Monday, January 31, 2005

McManus on the take...

Another conservative commentator has been exposed as covert collector of Federal long green. Columnist Mike McManus, syndicated in some one hundred papers nationwide accepted ten thousand to train “marriage counselors” as part of yet another Busheviki theocratic initiative.
Chump change being collected by an obscure third tier provincial conservative demagogue-just as Humble Elias predicted. The only other thing we need know about Mike McManus is that he is an insufferable crusading busybody and professional virtue hustler with a morbid fixation of other people’s marriages, divorces and sexuality. A perfect yap in other words and a charter member of the New Class of full time morality policeman. He is also by decree of the Department of Education deserving of MY MONEY to pay for his own religious fanaticism.
The fascinating part of all this is that the newspapers all these corruptards work for, are utterly unconcerned with the clear conflict of interest evidenced by their paid columnists. Nobody seems to care that their marquee pundits are themselves being systemically bribed by the very government. Nope....dey see nothink mein commandant no-think!
According to writer/columnist Joe Conason, this has been going on for years starting in 1980 when ABC’s George Will did debate prep for Ronald Reagan and then went on the air to self righteously proclaim the Gipper the winner of said event. Its been downhill ever since with everyone from Charles Krauthammer to William F. Buckley being caught taking undisclosed pay offs from various private benefactors. Since none of the above were ever called to account it was inevitable the public sector would get in on the act. No doubt other impoverished conservative zealots are on the take, and from agencies with bigger axes to grind than the Department of Education.
There seem to be no standards whatsoever that the conservative ascendancy is willing to impose on itself. Rules are what they promulgate to bedevil democrats and liberals nothing more. A more degenerated state of affairs cannot be imagined...does the Federal Government now have a sort of monarchical “civil list” i.e. a group of mendicants that the executive wishes to enrich at the public expense??


Sunday, January 30, 2005

Jacoby agonizes...

over the torture scandals at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay in his Sunday Globe column today. He even traces the whole mishaugas up the line to policymakers at the topmost level. However being a decorous man, he pussyfoots around the admin torturecrats declines to recommend that any of these persons be relieved of their duties.
Translation, Jeff doesn't have the guts to call for Alberto Gonzalez's ouster as AG designate. The other interesting thing about today's column, a seemingly heartfelt exercise, is it's timing. The Abu Ghraib revelations popped up during last year's presidential campaign and yet all we heard out of Jeff were worshipful barks at the mention of George Bush's name and thin snarls at John Kerry. As far as torture is concerned, Jacoby has been absent from the debate-til' now.
Of course, timing may admit other dimensions here, Iraq is voting today, if Jeff feared a bloodbath then the last thing he'd wanna do is run yet another "we are making progress in Iraq" piece. It'd be his four or so in a row that was attended on by some horrific carnage somewhere in that benighted land. The safe thing to do might be to get atop the whole torture issue.
All this does raise a curious question though, does Jeff Jacoby, that proud fantasist actually have one foot planted however lightly in the reality based camp??

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Decaf chimes in...

The Boston Herald scoops the whole town today with the following quote from the current Governor of Massachusetts:

Biz-savvy gov: Merger is `real shame' for workers
By Ann E. Donlan
Saturday, January 29, 2005

Gov. Mitt Romney [related, bio] slammed the blockbuster merger of Boston razor giant Gillette Co. with Procter & Gamble yesterday, calling the $57 billion stock deal a ``real shame.''
``I understand that there are going to be a lot of job losses. That's very unfortunate,'' he told reporters. ``I wish I had the power to prevent this acquisition from occurring. I don't.''

Whooo-weeee!!!! Dig that fiery populist Mitt is just shaking his pinky finger in fury at the "malefactors of great wealth", isn't he?
Is Humble Elias the only commentator who sees an odd degree of irony at work here? Mitt Romney, the archetypical ideological colonialist, denouncing the remorseless corporate colonization of Massachusetts? The Chimes at Midnight doesn't understand his attitude....if Massachusetts is but a political thralldom of out-of-state wowsers and small government fanatics, why shouldn't it become a franchise-heavy business satrapy as well? In terms of modern conservative dogma, the one follows the other. Suddenly though,Romney offers up a tinny sounding dissent.
The answer is simple, Gillette owns a huge facility in South Boston and Mitt wishes to make some inroads among urban blue color cohorts. Given the atomized and demoralized nature of the American underclass, Romney probably thinks he can buy their loyalty on the cheap with the usual hot air-hey it works for the suburban independents so there is precedent there.
There are other benefits to be derived from this situation beyond grabbing off a few votes in Southie. The GOP's lucrative "moderate racket" is built on windy pronouncements that will never have to be acted upon in any way. Op-Ed columnists are unusually vulnerable to these types of effusions, being themselves wishy washy middle-of-the-road republicans themselves they tend to see moderation even where none exists. Therefore look for Mitt to revive his bona fides as a toothy moderate in the eyes of Scot Lehigh and the like all at the cost of one short quote in the Saturday paper.

Not a bad investment all told.


Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Bribery Nation...

Recipent of Federal payola and conservative commentator Maggie Gallagher asserted on the "O'Reilly Factor" last night that she is held to a double standard as many of her pundit critics are themselves college professors and the like on the side.
Maybe so Maggie, but they aren't taking money from the Government they are supposed to be reporting on in a fair and balanced fascion...and if they are, they are obligated to disclose the relationship.
Its a question of character, ethics, morals and blah blah blah...
Maggie just doesn't get that, she displayed no remorse at all last night-her only emotion was a vague sort of baffled anger that she'd been found out. The ironic part is, Maggie was caught whoring her opinions for sheer chump change some forty thousand bucks all told, that doesn't even buy a decent ride anymore at the Cato Institute. The money is some type of indicator of her place on the conservative pundit food chain. Meanwhile,O'Reilly humorless, pompous,and more than a bit dim, merely grunted his assent at Gallagher's preposterous explanation like a good pseudoproletarian.
Nevertheless, there are more columnists on the take, third tier provincials, follow the money sez Humble Elias. Ultimately, the thing to remember about Maggie Gallagher is that she is a yap, and a corrrupt one at that. Her sense of entitlement (a key characteristic of today's third way conservatives) now apparently extends to outright Federal bribery. No doubt we would not have to go far back into her bibliography to find her railing against welfare payments to the poor, the unlucky, and the infirm...they don't deserve it, Maggie does.


Wednesday, January 26, 2005

AP reports five more combat fatalities

for the US Marines in Iraq today this on top of a deadly helicopter crash.
Must be time for another "we are making PROGRESS in Iraq" column from Jeff Jacoby.
Look for it soon.

Monday, January 24, 2005

David Nyhan is dead...

A long time ago, in a venue now defunct, Humble Elias made war on Nyhan, mocking his pomposity and general air of befuddlement.
Ah, but the Owl of Minerva flies at Dusk, and now with the man gone too quickly to dust, one is inclined to recall his virtues and vices in a more balanced fashion.
his heart at least, was in the right place. A proud Kennedy style liberal and an happy inheritor of a Massachusetts political tradition that stretched back to the Grand Days of Tip O’Neill and a rising democratic party. He never backed down and he never won...if that isn’t a Massachusetts liberal then what is?
The sad thing about David was, he came into his inheritance right when liberalism went over onto the defensive locally and nationally. Beset upon by palpable frauds like Ronald Reagan and his local impersonator Ed King, liberals have been on a twenty four year long retreat that shows no sign of ending.
Nyhan’s answer to all this was to bluster ineffectively and constantly promise a new golden era of liberal transcendence that was right around the corner. And yet the disasters and setbacks piled up year after year. A perceptive friend of the franchise once called Nyhan’s writing style “casually frantic” ergo both florid, woodenly glib, and all too often utterly unreadable.
The problem with David was, he couldn’t play defense worth a damn. To be a great columnist and writer he needed the sunshine of an American Liberal Ascendency-which was nowhere to be seen in the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s. One suspects he knew this, which is why he so often prophesied a miraculous backlash for the still isn’t here as of 7:11pm EST 1-24-05.
Nyhan’s nadir was reached in Campaign 1988 where he devoted reams of copy to the glories of Governor Dukakis’ presidential candidacy. Long about midsummer Humble Elias (safely tucked away in Graduate School don’cha know) suddenly realized poor Nyhan had gone around the bend and desperate to become President Dukakis’ own Ben Bradlee.
And then of course it all went to smash. Still Nyhan soldiered on but the columnist game in Boston was increasingly the preserve of phonies like Mike Barnicle or gruesome bottom feeders like Howie Carr. Nyhan sounded old, forlorn and abandoned. Finally he took the hint and retired to write an occasional column for Salem Times.
And then he pushed things too far with a snow shovel this weekend and POOF he is gone.
Of course the irony is, that with his passing, regression to the mean has taken hold on the op-ed page of the Boston Globe. in his stead we now have the embittered independent Joan Vennochi and the naive’ opportunistic Scot Lehigh. Neither of these two wankers has an opinion motivated by anything except self interest and an desire to strike asinine little poses in the public prints. With David Nyhan, rhetorical, bombastic, lamely glib you always knew where exactly he stood right or wrong.
So long David, the world is a nastier place with little hope on the horizon for any of us; may you rest in peace.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Jeff Jacoby's Sunday Column...

You know, car bombings, suicide bombings, and terrorism in general really don’t work as an instrument of policy. Look at Jeff Jacoby, every time he opens his pie hole and starts blathering on about how it is “Morning in Iraq” the bodies start piling up like cordwood. None of which affects Mr. Jacoby in the least. No matter how high the rubble bounces or how far the body parts may fly, he clings to his passionate delusion with the ardor of a hungry zombie.
And yet, Jeff is never more condescending than when he cheerleads for the bloody snipe hunt that is the Iraqi elections. His naivete’ has degenerated into a kind of painful autism. You’d almost think he really believes that the wholesale slaughter of political candidates is somehow truly a part of the glorious democratic process!
Still and all, he is our laughing young senescence, attributing FDR’s “rendezvous with destiny” remark to his hero Ronald Reagan sans so much as a by-your-leave. Perhaps Reagan was cribbing from Roosevelt and perhaps Jeff couldn’t be bothered to check. Thats Jeff though, haughty, unyielding, and lavish with other people’s blood and treasure. He is the perfect modern conservative.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Cold winds blow...

th snow piles up and as surely as a dog returneth to his vomit, so too does Governor Romney make his annual narcissistic display of invulnerability to the cold. This time Fox's local affiliate trailed Decaf to the DPW's compound in Lexington where he happily pranced around in the snowfall clad in what looked like a reinforced windbreaker. A ridiculous scene to be sure...why he feels the need to carry on in this fashion we cannot say.
Humble Elias' Mother is convinced he wears contact lenses and is desperate to keep the infirmity to himself.
Vanity thy name is Mitt for some reason.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Toy Michael departs

Michael Powell, the son of the outgoing Secretary of State is stepping down as F.C.C. Chairman.
Well, from a freeper perspective, its a job well done. He took a drowsy regulatory agency and turned it into a sort of Heritage Foundation wet dream; a bureau with vast ill defined police powers over free speech and yet pleasingly shorn of any authority over the concentration of media power into ever fewer hands. His policy was, "Plutocracy yes, Piss jokes NO!"
Never has one man made it so easy for U.S. wowserdom to punish those whose language doesn't meet the standards of a Benny Hinn revival. In the end, Powell was the worst sort of bully, a spineless one. Ten letters from a Baptist Church was enough to incite an investigation on a good day. Creeps like Radical Cleric James Dobson and Brent Bozell Junyer said "sheee-it", and Powell quavered "what color sir?"
Now Michael can now take his precious rolodex, pregnant with lucrative contact,s and after a short stint in some non profit foundation can restart his career as a member of the genuine parasite class ergo a lobbyist. The rest of us, can apparently go hang from the remnants of the first amendment Michael Powell helped to shred.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Your President is delusional...

In his inaugural address today, President Bush (AKA Mitt Romney's master) said the following:

"We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world...."

Nothing else quite sums up the missionary dementia that corrodes the President's mind. This nation has never before been committed with any success to the dubious notion that we can impregnate foreign countries with our virile democratic seed. If we did, we would not put Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon in charge of such an epic task. For that fact, democracy cannot be sired on a global basis by a bunch of Texas drunks, religious fantaics, market worshippers, plutocrats, hooligans and corruptards. But yet on they march, over the bodies of American soldiers, and (to hear Seymour Hersh tell it) on to Iran.
Before Bush decided to metaphorically fuck his way to a democratic world full of god fearing little baby Americas, the U.S. was content to be the predominant actor in a global balance of power. We never worried about democracy behind the Iron Curtain, our freedoms here at home FLOURISHED whilst half the world toiled neath' the whip of international communism. Our alliances were strong, our word was good, our powder was dry.
There is a sort of "attention deficit" quality to Bush's more orular foreign policy pronouncements. Cursed with impatience and NO clear understanding of the gap between his goals and OUR resources Bush spouts these nonsensically easy solutions to the problem of terrorism.
When Humble Elias was a wee lad, it was an article of faith that he'd grow up and die in a bipolar world divided between the USA and the USSR. The "problem" of Marxism-Leninism was considered too complex for an easy resolution. Turns out demographics doomed the Warsaw Pact, but no one was excessively worried about a bipolar world-except maybe the late Allen Drury.
Yet somehow today's the "problem" of terrorism is so much worse than the old nuclear Balance of Power that it requires an immediate and global fix.

The AP reports the following to day:
BOSTON - Authorities have launched a manhunt across the Northeast for four Chinese nationals described by the FBI (news - web sites) as potential terror suspects who may be heading for Boston.

Authorities insisted that there was no confirmed threat.

Federal law enforcement officials said they had received a tip Wednesday about an unspecified threat against Boston, and released photographs of the two Chinese men and two women they were seeking.

The governors of Massachusetts and New Hampshire decided to skip President Bush (news - web sites)'s inauguration Thursday and returned to their states from Washington.

"To assure the people of Boston and Massachusetts that it is safe to be at home, I am going to be sleeping in my bed in Massachusetts tonight and I feel perfectly safe doing so," said Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. "In the very remote circumstance that my attention is needed, I will be able to respond on an immediate basis."

In the unlikely event of Boston disappearing into a mushroom cloud just how would Decaf respond? He'd undoubtedy motorcade out to Hanscom Field, take the first Lear Jet out, and leave a stack of press releases behind blaming the whole disaster on the "high taxation and pervasive culture of cronyism on Beacon Hill". Let Kerry Healey deal with the corpses and radiation sickness-thats what she is there for after all.

Nope Romney is surely pissed off that he had to depart the inaugural early, vital toadying time with our lame duck President was lost! Callow and shallow, earnest to appear the hero by sleeping in his own bed, the thought of Mitt Romney dealing with a terrorism incident is morbidly hilarious.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

I was just thinking...

What ever happened to Matt Drudge? Is he still dining out on the Lewinsky story or what?

Does George Pataki still think of Howard Stern as "his friend"? Or has that whole FCC persecution thing soured the relationship?

If we do get a draft in this country, then will someone please videotape the kids at the "Dartmouth Review" getting packed on board a bus for Fort Bragg? I must have that footage!

Humble Elias thinks he has a dickey heart, hence his all-fired hurry.

That perp-walk down Constitution Ave tomorrow ought to be a hoot.

Ever noticed the proliferation of pot holes in Romney's home town of Belmont? Never seen road conditions this bad in the Commonwealth, has the price of black top gone up or something?

Condi Rice will is a sniveling passive aggressive thin skinned nerd.

Whats going on with Don Feder's AM chat show radio gig in Salem? Thought he was gonna go over big.

Is the McCarran Act still on the books? If you mate that law up with Alberto Gonzalez predilections for torture, you get a very ugly concept in jurisprudence-to-come.

Did he allegedly take columnist payola? That We do not know. But he doesn't have a degree in journalism so lacking those "professional ethics" courses....


Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Deval Patrick for Governor?

Waa-al Ah swan but the Globe seems to think civil rights honcho Deval Patrick wants to run for Governor as a democrat. We are told he is articulate, passionate, and a proverbial Beacon Hill outsider. Aye, but can he self-finance? Chimes at Midnight strongly doubts his stint as a corporate lawyer landed him enough John Edwards’ class fees to cover a gubernatorial campaign.
Alas, self financing might be the critical thing come campaign 2006. The gubernatorial primaries are in September which inevitably leaves our democratic challengers bereft of cash and fatally vulnerable to the usual GOP charges of profligacy and witchcraft.
Now Ben Affleck THERE is a guy who can self-finance a run! Think about it, the poor schnook’s acting career is stalled much like Ronald Reagan’s was in the early 1960’s, a switch into state politics might be the next step.
If a prick like Schwarzenegger can seize power why can’t pleasant affable Ben Affleck? He could pillory Romney as the sort of genial do-nothing phoney that has been ruining Hollywood for years. Invective like this, delivered with the right “aw shucks” grin could transform the next election.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

We can add...

"universal health care" achieved without significant revenue enhancements (ergo taxes) or any bureaucratic/regulatory intervention whatsoever to the list of nonsensical bilge advocated by our increasingly erratic Governor. Last year Decaf tried to stare down the legislature at his state of the state speech, making ominous if vague threats of dire consequences if his peogram wasn't enacted. Chimes at Midnight has completely forgotten what Romney was pushing in January 2004, annexing the Moon, making taxes go down to zero, it doesn't matter his threats were as empty then as his promises are now.
There is something sad when Romney goes to the dogs, its like his pride is the first thing to be sacrificed. He carried on like a freeper gone mad on human blood all last year only to get his boney ass kicked in the legislative races-despite the fact that half his targets were out of state campaigning for John Kerry. His beloved suburban independents-his very roundheads-cut him dead.
Now suddenly Romney hugs the very men he hoped to mow down in a Cromwellian type purge on his way to the podium. Now suddenly he "cares" about old-timers and their ruinous property taxes. Now suddenly he wants to get us all universal health care with anyone anywhere making a single notable sacrifice. And most of all, now suddenly Decaf needs re-election to run for president.
Chimes at Midnight sez, let us passively secede from the whole corrupt practice by denying Mitt Romney a platform from which to run for president. Don't re-elect him, he has done nothing to deserve the sinecure he has (in the worlds of the late William S. Burroughs) "nothing to declare but his bad intentions".

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Smut Jihad...

The Boston Herald, exposed the "fact" that the Boston Metro is fact financially linked to a Scandanavian conglomerate that peddles pornographic tv shows. Herald Publisher Pat Purcell is hell bent on preventing the New York Times Corp from acquiring a forty nine percent interest in the free daily. Thus Pat has entered the usual "scorched earth ends-justify-the-means phase of the crisis...we see this all the time here in Boston.
The Herald is a bitterly conservative publication with an op-ed page crammed with the usual Watch and Ward Society type puritans. So a bleak hatred of smut and its allegedly debased influence is to be expected, and if the Herald can get the boot on the Globe at the same time, so much the better. However, all this high mindedness however doesn't prevent the Herald's sales department from taking in adverts from pornographic bookstores, Providence Rhode Island strip joints, and Bachelorette sex toy parties. All of which can be found tucked away neatly in the Herald's voluminous and otherwise eminently readable sports pages.
Its petty seamy stuff...but it does underscore the Herald's hypocritical stance when it comes to public morals versus the bottom line. Moreover, you just know that given the Herald's perpetually thin profit margins that this kind of advertising can't be dispensed with. Alas this is the Herald we are taling about, like the Globe it has its own unique pathologies that it loves to share with us all.


Thursday, January 13, 2005

The state of the state of the state tonight...

Governor Romney will allegedly propose a "reform" tonight in his state of the state speech that will include the fusion of the state highway department and the turnpike authority. Ever mindful of the needs of his beloved suburban independents the Governor will assert that this somehow will allow the Commonwealth to either scrap the Tollbooths or give every deserving Romney voter a flying car that runs on a cup of tap water.
This latest reform will join an every lengthening list of gubernatorial fads and proposals that have gone just exactly nowhere.
They include:
Auto insurance reform.
Legislative reform by way of packing the Great and General Court with a bunch of toadying nerds.
"Poverty" which dopey parents of dopey kids will be sent to re-education classes if their darling troglydytes don't pass the MCAS.
Electric Chair reform.
Big Dig reform...a hopeless mishaugas that puts the Northern Ireland conflict to shame. Mitt has recently gone so far as to fob the whole catastrophe off on the Attorney General hoping that it will sully Reilly's reputation faster than his own.
Reforming the clean elections reform...oh wait he did accomplish this with the co-operation of the hated oligarchs of Beacon Hill.
and of course....
Gay marriage which a few harmless lovers will be lashed back into the closet by Bishop Romney or his out of state wowsers will know the reason why!

In short, much guff, little accomplishment.
really honestly if there are pay-triots on the rolls of the Mass Turnpile Authority, they need fear nothing tonight...Mitt Romney is on the case their mid afternoon naps are secure.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Eric "The Snitch" Fehrnstrom...

told the Boston Globe today, "Mitt Romney is the most active, engaged, and results-oriented Governor in recent Massachusetts history".

Y'know Eric may be arrogant in a particularly nasty proconsular fashion, overpaid, and grossly undertalented, but when it comes to mealy-mouthed effusions such as this, he has NO equal.
The Chimes at Midnight loves his use of the false humility qualifier "RECENT Massachusetts history". On the basis of having done nothing at all it seems the Governor's loyal flatterers and courtiers have already judged their lord and master a rare divinity indeed.


Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Rumor Tuesday:

So conservative pundit Armstrong Williams took $240,000 in payments from the U.S. Department of Education to promote the farcical "No Child Left Behind Act"?
Y'know The Department of Education doesn't amount to much in an Administration known for it's peasant-like hatred of culture and erudition. Normally when the GOP is in power they use the DoE as a roost for some skirt or person of color as an easy ass way to demonstrate the party's supposed devotion to diversity. Other than that, the DoE is a dustbin sinecure.
So it stands to reason that OTHER Cabinet departments, presiding over projects near and dear to the President's cold little heart might have even bigger sums to throw around as columnist payola. 240,000 isn't a whole lot of money by Washington DC standards. Aerospace lobbyists spend that much at lunchtime over the course of a single week. But its a nice chunk of change if you move out into the provinces wherein the GOP"s base has to be kept in a perpetual state of rage and excitement.
Therefore, Humble Elias suspects that if there other conservative opinion makers on the take, they'd be third tier syndicated scribblers in Des Moines or perhaps right here in Boston. Mind you, Chimes at Midnight has no names to offer...but its an ineresting question nonetheless. How much would the Department of the Treasury pay for an ongoing commitment from a pundit to social security privatization? How much would be on offer to go all out for invading Iraq?
Who knows? Scott McClellan the President's wretched fratboy mouthpiece certainly doesn't. When asked about this bizarre Hanoverian practice, McClellan plays dumb beautifully, Jessica Simpson couldn't do it better.
Humble Elias would just like to serve notice to the powers that be, that he IS between jobs and is prepared to undercut any other conservative columnist's price!

Monday, January 10, 2005

The Job Famine

Some two hundred thousand jobs have fled the Commonwealth of Massachusetts since the beginning of the current recession. Faced with the challenge, The Romney Admin’s response has been clear and compassionate; cut unemployment benefits and funding for job-retraining.
Yup, that will entice those lost jobs back from Thailand and Bangalore. Decaf’s logic seems to be, if we turn Massachusetts into a wintry sort of Third World Country with real Third World Wages, we will become immensely and unbeatably competitive.
More and more, Humble Elias sees Governor Romney as a hired outside Receiver or a sort of Absentee Landlord bound and determined to bust up the state and sell off the bits for whatever he can get. What little economic security we have is to be abolished in the relentless race to underbid Pakistan. Then in due course, Mitt will adjourn to Epsom Circle New Hampshire to overawe the peasantry with tales of how he “saved” Massachusetts.
The job situation in the Commonwealth is a public scandal in every way. Crack open the Boston Sunday Globe’s vaulted supersized Help Wanted section, nothing but endless pages of jobs hustling aluminum siding over the phone. When was the last time anyone opened a factory in this state? The answer, damn near forever!
The current round of laissez-faire utopianism is quickly creating a new continental underclass, an urban peasantry naught phone bank jockeys and customer service reps. Bereft of class consciousness, unprotected,atomized, and unheralded, but yet they are still succulent prey for a new class of economic raptors.

And an underclass my friends is a very bad thing for a living republic to have.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

What hath Rich Lowry wrought?

In an effort to grab off a chunk of the market, the National Review has got something called “The National Review Book Service” (
This is the place to go to order reprints of dismal pietistic 19th century children’s books like the Elsie Dinsmore series. Elsie is a nice 19th century christian girl whose devotion to her stern father famously stops short of reading him an non-christian volume on the Sabbath. For this act of gross insubordination dear olde Dad confines Elsie to her room on a bread and water diet until she contracts a perilous “brain fever”.
Normally though, both father and daughter are expressing their love for one another in terms that would give Dr. Freud the screaming bedspins. So don’t let Mr. Dinsmore’s Jehovah complex fool you. Yes, the books get even weirder from there culminating in Elsie’s gold-digging marriage to her father’s middle aged best friend.

So for all your schlock-needs check out the Nation Review’s on line book service.

Good grief! THIS is the house built by William F. Buckley?? Old Bill was a Tory bastard but at least he was a literate polemicist! His Nation Review shilling for dreck like Elsie Dinsmore is akin to H.L. Mencken marking out hard for “The Rover Boys”.
This is every bit a symptom of conservatism’s gross ideological decline. A surfeit of easy electoral victories and the pressing need to hold together a fractious coalition have reduced the once proud National Review to slavishly praising atavistic blather like the Elsie Dinsmore series. Bereft of ideas and desperate to placate conservatism’s increasingly revolutionary christian cadres, the NR pushes Elsie and the curious 19th centry theme park the movement would force us all to inhabit.
What what of it?
Surely so conservative a publication as the National Review can justify feckless commercial undertakings such as this? Indeed it can. However there is something plain sad about the prominent place they gave Ann Coulter’s latest primal scream...after all didn’t they fire her for excesses too great even for the Nation Review??


Friday, January 07, 2005

Who do you think La Famiglia Arbusto would rather

have tortured on a systematic basis?
1.) Iraqi Terrorists/Resistance Fighters/Whatnot
2.) American Liberals?

Humble Elias suspects item #1 will, in due course, justify item #2.

This is an important question as Alberto "th' torturer's apprentice" Gonzalez nomination as AG winds its way through the confirmation process. Gonzalez attitude towards torture as a GOP policy ough to be clarified. Typically though, this guy has gone all spineless on us, not eighteen months ago he dismissed the Geneva Convention as quaint", yesterday however Gonzalez solemnly condemned the Admin's indulgent policy on torture while at the same time babbling like stroke victim when asked whether or not the President will be packing anyone's ass with molten lead in the near future.
A man this morbid seems destined to a position of high public trust, it is a sad inevitability. The Chimes at Midnight sez, call it what it is and append to the Office of Attorney General the honorific "Public Torturer". We may as well get a head start after all in one two or three years "The Abu Ghraib" approach to police work could become the law of the land.

and soon to be...

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Kudos to Senator Boxer

for formally questioning the ballot irregularities in Ohio. She has at least forced both Houses of Congress to confront the issue. No doubt the leadership will live up to it's GOP thralldom but for a moment their perfect little lives have been disrupted and that is fine by Mrs. Nugator's baby boy Elias. No doubt Senator Boxer's office is being swamp[ed with crude epithets and death threats...ah the power sheer world smashing power of anonymity.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Joannie astirs...

Boston Globe columnista Joan Vennocchi awoke from a seeming two year long trance yesterday and branded Governor Mitt Romney a selfish self interested pol completely immersed in his own presidential ambitions.
But day-um that was a long snooze on her part wasn't it?
It is always ironic when the Globe's resident neocons suddenly arise from their stupor to discover their fave Mitt Romney is an inept opportunistic dipshit. At least its always ironic to Humble Elias.
Still and all, there is an odd spiteful quality to Joan's writing, its markedly humorless and embittered about an un-named something. When you link that up to a naive' belief in the Mitt myth you get the typical Globe pundit. These are people so desperate to prove their "I'm no liberal" bona fides that they will happily spout the most inane nonsense and toute the candidacies of palpable frauds like Mitt Romney.
And yet for all that, they cannot learn.
Two or six years from now when some other morbidly ambitious yap is running up and down the Commonwealth screeching reform-reform-reform, Joannie, Scot, and Brian will bark this jerk-off's praises like trained seals-count on it.


Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The REST of the story...

Much to Humble Elias' shock and dismay, a shopping trip to the badlands of New Hampshire yielded up the revelation that Paul Harvey is still chirping into the microphone with the news twice daily. Dear Ghod, part of the aging process is discovering that there are better things to do than mere work!
These days Harvey must be past eighty years of age! He whistles and tweets into the mike like a Fred Allen parody of an octogenarian. Others must consider it fun to have a newsman on the radio who literally thinks it is still 1955, The Chimes at Midnight however is appalled. Harvey quite literally is a medieval relic and a poorly maintained one at that, back in the early 1980s he told the Saturday Evening Post that New York "feels like a foreign country to me".
We too easily confer the status of charm in our culture, which is why old wrecks like Imus, the late Senator Thurmond, and Paul Harvey keep soldiering on, th' powers that be apparently think it's cute they way they quietly soil themselves. Time for Paul to retire, really...that whistling he makes through his dentures is insufferable.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Fineman on Imus this morning...

Humble Elias declined his usual morning bracer of tea and an old Hollywood movie on VHS and instead opted for the Imus in the Morning simulcast on MSNBC. And as luck would have it Newsweek's Howard Fineman was on. One can tell immediately that its Fineman because of his whiny,servile, and wheedling tone. Imus as usual sounded drunk and surly dismissing his "friend" John Kerry as a "phony"...Fineman inhaled manfully and said "Yeah". So having branded Senator Kerry a phony (and thus putting him beyond the radio talk show pale) Imus and Fineman proceeded to discuss Jeb Bush's tour of Asian tsunami damage without ONCE mentioning the Florida Governor and heir presumptive's ambitions for high office.
In short it was a vintage Fineman appearance on Imus-Don said "shit" and Howard like a properly trained media whore said "what color?"
BTW, Imus looks perfectly ghastly these days, there are zombies in the "Dawn of the Dead" remake who are more cogent and engaged than he. His thousand yard stare makes a horrible impression on early morning cable TV. Humble Elias suspects the talk show tyrant is holding on for dear life anticipating the development of "Futurama" style head preservation technology. His noggin can then float in some clear ichor forever, survive on fish food, and opine on the radio until the flaming end on time itself.
Meanwhile, this afternoon, right after lunch we found the SAME Howard Fineman on the "Al Franken Show" on Air America, opining in confy terms not unwelcome to any liberal blogger. The man is a freeper in the morning and a friend of Al's by the time afternoon rolls around. A most curious way to do business.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Callin' Colin...

You have to hand it to La Famiglia Arbusto, they do know how to extract the maximum from even the most grizzled and faded servitor. Take outgoing Secretary of State Colin Powell for example; degraded and beaten at every turn by the President's favored neocons, yet he will be escorting Florida Governor and future U.S. overseer Jeb Bush on a tour of the Tsunami damage in Asia! Then again last night, Fox News was all over Colin as he and a weedly figure thought to be New York Governor Pataki presided over the New Years festivities in Times Square. The man's loyalty is nothing if not canine in its dimensions.
Well who knows? Maybe Colin needs to build up his bona fides with Jeb if he wants to re-enter public service as Secretary of Defense or perhaps first Eunuch of the Inner Chamber.