MartiniPundit

Random thoughts and insights – always shaken, never stirred

Archive for the ‘Boston’ Category

Profiles in Cluelessness

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I overheard a conversation today between two twentysomething girls, who were evidently recent college graduates. The first part of their conversation was all about budgeting, and how hard it was to make ends meet. One explained her budgeting process to the other, which involved listing her expenses, and then comparing it to her income. This, she allowed with some gravity, was typically negative. Her next step was to see where she could cut back, with a goal of cutting out ten percent. Cigarettes were one example she cited of things she could do without. She went on about she'd like a dog, but seemed amazed that she would have to pay for its food and veterinary care.

The other agreed that things were hard, and that she was usually short of money. She said she was glad she didn't have a lot of things weighing her down, and felt sorry for all the people who had lost stuff because of Hurricane Sandy. I noted they both had recent model iPhones.

About this time, the second girl received a text from a friend (this sort of thing went on throughout their conversation), apparently concerning the FEMA director at the time of Katrina criticizing Obama's haste to weigh in on Sandy. After deciding this wasn't something out of the Onion, they proceeded to ridicule the notion in a fascinating verbal shorthand. It took three sentences to indict Bush, the gist of which was his response was poor. Sole data point was the charge that some people in NOLA were still in their houses three days later. I wondered if they would remember NOLA's mayor and LA's governor, both democrats, but I should have known better.

At about this time, an Obama commercial came on a nearby TV warning of all sorts of contraception bans if Romney is elected. Bang, and we're off to the races! Their mood improved tenfold, and whereas up to this point they had been somber and serious, they now became lighthearted and smugly superior. In no way questioning the premise of the ad, they took it as gospel, even bringing up Rep. Akin's ridiculous remark as a rare example of when someone said what “they” all believe. They then all but high-fived each other on reproductive rights and how as women they know something about that. Case closed – the election would save their birth control and hurricane response to the stuff they don't have because they can't afford it.

There were several times when I was tempted to interject, but refrained, finding the insight too good to pass up. Here I was, sitting at a table not four feet away, fully able to hear every word they said, but they didn't give that a thought as far as I could tell. We conservatives are more circumspect here in Boston, but liberals seem to assume everyone around them thinks the same way. Their support for Obama was, of course, uncritically given, and they did not strike me as two people who a week out from the election thought there was a chance Obama might lose.

After they left, I pondered the intellectual disconnect in their unnuanced lives. These girls were clearly not stupid, but neither were they thoughtful. Their thoughts proceeded from received dicta, and completely predictable, right down to their parents being clueless about texting. Yet, each was dissatisfied with work and career prospects. The first one clearly understood basic budgeting, and the need to reduce spending to meet income. But neither ever mentioned, because I doubt it ever occurred to them, the connection between Obama and their straitened economic circumstances. That Obama doesn’t understand basic budgeting. That wasn't something they had been told to think, and so they didn't. They were the very definition of clueless.

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All In for Romney

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MartiniPundit endorses Mitt Romney for president. Further explication to follow, but I wouldn’t want anyone to be on tenterhooks here.

Written by martinipundit

June 6, 2012 at 12:52 am

Palin Derangement Syndrome

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It seems Sarah Palin was in town this week. I missed it – she spoke at the Old North Church in Boston and I was only informed after the event. So it goes. But it seems those on the Left have made a very big deal out of it. I’ve even seen people on facebook threatening to unfriend people in the wake of the event.

Let’s stipulate at the outset that I am not a supporter of Sarah Palin for president, and I very much hope she doesn’t run. I believe she is a flawed candidate as I posted here. I further will not under any circumstances vote for her in a primary (and her endorsement will carry no weight with me). Should she run however, and should it come down to voting for her or Obama, I will vote for Palin. Reluctantly.

At the same time, I have observed liberal friends treat her Old North Church impromptu remarks as some sort of disqualifier. Astounding. I listened to them (you can find them easily – I won’t link). She butchered the history here – but not the concepts. I am amused by the liberal reaction – Palin bungled her words and this disqualifies her from the presidency. Uh huh.

So Obama wasn’t disqualified by thinking there were 57 states. From thinking Austrian is a language. From thinking ‘corpsman’ is pronounced ‘corpse-man.’

I’m no Palin fan, but if the libs want to put up their guy versus her in who is more ignorant, I say BRING IT ON!

Sarah Palin does serve a worthy cause however. The inestimable Dr. Charles Krauthammer coined the phrase Bush Derangement Syndrome and it seems Sarah Palin has inherited that mantle. If she serves as a lighting rod for liberal insanity, then she serves the nation far better than she ever could as president.

At least it seems to pay well.

TSA Passes, Sorta

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As in, they made no pass. Or what might have been had they done it. Which they didn’t.

In short, I flew out of Boston today, and passed through security ungroped, unx-rayed, and apparently undangerous.

I’m almost disappointed …

Written by martinipundit

January 18, 2011 at 1:26 am

Posted in Boston, GWOT

Tagged with , ,

Patrick, Bleep, I’m Still in Patrick

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Fox is calling the Massachusetts governor’s race for Deval Patrick.

Thanks Tim Cahill. You siphoned off enough independent votes to throw the election to the most unpopular governor the state has had in decades. Thanks for our continued unemployment. Thanks for more taxes. Thanks for more incompetence. Thanks for nothing.

Written by martinipundit

November 2, 2010 at 10:08 pm

It’s Beyond Don Draper

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Michael Graham has a great piece in the Boston Herald about Barney Frank:

Could Don Draper sell Barney Frank?

Don Draper is the central character on the popular and (as I can personally attest) addictive TV drama “Mad Men.” He is a marketing miracle worker, the prototypical ad man from Madison Avenue’s heyday.

He’s a guy who can sell anything. But I bet Barney Frank would leave him stumped.

Who is Barney Frank’s market? If you’re a “good government” white-collar suburbanite, Frank’s been a disaster. When he’s not in a personal relationship with an executive at an agency he oversees (Frank’s former partner, Herb Moses, was an executive at Fannie Mae) Frank’s on vacation to the Virgin Islands riding the private jet of a Wall Street tycoon – another person whose industry he regulates.

So maybe you’re a results-oriented pragmatist who just wants politicians who keep the trains running on time. Has any congressman ever wreaked so much economic damage on his nation?

Even Frank admits that he had “ideological blinders” about Freddie/Fannie. His push to put the taxpayer on the hook for high-risk loans to special-interest borrowers was done in the name of liberal politics, not economic rationality.

He now claims he just didn’t know any better. But everybody knew better in the summer of 2008 when Frank claimed “Freddie and Fannie are not in danger.”

Two months later they were bankrupt.

Here’s just one frightening phrase from a memo in Frank’s congressional committee: Fannie and Freddie participated in transactions “that would not normally be considered to be economically viable.”

“Not considered economically viable” could be Frank’s campaign motto. From opposing Reaganomics to opposing welfare reform to opposing the Bush tax cuts, Frank’s been wrong on nearly every major issue since taking office in 1980.

Read the rest. Barney Frank benefits from smart people who don’t think before they enter the ballot box. Mr. Graham thinks he will again. I’m afraid he’s right, but I’m prepared to be wrong. After all, Scott Brown did carry most of Frank’s district.

Oh, and for the record, Mad Men is a great show.

Written by martinipundit

October 16, 2010 at 10:32 pm

Barney the Dinosaur

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Barney Frank.

Forget the personal corruption. This is the guy most responsible for the housing meltdown with his flacking for Fannie and Freddie. I have a friend – a Scoop Jackson democrat – who insists to me that Barney Frank is one of the smartest people in Washington. I do agree that he’s politically savvy. But smart? I’ve yet to see the evidence, though he is a survivor. (This follows the meme that democrats are smart, republicans stupid. Yawn.)

But maybe not for very much longer.

I’d like to stress that Barney Frank does not represent Boston, so I have no vote here, nor does anyone who lives in Boston itself. I do have a couple of friends in the 4th district who can affect this outcome. The key thing to note is that Scott Brown carried almost all of the 4th (except I believe for Newton) handily. Frank is considered in a safe seat, so there is no real coverage, and we can’t really see the polling of the campaigns – just what they say it is.

That having been said, there are some clues:

Sean Bielat, the Republican candidate for Congress in Massachusetts’ 4th District, has had just one conversation with his Democratic opponent, Rep. Barney Frank.

It was in August, at a parade in New Bedford. “I went up to introduce myself and said, ‘Nice to meet you,'” Bielat recalls. “He said, ‘I wish I could say the same, but you’ve made this personal. You’ve been attacking me.’ Then he turned and walked away.”

Frank is full of it here. That is his reaction to every single challenge, every single criticism. Frank doesn’t do defense, rather, he reacts to attacks with attacks. He reacts to non-attacks with attacks. He’s a pit bull.

Yet, there are real indications the pit bull is afraid. Consider:

You have to classify a Bielat victory as unlikely. Frank usually wins re-election with between 65 percent and 75 percent of the vote — and that’s when Republicans even bother to field a candidate against him. That’s a strong record.

Indeed. As noted above, I’m not in the 4th district. As it happens, there is no one running on the republican ticket in my district. That’s been Barney’s experience for some time. Not this year. But normally, he wouldn’t really care. Except for the fact that Scott Brown carried his district. So Barney has done something normally unnecessary:

Bill Clinton — the Democratic Party’s biggest gun — recently came by to campaign for Frank suggests party leaders don’t believe Frank is a shoo-in.

Not a shoo-in? If Bill Clinton has come, they think the unthinkable. Frank could lose.

And if he does, it would be the sweetest victory of all. No one has had more to do with the recent economic crisis than Barney Frank. If he loses his job because of it, it will only be justice.

Written by martinipundit

October 1, 2010 at 12:19 am

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