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  • Published
    July 21, 2010

    A Democratic triumph?

    Mr. Peter Beinart, a professional, habitual and incurable liberal Democrat, admits that his party is going to take a licking in November, but dismisses mid-term elections as unimportant. He points out that “with the stimulus bill and health-care reform now law, and serious financial regulation [now passing the Senate], Democrats are witnessing the greatest run of policy success of my lifetime.” Success? Yes, …

  • Published
    July 14, 2010

    The Thayne Ormsby I knew

    I’ve given shelter to a number of strays over the years, not all feline. Some had pretty exotic personalities. All the same, I was surprised to learn last week that an individual I’d sheltered under my roof had been charged by police with having butchered two men and a 10-year-old boy up in the County. During my campaign for Congress in 2008 I acquired three live-in aides, all of whom qualified as homeless. …

  • Published
    May 12, 2010

    Republican gubernatorial candidates make their pitch

    The seven Republican competitors for nomination offer similar diagnoses of Maine’s problems. All agree that our state’s economic development is being retarded, if not stifled, by an excessive and irrational system of taxation, a chaotic “system” of regulations, a dysfunctional welfare system and pervasive administrative inefficiencies. I feel free to say, without taint of partisan prejudice, that John Baldacci’s…

  • Published
    March 31, 2010

    Care or catastrophe?

    I spent all day yesterday gazing deeply into my crystal ball and am now prepared to prophesy. PelosiCare will result in longer wait times, fewer doctors but more bureaucrats, a huge expansion of the IRS, and an explosive growth of the national debt The great thing about prediction is that it makes debate redundant. Readers may accept me as a true prophet, accuse me of wild exaggeration or denounce me as a …

  • Published
    March 9, 2010

    The mysteries of bipartisan shtick

    “It’s time to put an end to these partisan political games and get back to work.” — Dan Pfeiffer, White House communications director. This statement could just as well have been made by a communications director in a Republican administration. Partisanship, in the narrowest sense, is single-minded commitment to the power and interests of a particular party. Partisans of one party inevitably accuse members of the …

  • Published
    March 4, 2010

    A Hugo prophecy from Orono

    A few years ago I was pottering around in my garden when Red Russ Christensen, Farmington’s leading Bolshevik, toiling up Red Schoolhouse Road with this hiking staff gave me a cordial hello. We chatted a bit about gardening and blackberry bushes, then he proudly informed me that he had just returned from Venezuela to view Hugo Chavez’s “21st Century Socialism” in action. I didn’t make much of this, briefly …

  • Published
    February 24, 2010

    Complexity and nuance vs. ‘lying, self-serving snakes’

    Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.), appearing on Fox 29 in Philadelphia, explains the problem: “Frankly, most Americans I talk to are really concerned with real problems and real issues and understand them and realize they’re a lot more complex than sometimes Sarah [Palin] makes them out to be.” Ted refers here to a foggy collective entity, known only to politicians, called “Most Americans I Talk To” (MAITT). Nobody …

  • Published
    February 3, 2010

    Obama as ‘Bush Lite’

    One of Barack Obama’s very first acts as president was to announce the closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison. The first anniversary of this announcement has come and gone. It remains open. The date of its final termination remains elusive. The State of he Union address made no reference to it. Some began to doubt it ever will be closed. Some other questions have been resolved. A wide range of policies instituted …

  • Published
    January 27, 2010

    Colleges in decline

    In my experience, the public reports and pronouncements of academic conferences, commissions, committees, task forces and workshops never, ever, reflect the undercurrents of skepticism, cynicism, doubt and despair of individual professors. Some may claim that their experience contradicts mine. They are either deluded of lying. Probably lying. If I tell you I was witness to a steady deterioration in the quality …

  • Published
    January 20, 2010

    Across the board and over the cliff

    Here’s the problem: You have just retired. Your social security, pension and savings income is 10 percent below the salary to which you have grown accustomed. Here’s the solution: A 10-percent across-the-board cut in your expenses. Cut your property taxes, car payments, insurance charges and health-care costs along with expenditures on gas, restaurants, DVDs, oatmeal, truffles, filet mignon, champagne, beer, …

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