Latest Articles


Interview: Nate Silver explains

Nate Silver's New York Times blog,, is an island of rigorous thinking in an ocean of political spin.
The perils of prognostication
By PETER KADZIS  |  November 02, 2012

You, me, + QE3

After two previous rounds of qualitative easing, the floodgates have opened for yet another.
One Cent’s Worth
By MARC MEWSHAW  |  October 05, 2012

Student loans tying you down?

In late June DePaul University graduate student Marty Gleason went public about his mounting load of debt in an appeal to Congress to keep the interest rate on student loans at 3.4 percent.
Congress’s latest fix won’t give you much help
By DEANNA ISAACS  |  September 14, 2012

Let’s make campaign finance reform sexy

Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse was out on the hustings this week promoting his DISCLOSE Act, which would require the sort of independent political groups playing an outsize role in the presidential election to report on who is bankrolling thei
Going Big
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  July 20, 2012

It just don’t pay

The only thing worse than taxes is tax breaks.
Politics + Other Mistakes
By AL DIAMON  |  May 11, 2012

Magic money

It's fun to pretend there are supernatural solutions to our problems.
Clean Elections
By AL DIAMON  |  April 06, 2012


I was a teenage Gramlich

I can't say I ever intended from a young age to spend my 18th year mastering Washington Consensus–era monetary policy to recite in stuttering, rote cliché before a panel of mildly curious economic policymakers who filled out the payroll at Alan Greenspa
How I conquered monetary policy, macroeconomics, and the giggles
By JIM NEWELL  |  March 30, 2012

Bruce almighty

I'm writing this before it's officially decided whether State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin qualified as a US Senate candidate for the Republican primary in June.
Will Bruce Poliquin make the ballot?
By AL DIAMON  |  March 23, 2012

Yoda is in the building

First, the numbers: the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference grew 50 percent from 2011 to 2012, and has now grown 1300 percent from its inception, in 2007, as a roomful of MIT math nerds, to last weekend's 2200-strong blowout at the Hynes Convention Ce
A completely unanalytic guide to the most important sports analytics conference on Earth
By CARLY CARIOLI  |  March 09, 2012

Neither Dems nor GOP are representing the people of Maine

The sad fact is that the Democratic and Republican parties in our state have been bought by large corporate interests through campaign donations and lobbying.
Letters to the Portland Phoenix editors, March 2, 2012

Breaking down the cost of Brown; birth control mirth; business as usual

Mayor Angel Taveras and Brown University are locked in a nasty fight over upping the school's payments to the city. And the university's governing board has announced it will hike tuition and fees by 3.5 percent next year.
Hill hiking
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  February 17, 2012


Maine's donkey party loves the rich and the poor — but can't protect both

In the current legislative fight over Republican Governor Paul LePage's lust to slash Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) programs because of a $221-million shortfall in its budget, Democrats say over and over that they want to protect the po
Two-faced Democrats
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  February 17, 2012

Bad as me

I'm an economist in much the same sense that I'm commissioner of the National Football League.
The Law of Low Expectations
By AL DIAMON  |  January 06, 2012

Deep tracks and minutiae for music lovers, rich and poor

Ah, box-set season, that time of year when you go to your nearest record store, looking for gifts for that special someone you know who would really appreciate a super-cool addition to their record collection.
Box-set match
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  December 09, 2011

Real pension reform? No thanks; Smokin’ Joe; a call for winter coats

As Phillipe and Jorge go to press, we noted that more than 30 amendments were being proposed for the pension reform bill at the State House.
Last-minute shopping
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  November 18, 2011

Fraud isn't killing Maine's welfare system — conservative misunderstanding is

Last week in Ellsworth, Governor Paul LePage renewed his efforts to change Maine's welfare system, calling for increased restrictions on benefits for people seeking taxpayer support to get health coverage through the state's Medicaid program.
Barely hanging on
By JEFF INGLIS  |  November 18, 2011

Obama responds to the 99 percent

In announcements that could be interpreted as gifts to the Occupy movement, President Barack Obama recently introduced three measures to help struggling students, veterans, and homeowners.
Band-aids or benefits?
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  November 11, 2011

What company are you from?

Confused by the "Occupy" movement, whether "Occupy Wall Street" or "Occupy Maine" or "Occupy the one-person bathroom in the coffee place" or whatever else?
By SHAY STEWART-BOULEY  |  November 11, 2011

Ratings game

A recent poll found that more Mainers approve of the governor's job performance this year than did last year.
Gubernatorial Scorecard
By PORTLAND PHOENIX STAFF  |  November 11, 2011

Economic Executive Orders

Dispatches from the White House.
Big Fat Whale
By BRIAN MCFADDEN  |  November 11, 2011

Portland schools are 'learning to succeed'

Portland's public-school employees and leaders are working hard to meet the needs of every student in the system, but when asking themselves whether they've accomplished that, "the answer is 'Not yet,'" according to School Board chairman Kate Snyder.
Portland 101
By JEFF INGLIS  |  November 04, 2011

In the Occupation Zone

"We, the people of Occupy Providence, would like to express our gratitude and appreciation for the continued respect shown to our just and legal gathering."
A true grassroots effort; making moves at ’JAR; talkin’ baseball
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  October 28, 2011

Tourist trap

To hear the experts talk, you'd think reducing the state budget by up to $100 million is a task only slightly less difficult than walking into a ritzy ocean-side restaurant without a reservation on a tourist-clogged Saturday night in the summer and expec
State budgeting
By AL DIAMON  |  October 21, 2011

Occupy Providence on the march

It's 11:30 am on Day 3 of Occupy Providence and a small group of activists has gathered at the foot of a statue in Burnside Park to plot a march on Bank of America's Kennedy Plaza branch.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  October 21, 2011

Photos: Occupy Boston protesters rally with unions, veterans, and more

Occupy  Boston protesters march alongside Veterans for Peace, as well as other activist groups such as Jobs with Justice and the AFL-CIO, at Downtown Crossing on October 13, 2011.
Downtown Crossing | October 13, 2011
By PHOENIX STAFF  |  October 14, 2011

Occupy Everywhere

P&J must say that the Occupy Wall Street folks (whose enterprise is now spreading like wildfire) pretty much have "the big idea" covered: 1 percent have an incredibly large slice of the money and the other 99 percent of us suffer. Why is this?
Altering the American way; fuming in North Providence; the sporting life
By  |  October 14, 2011


Hoopleville coupons

Save on your breakfast balogney.
By DAVID KISH  |  October 07, 2011

Bank of America's Future Plans

America's favorite unfeeling corporate bank has some new ideas.
Big Fat Whale
By BRIAN MCFADDEN  |  October 07, 2011

Obama’s jobs plan is a step in the right direction

President Barack Obama's September 8 speech outlining his new jobs program — and the tax policies needed to finance it — was a sign of hope.
Notes on class warfare
By EDITORIAL  |  September 23, 2011

Ten years later

Taking stock of ourselves as a nation on this anniversary may seem to be an arbitrary exercise. Isn't that what the nightly news is for? Or Google alerts? Neat little report cards about discrete topics hinting at how we are doing.
Despite a natural reticence, it's time for a reality check
By EDITORIAL  |  September 09, 2011