'I’d love to watch a game with Belichick some day'
Over at Boston Sports Media, Michael
writes that the relationship between Bill Belichick and sports reporters isn't that bad, noting the time Belichick walked reporters through old game films and held a wide-ranging discussion about the development of the game:
It is not the action of a man who believes that reporters are stupid swine incapable of normal human sentiment. It’s not how anyone deals with an enemy.
I’d love to watch a game with Belichick some day. That’s not something I’d do with an enemy, either.
Howard's Green Tomato Piccalilli
notes that the WJR has discovered Speed's hot dogs -- made with local Pearl frankfurters
marinated in apple cider and brown sugar. Never heard of a marinating hot dogs -- let alone in apple cider and brown sugar. Sounds great. ... Now that hot dogs are 'in season'
again, I'll also put a plug in for another locally based product: Howard's Green Tomato Piccalilli
, made by Howard Foods Inc.
of Danvers. I still associate Piccalilli relish with my grandmother and barbecues in Nahant. It's a very old-fashioned New England hot-dog topping -- and it's good. Give it a try with spicy mustard. ...Update
- 3.31.08 -- From Bert:
Bravo red relish -- only put the red relish on burgers. Put it on a cheeseburger just pulled off the backyard grill and served on a toasted bun. Wow, that’s good!
My youth memory of red relish is having it at Newport Creamery, where the condiment tray was a novelty. Triangular frame with a glass bowl in each corner: one with mustard, one with green relish, one with red relish. They had those little metal covers that had notches cut into the side that allowed the handle of the serving spoon to poke out through the top. That red sweet pepper relish from Howard’s has a spot on the door of my refrigerator right now. If the weather holds, it will dispense yumminess for a freshly cooked burger this week, as described above.
I can confirm that red relish is delicious on cheeseburgers.
$1.35 million, Part II
also notes how Deval's book deal saved Sal:
... DiMasi was starting to slide over Niagara Falls in a barrel weighted down by lobbyist friends and sweetheart contracts. Someone was helping the press pull back the curtain to show how the speaker does business on Beacon Hill.
For the first time since he took office, the governor had some leverage. Then came news that Patrick was chasing a book deal in Manhattan. Advantage DiMasi.
But Sal's advantage didn't last very long if you take out the schadenfreude -- for a $1.35 million jackpot is still $1.35 million jackpot. Howie
: 'Who's laughing now, Sal?' ... Latest suggested title for Deval's book: 'Wheel of Fortune' ... Update
-- Outraged Liberal
is right: Book-gate may be borderline farce -- but it's not catastrophic for Devel. ... Kevin: 'You'll never believe who outdid Spitzer.'
Don't worry, Deval staffers. You can look. It's not your boss. ... P.S. -- I forgot the subtitle above: 'Wheel of Fortune: The Deval Patrick Story.' ... Jon
has more "entries in the parlor game that's sweeping the Commonwealth, 'Name that Memoir'." But I gotta admit it's hard to beat 'Drapes of Wrath.'Update II
shutting down the parlor game. But before he does, I want to tweak my 'Name that Memoir' nomination: 'Wheel of Fortune: My Story. By Deval Patrick.' ...
The Shiite-vs.-Shiite showdown, Part II
looks at the complexities of the Shiite-vs.Shiite showdown and doesn't sound too optimstic about its outcome:
Here's how complicated the Basra battle is: The Iraqi army is loyal to the prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, who represents the Shiite faction known as the Dawa Party. The army is fighting against Sadr's Mahdi Army, in some areas against the Badr Organization of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, and against a hodgepodge of other local Shiite militias and gangs. To make matters more complicated, all three main combatants have some support from Iran.
Sadr is America's enemy, for now. But his power base among poor Shiites is as hard to eradicate as is that of Hamas in Gaza. And it's hard to imagine a stable future Iraq that doesn't have support from the poor Shiites who follow Sadr. A sign of their power is the rising last week in Shiite neighborhoods of eastern Baghdad. If the Shiite community en masse goes into the streets, the American mission is effectively finished; we can't fight 60 percent of the people.
Hub Blog couldn't resist this Zbigniew Brzezinski piece
after reading David's column. I'm still in favor of the surge and its short-term goals of creating political and military breathing space for moderates in Iraq. But long-term, a variation of Zbigniew's withdrawal plan has to be on the table. ... P.S. -- The government's Basara attack was calculated. But the Shiite flare-up in Baghdad was not. See 'Shiite-vs.-Shiite showdown' post below.
'Defines the word mentor'
, who earlier this week mentioned the late William Alfred in a HB post
, has found an old video clip
of his Harvard mentor. John:
I'll never forget when I first told him that I planned to write about Lord of the Rings, which to the Harvard English faculty of that time was still quite 'suspect', he said I was going to have to put a lot of linguistic research in to ground my paper, because "they're going to be waiting for you --with baseball bats." It was sound advice ...
The Shiite-vs.-Shiite showdown
Here's an excellent update and analysis
of what's happening in Iraq. I hadn't realized Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army was so despised by so many in the Shiite-led government and Shitte-majority population. That's good news if true. ... My worry: The Iraqi Army was thrown into this a.) too early and b.) with expectations too ridiculously high. Hope I'm wrong. ... As far as I can tell, this was a calculated move by the government -- not an after-the-fact reaction to a flare up in violence. ...Update
-- Michael Yon
, who uses Massachusetts as a base when stateside, is in Iraq and interviewed by Glenn here
. Partial transcript here
. He says the struggle is about power -- and the analysis above says the same thing.
'Loyalty is a cardinal virtue'
defends his 'Judas Iscariot' attack on Bill Richardson and pronounces, 'I believe that loyalty is a cardinal virtue.' Actually, I've come to the conclusion that loyalty is the most abused and overrated of virtues. Its loudest proponents are usually bullies, thugs and gangsters, demanding one-way loyalty toward themselves and rarely extending it back to others. Bill Richardson never took a life-long oath to the Family when he accepted the UN and Energy posts under Bill Clinton. He most certainly didn't take a life-long oath to the Family's matriarch either. But the Family and its Chief Dynastic Enforcer for Life seem to think otherwise. ...
Learning something every day
The reviews of Thomas A. Desjardin's 'Through A Howling Wilderness: Benedict Arnold's March to Quebec'
are a little mixed at Amazon. But the mark of a good book is that it tells you things you didn't already know. Twenty-one pages into the book, Desjardin casually mentions that Arnold's campaign began at the mouth of the Kennebec River in Maine, near the abandoned Popham Colony, the 1607 sister colony of the Jamestown Settlement. I thought to myself: Huh? Popham what? Sister colony to Jamestown? Now I know
. The existence of the Popham Colony may have been embedded on a long dormant memory chip in my brain at some point. But for the life of me, I just can't recall ever hearing about it. ... Reminds me of the time I read Nathaniel Philbrick's 'Mayflower'
and learned, to my surprise, that Samuel de Champlain
once faught a series of skirmishes against the Monomoyick Indians on Cape Cod. I had a similar 'huh?' reaction: French fighting Indians in Chatham? What? Where? ... So much local history. So little time to read about it all. But I'll try. ... Perhaps a mini-review of Desjardin's book after I finish it. ...
Well, for $1.35 million
, I guess I would have blown off a day of work, too. ... P.S. -- I also would've beaten back crew members with an oar if it meant them swamping my chances at $1.35 million. See post below. ... P.S.P.S. -- Who said Deval was the big loser from last week's casino vote? The guy hit his own jackpot. ... Sorry, couldn't resist. ... Wonder what Sal's thinking now. ...
'A book deal?'
Imagine the captain of a sinking ship exhorting his doomed crew and passengers to remain calm while he hopped into a life boat exclaiming, 'Well, nice knowing you. I'm off to sign a book deal!' ... Of course Deval's casino bill was doomed before it sank below the House surface last week. But the timing of Deval's trip to New York
to sign a book deal
just doesn't look right. ...
... Howie has listed all the reasons
why Sal's casino victory was Pyrrhic in nature -- before news of Deval's book deal broke last night. Sal must be feeling much better this morning. ... Random thoughts pinging around the Hub Blog mind: File away Book-gate with Caddy-gate, Drape-gate, etc. They're all minor issues. But they add up to form a 'personal' pattern. ... Before going with the sinking-ship metaphor above, the Hub Blog mind raced from Davy Crockett at the Alamo to George Custer at the Little Big Horn. I even thought of the Charge of the Light Brigade. But I couldn't remember the commander's name. ...Update
-- More at BMG.
-- My apologies for not crediting Jon
for breaking the book-deal story. From Jon's most recent post:
Now Patrick has to mend fences with every last legislator, union member, and pro-casino citizen who busted their humps in the State House last Thursday to try to make a decent showing.Update III
-- Kevin writes in:
I get the feeling that we have yet another governor with one foot out the door halfway through his term.
Jon was saying the same thing.
Jim Rice has a new blog
. Today he talks about fat. ... Via Herald
'He blames Speaker DiMasi'
This morning's NYT story on Deval
is already sparking a lot of discussion across the local blogosphere -- here
. But once again Hub Blog finds myself in general agreement with Outraged Liberal's analysis
.* Sal continues to pay a heavy price
for his victory -- and, yes, there is a connection if you believe these drip, drip, drip stories wouldn't have come out at this time if it hadn't been for the resort-casino debate. Many more victories like this, and Sal will be checking himself into a VA ward. ... The Casey story gives me at least a vague idea why Sal is struggling so much within his own House. ...One last thing: Deval is all but calling his opponents 'hacks.' Does this mean there's a schism developing within the Hack-Progressive Alliance? Tension, yes. Schism, no. I'll believe there's a schism under way when Deval fields his own slate of legislative candidates -- and I don't see that happening. Bottom line: The Hack-Progressive Alliance, it lives! ...
* My previous Deval-Sal analysis here
, where I referred to Outraged Liberal as Massachusetts Liberal. Outraged Liberal, Massachusetts Liberal. Same thing. ...
P.S. -- One truly last point (promise): Deval is one stubborn man. It can be a strength (recall corporate-tax loopholes issue) -- and it can be a weakness (not cutting his resort-casino losses earlier). But it's clear: He's stubborn. ...Update
-- More on Deval-Sal over at Adam's site
. ... Also: I tinkered a bit with the above post. Minor changes. ...
'The dynastic imperative'
Marty Nolan has an excellent piece
on the dynastic similarities between the 1980 Dem presidental race and 2008 Dem presidential race. Democrats who want to win in November better take note. ...
'Anatomy of the Surge'
Any 'anatomy of the surge'
that doesn't mention 'counter-insurgency' and glosses over the true importance of Donald Rumsfeld's 'departure' is not a serious analysis in my book. ...
'RIP Richard Widmark - notable war film'
Armchair Gen. Brighton Center (formerly Armchair Gen. Savin Hill) knows a thing or two
about war movies and pays his last respects to Richard Widmark
RIP Richard Widmark - notable war film:
I always liked Richard Widmark as an actor. Always a crusty approach to all his roles and even when playing a good guy, you were never sure how "good" he was supposed to be.
A case in point, an excellent Cold War film he was in that's worth seeing if it ever shows up: The Bedford Incident with Sidney Poitier. A little preachy, but a good drama/suspense military thriller about a North Atlantic hunt for a Soviet submarine.
I'm embarrassed to say I never heard of 'The Bedford Incident.' The reviews at Amazon are quite positive. ...
'Hijabs at its gyms'
defends Harvard's decision to close one of its gyms for six hours so Muslim women can exercise without men around. But it's not about the right of Harvard's Muslim women to 'turn up in hijabs at its gyms' -- something they should be allowed to do if they want. It's about turning up in hijabs -- and demanding that others scram too. Harvard crossed a line. ... Marcus suggests the controversy is a rare case of a univeristy getting it right. But it was really a typical case of a university caving so it doesn't come across as insensitive. ... I guess Harvard is just practicing a new form of pick-and-choose Cafeteria Secularism, not to be confused with pick-and-choose Cafeteria Catholicism. ...Update
writes in to note there was a time when Harvard and its faculty members didn't cave to demands of religious groups:
Ironic, huh? Years ago, the late William Alfred, my mentor at
Harvard, who was raised during the pre-Vatican II era, told me he got into a huge fight with Opus Dei in the 1950s when the latter tried to get Harvard to agree to house all Catholic students off campus in separate housing (if I recall correctly).
Alfred successfully fought this idea along with other Catholic faculty members, but it soured him a bit on O.D.
'The governor was so angry ...'
Massachusetts Liberal has a good analysis
of the Patrick administration's inept negotiating strategy
in the face of Sal's 'bare-knuckles'
opposition to the casino plan:
Ultimately though, the big loser is Patrick. He put forward a poorly constructed proposal, gambled he could win it all after DiMasi met his offer to negotiate with a reasonable counter-offer, then launched yet another attack on DiMasi when an olive branch was more appropriate.
Hub Blog would add, somewhat counterintuitively, that the entire episode displayed Sal's weaknesses as well as his strengths. Despite a poorly constructed proposal and amateur-hour tactics, the administration still pushed DiMasi to the limit. Sal, at times, looked more desperate than determined. He sweated -- violating the old axiom about not letting them see you sweat. Hub Blog's mind keeps drifting back to Sal's recent crackdown on members who were openly lobbying for his job. ... One last thing re Massachusetts Liberal's post: I hope the Patrick administration doesn't draw the conclusion that it needs to move from Dukakis I to Dukakis II tactics and stratagies. Remember: the Hack-Progressive Alliance can trace its roots back to when Dukakis decided it was better to play along with Billy and the boys rather than confront Billy and the boys. The trick is how to confront them. One doesn't do it with half-baked proposals and ham-handed dime-dropping tactics. Setting aside the arguments for or against resort casinos in general, the fatal flaws in Patrick's casino plan were: A.) He proposed it too early (and should have let the legal and political dust settle after the Middleboro vote fiasco. B.) He didn't include the existing racetracks C.) He sold the idea primarly as an 'economic development' plan -- a bogus claim that was rightly ripped apart. I.e., you confront with smart plans. This was not a smart plan. ...
OK, so relations between Deval and Sal are at a low point. But check out these articles (here
) on Eliot Spitzer and his dealings with the New York legislature. The following scene, in which then Gov. Spitzer met with allies who tried to convey that his governing style wasn't working, is astounding:
They took their seats in the governor’s suite, seven or eight men in a tight cluster. Mr. Cantor, glancing at his notes, cataloged their discontents. At the end the governor leaned in, his face less than 12 inches from Mr. Cantor’s.
And Mr. Spitzer began screaming.
“You have no standing to lecture me,” he said, expletives punctuating virtually every third syllable. “You’re part of the system that is the whole problem in this state.”
A year’s worth of perceived slights poured out, as he recalled old political races gone bad and proposals that had died in the Legislature. Curse piled upon curse, spittle flying.
“In the world of politics, calculated rage is really common,” recalled a man who was in the room. “But this was not calculated; this was pure rage and kind of scary to watch.”
Let's be glad it hasn't come to this in Massachusetts. ...Update
-- Andre writes in about confronting hacks:
Well, yeah, all that, plus if you try to confront the hacks over their opposition to gambling, you're doing it without most of your natural allies.
'The same honesty can overlap into other areas,' Part II
was also impressed with the speech (perhaps not as much I was) and also saw a 'Common Ground' link (see her reference to Boston bussing). She had problems with the speech too, but concludes:
Still, it was a good speech, and a serious one. I don't know if it will help him. We're in uncharted territory. We've never had a major-party presidential front-runner who is black, or rather black and white, who has given such an address. We don't know if more voters will be alienated by Mr. Wright than will be impressed by the speech about Mr. Wright. We don't know if voters will welcome a meditation on race. My sense: The speech will be labeled by history as the speech that saved a candidacy or the speech that helped do it in. I hope the former.
Ah, you forgot someone ...
was reading Philip Lawler's new book, The Faithful Departed: The Collapse of Boston's Catholic Culture
, when he noticed something was missing. "Huh?? I almost threw the book at the wall." ... A pretty big omission. ...
'Things that define and shape Boston'
A new site, Povo.com
, is using a Wikipedia-like format to 'harness the knowledge of its users to provide information that reflects all of the things that define and shape Boston,' as it was pitched to Hub Blog. I wish them luck. ... Makes me want to check out what's going on at the current nerve center
of the local blogosphere. Hart's wife underwent surgery
. But I suppose she's doing well enough if Hart is tying Ashley Dupre's Girls Gone Wild video to Johnny Damon.
'The same honesty can overlap into other areas'
Hub Blog and a friend had a gentle argument yesterday about Obama's big speech.
I basically reiterated what I said below, except I boiled down Obama's apparent line of reasoning to this: A.) A vote for Obama leads to B.) Better race relations and C.) Makes it easier to tackle other issues. I told my friend I accepted the logic of A.) leading to B.) but didn't necessarily think it all led to C.) -- especially if you're suspicious that C.) is just rehashed liberal approaches to solving problems. I said I couldn't accept throwing lots more money at schools and health care and 'shuttered mills' if those approaches haven't worked in the past. He pulled an end-around me and got back to the general honesty of his speech and asked, 'Don't you think the same honesty can overlap into other areas?' That kind of stopped me. Anyone capable of writing such a perceptive speech about race was at heart a pragmatist. I conceded that there was a good chance Obama might approach problems and solutions from a more thoughtful and refreshing angle -- but that I was still skeptical about C.). My friend, a big Obama backer, accepted that line of reasoning. ...
... OK, I know Obama's speech wasn't completely honest, as Charles Krauthammer
typically and predictably points out, arriving at his typical and predictable partisan conclusion. But I still think Obama's speech was as honest and compelling as anything I've read or heard from a politician. To put a local spin on it, I have a strong hunch he's both read and internalized 'Common Ground.'
If he hasn't read the book, then it's clear from his speech he's truly experienced both sides of the race saga. ... Here's a thoughtful and refreshing new approach to solving social problems: 'social entrepreneurship.'
But he lost me when he noted that a 'consortium' of these entrepreneurs are now urging national 'scalability.' Does it always have to lead back to the federal government? ...
'Not this time'
Barack Obama yesterday gave one of the most honest and compelling speeches
I've ever seen or read. But I have to ask: Has he or has he not just made race central to his campaign? Is race the most important issue facing America today? Will healing America's racial wounds really lead to better health care and education? Precisely because his speech was so honest and compelling about race, I found myself thinking his campaign is now strangely less compelling in other areas. Addressing our nation's racial problem is critical. But it's not critical to addressing the ailing economy, the threat of terrorism and other major issues. ... Despite the disconnect, I was highly impressed with the speech for how it eloquently tied together America's past and current racial problems. Read it -- especially the part, a third of the way through, when he talks about how legalized discrimination of the past wrecked the hopes of generations of African-Americans. ... One last thing: Hillary looks very small and almost irrelevant after a speech like this. I simply can't imagine her being as honest on any issue. That's why I loved Obama's line, 'Not this time.' ...
'A glorious day'
Reader No. 1 is in good mood:
March 18th 2008 - a glorious day in Boston rock history, and another milestone for Mission of Burma. Full disclosure: yes, I'm a fan!
Oh boy, is this great!
I found myself imitating Johnny Most
while reading the text in the last link. ...
'Coincidentally, it is the same day as St. Patrick's Day'
provides a rather strange explanation about how Evacuation Day became a holiday in Massachusetts:
Many of the soldiers who volunteered to serve under General George Washington to break the yoke of British colonialism were Irish Catholic. These soldiers and their families experienced first hand British occupation and suppression. Many of their sacrifices during the War of Independence were critical in bringing about the establishment of the United States of America. After a failed movement in 1876, the holiday (Evacuation Day) was finally proclaimed on the 125th anniversary in 1901.
I get the distinct impression someone is trying too hard to rationalize the historic connection between Evacuation Day and St. Patrick's Day. ... J.L. Bell
, typically, has an interesting post on the real evacuation of Boston. No mention of Irish-Catholic minutemen hot on the heels of the fleeing Gen. William Howe. ...
'The Day of Battle'
After getting sidetracked by another book
, I finally finished Rick Atkinson's 'The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy 1943-1944,'
the second book in Atkinson's planned 'liberation trilogy.'
Quickie Hub Blog review: I liked it, but not nearly as much Atkinson's Pulitzer Prize-winning 'An Army at Dawn.'
Maybe it was just the topic. The Italian campaign was truly depressing. Though it knocked the Italians out of the war and sucked hundreds of thousands of German troops from other fronts (justifying it, in my opinion), the Allied generalship was quite mediocre, leading to futile WWI-style frontal attacks that spilled much blood for little ground. I wish Atkinson had been more pointed in his criticism of Gen. Mark Clark
, who headed the U.S. Fifth Army and showed a consistent lack of imagination during the campaign. The guy seemed to have never heard of 'flanks' -- except when protecting his own. ...
'Eventually, America should go ... Not right now, but in time'
The fifth anniversary of the start of the Iraq war is approaching -- and Charlie Sennott provides another good MSM overview
of what's happening in Iraq. Militarily, the surge is working. Politically, it's not. The time is approaching, ready or not, for the troops to come home, albeit 'not right now, but in time.' ... FYI: Hub Blog is deliberately trying to provoke the hyper-pro-war blowhards by going out of my way to praise the MSM's coverage of the war. It's been far more accurate than the 'happy-talk'
types who are still insisting that the good news in Iraq is being repressed, while studiously ignoring what Sennott (and others, including Gen. Petraeus) are saying about the lack of substantive political changes there. Even average Iraqi peasants know that the country will blow up if the Americans pull out too fast. That's some 'victory.' ...Update
-- John Burns
has a terrific piece that looks back on the last five years. He criticizes the pre-war press for a mistake beyond the botched WMD coverage:
If we accurately depicted the horrors of Saddam’s Iraq in the run-up to the war, with its charnel houses and mass graves, we have to acknowledge that we were less effective, then, in probing beneath the carapace of terror to uncover other facets of Iraq’s culture and history that would have a determining impact on the American project to build a Western-style democracy, or at least the basics of a civil society.
It was not easy, with a reporter’s every move scrutinized by Saddam Hussein’s lugubrious minders, to undertake that kind of in-depth reporting. But from the exhaustive reporting in the years since, Americans now know how deeply traumatized Iraqis were by the brutality of Saddam, and how deep was the poison of fear and distrust. ...
They know, too, through coverage in this newspaper and others, of the deep fissures, of ethnicity, sect and tribe, that were camouflaged by the quarter-century of Mr. Hussein’s totalitarian rule. As much as America’s policy failures, it has been these factors that have contributed to the Iraqi quagmire. Properly weighed, in time, they might have given cause for second thoughts about the wisdom of the invasion.
Obama soft crashes to earth
Watching Obama on cable TV last night addressing his 'double-trouble,'
it occurred to me it was the first time I saw him being grilled like any other politician -- and he seemed, well, quite vulnerable. He handled it OK. But not great. He's back on earth after months of being that distant media-made star. ... Hub Blog has never been overly impressed with Obama. But he's given Hillary a hell of a run -- and that I appreciate and respect. I still believe a McCain-vs.-Obama general election would be good for the country -- a clear break from the Clinton-Bush years. ...
, Eliot Spitzer's Harvard law professor, cuts to the chase by simply stating many smart men are stupid when it comes to sex -- and it's hard to argue with her point. David Brooks
notes that some Alpha men are so intent on achieving fame and status, they never bother to learn life's more simple and subtle lessons:
I don’t know if you’ve seen a successful politician or business tycoon get drunk and make a pass at a woman. It’s like watching a St. Bernard try to French kiss. It’s all overbearing, slobbering, desperate wanting. There’s no self-control, no dignity.
It's hard to argue with his point too. ... I can't get out of my mind the image of Eliot Spitzer down to his boxer shorts, T-shirt, knee-high socks and five-o'clock-shadow, slobbering and chasing Kristen around a hotel room. Not the double-life type of guy you want running a government or prosecuting people. He had to go. ... Hopefully, that's my last post on Spitzer (for now). ...
'There's also the 'stupidity angle,' Part II
Britain's Daily Mail came up with four non-legal words to describe 'Client 6,' Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster, the richest man in England: "Reckless, boastful, stupid, weak - such lacerating words hardly exaggerate the case against the duke." ... The Duke has also resigned from his government position. That's two down. How many more to go? ... Via the Daily News.
-- Don't forget to check out Jim Broadbent's hilarious spoof of the British aristocracy, 'A Sense of History.'
Broadbent's 23rd Earl of Leete even looks like the Duke. ...
There's also the 'stupidity angle'
has three good reasons why Spitzer needed to resign
-- i.e., the hypocrisy, money and jerk angles. I'd add the 'stupidity angle.' Spitzer's conduct was stunningly stupid for a public figure who built a reputation as a do-gooder reformer and who showed no mercy toward others who crossed the line -- and then he crossed the line. It's still hard to believe he thought he could get away with the Mayflower hooker romps. ... BTW: No mentions of a possible plea deal. They had talks. But no details yet.Update
-- David sums it up
: 'Staggering. Just staggering.'
'A senior officer who did speak his mind'
The administration is trying to have it both ways with Adm. William Fallon's forced early retirement
: He stated U.S. policy toward Iran but didn't state it -- or something like that. ... The hawks are in a stronger position with his departure. Maybe that's all we need to know. ... FYI - Hub Blog remains a containment man
on Iran. Fallon is/was too -- and look what happened to him. ...
'Trying to arrange a plea deal ...' Part II
More on the plea-deal talks
Mr. Spitzer cut himself off from all but the most senior members of his staff. His lawyer, Michele Hirschman, was reaching out to federal prosecutors to try to strike a deal in hopes of avoiding charges.
Close aides to the governor suggested on Tuesday that the mood in the Spitzer home was tense, with the governor’s wife, Silda Wall Spitzer, recommending that he not step down, but they cautioned that the situation could change at any time.
indicates his wife is thinking in legal terms too. ... Kristen has disappeared, but the NY Daily News picks up her cyber trail.
... I understand the uncomfortable Spitzer connection for Hillary. But it seems a big stretch
to blame Eliot for the start of her own campaign slide. ...
'Trying to arrange a plea deal ...'
This is what the resignation delay is about.
... He's applying his own AG tactics in reverse. ...Update
-- The NY Post is trying to bury a potentially bigger controversy. See '* Update II'
in earlier post today. ...Update II
-- Got it!
End of NY Post airbrush controversy:
He left the door slightly ajar so Kristen could come to the room directly, according to the complaint and a report by nytimes.com.
Emphasis added. It's not the way I recall it appearing originally. But I've made my point. ... P.S. - I've since taken off the asterisks.
'It's the money trail ...' Part II
Check out the credit line on this
Danny Hakim reported from Albany and William K. Rashbaum from New York City. Reporting for this and other articles about Gov. Eliot Spitzer was contributed by John Sullivan, Jennifer Anderson, Cara Buckley, Sewell Chan, Sushil Cheema, David W. Chen, Alison Leigh Cowan, Jane Gottlieb, Jason Grant, Kate Hammer, Patrick Healy, Raymond Hernandez, C. J. Hughes, Andrew Jacobs, Daryl Khan, David Kocieniewski, Serge F. Kovaleski, Angela Macropoulos, Colin Moynihan, Don Van Natta Jr., Patrick McGeehan, Jeremy W. Peters, Sam Roberts and Stacey Stowe.
It's a posse! ...
'It's the money trail ...'
I've seen something that I never thought I'd see in my lifetime: The NY Post
citing the NY Times in a sex-scandal story. ... NY Daily News
on Spitzer: 'It's the money trail.' The NYT unearths
more details about that money trail. ... Looks like the feds may have him on wire fraud or mail fraud or both if they intend to press the case. ... The most sought after woman in the world this morning: Kristen. ...Update
-- More on the money-trail angle: 'structuring.'
has additional thoughts on the hypocrisy angle. ...Update II
-- It's vanished! The NYT reference is gone! So now the Post has its own asterisk-next-to-its-name controversy. ... A free package of Hostess Cupcakes to anyone who can find a cached version. ...Update III
-- Repeat from above: Got it! End of NY Post airbrush controversy. ... P.S. -- And no more asterisks.
'Spitzer is linked to prostitution ring,' Part II
Lots more local reactions on Gov. Unsafe Sex Acts over at Pundit Review
, Universal Hub
. ... Adam on past Deval-Spitzer comparisons: 'Let's hope Patrick can't top this.' ...
'Spitzer is linked to prostitution ring'
If true, this is beyond stunning.
... Two things jump to mind: 1.) I'm never going to compare
Deval to Eliot again. 2.) The old adage, I believe from Mark Twain, about not trusting the dinner guest who goes on and on about his own honesty. ...Update
-- Spitzer says it's a 'private' matter. But his busting up prostitution rings used to be a very public matter (via above link):
As attorney general, he also had prosecuted at least two prostitution rings as head of the state’s organized crime task force.
In one such case in 2004, Mr. Spitzer spoke with revulsion and anger after announcing the arrest of 16 people for operating a high-end prostitution ring out of Staten Island.
“This was a sophisticated and lucrative operation with a multitiered management structure,” Mr. Spitzer said at the time. “It was, however, nothing more than a prostitution ring.”
The guy's a hypocrite and politically finished if he used the same type of 'high-end' hooker rings that he used to prosecute. ...Update II
-- From the NY Daily News
An official briefed on the investigation told the Daily News that Spitzer is the man described in great detail by prosecutors as “Client 9” - a regular patron of the prostitution ring who was known to request unsafe sex acts.
WNBC reported the feds have text messages from the governor’s phone to the hooker bookers.
Text messages? Yep, I'd say he's finished. Bruno must be happy. ... And wiretaps?
Jeez. I suppose it's only a matter of time before a video shows up on YouTube. ...
'Hillary and Bill Clinton are again ...'
... Granted, it's a weird story. ...
'Virtual Athenaeum Alley in New England'
Here's a tour
of 'Athenaeum Alley in New England.' I didn't know there were so many. ...
Monsters and Rumsfeld consistency
Am I one of only a few who thinks Samantha Power's 'monster'
comment was just a figure of speech? She resigned over that? ... David Brooks
is right: The logic of Obama's 'new politics' means he's damned if he doesn't respond to the Clinton attacks -- and damned if he does. I hope Obama resists the temptation to counterattack. Not for moral reasons or any feigned distaste for 'negative' campaigns. I hope he resists because he'll lose if he plays the Clinton game -- and I don't want Clinton to win. ... OK, so Obama's views on the war have 'evolved'
over the years. The Clintons (plural) have jumped all over him for alleged inconsistencies. But wasn't Donald Rumsfeld consistent over the years? Obama originally opposed the war but at least tried to deal with nasty realities as they evolved. Rumsfeld and his cheerleaders supported the war but consistently refused to deal with nasty realities as they evolved -- and look where that got us. ... But that's not to say Obama's flexible inconsistencies have been consistently right and sincere. Samantha Power recently let the cat out of the bag when she said Obama's withdrawal plan is basically bogus -- and maybe that's the real reason why she had to go.Update
: Obama can still defend himself and point out differences without taking the low road. Good point.
'But I was usually asked to refrain ...'
Via John Farrell
, check out Jim Broadbent's 'A Sense of History'
-- a parody of English artistocrats and BBC documentaries. The humor is extremely dry and you almost miss its turn into zaniness at the 3:40 mark when the 23rd Earl of Leete starts describing his mother. Everything is there: the gentleman-farmer tweed coat and work boots, black lab bounding about, and, yes, your mind starts wandering to cheesemakers and homesteaders and what weird things might be going on up there in Hamilton. ... John has Parts II and III at his site. I asked John about the musical instrument playing in the background and he responded, 'Yes--I think it's an oboe...gives that real pathetic dowdiness to add the finishing touch.' ...
'Internal strife and warring camps'
These are the war-room clowns
who'll be ready on Day One. ... Some post-primary observations from Reader No. 1, who notices that Hillary was against the electoral college before she was apparently for it:
-- The Democratic aftermath brings to mind this journalistic staple.
-- Given the never-ending capacity of contemporary liberal thinkers to create seemingly sound and thoroughly contradictory public policy, we should hardly be surprised at the conflict between the Small States/Big States, Popular Vote/Delegates, and Primaries/SuperDelegates that stand a fair chance at (once again) snatching defeat from the Jaws of Victory....
I hear the popular vote argument....but we don't elect Presidents in that manner; we have the electoral college...
Hilary's crowd argues for the big states - I haven't done the math, but this point seems entirely consistent with the electoral college methodology. However, the argument is made in a transparent and characteristically political pro method that one is left cold (and of course, a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds).
-- In the good old days, Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton would be the ticket. But that ticket ain't big enough for both of them, and the 42nd President makes a thoroughly untenable 3.
-- Call this cornball if you want, and I'm no Huckabee voter, but this call to the common interest is something from which Democratic Brainos could learn a lot. I'm not holding my breath...
Finally, Brighton Reader (see post below) writes in to say he's not predicting a Hillary victory:
Actually, I think Obama still has the edge to get the nomination. He has the delegate lead, and will win quite a few of the remaining primaries, even if he loses PA. The only thing that could really throw it wide open for Clinton would be re-votes in Michigan and Florida.Update
-- Wayne: 'The glow is off the golden guy.'
'Stayin' Alive,' Part II
Brighton Reader, a Hillary fan, echoes Dan's thoughts (see Update II below) and now feels confident about Hillary's prospects:
There is no way Hillary or Barack can win with only pledged delegates from contested states. CNN's John King went through all the electoral arithmetic last night. Even if either candidate won every primary, including yesterday's, with 70%, the apportionment rules for delegates prevent anyone from getting to the number needed for the nomination. That did not happen, which raises the percentage even higher. Would revotes in Florida and Michigan remove the reliance on the super-Ds? Probably not. Dan is right, whoever has the most popular votes will have the strongest claim. So bring on the post- Pennsylvania battles - Indiana, South Dakota, Puerto Rico and Guam! (Plus a few others....)
But South Dakota, Puerto Rico and Guam are so 'little'!
after last night's victories.
She can do the math. She's now clearly counting on the superdelegates and perhaps the Michigan and Florida votes to win the nomination. It's her only chance -- even if it risks civil war within the Dem party. She will take that chance. She is a Clinton. ...Update
-- From Reader Andre:
March 4 turned out to be the Groundhog Day of (Democratic) politics -- six more weeks 'til Pennsylvania, and HRC is likely to win there, as it's sort of a combination of New York and Ohio. This could go all the way after all.Update II
makes two good points: 1.) Hillary's 'big state' argument is bogus and sure to alienate those in 'little states.' 2.) But if no one nabs the required number of delegates but she ends up winning the popular vote, isn't that a legitimate claim for superdelegates' support? I'd say so. I hadn't thought of that scenario. ... Florida and Michigan, BTW, aren't out of the picture.
We want wolves!
I don't know about you, but I was never satisfied with mere coyotes
hunting down our cats, dogs, livestock and even grandpa
. It's been obvious for so long: we needed wild and ravenous wolves to make our suburban lives and ecosystem complete. Now we have them
-- and it's 'exciting'
because wolves are 'revered by many.' ... Alas, my all-time favorite press release -- the one that said more than 84 percent of New Englanders wanted wild wolves to return to our backyards -- is no longer up.
I wonder why. ...
'Mr. Rezko and Mr. Obama'
First, here's a good primer
from the Chicago Sun-Times on Obama's Rezko problem. Second, Reader No. 1 asks me, as a former Illinois Statehouse reporter, what's my take on the Rezko affair in general.
Though not knowing the details of the Rezko case, my immediate reaction is that not much has changed in Illinois since 1996 when I co-authored 'Illinois for Sale: Do Campaign Contributions Buy Influence?'
(It's really a compilation of investigative pieces by my old SJ-R colleagues and yours truly, edited into a book by my former editor -- and available to you for a mere $1.19. Act now! Note: In retrospect, the word 'influence' in the title seems so innocent. It should have read 'pols.') Third, Obama's involvement sure was 'boneheaded.' For Christ's sake, he even toured the damn house with Rezko before buying it. Fourth, I doubt it has any short-term impact on Obama, who isn't the central target of the probe and trial. Gov. Blagojevich is 'Public Official A,' making it possible that two straight Illinois governors might be taken down by the feds. But long-term (i.e., post-nomination), it will hurt Obama the same way that the lobbyists story has dinged McCain's reputation and the same way Whitewater followed the Clintons around like a skunk. ...
... As for today's primaries
, I'd have to agree that if Hillary wins one of the two big states (Texas or Ohio), she has a somewhat legitimate claim for staying in the race, though I'd dearly love to see her knocked out today. ... Love this quote from our Mayor For Life: “This whole thing about change and hope - I’m trying to figure out what ‘change’ means.” We are too, mayor! ...
'How dumb can we get?'
Hub Blog has lately tried to keep the number of Obama-Hillary posts to a minimum. But Brighton Reader keeps bringing the subject up:
Look out Obama girl, Jack is taking sides. Forget about Hillary Clinton's lame ringing phone ad, this is the best commercial of the primary season.
It's finally dawned on me that Brighton Reader is rooting for Hillary. ... Now that we're on the subject, check out Charlotte Allen's piece
in which she asks fellow women, 'How dumb can we get?' She shatters the politically correct Women Good-Men Bad rule of public discourse -- with a few choice exaggerations. It's one of the top pieces on the Post's normally policy-wonkish list of most-viewed articles ... David Ignatius
notices something: Obama's thin legislative record indicates he's less bipartisan than Hillary and McCain. ...Update
-- 3.3.08 -- News flash! Charlotte Allen's piece was 'tongue-in-cheek.'
Well, the few choice exaggerations made it kind of obvious, right? Apparently not. I'm just glad, joke or no joke, she disregarded the unofficial Women Good-Men Bad rule of modern public discourse. ...
'Boston fans have seen this up close'
Beth provides statistical proof
that Bruins fans are probably screwed until Jeremy Jacobs is dead and gone -- and Jacobs verbally confirms it. A great article that also confirms the obvious: There was never a 'Curse of the Bambino' -- just a 'Curse of the Yawkeys.' ... My question: Does Hank Steinbrenner count as a 'new owner'? I hope not. It seems more a case of dynastic inheritance. John Henry turns the knife a little more.
... Remember Hank blowing a gasket the next time a Yank fan hauls out the old faked line, 'Oh, New Yorkers really don't care about the Sox-Yanks rivalry as much as Boston fans.' Yeah, right. Tell it to Hank ...
'Disingenuous to say recent events won't have an impact'
Obama is cranking it up
in Little Rhody. The Clinton camp, meanwhile, has managed to piss off Providence Mayor Cicilline. Not good. Involves a firefighters union. Of course. ... One of Hub Blog's many secret sources in Rhode Island reports that he's getting bombarded with Obama emails and he's quite impressed with the operation there. Obama's even opened
a Newport office. He may not win. But he's pressing Hillary on all fronts. ...Update
reports Hillary still holds the lead in R.I., while Obama has closed the gap in Texas and Ohio. ...
'The President of the World was coming'
A friend suggested I read this piece by Bob Geldof
on his time in Africa with President Bush. Geldof is quite blunt about his disagreements with the president. But he's also blunt (and right) that the president deserves more credit than he's received for what he's done in Africa. ... The president comes across as a classic defensive teaser, i.e., his quick wit derives in part from put-downs of others before they might tease him -- or something like that. But Geldof doesn't seem to mind and gives it right back to him. I liked these lines:
The Bush regime has been divisive — but not in Africa. I read it has been incompetent — but not in Africa. It has created bitterness — but not here in Africa. Here, his administration has saved millions of lives.
I hope the president devotes much of his time, post-presidency, continuing his work in Africa. ... On a separate note: Madagascar Reader (formerly Quebec Reader) sends in this piece
about rioting in Cameroon, which I used as a base for nearly six months while traveling through Africa in the early 2000s. Note the existence of unions and protesters defending what's left of the constitution. Cameroon is relatively stable and prosperous compared to its neighbors -- and it's almost universally assumed there that the Biya regime is both holding together and holding back the country. The trick is to hold it together while moving forward. The potential is there. The leadership isn't. ...