Category Archives: Column

We have met the investors, and they are us

The Bangor Mall and Medicare for All. If you’ll bear with me, I’ll try to tie these two together. Think I can do it? This past week, the Bangor Daily News reported that the Bangor Mall may soon be insolvent; its total debt will exceed the value of the assets. That is not entirely surprising. […]

Laws are tricky; that’s why voters have other people make them

Laws are tricky things. Just ask the Portland City Council. This past week, seven members went on a learning junket out into Portland’s harbor to inspect safety improvements at the historic Fort Gorges. The problem? Maine’s “Freedom of Access Act.” It specifies that, when three or more public officials are gathered in any official capacity, […]

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, […]

Back to school with Harrison Bergeron

School is back in session. For students throughout Maine, that means sports, homework, and, yes, reading assignments. Some of those books will be a slog to get through — I still don’t get “Catcher in the Rye” — while others will stick with them through the years. One such story is “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt […]

All journalism is biased. Let’s acknowledge that and move on.

“It’s the meeeeeeee-dia’s fault.” Back in the 1990s, Chris Rock had a famous-albeit-controversial bit. It dealt with negative stereotypes in the black community, and those who sought to lay the sole blame for them at the feet of the media. He lambasted that view, claiming he wasn’t worried about Ted Koppel when he was at […]

Will the Legislature be consistent in January?

Wednesday evening saw the Maine Legislature adjourn “sine die,” Latin for “without day.” In more practical terms, it means they are done. Until January. Thank goodness. As is tradition, the final day of the session was “veto day.” Legislators returned to the House and Senate to consider vetoes by the governor, as well as minor […]

Forget campaign 2018, let’s just watch TV

Adam Cote. Janet Mills. Mark Eves. Betsy Sweet. Jim Boyle. Patrick Eisenhart. To quote Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker in 2008’s The Dark Knight: “And here. We. Go.” That line was one of the final ones uttered in the now-iconic performance. Ledger’s chaotic character wanted one ferry full of Gotham citizens to blow up […]

Tax reform or the Augusta War: Which way will Maine go?

“The Great Shutdown of 2017” will be remembered much like the “Aroostook War”; an interesting historical footnote in Maine’s history. The apocryphal casualties of the latter consisted of one cow. For the former, two vehicles of Republican representatives may or may not have been vandalized by individuals who missed the childhood lesson on using their words. […]