Thursday, March 29, 2018

If Komrade Kim v. 3.0

has really patched things up with Beijing, then that can't be good new for thr USA going into the proposed Korean Summit come May.
I think Kim wants the summit to go up in flaming chunks in a fashion that makes it look like Donald Trump's impulsive fault at which point they can either produce a prior negotiated security guarantee from the PRC and thus hamstring any military response to said summit's collapse.
In effect Beijing becomes Pyongyang's invisible patron in the room, assuming they don't attend the talks themselves at the last minute on Trumpian "impulse".
In such a scenario North Korea still labors under sanctions, but Kim doesn't give a rat's ass about sanctions as long as lobster can be smuggled in & he gets to keep his nukes it's all a big win in his book.
Bluntly put, I think Donald Trump is being lured into a trap, whatever Pyongyang/Beijing have on offer it'll be unacceptable to Trump with no immediate military solution available that doesn't run the risk of war with the PRC.
Thats assuming a security guarantee is in play...I could be wrong.
If Trump is smart (and he isn't believe me) he should downgrade expectations and send in his Secretary of State to see whats on offer and what might be taken up in return. It doesn't help that by May he'll have the help of a brand new foreign policy team basically culled from the ranks of the belligerent...lets hope they at least can sense a trap in the making.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Mitt Romney got up in front of literally his first audience

On the senatorial stump in Utah and announced that on illegal immigration he was in some respects "to the right of President Trump".
In other words "ship the DACA kids out, treat like the Romney Family Dog", pretty heartless for a guy who routinely employed those DACA Kids Parents to clip his hedges in Belmont.
But its hardly a surprise, its not that Romney is a gruesome panderer, he is, it's just that he is so laughably bad at it. No doubt in a week or so he'll insist there were "bad actors on both sides" in Charlotte NC. Just remember Utah, Mitt isn't a conservative or even a republican, he is craven pure and simple.  He'll say whatever he THINKS you wanna hear in a pathetic stumbling transparent fashion, he may agree with out and truckle shamelessly but he is unworthy of your respect.
Quite frankly Utah, you can do better, either go with the democrat or dig up a republican with a shred of self respect.
Your call...

Tuesday, March 27, 2018


We got some State Police Offices posted to Logan Airport, who are collecting roughly double the Governor's take home pay thanks to untracked and seemingly unlimited overtime.
It seems like every three years or so, we have yet another public sector payroll scandal in the Commonwealth, this time its the State Police, but it does seem to monotonously cycle thru all the departments sooner or later.
This is where I normally wallow in the "sarcastic rant driven chatter" but for once lemme step back and try to describe the Big Picture.
Thanks to the fact that it's the State Police, literally both political parties are uniquely disincentivized from taking quick decision action or even executing due diligence/oversight.
The GOP does not ever want to appear to be "anti-cop" as over the last two generations they've totemized the "Sacred Lawman" to a degree that makes Jesus Christ look like a porch climber.
Now with the democrats, matters are equally complicated, regardless of the low regard most police leadership have for the democratic party, few individual democrats want to be percieved as being "anti public sector union".
Hence the wide open state of affairs at Logan, now already, on the basis of some timely Boston Globe. Reportage, the Governor is bleating away heroically, but for once if stern messages be taken there is gonna need to be some (deep breath now) "Bipartisanship".  Lets not get this one counts.

Monday, March 26, 2018

The Great Irony...

that snuck in with Saturday's Gun Control Marches is that while the rhetoric was both clear and even blunt the actual proposals are fairly modest, better background checks, a reinstitution of the assault weapons ban, limited confiscatory powers to local police, a fairly limited agenda, I would say almost "Clinton-Esque" in its inherent moderation.
But alas the "gun worshippers" out there have gotten so besotted and spoiled they regard even a hint of dialogue as an imminet threat to the entire US Constitution.  I applaud the kid's technique they are outplaying their opponents at the game of politics. It is a very simple agenda, well promulgated, when its rejected by the NRA et al, then it's game on come the fall. I think the unwillingness to discuss  anything at all may well doom this lot, but then they've got tons of money and are unburdened by shame so  stay tuned folks.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

It Goes Without Saying...

I am in complete solidarity with the marchers in DC and elsewhere today, they have correctly divined that matters related to gun violence in the USA are coming down to sheer survival.  I wish them all well, the boomers who are largely in charge of this country have made a perfect hash of the situation vis a vis gun control, I look to the youth of America for some clarity and purpose.

There is a shit ton of fear and panic out there

About John Bolton's appointment as National Security Advisor to the President...and in truth, there is a lot there to panic about if you care to do even superficial digging.  He is after all, a very well educated simple minded man who regards intervention as the answer to everything, the man's military belligerence is legendary going back over twenty years. On the face of it, I'd say his appointment casts a deep shadow on the outcome of the talks with North Korea, which where already unlikely to produce anything of value given Trump's heavy commitment.
On the other hand, Bolton has made hundreds and hundreds of enemies from within and without the GOP down thru the years, like Trump, he is loud & truculent and unafraid to question his opponents manhood / patriotism.  Par for the course for a foreign policy intellectual who hid from the draft in the National Guard during the Viet Nam War...given that does anyone expect a peacenik in the making?
No, I'm gonna go out on limb and suggest short tenure for Bolton, I think he has too many antagonists laying for him in DC to be an effective NSC Advisor, and his personality is "too trumpian" to ever collaborate effectively with the President.
No, to me, his appointment points to something deeper, most US Presidents, commencing with Dwight Eisenhower have tried to use and or manipulate television to influence voters. Donald Trump seems to be the first US President to be chiefly influened and controlled BY television, he tends to pick people for important offices on the basis of their Fox News Appearances and their innate qualities to grate on liberals.
I think this could be very important down the line, Fox News and the TV News Cycle in General basically control the US President...get control of the new cycle and you can put Trump on the defensive literally instantly....think about that folks.
Stormy Daniels has the entire White House on the defensive simply because she has deployed innuendo & anticipation skillfully to dominate the news cycle.  You notice no one is paying the slightest attention to the Administrations bleating denials regarding her alleged affair with the President...she hasn't said a single thing yet and Trump's credibility in this matter is already shot to hell.
I'd say the lady is onto something....

Thursday, March 22, 2018

I don't know what

The alleged mad bomber Mark Conditt's motivations might have been, he may well have been simply psychotic, he was the prime age to be symptomatic after all. Clearly though, he was home schooled and had joined a sort of wingnut boy scouts deviant called "RIOT" where he learned survival skills and the manual of arms etc....
Neighbors of this strict christian family are all shocked at Mark's alleged crimes, given the household's patina of "normality".
Of course only in Texas can teaching an impressionable teenaged boy how to kill people is considered "normal"...thats what I'm still trying to wrap my mind around, motivation or no motivation.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

There is something sad and viscerally pathetic

About the spectacle of President Trump returning to Manchester NH to tell an audience of five hundred that he favors resolving the "opioid crisis" by hanging the drug dealers.
All that'll do, its create new drug dealers or impell the cornered to shoot it out with the rollers and die in a blaze of pretended glory. As policy it comes down to "shoot the small fry and the big boys will back off fer sherr".
The death penalty does make for some leverage over the accused by proescutors, in that sense its useful but otherwise it's the usual gory nasty nonsense from our addled and berserk President.
Cutting prescriptions is legitimately a good idea, so is spending more on treatment, but even the six billion Trump proposes is likely not enough, the thrust of boldness is needed in other areas, but this is Trump and he likes to make hollow threats.
Moreover its ironic that he chose Manchester NH as his platform, a municipality that is pretty much classed as "The Walking Dead", it rises from its' grave, gets prettied up and apes vitality for a few months during the New Hampshire Primary and then returns to it's torpid undead status.
I went to college in Manchester NH a full generation ago, and it had drug problems even then, urban poverty as far as the eye could see, completely deindustrialized and a virtual poster boy for a abandoned mostly white underclass ill served by dozens of politicians on both sides of the aisles.
So along came Trump who promised to "hang the dealers" which got a lot of press attention, but then again Manchester has heard it before from Sam Yorty, Pat Buchanan & Pat Robertson....
I say fixing Manchester NH starts with not promising them something that'll never do them a damn bit of good...

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Boston Globe

Has a brief overview of the career of Civil War Union General Joseph Hooker (his statue stands guard over the south entrance to the State House, JFK anchors the north, neither man served in the legislature BTW) in light of a current controversy over the General's somewhat unfortunate last name.
Alas it is true, that "Fightin' Joe" having loudly promised Lincoln victory on the battlefield got his ass whipped thoroughly by Robert E. Lee at Chancellorsville.  Abe Lincoln shrugged and relieved Hooker of his command and sent him West to serve under Ulysses Grant.  What the Globe conveniently leaves out is that at Lookout Mountain in Tennessee, Hooker neatly redeemed himself forcing the confederates into a route and saving the Union's besieged forces in Chattanooga.  He was after all "Fightin' Joe Hooker" and likely was looking for a rematch in Tennessee however much we may snicker at his last name today.  I like to think that mounted statue in front of the State House is in honor of someone who tried-failed and by Ghod, Tried Again....and I think thats a good message to send to everyone who enters the Massachusetts State House.

Monday, March 19, 2018

To my point yesterday

mere racial populism is nothing but "hell yeah politics" writ loud, "false consciousness" to paraphrase Marx.  And Steve Bannon is a racial populist, he has a long list of very real problems he wishes to address, his solution though, will resolve exactly in siring a society dominated by an entirely artificial strata of ehnic castes with caucasians seemingly on top.
For however long said arrangement lasts that...
Real populism is only effective as a means of redressing social & economic inequalities when it is practice a rough and ready sort of diversity built on "colorblind, genderblind, strength in numbers."
The farm crisis of the late 19th century in the USA was vastly exacerbated by the inability of western and southern factions of the farmer's alliance to reconcile themselves over potential inclusion of southern blacks in the notional reform driven "People's Party". And that schism in turn held back much needed farm reform for a good fifty years until the advent of the New Deal when sheer national economic calamity started driving the process.
Again "strength in numbers vertically and horizontally" is pretty much the only thing that can force the interests into negotiating, without all you have is a lot of white power grievance politics...which is what I think Bannon is really all about regardless of his Harvard Sheepskin and Admiration for Plutarch....

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Steve Bannon gave an interview in Europe

where he extolled Benito Mussolini's "virility & fashion sense".  Yeah....this guy.
Well it is true, Mussolini did have an impressive collection of hats and even more polished jackboots (with trick heels to make him look taller)...he was resplendent as he reviewed his troops clumsily goose stepping past him in ragged uniforms carrying rusty rifles. As for his virility, its true he fathered five children inside his marriage and at least one out of wedlock...but then a lot of this bed hopping on his part was "justified" as setting an example in reversing emigration driven population loss.  Just as conquering the Mediterranean Basin was supposed to create a vast "virility zone"where the phantom surplus population would colonize and procreate ad infinitum.  To that end, Mussolini allied with Hitler since the only way he could redraw the colonial map of North Africa was to destroy the French & The British in Europe. Like Steve Bannon Mussolini was obsessed with Nationalism, Race and other examples of populist false consciousness.  The problem with Bannon is, he is making the same mistakes as Mussolini, white populism and exclusionary politics is somehow supposed to repel the encroachments of "Global Corporate Elites".  Well ya know, transnational corporatism IS a problem...that much I can affirm...but white solidarity ain't gonna resolve jackshit, its nothing but a power trip for intellectual corruptards like Steve Bannon, boots and hats and all.  

Friday, March 16, 2018

Congrats to Connor Lamb on his razor thin

win down in Pennsylvania Tuesday Night. He took a deep red congressional district and flipped it blue, kudos to his hard work and positive attitude.
There is wild talk of a "coming blue wave" in the Fall's Midterm Elections, we ought not to succumb to complacency or exultation, after all we were supposed to win in a walk last time. And lets keep a weather eye on Moscow, they'd love to cement themselves as the USA "election disruptor of choice" maybe with some targeted blackouts on election day hmmmmm?
My main takeaway this time is that Lamb's victory will be an open invitation for the Boston Globe to gin up a "Seth Moulton for President" thing going forward. Moulton was "all in" on Lamb fundraising and campaigning for The Candidate and thus has reaped a reputational windfall on Tuesday Night.
I urge Congressman Moulton "Not To Inhale" or at least talk it over with Former President's Kerry, Dukakis & Romney.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Tillerson Outski

Rex Tillerson our embattled & embittered Secretary of State was literally fired via Twitter by his Boss the President of the USA.
Rex Tillerson was no prize, but he was undeserving of this sort of treatment which is increasingly par for the course with Donald Trump. Apparently Secretary Tillerson backed British PM Theresa May in a diplomatic showdown with Moscow AND THAT was the last straw for Trump.
My two big takeaways from this deplorable situation is that CIA Director Pompeo (slated to replace Tillerson) is a huge Iran Nuclear Deal critic so that diplomatic framework will be gone before the end of the year...which is not good news, because while we can dispense with the arrangement we probably can't stop Iran from building and deploying nuclear weapons. they've seen in North Korea, "nukes prevent invasions", and Iran likely has to consider the coming clashes with the USA.
Firing Tillerson is also a big wave-in for Putin in Eastern Europe disquieting news for NATO and any and all "frontline states" that abut Russia in said alliance.
So in sum, The Iran Nuclear Arrangement is going down, NATO is worried (and it should be) and somehow Trump and Pompeo are supposed arrange to "denuclearize" North Korea when they just backed out of the same deal with Tehran....anyone else see light at the end of that tunnel cuz I do not.
What am I missing here?

Monday, March 12, 2018

Apropos of Nothing...

but patriotism and nationalism are pretty much mutually exclusive categories.  Orwell has a lyric definition of patriotism that I like very much, a patriot is in Orwell's view is one who likes their particular way of life and has no wish to impose it upon others.
Nationalists so far as I can tell, are haters, they want to conquer, repress, expunge or avenge real and intangible wrongs...not only are they haters but much of their nationalism comes out of fear...status anxiety writ large in other words.
Keep in mind, very few patriots ever call themselves nationalists & their rhetoric really never reflects the twitchy nationalist agenda, but most nationalists inevitably identify themselves as patriots. Nonetheless as their subsequent rhetoric unspools, their gruesome intentions are exposed well & thoroughly, nationalists are in the end pseudo patriots in the words of Richard Hofstadter.
So using these categories, Winston Churchill was a Patriot, Adolf Hitler, a Nationalist.  As far as life in the USA is concerned, I actually expect patriots to have the last laugh on the current nationalist spasm in public life....but for now we need to keep the distinction clear in our minds.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

If Don meets Kim...

The President with his usual heedless abandon agreed to a "Summit" with North Korea's tyrant godling Kim Jong Un sometime in May. Allegedly, the subject of the negotiations will be denuclearizing North Korea as well as mothballing her ballistic missile inventory...thats what Trump thinks is gonna happen but the best I can determine, NK asked for a summit (semi politely) the way they've been asking for decades and Trump like a damn fool said yes without a single concession in return.
"The Art of the Deal" indeed.
Likely Trump will back out of it citing NK's continued belligerent behavior, just as likely Trump made this decision sans any input from Secretary Tillerson or The Pentagon so with any luck it'll end up like his plan to arm the math teachers & home economics instructors.
Which is a good thing, because Trump is so easily distracted and confused he'll be basically prey for a character like Kim who will derive immense diplomatic benefits whether the summit comes off or not.
For one thing it tags in Putin who'd love to play the arbiter on the Korean Peninsula, and it validates Moscow's duplicitous approach to sanctions, it also allow Peking to take a step back and let Trump fall flat on his face...which he will.
In sum we lose prestige and diplomatic maneuvering room whilst our rivals and opponents reap a rich  harvest of the same.
I say Kim has basically figured Donald Trump out...lets hope Secretary Tillerson (or someone Eric even) can put the kibosh on this one, we've already suffered enough damage from this meshugginah summit conference palaver.

Friday, March 09, 2018

In Honor of "International Women's Day" Yesterday

Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi suggested that Senator Elizabeth Warren should take a DNA test to settle the whole "is she really of Amerind Heritage" argument.
Good old Joan, she always falls for the phantom terrors of wingnut talking points thus validating the same and empowering our opponents, and she always seems to do this to democratic women, I mean whassup with that??
Maybe Senator Warren could swing by her doctor's office while she is at it, and get her gender verified as well, maybe Howie Carr could be her Uber...
Frankly I think the whole issue is no one's business,  I see no evidence that Charlie Baker has a human heart in his chest but I require no x-rays for proof one way or another.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018


(Late word comes to us that the Former Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick is conjuring with running for President in 2020.)  C'mon Deval, this is yer pal Elias talkin'...I was there at the Sons of Italy back in 2005 when whatzisname threw a temper tantrum and stormed out? You didn't turn a hair, didn't bat an eye, "presence of mind" is your super power it always has been in my books.
But this is different Deval, this is the mute weight of history, the general electorate doesn't cotton to candidates from Massachusetts, otherwise you'd shaken hands with Presidents Dukakis, Kerry & Romney by now.
Hell sometimes we don't even prevail in the primaries....cough "Kennedy & Tsongas" cough!
Face it man, they hate us, there is an entire department of media whose financial well being hinges on slandering the Commonwealth en masse with the most powerful rhetorical weapon ever created "guilt by association".
Don't do it, its not worth one ounce of your dignity.
YES I agree you could well force the issue in New Hampshire yer smooth as silk on the podium and people do listen to you, but unless you move back to Cicero Illinois I'd say the whole project will end in tears.
I know why you are doing it, you gambled in 2006 that you could beat a still popular Mitt Romney in a straight matchup and the Gods Smiled and Delivered Scary Kerry Healey unto your hands.
So it must seem like a similar scenario to challenge Trump, but the Gods are Fickle, They Give Their Love Only to The Daring, But Then Just as Often They Render No Help Whatsoever.
I'm serious Deval don't do it....its a heartbreaker, just ask John Kerry.

Monday, March 05, 2018

There are currently

four candidates in the upcoming GOP Primary for the US Senate seat currently held by Citizen Warren.
Per the Boston Globe, the rationale common to all four is, they may be able to do some business this fall on the basis of the presumed landslide Charlie Baker will rack up.  I'd like to quietly remind all and sundry that Governor Baker may well rack up a landslide this fall, (I can also envision him losing as well but no matter), and if he does it'll be because the Massachusetts Electorate has gotten into the habit of splitting it's tickets.  Thus a good chunk of those people voting for Charlie are also dead fixed on voting for Liz as well...Baker knows this, he isn't stupid, he is just a stiff, and as such I doubt he'll waste any time campaigning with the poor benighted jobber the GOP eventually nominates for the US Senate.
I mean why divide his base like that?
That Having been said I counsel no complacency this year, even if Warren has fourteen million large in the bank and a high approval rating she is still gonna come in for vicious treatment on the stump and on the airwaves as well.  That part of the fall campaign will be very ugly indeed, so lets all prepare for that however we must.

Friday, March 02, 2018

Jimmy Tingle in Mentomy

Democratic candidate for Lt Governor, Jimmy Tingle, author, actor, comedian, fundraiser & DIY politician, brought his act to Town Wednesday Night.
Lemme tell ya something, he may have shit for experience, but he can sure talk some shit, the man decades of stand up have made him very fast on his feet rhetorically speaking.
He has a very good tagline that will wear well over time "I believe in God, Miracles and The Power of Government to change lives for the Better" and he wants to do some outreach to blue collar voters, something he ought to excell at given a long history of playing VFW's & Union Halls.
Yeah there is a lot to like here, but recall the binary choices are Tingle and Palfrey, neither of whom has any experience as an elected politician. And at least, "Tingle has a plan" and the rhetorical component to back it all up.  However that comes with a very strong admonition that Jimmy can also be very glib and in that glibness his lack of insight into some issues can be easily discerned.  Now, he can "bone up" on those issues, which is not the chore everyone thinks it is, at the core it means staying abreast of developments and Formulate strong views about those developments.
Mate that up with Tingle's already strong communications skills and we might just have someone to watch here...regardless of what happens this fall.
At the moment I am probably voting for Tingle in the primary but I stress, in a properly contested race for the Lt Governor's nomination neither he nor Quentin Palfrey would be my first choice. So lacking an elected official in the race with a record that can be scrutinized, I an forced to go with Tingle and his strong rhetorical component, but he is also a candidate who needs to do some reading and reflecting "Less glib more think" is my formula.