MIT economist Jonathan Gruber.

The Gruber confession

By Charles Krauthammer, The Washington Post on Nov. 16, 2014, at 10:20 a.m.
It’s not exactly the Ems Dispatch — the diplomatic cable Bismarck doctored to provoke the 1870 Franco-Prussian War. But what the just-resurfaced Gruber Confession lacks in world-historical consequence, it makes up for in world-class cynicism. This October 2013 video shows MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, a principal architect of Obamacare, admitting …
A Kurdish man mourns next to grave markers during a funeral for Kurdish fighters, in a cemetery in the southeastern Turkish town of Suruc, Sanliurfa province November 13, 2014.

The United State’s inept approach to the Middle East? Give ‘em ‘L’

By David Paul Henry on Nov. 16, 2014, at 9:38 a.m.
Whenever I hear the media refer to the “U.S.-led coalition against ISIS,” I cringe. Here’s why. Suppose everyone wakes up tomorrow to learn that the U.S.-led coalition’s campaign has succeeded beyond anyone’s highest expectations. Every member of ISIL is now dead or taking up new residence at Guantanamo. Even better: …

Efforts to improve children’s IQ are futile

By Charles Murray, Bloomberg News on Nov. 16, 2014, at 9:37 a.m.
It’s one thing to point out that programs to improve children’s cognitive functioning have had a dismal track record. We can always focus on short-term improvements, blame the long-term failures on poor execution or lack of follow-up and try, try again. It’s another to say that it’s impossible to do …

Will Mike Bloomberg run for President in 2016?

on Nov. 16, 2014, at 1:05 a.m.
A few weeks back, around Election Day, I mused on the vilification of third party candidates in national elections as so-called “spoilers.” One prominent example I used was independent Eliot Cutler’s presence in Maine’s gubernatorial race, mostly to highlight the scapegoat quality these candidates inherit regardless of a ballot’s final results. But wait – it …

A Cutler supporter, reluctant Michaud voter: What’s a pragmatic centrist to do?

By Brian Milakovsky on Nov. 14, 2014, at 10:35 a.m.
Many Democrats are understandably upset with independent Eliot Cutler after a second “spoiler” election. But they should recognize that his candidacy was natural and unavoidable. Cutler represents what lots of Mainers want to vote for, cut loose and adrift between the two parties: a platform more fiscally grounded than that …

Why blame for poor children’s limited vocabulary goes beyond their parents

By Paul Thomas, The Conversation on Nov. 13, 2014, at 12:08 p.m.
GREENVILLE, South Carolina — While the reading wars in education have raged for decades, most people agree that literacy is crucial for children and that the path to strong reading and writing skills begins in the home. But focusing on poor children’s parents may actually be the real problem when …
Iraqi journalist Ali Al Mshakheel was embedded with American troops in the Hussainiyah area of northern Baghdad in 2010.

An Iraqi Mainer’s perspective: Why negotiation with ISIS isn’t an option

By Ali Al Mshakheel on Nov. 13, 2014, at 11:30 a.m.
As the Islamic State insurgent group has grown and waged a violent campaign to claim much of Iraq and Syria as its own, some have wondered, can one negotiate with the Islamic State? “It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like ISIS, so why don’t we do it and save …

Teamwork can help Maine achieve health care’s Triple Aim

By Andrew Webber on Nov. 13, 2014, at 11:01 a.m.
According to most national estimates, per-capita health care expenditures in Maine are among the top five in the United States. These high health care costs — nearly 20 percent of the state’s gross domestic product — have a crippling downstream impact on the economy and hurt the ability of businesses …
President Barack Obama talks on the phone with Solicitor General Donald Verrilli in the Oval Office, after learning of the Supreme Court's ruling on the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," June 28, 2012.

Obamacare’s ‘death panel’

By Dana Milbank, The Washington Post on Nov. 13, 2014, at 8:42 a.m.
So it turns out there is an Obamacare death panel after all. It has nine members and it operates out of a marble building directly across the street from the Capitol. When the Supreme Court on Friday announced that it would take up another challenge to the Affordable Care Act …

Win or lose: Why the bear referendum was necessary for Maine

By John Glowa on Nov. 12, 2014, at 11:22 a.m.
Question 1 in this year’s election was about much more than baiting, hounding and trapping bears. Maine’s system of fish and wildlife management is broken. A citizen’s referendum was a last resort, and it was the general public’s only real opportunity to affect the management of our fish and wildlife …
Ed Rice of Orono, author of "Baseball's First Indian — Louis Sockalexis: A Penobscot Legend, Cleveland Indian."

Skowhegan High School stands in Maine’s way: Ending Native American mascot use

By Ed Rice on Nov. 12, 2014, at 10:53 a.m.
When all around her members of Congress stood frightened and mute in the face of Joseph McCarthy’s Communist fear-mongering, Margaret Chase Smith of Skowhegan stood, alone, in opposition and spoke what she knew to be right, what she knew to be the truth. Today, we need that spirit in Skowhegan …
President Barack Obama hosts a luncheon for bipartisan congressional leaders in the Old Family Dining Room at the White House in Washington, Nov. 7, 2014. From L-R are Speaker of the House John Boehner, Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Republicans will now taste their bitter harvest

By Katrina vanden Heuvel, special To The Washington Post. on Nov. 12, 2014, at 10:19 a.m.
In the early 3rd century B.C., after King Pyrrhus of Epirus again took brutal casualties in defeating the Romans, he told one person who offered congratulations, “If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined.” In his more sober moments, Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, …

What’s in a word? A sign that Maine’s transportation planning isn’t focused on the right priorities

By Charles Hastings on Nov. 11, 2014, at 10:28 a.m.
In late September, news broke that a project called the Acadia Gateway Intermodal Facility and Acadia National Park Welcome Center would benefit from an $800,000 grant from the Federal Transit Administration. The facility is designed to promote use of the Island Explorer bus system on Mount Desert Island. But my …
Luisa S. Deprez is professor of sociology and women & gender studies at the University of Southern Maine.

A rough ride for Mainers over the next four years of LePage

By Luisa Deprez and John Dorrer on Nov. 11, 2014, at 8:02 a.m.
Gov. Paul LePage’s re-election victory is an affirmation from a growing share of Maine voters of his behavior and the policies he has pursued over the past four years. It also shows, once again, a deepening ideological divide in our state: Over 50 percent of Maine voters backed Mike Michaud …
Actress Lena Dunham, of the comedy series "Girls", arrives at HBO's post award reception following the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards in West Hollywood, California September 23, 2012.

Lena Dunham’s bare, naked truth

By Kathleen Parker, The Washington Post on Nov. 11, 2014, at 7:34 a.m.
Lena Dunham, creator of the sensational HBO series “Girls” — and now the object of overwrought child abuse accusations by boys on the right — seems the perfect antidote to election fatigue. Poor Dunham. Everything was rocking along just fine. At 28, she has her own television series, a new …
Bangor voters head to the polls on Election Day.

Voters are looking for a better job market

By Megan McArdle, Bloomberg News on Nov. 11, 2014, at 7:26 a.m.
A couple of economic mysteries marked last week’s election. First of all, the jobs numbers came in on Friday about the same way they’ve been coming in for months: good, though not great. If you think the election had a lot to do with how voters feel about the economy, …

A Vote to Debate: Three voices on marijuana in the elections

on Nov. 10, 2014, at 3:12 p.m.
The midterm elections were of particular interest to those who follow cannabis policy. Today, we hear from three experts with varying perspectives on how marijuana fared in Maine and across the nation, and what the elections mean for the future of this changing industry. David Boyer is the Maine Policy …

How wood banks could help Mainers avoid an eat-or-heat dilemma

By Sabrina Vivian and Jessica Leahy on Nov. 10, 2014, at 1:35 p.m.
Imagine a local food pantry or food bank. Replace the focus of food with firewood, and you have a center known as a wood bank. Like food pantries, wood banks aim to help community members with life essentials by supplying firewood at little to no cost to those in need …
Maine Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette (left) addresses the media during a press conference with Gov. Paul LePage regarding the announcement of the Verso paper mill closure in Bucksport in October outside Maine Military Supply in Holden.

The LePage administration is moving Maine’s workforce development forward

By Fred Webber and Jeanne Paquette on Nov. 10, 2014, at 1:28 p.m.
Maine faces significant economic obstacles posed by the dual challenge of our aging population combined with the economic shift of the past two decades — a shift that has left some members of the workforce without the skills to compete in the new economy. Workforce development addresses both of those …
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at a re-election campaign rally for U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) in Nashua, New Hampshire Nov. 2, 2014.

Clinton should be ready for inevitable attacks

By Albert Hunt, Bloomberg News on Nov. 10, 2014, at 10:45 a.m.
The Democrats’ drubbing in the midterm elections simplified one of Hillary Clinton’s challenges: Now she can strike some distance from President Barack Obama. Everybody else is doing it. The former secretary of state, who is almost certain to run for president, has the luxury of time to elaborate her strategy. …
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