Friday, January 28, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
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:
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.
“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.”
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
This has been another edition of simple answers to stupid quetsions.
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.
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.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
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.
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...
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 freerepublic.com 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.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
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?
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Saturday, January 15, 2011
“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.”