“Presidential facts” are a new fact of life

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts.” This bit of wisdom has been attributed to Daniel Moynihan, a college professor turned U.S. senator. But it may now be all wrong. Defending statements made by President-elect Trump, a campaign loyalist said the  American people “understood that sometimes […]

Get rid of Electoral College? Impossible, but…

Abolish the Electoral College? It’s under attack, mainly because Hillary Clinton won the popular vote nationally but, thanks to the electoral vote, lost to President-elect Donald Trump. To many people, it seems unfair to deny the popular will. This is the fifth presidential election out of 58 in which more people voted for the loser […]

More deficits, debt make tax increase a sure thing

Get ready for a tax increase.  It will be a big one. We just don’t know when it will happen. The problem is the federal debt.  The government owes lenders outside of the government itself, the so-called “debt owed to the public,” about $14 trillion.  If President-elect Donald Trump follows through on his proposals and […]

Trump: take him seriously or literally?

Many people, mostly on the losing side of the election, are hopelessly looking for the reasons Trump and the Republicans won.  They want to blame somebody. The reasons why the election turned out as it did were clear well before the voting began.  Weeks ago in this space, I discussed two key elements of the […]

Election campaign is over; don’t believe the polls

The presidential election is over.  All that’s left is the voting. So many voters have made up their minds that no new revelation about Clinton’s emails or Trump’s harassment of women will make any difference. Many, possibly most, voters believe, “I’m not voting for the person, I’m voting for the policy.” That thought may explain […]

Dislike deadlock? Don’t back divided government

This year’s elections could produce a Democratic president and Congress with one house or both controlled by the Republicans. Many voters say that’s just what they want.  They believe that divided government prevents excess and promotes compromise. But they have a good chance of being disappointed – again.  Here’s why. On the night in January […]

Three 2016 state referendums have legal, procedural defects

Things may not be what they seem. Half of the six Maine state referendums have been drafted with legal or operational problems, according to the state Attorney-General, lawyers and past legislative practice. They are likely to produce results differing from their sponsors’ intention. The three at issue are marijuana legalization (Question 1), the special fund […]

This year, we elect the Supreme Court

In picking a president and Congress this year, voters will also be picking a Supreme Court. After the unexpected death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the Court consists of eight justices, four appointed by Democratic presidents and four by Republicans.  President Obama nominated a moderate lower court judge to fill the vacancy, but the GOP Senate […]