Category Archives: Columns

Newspaper columns, Bangor Daily News

One waitress and the coming pitched battle for women’s votes

When candidates speak and elected officials craft policies, they should remember Judy, a waitress and housekeeper who played a bit role in a Washington, D.C., drama. In September 2013, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, took to the Senate floor to rail against the Affordable Care Act. Republicans later shut down the federal government, although Cruz did […]

Dirty tricks in Christie’s administration and divisiveness from LePage

There was a time, not so very long ago, when Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey was a frequent visitor to Maine and a top-tier presidential candidate. Within his state, Christie’s job approval has slipped to 35 percent. New Jersey’s bond rating has been downgraded nine times. Nationally and in New Jersey, Christie’s star has […]

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 […]