Category Archives: Column

On health care, LePage is out of his league

In 1969, a University of Southern California professor named Laurence Peter authored the concept, commonly referred to as “The Peter Principle,” that describes the experience of many promising, upwardly-mobile workers who end up promoted beyond their abilities — promoted to the level of their own incompetence. As we watch our governor, Paul LePage, inject himself […]

How not to lobby Susan Collins

If you want to influence Susan Collins on a key vote, the last person you’d enlist to help is Gov. Paul LePage. But that’s exactly what the Trump administration did when they flew Maine’s governor to Washington for a press conference on Friday. Looking like a nervous kid waiting in the principal’s office after spray […]

Poverty isn’t eliminated by threatening the poor

In his book Madness and Civilization, the French philosopher Michel Foucault describes the historical arc of social integration of those considered insane. At times, humans have driven the “mad,” as Foucault described them, into hidden institutional recesses. At other times, cultures kept the “mad” in plain sight, not accepting their actions or mental states as […]

Think Trump is bad? Meet Kid Rock

  If you’re one of those cultural Luddites who still yearns for dignity in American politics, the Trump era has been a nightmare. Our 45th president ran and won as a lewd demagogue with an out-of-control inferiority complex, and his tenure as chief executive continues to lower the bar for public discourse, week after painful […]

Poliquin wrong to denigrate veteran’s experience, age

Imagine if someone ran a campaign against our Second District congressman by calling him “Old Bruce Poliquin.” Stating that, at 64, he’s too old to make rational decisions. Stumbling around Washington, unable to distinguish the men’s room from the ladies’ room, it’s gotten pretty obvious that his advanced age has become a real obstacle, and […]

Hysterical fear of the media is not a political strategy

  Rep. Bruce Poliquin is having another spate of bad publicity. Caught on tape behind closed doors, Poliquin reinforced his opponents’ contention that he is afraid to engage his constituents by spinning a convoluted yarn about why he won’t do press interviews. In short: the press is out to get him, he said. Sound familiar? […]

The Republican Party has a stupidity problem

I have thought for some time that the Republican Party has a racism problem. But what I’m starting to realize is the Republican Party has a stupidity problem, which sometimes manifests itself in racism. Let me say from the outset, to be clear, that I am a member of the Republican Party, and have worked […]

Federal report of ignored abuse reveals true Mayhew record

Between 2013 and 2015, 133 people with developmental disabilities died under state care. Mary Mayhew was responsible for the care of these people as commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. But Mayhew’s DHHS failed to investigate any of these deaths, according to a federal investigation outlined in a report released last […]

Collins, King offer alternative to executive-level lunacy

The contrast couldn’t be more striking. On one hand, there is the imagery of Anthony Scaramucci, President Donald Trump’s short time communications director, hair slicked back, reaching into a female reporter’s personal space over and over as he desperately attempted to bully a series of lies into reality. On the other, there is Maine’s senior […]