Happy Columbus Day

Time to say something controversial. Are you ready? Here it goes: Happy Columbus Day. Those three words have become quite the flash point. Earlier this year, Gov. Janet Mills and the Maine Legislature changed the law designating the second Monday in October from “Columbus Day” to “Indigenous Peoples Day.” However, federal law maintains the old […]

People like Tom Brady because he’s the GOAT, not because he’s white

Sometimes people take sports way too seriously. It is a longstanding human failing. Some of the bloodiest riots of antiquity — the Nika riots — arose in part because of chariot team affiliations. Plenty of American cities have erupted following championships won by the hometown team, and soccer hooliganism causes violence at games throughout Europe. […]

Impeachment only comes before investigation in the dictionary

Aye, yai, yai. Politicians love “I” words. President Barack Obama was famously fond of “I, I, I.” It was a popular game in conservative news outlets to count the number of self-referencing statements in his speeches. In his first State of the Union address, Obama referred to himself 98 times. President  Donald Trump scored a […]

Does Maine need mayors?

Mayors.  Who needs ‘em? It’s a fair question in Maine. After all, we are part of a proud New England tradition of town government. Town meetings elect moderators, not to rule, but to keep the peace en route to a resolution of the motions and articles. The role of “moderator” is prestigious through service. It […]

Can a license to drive be a license to own a gun?

I trust Matt Dunlap more than Donald Trump and Barack Obama. This isn’t personal; it’s just his job. Maine’s elected officials are more responsive to the needs of our state than a far-off federal government in Washington. That is true regardless of who resides in the White House at any given time. But maybe Secretary […]

Bernie Sanders was right: David Koch’s death is not cause for celebration

I’ve got to give Bernie Sanders credit. Last week, one of the favorite boogeymen of the American left passed away. David Koch was a phenomenally successful business leader and generous philanthropist who also happened to be politically active. He espoused a strongly libertarian philosophy, even running for vice president under the Libertarian Party banner in 1980 […]

Satire lets us laugh at our politics

Satire. It is one of the most powerful tools in politics. After all, governing is serious business; laws are implicitly and explicitly backed by the threat of force. When humor is brought to the intellectual battlefield, it diminishes the stature of the satirist’s opponent. For millennia, it has been part of western social discourse. Literary scholars […]

How about some caution in court of public opinion

Between the horrific shootings in Ohio and Texas and Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide, much of the news cycle and public debate has been caught up in the reaction. It is understandable.  When innocent people lose their lives because of maniacal gun violence, policy proposals flow forth. When an individual accused of horrific sex crimes — […]

You know what Maine needs? More pork.

Maine offered a new spin on an old saw this week. Everyone knows about “pork barrel” politics, where elected officials effectively bribe taxpayers with their own money. It describes a scenario where a legislator works to get a pet project funded for political gain and glory. This week saw the introduction of “pork freezer” politics. […]