May 28, 2024


There’s no shortage of hot topics for BDN editorial page readers to discuss this week: the first presidential debate, the unsteady candidacy of Sarah Palin, the proposed federal bailout of mortgage-backed securities and the imminent LURC approval of the Plum Creek project. To participate, go to and post your response to the following questions, or continue to discuss and debate the issues with other readers.

Who came out on top in the first presidential debate?

Presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama faced off Friday night and answered questions on the economy and foreign policy. Did Sen. McCain hit the mark with his repeated call for cutting Congressional earmarks? Or did Sen. Obama score points with voters by outlining his tax policy that raises taxes on those earning $250,000 or more? Which candidate looked more presidential? Why? Was Sen. Obama too professorial? Sen. McCain too testy?

Is Sarah Palin a drag on the McCain campaign?

Some Republicans, including conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, have said Gov. Palin should be dropped as John McCain’s running mate. They cite her poor performance in interviews with Katie Couric of CBS News as evidence that she is unprepared to be president. Gov. Palin’s supporters say the campaign should “let Palin be Palin,” and not try to cram her full of policy positions. Instead, they say, the campaign should let her disclose to voters her core values and life story, which would win her good will. Who is right? Should Gov. Palin be cut loose, or let loose?

Will the $750 billion federal bailout of bad mortgage debt right the U.S. economy?

Debate on the bailout deal continued in Congress early this week. If the deal is approved, will it work? Was there another way out of the mess? Did the president wait too long to act? Are federal regulators as much to blame as lenders? Will this crisis signal a new era in government intervention in the economy, and if so, will this limit growth?

Is the Plum Creek deal good for Maine?

LURC appears likely to grant final approval to the Plum Creek development project in the Moosehead Lake region. Decades from now, will the development be seen as a boon to the region’s declining economy, or a mistaken desecration of a treasured wilderness?

Go to to participate. Some of the comments posted may be used on Friday’s OpEd page.

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