The only word -- the only mood -- that jumped to mind while reading about President Bush's speech today
was sadness. He may have read about Lincoln's inspiring determination, graciousness, humility, insight and eloquence about to how to persevere and bind a nation's wounds in order to push forward. But Congressional elections are Congressional elections. ...Update
-- John 'Thanks Dad' Podhoretz
thinks he knows what critics are feeling: 'fear.' If you say so, John. ... He's even channeling Bush's 'make no mistake' line. Retro rhetoric is all the rage these days. ...
Angry Boston: Only No. 39?
, here's a list of the angriest U.S. cities
, with Boston ranking only 39. I don't believe it. Not for a second. ... Also via Diane, there's a list of the ten most harmful books
. No objections to the first three. But Betty Friedan and John Maynard Keynes? The list is originally from Human Events
, which obviously can't get enough of Ann Coulter. ... Diane via Carpundit
'Curse you Ernesto!'
Armchair Gen. Savin Hill tells of his 'weekend of living dangerously':
Dateline: Key West
Heard about the 'mandatory' evacuation order for non-residents on Sunday at 1 p.m. while floating in the pool, dark and stormy in hand. Having made reservations for my party at Louie's Backyard, where I knew conch chowder and lamb chops awaited my arrival, I recklessly took the word 'mandatory' rather loosely.
Lost valuable time watching the weather channel to time my departure accurately. Calculated I'd have to arrive at airport at break of dawn - 40 min. earlier than I'd planned, which equals lost time for 1 mojito. Curse you Ernesto! I prepared to fight my way through the panic-stricken throngs the next day, packing a rum bottle on the top of my luggage should I need to wield a weapon. And indeed, my flight was delayed. Our pilot said the fuel truck driver woke up late. A very close call indeed.
'One artificial vision of reality with another'
I'm scratching my head over Jeff's column
and Dan's post
about this WSJ piece
(sub. req. but also available here
) on diversity in textbooks. Don't you kind of assume that most people assume all the photos are staged? After all, the WSJ piece openly notes that publishers use 'modeling agencies' for book photos -- meaning most, if not all, the photos fall into the faked category. Why just pick on the 'diversity' ones? ... I suppose I should next be outraged by L.L. Bean's
use of models in its catalogs
. THERE'S NO WAY THAT HOT BABE MODEL ACTUALLY LIVES IN A RURAL NEW ENGLAND TOWN!!! ... I know, I know. Textbooks are different. But c'mon. ...Update
-- Dan responds
to my response. He's kind of moving the goalpost on me. Is the original WSJ article really about disabled kids being 'shunted aside'? If so, then we're talking about an entirely different issue involving flat-out work discrimination within the modeling industry. But that's not what the WSJ story is about -- and there's the word 'model' again. It's all an illusion. It's all fake
. Even the photos of able-bodied kid models portraying happy able-bodied children enjoying school are fakes. ... And I repeat: THERE'S NO WAY THAT HOT BABE MODEL ACTUALLY LIVES IN A RURAL NEW ENGLAND TOWN!!! ... And I know for a fact that Fred DID NOT MAKE THE DONUTS. So there.
'The Doctor is in'
The Red Sox aren't a baseball organization anymore. They're more like a M*A*S*H unit
(read past the not insignificant Wells-to-LA item). ...Warning
: 'Prolonged exposure to this Red Sox team will make you go sterile.'
Funky things happening in Mexico
. ... Now before proceeding with any profound analysis, let's all agree -- before Danny Glover and Cal Thomas weigh in -- that the definitions of 'right' and 'left' in Mexico have no resemblance whatsoever to what we consider 'right' and 'left' in America. With that said, A.) I don't see any reports of widespread voter fraud, though I absolutely assume there's widespread voter fraud. B.) Check this out about the 'leftist' candidate:
People close to Lopez Obrador say he is assuming the role of his hero, 18th century President Benito Juarez, who led a roving, 'unofficial' presidency from 1863 to 1867 during the French invasion, before driving out the invaders and executing the French-installed Emperor Maximilian.
'Juarez ran the government from a carriage and restored the republic,' said Rosario Ibarra, a human rights activist who frequently shares the stage with Lopez Obrador at his rallies. 'We just hope there won't be any need to shoot anyone.'
OK, let's also agree that what we have here is a classic case of Any Immigration Policy We Adopt Toward Mexico Is Doomed. Choosing between a 19th century crony capitalist and a 19th century crony socialist to form a 21st Century U.S immigration policy is a first-class intellectual bummer. What we need from Mexico is a politically open and economically vibrant nation. We ain't going to get it this time around. ...
I think we just picked sides, Part II
is also picking up something I noticed: Things might be slightly improving in Iraq. Of course no one knows whether it's the start of a decisive trend or temporary push-back by U.S. forces. But from a November election standpoint, it matters. ... Now here's a counterintuitive analysis of E.J. Dionne Jr.'s
analysis of Republicans in full retreat over Iraq, to wit: The retreat might help Republicans. It helped Joe Lieberman in the waning days of the Conn. primary (but not enough) -- and he seems in pretty good condition today. As noted before
, the lesson learned from the Connecticut election might be that strident pro-war or anti-war stands are not what most Americans want to hear right now. ...Update
-- Always include a qualifier when blogging about events in Iraq -- mine above being 'slightly.'
Fierce fighting indeed. ...
'Pity the baseball bloggahs'
Tough times over at Soxaholix
as attention turns to Foxborough:
We bloggahs still have to to get up and address the dire situation game aftah game aftah game.
The situation is indeed getting more
'It is still a wide open race,' Part II
Brighton Reader, also reemerging from summer-slumber quietude, thinks it's time to start assessing field strengths of Dems:
The polls showing a three-way race make me wonder who is doing what for gubernatorial candidates. Some endorsements move votes, others are just names for the ads. Is Menino going to reprise his efforts on Relly's behalf when the AG narrowly won the Democratic primary over Lois Pines? Or will he just hold back his organization and offer advice? In a close race, especially if turnout is low, organization counts. This could be to Deval Patrick's advantage as well, if he is putting real work into his get out the vote effort. Harder to measure than donations, but it does matter.
'This guy iz great'
Funtwo, the electric-guitar playing Pachelbel’s Canon YouTube wonder, has been revealed
. Both the article and, of course, the video
are great. ...
I think we just picked sides
I think it was Colin Powell, soon after the Iraq invasion, who said: 'Kill Sadr.' We should have.
P.S. -- This is good news
-- sort of. And it matches this report
-- sort of. More please. ...
'Oh Suzy Q. ... Oh Suzy Q ...'
It's virtually impossible to read this story
without Creedence Clearwater Revival
ringing through your head. ...
'It is still a wide open race'
Measured against six months ago, this poll
is bad news for Tom Reilly. Measured against more recent polls, it shows Reilly's still in it. That's the story, as I see it. ... More good news for Reilly: He's viewed as the strongest candidate in a general election, always welcome if pragmatic voters break at the last minute for a perceived winner. Bad news: Reilly's support is very shaky. ... The race really is wide open. I can see scenarios where any of them can win it. ...
'Bloggers, e-mail friends, fanboys'
It's all about Dan.
... What a strange, defensive, convoluted column. ... Any analysis of the game
? Nah. ... I know it's only the preseason. But, lord, the Pats looked awesome last night
'$73,000 for 614 unused sick hours'
Excuse me. I've been in the private sector all my adult life. I'm confused. I thought you got paid if you used
a sick day. But Matt
got paid for not
using his sick hours
? ... If it was a Roxbury kid sticking a fake gun into a bank teller's gut and demanding $73,000, what do you think would happen to him? ...
'The pull of Sal-n-Trav (quantitative..sorta)'
Ok, now I'm back to liking BMG.
Why? Because Charley let rip one of the most hilareous posts
I've ever seen: a quantitative analysis of the potential interaction between the Massachusetts Legislature and a potential Massachusetts Democratic governor. Charley preserved his credibility quite well with the following intro caveat: 'Walking that fine line between rigorous and nutty.' ... Now, I'm about to partially fisk this guy. But let it be known to all: I don't know if the poster is serious or not!!! I think he is. Therefore I shall march/blunder forward under that assumption:
Something we can expect on September 20th is a bunch of graphics from the Mass GOP linking the eventual nominee with Sal DiMasi, and Robert Travaglini.
Really? Do you think so? Would Republicans really do that? ...
It was a successful tactic in 2002 (though the crew back then inspired more hostility), but in some ways there is reason to consider the impact of the Legislature on the completion of a candidate's agenda.Consider the impact of the Legislature.
It never occurred to me.
Below I look to figure out and quantify what impact the Legislature would have on candidates' plans, and take a stab at quantifying that impact on the idelogical bent of the final outcomes such as laws.
This is all first draft.
Totally theoretical. I understand.
I am not going to try to estimate competence.
Don't even bother.
That (competence) is an important factor, in many ways the most important one, but I see no way of fairly estimating it on a constant scale.
Then just ignore it!
Obviously, many disputes beween the branches of Mass. government (concern) corruption and power and have little ideological element (pensions, for instance).
Obviously. Ignore it!
Underneath, I perform some back-of-the-envelope calculations to try to estimate how the Legislature would impact Governors Reilly, Gabrieli, or Patrick.
Just the envelopes, please. Stuffed.
I am not including Healey or Mihos because partisanship would skew this data even more.
Good point. Partisanship in a decades-long-controlled Democratic Legislature does skewer things. Ignore it!
Personal relationships with legislators, favors to trade in, influence within the party that decides who gets how much help campaigning, knowledge of the rules of the Legislature all matter here.
I think you're on to something.
I encourage you to use this method, though (I) imagine many people would plug in their own numbers.
I can't imagine people plugging in their own numbers. I really can't.
I urge intellectual honesty when doing so, however -- just because you don't like Reilly or Patrick doesn't make them a 10 or a 0. If someone could get a consistent empirical scale using polling data, that would be great.
It's all about being objectively cerebral. I get it. ...
... And there are lots and lots of numbers.
'Until it was reported on an obscure website'
interviews Papi about his hospitalization and mentions how the story first broke on an 'obscure website.'
So obscure that Dan's eating dust by writing about it two days later. Anyway, it's a good column, sympathetic to an athlete who gives his all and truly cares to the extent he stresses out and lands in a hospital. You gotta love Papi even more. But don't you get a sense of posturing atonement in reading Dan's column after his 'disgraceful'
cheapshot piece that questioned Manny's injury and dedication? An open apology would have been better. ...
FYI -- I'm not going to try to outdo Carpundit's Sox scoop. But I do have interesting off-field intelligence to pass along. A friend who regulary sees Manny away from Fenway says Manny has been extra diligent this year about working out, partly to strengthen his knee. The knee had been bothering Manny since around the All-Star break, my friend said. Just prior to his now publicly known knee problem, Manny was noticeably limping a bit but still playing, he said. You gotta love Manny even more. ... Just passing along the info (very reliable, in my book) for those who may still think Manny is pulling a 'hammy.' ... Disclosure: I work for that
has more on Papi and cites Carpundit. ... Favorite Ortiz line: "I heard it was all over the place and sometimes people worry about your situation. ... I don’t want to go back to Boston and have people freaking out." Freak out? Bostonians? Over Papi and all things Sox? Do you think so? ...
'Although we are both hardy New Englanders ...'
This is a painful post
to read. Another resident is moving out of state for the usual reasons. ... It's indeed a depressing time here. Big Dig incompetence. Rude drivers. Hack leaders. High costs. Tough winters. The list goes on and on. ... Good luck, Tim. Thanks for the great blogging. ... Via Adam
The 'God problem'
Reader No. 1, emerging from a summer blogging break, sends in this interesting survey
on religion and politics. He's intrigued about the section at the bottom on what they're talking about in churches. I'm intrigued with respondents' views on which party they think is more friendly toward religion. Growing up in a New Deal Democratic household, I remember viewing Republicans as godless heathens who only worshipped stocks and money at elitist country clubs. Times have changed. ... Don't know how Democrats can win back the religious vote. The No. 1 topic discussed in churches -- poverty and the homeless -- indicates there's an opening there for them. But people aren't going to buy activists' tired Socialism-disguised-as-religion schemes. Churchgoers generally like the heartfelt fire-and-brimstone sermons -- and I'm not sure your average leftist activist is capable of faking that somewhat conservative Lord-save-us passion.
Raise your hand
Don't you think Ana Marie, Michael and David have done an outstanding job filling in for Andrew Sullivan? They're in sync and on fire.
The best guest blogging I've seen -- and I'm not a fan of guest blogging. ... I'm not saying this because I've heard rumors Ana has a big crush on me. ...
'Give himself a spacious office with a deck'
No, I'm not trying to tweak
anyone by simply pointing out that Matt 'Scapegoat' Amorello really wasn't a 'scapegoat.'
... I shall, however, address Charley's convoluted one-party-state-can-be-a-reformer-state post at a time and place of my own choosing. ... (Does this mean a blogger war is brewing?
- ed. Not at all. I just wish Charley had asked fellow liberals for names of hack Dems who shouldn't be elected. It would have been more simple and efficient. It's going to be a blogger war!
- ed. Calm down, tiger. Charley doesn't like hacks. BMG has a very good record of calling hacks when they see them. They just see them conveniently late. It's going to be a blogger war!
-ed. Go back to Mickey. You've turned into a neocon warmonger.)
Carpundit, take a bow
Papi was indeed at MGH having his heart checked out
. No word on the MGH staffers who got shafted for acting as any one of us would have acted. Give them back their jobs, for Christ's sake. ... Carpundit called it.
The story didn't credit Carpundit, but consider this an unofficial acknowledgement from that
Indianapolis Colts: Suckers!
crunches the numbers -- and I mean crunches -- and determines the Colts were wrong to go with Adam Vinatieri over Mike Vanderjagt, though his correlation coefficient analysis doesn't prove or disprove whether the the Pats' made the right move to forego Vinatieri for Stephen Gostkowski. I began to trust Bill's analysis after reading the following paragraph:
For those of you forgetting high school math, the correlation coefficient expresses the strength of a relationship between two variables. A value of 1.0 represents a perfectly positive relationship, in that an increase in one variable will always result in an increase in the other; for example, there is a perfectly positive relationship between each beer you drink and the body's desire for Chinese takeout.
Anyone care to argue? ... Screw the Sox. I can't wait for the Pats, though I think they're probably going to disappoint as well.
'Oh, c'mon Callaghan, don't tell me ...'
If you have Caller ID and see '212' pop on your screen, don't answer it
. ... My other favorite
from you know where:
I'd say that right now The Eye of Sauron that is Red Sox nation is ominously focused on young Theo Baggins and one World Series ring isn't going to render him invisible.
'Ominous dark clouds and crackling lightning'
Mitt's first presidential video
is out. Sounds exciting:
Then, using not-so-subtle imagery, the video cuts to shots of Boston’s skyline under ominous dark clouds and crackling lightning, and an uphill shot of the State House under stormy skies. In the background, a radio reporter talks about the tremendous budget deficit that awaited Romney when he took office.
Picture Count DiMasi sweeping a cape over his face as he hurries back into his Transylvania lair before the sun rises. ... As I've said, we won't recognize Mitt's role in the Big Dig by the time his campaign committee is finished. ... A fedora-wearing Mitt running through a Big Dig tunnel with a giant killer ball and poison-dart shooting natives chasing him.
'As a progressive ...'
Why I like Blue Mass Group
: They dare to raise subjects that don't conform to the normal liberal partisan/ideological agenda, such as posting about the possibility of privatizing the miserable T.
Take on unions? Bust up a failed government monopoly? There's hope yet. ... But here's why this pro-free-market moderate conservative realist thinks T privatization wouldn't work in Massachusetts: This is Massachusetts. Ultimately, political culture matters when crafting policy -- and ours is one of a 1950s-like throwback hackerama par excellence. Do we really think a privatization plan would be approved by our Pacheco Legislature without throwing in gobs of crippling pro-union perks, patronage loopholes, no-bid fat-cat contractor clauses etc, etc. etc.? Have we learned nothing from our semi-privatized Big Dig adventure? Now think of the T under a 'privatization' plan approved by State House lawmakers. Our State House lawmakers. Oh my God. ...
FYI -- Privatization does work in some cities such as Hong Kong. It even works in Boston. The garbage collection isn't that
bad here. But privatization has to be approached on a case-by-case basis -- and in Massacusetts that means Sal, Trav, Tommy, Brian, Diane, Marie etc.
'Really, what did you expect?'
THESE are the times that try men's souls. No, not Iraq (see below). The Sox.
Ugh. ... Of course I gave up on the Sox after game 3 of the 2004 ALCS -- and looked what happened. ... We'll always have 2004. We didn't have it yesterday at Fenway, we'd lost it until maybe Curt takes the mound this weekend. Then we can say: We got it back last night. ...
'That miracle hasn't happened'
A pretty good analysis of the Iraq war goals and reality can be found here
, by a commentator on Andrew's site. It's absurd to think Cheney and Rumsfeld, as previously suggested
, might have deliberatey sabotaged democratic nation building in Iraq. But it's not at all 'out-there'
to suggest that they believed democratic nation building probably wouldn't work and didn't put their heart into it. The evidence is overwhelming that Rumsfeld yanked reconstruction away from State, blocked any meaningful UN contribution to the effort (despite Tony Blair's urgings to the contrary), hoped to install Chalabi ASAP and envisioned drawing down troops within months after the initial invasion. Add in the pathetic lack of any substantial post-invasion planning and throw in the fact hapless Jay Garner was given his occupation-adminstrative job only weeks before the invasion with precious little resources or funds, and you have a strong case to make for A.) Incompetence B.) Negligence C.) Complacency or D.) A., B. and C. ...
I find it curious Andrew, a big pro-war Bush cheerleader before the war, is only pondering this now. I also find it typical that Glenn criticizes the critics when they clearly overstep in their criticism -- but then turns his attention back to easy media bashing without further critical analysis of the war. But make one thing clear: The media was largely right
in its analysis of a steadily deteriorating situation in Iraq. ...
... Now here's the big question few (except for WFB and George Will) are asking/suggesting often enough: Was it realistic -- enough troops or not, planning or no planning -- to think we could transform a society like Iraq into a stable democracy? You have to ask yourself when you see all the violent tribal and religious factions now duking it out in Iraq. ... A Wobbly Warrior going into the war, I'm still a Wobbly Warrior about not conceding defeat. Abandoning Iraq at this time would be a disaster. But we really do need fresh thinking and approaches toward Iraq. The way we got into this war stunk -- and occupation efforts have stunk. Can we agree on that? Probably not. ... Now I'm harping on the issue like Andrew. I guess I'm having my own guilt/cover-my-tracks moment for having wobbly backed the war without giving enough thought to a lot of issues. I was a critical They're Botching It Hawk pre-war. That provides some solace. But not a lot. ...
'It's all part of a new city effort'
People are dying in neighborhood gun battles. Streets are strewn with trash. The transportation system sucks. People are moving out of the city. Key city jobs remain unfilled. Property taxes are out of control. And what does the mayor of Boston do? Micro-manages restaurants on what they should put on their menus. ... Mayor, you're a mayor
, not a nanny. For Christ's sake.
'I think I called personnel'
It's only Day 2, but what they're discovering at the Mass Turnpike is already enough to make you sick. Secret cameras
and 'highly unusual transactions'
approved by 'Scapegoat' Amorello in the waning days of his glorious reign. ... Howie has quickly smoked out two hacks
with relatives at the Turnpike. The amazing thing is their cynical openness. Loved this exchange about a cousin:
'How’d you find that out?' Richie Iannella said. 'You’re good.'
So how’d he get the job?
'No idea. Nationwide search? You know, I don’t have much luck with this kind of thing. He’s one of the few I have and you found him.'
Do you still sincerely wonder why lawmakers voted to rig the system to keep Matt in power? ... Sen. Diane Wilkerson
has the Pike and Big Dig covered from both ends. Incredible. ... Sixteen years. Had enough? How about forty years. Had enough? But I forgot. The cure for hackerama is a one-party state. Never mind. ...
'Yeah, where’s Mel Gibson now!'
Denis Leary and Lenny Clarke were apparently on fire last night on NESN. Seth
has the hilareous transcript. Andrew
has the YouTube. I haven't listened to it yet. I watched the depressing game last night at a bar and saw Denis ranting about something but the sound wasn't up. I thought, 'What the heck is going on?' Now I know. ...Update
- 8.17.06 -- The Sox yesterday ordered the YouTubes down. But Adam thinks
he's found another site to view it. ...
'The results won't be pretty'
The Pentagon is finishing up a study
on what went right and wrong in Afghanistan and Iraq. Sorry to sound like a broken record, but some 'big war' brass obviously haven't a clue about John Boyd and 'transformation' warfare. The fact the Pentagon refused to even study insurgencies
after Vietnam says so much about the mindset of some. ... Finishing up 'Cobra II,'
I'm struck by a couple of things: A.) The military fought well in the drive to Baghdad, improvising at all times and moving fast. Thank goodness for their heroism and boldness -- and the form of 'transformation' they employed. The battle for Baghdad could have been a nightmare. B.) The failings came in not planning for an occupation and insurgency. The frustrating aspect of bureaucratic infighting at the Pentagon is that some are trying to use B.) to discredit A.), as if one cancels out the other. Those making such arguments are often 'big war' types trying to confuse the issues. ...
'The triumph of unrealism'
parks another one, connecting events in Lebanon to Iraq. He also: A.) takes a justified slap at the blogosphere and its clever phrases that end up being mouthed by senior administration officials as official policy statements and B.) defends John Kerry. I'm not about to embrace the latter. What John Kerry says one day always has to be weighed with what he says the next day. What he said about police action has to be weighed with his vote for the war. Etc., etc., etc. ...
... I was all set to say that Hezbollah may have suffered a bigger blow than previously believed, based on the comments at the very end of this report
. Then reality hit me: President Bush has all but declared 'mission accomplished'
in Lebanon. ... Back to the Hezbollah post
, Seymour Hersh is probably overreaching again. I know, I know. I'm supposed to worship the guy. But I've learned to take some of what Hersh says with a grain of salt. Still, the president's own language -- and that of his advisers -- clearly indicates a showdown is looming with Iran and probably Syria. By their logic, the violent status quo in Iraq can only be changed by change elsewhere. They can't admit they may have blundered in Iraq. No, it has to be something else -- and one step farther has to be taken to finish the job. Now, one can argue with the theoretical logic of widening the conflict to salvage Iraq. I personally think it's nuts. But ask yourself: Do you really want this
administration to handle such a momentous undertaking? ...Update
-- The Israelis
don't sound like they just won -- not even the prime minister.
Waffen SS, VP and KillerCoke
I go away for three days and come back to discover that Gunter Grass
was a member of Waffen SS, Mitt
is being named as a potential VP candidate and Tom Reilly
is tied up in the KillerCoke campaign somehow. No connections or comparisons meant whatsoever. But I'm kind of afraid to find out what might transpire while I'm away over the Labor Day weekend. ... Noam Chomsky as a CIA agent?
'Next is dad with Marlene Dietrich'
is posting cool photos of his dad, David Farrell, who recently passed away. ...
'Great peril of losing the war'
, who uses Massachusetts as his base, is issuing warnings about Iraq. But the military brass isn't giving Michael -- one of the more pro-military correspondents out there -- access to blog and see for himself what the heck is working and not working in Iraq. ...
... OK, OK. Duty also compels Hub Blog to comment on Joe Lieberman's war-related loss on Tuesday. First, I'm tired of Charles Krauthammer
. Second, though I think Scot underplays
the role of moonbats in Tuesday's primary, he makes a convincing case that an earlier realistic assessment of the war (i.e., actual criticism that pointed out everything isn't going swell) could have tipped the election to Joe. The lesson learned from the election might be that strident pro-war or anti-war stands are not what most Americans want to hear right now. ... The ability to adapt and criticize is one of the reasons why I like Michael Yon. The inability to adapt and criticize is why I've grown tired of people like Charles Krauthammer and Joe Lieberman. ...
'Yesterday’s comic strip'
Duty calls, so I shall blog on yesterday's British terrorist scare and urge local readers to read ...Howie
. It's so pathetically and deliciously parochial. Favorite line:
If you think it’s hazardous to your health to get between Sen. John Kerry and a TV camera, you haven’t seen Mitt lately.
Mitt's obsession with cameras and crisis management is why my money's on him in any showdown with Bechtel (see below). Any guy who calls up the National Guard and holds toothpaste-update press conferences on the same day is not someone to publicly tangle with.
'The once-proud Original Six team'
Harry Sinden is finally gone
. The Bruins may now improve a bit with the departure of its morose president who actually said yesterday that 'unfortunately' success in sports is sometimes measured by championships. That quote alone should be Exhibit A in any bar debate over Harry's culpability in the demise of a once great franchise. The Jacobs family clearly deserves primary blame. But Harry was their Eeyore
company man to the bitter end. ... I like Bob
a lot. But linking Harry Sinden with Red Auerbach in the same sentence, even remotely, is utterly absurd. Harry may have been a good bean counter. But Ernst & Young has better ones -- and I sure hope I haven't put thoughts in the Bruins owner's mind by saying that. ...
Muddy the Water Time
Bechtel finally deigns to respond
-- by warning how tests might cause bolt safety problems:
We have some concern that this load ... may cause damage to the epoxy adhesive that is not readily apparent, but might impact its long-term integrity.
Sounds like Bechtel lawyer-speak in order to: A.) muddy the waters and B.) spread the unknown long-term blame. ... Not readily apparent
? Wasn't Milena Del Valle killed by what wasn't readily apparent before
the state tests? ... If I do say so, I think I detect some non-tunnel legal sweat dripping all the way from California
. Who would have thought. The mighty Bechtel sweats. ... Hmmm. It just occurred to me that Mitt is lately taking indirect swipes at Bechtel. The Bechtel letter is dated August 2. My money is definitely on Mitt!Update
-- More here.
... It's not about legal liability issues, Bechtel says. Perish the thought. ...
How to redefine victory, Part II
A devastating critique
of the National Review. ... I find it curious the article appears in the American Spectator, which had its own crack-up last decade due to its Clinton obsession. ... The problem with both magazines, in my humble opinion, is that they became too partisan and less philosophical. They became more intent on winning arguments, not exploring arguments. They became, as I've said before, mirror images of the left in their fanatical argumentative tactics. I stopped reading them after I realized I already knew what they'd say on issues. ... Neal Freeman piece via AS
notices a very curious ad on craigslist. ... Community journalists below. Now this. Think there's a transformation under way? ...
'Wow! Our own beat reporter!'
Talk about community journalism
. Bob at BMG just smoked out Ray Rogers and KillerCoke.org
. ... Read comments by JimS, who also provides some valuable google reporting. ...
David Farrell, RIP
I never met David Farrell
, but felt like I knew him cyberwise. We exchanged emails a number of times, and I'll never forget his encouraging words about how to improve Hub Blog when I first started out and later how to succeed at the Herald when I landed a job there. ... My sympathies to John and the entire Farrell family. ...
How to redefine victory
Big thinker John 'Thanks Dad' Podhoretz
discovers we won two out of three of the Iraq wars, not including the unfinished fourth first one that precipitated the three other ones. ... The second generation of the once realistic conservative movement keeps amazing. ...
'The numbers keep getting worse and worse,' Part II
Read and then reread the second paragraph of this story
. ... It's right out of a Howie column, except these guys are in Washington. ...
'The numbers keep getting worse and worse'
More poll evidence
that Congressional Republicans are in trouble. But while reading the article I kept thinking that something didn't feel right -- that a Democratic triumph was far from assured. Then I read the part about the main problem facing Democrats: Democrats. ... My sluggish post-vacation brain then thought of this post
and this post
about Deval Patrick's current problem: Democrats. The moonbattiest of the moonbats are on the warpath. But I still think Deval's business background will appeal to many
in a general election if he wins the Dem primary. Moonbats generally don't understand this, obviously. ...
'Keep your head down'
Via Reader No. 1, a WSJ perspective
on our Big Dig woes. ... Via John
, another Bechtel connection
. They sure cover their bases, don't they? ... And BMG responds
(sort of) to the throw-the-rascals-out theme in the legislative post below and elsewhere. I suppose if you're a diehard Dem, the prospect of a revolt just as you're on the verge of obtaining total one-party control is not very rational or appealing. ...
... I'm on vacation now, in beautiful Maine. Picked up 'Boon Island'
at a local book store, prompted by an old friend's suggestion last July
that I read Kenneth Roberts. Looking forward to it. ... Have a great weekend. ...
'Tomorrow will be Mel-free. Promise. Kinda.'
Please keep your promise, Andrew
. Eleven Mel posts yesterday, ten on Monday, five on Sunday and four on Saturday. I think we've gotten your point. ... Not even I, a true hammer-the-point-into-the-ground type, can match that output. ...
'Let's embrace the legislative races'
A truly provocative post
over at Mass. GOP News: How Republicans can win by losing the gubernatorial race and concentrating on legislative races. Now we're talking. Democrats are running around with their cute bumper-sticker mantra: "Sixteen years. Had enough?" Republicans should counter with: "Forty years. Had enough?" -- a reference to the Democratic hammerlock on the Legislature through both Dem and GOP governors. Anyone who has read 'Black Mass'
and 'Brothers Bulger'
knows full well that Massachusetts' cesspool politics start at the State House. ...
... But there's one problem with the post's theory: It smacks of desperation. Storming the State House bastille is not a 'short term' adventure. It's a long-term slugfest strategy of winning two or three legislative seats at a time -- and holding them. Mitt's all-out offensive in 2004 didn't work. Republicans need to be realistic -- and constantly aware that Independents now make up the majority in Massachusetts. ... FYI: I am not a Republican. I'm just against one-party states. I covered Illinois state government for a while and, believe me, its old GOP-controlled State House became rotten to the core
after too many years of power. I see the same thing happening in Massachusetts. After the Big Dig fiasco, there's a sentiment out there for major change in Massachusetts. Let's hope voters finally do something about it. ... Mass. GOP post via Adam.Update
-- To demonstrate my noblesse oblige nonpartisan throw-the-rascals-out sentiment, I truly hope this happens
. Via Andrew
, on the first day of his cold-turkey Mel-withdrawal program.Update II
calls the Mass. GOP News' plan a 'breathtakingly stupid notion.' I agree in the sense that Republicans shouldn't give up on the 2006 gubernatorial race or future statewide races -- something I neglected to mention. But what I love about the post is the angry emphasis on taking on the Legislature. Want to change the corrupt political culture in Massachusetts? Start with the one institution that hasn't changed over the decades: The Democratic-controlled Legislature. Electing a Republican or Democratic governor this year won't change much. And we all know it.
Read this article
and tell me Israel hasn't messed up this war. Then read this article
and tell me the Bush adminstration hasn't messed up. Then read this article
and see how amateurs often have it right while the alleged experts do it all wrong. Then read this article
about how two former U.S. secretaries of state disagree -- and you find yourself agreeing with M. Kissinger even though you agreed with M. Brzezinski at the outset. Everything is turned upside down because nothing was done right at the beginning. ...
... I'm developing a theory about how table-banging hardliners force people to overreact and then underreact when it counts. Rhetoric gets ahead of reality. Sound familiar? Think Iraq. Now I find myself, after criticizing Israel for overreacting, saying: Don't stop now! I know. I know. Think Iraq. ... FYI: Tip to WSJ for great reporting and op-eds, in case you didn't notice. Their hardline editorials, though, suck on this issue, with them admitting no mistakes. Sound familiar? Think Iraq. ...Update
- 8.02.06 -- A reader asks 'what went wrong?' Quickie armchair summary: 1.) Israel initially overreacted by relying too much on air power. 2.) For a battle of 'survival,' they sure took their time with the ground war, which should have been earlier and more concentrated in the south. 3.) Their overall goals were unrealistic. 4.) The next time the usual hardline suspects in the Bush administration give a 'green light' without thinking through the consequences, figure there'll be a diplomatic and military wreck down the road. ... FYI: I'm being pragmatic in my criticism of Israel, not moralistic. I truly wish Israel luck in going after terrorists. I just don't think they've thought this through -- and the evidence keeps mounting that they haven't. ...
'Sheltered life,' Part II
Aaron conducts a little research
and finds other prominent local individuals and institutions that have used 'tar baby' in the past. ... Ten, nine, eight -- I'm awaiting indignant demands for apologies and psychoanalysis about sheltered lives -- seven, six ... Never mind. End of story. Please move along, folks. Update
-- Chris has more.
... Now it's officially over. Back to our sheltered lives. ...