Boston Globe

I suppose it's local news. So the report is in the Boston Globe. His literary agent is hot-shot Washington attorney Robert Barnett, among whose clients are President Obama and ex-president Bill Clinton. Brown will have a ghost-writer.

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Watching the wake for Martha Coakley on television Tuesday night, I saw John Kerry hobbling into the Sheraton Boston ballroom, his crutches supporting the hip replacement he'd had last week. What a difference between this very serious and cerebral senator and the lightweight who aspired to join him in the upper house of the U.S. Congress. I allude to two efforts by Kerry to reveal facts that others would prefer to leave undisturbed. The first is a scandal of history. It has been quite evident that J. Edgar Hoover pursued Martin Luther King, Jr. in his life and after his murder.

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Well, Martha Coakley did do well in some places on the Massachusetts electoral map. Cambridge, for example, which gave her 84.1% of the vote (to Scott Brown's 15.2%), was the most Democratic town in the state, the tally being 27,628 to 4,921. Tiny Provincetown--a very liberated, somewhat nasty provincial town--also gave the Democratic candidate exactly 84.1% of the vote. The Republican received only 14.9%. This leaves Cambridge, my home town, the most Democratically concentrated municipality in the state.

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Actually, the crowd was a bit larger because the overflow was in a room across the street from the Northeastern University gymnasium. Two of my friends, foreigners who can't vote, said that right next to them was an anti-abortion hysteric--"Abortion! Abortion! Innocent Blood!"--noticed by the cops and taken out by them only after a noisy hassle. In fact, there were three of these hysterics. All this comes from a story, "Pulling out all the stops," in this morning's Boston Globe. I have no idea who will win tomorrow's contest.

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Scott Brown is running on a promise to block the health care bill in Washington. But, as you may have heard, he is not running on a promise to roll back the reforms that Massachusetts implemented three years ago. In fact, he says he supports those reforms. I had been planning to something about how this proves Brown is an empty suit, as far as substance goes. Remember, the basic architecture of the coverage scheme in Massachusetts is virtually identical to what we'd do nationally if the bills before Congress pass.

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My Washington decoder ring isn't the most finely tuned. But I think it's good enough to translate the message House leadership was trying to send yesterday: Don't take us for granted. The message came most loudly, and most clearly, from Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel.

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The most obvious tragedy of the Washington police shootings is the deaths of the four police officers. The fact that the suspected gunman is a convicted felon from Arkansas whose 95-year prison sentence was commuted by then-Governor Mike Huckabee in 2000 is a tragedy for anyone currently in prison in Arkansas who might hope to one day receive executive clemency. Just consider what happened in Massachusetts after Willie Horton.

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'Boring As Hell'

BOSTON -- Mayor Tom Menino looks around the elevator and reaches instinctively for the hand of the only person in the car he's never met. "Where are you from?" he asks the young man. "Somerville," the young man replies. The mayor almost recoils. "Somerville!" he exclaims with a dismissive wave--there are no votes for him in Somerville--and then says a word that sounds like: "Echhh!" It was a revealing moment for a mayor destined to go down as an American political legend. If Menino is re-elected on Nov.

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Via Ben Smith, I see that John McCain is hosting a fundraiser for Mitt Romney in Phoenix next week. Back in January of 2008, this would have seemed more unlikely than Obama picking Hillary as his Secretary of State. But as Sasha Issenberg reported out a few weeks ago for this Boston Globe Magazine article on Romney, Mitt did a pretty masterful job of getting on McCain's good side once McCain secured the nomination: Romney returned to his office the following week [after dropping out of the race] in a T-shirt and jeans, ready to travel to his California home.

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Stay Classy, Hyatt!

From the Boston Globe: When the housekeepers at the three Hyatt hotels in the Boston area were asked to train some new workers, they said they were told the trainees would be filling in during vacations. On Aug. 31, staffers learned the full story: None of them would be making the beds and cleaning the showers any longer. All of them were losing their jobs.

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