An ongoing discussion of politics, law, pop culture, and fine draperies.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Wal-Marts for Thomastonians

Well, the folks to the south
approved a 150,000 square foot size cap on commercial retail sites and defeated a competing measure for a 70,000 square foot cap. This effectively means a new (perhaps not so) Super Wal Mart and a new Lowe's hardware store will grace the section of Route One between Rockland and Thomaston. All the more reason to make good friends with Old County Road. Quick numbers:

• about 1,060 of the town's 1,865 registered voters came out for the special referendum (53%);
• Voters rejected the 70,000 square foot cap by a 632-430 margin.
• Voters approved the 150,000 square foot cap by 623-436 margin.

While the town has given the thumbs-up to the Lowe's developer, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers still
has the final say-so due to wetlands concerns at the site. The Corps is soliciting public comments which, while it's free to ignore in its decision, it must issue a written explanation for every comment it receives. Get your pens to paper, folks! As the Bangor Daily News provides, information about the process is available from Permit Project Manager Peter Tischbein by calling 623-8367. Comments should be mailed to

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
New England District, Maine Project Office
Attn: Peter Tischbein
675 Western Ave., No. 3,
Manchester, ME 04351.


Another bit of feedback from the Nixon-Gore discussion from a history-minded friend on mine from the Hoosier State:

"This comparison seems apt to me, although it's hard for this comparison to be meaningful unless Gore were to come back to win in 08. But the comparison is striking, both in terms of the men themselves as well as the times. Nixon retires to let Johnson muck up a foreign conflict only to come back and win. Gore does the same (maybe?). The problem is that the Republican ranks were not as packed with potential winners like the Dems are this year.

Hillary would be a huge mistake for the Dems, though. Too polarizing. I think someone like Warner could be the best bet. When are the Dems going to actually stand for something (I loved when Dean said on Meet the Press that we don't need to stand for anything yet, since we don't control the Congress or White House--huh??)?"

All good points. Hillary is the candidate most likely to generate an "Anti-" movement lined up against her. In the wake of her destruction, the question will then become, Tack left or tack right? Warner or Bayh will mean a move to the center/right, whereas Gore represents the compromise. In the 1968 contest, this played out with Nelson Rockerfeller playing the "move to the center/left" Republican, Ronald Reagan playing the Hillary/potentially polarizing force (not a perfect analogy, but work with me here …), and Nixon representing the compromise. Again, I think we need to wait until August or September to gauge how middle America responds to "An Inconvenient Truth."


Nice win last night,
despite Schilling's continuing tendency toward giving up 4-6 runs per start. The Globe's Gordon Edes is willing to accept the excuses. The Herald's Karen Guregian is not afraid to send up a flare.

Let the record show that I called
this and have the emails, if not the blog entries to prove it. It's just too logical. Craig Hansen was being primed to become the closer of the future, often closing out starts made by future ace Jonathan Papelbon. But, as the Herald's Michael Silverman notes:

With Hansen getting stretched out, it gives the Sox more flexibility in terms of how he can help the team, perhaps as soon as this season. If he is not pigeon-holed as a reliever, the club can explore the option of using him as a starter. With the rotation after Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett and Tim Wakefield inconsistent, and with disabled David Wells no sure bet to return to full health, Hansen could be an intriguing addition to the starting staff.

At least for the sake of continuity this season, any Hansen ascension to the big league club must be into a starter's role if not some kind of middle relief/set-up role. As he continues to register 1-2-3 9th inning saves, Papelbon has successfully demonstrated that he and nobody else should be closing games for the Red Sox in 2006. No question! If Hansen demonstrates that he can work effectively as a starter, perhaps this formula might extend beyond 2006. Especially with lefty
Jon Lester also waiting in the wings. I say, "Do it, Do it!"

Meanwhile, New York prepares for the subway series and
Pedro looks forward to pitching against, among others, his former teammate and "good dude" Johnny Damon.

Filed under, "curious," we have this NY Daily News piece
discussing how Joe D. self-critiqued his performance in boxing Marilyn Monroe.


Trust me you,
this is likely to become a helpful list of considerations for anyone in Maine who has a basement, self included. I was up until 12:30 a.m. last night staring at the swirls of standing water preparing to enter my beloved submersible pump.

charts say Americans don't trust the Republicans anymore. In the words of Greg S., "Yeeeeeeeee!!!" E.J. Dionne likely never trusted Karl Rove, he recognizes that one W. deemed "the architect" still has his finger on the pulse – and that it doesn't read very well for his chief client:

The problem is not that Rove was off message but that the country has gone off Bush's message, and shows no sign of coming back. Everything Rove said yesterday shows that the smartest man at Bush's side knows it.

Robert Kuttner of

American Prospect
doesn't trust Hillary Clinton for "cozying up to the right."

Slate's Dahlia Lithwick
trusts that Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is going to enjoy the freedom that her retirement provides, and suggests based on recent public comments that we are, too:

O'Connor had me at hello. I have been railing against the sneering, partisan political attacks on the judiciary for a long time, and I'm delighted that she's ready to unload on the cretins who have been taking a brickbat to judges since the Terry Schiavo mess.

Former ENRON chief Kenneth Lay is forced to trust
12 angry men and women, whose judgment hopefully the rest of us can trust instead.
In what has become a very entertaining and informative, outside of the popular discourse, tet-a-tete, Judge Richard Posner says why he doesn't trust
overpaid CEOs.

Trust these writers and media types with their
suggested readings if you want to be inspired to travel. America's greatest hero at the moment, Stephen Colbert contributes: " Lord of the Rings." I always wanted to travel to Middle Earth. And now wherever I go, I am always on the lookout for Hobbits."

And to wrap-up, I present this is an old one, but this lawyerin' type blogger doesn't trust Ray Parker Jr. to honestly convey his themes in conventional song lyric format, and proposes
an alternative format.


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