The Angry Cyclist
A fleeting grasp of civil, well reasoned discourse.
This blog will comment on topics of interest like politics, business, taxation, the War with Islam / Islamofascists, road cycling, football, and others.
Opinion of The Angry Cyclist:
Grand Seigneur, University of New Hampshire
An idiot relative from Canada
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Tuesday, February 11, 2003
Globe Witchhunt Watch
I figure Joan Vennochi hates Mitt Romney so much, this will be a weekly column. I'll do my best to make it a weekly response (as if it takes that much effort).
Romney's in charge, but is he listening?
By Joan Vennochi, 2/11/2003
Sounds like a Clint Eastwood flick. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
At least one person in the new administration understands that taking charge means more than telling other people what to do. It also means listening. Last week, Romney's Health and Human Services Secretary Ron Preston sat through a day of testimony about the impact of budget cuts on services for the mentally ill. Afterward the Romney administration reversed an earlier decision to eliminate the state's 40 psychiatric day treatment programs.
OK, so now what?
''We have pretty much decided this was a mistake. This was a core service,'' Preston said. ''I'm not embarrassed about whether mistakes happen along the line. The question is, Are you going to reconsider what you've done?''
And they did. What's next?
That is an excellent question for Romney generally and specifically as it relates to how he is dealing with Massachusetts mayors -- with arrogance, not with understanding.
Welcome to the School of Hard Knocks. Can you explain why some government programs are sacrosanct?
Handing off the mayors may make managerial sense to Romney, but it makes little political sense. The price of refusing to hear out the mayors personally is already clear. They are angry and not shy about communicating it. Their anger was further fueled by an ugly pushing and shouting match between North Adams Mayor John Barrett and Romney communications chief Eric Fehrnstrom following a television program about local aid cuts. The incident caused Brockton's Mayor John Yunits, the president of the Massachusetts Mayors Association, to ask Romney to reprimand Fehrnstrom. But the governor said he was satisfied by Fehrnstrom's apology to Barrett and has no plans to pursue the matter any further.
Isn't anger an emotion normally associated with Republicans?
Romney should rethink that response. It sends a negative message about the style of communication he is willing to tolerate from a prominent aide. And it also shows he has a deaf political ear when it comes to understanding how to handle Barrett specifically and the mayors generally.
Maybe Fehrnstrom's running interference, ever consider that angle, Joan?
It doesn't take a political consultant to tell you the governor could have resolved the Barrett matter with a simple phone call and an invitation for a cup of coffee.
Maybe there was a different message being sent?
That is probably a good way to handle the rest of the Commonwealth's mayors, too. They will never be happy about local aid cuts, but Romney can make them a little happier by treating them with more respect. It's not always what you say, it's how you say it.
So you make a mark / example out of someone that everyone has to share the pain. Is that a bad thing?
Romney's proposed corporate tax reforms show a promising understanding that in bad times, everyone must share the pain, not just the poorest and most vulnerable. He also shows a willingness to take on traditionally powerful forces when he signals unhappiness with William M. Bulger, the president of the University of Massachusetts who recently took the Fifth Amendment to avoid testifying before a congressional panel about his fugitive brother.
"everyone has to share the pain" - bitch copied my lines!!
Ultimately, every action Romney takes, every hire he makes will be judged against his campaign rhetoric -- no new taxes, no patronage, no new gang of three. As he no doubt already knows, keeping those promises won't be easy. Plenty of smart people believe it will be impossible.
"Every action Romney takes,
every hire he makes
Every move he makes
I'll be watching you"
A good-faith effort will require more listening, less arrogance, and a better communications strategy -- more good, less bad, and no ugly.
Great suggestions for your next column, Joan.
Joan Vennochi's e-mail address is email@example.com.
A Moment Of Decency
You all know what a fan of Senator John Kerry (D-MA) I am. Let me call a moratorium on it for a while. Senator Kerry is suffering from prostate cancer.
Let me state that I feel no ill will towards Senator Kerry on a personal level, only on the positions he takes and his equivocations on certain subjects. May he recover rapidly and get in the ring again. I think the Democrats can use the competition he provides and maybe some different takes on their traditional positions on subjects I won't dwell on here.
Godspeed, Senator. Get well soon.
No, I'm not going to give out tax advice, but Laura Bllings gives her advice.
LAURA BILLINGS: Stars' views shouldn't be so easily written off
Is it OK if I just ridicule them instead?
Ownership of SUV's? Low tax rates? What?
Bonnie Raitt's not in favor of bombing Baghdad. Neither are Michael Stipe, Madonna and Martin Sheen, who plays a president on television but thinks the real one is a "moron.''
Pot... kettle... black.
When it comes to the impending war on Iraq, a phalanx of famous faces is speaking out against it. Which means that everything they say is being blasted by pro-war pundits, who believe celebrities should confine their opinions to the Zone diet and stay out of demilitarized zones.
Last I checked, America allows for the freedom of speech. However, commensurate with that right is the right of people like me to disagree with it, and more importantly, state why I disagree with it.
Take for instance the shellacking that singer Sheryl Crow recently got after appearing at the American Music Awards in a T-shirt sequined with the message "War is not the answer.'' As she told reporters, "I think war is based in greed and there are huge karmic retributions that will follow. I think war is never the answer to solving any problems. The best way to solve problems is to not have enemies."
And what a fine T-shirt it was!
Though Jesus Christ, Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. all expressed similar thoughts, they didn't have the misfortune of living in a world with FOX News. Conservative critics were worse to her than music critics, referring to her as a "noted geopolitical strategist" who "probably thinks Saddam Hussein is a New York City cabdriver.''
Wow, that takes balls, comparing the Hollywood crowd with real civil rights activists. Do any of you wish to be physically crucified or assassinated for real, or just play one in a movie?
It's true, she might not have been especially eloquent on the subject, but neither is our own president. Just a few days after the Crow flap, Bush was quoted saying the United States had to go to war against Iraq because of Saddam Hussein's "willingness to terrorize himself.'' It's a safe bet no one on FOX News made fun of him.
One quote out of a fifty-four minute speech. I bet you had to sift real hard for that one.
Sean Penn, who seems to have
Yes, it will stop - once Hussein's out of power. And it was a bad attempt to 'educate himself' at that - the Iraqi propaganda machine used him like a roll of toilet paper. I bet Sean wishes he didn't make that trip now.
For his troubles — his earnest intention of finding a peaceful solution, rather than a war that will surely lead to the deaths of thousands of innocent Iraqis — he has been called a "traitor." No doubt his ex-wife, Madonna, can expect the same treatment when she releases a new single this week with a strong anti-war message.
In my book, he's not a 'traitor', but he's definitely an 'idiot'. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree...
The conservative "Drudge Report" says the video shows her dressed in fatigues and throwing grenades in a landscape of limbless men and women.
Isn't that part of the video? Why are you bitching about that? Can't you handle criticism?
The question I have is, why do we so easily dismiss the opinions of famous people, as if they're nothing but "limousine liberals"? (Itself a laughable epithet, as if conservatives are all driving around in Corollas, or being ridiculously rich discounts your opinion on political issues.)
That's because they are Limousine LiberalsTM. This does not exempt them from, oh, what's that word? Ah, yes - criticism.
Streisand is continually derided for mixing up Iran and Iraq, and yet no one complains when the president says Iraq was responsible for 9/11. Does anyone remember al-Qaida?
That's because there are self-proclaimed ties and speculative ties between Iraq and al-Qaida. Maybe wiser people than yourself treat such threats as one and the same?
Though there is a strong anti-war movement in this country, it is also strangely muted. And no wonder.
That's because not everyone reads the New York Times.
The way the administration has framed the argument, as good against evil, simply asking why (Why us? Why now? Why them? Why not North Korea?) casts the questioner on the wrong side.
North Korea is considered to have two nuclear devices. We have over 9,000, some of them attached to B-52's sitting in Guam. Do you think we need to be overly concerned about this threat? The more important question is this one: Do you think Kim Jong Il is concerned about those B-52's?
Standing up against this march to war takes a big voice, a big ego and maybe even big box office. No wonder Hollywood seems perfect for this casting call.
That explains James Woods, doesn't it?
After getting a lifetime achievement award in London, actor Dustin Hoffman said, "I believe — though I may be wrong because I am no expert — that this war is about what most wars are about: hegemony, money, power and oil.…
"though I may be wrong because I am no expert" - that says it all.
"I believe that administration has taken the events of 9/11 and has manipulated the grief of the country and I think that's reprehensible.''
Are you saying we are no longer under the threat of a terrorist attack? I think that's what the President was trying to explain to you a few days ago. I think your naivete is reprehensible.
Critics say a guy like him has no right to weigh in on the issues of the day; as he says, he's "no expert.''
So he's asking for abuse. Is it too much to ask to put some thought and research into such things, like he might have to do if he's going to do a role about, oh, someone like Ghandi?
But when it comes to understanding the spin doctoring and cynical manipulations that go on in D.C., Hoffman may have more expert standing than he lets on.
Which may allow him to dance his way out of any negative repercussions of his idiotic statements and actions.
Did you ever see him in "Wag the Dog"?
Yup. He's just like his role model.
Steven Seagal Update
It seems like those gangsters I mentioned a few weeks gave Aikido Man an offer he couldn't refuse.
Mob influence in the file industry? Nothing like trying different business ventures, I suppose...
Monday, February 10, 2003
Darwin Award Nominee - Best Rapper
Rapper 50 Cent thinks it's funny getting shot.
''I mean it's not funny when you're actually getting shot, but afterwards, yeah, it's funny,'' he told Time Magazine in an interview printed in this week's edition.
"Honey, I'm home! Check out this graze wound!"
50 Cent, who claims to have been shot nine times, said being shot in the hip was the most painful, though.
Haven't learned how to shoot back or run, have you?
''When I got shot in the hip it cracked bone and when I got out of the hospital they didn't give me medication, so that really hurt,'' he said.
At least I got some Percocets out of the doctor when I hit that car last year. Why didn't you just ask?
The rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, created a stir in 1999 when he released a bootleg single ''How to Rob,'' which described ripping off hip-hop and R&B celebrities, from Mariah Carey to Jay-Z.
His next single - ''How to Rob and Not Get Your Ass Shot Off''
50 Cent surfaced as a potential target for violence after his mentor Jam Master Jay was killed execution-style on Oct. 30. The Jam Master Jay shooting is still unsolved, but police have downplayed any suggestion that Jam Master Jay's killers were after 50 Cent.
His new pledge name - Two Bits.
He has scored recent success with hits ''In Da Club,'' and ''Wanksta.''
More like "In Da Emergency Room" and "Wanker".
50 Cent's debut album ''Get Rich or Die Trying,'' was produced by Eminem and Dr. Dre and hit stores last week.
Well, the "or Die Trying" part's working out so far, isn't it?
The History Of Windows
The OS from Microsoft, that is. For a stroll down memory lane, click right here (via FARK).
Who Let Da Bear Out?
A semi-surprising analysis from the McKinsey Quarterly reveals that the bear market that we've been through the past few years has been largely confined to the IT and telecom sectors.
Investors have had good reason to be sour: From January 2000 through October 2002, the S&P 500 index fell in value by 37 percent. Yet many investors don't realize that the structure and design of an index can enormously affect their perceptions of the market as a whole. The S&P is value weighted, which means that bigger companies have a greater impact on its performance. If it used an unweighted average (in which each company has the same weight regardless of size) or tracked the performance of the median company, it would have fallen by very little during the same 34 months.
Read the whole thing (from John Ellis).
Darwin Award Nominee - Japanese Division
Let's throw these unused sticks of dynamite in the incinerator, shall we?
Let Every Vote Count
Unless you were on the Gore 2000 campaign in New Hampshire and you're trying to prevent Bradley supporters from voting. Ah, Manch Vegas, the old stomping grounds, how I miss it so.
“Gore operatives had access to exit polls showing the vice president being defeated by Bradley. They also learned that while Democratic voters were voting in large numbers for Gore, independents, many of them upscale suburban voters, were voting for Bradley’s sophisticated brand of liberalism.” This they knew by early afternoon. Their solution? “The Gore team organized a caravan to clog highway I-93 with traffic so as to discourage potential Bradley voters from getting to the polls.” Mr. Gitell’s report notes that the traffic jam is “spoken of with awe by operatives who worked for the campaign.”
I saw another report where the Gore team was going to roll a tractor trailer on I-93 instead of the caravan. Bet the cops would've loved that stunt!
Democracy in action. Unless you were on I-93 that day.
Axis Of Evil Update
Your country sits upon massive oil and natural gas reserves. So what do you need? A shiny new nuclear power plant.
The surprise announcement -- the first time an Iranian leader has acknowledged possession of uranium ore reserves -- may alarm Washington, which accuses the Islamic Republic of harboring secret plans to develop nuclear weapons.
While my sympathy meter still seems to be busted, my bullshit meter is redlining...
Massachusetts Budget Update
Jill Stein, Green Party Candidate, has a unique way to close the current budget gap - raise taxes!. The word 'fair' and its offshoots is, of course, used liberally to support their argument (co-written by Chuck Turner).
Are you still wondering why you only received five percent of the vote, Jill?
Throwing Gas On The Fire
Mickey Kaus gives John Kerry the once over.
Sunday, February 09, 2003
The Conspiracy Continues
Mark L. forwards to me the latest reason for the US to invade Iraq: It's about the money supplyTM:
Although completely suppressed in the U.S. media, the answer to the Iraq enigma is simple yet shocking. The upcoming war in Iraq is mostly about how the ruling class at Langley and the Bush administration view hydrocarbons at the geo-strategic level, and the overarching macroeconomic threats to the U.S. dollar from the Euro The Real Reason for this upcoming war is this administration's goal of preventing further OPEC momentum towards the Euro as an oil transaction currency standard. However, in order to pre-empt OPEC, they need to gain geo-strategic control of Iraq along with its 2nd largest proven oil reserves. This essay will discuss the macroeconomics of the "petro-dollar" and the unpublicized but real threat to U.S. economic hegemony from the Euro as an alternative oil transaction currency. The following is how an astute and anonymous friend alluded to the unspoken truth about this upcoming war with Iraq...
Further on in the article, they talk about Japan collapsing with a spike in oil prices to $80 - 100 per barrel.
North Korea, natch, has a hand in some of this:
Incidentally, the final "Axis of Evil" country, North Korea, recently decided to officially drop the dollar and begin using Euros for trade, effective Dec. 7, 2002 (7). Unlike the OPEC-producers, their switch will have negligible economic impact, but it illustrates the geopolitical fallout of President Bush's harsh rhetoric. Much more troubling are North Korea's recent actions following the oil embargo of their country. They are in dire need of oil and food; and in an act of desperation they have re-activated their pre-1994 nuclear program. Processing uranium appears to be taking place at a rapid pace, and it appears their strategy is to prompt negotiations with the U.S. regarding food and oil. The CIA estimates that North Korea could produce 4-6 nuclear weapons by the second half of 2003. Ironically, this crisis over North Korea's nuclear program further confirms the fraudulent premise for which this war with Saddam was entirely contrived.
It's a huge article, definitely worth a look. Take with a grain of salt, methinks.
The Definition Of Insanity
It's to do the same thing over and over and over, yet expect a different result.
Seriously, how many times do you have to bang your head against the freakin' wall before you get a headache?
Dave Matthews Joins The Idiotarian Crowd, Too
Today seems to be the day for the fuckwits to
Dave Matthews Speaks Out About the War
These uncertain times? What's he talking about?
I want to speak my mind about this war with Iraq, or I will choke on my conscience.
Like I choke on your banal, insipid music?
What is the motivation? Regime change? Shouldn't that be up to the people of the region and the people of Iraq?
Well, yes, if they had more than one name on the ballot. Does Dave actually believe Iraq is a democracy?
The only real threat from Saddam Hussein is to his neighbors and none of them support a U.S. invasion.
Then why is Qatar allowing us to house stealths? What about Kuwait, that cute little country that Iraq invaded a few years ago?
Is it to stabilize the Middle-East? Wouldn't it only do the opposite by causing further death and suffering in a country that has had more than its share?
In the short term, yes. In the long term, no.
Is it to weaken Al Qaeda? Saddam Hussein is a genocidal maniac but he is not Al Qaeda.
No, he just supports them.
He is certainly more visible though. Is he our target because he is easier to identify than the illusive terrorist network? Surely it is more likely that an attack on Iraq would only strengthen Al Qaeda by feeding Anti-American sentiment. Putting out the fire with gasoline, so to speak. It is certainly not to liberate the people of Iraq who suffer under Hussein's rule, unless we call killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis liberation.
If we even look at them funny, the entire Arab StreetTM gets enraged. Mark my words, when we do go into Iraq, there will NOT be 'hundreds of thousands of Iraqis' killed.
Saddam Hussein is a barbaric murderous dictator. I wish the world were free of him.
Wishing won't make him go away. Got anything better than that?
But the answer is not to bomb this great culture of Iraq out of existence to stop him.
No, just the military targets and the 'presidential palaces'.
Why must the children of Iraq die by the thousands to stop a tyrant?
Because it's all about The ChildrenTM...
It is not justice. And if we kill him what will we achieve?
Freeing the people of Iraq? Eliminating all those chemical and biological weapons that Saddam says he doesn't have?
We will have taken the most unpopular leader in the Middle East and turned him into the greatest martyr radical Islam has ever had.
Dave doesn't appear to know that Iraq's government is secular in nature.
The U.N. weapons inspectors must be allowed to do their job thoroughly and any military action should be internationally agreed upon. We must not allow our government to turn us into a rogue nation.
How many 'one last chances' are you going to give this guy, Dave?
I fear that our true motivation is about oil and our own flailing economy;
Another stock phrase / canard: It's All About The OilTM.
...about the failure to destroy Al Qaeda and about revenge. It is criminal to put our servicemen and women in harm's way and to put the lives of so many civilians on the line for the misguided frustrations of the Bush administration.
I asked if he had a better option. I guess he doesn't.
Bottom line: this war is wrong and this war is un-American.
Bottom line: YOU are wrong, Dave, and you ought to shut the fuck up.
Madonna Joins The Idiotarian Crowd
Or is she trying to jump start her career again?
The title of Jeff Jacoby's latest Globe editorial: Kerry is always trying to have it both ways
And Then There Were Seven?
Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd is contemplating throwing his hat into the ring.
Advisers say Dodd is also concerned that he may be too late to join a field that is already crowded with fellow U.S. Senators. The list includes not only Lieberman but also John Kerry of Massachusetts and John Edwards of North Carolina. Florida's Bob Graham is moving ahead with plans to run, despite his recent heart surgery, and will decide by March 1. Nor has Delaware's Joseph Biden ruled out a presidential bid. All of which means that Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle, who earlier backed off an expected run, could find it pretty lonely in the Senate cloakroom next January.
So why are you really running, Senator?
Friday, February 07, 2003
A Fiskin' We Will Go
Howie Carr is a master Fisker:
Senior senator speaks out, uh, with his usual, uh, eloquence
He's talking about Jack E. Robinson, who ran against Kennedy in 2000.
Feeling The Pain?
While budget cuts may adversely affect certain people, Howie Carr helpfully points out that not everyone shares in the misery.
Better Late Than Never
Dustin Hoffman joins the Hollywood Idiotarian crowd. And guess what? It's 'All About The Oil'TM. I was wrong...
It's All About The
I don't think Derrick read the memo from fellow columnist H.D.S. Greenway on why we should go to war.
Wednesday, February 05, 2003
Budget cuts will leave programs underfunded, be unfair to commuters, be a 'disaster' for the mentally ill, and hurt our forests, and that's Bush's fault, too.
Pair Of Jerks To Open?
Not that I should give harassers of
Surprised? Where else would they be?
by Laurel J. Sweet
Some protest! What did you guys call yourselves, the Gang of Two?
Patrick Keaney, 33, of Brighton and Matthew Osborn, 24, of Brookline, were charged with trespassing and later released on personal recognizance following their arraignments in Boston Municipal Court.
What's the beef?
Keaney, who ran Stein's ill-fated campaign (multiple redundancies - Ed.), said ``tempers were getting short'' by the time he, Osborn and a third protester who was not arrested began stretching out on the floor about 2:45 a.m. The men want Kerry to demand President Bush return to Congress for a second vote on whether to attack Iraq
You want Kerry to vote twice on the same issue? How redundant, how indecisive. Sounds right up Kerry's alley.
Tuesday, February 04, 2003
Lawsuit Of The Week
Yes, McDonalds is back in the news again. Instead of being too tasty / fattening, this lawsuit claims a bagel broke some teeth and dented their marriage too. Seriously.
Ben Affleck Update
Ben Affleck wants to be a congressman. He has a great voting record to show off, too.
What a fucking hypocrite.
Who is John Kerry
And who better to tell us than Joan Vennochi, who loses points because she didn't answer in the form of a question (Who is John Kerry?).
By Joan Vennochi, 2/4/2003
Wait! I know! He's from Mars, isn't he?
For 15 years -- since 1988, four years after election to the US Senate -- Kerry knew his grandmother was Jewish. Since then, he ''sought to know the true story of his immigrant grandfather, Frederick A. Kerry,'' the Globe reports. As it turns out, Frederick A. Kerry was born Fritz Kohn, in a small town in the Czech Republic that was then was part of the Austrian empire. Kohn changed his name to Kerry around 1902 and emigrated to the United States in 1905. ''In 1921, Frederick Kerry went to the Copley Plaza Hotel, entered a washroom, and shot himself in the head,'' reports the Globe. ''It was front-page news.''
Dead Kerrys? Is that Jello Biafra's new band?
According to Kerry campaign spokesperson Kelley Benander, Kerry learned about his grandmother's Jewish heritage from his father and uncle. His grandmother converted to Catholicism, and Kerry knew her as ''a devout Catholic,'' according to Benander. She said that Kerry was not told about his grandfather's heritage, and he did not know his grandfather changed the family name from Kohn. According to Benander, Kerry learned of his grandfather's suicide when his own father was dying from cancer in 2000. ''They had a conversation about life and death and religion. His father didn't give him any details, and he didn't push for them,'' Benander said. Kerry learned the actual, painful details of where and how his grandfather died during the interview with Globe reporter Michael Kranish.
Sounds like he was really into his roots. He waits until his dad's on his deathbed, and doesn't even step up to the plate then to resolve any issues? He really is indecisive.
None of this is part of Kerry's local political persona
Except for the indecisive part...
It comes as a surprise, as much as a surprise as it would be to learn that he had long lost relatives in Sicily. In Massachusetts, voters know that John Forbes Kerry windsurfs, rollerblades, rides a motorcycle, plays guitar, is married to Teresa Heinz, and owns a home with a wine cellar in Louisburg Square. His last name sounds Irish, although his dismal jokes during St. Patrick's Day breakfasts should have been a tip-off that Hibernian humor is not in Kerry's natural gene pool. His middle name and lean, patrician looks appeared as an obvious testament to the Yankee lineage on his maternal side.
It's the hair, isn't it?
Kerry told the Globe ''I've been clear as a bell,'' when it comes to acknowledging he is not Irish-American. To illustrate that clarity, Benander forwarded an interview Kerry taped with John McLaughlin in November 1993, for a segment of ''One on One.'' Toward the end of the discussion, the issue of Kerry's heritage is raised:
Evasive as hell.
The revelations about Kerry's roots underscore a fundamental problem at the heart of his quest to be president. Ethnicity is not the issue; being a mensch could help. But Kerry's confusion about his heritage mirrors a larger confusion about his essence: Who is he? What does he believe in? Whether the issue is war with Iraq or support for affirmative action, his political core is hard to pin down, perhaps as difficult as his personal roots.
Of course, questions of the 'Who is he? What does he believe in?' variety have little, if anything, to do with your ancestral lineage. He's just a political
In the past, Kerry was able to sidestep such criticism. Since Massachusetts voters first sent him to the US Senate in 1984, he faced only one serious challenger, Republican Governor William F. Weld in 1996.
Democrats in Massachusetts have a significant 'home field' advantage.
Now he seeks the highest office in the land. There's no mystery about what it takes to win: Money and a clear sense of personal self and political identity. The money is flowing. But Kerry still has to show he knows who he is and prove that he is comfortable with that person -- so voters can be, too.
That's why he should fuggedabout it.
Joan Vennochi's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, February 03, 2003
Local Jobs Outlook
And it doesn't look all that good.
Armored car thief escapes with $70G in Charlestown heist
Well, not exactly, but I have a very high regard for Bill Fleckenstein and his opinions, which can now be found at MSN's Money Central. I don't know how frequently he's posting them, but he used to have a daily feed at Apogee Research, which is the current host for what used to be Grant's Investor.
The unwinding of that wild orgy is still our problem, exacerbated by a Fed and government still determined to fight off the "destructive side of capitalism." Capitalism is the best economic system around, but it does come with bad times that follow good times. Of course, those bad times help set the stage for the next round of good times. Trying to stop the destructive side of capitalism only leads to huge problems. In the 1990s, the Fed believed it was an omnipotent central planning agency, capable of steering us from good times to better times. Regrettably, lots of people checked their thinking caps and common sense at the door, as they willingly suspended disbelief. So, to that extent, they were not blameless.
You'd think that the anti-capitalist crowd would be thrilled to see big, evil capitalist companies of all sizes dying off, wouldn't you?
At the time, I opined in my daily column: "This admission of the bubble should mark the start of the process that ends in his being completely discredited. Yes, before this is all through, people will see that their apparent maestro is, in fact, the most incompetent and irresponsible Fed chairman in history. And sadly, lots of them will pay for his experiments and subsequent mistakes."
His usual strong stuff, definitely worth reading / bookmarking.
Post Of The Day
It's right here.
Boston Blowtorch Update
Howie Carr is in mid-season form already:
Somerville Mayor Dorothy Kelly Gay says, ``My core mission has been destroyed.''
Boston Globe Ombudsman Watch
Christine Chinlund, the lady who refuses to address the issues I raised with columnist Joan Vennochi, now reveals even more lameness and shoddy editing practices.
HERE'S A QUESTION for readers: When you see a letter to the editor in the Globe, do you presume it was written by the person whose name is on it? Does it matter?
Does anyone else think this would have never hit the Globe's radar screen if this was done by the DemocRATS?
It is unfortunate that GOP-authored letters were published as individual works. I applaud the effort to keep it from happening again. The Globe is blessed with readers who are smart, literate, and passionate about politics. The letters page should be reserved for their heartfelt words, not those of special interests seeking to sway public opinion.
From the mouth of Christine Chinlund, impartial and unbiased Boston Globe ombudsman - The Republican Party is a 'special interest(s)' who are not 'smart, literate, and passionate about politics', hell bent on a deceitful but hopefully quixotic quest to 'sway public opinion'.
I rest my case.
Friday, January 31, 2003
The town of Amherst, Massachusetts formally declares its opposition to war with Iraq.
Thursday, January 30, 2003
The Boston Globe - A New York Times Company
Try to guess the difference, if any, between Joan Vennochi and Maureen Dowd. I almost hate to say that Joan's feet tend to be on firmer ground.
A feint toward the economy
If he was pretending to care, why not save time and not talk about it at all? Were you disappointed that he didn't propose forty new federal programs or something?
The Bush domestic agenda has the same impact as a children's bedtime story: It tends to put you to sleep. Unless you are very rich, there's not too much to get excited about. Double taxation of dividends must be valid cause for great consternation - in some circles. Sad to say, they are not the circles that average Americans run in - from the ATM to the grocery store and the gas pump and back again to the ATM.
Shall we avoid discussion of the increase in the child care credit, the reduction of marginal tax rates, the elimination of the marriage penalty, changes to retirement savings, etc.?
By the way, if you just went to the ATM to get money for groceries and gas, why do you have to go back a second time? Because you're as dumb as a box of rocks?
Early in the speech, Bush declared, ''To bring our economy out of recession, we delivered the largest tax relief in a generation.'' The basic problem with that tautology is obvious. The economy is not out of recession. So why does Bush think that most Americans think more of the same ''tax relief'' is the answer?
That's funny, Joan, I always thought that an economy that's grown 0.7 in the previous quarter is, by definition, not in a recession. What a dumbass!
Sure, if it's not broke, don't fix it. But if it is broke, why not try something new? Instead, Bush keeps on playing let's pretend: Let's pretend these tax cuts really do provide broadbased tax relief. Let's pretend they really will stimulate the economy. So far, Wall Street isn't thrilled about the president's economic strategy, and if Wall Street isn't thrilled, why should Main Street be?
Wall Street won't be thrilled about anything until earnings come around. Joan keeps
Bush pretends to care about other domestic issues, as well. He supports ''affordable health care for all Americans,'' but he doesn't support a nationalized health care system, which is the one, sure way to achieve it. He supposedly believes in ''clear skies'' and ''healthy forests,'' wants to develop hydrogen-powered cars and believes that more people should mentor junior high students and children of prisoners.
If a nationalized health care system is the cure-all, then why did HillaryCare fail so miserably? Do we really want to emulate the Canadian system?
That gauzy agenda plus a commitment of $15 billion over the next five years to fight AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean represent an obvious effort to toss a few crumbs to the left. It ignores the crux of Bush's political challenge, which is not to win over the political left - an impossibility - but to hold onto the political middle.
Somehow, I don't think the people in Africa think of $15 billion as crumbs.
Right now, the average American in the political middle is experiencing real fallout from the nation's economic pain. In state after state, Republican and Democratic governors are grappling with lagging tax revenues, one result of growing joblessness and stock market declines, which in turn contribute to growing state budget deficits.
The state budget problems, of course, have nothing to do with profligate spending by the states...
The deficits force cuts in core government services at the state and local levels - or lead to tax increases. Nothing that Bush said in his speech addresses those broad economic issues or offers any particular reason for people to believe their individual economic picture will improve.
Well, I was happy about him mentioning the acceleration of the marginal tax cuts into this year. Joan must have
For Bush, war is the priority. It is his not-so-secret weapon of choice to fire up the sluggish economy. During the State of the Union address, war brought the sneer to his lips, the tautness to his shoulders, and the urgency to his rhetoric. His talk of war woke the viewer from slumber, just as it brought his Cabinet members to their feet. The military commanders stuck to their chairs - best to restrain their excitement rather than look like clap-happy warmongers.
Without secure borders and the freedom to live without imminent terrorist threats, the rest of Bush's speech gets the lower priority it deserves. I also couldn't help but notice how pissy Hillary looked every time the camera panned in on her.
The president's enthusiasm was apparently contagious. Polls taken after Bush's speech suggest that his message on war resonated more strongly than his message on the economy. By a 2-1 margin, speech watchers polled by CNN-USA Today-Gallup and ABC News said Bush had made a convincing case about the need for the United States to take military action against Iraq.
Which means Joan's opinion, unsurprisingly, is in the minority.
So from that perspective, the president and his advisers will no doubt consider this year's State of the Union a success. They will stick with the same old economic strategy on the assumption that the American public will soon have something other than tax cuts for the rich to mull over. In between celebrity survival shows, television viewers will be able to watch the ultimate in reality TV: war against Saddam Hussein.
My average and marginal tax rates went down this year, so I must be rich. Whooppee!!
Politically, it's a big gamble for Bush: He is choosing war over peace. But at least there's no pretense about it. That is truly where his passion for action lies.
Would you prefer artillery shells with VX gas, or a luxurious prison condominium in Baghdad?
Joan Vennochi's e-mail address is email@example.com.
Boston City Council Weight Loss Program
Felix Arroyo is fasting for peace.
Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but for a cause like peace Felix Arroyo was prepared to forgo it - once every other week.
That's dedication for you.
At least that was until after yesterday's Boston City Council meeting, when the councilor pledged his ''hunger'' strike would also include lunch.
"I'm just taking it one meal at a time".
As part of his fast-for-peace program, Arroyo said he'll consume only coffee and other liquids from sunrise to sunset - when he gets to have dinner - on the second and fourth Fridays of each month.
Why not convert to Islam now? This sounds more like he's observing Ramadan.
''We are doing something to bring attention to an issue that is escalating today,'' he said. ''With war, we will continue planting hate for generations of children. Why don't we go to the roots and kill it now.''
Wednesday, January 29, 2003
Bob On Bush
Another in a never-ending series of "I Hate Bush" articles by Robert Kuttner.
A presidency at the brink
Or so Bob wishes...
By Robert Kuttner, 1/29/2003
On what basis is this presidency faltering, Bob, or are you simply making assertions in the hopes that it might convince a few people out there in Globe land?
Bush's stock was not particularly high on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. The economy was wobbly. He had alienated Republican
I can only imagine what Al Gore would or wouldn't do in those shoes.
It has taken 20 months for Bush's slide to resume, yet he has an uncanny ability to step around blunders and deceptions that would sink an ordinary president. Will he do it again with another national security crisis, this time of his own invention?
Do you mean the Iraqis & Saddam Hussein had absolutely nothing to do with this?
Consider: His is the worst economic performance of any newly inaugurated president since Herbert Hoover. The economy has lost 2 million jobs since January 2001. Bush's economic program promises to create only 190,000 jobs this year under the administration's own assumptions. The much-ballyhooed $1.35 trillion tax cut of 2001 has evidently failed to rescue the economy, yet Bush promises more of the same.
That's because the tax cut lacked balls. In order to have any lasting impact, the cuts must be deep, immediate and permanent. Thanks in part to democratic bellyaching & posturing, it was none of those things.
The stock market has lost $6.65 trillion in value since he took office. The federal budget has gone from projected surplus to endless deficit. As the debates at Davos have made clear, Bush's Iraq policy has created the most serious rift between the United States and
Not correct, Bob. The 6.65 trillion loss occurred between the spring of 2000 and now, which, by your definition, means Clinton's on the hook for some of it. How much did the stock market lose while Clinton was in office? Only one or two trillion, I suppose. What kind of lies and deceptions about this 'never-ending boom' were being fed during his tenure?
And what were some of our NATO allies selling to the Iraqis? Can't wreck those contracts, can we?
Since December, Bush has suffered a string of setbacks that should have left him reeling. His Senate majority leader made a fool of himself as a closet segregationist, yet Bush won praise for having contained the damage and installed an ally, Senator Bill Frist, as the replacement. By mid- January, Bush felt confident enough to oppose affirmative action in a key Supreme Court test. He got a respectful press again.
The fact is, conservatives and the blogosphere were the first to call for Lott's head. Big Media got around to this story a few days later. I'd say the conservatives do a better job of purging their ranks of demagogues better than, well, you Democrats do.
Bush failed to win allied support for his Iraq war, pursued a policy in Korea that mocked his Iraq stance, and also bungled the replacement of his economic team and the reform of the SEC and the Wall Street scandals. Despite a brief New Year rally, the stock market kept sinking. He was going to be an education president, but his own budget program is diverting money from schools. Despite a proclaimed emergency of homeland security, Bush's priorities are forcing states and cities to stint on public safety. Even key Republicans are now distancing themselves from Bush's ''economic stimulus'' plan.
Last time I checked, the following countries were with us on Iraq: Great Britain, Australia, Canada, Spain, Italy, Norway, Turkey, Romania, Qatar and Bahrain. Schools that suck cannot be fixed by throwing more money at the problem, like in Washington, DC. Which Republicans are 'distancing themselves from Bush's ''economic stimulus'' plan'? Some names would be nice for a change.
Yet through all of these blunders, Bush has continued to receive an astonishingly kind press. Only in the past two weeks has his general popularity dropped below 60 percent in most polls. Bush gets away with it, first, because he seen as personally likable and, second, because he is viewed as a tough leader in a national crisis. Still, a chasm between rhetoric and performance eventually becomes a credibility gap.
Yes, Bush does seem to be getting lots and lots of good press, wouldn't you agree?
“This is the worst president ever,” she said. “He is the worst president in all of American history.”
But for the impending war, Bush's presidency seems near a tipping point at which the public and the press belatedly give themselves permission to rethink their trust in the man. But a war will alter that equation, at least in the short run, and Bush seems determined to have his war.
Because Saddam Hussein refuses to disarm and destroy his stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. Did you miss that part of Bush's speech last night, Bob?
No one, of course, can predict how a war would go. Supporters insist that the ouster of Saddam Hussein will be relatively easy and costless. Even there, however, Bush could well face not his father's turkey shoot of a retreating Iraqi Army across an open desert but hand-to-hand fighting in a dense city with civilian and US military casualties.
And he well could not. Why not blockade Baghdad?
And the harder part comes afterward. We just don't know how much this war will destabilize the rest of the world - from the Korean Peninsula to the Indo-Pakistani conflict to the perennial Israel-Palestine cauldron. We do know that war would divert attention at best and invite more terrorist attacks at worst.
Like the world's real stable nowadays.
If more crises erupt, the administration could take it as vindication for its proclaimed need to be tough rather than the consequences of its own reckless policies.
Maybe that's because you're wrong on that point?
As commander in chief, Bush, I suspect, will get some months of ''bounce'' in the polls. But by the end of this year, the press and the public should be able to grasp just what a disaster this president is - for liberty, for security, for the economy, and for America's benign role in a dangerous world.
As usual, no alternatives are given. I believe this represents Bob's preferred stance on dealing with the 'dangerous world'.
Robert Kuttner is co-editor of The American Prospect. His column appears regularly in the Globe.
Susan Sarandon Speaks (Again)
Ms. Sarandon is tired of being criticized:
Sarandon, wearing a red and black floral dress, purple leather jacket and matching boots said: "I'm tired of being labelled anti-American because I ask questions."
Maybe you should shut the fuck up then...
Good News For Massachusetts Drivers
Well, at least those with the lead foot. Howie Carr explains why the current budget crunch affects traffic citations.
Dances With Idiots
Senator Edward Kennedy seems to want to vote no for a second time on going to war with Iraq.
This will get shot down fast and be given the burial it deserves.
Tuesday, January 28, 2003
Saddam Has Them
Weapons of Ass Destruction (sounds of Satan and Saddam getting jiggy with it on South Park).
Bike manufacturer Cannondale will file for Chapter 11 shortly.
Bear Is In Season
Mark passed this along from TraderMike at The Prudent Bear.
Broadcom and Microsoft are just two examples of many of how companies try to hype themselves, while announcing disastrous news.
Same news, different day.
Rethinking The Headlines?
"Shoebomber lawyers blast explosion video"
Great word choice, guys...
Sunday, January 26, 2003
Saturday, January 25, 2003
Fox News reports that the White House is considering extending the Iraqi inspections:
WASHINGTON — The White House is considering whether to extend U.N. inspections in Iraq beyond Monday's deadline, in an effort to appease an international community that is growing increasingly opposed to an attack against Saddam.
'Appease' - nice choice of words...
The decision on prolonging weapons probes will be based on whether the inspections are found productive, a senior U.S. official said Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity. The official said that if the inspectors disclose new evidence on Monday, that would influence a decision to keep looking for illegal arms.
I'm betting this is part of the rope-a-dope strategy / countermeasure by the White House. I don't see any other reason to make such an announcement.
The UN - United Nitwits
I suppose these guys aren't very interested in intelligence gathering:
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Three Iraqi scientists -- who Iraq said it had instructed to talk to arms inspectors -- have refused to hold private interviews with the U.N. team searching for weapons of mass destruction, Iraqi officials told CNN.
Because if the Iraqi 'monitors' aren't there to verify that the scientists being questioned said anything of substance, that scientist takes the dirt nap.
One of the three Iraqi scientists did undergo U.N. questioning, but in the presence of an Iraqi monitor, officials told CNN on Saturday.
The news came on the day two men -- one carrying three knives, the other a notebook and shouting "Save me!" -- tried to enter the U.N. inspectors' Baghdad compound in separate surprise incidents.
Who are being emasculated & tortured as we speak, if they're not dead already.
The Baghdad government said Friday night it had "encouraged" three scientists to accept unmonitored interviews, under an agreement reached last Monday with the chief U.N. inspectors.
It's like being offered a drink you know is poisonous.
However, the White House has accused the government of intimidating scientists into refusing private interviews.
Because they want to live, that's why.
Earlier Saturday, arms inspectors met with an unidentified Iraqi, possibly one of the three, in an apparent effort to win his agreement on private questioning, The Associated Press said.
Which is to say they're not cooperating.
The U.N. has interviewed other Iraqi scientists over the past few months with Iraqi officials present, in an attempt to get information on Iraq's chemical, biological, and nuclear activities.
'Attempt' would be the right word to use here.
Last weekend, the inspectors interviewed an Iraqi scientist at his home, where they found thousands of pages of documents that could apply to enriching uranium.
I wonder if we'll ever identify this guy, or what he had in that notebook on his chest.
Physicist Faleh Hassan Al Basri complained the inspectors mistreated his wife and resorted to "mafia-like" tactics.
That's funny - I thought Resolution 1441, a UN document, was the one that called for 'unfettered access to Iraqi scientists'. Guess I was wrong...
Earlier there were unexplained incidents at the U.N.'s Baghdad compound when two men -- one carrying three knives, the other a notebook and shouting "Save me!" -- tried to enter the base.
It is clear that they will be dead shortly.
On the two incidents, U.N. officials said that one man approached the hotel's security gate with a metal instrument, before Iraqi guards wrestled him to the ground. He was later found to have three knives, the U.N. said.
I don't think that guy was too bright. What about the other guy?
About 40 minutes later, another Iraqi man stopped a U.N. vehicle outside the headquarters pleading "Save me! Save me!" in Arabic, according to the U.N. The man, apparently unarmed, forced his way into the driver's seat of the stopped vehicle, as an Iraqi guard struggled to pull him out, while an unfazed U.N. inspector watched from the passenger seat.
That 'unfazed UN inspector' ought to be shot, in my opinion. What a callous bastard.
Appearing agitated and frightened, the young man, with a closely trimmed beard and mustache, sat inside the white U.N.-marked utility vehicle for 10 minutes, AP reported. At first, an inspection team leader sought help from nearby Iraqi soldiers, but the man refused to leave the vehicle as the uniformed men pulled on his sleeve and collar.
What a shame. I wish the guy could have held out for a few more weeks until we liberate that despotic hellhole.
Iraqi officials said they had no information on the incidents.
Of course not.
-- CNN Correspondent Nic Robertson and Producer Ingrid Formanek contributed to this report.
Friday, January 24, 2003
The Daily Reckoning
Mark also sent along a link to this site, the perfect antidote for the CNBC blind bull lemmings.
A Mystery Has Been Solved
Ever wondered what happened to Elmo? Me, too (assist to: Mark Lenkei).
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
I don't think it's this guy.
It's Definitely Circus Time
...if Jerry Springer does indeed run for the Senate.
I wonder how many people in trailer parks vote? We'll find out, I suppose.
Thursday, January 23, 2003
I was browsing some of Charles Johnson's archives when I ran across an article that I think every Internet user should read, then perform the appropriate commands on their own computers to make sure you're not getting hacked.
From a command prompt: c:> netstat -an | find ":6667"
c:> netstat -an | find ":113 "
If you get blank lines, fantastic. If you see this:
TCP 192.168.1.101:1026 220.127.116.11:6667 ESTABLISHED
TCP 0.0.0.0:113 0.0.0.0:0 LISTENING
...calmly print the above link, shut your machine down and take the steps as outlined in the article to rid yourself of the bots.
Oh, yeah - and get a physical router. I swore by BlackIce Defender for a while, but leave nothing to chance.
Connoisseurs of Windows XP ought to read this, which I'm doing now. More in a bit.
I Doubt It
Gary Hart said Wednesday that the sex scandal that forced him out of the 1988 Democratic presidential race has faded enough to free him to consider another run in 2004. "The world has changed, issues are different today," the former Colorado senator said in an Associated Press interview. "I'm not saying that people forget, but I think time brings perspective to people."He's hoping everybody forgot...
Why The Angry Cyclist?
It's because of things like this.
It's Circus Time!
You know that Democratic politics will have reached a new low when everybody starts doing the pinkie-ring kiss to this son of a bitch.
Do I sense a double standard here?
Nope, guess I was wrong. Everybody move along...
Pompous Is As Pompous Does...
``We need a new approach to national security - a bold, progressive internationalism that stands in stark contrast to the too often belligerent and myopic unilateralism of the Bush administration,'' Kerry said in a draft version of his speech to be delivered at Georgetown University.Brilliant! A foreign policy subject to French approval. What will the DemocRATS think of next?
One question, Senator: Would this criticism of going to war with Iraq be the same one you voted for a few months ago?
I Got FloriDUH On My Mind
The powers that be found missing ballots from the September primary:
The ballots were postmarked as early as a week before the election and appeared to contain all the necessary information to have been deemed valid votes, the sources said. Prosecutors found about 100 ballots in a mail tray inside a file cabinet at Elections Supervisor Miriam Oliphant's Fort Lauderdale office during a search late Tuesday afternoon.
It's funny how history seems to repeat itself...
Did You Ever Wonder...
...how banks generate your credit card number? Here's the formula that's used. For Fleet Bank (well, probably all banks), the first eight numbers are reserved for each individual bank / credit card unit, so the formula can then be adjusted for digits nine through fifteen. Because this is a mod 10 algorithim, each bank has 100,000 usable credit card numbers out of a pool of one million.
Here's some PHP script that generates these numbers, if anyone's into that sort of thing.
Wednesday, January 22, 2003
Darwin Award Nominee - Junior Varsity
This is inexplicably stupid. You just hit a lottery for $7.5 million, which is just over $4 million after taxes, and you're dealing coke?
"We usually check to see if a person owes money for child support, taxes, things like that, before we award them the money," said lottery spokesman Keith Elkins. "Once they receive the money, we have no say on how they invest it."
One thing's for sure. He did not invest wisely.
Fat Shits Eat Crow
Well, it's better than what they're used to eating. Those idiots from New York that
Although he dismissed the suit, Judge Robert Sweet granted the plaintiffs the option of filing an amended complaint within 30 days addressing the problems that Sweet found in the plaintiffs' original arguments.
It sounds like they'll just file again:
Samuel Hirsch, the plaintiff's attorney, remained defiant. In a written statement his law firm said, "the plaintiffs are very pleased with the decision and have every intention of amending their complaint and refiling it in the federal court in the next 30 days."
It seems the concept of parental responsibility is lost on some people:
Bradley's father, Israel, said he never saw anything in the Bronx restaurants that informed him of the food's ingredients. "I always believed McDonald's was healthy for my children," he said in an affidavit.
The stupidity defense, in-action.
Hirsch also was critical of McDonald's billion-dollar advertising campaign. "Young individuals are not in a position to make a choice after the onslaught of advertising and promotions," Hirsch contended.
That's where the parents are supposed to come in, Samuel.
Here's another question - what level of proof are the plaintiffs held to in order to prove their kids ate all those meals at McDonalds?
Tuesday, January 21, 2003
Begala Award Nominee
Andrew Sullivan gives the coveted award for excessive, over-the-top hyperliberal rhetoric. Derrick Z. Jackson, last year's
Yes, I know it's still early, but a great call, nonetheless.
Related News Items
I don't know if they do this on purpose, but the Wall Street Journal puts two Page One news items in succession (emphasis added):
Financial restatements jumped 22% last year to 330, a record number due to accounting errors, a new study found.
A Merrill market strategist said that reliability of corporate earnings forecasts is cloudier than it has been in decades.
Yup, 2003's looking good already...
Jesse Ventura Update
MSNBC is reportedly signing up the former Minnesota Governor for a talk show.
Here's a better way to get higher ratings - get rid of Phil Donahue.
Darwin Award Nominees - Reserves Category
I'm sure we'll read about a few of these idiots in the coming months...
Globe Suicide Watch
Maybe I'll have to take Joan Vennochi off the suicide watch after this lip-locking embrace of the Senator With The Best Coif, John Kerry (naturally!).
Will Kerry follow Dukakis playbook?
...and lose in a landslide?
By Joan Vennochi, 1/21/2003
Then I say he's done right now.
Clearly, John F. Kerry, the junior senator from Massachusetts, is not just holding, but clutching the Dukakis-for-presidential-nominee handbook. Here's the strategy:
Here's a funny story from about five years ago. A friend of mine works for the phone company. He had to do a service call to Theresa Heinz's house on Nantucket Island. Just for shits and giggles, he peeks into the refrigerator to see what kind of ketchup she preferred. It was Stop & Shop ketchup! OK, not quite a skeleton, but still telling on some level.
By the way, very astute call on Kerry having to win New Hampshire there, Joan...
John Sasso, the Duke's strategist, is on board the Kerry campaign as ''senior adviser.'' The Dukakis boys were outmaneuvered by the late Lee Atwater the first time they went up against a Bush. But now they are looking at a lesser version of the old man. They must be thinking Karl Rove is no Atwater - especially if the economy stays bad and the current President Bush continues to rattle his holster at Saddam Hussein, all the time wearing that puzzled and puzzling squint.
I wouldn't be betting against Karl Rove.
But first, Kerry has to win his party's nomination. That's where the Dukakis playbook is useful.
No, Joan. First he has to do well in Iowa, then win in New Hampshire. Is this adult attention-deficit disorder?
As governor and presidential candidate, Dukakis played the Massachusetts media like the proverbial Greek chorus. With visions of White House correspondent jobs dancing in the heads of lowly State House scribes, the local media hyped his candidacy shamelessly. It was a good springboard and echo chamber, as illustrated by an August 1987 copy of New York magazine, with its cover story, ''Ready for the Duke?'' authored by Joe Klein. That got more national buzz going about a Massachusetts favorite son, just like Klein's Dec. 2 New Yorker piece, ''The Long War of John Kerry.'' (In between Dukakis and Kerry, Klein, of course, fell in and out of love with Bill Clinton.)
Speaking about getting played, some journalists seem to be making the same mistake again, don't they?
There are also political lessons to be learned from the Dukakis marriage and how it played on the campaign trail. A strong, independent-minded woman, Kitty Dukakis routinely spoke her mind as the governor's wife, and there was always concern about how that would sound in Dubuque. There was also the matter of a prior treatment for a dependency on prescribed diet pills that had been kept secret during previous campaigns.
There was also that drive in the tank, and stories about Kitty's alcohol problems. Details, details...
To Mrs. Dukakis's credit, no one was ever able to completely
Changing her voter registration? That doesn't seem very, er, supportive, does it?
''I'm not afraid to say what I believe,'' said Heinz. Good luck, Senator Kerry.
Once or twice in a column, Joan gets it right. Congratulations!
The field of likely Democratic rivals also provides parallels. Remember the ''seven dwarves'' running to be the 1988 Democratic nominee? Besides Dukakis, the field included two possible Kerry challengers - Missouri congressman Richard Gephardt and Delaware Senator Joseph Biden. Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt, Senator Paul Simon of Illinois and then-Senator Al Gore were also in the race, along with Jesse Jackson. The national press loved the straight-talking Babbitt and Simon, just as it shows nascent affection for Vermont's Howard Dean. Jackson provided drama and obvious color, just as Al Sharpton does.
It's funny how history repeats itself...
Dukakis was never loved, but he was respected; ultimately because of Farmer, he had access to the most money. For at least 30 years, money has been the key to winning the Democratic presidential nomination. Kerry is banking on the presumption that it still is.
If his wife gives him the checkbook, that is.
Winning the White House requires something more - and someone else's playbook.
More astute advice from Joan - run as somebody else. How transparent.
Joan Vennochi's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flying High Again?
Who would have ever thought of Ozzy Osbourne as a one-hit wonder?
Just Figuring This Out, Guys?
"There's no free lunch on the Web anymore,"
More Interesting Headlines
I'm not sure if the editors at CNN have the cause and effect thing down just yet...
First headline - Big Chill coming to New England
Which really got me worried. The actual headline reads: Arctic blast descends on Bay State
Bloomberg's New York
It seems that Hizzoner went to see the Rolling Stones at Madison Square garden. He was reportedly upset because Keith Richards and Ron Wood lit up some smokes during the show.
I'd call Bloomberg a one-termer for such acts of pettiness, which seem to be the rule rather than the exception so far during his term.
Friday, January 17, 2003
Darwin Award Nominee
"A 36-year-old-man has killed himself with a home-made guillotine," Reuters reports. An unnamed source tells the wire service that "Boyd Taylor had built a timer to activate the device in the early hours of Monday morning." Oddly Enough!
(from Best Of the Web, again)
Marc Herold Alert
"As a former schoolteacher and a mother, I know that Iraqi children are going to die. . . .They are going to be crushed by American bombs."
Captain Hairdo Update
Senator Kerry doesn't like the red states very much. He's a real man of the people, all right (link via Drudge).
XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX FRI JAN 17, 2003 09:08:37 ET XXXXX
That's pretty pathetic spin, Mr. Insider.