An ongoing discussion of politics, law, pop culture, and fine draperies.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Going Through the Motions

Apologies for the uninspired nature of some of this. These here dog days are tough on the blogosphere, but not enough so that I will
abstain altogether. So, here are a few updates, follow-ups, quick hits, and Red Sox lamentations.

Lobster Wars Updated

All's Quiet on the Western Front

Note all of the boats, armed and afloat in Rockland Harbor, awaiting the onslaught of angry Lobster warriors from the far-off renegade island of Matinicus.

Looks like
Christian Science Monitor isn't the only publication giving column inches to the Matinicus lobster wars, as we discussed last week. The Maine Sunday Telegram issued this editorial statement this past weekend, pontificating, "Regardless of how the charges are resolved, state officials ought to take steps to make sure the recent incidents aren't a prequel to more trouble." Meanwhile Village Soup waxes about the battle in light of the weekend's bug-o-rama, noting:
As the Maine Lobster Festival begins and the state shells out a new promotion that brands the bands that tie lobster claws, recent events among harvesters in the Matinicus fleet have stolen some spotlight.

Newspapers from around New England have scrutinized a June 13 altercation in which two shotgun blasts rang out near the island, an escalation of another so-called "lobster war."

It's not the first time a publication has used strong language for bone-deep sentiments of those who fish Maine waters. The "wars," history shows, are momentary blips on the radar of an industry trying to survive upon the returns of a natural resource. From pacts to councils to petitions to unwritten rules, lobstermen — and women — have their ways, which aren't going away, no matter how big, or bold, the newspaper headlines become.

This Thomaston woman is seen running for her life from wild lobster warriors at last week's Maine Lobster Festival, in Rockland.

Other thoughts …

Americas political media are wasting no time in pondering the meaning of the
Ned Lamont phenomenon … Is it huge? Even before the results were clear, E.J. Dionne announced that he thought so. Former Clinton advisor Sidney Blumenthal thinks:
Lieberman was once the most attractive and promising Democrat in his state, his
grasp of political realities subtle and sinuous. But he became scornful of disagreement, parading himself as a moral paragon to whom voters should be
privileged to pay deference. The elevation of his sanctimony was accompanied by
the loss of his political sense.

Lieberman announced he will run as an independent, which should prove to be a mess, as
Hartford Courant's Jon Lender observes Salon War Room's Tim Grieve laments this decision and its possible consequences, noting:
I tuned in to Lieberman's concession speech Tuesday night expecting an actual concession, an acknowledgment that Ned Lamont had pulled off the nearly impossible, defeating an 18-year Democratic incumbent. Of course, given the tight margin of Lamont's primary victory, I expected Lieberman would run as an independent Wednesday. Or Thursday. Maybe Monday. He'd confer with longtime
advisors and supporters and decide with an air of sadness but determination he was moving on. But I didn't expect the brazen faux concession turned battle cry Lieberman unleashed on Tuesday night.

Now, if Democratic Party leaders have any courage, they'll lock arms against Lieberman's selfish move and repudiate him just as boldly and quickly as Lieberman declared he would run.

Because Lieberman's run is selfish, and politically stupid. His "concession" speech echoed the Beltway wisdom that he'd been defeated by Bush haters, by the "politics of polarization." But Lamont's victory is more than the surprise uprising of Cindy Sheehan’s Camp Casey from last summer. The country has turned against the Iraq war, and Democrats like Lieberman – and Republicans like, well, most Republicans – have lost the battle for the middle ground.

Connecticut, affectionately dubbed the most corrupt state in the Nation in some quarters, is too weird to predict, despite its hardened blue state credentials. I mean, these are the folks who continue sending Christopher Dodd back to the Senate, and elected both the terminally corrupt John Rowland and the politically inscrutable Lowell Weicker in a succession of years.

I guess November will bring one of the more interesting off-year elections since 1994.

Who's Spooling Whom?


Village Soup also reports in Camden that two adults and two juveniles were charged with
illegal rolling of a large, heavy wooden utility wire spool down a hill into downtown. Here is the instrument of problematicability. Apparently, Officer Allen Weaver Jr. saw a group of young males running and he chased them on foot, and coyly noted, "The slowest kid lost the race." The Soup noted, "That kid was Colin Curtis, 18, of Camden, and he was charged with criminal mischief and reckless conduct." Poor. That means extra laps for you Mister. Outrun by a cop. You oughta be ashamed of yourself.

Da Blaine House!

Independent candidate for Governor,
Barbara Merrill, notched some fine column space in the Sunday Telegram this week too, via the AP. The Appleton State Rep got the angle she's been pushing, namely that she serves the oft-mentioned mythical Maine independent voter rather than any party loyalty, pronouncing, "Personally I am most comfortable on the middle ground, but more importantly I believe that is where Maine people are. It is also where we must be if we are going to turn Maine around." She's authored a manifesto, Setting the Maine Course – We Can Get There From Here, which Amazon happily reports can be yours for the low-low price of $10.95, used. I guess that's enough to warrant a Wikipedia entry.


Despite its clevah-ness, the book's title suggests that Rep. Merrill hasn't traveled to far east from Appleton any time in recent memory. It's clear that between
the Route 17/90 intersection project, whatever is happening on Old County Road, and the ever-present Godforesaken mess that is Route One you cannot get there from here.

Route One: Bring a Book to Read!

For the record, the
$1,41 million project is slated to clog my Rt. 17/Rt. 90 commute route until September 29 for what are identified as improvements related to "Hot Mix Asphalt Overlay, Pavement Milling, Drainage, and Safety." I have nothing to add.

Elsewhere, The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine reports that this Harvard doctorin' type hypothesizes that former Enron thief … I mean, chief, Ken Lay, was literally "scared to death" by prison, public embarrassment, and poverty.

New York Times Sunday Magazine has a piece suggesting that America has had enough of the Neo-Con view of America's role as regime-changer and won't abide for any intervention in the current Israeli-Hezbollah conflict.

I guess that's it for my waning fandom of
Dennis Miller. Too bad. I thought his three HBO specials included some of the best political comed-tary of the 1990s. Something must have happened in the booth at Monday Night Football, as he hasn't been the same since.

Speaking of football …

Post trash talk on the message board, or You're Out!

BSG says fantasy football needs to be standardized, nationwide, so as to provide a true means of comparing leagues. Gasp! Perish the thought. That said, I strangely found myself nodding to a few of his ideas – namely, the extended season for the top four teams and "three strikes, you're out" for league lame-asses. If you don't do fantasy football, please skip ahead and disregard …


Julian Tavarez = Spanish for "Heathcliff Slocumb"

No intro needed other than, yes, I'm worried.

Michael Silverman leads the charge, deeming the "6-4 loss to the major league-worst Royals in last night’s series opener" as "the latest punch in the gut to the Red Sox, who lost 2-of-3 to the American League-worst Devil Rays to begin the trip." Buckshot rips everyone who's not injured. Nashua Telegraph columnist Alan Greenwood limits his criticism to the bullpen.

Jon Lester has
pitched like a rookie over his last few starts.

Each day brings
a new injury.

And worst of all,
Jon Papelbon is human after all.

Despite how poorly the Red Sox have looked against the dregs of the AL, there for some reason remains some hope.
Your Curly-Haired Boyfriend mercifully types nothing about The Bambino or Denny Galehouse, but rather observes that Theo's plan to keep the young pitchers is a good thing. And, Globe blogger Eric Wilbur tells everybody to relax and stop blaming management, as the problems are larger than any single deadline deal would have solved.

It is only the second week in August, so keep the hand away from the panic button.

Bob Ryan thankfully diverts our attention away from our self-obsessed little corner of MLB and
observes that the Twins should have been more careful with prodigy Francisco Liriano. Meanwhile, as

Eric Wilbur observes, the Tigers keep winning. Mitch Albom bizarrely spent Tuesday away from Morrie and blessed us with some writing about baseball for a change.

Will they actually fulfill the destiny painted by Angry Greg, and win the World Series? At this point, I'm not predicting anything for the AL. August and September should prove witness to some interesting baseball …


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