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Martin Nolan

Entries by Martin Nolan

The Lively Voyage of John Moynihan

(0) Comments | Posted October 3, 2011 | 11:55 AM

The Eire Pub in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood is not really a sailors' saloon, but it is an inviting, friendly place. I met there several times in the 1980s with John Moynihan, who lived nearby.

Over a few pints, John spun out his theories on Walt Disney's influence on American...

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Who Invented Immigration 'Amnesty'? (Hint: His Initials Are RR)

(55) Comments | Posted September 28, 2011 | 4:53 PM

It wasn't Robert Redford or Roy Rogers. It was someone Democrats and liberals demonized and Republicans and conservatives deified.

His idea of America was dramatically different from that of today's Republican presidential candidates. Ronald Reagan was an optimist whose vision was based on confidence, not fear.

I covered all...

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Why Social Security Is Still the Third Rail

(9) Comments | Posted September 14, 2011 | 10:41 PM

The candidate was angry, even fed up. "I am not exaggerating the folly of this legislation," he said. "The saving it forces on our workers is a cruel hoax."

Kansas Gov. Alfred Landon, his party's nominee for president in 1936, was the first, but not the last, Republican to...

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Hugh Carey: New York Mensch

(0) Comments | Posted August 11, 2011 | 4:56 PM

He had the wit of Jimmy Walker, the vision of Al Smith, the courage of FDR and the energy of Nelson Rockefeller. And he could croon like Sinatra.

When New York's history is written, Hugh Leo Carey will have his place as the hero of a dark decade....

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The Liberal Divide: Recovery vs. Revenge

(405) Comments | Posted December 21, 2010 | 8:21 PM

A tenured professor might not notice it. Nor would a television talk show host. A single parent driving a 12-year-old Toyota between two jobs will definitely see it and appreciate it. A two percent cut in the Social Security payroll tax means much for many in the Democratic party's liberal...

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The GOP Platform: No Muslims, No Mexicans

(75) Comments | Posted August 11, 2010 | 8:46 PM

Would Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower or Ronald Reagan recognize today's Republican party? No. They would be astonished and dismayed at the timid claque of propagandists peddling hysterical fantasies about The Other.

In tough times, these leaders were optimistic, inclusive and self-confident. Abe, Ike and Ron would not fear an Islamic...

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Arizona for Arizonans, Now!

(4) Comments | Posted April 30, 2010 | 7:22 PM

In 1856, a political movement issued a platform which matched its mission with its name: the American Party.

Its central manifesto was simple: "Americans must rule America; and to this end native-born citizens should be selected for all State, Federal and municipal offices of government employment, in preference to...

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Boehner-McConnell: The Movie

(5) Comments | Posted April 21, 2010 | 7:08 PM

He exudes the deadpan dignity of Robert Mitchum. A former high school athlete, the House Minority Leader has the carriage of a relentlessly tanned golfer. When his moment in the spotlight arrived, the audience expected Mitchum or maybe Clint Eastwood. Instead, John Boehner sounded like Jim Carrey or Jerry Lewis.

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What Would Jefferson Davis Do?

(364) Comments | Posted April 9, 2010 | 3:15 PM

When Republicans gather after the November election to seek a scapegoat, they needn't bother with Michael Steele. The party chairman's spending spree didn't wow voters. People know that staffers are sometimes human, horny and hypocritical.

The man who has diminished the party's chances, who revealed family...

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Mitt, Waldo, Tip, Ted and the Real Revolution

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2010 | 4:49 PM

Not far from the site of the original 1773 Boston Tea Party, Mitt Romney introduced the winner by echoing the American Revolution. The former Massachusetts governor called Scott Brown's victory "the shot heard 'round the world."

Brown, whose earliest political triumph was winning the Mitt Romney Lookalike Contest, agreed. His...

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The last refuge of a scoundrel: polls

(4) Comments | Posted December 19, 2009 | 4:41 PM

The U.S. Senate clock neared 1 a. m. when the roll call ended on December 18. The vote was 63-33 to end debate on a large military appropriations bill. The vote was historic, if little noted, a triumph of common sense and a rebuke to Republican solidarity. Three Republicans voted...

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Yankee-Hating Is Sooo 20th Century

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2009 | 5:37 PM

Pinstripe paranoia, a seasonal ailment, has plagued many of us since 1949, when Joe Page, predecessor of the peerless Panamanian, Mariano Rivera, was a prime reliever. When Page opened the bullpen gate at Fenway Park, we knew that Red Sox bats would soon turn into sawdust and that winter would...

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An Anti-Kennedy Coalition: Radio Ranters and Intellectuals

(8) Comments | Posted January 12, 2009 | 1:28 PM

Whenever a Kennedy runs for office, the tom-toms resound. Her uncles and cousins heard it. So did her father. Unqualified, inexperienced, starting at the top, impatient, dilettantish, haughty. Also inarticulate and afraid of work. Anti-Kennedy clatter has echoed for half a century.

Can wealth and fame help Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg...

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Murdoch and Polonius: A Subscriber's Report

(11) Comments | Posted December 15, 2008 | 12:07 PM

Just over year ago, amid fretting and swooning, Rupert Murdoch took over The Wall Street Journal, owned by the same families since 1889. Readers and media critics worried that he would dumb down or tart up the nation's first successful national newspaper. Some familiar, even beloved, bylines migrated elsewhere. But...

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Obama and "The Chicago Way"

(9) Comments | Posted December 8, 2008 | 12:06 PM

The political capital of the world is now Chicago, an agreeably invigorating prospect. The most consistent thing about Chicago, infusing its politics, architecture, literature, even its journalism, is self-confidence. The place is big enough to feel provincial about itself. It is so attractive, so diverse, and so influential that it...

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The Republican Collapse: 100 Years In The Making

(1) Comments | Posted October 30, 2008 | 8:26 PM

Even amid the stressful heat of the campaign, the candidate could not escape the obvious. "The Republican party needs the discipline of defeat," William Howard Taft told a friend in 1912, near the end of his one term as president.

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Four Ways to Civilize and Simplify Debates

(12) Comments | Posted October 14, 2008 | 6:25 PM

No picket signs, no shouting crowds, no "spin alley," no corporate sponsorship, no bread, no circuses, and perhaps best of all, no live audience. Today's presidential debates have become unserious to the point of self-parody. They have strayed from the original, the first national presidential debate in 1960.

On Sept....

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John McCain, Joe McCarthy and a Code of Honor

(12) Comments | Posted October 10, 2008 | 12:18 PM

What rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward the sad end of this presidential campaign? It is the shade of the late Joseph R. McCarthy, who bequeathed his name to an "ism" John McCain has clumsily exhumed. McCarthyism asserted that if you ever met a Communist, you...

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How McCain Created a Referendum on McCain

(6) Comments | Posted October 3, 2008 | 11:19 AM

Why do John McCain's daredevil stunts recall George Romney's mangled syntax, Edmund Muskie's teardrops in the snow or Bill Clinton's relentlessly roaming eye? These campaign phenomena were not gaffes, not aberrations, but revelations, confirming what many voters suspected. They were epiphanies of character.

McCain is the perpetual rebel, a Waldo...

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How Tim Russert Got His Start

(5) Comments | Posted June 16, 2008 | 6:58 PM

Daniel Patrick Moynihan had the touch of a poet. He was also a practical man. In 1982, after Tim Russert's political skills had assured Moynihan's reelection, the senator invited me to lunch in New York. "I need your advice," he said. "Let me clutch my wallet," I replied. "No, no....

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