Politics & Other Mistakes (89)

Triumphs and tragedies

It’s important to have goals in life. Mine are: Sleep late. Drink beer. Repeat. My success in fulfilling these lofty ambitions is somewhat mitigated by the fact that I’m an irresponsible slug. Presumably, the Maine Legislature doesn’t fall in the same category. Surely, our representatives and senators are people of strong character, constantly striving to meet the high standards the public expects of its leaders. Except maybe president. And governor. Unlike some chief executives, legislators…

Dreaming of a Magical LePage

Let’s consider the unimaginable. Let’s pretend Republican Gov. Paul LePage is a rational human being with some semblance of political skill. Also, fairies are real, Tim Tebow is a decent baseball player and the paper industry will be returning to East Millinocket next month with even more high-paying jobs. Alas, none of that is true, particularly with regard to LePage, who regularly torpedoes his own agenda by acting like a petulant child. Ironically, these outbursts…

Fortune-telling Fools

Predicting the future isn’t easy. If it was, all those expert prognosticators wouldn’t have been so wrong about flying cars, food pills, the Chicago Cubs’ chances to repeat as World Series champions and Hillary Clinton’s electability. Not to mention the weekend weather. Even so, it’s not all that difficult to prepare for what promises to be an uncertain tomorrow. Don’t invest in anything with the words cold fusion, “lose weight without dieting” or J.C. Penney…

A Numbers Game

To avoid lawyers, move to Piscataquis County. According to the state Board Of Bar Overseers (BOBO), there are only eight attorneys in that huge chunk of territory, a mere .004 percent of the population. The counties that are next closest to being lawyer-free zones are Oxford and Somerset (both .007 percent) and Franklin (.009 percent — although I share a house with one of them). The counties where you’re most likely to encounter attorneys are,…

Kingdom of gettin’ it wrong

Would Mary Mayhew make a good governor? Hell, no. Republican Mayhew, who recently resigned after six years as commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services so she could announce her gubernatorial ambitions, has an interesting resume. She’s been an active Democrat, directing a 1990 congressional campaign, working for Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton and serving as a congressional aide. She’s also lobbied for the Maine Hospital Association, which strongly supports Medicaid expansion, the…

Gods and Monsters

Politics is such a contentious topic right now, it appears nobody can agree on anything. Let’s turn down the temperature a bit by discussing something less controversial: Religion. Or, more precisely, the lack thereof. The 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees us the freedom to worship any deity we choose. Yahweh. Jesus. Allah. Buddha. The Great Spirit. The sun. A volcano. Mr. Wednesday on “American Gods.” The government is prohibited from meddling in spiritual…

Dope and money

You may find it hard to believe, but the Legislature has a sense of humor. It’s pretty feeble, but any sign of comedic instincts at the State House has to be encouraging. As proof of this tentative tendency toward funniness, I offer the official name of the task force the state House and Senate created to deal with how legal pot will be regulated. It’s called the Joint Select Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation. I…

All the small things

I’d like to think Paul LePage is a rational person. I’d also like to think every shot of booze I drink counts as a helping of vegetables. Sadly, evidence indicates neither of these is true. Nevertheless, LePage, Maine’s carnival freak show of a governor, continues to say stuff that doesn’t make sense. And I continue to drink. Coincidentally, the latest examples of both those activities have intersected at the convenience store counter where they sell…

Let the games begin

The field for the 2018 U.S. Senate race in Maine is set. Independent incumbent, Angus King will take on Republican state Sen. Eric Brakey and a Democrat whose name will be no more memorable after the election than it is right now. GOP Gov. Paul LePage had said on several occasions that he might challenge King, but in early May, his top political adviser announced LePage would take a pass. His official reason was that…

Send in the clowns

Nothing says civility like a heavily armed National Guard unit. If you’re concerned that social conventions in the United States might be breaking down, fear no more. Paul LePage, Maine’s Republican governor and reptilian invasive species, announced during a recent radio interview that he’s considered employing the military to deal with “an internal domestic problem.” I had one of those. But a couple boxes of d-Con took care of it. To be fair to the…
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