You wrote, "The necessity for such training is obvious. The lightly populated, mountainous terrain resembles areas in which these jet fighter pilots might find themselves delivering bombs and dodging heat-seeking missiles."
The veracity of your entire editorial is exposed by this ignorant iteration of falsehoods. Modern air warfare is conducted by smart bombs. The pilot only needs known coordinates of the target and can be miles away from the target (out of harms way) and going in the opposite direction at safe high altitudes, fire the bomb and hit the target within three feet. He might not even see the explosion.
This was done in Libya over and over again through hellish anti-aircraft fire with no lost of aircraft or pilots. The dropping bombs a la WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam style where John McCain was shot down is a thing of the past. This old pre-smart bomb tactic required low flight visual sighting which was both dangerous to plan and pilot and highly inaccurate, missing the target most of the time.
The budget increase this year is not 10% as quoted. It is 1%, just $10,000 more than last year.
As most people know, bullies are really cowards who are frightened by seemingly harmless things. LePage feels threatened by a mural and room names that depict actual historic events.
Like most bullies he surrounds himself with authoritarian, ditto heads who help him try to hide his cowardice. They usually made statements like the one that Demeritt made, "It's a very small thing, I just want to emphasize that we were merely looking to achieve a little aesthetic balance. It's very minor." Those statements can best be understood by ascribing to them just the opposite meaning. Another symptom of a bully is bluster that again hides their cowardice - "I'll tell the president to go to hell" - and many other such statements.
Spending thousands of dollars to remove a work of art is more about assuaging LaPage's paranoia. It is a shameful waste of state tax dollars. It reminds one of the Taliban blowing up the Buddhist statues in Afghanistan—stupid and ugly. Recall time, anyone?