December 27, 2019

The puzzling anger of Elizabeth Warren's brother.

I'm reading "Elizabeth Warren’s Brother Reportedly ‘Furious’ She Claims Their Father Was a Janitor" (Mediaite). I'm picturing him getting red in the face. His name is David Herring, so that would make him a red herring.
A red herring is something that misleads or distracts from a relevant or important question. It may be either a logical fallacy or a literary device that leads readers or audiences toward a false conclusion. A red herring may be used intentionally, as in mystery fiction or as part of rhetorical strategies (e.g., in politics), or may be used in argumentation inadvertently.  The term was popularized in 1807 by English polemicist William Cobbett, who told a story of having used a kipper (a strong-smelling smoked fish) to divert hounds from chasing a hare.
But let's chew over this fish that Mediate serves up today.
“When she called her dad a janitor during the early stages of this, David was furious,” said Pamela Winblood, 78, a longtime friend of David who had fallen out with him and supports Warren’s presidential bid. “He said, ‘My Dad was never a janitor.’ I said, ‘Well, he was a maintenance man.’ ”...

[I]n her book, which makes no reference to her father being a janitor, [she refers] to him as a maintenance man. She also referred to her father as a “maintenance man” in a 2012 Senate campaign ad, and in a 2007 interview said that “maintenance man in an apartment house was his last job.”

Janitor... has a more working-class ring to it, which could explain why Warren described herself as the daughter of a janitor this past weekend, and not as the child of a “maintenance man.”
Shades of meaning matter, and job titles express conventional ideas about what sounds respectful. I remember when we used to call sanitation workers "garbagemen." We lost some vividness, and that's a shame. Why not just respect people who take care of garbage? We need them! They are benefactors. But "garbageman" does have that feeling that the man seems to be made of garbage. So, okay, there's a problem with "garbageman," but what's wrong with "janitor"? I think "janitor" is a nice-sounding word. Why replace it with a euphemism? Is it not, on its own, euphemistic?

I looked it up, and I'm so pleased with what I found. Did you know that the "jan-" in "janitor" is the same as the "Jan-" in "January"? We're talking about the Roman god Janus. Janitor is, etymologically:
1580s, "an usher in a school," later "doorkeeper" (1620s), from Latin ianitor "doorkeeper, porter," from ianua "door, entrance, gate," from ianus "arched passageway, arcade" (see Janus) + agent suffix -tor. Meaning "caretaker of a building, man employed to see that rooms are kept clean and in order" first recorded 1708.
Janus is:
... to the Romans the guardian god of portals, doors, and gates; patron of beginnings and endings, c. 1500, from Latin Ianus, literally "gate, arched passageway"... He is shown as having two faces, one in front the other in back (they may represent sunrise and sunset and reflect an original role as a solar deity).
And, now, look forward, with beneficence, to the beautiful month that is January:
late 13c., Ieneuer (early 12c. in Anglo-French), from Old North French Genever, Old French Jenvier (Modern French Janvier), from Latin Ianuarius (mensis) "(the month) of Janus" (q.v.), to whom the month was sacred as the beginning of the year according to later Roman reckoning....
The sunrise! The door! The beginning!

BONUS: Here are "The Top 10 Janitors in Film and TV History."

"Can I ask you a question? How does one become a janitor?"

113 comments:

Michael K said...

"“When she called her dad a janitor during the early stages of this, David was furious,” said Pamela Winblood, 78, a longtime friend of David who had fallen out with him and supports Warren’s presidential bid.

I call bullshit.

mockturtle said...

Whatever comes out of Warren's mouth is suspect.

TJM said...

Warren is a non stop lying machine.

Gk1 said...

Warren is too dumb to understand that 1,204th of something isn't very much. She has a hard time understanding percentages, so it wouldn't surprise me if she didn't understand what her dad did for a living. Sound like her brother understands quite well though.

Lucid-Ideas said...

Warren is racking up yuuuuge points in the downtrodden dem department.

Cherokee. Check.
Janitor. Check.
Consumer Financial Protector. Check.
Fake-enjoyer of beer. Check.
Liar. Check.

She's the perfect candidate for 2020. Biden's toast. Bernie? He's not a native American. Another 'old white dude'. Only Warren can win. Her indian name - if she had one - would Runs-With-Red-Herring.

Paul said...

Next thing you know Pocahontas will claim she walked three miles through the snow to return a library book when she was 10. And she once saved a pregnant woman from a burning house and then took her to an abortion clinic.

gerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gerry said...

I think this may have something to do with Warren's unresolved sibling penis envy.

That, or based upon Warren's other unimpeachable autobiographical assertions, it may simply be a lie.

Lucid-Ideas said...

My future bride just cracked up at "fake-enjoyer of beer".

I'm going to make t-shirts. Warren on the front and the back. Mid-sip. Captioned "Fake-Beer-Enjoyer".

10x a worse insult than fake indian. Real Indians would never fake enjoying a beer.

hawkeyedjb said...

" it may simply be a lie"

Occam's razor and all that. Assume a factual statement from Warren is a lie until proved otherwise.

bleh said...

Given how often she lies about everything, I’m going to assume she’s lying about her father. There’s a difference between a janitor and a maintenance man. The euphemism for janitor is custodian. A maintenance man is more akin to a super or a handyman. He “maintains” systems, equipment and appliance and whatnot by keeping them in good repair. That’s not a janitor.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

"that would make him a Red Herring."
You had to! ha.

Wilbur said...

Wilbur had a summer job as a garbageman for three years to pay his way through the University of Illinois. Hard, dirty physical labor in the heat of summer, but I was a young, strong buck. Lotta guys lasted one day and quit.

If you had told the regulars that no, they weren't garbage men, they were sanitation workers, they would've laughed in your face. And then kicked your ass (unless you were female).

wild chicken said...

No more garbagemen here, just drivers.

Another job automated away.

rhhardin said...

Redskin.

Nonapod said...

In a lot of modern stories janitors are elevated characters. TV tropes describes such characters as the Almighty Janitor

Greg the class traitor said...

A janitor is a relatively unskilled individual who cleans things up

A maintenance person is a skilled individual who is responsible for making sure the machines don't fail.

There's a huge difference between the two

Her brother is properly bothered by her lies, and diminishing their father.

This is like when Kamala Harris was rapped by her father for essentially saying "we're Jamaican, of course we smoke pot!"

roadgeek said...

My wife's father was a janitor, but he was referred to as a "building engineer". He worked in Chicago, and I'd never heard that term before, so perhaps it's regional.

He managed to support his stay-at-home wife and four children on a janitor's salary, and was even able to purchase a home in Elmhurst, which has become a rather tony suburb of Chicago, but back in the 60's a janitor could still afford to buy a home there.

It was a different time in America. He was illiterate, and dropped out of school very early, but he busted his ass and took care of his family and gave them a good life. He couldn't do that today.

Greg the class traitor said...

Paul said...
Next thing you know Pocahontas will claim she walked three miles through the snow to return a library book when she was 10. And she once saved a pregnant woman from a burning house and then took her to an abortion clinic.

Paul wins the thread

Ken B said...

The tell is that she never used “janitor” until she needed to be blue-collar. Whatever the merits of the word choice, and I prefer janitor, it’s her motive that is relevant here.

Owen said...

Bleh: what you said. I would see these as distinct positions, with maintenance man having some serious skills at diagnosing and correcting (or overseeing the correction of) minor/moderate faults in delivery of power, heat, water, sewer, cosmetic repair to building fabric (trim, paint). Replacing locks, stuff like that. Whereas custodian is the boss of mops, brooms and garbage removal.

I know grade inflation is a thing but these two jobs would be hard to confuse.

IMHO.

The question for me is, why is Warren allowing this silly spat to surface? How does it help her? Does she have so little pull with her family that such insurrections will be the norm under her rule? Reminds me of the express distancing by Kamala Harris’ father. Not encouraging.

Craig said...

Warren has an insatiable desire to be a victim. Since being a Native American didn't work (whoops, DNA) and being fired for being pregnant didn't work (whoops, never happened), now she is trying to play up her working-class roots by using the derogatory (society's opinion, not mine) word "janitor" to describe her father.

There must be some serious self-hatred under all that denial. A self-loving person doesn't need to lie about themselves.

Wilbur said...

Wilbur worked as a janitor at the residential dorm in law school to pay for his housing. Never thought askance of it; I was happy I had the opportunity to do so.

If you were willing to bust your ass, as roadgeek says above, you could accomplish quite a bit.

Now I gotta go tell some kids to get off my lawn.

John henry said...

Surprised that Ann, who grew up in a NYC apartment and lived in one a few years doesn't mention the word "super"

Perhaps the problem is how the super is always portrayed on TV. Often Puerto Rican and apparently not too smart.

Always battling with tenants who want him (always a him) to provide heat, hot water, something.

Lives in the basement like some subhuman

Not a very positive impression we get of supers from TV.

Then there was Schneider on One Day at a Time.

Do supers exist outside of NYC? I know the job exists but is it strictly a NYC term?

John Henry

AllenS said...

Not only did The Fake Indian walk three miles through deep snow to return a library book when she was 10, but it was up hill both ways.

wendybar said...

Seems old Lizzy can't tell the truth.

Bob Boyd said...

To me a janitor is someone who cleans. A maintenance man does repairs. There's a actually a pretty big difference between those jobs. It's not merely semantic.
Mopping floors and cleaning restrooms vs. understanding and working with variety of mechanical and structural systems.
There's nothing wrong with being a janitor. It's honest work that needs to be done and I respect anyone for showing up and doing it.
However, maintenance seems to me to involve more thinking and to require more knowledge and experience. You'd have to be able to troubleshoot and repair plumbing, heating, electrical and appliances, make doors and windows work properly, repair framing, replace flooring, wall board, paint, stain and finish a variety of surfaces, repair water damage, prevent toxic mold, understand building codes and potential liability problems. Deal with people more.
I'm sure there's some overlap between the two jobs in many positions.

Phidippus said...

Who knows where that fish has been? You chew on it, Professor.

Meade said...

Clearly, the Washington Redskin has daddy issues.

Spiros said...

Is there something insidious about janitors? Are they lazy, dirty, overweight, stupid, racist, alcoholic, abusive, diseased, violent, backwards or uneducated? Are they White Trash? Is that what Ms. Warren's brother is implying? It's not very nice.

Anyways, my parents and uncles all did janitorial work. They're also self-made millionaires and they're kids are super successful. So it's not a big deal. Heck, I spend about two or three hours a day doing janitorial work for my apartment buildings. I don't like it, but looking at filthy lawns and hallways is much worse...

Ken B said...

Btw, Althouse is missing a key clue. Her brother is angry. It isn’t “puzzling” if he thinks she has dissed his father for political gain. Instead it’s evidence that her new way of talking about him is a change.

rhhardin said...

Her father used to keep the teepees clean.

gilbar said...

this allows me to post...

Back in the early '90's, i was drinking beer with an El Ed major (trying to get into her pants)

She said (ranted); "Do you REALIZE? That GARBAGEMEN make MORE MONEY than School Teachers!"
And i said; "Maybe you should consider being a Garbageman?"
AND She said; "NO FUCKING WAY! would i EVER do that!! That job is DISGUSTING!!!"
AND I said; "Maybe that's WHY it pays more than teaching?"

Needless to say, i did NOT get laid that night

Lurker21 said...

In school some kids - my brother actually - though it was funny that some doors had "Boys" written on them, others had "Girls" and still others had "Janitor," like they were the third sex or something. A little prophetic, given how things are now.

We're in a post-truth era. Eventually, Warren will make up untrue stuff so many times that people will be inoculated and immune and she won't have to worry.

Static Ping said...

On average, the profession of maintenance man has a higher status than janitor. I'm sure their are exceptions, but the janitors I am familiar are either unskilled and sometimes mentally challenged persons who had little other opportunity, or persons who barely (or didn't) speak English and were of questionable immigration status. Some of them were also persons you would not want to be alone with for any amount of time. Maintenance men are typically skilled and they have to be to keep various types of equipment running. The level of expertise varied depending on what was being maintained. An apartment super most likely has a shallow but varied set of skills, able to perform basic to intermediate tasks on a variety of equipment. A factory maintenance man may only do one or two tasks but it typically very good at them.

That said, honest work is honest work. One should be proud of hard work, no matter what the status.

As for garbage man versus sanitation engineer, I'd rather be called a garbage man. "Sanitation" brings images of poop. I'd rather deal with the garbage.

AllenS said...

When I was young, I thought that the sign saying "Teachers Lounge" was a place that they took a nap during the day.

Narayanan said...

Warren could be going for Deplorable votes.

Let's ask Hillary who is more Deplorable :
Janitor or Maintenance Man(ager)

Bob Boyd said...

Warren has apparently concluded she's struggling in the polls because her beginnings weren't humble enough.
In an attempt to address this problem she has posthumously demoted Dad to janitor. If her numbers don't go up, it won't be long until he was an assistant janitor.

Yancey Ward said...

It is the change in description that is important here- it seems that Warren needed something from the change, so I suspect there is a lie at the bottom of this that the brother called out.

Yancey Ward said...

And I see Ken B has the same opinion as me.

Michael K said...

It was a different time in America. He was illiterate, and dropped out of school very early, but he busted his ass and took care of his family and gave them a good life. He couldn't do that today.

When I was in high school, I worked with guys like that summers in a warehouse. One guy, a hillbilly, was illiterate but could recognize labels on cases of stuff in the warehouse. I used to check on his loads but he rarely got them wrong. He had a decent car and took care of his family.
One guy, Alphonse, owned a couple of apartment buildings.

William said...

In NYC anyway, the supers make out like bandits. I know several who became wealthy and retired rich at an early age.....I don't think the dividing line in family backgrounds is your father's occupation but rather his character. There are lots of people from upper middle class backgrounds with fathers who drank too much or fooled around or who had other flaws, and their kids spend the rest of their lives trying to figure out what it all means. If you come from a stable family with a father who has a steady paycheck, you're way ahead of the game. In no world other than her imagination was Elizabeth Warren ever under privileged.

Michael K said...

On average, the profession of maintenance man has a higher status than janitor.

The Japanese guy in "Karate Kid" was a maintenance man.

Lucid-Ideas said...

Ten little Cherokees standin' in a line,
One ran for office and then there were nine.

Nine little Cherokees swingin' on a gate,
One went to Harvard and then there were eight.

Eight little Cherokees gayest under heaven.
One faked-beer drinking and then there were seven.

Seven little Cherokees cuttin' up their tricks,
One backed repartitions and then there were six.

Six little Cherokees all alive,
One hates straight dudes and then there were five.

Five little Cherokees on a cellar door,
One was a senator and then there were four.

Four little Cherokees up on a spree,
One handled TARP and then there were three.

Three little Cherokees on a canoe,
One “didn’t build that” and then there were two.

Two little Cherokees foolin' with a gun,
One stumped for Hillary, so she’s the last one.

One little Cherokee livin' all alone,
She knows she won’t win, cause her chances are blown.

dreams said...

I think we would be definitely correct if we called Warren a psychopath or just your average democrat politician.

Unknown said...

So Princess Spreading Bull's maiden name was Herring and that involved "red". Well now that could mean that she really was a Cherokee Indian (I'll stay away from the non PC "redskin"). Her shade of red comes more from Marx than from the Mohicans.

gadfly said...

Another red herring has popped up in Inverall, New South Wales - where a vet's "hellish diary of climate change" claims cattle have stopped breeding and koalas are dying of thirst. NSW, it seems is suffering from drought

Fernandistein said...

When you think you're chasing a rabbit and discover that you've cornered a kipper. That bothers me.

Bay Area Guy said...

I know we're not the most savvy bunch, but if we were, we would be celebrating and trumpeting the campaign of Liz "Spouting Bullshit" Warren to win the nomination - thereby setting the stage for a massive ass whooping by Trump.

Alas, there is too much mirth to be had.

Ugh.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...We lost some vividness, and that's a shame. Why not just respect people who take care of garbage? We need them!

The Garbage Man Can

Or else:
Springfield Moves
(featuring some real NA representation, finally)

Bob Boyd said...

If Liz gets the nomination, Trump will be the janitor and Liz will be the mop.

Fernandistein said...

The lowest level "maintenance" profession is 30% more valuable than "janitor":

The average Janitor salary in the United States is $30,022 as of November 25, 2019, but the range typically falls between $26,416 and $35,738.

The average Maintenance Helper I salary in the United States is $39,190 as of November 25, 2019, but the range typically falls between $33,790 and $46,190. (The Maintenance Helper I performs a variety of semiskilled duties in the areas of plumbing, carpentry, electrical, painting, or plastering. )

Howard said...

Slow news cycle..Ann doing well too harvest the still bottoms

wendybar said...

Bob Boyd said...
If Liz gets the nomination, Trump will be the janitor and Liz will be the mop.
12/27/19, 11:21 AM

He has a back up mop.....Whoopie Goldberg!!!

Fernandistein said...

The average Sanitation Truck Driver salary in the United States is $43,274 as of November 25, 2019, but the salary range typically falls between $36,119 and $50,573.

The average Congressman salary in the United States is $174,159 as of November 25, 2019, but the salary range typically falls between $174,000 and $223,500.

Tom T. said...

Ken B and Yancey, I could just as well see him getting angry if this is an old issue between them. "There she goes again! We discussed this!"

wild chicken said...

Are there still garbagemen, seriously?

I thought if Missoula had automated every place had.

wild chicken said...

I mean you guys are going off on garbagemen like it's 1980.

Caligula said...

"what's wrong with "janitor"?

How about, "If a job is neither illegal nor immoral and needs to be done, then doing it is honorable work"?

JAORE said...

She changed how she herself described her father's occupation. While I find honor in all work, one must question why the change? The obvious reason? To make herself more relatable to the ordinary Joe.

In that respect she is denigrating her father for political purposes.

So, yeah, her brother might well be pissed off.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

he's on the warpath

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

In the small parochial schools of mine and my children’s school days, the janitor and the maintenance man were invariably the same person. And, after the principal, the most essential person in the building. I suspect this is yet the case in many small businesses and schools.

Fernandistein said...

Are there still garbagemen, seriously?

We have 'em. They're nice guys.

If you look up "garbage" on that salary site it suggests "Cook's Assistant", "Cook's Helper", etc., but no collectors. When I moved to Evergreen pre-internet-years-ago I wanted to find the county or town garbage dump...there was nothing in the phone book under dump, trash, garbage...it was under "satellite station".

Dust Bunny Queen said...

bleh said : There’s a difference between a janitor and a maintenance man. The euphemism for janitor is custodian. A maintenance man is more akin to a super or a handyman. He “maintains” systems, equipment and appliance and whatnot by keeping them in good repair. That’s not a janitor.

This. A thousand times this.

Not that there is anything wrong with being a janitor. BUT it is not the same as a maintenance job. You need to know electrical, plumbing, carpentry and when to call in a more knowledgeable professional if the job is over your head. The maintenance guy might also do some cleaning if there is a leak or other need.... but that is NOT his/her job.

Maintenance is a skilled profession. Janitor is not.

Warren is denigrating her father in order to try to look more working/lower class because she thinks it will give her more votes. Her brother is pissed at her for using their father in this way.

Warren is scum.

Bill Peschel said...

Didn't Warren also recently fib about her not being able to get into college?

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

If you read the original Boston Globe article a few more details come to light.

Warren's father had held a much more white collar job as a salesman prior to suffering a heart attack. No indication is given as to whether his career change was beyond his control or was a decision he made because he wanted less stressful employment.

More significantly; Warren's brothers are quite a bit older than her. David Herring (the eldest) was sixteen when she was born. No time frame is given for their father's career change, so it's quite likely that it occurred before she was born and there may have been financial hardships that affected the family that she has no knowledge of.

At any rate; her brothers seem to view this as a loss of station and it becomes understandable why they might be upset with her demoting their father from maintenance man to janitor.

Bob Boyd said...

White woman speak with forked tongue.

Meade said...

"When you think you're chasing a rabbit and discover that you've cornered a kipper. That bothers me."

Shhh. Be vewy vewy quiet, I'm sniffing hehwings"

Dust Bunny Queen said...

FYI A Red Herring is also a preliminary prospectus that is given to clients/prospects to purchase an IPO or other new issue. It is to get an indication of interest in the offering.

A red herring prospectus is issued to potential investors, but does not have complete particulars on the price of the securities offered and quantum of securities to be issued.[1] The front page of the prospectus displays a bold red disclaimer stating that information in the prospectus is not complete and may be changed, and that the securities may not be sold until the registration statement, filed with the market regulator, is effective.[2] Potential investors may not place buy orders for the security, based solely on the information contained within the preliminary prospectus......

Red disclaimer. I had given out many of these in my previous career....and laughed to myself about the term Red Herring.

Wilbur said...

Seriously, is there anyone in this reading audience who did not know the difference between a janitor and a maintenance man?

At our parochial school the jobs were merged into "the custodian". A liked and well-respected man.

walter said...

“Son/daughter/granddaughter of a [blue-collar worker]”: A candidate’s quick biographical shorthand to reassure audiences, “I’m not a snooty elitist; I’m just like you.”
On-message candidates who rely too much on the phrase inevitably get roundly mocked in the political press. But judging by how often the candidates continue to deploy it, they don’t care.
At last week’s Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton let it be known right away that she’s “the granddaughter of a factory worker.” In marked contrast to her 2008 campaign, she also has frequently talked about her father, Hugh Rodham, a small-business owner who “just believed that you had to work hard to make your way and do whatever you had to do to be successful and provided a good living for our family.”
On the Republican side, Ohio Gov. John Kasich has missed no chance to mention that his dad John Sr. was a postal worker. At the initial GOP debate in August, Governor Kasich answered a question about the economy by responding: “Let’s start off with my father being a mailman. I understand the concerns of all the folks across this country.” The conservative National Review once began a piece on Kasich with, “Have you heard that John Kasich’s dad was a mailman? If not, then you’ve probably never been around Ohio’s Republican governor.”
Other current and former candidates, of course, have made frequent mention of their fathers’ humble ways of earning a living: Marco Rubio (bartender), Chris Christie (accountant), Bernie Sanders (paint salesman), Scott Walker (small-town church pastor), Rick Perry (farmer and tail gunner on a B-17 during World War II). Ted Cruz has gone a step further in often bringing his father (a dishwasher-turned-Baptist preacher) along with him on the campaign trail. One thing it helps them do is draw a distinction between themselves and Jeb Bush (son of an ex-president).
But no one has yet eclipsed Democrat John Edwards. In the 2008 race, the former US senator and wealthy trial lawyer from North Carolina was so relentlessly on-message in bringing up his patriarch’s place of employment – a mill – that the media repeatedly rolled its eyes. “Edwards, the aw-shucks country boy, may have unfortunate timing, but his mama didn’t raise no fool,” Republican pundit Kathleen Parker wrote in a column sarcastically headlined “Did Edwards Mention His Dad Was a Millworker?” “Neither did his daddy, who, you may have heard, was a millworker.”
https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/Politics-Voices/2015/1019/Campaign-riff-Hello!-I-m-the-son-daughter-of-a-blue-collar-worker

Outreach

rcocean said...

I agree with Bob Boyd. "Maintenance Man" is the guy who fixes things. He may fix the heating/AC, or the lights, etc. Janitor OTOH brings up images of the guy who fixes the garbage disposal or does light repairs, cleans the hallways, and takes out the trash.

Its the difference between someone who washes your car and fixes your car.

rcocean said...

IRC, school janitors in NYC can rack up tons of OT and make $200,000 a year - with huge fringe benefits.

rcocean said...

Sanitation Engineer sounds better than Garbageman.

Iman said...

Big Chief Pushesbroom

rcocean said...

Kasich covers up the fact that he's a wealthy globalist who used to work for Goldman Sachs with the "I'm the son of mailman". But lets look at our past POTUS candidates:

01) Obama son of Bank exec
02) Hillary daughter of Factory owner
03) Bush II son of a President
04) Gore - son of a Senator
05) Romney - son of a Governor
06) McCain - son and Grandson of an Admiral
07) Bush I - son of a Senator
08) Clinton - Stepson of an Auto Dealer
09) Dole - Son of a small business owner
10) Dukakais - Son of MD from Harvard

rcocean said...

NOte that of the 10 people listed: 8 went to an elite Ivy League University or Law school, 1 went to Annapolis, and only 1 (Dole) went to "average" college.

BUMBLE BEE said...

OK now, trivia time. In Anadarko Oklahoma, (predominantly American Indian - %49.9), is the Redskin Theatre (c.1947), of which the population is very proud.

https://www.facebook.com/Redskin-Theatre-123235611067394/

Nuff about redskins

Big Mike said...

A janitor cleans things that are dirty. A maintenance man fixes things that are broken. A maintenance man needs knowledge of how to fix a broken toilet, how to fix a broken door lock, how to figure out why a light switch isn’t working and how to fix it without bringing in a costly electrician or burning down the building. A janitor has to know how to mop a floor and clean a toilet bowl. A janitor could be illiterate; s maintenance man needs to be able to read an installation guide if called upon to replace a kitchen fan.

I would normally assume that Warren is lying, as that’s her default, however after reading this Althouse post it’s plausible that a female former law professor is such a lofty personage that she can’t tell the difference between cleaning a toilet and installing one.

walter said...

Pow Wow Chow in the lunch bucket.

khematite said...

Old Jewish riddle:

What's red, hangs from a tree, and whistles?

I give up.

A herring.

A herring's not red.

You could paint it red.

A herring doesn't hang from a tree.

You could hang it from a tree.

A herring doesn't whistle.

I didn't want to make it too easy for you to guess.

Rabel said...

Mowing yards and cleaning swimming does not make one a "maintenance man" such as an equipment repairmen.

Nor does it make one a "janitor" as it is commonly understood.

Does no one read an article before commenting?

RoseAnne said...

If her brother's angry with her for the reference, possibly he would simply prefer his parents history not be used to distract voters from the issues in her own biography that may be getting her negative PR.

Unknown said...

Perhaps she apprehends that janitors have more status and are more beloved than lawyers, especially lawyers in Congress, so wants to associate herself with the occupation to sanitize her persona.

Quaestor said...

I call bullshit.

Whatever comes out of Warren's mouth is suspect.

Warren is a non-stop lying machine.

Occam's razor and all that. Assume a factual statement from Warren is a lie until proved otherwise.


We have nothing to add... Unless Pamela Winblood can produce unimpeachable evidence of her claim, it must be regarded as a lie intended to discredit Warren's brother (who is likely to have a more nuanced appreciation of his sister than any writer published by Salon.com.

walter said...

Son of a mailman on Kimmel
(Greta is his hero)

walter said...

And the Guv drives a Tesla!

Ken B said...

Gilbar
You highlight what I have noticed about liberals for the past 30 some years. They are OFFENDED that a plumber or a pipe fitter can makes as much as a professor or programmer.

Ken B said...

Tom
Very likely.

chickelit said...

Does anyone actually like EW (except for America’s Politico)?

Francisco D said...

My wife's father was a janitor, but he was referred to as a "building engineer". He worked in Chicago, and I'd never heard that term before, so perhaps it's regional.

In Chicago, true building engineer jobs are plum political patronage, at least in my day. You need Democrat party connections and you need to work your precinct on all election days.

Building engineers get a good salary and all the kickbacks they can handle. They don't fix anything. They hire contractors who kick back a part of the fee they charge. It's how Chicago works.

Browndog said...

When the boiler goes out in the winter nobody puts all their hopes in the ability of the janitor.

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

mockturtle said...
Whatever comes out of Warren's mouth is suspect.

12/27/19, 10:04 AM

Especially any claims about her family or personal history.

Mind you, I don't believe her on the subjects of economics or politics either.

stevew said...

Elizabeth Warren is that sort of liberal that is embarrassed by her relatively wealthy and successful life, so she invents stories about her out-group upbringing (native american ancestry), discrimination visited on her for being pregnant, and now how she was raised in modest to poor circumstances. She tells these lies to appease and secure the vote from like-minded liberals. Pathetic, really.

Tommy Duncan said...

Liz Warren - A campaign trail of tears.

Earnest Prole said...

Wait, I thought Elizabeth Warren’s father was in the casino business with the rest of her family.

traditionalguy said...

Is she covering up for her dad's career as the PLO like Will Stockdale won in No Time For Sergeants?

traditionalguy said...

PLO = Permanent Latrine Orderly.

Freeman Hunt said...

"To me a janitor is someone who cleans. A maintenance man does repairs. There's a actually a pretty big difference between those jobs. It's not merely semantic."

I agree with Bob. These are different jobs.

MAJMike said...

Maybe he's just tired of her self-serving bullshit.

Wince said...

So, if I got this right: a maintenance man creates sawdust doing carpentry work.

A janitor spreads sawdust on kid’s puke to clran it up.

paulmichiel said...

Oh his death certificate (which EW apparently was responsible for), Donald Herrng was described as a flight instructor for the US Army.
http://www.pollysgranddaughter.com/2012/09/janitor-flight-instructor-or-businessman.html?

Owen said...

Warren is saying this for a reason. As some have said, it’s to distract us from some weakness in her own story, or to borrow the luster of someone else’s story. Her dead father will help polish her resumé and hide the dents. Being the child of a lowly janitor invites admiration or sympathy not given to one whose parent was certified good at replacing light-bulbs. Seriously: now that she has brought us all to this place, scrutinizing the occupations and what her father might actually have done, are we wiser? Does this help us understand her any better? IMHO no, this is just another own-goal, a distraction from who SHE is. For a smart and educated candidate, she strikes me as unbelievably uncomfortable at being who she is. There’s something strained, fake, about every word and gesture.

Narayanan said...

https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/on-the-implausibility-of-the-death-stars-trash-compactor.
______&&&&&&------
Dave Begley can ask Warren who gets kudos for fixing problem on Death Star : janitor or maintenance.

Steven said...

Fauxahontas Lieawatha strikes again. "I'm a plebe! I'm a prole! I'm disadvantaged!" yells the lily-white millionaire Harvard professor and Senator.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

chickelit said...

I think it’s interesting that Warren’s own brother is annoyed. Recall that her second husband refused to “have a beer” with her. This tells me that Warren annoys men and doesn’t seem to care. Warren will be much worse for men than Trump was/is for women.

Birkel said...

Has anybody suggested what recommends Senator Warren for the presidency?

I cannot think of a single reason.

Ken B said...

January from Janus. Serendipity: Janus is two-faced.

Birkel: in what way is she a worse choice than Bernie Sanders, or Kamala Harris, or Stacy Adams? Or Bonnie Parker?

Bunkypotatohead said...

Warren's father should have taught her not to lie.

M Jordan said...

“Janitor” is a guy who sweeps floors, cleans up vomit, and is low man on the pay totem pole. A “Maintenance man” is a guy who fixes the boiler, checks all the dials and digits, and is paid a living wage.

Big difference in status here. And that’s why Warren switched: to paint a little blue on her high cheekbones.

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Unknown said...

As a native Oklahoman I wish to defend the NA blood claim. She grew up here and with the stories of having NA blood. Anyone who's family been here since before the Dawes census has heard such stories. I grew up going to pow wows and listening to my great grandma speak some Cherokee. When I had my DNA ran I was shocked to see absolutely no Native DNA. As an adult doing genealogy with my mum I had my suspicions about one branch but not all. Even my father's family had stories of NA blood. My cousins on dad's side still have a hard time believing me when I say we are not NA and they will never be on the rolls thru that branch of the family.

So on the NA claim she is not a liar. She has more than me with my history.