'A delightful tweak at our local majority party'
It's Kennedy, Kennedy and more Kennedy from Reader No. 1:
We know Scott Brown hasn't got a prayer of being elected to the U.S. Senate but his JFK ad is a delightful tweak at our local majority party. And the blow has landed. Dig Martha's already fit-for-Washington huffiness ("presumptious and misleading"), the inevitable George Bush comparison, and Phil Johnston's legalistic approach - it surely says something about the Mass Dems' view of Mass voter intelligence that they think we'd think this commercial was somehow a Kennedy family endorsement.Update
With the Kennedy dynasty off the boards here in Massachusetts, and more and more JFK-era voters going gently into that good night, don't be too surprised to see a Mass Dem party statement a few years out like: "Given that John F. Kennedy supported tax cuts for the wealthy, accelerated American involvement in an unpopular overseas war, and failed to support both preferential treatment in hiring and employment and nationalized health care, it is entirely appropriate that he should be compared with Scott Brown."
PS - A note on yesterday's post on bureaucracies: the NASA moon-shot group was large but most emphatically NOT a bureaucracy - had NASA operated as a bureaucracy in its first decade it would never have achieved President Kennedy's goal. The post-1969 years are another story...
A lot of Kennedy references today!(And I deleted a comment or two about our Kennedy-endorsed President). Happy New Year.
-- 'Scott Brown Winning the Online Battle'Update II
-- But Martha is Winning the Money Battle.
American bureaucracies, Part II
Did they need blaring alarm bells and blinking neon signs
pointing at the suspect?
Re news that security officials had prior information
about a possible terrorist attack by a “Nigerian”: Americans are simply not good at bureaucracies. Whether it’s FEMA, the MBTA or Homeland Security, our bureaucracies don’t exactly instill confidence. Maybe it’s a matter of American expectations -- or American individualism. Sometimes we get it right. NASA’s moon-shot team comes to mind. But too often our bureaucracies simply disappoint. …
Europeans, on the other hand, love their bureaucracies.
Not that we should (or can) copy European models. Notice what’s missing in the Euro-bureaucracy article. Hint: Any remote reference to three famous words.
… BTW: I know piecing together terrorist information is easier said than done. It’s hard. Ironically, it may require even more government workers and analysts
to get it right. But if they’re not wisely using and sharing information, what good is extra intelligence? …
'Biggest spender since LBJ,' Part II
And Republicans paid the price
for it and other misdeeds. ... Via Reader No. 1.
P.S. - I especially liked this observation about next year's elections:
Many will be fully ready to vote Democrats out of office but will not be fully ready to vote Republicans in. Faced with an either/or choice, they will weigh whether they want to get rid of Democrats more than they want to stay away from Republicans.
Lots of discussion
about what to call the last decade. Armchair Gen. Savin Hill has come up with a pretty good one that happens to be accurate: 'The Bubbles.' …Update
has some suggestions. I still like The Bubbles. Partial explanation here
'Biggest spender since LBJ'
George Bush II.
Rage, rage, rage
advises some on the left to cool their rage toward Obama:
We can see how the right fringe of the Republican Party has pushed out or marginalized clear-thinking people who may differ with the left on the means but agree on the ends, These folks make Richard Nixon look good for heaven's sake.
But, to borrow Tom Finneran's phrase, "the loony left" isn't doing the rest of us progressives much good. Dogmatism in the pursuit of perfection is, in a word, idiotic.
But rage is all the rage
in some loony-left quarters:
How much rage? I find myself thinking that the thing I want most from the 2010 elections is for his party to get absolutely clobbered, even if that means a repeat of 1994. And that what I most want from 2012 is for him to be utterly humiliated, even if that means President Palin at the helm. That much rage.
Don’t you get the impression the good professor loves being in a constant state of indignation? … But he cares so much!
'There will be a new Iran'
Here's an encouraging prediction for 2010
The devil made him do it
Some more quick-hit items on this long holiday weekend:-- Doug Glanville
explains why Tiger and other millionaire athletes so often give into temptation: "(Tiger) has proven to be just like every other figure who fell for the little guy with the pitchfork on his shoulder telling him, 'It’s all good, no one will know, you can get away with it.'” ...
I forget where I heard it, but a caller on a sports-radio show summed it up this way: You are a typical guy, married, two children, but struggling like everyone else to get by. Someone offers to give you $1 billion. But it comes with a hitch: Women will be throwing themselves at you. The odds of giving into temptation are about 20 percent. Question: Do you still take the money? Quick. Decision time. ... Now adjust the risk factor. At what point does that little guy on the shoulder sound louder or softer? ... Switch the gender roles. Doesn't matter. The temptations are still there. The test isn't about exonerating Tiger. It's more about admitting we all have that little guy sitting on our shoulder.--
Investigative journalism at its finest: Someone had to do it.-- Hmmm
. Father warns the U.S. embassy that his son has become a radicalized Islamist. The son is put on a terrorist watch list. A month later he tries to blow up a plane. Two things jump to mind: 1.) The preliminary watch-list system needs, um, work. 2.) Pre-boarding searches have to be more extensive if we're going to catch future in-flight suicide bombers. But that leads to privacy issues. ... Once again, it comes down to weighing risk options.-- Bill Daley
: "The leaders of the Democratic Party need to move back toward the center." ... They've misread why they were elected. It wasn't because of their moonbat ideas. It was to get rid of Republicans who screwed up two wars and an economy. ... More from David Broder
.-- Paul Krugman
: "The truth is that there isn’t a Congressional majority in favor of anything like single-payer (health care)." Now he tells us.-- Jeff
: What's up with Garrison Keillor? I was wondering the same thing.
Christmas musings on Pats, politics and basketball …
Egg-nogged on by yours truly, Reader No. 1, who hasn’t written in recently, gets in the holiday spirit by emailing in some thoughts on various issues:
-- I must admit I have nothing to say about the Pats other than it has felt a lot like 2005 (seems like a good team, until we play better teams).
-- In the Senate race, it's more evident than ever that Massachusetts has calcified into government cheerleaders who will always vote a Dem, and harried (mostly) suburbanites who don't like Dem policies and practices but are too busy working to get to the polling places, never mind mount a campaign. Not unlike the rest of America in 2009, maybe the dynamics will change in the New Year.
-- Since it's the most wonderful time of the year, I will refrain from taking issue with your point that "Republicans could have made this bill much better." I think it's more likely they would have made the bill much worse (e.g. more exceptions/extensions/credits/loopholes, a la the offers to Senator Nelson), absent (a) the veto-proof minority, (b) a coherent and popular alternative view (though not popular now, these views are certainly coherent.
-- With the Celts back in stride, three recommended books about basketball for the holidays:
1. For the stat-heads, Pro Basketball Prospectus 2009-2010. Hoop version of the Bill James revolution.
2. For the 21-54 male demographic, Bill Simmons's The Book of Basketball .Unfortunately, too many offcolor/"adult" references for younger readers but a truly comprehensive, hilarious and serious history of the NBA. And yes, it slants towards the Celtics, speaking of which...
3. For the '80s nostalgics among us, Jackie McMullen's When the Game Was Ours, a recap of the Larry/Magic rivalry over 20+ years.
And that's that. From Hub Blog, Merry Christmas everyone! Don't forget the Celts are on at 2:30 p.m. today.
A power struggle at Goldman?
Hopefully, this article
will drive a final stake through the notion that Goldman Sachs is the classy firm on Wall Street that always has the best interests of its clients in mind. … But that’s the obvious story here. The underlying story may be what looks like a power struggle for the soul of the firm. An awful lot of past employees and other former admirers are now coming forward to spill the beans, albeit anonymously in many cases. Goldman was never the noblesse oblige
firm that it likes to portray itself as to employees and the public. But at least it used to have some scruples. Not now. The firm has been in full so-long-suckers mode for a while now. …
BTW: This story definitely falls in the ‘another-week-another-great-story’
category of financial reporting. I’m little surprised the Times didn’t hold it for a Sunday spread, though popping it on Christmas Eve, allowing it to drift around the Internet for the long holiday weekend, ain’t a bad idea. As of this morning, it’s rightly the top emailed story at the Times.Update
-- Goldman Sachs (via Business Insider
) blasts back. But I’m not buying their argument. Goldman is basically saying: But our clients wanted these products and knew what they were getting!
But no one deliberately invests in bad products. Notice Goldman never told its non-hedge fund clients: ‘We don’t think these are good products for our clients. Instead, we're shorting them. We think you should too.’
They’re just dots. But when you put the Oxycontin dot
next to the liquor license dot
in Boston, it's rational to try to tenuously connect them and think: This ain’t good. … Howie
compares Kevin White’s last days with Mayor Menino’s latest days. There are differences. But there are also disturbing similarities between the two mayors’ terms too far
. … BTW: White was far more cocky and cynical than Menino – and that’s a political plus for the mayor, who doesn’t come across as having mocked and tempted the feds into action. But rot is still rot. ...
asks the right question about the Senate health-care bill. Coming at it from a different angle compared to lefties, I also despise aspects of the Senate bill – especially for what’s missing in the legislation (tort reform, cross-state insurance competition, anti-trust provisions, minimalist-coverage policies for 20 somethings, etc.). But it’s the closest we’ve come to universal health-care since Ted Kennedy et gang rejected Nixon’s compromises 40 long years ago. Now we have a truly ugly distant cousin of the old Nixon-Kennedy plan that was left on the negotiating table in the ‘70s. It’s hard to embrace in its current form. But it’s time to pass something. The ‘when’ point has arrived.
Two parting post shots/observations:
1.) So much time and effort were wasted on the ‘public option.’ The left’s obsession with the means to universal health care (i.e., a government-run, single-payer system that apes Great Britain’s model) ruined the chances of compromise 40 years ago. The lefties still haven’t owned up to their culpability in denying coverage to millions of American over the past four decades. The latest all-out push for a single-payer system (in the guise of the ‘public option’) once again frightened off centrists, gummed up recent negotiations, and wasted time and political capital that could have been spent on other reform matters.
2.) Republicans could have made this bill much better if they had engaged in negotiations. The bargaining chip: Universal health-care in exchange for a lean, competitive, reformed private-insurance system. Despite what Paul Krugman says, the Frankenstein nature of the Senate bill is partly the result of too few people pulling the bill to the common-sense center.
Adam has set up an Emergency French Toast Twitter Alert
I’ve already had my share of cruel snowmageddon setbacks. Looking out at the unfolding storm this morning, I initially felt smug, knowing I’d survive due to my strategic provisioning. I also thought I was ready for tonight, when I planned to make a comfort-food meatloaf after the Pats game, and then … Catastrophe No. 1: I noticed that the white bread I bought earlier this week had already grown moldy. Panic attack. The only solution: Rye Bread With Seeds French Toast. I gotta say, it was pretty damn tasty. … Catastrophe No. 2: The ground beef I bought yesterday was already turning an odd shade of brown. I checked the label: The expiration date was yesterday. I was really
looking forward to that meatloaf. I have no backup plan. I'm pushing ahead with meatloaf. … If bad news indeed comes in threes, I just hope Catastrophe No. 3 isn’t losing cable service at 12:59 p.m. this afternoon. ... Some good non-catastrophic news: A Christmas Party I didn't feel like going to got cancelled.
'Unlike the Kennedys ...'
Lefty Ideological Pouting Alert: Neal Gabler
bemoans Obama's lack of "passion," suggesting he's unmoved ("at least publicly") by the plight of the jobless, the sick and even our brave soldiers in uniform:
Unlike the Kennedys, Obama never seems to have identified with the alienated and dispossessed. He worked with them, as a community organizer, but he admits he was never one of them ...
Ah, Neal, the Kennedys were never one of 'them' either -- and neither were you. Speaking of the Kennedys, Ted's widow
has a message for the ideologues pouting about not having their 'public option':
In the early 1970s, Ted worked with the Nixon administration to find consensus on health-care reform. Those efforts broke down in part because the compromise wasn't ideologically pure enough for some constituency groups. More than 20 years passed before there was another real opportunity for reform, years during which human suffering only increased.
She doesn't get into how her husband's own ideological stubbornness was one of the main reasons why we didn't get universal health care 40 long years ago (I'm pretty sure Neal won't be mentioning that fact in his forthcoming puff-biography on Ted). But Vicki's point is right: Sometimes half a loaf is better than no loaf, something Ted learned through experience and something the Neals of the world will never get. ... Megan
has her own message for all the discouraged Gablers out there (especially those like Gabler who now, all of a sudden, have kind words for George W. Bush):
Ultimately, the moderates had a very good alternative to negotiated agreement (on health care), and the progressives didn't, and that was crystal clear from Day 1. That meant the progressives were never, ever going to get very much. This was not a failure of political will or political skill. It was the manifestation of a political reality that has long been obvious to everyone who wasn't living in a fantasy world. If progressives decide that the lesson from this is that they haven't been sufficiently demanding and intransigent, they are going to find themselves about as popular with the rest of America as the Bush Republicans, and probably lose their party the House next year.
Hell, even Paul Krugman
now admits Democrats could have had a health-care deal decades ago. The obstacle? Their cherished 'single-payer' system. Lefty ideologues can never admit they've been their own worst enemies when it comes to universal health care.
'Just what Boston needs …’ Part III
Looks like Shake Shack has global-chain ambitions
, not just regional-chain ambitions
. So I guess Michael Ross can now argue that we’ll be a true world-class city if we put a global burger-joint chain on Boston Common. The inverse would be true too: We’ll be a world-class disgrace if we don’t have the global burger-joint chain on Boston Common. … Oh, the humiliation! We can’t let Kuwait beat us!
Seems like Hub Blog
and Universal Hub
have made an impression on the aspiring global Starbucks of burgers:
So far Bostonians have mostly greeted the prospect with snark. Some said that since hometown milkshakes are called frappes, the interloper might more properly be emblazoned with the words Frappe Shack.
Mr. Swinghamer said Boston Common is still on his radar. After all, Mr. Meyer brought a Chicago-style hot dog — celery salt, sport peppers and all — to condescending Manhattanites.
Hub Blog and Universal Hub engaging in condescending snark? I refuse to believe it. …
Divide and conquer, Part II
Bert says Martha's right to demand three-way debates:
I suspect anyone who doesn’t know the Joe Kennedy on the ballot for Senate isn’t that Joe Kennedy won’t have their aha! moment because they’re tuned into a debate. I suspect most of the folks that would be confused are not voting and probably not even registered to vote. Remember, actual voters are an ever-shrinking group.
The other reasons Coakley would want him in the debate are more likely part of her strategy. And I woudn’t totally rule out that she feels someone who garnered 10,000 signatures deserves at least one chance to debate. (Even if 6,000 of those people did think it was that Joe Kennedy.) It’s interesting how people split on that issue. If/when party politics can be taken out of it, such as in a hypothetical, I’m always intrigued by where people fall.
I lean toward inclusion. If people can vote for them, they should be able to hear from them. The binary party answers to every question don’t add much to campaign literature or ads. Why not include everyone on the ballot to see if it can pull candidates off the pat answers a bit more? Variety is the spice of life, no?
Divide and conquer
OK, maybe Martha doesn’t want a one-on-one debate
because A.) She wants to expose Joe Kennedy as not being a member of the Camelot Kennedys. B.) She wants to split the conservative-libertarian vote C.) She has a true sense of fairness toward Independents (snort). But there’s an obvious fourth reason: Gender. A variation of the same gender formula that helped her win the Dem primary ('Three guys, one woman = woman wins’
) is still at play in the general election, except this time it’s ‘Two guys, one woman = woman wins.’ … The fourth reason, I suspect, is the main reason for her stance. The Romans and British called it ‘divide and conquer.’
‘A once untouchable political class’
The French political establishment is shocked
– shocked! – that the little people on the Internet have nasty public things to say about them. A member of the elite says the growing attention and criticism are akin to totalitarianism. … Via John
, who marvels at the new definition of totalitarianism.
Mirror-image Ideologues Alert
Conservative tea-baggers are organizing a ‘die in’
protest, copying one of the sillier tactics of lefty protesters. … More on mirror-image ideologues here
, though I kind of like the ‘inverse Marxists’
‘Taliban purist elements’
Following the upstate New York congressional debacle, the conservative ‘Taliban purist elements’ launched a jihad against another Republican in California and … they screwed up again.
Defying boycott calls from the lefty Taliban purist elements in Massachusetts, Hub Blog was listening to Radio Free Howie the other night when a conservative caller grandly announced he couldn’t possibly support the Baker-Tisei ticket due to their positions on social issues. Howie gently tried to explain how half a loaf was better than no loaf. But the caller was having none of it. …
‘The Wrestler,’ Part II
Maybe we’re living in a mini-Golden Era of sports movies. First there’s ‘The Wrestler.’
Now there’s ‘Invictus,’ an apparently top-notch flick, based on reviews here
. I’m looking forward to seeing it.
What? A woman is running for the U.S. Senate!
Lo and behold, gender has become a big issue
in the Senate race – now that Dems are running against Republicans. … Hmmm. Who could have been the big, bad males who previously blocked women from office in this glorious one-party state? I know! The Republicans! … … The hypocrisy
of the liberal establishment in this state is going to be nauseating over the next five weeks.
'How the Left Swiftboated America'
It’s kind of strange seeing conservatives who once cheered the “swiftboating” of John Kerry now appropriating the same word
to defend George Bush five years later. …
For the record: Hub Blog, a member
of the evil Liberal Media cabal
, has never pushed the notion that George Bush was the ‘worst president in history.’ I’ve merely suggested he was the worst president 'in my lifetime,’
beating out Jimmy Carter. … I vaguely recall Armchair Gen. Savin Hill once disputing the Bush-as-the-worst-in-our-lifetime designation, asserting LBJ’s bungling of the Vietnam War and getting 60,000 Americans killed made him a far worse president than George or Jimmy. George Bush, Jimmy Carter, LBJ. Take your pick. …
'Hofstra and Northeastern may be the tip of the iceberg'
Yet another warning
that the NFL and NCAA will try to ignore. … Hub Blog’s prediction: High-school weight limits
within five years. It makes sense. It will not hurt the game. It will improve and preserve the game. ... More on Hofstra/Northeastearn here
'Enough posts to fill the NY Times for 19 years'
over at Boston's WM Dispatches
posts a graphic that shows how big the Internet has become. ... He's blown away by the number of new Facebook accounts started each day. I am too. Kind of explains this
'How to make the world's easiest $1 billion'
The sick thing about our Pretend Capitalism system is that this
is roughly how it works:
STEP 1: Form a bank.
STEP 2: Round up a bunch of unemployed friends to be "bankers."
STEP 3: Raise $1 billion of equity. (This is the only tricky step. And it's not that tricky. See below.*)
STEP 4: Borrow $9 billion from the Fed at an annual cost of 0.25%.
STEP 5: Buy $10 billion of 30-year Treasuries paying 4.45%
STEP 6: Sit back and watch the cash flow in. ...
Tigerland: ‘The world of high-end nightclub VIP treatment’
Every scandal seems to produce an article or two that crystallizes what’s really going on. Michael Lewis’s now famous Portfolio piece
on the Wall Street meltdown is a classic of the genre. This Deadspin post
, which has been quickly making the Internet rounds, is a little too sleazy and lightly sourced to qualify as a similar classic. But it may well end up defining how l’affaire Tiger is going to be seen moving forward. … No, Tiger wasn’t involved in prostitution, or ‘not exactly prostitution.’ But …
Reforming pretend capitalism
Guess who wrote the following
We have found that a huge and opaque global trading network involving complex products, short-termism and too-often excessive rewards created risks that few people understood. We have also learned that when crises happen, taxpayers have to cover the costs. It is simply not acceptable for them to foot the bill ... Stability and confidence requires us to bring financial markets into closer alignment with the values held by families and business owners: Rewarding hard work, responsibility, integrity and fairness.
Answer: Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy. I don't agree with everything they suggest. But it's embarrassing to have two European leaders getting it right about the spirit of capitalism. Right now we have pretend capitalism in the US: Wall Street pretends to make profits -- but it's really with our taxpayer money. Wall Street pretends it's a rootin'-tootin' financial gunslinger -- but it runs to mama government for taxpayer bailouts when the going gets tough. It's pretend capitalism. Nothing could be more obvious. It needs reform. ... Here's how not
to reform the financial system.
‘The golf star broke the rules of adultery’
OK, I’ve kept Hub Blog a Tiger-free zone. But, finally, someone has cut to the heart of the matter: ‘How not to manage a harem.’
… Via Instapundit
'Coakley had the endorsements that matter'
Brighton Reader says to forget all those flashy newspaper and big-name pol endorsements Martha didn't get:
Martha Coakley had the endorsements that matter a lot in a low-turnout election, state reps and state senators. Mike Capuano had 9 state senators and 42 state reps. Coakley had 17 state senators and 72 state reps. These guys all have networks of supporters and workers to an extent that all the Congressmen who supported Capuano, 7 out of 10, do not. Also, both Pagliuca and Khazei hurt Capuano -- Pags as the Italian and Khazei on the left. Update
-- Brighton Reader writes back with a breakdown of those endorsements by gender:
Capuano: state senators, 6 male, 3 female
state reps: 33 male, 9 female
Coakley: state senators: 9 male, 8 female
state reps: 49 male, 24 female
(I miscounted the first time, Coakley had 73 reps total)
'The One Percent Doctrine'
Using Dick Cheney’s ‘one percent doctrine’
as an argument for fighting global warming is a really bad idea, considering the mess it got us into in Iraq. But I do agree with this paragraph:
If we prepare for climate change by building a clean-power economy, but climate change turns out to be a hoax, what would be the result? Well, during a transition period, we would have higher energy prices. But gradually we would be driving battery-powered electric cars and powering more and more of our homes and factories with wind, solar, nuclear and second-generation biofuels. We would be much less dependent on oil dictators who have drawn a bull’s-eye on our backs; our trade deficit would improve; the dollar would strengthen; and the air we breathe would be cleaner. In short, as a country, we would be stronger, more innovative and more energy independent.
Are you on Martha’s naughty-or-nice list?
A very impressive win for Martha Coakley. …
The most fun thing to watch moving forward? Hypocritical liberal males falling all over themselves to protect Martha’s feminine honor against evil Republicans, pouncing on "code words" and trying to live down the fact they weren’t there
for an "historic" female candidate when it truly counted within their own Dem primary. Let the record show: The bluest wing of the bluest party within the bluest state of the bluest part of the country didn’t back a lone female candidate when there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between all the candidates.
Martha’s best move of the campaign? Knocking out Joe Kennedy, or Vicki Kennedy, or whomever, before the Kennedys had time to think. It’s now almost a cliché. But that’s what pissed off the Kennedys. ... One can almost hear the Kennedys referring to Martha as that
The Khazei phenomenon? In the end, all he achieved was acting as a spoiler for … Pags
The best polling? Martha’s.
No wonder she was smiling so much this past week. Hub Blog shouldn’t have split the poll differences, though even Martha’s own numbers showed her at 41 percent. … So much for the CW within a CW, i.e. low voter turnout favored Capuano’s ‘machine.’ See post immediately below. I can't believe I hedged for even a millisecond.Update
-- Outraged Liberal
is already dreading who will fill Martha's AG seat: "Be afraid. Be very afraid."Update II
-- Speaking of the AG seat, forget about Martha breaking the 'glass ceiling,' blah, blah, blah. She's about to smash the Curse of the Massachusetts Attorneys General
, though it really should be called the Curse of the White Male Massachusetts Attorneys General.
'Low turnout could play into the hands of an underdog'
You gotta wonder.
... I keep hearing Capuano benefits from low turnout. We'll see tonight.Update
- 5:26 p.m. -- Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm hedging a bit. But Martha still ought to pull it off.
Hub Blog always gets nervous when I'm on the side of CW. But here I am with a CW pick: Martha wins today. ...
The remaining question is whether she tops 40 percent. David
nailed down some internal polling numbers. Martha's polls have her above 40 percent. Capuano's numbers show her well below 40. I'll split the difference and go with 38 percent for Martha. The race has tightened in recent weeks, I suspect, but not enough to wipe out Martha's core base. ... I still don't discount an upset. The Khazei lefty lovefest last week was a surprise element -- and suggests a possible moonbat flock shift. But Coakley should be able to hang on.
I watched Mickey Rourke’s ‘The Wrestler’
last night – and I got to say it’s one of the best sports films I’ve ever seen. It’s sadder and more realistic than Rocky I, though not nearly as good as Bull Durham. The obvious irony is that professional wrestling isn’t even a sport. But it’s still athletic entertainment – and far more demanding than curling. There are a lot of great scenes in ‘The Wrestler.’ But my favorites were 1.) The blood-drenched staple-gun match. 2.) The autograph/memorabilia session in a high-school gym. Only a few fans show up. Little is said. The pathetic scene speaks for itself. … Rourke
is amazing. He nailed the part because he lived the part. …
P.S. -- Landing on a greatest-sports-films list
is not such a big deal. Hollywood has a hard time with sports-themed plots, probably because they can drift so easily into sentimental schlock
'We drink to thy past and thy future today'
Hub Blog finally got around to reading Cleveland Amory’s ‘The Proper Bostonians,’
long ago recommended by a reader as a candidate for HB’s prestigious Boston Reading List.
Believe me, it’s made the cut.
The first chapter alone (‘The Hub’) is worth the book’s price. Amory’s observations and dry wit are addictive. Every chapter reads like an essay, with telling anecdotes about Boston and its Brahmin ‘First Families,’ who made a valiant stab at establishing a permanent aristocracy, before the trust funds thinned out and members had to go off the first-names marriage list for income (John Forbes Kerry, take a bow).
The most intriguing aspect of the book is how the First Families’ wealth was accumulated (whaling, the clipper-ship trade, textiles etc.) – and how to this day
descendents gloss over the deeds of the ‘founder’ of the family fortune. They want to convey that the fortune was really the logical result of a superior bloodline, not crass commercialism attributable to one man or generation, as Amory notes. Thus a First Family’s town-drunk ancestor during colonial times and the tennis-playing fop during the 1970s are all treated with equal magnanimity. It’s the only way to rationalize a ‘Boston Eugenics’ bloodline in which 99 percent of the relatives never contributed a nickel to the family’s collective wealth. But the ‘founders’ knew who they were, and I’ll end this with a poem that Amory cites to a First Family member (a Holmes, I believe) at the Centennial Dinner of the Proprieters of the Boston Pier in 1873:
Dear friends, we are strangers; we never before
Have suspected what love to each other we bore
But each of us all to his neighbor is dear,
Whose heart as a throb for our time-honored pier
Who – who that has loved it so long and so well –
The flower of his birthright would barter or sell?
No: pride of the bay, while its ripples shall run,
You shall pass, as an heirloom, from father to son!
Let me part with the acres my grandfather bought,
With the bonds that my uncle’s kind legacy brought,
With my bank-shares, -- old “Union,” whose ten perc. stock
Stands stiff through the storms as the Eddystone rock;
With my rights (or my wrongs) in the “Erie”—alas!
With my claims on the mournful and “Mutual Mass”;
With my “Phil., Wil., & Balt.,” with my “C.B & Q.”
But I never, no never, will sell out to you
We drink to thy past and thy future today,
Strong right arm of Boston, stretched out o’er the bay
May the winds waft the wealth of all nations to thee,
And thy dividends flow likes the waves of the sea!
Martha’s growing naughty-and-nice list
Hub Blog is eager to see any last-minute Senate polls, after this past week’s Khazei lovefest on the left. The hunch is that CW still holds – and Martha and the gals
win. But there’s an air of unpredictability to this one. … I’m almost beginning to root for Martha. I hope she’s keeping an endorsement list and checking it twice, subtly plotting Bob DeLeo-like retribution
to all those naughty liberals who always talk big about getting more women into office and yet … and yet …
Khazei, with his impeccable lefty credentials, has become a sort of safe moonbat pick for those who don’t want to be accused of not backing a woman (i.e. Coakley) and/or not backing someone who’s actually gotten his fingers dirty in the political trenches (i.e. Capuano). Khazei provides them perfect ideological cover. Khazei’s pure. Khazei’s an idealist. Khazei’s a Deval Patrick before Deval Patrick had to govern – except Khazei in the Senate will never have to cut a budget or take executive responsibility for an agency’s blunder. Khazei is almost a natural windbag who’ll fit right in within the windbag Senate -- and that’s what makes him so safe and cuddly.
P.S. -- Khazei also has that vague Jill Stein, uppermiddle-class feel that liberals so often swoon over. He exudes the message, I’m one of you
. … And if you don’t get the message, he’ll remind you he’s the son of a doctor. …
P.S. P.S – The Kennedys: First it was Capuano. Now it’s Khazei
'It's another dark day for Northeast football'
has dropped its football program. Is the NCAA paying attention? Its response will probably entail renaming the division, creating new complicated tournaments, unveiling glitzy new logos, etc. -- everything short of addressing cost issues
. New England colleges will probably have to take the lead on this (as the Ivy League and New England Small Colleges did 50 years ago): Limiting or banning scholarships, setting caps on budgets, pulling out of national tournaments, creating leagues that promote intense Beanpot-like regional rivalries, perhaps even establishing new weight limits for players
Moving on to other college-football matters, Bob
advises Notre Dame fans to adjust their expectations. He’s right. But there’s another problem facing the Fighting Irish: Many opponents haven’t adjusted their expectations toward Notre Dame. Beating ND still makes a season for many teams. They get pumped up for a ND confrontation like no other game. The mystique, or a reverse variation of it, still exists. … Steve to Pats
: Don’t rehire Charlie Weis. At least not this season.
'This could be a record setting year!'
Bert writes in to announce he's approaching the turkey-eating equivalent
of Roger Bannister's four-minute mile:
Wanted to drop you a line and let you know that this could be a record setting year! Official stats not kept in the past, but no matter. It wouldn’t even be close.
Religion and environmentalism: ‘A perfect alignment’ II
Roman Catholics used to have a meat-free day
too. … Repeat
: It’s not about global-warming skepticism. It’s about some environmentalists, vegetarians, modern monks etc. exploiting a crisis to impose a lifestyle and quasi-religion
on others. …
'The Battle of Commonwealth Avenue'
Perhaps the best rivalry in college sports
. ... Via Brighton Reader, a BC alum.
‘The decision-making process was solid’
Tufts’ Dan Drezner has some excellent thoughts
on Obama’s Afghanistan speech, including a comparison to Bill Belichick’s famous/infamous fourth-and-two call.
'Three guys, one woman = woman wins'
It’s about how I see the Senate race shaping up
. … Martha’s lead doesn’t seem that solid. So I’m not ruling out an upset. A slight momentum shift can be felt within the moonbat world, thanks to the recent endorsements of Khazei. But the endorsements have probaly only made Khazei the new Pags-like spoiler in the race, hurting Capuano and helping Coakley in the process. … BTW: Where are Martha’s TV ads? Am I missing them? Is she saving up for the general election? …
'The quintessential Andrew Sullivan'
I thought we had the makings for a full-scale blog war
. But Sullivan graciously issues a correction and apology to Krauthammer
. ... But the original post
was still quintessential Sullivan. Similar to how Bushies used to tie every argument back to the Clintons, Sullivan now ties too many arguments back to the Bushies -- and that's his real mistake.
'Dat not very good'
on last night’s Pats-Saints game: ‘Now you all know why Bill Belichick went for it on fourth-and-2 in Indianapolis.’ … I’ll let pass Ron’s denial that the ‘mathematicians and sycophants’ obviously had a valid point after the Colts game. Last night proved it. … Maybe bringing back Charlie Weis isn’t such a bad idea. Bill needs to refocus on his rookie-heavy defense. … Bob’s
bottom line: The better team won. No argument here.Update
-- Albert and Ron agree
: 'Maybe Bill Belichick had a pretty good idea what he was doing on that fourth and 2.'Update II
: 'Who Dat? Dat Be the best football team in the NFL.'
'Hedged, hemmed, and hawed,' Part II
President Obama faces such a devilishly complex set of constraints that the policy he announces will be partially unsatisfying to every American and to every member of his administration. … He has not been enthusiastic about expanding the U.S. role in Afghanistan, but he has not evaded his responsibility as commander in chief, and he’s taking brave political risks.