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John R. Bohrer
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Blog Entries by John R. Bohrer

Palin Can Only See the 1980s From Her House

Posted October 21, 2010 | 15:44:24 (EST)

Last week, as the BBC invited listeners to an on-air debate over whether or not the somewhat ailing though very much alive Margaret Thatcher deserves a state funeral, Sarah Palin celebrated the Iron Lady's 85th birthday in a more refined manner: a Facebook message.

This was the second...

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America's Mayor in the New York City Sleeper Hold: John Lindsay, In Retrospect

Posted May 28, 2010 | 09:10:37 (EST)

Of course America should love John Lindsay now... again. In an age where Mad Men gets four seasons, he's the Don Draper of New York City mayors, while the guys who bookend his two terms -- Bob Wagner, Jr., and Abe Beame -- are more like the Freddy Rumsons: stodgy,...

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Will Blumenthal Join Paterson, Vitter and Ensign in Profiles in Shamelessness?

Posted May 18, 2010 | 00:20:17 (EST)

Last week, New York Governor David Paterson was scrutinized when it was revealed that members of his communications staff were to receive thousands of dollars in pay raises while state workers were being furloughed. Surveying the news coverage, it was hard to find an acknowledgment that these were the people...

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Kennedy, the Pill and Conservatives for Contraception

Posted May 11, 2010 | 18:15:11 (EST)

Today is West Virginia's Democratic primary, almost fifty years to the day when it was touted as the bellwether on whether a Roman Catholic could be elected president. That primary, held on May 10, 1960, came a day after the Food and Drug Administration's approval of the birth control pill...

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Metro Republicans Strong-Arm Weakness, and Is it Gillibrand 2012?

Posted May 5, 2010 | 14:26:29 (EST)

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie floated a lead balloon this week by canning a moderate state Supreme Court Justice for not being appointed by a Republican. The way it works is that a governor makes a seven-year appointment, that person comes up for a review and barring anything...

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Cory Booker Is 41 Years Old

Posted April 27, 2010 | 02:19:34 (EST)

I. Cory Booker has become cliche: Newark's Savior-in-Progress. An image that's been marching in place for the better part of a decade.

See for yourself. C-SPAN's newly opened video archive has a call-in segment with Booker from July 2000, when the self-described "neophyte in politics" was only...

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What Levy vs. Lazio Has to Do With Beating a Cuomo

Posted March 29, 2010 | 20:21:03 (EST)

George Pataki doesn't buy Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy's Republican conversion. Levy might be a fiscal hawk and an immigration hardliner, but he was a Democrat up until the day he declared his run for governor, and Pataki said it was "too politically expedient." The last Republican governor...

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A Tea Party's Quixotic Effort to Recall the Senate

Posted March 10, 2010 | 14:45:22 (EST)

It was a dogcatcher from St. Maries, Idaho who took the first step in trying to recall U.S. Senator Frank Church in the spring of 1967. The petition was rebuffed in court, but soon a wealthy California backer and groups with names like 'The Liberty Lobby' and 'Victory in Vietnam...

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Third Parties, Invisible Senators and Why Conservatism Is Still Dead

Posted February 22, 2010 | 20:20:06 (EST)

Whether it comes from Lincoln Chafee, Michael Bloomberg or (speculation about) Evan Bayh, all this 'What America Really Needs Is a Third Party' talk of late is hooey. Absolute hooey.

The polarization of Washington has not come about because moderates and centrists have no place to go. In fact, moderates...

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Mandela, RFK and the Sacrifice of Statement

Posted February 11, 2010 | 12:26:38 (EST)

Today marks two decades since Nelson Mandela walked to freedom, released from prison after 27 years in 1990.

By then, the anti-Apartheid struggle had become a favorite cause among American activists and celebrities. College campuses were a hotbed of the divestment movement. President Obama writes in Dreams From My Father...

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Sorry, Gov: A Bad Day for Asking Democrats to Work With You

Posted January 19, 2010 | 16:39:15 (EST)

"To the people of New Jersey, I say this: you voted for change. And today, change has arrived." - From the inaugural address of Gov. Chris Christie

Republican Chris Christie became New Jersey's new governor this morning. He rode a huge wave of anti-incumbent sentiment in November's election. His most...

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Newark Politics: The Twitter They Come, The Tweeter They Fall

Posted January 16, 2010 | 20:50:46 (EST)

Newark state Senator Ronald L. Rice can't help but dislike Cory Booker. He can't trust a mayor of Newark who is admired outside this concrete campus they call Brick City. To him, Cory Booker is an interloper. A kid with too much education and not enough years in The Machine....

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On Writing the Word 'Negro': Defending Halperin and Heilemann

Posted January 11, 2010 | 12:33:41 (EST)

Honest-to-God initial reaction to the furor over Harry Reid's comments: 'And?'

I'm working on a book about RFK in the Senate, and I have to admit that with my feet in 2010 and my head in 1966, I've become a little desensitized to the word 'Negro.' At first, I thought...

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Sketch From a Room in the New Jersey Statehouse

Posted January 7, 2010 | 19:17:38 (EST)

You can plug in and see a government in action from anywhere in the world if your internet is fast enough. StreamTwitterTextWhatever.

It is another thing to go into an overcrowded wood-paneled committee room, sit on the floor, hang off a railing, let your ass fall asleep in an over-hard...

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The Republican Who Might Bring Gay Marriage to Jersey

Posted January 6, 2010 | 10:17:51 (EST)

Contrary to popular belief, New Jersey's same sex marriage equality legislation isn't dead yet.

When the bill cleared the state Senate Judiciary Committee last month, marriage equality supporters didn't see the votes in the full body and decided to move it in the state Assembly first to create some momentum.

...
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Lieberman, Republicans and Why Change Still Means Something

Posted December 14, 2009 | 15:55:04 (EST)

In case you needed any more proof that Senator Joe Lieberman wants only to slow down and kill health care reform, Greg Sargent has the smoking gun. In a September interview with the Connecticut Post, Lieberman whole-heartedly endorsed the Medicare buy-in, which he now says is the reason he...

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In New Jersey, Marriage Equality Does an Economy Good

Posted December 6, 2009 | 16:25:36 (EST)

Last week, the New York state Senate denied marriage equality to same-sex couples. And now it seems New Jersey's might, too.

The opponents of equality are using the bad economy to make legislators appear out of touch, saying that they should be focused on "jobs, the economy and the...

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WATCH: Stand: Lobbying For Marriage Equality in New Jersey

Posted December 3, 2009 | 21:11:58 (EST)

What happens when New Jersey's pro- and anti-marriage equality forces hold rallies at the statehouse on the same day?

On Thursday December 3, one day after the New York state Senate voted down marriage equality legislation, hundreds of people in New Jersey lobbied their state legislature and will now get...

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Would Mike Huckabee Find Mike Huckabee Disgusting?

Posted December 1, 2009 | 15:06:01 (EST)

There ought to be sympathy for Mike Huckabee.

He was vested with the power to free convicted criminals, and one of them appears to have committed a crime so despicable it's almost surreal: gunning down four uniformed police officers simultaneously. What an awful thing to happen -- and surely Mike...

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RFK's Accidental Party-Crasher

Posted November 30, 2009 | 09:27:08 (EST)

On Feb. 22, 1965, Mrs. Blanche Griswold rushed across the tarmac at the Saranac Lake airport, amidst upstate New York's Adirondack mountains. She had just checked her luggage and thought she was going to miss her plane, a connecting flight to her vacation in Florida.

She didn't waste any time...

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