Politics & Other Mistakes (77)

On the Governor's Proposed Budget

I like Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s new budget. Really. No, I haven’t lost my mind, although that remains a possible excuse for future columns. And my newfound respect for LePage’s fiscal prowess isn’t the result of bad drugs, because the doctor assured me any side effects wouldn’t alter my political philosophy. I’m as clear-headed as I ever am this early in the morning (noon). I just like this budget. Sure, it contains some items that…

The pleasure and the greed

I’ve got this great idea for a new law. It would be titled “An Act To Give Free Beer To Al Diamon For The Rest Of His Life.” If this bill got approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor, I could walk into any bar in the state and drink as many brewskis as I want on the taxpayers’ tab. Also, the public would be leaving a nice tip, because no matter what…

You Can't Say That

The trouble with the right to free speech is other people’s vocal cords. They insist on flapping them to utter obnoxious noises. Also, other people’s computers, used to produce ridiculous postings. And let’s not forget other people’s fingers, which operate the aforementioned computers, light matches to burn American flags and flip us the bird when we politely suggest they conceal their ignorance by shutting their pie holes. “Why they’ve got to go make these silly…

The "M Word," It's legal, but still controversial

It’s legal. But it’s still controversial. Its health benefits are debatable. But that doesn’t deter its advocates from making outrageous claims. And no matter where you buy it, it’ll be strictly regulated just like alcohol, tobacco and firearms. But for far more dubious reasons. After decades of political upheaval, Maine and the nation are still trying to come to terms with how to regulate a seemingly benign agricultural product with a name that begins with…

Everybody is freaking out about fake news

Stop the freak-out. Everybody should relax. Fake news is a big improvement over real news. Let’s consider some examples. Real: “Maine Democrats announce a new plan to address the state’s economic and social problems.” Fake: “Maine Democrats admit they are a bunch of hopeless wusses, who’ve been trying to conceal the fact they have no clue how to deal with difficult issues.” Oddly enough, what’s technically fake comes uncomfortably close to being the truth. Over…

Questionable fidelity

I may have voted illegally. On election day, I tried to do everything strictly by the book but apparently, I screwed up. I went to my town hall on Nov. 8 and cast my ballot in the usual fashion, after which I helped myself to the delicious coffeecake the town clerk bakes for these occasions. I only had two pieces. OK, maybe three. But my wife didn’t have any, so it almost averages out. Nevertheless,…

Beautiful Losers

Maine Democrats need to find some really lousy candidates for major offices. Otherwise, the Dems could end up helping to elect Republicans like Paul LePage to the U.S. Senate and Bruce Poliquin to the governorship in 2018. Fortunately, the donkey party is loaded with lame contenders. But before I pick through that sludge pile, let me explain why Democrats need to field a slate of hopeless cases in the next election. If Gov. LePage follows…

Take it to the streets

I've never considered vacationing in Lincoln, Neb. For good reason. According to Wikipedia, the major tourist attractions in the capital of the Cornhusker State (Really? That's your nickname — really?) include the Frank H. Woods Telephone Museum, the University of Nebraska's "dairy store" and the fact it's the hometown of Zager and Evans, whose 1969 hit "In The Year 2525" is still listed by the International Court of Justice as a war crime. But I…

25 Years of Fuzz and Fury

“As a young man, I put cleverness above respect for others. As a mature person, I hope that I wouldn’t do that … anyway I wouldn’t do it in writing about baseball. I might do it if I was writing about politics.” - Bill James, baseball analytics guru People often ask me if I regret any of the snarky things I’ve written about politicians in 25 years of churning out this column (as of last week).…

Can't Accept It

Paul LePage, Maine’s Republican governor and vocalizing blockage in our plumbing, has some new problems. In the Nov. 8 election, voters approved several laws LePage opposes, and unless he decamps to Washington for a job in the Trump administration (secretary of racial profiling?), he’s going to have to enforce them. Or maybe not. LePage has never felt any great compulsion to follow the will of the people, as shown in his repeated refusals to issue…
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