Is Warren running out of enemies?

Seeing the words “Trump” and “Wall Street” apparently does to Sen. Elizabeth Warren what waving a red cape does to an angry bull. But in Warren’s case, she sometimes jumps out of the ring and gores those spectators who are actually cheering for the bull to succeed.

While regularly blasting President-elect Donald Trump for impulsive reactions on Twitter, Warren herself uses social media as a Gatling gun when her senses are inflamed. But her recent takedown of New York hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson was a case of friendly fire that may come back and wound her.

Warren made a Facebook post after becoming incensed when she saw Tilson quoted in a Bloomberg News story about Trump’s nomination of Steve Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary and other appointees with financial ties. What galled Warren the most was Tilson’s observation that at least the picks had some financial background.

“I think Donald Trump conned [voters],” Tilson told Bloomberg. “I was worried that he was going to do crazy things that would blow the system up. So the fact that he’s appointing people from within the system is a good thing.”

That was too much for Warren, who posted on Facebook that Tilson was a “billionaire” who, like others on Wall Street, is giddy that “the next four years are going to be a bonanza for the Whitney Tilsons of the world – at the expense and pain of everyone else.”

The problem for Warren is that while those are Tilson’s words, that’s not what he said. Says who? Says Tilson, who describes himself and his wife as fervent Warren supporters who have donated to her campaign, paid big money to hear her speak, and even took a day to canvass in Pennsylvania and get people to register to vote to aid Hillary Clinton. For all that, Tilson got lit up like he was…Trump, a man he professes to “hate…and fought with every fiber of my being to stop this racist madman/con man from becoming elected.”

Tilson says he was expressing his delight that Trump supporters are getting their just due. He said his comment about appointing people with knowledge was less his satisfaction with insiders being picked and more his relief it wasn’t someone like Sarah Palin.

In an email to Warren’s staff that he shared in his weekly newsletter to supporters, Tilson pointed out that before and after the quote the senator plucked for posting were descriptions of his dislike for Trump, his policies, and his agreement with Warren over the direction of Wall Street. In an interview with the New York Times, Tilson said he was stung by the “ad hominem” attack.

“Personally, I feel betrayed,” he told the paper’s business columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin. “In recent years, I’ve really stuck my neck out by very publicly supporting her, the [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau], and a tough regulatory approach to banks — none of which wins me many friends — and this is how she repays me.”

It’s somewhat interesting, though, for Tilson to be upset with the attack since he’s been accused of using his position and money to take down some Democratic institutions and support groups such as teachers’ unions. Tilson is part of the group that formed Democrats For Education Reform, the organization that supports expanding charter schools and was behind the failed ballot question in Massachusetts to lift the cap.

But as upset as Tilson is with someone he thought was an ally, his wife is even more irate. Susan Blackman Tilson, who was a student in Warren’s first bankruptcy class at Harvard Law School in 1992, ripped her one-time progressive hero for indiscriminately – and wrongly – taking aim at her husband.

“When you post on Facebook, people pay attention,” she wrote to Warren. “You owe it to all of us to pick your fights with those who deserve it, and we all know that there are many who deserve it right now.”

Despite the pleas from the Tilsons to tear down the post, all Warren has done so far is remove the term “billionaire” to describe Whitney Tilson. A Warren aide told the Globe she stands by the rest of the rant. Sort of like Donald Trump?

Tilson says he still supports Warren and her stances – “albeit with somewhat less enthusiasm” — because, given the alternatives, she’s the best the Democrats have to offer. And while he still wants her to apologize, he won’t be checking his emails regularly for it.

“I wonder if she’ll be smart and gracious enough to sit down with Susan and me so we can put this behind us and figure out how to work together?” he wrote in his newsletter. “I’m not holding my breath – I think her fame and power may be going to her head.”



Marijuana becomes legal in Massachusetts tomorrow, but there won’t be a way to legally purchase it until at least January 2018. (Boston Globe) Senate President Stanley Rosenberg says the legal age for use should be 25. (State House News)

An Eagle-Tribune editorial lauds state Sen. Michael Barrett for legislation he plans to file that would require presidential candidates to release their tax returns if they want to appear on the Massachusetts ballot.

State funding for public higher education is declining in the state budget, a new report says. (State House News)

Senate President Stanley Rosenberg is leading a 13-person delegation to Minnesota to learn more about that state’s efforts to contain health care costs. (Masslive)

Activists fear criminal justice reform will be limited to probation and parole. (State House News)


Lee, Lenox, and Stockbridge planned to share a chief administrative officer; Stockbridge is now pulling out, so Lee and Lenox may go ahead on their own. (Berkshire Eagle)

Maj Toure, the founder of Black Guns Matter, which makes African-Americans aware of their Second Amendment rights, is coming to Springfield. (MassLive)

After considering plans to turn the Shaw Center into a senior center or a hub for competitive video gaming, Brockton officials have leased the city-owned convention facility to a 29-year-old DJ to manage and operate. (The Enterprise)

Fall River will receive more than $1 million from the sale of the city’s rubbish trucks, left idle when Mayor Jasiel Correia privatized trash pickup, even though the auction house sold the trucks for $750,000. (Herald News)

A Boston Herald editorial pans Boston City Councilor Bill Linehan’s idea of a 2 percent city tax on alcohol sold in Boston to fund drug and alcohol addiction treatment.

Eight committees of the New Bedford City Council, including the environmental committee, have not held any meetings this year. (Standard-Times)


President-elect Donald Trump has tapped former Texas governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry to head the Department of Energy, an agency Perry once said he’d abolish, if only he could remember its name. (U.S. News & World Report)

Two cheers for Rex Tillerson (at least compared to the alternatives), says The New Republic’s Jeet Heer. US Rep. Seth Moulton, on the other hand, says Tillerson’s selection is “frightening.” (Salem News) Did Mitt Romney get played? (Sure seems so.) (Boston Globe)

John Rosenthal of Gloucester, the cofounder of the Police Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative, was on hand for President Obama’s signing of legislation providing $1 billion to fight opioid addiction. (Gloucester Times)


The New York Times serves up a stunning report on how simple but invasive it was for Russia to hack Democratic party computers and throw the election into turmoil.

Joe Battenfeld suggests Gov. Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh could be vulnerable to a change wave that Trump’s election signals. Hmm.  (Boston Herald)


Quincy’s official change of stance that short-term rentals such as those arranged through Airbnb are legal does nothing to placate a couple who were fined $1,800 for operating an illegal boarding house by renting out rooms in their home through the app. (Patriot Ledger)


Students at the Sturgis West Charter Public School in Hyannis are attending classes in a nearby hotel for the next week and a half after a pipe burst in their building and caused damage to floors and walls from 1,000 gallons of water. (Cape Cod Times)

Attorney General Maura Healey says she has no plans to get involved in the case of two Babson College students teed up for discipline in connection with parading their pro-Trump sentiments through the Wellesley College campus. (Boston Herald)

Todd Gazda, the superintendent of the Ludlow Public Schools, calls for a reset on school accountability measures. (CommonWealth)


A new blood test is being developed locally that could more accurately diagnose concussions in young athletes. (Greater Boston)

A special state commission on health care pricing is taking a closer look at tiered health plans. (State House News)


The MBTA Retirement Fund ignored warning signs and invested $25 million in 2007 with a hedge fund run by the retirement fund’s former director. The fund went bust and all the money was lost. (Boston Globe) The revelations come after settlement of a three-year-old lawsuit by the Boston Globe seeking the records.

State transportation secretary Stephanie Pollack raises the idea of privatizing MBTA bus service if the T can’t improve performance using its own buses and drivers. (Boston Herald)

Uber self-driving cars expand from Pittsburgh to San Francisco. (Time)


Casella Waste Systems, the operator of a landfill in Southbridge, pulls funding for a consultant working on contamination issues in Charlton. A Charlton official calls the action retaliation for a city official’s order barring Casella from conducting operations in the town. (Telegram & Gazette)


Two former overnight employees at the controversial Judge Rotenberg Center in Randolph were charged with beating and abusing a disabled student. (Patriot Ledger)

An 80-year-old Amesbury man is arrested for the 1991 slaying of an armored truck guard at a supermarket. (Telegram & Gazette)

The former longtime treasurer of the Bourne Parent Teacher Association has been charged with embezzling more than $25,000 from the organization. (Cape Cod Times)

A Lawrence court finds success with its Changing Lives Through Literature program. (Eagle-Tribune)

Dracut police officer Joseph Jakuttis files a lawsuit against the police department and many of his former colleagues, alleging, among other things, that officers held wild parties with an informant. (Lowell Sun)

A one-time associate of Whitey Bulger was arrested yesterday and charged in connection with the 1991 shooting death of an armored car guard. (Boston Herald)


Incoming Boston Globe CEO Doug Franklin sent an email to rally the troops that included an ominous note that more change was on the horizon and saying there are “more tough decisions ahead in terms of deploying our resources and talent.” (Media Nation)

Washington Post Publisher Fred Ryan says the newspaper is profitable and growing. (Poynter)