Following the fight in Wisconsin, I found this tidbit on Maine’s own Tea Partier-in-Chief stunningly bad policy and politics.
From the Kennebec Morning Sentinel:
Under Gov. Paul LePage’s proposed budget, teachers and other state employees will be required to increase their contributions to the pension system, from 7.65 percent of their salary to 9.65 percent.One public employee currently paying 7.65 percent, however, won’t see an increase.
The governor has exempted himself.
While public employees and teachers face this increase, as well as a raise in the retirement age, a freeze on cost-of-living adjustments for current retirees and a 2 percent cap on future cost of living increases, LePage’s personal contribution rate to the retirement system will remain the same, which means he’ll be paying $21,420 over four years.
Mike Tipping goes on to also explain that after serving as governor, LePage will receive a pension that a teacher would have to work 25 years to earn. Tipping has more details and background at Maine Politics.
A fantastic message from a fantastic leader. I’m so impressed she took the time to tape such an important message. Leaders like Sec. Clinton help me to believe that tomorrow will be better.
There’s a lot going on today (and the last month that I’ve been horribly MIA). Two legal highlights:
- The Obama Administration’s Department of Justice today announced it would be appealing the decisions from Massachusetts (Gill v. Office of Personal Management) which found parts of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. Appealing the choice makes no sense on any front, especially when you consider the improbability of success with any plan to stand by the Administration’s promise to repeal DOMA through legislative action. Considering what a fight Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has been, I challenge anyone to present a reasonable theory on how this could happen through Congress.
- A federal judge ruled today that all investigations and discharges under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell must stop immediately. The ruling was not stayed, which means the era of DADT is over…unless the Obama Administration should decide to resurrect it by appealing the decision by U.S. district judge Virginia A. Phillips. Based on all previous rulings that have found for gay rights, one has to expect that the Department of Justice will appeal this. If one were to believe that President Obama wants to keep his campaign promises of repealing DADT and DOMA and enacting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the step after appealing this decision would be to finally push for repeal. If this makes no sense to you, you’re not alone.
Apologies for a several week absence, especially a few very important weeks for efforts to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I’m going to try to start writing more regularly, so please check back.
A muslim taxi driver in New York City was stabbed by a passenger after being asked, and answering yes, to whether or not he was a muslim. If anyone is surprised with this in the wake of the politicization of the mosque blocks away from Ground Zero. As far as I’m concerned, this is in part the responsibility of people like Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin. From ABC News:
A New York City cab driver was attacked Tuesday evening just after 6 p.m. by a passenger who asked him if he was Muslim, says the NYPD. A spokesman for a New York City cabbie group blamed the attack on the proposed construction of an Islamic center near Ground Zero, the site of the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attack, but police said they were not aware of any link.
According to police, passenger Michael Enright, a 21-year-old from Brewster, New York, hailed a taxi at 24th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan driven by Ahmed Sharif, a resident of Queens.