Friday, February 29, 2008

Senator Clinton lifts one from the LBJ playbook

This is Hillary Clinton's latest bid for the "security mom" vote.

Thematically it resembles an old LBJ campaign advert from 1964 depicting the "red telephone" on the President's desk in the oval office beeping away with a voice over imploring voters to "keep it in responsible hands".
Alas I can't find a link to the specific advert in we will have to make do with that shopworn shibboleth "The Daisy Ad"

Personally I think palaver like this only advantages McCain...but what do I know anyway?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Middlesex 23rd special election

The Boston Globe runs a mostly laudatory article about democratic nominee to the State Legislature Sean Garballey.

I like the kid, but honestly, Deborah Butler comes perilously close to outright groveling in her individual quote.

The Agnew Moment

Charles Pierce, raises some interesting points here:

Of course he is right, Tim Russert is a biased and corrupt hack...but the question is, how to get at him?
Pierce wants an "Agnew" style attack on the media, this is fine but I think he forgets that Nixon and Agnew had a ready made constituency at their back the so called "Silent Majority" and they controlled the bully pulpit of the presidency.
WE as liberals have neither advantage at this point.
Moreover our best spokespersons are themselves dependent on the Washington Press establishment in that they cannot afford to lose their invitations to go on "Meet the Press" if they chose to attack Tim Russert and his tortured inanities.
Or at least they think they can't afford to lose out on those sunday morning chat show appearances, Spiro Agnew didn't seem to have any problems getting on "Face the Nation" etc even after he started calling the news media "nattering nabobs of negativism".
Make no mistake about it though, we need someone big and loud to make the case against the mainstream media on behalf of the liberals but we've got to prepare the ground first...cause Humble Elias all by hisself doesn't quite make a big enough noise y'unnerstan'.
Think about it...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

William F. Buckley is dead...

never has one so witty and so erudite and so quotable been so utterly and preposterously wrong about the issues for well over fifty years.

But what the hell, he was never anything but a friend to John Kenneth Galbraith and those Black Oakes spy novels were pretty good all told. It is no small achievement to write a good spy novel a more daunting genre can't be imagined.

It seems naught but ironic to note that Buckley dies as conservative civilization, the very incubus he helpled sire back in the days of "Leave It to Beaver" now shuffles towards it's own personal gotterdammerung.

Maybe it is better this way, I'm told the old man never got over his wife's death last year.
Rest in peace Bill...say hi to Professor Viereck for us willya?

Jingle Money for Veep!

Yup you heard it here first, why no Former Massachusetts Governor Jane "Jingle Money" Swift as McCain's VP?
She brings many strengths to the ticket...for one thing, she is a woman...and for another...well ummmm...gee....let me get back to you all.
Seriously though, Jane has been very loyal to the McCain campaign, she stuck by the Arizona senator when he was being billed below the cheap acts and poetry recitals. Nominating Jane would help dispel those unhelpful rumors that the GOP wants to deport all Massachusetts residents and use the state as storage facility for radioactive cobalt. Okay so maybe Jane is pro-choice, but hell so was Mitt Romney once, why let that goof up a sweet deal.
Otherwise so her husband is a bit of a golem but her kids are photogenic and she'll stump the country like a bug-eyed townie running for sanitation commissioner. McCain could do worse, and probably will.
Besides, it would piss off Mitt Romney to the nth degree...the payback factor should not be underestimated.

It is either this or Jane sits there in North Adams twiddling her thumbs waitin' for John Olver to cash in his retirement chips so she can get into a dicey race for congress with a strong possibility for a serious whuppin'.
I say McCain needs to take a leap of faith, believe in mediocrity, nominate Jane "Jingle Money" Swift for Vice President.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A few months ago,

the friend of a friend duly forwarded to me the internet canard that insisted that Barack Obama was a muslim terrorist "Manchurian Candidate" who refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance at some damn event. I made some polite noises and included a link to snopes refuting all and sundry. Now today I offer you all a clip of Senator Obama leading the US Senate in the Pledge of that nasty little meme is gonna go away....RIGHT? LIKE HELL IT WILL!

Frankly it is almost embarrassing to have tyo post material like this, there is something sordid about refuting deliberate liars...but must needs when the devil rides.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Ralph'd Again

Aging narcissism notwithstanding, Ralph Nader has again announced what must now be his fourth or fifth independent bid for the US Presidency. Typically he did it on "Meet the Press" , Tim Russert ever a lover of the "democrats in disarray" meme must've grinned like a mongoloid.
I can't see much coming of this, Nader's numbers have trended downward since gathering three million votes in the year 2000, Eugene Debs had this problem so did Harold Stassen.
No...what Ralph has to answer for is denying Florida to Gore in '00 and thus being indirectly responsible for the deaths of thousands of US Service personnel in Iraq along with their allies major and minor.
Think about that the next time the green zone is shelled or a suicide bomber kills a few dozen in some flower market in Tikrit.
As Eric Alterman sez "Thanks Ralph".

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Every four years, there is something we must remind ourselves of...

and that is that the punditariat, even the hard-core democrats therein are ALL emotionally invested in the eternal "democrats in disarray" meme.
In forty five years of life, I have NEVER passed thru a presidential election cycle that did not include this notion ad nauseum.
Does history really repeat itself that much? Or do these guys simply know of no other way to report the news?
Otherwise, the way it works is simple; from Tim Russert down to Steve Stark, the "disarray" is announced, then the US opinion industry waits around for some pretext to justify said announcement.
Therefore this week, the prospect of the Texas and Ohio primaries being heavily contested by Senators Clinton and Obama coupled with Ralph Nader's latest presidential kamikaze gig will simply be reconfigured as "proof" that the democrats are about to botch it all again.
it is pretty thin stuff all told, but these dingbats have gone with still thinner material to shore up their favorite fantasy. Remember this is the US Punditariat we are talking about, they wallow in these kinds of unpleasant delusions in order to obscure their own bias against the democrats.
Frankly I'm beginning to suspect it is less about the democrats and more like a deep pre-adolescent resent against the institution of free elections...a dangerous process prone to "disarray"...sometimes it even makes the punditariat look like fools...can't have that now can we?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Irregardless of John McCain's alleged fence-jumping,

the real issue here is his ongoing preference for doing elaborate business-boosting favors for Washington lobbyists.
Indeed until he forcibly remade himself into a zealous reformer John McCain was largely known as a ill tempered senate blowhard who was a reliable touch for the typical embattled corporate lobbyist.
For all this "straight talk" rubbish, McCain is still a friend of the interests and will remain so if he is elected president.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mister Campaign Finance Reform...

might be plenty high minded about fundraising transparency and all like that, but he didn't take any vow of chastity along the way.
It will be interesting to see if this thing gains any traction, the GOP is famously psychotic when it comes to what couples therapy calls "intimacy issues". Remember that Bob Livingston got ousted as Speaker of the House by the republican caucus for looking at a lingerie catalogue or some damn thing like that.
It also doesn't help matters any to see that McCain has one of the most obvious trophy wives ever seen on the campaign trail short of the amazon that married Dennis Kucinich.
And the alleged McMistress is a lobbyist too....tsk tsk tsk.
Well anyway...McCain should have problems to paraphrase Richard Nixon, big ones!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Jimmy me boyo

Don't climb so far out on that limb that you can't come back with dignity intact...just a word to the wise and all.
I'm not sure throwing a shit fit over some themes that are commonly held by Deval Patrick and Barack Obama is all that smart given the fact that the Illinois Junior Senator just danced a pounding scottische on Hillary Clinton's campaign for the tenth time in three weeks.
One of the areas where the netroots can play a positive role in preventing the democrats from forming a circular firing squad...Congressman McGovern, please take note.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

"Democrats for Worden"

A new website has gone up attempting to attract disaffected Arlington democrats away from their nominee Sean Garballey. This is a bold move that exploits Republican John Worden's moderate and experience and illustrates the widening political divide in Arlington, nevertheless I don't think much will come of it.
For one thing, the curse of the local GOP has been an aging cantankerous voting base that is just about good for writing angry incoherent letters to the Arlington Advocate. Usually the town republican committee exploits this by nominating the youngest and most obnoxious guy in the room who then goes on to lose the election by a wide margin having made nothing but enemies all over Arlington.
Worden is a different cat though, he is a former moderator of town meeting, he has friends all over town, good name recognition and a long resume devoted to activism and local boosterism.
Nevertheless John Worden is running as the standard bearer of a party with no discernable volunteer base or precinct organization, nor does the short special election season favor the creation of such entities on his behalf.
If he has a good day next month he might close within single digits of Sean Garballey and just possibly do well enough to warrant a re-match this fall, but then as now I have no doubts as to the outcome....Garballey will win it's just a question of his margin.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Lanny Davis was on Wolf Blitzer yesterday

hacking away at Barack Obama on behalf of his candidate Hillary Clinton. In all a whiny and obnoxious performance that sound might confuse with being hard-hitting. The Clinton campaign needs to stop using Davis in this capacity he comes off as frantic and desperate. Wolf Blitzer however, just sat there beaming ,he loves it when democrats go amok like this, it reinforces his all his prejudices about the party.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Late Hunter S. Thompson once...

described a sentimental and affecting scene at Richard Nixon's inaugural in 1969, George Romney (Milhous' nominee to head the Department of Health, Education & Welfare) swept down the parade route and was allegedly greeted by a loud chorus of "Romney Eats Shit! Romney Eats Shit!"
Like father, like son is all I can say.
Not two weeks ago, candidate Romney was escoriating John McCain as an out of touch Washington insider and a closet liberal, NOW however, the Arizona senator stands tall as the last best hope of mankind so sex Willard who now has a duty to his conqueror.
To the last Romney demonstrates what a palpable fraud he is, he might've released his delegates to Mike Huckabee and thus proven his fidelity to christian dominionism, he might've handed them over even to Ron Paul as a demonstration of his libertarian tendencies, nope nada, McCain must be sucked up to, just as Mitt once sucked up to the Bush White House.
Craven and despicable.
But expected in every way, Mitt is too much the cynic and opportunist to play it any way.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

After last night

I give Huckabee maybe another week, then all the "come to Jesus" pressure will become too much for even him.
Still and all that, it has to give the GOP serious pause to note that Ron Paul, Mike Huckabee and John McCain barely wracked up half the turnout of the democrats in last night's Virginia primary.
You'd think number like that might give John McCain reason to think, but no, as soon as he'd won all and sundry he got up there and started whining like a poor mouth bitch about making government small enough so that his richest and craziest supporters could treat it with contempt.
Maybe I'm all stupid-like, but I don't think "small gummint" is gonna fit between the scylla of Bush's imperial wiretapping presidency and the charybdis of the response to Hurricane Katrina.
Trust me, John McCain won't find a way between those rocks.

Let me play devil's advocate for a moment here, maybe we need to take the opposite tack of profligate wiretapping, once a democrat is elected, we could easily (for example) use Bush's war powers to check up on Grover Norquist to see if he is illegally taking campaign contributions from the Saudis.
And that my friends, is just the beginning.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

So much for

Mister Campaign-Finance-Reform....

McCain wouldn't be turning down federal matching funds if he didn't have a good intimation that that money would keep flowing and flowing from the usual GOP crooks, grafters and pimps.
Senators Clinton and Obama ought to take heed, McCain will make a nasty fight of it before he is done.

Monday, February 11, 2008

At the 99 Restaurant in Somerville yesterday...

I had a perfectly Nixonian moment as I plowed thru a delicious buffalo chicken salad, Humble Elias won't have Willard Mitt Romney to kick around anymore.
Of course, I'm spared the indignity of being rousted out of bed in my union suit on election night by the secret service...spared getting put on some damn list and forced to blog from Santa Lucia in the beauteous Baja peninsula.
And in the end, I and the whole of the republic am spared his chilly poll-driven governance, his bizarre flip flops and his interminable verbal anesthesia.
It is a good deal for the nation, but it robs the Chimes at Midnight of it's first and best bete' noir.
I know I'll find new targets, and anyway it was just glorious watching Mitt's big scary gasbag campaign go Plop!!!
The only feeling that would beat it is John Kerry winning with 325 electoral votes.
But I'll take my good vibes wherever Ah kin get em'.

Unless of course, McCain goes shit-house nuts and offers the vice presidency to Willard...THAT would be just too kewl to watch.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Obama's color is irrelevant...

sez Jeff Jacoby in today's Globe who opines that American race relations may be turning a corner this year in part thanks to the candidacy of Barack Obama.
Peggy "Magic Dolphins" Noonan on the Daily Kos goes further and thinks that Obama's race renders him nigh "bulletproof".
to quote the old misanthrope "what rubbish!"
A bare two years ago, Deval Patrick campaigned for Governor here in the Commonwealth on terms not too different from Obama's and the GOP still rolled out as racialized an attack ad as they dared to produce.
Anyone else remember the Healey campaign's big scary "mugger commercial"?
Granted it didn't work for Healey, but that had as much to do with her own limitations as a candidate as the electorate's distaste for sub-rosa race politics. As democrats we can expect as much and more this fall from the GOP, indeed they may have nowhere else to go if Obama is the nominee.
So lets all enjoy these Kumbaya moments while we can, so enough the screeching begins and we must be prepared.

Friday, February 08, 2008


Scot Lehigh in his Romney campaign post mortem superficially boils the former viceroy's ideological inconsistency.

Lehigh put it this way:

But in the end, his campaign foundered for one basic reason: He lacked authenticity.

Ah yes...authenticity, that word again, the punditariat loves it, it is generally used as a slur against democrats (expl. Al Gore) but when applied to republicans it is a term of obscurity.
In this case, Lehigh calls Romney inauthentic because his own political prejudices to use the more precise word "dishonest".
Because dishonest is what Romney was from hour one, he fraudulently gathered the votes of gays in 2002 then betrayed those same voters seemingly within weeks of achieving the governorship. He said he'd never raise taxes and increased every fee in sight for four long years, the list of Romney's many many whoppers is a long and depressing one.
To the evangelicals in Iowa he promised nigh special police powers over their neighbors, in NH he promised to run the illegal aliens out of the country and to the unemployed in Michigan he pledged literally ro re-open the auto factories.
It is the voters in all those places and many others that realized Romney was simplylying and cast their ballots accordingly even as Scot Lehigh fumbled around with advertising buzz-words like "authenticity".
Granted Romney was locked in a tight race with John McCain himself a champion flip flopper and the Reverend Mike Huckabee a man who believes in the healing powers of moonlit stump yes the Viceroy's own ineptitude and inexperience also played a part.
But when it came down to a contest of mendacity, Mitt couldn't compete...and apparently, Lehigh can't see that.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Romney: a Political Autopsy...

Whatever d' ye suppose they were talking about over in Belmont last night? How to get the million-bucks per delegate cost down to something sensible or were they willing at long last to face facts?
Who can say?
If Mitt bails today or tomorrow or next week, he'll exit the race pretty much the way he came in, an overprogrammed, uncharismatic, cold and aloof man who desperately needed the help of numberless consultants & political biff squads to achieve anything in public life.
Far from being a sort of cliche'd enigma in public life, Romney was always too obvious, too amateurish and ultimately too maladroit to play on the A-List. Observers were wont to give him far more credit than he deserved as a politician, the reality is, by running for President Mitt simply rose past the level of his incompetence.
It isn't that he was faced with such rough competition either, Huckabee is a giddy sky-grifter, proud of his ignorance and McCain is himself a champion flip-flopper even a bit of a groveler quite frankly.
The difference is though, McCain is a professional, he knows how to finesse the issues so that his position changes don't resonate negatively, Romney however is an amateur he thinks the game is easy, a mere matter of mouthing the right poll tested rubbish and spending lavishly.
There was little he did right from the day he announced, he was the first to run negative ads and probably the first to complain when his rivals retaliated. Romney denounced the field in almost every case for holding views he himself once upheld with the utmost vigor.
The good news is, with Mitt Romney, American Politics has finally hit bottom. A shameless groveling hack has finally found ill-favor with the electorate in general and the GOP in particular, down the line this bodes well for U.S. politics.

The career died, but democracy prospered.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Hillary wins Massachusetts...

Joanie Vennochi jumps for joy, jams on her witch's hat and does what she does best, which is gloat and gloat like crazy.

Joanie just loves to write bad news about democrats, she has been starved lately so we should forgive her if she over-indulges.

Otherwise, it seems to me that Obama's voters are the rising force in the party, win or lose I still think it was smart of Kerry and Kennedy get this cohort on their side goin' forward.

As for Senator Clinton, again congrats to her on some significant victories, I don't mind when she wins even if I didn't vote for her yesterday, as long as she keeps proving Time, Newsweek, Tim Russert, Wolf Blitzer and Chris Matthews' WRONG!

Thielman defeated...

In a close race last night, Sean Garballey, democratic candidate for state rep in the 23rd Middlesex special election prevailed by a four hundred and twenty five vote margin against Jeff Thielman.
Alas and alack, this is a setback for liberals and progressives in Arlington, Jeff would've made a superb state representative.
But the voters of Arlington have nominated otherwise and there is naught Humble Elias can do about it now.
A number of factors contributed to Thielman's heartwrenching defeat.

First time candidate Andrew O'Brien a man who STILL remains an enigma to the town, garnered some twelve hundred votes district-wide and ran reasonably well in the West Medford precincts. Given the fact that all anyone knew about him was his die-hard anti-casino bona-fides and his Irish name, one must conclude there is still electoral power in the olde sod connection.
The shortness of the special election season for this office was a potent hurdle for the Thielman campaign, it prevented sober reflection as to whether or not sending a twenty two year old man to the state legislature was really a good idea.
Moreover, the Garballey campaign was driven by a weird sort of emotionalism, a " Townies-rule" mood mated to an odd but fervent belief that Sean was some kind of young Galahad. Garballey also made appeals to something he called "The Real Arlington" which he never quite explained in any detail, but one suspects it is a sort of townie-paradise wherein no one from Cambridge ever moves into Mom's old house and renovates.
Hard to beat feelings like that.
There were also some significant defections from the liberal ranks, certain notable Marzilli supporters either sat on their hands or else were out banging the pots hard for Sean. Their reasoning is a little obscure, certainly so far as I know not much has been offered in return, Then again thet may believe that differences with the town hall gang must need conciliating given Marzilli's ascension to the state senate.

Lastly, Diane Mahon and the aforementioned Town Hall machine just did a better job and hustling their target precincts, they lost this fall against Marzilli and indeed lost many many challenges to Jim in past primaries, but what the hell this time they won.

Meanwhile back in the hall there were mutterings of people voting for the republican candidate, John Worden next month, which was to be expected. I can't see much coming of that, Worden is past sixty five years of age and while he has friends all around town he might have to explain just why he got into the state rep's race having dropped moderatorship of Town Meeting allegedly for reasons of "health".

For all that, I wish Sean well. He is a nice kid, nevertheless I can't say I think he will be much of a success as a state representative; the legistature is a real snake pit, the leadership knows fresh meat when they smell it and windy appeals to "The Real Arlington" won't go very far I assure you.
But ya never know...people can still surprise you.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Thielman for State Rep, Obama for President...

thats how I voted this morning and I'm feeling pretty good about the both of them thank yew very much.

If Barack Obama represented nothing else except a break with America's current drift towards dynastic politics he'd be a good enough choice, but he comes armed with different experiences, a better agenda and what seems to be a cool judgement with respect to the potentialities and limitations of US Politics.
Health to his cause sez Humble Elias.

As for Jeff Thielman he is locked in a tight democratic primary race in the 23rd Middlesex special election to succeed Jim Marzilli in the Great and General Court. A lot of intangibles could affect this race, the weather, name recognition, turnout among democrats hungry for a nominee who will stick it to the GOP this fall...nothing is certain. The town hall crowd is backing Sean Garballey to the hilt and beyond, they've been tucked way back this fall with Marzilli's ascension to the state senate and are now looking to recover lost ground.
The problem these guys ahve had from day one is, their best and most experienced potential candidates don't live in the district, it is important to remember that even as much is made of Garballey's pleasing winning ways that he is something of a long shot at age twenty three and a not exactly the gang's first choice.
No matter who wins the nomination there may be some party unity issues going into next month's general election.
If Sean loses tonight, some of his backers could defect to GOP nominee John Worden on that notion that at age sixty nine or so, to some, Worden would be a good placeholder for Garballey giving him time to age into a more realistic candidate for state rep come 2010 or 2012.
This made easier in that Worden is the moderator of town meeting and has moderate views compared to the obnoxious twits the town GOP usually nominates for state rep.

Well anyway it is all speculation, a bare five hundred vote margin is being whispered about on the street in Arlington, it'll be interesting to see what happens. Now you know why the state democratic party is hosting a Unity Dinner this saturday morning...All politics is local, but a lot of local politics is personal.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Trust Mitt Romney to find a

campaign surrogate even crazier and more dictatorial than John McCain. But then again it is just great to see former Pennsylvania senator "High Pitched Rick" Santorum out on the hustings, screaming and throwing tantrums like nothing ever happened.
Santorum claims that McCain's nasty temper is a serious bar to higher office, and indeed it is, but then again, Rick spent his entire political career trying to turn the USA into a tyrannical theocracy so who the hell is this little pissant to talk anyway?
Losers always know their own, hence Santorum has been drawn in to the Romney crusade like flies on a cow pie.
It is either that or some overpaid consultant in the Romney camp has decided "we lack a vital shrill-ness factor".

Moreoever, you have to wonder, no one can out sky-grift Mike Huckabee, what makes Romney think he can beat McCain by out "theocrating" the Arkansas Governor?
Why else would you drag in a beady eyed virtue pimp like Santorum into the primary? The little jerk just burned down Pennsylvania in '06, can he really do any business there for Romney?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Twilight of Conservatism...

is best evidenced by today's Jeff Jacoby column in the Boston Sunday Globe. Therein, he makes an at best desultory case for John McCain's mainstream conservative credentials.
The fact that Jeff has to do this at all and on behalf of a candidate with an 80 to 90% rating from all the usual GOP watchdogs only points to the intellectual rigor mortis that grips movement conservatism.
Well in truth, what can Jeff do?
Someone has to carry the frayed banner of reaction this fall, Huckabee is a giddy sky grifter, Romney is so fake has has "Made in Taiwan" stamped on his ass, so that leaves the aging and tempermental John McCain as the last man standing.

Thus Jacoby sighs and announces "On the whole his record has been that of a robust committed conservative".
THAT would be the same "committed conservative" who allegedly negotiated with Tom Daschle to switch parties in the spring of 2001, the same guy who voted against the Bush tax cuts insisting that they did nothing for the poor or the middle class and the man who might have been John Kerry's running mate.

If you look at McCain that way, he comes off as simply a better more supple opportunistic hack than that plastic bumbler Mitt Romney.
This is the man with whom Jacoby must make his peace, I wish them the joy of one another.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Apropos of nothing...

But where Humble Elias actually works, there is nothing but sentiment for Hillary. One woman has registered and is voting for the first time in years explicitly to send a woman to the White House...all I'm hearing across the board is "She is strong woman, she'll show those bums how it works".
This is hardly a white collar cohort either...

I know that Rusmussen sez Obama has closed within six points of Clinton...on the other hand the "Nugator Effect" might be at play here in the Commonwealth in that there are plenty of women who wanna give their loud talking Sean Hannity listenin' boyfriends and husbands a swift kick in the pants.