The Chimes at Midnight
Friday, March 30, 2007
 
At last....
a local liberal podcast!
I think this is a wonderful idea, with the lamentable demise of Air America Radio's local affiliates we have to think in terms of leveraging our web presence in new and different ways in order to counter our opponent's advantage in money and mainstream media bona fides.
The current panel is strong, Lynne Lupien, Ryan from Ryan's Take and our own "Mass Marrier:.
Hey guys, I'm a early supporter, don't forget to link the olde Chimes at Midnight hyar!

:)
Thursday, March 29, 2007
 
With all due respect...
where the hell are we supposed to come up with 20 billion vigorish for the transportation system over the next 20 years?
The Commonwealth is de-industrialized and is still losing population every year...oh and MBTA is functionally bankrupt!
Hell that twenty billion just about describes the hellish cost over-runs on the Big Dig to the penny!
All this good news after sixteen years of stern, fiscally responsible republican rule!
Honestly, I pity Governor Patrick, I mean who can cope with institutional and fiscal collapse like this???

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007
 
Revenge is Sweet
Swift Boat Financier's nomination for US Ambassador to Belgium has been withdrawn.
 
Saw Senator McCain on CNN last night
he was bloviating about some damn thing. My Ghod though, he looked awful...beady-eyed, McCain has a weird pasty pallor and his whattles have started to vibrate on their own unique frequency as he blabs away.
Granted the man was tortured at length by communists, but still his staff could invest in a little leading man #1 so that the Bush Regime's Heir Apparent doesn't look like the Ghost of the US Senate on live television.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007
 
Meanwhile...
Joanie Vennochi comes in for some well-deserved criticism from the Globe's readership in the wake of Sunday's column about Elizabeth Edward's recent illness.

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Andy takes a powder....
"Revolution Now" an otherwise sane and sensible blog (but then everthing is seemingly sane and sensible compared to the Chimes at Midnight's glorious dingbatery)is shutting down for good.
Humble Elias had the good fortune to meet Revolution Now's Andy at several liberal blogger type events and he came off as articulate, well informed and man of good common sense.
So this is a loss, if for no other reason than Chimes at Midnight need's the click-throughs.

Okay I kid, I kid!
I kid because I love...I love...to kid.
However, Andy does mention a major announcement this week about some sort of successor enterprise, that sounds intriguing to say the least (Hint to Andy please link to Chimes at Midnight, it's cold up here in the hills and hollers of Menotomy.
Once again, let me reiterate my own idea, with the demise of Air America's local affiliates, what we need to do is leverage our strong internet presence to create a sort of "Blue Mass Group" for liberal podcasts.

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Monday, March 26, 2007
 
Honest to Ghod
the only writer more predictable & inane than Steve Stark is the Globe's own Joanie Vennochi.
Yesterday she chided John Edwards for staying in the Presidential race despite his wife Elizabeth's illness.
Am I alone in thinking that IF, Edwards had baiiled, Joanie would've spun right around and called him a quitter and a big baby?
I won't trot out that splendid Clintonian cliche' "negativity" to describe Joanie's writing, but she sure does love to reflexively contradict democrats doesn't she?
Whatever we do it is either too little, too much, too rough, too weak or too late.
This sort of thinking has made Vennochi has predictable as a grandfather clock.
As Groucho Marx sang in "Horsefeathers" "Whatever it is, I'm against it!" that seems to outline Joan Vennochi's core ideology in precis' form.
Positive proposals she hasn't got, nor a candidate to advance them...but she does know how to mindlessly contradict with the best of the political sandbox.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007
 
"Thought" for the Day...
"A Regime never falls for internal reasons, moral questions, (or) economic stresses. Party struggles do not hazard the existence of a system. A Regime, of whatever kind, collapses on under the weight of defeat".

Benito Mussolini.

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Friday, March 23, 2007
 
Glad to see John Edwards is staying in the race
for President given his wife's recent health issues...if for no other reason than it fools however briefly of the pundit class down in DC.
His decision might also quiet if only briefly, the eternal political card sharps who are constantly shuffling the deck look for a new candidate that'll sweep the field even before they announce for President.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007
 
Strange Doin's on the Silver Line
down on Northern Avenue by Boston Harbor.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007
 
Scot Lehigh is agin' the fabled megaprimary...
(I'd link to the column but the Globe wants money for yesterday's opinion, which strikes me as a counterintuitive thinking)...and fair enough this is a worthwhile debate topic, from the process of front end loading primaries to the persistent centrality of the New Hampshire Primary.
That having been said, let us not forget that Scot Lehigh wants to sell newspapers and therefore a long devisive primary schedule is preferred with a divided and fractious democratic convention if possible.
Otherwise how can he and all the other pundits fill up column space in the spring of '08 with stillborn fantasies of "brokered conventions" and "late announcing candidates"?
And another thing, a long drawl out political brawl in the democratic primaries plays endlessly to Scot Lehigh's preference for some moderate republican man-on-horseback to rescue us all from those awful chaotic democrats.
A quick end and bloodless end to the selection process undercuts this vital meme.
Mind you, democracy's best interests might not be well served by a megaprimary, but don't confuse that with Scot's own personal agenda.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007
 
Anyone else out there getting tired
of Brian McGrory's endless discovery and then rediscovery of Mitt Romney's callowness and inept opportunism?
Apparently it's become a joke even to Brian who makes heavy handed sport of Mitt's grotesque ideological permutations in today's column.
Geez, McGrory has only now discovered his pal hasn't got the internal consistency of a bowl of jello? I thought he'd figured that out last summer, but no, the lesson keeps getting re-learned and re-learned.

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Monday, March 19, 2007
 
Have to agree with Adrian Walker
The Annual Saint Patrick's Day Breakfast has turned into a atavistic enterprise.
The humor has gotten pretty stagnant...if Walker is to be believed the usual suspects are paying gag writers for their 3rd rate groaners.
Frankly a good part of the problem is that there are no great natural wits to be found among the political class in this state regardless of party.
I mean...Barney Frank is a funny guy but he is a classic outsider with that crowd. For the most part those in attendance tend to stumble thru their routines, you can just tell humor comes hard to this lot. Humble Elias sez, let Jimmy Tingle book the whole show, he'll get something started fer sure.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007
 
How much longer is Steve Stark
gonna persist with that cockammamie racetrack tipsheet format for his presidential campaign blog in the Boston Phoenix?
After three weeks or so it has already become irlsome, tedious and relentlessly repetitive.
Mind you, the gimmick is funny once or twice but as an ongoing framing device it is hopelessly inane. Moreover, if cliches were outlawed tomorrow (expls: Obama is...popular, Clinton is...well connected) Steve would founder as a pundit. He just doesn't have anything particularly original to say.
Can't see the Phoenix readership putting up with this drivel til November '08.

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Friday, March 16, 2007
 
Forcing Gonzalez' resignation would be a nice thing
but it will solve nothing. A a petulant aging brat serves as our President who defines "character" as the appointment of ever more brutish lackey's to high office.
The only reason for Bush to replace Gonzalez is because he has someone even worse on tap for the sinecure.
This is the way things will be until Bush leaves office, the callow will be replaced by the callow and the nasty and so on and so forth.
We are therefore in a sort of life and death race with the President's governing style...can we save something of our freedom and republican institutions in the time he has left in office?
Thats the only question here, I can already tell you that if Gonzalez resigns tonight, his announced replacement will be someone on the order of Achille Starace...a bully to those below, a sycophant to those above.
Under these circumstances, with a "model" of Presidential leadership that is so contrary to tradition and common sense, the Senate is well within it's rights to decline confirmation. Better the Department of Justice drift until January 2009 than be further corrupted.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007
 
Meehan is out
and everyone else seems to be in....
I'm a little shocked that Marty took the Umass Lowell Chancellorship, but I'm told he has small kids at home and the financial rewards of the new sinecure can't be denied.
That having been said a vertiable battalion of hopefuls have piled in already headed by Niki Tsongas, widow of the late senator and presidential candidate. Rumors are still churning even as I write this of new and even more improbable candidacies.
Meanwhile the GOP could well offer up a credible candidate they seem to have a interesting collection warming up in the bullpen.
Well...never let it be said, that Massachusetts doesn't offer up consistent political theater on a grand scale.
At anyrate, this race will no doubt be the making of Lynn of "Left in Lowell" fame whose commentary on local and district politics are of a insightful and sensible type.

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Monday, March 12, 2007
 
Anyone else amazed to discover that
Steve Stark has the '08 campaign trail blogger gig at the Boston Phoenix?
This is to say the least something of a comedown for a paper that was once home to Dan Kennedy's political reportage.
Steve of course does have a nice looking resume, a stint as the Globe's official Clinton-hating liberal in the early nineties (he started predicting Bill's resignation seemingly a few weeks after the first inaugural)as well as a cultural commentator sinecure at WBUR...on paper it's all very impressive, in reality not so much.
None of this has ever changed my opinion of Stark as a hack scribbler who can pound out the blindingly obvious with a great deal of self satisfied relish. Banal...glib...surprising obtuse, Steve specializes in the sort of political coverage you can easily extract from junk like Time Magazine.

Why the Phoenix felt the need to resurrect Steve's career as a political pundit is a mystery? Can they really be all that impressed with his recent book on the Beatles, a tome that'll make no one forget Bob Spitz's biography or Goldman's trashy Life of John Lennon.

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Friday, March 09, 2007
 
Rudy Uber Alles?
Current polls show the Former Mayor of Nw York City has opened up a lead in the GOP presidential primary race.
His appeal is simple, he is running as 9-11's Eisenhower, a crisis tested Commander in Chief whose halo spells out "Leadership" in gilt letters.
Moreover he has the unabashed man-love of such strategically placed dupes as Chris Matthews and at the moment he polls well against Clinton and Obama.
A heady heady brew indeed for an ill tempered former mayor to ingest.

Of course, it is early in the race, most hard core wingnuts haven't yet tumbled to Rudy's pro-choice bona-fides, his three marriages and his sterling reputation in the gay community.
So count on a lot a money being spent to smear Giuliani as queer-loving dupe and an abortionist.
Moreover the naive affection of the likes of Chris Matthews & Mike Barnicle didn't do John McCain a lick of good in campaign 2000...remember that, hype and electoral muscle are two different things.
I just can't see this guy getting the nomination and not provoking a split in the GOP, either the Norquist types will sit on their hands or else the drama queens like Richard Viguerie will carry old their mangy old threat to start a 100% conservative third party.
Of course, Rudy could go the Romney-Route and backtrack on all his former core beliefs, but if he wants to avoid being labeled a flip-flopper he'd better do it soon and more artfully than the Former Massachusetts Governor.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007
 
Death scream from the tar-pits
I'm sure that when the bigger prehistoric mammoths got stuck in the La Brea tarpits they mitted some truly scary and sarcastic screams on their way to becoming fossilized tourist attractions.
Such is the case today with the Boston Heraldwhich gloats unashamedly at the alleged discomfiture of a few bloggers over Governor Patrick's recent political mis-steps.

Why this is news is a mystery to me.

In fact it isn't news at all, it's a smug recitation of a few bloggers angst, small beers indeed next to Scooter Libby's conviction yesterday, an item that can be found nowhere on the front page of the Herald's website.

You know what...these guys sound scared. Their readership is older than the College of Cardinals and blogging is one of those under-forty phenoms that One Herald never got from the git-go. Their daily sales have steady gone down for the past decade, the bullpen holds staff meetings in a broom closet and even Howie Carr just e-mails it in.
Yup, the Herald is stuick fast mah frens' and going down fer th' third time as well.
So they are (in the words of my grey haired old Irish Mother) "to be pitied"...time is not on their side snarkiness or no snarkiness.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007
 
Whatever else happens in campaign '08
lets all make a quiet pledge to elect a President who excites naught but the snobbish scorn of David Broder.
If the winner is in dutch with David, then it is all good as far as Humble Elias is concerned.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007
 
On a cold nasty day in March
"Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace"

Saint Francis of Assisi
Monday, March 05, 2007
 
Sco is a daddy!
here is the link:

All the best from Elias Nugator for his dauntless wife and ten blessings as well for his son!

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Coulter fires off the 21st Century "F-Bomb"
and comes in for the usual handwringing.
I'm not gonna noodge her about the first amendment, I will note that plenty of smug feckless assholes in that hall roundly cheered & laughed when the alleged columnist called John Edwards a faggot.

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Romney wins...
this weekend's CPAC straw poll that is....

Ghod can you imagine how much ass the Former Viceroy had to kiss to pull this off?

One thing I will say about the Right Wing, they know how to overlook the utter lackey-dom of a potential nominee, cringing and toadying is no bar to high office for today's wingnuttery.

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Sunday, March 04, 2007
 
Whenever things go wrong for U.S. Conservatives
in the democratic arena they almost invariable compensate their battered egos by raising up the blood cry for radical privatization.
Such is the case today with Jeff Jacoby in the Sunday Globe who is astonished to discover that thanks to the Parker versus Hurkey decision public school curriculum is set by elected school boards and not by pettish parents incited by columnist to mob rule.
Class size in the Commonwealth is what? twenty three pupils per teacher, imagine trying tot each to such an unruly cohort and reach some accord with twenty three sets of parents on what shall be taught?
No, there is a reason why democratic bodies constrained by law and tradition control schools...anything else is sheer chaos.
If Jeff and his friends wanna opt out then there are hundreds of private schools out there to choose from.
Let them set up a scholarship program for junior conservatives or stop whining and start their own damn school.
Well of course, then the cry goes up as to why they should be taxed for schools they don't use and often revile?
Wa-al shit there I have no answer, other than to say trillions in public debt has been authorized in my name on behalf of a war I consider useless...so there is plenty of pain to go around.

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Friday, March 02, 2007
 
Tantrum on the Right
Richard Viguerie, longtime conservative fundraising whiz and chairman of something called "conservativeHQ.com" has emitted a sort of death scream of rage at the current crop of trimmers and dishwater moderates currently contending for the GOP Presidential nomination.
Apparently everyone in the running has some diresome black mark down against them...some of this is relentlessly lame issue politics at it's most miniscule and self defeating.
The fact that these yobs can't even get behind a useless grinning wingnut like Sam Brownback because of his slight deviations on immigration is a telling thing about the current state of conservative politics in America.
These guys are so dreary,fussy and whiny...the whole movement seems to be up past it's bedtime.
Normally fault lines like this would be good news for us liberals, however this is Richard Viguerie we are talking about, the biggest wingnut drama queen in DC.
The man got his start with the American Independent Party in the salad days of George Wallace and ever after liked to periodically threaten the GOP with a ultra-ringht wing third party movement if they strayed from the conservative line.
This sounds like the same old same old...their very strategic disaffection won't amount to much I assure you.
They've had a hard year, they wanna rest up for a bit and get some big name candidates to grovel that is all.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007
 
Arthur Schlesinger is Dead
The heaven's do quake.

Ah but Artie had some class now didn't he?
Authored several seminal works of history, founded the Americans for Democratic Action, served President Kennedy as an advisor and acted all his live as a lonely prophet for the coming age of liberalism.
If he had a fault it was in his plaintive insistence that a second new age of reform and renewal was right around the corner.
He spoke much of a pendulum effect in politics that only seemed to swing ever rightward in my lifetime. If the man was ever out of step with his times, it is only because we have left the age of rationality behind us and entered into a new era of synthetic facts and public propaganda. truly how can a historian ever compete with the vices of an entire epoch?
Ah but forgive Artie his little faults, he was among the first of America's serious post-war "celebrity intellectuals" (along with perhaps, William F. Buckley) and after all anyone who earned the hatred and contempt of the aforementioned Buckley along with Allen Drury, Gore Vidal and Dalton Trumbo had to have done something right.

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