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 […]

Police manual extremists asked LePage to change included reason for their arrests

When they met with Gov. LePage, extremists asked him to change a manual on Sovereign Citizens used by the Maine Criminal Justice Academy. As the Bangor Daily News and Mike Tipping reported, two individuals from that group were recently arrested. And, it turns out that a reason for their arrests — a lack of a […]

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 […]

Fiddling with figures doesn’t add jobs to Maine’s economy

In an odd convergence, 2012 presidential election polls and Gov. Paul LePage’s view of Social Security, “welfare” and the Maine economy now have something in common. Some of Mitt Romney’s supporters in 2012 embarked on an effort to establish that President Obama wasn’t really ahead. In the most outlandish example, one supporter set up unskewedpolls.com, […]

LePage said “get our guns” as extremists wrote him on revolution

Gov. LePage l Photo credit: Troy R. Bennett l BDN

May 28, 2013 was one of those days when something Gov. LePage said hit national news, going viral. It was also a day that, as few people knew, his office received a memo from an extremist group mentioning violent options should they not get satisfaction. The memo included talking points for their teleconference with the […]