Chris Matthews for the US Senate?
Sounds like a nightmare scenario, but apparently the MSNBC's talker is staffing up to run against Arlen Spector in Pennsylvania.
Good Ghod with Obama in the White House the literal and figurative value of being a US Senator goes up a good twnety percentage points, at a critical moment like that who needs another motor-mouthed charlatan like Chris on Capitol Hill?
What is worse he could pull it off, money and celebrity can take you far in this life sad to say...even if you are a blustery jackwad. Moreover, Spector is pushing 80 with his best service to the Republic far behind him and a growing reputation as the Senate's loudest toothless lion as well...a very volatile mix in Humble Elias' opinion.
Need I remind my readers that Chris Matthews'was once the Iraq war's most cringe-worthy cheer-leader...when Bush stepped onto the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln Matthew's groveling took on a scary homo-erotic tone. Of course now following the polls the way a Wonderland Greyhound follows the electric rabbit Matthews' is all agin' the war...but Pennsylvania democrats ought yo be warned, Chris is utterly inconstant.
And then there is his on-air style, Super Tuesday poll coverage in particular, by 9:30pm Chris infallibly runs out of sensible things to say and starts yammering incoherently while his guests suppress their giggles right there on camera.
Who needs that action is the US Senate...hell they finally gave old Ted Stevens the heave-ho...time to class up the joint sez I.
The man is a clown, voluable cheap and spineless...if Humble Elias lived in Pennsylvania he's sooner vote for Italo Balbo or Bishop Sheen.
The coming Queer War
Mass Marrier is free to correct me here, but gay marriage has been outlawed in almost every state where it has gone before the electorate as a ballot referendum. The climax of this process having gone down in California, normally a bastion of gay rights where the infamous Proposition Eight passed with fifty two percent of the vote earlier this month.
To humble Elias gay rights, specifically in the form of same sex marriage has become the last great civil and social rights issue to confront this great republic. Therfore this malign anti-SSM referenda much resemble the "Dred Scott decision" being executed in miniature all over the country.
Abraham Lincoln in his rising days railed against the notion of putting the civil rights of others up to a vote as the very leading edge of despotism. Apparently in the 21st century we don't listen much to the old Rail-Splitter, well what the hell, they didn't listen to him til it was too damn late back then either.
I have in the past naively noted that the public acceptance of SSM would take a generation or more and that the Commonwealth's SSM marriage statute might not be "easily exported" beyond the Berkshires. However our opponents take a different view and fundraise and organize of the basis of making second class citizenship a reality all over the nation. This is a fight that has been forced upon us.
It is also a fight we dare not lose is anyone is to retail their own personal rights.
Sheer demographics are on our side, the younger the voter the more pro-SSM they skew, the problem is these cohorts have to be ideologically acticvated and then organized..they need leadership in other words. the dirty secret to the same sex marriage controversy is that it is a classic "Abe Simpson" issue, bitterly hated by men above the age of fifty and while that cohort has money to spend and is better positioned to vote...time is not on their side so to speak.
The courts waver on SSM's behalf, we need to start putting pressure on the legislatures both state and national in order to secure basc right of marriage for all...and that means organizing and voting.
The other side knows what it wants and couldn't care less whose rights are negated in order to achieve their end.
There is no safety for anyone save in electoral numbers, judges read election returns quite well and always have...state legislators tremble on election day.
This is the Queer War like it or not the fight is here and Humble Elias hopes we win it...
Labels: Abraham Lincoln
Idle non-sequitor thought on this fine holiday...
Imagine the "pop" that President Obama will get if and when he makes a state visit to Africa...
It'll be like when JFK got to Ireland except on a continental basis.
Anyway happy thanksgiving.
Gates staying on as Defense Secretary?
that is disheartening news to say the least. Although on Iraq policy (where clean hands are in short supply) I can see the wisdom of some measure of bipartisanship. However the choice does put some pressure on the President - Elect to stand by his timetable for withdrawl both within and without the US Government. The national security team he has whomped together, presumably with Hillary Clinton at State, General Jones at the NSC and now Gates bound over in the Pentagon is a collection of "yes votes" on Iraqi regime change. It is up to President Obama to hold everyone's feet to the fire.
My thinking is sorta simplistic, I'd rather everyone answer to the liberal, THAT remains the core change in substance and style...I'd rather control the whole of the executive department than the Department of Labor.
Keeping Gates on DOES perpetuate the myth of GOP invulnerability on security issues, the need for the "mommy party" to hide behind the "daddy party" and his vodka bottles, sandbags, bad securities, ill-cleaned guns and revered family bible issued out of a vending machine in 1964. All that schlock got repudiated three weeks ago I thought?
The "OTHER" Chimes at Midnight
screens at the Harvard Film Archive this Saturday night at 7pm. It hasn't been seen in Boston in years and is a notable Orson Welles film that remains unavailable on legit DVD, so Humble Elias sez go see it!.
Labels: Orson Welles
Saw Steve Forbes of all people on CNN yesterday....
My Ghod but there is a guy with the courage of his restrictions. Faced with global financial catastrophe he just kept running his mouth on and on about more deregulation and further tax cuts all in a dense obscure way that not even a trained economist like Robert Reich could fathom.
Reich and Forbes were brought on to make sense out of the current crisis and while Steve simply delivered a three week old campaign commercial Reich actually addressed the decline of purchasing power in the American middle class induced by stagnant incomes. Forbes just stared into the camera with that creepy unblinking stare of his looking purely befuddled that the incoming admin would dare contemplate any other policy save the standard GOP practice of redistributing money from the working poor and middle class to the rich. Steve also had nothing good to say about the current Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson which is strange given the mindless similarity of their economic policies.
Reich however made plain sense, demand has to be stimulated, a piddly tax cut won't do much over the short term so bid to address income inequalities has to be at the heart of our current policy.
It was good to see Former Labor Secretary Reich back on the job, as for Steve Forbes I'm sure the rest of Wolf Blitzer's rolodex was hiding under their desks. So the billionaire profligate gets props just for going on the air in my book.
Eight months ago...
Mitt Romney promised the recession-wracked workers of Michigan he'd reopen the automobile factories practically at gunpoint if need be. Last he excoriated Detroit as a "dinosaur" and denounced any bail-out bill aimed at preserving the auto-industry.
Suddenly, three million more unemploed don't both him none, it's like scruples or internal consistency, poof gone mean's NOTHING to Willard.
Rightly for once, Joanie Vennochi called him out on it....but then this is nothing more than the last of her divorce from Mitt, she once ardently believed that 2008 was gonna be the year of Romney's ride to glory.
Anyone else, who contradicted himself so blatantly and idiotically, would be headed to the electoral scrap heap...but I guess we've all gotten use to this kind of callow behavior from Mitt.
Labels: Mitt Romney - Joanie Vennochi
It seems that
John Kerry is being passed over for the Secretary of State's sinecure in favor of Hillary Clinton.
He does however have a lock on the Senate Foreign Relations Chair.
Well if there is any lingeribng disappointment in the Kerry camp they can be consoled by the sure notion that John Kerry will more than likely still hold the foreign relations gavel long after Hillary Clinton has gone back to White Plains.
And to me, Foreign Relations is the better gig.
Labels: Hillary Clinton - John Kerry
The Bad Poets Society is baaaa-ack. In the lead up to the show on Friday they have been spotlighting "Presidential free-verse".
The President Elect is such a...
lawyer....first cabinet office he fills is the Attorney General.
Well I suppose vetting Bill Clinton's post presidential finances, partnerships, fundraising and whatnot could take the rest of the month and the President Elect had to get some names out there.
At this writing the rumor is
that Joe Lieberman will hang onto his committee chairmanship under the democratic senate majority, regardless of his occasionally ugly apostasy on behalf of GOP nominee John McCain.
I don't really think that Lieberman should be ejected from the caucus, but handing the homeland security committee over to someone else does seem like a reasonably proportional response.
If Lieberman switches parties he'll still end up sans his chairmanship and likely lose his seat in 2012 so what's the problem?
If it's one thing I've learned in forty six years is that Senate democrats are renowned for their powers of forgiveness.
Sometimes the forgiveness can be a little hasty and undeserved though...not for nothing though but the man was almost nominated for VP by the GOP that alone should give Harry Reid pause regardless of all the smack Joe talked on the campaign trail.
Labels: Joe Lieberman - Harry Reid
Jeff Jacoby has crawled out of the rubble...
dusted himself off and sent a big sloppy sentimental and truculent valentine to none other than Sarah Palin.
Somehow a pork-devouring Alaskan secessionist is supposed to deliver the GOP out of it's current dilemma.
Most of these movement columnistas tend to see themselves as neo Augustan scholars, it's the whole "William F. Buckley" style pioneered by the late Connecticut Tory and brought to poserish perfection by George Will.
So it's sort of ironic that all these lordly intellectuals are pimping for Sarah a mildly crooked vulgarian with a soviet style to her class resentment.
But then, we had ourselves an "accountability moment" a bare two weeks ago and these are in the unintended results...defeat brings out the charlatans and the wizards...everyone promising the big medicine that'll restore the GOP to glory sans hard work or sacrifice.
Good luck with that one Jeff....
Question for the Day....
Will America ever elect a combat veteran of the Viet Nam war President?
Or is there some tacit unspoken ban in place to bar honored veterans of our only lost war to date from the highest office in the land?
Consider this, John Kerry USN Officer, with two or is it three Purple Hearts out of Viet Nam....doesn't win in 2004.
Now John McCain another USN Office with a chestfull of medals again doesn't win in 2008.
Teddy Roosevelt a veteran of the Spanish American War made it to the White House, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower both saw action in World War One, JFK and Jerry Ford both served with honor in World War Two and LBJ and Nixon enlisted as soon as possible for the same war....the list goes on and then STOPS at the Tonkin Gulf Resolution.
Now that I mention it, have any combat veterans of Korea made it into the Oval Office?
Is there something going on here d'ye suppose, like maybe that the American people don't want to be reminded at the very least about Viet Nam even after all these years?
He just won a biii-ig re-election victory, he is making lots of useful new friends on the job and yet for all that the word on the street is, he'll STILL be challenged in the primary come 2010.
Seems like certain cohorts wanted to take a breather this time around...concentrate on other things. However soon enough their attention will return to matters close at hand.
If I were him, I'd keep my cel-phone charged and just keep knockin' on doors.
Joanie Vennochi gets up on her high horse about hypocrisy on Beacon Hill vis a vis the Wilkerson affair versus the Marzilli disaster. Truly the woman loves her double standards doesn't she?
All I can add is, that if well executed video footage of Jim Marzilli chasing prim soccer moms thru the streets of Lowell was available...he'd be gone by now.
Conversely if no video was available of State Senator Wilkerson stuffing her blouse with lucre...well the sting of the whole thing would be muted.
It's the visuals that make this all so immediate and so humiliating for all involved.
Well whatever...Joanie gets to wax righeous...ah-gain.
Someone needs to take Sarah Palin aside and quietly
tell her that she and McCain LOST the election a week ago...thats why all the shouty people in Phoenix were crying and the TV cameras were pointed at the GOP ticket that night.
Honestly the woman has given more press interviews in the week after the election than she did during the entire campaign.
Maybe young Bristol could have a word with her moms, break the news gently as it were, seems like the poor kid has some experience in that department.
Good Ghod what am I supposed to write about NOW????
Alleged Corruption in the state legislature? Geez that is an original idea....nobody else workin' that side of the street.
The Mass Pike? ("It's bin done bee-fore" to quote the late George Harrison)
Watch the "Carebear's Countdown" while I figure this out...
Spiteful Joanie gets her Groove Back....
Didn't take long for Joanie to recover from the election...nothing like calling John Kerry a liar to put the steam back in a girl's step.
Remember Joanie has some ground to make up, she once predicted 2008 would be Mitt Romney's year of glory.
Well, let us credit Joanie with some internal honesty, at least she isn't one of these op-ed pimps who all for John Kerry's notional move to Foggy Bottom...their interest is in a nice bloody democratic special primary...it's either that or go back to covering the school committee at this point.
Nope...Joanie has a venomous integrity, and a point after a fashion...that maybe it's a bad idea for Kerry to take the Secretary of State's job if offered.
Besides, the Secretary of State's sinecure is akin to being America's most experienced headwaiter, one is faultlessly dressed, brisk, efficient, polite and soon forgotten. No more than three or four US Secretaries of State have amounted to anything since World War II.
Just say NO John...that is all Humble Elias can advise.
The epic of Defeat...
Has there ever been a politician so thoroughly repudiated as is Joe Lieberman?
His entire world-view has been discredited and he wasn't even a candidate for office this year.
THAT has to hurt.
Lieberman came of age in US politics in an age of conservative ascendancy. Like many others he thought that negotiation and concession were the keys to survival for the democratic party...indeed liberalism itself could not prosper without strong outside moderation.
Implicit within this notion is the believe that America was a center-right polity and as such, the GOP's electoral dominance would never ever end.
Thus triangulation, acccomodation and negotiation were the democrats only hope.
It was a policy that worked well for Bill Clinton in most instances during his two terms in office mostly because he himself proved a shrewd negotiator with a instinct for the weaknesses of congressional republicans.
However it was also a policy rooted in the belief that no democrat would ever achieve a amjority in a US Presidential contest thus reinforcing the need for accomodation in the executive department as well as congress.
Then came 1994 and the GOP took over the democrats last great redoubt, the House of Representatives, if anything put paid to the myth of conservative omnipotence it was that.
Joe Lieberman saw the numbers then and in 2002 and decided the future looked grim for anyone who wasn't prepared to ingratiate themselves with the crooked likes of Ted Stevens, Phil Gramm and Denny Hastert.
I mean no wonder the guy became a jobber for Fox News.
And it is these beliefs, less his foreign policy views that have brought Joe to his current dilemma...stay with the democratic caucus and lose his committee chair or flip to the GOP and STILL lose his chair and possibly his seat in the senate come 2012.
He took a flyer on following John McCain around with his head bowed in lacke-ish servility and it got him exactly nothing, not the cabinet post he craved nor the respect he once deserved and has casually disgarded.
These are all pretty bleak prospects in the opinion of Humble Elias but they a situation of Joe's own making. Unlike Bill Clinton a reputation for native political shrewdness has never attached itself to Joe Lieberman so how he survives this is difficult to say.
There are those who say that Lieberman's transgressions were no worse than the white southern bourbon democrats of yore all of whom broke with the party on a quadrennial basis....but then Russell Long and John Stennis didn't follow Richard Nixon around on the campaign trail sporting a faded lackey-ish grin either.
Those vapors are heady there Senator
Just don't inhale them is all I can advise.
After all, if Scot Lehigh is pimping the Secretary of State's office for John Kerry, then you KNOW there has to be something wrong with the idea.
All these pundits will smirk and coo "great idea" so that they can get a nice bloody special senatorial election to report...and at the end when the carnage stretches from North Adams to Dighton, they can once again sell their souls to the nearest republican in a tattered "moderate" costume.
So don't do it John, you're done wandering in the wilderness, now you have a chance to dictate terms from a position of strength within the US Senate.
Foggy Bottom is great frozen wasteland for an active mind in public life...the President calls all the policy shots now, who needs that noise.
If offered, then politely turn it down sez Humble Elias.
Labels: Senator John Kerry - Scot Lehigh
Sad to say Proposition #8,
a hellish measure that outlaws gay marriage passed in California last Tuesday.
Apparently endless wingnut squadristi took to the streets, Mormon "volunteers" streamed in from Utah and the usual lies were laid on thick...and what the hell it worked.
So now in the name of protecting marriage the sacred vows of some 11,000 Californians have been sundered by electoral fiat.
Conservatives are a sick and demented breed as I've noted ad nauseum down thru the years, this nonsense they spout about "small gummint" ALWAYS takes a back seat to gaining the power to mind some else's business and push the same around.
Gays are a big part of their demonology because most of them haven't matured past the sandbox and the need to incessantly bully targets that threaten their poorly internalized sexuality is a big part of childhood.
I say get a ballot measure up for 2010 that retroactively outlaws all divorces in California back to 1865...if it passes Los Angeles will be a ghost town before midnight. If they are gonna wreck the marriages of 11,000 gays the best response is to outlaw the precious divorces of numberless straights.
Maybe...if they think in the vengeful terms of Humble Elias. Otherwise some hard green-grass roots organizing has to be executed to get this measure repealed.
Otherwise Tuesday was a sad day for the cause of love....
And while we are at it....
It is the Revenge of Former Illinois Governor and two time democratic presidential candidate Adlai Ewing Stevenson as well.
Curiously, Adlai would be President Elect Obama's closest political relative, urbane suave, eloquent, hung up on Big Ideas, a liberal and an ardent exponent of personal freedom.
Sound like anyone you know???
Ah but there Stevenson parts company from the President Elect, Adlai was beaten twice and never mastered the art of organizing for victory over the long haul...Barack Obama has those qualities in abundance.
Last night at about 11pm
I parked my car across from the State House, sighed, looked at the moon and tried to get close to God.
And sure enough, up the hill marched the ghosts of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment...wounds still fresh, sabers nicked and soiled, rifles still smoking and heads held high.
This spectral regiment of honor, silently tramped past me and stopped only to salute the very golden dome and then throw the very flag itself the crispest salute I'd ever seen.
And then the march resumed and they were gone.
Even those who came before us had a good night last night.
The Star Spangled Revenge of John Forbes Kerry
Four years after a wafer thing loss in the presidential race....
And after four years of contempt derision and the obligatory wanders in the wilderness....
A bare two months after he was compelled to go flat out against an electoral gnat....
A day after he crushed the hopes of a GOP nominee who was less interested in public office and more of an aspirant to Batman's cape....
NOW John Kerry gets his revenge!
WHO put Barack Obama on the map in '04?
WHO encouraged Obama to run - now?
WHO acted as a trusted advisor and made his endorsement plain when Obama needed it most?
With last night's local and national victories, Kerry has redeemed his political profile and seen a firm friend elected President of the United States.
He will be in a position to do good public spirited business with the White House going forward...his agenda has got some momentum now....much of what he proposed a mere four years ago is about to become law.
Not bad for a guy written off as a too-tall stiff who likes to windsurf.
There is wild talk of Kerry becoming Secretary of State, Humble Elias urges the Senator not to inhale such heady vapors...we need his leadership here in Massachusetts and lets face it, Foggy Bottom ain't the sinecure it used to be.
Besides, as a US Senator he is best positioned to reap the political harvest of yesterday's almighty victory.
It's good to win...and if not, to be seen as a friend and benefactor of the winner.
Labels: John Kerry - Barack Obama
Adlertag in Menotomy....
The abiding drawback to working the polls on election day is watching Mike Barnicle run his meat hole by the hour on MSNBC.
After a mere sixty minutes he runs out of sensible things to say and is reduced to decrying the "the 24-7 cable news culture", y'know the one that otherwise keeps the wolf far from Mike's door.
Ah but the Spartans were magnificent yesterday, they hit the phones like Napoleon's imperial guard jacked the Prussians. By noon yesterday the combined campaign had made an unpredecented sixty thousand phone calls on behalf of Barack Obama.
Bob Peters, Aimee Coolidge and the whole posse are naught but electoral field marshals...they and their spartan troops are indefatigable and undaunted in defeat or in victory. The last three elections we have cycled thru have tested and proven a voter ID-GoTV driven operation that is the wonder of Middlesex County and beyond. Moreover they deployed hundred of activists in the fertile electoral crescent of southern New Hampshire and once again helped tip the balance on election night.
They are glorious.
Meanwhile, destiny had clearly quit on the GOP and gone marching in the streets for Obama....well at least the weather was nice for overthrowing destiny...in fact the most beautiful election day I can recall.
Beats the hell out of the sleet we had in 1992 when Bill Clinton's hour struck.
Indeed, wherever I did visibility yesterday, I was greeted with heartfelt thanks from the voters.
THAT mah frenz' was a big change from years gone by where election day visibility usually occasions at least three ugly confrontations with angry voters.
Hell, the spartans went fully apeshit in extremis last night at exactly 9:30pm EST when CBS news called Ohio for Obama...howling and crashing their spears against their shields.
Let the record also show, that Menotomy, a town with a wowser-ish aversion to taverns and bars came out roaring on behalf of decriminalizing pot.
Strange days indeed sang the Liverpool bard.
Tom Brokaw meanwhile looks gaunt and a little feeble like all this change just plumb goes over his pointy little head. NBC's youth profile is otherwise head down my correspondent Luke Russert, the late Tim's son who himself looks he ought to be crushing beercans against his forehead over on the lower quad at BC.
Gee what a shame Tim Russert didn't live to see this...and how great it is to think Don Imus did!
Ah but the mandate of the American people is a powerful thing, a breaker of nations and a fool-maker of the mighty.
Speaking of the mighty, McCain tried to stay classy in his concession speech even as boos and anti-Obama cat-calls clouded the air. Frankly, McCain looked as if he couldn't wait to put some serious distance between himself and his own audience.
In the end, who knew John McCain was clue-less as to how to win a US Presidential campaign?
In a few hours....
power passes into the hands of the American people and I rise from this keyboard and enter the humble ranks of the Immortal Spartans, the dreaded democrats of Arlington occasionally beat but always defiant unto the last.
It is an honor to serve with such as these....for a host of democrats and causes have they marched and marched down thru the years. On election days I still see faces that I campaigned with for Joseph P. Kennedy in 1986....guys who go back to the Glory Days with Speaker O'Neill.
That however, is ALL I can do, I lack the time talent money and luck to play with politics at a bigger level...the sign holding and doorknockers is about all I can manage.
Lets hope that tomorrow it is enough.
Whatever happens though duty will be satisfied to the "last full measure of devotion" to quote Lincoln.
So for the Glory of the Republic, for the sake of the Commonwealth and it's dignity, get out there tomorrow and Pitch into them HARD!!
Labels: Joseph P. Kennedy - Barack Obama
In regards to Question Three
I'm inclined to vote against the proposed ban on dog racing.
If the pups are in anywhere near the same shape as the horse racing in this state, then both activities are on the high road to extinction anyway. Humble Elias spent last Wednesday at Suffolk Downs and roughly estimates not fifty people were present to bet on the scheduled races. The closed circuit feed from out of state tracks seemed to be doing marginally better business all around but in all the track is wan inglorious place these days.
On he other hand, if we outlaw dog racing can horse racing be far behind?
And if we go for the two-fer won't that inadvertently fuel demands for all out casino gambling in the Commonwealth?
And if that is the case will the same coalitions be out there to oppose casino gambling on the grounds of humanitarian concern for the welfare of gambling addicts?
I think not we could do right by puppies and horses and end up putting humanity in a bind.
Question #8 in California....
if passed will retroactively outlaw gay marriage in that state.
The measure's "base" is composed of people who would happily criminalize abortion, contraception and make it nigh impossible to get a divorce with any celerity IF they could.
But they can't so they pursue the next best thing which is gleefully dissolving the marriages of such neighbors as merit their biddy-ish disapproval.
Ever notice how wingnuts invariably take out their frustrations with American society on gays?
Which is ironic, those who want to strengthen marriage (at gunpoint if need be) commence their jihad by busting up the marriages of 11,000 of their fellow citizens.
I can't discount the ugly possibility that there is a cohort out there that is just desperate to take someone else's rights away...really anyone...their own lives are harsh and empty paid for with debt and shot thru with threats from the pulpit...nothing left to do BUT disenfranchise someone else.
Viewing "The View"
Yesterday the chat show's hosts all dressed up as various US President's and then proceeded to grill a numerologist and a psychic about the upcoming US election.
It was akin to a scene cut from "Brazil" to say the least.