Election night

It’s exciting that Eliot Cutler, the smartest candidate for governor, is currently in the lead with 38% of the vote. Such excitement must be tempered given that this is based upon a mere 26% of precincts, but I really hope it holds up. Paul LePage would be devastating for the economy and education.

Update 1: Coons beat O’Donnell in Delaware. At least everyone hasn’t been taken over by this urge to elect genuinely stupid people.

Update 2: With 50% reporting, Cutler leads LePage 38% to 36%.

Update 3: Bad news. LePage, still trailing, is gaining. 38% to 37%.

Update 4: Dead heat with 63% reporting.

Update 5: Cutler and LePage keep swapping first place by a couple hundred votes every page refresh.

Update 6: Of course there are no results yet for Logan and Maloney in District 57.

Update 7: At least I can say IN YOUR FACE, HOWIE CARR now that Deval Patrick has won in Mass. I don’t have a horse in that race; I just don’t like how Carr has been such a shill.

Update 8: Cutler is falling behind now. Looks like Maine is going to get a know nothing governor. Too bad, poor people and the middle class.

Update 9: Seriously? Michele Bachmann won? She has got to be the craziest candidate next to O’Donnell.

Update 10: Yep, I think this can be called earlier than the news organizations want to call it. LePage will be governor. I’d happily be wrong.

It seems like everyone is endorsing Eliot Cutler

Every time I open up Facebook or check the local links Yahoo! sends me, it seems I see a new endorsement for Eliot Cutler for governor of Maine. I’m thinking that everyone is feeling the emotion-driven anger at the establishment right now, but unlike redneck conservatives, all these papers are actually putting thought into who they want to lead Maine. Cutler is the clear choice – he has a masterful grasp of all the issues and he offers realistic solutions. (I know, I know, conservatives…a smart guy?! What an elitist!)

Vote for Eliot Cutler.

Vote Eliot Cutler

Eliot Cutler is the most reasonable choice for Maine governor. He’s the one who has a commanding grasp of all the issues, the one with the most reasonable plans, and the one who isn’t going to mess everything up (that honor would be LePage’s). Libby Mitchell would be a fine choice as well, but Cutler has her beat in a number of issues, especially where it comes to being independent of a political system.

Paul LePage loves welfare

He just hates poor people.

Creationist Republican/Tea Party candidate for Maine governor Paul LePage rages against government and the assistance it gives to poor people. He’s intensely angry that anyone would have the audacity to take his money from him in order to help others. But this isn’t some pure libertarian stance he’s taking. No, as is well-known, the LePages stole a lot of money from Florida by illegally claim double-residency, thus getting their children in-state tuition at massive savings. This, as is the case with virtually all Tea Party supporters, is about greed. LePage is willing to take government assistance – welfare – from the state of Florida when it suits his wallet, but when it comes to helping anyone else he wants to put caps on benefits and slash every service under the sun.

Paul LePage is just another greedy Republican/Teabagger who is out to get his own. It has only ever been about his own wallet.

New poll on race for Maine governor

A new poll is out on the race for Maine governor.

The Maine Poll, conducted for MaineToday Media by Critical Insights, had 30 percent of likely voters supporting Mitchell, compared to LePage at 29 percent. This represents a significant change in a race where LePage has consistently led polls by 12 or more percentage points. In Critical Insights’ last poll, released Sept. 19, LePage had 38 percent voter support and Mitchell had 25 percent.

The 405 registered voters, all of whom said they were likely to vote in November, were surveyed on Monday. The poll has a margin of error of 4.9 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. That means that if the poll were repeated 100 times, in 95 cases the results would be within 4 percentage points of those reported.

Perhaps voters are starting to realize that – aside from his horrible ideas of teaching creationism and giving away college degrees to high school students – Maine probably doesn’t want the Rage of LePage at the helm.

This isn’t California or Florida. Maine prefers rational candidates.

Political savvy at its best

Creationist Paul LePage doesn’t seem to much understand how this whole darn politics thing works.

U.S. science and math education ranked 48th

A lot of Americans are hostile towards science. With political parties like the Republicans and Teabaggers, it isn’t any surprise. (Of course, the Republicans are a contributor to the hostility; the Teabaggers are a result.) But at the root of these ugly movements is, naturally, religion. It’s fair to place a lot of the blame on religion because, for starters, it teaches that faith is a virtue. Of course, faith most certainly isn’t a virtue and it has only been made into one by the religious out of necessity, but the idea that it’s good to believe without evidence is ingrained into many American minds via religious rhetoric.

We’ve always been a religious nation, but there were times when we managed to lead in science and math. We can attribute a lot of that to economic superiority or importing scientists from elsewhere or, especially during the Cold War, nationalism. But I think we can also attribute a lot of it to the fact that historically it hasn’t been obvious to a great many people that there is a deep conflict between science and religion. Without people being widely aware that God is not only not evident but also not needed for the Universe and for life, there’s little reason to view science with any great hostility. Unfortunately, while science has been the tool man has used to make the greatest achievements ever seen on Earth, it has also revealed that a lot of people are just plain stubborn. People will favor their long-held beliefs over accepting a conflicting fact from science. (In fact, it’s 64% that will do that in America.) That’s why we have religion to blame for results like these.

Stagnant scientific education imperils U.S. economic leadership, says a report by leading business and science figures.

Released Thursday at a congressional briefing attended by senators and congressmen of both parties, the report updates a 2005 science education report that led to moves to double federal research funding.

Nevertheless, the “Rising Above the Gathering Storm” review finds little improvement in U.S. elementary and secondary technical education since then.

“Our nation’s outlook has worsened,” concludes the report panel headed by former Lockheed Martin chief Norman Augustine. The report “paints a daunting outlook for America if it were to continue on the perilous path it has been following”:

•U.S. mathematics and science K-12 education ranks 48th worldwide.

•49% of U.S. adults don’t know how long it takes for the Earth to circle the sun.

•China has replaced the United States as the world’s top high-technology exporter.

One of the most interesting facts in the research, though a bit of an outdated one, is that in 1999, 69% of 5-8th graders received instruction in the physical sciences from teachers lacking a major or certification in any physical science. It makes me wonder how many high school students are also receiving their education from un- or low-qualified teachers. We know they’re out there (which is one reason D.C. fired a bunch of them recently), but I’m not sure on the stats. I think there would be interesting implications for Paul LePage’s plan to give away degrees.

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