The Chimes at Midnight
Friday, June 27, 2003
Bulgers and Bulgerism
So Governor Romney wants Billy Bulger deposed from his lofty eminence as President of Umass?
Because toppling any member of the Bulger family makes him look good to those teeming suburban voters who lu-uv Romney so much.
Whitey is on the lam, so Billy is the only Bulger within the Governor's reach.
It's ironic when you consider Bulger's social conservatism and his notorious political bonhomie with former Governor Weld.
I mean ultimately Billy is a republican appointee....chumminess with GOP Governors was a hallmark of his Senate Presidency.
Alas, these are ruthless time even for shifty footlings like Mitt Romney . Bulger's scalp on Willard's belt means much wampum when it comes time to run for the U.S. Senate, President, or Viceroy of the Planet Kolob.
What is Billy Bulger guilty of?
Being a trimmer, chiseler, a bully, and having a monster for a brother.
So far that is pretty small beers in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts....
Now as I've said before, I don't think Billy Bulger is worth the powder necessary to blow him to hell.
However his removal from office is ultimately a function of the Board of Trustees or the State Legislature and neither seem disposed to dump the Former Senate President.
That having been said I remember with the simplest nostalgia the doomed gubernatorial campaign of 1994 wherein a bankrupt Mark Roosevelt got cut dead by Billy and other senior machine democrats in this state.
And if they cut Roosevelt dead well, they cut me dead as well because I did my damnedest in my precinct for the straight democratic ticket.
Just as I always do.
Let us face it, Billy Bulger laughs at the efforts of people like me.
While I was getting snubbed at the polls, disparaged, and mocked, Billy was mixin' em' up strong with his pal Bill Weld promising the republican governor a easy romp to re-election.
It was same in 1998 and a virtual re-run in campaign 2002...either Bulger or the Bulgerists in the State Legislature cut us dead on election day.
What did Finneran call Harshbarger back in 1998?
A "loony leftist"?
Ghod how Billy must've laughed at that one!
Of course more than a few big time dems have flown to Billy's defense, notably Senators Kennedy and Kerry.
Granted they've got a different agenda here, and I accept that, however I would remind Teddy and Johnnie that their pal Billy would sell them both out for a carton of cigarettes under the right circumstances.
Because lords knows he has been selling me and mine out for ten solid years now with no end in sight.
Thursday, June 26, 2003
Towards a Marxist reconfiguration of "The Hulk"
The crisis of the American intelligentsia, the crisis of modern capitalism, crisis of American military adventurism are concentrated nay amplified by one current movie: "The Incredible Hulk"!
Consider Bruce Banner, typical tightly wound knowledge-worker, politically and economically he is a stalwart member of the fast disintergrating petit-bourgeois.
Yet Banner is still vital to the regime as a scientist thus a considerable amount of effort is spent by the military (General Ross) and Glen Talbot (monopoly capitalism) in keeping him oppressed and "on schedule".
Banner resents this treatment but cannot confront his socioeconomic superiors as his thinking is clouded by absurd reductionist notions of scholasticism.
His girlfriend Betty Ross (also a scientist) fruitlessly tries to create a emotional safe haven for herself and Banner apart from the larger implications of class conflict.
Catastrophe strikes when Banner is blasted with gamma radiation thus turning him into a green superhuman behemoth cursed with substandard intelligence. His transformation into "The Hulk" is supposedly induced Jekyll and Hyde like by Banner's omnipresent rage-a manipulative symbol of bourgeois psychiatrism.
More accurately the beast is an externalization of the protagonist's false consciousness-striking out a individuals instead of using his strength on behalf of the historically inevitable progressive social forces.
The film ends on a note of treacly sentiment, the Hulk destroys an array of glittering U.S. Army toys and then escapes to South America where with typical arid egalitarianism he acts as a doctor to poor peasants.
At no point in the film does any notion of dialectical materialism intrude on the dramatic process.
Therefore the film should be burned and the actors sent to a labor camp for an indefinite period.
KIDDING I'M KIDDING!!!
I believe not a word of the above, but the actual film proved so boring that I took to day dreaming as it droned on and on and on.
Still it was the first decent night at the drive in for several weeks now...and beggars can't be choosers.
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
Time in thy flight....
Love him or loath him, Al Gore is occasionally animated by a solid idea.
Even as I write this he is flogging an idea 'round the mediaverse for a cable channel for liberal/democratic viewers.
It is ironic that Al Gore is attacking the conservative media establishment given his centrist democrat bona fides.
Geez you'd think he was mad or something at Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, with their seemingly endless Savages, Hannitys, O'Reillys, Ingrahams, etc etc etc...
Or maybe Gore has realized that if a moderate such as himself can come in for such flagrant abuse a dyed in the wool liberal will get picked clean in today's environment.
Al's other good idea was to decline an interview with Time Magazine in regards to this notional network.
Time seems to have simply shrugged and gone ahead with the usual hopelessly inane profile written in that shrill patronizing middle school tone that the indispensable newsweekly so loves.
But it's a hollow little article without Al there to put his head on the chopping block.
Oh Time tried...echoing Jeff Jacoby's agitprop line to the effect that the left "lacks new and coherent ideas".
That is a baseless canard worth a whole paragraph these days.
News flash to the above mentioned news media, when I want ideas from the left, I WON'T look for them in the pages of Time Magazine or one of Jeff Jacoby's columns!!!
Yup good for Al...say nothing until you've got that bear trap well oiled with it's teeth properly sharpened.
And Mr. Vice President, if you need any help setting that bear trap drop me a note....
Monday, June 23, 2003
While our troops in Iraq are getting shot or killed...
at the rate of one per day....our President bravely mounts the steps of Air Force One and goes tear-assing from state to state raising money for his own re-election campaign in 2004.
"We will have more money than God" or so one senior administration official blasphemed to Time Magazine.
Having emptied the U.S. Treasury via "tax cuts" over the last three years Bush now feels he can call in his I.O.U.'s with impunity.
And why not? He has put over 200 billion dollars into the pockets of the richest of the idle rich in America...they in turn will return a about a third of a billion dollars to him in the form of political donations.
What is that a ninety percent return on the investment in just four years?
That 300 million dollars will allow Bush to flood the airwaves with soporific images celebrating his rugged manliness and martial virtues...
Like Lucky Luciano, Bush survives and prospers because he makes money for his partners...not as an oilman or as a baseball team owner, but as the overclass' paid agent in the White House.
I don't like to frame the argument in the form of class conflict, but the metaphor in inescapable when 200 billion dollars is being thrown around so lavishly in the lead up to a National Election.
So in effect, Bush is taxing his own supporters for the real operating costs of his own presidency.
Friday, June 20, 2003
I was just thinking...
Anne Coulter must think if she can just throw a big enough tantrum, long enough, and more importantly loud enough she will "hulk out" a huge muscular liberal crushing behemoth.
That is the core of her politics....the primal transformative scream.
Speaking of the "Hulk" I'm sick of that green galoot already and the movie only opened today.
Won't stop me from seeing it at the Drive In tonight...weather permitting.
John Kerry is the man.
He just is.
A penniless divorcee' and a U.S. Senator back in the 1980's , yet he STILL managed to date Morgan Fairchild in style.
Billy Bulger should resign...if he gets out maybe he'll take that freeloading jack off Howie Carr down with him.
THAT would be singular parting service to the Commonwealth.
Tim Russert has it wrong as usual...he was on Imus today talking up the lack of any recovered Iraqi WMD's. He opined in tones pontifical yet smarmy that this might create a credibility problem for the President. The President has had a credibility problem since the day he seized power, it has not inhibited his freedom of action one bit. It is the likes of Tim Russert who have a credibility is damaged by those missing/nonexistent WMDs.
Not that will inhibit HIS freedom of action either.
Tom Reilly wants to run for Governor. Hence his eagerness to share the spotlight if and when Billy Bulger resigns.
Good bleeping luck to the Attorney General, two other democrats with statewide portfolios have down to defeat in 1998 and 2002 respectively.
Nope frankly we need someone new and disconnected to the State Government if we wanna win in 2006.
The Tri-Town Drive In in Lunenberg Mass. has the biggest damn outdoor screen in the Commonwealth period...all decent citizens should patronize a drive in this summer. I mean look at these crapulous films we are faced with, you may as well give your money to some local independent exhibitor if you must sit through Ben Affleck in "Daredevil".
Geez that Bill Goldberg is fast on his feet....I still wanna see him pound Rick Flair into the ground like a tent peg.
THAT would be serious mark out moment, Flair would sell it like water in drought...getting down on both knees to beg, then looms Goldberg and then...the spear!
Thursday, June 19, 2003
With liberals like Tom Friedman on the job, George Bush can look forward to a kingly crown with equanimity.
Yup yew guessed, chirpy, naive', easily duped Tom Friedman Pulitzer Prize winning columnist was on the Imus in the Morning Program.
He was hyperventilating ad nauseam on the subject of "bursting the terrorism bubble" in the Middle East. Tom doesn't spare the free market slang when it comes to yelping like a scalded dog in defense of Bush's Iraq policy.
I give him credit though, he is honest.
Friedman asserted that deposing Saddam was necessary solely to send a message to other terrorist sponsoring regimes in the region nothin' more nothin' less. That and a tour of the front in April was enough to seal in Friedman as a prime mark out for the conquest of Iraq.
He then lists all the alleged non-elites to "get this" among them the plain folk of America, and the U.S. Forces now occupying Iraq.
Now in the later part of that unremarkable realist argument, Friedman does come perilously close to argument that we attacked Iraq because the Army somehow wanted it.
Which is when his terminal case of cognitive dissonance kicks in and Friedman starts ripping up Israeli actions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In a voice throbbing with ersatz emotion Tom worries that three years of atrocity and counter atrocity have wrought a "fundamental sociological change" among the Palestinians".
Where is this bleeding heart concern for the civilians of Iraq who, when they are not shooting at our soldiers are living in a Hobbesian state of lawlessness which the White House has dubbed "freedom"?
It is pretty clear to me that Friedman thinks it okay for the U.S. to jack up Iraq but somehow it harms the peace process when the I.D.F. goes tearing through the West Bank looking for potential suicide bombers.
He still thinks the Palestinian Authority can somehow reign the militants in...as I said yesterday if the best infantry in the world can't stop the Intifada then what are a bunch of ill armed policemen supposed to do?
His answer is perfectly chilling and perfectly delusional "both sides need a civil war" the Palestinians against Hamas et al and the Israelis against the settlers....
Well fine that might look like splendid Aristotelean logic on paper but the reality is, Hamas would probably WIN that fight (unless U.S. Troops intervened and even then) whilst the settlers would flee in a heartbeat if it looked like they might have to fend for themselves.
If that is the outcome, then what do you have?
Nothing....but it all looks brainy and well thought out if you are a New York Times columnist.
Such is the Kingdom of Heaven
On the Congressionally licensed public airwaves
7:50 AM EST
The following pundits have publicly stated they have not read Hillary Rodham Clinton's new memoir "Living History".
Nonetheless they have weighed in on the matter, mostly in the negative.
No doubt this list will grow longer and will be updated at some point.
Well despite the fact that the DC Punditariat is dominated by illiterates the book is still doing well on the New York Times best seller list and Amazon.com
So somebody in America still knows how to read.
Wednesday, June 18, 2003
Jeff Greenfield hasn't yet read Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's new memoir.
He hasn't got time or so he told Don Imus this morning, what with his step daughter getting married and the Yankees game and etc etc etc.
Here he joins an ever lengthening list of elite members of the DC Press Corpse who have not read "Living History".
At this point we could draw up a list and some serious elite journalists would be on it.
Just as well, most of these yobs never got her story right.
They've falsely accused her of crimes she didn't commit, or else affected a phoney world weary air whenever her name came up in conversation.
Because that is what Jeff Greenfield did and lord knows he set the standard for the right hustling attitude in DC.
Otherwise Jeff is feeling "terrific" (per his call in to Imus today) certainly he was at his most lugubriously pontifical for the balance of the discussion.
I love the fact that NOW, with American soldiers getting shot at every day in "post war" Iraq, Greenfield calls for a full and measured investigation into the faulty WMD intelligence that sparked our invasion of that benighted country.
Where the hell was this kind of somber judiciousness before the war?
Nowhere to be seen insofar as Greenfield's Imus-in the-Morning appearances.
Hell, he was bowled over by the evidence two months ago!
NOW, he wants to talk about the Niger Forgery....
It's readily apparent that Jeff Greenfield's agenda is not limited to simply becoming another pundit or op-ed stalwart. No, he is desperate to enroll himself among the small pantheon of American Public Intellectuals like Walter Lippman.
Patronizing and orotund he talks on and on about investigations that'll never happen because of our 24-7 media culture (his favorite straw man by far) or some other inane reason.
Jeff has no interest in any recovery of the facts, he just wants to sound interested with the proper gravitas.
The funny thing about Jeff's hero Walter Lippman, he was the first modern pundit and largely a self selected one at that. He always sounded authoritative because he was good at fitting the facts to suit his own belief system...do that well and you and sound like an expert on anything.
It's just sad when you realize that our Jeff thinks a measure of disingenuousness is the crowning touch that'll seal the
Such is the Kingdom of Heaven
On the Congressionally Licensed airwaves
Is there a bigger more hopeless imbecile in the U.S. Senate than John Warner (R. Va.)???
According to John Conason this stupid preening collie-dog of a man got off the plane in Kabul and was astonished to find French military officers training the new Afgan army recruits.
And this is the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee!!!!
Handsome John Warner (Ole Virginny's answer to George Clooney) has been seemingly o.d-ing on stupid pills for a while now.
Last week he was shilling for the introduction of U.S. troops in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to impose some peace on those fractious areas.
A dumber and more dangerous idea hasn't been bruited about since the salad days of the so called "balanced budget amendment" to the constitution.
Never mind the fact that if the I.D.F. (possibly the free world's finest infantry) can't impose order what chance do U.S. troops have??
I mean, forget about our dubious record of nation building and just concentrate on the fact the curtain is going up on our version of the West Bank in Iraq!
The notion might be debatable as part of a comprehensive final settlement of the region's diplomatic issues, but deploying the U.S. Army to shore up the unacceptable local political status quo ought to be repellant to any clear thinking American.
Not to Senator Warner though, dubious ideas like this are his stock in trade, like his beloved Commander in Chief he has never been one to say nay to a bad idea.
And yet he is one of the men with the whip hand right now...a member in good standing of GWB's Senate cheerleading squad, a ghastly collection of creeps, hacks, and toadies that include Rick Santorum, Orrin Hatch and the National Cat Torturer Bill Frist.
The one thing that unites these guys is they will NEVER let any daylight get between them and the President no matter how crude, stupid, jingoistic, and craven they may have to sound.
Now why they must carry on in this fashion I do not know.
With the possible exception of Santorum they call hail from uncommonly safe seats for the GOP, hell Orrin Hatch advocate selling Alaska back to the Russians sans consequences.
But just mention they name George Bush Junior on the Imus program (or Meet the Press or whatever) and watch these poor wretches practically soil themselves in a compulsive bid to ingratiate themselves with the President.
Tuesday, June 17, 2003
Howard Fineman on Imus today...
Newsweek's double dipping doyen was back on the Imus in the Morning program today.
True to form Howard was in one of his unpredictably cheerful moods calling the 2004 presumptive democratic nominee "that sucker" with relish.
Fineman (like all media whores) has a child-like respect for the power of money, and since GWB is bidding on a campaign war chest of 250 million dollars then that accounts for the awed tone in the "journalist's" voice.
Elections it seems are decided by fundraising, or so Dr. Fineman says.
There he is wrong it is the raw worship of the DC Press Corpse that is ignited by fundraising.
Just the thought of all that money gives Fineman, Kurtz, Russert etc the bed spins.
Howard even did some kewl kid snarking by insisting the White House is panting to run against a cardboard liberal caricature of Governor Howard Dean. Here the Newsweek columnist adopted a studied bored and patronizing tone that betrayed a none too subtle contempt for democracy.
But what the hell else is new?
I especially loved it when Fineman tried to make a case that Vermont Governors "don't have much to do".
Which is a bit of a slur on the Green Mountain State don'cha think?
I mean the Governorship of Vermont is a 24-7 burden compared to the free time enjoyed by the lightly loaded Governor of Texas....
Wa-al so what else is new?
Oh...the conversation swung around to Hillary Clinton's new memoir (the one that is selling like hotcakes) which Fineman derided as "propaganda" (coming from him, this was nothing short of laugh out load hilarious).
However with the unctuous vulgarity of a true media whore, Fineman and wife are still attending a reception in HRC's honor tonight
He made that much clear.
I hope he gets mean drunk and has a humiliating public fight with his wife....the thought of the two of them screaming oaths at each other whilst Hillary looks on smiling is just too delicious for words.
Such is the Kingdom of Heaven
On the Congressionally Licensed Airwaves
Monday, June 16, 2003
Fodder's Day at Bah Hahbah....
urely everyone saw the President tumble @ss over teakettle off the Segway last week?
It was in all the papers...too dumb to press the "on" button was the verdict down on the loading dock.
Father's Day gifts like that put mind of Chuck Jones' classic "A Bear for Punishment" cartoon...y' know with humongous "Junyer Bear" blithely filling up his father's pipe with gunpowder.
And there he was President "Junyer Bear" ("duh...age six") falling flat on his pudgy punim with hilarious regularity.
Anyone else think that this was a depressingly familiar scene to the ex-President, our incumbent's father?
You can just tell from Bush Sr.'s tight indulgent waspy smile that he's seen Junyer take similar falls off of two wheel bikes, snowmobiles, speedboats, unicycles, clydesdale horses etc etc etc...
All accompanied by the usual excruciatingly exuberant yells " Lookit me Dad, I taught myself how to...WHAM!!!!"
Poor guy, you just know he has been watching Junyer take this humiliating pratfalls for nigh on fifty years now with no end in sight.
Fortunately he has that pained look of forbearance down pat.
....What up and coming radio talk show tyrant used to exchanged sweetly worded notes with the emphatically gay Allen Ginsberg?
Veteran observers of the industry are reeling in shock from letters (archived at Stanford University) which wallow in the joys of same sex hand kissing as well as "lower east side finger tricks".
Humble John just wants to know, did our super reactionary hero ever say it with flowers?.......
Friday, June 13, 2003
Is Ben Bradlee senile?
Harsh opening I know, but after listening to his rambling incoherent appearance on Imus this morning the question is suddenly sadly relevant.
Maybe it was too early in the morning for the famously ubiquitous former Washington Post Editor.
That would be the charitable explanation.
I say a kind of common Washington dry rot has taken up stately residence in Ben's frontal lobes.
I'm just confrontational that way I guess....
For about five whole minutes of precious congressionally licensed FCC-approved airtime, Ben couldn't keep straight whether Jayson Blair was under discussion or his own Pulitzer Prize winning plagiarist, Janet Cook.
Committed journaphiles will recall that Ms. Cook, a reporter for Bradlee's Washington Post, concocted a phoney eight year old heroin addict for a story that won the Pulitzer Prize.
Bradlee was contrite when the whole thing got blown wide open, donned sackcloth and ashes and make with the penitent act.
He kept his job in the end.
Eventually though, the I-Man and Bradlee got off all this historic misery and segued into a predictably patronizing assault on Hillary Clinton's new book.
Guffawing like a Harvard Undergrad who just go his fake ID past the bouncers at the Hong Kong, Ben cast jolly manly aspersions as to Mrs. Clinton's truthfulness. Apparently he thinks she knew all about Monica Lewinsky wa-ay before Bill actually told her....thus her "shock"in the book is a big put on.
That of course somehow makes her a liar....and we all know what the DC Press Corpse thinks of liars.
If I was Ben Bradlee and in possession of all my critical faculties, I'd keep my pie hole shut about who-knew-what when.
In his own memoirs "A Good Life: Newspapering and Other Adventures" Ben is "shocked" to discover his manly pal President Kennedy carried on a long term extra marital affair with Bradlee's own sister in law.
Bradlee started out as JFK's next door neighbor in Georgetown and there was little political gossip he didn't share with his famously ambitious friend.
Seems pretty dubious to me that such a relentlessly plugged in DC newsman wouldn't know about this...more than likely Bradlee kept it quiet to save his wife's dignity etc etc etc....
I doubt I'm gonna read Mrs. Clinton's book...but then Bradlee freely admitted this morning he hadn't read it either.
Nonetheless this didn't stop him from regurgitating the media whore line on Mrs. Clinton's memoirs with remarkable alacrity...hell I guess his senescence just mysteriously stops when the Clinton family is under discussion.
Thursday, June 12, 2003
Rain, wind damp, politics
The weather is perfectly miserable up here in Massachusetts in case anyone was wondering.
Cold, wet, raining, evocative of London sans the scenery.
Mark Twain once said something about hardy new englanders lynching local poets who dare devote lyrics to the beauties of Springtime in the Land of the Pilgrims.
At least the students are gone though, one can now find on-street parking in Kenmore Square again.
Oh and Joan Vennochi, a poor naif' that the Boston Globe is trying to pass off as a sassy streetwise columnist has marked out hard for Romney on today's op-ed page.
So all in all the weather and the political conditions are marching in lockstep these days.
And that damn Romney-Healey billboard is STILL brooding over Fresh Pond like a threat...ghod when will these people ever give it up and just take the damn thing down???
It smacks of ego and hubris.
Mitt is riding high now, everyone thinks he has tapped into the limitless reserves of the independent suburban voters...and who knows maybe he has.
I dunno though, I have a funny feeling that Finneran and Travaglini have got Romney sussed.
His reform package got the circular file last week without so much as a backward glance. Predictably the Governor threatened to veto legislative pay raises and promised to campaign in 2004 for more GOP senators and reps.
Which is naught but the usual bluster Trav and Finn have heard before from two other governors. Hell their districts are safe they can afford to lose ten seats apiece with no threat to their hegemony.
All this does indicate that the governor is impatient and thin skinned.
I think their strategy might be one of passive aggression, wear Romney down to the point where he either has to accept enhanced revenues (always the cup of hemlock for today's rigid conservative ideologues) or he begins to pine for a cabinet position.
Either way it forces Mitt to go back on one of his solemn campaign promises.
After all what does Willard really have to look forward to?
Two three four or more sessions like the last one?
Sooner or later his tycoon's impatience will take over and he'll start looking for a nice cushy Federal appointment.
If I were him I'd think twice, La Famiglia Arbusto are a famously one-way bunch, you do for them, they won't do much for you.
Which of course, leaves us with Kerry Healey an obscure pedant and housewife from Beverly as our Governor-prithely known to the local GOP as "Swift-lite".
Think about that...
Wednesday, June 11, 2003
And moreso because I'm the last to know....:)
Sidney Blumenthal's book "The Clinton Wars" is reviewed in the current Atlantic Monthly by
I mean what are the odds on something like that?
I mean not for nothing but Chris IS dismissed as a petty, tyrannical,jealous, ignorant, social climbing hack in that abovementioned volume.
D'ye think that might color Mr. Hitchens' critical faculties?
In way it doesn't...anyone else could've written Blumenthal's book and probably come in for the usual pasting from Hitchens.
Independent apologists for the narcissistic cult of modern conservatism never change in that regard.
Ultimately this affair d' Hitchens simply exposes The Atlantic Monthly's barefaced interests in the matter for all to see.
I mean presumably hiring Galleazzo Ciano to review Haile Selassie's new book sorta tells you something right off.
Well...I should actually read the review or else bite the bullet and simply stop reading the Atlantic Monthy.
Come Nineveh, Come Tyre version 2.0
Word is from DC, that Tom Delay is up to his mandibles in a nasty little corruption scandal.
It seems a Kansas Company Westar Energy forked over some 56,000 smackers to various Delay approved GOP congressional campaigns in return for some favorable legislation.
The front page of the June Sixth Washington Post lays out a very credible series of events that at the very least ought to be referred to the committee on standards of official conduct.
Don't accept any contribution that is linked to any official action, past or prospective.
It would seem the Rep. Delay played fast and loose with the above quoted admonition which is a cut-and-paste job from off the Ethics Committee's very public website.
Now, if this was old Tom Foley selling off the laws of the land at chump change prices you can bet that obnoxious little snitch Newt Gingrich woulda gone crying to the Ethics Committee in a New York Minute.
Hell I heard that in his palmy opposition days Newt kept the ethics committee phone number on speed dial and was known to file a complaint if Jim Wright couldn't produce a receipt for the zagnut bar in his pocket!
Newt will go down in history as a vicious skank who imported a pimp's self righteous attitude to national politics.
So we can thank him for making the adjudication of potential congressional ethics violations another venue for ideological warfare.
So why isn't anyone on the Hill investigating these allegations? Isn't selling policy is a profoundly corrupt act that taints ALL of congress in one go?
Well this IS Tom Delay we are talking about a demagogic vengeful power hungry nut who reminds me of Allen Drury's "Senator Fred Van Ackerman" character in the "Advise and Consent" series.
He is apt to get a mite touchy if someone stood up and called him a corruptard and a sellout.
You know Delay doesn't get away with outrages like this cuz' he is so unbeatably tough (I mean who really is in this life save true behemoths like the Mighty Goldberg?)...no Delay runs amok because his opposition refuses to confront and obstruct his rampages.
It is as simple as that....vice is promulgated primary because of virtue's torpidity.
You'd think someone from a safe seat like say Rep. Ed Markey or Barney Frank would raise some hell about this.
Nancy Pelosi is never going to be the first female Speaker of the House unless someone is willing to start conducting a little free lance ideological warfare on Capitol Hill.
Think about that...
Tuesday, June 10, 2003
Still no sign of any....
weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Apparently those 18-wheelers the Admin was hyping as "mobile biowarfare labs" have curious unhygienic canvass sides to them.
But the hunt goes on and on and on... the matter is looking acutely embarrassing for all concerned.
Especially Dick Cheney who snarled this into the microphones at a V.F.W. convention last summer: "Simply stated, there's no doubt that [Iraqi President] Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction."
Gosh but we don't seem to hear such truculent sentiments these days do we? No the President is reduced to bleating that Iraq had a "weapons of mass destruction program". Which is different than actually having WMD of the forbidden type.
It's beginning to look like some one hundred and sixty soldiers of this republic perished to enforce U.N. sanctions and mandates that had the compliance of Iraq.
Either that or they all died to give George Bush an excuse to fly out to the deck of an Aircraft Carrier like a grinning Mongoloid and collect the servile praise of the Washington Press Corpse.
One note...has there ever been a President in recent memory with such a ravenous appetite for the approval and abject flattery of the punditariat?
That humorless executioner's grin the President affected on the flight deck of the Abraham Lincoln was born of the sure knowledge that everyone from Chris Matthews to Don Imus would be loving this the next day.
And so they did raving on and on like twelve year old boys who just snuck into "True Lies" or something.
Now to some people who project vast power and malevolence onto Bush Jr. this is a signifier of a imperial personality at full flood.
For me though, it implies a certain repulsive neediness...."love me cuz I'm strong" is always a tip off that someone is riddled with insecurities.
Monday, June 09, 2003
What does Chris Matthews want?
Going by his call in to Imus today, I'd say he's desperate in a really sad obsessive way for one more go at Hillary Clinton.
He is like a hyena who needs to work over that antelope carcass one more time no matter how bad the smell or how many vultures are pecking away at it.
Hillary has a set of memoirs out in other words and this is intolerable to the Host of " Hardball".
Chris is a special case for Humble JohnIAT, you see he started out as an aide to my late lamented congressman Tip O'Neill Jr. Speaker of the House and apex predator par excellence.
I miss the guy, OH how I miss congressman O'Neill....
And having given Chris his first serious job in DC, it's looking more and more like the voluble talk show tyrant is Speaker Tip's unwitting legacy for the ages.
Perhaps that is why Chris was giggling like the Joker from the git-go this morning-the sure knowledge that no one can stop him and no one caught him on his way up the ladder.
Like a lot of talkative none too bright guys, Chris gravitated to DC in search of easy pundit money and easy prey....now look at him loud, obnoxious, incoherent, overpaid and untrustworthy.
I actually think that Chris Matthews has a nastier screechier voice than even Senator Rick ("High Pitch Rich") Santorum if such a thing is possible.
Or maybe it's the seemingly "psychotic whine" that creeps into Matthews' voice when he really gets going about his favorite straw people Bill and Hillary.
And each day he gets louder and more gruesome...and he couldn't stop patronizing and harassing Hillary Clinton if you put a gun to his head. Ten years since it went down the tubes and Chris is still sneering at "Hillary's" health care plan...on grounds that it's "elitist" or fried in butter or some damn thing. Frankly the way Chris shouts through the list of Hillary's liberal sins you'd a thunk he was reading off a tattoo on his arm or something.
The funniest part this morning is when poor lugubrious Chris tried to get all pontifical by contrasting FDR's successful social security legislation with the collapse of the Clinton health care proposal. At this point you could tell that Chris was breathlessly making up as he went along asserting that Roosevelt had gotten the middle class behind social security by selling it as "self help".
The Clinton's plan failed because of the welfare like aspects of their proposal and it's concurrent "elitism".
Ghod it's a sad day for discourse when hard core rightical chic pundits like Chris Matthews can't even get their talking points lined up properly.
At least he aligned himself as a vague populist sucking up to FDR's memory at the expense of today's sneaky debased democrats-this is an old conservative rhetorical trick going back Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew.
In effect what Matthews is saying is "I'd be a liberal today if the likes of FDR was in charge of the democratic party".
As the old misanthrope says what rubbish!
It's more accurate to say that if Matthews was a pundit in 1932 he'd be marking out hard for Herbert Hoover or else writing paeans of praise to William Dudley Pelley's Silver Shirt Legion.
As Jim Carroll sez "I doubt none of these speculations".
What Chris forgets is, there was no middle class to buy off back in 1935. A vast majority of what Marx jovially refers to as the bourgeoisie had fallen on such hard times that the whole lot would've cheerfully countenanced beheading the entire senate as a mass offering to the Gods of Prosperity.
Well how can one respond to such an shrill effusion?
The answer is you can't.
Chris isn't "over it" yet and we will all have to plug our ears and shut our eyes til he is done shrieking and whining in that nasty little high pitched voice of his.
Because let us face it, those screechy diatribes are made for cable teevee and talk radio...they can't be interrupted by any means currently available to liberals (herein defined as that fast shrinking cohort with a old fashioned love of democracy).
Such is the Kingdom of Heaven
On the congressionally licensed airwaves
Friday, June 06, 2003
The Con con...
Well....Humble John is off to the state democratic convention tomorrow.
Yup I'm one of those poor benighted b*st*rds who sit on the local democratic town committee.
And like a fool I allowed myself to be nominated as an alternate to the annual and utterly superfluous "issues convention".
Of course someone can't go so I'm being sent in their place...big whoop.
Frankly if anyone from the state democratic committee is reading this, youse guys have to rethink these endless conventions!
All of which impose the irksome burden of caucusing in an off year on local democrats.
Hell we have more conventions and issues than we do INCUMBENT Governors!!
I freely admit I'll support any bid at the convention tomorrow to restrict these convocations to election years and election years only!
And while we are on the subject, let's move the statewide primary back to April so it is synonymous with the presidential primary. The current September date has done naught but guarantee a bankrupt nominee just in time for the general election.
With an April primary, the nominee can lay low for a few months fund raise and build up unity in the democratic base in time to compete more effectively in the fall election.
As it stands now our gubernatorial nominees are getting beaten like rented mules for lack of unity and sound preparation for the fall campaign.
If Philip Johnston wants to keep his job he'd better file the legislation to change all this soonest.
So lets dump these damn pricey "issues conventions" once and for all and put the money towards some television commercials that'll rip Romney a new one....how is that for a new and radical idea???!!!!!!
And another thing, will someone tell those dopes at the state party's Quincy Headquarters to update their website's "Romney Week in Review" page?
The last posting was in April!
Maybe if we weren't shelling out serious long green to rent the Paul E. Tsongas Arena (peace to his ashes) we could afford decent tech support on our party's web page!
BTW kudos to the State Senate for scotching the Governor's so called "reform plan" for the executive department.
You just know that whole mishaugas was drafted by eager imbecilic summer interns at Bain Capital Group who think this Commonwealth is their company's latest leveraged acquisition.
Willard is now threatening to veto a pay raise for the Great-n-Gen'rl Court in retaliation. You know you'e gotten under his skin when loses his temper like that.
My advice to the State Senate is to follow up with a bill to cut the Governor's salary to fifty five thousand bucks even-the same as any freshmen member of the legislature.
They can raise it when he starts showing some class and ability.
Which will be on a cold day in hell IMHO.
Thursday, June 05, 2003
Newsmax.com is hyping a " card deck of weasels" composed of various alleged domestic anti-war activists. Some of the targeted personalities include Natalie Maines, Bill Clinton, a host of Hollywood celebs, and of course Jimmy Carter (they couldn't have the backlash without him).
Chris Ruddy the "journalist" who is Newsmax's paramount leader has this to say about his card-deck " I mean what does George Clooney know about foreign policy?".
Now, leaving aside the morbid if veiled threat against two former U.S. Presidents, I think Mr. Ruddy has raised an interesting and even suggestive question.
After all what do any of these ever so shrill rightical chic polemicists know about foreign policy?
Any of them?
Howard Stern he is a big mark out for Bush, his communications degree is from Boston University....I doubt if classes in western diplomacy or political economy are part of the core curriculum in his department.
And while we are on the subject, just what are Debbie Schlussel's qualifications for the job of public intellectual and pundit?
Sure she claims to be a polymath and a pedagogue, but that is a role she'd been groomed for as far back as her days a publicity seeking teenaged Reagan apologist.
She largely doesn't seem to do anything other than emit a daily keening obnoxious wail of adolescent disgust at liberals and liberalism.
For that fact, what do Ann Coulter, Tim Russert, or Laura Ingraham really know about international relations?
So far as I can see they are all a bunch of hungry shyster lawyers who made the arduous trek to D.C. in search of easy money and easy prey.
I mean frankly given the shallow vituperative nature of their analysis I'd call the whole damn lot no more qualified to opine on the subject of diplomacy than was Abbie Hoffman or Donald "Cinque" DeFreeze.
Whitley is back on WRKO....
Pat Whitley formerly the conservative half of the olde "Clapprood and Whitley" radio show is back on the air.
Thus proving that mediocre conservazombies never ever truly exit the public airwaves.
Pat was a pretty pathetic character back ten years ago, former State Rep Margie Clapprood a proud liberal used to dice him like sushi every morning on their drive time radio show.
I could never quite figure out what was Pat's problem. He has a mellifluous voice (but then so does Adam West for heaven's sake) and he is reliable rightical chic apologist in ever y way. But for all that, he came off like Alan Colmes, ill informed and unwilling to fight past a certain point.
In short, raw meat for Margie who was intent on making a name for herself before running for office again.
Well, to be charitable, perhaps the old Pat was just too gentlemanly to go for the gut when arrayed against a woman.
Or he is a congenital patsy who needs easy prey-who knows?
Eventually Whitley got sick of the abuse and left to concentrate on his entirely harmless and forgettable restaurant review show.
But now Pat is back and with all the "advances" in conservative broadcasting formats, no doubt he'll do better.
Otherwise his revival is proof positive that the radio reactionary thing is scraping the bottom of the barrel....the supply of must be running low if undistinguished pompous bores like Pat are back in play.
Now how he will play against shrill ambitious freakjobs like Sean Hannity is unknown.
Wednesday, June 04, 2003
The radio news sez that no less a stalwart than Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge is going to drop by the Hub today to lay 30 million on Mitt Romney AND to inspect the harbor's anti terrorism measures.
No doubt Ridge will accompanied on this boat tour by the seemingly indestructible Joe Lawless now the Port of Boston's security director but last seen as Logan Airport's top cop on September 11th 2001.
That was a bad day for Joe (also known as former Governor Bill Weld's trusty chauffeur), some fifteen Al Queda terrorists boarded three passengers jets and flew em' into the twin towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
When the smoke cleared Joe made some hapless grunting sounds and was quietly transferred with pay scale intact to the same job down on the docks.
Such is the manner that this flinty puritan Commonwealth punishes ineptitude and torpidity among it's political appointees....DAMN but it's retribution like this that puts the fear of an angry ghod into the payroll patriots!
More than likely Joe is out there on the water even as I write this citing all the "improvements" he has made since he took over, and if the boat capsizes fear not, Joe will survive it.
If he can survive 9-11 he can survive anything...hell Ridge can use him as a life preserver.
MEANWHILE our Governor, the hoar and mighty Willard Mitt Romney is moving heaven and earth to depose Billy Bulger from the Presidency of the State University System.
Billy is apparently a little too shady for Mitt's comfort...this I don't contest.
Bulger, pedant though he is, has always been a preening dishonest little hammerhead...I couldn't care less if he was shot out of cannon and into solitary confinement in Cedar Junction.
His days are numbered at Umass I can feel it.
And you know what? Good effin' riddance to him-Bulger was always way too palsy with pie eyed old Bill Weld for me.
But it is a sad comment on what times we do live in when Bulger's sins are rated unendurable whilst Joe Lawless the poster boy for neglect and stupidity is sittin' pretty on the high road to a carefree retirement.
Fineman on Imus In the Morning yesterday....
Notorious double dipper Howard Fineman was on Imus this morning. He is the beneficiary of the both NBC and the Washington Post's largesse-so no doubt these newFCC rules are money in the bank for him.
You'd never know it though from his listless torpid call-in today. I'm beginning to think Howard is bipolar or something, one day he is animated even hyperactive, ready to slander anyone on the left with glee. Two weeks later finds the Newsweek columnista in a state of rhetorical paralysis.
Virtually nothing Imus said stirred Fineman... the last time he was this inert was the confused first days of the Iraq war when it looked like the whole shebang might not be a cakewalk.
I wonder if he knows something we don't it'd be just like Fineman to keep his trap shut about bad news for his President.
Oh he tried fitfully to rise to the occasion, parroting the Admin's line of French President Chirac calling him "...the leader of OLD Europe". Howard even tried to give some half hearted advice to Rumsfeld by advocating the return of U.N. inspectors to Iraq. Apparently it's Fineman's notion that if no WMDs are recovered it'll then be the U.N.'s fault for not finding them.
Slack call in though it was, this vulgar-Machiavellian proposal is media whoring at it's most raw and unpleasant. When things go wrong find an unpopular out group to blame. In this case the United Nations inspectorate. It's almost sad to hear Fineman reduced to such a semi-senescent state. I mean it never occurs to him that Hans Blix has been begging all and sundry to allow his people back in Iraq if for no other reason to secure the nuclear waste sites that the Famiglia Arbusto left wide open.
Maybe Howard just doesn't care anymore, years of water carrying for Bush and Bushism have atrophied his faculties to such an extent that he can't even dissemble effectively anymore.
Howard's only other howler was his assertion that Bill and Hillary are actively giving bad advice to the current crop of dem presidential candidates in order to clear her way in 2008.
Howie bay-bee! Whatever it is you are taking, up the dosage before going on Imus...because as far as I know, Hillary never ruled out running for Vice President in 2004.
It's be good to have her back...because at least Mrs. Clinton knows how to handle punks like Don Imus and Howard Fineman.
Such is the Kingdom of Heaven
On the congressionally licensed airwaves and elsewhere
Tuesday, June 03, 2003
Another U.S. soldier killed in Iraq....
it's worth remembering that the Irish Republican Army (the gold standard of urban guerillas, they make Hamas look like a bunch of feeble bums) took about a year to get up to speed after the events of "Bloody Sunday" on January 30th 1972.
Previous to that, the I.R.A. was a pretty amateurish operation especially in Northern Ireland characterized by eager untutored college students and mawkish pamphleteering.
Time, however, that mighty crucible of events, changed all that.
So what is no doubt being currently dismissed as "low intensity conflict" may well evolve into something more ominous and unpleasant come the summer of 2004.
Now...before we forget, as forget we will, just where is all that anthrax Colin Powell swore up and down was in Iraq ready for use?
Monday, June 02, 2003
So where the #$%^ are these Iraqi weapons of mass destruction?
I've stayed away from this one since the "end" of the war for fear that 10,000 tons of anthrax would turn up in a grain silo somewhere in the Iraqi desert.
NOW it's looking like a cheap act like Eric Rudolph was a better armed more successful terrorist than Saddam Hussein in the weary wicked end.
However let us credit Saddam with some powers of intellection, like Rudolph, Bin Laden and Sheik Omar he too has gone to ground in the hopes of rising again.
Superficial mass market pundits will disparage the potentialities of the old comeback routine, but we can dismiss the only possibility at our peril.
Napoleon came back after the Congress of Vienna called him a hopeless nabob and a skank chaser. At Waterloo he came within an ace of turning the whole of Europe's aristocracy into moist Christmas tree ornaments.
Hitler came back, the Beer Hall Putsch was a bust, but once he was out the slams he jazzed up the Nazi line and danced his way into power.
Hell even a hopeless pimp and tattered old horndog like Juan Peron came back!
Meanwhile our troops are getting shot at in Iraq practically on a daily basis. I think Baghdad will be America's own west bank within six months tops-I hope I'm wrong about that...but the feeling persists with every gunshot.
Not that any of this will bother La Famiglia Arbusto, when the going gets tough, they declare total victory and flee.
No doubt our victorious troops will get a ticker tape parade in New York just in time for the Republican National Convention in 2004.