Wednesday Reads

The Striped Towel, Marie Fox

The Striped Towel, Marie Fox

Good Morning!!

I’m finally back home in Greater Boston. Last night at around 5PM, I almost teared up when I saw the sign reading “Massachusetts Welcomes You,” with the little chickadee on it. I’m so torn, because I love Indiana too; but I’ve lived in Boston since 1967–47 years–and I love it here too!

Here I am, 66 years old, and I have no idea what to do with the rest of my life. Should I move back to Indiana where my mother lives or should I stay here where I’ve lived for most of my life? And will I even have a choice? I can’t stay where I’m living indefinitely, and there’s no way I can afford an apartment in the Boston area unless I manage to get into subsidized elderly housing. It would be much cheaper to to live in Indiana.

I have no idea what will happen, and I’m not sure how much control I’ll have over it anyway. I guess I just have to keep on truckin’ and try not to agonize too much about the future.

Anyway, the new continues onward no matter where I am. Here are some stories that caught my attention today.

Hillary on The Daily Show

On last night’s Daily Show, Jon Stewart tried to cajole Hillary Clinton into saying whether or not she’ll run for president in 2016. According to The Week, 

At the beginning of Tuesday night’s Daily Show, Jon Stewart states (almost) unequivocally that his guest, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is declaring her candidacy for president in 2016 on his show. (Spoiler: She doesn’t.) But Clinton all but agrees with Stewart when he declares her candidacy for her, even knowingly answering all the right questions on his career aptitude test. If Clinton’s candidacy is supposed to be a long tease, maybe we’re approaching the denouement.

Clinton laughs a lot in the interview, and it’s clearly a friendly audience, but Stewart actually asks some interesting, tough questions. He also playfully tells her that nobody cares about her book, Tough Choices, and calls her out when she darts around his barbs. In fact, for somebody supposed to be a “terrible politician,” she fields the questions and turns around the criticism pretty skillfully.

Really? A “terrible politician?” That must be why she was elected to the Senate twice and why she won more primary votes than Barack Obama in 2008 (Yes, Virginian, Obama was nominated only with help from Superdelegate votes and Michigan Votes taken from Hillary and handed over to him by the Rules Committee.) In fact, she’s such a “terrible politician” than her former rival nominated her as his Secretary of State.

Sigh . . . Why don’t people actually watch and listen to Hillary herself instead of buying into the propaganda from her obsessed critics? Here is the Daily Show video from You Tube (I hope it doesn’t get taken down):

And BTW, “progressives,” getting Elizabeth Warren to run against Hillary for the nomination is a good recipe for electing Mitt Romney in 2016. From HuffPo: Ready For Warren Campaign Launches To Convince Elizabeth Warren To Run For President

WASHINGTON — An enthusiastic band of activists has launched a campaign to slow the momentum of Hillary Clinton and convince Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) that she should run for president in 2016.

“I think there’s an opportunity for us to convince her if we’re really able to make the case as to why we think she’s the right person,” said Erica Sagrans, who has signed on as the Ready For Warren campaign manager.

The group already has a Facebook pageTwitter account and a new website with a petition encouraging Warren to run.

Sagrans, who worked on President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, will be joined by political activist Billy Wimsatt, who previously founded the League of Young Voters and is going to be a senior adviser to the new group.

Reached for comment, Lacey Rose, Warren’s press secretary, told HuffPost, “No, Senator Warren does not support this effort.”

I love Liz, but she had no political experience before running for the Senate two years ago, she is approximately the same age as Hillary, and she doesn’t have the connections to raise the necessary money. Please grow up or shut the fuck up, assholes.

beach reading1

Old Fogies of the GOP

At Vox, Matthew Yglesias asks, “How long can the GOP last as the cranky oldster party?”

You can tell it’s the dog days of summer because some of Washington’s finest minds are spending their time debating the inherently unknowable question of whether today’s teenagers will grow up to be Republicans. Jon Chait says no way, but Harry Enten and John Sides and David Leonhardt say maybe….

More interesting than asking whether people born in the 1990s will be voting GOP in the 2020s, I think, is asking what kind of a GOP it would have to be for them to vote for it. As an older member of the left-leaning youth cohort, I was really struck by something John Boehner said four summers ago. He complained that the Democratic majority that existed that summer, paired with Barack Obama, was “snuffing out the America that I grew up in.”

Boehner was born in 1949 and presumably isn’t nostalgic for the sky-high income tax rates (or strong labor unions) of his youth. So what was so great about it? The racial and gender discrimination? In practice, he probably didn’t have anything at all in mind — he’s just mixing up disagreement with aspects of the Democratic agenda (the specific issue under discussion was the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill) with a generalized nostalgia for his youth. That probably resonates with a lot of older Americans, but while today’s teenagers might well turn against some of the failings of Obama-era liberalism, they’re unlikely to be pining for a return to Mad Men social norms….

There’s something very oldsterish about contemporary conservative politics. The constant bickering about Ronald Reagan is very odd to anyone too young to have any particular recollection of the Reagan years. Calling a group of people “Beyoncé Voters” as an insult is weird. Some of this oldsterism is just tics, but some of it has policy implications. The sort of budgetary priorities that call for huge cuts in all domestic spending, except no cuts at all for anyone born before 1959 is kind of weird. The huge freakout over New York City starting a bicycle program last summer was bizarre. It’s easy to imagine a political party that’s broadly favorable to low taxes and light regulation without sharing this particular set of tics. And then there was the time George Will wrote a column-length rant against blue jeans.

Not to mention Will’s wildly out-dated views on rape. Frankly, I think a lot of powerful Democrats are aging badly too. I’d like to see some of them move on and make room for some new blood. But let’s begin with the Republicans.

Beach Recliner, Candace Lovely

Beach Recliner, Candace Lovely

Speaking of cranky old folks, Dick Cheney has been all over the media lately, and I’ve had it up to here (point to neck).

From Politico: Cheney family sounds off after Iraq protests.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday defended the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq, calling it “absolutely the right thing to do.”

“I believed in it then, I look back on it now, it was absolutely the right thing to do,” the Wyoming Republican said with regard to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Cheney made his comments at a POLITICO Playbook lunch conversation with his wife, Lynne, and daughter Liz at Washington’s Mayflower Renaissance Hotel, a lively event that featured jokes, a standing-room-only crowd and a few interruptions — protesters delayed the event twice, screaming at the former vice president for being a “war criminal.”

Notice the quotes around “war criminal,” as if that were hyperbole. I’m afraid not, Politico.

Mike Allen, POLITICO’s chief White House correspondent, began the event by asking Dick Cheney about his decision to lambaste the Obama administration over its foreign policy, particularly in contrast to former President George W. Bush, who has declined to criticize the president since he left office.

Citing a decades-long precedent of former presidents refusing to criticize their successors, Cheney said: “I’m not bound by those strictures.”

Of course not. Cheney has never been bound by any “strictures,” even as a young man when he managed to obtain five draft deferments while others his age were fight and dying in another pointless war he supported.

Solitude, Woman at the Beach, Rita C. Ford

Solitude, Woman at the Beach, Rita C. Ford


Its puerilty has finally crossed over into indecency. Its triviality has finally crossed over into obscenity. The comical political starfcking that is its primary raison d’erp has finally crossed over into $10 meth-whoring on the Singapore docks. Once a mere surface irritation, Tiger Beat On The Potomac has finally crossed over into being a thickly pustulating chancre on the craft of journalism. It has demonstrated its essential worthlessness. It has demonstrated that it has the moral character of a sea-slug and the professional conscience of theTreponema pallidum spirochete. Trust me. Stephen Glass never sunk this low. Mike (Payola) Allen has accomplished the impossible. He’s made Jayson Blair look like Ernie Pyle.

It’s not just that TBOTP invited the Manson Family of American geopolitics to come together for an exercise in ensemble prevarication. It’s not just that the account of said exercise is written in the kind of cacophonous cutesy-poo necessary to drown out the screams of the innocent dead, and to distract the assembled crowd from the blood that has dripped from the wallet of the celebrity war-criminal leading the public display. And it’s not as though this was a mere interview—a “get” that could help you “win the morning (!).” In that, it might have been marginally excusable. No, this was one of Mike Allen’s little grift-o-rama special events—a “Playbook lunch,” sponsored by that noted mortgage fraud concern Bank Of America. There’s an upcoming TBOTP “event” in L.A. that is sponsored by J.P. Morgan. I know what Mike Allen is, but I am so goddamn tired of haggling about the price. Here’s how TBOTP‘s own account of the event begins.

Sing it with us: “Here’s the story of a man named Cheney …” Dick, Lynne and Liz Cheney had a message they wanted to send with their appearance at POLITICO’s Playbook lunch on Monday: We’re a family, we’re happy together, we joke together, and we’re beating the drum for an aggressive foreign policy together. It’s almost as if the Cheneys were the Brady Bunch—if the Brady Bunch had started a hawkish think tank and were warning the country about the failures of President Barack Obama’s leadership around the world.

Yes, and if Mike were an authoritarian greed-monkey with a borrowed heart that he declined to employ in any meaningful sense, if Carol were a lifelong scold and nuisance pretending to be a historian, and if Marcia were a talentless clown who, if it weren’t for the largesse of Mike’s friends and their foundations, would be selling phony subprime packages to the blind from a strip-mall in Kannapolis. Also, whatever editor it was who passed on the tone of this account should be sent back to the oyster cannery where they found him.

Please go over to Esquire and read the whole thing. It’s highly therapeutic. And here’s another counterpoint from The New York Daily News: Dick Cheney interview drowned out by hecklers Monday in D.C.

Cheney also told Jake Tapper than he doesn’t think Republicans should try to impeach President Obama, even though he is “the worst president of my lifetime.” How magnanimous of dear old Dick!


 Other News . . .

MSNBC,  Obama admin to join voting rights cases in Ohio and Wisconsin.

Bob Cesca, Protesters Carrying Firearms March Against Immigrant Children in Michigan.

The Arizona Republic, Arizona politician mistakes ‘Y’ campers for migrant children.

Huffington Post,  Americans Are Too Stupid For GMO Labeling, Congressional Panel Says.

Jonthan Chait, Diane Ravitch: Campbell Brown Shouldn’t Worry Her Pretty Little Head About Education Policy.


What stories are you following today?

41 Comments on “Wednesday Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    On a personal note, my brother John MacGibbon was nominated for another Emmy yesterday for his promo for the Frontline show League of Denial. The information on it is at the bottom of the page. I’m so proud of him!

  2. joanelle says:

    Thanks for this post, BB, great info with your always on the money insights!

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thank you! What’s your reaction to all these calls for Elizabeth Warren to run against Hillary?

      • NW Luna says:

        I’ll interject my opinion that it’s just a front for some of the anti-Hillary crowd. People who never take time to consider what exactly Hillary writes, says, and the actions she carries out.

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    BB, glad to hear you made it back to MA in one piece! Did you “honk” when you sped by Splfd?

    Hillary is going to need all the help she can get if she runs in 2016 and pushing Warren to challenge her will not do it for her. It will divide the party by rushing another inexperienced politician and it would doom the chances to gain back the majority in both houses.

    Hillary will face a “boatload of clowns” and it is far more important to focus on her then to have what promises to be a divided primary if Warren decides to get in which I doubt she will.

    Otherwise we may be “saluting” President Rand Paul. God forbid.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks, Pat. I didn’t honk when I passed Springfield, but I definitely was thinking of you. I’d be afraid of road rage if I honked! Fortunately the traffic wasn’t too bad yesterday; I didn’t get stuck in any bumper-to-bumper traffic on the approach to the Mass. Pike.

      I think Elizabeth Warren is too sensible to get caught up in emoprog fantasies. I hope I’m right.

  4. Fannie says:

    Thanks BB……….nice to see you back home. It’s tough to move to another location after 47 years. The first couple of years was a hard adjustment for me, but you have a mother and relations there, that makes it different.

    I watched the video, and yes she is the Heart & Soul of America, and we need to believe in ourselves first, people do look to us for all sorts of reasons. Hillary has to always be the one to walk the tightrope but she does it with a wonderful smile, laughter, and looks forward to the challenge. She is spot on when she talks about the young people, and how poverty and lack of jobs is worse, and how congress has inflicted more suffering on them, than need be. She understands where the problems lie, and she is so much more sensitive than the current politicians.

    I agree with you BB, Elizabeth Warren does not have the experience that Hillary does, and people in our party want to tear us apart like the Republicans have done to themselves. I am sick of that crap. Elizabeth Warren does have a part play, and that’s an important part. Hillary will not leave her in the dust, she will have a number of people, like Elizabeth who will help in our Country’s goal to “helping people” and those who are trying hard to make a living for their families. The family unit has changed, and a new light must be shed on those changes for a healthier America. I also see Michelle Obama playing a good part in our future. She done a great job with kids and nutrition for families. If we don’t get it right, we are doomed.

    Good lord, I am not for “saluting” Rand Paul. It will be more of the same.

    If you pull up roots BB, I think you will get a deal being near family. Congrats to your brother, puts a smile on my face too.

  5. List of X says:

    I see absolutely no reason for Hillary to announce that she’s running before the last possible moment: it’s not like she lacks name recognition, but the attacks will intensify once she makes it official. It would be especially bad if she makes the announcement before 2014 midterms, because then somehow any contest GOP wins will become a “referendum on Hillary Clinton”.
    P.S. I’d prefer Elizabeth Warren as president, honestly, but I don’t want her to run against Hillary, because Hillary is the one with by far the best shot for the office.

    • NW Luna says:

      Hillary has by far more experience. I want Hillary in 2016; it’s going to be incredibly tough to fix the mess we’re in. OK, Elizabeth Warren can be VP. Yet Warren is also needed in her present seat.

      • List of X says:

        I’d rather have Warren as Treasury Secretary or head Federal Reserve than as Senator or VP.

        • NW Luna says:

          Yeah, VP is mostly a token role and a waste of her expertise. Warren would be ideal for either of the other spots.

        • bostonboomer says:

          I’m not sure Warren is qualified to be Treasury Secretary. Her degrees are in speech pathology and bankruptcy law. Dak would know, but my guess is there are much more qualified women available.

          She couldn’t head the Federal Reserve, because the appointment is for a specific term. Janet Yellen is highly qualified and a woman. Why wouldn’t you want Warren in the Senate. She will push a liberal agenda–both on other Senators an on Hillary. I think it would be disastrous to lose another Democratic Senator. If the Republicans take over the Senate, we are fucked.

          • NW Luna says:

            Hmm, good points, BB. Yellen should stay at the Fed for quite a while longer. I hadn’t looked much into Warren’s background other than to see she was a reasonable Dem. I’m not from her area of representation as a Senator, but I should look further back into someone’s history before I stand on an opinion for them in an appointment to the Fed or a Cabinet post.

  6. List of X says:

    One more thing: if Cheney is not bound by strictures on criticizing Obama, why is Obama still bound by strictures against letting the Hague court prosecute Americans for war crimes?

    • bostonboomer says:

      Good question.

    • NW Luna says:

      Because he lets himself be. Obama didn’t even back impeachment proceedings against Bush, and said in July 2007 that impeachment should be reserved for “grave, grave breaches.” Yes, I guess war crimes, lying to Congress, the American people, and the UN, while causing thousands of US military and tens or hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths isn’t grave enough. Surprised me back in 2007-early 2008 when I was researching the candidates’ histories before deciding who to support. I used to refer to this Obama speech frequently back during 2008, as so many Obots thought Obama was the real deal as an anti-Iraq War candidate. (Never seemed to make an impression on the ‘bots, of course.)

      Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama laid out list of political shortcomings he sees in the Bush administration but said he opposes impeachment for either President George W. Bush or Vice President Dick Cheney.

      Obama said he would not back such a move, although he has been distressed by the “loose ethical standards, the secrecy and incompetence” of a “variety of characters” in the administration. ….

      “I think you reserve impeachment for grave, grave breaches, and intentional breaches of the president’s authority,” he said.

      I no longer had that source bookmarked, and had to search for it thru a few pages of “impeach Obama” headlines. What a commentary on current events.

  7. NW Luna says:


    Ku Klux Klan hands out candy in South Carolina

    Some residents in northwestern South Carolina say they found bags of candy on their street containing a piece of paper asking them to join the Ku Klux Klan. Residents in an Oconee County subdivision found the bags Saturday night or Sunday morning. The paper said “Save Our Land, Join the Klan.” It had a phone number that led to an automated message discussing KKK efforts against illegal immigration.

    Robert Jones told WHNS-TV ( that he’s the imperial klaliff of the Loyal White Knights and said the effort was part of a recruiting event they hold three times a year.

  8. NW Luna says:

    Some good news!

    New federal guidelines on job discrimination against pregnant workers could have a big impact on the workplace and in the courtroom.

    The expanded rules adopted by the bipartisan Equal Employment Opportunity Commission make clear that any form of workplace discrimination or harassment against pregnant workers by employers is a form of sex discrimination — and illegal.

    The guidelines were last updated in 1983. EEOC Chairwoman Jacqueline A. Berrien suggested the update was needed and timely. “Despite much progress, we continue to see a significant number of charges alleging pregnancy discrimination, and our investigations have revealed the persistence of overt pregnancy discrimination, as well as the emergence of more subtle discriminatory practices,” she said in a statement.

    The new guidelines prohibit employers from forcing pregnant workers to take leave and acknowledge that “employers may have to provide light duty for pregnant workers.” After childbirth, lactation is now covered as a pregnancy-related medical condition.

    It’s not just women who will benefit. The guidelines say that when it comes to parental leave, “similarly situated” men and women must be treated on the same terms.

  9. NW Luna says:

    Still time to comment, if you haven’t yet, at

    Comments on net neutrality overburden FCC website; deadline extended

    The FCC had received about 677,000 comments as of Monday, with about 207,000 coming through its electronic comment system, said spokeswoman Kim Hart.

    The pace of filing accelerated ahead of the midnight Eastern time deadline Tuesday and many people have been unable to access the site, she said. “Not surprisingly, we have seen an overwhelming surge in traffic on our website that is making it difficult for many people to file comments through our Electronic Comment Filing System,” Hart said. “Accordingly, we are extending the comment deadline until midnight Friday, July 18.”

    The FCC’s proposed rules governing Internet traffic have triggered protests outside the agency’s headquarters and intense interest among Internet companies, broadband providers and the public. Consumer groups and online activists have complained that the rules are too weak to prevent broadband service providers from interfering with content flowing through their networks, and have encouraged average Americans to contact the FCC to urge tougher regulation to ensure net neutrality.

  10. dakinikat says:

    U.S. Navy nurse has been reassigned after refusing an order to force-feed Guantánamo detainees for ethical reasons. “There was a recent instance of a medical provider not willing to carry-out the enteral feeding of a detainee,” a Pentagon official told CNN, adding that “the service member has been temporarily assigned to alternate duties with no impact to medical support operations.” The news was leaked by attorney Cori Crider, who represents prisoner Abu Wa’el Dhiab. For the past 18 months many Guantánamo detainees have been on hunger strikes, and Crider says the unnamed male nurse is the first-known military officer to rebel against the Pentagon’s controversial force-feeding policy.

    Speaking of ongoing evil because of Cheney/Rumsfeld/W

    • NW Luna says:

      Now that is a good reason to use a conscience clause! “Enteral feeding” = nasogastric tube through the nostril, down the throat, the esophagus, and into the stomach.

      Although it does annoy me that the journalist felt the need to say “male nurse” instead of just nurse. Way back centuries ago the first nurses were male knights.

  11. Just stopping to say this was a great post BB. I actually read it this morning on the way to one of Jake’s dr appointments. Things are crazy. Today he had a BG reading of 163 and then 30 min later it dropped to 50. He was not even active…so glad you are back at home base.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks, JJ. I hope you can get Jake stabilized. I don’t know anything about those numbers, but they sound like they’re fluctuating wildly. Take care.

    • NW Luna says:

      JJ, you take some time to take care of yourself as well as Jake. 163 isn’t bad depending on how long ago he had something to eat. 50, OTOH, is getting low enough he could feel weak. Endocrinology is not my specialty, but has there been consideration of the pros and cons of an insulin pump? Though I can sure see not rushing to that intervention too soon.