Category Archives: National

Supreme Court already said DC Court was wrong on Obamacare subsidies

The Supreme Court has already spoken on the DC Circuit’s three judge panel’s 2-1 decision that subsidies are only available for insurance purchased through state exchanges. This decision contradicted the decision of a unanimous three judge panel for the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals (Virginia). How could that be? That DC Circuit panel only ruled […]

Seven questions and answers about today’s Obamacare decisions

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Today’s decision from a three-judge panel of the DC Circuit Court about Obamacare is getting a lot of attention. 1. What did the decision do? Two of the three judges ruled that people cannot get subsidized health insurance unless they bought it through a state-run exchange. This would mean no subsidies for people in the states […]

Obama’s job approval vs. George W. Bush — better but not great

From Alec Tyson, "Obama viewed as more caring than Bush, but no more effective," FactTank (Pew Research), July 16, 2014

Obama’s U.S. job approval are not strong right now. For a good part of his second term, his job approval numbers have been in the mid-forties. However, those numbers are clearly ahead of where George W. Bush was at this same point in Bush’s presidency. As this chart of data from the Pew Research Center […]

Phony facts, a fantasy Constitution and conspiracy mongering

As the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan purportedly said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts.” Moynihan experienced people from across the political spectrum who made claims that had no basis in reality. In other words, they believed things that just aren’t so. How do they deal with reality? Some […]

An antisemitic, racist group’s startling presence in Maine

From: "White, Bigoted and Young," Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, New York Times Sunday Review, July 11, 2014

Maine has a history of hate groups. In the 1920s, the KKK, a strong presence in the state, was aimed mostly at Catholics, particularly Franco-Americans. As many were “relative newcomers” from Quebec, this was largely a nativist, anti-immigrant movement. But the 1920s were long ago and Maine now has a reputation for tolerance and support […]

How birth control saves money, and two other health care success stories

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Health care is expensive, very expensive. So any news about how costs are being controlled is very good news. Here are three examples: 1. Medicare is costing a lot less than predicted  As Kaiser Health reports, Medicare’s costs are now more than $1000 a person less than what was predicted. Even better, new predictions are […]

LePage’s meetings with extremists make Buckley and Smith spin in their graves

Decades ago William F. Buckley and Margaret Chase Smith drew a bright line between legitimate conservatism and the extremist right. Speaking out against Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wisconsin, in 1950 Smith proclaimed, “As a Republican, I say to my colleagues on this side of the aisle that the Republican Party faces a challenge today that is […]

Poliquin pick quickens the pulse of Maine’s far right

What happened last week, in Maine and the nation, shows, to paraphrase Mark Twain, that the reports of the tea party’s death are greatly exaggerated. The national political scene was shaken by the primary defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Virginia. Cantor’s opponent, David Brat, is a little known college professor who co-authored “An […]