The Chimes at Midnight
Sunday, August 31, 2008
 
Ron Paul and the rump of the Short Bus Republicans
are making a weary last stand at their own counter-convention this week in Saint Paul. Between hurricane Gustav and Palin-palooza one doubts they will make much of an impression on the GOP platform. They could bolt, former congressman Bob Barr looks to get something started on the libertarian ticket...but then who would notice?
Alas though, Barr suffers from the same slap-happy provincialism that has dogged all the other third parties in America since the glory days of Eugene V. Debs, by that I mean an inexplicable tendency towards bizarre vice presidential nominees. If you think Sarah Palin is obscure and weird wait til you get a load of Bob Barr's nominal running mate Wayne A. Root a cable tv host of no parrticular notoriety.
If the libertarians were smart they'd exploit the GOP's weakness with a high profile VP nominee or someone with some gravitas...but that is the only thing that will peel votes away from the republicans and expand the libertarian's base beyond weedy book store clerks and thrashers who just read "Atlas Shrugged".

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Friday, August 29, 2008
 
Who the hell is Sarah Palin?
The Governor of Alaska and John McCain's nominal vice presidential running mate.
At age 44 and having been elected in the most GOP-friendly state in the union aside from Utah, you can throw out the whole "Obama is too inexperienced" meme.
I think McCain must still think that Hillary Clinton and her supporters are still supposed to somehow get his boney ass elected president. I don't see this woman delivering much in the electoral department, Obama can breath a sigh of relief perhaps and push forward his plans in Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Virginia.

Other than that, is this the best qualified woman the GOP has to offer?? Really?
Because it appears that Senator McCain has labored long and hard this summer to dig up his own personal vice presidential Harriet Miers.

And then there is this idle factoid:

Don't get me wrong, all McCain has to do is successfully conclude the act of defecation in an appropriate compartment and his personal Amen chorus in the DC media screams his praises like the thuggee cult gone mad on crystal meth. I just don't see Governor Palin playing a heroic role in the campaign goin' forward...

Sorta makes you think what did Senator McCain do to so mortally piss off Kay Bailey Hutchison such that she wouldn't join the GOP ticket?

For that fact, would it kill anyone in the GOP to put Senator Hutchison's name in nomination for the VP sinecure?

Might be interesting goin' forward.

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While we are waiting for Old Man McCain to make up his mind on a Vice Presidential nominee
Go to Kerryvision and watch JK's remarkable speech before the Democratic National Convention.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008
 
Blatant Anti-semitism on the part of the GOP....
Apparently Karl Rove is trying to get Joe Lieberman out of GOP vice presidential contention.
I am appalled is there a MAN who deserves the sinecure more abjectly than Joe Lieberman I'd like to meet him!
His wan servile smile, his cringing stoop, his fawning wheedling tone bespeaks a lifetime of canine devotion.
All that sycophancy...for nothing tsk tsk tsk.

Pushing Joe aside like this is shameful I tells yuh just shameful...his supporters should riot at the RNC they are being patronized terribly by McCain and Rove.

***
Meanwhile the rumor is still that Romney has it locked up...I don't see how McCain makes the "Obama is inexperienced and vain" meme work by picking Willard Mitt Romney the dilettante do-nothing one term governor of Massachusetts who anoints his hair with black shoe polish every morning.
Honestly, do these dingbats really think that they can put Michigan in play by putting a another millionaire on the GOP ticket?
HA!

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Senator John Kerry endorses Ken Donnelly in the 4th Middlesex democratic state senate primary....
Here is the link from JK's own High Command:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 27, 2008

CONTACT: Brigid O’Rourke


JOHN KERRY ENDORSES KEN DONNELLY FOR MASSACHUSETTS STATE SENATE



BOSTON - Senator John Kerry announced today that he is endorsing Ken Donnelly in the race for the 4th Middlesex Senate Seat. The Democratic Primary will be held on September 16th. Kerry joins a long list of supporters, from Rep. Jay Kaufman to the Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts to the Massachusetts League of Environmental Voters to the Mayor of Woburn to several local selectmen and women.



“For 35 years Ken Donnelly has been a tireless advocate on behalf of the labor community and working families. He understands the tough issues facing our state today. We need his tenacious, decisive and progressive leadership. I am proud to support the candidacy of this champion of working families. Ken Donnelly will lead the charge to improve the school system to prepare our children for the new economy, create alternative energy sources, and stabilize our state's economy to ensure a sustainable quality of life for the constituents of the 4th Middlesex,” said John Kerry.

Yadda yadda yadda, blah, blah, blah...y'all get th' picture.

The modalities here are pretty simple and stark, Massachusetts Firefighters went balls to the wall for John Kerry and their price (given JK's lamentable defeat in '04) is now the election of Ken Donnelly to the state senate. "Favors granted, favors returned" and nothing else.
Aligning himself with the Progressive dems of Massachusetts may also have some benefits for Kerry in a primary race where the state's junior senator is being challenged on the left.
This represents a significant endorsement for Donnelly and offsets somewhat his uneven debate performances around the district.
Still and all that, much of the current "Ken is a progressive" palaver obscures the fact that ideologically there is little difference between Ken Donnelly and Jack Hurd save on the issue of casino gambling.

But as I said, ideology isn't the main factor in this endorsement.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008
 
Idle political notes
The irony is delicious having heaped toxic scorn and raw hatred on Senator Hillary Clinton all these years the republicans now look to her to save their bacon this fall.
They are running her old primary campaign clips, grousing because she wasn't nominated for VP and begging her DNC delegates to please riot for them.
Honestly, do they have a campaign without Hillary? If she retired from public life would the GOP disappear entirely?
Co-dependence...I think that is the technical term.

***
Mitt Romney is in Denver this week spewing GOP talking points all over cable news or whoever he gets to listen these days. This feeble and forgotten one term Governor of Massachusetts actually has the gall to complain about Senator Obama's "inexperience".

***

Oh and the League of Women Voters is sponsoring a candidates forum in Arlington Town Hall September 11th 2008 at 7:30pm. This is in respect of the 4th Middlesex democratic state senate primary. So far we've had three of these that I know of, and all we have learned is that other than casino gambling (Donnelly for, Hurd against)there is little ideological distance between the two men.
So I say shift the format from questions from the audience to an all out pie eating contest.
Why?
Because seeing Ken Donnelly and Jack Hurd covered in crust fragments and pie-filling...is just hilarious.
Maybe you have to be from Arlington to appreciate that image.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008
 
Lexington LWV 4th Middlesex state senate candidate's forum last night...duly blogged...
After one full hour of questions and answers for democratic state senate candidates Jack Hurd and Ken Donnelly, I can safely say I now miss Bob Havern and Jim Marzilli like I miss Hubert Humphrey.
It isn't that Hurd & Donnelly didn't run the gauntlet on taxes, energy, schools, state aid to localities, home heating oil, climate change, affordable housing, public transportation...it is just that there is damn little daylight between the two men.
And no one wants to talk about that...
The one issue where they clearly differ is still casino gambling with Hurd against and Donnelly more or less for, but with a bigger straddle than we heard two months ago.
A lot of people, some of whom I actually respect are doubling the carbon footprint of Arlington with hot air extolling Ken Donnelly as the one true progressive in this race...I don't see it, frankly Hurd matches Donnelly moonbattery for moonbattery right down the line. Frankly everyone in this race so far wants to be Jim Marzilli, it is just they don't wanna be photographed with him.
So how to decide?
Therein lies the rub.
If I had to score this confab last night (well attended by democrats despite Edward Maximus' twilight of the God's act out at the Denver Convention)I'd be again almost be tempted to score it for Hurd who was a bit more forceful than usual without coming off as a ranter or anything. He is pushing his credentials from neighborhood joiner to Town Hall fixture hard as the experience base for the sinecure. Whether that sells in Burlington and Billerica is as yet unknown.
Ken Donnelly on the other hand still has issues with blustering, a pronounced tendency to lower his register and groan out his bona fides he also seems to be talking like an incumbent for some inexplicable reason...it is a little off putting.

Be that as it may, my one enduring observation about Ken Donnelly is that he consistently debates very poorly and still runs very very hard on primary day he has money and volunteers and that counts for a lot in this race.

If I had to give either man advice I'd tell Donnelly to lay off all the palaver about tax increases (literally he answered five separate questions last night with plans to increase revenues...it is a bit much as my old mother would say) and perhaps start discussing substantive public pension reform. I mocked Donnelly's pension bombast last fall but the Arroyo affair in Boston has brought some harsh things to light, Ken could speak out on this topic with some unique authority.
As for Hurd the man is a joiner from Little League to the Board of Selectmen...that is fine if your goal is a kinder gentler sort of Babbitry. However I'd like to hear Jack talk more about his experiences as a manager at Polaroid a company that went from global domination to bankruptcy in just ten short years. A lot of voters have known similar situations and Hurd is in a position to speak to the uncertainty and anguish of that experience.

So as yet, no decision.

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Monday, August 25, 2008
 
MCain Hearts Hillary...
or so the Boston Globe reports, apparently Senator McCain has an advert chastising Obama for snubbing Hillary as a Vice Presidential candidate.
So McCain loves Senator Clinton now? That is funny I coulda sworn he more or less called her a bitch back six months ago....Oh wait, he CHUCKLED as someone else called her a bitch to his face...that is different.
You know it is an object lesson in personal character that Hillary Clinton toughed out the hardest of times yet seen in her marriage yet put thru a tenth of the same stress John McCain ditched his first wife and married a bimbo beer heiress...
Or that is how Humble Elias sees it anyway.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008
 
It is an axoim here at the Chimes at Midnight
that conservatism is a dying phenomenon in political America.

Case in point, Jeff Jacoby's column in today's Sunday Globe in which the Laughing Young Senescence outlines a long bill of particulars against the People's Republic of China.
last year it was the Arabs as I recall, but with Iran's nuclear program moving along to slowly I guess Jeff felt compelled to jump back onto the olde Red Menace hobby-horse
The problem with U.S. conservatism as it approaches it's dotage is that it keeps looking for an evil empire to defy so that they can re-capitulate their alleged come-from-behind victory over Soviet communism under the leadership of God's Own Chosen Ham, Ronald Reagan.
THAT is all they have left to offer us as a foreign policy, with enough tax cuts and threats we can bring Beijing and Tehran to their knees.

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Abiding with Biden...
Can't say Joe Biden is a very inspired choice for VP, yes his resume is impressive but so is his capacity to go shooting off his fat yap.
Given that along with his labor union/working class bona fides, Joe Biden's selection reminds me a lot of Hubert Humphrey and his base from back in the Imperial High Noon of the Great Society.
From the looks of things they are looking to Biden to keep the electoral pot boiling in Ohio and elsewhere while Obama tries to fetch in Colorado, VIrginia, Montana and New Mexico.
Me, I'd a gone with Wesley Clark but then again I once thought Joe Lieberman and John Edwards were slam-dunks, BRILLIANT choices if either man had ever made to the Vice Presidency we'd be in a world of hurt right now...so what do I know???

All or Nothing at All, let us go forward to Victory!

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Friday, August 22, 2008
 
Lexington LWV sponsors a 4th Middlesex Candidate Forum
On Monday night....

Humble Elias will be there despite the fact that it isn't being held at the Elk's Club thus he cannot sit quietly in the back and guzzle cheap brandy whilst the Men of Destiny yammer on and on.

If someone wanted to ask Ken Donnelly if the Commonwealth had a vested interest in closer supervision over public service union disability pensions, that would be cool.

For that fact if someone else wanted to ask Jack Hurd if he'd a have a problem with Planned Parenthood setting up shop say on Mass Ave in East Arlington...that would be keen as well.

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A Time to Worry ( Eleven case studies both real and imagined)
Mandrake...have you ever seen a commie drink a glass of water?

This will be a cake-walk, we will be greeted as liberators

I'm not saying we won't get our hair mussed....

These are heady days for those of us in the war party....

France will follow me to the STARS if I give her another victory....

I am responsible only to God and history.

History is made by night, character is what you are in the dark!

Ideas are far more powerful than guns. We don't allow our enemies to have guns, why should we allow them to have ideas?

I'll chase him round th' horn and round Good Hope and round Norway's Maelstrom and round' Perdition's Flame before I give him up!!

America is a friend to the people of Iraq.

I should have taken Supreme Command years ago!!!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
 
Joe for Veep?
Oy....
I would like to remind Senator McCain that Al Gore once thought Joe Lieberman was the game-changer who would make the democrats competitive in Florida back in 2000...and look how that mishaugas turned out!
We won't even go into Joe's strange tendency to fawn over Dick Cheney in the vice presidential debate or his bizarre habit of smirking quietly and looking at his shoes.
Well let us face it, from a GOP perspective, Lieberman is a useful idiot ergo a good way to get democrats angry and perhaps peel off a few Jewish votes...nothing more.
He is being hyped lately simply to bug the liberals, a good part of modern conservative ideology revolves around annoying democrats let us not forget that. He may piss us off because he lovingly licks McCain's $500 loafers at every opportunity but politically Joe is a spent sideshow.
As for Lieberman himself, I think he believed (along with any number of big time pundits) circa 2002 that the two party system was about to come to end and his priority was simply to get in good with the winners in that struggle. This pretty much accounts for his groveling attitude towards the Bush White House, John McCain and pretty much any GOP lackey you can name. He may have also thought back in the day that he might play a prominent Marshal Petain-like role whatever puppet "loyal opposition" being set up at Fox News once the GOP had seized complete and total power.
All gone to smash now despite his re-election to the US Senate on a spurious independent ticket. No mah frenz, the GOP is gruesomely weird on matter's theological and political these days so if a flip-flopper like Mitt Romney isn't considered Veep Material then what hope has an outright political transvestite like Joe Lieberman?

Just sayin' if he couldn't deliver for Gore then he will never deliver for McCain...and then there is all that footage of Joe campaigning with Fritz Mondale and Mike Dukakis and Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy and Al Gore and who knows maybe even John Kerry...might make an interesting viral video in the lead up to the GOP convention.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008
 
Please God anyone but Joe Biden...
two weeks into this thing and you know he'll say something explosive....

Oh well, there is nothing else for it, I once thought Deval Patrick wouldn't do any business at all on primary, that shows yuh what I know....


Meanwhile take a break, "Othello" is reviewed hyar.....

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008
 
Reading the veep-leaves
The New York Times by way of Raw Story sez Senator Obama has made up his mind on a VP nominee.

The finalists are said to be Evan Bayh, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine and Joe Biden...

Sorta hopin' it isn't Biden... no offense, I know him to be a smart and able man in some respects, but he also shoots off his mouth a bit too much for comfort. Biden also brings little electoral strength to the table, Delaware hardly being a swing state at this point.
No..Evan Bayh might put Indiana in play as would Tim Kaine in Virginia...those are important practical considerations.
I guess my boy Bill Richardson is shit outa luck again as is Wesley Clark, alas the Former NATO general would be an intriguing choice with much strength all over the map to draw on.

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Adrian Walker has some luv for Ken Donnelly..
In his current column.
I don't think Adrian gets out enough though, otherwise he'd know that the 4th Middlesex state senate district is mostly presented by Ed Markey not Nikki Tsongas. Oh and Ken Donnelly was a fire lieutenant in Lexington not Arlington, last I heard...
Honestly, does anyone fact check anything anymore at the Boston Globe?

The great irony of Ken Donnelly's political life is that one of the few topics that he can discuss with complete mastery is public pensions. Last fall you couldn't shut him up about pension obligations, bond ratings and all that folderol.
Now suddenly in the current race he is compelled to discuss the possibility of widespread corruption in the BFD's disability retirement program....life is funny that way.
Walker includes this observation in the above column:
Firefighter fraud is not an issue in the Fourth Middlesex District. Donnelly is running on a platform of more support for education and the environment.
Maybe so, but a bodybuilder retiree with a "bad back" makes everyone collecting a disability pension for real look bad...something Donnelly has freely admitted to anyone who has asked.
Seems to me that Ken Donnelly is in a unique position based on his experience and training to offer the state senate a number of practical options with respect to disability pension reform. Simply looking at this as a local problem is begging the point, if big public money is involved then better more rigorous oversight is clearly needed.
Donnelly should talk about this from a legislative perspective...if he doesn't then maybe Jack Hurd will. But as of right now, no matter what either man may think, it is an issue and something that must needs be addressed. It is stories like this that fuel the "abolish the income tax" craziness.

Je's sayin' thass all.

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Monday, August 18, 2008
 
Piyush is out
Bobby Jindal takes himself out of the running for the GOP VP nomination...I can only imagine how badly he was polling.

On the other hand Tom Ridge sounds weirdly confidentdespite a week devoted to unsubtle hints from the usual sky-grifters that nominating a pro-choice veep (like Ridge) will have consequences.
This quote seems to have the seed of future lackey-dom in it (a KEY Vice Presidential quality after eight years of Cheney Uber Alles):
Yesterday, Ridge tried to soothe conservatives by stating that McCain's view on the issue would prevail in a McCain administration.

"The last time I checked, the vice president is not an independent voice. He echoes the position of the president of the United States," Ridge said. "I think it's the responsibility of the vice president. If you're unwilling or unable to do that, then I think you should defer to someone else."

Sounds like McCain has already handed Ridge his acceptance speech.
Now the only question is, are the book-worshippers and sky-grifters just trying to bid up their agenda or are they serious about a revolt if Tom is nominated?
Moreover will the Cardinals and Bishops give Ridge (an alleged catholic) as much grief as they gave John Kerry in 2004?
My guess is no...but then Humble Elias assumes perhaps wrongly that the catholic heirarchy in the US is corrupted by conservatism in general and not necessarily abortion politics in particular.
On the other hand Ridge may eb forced into a humiliating Eagleton style climb-down which might have weird anti-catholic overtones if it goes to smash the right way.

Meanwhile...Romney and Lieberman both seem to have gone strangely silent, either man would approach the gallows on a murder beef to get the nod, but Mitt's religion and political contortions offendeth the faithful and Joe's status as a democrat (HAW!!) is still sound enough to bar him from office. Besides there is just something politically queer about nominating the 2000 democratic Veep candidate for Vice President on the GOP ticket in 2008. It may appeal to radio talk show hosts and Fox News demogogues but you have to think there must be literally thousands of hours of videotape depicting Joe Lieberman's democratic bona fides. If nominated I predict Joe will be down on his knees screaming for mercy by the first of October.

Sort of ironic, if'n yuh asked me.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008
 
PUMAs and holidays
PUMA stands for Party Unity My Ass...and is the banner of Senator Clinton's die hardest supporters all of whom still can't accept Senator Obama's triumph in the primaries.
Citizen Ed O'Reilly is allegedly big on PUMA sites which isn't hard to see since it was disaffected Hillary Clinton supporters that got him on the ballot at the state democratic convention in June.
So my thinking is, if John Kerry really wants to have a debate, let it be with Senator Clinton she at least has some standing in the local polls (as evidenced by her victory in the Massachusetts democratic presidential primary) unlike PUMA's nominal local surrogate, Ed O'Reilly. Moreoever she will make a better more coherent case than O'Reilly who tends to smirk, sweat and scream through his speeches.

Just thinkin' aloud that is all.

Note to the Laity


Humble Elias is going on vacation for a few days he will be back when the coast is clear.

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Mike Lupica on Imus this morning...
(Humble Elias actually drove to work today, all the way from the green leafy hills of Romantic Menotomy to the last stop before the Azores in South Boston)...and Lupica predictably did naught but hype his wife's dress shop in New Canaan Connecticut and blather on about the Olympics.
Nothing special.
Except...that in the last ninety seconds of his call-in Lupica swung into a snarling denunciation of John Edwards'adultery calling him "skeezy" and a few other choice epithets.
Which is when I had the thought that public morality in America is little more than the exposure and denunciation of the private and or sexual excesses of white liberals.
Truly, Lupica could have formed no other opinion about the former senator, pundit groupthink prevents the formation of contrary opinions where the private lives of public democrats is concerned.
After all, the skeeziest thing I've ever heard is the story where then Governor George Bush giggles at the clemency pleas of death row inmate Karla Faye Tucker.
And Newt Gingrich, who hectored his first wife about the terms of their divorce while she was still in the hospital...
Oh and John McCain, that modern Achilles...he divorced his first wife as soon as he saw that she'd gone to seed while he was a POW.
Skeeze-mongers all sez Humble Elias.
But you get the picture, somehow mental alchemy performed by Lupica and his ilk makes John Edwards'worse than the above worthies.
Frankly it isn't about the adultery it is about the ongoing corruption of the punditariat, we can't cure adultery we might still be able to do something about the feckless zombie-partisanship of jack-offs like Mike Lupica.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008
 
Once a war-whooper...
Always a war whooper....check out this tantrum from Jeff Jacoby today, it is preemo.

And this, this is just a gem:
As the president horsed around in Beijing, posing with bikini-clad Olympic volleyball players, Russian ruler Vladimir Putin was directing Russian military operations against Georgia. The first response from the White House to Moscow's naked aggression was milquetoast: evenhanded mush about the need for "a stand-down by all troops.

Is this the same Jeff Jacoby who once burned incense at the marble feet of George Bush Jr and who shook his pom-poms like a epileptic when it came time to cheer lead for the current war?
Even he has seen the light?
Wow...geex you'd think he was reading this blog or something?

Good ghod that is a scary thought! Nevertheless all this just illustrates a timeworn Chimes at Midnight notion, that war whoopery is a sad debilitating addiction. Once you start you need bigger and bigger confrontations and wars to fill up that bomb crater in your soul. And so thus a mere six years after ineptly promising a cakewalk in Iraq, the same old gang of chickenhawks want the US to get into a shooting war with a nuclear armed state...something we've been trying to avoid since 1945.
In this case, Jacoby and Bill Kristol's gruesome dependence on the use of US military might has simply surged past the White House's capacity to enable.
What next, lower the top income tax bracket by nuking the US treasury?
The neocons insist that Georgia is akin to Czechoslovakia 1968....to me it may well be George Bush and John McCain's Waterloo.
Far from validating their Manichean world view the current invasion of Georgia demonstrates how easy it is for despots and bandits to appropriate Bushian justifications for war.
Instead of making the USA more secure all Bush and his apologists have done is intensified the fabled Hobbesian war of "All against All" on terms disadvantageous to the USA.
Meanwhile the war whoopers screech on safe in their offices and cubicles...positive that one more big war will bring them the eschaton.
What we need now is realism and cunning not bombast and threats....

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008
 
Russia Again....
Allegedly the Russians are calling a "halt" to their "punishment" of Georgia. As I recall they had a lot of these if Afghanistan back when they occupied that benighted crossroads.
Well what of it? There isn't much we can do here except make the appropriate noises, the Russians long opposed both our military adventures in the Middle East and have now decided that they can do likewise and the same wherever they like in the Caucuses.
What we have to be concerned about is the safety security and the credibility of our NATO guarantees to Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. A good chunk of the Russian attack on Georgia is a reminder to those nations that their position is not so secure on Moscow's western border.
More that likely Putin's gang will use this halt to install a new client government in Tbilisi and then declare victory and get out. The speed and efficiency of their assault ought to be a big wake up call to NATO, the west and the contingent Muslim world.

There are those that will try to spin this as another Czechoslovakia invasion with the advantage going to the GOP (as usual). But I would remind our gentle readers that the Bush admin has been in bed with Putin's cut-throat gang since day one and this has been the result.
No I think this is a sad illustration of the current administration's deep international isolation, they didn't see this coming and can do little save bleat as the bombs fall all over Georgia.
Hell where is Bush during this whole mess? He practically snuck back to DC issued a press release and is no doubt ducking Dick Cheney in the hallways of the Executive Office Building.
As for John McCain's bluster last night it is largely fueled by the fact Georgia's top lobbyist in DC now works for the Senator from Arizona...my ghod is there a single a-list lobbyist in Washington that DOESN'T work for McCain? THAT my friends is a sad start for his so called foreign policy.
The reality is, We have minimal leverage in this situation, Russia is an oil exporter and already the markets for light crude are again in turmoil...all welcome news to the petrocrats and autocrats in Moscow.
What we need to worry about is making sure this isn't exported to the West...the next time, diplomatically, morally and militarily we need to be ready.
I do not think we are on the brink of a new cold war with Russia but if the situation is allowed to drift if we let other seize the initiative then things could get damn chilly quickly.
The paramount need is to assess our resources realistically and take counsel with our interests.

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Monday, August 11, 2008
 
Meanwhile...
The electoral college vote seethes and shifts and bubbles some more.

I would say in totality, Obama's prospects now look no better than Kerry's did this time four years ago. But that is merely a impetus to force our efforts to new heights sez Humble Elias.

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Sunday, August 10, 2008
 
Meanwhile back on Mount Olympus...
You have to go a long way to find a politician more petulant and easily bored than George Herbert Walker Bush Jr.
There he was at the Opening ceremonies for the Olympics on Friday niht, allegedly representing us, th' good guys, sprawled in his seat coatless with tie askew like a brat who is bored to tears by Sunday School.
Or maybe he is off his meds...that could be.
Anyway, whatever the reason, thanks to this puerile performance you can just feel the esteem for the USA being radiated by all the other nations therein represented.
I'll say this much, Laura Bush may be a proper passive-aggressive wingnut wife, but at least she was well put together, alert and smiling through out the protracted and somewhat overdone ceremonies in Beijing.
She at least can suppress her boredom and "live in the moment".
Not her husband though, at a time when the USA needs all the prestige it can get, his slovenly appearance and palpable resentment makes the whole republic look ugly and haughty.
Eight years of my life gone with this guy, and still he hasn't got the class God gave a Houston pimp.

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Friday, August 08, 2008
 
More woes for poor Elizabeth Edwards...
she has been sick and her husband has been stepping out on her.

Of course, what this really means is, we know what Spiteful Joanie Vennochi and Maximum Maureen Dowd will be writing about on Sunday.
Good Ghod almighty I think I'd almost prefer to sacrifice victory this November if I could just take a long lasting metaphoric sledgehammer to the kewl kids table at the United States of Junior High.

The nation is nigh bankrupt at home and at low ebb abroad, and the usual cretins are now smacking their lips at the thought of lecturing democrats about sexual morality...again.


Sick
Demented
Typical

I hear it never rains in the Baja..can anyone confirm this?

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What is it about being Middlesex County Register of Probate?
It pays $110K a year, the duties aren't onerous, there is little opportunity for power-dementia or serious "snout in the trough" public corruption...and yet the last two imcumbents have foundered on the job with respect to public ethics.
Bob Antonelli was forcibly removed from office by the Supreme Judicial Court in 2000 and now John Buonomo, once the darling of Somerville progressives has been caught allegedly pilfering chump change from the office xerox machines.
This is worse than illegal it is simply humiliating....investigators so claims the Globe found a box under Buonomo's desk one hundred dollars in ones.
Cheap and stupid, lord we know how to find em' in Middlesex County.
Good ghod this is something straight out of William S. Burroughs and his fantasies of running for County Sewer Commission in Saint Louis.
The great man put it so economically and so elegantly:
"I hoped at one time to become commissioner of sewers for St. Louis County–$300 a month, with the possibility of getting one’s shitty paws deep into a slush fund".

Does anyone out there wanna run for this office, it pays more than a State Senator for God's Sake! All you have to do is sign some forms, stay on a budget, keep yer mitts off the petty cash and decline to tomcat around with your subordinates.
Simple huh?
Apparently not the last two went to smash on the job.
What is worse, Buonomo is unopposed for re-election and the calendar has run out on a primary challenge as well. Anyone who wants this mishaugas will have to hazard a write-in campaign a daunting challenge that requires a tough all-up ground game through-out the county on election day.
I can certainly think of some names right now but I doubt they'd wanna undertake such a thankless task.
Right now I think I'd trade down on competence if we can trade up on private and public rectitude when it comes to this office at least.
Hell the staff does 90% of the work in those gigs, treat them right and joint will hum like a beehive.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008
 
John McCain has stopped
Holding Q&A driven press conferences. He wasn't this gaffe ridden back in 2000 lemme tellya.
Maybe McCain's staff wanna conceal a perilous descent into geezerish wackiness like the old senator in "The Seduction of Joe Tynan" the one who started babbling in French in the middle of a Supreme Court confirmation hearing.

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Murder mayhem, kidnapping and Homer Simpson
Channel Zero has it all today.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008
 
So when did Winning in America
turn into Winning-at-any-Cost?

Case in point can be found here:

You can't really describe the NRA as an organization or a constituency on the brink of disintegration, yet here they are twenty years on top of the world with a death grip on the US Constitution and still they are allegedly spying on the competition.
"Winning ugly" seems to be the new Aristotlean standard for excellence in Washington DC.
Well...what can I say, when you steal a presidential election there are unintended consequences bad values at the top mean bad values leach down and down thru the ranks.
So of course the NRA is spying on handgun control lobbyists, it is a savage Hobbesian world out there (so their argument runs)and the only props are given to those who have mastered Potomac Kung Fu "stab em' in the back, cut them off at the knees & kick em' when they are down".
Oh and you need lots of guns too...
Maybe they all spy on one another, which seems to be a new low for lobbying in Washington, with any luck this heralds the downfall of the breed...but I doubt it.

No these are Mencken's fabled "star spangled men", lusty acolytes of Shakespeare's false godling, Commodity, no foulness is beyond them. Aye these are the sons of Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln...proud inheritors all.
What are buildable plots going for in the Baja? I feel a need for a new start somewhere far away.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
 
Word on the street is...
That Cindy Friedman (Senator Jim Marzilli's immensely hardworking Chief of Staff) and longtime Lexington democratic activist Bob Peters have consented to act as campaign co-chairs for Ken Donnelly's state senate campaign.
Acquiring Friedman is a particular coup, the boys in the back room have long cited her as a superb organizer and a key player in Marzilli's victory in last fall's special election. Either Ken Donnelly or Jack Hurd would be well advised to keep Cindy on after the election...she really is that good.
As for Bob Peters the man has a long tail in Lexington and will bring much political wampum to the table in a town that Donnelly has to carry by a wide margin if he wants to win. Purists will recall that Bob toyed with running for state senate himself last fall before ultimately bailing out whereupon after due rumination he endorsed Marzilli.
***
Humble Elias wonders though, if either Bob or Cindy can give us any insight into the current round of polling from "Summit Research"?
There is a theory being bruited about to the effect that the calls are aimed at retired state workers of various stripes.
But I emphasize, it is only a theory.

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Monday, August 04, 2008
 
Menotomy Buzzes...
A seemingly mysterious polling outfit called "Summit Research" whose phone bankers give their location variously as Summit New Jersey or Arizona has been calling local democrats today with an exhaustive poll with respect to the current Fourth Middlesex democratic state senate primary.
Everyone on the street wants to know who hired the "pollsters" for what sounds like an old fashioned somewhat crudely executed push-poll.
It would seem, the game is afoot.
 
Solzhenitsyn is Dead...
The irony of ironies is that it took a writer and the quintessential ex-pat writer such as Solzhenitsyn to bring down a gang like the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
We aren't talking a writer like Howie Carr either, no Alexandr had real strength...talent endurance and a pathological inability to dummy up in the face of evil.
And that is ALL he had against an enemy armed with night sticks and a continent spanning totalitarian ideology.
The Man had the very touch of Orwell in him, same outrage, same direct lines of argument same disdain for the ruthless and the powerful among us. His brain boiled like an active volcano, for anyone else "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch" would have been book enough for the ages but Solzhenitsyn went right on writing and writing producing "The First Circle" (his best work of fiction in Humble Elias' opinion) and then "The Gulag Archipelago".
Unlike Orwell though (who died at the dawn of the grim epoch he'd predicted), Solzhenitsyn outlived the Soviet Regime but never really found his place in the Russian successor state.
But then he was hardly at home in the West where he took refuge in 1973 after his expulsion from the USSR. Deep in the throes of his post Marxist Russian Orthodoxy he regularly questioned the West's collective courage in it's dealings with the USSR. He loathed our alleged materialism and consumerism and supposed timidity in the face of evil. Like a lot of profoundly conservative men he mistook the merely silly and self indulgement for the very bonfire of civilization.
It is a common error, almost all great men make it at one time or another.
And so he leaves us, any ten writers for the best journals in the land could easily fall into Solzhenitsyn's footprints and need a ladder to climb out.
That is how big a void he leaves.

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Sunday, August 03, 2008
 
Stark Reminders...
Steve Stark is a proof positive that you can write nothing original or even sensible for years on end and still be hailed as a pundit of the first rank.
In his current Boston Phoenix column Stark notes several "important hurdles" Senator Obama will have to vault in order to win this fall.
These include:

"No candidate in modern times has ever been elected president with a voting record that could be identified as his party's most liberal or conservative, yet in 2007 Obama was designated the former (By the National Journal)".

Let the record show the above quote is stuffed with qualifiers like a Thanksgiving turkey..."could be identified" alone is a howler par excellence.
First off, plent of ultra conservatives have won the US Presidency, Ronald Reagan, the current inhabitant of the White House...they got there by being cleverer than the democrats at the subtle art of concealing their falangism.
Fools like Steve Stark helped by framing a meme that someone who is "too liberal" (a status that conveniently can't be quatified objectively)) can never and should never be president.
And of course lets not forget the curious habit of the National Journal in that every four years they reflexively identify the democratic nominee as "the most liberal" ever.
In fact a scant four years ago, the "most liberal" laurels were crowned atop the noggin of sober plainspoken Senator John Forbes Kerry by the National Journal.
And yet SOMEHOW in the last four years, Barack Obama has surged past the Junior Senator from Massachusetts and become the most liberal nominee since...the last one.
That is how the National Journal works my friends, never mind the fact that no one reads it except pundits desperate for rational sounding nonsense to prop up their own prejudices...which makes them a great source to Steve Stark.
Meanwhile just what the hell did Senator Obama do to become the most liberal ever...come out banging the pots for the Great Leap Forward or some damn thing?
Steve Stark though is silent on this point, the National Journal sez he is a lib-eral and that is bad enough for him.

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Friday, August 01, 2008
 
So who is this Manny Ramirez character?
And why is the Globe so exercised about his departure?

Must be one of Castro's ministers...maybe he took a powder to Miami or something.

:D

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