The Chimes at Midnight
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Romney for US Senate a pleasant and unprovocative note to the incumbent Governor of Massachusetts:
The Herald today has a poll that indicates in a hypthetical senatorial contest to succeed John Kerry next year, you yourself would be the front runner.
Let humble Elias be the first to say... RUN MITT RUN!!
However please be just a bit consistent with your alleged rock hard principles and RESIGN the governorship to make the race.
After all running for the US Senate is a full time job, retaining the governorship will only inhibit your ability to mesmerize the serfs.
Or so your own logic runs...
Hell weren't you and Kerry Healey your pet poodle demanding much the same from democratic Presidential nominee John Kerry last week?
Oh right I forget, that was last week and as everyone knows the new royalism postulates that the GOP operates by one set of rules, the democrats by another more onerous set of parameters.
Chiefly this means that entitled princelings like you are maniacally committed to whatever gives them the rhetorical advantage over the course of a single news cycle-no matter how trite, inane, cynical, mendacious or contradictory said item may be.
I get in with both feet, who knows you might draw Barney Frank as an opponent, won't that be fun?
And anyway, Kerry Healey s ready for the big time...isn't she???
Elias Nugator, prickly patriot.
Poor Mitt, he really is a rank amateur at this all his reforming bluster aside. The lowest dingbat on the school committee could've told him to ixnay the resignation argument as it could easily be applied to him in elections to come.
Alas the Man from Utah regards Rovian Talking Points as holy writ and thus has neatly painted himself into a corner.
Or not.... again thanks to the GOP's particularly shameless brand of royalism, Mitt could well be campaigning next winter for the US Senate without a care in the world.
NOBODY in the local media will hold him accountable for his outbursts last week no one.
The McGrorys and Lehighs will develop a bad case of "Romnesia"....that endless chant "reform reform reform" just banishes all thought from their heads.
and soon to be...
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Yesterday, Governor Romney "replaced" Senator Kerry at a meeting of out of town mayors chaired by Tom Menino.
JK decided he didn't want to cross the inevitable BPPA picket line, in return for which it looks like the police won't harass the Fleet Center when the DNC comes to town.
It seems like a reasonable bargain given the campaign's need for a peaceful productive convention amidst all the irksome traffic tie ups the confab is generating.
Nonetheless, John Kerry declines to cross one police picket line and not ten seconds later Mitt Romney all but pole-vaults over the assembled protesters yelping his defiance of unions and unionism into the wind.
The guy is so totally post 9-11 it ain't funny.
Ghod whatever happened to Guiliani's heroes eh?
Three years of cop-worship came to an abrupt end yesterday when the pesky issue of a outstanding union contract got in the way of Mitt's ever roiling national ambitions.
Not for nothing though, but back in 2002 The Kolobian Viceroy was panting desperately for the indulgence and endorsement of the local gendarmes...the BPPA never backed him but the State Police union did.
That was then, this is now.
And right now Mitt Romney would walk over his mother with a cheerful wave if it got him some ink as the local nemesis of John Kerry.
I could've told you this, all those "Time Magazine" covers featuring heroic NYC firefighters and police officers would count for nothing when it came time for the BPPA to negotiate with the city.
Predictably the punditariat at the Boston Globe and elsewhere are calling Kerry indecisive and spineless for refusing to cross the picket line.
Hell these assholes would accuse JK of indecision if he switched from Sprite to Fresca.
Frankly the whole thing is indicative of how pathological Romney's ambitions have become...quite literally he'd see Massachusetts burn if it gave him a clear shot at the White House.
Well what can I say?
Whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad...mad with pride.
Monday, June 28, 2004
Well....we can count on one thing this summer...
that as the democratic national convention draws closer that the Boston Herald will try it's darndest to make it an unpleasant, degrading, and appalling a experience for one and all.
Last week's headlines (including the curiously vague "CROOKS FOR KERRY") would have us believe that a swarm of locusts and flying monkeys is bearing down on the City intent on picking the joint clean when they aren't whimsically blockading the roads.
There are but three ways to approach the looming DNC; grin-n-bear it, make lemonade, or whine and wail like bitch-ass punks.
The Herald has decided to go all out for option three.
Usually Humble Elias attributes all this mishaugas to the demented pseudo conservative politics practiced by the teeny tabloid. The truth is however, Massachusetts is rife with toxic levels of self loathing-the Herald is simply giving our ritual masochism a loud truculent voice.
We didn't used to be like this.
Twenty years ago, the Bay State was a low mortgage wasteland a tumble-down paradise whose only export was education.
The Commonwealth was a wretched place to live in some ways but we had our pride.
Then came Mr. Dukakis' fabled high tech revolution and the "knowledge workers" (oh that neologism Orwellian!) started staying and staying and staying driving up home prices and feeding the frenzy as to why the Red Sox can't win a World Series?
Those knowledge workers with their debts and their sun decks became Messr's Weld, Cellucci and Mitt's most cherished patrons. An insecure naive' lot...nourishing electoral prey for the endless march of unscrupulous governors who had abused the state nigh these fourteen years.
Our lack of self esteem has been the state GOP's main chance.
Whereas before we used to wonder if the county had enough money in it's budget to fix the traffic lights on the Middlesex Turnpike now we muse as to where our next bike path is coming from...
Thinking like this, breeds envy and contempt...we aren't as prosperous and hip as New York therefore we must either wallow in suckiness or hand the suburbs over entirely to trendy chic restaurants.
That'll show them!
We've gone upscale but it hasn't done anything for our own self respect as a community.
The Herald is certainly not immune to this sort of self destructive thinking....even as their circulation relentlessly shrinks they can't help telling us all the ways that Boston existentially sucks.
The Globe is no better, between the usual handwringing eunuchs and the agenda driven fanatics Morrissey Boulevard sees nothing but darkness and despair coming out of the convention.
Sad really...once we were proud.
You'd think that the Globe and the Herald would be excited at the prospect...but excitement is like sooo totally unkewl I guess.
Friday, June 25, 2004
Our Modern Royalism Part 1:
On Eric Alterman's site correspondent Charles Pierce, quotes the following:
"The president is not above the law, Kennedy wrote, but there is a "paramount necessity of protecting the executive branch from vexatious litigation that might distract it from the energetic performance of its constitutional duties."
Here the Supreme Court is solicitously exempting the Vice President from rendering up documentation as to whole testified before his fabled "Energy Task Force" back in the day.
Judge Kennedy and his colleagues are suddenly concerned with preserving the Executive Department from vexing and distracting litigation.
This is the same god damned Supreme Court that had NO PROBLEM with allowing Paula Jones spurious lawsuit against Bill Clinton to go forward until it practically toppled the government!
Now suddenly these judicial ass-holes are worried about the executive department and it's ability to govern.
Republicans govern only on behalf of other republicans they don't give a damn about the common good or even the very patriotism they allege to be so obsessed with.
They are movement conservatives FIRST and a very poor specimen of citizen second.
I've said it before and I will say it again, we are beyond hypocrisy in this country. Mere hypocrisy presupposes the existence of a self perpetuating moral order that must be deferred to by the morally conpromised.
The Supreme Court's willful delineation of one set of onerous rules for democrats whilst insisting republicans must govern sans "distractions" is taking this proud nation down the road to royalism and governance by the overtly privileged.
I was thinking...
If Dick Cheney still claims after all this time there was a link between Al Queda and Saddam Hussein shouldn't he turn the evidence over to the 9-11 Commission? Cause' from the looks of things they are conjuring with a different conclusion than the Veep.
Governor Schwarzenegger wants to speed up the process by which strays are euthenized. Does the Cardinal Archbishop of Los Angeles know this and when will the church hierarchy deny the Eucharist to the preposterously kill-minded Governor of California?
Dick Cheney apparently told Senator Pat Leahy to "f*ck off" on the floor of the US Senate. They'd been beefing about something and our sickly aged Veep clearly got frustrated. Hence the alleged "f-bomb".
All this from the moralizing old hack who ran on a promise to restore civility and decency to the White House.
The whole of the Washington milieu has all the comity of a neglected monkeyhouse-civility quite frankly is DONE in Washington DC, we shan't see its like again in our lifetimes.
Bill Safire=senile hubris.
Ted Olson is finally stepping down as Solicitor General of the United States. That must mean his job is done and there is nothing left of the US constitution to shred.
Georgia Senator Zell Miller will be addressing the GOP national convention in his capacity as the head of "Democrats for Bush."
Predictably people (on our side of the aisle) are livid....however to me it is hardly any surprise.
Zell was once a rising star of the Democratic Party, he put Bill Clinton's name into nomination at the 1992 convention.
Since then he has tracked further and further to the right until he has become a sort of proud GOP sleeper agent.
The reasons for this are pretty clear, he saw what the GOP was doing to southern moderate Democrats like Bill Clinton and decided that there was no point in defying the trend.
Hence by becoming the GOP's pet Democrat he co-opted any real opposition from the local Republican Party, opposition that could have easily toppled his ass record or no record.
And so with a quivering spine he sallies forth to address the RNC anxious to pay off his debt one last time.
Call him what you will, but don't call Zell Miller courageous...unless the game of prostitution has got some hidden wellsprings of intestinal fortitude.
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Bishop Romney gets wood...
What a feeling it was, there was Governor Decaf, coiffed and powdered; happily lecturing the U.S. Senate on the dire threat posed by queers who covet bridal registries.
He cried out for laws and powers and action all to keep gays and their ilk far away from marriage licenses.
Romney must've been in seventh heaven, since his days as a missionary and a draft dodger in Paris he has longed for a chance to rebuke some alleged depavity...really any decadence would do.
For a fast rising apex predator demagogue it has to be sheer heaven to tell off a bunch of Senators...nothing but red meat for the vast hordes of wowsers Romney must placate if he ever hopes to ban coffee from the White House.
Yup...no doubt he was excited.
I mean look at that sneer of triumph Mitt has on the front page of the Globe....he is as happy as a sideshow geek who just bit the head off a chicken.
Never mind the fact that Romney is shamelessly shilling for a constitutional amendment to oppress the very tiny harmless minority that he embraced back in campaign 2002.
Mean while the Boston Globe's editorial pages essentially passed on the spectacle of a sitting Massachusetts Governor pimping for restrictions on a minority's inalienable rights. Scot Lehigh, ever bedazzled by the bright shiny nickel that is Willard Mitt Romney opined that the Kolobian Viceroy was "articulate" and "unflappable" during his testimony.
Lehigh, on the basis of considerable evidence to the contrary, went on to sigh that Romney's opinions on gay marriage were "sincere".
This was less a column and more a friendly film review quite frankly, with a tiny proviso attached at the end noting that the Bay State's electorate "might" get sick of Mitt's national posturing at some point.
Over on the Metro pages, Eileen McNamara has breathlessly discovered a sober hardworking civil servant named Kerry Healey alleged to be the Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth.
So we are plunging ever deeper down the rabbit hole here in the Commonwealth, no telling when we will hit bottom if ever with this pack of jackals and jack offs in charge.
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Howard Fineman on Imus today:
What is it about Bill Clinton's sex life that so enrages Don Imus?
He comes out of an industry not know for it's moral standards...and Imus himself is working on his own second marriage to an upper west side freeper gold digger...but the mere mention of Monica Lewinsky sets the guy off like a rabid terrier.
It is enough to warrant calling the Manhattan Animal Control Officer...or it would be if Imus wasn't a toothless senile old hack on the brink of a life altering stroke.
The release of Bill Clinton's memoirs has prompted Imus to drag onto the air one after another virtually every single Clinton hater in his vast repertory of news media guests...today it was Howard Fineman.
One thing I like about Howie, he is a triple threat...a whore for publicity, a whore for public approval, and most of all a whore for the RNC. To listen to him today is to think it is the summer of 1998 again...and everything revolves around blow jobs and lying. History stands still for the apex media whores when Bill Clinton's manhood is under discussion...all their old rage and hate comes back fresh and renewed.
Gotta give Fineman credit though, he cringed for his supper admirably; managing to blame 9-11 on Monica Lewinsky and referred to Clinton's war on terror as a "big nothing".
Hell wasn't Howard one of the prime exponents of the "Wag the Dog" theory of Clintonian Foreign Policy?
I seem to recall he was.
Play that no mind though, if the I-Man is gonna plug Howie's next book or cable gig then he has to shit on Clinton long and loud lest the toothless terrier wax wrathful.
Fineman did reveal one great secret of the great DC media whorehouse....when asked to explain why we "enable" our Presidents so, Howard replied "We want our President's to succeed..."
Very telling that quote...also a bit disingenuous in my opinion.
We want our LIKE MINDED Presidents to succeed...I will happily enable President Kerry when the time comes. Fineman of course will wallow in journalistic objectivity whilst still working night and day for JK's downfall.
That is the difference between us, his actions are cloaked by the pretense of serving the public good, I'm just hacking away here for the hell of it.
Realistically this is the best anyone can hope for...with the proviso that a free press needs to guard against it's own base biases...something Fineman couldn't do if you put a gun to his head.
Otherwise what is this "We" shit white man?
Howard presumes to speak for the electorate in this case because he has a blind assumption that conservatism controls the discourse...which is a fatal failing that his employers at Newsweek ought to guard against...that is if they weren't media whores par excellence themselves.
And so the maddenly self satisfied Howard Fineman had an easy-assed appearance on Don Imus...untroubled by the need to explain the President's incoherence or our policy failures in Iraq.
No doubt the Imus days of rage will continue this week I look forward to a riotously appearance by Laura Ingraham within a few days and who knows maybe Don will bring the Reverend Hargis out of the crypt while he is at it.
Anything to keep the fire of Clinton hatred stoked.
Sunday, June 20, 2004
Jeff "FlopSweat" Jacoby waxes Desperate...
In a column from today’s Sunday Globe, that laughing young senescence, Jeff Jacoby listed six “positive developments” that were allegedly not being covered by the so called liberal news media.
It is a sign of imminent political catastrophe when the usual conservative suspects suddenly start blaming their mistakes on what was up until then a complacent national news media.
What they are doing is, getting their “stab-in-the-back” legend ready for when Iraq goes up in bloody chunks.
What we can also deduce from this, is that most serious conservative pundits have already written off Iraq as a lost cause…now their only concern is making sure the whole disaster is pinned on that eternal phantom menace, US liberals.
Anyhow, I had to laugh mirthlessly when one of the “positive developments” cited by Jeff was the fundraising effort by one DoD “consultant” Chip Beck to revive the Boy Scout movement in Iraq.
Paul Bremer was babbling on like this last fall when he asserted that Iraq’s first job fair was another “important step in the right direction”.
It is quite literally for trivial piffle like this that our brave soldiers are dying every day…job fairs, boy scouts, what next shall their lives be sacrificed for a system of school vouchers and faith based welfare initiatives?
The Answer to that quite literally is YES! Movement conservatism in the USA is so self deluded that Boy Scout camps and job fairs ARE a legitimate reason for occupying Iraq. Every other justification served up by this misbegotten administration has be proven either false of impossible…we are left with the dregs of the matter…rubbish like this.
Meanwhile, I have to wonder, is the abovementioned Chip Beck the same guy who made his bones as a toady for Congressman Bob Dornan and former New Hampshire Senator Brainless Bob Smith?
Apparently more than a few GOP foot soldiers with little else to do have made their way to Iraq with a weepy missionary desire to remake that nation in the image of Heritage Institute.
Too bad Jeff Jacoby won’t put his money where his mouth is and jet off to Baghdad. I’m sure his endless lectures on behalf of small government, low taxes and churchly supervision of education would find a receptive audience in the Green Zone.
Friday, June 18, 2004
Googled and Strafed...
My friend Lis Riba got quoted in a Yahoo news summary this week. She referred to one David Winer (a web blog provider who abruptly got out of the business to the chagrin of his clients) as an "egotistical blowhard".
The response was immediate, the "Riba Rambles" blog lit up with brutal insults from the usual anonymous assholes who make Yahoo's message boards such an enduring monument to retro-zoology.
The lesson here seems obvious, that in an internet that is full of people who derive a bullying sort power from anonymity, there is sometimes no percentage in "going public" or being honest.
No matter how good your intentions the usual cybergoths will come crashing in spewing obscenities and making the usual threats.
Well at any rate, Lis can defend herself pretty well....that much is certain.
This is in part why I don't host a message board here at Chimes at Midnight (that and I'm cheapskate).
I value other people's opinions it is just that within the anonymous confines of the internet the prospects for free and polite dialogue are limited.
You are as free as you make yourself, but that doesn't come with a guarantee of civility.
I ran into my old Sifu, Brother Blue outside the American Repertory Theater in Harvard Square last night.
That man is a PRODIGY!
I remember with the simplest nostalgia sitting at his feet on Brattle Street back in 1978 as he sang and rendered up stories in his patented syncopated blues-jazz idiom.
He hasn't changed a bit since then and I hope to God he never does.
Otherwise the man seems to hardly aged in 26 years, his dance moves are impeccable and his timing a study in perfection.
He did his "King Lear" for a friend and I, it took a lean twenty minutes all told. Sure it made us almost late for our movie, but I'd be in shit shape indeed if I couldn't still make time for Brother Blue.
He is as always, the Commonwealth's good friend.
Thursday, June 17, 2004
Yup come July 30th unless there is some seismic shift in the phony-baloney company I work for, I'll be joining the ranks of the unemployed.
Well...c'est la guerre and all like that.
I managed to hold onto this job for a solid twelve years which is my personal best so far. Usually the powers that be wise up and give me the bum's rush after about a year or so.
Anyhow work is a vastly over-rated experience and I'm not alone in that opinion either. Most Americans regard sloth as a cardinal virtue in extremis. This nonsense about America worshipping the great protestant work ethic is naught but the crude propaganda we put out to entice unwary job-hungry foreigners to our shores.
Nope....sloth is an American's natural right.
Most of us only work in order to properly finance our leisure time and to maintain a comfortable pleasant subsistence.
In other words, we say we like hustling...but in reality we are just working for sloth.
Sloth is wrong you say, the enemy of creativity howl the Objectivists.
Hell, anyone with a grain of real creativity doesn't take it to work with them-not any more at least.
Thanks to the computer revolution fewer and fewer active minds are needed to guide a vast private sector company....fewer thinkers at the top in turn constrains creative thinking in the middle ranks and base.
I've noticed increasingly people with ideas and notions aren't using their creativity at work, they paint by numbers from nine to five and then skeedaddle to their gallery opening or jazz combo rehearsal.
The reasons for this aren't difficult to see, more and more big companies exercise vast and bizarre proprietary rights over content created at work....the solution to this is to leave one's creativity at home and play with it after hours.
This notion that the modern corporate economy with it's start ups is a digitally democratized workplace is utter nonsense...most start ups founder within a year and the computerization of work is not inherently democratic in nature anyway.
Mostly all that stuff is a precise means of delivering orders from on high and for monitoring compliance with the same.
So anyway...I'm thinking of buying a hammock.
I think I can hold out without raising a finger for at least a year-if I'm frugal and cancel all tractor-pulls and demolition derbies.
And by then who knows mass sanity might break out in the private sector.
I'm not holding my breath though.
Jingle Money's Last Raid....
I had to laugh when I read in this morning's Globe that in 2002 the Great and General Court quietly indemnified outgoing Governor Jane "Jingle Money" Swift against a pending lawsuit from Boss Christy Mihos.
Never let it be said that the democrats in the state legislature can't pay ball with a sitting GOP governor, especially when the corner office is occupied by a spineless passive aggressive yutz with the decisiveness of a bed of seaweed.
Now of course the Finneran gang can't seem to recall just who put that rider into legislation concerning the Steamship Authority.
No doubt the House Leadership was moved by a weepy christian pity for the former Governor who'd only just rendered up twins.
That at least is their story up to the point of indictment at any rate.
Surely the House and Senate were just dyin' wit' sympathy for Jingle Money, after all she'd been ousted by the Kolobian Viceroy and faced a bleak post political letdown as a North Adams Hausfrau.
All sarcasm aside I don't know why the Finneran gang felt they needed to intervene, it was a legal dogfight between a rising Boss in the GOP and a discredited outgoing Governor....just sit back and watch the fur fly I say.
Clearly there was some advantage accruing to the usual suspects this time-but what?
Anyone who wants to rat out the leadership, drop me a line at
I'll post all interesting rumors, carefully covered with the usual journalistic fig leaves.
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
The lap dog whines by the light of day...
Mitt Romney has a yappy little poodle named Kerry Healey.
Yesterday she was gamely barking away trying to get our attention and incidentally calling for John Kerry's resignation from the U.S. Senate.
She claims he has missed too many quorum call votes or something damn thing.
I know the feeling, the whole Commonwealth has been missing good governance for fourteen years now, but then nobody is calling on Governor Decaf to resign.
Nobody except humble Elias Nugator that is.
The irresistible rise of Kerry Healey to the middle ranks of Bay State politics is an object lesson in the sort of "Dairy Queen" managerial acumen that now infects the State House.
Trite, inane, foolish, and a political loser of amateur rank, her main resume builder was twin losses for State Rep in Beverly prior to her Kolobian apotheosis. Eventually in 2002, Ms. Healey was chosen over dozens of better qualified Lieutenant Gubernatorial candidates primarily on the basis of her malleability and sheer unthreatening mediocrity.
As such she is the very embodiment of obnoxious Romneyism in the Commonwealth.
That is to say Healey is a political hedonist of the first rank who needs only to show up and mouth the usual aggressive conservative platitudes and the rest is gravy.
Movement conservatism all over the nation is rife with time serving social climbing hacks like Kerry Healey nothing distinguishs them from the rest of the GOP herd save their fanatical adherence to today's talking point.
And indeed why shouldn't Kerry Healey follow that herd to glory?
She is enough of a student of history to know that conservative candidates who toe the party line are rarely turned out of power merely for being too right wing.
If Kerry wants to move up then she has to slag John Kerry then either a easy sinecure in DC beckons or even the corner office at the State House.
What a dangerous and demented ego the Lieutenant Governor has to think she could prosper in either office....nothing in her record to date suggests she has the wits necessary to manage a video store let along this stolid brooding Commonwealth.
But the party line demands she yap on about Kerry's alleged missed votes in the senate, and so she barks and yowls....ineffectually yes but incessantly as well.
For the facts behind the whole situation, dedicated Chimes at Midnight fans (both of you) are encouraged to check out the Romney is a Fraud blog.
Today's post is particularly suggestive.
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Bob Schieffer on Imus today...
I've decided that I liked Bob Schieffer better when he was sick with an uncertain future.
Now that he has recovered his health he feels free to phone in to the Imus in the Morning program and shamelessly parade his inner media whore sans let or hindrance.
We suffer when journalists loaf, invite their souls, and contemplate the big picture.
Herein, Bob has reflected on the modern crisis and has decided what is sorely needed is a revival of "the spirit of Reagan".
Since this is the sort of inanity that Imus loves, Bob was allowed to develop his thesis that congress is full of angry partisan hacks who could use a dose of Saint Ronald's calming don't-take-it-seriously-influence.
Well, we can all be a bit more polite, that is true...I'm just wondering if Bob has ever stopped to consider how many of those hacks political and journalistic came to DC on Reagan's coat-tails and simply never left???
Angry rightical chic icons Newt Gingrich, Trent Lott, John Ashcroft all came to power and eminence thanks to the patronage of Ronald Reagan. George Will, a classic Reagan toady who'd starve to death if he had to make his daily bread outside the beltway made his bones in the national media as an early Reaganolator.
NONE of these worthies who number in the thousands care a rat's ass about civility and comity...not when there is money to raised and liberals to stomp.
They like Ronnie, don't get me wrong, quite frankly they worship the man in a crude paganistic fashion...but like all true believers they wanna get the boot in and screw making nicey-nice with Tip O'Neill.
There is no "Reagan legacy" to be upheld any more than the New Frontier can be revived now in the twenty first century.
Reaganism belonged exclusively to the 1980's and the man's alleged courtesy and good manners cannot be grafted upon a new generation of politicians.
Because lets face it, today's multi million dollar political campaigns can't buy gentility or courtesy.
Monday, June 14, 2004
Enter the Bushops...
We went to bed on Friday knowing that Ronald Reagan was dead, and wake up today to the discovery that the President has been frantically brown-nosing the Pope for votes in the upcoming election.
Mother of Ghod is there nothing this no-class tramp won't do to advance his own interests???
On his last visit, the President allegedly told Angelo Sodano the Vatican's Secretary of State "not all the American Bishops are with me" on cultural issues (or words to that effect).
Is there any doubt that presidential snitch Karl Rove already has a list of who is on their side and who is not among the conference of bishops?
Cause that is one thing this admin compiles with alacrity, nice long shit-lists.
I wonder what the Bishops think about a US President who feels utterly unconstrained to lobby their boss on behalf of his own electoral prospects?
What am I saying? This IS the U.S. Conference of Bishops I'm talking about...a drearier more self destructive bunch cannot be imagined.
Low on money, pews are empty, and morale is nonexistent, and these yobs are on the cusp of signing over the remnants of their sovereignty to a sleazy Protestant born again and his vile rabble.
The R.C.C. has been little more than a sad bumptious mouthpiece for the Republican National Committee since the beginning of the year.
Heartened by this loutish spectacle, there is no doubt Bush told "da hully fadda" any number of expansive lies in hopes of igniting a crack down on catholic liberals in general and my honest coreligionist John Kerry in particular.
I think Bush is lobbying a pretty sick tired old man quite frankly but that is beside the point.
No....if I was John Paul II I'd take any promises the little skank made with a grain of salt.
After all Bush can pledge with all due solemnity to lock all faggots and queer after January 2005, he can promise to shot abortion doctors on sight, and imprison women who even thinking about aborting their precious little fetus...
But the reality is, who knows what the world will be like come next winter?
Bush could lose the presidency, the democrats could seize the senate...there could be winds storms tidal waves-and then where will the Vatican be?
Who can believe the promises of such a selfish ill starred man...one so willing to upend diplomacy for his own personal gain?
Truth be told it's the usual Bush Family pincer movement, they want to get the Vatican behind their push for catholic votes this year. Bluntly lobbying the Pontiff plays to that audience that is seemingly so eager for a great reckoning on various social issues.
Well yeah....except JP 2 ought to recall Bush once promised the world a "humble foreign policy" as well.
Frankly da "Hully Fadda our Pope" is well advised to repeat William Burrough's famed admonition:
When you are doing business with a religious son of a bitch, get it in writing! His word don't mean shit with the good lord telling him how to f*ck you on a deal".
And just speaking as an American, there is something sad and gruesome about a U.S. President sucking up to a foreign potentate for votes and for a free hand with the local bishops.
It is all very sad and ghoulishly medieval...and it's a clear sign that we are headed for post conservative civilization in a pell mell rush.
Sunday, June 13, 2004
ANOTHER pseudo theoretical flight of fancy...
One very unique aspect of modern conservative thought in the USA is that it gestated outside the corridors of power for nigh on thirty-six years prior to Ronald Reagan’s apotheosis in 1980.
That is, If we date the arrival of modern conservatism to the publication of Friedrich Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom” in 1944.
It seems like a good solid date to from my perspective, since the aforementioned book is an economic treatise uncontaminated with musty conservative social engineering bugaboos.
So for thirty-six years in this country, an ongoing conservative intellectual counter reformation was going on sans any impact on democratic politics.
Theory became doctrine became dogma without ever passing through the test of policy prior to 1981.
Now as of June 2004, movement conservatism has controlled either the White House or the Congress for twenty-two of the last twenty-four years. We can even make a case that conservative judges have controlled the Supreme Court since the elevation of Nixon appointee William Rehnquist to the Chief Justice ship.
There are certain contradictions and ironies inherent in modern conservative regime of George Bush Jr. He being the first US President to have known nothing else but the fabled U.S. conservative counter establishment.
The US Government is bigger and more intrusive than ever. If the tax burden has been taken off the upper class then certainly the universal burden of massive public debt remains to imperil us all and to tax sans representation our progeny.
These are the “inherent contradictions” evidenced by modern conservatism to borrow a phrase from Karl Marx.
And they are a strong signifier of the ideology’s eventual downfall in the USA.
And yet conservatism persists and even thrives despite going back on it’s every promise and violating it’s every shibboleth.
Now having said that, I don’t contend we are on the cusp of a liberal revival-I’ll believe that when I see it.
The debased conservatism of the future will still wallow in its favorite rhetorical catch phrases. What it will represent though is nothing conservative by way of either Hayek or Goldwater.
What keeps the conservatism “aloft” even as the ideology rots from within are three factors left over from the thirty-six years in the wilderness. For the doctrine to survive so long sans pay off an emphasis had to be placed on orthodoxy, consistency and zeal. It is these three factors that keep the movement going strong these days. Think of modern conservatism as a corpse being fired out of a howitzer.
Increasingly then, the loyal opposition could become an internally consistent conservative style movement if we define conservatism as the mere defense of prior economic gains.
Today’s conservatives may well then devolve into a bumptious radical corporate-populist type axis…xenophobic and larded up with all of today’s unctuous slogans.
Activist and anarchist Grover Norquist (aka “The Terror of K Street”) would have us believe that the destruction of the democratic party will bring about a new conservative utopia in the USA. The above described sheer momentum of his movement may well bring this about I don’t rule it out. But by the time it happens his ideology will be dead an buried and he have to find something else to rule in the name of.
I wish him well with that.
Friday, June 11, 2004
Since the National Cathedral is crammed with...
A-list conservative celebrities plus sundry notables...where do you suppose Mitt Romney has been placed for the Reagan Funeral?
My guess is one of the family members prevailed on him to man the tee-shirt concession outside...as a favor to the bereaved.
And they keep calling him "Mitch" as well.
As reported by the Romney is a fraud blog, the Kolobian viceroy blithely signed off on a state holiday today after spending much of campaign 2002 railing against the excessive number of paid holidays available to state workers.
Which is why I shot into work at warp speed today untroubled by traffic.
Sadly the whole thing has turned into a week long victory lap larded up with all usual political narcissism we've come to expect from that fast expiring saurian known as movement conservatism.
Ideologically bankrupt, movement conservatism and it's President are desperate to extract as much secular benefit as they can from a sick old man's funeral.
Sad isn't it?
These we the guys who were gonna privatise the universe and blow up everyone who got in their way...look what they've come to:
Bereft of coherent ideology, short on accomplishments and mired in an unnecessary war, a battered George Bush Jr. has glommed onto Reagan's last roundup as means to bolster his own candidacy.
The Bush-Cheney website is suddenly sodden with Reagan pix and the usual worshipful piffle.
Frankly, I don't think the current President compares well with late Great Communicator in any way...the comparisons will only serve to put Bush's many short comings in a harsh light in due course.
There is mourning music in the air today, but it's not just for Reagan it is for the entire ideology he bequeathed to the likes of La Famiglia Arbusto who has made a royal botch of the doctrine in grand style.
Ghod no wonder Nancy Reagan seethes so...
Thursday, June 10, 2004
Inside the mind of a conservative at the top of his game:
In the current issue of the Atlantic Monthly, the following quote(s) occur:
"Whenever the nation is under attack, from within or without, liberals always side with the enemy".
Ann Coulter, Treason.
To which that laughing young cavalier P.J. O'Rourke responds:
"Now there is a certain truth in what she says. But it's what's called a 'poetic truth".
Ghod is there a more dismal little prick on ghod's green earth than P.J. O'Rourke?
How much longer are well gonna hafta listen to this aging lardy Nixon Youth volunteer making these cutsy catty comments??
Tony Hendra had P.J. down pat in his memoir "Going too Far".
He describes the GOP humorist as an obnoxious servile toady at the National Lampoon who ascended the ladder to become an obnoxious unfunny editor at that publication.
And it's been nothing but roses for P.J. ever since.
As you can tell, old Elias can't stand the guy...maybe its those cheap shots he took at his neighbors in New Hampshire back in the early 1990s.
"Look at me I can make fun of the GOP's base I'M-A-HIP-STERRRR!"
The notion that he somehow with all due qualifications approves of Coulter's liberals=treason formulation is entirely unsurprising. I'm sure it's a notion that he has believed for a good long time now. No...he objects to Coulter's tactless vehemence at no point does he dare question the actual premise.
So really the only difference between Ann Coulter and P.J. O'Rourke is a degree of honesty...P.J. dissembles his liberal hatred, Ann wallows in it.
And yet at the end of the day they both get paid...wonderful post conservative civilization we are building...just wonderful.
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
More Reagan stuff...
I find it grimly ironic that the Federal Government, that troublesome leviathan Ronald Reagan so despised, will grind to halt in his memory come Friday.
In life, Reagan might've found this funny or appalling...frankly who knows?
Like most Presidents Saint Ron found the government bureaucracy a fine instrument when it came to implementing his most cherished fantasies irregardless of his "small gummint" rhetoric.
No doubt the air traffic controllers will still be on the job when his coffin is finally lowered into the earth.
You can bet on that.
The whole thing is once again exposing our feelings and actions about Reagan militant conservatism and the long off election of 1980.
I was shocked to read on Dan Kennedy's blog that he voted for John Anderson that year after being "disgusted" with Jimmy Carter.
It's the Sunday June sixth post.
Well that is kind of interesting...especially when you consider that these days Dan Kennedy is fairly critical of Ralph Nader's spoiler candidacy.
Ah but it's been twenty four long years since 1980 and I'm sure young Dan thought that a "real liberal" would sweep the nation come 1984.
This is a cherished fallacy of liberals and progressives that conservatism "will make things so bad" that the nation will flock to our standard in due course.
This naively overlooks the sheer power of conservative individualism to use a position of political power to promise something for everyone-regardless of what problems face us as a polity.
Which is one of the secrets of their staying power or so I think.
Otherwise I suspect one of the unintended consequences of Reagan's death might be the resurrection of Jimmy Carter.
These days the Georgia democrat is in internal exile trapped in part by a nasty Simpson's-style caricature of his hapless ineffectuality.
Well....that may be so, but Herbert Hoover's virtues didn't quite come into focus until after his conqueror FDR died and perhaps the same good grace will descend upon Carter.
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
Talk Radio's charm offensive goes into Overdrive...
This morning at about 7:35am EST radio talk show host Don Imus called former President Clinton "Pig" Clinton.
So as to make sure we all understood him, the I-Man repeated the gruesome put down five minutes later.
Apparently, Don is still mad about the whole Lewinsky deal...after all he must talk about almost every day even five years later.
According to Imus, Bill compares poorly to the late Saint Ron who never set foot in the Oval Office without a suit coat on...or so the legend goes.
All that booze and cocaine back in the day has made the I-Man forgetful, otherwise he'd recall how fantasy, distortion and plain autohypnosis informed most of the late President's discourse.
But then that pretty much describes the Imus show....his much hyped "Cancer Camp for Kids" being as much a costly hallucination as Reagan's "Star Wars Initiative".
Still, "Pig" Clinton is pretty god damned churlish and low if you asked me.
It has much gotten to the point where a radio talk show tyrant who espouses the RIGHT THINGS can pretty much say whatever they want no matter how gruesome and appalling.
What is to restrain them?
Monday, June 07, 2004
But at the end of the Day....
Ronald Reagan can also be remembered for three important and ideological innovations within American Movement Conservatism:
1.) As I said yesterday, he made welching on debts the core value in classical conservative economics.
Here Reagan's reasoning was largely political not economic, a huge ongoing public debt supposedly prevented the proliferation of hated government social programs.
If future generations were loaded with huge public deficit then at least they were spared the irksome burdens of universal health care or well paved roads.
The consequences of this have been important, it now impossible to trust any aspect of the public purse to a self proclaimed "Reagan republican"....the very notion now implies our progeny will contend with heavy public debt which is the worst sort of taxation without representation.
2.) Reagan's supporters brought a "counter revolutionary chic" with them to Washington. A pose that the President embraced in due course. Revolution though, is the first recourse of tyrants and the last recourse of free peoples...in time the metaphor took on a life of it's own and now virtually every paltry atavistic notion vomited out of the Cato Institute is "revolutionary" or "Reaganesque in scope"....fine but where is the respect for old time democratic values?
Exactly nowhere these yokels drunk on the memory of Saint Ron will now tolerate any excess rhetorical or otherwise.
Nowadays Reaganism means men must fit the idea and if they can't tough luck.
3.) Lastly the late President had a healthy fantasy life. From his entirely mendacious claims of liberating death camps to his fascination with the end times...weird flights of fancy colored much of Reagan's thinking.
A habit his political descendents have the same diresome tendencies....to this day they are still hung up on such early eighties classics as the strategic defense initiative and a balanced budget amendment to constitution. That neither of these phantasms will ever do anyone a lick of good is beside the point. Saint Ronald dreamed it, and we must go one drifting through his fantasies until we reach that shining chimerical city on a hill.
And so we drift like Peter Pan...even years later.
Sunday, June 06, 2004
Elegy for a cardboard cut out.
Ronald Reagan is dead; we shan’t see his like again in our lifetime.
I can recall a prescient political cartoon about candidate Reagan from Pat Oliphant circa campaign 1976:
Reagan is depicted as huge giant sized movie bill board arms outstretched with an avuncular grin on his face,
The caption reads “The Card Board Messiah!”
I am as fitting a eulogist for him as any, after all thanks to Saint Ron my youth came to end on the first Tuesday of November 1980.
No loss really, it was going nowhere and I knew it.
Ah President Reagan, those two words make me shudder involuntarily even twenty-four years later. Such is Saint Ron’s malefic character.
He was crude, ignorant, a sunny spendthrift, and a palpable fraud…. hardly a day went by when he didn’t say something stupid and churlish.
The government and the media were crammed with strange melodramatic fanatics-all resolute Reaganolators even then.
Dollar Bill Bennett, the scourge of college students everywhere, James Watt, La Famiglia Arbusto all got their start under Ronnie’s aegis.
Always a manager with an eye for the worst and the shameful, Reagan somehow overlooked thousands of able men and women in the U.S.M.C. to find one lieutenant Colonel Oliver North.
This is the gung ho jarhead that made contempt for democracy and the constitution fashionable among republicans up until the present day.
In time Reagan claimed victory over communism….yet he helped reduce America to a laughable second-rate economic power.
Ronnie revamped conservative orthodoxy to include self-righteously welshing on debts.
A vast horde of swinish lackeys and flatterers accompanied him to Washington and comported themselves with all the brutality and arrogance of Visigoths on payday.
This is when they weren’t praising Reagan’s abilities as “the great communicator and larding up his every accomplishment as a “revolutionary act”.
These louts and toadies are with us today…bloated, powerful, and even dumber than they were back in the days of the Reagan aufklarung.
Frankly I always thought Reagan talked to his audience like they were children and somehow made them like it.
Or maybe George Will liked being symbolically infantilized…I sure as hell did not.
For a while there I thought I was the only person in America who thought that gawd awful rouge they smeared on his jowls made Reagan look like an aging transvestite.
Saint Ron did have good fortune to have opponents in the Kremlin who were even more torpid and senescent than he.
Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko, and finally the frantic and publicity hungry Gorbachev all struggled and failed to come to grips with the California Kid.
They were a slack crew to rule over a corrupt and declining empire.
Poor Ron he had to “work”” every day to make these sick and exhausted Russians seem scary and formidable.
That was the gaudy parade that was Reagan’s first term, gusty bombast, neglect, treacly sentimentality….the public loved it or maybe they just loved the stable gasoline prices.
Me on the other hand…by 1983 I actually began gagging reflexively every time our increasingly naïve’ and jingoistic punditariat made use of that “catch in your throat patriotism” cliché.
Inevitably decline set in.
This faltering republic owes Fritz Mondale a debt of gratitude. For he conclusively demonstrated in their first presidential debate that Ronald Reagan was already hopelessly senile.
Fortunately as The Great Communicator’s second term progressed power passed more and more into the hands of his wife Nancy.
And if Nancy Reagan was ludicrously extravagant, petty, superstitious, and more than a little high strung, she was also a patriot and afflicted with a modicum of common sense.
I credit her with the collapse of communism, cleverly parodying the super power rivalry with her own ongoing soap opera catfight with Raisa Gorbachev.
Then the Berlin Wall fell, Bush senior got elected and Nancy and Ron returned to Santa Monica and the life of make believe cowboy ranchers.
To this day debts, neglect dopy jingoism and all…the GOP lives in the shadow of Reagan.
Sadly they have never been able to clone his unique political DNA.
Some have his dogmatism a’la GWB, others like John McCain his hawkish patriotism. To date no one has ever been able to re-assemble the total package.
Here though they are making a mistake, Reagan was a mutant a political dead end, no one else will ever have his opportunities for bombastic, mischief and ignorance.
The cold war is over and Reagan, the inevitable consequence of forty years of electoral frustration with the super power stalemate cannot be replicated in this modern world.
Not that the GOP won’t keep trying.
Still for all that, there was little deliberate mean ness to Reagan. He was detached and self centered but hardly a monster about it.
Tip O’Neill (a very shrewd judge of men) found the late President convivial company if cursed with ignorance and dogmatism.
This stands in direct contrast with the Bush family, up all night scratching away at their enemy’s list when they are not plotting to degrade and humiliate all those who oppose them.
Reagan always practiced a sort of flaky Buddhist detachment; he could hardly be bothered to recall the names among his children he and his wife were shunning.
He was the first U.S. President to have a genuinely fucked up family life and made few attempts to conceal it. From his failed first marriage, the whispers of substance abuse and homosexuality amongst his children, to the fact that Nancy ruled Ron the way Catherine the Great ruled Russia….The Reagan’s made family dysfunction feel cozy and normal for the first time ever.
That may well be Reagan’s lasting legacy in terms of social mores.
In the end Ronald Reagan would have made a great constitutional monarch for some small European duchy, Monaco or Luxembourg. Give King Ronald enough horses and a ranch to wander and he’d trouble his subjects not one whit.
But alas, he was our President a kind of brainless happy go lucky Calvin Coolidge…long on rhetoric short on real accomplishments. Millions mourn him tonight and will in due course make the most lavish demands on the nigh bankrupt public purse to memorialize him.
And THAT my friends is quintessentially Reagan-esque.
Goodbye Ron, don’t let the door hit you in the ass.
Dunno if there are horses where you are going but if you see Tip O’Neill tell him he has one former constituent who misses him.
Friday, June 04, 2004
All you need is cash....
Just time for the fall legislative campaign, the Kolobian Viceroy remembered to pump a hundred million dollars into local aid. This is so his hand-picked dacoits can have some money to talk about as they stammer and stumble through their Shawn Feddeman vetted speeches.
Never mind the fact that the Great and General Court has been trying to raise local aid since the imperial high noon of Jane "Jingle Money" Swift...nope in swoops Governor Decaf to take credit for the current modest state surplus.
It is all so very paltry and typical but oh just wait, Scott Lehigh will mark out hard for it next week and predict the imminent demise of the democrats.
Heartened by this loutish spectacle Mitt can, with a peaceful mind, roar off to his New Hampshire "summer home" via the family's allegedly uninsured SUV.
And there by whatever lake he infests, Mitt can gaze across the waters his cape fluttering in the breeze contemplating the thousands of suburban bankrupts soon to chant his holy name.
Meanwhile the supplemental budget only dredges up another 10 million for MCAS tutoring state wide. This is the equivalent of throwing a candy lifesaver to all those foundering Hispanic students that're dropping out in droves.
Come this fall pennies will become dollars, hundred will become thousands and what little we've got left will be spun as a cornucopia of reform induced abundance.
Thursday, June 03, 2004
By and By a Monster...
Joshua Micah Marshall has a short list of La Famiglia Arbusto satraps who could've tipped off Chalabi that we'd broken Iran's code.
That would be, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, DIck Cheney and Scooter Libby.
Chalabi is also quoted elsewhere as saying he got the info off a U.S. official who was "drunk" at the time.
So assuming the above list is authoritative and assuming Chalabi is truthful (two BIG assumptions), narrowing down the suspects is a mere matter of finding out who is a drinker.
Doubtful I think he takes that dickey heart of his seriously besides, the Veep's comings and going are rigidly supervised by the Secret Service. If Chalabi had been lazing around the "undisclosed location" doin' jello shots with Vice President surely they'd be logged documentation somewheres?
Possible he is a martini and steaks type republican....but is he a mouthy drunk?
I'm inclined to drop anyone at the executive level off the list only because we'd a known by now if they were serious boozers.
If indeed he is "the stupidest f*ckin' person on the planet" as quoted in Woodward's new book, then blabbing a state secret like that would be his style.
Liquor and being "light as ashes" are a poor mix in the halls of state.
Wolfie is alleged to be Chalabi's biggest apologist in the current Admin. So even if he wasn't drunk my money would be on him as the leak.
If it is true that Scooter gave the Iranian codes info to Chalabi then the guy would have to constitute a felonious threat to the national security of the U.S.A. Between this situation and his involvement in the Valerie Plame affair serious minds have to wonder whose side Libby is really on.
We are so totally over Kenneth Starr and the Clinton rules it is not funny.
If these yankers were democrats they'd all be under indictment or at least polygraphed by now.
But ah these are Bush's fabled grown-ups and as we all know real grown ups are no good at investigating themselves...they do a king hell job though of coming down like a million pound shit hammer on unwary democrats.
Even a doofus like George Bush could figure out who snitched out Valerie Plame and who spilled the beans to Chalabi.
Supposedly the President has the most loyal courtiers on the planet, if he simply asks them whodunnit point blank won't he get the truth???
At the very least subject them all to a breathalyzer test first thing in the morning...four or five iterations and you'll have your man I guarantee it.
Wednesday, June 02, 2004
Serious neocons cite Libya's sudden pro-western tilt as evidence that the U.S. invasion of Iraq is intimidating terrorist sponsoring states.
And in truth, Colonel Khaddafi has given up his nuclear weapons program...but only after twenty years of funding with no discernable results.
"Never mind!" croweth the neo cons, "He knuckled under, ON TO Tehran!"
Tehran indeed, all indications are that the Islamic Republic whilst making all the cooing and soothing non proliferation noises is still trying to build a nuclear bomb.
Since they are right next door to Iraq this sorta makes hash of the notion that mere force of arms is sufficient to make the Arabs yield up their yellowcake and centrifuges.
What is needed here is a policy rather than bumptious press releases and bluster from the likes of Bill Safire.
Iran is a signatory to the 1968 Non Proliferation Treaty but that gives one cold confort given their history with us and other nations.
Moreover, we have few diplomatic levers with which to affect Iranian behavior.
We might want to think about what Iran might be inclined to give us if we look the other way when it comes time for the factions in Iraq to really settle the issue of who shall rule.
Pro Iranian forces have a good chance of seizing power at some point, we may as well get something worthwhile in return.
Well it is something to think about however ruthless the notion may be.
Tuesday, June 01, 2004
Mem Day Memories...
Years ago I co-wrote a film column for an awful snarky local weekly in Metro Boston.
Sadly said weekly has survived to this day as a periodical dedicated to the lunatic notion that the Hub actually has a jet-set night life.
In those days though, it was a inane rag edited by fresh-out-of BU fratboys...pale lardy specimens in painter's pants.
Anyway....the top hammerhead decided that for Memorial Day 1992 we were gonna fill up our column with dross about all the great war movies that were available on VHS.
In vain we argued the notion that Memorial Day was not exclusively a military themed holiday....we went on to suggest that McHale's Navy joins the Air Force might not set the right tone either.
Our editor blinked brightly suggested Stripes starring Bill Murray would make a fine starting point.
Inwardly we groaned....clearly this zygote associated Memorial Day with service commedies...
Never mind the fact that no one at this publication had ever heard a shot fired in anger...indeed the city room would probably shit itself in raw terror if the delivery truck backfired out on the street.
Nope...this was the TV generation's grandchildren in the saddle, all they knew about war was that they saw on American Movie Classics.
Alas,Bobo the boy editor's so called mind was made up...he wanted war movies.
So after a certain amount of discussion we turned in a column that reveled in three great anti-war movies which we listed as Little Big Man, Dr. Strangelove, and Catch 22.
In fact our discussion about Catch 22 mostly revolved around Orson Welles' doomed attempts to option the novel for his own film adaptation.
Granted it was politically precocious to go off on such a tangent, since neither my writing partner nor I were particularly known for our pacifism.
No if anything we had a burning dislike for flabby gaseous young editors who got their sense of national sacrifice from Spielberg's "1941".
Most of whom seem to have ditched local journalism for a spot in Rumsfeld's Pentagon from the looks of things.
So let us take a moment to recall all absent friends in uniform and out.