Saturday, April 10, 2010

Double, double toil and trouble…..

Richardson and Bailey: the tension mounts, and Augur stands by, ready to ????

from Macbeth:  A dark Cave. In the middle, a Caldron boiling. Thunder.

In the poison'd entrails throw.—
    Toad, that under cold stone,
    Days and nights has thirty-one;
    Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
    Boil thou first i' the charmed pot! 
    Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

Forgive me; I just couldn’t resist the urge any longer.  Somewhere in the deep, dark, inner recesses of what used to be my mind, there on a back burner, a caldron of conspiracy stew has been simmering unattended for weeks.  I had almost forgotten about it, until the bubbling suddenly increased enough to get my attention.  And the ‘aroma’ took a turn for the worse, heightening my curiosity.

I started the stew some weeks ago when the Ostrich suddenly awoke from its slumber over all things having to do with the MRRA, Oxford Aviation, and F. Lee Bailey, reporting that Bailey was “pulling out,” dramatically playing the victim card. The editors, who are testy risers, launched off against skeptical town councilors, and messed themselves in a nasty editorial where they raised the concept of “willfully uninformed.”  We commented on their thinking here, suggesting that the Ostrich leads the way in willfully uninforming its declining readership.

We were, frankly, perplexed by their new found interest in the situation, especially since it surfaced only when Bailey’s rescue of the Oxford snafu seemed to be coming to an ignoble climax.  Why, Side wondered, did Ostrich editors suddenly see the shenanigans as worthy of their interest.  And then it dawned on me.


What if, I thought, this was all part of a grand strategy for the Gubernatorial campaign of John “Johnny Protocols” (JP) Richardson, featuring Bailey in a leading role? It’s common knowledge that JP and F. Lee had become tight over the course of the months they had been “working” together.

Was there any doubt that JP would be the prohibitive favorite of the Ostrich editors and their directors in the primary?  Could they all be working together to create a scenario in which Brunswick’s favorite son, so far a lackluster campaigner, would rise up as a hero, the savior of the Bailey deal, just in time to win the primary? 

Key to making it all work would be creating the impression that Brunswick had so poisoned the atmosphere that the deal was beyond saving, by any mere mortal!  Unfair treatment of the MRRA, the story would go, and lack of respect for Bailey’s flirtations from bumpkins on the town council, had irreversibly killed off our only hope for a desirable future!

I waited for some sign that my ‘theory’ was right, but as the weeks slipped by, the story seemed to be dying off, and I began to accept that perhaps Bailey really had given up, and had left the area to pursue other “huge investments” in “global aviation leadership.”

Along the way, Newell Augur, erstwhile town councilor, and successful head of last year’s “Fed Up With Taxes” citizens’ veto campaign, threw his hat into the story.  This made no sense to Other Side either, mirroring the Ostrich’s inexplicable focus, albeit after months and months of turning the other cheek.  We commented on Augur’s arousal here.  Why would he audition for a role in a stage play that had already ended its run, we wondered?

And then something happened.  JP, as readers well know, is running as a “clean election” candidate, and April 1st was the deadline for submitting the qualifying checks and paperwork to the state Ethics office.  Richardson’s campaign submitted the materials at the last minute, following web broadcasts seeking more checks at the 11th hour.

News from the Ethics office was not quickly forthcoming as to whether Richardson had qualified for clean election funding.  (This is a totally separate issue from getting on the ballot.)  An apparent deadline of April 8 to render a decision came and went, with the Ethics office still at work, it would seem.  This reporter’s strong interest in Richardson’s campaign led us to his web site to look for an update, and from there to his Facebook page, hoping to find something in the way of news to cover.

Well, what to our wandering eyes should appear on the Facebook page?  This photo - that’s what.

It was taken at the Equality Maine banquet in Portland, held exactly two weeks ago on March 27th.  You can find the picture here, if you wish, and you’ll note the “share” option just below it.

For those who don’t recognize everyone, the seated fellow between the ladies in blue and red is um, I’m pretty sure, one F. Lee Bailey, aviation investor.  Standing behind him are JP and his wife, and standing off to the right are, surprise!, Newell Augur, and we presume, his wife, whom we have not had the pleasure of seeing before.

Notice, if you will, that rather than have his arm around his wife, JP is resting his right hand on Bailey’s shoulder, a loving and reassuring brotherly touch.

One wonders if Augur had to “buy the table” in order to atone, at least partially, for his shameful role in repealing the beverage tax; that couldn’t have endeared him to Richardson and the rest of the permanent governing class.  No wonder John keeps him at arm’s length.

Well, so much for the possibility that Bailey had left Maine after being treated with disrespect and finding Brunswick an impossible business climate.  And that Augur’s audition was just a random coincidence. 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go stir the stew before it bubbles over, and see if I can’t find something to stifle that unappetizing aroma.  And if you hear anything interesting, be sure to call our offices; we’re always looking for something to keep the pot boiling, as they say!

Make the gruel thick and slab:
    Add thereto a tiger's caldron,
    For the ingredients of our caldron. 
    Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble. 
    Cool it with a baboon's blood,
    Then the charm is firm and good.


  1. One never needs to apologize for mentioning Shakespeare in any blog post. Its a bit like Monty Python... you always get props for it.

  2. Hmmmm, so far 2 for "idiotic," 1 for "brilliant."

    It's always amusing to watch the ratings and wonder who is choosing what.

    I find anything that touches on MRRA usually ends up with at least one idiotic rating. I'm glad they have someone assigned to follow our offerings.

  3. Looks more like a group photo taken aboard the Titanic...

    JR and FLB do look like authentic BFF's.