Politics & Other Mistakes (96)

Where do you stand? — The problem facing Maine Democrats

What if Maine Democrats had a plan? Or even a clue? With a realistic platform that appealed to ordinary voters, the donkey party would have an excellent chance in next year’s elections of … uh … losing control of the Legislature. And the race for governor. And U.S. Senate. And the 2nd Congressional District. The reason is simple: The Democratic Party in Maine doesn’t dare stand for anything practical. A pragmatic electorate recognizes that deficiency…

Let 'Em Talk

I’ve been told I’m a racist, neo-Nazi scumbag. Considering the source, I’m cool with that. I didn’t vote for Donald Trump. I think the Confederate flag is a symbol of treason and bigotry. If I found a statue of Robert E. Lee lurking in my front yard, I’d promptly take a sledgehammer to it. But in today’s hyper-tense political atmosphere, that’s not sufficient. To be deemed acceptable by the liberal guardians of social interaction, it’s…

Incompetence Will Follow

Ethan Strimling is dead meat. That’s what political insiders are saying about Portland’s mayor in the wake of his public feuding with the city manager and the city council. They claim that if Strimling is harboring ambitions of achieving higher office — and there’s not the slightest doubt he is — his intemperate blundering through disputes over his staff, his salary and, most of all, his power has rendered such an objective unattainable. A prominent…

If you don’t start drinkin’, I’m gonna leave

The other day, I did something I wouldn’t normally do. I bought a bottle of booze in Maine. Please don’t think less of me. I had no choice. I usually purchase my liquor in New Hampshire, where it’s almost always cheaper. My order arrives here via an underground railroad operated by a nefarious associate, who gets paid off in cocktails. Such transactions are illegal, immoral and bad for my liver, but I don’t care. The…

Life’ll kill ya

I have an excellent health-care plan. As long as I don’t get sick. Like most Mainers, I find medical appointments to be an expensive luxury I can afford only if I don’t make them. To that end, I do my best to avoid my doctor, because interactions with the health-care community produce all sorts of unpleasant consequences: diets, exercise regimens, prescription medications with weird side effects, suggestions that I zip my lip and listen to…

LePage Won't Do It

Paul LePage is jerking you around.   I know, that’s not news. Maine’s Republican governor and vitriol-spewing mutant zucchini spends an inordinate amount of time jerking people around. Just because it’s your turn shouldn’t make you feel special.   Actually, LePage isn’t even singling you out for this particular jerking. You’re just collateral damage. The real jerks in this case are independent U.S. Sen. Angus King and GOP state Sen. Eric Brakey, his party’s only…

A Dirty Rotten Past?

Let’s say you wanted to liven up your next party by featuring a Donald Trump impersonator. Your budget doesn’t allow for hiring the likes of Alec Baldwin. Johnny Depp would drink all your booze and punch out your guests. Donald Jr. might do, but he probably has a scheduling conflict due to an appointment with some Russians.   Despair not. There’s a locally grown alternative who works cheap and can nail the Trump agenda.  …

Triumphs and tragedies

It’s important to have goals in life. Mine are: Sleep late. Drink beer. Repeat. My success in fulfilling these lofty ambitions is somewhat mitigated by the fact that I’m an irresponsible slug. Presumably, the Maine Legislature doesn’t fall in the same category. Surely, our representatives and senators are people of strong character, constantly striving to meet the high standards the public expects of its leaders. Except maybe president. And governor. Unlike some chief executives, legislators…

Dreaming of a Magical LePage

Let’s consider the unimaginable. Let’s pretend Republican Gov. Paul LePage is a rational human being with some semblance of political skill. Also, fairies are real, Tim Tebow is a decent baseball player and the paper industry will be returning to East Millinocket next month with even more high-paying jobs. Alas, none of that is true, particularly with regard to LePage, who regularly torpedoes his own agenda by acting like a petulant child. Ironically, these outbursts…

Fortune-telling Fools

Predicting the future isn’t easy. If it was, all those expert prognosticators wouldn’t have been so wrong about flying cars, food pills, the Chicago Cubs’ chances to repeat as World Series champions and Hillary Clinton’s electability. Not to mention the weekend weather. Even so, it’s not all that difficult to prepare for what promises to be an uncertain tomorrow. Don’t invest in anything with the words cold fusion, “lose weight without dieting” or J.C. Penney…
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