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America “exceptional,” but needs new focus

Recently, a French television program, featuring political humor, called on its viewers to inundate Fox News with emails about its obviously false reports, made since 2006, that there were “no-go zones” in Britain and France, where Muslims controlled. Thousand of emails flooded Fox, and the station apologized, admitting that such zones do not exist. Meanwhile, […]

Tax reform in doubt if it’s linked to tax cuts

Tax reform is in the air. Republicans now have the opportunity, through their legislative control and governors’ chairs, to propose alternatives to a tax system created in 1986 and patched and amended ever since. In Washington, the talk about comprehensive tax reform is just that – talk – but some changes are possible. Most of […]

GOP can dominate American politics

This should be the best of years for the Republican Party. It holds its largest majority since 1928 in the U.S. House of Representatives. It controls the governor’s chair and both houses of the state legislature (there only one in Nebraska) in 24 states. If you add up the popular vote for House members across […]

Race still influences elections

Is race a factor in American politics? That has been a tough question to answer, because in recent decades, people have become unlikely to express openly their views on race. Academic analysis has found that people have a “tendency to withhold socially unacceptable attitudes.” And, with the election of African-American Barack Obama as president, some […]

Now we have four political parties

Voters said in November they wanted bipartisan cooperation in Congress next year. They got their wish early as this year’s Congress move toward its end. They may have also helped create a Congress next year composed of four political parties not only the deadlocked Republicans and Democrats. Both of the major parties have split in […]

Prosecutor’s power: Ferguson, NYC, Obama

Recent events have taught many of us a key fact about the criminal justice system that we may not have understood. The most important element of the system is not the police, the judge or the jury. It is the prosecutor. The prosecutor decides on sending cases to trial, the crime charged, the potential punishment, […]

Gov. LePage has chance now to build his legacy

Gov. Paul LePage now has the opportunity to shape Maine utility regulation. During any single term of the Maine governor, opportunities arise to make two of the three appointments to the Public Utilities Commission. Now, LePage can have three commissioners of his own choice. What’s unusual is that LePage can make two appointments at once, […]

Why Obamacare became a political failure

President Obama’s greatest achievement and perhaps his greatest failure is the same piece of legislation – Obamacare or, more officially, the Affordable Care Act. The intent of the ACA was ambitious: to provide health care insurance for most of the 40 million Americans who had no coverage at all. Without health insurance, these people were […]

Voters want action, but Senate stalls

The Keystone XL pipeline was defeated in the U.S. Senate, because only 59 of the 100 senators voted for the project. That same day, a bill to reduce N.S.A. surveillance of Americans also failed to pass, because a vote to end debate on the bill only received 58 votes. Wait a minute. Where in the […]