The Chimes at Midnight
Friday, April 17, 2015
So Jeb Bush is gonna give a speech
at Jerry Falwell's "Liberty University". I wonder if the students will be compelled to attend under threat of a fine as was the case when Ted Cruz came to speak? Hell why stop there? Mandate compulsory standing ovations, hissing and cheering on demand a'la The Supreme Soviet of the USSR in Stalin's Day. Well whatever the conditions I think we can safely discount any "Sista Soljah Moment" from Jeb, the Bush Family Go To with the religious right is to grovel (however reluctantly) first last and always.
The Gyrocopter Guy over the US Capitol...
Is probably going down for two felony counts so far. Congress and the Feds are united with respect to their ego, they hate being mocked....oh how they hate it. It pains me to write this, but stunts like this almost never work. All they do is afford movement conservatism another inflexible opportunity to rant and rave about law & order. And I write that as someone who admire's "The Postman" and his cleverness & his general views on campaign finance reform. DC has always been historically immune to clever street theatre especially when the wellsprings of their entirely legal graft are under discussion. No...the irony of democracy is, the political never earn anything while In Office, they are only schooled well and thoroughly when they are driven from power at the ballot box. And then their learning largely counts for nothing...like I said, ironic.
Thursday, April 16, 2015
On the 150th Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Assassination
its worth remembering that prior to being sworn into office in March of 1861, All Abe Lincoln ever asserted with respect to slavery (other than his personal disapproval of said institution) was that clearly congress had the authority to limit the spread of slavery with respect to the territories and the states formed thereof. AND THAT quaint mannered little constitutional argument was enough to wreck the union...for a while at least. And its also worth recalling that that in TODAY'S GOP, said argument would be soundly rebuffed by a phalanx of politicians and intellectuals who think in their heart of hearts Slavery Wasn't So Bad After All.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Well so far...
Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio have all piled into the race for the GOP Presidential Nomination, herein I provide an incomplete scorecard: Ted Cruz: In case you haven't heard, Ted is the intellectually gifted wingnut who graduated Harvard Law, something I sure everyone will be tired of hearing about within two months. Ted is otherwise the US Senator from Texas, glib, sarcastic & every bit as intellectually weird as Rick Perry...but he has the incalculable advantage of Not Being Stupid. He is however a product of the tea partei echo chamber and it remains to be seen how well he will do in terms of coalition building my guess is not very well at all. A good question of his political heft will be determined by whether or not he can force Rick Perry to pass on this race. My guess is no (You can't fix stupid after all) but it'll be a useful tip off all the same. Rand Paul: The United States Senator from Kentucky is a glamorous Libertarian Superstar who has a long history of fecklessly doublecrossing said principles whenever they came into the slightest conflict with The Religious Right. But then how else could he have been elected as a Republican from Kentucky. He can do this because the Ayn Rand Book Worshippers are simply too small a cohort compared to the larger more formidable constituency that is Xian Book Worshippers. Which does make Rand Paul possibly the most intellectually corrupt of the announced GOP contenders so far but there is plenty of capacity to set a new low given additional notional aspirants. Marco Rubio: The United States Senator from Florida is wildly popular in some vital electoral real estate, he is very very youthful looking whose record is notable chiefly for a notorious abject cave in on immigration reform a few years ago. Other than that, he has little on offer he is very young looking and if nominated would look all the world like a kid who had a crush on his teacher when debating say Hilary Clinton. He is however the Veep of Choice for say Scott Walker and it should be remembered that Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush with all his money and power and cronies couldn't keep Rubio out of this presidential cycle...which tells yuh something right there.
Thursday, April 09, 2015
The Little Jobber was found guilty yesterday...
I'm sort of amused to see Newspanic Seven mark out so hard for a verdict that was conceded as a foregone conclusion by the defense at the trial's outset. So now it's game on on the punishment phase of the trial...and again, I do not say this to inflame any passions but just as well if Dzhokar is executed. This is one of those cases where democratic society must prove itself stronger than the perpetrator and his evil and do it in a convincing forthright fashion. To allow Tsarnaev to ossify in prison is to invite his inclusion on notional lists of hostage-takers demands or else inspire the little bastard to write self justifying letters and essays from prison. I'm under no illusions that execution will deter any future terrorist acts but at the very least we can put a very clear and high price on all such acts in the future.
Wednesday, April 08, 2015
I got something I wanna get offa my chest...
Bear with me, likely I won't be too eloquent. The MBTA Commission Report (currently being leaked in dribs and drabs to the Boston Globe) reads like a public sector spine chiller from the Pioneer Institute. It's broadest parameters though (regardless of the very real managerial and workforce shortcomings of the MBTA) are simple and stark, the report is designed to pave the way for a decline in service at a higher price to the ridership. So far, the only revenue enhancement the report even addresses per all these leaks is price point, that mean you, me all of the straphangers out there will have to PAY MORE to sit stalled in the tunnels while the T's Jurassic switching system is conned into temporary functionality. That is what Charlie Baker (and our entirely silent representative's in the Great & General Court) has in store for us, "reform" that we ourselves are expected to underwrite. The hour has long passed for a "come to Jesus moment" and if the usual cuts and reforms ARE ALL the Admin has on offer then the only way remaining to force real change is for the ridership to enter into a short term alliance with the MBTA itself. We'd have to be clear eyed about it, no alliance can come about without some real changes within the MBTA's bureaucracy...but this is also likely the only way forward that doesn't not penalize the ridership for problems it has not created. Will it Happen? Likely it will not. But it's worth thinking about.
Monday, April 06, 2015
The Governor's Special Commission on the MBTA
has issued it's report and predictably the T's woes are all administrative in nature and rooted in "low productivity". There is also ominous mention of underpricing at MBTA parking garages and undervalued properties in general (TRANSLATION: Prices are about to go up!, Its gonna cost more to park in the same old crumbling ill maintained garage). Apparentally the debt structure of the MBTA (crafted by one Charlie Baker back when he was Bill Weld's Caporegime) is passed over in silence as well as the whole funding issue save some hints about fare increases. In short...YIPES! So now the cry will go up all over the State House "Reform Before Revenue", this is Mitt Romney's classic passive aggressive strategy that gives a comfy out to both the Legislature and the Executive Department, they can complain to their heart's content about their fave causes, do nothing righteously and go on as before not having done anything at all. Trust me this will be the ultimate outcome. And believe me it all works fine til the Red Line caves in or another eight feet of snow is dumped on Boston. I am absolving no one this issue, everyone's gonna have to give up something from the unions up to the management, the legislature and the governo...in order to fix the problem. But I am pretty much opining in vain here...our leaders are not listening...how to compel them to listen and to act, I cannot say. Perhaps events must take their course. Meanwhile I'm serious anyone hiring in Arlington???