Category Archives: Columns

Newspaper columns, Bangor Daily News

Poliquin’s eye-popping haul and policy priorities

U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin has started filling his campaign coffers while voting to loosen controls on Wall Street, redistribute taxpayers’ money to the very wealthiest Americans, and undermine Medicare and other popular programs. When Poliquin announced raising $700,000 in the first three months of his first term, the Maine Republican Party was certainly correct in […]

People don’t want Obamacare’s repeal. Republicans start to get the message.

Since the Affordable Care Act was adopted, the tectonic plates of health care politics look like they’re shifting. Rep. Bruce Poliquin hasn’t even been in office five months, and already his positions on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) have moved enough to make several flip-flop-themed campaign ads. Poliquin attacked primary opponent Kevin Raye for being […]

Obama, patriotism and inspiration for grownups

Watching politics, today’s gamesmanship and polarization can suppress patriotism and generate cynicism. And, as we go about our lives, we often get pulled into our routines. But recently real inspiration came to me politically and personally through the words of our president and the death from cancer of a woman I never met. Last weekend […]

Governor’s words matter, but his bad policies matter more

What a way to introduce yourself to the American public. A few months ago, when people were asked about likely Republican presidential candidate Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, over half had no opinion or said they had never heard of him. If people learned of Walker recently, it was for his answers to reporters’ questions. […]

Vermont’s motto madness shows science education is not enough

Something happened the other day in Vermont that reminded me of the saying, “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” After an eighth-grade student wrote to a state legislator to propose Vermont adopt a Latin motto and the proposal went forward, some less-than-knowledgeable residents got really angry. There was, as Senate Minority Leader Joe […]

As economic and snowstorms hit us, how do we dig out?

This big storm put me in mind of what a friend, the photographer Jeff Kirlin, said the other day: “I love the sound of the Socialist snowplows scraping up my Socialist streets.” We pay taxes for government services that serve the public good — in this case, the ability to get places safely and not […]

With LePage’s budget, Maine must decide on the reality it wants

When Gov. Paul LePage unveiled his budget proposal last week, it was reminiscent (but partly in a good way) of something said about a decade ago by an aide to President George W. Bush. This aide, widely reputed to be Karl Rove, told journalist Ron Suskind that reporters were part of “the reality-based community” but […]

A momentous year in health policy — and the people who put it into perspective

It wasn’t the cold of the day that deeply chilled the six-year-old’s parents, although, with a low of three degrees, Feb. 28 this year was colder than average. That winter day little Wynter Przybylski of Brewer was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Soon after Wynter’s cancer was diagnosed, a tumor was found on her spine […]

Reject moral relativism in the face of terrorism and threat

How would you respond if an “intellectually challenged” American with no involvement in violence was held by another country and tortured so a tape of him crying could be used to try to get a family member to supply information? What would you feel if an American imprisoned by non-Americans was told that his mother […]