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LePage undermines “checks and balances”

Checks and balances. In school, we are taught constitutions create them to prevent any one branch of government – legislative, executive, judicial – from having too much power and to ensure each has its own distinct role. That’s the theory. In practice, government looks a lot different. Take Maine, for example. The Legislature is supposed […]

Confederate flag: race, rebel and political symbol

Is the Confederate battle flag merely an historical relic or a symbol of racism? Why do people in northern states, who have no racist history, display this flag? The recent killings in Charleston, S.C., which led to the lowering of that flag from a prime spot on the state capitol grounds in Columbia, have renewed […]

Politics, personality dominate Supreme Court decisions

It happens every June. The third of the three branches of government becomes, for a week or two, the most important. That’s when the U.S. Supreme Court issues its decisions on major issues it has considered since last October. This year, the Supreme Court made several such decisions, the most widely known being the validation […]

Secrecy erodes people’s role in government

What do these have in common? The congressional consideration of new trade negotiating authority for the president. The development of the Maine biennial budget. The National Security Agency collection of data on Americans’ communications. Answer: they were all conducted in secret. In the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln spoke of “government of the people, by the people […]

Greek crisis affects U.S. dollar, jobs

“That was Greek to me.” These words, written by Shakespeare in 1599, means something is too hard to understand. Now, it applies to Greece itself. What’s all the fuss about and does it matter to us? The answer to the second question: your job could depend on how the Greek financial crisis is settled. The […]