Monday, June 30, 2008

"Weirdly Confident"

Is how I would describe 4th Middlesex state senate candidate Jack Hurd. His campaign is largely being run by old buzzcuts on the wrong side of the electoral realignment in Arlington, he is faced with a well funded opponent, he has got to raise ten times the usual amount even to be competitive and he has no demonstrated capacity to project power into precincts outside of Arlington.
And that is just this week's problems.
Ken Donnelly keeps racking up all sorts of endorsements like a landmine that has gone off at an alphabet soup factory and his police and firefighter legionaries are hungry to force a different decision this time. Moreover, Jack has to shake the persistent feeling that as a displaced worker by way of Polaroid's bankruptcy, he is in this for a job that pays enough to keep body and soul together.
None of this seems to bother Jack in the least, not for nothing has he earned a rep as "the calmest man in the room".
If elected he will talk about state aid from a position of experience with the Arlington Board of Selectmen, he also wants to get in on the health care issue stressing affordability as it is the single biggest cost liability for localities in Massachusetts. It's a fairly tightly reasoned agenda and his first two action items compliment one another. He is also opposed to casino gambling as proposed by Governor Patrick citing it as a potential net loss to cities and towns with respect to state aid as the potential monies would not be specifically earmarked for localities.
Jack has a long long tail in town politics and he speaks easily about a variety of topics, Arlington is a municipality wherein a wide variety of problems get dumped on the selectpersons.
But can he win?
Maybe…but he has to take the fight to Ken Donnelly and remind the voters that his opponent's "experience" on Beacon Hill is largely a function of lobbying on behalf of public sector unions. Donnelly may grunt "progressive" and strike his chest with a boom, but the reality is, he is a seldom seen figure in local politics till now and his "progressivism" is largely limited to benefits that he got on behalf of a specific group and not the general electorate.
Moreover, Jack is a no vote on casino gambling, Jim Marzilli rode to glory last fall in part as the only anti-blackjack candidate in the democratic field…that is well worth remembering going forward.
So far as Humble Elias can see, this district is "agin it". Hurd needs to talk about that as much as possible if for no other reason than to set up a discussion about the relationship between state aid and state revenue.
If the question comes up of "Jack the Bone-Hunter", well then it is naught but an opportunity to discuss what it is like to be a displaced worker in today's economy. Ken Donnelly can't talk about that…has he ever been off the public payroll at all in the last twenty five years?
Frankly the man is gonna have to punch way above his weight if he wants to win, where the volunteers are gonna come from to counterbalance Donnelly's union legionaries is a mystery. However, it may be a more evenly rated contest than we know, yes Ken Donnelly got a lot of out of district money in the special election, but he was the only game in town last fall. A lot of senate campaigns, house races and a presidential contest are seeking union monies, votes and volunteers this year I'll be surprised if Ken can leverage the same cashola out of Colorado firefighters this summer. As a consequence, some of the boys in the back room are predicting that neither campaign will need to hit the fabled 100K mark to be competitive…but I stress this is mere speculation on their part.
Moreover, it is Humble Elias' sense of the matter that a lot of minds in the 4th Middlesex aren't yet made up and certainly Jim Marzilli's liberals may not make their decision purely on the basis of ideology. Other factors may come into play for that cohort, experience, disposition... a willingness to listen..a host of ephemeral yet decisive items really.

So there you have it union guy turned moonbat versus the old shoe with the battered buzzcut backers. That is the choice and we have all summer to figure it out.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Jeff Jacoby luvs firearms so today's column reads

in the Boston Sunday Globe.
He just loves them, he especially loves the discomfort they allegedly cause democrats. I'm idly curious though, just how many firearms does this second amendment zealot Jeff Jacoby actually own?
I'll bet he doesn't own a single one and wouldn't permit one in the house what with children underfoot and all...course' ah don't know that for a fact but it seems likely.
And you can bet if Jeff found out his next door neighbor had a huge collection of semi-automatics, shotguns and a selection of quality pistols he'd be just a wee bit anxious.
Maybe this neighbor is single, maybe he doesn't talk much, maybe he has sued the town once spuriously, comes and goes late and night and can be seen cleaning his firearms out on the patio in broad daylight.
I'll bet Jeff would feel really really safe with all that going.
Okay Okay I KID I tease I'm sure Jeff's neighbors are all paragons of firearmly virtue in every way whether they own or not.
And I'm sure Jeff is a dead shot...with a glue gun that is.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Entwhistle guilty....

Apropos of nothing but I suppose this is as good a time as any for Humble Elias to note that he in penalty.
Mind you it is hardly a pressing issue for me, I'm not gonna exclude voting for a particular candidate solely on the basis of their stance on capital punishment nor do I necessarily trust the Great and General Court to write a fair and justice statute with respect to the death penalty.
But I am for it in a theoretical sense, mostly because there are some monsters out there who do need to be turned to dust soonest. Sometimes, just sometimes the morally indefensible act is to allow certain killers to live. I can prosper very nicely in a world without Charles Manson or Sirhan Sirhan.
I have no truck with rubbish about the death penalty's deterrent effect, George III's England had 300 capital offenses on it's book and the whole country was a corrupt crime ridden sink hole.
Til now however it has been applied unevenly, ineptly at times and with a heavily racial tinge in terms of who gets executed for what.
But I am for it...but in terms of a law being proposed that I could get behind, that is another matter entirely.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Last night, after a lifetime of fighting for social and economic justice in and around Arlington Mass.

4th Middlesex state senate candidate Ken Donnelly took time out to be nominated for an associate membership on the Arlington Town Democratic Committee.

Meanwhile, word on the street has it that a 4th Middlesex "candidate's forum" is being planned by the Arlington Town Democratic Committee on July 16th at 7pm, venue TBA.
I suppose I shall have to blog about it...oy vey such a summer I got!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thoughts while getting a tooth capped this morning

I've got teeth that make the Longfellow Bridge look robust quite frankly...fortunately my curiously large fingered dentist is a sure shot with novocaine so I felt nada. there I was reclining and idly cataloguing all the reasons why Senator Clinton was a poor choice as a vice presidential nominee (there are by my count twenty three of them, five dealing exclusively with her husband). Which in turn led me to list all the reasons why Senator Kerry ought to turn down any hypothetical offer of the Secretary of State's position (#1 being that the job hasn't been any fun since Cordell Hull rode off to join the Angel's Posse)...which in turn made me think that Senator Clinton would make a DANDY Secretary of State!
Okay so she wouldn't be breaking any gender barriers in Foggy Bottom but you KNOW NATO and the G-8 and all that lot would damn well sit up and take notice when she swept into the room. And everyone knows Ms. Clinton is no pushover either...I can think of some hardcases out in the world that might actually be afraid of her. The lady has change agent written all over her as well...her husband would still be a bit of a drag but at least he wouldn't be a constitutional anomaly as the husband of the Secretary of State.
If I was Obama, I'd say this was a worthwhile idea and one that would pay off better than offering Clinton the vice presidential nomination.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Oh and Jeff Jacoby apparently thinks

that global depopulation is real threat to humanity's survival.

It occurs to me (again) that to be a movement conservative these days one has to ardently believe a whole series of childish ideations, that global warming is a myth, that the US economy is in great shape or that we are winning the war in Iraq.
Now Jeff adds global depopulation to the slushpile, right up their with abstinence education and the brain busting properties of pop-rocks.

All of it very gaudy and all of it straight out of an elementary school recess...and yet it is guiding policy and nigh holy writ for thousands of pundits and high level decision makers within and without the US Government.
With any luck the children's crusade comes to an end this has cost us all a pretty penny though hasn't it?

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin recalled....

At Channel Zero.

This is a link to his old "Indian Sargeant" routine.

The Return of the Collie Dog...

Tom Brokaw, of all people has been hauled off his private island retreat and installed as the interim moderator of NBC's Meet the Press thru the November election.
This is a safe non-controversial choice, Brokaw is no Bill O'Reilly but he is certainly no Edward R. Murrow either. He is rather, the first of the smirking pretty-boys to make it to the anchor desk at a national network...people forget that. Anyway Brokaw is so old that he passes as an acceptable grey eminence at NBC, he probably won't turn "Meet the Press" into his own personal torture chamber, after all the man's narcissistic needs were met long ago being NBC News' top anchor.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

You can set your watch to Joanie Vennochi....

In June of every presidential election year she will, without fail, find a position of entirely spurious moral equivalence between the two major party candidates for the White House.
I assume her argument this week has something to do with Senator Obama's declination of public could just as easily be a change in his cable television package it all adds up in Joanie's sourpuss mentality to flip floppery.
She did this to Kerry and then Gore and on and on and on, as predictable as an unloved season.

Honestly, Ms. Vennochi has the journalistic reliability of a metronome.

The whole "A pox on both their houses" meme covertly advantages the GOP in every case, since the default position in that reasoning is to vote for the candidate who offers the least - which is usually the republican. By inverting the expectations of the electorate in this fashion columnistas like Joanie help demobilize liberals and energize conservatives who have at least unde this logic a new agenda of ennui put forward.

Well you wouldn't expect Joanie to just come out and say "Vote for McCain - has offers nothing and nothing is plenty for you-all!"
Nope she has to be all passive aggressive about, seems to be a pattern with her.

A Chimes at Midnight correction:

Humble Elias has now been reasonably updated by reasonably well informed sources to the effect that former state senator Robert Havern has made NO endorsement in the current 4th Middlesex state senate democratic primary.
I asserted that Havern had endorsed Donnelly in Friday's blog posting based on statements made to me and others during the Donnelly campaign's kick off Thursday night.

Now if former state senator Havern wants to update me personally about the above matter that would be kewl...not that I am fishing or anything but six days a week for five years straight has forced me to range far and wide for new blog fodder.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Time Travel Election

Diane over at Tough Donkey wants to dive into The Time Tunnel, journey back to 2004 and make John Kerry President.
Fair enough, but can I make a detour to 1968 and make Hubert H. Humphrey President too? Cause' you just know at that point Nixon would've blown his own brains out or indulged some other gaudy act of self pity.
Diane also lavishly quotes Humble Elias on the subject of John McCain's pro-radiation energy policy...and well I am a vain man after all.

Donnelly campaign kick off duly blogged...

It was by and large a typcal Donnelly crowd last night, lots of union members and their families...firefighters mostly big husky guyz, the remnants of a once thriving working class in the 4th Middlesex District. That and about a quater of a million in acculmulated pension benefits at the bar alone.
Selectperson Diane Mahon acted as MC and otherwise concealed her glee at the current situation quite well as George Laite (former state senator Bob Havern's long serving familiar spirit) was working the room trying to sell Donnelly as the progressive candidate.
Humble Elias is skeptical, but willing to listen.
Donnelly's speech was nothing special, he noted that a declining standard of living imperils our progeny. True enough but that is boilerplate rhetoric going back twenty years now in Arlington. He pitched himself as a defender of social and economic justice and threw in a populist curve ball into the mix before wrapping it up quickly. Short, sweet and vaguely Marzilli-ish, but then all the candidates sound like Jim these days.
On the other hand,Donnelly did manage to overlook the topic of public pensions and he has certainly learned to stop shouting into the microphone.
So maybe Ken can be taught after all.

It's clear that Donnelly wants very very badly the progressive votes that once carried Jim Marzilli to victory. This is naught but a mute testimony to the State Senator's ability to assemble a lasting liberal coalition that could withstand multiple challenges.
However as a long time observer of democratic politics in Arlington and the 4th Middlesex I have to say Citizen Donnelly is still a bit of an enigma. Til last year no one had heard of him and only a select few knew he was a democrat at all. The week he announced for the state senate last fall also coincided with his first appearance at a town democratic committee meeting.
Sure the unions all love him and will work their asses off for him but will Ken really be a progressive voice on Beacon Hill? And does he realize the sacrifices that entails? Will he even take any of their phone calls after the election?
Moreover, much of Donnelly's momentum is a function of simply defying expectations last fall both in fundraising and turnout. It is important to recall he still lost with 25% of the vote district wide, seems to me he still has some work to do.
And anyway there is a tacit counterintuitive notion to the Donnelly campaign that somehow the democratic party needs to do outreach to the unions...that they've been ignored all these years. Humble Elias cannot voice for the veracity of that notion, but the feeling was in the air nonetheless.
As for the liberals Donnelly so desperately needs let me note a lot of Arlington's progressive machers were nowhere to be seen last night. Lexington's Bob Peters and Arlington's Paul Schlichtman would be the bigger liberal names associated with Donnelly's campaign at the moment. No doubt others will drift in as the summer rolls on just how many though remains to be seen.
Meanwhile the candidate is racking up some impressive endorsements from former Senator Bob Havern, former Woburn Rep Carol Donovan, current Woburn Rep Pat Natale and more than likely Arlington's Rep Sean Garballey.
Right now, Donnelly is the front runner though he has money and is the only candidate who can project power into the precincts so it is his to lose as I see it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

John McCain wants to resolve the current carbon crisis and the energy crisis

by building forty five new terrorism targets (otherwise known as nuclear reactors) by the year 2030.
And those sonsabitches have to be licensed, inspected and defended 24-7...just like with the LNG tank farms in Everett, but with imcomparably worse consequences if something should happen.
I'm not so orthodox as to preclude a place for nuclear power of some type in the mix, but forty five reactors is way too much of a bad thing. Like John Kerry sez, we are gonna need to invent our way out of this mess, the sooner the better. Besides generating capacity isn't our problem it's fuel for our automobiles and the concurrent carbon emissions they occasion, I'd start there.
I've decided I liked McCain better when he was a man of honor and didn't pimp out his own sorry ass to every crackpot big money interest that waltzed thru his door.
I mean...whatever happened to that guy?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

There are times when Jeff Jacoby writes a column

so earnest so sincere and yet so very silly that one is moved to guffaws of pity. Today's argument that overpopulation is a good thing is one of those columns.
Ah but Jeff is prone to these child-like excesses of zeal does anyone else recall the tightly wound screed he once composed in defense of post disaster price gouging?
Poor Jeff, he is cursed with a believing mind, Plato's magic cave of shadow's contains the mystic perfect forms for a conservative utopia or so it seems to young Jacoby. There is no blarney he can't absorb if it has the "approved by movement conservatism" stamp upon it.
The poor fool....I mean not for nothing but that $4 a gallon yer playing for regular is a consequence of world-wide demand for crude oil something driven in part by population surge and some measure of rising expectations as well.
Mind you Jeff promises a second part to today's column and no doubt there he will assert that it is falling birth rates exclusively among the western nations (i.e. white folks) that imperil's civilization's survival.
Watch for it mah frenz.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Idle question

In a hypothetical debate between CNN's Nancy Grace and a bag of hammers, who would win?
My money is on the bag of blunt force impact trauma tools...Nancy might call them all "terrorist hammers" or something but the result would be the same, defeat for the CNN talk show host.
I'm not saying the woman doesn't have teeth, but the bag of hammers is the odd's on favorite for Humble Elias.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Defensively on the defensive

Some beltway types are talking up former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn as a potential VP for Barack Obama.
In Sam's favor is the fact that he is friend of Obama's, he has defense and foreign policy props that offset the candidate's deficits in these areas and he is a relatively conservative southern who nonetheless opposed the war.

To me though he is an excessively "defensive" choice.
He will never deliver Georgia to the democrats to say nothing of any other southern state. Now, Nunn might do some business in Florida but that would be the third time in eight years the dems made a play for the sunshine state and I'd rather go hunting elsewhere for easier pickin's.
Moreover, if Sam Nunn compensates for Barack Obama's lack of foreign policy credentials he also obliquely emphasizes those selfsame deficits. A stunt like this works for the GOP every time (think VP Dick Cheney) but otherwise it is always a confession of weakness for the democrats.
Sam Nunn is a knowledgeable guy but he is also utterly colorless and I fear his teeth aren't sharp enough for what will be a very nasty fight this fall.
On the other hand Sam Nunn would make a good Secretary of Defense...and you know he has been dreaming of the job all his adult life.
Maybe that is the right sinecure for the former Senator from Georgia.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tim Russert R.I.P.

Let the record show, as Tim's income rose as an NBC newsanchor his protestations of country bumpkinsims grew ever more strident when he would call into the old "Imus in the Morning" program. Don being an enabler let him do this sans demure.
Why Russert did this is a mystery, he had a real need to be likable...a Q-Rating thing no doubt.
Guys like Tim like to cite the late President John F. Kennedy (whom they saw often on the TV as kids) as one of their lifelong inspirations. In fact, look at the calendar, Russert came of age during the NIxon Aufklarung, he is less the Last Son of Camelot and more one of Dick Nixon's prison bitches.
This accounts for Tim's tendency to pass over GOP abuses of power in rapt and reverent silence.
Anyone else recall the year long sacerdotal silence that stole over Russert when Scooter Libby dropped a dime on CIA Agent Valerie Plame? Funny how that monk-like silence hit during a presidential election year.
Tim was biased in favor of power and conservatism his default position was an unconscious belief that only conservative's are really ready to rule as we deserve to be ruled.
His great contribution to TV journalism was elevating the art of the false analogy to unheard of heights. All of Washington was in awe of this and regarded Tim's inane line of questioning as an occult knowledge of the superior type. He actually made the hinds believe he was raising the level of debate.
I can recall with the simplest nostalgia the 20002 Massachusetts Gubernatorial debate wherein Russert airly made citizen Shannon O'Brien responsible for the Commonwealth's allegedly lenient abortion consent laws and our strangely stringent tattoo age requirements.
To even ask someone such a bizarre question presupposes a host of GOP preferences and talking points...I mean it is no wonder O'Brien lost. To answer the question honestly would require a long recitation of competing claims on the state legislature and pressures brought to bear in respect of separate and different laws...none of which fit into a sound byte.
in fact there is no way to answer such a question with brevity and honesty it was mostly designed to a make a fool of the person to whom the question was asked.
They called this "The Russert Primary" and it was the closest thing to Marxian false consciousness as I've seen in forty six years of life.
Tim was good at it because he had a very constrained scholastic approach to logic, if "A Before B therefore creates C", it makes no factual sense but it looks great on paper and even better on television.

In some ways though, Russert got out just in time. The anchor-man as deity model lovingly designed by Edward R. Murrow in the 1950's has become decadent and corrupt and the province of outright robots like Brian Williams or blustery charlatans like Bill O'Reilly.
Ah but fifty eight is too young so the middle aged man in me says, and it's sad to leave behind teenagers and an elderly father.
The iron law of degradation though marches double time when it comes to TV journalism this means Russert will be replaced only by someone twice as bad.
Accordingly, in a year I know I will really miss Tim Russert.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Oh and by the way...

Louisiana Governor Piyush "Bobby" Jindal apparently believes he was once a party to an exorcism back in college.

There isn't much I can add here other than to note some people are just born with what HL Mencken once called "Believing Minds". The fact that Jindal is a Rhodes Scholar and yet believes still in such atavistic rubbish is nothing short of divinely hilarious as far as Humble Elias is concerned.

Now at least I understand where Jindal's desire to have creationism taught in the public schools cometh from.
What next? A Gubernatorial ukase celebrating the wart-removing properties of moonlit stumpwater?
Ah toldja that sooner or later something crazy would pop up about Jindal, there is just something in the water down there in Baton Rouge that brings it out of politicians.

4th Middlesex state senate round-up

the withdrawl of state senator James Marzilli last week leaves two democrats are left on the ballot to battle it out for a coveted seat in th' Great-n-General Court.
Two weeks have passed and politics has once again set in, the remaining candidates who are both townies or townie wannabees have suddenly realized that neither of them has many bona-fides with the districts suddenly homeless liberals.
Kenny Donnelly the former firefighter who placed second in the special election last year is making a big play for Jim Marzilli's liberal base trumpeting his commitment to social justice and a single payer health care system. Combine this with his sizable campaign fund and nigh endless supply of out-of-district police and firefighter volunteers.
However, Donnelly is being backed to the hilt by the town hall machine headed by selectperson Diane Mahon and thus it can be expected that should he win that faction will be in ascendency within the town for the foreseeable future. Moreover it has long been rumored in Arlington that East Arlington activist George Laite will be hired by Donnelly as his chief aide if the retired firefighter carries the day. Laite previously forfilled this role for former state senator Bob Havern in the glory days of his incumbency. With his union bona fides and liberalish rhetoric, Donelly looks great...on paper.
In reality he has an irritating tendency to shout into the microphone and the only issue he can speak of with any fluency seems to be public service pensions a topic of militant disinterest to 85% of the electorate. Whenever he gets off the issue of pensions he has a bad habit of droning thru his talking points like he is reading it off one of his campaign brochures. His money and volunteers though, make him the man to beat at the moment.
Arlington selectman Jack Hurd is also in the race, the scion of a storied Arlington political family and a fixture in town politics for over a decade. Jack is a nice pleasant calm fellow he never loses his temper, at least in public and he has run up some impressive totals in various town elections. However, a calm demeanor can sometimes be mistaken for leadership.
Jack also chaired the Arlington Town Democratic Committee during the period of it's maximum torpidity in the late 1990's. Deadheads, no-shows and zombies glogged the membership rolls to such a degree that simple quorums became a rarity as the four year term wore on and on.
With the departure of Marzilli from the campaign Hurd has also discovered his "Inner McGovern" coming out for reproductive rights, same sex marriage and against capital punishment.
Quite literally til last week no one in Arlington has ever heard Jack Hurd say word one on any of these topics.
Jack Hurd is also rumored to be in some enmity with Diane Mahon's faction going back quite a ways, if he wins the primary in September her faction's march to glory will likely be temporarily halted.
However I shold stress other than this town hall feud, Hurd has almost no enemies to speak of anywhere in the district.
That is not necessarily a bad thing.
At the moment it appears that the remnants of former selectman Charlie Lyons have coalesced around Hurd's candidacy. It has long been rumored that Charlie wants back into town politics very badly if even by proxy to avenge the loss of his seat on the board of selectmen. However, Lyons allegedly made some extravagant promises to Charles Murphy's campaign last fall and could not deliver so it is not know if there is any life left in the Lyon's machine in Arlington.

Frankly neither man inspires much hope from me, Hurd has name recognition but has never run for anything outside of Arlington nor has he any experience fundraising on the 100K level that a senate race requires. Putting Charlie Lyons back in the game hold little attraction as well.
Donnelly has better liberal bona fides but he still remains an amateur politicians one who would be too dependent on the goodwill of his town hall machine backers in order to be effective.
Time will tell both men have all summer to make their case, I urge the district's liberal voters to take their time and consider things carefully.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

SCM (Same Cynic Marriage)

It is curious to note that Candidate Ed O'Reilly's first media appearance post convention was on the Howie Carr Show of all things.
Hell there must be dozens and dozens of radio talk shows in Massachusetts one or two of them must be friendly to demagogic pseudo progressives but somehow O'Reilly ends up on the notorious homophobic Howie Carr show.
Gorsh how d'ye suppose that happened?
Will Ed be participating in the usual fag-bashing antics in subsequent appearances? Will Ed chuckle over the Barney Frank anecdotes that get told over and over and over again?
Or maybe Ed will get the boot in good on various gay democratsthat Howie has targeted for defeat and destruction down thru the years?
Maybe O'Reilly will man up and lecture Howie about the dangers of homophobia...yuh right!
Hell O'Reilly loves to lecture democrats about the alleged illiberalism of John Kerry, you'd think he'd save some ammo for an outright gruesome reactionary toad like Howie.
Somehow, Humble Elias doubts Ed will find the time.
Nonetheless even if this is a marriage of convenience certain proprieties must still be observed, Ed O'Reilly gets vital free media and Howie Carr gets a useful idiot with which to bedevil a national democrat.
If that ain't true love always what is?
My only question is, that after Kerry beats O'Reilly like a red-headed stepchild in the September primary will Ed ever be heard from again on the Howie Carr show?
Or will his populist bona fides last that long with Howie the homophobe?
We will find out in just four short months.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

When the Shameless get Shameless

Not a week after he guilt tripped the state democratic convention into putting him on the ballot, Citizen O'Reilly collects the de facto endorsement of notorious democrat-hater, Howie "Sealed Divorce Records" Carr.
I mean, not for nothing, but O'Reilly did shriek into the mike last week that he was in complete accord with the state democratic platform, now Ed is catching bouquets from a pundit dedicated to destroying that agenda and our party.
Anyone else catching a wee whiff of cynicism here?
This sweet embrace has nothing to do with extracting free media from Howie Carr's daily radio show...oh no.
After all how many mortgages can Ed O'Reilly take out on that million dollar pile of his up there in Gloucester? How long can that money last with gas prices at $4 a gallon? I suppose Ed could hitch hike to his harangues this summer.
No, Ed is doing a good job of exploiting the natural credulity of the Boston based punditariat along with their ingrained desire to forment chaos among local democrats. Soon enough O'Reilly collect vaguely similar plaudits from Joanie Vennochi, Scot Lehigh and all the usual suspects who are somehow desperate for amusement amidst a presidential election year.

Howie's column today includes this unintended howler:

He’s (O'Reilly) a bit of a moonbat, I suppose, but when you get somebody who’s running against Liveshot (Senator Kerry) who’s willing to play the class card, I can overlook a lot

My God O'Reilly can even guilt-trip Howie Carr with his pseudo-populist rubbish...I'm amazed The WRKO yakker fell for it. Sad to see is this really the guy what drove Whitey Bulger to flee the country?

Honestly though, which phony populist demagogue is playing whom? I can't tell anymore it's all gotten so blatantly cynical and shameless and predictable.

John McCain turns long haired Peacenik

with his new "I Hate War" TV advert.
And yet two months ago he ranting and raving about fighting for another one hundred years in Iraq til we'd achieved victory etc etc etc.
Now he picks up a guitar and starts strumming out Phil Ochs' "I ain't a marchin' anymore".
Once a Morlock
Now an Eloi.

What the hell is up with John McCain? He is not making any sense in this campaign he has pimped himself out to every wingnut wowser with money that can be found, bellowed for war without end and shilled on behalf of bottomless tax cuts.
Now he has quit with the sky grifters and gone all peace-maker on us, what next a solemn promise to raise the top rate to 50%?

There is an dangerous ubiquity to John McCain, he changes course a lot and does it abruptly as well. I suspect the man has problems proclaiming a program and sticking to it, Wendell Willkie had the same issues and it did him no good in the end. Bewildering rhetorical shifts make you look phony...and Senator McCain has a greenish pallor like that of a three dollar bill.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Belmont to Roads: "Stay Lousy"

Belmont declined to pass a Prop 2.5 over-ride to raise some cashola to fix up their rutted and primitive streets.
Granted resources are stretched thin, but honestly I know I blew a spring some two years ago in the moon-scape that describes the rotary outside Belmont Hill School.
And Kabul has better streets than the byways around Mitt Romney's house...NASA's lunar rover had an easier time of it dodging craters on the moon! Honestly, it is an inexplicable mindset I guess Belmont as an entity believes it did not become a wealthy Boston Suburb by spending a lot of money on something as provident and frivolous as roads.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Jindal for Veep?

The Boston Globe is exploring the possibility that Louisiana Governor, Piyush "Bobby" Jindal might end up as McCain's Vice Presidential nominee.

There are a couple of problems with this notion;

1.) He comes from a state that the GOP ought to sweep and if they can't then the missiles are flying Bobby Jindal or no Bobby Jindal. Just how big is the Indian-American technocrat vote in America anyway?
2.) John McCain has spent the past two weeks calling Barack Obama an inexperienced dupe, now he proposes to run on a ticket with a state governor in office less than two years total. It throws the whole experience meme right out the window.
3.) Piyush Jindal versus Barack Hussein Obama...the whole covert racism angle is neutralized as well.
4.) By all accounts Jindal is a straight arrow, but then again Louisiana is the most genially corrupt state in the union so that ain't saying much. Any one of a number of embarrassments could come to light during the fall campaign.

On the other hand, it is clear that Jindal is a latah for the wowsers so that cohort might be satisfied with his nomination to the extent that they will be satisfied with anyone at all.
Otherwise I think the guy lacks staying power.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Virtue that attends on a Virile Young He-Ape

What is State Senator Jim Marzilli guilty of?

Possibly many actionable things...a court room will be needed to sort it all out and deliver recompense if that is warranted.

At this point though, Jim Marzilli is clearly guilty of allowing his morals to descend to the level of a radio talk show host...a damning state of affairs to be sure.

DId Jim grope and harass?
So did Bill O'Reilly and John McLaughlin.

Could all this be a consequence of chemical dependency? Maybe - Who knows?
Then again, Rush Limbaugh is an admitted dope fiend and Laura Ingraham's hangover cure is the wonder of Washington DC.

Perhaps State Senator Marzilli is of a general freakiness that has up until now been well concealed?
Well what can I tell you all, so far as I know Howie Carr's divorce records have been artfully sealed by one of those Massachusetts' judge's he usually rails against.

The inability of these pundits, wowsers and rabble rousers to resist temptation is a sad demonstrable fact.

Jim Marzilli simply fell into the same trap.

However let us remember, that Rush Limbaugh did no time for his doctor shopping, nor has Laura Ingraham checked into Betty Ford and who knows what succor has been given John McLaughlin and Bill O'Reilly's victims.

If we export radio talk show values into the Marzilli affair, then little by way of punishment will be visited upon the accused.

Somehow I doubt that will happen in this case.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Rest Stops on the Road to Damascus

Like all writers, I've suffered on my way to the recruitment office for the Shakespeare Squad.
An epic series of professional setbacks, a humiliating bid to join the foreign service and string of young smart & beautiful women who blew the explosive bolts at the first opportunity and chanced on a free fall escape.
But nothing quite describes the suffering attendant on listening to candidate Ed O'Reilly's paranoid and shrill speech today before the state democratic convention. Eyes bugging out, sweat streaming off him, his face set in the permanent constipated scowl of a schoolyard bully, Ed ranted and raved for twelve endless minutes trying to blame John Kerry for nigh everything up to including the current extortionate price of gas.
It was a performance worthy of Mussolini on the balcony of the Palazzo Venezia in Rome, screamed into the microphone and riddled with demagogic rubbish.
And what the hell it worked, he actually got 22% of the vote and access to the ballot, of course, John Kerry got the endorsement of the convention but the whole stupid farce has been handed over to the primary electorate, proof positive that guilt tripping the state convention at the top of your lungs pays.
Ed is a seedy riff on Allen Drury's "Fred Van Ackerman" character, loud crude and obnoxious, undeserving of the consideration he demands at the top of his nasty whining voice.
He will, in due course, need to take out many more mortgages on that million dollar heap of his in Gloucester before the summer ends. So I hope his enjoys his "victory" it is the last one he'll see for a while.

Friday, June 06, 2008


Humble Elias quietly advises tomorrow's state democratic convention to decline to put Ed O'Reilly on the senatorial primary ballot. Nothing the man has done nigh these past six months indicates he is deserving of ballot access, he is a blustery adventurer, with little money and no prospects to speak. What he is good at is laying down guilt trips on liberals and progressives making them feel somehow antidemocratic if an obscure barrister from Gloucester isn't shoved onto the senatorial primary ballot poste haste.
Humble Elias can't see that the party's ineffable political mission will somehow be corrupted if we overlook Ed O'Reilly at tomorrow convention. He has had almost a year now to demonstrate a following that extends beyond his immediate family and friends and has little to show for it.
Undoubtedly John Kerry will crush him by about 70% of the vote or more, the thirty or so O'Reilly might collect is composed of die-hard Hillary Clinton supporters who wanna pay back JK for backing Obama and those democrats still mad at John for losing in'04.
Seems like a ridiculous price to pay for payback if you asked me.

Moreover, leaving O'Reilly off the ballot gives Kerry a chance to do some power-fundraising for Obama and act as a consensus builder for the national ticket in general. Let us not tie him down when we are so close to finally regaining the White House.
Give me that over O'Reilly any day.

The news once again is bad...

State Senator Marzilli has gone over the hump.
Jim Marzilli's actions are as indefensible as they are inexplicable, as some who knew him nigh these eighteen years I never got hint one that he concealed any dementia, mean-ness or general perversity.
Howie Carr is having himself a field day (I still wanna know though, who got the big-ass TV in his seldom discussed divorce)and the usual suspects are chortling with glee out in the Arlington K of C.
With Marzilli's withdrawl the democratic race for the 4th Middlesex is inherited by former Lexington Firefighter Ken Donnelly (making his second bid for the office) and Arlington Selectperson Jack Hurd, neither of whom inspires much confidence from Humble Elias.
Donnelly is congenitally incapable of discussing anything without shouting and the only issue he seems to have mastered mastered is the arcania of public service pensions, a topic of active disinterest to 85% of the electorate. Ken has money though (40K is rumored to remain in his political account) plus he can count on vast legions of out of district "volunteers" dragooned mostly from the police stations and firehouses of far off towns to crowd his ranks.
Jack Hurd on the other hand is a calm man, a laid back man and the darling of the so called townies in Arlington. He has no enemies and few accomplishments to speak of after a decade or so on the Board of Selectmen. He also had a brief tenure as Chairman of the Town Democratic Committee which was then composed for the most part of deadheads and garrulous ne'er do wells.

However, must needs when the devil rides, the race will at least be interesting.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Hillary for Veep?

If she fights as hard for the number two spot as she did for the democratic presidential nomination then we are all in for a long hot summer indeed.
Ah but Obama has bested Hillary for President, I don't think he will have too much trouble with Hillary for Veep.
The cry has gone up that Senator Clinton has a unique bond with so called "Reagan democrats" but the truth is large cohorts like that are never fetched by a Vice Presidential nominee, it is rather the job of the ticket-topper to build a broad electoral coalition.
How many Italians were beguiled in '84 by Ferraro? How many Texans voted for Mike Dukakis by way of Lloyd Bentsen?
The numbers speak for themselves.
No...Citizen Obama will have to win over Senator Clinton's cohorts by his own efforts, let us hope he has a plan.
Moreover, you have to wonder, what happens if Bill Cinton starts tomcatting Vice President Hillary Clinton again, something that is a very real possibility something that President Obama would wanna avoid for all sorts of obvious reasons.
I say be polite, solicit Senator Clinton's views but make no offer.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Ogo we Hardly Knew Ye....

Citizen Ogonowski fails to collect enough signatures to qualify for the GOP senatorial primary ballot this fall.

This is just a stitch and a half man, does CVS sell "guffaw suppressants"? I don't wanna startle my co-workers in other more sedate cubicles with my cackles.

Not collecting enough signatures to get on the ballot is the sort of snafu one attributes to rookie fourth-party candidates for state representative, it is just plain embarrassing for Ogo to miss his mark like that. Hell, some campaigns have been know to hire temps to hit the shopping centers and grocery stores to get the necessary is a no brainer type exercise.
Oh and blaming on the town clerks, those uncelebrated hard working functionaries? Bad bad form, it betrays a small desperate mind. Sheee-it the gawd-damn GREENS can get on the ballot without snarking out the lady's at town hall, what's Ogo's problem?

Alas I think in the end it was all too much of a job for Citizen Ogonowski.

This leaves Jeff Beatty a fairly obscure GOP janissary from Harwich as John Kerry's only legit republican opposition come the fall. Now if only the state Democratic convention would see reason about that adventurer O'Reilly we could start ramping up for the fall campaign in style.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Waa-al seems like Senator Clinton is about to

come to her senses...

Then again she might start up with that "petitioning democrat" shit that proved so useful to Joe Lieberman in 2006.
I have to say, I do admire Senator Clinton's guts to pushing on to the weary wicked end, all democratic candidates for high and low office could learn a thing or two from her with regards to the old fashioned virtue of perseverance.

But what we need from her tonight, is judgement and a decent display of respect for the best interests of the party and the republic.

Will we get that...Humble Elias has his doubts.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Sunday, June 01, 2008

In today's Globe Jeff Jacoby swallows manfully and...

tries to explain Pastor John Hagee's bizarre notions that the holocaust was a consequence of European Jewery's lack of Zionist passion.
After mucking around for three paragraphs Jeff lets off this howler:

" I find Hagee's theological explanation for the extermination of 6 million Jews strained and incoherent"...

"Strained and incoherent"?
Now that is smacking Pastor John a hard one between the eyes now isn't it?
This is sort of sad to read, normally Jeff wouldn't except this sort of nonsense from some liberal type pastor, but the need to keep the wowsers in the GOP coalition compels Jeff to pull his punches, shuffle and to jive.
Frankly it is a mealy-mouthed exercise, the sort of thing Jeff wouldn't accept from Noam Chomsky when the Prof defended the notions put down by French holocaust deniers.

Well if you ever needed proof that in the end mere ideology comes before truth in Jeff's mind, you need go no further than today's column.