The Chimes at Midnight
Thursday, April 30, 2009
 
RNC Chair Michael Steele was on NPR yesterday
whining piteously over the loss of Senator Specter to the democrats, he sounded like a beaten man in every way.
Oh Steele tried to sound truculent...tried, but the reality is, he groveled abjectly before Rush Limbaugh but couldn't find the words to placate Arlen Specter when push came to shove in the US Senate.
Oh and he made a labored and condescending analogy that reduced GOP moderates to the status of "guests" at the Republican table who had no control over the menu.
I mean is it any wonder they are infantalizing such a hopeless buffoon by removing his discretionary spending power?

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009
 
Look on Page Two of the Globe Today....
In "For the Record" section (tain't available on line that I can see) where they usually put the corrections and retractions, IF the Boston Globe was anticipating a shut-down next week then why are they announcing (however quietly) an increase in the price of the daily to a dollar with a current increase in the price of the Sunday Globe?
I mean what is going on here?
 
Welcome Senator Specter to
the democratic party.

Oy! Like we don't got enough drama-queens already on our side of the aisle.
Still, a filibuster proof majority is a suh-wheet thing to be sure.

I think Specter's switcheroo does marginally orientate the US Senate more towards the center with Joe Lieberman still playing a big part in keeping the coalition together, so the change-up is hardly a liberal slam-dunk.
Given that, this is all the more reason to get Al Franken seated quickly, though the news will no doubt spur the GOP to new obstructionist outrages in the Minnesota Senate controversy...these are angry emotional people after all.
Specter's desertion of the GOP DOES put some pressure on Susan Collins and Olympia Snow whether or not they can hold onto their jobs given their party identification is an open question. Lasty, the whole thing makes Mitch McConnell look like a feeble old blatherskite...he sounded stunned as he whistled thru his dentures this morning on NPR.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009
 
Churlishness...
Pro-Life Harvard Law Prof Mary Beth Glendon won't accept an award from Notre Dame as it would entail sitting on a stage with President Barack Obama.
Now that is just plain impolite and low, Obama has to deal with people who loath him and his agenda on a daily basis and this wingnut Harvard Law Prof won't even appear at the same venue with the President of the USA?
The word arrogance just doesn't do this kind of outrage any justice.
I say Obama should withdraw from Notre Dame's commencement, the US Bishops are making GOP-class fools of themselves...the whole thing is an object lesson in the self defeating rgidity of anti-abortion culture.
I guarantee you The President will get a much more polite and even enthusiastic reception from Bunker Hill Community College.

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Monday, April 27, 2009
 
Crazy Christy Mihos....
scion of the Olde Milk Partei has more or less announced he is running for Governor in 2010...this time as a Republican.
The Man with No Indoor Voice plans to gut state government and run the remnant like a Quik-ee Mart, which was pretty much his platform as a independent gubernatorial candidate in 2006, all this garnered him exactly seven percent of the vote when push came to shove.
The usual credulous op-ed fools at the Boston Globe will fall for this rubbish like back country farmers at a patent medicine show...Humble Elias wonders though, with the economy in such a ghastly spiral that maybe the sun has set on the myth of the CEO-politician.
Meanwhile, will any of those poor naive yokels at the Globe even have jobs when the big show comes to town in 2010???
None of this of course will stop Christy from ranting on an on about taxes, which is sort of hiliarous given what his chain of convenience stores routinely charges for a half pint of chocolate milk...a half pint you'd better check the date on as well.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009
 
The Flag Children....
If you go back some six months ago, no doubt Texas Governor Rick Perry (GOP) was wrapping himself in the US flag screaming for blood and dynamite for th' enemies of "Old Glory".
All that ran white hot until the First Tuesday in November 2008 when suddenly and seemingly without warning this devout American Flag Hag turned secessionist and started musing about creating an independent republic of Texas.
Rick apparently didn't do well in Elementary School math, clearly he couldn't count up to fifty white stars on that immortal field of blue...a shameful intellectual deficiency he has carried into adulthood and the governorship of Texas.
He even has his own personal Juan Peron style strongman waiting in the wings, Hollywood martial arts movie star and would be dictator Chuck Norris.
Yah dats right folks, the cracker who got his ass kicked by Bruce Lee in "Return of the Dragon" wants to be Maximum Leader of a breakaway Texas republic.
Didn't Chuck Norris wave the flag shamelessly in all those god-damn idiot action movies he made back in the 1980's...I mean what happened? The wrong guy gets in the White House and suddenly Chuck and Rick wanna take their ball and run on home like a pair of thwarted schoolboys?
Hopeless and little shameful.
What these guys do offer people like me is a good intellectual basis by which to question the basic patriotism of our opponents, because obviously if secession is the answer to Obama then it was never about what was right for America, it was all about getting and keeping power.

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Friday, April 24, 2009
 
Sounds like Cahill is in for 2010....
His ethics probe has been closed sans comment.
Of course the State Treasurer still has to survive a federal suit from a Rhode Island gambling concern and an ongoing investigation by the Commonwealth's Secretary of State Bill Galvin.
But other than that, seems like Cahill is in the clear....clear enough to file papers to run as a democrat or an independent or on a Regressive Partei ticket or some damn thing.
There are those who think that just possibly, Governor Patrick wants Tim Cahill to run, they think they can whip the state treasurer in a two way race. Moreover, Cahill might be egomaniacal enough to run as an independent, this will presumably drain votes from the presumptive GOP nominee (Crazy Christy Mihos or perhaps Charlie Baker the Hamlet of the Charles River Basin) and ensure Patrick's return to the corner office.
Well, it is all speculation at this point, the sharp elbows the governor may be throwing now aren't necessarily indicative that he wants to keep Cahill off the stump.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009
 
Dollar Bill Monahan...
has piled the bodies up on the ramparts and has vowed to fight on and on to get justice and perhaps a pension for his cause.
Longtime political observers will recall Monahan was an early mark for Romney's brand of hokum, this landed him a brief tenure as state civil service commissioner in 2003 before being fired when it was discovered he'd once done a real estate deal with the Angiulo mob.
Never let it be said that anyone in Massachusetts politics will depart the field peacefully when there is money on the line, Monahan has initiated a wrongful termination lawsuit and seeks damages...oh lord it is always damages isn't it?
What kills me is this, Monahan ran for state rep in Belmont back in 1992, The Belmont Citizen (the local weekly) covered his deal with Angiulo in full...yet Governor Romney claims he hadn't heard of it til long after Monahan had been appointed to the Civil Service Commission.
Fah Gawd's sake, Romney LIVES in Belmont, does he NOT read the damn weekly?? I mean it's freakin' BELMONT it isn't like there is anything else to do there on a Thursday night???
What the hell was Mitt DOING in that mansion of his down that dirt road near Belmont Hill School??
W.C. Fields once sacked an assistant for being "criminally unobservant"...that fits Romney to a T...the plaintive's counsel ought to have mad phat phun with Mitt when he takes the stand.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009
 
Watching the Boston Globe light up and
go apeshit possibly for the last time over a nice juicy murder...well it is akin to taking your frail and infirm Great Grandmother to the roller derby one last time...the sheer uncomplicated happiness of the occasion momentarily obliterates the oncoming tragedy.
Untroubled by a drop-dead date of what...next week? The Globe goes on merrily talking to the alleged perp's lab partners, colleagues and no doubt his goldfish weaving a living tapestry of exquisite newspaper speculation and heresay.
We will miss rubbish like this when it is gone thass all Humble Elias can say.

Of course, we ought to remember as we sit this vigil, that the Globe's anti-Criagslist hysteria is likely a consequence of said website eating up all the classified advert revenue in sight.
Just sayin'...
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
 
Sick day
will pounce on new outrages when I'm feeling better.

Oh and per Channel Zero, women's roller derby is making a comeback, live and local as well.
Monday, April 20, 2009
 
If the Boston Globe is going down then at least the
paper is going down with it's head held high.
the current series on state pension abuses is very very informative and ought to provide a guide to remedial legislative action...that is IF Beacon Hill could ever be shamed into doing the right thing.
More than likely a host of politicians elected and aspiring are hoping against hope that the Globe goes out of business, better cover for them in the end.

Still I have to wonder, what WILL Joanie Vennochi and Jeff Jacoby DO if they are out on the street next week?
What market will there be for snarkage at the State Legislature or lugubrious "Dear Kaleb" columns?

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Friday, April 17, 2009
 
Casino gambling is back on the front burner
thanks to a confluence between the new House Speaker and the Senate President.

Sadly "easy-ass solutions born of cowardice" is a social disease prevalent to both political parties.
There is an election coming up, revenues are down so Beacon can't think of anything else except to stick it to the working poor and such gambling addicts out as have money to burn.
I'd sooner see the income tax doubled than get casino gambling in this state, that may horrify some of you, but it summarizes Humble Elias' feelings neatly.
i can think of nothing more injurious to the ineffable quality of life here in the Commonwealth, Beacon Hill can barely resist temptation now with all the lobbyist money at play, now imagine the potential for public corruption with gaming money on the table.
Not to mention the vast patronage potential of a state gaming commission, special revenue officers, sooner or later their own uniformed police service will be required and on and on and on!. The potential for consultancies alone for ex-state reps must total in the millions!
You can see the whole malign public private empire unfold before your very eyes.
Frankly, I'd piss on a spark plug to stop it, for real. Alas though, times are tough, revenues are down, an election is around the corner and easy money is rarely turned down by any state legislature.

But remember this my friends, "There WILL come a Day!"
Thursday, April 16, 2009
 
Mort "The Daily News" Zuckerman wants to buy
The Boston Globe?

If that is the best Morrissey Boulevard can do then it may be time to turn off the lights and let the Globe go gently into that good night. If the economic colonization of the New York Times brought the Globe to the brink of destruction, then what good would the patronage of the New York Daily News do us?

We would have two wingnut papers in Boston ving for the approval and revenue of some 13% of the voting population, not a formula for success in my humble opinion.

No, if the Globe is to be saved then it has to be bought out by someone or some group of a liberal/Jacksonian outlook, if that can't be arranged then let us steel ourselves not for a post Boston Globe enviroment, but a post newspaper enviroment here in da Hub.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009
 
Spring is in the air
thus earplugs are a necessity in Menotomy or so Channel Zero claimeth.
 
Gingrich is making Presidential noises this week...
which is a riot because he absolutely does not have the guts to make the jump.
Let us not forget, Gingrich has a collection of skeletons in his closet to rival the towering boneheap of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
And he knows it....
Nevertheless he makes these bombastic pronouncements running for president chiefly as a gimmick to run up his speaking fees before various conservative groups...it also keeps his name in the headlines which isn't bad considering he has been out of the game for a decade.
But no, trust me he will never do it...Palin though is dumb enough to try despite a resume that looks more and more like a police blotter.
Newt though likes easy money and this whole "gonna run for the White House" pose is all about keeping those checks rolling.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009
 
If...
Howie Carr railed against the Jews the way he regularly rails against homosexuals (especially homosexual who are registered democrats)...would he still have a radio show?
***
Okay that may be pure sophistry on my part...but my point is not what you might think.
Conservatives bear a great responsibility for the coarsening of American culture, the corporate elites they champion routinely use the liberal inspired loosening of censorship to sell consumers ever more products in ever more vulgar ways.
Meanwhile, the likes of Don Imus (a mangy old lout, even on his best days) pushes the limit on racial and sexual frontiers when he isn't cooing over Senator John McCain or giving a platform to puritan hysterics like Former Senator Rick "High Pitched Rich" Santorum.
And yet all these guys would sell themselves to us as values pimps of one type or another...well ouldn't know it to listen to them.

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Monday, April 13, 2009
 
Marking out like a Goldberg fan on crystal meth...
THAT was CNN yesterday with the news that Captain Phillips had been rescued by US Navy SEALS from Somali pirates.
There are times when CNN is literally posessed by the spirit of a ten year old boy watching violent Saturday morning cartoons....and that time was yesterday believe me. The story had all the cliches, pirates, SEALS...if the hostage was Mandy Moore or a younge Debra Winger it couldna been better from their point of view.
Mind you, I'm glad Captain Phillips got sprung...and I'm also glad that the trillion or so dollars I personally have sent to Washington to built up the US Armed forces to an unheard of bulkitude has finally finally finally paid off on behalf of the little guy.
But CNN yesterday I mean...they were babbling incoherently with happiness...anything that ends violently and victoriously makes them kvell.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009
 
Easter in Middlesex County
In the RCC, God's people still dress in Red Sox gear for High Mass...But thank the lord God Almighty, there are mothers out there, good churchgoing women who still believe that Easter is a time to dress up their little girl's like the late Minnie Pearl.
Happy Easter from Humble Elias

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Friday, April 10, 2009
 
According to
Romney sycophant and all around mega-ass hole Eric Fehrnstrom, Massachusetts literally blew up like the Planet Krypton when gay marriage was therein legalized.
And only he, somehow like Kal El himself survived the apocalypse to warn an Iowa audience of the impending horrors of two people laying claim to their inalienable rights...like they wuz human beings or something.

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Beacon Hill Chicken...
Yesterday the Boston Globe reported that the state legislature is cool to the Governor's revenue proposals (including the .19 gasoline tax) and is actively planning to simply cut the budget to reach solvency.
Today though, the Globe reports that the MBTA is about to go bankrupt and will be forced to cut service down to a level appropriate to Manchester New Hampshire unless someone comes up with 165 million.
So...the game is on mah frenz...and it's being played out on the front page of the region's biggest newspaper. You would never see this level of engagement from the Boston Herald so think twice and think hard about what civic life would really be like without the Boston Globe's unique platform.
Thursday, April 09, 2009
 
Well...I guess...
this news item demonstrates the worth of a diploma from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
Those occasional cries to close or privatize the school will fall silent for a while at least.
However things look pretty bleak in the Indian Ocean, I think it might be time to abandon joint patrols and go over to a system of convoys as was used in the North Atlantic in World War II. Convoys however would require some co-ordination from within and without NATO as well as some critical policy unanimity.
Good luck getting that mah frenz...
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
 
The Palin theory of Governance:
Government should be small enough and intimate enough to hound & harass certain citizens who have had the bad fortune to incur the wrath of the Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin.
That mah frrenz is her definition of "activism".
Case in point, her daughter Bristol's earstwhile fiancee' Levi Johnston.
This poor wretch is really in for it, Palin is a notorious nurturer of vendettas, she basically chased her ex-brother in law off the state police for various petty and mean spirited reasons...she will unleash much the same on young Levi as well.
If I was Levi Johnston I'd look into some sort of dry-walling gig in Pennsylvania or maybe waiting on tables in Provincetown this summer.
Anywhere that is far from Alaska and it's small minded bitterly vengeful governor.

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009
 
"Jingle Money we hardly knew ye...."
Former Governor of Massachusetts, Jane "Jingle Money" Swift donates the dregs of her campaign funds to a worthwhile charity.

Well, I guess John Olver can sleep a little more soundly tonight...with the Commonwealth proving such stony ground for the GOP and no President McCain to appoint Janie to the Jamaican Embassy...there is nothing left to do but abdicate and start clipping coupons.

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Monday, April 06, 2009
 
Or else...we could all end up with...
The Boston Metro on home delivery more of Michelle McPhee's falangist ravings...won't that just be joyous?

That is the core problem with the Globe's potential closure, it advantages too many wingnuts.
***
If the Globe does go under then one of the things we wiil have to internalize is that newspapers have become at best a niche market. Given that, and the limited revenue potential of a daily, even a truncated daily...what sort of successor publication can be envisioned?
Or should we just throw in the towel and grab into the web with both arms?

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Sunday, April 05, 2009
 
Whither the Boston Globe?
The news is not good...the Times is leveraging the Globe's unions with threats of an imminent closure if concessions aren't made.
Meanwhile the rest of us have to wrap our minds around the notion that an outhouse rag like the Herald might be the last man standing in this market, however long that lasts.
Well, one of the things we have to assimilate quickly is that the whole US economy is rigging itself pell-mell for efficiency, hence the declining payrolls, the wholesale flight to the cheap environs of the internet, the nigh extinction of black box stores, the fall in consumer spending...if you don't have money you can't spend it, if you do, you are saving it.
Revenues are down, circulation is down, the readership is greying...and bigger US institutions than the Boston Globe will vanish like the velociraptor before this recession is over.
Frankly the newspaper business with it's dependence on huge printing presses and a house to house distribution system is an archaic faith based bet at best.
Do we need rigorously edited news?
Yes.
Will be delivered on paper every morning...maybe not.
I'm gonna miss that morning ritual, I'd like to think another publication could rise and take the Globe's place, something liberal in politics, independent in spirit and of a Jacksonian tone...something scaled to meet the resources at hand...but that might be sheer fantasy at best.
Of course some will say, what'll happen to the Chimes at Midnight without Joan Vennochi and Jeff Jacoby to kick around?
My answer is simple, Humble Elias has been swimming in rough waters for a few years now, and those guys will need to take fresh dog paddle lessons...quick.
Here is hoping all and sundry can come to terms.

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Friday, April 03, 2009
 
Is there a BIGGER cowardly lion in American Politics than...
Newt Gingrich?
Now he is idly threatening the GOP with a dissenting third partei if they don't toe the conservative line come 2012.
This...is nothing short of a laugh riot.
Serious students of politics will immediately note that Gingrich does not associate himself with any such 3rd partei revolt, he just predicts an uprising if'n da Republicans don't get religion.
Let us recall Newt has had three presidential elections to get his shit together and take his case to the American people and he has chickened out all three times. There is nothing in his record to suggest 2012 will be any different...you know as well as I do, Newt can't stand up to the slightest investigation into his background, a good summary of his heinous behavior during his FIRST divorce will be enough to compell him to flee to Thunder Bay where he will campaign exclusively by shortwave radio.
Newt talks a tough game, it impresses the hell of the David Broder's of this world, but when push came to shove, the Clinton's beat his fat ass like a red headed step child...and I have no doubt that given a sound wind and good sound system Barack Obama would do the same.

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I thoroughly approve...
sleeper cars are making a comeback on Amtrak's Boston to Chicago run...
To think for a quarter of what we've flushed away on loser outfits like AIG we could have state of the art rail service in the Northeast. Hell, the Vice President of the USA ought to be able to board the Acela at Penn Station in NYC and debark four hours later in Manchester New Hampshire ready to harangue the nearest unsuspecting crowd.
Hell for a quarter of AIG's bailout boodle the national freight grid could be fully electrified thus creating all sorts of cost savings at the consumer level. UPS and Fedex could ship more cheaply and efficiently, flewer dedicated planes in the air, level truck fuel being burned...it is a no brainer really.
Thursday, April 02, 2009
 
Joanie lays down the law...
The Boston Globe's own Joanie Vennochi almost discusses policy today with respect to the Governor's plan to merge the Massachusetts Health & Education Facilities Authority with the Massachusetts Development Finance Authority...at least until she gets to this howler:
Maybe it's a bad idea, maybe it isn't. Who knows for sure? A public debate on the merits would be welcome. At the moment, all that's clear is that each entity has a vested interest in maintaining its empire, the better to remain a comfortable repository for the politically connected of any given gubernatorial era.

WHADDYA MEAN "who knows for sure"??? What kind of a cop-out is that??? Geez Joanie just hold your nose and jump! The cold water won't kill yuh!
The reason we have so many quasi-independent agencies is simple and diabolical, a string of Brahmin GOP Governors with Mayflower'd names wanted to seed solid republican loyalists into the state work force. Democrats within and without the legislature went alone with all this mishaugas as it created a pool of entirely legal patronage ...and this process has gone on for over half a century.
Regrettably Governor Patrick falls heir to it at the worst of times, a recession.
An argument can be made that a top down review of all authorities and agencies is in order but the process has a fifty plus year history and such an audit will take time and money.
Rome wasn't burn'd in a day folks....

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009
 
Query for the Day....
Has there ever been a bubble that Fox News Business yakker Neil Cavuto couldn't cheerlead?
If the Dutch tulip-mania came back, wouldn't Neil be out there shaking his pom-poms and doing cartwheels?
Doesn't it all come down to, "If Neil is for it, it must be a swindle?"
***
Well, Neil was on Imus this morning, and you'd think it was departed Augustan days of 2003 the way he was carrying on...no apologies let alone any analysis for the disaster he'd brought down on us all.
***
Those can't teach, those who can't teach, teach gym, those who can't teach gym, cover business for Fox News.

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