August 14, 2011

Bill Nemitz: DHHS office 'sting' video so idiotic that it hurts

(Continued from page 1)

Uh-huh. And since when does "potential" come in concrete?

Then there was Gov. Paul LePage and DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew, who found themselves caught between the oh-so-tempting demagoguery and the inescapable fact that they're in charge of the very operation that's "potentially" full of fraud.

Mayhew at least had the decency to defend the first Diane for calling in the second Diane to help catch Ted's never-ending curve balls. "There are positives we also need to focus on," Mayhew correctly noted.

LePage, meanwhile, issued a statement that was a study in rhetorical whiplash: On one hand, he complained that "much time was wasted in this interview." On the other, he said he wanted to "thank the individual who took this video."

Thank him? For what? Wasting two state employees' valuable time?

Bottom line for the Guv: While the video reveals no fraud whatsoever, "we need to do a better job providing our employees the best training possible and ensure they know their job and the responsibility that comes with it."

Governor, train thyself.

This whole dog-and-pony show would be nothing but hilarious if not for the far-right mantra that propelled it to the top of Maine's news cycle: This state and this country are going to hell in a hand basket, they tell us, and all those welfare cheats out there are to blame.

Go ahead and howl, welfare warriors, go ahead and howl.

But when you're done, do yourselves -- and the rest of us -- a favor.

Dress Ted up as an investment banker and send him down to Wall Street in search of, say, a behind-the-scenes derivatives deal. Tell him to wave his hedge-fund balances around until someone guides him through one of the many loopholes still to be found in the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010.

And Ted, before you hit that "record" button on your Brooks Brothers lapel?

Try not to be such an idiot.

Columnist Bill Nemitz can be contacted at 791-6323 or at:


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