• Fanning the flames of partisanship in Augusta

    Oh dear, oh dear, just when it is critical that the Legislature pull together to pass a budget, fault lines are appearing all over the Statehouse. In Ring 1, Governor Paul LePage is holding hostage the voter-approved bonds meant to fund Land for Maine’s Future Projects. The bonds may be ransomed if legislators agree to

  • Saigon in Retrospect

    Forty years ago, Saigon fell to North Vietnamese forces, making it clear that America’s decade-long war in Indochina had been lost. The significance attached to that anniversary varies dramatically by generations. Today’s college students barely know the war even happened, much less anything about it. For their grandparents, however, it was a profound and defining

  • Winter snow: A boon for berries

    What has been described, apparently accurately, as a record-breaking and soul-crushing winter has proven to be a blessing in disguise for the Downeast wild blueberry industry. Blueberry barrens from Ellsworth to Eastport have been buried in snow since mid-November. Turns out that’s a good thing for growers, for whom the more snow the better. The

  • Japan takes center stage

    Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will arrive in Washington next week on an official state visit — including the first address to a joint session of Congress by a Japanese leader in 150 years. President Obama is known for his aversion to such highly formal occasions; there have been very few state visits during his

  • Obesity epidemic threatens newborns

    Want to get pregnant? First, step on a scale. America is experiencing an ongoing obesity epidemic, a public health reality that seriously jeopardizes not only the health of those who are overweight — now two of every three adults — but their offspring. The unfortunate scenario is that more than one-third of American women are

  • “A good deal”

    The words above were used by President Barack Obama to characterize the recent draft nuclear agreement with Iran. He’s right, but the future of the agreement is far from assured. A first thing to appreciate is just how hard it was to get to this point. After more than a year of intense diplomatic effort,

  • The roots of Russian conflict

    In case you missed it, early this week Kremlin authorities produced a large public celebration, replete with fireworks, on the first anniversary of Russia’s takeover of Crimea. It was accompanied by a fawning TV documentary featuring President Putin in which he reveals that he put Russian nuclear forces on highest alert during the takeover to