The observations of a 50 something with lots of experience in politics, government, life and learning.

Saturday, October 29, 2005


But I thought I'd come in tonight and find out that all of America had been talking on the blogosphere about the indictment of Scooter. Myself, I was at the Williamstown Film Festival, but at the parties we made sure we took time to toast the news.

Ironically, we had watched a movie about prison inmates who participate in a program to put on Shakespeare plays "inside." It makes you remember that sending someone to prison is a life-changing event, and for a moment I wondered whether I should be less cavalier about wishing that Scooter, Karl and Dick would end up behind bars.....

But then I said "Nah. F*** the B**tards." They have contempt for democracy. That's about the highest crime and misdemeanor you can commit. Talk about premeditation.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Wes Flinn and I will compete to see how effusive we can be about Mike Dukakis' incredible talk at MCLA this evening.

He's the only person (Mike, not offense, I'm sure there are many things that Wes knows more about than Mike!) I know whose given a cogent history of Iraq in the 20th century in five minutes and explained why things are so SNAFU....

I was, however, disappointed, that it wasn't SRO. Especially because that size audience is his forte. Michael's commonsense approach to life and learning and his ability to tell it like it is really shines in that venue (and unfortunately a thirty second sound bite never did it justice....) and you can imagine what a wonderful professor he must be.

Probably the most poignant thing about the evening was remembering that there was a time in this Commonwealth where there was someone we could believe in and we worked our butts off in a classic grassroots campaign to change the world.

One of the reasons I'm working for Deval Patrick is that he's the first person in 15 years to come close to Michael's ability to connect with the average voter.

There are many ways in which people give their lives for their country. Mike has certainly given his life for this Commonwealth and this nation and we are all the better for it.


Apparently there is a new group buying ads on TV against Harriet Miers. Now, I don't have an opinion one way or the other on HM because I know nothing about her except that she seems to adore W and that puts her judgment into question. And when you're a judge, or a Justice, I think you're supposed to have judgment.

But the group that is trashing her nomination is called "Americans for Better Justice."

I am thinking of starting a group called "Americans for Better Judgment." (And let's all remember that the word has only one "e." We law school wives learned this the hard way typing papers for our husbands in the era BEFORE computers or even correctable IBMs....)

But I digress.

We are confronted with the fact that Americans allowed W to be installed in the White House (notice I don't call this "electing" him) twice without a whimper. And to top that all off, apparently the majority of Americans do not believe in evolution, a debate I thought we settled 80 years ago.

And we wonder why they're shipping jobs to India. At least there, they keep religion out of the call center.

So, if you want to join MY version of ABJ, just sign a pledge that you'll never vote for an avowed idiot for President and you'll never substitute hogwash for science. For some people, that will make the dues beyond their reach.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Why is it OK to impeach the President of the United States over the issue of his reluctance to discuss his sexual peccadillos, but it's NOT OK to indict White House aides and maybe even the VPOTUS over outing a CIA agent?

The chorus of "well, we don't want these indictments to be about technicalities like perjury and obstruction" makes me want to either ROFL or throw up. I'm not sure which.

Any time in the last five years that someone has suggested impeaching Bush (on stupidity if nothing else...) I always pointed out that we only impeached Nixon AFTER we got rid of Agnew. Impeaching Bush to get Cheney was not anything to be wished for.

And then came Plame.

So who's being cast as the Gerald Ford character for this remake?

Thursday, October 20, 2005


So why don't my email headlines from the NYT say that this a.m.?

This is the biggest news since the crash of the Hindenberg.

Of course, if Cheney resigns, we could be looking at '73-'74 all over again.

Those who ignore history are bound to repeat it.

How many seats DID the D's gain in the '74 elections?

How sweet it is.....

Monday, October 17, 2005


You heard it here first. Well, maybe not first....

He was in Pittsfield yesterday. My friend Frank Lloyd had mentioned me to him.

He actually remembered the conversation and the fact that I lived in Williamstown.

If the "personal touch" genes had spread a little further, the world would be a different place.

Anyway, it will be fun working with him.

And my son's middle name is Cameron, so we're almost family.


And so it kills me that I can't find anything I wrote in this blog in re: Judy Miller. I never felt sorry for her, and all my buddies in the free press were wringing their hands and talking about First Amendment freedoms. I thought she committed treason.

So her lame claims that she can't remember who told her about "Valerie Flame" just don't cut it with me.

She should just admit she was lied to about WMD (a lot of us were suckered in that turned out you couldn't believe Colin Powell for gawd's sake....) and has seen better days as a journalist and get on with her life. Making this into a "cause" cheapens the work of REAL whistleblowers that need protection.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


I'm sure Wes Flinn, Michael Wilcox and I will all compete to see who can put up a "review" of Deval's speech to the Central Berkshire Labor Council this morning. Read them all with the caveat that we are all involved in his campaign....

But it didn't take a political genius to figure out that, once again, he was a rock star. His message of hope and affirming the American dream really resonated with the audience, people like me who had worked hard to get where they were. Probably the story that affected me most (besides the observation that he showed up at Milton Academy the first day in a windbreaker because the mailing had said that young men should wear jackets to class....) was his recounting of the call home to his grandmother to tell her he had been admitted to Harvard. He was all excited and his grandmother was too. Then she paused and said "Now, just where is that?"

Of course the crowd howled. But then he gently pointed out the lesson. "She wasn't so much interested in or aware of the prestige. She was happy for me because I was going to have the OPPORTUNITY."

God helps those who help themselves, but we all need an opportunity first. Deval's story of the opportunity that the A Better Chance (ABC) program gave him to go to Milton and the opportunity he got to attend Harvard and HLS are the kinds of dreams that we are still trying to create. And his reminder to us that government can be the instrument of that possibility is one of the things his candidacy is about.

As a kid who went to a Seven Sisters school on a half scholarship, and got survivor's benefits from the Social Security system to finish, I can only say, "AMEN."

Saturday, October 15, 2005


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MOE! You are the best dog in the whole wide world (even better than Lucky.....)

Friday, October 14, 2005


OK, OK, OK (as Rebecca Joffe-Halpern would say....) this is how we save money this winter with high energy prices.

For those of us who are mobile, we turn the heat down in the house and walk briskly to the local wi-fi coffee place (in our town it is Tunnel City.) We have internet acccess, cell phone in hand, and we do our work "offsite" and don't drive to work. We have companionship, and the more bodies there, the warmer we are, not to mention the coffee.

Works for me. Are you listening, Human Resources?

Thursday, October 13, 2005



for the war in Iraq
for our response to Hurricane Katrina
for our inability to eliminate poverty in this richest of nations
for our ability to put in office (I won't say elect) a certified idiot, not once, but twice....

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


This is how dead my brain is. I don't remember what I said in my last post.

I am brain dead because I do "three shows a day" about the new Medicare Rx benefit. My shows are great. Entertaining, informative and focused.

They still all leave the room totally confused. I'm not sure what to do about that. I'm not sure I CAN do anything about that.

So I'm up performing and, in the case of yesterday, driving some significant miles from one small town to another. The upside is the great people you meet in the small towns. And although the foliage is behind schedule, and probably won't have a great peak, there are worse ways to spend your business day than driving around southern Berkshire County looking at incredible views of mountains, fields, leaves and barns.

My weekend did not come out the way I thought it would. I've tried to balance all the pressure at work with taking care of myself, and realizing that a long weekend was in the making had visions of going to to Cape and chilling out. And then I saw I had booked myself for a presentation at a local church on Sunday morning. In that particular case, God works in mysterious ways. Heard a great sermon, reconnected with a friend that I hadn't realized attended that church, and met some wonderful people.

But that , combined with the rain, meant that both the Cape and my second choice, Lake Sunapee, NH were both nixed. But it did mean that I went on the Greylock Ramble Monday a.m. with my faithful dog Moe.

Both of us were a little bit (or a lot) the worse for wear by the time we descended to the parking lot. Covered in mud, tired and aching. We got into the shower together, washed off the mud and went to bed (at 3:30 in the afternoon!) me with a bourbon manhattan, Moe dead to the world at my feet. (He's hardly moved for two days...) For those of you who don't know, Mt. Greylock is the highest peak in MA. The hike was seven miles r/t and the hardest part was that it was extremely wet on the ground so footing was iffy. I think Moe literally pulled me up the mountain. My friends Jen and Lona had brought sandwiches and if it wasn't for them, I would have been carried down in an ambulance. But I was revived by the egg salad and pb&j and schlepped back. As of this morning my musculature is still complaining, but I am capable of doing my schtick out in the community so I must not have suffered too badly.

But what occurred to me as I saw all the rain (and cleaned leaves from gutters at teh end of the street so it wouldn't flood) is WHEN WILL PEOPLE REALIZE THAT WE ARE F---ING UP THE PLANET? Sometimes they barely have time on the local news to give all the disasters that are occurring simultaneously. I suppose I won't blame Pakistan on global warming, but to have that and the tsunami in one year, and Katrina, Rita and Stan to boot, not to mention mudslides in NH, seems like TOO MUCH OF A COINCIDENCE.

And then of course there's the whole issue of "being old enough to remember the gas lines of the '70s." I'm turning off my engine if I'm going to be idle for more than 45 seconds, resisting jackrabbit starts and driving the speed limit (or higher if it gets me to 50 or 55, the ideal speeds.) The young kids don't know this stuff. I've even been known to revert to the time-honored 16 year old's trick of going into neutral at the top of a hill, although I'm not sure if this really has any effect. We were always doing stuff like that when we were teenagers; I'm not sure I've EVER heard a kid say that they were doing something to "save gas." We'd all chip in our spare change to see if we could come up with two bucks to put gas in someone's Beetle. Now that car isn't a symbol of efficiency, it's just an excuse to hit the kid sitting next to you in the car if you see one.

What hath God wrought?

Friday, October 07, 2005


I say that because I'm asking myself the question: "Why haven't I posted to this blog for a while?"

1. I'm so busy at work that I'm dropping dead when I arrive home.

2. The news of the day is, on the one hand, so commentable, and, on the other, so boring.

3. Will anything ever change?

Take Harriet Miers for instance. (I have no idea whether I have either her first OR last names spelled right....AND I DONT EVEN CARE (which is unusual for me.)

I see conservatives are upset. That's good. Liberals are upset. That's bad.

I get third hand emails from female attorneys in TX saying "she's not that bad and I've seen the others that were possible and believe me they were WORSE" and I read op-eds from people I respect saying "gee, we've come so far baby, we're now cronys!" But it's not a compliment. Especially if someone REALLY DID SAY that W was the smartest man she'd ever met.....OH MY GAWD.

I think what really upsets me is that there's no one in my party (which happen to be the Democrats if you are new to this site....) that is cogently, succinctly, articulately saying "THESE PEOPLE (the B administration) are assholes, incompetents, thieves, liars and nincompoops!" How much evidence has to pile up until we find our "voice?"

I admit it's hard to prove someone's an asshole or a nincompoop; I think we have prima facia and every other kind of evidence that they're thieves, liars and incompetents.

I feel like I'm back in 1973 when Rosemary Woods was claiming that little green men erased the 18 1/2 minutes of tape and no one stood up and said "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" I probably have used this as an analogy before, and I know that EVENTUALLY we got rid of the lying son of a bitch, but I'll tell you, it took the biggest g.d. smoking gun you ever saw.....I guess people are on overload, worrying about being outsourced, downsized, dissed and cut to bits, so that there's not enough time to stand up and say "I'm going to speak up, speak out, march, protest, write, call and holler!"

to be continued....