April 2008
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Day April 17, 2008

Clinton: Kinder, Gentler Neoconservatism?

Watching the debate in Philadelphia, I was struck by the saber rattling of Senator Clinton in a response to a question about Iran. These words rang out: “massive retaliation” and “umbrella of deterrence.”

She said:

I think that we should be looking to create an umbrella of deterrence that goes much further than just Israel. Of course I would make it clear to the Iranians that an attack on Israel would incur massive retaliation from the United States, but I would do the same with other countries in the region.

You know, we are at a very dangerous point with Iran.

I found this position startling, especially in connection to Clinton’s rightward leanings as illustrated by her unflinching support for Kyl/Lieberman.

Then I saw this segment on Olbermann’s Countdown featuring Rachel Maddows. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21…

Ms.Maddow wondered; “Why would something like this advance American interests?”

Later stating; “This is a huge reorientation of America’s foreign policy and America’s role in the world.”

I have put them in full context below the fold.

Another challenger jumps in vs. Mike Rush

… After Brookline native Pamela Julian jumped in, now it's Air National Guard reporter Matt Benedetti of West Roxbury. Benedetti says he's inspired by national and local movements for change. That being said, his focus on issues is decidedly local: “I think I am pretty open-minded, and I think my views better reflect the district. I’m more focused on everyday problems like schools, taxes and quality of life and not so much about social issues,” said Benedetti, who grew up in Roslindale, played in Parkway Little League and attended Catholic Memorial. “I think the 10th Suffolk District sends a lot of money to Beacon Hill, and I’m not sure we’re getting that much back in turn. I think I can bring more services to the 10th Suffolk District.” The article actually has Benedetti touching on many and varied issues. Rather than rehash it all here, go take a look at the West Roxbury Transcript's story. (Thanks UHub.)

Stephanopoulos’s weasel words

UPDATE: Thanks to afertig — MoveOn has put up a truly nauseating compilation of the “When did you stop beating your wife”-type questions:  —-  So, it seems nearly unanimous: Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos absolutely coughed up a hairball* in last night's debate on ABC. Stephanopoulos has responded to the criticism, but it just goes to show how little responsiblity he takes as a journalist. “Our job is to ask the questions,” he said. “His job is to go out and win votes.” (This reminds me of someone local of whom it is said far and wide — yea verily — “asks the tough questions.” And is gorgeous and brilliant — no extra charge! But I digress.) “The questions”? Well, it depends on how you define the word “the”, huh? As if there is a canonical set of questions, and shucky gee whiz, we're just up here askin' these folks these here questions! George and Charlie, they were your questions. And your questions sucked. Stephanopoulos then absolutely ensconces himself in airtight cocoon of tautological campaign meta: “We decided to focus at the top on the issues that had been at the center of the debate since the last debate. Everything […]

Another Moment of Disillusionment wih Governor Patrick

I know many of us have been frustrated with some of Governor Patrick’s decisions since he took office.  Putting curtains aside, he has faced opposition from the Speaker and in general I have given him a lot of leeway.  But it was too much when I heard about his decision not to fund Hearth (formerly The Committee to End Elder Homelessness), an organization that provides care and housing for homeless elderly people.  I am partly biased because I have a family member who works at the organization, but I have explained why this move is particularly frustrating in my letter to Governor Patrick: Governor Patrick, I interned for your campaign during the summer of 2006, giving up paid opportunities as a college student to help get you elected.  I was excited by many aspects of your candidacy, but one of them was that I thought you would support funding for intelligent social policies designed to help those in need in the short term and save money and lives in the long term.  I am deeply disappointed to learn that you have cut funding for Hearth (line item 9110-1660). As Hearth’s website states, “By providing supportive housing and outreach services specifically […]

Charlie and George Go To A Debate …

Just a little follow-up on the debate last evening …

Charlie and George …

Not quite in the same league, but, after the outrage (and disappointment) an equal amount of laughs could be had, as if the debate was presented as a corporate, white-collar version of “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle”.

A Lot Quicker Than I Thought – With Poll

I expected this to last at least a few weeks. But I became aware of a fact today that sent me to the Moon. So now, less than 24 hours after I said I was leaving you for good I’ve come back. Bob was right. Of course I couldn’t stay away. But this fact has impacted me in a such a way that I have to demean my self and come groveling back without going through a respectable hiatus. Damn you ____! You have caused me to humiliate myself. And worse of all Peter said “No” when I said “Hey, Peter, let’s put on a show. I mean blog” Bitch. Tomorrow I will post something that truly is a call to arms. The people will be called to action. The roots that hold this grass together will join as one to stop this insanity I will say that it is about someone that Ernie comments on now and then. Someone who needs to be slapped silly. I have a plan. And it’s a good one. I know because my mother told me so. Someone who is both disgraceful and dangerous. Someone who MUST BE STOPPED. (not my mother) (who will […]

An Opportunity Taken or Lost by Clinton?

I was struck by this rare useful portion of the NYT’s coverage of last night’s debate: “She has gone through this,” he said. “You know, I recall when back in 1992, when she made a statement about how, ‘what do you expect, should I be at home baking cookies?’ And people attacked her for being elitist and this and that. And I remember watching that on TV and saying, well, that’s not who she is; that’s not what she believes; that’s not what she meant. And I’m sure that that’s how she felt as well.” But Mrs. Clinton tersely rejected Mr. Obama’s explanation. “I can see why people would be taken aback and offended by the remarks,” Mrs. Clinton said, adding, “It wasn’t just me responding to them, it was people who heard them, people who felt as though they were aimed at their values, their quality of life, the decisions that they have made.” To me, this is new and constructive politics by Obama. He sought to transcend the politics of the moment and concentrate on issues (and, of course, less heroically, change the subject from “bitterness” to “cookies”). By batting down the offering, however, Clinton showed she is […]

My vote for “best cartoon of the month”

Here is the link: http://tovancouver.blogspot.co… Can one of you genius-types cut and paste the cartoon itself into this post or a comment to it?

As Others See Us?

Thanks again to everyone who helped make BMG the best local blog in The Phoenix Best Readers Poll. Thanks also to Red Mass Group for congratulating us for our win, and thus, in fact, alerting us to it, and for provided entertaining commentary in their comments, as noted below by David. Most entertaining of all, perhaps, is our description by The Phoenix: So you put down your Sunday New York Times and head out to Whole Foods to buy some organic vegetables and wine for your book club tonight (In Defense of Food – genius!), then you hop back into your Prius with the “1.20.09″ sticker and head home to Cambridge; open your MacBook and chat with your friends on BLUE MASS GROUP about why marijuana should be legalized and the evils of Mark Penn, and it’s great, but despite these distractions, you can’t help but wonder if Obama ever got those hemp panties you mailed to him. . . I found this incredibly amusing because it is such an MSM caricature. It’s as if I wrote that The Phoenix was … well, you can fill in what you think best in the comments. Although it’s true the three Editors […]

Another bad story for the House

Phantom voting? Is someone keeping a scorecard on the negative stories that are coming out about the House and its members in the last few months? Can someone with experience in the chamber explain how easy or hard it might be to eliminate this from happening?