Tag: Maine

Conservative Maine Government Doubles Down On Successful Welfare Reform Policies Despite Leftist Whining

Maine Doubles Down On Welfare Reform Despite Media Backlash – Daily Signal

.

.
Mary Mayhew, commissioner of Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services, knows her politics aren’t always popular.

“I can’t stress enough what an attack campaign it has been from the media for four and a half years,” Mayhew said Thursday at an anti-poverty forum in Washington, D.C., hosted by The Heritage Foundation.

Then there are the more personalized critiques: “There is a poet, or he calls himself a poet, and he sends me poems all the time,” she added. “They are not nice poems.”

Mayhew claims that detractors – who mostly take issue with welfare reforms enacted by Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican, since his election in 2011 – have gone so far as to call her “Commissioner Evil,” and her and LePage’s policies a “War on the Poor.”

The irony, according to Mayhew, lies in the fact that her and LePage’s efforts actually aim to empower Maine’s poorest citizens. She says a third of the state is on welfare.

“The welfare hurricane doesn’t just destroy one family; it destroys generations of them,” Tarren Bragdon, president and CEO of the Foundation for Government Accountability, said at the event Thursday. “This work is about giving children a better chance for a future.”

To illustrate that point, Mayhew told a story of one of her first days on the job as DHHS commissioner, spent touring a substance abuse treatment facility for adolescents:
.

I was taken aback by one of the youth who came up to me – it was actually several youth, who were just completely focused on whether I could help them get disability. These were 15-year-old, 16-year-old young men clearly battling addiction, but they had decided that the answer for them was to pursue disability. And, frankly, as we all look at that pathway, that truly is committing individuals to a lifetime of poverty.

.
Since LePage assumed the governorship, Maine has reduced enrollment in the state’s food stamp program by over 58,000; currently, according to Mayhew, there are 197,000 people on food stamps, down from a high of 255,663 in February 2012.

Mayhew says the decline is due to eliminating the waiver of the work requirement previously attached to food stamps, as also witnessed in Kansas. Under the new legislation, recipients would need to work 20 hours per week, volunteer for about an hour a day, or attend a class to receive food stamps past three months.

LePage and Mayhew have also rolled back Medicaid eligibility through a series of battles Mayhew called “fierce.”

With a population of roughly 1.3 million, Maine had 357,000 individuals receiving Medicaid benefits when LePage took office. Today, 287,000 people are on Medicaid, according to Mayhew.

“What we have done truly has taken the arguments to the public to underscore what has been lost as that program grew out of control, never mind that the resources that had to be devoted to Medicaid were being taken away from education, infrastructure, and reduced tax burden on the state of Maine,” Mayhew said.

In August, Maine DHHS announced they planned to redirect $3.24 million in welfare savings to fund home care services for elderly citizens as well as the Meals on Wheels program.

Lastly, Mayhew touched upon Maine’s efforts to retool the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card programs, stating that Maine had over 15,000 open TANF cases when LePage took office. That number is down to less than 5,000.

LePage’s and Mayhew’s policies, as Mayhew herself highlighted, have not been without controversy.

Earlier this week, amid an ongoing dispute over EBT cards being used to wire money abroad, critics accused the LePage administration of using last Friday’s terror attacks in Paris to justify reforms.

“This proposal is really an example of fear-mongering at its worst,” Robyn Merrill, executive director of Maine Equal Justice Partners, told MPBN News.

But Mayhew does not plan to back down – especially if it means reducing her own influence long-term, and shifting that responsibility to local non-profits.

“I can’t underscore enough that part of the issue is government is too big, my agency is too large, and people are trying to preserve their jobs,” she said.

“We have got to reduce the size and scope of these agencies if we are going to have communities really take on the responsibility of supporting these families and these individuals on those pathways [to independence].”

.

.

Well Over Half Of U.S. States Now Refusing To Take Syrian “Refugees”

Here Is The Map Of All States Defying Obama And Refusing To Take ‘Syrian Refugees’ – Top Right News

.

.
More than half of U.S. states are now refusing to cooperate with Barack Obama’s insane importation of 200,000 so-called ‘Syrian Refugees’ in the wake of the Paris terror attacks.

As public outrage has exploded since revelations that at least two of the Paris terrorists came into Europe as “Syrian refugees,” the number of governors opposing Obama’s plan has increased almost hourly on Monday, from just one – Michigan – overnight, to at least 27 at this hour… including one Democrat in a tight race (Maggie Hassan, NH).

As Top Right News has reported, at least two of the Paris terrorists entered Greece posing as so-called “Syrian refugees” in September – and were able to make their way to France to prepare, arm and execute a massive terrorist attack just 90 days later. This, after a Syrian informant revealed over 4,000 ISIS fighters have already been smuggled into Western nations – “hidden among innocent refugees.”

Obama’s own DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson actually said “we don’t know a whole lot” about Syrian refugees coming into America, and that DHS has “no active protocol” for properly screening them.

Yesterday, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) announced that, to protect the safety of his citizens, he would BLOCK any future importation of Muslim “refugees” to his state. A virtual avalanche of U.S. governors quickly followed suit. And although Federal law gives Obama the ability to import refugees as he sees fit, through the Jimmy Carter-era Refugee Act (1980), the states are essential parts of the settlement process. Without their cooperation, few if any refugees are likely to be moved to those states.

In a press conference this morning in Turkey, Obama said that ‘the United States has to step up and do its part,’ while chiding those in the opposition party for suggesting there be a ‘religious test’ for entry into the United States.

Clearly, the American people do not agree, and the brutal Paris attacks were the critical mass that has spurred massive political action.

The White House is furious at the growing revolt of the states:
.
————————————————————————————————–
Liberal News
@LiberalsKickAss

White House blasts Republican states for rejecting needy Syrian refugees, says “Xenophobia is not the answer to terror” #paris

11:47 AM – 16 Nov 2015
————————————————————————————————–

.
Here is a map of the states currently defying Obama on his Muslim importation program (updated hourly):

.

.
As of 11/17/2015 3:00EST

STATES OPPOSING SYRIAN REFUGEES (27):

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire (D), New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin

UPDATE: Gov. Susana Martinez (R-NM) is opposed to the resettlement of Muslim migrants. This remains missing from all other internet maps/lists hours later, for some reason.

UPDATE: We have Alaska in green because its Republican Gov. Bill Walker (I, former R) said he “can’t be bothered” to address this issue due to other concerns, angering many Alaskans who want him to oppose it.

UPDATE: Gov. Jay Nixon (D-MO) has refused to bar Obama’s refugees from Missouri, despite 105 of 114 counties being opposed to it.

Is your state welcoming any of the 200,000 so-called “refugees” Obama is demanding be imported into the heart of America, despite there being no “effective protocol” to properly vet them for ISIS ties?

If so you may wish to contact your governor at THIS link.

.
————————————————————————————————–
.

Related articles:

.
Third Of Syrian Refugees ISIS Sympathizers, 13 Percent Support – Gateway Pundit

A poll released in November but ignored by the mainstream media shows a third of Syrian refugees do not want the Muslim terrorist group ISIS defeated. The survey results buttress concerns by the dozens of U.S. governors who have announced opposition to President Barack Obama’s plan to import 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year.

The poll shows thirteen percent of Syrian refugees have a completely positive opinion of ISIS with another ten percent having mixed feelings on the terror group, suggesting that nearly one quarter are open to recruitment by ISIS.

Factoring the survey results with the 10,000 Syrian refugees Obama plans to bring to the United States means Obama will bring in 1,300 ISIS supporters and a total of 3,100 who do not want the US to defeat ISIS.

The Obama administration imported about 1,600 Syrian refugees in the past fiscal year. That means around 200 Syrian refugee ISIS supporters and a total of nearly 500 Syrian refugee ISIS sympathizers are already in the country.

The telephone poll of 900 Syrian refugees was conducted by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies as part of a larger survey of six hundred people in each of six Arab nations and the Palestinian territories about ISIS. The group surveyed Syrian refugees in “equal proportion” located in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. The survey also covered residents of Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Palestinian territories.

The poll has a margin of error rate of plus or minus four percent.

The survey result for the other Arab countries show similar levels of support for ISIS which ought to prompt a reevaluation of the U.S. policy for immigrants and refugees from the Middle East. The sole exception is Lebanon where less than one percent have a positive view of ISIS.

At the other end of the spectrum, even more supportive of ISIS than the Syrian refugees, are Palestinians.

The survey shows twenty-four percent of Palestinians have a positive view of ISIS with another thirty-six percent only having a somewhat negative opinion of ISIS. The survey also shows Palestinians as the only group where less than fifty percent (48) support the defeat of ISIS .

A Google News search shows only Investors Business Daily and The Blaze have reported on the survey. In Canada, which has pledged to take in 25,000 Syrian refugees, it appears only The Rebel has reported on the survey.

.
————————————————————————————————–

.
Obama Admin ‘Lied’ About Vetting Syrian Refugees – WorldNetDaily

The former chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence says President Obama has no coherent strategy to defeat ISIS, and he alleges one of Obama’s top advisers “lied to the American people” to perpetuate a misguided program allowing tens of thousands of refugees into the U.S.

Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes appeared on multiples Sunday morning news shows. When asked whether the news that one and possibly two of the Paris terrorists came to Europe as refugees would alter the Obama administration’s plan to accept tens of thousands of refugees, Rhodes said there would be no re-evaluation.

“No, Chuck,” Rhodes told “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd. “We have very extensive screening procedures for all Syrian refugees who would come to the United States. There’s a very careful vetting process that includes our intelligence community, our National Counterterrorism Center, the Department of Homeland Security. So we can make sure we’re carefully screening anybody who comes to the United States.”

Peter Hoekstra spent 18 years in Congress and spent much of his time focused on intelligence matters. He is now with the Investigative Project on Terrorism and is the author of “Architects of Disaster,” which outlines the failure of the Obama administration’s policy in Libya.

“I think (Rhodes) basically lied to the American people,” Hoekstra told WND and Radio America. “He said we’ve got a good vetting process in place where we can vet those that are coming from Syria into the United States.”

He continued, “No we do not. The records don’t exist in Syria, especially after you’ve had five years of civil war. We don’t have a relationship with the regime. It’s an ungoverned area. We don’t know who these people are. Ben, shame on you for even implying that we’ve got a good vetting system. We’re lucky if can get the names right.”

In fact, even before the terrorist attacks in Paris, Hoekstra said the idea of bringing in tens of thousands of refugees was a fool’s errand. As such, he said the announcements from a growing number of governors that they won’t accept refugees is a good sign.

“I think it’s a good decision,” he said. “I wasn’t quite sure why we were ever welcoming these folks in. We are a welcoming nation to refugees and to these kinds of individuals, but only after they’ve been vetted.”

Hoekstra said spreading all these refugees around the Western world does nothing to solve the real problem.

“This problem is not solved by accepting refugees into Europe and the United States,” he said. “This problem is solved by eliminating ISIS and bringing some stability back into the Middle East. You’ve got to wipe ISIS out.”

The issue is taking on additional scrutiny after the European Union revealed only one-fifth of the refugees it has accepted (or about 44,000 of some 213,000 total) are actually from Syria.

But the refugee issue is just one element of the Obama administration’s approach to ISIS that baffles Hoekstra. On Monday, Obama told reporters at the G-20 Summit in Turkey that the Paris attacks would not alter the U.S. strategy toward ISIS. Hoekstra said the existing strategy is a proven disaster, as evidenced by Yemen and Libya turning into lawless wastelands and both Syria and Iraq getting increasingly unstable and deadly to Christians, Yazidis and others.

“I’m not sure what strategy this president is looking at that he believes it working,” Hoekstra said. “When you’ve got at least four countries that are no longer governed and are failed nation-states and are home for the planning and training and preparation for attacks against the West, that is not my view of success.”

Another statement from Obama in Turkey is getting even more attention. After announcing he was sticking with his existing strategy toward ISIS, Obama slammed those who want to America taking a more decisive role.

“What I’m not interested in doing is posing, or pursuing some notion of American leadership or America winning or whatever other slogans they come up with that has no relationship to what is actually going to work,” Obama said.

Hoekstra was stunned.

“This message is clear: When the president says, ‘I have no intention of following or implementing a strategy about America leading’ or whatever slogan they may come up with, it is clear that this president does not have a strategy in place for America leading in Northern Africa, the Middle East or, for that matter, any other place in the world,” Hoekstra said.

And he said America’s credibility is taking a beating as a result.

“I hate to be that critical of this president, but America is at risk,” Hoekstra said. “We are in danger, and we’re in danger of losing our influence in the world. We’ve been a voice of stability, security, democracy and human rights. We are just losing all credibility throughout significant portions of the world.”

In addition to his frustrations with the Obama administration, Hoekstra is alarmed at how unprepared the intelligence communities were for the Paris attacks.

“What I’m hearing is that there was some general awareness that there were some attacks or an attack was imminent in Europe,” Hoekstra said. “That was out there, but again no tactical insight into exactly where the attack would take place or when it would take place.”

He said the truth is, it’s really hard to find these small plots before they happen.

“It just tells you that ISIS and these radical jihadist groups in a country of 80 million people or in a country of 300-plus million people like the United States, it’s not that hard to hide and organize and prepare to carry out an attack like this,” Hoekstra said.

So what can be done to improve America’s odds of stopping future attacks?

“We need closer intelligence sharing between our agencies,” Hoekstra said. “We need to push the technology envelope as quickly as we can, and we need to improve our human intelligence.”

Intelligence experts say efforts to infiltrate ISIS have essentially “gone dark,” partly due to former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden exposing tactics for tracking terrorist suspects.

Hoekstra said this confirms what everyone should have known about Snowden from the outset.

“As I said at the time, this was not an American hero protecting American liberties,” he said. “This was an American traitor that was giving away some of America’s secrets that would make us more vulnerable to these kinds of groups and these kinds of individuals and these kinds of attacks.”

.

.

Maine Sees 22% Decrease In Food Stamp Recipients Thanks To Republican Work Requirement

What’s Behind Maine’s 22% Decrease In Food Stamp Recipients Since 2012 – Daily Signal

.

.
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services has announced that the state has fewer than 200,000 recipients enrolled in its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for the first time since February 2009.

Enrollment in the state’s food stamp program has decreased to 199,157, a 22-percent decline from a high of 255,663 recipients in February, 2012.

“This is an important milestone for Maine’s economy and safety net,” DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew said in a statement. “People on food stamps are living in poverty, and more food stamps does not equal less poverty. This administration is focused on incentivizing employment rather than trapping people in generational poverty and welfare dependency.”

“We need a workforce that is ready and willing to work if we are to attract and retain employers in this state,” Mayhew added. “Today, there are employers around the state who cannot find applicants for their jobs. Doling out assistance with no focus on employment is destructive to individual productivity and detrimental to our efforts to improve Maine’s economy and future. Today, Mainers who support commonsense welfare reform can rest assured that Governor LePage’s efforts are paying off.”

LePage’s administration re-implemented a work requirement for able-bodied adults without dependents enrolled in the program.

According to Maine’s DHHS, “[t]he rule required simply that those adults work for 20 hours per week, volunteer for about one hour per day, or attend a class in order to maintain food stamps beyond three months.”

Rachel Sheffield, a policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, said, “Work requirements serve to ensure that assistance is going to those most in need.”

“They act as a gatekeeper,” Sheffield said. “Welfare is available to those who truly need it, but people are directed first towards work. Able-bodied adults should be required to work, prepare for work, or look for work in exchange for receiving assistance. Maine is a strong example of promoting work and reciprocal obligation.”

Some were critical of the news.

Chris Hastedt, a policy director with Maine Equal Justice Partners, told Maine’s WCSH, “I hear language that says this is a good thing because it is forcing people to work.”

“People don’t need to be forced to work. People need to be helped to find a job,” Hastedt said.

.

.

Your Daley Gator Feel-Good Story O’ The Day

Man Robbed Five Times in Six Years Finally Has Enough And Buys A Gun… Here’s What Happened When He Encountered Latest Intruder – The Blaze

After five burglaries in six years, a retired Maine lobsterman bought a gun to defend himself and ended up shooting an intruder hours later.

Sixty-seven-year-old Harvey Lembo tells the Portland Press Herald he bought a 1941 revolver Monday.

“I’m tired of it so I went and bought a gun,” Lembo told WGME-TV.

.

.
Just past midnight Tuesday, he says he was awakened and saw a big shadow. Lembo says he climbed into his wheelchair and found an intruder near where he kept his pills.

Lembo says he ordered the man to stay where he was while he called police.

“I told him to sit on the coffee table, or I’d blow his brains out,” Lembo said.

But that’s when man bolted toward the front door and Lembo shot him in the shoulder.

“If he’d have sat there, nothing would have happened. But he wanted to leave and I’d had enough of it, I’d had enough,” Lembo told WGME-TV.

Forty-five-year-old Christopher Wildhaber was charged with burglary and violating probation and was ordered held without bail. It wasn’t immediately clear if he had a lawyer.

.

.

.

Maine Booting Able-Bodied, Childless Adults Off Food Stamps In Record Numbers

Maine Adds Work Requirement To Welfare Benefits, Drops 80% Of Able-Bodied Childless Adults – Right Scoop

.

.
Hidden in a New York Times about welfare is a story of success in Maine having to do with a Republican policy, surprise surprise:

As the economy improves, should states continue waivers that were enacted during the recession to allow healthy adults who are not working to get food stamps longer than the law’s time limit? Maine is one of the states that say no.

Last year, the administration of Gov. Paul R. LePage, a Republican, decided to reimpose a three-month limit (out of every three-year period) on food stamps for a group often known as Abawds – able-bodied adults without minor dependents – unless they work 20 hours per week, take state job-training courses or volunteer for about six hours per week. Maine, like other states, makes some exceptions.

“You’ve got to incentivize employment, create goals and create time limits on these welfare programs,” said Mary Mayhew, the commissioner of health and human services in Maine. She said the measure was in line with Mr. LePage’s efforts to reform welfare.

The number of Abawds receiving food stamps in Maine has dropped nearly 80 percent since the rule kicked in, to 2,530 from about 12,000. This time limit is an old one, written into the 1996 federal welfare law. But, during the recession, most states took advantage of a provision that allows them to waive it when unemployment is persistently high, which meant poor adults could stay on the program regardless of their work status.

No doubt some of the “ABAWDs” are facing tougher times without those benefits, but I think most Americans would expect people under those conditions to seek employment if they can. The Democrats keep telling us that Obama has vastly improved the economy (he hasn’t), but if they think that, then shouldn’t we be paying fewer people to be on welfare?

.

.

Former Democrat Representative (And Raving Lunatic) Throws Jar At Maine Governor During Town Hall Meeting

Maine Democrat Throws Jar Of Vaseline At Republican Governor LePage During Town Hall, Outraged When She Is Kicked Out – Weasel Zippers

.

.
More of that classiness we’ve come to expect from the “progressive” left.

Via HuffPo:

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) abruptly ended a town hall event Thursday evening after a former state lawmaker threw a jar of Vaseline at him.

Former state Rep. Joanne Twomey (D) missed LePage with the petroleum jelly. She was immediately escorted out of the auditorium by security and LePage ended the event, which had been intended to sell his budget plan.

Video of the encounter shows members of LePage’s security detail blocking Twomey as she tries to approach the stage while arguing with the governor. Then Twomey takes something from her purse and throws it at LePage.

Towney, who served in the Maine House of Representatives from 1998 until 2006, told WGME she chose Vaseline as a reference to LePage’s 2013 comments about state Sen. Troy Jackson, a Democrat.

“Sen. Jackson claims to be for the people, but he’s the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline,” LePage said in 2013. “He is bad. He has no brains, and he has a black heart.”

Twomey said after she was kicked out of Thursday’s town hall that she didn’t find the event “very Democratic.”

.

.

.

*PICTURES* Your Daley Gator Global Warming Update… Update


THOMASTON, MAINE – 11/03/14

.

.

.

.

THIS IS MY FAVORITE PICTURE SO FAR. A 14 FOOT PINE TREE BEHIND MY HOUSE GOT WEIGHTED DOWN WITH SNOW AND THEN BLOWN OVER BY HIGH WINDS LAST NIGHT.

.