'This is clearly a military takeover'
To keep the military on his side, Mubarak is giving them the keys
to the country. ...
Rooting for the Egyptian protesters – with fingers crossed
Mubarak’s days are numbered if the army doesn’t back him up
. … I’m rooting for the protesters. The people in oppressed Middle East countries have long deserved better. But I remember the Iranian Revolution. Transformation from a dictatorial regime to democratic bliss is far from guaranteed in the region. Though I never put too much stock in the Bush administration’s stated goal of spreading democracy throughout the Middle East, Glenn is absolutely right
to both hope and worry about events unfolding in Egypt.
'The Bostonian mind ...'
Walter Russell Mead
intellectually parachutes into Boston and tells us what we're thinking: "The godly must keep the rabble in line or intellectual, political and social chaos will ensue. The Bostonian mind doesn’t just believe this; it knows
it, and the path of duty is clear."...
For many Boston Blues, President Obama’s 2008 election was such a high point because it looked as Camelot might return. Barack Obama does for Blacks and blues what Kennedy did for the Irish and the Brahmins; like JFK he is an outsider who bought into the New England worldview. The high school he attended in Hawaii was founded by New England missionaries; his Ivy League education at Columbia and Harvard Law further steeped him in the values and outlook of the New England mind. To have a charismatic Black politician sweep the nation with a campaign evoking the communitarian big state vision New England had long favored was both a vindication of core Boston values and a sign that more victories were coming.
Of course, many Boston Blues so longed for Obama that they voted overwhelmingly against him
in the Democratic 2008 presidential primary, perhaps to send a message that their love shouldn't be taken for granted. They later fell into his strong arms in the general election, only to push him away again 14 months later
, perhaps in an attempt to provoke intense jealousy.
And did you know that Boston's Irish and other Catholic immigrants (re: "Europeans") "looked to government to defend them against the greed of the robber barons much as their forebears in Europe hoped that strong kings would keep their feudal oppressors in check"? And all this time I thought Honey Fitz and James Michael Curley merely wanted to get their hands on the patronage jobs. ...
There are a lot of insightful nuggets in the piece. But there's also a lot of hoary cultural dots that Mead feels compelled to connect, sort of the way national and international journalists parachuted into Boston
for the 2004 DNC, telling everyone how Boston was either overrun by IRA terrorists or existed as one vast Oxford campus. These journalistic parachute drops rarely work, whether their target is Boston or some breakfast diner in the deep South, etc.
How to get into Harvard 101, Part IV
From Reader No. 1: "Knowing how much you enjoy Harvard admissions stories
, try on this too close for comfort
The Pats: 'I'll go to my grave wondering ...'
Reader No. 1 goes over the Old School and New School explanations for the Pats' fall, then offers his own observations and head-scratching questions:
So many of the initial thoughts on Sunday's truly horrifying loss have already been said by others...I heard Gerry Callahan on WEEI driving in this morning speculating on how the Welker benching affected team psychology (but not this semi-related discussion on WEEI. I heard the Borges Curse cited on WEEI Whiner Line while driving home tonight. So I might as well cite the most thoughtful analyses (so far):
Old school: Jackie MacMullan on ESPN.
New school: Football Outsiders, scroll to the bottom or Read the Whole Thing. Pay particular attention to the 'how much is Brady / how much is the defense.'
OK, a few thoughts from me, no claims to originality. And no agony of 'de-feet' jokes from me (I don't want to get benched by Hub Blog).
- We know Belichick is an unconventional thinker and yes, a genius, but there were quite a few head-scratchers... the 'benching' of a respected veteran for trivial reasons, the perhaps? empowering of a very young veteran with a critical decision, and that tedious fourth-quarter drive that amounted to nothing.
- Was Brady's regular season Interception mark really a fatal weakness for the team? The Pats seemed like a team that could not take a punch after this first-in-90-days event. Maybe Jay Cutler's recklessness has a good side, you get used to having to get out of trouble.
- Why were there so many drops by veterans (Crumpler missed TD, Welker missed TD, and the one that hurt the most, Branch missed 4th down catch late)? What happened to the rookie tight ends?
- I'll go to my grave wondering how some fairly ordinary players regularly turn up big against particular teams.
- In retrospect, might we have thought more about Our Team not having played a competitive game in four weeks - and almost losing that one at home on national TV when that team's star, the New Tom Brady, didn't play?
- How many times in NFL history have all four the participants in the AFC *and* NFC title games lost to one team that isn't going to the title game? (And 3 of them blowouts?). Repeat after me: Any Given Sunday...
Go Packers... -R#1
'They're so flat'
A Hub Blog relative commented on the Pats during the third quarter: 'They're so flat.' ... The Jets were pumped up. The Patriots were flat. The outcome
reflected the difference. ... The Jets' secondary was superb. They bottled up the Pats' passing game like I've never seen before in the Brady era.
The Arizona shootings: What a difference a week makes
Last Sunday's page-one NYT story
: "Bloodshed Puts New Focus on Vitriol in Politics." Today's Sunday page-one NYT story
: "Looking Behind the Mug-Shot Grin of an Accused Killer." ... It took them a while. But, finally, the focus is on the right person: The shooter. The past week wasn't exactly the national media's finest hour.Update
-- P.J. O'Rourke
recalls the same "Bloodshed Puts New Focus on Vitriol in Politics" headline. ... Remember: The piece was written within hours of the shooting and published the next day, less than 24 hours after the attack, when so much was still unknown.
Daley, the moderate plutocrat Part II
Someone else has concerns
about Bill Daley's appointment as Obama's chief of staff. ... Can't we get another type of businessman in the White House? Someone without deep banking-industry ties?
Dianne Wilkerson stuffed down her bra only a portion of the money she hauled in over the years.
... So many friends! ...
'We may be helping the California economy'
From Reader No. 1: "Our tax dollars at work.
I was gonna link to a picture of Tom Cruise
, but Bruce Mohl beat me to it. On the positive side, we may be helping the California economy!(Which certainly needs help...)"
'For that alone they deserved to lose'
'Rewarding the unbalanced'
Here's a thoughtful piece
on the Tucson shooting from an unexpected source. ...
It's kind of shocking how fast the ideological finger-pointing started following the shooting. I thought society had reached a kind of consensus about how to react when a mass-shooting like this occurs, i.e. assume it's by a nut case until further notice. Early reports that Jared Loughner liked both Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto should have been a glaring tip off that we were dealing with someone off the political charts. But it wasn't enough for some. ... Loughner's parents are blaming themselves.Update
– Outraged Liberal
Albert Einstein once said insanity was doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result. By that definition, our media culture has gone over the edge.
Here we are around 72 hours after Jared Loughner allegedly shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 19 other people and the political rhetoric continues to rise in a flurry of finger-pointing that finds conservatives in a mostly defensive crouch (save the truly incorrigible flame thrower Newt Gingrich).
Can't we wait for some facts before making our minds up? Apparently not in our 24-7 cable society where shouting passes for "news" and ratings depends on who shouts the loudest.
Daley, the moderate plutocrat
As a moderate, Hub Blog should be happy with the appointment of William Daley
as President Obama's new chief of staff. He's a moderate Democrat. He's urged the president to be more centrist. He's openly complained when Democrats came across as anti-business. He probably would have crafted a much better stimulus bill than the liberal-wish-list monstrosity that ultimately passed. It's also satisfying to hear the distant yelps coming from the far left after his appointment. But ... but I have one problem with Daley: He worked for JPMorgan Chase. Daley was not a "banker." He was a paid political lobbyist. He was a paid rainmaker. He was paid political protection for the banking system. He was part of a financial-government plutocracy that has a warped view of capitalism, i.e. that Wall Street is too important to play by the same free-market rules as everyone else. ... FYI: The phony capitalists are back at their old leveraged games
-- and we're the bail-them-out suckers again.
Two-tier labor systems
In America, it's public-sector vs. private-sector workers
. In Europe, it's the young vs. the old.
... Arguably, we now have a three-tier labor system in America, if you include Wall Street types as being in their own special bailout category.