Columnists

  • Venezuela on the brink

    Venezuela is rapidly becoming the most dramatic political crisis in Latin America since the Cuban revolution. Unlike Cuba, events in Venezuela are being driven by a massive, and totally unnecessary, humanitarian disaster. Venezuela should be the richest country in Latin America, if not the entire Western Hemisphere because it sits on the largest known oil

  • Mills, Democrats stay the course despite big wind from the south

    SCENE: Maine House of Representatives. CLOSE SHOT: Governor Janet Mills at the podium. Aaaand, ACTION. Governor Mills begins her “State of the Budget” address. “In this budget there are no tax increases. There are no gimmicks. There are no negative balances. This budget is pro-growth. It is pro-jobs. It is pro-people.” VOICE FROM OFFSTAGE: “…outrageous…”

  • Mills threads the needle as legislators look to patch together budget plan

    It was a workmanlike beginning to the 129th Legislature. Bills were drafted, printed and assigned to committees. Hearings were scheduled. The House and Senate met now and again, processing mostly routine matters. Athletes, retirees and the city of Auburn were congratulated. A bill to “Exclude Antique Tractors from the Laws Governing Motor Vehicle Racing” was

  • Thai drama

    “And now for something completely different.” — Monty Python Recent news reports from Thailand revealed that a royal princess — a sister of the king — had accepted the nomination of a political party to be its candidate for prime minister in upcoming elections. A few hours later, the candidacy was terminated when the king

  • A failure of leadership

    The world’s two most prominent and venerable democracies, Great Britain and the United States, are both experiencing severe strains in their political fabric and institutions. Two fundamental developments of the last decade or so have profoundly challenged traditional democratic institutions and processes. The first is rooted in the info-tech revolution and the advent of a

  • American policy in disarray

    The strategic incoherence that has been a hallmark of the Trump administration was on vivid display over the last three weeks in Syria and the broader Middle East. In the Truman and Eisenhower administrations, the U.S. put in place a system for orderly, informed decision-making on key national security issues. It was centered on the