Category Archives: Commentary

Ranked-choice failure was avoidable

Well, I hate to say I told you so. But, I told you so. I tried. I tried to warn you all that ranked-choice voting was unconstitutional. Said I, in late October of last year, “The language [in the Maine Constitution], however, is not about defining the upper limit of vote totals necessary to win. […]

Times columnist goes off the deep end with Trump

When it comes to President Donald Trump, the only thing you can really count on is that people are going to completely lose their mind and any sense of rationality when they talk about him. Opponents have been screeching “Impeachment!” any time the president fails to properly make use of the Oxford comma, or is […]

A false sense of internet privacy

What is privacy on the internet? Well, a smart person would probably tell you that it doesn’t exist, and you should probably assume as much as you spend time online. But according to the spin from the Obama-era Federal Communication Commission, privacy on the internet does exist, thanks to them. That’s what they say they did […]

Is partisanship really the problem?

Moderate is a word that is thrown around a lot, usually by self-interested politicians who want to appear rational, reasonable, and independently minded. Usually, you are defined as a moderate if you step outside your political party’s orthodoxy with relative frequency, and assert some opinions that are closer to those on “the other side” than […]

More money for Maine schools won’t fix a broken system

Since the passage of Question 2 on last November’s ballot, the debate over it has centered around the question of taxes. Does Maine want to have, depending on how you count it, the highest or second highest income tax rate in the country? Is that what Maine people voted for, or were they just trying […]

There are no good solutions to the Syrian civil war

The question about whether or not to engage in military action abroad is very often a highly philosophical one. Statecraft and foreign policy is not a terribly good place for ideologues to sit. It doesn’t have neat and clean answers that are verifiably right or wrong very often. Intervention is often a tragic mistake. Non-intervention […]

Angus King’s phony independence

Stop trying to fool us, Angus. I’ll admit, you are a talented salesman. You have built a carefully crafted image over the years, and have created a very successful personal brand. You have used that mythos to make quite a career for yourself. But what you have built is a phony house of cards, and it is […]

We don’t need certificate of need

Have you ever heard of certificate of need? Neither had I, until a few years ago when I began to learn more about the health policy environment in Maine, and just how backward it has been. Put simply, certificate of need is a regulation that requires healthcare entities to obtain government approval before making large […]

Lawmakers hear just how bad Question 2 really is

Monday, I had the pleasure — and I say that with a fairly substantial amount of sarcasm — of being at the public hearing that was being held on five bills that seek, in a variety of ways, to deal with the 3 percent tax surcharge passed by referendum this fall. The Joint Committee on […]