Category Archives: Policy

Sometimes, the best arguments end in agreement

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Ethan: If you can believe it, this officially marks our second anniversary writing this column. Sadly, it also marks our last at the Bangor Daily News as we embark upon another stage of our commentary. Phil: We’ve done more than 350 columns, posts and video blogs. It’s been a tremendous two years that I am […]

The ‘train-wreck’ that signed up 9.5 million

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Ethan: Now that Obamacare exceeded its goal of 7 million signups by April 1, are you ready to concede a small modicum of success to this program and stop calling it a “train wreck”? Phil: Forcing people to buy a product and having it declared constitutional because it was interpreted as a tax, something the […]

Do Hampden Councilors have a right to sit out the Pledge of Allegiance?

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Political Analysts Ethan Strimling and Phil Harriman discuss the controversy in Hampden surrounding a youtube video depicting two Hampden Town Councilors/Veterans refusing to stand up for the pledge of allegiance during Council Meetings. Do they have the right? How will it play out politically? Phil & Ethan also discuss a bill before the legislature that would […]

Is it time to repeal term limits?

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Phil Harriman and Ethan Strimling spoke with Pat Callaghan about a number of issues ranging from whether Collins and King should vote to declassify the “enhanced interrogation” report, arming forest rangers, capping the charitable donations deduction on income taxes, and whether term limits should be repealed, as Governor LePage declared this week. Plus, which party gained […]

LePage says he wants more welfare?

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Phil: Google. Amazon. Nike. Ethan: Let me guess. You are checking investments for your clients? Phil: Teslar. General Electric. IBM. Ethan: You are trying to memorize the 30 stocks of the Dow? Phil: Southwest Airlines. Boeing. Lockheed Martin. Ethan: You want to buy an airplane for your wife? Phil: Costco. Cisco. Campbell Soup. Caterpillar. Ethan: […]

Creating a virtual education monopoly is a step in the wrong direction

The debate over approving and implementing charter schools in Maine, especially digital learning options for Maine students, continues to heat up. As I write, legislation is moving forward in Augusta that threatens to undercut the lengthy, thoughtful and rigorous Charter School Commission school approval process and instead send Maine parents and students back to the […]

Can someone please explain how Democrats think?

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Phil: Can you explain to me how Democrats think? Ethan: I’ve been waiting for you to ask that question for five years! It all started with Thomas Jefferson and the Democratic-Republican Party which ultimately became the Democratic Party… Phil: Let me be more clear and move you to a bit more modern times. Didn’t President […]

Could we get the truth about what Medicaid expansion costs, please?

Phil Harriman (BDN photo by Gabor Degre)

Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves has launched the latest missile in the never-ending back-and-forth over whether Maine should expand Medicaid. His office announced Monday that Democrats will propose a bill that calls for the cancellation of the state’s contract with the Alexander Group. That’s the consulting firm the LePage administration retained to assist Maine in […]