Our Towns: A New Book by Deborah & James Fallows

Aug 30, 2018

This is a rebroadcast of an earlier show (July 16); no calls will be taken.

Jim and Deb Fallows spent 5 years travelling in the small propeller plane to small towns across America, including Eastport, Maine.  In their new book, they share stories of civic and economic reinvention taking place in parts of the country we often don’t hear much about. 

Jon Meacham on "The Soul of America"

Aug 27, 2018
Gage Skidmore / Wikipedia/Creative Commons

This is a rebroadcast of an earlier show (July 17, 2018); no calls will be taken.

Best-selling author Jon Meacham joins us to explain that, despite our current tumultuous times, the country has been through periods of turmoil before, and how, by looking to examples in the nation’s past, we can better understand our current political climate.

The Soul of America: The Latest Book by Author Jon Meacham

Jul 17, 2018
Gage Skidmore / Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Best-selling author Jon Meacham joins us to explain that, despite our current tumultuous times, the country has been through periods of turmoil before, and how, by looking to examples in the nation’s past, we can better understand our current political climate.

Legislative Update

Jan 22, 2018

We speak with legislative leaders about the items making news this season. Among the front-burner issues: the effects on the federal government shutdown on state government; extending the moratorium on a comprehensive marijuana law; Medicaid expansion, ranked-choice voting, and, selecting which bond initiatives will come before the voters next election.

Guests:  Erin Herbig, House Majority Leader, D-BelfastGarrett Mason, Senate Majority Leader, R-Lisbon Falls 

Politics in the Age of Twitter

Jan 16, 2018

Where once pamphlets were a way for politicians to distribute their ideas, attack political enemies, and reach an audience, today we have Twitter.  We’ll discuss the role of Twitter in current day politics and how it is changing political discourse and impacting social movements. 

Guests:  Judith E. Rosenbaum, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication and Journalism, University of Maine.  Author of Constructing Digital Cultures – Tweets, Trends, Race, and Gender.Brooke Foucault Welles, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies and a faculty affiliate of the Network Science Institute and NU Lab for Texts, Maps and Networks at Northeastern University.Craig Freshley, creator of Make Shift Coffee House conversations 

Political Preview

Jan 4, 2018

We discuss the year ahead in Maine politics and what to expect from our local politicians--or aspiring politicians.


Maine Public's "Across the Aisle" team joins us:

Meredith Strang Burgess, president and CEO of Burgess Advertising & Marketing and former Maine State Representative (Republican)

Cynthia Dill, lawyer and former Maine State Representative and State Senator (Democratic)

Dick Woodbury, economist and former Maine State Senator (Independent)

Bridging the Partisan Divide

Jan 1, 2018

Due to special NPR New Year's programming, Maine Calling will not air at 1 pm. This show is airing at 8 pm on January 1, 2018. It is a rebroadcast of an earlier show (Nov 8th); no calls will be taken.

Our panelists discuss how they are attempting to bring people from different political outlooks together for conversations about moving forward without the heated rhetoric that is often found in today's political climate.

Guests:  Craig Freshly, Head Helper with Good Decisions, Inc. He's a professional speaker, author, and meeting facilitator. He's the creator of Make Shift Coffee House, which is where people with differing political views can meet and learn from each other. 

Christopher Phillips, author, scholar and deliberative democracy specialist. He is the founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit Democracy Cafe, which fosters a greater understanding of the nature and future of democracy.

Pam Plumb, co-chair of the Maine Revive Civility initiative and former mayor of Portland

The CIA on Thursday was forced to walk back an assertion by Director Mike Pompeo, who incorrectly said U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian efforts to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election were unsuccessful.

Asked at a security conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday whether he could say with absolute certainty that the November vote was not skewed by Russia, Pompeo replied: "Yes. Intelligence community's assessment is that the Russian meddling that took place did not affect the outcome of the election."

A western Massachusetts business owner faces a boycott of his stores after attending an event with President Trump last week. But he says he's being unfairly targeted.

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

Not much of significance has gotten through this Congress, despite the House, Senate and White House all being controlled by the same party — Republicans.

President Trump says, don't blame him.

"We're not getting the job done. And I'm not going to blame myself, I'll be honest," Trump said during short remarks in a Cabinet meeting.

He then shifted away from "we" to "they."

"They're not getting the job done," the president said of Congress.

National Politics

Aug 22, 2017

Our panel discusses the latest news out of our nation’s capital, from Afghanistan to Steve Bannon to Charlottesville.

Guests:  James Melcher, professor of Political Science at UMaine Farmington

Jeanne Hey, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of New England

Colin Woodard, author and journalist with the Portland Press Herald

Across the Aisle is the weekly Maine politics roundtable discussion between Keith Shortall and a cast of political pundits. This week, Meredith Strang Burgess of Burgess Advertizing and Marketing, who served in the legislature as a Republican and Cynthia Dill, an attorney and former democratic legislator weigh in on the early field of entrants vying to replace Paul LePage as governor of Maine.

[Transcript not available]

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Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., Sept. 29 at 10:00 pm
Sat., Oct. 1 at 11:00 am

Four women, including Ellie Espling of New Gloucester, ran for elective office in the mid term 2014 elections with the goal of inspiring more women to run for elective office.

Congress is due to recess next week for the national party conventions, and won’t be back at work until early September. Members of Maine’s delegation say that with a new federal budget year starting October 1st, that won’t leave much time to act on the appropriations bills that will keep the government operating.

Senator Susan Collins, who first joined the us senate in 1997, says she has never seen Congress take just a long summer break.


We discuss the role of the independent – both the independent voter and the potential for an independent presidential candidate – in the race for the White House with Colby College Political Science Professor Sandy Maisel and the Wall Street Journal's Dante Chinni.  We’ll also discuss how a contested convention might work, and what the possibilities are of the Congress determining who is elected president.