Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I don't want much for Christmas...

The prosperity and happiness of my loved ones, world peace and maybe just maybe a Deserving Democrat nominated to succeed Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense. Mostly cuz I am sick unto death of this meme that the Democrats don't have anyone who can "handle" the DoD thus making the sinecure useful for practicing an entirely unreciprocated form of bipartisanship. I understand the need in wartime to spread out accountability among all the political parties....but then again you never see a Republican President nominating a Democrat to be Secretary of Health and Human Services do you? I mean think about that. Granted FDR started this whole thing back in WW 2 nominated Henry Stinson as Secretary of War and Frank Knox Secretary of the Navy (both registered republicans) but now over seventy years later we have reached a point of diminished rate of return on a very shopworn ploy. Nominate a democrat I say....There are a couple of Senators out there who are about to lose their jobs in January who'd likely leap at the chance, just sayin'.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ah Ferguson, Aw Hell...

Is it me, or do we somehow en masse auto suggest ourselves as a nation into these violent demeaning racial cul de sacs? Is anyone out there surprised at the outcome, the Grand Jury dropped the Wilson-Brown shooting like a hot potato and then the community erupted, we've seen it a dozen times before same mistakes, same actors, same reactions, same outcome. The sad part is, the resultant violence and looting gives the opinion industry and their constituents the excuse to essentially reduce poor Michael Brown to a nice forgettable footnote whilst everyone else gets on their high horse about pathologies within and without the black community. In these situations, we don't have a debate let alone a dialogue, we have a mumbled monologue by rote. I feel bad for the kid, what he didn't abjectly surrender quickly enough??

Monday, November 24, 2014

Apparently the plan in...

to handle Boston's Bid on the 2024 Olympics thru to actual execution entirely via private donations. This is the plan that was used in Los Angeles circa 1984...and I guess it worked the public coffers weren't raided or anything. Per Saturday's Globe though, SHOULD Boston become a "finalist" in the bidding for said Olympics Some FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS has been set aside to cover lobbying expenses within and without the IOC. FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS! Mother of Ghod....thats chump change to some people out there, but to me, that finances A LOT of scholarships to worthy impoverished kids deserving of a college education, buys a ton of inoculations for poor children and Ghod knows what else. Hell Deval Patrick has to cut three hundred million out of the budget before New Years...I'll bet you he is desperate to find an extra fifty million somewhere. But no...THIS MONEY is going to Hype Boston as a Olympic Host, nothing more. Frankly and Bluntly it's a poor use for such a lavish sum, but this is where our values are today, Hype Prestige and Buzz, you'd think they'd become Our Currency or some damn thing!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

James Webb in 2016?

Word comes to us, that Former Virginia Senator, Democrat James Webb is forming a Presidential Exploratory Committee. He has an abundance of advantages...on paper at least, having been Secretary of the Navy, NASA Administrator, US Senator and a decorated veteran of Viet Nam. I'm gonna assume he is gonna run as a centrist, if he runs....Which is fine I guess, not sure how much "Centrists-hedging-our-bets-on-Hilary" money there is out there to be raised but Barack Obama was a long shot once too so yez never knows. No Webb's chief drawback as a candidate is both intangible and sad, to date Two Combat Veterans of Viet Nam have been nominated by both party's neither man (John Kerry & John McCain) was elected. I suspect the electorate thinks valiant service in that war is no great qualification for office and here for once, I try to choose my words carefully. It is a shame and I hope I am wrong about that, is all I can say.

Friday, November 21, 2014

I'm liking the New Improved President Obama...

A few facts followed by some sensible suggestions and capped with an executive order & viola, Instant Transcontinental Wingnut Fugue! It is Inspiring to say the least and it nicely hijacks the narrative for the coming weekend and pretty much calls a halt to GOP's post midterm victory lap. Looks like a Hat Trick....the sheer sanity and modesty of the President's current proposals on immigration are demonstrated by the fact that nearly ever out-and-proud belligerent teachable in the Nation is, even as I write this, shrieking for Blood & Dynamite.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

More Good News...

The IOC is in town looking into Boston's Very Serious Bid to Host the 2024 Olympics. This is utter madness on a cosmic scale. The city is too small, public transport far too run down and unreliable and the cost utterly prohibitive. Hosting the Olympics though is just the sort of insane vanity project that appeals to egos across the political spectrum. The fact of the matter is, the people who want it NOW, are not the cadres who will be called upon to administer this mishaugas come 2024....this is what made the Big Dig such an expensive,frustrating, heartbreaking spectacle. Does anyone out there really think the State Legislature and the Executive Department will EVER spend the necessary money to upgrade the Red Line to meet the spike in demand congruent with hosting the Olympic Games? To say nothing of Commuter Rail, The Orange Line or any of the rest of it? HELL NO THEY WON'T!! They will just hope and pray to ghod their patchwork fixes will hold up til the tourists leave and THEN the Red Line can implode in peace!! Sick Demented Typical!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Congrats to Steve Kadish

Baker has tapped the Northeastern University COO (who is a democrat) to be his new Chief of Staff. The bad news is, the Chief of Staff's job is the most miserable thankless burden in State Government short of being AG. So of course, Charlie Potatoes pulls a dem for the job...it's no rebuke the State GOP to slot in a democrat who will have to make countless enemies IF he is doing the job right. Well....I guess the best we can hope for is that Kadish has got some horse sense and can tell who is a liar and who is a boodler, useful insights on Beacon Hill. Good Luck yer gonna need it, Deval Patrick has gone thru something like a half dozen chiefs of staff in eight years....like I said, its a damned-if-ya-do, damned-if-ya-don't sinecure.

Monday, November 17, 2014

I see in the news that Richard Taylor

(Bill Weld's DOT Secretary) has resigned from Charlie Baker's transition team amidst allegations of evictions, liens on households, unpaid taxes and a host of other embarrassments...and yet this jobber could still pony up a 5k campaign contribution to the Baker-Polito Committee. I think Charlie lost himself a sterling GOP stalwart this time, the very epitome of Republican Rectitude, truly the Grown Ups are In Charge Once Again. But to the root of the matter, we can probably look forward to more of this sort of thing as Baker selects his cabinet and sundry appointees, as a republican he has a very limited bench on which to draw, chiefly hacks and pay-triots from the Welducci Admin and whatever can be scraped up from the bottom of Mitt Romney's stave barrel of sheer talent. Look for it is all I can say...

Friday, November 14, 2014

Wow...

In the past week the President has secured cooperation from the PRC on climate change (thus making the entire GOP caucus in the US Senate look like idiots...which ain't hard admittedly), banged the pots for Net Neutrality and sent the US House and the furtherest reaches of Tawk Radio into screeching shit fits promising an executive order on illegal immigration. I mean, so much for impotence and irrelevance huh? I wish the President well on all these endeavors and any others he cooking up for next week...because taken together this week's initiatives make for a good head start on a 2016 platform, if the democrats are willing to listen that is...(which IS NOT a foregone conclusion believe me). BTW, I wanna congratulate Secretary of State John Kerry for making Boston into an Unlikely Diplomatic Venue...per the Globe he was discussing climate change with a Chinese Diplomat all over town prior to the announcement last week. Nice work Mister Secretary, now if only you'd take the Israeli Foreign Minister to The Hong Kong that would be too precious for words.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Over at Methuen High yesterday

they used the holiday to good advantage testing out "active shooter" technology that will help the police track down a school shooter ever more quickly and reliably. This is grim but good news since the wave of school shooting shows no sign of abating. On the other hand if the detection technology becomes sufficiently widespread it'll only cue potential shooters to target less well protected events and locations....kid's soccer games or Little League for example. I know that is NOT a pleasant thought, but we have to start thinking this way since we've embarked on a generation long social engineering experiment to sire a peaceful crime free society thru firearm saturation.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The President has come out

banging the pots for Net Neutrality this week, which is pretty much a fairly transparent bid on the youth vote and otherwise the opening gambit in assembling a coalition for 2016. Predictably Ted Cruz called it "Obamacare for the Internet" which is likely the sort of front page "positive polarization" the White House seeks in the aftermath of the mid term election debacle. The college campuses are all for net neutrality, not the K-Street Lobbyists etc...you have to see it from that perspective...so the more rhetorical overkill from his opponents on this issue, the better for the President as we slouch towards Primary Season.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Charlie Baker wants to...

focus on drug abuse specifically the rising numbers on heroin use out there. Fair enough, smack is bidding on being cheaper than gasoline out there...but seriously if Baker wants to get ahead of the curve, he'd best start thinking on a good solid workable policy on combatting gambling addiction especially among those on fixed incomes! Lets face it, casino gambling is nothing but a defacto program to privatize social security. Union labor builds a huge casino, staffed by open shop dacoits paid a minimum wage who in turn fleece retirees of their pension and social security checks. At Bally's in Las Vegas on low volume weekday nights busload after busload of retirees roll up from Arizona to gamble away the night....some small provision ought to be made to deal with similar situations here...because believe me, we are gonna need it! And forget about any of that "innovative public-private-partnership" rubbish...not with the likes of Steve Wynn spending millions to make sure the ballot question swings his way. One doubts his commitment to good faith negotiations....

Friday, November 07, 2014

So I wonder if

The Governor Elect will be a Mensch and offer his former running mate Richard Tisei an appointment at the cabinet level? I mean now that Tisei is seemingly back on the dole having lost to Seth Moulton in the 6th Congressional this week... Secretary of Superfluous Islands? Chairman of the State Commission on Choices, Conundrums and Riddles or maybe MBTA General Manager maybe Tisei can figure out where the revenue is gonna come from to keep the Red Line from caving in now that the Gas Tax is no longer indexed to the inflation rate.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

The Boston Globe conjures with

"The Attorney General's Curse" in today's edition, ergo that ambitious AG's never seem to achieve the corner office in a fair political contest. I think the problem is much broader than that, it seems clear to me that almost all statewide office holders are at a competitive disadvantage if they aspire to the Governorship in a general election. In fact, so far as I can tell the ONLY state wide office that is a reliable path to Gubernatorial Power is...The Office of Lieutenant Governor. The Late Paul Cellucci and Jane "Jingle Money" Swift can both reliably attest to that notion. I don't have a tested hypothesis on this other to note that if you run and win statewide what you pick up in prestige, deliverables and name recognition you lose in terms of a broader public perception of being an "insider". Consider the men who have been elected Governor in my lifetime, Mike Dukakis a Brookline State Rep, Bill Weld, a Federal Prosecutor, Paul Cellucci an incumbent Lt Governor and former State Senator, Jane Swift a Cabinet Jobber, Mitt Romney a man with no substantive public experience at all and Deval Patrick a former Assistant US Attorney General. Meanwhile over that span of time, the democrats nominated two attorney's general for Governor and a State Treasurer all defeated. Moreover at least one additional state Treasurer and another attorney general sought their party's nomination for Governor and came up short. A pattern of sorts emerges, most of the above cited politicians could make a claim (however strained at times) to being outside "the Beacon Hill Culture"....in fact nigh all of them ran at one time or another as a bulwark against said Beacon Hill Culture. So as the state democrats look forward (y'know when the Gloating Stops), they might wanna consider some of the hidden costs to a candidate with an established statewide portfolio...cuz at this point it's all looking like A New Glass Ceiling in State Politics.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Surprise....

Suzanne Bump was re-elected as State Auditor by a bare 57% of the vote. :) Well grudging congrats to our Governor Elect, Charlie Baker, we are about to find out how good a school of statecraft is the Swampscott Board of Selectmen. As for what happened last night, I'm honestly surprised Coakley hung in as long as she did and drove it down to under two percentage points or roughly 36,000 votes statewide. She had the Very Gods of Olympus and the Editorial Board of the Boston Globe against her....let us not forget that. Otherwise this was the Closest Gubernatorial election since 1998 when Cellucci beat Harshbarger. Moreover the polling data on this one seemed very faulty most of the polls trended towards Baker over the last two weeks and yet his final tally was a bare plurality and 1.4 % margin. The democratic primary had this same problem as well I suspect there are some polling models out there that are past their expiration date. The precise modalities will have to wait on better more reliable numbers and keener wits than mine, but if I had to hazard a hypothesis I'm gonna guess Charlie's winning formula was Ticket Splitting Independent Women + The Endorsement of the Boston Globe + Evan Falchuk (who carried off 62,000 votes that Martha desperately needed). The whole independent women thing, is pure conjecture on my part, the final polling numbers will confirm or deny it. Nonetheless clearly this was a cohort Baker was obsessed with getting at all costs up to and including popping Midol in front of the cameras. This is also a cadre famous for splitting tickets in droves. As for the Boston Globe's endorsement, clearly that has some serious utility in a close race as when applied to a GOP candidate it instantly confers "Republican Moderate" status...Said endorsement is conversely almost useless and likely a burden to any democrat occupying statewide office who aspires to the Governorship. Lastly Evan Falchuk ran up some good numbers last night, mostly in the form of disaffected independent radicals....in the past I've been known to bemoan this cohort's inability to join any broad coalition against the GOP. However over time I've come to the conclusion that this is a somewhat vengeful bunch whose sheer hatred of the the two party system makes most of them "ungettable from the git-go" for any serious democratic candidate. In short they LIKE skewing elections, it suits their vaguely Leninist notions of "chaos and or reaction all benefits me". Well be that as it may, the rest of the democratic ticket did very well indeed and the GOP's alleged surge never materialized with respect to the Great and General Court. As for Baker I have strong doubts of his alleged managerial acumen or his patience with State House milieu....to his credit he has been handed a relatively robust state economy but this is Charlie Baker we are talking about he could as always screw up a two car funeral.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Election Day...

Consider the Lilies, and then get out and vote...remember you are the heir to a tremendous Legacy, be worthy of it. *** BTW....The Globe's endorsement of Baker pretty much validates my much derided notion that Morrissey Blvd has this weird ongoing obsession with breathing life however they must into the cold cold corpse of moderate republicanism. A good chunk of their columnists covered their eyes and closed their eyes and wished away four years pretending that Mitt Romney was a moderate....so projecting fantasies of centrism onto Charlie Baker is no great feat believe me. Personally I think Baker is unsuited for the job given his notorious temper, some of our biggest fiscal challenges are the consequence of decisions he made back when Charlie was Bill Weld's budgetary bootblack...and there is something repulsively intellectually corrupt about his stance on the gas tax...Baker ought to know better and indeed he does and yet he doesn't care. I think Bill Maher (who is a bit of a jerk IMHO) is right about one thing, the two party system is down to the democrats who are a center left coalition at best and the GOP which is gone whoring after extreme conservatism at the expense of any moderating impulse at all. The quicker everyone realizes this, the better we will all be as far as Humble Elias is concerned. So Vote for Coakley, she is honest, modest & willing to work hard we cannot ask for more.

Monday, November 03, 2014

It is 2010 until further notice!!!

Up in NH, callow mercenary Scott Brown seeks to unseat Senator Shaheen, never had the Commonwealth a worse Senator never did Wall Street have a more faithful Sock Puppet, I urge the Granite State to Give Scott a Big Miss Tomorrow. He is unteachable vain and wouldn't know Moultonborough from Molten Lava... *** Mean down in the Flatlands Charlie Baker grinds his way from town to town keeping his famous short temper in check and brandishing his endorsement by the Boston Globe like a tomahawk. In essence though its the same old Charlie a demagogue on "safe" issues like Welfare and a complete hypocrite on important matters like the gas tax. Other than his mirthful tendency to commune with phantasms that take the form of fishermen he brings nothing more to the table than he did in 2010...again I urge the electorate vote for Coakley and give Baker the Bum's Rush. We are however faced with a curious case study tomorrow, two defeated candidates in different statewide races in the same year now nominated against one another for Governor. In short we are about to find out just who learned their lesson and who did not....

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Twilight of the Ghods in Hyde Park....

Boston's longest serving Mayor, Tom Menino is Dead. The very Heavens Do Shake. He prospered for over twenty years in office because like those reptiles on the Galapagos Island observed by Darwin all those years ago, he was nigh perfectly adapted to his environment. And that was, a Mayoralty that is a strong executive (at least in comparison to the City Council) presiding over a city with an expectation of clientism which was in turn fueled by the needs of coalition building withing and without a Baronial milieu of neighborhoods and ethnic islands. The general model of governance in Boston as such is very 19th century, indeed as Menino demonstrated time and again a successful Mayor need not be an eloquent visionary of any type. If said Mayor has insight into those above cited "pillars of power" in Boston then he or she will prosper...Menino prospered for twenty years and likely would still hold the office today if Cancer hadn't laid him low. Mayors are not like Governors, or Presidents for that matter. The expectations the public has of them are different, a Governor runs thru his or her bag of tricks in eight years or less, a good Mayor with sound lungs can cruise thru an entire decade on nothing but a low opinion of pot holes and rigorous snow plowing. The job is about insight, two fold, insight into the nature of power from within city government as opposed to the demands on resources from without city government. What Menino understood was, his job was to redistribute boons and rewards, patronage if you will. But the boons & perks I'm thinking are entirely intangible in nature, prestige, access or the sheer weight of advocacy are the sorts of things Menino redistributed and like a mensch, he did it on behalf of groups and ethnicities much ignored & derided until his Apotheosis in City Hall. That is a Key Power of the office. And this is a man equally revered in the Black Community and in the Gay Enclaves of the South End, he "called in one and all" & acted as a broker of good faith...That and Tom Menino routinely hit every Wake from the Dedham Line to the Tobin Bridge. That much of his legacy is admirable...and all that coalition building & redistribution of intangible benefits allowed Tom Menino to built himself a beautiful urban political machine something that could make or break em' down to the ward & block level. In terms of political organization it was an amazing achievement, but boy howdy Menino could be vindictive with his organization, statewide democrats crossed The Mayor at their peril, just ask Scott Harshbarger if you don't believe me. But if this is a 19th century political model with some 21st century enhancements then it persists because it works...it is reasonably economic and rational in terms of what it redistributes and it is again reasonable comprehensible & perceived to be legitimate by the polity. It is not that we will never have another Mayor who governs in that hybrid 19th Century style, we just won't have one who does it quite so well. Indeed Tom Menino was so adept at being Mayor of Boston he probably could never have aspired to any other political office, the skills required just do not transplant at all. That is his epitaph Tom Menino was Boston, neighborhoods, coalitions, boons perks and all and he could never be anything else.