Markey tops Kennedy in 4th district debate

Last week's WGBH debate between Senator Ed Markey and challenger Congressman Joe Kennedy took me back to August, 1979.  Joe Kennedy's uncle Ted was about to challenge fellow Democrat and incumbent Jimmy Carter for the Presidency.  Seasoned CBS News correspondent Roger Mudd went to Hyannisport to interview Kennedy. The network set aside a full hour …

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Sal DiMasi doesn’t deserve death sentence

Former Massachusetts House Speaker Sal DiMasi used his office to enrich himself to the tune of $65,000, securing a state contract for Cognos, which paid him on a monthly basis for his efforts. The third House Speaker in a row to be found guilty of crimes related to  office, DiMasi was convicted on seven out of nine corruption …

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Coakley v. Baker – almost a yawn

Tonight's televised benign if mildly tense debate between Charlie Baker and Martha Coakley was clearly a draw, which may have been the defensive  objective of all concerned. Comfortably  moderated by WGBH talk show hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan, both candidates stuck to their well honed, but by now shop-worn messages, spoke calmly, and smiled wanly …

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Does moral turpitude negate high art or sports accomplishment?

No mistake about it.  Woody Allen's latest movie, Blue Jasmine, was deserving of  an Oscar nomination, especially for Cate Blanchett's performance.  Allen also recently won lifetime achievement recognition in the Golden Globes. This is more troubling. Allen is prolific and creative, but what does lifetime achievement really mean? NY Times' Nick Kristof last weekend published an open letter …

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Judges still look the other way in drunk driving fatalities

I still remember writing about the deaths in the early eighties of a Hyde Park family of four killed in a car crash caused by a drunk driver.  The shock of that tragedy seemed to jolt people into taking drunk driving more seriously.  And well it should have. Back in the '70's and '8o's, drunk driving was the …

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Boston Herald struts its stuff – to good effect

It used to be a little awkward when people I know would question why I read the Boston Herald, (along with the Globe, the New York Times, the Wall St. Journal and more.) The quality was often a real question mark. There were the outrageous tabloid headlines, the Rush Limbaugh-like columnist (you know who he …

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Will the Santorum-i-zation of Scott Brown work in Massachusetts?

A new Suffolk University/Channel 7 poll puts Senator Scott Brown nine points ahead of Democratic challenger Elizabeth Brown. But what will be the impact on the Massachusetts electorate of his recent effort to emulate Rick Santorum in the debate about exempting contraception in required health insurance plans? The Obama Administration appeared to have put a …

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Do we need our politicians to become Oprah-ized?

Revelations by Senator Scott Brown that he was sexually abused follow by weeks Governor Deval Patrick’s going public with the depth of wife Diane’s depression. Do we really need this tell-all trend? Do we want to know the gory details?Certainly it will help sell their memoirs, about to be published. Is that what it takes …

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