Category Archives: Column

If we want to reduce student loan debt, we have to look at college costs

I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today. — J. Wellington Wimpy. If you’re of a certain age, that quote probably seems familiar. You might even be part of the generation at the heart of one of the world’s newest memes. OK, boomers? That said, Wimpy’s quip is informative to one of the greatest policy […]

Want to win reelection? Do what you promise.

“Politicians lie.” That is the conventional wisdom, right? It is a bit cynical. After all, most people who find their way into public service have some sort of background in the community. Maybe they volunteer with schools. Maybe they have served in some other local or state office. In almost all cases, they are good […]

When can a death overcome partisanship?

A wonderful thing happened last weekend. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the “caliph” of the Islamic State, was killed in an overnight raid by American special forces. That is a tough thing to write. Death is generally not something that should be celebrated, even when the deceased is about as close to evil incarnate as you might […]

Power company regulation is a mess. Don’t use the same model for cable.

“Guaranteed profit” should be an oxymoron. After all, if there is no risk, there should be no profit. Reward is meant to follow risk. Utilities are where this gets weird. Over the past several years, Central Maine Power Co. has had a bit of a PR problem. Some of the knocks against them are unfair. […]

Defending free speech should be a slam dunk

The principles of freedom of speech and freedom of association are wonderful, as long as you only speak acceptable speech and only associate with acceptable people. Once you stray from the narrow path, you should lose those rights. Right? Of course not. That is an incredibly short-sighted and foolish position. Unfortunately, it seems to be […]

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 […]