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Government and Politics

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The 13th Annual Muzzle Awards

A year and a half into the Age of Obama, we are learning a lesson we should have figured out long ago — that repression, once in place, is rarely rolled back all the way, and that liberals no less than conservatives are reluctant to give up power.
A look at the dishonorable enemies of free speech and personal liberty in New England
By DAN KENNEDY  |  July 02, 2010
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Worse than Afghanistan

At almost the same moment that Rolling Stone was reordering the political landscape with its devastating profile of the now-resigned Afghanistan commander General Stanley McChrystal, a smaller, lesser-known political monthly, The American Conservative
Mainstream media flunks again
By PETER KADZIS  |  July 02, 2010

Deval Patrick and the mosque

I was extremely disappointed to read your close-minded, ignorant, and bigoted position on Governor Deval Patrick’s meeting with Muslims at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center in Roxbury.
Letters to the Boston editor, July 2, 2010
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  July 02, 2010
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A Congolese feast

I met Constance Kabaziga at the checkout at Mittapheap World Market. She was buying frozen cassava root and dried beans, and I really wanted to know what she was going to do them.
Beans and rice, with African flair
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  July 02, 2010
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Homophobe to headline Boston's GospelFest

Donnie McClurkin is one of gospel music's biggest stars. But McClurkin has also drawn fire for his homophobic sermons. Which makes him a curious choice to headline a City of Boston–produced event here later this summer, the annual GospelFest on City Hall
Gay Old Time Dept.
By NOAH SCHAFFER  |  June 25, 2010
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Holy war

And so it came to pass, Roman Catholics, Mormons, and evangelical Protestants have banded together to battle, well, the rest of us — the heathens, the godless liberals, the Hitchens-reading progressives.
How an unholy alliance of Catholics, Mormons, and evangelicals seeks to control our lives
By JEFF INGLIS  |  June 25, 2010


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An education funding formula, hailed as a breakthrough, faces its critics

For years, Rhode Island was one of just two states in the union without a funding formula for its public schools. And then, for a time, it was the only state with that dubious dis-tinction.
Fuzzy math
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  June 25, 2010
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Review: Casino Jack and the United States of Money (2010)

Alex Gibney has a gift for turning stories of corruption so thick they're nearly impenetrable into simple tales of unfettered greed and malfeasance.
The globe-trotting misdeeds of Jack Abramoff
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  June 25, 2010
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Same Old Faces

If you're wondering who the geniuses are behind the political campaigns in Massachusetts this year — the strategists, media firms, ad teams, and fundraisers — well, it's a lot of the same folks who have been behind Massachusetts campaigns for a long time
It's an outsider's year for candidates, but the consultants are old Beacon Hill mainstays. Plus, who spent what at the conventions, and Baker goes on TV first.
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  June 25, 2010
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Mr. Patrick Goes to Franklin Park

As Deval Patrick engaged constituents at the third annual 10,000 Strong Boston barbecue in Franklin Park on Father's Day, it was clear that his support from black voters doesn't derive solely from the luster of his climb from Chicago's hardscrabble stree
'Deval in the 'Hood' Dept.
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  June 25, 2010

Blowin’ up good!

Pretty shrewd. In a state that suffered through a horrific nightclub fire in 2003 that killed 100 people, the General Assembly pushed through legislation that some thought would permit people to buy the type of fireworks (called “gerbs,” which means they
Going ballistic on the fireworks bill; Baccari is at it again; more electioneering
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  June 25, 2010


Two sides to Guy

I’m a delegate at the state Democratic convention and I didn’t vote for Guy Glodis for auditor.
Boston Phoenix letters, June 25, 2010
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  June 25, 2010
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Trail of jeers

As summer officially kicks off this weekend, thousands upon thousands of people will be descending on our fair metropolis to get a glimpse of America's most history-drenched city.
Forget Paul Revere. This summer, treat yourself to a tour of Boston's worst in political corruption.
By LAWRENCE ''HUGGY'' BERGMAN  |  June 18, 2010
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Drawing inspiration

"Die, yuppie scum," chants the long-haired man, to the beat of a pounding drum. "You don't need to fuck people over to survive."
Anarchist Seth Tobocman brings radical comic-book to the Lucy Parsons Center
By VALERIE VANDE PANNE  |  June 18, 2010

Menino's money problems

David S. Bernstein’s article on the mayor’s feud with the firefighters and allegations that the city’s coffers are bigger than Mayor Tom Menino lets on is one of the only thoughtful treatments of this contract dispute to appear in the media.
Letters to the Boston editor, June 18, 2010
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  June 18, 2010
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Say what?

Barack Obama is much more of an establishment-style president than the public generally realizes.
Obama should forget the feel-good and seize the opportunity in the Gulf
By EDITORIAL  |  June 18, 2010


Spookin' the horses

Move over, Freddy Krueger. Here come the real scary monsters: Libby Mitchell and Paul LePage.
Scary trumps stupid every time
By AL DIAMON  |  June 18, 2010

Setting the stage for November

It's been more than a week since the June 8 primary election, which saw Republican PAUL LEPAGE (Waterville mayor and Marden's exec) beat a large field of better-financed competitors, and LIBBY MITCHELL (state senate president) pull out ahead of the D
Post-primary musings
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  June 18, 2010

Knowing no shame

The recent rush to adjourn the 2010 General Assembly session on the arbitrary date of June 10 was an affront to the Rhode Island citizenry and a low mark for the state’s politicians.
The disgraceful General Assembly; hail, do-gooders; and a plea for ProHo
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  June 18, 2010
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Review: Killers

As a CIA operative in Robert Luketic's spy thriller/rom-com, Ashton Kutcher looks strapping, if nothing else.
Did we ask to see Ashton Kutcher as 007?
By TOM MEEK  |  June 11, 2010
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The Battle of Mission Hill

Oftentimes, inner-city dwellers who have to routinely phone police about disorderly neighbors fear retribution from gangbangers or drug dealers.
Town-versus-gown tempers are boiling over near the Northeastern campus, as residents charge the giant school with 'death by incrementalism'
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  June 11, 2010


Plan B(1)

With the end of the long primary campaign, Mainers are facing an ugly reality.
 Post-primary predictions
By AL DIAMON  |  June 11, 2010
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Boston pols bail on Bank of America

In this time of political stridency, where everything is either red or blue, Boston City Councilors have found a potential purple issue that everyone can stand behind, be they radical lefties or Fox News worshippers.
Locovore Banking Dept.
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  June 11, 2010
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Mickey Mouse Multiculturalism

Massachusetts treasurer and independent candidate for governor Tim Cahill was off base when he accused incumbent governor Deval Patrick of "playing politics with terrorism" in the wake of Patrick's visit to the controversial Roxbury mosque maintained by
Governor Patrick's problematic Mosque visit. Plus, Bush — and the GOP — vote yes for torture
By EDITORIAL  |  June 11, 2010
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Review: The Oath

The oath referred to is that swearing fealty to Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.
An indictment on the War on Terror
By PETER KEOUGH  |  June 11, 2010
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Review: Videocracy

Italian-born director Erik Gandini's damning mess of a documentary purports to reveal that Italy is TV- and celebrity-besotted — which is true but not new.
Silvio Berlusconi may have to work overtime after this
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  June 11, 2010


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Take this to the polls

Our endorsements for the June 8 elections
Endorsements
By PORTLAND PHOENIX STAFF  |  June 04, 2010
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Weenie Roast!

A year ago, with scandals and embarrassments swirling around Massachusetts state politics, the Phoenix tossed some well-deserving pols on the flames in our first annual Memorial Day political roast. I'm pleased that I've been invited back.
The Phoenix 's second annual Memorial Day political roast
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  June 04, 2010
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Mexican president flubs it at the Kennedy school

Only a day before the Massachusetts Senate showed its true colors by approving a set of anti-immigrant amendments to the state budget — a recent change of heart that would probably not have happened had it not been for the so-called Arizona effect — the
Yo No Tengo Huevos Dept.
By MARCELA GARCIA  |  June 04, 2010

A Rhode Island filmmaker’s tribute to the Good War

Amid the moral ambiguity of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — the handwringing over weapons of mass destruction, drone attacks, and the rights of detainees — there is something startling about the raw patriotism of the documentary Navy Heroes of Norman
  Heroes
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  June 04, 2010