Wednesday, January 15, 2014

#872: Paul LePage

Paul LePage is the Republican governor of Maine since 2011, and quite clearly not entirely well hinged. He is, perhaps, most famous for a somewhat shady past and his behavior toward journalists who attempt to inquire into some of the more legally questionable parts of his past, and for his attempts to remove the ban on Bisphenol A, dismissing its health risks by claiming, without support, that there “hasn’t been any science that identifies that there is a problem,” and adding: “The only thing that I've heard is if you take a plastic bottle and put it in the microwave and you heat it up, it gives off a chemical similar to estrogen. So the worst case is some women may have little beards ... and we don't want that.” Of course, dismissals of e.g. environmental concerns on the grounds of not having the faintest clue about what he is talking about are staple fare for LePage. Blasting global warming as a “scam,” LePage has promised to lay waste to the state's environmental regulations in general – though the fact that he made a fool of himself nationally in the Bisphenol A case has made him quiet down a little.

It was, for instance, LePage’s tea party supporters who changed the Maine Republican party platform to include calls to discard “political correctness”, “investigate collusion between government and industry in the global warming myth” (the mind boggles), “repeal and prohibit participation in any effort to establish a one world government”, and return to “Austrian-style economics”. To underscore his commitment to wingnuttery one of the first things LePage announced as governor was a decision to rename conference halls previously named after central labor rights persons and artwork depicting them in anything but a negative light.

The clincher with respect to inclusion criteria, however, is – as one would expect from someone like Le Page – his religious nuttery and attempts to get religion into education. He is, for instance, in favor of teaching creationism in public schools, and has attempted to allow public funds to go to religious schools – though the latter proposal was defeated in the Legislature due to its rather obvious Constitutional problems.

At least he seems to view himself as committed to the cause of anti-racism. In that respect he has voiced grave (and incoherent and loud) concerns about the delusion contention that Obama hates white people.

Diagnosis: Another batshit fundie denialist who has been given a position of power. Sad, scary, and completely unsurprising.

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