Gee willikers golly Jeebus on a cracker, the states of this union are stepping up their game in the eternal contest to see who can fuck the poors with the least amount of lube. If you know Maine's governor, Paul LePage, you won't be surprised to hear that his entry into the Fuck The Poors contest is a doozy! Yes, it's time for another list of Prohibited Poor People Food Theater, everyone follow along closely, because it is stupid and confusing, and it shows the lengths Republicans will go to, in order to curb-stomp poor people.

Let's run down our previous entrants: we had Kansas with its "no more welfare queens on cruise ships" welfare bill. We had Missouri makin' extry certain that none of those poors would be allowed to eat up all the state's precious sushi supply (or even canned tuna). And who can forget Wisconsin, with its idea for separate and unequal grocery stores for the welfare people?

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Now Maine's LePage wants to make sure that The Poors aren't wasting their hard-mooched welfare riches, so he is supporting legislation that would prohibit them from using their EBT cards on "taxable food," which includes ... well, in Maine it includes a lot of things! At issue, especially, is junk food, or whatever somebody's definition of "junk food" is. You see, in Maine, some food is taxed, and other food is not. The untaxed food is called "grocery staples," and this is what it excludes:

"'Grocery staples' means food products ordinarily consumed for human nourishment. ‘Grocery staples' does not include spirituous, malt or vinous liquors; soft drinks, iced tea, sodas or beverages such as are ordinarily dispensed at bars or soda fountains or in connection with bars or soda fountains; medicines, tonics, vitamins and preparations in liquid, powdered, granular, tablet, capsule, lozenge or pill form, sold as dietary supplements or adjuncts, except when sold on the prescription of a physician; water, including mineral bottled and carbonated waters and ice; dietary substitutes; candy and confections; and prepared food.”

Now, "prepared food" is where it gets tricky! According to Maine law, "prepared food" is anything made by a grocery store or other establishment, that's ready to consume immediately, like pre-made sandwiches and stuff. As the law currently reads, Mainers pay a higher rate of tax (8% to be exact) on those stale, disgusting, obviously gourmet chicken salad sandwiches you get at the gas station, because Reasons. BUT! There is an exemption. If you are buying things in bulk -- say, a whole box of donuts, or a full package of deli lunchmeat, made by that retailer -- then you don't pay the extra tax.

This bill, S.P. 195, introduced by state Senator Roger Katz (R-No Shit), seeks to run around that exemption and ban the poors from using their EBT riches for even those items. They are specifically asking the USDA for special permission to ban poor people from buying "food items that are otherwise subject to the state sales tax and for bulk purchases of grocery staples that, if purchased in smaller quantities, would be considered prepared food and therefore would be subject to the state sales tax." Get it? If you buy one slice of gourmet baloney, you'd have to pay the higher tax, but if you buy a whole package, it's considered a "staple." UNLESS YOU ARE POOR. Then, according to this bill, you can't buy any of it with your EBT card, because that would be ... wasteful? Not nutritious? Just a fun new rule to show how gross you think poor people are?

We sort of understand the impulse to ban poors from using their public benefits to buy M&M's or whatever, oh wait, no we don't, we are not sociopaths who feel the need to regulate what people are and are not allowed to eat. But this micro-managing, saying that people on public assistance aren't allowed to buy a goddamned loaf of deli baloney, or decent quality spaghetti sauce? (Yes, you can't buy Prego or Ragu.) Jesus Louise-us, the lengths some (fucked up white Republican) people will go to, just to put poor people in their place.

It's important to understand though, that Gov. LePage is only throwing his weight behind this because it is urgent and necessary. The legislation in question states that, due to the fact that poor people are eating unacceptable food, there is now an "emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine," which "require[s] legislation immediately necessary for the preservation of the PUBLIC PEACE, HEALTH AND SAFETY."

(ALL CAPS ADDED BY WONKET. Because it's so serious!)

Of course, this is all par for the course for Paul LePage, one of the gnarliest asshole governors in these United States. Just this past week, LePage has been queening out over the prospect of the liberal cities of his state -- also known as the "tax base" -- trying to pass higher minimum wage laws. If they did that, he might not have as many poor people to act vile and nasty toward! We do not know what happened to Gov. LePage as a child, that made him so vindictive against people who have less than he does, but we can make a guess, so let's just guess he's consumed with rage over having a really small penis. Maybe it's something else, but it's probably the penis thing.

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[Think Progress/Maine S.P. 195]



Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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Republicans are devouring each other's carcasses, and we are here for it! Especially when one of those Republicans is King Kris of the Kansas Votefucker Klan ... errr, Clan! It's been a week since Kansans cast their votes in the gubernatorial primary, and the GOP looks to be rolling up its sleeves for a slugfest.

As we type, Kobach leads by 298 votes out of more than 314,000 cast -- a whopping 0.00095 percent, if you round up! The Kansas GOP begged Donald Trump to stay out of the race and leave the field clear for sitting governor Jeff Colyer, who took over when Sam Brownback wandered off to bring Jesus to the Hottentots on behalf of the US government. Safe bet that Colyer would be gearing up for the general election now if President Twitterthumbs hadn't flapped his yap. So thanks for that, Donny!

No, really, THANKS!

Remember the hanging chad debacle in Florida? Now picture it in a landlocked state with more cows than people. It's like fantasy island for Devin Nunes, ALLEGEDLY.

Oh, but we are to kid!

After first insisting he wasn't going to recuse from the counting, Secretary of State Kris Kobach (one and the same!) wrote Colyer a fabulously bitchy letter agreeing to hand off the tabulation to his deputy, Eric Rucker. Colyer had made the shocking suggestion that Kobach delegate responsibility to the Kansas attorney general, rather than his own political appointee, and Kobach was stretched out on the settee with a fit of the vapors at the gross impropriety of it all!

I will not breach the public trust and arbitrarily assign my responsibilities to another office that is not granted such authority by the laws of Kansas.

After several anguished paragraphs, Kobach closed by remonstrating that Colyer was betraying his office by destroying the faith of Kansans in the sacred integrity of their electoral process.

As governor of Kansas, your unrestrained rhetoric has the potential to undermine the public's confidence in the election process. May I suggest that you trust the people of Kansas have made the right decision at the polls and that our election officials will properly determine the result as they do in every election.

Said the guy whose entire adult life has been dedicated to whipping up panic about millions of imaginary illegal alien voters.

So now these two princes can kick the crap out of each other WITH VOTES, specifically, provisional ballots cast by unaffiliated voters under the supervision of poorly trained poll workers. Kansas holds closed primaries, meaning only registered Republicans can vote to select the GOP candidate, BUT an unaffiliated voter can cast a vote by checking a box identifying as a Democrat or a Republican at the polling place. This was news to some poll workers, who mistakenly directed over one thousand unaffiliated voters to use provisional ballots without checking the box indicating party preference. Whoops!

So, will those provisional ballots be counted based on voter intent? Or tossed based on strict interpretation of the statute? And does Kansas law mandate tossing mail-in ballots that arrive without a postmark on Wednesday, since there's no forensic proof that they were mailed before midnight on Tuesday? And how disgusted will the Kansas electorate be when one of these assholes emerges from the melée holding the other one's scalp? And how many millions of dollars are going to be spent on litigating the Republican primary while this nice lady Laura Kelly, the Democratic minority whip of the Kansas Senate, is out campaigning for November?

Even before this debacle, Kobach looked significantly weaker against Kelly than Colyer, with self-funded Libertarian Jeff Orman threatening to throw a wrench in the works. The Wichita Eagle reports on a Remington Research Poll conducted in July:

In a Kelly-Orman-Kobach race, the poll puts Kelly and Kobach effectively in a dead heat — 36 percent for Kelly and 35 percent for Kobach, with Kelly's lead within the margin of error. Orman has 12 percent.

Colyer leads in a three-way race with Kelly and Orman, according to the poll. In that scenario, Colyer receives 38 percent of the vote, while Kelly gets 28 percent and Orman receives 10 percent.

Which is ONE POLL, in a deeply red state, but ... Kobach is a crap candidate who's likely to emerge from this fight with two black eyes and a pissed off base. If there's anyone who can blow this election, it's Kris Kobach.

Keep fighting, Kris! You can do it! (And now we need a shower.)

And YOU need an OPEN THREAD!

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Money us, PLEASE! Throw a tip in the jar, or click here to keep your Wonkette snarking forever.

[Kobach letter / Wichita Eagle / Mother Jones / Kansas City Star]

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While most people spent this weekend telling Nazi punks to fuck off, a couple 11-year-olds were in Las Vegas hacking into voting machines. Why? BECAUSE IT'S FUN!

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