Credit gets you a flat-panel TV, not economic growth

By Noah Smith, Bloomberg News on Sept. 17, 2014, at 11:38 a.m.
It’s pretty obvious how credit drives my personal household consumption. If I borrow, I can get a nice big TV and a new car, but eventually I’ll have to skimp to pay it back. In a way, the consumption-fueled borrowing binge is an illusion of wealth — after all, borrowing …
RED207 (blog)

Another Democrat wants welfare for illegal immigrants

on Sept. 16, 2014, at 5:43 p.m.
The Republican Governors’ Association and the Maine Republican Party have been calling out Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud for his support of providing welfare benefits to illegal immigrants. This has provoked a firestorm of criticism, with liberal groups in a much-covered conference call recorded by Maine Heritage Policy Center’s Steve Robinson complaining that two-time Obama supporters are …
Joe Feinglass is a Research Professor of Medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois.

A long-term payoff for a Medicaid expansion in Maine: Significantly better health

By Joe Feinglass on Sept. 16, 2014, at 1:26 p.m.
Gov. Paul LePage’s vetoes of the Affordable Care Act’s federal subsidies for Medicaid expansion have already cost Maine thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars. Yet partisan critics of Obamacare continue to argue that expanded Medicaid coverage will have no effect on health and may actually harm the …
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice celebrates his touchdown against the Washington Redskins in the second half of their NFL football game in Landover, Maryland in this December 9, 2012 file photo.

Football has proven its moral vacancy. It’s time for fans to start quitting

By Steve Almond, Special To The Washington Post on Sept. 16, 2014, at 11:17 a.m.
After decades of soaring popularity and profits, professional football is at a moral crossroads. For decades, the NFL’s entire business model has been predicated on presenting an athletic spectacle so thrilling that fans were willing to ignore the dark side of the game — its extreme and inherent violence, its …

The geological case for a Katahdin-area national park — and for an Acadia connection

By Richard Jagels on Sept. 16, 2014, at 10:31 a.m.
Acadia National Park, at the confluence of Penobscot Bay and the open Atlantic Ocean, is a wonderful example of the bold, rocky coast of Maine. But, as such, it provides only a limited and skewed glimpse of Maine. What is missing for the visitor to Acadia are the critical waterway …
Faculty parade onto Morse Field at the University of Maine in Orono during the 2000 commencement ceremonies for UM graduates.

Only college graduates need apply

By Catherine Rampell, The Washington Post on Sept. 16, 2014, at 8:46 a.m.
You’ve heard of grade inflation? Welcome to the world of degree inflation. A new report finds that employers are increasingly requiring a bachelor’s degree for positions that didn’t used to require baccalaureate education. A college degree, in other words, is becoming the new high school diploma: the minimum credential required …

Bangor-area landfill plans are sign that towns are preparing for changed trash landscape

By Chip Reeves on Sept. 15, 2014, at 12:36 p.m.
Mainers have a well-earned reputation for being prepared and planning ahead. Maine towns act the same way, and that is exactly what the Municipal Review Committee is doing as we plan a new integrated solid waste management system for our region. The Municipal Review Committee is a nonprofit association of …
Stan Moody

In protecting medical rights over religious freedom, something is upside down in Maine prisons

By Stan Moody on Sept. 15, 2014, at 12:20 p.m.
The 1996 crime for which Nadim Haque was convicted has long since been settled. The 50-year sentence imposed on the University of Southern Maine student will cost the taxpayers of Maine upwards of $3 million, a price far too high for the “bread-and-water” brigade of anonymous bloggers. That Haque is …
The Katahdin Avenue industrial park in Millinocket is a shell of what it was in this picture taken on May 4, 2014.

Tax breaks should go to those who pay all their taxes

on Sept. 15, 2014, at 12:13 p.m.
Maine’s Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement program aims to encourage business development by reimbursing companies for the local property taxes they pay on industrial equipment. Presumably, for business development to occur, the companies that receive this benefit should be operating — and paying their bills. Last month, the Great Northern Paper …
President Barack Obama delivers a live televised address to the nation on his plans for military action against the Islamic State, from the Cross Hall of the White House in Washington Sept. 10, 2014.

Why Obama needs congressional authority to wage war

By Albert R. Hunt, Bloomberg News on Sept. 15, 2014, at 11:28 a.m.
Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia says the question of whether Congress needs to authorize President Barack Obama’s declared war on Islamic State was settled by Thomas Jefferson when that president went after the Barbary pirates more than 200 years ago. Jefferson, a founding father, dispatched ships to the Barbary …
The head office of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is seen in St Andrew Square in Edinburgh, Scotland September 11, 2014. Scotland's two biggest banks have said they would relocate to England if Scots vote for independence next week, adding to the economic uncertainties the country faces if it decides to end its 307-year union with the rest of the UK.

What Scottish independence will mean for Britain

By Gwynne Dyer on Sept. 15, 2014, at 9:21 a.m.
If the Scots vote “yes” to independence on September 18, as one opinion poll now suggests they will, three things are likely to happen in the following week. First, David Cameron may cease to be the leader of the Conservative Party and the prime minister of the United Kingdom. He …
Lee Witting

A pastor asks: From disease to conspiracy, is God to blame for all this?

By Lee Witting on Sept. 14, 2014, at 11:55 a.m.
In my work as pastor and hospital chaplain I’m constantly asked, “How can God allow such suffering in the world?” Faithful Christians die of cancer and heart disease; the military-industrial complex stages war-for-profit escapades in places such as Vietnam and Iraq, and thousands of U.S. service people are maimed or …

It’s common sense: Maine’s seniors need in-home care, and direct care workers need raise

By Helen Hanson on Sept. 14, 2014, at 11:19 a.m.
For nearly a decade, state resources for workers who care for aging seniors have been anemic. Direct care workers are on the frontlines of care for our seniors, but they continue to earn low wages — sometimes only slightly higher than the minimum wage. While the price of food, gas …
Dummies of new Apple iPhone 6 series are displayed with a figure of the late Apple founder, Steve Jobs, at a mall selling smartphones in Hong Kong on Sept. 12, 2014.

China’s delay of iPhone 6 may signal something more

By Adam Minter, Bloomberg News on Sept. 14, 2014, at 11:13 a.m.
It’s been a tough couple of years for Apple in China, the world’s top smartphone market. Cheap but stylish Chinese phones have undercut the U.S. company’s sales and cachet. Meanwhile, the Chinese government repeatedly has targeted Apple, launching a campaign in state media against its warranty repairs in spring 2013, …
President Barack Obama

Obama’s uncertain trumpet, again

By Charles Krauthammer, The Washington Post on Sept. 14, 2014, at 10:17 a.m.
In his Islamic State speech, President Barack Obama said many of the right things. Most importantly, he finally got the mission right: degrade and destroy the enemy. This alone will probably get him a bump in the polls, which have dropped to historic lows. But his strategic problem remains: the …

Is September northern New England’s January?

on Sept. 14, 2014, at 12:07 a.m.
Over the recent Labor Day weekend a friend of mine suggested the holiday should mark northern New England’s New Year. Given the changes in everything from our environs to our personal habits – especially in rural areas and smaller towns – this idea merits serious consideration. Unlike mud season that …
Efraim Zuroff is the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Israel office. The center's mission is to locate and bring to justice Nazi war criminals.

‘At least a measure of justice’: A life spent hunting Nazis — who show no remorse

By Susan Young on Sept. 12, 2014, at 5:33 a.m.
Efraim Zuroff is director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office, where he continues the center namesake’s mission of hunting down Nazis and Nazi collaborators to bring them to justice. He was born in New York in 1948, he earned a B.A. in history at Yeshiva University and an M.A. …

Frankfort will see wind farm’s benefits, but so will the rest of Maine

By Jeremy Payne on Sept. 11, 2014, at 12:08 p.m.
In the coming months, the residents of Frankfort will learn more about an exciting emission-free, clean energy project proposed for their town. Waldo Community Wind LLC, a subsidiary of Eolian Renewable Energy LLC, is pursuing the development of a modest six-turbine wind farm on private land in Frankfort — enough …
RED207 (blog)

A tide of dishonesty engulfs Maine Democrats

on Sept. 11, 2014, at 10:11 a.m.
In recent days, a wave of dishonesty has washed over Maine Democrats, all over the state. It’s affected a number of races, from the top-tier contests to local legislative races, and has even engulfed their auxiliary groups. Though, to be fair, it shouldn’t really be called a wave: that would …
Moderator Chuck Todd and U.S. President Barack Obama appear on "Meet the Press" at the White House in Washington, D.C., on September 6, 2014, in this handout photo courtesy of NBC News.

The myth of Horatio Alger

By Dana Milbank, The Washington Post on Sept. 11, 2014, at 8:25 a.m.
Among many talents exhibited by Chuck Todd in the days since he replaced David Gregory as host of “Meet the Press” is his ability to turn a proper noun into a verb. “I’m not trying to Horatio Alger,” Todd told my Washington Post colleague Ben Terris. “But it’s an advantage …
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