The Green Rush: Observations from the Third Annual Marijuana Business Conference

on Nov. 25, 2014, at 1:47 p.m.
An unsuspecting visitor to the Third Annual Marijuana Business Conference in Las Vegas earlier this month might have thought they had wandered into a large and particularly gregarious conference of architects or lawyers. The outfit of choice was a business suit and a smartphone; the topic of conversation included business …
U.S. President Barack Obama

The immigration argument that everyone’s ignoring

By Cass Sunstein, Bloomberg News on Nov. 25, 2014, at 10:37 a.m.
Both sides in the debate over President Barack Obama’s immigration reforms have offered simple legal arguments. According to critics, the president is acting unlawfully by defying acts of Congress and arrogating the authority of a king. According to supporters, Obama is acting within his broad discretion as chief executive to …

Legalization isn’t inevitable: Maine has more than 2 options for marijuana policy reform

By Scott Gagnon on Nov. 25, 2014, at 8:51 a.m.
Last week saw the launch of a second initiative to put a question on the 2016 Maine ballot to legalize recreational marijuana. This effort would run alongside the stated intent of the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project to gather signatures and also put a question on the 2016 ballot. Some …
Pope Francis arrives to address the European Parliament at the institution's headquarters in Strasbourg, November 25, 2014.

Pope calls for family resurrection

By Kathleen Parker, The Washington Post on Nov. 25, 2014, at 7:26 a.m.
News that Pope Francis will visit the U.S. next year for the triennial World Meeting of Families brings elation to Catholics, excitement to pope watchers — and perhaps a little chagrin to some who too soon interpreted Francis’ broad compassion as a precursor to doctrinal changes related to marriage. Nothing …

Time is running short: We can build political will for a climate-protecting carbon fee

By Michael Howard on Nov. 25, 2014, at 7:08 a.m.
The U.S.-China deal on carbon emissions reached earlier this month is good news, even though the emission reductions are not nearly enough to preserve a stable climate. The deal calls for the U.S. to reduce its emissions by 26 percent by 2025 and for China to shift 20 percent of …
Iced-over cross-country skiing tracks pass through the Bangor Municipal Golf Course on Dec. 21, 2013.

Why it’s best to put hibernation mode aside this winter

By Grace Morgan on Nov. 24, 2014, at 11:24 a.m.
Now that the dust from a contentious election has settled, the closing of the Bucksport mill leaving more than 500 people without work has been announced and Maine now ranks 49th on Forbes’ “Best States for Business and Careers” list, the people of Maine are settling in for another long …

En route to a less wasteful holiday season in our disposable society

By Julia Hathaway on Nov. 24, 2014, at 10:43 a.m.
There’s a chore most of us probably have dealt with this past week. Maybe you outsourced it to your children. Maybe you and a significant other argued over whose turn it was. But if you live in a municipality with trash collection, someone lugged those cans or plastic bags to …
The President of Iraqi Kurdistan Massoud Barzani (L) visits Kirkuk June 26, 2014. Barzani visited Kirkuk on Thursday for the first time since forces from the autonomous region took full control of the city.

Alone in Kurdistan

By Jackson Diehl, The Washington Post on Nov. 24, 2014, at 10:20 a.m.
How goes the war against the Islamic State? A useful barometer is the position of Iraqi Kurdistan, which is the most reliable U.S. ally in the battle — and holds the longest front against the terrorists. Four months ago, two senior Kurdish officials traveled to Washington to deliver some dire …
A bust of Vaclav Havel, the late president of the Czech Republic, after being unveiled in the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Nov. 19,  2014.

Havel ceremony offers moment of moral clarity at US Capitol

By Petula Dvorak,  The Washington Post on Nov. 24, 2014, at 9:26 a.m.
Right in the U.S. Capitol, amid the partisan posturing, immigration-fueled rancor and ominous shutdown threats, there was a moment of moral clarity. For one brief hour Wednesday afternoon, our elected leaders gathered in the gilded, marbled Statuary Hall and stopped their bickering long enough to honor someone they all admire. …
President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) arrive to take a group photo at the G20 summit in Brisbane on Nov. 15, 2014.

The climate pact swindle

By Charles Krauthammer, The Washington Post on Nov. 24, 2014, at 7:46 a.m.
Historic. Such is the ubiquitous description of the climate agreement recently announced in Beijing between President Barack Obama and Xi Jinping in which China promised for the first time to cap carbon emissions. If this were a real breakthrough, I’d be an enthusiastic supporter. I have long advocated for a …
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe bows as he leaves a news conference at his official residence in Tokyo November 21, 2014.

Abe’s gamble: Snap election in Japan

By Gwynne Dyer on Nov. 24, 2014, at 7:17 a.m.
“I need to hear the voice of the people,” said Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “I will step down if we fail to keep our majority because that would mean our Abenomics is rejected.” And with that feeble excuse he announced that he was calling an election two years earlier …
President Barack Obama arrives at the graduation ceremony of the class of 2013 at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 19, 2013.

Wonkblog: Why a college degree shouldn’t be a commodity

By Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, The Washington Post on Nov. 23, 2014, at 9:45 a.m.
On a recent episode of NBC’s prime-time drama “Parenthood,” Drew, the lovable grandson in need of a haircut, struggled with an age-old decision: declaring a major. Coming from a low-income, single-parent household, he felt obligated to choose a practical course of study — economics — that would guarantee him a …

We agree that some shouldn’t have guns. Let’s act on it for domestic violence victims’ sake.

By Lois Galgay Reckitt on Nov. 23, 2014, at 9:40 a.m.
We spend a lot of time talking about stronger gun laws and people who should not have access to guns. But we rarely stop to consider, specifically, who these people are. Under federal law, they include convicted felons, fugitives from justice, people who have been found by a court to …

Is the art of restaurant tipping lost?

on Nov. 23, 2014, at 12:32 a.m.
H., a waitress at a local eatery (to remain unnamed), approached my table. She checked to see if I needed more water, engaged in our usual chatter, then flashed me the check she had picked up from a party of 12. The food charge was well into three figures; the …
Alex Steed

Democrats failed millennials this year, so millennials returned the favor

By Alex Steed on Nov. 21, 2014, at 12:18 p.m.
Not many millennials showed up to vote in the midterms earlier this month. While the generation tends to lean Democratic, polls illustrated that conservative-leaning millennials showed greater enthusiasm prior to the election, and that appears to have played in Republicans’ favor. Some disgruntled liberals have pointed disdainful fingers at millennials …
Ray Rice, the NFL and a defining moment in the fight against domestic violence

Domestic violence needs a survival celebration mentality to stay top of mind

By Steven Edmondson on Nov. 20, 2014, at 12:20 p.m.
My worst fears have materialized — and at the same time my prediction came true. This is one occasion when I didn’t want to be right, however. After unprecedented attention on the national level this past summer, domestic violence once again has faded from the headlines and been relegated to …

I got help and a college degree with state support. Now, I’m off the welfare rolls

By Rochelle Riordan on Nov. 20, 2014, at 11:19 a.m.
I am a mother, a college graduate, a full-time employee and a homeowner. I am also a former welfare recipient. Thanks to Maine’s Parents as Scholars Program, I was able to dramatically change the course of my life and become self-supporting. Both the TANF and Parents as Scholars programs helped …
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks at the Center for American Progress' 2014 Making Progress Policy Conference in Washington November 19, 2014.

Democrats need rich people, too

By Dana Milbank, The Washington Post on Nov. 20, 2014, at 7:04 a.m.
Elizabeth Warren was doing Tuesday what Elizabeth Warren usually does: Sticking up for the little guy. The populist Democratic senator from Massachusetts was in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, hosting an event to push Wal-Mart to raise wages and improve working conditions. “No one in this country should work full …
Bundled up against the cold, Julie Caruso of Akron, Ohio, waits in a long line for a tour of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 22, 2013.

A personal strategy to get through winter

By Barbara Brotman, Chicago Tribune (TNS) on Nov. 19, 2014, at 2:24 p.m.
The catalogs are pouring into my mailbox these days, and though they aren’t wrapped in brown paper, there’s no disguising what they are: warm-clothing soft porn. It’s hot stuff, or so I hope — page after page of high-tech, ultra-light cold-weather clothes, arousing wild fantasies of the ultimate winter excitement: …
Veterans march in the annual Veterans Day Parade in San Diego, California, on Nov. 11, 2014.

Re-evaluating Veterans Day with an eye toward a more decent, peaceful world

By Eric Collins on Nov. 19, 2014, at 1:45 p.m.
Another Veterans Day has come and gone with its usual reminders to thank our soldiers for “protecting our freedom.” At my work at an elementary school in Southern Maine, I received a heavy dose of this: a school-wide assembly to honor local veterans, construction-paper American flags waved by every kid, …
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