The Chimes at Midnight
Monday, November 30, 2009
 
Is it me or does anyone else out there think
that CNN's John King would literally die of fright if he was so much as accosted by a five year old wingnut and accused of being a member of the "liberal media elite"?
I'm not sure frightened people make the best journalists, and King has a hunted look in his eyes these days, Richard Lugar he allows to drone on, Jack Reed however gets closely questioned every step of the way.
That sort of approach keeps the denunciatory petitions far-far away in John King's world.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
 
Alan Khazei?
Got the Boston Globe's endorsement in next month's senatorial primary???

Well that one came as a shock lemme tellya.
Truly Alan's years of cajoling various powerful entities into giving him money for charitable purposes must make him the best interviewee in the world.
Either that or his campaign manager offered the Globe's editorial board free hookers or something.
Still the core thesis of the above endorsement holds true, Teddy Kennedy's particular leadership skills are not gonna be successfully grafted onto his successor whomever that might be. They were very much " of their time" so to speak.
So yeah, a new vision and new set of skills will have to be cultivated, that much I get.
But Khazei?
I grant you the man is idealistic (if not a trifle shrill), but he has yet to distinguish himself in this campaign as a Barack Obama style visionary. Moreover these are deep waters in which Alan swims, the nature of political longevity in the Commonwealth is such that some real long shots are routinely injected into very high level campaigns.
I am the only person out there who thinks Alan would make an interesting dark horse candidate for the US House?
But the Senate?
As I said deep waters, we live in an era of instant candidacies and easy fundraising on line, but that doesn't confer reliability, legitimacy and gravitas on a candidate.
Frankly the blunt reality of this special election is, we are electing someone who is gonna become John Kerry's apprentice in the US Senate everyone's passion, experience and vision will have to adapt to that eventuality methinks.
That being the case, I just don't see how Khazei adapts and prospers.
But I could be wrong.

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Friday, November 27, 2009
 
Maybe I am all stupid like...
but could someone out there, who is "in position" so to speak, please ask Steve Pagliuca just how many jobs he generated here in Massachusetts as a managing partner in the Bain Capital Group?
If he wants to talk about his job creation wizardry fine, but I'd like to know just how many paychecks he has rained down on the Commonwealth?
***
Other than that and his promise to vote for any healthcare bill no matter how wrongminded and harmful seems to be all I know about the guy to date.
Stephen Pagliuca's chief qualification for office: wealth.
Unless someone can tell me otherwise...that is what I'm getting yea so far.
***
Oh and will someone again "in position" please tell Congressman Capuano to unhunch his shoulders in those commercials of his? He looks like everyone's nightmare High School gym teacher glowering away at you...Mike fuhcrissakes relax willya?
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
 
Last week the rumor was...
That former CNN pundit-xenophobe Lou Dobbs wanted to run for the US Senate in New Jersey. This week the rumor is that Dobbs wants to cut to the chase and run for President in 2012.
This particular paragraph is an outright scream:
Dobbs, a controversial and outspoken critic of the nation’s immigration policy, said he is reaching out to Latino groups in attempt to bridge differences and identify public policy solutions.
This is akin to the cat "reaching out" to the mice or perhaps Nelson Muntz initiating "innovative nerd-bully dialogue."
I dunno, it seems to Humble Elias that in the end Dobbs will be as serious a presidential candidate as was Pat Buchanan, ergo someone more interested in getting his name in the papers and gathering material for a book.
I might be wrong but none of these A-list celebrity journalists seem really hungry for power, fame and money yes, but power is boring, a nice book tour with plenty of stops on the TV talk shows seems much more fun to them.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
 
Tisei?
Well now, that is an in-ter-esting choice as a Lt. Gubernatorial candidate on the Charlie Baker ticket.
I don't know if any of you have heard this before, but State Senator Richard Tisei is gay!
Keep it on the QT willya?
We don't want Willard to find out he might(dare I say it?) Quit The State!
As for the Baker-Tisei ticket it is something of a validation for the sort of safe space that has been created with respect to gays within Massachusetts.
This is a big turn around from the days when Jingle Money Swift and her Lt Gubernatorial candidate Pat Guerriero were run out of politics on grounds of being a woman teamed with a gay man.
Will and Grace indeed.
On the other hand if Richard Tisei was a Republican in South Carolina he'd be locked into a closet somewheres under armed guard, and forget about a seat in the state senate let alone being Lt. Governor.
On that basis alone, I suspect Baker will have some trouble raising out of state money with a ticket that includes someone so anathema to the wowser legionaries out beyond the Berkshires.
Then again, I suspect money won't be Baker's problem in 2010.
The only other notion I have is that a GOP state senator likely would not hazard the loss of his seat, both personally and to the Republican Party unless he felt pretty certain that they were gonna win the corner office next year.
So lets start focusing on disabusing them of that notion shall we?
Monday, November 23, 2009
 
Roughly
nine hundred billion USD has been spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. This weekend the US Senate started debated extensive health care reform in the US that would theoretically extend medical coverage to all Americans.
The cost over ten years of said senate healthcare reform package, roughly eight hundred billion dollars.
And predictablythe same voices that squealed "AYE" for every penny sent off to the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan are now howling that the health care reform package under debate is a "budget buster".
Someone shoulda thought of that before voting in favor of bringing the receieved wisdom of the August American Enterprise Institute to the Sh'ia and the Sunni tribesmen of Baghdad.
Still, the antis scream on about that money being necessary t'was for National Security, they bleat.
Well so is affordable health care who the hell wants to be the best defended man in a long line leading into the Emergency Room anyway?
Sunday, November 22, 2009
 
Strange as it may seem...
Joanie Vennochi actually thinks there is a condition of moral equivalence between Sarah Palin and Secretary of State Hilary R. Clinton.
To quote the old misanthrope, "what rubbish!"
Sarah Palin is a liar and an oafish demagogue, Hilary Clinton is lied about and the favorite topic of demagogues, especially the radio talk show variety, there would seem to be a bi-ig difference there.
Sarah Palin quit on being Governor of Alaska to cash in on conservative echo chamber circuit...Hilary Clinton left the US Senate to shape US Foreign Policy at the topmost level.
The list goes on, but it is akin to crushing a gnat with a jackhammer.
Well what of it?
Neither politician will ever be fairly assessed until we get past the syllabus of victimization so prevalent among today's punditariat.
Of course you could wait til the blue skies overhead crumbled before Joanie Vennochi ever gave up the casual victim-speak snarkage.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009
 
Apropos of nothing but
some unscrupulous entertainment conglomerate could make a fortune selling a interactive video game built around a violent coup d' tat aimed at the current administration. Deeply dispossessed wingnuts would pay Big Bucks for something like this in the holiday season.
Just sayin' thass all.
 
The Massachusetts Shuffle
Let me if'm ah kin get this straight:
Tim Cahill has doused himself with high grade kerosene and is looking to get shot out of a cannon and into the governor's office as an independent next year.
This means the Treasurer's office is wide open next year cue Steve Grossman who seems to have developed a definite taste for campaigning. Meanwhile un-named others are looking hard at this one and we haven't yet heard from the GOP on this one either, especially since it is a statewide office they have one before on a promise to keep the dems honest.
State Auditor Joe DeNucci has finally decided to jam on his old fishing cap and make for the nearest quiet dockside. The duffers in Southie seem to have a good thing goin' on down at the end of Drydock Avenue Joe, look into it, them boys recall your glory days at the olde Boston Garden. This is another office the GOP could possibly grab off if they could find someone sane, personable with some fundraising potential...Remember it is all about keeping an eye on the dems not screeching about Obama's birth certificate.
But then is the Massachustts GOP Ah'm tawkin' about.
Meanwhile which of the current senatorial democratic candidates d'ye think will parachute into either race? I'm thinking Pagliuca might be an interesting fit for Auditor or Treasurer (that is if we really want another inconstant Bain Capital alum in office).
Meanwhile IF Martha Coakley clears the board next month and IF she wins in January that means the AG's office will be filled by a vote of the State House of Representatives (Hooooo boy...this'll be good).
As of right now, Speaker DeLeo has signaled his disinterest in the sinecure (wise move on his part, the Attorney Generalship of the Commonwealth is a fast and reliable way to make career ending enemies)which means any number of House members could be in play right out to Sean Garballey or Charlie Murphy (do either of them have law degrees? Does it really matter in the enclosed Pellucidar-esque world of Beacon Hill??).
Of course, that precludes that the fix isn't already in for Secretary of State Billy Galvin (does he have a law degree? Has he ever served a writ, again this is Pellucidar who cares???). Which Means that IF Martha Coakley storms the redoubt and IF Martha Coakley wins in January and IF Billy Galvin is sent to the AG's office by the lege THEN the Secretary of State's office becomes vacant which can then only be filled in the interim by a vote of the State House of Representatives, who exactly is angling for this gig I cannot say. last I heard Cam Kerry was interested in the job but one doubts he has boots on the ground up on Beacon Hill. Still, if it was gonna be him, it'd dang near prove to the nation that all long last the Tall Guy was the new Boss of Bosses in the Commonwealth.
Oh and by the way, we have a closely matched Gubernatorial contest next year too, just in case all this other mishaugas gets fatiguing.
My point is, in the next six months two of the five statewide constitutional offices could change hands and possibly the rest shortly thereafter.
So much for tenure of office eh?
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
 
Scot Lehigh takes opens up on Congressman Capuano
compares him to Robert Penn Warren's populist/authoritarian "Willy Stark" character from "All the King's Men".
Honestly, where was all this concern about fake populism when Scot's hero Mitt Romney was demagoguing it up on the campaign trail in 2006? Back when the Viceroy went into the South End and swore up and down he just luv-ved gays will all his heart? When Willard blustered about the cost and safety of the Big Dig and left it all for the AG to sort out?
Of all the neocon rubbish Scot has generated down thru the years, today's column stands out as a triumph of lowbrow hatchet work. He tried to do the same thing to Joe Kennedy this summer and now he proposes to cut up Capuano...sick demented and typical.
At the very least Mike Capuano is speaking up on behalf of the poor and middle class, the traditional losers in any recession....two groups about which Scot and Mitt could not care less.
Monday, November 16, 2009
 
Note to Mary Matalin
(after having watched her on Larry King tonight fruitlessly defendng Sarah Palin), For Ghod's Sake woman, Give Up the Botox! Your poor face has all the plasticity of a block of New Hampshire granite. The only emotions you can convey these days is a sort of weird smug unctuousness, Stop the Madness!!!!

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Lou Dobbs for President?
Time Magazine among others wonders if the fomer CNN yakker is considering a run for the White House.
The early line is, Lou would run as an independent and avoid the GOP primaries entirely.
Well, it is all speculation, personally, Humble Elias thinks Dobbs wouldn't get much traction out in the electorate with his ubiquitous political views buttressed by his ghastly xenophobia.
But the punditariat will fall for it hook line and sinker, they luu-uv center right independent candidacies and or third party uprisings of any kind. They are nice impotent fodder for slow news days during election years, and the fact that Dobbs is a former pundit himself is just the crowning touch.
So take this (whether Dobbs runs for office or not) as a good representative example of the sheer decadent narcissism that routine infects the topmost layers of the punditariat.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
 
Ken Chase has too much time on his hands...
He has started something called "Conservative Tours" apparently as a means to shake down frightened wingnuts who'd normally never travel to such socialist hell-holes as Normandy or the Brandenberg Gate.
Chase has even finagled Howie Carr to come along on a trip to "Imperial Rome" where no doubt the famously homophobic Howie got off on tales of the allegedly homosexuality of such emperors as Nero, Galba, and that world conquering flamer, Trajan...Fodder for over ten minutes of sarcasm and locker room bravado on the radio.
I say take Howie to Normandy maybe the fag bashing bastard can figure out which tombstones mark the graves of gay men who died in service to their country so he can pee on them or something.

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Friday, November 13, 2009
 
Women working for the RNC may no longer
obtain abortions under their health insurance plan or so decreed Michael Steele today.
My Ghod, in addition to being an ineptoid and a buffoon we can also add "petty fogging bitch" to Michael Steele's list of accomplishments.
This is grimly hilarious, will Chairman Steele be pawing through men's wallets to seize any condoms therein hidden? Will the RNC's health plan drop it's viagra coverage?
And what about witchcraft? Shouldn't the whole building be exorcised as a precaution?

Honestly, I can't do the quote justice but H.L. Mencken once famously observed that nothing is more injurious to morals than a consistent attempt to live up to them.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
 
So far...advantage Pagliuca...
Since Monday's abortion dust up, I'd have to say the bigger winner has been Steve Pagliuca, only because he has the money to exploit the ideological rift between AG Coakley and Congressman Capuano.
You might think that...if Pagliuca's adverts weren't all whiny in tone and full of desperate promises of free hookers to anyone who'll vote for him.
If Pagliuca had any great talent for the game he could turn this thing into a nice tight three way race, but of course he doesn't and all he can think to do is run more commercials.
On the other hand...
Humble Elias doesn't think that his flip flop on the health reform bill is a game ender for Congressman Capuano but he has got to step away from the microphone, stop think and consider his remarks carefully ging forward.
The man just thinks he can explain his way out of trouble.
Hubert Humphrey suffered from the same problem and it helped cost him the US Presidency.
At any rate the stakes are high going into any future debate and that at least is bloggable chaos Humble Elias can take to the bank.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
 
This mah frenz is whut we call a "flip flop"
as Congressman Capuano essentially backtracks and asserts he too would vote against the health care bill if it contained abortion restrictions.
So essentially, Mike Capuano was for the House Bill before he was against it?
Geez Martha Coakley had but to stand her ground for a twenty four hour news cycle before Mike Capuano caved in? Poor evocation of his "I'm an insider with heart, I get the process in DC" meme. If people don't understand your tactics they will !start to question your ethics...Just sayin'folks.
The other guys are all sayin' "no-no-no" but Mike is saying "no but then maybe yes" in a grudging tone, frankly Humble Elias thinks just maybe the whole damn lot of them feel into the AG's rhetorical trap.
Well, it oughta make any upcoming debates real interesting...Just who do I have to caress to get a ringside seat at one of these brawls anyway?
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
 
Y'know if Martha Coakley wants to "decry"
the loathsome use of pregnancy as a "pre-existing condition" in the current health reform bill, well more power to her.
It is an open primary for an open seat and everyone has to set terms with respect to the current health care debate
After all, not one month ago, I heard Mike Capuano insist at a Meet-n-Greet in Romantic Menotomy that if the health care bill didn't have a public option he wouldn't vote for it.
I mean, all he was doing was setting terms as AG Coakley has done...what is the problem?
Well, plenty, to hear Congressman Capuano tell it on the Jeff Santos Show this morning the AG is selling out healthcare like it was the Munich conference or something.
Humble Elias thinks Congressman Mike needs to dial it down a bit, he is never less persuasive than when he blusters.
That having been said, I do think everyone's terms regarding healthcare reform ought to be freely debated in an appropriate venue...but Humble Elias can do without the opportunistic palaver.
Frankly, if Pagliuca (Bain Capitol's own would be whipper of Wall Street), Alan Khazei and Capuano all haul off on Coakley, then just maybe the rest of the field may be falling into a rhetorical trap set by the AG.
Just thinkin' out loud.
Anyhow let us commence with the bloggable chaos.
Monday, November 09, 2009
 
Publicity seeking bullies...
The Westboro Baptist Church (The Rev. Phelps' falangist concern of notorious repute) has taken to protesting out of Sasha and Malia Obama's elementary school.

Class all the way, These people would copulate with chickens as a protest against homosexuality if it mean getting above the fold in the next day's newspaper.
 
Steve Pagliuca can run those damn TV adverts
until he is blue-in-the-face, but he will never convince me he is anything more than a Democrat Of Convenience (DOC).
And that smug self-righteous insistance that he won't take PAC money, that is a laugh riot, Pagliuca was a macher at Bain Capital which is Political Action Committee unto itself in all things but name. As far as Humble Elias is concerned, Pagliuca made his money the olde fashioned way, by loaning it to other rich white crackers just like his pal, Willard Mitt Romney.
So the whole notion that now, he Steve Pagliuca is gonna chase his former clients on Wall Street thru the US Capitol cracking a bull whip over their heads is patently ludicrous.
Sunday, November 08, 2009
 
"Presidential Leadership is...
Party Leadership" or so Woodrow Wilson once opined.
And to the extent that President Obama has been setting goals, writing the party's mission statement, acting as the democrat's key spokesman and driving the agenda, then it is clear that as far as health care reform is concerned, he has internalized Wilson's notions about presidential leadership.
Lets hope it all yields fruits, we've spent ten times as much on freeing a bunch of Iraqis from Saddam Hussein, we won't spend any of the same tax dollars to get medical coverage for our own citizens?
***
BTW I caught Mary Matalin on CNN today, snarky but dispirited would summarize how she looks and sounded, sorely needs health care to fail either by not coming to a vote or from a catastrophic implementation. She was a wan hunched over figure with a clenched jaw reminiscent of a Connecticut shoreline accent.
In a word, Matalin has become a declinist, a far cry from her start as a peppy and insufferable cheerleader for the GOP and Reaganism in particular. Which gives Humble Elias to think that the poles of the GOP run between the teabagger falangists on one had and the declinists on the other, and not a sensible proposal to had on any topic between either of them.

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Friday, November 06, 2009
 
No one can quite downplay right wing extremism quite like
the Associated Press.
They artfully left out the arrests outside Nancy Pelosi's office, the signs equating health care reform with the Nazi Holocaust and the general tone of violence and intimidation that permeated said "protest".
The problem with the AP is, that they look on this kind of insanity as the normal play of the "loyal opposition" which is nothing but a big "get out of jail free" card to some very dangerous elements.
And I do love the spectacle of seventy-ish retirees recipients of medicare railing against "Obamacare", truly my tax dollars at work keeping them healthy and erect.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
 
Sad news...
Storyteller and Harvard Square fixture, Brother Blue has died at the age of eighty-eight.
 
So the army sez that 75% of recruitable US youth
are not fit for induction into the armed forces? Drugs, education and obesity issues being the core problems?
So when will the Pentagon declare high fructose corn syrup a threat to national security??
Well, I snark but really a stat like this ought to spark some hearings in congress, git some generals to testify...start that debate sez I. Because frankly Humble Elias can live in a world where high fructose corn syrup is outlawed as a food additive...Won't hardly change things at all.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
 
So much for that whole quaint notion that
Maine is full of witty Marshall Dodge type caricatures who just want to be left alone. Given enough money and enough of "Fear Factor" politics they will happily police the marriages of their neighbors with a gay abandon.
 
Congrats to Mayor Menino on his re-election last night
the numbers were outside my predictions, but not by much in the weary wicked end.
The pundits and pols may hate and fear Tom Menino, but the electorate has yet been given no good reason to break their compact with him. You can complain until you are blue in the face about Menino's thin skin, autocratic style and lack of vision but those are the very things that 57% of last night's voters could care less about.
They want an urban mechanic and don't care if he is sixty six years old and bereft of ideas, period end of story.
Michael Flaherty ran an honorable campaign and made every good effort to innovate right up until the polls closed, he did not disgrace himself he did not punch below the belt. Dunno what the future holds for him, but there will at least be no recriminations for Citizen Flaherty from this campaign.
My only questions are, will the Mayor make an endorsement in the special election for Ted Kennedy's seat and will he support the guberatorial ticket in 2010?
Humble Elias suspects the answer to both those questions is a resounding "No".
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
 
A dinosaur spotted on the streets of Boston yesterday
a big ole sound truck was heard extolling the virtues of citizen Michael Flaherty, candidate for Mayor in today's city election.
No TV commercials at all, but Mike Flaherty and Sam Yoon have a sound truck, a campaign gimmick that went the way of the snap brim fedora over fifty years ago.
Still ya gotta give the guy credit, it is like sending up your last flare when the supplies run out.
I figure we will be out of the trenches by 9:30pm tonight, but then again crazy things happen on sunny election days.
Also on rainy ones as well.
Monday, November 02, 2009
 
Apropos of nothing
but when Joanie Vennochi writes the venom from her pen fairly scars the desktop at which she works.
When she calls in to the Jeff Santos show on WWZN Am 1510 though, Joanie is as decorously dull as dishwater, no middle school snarkage, no bitterness no nothing.
As a radio call-in guest, Joanie Vennochi ranks but poorly compared to say the sentimental rubbish routinely spouted by Mike Barnicle over on the Imus show.
Who knew that inside Joanie Vennochi prowled the placid soul of a Joe Lieberman?
Sunday, November 01, 2009
 
Pursuant to Tuesday's Mayoral contest in Boston...
I'm predicting Menino 55%, Flaherty 45%.
If it rains and the Mayor's celebrated machine is on their game then the spread wil be much wider.
Ideologically not much separates either man, the argument is over managerial ability, temperament and unresolved problems impacting the city.
There, in almost every category save temperament, Menino holds the advantage, but I will say this for Flaherty like Adlai Stevenson he has run an honest and honorable campaign, he has not demeaned himself nor disgusted the city grasping for power, the man is but in his forties and may run well in other races down the line.
The same can be said for Sam Yoon, both he and Flaherty are men of the future whose times haven't caught up with them...Yet.
Meanwhile assuming victory Tuesday night, one has to wonder what role Mayor Menino's machine will play in next year's gubernatorial contest? Menino famously feuded with Scot Harshbarger in 1998 and helped deliver the corner office to Penniless Paul Cellucci, will he play the same role for the democrats in 2010?

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