The Chimes at Midnight
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
 
Larry King is a guy who will
freely call former "Incredible Hulk" star Lou Ferrigno "Lew Ferrigamo" to the actor's face twice in the same live interview about the late Michael Jackson's exercise habits.
Ferrigno for his part had a somewhat pained look on his face that seemingly said "my ghod he IS as a dumb as they said!"
King on the other hand dismissed his own gaffe by muttering "Well it is a tough name"...
FERR-IG-NO...see I GOT IT!
Larry must have these sorts of moments at least a dozen times a week, and yet CNN stands by him the way they stand by gaseous blowhards like Wolf Blitzer or frantic imbeciles like Nancy Grace.
i don't understand the attraction quite frankly but CNN and Larry King soldier on together night after night, him making a fool of himself, they broadcasting it all with a straight face like he was the very incarnation of Edward R. Murrow.

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Monday, June 29, 2009
 
2010
My guess is, taxes, public ethics and maybe local aid will be the big issues in next year's gubernatorial campaign. None of them advantage the democrats though, so what else is new?
I expect Governor Patrick will be defending the sales tax increase from now until next November and beyond, he'd best sharpen up his rhetorical arsenal in that respect.
If I was the Governor I'd adopt a truculent Harry Truman pose, people forget that Truman made a lot of dubious appointments amidst the making of a lot of very good decisions.
Meanwhile from the GOP and others we will be hearing a lot about public ethics and the cuts to local aid...the bad news is, the bad news advantages our opponents. The good news is, given the circumstances there is little they could do differently. It is a subtle point but it may wear well as the campaign progresses.
Meanwhile what about State Treasurer Cahill, is he in or out...will he run as a democrat or an independent?
My question is...what would be his natural constituency in either case? Disaffected conservative democrats I would think, and maybe some independents.
However in the case of the state's conservative democrats they haven't been able to initiate independent action since the Imperial High Noon of Ed King. Anything they have accomplished since then has been in coalition with others. Moreover as a independent, Crazy Christy Mihos did what 6% of the vote last time, and despite his jumpiness he had serious cashola to spend on a campaign...will Cahill have similar resources to draw on?
Doubtful.
As a dissenting democrat, Cahill won't do much business on primary day due to Patrick's still formidable organization...and he hasn't the resources to force the issue as an independent candidate for Governor.
But it sure sounds like he wants in, which means there is good bloggable chaos on the horizon.

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Friday, June 26, 2009
 
Scot Lehigh gets it wrong again...
Re John Ensign and Mark Sanford:
As bare-your-soul-about-baring-your-body press conferences go, Sanford’s was one for the ages. And now, having watched it in its entirety, I have a confession of my own to make.

No, no, not that kind of confession.

Just this: I don’t care that much. Not beyond the hypocrisy, which is admittedly delicious to point out.

The real problem isn't hypocrisy, it is more to the point that one collection of ideologues within the overclass cannot live up to the "standards" they normally use to punish those with whom they disagree politically.
Morality therefore has become a weapon in the hands of the inept, and that is a bad thing for morals public and private. If all morality is, is a means to vex your enemies then morals themselves become degraded.
And that my frenz is a bigger problem than mere hypocrisy at the topmost reaches of the USA.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009
 
Gawd Almighty
Mark Sanford, the adulterous wandering wowser-governor of South Carolina can even showboat shamelessly as he confesses publicly to a tawdry affair with some bint from Argentina.
We are maybe only minutes away from the requisite cheesecake photos of his mistress rocketing around the internet like corn thru a goose.
I am past trying to affix the tag of hypocrisy to these yaps, hypocrisy presumes some sense of morality that must be placated at some point in the process. These dingbats have no morals only a series of focus group tested poses.
Anyway, Sanford is getting all kinds of press off of this, Mitt Romney must be seething with jealousy, I'll be the Former Viceroy is auditioning Philippina mistresses even as I write this.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009
 
Whenever Jeff Jacoby gets up on his stuffed cavalry charger
and starts bellowing about democracy, it is time for all sensible citizens to adjourn to the cellar, crouch behind some sandbags with a stout tire iron and some canned food.
Cuz he will rant and rave long and loud....
Of course where was this blubbering sobbing lu-uv fer demo-cracy when the ballots in Florida begged for a recount or when Ohio's GOP stole the whole state from John Kerry?
Let us face facts shall we? Jeff is a mark for the war party by his own admission so the current rioting over there is a godsend to him as it is a pretext for escalation, invasion, regime change or whatever diresome fantasy teases him this week.
The President is speaking out firmly and clearly on Iran, far more clearly than Saint Ronald Reagan ever did with respect to say...South Africa or Pinochet's aufklarung in Chile.
in some respects, I'd say the regime has fallen into Obama's rhetorical trap, the repression frees the White House to simply decry the violence without the onus of choosing sides.
And while this puts any thaw with Tehran on hold it also puts the kibbosh on any of these notions that Iran will become some type of regional hegemon any time in the near future. Frankly the mullahs are looking more and more like the usual blustering strongmen of a type that much bedevils the middle east.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009
 
(Governor) Deval Patrick in Menotomy (part III)
For a man who had to stroll thru a police "informational picket line" to get to his own town hall forum, Deval Patrick exuded a nonchalant attitude to the very last. His picture ought to be plastered next to the word "unruffled" in the dictionary. He may be down in the polls and beset on all sides, nonetheless Patrick brims with the confidence of a man who thinks he will win next year in a walk.
He even looks better and more relaxed in shirtsleeves than Mitt Romney, who always looked like a half dressed Jordan Marsh mannequin.
The pickets by the way were numerous and reasonably orderly, no epithets were shouted and no one's access was barred to the venue.
However, their issues (the flagmen reform the demise of the Quinn Law) are a dead letter, normally local politicians fear the patrolman's union the way a vampire dreads garlic salad dressing. However last night the hall was brimming with state reps, selectpersons all the usual suspects, that tells you a lot about just how concerned the political elite really is about the loss of construction detail pay.
I give Patrick credit, he is uncommonly well informed and good at linking particular concerns to the general line pursued by his admin...because lord knows that was the response he gave to about a dozen questions over ninety minutes. Serious detailed answers on everything to cuts in the budget for the disabled, local school policy, senior citizens issues and on to smart growth and Cape Wind Farm. Not sure he missed a beat at all....the Scot LeHigh's dismiss him on grounds of a tin ear for politics but his instincts were sound as a dollar last night.
Granted, Menotomy is Deval Patrick's base and more than a few activists found their way to the microphone ( I suspect he recognized them from prior forums) but the overall effect was serious positive and even a tad optimistic. I was frankly expecting edgier stuff especially from the famously fractious Menotomy voters....but no comity of a sort reigned.

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Monday, June 22, 2009
 
Handicapping....
A teensy announcement in the Boston Metro today notes that Suffolk Downs is cancelling this year's Masscap horse race due to the usual recessionary pressures and stresses.
This is a cultural setback for the Commonwealth, two weeks ago some yokel hummed a rock through the Tri Town Drive's Omnipotent outdoor screen, last week it was the North Shore Music Theater's closure now the Masscap has gone for the terminal dirt nap.
Someone must stand athwart this steady degradation and cry "halt!".

***
Thus it falls to Humble Elias to do some handicapping of his own, horses being off the books for the moment lets take a quick look at the 2010 gubernatorial line up:

Crazy Christy Mihos (GOP), on paper Christy ought to be formidable, he is rich, talkative and he can credibly be named a gubernatorial kingmaker when former Governor Mitt Romney is concerned. However Mihos' third party bid for the corner office in 2006 lost him many friends in the GOP base and yet was not enough of a vote getter to stake any claim to a constituency within the party. Then again there is Christy's lack of an "indoor voice" and a strange tendency to nervously giggle like Cesar Romero's old "Joker" routine on the Batman TV show. Odds to nominate: 50-50, Odds to win 60-40.

Charlie Baker (GOP) A former Weld admin functionary, a wealthy HMO tycoon a formidable fundraiser and a potential darling of the punditariat, the day he announces the Globe's Scot LeHigh will fall over in an ecstatic swoon. And yet no one has heard anything from him that indicates that he truly wants the job...everyone bides their time in their own way but does Baker have the fire in da belly? His name keeps cropping up, but he never says anything...there is a Mario Cuomo quality to Baker one wonders if he wavers a tad too much. Moreover, how well will an HMO CEO wear on the electorate at a time when people are losing healthcare all over town?
Odds to nominate 60-40, odds to win to
50-50

State Senator Scott Brown (GOP) He is nicely mannered, telegenic, unthreatening, his daughter turned in a credible performance on "American Idol"...other than that does anyone know anything about the guy?
Well, maybe that is something in Brown's favor a good dark horse has a short record and all that. You have to wonder though, how is he gonna make the fundraising leap from the State Senate (a 100K investment every two years) to the multimillion dollar gubernatorial ranks?
Moreover does he really wanna give up a sure thing in the state senate especially when the GOP ranks therein are so attentuated?
Odds to nominate, 70-30, Odds to win, 60-40

The Claims Stakes:
Reed Hillman, Nobody has heard squat out of Scary Kerry Healey's Lt Governor nominee in four years and his fundraising reach is nil and his barracks mentality won't go far in an election. But he is available and not given to seizures.

Scary Kerry Healey I put her on the list simply because she is just enough of a lightweight to think she can win the second time around. odds are, she won't be able to raise the scratch and even her husband's coffers aren't limitless.

Andy Card the Former courtier for La Famiglia Arbusto gets a guberatorial mention in this state every four years, who am I to break with that tradition?

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Sunday, June 21, 2009
 
Iran's current situation is more or less what you get when
the government is run for a good long time by abortion clinic bombers.
After a while they get a very decadent taste for the blood of their fellow citizens and then all kinds of brutal mishaugas follows.
Humble Elias does not pretend to understand what happens next in Iran the two most likely scenarios are, the Government falls thru popular pressure a'la the deposition of Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines or the Mullahs will savagely crack down and hold onto their phony baloney jobs as did Vice Chairman Deng's gang in China circa 1989.

***

Meanwhile you have to love CNN, barred from broadcasting from Tehran they create breathless day long crisis coverage of the situation out of maybe ninety seconds of unvetted Youtube footage and a Iran-beat reporter (Christine Armapour) who is in fact based in London.

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Friday, June 19, 2009
 
Only the nectar of sweet bipartisanship
could produce a healthcare plan this bad.
Apparently Messrs Dashle Dole and Howard Baker (who knew that old golem still walked the earth?) think that by taxing benefits just a wee bit and then flushing the money down fifty separate-but-equal state run health plans we will finally get health care off the table.
And that is just what this cockamammie plan does, gets health care off the table so that congress can still collect fat contributions from HMO PACs.
As for preserving and improving benefits forget it...the states are singularly unsuited for dispensing health care, they usually have serious revenue limitations and they cannot extend the risk pool as far as the federales can.
I'm honestly shocked Tom Daschle signed off on a plan this ineffective, up until now he was lauded as one of the US Senate's foremost experts on health care policy. Ah but Tom came of age under Bill Clinton's "third way" bushwah and probably thinks that compromise is your first action and not as ought to be the case here, your last.
No one seems to want to grasp the federal nettle here, but pussyfooting around passing the option along to the states with a promise of money is just a formula for disaster in Humble Elias' opinion.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009
 
Spiteful Joanie turns all union-buster on us...
Joanie Vennochi takes time out of her busy-queen bee schedule to fling some snarkage at the Obama admin's policy of not crossing union picket lines.
This particular howler has a definite Westbrook Peglerian tinge to it:
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said administration officials won’t cross picket lines, ever.That empowers any local union, anywhere, to stop any official Obama envoy from attending any event. The president of the United States reaches out to the world, unless a picket line stands between him and his teleprompter.

Wow Joanie I guess the US Government is somehow in danger of being taken over by union picket lines despite the fact that unionization in the USA is dropping faster than GM's asking price.
What next fulminations against "labor racketeers" and "union fat-cats"?

Permit Humble Elias to speculate that Joanie's bitter outrage today has less to do with Vice President Biden's reluctance to cross a Providence picket line and more to do with the fact that union intransigence could well spell doom for her phony-baloney job on the Globe's Op-Ed page.
And if the Globe closes and Joanie is out on the street what is she gonna do to keep body and soul together?
Meter maid?
Substitute teacher...parking lot attendent at the Lahey Clinic?
The mind boggles....
Still I do think today's column is at last a good indicator of where Joanie really stands on the issues, she is apparently for an shop.
Which is a good thing, this might be the first "positive" proposal Joanie has inadvertently advocated since she started writing that cockamammie column seemingly back in the days of Herbert Hoover and the full dinner pail.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009
 
I had an amiable argument with a friend of mine last night...
who was decrying the government's majority stake in GM as socialism.
"Let em' fail" he said.
I countered that the US had all sorts of examples of task-specific socialism on the books, notably the moon landing wherein the nation underwent what now looks like forced aerospace industrialization which took us from dinky Mercury Redstone rockets to the mighty Saturn Five in just eight short years.
Essentially the moon race was a contest between socialist systems, ours won, Bolshevism lost.
True the Russians lost for a number of reasons, lack of a cybernetics base, crude rocket prototypes, infighting among design bureaus, ego politics at the national level...a lacksadaisical start to the whole matter, the list goeth on and on.
All the sorts of pathologies that one associates with rampant ego-driven individualistic capitalist politics.
Meanwhile, Northrop, Ford Aerospace, the MIT materials lab, Rocketdyne, etc etc etc normally competitors are getting along just famously throught out the moon race...or as famously as any recipient of government largesse can be in the USA.
So my thought it, if we own a decisive chunk of GM why can't we get a little touch of that task specfic socialism goin' agin and push for better cheaper hybrids?
As long as it is our money lets at least invest it in something that will pay off decisively down the line sez I.
Then the private sector can have GM back at a good price too....
Monday, June 15, 2009
 
Apparently,
the local supply of tone deaf narcissists runs pretty damn deep. You'd think after six years or however the damn thing has been on that "American Idol" would've gone right thru the bottom of the barrel, but no somehow they find more fools willing to screech their way thru a truncated arrangement of "Yesterday".
Sunday, June 14, 2009
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad..."re-elected"
Well, that went well, didn't it?

I think the President did the right thing in Cairo even if nothing could be harvested from out Tehran on short notice. The people he was speaking to, at the moment have no power...They may gain power someday and if they do, a policy borne of honesty will bear fruit.
For the moment though, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's "re-election" chiefly advantages angry ineptoids in the USA like Dick Cheney and Laura "hollow-gam" Ingraham. We will hear them scream long and loud come tomorrow even if their policies are what originally landed us in this fix. they will move on to some new shopworn pint sized international bogeyman in short order, Comrade Kim or maybe Colonel Khaddafy will stage a comeback....Who knows?
As usual all these ass-holes are doing is setting u for the coming GOP secession from reality come the next big international crisis.

Ah, but we have planted a seed and we have got to be patient, the real disenfranchised over there have yet to be heard from....

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Friday, June 12, 2009
 
So the Boston Globe IS
for sale after all eh...?

Maybe me and the Left Ahead team ought to pool our vast resources with a "better than two thousand dollar" bid and take the whole shit-house over....
I mean two grand talks in this economy...and who else is gonna a flyer in dino-reportage than a bunch of local li-ber-al bloggers?

All kidding aside the Globe is a community asset even in it's current shriveled condition, they still do the best in depth journalism in the region hands down. The current pension reform probably wouldn't have happened if the Globe hadn't taken a front page laser like focus to the issue.
So while the paper is a community asset, I just don't know if it is a profitable asset in these times.
If I ran the show I'd probably try and turn it into a non-profit, emphasize good ground game stories try and figure out some peaceful collaboration between a daily paper and the internet...oh and maybe take a page from Dean Wallace (the publisher of the now defunct Boston Comic News) and put a two tone editorial cartoon on the front page every day.
Other that that I don't have much to offer....

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Thursday, June 11, 2009
 
The Blue Mass Group has
duly noted with some incredulity Scot LeHigh's big ole mark out moment on behalf of potential GOP gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker.
I gotta say though, this is par for the course for Scot Lehigh, he is a confirmed and unapologetic apologist for so called "moderate" republicans, especially if they running for Governor of Massachusetts.
Frankly though, Scot's "apologism" has taken on the aspects of a delusion, if there is no moderate republican in the race, he will simply pretend that GOP nominee is a nice safe middle of the road candidate who loves puppies and ice cream sodas at Pop's Choc'lit Shoppe.
Deep deep down, Scot's idea of a utopia posits a moderate GOP Governor whose simple wisdom guides this Commonwealth whilst a fractious legislature of cavorting democratic nibelungs provides him and the Globe's editorial page with endless pundit fodder.
It doesn't matter if said moderate GOP Man-on-Horse is in fact leading the state in circles (as was Romney) or if the nominee is a manifestly incompetent demagogue (Scary Kerry Healey)....Scot will just go on believing all the harder.
Moreover this is what Brian McGrory and to a lesser extent Joanie Vennochi believe as well, taken all three together and you get a far different view of the Globe's op-ed page than it's supposed liberal progressive label.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009
 
Angelina Jolie's biological father is apparently
a wingnut...I mean like who knew?

What is John Voight talking about when he calls Barack Obama a "false prophet"?
In an evening devoted to theological excess and cheap-ass demagoguery, this howler courtesy Mr. Voight stands out:
"We and we alone are the only people who can free this nation from this Obama oppression,"
Doesn't sound like they've learned anything from campaign '08....the core thesis being if you yell enough and sound really really angry and scary, people will vote for you.
Frankly everyone at that NRC fundraiser sounded like they'd been up waa-ay past their bedtime.

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009
 
Governor Deval Patrick in Menotomy...
The Governor will be hosting one of his fabled "Town Hall Meetings" at Robbin's Farm Park in Ahhhh-lington, Monday June 22nd 7pm thru 8pm.
A mere stone's throw from Humble Elias' charming colonial style bunker so if possible I'll try to do some old fashioned spiral-notebook blogging on the event.

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Monday, June 08, 2009
 
"The Peasants certainly are revolting aren't they....
Senator Sessions...?"

If you wanna know what is wrong with the GOP at the congressional level it starts with thuggish aristocratic behavior like this....

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Sunday, June 07, 2009
 
"Vandalizing Drive In movie screens ought to be a Felony"
a policy proposal for the Governor over at Channel Zero.
Friday, June 05, 2009
 
57K USD
That would be the cash reward former State House of Representatives Sal DiMasi allegedly extracted from the now infamous Cognos deal.
$57,000.00....
Hardly a down payment on a house in Menotomy really...chump change to be sure.

And yet this pissant jobbery threatens the state democrats prospects come 2010 up and down the ticket with the tarbrush of corruption. Yeah the state GOP is a wan and wasted thing but issues this good come along once in a generation and they can bulk up quickly on the basis of the opportunities that Sal DiMasi and his posse have offered them.
A lot of state reps from once invulnerable seats will be answering some uncomfortable questions come next summer on nothing more than having voted to re-elect DiMasi in caucus.
Right now, the only hope we have is to pass the Governor's ethics package and add some new draconian measures on top as a concession to public sentiment....even that may not be enough, but it is a damn good start.
Meanwhile at the risk of sounding like a broken record, let Humble Elias reiterate, 57K is chicken feed in the grand scheme of things. Nonetheless DiMasi will have to answer for it in a Federal Court...now imagine the ginormous possibilities for political corruption with the present system of public ethics left intact and casino gambling in the picture???
If you think Cognos alleged bribery is intolerable wait til the state starts auctioning off gaming licenses mah frenz!
Cha-ching My Ass!

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Thursday, June 04, 2009
 
When Janet Jackson accidentally
exposed the facet normally associated with nournishing any newborns she might have lying around, the values-pimpocracy of America reacted with howls of outrage and the most diresome threats imaginable. Michael Powell the then head of the FCC (and the notorious money grubbing son of former Secretary of State Colin Powell)levied fines and made explicit the Government's interest in cleaning up television and broadcast entertainment.
Anyone else remember this, it was a wingnut freakshow in extremis.
Yet when cable chat tyrant Bill O'Reilly openly fantasizes about killing one of his fellow citizens, the late Dr. George Tiller...the FCC, those stern guardians of publik morality...did nothing.
No Fine
No suspension...
No even a good "Dennis the Menace" style talking too...

SUDDENLY, Bill O'Reilly had first amendment rights that included the right to use the congressionally licensed airwaves to muse over harming a fellow private citizen.

Anyone else sensing a discrepancy here?
Values are pretty much whatever conservatives need to use in order to restrain their oppponents nothing more, the "values" meme is a racket and a fraud as far as Humble Elias is concerned.
The only thing I've learned from the current controversy is that Bill O'Reilly has conclusively demonstrated that he himself has rights that supercede the right of a private citizen to be safe and secure in their own home or place of worship.

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009
 
To assist Jay Severin in his quest to become
a more family friendly radio talk show demagogue, Globe columnista Scot LeHigh proposes the creation of "JayWatch".
He solicits e-mails from interested readers who might chance to overhear Jay fulminating against various ethnic groups.
For once Scot has a good idea...for a blog.
As a newsprint feature its a dead letter from the git-go.
And for that fact, why stop at Jay Severin? The rest of WTKK's schedule is an appalling collection of chimps, wimps, gimps, wingnut weirdoes and sundry falangists...a half a dozen local blog's couldn't catalogue all the craziness, let alone one single twice weekly print column.
Odd sort of battle lines here, print column versus radio talk show versus bloggers...all desperate to built their audience....alla except me of course, the Lord Ghod has sent me seven readers and by them shall Humble Elias prosper.

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Tuesday, June 02, 2009
 
"Bankruptcy was all my idea!"
bleats Mitt Romney as GM circles the drain.

Ah but does anyone else recall the salad days of the Michigan Primary when Romney wanted to call out the Nation Guard to keep the auto factories running day and night and presumably force US consumers to buy Pontiacs at bayonet point?

Or the Former Viceroy's five different positions on abortion...or his ardent desire to bring health insurance to all residents of Massachusetts without allocating so much as a nickel or his love hate relationship with illegal immigrants?

I mean there is a lot to recall there....quite a lot as Willard has changed his mind several times in some cases with respect to almost any important political issue you care to name.

Still and all that, I would play good money to see Willard and Sarah Palin go mano a mano in a debate, preferably in the Dana Center at Saint Anselm College with the Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey circus clowns as moderators.

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Monday, June 01, 2009
 
#14 without a bullet
WTKK is being Jay Severin back as of tomorrow. Serious students of radio talk show buffoonery will recal Severin got suspended due to a nasty hate filled diatribe against Mexicans.
Of course what interested me in all this mishaugas was the revelation that Severin earns 1 million USD per year at WTKK and yet has gone from second place to fourteenth in his timeslot.
Fourteenth?? You just know somewhere there is a Spanish language station that pulls in more listeners...hell on a hot day the sea weed report out of Horseneck Beach gets better numbers.
Just sayin'...seems like a lot of money for very little return.

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