The Chimes at Midnight
Thursday, March 31, 2011
 
Union member saved...
by a bunch of other union members.

Certain exemplars of the local punditariat regard the woes of public service unions as self generated due to the alleged excesses of the duespayers high and low.
But I ask you, when someone plunges down a narrow shaft and sustains two leg fractures, do you really want some temps or some State Senator's teachable cousin on that job???
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
 
There is a sturdy political cliche' out there
to the effect that the fifty states of this here Federal Union of ours, constitute fifty individual little "laboratories of democracy".
Like all cliches' at the core there is a hard nigh indestructible kernel of truth.
However, when Mad Scientists get control of the "individual little laboratory of democracy" it is Katie-Bar-The-Door Time!
My problem with all this is simple, it is an interpretation of Federalism taken to a partisan extreme. Seeing one's state as a laboratory workbench is a short step to seeing one's state as a personal fief-dom wherein one is a soverign autocrat on the model of the late House of Romanov.
This is where we get Governor's like Scott Walker (R Wisconsin) and John Kasich (R. Ohio)...Both men with an exaggerated sense of gubernatorial power and a messianic sense of mission, at least when it comes to Union Busting.
Federalism divides power, it does not abolish power or divide national sovereignty.
This is something worth remembering as the Governor of Wisconsin flirts with outright nullification.
Where does all this rubbush come from?
Sad to say one of the major political parties out there is too beholden to crazy people and too enamored with aggressive utopian notions to "play nice" within the context of a two party democracy.
I'm not talking about the democrats here either kids.
I don't think such a situation is sustainable over the intermediate term...But it does raise questions about where democracy is headed in this country.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011
 
Hear Hear President Obama!!!
I refer to this headline in the Boston Globe:
"Obama urges fewer tests to gauge student progress"

I doubt anything will come of the proposal, it is far too sane and sensible, in fact I can just hear the screams of rage from the House GOP caucus.
Hell I took too many standardized tests back in High School, and I graduated in 1980!!
Standardized tests are just a means to overtly control the classroom time of teachers all at the behest of the drunks and porch-climbers in the state legislature.

I don't know what it is, but teachers and judges seem to be the most distrusted of all civil servants. Teaching is being reduced systematically to a rote industrial task of supervision thanks to the proliferation of standardized tests while Judges are little more than grandiose clerks thanks to mandatory sentencing guidelines.

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Sunday, March 27, 2011
 
When Jeff Jacoby (of all people)
backs down on your ass, then you are truly, "Dished, Diddled and Done!" to quote the late Billy Bunter.

And so it is with Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich who two weeks ago bawled for an immediate imposition of a "No Fly Zone" over Libya and then when NATO dropped the hammer on Colonel Khadafi, America's Eternal Sophomore In Politics, howled that the Obama Admin had acted amateurishly and provocatively.
And what is worse he expressed himself in fatally unheroic terms, "I would not have intervened...I think there were a lot of other ways to affect Khadafy."
For a politician who fairly quivers at the mere mention of Ronald Reagan's manly monicker it was a cringe worthy moment.
I mean Geezus sort your trash better Newt.
And so hung on his own petard, Gingrich twists slowly in the wind, if he was a democrat he'd be out of the presidential race by now but likely Newt will stagger on into Fred Thompsonville tattered and alone.
He ought to drop out, as this was a situation that exposed for all to see the sheer shallow and forensic reaches of the Former Speaker's mind.
For my part I hope he stays in, the GOP presidential primary slate is beginning to have definite "Night of the Living Dead" overtones, and there is always room on stage for another nervous, cowardly conservative pseudo intellectual.

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Saturday, March 26, 2011
 
How ironic...
Two of Comedian Joan Rivers' favorite targets died this week.

Elizabeth Taylor whose fluctuating weight literally made Joan's fortune one scathing put down at a time.

And
Former Democratic Congressperson and 1984 Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro.

What did Rivers say when Ferraro was nominated?
Something to the effect that now there were "three boobs"at the top of the Democratic Ticket.

Class all the way Joan, class all the way.

That of course was back in the day when Joan was a fur-coat Reaganite, nowadays she has backtracked to the middle quite a bit.
Years after the 1984 Joan had Geraldine on one of her numerous semi successful talk shows and was all kissy-face with the former Congressperson.
I'd a paid GOOD MONEY to see Geraldine Ferraro read back to Joan all those nasty zingers the comedian indulged in the fall of 1984 and then sock Rivers a good one in the mouth.
Ah but the world does not bend one whit to my whim.
Funny.
Walter Mondale outlived Geraldine Ferraro...

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ITEM!
He is young, he is hawt and he is rolling in Mad Phat Money, word on the street is he will hold onto his current phony baloney job easy when push comes to shove.
That may be so.
But when he accidentally ran into a rival claimnant to that coveted position last week at a public function, a churlish sneer crossed Our Young Man's Pretty Pretty Face and he refused to shake hands with the interloper.
Graceless and gratuitous considering the rival claimnant is hardly a Man of Destiny.

Smallmindedness is a bi-iig character flaw mah frenz, just remember you didn't hear it from me.
Friday, March 25, 2011
 
(OT) Cultural Note
TMZ would be well advised to start a 24 hour a day video feed from Elizabeth Taylor's burial plot and or memorial.
Because sooner or later Debbie Reynolds is gonna show up to dance a particularly nasty little jig atop Liz's grave.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011
 
Slam Dunk...
Apparently Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has been putting on an entirely artificial "Mayberry Style" southern accent when speaking in various early primary states.
This would be the same Tim Pawlenty that Scot Lehigh thinks might just be the Moderate Republican Man on Horseback Who Has Come To Save Us All!
Pretty silly amateurish stylistic choice if you asked me. Granted his fellow Minnesotans, Harold Stassen, Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy and Fritz Mondale all lusted for the White House in their own chilly way but none of them ever started drawling like Slim Pickens in an effort to get over with churls and hod carriers.
As far as I'm concerned this pretty much fills the GOP clown car nicely...None of these mooks have the dignity ghod gave a bag of hammers...And that includes Romney too, forget his phony dignity act (which only seems to fool Boston based columnists) this dork doesn't even think the Post Office is a worthwhile Federal program.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011
 
South Dakota has...
imposed a three day waiting period on any woman who wants an abortion in that state.

This roughly parallels the three day waiting period that pistol purchasers have to endure in South Dakota.
Of course, how gun ownership and a medical operation of varying urgency got to be morally equivalent is a question for the relevant state legislative committee.
I would also note that there is apparently no waiting period or even much of a permitting process on the books in South Dakota governing the purchase of rifles...Ladies Take Note...
KIDDING
KIDDING
KIDDING!
I kid because I love
I love
to Kid.
Still if Tea Partei Fanatics can strap on their precious gunbelts and go marching past the White House then I see no reason why choice advocates should not "shoulder arms" when they picket the South Dakota State Legislature...cuz apparently they can buy their rifles that very morning.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
 
The Children of Ronald Reagan
To be a successful movement conservative in the U.S. of A one must simply writhe with grotesque pleasure at the mere mention of Ronald Reagan's semi-divine name.
If you were to poll the GOP Caucus of the US House of Representatives on who inspired them to get into politics, Saint Ronald of Santa Barbara's name would top the list by a wide margin.
Purists will recall that in retaliation for a bombing in West Germany that killed some off duty US Soldiers, Reagan bombed Tripoli in a transparent attempt to ease Colonel Khadaffi off this mortal coil to the soothing strains of missile detonations.
So of course, it is grimly hilarious to me that the congressional progeny of Ronald Reagan are deeply divided about the US backed "no fly zone" over Libya.
I mean How Dare, Barack Obama do what Ronald Reagan did and on a far more elaborate scale as well?
What next will they march for peace under "Give Colonel Khadaffi a Chance" placards?
Chain themselves to the White House Fence carrying a "Justice for Libya" banner?
All snarkage aside, what is bad about this is that the GOP's frantic "forensic approach" to President is now being cautiously exported into the realm of foreign policy, which is baa-ad medicine indeed.

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Monday, March 21, 2011
 
A Fifth Plank...
to my notional and entirely obscure democratic senatorial platform for 2012, would deal entirely in fostering investment in green energy, wind farms, solar applications and the like.
This situation in Japan requires that we radically rethink our energy mix here in the USA.
On this topic there is some strong continuity between what Massachusetts is doing to foster renewable energy resources and what the county ought to be doing.

And besides I guarantee you that this is an issue about which Scott Brown knows exactly nothing and likely cannot get up to speed on it any time soon.
Again I ask you, green or dirty, just how many jobs has Scott Brown brought to the Commonwealth or kept in the Commonwealth since he took office last January?
The answer is damned few, but that boy-o is still the toast of Wall Street all the same.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011
 
It is Michael Bay's World Out There...
Case in point, Japan undergoes a massive earthquake and a tsunami and then a nuclear reactor crisis....Then  the diplomatic situation in North Africa deteriorates tot he point of war with Libya...

And only when the Tomahawk cruise missiles start raining down on Tripoli like acorns in the fall does the Boston Herald deign to notice the international situation on their front page.

Up until today, the front page of the Herald has revolved around Governor Patrick's trade mission, flaws in the Big Dig, the inequities of Evacuation Day...it's a closed up intellectual world over there in One Herald Square and it requires "Daisy Cutter" bombs to get them to notice anything else.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
 
"Radiation is good for you"
Said Ann Coulter on Thursday.

Normally I'd jump ugly on such a stupid preening facetious remark.
Instead I'll just note that even as I write this obscure blog post brave men are dying in Japan at that nuclear plant desperately trying to prevent disaster from becoming catastrophe. They are shortening their lives by exposing themselves to radiation, they are placing themselves in harm's way.
And if Ann Coulter think these are appropriate circumstances to indulge her well worn controvore act, well then I wish her the joy of it.
"God will decide the issue between her and us" to paraphrase Oliver Cromwell.
And a big shout out to Bill Maher for helping to put Ann on the map back in his ABC days...nice work Bill thanks.

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Friday, March 18, 2011
 
Blogrolling....
I ask The Boston Phoenix's David Bernstein a straight question and am rewarded with a straight answer.

He throws out some interesting potential gubernatorial candidates for 2014, Grossman versus Murray and even cites Martha Coakley as a serious candidate.
I agree with Bernstein though, in the democratic primary the 800 lb gorilla is Tim Murray who has formidable resources both monetary and organizational.
Grossman though, is an avuncular man who has some lush resources of his own to draw on, I'm hard pressed though to see what Grossman's rationale would be for getting into the 2014 gubernatorial race as there doesn't seem to be much ideological difference between him and Murray (or Coakley for that fact).
Which raises the question as to why Martha Coakley would want to run for Governor other than to avenge her humiliating loss to Scott Brown in 2010?

Of course, time is never on the State Treasurer's side...sooner or later your friends do you in so the sooner you move up and out the better.
When yer the AG though, its the opposite problem, if you are any good at the job you tend to make powerful enemies from within and without state government.
Now, don't get me wrong here I'm not a Murray partisan, I like the Lt. Governor but I'm unsure he has the rhetorical gifts to run and win statewide.
In a hypothetical match-up between him and say Charlie Baker, I'm thinking that might be a much closer race than the one the former Harvard Pilgrim Boss ran in 2010.
Oh and Humble Elias finds it interesting indeed that Baker is still considered a factor in gubernatorial politics, apparently the state GOP is waiting word from him that he wants another shot at the corner office.
Well I can see why, despite his numerous drawbacks as a candidate he has name recognition (for better or worse) and a strong fundraising platform. The GOP farm team is still too green to step up to the big leagues (but give that contingent in the State House of Representatives time, they will be heard from in due course) so at the moment it is advantage Baker.

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Way to go Congress!
Defund NPR....throw those bums out on the streets...that is real job creation!

I mean geez not for nuthin' but NPR bends over backwards year after year to placate congress and this is their reward...The first zephyr from off the right and the cry goes up for hanging on Capitol Hill.

If in fact NPR gets defunded for real I say turn on the bastards...Carve up some of these money loving wingnuts real good...show em' some real press bias.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
 
Oh thank ghod...
The crisis in Japan has brought out the very very best in America's....nuclear power industry lobbyists.
Their zeal, their devotion to their industry, their legendary veneration of money is a shining example to us all.
On the day after civilization goes up in a mushroom cloud, they will be scuttling thru the radioactive ruins looking for congressmen to enrich with humble campaign contributions.
***
And then there are these guys who are one and all likely making the supreme sacrifice for their country and humanity at large,
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
 
This is really no time for Irony but...
There are people living down on Cape Cod, rich people, opinionated people, powerful people or just people with stubborn streak who would move heaven and Earth to avoid the construction of a wind farm on Nantucket Sound.
These would be the same people who happily live cheek-by-jowl next to a Nuclear Power Plant sited in Plymouth Mass, practically astride the Cape Cod Canal.

Like I said, this is no time for Irony...
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
 
Fifty Two Percent
That is where Former State Senator Scott Brown is currently polling vis a vis the 2012 US Senate election.
Now, to Fox25 News that sounds like a pretty strong mandate, the state's democrats on the other hand think that there is some opportunity there to unseat Brown next year.
Well...only one of them can be right in the weary wicked end.
***
Given the fluid nature of the race, at this point I'm less interested in who is running and more interested in what will be said.
Beating Scott Brown is going to require ideas, good ones that reach out to a winning majority.
So with all due modesty I'd like to offer a few ideas for the consideration of my readership (all seven of you).
1.) Lower the Medicare qualification age to fifty five. Medicare is a popular program, trust me it outpolls all the private plans out there by a wide margin. Expanding the pool of Medicare recipients ought to be presented as a "health care cost pre-emption" and to a lesser extent an impetus to increased retirement savings. Its a "one card" one off single payer plan that works and works well. Lets put it to work for the working man I say.
2.) Fully electrify the north-east's rail freight lines. Yeah I know, rail travel has few friends in Washington DC, There are ten lobbyists for every member of congress when it comes to polluting industries, but high speed rail?
They get bupkiss.
Electrifying the rail freight network will take hundreds of UPS & Fedex trucks off the road, reduce the regional carbon footprint, cut transport costs at a time when prices are increasing and it will provide some practical heavy-iron type jobs stimulus. It is the sort of investment we ought to be making during hard times in order to hasten back prosperity all the sooner. This is, in sum a good deal for the Massachusetts' consumer.
3.) And while we are at it, lets get that North-South rail link done. Its a cost savings down the line and yet another way to get some local job-stimulus going.
4.) If corporations are people, and the Supreme Court assures us they have free speech rights just like the rest of us, then those self-same corporations ought to be liable for a piece of the ordinary person's tax burden.
Say fifteen percent off the top for social security. This'll help pay for the above expansion in Medicare coverage and remind all and sundry that is corporation's are people then they'll have to pony up just like people. I see this as a hard populist measure that'll create some consequences for the corporatization of politics.
***
What I'm after here is a program that is progressive in scope, populist in tone and aimed at relieving financial burdens on the working and middle classes either thru job creation or revisions in tax policy.
In all keep it simple and aimed squarely at those two groups...And then ask yourself just how many jobs has Scott Brown brought home to Massachusetts since January of 2010?

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Monday, March 14, 2011
 
Headlines...
Like this, are never ever a good sign.

Reality has officially and casually outstripped the worst apocalyptic fantasies of Roland Emmerich.

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Sunday, March 13, 2011
 
As you may have heard...
Rep. Michele Bachmann spent most of this weekend in New Hampshire repeatedly insisting that the "shot heard round' the world" was fired in New Hampshire and not Massachusetts.
***
THAT mayh frenz, is the last straw!!
***
Normally Humble Elias would wade deep into the snarkage (indeed the temptation here is nigh overwhelming) and question the poor woman's basic intelligence.
However I truly think something even more insidious is going on...Rep Bachmann would seem to suffer from a sort of "forensic aphasia" that prevents her from saying anything positive or even factual about the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Long a target of US conservative propaganda and approbation, rightical chic doublethink prevents the Michele Bachmann's of this world from processing simple facts about Massachusetts i.e. the Minutemen were from Concord Mass not Concord NH.
In an Orwellian fashion, Rep, Bachmann is exporting today's wingnut shibboleths into the past, this is done every day on talk radio and on Fox News, but outside that echo chamber (where sensible thought is continually drowned out) it is a thought process that looks and sounds like complete babbling idiocy.
Which is where Rep Bachmann ran up on the rocks.
Otherwise there seems to be something in the water up in the Granite State this winter, almost every single GOP candidate for President has said something profoundly stupid and embarrassing in the course of the last four weeks. They get off the plane in Manchester step up to the microphones and insert their feet deftly into their mouths.

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Friday, March 11, 2011
 
Um....
Yipes.

I think the President is perfectly justified in this circumstance to render up any urgent help that is duly requested by Japan.
 
I hardly know what to do with myself anymore
when it comes to crisis-ridden Presidential Press Conferences. When Bush was in power one could always simply count his evasions, distortions, outright fabrications and instances of childish bravado...
Now with Obama you can actually sit there and listen as the President attempts to come to grips with the challenge of the moment.

Oh and we aren't at war with Libya yet as of 12:50pm EST 3-11-2011.

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Thursday, March 10, 2011
 
Newt Gingrich sez
that prior bouts of adultery were "Partially Driven By How Passionately I Felt About This Country".

You can see the video hyar:

Forget about your Purple Hearts or Medals of Honor and your heroic Astronauts in politics, for sheer old timey Catch-in-your-Throat-Patriotism, no one beats Newt Gingrich.
No one.
And watching this bloated and corrupt sophomore run for President is gonna be the greatest freak show since Charlie Sheen discovered crack cocaine.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2011
 
Three Days After...
Mitt Romney comes out for the de-facto privatization of the US Postal Service, and the local opinion industry maintains a decorous and even prim silence over the Former Viceroy's sudden lurch to radical libertarianism.
I remind my faithful readers (all seven of you) of the below quote from one of Romney campaign appearances this weekend in NH:
"The Federal Government isn't the answer for running health care any more than its the answer for running Amtrak or the Post Office".

That is verbatim from the Boston Sunday Globe.

And is anyone outraged, angered or even slightly miffed, apparently not.
Silence implies assent in Humble Elias' books.
***
Of course, if this was campaign 2004 and it was John Kerry making a comparable remark, Joanie, Scot, Brian, Jeff, Howie and all the usual suspects would scream like magpies gone mad on crystal meth.
The Globe did it's front page level best to beat up JK in the lead up to the '04 New Hampshire Primary, why they aren't talking the same smack on Romney is a mystery to me.

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Tuesday, March 08, 2011
 
I can't believe for a moment that
Mike Huckabee won't run for President in 2012 when push comes to shove.
Sure, he is enjoying the big buckage now, but GOP evangelicals don't have anyone else as credible to make the race (after Mike the list swiftly descends to Bachmann and Palin and Santorum) ...So I'm thinking the pressure alone to keep political protestantism relevant in the USA will push Huckabee into the race.
Moreover, Huckabee can win, the nomination at least, he makes Romney look even more robotic and inhuman if that is humanly possible. The conventional wisdom pegs Huckabee as underfunded and a dicey bet in the New Hampshire Primary but then again Romney doesn't wear well over time and given a choice between a range of lunatics, obscurities and Mike Huckabee who can say the Granite State won't vote for the Preacher the way they went for Jimmy Carter in 1976?
Besides I'll be disappointed if Mike doesn't run, he is one of the few 2012 GOP candidates who started out as a human being at the very least...and the man's gaffes are priceless.

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Monday, March 07, 2011
 
Uh...Ohhh...
What John Kerry is talking about, is undoubtedly the same general thing that the administration is thinking about.

But in truth, our hand may be forced here, I cannot conceive of a greater disaster than to have Colonel Gadaffi and his family to retain power by way of massacre and purge. The price of oil would really spike unrest in the region would take a dark turn, bad karma all around.

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Sunday, March 06, 2011
 
The March of the Stupid...
Anyone of a number of presumptive GOP candidates for President entered the season this year with commanding strengths and a common air of confidence and purpose.
They exit the very month of February though, looking and sounding like beaten petulant blatherskites.
Lets run down the list shall we?
Sarah Palin may well have done herself fatal political damage when she was handed an easy-ass grace moment in the wake of the Tucson shootings and choose instead to lash out in an incoherent and self pitying six minute YouTube video.
Newt Gingrich and "High Pitched Rick" Santorum were suspended from the Fox Newsteat and all but ordered by their Liege Lord Rupert Murdoch to get off their ass and run for President.
Mike Huckabee tried to tie a young Barack Obama to the Mau Mau rebellion before taking an uncharacteristically nasty swipe at a pregnant and unmarried Natalie Portmann.
Oh and Mitt Romney...Yes indeedy the best is always saved for last.
Mitt went into full freep mode and re-wrote the introduction to his dumb-ass book as a serious collection of Tea Partei talking points and taking that awful wheedling wingnut tone that we know so well from campaign 2008.
And then again up in NH this weekend, Mitt Romney had this to say about "Obamacare" and host of other topics:
"The Federal Government isn't the answer for running health care any more than its the answer for running Amtrak or the Post Office".
The Post Office?
Jesus H. Christ!!!!
Romney wants to privatize the Post Office??
How the hell is Barnstead Parade supposed to prosper if it's paying Fedex style extortionate rates for it's daily mail?
That is assuming Fedex is even willing to deliver to Barnstead Parade...or Moultonboro for that fact.
What is Mitt pissed off about mail forwarding since he switches home states on a twice yearly basis??
This has got to be the stupidest thing Mitt Romney has said in over a year, and believe me, that is saying something.
Apparently overdosing on stupid pills is now a pre-requisite for the GOP nomination for President, apparently you'll gat no heat unless you rave and rant like a perfect lunatic.

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Saturday, March 05, 2011
 
Say what you like about
Colonel Juan Peron, but he always skipped town as soon as shots were fired in anger by serious opponents.
"None of this is worth dying for" he'd tell his cabinet as he stuffed bullion into his briefcase.
This stands in stark contrast to Colonel Gadaffi in Libya who proposes to produce an even bloodier NC-17 version of the Spanish Civil War in his own country.

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Friday, March 04, 2011
 
Sick Day today
tawk amongst yerselves (all seven of you)
Thursday, March 03, 2011
 
There just something plain embarrassing about
being suspended by Fox "News" on the ground that you've been dithering too much about running for President.
Alas and alack this is just what happened though to High Pitched Rick Santorum and Newt "The Cowardly Lion" Gingrich, sidelined til they make up their minds.
No word yet on whether or not Fox News "contributors" Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee and John Bolton will be likewise suspended.
It seems to me, that Rick Santorum is in this thing, he hasn't really struck gold as a freelance wingnut running for President is his only real option at this point.
Its either that or work as the night manager at a Dairy Queen.
Gingrich on the other hand has multiple sources of wingnut welfare to draw on, he could use this as a handy excuse to decline to run for President.
Meanwhile to me, this whole thing looks like Fox News and Billionaire Australian tyrant Rupert Murdoch are ordering these two mooks to run for President.
And my that does not look good.

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Wednesday, March 02, 2011
 
Serious question for the day...
Do any of the well compensated pundits down at the Boston Globe  actually "like" public sector unions?

I can understand Jeff Jacoby's antipathy towards the closed shop...unless of course these are Polish Unions were are talking about and then suddenly the strikers are the very Salt of the Earth.
And of course predictably, Scot Lehigh thinks there have been sufficient excesses on both sides to permit him to straddle the fence and make bleating calls for the wool blanket comfort of republican moderation.
Its no surprise that Scot has found a former Romney Admin legal counsel as an exemplar of the above policy.

But, Humble Elias snarketh, again I ask, is anyone writing op-ed pieces at the Globe on the side of the unions, unabashed, unapologetic and unbowed?
So far the score is zip.
Just askin' thass all....

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Tuesday, March 01, 2011
 
Apropos of ...
nothing at all, but I'd love to see the contents of Ronald Reagan's FBI file. Y'know the alleged "communists" in tinseltown he ratted out to the Federales, the shitty little deals he struck as President of SAG, the casual hobnobbing with mafiosa or his tendency to refer to Lew Wasserman as "My Lord and Master" in private conversation.
I mean, forget about the dickwads Saint Ronald hired to run the country like a bankrupt plantation back in 1981...just the shit he pulled in Hollywood back in the day would be a hair raising cautionary tale in and of itself.
Oh and Happy One Hundredth Birthday Mister President....

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