Articles by Matthew Gagnon

 
PINE TREE POLITICS (blog)

The most important speech is irrelevant — and so long until November

on Jan. 30, 2014, at 4:52 p.m.
President Obama started off his fifth State of the Union speech on the right foot, when he said: “Eight million new jobs our businesses have created over the past four years.” Typically the president and members of his party go to great lengths to claim that it is the genius of government, …
PINE TREE POLITICS (blog)

Erick Bennett’s police report reprinted by Mother Jones

on Jan. 24, 2014, at 10:48 a.m.
Ten days ago, Erick Bennett (a primer for the uninitiated) was pretty excited to be talking to Mother Jones Magazine: Today, he is likely not quite as happy. I’ll just drop the mic and let Erika Eichelberger of Mother Jones take this one: In early 2004, Erick, his then-wife Angela, …
PINE TREE POLITICS (blog)

Is Hillary Clinton really inevitable?

on Jan. 23, 2014, at 4:36 p.m.
I have an admission to make, which may sound a bit strange given my partisan leanings. I don’t really mind Hillary Clinton all that much. Obviously I don’t support her political agenda, and I find most of what she stands for to be drastically out of step with what I …
PINE TREE POLITICS (blog)

The dependency agenda behind Medicaid expansion

on Jan. 16, 2014, at 5:26 p.m.
Quick, try some heroin for three months, then make a decision about whether you want to keep using it. OK, don’t go do that, but the logic that would inherently justify such a stupid experiment is exactly what is behind the proposal by House Speaker Mark Eves to “try out” …
PINE TREE POLITICS (blog)

How much fraud is too much?

on Jan. 09, 2014, at 5:39 p.m.
Even those on the left can’t deny that there is rampant fraud in welfare. The only real point of debate between left and right on the issue is the question of “how much fraud is acceptable?” Conservatives get irritable with any fraud, that much is certain. Viewing taxpayer dollars as …
PINE TREE POLITICS (blog)

Be it resolved

on Jan. 02, 2014, at 4:13 p.m.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Never have. Hate them. New Year’s resolutions are responsible for the hordes of delusional new gym rats who invade every facility with a treadmill for two weeks (before quitting) and make it impossible for regulars to even work out. Resolutions are responsible for eating …
PINE TREE POLITICS (blog)

14 bold predictions for Maine politics in 2014

on Dec. 26, 2013, at 7:32 a.m.
Every year, in my column immediately following Christmas, I have made a habit of making bold predictions for the forthcoming year. Some predictions are bolder than others, of course.  A few are just for laughs, a few are sarcastic, but I always try to make them fun. Last year, I …
PINE TREE POLITICS (blog)

The enemy of my enemy: Just ignore Erick Bennett

on Dec. 19, 2013, at 4:22 p.m.
They’re called “Bennett stories,” and pretty much everyone in conservative circles in Maine has one. Seriously, go ask a few people. Mine is my first real encounter with Erick Bennett, years ago, when I made the mistake of accepting his friend request on Facebook, having noticed a large number of …
PINE TREE POLITICS (blog)

It’s approach, not doctrine: What Pope Francis teaches us about politics

on Dec. 12, 2013, at 5:43 p.m.
This week, Time Magazine announced that Pope Francis was its choice for “Person of the Year.” It has been quite a year for the new pope, who took over for Benedict XVI in March, following the former pontiff’s abdication. In only nine short months, he has managed to transform the …
PINE TREE POLITICS (blog)

Justin Alfond and the hypocrisy of wealth

on Dec. 05, 2013, at 5:22 p.m.
The wealth of out-of-touch moneybags Mitt Romney was a major theme in 2012 for Democrats everywhere. Contrasted with Barack Obama, who grew up in supposed (but not really) poverty and a broken home, the message was clear. Having money, particularly if you were born in wealth, means you have no …
PINE TREE POLITICS (blog)

After car crash, a life to be thankful for

on Nov. 28, 2013, at 7:16 a.m.
Thanksgiving is far and away my favorite holiday. For all the cliched reasons, of course. I love seeing family, the sounds and smells of the season, and of course the socially acceptable gluttony. But forced, scheduled and planned as it is, spending time to think about all the things that …
PINE TREE POLITICS (blog)

Going nuclear: Why we need obstruction in the Senate

on Nov. 21, 2013, at 4:01 p.m.
Thursday afternoon, Senate Democrats, led by Majority Leader Harry Reid, finally made use of the so-called “nuclear option” and eliminated the filibuster on judicial nominees. Majoritarians everywhere rejoice! This is a pretty easy public relations gambit by Reid and his ilk. After all, the thing that frustrates the American people …
PINE TREE POLITICS (blog)

Amy Volk is fighting for victims

on Nov. 14, 2013, at 4:37 p.m.
Rep. Amy Volk, R-Scarborough, is, in my mind, exactly what a state legislator should be. I first became aware of Volk during the 2010 campaign cycle when she won her first election to the Maine House — because I saw her running. Literally running on a leg of Dean Scontras’ …
PINE TREE POLITICS (blog)

Poll Spinning 101

on Nov. 12, 2013, at 4:47 p.m.
So there’s a new poll out today, have you heard? Mike Michaud:  38% Paul LePage:  36% Eliot Cutler:  15% Of course you have.  The poll, conducted by Democratic polling outfit Public Policy Polling, was out for about twenty five seconds before the left-wing echo chamber sprung into action to spin …
PINE TREE POLITICS (blog)

Coalitions win elections — and not based on ideology

on Nov. 07, 2013, at 4:58 p.m.
It is a common myth that the United States has two parties. Oh sure, technically speaking there are only two major, organized parties that matter in the United States. Due respect to the other parties out there, until and unless they start actually electing people to office and making decisions, …
PINE TREE POLITICS (blog)

A rose by any other name

on Oct. 31, 2013, at 3:46 p.m.
There was a time when people on the political left called themselves “liberals.” At some point in the late 20th century — particularly after the Reagan Revolution of the 1980s — it became clear to people that the word “liberal” had become a dirty word. Describing someone as such would …
PINE TREE POLITICS (blog)

Victimology is politics’ new language

on Oct. 24, 2013, at 4:13 p.m.
Tyler Melling is a minor league pitching prospect for the St. Louis Cardinals. Melling, 25, is a left hander (which means he’ll never be out of a job in baseball) who pitched for the Cardinals’ Class A team this year. Melling is also, apparently, an investigative journalist of sorts. Following …
PINE TREE POLITICS (blog)

Republicans don’t need this civil war

on Oct. 17, 2013, at 5:29 p.m.
At various points in my life, I have been called so conservative that I was a fascist, and I’ve been called a moderate establishment Republican in Name Only (RINO). I have been a radical libertarian anarchist, and I have been a gutless champion of liberal appeasement. I’ve been called a …
PINE TREE POLITICS (blog)

Do as I say, not as I do

on Oct. 10, 2013, at 3:20 p.m.
Hypocrisy, thy name is the American left. A government shutdown, according to the Democrats, is an amoral assault on American values. It is something that should never be done, under any circumstances, as it threatens to wipe out the American economy, destroy the lives of ordinary Americans and possibly invite …
PINE TREE POLITICS (blog)
Matthew Gagnon

Democrats, the party of ‘no’

on Oct. 03, 2013, at 4:12 p.m.
There seems to be something about elected Democrats, perhaps something genetic and deep-seated, that gives them an aversion to negotiating. They much prefer to walk away and say no. In Washington, this refusal to negotiate has led to a government shutdown. The talking heads have been in love with the …
 
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