Archive for Maine

Maine town to Big Oil: We don't want to bathe in bottled water

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Portland-Montreal Pipe Line (PMPL) is owned by a Canadian subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corp. and Suncor Energy Inc., "both heavily involved in extracting petroleum from oil sands," per a report by the Los Angeles Times. And now PMPL wants to start exporting toxic tar sands crude goo from Canada through South Portland, Maine. You all know what tar sands is, right? If not, please scroll through my many, many posts here to learn about the very real dangers of tar sands pipelines.

You'd think by now that impending climate change disaster and that other infamous, short-sighted, corporate disaster-in waiting would be a wake-up call. But no-o-o. Pollution be damned. Fresh air and water? Pfft! The health and well-being of anyone who gets in their way? Meh.

But there is a town in Maine that's not afraid to put up its dukes. The L.A. Times has the story:

On Monday night, the South Portland City Council, including Blake, is expected to pass an ordinance that would prevent the export of crude oil from the waterfront. The product of a relentless 18-month campaign by residents and Maine environmental groups, the measure is a response to plans by Portland-Montreal Pipe Line, or PMPL, to reverse the flow of its import pipeline in order to export oil sands crude from Canada, the same petroleum that would run through the controversial Keystone XL pipeline in the Great Plains.

"This isn't an anti-Portland pipeline company measure," Blake said. "It's anti-dirty oil." [...]

Communities along the pipeline route, from Vermont to Maine, also grew alarmed by spills of oil sands crude into Michigan's Kalamazoo River in 2010 and then in a subdivision in Mayflower, Ark., in 2013... The Portland-Montreal pipeline six times crosses the watershed for a major tributary into Sebago Lake, the drinking water source for the greater Portland area.

That can't end well.

One resident's take says it all: "All you need is one break, not even a huge break, and hundreds of thousands of people are going to be drinking and bathing in bottled water."

Bingo.

Please read the entire article at the link.

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Mainers Disenchanted with Governor LePage's Brand of Tea Loonacy

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Being a native Vermonter (landlocked on all sides) the state of Maine is close to my heart, and a second home since I was in the womb. Literally.

My amazing other parents, the husband's folks, were kind enough to retire from New Jersey to the tiny town of Woolwich, Maine. [I know!!] So we've had a fascinating seat to see the gubernatorial hijinks and the fun and tragic congressional changes.

Teabagger LePage did one great thing, at least on a selfish level, he legalized the real deal professional fireworks and my Mom-in-Law got a proper display on her 80th … I got to light one of the breadbox-sized fancy ones, it was ridiculously fantastic.

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The good governor, however, with no disrespect to the actual mentally ill/those with genuine brain health ailments … is even crazier than the Bat-shite Category we usually save for Michelle Bachmann, Glenn Beck, Ann Fricking Coulter and Lippy Limpbaugh. Add LePage.

And no disrespect to Les Québecois, nous vous aimerons toujours içi , either, but he's got a clear streak of uniquely Gallic irrationality down deep in that there loonacy, Governor LePage.

Hence, the 2014 Governor's race is being bandied about about from Bangor through Bath and right on into Brunswick. There is plenty of Tea Party up there, but we'd be all day talking about that today, just take my word for it. [They couldn't legalize gay marriage beyond the shadow of a doubt the first time, 'nuff said about our friends to the northwest.] I'll let the Southern Poverty Law Center explain. He made their Hate Watch list.

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Maine Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican elected in 2010 as a “Tea Party” candidate, admits that he held a number of meetings last year with leaders of an antigovernment sovereign citizens group, as revealed in a new book excerpt published this week.

But he now claims that the meetings were not an endorsement of the conspiracy theories and extremist politics that were discussed – rather, he was simply listening to his constituents.

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The political storm over LePage’s dalliances with far-right radicals broke on Monday when Talking Points Memo published a key excerpt from As Maine Went: Governor Paull LePage and the Tea Party Takeover of Maine, a new book from political blogger Mike Tipping of Portland. The post described a series of eight meetings over nine months in 2013 that LePage initiated with members of the Constitutional Coalition, a sovereign citizens group based mostly in the state’s northern reaches.

Steve Kornacki on UP on messnbc gave a great glimpse into the interesting upcoming Maine gubernatorial contest on UP this weekend, have a gander and see if you don't find it a good climate for Progressive hopes.

The Tea Party will have a lot to answer for in Liberal Hell. Governor LePage will be in a front banquette, right in the fireworks section.

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Wednesday Links

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Researchers Take On Kermadec Trench Dive To Find Unknown Deep-Sea Creatures

Maine Poised To Pass Lifesaving Anti-Overdose Bill

Compare and Contrast:
Maryland
Maryland Decriminalizes Marijuana Possession

Missouri
Growing Pot Got These Siblings As Much Prison Time As Driving Drunk And Killing Someone

Mary Fallin Signs Ban On Minimum Wage Increase

Two Years Later The Romneys Are Pathetically Still Trying to Prove That Mitt Pays Taxes

What Some Folks Do With Their Piles Of Money Is Downright Un-American

Conservatives Lash Out At Rand Paul Over Foreign Policy

Munich Creates Urban Naked Zones Because Nudity Is Awesome

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Women have abortion rights, so why can't men rape them? asked now apologetic GOP lawmaker.

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Laffy Note: Apparently David Garber and I both decided to post about this pathetic excuse for a human being, and for good reason. It happens. Two writers, two different takes on the same topic.

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Republican Maine State Rep. Lawrence Lockman says he's sorry for appalling statements he made in the '80s and '90s about women's and gay rights, rape, abortion, AIDS, sodomy, and progressives.

It is now 2014. Do the math, State Rep. Reprehensible (R- Busted), because your "mea culpa" is a tad overdue.

Via  the Morning Sentinel:

In a 1995 letter in the Sun Journal in Lewiston, a reader quoted a press statement by Lockman, then part of the Pro Life Education Association, saying, “If a woman has (the right to an abortion), why shouldn’t a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman? At least the rapist’s pursuit of sexual freedom doesn’t (in most cases) result in anyone’s death.”

This Moment of WTF brought to you by "rape doesn't result in anyone's death" and "rapist's pursuit of sexual freedom," among other things. By the way, does this genius understand that men get raped, too?

So now he's apologizing, just as some Republicans are currently walking back, tempering, or avoiding their own controversial positions on similar issues with an eye toward future elections.

But that's not why Lockman hung his head, shuffled his feet, and mumbled his regrets about something he put out there years ago. Nope, he issued his apology because Progressive blogger Mike Tipping revived them in a very public way in a recent post. Call it a Tipping Point. Local Democrats demanded the State Rep's resignation.

So basically, he was sorry that his earlier vile remarks were rediscovered and spotlighted.

Lockman attributed his bigoted, ignorant, misogynistic idiocy to being "passionate about his beliefs" and declared that he holds " no animosity toward anyone by virtue of their gender or sexual orientation." Sure. Anything you say, Lawrence. I'm passionate, too, about exposing you, an elected official, who has displayed a jaw-dropping lack of judgment, sensitivity, awareness, and basic knowledge on the taxpayer's dime.

Mike Tipping has much more, including:

“In the overwhelming majority of cases, people are dying because of their addiction to sodomy,” Lockman wrote in a 1987 letter to the editor to the Lewiston Daily Sunarguing against funding for AIDS education. “They are dying because progressive, enlightened, tolerant people in politics and in medicine have assured the public that the practice of sodomy is a legitimate alternative lifestyle, rather than a perverted, depraved crime against humanity.”

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GOP Maine Representative Hits New Low In Suggesting It's Okay To Rape Women

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If you can't beat abortion legislation, rape the women. That's a loose translation of the inflammatory remarks made by Maine state Rep. Lawrence Lockman (R-Amherst). Via Raw Story:

If a woman has (the right to an abortion), why shouldn’t a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman?” Lockman said. “At least the rapist’s pursuit of sexual freedom doesn’t (in most cases) result in anyone’s death.”

"Rape doesn't (in most cases) result in anyone's death?" Whoa there, Mr. Representative. Are you kidding? Some things like psychological scarring and permanent physical damage result that can be far worse than death. And suicides by rape victims are statistically significant according to Suicide.org.

-Rape has long-term emotional consequences that can lead to suicide.
-It is quite common for rape victims to suffer from depression.
-And untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide.
-About 33% of rape victims have suicidal thoughts.
-About 13% of rape victims will attempt suicide.
-Suicide attempts may occur years after the rape.

Reality calling Rep. Lockman. Please come in. It's as if this Neanderthal is saying, if I can't stop you from getting an abortion, then you can't stop me from raping you. If you get pregnant, you have the legal way to get rid of the fetus. So tough noogies.

Rep. Lockman should be under a psychologist's care. He's not safe out on the streets and certainly not safe sitting in the state capital as a voting member of the Maine legislature. He's not just a one issue nutjob, anti-abortion. Here's a bit more about him:

In one of the quotes posted on the blog, Lockman falsely suggested HIV and AIDS could be spread by bed sheets and mosquitos, and he also said the progressive movement helped spread the virus by claiming “the practice of sodomy is a legitimate alternative lifestyle, rather than a perverted and depraved crime against humanity.”

“[Lockman is a] disturbed individual who holds some of the most abhorrent beliefs ever heard from a public official in Maine,” said Ben Grant, the state’s Democratic Party chairman in a statement Tuesday.

More and more these wackadoos are coming to light. And they aren't all made of the same whole cloth. But they seem to all have on thing in common -- they're Republicans. As we saw in Arizona with their recent smokescreen anti-gay law (vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer), the right wing, evangelical fraction is still out there, and still active.

Their old ideas just won't die. Perhaps like the old soldiers of Gen. MacArthur's day, over time they will just fade away.

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"Why Save Lives? That Costs Money," Maine Gov. LePage

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HuffPo:

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) appears set to oppose a bill increasing access to a lifesaving anti-overdose medication because of concerns rejected by public health experts that it could encourage more drug abuse, according to the bill's chief sponsor.

Fatal heroin overdoses in Maine quadrupled from 2011 to 2012. Naloxone is a drug that can reverse overdoses from heroin and other opioids like morphine. State Rep. Sara Gideon (D) is sponsoring legislation that would place the drug [naloxone], which is sold under the trade name Narcan, in the hands of police, firefighters, at-risk users and their families.

With statistics like those above, why wouldn't any caring public servant not want to provide all possible life-saving options to all first responders? Do they send firemen to fires without water? Do they send cops out on the street without guns? So why this stand by the governor, and why now?

Part of the problem is this man is insane. He's no stranger to controversy. For a quick refresher course on his antics, he's the man who  had some words for Democratic State Senator Troy Jackson, whom he battled over the state's budget.

"Senator Jackson claims to be for the people but he's the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline," LePage told Portland station WMTW.

So now who's shoving something where it doesn't belong without lube? Here's LePage's twisted logic: he believes increasing the availability of Narcan will lead the drug user or drug abuser to have this feeling of invincibility. Therefore, why save their lives? Why should we keep alive someone who's a drug user?

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Ask Janis Joplin, Philip Seymour Hoffman, River Phoenix, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cory Haim, Lenny Bruce, Billie Holiday, Heath Ledger, Jimi Hendrix, Chris Farley, Curt Cobain, Whitney Houston, or tragically so many more. Maybe the cost of carrying the drug on first responders is a concern. But think of the value these drug overdosers' lives would have had for all of us if they had lived. You can't put a price on a life, but this GOP ultra-conservative believes he can. And he's not alone. Maybe they need to look at this:

In 2010, police and firefighters in Quincy, Mass., started carrying Naloxone as part of their standard equipment -- a scenario similar to that envisioned in Gideon's bill. Since then, Naloxone has been credited with reversing 188 overdoses in Quincy alone, and the head of the Boston suburb's police narcotics unit has become a Naloxone evangelist.

People of Maine, you deserve better. Whatever your reasons for putting your life into this wachadoo's hands, he has certainly not earned your trust. Make sure your state representative knows that the cost of saving lives is nothing compared to what a living person can contribute to you and the rest of society.

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From California To Maine, The GOP Is Very Scared

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Don't let the press scare you if you're a Democrat or an Independent, or if you're a woman, LGBT, believe in evolution or science, are an immigrant, accept climate control, favor social welfare, public parks, clean air, or are young, have college loans or want financial reform. The Republicans who are against all of those things and more are showing signs of cracking. The Republicans might very well lose the House despite gerrymandering and they're certainly not going to regain control of the Senate.

How can I make such broad predictions? Well, here's a taste of what the RNC is thinking and how they're approaching their attack. Here's a piece of a story from BDN MAINE

The Maine GOP’s latest insult to women

Even as Maine Republicans are rolling out a traveling show in an attempt to gain support among young people, they seem to have given up on their attempts at outreach to another problem demographic for the party: the majority of voters that are female.

In a post on the Maine GOP Facebook page today the Party ridicules lawyer Sandra Fluke for considering running for Congress in California with an image macro claiming she “can’t afford birth control” but can afford the filing fee to enter the election.

This is a sign of fear. Why? Well, for starters you can't get farther away from California than Maine on any map of the US. Then look at the target of this attack. It's Sandra Fluke. She's best known for being denied a chance to speak to congress by the GOP as well as the over the top, outrageous misogynist and truly misinformed comments by Rush Limbaugh. He's the cartoon you look at when you want to point out crazy.

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Finally, look at this campaign against the Fluke filing. She's just filed. So have two others and more are expected to vie for the seat of retiring Rep. Henry Waxman in Los Angeles. It's a Democratic seat and most likely will be filled with a Democratic candidate. But when just the filing of a political neophyte (and that doesn't mean she isn't an excellent candidate), brings on the opposition money and shivering in their timbers by Republicans across the country who will have no say in a Los Angeles area election, it says something. It says a lot. And true colors are coming to the surface. No matter how much lip service Republicans give to being inclusive, having a large tent or any other analogy, they clearly are not. They're white, old, out of touch with reality, anti-women, anti-employment, anti-Black, anti-immigrant and you can take that to the bank (polls).

They say animals can smell fear. Well so can people. And right now, if you take a whiff, that's the GOP's stinking, fear-filled carcass, not the licorice smell emanating from waters of West Virginia.

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