Thursday, April 28, 2011

Back From Hiatus To Comment on The Rube-ification of Maine.

Honestly, almost every day I hear something else that makes me shudder to think of the festering hellhole that Maine is becoming. Bear with me gentle readers, for this post is actually NOT about LePage, but about his troglodyte minions in our newly Tea-Riffic legislature.

The morons who rule us are pushing legislation, known as LD 31, that would require teenagers to get their parents permission to receive birth control pills. Yes, that's birth control bills for teenage girls unless they ask mommy and daddy for permission first. Let that sink in for a second.

How many teenage girls are NOT going to get the pills now because they don't want to share their sexual habits with their parents, for whatever reason? How many more teenage pregnancies will we get as a result of this nonsense, which basically strips minors of their rights to receive medical care unless their parents give the ok, no matter if their parents are abusive, negligent, or simply moralizing pricks.

My friends, this really is a low blow. Let me tell you something: teenagers are going to screw. Yes, they are. It's what teenagers do. Always have, always will. Now, this could be problematic for any number of reasons, but in and of itself it is not some great crime, and certainly much of what is problematic about it can be minimized by easy access to contraception.

NPR did a piece on this last night, which, as is often the case, had me bashing my head against the steering wheel, nearly leading to a horrific accident (I should stop listening to NPR). Thankfully, many parents are petitioning to oppose this horrible legislation, but, this being Maine, there are plenty of ignorant hicks ready to stand up for the Antifeminist Tradition. Here's a particularly idiotic example of the bill's supporters' logic:

But supporters of the bill say the petition-signers do not represent the majority of Maine parents. One of the bill's co-sponsors, Republican Sen. Lois Snowe-Mello of Poland, says many parents in her district tell her that their children's ability to get contraception without their permission has them feeling left out of the picture. "We've got to let our children know that having relations is very serious and that it leads into a whole change of life for them," she says.

Hey, dumbfuck Senator, you know what leads into a whole change of life, having a fucking baby at 16, you stupid cow. I fail to see what allowing a teenager access to medical care without a parent's permission has to do with a parent being involved in teaching their kid about sex. Those two things have, literally, NOTHING to do with each other. All this legislation does is ensure that when the parents (inevitably) fail to convince their 16 year old about the perverted evils of Sexytime, such 16 year old will be far less likely to have the pill that magically prevents them from getting preggers after a steamy night in the parking lot behind the Dutch Treat.

But, of course, this isn't, and has never been, about the welfare of children. It's about policing the bodies of young girls...because they are precious inviolable holy temples, or should be, or some shit, and if they are not precious temples then they are diseased syphlitic whores. And there is absolutely nothing in between. Amen.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Reap The Whirlwind

Isn't it great how EVERYONE is turning against Governor Triplechin these days? There's literally no place for him to hide from his idiocy.

Restore the mural, Governor.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

LePage Looks To Turn Maine Into Dickensian Nightmare

Well, I'm sick of talking about the Mural, but luckily there is never a shortage of LePage material. Why, just last night I was driving home from work and almost drove my car into a ditch due to my sputtering rage at hearing about this:

The sponsor of a new child labor bill says employers should have the flexibility to pay workers under age 20 a “training wage.”

Opponents countered that the proposal devalues young workers and takes money out of the hands of laborers and gives it to business.

LD 1346 suggests several significant changes to Maine’s child labor law, most notably a 180-day period during which workers under age 20 would earn $5.25 an hour.

The state’s current minimum wage is $7.50 an hour.

If this isn't the most crass and obvious handout to the Chamber crowd I've ever, why exactly would anyone hire someone at full minimum wage? You're basically creating a youthful underclass that will provide cheap labor to merchants at a time of crippling unemployment. And, not only that, you are literally ROBBING money from hard working high school kids whose families may in fact partially depend on their income.

The bill would also allow children to work for 24 hours a week instead of 20, which I am sort of agnostic about (though it could be misused by employers to pressure their new cheap labor to work more hours). Really, this clown won't be happy until we are all in line for porridge, pitiably asking him for "more."

Monday, March 28, 2011

LePage Is a Coward - Removes Mural Over The Weekend

Mr. Toughguy, apparently quivering in his boots at the thought of a few protesters in the department of labor, stealthily had the labor mural removed over the weekend while the building was closed.

And so this sad episode comes to an end without the good people of Maine getting to have their say, with the autocratic fiat of our tinpot dictator of a governor whitewashing historical reality like so many, as the New York Times pointed out, Egyptian pharaohs before him.

It's possible that this sad, pathetic episode will generate the most national attention of anything LePage ever does. Even his infantile schoolboy taunts to the NAACP didn't quite catch on like this story, which has gotten a few words in almost every national news outlet, and been blogged the nation over.

The result, of course, is that Maine is becoming a laughingstock. When people think of Maine, they will think less of lobster, rocky coasts, scenic byways, and moose crossings, and more of the foolish simpletons who elected the cretinous blockhead to be governor (the fact that this fathead received barely over a third of the vote will be forgotten to history).

But, thankfully ,I also have another prediction: this is the beginning of the end for LePage. By now it is clear to everyone, even the mouthbreathers who will continue to voice support, that this moron doesn't deserve to be within 20 miles of the Governor's Mansion.

If only stupidity were his worst attribute, for far more likely to wreak havoc on Maine is his lickspittle cronyism for big business and the Chamber lobbyists. I daresay Pual LePage hasn't had an original thought pass through his brain-matter since he figured out his only hope in life was to beg Peter Snowe to get his semi-illiterate ass into Husson College.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Message For LePage on March 25, 2011

Maine Will Fight For Labor History

Will the people of Maine fight against the insanity that is the Chamber of Commerce Governor? It seems that they will:

More than 200 demonstrators crowded into the offices of the Maine Department of Labor on Friday morning to protest Gov. Paul LePage’s planned removal of a labor-themed mural from the building’s lobby.

The small lobby that houses the actual mural, however, was no match for the crowd, which instead was forced to line the hallways to listen to speakers express their thoughts — ranging from dismay to outrage — at the Republican governor’s order.

Does the Governor even care how stupid and petty he looks? He must a little, because he is proposing to move the mural to Portland City Hall. Does that even make sense? Hmm...a mural honoring MAINE'S labor history, with scenes from Lewiston, Auburn, Bath, etc., will be removed from the DEPARTMENT OF LABOR and placed in Portland City Hall. Is there a single scene on the mural that even depicts Portland? Regardless, it's obviously a work of art dedicated to the state as a whole, not to one ultra-liberal city.

I guarantee you that the fat coward will not have the guts to actually go through with this.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

LePage Is Lying About Mural

The dumbass Chamber crony in the governor's mansion is LYING again. He told us, you see, that business owners have been "complaining" about the Labor history mural now hanging in the department of Labor. Asked to provide examples of these "complaints," this joke of administration could only muster up the pathetic ranting of an anonymous faxer:

LePage spokeswoman Adrienne Bennett said the governor's office has received "several messages" from the public complaining about the mural. She also released an anonymous fax, dated Feb. 24, that apparently came from someone who recently visited the Labor Department's lobby.

"In this mural I observed a figure which closely resembles the former commissioner of labor," the person wrote. "In studying the mural I also observed that this mural is nothing but propaganda to further the agenda of the Union movement. I felt for a moment that I was in communist North Korea where they use these murals to brainwash the masses."

The fax is signed "A Secret Admirer."

So, where exactly are those "business leaders" who complained? That's what you've got as evidence? An anonymous fax by a ranting lunatic who sounds like your average commenter at FreeRepublic.Com? Seriously? I mean, you can redact the names if you want, but show us the angry emails you've gotten from employers! Surely they're somewhere, right? Or did this whole cockamaymee scheme arise out of one Rushbot's anonymous rant?

So about those business leaders? Well, even LePage's handlers at the Chamber of Commerce admit that they haven't said a peep.

Dana Connors, president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, said he has not received any complaints about the mural from businesses.

Normally, one would give the Governor of a state the benefit of the doubt about something like this. But LePage already has a history of being a lying sack of dog shit. He lied about his experience with the NAACP. He lied about having a black son. He lied and is continuing to lie about the harmful effects of BPA. He lied about medicaid reimbursements.

Paul LePage is a big fat liar.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Our Chamber of Commerce Lackey Governor vs. Labor

OK, I've calmed down a bit, and I'd like to share a few things with you.

Above is a picture from 1902 of some of the leadership of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union; in the third row is my great uncle, Bernard Braff, a founding member of the union and its General Secretary-Treasurer for many years. Bernard, along with his friends like Samuel Gompers and the rest of the figures of the early labor movements, are heroes on par with the soldiers of the American Revolution. ("Some historians might consider him a minor patriot, but I think he's at least on par with a William Dawes or even Samuel Otis). Despite the shrill panic-stricken vilification of the working class that you hear every day from Conservative mouth breathers on cable news, people with any sense of justice, fairness, and history understand what the labor movement meant for America.
My grandfather would often tell stories about how his Uncle Bernard was routinely beaten up by industry thugs, how he would have to hide out for fear of his life. Remember, these were the days of the Pinkertons and honest to god Robber Barons: not a safe time to be a Socialist, yiddish-speaking Polish Jew, by any means, especially a rabble rousing one.

When you consider what he and others like him accomplished, and how they helped to transform the experience of the working class American from one of abject misery to one of relative prosperity (and, one hopes, happiness), one really can only stand in awe. I certainly can't imagine what it would be like to work for even five minutes in a pre-organized-labor 19th century factory or mill. We hear horror stories all the time about sweatshop labor in China, but do people realize that workers in our very own country slaved under similar conditions before a courageous few took a stand and changed the world?

So when you get a thick-headed lump of shit like Paul LePage ordering a mural in honor of Maine's Labor history taken down because it's "anti-business," when you see this feckless cowardly usefully idiotic pawn of the "Pro-Business" lobby and the Chamber of Commerce declare that honoring heroes like Rosie the Riveter of the Bath Iron Works or the shoe mill workers of Auburn is an affront to partisan balance, well, I really take it personally.

Friday is the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire: a horrific tragedy in which unsafe conditions doomed hundreds of young immigrant textilers to a horrible death. It is emblematic of what happens when you sacrifice the good of all men for the profits of a few, or when you abdicate responsibility for protecting workers to the whims of laissez faire capitalists.
And this is the week that LePage chooses to dismantle a mural honoring the better path.

Great Fucking Timing, Paul.

p.s. This week HBO is airing an original program about the Triangle Fire. I heartily encourage watching it.

Sometimes I Get So Angry That I Have Trouble Typing

Someone should force that fat fuck to work a ten hour shift in a paper mill or an Iron Works for a month or so, perhaps breathing in toxic fumes, perhaps having his fingers mangled by machinery, for a pittance wage and no healthcare, vacation hours, or protections of any sort.

Someone should force that fucking piece of shit to work under the conditions that existed in the early 20th century.

Then ask that pig headed sack of shit if he would like to remove the labor mural.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

God Bless University of Maine-Farmington Students

Yes, we haven't always seen eye to eye, but never have I been prouder of the students of UMF than when I read this:

A student-led rally is being organized to support teachers during Gov. Paul LePage's visit Thursday to the University of Maine at Farmington.

A group of education majors has been scrambling to spread the word after learning a little more than a week ago about the governor's visit, according to Grady Burns, one of the 12 students behind the rally.


"It's kind of sending a chilling effect through education majors," Burns, 20, said of the governor's proposals and others like it across the country. "It's kind of a frightening time to be an education major."

Indeed it is a frightening time to be an education major or a public educator. But, more broadly, it is a frightening time to be a member of the middle class. As the right wing ascendant Tea Party gibberish caucus declares full scale war on the middle class, it will take instances both large and small of people willing to speak out and say: "actually, no, the problem with this country is NOT that the middle class have it too damn good."

It's sad to see how budgetary chicken littles have frightened people into accepting the necessity of their own debasement. I'm glad to see UMF students not buying it.

In addition, maybe Chompy the Beaver can gnaw on LePage's head.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Governor is a Big Fat Hypocrite

Now, this really surprises me. You'd think a rich asshole like Paul LePage would at least not be tone-deaf enough to realize that if he's planning to slash the pensions of public employees, he would include his own as part of the "shared sacrifice" meme. I mean, how much could LePage really need that measly $26,000 a year from the state, since he's such a good businessman and surely has a private retirement account that will see to all of his needs for life (right?). But, no, it turns out Governor Triplechin really is that dumb:

Gov. Paul LePage's proposed $6.1 billion budget calls for most public employees and teachers to contribute an additional 2 percent into their pensions. The administration has described the proposal as a "shared sacrifice" plan designed to plug the state's budget gap.

But LePage's decision not to contribute more to his own pension benefit has prompted critics to claim the governor has exempted himself from his budget mantra while missing an opportunity to lead by example.

By now it's clear what philosophy governs this fucking asshole's politics. The working class in Maine just have it TOO DAMN GOOD and need to SACRIFICE dammit for the good of...the good of...uh...wealthy business owners, I guess...and members of the Chamber of Commerce. As for LePage? Well, of course he shouldn't have his pension contribution upped. He was a powerful executive at Marden's and created quadrillions of minimum wage jobs. If anything, he should get a big fat bonus check from the state of Maine for keeping so many people off the dole.

Meanwhile, despite his spittle-flecked ranting about sacrifice and deficits, taxes for the rich (i.e. state revenue) will go down down down under LePage's plan....and that will create jobs instead of nicer yachts in Kennebunkport wizard did it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

LePage Exhaustion

I've been suffering a bit of LePage exhaustion lately. Also, it's been a few days since he said something stupid. We'll be gearing up for much more posting soon as we get down to the budget battle.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bring it on, motherfucker

Sorry for the blue language, but that's really all I could think to title this post. As I'm sure you've heard by now, LePage is fixing up to bust the unions...and all I can think is, PLEASE try it. PLEASE. Seriously...this is Maine, as we are talking about a man elected with barely a third of the vote. Taking on right to work will absolutely break him...

“Forcing a worker to join an organization as a condition of employment runs counter to the rights described in our Declaration of Independence,” LePage said in his Saturday radio address. “For many in Maine there is no freedom of choice when it comes to union membership. I think that needs to change and I look forward to a fair but honest debate on the matter.”

First of all, this guy is a freaking idiot. No one is forced to join a union. They can be required to pay dues, but federal law prohibits "forcing a worker to join an organization as a condition of employment." So ignore his pablum about the Deceleration of Independence.

Second, is this guy serious? We are talking about a state where 5.5 percent of the workforce is employed by the state government, and he is going to try to strip them of their collective bargaining rights? If this really, truly happens, then election day 2014 (hurry!) will be an even bigger bloodbath than I'm already anticipating.

How sad is it that we have a governor who has bought into the bullshit notion that the real problem with this country is that the middle class just have it too damn good? Really, this fat-faced crony of Chamber flunkies is running up and down the state trying to convince people that all we need to do to fix our problems is get rid of everything that makes life in this state suck less than it surely could: environmental protection, social assistance and public healthcare programs, good paying public sector jobs backed by strong unions...what's next? Is LePage going to sell all our lobstering waters to New Hampshire?

I'll just say this: if LePage picks a fight on collective bargaining he will get his ample ass HANDED to him. Even the Republicans in the state house aren't that dumb.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

LePage: Bearded Women Won't Be Noticed in Maine

Now, I've made my fair share of cracks about the women of Maine not exactly being the women of Malibu...but Paul LePage seems to think lifting the restrictions on a harmful chemical won't be a big deal, even if it causes an explosion in female facial hair:

"The only thing that I've heard is if you take a plastic bottle and put it in the microwave and you heat it up, it gives off a chemical similar to estrogen. So the worst case is some women may have little beards."

Let's forget for a second the stupidity of this sentence (one scientist called the comments a "callous disregard" for facts and a "shocking ingorance"), does LePage think this is actually funny? Does he can laugh away restrictions on a dangerous chemical to line the pockets of rich industrialists? Maybe he thinks a few more bearded women will goose the finances of the state's waxing industry.

Let's remember the facts: BPA, according to the FDA, may adversely effect "brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children." Also, in large quantities it can lead to catastrophic incidences of hormone imbalance, like the lady above.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Whoopie Pies? Please...

I have nothing against a whoopie pie, but shouldn't the state dessert have a more tangible connection to state agriculture? Whoopie pies are basically pure junk through and through: that's all well and good, but such a thing shouldn't be enshrined as an emblem of the state, no matter what the powerful whoopie pie lobby tries to say.

Instead, I propose that the official state desert be nothing other than the humble blueberry pie. Delicious, undeniably Maine, and made from a wild product of Maine's natural abundance.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

LePage to Mainers: "Get off your lazy asses" (paraphrase)

The shocking, utterly contemptible boorishness of our Governor is really difficult to fathom. Honestly, how this man came to run our state is well beyond my powers to understand. (yes, I know, three candidate race, split progressive vote, yadda yadda).

Can you imagine the cluelessness of a fathead who would actually say the following:

LePage ended his speech by repeating his pledge to protect the most vulnerable, but he had a message for others.

"Those who can work, we will simply ask them to get a job," he said.

Oh! Of course!!! HOW STUPID OF US!!! The answer to the employment crisis facing this state and this nation is for unemployed people to get off their lazy asses and GET A JOB! Duh. How did I not see it? Oh, Governor LePage, you're such a straight-talking common sense hero for the regular joe. Now folks don't need to worry about the extension of their unemployment benefits or their lack of healthcare, because YOU'VE GIVEN THEM THE SOLUTION! Get a job! Hurrah!

Jesus Christ, who knew we elected this guy as our governor...

LePage Retreats Slightly In Regulation Fight, But Still Determined To Wage War on State

Paul LePage is already walking back some of the more controversial anti-regulatory proposals he laid out earlier this year. The amended package of reforms that will go to the legislature will not include the oh-so-lovely lifting of the ban on harmful chemicals in children's products, along with some of the other less popular proposals. LePage has also temporarily given up his crusade against the vile scourge of vernal pools.

However, what he has submitted to legislatures is still a steaming pile of suck. It includes such beauties as the removal of requirements for Big Box Stores to undergo an economic impact study (oh the horror!), and the dissolution of the Department of Environmental Protection.

Worse yet, LePage has not abandoned his hopes to turn Maine into a festering toxic waste dump...he is simply considering strategically how best to go about destroying things like air emissions standards and land use regulations while avoiding the hard work of jamming things through legislative committees.

As such, LePage has promised to reintroduce the REST of his anti-regulatory crusade as "Governor's Bills" that can proceed directly to the entire legislature.

It really is hilarious that the Governor's opening salvo in his war against Maine is to attack the one thing that almost all Mainers cherish: the state's natural beauty. You'd think he would have gone for--I don't know--tax cuts or something. Or anti-immigration laws. Instead he's asking the people of this state to feel comfortable setting aside their environmental and economic safeguards so that...what, exactly...WalMart and Target won't have their feelings hurt by an impact study? Please. Mainers, stand up for yourselves!

Friday, February 11, 2011

And a quick note to my commenters!

Dear Readers,
It is very gratifying to begin receiving comments. I hope it becomes more common, and I hope to receive constructively negative as well as positive ones. Even a troll or two might be fun. Anyway, thanks so much for reading!

Thoughts before the Weekend

Despite my usual snark/ire, I'm actually sympathetic to the plight of our Governor or any Governor in economic times such as these. It's no secret that at the federal level I favor robust stimulus--even at the risk of dreaded INFLAAAAAAAAAAATION--and public sector spending to promote economic growth. At the State level the issue is considerably more restricted in terms of the ability to deficit spend.

And while I have no faith in Paul LePage to do anything even remotely resembling the right thing, I was rather surprised to see that he proposed no cuts to public education, including flat funding for the University of Maine system. Unfortunately, over the long term I am far less sanguine about the Governor, given his stated agenda of consolidating the state university system with the community colleges.

Of course, there are no tax increases in this budget (I would not support raising the income tax, though I can dream of the day it is more progressive and less onerous to the middle class...), so someone must take it in the pooper...and that someone is the state workforce....particularly through their pension system. Current retirees will lose their cost of living increases in the short term, and find them drastically reduced in future years. Meanwhile, LePage has also proposed raising the retirement age from 62 to 65...something I think is categorically idiotic at the moment. If there are merits to raising the retirement age, let it wait until we are not facing catastrophic unemployment. Allowing more people to find the soft landing of retirement would free up jobs and get more capital into the hands of consumers, it seems to me.

All in all, the devil will be in the details....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

LePage's DEP Pick May Violate Federal Law

The problem with only picking industry cronies to serve in your administration is that occasionally people might call you on your bullshit. And sometimes, it can violate ethics statutes. This appears to be the case for LePage's industry-riffic pick to head the Department of Environmental Protection, Daryl Brown.

Mr. Brown, you see, owns a company that helps developers get state permits, and has appeared before the DEP numerous times on behalf of developers. Thus, a significant amount of his income comes from sources likely to be polluters. The federal clean water act states that one may not head the DEP if one receives more than 10 percents of ones income from water polluting permit holders.

So is Brown's appointment illegal? I have no idea. Hopefully it is, but I somehow doubt the EPA will rule against him. Still, the issue serves to highlight just how far up the river LePage is willing to sell Maine's environment. There is no corporate crony too business or industry beholden to be a member of his disaster of an administration.

Friday, January 28, 2011

LePage and Michigan Chamber Skirt Campaign Finance Laws

MPBN had a great piece on last night about something I alerted readers to earlier this year: the Michigan Chamber of Commerce's bizarre contribution to LePage, who has no connection to Michigan whatsoever.

Their verdict is basically what I expected. That the strange unexplained donation is basically part of an elaborate ruse of kickbacks and quid-pro-quos designed to get around corporate limits on campaign donations.

Rich Robinson, a Michigan campaign finance watchdog, explained how it works, in a nutshell.

"In Michigan, corporations can't contribute to a plain vanilla political action comittee, and so it seemed to me that that was a way for the corporate money to be redistributed to a place like the Maine RGA Pac, to the Florida RGA PAC, and for it to be replaced by contributions from individuals here," Robinson says. "It's a very complex kind of situation. An awful lot of money was sloshing around and the real why's and wherefore's do remain somewhat of a mystery, if there's anything more to this than a simple currency exchange.

I'm glad to see that my instinct about this--something stinks!--was correct. I don't expect there to be any consequences, and I'm guessing it's the kind of political chicanery that is not limited to any one candidate or party. Still, remember all this when LePage talks about not being beholden to special interests.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Real Mainers Lash Out At LePage War on Environment

This is actually heartening to see. A public meeting in Belfast to discuss the regulatory environment apparently turned into an outpouring of anger directed at Paul LePage's very public desire to slash and burn Maine' environmental protection laws.

Many of those in attendance made the point that LePage's "pro-business" stance is actually a direct threat to Maine's #1 drawing point: its pristine natural environment and the tourism that it brings:

“Please don’t gut what we’ve got,” said Diane Allmayer-Beck of Belfast. “We have the most beautiful state in the union. Don’t ruin it.”


“The unofficial slogan of Maine is if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” said Marina Delune, a Belfast city councilor. “As a native Mainer, I would urge you to be very careful about gutting any regulations that are protecting our state. … Our livelihood depends on the beauty of our state.”

It will be interesting to see what kind of reaction LePage's proposals get outside of the Chamber crowd. Most Mainers, especially those in the populous and popular coastal areas, understand that one of the few things separating Maine from the Appalachian poverty of western New York, rural Pennsylvania, Kentucky, West Virginia, etc. is the commerce driven by environmental tourism. You know, that whole Vacationland thing? And it's not just a money issue either. Mainers are proud of their states beauty, and rightfully so. Sorry, but we don't want Slurm industrial byproducts dumped into Casco Bay. I very much hope that the very predictable backlash will give Governor LePage pause.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

LePage Wants To Make it More Difficult to Get Medicaid

The thing about attacking social programs is that it is can, in some cases, be easy to get away with: the poorest tend not to vote in as great a proportion as the middle class and wealthy. Tweaks in social programs can net impressive sounding savings, and the human cost is all too easy to ignore.

So when Governor LePage proposes something like extending the waiting period for qualifying for state medicaid from 45 days to 90 days, it is, perhaps, easy to consider that the savings of such an extension ($3 million in the next fiscal year...whoopee) are worth a mere month and half of waiting for the poor or disabled.

However, one should consider that crucial, uncovered medical expenses for a disabled person for just an extra 45 days could potentially run into the thousands or tens of thousands. More likely, those forced to wait longer for medicaid will simply go longer without medical care, endangering their lives and well being.

Why does it take the state 90 days to make a determination about medicaid eligibility? The truth is, it doesn't. The state laws stipulate that it must not. This is simply a way to squeeze a few more bucks out of our state's poorest, while the Governor goes on making promising every concession he can to the wealthiest.

It's interesting--don't you think--that Governor "Cut the Red Tape" LePage wants to hasten the decision making for industrial permits and the approval process for complex and potentially environmentally damaging projects (in the name of efficiency!) while doubling the amount of time needed to provide healthcare for the poor and disabled.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

No Surprise on LePage's DOC pick

After Atrios, here is a Maine edition of simple answers to stupid questions.

Q: Why did LePage pick Private Prison Warden Joseph Ponte to head the Department of Corrections?

A: [Private Prison company and Ponte's employer] CCA...contributed $25,000 to LePage's election campaign.

This has been another edition of simple answers to stupid quetsions.

LePage's War on the Environment

Well, it didn't take long to realize that our worst nightmares vis a vis the Maine environment really are about to come true. I think this lede from the Kennebec Journal about sums it up:

Gov. Paul LePage has proposed zoning 10 million acres of northern Maine for development, repealing laws that require manufacturers to take back recyclable goods for disposal and reversing a ban on the use of a chemical linked to cancer in children's products.

Holy Cow! Have you ever seen so much and such diverse SUCK crammed into a single sentence?Kudos to KJ reporter Beth Quimby. My late and wonderful high school Journalism teacher Ms. Lane would have definitely dispensed a gold star for that one. I mean, cripes...10 MILLION acres, repealing recycling laws, reversing a chemical ban, and children's cancer all right there in the lede.

And, of course, as always with LePage it just gets worse! LePage also wants to:

* Making Maine's environmental laws conform to less stringent federal standards;

* Requiring a cost-benefit analysis for all rulemakings;

* Relaxing air emissions removal standards, especially for smaller projects;

I especially love that second one. Picture this kind of analysis: "Well, this toxic byproduct causes mind-controlling brain slugs to grow on the skulls of the elderly, but a ban on dumping it into Auburn Lake will cost businesses $100,000 a year! RULE CHANGE DENIED!!1!one!"

And relaxing our regulations to fit federal guidelines? Anyone else see the irony here? A loony tea party conservative, a guy who represents the spittle flinging nitwits who hate the federal government with every fiber of their being, who worship at the altar of "state sovereignty," wants Maine to abandon its particularly specialized environmental protections and follow bare minimum "one size fits all" federal rules? Uh...right, but god help us all if the Federal Government wants to establish healthcare standards. That's commie pinko triple Nazi-Socialism.

Folks, you might be asking yourself where these proposals come from. Like, did Governor Illiterate LeTripleChin think of these things himself? It doesn't seem likely does it...hmmm...let's see:

LePage's proposals are based on a series of "red tape workshops" the administration is holding with chambers of commerce to identify government rules that may dampen the state's business climate.

Aha! Those pesky chamber folks again. Look, I know I'm starting to get a little Glen Becky paranoid sounding about the evil horrors of your state or local chamber of commerce...and it's not that such organizations are bad. They aren't. But they are, most definitely, SPECIAL INTEREST groups who have things beside the best interests of their fellow man at heart. The Governor's hypocrisy on this front is maddening.

Anyway, that's some quality red tape cutting, Paul. I hope you'll also be there to cut the red ribbon at the new children's cancer wing your red tape cutting will one day require.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Off Topic: Maine Chinese Food

Dear Franklin County, Maine:

Your chinese food sucks.

K Thx,

Stench of Death Hangs Over LePage Environmental Meetings

Why do I hear the Emperor's Theme in my head when I read when I read innocent news items like this? :

Representatives of an array of resource-oriented businesses and activities are meeting today with Gov. Paul LePage and his senior staff at a Roundtable on Maine People and the Environment.

Maybe it's because LePage says creepy things like this:

LePage said liberals who have wanted to “close the woods off” and advocate the preservation of wild lands have attended public hearings and gotten restrictive measures passed. Now, the governor said, it’s time to have business people show up and be heard. He encouraged association members to attend upcoming public hearings before the Legislature...

Oh those evil liberals and their tree hugging. Bede's prediction? LePage will do his best to ruin Maine's greatest asset: its pristine wilderness.

David Farmer on LePage's provincialism

David Farmer has a very intriguing and well thought out guest column in today's Bangor Daily News. In it, Farmer suggests that LePage's actions and words toward the NAACP betray the governor's narrow view of the world, and his inability to see beyond his own circle of experience and influence. As Farmer puts it:

Gov. Paul LePage is no racist. At least not in any classical sense of the word.

Instead, his conduct suggests a lack of awareness or concern with the larger world outside the small circle of mostly older white men he has surrounded himself with. He appears to see little value in understanding perspectives different than his own.

I would say this viewpoint meshes more or less with my own. LePage is a man of limited cultural experience, limited political viewpoints, a limited worldview, and incredibly narrow and provincial idea of how society should work. For LePage, a black advocacy group represents the "other": a somehow threatening and misguided "other." The experience of all Mainers should be as his experience, and anyone whose experience varies must be doing it wrong.

I can think of no other explanation for why a rational human being would not only tell a civil rights organization to kiss his butt, but who would then make up lies that sound like the projections of right-wing fantasyland: where all minorities are out to shake down whites for free stuff, and all blacks are receiving preferential treatment that is worthy of resentment.

Just go to and read what they have to say about Obama's accomplishments. He only got into Columbia and Harvard because of affirmative action, etc. A white person with his credentials would have gone nowhere, etc. He's had everything handed to him, blah blah blah. We heard the exact same canard about Sonya Sotomayor. In both cases, as with LePage's embarrassing conduct toward the NAACP, we see the smug self satisfaction of indivduals incapable of understanding the varieties of cultural and racial experience in this country, who see any way but their own as somehow unworthy of credit or praise, and who see any intimation that racial inequality might exist in this country as playing the "race card" (whatever the hell that even means).

Of course, Maine is 99.9999999 percent white, so LePage's provincialism may find an eagerly assenting audience. But he sure as hell makes Maine look bad to the rest of the nation.

LePage Taps Special Interest Lobbyist for HHS Post

Here's all you need to know about Paul LePage's nominee to head the Department of Health and Human Services: she's the head of a lobbying association representing the interests of hospitals.

Is this a big deal? Potentially yes, potentially no. I'm going to give Mary Mayhew the benefit of the doubt. But it is certainly worth pointing out that there can be direct conflicts of interest between the financial interests of hospitals and an affordable, effective, and functioning social services network.

Mayhew, who has no experience at all with social services administration, is already on record as favoring cuts in the state assistance programs, guised, of course, in the language of getting people "off welfare."

She spoke of a need to change the mission of the department.

"Welfare was never meant to be a lifestyle," she said. "Yet that is exactly what it has become for too many families who are trapped in a failing system."

Again, I'll give Mayhew the benefit of the doubt, but my "shill radar" is already beginning to wail. Is this really the time to cut back on social, at a time of ruinous unemployment and declining wages? Unfortunately, my guess is that we have a DHHS headwho will greedily go along with LePage's mission to hack Maine's social safety net to pieces in the name of "low taxes" and a "good business environment."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

LePage Environmental Wrecking Ball Set To Start Swinging

Governor CUT THE RED TAPE NO MATTER THE COST LePage--a developer's best friend--is set to put in action his grand strategy to destroy Maine's environmental protection laws in the name of "business."

First on his list, the vernal pools that provide habitat for a large number of amphibians, which in turn provide food for both mammals and birds, including blue heron.

The rollback of protection for vernal pools was a topic at a Red Tape Audit seminar hosted by--you guessed it--the Androscoggin Chamber of Commerce, and attended by business leaders and developers.

LePage did not mince words about whom he wants to bring down with his "cut the red tape" crusade.

Afterward, LePage identified several state agencies that had been the focal point of frustration, including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Labor.

LePage has vowed to change not only the regulatory environment, but what he says is an "adversarial" attitude some agencies have toward businesses.

Ok, so let's see here: destroy environmental protections. Check. Dismantle the social safety net. Check. Abolish protections for working people. Right-O.

When LePage decries "special interests," how does he keep from bursting out laughing? This is a guy who appointed a developer to head the Department of Environmental Protection!

Now, I don't want to come off as some NIMBY anti-development luddite here. I think development is good. But the notion that if "business leader" and "developers" support something then it is, ipso facto, a good thing is pure nonsense. Maine is one of America's great natural treasures: will it still be after four years of LePage's wrecking ball?

Confirmed: LePage a Lying Sack of Crap

Only weeks into his tenure, we now know for a fact that Paul LePage is a crude, classless, lying, semi-illiterate troglodyte (how's that for toning down the rhetoric!?!). Today the NAACP confirmed that LePage invented facts out of thin air when justifying his snub and subsequent telloff of the NAACP.

The Press Herald has a rundown of the facts. According to NAACP spokesperson Rachel Talbot Ross, LePage made no objections to the invitation, but cited a previous commitment, and made no counterproposal to "meet all prisoners" that the NAACP deemed unacceptable, as he claimed. Moreover, the event itself was not segregated in any way or meant only for black prisoners, a claim which Ross finds "baffling."

So are we clear here? The exchange which LePage used as a preamble to telling one of the oldest civil rights organizations in the country to kiss his butt NEVER HAPPENED. Governor Triplechin merely invented it out of thin air. Moreover, the event was not in any way like he described it.

Do you know what this shows to me? Racism. Not the "I hate dem negroes!" style racism, but the kind of beneath the surface racism that, sadly, is rather prevalent in our state and in the white conservative world in general. LePage clearly has some preconceived notions about what the NAACP is, resents that there are organizations that promote the well being and protect the rights of people of color, and sees any attempt to do so as somehow wrong. Because, obviously, everyone should look out for him or herself in this pull yourself up by your bootstraps kind of world. It's a form of white resentment, a way of feeling superior to blacks in an age of legal equality. I give the governor credit for working through his own difficult period in life and rising to success, but he should never forget that he ONLY GOT WHERE HE IS TODAY because of the FAVORITISM of a powerful Maine family. When our Governor, who was almost completely illiterate in English, was rejected from Husson college, the Snowe family intervened on his behalf. That's the kind of favoritism most minorities, indeed most people, cannot count on. So when LePage complains about civil rights organizations I really can do nothing but laugh.

Governor, when will you apologize to the NAACP not only for your crass insult, but for denigrating the entire organization as racist? We're all waiting. And I'm sure we'll keep on waiting. Afterall, LePage's spokesporson Dan DeMerritt completely dismissed the issue, complaining that the NAACP was choosing to "nitpick about an invitation that occurred or did not occur six months ago." No, actually, Dan, they are upset about a complete fabrication and a gross and unfathomable insult by your pig faced boss. Get your facts straight.

We have elected clowns.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Another weird lie: LePage's black son isn't actually his son

So, remember how Paul LePage insisted he couldn't be racist because some of his best friends are black he has a black son? Well, apparently that is not actually true. Like most of what comes out of Governor Triplechin's fat face, this claim, oddly, dose not stand up to scrutiny.

According to the Portland Press Herald, the man he is referring to--Devon Raymond, Jr.--is not LePage's adopted son, nor does he have any legal relationship to the family whatsoever, nor is he even a US citizen. Mr. Raymond was introduced to LePage through his father, who caddied for LePage on a golfing trip. Shortly thereafter, the then 17 year old moved to Waterville and began living with the LePages. He then briefly attended Husson before transferring to and graudating from Grambling State. He briefly played golf on the pro tour.

So what exactly happened? Did some Golf Caddy in Jamaica offer LePage his son? Why? Does he have a student visa? Is he a permanent resident? Was this some secret plan to get a golf ringer on the Waterville High School golf team? ? I kid, but this is a bizarre stroy, and one more whopping lie from our fat idiot of a governor.

LePage Hires Unqualified Daughter

How much more evidence do we need that LePage is a total fraud and an embarrassment to Maine? Now, I'm not naive enough to think that nepotism will ever be expunged from politics, but this is pretty shameless and bald faced.

Now I know what some of you hoity toity New Yorkers are thinking: "A $41,000 administrative job? That's nothing!." Well, keep in mind that this is Maine, where the median salary for a HOUSEHOLD is $46,000. Hiring a 22 year old to an entry level job for that salary--as much as many tenure track professors in the UMaine system earn--is a pretty sweet plum indeed.

So what about LePage's promise to hire only the best and brightest? Not sure...he has yet to comment on this story. He's too busy telling black people to kiss his fat ass.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Is the Governor a fat headed liar? (re: Black Prisoners Only)

One of the odd things that Governor Triplechin said in yesterday's clusterfuck of an interview was a tale about the NAACP inviting him to see prisoners, but insisting he only meet the black ones. I quoteth:

“They invited me to go to the state prison to meet black prisoners and I told them I would go, but that I would meet all prisoners, and that wasn’t acceptable to them. So tough luck.”

Except, of course, this is a total lie. The NAACP invitation made no mention of the race of the prisoners, indeed, they claim, such an event would be impossible. Furthermore, LePage declined the invitation--he was the only candidate to do so--because of a scheduling conflict.

This is not the first time LePage has blatantly lied. The man is simply dishonest. He's a crude, thoughtless lout...a bully, a name caller, and, frankly, a moron. This man is not fit to be governor of a Little Caesar's, let alone a state.


Our classless governor blockhead has just humiliated himself and the entire state of his first full week on the job!! Good job, Paul. This time, the man famous for telling the President of the United States to Go To Hell has charmed the world by telling the entire NAACP to kiss his fat ass (parahprase).

You people are a "special interest group," so therefore celebrating Martin Luther King day counts as indebting oneself to the Special Interests. (I'm not sure what the Chamber of Commerce would be to LePage or how he would justify his bootlicking subservience to them...apparently they are a saintly organization that represents the best interests of everyone in the entire state, or something...but I digress).

Our governor defended his racial cred by pointing out that he has a Jamaican son. Of course, this is just a more sophisticated version of the "some of my best friends are black!" plaint that identifies one as a racist as surely as tattooing a swastita over a confederate flag on your chest.

Sadly, however, we can't be surprised. This classless moron was elected with a whopping thirty something percent of the vote by an electorate that already had ample evidence of the fact that he was, indeed, a fat headed schmuck. Oh least it will make for an entertaining four years!

Monday, January 3, 2011

LePage hates (i.e. is too stupid for?) poetry and classical music.

Our barely literate, booksmarts hating Governor elect has set his sights set on bringing down classical music and poetry...two guaranteed ways to really STICK IT to elites and their high falutin arty farty bullcrap.
Mr. Too Dumb For Husson apparently thinks such things are "dry" and "boring."

"We're trying to make it a little more interesting to the Maine people who are attending, especially the people who are going to view it on television, so that it's not completely dry," said Brent Littlefield, LePage's senior political adviser and inaugural director, during a briefing with reporters on Thursday.

"You'll see a slight variation from what you've seen in the past. For instance, we're not going to have poems being read; and when you see singing, it's not going to be chorale-style, dry singing," he said.

Sweet! What kind of humorless boob likes poetry or classical music, anyway? I think the inauguration should be held in the stockroom of Mardens and feature ghost stories and a real down-home Maine bean supper and hootenany.