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CSotD: Private reflections on public issues

Beginning right this moment with a meme as an alternative of a cartoon, however one wherein I quote myself from a CSotD of a couple of yr in the past which appears notably apt right this moment.


My response to Greg Kearney‘s cartoon is private, however that illuminates the purpose about journalism and pals.

Once I was editor of a small paper in western Maine, I referred to Susan Collins because the senator from “Moose Maine,” versus Olympia Snowe, the senator from “Lobster Maine.” Snowe stayed totally on the seacoast, and I solely had one very nice event to spend any severe time together with her, however Collins was out and in of city regularly and we had an especially congenial relationship.


As an illustration, I took this image of her addressing an elementary faculty, and it stays a favourite as a result of I appreciated how she hunkered down to speak to the youngsters on their very own stage.

I additionally appreciated her heat and availability. I notably bear in mind as soon as when she got here to city for a really fast speech to veterans, however had no time for a sit down with me.

As a substitute, she referred to as me on her cellphone to conduct the interview as she went to her subsequent cease. Western Maine being what it was, the decision saved chopping out and he or she saved calling me again, an effort not everyone would make.

However in some unspecified time in the future she started shifting to the correct, and I used to be glad it was after I had left the paper as a result of it might have made our relationship extra problematic. Nonetheless, my residual affection made me are inclined to view her extra in sorrow than in anger, till the Kavanaugh vote, at which level journalistic intuition needed to exchange private emotions.

And if there have been any doubt, her recent endorsement of former Gov. Jay LePage for a brand new run is the second when I’ve to confess our relationship was, because the phrase goes, “solely enterprise.”


LePage — one in all whose preliminary acts in his first administration was to take down a mural honoring workers on the Division of Labor — might be working towards Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, one of many first folks I met after I got here to city and one other of these political pals.

That’s her in a golf cart on the Blueberry Competition in Wilton, Maine, and also you may discover that her driver, Tom Saviello, can be within the picture I took of Collins. He was a Republican state rep whom I additionally acquired to know properly, and one of many final folks I noticed in Maine as a result of he invited me over to his home for a drink earlier than I left.

Now, as that previously linked article says, Saviello’s additionally seeking to run for governor on an impartial ticket, towards Mills and LePage.

The outdated saying “Politics make unusual bedfellows” refers back to the pragmatic partnerships cast when nominal rivals share a specific purpose, however that’s the simple half. Any rattling fools can cooperate once they’ll each get one thing out of it.

The tough part is when Sal asks “Are you able to get me off the hook, for outdated occasions’ sake?” and you need to reply, “Can’t do it, Solly.”

I’m grateful I don’t cowl Collins anymore, however, if I did, issues wouldn’t — couldn’t — be so rosy. I’m additionally grateful I dwell in New Hampshire and gained’t have to decide on between Janet and Tom in November.

It’s essential to guage journalists by their means to know the distinction between real friendship and a great working relationship, which is why I make sarcastic references to the White House Concubines Association Dinner.

As they are saying: If you would like a buddy in Washington — or Augusta — get a canine.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Hassan Bliebel — CartoonArtsInt’l)


(Steve Breen — Creators)

To change from native politics into the worldwide venue, Lebanese cartoonist Hassan Bleibel feedback on the hole within the EU as Angela Merkel steps down, whereas Steve Breen feedback on the GOP’s incapability and unwillingness to maneuver on after Donald Trump.


I don’t know that Merkel was capable of act as a lot of an anchor on Trump, however this picture from a 2018 G7 summit is illustrative of how she at least tried, and each face in it carries a proof of what was occurring.

Her pragmatic brilliance might be missed not solely in Germany and within the EU however globally, whereas his cross-armed cussed perspective additionally speaks volumes.

Expertise once more provides some perception, since I spent a number of years masking actual property growth and met greater than my share of business actual property tyros who pursued “The Artwork of the Deal” with a monomania that made them profitable however typically clashed with how different folks function.

For a number of years, I wrote for a publication that went to residential Realtors, giving them data on what was being constructed and what it value, together with charts of knowledge to assist type by dimension, type, worth and placement.

My boss and I had been speaking in regards to the business market, and he or she recommended launching an analogous publication that will monitor business emptiness charges and leasing costs, so I went to a developer I knew to sound him out.

He laughed and instructed me that no one in that arm of the enterprise needed any charts drawn up, that, whereas the residential market is regulated to guard novice homebuyers, it’s assumed, within the business world, that everybody is aware of learn how to play the sport, that it’s a full-contact recreation with no guidelines.

Having coated that aspect of the market, I had no downside understanding Donald Trump, and, simply as I had wanted to acknowledge that there aren’t any pals in journalism or politics, I had additionally realized to acknowledge when somebody was strictly in pursuit of energy, not of justice and definitely not of some idealistic notion of public service.

To which I’d add that it’s why nation golf equipment ought to admit ladies and minorities: In relation to business actual property offers, in case you can’t get on the golf course, you possibly can’t get within the recreation.

Which is why dropping Merkel with out shaking off Trump may reveal how a lot our ethical compasses might be thrown off by a magnetic persona.


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