The Chimes at Midnight
Friday, July 31, 2009
 
I think...
the President ought to host more "beer summits", this one seems to have calmed the waters nicely.
In fact, the next time President Obama has to pitch his health care proposal to the AMA or the National Association of Do-Nothing HMOs or whatnot, I say roll out the famous White House drinks cart and git em' all plastered.
Granted the sight of the nation's health care overlords staggering out of the executive mansion lit up like the Nantucket Lightship is bound to be bad for national morale...but in terms of bloggable chaos in a new-slow August it is a positive boon.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009
 
Charlie for Governor...
Former HMO CEO Charlie Baker officially filed papers to run for Governor as a republican yesterday.
He opened the campaign with a glittering cliche' “Yeah, read my lips: No new taxes.’’
Which means what exactly if elected he'll issue some broadsides at the legislature, offer a few bills to cut the sales tax (that will never get out of committee) or if he feels reaaally passionate he'll bang the pots long and loud for a ballot question.
In other words, he'll do nothing but collect the revenue while making a fine and entirely phony pretense of anti-tax zealotry, this was Weld's routine and Baker is Bill Weld's apprentice in the Donald Trump sense of the term.
With a Governor like that Senate President Murray and the House Speaker can roll over and go back to sleep with nary a worry.
Frankly if you asked me, Baker can't promise much to the Commonwealth that is different than the policies that Governor Patrick is pursuing right now. He can't pledge more money or bigger projects so the discussion will therefore revolve around budgetary arcania, the state's own necronomicon the local aid formula and maybe some forays into public ethics.
What can Baker promise to do differently? god-damned little in the view of Humble Elias.
So count on it the debate is about to get awfully dense and oracular.

Meanwhile for the one hundredth time in three years Spiteful Joanie Vennochi writes Governor Deval Patrick's political epitaph.
Well as Elias Nugator Senior has so often said "Repetition is the soul of comedy".

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009
 
Since 1949...
(feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) exactly ONE Mayor of Boston has been denied re-election by the city's voters, and that was James Michael Curley who as we all know was a great connoisseur of bribes. In fact since the end of WW II exactly six men have served as Mayor of Boston rate of turnover roughly compatible with the General Secretaryship of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
Well, it is a strong mayor system I'm not denying that, and Boston's electorate is notorious for getting thoroughly comfortable with all manner of mayors, nonetheless did the founding fathers ever intend for de-facto lifetime sinecures for elected officials?
Into this maelstrom steps Mayor Tom Menino in search of his fifth term in office. He is likable, low key and with many many friends all over the city...in fact Tom Menino is unique in that I've yet to find anyone who actively dislikes him, the way I've jumped ugly on Mitt Romney nigh these seven years.
Certainly that makes him a political oddity in Massachusetts...the punditry clearly think he is played out, but the voters like him they way they prefer ice cream on a humid day.
The man does have formidable political skills, hardly a block party or wake goes down thats for an appearance by the Mayor...he may mumble but he has a sharp capacity for retail politics.
Yesterday Michael Flaherty (one of the three men running against Menino) was on the Jeff Santos show on 1510AM. He was sincere, well informed, funny...Maybe not the sort of candidate Humble Elias would necessary vote for, but I do not begrudge his desire to serve in any way.
But will he or Sam Yoon or Kevin McCrea make even a dent in Tom Menino this fall?
Hell no.
Should that matter?
Yes...does any of that register with the Mayor or the voters, again no.
That is the reality here, Menino is almost bulletproof barring a carnal romp with a billy goat, incumbency ought not to be tantamount to election but it is in Boston and maybe we ought to start discussing that in a free and fair manner.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009
 
Palin Bailin'
Well Alaska Governor Sarah Palin went thru with it, she resigned from office eighteen months before the end of her first term.
She has a number of reasons for doing this, all of them marvelously bad, but it seems her chief motivation is she wants to cash in on her own political notoriety...Thars gold on the Kampus Konservative Koalition circuit it seems.
Right now, I have more respect for a cheap coup-plotter like California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, at least that bastard is willing to stay on the job.
Hell there are a host of U.S. Governors out there in far more diresome circumstances that Madame Sarah, they aren't resigning, they aren't selling out....they are gonna fight it out to the last ditch, what is Sarah's problem?

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Monday, July 27, 2009
 
For sheer diresome inanity nothing beats
ABC pundit Jeff Greenfield calling into "Imus in the Morning" and droning on about the Gates Affair for ten whole minutes.
Jeff never ever fails us, pompous and narcissistic to the last he excels at turning abandoned molehills into the very Himalayas.
Whenever President Barack Obama's name came up though, Jeff's voice took on this disapproving querulous tone, he kept puffing and puffing on those embers trying to spark a little blaze on a slow news day...In the end he made a crashing bore of himself...So what else is new?
Well, I guess it was either that or discussing Michael Jackson's last will and testament and what the hell does Jeff Greenfield know about music anyway?

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Sunday, July 26, 2009
 
No doubt about it...
the Governor's numbers are bad.
Nonetheless the situation isn't hopeless by any means, Patrick is about to get the three way race he craves and the best contenders in the GOP is a complete unknown and a wealthy blabbermouth with a tendency to giggle inanely like Cesar Romero's Joker.
Much will be made by the usual suspects by the five point lead now held by Charlie Baker...If after all that has happened this year, Patrick is only down five points well, then this is by no means a GOP shut-out in the making.
And by the way, just how did Charlie get himself that nice price on that sweet heap in Swampscott after all?
As for Crazy Christy Mihos, sure he has drawn even with Patrick, but just let the 2006 Independent Candidate for Governor start talking or rather start shouting and rolling his eyes for a few weeks then revisit those numbers sez I.
Governor Patrick does have his work cut out for him, you have to count the silver spoons every time the legislature is in session, times are tough in the Commonwealth and some of his problems are of his own making quite frankly.
I think the Governor ought to go the Harry Truman route, defy all, remind anyone who will listen what he did he did for the greater good and get in their faces soonest.
Harry made some bad appointments, was seen as bungling certain situations and was considered a gone goose in 1947, well he fought back in 1948 all the way to victory and Patrick ought to do the same. Metaphorically, Patrick has one key advantage, if they were in office, none of his opponents would substantively do anything any differently...The cuts, the grabbing for stimulus money...Except maybe they'd all lie about raising taxes to cover the state's deficit.
They will all say they are better, but can't propose to do anything else without risk of coming off as demented, therein lies a political trap to snare them all if Deval Patrick can just oil the hinges carefully enough.

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Friday, July 24, 2009
 
Oh and Kudos to Senator Kerry for
voting in a thoroughly nationally manner to kill the F-22 purchase.
It is a vote that had to sting though, some of those F-22 components are fabricated right here in Massachusetts at Raytheon et al.
Now if the Admin could maybe sell the country on a new manned space exploration paradigm, then maybe all those high-tech resources could get shifted over into some worthwhile enterprise.

This is a suggestive idea....

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We all owe Sergeant Crowley and Professor Gates a
great debt of gratitude, they have collectively wound up and knocked the late Michael Jackson's unquiet shade off the front page of the newspapers.
This is no small blow for liberty believe me.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009
 
Humble Elias must be literally
the last commuter in the Commonwealth who eats breakfast at home before work while reading the morning Globe. Everyone else it seems gobbles down some gawd-awful mixture of caffeine, high fructose corn syrup and preservatives somewhere on the MBTA or else at their desk.
So I must be the only citizen who duly noticed that the President's comments on the "The Gates Affair" were given front page above the fold headline treatment in the Globe today...while his press conference on the vital issue of health care was almost but not quite a front page sidebar below the fold.
I mean what does that tell you about the sad sick desperation of the print driven news media these days?
You wouldn't mind so much, but the Globe has been doing yeoman work even in these twilight times with respect to Beacon Hill chicanery, the pension issue and the looming gubernatorial race among others....I guess even they can't resist the sheer glitzy allure of it.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
 
I don't see why
the rest of us should suffer for the lack of a public component in the upcoming health care bill because Senator Max Baucus doesn't have the guts to face his constituents and tell them he did it for all their progeny.
Without a public component we will only revisit the issue in another decade and under vastly more unfavorable circumstances...alas by then Max and his ilk will be out of the game cashing in on PAC/lobbyist money Bill Bennett style.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009
 
Dollar Bill Bennett
was on CNN this weekend, he and host John King were puffing and blowing manfully on the feeble embers of the once reliable "democrats in disarray" meme.
I had a whole post planned detailing the sheer hilarity of a hopelessly greedy bloated gambling addict like Bill Bennett lecturing the administration on the alleged profligacy of their health care proposal.

Oh it was gonna be preemo, raving on and on about Bill's hopeless record as a political advocate (spanning four separate PACS and policy institutes each with it's own fat pay off thank yew very much) none of which has ever impeded his ability to cash in at the public and private troughs...yadda yadda yadda.
You know the drill.
But then I thought "what would really cut the Gordian know here?"
And then it hit me...President Obama ought to come out for a ten percent tax on Blackjack, the very top of William Bennett's head will disappear in a mushroom cloud and then he'll run screaming at the nearest television camera.
It'll be an inspiring display of summer time fireworks to be sure.

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Monday, July 20, 2009
 
Y'know...
Nobody out there wants to admit that Apollo 11 was in the end, a triumph of task specific American socialism. The US Government wanted five million pounds of rocket thrust to get to the moon and seamlessly orchestrated a patchwork of bureaucrats, corporations, engineers, pilots and military officers to get it.
Meanwhile over in the allegedly socialist USSR the generals feuded with the party elite over scarce technological resources and design bureau fought design bureau over booster rocket configurations as the nation tumbled punch drunk into the moon race.
Ultimately Marxism Leninism proved a poor organizer when it came time to go strolling in the Sea of Tranquility.
When transported into a fatuous mood, Ronald Reagan used to joke about those dreaded dreaded words "I'm from the Government, I'm here to help".
A smart rejoinder might have been "I'm from NASA, lets go to the moon!"
No, if there is a failure to Apollo 11, it is existential in nature. Since then great conquests have eluded the scientific-technology establishment of the USA...all the action now is in cyberspace, not outer space. The horn-rimmed socialists of MIT lack a project by which to demonstrate their prowess on behalf of the nation you understand.
This has given rise to that bleak lament..."If they can send a man to the moon, why can't they....?" (Insert your own accomplishment).
The age of accomplishment is not behind us. Our problem today is a lack of motivation, the means are there, the will is lacking...let the debate begin.

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Friday, July 17, 2009
 
The Sotomayor hearings have demonstrated
conclusively something I've been saying for years, that the US Senate's GOP faction is without a doubt the dumbest most impotent collection of crackers and sky grifters since the glory days of the Ritz Brothers.
This is a once proud bunch of political strong arm men they foisted Alito and Roberts that wingnut double act on the Supreme Court, more than a few of them stood tall in the tempest for Clarence Thomas.
However, Age and sheer ideological irrelevance have made tawdry & wrinkled buffoons of them all.
Now look at them...reduced to making the equivalent of Taco Bell jokes at the first Latina nominee to the High Court.
Sad...pathetic almost.
Why the President feels he needs to compromise with this vile rabble with respect to health care is a mystery to me?
Frankly flattening them openly and honestly would be a mercy.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009
 
Another thing I'm opposed to...
Charter Schools, and of course the Governor wants to double up on them.
Waaal lemme tellya, charter schools sound nice and all, like boot-camp for youth offenders and the rock pile they tend to be the sort of third-way measure that deeply impress state legislators and local columnists.
The rest of us though, derive little benefit from them as they inevitably siphon money away from public schools and in fact creative a two tier class driven English style education system.
Proponents say that charter schools help skim off the best and the brightest from low income families....they might do that but then that is part of the mission of public schools isn't it? Along with promoting good citizenship, inculcating life skills, imparting the holy mysteries of readin', writin, rithmetic' and AP calculus.
Why divide the mission? Why not strengthen the institutions we have? Are charter schools really a good fit with the needs of democratic education?
I say no...a few might suit the needs of poor performing districts, but setting up some statewide parody of parochial schools on the public dime is a formula for disaster.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
 
Zoo closure moment...
The President of Zoo New Emgland John Linehan seems to have set a new local record for sheer stridency...he seems to think Governor Patrick will be putting on a pith helmet and loading his elephant gun to go euthenizin' big game at the Stone Zoo.
The state legistlature may be crammed with slack jawed crackers to a man, but they are a famously sentimental bunch so I doubt Jerome the Giraffe will have to start reading coffin catalogues or anything.
The Stone Zoo and the Franklin Park both weathered similar cutbacks under Bill Weld sans recourse to the electric chair.
Of course, while the interests of zoo animals will be secured, I do wanna remind my gentle readers (all seven of you) that we still have homeless combat veterans wandering the streets and byways of the Commonwealth.
In fact the whole mishaugas brings this olde National Lampoon cover to mind:

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Lawyers Guns and Money...
Mostly lawyers though.
In fact it seems to me, that pretty much everything that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin touches turns to lawyers.
The father of her out of wedlock grandson, has a lawyer (according to the New Yorker) he is nineteen years old fuh crissakes!
So much for the litigation free utopia Ms. Palin and her cohort had planned for us. There are some people in this life who are ineffable shit-magnets, bad karma clings to them like cheap perfume, Palin is one of these worthies. Everything they put their hands to turns into a disaster, put Sarah in charge of the MBTA we will be lucky to make the commute via ox-cart, turn NASA over to Palin and watch our inventory of rockets become the world's most expensive collection of fireworks.
In short, the GOP is well advised to steer clear of such an ill-starred person...but ah, they don't take counsel from Humble Elias do they??

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Monday, July 13, 2009
 
Here is a question for Citizen Charlie Baker
(presumptive GOP candidate for Governor of Massachusetts) At what point in your long service to the Weld-Cellucci Administrations did you realize that the five billion dollar "cap" to the Big Dig was rubbish?
Did Governors Weld or Cellucci ever admit to you that the price of the Big Dig was bound to go higher and higher?

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Friday, July 10, 2009
 
Scot Lehigh grovel-watch (part one)
Well, Scot is obviously playing it coy with the alleged moderate republican messiah to be, Charlie Baker.
Perhaps Scot was burned by all those columns he wrote as late as the summer of 2005 insisting that Willard Mitt Romney loved Massachusetts and was alert and on the job 24-7.
So the Baker infatuation is off to a slow start...But the election is almost sixteen months away so the relationship has time to flower. Moreover the two of them are on a first name basis and just let Charlie make a few speeches extolling the free market, civil rights and fuzzy little kittens and sure enough, Scot will be sighing worshipfully, count on it.

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Thursday, July 09, 2009
 
One of the things I am looking forward to in campaign 2010
is the sheer spectacle of watching Scot Lehigh grovel and writhe at Charlie Baker's moderate republican feet, all in a compulsive and disgustingly pathetic bid to ingratiate.
And from the likes of the above article, that column will run any day now.
Anyway in this economy what does it mean to be a "moderate republican" anyway?
That you will be driven to the poor house by a slower more scenic route?
That you will be free to starve in your own repossessed home unvexed by police or firefighters?
That towns and cities will have the decency to go bankrupt quietly and with dignity?
Or that medical inflation will be capped at only 15%...?

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009
 
Steve Grossman is officially a
"wet ink democrat", because said ink was not yet dry on State Treasurer Tim Cahill's renunciation of the democratic party before the DSC chair piled into the 2010 race for the treasurer's office.
The above article notes that Grossman did not consult with Cahill before announcing, at the rate he was going, I think Grossman must've bowled over the milkman in a headlong flight to file his candidacy papers first with the Secretary of State.
And this mah frenz is only the beginning...everyone will wanna piece of this sumbitch, it is the only other wide open state wide race in 2010, a notable and rare prize indeed here in the Commonwealth.
I can see a dozen names on both sides of the ballot and maybe one in the middle...some of these poor jittery sonsabitches have been fundraising for decades waiting for that one clear shot at glory.
Over at the Blue Mass Group all sorts of names are being aired....including a joshing reference to Menotomy's own State Representative Sean Garballey.
It will be interesting to see who BMG coalesces behind as this process unfolds, they are after all a rising constituency in the party.
As for me, I'm wondering if Cameron Kerry (Senator Kerry's brother)will take a look at the race, he badly wanted to run for Secretary of State in 2006 and it is well known he'd love to grab off something nice in Massachusetts. The man has some potential in public life but if he want's Humble Elias' advice then puh-leez skip this one...fake a respiratory disorder if you have too or shooting pains in the legs!
It is a thankless job wherein your worst troubles will be caused by your best friends.
Nope I say wait out Martha Coakley (who'd KILL to be a US Senator, I mean fuh real kids!) or Billy Galvin...the state treasurer's office is nothing but grief.

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Tuesday, July 07, 2009
 
Long Odds...
is what State Treasurer Tim Cahill faces if he wants to run for Governor next year as an independent. Unlike Vermont, Connecticut and Maine, independent candidacies for high office don't seem to get much traction here in the Commonwealth. Crazy Christy Mihos for all his money and bonhomie was good for only 6% of the in the 2006 Governor's race. For that fact, anyone else recall Chris Lydon's third party run for mayor of Boston?
Of course not, Lydon lost despite name recognition and some fundraising ability.
Still as long as the odds are for a third party candidate they aren't as daunting as they'd be if Cahill opted to run in the primary as a democrat against Governor Patrick.
Seems to me that barring an out of state affair with a sheep, Patrick is assured renomination, his grip on the party machinery extends waa-ay down to the precinct level so far as I can see.
And a three way race may just be Governor Patrick's easiest path to re-election...maybe by only a bare plurality but re-election all the same.
On the other hand, Cahill has to recall that Jesse "The Body" Ventura won as an independent with 33% of the vote in Minnesota, the tighter the race the better it is for both him and da Governor.
You have to wonder though, where is Tim gonna get the scratch to run for Governor on a third party ticket? Those dealios don't come cheap and he has to find a convincing candidate for Lieutenant Governor...that can be a real chore, just as former Attorney General Tom Reilly if'n yuh don't believe me.

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Monday, July 06, 2009
 
The week is off to a slow start...
Even Sarah Palin, the drama queen of the Alaskan tundra cannot dent the late Michael Jackson's death grip on the news cycle.

Nuthin' left to do but watch the late Paul Newman impersonate the late Louisiana Governor Earl K. Long.

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Saturday, July 04, 2009
 
Oh NOW I understand...
Sarah Palin is chickening out, she can't take the puny criticism and the few sharp elbows that have been thrown her way since the election so she is resigning the Alaskan Governorship and running away like one of King Arthur's knights in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail".
There is a word for this and it is cowardice.
Thass right Sarah Palin is desperate for attention is a crude adolescent fashion but she is also gutless...and that wins out every time lemme tellyuh.
This semi-quote from today's Globe is particularly suggestive:
"Palin, who has widely been seen as a leading 2012 presidential contender, said she had tired of “superficial, wasteful political blood sport.’’ She did not specify what she will do next."
Oh my lord this woman is clueless as well as gutless, she hasn't come in for ONE TENTH of the kind of criticism she'd collect after one month of campaigning in Iowa/New Hampshire. If these are her true colors (variations on yellow) then Romney will undoubtedly compel her to flee the country and campaign via shortwave from Thunder Bay before Christmas 2011.
That is if she reall wants to make the race at all, maybe her real plan is to barnstorm the lower 48 collecting Ann Coulter class speaking fees on the Campus Conservative Bundist Circuit...those dumbasses still have money to waste so I am told.

Cheap tawdry and cowardly....

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Friday, July 03, 2009
 
Sarah Palin finally does right by Alaska...
chiefly by resigning....I guess she ran out of stupid things to say and wingnut nostrums to inflict on the citizenry.

This quote is unintentionally hilarious:
"It is my duty to always protect our great state. With that in mind, my family and I determined that it is best to make a difference this summer, and I am willing to change things, so that this administration, with its positive agenda, its accomplishments, and its successful road to an incredible future, can continue without interruption and with great administrative and legislative success..."

Leaving is a great way to protect one's state isn't it?

Well what can II say, this is great news, Alaska is out one vengeful dingbat as Governor and the 2012 race for the White House starts all the earlier...Can't wait for her first foray into New Hampshire which will be what...Next week at the rate she is going?
Ghod her and Romney with nothing but time on their hands to start slagging each other....It makes me twitch with raw anticipation.

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Thursday, July 02, 2009
 
Joanie Vennochi...
Has this to say about the Governor's eloquence or lack thereof:
Communication is Obama’s great strength and Patrick’s great weakness. The Massachusetts governor is effective one-on-one. But, unlike Obama, he has trouble driving a cohesive political message and doesn’t seem to enjoy the mission.

Untrue in my humble opinion, I've seen enough up close to decide that Governor Patrick is a very effective communicator, not only one on one but amidst diverse audiences with disparate agendas. And his message this year at least has been appallingly simple reform before revenue...and pretty much as of last week he got it lock stock and barrel.
No, the Governor's problem isn't bad rhetoric, it is bad news. Nobody wants to listen to bad speeches or unwelcome tidings...and right now the only thing Governor Patrick has to offer is blood, toil, sweat and tears.
Things may pick up by next summer...but until then the Governor's fabled gift of gab will be mostly deployed explaining the sales tax et al.

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009
 
Congrats to Senator Franken
good things come to them what waits and all like dat.
With Franken in finally some of that centrist drift in the senate might move leftwards just a tad.
And I'm also hoping against hope for a funny quotable Senator finally....the US House has Barney Frank...until now the Senate has had to get by with Robert Byrd's rustic witticisms.
And let us not forget, Franken is a former radio talk show host, Limbaugh, Hannity and Ingraham must be freakin' livid!

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