Politics & Other Mistakes (85)

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…

No trophies

Traditionally, my first column after an election is devoted to the Gaggie Awards, recognizing entertaining political incompetence. Unfortunately, that won’t happen this year. Or, maybe, ever again. The Gaggies were named for Hayes Gahagan, an independent U.S. Senate candidate in 1978 who held one of the most titillating press conferences in Maine history. Shortly before election day, he announced that unknown, subversive agents had altered his campaign photos by implanting subliminal images of female genitalia…

Your problems will be gone

The campaign is almost over, so it’s time for me – a wise and experienced Maine political observer – to tell you – an obvious doofus – how to vote. You probably don’t believe you need my help in casting your ballot, but clearly you do, because of one or more of the following factors: 1. You have a homemade Donald Trump sign on your front lawn with his name misspelled. 2. You think ranked-choice…

Time to leave

If you think there’s a housing crisis in Portland, your idea of what constitutes a crisis is seriously warped. Compared to a real shortage of accommodations, Portland is a home-hunter’s paradise. For an example of a place where it’s almost impossible to find shelter, try visiting GOPville. Here are some nearly factual excerpts from Craigslist postings offering Republican rentals:“If you don’t believe Obama is a Muslim, you won’t be living here.” “Potential renters will be…

Illusion of progress

I usually don’t enjoy debunking what appears to be good news. So when my wife tells me we’re using less heating oil this year, I see no reason to mention it’s because the furnace is broken.   If she compliments me for only sipping a couple beers during a long Sunday of watching football, there’s no need to speculate that it might have something to do with those shots of bourbon I gulped whenever she…

System failure

Even Paul LePage, Republican governor and cloud of alien flatulence, knows referendums are bad. That’s because LePage keeps a three-ring binder showing 90 percent of Maine’s referendum questions are written by African-Americans and Hispanics from out of state, which explains why they contain words like “popo,” “bae” and “fleek.” That inner-city slang could only have been brought here by drug dealers from Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York.   Or, possibly, poseur white kids.   But…

Pot of gold

“Caregiver” is a lovely word. It conveys all that’s best about humanity, such as our capacity for compassion, selflessness and quality TV programming. On the other hand, “dope dealer” is an ugly term, carrying connotations of greed, corruption and sports-talk radio. Strangely enough, in Maine, caregivers and dope dealers are often the same people. It’s as if “Masterpiece Theater” was suddenly interrupted by audio from “The Herd with Colin Cowherd.” As the state prepares to…
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