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

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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:
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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.

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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].”

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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

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

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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.

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Related articles:

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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.

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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.”

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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?

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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

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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.”

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*PICTURES* Your Daley Gator Global Warming Update… Update


THOMASTON, MAINE – 11/03/14

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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.

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Maine Governor To Seek Legal Authority To Quarantine Leftist Ebola Nurse

Maine State Police Dispatched To Back Nurse’s Quarantine – USA Today

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Maine state police were stationed outside the home of Ebola nurse Kaci Hickox Wednesday as Gov. Paul LePage said he was seeking legal authority to force the “unwilling” health workers to remain quarantined for 21 days.

The 33-year-old nurse, who has shown no symptoms of the deadly virus, arrived in Maine on Monday after being forcibly held in an isolation tent in New Jersey for three days under that state’s strict new law for health workers who have recently treated Ebola patients in West Africa.

Over Hickox’s objections, Maine health officials insisted that she stay in her home in Fort Kent for 21 days until the incubation period for Ebola had passed.

“I don’t plan on sticking to the guidelines,” Hickox tells TODAY’s Matt Lauer. “I am not going to sit around and be bullied by politicians and forced to stay in my home when I am not a risk to the American public.”

Maine Gov. Paul LePage, however, said Wednesday that Hickox has been “unwilling” to follow state protocols and that he will seek legal authority to enforce the quarantine.

The governor’s office said state police were stationed outside her home “for both her protection and the health of the community.”

“We hoped that the healthcare worker would voluntarily comply with these protocols, but this individual has stated publicly she will not abide by the protocols,” LePage said in a statement on the governor’s website.

“We are very concerned about her safety and health and that of the community,” he said. “We are exploring all of our options for protecting the health and well-being of the healthcare worker, anyone who comes in contact with her, the Fort Kent community and all of Maine. While we certainly respect the rights of one individual, we must be vigilant in protecting 1.3 million Mainers, as well as anyone who visits our great state.”

Hickox, according to her attorney, had only agreed to remain home for two days after traveling from New Jersey on Monday.

The nurse for Doctors Without Borders was the first person pulled aside at Newark Liberty International Airport on Friday under new state regulations after her return from Sierra Leone, where she was working with Ebola patients.

After speaking out publicly, Hickox was allowed to leave for Maine, where health officials have said they expect her to agree to be quarantined for a 21-day period, The Bangor Daily News reports.

Hickox said she believes the quarantine policy is “not scientifically nor constitutionally just.”

She tells TODAY she will pursue legal action if Maine forces her into continued isolation.

“If the restrictions placed on me by the state of Maine are not lifted by Thursday morning, I will go to court to fight for my freedom,” she says.

Her attorney, Steven Hyman, told CNN Wednesday that his client had received no mandatory orders and that “the next step is up to Maine.”

“The only reason that there is a cry for quarantine is because the political side has decided that it would just be better if she stayed home and lost her civil right so we could all feel more comfortable, which is not supported by any medical evidence,” Hyman said.

Without naming Hickox specifically, Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew said Tuesday evening that the state has the authority to seek a court order to compel quarantine for individuals deemed a public health risk.

“We have made the determination that out of an abundance of caution, this is a reasonable, common-sense approach to remove additional risk and guard against a public health crisis in Maine,” said Mayhew, WLBZ-TV reports. She did not mention Hickox by name.

Hickox’s high-profile campaign from isolation in New Jersey, including a first-person account in The Dallas Morning News, underscored the shifting response to the Ebola crisis by state and federal authorities.

On Friday, New York Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a plan of mandatory quarantine for health workers back from Africa who’d been exposed to Ebola but showed no symptoms.

It was in part a reaction to the case of Craig Spencer, a New York City physician who tested positive for Ebola, but acknowledged he had left his apartment and moved around the city just before experiencing Ebola symptoms.

Saying they couldn’t rely on voluntary self-reporting, the governors pronounced themselves resolved to err on the side of caution and monitor people like Spencer under confinement. Cuomo, however, quickly eased those rules, allowing such health workers to self-quarantine at home.

The White House also weighed in, saying it had conveyed concerns to the governors of New York and New Jersey that their stringent quarantine policies were “not grounded in science” and would hamper efforts to recruit volunteers to fight the epidemic in Africa. Christie said he had not heard from the White House before the plan was announced.

After the uproar in New Jersey, Hickox was allowed to leave on Monday, but Christie insisted that it did not represent a change of policy.

“I didn’t reverse any decision,” he said Tuesday. “She hadn’t had any symptoms for 24 hours. And she tested negative for Ebola. So there was no reason to keep her. The reason she was put into the hospital in the first place was because she was running a high fever and was symptomatic.”

“If people are symptomatic they go into the hospital,” Christie said. “If they live in New Jersey, they get quarantined at home. If they don’t, and they’re not symptomatic, then we set up quarantine for them out of state. But if they are symptomatic, they’re going to the hospital.”

Hickox told The Dallas Morning News that her brief fever spike, recorded by a forehead scanner at the airport, was the result of being flushed and angry over her confinement and that an oral temperature reading at the same time showed her to be normal.

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Leftist-Run Maine Newspaper Asks Police For Names And Addresses Of Concealed-Weapon Permit Holders

Bangor Newspaper’s Record Requests Cause Uproar Among Gun Owners – Portland Press Herald

The Bangor Daily News has asked Maine police departments for the names, addresses and dates of birth of all concealed-weapon permit holders, a move that is angering gun-rights advocates and Republicans in the State House – including Gov. Paul LePage.


Gov. Paul LePage displays his concealed-carry permit in a photo posted to his Twitter account on the afternoon of Thursday, February 14, 2013. “If newspapers want to know who has concealed weapons permits,” tweeted the Governor, “they should know I do.”

“The BDN has no intention to release this information publicly,” said Anthony Ronzio, the newspaper’s director of news and new media, in a prepared statement Thursday. “We intend to use this information, along with other information we are gathering, to analyze possible correlations and trends relevant to our reporting projects.”

However, David Trahan, executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, condemned the newspaper’s decision as a move that will “enrage and upset” permit holders.

If they aren’t going to publish the data, “I would question exactly what they want the information for,” Trahan said. He questioned whether the request was a “provocative move” taken as the Legislature prepares to consider a bill that would make permit applications confidential.

LePage released a statement and made a Twitter post from the governor’s office, with a photo depicting him holding his own concealed weapons permit up for the camera.

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Paul R. LePage
@Governor_LePage

If newspapers want to know who has concealed weapons permits, they should know I do. http://yfrog.com/obernilsj

7:43 PM – 14 Feb 13

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“If newspapers would like to know who has concealed weapons permits, then they should know the Governor has his,” LePage said in the statement. “I have serious concerns that (the) BDN’s request will incite fear among gun owners and non-gun owners alike regarding their safety. There is no reason why these records should be public and I encourage the Legislature to act quickly to make this personal information confidential.”

A bill sponsored by Rep. Corey Wilson, R-Augusta would designate personal information on weapons permit applications as confidential and make it illegal to release such information to anyone who lacked authorization.

House Minority Leader Kenneth Fredette, R-Newport, said at a press conference that the newspaper was “politicizing” the gun issue.

Senate Minority Leader Michael Thibodeau, R-Winterport, said having information available on gun permits is a privacy issue.

“I think most people in the state of Maine don’t really like organizations out there collecting lists with their names on it,” he said.

The press conference ended just after a Lewiston Sun Journal reporter asked about Republicans and Democrats gathering voter information. Thibodeau finished the thought in an interview afterward.

“There’s a big, big difference,” he said. “We have a heated debate going on in this nation and it’s going to be a robust debate.

“But for a major daily newspaper – one with the reputation of the Bangor Daily News – to engage in something like this, it’s just shocking to me.”

Shortly after the press conference, Maine Republican Party Chairman Richard Cebra used the guns dispute as a fundraising pitch in an email blast to supporters.

“This is a reckless overreach by a zealous press that could result in innocent, law-abiding gun owners, and all Mainers being put in danger,” Cebra’s email read. “We can’t stand idly by as the press, liberal politicians and anti-gun special interest groups control the debate and control the message in the media. Help us fight back.”

The dispute echoes a controversy in New York in December, when a newspaper, the Journal News, published a list and an interactive online map of all handgun permit holders in two counties. That action triggered condemnation from police and was also criticized by numerous other media outlets.

In his statement, Ronzio said the BDN finds that newspaper’s treatment has long planned to request the records as part of its reporting on domestic violence and drug abuse, but the introduction of the emergency bill in the Legislature moved up its timeline.

Ronzio posted an editor’s note Thursday afternoon in response to criticism, saying the BDN found the New York newspaper’s treatment of concealed-weapon permit holder “irresponsible.”

But letters Wednesday that Ronzio said were sent to the Maine Department of Public Safety and municipal police departments, which keep permit data, the newspaper says it “does not intend to publish wholesale identifying information included in this list.”

Despite those intentions, the request upset gun rights advocates and legislators.

Thibodeau and Assistant Senate Majority Leader Roger Katz, R-Augusta, said the newspaper’s statement was incoherent.

“I actually believe at this juncture that the Bangor Daily doesn’t intend to release this information,” he said. “But I still question: Are they trying to create a news story or are they reporting the news?

“It doesn’t give me any comfort because the fact of the matter is they will be in possession of it,” said Damien Pickel, police chief in Milo, a town in Piscataquis County. “They say they don’t have an intention, but it doesn’t say they won’t.”

Trahan said he’ll be sending an email blast Thursday to mobilize gun-rights supporters in his group and other groups to contact the newspaper about its decision.

“I don’t think it can be good for business,” Trahan said.

The New York newspaper removed its online map of permit holders in January, after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a package of gun-control legislation that restricted access to permit data. Maine is one of 14 states that allows access to names of concealed-weapon permit holders, according to a January USA Today article.

Officials in Waterville and Fort Kent told the Portland Press Herald Thursday that their departments have received the newspaper’s request.

In Fort Kent, Police Chief Kenneth Michaud said he received the BDN’s request Wednesday and will comply. But he said he had reservations.

“The only thing that bothers me is I give a guy’s name and if they put that public, now everyone’s going to know there’s a gun in that house,” Michaud said.

Joseph Massey, Waterville’s chief, said he’s passed the request on to a city attorney, but he doesn’t think the information should be public.

“There’s always the possibility that someone who wants to steal guns gets a hold of this it and wait until someone’s not home and burglarize the home,” Massey said.

Pickel, the Milo chief lamented the request in a Facebook post – while saying he’d comply.

“Personally, I am opposed to releasing ANY information regarding concealed carry permit holders,” he wrote. “I find it will create a (sic) unsafe environment not only for those who are legally permitted to have a concealed weapon, but also those who do not.”

Responses to his post were visceral: many attacked the BDN for liberal bias and said they’d cancel their subscriptions. One said the newspaper has “a death wish,” while another said it thought its readers are “stupid and uninformed.”

The BDN’s Facebook page is also under fire with almost exclusively negative comments about the move. One asked, “Has this sick liberal rag finally gone completely Communist?” Others suggested boycotts of the paper and posted information on certain employees.

The Journal News published their map days the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. where gunman Adam Lanza killed 26 students. The newspaper’s office is approximately 50 miles from the school.

“I think they reacted impulsively because they were so close to the Newtown shooting,” said Michael Socolow, a journalism professor at the University of Maine in Orono. “I think if they had time to consider the decision, they might have made a different decision.”

Still, he said the ethical question over the request should focus on the newspaper’s presentation, not the fact that the information is public.

Now, Socolow said, scrutiny is being fanned by political flames in the face of fierce divides on gun control.

“If the BDN had put in this request five years ago, it would not have catalyzed such a controversy,” he said. “The toxic political environment is inflaming passion all around the media.”

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Susan Collins is still a gutless RINO

One of the keys to getting our country back on a sane fiscal course is to get RINOs out of office! Susan Collins is a prime example of a RINO that we have to replace with a real Republican.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine.) said Friday that she will not support the 2012 budget passed by the House last week.

“I don’t happen to support Congressman Ryan’s plan but at least he had the courage to put forth a plan to significantly reduce the debt,” Collins said on “In the Arena” a program on WCSH 6, a local NBC affiliate in Portland, Maine.

In fairness Collins did give credit to Ryan for doing what President Bambi does not have the fortitude to do, that is to TRY!

“The president has yet to come up with a detailed plan,” Collins said. “At least Ryan had the courage to come out with a detailed plan

It is just too bad Collins does not support a real plan to help reign in government spending!

H/T Weasel Zippers

Another Violent Democrat-Communist Arrested For Threatening To Kill Maine Republican Governor

Another Violent Democrat-Communist Arrested For Threatening To Kill Maine Republican Governor – Gateway Pundit

A self-professed liberal democrat and communist (There’s a difference?) was arrested this week for sending threatening letters to politicians including Maine Republican Governor Paul LePage, Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker and Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa.

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Democrat communist Michael Thomas was arrested last week.

The Online Sentinel reported:

A Portland man charged with sending threatening letters to Gov. Paul LePage admitted to agents that he sent those and other threatening letters to national political figures, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and U.S. Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, according to testimony Wednesday in U.S. District Court.

Authorities also found a gun and an ammunition clip in Michael Thomas’ desk drawer when he was arrested Friday, FBI Special Agent Pamela Flick testified; and Thomas told her that if they had showed up later, he would have launched a shootout with police.

LePage received three letters attributed to Thomas, saying among other things that the author was willing to sacrifice his life to shoot the governor. Thomas told agents on Friday that he would follow through on the threats if he had the means, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacey Neumann.

“This is escalating behavior. This is a very dangerous individual,” she said. “The defendant has done nothing but instill fear in the victim and in the community.”

Following a 90-minute hearing, Judge John Rich III ruled that Thomas, 50, poses a danger to the community and will be held until trial. Thomas sat passively throughout the hearing and showed no emotion as he was led from the hearing room in handcuffs and ankle shackles.

…Thomas admitted sending threatening letters similar to those sent to LePage to U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, and U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., as well as Walker, Snowe and Collins, she said. Thomas described himself as a liberal Democrat and a communist and said he is a strong proponent of gun rights.

Don’t expect this story to make many headlines.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

American States To Obama Administration: Drop Dead!

American States To Obama Administration: Drop Dead! – WorldNetDaily

While millions of outraged Americans protest what they see as a lawless and power-mad Obama administration, many wonder how much clout individuals can really have in reining in a wildly out-of-control government.

But suppose, in addition to citizens with little power beyond their vote, those standing up to the federal government were named Virginia, Texas, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Montana, Maine, South Dakota – and many more?

Incredibly, though under-reported by the establishment press, that’s exactly what is happening right now, as the April issue of Whistleblower documents in-depth, in “STATES OF REBELLION: How legislators and governors nationwide are openly challenging a rogue president.”

A wide-ranging rebellion is indeed under way – by a large majority of states – against what they claim are intolerable and blatantly unconstitutional encroachments by the federal government. And they are seriously intent on declaring such unconstitutional laws null and void in their state.

Here’s how Thomas E. Woods Jr., author of the bestselling book, “Nullification: How to resist federal tyranny in the 21st century,” succinctly lays out the issue in the April Whistleblower:

Nullification begins with the axiomatic point that a federal law that violates the Constitution is no law at all. It is void and of no effect. Nullification simply pushes this uncontroversial point a step further: If a law is unconstitutional and therefore void and of no effect, it is up to the states, the parties to the federal compact, to declare it so and thus refuse to enforce it. It would be foolish and vain to wait for the federal government or a branch thereof to condemn its own law. Nullification provides a shield between the people of a state and an unconstitutional law from the federal government.

Take Obamacare: Most people know the GOP-led House of Representatives repealed it (though the Democrat-controlled Senate almost certainly will not, nor will Obama ever sign it). And many also know 27 states are challenging Obamacare in court. But what few understand is that at least 11 states are attempting to legislatively nullify Obamacare within their borders. So far, an act to nullify the entire federal health-care law has become state law in Montana and Idaho, has been approved by one house in North Dakota, and introduced in eight other states – New Hampshire, Maine, Oregon, Nebraska, Texas, Wyoming, South Dakota and Oklahoma.

What about the federal government’s labyrinthine gun laws? Eight states have already passed laws – signed by their governors – telling Washington its firearms regulations are not valid in those states for weapons manufactured and purchased in-state. Many other states are on the same legislative track.

There’s much more: Utah last month became the first state to make gold and silver legal tender in that state. Twenty-four states are defying Obama by copying Arizona’s immigration law – the one the Obama Justice Department sued Arizona over. Lawmakers in 40 states are working to halt the epidemic of “anchor babies” establishing “birthright citizenship.” And 13 states are considering laws that would require every presidential candidate – including Barack Obama – to prove he is a natural-born citizen before his name can be placed on that state’s ballot in presidential elections.

Highlights of “STATES OF REBELLION” include:

* “States to Washington: Follow the Constitution or else” by Bob Unruh, on how power grabs by the federal government increasingly are being met with big opposition from states

* “Unfunded mandates? Obama’s the biggest” by Joseph Farah, on the incomprehensible cost America is incurring for having Barack Obama as president

* “The return of a forbidden idea” by Thomas E. Woods, Jr., an exclusive excerpt from his bestselling book, “Nullification: How to resist federal tyranny in the 21st century”

* “3 states looking to set up nullification commissions”

* “Texas and New Hampshire: Stop feeling up fliers!”

* “11 states act to nullify Obamacare within their borders” by Bob Unruh, not to mention the 27 states that are fighting against “socialized medicine” in court

* “State lawmakers declare war on ‘birthright citizenship'” by Jerome Corsi, Ph.D., documenting how legislators from 40 states are teaming up to stop the spike in “anchor babies”

* “24 states defy Obama by copying Arizona immigration law”

* “Utah lawmakers recognize gold and silver as legal tender” – on how Utah is leading a growing movement to restore sound money to America

* “The buck stops here? Virginia eyes switching off dollar” by Kelly O’Meara, on legislators who cite the “inevitable destruction of the Federal Reserve System’s currency”

* “State legislators attempt to stop Shariah” by Drew Zahn, on legislative efforts to prevent the U.S. from emulating Britain with its 85 Islamic courts

* “Did Jefferson foresee Obama’s deficit – and the solution?” by Fergus Hodgson, who notes the third president wanted an anti-debt constitutional amendment – and may yet get his wish

* “Ohio poised to challenge Supreme Court with ‘heartbeat bill'”

* “13 states considering eligibility-proof legislation” by Bob Unruh, on legislators who say: “If the federal government is not going to vet these people, we’ll do it in our state”

* “Epic ‘gunfight’ between states and feds” – on how a battle over a Montana firearms law may dramatically limit Congress’s power

* “A Virginia plan to cancel Congress’s ‘authority'” – explaining a radical legislative proposal that would exempt “all goods” from oversight by feds

* “Utah to Washington: This land is my land!” by Bob Unruh, on the almost unanimous resolution asking the federal government to cede 35,000 square miles back to the state

* “A warning to states about a Con-Con” by Phyllis Schlafly, on the serious and hidden dangers of convening a constitutional convention in today’s near-lawless America

* “Barack Hussein Alinsky” by Patrick J. Buchanan, who says the big battle shaping up is between the “organizer in chief” and the governors of the 50 states – with America hanging in the balance

* “Leadership requires actual leadership” by Herman Cain, who shows that America’s governors, not Obama, are showing the nation how to “win the future”

“There’s so much bad news these days,” said Whistleblower Editor David Kupelian, “that it’s great to be able to report this crucial and encouraging trend. America is made up of 50 sovereign states – something largely forgotten in this age of seemingly all-powerful federal government. And what a great thing it is to see state after state actually standing up to the Obama administration and saying, in effect, ‘Don’t tread on me!‘”

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

*VIDEO* Maine Gov. LePage To NAACP: ‘Kiss My Butt’

Vodpod videos no longer available.

State Of Maine Turns From Blue To Red Overnight

State Of Maine Turns From Blue To Red Overnight – CTPost

Amid hugs, high-fives and hurrahs, Maine Republicans on Wednesday celebrated huge victories at the polls that will give them control of the governorship and both houses of the Legislature for the first time in a half century, but said they’re humbled by voters’ actions.

“It is a new day in Augusta,” said state Sen. Kevin Raye of Perry, who helped engineer the Republicans’ apparent 20-14 majority in the Senate, where one independent was also elected.

In the House, the GOP took 77 seats to the Democrats’ 73, with one independent elected. “We’re thrilled by our victory but are humbled by the task that lies ahead.”

GOP state chairman Charles Webster said three likely recounts in the House won’t erase his party’s edge. A possible Senate recount could take away a Democratic seat.

Scores of newly elected Republican legislators and party activists gathered for a raucous rally in the State House, which has been under Democratic control for the past eight years under Gov. John Baldacci, also a Democrat. Baldacci is stepping down after serving the maximum two terms allowed by law.

Republicans rode a wave of voter anger and discontent, powered in part by the tea party movement and their efforts to appeal to working-class Mainers to achieve their historic victories.

“The Democrats in Maine have lost their way and forgot they were the party of the working class,” said Webster, adding that Democrats were “not representing the views of everyday people.”

“Maine people want to be left alone. They want to work hard and keep their own money, and not have to spend it on government … We’re sick and tired of the attitude that government can take from us who work hard simply because they can do it.”

Republicans, and especially Gov.-elect Paul LePage, have called for smaller government, eased regulations so businesses can create jobs, and lower taxes en route to their victories.

LePage, the first Republican to be elected governor since 1990, said that winning the House and Senate will deflect criticism that his victory in a five-way race, with 38 percent of the vote, was a fluke.

“What it says is that Maine is ready to switch directions. It speaks loudly when you get the House, the Senate and the governor in the same election cycle,” LePage said.

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Daily Benefactor News – Historic Victory For GOP, Boehner Says Message To Obama Is “Change Course” – More Articles


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Historic Victory For GOP, Boehner Says Message To Obama Is “Change Course” – Daily Caller

Voters delivered an epic victory to Republicans and a stinging defeat to Democrats in midterm elections Tuesday, handing the GOP an avalanche of pickups in the House the likes of which has not been seen in more than half a century.

Republicans were on their way to gaining around 60 seats in the House, and had made huge advances in the Senate as well. GOP candidates also won big in governors races and state legislatures across the country.

The consolations for Democrats were few: they retained control of the Senate, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid held on to his Nevada Senate seat, and Democrats won a few House races that were thought to be in danger.

The House currently has 255 Democrats and 178 Republicans. The new reality will be a Republican majority of between 236 and 240, and a Democratic minority below 200.

The GOP House gains were the biggest swing for either party since 1948, when Democrats gained 75 seats on the back of President Truman’s campaign against a “do-nothing” GOP Congress.

The last time such a large swing occurred in a midterm election was in 1938, when Democrats lost 72 seats to Republicans in the middle of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt s second term, as voters lost confidence in the New Deal.

In the Senate Tuesday, Republicans picked up seats in Arkansas, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois and Pennsylvania. They were on pace to win in North Dakota as well, and the Colorado race was too close to call, with Republican Ken Buck holding a lead of a few hundred votes.

The total pickup for the GOP in the Senate was set to be between 6 and 8 seats, depending on the outcomes in Colorado, Washington and Alaska. The latter two may not be decided for days.

Republicans also won a key gubernatorial race in Ohio and looked likely to win in Florida, both contests that President Obama and Democrats badly wanted to win. And 17 separate state chambers flipped from Democrat to Republican, in the latest count.

Republicans, however, said they were not celebrating.

“We’ve got real work to do, and frankly this is not a time for celebration, not when one out of 10 of our fellow citizens is out of work,” said John Boehner, the Ohio Republican who is set to become the next Speaker of the House.

Boehner said “our new majority will be prepared to do things differently,” saying they will cut spending instead of increasing it, which will be a much easier promise to make than it will be to fulfill.

And Boehner sought immediately to prevent Obama and the White House from sticking the new House Republican majority with full responsibility for the ship of state.

“We must remember it’s the president who sets the agenda,” Boehner said. The American people have sent an unmistakable message to him tonight, and that message is, ‘Change course.'”

Obama called Boehner around midnight “to congratulate him,” according to Boehner’s office.

“They had a brief but pleasant conversation. Leader Boehner said he’s always been straightforward and honest with the president in the past, and said that’s the way he’ll continue to be with the president in the future. They discussed working together to focus on the top priorities of the American people, which Boehner has identified as creating jobs and cutting spending,” Boehner’s office said.

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GOP Captures Governorships In At Least 1o States – NewsMeat

Republicans captured Democratic governorships in at least 10 states on Tuesday, including some prime presidential battlegrounds, and hoped for even more statehouse gains.

Changing hands in the GOP onslaught: governorships now held by Democrats in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Tennessee, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Wyoming.

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GOP Claims At Least 16 Legislative Chambers – CQ Politics

Republican legislators have captured at least 16 chambers of state governments, electoral victories which will prove crucial to the redistricting efforts next year that will draw the maps for Congressional races over the next decade.

In New Hampshire, North Carolina, Alabama and Wisconsin, Republicans captured both the state House and Senate.

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Oklahoma Voters Ban Shariah Law, International Law – Hindustan Times

Oklahoma is to become the first state in the U.S. to ban Islamic sharia law. That’s the result of a voter initiative that passed by a heavy majority in the midterm election on Tuesday night.

State Question 755 amends the Oklahoma constitution to forbid courts in Oklahoma from considering sharia law or international law in reaching their decisions. More than 70% of voters approved the measure.

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Portland, Maine Rejects Non-Citizen Voting – Yahoo News

Voters in Maine’s largest city have rejected a ballot measure that would have allowed legal residents who are not U.S. citizens the right to vote in municipal elections.

Supporters said it was only fair that immigrants who are not yet citizens be allowed to vote because they pay taxes, send their children to public schools and even serve in the military.

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Fund Manager Warns Dollar Could Lose 20% Of Value Over Next Few Years – CNBC

The dollar is in danger of losing 20% of its value over the next few years if the Federal Reserve continues unconventional monetary easing, Bill Gross, the manager of the world’s largest mutual fund, said on Monday.

“I think a 20% decline in the dollar is possible,” Gross said, adding the pace of the decline was also an important consideration for investors.

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At Least 113 Killed In Series Of Baghdad Attacks – Los Angeles Times

Terrorists unleashed a wave of deadly attacks in Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least 113 people in Shiite neighborhoods in an apparent bid to provoke a new sectarian war in the country.

Seventeen car bombs and other blasts shook the city at sunset in one of the bloodiest days this year. The coordinated attacks came just 48 hours after 58 people were killed after armed men seized a Baghdad church.

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Miracle Baby Falls Six Stories, Survives – BBC News

French media are describing as a “miracle” the unscathed survival of an 18-month-old girl who fell from a sixth-floor apartment.

The girl was left unattended by her parents when she somehow fell, then bounced off the awning of a cafe below. She had a further stroke of luck when a passing doctor saw her fall and caught her before she hit the ground, witnesses were quoted as saying.

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Massive Crater Opens Up In German Town – First Coast News

A crater some 65 feet (20 meters) deep has opened up in a residential area of an eastern German town – swallowing a car and a garage door but causing no injuries.

Emergency services were called to the scene in Schmalkalden at about 3 a.m. (0200 GMT) on Monday by a resident who reported hearing unusual noises. Six houses and 25 people were evacuated.

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‘Sleepwalker’ Beats Drunk Driving Rap – Orange News

A Swedish man was acquitted of drink driving after a court said it couldn’t rule out the possibility he was sleepwalking. The 51-year-old man, who was not identified, had a blood alcohol level nearly 10 times the country’s legal limit.

The man said he awoke late one evening in the driver’s seat of his car, which had catapulted into a ditch in Karlskrona.

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Police: Man Robs Bank, Then Offers $1K For A Ride – Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Police say a bank robber forgot to set up a getaway ride, so he offered $1,000 to people on the street for a lift after the heist.

Capitola police said a man in his 40s or 50s entered a bank at 11:40 a.m. on Saturday and ordered $20 and $100 bills from the teller. Police said the man then jumped onto the counter, pushed the teller and grabbed money from the till.

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Woman Jailed For Stealing Terminally Ill Son’s IV Drugs – Weekly Vice

A 42-year-old Vancouver woman visiting her terminally ill son at a Pittsburgh hospital was jailed after she allegedly disconnected his intravenous line feeding him sedatives and injected herself with with the drug.

Karen Remsing was visiting her son at UPMC Children’s Hospital when she disconnected his sedative line and began filling hypodermic needles out of the tube.

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Maine Democrat’s Elitist Hypocrisy Exposed

Chellie Pingree Wants To Have Her Cake (Jet) And Eat It Too – Pine Tree Politics

As the President of Common Cause, a non-profit citizens’ lobbying group, Democrat Rep. Chellie Pingree criticized lawmakers who traveled on corporate jets.

But Rep. Pingree is engaging in the same activity she derided four years ago.

An investigation by MaineWatchdog found that Pingree has been traveling on a private plane owned by the firm of her significant other, Donald Sussman, Founder and Chairman of Paloma Partners, a billion dollar hedge fund.

When AOL reported in late July that Pingree’s office was reimbursed for more travel expenses than any other house member in 2009 [editors note: “more” refers to the numerical number of reimbursements, not total monetary value], MaineWatchdog asked whether any of those reimbursements were related to travel on private planes. A spokesman for Pingree said: “To my knowledge, the Congresswoman does not fly on privately chartered jets.”

The investigation, however, produced a video of Representative Pingree and Sussman disembarking at Portland International Jetport after a flight from Bridgeport, Conn., on September 17, 2010.

Pingree and Sussman landed in Portland at 1:26 p.m., at which point a red carpet was rolled out for them on the non-commercial apron.

Prior to her election in 2008, Pingree was an outspoken critic of congressional members who flew on corporate jets.

According to written remarks delivered before the Subcommittee on the Constitution in 2006, Pingree said:

“Most Americans never have and never will fly on a chartered jet, much less a fancy corporate jet complete with wet bar and leather couches. So when members of Congress constantly fly around on corporate jets and pay only the cost of a commercial ticket, it contributes to the corrosive public perception that members of Congress are more like the fat cats of Wall Street than they are like the rest of us.”

In the aftermath of the Abramoff scandal, Pingree lobbied for a tough ethics-reform law that would have, among other things, completely banned privately funded travel. When a weaker bill was introduced, Pingree called the drafted bill “window dressing.”

It is not clear whether Pingree’s use of Sussman’s aircraft was limited to the incident on September 17.

Flight logs of Sussman’s plane obtained by MaineWatchdog indicate that Pingree may have used the aircraft on several other occasions.

In several instances, Pingree’s trips between Maine and Washington, D.C. closely track the movement of Sussman’s plane.

MaineWatchdog uncovered the following facts:

On the morning of September 13, Representative Pingree visited Presumpscot Elementary School in Portland.

According to flight logs, Sussman’s plane took off from Portland International Jetport at 12:31 in the afternoon. Forty-nine minutes later, at 1:20, it landed an hour’s drive north of New York City at Westchester County Airport in White Plains, NY.

At 6:30 p.m., two prominent New York theater producers threw a house party to raise money for Pingree at their home in the Upper East End. The party was scheduled to end at 8:00 p.m.

At 9:22 p.m., Sussman’s plane lifted off again at Westchester County Airport in White Plains. It landed at Dulles International Airport an hour outside of Washington, D.C., at 10:17 p.m.

The next day, Sept. 14, Pingree cast two votes (HR 1571 and HR 1052) in the evening on the House floor in Washington.

There are other similar cases where Pingree’s movement parallels that of Sussman’s plane.

MaineWatchdog compared Pingree’s voting record to the movement of Sussman’s plane.

On July 24, Pingree was in Brunswick with Gov. Baldacci to celebrate Kestrel Aviation’s move to Maine.

On July 26, Sussman’s plane left Knox County Regional Airport in Rockland, the closest airport to Pingree’s home in North Haven, at 12:51 pm. Pingree was on the House floor at around 6:30 to vote on HR 1320. She also appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews that afternoon.

She was in Washington for votes on July 27, 28, and 29.

On July 30, Pingree was on the House floor. The last vote of the day was at around 6:30 p.m. At 7:39, Sussman’s plane left Washington, D.C. for Rockland, Maine.

On August 6th, Pingree attended the Maine Lobster Fest Parade in Rockland.

On August 9, Sussman’s plane departed Rockland for D.C. at 2:33 pm. The next day, Pingree was present in the Oval Office when President Obama signed the $26 billion aid package for states. Sussman’s plane departed D.C. on August 10 at 7:16 pm and returned to Rockland.

At the time this article was released, MaineWatchdog was waiting for Pingree’s office to provide receipts for all commercial flights that the Congresswoman booked over the last several months.

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