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“All politics is local” no longer true

“All politics is local.” Though he didn’t create that saying, the late U.S. House Speaker Tip O’Neill of Massachusetts made it not only popular but a law of politics, at least when it comes to congressional campaigns. In the past, local concerns were practical concerns. Would a member of Congress bring home federal contracts creating […]

Candidates make unrealistic, false jobs promises

“Jobs, jobs, jobs.” That’s what candidates promise in Maine and all over the country. Their experience specially qualifies them, they say, to use their sought-after job in government to create employment for others. It’s mostly a false promise. No single position in government, including the presidency, can with certainty guarantee more jobs. And candidates, who […]

Ads, polls and images decide elections

Political campaigns are now well underway, and television is flooded with political ads. The outcome of this year’s elections will be a judgment on the strongly conservative politics of the Tea Party and its friends, but it looks like there will be no landslide either way, only a shift at the margins. A few elections […]

Good economic news can turn out badly

Are things getting better? That’s difficult to know, because good news often turns out to be bad news. Here’s an example. Personal savings have increased. Recent reports indicate that consumer spending has declined, but savings are up. In other words, people are saving more and spending less. What’s wrong with that? The American economy is […]

Conservatives, liberals propose Senate reform

This year could bring a major change in the U.S. Senate. Some pundits predict the Republicans will gain a majority, giving them control over both houses of Congress. After Labor Day, campaigns have begun to heat up. In Maine, incumbent GOP Sen. Susan Collins, considered one of the few Senate moderates, faces Democrat Shenna Bellows, […]

“Regime change” is a failure

One of the biggest American exports these days is democracy, but it’s a product that isn’t doing very well. Almost as soon as opposition to a dictatorship appears, the U.S. supports “regime change,” supposedly helping rebels to replace the despot with democracy. The list of failures of this effort is depressingly long. It includes Russia, […]