Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mo Cowan...US Senator??

I mean congratulations, but then again where is the love for Mo' Cunningham? Or for that fact, Moe Howard?? *** Okay I get it, once again Governor Patrick is a man of his word, he said he was gonna pick a minority with no great power base to their name, someone who would not be tempted to run in the primary...and by ghod he did so. Still it woulda been a nice gesture to Former Governor Dukakis to name him to the interim sinecure...but I guess the Governor's Mind is Made Up. Still and all that I wonder, would this "snub" ever push Barney Frank into the race for the US Senate? THAT would be a game changer boy howdy! The debates alone (Markey v. Lynch v. Frank) would be worth it.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

If you want a good hearty malicious laugh...

then check out Scot Lehigh's column in today's print edition of the Boston Globe. He has suggestions for Mitt Romney to "stay relevant" in today's GOP, chiefly he wants the Former Governor to start up a big shiny Moderate Republican Think Tank something to galvanize the dust of Leverett A. Saltonstall and reanimate the very Ghost of Lowell Weicker. Scot's trance state of bliss at the mere mention of "moderate republicanism", is an old and mirthful story, but I swear here in this column Lehigh is hitting Mitt Romney up for a job. I mean kinda, it sure reads that way, think tanks go on and on, while newsprint faces naught but the very gotterdammerung...why not make the transition now and be done with it? Scot Lehigh has always wanted to believe in the coming moderate republican eschaton, he could go on believing for as little as 200,000 a year at the notional "George W. Romney Institute for the Future" (or whatever the hell it is...). My only problem with all this mishaugas is an old one, who the hell ever convinced Scot Lehigh that Mitt Romney was a moderate???? Whoever it was, they did a damn good job, not facts nor the blindingly obvious have ever dissuaded the Globe columnist from this touching bit of'fiction. Willard Mitt Romney is out for himself start to finish and he will not erect a vast think tank apparat to his father's glory, especially when it celebrates and attempts to revive a branch of the republican party that rotted and died off twenty years ago. Mitt Romney did not get to the two hundred million dollar mark by writing checks for doomed projects like this one believe me. It is "Brand Romney", first and foremost, not "Brand Moderate Republicanism".... Besides, he'd never stick with it, one angry phone call from Gary Bauer and Mitt would slink off into the night and leave his Staff Director Scot Lehigh holding the bag.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Congrats (sigh) to the Senior Senator from Massachusetts John Forbes Kerry

On his confirmation to the office of Secretary of State, the score was ninety six to three in the weary wicked end. Meanwhile rumor has it, Scott Brown has a twenty point lead on Ed Markey in a hypothetical general election match up. Hence he is now allegedly "leaning towards" a run in the special election this year. This after a weekend devoted to rumors that Brown was dithering on making the race..."CoughBULLSHITcough!". I will say this a dozen more times over the course of this primary and possibly beyond, Ed Markey has his work cut out for him, he must transcend...Dunno if he has the capacity for all his virtues. Oh and it'll be a contested democratic primary, Stephen Lynch (the pride of Castle Island) seems hell bent on getting into the race, he has many many union supporters and a long history of agreeing with Scott Brown on various policy points, his general election prospects against Brown are likely bleaker than Markey's.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Back on November 11th 2012

I suggested that the GOP had two choices open to it, either make some ideological and policy changes in order to cohort rising minority voting cohorts OR double down on voter suppression in a quest to create a majority by legal diktat. And wonder of wonders as of last week it looked like the GOP was opting for BOTH choices...Down in DC John McCain et al were talking up serious immigration reform while out in Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker was musing over gerrymandering the electoral college (itself a gigantic voter-suppression boondoogle that dates back to the Founding Fathers). Allocating electoral votes by congressional district outcomes, advantages the GOP to a certain point over the short term, but implementing such a measure in states like Texas, North Carolina or Georgia would only strengthen the electoral hand of the many many undocuemented immigrants that John McCain is trying to enfranchise. In other words what we lose in California we'd pick up in Texas. That having been said the whole thing is a bad idea leading to a succession of elections where the popular vote and the electoral college vote would be at variance thus delegitimizing US elections to an appalling degree. Frankly the electoral college ought to be abolished, the proof that the GOP is hellbent on voter suppression as a strategy lies in the fact that there is no public calls on the right for the abolition of said institution. They wanna corrupt it and place it in their service, not get rid of it.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Ex Senator Scott Brown tweeted some oddments in the proverbial wee small hours of the morning... I mean its a disjointed thread to say the least, I'm gonna suggest that the Ex-Senator put a cork in it and head off to bed or else not share his password with Gail or Ayla or whoever. After all supposedly he may be running for Senator sooner than we think, although The Globe Almighty is tossing around the notion today that Brown will let the special senate race slide in favor a flyer on the Governor's race in 2014. THAT Is a consummation devoutly to be wished! A nice long primary battle with Charlie Baker and then a nice bruising campaign with whoever we'll see how well he holds up under those conditions won't we? Under that scenario the GOP is down to either Bill Weld (the darling of Morrissey Blvd even if he doesn't sound interested at all) or else in the third string, Scary Kerry Healey is allegedly intrigued at the notion of a senate race this year. Healey isn't such a laughable notion at first glance, she is a woman and the glass ceiling has just been sundered well and thoroughly...California has two female US Senators why not Massachusetts? Her main drawback is her now lamentable link to Mitt Romney as his toadying Lt Governor although I'm guessing she still has some junk in the trunk fundraising-wise.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

You take Secretary of State Clinton's

testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday as a veritable preview of a hypothetical 2016 Presidential campaign. Senators Johnson and Rand (themselves good GOP Presidential Prospects of one type or another) ranted and raved & wallowed in innuendo, and then got flattened by Secretary Clinton. It was like watching Muhammad Ali go to work on a pair of old scarecrows. The political graveyards of this country are rapidly filling up with ambitious know-nothings who think Hilary Clinton is a jobber. I'm liking the notion of "Hilary in 2016" more and more, she is clearly feared and hated by America's enemies abroad and yet still knows how to handle twitchy little freaks like Rand Paul. The question is, "Does she want it?" Well let me ask you all this, what else is she supposed to do with what amounts to a sixty seven percent approval rating as the USA's "Most Admired Woman"?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

So I guess...

Joe Biden really wants to run 2016 huh? Geez y'know all gaffes aside, I like Joe Biden a lot, he reminds me of Hubert Humphrey in that his mind is made up as to whose side he is on in any given policy debate. And what the hell he is a likable guy, when he isn't saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Nonetheless he'd be seventy four if he won in 2016, that is older than Ronald Reagan when he got in back in 1980...The actuarial aspect of it all starts to get kinda long when someone hits their seventh decade. But that only brings us back to square one as to who can inherit and hold onto the "Obama Coalition"? The President has a lot of unique qualities as a leader and a politician, chiefly the ability to commune so to speak with his base in a way denied to most other office seekers. I'm not sure Joe Biden is quite the guy to preserve and expand said coalition...I'm not saying he shouldn't run, but we as democrats are entitled to a full and fair debate in a diversely peopled presidential primary. Just sayin' thass all...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

It might be time folks...

Dunno that was an eloquent if fiesty inaugural addy from The President Yesterday. New battle lines are being drawn as The Chimes At Midnight enters it's tenth year of "sarcastic rant driven chatter". This has been awfully fun but ten years is a long time to bloviate in extremis, it might be time for a change. No blog lasts forever, hell I thought this, The Little Blog That Cried, would go on for maybe eighteen months and then it's quietly expire. It might be just might, leave on a high note, that has it's attractions.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Guest Blogger: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

(In which the Activist & Minister discusses the malady of maladjustment) "There are certain things in our nation and in the world which I am proud to be maladjusted and which I hope all men of good-will will be maladjusted until the good societies realize — I say very honestly that I never intend to become adjusted to — segregation and discrimination. I never intend to become adjusted to religious bigotry. I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few. I never intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism, to self-defeating effects of physical violence. But in a day when sputniks and explorers are dashing through outer space and guided ballistic missiles are carving highways of death through the stratosphere, no nation can win a war. It is no longer the choice between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence…"

Friday, January 18, 2013

Tim Murray...

per the Worcester Telegram, is not running for Governor next year. So THAT is why Capuano bailed on running for Senate...why buck John Walsh and Ghod Knows Who when you can get in on the ground floor of a free-for-all gubernatorial primary? *** This is not so crazy an idea folks, Capuano started out as the scrupulously honest Mayor of Somerville before he cracked the US Congress... **** I guess this is it for Murray, unless of course, Patrick plans on resigning...but that seems contrary to the Guv's "stick it out" nature...I HOPE. Meanwhile I feel bad for Murray some of his issues were not of his own making, he was an effective advocate for cities and towns and a loyal team player, "He was never a breaker of proverbs and he will give the devil his due". Undoubtedly a lot of people on and off Beacon Hill are looking into the mirror and seeing themselves as the Commonwealth's next Governor...Grossman, Coakley, Bump, Capuano...Lynch and that is just the democrats by ghod.

Aaron Schwartz RIP

I grieve for the kid, he was clearly a gifted programmer, one with a serious agenda of some benefit to the general public. And his suicide at the tender age of twenty six, is such a sad unnecessary thing, peace to his ashes, succor unto his loved ones. *** That having been said, he broke the law and tried to conceal that lawbreaking and bid on evading it's consequences. Bad karma all around. Schwartz had a great technical gift and a worthwhile agenda, but he clearly lacked the rhetorical component to give it all proper and eloquent expression over and above grubbing around in MIT's computer closets. Thus for once Joan Vennochi and Humble Elias are in accord.... "Nihil sapientiae odiosius acumine nimio"

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Overheard at a Wake...

A largely retired journalist, someone with many more serious affiliations than poor Humble Elias, and this guy was sighing with pleasure at the thought of Bill Weld running for the Senate this year. I've never understood Bill Weld's enduring appeal to yuppies and baby boomers, but it is standing firm despite his abandonment of both governorship, residency and his very wife. No matter, Bill has to but mention his zeal for low taxes and his Monkish love of the First Amendment and Journalists sober and drunk fall to their knees in sheer worship. I would love to see the Former Governor come in for just half the relentless and adversarial press scrutiny Mike Dukakis got at the end of his administration or just a tenth of what Lt. Governor Tim Murray is getting right now. Well lets face it a lot of this is vaporware, Weld dare not run with Brown in the game...its mostly a nostalgia trip for him and his worshippers.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Old Photos (first of an occasional series)

Tip O'Neill at a summer function at Buckingham Browne & Nichols School, circa July 1974 being dogged by reporters in respect of the pending impeachment of President Nixon.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Struck Dumb...

Much was made of a wintery little joke Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas cracked before a live mike at a public hearing the other day. Apparently this is the first time Clarence Thomas has condescended to say anything in a public Supreme Court hearing in over five years. The standard liberal blogger line of attack is to impute Thomas' intelligence, however my own thinking is that his Mind Is Made Up long before any arguments are heard therefore little can be said in the context of oral arguments to change his his mind. And in truth, the Conservative Movement in the USA is run by people like Clarence Thomas whose worldview is built around a resistance to persuasion, debate or factuality. There is a difference therefore between Stupid and Stubborn....and Clarence Thomas is Stubborn to a fault.

Friday, January 11, 2013

You Rate a Pretty Big Obit Indeed...

When you are the only Cowboy a-workin' in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. RIP Rex Trailer, King of the Wide Prairie and of Local Children's Programming.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I am liking what I see of the Governor's proposal

to phase out patronage & graft ridden local housing authorities in favor of regional entities that will hopefully driven by civil service protections. Of course likely it is too good a proposal for the State Lege to pass sans tinkering and other forms of legislative abuse...ah but it is this sort of conflict is the reaon why we elected Patrick Governor in the first place to put some tension into executive-legislative relations in this state. And closing down local housing authorities which are rich sources of patronage, graft and their creepy fast-talking little brother a good start on said tension. As long as the patronage aspect is taken off the table and those in need of public housing gets some simplicity and efficiency in the bargain, I am all for it.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

If I had to design a democratic candidate for the US Senate

in the upcoming special, I'd want someone with some notable accomplishments outside the political milieu, someone with a strong populist message (and the rhetoric gifts to make their case if possible), someone with some outsider credibility...someone not necesarily associated with the day to day of democratic party politics. The mood of the electorate is populist and largely unfriendly to corporate financial interests, but that doesn't necessary rebound to the credit of the democrats since the electorate is also famously suspicious of successful "statewide democrats" who are perceived as having a sense ot entitlement towards higher office. Beating some twitchy bum the GOP tossed into the AG's race doesn't make you look like a "candidate of destiny" in the eyes of the voters in other words. Thus a straight matchup with Scott Brown under those circumstances, that aforementioned suspicion will trump policy and party registration to Brown's advantage. So my point is to beat Brown message and messager must lock in metaphoric lock step. As to who this notional democrat would be, yer guess is as good as mine.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Senator Barney Frank?

Could me in, that is if Mike Dukakis is not available. Ahhh but lets face it, making Barney Frank interim US Senator from Massachusetts is just too cool to ever happen for real. Moreover since this is the second iteration of the senate succession law in two years I get the sense that Governor Patrick is very serious about appointing a democrat with a short resume and low profile, someone who would not be tempted to change their minds and start barnstorming the state. Or "Barneystorming" as the case may be. It is interesting however to note that neither the Governor, the Current Junior Senator from Massachusetts or Ex-Congressman Frank have made any endorsements in the upcoming special senate primary election...that murky matrix could we be a factor. So IF the whole thing is still up in the, let me assure the Governor that Humble Elias satisfies all the constitutional requirements to serve as Interim US Senator from Massachusetts....just sayin' thass all.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Dunno kids...

It feels like it might be time to shut er' down. Next month I will have been blogging away here at the Chimes at Midnight for ten very full years. That is a long time to strenuously ride a limited selection of hobbyhorse doncha think? Besides the day of the single combat blogger are effectively over, the good ones have become brands the mediocre or the luckless have simply retreated to social media. Why should Humble Elias persevere in the name of less than a hundred click throughs per day? It has been fun don't get me wrong, lots of fun, but I think I'm starting to repeat myself and that mah frenz is deadly. On the other hand a lot of good local politics is coming up, might be hard to walk away from some potentially big time political brawls. So I'm a bit conflicted, feel free to drop me a line at the addy below if you have something sensible to say...

Thursday, January 03, 2013

"Does he even live here anymore?"

Former State Senator Scott Brown wasn't even out of office at all before he started snarking off at his potential competition on talk radio (as usual). This time he was stirring up old canards about Congressman Ed Markey's residency status. This is a lame ass opening gambit to be sure, but Ed Markey and anyone else bidding to run against Brown had best pay heed, Scott Brown is not a nice guy he has demonstrated a preference for devisive wedge issues and the politics of personal destruction. In that he has been well schooled by his favorite source of information, talk radio...his opponents had best work up some sharp responses because they will be sharply used to be sure.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

A lot of people are working hard behind the scenes

to make Congressman Ed Markey into a torpedo that can sink the "S.S. Scott Brown"....Their chief idea being make sure Ed has a easy uncluttered primary. The same cannot be said of the down ticket effects of a Markey victory in the 2013 special senate election...a seat would open up in Congress and I can easily see twenty or more politicians piling into that once in a lifetime democratic congressional primary. If it happens it'll be the political fight of a lifetime, a battle not for the heart and soul of the Mass Seventh Congressional District, but a ticket to ride in the nation's safest democratic congressional district. Shee-it I can name something like a dozen state reps and senators from around the district that'll be in with both feet withing ten minutes of a Markey victory. HELL I might run! (My price to get out to be named later of of course, hell is is Massachusetts!) I mean IF Markey wins, and I'm thinking that might not be a done deal by any means....but for the moment it is the season of fantasy up and down the congressional district.