The Chimes at Midnight
Saturday, December 30, 2006
 
Saddam Swings...
and still ends up goin' for the proverbial terminal dirt nap.

Won't change a thing though, the sectarian shoot-outs will go on unabated with our own soldiers as referees and targets.

I suppose George Bush thinks he has accomplished something at long last...some Hamlet like attempt at showing up his father.
Whether that was worth 3,000 American lives and 20,000 casualties is another matter entirely.
Friday, December 29, 2006
 
John Edwards in in
details can be found hyar:

Well, he needs the early start quite frankly, Senator Clinton has already piled up a huge fundraising lead whilst the Anti-Clintonistas are tossing bigger and bigger bouquets to Senator Obama.
A lot of money and numerous volunteers are in play for the candidate who can beat Hilary and win the general election...and with Edwards its all about delivering on his personal promise from '04 and showing some steam below the Mason Dixon.
Meanwhile the Wise Guys all say this puts pressure on JK to make a decision, Humble Elias has his doubts about any urgency in the Kerry Kamp. He still has a nice chunk of change socked away in his national campaign account and certain geographic advantages as far as the New Hampshire Primary is concerned.
If there are concerns they are in respect of his volunteer base and getting his ground game up and running in the vital cities and suburbs between Concord and Nashua.
Thats if Kerry piles in, I suspect he will, he's faced longer odds than this...but yuh never know.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
 
Tributes pour in lauding the late...
James Brown.
The heinous geeks at Channel Zero even have some kind words.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
 
Jerry Ford is dead
The details can be found here:

Much will be made of Ford's bid to restore dignity and honor to the US Presidency in wake of Nixon's resignation. I've always thought Ford played it for simplicity and a certain degree of populism larded up with as much transparency as a Republican President could manage.
These were all themes his successor President Carter would emphasize until the apotheosis of Reagan who restored glitzy presidential bombast to prominence.
At his best Jerry projected a comforting haze of middle class respectability and integrity, at his worst he was a bit of a freeper hatchet man even if he evidenced no talent for the role.
Still and all that, there was nothing low about Ford, like Truman he genuinely did not seek the office (He wanted to be US Speaker of the House...badly), Tip O'Neill a shrewd judge of character counted Ford as a friend and a man whose word was good.
Today, a stolid suburbanite like Ford would have a hard time getting started in politics thanks to the rapid proliferation of frantic showbiz type politicos in the style of Newt Gingrich.
Not much room at the table these days for honesty and an Eagle Scout's devotion to duty.

RIP Mr. President, say Hi to Ike and Harry for us willya?
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
 
Dubious Ideas Department...
The armed forces are looking into recruiting foreigners with a promise of citizenship upon completion of service.

Ah...y'know, the Romans tried this, recruited German mercenaries for their legions on the Rhine, they turned around and made a Hun Emperor.
Likewise the Greek and the Italian city-states made heavy use of paid foreign troops to fight in the field...The results were to say the least indifferent.
Hell there was a time when Spartan infantry could be bought out by the highest bidder.
Nicolo Machiavelli rails against the use of paid mercenary troops in his renaissance era treatise "The Prince".
My thoughts on this are simple, citizenship and the franchise aren't conditional on military service for the native born so why should they become an incentive for our perpetually meat hungry army?
What no one wants to acknowledge here is that if the Pentagon is conjuring with such outlandish notions, then yes, we ought to admit we have a manpower crisis in the ranks.
If that is the case, then I'd just as soon confront the issue squarely and reinstate the draft so long as the levies are raised honestly with no exceptions based on wealth or connections.
At the very least this would reconnect the Middle Class to the realities of American Foreign Policy and force everyone to reconsider current priorities.
Monday, December 25, 2006
 
Give Jeff Jacoby credit...
at the very least he adds a great deal on unintended hilarity to the Globe's Op-Ed page.
Yesterday he took environmentalists to task as doomsayers and hysterical preachers of impending global catastrophe.
Jeff even loaded up the whole shebang with a nice juicy quote from Mencken asserting that fear is used to manipulate democratic polities.
This IS of course, the same Jeff Jacoby whose sheer bowel-loosening terror of "Islamofascism" has been a hallmark of local punditry nigh these past six years.
I mean, to read Jeff's copy you'd think the Sons of Ragnar were gonna sail up the Charles River to sack and burn downtown Waltham.
From that old coot Fidel Castro to the disheveled President of Iran, Jeff's mental landscape is crammed with gulags, progroms, suicide bombers, mushroom clouds and heavy knocks at the door come midnight.
But when the World Wildlife Fund asserts that the shriking polar ice caps are a bad thing, suddenly they are wallowing in hyperbole so sez Jeff.

Pundit heal thyself sez Humble Elias.

And otherwise, a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!
Friday, December 22, 2006
 
Boston Progressive Talk Radio
goes for the terminal dirt nap....
AM 1200 & 1430 have both flipped over to music formats as of yesterday bringing to a close Air America Radio's presence in the Hub.
Sad...but given the horror stories I've heard about managerial ineptitude at AAR, it is to be expected.
It is a miracle that Boston Progressive Talk lasted as long as it did with it's commercials for obscure restaurants in Somerville and spots promoting the purchasing of gold.
Still for all that, AM 1430 had a great line up, the Stephanie Miller Show and Ed Schultz being the stellar stand outs on the schedule. And if Al Franken never quite mastered the medium's quirks, he did attract classy guests from David Brock to Josh Marshall, pundits who don't normally get heard on the radio at all.
If, down the line someone wanted to revisit progressive talk in Boston, I think what we need is independent ownership of the station and a stronger local angle.
That was AAR's conceptual flaw, it was a national radio franchise at a time when aggressively liberal & local voices were needed.
Or else we can start podcasting...maybe thats what we need a sort of "Blue Mass Group" for local liberal podcasts.
Just don't ask Humble Elias to organize it, he is just technically competant enough to hit "Publish Post" at the bottom of this page.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
 
Romney Bails...
Churlish to the last, Governor Romney has declined to attend Deval Patrick's inaugural.
His reasoning is not hard to divine, with a personal approval rating anchored well below fifty percent, the Viceroy had good cause to fear booing and catcalls as he made his ceremonial exit from the State House.
Well of course, Dukakis had to hazard as much in 1991, but then he was done running for President. Whereas any jeers and catcalls aimed at Mitt could well end up on in an attack advert come the New Hampshire Primary now a mere 14 months away.

For once I'll split the difference, Mitt ought to show some class for once and execute the traditional inauguration niceties...And the rest of us should refrain from booing and calling him a feckless, amateurish, lazy-assed bum with all the decisiveness of a windsock.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
 
Romney's Amazon Wish List
Courtesy Ben over at Romney is a Fraud...
Find it here:
 
Idle Entertainment Blogging...
Or "Cartman meets the Greatest Generation".
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
 
Note to the Laity:
technical difficulties today prevent me from posting til' now. Hope to have this little problem fixed by tomorrow.
Meanwhile...does anyone else out there think that Mitt Romney's ardent pro-gay posturing back in 1994 will cost him bigtime come 2008?
Toleration for degenerates and fops doesn't go over well in the South Carolina Primary.

Just sayin'
Monday, December 18, 2006
 
Meanwhile...
Joanie Vennochi piled back onto the Deval bandwagon this weekend with a column lauding Patrick's grass-roots campaign and insisting said template would work for Barack Obama.
Well her logical isn't hard to fathom, in an effort to queer John Kerry Joanie is happy to throw some bouquets to Obama.
Geezum Crow though, but wasn't Joanie dicking on Deval just last week?
Good Grief, ideologically speaking, Joan Vennochi spins faster and harder than a merry go round on crack!
One cannot keep up, she just keeps changing and changing her mind and the Globe's readership just puts up with it.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
 
On the subject of gay marriage
Jeff Jacoby had this to say in today's Sunday Globe:
"America's political battles would be a lot less poisonous if more combatants would acknowledge that their opponents are not monsters or villains".
Lofty sentiments no?
Jacoby is of course ramping up the meme that pro-gay marriage libs are somehow demonizing Jeff's vast thwarted majority of simple god fearing American book worshippers.
So Jeff wants to have debate about legitimacy and comity eh?
This is interesting because legitimacy lies at the very core of the gay marriage debate.
One side asserts that it is "legitimate" for them to hold a supervisory role over the marital status of their neighbors.
The other side sez that ain't right and any appropriation of state power to enforce said supervisory role is not "legitimate".
Jeff's central thesis seems to be that the majority may impose itself in a "lawful manner" on a minority and that further they minority shouldn't cuss about it.
Cuz' that isn't "legitimate" either.
At least Jeff Jacoby is consistent, he has always maintained that the law is a function of divine revelation and that therefore straights shall over the queers on grounds of revealed religion all prettied up with laws and precedents.
Here he simply takes his argumemt thru to it's own logical conclusion and handily sets up his usual New Year's Straw Man which is the abiding menace of liberal hate speech.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
 
State Senate President Travaglini apologizes
After being caught making dark threats about the fate of Governor Elect Deval Patrick's pending legislative program.

Humble Elias thinks that Travie woke up Thursday morning to startling and unaccustomed revelation that the Governor Elect was a democrat about whom the Senate President knew little and who likewise owed exactly nothing to Travaglini.
So in a nervous fret Big Bob started making threats...Happens all the time in lege, doesn't mean anything will come of it, only that the power brokers are jittery.
After all, sixteen years have passed since they had to dicker with a democrat in the corner office, the old intra-party governing skills have understandably atrophied.
Besides, Travie and DiMasi have long reigned as the top dems in the state, it is hard to yield the spotlight when you've been getting it easy for years.

Frankly, I've always maintained that electing a popular democrat as governor could act as a powerful deterrent to "business as usual" on Beacon.
A democratic governor has resources real and intangible that are denied a republican chief executive. That too may be on Senate President Travaglini's mind...who can say?
Friday, December 15, 2006
 
Mitt Dummies Up
According to The Globe, Governor Romney has already mastered the art of declining any questions from reporters as he looks to start campaigning for President.
This has come in handy as admittedly low key questions have bubbled up over Mitt's real feelings about gay rights and the dazzling myriad of contradictory positions that describe his stance(s) on abortion.
I think the best way for him to weasel out of any accusations of opportunism and flip floppery is to simply start denying that he'd ever been Governor of Massachusetts in the first place.
That way, anything he said between January 2003 and January 2007 automatically becomes "unhistory".
Sure it's a lie, but so are the Viceroy's pretensions to leadership, character and honesty...so whats da diff?
Thursday, December 14, 2006
 
Based on today's column...
Does anyone else get the impression that no-one in Deval Patrick's nascent administration is talking to Joanie Vennochi?
She frantically knits together a disparate collection of news items to suggest that not five weeks after the election, the bloom is somehow off the Patrick rose.
Honestly, you could time the appearance of the "Joanie Vennochi is disillusioned" column to the minute.
Remember this is the same Joanie Vennochi who snarled about "democrats drinking the Devalkool-aid" back in September, so despite her current air of shocked innocence don't kid yourself she was never on our side.
Having few identifiable ideological precepts (other than her hatred and envy of John Kerry) it is inevitable that she'd start snarking early at Deval Patrick. If she can't get anyone on the phone over at the Corner Office then has nothing else to write about than her own disaffection.
But then this seems to a column malaise over on Morrissey Boulevard, Scott Lehigh has been fumbling around with national and international politics to no effect since the election and Brian McGrory has become amusingly incoherent.
None of them seem to have come to grips with the change as yet.
Oh well give them time, they have new depths they can sink to, never fear.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
 
John Kerry does a meet-n-greet wif da Bloggers
So reporteth Seth Gitell.

Hey John old buddy?
How come Humble Elias wasn't invited? Hell I'm closest thing you have to "Waylon Smithers" on the internet...Your own wife doesn't enable you with half the ardor as this, The Little Blog That Cried.

Okay I know the answer to that...This is a blog renowned amongst it's seven or so readers for it's nastiness, vituperation, crapulous editing, indifferent spelling and lots of what Boston Magazine has called "sarcastic rant driven chatter".

On the other hand, at this point, why wouldn't you wanna piece of that??

It has to beat the lugubrious nonsense you get from the smarmy likes of Scott Lehigh.

Think about it John, I work cheap!
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
 
It is December...
another year walks the green mile.
All over the commonwealth, neath' the mistletoe next to those stockings hung so carefully whispers go on steadily...everyone wants to know will end up on Jeff Jacoby's annual compendium of "liberal hate speech"?
2006 was a bad year for the remains of movement conservatism and the praetorian class in general, so expect a column that is rigorously spiteful with a honking puritan tone of injured morality.
Now, knowing Jeff as a frantic if unoriginal thinker, we can expect some obscure utterance from Deval Patrick or his supporters to make the list.
Senator Kerry's botched joke may well provide Jeff''s lead, like I said, '06 was a bad year for the GOP and beating a dead horse is thought to be very good therapy in conservative circles.
Jeff may also take off after the local or national bloggers...all those message boards with all those posts are just too tempting a target. Look for "Blue Mass Group" and it's moderators to get in the cross-hairs.

Of course, it goes without saying that Kerry Healey's Orangeshirt Squadristi, Howie Carr's homophobic dementia, the Governor's gruesome hatred for the very state he leads, or Rush Limbaugh's demands for all out atomic warfare in the Middle East will all be passed over in silence.

Cuz, all that is not "hate speech" it is stern contrarians and iconoclasts tacking against the liberal wind blah blah blah...
You've heard it all before.
Anyway those are my predictions let us see how I do as a seer.
Monday, December 11, 2006
 
Game On...Mah Friends...
The new congress has not even settled on it's collective duff before Barack Obama has danced off to Manchester New Hampshire.
He was received like he was Germanicus returning to Rome with the second lost eagle of Varus.
Well folks this is it, the great game is once again afoot a lot of money and organization is in play to find an alternative to Senator Hillary Clinton, right now the spotlight shineth brightly on the Junior Senator from Illinois.
If we were to dissect the game play here there is much to suggest his candidacy. He is a Midwesterner, he is a back bencher in the senate but that also means he has no lengthy record to fuel attack adverts. He is also charismatic, telegenic and reasonably energetic.
The question is, can he carry the ball into the goal zone in a general election?
Well that is a question we can ask of all the candidates quite frankly. Humble Elias suspects a lot of powerlibs on and off long might gamble on an African American being no less odious to the electorate than a woman with as long an alleged rapsheet as Senator Clinton.
The conventional wisdom suggests that Obama is poison to any hopes Senator Kerry has of running again in 2008. Well yeah...Senator Obama has formidable talents...but then I can recall with the simplest nostalgia when the Smart Aleck Legion once assured us that Wesley Clark was the end of John Kerry's White House Dreams.

Game on...game on indeed
Friday, December 08, 2006
 
Welcome to Nixonville USA Mister President...
Bush's approval rating has dipped below thirty percent in the latest AP poll.
This is somewhere near to the mark set by Tricky Dick when he finally resigned and fled Washington just one step ahead of the constable's.
And yet for all that, Bush goes on with the ugly obstinate focus of a toddler insisting the World and the Baker Commission are wrong and he is right.
Meanwhile his old pals, the Saudis are happily raising funds for every suicide bomber in Iraq.

Yup Humble Elias has said it before, "win ugly, govern ugly" to which we can now add the codicil "lose ugly".
That is if you can call what Bush does "governance"...Mostly this entails nothing than gaseous asserting of utopian fantasies along with the unsubtle snarl of threats both personal and political.
It worked for a while, even got him re-elected (in the narrow sense of the term) but there is a big country out there that can be threatened or beguiled with fairy tales for only so long before other forces begin to assert themselves.

As I said yesterday, one is tempted to just change the channel and forget the whole catastrophe if it wasn't costing the nation in blood, tears, treasure and prestige.

Ah well, "Bush fatigue" cuts it both ways I guess.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
 
Classic Joanie Vennochi today,
After we are done bombing Iraq into the stone age, after the GOP's preatorian class spend a merry three years calling the democrats faggots, cowards and traitors, after that maverick John McCain stood by and did nothing as those little tiny Purple Heart band aids were passed around at the '04 Republican Convention...now today we are supposed to find common ground with the very praetorian class that put took the USA right off a cliff.
Honestly, as a liberal and democrat if it wasn't costing the lives both US soldiers and innocent Iraqis and if was exacting a toll in treasure and prestige I'd be tempting to just walk away and tell the whole wretched Praetorian class to fix their own damn mishaugas.
Nothing but the worst sort of uplifting utopianisn brought this stupid adventure down on us, from the wowsers and mystics who bullied congress into approving the invasion to the thousands of starry eyed libertarian fanatics who swarmed the Green Zone after the war intent on tranforming Iraq into Ayn Rand's own earthly paradise.
Now today...we've got to find "common ground" with Grover Norquist, Karl Rove and that jewbaiting scoundrel James Baker?
Pardon me if I'm just a bit skeptical if even now, the other side is willing to negotiate in good faith.

Oh yeah...and Joanie gets off another inexplicable snark at the expense of John Kerry quote:
Kerry issued a press release that, in essence, said, "I told you so." The report, he said, "underscores what many of us have long been arguing: there is no military solution to our deep problems in Iraq": and he noted that the report calls for "a step for which I have been a strong advocate for over two years: a major diplomatic initiative bringing together others in the region."

Pride of authorship is not leadership. Who's going to lead us to the common ground?


in other words, Joani now realizes that JK was right about Iraq pretty much all along but she too spiteful to ever admit it.

As for a leader to take us to tha sacred plot, common ground?
Well all I can say is this, who wants to reach consensus with a bunch of crooks, thieves and cultists?
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
 
We are NotWinning the War
so sez incoming Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
Praetorian-speak is a weirdly limited language when it gets away from it's usual lexicon of threats and utopian fantasies.
Gates can't admit defeat or even say the word withdrawl, but he can clumsy execute a bad linguistic fandango around the concepts.
This is akin to the cherished habit of the Japanese Army in World War II which forbade the use of the hated word "retreat" when cutting orders. Thus soldiers of Hirohito (like Bush he was once revered as the "Son of the Sun")could be ordered to "turn around and advance" or some such twaddle as that.
So it would seem that GOP establishment has sent Gates in to settle Bush and Cheney down and prep the admin for some sort of pullout.
Such are the frayed flags of praetorian triumphalism, such is empire.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
 
Twilight of the Neocons
First Rumsfeld, now UN Ambassador John Bolton has resigned.
It has indeed been a bad fortnight for the GOP's special cadre of uplifters and revolutionaries.
Who is next?
Cheney maybe?
Imagine what sort of useless hack Bush would nominate to serve out the remainder of the Vice President's term of office...Dan Quayle, Pete Dupont, the ashes of Meldrim Thompson?
The key there is to find someone even less popular and even more inane (if possible) than Bush himself. But as the President's approval ratings continue to spiral downwards his options could boil down to Galeazzo Ciano or perhaps Isabel Peron.
Ah but these boy-os were men of destiny but two years ago, they'd had their
Diebold Certified "accountability moment" and strutted around the nation sick with pride and bloated with ill gotten power.
Now look at them, sweating like stoolies at police headquarters and desperate for a way out.
This is all gratifying to watch if the country wasn't in such desperate straits.
Monday, December 04, 2006
 
Channel Zero has a good one on the whole Michael Richards' Affair
so I'll link to some entertainment blogging for once I guess.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
 
Give Jeff Jacoby some credit...
even as the scurvy likes of Donald Rumsfeld are looking for a exit on Iraq, Jeff is still waving his cavalry sword in the air calling for more regiments to sent to Baghdad.
Jacoby has shown a commendable lack of imagination all down the line from those heady days when Bush strutted across the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln like Peron on the balcony of the Casa Rosada.
However, even as he calls for more troops, more patrols, more search-n-destroy Jacoby betrays a certain lack of steadfastness.
Now as the shades of national dissolution fall 'round Iraq, Jeff could earn some consistency points by coming out for conscription in the USA, but alas even the Globe's Laughing Young Senescence quivers before that decision.
At this point though, more troops in Iraq means dropping recruitment standards, extending tours, rounding up stray National Guardsmen, arming the cooks a whole host of dubious measures designed to stave off the inevitable draft.
"There are no more men to be had" to quote Marshal Ney (I think it was Ney at least).
Humble Elias has a simple notion, if Jacoby McCain et al think sending more troops is the answer, then they ought to explain honestly where the men are gonna come from.
Friday, December 01, 2006
 
I just love when
I am right....

Back on June 23rd 2006 I had this to say about the whole matter...

Kerry Healey had better watch her mouth...
She now proposes to go screaming into the streets to demonstrate her freeper bona-fides as an anti-illegal immigration zealot.
Fine, she had to tack to the right at some point, it is entirely predictable that she'd do it in respect of an issue properly vetted by the Washington DC Praetorian Class.
But...Remember this me hearties...

It is IMPOSSIBLE to be truly rich in Massachusetts and NOT have hired an illegal immigrant to do something somewheres for your well-heeled ass. It might've been the crew that built your pre-gubernatorial palace by the sea on the North Shore or the crew that comes along and does the yardwork once a week. Sooner or later, someone without green-card one, has done the heavy lifting for you.


Oh Ghod this is truly truly lovely, sure it is Romney and not Healey thus the full weight of the prophecy is not felt, but then again the Viceroy wants to be President and this will make a wonderful attack ad.
Yesterday, Mitt was the next big thing on the right and today???

HAW HAW!

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