The Chimes at Midnight
Friday, July 30, 2004
The Speech of His Life...or "Mist' Kerry comin' wid his chariot..."
They always call the democratic challenger's acceptance oration "the most important speech he-she-it will ever give"...
This is because most pundits have unconsciously internalized the notion of conservative omnipotence, thus they must hype the sheer daunting task set before the candidate.
In the good old days of Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, candidates didn't personally accept the nomination at the convention. Some party notables would drop by his house a month later to inform the poor luckless bastard that the destiny of a growing republic rested on his shoulders.
There would then be a short speech of gratitude and the fight was on.
We are so past that it is like hominids contemplating fossilized trilobites.
Nonetheless it was a good speech last night from Senator Kerry.
For a guy with a complicated resume that doesn't initially resonate with the common man, Kerry did a good job of drawing simple straight lines from his autobiographical facts to the values his candidacy embodies and on to the policies he hopes to implement.
Kerry sounded a thoroughly Wilsonian note on matters economic, ergo that he wants to do right by those on the make rather than those already made.
He also made the necessary Clintonian noises on fiscal issues and bound it all up in a promise of hope, vigor, and resolution.
Kerry was earnest, declarative and entirely sincere.
It was no "Cross of Gold" effusion but it was honest and unpretentious.
We could all use a bit of that in the White House.
All I really know about John Kerry is the admonition a dying Uncle gave me in 1982 to "Stick with Kerry, he is goin' places"...and Uncle Thomas was no flaming democrat by any means.
Remember this, when the klaxon goes off, and the moment of maximum peril has arrived, John Kerry only needed one bullet.
That speaks to a power of decision not available to the George Bush's of this world.
There are a lot of people out there, pundits, ideological warriors and the like, who think John Kerry is a liberal weenie therefore easily beaten in a general election.
I remind these solons, the John Keller's and Brian McGrory's of the fourth estate that the political grave yards of this Commonwealth are full of people who thought John Kerry would be easily jacked up.
Tell that to Senators Weld, Shamie, and Rappaport.
But don't tell it to Bush, he will find out soon enough.
Thursday, July 29, 2004
I saw the character actor James Cromwell walking up Congress Street towards the Fleet Center last night around dinner time.
Just what his link is to the 2004 Democratic National Convention is a holy mystery.
He was laughin' and smilin' though.
I also saw the unquiet shade of Senator Hilary Rodham Clinton waft by, she was behind the tinted glass of a Ford Explorer, and I out on the street corner.
I waved my hideous little porkpie hat...no doubt the Junior Senator from New York was off to dinner at the Kerry's for a preview of tonight's acceptance speech.
I also saw Chris Matthews doin' "Hardball" from Quincy Market...Imus is right, Chris is starting to bloat up alarmingly.
The fat in Matthews' head has reached his waistline.
The crowd seemed reasonably charged an enthusiastic...the show's set up was not fifty feet from where JK announced for President last summer.
The delegate's entrance was clogged with the usual mix of hangers-on, volunteers, and political freaks with hangups about abortion, Israel or the war.
The free speech zone is right around the corner, everyone who is anti and agin' is up in arms about being shunted aside but it seems like a reasonable location to me.
The truth of the matter is, whether you worship the first amendment as a god or are a stalwart republican, nobody is gonna share the podium with you if you aren't paying for the hall and microphone.
Other than that, it is a grand show with all sorts of things going on...even the protesters seem content to indulge street theater tactics....the line of orange jumpsuited "free speech detainees" lumbering up Congress Street last night had a police motorcycle escort.
Yes they were being directed to a particular undesirable spot but the police contingent added a touch of verisimilitude to the proceedings.
Meanwhile...the elusive Ben Affleck is what thirty two? He'll be thirty four in 2006...can he run for Governor or something?
I mean he has a nice nest egg from all those crappy hollywood action pictures...and self financing will be a critical thing for the race against Romney. If he is old enough I say we whomp together a citizens for Affleck committee.
Hey the guy just busted up with Jennifer Lopez, nothing like running for Governor to efface the memory of a tacky social climbing bint.
But the real story is parking...I found a parking space on Charles Street at about 5:20pm last night...not even a stone's throw from Senator Kerry's home.
All in all the convention is a great show anyone who can ought to check it out. However lets remember the local merchants near the Fleet Center and North End who took a hit in the pocketbook this week. Everyone should make time this weekend to patronage these establishments and try to reduce their liability a bit.
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Local Coverage of the DNC...
NECN has trotted out that shopworn, obnoxious little twit Avi Nelson to do tag team commentary with Robert Reich.
Has the intellectual class of the local GOP gone completely bankrupt that the insufferably humorless Avi is all they have to offer?
Good Ghod the man has been doing his turgid smart aleck act for over 25 years now without a stop and sans so much as a iota of new material.
I wonder why Avi has so much props with the Massachusetts Republican Party?
I mean, his primary challenge to Ed Brooke in 1978 accomplished naught except to turn the seat over to a democrat...and the democrats have held it ever since.
And now, Senator John Kerry, the inheritor of said seat, bids on being President...
Meanwhile clueless and secure, Avi blathers on like it's 1979 and Ed King is still Governor...sad really.
No it's funny in the final analysis...
Ghod but Avi Nelson is such a whiny irritating wretch-is there no one else available to read Karl Rove's approved zingers?!
C'mon lets give Tagg Romney a break...he is just sitting there over at the State GOP Headquarters...he has time on his hands!
Sounded like she was on quaaludes on Imus this morning...listless, disengaged, with that weird "huuuuh?" deafness that seems to be a mark of serious downer abuse.
Of course she is in Boston today, covering the convention so her lassitude could have been caused by any one of a number of factors.
I'm sure she was just tired from being around so many energetic and enthusiastic hope-sodden people.
Even a harpie like Andrea can get worn down...
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
The Big Dawg yawns and stretches...
But for a pesky amendment to the constitution, that could easily have been Bill Clinton accepting the party's nomination for a fourth term as President last night.
The party faithful still love him, his powers of persuasion are as yet undiminished, and his ideas as relevant as ever.
The punditariat all hate him (even as they've made millions off of his career)...but having the William Safires and the George Wills of the world against is no great handicap for Clinton when goes forth seeking the votes of anxious moderates and independents.
Is there any doubt that he would've beaten George Bush Jr. like a rented government mule in 2000?
Hell every Al Gore made every mistake in the book and he still beat Bush by a half million votes.
Nope, Bill is unique.
He is a member of a small exclusive club with a few Roosevelts and a certain member of the Kennedy family in attendance. Call it the "Charisma League" or what have you.
Trust me, no amount of legacy muscle will ever get George Bush Jr. into that particular club.
But what of John Kerry? He is neither encrusted with a vast propaganda apparatus to make him seem authentic as it the case with Bush nor is he naturally compelling a'la the Big Dog.
Which is fine by me, too much is expected of charismatic leadership at the expense of mere honesty, hard work, and resolution.
Monday, July 26, 2004
Dimmy Karras has linked once again to a post on this, the little blog that cried.
I'm grateful for the props since as usual my "ratings" are tanking.
All decent citizens should check out Dimmy's blog as he is doing yeoman work this week as a blogger and a DNC volunteer.http://dimmykarras.blogspot.com
Jay Severin on Imus today...
Humble Elias is gonna need help on this one kids.
Jay was on Imus this morning....in full rant mode...I mean, foaming at the mouth.
Blind is his hatred for John Kerry and perhaps the very concept of democracy itself...but did anyone else hear him "tell" Senator Kerry to"stay out" of some park somewhere?
Was it Fenway? Cause it looked like Kerry was having a good time last night as the Sox jumped ugly on the Yankees...
Severin's tone hardly suggested a word to the wise to the Secret Service...it was to me more than a bit threatening.
Well, I freely admit the exact "park" Jay was talking about escaped me...but then Severin has this raspy untrained little voice ill suited to radio.
And he blurted it out quickly before rushing on to other harangues...so I didn't catch the exact location.
Anyone with an authoritative transcript should send me a note at Eliasnugator@yahoo.com
Or just forward the whole thing to the Secret Service let them evaluate it...after all homeland security is everyone's responsibility.
And another thing...Jay claimed that he was broadcasting today from 96.9 WTKK FM talk's "studios"...can anyone out there confirm this?
Or is Jay just calling it in from his plush home in suburban New York again?
Anyone who sights Jay within metropolitan Boston drop me a little note at Eliasnugator@yahoo.com
The point is...tawk radio tyrants can just about say anything can't they?
Lie about being "live and local"...snarl threats at presidential candidates...just do anything they want?
Their power goes every day directly at the expense of a democratic polity.
Lying has malign consequences for everyone else from the President of the US on down...lying for today's rightical chic radio tyrants is naught but a fast track to a big pay day.
Think about that....
Friday, July 23, 2004
It doesn't take much to impress...
Brian McGrory and Scot Lehigh now does it?
Today's Globe features columns by both these solons slavishly praising Governor Romney for his intervention in the Boston Police Patrolman's contract dispute.
Meanwhile the Herald tells us that the BPPA is still gonna picket the convention....arbitration or no arbitration.
Doesn't seem like Decaf's intervention has produced the desired results does it?
Well, whatever happens you can depend on Brian and Scott simply swooning over Mitt whatever the Governor does.
Whenever Romney sits down by first base at Fenway Park (thus assuring Kolobian Viceroy of tons of free live shots in the course of the game) d'ye suppose Scot howls ecstatically at his wife, GF or SO "Honey honey come quick...look LOOK! Mitt's on TV, MITT IS ON TEEVEE!!!!" ?
I wouldn't mind so much all politicians must have their apologists after all....at least in every other state in the union.
Here in Commonwealth we do things differently.
The local dynamic has always been "tear someone down to get your ticket punched"...this was Howie Carr's path to a cushy talk radio gig when the Duke was on top so now everyone imitates that template.
So who is after Romney the way Howie jumped ugly Dukakis?
Answer: no one.
Because Romney's brand of feelgood reform placebos carefully reflects the naive and unconscious political prejudices of our local punditariat.
He is rich, they wanna be rich. He has a CEO's reforming zeal...that dovetails nicely with their own suspicions of career politicians. He wants to be President and they all wanna be his Ben Bradlee.
They also have a need to come off as pseudo contrarians...marking out hard for Mitt Romney fulfills that impulse quite nicely...as if kissing the ass of a governor who won by a wide margin was ever a diresome risk.
Its a perfect fit really when everyone gets down flopping over on their backs.
All I can say is...
does Dick Cheney know?
That the President okayed the sale of US arms to Iraq's new "government" last week? This is the same peaceful democratic Iraq that has risen up in guerilla warfare against us and our so called coalition. Given the fluid nature of Iraqi politics at this point is this a good idea?
Just how many of those M-16's and mortars will soon be in the hands of Sadr's gang or the god damned Fedayeen?
Well, if Dick doesn't know then he needs to crawl out of the anti-environment bunker he has been hiding in and start rifling through the President's "in-box" before GWB gets up in the morning.
This mishaugas sounds like the last deathless charge of the admin neo-cons...y'know buy the wog's loyalty by giving them rifles and other deadly trinkets. Given the fact that Iraq is already awash in portable weaponry one doubts these new arms sales will produce much in the way of gratitude.
Our troops still lack body armor and hummers with bulletproof doors...but we are still gonna sell the Iraqis brand new machine guns and TOW missiles.
The only question in my mind is, which member of GWB's wealthy "pioneers" fund-raising cabal is going to profit from these arms sales?
Cause you just know someone somewhere who has made a cash contribution to Bush's campaign stands to make a fortune off this deal. Anything this crazy and dangerous inevitably profits one or another of the usual suspects.
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
Well...after no hemming and hawing whatsoever Ralph Nader has decided to accept the signatures gathered for him by the Michigan GOP to get on that state's presidential ballot this November.
So when does a anti corporate crusader who accepts the help of outright commerce worshippers, stop being a hero to his following?
This being America after all and the land of the co dependent political cult, the answer is never.
Nader has gone way beyond mere willful egotism this time.
I really think he is hoping Bush will be re-elected and the nation will go to smash thus punishing the electorate for not listening to him down through the years.
It is all pure spite on his part.
It is not even about a vaguely Leninist ambition to rebuild something better out of the rumble...Ralph knows who swings the sledgehammers in DC-he is crazy but he is not dumb.
Such is the necrosis that inevitably sets in when one is a famous political gadfly.
Enoch Powell once observed "all political careers end in failure".
To which I must add "All political careers end in betrayal sooner or later".
Of course I have to wonder, just who will be left for Ralph to betray and excoriate if Bush is re-elected?
No doubt GWB will unleash Grover Norquist and David Bossie to finish off the remains of democracy in America.
Liberals will hang from the lamp-posts from Georgetown to the Smithsonian.
Meanwhile Ralph will be touring campuses wonderingwhy his celebrated harangues are playing to nigh empty houses.
As I've said before there is nothing left but to engage his supporters on a case by case basis.
Ralph likes to sneer at the democrats for being tools of the corporations...but look who is helping him along every step of the way?
The GOP the very secular political front of commerce worship in America.
I mean really, who IS the tool here?
Monday, July 19, 2004
Jacoby-ism in the class room
Jeff Jacoby was smacking his lips with glee yesterday in his regular Boston Globe column.
It appears that the town of Saugus has been compelled to implement across the board budget cuts in it's school system. Most team sports have been eliminated along with the "Model U.N." (Hence you can understand Jeffie's gruesome glee...if he can't burn the real thing he'll see it's image defiled in Saugus) and a host of other extracurricular activities.
Well...times are tough all over and if girl's field hockey and the chess club have to take a hit then so be it. The state and the fed's have resolved themselves into vast Councils of Pedagogy loading up the localities with absurd standardized tests and other hopeless trifles.
Not much time left over to teach the kiddie's lacrosse I'll admit.
And frankly given the current climate of curriculum development written by committee we will see much more of this in the by and by.
Less money for schools as the latest baby boom peters out and more state sponsored mandates and guidelines.
But of course Jeff can never restrain himself and after gloating over Saugus' impoverished school environment he starts fantasizing about school choice and other chimeras as the answer to all educational problems.
He is hung up on the holy inviolate marketplace as the main means by which to train the future citizens of this democracy.
Frankly, I suspect Jacoby pretty much worships the free market in a particularly crude and pagan fashion.
He is akin to serious Jesus Freak in that regards...if ONLY principals could hire and fire teachers and commerce ruled the issue of school choice, everything would shine with a utopian light.
The notion though, that the free market somehow fosters diversity is pure fiction. There is little that is inherently fair about competition-just ask anyone who has tried to go up against Microsoft.
The profit motive can be a tremendous inhibitor of diversity and innovation...remember that the next time you are blasting down the high way and your only choices for dinner is McDonalds and Burger King.
Yet Jeff has the gall to rail against bureaucratic one size fit's all education. Gosh it was mere century ago that all the serious conservatives had a hard on for secular public education. They saw it as a bulwark against the predations of parochial schools and the so called fine eye-talian hand of the Pope.
Now of course they are in bid with political Protestantism so free public education has to be handed over to the hucksters and frauds.
Mind you, a secular public education IS yet a hallmark of a vibrant democracy....so if movement conservatives like Jeff Jacoby have given up on free schooling then how soon before they turn on free elections and the bill of rights?
Friday, July 16, 2004
Return of the Merry Mendicant...
The Boston Globe reports that former governor and ambassador to Canada Argeo Paul Cellucci will resign his post and return to Massachusetts come January 2005.
Oh Ghod be still my beating heart, Penniless Paul Cellucci is coming back just in time to run for the U.S. Senate!
Well, I knew the state GOP would have to scrape the bottom of the barrel to come up with a candidate if Kerry wins, but I never thought they'd have to go as far as Toronto.
The mathematics here are simple, Romney can't run himself because it wouldn't look right (DON'T rule him out true believers...selfish sociopaths always find a way in)...so IF a senate race is scheduled for next winter, then Governor Decaf needs a republican with name recognition, fund-raising ability and if possible someone with statewide bona fides.
That is a very short list indeed, comprised of Jane "Jingle Money" Swift who ran as Cellucci's Lt. Governor in 1998, and former state treasurer "Jerky" Joe Malone whose record has been subsequently tarnished by allegations of petty thievery among his staff.
Given this tattered and inane line up, a Cellucci candidacy makes robust sense. Granted Penniless Paul has but 20,000 left in his political account but a man who is used to fund-raising for his kid's college tuition and his own political races won't have too much trouble getting up the cashola.
In some ways Paul would make the perfect GOP senator, he is utterly spineless....rumor has it he used to all but hide when the House and Senate Leadership walked down the hallways in the State House-a notion pleasing to Bill Frist no doubt.
His chronic indebtedness (allegedly covered by friendly bankers in his hometown of Hudson Mass.) makes him a potential playa in a Washington ruled by deficit spending social conservative whackos.
Face it, the man's time may have come...again.
I wonder though, remember back in campaign 1998 when Paul ran on a pro-death penalty platform?
Given the R.C.C.'s opposition to the death penalty, will the Arch Bishop make ominous rumblings about denying the former Governor the Eucharist?
Probably not, the local catholic hierarchy takes a remarkably broad general view of things when republican's stray from the church's teachings.
Still it'd be fun to see if it happened...Cellucci is such a tepid hack he'd probably keel over from sheer shock.
Thursday, July 15, 2004
Outs and Ins
There is a blog in DC that has been outing gay staffers of homophobic GOP legislators this summer.
Pretty harsh policy if you asked me, but when the US Senate starts toying with your rights and lives, anything can happen I guess.
Meanwhile, there must be more than a few homosexuals working in a political capacity for Mitt Romney, Ardith Wieworka's dismissal notwithstanding....how do they feel about doing the heavy lifting for a governor who wants to be the North East's biggest loudest crudest fag basher?
Je's curious y' unnerstan'.
First thought, best thought...
Now that the Bush twins have taken to the hustings to campaign for their father, it might be interesting for some enterprising person to ask Jenna or Barbara their personal views on gay marriage.
The pro gay marriage vote is largely under thirty years of age so I wonder if there is any daylight between the twins and their father's crude theocratic opinion of the issue.
Probably not but said query would be good bellweather as to how well Karl Rove has briefed the twins.
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Cut throats and compromisers
In his regular column in the Boston Globe, dated 7-13-04, Brian McGrory wrote the following:
I'll confess I didn't mind seeing Bush win the Presidency in 2000. I expected him to lead Washington the way he did Austin, which was in a civil, bipartisan manner, free of the rancor and trash talking that characterized Tom Delay and Trent Lott's capital.
Poor Brian, he really is a naive yap when you get right down to it.
It is not that Brian is a conservative per se, it is just he really believed that warm fuzzy moderate bullshit that Bush spouted on the campaign trail back four years ago.
This is Karl Rove's "talk centrist, govern as a reactionary" formula, so far it has been a success, especially at pulling the wool over the eyes of silly mealy-mouth fools like Brian McGrory.
La Famiglia Arbusto's de facto motto down through the years seems to be "winning ugly is better than losing every time". This is something we should all keep in mind when it comes time for Jeb to take up the overseership of Plantation USA.
You'd think McGrory would remember something like that...but no.
In the past four years Bush has helped put into the U.S. Senate loathsome bastards like Saxby Chambliss who happily questioned the patriotism of Max Cleland and Attorney General John Ashcroft an sort of Oliver Cromwell type with a pleasant tenor voice.
None of these ass holes are centrists in any sense of the word....Chambliss or that fag basher Mitt Romney would run every moderate within reach through a wood chipper if it meant more power and prerogatives for them and their like.
Meanwhile down in Oklahoma, Rep. Tom Coburn is running for the GOP's senate nomination on a promise to execute all "abortion doctors". Is there any doubt that if he secures the nomination this barbarian and his plans for doctor-genocide will be sharing a platform with President Bush this fall???
And anyway Bush didn't "win" anything like an election, he won a lawsuit with the help of his father's trusted henchmen and a few fanatical Supreme Court Justices.
Far from exercising a restraining influence on Delay and his ilk, President Bush has been actively recruiting more power worshipping reactionary bastards to come to DC and take up their malevolent work.
Are these the men who will govern in "a civil bipartisan manner free of rancor and trash talking..."?
There is a problem of perception here, and then a problem of unconscious ideology.
When Brian McGrory looks at President Bush, he sees a nice well meaning "centrist" and "authentic" regular guy.
The rest of us, who judge the President on his acts and his increasingly irrational intentions see a narrow minded ideologue and a fanatic...simpleminded rather that authentic and a Commander in Chief who believes in the end, that people must be made to fit ideas.
Why, Brian perceives the President so, is an interesting question.
I think he has completely internalized the notion that movement conservatism is a creed of strength and honesty.
This is McGrory's own belief,unconscious perhaps, but the equation that conservative=strength is a vivid factor in his writing.
Allied to that, is Brian's weird notion (one that he shares with literally thousands of pundits and public thinkers) that "bipartisanship" should somehow drive political debate...that compromise between parties and ideology is the preferred outcome in Washington DC.
Compromise is fine I guess, when the contracting parties are acting honestly and in the public interest.
However raw partisanship is what drives history as much as anything.
One presents a case honestly and forcefully and wins over the moderates to forge a new governing coalition.
Yes it is messy and yes it is loud but it also pretty much a historic norm.
The Ashcrofts and the Chambliss' of Bush's Washington aren't prepared to compromise on anything and why should they? Their GOP has never had so much power in it's entire history...one more good election and they can finally smash the modern state and reconstruct the rubble to resemble the dear departed Washington of William B. McKinley.
How can anyone ever hope to compromise with the likes of GOP activist Grover Norquist...a man who quite literally believes in the efficacy of the classic one party state on the South American model?
Brian just doesn't see this...ideological warfare is going on all around us, and all he can think on is nice powerful honest conservatives make nicey nice with weak wavering well meaning liberals.
Is he even awake to the world the rest of us live in?
This is not a time for compromise because as far as I am concerned there is no one to compromise with.
Try telling that to Brian with his quaint notions of George Bush being the centrist messiah.
Monday, July 12, 2004
Six question to think about as mid summer looms:
6) Why does Joe Lawless still have a job and Ardith Wieworka but none?
5.) Will America ever tire of Howard Fineman's snarky, mincing, condescending tone?
4.) Does Jimmy Kimmel get the worst guests on his talk show or what?
3.) Does anyone out there know what Tagg Romney really does at the State Republican Committee that couldn't be done much cheaper by an intern from Umass?
2.) Whatever happened to Zack Spilman, the kid who dressed up as a dinosaur and haunted all of Shannon O'Brien's rallies in 2002? Has Governor Decaf recruited him for a state legislative race this fall?
1.) Will the City of Cambridge ever finish it's seemingly endless round of repairs to Cambridge Street?
Friday, July 09, 2004
The Globe's op-ed page...
hunkers down and comes out bitchin'!
Anyone catch the three-fer the other day?
Jeff Jacoby opined that John Edwards wasn't necessarily merely the threat to the rights and lives of all decent citizens.
Ellen Goodman sighed and was vexed that a woman didn't get a sinecure and isn't that somehow a sad sign on the times.
Joan Vennochi was rambling on about how "the two Johns" don't quite add up to a JFK or some twaddle like that.
You get the drift?
There is no operational difference between the Globe's op ed page and the Herald's when it comes to John Kerry he is singularly lacking in any conspicuous craven apologists or friends among the local punditariat.
The trend shows no sign of abating, most of these yobs are looking to get their tickets punched atop John Kerry's political grave-that fact alone is enough to rouse me to go door to door for the ticket in New Hampshire tomorrow.
Speaking of Jeff Jacoby it is almost time for another one of those lugubrious "my dearest Caleb" columns.
Pity the child of a columnist who is reduced to being a dependable rhetorical crutch during the summer doldrums.
I wouldn't mind these yankers so much but they are a pitiful naive' lot in so many ugly ways.
While they are trying to exploit the Kerry campaign for their own ill gotten ends, Governor Decaf allegedly and blithely fires Ardith Wieworka, the Commissioner of Child Care Services because she is marrying her same sex partner.
The Lehighs and McGrorys out there are utterly silent in regards to this shameless act.
Oh the Man from Kolob is walkin' with the Gods these days to be sure!
Only the class acts allowed in, Huey Long, Herman Talmadge and there next to his excellency, the late Orval Faubus, a demagogue so obscene he had to be forcibly restrained from taking up baby eating in public.
Mittens has raised up a slob army of brutes and realtors to run in the fall legislative election and now he is "sending a message" to every marriage minded miss and mister in the bureaucracy that he has a definite interest in just who they marry.
Bossy prick isn't he?
I mean who died and him sole Matrimony Czar of the Commonwealth?
And yet not a single apex predator columnist has taken up the issue...what with more important stuff out there like John Kerry's irresolute body language how could they?
It would be a disservice to the Commonwealth.
Thursday, July 08, 2004
Ethic Strife on Beacon Hill....
Geez I don't think Edwards was on the democratic ticket for two full hours before Romney came charging out of his office blathering the usual RNC talking points and trying oh so hard to look tough and outraged.
State Rep James Marzilli has filed an ethics complaint over the Governor's lavish use of public resources to blast the Kerry/Edwards ticket.
Chimes at Midnight applauds Representative Marzilli's energy but one doubt the Ethics Commission will do anything except uphold the Governor's royal prerogative to abuse public monies and employees on a whim.
After all what are public ethics compared to the chance to horn in on the national spotlight and stir up out of state wowsers?
Ghod but Decaf truly is turning into a yappy obnoxious geek isn't he?
Two years into his first term and all he has to show for it is Billy Bulger's white haired scalp and a pile of moldy press releases.
He has scared up a bunch of losers and bindlestiffs to run for the legislature this fall.
Oh and The Kolobian Viceroy has become a leading expert on the loathsome perils of gay marriage thus exposing the Commonwealth to unflattering comparison to Orval Faubus' Arkansas.
Other than that...just what has Mitt Romney done for anyone lately?
Wednesday, July 07, 2004
My slanguage hijacked...
Robert Kuttner in his syndicated column (which appears in today's Boston Globe) uses the term "punditariat" when describing the DC press establishment.
I dreamed up the neologism"punditariat"-I could use a citation here thank you very much!
Been tossing it around on the Bartcop board for a few years now as well on this very blog.
I wouldn't mind so much except a big name blogger who shall remain nameless chided me once for using it in a private e-mail.
This big-time blogger just didn't dig my new term of contempt.
Nonetheless, I love that little word, it neatly encapsulates the perennial state of false consciousness that infects the op-ed class-especially when these over paid yobs presume to speak for "ordinary average Americans".
So there is a slight whiff of class warfare in my use of the term.
Well what the hell, Bob Kuttner is welcome to it, he is only appropriating material I dreamed up three years ago...I moved on to other more beguiling stuff since then.
But Bob (can I call you Bob?) if you are somehow reading this, I AM in the market for a new job big guy. I got plenty more material where "punditariat" came from all priced to move in these summer doldrums!
Drop me a little ringy-dingy if'n yer interested!
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
When the Great and General Court finally legalized tattoo parlors...did any of the assembled representatives stop and wonder if the Commonwealth actually had any talented tattoo artists on tap?
No joke dear readers I went to the beach this weekend, both Horse Neck and Newburyport, and in every case the joint was swarming with lousy tattoos.
"Lions" adhering to someone's calve...and looking all the world like the king of beasts was pulled out of the deep end of the pool at the last minute. Treacly faded roses on the usual stount ankles, crapulous bits of barbed wire entwined around biceps..in all a disheartening experience.
Worse yet everyone had one, and they were all wretched tatttoos.
My eleven year old nice could draw better kitsch and does.
I think that anyone who can't hack it on tattoo row in Hampton New Hampshire must be summarily exiled to suburban Boston to make their living as best they can.
Such is the lesson of Independence Day 2004.
Friday, July 02, 2004
The Veep Moment...
Since Kerry's Vice Presidential choice seems to be coming to a head, I suppose I ought to summarize my thinking on the subject.
As always the VP criteria is complicated and contradictory....you want ideological compatibility, personal compatibility (ergo someone who'll take orders and be a team player)...you want this person's home state obviously...and no odd characteristics or a difficult financial history.
I'd be bad for example to nominate D. Donald Dipstick only to discover that he has been taking an annual pay off from a dozen practicing satanists on the board of Conoco.
Kerry has some good choices with merits and defects galore:
John Edwards: Nice pleasant well mannered fella it always a sign of character when a guy runs for President and makes nothing but friends along the way. He is young maybe too young...and last year's rumor was the only reason he got into the race was to get his name bruited about prior to a gubernatorial run in North Carolina. So his commitment factor has to be questioned.
Moreover can he deliver North Carolina to the democratic column?
If he can't then he has to be able to put the ticket over in Florida...some hard headed polling must inform this choice.
Still he is bright and charismatic, and Edwards is the party favorite...can't go wrong with that.
General Wesley Clark: Ah the General...once he was my fifth choice for President (after Kerry, Kerry, Kerry, and Kerry)...for a while there last winter I thought he building up to a "Bobby Kennedy" moment in the primary race. Alas Clark's stumbling start reveals that he shares little of the late Senator from New York's political acumen. But he is a serious well spoken man in many respects...like Edwards he might play well in the south and render up a border state or two.
And it is nice to have a soldier come over to the democratic side and add some martial solemnity to the mix.
Choosing Clark means choosing "seriousness".
Dick Gephardt: In a normal political environment Dick would already be on the ticket. He is an esteemed party elder whose nomination would offend few and whose populist bona fides and skill as a legislative tactician make Gephardt a reasonable selection in every way.
Alas since Bush stole the 2000 election and the terrorist attacks on 9-11 we are not living in normal times...and every time Dick runs for President he seems to make more enemies.
But he is a good talker that much I know and he understands how the game is played.
And then there are the Florida twins, Bob Graham and Bill Nelson. Both are capable candidates in every way...both are alleged personal friends of Senator Kerry.
Nelson is a veteran and a former "politician in space" type astronaut. Graham is hung up on education issues and is a former Governor of Florida. He was briefly in the presidential race last year before bowing out. He like Gephardt a reliable party elder with few enemies and who can be relied on not to burden the ticket.
Both men are fine but a bit interchangeable.
While we are here, let me throw one name in the mix:
Former Texas Governor Anne Richards...okay so Bush beat her in 1994. Rovecorp has thrown everything they have at her and she is still standing....she might get something going with southern women and she is charismatic and known for her good manners.
She would make a good race.
All this having been said, my money is on Edwards....if it comes down to him or Gephardt then it's definitely the Junior Senator assuming the polling breaks in his favor.
Come let us be joyful...
Before the DNC is overwhelmed by the Bay State's traditional envy and self loathing, I'd like to make a few idle suggestions to make the confab pleasant, agreeable and exciting for our guests and all decent citizens of the Commonwealth.
Since Storrow Drive will be shut down for the whole mishaugas, why not make good use of the empty roadway and stage and old fashioned Roman chariot race for the delectation of the delegates and home viewers?
Rock ribbed democratic constituencies could challenge one another, the AFL-CIO versus the Congressional Black Caucus perhaps. The winners gain a laurel crown lowered onto their noggins by none other than Terry McAuliffe himself.
Lay out a primitive obstacle course under the Green Line's elevated tracks and allow local volunteers to run the gamut for yet another laurel crown.
Local amateur athletes should be encouraged to assemble and make a specimen of their abilities, especially if their chosen field is classical in nature i.e. the discus or the javelin.
Antics like this will demonstrate to the nation that the democrats take seriously what Norman Mailer once labeled "the adventure gap" in American life.
The work of a national political convention can easily be completed in the course of a three day weekend. The delegates merely ratify the outcome of the primaries...these five day festivals are mostly concerned with image shaping and whomping a platform together. I also suspect that both parties stick to the five day convention plan largely in order to reap some free advertising off the TV network who normally gouge top dollar for political advertisements.
As such, there is a lot of down time at these conventions. I say set up a nice squared circle on the floor of the Fleet Center and invite some reliable pro-wrestlers to grapple in between platform votes.
Get Randy "The Macho Man" Savage-he is old but fit as a fiddle and his demented narcissist act never gets tiresome.
Then hire Doink the Clown, or whoever owns Doink's persona these days. He plays a decadent little bastard everyone hates him...a match with the Macho Man will go over big-time with bored and stressed out delegates.
Since half of Boston plans to board up and flee to Hampton Beach or West Dennis it may well fall to the push cart peddlers to keep the DNC fed, thirst-free and entertained.
I say ring the Fleet Center with our best and brightest hustlers this will be a good way to spread some cashola around to the very lowest end of the local retail economy.
There ought to be push carts for soft drinks, sausages, popcorn, used books(romance novels, those will sell big I predict), the latest magazines, political pamphlets....and don't forget to let Brother Blue and the local buskers through the cordon. They will class up the joint pretty quickly.
At the very least let us send out a call for all local jugglers to assemble by the main entrance on the first day of deliberations.
Since streets are closed let us dance in them....jazz ensembles should be drafted ASAP...we've got local country and western acts fah gawd's sake let them serenade as they file in.
My point is, since we are wallowing in self loathing, can't we at least pretend to have a good time?
If for no other reason than to fool the rest of the country into thinking that we are a light hearted laughter loving bunch here in Boston.
Thursday, July 01, 2004
Nader and Naderism...
We are a long way from the fire and brimstone sermonizing of "Unsafe at any Speed".
A long way indeed.
These days Ralph Nader justifies his leftish spoiler candidacy for President on the grounds that he is the only incorruptible soul prepared to take on "Corporate America".
Which is funny because Corporate America is counting on Ralph to win the election for Bush and has put up hard cash on his behalf.
Yup, to get on the ballot and get his campaign moving Ralph has been taking money from long time GOP donors and accepting help from rightical chic groups like "The Oregon Family Council" and "Citizen for a Sound Economy".
Granted Bush and Kerry take campaign contributions from actors and groups with interests in government policy...under the present system of financing broadly draw as "socialized theft" they can do nothing else.
Yet Ralph is playing the same game and parading himself as an icon of political purity.
Moreover, who is he kidding? These big money contributions to Nader are naught but stealth attacks on the democrats prepared by sneaky republicans.
At least John Kerry is up front about the need for big money to fend off the usual character assassination from the GOP.
Nader is campaigning in the field today on the basis of being a useful tool of the radical right.
They know it, he knows it and yet it somehow suits his bloated adolescent ego to be the loud center of attention.
That is the only explanation I have for Nader's doomed candidacy...he can't win but he'll take the GOP's money in order to be heard.
There is a word for this it is called corruption....Ralph is taking pay offs in the belief that none of it will damage his saintly aura.
Well what of it?
The man is a narcissist....in the clinical sense of the term.
Ralph's self worship is such that nothing less than being strapped into a straitjacket and being bundled off to Saint Elizabeth's Hospital would derail his campaign.
I've given up criticizing him.
He is controlled by his ego and the rest of us will have to put up with it as best we can.
The only thing we can do is engage with his potential followers on a person to person level and hope for the best.
Kerry is fighting a two front war at this point, I wish him well with it.