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Maine
  • Olympia Snowe's Reign of Moderate Terror May Continue


    Now that the Tea Party has its boot firmly on the GOP's neck, whither Olympia Snowe (R[INO]-Me.)? For a while it looked like her decades of service in the Senate might be destined for an end in 2012, as Maine voters elected their first Tea Party governor and generally showed signs of disinterest in moderate-ish Republicanism and/or career politicians.

    But a new poll shows that Snowe's reelection prospects are sunnier than we thought…

    In October of 2009 only 31% of Maine GOP voters stood with Snowe, while 59% wanted to replace her with someone more conservative. [...] But over the last seven months there's been a major transformation, and now 46% of primary voters in the state stand with Snowe compared to only 47% who want to replace her from the right.

    Well, well. How'd she get there from here?

    [S]he's done a better job over the last half year of wooing the far right voters who classify themselves as being 'very conservative.' They still don't like her but she's improved 23 points on the margin with them from -47 (21/68) to -24 (29/53).

    Beyond the fact that she's improved her standing with the far right, she's also benefiting from the fact that the Tea Party just isn't that strong in Maine these days. Only 21% of Republican primary voters in the state identify as members of that movement.

    In other words, Olympia Snowe's rightward swing — which has hurt her standing among moderates who've supported her for years — has won her points with the voting bloc du jour, which, it turns out, may not matter much at all! Good job!

    Well, if nothing else, the far right has helped Senator Snowe keep her driveway clear in the winter. At least there's that.

    Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Maine, Olympia Snowe, Polls, Republicans, Senate, Tea Party
  • Mean Elizabeth Warren Wants to Break Scott Brown's Heart


    Consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren is trying to ruin everything by founding an exploratory committee for a mission to unseat America's Naked Boyfriend, Senator Scott Brown. Heartbreak alert!

    What the hell is this Harvard Law School professor thinking? Doesn't she know that nerdy smart ladies aren't supposed to get in the way of sexy nude boys' political dreams? Somebody needs to take this high-falutin' filly down a peg, and Brian Walsh, National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman, is just the man to do it. Here's his statement on Warren's jerky move:

    As a native of Oklahoma, the anointed candidate of the Washington establishment, and someone who has spent many years ensconced in the hallways of Harvard, it's a good idea for Professor Warren to learn more about her adopted state of Massachusetts as she prepares to compete in a crowded Democrat primary.

    Oooooh, BURN! Way to point out that she was born in Oklahoma, works in Washington, D.C., and… has lived in Massachusetts for… many years? Hmm.

    On second thought, Bri-Bri, I'm not sure how much you'll scare people by reminding them that their potential new senator is also a longtime resident of their state.

    Also: Scott Brown was born in Maine, and unless it's still 1819, that's not Massachusetts.

    Just sayin'.

    Photo by Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Group/Getty Images


    Tags: Elizabeth Warren, Maine, Massachusetts, Scott Brown, Senate
  • The United States of Unflattering Stereotypes

    How long does it take to travel to every state in the nation and mock it right to its face? About two minutes…

    I think it's really cool that Paul Jury traveled 19,000 miles in the service of writing his book States of Confusion, but you've got to wonder if it was really necessary. If he was really interested in seeing how everybody in the country really lives, couldn't he have just gone to a Wal-Mart in a Hoveround?


    Tags: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Books, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
  • Maine Republicans Looking to Roll Back Child Labor Laws

    I used to think that the Republican Party was trying to push the country back to the 1950s, but I don't think that anymore.

    Now I think they're trying to push us back to the 1850s

    Republican members of the state legislature are attempting to loosen child labor laws that the community fought hard to put into place.

    The minimum wage in Maine is $7.50 an hour, and there is no training or subminimum wage for students. But under a new piece of legislation introduced in the state's House of Representatives, employers would be able to pay anyone under the age of 20 as little as $5.25 an hour for their first 180 days on the job.

    The bill, LD 1346, also eliminates the maximum number of hours a minor 16 years of age or older can work on a school day and allows a minor under the age of 16 to work up to four hours on a school day during hours when school is not in session.

    So, what's next? Are they going to start sneaking repeals of women's suffrage into education bills? Are we gonna find a movement gaining steam to return black citizens to 3/5ths of a person status? Are we gonna have to start allowing soldiers to quarter themselves in our homes? What's the final plan? Just how far back are they planning to take us?


    Tags: Children, Maine, Republicans, Work/office
  • Paul LePage Fantasizes About Bearded Ladies

    Indecision favorite Paul "Butt-Kissin' " LePage is up to his usual verbal hijinks again.

    This time, Maine's irrepressible scamp of a governor unleashed his matchless wit in an effort to pooh-pooh some scientists' claims that the chemical bisphenol A could lead to hormone disruptions and long-term health problems in humans. Take it away, Prattlin' Paul

    "Quite frankly, the science that I'm looking at says there is no [problem]," LePage said. "There hasn't been any science that identifies that there is a problem."

    LePage then added: "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."

    Unsurprisingly, his reaction pissed off scientists and environmental activists alike. Eight states and the European Union have already restricted the use of the chemical in consumer products. Late last year, even Maine's own Board of Environmental Protection recommended banning BPA-laced products beginning in 2012.

    But in Paul LePage's whimsical world of fun and tomfoolery, these other entities are just lame-os who don't know how awesome baby food tastes when saturated with toxic chemicals. LePage 1, Science -1000000000.


    Tags: Environment, Health, Maine, Paul LePage, Science & Technology