'Lunges for the podium' and 'Oy'
John 'Both Ways' Kerry has got himself into another one of those situations
in which he valiantly tries to fight his way out of a paper bag of his own making. Armchair Gen. Savin Hill:
All I could think of watching Kerry's response to his foot-in-mouth comment was that he really thinks it's all about him: 'Me Me Me Me! It's always all about Me!' He could have defused his comment/slur on the military in two sentences (bad off the cuff joke gone wrong - mea culpa), but instead he lunges for the podium to blather on in mock outrage. I actually spit out coffee on myself when he began ranting that his critics 'are trying to change the topic'. He has no shame does he?
All I can say is: Manny Ortiz. Or whatever he said. David
had it right: 'Oy.' The guy's a first-class dork. We all know
it. We all know
he didn't mean what he said. We all also know
he didn't mean what he said what he said when he was defending what he said. We all know
his criticism of the Bush adminstration's criticism of his criticism and his counter criticism of the Bush adminstration's criticism was total BS. We all know
it. ... FYI: I'm kind of out of it these days. Light blogging etc. But, God, John Kerry has a way of jolting you out of the most desired slumbers. ...Update
- 01.11.06 -- Charles
writes in with some good points:
It is easy enough to say that we know that John Kerry didn't mean what he said but there is no 'we' about it, given the attention conservatives have paid to Kerry's statement. What are we supposed to make of the outrage of people like those behind Pundit Review and Hub Politics or even John McCain? The choices don't look good: either they are too far gone down the partisan trail to even consider that John Kerry didn't mean what he said or they are deliberately misunderstanding what he said to foment outrage and rail against Democrats. I'm not sure which option is worse. That being said, it is pretty sad when all conservatives have left to run on is a poorly phrased joke. And they say liberals are intellectually bankrupt....Update II
analyzes the early political analysis of Kerry's remarks. ...Update III
-- Reader No. 1:
How ironic that the candidate regularly praised two years ago as verbally suave, articulate and nuanced winds up in this verbal mess. Of course, even an academic-accomplishment-based attack by Kerry on the President is inaccurate and irrelevant. ... Doesn't trashing the President for goofing off in school undercut the usual Democratic refrain that they're the ones who want legitimate policy debates, instead of name-calling and the negative stuff?Update IV
-- Message to Charley
: Do NOT rally behind John Kerry on this. Get him off the stage. Republicans, who are already reeling largely because of Iraq, would cynically love nothing more than to have John Kerry front and center between now and Tuesday. ... I can only imagine Nancy Pelosi's reaction when she saw Kerry at the microphone yesterday. They do have smelling salts at the Capitol, right? ...
Red: Four decades of fan nirvana
Imagine Bill Belichick winning a few more championships this decade, and then, as GM, assembling championship teams in the 2010s, 2020s and into the 2030s -- and you have Red Auerbach. Coverage of his death here
. I'm paying tribute by assembling my all-time greatest Celtics teams from Red's four amazing decades of picking talent and winning NBA championships -- and it would have been five decades if Len Bias and Reggie Lewis hadn't passed away. Here goes:
First team: Head coach, Red Auerbach. Center, Bill Russell. Guards, Dennis Johnson and Jo Jo White. Forwards, Larry Bird and Kevin McHale.
Second team: Head coach, Tom Heinsohn. Center, Robert Parish. Guards, Bob Cousy and Sam Jones. Forwards, John Havlicek and Paul Silas.
Backups for any of those teams: K.C. Jones, Dave Cowens, Bill Sharman, Don Nelson, Cedric Maxwell, Frank Ramsey and Satch Sanders.
Big nod to the non-championship decades: Paul Pierce and Reggie Lewis.
...Wouldn't it have been great to see the two above teams go at it? ... Perhaps my most unlikely pick is Paul Silas. But I figured you needed an elbow-throwing brute in there to complement Hondo. ... Jo Jo and Dennis might surprise some by being on my first team. But they were both court commanders. Maybe they wouldn't have played well together as a result. So I wouldn't hesitate to put Cooz or Sam up there. ... I'd certainly take either team today and watch them pound the current NBA crop. ...
'Stop the Campaign, I Want to Get Off'
Slugging his email 'Stop the Campaign, I Want to Get Off,' Reader No. 1 wonders:
What do you mean, you never saw anything like this campaign? Weak Candidate + Demoralized Base + Distracting Third Party Candidate = (click here ...)
Suggestion for Healey: withdraw name from ballot - let Christy take up the charge against Deval!
Catching up ...
Catching up on events and posts that I missed over the past ten days or so: Deval's lead is now back to 25 percent
? I'm not sure I've seen anything like it before. What the heck happened? What happened is that Kerry Healey always faced an uphill battle -- and then proceeded to wage one of the worst (forget the word 'negative' at this point) campaigns in recent memory. Sure, the coddles-criminals issue, as manufactured as it was, served as a surprisingly effective close-the-gap ploy. But the Healey camp somehow, it appears, convinced itself that it could be used as a central issue of the campaign. They lost perspective. They fell out of touch with voters. I mean, putting guys who look like skinhead neo-Nazis in prison garb and thinking it was clever? It's literally an insult to voters' intelligence. ...
... John had a good post
on the Iraq war. My sentiments exactly. I was a Wobbly Warrior going into the war. But I had no idea how badly the administration would screw things up -- no WMD, poor or non-existent postwar planning, failure to anticipate, recognize and act against an insurgency, etc, etc., etc. A pragmatic reason for going into Iraq (WMD) has turned into a utopian debacle. The Realist Realists are now turning to Realist James Baker to devise a face-saving way to scram from Iraq. ...Update
-- It isn't all
. But he's contributed to the widespread notion that Republican governors are just in it for the next job. ...
Winifred C. Fitzgerald, RIP
My mother died over the weekend. Here's her obit
. So much has been said about her in recent days. She was variously described as caring, loving, passionate, intense and the list goes on. They're all accurate descriptions. But my favorite came from a brother, who said, 'She was a force of nature. They don't make them like her anymore.' She was indeed a classic matriarch -- always in motion and thinking of others right to the end. I got to say a long good-bye and, numerous times, tell her how much I loved her, as did others, and I feel blessed we had those hard but miraculous last days, weeks and months with her. She led a beautiful life -- and left behind beautiful memories.
'Where many recreational pilots fear to venture,' Part II
A pilot writes about flying the same route
that Cory Lidle took, noting there's indeed an urban 'canyon' of sorts that one must navigate. The author lost me with his rationale for not closing the flyway:
To us, flying is a great privilege that, yes, carries a certain amount of inherent risk. But living in the presence of danger and accepting responsibility for it is one of the things that makes life meaningful. We don’t want to live in a world that’s foolproof and accident-free. We want one where prudence and respect can be rewarded with an indescribable freedom—a freedom that too few people are lucky enough to enjoy.
But what about the responsibility to people on the ground? The plane did slam into a residential condo buillding, right? A mountain climber has every right to risk danger. A person has every right to dive into the sea to view sharks. But someone doesn't have a right to put other people in danger because he seeks danger to make his life meaningful. The Cory Lidle tragedy could have been far worse.
‘Like an old rejected boy friend who still thinks he has a chance' Part II
Wapo is the latest to note the obvious
: John Kerry is talking himself into running for president again. Mickey
noted and mocked the idea way back in Feb. 2005, three months after the election. Ellen
practically begged him not to run last April
. But he's going to run, more likely than not. It's in his genes, his fantasy, his image of himself, his perceived destiny, everything. He won't feel complete until he has those black-and-white photos taken of himself in the Oval Office, making profound decisions or reading the newspaper as he leans forward on a table and a photographer snaps a picture from behind. ... Even stranger, WaPo this morning runs a Bob Woodward interview with Kerry
from March 2005. Huh? Why? ... Switching gears: Karl Rove remains confident
about the GOP's chances next month. The reason: The Republican machine. We'll see. But I did note that President Bush has once again banned talk on certain subjects, this time about losing big in November. The last time he banned talk on a subject, it was about this thing called an 'insurgency'
that soon spiraled out of control. ...
The GOP's woes
Glenn has a terrific post
on all the blunders committed by Republicans -- and why they deserve to lose Congress next month. He neglected to cite the conduct of the war, something other conseratives haven't forgotten
and adds to the alienation of the GOP base. But Glenn's list is still devastating. ... I also agree: If Dems retake control, they'd be winners merely by default. Sounds like Massachusetts, doesn't it? ...
'Journey to a Revolution'
Here's a book recommendation if you feel like you need a quick intellectual cleansing after this week's Massachusetts gubernatorial mudfest: 'Journey to a Revolution,'
by Michael Korda. Part history and part memoir of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, it reads like a breezy Old World-style essay, akin to the work of Alistair Cooke
and Luigi Barzini Jr.
... BTW: If you've never read Luigi Barzini's 'The Europeans,'
do so. Though written in 1983, its observations about individual countries (including the U.S.) are still spot on. ... Hey, I'm just throwing out suggestions on how to compartmentalize aside our dreary local politics. ...
'Certainly the attack ads ...'
Some good analysis here
about the effectiveness of Kerry's attacks on Deval. ... Meanwhile, Dan
is all over the Bernard Sigh affair. I, officially, invoke unofficial Rule No. 1
of the blogosphere and won't publicly comment on the affair because the Herald is involved. But I will say this: The issue of crime came out of no where -- and, in my opinion, is not a central issue. Sure it's an important
issue that needs to be covered by the pols and media. It's also obviously been an effective
issue for Healey, from a purely pragmatic and smart close-the-gap standpoint. But it's not central
to me -- and I assume it ain't for a lot of other people. ... FYI: Here are the two issues that I, as a voter, see as central: 1.) The inability/refusal of politicians to reform the way government operates in this state and 2.) The state's economy and ability to attract and keep private-sector jobs. Others can add health care, education etc. But those are my two. ...
Why I Sort Of Favor Global Warming
This is why.
... Seriously, they tried to scare us with how our summers would become more like those in the Carolinas. But they didn't make clear how our winters might also become like those in ... the Carolinas! WooHoo! ... Also seriously, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know. Global warming. Bad. Dumping toxic and dangerous chemicals into the air, under any circumstances, bad. ... But winters like the Carolinas? WooHoo! ... Aren't we now losing population to the Carolinas? ... I know, I know, I know, I know. ....
'We're closing the gap'
Maybe the Deval-coddles-criminals tactic is more effective
than intitially thought. Yes, the race was going to tighten anyway. But 13 points is not 18 points. ... Of all the things to work. Did you see the coddles-criminals issue coming? I didn't. Totally off the radar. But here it is. ... For what it's worth: Deval would be smart to send a signal to lawmakers to please, please, please NOT reconvene a legislative session
before the election. Need I spell out why? ...Update
has an analysis of the same numbers -- and Kerry's very high negatives. ... A friend this morning offered me a wager: Deval wins by 5 to 7 percent. Sounds right to me. The numbers are tightening. But he and I sense the same thing: People generally want change, not more of the same. ... BTW: Look at Christy's numbers. Who do you think he's hurting? Another reason why I didn't take the bet. ...
'Where many recreational pilots fear to venture'
A Hub Blog friend who lives on Roosevelt Island is obviously stunned by the Cory Lidle tragedy
and wonders, without being insensitive to his death, what the heck he or anyone else was doing flying a plane within the East River corridor. Take a look at this interactive graphic
. It's almost mad for authorities to allow such flights. He had to have flown over the 59th Street Bridge and the famous tramway, then somehow dipped down into an urban canyon of buildings between Manhattan and Roosevelt, before curving west to hit a building. ... FYI: Though a resident of Roosevelt Island directly across the river from where the crash occurred, the Hub Blog friend was only a few blocks away from the condo building when it was hit -- picking up her children at a nearby school. She said there was debris, smoke, parents rushing to get their kids, emergency personnel etc. everywhere. All because a recreational pilot in this post 9/11 age went on a sightseeing tour?Update
-- Armchair Gen. Savin Hill writes in:
Regarding the Lidle incident, just keep in mind that corridor airspace has a 'floor' which is no doubt well above the height of any building. His plane could have fallen to the altitude where it impacted the building as the result of a stall or a stall/spin. A stall/spin would be consistent with some reports of the plane performing 'aerobatics' before collision with the building. In a stall/spin, you can do a complete nose-down roll and lose a lot of altitude before recovering straight and level flight.
-- Air Commodore Savin Hill (licensed private pilot)
I don't pretend for a second to be an expert on flying. So I defer to Air Commodore Savin Hill. But flying airplanes so close to Manhattan with so little margin of error strikes me as nuts -- and the margin of error here was clearly not enough. ...
'The GOP is losing its claim ...'
The tag-Deval-with-coddling-criminals offensive is apparently making a small difference in the race, if this fast-track poll
is any indication. But the emphasis is on 'small.' Sure, Deval's lead has been cut in half since the heady days after the Dem primary. His lead started out at about 36 percent and later dropped to about 25 percent. Then came the strange It's About Crime, Stupid phase -- and the lead was knocked down another 7 points. But let's put it all in perspective: What candidate for any office wouldn't love an 18 percent lead at this point in a campaign? Healey will have to do much, much more than hammer away at a somewhat manufactured coddling-criminals topic that few thought was a major issue just a couple weeks ago. The problem, as noted by Ginny Buckingham
I also have my doubts that Patrick, the candidate of the unions and the Beacon Hill powerbrokers (past and present) will stamp an 'outsider' imprimatur on his administration. Yet, after 16 years in the corner office, the GOP is losing its claim to be the party of change.
When a stalwart Republican like Ginny writes that last sentence, you know the fundamentals of the election are much larger than l'affaire LaGuer etc. etc. etc.
Next time someone whines that the MSM isn't giving Bush enough credit for the economy, they should remember these numbers
. ... Putting aside the mediocre economic gains, I do think Americans have gotten somewhat spoiled in recent years. There was a time when 'full employment' -- or a roughly 5 percent jobless rate -- was a much desired goal of economists and pols. Today's unemployment rate: 4.6 percent. Not bad at all. ...
Deval and Billy, allies - Part II
I know I'm supposed to be outraged either way by Deval's past defending/coddling of criminals
and whether it's a legitimate campaign issue ("Is so!" "Is not!"). Same goes for tax-and-spend-Dems and GOP hackery issues. But what I can't get out of my head is Deval's little meeting with Billy Bulger
. The issue came to mind this morning while reading a Southie native's take
on 'The Departed' and how those in the 'halls of power' and in 'the highest offices in government' allowed Whitey to wreak havoc within an entire city neighborhood. Isn't it strange that after all these years victims and survivors are still hesitant to name names? ... Anyway, these are my other questions: Do you think Deval has read 'Black Mass'
? Doubt it. 'Brothers Bulger'
? Forget it, though in fairness it should be noted Deval's request for Billy's support came before the book was published. Then again, it also should be noted the request came after Dem primary rival Tom Reilly did the honorabe thing by helping to drive Billy from government and blocking his gross pension grab. Deval's politically cynical and/or ignorant meeting with Billy is astounding in my mind. ...Update
-- Adam has a fun time
picking apart another national media puff piece about Mitt. This is the sentence that stopped me: "He is a conservative Republican who won easy election in a fiercely liberal state." ... Hmmm. Didn't he run as a moderate Republican and only won after a close and hard-faught election? ... Also loved the Mitt remark about Michigan. It's one of the many reasons why many people here just want to see him go. ...
Deval and Billy, allies
Deval + Billy = Progressive Hack Alliance.
Any questions? ...
'The big fear about North Korea'
North Korea apparently gets its nuke
, diplomats talk tough, and all I can think of is watching 'Team America'
for the first time over the weekend and the scene where Hans Blix is fed to a shark by Kim Il-sung. ... But life is weirder than art. Ask the widow of Shin Sang-Ok
. ... 'I'm so ronree. Just a little ronree.'
'A great, Boston-set crime drama,' Part II
No, not the movie. The Massachusetts gubernatorial race. Deval rightly continues to get pounded
for l'affaire Ben LaGuer. This could have and should have been over by now -- if only Deval had come clean earlier. He didn't. Now it's drip-drip time, combined with a lot of fibs and forgets that voters register and never quite forget. But, wait! Healey, now pushing anti-Deval cop-killer ads
, suddenly has her own coddling-cop-killer caper
to deal with. It blunts her argument. But only to a degree: 'She didn’t file the guy’s appeal or personally plea for clemency.'
... Bottom line: Deval will be hurt by this. It could get worse. Depends on whether he keeps bungling the response and whether more revelations emerge. But the campaign fundamentals remain the same for now: People want change. I talked to a few moderate friends yesterday, both of whom said they were voting for Patrick. The reason cited is they're tired of Mitt -- and they mentioned Paul and Jane as well. All I could do was nod in agreement about the malaise. How can you get excited about voting for more mediocrity? Healey may keep jabbing and chipping away at Deval's lead. But she's really only running another 'against' campaign, not a 'for' campaign. ... For more Mitt, Paul and Jane?
Try to get around that one. ...Update
-- Reader No. 1 responds:
Hug Blog's response
1- If mediocrity were a criteria for voting, we'd all pass on every election.
2- If the criteria is 'change,' that's different than 'mediocrity.' Patrick will surely be more interesting for reporters to cover but that's not a good criteria either.
3- What makes Deval any less mediocre than Healey or Mihos?
-- Let's put it this way: This race is starting to distantly remind me of the '76 presidential contest -- with the mediocre Republican Ford, with all the post-Watergate/Vietnam GOP baggage, going up against the fresh unknown Dem Jimmy Carter, who turned out to be even more annoyingly mediocre after people narrowly voted him in largely for 'change.' ...
'A great, Boston-set crime drama,' Part I
likes 'The Departed' and other reviews
are coming in positive. ...
'8 G.I.'s Die in Baghdad ...'
Time is running out.
... Going down with the Laura and Barney ship is not a realistic military option. Change, please! ... (Didn't a very non-loyal Lincoln go through a lot of military leaders until he found Grant?
--ed. Every historical analogy breaks down at some point.)
'Poor Healey...' Part II
Reader No. 1:
Keller is right. Here is an even simpler reason why it's 'Game Over:' most Massachusetts voters, and virtually all Massachusetts business/cultural/academic/political influentials, were as happy as clams during the Clinton Years. So why wouldn't the Commonwealth embrace an alumni of those Happy Happy Years, especially after 6 years of frustration for said voters with Bush 2 and 4 years of frustration with Mitt?
Yesterday morning's poll is a perfect illustration of this wonderfully frustrating Commonwealth: the voters disagree with one candidate on virtually all issues of substance but are prepared to elect him anyways...
PS - I love Margery Eagan, but the Dukakis/Deval analogies are all too apt in matters of gut ideology and governing philosophy.
'Poor Healey ...'
Jon parks it
Poor Healey finds herself in a position no Republican gubernatorial candidate has suffered through in decades. She is connected in the voters' minds with a failed status quo on Beacon Hill.
Read the whole thing. ...
'It looks like he's through'
Agree with Dan
on both counts: Roger is probably clean and Pedro's career is probably through. Pedro's injury is sad. He did so much for Boston -- and I know that 20 years from now I'll smile at the thought of Pedro while I'll simply shake my head with regret when Roger's name is mentioned. The 2004 season changed everything. Hope I'm writing Pedro's career obit prematurely. ... What the Sox need next year: just about everything.
'The exchanges began ...'
They knew as far back as last fall. ... Mark Foley was head of the Congressional caucus on children’s issues and they didn't remove him? ... Cardinal Hastert can't recall being told. ...
'Their wings are flapping'
Deval's poll lead
has been knocked down a bit -- from a slim 35 percent margin to a mere 25 percent margin. Healey's surging! ... Really, the most amazing things are the negatives, for both Mitt and Kerry. Mitt is indeed a drag on her dragging candidacy. ... I thought Christy would have gotten more of a bounce. ...
Now here's something you don't see too often: Alarmed at Deval's momentum, Howie
has resolved not to call Kerry "Muffy" anymore. Margery
then takes Howie to task for calling Kerry "Muffy" and more in the past. I'm going to stay out of it for Unofficial Rule No. 1 reasons, but I'll end it with a quote from Margery on Howie comparing Deval to Duke: "Now really, Howie, you don’t believe that. Neither does anybody else." ... Actually, I'm kind of worried about the same thing. The idea that there might at least be a parallel crossed my mind after last week's Deval/Sal/Trav meeting and Doug's convenient redefinition of 'culture' on Beacon Hill. ... Now I'll just deftly tap dance off this stage and onto another one:
rips Mitt's handling of Massport. Actually the GOP Massport hackery goes even deeper and farther back. Two words: George Cashman. ... Consider it a freebie tip, David. ...
-- Grace Ross speaks 'unvarnished truths'
? Maybe now and then. But I think there are those here
who aren't exactly thrilled with her party's allegedly 'progressive' view on certain 'truths.' ...
-- Don't forget that Hub Politics
and Blue Mass Group
will be on Pundit Review
tonight at 7 p.m.
-- John has an excellent post
on how Deval and Kerry are using Google to their advantage, as well as Wikipedia.