‘The ‘70s-themed party,’ Part II:
Reader No. 1 on the Celts:
“On the Celtics, I recall even smaller crowds at the Garden during those mostly good times in the 1970s than we see at the Fleet today -- even adjusting for no-shows (which visual inspection suggests are a high percentage at most Celt home games). It didn't become impossible to get a Celts home ticket until after the first Larry Bird championship season -- I remember getting first balcony day-of tickets twice during Bird's rookie year, and one against Dr. J and the 76ers! ... Given Boston's basketball attendance history, an alternative view is (a) the Bird years were the aberration -- Boston really ISN'T a hooptown, (b) the new ticket policy might actually be a case of 'back to the future.'”
Hub Blog’s response
- Think it’s more a case of ‘back to the future.’ Tempted to say the Bird years were an aberration, but fans really did stick it out for a long, long time after he left, in hopes of a turnaround. The attendance is still not at the ‘70s level. But it’s headed in that direction.
‘Want to talk real power?’ Part II:
Reader No. 1 on lefty academia:
“Weak. Ellen Goodman's column addressing the obvious bias of academia. I was disappointed also in your dismissal of the academic bias dispute by pointing at the Conservative Worker Bee network as opposed to dealing with the issue. The excellent, conservative, and not doctinaire, American Enterprise surfaced some rather good research on this political issue over two years. At the risk of echoing Karl Zinsmeister, I think one will find more political diversity in the boardrooms than the faculty lounges. High-paying senior executives, particularly in financial
services and technology, are perhaps the one demographic in which Democrats have made inroads over the past decade. The answer should be obvious: classical liberalism is economic AND personal, but we've been calling it 'Libertarianism' for nearly half a century as the Democrats became addicted to watered-down socialism in the 20th century. Classical liberalism, unleashed by the 60s kids (personal behaviors) and the deregulators of the late 70s and 1980s, has made a big comeback. (One big thing Clinton got right.) The highest paid executives and entrepreneurs of today are the primary exemplars of Classical Liberalism, which is why they voted for Clinton, and Gore, and many for Kerry..."
Hub Blog’s response
-- Sorry to disappoint on the academic bias issue. It is an old, old issue. Maybe I’ll engage in the 10,997,367,340th conservative mantra argument about the academic left -- something I happen to agree exists but a subject I don’t knee-jerk launch into whenever the beehive pulsates -- if and when people like Reader No. 1 and Jeff Jacoby really surprise me by tackling something not handed down to them, like, oh, a detailed criticism of the management of the Iraq war.
‘The ‘70s-themed party’ - minus Hank Finkel:
Never thought I’d say this: I miss the 1970s. Why? Today’s Celts have reached the pits. Giving away thousands of tickets.
.... Not that it’s a bad business idea per se. Exposes the team to new fans who couldn’t afford tickets, puts people into the center to buy $5.50 hot dogs, makes televised games less embarrassing by showing full seats rather than empty seats etc. etc. ... But it’s still a sad reflection on how low the franchise has fallen. ...
All of which prompted me to look back at the last alleged horrid period in Celtics history: the 1970s.
Specifically, the early ‘70s Hank Finkel era, after Bill Russell left and before Dave Cowens arrived, and the late ‘70s post-Hondo and pre-Bird years. Wretched times. Seemed like they’d never end. But here’s the amazing thing: The Celts went only five years after Russell retired before Jo Jo, the Dons, Hondo, Cowens, and, yes, Hank, won a championship in ‘74.
The team was actually a decent playoff contender within three years of Russell’s departure. ... The Celts went through another bad spell in the late ‘70s. Again it seemed like a long ordeal. But it was only two years. Everyone knew Bird was on the way. ... Now? Eighteen years since the last championship? How many coaches? How many bad trades and draft picks? Where’s the hope? They’re playing somewhat well in recent games. But this franchise has been so mismanaged over nearly two decades now. I’m surprised fans have hung on this long. ... So, yes, I miss the 1970s.
-- Hub Blog is about to throw you into a fit of uncontrollable envy, for Hank Finkel once visited MY HOUSE, along with Satch Sanders, Steve ‘Worsky’ Kuberski and Rex Morgan. A Hub Blog uncle arranged for them to come to our post-season CYO basketball pizza party in the early 1970s -- held at MY HOUSE. All us kids got autographs and photos. The players got all the pizza and beer they could down. That’s how the NBA worked back then. Unthinkable today. ... Good to see Hank is fondly remembered, albeit as a '70s-themed party’
cult figure, for he at least played a role in rebuilding a franchise and winning a championship.
‘Stay, Pedro, and don’t Yank our chain’:
Gotta love a headline that gets to the point fast. Howard Manly
puts in bluntly (reg. req.).
‘Want to talk real power?’:
Not to pick on Jeff Jacoby
, but, really, talk about providing evidence of Hub Blog’s theory on the existence of a conservative beehive and its busy worker bees. Quoting from the Wall Street Journal, William Safire, the National Review, Jeff then
launches into an argument that, as he clearly just showed, is nothing more than regurgitated received ideological wisdom already defined and expressed by those he cited. ... Bzzzzzzzz. Sting away worker bees! ...
Not to overlook the left’s own beehive and worker-bee activity. Ellen Goodman
, now a Queen Bee not to be confused with a mere worker bee, wades into last week’s ideological cause du jour, lefty academia, another subject dutifully buzzed by Jeff
because, well, it was the ideological cause du jour. But guess what? Ellen throws it right back at conservatives: “Want to talk real power? If the faculty clubs are blue, corporate management offices are red. In the name of diversity, let's trade some
liberal sociologists for conservative oil executives.” ... She does have a point. Hopefully none of the lefty worker bees are reading. They might launch a campaign to put Howard Zinn on Raytheon’s board of directors. ...
'Exactly the sort of practical but progressive Democrat':
The 2006 gubernatorial race is off and running with Tom Reilly's signing up
of two heavyweight fund-raisers. ... Now the hard part for Reilly: appealing to Independents while appeasing Hack-Progressives. So the early odds are still 2-1 in Mitt's favor, though Mitt seems to be doing everything in his shallow power to make it more difficult for himself. ... The odds increase to 4-1 if Dems nominate Michael E. Capuano, who nevertheless shouldn't be underestimated. Capuano has that inexplicable Will to Power gene that overcomes so many faults, sort of like John Kerry.
... Michael Capuano: The Ed King of 2006? The campaign motto: We want our
state government back!! ... Bill Galvin slipping in between Reilly and Capuano? ... Oh, it's sooooo good to have a fine election shaping up this early.
I’ve learned one thing from the Broadcast Brad saga: con men are almost by definition psychopaths -- or anti-social people who fundamentally don’t care about the pain inflicted on others because they have no truly grounded sense of right and wrong. So ‘psychopath’ seems to me an entirely apt description of the ‘Yes Men’ activists
-- described as ‘anti-corporate activist-pranksters’ -- who duped the BBC into publishing a bogus story about a $12 billion settlement of the tragic Bhopal disaster, a bogus report that raised the hopes of untold thousands in India, a bogus report that probably has ruined the careers of journalists ‘covering’ the story, a bogus report that could have severely harmed a company and its shareholders, etc. etc. They’ve made a cute career out of similar cons. They enjoy the cons. They film their cons. They are con men. They are psychopaths at heart, rationalizing their kicks in self-righteous ideology. ...
‘That haven of superficial, pretentious, pseudo-aristocratic vanity’:
Someone has way too much time on his or her hands.
But it’s all for the public good: Exposing the intellectual nerve center of the Wedding Bride Industrial Complex. (Hint: It’s not Martha Stewart.) … Via Universal Hub.
'We apologize for our mistakes’:
Must have been truly painful for Bechtel’s John MacDonald
to come all the way to Boston to testify before a lowly bunch of state legislators.
I mean, how dare they! Do they know who they’re dealing with? … But obviously, and thankfully, and finally, Johnny and the Bechtel boys are feeling the heat. … Matt Amorello. What can you say? If he’s sweating before a hearing of Statehouse pals, wait till he ventures outside 128 for committee hearings in DC. Smelling salts and Depends are recommended, Matt.
‘In Boston, where gangs are far less entrenched ...’:
Interesting story on Dorchester’s own non-Charlestown ‘code of silence.’
... If they’re less entrenched here and still kill 60 people, I don’t want to even think of the carnage in LA or Chicago. ...
‘The goal is all about excelling’: Joan Vennochi
, like any sane person, just shakes her head at ever-intense parents living vicariously through their children. ... Pierced ears at two? It’s sick. A Hub Blog sibling became very unpopular with his six-year-old when he recently refused to allow her to get her ears pierced -- just like all her friends. ... Hub Blog is working on a theory, requiring deep thinking, about the growing competitiveness of parents. It’s just not the kids. It’s everything. The huge cars. The huge homes. The huge kitchens. The huge ambitions for their children. Are they afraid they won’t best their parents? Are they embarrassed about being associated with the middle class? Suppose David Brooks has already tackled the issue in 'Bobos in Paradise.'
But it still baffles me what many modern parents are putting their kids -- and themselves -- through. They seem so miserable.
‘We seem to be misunderstood’:
Nearly a month after the election, and still there’s debate over the Christian vote. Here’s a good guide for liberals
and a thoughtful piece by David Brooks on the Christian right.
... True-blue Blue Staters -- not to be confused with the purple people among us -- are not going to get anywhere if they think heaping contempt on fellow Americans is a winning formula.
Everything but The Doors:
Disappointed that John F. Burns
brings up the Vietnam comparison, then drops it. The otherwise good story is really about the frustrations of sweeps and working with Iraqi troops, not whether one area of riverbank Iraq and one transport weapon resemble ‘Nam. ... What next? Use of helicopters evoking shades of Vietnam? ... Burns is
picking up pessimistic chatter among both U.S. and Iraqi troops. Now that’s Vietnamish, if it’s true, deepens and spreads. ... Just get to the election.
‘Who detest the NBA game today’: Peter May
makes the connection between the Pistons-Pacers fiasco and the state of the game itself. Must read if you still care about basketball. ... Doc Rivers
is doing his best to instill fundamentals with the Celts. ... More on Delonte West.
What the heck. More on Doc too.
The guy’s got his hands full. Hope his optimism holds.
‘Stone finally seems to be saying’:
Oliver Stone’s ‘Alexander’ may not pass artistic muster, but J.D. Connor
is determined to pump as much overwrought intellectual relevance into it as possible. ... You see, it’s about ‘empire’ and ... You get the picture. ... What is J.D. going to say when the next big wave of Hollywood movies reverts to, oh, pirates, dinosaurs and other cool childhood fantasy stuff that audiences never seem to get enough of? ...
Actually, J.D.’s account of the movie sounds like Stone faithfully followed Valerio Massimo Manfredi’s classic trilogy
of Alexander. But don’t mention Manfredi’s work started before 9/11 and before George W’s imperial adventure. Might disrupt some academic deconstruction theories....
By pure coincidence, George Will
writes about a subject that seems to explain why and what J.D. seems to be saying. ...
Rhode Island: Our prospering colony to the south: The Hub tide is lifting Little Rhody boats.
... Aren’t we benevolent colonizers? We’ve given RI the PawSox, the little Bruins, a piece of the Pats and, now, jobs and new housing. ... Thank goodness Buddy stood up to Connecticut
a few years back. Colonies like Connecticut simply can’t colonize another colony. It defies natural order and disrupts the delicate regional balance of power. New York, needless to say, was probably behind the Connecticut gambit. ...
‘I miss the Garden’:
Talk of reviving the Boston Garden name
is obviously nothing more than a tweak-the-nose ploy by Bank of America in ongoing talks with Fleet Center owner Delaware North. But it’s nonetheless a very brilliant tweak-the-nose ploy. ... Delaware has been sticking it to BofA on the naming-rights issue. So BofA just struck back. The last thing Delaware wants is any talk about reviving the Boston Garden name. Behold Larry Moulter’s reaction. ... The episode would seem to indicate BofA is willing to walk from negotiations. Hey, why not poison the well if a possible competitor is going to take over the well? It's worth repeating: brilliant.
‘They think it will scare soccer moms’: Next up
: Shoulder pads? ... Didn’t know soccer has as many concussions as football. Maybe it all points to a retro-trend back to Pop Warner. Let’s hope. The future of American virility may be at stake.
The Old Boy Network Strikes Back, Part II: Tom Keane
ponders the (almost) mystifying reaction
of Tom Reilly to the Big Dig fiasco. ... Never mind Michael Capuano. His reaction was (almost) refreshingly predictable for a Grand Pooh-Bah Hack.
‘Hub slobs warned’: Amen.
Boston streets are looking filthy these days. ... Two somewhat lame arguments are raised against landowners taking responsibility for gully cleaning: A.) It’s the job of city street sweepers to clean curbs B.) The elderly and disabled won’t be able to do it. But here are the counter arguments: A.) Streets sweepers aren’t nearly effective as they should be because residents don’t move their damn cars and B.) The same logic would dictate that we exempt elderly and disabled landowners from clearing sidewalks of garbage and snow. ... The ultimate Uber Counter Argument: Things usually don’t get done until average people take responsibility. So pass the ordinance. ...
One other suggestion: More garbage cans on sidewalks. ... Has anyone been to Charles River Circle lately? The amount of trash on streets is astounding. Granted, there’s a lot of T and Cambridge Street construction going on. But there isn’t a single garbage can on the CVS side of the Circle. It was a problem long before construction. ...
‘Should be ashamed’: Harvard University
, proud sponsor of a drunk-fest that sent 25 students to the hospital via ambulances, says the Herald ‘should be ashamed’ for calling students ‘hooligans.’ ... OK, how about dumb-as-rock legacies who couldn’t get into Harvard, BC or BU if grades and SAT scores actually counted? ‘Preventing conflicts with turkeys’:
Not Harvard students. The real McCoy: wild turkeys in Massachusetts.
... Happy Thanksgiving to all. Remember Harvard legacy students: Cranberry sauce, not jello shots, on turkey. ... Bourbon pecan pie is also eaten from a plate, not a luge.
Those damn Harvard hooligans: Twenty-five students
were hospitalized? Thirty were treated at first-aid stations? Double the number of incidents from two years ago? ... These kids not only fail to appreciate la joie de tabloid
, they’re wimps. ...
Love the references about the need for further study, putting things in context, etc. Perhaps a joint student and faculty committee to analyze whether sending 25 kids to a hospital is a good or bad thing? ... The ball's still in your court, Harvard.
‘We don't think it would be appropriate’:
It was appropriate to hold a fundraiser hosted by a Big Dig contractor until a reporter started snooping around.
Then it was inappropriate. ...Where’s that anti-Quinn bill?
- Bottom line: Bechtel is no longer cool as a cumcumber.
They’re rattled -- and should be.
‘See if you can predict’:
Don’t know where JJ
got this link
. But if you grin from the outset, you know what's about to happen ...
-- The link seems to be gone. Too bad. It was funny.
‘Turning out to be a lot harder than anyone expected’:
on the talk within hawk and neoconservative circles about the need to pull out of Iraq soon. The latest twisted-into-knots rationale: The U.S. presence is actually fueling the insurgency. Not to be confused with last year’s rationale: Let ‘em come to Iraq; better to fight ‘em all in one place. ... Remember that beaut? ... What they can’t bring themselves to admit is that they’re actually rationalizing an “exit strategy.” Can’t use those words. But that’s what they’re rationalizing. ... Andrew Sullivan
is having a field day with Billy Kristol. ...
The time for ‘more troops’ was indeed in the spring of 2003 and perhaps right through the first election. Most everyone has known that after the January elections, it would be time to start scaling back, pronto. So the latest hawk/neoconservative view is not all that original. It’s just that they
have finally arrived at the conclusion. ... My favorite quote from my favorite neocon, Max Boot: "This is turning out to be a lot harder than anyone expected -- and harder than it needed to be.” ... Put a more honest way: It’s turned out to be a lot harder than Max expected -- and harder for reasons Max has yet to explain.
Those 'disgraceful' Detroit fans?: Good for the NBA.
They're handing out tough penalties for the big fight. ... I watched the end of the Pistons game live, by pure chance, and couldn't quite believe my eyes. I thought both the players and fans were obnoxious. The TV announcers were absurdly partisan toward the players. ... If any fan gets jail time, the same should apply to the players, if the video tapes show it. ... Hate to admit it confession: I was struck with the amazing accuracy of the popcorn and beer throws. The heaved chair was a little too much. ...
The original Red Auerbach autobiography (strangely, I can't find it on Amazon) gives very funny/jaw dropping accounts of similar rough encounters at either Syracuse or St. Louis in the '50s and/or early '60s. Forget which town. They used to play on those old elevated courts with, literally, net cages encasing the court. Great stuff. So, please, no high-brow lectures about the downfall of fan behaviour, though a good argument could be/has been made about the downfall of the game. ... Hate to admit it confession II: God damn, I loved watching the brawl. ...
Never heard of the place.
... Webster’s somewhere west, north or south of Boston, right? I know it’s not east. Can’t trick me! ... Notice how there's only one 'r' in the name -- and it was probably silent even for the Nipmucks. The Boston accent mystery deepens.
Lights, camera, action!:
Scan the great Blue and Gray land of ours and you won’t find a city with two such whacko crimes as Boston has now. The Globe is going crazy with the Freezer Storage murder
while the Herald is pounding away at Broadcast Brad
-- all day all the time.
... There’s got to be movie in one of these, if not both. ... Both are the talk of the town, that’s for sure. ...
Speaking of Broadcast Brad, he’s being compared to Charles Ponzi. A few months ago Hub Blog coincidentally read a book, “Ponzi:
The Incredible True Story of the King of Financial Cons,’’ written by a former BusinessWeek editor in the 1970s and reissued by its true crime publisher after the Ken Lay and Enron debacle. Not a bad book. The scenes of Boston -- particularly of the crowds forming at Ponzi’s School Street offices -- are delightfully vivid. Warning to purists: It’s written in one of those non-fiction fiction styles, though the general facts I assume are all accurate. I enjoyed it, but I assume others might bristle at the technique.
‘While it is regrettable that we have offended your sensibilities’:
Speaking of the Herald, Hub Blog normally wouldn’t acknowledge a sophomoric rant by a Harvard student
about the World’s Greatest Newspaper. But Jules Crittendon
couldn’t resist giving a good spanking. ...
Oh well. Now that I’ve mentioned one book, might as well mention another I just finished, British journalist Philip Kerr’s detective trilogy -- 'Berlin Noir'
-- set in pre-war Nazi Germany and post-war Germany. Fascinating. Lots of political insight. Falls somewhere, in sophistication, between Mickey Spillane and John le Carre. Highly recommended. ... Next up: The last four books in rapid fire succession of Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe
series. Sniff, sniff. I’m going to miss Sharpe. ... But I do have Cambridge author Donald Pfarrer’s ‘The Fearless Man’
to look forward to afterward. The Hub Blog pa loved it. ...
My, my, my. Hub Blog is so literary today!
The Old Boy Network Strikes Back: They’re here.
Or, more accurately, they never left.
... AG Tom Reilly’s
stand is a big disappointment. What’s he talking about when he says we have to focus on the solution? Doesn’t a solution have something to do with analyzing the mistakes of those who utterly failed to oversee the Big Dig and whether they’re at all competent enough to take part in implementing a solution? Huh, Tom? ... More evidence Reilly is running for gov? He certainly appears to be sucking up to the old boy network on this one. Oh, no, he’s not going to repeat the mistakes of Scott, on the one hand, or Shannon, on the other. The possible emerging (and perhaps only) winning strategy for a Dem candidate: Don’t alienate the hacks like Scott did but don’t get too close like Shannon did. ...
, who at least pointed a finger of blame when a finger of blame was necessary, is out of state again, mouthing ‘thank you’ when he’s mentioned as a 2008 presidential candidate and then denying any interest to what he just mouthed ‘thank you’ to. ...
‘Collectively drooling over the release’:
Can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait.
... As good as an NFL film? Very likely. It would simply be too hard to screw up the drama of the season.
Let George have his yucks:
No need to get in a lather over Pedro meeting with George.
... If we've learned one thing over the past year, it's this: When George thinks he's sticking it to the Sox, the Sox win out. George thought he was sticking it to the Sox by signing A-Rod. George is now trying to stick it to the Sox by going for Pedro. ... Peter Gammons has long advocated that the Sox shouldn't be reacting to the Yanks. They should march to the beat of their own drum, Gammons has lectured. And this year they did. And won a World Series. So seen in this New Sox Era context: Go ahead, George, sign Pedro. It doesn't bother us anymore. We'll find someone else -- and still beat you....
P.S. - George's increasing self-destructive obsession with the Sox reached new silly lows this past season with: A.) Bucky Dent throwing out the first ball in the 7th game of the ALCS and B.) Shoving Sox ownership into the Babe Ruth suite during the series. ... Let's hope George goes farther down this path.
-- M. Buckley
ain't buying the George-Pedro talks. ... Memo: Don't bite, Theo. Stick to your Moneyball/Belichick guns. Let George engage in the self-destructive reacting.
‘All’s Fair in Oven Wars’:
The Kitchenware Industrial Complex doesn’t come close to the Wedding Bride Industrial Complex in terms of being a national-security threat, but it’s getting there. The Simpsons last night
had a hilarious spoof on the cooking and Taj Mahal kitchen craze sweeping the nation. ... The stainless-steel fixtures and Under the Tuscan Sun touches were perfect, though I didn’t see an aircraft-carrier all-purpose kitchen island. ...
'What happens if Roe is overturned?':
deals mostly with what would happen to abortion laws state-by-state across the country if Roe was overturned, only lightly touching on the political side. So let's bluntly concentrate on the political side: It would devastate the GOP. Think gay-marriage was a big deal? Think firecrackers vs. Mount St. Helen, Little League vs. Major League, five percent of the electorate vs. 50 percent of the electorate. ... The GOP has had an easy ride with abortion, yet another issue handed to it on a judicial platter.
‘I'm going to Hell and I've been in Hell for years’:
You are not going to find a sadder, juicier, weirder story today than the Brad Bleidt saga, folks. Here’s Cosmo’s take
and the Globe’s.
... To actually know some of the players involved is, as they say, unbelievable. ... No doubt WBIX is a great little local treasure worth trying to preserve. But it shouldn't come at the expense of those who unwittingly paid for the station.
‘To atone for the mismanagement’:
The mismanagement of priests. The mismanagement of morals. The mismanagement of justice. The mismanagement of trust. Makes perfect sense that the same mismanagement slopped over into church accounts.
The perils of getting a tan:
JJDaley leaves for vacation and returns to discover his blog's domain name is gone. But, thankfully, he's back here.
Mitt to the rescue?:
The Great Reformer is being urged
to take on the Pike over the latest Big Dig fiasco. Fine. Maybe he can now stop reliving his past meager reform successes, such as the symbolism-over-substance idea to blow up an old MDC building
, and concentrate a little more on future potential reform successes. ... Mitt taking on the cops?
Does that include State Police? I’ll believe it when I see it. ... Question: How much do you want to bet a MDC demolition will be/would have been videotaped by the Romney campaign for use in future ads? ... Question II: Do you sense a growing wariness toward the Great Reformer in the wake of last Tuesday’s election? Hub Blog’s intelligence services are hearing a lot of negative non-Dem chatter. Maybe it’s not showing up in polls. But it’s there.
Mitt is demanding Matt's resignation. Matt should go. The whole Turnpike Authority should go. ... But can't you just catch a whiff of Mitt's safe grandstanding? ... Where's that anti-Quinn bill? ...
The pathetic part is how Bechtel is reacting cool as a cucumber to the charges. It's as if they know they have a lot of political pork clout and you cross them with caution. And they're right. ... But it does make taking them down eventually as satisfying as coming back from a 3-0 deficit.
‘Aggressive action could backfire and generate public hostility’:
Oh now the gay-rights crowd discovers the political perils of using courts to achieve their aims.
... The absolutely amazing thing about this article is that there is NO mention of the clear, obvious, undeniable backlash prompted by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling. An entire article about activists fearful of a political backlash if they push too hard on the judicial front and nothing about the MSJC. Not even a lame attempt to dismiss the notion that the Massachusetts ruling had an impact last Tuesday. I can understand why activists don’t want to bring up the subject. But couldn’t the NYT have done so? ... Never mind. ... Ah, the old clue about the dog not barking ...
‘Real if incremental progress’:
A pretty good WaPo editorial
on Falluja and Iraq. It puts into context the ‘real if incremental progress’ achieved by retaking Falluja. But the editorial is only ‘pretty good’ because it measures progress from the time of last April’s failure. ... Tom Friedman
rightly measures progress from the moment ‘mission accomplished’ was declared a year earlier. He also expresses a ‘fervent hope that victory in Falluja will start to tip Iraq in the right direction, and utter scorn at the fact that we are now, once again, fighting a full-scale war in central Iraq, without an ounce of self-reflection.’ ...
One of these days I’m going to have to look into the ongoing ‘not enough troops’ argument, a subject brought up by Friedman. It seems to me a lot of people are still confusing the way combat is waged under new doctrines and the number of boots on the ground needed for a post-combat occupation. They’re two different things. I don’t think we needed more heavily armed divisions with expensive weaponry to defeat Iraq’s military. History shows we didn’t. What we needed were tens of thousands of MPs to smother and secure key sites, buildings, power stations etc. immediately after the 2003 spring invasion, freeing up GIs to do what GIs do: Hunt and fight real nasty bad guys before they could regroup for an insurgency, not to mention intercepting bad guys streaming across borders into Iraq. ... More later. Maybe.
I do, I do, I do hope it’s not the concrete:
You saw this
coming a while ago
. ... If you read carefully a while ago. ... Certain bridges have been falling down, falling down.
... Matt is shocked! shocked!
As for the permalinks above, search and scroll a little and you’ll see where the posts are. I learned my lesson about massing together links. ...
-- Now roof problems
at the Big Dig. ... And, worse, the Pike may have been warned
about the leak problems as far back as 1999 and/or 2001. ... Matt is shocked! shocked!
Let the overestimating and downplaying rage on, Part II:
Round 1: Liberals go hyper crazy over gay-marriage votes when they lose the electoral and popular vote. Conservatives robotically react by attacking anything liberals say because anything liberals say must be argued. Fundamentalists claim credit for presidential election, confounding the latter. Gays
, trying to defend Beachhead Maggie in Massachusetts, say, ‘Oh, never mind,’ confounding the former...
But wait! Because gays now say it doesn’t matter, does that mean PC liberals will say it doesn’t matter, forcing conservatives to say that’s not EXACTLY true, forcing fundamentalists to insist they were misquoted about bragging? ... Such is the modern American political discourse. ...
I look upon my 2004 Red Sox Champions Team Photo at such points -- and it still elicits a huge grin. They did it! Have you noticed how Manny and Pedro don’t have their hands neatly on their knees? They’re so tres cool.... Notice how Trot is leaning back, like Cool Hand Trot. ...
You’re rehabilitated too, Dan:
If Sox fans can forgive Bill Buckner, it’s OK to appreciate Dan Duquette
as well. He did give us Pedro and Manny. ...
Hey, Ballpark Frank may make a move for Sammy.
Some good reform ideas for President Bush:
Boston University’s Laurence J. Kotlikoff
has some very interesting thoughts on President Bush’s plan to overhaul Social Security, something Kotlikoff agrees needs to be done. Kotlikoff makes a persuasive case for a national sales tax to fund a partially privatized system, rather than relying on capped payroll deductions.
Let the overestimating and downplaying rage on!:
As Hub Blog noted the other day: “Bitter Dems will overestimate the anti-gay marriage vote in the presidential race while defensive Repubs will quickly try to downplay it.” ... And sure enough! Dems are definitely way overestimating it, prompting Repubs to go into downplay overdrive to compensate. ... Kind of reminds me of a funny observation colleague Brett Arends
told me recently about the old chad controversy after the 2000 presidential election. Depending on your politics, you either became pro-chad or anti-chad. “How in God’s name can you politicize chads?” he asked.
Liberals are simply going gaga over Tuesday’s gay-marriage referendums, as if they meant EVERYTHING to the election. But I’m persuaded that the referendums weren’t as important as originally thought. They certainly weren't ‘central’ to the election outcome. The war and economy were the star players, if you can call them that, and they always were. The final outcome of the election also reflects the pre-election polls that showed Bush winning. He ended up with a slightly more comfortable victory, but the final tally was still in the ballpark of what polls consistently showed since this summer: A close election going for Bush.
But I’m also not buying some conservatives’ argument that Tuesday’s anti-gay marriage votes had NOTHING to do with the outcome. Andrew Sullivan initially thought it was a big deal, then backtracked
, then posted a good ‘email of the day’
showing how the referendums could indeed have mattered. It comes down to this: Maybe -- just maybe -- the Christian/rural vote might have been down this year had it not been for such a hot-button issue, whether or not there was a referendum on a stae ballot. The heavy and undeniable use of the issue by Republicans certainly indicates they were worried about a lower Christian/rural turnout compared with the Dems’ own get-out-the-vote efforts. ...
... Ohio is still intriguing in my book. No one is disputing, to this day, that had Kerry won Ohio, he would have won the electoral election, though not the popular vote. Now read this article.
It’s hard to deny the anti-gay initiative didn’t have an impact in Ohio. ... Some argue that anti-gay marriage referendums passed in states won by Kerry, proving it wasn’t such a big issue. But couldn’t it be argued that Kerry’s margin of victory in those states would have been larger if it hadn’t been for the anti-gay marriage initiatives? Aren’t Bushies using both the electoral vote and the overall popular vote as reasons to declare a ‘mandate’?
But the anti-gay marriage issue was still a side get-out-the-vote issue compared to the war and economy. Dems had their own side get-out-the-vote issues as well.
Does this absolve the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court of criticism? Not at all. Remember: Ohio. Remember: Overall vote. Remember: Eleven states did pass anti-gay marriage initiatives. ... One judicial step forward for gay rights in Massachusetts. Eleven political steps backwards in other states, even in states won by Kerry. This is not progress. ... Congrats, MSJC!