In sickness and in health in Augusta

Sometimes, politics is a sickness. Wait, strike that. Reverse it. Sickness is making politics, at least this week. Paid sick leave continues to make headlines. This Maine Legislature’s “LD 1” — the trophy proposal of Democratic majorities — deals with preexisting medical conditions and other parts of “Obamacare.” And, lest it be forgotten, the debate […]

Symbols matter. That’s why Maine should have a new flag.

Symbols are important. The American flag will fly at half-staff throughout Maine until Sunday, when Berwick firefighter Capt. Joel Barnes is laid to rest. Lowering the flag is one way — a symbol — by which we honor those who have lost their lives in service to others. There are plenty of other symbols we […]

Employee benefits aren’t as simple as passing a law

It was “paid sick leave” week in Maine. Monday saw a long, drawn-out public hearing in Augusta requiring employers to provide paid sick leave. Tuesday saw a committee of the Portland City Council move a similar proposal forward within the city limits. Both efforts have been led by interest groups. Portland’s has been championed by […]

Blame Congress for the wall

“The President’s order does not direct that a congressional policy be executed in a manner prescribed by Congress — it directs that a presidential policy be executed in a manner prescribed by the President.” That line is from a famous Supreme Court decision known as Youngstown Steel. It was part of an opinion against President […]

What politicians can learn from the Super Bowl

Why do we care about the Super Bowl? After all, it is a bunch of individuals earning, six, seven, or eight figures a year, playing a game on behalf of owners worth nine or ten figures. Even more, there is literal price fixing, an industry-wide agreement to limit overall wages for a certain type of […]

Trust, but verify what you see on the internet

Doveryai, no proveryai. It’s an old Russian proverb. You may know it better as one of President Ronald Reagan’s popular phrases: “Trust, but verify.” Most notably, he used it publicly when talking about agreed-upon inspection procedures concerning nuclear weapons. This was when the Russians — sorry, the Soviets — were our greatest geopolitical rival. Maybe the […]

Listen to Joe Biden: Barr will make a fine attorney general

Here we go again. Although I was lambasted for the suggestion, I’ll offer Washington Democrats the same advice I gave Augusta Republicans. The Constitution gives the elected chief executive the right to appoint the men and women they want to offices of state. If your legislative party is in the majority, the natural tension built […]

I’m with Mills rather than a vague “green new deal”

Well, with a new Congress being inaugurated and Janet Mills taking the oath of office, one thing is coming into focus: Democrats are a study in contrasts. In Washington, a large contingent of newly elected representatives are calling for a “Green New Deal.” What actual, concrete policy does this slogan encompass? No one is really […]