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Trickle-down is triumphant
It's gospel under the State House dome — dogma in what could be called the trickle-down religion — that if taxes on the rich and the corporations were reduced, lots of moneyed people would make their residence in Maine instead of places like Florida, contributing massively to tax collections; and lots of businesses would move to Maine or start up here, hiring workers right and left.
Maine's cherished environment may be threatened as never before by the gargantuan forces of economic globalization. In reaction, the state's environmental movement is coalescing into a force stronger than ever. There are new players in the game — including Occupy — augmenting the old guard
Stop believing that Big Money has a big effect on politicians. That's not the problem with Washington. You are the problem.
Humans haven't advanced much beyond the hunter-gatherer tribe around the campfire. That includes legislators.
On Valentine's Day, prisoner Deane Brown, who sounded an alarm that drew international attention to the savagery of solitary confinement and other abuses in the Maine State Prison's "supermax" unit, was returned to the Warren prison after an exile of more than six years.
If John Baldacci runs for governor in 2014, he will encounter trouble on his left.
Although prisoners and their advocates say rough treatment by guards of inmates — amounting to criminal assault — is not uncommon, Maine State Prison guard Captain David Cutler, 54, of Appleton, is apparently the only officer at the prison since 2005 to be charged with assaulting an inmate — and only the second in at least 20 years.
Two Years Later
Several weeks after firing Maine State Prison warden Patricia Barnhart and two years after taking over the Department of Corrections, Commissioner Joseph Ponte appears determined to continue — and ramp up — his forceful program of reform.
Corrections commissioner Joseph Ponte told the Legislature's Criminal Justice Committee on January 16 that, because of state personnel law, he couldn't publicly say — until severance negotiations are finished — why he had fired, six days earlier, Maine State Prison warden Patricia Barnhart. She has said she can't say why, either.
"If they keep grinding the common man into the ground, they'll be nothing left of us," said Bob Guethlen, from the wilds of Tomhegan Township on Moosehead Lake.
Prisoner Deane Brown should be back in Maine within two to three weeks, the Maine Department of Corrections notified his attorney on January 4.
But will the Dems seize the day?
With their sizeable majorities, the Democrats' reconquest of the Maine House and Senate could lead to a rebirth of progressive politics in the state — to reforms in health care, taxes, social services, and other issues.
Maine corrections commissioner Joseph Ponte has notified Deane Brown, the inmate whistleblower who in 2005 was the original source for the Phoenix 's lengthy series on prison abuse, that he will be allowed to return to Maine.
College replies: ‘Nothing more’ to say
Referring mischievously to "Colbygate," legendary Washington Post investigative reporter Bob Woodward told Colby College officials at a November 11 speech at the liberal-arts institution to adopt "transparency" in handling the Bob Diamond scandal. In the 1970s, Woodward and Carl Bernstein broke the Watergate story that brought down President Richard Nixon.
That’s our future — unless we change direction
Jeff Faux's new book, The Servant Economy , doesn't exactly bubble with Hope — that politically abused and worn-out word.
‘What Would Lovejoy Do?’
Protests aimed at ousting disgraced banker Bob Diamond as chairman of Colby College's board of trustees have expanded beyond Occupy Augusta activists to include a sizeable contingent of students at the Waterville liberal-arts college.
As the first anniversary of Occupy approached, many journalists wrote its obituary, and some called it a failure.
In 2011 reform-minded Commissioner Joseph Ponte of the Maine Department of Corrections set up a formal process — apparently, rare in the United States — for prisoners transferred to out-of-state prison systems to apply to come home.
Analysis: Nails in the coffin
This past spring, out of the blue, Republican Governor Paul LePage and the GOP-controlled Maine Legislature funded a $300,000 study by the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) of the feasibility of a corporate-owned, toll superhighway across the middle of the state.
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