Welcome to the Channel 9 News Noodle. I’m Kootie McDoof.

Tonight, we’ll have live coverage of a teenager from Scarborough who’s sprouted a pimple that looks like Ed Muskie. And just before a big date, too. Also, we’ll show you part seven of our investigative report on sleazy practices in the futures market for garden gnomes. And there’ll be the usual video of blood-splattered crime scenes, auto accidents and teary survivors of tragedies.

That’s right, everything you need to know, plus Atmosphere 9’s exclusive 365-day weather forecast, including 100 percent accurate predictions of the paths of falling space junk.

But before that, we’ve got to get the actual news out of the way. So, we’re going to political reporter Beau Tocksin, who’s covering something boring like the Maine Democratic Party’s state convention. Beau, take it away.

Thanks, Kootie. Maine Democrats will be gathering together in early June for no apparent reason. It could be one of those instinctive things, like lemmings leaping off cliffs or people attending hockey games. Whatever causes it, we’re reporting on it now, because next month our entire staff will be busy chasing down rumors that Snooki Polizzi plans to have her baby on a beach in Maine.

Even though the delegates haven’t arrived yet, there’s certainly no lack of enthusiasm among the party’s faithful, who can already be heard in the streets chanting the Democrats’ new slogan. That’s right, they’re saying, “We’re not Paul LePage! We’re not Paul LePage!”

I asked party big shot Bondercult Gremmish if that phrase constitutes the Democrats’ entire platform for 2012. Here’s what he told me:

“Well, Beau, since nobody ever reads platforms except Tea Party Republicans, it doesn’t much matter what’s in there. This year, most of the pages are blank, because voters are only interested in one thing, and that’s Gov. LePage’s ill-considered outbursts. By promising that we’re not him, we’re finally offering Mainers a pledge we can keep.”

But, Bond, don’t voters want to know the Democrats’ positions on jobs, taxes and the budget?

“Don’t be silly, Beau. LePage took stands on that stuff, and where did it get him? In trouble, that’s where. Why would we want to make the same mistake?”

Bond, let me ask you why Democrats in the Maine Senate earlier this year tried to block the supplemental budget for the Department of Health and Human Services because they claimed the cuts hurt too many people. After delaying passage for a couple of days, the Dems abruptly agreed to pass the bill in return for vague promises. Then, Republicans made the cuts anyway. Why didn’t your party hold out for real concessions?

“Come on, Beau, if we’d called for tax increases to pay for bigger welfare payments, the GOP would’ve used that to murder us at the polls in November. By not making any actual demands, we don’t have to defend ourselves from claims we’re trying to tax and spend.”

Does that mean Democrats no longer stand for anything?

“Of course not, Beau. We stand for not being Paul LePage.”

Come on, Bond, aren’t you avoiding the likelihood that if the Democrats win the next election, they’ll go back to raising taxes and increasing spending?

“Not at all, Beau. Plenty of legislators in my party want to fatten up welfare recipients’ checks, but almost none of them have the guts to vote for higher taxes. If we take back the Legislature this year, we’re planning to use the same method of balancing the budget that we used for the previous four decades.

“We’re going to hope money falls from the sky.”

So let me get this straight, Bond. The Democrats are no longer the party of tax and spend? Now, they’re just the party of spend?

“You’ve got it, Beau. We’ll spend on roads. We’ll spend on health care. We’ll spend on schools. We’ll even spend to bring back the mural that used to be in the Department of Labor lobby. And it won’t cost the taxpayers an extra dime.”

But, Bond, that’s impossible.

“Oh, Beau, that’s so irrelevant. What’s important to remember is we’re not LePage. So, the public can be assured we won’t be wandering around saying stupid things. We know how to behave in public, even if we don’t know squat about balancing budgets.”

Surely, Bond, you Democrats must have some idea how you’ll make up the millions in shortfalls that’ll result from all your spending.

“Well, Beau, I guess I can tell you. We’re going to be making major bucks off a little project we’re operating through the Maine State Housing Authority involving illicit dealings in the futures market for garden gnomes. And if that doesn’t work, we’ll just keep reminding folks that we’re not Paul LePage.”

I’d like to ask more questions, Bond, but I’m being told to cut it short because we’ve just learned there’s a dog in Skowhegan that can dance like Justin Bieber and has even better hair. We’re switching over for a live report from entertainment correspondent Jooniper Gloots.

Darn, another newscast with no stories about Sasquatch. File complaints at aldiamon@herniahill.net.