John Lennon was a closet Republican?
His former assistant thinks so.
I’m not convinced. He was probably more of a closet Reagan Democrat, with a surprisingly strong conservative streak in him. A lot of people felt the same way after four years of Jimmy Carter. … Also, read this Wikipedia post
about Lennon’s ‘Revolution’ song in 1968. Kind of undercuts the notion that Lennon was rejecting his “earlier radicalism” only toward the end of his life. The lyrics
to Revolution are actually anti-radical, and he got criticized by some lefties for writing them. … The guy was just complicated.Update
-- From Reader AM:
Of course "Revolution" is politically .. let's say less than radical: "if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao/you an't gonna make it with anyone anyhow" - but the American Legion tried to get it banned from the airwaves. And "Born in the USA" is a protest song, but Reagan (I think) tried to adopt it. And "I Will Always Love You" is a breakup song, played at half of the wedding receptions I've attended. Nobody listens to lyrics.Update II
-- From Reader No. 1:
Liberal - leftwing guy who preferred Reagan to Carter in 1980? Sounds like a Massachusetts voter!
Memo to Todd Feinberg: start playing "Revolution" as WRKO show's lead-in music, suggest as new Tea Party anthem (thereby irritating Tom Petty).
Memo to newspaper editors: assign babyboomer columnist to write navel-gazing column about the nuance and ambiguity of Lennon, what it means for the next Presidential election, and how great those old Beatles songs were/are.
Immigrants land in Boston
The BPL has posted some incredible photos
of Boston from the early decades of last century. Adam
flagged a couple of great ones showing the site of what’s now City Hall. The one posted here is of immigrants landing in Boston in 1920. It’s right out of a movie – all the passengers lined up at the bow looking upon the New World. The caption reads: “SS Canopic lands in Boston, 4000 immigrants flock to U.S. daily.”
Where did they come from? Ireland, Italy, Russia? Where? My guess is Italy. It’s an amazing photo.
Billy 'Sir Thomas More' Bulger
and Harvey Silverglate
have competing columns this morning on all the recent criticism aimed at Billy Bulger, specifically whether Billy was somehow duty bound to help apprehend his older brother, Whitey.
Needless to say, you know where Hub Blog stands. As much as I admire Harvey, he’s setting up a kind of straw-man argument here, suggesting the issue is about whether Bulger has a right to love and protect his brother. But who has argued that Billy shouldn’t love his brother? Who has called for jailing Billy for not testifying about his brother’s whereabouts? The legal system has most definitely protected Billy Bulger’s rights and actions over recent years. He’s a free man. He’s collecting a nearly $200,000 annual public pension. He most certainly is not
facing execution at the hands of a tyrannical king. So why the comparison to Sir Thomas More? And I thought the Robin Hood comparisons were bad enough.
As for unfairly hounding Billy, I’ll concede that we may have reached that point, when it comes to the feds suggesting he pay for his brother’s legal fees. Why should he? Unless the feds legally tie Billy to his brother’s crimes, then he’s under no obligation to pay a dime for anyone else’s defense. And what’s all the fuss about the public paying Whitey’s legal bills? If Whitey hands over more money to the feds, we all know it’s going to be confiscated, just like the $800,000 that the feds grabbed in Whitey’s apartment. In effect, let's assume Whitey has arguably already forfeited the dough to pay for his defense, i.e. the $800,000. Use that money. And not a penny more. ….Howie
has a good column this morning delving into all the Bulger “enablers” over the decades. … And, no, no one is arguing for Dukakis and Weld to be burned at the stake. So spare us the Joan of Arc comparisons. ...Update
-- Robin Hood. Sir Thomas More. Joan of Arc. Who and what next? My bet: Salem witch hunts. Specifically, Giles Corey and Mary Dyer, though she was technically hung for being a Quaker.Update II
-- Bob Ryan
, of all people, has a good column on Whitey and Billy. He's not buying the brotherly-love argument either. Not that he wants Billy beheaded, mind you. ... Another reason to groan at the Sir Thomas More comparison: Billy -- the "presumed scholar, the Man of Letters," as Bob puts it -- will lap up the analogy.Update III
-- A reader writes in about Harvey's op-ed: "... Seriously. Does this guy realize that in actual history, Sir Thomas More, as chancellor, had people tortured--in his own house--for state reasons. And had people burned at the stake?" ... A lot of people prefer fairy tales over reality when it comes to the Bulgers.
Whitey Bulger: The Book That Still Needs to Be Written, Part II
Re my post yesterday
and inclusion of the Hack-Progressive Alliance as one of the strands in the entire Bulger saga: Holy shit.
… Ah, many of those Whitey victims were scumbags anyway. And that Deb chick who was molested, raped and murdered? Bad parents!
… Some liberals really want to put the entire Bulger saga behind them. Don’t they? … Move along! Nothing here to see! Keep moving!
Thanks, Frank: Dodgers file for bankruptcy
Boston's very own Frank McCourt has officially pounded the Dodgers franchise into the bankruptcy ground. ... All together now: Thank goodness Frank didn't buy the Red Sox.
Maybe the Celtics didn’t do so bad in the draft
Steve Bulpett is reassessing
the C’s first-round pick of Purdue big man Ja Juan Johnson. A trusted Bulpett source is enthusiastic about Johnson: “He’s going to make some teams look silly for not picking him.”
Europe: Not a good place to be young
Europe does a lot of things right. But it also does a lot of things wrong
. Spiegel Online has an excellent piece about Europe's very own lost generations. ...
Whitey Bulger: The Book that Still Needs to Be Written
Hub Blog has had a number of discussions with friends about Whitey Bulger’s recent arrest and the books already published about his gangster exploits. We agreed that the two best Whitey tomes out there, by far, are Gerard O’Neill and Dick Lehr’s groundbreaking “Black Mass
: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob,” and Howie Carr’s “The Brothers Bulger
: How They Terrorized and Corrupted Boston for a Quarter Century.” But we also agreed that even these two books didn’t, and couldn’t, adequately tell the entire saga, mostly because they were classic first-drafts-of-history pieces that came out even as the Whitey saga continued to unfold.
The bottom line: All of the Bulger strands have yet to be pulled together into a larger whole that also tells the story of Boston -- and why the Bulger era still fascinates and, to a degree, divides the city.
James Carroll emphasizes the larger Irish-tragedy
angle of the story – and he’s right to do so. But this isn’t exclusively a tale of Boston’s Irish.
In a recent editorial
, the Globe also touched on a bigger-picture angle, arguing Whitey’s arrest “frees Boston to get past old divisions,” including old ethnic, neighborhood and political divisions. Fat chance. Boston is built on grudges. Too many scores need to be settled. There’s a bigger story waiting to be told about those “old divisions” that still haunt the city.
What’s needed, yours truly and my fellow back-seat hack critics have concluded, is a book like J. Anthony Lukas’s “Common Ground
: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families.” Some might disagree, but we feel Whitey et gang are worthy of a “Common Ground” treatment – and it could almost serve as a sequel, or a companion book, to Lukas’s classic look at Boston’s busing crisis.
With that in mind, here are all the strands that still need to be pulled together to make full sense of the crazy Whitey Bulger story:The Gangsters Strand
– The gangster strand has been pretty much covered so far, especially via Howie’s most recent book “Hit Man.”
But the strand still needs coverage again in any future tome: the North End Mafia, the Winter Hill Gang, the Irish mob wars, the rise of Whitey and Southie, and all the other gangster angles that make journalists’ hearts go pitter-patter when they get to use underworld phrases and words like “wiseguys” and “on the lam” and “yooz guys,” etc. etc. The Corrupt FBI, Staties, Law-enforcement Strand
– The corrupt FBI strand has also been covered quite well, especially in “Black Mass,” which, as its subtitle suggests, lays it all out in shocking detail. But, yes, this strand will also need to be covered again: Two FBI agents tied to mob hits, the guilty pleas of other FBI agents, the gifts and payoffs, the close ties to both of the Bulgers, the deal-with-the-devil protection of Whitey, the entire the-ends-justifying-the-means attitude of the feds.The Political Strand
– OK, now we’re getting closer to the essence of the “big picture” story. Howie moved this ball forward in “The Brothers Bulger,” focusing more on the connection between Whitey and his kid brother, Billy, the former Senate president. But he laid out more of a circumstantial-evidence connection – and a broader political connection still needs to be made.
Some of the obvious and not-so-obvious political issues that need deeper coverage are: the general climate of fear on Beacon Hill during the height of the Bulgers era; how the city was still reeling from the forced-busing crisis as the Bulgers rose to power, and how many of their supporters/critics eerily lined up along those old forced-busing fault lines; the mysterious state agency budget cuts and demotions of anyone who dared cross the Bulgers; the cushy government and industry jobs landed by mobsters, their relatives and ex-FBI agents; the politically wired rise of FBI agent Zip Connelly and his gross FBI retirement party; the alleged push to make Zip chief of Boston police; the former governor of Massachusetts who effectively handed over the keys to state government to Billy while he ran for president in ’88; the once crusading U.S. Attorney-turned-governor who ended up cynically playing footsie with the younger Bulger. Etc., etc.The Ethnic, Class and Neighborhood Strand
s – Similar to above, but burrowing deeper, Lukas like, into how Whitey (and Billy) exploited ethnic and neighborhood divisions to gain power; why so many were so quick to build Whitey up into an urban Irish hero; the insularity of Boston’s neighborhoods and surrounding suburbs that allowed the true Bulgers story to fly under the radar for so long. Research on this strand could start by reading “All Souls.”The Old Boston-New Boston Strand
-- Hopefully, someone will finally explain the following: What do people really mean by “old” Boston and “new” Boston? It has a lot to do with this story – and much of it is tied to the strands above and below.The Media Strand
– The good, bad and ugly of the Boston media, including: the threats to Herald and Globe reporters to back off Bulger stories; the columnists who put on their annoying Jimmy Breslin-wannabe hats, acted like they were old pals of “Jimmy” and working-class stiffs, and fanned the Robin Hood myths about Whitey; the infamous 60 Minutes puff piece on the Bulgers; the Globe’s groundbreaking 75 State Street and Whitey-is-an-informant stories; Howie, Peter Gelzinis, Christopher Lydon and a few others who pounded into all things Bulgers (hey, might as well throw Alan Dershowitz into this mix); the televised congressional hearings.The Hack-Progressive Alliance Strand
– Let’s face it: Most of the Bulgers drama played out within the confines and context of a one-party Democratic state during the ‘80s – and a lot of liberals looked the other way (and still look the other way) at the hack antics of their more “old school” Democratic brethren, as long as they got the liberal-agenda goods in return. One simple question: Where was Ted Kennedy during this entire mess? Bottom line: There was more than a little intentional and unintentional “enabling” going on in this city. No wonder they want to put the entire Bulger era behind them.The Three Straight Republican Governors Strand
– To be fair to Democrats, three straight Republican governors in the ‘90s wouldn’t or couldn’t do anything about the political Gordian Knot strangling this state – and one of them even appointed Billy Bulger as head of UMass. A fourth GOP governor finally took Billy down in the mid-2000s, but Billy ultimately slit his own political throat during televised congressional hearings last decade.The Why It Still Matters Stran
d – The civil and criminal trials are still going on – and more are on the way. The strands of “old Boston” still linger. Etc., etc.
Rereading all of this, the more convinced I become that a future book could just as easily be called "Common Ground, Part 2."
Whitey's defense: Dementia?
You got to wonder if it's an act or real. But the L.A. Times describes
Whitey at the time of his arrest as an "old and ailing man" -- one who "seemed addled, befuddled." Other Santa Monica residents reported that "his mind appeared to be descending into dementia and paranoid rage," the LATimes says. ... I sense a defense-strategy forming here, whether or not it's medically legitimate.Update
-- Peter saw a perfectly healthy Whitey
at court yesterday. ... Kevin had the same reaction.
The Whitey Bulger arrest ... 'Captured'
The photo is from the updated FBI's Most Wanted poster
. Pretty much sums up this morning's news. But the real story will start to come out in coming weeks and months.Update
-- About 20 firearms and 'hundreds of thousands' of dollars in cash found
in Whitey's apartment.Update II
-- Re my post below about Whitey being a distinctly Boston story that's hard for outsiders to follow: Check out this Salon hit
on Mike Barnicle. How did Barnicle get pulled into today's Whitey morass? Well, because it's Boston. We get it. But outsiders usually don't, Steve Kornacki notwithstanding. ... Salon via Adam's UH.Update III -
notes that the Salon piece was a little unfair to Barnicle, something Kornacki acknowledges. Dan explains.
The Whitey Bulger arrest: A goldmine of future news
The arrest of Whitey Bulger
, whose California apartment was apparently crammed with cash and guns
, is just the beginning of a probably years-long sorting out of what the hell happened in this city in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. It can go any number of directions. Whitey loyally clams up. Whitey lashes out at the FBI. Whitey continues to play cutesy with the facts. There will be confessions and trials and books and movies. It ain’t going to end soon.
Not surprisingly, Whitey’s tale has long captivated Bostonians, but it's never really registered with the rest of the nation. There are just too many complicated, local nuances to the distinctly Boston story. I loved Howie Carr’s recent book Hit Man
, a terrific overview of the Boston Irish/Italian underworld as seen through the eyes of hit man Johnny Martorano. But I tend to sympathize with one Amazon reader’s non-Bostonian review of Howie’s book: “There is nothing but murder after murder with very little information to make such an act or acts captivating. It was like reading a series of newspaper articles on these less than successful gangsters.” In other words, we, as Bostonians, are too close to this Whitey story. Most of us know why it all fits into Southie and Somerville and Billy Bulger and State House hacks and “old Boston” and “new Boston” and class and ethnic grudges, and the list goes on. Occasionally, someone outside Boston gets it, such as Martin Scorsese, but he’s the exception, not the rule.
Hopefully, Whitey’s arrest will help straighten out the narrative, for lack of other words, and make clear how Bulger was both a distinct product and shaper of a corrupt city and state, not to mention a corrupter of the Boston FBI field office. So let all the news stories pour forth, There’s still a lot to be learned before this story can be fully understood and told right.
Paul Krugman on Belief Systems
Though I often disagree with Paul Krugman on issues, he gives a fun interview here
. I particularly enjoyed his views on “belief systems”:
… I was at that stage, a college sophomore or thereabouts, when you’re searching around, looking for belief systems. I think it’s actually a point when you’re quite vulnerable, because you are looking for someone who is going to offer you all the answers. Some people turn to religious orthodoxy, other people turn to Ayn Rand. One of my favourite lines – and I haven’t been able to find out who came up with it – is that “There’s an age when boys read one of two books. Either they read Ayn Rand or they read Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. One of these books leaves you with no grasp on reality and a deeply warped sense of fantasy in place of real life. The other one is about hobbits and orcs.”
Then I read Hume’s Enquiry, this wonderful, humane book saying that nobody has all the answers. What we know is what we have evidence for. We do the best we can, but anybody who claims to be able to deduce or have revelation about The Truth – with both Ts capitalised – is wrong. It doesn’t work that way. The only reasonable way to approach life is with an attitude of humane scepticism. I felt that a great weight had been lifted from my shoulders when I read that book.
... I felt the pull of the (belief systems). You look at people who are very certain, and have these beliefs of one form or another and you think, “Maybe they really know something!” And what Hume says is, “Actually, no. They don’t.”
Of course, many would say Krugman indeed has his own adamant belief system. But it’s still an interesting read. I went through a similar intellectual/political odyssey, albeit one that fell well short of eventually winning a Nobel Prize, damn it. I just have a hard time listening to ideologues on either side. I already know their views on issues without even talking to them. …
I’d also disagree with Krugman’s assertion that liberals are more open-minded than conservatives. I think it comes down to the times and how events can stir up trouble. Liberalism had become mighty adamant and narrow-minded by the late ‘60s and ‘70s, insufferably so, and liberals were ultimately punished in the ‘80s by voters, who had become sick of their dogmas and political correctness. During roughly the same time period, conservativism was more dynamic, flexible and, for lack of other words, reality based, culminating in the ’80 election of Reagan. The two sides eventually flipped positions. Power ultimately corrupted conservativism, which eventually morphed into a mean-spirited form of tribalism by the ‘90s. Being out of power (or favor) forced liberals to reassess at least some of their basic assumptions, such as the role of capitalism in economics etc.
Ball Park Frank's latest hits
Frank McCourt is taking the hits
, not making them. ... The L.A. Dodgers franchise has simply collapsed. It may well soon miss its payroll. MLB will probably have take it over permanently. Only Frank could make a mess like this.
The Biggest Victory Parade
quotes police as saying that the Bruins' Rolling Rally is probably Boston's biggest victory parade ever. Watching it unfold on TV, flipping between channels, listening to the stunned comments of the anchor people, viewing the vast crowds from the high-up shots, remembering the size of crowds at past Pats, Sox and Celts rallies (I personally went to one for each), I'd have to agree with the BPD. The crowds seem immense. ... The team with arguably the smallest but most fanatical fan base in New England is having a glorious day.
'Bergeron, Joue Les Héros'
Brighton Reader sends in a compilation of front pages
about the Bruins’ Stanley Cup win, with the note, “More from the Great White North.” … Note the French newspaper with a local positive spin. I know some French-Canadians from Montreal who were rooting for the Bruins. The B’s may be their inter-divisional rivals, but they couldn’t bring themselves to cheer for another Canadian (Anglo) team, sort of the way some Bostonians will occasionally root for a New York team under the right alternative-villain circumstances.
Greatest Boston sports championship game this century
I can't really argue with Dan's list.
But mine is a little different. I base it on shock factors, not necessarily on historic factors. Here goes:
1. The Pats' First Super Bowl, 2002 -- After the dramatic ending and as the confetti fell on Tom Brady inside the Super Dome, I remember being stunned and thinking, "The Pats? The Pats?
Super Bowl champs? The Pats
2. Sox 2004 World Series Win -- Historic, yes. Shocked that particular night, no. They were up 3-0 going into the final game. Knew they were going to win it that night or the next. Not even the Sox could blow a 3-0 lead, not after coming back from three games down against the Yanks. But I remember being on Cloud 9 the next day, and everyone in Boston was so nice and happy. That
was shocking in itself.
3. Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup victory -- I just didn't see it coming. Granted, I'm not a big hockey fan. But most people (or at least fellow bandwagon members) didn't see it coming. But once I did get into the swing of things, the playoffs were great drama. Three seven-game series. And the final series was simply a joy to watch.
4. Tie -- Celts 2008 Win, Pats Second Super Bowl 2004 -- Everyone knew the Celts were going to be good after they signed up Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. They didn't play all that well in the early playoff rounds, dampening confidence and excitement a bit. But then they faced off against the hated L.A. Lakers -- and it felt like old times again. I was shocked about that. I was also shocked that they won it in 6 games -- and by 39 points in a final-game wipeout that took away some of the nail-biting drama. ... The second Pats championship was startling because the ending was so similar to the first Super Bowl win. Sort of.
5. Pats Third Super Bowl Win 2005 -- A variation of my very first reaction, "The Pats? A dynasty
? The Pats?"
6. Sox 2007 World Series Win -- I simply didn't care all that much. We had 2004. I was a fat and happy Sox fan as a result. 2007 was just icing on the cake.
Sal: Personification of the Hack-Progressive Alliance
doesn’t quite put it that way, but Sal DiMasi really is the personification of the Hack-Progressive Alliance running this state. I.e., Liberals putting up with a little “old-school politics” in exchange for old-school pols delivering the liberal goods. …
The unspoken toleration of "old-school politics" is ultimately what Sal was whining about outside the Federal Courthouse the other day, when he suggested how his good deeds over the years should have somehow factored into a final verdict in his corruption trial. … What’s wrong with a little hackerama as long as I delivered the progressive goods?
… That’s been the prevailing attitude on Beacon Hill for decades. Even after Sal's guilty verdict this week, Rep. Frank I. Smizik, a Brookline Democrat, was proclaiming
he has "never seen a better speaker" and questioning
whether Sal was treated fairly.
More on the Hack-Progessive Alliance here
'Bruins cement Boston as best sports town. Period.'
If you could Google hits based on what’s popping out of the mouths of New Englanders, “Tim Thomas” would top the charts.
His story is so completely blue-collar Beantown, you’d expect Dennis Lehane’s already hammering away on the book with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck negotiating for the film rights.
For starters, he wasn’t even supposed to be a starter. This was to be Tuukka Rask’s breakthrough season, but Thomas, now age 37, kept winning.
Of course, our winning teams also reflect the virility, poise, determination, dash, and loyalty of the Boston population base in general – something other cities across North America are in complete denial about. But we won’t get into that. ... Canada link via Brighton Reader.Update
-- Can't get enough of seeing the Stanley Cup in Boston? Check out this Herald video.
Just strolling down the street with the cup in a baby carriage. La dee da.
Another Boston champion
Congrats to the Stanley Cup champs Boston Bruins and, above all, to all the loyal Bruins fans out there. Hub Blog isn't a big hockey fan, but I have a lot of hockey-fan friends who have gone through a lot over the past 39 years. I'm happy for them. It was one hell of a series. The old-fashioned scrappy play of the Bruins was a joy to watch.Update
DiMasi: Guilty ... State House: Guilty
State House leaders are already issuing statements about how Sal's guilty verdict
shouldn't be seen as "how we do business in the Commonwealth" -- and any suggestion to the contrary would be a "slur" against public servants. Hmmm. Three of the last House speakers are now convicted felons. Two of them were recently honored
at the State House. They show up
regularly together in public. The Democratic-controlled House two years ago overwhelmingly re-elected Sal speaker, knowing full well he was in a heap of legal trouble. Etc., etc. And the public isn't expected to draw conclusions about the general conduct, mindset and attitude of legislative leaders and their members on Beacon Hill? Really
Why not just give financiers the keys to the country and Treasury?
This is a disturbing meeting
if true. It's bad enough that our financiers already have an outsized view of their role in capitalism. Now they're pow-wowing with the president of the United States right in the White House, as he tries to woo them before the election, hit them up for dough and get them on board with his economic policies. This article
rings truer by the day about the current state of Democrats. ...
Thank you, Dallas
Mavs beat the Heat
for the NBA Championship. I would have preferred a Celts win. But seeing Miami going down in flames was my minimum NBA threshold for satisfaction this season. ... And go Bruins!
It’s a Keynesianism smackdown!
They’re going at it over at Real Clear Markets
: Keynesianism, yes
, or Keynesianism, no
, definitely no
My own view is that Keynesianism policies are necessary when the economy needs to be stabilized in an emergency – but Keynesianism doesn’t produce actual growth. Supply-side policies are necessary when the economy needs a jolt and sustained growth – but Supply-side doesn’t work so well in emergencies like we saw in 2008.
Just saying. Again.
Not that anyone listens.
Getting European nations to defend themselves
The NYT unloads
on our dear, dear European allies. You know, the ones who never miss an opportunity to brag about their social programs (compared to the U.S.) and their more slow-paced lifestyle (compared to the U.S.) and their oh-so-cultured ways (compared to the U.S.) – all of which, btw, are ultimately protected and subsidized by you and I via our tax dollars going toward their defense. … The Times:
Decades of underinvestment, poor spending choices and complacent denial about new challenges have created what Mr. Gates called a “two-tiered alliance.” He is right that too many of (NATO’s) members limit themselves to “humanitarian, development, peacekeeping and talking tasks,” and too few are available for the combat missions the alliance as a whole has agreed to assume.
Andrew Cuomo goes after public pensions
Can we have some of this in Massachusetts?
I know Gov. Patrick has been chipping away at pension abuses. But Cuomo is about to whack away at them with an ax in New York.
Groupon: ‘The worst public investment ever’?
Someone had to say it.
… You gotta love a guy who can write: “Do you think I’m an asshole and completely wrong about your favorite daily deal site? Consider this.” … Maybe Groupon should have taken that earlier Google offer. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to be going up against both Google and Amazon. … Now watch Apple get into the daily-deal scramble too.
Jumping on every word, every comma …
I can recall how, when I was an adamant conservative ideologue in the ‘80s, I would gallantly and angrily jump on every sentence, every word, every comma muttered or written by a boneheaded ideological opponent. The opposite was true too – I’d gallantly and angrily defend every sentence, every word, every comma muttered or written by a boneheaded ideological ally.
and this post
remind me of those depressing days so long ago. …
Grand Rapids strikes back
Many of you have probably seen this Grand Rapids video
, but, if you haven’t, watch it. The video is the city of Grand Rapids’ official response to a Newsweek article calling Grand Rapids a “dying city.” Roger Ebert is praising
it as “the greatest music video ever made.” At first, I was dismissive. But after watching it for a few minutes, something hit me. Hint: There’s no splicing. Another thing hit me: Every person who participated in the video will probably get to brag for the rest of their lives that they were once part of something very special in Grand Rapids, a city that just proved it’s most definitely not dying.
Romney, conservatives and health-care mandates
Scott has a terrific column
this morning about how conservatives once backed the idea of requiring people to take out private medical insurance, as part of an effort to promote “personal responsibility” and to preserve a private-sector approach toward health care. Times have changed. And Romney’s paying for it.
BTW - What’s changed? It has a lot to do with the mindset of what I call “ideological partisans.” They may intellectually embrace an idea on sound principal. But such principals are thrown to the side if a perceived ideological-partisan opponent embraces it. Partisanship, which is ultimately a form of tribalism, usually trumps principal. ...
Personally, I like the mandates. It preserves private insurance, acts as a bulwark against a “single payer” health-care system, and provides for minimum universal health-care coverage.