Monthly Archives: October 2012

Warren Will Win (from the archives)

The following is my post predicting a Warren victory in next week’s Massachusetts U.S. Senate race. It appeared in this space on January 13, 2012.

The upcoming U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts between Senator Scott Brown and rising star in the Democratic Party Elizabeth Warren has, is, and will receive more than its share of analysis. The contest for the first full six year senate term since the death of Ted Kennedy is being touted as “one to watch.” According to both campaigns and virtually every journalist or pundit, it is going to be a very competitive and expensive battle. All the polls show a race that looks like it should be a squeaker.

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When Bipartisan Means Bistupid

One major line of attack Senator Scott Brown makes against Elizabeth Warren is that she is a bomb tosser and he is bipartisan. But perhaps being bipartisan isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

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Sandy: not your typical october suprise

As October surprises go, Sandy won’t rank very high.  It’s hard to be surprised by a Hurricane during Hurricane season.  And Sandy isn’t the political trick that dominates our mythology of presidential elections.  Still, the storm barreling our way promises to intrude on the campaigns with the potential to impact the final results around the margins.  It brings with it a high degree of uncertainty. 

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Republican Party Stars at Warren Visit to UMassBoston

Elizabeth Warren visited UMass Boston for a campaign event today accompanied by Boston city councillor Ayanna Pressley and Maryland U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski. With that lineup there should be no surprise that the Warren campaign has women on its mind. But the big star of the day was the Republican Party, sort of like Hannibal Lecter or Freddy Krueger are movie stars.

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Simon Johnson at IdeasBoston

Simon Johnson, Ronald A. Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund had some sobering words about our economy on Wednesday at IdeasBoston at UMassBoston. Prof. Johnson talked about the European mess, the danger of debt, our Chinese rivals, and even a little politics.  

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Candidates, the Public, and Magic Thinking

Parents love those early years when the children engage in so much magical thinking. We can continue that enjoyment throughout our lives by listening to candidates’ proposals to reduce the federal deficit. Mitt Romney in particular promises to reduce the deficit by some magical formula that relies mostly on us trusting his business acumen. But one interesting lesson to come from this week’s MassInc Polling Group/WBUR poll is that the electorate may engage in less magical thinking than our candidates.

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This Time Is Different, Again?

I’ve been fascinated by the work of Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff in their book This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Follies. They simply know more about what brings on severe financial crises and what we can realistically expect from a recovery than anyone else. Recently Republican economists have been arguing that the recovery from the current crisis is historically mild, thus blaming the Obama administration. Reinhardt and Rogoff answered once here, and Paul Krugman answers here.

But that hasn’t stopped the Republican story from spreading so Reinhart and Rogoff have answered again in This time is different, again? The US five years after the onset of subprime.  They write that: “According to our (2009) metrics, the aftermath of the US financial crisis has been quite typical of post-war systemic financial crises around the globe. If one really wants to focus just on US systemic financial crises, then the recent recovery looks positively brisk.”

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ProfessorU on the final debate

Professor Ubertaccio shared his thoughts on the final presidential debate with Bridget Blythe of NECN’s Morning Show.

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Dukakis and Bulger Visit UMass Boston

There are any numbers of wonderful aspects to teaching a course in Massachusetts Politics at UMass Boston but one of the very best is the annual visit to my class of former Governor Michael S. Dukakis and former Senate President and UMass President William M. Bulger. We hosted them on Friday and as usual it was a great pleasure.

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What’s Catholic Citizenship Up To?

I’ve written some academic articles in the past about Catholic politics in the state, including A Christian Coalition for Catholics? The Massachusetts Model (gated), in the Review of Religious Research. I haven’t updated my research much lately but there is now a very interesting blog post by Hester Prynne titled Catholic Citizenship: An Electoral Force? And Who are These Guys Anyway?

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