The Chimes at Midnight
Thursday, August 31, 2006
AS part of the fifth Anniversary of 9-11
a "Where were you when it happened" advertising campaign has been launched. Seemingly nothing of note occurs in American history without an ad campaign attending on it.
The good people at Americablog.com have seen fit to create their own fifth anniversary advertisement, a picture is truly worth a thousand words.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
you'd have to go a long way in American public life to come up with a politician more bereft of ideas than Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Here, he tells the American Legion that critics of his leadership are "appeasers" or closet Nazis or some damn thing.
I do seem to recall though, that Rumsfeld is the only serving member of the cabinet to have shaken hands with Saddam Hussein circa 1983 when the Reagan admin was stumping the middle east looking for worthwhile anti-communists.
That scene wherein Rummy clasps Saddam on the shoulder and smiles is worth replaying any time the Defense Secretary gets up on his high horse and starts lecturing the trogs about "appeasement".
Well the reason for all this dickless bluster is simple, the war is going badly (how many killed today and how is that new Iraqi Army standing up to Sadri's street gang?)so Rumsfeld and the admin need to clous the air with as many imprecations in an effort to confuse the democratic response to his own catastrophic leadership.
When in doubt, question the other guy's patriotism its the old GOP game going back to congressman Dick Nixon.
The answer to all this though is simple, target Rumsfeld and more importantly Cheney. Neither of them rate very highly in public opinion polls right now, it is their lack of judgement, their naivete and their egotism that has lead the nation into this mess.
Keep up that drumbeat and lets see what happens.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Over and above
the senseless deaths and misery brought about by Hurricance Katrina duly exacerbated by President Bush's ineptitude & indifference, the great lesson of the New Orleans flood is that states like Massachusetts must radically improve their disaster preparedness.
IF a stalwart red state like Louisiana can expect this sort of ugly neglect and abuse from La Famiglia Arbusto, then what would be in store for that hated liberal bastion Massachusetts?
Think about that, and let us hope for an easy hurricane season all over the map.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Count me among the 12%
who are undecided with respect to the looming democratic gubernatorial primary. Rielly is incorruptible, Patrick is passionate and Gabrieli is...persistent at the very least.
But who Humble Elias lands on is an open question with three weeks to go before the primary.
At this point it looks like a tight horse race. Can Gabrieli's money trump Patrick's organization? Or will Reilly's name recognition carry the day?
Me I don't know nothin' but I'm gonna have to make my mind up and soon.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Gabrieli is up in the polls
more or less tied with Deval Patrick with Tom Reilly trailing but within the margin of error per the Boston Globe today.
It seems to me that Chris Gabrieli is re-enacting much of Mitt Romney's 2002 game plan; parachute into the game, bluster a lot about fiscal viligance derived from private sector success, make many vague promises about education and spend lavishly.
And what the hell, it may work.
Still and all that, Gabrieli clearly got into this race out of spite and is certainly willing to push $15 million dollars worth of chips into the middle of the table...anything to rub Tom Reilly's nose in it.
He may also want to avenge to two past defeats as well...who can say?
The real question is, can he govern??
We've already had one private sector pseudo-technocrat as governor. Will someone running as a better more liberal more engaged version of Romney really be able to govern effectively?
I have other issues with Gabrieli as well...I don't care for his stance on casino gambling but that hardly makes the man another John Silber in my eyes.
Truly, I'd piss on a sparkplug if it meant Kerry Healey and Crazy Christy Mihos will both go home crying come November.
Lets hope it doesn't come to that though.
Friday, August 25, 2006
The Cold War may be over...
but the nuclear arms race goes on and on and on...
Adlai Stevenson once said words to the effect that we will now find out if this glitterly civilization of ours can generate the necessary statesmen to prevent it from being blown sky high.
Does CNN have...
some sort of special electronic device that measures the individual total pomposity of any of their anchorpersons?
If so, then what is Wolf Blitzer's score?
High I'll bet.
Up at Humble Elias' health club last night they had CNN on, despite manfully reading a volume of Edgar Allan Poe on the exercise bike and thus paying but half attention, Wolf's preposterous self importance oozed thru the television like old cooking oil.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Crazy Christy Mihos limps along
thru the August doldrums. He has turned in his signatures to get on the ballot but other than that he and the Olde Milk Partei are running like molasses in winter. After two solid months of bad publicity about the Big Dig the Olde Milk Partei cannot rise much above 10% in the current polls.
The man looked tres' formidable a mere three months ago, but now? Pffft! Zingo! Blat!!
I have to wonder though, if Mihos. legit bona fides as the Cassandra of the Central Artery Project means anything to anyone outside Route 495?
Right now, not much is being seen of Mihos' alleged all-powerful barrel o' boodle...but then it is August and no one is watching.
On the other hand, the Olde Milk Partei's anemic 10% must be infusing Kerry Healey's campaign with some hope that if they can convince Mihos to drop out then Lt. Governor Barbie might rise within striking distance of Deval Patrick (who holds a ten point lead over Healey in the current polling).
Still and all that, Mihos hasn't put together a ticket that is any less credible than the shrill collection of aging pay-triots and country club rats that surround and buoy up Lt. Governor Healey.
So the question is, will that famously whimsical do-it-yourself pol, Christy Mihos stick it out til' Novemeber?
Remember, Healey doesn't have much to bargain with, Bay State GOP senate and congressional nominations are about as valuable as Enron shares these days. Perhaps the Viceroy could pull some strings in DC to get Christy a nice cushy ambassadorship someplace warm and calm.
But that supposition presupposes that Mitt Romney gives a hoot in hell as to what happens to Kerry Healey this fall.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
in the democratic primary for the 4th Middlesex state senate nomination: the current incumbent, Robert J. Havern.
At the moment Havern is faced with a Jon Bonifaz type challenger from Woburn (humble Elias forget the woman's name)but there is no discernable reason for a democratic electorate to dispense with Senator Havern's fine leadership.
Bob is a modest man, a champion explainer & interpreter of pending legislation, warm hearted steadfast and reliable.
In a state where the political class is divided between blustery scenery chewers and those who WISH they were blustery scenery chewers, Havern is a refeshingly low key work-horse sort of a pol. On the hard issues ranging from gay marriage to abortion, his heart is in the right place.
The Chimes at Midnight heartily endorses State Senator Bob Havern's renomination and re-election in 2006.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Why does everyone act surprised when
President Bush turns in a lousy performance at a press conference? After five long terrible years of his so called "leadership" you'd think the punditariat would realize that explaining "stuff" depends on "understanding" stuff, and neither activity is Bush's strong suit.
In fact as soon as any facts at all are inserted into the discussion you can see the President's eyes glaze over as he stammers and staggers thru an unfamiliar minefield.
Conveying his feelings and beliefs, however mendacious, malevolent or irrational is much more GWB's style. There he can lie with fratboy gusto, narrow his eyes, smirk and pretend to be a real live "don't give a shit" type Cowboy.
Unfortunately for the Prez, the facts have been crashing in big and hard lately so he is wa-ay off his game and will only be moreso as we roll along toward's political collapse.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Apparently Governor Romney went to the ball game today...
Decorously His Excellency fled before the Red Sox could be beaten down by the New York Yankees.
Nevertheless being Governor of Massachusetts has got to be the greatest job ever....Mitt is the living proof.
You don't have to do ANY hard work over your four year term...shit you can spend four days a week out of state in Michigan, New Hampshire or Iowa and NO ONE kicks up a fuss.
You can pursue irrational vendettas against seemingly randomly selected political appointees, denounce the Commonwealth in front of well heeled out of state audiences or make windy pronouncements when the ceiling fatally collapses on the Big Dig.
Where is the downside to any of this?
Hell this is just the sort of mindless trivial record that could make a man Dictator of the USA if he plays his cards right.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Why doesn't Joe Lieberman
simply....put it in writing?
By that I mean, if he is serious about voting with the democratic caucus if elected this fall in Connecticut as an independent?
He says we can trust him, he insists he still is a democrat (of a kind) if he really wanted to reassure voters then he could simply spell it out on paper.
Humble Elias comes to this notion on a weekend when the GOP Senatorial Campaign Committee has done naught but blow kisses at Lieberman in a calculated effort no doubt to convince the Connecticut Senator to jump ship should he win.
That sort of partisan claim jumping ought to give voters down there pause...perhaps a simple contractual arrangement is in order.
Friday, August 18, 2006
Goin' back to work on Monday
so posting might become erratic for a while. try and role with the punches as best you can.
Meanwhile, I'm going down to Horseneck Beach today, so if it all goes to smash and I don't come back, try to remember I was once an eagle.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
The Globe reports today that Mitt Romney's so called charitable foundation "The Tyler Trust" has give $25K apiece to the right wing Heritage Foundation and the even more right wing Federalist Society.
Apparently, there are horrible little rightical lawyers, blonde Fox News Fembot wannabees and nasty college republican interns who are living at the "Y" and eating spaghetti-ohs for dinner.
Mitt's heart was moved to pity.
And if this buys the goodwill of a few beltway types in the process so much the better.
Of course, that charitable trust's money is supposed to go for good works, new stained glass windows at a rural church, a new stove at the county poor house that sort of thing....but this is Mitt Romney we are talking about. Like any other modern conservative he'll happily alter the definition of "charity" to fit his carnal ambition for higher office in the blink of an eye.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
The Augest Doldrums with Newspanic Seven
The noon news broadcast on Channel Seven opened the following items in sequence...the near rape of a 14 year old girl from Lowell in her own bed, a flasher on Jamaica Pond, purse-snatchers on Newbury Street, the Israeli Hezbollah cease fire and a truck load of dead puppies out on the highway.
Tomorrow, the North End Kitten Strangler and Man who Torched Bambi's Momma.
Monday, August 14, 2006
A.B.C. (Anybody But Clinton)
Last week, Eric Alterman wistfully invokes the possibility that Al Gore might run for President in 2008 whilst the Boston Phoenix devoted a feature article to former Senator and 2004's Democratic Vice Presidential nominee John Edward's nascent campaign for the White House.
So you see...game on.
Even as Senator Hilary Clinton amasses money and endorsements for a presumed 2008 run for President there are all kinds of major and minor players who are casting around for an alternative to her candidacy.
You wouldn't quite mind so much except that Eric Alterman is one of those columnists who rolled his eyes (figuratively speaking) at the mere thought of Al making another run in '04.
Well, Al has made some tought speeches in the interim and that seems to be enough to get this cohort back on his side. Still...it is a bit opportunistic if you asked me.
Who the A.B.C. candidate is gonna ultimately be is an open question at this point. Depending on how the elections go this year the lists may fill up with candidates in the Iowa Caucuses & NH Primary thus diffusing the anti-Clinton impetus.
As I've said before, if the dems do well this fall look for a cautious revival of Howard Dean's political stock.
Although frankly, if the A.B.C. crowd was smart they'd recruit themselves a governor or better yet a former governor...someone with brains and time on his or her hands to start doing the drudgework now.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
The Sheer Foreign Policy Genius of Willard Mitt Romney...
Honestly you'd have to walk a long way in this Commonwealth to find a politician more bereft of ideas than Governor Romney.
Faced with the arrest of several dozen alleged Al Queda hijacking suspect in great Britain, Willard wracks his feeble overused wits and asserts that John Kerry's opposition to the war in Iraq has emboldened Al Queda.
Ri-ight, cause' the proper response to the 9-11 attacks, a plot dreamed up in Afghanistan and executed by disaffected Saudis is to invade and occupy Iraq - that seems to be the crux of the Governor's thinking.
Well...what can I say?
Crisis is a great exposer of a politician's normally hidden inner thoughts and feelings. These arrests in London and elsewhere, so eloquent of Al Queda's resurrection as an agent of chaos chillingly demonstrates Mitt's persistent freeperish worship of President Bush with his formidable 30% approval rating.
It also shows in a very stark fashion the premature bankruptcy of Romney's foreign policy ideas. Faced with a new threat from an old foe, all Mitt can do is spew like an old viper and demand more of the same in Iraq.
And finally, what kind of a neophyte numbskull chains himself to a policy that is soundly disparaged by some 605 of the American electorate?
Our own sweet Viceroy that is who.
Therefore what can we expect if Romney somehow achieves the Presidency in 2008? Apparently our adventure in Iraq will go on and on with new producer, fresh US blood and lots of Chinese Yuan cleverly converted into US Dollars....that is it.
What you see now, is what you'll get then.
Friday, August 11, 2006
Good Ghod! The Bad Poets Society is returning!!
After a five year hiatus no less!
And at Jimmy Tingle's Off Broadway Theater on Sunday September 10th @ 7pm no less!
The Details can be found hyar.
Scot Lehigh has exonerated Ned Lamont
from the charge of "moonbattery".
Darn nice of him I say.
I wonder though, will he be quite so generous if Duval Patrick wins the democratic gubernatorial nomination or will Lehigh go beating thru the bushes looking for nice moderate republican hallucination to follow?
A genteel reminder to all the unenrolled voters here in the Commonwealth...
that a mere 18 months ago, Lt. Governor Kerry Healey was insisting in the most diresome terms that John Kerry simply MUST resign from the US Senate as his presidential campaign was preventing our Junior Senator from conducting senatorial business.
Now of course, that same Kerry Healey is crossing the length & breadth of Massachusetts squawking like an old hen and running for Governor like she was down to her last rubber check.
My question is, doesn't all this whistlestopping take Kerry Healey away from pressing Lt. Gubernatorial business?
If she was going to be consistent in her views, shouldn't she herself resign from office in order to spare Massachusetts from the horrors of a part time Lieutenant Governor?
Kerry Healey is a hypocrite, she cares not one jot about whatever idiotic and contradictory premises she campaigns under, as long as she wins. That might be a formula for victory but it's a excellent indicator of a bad character and poor leadership skills.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Caught Kerry Healey's new TV advert last night
she makes the usual spurious claims that as Governor she'll be a bulwark against a rampant state legislature.
There is a reason why Kerry Healey's handlers have kept her out of sight all these months, she looks like a slightly seedy real estate agent desperate to win that set of steak knifes and finally get her name on the big dry erase board.
Otherwise, this twaddle about spending is pretty much her expected line of attack, you could set your watch to it quite frankly.
Given Kerry Healey's paucity of achievements in public life to date and her meager charisma it may be the only option open to her.
My question is, did anyone ever hear Lt. Governor Healey utter word one of dissent when Mitt Romney raised 750 million dollars by increasing ever single fee with reach of the Executive Department?
For that fact, just what is her plan to make sure the Massachusetts taxpayer doesn't get stuck with the bill to repair Bechtel-Parson's shoddy workmanship on the Big Dig?
Granted this is something that won't register with the wider electorate or the local punditariat for that matter, but it is pretty damn galling about Kerry Healey's condescending lectures about public thrift when she is trying to BUY the governorship with her husband's money.
I'd love to see Kerry Healey have to enter the marketplace free and unfettered and try and EARN herself the four to ten million she'd need to win.
That would prove an interesting and edifying spectacle...
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Sunny weather in Connecticut
no doubt a lot of nursing homes emptied out yesterday in a last ditch attempt to put Joe Lieberman over the top in the senatorial primary.
Alas it came to naught, despite Joe's special appeal to the elderly that being a sort of good-son-in-law with a certain amount of chilly sympathy for shut ins.
Which is why I was thinking (and sadly I blogged not on this topic) that if Ned Lamont wanted to seal the deal last week he needed to start talking about Joe Lieberman's quiet ardor to "compromise" on social security privatization.
In fact if Lamont is smart, he'll start talking about social security starting right now.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Joe Lieberman Concedes
only to announce on the basis of a hairbreadth loss that he is running as an independent for Senator this fall.
His "concession speech" was not as far as I could see, Lieberman's finest rhetorical hour. On the one hand he excoriates DC's partisan politics and promises a "new politics" of unity & purpose...and apparently he will achieve all that as soon as he is done calling Ned Lamont a dirty flippant guttersnipe and an appeaser.
Well it has come to this, Lieberman is running on an independent ticket...out of what? Anger, spite or a perverse sense of destiny?
Did Robert Reich run as an independent in 2002?
Did Frank Bellotti run on a third party ticket in 1990?
Did Tsongas bolt the democratic party in 1992?
The answer to all that is no, their issues were important, they were passionate, maybe they didn't deserve to lose.
Tsongas certainly didn't God rest his soul.
However all these candidates and thousands more like them knew that politics isn't stickball there is NO do-over if you strike out.
Joe just doesn't get this...the man is singularly devoid of irony so far as I can see from CSpan.
Frankly I thought it was grimly hilarious to see Bill Clinton down there in Connecticut campaigning for Lieberman last week given the fact that Joe never defends his colleague Hilary Clinton whenever Don Imus takes to calling her a witch and a dyke during Lieberman's call in appearance on that show.
Like I said, no sense of irony.
More and more I've decided Joe Lieberman is a politician of the past, he did well in the good old days of the Clinton Aufklarung when the issues weren't too taxing and consensus however rough ruled the land.
However today all is ideological warfare and partisan strife...we may well not see another "era of good feeling" in our lifetimes.
Joe just doesn't get that.
You can't bring back consensus and bipartisanship to DC simply by offering your opponents bigger and better concessions, not when the opposition has made it's bones by never ever keeping their word in matters large & small.
This bespeaks a sort of dangerous naivete'.
Alas, even the naive' can jump plenty ugly when their own pissing patch is threatened.
Joe Lieberman may not be too tough on the GOP but he will play this crazy third party candidacy up for all that it is worth and no doubt he will try to intimidate as many of his senate democratic colleagues as possible.
This thing has evil potential for the national party.
So it is a three way race in Connecticut, my only question is what will Karl Rove do? Will he try to funnel aid to the Lieberman campaign in hopes of getting him to switch sides after the election?
Can't rule that out can you? Lieberman is spiteful enough to run as a spoiler, what is to stop him from switching sides if he wins?
Monday, August 07, 2006
Down to the wire in Connecticut
with Ned Lamont in the lead according to most polls.
Ah but the polls can be wrong y'know.
It will be interesting to see what happens at any rate.
No matter who wins the primary down there tomorrow, Lieberman or Lamont, get ready for a lot of facile comparisons to the 1968 New hampshire Presidential Primary and a lot of eye-rolling commentary from the usual suspects about the "vitriolic democratic anti war left" etc etc...
It has been a long hot summer with naught to report but a lot of bad war news from abroad, a nice juicy senatorial primary fight in Connecticut plus a chance to lecture about the left's alleged futile anger, has got the punditariat salivating.
So we shall see...
Saturday, August 05, 2006
God bless Michael Medved
Give him his due, he can yowl, screech and change the subject with the best the praetorian class has to offer.
CNN caught up with him with respect to the Mel Gibson Affair, the sniveling son of a bitch rendered up this classic howler:
"Michael Moore has done far more damage to the Jewish community, particularly regarding the issue of Israel, than anything Mel Gibson has ever done."
Loud, stupid, crude and irrelevant, a better textbook example of conservative "debate technique" cannot be found.
And again, I just have to say, their ability to obnoxiously rally around the fundamentally indefensible is breathtaking to see.
Friday, August 04, 2006
Apparently, David Horowitz has come out
banging the pots hard in Mel Gibson's defense this past week calling the Braveheart star's critics "anti-christian" or some such rubbish as that.
Haven't been able to track down Michael Medved's views of the whole thing, but I strongly doubt that he has broken with any of his fellow conservatives over Mel's drunken jew baiting.
There is something perversely admirable about the praetorian class' ability to pasionately reject reality no matter how acute the crisis. Having conquered power only to see the ship of state crash into an iceberg the David Horowitz's of this world manfully take axes to the lifeboats and scream lustily that the boat ISN'T sinking, no one is drowning, the boilers haven't exploded and the iceberg is naught but a product of Al Gore's imagination.
They do this all the time on the big issues, Iraq, the budget deficit, stem cells....so it comes easy in respect of a small matter like Mel Gibson's vular inebriated roadside fugue.
The fact that this makes the praetorian class apologists for war, national bankruptcy and drunken rampages is very much beside the point.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
According to Joanie Vennochi
"In Massachusetts, Democrats groan and roll their eyes with every statement from camp Kerry indicating another presidential run."
Ummmm....what Humble Elias wants to know is, just who are these democrats that Spiteful Joanie is so sure of?
Haven't heard a whole lot on the local democratic circuit with respects to a Kerry '08 run most everyone here is focused on the governor's race. Kerry's "Imperial Guard" has for the moment dispersed into the camps of various gubernatorial candidates. To the extent that JK needs to keep the loyalty of that die hard cohort, he'll play some sort of a role in the fall campaign to be sure. Assist in giving his Spartans a democratic governor, and they in turn will do right by him IF Kerry gets into the big race in '08.
Thats as much as I've heard so far.
As for who is "rolling their eyes" for Joanie's merriment..who can say?
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
To hot to Blog
However I will say this...How about the Condi Rice eh? She has done nothing but dither and make excuses since the day GWB brought her to Washington DC. And now today, on the basis of a snub from the Lebanese PM and two entirely pointless trips to that war torn region of the world she currently polls fourth in the Iowa GOP Presidential Primary.
Just imagine how well she'd do if Iran field tested a nuclear warhead.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
that axiom of modern cinema, got pulled over for DUI last week whereupon he indulged a sort of screeching anti-semitic, mysogynistic, homophobic ultra-tantrum...which the LA County Sheriff's department fastidiously recorded on audio tape.
Humble Elias has been devoutly praying to the God of Abraham & Isaac nigh these past five sweltering days for the release of that tape to the general public.
He is also of the pious hope that maybe just maybe the Deputy's patrol cars came equipped with that built-in videocam that forms the backbone of such TV shows as "American's Funniest Police Beatings".
Sooo...given the fact that Mel is on tape slagging the jews like a drunken Brownshirt, d'ye think Michael Medved and David Horowitz will be manfully rising once again to his defense?
Or is Mel's notion that "The Jews are behind all wars in history" too much for them?