‘The proof will be in the pugilism’:
But the truth won’t be in the pugilism as the Kerry camp takes a stab at ‘repositioning’
the you-know-what from you-know-where.
‘One of those taaall Texas tales’:
Gotta give John Kerry credit: He’s taking the campaign to Texas.
No memorable ‘88 Boston Harbor/Boston Police photo-ops in reverse, but he still gets points for aggressiveness. ... When does the president visit Boston for ‘fund raising’? I think it’s late March. Ah, to be the proverbial fly on the wall at the Bush HQ while they discuss events other than ‘fund raising’ in Boston. ...
Kerry is talking tough
-- on Haiti. He’s bravely using the ‘unilateral’ word -- about Haiti. ... Not that I’m too pleased with Bush’s handling of Haiti. The administration and Republicans really did all but guarantee disaster when they cut off aid to the struggling democratic nation years before last week’s events. Now we have anti-Aristide opponents refusing to lay down their arms while worshipping the voodoo war god Ogun Feray.
... Only Haiti.
‘Boston rejects its own offspring ...’:
I had to read this article
two times before I could put my finger on what it obviously misses: Another disillusioned ‘well-born Brahmin’ idealist from the ‘60s bites the dust. ... I mean, really. I know Boston was a truly wretched place for blacks in the 1960s and 1970s. And I can only imagine what Fanny Howe, her husband and their children went through during a time when inter-racial marriage here and elsewhere was viewed with outright disgust by so many. ... But, I’m sorry, things have dramatically changed here and elsewhere, though it certainly falls far short of her once “optimistic political-religious belief in both a future social utopia and a divine scheme for the world.” ... Has anyone asked Fanny if she’s noticed even a small difference since moving back to Boston? Never mind. She's now 'bewildered' and channeling bewilderment energy into political action. I absolutely loved this line about Boston, though, from Howe’s novel ‘The Deep North’
“Boston rejects its own offspring, vomits each child out onto the pavement and watches him or her crawl through the shadows toward some poor sort of survival."
Now, I know I wasn’t supposed to burst out laughing when I read that line. It’s about a serious subject matter. But I couldn’t help but shake my head and affectionaely think how true it is on so many other fronts here ... Vomits each child out on the pavement
... A classic. ... Howe’s daughter wonders whether Boston is now ready to acknowledge her existence. ... Er, ah, okey-dokey.
You’ve probably already seen it, but Ellisblog
has flagged a real dandy by Peggy Noonan.
... FYI: She forgot to mention how JFK II played touch football with his staff in Iowa. Otherwise ... I think John Edwards also had a little of the JFK Disease in him. I mean, the Steve Garvey hair cut. Whoa. ... Mickey
seems more intrigued with the poetry. A Robert Frost angle?
‘The Passion of the Suburban Catholic’:
Two things I haven’t planned to tackle: A.) ‘The Passion’ and B.) The local closings of Catholic churches. But PoliticaObscura
is taking on the latter while referring to the former. ... Also notice the site’s new redesign. Not bad. Gotta redesign Hub Blog one of these days.
-- OK, I’m blaming PoliticaObscura for dragging me into ‘The Passion’ vortex. But I couldn’t help but think when I read this WaPo story
(with the Internet subhead: "6th-graders at D.C. school offered counseling; teacher is put on leave"): What the hell was the teacher thinking? ... Meanwhile, here’s a message to Hub Blog’s favorite bartender who told me the other day that Gibson’s film faithfully portrays the Scriptures: No it doesn’t, according to Charles Krauthammer
, who demolishes that argument by noting what the Gospels never mentioned but what Gibson inserts and/or overemphasizes. ... FYI: Haven’t seen the flick yet. But yours truly, a devout Cafeteria Catholic (not to be confused with devout Sunday Morning Doughnut Bribery Catholicism for kids), has met enough nut-case Opus Dei types to know roughly what to expect. ...
‘A disillusioned prophet is an abject spectacle’:
Quickie book review of Thomas Fleming’s new 'The Illusion of Victory: America in World War I’
: Get it. ... I didn’t like it at first. Fleming was too bombastic, too opinionated at the outset, but, at the urging of a Hub Blog Little Brother who recommended the book, I kept plowing ahead. Glad I did. Fleming is unrelenting in his criticism of the overrated Woodrow Wilson, who can best be described as a very nasty and prissy version of Jimmy Carter. ... I’ve often wondered, having grown up in a solid old-fashioned New Deal Democratic home, why Wilson was sometimes included in the pantheon of great 20th Century Democratic presidents, but sometimes mysteriously dropped from the roster. This book explains why. He’ll never recover in my mind. ... FYI: Fleming is an old favorite of the Hub Blog clan, having attended Fordham and written what has to be the all-time classic book about Bunker Hill, ‘Now We Are Enemies.’
His father also fought in WWI, as did my grandfather, thus explaining the interests in the Great War.
3.05.04 -- One interesting and heroic character to emerge from Fleming’s ‘Illusion of Victory’: Herbert Hoover. He wasn’t a very good president. But he was a truly great humanitarian. As head of ‘food administration’ in post-war Europe, Hoover constantly butted heads with Wilson and Allied leaders, who vindictively refused to lift the post-hostilities blockade of starving Germany. In Paris, Hoover was shown a draft of the 200-page Versailles Treaty at 4 a.m. on the day it was finally printed. He was in shock. He went for a walk that morning and bumped into, of all people, John Maynard Keynes. “They stared at each other, disillusion and dismay on their faces,’’ writes Fleming. ... That’s
how bad the Versailles Treaty was.
‘Shandi the ex-junkie Walgreens worker,’ Part II:
Read Coz’s update
about ‘the most treacherous week of ANTM yet.’ ... Can the updates get any better? ... ‘But slapping the poor weight-conscious girl with a phony anorexia rap while she was out smoking a butt after dinner?! It was just wrong ...’
‘Which humiliated Michael S. Dukakis in 1988 ...’
Ah ha! So the Boston Police Union
is indeed threatening to embarrass Kerry ala Bush-Duke ‘88. It won’t happen, methinks. The novelty and element of surprise are gone. ... Looks like Kerry was cautiously speed-dialing local union halls weeks before Super Tuesday’s results. Think about it: Kerry knows he’ll get knives in the back
if he doesn’t expend valuable energy appeasing the Massachusetts hackerama. What a state. Almost makes me cry with pride. Oh, I forgot, I’m sorry. Boston is a bookish city of erudite intellectuals
and happy students sculling on the Charles. ...
Speaking of the Boston police union, Armchair Gen. Savin Hill has an idea for the president’s upcoming visit to town:
“Oh, I know the perfect photo op. All Dubbya needs to do is go to Beacon Hill, pose in front of Kerry's infamous fire hydrant ... and let Barney (the White House scotty) do his stuff.”
FYI -- After receiving the general’s email yesterday, I angrily responded that he obviously didn’t know that the prez’s poor dog had died. But Savin Hill corrects:
“Spot died. Barney's fine. Still alive and biting reporters' ankles in the White House. whattagoodboyyyy.”
‘This is going to be one hell of a campaign ... ’:
Repubs think it’s ‘88 all over again. Dems think it’s ‘92 all over again. Is this going to be a great campaign or what? ... Round 1
(or Hour 1) goes to: Bush. The phone call was a little weird, a little nervous in nature, but scores points for obvious aggressiveness. Next up: Bush’s trip to Boston in three weeks. How much you want to bet Kerry’s folks are madly speed-dialing local police unions to see who’s volunteering for an endorsement? ... Maybe Repubs are lining up a Boston Harbor-like photo-op of some Massachusetts boondoggle. Ha! The harbor has been cleaned up. ... Oh, my God! It’s the Big Dig! ... Or: Bush visits a local National Guard unit? Nah. ... What are they up to? ‘Fund-raising’ my ass ...
Message to national GOP: Be careful about the local Keystone Cops
planning your itinerary. ...
Kerry quote of the day: “Boy, wait until you see the fire in my belly.” ... I know what he was trying to say. But it’s still kind of a revolting when you actually visualize it. Work on that line, senator. ...
Hub Blog’s gut instinct on November election: Boy, wait until you see the mishmash mush in my belly. ... Work on that line, Hub Blog.
... First reaction: Big blowout, for Bush. Then I think of GOP overconfidence and Kerry’s don’t-count-him-out record etc. Kerry’s a Dukakis on the issues, but not in temperament. ... FYI: Did a spell check on this post and the prompt kept asking me if I wanted to change ‘Kerry’s’ to ‘Query’s.’ Hmmmm. Is it an omen from Redmond, Wa.?
‘Helping to shoo a duly elected president from his country ...’:
Only Haiti can cause such odd bedfellows: The French and Americans
are actually working together. ... Aristide was such a disappointing disaster for Haiti.
Maybe he did have to go to avert bloodshed, and it’s heartening that a new semi-head of state was selected according to Haiti’s constitution. But make no mistake: An elected president was ultimately driven out by a mob of heavily armed thugs. From the CSM:
“Helping to shoo a duly elected president from his country doesn't always support the global expansion of democracy.” ... The same CSM editorial reluctantly endorses the U.S. and French moves. Suppose they’re right. But excuse me for being a bit ambivalent about matters. ... Only Haiti.
The Hub’s very own Oscar?:
Glad Sean Penn and Tim Robbins won Oscars last night for the Boston-set ‘Mystic River.’ But the pride is obviously more than a little silly and misplaced. Here’s a true Boston connection to the Oscars.
... Where are their studios/headquarters? At ‘GBH? Interesting.
'An up-close-and-personal report on the Celtics ...':
Reader No. 1 actually A.) went to a Celts game B.) saw them win Friday and C.) was sort of impressed. Reader No. 1:
"1. I owe Chucky Atkins an apology.
With him at the point, the team is a little closer to the uptempo Danny Ainge vision of the future, at least in the first quarter of games. But...
"2. At crunch time, Paul Pierce was back to bad habits, going one-on-one and taking bad off-balance fadeaways that rimmed out. Paul, I know how you feel after Trader Danny's demo job, but trust your teammates a little more. On the other hand, Pierce looked happier on court than in the last 2 weeks (a 20 point lead at halftime will do that for you).
"3. There's a reported Pierce gripe that the Celtics took too long to discover Brandon Hunter. I QUITE AGREE! Maybe the Celtic staff should have been reading this website
, considering Hunter's remarkable college stats at a non-marquee school, and what he did in the Shaw's Summer League.
You read it here first!!! ... He might be the difference between Ainge suceeding and failing...
"4. The Fleet Center on weeknights is now full of kids, including Reader #1's youngest on Friday (she wore her Antoine Walker jersey, but was tactful when Trader Danny walked past us). Credit to Celts' management for advancing this trend.
"5. This group as constituted is not a playoff team, but there are a couple of signs of hope. A lot more work to do. Giving minutes to Hunter, Jiri Welsch et al is a step in the right direction."
Hub Blog's response:
Only thing I have to say relates to point #4. Glad kids are having a fun time. But their increased attendance indicates to me a lot of tickets are being given away, either by the Celts or corporate types or both.
It’s all the rage: Slap down a couple Paris-like outdoor cafes, convert a few old factories into artist lofts, attract some real live gays to your city and -- presto -- you have a hip city. Still waiting for The Simpsons to skewer this trend. ... But you know what? There really is something to Richard Florida’s theory
about the ‘creative class’ and its transforming of American cities. All one needs to do is eye the ongoing changes to Southie
to see it’s partially true that the ‘creative class’/Yuppies/haute bourgeoisie are having a profound impact. ... Hub Blog snidely liked Harvard economist Edward Glaeser’s observations about the ‘great dollops of hype’ surrounding both praise and criticism of Florida's theory. Glaeser’s point: sun and sprawl still count. ... FYI: Yours truly played a sideline part in this debate
earlier this week. Boston’s ‘maturity’ and high cost of housing also count.
-- Reader No. 1 adds:
"The Richard Florida debate is exactly what the new Globe IDEAS should be doing. And it's a sign of progress that they didn't slap the 'right-wing' or 'conservative' label on Joel Kotkin, although there is certainly a Red and Blue element to this debate. I also like the way you said it's 'partially true' that urban areas are revitalized in the way Florida describes. To paraphrase Rosie O'Donnell's character in Sleepless in Seattle, 'it's not true, but it feels true.'
"Please check out: Joel Kotkin.
The upshot: if the Boston area is going to remain a creative class destination, we're going to have to be a LOT more creative than the competition to justify our ridiculously high cost of living. A continuing challenge for our universities. Will our irrelevant political culture ever come around? Will it ever notice?"
‘Hubbardston barn blaze roasts chickens’: The headline says it all.
'Shandi the ex-junkie Walgreens worker':
There's a very erudite discussion going on over at Cos Blog.
‘They wanted the eyesore removed ...’:
I’m actually glad they’re not tearing down the ‘rusted’ Green Line tracks
near the Fleet Center for the DNC. It shows off the older, grittier side of the city. There’s a soon-to-be-lost elegance to the elevated, rickety, clanking North Station trains. I’m sure more than a few Dem visitors, coming from vapid cities desperately trying to make themselves look quaintly old, will envy us for having the real thing all across the city, not just at North Station. ... Maura Hennigan on the T’s decision: "This is a good thing. There's so much attention paid to temporary beautification. What about permanent solutions? This is responding to what taxpayers have been saying all along: They don't want their money thrown away on a four-day event." ...
... Why this embarrassment over a lot of cranes, dump trucks and ‘unsightly’ construction sites across the city during the DNC? Don’t the civic boosters realize they might actually give the “impression” that Boston is vibrant, bustling and constantly reinvesting in itself? Hello? ... One good ‘temporary’ move: Keeping the pub gates open until 4 a.m. Hub Blog approves!
‘Opposition researchers licking their chops’: Indeed.
... You know, I used to honestly think John Kerry was a moderate, at least compared to Ted Kennedy and within a Massachusetts context. Silly me. Must have been Kerry’s equivocating, pandering, habitually waffling rhetoric that threw me off. Anyway, this is the second ‘liberal’ ranking piece I’ve read in recent months. The latest is by the National Journal. No GOP attack-machine bias there. The first
was by Norman Lear’s Amercans for Democratic Action. So, again, no GOP attack-machine bias there, either. ... The Journal piece mentions three other No. 1 Liberal rankings for the junior senator. Has anyone analyzed whether they coincided with, you know, past elections? If so, it would make me feel less bad about being snookered by his past equivocating, pandering, habitually waffling ways. ... ‘Maybe a one-two punch?
Lefty liberal punch -- bang! -- and then the flip-flop punch -- pow!’ ...
When was the last time you heard that word used? I can’t remember. But I like it. A new word I’ll start overusing, pronto. Also according to Merriam-Webster: swanky, swanker, swankiest. ... Too bad ‘swanker’ isn’t a noun. ... He’s a swanker!
Food fight at Harvard!: The Crimson
writes on Michael Watkins’ criticism, via his blog
, of recent moves at Harvard Business School. Hint: It has something to do with tenure. What else.
-- There's this update to Michael's blog
in reaction to the Crimson piece. It's actually an interesting debate going on over there, my wise cracks aside.
'Kerry loan twice as nice': This is interesting.
... Nothing surprises me when it comes to soaring Boston home prices. But ...
‘A habitual waffler ...’:
Forget the label ‘Massachusetts liberal.’ The ‘habitual waffler’
is the only punch line the president needs. ... Or, ‘The Habitual Waffler from Massachusetts.’ ... Here’s the NYT
versions. ... The ‘we-have-George-Bush-on-the-run’ line sounds like something out of Monty Python or any 1960s Zero Mostel comedy.
boldly rides to the defense of Massachusetts. Then retreats. For good reason. ... We’ve all tried and tried and tried to defend Massachusetts, but it’s so hard sometimes. ... Coz points to Dick Armey’s apology
to Boston, with a funny dig thrown in at the end. (I always thought it was William Buckley who made the Boston phone book crack. I was obviously wrong ... ) ... When was the last time Boston Magazine put anything substantive on its web site? This has to be a first.
-- 2.25.05 - A reader writes in: "You weren't wrong. Buckley was the one who first said it, and Armey probably thought he was being clever by revising it...."
‘Decade of the Bus,’ Redux:
As I've said before: Buses are a poor man’s subway. A simply executed story that sums it all up.
... Other cities are adding light rail and subways. But the MBTA is doing the complete opposite. It’s not because they’re here to serve us. It’s because they need to stretch dollars for their own long-term self-preservation, similar to the bureaucratic mindset at the Mass Turnpike. ... From a Silver Line rider: "We get the buses, and rail projects get put in other communities. Brookline has three light rail systems and stops all over the place." ...
Here's another simply executed T story
, this one less infuriating in subject. T tokens are like lost socks in the laundry. I don't know how many of both I've lost over the years.
‘This is a liberal country’:
A paradox of American politics is how so many Americans embrace liberal concepts but cringe at the sound and look of the outspoken liberal proponents of these policies. The chest-beating Mitchell Rofsky
obviously understands the first half of the preceding sentence and hasn’t a clue about the second. ... Among the many problems with liberalism is its excesses (‘people will die’ if we cut the budget, etc.), its non-egalitarian elitism (‘Americans are so dumb’ etc.) and its hyper-criticism of Americans when liberals don’t get their way (morally demonizing the opposition at every turn, etc.) ... Rofsky neglects to mention one of the greatest triumphs of conservative thought in the 20th Century: Capitalism. Remember that evil word? It’s now just an accepted fact, left and right and across the world, that the once demonized free-market system is essential to the well-being of both the elite and the masses. ... Though I believe in many liberal policies (the right to abortion, keeping the hands of Wall Street off of Social Security, etc.), I still count myself as a moderate conservative, largely to offset some of the scarier liberal ideas that would take us over the cliff. ... Let’s not even get into national security issues. ...
... Hey, the once-Socialist India
is going gaga over capitalism. Another rejection of excessive you-know-what and a triumph for you-know-what. ...
... Hey, Rofsky gleefully mentions -- gulp, for all you Bushie diehards -- how George II is embracing bigger government, comparing him to -- double gulp -- Richard Nixon. ... All is not going well for George.
It’s that damn WMD issue! ... But here’s some good news for George
, though I don’t think Ralph will get as many votes this time around.
‘There has clearly been a backlash ...’:
I thought I sensed an anti-gay-marriage backlash
in the making. This poll seems to confirm it.
No doubt the Catholic church’s stance has helped shift the numbers. But, as a recent convert to supporting gay marriages, I must say I was turned off by, you got it, the stridency and silliness of the gay rights protesters (all the ‘hey ho’ and ‘what do we want’ chants etc.). They don’t want the people to have a say in this. They want the court-ordered ruling to stand. ... Non-egalitarian elitism indeed. ... The comparisons to the Civil Rights Movement also annoyed. Not surprisingly, a lot of people kind of know at a gut-instinct level the difference between fighting Jim Crow laws and permitting affluent Yuppies to get married on the hilltops of Vermont or in the seaside banquet halls of Provincetown. ... Rhetorical excesses indeed.
‘Congratulations Danny -- you've made me a Bruins fan!’: Read this article.
A classic example of a non-leader leader giving a desperate, uninspired, accusatory sermon to a group of very demoralized people who have long since lost confidence and respect for those at the top. In this case, it’s Danny Ainge giving one weird pep talk to the Celts after last night’s game. From Reader No. 1:
“Give Trader Danny credit for offering interpretation-rich statements like ‘I just want the veteran guys to know this is your team.’ Is this:
“-- clueless? (given that Ainge has already surgically removed most of the veterans this season - there aren't many of them left in the room)
“-- a news leak? (i.e. the interim coach is toast?)
“-- accusatory? (i.e. it's the survivor's fault the team has gone to hell in the last month)
“Sympathy cards may be sent to Paul Pierce c/o The Fleet Center.”
FYI -- Earlier this week, Reader No. 1 also sent in some choice comments on Danny’s latest big trade.
From Reader No. 1: “Well, I was almost right -- I told you
the Celtics would get a real point guard before the end of the year, just not a very good one. Actually they got 2 not very good real point guards... and neither of them has a better assist to turnover ratio than the guy they traded! ... Oh yes, I forgot -- it's all about the draft picks. ... Congratulations Danny -- you've made me a Bruins fan!”
‘No doubt about it ...’:
The Herald’s Tony Massarotti
on this year’s Sox: They could be one hell of a team. ... Can someone tell John, Larry and Theo to just shut up? I’m tired of these guys. They all talk too much. Just now listened to Theo and then Larry on Dennis and Callahan on 'EEI. The Sox brass are overexposed.
... I’m becoming worried about this new ownership. They’re playing way too much to ‘Red Sox Nation.’ Personally, I want Red Sox Nation blown up. Get rid of the negative/contrived self-pity etc. John, Larry, Theo, repeat: Shut up. Don’t want to hear from ya until you win one. Then yap all you want.
‘Stay calm, this has yet ... ,’ Part II: KP Dan
has his spatula and is slopping it on thick and heavy, as ordered: Bambino, woe-is-us, everyone-is-laughing-at-us, etc. Not a shred of sports analysis. Good job, Dan! Lay it on thicker, heavier ... The sky is falling! ...
Dan has his schtick. I have mine. WMD Spy has not reported in ... But his last words to me were that we should start sowing seeds of Discord in Gotham. Here’s a sampling of his suggested disinformation campaign:
-- “Oh, Derek, wasn’t that A-Rod and your girlfriend I just saw coming out of ...?”
-- “Oh, A-Rod, don’t you think Derek looks kind of old these days? I think short stop ...”
-- “Oh, Derek, wasn’t that George and A-Rod coming out of a Madison Ave. advertising office together ... ?”
-- “I thought you guys were just ‘friends’ ...”
-- “Nomar has Mia after all ...”
‘Stay calm, this has yet ...’:
Feel like Kevin Bacon just prior to being trampled during the post-parade mayhem at the end of Animal House. Stay calm!
... But that’s what Michael Holley
is wisely counseling. Holley, a true Spartan who’s trudging off to Thermopylae with “clenched teeth so the enemy can't detect the embarrassment,” explains why the Sox are still in good shape. ... Of course, the Spartans lost at Thermopylae, but the Greeks won the war because of their efforts, please recall. ...
Hub Blog’s Manhattan-based WMD Spy may be reporting in today with a very intriguing behind-enemy-lines strategy to meet this threat. Hint: It has something do with this New York Daily News headline.
... Even the rear-line Dan Shaughnessy may have a role in this caper. Your job, if you choose to accept it, Dan, is to keep up with the hysterical Bambino/Oh-woe-is-us act. Lay it on thick and heavy until people really do believe the ‘Sky is falling.’
Why? Because New Yorkers are now beginning to believe in their own immortality. Look at these comments from Gotham
: "There are only a few things for sure in life," says one fan, "death, taxes, and the fact that the Red Sox will fall apart, as sure as the sun comes up." Says another NY fan: "The Mets and the Red Sox can't compete with the Yankees. They look like minor league franchises compared to the amount of money the Yankees can spend. There's too much mystique." ... They now believe in a mystique. Do you know what this means? It means that when we do topple them, they’re going to be so far down the tubes they’ll make the Bleeding Green mystique-floundering Celts organization look like crack shock troops in comparison. ...
Ran into a New York friend last night who I hadn’t seen in years. First words out of his mouth, ‘Sorry about A-Rod,’ followed by a big smirk. My response, ‘Sorry about your pitching staff.’ It wiped the smile off his face instantly. He then started praising Theo. ... We’re getting into their minds. ...
-- The Idiot Who Uses Romper Room Masks
as props on ESPN is now pumping out the cliches about the Sox. ... I'm feeling better already.
‘Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!’:
Good. Reader No. 1 isn’t going wobbly on the Sox. When the battle is joined and the fighting gets heavy this season, will someone please escort the hysterical Dan Shaughnessy to the rear? Reader No. 1 on A-Rod:
“It has to be a good sign that the shock and discouragement in our household only lasted 10 minutes this morning. ... Maybe it was Gordon Edes'
observation that no team has ever lost three 15 game winners in an offseason as the Yankees said goodbye to Pettite, Clemens and Wells. Maybe it's remembering how beat up so many great Yankees were at the end of the year (Bernie, Jeter, Giambi ain't as young as they used to be)... Maybe it was memories of Moneyball (yes, I know from the same Gordon Edes article that the A's are 0-9 in playoff elimination games). ...
“I'm sure that the Sox braintrust is prepared for weeks of angst and agony from talk radio and assorted usual suspect sportswriters. There are inevitable countermoves that will generate inevitable second-guessing from the WEEI hosts who would rather talk about the contracts and the agents than the games.
“As Bill Parcells used to say, ‘Fellas, this is why they play the games.’ Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!”
‘We are now in Sid Wicks-Marvin Barnes territory’:
Reader No. 1 also retracts his statement a few weeks ago
that we’re not in the ‘Sid Wicks-Marvin Barnes terrority.’ We’re there. Oh we’re there. Reader No. 1:
“This column from Hoopsworld
is all over the map, but it includes the most effective critique I've seen of Jim O'Brien's coaching style, and makes a good case for my man Brandon Hunter to get more playing time.
“I stand corrected on what I wrote 2 weeks ago: we are now in Sid Wicks-Marvin Barnes territory. Has Ainge shredded his credibility so quickly and thoroughly that no one will want to coach or play here? He's blown up the team and replaced it with zilch -- and don't give us the ‘we miss Raef LaFrentz and Vin Baker’ stuff. LaFrentz was known damaged goods when he was acquired and no one expected Baker's first (and last) six good weeks this season.”
‘As Bloomberg's Massachusetts masters surely intend ...’: The A-Rod deal
is surely a disaster. No doubt. But fear not. We have a secret weapon wreaking havoc in New York: Michael Bloomberg.
Deroy Murdock: “Michael Bloomberg is a mole who is sabotaging Gotham from within, pro bono Beantown.” ... The shame is that we could have had both Bloomberg and A-Rod in place for the coming Boston world-conquest
spring offensive. We shall burn Yankee Stadium to the ground for this ... The worst part of the A-Rod setback: Dan Shaughnessy
is in full Inferiority Complex mode. ... ‘Damn Yankees.’ Screw the Yankees. ....The climactic Battle for Middle Earth approaches. Remember what we're fighting against: Evil.
FYI -- Boston Dirt Dogs
was on the A-Rod/Yanks rumor a month ago. At the time (I believe), good old Curt allegedly said the following about the A-Rod rumors
: “After 85 years did any of you think that getting over this final hurdle and winning it all was gonna be a cake walk? No, it'll be more fun this way.”
Exactly. ... They will pay for this.
‘Danny Ainge's still-unexplained grand plan’:
Might as well get the depressing posts out of the way this morning: The Ainge era: 1-8.
... ‘For all intents and purposes, the season is kaput.’ ... They’e already eyeing new coaching candidates.
I like DJ, but it’s just more Bleeding Green. ...
Yes, it was only two weeks ago. ...
They will pay for disrupting our happiness.
'There's something new emerging ...':
From Armchair Gen. Savin Hill:
"Anyone walking around the Financial District this week, and particularly Broad Street and the waterfront top of State Street probably noticed it. The old Central Artery roadway is coming down piece by piece. The roadway above is now gone, and only the familiar faded-glory-green road supports remain. This means you can see daylight where road once was. That little glimpse is powerful, and you can easily imagine the old artery gone for good. From Broad Street I could clearly see -- for the first time it seemed -- the glinting mass of polished steel on the Acquarium and IMAX theater -- and lots of open sky beyond that. And of course, it's actually quiet down there now, no constant hiss and rumble of traffic. You really feel like there's something new emerging."
Hub Blog's response:
It truly is an astonishing sight. ... Hope they don't clutter it up by trying too hard to make the new Roseway beautiful. Let's just look at the proverbial frosted cake a little longer before cutting into it, etc.
“A Sudanese View: 'Thank God for George Bush!' ”: Gotta give credit where credit is due.
... The old Dinkas saying just might be true. ... Interesting CSM blog. Wish he posted more often.
The gay-marriage debate is over:
What anti-gay-marriage genius scheduled the constitutional convention during the same week as the release of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue?
... Anna. ... Did you see the Herald's Inside Track yesterday? Can't fetch it. But it -- and not the Historic Debate -- was the big discussion around my water cooler. ... But she's just an athlete. Sure. Of course. Respect her for all the right reasons. ... Where were we? Ah, yes, history in the making ...
'The speaker tried to pull one of his patented maneuvers ...':
Brighton Reader on yesterday's proceedings, not today's (haven't caught up yet):
"After watching the Constitutional Convention for a good three hours, I think the biggest loser is Tom Finneran. The speaker tried to pull one of his patented maneuvers, but lacking control of the chair and unable to coerce state senators, he failed. It was fun to watch reps hammer him, finally free to say what they really thought. El Caudillo also caught it from Republicans, especially from the Senate, who were seriously pissed at his manipulations. All this played out before a statewide audience that generally ignores how Finneran operates."
-- San Francisco is trying to jump into the act.
The newest twist in the old Silicon Valley-128 rivalry.
-- 02.13.04 - 'Finneran at his worst.'
‘The Senate compromise ...’, Part II: Everything went down to defeat.
Something might pop up today, such as a new variation of the Senate compromise plan on gay marriages. ... But could it all be a stalling tactic? Scot Lehigh
suggested yesterday that the real goal for some might be to procedurally kill everything, eventually, now or more likely during a second-stage non-vote after the election, and let the court’s decision effectively stand. Sure looks like it. Intentionally or not. Gay activists were quite happy
by yesterday’s non-action action, FYI. ... Hub Blog senses that Finneran may be in the early stages of realizing he better embrace the Senate compromise. It’ll be interesting, if he does, to see if yesterday’s supporters of the Senate plan suddenly change their minds. ... Hub Blog senses a backlash against gay rights activists. Most voters instinctively like the idea of having a say on matters and don't like being crudely compared to segregationists. ... The ‘Hey, hey, ho, ho’ chants at the Statehouse yesterday were highly, highly annoying.
‘Liar vs. liberal’:
If you’re a Kerry or Bush fan, don’t read this column.
If you’re neither, enjoy. ... One quibble: Isn't trying to be all things to all people also a form of lying?
‘The Senate compromise appears to be gaining steam ...’: Two plans
are now out there on the gay-marriage issue
to be taken up today by lawmakers at our allegedly august constitutional convention, whatever. ... Constitutional Plan No. 1 (backed by Speaker Finneran): In effect an up-or-down vote on gay marriage in 2006. Constitutional Plan No. II (the Senate compromise): A vote to define marriage as that between a man and a woman, while giving gays civil-union rights.
... Here’s why Finneran’s adamant opposition to gay marriage may backfire in his and other opponents’ faces: There’s a, oh, 50-50 chance, in a simple up-or-down vote on the issue, that the public may approve
gay marriage in two years. But the Senate ‘compromise’ plan, which Finneran opposes, would almost certainly
pass, thus outlawing gay marriages but approving civil unions. So by risking it all on an up-or-down vote, Finneran is probably killing the only sure
way to outlaw gay marriages. ...
... I’m for gay-marriage rights, but I’d vote for the Senate plan just to get the civil-union law on the books and get the damn court-imposed issue out of the way. A lot of other people would too. Others would vote for it because of the heterosexual definition of marriage. It’s a smart, practical, have-it-both-ways compromise by senators. ... Just a thought: Gay rights activists might rethink their strategy. How? By boldly supporting Finneran and Romney on the strict up-or-down vote. Think about it. It would be a huge gamble, but it could pay off in two years. It could also lose. ... I love the gamble option for purely selfish, non-civil-rights reasons. It would make the 2006 vote so absurdly apocalyptic in tone. Fun to watch and cover, etc. ... Hmmmmm. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Go for it, Speaker!
Hats off to Sen. Kerry: Very impressive wins.
He’s got the nomination wrapped up by the looks of it. ... Early and obvious odds-on-favorite: Bush. But, if someone gives me decent odds, I wouldn’t mind putting a few bucks on a guy who has lived, breathed and dreamed his entire adult life about becoming president.
‘Hub of a culture clash’:
Now this is a slightly more accurate view of Massachusetts and its politics
, compared with last week’s cliché-a-thon disaster
, though the clichés are still flying fast and furious. The latest article actually mentions ‘Catholics’ as being a demographic reality. ... Future-looking observation: We all know that if gay marriage is approved by 51-49 percent, it will reaffirm Massachusetts as a liberal state. But if gay marriage is rejected by 51-49 percent, do you seriously think the pundits will call Massachusetts a conservative state? It would be too mind-blowing complicated for the punditocracy to comprehend, let alone explain. ... There's a part of me who mischievously hopes gay marriage is blocked for that reason alone. Wouldn't it be great? But I support gay marriages in general principle and so ...
“Kerry’s One-word Speech: ‘Vietnam’ ”:
That WaPo headline
sums it up. ... The central event in all of history is now a brand. ... Don’t forget this classic headline
: ‘A Response to Cancer Forged by Vietnam.’
Smile, you're on digital camera -- and about to be expelled:
The shots of the post-Superbowl riot celebrations
at Northeastern are up. It's a little rat-fink creepy, but so be it. Notice in Photo 1 the other To Show the Grand Kids students taking photos. Idiots. ... When did this type of 'celebrating' start? After some Detroit sports victory in the '80s, if I recall correctly. ... Northeastern police site via JJDaley.
-- 2.9.04 - The mother of James Grabowski, who was killed at the Northeastern riot celebration, is rightly angry and in shock
by the senseless events. Mayor Menino should have had the guts to pick up the phone, try to comfort her --and let her rant and vent if need be. But she simply goes too far when she says: “How many parents would have told them not to drink, behave yourself, and then left them unsupervised while they went to watch the game elsewhere? That's exactly what the city of Boston did that night.” ... Is the city now our baby-sitter/nanny/parent? Didn’t James watch a game in a dorm owned by a certain university? Why wasn’t there more problems at other local colleges? Might there be a connection here?
‘Ultimately purged from American corporate history ...’:
A fun story on one of the most remarkable pre-Martha female sales executives in American corporate history, Brownie Wise
, who literally made Tupperware a household name. Her tale will be retold tomorrow night on PBS’s “American Experience.’’
One annoying aspect to this otherwise fine article, to wit: The way she’s cast as a feminist-like Heroine Up Against Male Corporate America. I like to think I know a little about Brownie. In 1999 during my old BBJ days, we produced a special supplement called ‘100 Years, 100 People,’ a review of the most influential business executives in Massachusetts in the 20th Century. Earl Tupper, inventor of burb-and-seal Tupperware, made the cut because he was from Massachusetts and his company was based here. Brownie didn’t make the list, though she was mentioned, because she never lived here and her semi-independent sales operation was based in Florida. But that’s not the point. What we found, in preparing the supplement, was just how many bitter rivalries emerged between great inventors/founders and corporate types, the never-ending backroom feuds that shaped companies’ histories, etc. The history of Corporate America is littered with tales of bloodied winners and victims of these now forgotten corporate battles. Earl Tupper was one of the winners. Brownie was one of the victims. ... Is her tale fascinating? Absolutely. Was there a gender component to her rise and fall? No doubt. But was Tupper’s brutal treatment of a business partner so unique? No way. ... Still, it’s great to see Brownie getting some much deserved credit. ...
-- One of the more fascinating female executives of the 20th Century in Massachusetts, in my humble opinion, was Elizabeth Eaton Bois, who rose from timekeeper to forewoman to founder of Winship, Boit & Co., one of the largest textile companies in the state. Her achievements are more remarkable because they took place in the late 1800s and early 1900s. ... Another fascinating woman business executive was Margaret C. Carlson, the first female member of ‘The Vault’ and who helped found Five Star Reality Co. She won
her backroom wars and became sole owner of the firm, later taken over by DeWolfe Co. Inc., yet another female-founded real estate company based here.