The Chimes at Midnight
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
 
Another billion in cuts at the State level....
and there is no end in sight, certainly the proposed stimulus package as yet doesn't mention revenue sharing with the states...which is what all the governor's want at this point.
Personally I think we ought to revisit the Governor's proposal for a broader selection of local taxes, restaurants etc...we might need this badly ere long.

I keep telling myself it can't get much worse....

And on that note I wish you all a happy new year.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
 
Steve Stark awoke from a much needed
journalistic coma over in the Boston Phoenix and croaked that the real secret to Barack Obama's success is that he bought the 2008 election.
Ghod bless Steve Stark he is as relevant and insightful as last April's New York Times.
I mean, I think the big story all along has been Obama's fundraising prowess...of a type sufficient to destroy the campaign finance system (which was broken beyond repair anyway)...but no according to Steve we are all only finding this out now.
Steve has been a pundit on the subject of national politics for over fifteen years now and in all that time from his perch at the Boston Globe to this superfluous gig at the Phoenix I've never heard him generate a single idea that wasn't profoundly shopworn and obvious.
He is clearly positioning himself as the in house Obama skeptic just as he once was the Globe's pet Bill Clinton hater...like I said nothing new from Steve Stark.
Smug,repetitive and bereft of ideas and he gets paid for it too!

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Monday, December 29, 2008
 
Jerry Brown flip-flops again...
In his capacity as state Attorney General he has decided to argue against California's ban on gay marriage before the Supreme Court.
This is really nothing new, I can remember with the simplest nostalgia back in 1978 then Governor Jerry Brown's overnight conversion to the anti-property tax forces when Proposition 13 passed by referendum. Subsequently, Brown took his freshly minted anti-property tax mania onto the presidential campaign trail and loaded it up with all kinds of demented rubbish including a promise to call a constitutional convention to pass a balanced budget ammendment.
The good news is, when Jerry Brown changes his mind, he doesn't do it in secret and he is zealous in his new faith.
The bad news is, Jerry Brown is something of a god-damned fool and the cause of gay marriage is in desperate need of sensible and steadfast advocates.
Still...must needs when the devil rides, so health to all his endeavors.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008
 
Is Barack Obama a nerd?
Or a geek or a dork?
That seems to be the big question this week, it is the holiday season, the cabinet is picked and other than watch the global economy collapse there is a shortage of soft news for the media to report.
This is a narrative woven out of a stray Star Trek joke that Obama made during the campaign and the fact that he once read Spider-Man comics in high school.

Thin stuff if you asked Humble Elias and you haven't.

To tell the truth, the term "nerd" has undergone a sea change since Barack and I were teenagers in the late 1970s.
THEN it was bitter pejorative usually fastened to bookish outsiders in order to reinforce a rigid and short term hierarchy in US middle and high schools.
NOW it denotes a playa n the US technology economy as well as a particularly powerful subset of consumers. The rise in "nerd culture" and "nerd economics" is supposed to herald a great change in the way the USA views intelligence and creativity...or so Time Magazine and that ilk insist.
To quote the olde misanthrope "what rubbish!"
Concentrating on this buncombe neatly sidesteps any discussion of stagnant wages in the US and our suicidal policy of national de-industrialization.
It is in fact, False consciousness and for better or worse it largely defines the current debate over the rise of "nerd culture" in the USA.
"Nerd" is a fallacious class distinction and a bizarre one in an economy largely driven by technological innovation. The larger question is how well does that economy do in terms of moving new cadres into the middle class, educating the poor and working class and spreading prosperity around in general.
the answer to that is, it doesn't do that very well at all no matter how cutting edge the new I-Phone may be.
AS for Obama, he is far too charismatic, sporty and focused to pass muster as a survivor of ye olde geekerdom circa 1979.
Moreover, reading "Spider-Man" was no great dork signifier back in the day either, one of the star basketball players at my tiny marginal parochial high school was a fervent reader of Spider-Man and didn't give a hoot in hell who knew it either.
And no his name wasn't Barack Obama either.

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Friday, December 26, 2008
 
What did we learn this year?
As another year passes for this, the Little Blog that Cried, can Humble Elias truly say he has learned anything at all since last January?
No not much.
The flatness of the learning curve is a hallmark here at the Chimes at Midnight.
However I did observe quite over the past year including some things I wish I'd never seen at all.

Watched Mitt Romney's petulant campaign style do nothing for the voters of New Hampshire...I for one cannot wait for him to run again in 2012, like Humble Elias he never learns so he is an endless source of copy.
Watched Jeff Thielman miss the big brass ring by 400 votes in Arlington....
Sadly had to watch State Senator Jim Marzilli self destructed with dizzying speed.
Change indeed falls on us like a predator sometimes.
Observed the 4th Middlesex State Senate race from a lofty perspective of enlightened indifference....
And like everyone else stared in stupefaction as the US economy and then the global economy all struck a big-ass iceberg.
And had a ringside seat on the greatest single Presidential throw-down of my entire adult life...if 2008 wasn't a great year to blog then what was?

Yup this was a good, year, ghod help us all if 2009 tops it though.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008
 
Dear Santa Claus
All I want for Christmas is to make Jeff Jacoby's annual year end holiday list of liberal hate speech offenders.
Is that so much ask after the tumult of the past year?
I've been good, called McCain a senile old fool, branded Sarah Palin a crook and what I said about Willard Mitt Romney tain't fittin' ta be repeated.
And my opinions about rampant tax cuts and brainless deregulation...well lets not repeat ill will shall we?
C'mon Santa I deserve it I can criminalize the opposition with all the eagerness of Karl Rove...I'm ready to step up how about it?!

Whazzat you say?
it is the season of light....of forgiveness???
You miserable toy mongering Pimp!!!!
I've EARNED that denuniciation!!!!!!
Called the late David Brudnoy a hypocritical twerp and worse!!
As for Jeff Jacoby last Sunday he somehow tried to suggest that the Apollo 8 got back via the power of prayer...dude they didn't fly there on angel wings they had rocket engines built under contract to Big Government USA ya numbskull!!!

Now...where is my denuniciation!!??

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Monday, December 22, 2008
 
In the grand scheme of things...
Is Caroline Kennedy really less qualified than was Hillary Clinton when the former first Lady first parachuted out of Air Force One and into a US Senate seat from New York?
I mean at least Ms. Kennedy has lived in New York for an awfully long time that is one up on Hillary right there.
And other than being First Lady, botching the 1993 health care bill and being well...Hillary Clinton her list of senatorial qualifications were akin to Caroline Kennedy's in every way...she had name recognition and a natural fervent constituency dats it.
Bigger a-holes have gone so much higher in American politics with so much less. If this was Massachusetts I can't say Caroline would top my list of candidates to follow Hillary Clinton into the US Senate...but then again the Bay State has more Kennedy's to choose from and they'd have to win a primary and a general election to get the job.

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Friday, December 19, 2008
 
Local TV news is in full
"Dawn of the Dead" mode as a winter storm comes over the berkshires and down to the shore.
Meanwhile though, the blogosphere is all apeshit because some sky-grifter named Rick Warren is reading the inaugural prayer next month.
Well I'm sure Rick is real piece of work in many respects, homophobic and prone to other baroque theological excesses.
We have to remember though, Obama is a polician at the end of the day one who is seeking to build a coalition that can outlast his presidency and act as a conduit to office for other democrats.
Part of that process means reaching out to the likes of Warren who is at least willing to consider the notion that the whole of the democratic party is not the political wing of Lucifer and hades in general.
Will it work?
Probably not, I wouldn't give you two cents for any preacher whose message had to be filtered thru TV or some other unsacred electronic medium...when they ARE there it is usally out of the love of money and little else.
From Obama's perspective it is worth a try though, Warren preaches to a cohort remarkable sensitive to symbolic nuance and his nomination to this sinecure is therefore a symbol more than anything.
So let us not get hung up on the symbols.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008
 
How much money does Shaws and Stop-n-Shop
PAY Fox 25 News to act like it is the biblical apocalypse every damn time we have a snow storm in Boston?
They now do the "Dawn of the Dead" school closure crawl thru the commercials and when they cut back to the weather report we are jauntily reminded to "stock up" before the snow falls.
I mean...gimme a break here....the news anchors are all but clawing at the television cameras whimpering "SAVE US!! It is the END!!!"
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
 
Shocked shocked shocked to discover
that George Bush's SEC sat back and did nothing despite good faith warnings that alleged Wall Street kleptocrat Bernard Madoff was up to no good.

Honestly if this lot was in charge of the Titanic, that damn heap woulda never made it over the first sand bar.

Which points up the need for a real no-shit state trooper attitude at the SEC.
FDR appointed Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. to the chairmanship mostly because he knew all the diresome tricks of the Wall Street sharper's trade...someone like is desperately needed to kick ass and take names on Wall Street.
And forget about what Lou Dobbs and that whole clique will think, we just had a real accountability moment last month and they got their heads bounced off a radiator.
A hard core tone on stock fraud can't kick in soon enough sez Humble Elias.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008
 
Nothing today
save to note that the New Republic's Publisher, Marty Peretz still holds an inexplicable grievance against former US Senator George McGovern.
Geezum Crow Marty it has been over thirty years now, enoguh with the neocon jihad!
George didn't promise any more to Israel than did Marty's new fave Barack Obama...so whats da beef??

Anyway, Humble Elias thought it politic to include a link to some of McGovern's presidential campaign commercials.

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Monday, December 15, 2008
 
The Republc hits rock bottom....
Shoes are thrown at President Bush at a conference with the Prime Minister of Iraq.
I suppose now, the Secret Service will insist everyone must enter the Presidential Presence shoeless....
And is it me or does it take the Secret Service an awfully long time to reach President Bush's side duri this incident?

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Friday, December 12, 2008
 
Ghastly, Puerile, Cheap and Vengeful....
that is pretty much the endgame that looms for Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich whose crooked antics have held an entire nation enthralled for over a week now.
The whole thing reminds of the decline and fall of Earl K. Long, the late Governor of Louisiana, who in 1959 howled at the state legislature that "n*ggers is human-beings!" and was locked up in an insane asylum for his broadmindedness.
He ran unsuccessfully for re-election on a promise of better beef in the county poor houses and the slogan "I ain't crazy".
Well...today's situation would resemble Earl's days of madness except the Blagojevich affair is sordid and stripped of any wit or humor.
Which is pretty much the problem with the political class today they are all strivers, graspers or vengeful little geeks. Everyone these days wants to either get paid or dish out some payback and kicking an opponent when they are down is the most sublime pleasure known to these worthies.
At least Earl Long had fun, might light of his troubles and held his head up high...Blagojevich is more typical of our humorless era he simply digs himself in for the usual revengefest pity-party...disgraceful really.
Now if Rod announced for re-election on a slogan off "I sold it for YOU!" then we'd have something.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008
 
Whatever happened to Ann Coulter?
Once the cheeky darling of Time Magazine?
Has anyone heard from her at all in the past 18 months?
Wasn't she gonna eat us all once?
Stomp on our house, burn down our used hybrid lots with her atomic breath?
Last we had heard her jaw had been broken and wired shut.
But honestly folks, that is just the punchline, no one heard squat from her at all thru-out campaign 2008.
I mean you'd a thought she would've been all over Obama like a anorexic harpie but no.
Coulter may have simply peaked, there are only finite number of kampus konservative bunds that can be shaken down for mad phat speaking fees before the market is maxxed out.
And even wingnuts will tire of her falangist middle school queen bee act...especially as she grows older and has to complete with younger fembot models like Sarah Palin.
My own personal theory is, some sorta health problem...the woman proudly smoked, you do the math.

Speaking of health problems how many of you out there would pay good money to see Laura Ingraham enrolled in Dr. Drew Pinsky's "Celebrity Rehab" show on VH1???
I know I would, just plunk her down between to Gary Busey and Jeff Conaway and watch the ratings soar.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008
 
Wow....
Looks like Barack Obama got out of Illinois just in time....
Well now we know why he was in such an all-fired hurry to move up to the White House....to get some distance between himself and the usual corruptards.
I guess the legislature will amend the law and call for a special election to fill Obama's seat now in an effort to prevent the Governor from appointing Ghod knows who to the sinecure.
Although I think almost everyone is a litte sick of electioneering etc....still it can't be helped.

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008
 
The US Army's fabled First Infantry Division
the dreaded "Big Red One" now has it's own brand of clothes lincensed thru Sears.
Veterans are rightly up in arms abourt this bizarre commercialization of a frontline infantry division...I just wanna add that all this schlock is clearly made in China. Said so on a khaki green tag I saw at Sears in Burlington last night.
Well....China WAS one of our allies in WWII...that takes the sting out right?
Right?
Monday, December 08, 2008
 
"Romney in 2012"
The Globe claims Mitt wants another shot at the Big Brass Ring.
Cold, greedy, selfish, narcissistic, bereft of ideas and animated by a passionate misogyny....Willard Mitt Romney is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Sarah Palin had best "put every gun to them" as Wellington might say.

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Sunday, December 07, 2008
 
One of the hardest routines in the Presidential Playbook
is winding down an unpopular war.
Nixon for example for all his cunning made a hash of exiting Viet Nam thanks to his morbid greivances and petty power mongering all of which undercut any attempt to build bipartisan consensus behind a new policy in Southeast Asia.
Obama at least understands that nothing can be done in Iraq without consensus here at home. Part of building consensus means bringing in a national security team with a diverse range of opinion. then it's up to the President to set policy and see matters thru. The main thing here is, Obama knows he cannot prosper in office with the war going on and on, he needs a dignified exit, that is at the core of his mandate. Hilary Clinton and General Jones can read election returns pretty well, they wouldn't have signed on if they didn't know in broad terms what the new policy would be.
Besides, Democratic national security teams tend towards caution and have an outward conservative cast...a legacy of McCarthyism even in the 21st century.

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Friday, December 05, 2008
 
If congress doesn't want to
bail out the big three auto-makers then how about a real bail out for the rest of us??
By that I bluntly mean, nationalized, single payer health care.
Oh yes...I know, the AMA would go all "Goldfinger" on us, heist an Krangjovian nuclear warhead and threaten Washington with nuclear devastation if the privileges and perks of doctors are compromised by cheap universal healthcare.
"Socialized medicine" they would howl...but hell we've had reactionary socialism going on in this country for twenty eight years on and off, in which tax policy, business and investment regulations all favor one class...the rich.
Now the rich need a bailout, so fine give it to them, by removing them and their corporations from the health care business. Trillions would be saved in the private sector from the git-go, everyone's bottom line from metal shops in Route 1A in Rowley to General Motors would benefit.
How much would it cost to start...700 billion? Wall Street can tap Federal funds for the same any time it likes...but use that money to give the people a REAL tangible benefit one that'll act as a stimulus as well and the Hannity's of this country cream like stuck pigs.
I say sell it as an economic stimulus, anyone against is it is a diresome pessemistic malaise-lover.
Think about it, I can't think of anything else that would have as universal an effect.
YEah it'll cost money but we are gonna have to spend like drunken sailors anyway let us get VALUE on the dollar sez Humble Elias.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
 
Did you ever notice...
that whenever Joanie Vennochi gets bored, whenever the Commonwealth ceases to amuse or divert, when the trogs and trolls go quiet and there are no "names" to conjure with...that she starts reflexively clawing away at John Kerry like an old unloved house cat?
The world teeters on the brink of a new Dark Age and all Spiteful Joanie can think to do is snarl in disappointment that JK isn't leaving Massachusetts for Foggy Bottom thus denying her the loutish spectacle of a special election for the US Senate.
Decadent...that is what Joanie is, she has passed thru an election for the ages all she can do is yawn, sneer at John Kerry can yearn for some new political brawl to stimulate her jaded sensibilities.

Sick
Demented
Typical....

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008
 
Chambliss pulls out a squeaker victory in Georgia...
a slight ten point margin will keep him phat with lobbyist dough for six more years. Humble Elias thinks this a good thing regardless of that filibuster proof majority everyone was talking about. If things get hinky we can always invoke the "nuclear option" that the GOP so helpfully provided back in the days when they were in charge of the Senate.
Anyway....I think the US Senate would be a wan wasted place without one paranoid anti-veteran pseudo McCarthyite to Claghorn up the joint.
So congrats to Senator Chambliss.
Now if only someone would give Max Cleland a good job at a good wage...something high profile....has Veteran Affairs been filled yet?
At the very least an ambassadorship ought to be tendered...someplace unburdensome and sunny preferably.

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Tuesday, December 02, 2008
 
The Dow drops 680 points on definite word...
reaching Wall Street that the US economy had been in recession for a year now. Maybe this is too much snarkage but is Wall Street the last stop on the Pony Express or something?
Recession has been all around us in word and deed for well over a year and only now does Wall Street find out???
Billions of dollars spent on news feeds, the internet, Lou Freakin' Dobbs, MSNBC and all the rest and Wall Street takes a full year to figure out there is a recession going on outside that big plate glass window.
Good lord and we are bailing these yaps out to the tune of 700 billion USD....appalling.
These people are hopeless, they strut around like Olympians when times are good and turn whining coward at the first contrary puff of wind. Ultimately that is my real problem with the business class in the USA they hopelessly unheroic and blind to their own revolting hypocrisy.
And thanks to the Randian hallucinations of Phil Gramm and Alan Greenspan the rest of us, have to pick up the rubble from the apocalypse they have made.
Lovely...thanks guys, stalwart patriots all.

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Monday, December 01, 2008
 
Fair warning to Sarah Palin
if she thinks Willard Mitt Romney will be a pushover in the GOP's 2012 presidential nominating race then she'd better reconsider her thesis top to bottom.
If you don't believe Humble Elias then Just ask Jane "Jingle Money" Swift, Shannon O'Brien and "Scary" Kerry Healey. Democrats and Republicans alike and all women Mitt trampled on his way to grabbing off whatever big brass ring took his fancy in that election year.
Romney is a cold blustery opportunist of no fixed conditions but he has a malign misogynistic ability to abort the careers of female politicians both the inept and the able alike. One might say it is his only demonstrated political talent at all.
Oh well, Sarah will find out when she gets to the inevitable debate at Saint Anselm College where Willard will no doubt spend ninety minutes of air time talking to her like she was a retarded five year old.
And that mah frenz will only be the beginning.

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