Boston Globe

I wasn't planning on getting back into this subject today, but I'm unable to resist.

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I don't know how the New York Times can run an entire Page One story about Mitt Romney's hair--some would end the sentence right there, but not me, I'm actually interested in Romney's hair--without mentioning Edwin Jones. It's like running a story about the invention of the steam engine without mentioning James Watt, or about the start of World War One without mentioning Archduke Franz Ferdinand, or about the causes of the 2008 financial crisis without mentioning subprime mortgages.  The New York Times Co.

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When I was reporting my piece in the current issue of the magazine about Mitt Romney's past enthusiasm for anti-car, anti-sprawl smart-growth policies, I thought about putting in a Freedom of Information request for any relevant correspondence from Romney's gubernatorial files, but decided against it because of the time constraints I was under.

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Yes, we've decided to add a daily aggregation feature to this blog. Why? Because we hope you'll read it. Also, I'm a very slow blogger. On most days I have about ten items I'd like to write -- and I get to one or two of them, at best. For now, we're calling it "Daily Deadline," because we'll post it in the late afternoon. I'm still a newspaper reporter at heart and I'll always associate this time of day with deadlines.

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Conservatives say that the Massachusetts health care reform scheme, which former Governor Mitt Romney signed into law and President Obama has cited as a model for the Affordable Care Act, has been a failure. But few of these critics have given the program the sustained attention that the Boston Globe's Brian Mooney has.

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Mitt Romney is known already for his flip-flops and equivocations, but he only very occasionally says something that you know he can’t believe. That moment came toward the end of last night’s Republican presidential debate at St. Anselm’s College in New Hampshire. The moderator John King asked Romney whether, in retrospect, John McCain or Barack Obama had made the better choice of vice president. Romney didn’t answer the question.

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By now everybody who follows politics knows that Mitt Romney signed a universal health care law in Massachusetts and, in so doing, imposed a requirement that all citizens obtain health insurance. But exactly how involved was he in shaping the law? How did he really feel about the so-called “individual mandate”? Two new articles help answer that question – and probably not in ways that will make conservatives happy. One article, the first of a series on Romneycare, is by Brian Mooney of the Boston Globe. The other is by Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker (and, formerly, of the New Republic).

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Citizens of the Week

Good Citizen of the Week: Mo Vaughn Maurice "Mo" Vaughn had an illustrious career with the Boston Red Sox, winning an MVP title and thrilling a generation of Fenway faithful with laser shots out of the park. But he injured his knee when he tumbled down the dugout steps, while fielding a pop-up in foul territory. He was never the same and, after two lackluster seasons with the Mets, he retired. Vaughn, who idolized Jackie Robinson and wore #42 to honor him, said he wanted to give back to society after retirement. Unlike most pro athletes, he meant it.

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Speaking of Massachusetts, and related issues, here is my latest column for Kaiser Health News: The weekend’s newspapers included a pair of headlines about health care reform. And they were probably not the kind that reform advocates like to see. One was in the Boston Globe: “Firms Cancel Health Coverage.” According to the article, a number of small businesses had recently decided to stop offering insurance to employees.

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So says a subhead on the front page of this morning's Boston Globe. The headline reads "R.I. troopers embrace firm immigration role." The story contrasts Rhode Island with Massachusetts. But it might as well be Arizona. Now, the state senate has 33 Democrats, four Republicans and one independent. The state house a slightly more lopsided division: 69 Democrats to six Republicans. But, believe it or not, the governor is a Republican. This is a liberal state, including being indulgent towards ethnic crime. But on illegal immigration it's as tough as Arizona.

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