Friday, March 24, 2017

A Lot Rides on the House Vote Today...

Paul Ryan's ego and reputation for one thing, if he cannot leverage Trumpcare Bill to Passage then he looks like an impotent schnook after years and years of big talk about "repeal and replace".
If it passes though, (and passage in the Senate still sounds doubtful) Congress will be willfully creating a native class of lumpen unisured "refugees" and if that doesn't spark some form of mass consciousness at the polls then this country is surely doomed.
If it doesn't pass then we are faced with a far more dangerous and ambiguous situation (those two words are the very crux of "Brand Trump"), a brutish hostile US Congress and President are compelled to administer a law they've sworn up and down to repeal....I doubt the administration will waste any time to make sure the ACA is badly enforced and a burden in extremis to all and sundry.
Under those circumstances repeal is oddly enough the better option for Us Liberals, we can then self transition completely to the "single payer" option (the same one all of Congress Has to this day) having tried a private sector centric approach.
Keeping ACA on the books yet badly administered muddies the waters policy wise, I am assuming here that no matter what healthcare is going to become a very controversial issue over the intermediate terms costs and burdens will rise services will be restricted.
On the other hand it'll just be fun to watch Ryan try to spin an abject defeat today....he has it coming to him believe me.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

London...

Terrorists are a classic contradiction, the successful practitioners all adapt seamlessly to the very societies they are so desperate to disrupt & destroy.  They can identify "soft targets" with malignantly shrewd insight and secure such weaponry as said society makes available to them. That and they have the secrecy mania and advantage of surprise, and that in turn works best of all if this is a one-off lone wolf style attack.  If something like today's tragedy had gone down in the USA the perp would've had easily some large magazine'd carbine or a pistol with a similar capability....again its a question of the weapons easiest to procure and this time it was a hunting knife and a fast car.
Attacks like this are gonna become the norm, low tech one off murderous actors, largely trained on line in a sort of "homicidal MOOC", mass action on hard targets seems largely denied these people so the action gets automatically exported to the streets where determined self destructive recruits can rack up a few casualties and seize the headlines.
In some ways its a confession of sheer impotence, a well programmed hidden asset largely wasted in bloodthirsty street theatre...but I'm sure the news media will see it all very differently.

My Heart Goes Out to the Victims...As Always.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Predictably...

Charlie Baker and the MBTA backed down from their scheme last week to shut down the Commuter Rail on Weekends. I think it's hilarious that the Boston Globe was able to cite a ridership of some ten thousand every weekend, a simple statistic that somehow eluded our spreadsheet worshipping Governor.
But this is the new normal count on it, Baker and his handpicked Financial Board are gonna constantly be on the prowl for new ways to cut services and reliability while forcing the ridership to pay more...outrage saved us this time, the next instance though, maybe not so much.
Which just tells me what a "Big Sneak" (as my white haired old Irish Mother would say) the current Governor truly is, he hasn't got a plan he dares enunciate without strong opposition so he goes around in the dead of night looking to chisel off a piece here and there.
Its a lot of things, but it is Not Leadership....

Monday, March 20, 2017

Does Anyone Out There Think....

Deutsches Chancellor Angela Merkel had a good summit in DC this week? Trump basically called her a mark for refugees and terrorists on the campaign trail and a military moocher to her face. He wouldn't even shake hands with her...churlishness indeed.
I suspect that Snub may pay Merkel some short term electoral dividends going forward...at the same time she does need him erect and nominally functioning at the EU Economic Summit in July although based on last week's performance she might be conjuring with finding a pretext to delay the whole mishaugas.
Experiencing Trump's unreliability up front must be giving Merkel second thoughts about that much rumored proposal out of Poland to arm the EU with it's own nuclear deterrent.  Thats a lot of political and diplomatic ground to cover but after this summit its must look like a better bet for the buck with an erratic aggrieved US President presiding over NATO. A lot depends on the outcome of the French Presidential Election next month (Merkel would have to come to an agreement with nuclear armed France to "subcontract" a nuclear umbrella for the EU AND security post Brexit England's tacit connivance as well) as well as German's Federal Elections this Fall.  Hell Paris and Berlin could be in the hands of angry populist irredentists come the fall....or a collection of deeply offended integrationists with aspirations of nuclear independence....

AM I the only person in Massachusetts

that is plainly astonished at the revelation that the MBTA and Charlie Baker's Financial Board thereof, has no means whatsoever to estimate the ridership on the commuter rails on weekends???  I thought this was "Governor Spreadsheets" we are talking about??  This is his managerial genius at work? If so gimme back the ineptoid antics of Jane "Jingle Money" Swift.
Ah but I think we all know what is really going on here, its not that the Governor et al, can't estimate weekend commuter rail ridership, its that they don't want to....since the real goal is to shut down said branch of Public Transport as a cost saving measure.
Which largely forfills the predicition I made two years ago, that Baker's stewardship of the MBTA means higher prices for lesser service...and right here and now, we are getting that fabled decrease in service.
So I am in turn forced to reiterate my original notion is that the only way the ridership (the MBTA's much abused constituens) can get control of this situation is to get into some sort of a defacto alliance with the Carmen's Union. Yeah I know its a forlorn hope but it's likely the only short term solution that leaves all of use forced to pay more for less deliverables.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Anyone notice

that via the public prints in Today's Globe, that Jeff Jacoby puts on a Fetish Mask and dances ecstatically around a shopworn stone idol he called "Free Market Healthcare"?
Has Jeff's Rabbi ever taken him aside and discussed the columnist's routine disdain for The First Commandment whenever he starts groveling and venerating this False God Called "The Free Market"....serious book worshippers would call it blasphemy, I'm sufficiently broadminded to call it sickening (no pun intended).

Friday, March 17, 2017

Thought while shaving....

Lynda Carter (star of stage and screen and when she wasn't Wonder Woman, Ms. Carter probably longed to be Cher) could go up to New Hampshire in about 18 months, proclaim herself "a petitioning centrist democrat" promise all and sundry a balanced budget with no new taxes or tapping social security, & likely be in the top three poll-wise before she even rents her storefront on Elm Street Manchester.
And for this degraded state of politics where mere name recognition is necessary to start at the top of the game, we can thank Donald Trump.
As for Carter, again thanks to Trump she doesn't need to prove herself in any other office she can just start up with the tweeting and be off to the races. Believe me, on paper she looks great, she used to be a GOP stalwart (she can utter that bromide "I didn't leave the GOP, it left me" with unctuous sincerity I am sure), an actress a TV pitchwoman, her second marriage is rock solid and her kids decorously photogenic.
On the other hand, Occam's Razor strongly suggests that Trump's Presidency will either end in a series of mushroom clouds or else abject failure and perhaps the current vogue for populist celebrity politics will have crested and waned.
But I was Lynda Carter I'd make a few quiet phone calls, ya never know....Just don't hire John Podesta.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

I think we can all agree that

"Prison Rules Suck".

They do, they are uncivilized and more importantly reduce all transactions into brutal zero-sum game calculations.
So I have to laugh a little bitterly when I see that Rachel Maddow tried to gin up a "release" of Trump's 2005 Tax Return last night and got trolled heavily on Social Media for violating The President's alleged privacy.
This is the same crowd that bayed on and on for Barack Obama's birth certificate back in the day....But Like I Said, "Prison Rules Suck".
Anyway the American People have a perfect right to say all of Trump's Tax Returns going back to the days of Tumbledown Dick and the English Protectorate if there is probable cause to believe a security risk inhabits the Oval Office.
After all our right to survive as a free people ought not conflict with his right to privacy, assuming Trump can man up and release the returns but he won't for whatever reason and as far as I'm concerned until then, He Has Something to Hide!

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Globe is Ginnin' Up Disatisfaction Among

Senior democrats with respect to the emerging field of Gubernatorial Challenges to Charlie Baker.
Fair enough, its gonna be a difficult year and the usual collection of big money and or big names are giving a hard uphill race a quiet pass.  I also think some PUMAs within the state democratic party are trying to tempt AG Healey into the race despite her assurance a week ago she was running for reelection in 2018 and nothing else.
Frankly if Healey wants to be Governor  then 2018 is likely not gonna be her year, moreover she might wanna seriously reconsider whether the AG's Office is a proper platform from which to leap to something better.  I think something like four AG's in my lifetime have gone for the corner office and come up short...hell the only one who managed to move up was Ed Brooke and he had the common sense to run for the US Senate.
You make enemies as AG, especially in this state where the office tends to be sort of de facto "quality control" over chiselers in the legislature.
The off year convention in June up in Lowell should be interesting, I'm sure Healey will get intensely lobbied to reconsider by the usual suspects I urge her to resist the temptation she'd only be sacrificing herself in vain and opening up the AG's Office needlessly.
I still say we need someone "outside the box" who can strongly self finance, either gender will do if they can demonstrate some moxie.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

GOP Soreheads and assorted

Tantrumps are grousing at Governor Baker in the wake of his announcement last week to the effect that the State will make up any funding shortfalls to Planned Parenthood should the Feds defund said group.
Waaa-al I tell yuh, Charlie Potatoes can say all sorts of things but whether he does it is whole different matter.
But true to form, The Governor has waltzed his way back to the center (accompanied by the usual sighs of relief from the Boston Globe) after his twin ballot question debacles (charter schools and legalized pot) last fall.
Mind you, nobody expects Baker to get "primaried" next year, the GOP bench on the right in The Commonwealth is preposterously thin...although if these guys were dead set on challenging Baker they'd likely need someone who can self finance & raise hell, and likely there just isn't another Donald Trump to be had here in Massachusetts.
Advantage Baker, for now.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Rumors are cropping up to the effect

that the European Union is considering deploying it's own nuclear deterrent entirely independent of the very explicit strategic guarantees the US has issued to NATO practically since Day One.
The modalities of such a move are relatively simple, the Union could "subcontract" a nuclear umbrella of its own from France (which I believe still has the third largest operational nuclear arsenal in the world), maintained in part from general EU Funds with some sort of a dual-key or triple key launch system...
The Poles are allegedly agitating for such a deployment (those cruise missiles Putin has supposedly deployed in Western Russia in violation of INF Treaty obligations HAVE to be aimed at Berlin, Gdansk, Warsaw etc to say nothing of the Baltic States), Angela Merkel might see this as a better bet for the money rather than depending an impulsive and duplicitous US President, one with an ambigious relationship with Vladimir Putin.
"Our Source" to quote Peter Bull in "Doctor Strangelove" is "The New York Times" so take all with a grain of salt.
If your "Iron Dream" is a world composed of homogenous "Racial Fatherlands" (and a big believer in just that nonsense is sitting in the White House Situation Room even as I write this), then be warned, "Europe" has feared the "Barbaric Hordes of the East" for a thousand years, just because they may be white doesn't mean Europe doesn't regard them all with loathing. And should said "Barbaric hordes" start building bivouacs on the Vistula River & stringing barbed wire then I do not give this civilization six months to live....not with all these glistening racial homelands armed with nukes.
So lets all hope I am wrong....:)

Monday, March 06, 2017

Rioting at Middlebury College....

Denying Pseudo Eugenicist Charles Murray a platform at Middlebury College via violence and disruption, may seem cathartic, but ultimately does horrific violence to the First Amendment and to the associated notion of academic freedom.
Let me be clear, Murray is a racially colonized jerk but racially colonized jerks got a right to free speech which under ordinary and even extraordinary circumstance should be no incitement to violence whatsoever.
Whenever someone like this shows up, the rule should be "duly promoted, lightly attended, peacefully protested, fully engaged".
I will remind my readership (all six of you) that last fall Former Secretary of State Clinton took her campaign to the campus of Saint Anselm College (a very very conservative Catholic College indeed) where she unequivocally proclaimed her support of a woman's right to choose and full federal funding of Planned Parenthood.
There was a crowd of several thousand thereon, no rioting, no attempts to supress her right to free speech the Monks that ran the school said nothing and did nothing to disrupt this event ...I should I was there.
If Hilary Clinton can get that consideration from Saint Anselm College then Charles Murray deserves no less the same from Middlebury.
And yes it grieves me to defend him....think twice kids is my closer here.

Friday, March 03, 2017

"We are going in!"

So NH Governor Chris Sununu told some businessmen up there having asserted that The Granite State's opioid crisis was a function of narcotics being shipped in by illegal alien drug dealers in Lawrence Ma.
Yup...thats his argument.
"Martians are doing it!"
My big takeaway from all of this is that we've been trying to eliminate drug addiction using a belligerent punishment-driven model since roughtly 1903 and we have exactly nothing to show for it.
I could discursively note that drug addiction and drug dealing are themselves heavily consequent on the slow elimination of economic transmission belts out of poverty....and there is a lot of said poverty in NH.
No...I'll just note that it might be time to stop doubling down on punishment when it comes to narcotics addiction....cuz its not working. At All....look at all the martians in Lawrence that're making a fortune in the morphine biz!

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Good Ghod

Was Anyone on Last Fall's Trump Campaign NOT blabbing away to the Russian Ambassador? Cuz now AG Jeff Sessions has "suddenly remembered" two discussions with the Ambassador in the heat of a US Presidential Campaign...only two huh? I promise you there is another shoe to fall on this one...I'll bet he had all sorts of contact with the Russian Embassy all of it entirely suspicious and inappropriate.
For that fact, you'd better hope all that contact was initiated in a public park under a pedestrian causeway cuz if any of it was over the phone, dollars to donuts the NSA has that audio and its crystal clear & broadcast ready at that.
Congress is well within it's rights to remand the matter to the House Judiciary Committee as a prelude to Impeachment, the man clearly lied to Congress, a body that has a right to try and remove from office Cabinet Members as well as the President & VP.
To say nothing of what the hell they were talking about....and why it was necessary to conceal the same....

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Just remember there is a larger

And Far more dangerous context to the President's Pronounced Taste for Declinist Tropes and Apocalyptic Scenarios. No I'm not just talking about the fear that he'll be quick on the trigger when the moment of truth comes (count on it, he will but that is another matter), no what he is creating is a sort of "Reichstag Fire Narrative". Look at all the times he's tweeted out "I was right" when some god awful incident has gone down over seas to say nothing of his pronounced tendency to invent terrorist attacks out of whole cloth. Its not that he is delusion (though he may be who knows?) he wants to be able to bray "I wuz right SUSPEND the Bill of Rights" when some serious shit detonates in the USA and count on it, something will sooner or later. At that point our rights and lives will be in the hands of too few persons of honor in Washington DC and elsewhere. That is what he is setting up when he carries on so incontinently, an excuse to vastly expand police and detention powers in the USA...watch for it, we are in the end the only reliable guarantors of our own rights and freedoms.