Imagine a world where all the pennies are buried at Yucca Mountain

By Eddie Adelman on April 16, 2015, at 12:10 p.m.
Do you remember the movie “High Noon,” the western in which Gary Cooper stands tall in the middle of town as he single-handedly takes on the Miller gang? In movies, as in life, there comes a time when a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. Sixty-three years later, …
U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan

The GOP push for a permanent aristocracy

By Dana Milbank, The Washington Post on April 16, 2015, at 8:07 a.m.
Give credit to Republicans in Congress. They’ve discovered, belatedly, that income inequality is a problem, and they’re no longer proposing to give tax breaks to the wealthiest two percent of Americans. Now they are proposing to give tax breaks to the wealthiest two-tenths of 1 percent of Americans. On Tuesday …

Nothing Like Big Tobacco

on April 15, 2015, at 5:01 p.m.
Dire predictions that legal adult use of marijuana will set the stage for “Big Tobacco 2.0” to hoodwink us and poison our children simply do not stand up to the weight of scientific evidence or practical policy considerations. While the economic allure of entering a newly-minted legal industry has tobacco …

How Upward Bound helps low-income, first-generation students succeed

By Patrick Nason on April 15, 2015, at 1:43 p.m.
Maine college students, including me, have benefited from what are called the TRIO programs, which started 50 years ago. These federal programs serve students who come from low-income homes and who are in the first generation of their families to go to college. Certain TRIO programs are designed specifically to …
Carroll Conley, executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine, stands outside the Bangor Baptist Church in December 2012.

There’s only 1 Easter miracle. It’s not family planning group’s fundraising success

By Carroll Conley on April 15, 2015, at 12:14 p.m.
I was recently deadlocked in morning traffic on my way to Orlando International Airport trying to get back to Bangor. I thought I had plenty of time, but it was going to be tight. And to make matters worse, I pulled into the wrong terminal. Things were not looking good, …
Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks during a panel discussion on financial crises at the International Monetary Fund Jacques Polak Annual Research Conference in Washington, in this Nov. 8, 2013 file photo.

How much can we blame the Fed for asset bubbles?

By Megan McArdle, Bloomberg News on April 15, 2015, at 10:14 a.m.
On Monday, Bloomberg View writer Mark Gilbert explored a fretful question: Are we in the midst of yet another asset bubble? Stanley Druckenmiller, who helped George Soros “break the Bank of England” in 1992, thinks we are. In a speech earlier this year, he said he’s got the same bad …

Maine must protect its older residents, not cut their prescription drug coverage

By Lori Parham, AARP on April 14, 2015, at 12:19 p.m.
In a year when Maine is not facing a budget crisis — and with clear bipartisan support for policies that support building an age-friendly Maine — it is troubling that programs that help people stay safely at home are in jeopardy. Maine should lead in taking care of its oldest …
Rufus Percy, 35, and his wife raise pigs and grow grain on a 100-acre farm in Whitefield on Dec. 12, 2014. "If we want to encourage a lot of young people to get into farming, be it small medium or large, we have to figure out how to make it not only attractive but possible," Percy said.

Want to attract young people to Maine? Let’s make a deal

By John Steed on April 14, 2015, at 11:09 a.m.
I moved back to Maine seven months ago with my family to start a business, and I didn’t know the tax rate. I didn’t need to. State income tax rates were not part of the calculation. I wanted to be in Maine. I missed the woods and water and friendly …
Steven Barkan is a professor of sociology at the University of Maine.

At $385 billion, tax fraud amounts to the theft of a nation

By Steven Barkan on April 14, 2015, at 10:38 a.m.
Wednesday is the dreaded Tax Day, the Internal Revenue Service’s filing deadline for 2014 tax returns. Millions of people and businesses around the United States are sending in their returns at the last minute or have done so during the past few months. Nobody likes paying taxes, but they are …
Columbia Journalism School Dean Steve Coll (R) and Dean of Academic Affairs Sheila Coronel appear at a news conference at Columbia University in New York April 6, 2015.

Rolling Stone gathers dirt — on itself

By Kathleen Parker, The Washington Post on April 14, 2015, at 7:33 a.m.
“As we asked ourselves how we could have gotten the story wrong …” Thus read a Rolling Stone editor’s note attached to a post-mortem story on the false story it published last fall about an alleged gang rape by members of University of Virginia’s Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. Such statements …
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (second from right), R-Kentucky, holds a news conference after the weekly party caucus policy luncheons at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, in this March 10, 2015, file photo.

Congress should stop making abortion care a privilege for those who can pay for it

By Abbie Strout on April 13, 2015, at 2:37 p.m.
I was not surprised to see Hyde-like restrictions on funding for abortions added to the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act being debated in the U.S. Senate. Frustrated? Of course. But not surprised. This restriction, which keeps government money authorized through the trafficking victims legislation from funding abortions except in …
Some of the training tools used to teach autistic students as they ride horses at White Bridle Therapy at the old Rocky Top Ranch, in Keller, Texas.

We’ve learned to give people with autism the chance to live life to the fullest

By Bob Carpenter on April 13, 2015, at 12:33 p.m.
The Autism Society of America has designated April as National Autism Awareness Month. Now is a good time to see how government programs have helped people with autism in ways that should make all Americans proud. Autism is a developmental disorder that affects the functions of the brain and typically …

Maine has a disappearing carbon sink for 10,000 cars in the ocean

By Jane Disney on April 13, 2015, at 12:26 p.m.
Along the coast of Maine, from the Piscataqua River to Passamaquoddy Bay, eelgrass populations are declining. What is eelgrass and why should we care? Eelgrass is a flowering marine plant that essentially defines the coast of Maine. It grows in thick beds that provide shelter to commercially important fish and …
A man walks past a subway construction site with a statue of China's late Chairman Mao Zedong inside, in Changsha, Hunan province, April 13, 2015. Since February last year, China has approved at least 1.8 trillion yuan ($290 billion) in new infrastructure projects to counter a slowing economy.

The End of the BRICs

By Gwynne Dyer on April 13, 2015, at 8:48 a.m.
“The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable,” said John Kenneth Galbraith, the wisest American economist of his generation. (“A paltry honor,” he would have murmured.) But you still can’t resist wondering when the Chinese economy will be bigger than the U.S. economy “ or the …
Sen. Amy Volk, R-Scarborough

Lead paint dangers remain for many in Maine

By Amy Volk on April 12, 2015, at 6:36 a.m.
Gasoline stations in Maine sell “unleaded” gasoline, and nearly all vehicles are labeled “unleaded gasoline only.” That has been the case since well before most of us began driving. Lately, I’ve been giving those notices a bit more thought. Gasoline used to contain lead. It was an additive to prevent …
President Barack Obama makes a statement after Iran and and six world powers have agreed on the outlines of an understanding that would open the path to a final phase of nuclear negotiations in the press briefing at the White House April 2, 2015 in Washington, D.C.

The Iran deal: What we’ve given up

By Charles Krauthammer, The Washington Post on April 12, 2015, at 6:32 a.m.
“Negotiations … to prevent an Iranian capability to develop a nuclear arsenal are ending with an agreement that concedes this very capability …” — Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, The Wall Street Journal, April 8 It was but a year and a half ago that President Barack Obama endorsed the …

Minimum wage workers shouldn’t be denied a raise because it’s good GOP politics

By Lawrence Reichard on April 12, 2015, at 6:25 a.m.
In his April 3 BDN column, Jim Fossel writes that negotiations between state Democrats and Republicans over a minimum-wage increase “seemed like a bad joke.” I am happy for Fossel that he apparently does not have to rely on Maine’s grossly outdated and inadequate minimum wage for his sustenance and …
House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick

‘Better Deal for Maine’ grows economy from middle out

By Mark Eves on April 12, 2015, at 6:20 a.m.
Maine is at a crossroads. Our economy lags behind the nation, and our tax system is rigged for those at the very top. Gov. Paul LePage has proposed a budget that will make it worse. Democrats are introducing plan that will help make it better: A Better Deal for Maine. …
Alex Steed

Would you stand up for a mixed-race family?

By Alex Steed on April 10, 2015, at 9:32 a.m.
Why do we need a white newscaster to confirm for us that racism and racial tension are alive and well? I guess that’s what confuses me. After seeing a family get verbally assaulted with the most loaded of racist epithets in downtown Portland, my friend Jackie Ward wrote on Facebook …
A U.S. Department of Agriculture photo advertising the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps.

The double-standard of making the poor prove they’re worthy of government benefits

By Emily Badger, The Washington Post on April 09, 2015, at 10:50 a.m.
Poverty looks pretty great if you’re not living in it. The government gives you free money to spend on steak and lobster, on tattoos and spa days, on — why not? — cruise vacations and psychic visits. Enough serious-minded people seem to think this is what the poor actually buy …
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