Cheers and jeers from around the news:

• Cheers to President Barack Obama, for doing what needed to be done: he swatted the fly. A buzzing housefly was aggravating the president during a television interview earlier this week, so he smushed it.

Anyway, this action earned Obama rebuke from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who suggested the president show all creatures – large and small – the proper respect.

They have a point. Our response, though, is those that want respect, give respect. Flies — especially Maine’s fabled black ones — aren’t known for their manners. Even the most hardened animal-defender may reach for the swatter after a few June days in the northern forest.

Obama did the right thing. And maybe he sent a message to flies everywhere too — time to behave.

• Jeers to the Maine GOP for pushing repeal of the tax reform legislation. Although the party has a strong talking point in the expanded sales tax, it cannot ignore the 2 percent cut in Maine’s top income tax — from 8.5 percent to 6.5 percent — a major victory in this recession.


In the long view, this will be the legacy of this legislation – not the expanded sales taxes, which will probably remain a battleground for years to come. The GOP would be better served using this income tax decrease as momentum for further lowering — 6.5 percent is still too high — than reversing course.

Otherwise, the party must argue that preserving one big, burdensome tax is better. That could be uncomfortable.

• Cheers to the Androscoggin River Alliance for producing a terrific new map of the river’s watershed, replete with historical markers and information. It’s a beautiful piece of work, and its gratifying to see the river — and river community — heritage so praised.

One thing that’s striking, though — the absolute lack of public access to the river between Rumford and Leeds. This is mill territory, certainly, but industry and recreation should partner. This is a bare spot along an otherwise accessible watershed that should be addressed.

• Cheers to Rep. Chellie Pingree for engaging the verbose representative from Texas, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, following his floor soliloquy on why the federal government shouldn’t help Maine lobstermen by appropriating $200,000 for a trawl survey.

Hensarling evoked lobster comparisons to pecans and catfish during his comments, and wondered aloud why families of his district should pay for such lunacy as trawl surveys. He trod into Pingree’s wheelhouse and ended up in the woodshed. The funding for the survey remained.

Over the past two years, funding for lobster-related research has been a regular whipping boy by government-spending critics around Congress. It was good for Maine to do a little fighting back.

• Finally, cheers to all the riders and volunteers in the 25th annual Trek (or is it slosh?) Across Maine this weekend. We wish them safe riding — and rapid drying.

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