How to get into Harvard 101, Part III
How did Harvard miss her?
When high school kids compose symphonies in their down time and spend summers building homes for the dispossessed — all in hopes of impressing the Harvard admissions committee — shouldn’t the university that inspires so much awe try to verify the truth of what’s on those gilded resumes?
Massachusetts Republicans: Back to the future?
I'd rather see Massachusetts Republicans
build the party from the ground up, not from the top down. The latter statewide-office strategy was tried in the 1990s -- and it didn't work out so well. The November elections were definitely disappointing for those hoping for a two-party state. But this past year was far from a bust for Republicans: picking up a U.S. Senate and 16 state House seats. ... The real test will come in 2012, when we'll see if the 2010 grassroots effort has any long-term momentum, capable of helping Scott Brown and fielding solid legislative and congressional candidates.Update
makes some good points about Jenn Nassour not taking responsibility for the GOP’s November disappointments: “If Nassour doesn't want the buck to stop with her in good times and in bad, maybe party chair isn't the right job. Just sayin'.” … Not taking some responsibility for November isn’t helpful or classy. Nassour and Republicans need to learn from mistakes. But keep in mind she’s right to say that winning statewide elections isn’t the only way to measure success. Legislative races count. The GOP has focused way too much on statewide offices in the past, neglecting the legislative farm-team that produces credible congressional or statewide candidates such as Brown. … Again, the GOP’s best long-term hope for relevancy is a bottom-up building approach. Charlie Baker sure could have used a little more campaign experience prior to this year’s gubernatorial run. His Swampscott selectman’s experience just didn’t cut it, needless to say.
How to get into Harvard 101, Part II
apparently didn't cite ties to Tuscany or Vermont goat farms when applying to Harvard. Not even a I-helped-the-poor-in-Africa essay. ... Instead, he went full tilt on the academic-snobbery front, knowing exactly which buttons to push. ... Do you think he would have transferred to Harvard citing University of Delaware credentials?
From the Sex Pistols.
… They could be so touching
. ... Merry Christmas, everyone.
White lights vs. colored lights: The debate never ends
… The piece nails the divide without quite saying so: It’s suburbs vs. working-class towns – or at least it used to be that way. As a youth, I remember driving from the white-lights burbs into colored-lights Somerville to visit my grandparents. In addition to colored lights and plastic Santa and Reindeer statues, the All-American City was also known for its orange electric-candle lights in windows. … But the white-vs.-colored-lights battle lines are shifting, helped by what appears to be cutesy irony:
Simon Doonan, the creative director of Barneys New York — a place that would seem to suggest sophistication — said the notion that white lights implied good taste was “about a quarter-century out of date.”
“It’s very ’80s ‘Dynasty,’ ” Mr. Doonan wrote in an e-mail, referring to the evening soap opera. “People who are pathological about white lights are usually the same people who stuff their TV into an armoire and try to pretend they don’t have one.” Colored lights, by contrast, Mr. Doonan said, are “beautiful and magical” and carnival-like.
“When I pass a suburban house festooned with twinkly colored fairy lights,” Mr. Doonan wrote, “I always scream ‘Bravo’ out of the window of my car.”
'Agony of De-feet'
My favorite story of 2010.
... I love the "it's a private matter'' defense, as if there's a private section of the Internet for private YouTubes.
True Grit ... then and now
Here's Roger Ebert's original four-star review
of True Grit with John Wayne. And here's Ebert's three-and-a-half-star review
of True Grit by the Coen Brothers. They're both fun to read side by side. ... I'd never argue with Ebert about movies. But I have a feeling I'll like the Coen Brothers' version of True Grit more than John Wayne's True Grit. Watching a John Wayne movie, I can never get over the fact that I'm watching a John Wayne movie. It's sort of a curse. I wish it wasn't the case. But there it is.
P.S. - Jim
loved the latest True Grit. Wesley
not so much.
'Sponsor lists,' Part II
They're getting closer to the real culprits in the Probabtion scandal: The sponsors.
... Lawmakers are whistling past the graveyard if they think the feds won't come after them with criminal charges. They did it in Illinois.
What will be the new hack dumping-grounds of tomorrow? …
It looks bleak, but something will come up. Just about the time the MDC started wheezing, the MWRA was created, with Paul Levy (yes, that Paul Levy) as the hacko di tutti hacki.
And there is still at least one ace in the hack hole. Casinos. Can someone say MGA —Massachusetts Gaming Authority. Just be sure you’re “qualified.”
Maybe it'll be MGB - Massachusetts Gaming Board. If Illinois is any example
(again), our lawmakers will love it
How to get into Harvard 101
I kind of admire the kid.
I shouldn’t. But I do. Peter: “You see, by fabricating a set of credentials so perfect they were a caricature of pretension, Wheeler managed to hoist Harvard on its own pompous petard.”
But the question is: How many other phony claims get past the admission offices at elite schools? Maybe they aren’t as blatant as Wheeler’s hum-dingers. But think about all the bogus essays about helping the poor, the faux how-I-spent-my-summers-in-African-villages resumes, the perfect transcripts from the perfect schools, etc. I’d love it if it turned out Wheeler made casual claims about family ties to Tuscany – or how he spent a summer starting a goat-cheese farm in Vermont. …
Public option, government option, whatever
Hub Blog is no fan of the ideologues at Fox News. But where’s the smoking gun here
? Forget whether "public option" was the commonly used term that Fox refused to mention on the air. The "public option" would have been A.) Government created B.) Government designed. C.) Government run. The lefty supporters of the "public option" were the ones playing political games with words, similar to how they refer to government-run health care as a "single-payer system." They avoid the word "government" at all costs for obvious political reasons. … There’s so much to go after Fox on when it comes to biases. This ain’t one of them.
The governor’s office
also lobbied for Probation jobs. But how does that absolve John J. O’Brien of charges that he ran a thoroughly corrupt agency, as his lawyers seem to be arguing? How? … Public outrage should be centered on the following: 1.) Taxpayers weren’t getting the best possible personnel and services at Probation. 2.) Lawmakers didn’t give a shit if taxpayers weren’t getting the best possible personnel and services at Probation. 3.) The ‘sponsor list’ system was and is blatantly unconstitutional.
‘ Creating a contemporary mini Public Garden’
I’m all for it.
Keep in mind I’m one of the few defenders
of the Brutalist City Hall. But the plaza simply doesn’t work. … One historical correction: There was never any “celebration of a World Series victory” at the plaza. There were World Series parades through the streets of Boston in 2004 and 2007. Remember? The last decade was the Decade of Champions for Boston (three for the Pats, two for the Sox, and one for the Celts) -- and not one of the celebrations was held exclusively at the plaza, for security reasons. To re-design the plaza with sports victory celebrations in mind is just plain asinine.
‘The biggest butt-whipping I’ve ever taken as a coach'
Here’s more from the Jets after they were administered post-game smelling salts:
“I came in to kick his butt and he kicked mine.”
”This humble pie tastes like a car tire and it goes down like peanut butter.”
“This was embarrassing.”
“It all just happened so fast. We were shell-shocked. We got hit with a haymaker.”
Pearl Harbor Day: Don’t forget
looks back to Dec. 7, 1941:
Today the outcome of World War II for the US may seem preordained. It has a story arc of great cohesion and drama: betrayal, darkness, struggle, and victory. But on the afternoon of December 7 at the onset of winter it did not seem like a play with a known ending. FDR knew full well the gravity of the situation. When he convened a Cabinet meeting later that day, he told the assembled officials that it was the most important such meeting to be held in Washington since 1861, at the beginning of the Civil War. …
… FDR told the Cabinet and congressional leaders the full scope of the disaster – battleships sunk, planes destroyed, plans ruined. He said it would be very difficult to mount a retaliatory attack on Japan and that the way ahead was long. He said it was very unpleasant to be a war president, according to a diary account of the meeting written that evening by Agriculture Secretary Claude Wickard.
'Are you watching this?'
Reader No. 1 wrote the following to me last night as the Pats dismantled the Jets, piece by piece, play by play:
Please forgive the spam-like subject line and it may just be the Belichick Hoodie talking but - this is a most gratifying good old fashioned blow-out/demolition. And I love the first cut over at start of fourth quarter to the flinty-eyed Head Coach with a 28 point lead - make that 35, Gronkowski just caught a bunny from Brady.
Like the defensive aggressiveness, even if giving up too many yards. Recall that the 2001 team was mediocre in yards but tough in red zone. Speaking of giving up yards, can Zoltan Mesko kick off? Or Wes Welker? Nitpicks.
See you in the playoffs! I love this game.
'On the first day of Christmas, Theo gave to me ...'
on the Adrian Gonzalez acquisition:
I'm happiah than Julian Assange with a tube of lube and a doomsday document.
Dennis & Callahan were asking callers this morning if there was anything bad that someone could say about Gonzalez. I thought the answer was obvious: Another National Leaguer signed by Theo. The record isn't impressive. But that's the worst I can say about Gonzalez.
America's rough tough financiers, Part II
The basic argument for lax regulation of hedge funds is that they don't need it. Rich people and institutions invest money in hedge funds and if it doesn't work out, well, too bad. It's a free market. They're not too big to fail.
Except, of course, when they were about to fail. Then they got loans from the Fed.
America’s rough tough financiers
They pay themselves enormous sums of money because they think of themselves as the capitalist shock troops who perform invisible-hand duties beyond the comprehension of ordinary Americans. But when there’s trouble, they run for help to … mama government
The entire financial system was about to collapse in late 2008. Something had to be done. Thank goodness for Ben Bernanke et gang. But let’s be clear: The vast majority of financiers, whether hot-shot hedge fund managers or mutual-fund apprentices dreaming of one day being hot-shot hedge fund managers, owe their current jobs, status and fortune to the American government and people. Think of that next time some financier tries to justify an obscene compensation package on the grounds that that’s how “free enterprise” works.
'Straight out of Evelyn Waugh'
Though it's depressing to think how America’s diplomatic cables can so easily be spilled across the cyber world, I agree with this observation
: Some of the cables are really well written, showing sharp minds at work. It’s refreshing as well as reassuring. ... OK, maybe they're not all at the Evelyn Waugh level. But at least they're not all at the Tom Clancy level.
'Chuck Turner is no James Michael Curley'
I don't get it.
Boston's Irish pols say they’re upset that Chuck Turner is comparing himself to James Michael Curley. But Curley was also a convicted-felon pol. Are they taking umbrage that Chuck thinks he’s in the same corrupt league as Curley? Or do they think that Curley wasn’t as corrupt as Turner? Pray tell. I’d like to know where this strange ethnic indignation springs from. …