05 October 2006

Remind Me Not To Make Charles Pierce Angry

Charles P. Pierce often takes a ton of guff over at TAPPED, though I think he's usually right on. Here, he's not pushing much in the way of information, but man does he turn the invectometer up to 11.
Those of us who despaired of Weepin' Joe Lieberman (I-Green Room) years ago have not been surprised by anything he's done over the past six months. He's always been a puling, mewling opportunist who'd sell his grandmother to the Malay pirates for a pat on the head from a jackleg preacher, or 15 minutes of banter on Don Imus's Wrinkle Farm, where he recently made giddy fun of the demolition of the Geneva Conventions. He's never breathed a political moment in which he was not John Breaux in a hairshirt.
It gets better.

Patrick up a Larry Bird on Healey

Sorry, training camp just started and I'm a little giddy about the Celtics this year. More importantly, though, is the new Rasmussen poll that just came out, putting Deval Patrick at 57%, Healey at 24% and Mihos at 9%. Also, Healey's unfavorability gap has widened from a -2% to a -11%; the article doesn't list Patrick's unfavorables, but pegs his favorables at 71%, 34% of which is "very favorable", so he's got that going for him. This is good news, but this was a September poll, so the events of the last few days aren't reflected there.

As Charley at BMG jokingly mentioned, Patrick supporters shouldn't know about this but should keep working to increase this lead and ensure his election. Well, I'll happily give out the morale boost, so long as it's known that races almost always tighten the closer one gets to election day. At this point I doubt it will be a nail-biter, but it will be much closer than the last few polls have indicated. Of course, I've been wrong before, so I suggest we all try to make these polls right come election day.

03 October 2006

Boston: Great American City (May-August) or The Fall 2006 Invasion

They are now back and in full swing. As a graduate student with familial roots in the area, I don’t consider myself one of them, while I’m sure others would. After a great summer, we once again have to deal with the crews of 19-year-old tramps from New Jersey (who are all wearing basically the same out fit) screaming into her cell phones on the Green line, Northeastern/BU frat boys (who are also all wearing their required uniform of un-tucked dress shirts and jeans with flat toed shoes) being loud EVERYWHERE, crowds at the movies, at bars I actually like, and double the traffic on the roads at on the T.

The following article from last week's Onion sums up my feelings about Boston pretty well. I have always said that Boston is one of the greatest American cities to live in…From May through September. However, the invasion of thousands of trust-fund babies, driving their mom's Grand Cherokee, having no idea how to get where they are going and not caring, leaves a bit to be desired:

BOSTON—The now month-long invasion carried out by more than 200,000 college students who bombarded this normally quiet, historic city has forced native Bostonians to relinquish their rights as citizens and settle into a new life under occupation.
Members of the first wave of intruders, who took control of Government Center earlier this month.
"This was clearly a highly coordinated operation that had been in the planning stages for months, and in some cases, years," said Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, who has urged calm among the city’s residents. "I regret not reading the warning signs when thousands of them showed up last spring, scouting our highest-profile sites. But Bostonians are a resilient bunch, and we will do what we can to carry on with our lives as normal."
With a convoy of U-Hauls containing supplies that will likely sustain them at least until the start of the holiday season, the students first took over the streets of nearby Cambridge. After gaining control of residential areas in Harvard and Kenmore Squares, they crossed the Charles River into the city’s administrative and financial-aid centers, seizing control of the waterways and Boston’s Green and Red subway lines. Student infiltration of technical laboratories and research facilities in the downtown area all but ensured that they would be able to subvert and eventually dominate the communication and engineering capabilities of this city of 600,000.
"These are highly motivated young people, some of them from foreign countries, with the resources and the desire to take over entire industries," Menino said. "And there’s no doubt they were working with someone on the inside to get this kind of access."
With their concentration in liberal-arts colleges spreading from a centralized location to the outlying suburban areas, the students have made certain that they will maintain a constant presence in all parts of the city.
"There are just too many of them," said 59-year-old Somerville native Jonathan Walsh, who admitted that his tiny militia’s tactics of eye-rolling, scoffing, and yelling from their cars at the occupiers has been a useless attempt to stifle the blitz. "They’ve completely taken over the restaurants, the parks, the concert halls, everything. It doesn’t feel like this is our city anymore."
"I can’t even walk around at night," said 34-year-old Jamaica Plain–born Meagan Gallagher, who added that she must now show her ID before gaining entry to "any little bar in the city," since the students arrived. "And with them getting discounts on movies, food, and books, it’s like I’m a second-class citizen."
The invaders have also managed to effectively take control of the airwaves, subjecting the natives to an eclectic mix of experimental, discordant music, and long, drawn-out political manifestos.
"Over and over again, it’s the same strange songs and public-service announcements," said East Boston resident Joe Kirkpatrick, 57. "It’s torture, in a way, is what it is."
Other residents are complaining that the invading forces, far from merely being a nuisance, are standing in the way of their basic constitutional rights to life and liberty.
Matthew Soisson, 39-year-old husband and father of four, said he was forced out of his three-bedroom home by the vastly better-funded students. "I don’t know where it’s coming from, but some outside source is funneling money to these groups," Soisson said. "Who can compete with that kind of spending?"
Added Soisson: "Things were just so much more peaceful before they showed up."
Reports indicate that Soisson may not see a decline in student numbers in the near future: While many are scheduled to return home in May, a fresh group of newly enlisted students will likely be deployed to relieve them in the fall.

02 October 2006

Weekend Poll

Well that wasn't very fair of The Boston Globeand CBS4, putting a poll out on the one day of the week I'm guaranteed to be away from my computer. Of course, it shows roughly the same picture that SurveyUSA and Rasmussen gave: A large, though not insurmountable lead by Deval Patrick (55%) over his opponents, principally, Kerry Healey (30%). As David at BMG pointed out, the real big news from this poll comes in finding that Healey has a -2 favorability rating (40% favor, 42% unfavor). That's 42% of the electorate that is writing her off completely at this moment and, in a three way race, that spells doom.

Christy Mihos is still plugging along at 7%, though he splits with Patrick the 24% of Republicans not supporting Healey. This, to me, is also big news. Healey was the hand-picked successor to Mitt Romney and yet she barely musters 3/4 of her party's vote. Patrick, on the other hand, slugged it out in a three-way primary in which he didn't win a majority and now enjoys the support of over 80% of Democrats. I can't say whether or not this is due to the candidates themselves, the cohesion of the respective parties or is an accidental result of the poll, but it must be worrying for Healey and the Massachusetts Republican party establishment (both of them, not including Healey) to know that their chosen one isn't exactly pulling the party together. Whatever coattails Healey was going to have, given the few Republicans running downticket, are disappearing quickly.