think Robert "Saturday Night Massacre" Bork is equivalent to Saule Omarova? Dude supported a poll tax.

Come on.

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Your failed sarcasm is actually right, “there was absolutely no controversy over previous nominees” as you say

And Democrats noted that they did not try to block US attorney nominations during Donald Trump’s administration, with all 85 of the former president’s picks confirmed by unanimous consent.

So yeah, this is very unusual and rooted in racist pandering to boot. https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/12/08/nation/senate-deadlocks-procedura...

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We are sliding down a slope, and politicians from both the Democratic and Republican parties are more than happy to keep on pushing the sled as opposed to pumping the brakes.

That you agree when Democrats do what they do and disagree when Republicans do what they do is on you. Myself, I think it's idiotic that the Biden nominated candidate, who was endorsed by her Trump nominated predecessor, and that should be the headline, not the BS you are shoveling.

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You're not making sense, probably because your original argument didn't fit the facts.

Democrats approved all of the Trumps attorneys. Republicans are making a show of fighting the this one black woman but not, say, the white guy from NJ who got in on a voice vote. End of story.

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If you really look at the situation, all of us are taking the L.

Yes, this whole idea of a US Attorney's nomination even getting a roll call vote, let alone one where the Vice President had to cast the deciding vote, is novel, but let's not pretend that Trump's nominees got clear sailing. Remember when our senior Senator got chastised for personal criticism of a colleague who was nominated for the USAs' boss back in 2017? But if you want to go out and note how he was such a bad man (so bad that he knew he had to recuse himself in the Russia probe and appoint and independent prosecutor,) we could also talk about numerous other nominees. Heck, Michael Lewis wrote an entire book on how some of the nominees were going to endanger the nation, only to admit in his latest book that none of what he thought would happen happened.

Look, come 2025, when whichever Republican who is nominated wins the Presidency, we'll be seeing the same thing again. The difference is that the bar has gotten lower. Look forward to Democratic Senators opposing USAs who will enforce immigration laws. Same shit we are seeing now with Rollins, only different partisanship.

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You're arguing a new strawman here.

But I will engage your new argument on one point, because it's also wrong-headed imo:

When one side, despite it's many flaws, believes in a democratic system of laws and voting rights for all and the other side believes they should win no matter what cost, it's not the "same shit" no matter who wins.

It's going to be a literal fight against fascism, one I expect we will lose. It's "do you believe in the republic and the rule of law or are you an extremist traitor who supported overturning democracy so your wannabe-dictator of choice can stay in power?"

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The side you are calling saints certainly have problems with long established parts of our government (specifically one half on the legislative branch and the means of electing the President), and seem to be quick to discuss the other side's "rolling back" of election laws when that means they will be more liberalized than they were a decade ago. That's yet another example of the tendency in our current political climate to go to the extreme. Rachel Rollins is not even the most "progressive" DA in the country, yet you'd think anarchy reigned in Suffolk County if you let Ted Cruz speak about it. Read what you wrote. You are as much a part of the problem as the morons on the other side are. Come 2023 when the Republicans run Congress again, I fear how your side will be taking that. And if, through some quirk of karma, President Haley is dealing with a 50-50 split in the Senate, you'll be praying that the Dems in the Senate do the same shit the Republicans are doing now. That's how it's been going and will most likely continue.

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Extreme left:

- Let's spend a fraction on what we give to the Pentagon and defense contractors to make sure roads and bridges don't collapse
- Let's prevent people from needing to declare bankruptcy because of outrageous medical bills
- Universal pre-K is a good thing, actually, and it empowers more people to join the workforce and reduces high school dropout rates
- People who work a full-time job should be able to afford rent and not require EBT
- 80% of the voting population supports common-sense gun safety laws
- Women's March
- Vote by mail has proven to work, let's expand it
- Maybe cops should not kill as many Black people as they do?

Extreme right:

- Homicidal, deadly insurrection/planned coup
- Aiding and abetting the Big Lie
- In fact, lie about everything with impunity
- 74 million votes for overtly white supremacist president
- Make abortion illegal/put a bounty on women seeking health care
- Threats of violence against own House members to dictate their votes viz impeachment, EC certification
- Autocratically ousting Democrats from Boards of Election in Georgia
- Soliciting election interference from Russia
- Violent threats against school board members because of imaginary "CRT"
- Actively anti-vax.
- Make handing out water bottles at polling places an arrestable offense.
- Patriot Front, Proud Boys, America First, veneration of Kyle Rittenhouse, etc

The problem is that people frame leftist members of our elected government as "equivalent" or as a countervail to the fascist Trumpism that has a grip on virtually every elected Republican in the country.

Never forget that the contemporary GOP cannibalized Charlie Baker, the most popular governor in the country, the two-time governor of blue Massachusetts, in favor of...who, exactly? I mean, I am familiar with the name Geoff Diehl, but what exactly is his qualifications besides being pro-MAGA? That alone is evidence enough that comparing the extreme left to the extreme right is like comparing apples to white supremacists.

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In your own mind.

I was watching some video with Matt Taibbi as a talking head. Now, his politics probably match yours, but he made a very important point. One should truly understand the arguments of the other side. And that is a big problem that this country is facing right now.

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You are saying that the Democrats are hypocrites for criticizing McConnell, et. al. for their bad-faith obstructionism and that it is only a matter of time until the shoe is on the other foot and the slim-minority Dems will work to do "the same thing" and the left-leaning UHub commenters will be smug and happy about it.

My position is that it is not the same thing and I think the original reply to your comment upthread about the Overton Window is accurate.

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But you don't understand the other side. Liberalizing voting laws will cause exactly what harm? Voting restrictions are demonstrable racist.

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One side sought to overturn a free and fair election through an armed coup.

The other side did not.

Who's to say who's worse?

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Remember when our senior Senator got chastised for personal criticism of a colleague who was nominated for the USAs' boss back in 2017?

Do you know what else I remember?

In his comments Tuesday, Sessions suggested the decision to strike Warren's words from the record and deny her the right to speak on the floor for the rest of that night amounted to an abandonment of the Senate's tradition of robust debate.

The person that Warren "wronged" said she wasn't wrong!

https://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2017/09/26/jeff-sessions-...

And the rule that she broke? It's the rule that says a Senator can't "impugne" another Senator on the floor. That's a good rule for coworkers to treat each other with civility BUT one when the floor is debating a Presidential appointment, it's a completely bullshit rule if the appointee is a sitting Senator. The rule would not have come into play had Sessions not been a Senator at the time. Any non-Senator appointed to the same position would not be protected by that rule.

You're also comparing apples to oranges. It's exceptionally common for there to be a more thorough confirmation process for Attorney General of the United States and a roll call vote; this is simply not the case for US Attorney appointments.

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I mean, there was absolutely no controversy over any appointments the Senate handled during the previous administration. None at all. Chuck Schumer said "we support you, Mr. President, so will not vote against any of your nominees." That's exactly how it happened, right?

Trump's nominees for many prominent positions were blatantly unqualified, with no experience whatsoever in the areas covered by their appointments, except perhaps as private sector corporate welfare queens. I should hope to hell that those appointments were controversial, and you should too. Shame on you that you don't.

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The biggest GOP opponents of Rollins were white nationalist Tom Cotton and insurrection instigator and Trump bootlicker Ted Cruz. Their argument was basically that "the policies of Rachael Rollins will lead to a rampant increase of violent crime". Yet, today's Herald tells us:

Shootings and homicides have plummeted this year in Boston compared to last, bucking national trends where many cities continue to see surges in violent crime.

Now, I'm not going to sit here and say Rachael Rollins is responsible for these stats. But, it's clear that Cotton and Cruz's nakedly dishonest claims that Rollins's execution of her job would have deleterious effects on the violent crime rate are clearly politically-motivated lies. People lying on the floor of the Senate does not mean a nomination is controversial. I guess if you buy Cotton and Cruz's arguments, then we could classify the flat Earth theory as "controversial".

Brian is correct and Rollins being "controversial" was purely fabricated political theater.

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Why the assumption that controversial is bad? There are people who try to do bad things and are controversial. Rollins does not promote the hatred and violence that Trump and company do.

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God I miss the good old days when we could work 12 year olds in mills and only rich people had leisure time. The libertarian dream times!

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It's a win win win, all over. It's good for Boston, Rollins and Biden.

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They prove that the spirit of Joe McCarthy continues to exist in the Senate. They both are also the puscular eruptions of the movement of the Koch brothers (albeit David is deceased), Grover Norquist, etc. which has always been to make government as ineffective as possible.

Play on the perennial US dislike of governance. Fan it like a flame until it becomes a bonfire. Keep feeding that bonfire until it destroys all of government.

Why? Because of laws such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Supreme Court rulings that pull power away from the richest, government that actually works to protect the nation, internally and externally.

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