The Anything We Do Is Good For Capitalism arguments II
of the Anything We Do Is Good For Capitalism types.
Et tu, Bronson?
admits he's probably on the 2003 list too. He says some interesting things. But it's not enough to eliminate the sadness over Papi. ... Gerry
are all in rough agreement: Papi and the WS wins are tarnished. But I'm more with Dan
: I'll keep the trophies. ... My advice to Sox fans during these dark days: Buck up! This is war.
OK, so performance-enhancement drugs are the rough moral equivalent of enhanced interrogation techniques. OK, so we firebombed and nuked a few too many cities during WWII. But did those mistakes really discredit the overall moral authority of our general cause? No! …
The only thing I dread is the inevitable phone call from Marty Silverstein
. … But forget Yankees fans. I'm more worried about the return of the poignant-pain
types. ... No sighting yet of someone semi-seriously dusting off the Curse of the Bambino phrase. ... Now back to the war
: "OK. I've just got to say it — this fucking team bores me."Update
, who has more reactions):
As far as I’m concerned, the only thing that upsets me about this whole situation is the tidal wave of insane reactions and irrational sanctimony that is is sure to drown us all over the next few days. Update II
-- Curt Schilling
on whether the Sox’ accomplishments in ‘04 or ‘07 should be judged differently:
This makes me laugh. I have already seen the bandwagon fans start the *04 and *07 threads and remarks, people with teams who are far deeper into this than most other teams — as if this makes it all OK. Every team going back 10-15 years needs an * if you want to consider giving it to anyone.
Via Tyler Kepner
, who seems to agree:
Perhaps it means that if an asterisk sticks to one group of champions, it could also apply to all. And if every great team of an era has an asterisk, what is the point of the asterisk, anyway?
'Say it ain't so, Papi'
Manny and Papi tested positive for steroids in '03
, the NYT reports. ... Via Adam
. ... The first person to cite the Curse of the Bambino shall be shot. ...Update
-- ESPN is now officially calling it the 'David Ortiz story.' But lost in the shuffle is Jose Canseco's contention earlier this spring
that Manny was likely on the 2003 MLB list. Canseco also theorized one of the reasons other teams didn't show much interest in Manny was because of the list. ... I may be wrong, but I recall a Sox management type denying, after Manny was suspended earlier this year, that there was prior evidence of Manny taking banned drugs. ... Others
reported on Canseco's remarks earlier this spring.Update II
-- I changed the wording in the first update. Canseco wasn't talking about the lack of interest in 2003. He apparently was talking about last year. My mistake.
'I don’t want to miss a thing'
One Tweet gets Kevin
to thinking about life’s priorities. Nice post.
The carved-out-baby story
(sorry, it's brutal but accurate) is too sick to rise to the quirky capture-the-public-imagination level of the Clark Rockefeller tale. It's instead sunk to a grisly Charles Manson-like level. ... Except for indentifying the baby and killer(s), I'm not sure I want to know more about this case. It's too off the charts.
'He is following . . . the proper steps'
Maybe he got hurt pulling the permits?
'Rumor No. 1: …’
knocks down all those nasty rumors about Goldman Sachs. The most disturbing one: “Rumor No. 5: Goldman Sachs is a ‘great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.’” … Via Midas Watch
, who tips his hat to Lewis for showing how criticism can and should be fun. … BTW: Goldman Sachs is right up there with Warren Buffett, Ben & Jerry’s and the Notre Dame and Boston College football programs as Hub Blog's favorite self-righteous and overpraised annoyances. … More on GS from Midas.
'Blindsided by Daisuke Matsuzaka’s criticism'
Setting aside Dice-K's
racial theories (the Japanese are still into that stuff) and the Sox's hurt feelings (I get the impression they're more pissed they didn't get in the first PR punch), can we agree that sometimes some people require very individualized training programs? Dice-K is on the verge of becoming a MLB bust. The Sox have nothing to lose. They should let him go with his hunch about training. ... Dennis & Callahan
yesterday were hilarious on this point as it applied to Wade Boggs's Miller Lite training program. The current Sox management would never buy into Wade's case-a-day antics. But it worked for him. Somehow. ...Update
-- From Bert:
From Silverman’s article:
“Matsuzaka is of the belief that the shoulder of a Japanese pitcher differs from that of other pitchers, and that it can withstand more throwing off the mound without having to resort to the extended long-toss programs the Sox, and other MLB teams, believe in.”
I’ve never seen this belief stated by DiceK directly or on his behalf. Did I miss something? Seems to me there’s an age old argument between philosophies on pitchers arms. Dice and the Japanese believe more throwing makes stronger arms, US MLB has come to an almost universal conclusion that too much throwing breaks down the pieces.
But until Silverman states it, I haven’t seen anyone make the case that it has anything to do with where the arm is from. Did I miss something or is Silverman misinterpreting?
On the substance of the dispute, it’s a little like Gates/Crowley to me. Where did flexibility go in this world? When did we all become so obstinate and certain of everything? Shouldn’t we be less so, given how quickly things swing back and forth in the world? Is this desperate clinging to something—anything—unchangeable a sign of a global condition that needs physco-analysis?
The Anything We Do Is Good For Capitalism arguments
rightly dismisses the Anything We Do Is Good For Capitalism arguments by proponents of complex high-frequency algorithmic trading. Snake oil salesmen could muster the same approximate arguments -- that they're creating liquidity via transfer of money, that they're creating jobs (for snake catchers, chemical makers, bottle distributors etc.), that they're responding to market demand. At least snake oil salesmen can point to tangible products they produce. Goldman Sachs, hedge-fund managers and MIT grads
Buying stocks used to be about long-term value, doing your research and finding the company that you thought had good prospects. Maybe it had a product that you liked the look of, or perhaps a solid management team. Increasingly such real value is becoming irrelevant. The contest is now between the machines — and they’re playing games with real businesses and real people.
Buying stocks also used to rely more on old-fashioned human hunches
. My own gut instinct is that Wall Street, once again, is playing us off against each other, using free-market rhetoric to disguise their gaming of the system.
Previous mini-rant here
'A Man's Home is His Constitutional Castle'
Excellent column by Christopher Hitchens.
And the debate will go on and on and on
Via Boston Herald
Sue the bastard!
Thus speaks the 'ethicist'
in l'affaire Gates. ... I initially fell for it. It's so dry I'm still not sure if I'm supposed to fall for it or not. ... OK, the tapes
seem to prove
one thing: We're back to a variation of square one
. This wasn't a classic case of racial profiling. Not even the initial caller was offering up a profile. This was more a case of two guys overreacting. ... One small discrepancy: I got the impression the decision to arrest Gates occurred toward the very end of the incident -- and yet the paddy wagon sure seemed to be called in quick. Maybe the tape sequence was off. ... I like the Cambridge cop's response to a question: “I have no comment on this anymore.”
'Patrick’s formerly strong appeal to independents'
Normally such as loss
would be devastating. But not in a three-way race. ... The administration is perplexed about why the gov isn't getting more credit on reform. But if you throw in a Marion Walsh here and a James Aloisi there and then say you're for reform, guess what? Instant mixed message. ... I'd still love to see, if it's possible, how individual public-union members are tilting. The moonbats are sticking with Deval. But my gut says the Dem hacks ain't. The numbers seem to suggest it.
Panicking over a panic, Part III
Robert J. Samuelson
states the obvious: the health-care plans on the table are about expanding coverage, not controlling costs. ... Paul Krugman
is once again snarling away at moderate and conservative Democrats, saying they were the ones who sided with Bush’s deficit-ballooning tax cuts. He doesn’t address Obama’s deficit-ballooning spending increases. The two sides are just mirror images of themselves. ... BTW: No numbers per se in PK's column. No rebuttal of CBO's figures. Just standard righteous anger. ... Ezra Klein
mutters the words that should strike fear in the hearts of all noble men: "Obama has left the details of his effort almost entirely to Congress." ... He should have plunked "again" somewhere in that sentence.
Or legal cyber theft?
I know one thing: It’s not capitalism
, defined as “the best allocation of resources” achieved through “consumers having free choice and producers responding.” It’s more akin to traders hiding out at the end of a conveyer belt, plucking products away and stuffing them in their pockets before anyone notices. The conveyor belt is carrying our pension money. …
A perfect game -- and what a catch.
The last inning couldn't have been more dramatic.
'Cambridge police acted stupidly' Part III
The Gates story gets more bizarre, ironic, stupid, whatever: Crowley has taught anti-racial-profiling courses for years.
Black officers defend him.... President Obama issues a qualification
to his stupidity remark. The whole debate is getting stupid at this point.Update
-- Reader BK reminds me of Gates's quote
about how'll he "educate" Crowley about racial profiling. I have a feeling Crowley's going to decline the offer.
BTW: I've been collecting quotes from friends and acquaintances on the matter. Two of the best: "I have sympathy for both. But they're both jerks" and "This isn't about racism. It's about pricks." ... I'm also starting to hear a few Cambridge chip-on-the-shoulder police stories. They're not flattering. ... I'm getting tired of the issue. I'll just reiterate my general view and then hopefully move on: 1. Right for police to respond to break-in call and ask questions. 2. Wrong to yell at police. 3. Wrong for police to take bait and make arrest on flimsy charge. 4. It's not about racism. 5. It's about stupidity.
'Cambridge police acted stupidly’ Part II
Someone else reaches the same 'that's stupid'
conclusion. ... Adam R makes a nice catch
. Officer Crowley should have kept walking away. ... Gates might want to settle this soon. The arrest was stupid. But he's not coming across as a saint in all this. ...
‘Cambridge police acted stupidly’
Circumstantial evidence that President Obama reads Hub Blog can be found here
. ... He's probably quaking in his presidential boots after reading my thunderbolt arguments against various health-care proposals floating around Washington. If I've lost Hub Blog, I've lost the nation.
Bottom line: I was impressed with the way the president deftly tried to "separate" the Gates incident from racism -- and yet circled back to talk about racism. The "fact" is that Gates had two reasons to be upset: 1.) He was arrested in his own home on a silly charge that would have infuriated most everyone else. 2.) He's a black American highly sensitive, and even overly sensitive, to past police treatment of blacks. Officer Crowley's actions were stupid and insenstive for those two reasons. But they don't make him a racist. ... Can we all agree that Gates and Crowley
are two very proud and stubborn men? I hope they reconcile their differences. I have a hunch they could become good friends if they both swallowed their pride and privately hashed out where both are coming from.
P.S. -- Have I ever mentioned that "stupid" is one of my favorite words? I once tried to explain "stupid beers" to some French friends (i.e., those late second-wind beers that you know you'll regret the next morning). The friends loved the phrase "stupid beers" and agreed there's no equivalent French word that sounds as stupid as "stupid."Update
-- The Globe
also has a quick profile of Crowley, in addition to the Herald account
. He sounds like a good guy caught up in an unfortunate controversy.
Panicking over a panic! Part II
makes a compelling case that escalating costs are not the current problem facing the Massachusetts universal health program. The single-payer Medicaid program is the one growing out of control, he notes. … Now back to the national debate in which the CBO is warning that current health-care proposals will increase both costs and deficits. See below.
Panicking over a panic!
Hub Blog gets the distinct impression that it’s really liberals who are the ones starting to panic over a panic.
... Joel says it’s ‘totally rubbish’ to say draft health-care plans won’t reduce actual health-care costs. Really? That’s not what CBO chief Douglas Elmendorf says here
. Joel points to Ezra Klein
to back up his point. But, again, Elmendorf specifically says he’s talking about both federal outlays and actual inflation. … Mickey
, among many others, has been making mincemeat of the whole bogus ‘cost savings’ argument. … IBD
rips into the alleged creation of a new insurance “market.” Repeat
: It’s not about cost savings, folks. It’s about a decades-long dream by liberals for a universal and government-run health system.Update
-- Now I'm a paranoid failure at mind reading
. See update. … I should have inserted "in general" after "liberal" above (like I did the other day
) because in debates like this, apparently, every comma and word is open to attack. Better that, I guess, than debating the CBO’s estimates of increasing budget deficits and health-care costs.
'We don't count enemy killed in action anymore'
Tom Friedman has an excellent column
on Afghanistan. ... The good news: The absurd bring-'em-on/fly-paper/body-count
mentality is gone. The bad news: It may be too late.Update
-- Hub Blog's past anti-bring-'em-on/fly-paper/body-count rants here
. Iraq was the main obsession in 2003-2005. U.S. military leaders in Afghanistan later shifted to roughly the same absurd strategy and tactics.
The Gates arrest
The mistake wasn’t responding to a break-in call and asking questions
. The mistakes appear to be 1.) Gates verbally losing his temper 2.) police lowering themselves to his temporarily angry level and arresting one of the city's most prominent black men in his own home on a silly charge. That’s not racism. That’s stupid. … If this was a perfect world, both sides would apologize. But it’s not a perfect world. … Dan has more
. I’ll also stand corrected as more facts emerge. Note the word ‘appear’ above.Update
-- Cambridge is dropping the charges,
saying the arrest was “regrettable and unfortunate.” Good. ...Update II
-- A photo speaks a thousand words
: A man arrested and handcuffed on his own front porch for ... what? Complaining too obnoxiously that he didn't break into his own home? ... Photo via Adam.
'The liberal suicide march'
The talker of the day.
I agree with almost every word of it.Update
-- I told you it was going to be a talker.
Dan and I obviously disagree on this one.Update II - 7.22.09
-- Another talker about the talker.
My response to the BMG post is here
- 7.22.09 -- Now Charley's talking about the talker.
Your 'recovery' dollars at work: $16,784,272.
You can't make thus stuff up. ... Via Drudge
Before he was an author ...
Frank McCourt was a teacher.
I was lucky to have someone like him in college. ... Frank McCourt, RIP.
WBCN: I still miss it, Part III
, still recovering from war wounds suffered during his secret missions to Afghanistan (that’s how we’re going to rewrite history, folks – and that’s final), reminisces about ‘BCN. One line sticks out:
Back in ’BCN’s glory days, everybody read the same news, watched the same TV shows and listened to the same radio. The culture had yet to fragment.
I think that touches upon why people of certain age groups are sad today about the fate of ‘BCN or the death of Walter Cronkite. Setting aside the obvious nostalgia factors, the media was more of a collective experience back then. Most of the collective experiences, media-wise, sucked. It was rare to stumble upon something genuinely good. I think it was Adam R
who once asked why people have such fond memories of the old Channel 5 in Boston. I’ve tried to answer that question a couple times. But now it’s more clear: Because it didn’t suck. It set out to be a competent and sophisticated local news show – and it largely succeeded, while others, such as Channel 7, had trouble keeping the background props from collapsing during broadcasts. Walter Cronkite set out to be a trusted authority on news – and it largely worked. ‘BCN set out to be a zany alternative to corporate-run stations – and it largely worked. It’s as simple as that. …
BTW: No nostalgia here for the old broadcast media days in general. Again, the experiences largely sucked, forcing audiences to mostly grin and bear the monopolistic slop. But every now and then …
About those elderly drivers
Until someone debunks these counterintuitive numbers
, the debate over elderly driving just got more complicated. ... Common-sense suggests that age matters when it comes to driving, stats be damned. Among other things, I'd like to know how many seniors still have their driver's licenses and yet don't drive as often, if at all, after their kids thankfully yanked the keys from them. But the numbers do show there's a certain amount of hysteria at work. ...Update
- 7.20.09 -- Michael
is also asking questions about the accidents-per-mile issue. I know the state doesn't track such stats. But they're still important. We know, for instance, that retired elderly drivers don't commute to work anymore (a huge chunk of driving time) and that they cut back on driving for other reasons (usually due to ailments), etc. As I said, we all know age matters. Still, the state's numbers don't exactly point to a roadway slaughter out there. ...
‘Don't worry, Walter will solve the problem’
The Washington Post marks the death of Walter Cronkite
by republishing an old Art Buchwald column.
It’s pretty good.
I have only dim memories of the anchorman Cronkite. I vaguely recall as a kid watching CBS News's body-count updates during Vietnam ("921-87. We're winning! Right?") and, of course, the moon-missions coverage. But I'll always remember a Cronkite-narrated documentary, made soon before or after he retired (I think), about the JFK assasination. I used to be a Mark Lane conspiracy-theory junkie. I thought I knew every fact and figure about the assassination: the missing bullet, the entry and exit wounds, the shady New Orleans addresses. Then Walter completely demolished each and ever agrument, persuasively, and I like to think I learned a lesson from him about how there are facts and then there are facts. ... John
gets into the mind of Cronkite when he aired his famous Vietnam "stalemate" verdict and concludes "Cronkite didn’t know what he was talking about." John was 7-years-old at the time of Tet. Don't worry, John's an ideologue. He knows everything.
Alert! Left and Right ideologues agree on point
We interrupt the usual divisive debates (see post below) to bring you this special HB news report: the WSJ
, Paul Krugman
and Arianna Huffington
are in general agreement that Goldman Sach’s post-bailout profits suck. Hub Blog agrees. … Now back to our usual divisive issues
'Despite the flashing yellow light from the budget office'
Just as the economic stimulus bill wasn't really about economic stimulus
, the proposed health-care bill to rein in costs really isn't about reining in costs.
Glad to know the president of the United States of America
now expects our employers to start monitoring our non-work lifestyles, not just our work productivity. The nanny is planning to hire an assistant nanny for you! … Steve Chapman
dismantles the bogus competition/cost-cut arguments of the ‘public option’ insurance idea. ...
... At least Massachusetts is talking about
reining in costs. But here's the problem with this idea: Just as government screwed up by promoting HMOs (once the darling
), the government is now talking about new ACOs ("accountable care organizations"). It won't work. Here's why: It doesn't empower and hold individuals responsbile for both their payments and care. Individuals have to see, on their pay stubs, how much they spend on health-care coverage and see, on their medical bills, how much health-care actually costs them. Shoving off that responsibility to a 'single-payer' system and HMOs and now ACOs, while expecting others to pay for it (i.e. the rich, smokers, employers etc.), is part of the current problem. There's a huge, abstract disconnect between customer and seller.
Hub Blog favors universal health care. But I'd model it more after our 'managed competition' system for auto insurance. Sure, all the policy wonks can pick apart a broad suggestion like this. But mandatory car insurance does work with A.) common-sense subsidies B.) strong government guidelines and requirements C.) minimal bureaucracy.
P.S. - I'll point out the historically obvious in this entire debate: the ‘single-payer’ system (i.e. government-run) has been a long-held dream of liberals. Do not buy the argument it's about cutting costs. At the risk of sounding like a raging right-wing lunatic, I think it's extremely fair and safe to say that, in general, the left has long viewed and favored top-down federdal programs as the most practical and principled way to implement important social policies -- and not just health-care policies. Their rationale: Only the federal government can implement and run a fair and nationwide program that doesn't leave some individuals and states in the dust. Thus the means and the end are one. The debate over universal health becomes a debate over a single-payer system precisely because they're one and the same to many liberals.
How almost religious-like is the belief in a single-payer system? Hub Blog recently watched a classic small-town Fourth of July parade, complete with standard marching bands, fire engines, Little League squads, Cub scouts and Brownies … and a marching contingent of upper-middle-class types holding ‘Single-Payer Health Care’ signs. Not ‘Universal Health Care’ signs. ‘Single-Payer Health Care’ signs. The means and the end are one in their minds.
'The power of moderate Democrats'
'The Kill Company,' Part II
Tom Ricks reacts to the New Yorker's 'Kill Company'
. He thinks Col. Steele should have been canned long before the controversial killings. ... My earlier post.
Reader No. 1 on the new Ted documentary:
I was gonna say "Splendid" but at least one reviewer beat me to it: the HBO documentary on Ted Williams that debuted last night is a not-to-be-missed. (I can even forgive Robert Redford as a guest interviewee - Richard Ben Cramer, Tim Horgan and Bush 41 are wonderful.) 3 striking things:
1-how many great Red Sox hitters have been lefties,
2-hard to imagine anyone today taking 5 years off in mid-career to fight in two wars (in sports, no one besides the late Pat Tillman comes to mind),
3-the more things change, the more they stayed they same in Boston, at least until 2004: the Ted/Nomar parallels, from relationships with sarcastic sportswriters to friendly rivalries with great Yankees (diMaggio/Jeter)
See upcoming rebroadcasts here.
'Ben Bernanke has been the market'
Reader No. 1 also sends in yet another excellent Andy Kessler piece
on the economy. I still can't believe we're talking about fixing the damn banks. The adminstration is off spending money here, there and everywhere -- and the same underlying problem remains. ... P.S. - Note the accompanying chart that shows how the Dow tracks the money-supply. Pretty persuasive evidence that it's the Fed, not the economy per se, that's been driving stocks.
WBCN: I still miss it, Part II
Reader No. 1, who went to college with Hub Blog, writes in:
I had forgotten about your letter-writing campaign! I may write more on WBCN later - oh, what the hell, here goes. My persistent audio memories of 'BCN, for some reason, are a lot of Peter Wolf promos and J. Geils "Houseparty." But let's not forget the epic events of 1979: the February strike and the "official" start of the Rock and Roll Rumble.
More listener comments here, more nostalgia here.
WBCN: I still miss it
: The glory days of ‘BCN were long over before yesterday’s not-so-stunning announcement
that CBS is phasing out music
at the legendary station. Except for Patriots games, I rarely go out of my way to listen to ‘BCN these days. It’s just another rock-format station. But here’s the odd thing: All these years after ‘BCN lost its luster, I still miss it. I came of age with the Neighborhoods, Mission of Burma, Human Sexual Response, the Nervous Eaters, Robin Lane & the Chartbusters, etc. Mass. Ave.
is still one of my favorite CDs. It was all about Boston: the bands, the clubs, the disc jockeys, ‘BCN.
To this day, I still have the mailed, hand-written responses from the jocks at ‘BCN, after I wrote them a scathing letter, as a young fan in the early ‘80s, criticizing them for playing ‘Dust in the Wind’ or ‘Carry on My Wayward Son’ by Kansas (I forget which song bugged me more at the time). I must have touched a nerve, for their quick and effusive responses indicated a sense of excited relief, as if they had been debating the same issue at the station and letters like mine were being used as counter-offensive ammo against the conventional-format beancounters. The DJs at ‘BCN were usually older than their listeners, but they got it: they made the transition from the late ‘60s Cream to the late ‘70s Sex Pistols, leapfrogging over most everything else in between (thus my shock when I heard Kansas played) and promoting local punk/new-wave bands with pride. The late ‘70s and most of the ‘80s were golden years for local musicians, band groupies, club owners, ‘BCN, etc. I guess you can say I just miss my youth. But I still occasionally hear young music fans bemoaning how they don’t have an era like we did a few decades back, so I’m not being that
Hub Blog has obtained photographic proof
that Deval Patrick hates all living things. Notice the sick grin on his face as his victims sizzle in the foreground. ...
Adam has a good round-up of Zoo New England's 'gorilla marketing' stunt. I'd throw in Wayne's thoughts
. I have to say I don't quite get the criticism of the governor. I thought it was obvious that, at worst, he got caught off guard by a variation of the old people-will-die response to any and all budget cuts.
'The tragedy of Afghanistan'
A good anti-Rummy rant is justified.
But Hub Blog will refrain. …
But I won't refrain from commenting on Sunday's top NYT story
that seemed to have all the elements of another Dick Cheney caper -- except the article couldn't identify the mysterious CIA program Cheney allegedly was trying to conceal. The WSJ
advanced the story yesterday: It was a non-fully operational program to capture or kill Al Qaeda leaders, launched in the immediate days after 9/11. I don't know about you, but I would have expected nothing less. I still hope we nail Osama et gang to the cave wall. The NYT is backpeddling a bit today.
It should be. The original article played on anti-Cheney stereotypes right from the start -- not that there aren't legitimate anti-Cheney stereotypes out there. ... BTW: President Obama is engaging in a similar program today. But instead of using handguns or poison darts, he's authorized Predator drone attacks against selected human targets -- and I don't hear people describing those pushing the buttons as "assasination squads."
The animals will live!
Bob DeLeo buckles first.
... Hub Blog is with Outraged Liberal
: "Whoever does PR and legislative relations for Zoo New England deserves a raise." ... I'm wondering why someone at the BPD didn't suggest a similar tactic before the horse unit was disbanded. Sorry, gotta kill 'em!
... Struggling newspapers might give the tactic a try. Why not? Nothing else has worked.
'The unique hell that is Massachusetts alimony law',' Part II
Peter writes in with two more pieces -- here
-- on the alimony issue in Massachusetts, in addition to the Boston magazine article
that I linked to recently
'We have a three-way race,' Part II
provides yet more evidence that my initial gut instinct about a three-way gubernatorial race was wrong. His post-number-crunching conclusion: "What I found is bad news for anyone not named Deval Patrick." ... Howie
has a good analysis of Cahill's 'straw' role in any three-way general election race. Think Ross Perot, Ralph Nader, etc. ... BTW: David explains the three questions
that I mentioned
the other day. I got it wrong -- or at least misread the post. The questions definitely make more sense now.
Half a Viagra or an economic enema: Take your pick
So Dems screwed up the first stimulus bill
, which was obvious
at the time, and now some are advocating a second stab at it? No thanks. Dems weren’t serious five months ago. There’s no reason to think they’re more serious today. The vast majority of the stimulus money already approved hasn’t been spent yet. They should go back and take out all the “candy” they mixed in, as Warren Buffett described it, and earmark it for more serious projects, programs and tax cuts. But they won’t do that because the stimulus bill was never really was about economic stimulus.
Hey, look: Dems want to raise taxes by $600 billion
to ‘reform’ the health-care system. It’s to ‘reduce health-care costs’ and to 'help the economy.' Of course. ... Do you think they have a clue that pumping money into the system at one end (the stimulus) and taking money out of the system at the other end (new health-care taxes) is sort of counter-productive? Forget Viagra. We're talking about an economic enema. ...
‘I'm like, 'Holy Jeez, I spoke for 20 minutes'’
dismantles the Palin myth and warns Republicans it’s time to grow up. … But the folks at the Weekly Standard
are still trying to prop up the myth, giving Sarah a second chance to explain why she resigned and finding unconventional and authentic genius in everything she does and says. … Both pieces via Reader BK.
Literally and figuratively
, for both Hudson and the Celts. … Before the ring-finger injury, I had a gut instinct Hudson would surprise people this year. Now we’ll have to wait and see how it works out. … Doc on Rasheed
: “Yeah, he gives us a dimension we didn’t have when we won the championship.” I like that type of talk.
‘It’s back to the future’
I hope not.
It’s too formula driven. Most people admired Weld. But they didn’t view him as a ‘superhero.’ They eventually learned he was flawed and ushered in a decade of Corner Office-Legislative shenanigans and gridlock. I don’t want a Charlie Baker who promises to resurrect the good old days of the early Big Red years, for the other side of that nostalgia coin is the second-stringer years of Cellucci and Swift. Charlie has to convey he’s ready to build upon 2009 and beyond. He can borrow a bit from Weld. But he has to remember that Muffy tried her own version of running against Dukakis (complete with Willy Horton orange prison-garb suits) and it was tired and old and rejected after twelve years of GOP rule. Deval swept into office on a wave of desire for change. He didn’t deliver. That
is the issue. …
Notice Weld’s own use of the phrase ‘Weld- Cellucci administrations.’ … Advice to Charlie: dump most, if not all, of the Weld-Cellucci advisers pining for ’90. The idea of running a campaign with a hint of magnanimity (“I’m going to try to build on the best of recent administrations, learning from their mistakes”) hasn’t occurred to them.. … Maybe a way to jolt Charlie back down to 2009 earth is to ask: Did you favor Weld’s appointment of Billy Bulger as Umass president? Please explain. Will you bring back Jim Kerasiotes
and Matt Amorello
? Please explain. … Don’t get me wrong: I like Charlie. He’s a good man. But he has to be his own man. …
Speaking of back to the future, do you really think these three questions
touch on the top issues facing Massachusetts? What next? Comparisons to Jesse Helms? … I’ll concede gambling is definitely on the agenda. But it’s not a top issue for most Massachusetts residents. … What are the top issues? Hub Blog would say (not necessarily in order): 1.) The entire economic climate of Massachusetts (outdated rules, laws, taxes and other obstacles to private-sector growth) 2.) Beacon Hill’s corruption and culture. 3.) Property taxes and the link to education. 4.) Out-of-control public unions. 5.) The state’s new universal health-care program (people generally like the law but not its potential for skyrocketing costs).
More from Outraged Liberal
, Hub Politics
-- Peter Porcupine writes in:
Balanced for the Glob, I suppose. Update II
The Boring Broadsheet announced the Mihos candidacy in June as an afterthought about Patrick's campaign hires. 'Says he will run...' was their characterization of his announced candidacy.
One of the other Republicans (Quick, you're a reporter - who is the OTHER announced GOP candidate?), Mr. Baker, gets the front page AND a flattering 13 year old photo on the web site (not that he's aged badly, but still).
A parade of Democrat analysts have been on radio and television, talking about what a FINE candidate Baker will make.
Do they think this is HELPFUL in getting the REPUBLICAN nomination? I am fascinated by their explanations of how Republicans will vote, myself.
-- Someone privately made a good point that I should have thought of and mentioned: How many people 40 and under even remember Dukakis? References to Weld and Dukakis are fine. Using Weld-like tactics are fine (a sales-tax rollback jumps to mind). But building a campaign around the Weld-Dukakis contrasts is silly. ... P.S. -- Not that Hub Blog hasn't engaged in a little Duke I, II and III historonics now and then
. But I'm largely writing for political junkies. I'd never base a campaign on early-90s good vibes.Update III
thinks Charlie has already made a rookie mistake.
'And so the word went out ...'
loads up his ideological blunderbuss with every conceivable conservative resentment, bugaboo, fear, conspiracy, shibboleth and ... he forgot to mention ACORN. ... I was half expecting him to suddenly keel over in the middle of his rant, like John Belushi in a SNL skit.
The 'A' game, Part II
is stepping down at Harvard-Pilgrim to run for governor, the AP is reporting. ... This is shaping up to be a fun election.
'The Bay State might have expected a little patronage'
So it was Robert McNamara
who OK'd the closure of the Watertown Arsenal. ... A Hub Blog great uncle used to be a commander at the Watertown Arsenal, so this seemingly trivial piece of local history wrapped in a larger piece of U.S. history obviously caught my attention.
The ‘A’ game
Does an ‘A’ game include whining about a former aide? Apparently so.
sides with Reader No. 1: Deval, not a Republican, will reap the benefits of a Cahill gubernatorial run. Hub Blog officially concedes the point. … Scot
on the firefighters' "frolicking summer farce." The article hints at one of the reasons why public-sector employees are now, in general, paid more than their private-sector counterparts: During recessions, their salaries continue to rise, while private-sector employees' salaries are often wiped clean from payrolls.
'Could have happened anywhere on Wall Street'
Michael Lewis strikes again.
It's not as good as his now famous End of Wall Street piece
. But it's a solid look at the inner-workings at AIG. ... Blame AIG's Joseph Cassano all you want. But he was ultimately just an obnoxious, arrogant dupe of Wall Street.
'We have a three-way race,' Part II
Reader No. 1 thinks Cahill's move will help Deval:
I think Cahill helps a Massachusetts Republican candidate in 2010 about as much as Christy "helped" Muffy in 2006. Well, it may not be that bad; I doubt that Cahill will pledge his vote to Patrick. But Massachusetts has two parties that matter: the Democrats and the Independents. If there are two candidates vying for the Independent vote against Patrick in November 2010, the Hack-Progressive Dems win by force of sheer numbers....
'We have a three-way race'
apparently think Tim's move
will hurt Republican chances in 2010. But my first instinct was that it will help a Republican candidate. ... Much depends on where the hack vote goes. Do they stick with Deval? Not enthusiastically, after his reform push. Do they go with Tim? Not enthusiastically, considering he's positioning himself as a conservative Democrat (though Ed King was too). They aren't going for a Republican. ... Questions, questions. ...
'The real sale price might be next to nothing'
The old $20 million
figure now looks quaintly high
Welcome, Rasheed Wallace
But let's make one thing clear: Only a few short years from now the Celts will be faced with a complete rebuilding program. ... Wallace articles here
'The unique hell that is Massachusetts alimony law'
It's also too often a life sentence.
'The Kill Company'
One of the more painful articles
you'll read about America's involvement in Iraq (sub. req.). ... A blurb suggests the story is about the "fundamental difference of opinion about how to prosecute the war in Iraq." I had assumed, after the recent successes of the surge and its counter-insurgency tactics, that this issue was now moot. But there are apparently some in the military who still think war comes down to either herbivores or carnivores, as the article notes, and so the divisions remain. ... Thank goodness the medical community doesn't have similar either-or conflicts about treatments (i.e., that all medical situations have one overriding solution). ...
Step right up and get your Sarah Palin theories ...
Kevin and Hub Blog had a fun time last night on his Pundit Review on 'RKO
. The topics: Palin this, Palin that, etc. It was remarkable how many theories were aired about about why she quit and its possible political ramifications. As of late last week, Mickey
jokingly (I think) counted 14 theories. Sure looks like it here
. ... Of course the main reason for all the theories, I theorize, is that Palin was simply so incoherent that no one could figure out exactly what she was blabbering about last week. The MSM and blogosphere punditry simply filled in a vast void. ... I still stand by one of my original Palin assertions
, borrowed from H.L. Mencken, that Palin represents the plain folk's long-standing heart's desire to have a fellow moron in the White House. ...
'Just tell them to keep paying,' Part II
and Howard Lawrence Carr
may wince at the thought that they're in fundamental agreement on one point, but they are: Our public unions are the greatest obstacle to reform in Massachusetts. ... They part ways, obviously, on Deval.
Some thoughts on America here
from Alex de Tocqueville, who brilliantly saw both the nation's strengths and weaknesses. ... I’m sorry. I just love my country
– and I fear for it at times.
... At right is the same Grand Union
flag that I posted
last year. No, I haven't gone Tory. I'm just fascinated by it. I assume Washington had it flown while in Boston. ... Hub Blog made my own journalistic contribution
to the Fourth yesterday. I care deeply about the core issue
and related issues
involved. I'm sorry. I just love my country -- especially on slow news days. ... Have a happy Fourth!
'Profiting off of amateur athletes'
The NCAA has found yet another way to exploit student athletes.
... Hub Blog realized the NCAA had way too much money when, of all things, I noticed the parquet floor at the Garden had been replaced during the recent NCAA basketball tournament with a special portable court
. ... Multibillion-dollar TV contracts. Lucrative player-jersey rights. Now video games with images of individual players. ... Well, it does cost money to run a sports entertainment empire with hundreds of employees and a 140,000-square-foot headquarters.
'Manly Movie Deaths'
Hub Blog's Lexington Reader liked this top-10-manly-movie-deaths list
. But he wonders how in God's name Jim Brown
was left off. ...
'Just tell them to keep paying'
The very cornerstones of the constitution, contractual law and even civilization are at stake in the pension disputes, public unions argue
This is my favorite line from a union lawyer arguing why penions can't be changed: "These people have been paying into the retirement system for years, based on the rules of the game." ... I have a feeling they won't be telling private-sector workers the same thing when they change the Social Security eligibility rules in a few years. I also don't recall public union bosses and lawyers going to legal bat for private workers when they had their 401(k) plans stripped or eliminated by corporations. But, of course, we have a three-tier economic class system now: Those who work in finance, those who work in the public sector and the rest of us who are basically told, in Claribel Ventura fashion, to shut up and just keep paying. ...
The depressing thing is the public unions may well prevail. Our less-than-impartial court system is overseen by judges who have their own public-pension and other obvious conflicts of interest. But I doubt we'll see any of them recuse themselves from cases. ... Here's one thing I'd like to know: If a lawmaker slips in an "egregious" pension clause in the dead of night and it isn't detected for years (as is often the case), does that mean it's forever considered part of a contract? Once in, never out? Isn't that what public unions are arguing? ...
Howie's growing fan base
isn't going to like this: "You’re Deval Patrick, and you just don’t get it."
... Deval's recent mumblings about more taxes -- right after signing $1 billion in tax hikes in the middle of a recession -- just proves that he's more of a progressive than he is a reformer
. He really
wants that money.
Thank you, Leon
Leon Powe was a sentimental favorite.
He popped on the Hub Blog radar screen while I was attending a game a few years back with Reader No. 1. The Celts were getting hammered on the boards at both ends by the ‘76ers. Doc called off the bench what was then an unknown new player. “Watch this guy,’’ said Reader No. 1. “He loves the boards. I don’t know why Doc doesn’t play him more” The tempo of the entire game immediately changed. Leon would unglamorously throw his shoulders and body this way and that, marking out territory, hacking at the ball and hands, going up for rebounds like he was looking forward to mid-air collisions. Had Reader No. 1 not tipped me off about Leon, I wouldn’t have noticed why the game’s momentum changed so fast. Danny probably made the right team call on Leon, who won’t be back from his injury until early next year. But Leon will be missed. … Gerry
warned about tough decisions like this. … The Celts are already eyeing Rasheed Wallace
'These fresh numbers ...'
speculates on Gov. Patrick's dismal poll numbers.
He's on to something about reforms etc. But there's a deeper trust problem. How can you trust a guy if you don't truly know a guy? Take reforms. He promised to change the Beacon Hill culture. He then tried to adapt to the Beacon Hill culture. Then he seemed to stumble back into reforming the Beacon Hill culture. No one is giving him credit for the reforms because they're not quite sure whether he really wanted reforms. This general pattern applies to a lot of other issues. ....
'They’re just grabbing the money'
It's now a hack orgy
. ... An Alice in Wonderland feature to reforms: To save money, towns will have to cough up money
. To distract from taking money, firefighters offer to work for no money.
... Approximate unofficial translation
of the dialogue in the latter: Oh, by the way, if you'd really like to know, he went that way.
The White Rabbit.
He did what?
Went that way.
The White Rabbit.
But didn't you just say - I mean - Oh, dear.
Can you stand on your head?