Politics & Other Mistakes (73)

Let’s get filthy

To clean up politics, we’ve got to get dirty. Instead of squandering millions of dollars on public financing of campaigns through Maine’s Clean Election Act, it’s time to acknowledge reality. Providing a few thousand bucks from the public coffers to a legislative candidate doesn’t reduce the amount of private funding expended on any particular race. It just diverts money that might have been donated directly to the campaign to political action committees (some run by…

Blue newspaper

Republican Gov. Paul LePage loves to tell audiences that buying a Maine daily newspaper is like paying someone to lie to you. Of course, the same could be said of the factually challenged governor. Matthew Gagnon, the chief executive officer of the conservative Maine Heritage Policy Center, sent out an email recently attacking the state’s largest daily. “It's no surprise that a libral (sic) rag of a publication like the Portland Press Herald reguarly (sic)…

Diminishing returns

As Donald Trump has so colorfully reminded us, size matters. Nobody wants to be perceived as … er … teeny weenie. Given the populist belief that bigger is better, it’s difficult to understand the logic that drives persistent efforts to reduce the size of the Maine Legislature. As pitiful as the current House (151 denizens) and Senate (35 critters) have been, there’s nothing to indicate that a legally mandated shrinkage would improve their performance. The…

It’s not over

It’s time to relax and take a break from politics. The Legislature has adjourned, not to return until December when there’ll be some new faces, but many more old faces, so don’t expect any change. Gov. Paul LePage has announced he’ll no longer make as many public appearances, because “rich college kids” and “idiots” show up to protest the idiotic things he says, while the media ignore his accomplishments and make a big deal out…

Eliminate the unnecessary

There must be something positive to be said about Maine’s county governments, just like other obsolete entities such as vinyl records, dial telephones and polio. Think of all the good times you’ve had dealing with the county bureaucracy, like … well, I guess being thrown in jail can’t really be classified as a good time. Counties do fill a void in the lives of people who believe we have too few layers of government. And…

Fight for the throne

Republican Gov. Paul LePage says he’s “seriously, seriously giving [running against independent U.S. Sen. Angus King] some very serious thought.” When a politician says some variation of “serious” that many times in one sentence, he’s probably suffering from a vocabulary deficit – of the serious sort. But he could also be sort of serious. Which is not the same as being sort of rational. According to a poll taken late last year by Critical Insights,…

Feel the burn

POLITICS & OTHER MISTAKES by Al Diamon (for publication the week beginning 4/18/16) I used to think “biomass” was a prissy name for poop. Now, I know it’s a polite way of saying a poopy business model. Wikipedia defines biomass as “organic matter derived from living, or recently living organisms. Biomass can be used as a source of energy and it most often refers to plants or plant-based materials which are not used for food…

Eat this

Rules suck. Just when you’re on the verge of have a little fun, along comes some authoritarian creep waving a rule book thicker than Paul LePage’s waistline that says you can’t legally purchase liquor for underage endangered species because that might cause them to increase the frequency of their urination into vernal pools, resulting in not only a sharp increase in water pollution, but also higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, leading to…

Tea and Trumpettes

Are you male? White? Angry? I’ve got just the political candidate for you. And his name isn’t Donald Trump. Here’s a little taste from his website: “Right now the white flag is up and the welcome mat for terrorists is out. … America is getting bullied and the world and our country has become a dangerous place. This has got to stop! We need to get smart and we need to get tough. We need…

No cover, no minimum

Some people, mainly old coots, think there’s nothing more entertaining than listening to other old coots complaining about how tough things were in their younger days, and how easy today’s spoiled brats have it. Whatever “it” is. If you think about it (not that “it,” another “it”), there are actually many more pleasant ways to waste time than enduring the caterwauling of coots, including passing a kidney stone, presidential debates and recent Adam Sandler movies.…
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