Why clean elections offer a democratic alternative to our dangerous politics

By John Buell on July 29, 2014, at 12:06 p.m.
Recent Supreme Court decisions, such as Citizens United and McCutcheon, make it imperative that we limit the ability of the wealthiest citizens and large corporations to exert disproportionate control over our politics. In fact, Mainers have begun a major push to counter the influence of “dark money” and the substantial …

College cost isn’t the big problem for poor students

By Christopher Flavelle, Bloomberg News on July 29, 2014, at 11:34 a.m.
To judge by this summer’s banner policy proposals, the most important question for higher-education reform right now is giving students easier access to loans. But evidence from Canada suggests those changes won’t address the greater need: Getting more kids from poor families into college, the key to moving up in …
RED207 (blog)

Crafts, Sanderson and other Republicans win reelection

on July 29, 2014, at 10:16 a.m.
You likely didn’t notice, but yesterday Republican Representatives Dale Crafts of Lisbon, Deb Sanderson of Chelsea, Stacy Guerin of Glenburn, Carol McElwee of Caribou, and Beth Turner of Burlington all won reelection, long before November. In addition, newcomers Paul Sterns and Sheldon Hanington clinched their seats in the Legislature without …

Wednesday, July 30, 2014: Baiting bears, Michaud vs. LePage, Carbon fee and dividend

on July 29, 2014, at 9:04 a.m.
Hunting in Maine woods I would like to give my opinion on the bear hunting vote coming up. I have been hunting for over 55 years, and I have seen just two bears in the woods, one of which I managed to get. Maine is one of the most heavily …

Acadia rocks!

on July 28, 2014, at 2:28 p.m.
Rangers say rocks taken from Acadia National Park, while temping, is a federal crime that can result in a fine. Maybe each rock needs a warning tag, like the tag we are familiar with on our bedroom mattress.

LePage’s bottom-of-the-pack economy offers little to brag about

By Justin Alfond on July 28, 2014, at 11:49 a.m.
Mainers everywhere are talking about the economy. Whether at a coffee shop or a party, nearly everyone has something to say about the state of our economy. Whose opinions are right? With new economic numbers coming out all the time, and politicians spinning them in their favor, it’s hard to …
An Israeli soldier smokes a cigarette after crossing back into Israel from Gaza July 28, 2014. Israel eased its assaults in the Gaza Strip and Palestinian rocket fire from the enclave declined sharply on Monday, the military said, with both the U.S. and United Nations calling for a durable ceasefire.

Crimes committed in God’s name: How today’s Zionism resembles yesterday’s Manifest Destiny

By Robert Shetterly on July 28, 2014, at 11:44 a.m.
Isn’t it curious how closely the role of Manifest Destiny in U.S. history resembles that of Zionism in Israel’s? When I was in high school in the 1960s, I was taught the theories of the eminent historian Frederick Jackson Turner who explained the importance of the western frontier in the …
Licensed crabber Richard Young stands beside a half bushel of crabs in Dundlak, Maryland, in this July 2012 file photo.

It’s now or never for blue crabs

By Angus Phillips, special To The Washington Post. on July 28, 2014, at 11:40 a.m.
Two years ago, you could pretty much bank on it: Leave the dock at 5:30 or 6 a.m. and be back by 9 a.m. with a bushel or so of scrappy male crabs. Then it was just a matter of hooking up the cooker, herding the crabs into the steamer …

Tuesday, July 29, 2014: National park, university hires, LePage on climate change

on July 28, 2014, at 11:22 a.m.
Pleasant park surprise A lot of opinions are printed about a proposed national park in northern Maine, many based on personal bias or guesses about how a national park would affect that part of the state. I’ve been living and working in and near Acadia National Park since 1999. Traffic …

Two myths about older adults and addiction — and why Maine should care

on July 28, 2014, at 10:56 a.m.
Substance abuse is a major public health concern in Maine and the United States, affecting more than 23 million people nationwide and 80,091 in the state. Discussions about the substance abuse epidemic have paid little attention to its effects on older adults. As much as 17 percent of older adults …
A protester carries a cross during a demonstration against militants of the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Arbil, north of Baghdad on Thursday.

Middle Eastern Christians: Going, going … gone

By Gwynne Dyer on July 28, 2014, at 7:35 a.m.
Two high-profile incidents took place last week, at opposite ends of the Arab world. In northern Iraq, recently conquered by the zealots of the newly proclaimed “Islamic State”, the Christians in Mosul were given three choices: convert to Islam, pay a special tax (about $750, on this occasion), or be …

We need as many debates as possible ASAP so voters can fulfill their duty

By Michelle A. Small on July 27, 2014, at 12:28 p.m.
“A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it is but a prologue to Farce or Tragedy or perhaps both,” James Madison, the Father of the Constitution and the fourth president of the United States, wrote. He went on to make the point that “a people who …

Monday, July 28, 2014: Supreme Court bias, chemical disclosure, east-west highway opposition

on July 27, 2014, at 12:05 p.m.
Lobby logic The Republican Party has splintered into coalitions including “tea partiers” and “Christian conservatives. Tea partiers do not compromise and have effectively gridlocked government. Christian conservatives have gained considerable party dominance and now impose Christian values on others in Congress and ultimately on all of us. Party moderates have …
D'Addario & Co.'s string-making plant in Farmingdale, NY, churns out more than 700,000 strings a day over three shifts. A worker watches over the largely automated machine.

Workers of the world, curb your ambitions

By Christopher Flavelle, Bloomberg News on July 27, 2014, at 11:09 a.m.
A group of Democrats introduced legislation this week to protect low-paid shift workers from last-minute changes in their schedules. The idea fits into an intriguing category of economic activism: not trying to lift low-paid workers out of poverty, necessarily, but just trying to make their lives a little less miserable. …
President Barack Obama speaks at Los Angeles Trade Technical College on Thursday.

The vacant presidency

By Charles Krauthammer, The Washington Post on July 27, 2014, at 11:05 a.m.
The president’s demeanor is worrying a lot of people. From the immigration crisis on the Mexican border to the Islamic State rising in Mesopotamia, President Barack Obama seems totally detached. When he does interrupt his endless rounds of golf, fundraising and photo ops, it’s for some affectless, mechanical, almost forced …

Gubernatorial race

on July 27, 2014, at 8:39 a.m.
The Maine gubernatorial money race ramps up.

Where have you gone, Mayberry?

on July 27, 2014, at 2:11 a.m.
Sometimes, when you’re flicking channels, you just have to stop and watch for awhile. That’s what happened to me this week while surfing through news reports. From children at the border with Mexico, to corpses being dragged around Gaza, I saw the momentary black-and-white blur of Andy Griffith’s retro coif. It made …
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage’s move to make food stamp recipients work can prove beneficial — if done right

on July 26, 2014, at 10:40 a.m.
There’s no universal set of American values, but an emphasis on hard work and self-sufficiency is commonly embraced in politics and one that comes into play when the public is considering its support for welfare programs that help the poor. The value underlying the existence of those welfare programs is …
An adult black bear and her cub graze in a field in Hancock County on June 3, 2014.

Wording for bear referendum doesn’t tell all

By Gerry Lavigne on July 26, 2014, at 10:02 a.m.
The wording for the bear referendum, which will be Question 1 on the Nov. 4 ballot in Maine, appears simple enough. But voters shouldn’t be fooled into believing a “yes” vote will promise more than it can deliver. Here’s the exact language: “Do you want to ban the use of …

Statoil Rejection an Epic Error for Maine, U.S.

on July 26, 2014, at 7:37 a.m.
Recent news about a $2.5 billion investment in England by Statoil, the giant Norwegian energy company, has reminded people that Maine kicked the company out of the state. But the real meaning of the state’s action has been greatly underrated. The move was an epic error. Statoil is rated by …
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