How to pass bad tax bill: Move fast, lie about impacts, hope for the best

It’s impossible to know what the final tax bill will be when it finally comes to a vote, perhaps later this week in the US Senate. The bill as currently written repeals an important part of the Affordable Care Act, gives large corporations a huge windfall and sticks working families with much of the cost. […]

Thanksgiving tales: Wild dogs, garage fires and smuggled rings

When my wife and I first met, we celebrated Thanksgiving in a nontraditional way. We’d head to a rented house, perhaps in Saranac Lake, New York, or Providence, Rhode Island, and spend the week there with friends and family. It was our vacation for the year, something we saved for and planned well in advance. […]

Lame ducks quack loudest after defeat

I know why the lame duck quacks. The sun is setting on Gov. Paul LePage. He is in the twilight of his administration and he’s making plenty of noise to mark the beginning of that end. When he was elected, there was talk on the right that he would remake the state and remake politics, […]

GOP tax scheme fails the straight face test

The greatest trick that Republicans ever pulled was convincing people that they might pay the estate tax. It’s a lie. Point blank and simple. Very few people pay the estate tax, and the folks who do are extremely wealthy. They are not small business owners and family farmers. According to the Tax Policy Center, in […]

Trump faces head wind on transgender ban

Maine was not the only place buffeted by strong winds this week. In Washington, the Trump administration was blown away by the first indictments and guilty plea from the ongoing Mueller investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, and a federal court issues a strongly worded rebuke to another one of the administration’s half-baked […]

Maine voters call the bet on casino gamble

Question 1 – the casino question – is all about the Benjamins. Never mind the attacks and the dodgy language and the financial shenanigans that have prompted two investigations into the dealings of people and corporations behind the referendum question. And pay no attention to the claims of new jobs, boosts in spending for education […]

Collins shows the power of her brand of politics

Sen. Susan Collins taught a master class last week in how to dominate and control a narrative. With a decision that seems obvious in hindsight – but had much of the country and the entire state guessing in real time – Collins made the decision to stay in the Senate and not run for governor […]

Only one remedy for LePage’s threats to sheriffs — impeachment

Gov. Paul LePage – much like his counterpart in the White House – consistently violates the norms of governance. His disregard for the law and for civil, appropriate behavior are dangerous. The Legislature has reacted by contorting itself into a legalistic pretzel. The governor’s recent threats to depose sheriffs based on his flawed interpretation of […]

Internal memo shows Collins in commanding position in GOP primary for governor

An internal memo for Sen. Susan Collins, that I obtained and confirmed as authentic, shows that Maine’s senior senator remains overwhelmingly popular and holds a commanding lead in any potential gubernatorial match-up. The memo, which was produced by Collins’ pollster Hans Kaiser based on statewide polling conducted Sept. 17-21, shows 70 percent of Maine voters […]

When Trump connects to the sins of the past, we should listen

We are killing young black men. We are killing them on the streets, and we’re killing them with games. When they tell us there’s systematic and persistent racism, that they’re afraid for their sons, we should listen. We’re killing Native Americans. We’re abandoning them to poverty, isolation and early death. When they tell us that […]