Tag Archives: Congress

Compromise isn’t always a good thing

Compromise. It’s one of those magical words in politics. It is used as a paean to unity and a sword with which to cut through partisanship. Everything would get better if we just … compromised. It is never quite that easy. We kicked off Maine’s bicentennial celebration this past week. July 26 was the anniversary of […]

Finding light in the darkness of Washington

From the darkness that permeates our national political environment, this week saw a few rays of light shine through. The main event in Washington this week was the public testimony of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Democrats predictably tried to get Mueller to implicate President Donald Trump in nefarious activities. Republicans unsurprisingly rallied around Roman […]

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 […]

Let’s take the first step this Christmas on corrections reform

It’s a first step. No, not Gov.-elect Janet Mills’ cabinet announcements. Or the budget template that Gov. Paul LePage will leave on the desk upon his departure. Rather, it is the so-called First Step Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation supported by everyone from Donald Trump to Bernie Sanders, George Soros to the Koch network. […]

Want to bet on what Tuesday’s election will bring?

It’s prediction time. While the Supreme Court invalidated federal laws preventing gambling on sports a few weeks back, placing a wager on elections remains illegal in most American jurisdictions. So there is no money on the line as I try to predict the outcomes of next week’s election, just bragging rights (or a lack thereof). […]

Will the sunshine disinfect or burn?

The internet never forgets. Whether it is Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony in Washington concerning his social media company or Waterville Mayor Nick Isgro losing his private-sector job due to social media postings, it is continually growing harder to hide from the public eye. The democratization of information enabled by the internet was supposed to herald a […]

Can we end gerrymandering?

The Gerrymander. The most evil of political beasts, destroying competition in the electoral sphere and laying eggs of partisanship to perpetuate itself. To get the full effect, you need to read that in the voice of Sir David Attenborough. Because when it comes to redistricting and representation, the entire concept is treated as some strange, […]

Lessons from 1776: Lock lawmakers in a hot room until they get something done

Two hundred forty-one years ago this weekend, colonial delegates were shut in a hot and steamy room debating the idea of independence from Great Britain. They ultimately came up with an answer. And they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to see it through. That debate was dramatized in the musical 1776. […]

Want a government program to work? Be prepared to pay for it.

This just in: if you don’t adequately fund a program, it is not going to work. And in other news, water remains wet and Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead. Chevy Chase made that last line famous on the first season of “Saturday Night Live,” and with good reason. It lampoons the breathless media coverage […]