Not a bad gig if you can get it
Congratulations to William ‘Mo’ Cowan for getting appointed
interim U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. Besides apparently being well regarded by both Gov. Romney and Gov. Patrick, he’s A.) Talented. B.) African-American.
B.) From out of state. D.) Not your typical born-and-bred Mass pol hack.*
From a purely competitive standpoint, the state economically
needs more diversity and more out-of-state people from all backgrounds remaining
here after college. Mo is a classic example of – not to mention a walking
advertisement for -- what the state needs moving forward. And, well, to be able
to be call yourself “Senator” for the rest of your life, I’m sure Mo is already
getting a tongue-in-cheek hoot out of it. … Myself, Hub Blog briefly fantasized
asking Gov. Patrick for the appointment, with a future memoir already in mind,
“I, Senator.” Magnanimously, I decided not to follow through on the idea.
* Though he seems to be a quick learner.
- Surprisingly mixed reactions
over at BMG. I see the negative aspects of this appointment. There would be negative aspects to any appointment. (Think: Barney Frank, interim U.S. senator.) But, c'mon, it's a temporary post. And who cares about the possible reactions of the anti-affirmative-action crowd? The positives outweigh the negatives.
The ultimate ‘I’m starting to get worried’ moment: Rondo’s out for season
I gotta confess,
I had two immediate reactions after learning Rondo is out for the season
, one reaction immediately following the other: 1.) Complete shock, as I realized the season
is probably over for the Celts. 2.) Strange calm, as I
thought, "Hmm. This should be interesting."
reaction is obvious. The second reaction is, well … they did beat the Heat last
night, without Rondo, and they have played well this season, without Rondo, and
they had sucked the previous six games, with Rondo, and … I know, I know. I’d rather have Rondo.
Period. But this team has simply been awful most of the season. I think Doc
and Danny had similar mixed reactions, based on what I’ve read and what Reader
No. 1 has flagged. From Reader No. 1: "
probably thought she'd be writing a Ray Allen story today, but takes us there
today for the unexpected backstory
of an unexpected win. Keen to see how
Doc's immediate reaction ('I still like our team') plays against
Danny's ('...I'm worried about that test')."
story. It’s a great behind-the-scenes look at how news of Rondo’s injury spread through TD Garden last night.
OK, now I’m starting to get worried, Part III
Celts lose six in a row.
… Is it reaching, or has it already
reached, total meltdown stage? There’s something profoundly wrong with the
chemistry of this team. They're almost as bad as the Sox were the past two seasons. Well, not that bad. But you know what I mean. ... Strangely, I have the feeling it has something to do
with Rondo's leadership style, or lack thereof, and yet I'm also beginning to question the once unthinkable: Is it Doc? Oh, what the hell. Let's blame Trader Danny. He was the preferred punching bag of choice before the Big Three era.
'This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen'
Gotta love it
: Hillary is just throwing it back at Republicans over Benghazi. She was definitely a little too flippant in her answer. But her frustration is justified. This is a classic group-think/echo-chamber issue among Republicans. So much so, that Sen. Rand Paul could actually mutter the following
to Clinton: "Ultimately, I think with your leaving, you accept culpability for the greatest tragedy since 9/11." ... The greatest tragedy since 9/11.
... Keep in mind Paul was an opponent of the Iraq War. You know, that other post-9/11 event in which thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died? Here's what Paul says about Iraq
: "Unlike Afghanistan, I would not have voted to go to war with Iraq, not only because there was no link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11, but because that country did not pose a threat to the United States." ... And we're supposed to take his Benghazi criticism seriously?
OK, now I’m starting to get worried, Part II
The Celts have now lost four straight.
The Avery Bradley
bounce is most definitely over
… I was
kind of counting on the Celts, post-Pats debacle, to carry me through the
winter. Not going to happen. Oh, well. I can always get my sports-entertainment fix via Katie interviews (see post below).
Manti Te’o and the College Sports Industrial Complex
A week or so ago, Hub Blog and a Notre Dame grad exchanged
brief text messages about the Manti Te’o falling-in-cyber-love
controversy. Initially, I was a little sympathetic toward Te’o, figuring that
he was only 21 and that I’ve seen my share of other weird sports sex stories
over the years. I was willing to cut him some slack, even if his behavior was
more than a little odd.
But here comes Te’o, getting the obligatory interview with Katie Couric
(was Oprah too busy
with Lance to handle a Te’o interview?) and … and
I’m now a little less sympathetic toward the ND linebacker. He’s obviously a
natural when it comes to playing football. But he’s also a natural when it come
to PR and publicity and putting out sappy and embellished media narratives
about his life, a talent that partially explains why he got in this mess in the
first place and a talent he’s surely counting on now to salvage his reputation.
I’m still willing to cut him a little slack. Hey, he’s only 21, and there are
entire businesses built around cyber-dating, kinky telephone sex, blow-up
rubber dolls, etc. But Te’o is obviously and fully committed to the entire
ethos of the modern College Sports Industrial Complex, i.e. making lot of money
via the “student athlete” combine, aka the NCAA, and its financial interaction
with the all-important, bill-paying media. This time, Te’o knows what he’s doing.
‘For the masochists among us …’
Reader No. 1 on
the Pats devastating loss yesterday to the Ravens:
masochists among us, here's Football Outsiders' realtime digest of yesterday's debacle.
And just to top it off, the detailed box score at ESPN, which includes these
- Longest Patriot
rush: 9 yards (Yes, I know Baltimore's longest was 14, that's not the point)
- Ray Lewis: 14
tackles, 6 solo. Vince Wilfork: 1 solo tackle
What happened to
the Patriots' energy and purpose? The no-huddle had no urgency throughout the
game. The body language on and off the sidelines was dreadful from mid-third
quarter onwards, as if the team had collectively realized it couldn't win. Credit to Reader No. 1's #1 for this
observation. Credit to the Ravens... time to go ice-fishing here.
What I had a hard
time believing was the open remarks by the TV people that: A.) The Ravens had
cracked the Pats’ audible codes and therefore B.) they were very confident going into
the game that they could contain the Pats’ no-huddle offense. And they certainly did
contain it. Did I hear that right? Does anyone know if they really cracked the audible codes? Is that widely known and accepted within sports-media circles? Looking at the article below
it seems the Pats' hurry-up edge is completely nullified if the defense can
out-communicate Brady et gang. And I seem to have read in the past that teams have broken the Pats' audible codes before. Jeez.
Is Deval Patrick already running for president?
Putting aside the
policy merits (and/or demerits) of Gov. Patrick's call for $1.9 billion in tax
increases, doesn't it strike you that there’s something else at work here? The
keeps popping up in in many press accounts of Patrick’s
tax plan, i.e., the governor apparently yearns to leave a liberal “legacy”
after his second and final term ends in two years. But there’s also persistent
reports he’s eyeing a run for president in 2016, as delusional as that may seem
to some, and this overall tax plan sure looks like a big sop to the Democratic
primary base, especially the $500 million boost in education funding. Teachers
love the plan and teachers are … Well, you know where that’s going.
part of his plan I get, and sort of agree with in broad policy terms, though I
despise the idea of raising Turnpike tolls to now effectively and openly pay
for transportation projects across the state. Saddling Turnpike users with huge
toll increases to pay for the Big Dig was bad enough. Now Turnpike users are going
to pay even more for other projects? It’s time to force others to start paying a similar share of the burden. Yet, despite that genuine concern, there’s little doubt our transportation infrastructure
is in awful shape and needs more revenue to fix it.
But the education
component of Patrick’s tax plan has seemingly come out of the blue. It looks
very suspicious as a result – and it reminds me of Mitt Romney lurching away
from the political center when he was eyeing a run for president while governor
last decade. Deval is merely lurching in the opposite political direction. He’s
pursuing a “legacy” all right. It might also be described as “laying the
groundwork” at the same time.