The Chimes at Midnight
Saturday, February 28, 2009
"Ardently seeking the approval of the discredited"
THAT is Mitt Romney's weekend in a nutshell as he seeks yet another triumph in the Conservative Political Action Committee's seemingly bimonthly pre-pre-presidential brick sh*t house straw poll.
The Former Viceroy is making the usual wingnut noises, notably he has denounced the stimulus plan whilst praising the bank bailout bill i.e T.A.R.P.
You see, Mitt isn't against government spending, he loves him some socialism, as long as it is reactionary socialism that benefits only the rich.
That is what passes for big ideas at an intellectually bankrupt outfit like C-PAC.
Otherwise all this palaver has once again conclusively demonstrated that Mitt Romney hasn't got the political sense God Almighty gave a garden slug.
Romney tried to pass as a moderate back when moderate republicanism was the province of useless old duffers like Arlen Specter and Susan Collins...fit only to be Karl Rove's speed bag quite frankly.
And now a mere four short months after movement conservatism's greatest defeat since 1932, Romney seeks to recast himself as a wingnut messiah.
Timing is everything in politics, and that is one vital quality Mitt will never ever have.
On the other hand his narcissism and amateurish opportunism make for endlessly bloggable copy so....Run Mitt Run!
Friday, February 27, 2009
Grubbing for Glory
The nation is mired in recession, the banking system teeters and all Mitt Romney can think to do is spend lavishly to win some bullshit straw poll at a wingnut circle-jerk in DC this weekend.
Pathetic, a more tone dead politician hasn't been seen on the hustings in my lifetime.
But Lod almighty what a set up for 2012! I mean think of it, potentially a four way race between Piyush Jindal, Sarah Palin, Romney and the cowardly lion, Newt Gingrich...shit I'd move to Manchester to cover a race like that.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
I guess I'm not the only one who thought Louisiana Governor Jindal turned in a poor performance as a GOP's designated respondee to the President's speech to congress the other night.
Hell it got so bad, Rush Limbaugh had to all but suspend the first amendment rights of his audience with this howler:
"We cannot shun politicians who speak for our beliefs just because we don't like the way he says it."
What the GOP has decayed to such a level that they no longer dare demand energy and passion in their speakers?
THAT is their policy to enable torpor and amateurism?
You have to admit though, Piyush was up against a very determined and eloquent politician...blathering on about tax cuts and big gummint just won't cut it no more.
That and the fact that Jindal has a hangdog look vaguely suggestive of Bob Denver during his Gilligan's Island period.
Moreover and this is the crux of the political problem with the GOP, what the hell could he have said that would have made a diff?
Low taxes and no regulation and a boundless Randian utopianism has brought the country to the edge of disaster in the absence of new ideas on the conservative side, Jindal was doomed before he started wandering thru his speech.
"The NEXT TIME we try it it's BOUND to work!" was all he had to work with, and so thus the GOP circles the drain without idea or even a nice hackneyed cliche' to cling to.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Good speech last night
The President has the common sense to keep his agenda short and his goals somewhat flexible...this stands in stark contrast to his predecessor whose recourse to utopian discourse was a fairly constant factor in his speechmaking.
That and the threats and the Jimmy Durante malapropisms...
Meanwhile this is welcome news...even to bankers and investors.
Meanwhile Louisiana Governor Bobby "The Drama Queen" Jindal's response included this tasteless gem:
Today in Washington, some are promising that government will rescue us from the economic storms raging all around us. Those of us who lived through Hurricane Katrina, we have our doubts.
I just don't think it's good politics for any republican to recall that catastrophe...because as usual once the wind and the rain and the flood ridden rhetoric subsides they are back to honking about tax cuts and personal responsibility.
Seems to be a disconnect there...and a bad one at that.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
"A congressman at work is...
a hypocrite at play" said someone famous...and a good example of the above aphorism can be found here.
Plainly speaking, Rep. Reichert (GOP-WA) is a coward, he was one staffer combing the stimulus bill for potential GOP talking points while another tries to get some of it's cashola routed to needy constituents.
Reichert presents himself as a salt of the earth pragmatist who can't be bullied, except by his own caucus leadership that got a "no" vote out of him when the bill came to a vote two weeks ago.
I if was running against this dingbat I'd start with "Congressman Reichert will do ANYTHING for his constituents except appropriate any money to save their homes, bank accounts or jobs!"
Labels: Rep. David G. Reichert
Monday, February 23, 2009
Romney in Paradise...
Word on the street is, to disport himself between presidential elections, Former Massachusetts Governor Willard Mitt Romney is heavily backing the Gubernatorial candidacy of Ebay CEO Meg Whitman out in California.
There are a lot of reasons for Romney to do this, the main one being, he has nothing else to do til 2012 except keep that touch of grey at his temples and fundraise. Backing fellow CEO Whitman does cloud the Former Viceroy's lamentable rep as a political misogynist and in that context can be seen as a subtle first step in a nasty full court press against Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
If I were Meg Whitman though, I'd keep Romney away at the length of a ten foot pole if need be, the women who are supported by him in elections seem to come to the same end as the women that run against him. If you don't believe Humble Elias, just ask Scary Kerry Healey, Jane "Jingle Money" Swift or Shannon O'Brien.
Of course, my question is, does anyone out there in La-La Land really want another CEO as governor? Wasn't that Schwarzenegger's whole trope during the recall coup in 2003?
How did that work out for everyone in California?
Moreover...Ebay does a land office business in pornography, sex toys, DVDs books, magazines and other perverse items...if Whitman was a democrat that aspect of her tenure at Ebay would be all over the newspapers and conservative punditariat would be screaming like stuck pigs.
So far though, nothing...so the old hypocrisy still persists I guess and the California GOP will blithely accept the candidacy of a former CEO who made her a good chunk of fortune off of kinky sex manuals.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Grace-less Note on a Friday...
The Globe really is going overboard with this multi-part series on the life and career of Edward Moore Kennedy, Senior Senator from Massachusetts.
Other better bloggers than Humble Elias have discerned a eulogistic note in the series...I would just add worse than any platitudes the damn thing doesn't tell us anything new.
One could put up with the bloated novelistic length, but honestly every story, every contradiction, every tragedy and every triumph has been exhaustively covered elsewhere.
Vaudeville had a truism, do what you like but don't bore the audience...well the Globe here seems to think a sleepy readership is a happy readership.
I saw chuck out the facts and completely fictionalize the story a'la Citizen Kane...that might've opened up some possibilities.
Ah but the Globe thinks it is in the news business...except when Jeff Jacoby's column deals in the origins of the Jim Crow south or the New Deal...then a veil of sheer fantasy invades the paper worthy of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
California Uber Alles?
Let us see now, California is FORTY BILLION BUCKS in the hole, the state legislatures is chasing it's own tail...ardently....bureaucratic lay offs and furloughs...building projects rust in the bright pacific sunshine and the list goes on and on.
Where is all the glitzy hope and optimism that attended Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's seizure of power in 2003?
It is the nature of the coup d'etat that they engender buyer's remorse....Arnie is no different than any other bombastic banana republic dingbat on horseback....Juan Peron and Ferdinand Marcos both suffered the same fate.
Of course, Gray Davis got ousted from the Governorship in a "recall election" for a bill of particulars not half so terrifying as ones Schwarzenegger has rung up so when is Arnie gonna get recalled??
And if he does I say the dems get behind Vin Diesel or maybe Bruce Campbell as their candidate.
That is if a ticket of Bill Goldberg and Duane "The Rock" Johnson could not be arranged.
Failing that maybe we should all consider an amicable separation from California...set em' up as a satellite republic with appropriate defense guarantees and let the global free market work it's magic...think of Finland but with desert scenery.
Otherwise the rest of us will have to save these bggers and I dunno, is it really worth it?
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Cue Siegfried's Funeral Music...
Laura Ingraham (remember her??)was on Imus this morning, witless and as frantic as ever...clearly though, from the boozy heaviness in the conservative pundit's voice, her vaulted Dartmouth College all purpose hangover cure no longer works.
A good part of the call in was devoted to an impersonation of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi...a very pooor impersonation at that since she had to remind the audience every twenty seconds She Was Doing Nancy Pelosi whom she otherwise referred to as "that thing".
To think, this sort of rubbish once gave Laura a false sense of power and grandeur...now listen to her, a beaten pathetic figure...it'd almost be sad if I was given to sentiment that is.
Well what can she do? The Reagan-Gingrich mutant strain of conservatism she once ardently cheered is a pitiful ruin. Moreover the remnants of the cause are staggering off under different flags now, libertarianism, sectarian shamanism....a few outright fascists in the mix...Laura quite literally has nowhere to run...nowhere that pays at least.
Like I sad it'd almost be sad if I was given to sentiment.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Mitt we hardly knew ye...
Let me be the first to stoke up the rumors that Mitt Romney is about to abandon Massachusetts for good.
If so, then dollars to donuts he will be in the race for the GOP nomination in 2012...Palin versus Romney versus Gingrich...Oh Lord I cannot wait!!!
And on an aesthetic note, the Romney house in Belmont (abutting as it does some of the worst roads in Middlesex County) always struck me as a caricature of a suburban home, Mitt's heap in Utah though, looks nice at as far as I can divine from the pictures. Maybe Harvey Fierstein or Nathan Lane could buy...or they could go in twosies, whatever.
Lets make a solid Big-Dig like investment in upgrading and electrifying northeastern freight railways.
This works on several levels, it'll reduce traffic congestion from DC to Bangor, it'll create jobs and stimulate heavy machinery markets, it will also reduce the region's carbon footprint. Hell if I had to sell such an appropriation to congress I'd talk it up as practical environmental measure that would also reduce our dependence on imported crude oil..
This is a sobering quote from the above linked article:
For example, UPS desperately wants to use fast trains like the ones Erie Lackawanna once had to reduce the cost of moving parcels coast to coast in less than four days, a feat currently requiring a tag team of truck drivers at enormous cost in fuel and labor. For a brief time in 2004, UPS did persuade two railroads to run a train fast enough to handle this business. But due to insufficient track to allow slower trains to get out of its way, the UPS bullet train caused massive congestion, freezing up the Union Pacific system for months until the railroad at last canceled the service. Big trucking companies like J. B. Hunt, meanwhile, have become the railroad’s biggest intermodal customers, sending as many of their containers as they can by rail.
Hell...this is even a pro-business measure, UPS and Fedex will be able to ship faster and cheaper, that can't be bad for the US consumer.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
After a few requisite routines from the
Senate's own Drama Queen Caucus, the President has at last his stimulus bill or most of it at least.
What he does not have, is that new era of bipartisan comity of which he made so much on the campaign trail.
He got no votes from the Republicans in the House, he grabbed off three GOP inconstancies in the Senate....after that nada.
Indeed I'm not sure how much bipartisan bonhomie the President can realistically expect given the current state of the GOP. The House is full of armchair revolutionaries, the Senate is groaning with gaseous nullities and the whole lot are as bereft of ideas as they are of goodwill.
Where exactly we go from here isn't clear.
I can tell you though, it will be much the same as we go forward towards foreclosure relief, health care, the enviroment...judicial nominations the works.
What we saw last week is prologue largely for the rest of President Obama's first term.
Friday, February 13, 2009
"This was simply a bridge too far for me,"
What color is the sky on Judd Gregg's world?
Someone took time out of their schedule to tell the New Hampshire Senator that his colleague Barack Obama did in fact win the election...right?
After the President went to all the trouble to nominate Gregg as Secretary of Commerce, Gregg goes and declines the sinecure citing unyielding ideological differences?
He is just finding that out now??
Honest to Ghod does Judd Gregg even read the papers or listen to his colleague's speeches?
Earlier before this mishaugas all fell apart, Judd announced he'd recuse himself from any votes on the stimulus bill on grounds that his nomination to the Commerce Department would create a potential conflict of interest.
I say, Senator Gregg should recuse himself from all future senatorial votes on grounds that he doesn't know the difference between shit and shinola.
Given all this I think Obama is lucky to be well quit of Judd Gregg. Of course the job has turned into a three time loser, but sometimes bad karma renders up good results in the long run...and once again, I remind all seven of my readers that Former US Senator Max Cleland is tanned rested and ready for new challenges.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Pundit Roundup (Thursday Two-fer)
When Joanie Vennochi intones "When it comes to a gas tax hike, the time for hedging is over. It is time to lead" then it's clear the Governor can hedge to his heart's content during a one month vacation on Mustique sans any worry or woe.
Whatever she is on about it is usually the wrong thing at the wrong time...count on it.
Meanwhile in the Metro section Kevin Cullen gets all self righteous about Shepard Fairey's arrest for graffiti vandalism...woooo...Caucasiastan has sent us a new ambassador it seems. Good ghod, Cullen is all sodden with false class consciousness and pleased some out of state long haired ar-tiste got pinched for littering while the BPD still can't close any one of a stack of unsolved homicides.
"Fairey's arrest has spawned a debate on the concept of public art, at least art that is imposed on the public by self-important phonies who regard property rights the way some pols and rich folks do taxes: rules that should apply to everybody but them."
Geezus Kevin it isn't like Judge W. Arthur Garrity compelled the ICA to put on the show and sent in the audience via forced bussing or something, get a grip!
Am I alone in the Commonwealth in thinking that graffiti vandalism is a crime of annoyance and an pestering of private property...but murder is still something just a bit more important legally and morally???
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
As long as we are in a recession and the natural tendency is to scrimp and save, why not revive postal savings accounts?
I think this is a jim-dandy idea that'll promote microsaving far and wide, especially in rural communities that lack banking facilities. Hell, the PO could add all sorts of simple on-line gimmicks, rent safety deposit boxes and help build up real investment capital at the street level.
Hell, this isn't even a new idea, the PO offered postal savings accounts from 1910 thru 1966, people forget these were huge back in the depression. An account could be opened sans worry or woe by a ten year old depositor!
The PO is gonna need to re-brand itself going forward it isn't enough to be the paper-mover of last resort mail as volume is dropping thanks to the internet. They have an unmatched community install base and a very professional work force what the need now is new mission, something that benefits the average American and something that'll bolster thrift and a sense of personal responsibilty, I'm calling it for postal savings accounts.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
a very very very high rate of unsolved murders....and a homicide squad with some issues.
So of course, what can they do except arrest this guy for the Arlo Guthryan crime of littering...in a pretty sort of a way.
Sorta make yuh think...I mean from what I read, the BPD managed to get a detective to trail artist Shepard Fairey right to the doors of the ICA, pretty good police work if you asked me.
Of course, any one of a number of unsolved murder cases in the city would be proud to get the same treatment....you could just pick one, out of a big ass pile.
Labels: Shepard Fairey - Arlo Guthrie
Monday, February 09, 2009
Honest to Ghod....
Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snow could eff up a two car funeral...throw Arlen Specter into the mix and you have a tried and true recipe for disaster. For eight years these three were a matched set of cowardly senatorial windbags...good and running their mouths off at the White House til Karl Rove cleared his throat whereupon the lot would scream for mercy and fall to their knees BEGGING for forgiveness.
it is THAT kind of lonely love of principle that is cutting the stimulus bill down to size tonight even as I write this.
Frankly I don't get any of this, it is as if they are mortally afraid to tell their constituents that "HELL YES I appropriated a trillion bucks to save your homes and jobs...and I'd do it again for the exact same reasons!"
Drama queens the lot of them, the "cowardly lion caucus" of the US senate didn't count for shit when Bush was in office, so these dingbats feel they have to make up for lost time under Obama.
Frankly I think the country is getting tired of their act...desperate pleas for attention do wear out their welcome quickly.
Proposal # 1
An anti speculation tax.
It'll take the mickey out of market volatility and scare up some funds...there are those who say without global reach such a tax would drive speculators into foreign market with unknown consequences. My thinking is, good god-damn riddance to them, even a porous law would send a strong message to the short money shysters and possibly move capital into job-creating type investments.
Hell it's worth a shot, the mood in the country is anti-Wall Street anyway, why not extract some revenue from it?
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Joanie Vennochi sez...
"Three weeks in and no one has Obama's back"...least of all, Joanie Vennochi of course.
The Globe's own whining nihilist then blathers on about how ineffectual the stimulus bill is and how wrong-headed is the President...and on and on and on.
Ummmm....didn't she write the same damn column last Sunday?
I mean you do lose track reading Joan Vennochi since she has at most only two columns
A.) Captioned democrat is ineffectual
B.) Captioned democrat is a bully.
Moreover, it can be the same captioned democrat in successive iterations of Joanie's column...just look at the way she treats John Kerry if you don't believe Humble Elias.
Mighod, the woman is more mindlessly repetitive than Steve Stark, think of it the same nonsense every Sunday potentially for the next eight years!
You wouldn't mind so much, after all, Jeff Jacoby doesn't care for John Kerry or Barack Obama either, but then again the Globe's Laughing Young Senescence has an ideology he is in the end, a believer.
Joanie Vennochi just has resentments and inexplicable ones at that.
However, Humble Elias is in danger of becoming just as repetitive as Joanie even as he cracks snarkage over her head...so if she WON'T give us a policy proposal or two...then maybe I will.
It's the least Humble Elias can do, the Republic IS In danger after all, something Joanie just can't grasp up there at the Queen Bee table in Middleschool USA.
So now I must "ponder the situation" as the late Marshall Dodge would say.
Friday, February 06, 2009
House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo wants to introduce an eight year term limit for his own office in state legistlature. Well this is a definite step in the right direction and DeLeo should be applauded for it, but eight years is too damn long in Humble Elias opinion.
Give em' eight years and these yaps will end up in the hoosegow for sure...hell Sal DiMasi didn't last five years before ethics complaints swept him from office.and as for Finneran...ferget it! An eight year term limit is just asking for trouble given the manifold temptations that swarm about the speakership.
I say, reduce that term to eight weeks, that will keep them honest.
Labels: Robert DeLeo - Tom Finneran
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Joanie Vennochi is never more
hilarious to me than when she pretends to be a big loud populist. It is akin to watching my nephews pretend to be space explorers or pirates, the artifice itself is comic gold.
Today, from the toasty fastness of her huge salary and cubicle on Morrissey Boulevard she decries the elitists down in the White House and their malevolent insiderism.
The problem with this pose is, populists have to believe in stuff, free silver, fair elections, one man one vote etc etc...and Joanie doesn't believe in anything except complaining on a weekly basis about democrats. She had to take aim at something or someone today and since John Kerry has been out of the headlines Barack Obama was her only option.
Meanwhile this little known populist grinding away in a distinctly Teddy Rooseveltian fashion...if he takes to carrying a cavalry saber and shouting "BULLY!" then we'll know I guess.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Tom Daschle withdraws his name from nomination to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Hell that is a setback....I'll tell yuh, when yer term of office ends, it is best and wise to clear out of Washington DC, otherwise yer friends and hangers-on with the most amiable intentions will ruin you.
Ah well...Max Cleland is tanned rested and ready, and if not him then maybe Fritz Mondale....if we are gonna do something about health care in this country then it starts with an HHS Secretary with stature.
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Right on schedule
Not one week into DeLeo's tenure as Speaker, casino gambling goes onto the front burner.
My feeling is, the only way to beat this issue decisively is to get it on the ballot...all these pols that're talking tough on the issue might back off if they have to seek re-election right next to a nice controversial revenue driven referendum.
Granted it is a risk but right now we don't have the horses on Beacon Hill our strength is out on the street...so lets try and get this moved to ground more favorable to us.
Monday, February 02, 2009
I don't know if it's 1933, 1958, 1981 or
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, but I do suspect that Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell thinks it is 2005 and the GOP still has the whip hand over the whole damn world.
From the looks of things, McConnell and his gang are gonna walk away from the stimulus package, part of that is the lead the House GOP took in voting NO like a well trained pack of teachables, part of it just plain self destructive stupidity on the senate GOP's part. When you are out of ideas, you usually make the mistake of listening to the loudest dumbest most simpleminded blowhard in the room, hence the new truculence from out the Republicans on Capitol Hill regardless of the White House and it's quest for bipartisanship.
Whatever the motivation, the only question remaining is, are they gonna filibuster the bill? My guess is yes, but I'm a pessemist, I don't see a lot of bipartisan potential in the congressional wing of the GOP, they are all crooks, sky-grifters and men weirdly hung up on a very silly rhetorical brand of manliness that was last glimpsed in the westerns of William Boyd.
If that is the case I sure hope that Harry Reid has some good solid Lyndon Johnson style tricks up his sleeve he is gonna need them.
Sunday, February 01, 2009
decries the "bloated" stimulus package in today's globe in a tone that certifies his own personal emotional investment in failure. As usual he marks out hard for the chimera of "small government" and low taxes, in short the very Randian brew that has brought the republic to the brink of annihilation.
This would be the very definition of insanity, i.e. replicating the same act over and over again with the expectation of a different result. However, speculating on the mental health of conservatism or individual conservatives like Jeff Jacoby is a matter for board certified experts and not "sarcastic rant drive blowhards" like Humble Elias.
No, what Jeff offers us today is nothing less sensible than a homeopathic approach to the economy, a bigger dose of the poison that put us in the intensive care ward is somehow gonna improve our prospects and restore health!
Nothing else quite illustrates so well the sheer intellectual bankruptcy of movement conservatism, they haven't got idea one as to how to save the country...and they know it too.
Too much power for too long has emptied their minds and rendered the lot of them pathetic in a grim shopworn sort of a way.
So for the moment, the argument isn't between liberals and conservatives, the conflict is between the governing coalition assembled by the democrats and the very crisis itself. The GOP and movement conservatism is watching from a wheelchair on the sidelines.
Labels: Jeff Jacoby
Michael Steele at the RNC
Former Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele has been elected chairman of the RNC, thus proving that damn near anything can happen in American and probably will.
So while this is a step closer to a colorblind society, I also suspect (for a lot of reasons I won't go into just yet) it's a bellweather that the national GOP may well keep up it's homophobic agenda. It'll be interesting to see Steele's policy towards the Log Cabin Republicans who are in this situation reduced to being the canaries in the coal-mine sad to say.
Labels: Michael Steele