Thursday, April 30, 2015

Senator Rand Paul and the Governor of Texas...

are both worried that some military exercises undertaken by the US Army presage a armed takeover of the Southwestern USA. I can save both these men some time and taxpayers money, someone ring em' both up and tell them that last night, President Obama appointed Me, Elias Nugator "Top Swank of West Megurb One" a entirely Constitutional New Deal Entity for the American Southwest. I promise a sane just and realistic administration of these long exploited lands, a theory of justice that focuses on the malign intersection of poverty and youth, a program of education that educates without recourse to standardized testing, an end to Oklahoma's exportation of frack-generated earthquakes & one person one vote easy registration thereof. I cannot promise any of you a Utopia not now at least and certainly not without a great deal of hard work and sacrifice. But what have you got to lose? At this point you are chained down with poverty, brutality, pollution and a squalid& corrupt political milieu. If The Southwest was a Private Company it'd be in court order receivership by now. "God Willing, We Will Prevail, In Peace and Freedom from Fear....And In True Health, Thru the Purity and Essence of Our Natural...Bodily...Fluids. God Bless You All!"

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


I know it's a cataract of liberal cliches, but a lot of times cliches got that way because they are true. So let me first assert, rioting solves nothing, it puts persons on the economic margins out of work, it auto destructs neighborhoods and virtually invites gentrification sans discussion & it transforms a debate on poverty and police tactics into screechfest centered on law & order and or "black urban pathologies". IT ALSO affords wingnuttery an opportunity to opt out of the debate on police tactics and simply screech the praises of law enforcement which thanks to that, is already an institute unable to process the mildest criticism without recourse to paranoia. Is there a reason for protest? Yes. Does it require a new lexicon and even newer tactics? Yes. Is any grievance grounds for looting? No. Is any of this gonna get addressed calmly and fairly? Hell No.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Globe has a poll out today

indicating a majority of respondents favor life in prison over the death penalty for Dzhokar Tsarnaev. Some of this comes off the stony soil for capital punishment that is Massachusetts, the broadmindedness of some of the victims may be of influence as well and on review that Supermax in Colorado is no Spring Break in Ft Lauderdale by any means. As we move thru the penalty phase I keep telling myself that I'll accept whatever the outcome is, my heart tells me how difficult it can be for someone to invoke the death penalty (even a longtime advocate) in the cold clinical spaces of the jury room. As I've said elsewhere we are a feeling people and sentencing someone to death even someone who richly deserves it like Tsarnaev is an impossible emotional burden. But still...the little bastard smirked as he set down that bomb at the Finish Line...there is something purely evil about that.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Counter Intuitive Thought re. Hillary Clinton

The conventional wisdom out there is that once again Hillary Clinton is in scandal plagued country re. overseas contributions to the Family's Charitable Trust. My thinking is, nobody really gives a damn, its another fatally complicated financial issue of core interest to sweaty nerdy wingnut bloggers and AM Ranters....and to my money Hillary is just lucky that way. I'll be blunt, I give a rat's ass about that incredulous ominous tone the columnistas and NBC News affect when talking about "Clinton's Latest Scandal", if there was a controversy out there that could end her campaign out there, it'd a hit by now...the woman is a magnet for investigation after all, none of which seems to stick. I also think it was shrewd to fly off to NH and start moving left in general on financial issues, there are votes to be had by "staying populist" on the banks etc. Her GOP rivals on the other hand are welcome to continue raving about women's hemlines, voter fraud and Benghazi, all that shit does nothing but drive voters to Hillary (or any other sensible democrat)as the only sane sounding person sticking up for the little guy in the race. Morever, she is a divider in a useful sense of the term, husbands rave against her, wives say nothing and vote for her, in droves. It is a weee bit Nixonian...but lets face it, Nixonian tactics work.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

What is worse?

A Tax Increase or a Fare Increase? In my case, as a daily MBTA rider the answer is simple, its the fare increase that is worse IF it is married to a degradation in service levels or the revenues are used to pay off debts that don't relate to MBTA operations. Because even as I write this, Governor Baker has filed legislation that takes the cap off MBTA fares and with a transportation board entirely appointed by himself that means if the law passes Baker can jack up fares sans recourse...Baad Karma mah frenz. But of course the measure has to pass, and that will hopefully occasion some debate on Beacon Hill. Lets keep a few things in mind as the process unfolds, we are hamstrung in this matter by two complimentary factors, governmental indifference and tacit hostility is pretty much what put the MBTA in this fix and those two items are also the very things with all the momentum as the debate goes on. We have to change that or else we'll be paying five bucks each way every day for the privilege of sitting stalled in a tunnel between Davis Square and Hell.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Well predictably...

Governor Baker has purged the MASSDOT Board and pocketed full complete and final control over the MBTA...all the while eructating comforting bromides about managerial improvements, cost savings....etc etc. In short he means to stick it to the ridership bigtime, higher fares, degraded service, more non union temps....and most importantly no additional appropriations. Keep in mind, to fix the MBTA Charlie Baker WILL increase fees and fares to a fare thee well, this is straight out of the Mitt Romney playbook as long as no TAXES are invoked verbally then NO TAX INCREASE was every used to pay off the MBTA's debts or purchase all the rolling stock and equipment needed then all is well in the Governor's books. No someone will pay but it will be the ridership and there is even a proposal in the 2015 commission report to raise property taxes in the heavy ridership communities to cover the MBTA's imbedded needs. Translation Grandma is to be taxed to cover off the neglect of the legislature and the Commonwealth. So in effect "targeted" tax increases will be used as a revenue solution, one that likely won't fix things but it will allow Charlie to run for reelection on a "I dint raise no taxes" pledge. Sad but at this point it's inevitable unless the ridership gets active....and that pretty much is our last forlorn hope at this point.

Friday, April 17, 2015

So Jeb Bush is gonna give a speech

at Jerry Falwell's "Liberty University". I wonder if the students will be compelled to attend under threat of a fine as was the case when Ted Cruz came to speak? Hell why stop there? Mandate compulsory standing ovations, hissing and cheering on demand a'la The Supreme Soviet of the USSR in Stalin's Day. Well whatever the conditions I think we can safely discount any "Sista Soljah Moment" from Jeb, the Bush Family Go To with the religious right is to grovel (however reluctantly) first last and always.

The Gyrocopter Guy over the US Capitol...

Is probably going down for two felony counts so far. Congress and the Feds are united with respect to their ego, they hate being mocked....oh how they hate it. It pains me to write this, but stunts like this almost never work. All they do is afford movement conservatism another inflexible opportunity to rant and rave about law & order. And I write that as someone who admire's "The Postman" and his cleverness & his general views on campaign finance reform. DC has always been historically immune to clever street theatre especially when the wellsprings of their entirely legal graft are under discussion. No...the irony of democracy is, the political class never learn anything while In Office, they are only schooled well and thoroughly when they are driven from power at the ballot box. And then their learning largely counts for I said, ironic.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

On the 150th Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Assassination

its worth remembering that prior to being sworn into office in March of 1861, All Abe Lincoln ever asserted with respect to slavery (other than his personal disapproval of said institution) was that clearly congress had the authority to limit the spread of slavery with respect to the territories and the states formed thereof. AND THAT quaint mannered little constitutional argument was enough to wreck the union...for a while at least. And its also worth recalling that that in TODAY'S GOP, said argument would be soundly rebuffed by a phalanx of politicians and intellectuals who think in their heart of hearts Slavery Wasn't So Bad After All.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Well so far...

Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio have all piled into the race for the GOP Presidential Nomination, herein I provide an incomplete scorecard: Ted Cruz: In case you haven't heard, Ted is the intellectually gifted wingnut who graduated Harvard Law, something I sure everyone will be tired of hearing about within two months. Ted is otherwise the US Senator from Texas, glib, sarcastic & every bit as intellectually weird as Rick Perry...but he has the incalculable advantage of Not Being Stupid. He is however a product of the tea partei echo chamber and it remains to be seen how well he will do in terms of coalition building my guess is not very well at all. A good question of his political heft will be determined by whether or not he can force Rick Perry to pass on this race. My guess is no (You can't fix stupid after all) but it'll be a useful tip off all the same. Rand Paul: The United States Senator from Kentucky is a glamorous Libertarian Superstar who has a long history of fecklessly doublecrossing said principles whenever they came into the slightest conflict with The Religious Right. But then how else could he have been elected as a Republican from Kentucky. He can do this because the Ayn Rand Book Worshippers are simply too small a cohort compared to the larger more formidable constituency that is Xian Book Worshippers. Which does make Rand Paul possibly the most intellectually corrupt of the announced GOP contenders so far but there is plenty of capacity to set a new low given additional notional aspirants. Marco Rubio: The United States Senator from Florida is wildly popular in some vital electoral real estate, he is very very youthful looking whose record is notable chiefly for a notorious abject cave in on immigration reform a few years ago. Other than that, he has little on offer he is very young looking and if nominated would look all the world like a kid who had a crush on his teacher when debating say Hilary Clinton. He is however the Veep of Choice for say Scott Walker and it should be remembered that Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush with all his money and power and cronies couldn't keep Rubio out of this presidential cycle...which tells yuh something right there.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

The Little Jobber was found guilty yesterday...

I'm sort of amused to see Newspanic Seven mark out so hard for a verdict that was conceded as a foregone conclusion by the defense at the trial's outset. So now it's game on on the punishment phase of the trial...and again, I do not say this to inflame any passions but just as well if Dzhokar is executed. This is one of those cases where democratic society must prove itself stronger than the perpetrator and his evil and do it in a convincing forthright fashion. To allow Tsarnaev to ossify in prison is to invite his inclusion on notional lists of hostage-takers demands or else inspire the little bastard to write self justifying letters and essays from prison. I'm under no illusions that execution will deter any future terrorist acts but at the very least we can put a very clear and high price on all such acts in the future.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

I got something I wanna get offa my chest...

Bear with me, likely I won't be too eloquent. The MBTA Commission Report (currently being leaked in dribs and drabs to the Boston Globe) reads like a public sector spine chiller from the Pioneer Institute. It's broadest parameters though (regardless of the very real managerial and workforce shortcomings of the MBTA) are simple and stark, the report is designed to pave the way for a decline in service at a higher price to the ridership. So far, the only revenue enhancement the report even addresses per all these leaks is price point, that mean you, me all of the straphangers out there will have to PAY MORE to sit stalled in the tunnels while the T's Jurassic switching system is conned into temporary functionality. That is what Charlie Baker (and our entirely silent representative's in the Great & General Court) has in store for us, "reform" that we ourselves are expected to underwrite. The hour has long passed for a "come to Jesus moment" and if the usual cuts and reforms ARE ALL the Admin has on offer then the only way remaining to force real change is for the ridership to enter into a short term alliance with the MBTA itself. We'd have to be clear eyed about it, no alliance can come about without some real changes within the MBTA's bureaucracy...but this is also likely the only way forward that doesn't not penalize the ridership for problems it has not created. Will it Happen? Likely it will not. But it's worth thinking about.

Monday, April 06, 2015

The Governor's Special Commission on the MBTA

has issued it's report and predictably the T's woes are all administrative in nature and rooted in "low productivity". There is also ominous mention of underpricing at MBTA parking garages and undervalued properties in general (TRANSLATION: Prices are about to go up!, Its gonna cost more to park in the same old crumbling ill maintained garage). Apparentally the debt structure of the MBTA (crafted by one Charlie Baker back when he was Bill Weld's Caporegime) is passed over in silence as well as the whole funding issue save some hints about fare increases. In short...YIPES! So now the cry will go up all over the State House "Reform Before Revenue", this is Mitt Romney's classic passive aggressive strategy that gives a comfy out to both the Legislature and the Executive Department, they can complain to their heart's content about their fave causes, do nothing righteously and go on as before not having done anything at all. Trust me this will be the ultimate outcome. And believe me it all works fine til the Red Line caves in or another eight feet of snow is dumped on Boston. I am absolving no one this issue, everyone's gonna have to give up something from the unions up to the management, the legislature and the order to fix the problem. But I am pretty much opining in vain here...our leaders are not to compel them to listen and to act, I cannot say. Perhaps events must take their course. Meanwhile I'm serious anyone hiring in Arlington???

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

"Indiana Wants Me"

But I want nothing of Indiana, not in the wake of that cockamammie religious freedom act which is naught but deliciously vaguely worded fagbashing written into Law. I loved the official photo, all these religious figures, nuns, preachers and rabbis all grinning like teachables sooo happy that soon the force of law will be on the side of their prejudices. Now of course a scant few days later, Indiana's hapless governor Mike Pence is frantically backpedalling on the allegedly "intolerant aspects" of the law insisting said statute is not a license to discriminate. Well since IT IS a license to discriminate one is at a loss to discover how said law can fixed saved by repeal. Ah but movement conservatives are a sad pathetic passive aggressive lot the poor dears need laws like this to buttress up their nasty bigotries and grant the same special rights and privileges. Alas I strongly doubt this hated law will be repealed (modification is simply impossible, how can you modify a law to prohibit what the original statute authorized? Abe Lincoln would guffaw at the notion), but Mike Pence will make all sorts of noises in the hopes that something will take the whole horror show off the front pages. So that being the case, health to the boycott, remember no less a Sage that Ronald Reagan said people should Vote With Their Money.