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Daily Catch: Howie Carr, Dividing California, Welfare for Pot and more…

Howie Carr

Howie Carr talks to the Cumberland County Republican Convention

Cumberland County GOP: Talk radio legend Howie Carr headlined the Cumberland County Republican convention Saturday. Carr told an audience of more than 100 Republicans to make sure their “moonbat” friends know that independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler is a viable option for progressive voters. The Portland native also told the crowd that the Federal Communication Commission’s recent push to monitor newsrooms across the country would have the unfortunate consequence of forcing news readers in other states read the local equivalents of the Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News. Carr also plugged The Maine Wire and praised our exclusive investigation into welfare abuse. Somehow those last points didn’t make it into the BDN’s write-up.

Medicaid Costs Jobs: The Maine Heritage Policy Center’s J. Scott Moody published a report last week on the private sector consequences for expanding Maine’s medical welfare program, known as Medicaid or MaineCare. According to Moody, growing government through an expansion of Medicaid will stifle private sector incomes and job creation.

The Ethics Problem of Maine’s House Speaker: Foster’s Daily Democrat has printed an opinion editorial from Rep. Lawrence Lockman (R-Amherst) regarding Speaker Eves refusal to recuse himself from the Medicaid expansion debate. Here are some highlights:

If I were the director of business development for a major natural gas company in Maine, a company with a history of receiving no-bid contracts from the state, would it be ethical for me to sponsor and advocate for legislation that would unleash millions of dollars in subsidies for natural gas projects?

What if the federal government promised to cover the cost of the subsidies for the first three years? And, what if my natural gas subsidy bill would stimulate Maine’s economy, create thousands of jobs, and benefit hundreds of thousands of energy users in Maine?

If you think like most of my constituents here in rural eastern Maine, you would probably give an emphatic thumbs down to me voting on a bill that would result in more state contracts for my employer, regardless of the legislation’s purported merits.

Piers, We Hardly Knew Ye: British CNN host Piers Morgan is (finally) admitting defeat and stepping down from his CNN show. Morgan, who garnered the ire of gun-loving Americans with repeated and brutish calls for gun control, has suffered in ratings. An understatement from the New York Times: “There have been times when the CNN host Piers Morgan didn’t seem to like America very much — and American audiences have been more than willing to return the favor.” For conservatives, Morgan will be remembered always as the guy who got owned by Breitbart News’ Ben Shapiro.

Self-Defense: Last week, in the dangerous city of Detroit, gun-wielding citizens successfully stopped three separate attempted crimes. In a place where police protection is unreliable, more citizens are using their Second Amendment right to bear arms to protect themselves, their liberty and their property.

Gallup: Obama seen as losing respect on world stage: A new Gallup poll shows that, for the first time, more Americans think President Barack Obama is not respected by other world leaders than believe he is. The opinion shift represents a stark change from 2009. According to the poll, 41 percent of Americans say Obama has the respect of other works leaders, while 53 percent say other heads of states do not respect the Commander in Chief. In 2009, 67 percent of a survey population said other world leaders respect Obama.

Homeland Misstep: After putting out public bids for a nationwide license plate scanning system, the Department of Homeland Security has withdrawn its request, saying the whole kerfuffle was just a mistake. Had it gone through with the request, DHS would have eventual come to operate a vast network of cameras that automatically read and record license plates – a real world Panopticon of sorts. TechDirt’s Tim Cushing, says the withdrawal of the bid is a sign that public skepticism of surveillance systems is causing Big Brother to think twice: “The most plausible explanation is that someone up top at the DHS or ICE suddenly realized that publicly calling for bids on a nationwide surveillance system while nationwide surveillance systems are being hotly debated was … a horrible idea.”

Big Labor, Big Money: Labor union bosses are pledging to spend as much as $300 million to unseat Republicans and help elect boss-friendly progressives in the 2014 midterm elections. Michael Podhorzer, political director for the AFL-CIO, confirmed the money bomb to the New York Times. He also said the nationwide push for higher minimum wage is a political tactic designed to gin up support for Democrats.

Dark Money Myths: One of the most pernicious myths the media sells to the public, both in Maine and across the country, is that conservative mega-donors and corporate fat cats are buying elections. In truth, progressive super PACs and interest groups have dominated the realm of political spending since 1989. Mike Flynn over at Breitbart News has an excellent analysis of exactly who, historically, has embraced dark money as a way of securing political advantages: “Since 1989, 7 of the top 10 contributors to political campaigns have been Democrat or left-leaning, primarily labor unions. The other three split their contributions almost evenly between the parties. The top donor favoring Republicans, UPS, ranked 17th on the contributions list. Among the top 20 donors, 13 are explicitly Democrat or progressive.”

Dividing California: Silicon Valley centure capitalist Tim Draper is collecting signatures for a ballot referendum that would, if successful, divide California into six states: Jefferson, North California, Central California, Silicon Valley, West California and South California. Draper will need to collect more than 800,000 signatures before July 18 in order to get his question on the November ballot. The venture capitalist says the move to split California would have substantial benefits for state and local government. California in its present size is, he says, “ungovernable.” Splitting California would also have an interesting effect on national politics, creating the possibility that the state’s 55 Electoral College votes do not automatically go to Democrats.

Welfare Pot: National Review Online did a cash welfare investigation in the state of Colorado and found some interesting results. Turns out, more than $5,000 in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) welfare cash was spent at stores that sell recreational and/or medicinal marijuana. A bill that would have prevented such transactions failed in Colorado’s legislature after senate democrats killed it in a party-line vote. In statement so absurd it could have been made by an employee of Maine Equal Justice Partners (MEJP), a Colorado official said, “We cannot assume that somebody who has accessed money at a retail marijuana shop has spent that money on marijuana.” The Maine Wire’s investigation of TANF abuse did not find any money spent at marijuana dispensaries, but we did find welfare cash being used in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Obamacare Remix: Libertarian rapper Remy has a new music video slamming President Obama’s signature health care law over its impact on full-time employees.