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  • January 21, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    "YoungMAGOP" asks:

    Do you see anyone currently in the state Legislature advancing to either Federal or State wide office in the next 4-8 years?

    Absolutely -- especially if redistricting, Democratic House minority status, age, and other factors leads some of the current US Reps to vacate. Bear in mind, though, that state campaign funds can't be used in federal races (although it can be made useful in a variety of ways, and is also an indicator of fundraising potential).

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  • January 21, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    "Jim C" asks:

    Will Michael Flaherty jump back in and run for Councilor at Large? If he does will he win? Who would lose assuming all incumbents run? Political implications?

    The conventional wisdom around town is that Flaherty -- former Boston City Councilor, and 2009 mayoral candidate -- is not going to run for his old seat back.

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  • January 21, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    Neither rain nor snow -- especially snow -- can prevent me from having Ask Me Anything Day!

    Local, state, national politics? GOP Presidential politics? NH primary? Best female rapper of all time? (MC Lyte) You have questions, I have answers -- or at least opinions, theories, best guesses, rumors, and notions.

    So please leave your questions in the comments to this post, and I will do my best to answer in posts throughout the day.

  • January 20, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    After much speculation and rumor, word today is that the open Massachusetts state senate Ways & Means chair (left by the legendary Pangy) is going to Stephen Brewer of Barre.

    This is not a huge surprise; Brewer was vice-chair of the committee, and thus A) clearly trusted by senate president Therese Murray, and B) knowledgable enough about the budget process to handle it right away.

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  • January 18, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    I've seen surprisingly little from the cultural conservative klatch about Sunday's Golden Globes, which seemed to be awarded disproportionately to drug addicts (Trent Reznor, Aaron Sorkin), actors playing drug addicts (Christian Bale), homosexuals (Jane Lynch), actors playing homosexuals (Annette Bening), Homosexuals playing homosexuals (Chris Colfer), and movies or TV shows depicting homosexuals in a positive light (The Kids Are All Right, Glee) -- and that's not even getting into Boardwalk Empire, or Paul Giammatti's character in Barney's Version, or Burlesque, and so on.

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  • January 15, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    I have written and spoken frequently, and especially recently, about the blurring of lines on the right, between legitimate conservative discourse and crazy extremist conspiracy. But I think it's hard for those who don't pay close attention to this stuff to get what I'm talking about. So I thought I'd show you an example: Andrew C.

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  • January 13, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    John Hawkins has now written a blog post in response to my challenge, that you've read about here on this blog, over his claim that liberals are "happy" that Congresswoman Giffords was shot. Hawkins stands firmly by his statements, makes clear that he does not mean it as hyperbole, and adds that people like David Brock, Keith Olbermann, and others have exhibited "inhuman behavior."

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  • January 12, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    Keith Olbermann has given the following comment to the Boston Phoenix, in response to John Hawkins's assertion that Olbermann and others are "happy" and "overjoyed" that Congresswoman Gifford was shot:

    "Mr. Hawkins's remark suggests he is mentally disturbed. I'm very sorry for his plight."

    And from Ari Rabin-Havt, executive vice president at David Brock's Media Matters for America:

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  • January 12, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    Last night, I began demanding that conservative blogger/columnist John Hawkins name, specifically, which liberals he is accusing of being happy that Congresswoman Giffords was shot. (See my blog post.) Many of you rose to my call, and joined in my protest.

    Well, give Hawkins credit for manning up, at least. He has just Tweeted the following:

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  • January 12, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    In the new issue of the Boston Phoenix -- in print tomorrow, online now -- I write about the dangerous game Republican and conservative leaders are playing with the conspiratorial fringe, regardless of what happened on Saturday in Tucson.

    Some thoughts before I send you to the article. I have tried, from the first moments, to avoid drawing any premature conclusions about the factors contributing to it.

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  • January 12, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    Herman Cain announced his 2012 Presidential exploratory committee formation today, the first (somewhat) significant candidate to do so.

    Most importantly, this forces polijournos like me to decide between "Is Cain Able?" "Yes He Cain?" "A Cain Mutiny in GOP?" "Raising Cain" and "Cain-Do Spirit" for our headlines.

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  • January 11, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    John Hawkins runs rightwingnews.com, is a regular columnist at Townhall.com, and in a variety of ways gets treated like a legitimate part of the conservative world, despite the fact that he's an offensive, ill-informed idiot. Which is usually fine with me; I've knocked him on this blog a couple of times over the years, but nothing more than that.

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  • January 11, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    I don't think that violent metaphors in politics are a particular problem -- I think they're usually inappropriate, but not particularly harmful. I agree with Joanna Weiss's column in today's Globe, and my column this week will address this.

    That said, I do think it's appropriate to avoid those metaphors and images, out of sensitivity and good taste, in the immediate aftermath of the Giffords shooting -- which is why I think it's perfectly appropriate, and not a sign of guilt, if Sarah Palin or others scrub some of those images or language from their web sites this week.

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  • January 09, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    The grotesque shootings in Tucson (in my home state of Arizona) are incredibly upsetting, and the full facts are far from clear at this point. There will certainly be needed public-policy conversations about mental health treatment, gun control, and security for public officials. There will also be conversations, some productive and some not, about the role of harsh political rhetoric.

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  • January 07, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein


    Michele Bachmann

    David S. Bernstein: I invited you to have this email conversation about the 2012 GOP Presidential campaign because you and I both follow politics, but from different angles. I, of course, am an award-winning journalist for the Boston Phoenix. You are a political scientist in San Antonio with a PhD from UCal-Berkeley, who blogs at plainblogaboutpolitics.


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