Capital for a Day, Governor LePage and Blackberry, Governor LePage Anger, Governor LePage Ellsworth Town Hall, Governor Paul LePage, Governor Paul LePage Bully, Julia Child Democrat, Lepage and iPhone, LePage Ellsworth Town Hall, LePage Ellsworth Town Hall Blackberries, LePage Town Hall
(Note: All hyperlinks are to source articles. Please read them if you have the time.)
Originally, I thought I would limit this blog strictly to all matters food — and leave politics to my twitter feed and everyday life. Just one little problem: I really cannot keep them separate. I am passionate on both topics and both have been a vital part of my life for as long as I can remember. Hell, politics and food often go hand in hand! Michael Pollan, Mark Bittman and Barbara Kingsolver have been mixing the two for years! Even my heroine, Julia Child, was politically active.
Julia was raised in a strict Republican Presbyterian family in California. Her father helped to finance Richard M. Nixon’s first campaign. But the young Julia found her ideas challenged after graduating from Smith College:
I was a Republican until I got to New York and had to live on $18 a week. It was then that I became a Democrat. – Julia Child
From that point on she was a staunch Democrat who crusaded for women’s rights, Planned Parenthood, and helped support politicians such as Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. In fact she was such an ardent liberal that many of her friends feared she would turn down the Presidential Medal of Freedom when President Bush awarded it to her in 2003. She accepted the medal but stated this about W:
I’ve nothing to say about him except that I am appalled that he was chosen by our people to be president. – Julia Child
So there you have it. I am using Julia as excuse to launch into a political tirade here on www.growingupjulia.com.
So what’s got me in such a tizzy? Our darn Governor of Maine, Paul LePage and his latest blunder! Since taking office on January 5, 2011, Governor LePage has insulted and bullied the people of Maine again and again. With his constant blustering blunders, he has proven himself to be out of touch with both the populace of our state and with reality.
Governor LePage and his cronies have attempted to disenfranchise citizens, loosen child labor laws, threatened the Department of Environmental Protection, ridiculed our unemployed, suggested that welfare recipients are lazy and should take drug tests and told the NAACP to “kiss my butt”! His idiocy and anger knows no bounds. He has lost his cool and physically threatened reporters and desecrated murals honoring Maine’s proud labor tradition. AND he manages to do all of this with a certain je ne sais quoi that only he can muster: a certain blend of pompous arrogance, naivety, condescension, confusion, bullying and rage. He always seems so angry. What’s wrong LePage? Did you not realize that being the Governor is much harder than managing Mardens?!? It seems every time he is in public he manages to stick his foot in his mouth all while claiming he speaks for the common men and women of Maine (the same ones he wants to submit to drug tests and disenfranchise)!
LePage has been running town hall meetings throughout the state and on November 10, 2011 he conducted one at the Ellsworth Middle School. During this meeting he huffed and puffed and managed to insult Medicaid, welfare, teachers and a plethora of other topics. In regards to his desire to “reform welfare” and fix the budget he threatened to hold the state’s education funding hostage until his demands are met:
Eighty percent of the budget is Medicaid and welfare and education. If the Legislature has the political will to fix the problem [cutting welfare], education will keep the additional $63 million we gave it.
Then he alluded that Maine’s welfare benefits are SO generous that we are attracting a benefit leeching underclass from all over the country. Because yes, folks, LePage thinks that everyone on welfare LOVES being on welfare and just wants to keep riding that fat gravy train:
People that don’t qualify in New Hampshire come to Maine; people that don’t qualify in Massachusetts come to Maine. And my feeling is I would much rather help Maine people before I help the rest of the country. – Governor LePage
Then LePage got onto the topic of healthcare. When asked by an audience member about whether he supported universal healthcare:
Yes. Now, would I support a plan that covers everybody and the taxpayer pays for it? No. – Governor LePage
Mr. Governor, clearly you do not understand the concept of universal healthcare. Sigh… Whatever happened to those Christian principles of caring about those around you? Whatever happened to helping out the needy, the sick and the poor? LePage wants a scapegoat for every problem this state is facing. He points fingers and furiously blames it on someone else. What we need in this period of economic strife is a leader who will bring us together, not someone who wants you to believe your neighbor is a greedy welfare-loving, drug taking, and unemployed villain from New Hampshire!
Now this is all stuff that has become de rigueur with our Governor. But then LePage offered up one last nugget of crazy that sent me spiraling into this rage. He implied that young people should get rid of their Blackberries, iPhones and iPads and instead buy health insurance with that money.
Because yes, Paul LePage, the youth of Maine cannot afford healthcare because we have spent all our money on smartphones! I am so glad you’ve discovered the problem. Tomorrow morning I’m going to stroll right in to ATT, cancel my iPhone and then use the $70 I’m saving a month to buy health insurance. Oh wait! What’s this you say, Anthem? I can’t buy health coverage for $70!? Wait, you want a minimum of $325 a month for a catastrophic plan with a $5,000 deductible? No way! Governor LePage made it quite clear that if I stopped paying for my high tech gadgets I’d be able to afford health insurance on my yearly salary of $16,000. WRONG!!
I am horrified that LePage alluded that the youth of Maine could afford healthcare if they would simply stop spending their money on gadgets. It truly shows how out of touch he is with my age group. My phone is a necessity, not a luxury. How could I find or keep a job in this economy without a phone. And compared to health insurance, a smartphone is a bargain.
I am thrilled to be back in my home state after college. But the job market is rough and I am considered underemployed. For over a year I went without health insurance. I have an autoimmune disorder and I could not purchase a plan on my own. When I approached Anthem, I was quoted around $500 a month for a catastrophic plan! And I still have to cover all my medical bills and tests, because the deductible is so high. So, in essence, I would be double paying. Catastrophic health insurance is really asset protection. I simply cannot afford it on my income, not with living expenses and college loans. It is not that I was wasting money on my iPhone; it is that even with an extra $70 a month I cannot even begin to afford coverage. I actively lived in fear of every cough, pain and twitch until the miracle of President Obama’s health care reform occurred. Now I am covered until age 26 by my parent’s insurance. This is the biggest relief I have seen since being handed my diploma. But I am scared about what happens when I turn 26. Will there be an affordable health care plan for me then? Or will I return to living in fear of my own health? I cannot afford to pay almost half my income on insurance. With Governor LePage in charge, I doubt there will be a viable option for me when I reach 26. His statement is out of touch with the financial reality of being under 30 in Maine.
So, Mr. Governor, I am begging you. Please stop your angry pattern of bullying and blaming. Stop threatening to hold various branches of government funding hostage to your desires and pitting one program or group against another. Stop cultivating a climate of fear and hate with your hurtful rhetoric. Instead, Sir, please get a grip on reality. Being elected with just 39% of the votes does not give you a mandate to radically destroy our great state. This past election Mainers spoke loud and clear. We told you we do not want our same-day voting registration taken away. We told you we do not want outside money and businesses coming in to set up casinos. We stood together, across party lines, and said we are sick of the current political climate. So, Mr. Governor, please, get a grip!
In the meantime I am going to go fuel my anger into something productive, such as a delightful apple pie recipe. Maybe, all LePage needs is an outlet for his anger. May I recommend tennis or hockey? Or perhaps, you could take up bread baking. Kneading bread is a great release for your anger. Or maybe, Sir, you should purchase a Smartphone and start limiting your rage to twitter or perhaps Angry Birds! I hear your healthcare is taken care of so that should free up about $70 for a fancy new iPhone!
Patrice Goodwin said:
I’m 62 and grew up in Maine. I could not agree with you more! You said it very well!
By the way, have you read Gov. LePage’s bio telling the story of his horrible childhood.
I’m convinced that what the man needs is a good therapist.
Oh boy does he need a good therapist!
brenny hammond said:
lol this is great altho i dont agree with you on casino and such but yes the man is clearly a retard!
Kate Smith said:
Naah, don’t insult the mentally handicapped population of Maine by including him with them.
I have to agree with Kate Smith. The word retard is offensive but it is hard to realize because it has become such a part of our everyday language.
The word retarded is a slur, reinforcing a message that people with intellectual disabilities are lesser members of our society. It’s not about political correctness, it is about being disrespectful and derogatory. It took me a long time to stop saying it but I’m glad I kicked the habit. I worked with artists with disabilities at VSA Maine and they educated me about how they feel when they hear that word. Believe me they were not pleased!
To give you an idea you can check out this great campaign to end using the r-word:
I’m certain that in twenty years the word retarded will be just as offensive as calling someone gay or using the n-word.
That being said I’m glad you enjoyed the post! Please keep commenting. = )
Awesome! Summed up perfectly. As someone who is 45, it is great to hear that someone from your generation can speak for the rest of us. Maybe the good thing about LePage is that he is bridging the generation gap? We all dislike him the same amount!!
Amy Grant said:
you have hit the nail on the head! People who don’t have to actually write a check for their insurance every month, have no flipping idea how much it costs. That would actually be a great question for LePage at his next town hall meeting. Do you think he knows the cost of his own insurance.
Jil Crochere said:
Patrice – I am convinced that he had a horrible childhood so he is trying to be sure that everyone else does. It used to be that one generation wanted better for the next but I have noticed that there are a few out there that feel if they didn’t have it nobody else should.
Steven Valleau said:
I am 53 and grew up in Maine, went away to college and came back to work here, starting out independent life without insurance for a few years. Insurance was expensive then,it is unaffordable now.The cost of health care is way out of control in this country. The price has been going up at greater rate than the rate of inflation for decades. I think it’s the next financial bubble to burst and what a pop it will make. Gov. LePage thinks that if he made it to the top anybody can and if they don’t it’s their own damned fault. Of course, his reality, as all of ours, is warped by his particular history and he doesn’t realize that the top of the heap is very small and is a particularly bad perspective from which to make choices for the vast majority of people. He may be suffering from an empathy deficit from having succeeded where most of us would not.
When I first started out there were times when I had no phone because I simply could not afford it. After having shelter and then food, a phone was the next priority even in 1980. You need to be connected. This is the first post of your blog that I’ve seen. I will view others because you seem very clear thinking and I think food is at the very center of life and it is a great lens for viewing life. Keep writing and maybe we’ll get civilized and have universal health care.
Thank you for sharing your story. You are absolutely right. It is sickening how expensive healthcare is in this country. I’m a firm believer that health care should be a right not a privilege.
My godmother was a state legislator who fought for affordable and accessible health insurance. She was instrumental in bringing about Dirigo Health and stressed that one day we would have universal healthcare for the whole country. Growing up she stressed to me the importance of healthcare in a democracy. She felt that without healthy citizens a country could never truly flourish or grow. In her mind, and in mine, health care should be a given in a society and not something that you end up spending half of your income on. No one should be bankrupted by health costs.
Unfortunately she passed away in 2006 and never saw her desire come true. I know she would have been thrilled with Obama’s Health Care Reform but at the same time she would have said it isn’t enough! I hope to honor her legacy by continuing to campaign for affordable health care. Hopefully in my lifetime we will become civilized and have universal health care.
Hi, I don’t mean to divert attention from a fabulous blog post, but the comment with the term retard should be deleted. As much as I detest the man, no one should use that derogatory term in reference to someone else. Again, great post!
“His statement is out of touch with the financial reality of being under 30 in Maine.” Actually, his statement is out of touch with the financial reality of being most people in Maine.
Stumbled across your blog from a friend, and found this post fits my attitude toward our governor pretty closely. Except maybe I’m less kind. It’s not a grip I want him to get. A dopeslap or six would be a start.
I’ll be checking out the recipes with great interest!
Bob Bowman said:
You’ve written real, smart, personal essay (blog) that makes me proud and sad at the same time. Thank you.
Dr. Dave said:
OMG..Is the Governor really trying to bankrupt the phone companies? I thought this state was supposed to be pro-business. Oh, I get it, the health-care lobby must have given more money than the communications lobby. It’s all clear now.
This elicited a very, very hearty chuckle. Thank you.
This is creative and eloquently stated! I’m currently in college out-of-state, but I have been consistently appalled at LePage’s legislation thus far. The next election cannot come soon enough.
I was at that ‘public meeting’ and really appreciate your report which is absolutely correct. If you aren’t already I hope you stay involved. People like LePage will ruin this great state (and too fast) and it takes all of us working together to change first the legislature next year and then remove LePage in ’14.
I will most certainly stay involved to insure that LePage is a one term governor.
I am a single mom in my 30s with two small boys and I’m trying to go back to school in this state to get an education and make a better life for us. I have no income (besides student loans and work study) and I am getting no child support. I could choose to work 2 jobs, never see my kids and spend at least half of my pay on day care or I could get some assistance from the state and go to school. To me the choice was a no brainer. I HATE being on state assistance, it’s humiliating and degrading. I have to get my professors to sign an attendance sheet every month for me to turn in to my case worker at DHHS so all of my professors know that I’m getting assistance. It’s hard enough to be taken seriously in the academic world when you are starting college at my age with children but getting state assistance just makes it worse. Now on top of everything else i have to deal with I live in fear of the Govenor cutting funding for the programs that allow me to survive and finding myself with no way to feed my children or take them to the doctor when they need it. Yes I have a smart phone and a lap top and the internet. They are by no means top of the line of anything but they work and they are absolutely necessary, I don’t have a lot of spare time but with my smart phone I can make use of every minute by using the internet for research and so on with my smart phone. I pay $65 a month for it which is less than what I’d paid for a regular cell phone before I got it and as a mom it’s not like I can be without a phone.
I grew up in this state and I love it here. I did not move here in order to get better assistance programs. I do know that there are people out there who do take advantage of the system but vast majority of us do not and the solution is certainly not to put families on the street. I am appalled at the things this govenor has said and done. I just hope we can survive as a state until his time is up and we can get rid of him.
Thank you for sharing your story. More power to you for going back to school! School is hard enough when you are a traditional student, let alone if you are a single mom. As a student and a mom a phone is an absolute necessity. Lepage is out of touch.
What LePage keeps forgetting is that when he says these ridiculous things he is hurting real people. He is gunning to reform welfare and state assistance and has been ranting about what he thinks are blatant cases of fraud. Fraud does happen but it isn’t as wide spread as his administration would like us to think. Instead he is villainizing those who are in need because of the actions of a very few.
Jay Peterson said:
Before the meeting in Ellsworth started, I was being interviewed by WBAI, not because I’m some sort of celebrity, just because I’m a man on the street. I mentioned toward the end of it that I had moved here from Minnesota for a job, the job disappeared, and now I have started my own business. A woman obviously from the Le Page camp (festooned with his campaign buttons) shouted at me “We don’t need you people here-you go back to the Midwest”. That’s the kind of ignorant, fearful attitude that gives strength to people like LePage, fear and loathing, suspicion and hatred. Thank goodness 61% of Mainers are not like her.
That is horrific! Was the women just standing by and listening? What a complete lack of civility.
What that women doesn’t realize is that we can’t all be from Maine. Progress doesn’t happen in a vacuum. We need people like you who are willing to brave settling with us quirky Mainers and bring in new ideas and businesses. So thank you for coming to Maine. It is a great place!
Every time a society begins to fear “outsiders” or those who are “different” nothing good every happens. Arizona was starting to sway that way but this past election they voted out the Republican legislator who wrote Arizona’s insane anti-immigration laws. I really think the country, and the world, are getting tired of extremism.
Ingrid Scott said:
It’s just too darn bad that LePage won’t read any of this. The man is beyond clueless, and how 39% of this state ever voted for him in the first place is something I will never be able to understand. He’s condescending, rude, mean, and limited in his understanding of anyone outside himself. . . or anything outside his own experience. All we can do is keep fighting his regressive ideas as hard as we can, and hope the state doesn’t slide too far downhill before the next gubernatorial election.
He really is a bully.
If we all band together hopefully we can keep the state from sliding to far downhill!
Dirk Faegre said:
Just when I think Gov. LePage is catching on that being Governor is not like being a businessman for Marden’s, he goes and says something truly (sorry Governor, just telling it like it is), truly stupid and appalling. I rather doubt his approval rating is 39% any longer. Like Congress he seems to be aiming at single numbers for support. How sad after a such of great run of proud politicians like Margaret Chase Smith, George Mitchell, Bill Cohen, Ed Muskie and on and on. Seems like we broke a nice winning streak (and break it we did!)
Oh well, we’ll straighten it out in a few years. In the meantime we’ll just make sure he doesn’t go too far in the ditch — and yank him out when he insists on evading reality. Question 1 was a good start. We’re ready for the next indiscretion.
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