‘He’s going to be here’
Bob Kraft puts his foot down.
… ESPN’s Chris Mortensen
has been reporting that Tom Brady ain't happy about his contract situation. I’ve always assumed he’s right. I’ve also always assumed Brady would never be a no-show for training camp. These things have to play out. …
The Pats-Brady contract saga is eerily similar to the Pats-Wilfork drama
. For all the talk of the Pats being unsentimental, Bob Kraft is deep down sentimental – and he’s sensitive to even a hint that he’s cheap. The Wilfork impasse was broken soon after details of disputes started filtering into the press. The same pattern is now unfolding with Brady. The ‘he’s-going-to-stay-here’ proclamation sounds like Kraft has made up his mind. … But it just hit me: The last quarterback that Kraft expressed an ‘emotional attachment’ to was Drew Bledsoe. So maybe there’s another scenario to start contemplating. The fate of his immediate predecessor must be in the back of Brady's mind somewhere. … The always unsentimental Bill Belichick is busy tearing down
reminders of past glories.
Full damage-control mode
Kerry launches his lame after-the-fact spin
that he basically handled the spin wrong, keeping the story alive and on the front pages for another day. It’s the story that keeps on giving. …
Let me see: He had one
days to explain himself and ...
‘The kind of tourist-friendly amenity long established in other major cities’
I like the idea of a new downtown market
to showcase New England-grown foods. But little mental alarms went off when I read the word ‘tourist’ and caught more than a whiff of the keep-up-with-the-jones tone of advocates. … Hub Blog and my trusty Manhattan WMD Spy traded emails about the subject this morning:
HB: Notice how a new food market in Boston is being pitched: It's for the tourists. ... Isn't it so cute? All those guys yelling and screaming and selling their fruits and vegetables and fish. It's just like Paris!
MWMD Spy: It’s funny. They should actually model it after the Union Square market in NYC. It is real farmers who sell real food to people who live in Manhattan and are sick of eating cardboard vegetables from Korean Deli’s. The market actually transformed the neighborhood and now there are a string of restaurants around the edge of the market that prepare food from the farms. Creating a “market” for tourists will end up with Yankee fried dough, Boston corn dogs, Colonial Ice cream parlour, etc, etc. By the way, isn’t this what Quincy Market was supposed to be before it got run over by conglomerates?
HB: I noticed how the article didn't mention New York's market, which is a real market, not a fake market designed to look cute. Of course, Boston really does have an old-fashioned market with screaming, honest-to-God lunatics: Haymarket, for all its lousy-food faults, every weekend. But the vendors also aren't cute and don't sell Chilean bass and they don't bow to their obvious betters when they sell you two lemons in cute brown-paper bags. So we got to come up with a make-believe market. It's much safer, after all. ...
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
is beginning to sound more and more like the government technocrats he’s always trying to pry leaks from. …
Though I’m obviously worried about endangering informants who are helping our side in what used to be called a ‘good war,’ I’m not too worked up about the leaks in general. The government already has too many secrets. The leaks really don’t tell us anything we didn’t already know. But what does annoy me are comparisons to the Pentagon Papers. It always comes back to Vietnam. … It’s also about self-glorification. They want
this to be a big deal. But it simply isn’t. I heard journalists from the NYT and Guardian admitting as much on PBS the other day.
‘Fins to the left, fins to the right …’
It’s definitely shark week.
… Remember: It’s all a boon to local businesses, gore-seeking little boys, and fishermen who deep down hate those cute and cuddly seals.
The Great Media Conspiracy
Even though the JournoList
shows its members were confined to the usual-suspect lefty opinion writers who absolutely loathe the MSM, some on the right-wing
aren't giving up their all-purpose intellectual duct tape that holds together so many flimsy arguments (i.e. blame the media when all else fails):
So: To all you non-JournoLister reporters out there, please be aware that your credibility has just taken a big hit, because we, your faithful readers, don’t actually know who is or who isn’t. You can thank JournoList for that, you can thank Ezra Klein, and you can thank the Washington Post, which has done its outstanding professionals absolutely no favors in any of this.Update
-- My all-time favorite blame-the-media, full-reverse non-mea culpa mea culpa
. You see, the media may have got it right. Therefore, it got it wrong. Get it? ... Still, just to be on the safe side, I think I'm going to poke around the Herald basement when I get to work later today. You never know if a splinter JournoLister cell is holding secret meetings in an abandoned printing-press wing. It wouldn't surprise me at all to catch Jules
chairing one of the gatherings. His views have always struck me as suspiciously too conservative. Do you know what I mean?
‘Closing of the conservative mind’
Andrew Breitbart pulls out the conservative movement’s intellectual version of duct tape whenever it needs to hold together a flimsy argument: It’s the media’s fault.
… David Frum
on the ‘closing of the conservative mind,’ via TPM.
It will never happen here
Maine legislators are considering
shifting state employees into Social Security. … Can you imagine the public-union outcry here if they tried to do the same thing in Massachusetts, one of only six states in which the majority of its public employees don’t participate in Social Security?
How to interpret the Apple press conference
This is pretty good.
Where do you fall on the chart?
‘We’re not racist, you racist’
has a good post about the Great Debate (something I mentioned in the post directly below):
The backlash to the NAACP's resolution calling for the tea party movement to renounce racism ended pretty much as I expected -- with the tea partiers grabbing back the megaphone as the NAACP decided not to press the issue.
These are incredibly important issues to all these guys. No one else cares. But they do. Passionately. … THEY MUST WIN THE ARGUMENT. … Don’t forget the never-ending Great Fascist Debate
. … I’ll cut if off here, before someone accuses me of trying to be evenhanded.
Predicting the next debt defaulter
Which municipal governments in Massachusetts are more likely to go into default? Brookline or Brockton? Lincoln or Lowell? Burlington or Chelsea? The answers are obvious. The poorer communities with shakier tax bases. Now apply the same general logic to the entire debate about sovereign debt. Floyd Norris
argues, logically, that a “bottom-up” analysis of sovereign debt is usually a much better way to predict future defaulters. Nations with more vibrant private sectors are simply better off than nations with anemic private sectors. The debate over sovereign debt is not purely about fiscal imbalances. So back to variations of the opening questions: Which national governments are more likely to go into default? Germany or Greece? Britain or Portugal? Norris:
The economic debate now should be focused on keeping the federal government from someday being similar to Greece, with a weak private sector and a bloated government that cannot collect taxes to meet its obligations.
There is no risk of that in the near term. The United States government can print dollars to avoid default, but it is not having to do so. It can borrow at low rates because investors around the world still trust it.
To keep that trust in the longer term, the economy must grow.
Think of this the next time Republicans harp on short-term deficits or when Democrats propose a new “stimulus” package that primarily benefits the public sector. They're both getting it wrong.Update
-- Reader No. 1 writes in:
I realize you want to stay evenhanded but most deficit-harping is neither on short-term impacts or by Republicans exclusively - nor is it harping; it is genuine concern on the part of non-statists about the long-term impacts of deficits crowding out private investment and savings and crippling future standards of living for today's children. Maybe this will change if/when today's workers realize that they will be long-lived retirees and also therefore likely to have future living standards crippled by the long-term effects of today's spending orgies.
Please see this diagnosis of the failure with the bailout bill.
Another great Peggy Noonan column.
Love that "I realize you want to stay evenhanded" line, as if I might not actually believe what I write. But that's how ideologues think. Everything's got to be black or white, one side or the other, no gray areas in between. ... Hey, maybe I should get more involved in the Great Debate that ideologues are now waging and that may well shape the very future of our beloved nation, i.e. whether the New Black Panthers Party or the Tea Party is more racist than the other. ... Snort. ...
Ballpark Frank and Mrs. McCourt: An update
Here's a divorce update
on the craziest couple in America. ... Thank God they didn't buy the Sox.
The worst sports journalism ever? Part II
on The Decision announcement: "Truly, has there ever been a more hideous sports-related hour than what we saw Thursday night? It’s hard to know where to start." ... Howie Kurtz
explores how Jim Gray and LeBron's marketing team shopped around the one-hour show idea to networks:
Gray confirmed that he pitched the concept of buying an hour of network time to James's marketing agent, Maverick Carter, and Ari Emanuel, chief executive of William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, during Game 2 of the recent NBA Finals.
"I brought them the idea, and they were loyal and [showed] a lot of honor when they found a network they wanted to put it on," Gray said. "They said: 'We're not kicking him off. That's not how we operate.' "
ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys said in an interview that when James's representatives approached the network, Gray "was part of the package." The sports channel was "comfortable" with James handpicking his interviewer, Soltys said, because Gray had worked for ESPN, as well as NBC, and "we knew he was equipped to do interviews." ...
Gray said he essentially agreed to work for free, minus expenses, because James was donating the advertising proceeds -- $2.5 million, as it turned out -- to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. ESPN's Soltys said James's organization sold all the national advertising to such sponsors as McDonald's, Microsoft, Nike and the University of Phoenix.
On WJFK-FM Thursday, Post sportswriter Mike Wise asked Gray whether he had lined up the University of Phoenix as an advertiser. Gray said he had no relationship with the school other than that "they sponsor some of the programs I happen to be on. . . . I'm not involved in any of those decisions."
Translation: It was paid programming, albeit not nearly as straight-forward and entertaining as Ronco rotisserie
paid programming. ... Beat the Press tackled the issue last night
The worst sports journalism ever?
ESPN’s coverage of The Decision last night ranks right up there. … But for my money, John Tesh’s Olympics coverage still stands the test of time as the most wretched of the wretched. Rush Limbaugh’s brief stint as an NFL Monday Night Football announcer also ranks up there. … Dumbest stretch-out-the-hype question last night: “Do you still bite your nails?” … Steve Buckley
was hammering into ESPN yesterday. … God, I hope the Celts beat Miami next year. So help me God, I’ll even root for Kobe in the finals if the Celts can’t stop and stomp ‘em. … Now for the moment all of Boston and America have been waiting for: The Hub Blog Decision. Take it away, John Tesh:
JT: How do you feel?
HB: I feel good. I feel humbled.
JT: When did you make your decision?
HB: This morning. I made it this morning. Just a few minutes ago. It was tough. A lot of things and thoughts were pulling me in different directions. My home. My career. My financial future. But I know it was the right decision.
JT: Do you still have any doubts?
HB: No. None. I woke up this morning feeling good. There’s no way of faking it. I’m feeling good.
JT: Does anyone else know about your decision?
HB: No. I was tempted to make a call to someone this morning. But I decided not to after I made my decision.
JT: Do you still bite your nails?
HB: Well, I kind of nibble on my nails. I don’t really bite them.
JT: OK, all of Boston and America have been biting their nails waiting for your decision. Are you ready? Do you want to throw some powder in the air before telling everyone?
HB: Ha, ha, ha.
JT: OK, here it is, Hub Blog. … Are you or are you not going to call in sick this morning to work?
HB: I’m going to work. I’m not calling in sick. I’m not going to fake it. Can't do it. Can't pull it off. I feel too good. I’m going to work.
JT: That’s amazing. There it is, folks. He’s going to work.
In case you didn't know, John Tesh and the NBA
do have a connection
From the nation’s bread basket to basket case
Illinois is broke
. It isn’t paying its bills. The dysfunctional political class is divided, paralyzed and in complete denial. No one is in control. Illinois is in freefall. … This is what a government meltdown looks like.
'For the rest of your life, you belong'
France's elitist education system keeps producing arrogant swells
. Now they're trying to change it
a bit. ... Loved this line: "The problem is not simply the narrow base of the elite, but its self-satisfaction." See arrogant-swells link above. ... The U.S. has its own elitist problems. A quick glace at the resume of your average Obama cabinet member proves certain university graduates are overrepresented in government. But France's institutionalized elitism is far more extensive, reaching deep into business, the arts and almost every facet of life. There's a "republican" element to it, for sure. But there's also a stifling insiders-club mentality that doesn't look kindly upon the French equivalent of a Reed College dropout.