Marilyn Tavenner testifies before a Senate Finance Committee hearing on her nomination to be administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Capitol Hill in Washington on April 9, 2013.

Great news about Medicare plans, premiums as open enrollment is under way

By Marilyn Tavenner on Nov. 09, 2014, at 10:08 a.m.
Fall is a wonderful time of year — changing leaves, cooler weather. It’s also the season for people with Medicare to review their current Medicare coverage, as Medicare open enrollment begins. As we prepare for Medicare open enrollment, which began Oct. 15 and ends Dec. 7, Medicare wants everyone to …

The two-party duopoly is the problem

By Lauren Besanko on Nov. 09, 2014, at 10 a.m.
I ran against Democratic state Rep. Diane Russell from Portland in Tuesday’s election. I’ve been asked by some voters, “Why run against Diane? She’s progressive and has done a great job!” To that I say, sure, the last thing I’d want to do is deny Russell her accomplishments. Russell is …
President Barack Obama

Seize the day, control the agenda

By Charles Krauthammer, The Washington Post on Nov. 09, 2014, at 9:59 a.m.
Memo to the GOP. You had a great night on Tuesday. But remember: You didn’t win it. The Democrats lost it. This is not to say that you didn’t show discipline in making the election a referendum on six years of Barack Obama. You exercised adult supervision over the choice …

Veterans Day: A salute for Sgt. Potter

on Nov. 09, 2014, at 12:43 a.m.
On Veterans Day, I’m taking a moment to honor Ricky Potter. Many years ago, when we were both in uniform, I was his boss, and he was my teacher. Sergeant Ricky Potter grew up in the South, born into a black family with no privilege. His muscular frame and impeccable …
Nurse Kaci Hickox speaks with the media next to her boyfriend Ted Wilbur (not pictured) outside their home in Fort Kent on Oct. 31.

Thank you, Kaci Hickox, for helping to stop an epidemic at its source

By Drs. Peter Millard and Bruce Brown on Nov. 08, 2014, at 11:48 a.m.
Thank you to Kaci Hickox, whose bravery and selflessness in going to Sierra Leone to fight Ebola helped all of us in Maine, the U.S. and the world. If we are going to defeat this and future epidemics, we need to stop them at their origins. If not for people …
Bangor voters cast their ballots Tuesday morning at the Cross Insurance Center.

Best state: Maine posts highest voter turnout in the nation

By Reid Wilson, The Washington Post on Nov. 07, 2014, at 5:02 p.m.
If the right to vote is the most sacred, a surprising number of Americans don’t bother to use it. Across the country, turnout was dismally low in Tuesday’s midterm elections, when an estimated 36.6 percent of eligible voters made their way to the polls. That’s the lowest turnout in any …
Alex Steed

Why we can’t just wallow in our post-election pity

By Alex Steed on Nov. 07, 2014, at 7:19 a.m.
This week is a difficult one for anyone who identifies as left of very, very far right. Every frustration is entirely reasonable; I felt shell-shocked myself. Now that we have had some time to process, to stew, to vent, it’s time to reacquaint ourselves with our vision, values and goals. …
President Barack Obama answers questions at a news conference in the East Room of the White House on Nov. 5, 2014.

Bent, but not broken: Obama and getting along with a GOP Congress

By John Dickerson, Slate on Nov. 06, 2014, at 4:20 p.m.
President Barack Obama’s coalition may not have turned out for Democrats on Election Day, but at his press conference Wednesday the president was clear he still has a coalition behind him. “I am the guy who is elected by everybody,” he said. That was both an explanation of why he …

We have to say ‘yes’ to more than than pink tulips and ribbons for Maine women

By Ruth Lockhart on Nov. 06, 2014, at 11:02 a.m.
With Breast Cancer Awareness month behind us, it is vital that we continue to remain aware of the importance of early detection of breast cancer to save lives. About one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. This is far too many. As the executive director of …
U.S. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell holds a news conference on the day after he was re-elected to a sixth term to the U.S. Senate at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky, Nov. 5, 2014.

Now comes the hard part

By Dana Milbank, The Washington Post on Nov. 06, 2014, at 9:35 a.m.
During political campaigns, candidates usually tell voters what they would do if elected. But Sen. Mitch McConnell had a different idea. “This is not the time to lay out an agenda,” the Kentucky Republican told reporters four days before Election Day. A week or so before that, the man who …

Democrats Still Refuse To Take Responsibility For Losses

on Nov. 05, 2014, at 6:02 p.m.
Welcome to our second round of “Liberal Whine About Cutler” day, where registered Democrats endlessly cry about Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler. Unsurprisingly, the spoiler card is being waved around in the aftermath of Mike Michaud meeting the same fate as Libby Mitchell. Did Cutler have a chance? In all …

Without change, USM will have little to be thankful for

By Denise Taaffe on Nov. 05, 2014, at 3:40 p.m.
It is disheartening to hear that there are still some who do not believe that USM is in a financial crisis and who continue to misrepresent the university’s financial data — misleading Maine residents. USM’s structural deficit is not a fairy tale created by fevered imaginations, despite what professor Susan …
Heather Denkmire is a writer and artist who lives in Portland.

Ending racism: What white people can do

By Heather Denkmire on Nov. 05, 2014, at 10:35 a.m.
Ending racism depends on rearranging and reorganizing the institutions that perpetuate it around just and fair values. The same goes for just about any sort of oppression. But while real change must happen on the institutional level — government, education, medical — at the same time, we have to start …
Workers offload trash at the Juniper Ridge Landfill in Old Town in January 2013.

Maine needs a trash solution — but not a bigger landfill

By Andy Jones on Nov. 03, 2014, at 1:38 p.m.
The residents of Argyle and Greenbush recently won a major victory for their communities when they stopped a plan to build a new landfill in the Penobscot watershed. The Oct. 9 BDN editorial on the subject rightly identifies the need for a long-term solution. The Environmental Protection Agency keeps track …

Through Common Core, standardized tests, teachers care about kids before all else

By Emilie Throckmorton on Nov. 03, 2014, at 12:57 p.m.
The adoption of the Common Core State Standards, the move to standards-based diplomas and the implementation of the new Smarter Balanced assessment system have gotten a lot of attention and have been the topic of much necessary discussion among teachers and parents of school-age children. I believe there are problems …
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley speaks at a campaign rally for Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Democratic nominee for Maryland governor, at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland Oct. 30, 2014.

College handouts to the rich

By Fred Hiatt, The Washington Post on Nov. 03, 2014, at 11:03 a.m.
If I asked you to help pay college tuition for youngsters from wealthy families in Potomac, Maryland, or McLean, Virginia, my guess is you would not be enthusiastic. But if you are taxed in Maryland or Virginia, you are already helping those kids out, thank you very much. If you …

The new European policy: drowning refugees

By Gwynne Dyer on Nov. 03, 2014, at 8:20 a.m.
The European Union’s decision-making processes lend new depth to the word “incoherent,” and the current British government’s default mode is nastiness, but they have both outdone themselves this time. The subject at hand is the Italian Navy’s “Mare Nostrum” operation, which has rescued 150,000 refugees and migrants from leaky, overloaded …

Our political system shouldn’t be rigged in favor of those who can pay

By Ron Fein on Nov. 02, 2014, at 12:44 p.m.
Maine is struggling with hard economic times, and its elected leaders need to make tough choices about how to build the state’s economy, protect its natural resources and educate its children. Should its politicians take their cues from ordinary Mainers, or from rich out-of-state donors? The Pine Tree State was …
Republican U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

Will the midterms be a case of Stockholm syndrome?

By Wayne Beach on Nov. 02, 2014, at 12:43 p.m.
In light of national polls suggesting that voters might allow Republicans to keep the House and possibly give them the Senate, I can only think of Stockholm syndrome. I refer, of course, to the phenomenon of a captive developing an irrational sympathy for his or her kidnapper. Having made good …

Why CHIP matters for 25,000 of Maine’s kids

By Claire Berkowitz and Janice Pelletier on Nov. 02, 2014, at 12:41 p.m.
Continuing health coverage programs for children in need is a sound investment in Maine’s economic future and in Maine’s people. Since the enactment of the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, in 1997, the rate of uninsured children in Maine has been cut by more than half — from …
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