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  • Published
    January 5, 2017

    Democracy is dead! Long live democracy!

    “I’m sorry I ever invented the Electoral College.” — Al Gore I have written about the Electoral College before, but some new aspects of it have come to my attention, aspects that make the case against it even stronger, and the issue has become even more pressing with Hillary Clinton’s ever-expanding popular vote margin over Donald Trump, which now stands at 2.86 million. So I think it deserves another look. First …

  • Published
    December 9, 2016

    Escape from Trumplandia

    On Nov. 22 I flew from San Francisco to John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, and then on to Mexico City. I was proud to be in John Wayne Airport — he was a great American who made great movies about killing Indians and other very bad people, and he supported the Vietnam War. With company like John Wayne, I hope they never name an airport after me. Going through Mexican immigration and customs reminded …

  • Published
    November 25, 2016

    Rigged, rigged, rigged

    As many a protest sign has said since Election Day, he’s not my president. He’s no one’s president. As of this writing, Trump is losing the popular vote by about 2 million votes. You might have missed that in the mainstream media, which is too busy reporting about the surprising, even shocking, nature of the Trump victory — which was not a victory. The Electoral College is extremely undemocratic and should be …

  • Published
    November 16, 2016

    Down in the South Texas town of Laredo

    All the pre-election talk of undocumented migrants pouring over the border to vote for Hillary Clinton reminded me of a fun little adventure I once had, and now that the grueling 10-month election marathon is over, it’s time to have a little light fun, so here goes. It was the early 1980s and I was working as a paralegal in a law office in the border town of Harlingen, Texas, whose 15 minutes of fame came when …

  • Published
    October 26, 2016

    Rigged elections: Chronicle of a Banana Republic

    There’s been a lot of talk lately about rigged elections. Donald Trump says the presidential election is and will be rigged. Gov. LePage agrees. But across and throughout this great republic, from sea to shining sea, vast armies of politicians, pundits and elections officials are lining up to defend the integrity of the besieged U.S. ballot box. The PBS NewsHour recently paraded out two very nice, perky, talking …

  • Published
    October 22, 2016

    Tax Haven Thibodeau: Bought and paid for?

    “Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption will follow.” — Abraham Lincoln At a candidate forum in Belfast, state Sen. Mike Thibodeau said he had voted against a bill to go after Maine tax revenues stashed in tax havens because Maine Revenue Services said “this was nearly impossible for the state to collect.” Well, not exactly. MRS spokesperson David Heidrich told me MRS may have said implementatio…

  • Published
    September 30, 2016

    Thuggish behavior

    Two years ago Mike Thibodeau was, as he is now, in a tight race against Jonathon Fulford for re-election to the state Senate. I decided to write a column on the race. I spoke with Fulford, no problem. But when I spoke with Thibodeau, things started to go badly. In the middle of our conversation at his then new snow shovel factory in Winterport, Thibodeau said the tenor of my questions suggested to him that he …

  • Published
    September 16, 2016

    Let 'em eat cake

    According to Mike Tipping, communications director for the Maine People’s Alliance, the National Restaurant Association is helping to fund the campaign against Question 4, a November ballot referendum to increase Maine’s minimum wage. Meanwhile, according to the restaurant association’s own IRS 990 tax reports, NRA Chief Executive Officer Dawn Sweeney made $2.895 million in 2014, the last year for which records …

  • Published
    September 2, 2016

    'Hoover's dead! Hoover's dead!'

    August 26, 2016: My father would have turned 93 today. He died in 2013. In his last year I asked him to describe his politics. “I am a socialist,” he said. “I believe in state ownership of the means of production.” That is the definition of socialism, and it’s a definition that would make Bernie Sanders flee in horror. My father paid for political beliefs, but he never disavowed them. He was a college professor, …

  • Published
    August 19, 2016

    Greatest show on earth

    “Politics is the entertainment wing of the military-industrial complex.” — Frank Zappa “They steal our money, and wage war all over the world; the least they can do is provide a little entertainment.” — Richard Reichard Please pardon me if I have used one or both of these quotes in previous columns, but they nonetheless bear repeating in light of recent events. The latter quote was courtesy of my father, who …

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