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Daily Catch: The Media Mutt on Tipping, School Choice, O’Care Delays and Ukraine…

Warning the Granite State: House Minority Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport) has been a strong voice against Medicaid expansion here in the Pine Tree State, but the Republican leader took to the pages of New Hampshire’s Concord Monitor and Union Leader this past week to warn our neighbors against their own Medicaid expansion scheme. Several weeks ago it was almost a certainty that New Hampshire was going to expand Medicaid, but now, like in Maine, the momentum appears to be shifting.

Media Mutt Growls at Tipping: Al Diamon, Maine’s top media critic, says Mike Tipping, a progressive blogger for the Maine People’s Alliance, needs to take a step back from his Bangor Daily News blog. Tipping has carved a niche for himself as the Democratic Party’s attack dog, using the BDN website to regularly pinion Republicans and conservatives. But whereas David Farmer and Matt Gagnon, two BDN bloggers who have put their blogs on hold due to conflicts arising from their work on the Maine governor’s race, Tipping writes on. Says Diamon, “Tipping, like Farmer and Gagnon, provides real insight into Maine politics. But also like them, his day job calls his credibility — and that of his journalistic sponsors — into question. It’s long past time he joined his more ethically sensitive colleagues in hibernation.”

Charter School Commission: Monday was a big day for the Maine Charter School Commission. Connections Academy, a virtual school, won approval, while K-12, another virtual school, was denied for a third time. The controversial Lewiston-Auburn Academy Charter School (LAACS) went down in flames with a unanimous vote to reject the application. The commission approved one virtual charter school despite receiving a highly unusual mid-meeting letter from Senate President Justin Alfond (D-Portland) pressuring them to reject the school. On a related note, check out this week’s menu at Alfond’s private Massachusetts-based prep school. Basil Seared Salmon, yum! When it comes to learning, Alfond’s philosophy seems to be school choice for me but not for thee. Or rather, choice for the rich but not for the poor.

Worst Law Ever?: The Barack Obama administration is set to implement yet another delay to the controversial Affordable Care Act — yet another in a series of explicitly political delays designed to salvage the 2014 midterm elections for Democrats. TheHill.com reports: “As early as this week, according to two sources, the White House will announce a new directive allowing insurers to continue offering health plans that do not meet ObamaCare’s minimum coverage requirements. Prolonging the “keep your plan” fix will avoid another wave of health policy cancellations otherwise expected this fall. The cancellations would have created a firestorm for Democratic candidates in the last, crucial weeks before Election Day.” The Obamacare provision in question outlawed insurance plans held by more than 10,000 Mainers, and the impact of serial delays to this aspect of the law is uncertain.

DCCC Eyes Maine’s CD2: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (D-trip) named 16 new House races to its “Red to Blue” campaign program on Monday, according to Politico.com. The designation signals that the top Democratic political committee views the race for Maine’s open Second Congressional Seat as competitive. State Sens. Emily Cain (D-Penobscot) and Troy Jackson (D-Aroostook) are leading in the Democratic primary, but the DCCC did not endorse either. Former State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin and former Senate President Kevin Raye are squaring off in the GOP. Raye and Poliquin delivered dueling messages at the Androscoggin County Republican convention on Saturday, and both showed an ability to energize diehard Republicans, albeit with differing messages.

Minimum Wage on Maine Calling: Maine Wire Editor Steve Robinson joined Portland Mayor Michael Brennan, Garrett Martin of Maine Center for Economic Policy, and Peter Gore of the Maine Chamber of Commerce on Monday to discuss minimum wage with Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s Jennifer Rooks. Both Brennan and Martin had some difficulty reconciling their views on the minimum wage with a report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office which showed raising the minimum wage according the President Obama’s plan would cost the American economy hundreds of thousands of jobs. Listen here.

Who ya Kidding?: The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting has launched a new series entitled, “Who ya Kidding?” The series is designed to sift through and debunk political speech. The latest edition takes on the partisan fight over L.D. 1353, “An Act To Further Reduce Student Hunger.” PineTreeWatchDog.com’s John Christie sifts through the partisan hyperbole to show how both Gov. Paul LePage and Senate President Justin Alfond played language games to advance their political goals.

Feel the Pain: According to a new survey from Rasmussen, one-third of Americans say the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare, has had a negative impact on them personally. Only 14 percent of the survey population say they’ve been helped by the president’s signature health care law.

Jeb “Common Core” Bush: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is reportedly considering a presidential run, but sources within the tea party movement tell the DailyCaller.com that Bush’s involvement with the Common Core State Standards may dog his presidential ambitions. And you thought his last name would be the problem!

Mama Bear Brutalizes Obama: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says that Russian President Vladimir Putin is known for wrestling bears and drilling oil while President Obama is “one who wears mom jeans and equivocates and bloviates.” Palin has recently found her way back into headlines for predicting, way back in 2008, that Putin would invade Ukraine if Obama was elected. On a similar note, remember the Obama-Romney presidential debates? Romney called Russia a geopolitical foe. Obama retorted: “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because… the cold war’s been over for 20 years.”

Do you have something that should be included in the Daily Catch? Send an email with a link to Editor Steve Robinson at SERobinson@themainewire.com 

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