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Well done, Maine Lege!


A nice-time update, at least insofar as anything involving opioid overdoses can be considered "nice": On Friday, the Maine Legislature voted overwhelmingly to override Gov. Paul LePage's veto of a bill to allow pharmacists to dispense the anti-overdose drug naloxone without a prescription. So hooray, they turned back LePage's highly principled effort to simply let addicts die. The closing day of the Maine legislative session was devoted to reconsidering the governor's many vetoes, giving state representatives and senators the chance to sweep up some of the elephant droppings LePage deposited during the session.

The overdose bill, LD 1547, had been endorsed by both addiction experts and law enforcement organizations, but LePage vetoed it April 20. With the sort of logic that has led weasels, skunks, and slime molds to ask journalists to stop comparing them to LePage, the governor's veto statement explained why he didn't want to broaden access to naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, even though the medication has proven effective at arresting the deadly symptoms of opioid overdoses long enough to get patients to life-saving care:

“Naloxone does not truly save lives; it merely extends them until the next overdose,” LePage wrote [...] “Creating a situation where an addict has a heroin needle in one hand and a shot of naloxone in the other produces a sense of normalcy and security around heroin use that serves only to perpetuate the cycle of addiction.”

The veto brought LePage the sort of national ridicule and condemnation he has to be accustomed to by now -- for all we know, he actually feeds on being called an asshole -- and was overwhelmingly rejected by both houses of the Maine legislature. The override vote wasn't even close: it passed by 132-14 in the house and 29-5 in the Senate.

“This bill has always been about one thing: saving the lives of Maine people suffering from addiction,” bill co-sponsor Sen. Cathy Breen, D-Falmouth, said in a statement. “I was so pleased to see the Senate reject Gov. LePage’s belief that these Mainers are out of reach. Narcan saves lives, and making it more broadly available means more of our fellow citizens will have a second chance to get on the road to recovery.”

Way to go, Maine. In all, the legislature overrode a total of 20 LePage vetoes, also restoring measures to increase funding of county jails, to provide pay raises to workers at the state's two psychiatric hospitals, and to allow people with disabilities to receive tax credits to offset the costs of making their homes more accessible. Come now, you can't be surprised Paul LePage vetoed a bill to help people afford wheelchair ramps, can you? While the legislature overrode 20 vetoes, it also upheld LePage's vetoes of another 12 bills, including one that would have restored $500,000 to the state's system for publicly funding election campaigns.

LePage does not appear to have issued a public statement on the overrides, but sources close to the governor inform Yr Wonkette the governor responded with his usual grace and élan, kicking a puppy and drafting an executive order allowing teenagers to set addicts on fire as long as no structures are endangered. Sometimes we think we don't have very reliable sources.

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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'Bella" by Wonkette Operative 'IdiokraticSubpoenaKommissar'

Sunday already, which means a substantial portion of US America is preparing to be astonished/heartbroken/outraged by the series finale of that show with the dragons, while another portion is just going to stay off Twitter for three days because nothing will make any sense. Yr Dok Zoom tends to come very late to trendy things, so get ready for our own thoughts on the gamy thrones show sometime in about 2023, or never. But we'd be glad to tell you just how much we enjoy the brilliance and humanity of the Cartoon Network series "Steven Universe," which debuted in 2013 and we started bingeing on the Hulu last month, late again.

Hell, we still want to talk about that one Mrs Landingham episode of "The West Wing," which we first watched years after it aired (We finally bought our new used car yesterday, and know one thing: don't drive over to the White House to show it off to President Bartlet). We might even get around to reading Infinite Jest someday. We hear it has something to do with a superhero team and a guy named Thanos. So hey, let's talk about culture and missing out and patching together some knowledge of what's happening anyway.

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Get Me Roger Stone

Roger Stone, his wife would like you to know, is broke. And he is not dealing with it well. Once in khaki suits, gee, he looked swell, full of that yankee-doodle-dee-dum, but now no one calls him Al anymore and he has to stand on a street corner singing "Brother Can You Spare A Dime?"

Yesterday, the conservative but also kind of Never Trumper site The Bulwark revealed the details of a grifty "fundraising" plea sent out by Stone's wife Nydia, begging supporters to give money to the Stones in order to help them keep up the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.

It was titled "I am embarrassed to write this."

"Dear Friend," begins the missive. "My husband and I have an urgent new problem and we need your help. I told my husband I was going to write you, one of his most valued supporters. I am embarrassed to write this, but I must."

"Mrs. Roger Stone" tells a tale of woe: FBI agents swooping in on them at the crack of dawn to arrest her husband, a subsequent "fake news" feeding frenzy causing friends and fans to abandon the Stones.

"He laid off all our consultants, contractors and employees, and we have 'pulled in our belts' like so many Americans in 'tight times,'" she wrote, sounding for all the world like a plucky working-class patriot, not the wife of a man who made and lost his fortune lying in the service of power.

She should have been more embarrassed.

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