The plot thickens, Part II:
One can always count on the archdiocese of Boston
to prolong a story's life. ... Slate has a good summary
of l'affaire gesture. ...
The plot thickens:
The Herald is just loving
the Antonin Scalia story. I haven't a clue what the 'gesture' means in Italian. The 'gesture' is being expertly analyzed and debated over at Dan's site
. But my question is: What does ‘Vaffanculo’ mean, assuming it was indeed muttered by the justice, as asserted in today's gripping saga update
? I googled the word and came up with this
. ... I can't and won't print its definition on my family friendly Hub Blog. I won't! ... And, BTW, I work for that
Amid a lot of craziness in my life these days, I finally finished 'Assassin's Gate.'
The second to last chapter is superb, with Packer following a grieving father who tries to make sense of the death of his son in Iraq. Packer interweaves the tale with the abstract war-related rants of bloggers, pundits and politicians. He has little tolerance for those who only want to hear about successes in Iraq -- or don't want to hear about successes in Iraq. ... I plan to buy 'Cobra II,'
but don't know when I'll read it. I'm a little overdosed on Iraq right now. ...
Of Card and celery:
I agree Andrew Card
probably won't run
for governor this year. But I wouldn't be totally shocked if he threw his hat in the ring. He has politics in his blood. ... Most likely scenario if he ever runs for local office: He makes a mint lobbying
and then uses celery
as a wedge issue against 'JK.' ... P.S. -- The Card/Romney angle in the BMG comments section
is also intriguing. ...
'Unflattering spotlight,' Part II:
Mike Brown apparently took a step closer
last night to becoming an almost cult TV/radio figure. I had a hunch
he was headed in this direction. ... If Peter Blute, Ollie North and G. Gordon Liddy could do it, Mike can do it. ...
'Fukuyama has willy-nilly outlined,' Part II:
Reader No. 1: 'I read Berman, but prefer this analysis
by Niall Ferguson.' ...Update
-- Charles Krauthhammer
goes after Francis, big time. Fukuyama isn't looking too good at this point. ... Now I'm not even sure if he supported the war or not. ... As I said the other day, a lot of ass covering going on. ...
The ongoing Prohibition, Part II: John
makes a good catch: They're now thinking of raising the age for driver licenses from 16 1/2 to 17 1/2. My take is roughly the same as it applies to youthful drinking
: Don't prohibit it. Does anyone really think there's a fundamental difference between 16 year olds and 17 year olds? Wouldn't raising the age only lead to most kids getting their licenses only a few months before they head to college -- reducing their mentoring time with parents? If parents are so worried about their kids driving, here are simple solutions: Don't let them get a license or don't give them the damn car keys. ... Perhaps they should implement certain common-sense rules: No teen driving at night without an adult until 17. Etc. But, really, raising the age by one measly teen year is not the answer -- and it will just cause more problems. If you live in a college town, you should be worried about this bill. Think all those kids with only six months or so of driving experience bombing bombed around campus. ...Update
-- A reader bumped into me and noted he had read the post above. Basically, he agreed with my point that we're taking away responsibilities from teens, as well as valuable mentoring time from parents. But he noted that states don't have effective control over drinking ages thanks to the federal government and that "we need to do something" about teen drinking and driving. ... I completely agree with the desire to do something. But it just doesn't strike me as a good idea to reduce the time parents have to drill good driving habits into teens before they leave the nest. ...
'Mommies talk trash':
Why the Internet is so fun
. ... Via Adam
.'Somebody had to pay':
Mike O'Connell is gone
as the Bruins' GM -- and he deserved to get tossed, I suppose, considering recent desperate trades and the bungled post-strike rebuilding. ... But we all know what the problem is -- or should know. I'm not a big Bruins fan. But I'm old enough to remember when the Bruins ruled this town. Bruins fans waited 29 long years
before Bobby Orr et gang finally brought home a Stanley Cup in 1970. How many years has it been since the last Bobby Orr Stanley Cup? It's now 35 years -- and counting. How many years has Jeremy Jacobs
owned the team? Thirty-one years. Sooner or later you have to stop blaming coaches, GMs, presidents, arch rivals and curses. The best thing that happened to the Red Sox was finally being rid of the last vestiges of the Yawkey regime. The Bruins are still stuck with their own long-term drought regime. ...
'Fukuyama has willy-nilly outlined ...':
Here's a very good
review by Paul Berman of Francis Fukuyama's new book 'America At The Crossroads.'
I somewhat admire Fukuyama, who was skeptical about Iraq before the war. But Berman, a 'liberal hawk,' does a good job punching holes in Fukuyama's seemingly never-ending grandiose quest to come up with an overarching way to approach history. ... Strangely, I think I've found a new label for myself: Wobbly Liberal Hawk. Berman, author of 'Power and the Idealists,'
is also very critical of the administration's post-occupation planning, or lack thereof, and rightly zings pre-invasion conservatives for belittling Clintonian nation-building when everything before the invasion pointed to America undertaking a huge post-invasion nation-building challenge. But I'm hypocritically
harping on pre-war matters. So I'll end it here. ... Unrelated to Iraq: A fine essay
on Dwight Macdonald. But it is about an intellectual journey -- something many of us have been on since 9/11. (Macdonald essay via Andrew Sullivan
Fire! ... Fire! ... Fire! Part III:
Thanks to those who wrote in and even offered to help with the clean up. I have classy friends and readers. But the damage isn't bad at all -- I've had to throw out curtains, two rugs, a foot rest, a bunch of bad books and my sofa is now officially on mold watch. I was distracted yesterday by other family events. But after a good final round of sweeping, dusting and mopping later today, the apartment should be fine by evening or tomorrow morning. ...
'A 24-year-old blogger ...':
Besides the serious plagiarism
issues, what I find depressing about the entire Ben Domenech affair
is how the WashingtonPost.com tried to turn political blogs into an online version of Crossfire. ... On the left. ... On the right. Etc. ... They treated debate like it's a formula. WaPo may be way ahead of other major media outlets in understanding the Internet. But with Red State
, they were stale and very MSM. The other thing that struck me was Domenech's youth. So young to have such hard beliefs. The same applies to freshly minted young lefties. Young ideologues are coming out of universities, political think tanks and publishing houses like widgets ...
Fire! ... Fire! ... Fire! Part II:
The fire didn't cause quite as much damage in my apartment as originally thought. A day or two of cleaning should do it. But, man, the apartment upstairs. What a mess. ... The neighbor who annoyed everyone last night -- "when is the electricity going back on?" -- is still in an indignant mood. ... And, yes, BC still lost
Fire! ... Fire!...Fire!:
There was a fire in my apartment building tonight while I was away. Seriously. Somewhat minor damage to my abode. Hole in my ceiling. Water dripping in the front room. Sofa's a wreck. Water on my floor. Door kicked in by firefighters. Smoke damage minimal but annoying. Most importantly: My horrible CD collection was put out of its misery -- forcing me, hopefully, to buy a new iPod (and Carpundit, you're not the last to be an iPod retro dunce). (My computer, obviously, was spared). ... I was very lucky. I know it. Thank God no one was hurt. ... Less lucky was the Boston College men's basketball team, which I was watching two blocks away at the time. ... Anyway, where was I? Yeah. Right. Fire. Well, I learned that Darwinian instincts take over after a minor (and, I assume, a major) fire. The Boston Fire Department was awesome: professional, polite, down to earth, etc. Can't say enough how classy and friendly they were. They were all but finishing up duties when I arrived home after the BC game with high hopes of flicking on a late-night war movie and passing out in peace. ... But my neighbors ... whoa! I had one who visited me and assumed, temporarily, I was the fiend who started the fire. She seemed upset when I told her that I just got home and that the fire department concluded the fire started one or two floors above me. She stormed away, muttering something about insurance. Then there were the other neighbors who ... never mind. Everyone cooled down. ...
'Chef -- we love you':
I'm not a big fan of 'South Park,' but I've thoroughly enjoyed the Chef controversy. Here's a funny article
that lovingly summarizes the Wednesday show in which the producers knock off poor Chef. ... And it's also more proof WaPo is on a roll. ...Update
-- Well, maybe WaPo is not
on that big of a roll. ... Ben Domenech resigns
Heh! ... Ha! ... Take that!: They're
... the pre-war arguments for going to war. ... I like Vanya's comments in the first link. ... Question: Do you think the debate over the pre-war debate would be occurring now if things were going better in Iraq? Just asking. ... A lot of ass covering is going on. ...Update
-- It's official: Charles Krauthammer
has given permission to use the words 'civil war' when describing Iraq. ... I assume this means we can also still use the word 'insurgency,' last year's forbidden description before reality took hold. ... Actually, Charles' column is quite good and the best argument I've read yet for sticking it out. What's annoying are those still arguing over pre-war arguments while not looking at the realities on the ground today. Oh, I forgot. The media is distorting events. Things are going just swell in Iraq. ... Riiiight.
'Spend an entire afternoon laughing,' Part II:
Won't you help? Hub Blog, Armchair Gen. Savin Hill and now John
eagerly look forward to our first sighting of 'Nordic skipping' in Boston. But I can't find a photo of a Nordic skipper on the web. I can find Nordic walkers
. But not Nordic skippers. Won't you help? If you find one, please send it along. Thank you. ... Also, Hub Blog is mulling the establishment of an official Nordic Skipping Hotline so we can all stay in touch about the first sighting of a Nordic skipper in Boston. Don't you think we should all share in the laughs? Please help. ... P.S. -- I was once lounging in a hotel lobby in beautiful Douala
, Cameroon, when all of a sudden there appeared a guy decked out in a full 'I'm going on Safari' khaki outfit, complete with a Boy Scout-like troopmaster hat and canteens. Everyone in the lobby had to stifle a laugh. One cynic blurted out, 'He looks like Daktari
!!' And the laughter just grew. Poor guy. First trip to Africa. Everything he knew about Africa came from TV -- and he dressed the White Man part to the hilt. ... I know, I know. It's a terrible story of humiliation. But I never laughed so hard. AND THAT'S WHY I WANT TO SEE A NORDIC SKIPPER!! ... P.S.P.S. -- The scary part of the Daktari hotel incident: It could have been me! The get-up I initially wore on my first trip to Africa wasn't that far off from Daktari. .... P.S.P.S.P.S. -- Do you remember Clarence the Cross-eyed Lion? Now there's a blast from the past. ...Update
-- Full confession time: Before going to Africa, I almost bought an official Safari vest
. ... I so much wanted to play the part. ... FYI: The first safari I went on was in a beat up Cadillac convertible. I kid you not. At first I was soooooo disappointed it wasn't a Land Rover. But I ended up loving bombing around in that Caddy. As they say, Africa isn't like the Africa you see on TV. ...
'Spend an entire afternoon laughing':
Forget 'Nordic walkers' (see post below). Armchair Gen. Savin Hill is eagerly awaiting his first sighting of 'Nordic skipping':
"I've seen 'Nordic walkers' even on Savin Hill. But in the article, a fitness director refers to variations on Nordic walking including 'Nordic skipping'. When Nordic skipping becomes the next big craze, I want to be sure someone tells me so I can dig out my binoculars and stake out a spot in the nearest park where I can set up my folding chair and cooler. I'd love to spend an entire afternoon laughing." How Valentine's Day was started:
Reading this piece about 'Nordic walking'
brought to mind how Valentine's Day
, as we now know it, was commercially invented by the greeting-card and chocolate industries. But at least Valentine's Day had a real history before it was commercialized. 'Nordic walking' has zero history pre-commercialization. ... Anyway, what's 'Nordic walking'? Why, it's, well, walking with a walking stick. Or actually two walking sticks. But now you get to buy special Nordic-walking ski poles, Nordic-walking shoes, Nordic-walking tight-fitting spandex pants and fleece, and, perhaps, one day, if we're really lucky, special Nordic-walking hats with cute wool tassels. The yuppies are going to lap this up. ... Nothing against walking. I like walking. ...
'What proceeds is pure lampoonery':
at 'The BC'
spoof of Fox's 'The OC.'
... The mere premise is enough to make you laugh: Boston College students and jesuits adopting a rough-around-the-edges BU student. ...
As if on cue ...: Mark
yesterday wrote about fans' new appreciation of hard-headed business practices by sports team owners -- and sure enough the Sox two hours later traded Bronson Arroyo
, who recently signed a home-town discount in order to stay in Boston. Arroyo's fate will be used in the future as Exhibit A on why players shouldn't sign sentimental below-market contracts: It simply makes them attractive trade bait. ... The Sox' treatment of Bronson aside, I do love this hard-headed trade. We have a new Mo in town! ... 'The folly of using massive force':
Excellent story in yesterday's WSJ
(sub. req.) about American generals reading up on how to fight an insurgency. Only question: Why weren't they doing this earlier? Some quick answers: A.) the words 'insurgency' and 'guerrilla warfare' were all but banned at the Pentagon during the early stages of the insurgency because they were in denial about its existence (and don't forget how some bloggers angrily criticized the media for daring to use the word 'insurgency') and B.) the military, incredibly, all but banned routine study of how to fight insurgencies in the decades leading up to the war. ... They were still arguing over the big-vs.-small military issue in the summer of 2004
(sorry for all the question marks in that archived post; must be some typo quirk in blogger). ... The Pentagon's inability to grasp that sometimes you need a big army and sometimes you don't is simply depressing. For many, it has to be an either-or proposition.
'The world should not falter':
Inspiring words from a guy
who admits mistakes and sounds like he knows what he's talking about. ... Time is what he needs more than anything at this point. We ought to give it to him. ...
The secret Brahmin rollback plot?:
If there's one ethnic group in this city that doesn't need an anti-discrimination league, it's ... Never mind. It's just Ray
. ... Didn't Ray say roughly the same thing about Catholicism after the sex-abuse scandal broke? ... Via John
.World Baseball Classic - A Success, Part II:
The South Koreans really
wanted to pummel Japan. Defeating the U.S. was just a practice round. ...
Yum, yum, yum:
The best pre-made Tikka Masala
sauce is available at local stores listed here
. ... I had it last night. Delicious. Next time I'm adding a dash of Cayenne Pepper. Just a dash. ...
'History is a bigger picture':
Lots of Iraq Third Anniversay pieces today. Too many. I'll try to sum some of them up. ... Rummy's right
: History really is a bigger picture. So today he comes across as a full-fledged democratic nation builder arguing against early withdrawal -- when only three years ago he was undermining attempts to plan for post-invastion democratic nation building and pushing for an early withdrawal. That's the bigger picture of Rumsfeld. ... George Will
, who has been admirably skeptical over the past three years: "(R)egarding Iraq, accentuate the negative and eliminate the positive -- that is, emphasize the dangers of failure and de-emphasize talk about Iraq's becoming a democracy." Note: Rummy is doing both. ... Editorials are falling along their usual
. ... Protesters are too
. ... The best revealing analysis of President Bush from a gent in Indiana
: "That New Orleans situation just piled it on top of the Iraq War." Katrina really exposed this administration as being more than capable of botching responsibilities. The American people made a connection. The president has never fully recovered from the heck-of-a-job Brownie comment. ...
... And, ah, there are those still debating the pre-war debate. AS
is trying to show he really and truly exhibited skepticism at an early stage. Meanwhile, those who dismissed the importance of WMD after no WMD were found are now sifting through documents
to try and prove there really were WMD. Go figure. ... The Left is still trying to prove they like soldiers
And that's about it. Oh, right. Moi? I was a consistently inconsistent Wobbly Warrior going into the war (check out archives to right) who believes George Will is right: It would be a disaster to leave Iraq in the state it's now in. I don't know how Iraq is going to turn out. I've gotten a lot of things wrong in the past. But I do know the odds for success could have been higher if there had been a little less cheerleading and more hard-headed realism heading into the war. ...
'The stereotypes about manliness':
Harvard prof Harvey C. Mansfield's new book 'Manliness'
gets quite a trashing
in the NYT. Though I suspect without reading the book that it's not all that good, the outright dismissal of Mansfield's arguments by reviewer Walter Kirn reminded me of that old Harvard elephant in the room: Larry Summer's comments about gender differences. ... I guess there are certain topics you're just not supposed to tackle, clumsily or not. Still a lot of readers, one of whom identifies himself as a student of Mansfield, give the book good reviews in the Amazon comments section. ...
-- Reader No. 1:
there are 'certain topics you're just not supposed to tackle?' Also, why do think Mansfield's book is not all that good without having read it? Here's an interesting sampler
from a few years back. There's a thoughtful review of Mansfield's book by Janet Daley in today's WSJ of the same title. (Sorry no link, it's paid.) Daley takes the author seriously, unlike Kirn's review, which I would submit as Exhibit A as to why elites aren't taken seriously by folks outside of their circle."Response
-- Sometimes you just have a gut instinct you won't like a book. ... I had a similar gut reaction to 'American Vertigo,'
which I hoped would be good but got confirmation pans from people whose opinions I respect (see 'padding out a term paper'
'To DeWalt, a ponytailed musician ...':
That's it. Vermont is out
of New England! Granted, I'm no fan of George Bush either. But I need a provocation to launch what I've always dreamed of launching: Establishment of Greater New England. ... Here's the final deal:
-- New England cedes everything west of the Connecticut River
(click on map) to New York. OK, so we lose the Berkshires. But we also unload Vermont and western Connecticut (i.e. New Haven) to New York.
-- New England in turn gets the wink-wink nod from New York to invade southern Quebec and finish the job
once and for all. We took Montreal once
, we can take it again. They'll be throwing flowers in the streets when we get there!
-- New England is also ceded rights to the Canadian Maritime Provinces, as well as possibly Bermuda.
But, of course, all of this is not without dominos-falling peril. Think of it:
-- Pennsylvannia will absolutely freak out when New York takes over western Old New England and, naturally, New Jersey, as is its sphere-of-influence right. So PA will have to strike to take Delaware and Maryland, which are also within its sphere-of-influence rights.
-- But that will galvanize the sleeping southern giant of Virginia, which undoubtably will retake W. VA and perhaps large portions of the Carolinas, in addition to probable hefty parts of Kentucky and Tennessee.
Etc., Etc., Etc. The redrawn Eastern Seaboard map: Greater New England to the north is finally established and the Florida Problem to the south is finally solved by a takeover by Georgia, assuming Georgia wants Florida.
P.S. -- Some people may think I'm mad. But I think this plan makes an awful lot of sense.
World Baseball Classic - A Success:
What were the first World Series showdowns like? What about the first World Cup tournaments? I suspect they attracted only modest attention and only grew in popularity over time. I hope the same happens with the World Baseball Classic.
I wasn't overwhelmed by the first-ever WBC. But I did enjoy following the games -- and I was impressed with the U.S. team's gracious attitude in defeat. ... I knew the Latin American countries were going to be good. But I've been pleasantly surprised how well the Koreans and Japanese have played. More Asian players in MLB, please! ... And how about them Eagles
'Is Boston Becoming a Better Place?' Part II:
OK, so it's not a 'local hole-in-the-wall' diner. But a 'franchised hole-in-the wall' IHOP
in Harvard Square is better than no late-night drunk hole-in-the-wall in Harvard Square. So maybe there's hope yet
for Harvard Square. ... The discussion about whether Boston is becoming a better place partly centers, I think, on the loss of original locally owned stores, restaurants, bars and coffee houses, etc. That's a national -- and even global -- problem. ...
Mike Brown is back in the news
. ... Why do I have this strange feeling he's going to become a reality-TV or radio talk show success? ...
'The ugliest dog contest':
I just thought it was funny
'Is Boston Becoming a Better Place?': Chris
has an interesting discussion going on over whether Boston is becoming a better place. He thinks not. I tend to agree with him. Boston seems to have hit a stagnation phase of some sort. But putting it into historical context, the city has come so far in the past three decades or so. Perhaps a little stagnation and backsliding is inevitable. ... I like the Florence-Milan comparison. But my own city-to-city formulation (usually used as a club to beat down annoying clowns comparing the Hub to NY) is: Boston is to New York as Edinburgh is to London -- the two shouldn't be compared and I'll take the comparison to Edinburgh any day. ... One thing I'd like to see improved: Our manners. Our Yankee pessimism and testiness can be strangely endearing, but it also seems to have intensified in recent years. ...Mike Wallace, the human work machine:
Mike Wallace is retiring
from '60 Minutes.' He's 87 years old. Say what you will about Mike's career or dyed hair, I don't think there's a younger or healthier looking 87 year old around. ... And he's from Brookline
'Among them ...':
Maybe Bryon Calame
should suggest that Times reporters take crash Conservativism 101 courses from their conservative-beat colleagues. William F. Buckley Jr. is most certainly not
as the story says. ... I found similar problems in George Packer's 'Assassin's Gate,'
which admirably tries to explore the intellectual underpinnings of the war in Iraq. While acknowleding more than a few movement zigzags from Jeane Kirkpatrick to William Kristol, Packer still tries to make neoconservativism into a coherent whole that it's not. 'Neoconservative' has to be the most poorly applied label in American politics today. ...
Not Adam, please not Adam:
Perhaps it's a bluff, but the Pats would dearly miss Adam
. ... Bill Simmons
rediscovers the NBA via Paul Pierce. ...
But was it in the South End?:
Another day, another shooting
. ... Check out BPD News.
How do you stay on top of all these shootings without more cops? Last count: seven in 24 hours.
Whitey, Whitey, Whitey!:
Ah, the mysterious third book.
It's by Patrick Nee.
... Why all the books now on Whitey? I suspect Nee's and Week's
books were deliberately timed for release with Howie's more anticipated 'Brothers Bulger'
. No big surprise. Makes publishing sense. ... Pundit Review
has Howie on tonight after '60 Minutes.' ...
sounds right in that a Reilly rebound was to be expected. But the size of his lead over Patrick doesn't feel right. Just a hunch. ...Update
-- John Kerry
was in New Hampshire yesterday while Mitt
allegedly did well in a straw poll designed soley for projecting an image of momentum. Bottom line: It's early. ... Two Bay State presidential candidates. Kind of incredible, early or not. And, yes, Kerry's a candidate because he's been a candidate all his life. ...
Hub Blog and the grassy knoll:
Yes, I admit it! I briefly used to be a JFK conspiracy buff.
I snapped out of it a long time ago, after watching Walter Conkrite and others demolish most conspiracy theoriests' assassination arguments. But I still admire Oliver Stone's 'JFK'
movie, which was on TV last night. Artistically, it's an amazing film that flashes back and forth between years, characters, events, acting and newsreels -- and doesn't miss a beat in its storytelling narrative. Say what you will about Oliver Stone, he's a brilliant director (his paranoia and Alexander the Great aside). ...Speaking of JFK
: The Vietnam conference
yesterday at the JFK Library held few storyline surprises. 'Looking back, looking forward' seems to have been the inevitable yawn-inducing journalistic narrative, i.e. Vietnam and Iraq. ... And speaking of Iraq, see post below. ...Update
-- More here
. ...'Deterrence by doubt':
This is a terrific story.
But, far be it for humble Hub Blog to say, I think it buried the lede: Saddam telling his shocked generals he didn't have any WMD only months before the war. Many things to take and surmise from this: A.) It appears the regime would have used WMD if they had them, based on the Iraqi generals' morale-shattering disappointment when told the shelves were bare B.) Some of the WMD evidence used by the Bush administration was actually evidence of Saddam cleaning up his WMD. C.) Colin Powell's presentation before the UN was so convincing, that many Iraqi generals who were secretly told there were no WMD actually began to think Saddam was lying about WMD. ... Of course, I fell for the presentation too. ...
'Children’s lives and stability for dogma':
Someone was supposed to blink. It didn't happen. So Catholic Charities is now out of the adoption business (stories here
). ... Now I certainly don't want to sound like a right-wing nut of the type you see regularly over at Domenico's site
, where they actually think Catholic Charities didn't take a tough enough stand and lambaste a priest of the church for not citing the Gospels enough. But a compromise on both sides really could have avoided this tragedy. The church did seek a compromise. The state refused. No counterproposals on either side. None. The word 'immoral' is being slung around a lot. It deserves to be applied to both sides if the word is logically to be used. After all, isn't this all about the kids, as so many of the self-righteous on both sides claim? Well, the kids have lost. Who's to blame? The adults who squabbled and refused to budge from their dogmatic positions. Jeff
was largely right on this score. ... P.S. - I have no objection to gays adopting children. I object to the notion there's only one dogmatic side to this issue. .... P.S.P.S. -- Lots of other blog comments and links over at Adam's site
'The books have to be bad news':
It might be easy to dismiss
all the attention surrounding the new Whitey books by Kevin
as nothing more than hucksterism. But there is a very serious side to all of this. Take William Weld, who's now running for governor of New York. From an AP story
yesterday in Newsday:
" 'The books have to be bad news,' said Maurice Carroll of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. 'I don't think (Weld) is a crook or anything like that, that's silly.
"He said the coverage shouldn't create 'significant trouble ... But it could remind people he's from Massachusetts, who might say, `Why doesn't he go back to Massachusetts?'
"Carroll, a veteran New York political observer, said Massachusetts politics is complex with its occasional intermingling of characters from the political and crime worlds.
"That was the Boston backdrop for one of Weld's novels, 'Mackerel by Moonlight.' It's a 1998 thriller about a federal prosecutor in New York with helpful crime world allies who moves to Boston to run for office."
Ha, ha, ha. 'Occasional intermingling of characters from the political and crime worlds.' Get it? That old Bill Weld. Very clever, isn't he? Bottom line: Weld should have known what was going on when he was U.S. Attorney and later governor, just as surely as he should have known about what was happening at Decker College
when he was running that diploma factory. ...
As for Howie, go ahead. Make fun of him. He's selling a book. It's hucksterism. Sure. But when '60 Minutes,' Weld and others in the MSM were yucking it up last decade over Billy's and Whitey's antics, Howie and guys like Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill
were digging away. As Chris Lydon
once put it:
"Howie is the only writer in Boston with the tenacity to learn the whole Bulger story, and the balls to tell it--not only to relate it in infinite detail (look for Howie's Whitey Watch here) but to laugh in the Bulgers' faces with jokes about The Caucasian, The Corrupt Midget and the Crime Family. These were jokes that he had to know could have cost him his life. The Bulgers had jokes, too, like the word passed from Whitey's liquor store in South Boston that they had a dumpster out back with Howie Carr's name on it."
I think Howie has earned the right to mock Kevin Weeks on the front page. ... But the best part of all of this? Bill Weld isn't laughing anymore. ... BTW: I'm a colleague of Howie at the Herald.Update
-- Sorry. Forgot to link to Howie's front-page blurbed column
. It's a classic. He mocks Kevin, dismisses Week's James Bond assassination tale, pokes fun at '60 Minutes,' and shamelessly hawks his book ("available in fine book stores everywhere."). ...
'Leave it to Rumsfeld ...':
Just because I'm in a Rummy-bashing mood
The start and end of history: Vietnam:
The aging ‘60s crowd will be in nostalgia heaven starting tomorrow
at the JFK Library: They’ll get to discuss Vietnam and
JFK all weekend. If this is a scholarly preview
of what’s to come, I think I’ll take a pass. Note how it states JFK had the 'outline' of a withdrawal plan from Vietnam – but then again we really can’t know what he would have done if he had lived. … I counted in the piece use of the following slippery words: two ‘suggests’; one ‘seems’; one ‘seemingly’; one ‘appears’ and one ‘sense,’ not to mention four open-ended questions, all designed to fill factual voids in the never-ending quest to distance Camelot and JFK from Vietnam blame. …Hey, I admire Kennedy and have a strong hunch he wouldn’t have screwed up as bad as LBJ if he had lived. But I’m not going to say what he suggested and appeared to have seemingly sensed and intended in Vietnam amounts to hard ‘lessons’ about Iraq.Dawn Silvia sighting!: Carpundit
points out an interesting new blog, Beantowners
, whose rather impressive roster
of bloggers includes among others Dean Johnson and ... DAWN SILVIA!!! ... Martha Stewart
doesn't know what she's talking about. Dawn is most definitely not 'unfit.'
Two suspects in the Dorchester quadruple murder may or may not have been held for questioning
in December. But it's now clear there has indeed been two suspects in investigators' crosshairs for a while, as this story
and this story
now confirm. ... Meanwhile, yet another brutal murder investigation seems to be reaching a dramatic conclusion.
... Police have done a good job in both cases, by the sound of it, though BPD News
might want to amplify a bit on its Dec. 18 post on the Dorchester case in light of latest developments. ... BTW: I work for one of the two newspapers in town. Guess which one. ...
'Slammed his fist down on the table':
While reading George Packer's 'Assassin's Gate,'
I've been wondering which excerpt to post to demonstrate the total lack of postwar planning by the administration. I was tempted to use the story about a State Department aide who, in Kuwait only days before the war's outbreak, had to use a Fodor's travel book to indentify and draw up a list of sites that needed protection in the event of looting (the National Museum was high up on the list -- a list that was ignored by higher ups). But I settled on a meeting between Pentagon aide Larry Di Rita and officials from the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance as events unfolded:
"The night Di Rita flew into Kuwait in early April (2003), he was briefed by ORHA's senior officials, and when the deputy leader of the reconstruction pillar, Chris Milligan of USAID, spoke about the need to show early benefits to the Iraqi people, Di Rita slammed his fist down on the table. 'We don't owe the people of Iraq anything,' he said. 'We're giving them their freedom. That's enough.' A few days later, by which time ORHA officials realized that Di Rita had the full confidence of Rumsfeld, the secretary's spokesman stood up at a meeting of about fifty people in the Hilton conference room. The State Department messed up Bosnia and Kosovo, he told his audience (which included many foreign service officers), and the Pentagon wasn't going to let that happen in Iraq. 'We're going to stand up an interim Iraqi government, hand power over to them, and get out of there in three to four months,' Di Rita announced."
Packer relentlessly piles up the evidence -- based on interviews, memos, documents, speeches, Congressional testimony and his own eye-witness accounts -- that the Pentagon systematically sabotaged any effort to come up with a coherent plan for postwar Iraq. In other words: The lack of planning was deliberate. It's mind blowing. ... Packer also clearly shows the lack of planning didn't just lead to civil catastrophe. It was a military blunder of the first order, allowing an enemy to regroup and take advantage of the chaos.
... History will not be kind to Rumsfeld and this administration. ...
I've got it!:
How to achieve my dream life is slowly coming into focus. I shall inherit
an English manor and pay for it via blogger payola.
'Mihos’s numbers match those ...':
Christy Mihos is running a solid third
at 22 percent -- and Reilly is still only barely beating Healey? The poll can't be encouraging to either one of them. ... But Christy is all pumped up, meaning maybe he won't take a hint and drop out soon. ...Update
-- Wait a second. I'm taking Jon Keller's new blog
off my blogroll right now due to the inevitability of him one day saying something I find offensive. (You don't have a blogroll.
- Who are you? - The God of your conscience.
'I'm removing your site from my blogroll':
has removed Carpundit from his blogroll due to Carpundit's comments
about what was said at the Catholic 'men's conference' this past weekend. ... Joe, Joe, Joe. You've got the whole victimhood terminology wrong. You're supposed to say you're 'offended' and await the arrival of the Stoughton No Place for Hate Committee.
C'mon, get it right. ... Am I being anti-Catholic as a Catholic if I say I agreed with Carpundit, which I do? (You'd be excommunicated, that's all.
- Who are you? - The God of your conscience.
'Lunging to the right ...,' Part II:
Kerry Healey does indeed have a Republican running against her in the GOP primary: Mitt. ... So Kerry has had to distance herself from him on abortion
and stem cells
and gay adoptions
-- all in one week and all because he's using Massachusetts social issues as quicky resume enhancers. The trick for Healey is not to come across as performing a reverse pander to the far left on the social issues. ... P.S. - She also can't criticize Mitt too much. She's not entitled to be his heir apparent. Perhaps Mitt will calm down in a month or two after he's gone over his presidential check list, realizing that helping a fellow Republican win election might be perceived as the classy thing to do. He might also cynically realize that a fellow Republican in the corner office, with a small army of door knockers and stamp lickers, could be useful to him in New Hampshire. ...
'Nothing is going to change me':
I had a hard time
figuring out how to slug this post. It could have been: 'Mutiny within his campaign team.' ... Or: 'Impossible to manage.' ... I settled on 'Nothing is going to change me' because, well, it's so true. ... It could have also been slugged: 'Gov. Reilly? Or Gov. Patrick?' ...Update
-- Reader No. 1: "At the risk of sounding like a dreaded Political Professional (PPs), I think Christy's candidacy will be short-lived. PPs and reporters they talk to love 'political disarray' stories and judging by TV and press response to Christy's appearance/announcement last night, there will be no shortage of these. Too bad, I have had a lot of respect for Mihos to this point. ... The main issue is going to be whether/how much his presence damages the Healy campaign. Given the Commonwealth's demographic changes over the last 25 years, I don't think the Progressive-Hack alliance can pull Reilly or Patrick over the top."Update II
over at Blue Mass. Group also thinks Mihos' campaign might be short-lived. ...'Lunging to the right ...':
OK, so it's a little late. But remember: It's an evolution
of Mitt's beliefs, not politics. ... The funny part is thinking how the state Democrats can -- and probably will - screw up these God-given advantages. ... Oh, to be a fly on the campaign wall of Kerry Healey's camp this glorious day. ...Update
-- And Reader No. 1 again: "I can't disagree with Joan
today (Romney column) that flip-flopping is infuriating. But if it were a disqualifier for national leadership, our history would be very different - see Novak
for another current example."
Manny has arrived in camp
. ...'Chill out':
An utterly fascinating video
that turns upside down the virtue of obeying a law (via Instapundit
). ... What would happen if every law was indeed obeyed by everyone?Update
effectively turns the argument around by noting that the Atlanta students probably had to disobey a law in order to show how obeying the law can create illogical mayhem. ... One thought: If the students kept the far left lane open for passing cars while hogging the other right lanes, they still would have created a backup of some sort -- and still prompted motorists to pass them in the left lane at illegal speeds. Their point is still valid. I think. I'm getting dizzy. ...