Post-partisanship is dead already. A broad coalition of liberal and progressive groups is slamming Republicans in the US House of Representatives for failing to support the economic recovery package proposed by President Obama. (The plan itself is already under fire for a lot of problems, such as failing to protect reproductive health for the poor, its $1-trillion-plus actual cost, and pork
Making good on her campaign promises to address energy and environmental issues in the US House of Representatives, freshman legislator Chellie Pingree announced yesterday that she is a founding member of the brand new Sustainable Energy and Environment Caucus in the House. Currently, the caucus comprises 38 members; it's major achievement thus far is sending a letter to House Leadership calling for more than $140 billion in renewable energy investments.
I love shit like this. It gives me an excuse to be more angsty than usual. The Phoenix is pairing up with New York-based Smith Magazine to solicit six-word summaries of romantic life, the best of which will be published in a book. (This will be the second such installment; Smith Mag's Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak (Harper Perennial) came out in January.
Before the inauguration, Deirdre Fulton told you about the plans of Jamilla El-Shafei, the "Chief of Peace" of the Kennebunks Peace Department, and other activists from around the nation to throw shoes at an effigy of George W. Bush. Reason magazine made it to the event, and posted this video:
Some disgruntled MECA students, alumni, and former faculty have created a blog, the uncreatively named MECA MFA Letters, to voice their displeasure with recent administrative decisions. Specifically, the letters address recent or pending terminations of professors Iain Kerr (this is his MECA page, which is still up) and Leon Johnson
The New York Times reported yesterday that former US senator George Mitchell may be Barack Obama's special envoy to the Middle East. Could this be one reason Mitchell's company bowed out of the Maine State Pier project? Hard to say, but Mitchell has experience dealing with entrenched political opponents (see Northern Ireland) as well as uncovering unpleasant truths (see baseball).
The much-bruited Port City Music Hall, whose initial opening date was New Year's Eve, but then January 17, delayed its opening again. Theoretically, the venue will have its liquor license from the state in time to open this Saturday, since it wasn't ready in time for last. We can promise to be much more psyched about the place once they actually let people in.
The headline in New York Times, reporting the death of Andrew Wyeth at the age of 91, said he was both ‘revered and ridiculed.' That's a fitting phrase to use, not because it's true, but because it was clearly the way Wyeth wanted it.
Freshman Congresswoman Chellie Pingree is stepping into some pretty big shoes. First, she has been assigned a seat on the House Armed Services Committee, a committee often including a Maine US representative (though her predecessor Tom Allen gave up his seat there for one on the Energy and Commerce Committee). It's considered an important seat because its members can use their influence to benefit Bath Iron Works (owned by General Dynamics), the Kittery Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Saco's General Dynamics plant, and other defense contractors around the state.
It will be no surprise that the Democrats and Republicans in the Maine Legislature can agree on one thing, and one thing only - that any problems they are facing can be fixed in Washington, if only DC politicians would get over their partisan bickering. At least that's the thrust of an e-mail press release from "Divided We Fail," an AARP-backed effort to push Congress to deal with health care and the economy.
So, last week, the city council voted to re-open negotiations with Ocean Properties, the would-be Maine State Pier developer that lost to Olympia Cos. in the first round of bidding.
In an effort to make this go-around slightly less of a clusterfuck, public participation is being ardently solicited; save the dates for a January 29th overview presentation (6:30-8 pm at Ocean Gateway), followed by a January 31 public forum (9:30am-1:30pm, also at Ocean Gateway) to talk about: location and use of buildings, public views and access, design, and transportation/parking considerations.
Seattle may soon have just one daily paper - the Blethen-owned Seattle Times - with today's announcement that the Post-Intelligencer (owned by Hearst) is for sale. Not sure what that might do to the Blethens' finances - they have battled to terminate the joint operating agreement under which they and the P-I share some resources, and claimed that it was dragging them under.
Thanks to Mike Tipping over at Maine Politics for posting some audio of the gov's press conference about the budget (click to listen), and for name-checking Portland Phoenix contributing writer Lance Tapley for asking interesting questions. (Some of the questions were along the lines of "Hey Guv: Stop Slashing!" from the January 2 issue.
The Take Back Barack effort (started by the Portland Phoenix's managing editor Jeff Inglis and staff writer Deirdre Fulton with this article) is on TV throughout January around the nation, thanks to Liberty News TV. (It's a non-profit progressive outfit based here in Portland, and they accept donations!)
Here's the clip - click here for a map to see where you can watch the whole show on your TV!
Bull Moose Music has released its 2008 top-ten lists of products sold. Of some interest are these facts: (UPDATED)
--Metallica's Death Magnetic outsold anything else,
--Ray LaMontagne is no longer considered a local artist (by Bull Moose - we're still proud of him and claim him as our own! - by which definition he outsold every local artist all local artists except Dead Season, with a h/t to Sam for the eagle eye).