'Watching Rudy on DVD'
: Reader No. 1 sends along shocking breaking news
on the Theo negotiations. ... How about them Sox? The ChiSox
, that is. ... Gotta be happy for them. Just making it to the World Series is a shocker for Chicago. Next year: The Cubs?
Battle of the ex-Pats coaches:
Notre Dame vs. USC, what a game.
... Charlie Weis can walk away with his head held high. But Pete Carroll's head is rightly higher. Bottom line: The rivalry is back. ...'Miss Run Amok':
Because I foolishly allowed myself to write about the Judy Miller saga, Hub Blog feels compelled to address the BIG ARTICLE
in the NYT today about the affair. I'll leave it to Jay Rosen
to summarize: "Like I said, it became Judy Miller’s newspaper." ... Because I also don't believe that length = thoroughness when it comes to journalists covering journalists, below are excerpts from the eight-part cyber article, so you don't have to wade through the entire thing:
-- "Interviews show that the paper's leaders, in taking what they considered to be a principled stand, ultimately left the major decisions in the case up to Ms. Miller, an intrepid reporter whom editors found hard to control."
-- "Operated with a degree of autonomy rare at The Times."
-- "Miss Run Amok."
-- "Ms. Miller denied it." (Possibly the most revealing and important line in the article.)
-- "The default position in a case like that is you support the reporter."
-- "Both said they viewed the case as a matter of principle, which made the particulars less important."
-- "Mr. Keller said the case was not ideal: 'I wish it had been a clear-cut whistle-blower case. I wish it had been a reporter who came with less public baggage.'"
-- "Times lawyers warned company executives that they would have trouble persuading a judge to excuse Ms. Miller from testifying."
-- "Ms. Miller recalled Mr. Bennett saying while he signed on to her case: 'I don't want to represent a principle. I want to represent Judy Miller.'"
-- "'She has the keys to release herself,' the judge said. 'She has a waiver she chooses not to recognize.'"
-- "Even after reporters learned it from outside sources, The Times did not publish Mr. Libby's name, though other news organizations already had."
-- "'It was just too awkward,' Mr. Keller said, 'to have me coming from meetings where they were discussing the company's public posture, then overseeing stories that were trying to deal with the company's public posture.'"
-- "Some reporters said editors seemed reluctant to publish articles about other aspects of the case as well, like how it was being investigated by Mr. Fitzgerald."
-- "Ms. Miller said the publisher's support was invaluable. 'He galvanized the editors, the senior editorial staff,' she said. 'He metaphorically and literally put his arm around me.'"
-- "Every day (in jail), she checked outdated copies of The Times for a news article about her case. Most days she was disappointed."
-- "She said she began thinking about whether she should reach out to Mr. Libby for 'a personal, voluntary waiver.'"
-- "'The longer I was there, the more chance I had to think about it,' Ms. Miller said."
-- "Mr. Freeman, The Times's company lawyer, and Mr. Abrams worried that if Ms. Miller sought and received permission to testify and was released from jail, people would say that she and the newspaper had simply caved in."
-- "Mr. Freeman advised Ms. Miller to remain in jail until Oct. 28, when the term of the grand jury would expire and the investigation would presumably end. Mr. Bennett thought that was a bad strategy; he argued that Mr. Fitzgerald would 'almost certainly' empanel a new grand jury."
-- "Ms. Miller said, 'I owed it to myself ...'"
-- "Ms. Miller said she was persuaded. 'I mean, it's like the tone of the voice,' she said."
-- "Her paramount concern was how her actions would be viewed by her colleagues."
-- "On Sept. 29, Ms. Miller was released from jail and whisked by Mr. Sulzberger and Mr. Keller to the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown for a massage, a manicure, a martini and a steak dinner."
-- "At a gathering in the newsroom, she made a speech claiming victories for press freedom. Her colleagues responded with restrained applause, seemingly as mystified by the outcome of her case as the public."
Bottom line: This was a fight they didn't have to fight but fought because Judy wanted to fight. ... We're closer to an answer to the question: Is she a flake or a lying flake? See 'denied it' above. But we're not quite there yet. ... FYI: I'm now wondering if the rethinking
of my earlier thinking
on the case was accurate. It sure the hell seems like the Times was trying to redeem itself by backing Judy to the hilt -- or at least regain some of its MSM elite luster after all its own recent controversies. If so, the move just backfired. ... FYI II: I still don't think Miller should have been jailed. Even if a person has a martyr complex, the government shouldn't be encouraged to oblige his or her whim -- sort of akin to not giving in to Klinger's cross-dressing M*A*S*H antics.Update
have their takes (with an extra Jay Rosen note in Dan's comments section at bottom). ... P.S. Mark
has more too. ... A lot of attention is being paid to A.) Judy's mysterious new source and memory lapse. B.) She may have had some sort of security clearance. I kind of missed those angles amid all the other angles. Still the portrait painted of her is that of an newsroom employee leaving a trail of trouble wherever she goes. ... The evidence also points to White House complicity in the illegal leaking. Don't lose track of that. ... Enough. I've written more than I thought I ever would or should on this subject.
'Sixth senior citizen murdered this year':
You know crimes are getting out of control when you can't keep track of the victims. There's the horrific killing of Wendy Cox
. Then there's the truly disturbing case of Jean Lampron
, whose death also marks the sixth murder of a senior citizen this year in Boston. ... Maybe there's no connection. But then you see Maura
arguing over the death of Victoria Snelgrove and I can only think: so much talk of women dying horrible deaths. No gender analysis and sermons here. Just pointing it out. ... Carpundit
is rightly ripping into those planning an 'anti-police brutality' march -- even though they haven't compiled the statistics yet to make their case. ... Meanwhile, another good debate is going on over at Adam's site
on whether Jean Lampron could have saved herself if she had a gun. Huh? ... Maybe the wingnuts can organize an 'Arm Yourself Against Police Brutality' march. ...
P.S. - Switching gears a bit, I think Maura hurt herself with the Snelgrove remark. It comes across as a loose-cannon cheap shot. Though she won't win, she was doing quite well against a mayor who most people like but still want roughed up to keep him honest. The best way to keep him honest is to be honest -- and blaming him for a pepper gun that he probably didn't know existed is a stretch.Update
differs, roughs up the mayor and makes a few good points in the process. But I still think Maura hurt herself. A cheap shot is still a cheap shot when it comes to blaming someone for a tragic death that everyone knows was unintended.
'Hell in a Very Small Place':
Talk about a depressing book. Recently completed Martin Windrow's 'The Last Valley,'
his highly detailed and acclaimed account of the French-Viet Minh battle of Dien Bien Phu. I liked the book a lot. But can't really recommend it enthusiastically. 'The Last Valley' is just too detailed, so much so that the author a few times literally catches himself and admits he might have given too many details. But it was worth wading through to the very sad and depressing end. ... Say what you will about the French, they fought fiercely (as did the Viet Minh) at Dien Bien Phu. I was left wondering, 'How in God's name did America allow itself to get dragged into the Vietnam War knowing what the French had just gone through?' That's part of the sad and depressing part of 'The Last Valley.' ... I'm told that Bernard Fall's 'Hell in a Very Small Place'
is a much better account of Dien Bien Phu, though perhaps dated in some facts and conclusions. ... To get the ponderous 'Last Valley' out of my system, I'm now reading 'Raising Atlantis,'
the eBook sensation on Amazon. It's going fast and well.Thinking of rethinking my rethinking:
Hub Blog concedes this: I'm no longer convinced President Bush may have made a shrewd political move
by nominating Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. I clearly underestimated the reaction of conservatives, who don't want to risk appointing someone who might turn out to be another David Souter. But reading this account
of Miers (via AS
) reinforces my suspicion that she'd be more conservative than Sandra Day O'Connor and that conservatives will be more pleased than not if she wins nomination. But who knows? ... FYI: I still thinks she's a case-study crony, something that's getting lost in the angry ideological posturing and blatherings.
I don't get it..., Part IV:
I figured out the Judy Miller story. But now I'm not so sure. The WSJ
) is reporting Judy has suddenly found new notes. Hmmm. Meanwhile, the Times staff, Jay Rosen
speculates, seems terrified that Judy may be covering up how embedded she was with the administration. And Arianna
is twisting the knife. ... I'm rather pleased with myself for at least vaguely being able to follow this story. It's not bad, as far as insider journalistic soap operas are concerned. ... Is Judy a flake or a lying flake? That's the story's main theme question now, if you're inclined to follow the saga.
'It just gets more and more boring':
Good for Chicago Mayor Richard Daley
, who basically rejects the notion that the area surrounding the White Sox' stadium should be turned into some themed 'hip' neighborhood, just like Wrigleyville. ... The area could be spruced up. But at least the mayor is resisting the notion that everything has to be turned into yet another false high-end 'So' neighborhood. ... Notice his shots at Chicago's very own media giant, which also has an ownership stake in a hometown team. ... The ChiSox didn't deserve to win
last night. Or win the way they did. But I'll take it. ... I actually like both teams. The Angels you must love for two reasons: A.) Orlando B.) They beat the Yanks.'I find myself shocked':
I find myself shocked that Reader No. 1 didn't comment on the Nomar heroics.
Meanwhile, Reader No. 1 finds himself shocked about something else:
"After 30 years of following the Red Sox, I find myself shocked writing a defense of their general management! Yes, there is room for improvement. The front office has to walk the tightrope between trying to win now and in the future. The worst thing that happened to Dan Duquette was winning in 1995 -- the farm system never recovered. Think of the 2005 Sox as a bridge to the 21st century between that long-overdue and still wonderful World Series win, and an uncertain but glowing future... life would be boring if we knew how it would all come out.
"As for Reader AM (see post below), he makes several good points, but several that are strained or retrospective to me.
"- The 2004 World Series was expensive, but I doubt the Sox thought they were paying $74 million for one season of Schilling and Foulke going in, and I suspect they will get more value than that year at the end of their contract strings.
" - As to giving up 'the big star' and 'the top prospect,' it's not clear there are ANY long-term repercussions to giving up Nomar given his health and declining productivity (I write this as a longtime fan of his)... and losing Matt Murton will not hurt much if/when David Murphy, Brandon Moss, and Jacob Ellsbury successfully graduate from the Lowell/Portland circuit. Not a lock! But nothing in a life is a lock (follow these guys at here
" - Relative to the front office, no question there are communications issues. Given baseball's storied/crusty history, it is surely a shock for field managers to realize they are the equivalent of Middle Management in the eyes of Moneyballesque-GMs. And Moneyballesque-GMs need people skills too!
"On use of the 2005 bench, the record is a mixed bag. The original group obviously didn't come out too well: Vazquez and Dave McCarty were busts, Jay Payton too high maintenance. But Francona made very good use of Theo's replacements for these guys: Cora, Olerud and Kapler.
"The non-use of Kevin Youkilis remains a mystery... insofar as Tito straddles the two worlds of modern Sabermetrics and old-time baseball, it's possible to imagine him giving time, and the benefit of the doubt to get things right, to guys with past demonstrated professional accomplishments. Patience worked for Millar and Mueller in 2004. It didn't work for Millar and Renteria in 2005. ...
"- AM makes a great point on the Red Sox signing injured pitchers! (The real downfall of 2003's Bullpen by Committee - out of Fox/ Howry/ Mendoza/ Embree/ Timlin, name the guy who had not missed a full season with arm injury within that year or the 3 years prior...hint: the only one who lasted 3 years.)
"BUT.... 'dumb' is the wrong way to look at the Pedro signing. No matter what he was offered, Omar Minaya would have thrown another $2 million into the pot (the Pedro damage went back to the Jimy Williams era, we can't even blame Larry Lucchino for this one). Also, the money wasn't blown on non-contributors; a good chunk of it went for 15-7 David Wells."
‘The 2004 win was very expensive’:
Reader AM thinks the seeds of the Sox’ 2005 collapse may have been sowed in 2003 – and he’s not overly impressed with management’s grasp of pitching talent:
“The fact is that 2003 should have been their year; if they’d gone into the season with a closer and a pitching coach they probably would have done it, even without a real manager. It’s entirely to this ownership/management’s credit that they stepped up and made another run in ’04. We must be eternally grateful for that. But we must not forget three points:
“1) The 2004 win was very expensive. Schilling and Foulke cost $60-70 million – possibly for one good year apiece. The trade was necessary, but the Sox gave up the big star AND the top prospect AND the cash. All this improved the team by, in effect, one run – worth it, but with long-term repercussions.
“2) The front office seems to have difficulty communicating with its managers. In 2002, Little obviously never bought into the ‘closer by committee’ approach. (He also presumably differed with/overrode his pitching coach in ALCS game 7, or why is Wallace still there?) In 2005, Theo put a lot of effort into putting together a bench that Tito basically wouldn’t use.
“3) Let’s face it, these guys aren’t very good with pitching. Signing Schilling and Foulke to win in ’04 didn’t take much penetration. Not signing Pedro, while blowing the money on non-contributors, was dumb; so was going into the ’05 season with a staff that belonged at the Spaulding (Schilling, Foulke, Miller, Mantei). The in-season acquisitions of ‘03, ’04, and ’05 were not very good (even apart from Sauerbeck and Remlinger, two of the worst pitchers I’ve ever seen – and I remember Galen Cisco). In two of the last three years, we needed a closer at the deadline and didn’t make a move (compare Duquette and Aguilera, 1995).
“Of course they should re-sign Theo. But there’s room for improvement – they need the time they’ve bought themselves.”
'Something we all suspected':
Final say (for now) on the 2005 Sox, Tito, Theo, Boston fans, Michele Mangan Damon etc. etc. from Reader No. 1:
"So now that this long long season is over, the undercurrents come to the surface. Francona's health
(something we all forgot about), Renteria's health
(something we all suspected), Theo's ambitions
(and possible mentor conflict) - something that shouldn't surprise us
"Bruce Allen's column
to which you linked was marvelous. Judging by the response to this unsurprising yet nevertheless disappointing playoff and other anecdotal evidence along the way (the intensely engaged yet startlingly friendly Fenway crowd at my daughter's first Sox game this summer), I think most of us have turned the corner on our love-hate relationship with the Red Sox. That still glowing Series win is certainly a factor. And maybe most of us see things as Steven Goldman writes in the excellent new Red Sox analysis Mind Game
, 'One of the greatest myths of all was the Boston Red Sox curse. There was no curse. There was just a tradition of incompetence and mismanagement going back to 1919.' So, all the more reason to get Theo signed -- and for Theo's Entourage to learn from what worked, and didn't this year. Some initial questions that come to mind:
"1. Not to second-guess Francona (or Theo), but why didn't Kevin Youkilis (.400 OBP,) get more work this season in place of the overworked Bill Mueller and the underwhelming Kevin Millar?
"2. Will Michele Mangan Damon turn out to be the Red Sox answer to Yoko Ono? Can Tom Werner upgrade Michele from the NESN pregame show fashion segments to a Boston-centered higher visbility TV gig?
"3. When does Pedro's campaign to make Manny a Met cross the line into tampering?"
No nervous breakdown -- go ChiSox!:
Boston has changed for the better. Some talk-show types might try to stir up the angry angst act. But it's not there. The BoSox lost last night and most people I know shrugged their shoulders. They knew it was coming. ... I'm definitely rooting for the White Sox. A classy team in a classy city that richly deserves a World Series. I'm also hoping for -- and somewhat expecting -- a White Sox vs. Cardinals matchup. It would be great for the White Sox to play and beat the Cubs' arch NL rival. Having lived in Chicago, I'd estimate that the popularity gap between the ChiSox and Cubs is roughly the same as the old popularity chasm between the pre-Parcell Patriots and Red Sox of the same era. It's that huge. It shouldn't be. But that's the way it is. A World Series win by the ChiSox -- and especially over the Cardinals -- would certainly help narrow that undeserved gap. ...
Speaking of Chicago, the Sun-Times has stories on: A.) Manny
changing his agent and saying he would like to play in Chicago next year. B.) A sad farewell-like story on Johnny Damon
, who's quoted as if he's already leaving and C.) Just a good post-game look
at the BoSox. Hey, might as well throw in a good political corruption
story. This is Chicago, after all. ... Don't forget: Patronage is technically illegal. One day Massachusetts pols are going to get hit with a big fat Rutan lawsuit. If you don't know what Rutan means, look it up.
Post-game must reads from the blogosphere and newspapers:Bruce
on Terry Francona: "He managed to win just three fewer games in the regular season than the club did last year." ... Face it: Tito did a great job with a good but flawed team. Tony
on that good but flawed team: "How the Red Sox won 95 games is anybody's guess."Bob
summing it up: "This team was never good enough."
... And Wells
doesn't look like he's coming back.
'It is the liberals who will have the most misgivings': Andrew Sullivan
has a roundup of conservative anger over the Harriet Miers nomination -- and the WaPo has its own summary
. ... But I'm expecting a partial "never mind" flip-flop moment from some conservatives. Why? David Broder
may be right when he says liberals may be the ones bitterly upset if Miers gets on the bench. So much points to her being a true-believer religious conservative. Or at least more conservative than Sandra Day O'Connor. ... As I noted
the other day, sure, the president nominated a crony. But he appears to have nominated a devout crony. To me, she's still a crony. So I don't like the choice -- and I suspect her probable conservative views are quite different from my more moderate conservative views. But I'm developing a grudging admiration for the shrewdness of Bush's pick. The argue-over-chads ideologues on the left and right don't seem to see this. Very rarely do you see such confusion. ... Cult of the Crockpot: Glenn
has joined the Cult of the Crockpot (otherwise known as 'slow cookers'). I got one just a year ago. I love it. Recommendation: Buy one in which you can take the cannister out to wash. And get one with a timer. ... My own favorite recipe: olive oil, chopped onions and peppers, hot Italian sausage, one jar of high-quality tomato sauce, a little Port wine, S&P. Stuff 'em all in raw and cold. Set on low and come back five to six hours later. Yum, yum, yum. ...'Too interesting!'
: In classic form, Mickey
is showing no mercy toward the L.A. Times. ...
Stewie, you're doing a heck of a job:
The credentials of Stewart Simonson
, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services's assistant secretary for public health emergency preparedness, are coming under review now that there's serious talk of a possible avian flu pandemic. ... Nothing against Amtrak lawyers. But can we at least get someone in these emergency management positions who have experience in, well, emergency management
?Tufts hooligans?: Harvard hooligans.
Now Tufts hooligans.
... Et tu, Tufts? ... At least Tufts isn't overburdening the health-care system by sending dozens of wimpy students to the emergency rooms and aid stations. ... Ah the old Harvard hooligans saga. Dan
gave a preliminary summary last year and things didn't look good for the Herald. Then news of the vodka luge
leaked out and we haven't heard from the indignant Crimson types since. The ball was always in your court, Harvard. ...
'When the beast pounced':
More on the coyote showdown.
... I rather doubt the grandfather would have been able to keep a wolf in a strangle-hold for half an hour. ... Nothing against wild ravenous wolves one day roaming New England. As we all know full well
: We want wolves!'He luxuriates': Scot
on Count DiMasi. ... Just one quibble. The idea that the Trav has somehow 'grown' in office -- as opposed to Sal not growing -- is pretty much laid to rest with the Trav's crack handling
of expanded gambling in Massachusetts. ...
'Python bursts after trying to eat gator':
Another crazy animal story
. ... Wildlife biologist: "This is not a `Be afraid, be very afraid' situation.'" ... What, me afraid? Discarded Burmese Python pets now dominating the wildlife food chain in the Everglades. Discarded alligator pets roaming
around Massachusetts. Coyotes attacking grandpa and grandkiddie. Wildlife experts reintroducing wolves to Northern New England. ... There has
to be a tabloid god in the sky. ... 'Grampa foils coyote attack':
Question in wake of latest vicious coyote attack
: Aren't they reintroducing wolves in Northern New England? Answer: Yes.
... But remember those old poll numbers
: 'More than 84 percent of all New England residents want to bring back the wolves.' ... Right. ... When was the last time 84 percent of New Englanders agreed on anything? That the Red Sox winning the series last year was good? I doubt we hit 84 percent even then, considering Connecticut's divided loyalties. ... Wolves, wolves, wolves. We want wolves! ... 'Street cleaning scofflaws targeted': About time.
may be on to a solution here: reduce the number of sweep days for simplicity's sake while doubling the fines. I'd throw in stern towing policies. Hey, anything's better than twice-monthly sweeping that results in only six inches of curb being cleaned. ... KISS really does apply to many public policy questions.
'In terms of the happy conjunction of personalities':
Harvard president Larry Summers is marrying
English professor Elisa New -- and Shakespeare scholar Stephen Greenblatt gets in one of the finest twists of the knife I've seen in a while. Whether it's fair or not is irrelevent. It's just funny. ... “All of (New's) work is very, very acutely sensitive to aesthetic issues. ... There are many qualities one would associate Larry Summers with, but an acute aesthetic sensitivity is not the first one that would come to mind." ...
You'll have to click for the full punch line. ...
'Not impressed' - again, Part II: Jeff
is surely right to say the Red Sox shouldn't be counted out yet. Still, it's hard to think of the Sox winning with a giant black hole
in the pitching staff. ... Early yesterday, the odds were running 10-1 in London that the White Sox would win the Series. Before yesterday's game ended, they dropped to 4-1. Is God -- and London's bookies -- slowly forgiving the Red Sox, White Sox and Cubs in chronological descending order of suffering? ...Update
-- Bet Fair
has the odds worsening for both the BoSox and White Sox (click on 'World Series Winner'). ... I'm also told there are no bookies involved here. Pure betting market sets the odds -- or so they say.Update II
-- From Reader No. 1: "Jerry Remy tells it like it is in his 'Picture of the Day.'
It ain't over until it's over... but when it's over, how will our esteemed baseball writers deal with recent Red Sox talent selection? Will it be 'Que Sera, Sera' or a replay of Borges on Belichek?" I don't get it ..., Part III:
Silly me. Now I get it. Judy and the NYT are both
trying to redeem themselves. I think. Just a theory based on this useless story.
... Jay Rosen
rips into the Times and notes the not-too-hard-to-discern hostility toward Judy among NYT staffers. ... Rosen via Instapundit
‘As the quote from Hamilton suggests …’:
Boston University’s Randy E. Barnett
rips into President Bush’s Supreme Court nominee, as well as Senate Republicans and Senate Democrats. He quotes directly from Alexander Hamilton from Federalist No. 76 (with Barnett’s italics):
"To what purpose then require the co-operation of the Senate? I answer, that the necessity of their concurrence would have a powerful, though, in general, a silent operation. It would be an excellent check upon a spirit of favoritism in the President, and would tend greatly to prevent the appointment of unfit characters from State prejudice, from family connection, from personal attachment
, or from a view to popularity. . . . He would be both ashamed and afraid to bring forward, for the most distinguished or lucrative stations, candidates who had no other merit than that of coming from the same State to which he particularly belonged, or of being in some way or other personally allied to him
, or of possessing the necessary insignificance and pliancy to render them the obsequious instruments of his pleasure."
As Barnett notes, Harriet Miers may be a very good person who turns out to be a very good justice, but the original intent of a Senate check was to screen out crony nominees like this. So much for original-intent arguments. …Update
-- 10.5.05 - Mickey
says Barnett may have pinpointed the 'fatal, non-snobby objection' to the nomination. ... Here's a bit more on Harriet.
Now watch some on the Christian right embrace her and angrily dismiss charges of cronyism -- or at least they'll try to change the definition of cronyism. ... Could it be Bush has made a truly shrewd tactical and strategic choice? Seriously. He gets a loyalist and
a fellow believer on the bench. A two-fer from his perspective. ... It will be interesting to see how her religion plays out on both sides of the partisan fence. She's merely shifted from being a crony to a devout crony in my book. ...A little cocky, aren't they?:
Chicago sports writers make their predictions
on the playoffs. ... Being a negative pessimist myself (and that's historically good for superstition reasons), I do sense a White Sox year. They're weird. They always disappoint. But so were and did the Red Sox until last year. ... The mayor of Chicago and governor of Illinois are betting
an unimaginative combined pizza, cheesecake, popcorn, ribs and hot dogs against the mayor of Boston and governor of Massachusetts offering clam chowder, lobsters, beer and Boston cream pie. I hate these politico bets. I hate them even more when we give up more for less. ... When we saw their sorry list, we should have immediately countered, 'OK, it's franks and beans from us.'Update
-- The mayors have apparently upped the ante.
But lobster dinners and a case of Sams still trump just about anything else. ...
Great street-sweeping campaign, mayor, Part IV:
It's back to awful for street sweeping. Moments ago not one inch of curb on Anderson Street between Revere and Phillips was swept because cars weren't moved. Two weeks ago only six inches
were swept. ... The crackdown ain't working, mayor. It is a joke. ...
'Not impressed' - again:
Hub Blog was not impressed
with last year's Sox celebration upon winning the wild-card race and I'm not impressed again
with yesterday's champagne celebration. They should have won the division. ... Which history will they follow? Last year's wild-card triumph or the 2003 disappointment? I'm tilting toward the latter, personally.
More pessimism: 'Painful Omen for Patriots.'
No kidding. They were bad.
... FYI -- I didn't see the Pats game yesterday. First game I've missed watching since probably, well, I don't know when. Blame it on the Sox and the bar I was at yesterday. Not that I missed anything from Foxborough. ...
'Self-examination ... is always a very difficult thing':
I was poking around the Chicago media sites to learn more about the White Sox (they're a very weird team
that almost blew it this year -- again) and stumbled upon this article
about past Illinois governors who have been indicted, jailed etc. The article starts out with an interview with past indicted ex-Gov. Dan Walker talking about currently indicted ex-Gov. George Ryan ... and then it recaps the long sad list of Illinois governors who ran afoul of the law. ... It has NOTHING to do with Boston, except Bostonians might get a kick out of it. Remember: Bostonians tend to corrupt the feds before they can issue corruption indictments. Louisiana and Illinois pols haven't learned this trick yet. ... FYI -- Not to get ahead of events (there's still a game to be won today -- and a possible second tomorrow), but I'd rather play the White Sox than the Angels in the first round.
One down, one to go:
I'm talking about the beautiful autumn weekend days being wiped out by the Sox. Not that I'm complaining. ... It was somewhat amazing watching the Yanks, who some foolishly counted out just a few months ago, celebrating their latest AL East title
at Fenway and not seeing Bostonians experience a collective nervous breakdown. So much has changed as a result of last year. Most notably: No 'curse' talk heard or observed yesterday. Thank goodness. ...Update
-- There's a 'Ruth' reference from you know who
. But no 'curse' reference. Thank goodness. ...
I don't get it ..., Part II:
Maybe this editorial is stating what the skeptical NYT reporters
are trying to convey in their coverage of colleague Judy: 'Self-made martyr.'
... Explains a lot. But it still doesn't excuse or explain why the government puts a non-violent flake in jail. ... Of all the things to worry about. ... General rule of thumb: When a federal special prosecutor gets involved, expect the far-out crazy. ... P.S. Why is Pinch playing such a high-profile role in this and other controversies (see NYT story and photo link above)? Doesn't the power of the NYT rest somewhat on a detached ownership mystique? ...Update
is confused too and also notes the presence of Sulzburger. ...
'Varied possibilities still exist':
Is this 2003, 2004 or 2005? Same teams. Same tension. Same superstitions starting to take hold. But unlike Ground Hog Day, it never gets dull. Last night's game was awesome.
... FYI -- Look what we have before us this weekend: Sox-Yanks, today, 1 p.m.; Pats-Chargers, tomorrow, 1 p.m.; Sox-Yanks, tomorrow, 2:05 p.m. Gotta get everything done in the morning because the afternoons are wiped out and the evenings are decompressing times for the exhausted. ... I don't get it ...:
It's official: I don't get the Judy Miller saga.
I don't get why she was dragged into the fray. I don't get why she went to jail. I don't get why she was released from jail. ... After reading the convoluted NYT story, I'm convinced no one else in the world gets it either. ... I do get this: There's something wrong about shoving a non-violent citizen in jail while violent citizens routinely manage to be released from or stay out of jail. Spare me the right-wing media bashing. Spare me the left-wing she-favored-the-Iraq-war spiel. Judy Miller may be a flake. But you don't jail people because they're a flake, as tempting as that might be for a society awash with annoying flakes.
Let it stumble ...:
You know FEMA is screwed up when its only non-screw-up accomplishment is the direct result of its own screw-up. Exhibit A: The NYT
seems genuinely alarmed that FEMA, which has earmarked $2 billion for temporary housing for Katrina victims, has placed only 109 people in temporary housing. ... But that's actually good. Sticking people in trailers and mobile homes is a man-made disaster in the making. So thank goodness for the screwed up FEMA's latest screw-up. ...
FYI -- Two billion dollars would pay for 10,000 permanent homes priced at a generous $200,000 each. Do the math and you'll find you can build an awful lot of homes for well under $200 billion.Update
-- But of course: Bechtel
has landed a contract to provide temporary housing. ... Incredible.
'No Direction Home':
Managed to see the second half of the PBS 'No Direction Home'
documentary on Bob Dylan. Listen, I like Bob Dylan. A lot. But the show's uncritical contemporary interview and film clips from the early '60s merely confirm to me that he was really a musical bridge from uppermiddle-class folk (not to be confused with country) to uppermiddle-class rock (not to be confused with the boys from Liverpool). That's important. But it's not profound. ... There was a hilareous scene in last night's installment in which a very earnest looking hippie dude is asking profound questions of Bob at a '60s press conference. Bob looks tempted to insult the guy with a line like, 'Get a life!' But at the same time Bob performs the Distant Wise Man Artist routine to perfection. ... Is it possible Martin Scorsese has never seen Rob Reiner's 'This is Spinal Tap'
? Maybe he doesn't see the ironic connection. ...
More on the Hyper Parents Front.
'Equating money with speech':
Here's hoping the Supreme Court throws out 99.9 percent of all financial prohibitions
within political campaign laws. ... The word 'prohibitions' is apt. It conjures up, well, Prohibition and all of its unintended debacles. ... Hub Blog's preferred 'campaign finance reform': Every single penny donated to a campaign has to be reported. And, yes, legislators, that includes alleged 'ticket sales' at clambakes. No other limits or rules. I call it the Fat Cat Disclosure Act. Through transparency, we'll know who's bought. ...
Can someone figure out the following NYT sentence (nothing againt the article -- it's more about the courts and the lunacy of current finance laws/rulings and how it's impossible to follow them):
"The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which includes Vermont, endorsed the state's approach in a 2-to-1 ruling last year that concluded that Buckley v. Valeo was not a complete prohibition on spending limits and that such limits could be justified by rationales the Supreme Court had not considered at the time, including public cynicism about the impact of money on politics."
So the courts are now trying to regulate "public cynicism"?
Great street-sweeping campaign, mayor, Part III:
Much better! Almost the complete opposite of last week
: Nine empty spaces out of 12. Still not good enough. But at least most of the street got swept. ... I'M STILL WATCHING YOU, MAYOR.Update
-- 9.28.05 - Maybe the mayor KNOWS that I'm WATCHING. There were two street sweepers brushing their way down Anderson Street this morning -- and on a non-street-sweeping day. ... Gotta love election season. But I'm not complaining!
'He's the man':
Pittsburgh's Hines Ward
: "They're the Patriots. That's why they're champions. ... They just have Brady back there. He's the man. He's definitely the best in the league." ... What a game
. ... There were definitely a lot of mistakes. Quite disturbing. They can't keep this up. ...
Pedophile Mafia Apologists resort to Lame Lefty Arguments: Domenico
thinks he's got a winner on Fr. Walter Cuenin
, who was forced out
of his parish duties, allegedly because of his big $400-a-month expenses: Comparing Cuenin to Tyco's Dennis Kozlowski. Well, well, well. What would you rather have? A priest riding around in a subsidized car or riding on your son, brother, nephew, grandson etc.? ... Isn't it amazing how right-wing kooks end up sounding like left-wing kooks, sort of like how defenders of, say, the Confederacy resort to Marxist rhetoric ('it was all about industrial economics') or how, conversely, defenders of Palestinians resort to anti-semitic rhetoric? Fascinating. ... Via Adam
. ... P.S. - Made some slight changes to the post from last night. Also check out the comments over at Domenico's site. They're quite revealing.Update
: Smear tactics, pure and simple. ... Margery
(sub. req.): 'Not even my dog believes that story.' ... More here
Brown Paper Bag Over Head Time:
Whenever the MSM elite writes flowery accounts of 'antiwar protests,' it's usually Brown Paper Bag Over Head Time for the rest of us MSM grunts. More than two years ago, I ranted about coverage of these obviously left-wing promoted and backed protests
-- and stories that deliberately strip out any hint that the vast majority of protesters bring distinct political agendas to these events. So what do we get more than two years later? Accounts of yesterday's antiwar rally that say, among other things, that protesters represented a "broad cross section of the United States by age, geography religion and ethnic group," according to WaPo
. Well, gee, thanks. That's technically true. The same could be said about shoppers in Boston's Downtown Crossing on any given day. But if it's also a 'political demonstration,' as the Globe
notes, don't you think it'd help if they described the obvious 'political' dynamics at work, not to mention the world views of the 'organizer'
of the event, as the NYT
blandly describes it? The AP
, needless to say, also doesn't use words like 'liberal' or 'left-wing' or 'conservative' or 'right-wing' in its antiwar accounts flashed to other papers across the country. ... It's just embarrassing to see the MSM cover up the political dynamics of 'antiwar' events -- while at the same time denying it has a liberal bias. I happen to be one who thinks the media isn't as liberal as righty critics say. Knee-jerk media bashing has become the all-purpose duck tape holding together a lot of flimsy conservative arguments. But there is indeed a MSM liberal bias. And politically shallow and sympathetic coverage of antiwar events regularly confirms that conclusion. ...
How bad was coverage of yesterday's 'antiwar' rally? Aljazeera
also strip out all political connotations in an attempt to make the movement look 'broad based.' ... Now where's that brown paper bag? I'll try not to ralph in it before wearing it. ...Update
-- Great brown paper bag selection here.
... And FYI disclosure: I am a reporter at the Herald.
'There, I've said it': Brett
asks the Big Question about the Big Easy after the city is flooded for the second time in less than a month: "Are we really sure we want to rebuild New Orleans? There, I've said it." And he adds:
"The city had a population of around 600,000. So this $200 billion boondoggle would work out at $333,000 a head. Even the cheapest estimates put the rebuilding cost at $70 billion – or $117,000 per inhabitant. If we're going to spend all this money, can’t we just cut everyone there a check? Think of the advantages. Quick. Simple. They can start getting their lives back on Monday. No bureaucrats. No 'cost overruns.' No local guys in shiny suits buying a new Cadillac on the taxpayers’ tab. Everyone person stands in line, gets a check, and hops the Greyhound out of town."Hub Blog's response
-- I guess I'm sentimental, but I'm still not persuaded. Yet Brett's point that 'rebuilding' really means rebuilding landlords' homes to rent back to poor people is a compelling argument for making sure poor people become true land owners after all of this is done. I'd rather see the cash in poor people's pockets than politically wired contractors' pockets...Update
-- Reader No. 1 and I were talking about rebuilding New Orleans
back in early September. Remember: Valmeyer.
... At the least some neighborhoods can and should be moved to higher ground. Throw in first-time home ownership offers, and you'll have a lot of enthusiastic takers. The last thing we need is tired liberal/compassionate conservative 'housing' programs.
'The high point of Mobility Week':
Anyone who visited, lived or worked in Boston during last year's DNC noticed and enjoyed one thing: The lack of car traffic. The city never looked better. So I'm all in favor of encouraging (not requiring) use of subways, bikes, scooters and anything else to relieve traffic. I'd love to see new tramways, bike lanes, expanded T lines etc. ... But there's something profoundly annoying about the EU's 'Mobility Week'
program. A giant Brussels bureaucracy clicks its fingers and Europeans hop to it. Don't get it. ... The CSM story is raw red meat, I assume, for an unleashed Carpundit
to bite into and tear apart. Go, Carpundit! Get the Euros!Update
responds with a good point: "Sorry, Jay. I think the problems of sprawl and congestion need creative, non-car solutions. Even if they are French." But I was hoping he'd really tear into the Euros for the sport of it. ... For some reason I can't quite explain, I'm in a real anti-Euro mood these days. Maybe it ties into the BBC's snotty Katrina coverage, etc. ... P.S. A fine example of snotty BBC coverage here
Not counting the Sox out yet
. But I am starting to take solace in the fact the Pats stumbled the year after their first Superbowl win. ... I didn't want to point out this Tony 'They're cooked'
column the other day because it was too depressing. Now it's impossible to ignore. The Sox seem so exhausted. ... The only good news: The NY media
is still talking 'curse.' As long as they
wallow in it, there's hope. ... 'Reminded us of the old waffler himself': Sissy Willis
calls up the offices of Michael Capuano, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry as part of the porkbusters campaign. Guess who gets an 'F' for poor constituent service? ... Granted, Mike and Ted win style-over-substance points. But Kerry's office comes through with typical arrogance over style and substance. ... Via Instapundit
'Benefit for Louisiana Blues Community Relief':
It's for a good cause.
Great street-sweeping campaign, mayor, Part II:
Hey! A few moments ago a mini 'Green Machine' street sweeper just buzzed by outside my apartment -- the type you see in Paris late at night. The 'Green Machine' couldn't get in between cars, but it was doing a fine job sweeping intersection curbs where trash tends to collect. I like it! ... I also think our 'Green Machine' looks sharper than the Paris type. The one I just saw had shiny stainless steel trimming mixed with green fiberglass. Tres hip. ... I'm still WATCHING YOU, mayor.
Is the Katrina 'chad' moment approaching?:
is reporting that fundamental problems with levee designs and construction could be the ultimate cause of the New Orleans flood disaster. ... Armchair Gen. Savin Hill and Hub Blog
were speculating on this way back when. Here's an excerpt from what the general wrote on Sept. 3:
"* Engineering mystery: Why did the 79th street canal levee break? It's not as simple as anyone thinks - it broke AFTER Katrina had long passed over the city. Why? The chain of events leading to that key break need to be understood. Don't assume there was no human error involved. There's almost always something surprising once we learn the real facts on an engineering disaster."
To which I had responded: "Hmmm. What will be the ideological 'chad' argument of Katrina? It's got to be A.) something no one knows about B.) something people will have passionate opinions about when it surfaces. C.) it's got to be really mundane. ... My bet is it will have something do with levee materials or pumping station lubricants."
And it's now looking like the material in question just might be concrete. If in fact concrete is the 'chad' of Katrina, imagine the ideological know-it-all reactions:
Righty: It's the 3-XZ Grit Concrete favored during the Clinton era!
... Lefty: That's a lie! Everyone knows that 3-XZ Grit Concrete is an alleged non-absorbing material tested by NOAA in 1972 -- at the time Nixon was bombing Haiphong Harbor and draining resources away from domestic spending!
-- Quickie Blame Game Trench Warfare Update: Not much has changed in recent days, as is usual in boring trench warfare slugfests. But there has been a somewhat intriguing development. Notice how conservatives are now lobbing reverse #4 rounds (i.e. praising local officials in Mississippi, constrasting it with Louisiana officials' hapless response). What can liberals counter with? Reverse-reverse #4s (i.e. Mississippi didn't do all that well -- therefore it's still Bush's fault)? More #5s? I don't think so. The Katrina Gap is slowly being pinched closed by conservatives.
FYI: Following is an abbreviated argumentative points list for those still keeping track of the Katrina ideological blame game: 1.) Act of God. 2.) Blame pols for pre-storm levee work etc. 3.) Post-storm fair-game criticism. 4.) Blame locals 5.) Blame Bush.
Reader No. 1 ponders post-Katrina ideas and rhetoric:
"1. That there is not much difference between 'compassionate conservatism' and Big Government Bureaucracy
. And given what is likely to happen with the Rebuilding of N'Awlins
, you ain't seen nothing yet.
"2. That there are heretofore unexplored local government angles to Katrina that no mainstream reporters will explore (too complicated / too embarassing to take a look into the sausage factory
)... again, as the site of the previously largest public works project in American History, Mass residents should watch and learn...
"3. That the most compassionate President in American history would throw shameless cheapshots
at his successor."
Germans are so dumb:
It's payback time
for 2000: Germans are soooooo dumb. ... Why can't Europeans run a simple election? ... Why do those little parties have so much say over the final outcome despite having received so few votes? ... Why is the loser claiming to be the winner? ... I don't understand why one German district votes weeks after everyone else. ... I don't understand this and that. ... This isn't the way for Europe's largest democracy to behave. ... We're soooo much better.
... There. I've waited five long years to get that out of my system.
'I cannot get a unified command,' Part III:
And yet another smart piece
flagged by John
, this one on why Mississippi seems to have handled Katrina a bit better than those in neighboring Louisiana. ... Hint: They literally threw out the rule book -- not to mention a few laws on the books. ... That makes two calm but critical looks
at key Katrina players, with two more to go.
‘This was the Patriots – Clive Rush era’: Ouch.
... Champs Town? Try meltdown.
... Remember: 'Stay calm! All is well!'Great street-sweeping campaign, mayor:
Moments ago a city street sweeper brushed its way down Anderson Street on Beacon Hill. Down the middle of the street. That's because nine of the approximately twelve spaces between Revere and Phillips were filled with cars that weren't moved. The sweeper touched the curb in only one spot -- and that was for about six inches before it had to take a hard-angle turn out to avoid hitting a parked Jeep Cherokee. ... What was that about towing cars that owners refused to move on cleaning days? ... I'M WATCHING YOU, MAYOR.