The Hub’s secret world-conquest scheme, revealed (sort of):
It’s not really about the UK being forced to hire foreign managers.
As we all know, it’s really a secret plot by Boston to extend and firm up its place as the hub of the universe. ... Why do you think Hub Blog has a WMD spy in Manhattan? Why else did we plant an avowed Yankees hater as the new ombudsman of the New York Times?
Okrent’s coded message: ‘I’m with you. I’m in position.’ ... The noose tightens by the day. Steinbrenner knows it. More spies and weapons are being rolled into place
for the final climactic offensive.
‘It's a kind of pandering to a group he sees as hip’:
No moralizing objection from this quarter about a pol using profanities. But the Brookings Institute scholar just nails it when describing John Kerry’s use of profanities
in an interview with Rolling Stone: "In a way it's a kind of pandering [by Kerry] to a group he sees as hip.” ... Exactly. ... Rolling Stone, Harley’s on Jay Leno. Kerry seems so old and tired. ... Via Instapundit.
It’s a ‘northeaster,’ not a ‘nor’easter’:
It’s stunningly beautiful outside, the liquor stores are open and the Pats play at 4 p.m. Does it get any better than this? ... A quick reading of the Globe
main snow stories this morning show an encouraging sign -- no use of the silly “nor’easter” phrase. Growing up in Boston, I never heard two things: a snow storm referred to as “nor’easter” or the Curse of the Bambino. They’re both totally manufactured modern-media hyped/phony terminology. ... And that’s my profound thought for the day.
Update - 12.8.03
-- And, yes, the liquor stores did open yesterday, despite the blizzard, and boots-on-the-ground intelligence sources say sales were brisk on Beacon Hill.
It doesn’t look like a blog, feel like a blog, or read like a blog. But they’re at least calling Eric Wilbur’s piece/tidbits column a ‘blog.’
So I guess it’s a blog -- and somewhat significant in terms of Boston.com experimenting with the terminology. ... Here’s an old-media outfit jumping whole hog into weblogs.
Which reminds me: I haven’t been to the The Dullest Blog in the World
in a long time. ... Recent entry: “I depressed the switch on the side of the kettle. The water began to heat up until it reached boiling point. The kettle then turned itself off, requiring me to take no further action.” ... Ahhh. ... Originally discovered via MassLive.com.
‘It’s a rout’:
“Staff shakeups, repeated theme changes and even a shiny new campaign bus have failed to stop Sen. John F. Kerry’s New Hampshire nosedive
Update: Mickey Kaus
has launched a 'Kerry Withdrawal Contest.'
The definition of 'button up':
A while back I blogged something about how the city planned to shut down some road projects in preparation for the DNC next summer. I was puzzled by the phrase 'button up' as it applied to one of Hub Blog's selfish pet-peeves: The huge Cambridge St. project. Well, here's the answer to my button-up question.
... Arghhhh. They'll never finish that project.
‘Serial ex-senator slayer Mitt ...’: Howie chronicles the slaughter.
... It’s a shame it took so long -- and ensuing tragedies -- to finally take action on these second-string cabinet holdovers. The gov should have acted sooner. But heads are at least rolling, as they should. ... So the Feds are probing misuse of federal public-safety grants.
Misuse of funds? In Massachusetts? But how? Here’s how: “The money was actually pumped into salaries for apparent patronage hires, as well as computers and SUVs.” ... ‘Apparent.’
'The dog closest to the sled is the first one shot': Mitt is struggling these days.
But give him a little credit: He fired the bums. None are cousins being protected/shipped to another pension-saving job in a faraway agency run by another cousin (as far as we know at this point). I suppose that’s progress, for Massachusetts anyway.
-- Ooops. Spoke too soon.
Maloney is “taking medical leave for chronic back problems but will not return.” Must be riding it out through the calendar year for annuity reasons. ... No word yet on Lalli, McGrail, Evans or distant cousins ...
‘It’s a whole new ballgame’:
I’m not sure why -- or to what extent -- but Curt Schilling’s now famous on-line chat
the other day made a little history. It was exciting to see Schilling setting the record straight directly with fans themselves via the Internet, rather than working through the media. ... Boston Dirt Dogs
is mighty proud and has a blow-by-blow account of the Schilling chat. ... FYI: Hub Blog is obviously not an old-media type who dismisses bloggers, but I’m also not a new-blogger type who dismisses the old media. I’ve long thought the two mediums would -- and will -- converge, probably in ways that will frustrate both sides. What’s the fancy word I’m looking for? ... Symbiotic! ... That’s it! ... Still anxiously awaiting that first blogger paycheck from evil media conglomerate Hub Blog Inc.
‘The object of both admiration and suspicion’:
An interesting story on Tariq Ramadan
, the barnstorming imam who seems to be preaching a different sort of moderate Islam throughout Europe. ... The fascinating thing -- if Ramadan is for real -- is how many religious, philosophical and intellectual hoops he has to jump through to preach this watered-down version of moderation. A toxic mix: A people who resist assimilation in a host continent that's ambivalent about assimilation.
‘Many liberals just want to punch its lights out’:
Another great column from Tom Friedman
that’s sure to be nick-picked from both the hard-core left and right. ... I think Friedman is holding out too much hope for the left to come to its senses over Iraq. Anyone who went to an anti-war rally last spring
could see how hopelessly locked they were into a different time and a different reality. Their politics, with its ritualistic chants and protest ceremonies, are their religion -- and people don’t change their religions on a whim. ... In the U.S., the real substantive debate over Iraq is between moderate Dems, Republicans and Independents vs. the right of the Republican Party.
-- It was Mickey Kaus
who first pronounced a variation of Friedman’s ‘We’ll take it from here’ theory of how Dems/the left could start scratching their way back into the debate over Iraq. (Scroll down to see Mickey’s ‘A baseball metaphor that scores!’ item.) But Dems won’t do it, though I suspect Hillary Clinton has an inkling of what needs to be done, thus partially explaining her admirable visits to Afghanistan and Iraq last week. ...
has more on the Hillary angle. Very interesting.
A two-day late assessment of the Baghdad trip:
Reader Steve from Arlington emailed to goad/ask my reaction to (and why I didn't blog on) the president's whirlwind trip to Iraq. OK, here it is: I was busy and I thought the secret trip was inspiring. The happy looks of appreciation on the faces of stunned GIs made it worth it. ... FYI: I think Hillary Clinton deserves credit, too, for visiting the troops. ... The cynics on both sides should give George and Hillary a break.
‘The antithesis of the 'McMansion':
An interesting back-to-the-future home-building trend
is apparently under way in the Washington area as builders discover an increasing demand for cozy Craftsman-style abodes. But there’s a hitch: Many still want the McMansion proportions. Well, at least it’s better than the faux-Italian Gothic and Kentucky Horse Farm monstrosities I see driving through the ‘burbs of Boston and in other parts of New England. ... Hope the Craftsman trend -- if it is a trend -- moves up here. The damage done to the character of many New England communities by God-awful McMansions has been awful. ... Near the Hub Blog parents’ home out in the Boston ‘burbs, there’s a new subdivision called ‘plantation’ something or other. In New England. Think about it. ...
‘The baseball gods delivered ...’: Theo does it.
... Headline on the NYPost’s back page: ‘Curt OKs Bosox deal; Yanks continue arms race.’ The Post story
is a little more subdued than the paper's panic-mode coverage
on Tuesday. ... The NYTimes
is trying to calmly dismiss the story in its best oh-those-cute-Sox tone.
OK, so theYanks have been hit with a full dose of the new Sox ownership’s shock-and-awe strategy. Now my question: How much more does the 37-year-old Schilling have in him? Am I having Yawkey/Crazy Widow/Harrington era flashbacks?
A short while ago, Hub Blog blogged about local writer Bernard Cornwell, who’s gaining more attention these days for his Michael Shaara/Patrick O’Brian-like historic fiction novels. ... In a fit of excitement, I later suggested to the Herald book editor we should do a story on Cornwell -- and get ahead of the trend curve in fast-draw Herald fashion yada yada. Her response (proving once again you shouldn't suggest things you're not ready to volunteer for): "Why don’t you
do it?" ... I was ensared in a classic work-place trap of my own making. But I did it, and it turned out to be fun. Here it is.
... If you’re interested, check out Cornwell’s web site.
I recommend the following if you want to tackle his popular Sharpe series
: Start with, oh, “Sharpe’s Revenge” and definitely end with “Sharpe’s Waterloo,” which is simply an awesome, non-stop war war war book. ... You can always backtrack to his earlier novels, as I have. ... His Grail Quest
books are also a lot of fun. And, yes, there are plenty of torn bodices and arrow-spitted Frenchmen.
What I have to be thankful for ...:
I'll leave it up to Jim Behrle
to list the reasons why. ... Scroll down past the Turkey chart for more, including what grandma and grandpa probably see in the afterlife and what A-Rod and Curt must be thinking about Sox fans in general. ... Speaking of the Sox, the Boston Dirt Dogs
are happy poodles these days, though clearly nervous about the tenuousness of Theo's deal.
'The next two months aren't going to be pretty ...': Mickey
is on Kerry's case. Fun stuff. As usual. ... Mickey also has some words on Paul K and Mr. P. See Beamster item below.
Et tu, Alex Beam?:
Another weird column from the Beamster.
While nominating Paul Krugman for a Pulitzer ('Mr. P'), Alex Beam proceeds to take swipes at Krugman (and bloggers) etc. With friends like these, who needs enemies? … John Farrell
, who tipped me off to the piece, has his own take.
-- Rewrote the above blog item a bit after rereading Beam's column, which is funnier in its throttling of Krugman than originally appreciated. ... It's still a weird column, though.
‘Massachusetts has made a democratic decision …’: Mickey Kaus
(scroll down) has some thoughts on the big Massachusetts decision on gay marriage. Mickey:
“Massachusetts had made
a democratic decision -- it had decided to do nothing. The court is forcing the state's democracy to make a different decision, under the threat of having its action declared unconstitutional if its not the action the court likes.”
More on gay marriages and ‘Forty years later ...’:
Reader No. 1 writes in with comments on the two posts immediately below.
On gay marriages:
“I agree with you that the country would be very different today if the Civil Rights Act had been imposed by the US Supreme Court (very insightful)... and I think that the overreaching of the Mass Supreme Court has created a Wade-like problem ... But sorry, there are big big differences between how people accept the Civil Rights Act and Roe v. Wade. Abortion has proven controversial even when those who basically support abortion rights try to LEGISLATIVELY put some parameters on appalling procedures like partial-birth: the moral absolutist supporters of Roe won't stand for it. Anti-abortionists are not the only people 'obsessed with that controversial ruling.' The Civil Rights Act implies no harm to living beings. Abortion implies terminal harm to living beings whether you want to call them fetuses or unborn children. Legislative involvement in huge moral issues is critical to the function of a democracy, but let's not pretend that legislative acts will always end the debates.
Hub Blog’s response:
One of the reasons why pro-abortionist extremists (and there are indeed pro-abortionist extremists) resist any legislative parameters is because there is NO legislative back-up to abortion rights. Am I wrong? We are still living in an age with NO federal law on the books granting women the right to abortion. It was short-circuited by judicial dictate, allowing so many politicians (and a certain political party) to speak out of both sides of their mouthes on the issue. ... Of course, many anti-abortionist lawmakers would suddenly switch sides, after much soul searching blah blah blah, and vote for the abortion rights if Roe was ever reversed. The majority of the people would demand it. The GOP would be cooked if it resisted. ...
On ‘Forty years later ...’:
“To answer your thoughtful question, yes, the shared experience of emotional intensity is what the anniversary of JFK's passing has all come down to, because it is what people can agree on most. In fact, it is one of the few political happenings in our modern fractured culture in which people can experience any common emotional intensity. Yesterday's self-involved Globe remembrances aside, this maybe isn't so bad. The alternative is to play the historian's game of ‘What Would Have Happened If...?’ which amounts to a Presidential Fantasy Baseball League of Do-Over with no satisfying resolution. Would Vietnam have ended sooner? How about the rapprochement with Cuba? The civil rights movement? And from the music/culture beat, would the Ed Sullivan Show have done so much for the Beatles? Which scenario seems more plausible: this
‘Same-sex Benefits get voters’ blessing; most OK gay marriage’:
How close is the public to accepting gay civil unions and ultimately gay marriages? Very close, according to this new Herald poll.
... Let the democratic and legislative process work -- and the rights will be more firmly entrenched within society than any court-imposed decision. ... Finneran and Romney’s plan for a constitutional amendment is going no where with these numbers.
... Can you imagine how divided the country would be today if the U.S. Supreme Court, rather than chipping away at the edges of the Civil Rights issue, ordered passage of the Civil Rights Act? The fact is the act was passed, after difficult debate, by elected representatives and now there’s no, zero, nadda debate about how it was imposed. Its passage is a source of pride, not contention. ....
.... Which brings me to Jeff Jacoby
, who flat out opposes gay marriage, somehow trying to connect the gay marriage debate to partial-birth abortion. .... My reaction too: Huh? ... (In case you don’t/didn’t notice, there’s a blatant inaccuracy in Jeff’s lede: “Many people welcome the ruling -- but many more don't.” .... Hmmmm. ‘Many more don’t?’ That’s not what the Globe’s own poll
Anyway, Hub Blog’s view on letting the democratic process work seems to mirror Jacoby’s view. But only on the surface. The difference is this: Roe v. Wade is still a contentious issue precisely because it was imposed by the courts. Even though poll after poll shows Americans favor the right to an abortion, anti-abortionists are still obsessed with that controversial ruling, holding out hope that what was imposed by the courts can be reversed by the courts via politicized judicial appointments. ... I think it was the pro-abortion Justice Ginsberg who expressed reservations about the Roe ruling, for the issue would be mute now if the democratic process had been allowed to play out. ...
Finally, here’s a free political tip for Democrats:
How much of the GOP’s support -- and donation base -- is composed of hard-core anti-abortionists who are still upset about Roe and who still think it can be reversed? ... Here’s the free tip: Make sure elected representatives are involved in shaping gay rights/marriage legislation, otherwise the issue will become a lightening rod for fanatics for decades to come. ... If I were a GOP consultant, I’d be praying for a court-imposed solution, for purely political reasons.... That’s also why I think Tom Reilly gets it: A court-imposed solution is bad politics for Dems.
Forty years later, Part II ...:
Immediately after writing the blog item below (and freeing up the phone line), I got a call from a Hub Blog brother inviting me to join him and his three children (ages 3 to 6) to go to the JFK Library and Museum in Boston to commemorate the anniversary. Never been there. Couldn't resist. The intent: To instill in the children a love for history. How could I resist? It was wonderful. The kids fidgeted throughout the intro documentary (really aimed at adults), but they loved the exhibits on Caroline's dolls, pony, the Moon shots, PT-109, the Ireland trip, the fact we share a name (Fitzgerald -- but no relationship) and ... and they fell silent and mesmerized at the Nov. 22, 1963 exhibit. They were very sad. ... “Why are the drums beating, daddy?” ... I felt sad, too. ... So I can sympathize with those who went through, full force, Nov. 22, 1963. But I still ask: Has the anniversary's historical significance really come down to relating the shared experience of emotional intensity?
There was a film clip, from the early 1950s, in which JFK was asked why the people of the Middle East hated us. ... His answer was erudite, succinct, thoughtful, with no punches pulled either way. My brother and I exchanged Nothing Ever Changes glances at both the question and answer. ... And, oh, Kennedy made no mention of Israel. He pretty much put the blame on colonialism, suck-up Communists, poverty and dictatorship. Sounds right to me. ...
Forty years later ... :
... Actually, this WaPo article about Dallas
probably captures the mood of the country -- as opposed to the mood of the aging Baby Boomer editors hyping the anniversary -- better than most other articles. The young simply don't have the same attachments and feelings toward JFK and the anniversary. And newspapers wonder why they're losing readership among the young. ... It may not be up for long, but check out today's Globe op-ed page
-- Howard Zinn
and John Kenneth Galbraith
and John Updike
(11 dinosaurs in all). All remembering where they were when they heard the news, etc. It's all about them
and their feelings
. Is that what JFK's legacy has come down to?
Notice how professional activists (in stories in the Herald
) are so quick to suggest they're the rightful heirs of the Civil Rights Movement, borrowing/ stealing lines from the Brown-Topeka decision, positioning themselves in the dreadful modern category of official victimhood. ... The fact is the gay rights movement has little to do with the Civil Rights Movement. The last time I checked, there were no recent cases of snarling German Shepherds biting at the legs of gay protesters or firemen shooting water hoses at unarmed gay protesters or governors blocking the path of gays trying to enter a Massachusetts college with an escort of National Guardsmen. There is a difference between the right to drink at the same Little Rock water fountain and the right to marry on a Berkshire hilltop. ... The comparisons are silly -- and obnoxious. The fact is, the gay leadership today is powerful, affluent, influential -- and firmly imbedded within the establishment. ... Different times require different tactics -- and temperaments. ...
... Where am I going with this as a supporter of the right of gays to marry? Give the legislative, democratic process a chance to work out. Is that too much to ask? That the people -- a majority of whom already support gay marriage -- have a say in crafting this momentous decision? The gay rights movement has accomplished more in 30 years than African Americans achieved in 300 years. A little perspective -- and a little more patience -- is needed. ...
-- There is absolutely zero doubt in my mind Tom Reilly is running for governor. Taking on Billy. Offering up this marriage compromise. He gets the notion that occasionally hip-checking the Hack/Progressive Alliance is necessary to win over suburban Independents. Shannon never got it.
‘It is a four-to-three decision ...’:
I was beginning to think I was all alone in worrying about the implications of a court-imposed ruling on gay marriage -- even though I support the right of gays to marry. Glad to see I’m not alone. Scot Lehigh
has a very smart column on the issue -- and some smart quotes from Attorney General Thomas Reilly. From Reilly:
"It is a four-to-three decision, which all the more cries out for legislative action. ... We don't make social policy in such profound ways through a four-to-three decision of the court rather than through the actions of the people's elected representatives."
Prediction: If the legislature passes a gay civil-union bill (and the court accepts it), gay marriage will be inevitably approved down the road -- by the people’s elected representatives -- after people see that gay marriage is NOT a threat to civilization as we know it. ... The thing that still amazes me is that a majority of people, in some polls, were in favor of gay marriage before the court intervened. This wasn’t a case of a stubborn majority of people opposing, say, equal rights for blacks in the South during the 1950s and early 1960s. The was a case of a growing majority
favoring equal rights for gays. And, still, the court felt compelled to short-circuit the legislative, democratic process. ... Maybe I’m being too hard on the court. Maybe they deliberately slipped in a civil-union loophole as an evolutionary way to nudge the process along.
‘It will require a policy lobotomy by the Bush team’: Tom Friedman
has some interesting thoughts on shoring up friendships abroad. But the Bushies have backed themselves into an argumentative corner on most of these matters and are not the types to change. Let’s hope I’m wrong.
Been busy over at the Herald and haven't had time to post on the big 'They do'
story, i.e. the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision on gay marriage rights. ... Two minds: I'm ecstatic and depressed. Ecstatic because the decision is philosophically right. Depressed because, on a gut instinct level, I feel there were some headline-hunting, I'm-making-history judges who subverted the democratic, legislative process just as it was about to work. The overwhelming evidence shows that Americans (and the good citizens of the Commonwealth) were moving toward acceptance of gay rights -- and gay marriages. Poll after poll showed this, despite the two-steps-forward/one-step-back gyrations of the polls. We were moving ahead. The court jumped into the middle of this debate/process/evolution, as if it couldn't resist claiming credit for itself, as if it couldn't, for egotistical reasons, let the drama play out. It had to be the star of the show. ... Now we're going to be arguing for years if this was rammed down our throats via the courts. This is one of those issues where I feel like a true moderate conservative (hurray for the decision -- the moderate side) but shudder at how it was achieved (yet more judicial overreaching -- the conservative side.) ...
All that said, I hope -- though I'm not counting to ten with a plastic bag over my head -- that lawmakers act in a reasonable way. Hub Blog will give double bonus points if they find a way to make the decision legal and acceptable -- while humiliating the pompous bozos on the court majority.
‘The often extravagant ravings of anti-American hatred’
: Just finished Jean-Francois Revel’s 'Anti-Americanism’
broadside against infantile anti-Americanism. From his concluding chapter:
“The often extravagant ravings of anti-American hatred, the media imputations -- sometimes the product of incompetence, sometimes of mythomania -- the opinionated ill will that puts the United States in an unfavorable light at every turn, can only confirm for Americans the uselessness of consultations. The result is the exact opposite of what is sought. The fallacies of the anti-American bias encourage American unilateralism.”
Note: Revel does not favor unilateralism, per se. He wants Europe to have more clout in world affairs. He’s not a believer in Pax America, the new ideology touted by some in reaction to anti-Americanism. (Remember Hub Blog’s axiom: Bush and Chirac, they deserve each other.) But Revel is so right to point out how Europeans have made themselves irrelevant -- and unworthy of true clout -- because too many of their views are based on crude stereotypes of America, tired clichés, contradictory rhetoric and actions, etc. etc. ...
Note II: Reading Revel, I was once again reminded of William Shirer’s ‘Collapse of the Third Republic.’
Revel attributes about, oh, 70 percent of French anti-Americanism to remnants of hard-core Leftism. The anti-Americanism of the Right can be traced all the way back to the Bourbon Restoration of the 1840s, he notes. Shirer’s book was intriguing because he delves so deeply into how the French right, even up to 1940, was still infected with reactionary monarchism and contempt for liberal democracy.
-- Collin May over at Innocents Abroad
writes about another French intellectual, Nicolas Baverez, who’s not too happy with the current French government. Interesting passage from May on French politics in general:
“Ever since the French Revolution, France has alternated between political extremes of revolutionary fervor and nationalist reaction. ... While the United States has prospered under one constitution for over two hundred years, France has gone through five republics, two empires, a restoration and a constitutional monarchy, not to mention foreign occupation and the Vichy regime.” ... May's blog via Instapundit.
-- More on anti-Americanism, this time from Norway.
.... Also via Instapundit.
‘He can't handle people who disagree with him’:
Does David Brooks really believe
in the fictitious speech he thinks a Democrat should give? If so, he has the same visceral dislike of George Bush and Howard Dean that I have. ... But, wait, oh, I forgot. Bush is Churchill. Dean is just a country doctor from Vermont. My mistakes. And David’s.
-- Reader No. 1 writes in:
"(Brooks) is a fabulous writer, a huge gain for the Times. But he got it majorly wrong today as only a tried and true Washingtonian. If Americans wanted a candidate who would end this 'war at home' of incivility, the Dem frontrunner would be one of the members of The World's Greatest Debating Society and Private Club, aka the US Senate... we would have elected Howard Baker or Bob Dole, not Ronald Reagan... Al Gore and not Bill Clinton.
"Suburban educated NPR listeners who live in million dollar homes may not like the 'tone' of Washington debate but they sure like divided government. Or have the national election results of the last 25 years just been an amazing coincidence?
"David, stick to Red and Blue America and leave the gridlock worries to David Broder."
‘The best thing the West has done for Africa since independence’:
This is, from Hub Blog’s perspective, the most exciting and encouraging story
I’ve read in a long time. The U.S. African Growth and Opportunity Act is starting to crank out thousands of private-sector jobs in Africa, prompting one African president to say (as paraphrased by the NYT) that it’s the “best thing the West has done for Africa since independence.” ...
The pride the Africans feel is palpable. This is BIG if it gains momentum. And it will, assuming Congress extends AGOA and the WTO doesn't foul things up. .... "Made in Uganda." We’ll probably be hearing much, much more of this in coming years and decades. ... The story is also important because, ironically, it’s a form of outsourcing from
Asia, not to
Asia. That will cause it’s own economic and political problems in those countries. But the important thing is: Africa’s potential for private development is now in the historic early stages of finally taking off. ...
... Of course, America won’t get credit for it in some quarters, but who cares what NGOs and anti-globo types think? They'll obviously use the 'sweat shop' argument as way to undermine it, and labor hardshihp and strife are inevitable. But once enough Africans get a taste of private-sector prosperity, there's no turning back. ...
‘The duality of Iraq’:
Reader BK sends in this article by Fouad Ajami
, who confirms both the pessimistic and optimistic views of the professional arguers on how things are going in Iraq. He ends the article: “May our sacrifices in that land not be in vain.”. ... Ajami, who wants us to succeed, sounds like he’s a coin flipper on our chances of success.
Mickey's counter Grady Little strategy for Dems
: Hub Blog was wondering when Mickey Kaus would stomp on Kerry's vital parts in light of recent events. But he doesn't. ... Instead he's concocted an intriguing baseball metaphor involving George Bush and Grady Little.
... Note: some Kausfiles readers are quick to point out it's really John Kerry who should play the pooped Pedro in the seventh inning. The obvious counter analogy from the Bush camp: Maybe Bush is Joe Torre. ... But who would play the flying Don Zimmer? Andrew Card? He's too young. Not Rumsfeld. Must give it more thought.
'Let's get rid of this guy,' Part II:
Reader No. 1 responds to the Part I post
about Eurotopia-U.S. relations just below. From Reader No. 1:
"Ignatieff sounds about right. My whole problem with the 'needless damage to America' argument goes back to the Robert Kagan thesis: US and Europe are in completely different places and all of the cajoling, handholding, sweet words from the US won't convince the 'old European' powers (other than UK and occasionally Spain and Italy) that they have to face up to the reality of evil in the world.
"I do believe that the handholding/cajoling/sweet words would cause Europeans to think slightly better of us as people (they love Clinton for his outreach) but it would have no impact on EU defense policy... Clinton was great with the therapeutics, not great with the bottom line (eg rooting out terrorists when he had a chance). My conclusion is that the leaders in the Bush adminstration didn't want to waste time playing the diplomatic charade (other than Powell who sorta had to) because they knew it wasn't going to lead anywhere. They were right that it wasn't going to lead France and Germany into the Coalition Of The Willing (a central and fradulent tenet of many anti-war arguments)...
"Kagan ended his book hoping for understanding between the 2 different camps (EU and US) of their respective views of the world. That still seems like a lot to hope for."
Hub Blog's response:
Good points. But I still insist/'hope' people like Kagan are right about the 'hoping for understanding' part. My whole premise is that the Bushies have stopped caring about that hope. That's where he's losing a lot of us -- and I, for one, feel alienated from this presidency as a result. Mickey Kaus was right about the administration reaching out to people seemingly out of their orbit. (Of course, frothing Bush-backing conservatives will kick me in the teeth and accuse me of idealism -- while praising the president's Democracy in the Middle East Idealism as, well, a sign of idealism. ... )
Update - 11.13.03
-- The brilliant 'Bring 'em on' bragging
seems to be bearing fruit, alas. (Via CSM warblog.
Does Harvard have too much money?:
More evidence rolls in that Harvard is rolling in dough.
... What the hell is a 'House gym'? Don't know, but Harvard is throwing $20,000 at each one -- like dropping twenty-dollar bills in each panhandler's cup. ... It took lovable Tufts about, oh, two generations to get Cousens Gym
upgraded. I can absolutely assure you there were no 'House gym' grants before and during construction.
FYI: It's a well-known fact
Harvard is afraid to play the Jumbos in football. A fact!
You know ...:
There’s a part of me who wonders if Kerry’s campaign really is back on track. These are either professional political rats abandoning ship
or professional political staff abandoning ship. There’s a sublime difference. ...
: Scot Lehigh
thinks it's the latter. So much for getting back on track. ... Hmmmm. Am I the only one who thinks Kerry, long known for his admiration for (and self-comparisons to) John Kennedy, might be going a little overboard by making his candidacy a virtual subsidiary of Teddy Inc.? The new campaign hires
may or may not be good tactical moves. I haven't a clue. But you gotta wonder how's it's going to strategically play in other parts of the country where the mere mention of Teddy's name sends people frothing. Just wondering.
‘Let’s get rid of this guy’: Michael Ignatieff
, of Harvard’s JFK School of Gov’t, was clearly the most impressive panelist this afternoon at a big BU-hosted conference on U.S.-European relations, which Hub Blog attended as part of an aborted story (which is a long story). ... George Soros, another panelist, was an idiot, even though he’s obviously the trendy lefty capitalist of the moment -- and had the crowd behind him. Soros spoke out of both sides of his mouth at every step. He should have dominated the panel, considering the crowd. He didn’t. Overrated. Except for his money. ... Max Boot, another panelist, was an unbearable and robotic bore, spouting not a single line I haven’t already read twenty million times over at Andrew Sullivan, who has original thoughts. Boot is an intellectual leader of the neo-conservative/Pax America movement? It’s a movement in deeper trouble than I thought. ... Ken Adelman had some funny quips, but didn’t overly impress. ... But Ignatieff, well, here was a guy who almost seemed embarrassed by the Crossfire-type format that inadvertently developed at the conference. A genuine liberal who has stuck to his guns about the need to go into Iraq (post-Mission Accomplished disasters and all), Ignatieff is the type of moderate liberal Mickey Kaus once said Bush should have been reaching out to all along. ... Ignatieff, who was mini-profiled (once again with the link
) in the Herald this morning, has a new novel out. But some quotes from the story:
"The part of the left's opposition to the war that I just didn't respect, frankly, was they were so opposed to Bush and the use of force that they actually were prepared to leave Saddam in power. And when it came to it I thought: ‘Let's get rid of this guy.’ ''
"I'm a U.N. guy, but let's not fetishize the U.N. ... The U.N. did not authorize Kosovo, which I thought was a completely justified operation. It sat on its hands over Bosnia.”
At the BU conference, Ignatieff said there’s ample justification for America’s “cold contempt” for Europe’s non-action in Bosnia -- and Iraq. But he also said the Bush administration, which has been schizoid about the U.N., should bite the bullet and make the U.N. better by reforming it -- with a chief reform being putting India on the Security Council. He was terrific.
‘Reflections on Remembrance Day’:
Reader No. 1 sends in Mark Steyn's reflections on Remembrance Day
in Canada and Europe. It’s depressing. They sound more and more like the ‘30s generation every day. ...
Hub Blog is now reading Jean-Francois Revel’s ‘Anti-Americanism.’ It’s simply awesome -- a relentless slash-and-burn attack on the antics and assumptions of the European media and intellectual elite. Their obsession with America -- both left and right -- is blinding and complete. ... One of Revel's main points: Eurotopia is doomed to second-power status as long as its warped views about the United States are so obviously off -- and willfully so.
‘All of a sudden, John Kerry starts swinging’?: Alex Beam
hasn’t given up on John Kerry. Sounds like the early conventional wisdom of many Bostonians -- including Hub Blog -- who remember the Weld-Kerry Senate showdown, when Kerry, his seemingly underestimated back against the wall, came out swinging and won. But the more I think of the comparison, the more it sounds stale. Weld was a bored governor. Dean is a hungry ex-governor. Weld went along with and kept the gentlemen’s agreement on spending caps. Dean went along with and then broke a similar agreement. Weld’s Dean Martin-like persona reflected the washed-up tone of a campaign going through the motions. Dean’s non-Dean Martin-like persona reflects an energized campaign playing to win. ... For that and other reasons, I’m increasingly tempted to make side bets on: Gephardt. ... The newly redesigned John Ellis.blogspot
is anticipating the concession speeches.
Remember that seemingly whacky idea out of the Pentagon to create a quasi-futures market on possible terrorists attacks? Well, taking the same logic and applying it to the presidential race, the GOP money-markets tend to be betting on Dean.
John Kerry’s supercool meltdown:
Kerry fires his campaign manager.
But, nah, it can't have much to do with his convoluted-message gene, right? Here’s the latest forthcoming flip-flop.