Thursday, August 26, 2010

Things to Watch and Read, Aug. 26 edition

As summer draws to a close, a few items of interest:

Dan Quayle's creepy son wins primary: If events in Arizona have you concerned about the future of the Republic, here's some more to chew on. Dan Quayle's son, Ben, beat eight rivals to become the Republican nominee for one of Greater Phoenix's congressional seats. Of course he raised lots of money through his dad's connections, but he used it to create this creepy television ad, which apparently worked for him. When people vote for someone because they promise to be an angry bully, it's time to worry about the health of the body politic.

In Maine, official accountability crashes: The Portland Phoenix has an important piece on how the Pine Tree State's e-mail archiving system frustrates journalists and watchdog groups' efforts to keep an eye on public officials.

Shame of Maine: There's been a lot of national media attention paid to Maine's very own egg magnate, Austin "Jack" DeCoster, on account of the massive national salmonella outbreak traced to his Iowa operations. This has triggered a flurry of reports about DeCoster's disturbing pattern of gross labor, environmental, and food safety lapses in Iowa, Maryland, and, of course, here in Maine, where he was fined $2 million back in 1997 for abusing workers. Somehow, DeCoster keeps getting away with it, paying fines and making false promises to have "changed." Robert Reich suggests some businessmen are just plain "bad eggs," and suggests their state-level misdeeds should be more easily traceable across the nation.

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