POLL QUESTION

LePage echoes Trump in blaming ‘both sides’ for Virginia violence

Do you agree with LePage that both the white supremacists and counter-protesters are responsible for last weekend’s violence in Charlottesville?

After remaining largely silent on the past weekend’s violence in Virginia, Gov. Paul LePage erupted Thursday on the radio, echoing President Donald Trump’s reaction to the Charlottesville conflict, assigning equal blame to white supremacists and counter-protesters who showed up to oppose a rally against removing a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

LePage said he “condemns both sides” of the uprising, adding they are “disgusting” and that “there’s no place for either of those groups in this country.”

 

On Wednesday, in the wake of Ku Klux Klan fliers reportedly being found in Boothbay Harbor, Bartlett said in a written statement that “actions like these are the direct result of leaders like Donald Trump, Paul LePage and Mary Mayhew who only embolden white supremacists by refusing to stand up and condemn their hateful actions and rhetoric.

“I would tell you right away how I would react,” LePage said. “All guns ahead, boys. Take them out … my first advice to the Maine people is don’t gather in these large crowds. It’s not safe…  If you choose to go in and battle, I will not be timid.”

LePage has faced criticism for what some have called racially charged comments at several times during his tenure. In January 2016, he unleashed a firestorm when he used racial terms to describe Maine’s drug problem, saying that drug traffickers from Connecticut and New York come to Maine and impregnate girls who are “young” and “white” before leaving the state. In August 2016, he used similar framing when he made comments about black and Hispanic people coming to Maine to sell drugs.

LePage’s take on opposition to removing Confederate statues also mirrored Trump, who made a “slippery slope” argument that removing statues of Confederate leaders like Lee would result in a call for the removal of monuments to Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, because they owned slaves.

Let’s take down the statues of Washington (slave owner, war profiteer, horrid general) and Jefferson (slave owner, slave raper, war profiteer.)

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Abortion protesters return to Portland, Maine after court rules against them

PORTLAND, Maine — The protesters outside Portland’s Planned Parenthood clinic weren’t screaming Friday morning, but not because of a court order.

It was the first of the regularly scheduled anti-abortion demonstrations since a federal judge ruled that police may again enforce Maine’s noise ordinance against protesters outside the women’s health center. And the activists kept their admonitions to a low shout despite the decision not yet being in effect.

On Tuesday, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling, finding that police can enforce the noise section of the Maine Civil Rights Act against the protesters because, as written, the law is message neutral.

The ruling is the latest step in a legal drama that started in 2015 and could now be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, the issue at hand being whether or not the First Amendment gives protesters the right to scream epithets such as “Murderer!” and “Whore!” at patients entering the clinic, of course, in the name of Jesus.

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ACLU Sues Maine Governor for Deleting Critical Comments from His Facebook Page

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The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against Maine Governor Paul LePage over his practice of deleting comments and blocking people from his official Facebook page in order to censor dissent. The ACLU says, “Free speech must be protected from government censorship on Facebook just as is it in any other public forum.”

Vetoes, bonds and late LePage surprises

The Legislature is back in Augusta on Wednesday for what’s set to be the last official day of the 2017 session.

They’re mostly back to vote on overriding 27 vetoes from Gov. Paul LePage, including bills that would set long-term solar policy, increase Maine’s tobacco-buying age to 21 and prohibit handheld cellphone use while driving.

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SHOCKER: U.S. Representative Bruce Poliquin votes in favor of tougher ozone standards

U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin won praise from the environmental community Tuesday when he announced his opposition to a bill that seeks to delay the implementation of stricter ozone standards.

The Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017, which passed 229-199 Tuesday evening with Poliquin and 10 other Republicans against it, is similar to a nearly identical measure that Poliquin and 9 other House Republicans opposed in 2016. The bill passed 234-177 in the House in 2016 but went on to fail in the Senate, where this year’s bill is now headed.

The 2017 act, which has been dubbed the Smoggy Skies Act by its opponents, would delay new ozone standards developed in 2008 and 2015 for the National Ambient Air Quality Standards and loosen review standards for a variety of air pollutants. It would also change criteria for pollution determinations from being based on protecting public health to consideration of “technological feasibility.”

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Poliquin said it goes too hard against important air quality standards.

Gov. Paul LePage: ‘Narcan will save lives’ despite previously criticizing overdose-reversal drug. How Orwellian is this show gonna get?

“I believe that Narcan will save lives. However, if you allow it to go 12, 13, 14, 15 times with the shots, the odds are against you,” the governor said Tuesday. “We have to say when we give you a shot: ‘You have to go to rehab or pay for it.’”

The governor’s comments at a Bangor forum on substance abuse came after he last year vetoed a bill, which has since become law, to allow pharmacists to dispense to medicine without a prescription. At that time, LePage said, “Naloxone does not truly save lives; it merely extends them until the next overdose.”

His press secretary said Wednesday that both of LePage’s statements are true.

“The governor has said the initial shot will save lives,” Adrienne Bennett said. “And he also believes that if someone is administered multiple shots it is a false security.”

This year LePage sponsored two drug-related bills that failed, one that would have forced towns to charge people revived more than once by an opiate overdose antidote and another that would essentially treat alcohol and drug use by pregnant women as child abuse.

Penobscot County Sheriff Troy Morton, who was on a panel of local law enforcement officers who spoke just before LePage arrived, said faith-based recovery programs at the county jail do seem to work.

“It’s better than any medication,” Morton said.

When a church member asked what his small congregation could do, the sheriff suggested a simple solution:

“Open the doors. The biggest problem is the stigma. We have to realize this is a social problem that affects us all.”

WHY DON’T WE JUST LEGALIZE FUCKING IBOGAINE? (because, the cost of addiction is someone’s profit.  Yay Amerika!)

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