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October 23, 2006


Pierce *is* good, isn't he?

That does seem to indicate more shoes shopping in the future. The question is how many special elections we'll be needing in 2007 to replace members of Congress who win in November but find themselves resigning later.

Also, as long as I'm in election mode, I wonder whether any of November's gubernatorial elections will end up determining the party of an appointed replacement senator as well.

Anderson: it's his little throwaway phrases that get me -- Joe Klein's The most interesting passage scrawled on the cover of Joe's Social Studies notebook of the mind..., or the description of Peggy as "one of my favorite Papalettes" and "the mumbling dowager empress of the Reagan Revolution", in one short post, and so on.

But I also love this about him: I would bet money that he is the product of a Good Catholic Education, and as such refuses to be intimidated by religious charlatans. He knows the real stuff, so why should he be? See, for instance, here.

Which is why, when he dismisses an anti-evolutionists's views as "precisely the same as putting someone in front of a camera who blames the 9/11 attacks on winged insects from the planet Zaftron. This is the kind of thing you change tables to avoid" -- it's generally pretty clear that he's not anti-religious; just anti-fakery.

Screwed up grammer. Peggy Noonan; Joe Klein.

Maybe the mot juste will occur to me while I'm off cancelling my TNR subscription. Heh heh.


praktite's now at TAPPED?

Yeah, his real name is Black Hellhound. Something like that, at least.

Ah, Blake Hounshell. Thanks, JM.

Oh, and if that information is superdoublesecret secrecy, feel free to delete my previous comment.

I think he's effectively come out to the world now; I was just being silly.

Ah, good. Since zuzu has recently been forced to take an indefinite hiatus from blogging thanks to an (implicit) outing threat/potential defamation suit, I'm a bit on edge when it comes to respecting pseudonymity.

yeah, Pierce has a way with invective. It sometimes sounds like a Southern thing to me (don't know if he is or not), the way that some of Twain's characters can work themselves up into a foot-stomping, technicolor rant, mixing the hi-falutin' irony with the low-down put-down. A joy to read, indeed--I only wish these were not such target-ripe times.

kid b: I don't know where Pierce grew up, but he spent a bunch of time in Boston working for the Globe, and as a Boston girl, I can absolutely tell.

oh. yeah.
Well, you know Twain lived in Hartford, CT, too.
(irrelevant, I know, but I'm trying to cover).

Southern Boston, I'm sure. ;^)

lj: I take it you don't know Southie all that well...

(What it has become during the last decade or so I have no idea, but it was a very proud, very insular Irish neighborhood, with a profound, and partly justified, sense of grievance. (Justified because it was quite poor, and it felt needlessly overlooked when liberals got all concerned about black poverty in the 60s.) It had always had its own institutions, and (importantly) its own schools, which it kept deliberately segregated. And people from Southie, notably the odious Louise Day Hicks, ran the school board and equally deliberately kept the schools segregated, horribly underfunded the black schools, and resisted any attempts at some sort of compromise or voluntary effort at desegregation.

(Always worth remembering when thinking about forced busing: it was no one's first choice, and in Boston at least, was forced on the city by the blatant unwillingness of Boston's elected officials to even minimally enforce the laws.)

Southie was where the worst of the busing violence took place. Here's a good description (and the book it's taken from, All Souls, is wonderful, in a horrifying, elegiac way. It's about Southie, not primarily about the busing stuff.) Anyways:

"That September Ma let us skip the first week of school. The whole neighborhood was boycotting school. It was supposed to be just the high-school kids boycotting, but we all wanted to show our loyalty to the neighborhood. I was meant to be starting the third grade at St. Augustine’s. Ma had enrolled Kevin and Kathy in the sixth and seventh grades there as well. Frankie was going to Southie High, and Mary and Joe were being sent to mostly black Roxbury. So they really had something to boycott.
The whole neighborhood was out. I looked up the road and saw a squadron of police motorcycles speeding down Dorchester Street right along the curb, as if they would run over anyone who wasn’t on the sidewalk. The buses were coming. Police sirens wailed as hundreds of cops on motorcycles aimed at the crowds of mothers and kids to clear the way for the law of the land. "Bacon. I smell bacon," a few people yelled, sniffing at the cops. I knew that meant the cops were pigs.
The road was cleared, and the buses rolled slowly. We saw a line of yellow buses like there was no end to them. I couldn’t see any black faces, though, and I was looking for them. Some people around me started to cry. One woman made the sign of the cross, and a few others copied her. "I never thought I’d see the day come," said an old woman next to me. She was trembling, and so was everyone else.
Then all hell broke loose. I saw a milk crate fly from the other side of the street right for my face. More bricks, sticks, and bottles smashed against the buses as the police pulled out their billy clubs and charged with their riot shields in a line of formation through the crowds. Teenagers were chased into the project and beaten to the cement wherever they were caught.
I raced away about a block from the fray to a spot where everyone was chanting, "Here we go, Southie, here we go." That’s when I realized we were at war. I started chanting too, at first just moving my lips, but then I belted it out. The kids in the crowd all looked at each other as if we were family. This is great, I thought. I had never had such an easy time as this making friends in Southie."

The picture I linked to up at the top of this comment is of a black lawyer getting beaten up with an American flag.

This was the backdrop of my adolescence, although, predictably to people from Southie, I was safely tucked away in private school.

Just a riff off of the 'Southern' thing by kid bitzer (which, btw, is a play on kibitzer?) Anyway, any joke you have to explain isn't a good one, so I'll let the headliner take the stage now.

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