Friday, March 24, 2017

A Lot Rides on the House Vote Today...

Paul Ryan's ego and reputation for one thing, if he cannot leverage Trumpcare Bill to Passage then he looks like an impotent schnook after years and years of big talk about "repeal and replace".
If it passes though, (and passage in the Senate still sounds doubtful) Congress will be willfully creating a native class of lumpen unisured "refugees" and if that doesn't spark some form of mass consciousness at the polls then this country is surely doomed.
If it doesn't pass then we are faced with a far more dangerous and ambiguous situation (those two words are the very crux of "Brand Trump"), a brutish hostile US Congress and President are compelled to administer a law they've sworn up and down to repeal....I doubt the administration will waste any time to make sure the ACA is badly enforced and a burden in extremis to all and sundry.
Under those circumstances repeal is oddly enough the better option for Us Liberals, we can then self transition completely to the "single payer" option (the same one all of Congress Has to this day) having tried a private sector centric approach.
Keeping ACA on the books yet badly administered muddies the waters policy wise, I am assuming here that no matter what healthcare is going to become a very controversial issue over the intermediate terms costs and burdens will rise services will be restricted.
On the other hand it'll just be fun to watch Ryan try to spin an abject defeat today....he has it coming to him believe me.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

London...

Terrorists are a classic contradiction, the successful practitioners all adapt seamlessly to the very societies they are so desperate to disrupt & destroy.  They can identify "soft targets" with malignantly shrewd insight and secure such weaponry as said society makes available to them. That and they have the secrecy mania and advantage of surprise, and that in turn works best of all if this is a one-off lone wolf style attack.  If something like today's tragedy had gone down in the USA the perp would've had easily some large magazine'd carbine or a pistol with a similar capability....again its a question of the weapons easiest to procure and this time it was a hunting knife and a fast car.
Attacks like this are gonna become the norm, low tech one off murderous actors, largely trained on line in a sort of "homicidal MOOC", mass action on hard targets seems largely denied these people so the action gets automatically exported to the streets where determined self destructive recruits can rack up a few casualties and seize the headlines.
In some ways its a confession of sheer impotence, a well programmed hidden asset largely wasted in bloodthirsty street theatre...but I'm sure the news media will see it all very differently.

My Heart Goes Out to the Victims...As Always.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Predictably...

Charlie Baker and the MBTA backed down from their scheme last week to shut down the Commuter Rail on Weekends. I think it's hilarious that the Boston Globe was able to cite a ridership of some ten thousand every weekend, a simple statistic that somehow eluded our spreadsheet worshipping Governor.
But this is the new normal count on it, Baker and his handpicked Financial Board are gonna constantly be on the prowl for new ways to cut services and reliability while forcing the ridership to pay more...outrage saved us this time, the next instance though, maybe not so much.
Which just tells me what a "Big Sneak" (as my white haired old Irish Mother would say) the current Governor truly is, he hasn't got a plan he dares enunciate without strong opposition so he goes around in the dead of night looking to chisel off a piece here and there.
Its a lot of things, but it is Not Leadership....

Monday, March 20, 2017

Does Anyone Out There Think....

Deutsches Chancellor Angela Merkel had a good summit in DC this week? Trump basically called her a mark for refugees and terrorists on the campaign trail and a military moocher to her face. He wouldn't even shake hands with her...churlishness indeed.
I suspect that Snub may pay Merkel some short term electoral dividends going forward...at the same time she does need him erect and nominally functioning at the EU Economic Summit in July although based on last week's performance she might be conjuring with finding a pretext to delay the whole mishaugas.
Experiencing Trump's unreliability up front must be giving Merkel second thoughts about that much rumored proposal out of Poland to arm the EU with it's own nuclear deterrent.  Thats a lot of political and diplomatic ground to cover but after this summit its must look like a better bet for the buck with an erratic aggrieved US President presiding over NATO. A lot depends on the outcome of the French Presidential Election next month (Merkel would have to come to an agreement with nuclear armed France to "subcontract" a nuclear umbrella for the EU AND security post Brexit England's tacit connivance as well) as well as German's Federal Elections this Fall.  Hell Paris and Berlin could be in the hands of angry populist irredentists come the fall....or a collection of deeply offended integrationists with aspirations of nuclear independence....

AM I the only person in Massachusetts

that is plainly astonished at the revelation that the MBTA and Charlie Baker's Financial Board thereof, has no means whatsoever to estimate the ridership on the commuter rails on weekends???  I thought this was "Governor Spreadsheets" we are talking about??  This is his managerial genius at work? If so gimme back the ineptoid antics of Jane "Jingle Money" Swift.
Ah but I think we all know what is really going on here, its not that the Governor et al, can't estimate weekend commuter rail ridership, its that they don't want to....since the real goal is to shut down said branch of Public Transport as a cost saving measure.
Which largely forfills the predicition I made two years ago, that Baker's stewardship of the MBTA means higher prices for lesser service...and right here and now, we are getting that fabled decrease in service.
So I am in turn forced to reiterate my original notion is that the only way the ridership (the MBTA's much abused constituens) can get control of this situation is to get into some sort of a defacto alliance with the Carmen's Union. Yeah I know its a forlorn hope but it's likely the only short term solution that leaves all of use forced to pay more for less deliverables.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Anyone notice

that via the public prints in Today's Globe, that Jeff Jacoby puts on a Fetish Mask and dances ecstatically around a shopworn stone idol he called "Free Market Healthcare"?
Has Jeff's Rabbi ever taken him aside and discussed the columnist's routine disdain for The First Commandment whenever he starts groveling and venerating this False God Called "The Free Market"....serious book worshippers would call it blasphemy, I'm sufficiently broadminded to call it sickening (no pun intended).

Friday, March 17, 2017

Thought while shaving....

Lynda Carter (star of stage and screen and when she wasn't Wonder Woman, Ms. Carter probably longed to be Cher) could go up to New Hampshire in about 18 months, proclaim herself "a petitioning centrist democrat" promise all and sundry a balanced budget with no new taxes or tapping social security, & likely be in the top three poll-wise before she even rents her storefront on Elm Street Manchester.
And for this degraded state of politics where mere name recognition is necessary to start at the top of the game, we can thank Donald Trump.
As for Carter, again thanks to Trump she doesn't need to prove herself in any other office she can just start up with the tweeting and be off to the races. Believe me, on paper she looks great, she used to be a GOP stalwart (she can utter that bromide "I didn't leave the GOP, it left me" with unctuous sincerity I am sure), an actress a TV pitchwoman, her second marriage is rock solid and her kids decorously photogenic.
On the other hand, Occam's Razor strongly suggests that Trump's Presidency will either end in a series of mushroom clouds or else abject failure and perhaps the current vogue for populist celebrity politics will have crested and waned.
But I was Lynda Carter I'd make a few quiet phone calls, ya never know....Just don't hire John Podesta.