'Willard's World,' Part II
Getting pretty tired of Andrew's obsessive posts on underwear, Christianism, papal clothes, etc. But, via a Bay Windows op-ed
, he really zings Mitt
on his opportunistic stands on gay rights. Staunch conservative?
Please. It all depends on the day, election and state. ... Just wait till the national media delves deeper into his abortion stands. ...Update
has more. ...
'Residents of a gang-terrorized Boston'
Perhaps because I don't understand the intricacies of Boston's gang world, I don't understand the criticism of the Herald
or the criticism of the Globe
for their coverage of the unfolding events in Roxbury. I'll leave it to others to determine the validity of the individual complaints. But something almost epic seems to be unfolding (or unraveling, in this case) in our inner-city neighborhoods -- and criticizing the media's coverage of yet the latest cold-blooded gang murder seems to miss the overarching point that cold-blooded gang murders seem to be occurring at a baffling and frightening pace. I don't have a clue how to break the vicious cycle -- and, I suspect, neither do most cops, crime reporters, ministers, politicians etc. ... It may sound trite, but read Robert Parker's 'Double Deuce'
to get an idea what police and community leaders are up against. The gang mentality is almost unfathomable. Some gang members are so far gone, they can't be reached. BTW: The header for this post comes from a description of Parker's 1993 book, not from today's headlines or news stories. Gives an idea how intractable gang problems can be -- then and now. ... BTW II: I work for that
newspaper. And, yes, I kind of resent this 'greed'
remark. But it's a cheap throwaway insult that's on a par with cheap trying-to-sell-newspapers and cops-and-doughnuts jokes. So I'll let it slide. ...
'No middle ground left'
(sub. req.) on Iraq:
Here is the central truth about Iraq: This country is so broken it can't even have a proper civil war.
Matt and Walt, Part II
Armchair Gen. Savin Hill has the scoop:
News flash: Matt Lauer and NBC have decided that the Neolithic Age actually began in 10,500 BC, not the standard 10,000 BC. ... Matt Lauer will use his "serious face" to make the announcement.
And he adds:
The most likely outcome in Iraq is an unofficially devolved country with a weak (but pro-US) central government, a prosperous pro-US northern Iraq, a dirt-poor, resourceless Sunni minority run by former regime fascists living in squalor with their Jihad friends, and a more-stable but Iran-influenced southern Iraq. How would these groups ever live together?
They can't, so this is quickly looking like Sunni vs. Shiite round number 786 (for anyone keeping track) and I can't think of a better graveyard for Jihad Johnnies of all stripes. Let's put the ball on the 50 and blow the whistle and head for the beer tent.
I'm not sure this is a good strategy. But I like the beer part.
Matt and Walt
If Matt Lauer is the Walter Cronkite
of our age, then the MSM is in deeper trouble than I thought. ... I mean, really now. I don't care whether Iraq is technically in a civil war or not. It probably is, for all I know. But what bothers me about NBC's announcement that it will now refer to the conflict in Iraq as a 'civil war' is the annoying self-importance NBC conveys by merely announcing it -- and the fact other media outlets treat it as real news. This is history? No, this is history
in terms of where the media is going. NBC merely pried itself away from all its focus-group Health Watch stories to make what it thinks is a profound decision on war terminology and ... and the rest of the country really doesn't care, Matt. ...
They're now talking about fears of 'pogroms'
in Iraq. Do pogroms go hand in hand with civil wars? The Czars launched lots of pogroms while their regimes were relatively stable, so the answer is 'no.' But the Marines are also now saying that Anbar province is lost and that foreign Al-Qaeda fighters are streaming in to back the Sunnis. Meanwhile, Hezbollah, a client of Iran, is training Shiite fighters
. So are we now talking about a 'regional war' or a 'civil war'? Help us, Matt! ... A delicious irony is that the Bush administration, which stubbornly refused to call an 'insurgency' an 'insurgency' when it counted, is sticking to its line that Iraq still faces an 'insurgency.' ... Oh my. I'm in a cynical mood today.Update
-- Howard Kurtz
on NBC's glowing coverage of itself: Beginning to feel a 'little bit like a gimmick.' Do you think?
'The already-fading New England Republican'
on the decline of the Republican party across New England, not just Massachusetts. But it seems to suffer from what the region's GOP still suffers from: Nostalgia for old Yankee Republicans. The real issue here and elsewhere, IMHO, is the rise in the number of registered Independents at the expense of both Republicans and Democrats. Rather than trying to rev up the remaining GOP troops at the grass-roots level, maybe Republican leaders should first determine what Independents are thinking. Why not ask them? It would be far better than throwing political spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks. ...
'The Expected One'
Hub Blog has been noticing increasing references these days to the 'Mahdi Army'
as it applies to Moktada al-Sadr's now out-of-control Iraqi militia. Hmmm. Mahdi. Where have I heard that word before? Right! From the old and largely underrated movie 'Khartoum,'
whose plot summary goes like this:
English General Charles George Gordon, a devout Christian, is appointed military governor of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan by Prime Minister Gladstone. Ordered to evacuate Egyptians from the Sudan, General Gordon stays on to protect the people of Khartoum, who are under threat of being conquered by a Muslim army. His Christian faith and military command are challenged by Mohammed Ahmed el Mahdi, "the Expected One," the head of the Muslim forces.
Sound familiar? Everyone is reaching for bogus historical analogies these days, whether it's Churchill during the dark days of the Blitz or Abe during the dark days of the Cival War. But Gordon's doomed adventure in the Sudan seems more applicable to today's events. Of course, Armchair Gen. Savin Hill was wondering last year
if anyone at the Pentagon had ever seen 'Lawrence of Arabia.' ... If you haven't seen 'Khartoum,' do so. The DVD only recently came out. Laurence Olivier's intense performance as the Mahdi is terrific and, well, eerily Sadr-like. ...
... FYI: Finally finished 'Fiasco.
' Thumbs up. But not enthusiastic thumbs up. Maybe I'm suffering from having read previous books on the Iraq war. Still I'd advise anyone who hasn't read a book yet on Iraq to pick up 'Fiasco.' It's a great summary of all the blunders and bad assumptions that led us to where we are today.
goes after Mitt for not donating
to any federal Mass. GOP candidates during the election while heaping contributions elsewhere. There is a case to be made that Mitt was smart enough to realize he shouldn't throw good money after bad when it comes to the 'penny stock' state Republican party. But not even a chump-change $100 donation? Fifty bucks? Ten? Five? Not even a nickel? ...Update
catches a good David Broder column
on Mitt. Broder's description of Mitt's record as being 'mixed' is accurate. His description of Mitt being a 'staunch conservative' is simply wrong. Mitt's political positions have always depended heavily on what day, state and election it is at a given moment. ...
Have a happy Thanksgiving. Here's Abraham Lincoln's proclamation
establishing it as a day of thanks and praise. ... FYI: There's no mention of Pilgrims and Indians. Someone let the NYT know, for one of its brilliant writers thinks the 'premise of Thanksgiving might be a lie.'
... FYI II: Reading the proclamation, I thought its prose was a tad bit flowery for Abe. Then I read
William Seward likely wrote it and Lincoln signed it. No matter. Enjoy your day! ...
'Whaddaya want from me, tears?'
A Thanksgiving eve Hub Blog special: Another smorgasbord of random thoughts and links. You've been warned. Now onward. ... David
is urging Deval to ignore 'friendly advice' from people like Scot
. I don't know. Don't agree with everything Scot wrote. But advising people to ignore friendly advice strikes me as not exactly inclusive, something Deval claims he wants to achieve in his administration. Maybe someone should advise Deval to ignore advice about ignoring advice. (You just did it
.-ed. Right!) ...
One thing that irks me about Scot's piece: The Duke I and Duke II comparisons. The former, as defined by some CW types, represents naive idealism. The latter is supposed to represent realism. But didn't Duke II lead to what might be called Duke III? You know, the one who stayed in office too long and looked the other way while a certain legislative leader ran roughshod over principled politics in this state? Duke III was a direct consequence of Duke II. So, really, I'm kind of happy Deval is talking like Duke I. It's refreshing. Now, Deval, some friendly advice you shouldn't ignore just because it's friendly advice: Sign an anti-patronage executive order bringing the state into compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court's 1990 Rutan decision. It will accomplish two things: 1.) It would live up to the ideals of Duke I, who didn't have Rutan to fall back on in the '70s. 2.) It would serve as a pragmatic Duke II-like realism buffer when those who want a return to Duke III come calling for favors and jobs. It won't solve everything. But it will help. ... Too bad Mitt never did it. But we all now know
Mitt's commitment to reform was fickle from day to day. ...
... Oh look. Howie
is writing about an old character from the good old Duke III days. No connection per se to Duke III. But it's good to have these flashbacks now and then as a sort of Duke II reality check of how you can drift too far away from Duke I idealism. ...
... I loved this story
. It has everything: pompous generalizing, sociology journalism, experts galore and, as a special bonus, a scold from the haute bourgeoisie about how the masses don't understand that the Thanksgiving they celebrate isn't the Thanksgiving they were taught. Favorite lines: "Americans, as a whole, have lost touch with the ritual of the shared homemade meal." (No attribution. Just stated as fact. Well, I guess all of us, as a whole, also haven't read Under the Tuscan Sun.) And: "Besides, historians have recently concluded that the premise of Thanksgiving might be a lie. 'It turns out,' he said, 'that the Indians were not so forthcoming, and the Pilgrims were not so grateful.'" (Really?
Clever people, these haute bourgeoisie.) ... Can't wait for tomorrow's Happy Genocide Day editorials. ...
Finally: Can someone tell me who the Boston Tea Party for 9/11 Truth
folks are? Wingnut righties or loony lefties? I poked around the site a bit and came to the conclusion they're off-the-chart loony lefties (the Bush Stole 2000 Election material was a big tip off). But they're sort of like the androgynous Pat character
from SNL: You can never be quite sure. They have that paranoid righty wingnut ring to them that keeps you guessing. (Boston Tea Party via Adam
'There is good patronage and bad patronage'
looks at the good and bad types of patronage Deval must confront. ... Not to harp
on the issue, but I wonder if Alan is aware that patronage in lower-level positions is unconstitutional.
It's no longer just about competent vs. hack hires. It's also about legal and illegal hires. Clearly, Deval has the legal right to hire hundreds of manager-level employees who will reflect and implement his philosophical vision for government. But it's not his right -- or any other elected official's right -- to inject politics into lower-level hirings. Pols in Massachusetts just don't get it -- or, if they do, they just don't care. I assume, this being Massachusetts, it's the latter. ...
'You’re kind of a schlepper'
Please extend pity to those on the lower rungs of the top 1 percent
of the richest people in the United States. They're getting priced out of buildings in Manhattan and L.A. ... Discovered the article via a stock-broker friend who was reading the piece while watching the Pats game yesterday. The conversation went something like this:
Me: So what are you reading?
Friend: About how I'm not in the top 1-percent bracket of the richest people in the U.S.
Me: So that means you're one of the people.
Friend: Yes, the people.
Me: The riffraff
Friend: Yes, the riffraff.
Me: The dredges of society.
Friend: The dredges of society.
Me: Only one vacation home.
Friend: Only one vacation home.
The last paragraph of the article has a pretty funny observation on water bottles, elevators and girths.
Looking forward to tomorrow night's 'Desperate Crossing'
on the History Channel. Sounds like it borrows heavily from Nathanial Philbrick's new book 'Mayflower,' which I read earlier this year
and really liked. Here's an article
on tomorrow's show. ... P.S. - I fully expect, judging by past reviews
of Philbrick's book and the last lines of the article above, that we'll get one of those obligatory downer lectures at the end of the show about how the Pilgrims weren't very nice to the Indians, sort of the way some newspapers regularly run depressing editorials on Columbus Day and Thanksgiving that all but tell us we shouldn't be enjoying the holiday out of guilt. To which you want to say: 'All true. Thanks for the uplifting words. Now shut the hell up and pass the stuffing.' ...Update
- 11.20.06 -- After all that, I missed the show. I'll catch it on reruns, perhaps later this week. Still looking forward to the happy Thanksgiving morning editorials. ...
'This is a blatant lack of respect'
The Italian media is merrily having a field day
with the pope. There's no question there's a double-standard at work here between how Christianity and Islam are treated. There's also little doubt, in my mind, the Italian media is taunting the pope to see if he overreacts like Muslim leaders, as one critic suggests. But with all of those caveats out of the way, I gotta say some of the jokes are pretty funny. Example:
The Holy Trinity won a free trip and had to decide where to go. God the Father said he would like to go to Africa, Jesus to Palestine, and the Holy Spirit to the Vatican. Asked why, the Holy Spirit responded: “Because I’ve never been there.”
I have a suspicion the Italians are also slipping whoopie cushions under the pope because he's German. But that's another story. ...Update
-- A reader partially confirms my German suspicions:
The night the pope was elected (a friend from Italy) and I were watching the news and one of the anchors inquired "Who was the last German pope?"
My friend's instant response was "Attila"
'Hmm. What’s that?'
This photo post
by Jason made my morning. Via Adam
, who rightly asks how any of us survived toddlerhood. Enjoy.
Dice-Kay What's His Name
Reader Andre sends in the best argument I've seen yet for the Sox going after Dice-Kay What's His Name:
The Red Sox are currently in a unique economic position among MLB teams -- they sell out every game, which gives them pricing power to support the highest ticket and concession prices (by far). [I won't give you my related argument on why Manny Ramirez is the most valuable player in baseball history.] This in-park revenue is what allows them to compete in their division, which is generally the toughest. In 2006, all the tickets were sold, but there were a lot of empty seats in September.
To maintain the sellouts, they must always appear to be competitive. Because their rotation is weak (and a trade for good pitching almost out of the question), they HAVE to sign one of the three top starters available as a matter of credibility. Really good free agent starters are rare -- even small-market teams (Florida, Minnesota, Milwaukee) are tying up topflight pitchers with big contracts. They were going to "overpay" whatever they did, and the prices of Schmidt and Zito (the former has health issues, and I don't much like the latter) will be pushed up because it'll be an auction situation with only two options at first, and then one.
I don't think there is a clear-cut bottom-line business argument here, but I do believe that the circumstances cast light on how the front office and ownership came to make the decision.
Reader Andre and Reader B (see here
) are slowly and effectively chipping away at my first-instinct resistance to this deal. I hope my skepticism is proven wrong. But the dollar figures still don't add up in my mind. If the Sox fork over $51 million to negotiate with Matsuzaka and then give him an additional $16 million a year over three years, that adds up to spending $33 million per year for him. Are star pitchers getting that now? Knock the $16 million down by a couple million, and you still get mind-boggling numbers. No matter what, it all seems such a gamble for a guy who's never played in America -- assuming the Sox are serious about signing him.
'Who lost Iraq? The media, of course'
Dan is spot on
about those blaming the media for what's happening in Iraq. It's now abundantly clear the national media was accurately reporting, for the most part, the unfolding tragedy in Iraq, while the administration and its cheerleaders were largely in denial about the unfolding tragedy in Iraq. Now they're looking for scapegoats. ... FYI: The stab-in-the-back theorists were practicing their lines
a year ago. Wilson's piece is a classic of that sad argumentative genre. ...
... One other HT to Dan
: I'm also looking forward to seeing 'Borat.'
But the more I read about it, the more it seems 'Borat' pulled a lot of social punches. If you want to see a movie that truly goes after the haute bourgeoisie with hilareous gusto, 'Team America'
is for you. ...Update
-- Almost forgot: They'll blame Iraqis too
. ... The media and Iraqis. Hmmmm. Does anyone else share responsibility? Can't think of anyone. Nope. Not really. I'm scratching my head. ...
If Deval is truly serious ...
I was also impressed with Deval's patronage warnings
to lawmakers. But if the folks at BMG are serious about fighting patronage, they should urge Deval, as one of his first acts as governor, to sign an executive order immediately bringing Massachusetts into compliance with the law of the land. Patronage hirings at certain governmental levels are unconstitutional. Read all about it.
Four years ago I was urging Mitt to take action on the same front. He never did, as far as I can tell. Now it's Deval's turn. Again: We'll see. But imagine if Deval did sign an executive order and was able to say to lawmakers: "Sorry. Can't hire your cousin. Against the law. Thanks for asking." ...
Mostly agree with Carpundit
about State Police brass setting down new ticket quotas
. But it's not the 'tax' part that gets me. It's taking away the flexibility of troopers to use common sense and common decency when dealing with fellow citizens. I hope the grunt Staties succeed in pushing back. ...
Democrats should listen very closely to what former Generals Anthony C. Zinni and John Batiste -- both tough critics of the war and the adminstration -- say about simplistic calls
to withdraw troops from Iraq. Republicans didn't listen to them when it counted. Democrats shouldn't repeat the same mistake. ...
'Doesn't it bother you, Callaghan, that ...'
Marty and Callaghan are duking it out
over the Jets-Pats, Yankees-Sox, Daisuke-Curt, Graceland-Freedom Trail, etc., etc. ... I gotta say: I don't understand the Daisuke Matsuzaka deal. Strikes me as another example of the Sox management pendulum swinging wildly from Money Ball to Match George's Moves. ...Update
-- Reader B weighs in:
Sox management doesn’t swing wildly from moneyball to yankeeball. They do both at the same time, all the time. They certainly have extensive resources. Not to the level of Georgie Porgie, but certainly beyond most teams. But they figure to maximize their chances at winning more World Series if they act like Donald Trump using coupons. You swing for the fences, but only when you think it’s a prime opportunity. The Yankees of today are kind of like they were in the 80s and early 90s. The World Series teams of the late 90s were more “moneyball” than they are now.
While it seems excessive to spend $40 mill for the right to negotiate with Matsuzaka, it is as much an investment in developing Japan as a frontier for the Red Sox. The Yankees make tons of money there because they are the Yankees. The Mariners make tons of money there because of Ichiro. The Sox can both sell merchandise there and make the Sox a more desirable location for future Japanese stars. Matsui was a free agent and chose the Yankees more than the biggest contract. The posting system itself (this bidding for negotiating rights) was developed when a pitcher by the name of Hideki Irabu was drafted by the Padres, but refused to sign and forced a trade to the Yankees, where he wanted to go.
I remain unimpressed by recent Sox moves in general.
'The very long life of Frank Woodruff Buckles,' Part II
A good post
by an opponent of the Iraq war who warns Democrats that troop withdrawals without a strategy could lead to disaster (via Instapundit
). ... I'm not a paranoid person by nature. But the Democrats' suddenly very loud withdraw-'em-now calls do make me wonder why the media didn't call them on the issue before the election. Nancy Pelosi is still talking
in 'fresh start' and 'new direction' generalities about Iraq -- even though we now know 'fresh start' means something very specific: Withdrawal. I can't say I'm surprised by Dems' position. I also don't regret the tossing out of Republicans. The GOP's mishandling of Iraq, via the administration and a cowed Congress, has gotten us in a huge and tragic mess. Change in Iraq wasn't going to happen without political change here. But Dems are really misreading the moderate middle if they think defeat is acceptable. ...
is rightly concerned that Dems will merely become a 'mirror image of their opponents' on economic matters -- and that Robert Rubin is rightly offering up centrist ideas and a program
that Dems might want to ponder. Deval et gang, take note. ... Speaking of 'mirror image,' Dems are pushing for simplistic timetables for withdrawing troops
from Iraq -- the complete opposite of the simplistic increase-troops-for-victory argument. Read post below. Repeat: First give us a strategy goal before we talk troop strength. ...
'The very long life of Frank Woodruff Buckles'
Enjoyed this article
because I'm an old softie when it comes to WWI vets. ... Glad to see Boston got its act together
for a Veteran's Day parade
, featuring two of the apparently 13 remaining WWI vets in America. ... Speaking of wars, the NYT politely reviews
Bob Woodward's 'State of Denial,' while putting it into context of his prior pro-Bush writings:
Woodward’s first book provided so favorable a treatment of the administration that the Republican National Committee recommended it on its Web site. But “State of Denial” isn’t a continuation of his previous work as much as a repudiation — the installment in which he takes a mulligan and attempts to correct for past obsequiousness.
Woodward deserves his own 'thumping.' ... Lot of blogosphere attention is being paid to Harvard prof William J. Stuntz's call for more troops
in Iraq to make one last push for victory. OK. Fine. Nice to see hyper-pro-war types finally engaging in analyzing the negatives in Iraq and offering up suggestions. But my reaction to increased troops at this point is: For what? What are the strategic aims? Whose insurrection will they crush first? The Sunnis or the Shiites'? Will it be for a centralized government or a federation
? Will it be for a 'tolerabe' or 'awful'
outcome -- or something more optimistic? What is the definition of 'victory' at this point? I'm now reading Thomas Ricks' 'Fiasco,'
and one of the criticisms he keeps bringing up is a lack of strategic thinking in Iraq. Stuntz is offering up an operational argument. But again: For what? The opportunity to prop up Humpty Dumpty was three years ago. Sending more troops to glue the 2003 Humpty back together again strikes me as foolish. Events have dramatically changed. Give me a realistic 2007-and-beyond strategic goal, and I'll support more troops. But not until then. ...
'A whoppin' good time'
Sounds like a great concert.
The set list is awesome. ... But Bob Dylan is certainly no Scruffy the Cat
. Enjoy. BTW: It's the Rat. I recognize the grime. (STC via John
.) ... (Is 'whoppin good' the same as 'wicked good'?
--ed. In the same category.)
'Common good ... lives ... appalling'
Sorting through the unexpected state budget spat here
, a couple of observations: A.) I have no doubt Mitt is posturing for '08 -- again. Is there some emergency-powers anti-grandstanding clause we can invoke to get rid of him? Maybe the SJC could find one. B.) Notice Democrats' rhetoric over a spending 'cut' that's really a case of not implementing a planned spending increase. I know comparisons to and warnings about a return to Michael Dukakis-era politics might have been overdone during the recent campaign. But using variations of the 'people will die' rhetoric this soon, before Deval is even sworn in, is a little depressing. ... And, unfortunately, yes, my one-party-state funk is returning, damn it. ...
... My apologies to No Drumlins
for not linking to his Curt For Senate
speculation. My reference to Curt was the result of dazed chatter I was picking up in the blogosphere, not knowing the chatter originated from a specific post. Now I know! ... I'm going to speculate too just to see if it ricochets around: Dave Cowens for U.S. Senate! ... Actually, he'd make a pretty interesting candidate. Granted, he's not from here. But that's not a problem based on recent Massachusetts election history. ...Update
Do you remember the Fox 25 gubernatorial debate where Shonda Schilling (and Jasper White) got to ask a question? Some enterprising blogger checked the voter rolls and she isn't even registered to vote in MA. My guess is that Curt's official residence is elsewhere for tax reasons.
Schilling joining the Mass GOP is would be like signing with the Royals as a free agent.
'A pattern begins to emerge ...'
I liked this post
a lot. It shows some Deval backers know what they're up against. It ain't going to be easy. But Deval is sending a lot of reassuring signals he also knows what he's up against. ... BTW: I'm over my one-party-state sulking mood. Brighton Reader helped with this misery-likes-company note:
Massachusetts is not the only New England state that is all blue at the state level. Both houses of New Hampshire's legislature are now controlled by the Democrats, along with the governorship. Both Republican congressman lost as well. New Hampshire Republicans always seemed to be more of the libertarian variety, they may be getting alienated by the spending of the Washington party and its focus on social issues, like the Schiavo case. The war in Iraq had to be a huge factor as well.
The fact so many Massachusetts residents have moved to New Hampshire has also made a difference.
... One of the best political blog posts of the now-ended campaign season? This one
from Mass GOP News last August. Hub Politics is only now
echoing the same sentiments. For too many years, the local GOP has put all its eggs in the gubernatorial basket. Now it's over. They need to start fielding candidates at the local legislative level and slowly build. But I have a feeling they won't. Too many of them still believe a magic-wand candidate will emerge. Please. Curt's a good pitcher. But he's not going to save the GOP here. ...
Adam has officially taken over Media Log
. If it's as good as his Talking Politics
blog, it'll be a fun stop again within the local blogosphere. ...
'History!' Part II
Yeah, I'm sulking a bit over Massachusetts' new one-party-state status. But we got rid of one-party rule in Washington -- and now Rummy is leaving
. The day is turning out to be OK. ...
. We now live in an absolute one-party state from top to bottom.
I hope Devone
is right -- that Deval stands up to the Progressive Hack Alliance and leads from the center like his former boss, Bill Clinton. But he's going to face enormous pressure to hire a combination of liberals and hacks
who have their own ideas about where to take government. I only ask one thing: Go easy on hiring lawmakers and ex-lawmakers, Deval. They tend to make bad managers. They just do. Paul Cellucci and Jane Swift jump to mind -- and let us not forget old Matt of Big Dig infamy. Bottom line: Deval was elected governor, not the Legislature. We'll see. ... Joan
asks some good questions about where we're headed. Howie
thinks he knows where we're headed. Same with Carpundit
. I fear they're right. Maybe not at the start. But down the road. At the least the P-H types will just wear Deval down. ... Shelly
is delivering a beating to Mitt, who, strangely, introduced Kerry last night. Did I miss something or did I really see Healey walk past Mitt without acknowledging him before her concession speech? And what's up with Mitt introducing her? I sense something. U.S. Senate? Cabinet post? Mitt was trying to salvage her for something. ... Well, at least we got rid of one-party government at the federal level. ...Update
-- As usual, John
nicely sums up sentiments: "I look at it like the beginning of a Red Sox season: plenty of potential, either way. And there's always hope and excitement in the Spring." ... It's the August collapse I'm worried about. But I'm a pessimistic fan by nature.
Bold prediction time: Deval, 15 points. The bold part being the specified spread, scientifically arrived at by simply liking the bland sound of it. ... Really, is there any room for upsets tonight in Massachusetts? You know it's bad when Jill Stein represents the last best hope for preventing a one-party state in Massachusetts. Maybe we'll see a few surprises in legislative races. Not counting on it. Anyone who has a bold upset prediction, please send it in by early afternoon. There's got to be one somewhere. ... Nationally, I'm going with Dems taking the House. But who knows? Dems seem nervous. Read this very strange article.
Only someone trying to manage his own expectations could write about the angst of perceived expectations under various different post-election scenarios. It's got to be a first: test spinning the spins before there's something to spin. ... Big post-election issue for Massachusetts: Leaf blowers.
Cambridge is on it with a task force. ...
'Sophomoric, digusting, tasteless, vile, misogynist, chauvinistic ...'
Sounds like a great book
'Can’t stand these partisans ...'
A potpourri of political tidbits: Brett uncorks
on partisanship in general and one-party government in particular. Throw the rascals out indeed. I'm not 100 percent sure you can count Republians out on the Congressional level. But I truly hope Dems take at least one chamber on Tuesday. ... Alas, we'll probably end up with a one-party state in Massachusetts next week. Nothing against Deval, who I've grown to admire, and nothing for Muffy, who I've grown to pity. But no one is going to convince me that a one-party state is good for Massachusetts -- or any state or nation. As Barney Frank notes in Brett's column, it's not about Republicans or Democrats. It's about absolute power. ... Oh look. Trav is limbering up
for post-election antics on Beacon Hill! ...
I'm tempted to express concern about free-speech rights related to John DePetro's firing.
But I can't get worked up about it. He's ultimately a talk-show host who lived by the commercial rhetorical sword and died by the commercial rhetorical sword. It's strictly business, John. ... Adam has a great comeback
to those who think DePetro's remarks weren't offensive. Then again, it's curious how Grace skated by without having to defend her own offensive views, as Solomonia rightly points out
. I've never liked the woman -- and not because of her figure or sexual preferences. She holds incredibly sophomoric lefty views that most of us shook off soon after college -- and yet we're all expected to treat her with pious kid gloves because she robotically spouts what pathetically passes for idealism. ...
... Fearing a repeat of the drawn-out 2004 'Who's John Kerry?' saga, I'm nevertheless returning, briefly, to the John Kerry Botched Joke saga. Joan
reminds people like yours truly that President Bush and Republicans deserved more harsh criticism for their own cynical role in the affair. True. I definitely had my anti-John Kerry blinders on. But the suggestion that Dems who urged Kerry to get off the stage were wrong is simply wrong. Events prove it. Kerry was yanked off the stage -- and the controversy immediately died down. Can you imagine what would have happened if Kerry had been allowed to escalate the debate? As John
noted the other day: "It was Kerry's political tin ear in choosing how to respond to the response that has caused this non-story to still resonate." ...
... And finally: Recently saw 'The Last King of Scotland.'
Big thumbs up. Forest Whitaker as Idi Amin is superb. Ignore political criticism that the film downplays Amin's evil. The story is about how a naive Scottish doctor slowly realizes that Amin, despite outward appearances, was a true monster inside all along. A health-care worker ultimately rejects the doctor because he failed to heed her early warning that all dictators are dictators. Idealistic Grace Ross thug-defender types, take note. ...
'Lunges for the podium' and 'Oy,' Part III
One word: 'dumb.'
And it was. The whole affair was just dumb -- and at the center of this dumb affair, whether you believe it was a 'botched' joke or not, was a very dumb John Kerry. ... Now back to the dumb man who had only slightly better grades at Yale than John Kerry: He's standing by Rummy
, proving on the same dumb day that Yale is somehow culpable for what passes as leadership today. ...
'Lunges for the podium' and 'Oy,' Part II
reports that Kerry has 'curtailed' campaigning for the next few days. Good move indeed. ... Kerry is just a walking embarrassment. Only he could create such a surreal mess for Democrats. ...