In polarized times, who do we politically despise?

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In the song “National Brotherhood Week” Tom Lehrer rhapsodized, “It’s fun to eulogize those we despise.” “All of my folks hate all of your folks. It’s American as apple pie.” A new, extensive Pew study on political polarization shows that reality is getting closer to that poetic license. Polarization is increasing all around. But one finding […]

What election night comments by Jackson and Raye had in common

Candidate Bruce Poliquin posed with me at the Bangor polling site on primary day, 2014

Democratic Troy Jackson lost his primary against Emily Cain and Republican Kevin Raye lost his against Bruce Poliquin, but their comments had one important thing in common. Bruce Poliquin was on both of their minds, as Jackson endorsed Cain and Raye talked about the meaning of Poliquin’s victory. Here’s what Troy Jackson said: Jackson said […]

Where are Maine’s jobs? Counties, employment and moving trucks

April 2014 unemployment rates

As the rest of the country has finally gotten back to the same number of jobs it had before the recession, Maine’s less than halfway there. But some parts of Maine are doing much, much better than others. Check out this map from the Maine state government’s Center for Workforce Research and Information, showing county-level unemployment data from April […]

Two graphs tell the unhappy tale of Maine’s job story

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With the latest jobs report, the U.S. has now, finally, recovered the jobs lost in the last recession. When Obama took office, the economy was in free-fall. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as cited by Politifact: [In] January 2009, when the president was sworn in, the country lost 818,000 jobs. . […]

In their own words: Candidates Cain, Jackson, Poliquin and Raye

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With the party primaries for Maine’s second congressional seat coming up on June 10, check out what the candidates are saying. Below see the state Democratic convention speeches by Emily Cain and Troy Jackson, and speeches by Bruce Poliquin and Kevin Raye at the Penobscot County GOP Caucus. (These were posted by the Maine Progressives […]

Gary Alexander brings trouble with a capital “T”

When “Professor” Harold Hill stepped off the train in a small Midwest town, he diagnosed debilitating problems. In the musical “The Music Man,” Hill said he saw danger lurking, exhorting townspeople, “Ladies and gentlemen, either you are closing your eyes to a situation you do not wish to acknowledge, or you are not aware of […]

No wonder Maine’s hospitals wanted Medicaid expansion!

Credit: 401(K)2013/Creative Commons.

What a difference Medicaid expansion makes! More and more evidence is piling up that hospitals are seeing far fewer patients without health insurance. Medicaid expansion is yielding a big drop in uncompensated care and big increases in revenues As Kaiser Health News reports: At Seattle’s largest safety-net hospital, the proportion of uninsured patients fell from […]

Alexander Report got it wrong on charity care and health expansion

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During the recent debate over Medicaid expansion in Maine, Maine hospitals supported expanding the program and argued that doing so would limit the amount of charity care they would provide. In contrast, its foes claimed that expanding wouldn’t reduce the number of uninsured people going to hospitals. The first Alexander Report (p.48) argued that expanding public […]