Sunday, July 30, 2006

I never cease to be amazed....

I guess even some grown-ups still believe that if you ignore somebody, they aren't really there. The candidate page of the North County Republican Club website listing every candidate running in a race in North County except one.


I contacted the NCRC webmaster Brian Casto, who coincidentally is also a candidate for the Central Committee.
I got a voicemail back from him, where he claimed he was doing what he was told from the list provided by club leadership. He refused to change it, despite the obvious fact that I was a candidate. Club leadership happens to be long-time Leopold-operative Nita Maggio. I e-mailed Nita and noted this error three days ago, to no response.

Ironically, I created the NCRC website three-years ago. I also maintained the candidates section for the YR's website. I never once left a candidate who was formally running for office of the list because I disagree with them or their policies, simply because it is an immature, petty thing to do.

None of this is completely surprising. The club over the last four years has also become incredibly Dwyer-centric, and given the fact that I speak my mind about Maryland's Least Effective legislator, that probably rubs a few people there the wrong way. I refer you once again to this quote.

But who are these people kidding? Did they really think nobody was going to notice this? Do they really think that people aren't going to realize that I am a candidate, despite their efforts to cover it up? The lists are made public here and here, and those lists are held a little more authoritatively than this list. Even the Sun printed the list today, and yes I was there.

This is all just amazingly juvenile and shortsighted. Which is a shame, because the North County Republican Club was once an incredibly vital part of our county party organization.

The Niches of 2008

As of right now and as I see it, there are four major candidates (declared or otherwise) for the Republican nomination for President in 2008. Each one of them fits into a specific niche as we approach the 2008 primary contests:

The Frontrunner: Senator John McCain(Arizona)
Nobody six years ago could have expected Senator McCain to wind up as the Republican front-runner in the post-Bush era. However, McCain has slyly converted himself from the maverick Republican media darling to...the frontrunning Republican media darling. McCain is one of the few Republicans who gets consistently favorable press from the mainstream media, and he has capitalized on that press to make himself, for the moment, the man to beat. But McCain does not have the nomination sewn up by any stretch of the imagination. For example, McCain has a noted problem with freedom of speech with McCain-Feingold, his opposition to the 2001 tax cuts, opposition to the death tax repeal, his position as one of the "Gang of 14", and some curious statements about global warming. None of that is going to be particularly helpful in getting your base Republican voter to turn out in the primaries or the caucuses.

McCain's biggest problem right now is that he is the candidate who wins if he gets the nomination; but is he actually able to win the nomination?

The American Hero: Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (New York)
For the first eight months of 2001, it looked like the political career of Mayor Giuliani was coming to an end. Prostate cancer had forced him out of the 2000 race for U.S. Senate against Hillary Clinton. A bitter divorce turned into a national spectacle. While his crimefighting tactics were successful, his popularity in New York City was dwindling as he term ended.

On that tragic September morning, everything changed. Now, Mayor Giuliani was a national hero for his response and coordination to these dastardly attacks. And he remains so to this day.

Giuliani's leadership abilities are phenomenal, and he deserves much of the praise that has been heaped upon him in the last five years. However, that is not going to translate into a successful Presidential campaign so long as he is running as a Republican. His positions on abortion, taxes, and gun control are all outside of the mainstream of your average primary voter. Like McCain, Giuiani's high poll numbers are caused because of name recognition, not agreement with particular policy stances. With all of the issue stances he brings to the table, I'm not sure that a Republican like Giuliani can be successful.

The Establishment Candidate: Governor Mitt Romney (Massachusetts)
Once upon a time, before open primaries and when conventions meant something, the Eastern Establishment ran the Republican Party, not the conservative wing. That meant that candidates who were fiscally conservative, but socially moderate-to-liberal when the norm, not the exception. It's hard to get a read on Governor Romney's positions on some social issues, but he is clearly being backed by the Eastern Establishment. Many such members backed his father, former Michigan Governor George Romney, during his campaign for President in 1968.

Romeny is unique for an establishment candidate. Four years in public office. A Mormon who wound up in Massachusetts by way of Michigan and Utah. Clearly, he has the fiscal and business bonafides to be a top-tier candidate. The question comes down to whether or not the evangelical Christian base will be open to a Mormon nominee.

The Insurgent Conservative: Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (now of Virginia)
It's hard to imagine Speaker Gingrich, twelve years after the Contract with America, could wind up as an insurgent candidate for President. But the opportunity is rich for Gingrich to walk away with the nomination. The conservative base has been somewhat disaffected by this administration's more moderate stances on a number of issues, not the least of which has been federal discretionary spending. And Gingrich has been willing to criticize the administration on certain aspects of policy, which has endeared himself to this base.

The Speaker also has the perfect opportunity to be the "idea candidate" during the upcoming primary cycle. As the author of the Contract, Gingrich has always been on the forefront of Republican leadership in brining new ideas to the table. Given what we have seen from the administration (and also from Congressional leadership in recent months), the time may be right for a candidate who embodies conservative ideas to become a serious candidate for the nomination.

Gingrich still has some problems he will need to overcome. He has been married three times, which will turn off some. He also carries around some of the baggage and the negative imagery he collected during his time as speaker. However, he has also done a pretty good job rehabilitating his image over the last five years.

What about the other candidates; Senator Frist, Governor Huckabee, Congressman Tancredo, Senator Brownback or Senator Hagel? None of the other candidates have a broad enough appeal, either on their personalities, their job performance, or their issues, to seriously believe that they have a serious chance to secure the nomination at this time. We are still at least sixteen months prior to the first caucus and/or primary, and a lot of candidates will jump in and jump out, and a lot of issues on the national stage will change. At the moment, this is just one guy's view of the political landscape.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

More Democratic Comedy

Once again courtesy of Mr. Moody:
I'm more and more impressed each day with the quality of Democratic candidates for public office in this county. I completely understand now the utter horror the Republicans are feeling this year as they march their slate of wannabees and pretenders up against the cream of the crop. It's definitely not going to be a good year for them.
Meanwhile, back in reality, Republicans are about to pass Demcorats in the total numbered of reigstered voters in Anne Arundel County.

Higher Comedy

My post last week about the hate screed written by Democratic Central Committee candidate Jamison Moody got a response from Mr. Moody that can be defined as high comedy:
Given the rampant Republican failures of the last few years and their vain attempts to use the same solutions that caused the problems to solve them again, I'd be careful telling people to pick the party of ideas, because the Democrats have a lot of ideas and people know that. The idea bankruptcy is a Republican party problem, people with a problem tend to focus on that problem when they talk to everyone else. Sounds like a guilty conscious showing through on the part of rank and file Republicans.
I'm not sure what Demcorat has ideas in what context anymore. The Democratic message coming from Congressional leadership has been almost non-existant during Pelosi's leadership. Given what Steny Hoyer thinks that this should be the Democratic message, I don't think anybody is concerned too much with ideas, either. Reoublican leaders and candidates have good ideas. Unfortunately, Congressional leadership has failed to act on them, instead focusing on feel-good bills such as last night's omnibus death tax/minimum wage fiasco.
Hate and intolerance of the Democratic party is just more guilty conscious showing through there again. The Republican party has defined itself with the "Southern Strategy". Racism and hate are their core values, it's at the heart of all their major policy decisions. I guess it's sort of hate and intolerance that Democrats don't stand for such behavior in their presence. And I guess if you were a racist, that might offend you. So it may just be a prospective thing, of which my only response can be "lump it".
Pass the sins of the father onto the son. The Southern Strategy is something no sane person should be proud of. But to say that "Racism and hate are their core values, it's at the heart of all their major policy decisions" is once again part of the Democratic hate machine trying to smear all Republicans with the broadest of brushes.
It's amusing when I talk to Republicans about the corruption that is so rampant in their party. For a Republican a single data point can make a trendline. How exactly does that work?? Dianne beat me to the punch of the William Jefferson post on the blog, so I didn't have to say anything because she had said it, I sent her another source which she added as an update the post. But I'm sorry a single criminal a crime syndicate does not make.
I recommend the book "Donkey Cons: Sex Crime and Corruption in the Democratic Party."
As for intolerance to conservative "values", I'm not sure where to go with that. One of my values is religious tolerance, Conservatives don't share that value. So because I say that people should be allowed to worship any way they want for as long as the execution of their faith doesn't infringe on the rights of others to believe what they want makes me intolerant? I don't think people should live under the boot of the religious extremists that run the Republican party and that makes me intolerant. Everything that the members of the Republican party thinks is just plain backwards to reason and logic, so I guess the only real answer is yes, I'm intolerant of intolerance, shame on me and all the other Democrats that stand up against evil.
This section makes absolutely no sense because I don't think he caught the drift. Conservative values have nothing to with religion when I speak of them. I don't go to church and I have no time for any stripe of religious extremism. The Republican Party is not a party of religious extremism. The most vocal extremist paint the party with a broad, annoying brush that makes the rest of us look bad. I have a tolearance of people of all faiths and beliefs, because that's how I was brough up and that's how I have socialized myself. The conservative values I talk about are hard work. Perseverance. Freedom from high taxation. Getting a hand up, not a hand out (as the cliche goes). Government staying out of the way so people and families can prosper and thrive. What's so bad about all of that? And if the Democrats werre so tolerant of other viewpoints, why did they run all of the conservative, Pro-Life Dems out of the party?
See for Republicans morals are a flexible sort of thing, there are two sets of rules depending on how much money you have.
Wait a sec...what then is the Democratic opposition to a flat tax if only Republicans have two sets of rules?
We Democrats are fans of law and order, which puts us at odds with the Republican party. I don't really consider this ultraliberal, but in the backwards world of Republican thought I guess it is.
But wasn't law and order part of that Southern Strategy??? What's ultraliberal, of course, is the lip service paid to law and order. Look at Baltimore City, with its out of control crime rate that O'Malley likes to boast is so much better now.
Let's talk about the Ehrlich Democrats for a second. KKT was a bad choice for Governor, she ran a bad campaign, the political environment was hostile, and a good number of the Democrats in this county decided to vote against her. Not to mention the fact that Ehrlich is from the area, which means he's the local choice, hometown boy does good story that people love to hear. So it's was prefect storm that allowed Ehrlich to win the race in 2002.
Now this is actually common sense (thought Ehrlich is from Arbutus and isn't that local, but everything else makes sense), but then...
But he promptly reminded everyone why Republicans can't be trusted.
Right. Then we get to....
I mean campaign contributions to Ehrlich's campaign in return for whatever favors he gives them. Republicans happily will turn a blind eye to this kind of stuff, but Democrats, even conservative ones that hate where the party has ended up, still believe in the honest government and don't have the stomach for this kind of rampant criminality. If they find out about it, they won't stand for it.
Of course, there is no proof for any of the things that he is going to throw out there. If Democrats believe in honest government than why did we have the kangaroo court proceedings? What's mroe troublesome is the fact that with thirty-plus years of Democratic rule prior to the Ehrlich administration, guess where all of the Maryland political scandals had their genesis? Marvin Mandel or Old Court, anybody? As somebody who has lived in Maryland his entire life, we know what it's like to suffer under years upon years of Democratic rule, and is was not pleasant. What bothers me more is the absolute naïveté of this supposed "rampant criminality" he talks about. Unfortunately, there are corrupt people in politics. It's an unfortunate fact of life. There have been corrupt politicians from the foudning of this republic. But people do find out about it and, unfortuantely, they do stand for it. When was the last time a major corruption scandal saw a politician lose prior to be forced to resign or convicted of something? It's been a long time.
I'm still waiting to meet a Republican that is willing the raise the level of public discourse on any subject beyond their juvenile level of hysteria. With the control of the media by the radical right, to be heard over the Republican noise machine you've got to raise your voice a little. That always brings this reaction of shock and horror, that you'd dare to question the inherent rightness of their radical ideology.
I'm trying to figure out when the media became Republican. Apparently, somebody doesn't not the bias the Sun has against this Governor, but this is all part of that goofy "Mighty Wurlitzer" argument from a while back. So if the media is so Republican, wouldn't this story from the Seattle Post- Intelligencer not be covering up the fact that the shooter in yesterday's dastardly shooting in Seattle not the fact that this was a terrorist attack by a Muslim shooter?
The Republican party holds no moral high ground folks, questioning them costs you nothing. And I'm not going to apologize for standing up for what's morally right in the face of an army of people who want me believe in something that is wrong. And the reality is that we all have a duty to stand up and resist their radical ideology just because we are Americans and we stand up for what is right.
Standing up for what you believe in is the American Way, and I applaud him for that. But don't think that you have the moral absolute authority to paint people with a broad brush. I have many friends who are Democrats, good people of reason who I can have meaningful, yet polite political disagreements with. There are even many Democrats in government who a good people, mean well, and work for their constituents. But to say "they" have a radical ideology obsucres whatever message he is trying to put forth, unless that is the only message existant.
This is politics boys and girls, I wasn't born yesterday despite what the GOP seems to think. There are about 6 to 8 thousand super voters in my district and they aren't Ehrlich Democrats and they sure as hell aren't too fond of the Republican party either.
In 2002, Robert Fustero gained 30% of the vote in the Democratis gubernatorial primary in Anne Arundel County against KKT. He defeated Townsend if five precincts in (wait for it...) District 31. In the general, Ehrlich won every precinct in District 31. O'Malley, depsite playing in a rock band, has no more broader appeal than KKT does because of his incessant whining and mismanagement of Baltimore city during his seven years as mayor. 2006 will be a repeat of 2002, and the Governor will be elected.

You know, after writing all of this, I think that we Republicans should encourage Mr. Moody's election. If this is the kind of thing he'll bring to the Democratic Central Committee, Republicans will be in much better shape.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Dwyer's Newsletter Bounty

Don Dwyer's campaign has sent forth its campaign newsletter for the month of July. And boy are there some interesting tidbits.

- Dwyer is hosting a campaign meeting at 8028 Ritchie Highway in Pasadena on August 5th. Conveniently, 8028 Ritchie Highway is also the home to both the American View newsletter, and was the headquarters of the Peroutka for President campaign in 2004, and we all know that Don Dwyer campaigned against Republicans and the President in 2004.

- Dwyer alsotries to deflect the fact that he was A.W.O.L. during the June Special Session. Of course, I think it is fantastic when any student gets the opportunity to travel the world, regardless of whether it is with a parent or not. I got the opportunity to spend one month in Germany in 1995, and ten days in Russia in 1997. My wife also went to France as part of a school trip. We both went without our parents. We both came home in one piece.

The problem is that this would have been a perfect lesson in responsibility and making choices. In this day of modern telecommunications and jet travel, he should have had plenty of advance warning of the session and the capability to attend it. It's not like they decided Tuesday to go into session Wednesday. Several days of advance notice and planning went into this, so it's not like he could not have known a session was forthcoming. Dwyer had a responsibility to go to work and represent the people of District 31, and he did not do so. That was his choice. It's not like we could send a surrogate in his stead. Dwyer made a choice. We'll see in 47 days what the consequence of that choice is.

The closer we get to this election, the more accurate I think this is...

EDIT (10:18 pm): I want to make something crystal clear. If Dwyer's absence at the Special Session had been caused by a familiy illness or something similar, we wouldn't be talking about this. If it was because of the birth of a child in the family,
we wouldn't be talking about this. Even if it were something like a school graduation, I at least wouldn't be talking about this. Those are good examples of when family comes first. And suffice it to say, a vacation does not qualify as a good excuse.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Humor in Politics

Not enough people have a good enough sense of humor; Too many politicians (even at the local levels) are either curt, nasty, crude and souless creatures more concerned about winning than getting things done. Too many think they know more than everybody else and clearly can't "get it" when it it put right in front of them. Not enough people in politics take things in stride do the right thing, and have fun.

That's why it's good to see this. If only all candidates could have the humor to pull this ad off like Minnesota Senate candidate Mark Kennedy did...

Even More UN-believable

From the people who brought you this, comes Kofi's new revelation:
The UN secretary general Kofi Annan says an Israeli attack on a UN observation post was "apparently deliberate". Four unarmed military observers were killed in the air strike in southern Lebanon....

Annan said the "co-ordinated artillery and aerial attack on a long-established and clearly marked UN post at Khiam occurred despite personal assurances given to me by prime minister Ehud Olmert that UN positions would be spared Israeli fire."

Furthermore, he said, General Alain Pelligrini, the UN force commander in south Lebanon, had been in repeated contact with Israeli officers throughout yesterday "stressing the need to protect that particular UN position from attack".

That's right; Israel tries to take out terrorists attacking its civilian population and attacking members of its military, but Kofi Annan accuses Israel of being in the wrong.

Ever notice how it's only the US and Israel who are ever in the wrong in the eyes of the UN crowd?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Negotiating Posture

So the Ehrlich and O'Malley camps are in the process of setting the groundwork for negotiations over the number of debates to be held during this election season. I find it interesting that the O'Malley camp has asked for this:
O'Malley was more specific, suggesting five debates between the gubernatorial candidates and two between their running mates.
That seems like a candidate who has some interesting poll data. Challengers never ask for that many debates unless they need such a high number of debates because they think it will help their poll numbers. It always helps the frontrunner to hold more and more debates. By asking for a specific number of debates, O'Malley has virtually conceded the frontrunner status to the Governor despite O'Malley's lead in the current public polls.

I just don't see the public tuning in for five debates. Of course, I can't see the public tuning in for any debates between Delegate Brown and Secretary Cox because people just don't vote on the basis of the running mates in these contests.

Dog Bites Man

This was a "stunning" development;
Maryland's largest teacher group planned to endorse Democrat Martin O'Malley for governor Tuesday, an endorsement that comes after his primary opponent dropped out of the race.
What would have been more surprising would have been if the MSTA backed Ehrlich. At which point the earth would tilt off of its axis and hell would freeze over.

My thoughts on the politics and the teachers union can be found here.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


How hard is it to get a full authority line on campaign signs these days? The signs for two candidates for County Executive, John Leopold and Greg Nourse, have the name of their treasurer, but not the full authority line as required by law. Section 11 of the Summary Guide to Candidacy and Campaign Finance Laws reads:

If the campaign material is produced by a campaign finance entity, the authority line must contain:

  • The name of the treasurer; and
  • The name of the campaign finance entity.
Example of authority line for a committee
John Jones, Treasurer
Committee for James Smith
Example of authority line for a Personal Treasurer
Edith Williams, Treasurer
Edward Brown, Candidate

If the material is too small to permit the inclusion of all required information in a legible manner, the material need only contain the name and title of the treasure.

Example: John Jones, Treas.

The Office of the Attorney General has taken a very strict approach to what constitutes material too small to permit inclusion of the complete authority line. Accordingly, every effort should be made to include the entire authority line.

Seemingly every other candidate for office on both sides of the political spectrum, from candidates for Register of Wills all the way up to the candidates for Governor, have abided by this law. Why can't Leopold and Nourse do so?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Quote of the Day

Martin O’Malley is trying to understand ‘‘working families” by conducting ‘‘kitchen table” talks around the state. Bob Ehrlich doesn’t need a primer on working families — he was raised in one!
- Blair Lee

Everything that is Wrong with the modern Maryland Democratic Party

...can be summed up in this post from Jamison Moody's blog. Mr. Moody is a candidate for the Democratic Central Committee in District 31.
The Republican party as a whole is a massive support of corruption and criminality. From the top to the bottom of the party, Republicans revel in the criminality of their leadership and happily go to bat for them every chance they get. I can go to any America hating Republican right now and get a justification for every single criminal activity that the party has participated in without any hesitation or consideration of the damage it does to our nation. They literally don't give a damn, they just want their radical hate ideology pushed forward and ultimate they dream of the day that the United States has been destroyed. Hate, fear, and greed is all they know.
This statement is so broadly overreaching, it is farcical. And it proves why so many Democrats are having problems in polling and at the ballot box. The Democratic Party has ceased being a party of ideas. It is now more concerned with being a party of hate and intolerance of anything other than the politically correct orthodoxy as Democrats define it.

He ignores the crimes of William Jefferson, and his ridiculous misuse of the National Guard during the Katrina recovery. He ignores the Democratic intolerance of conservative values in virtually all settings. He ignores the sheer number of Republicans, myself included, who want to defeat everybody associated with the Abramoff scandal.

Instead, he spreads a Democratic message that pushes, ironically, hate, fear and greed.

What's even more amazing is that this kind of message does not represent all Democrats. There are many Democrats, particularly in our state and our county, that do not buy into this ultraliberal worldview. They are people of reason, principle, and moderate to conservative values; the same people who elected Bob Ehrlich in 2002 and will do so again in 2006.

It's just disappointing when any activist or party member of any political stripe lumps other activists or party members of an opposing viewpoint into one collective group and says that they believe x, y, or z.

This is just a smaller scale example of the Democrats larger scale problem. While it adds nothing to the public discourse, it does ensure the continued ascendancy of Republican candidates and ideals.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


President Bush has had many opportunities to veto legislation over his two terms that deserved to be veto. From spending bills to McCain-Feingold, he has let several bills pass notwithstanding certain objections.

But I am disappointed that the President chose to veto HB810, a bill that would lift the ban on federal funding of stem cell research. It may seem counterintuitive for me to support federal medical research funding, but this is a rare case where Federal dollars can help accentuate, not hinder, progress. Federal funding is already being spent on doing meaningful medical research and, in some cases, less-meaningful research. Allowing federal funding of stem cell research would allow further research into developing cures and treatments for diabetes, Parkinson's, and other diseases much in the same way that federal funds have helped AIDS and cancer research.

I can understand where some of the people who oppose stem cell research are coming from, and I understand the moral considerations. It should be illegal to grow or implant embryos solely for the purpose of medical research, stem cell or otherwise. However, we should not artificially limit our ability as a nation to continue to do important scientific research that has the potential to save millions of lives. This is particularly true in the case of embryos that have been created as part of fertility treatments. In most cases, the embryos created for this, if they are not implanted in the mother, are either frozen forever or forcibly destroyed after a certain period of time. Couples should have the option of donating these embryos to science so that they can be put to good use, not just thrown out with the trash. It its hypocritical to allow couples to engage in fertility treatments, "playing God" to a certain extent by creating embryos outside of natural conception, and allowing for the creation of embryos everybody knows will eventually have to be destroyed, but not allow the same embryos to be used for a meaningful scientific purpose.

I am further disappointed that tonight, the House of Representatives failed to overturn the President's veto.

I understand the President's concerns. I respect his moral opposition to stem cell research that has led him to this veto, and I respect the fact that he had the courage of his conviction to do this. However, it is not the right decision in the long-term.

Wal-Mart Bill Dead

The so called Fair Share Health Care Bill, part of the General Assembly's anti-business tilt, was thrown out in Federal Court today for violating federal law, specifically the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. A spokesman for Curran's office unleashed this gem in the Sun story:
A spokeman for Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. promised Motz's ruling would be challenged, arguing the Maryland legislation allowed businesses in the state to comply with the law without paying more in employee health care benefits.

"Employers may choose to pay the tax or avoid paying the tax in several ways," spokesman Kevin Enright wrote in a statement.
Yeah, pay the health care or pay the tax. That's a great option there. And yes, that spelling error was in the story as of 7:05 pm.

I thought about saying that maybe, just maybe the General Assembly will get it and cease stopping legislation that hurts businesses and hurts consumers. Then, I remembered we're in Maryland, where the Democratic leadership never gets it...

First Cito Gaston, Now This

What can you even say?:
Charm City won't even have a cameo role in the movie-musical version of Hairspray, John Waters' fable about racial desegregation and dance-floor equality set in early-1960s Baltimore. Instead, the film will be shot entirely in Toronto, one of the film's producers confirmed yesterday.

No offense to Baltimore is intended, insisted producer Craig Zadan. Though financial incentives also swayed the filmmakers, the key factor in the Canadian city's selection was that the Baltimore area lacks large soundstages - buildings with spaces wide and tall enough to meet the demands of shooting a big-budget musical.
And it just gets worse:
Hairspray's producers initially planned to film in Baltimore what's called "second-unit photography," or background shots that add local flavor. But doing so would have added "a couple million dollars" to the film's budget, Zadan said. Instead, parts of the city will be re-created on Canadian soundstages, and still photographs taken here will be inserted into the film via computer. The result will look like Baltimore, Zadan promised, thanks to "the magic of the movies." But it won't be Baltimore.
Maybe BACVA should try to get a soundstage built instead of doing goofy things with snowball trucks...

Thought for the Day

"Everyone is in favor of free speech ... but some people's idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage."
- Winston Churchill

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Snow Job

The same people who brought you all of this stuff now is going to do...snowballs:
A truck promoting the city and its new slogan -- "Get in on it." -- will tour the region this summer, dispensing free snowballs and information about visiting Baltimore.

The Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association truck began its route today in Baltimore. It will also make a three-day stop in Washington, D.C., a two-day trip to Philadelphia and one-day visits to Annapolis and Bethany Beach, Del.

The truck's crew will give away snowballs, handouts about the city and a coupon book to city attractions.

"This is going to generate excitement and awareness about our new brand," Nancy Hinds, a BACVA spokeswoman, told The Baltimore Examiner. "It's a great vehicle for promoting Baltimore as a summer getaway destination. And the timing couldn't be better because it's really, really hot. Who wouldn't go up to the truck?"
Well, I'm pretty sure that most people won't go up to the truck, because a giant moving snowball truck-size billboard that says "Baltimore" on the side probably doesn't make you think to get a snowball.

Monday, July 17, 2006

On the Sun poll

We have note the Sun's problems with polls in the past(here and here), particularly in their hiring Potomac, Inc. to do polls that are somehow biased or skewed. The recent poll is much better, except for this contained in the Sun's explanation of methodology:
The survey is based on 1,200 telephone interviews conducted statewide from July 6 to July 10 among a random sampling of likely-voting Maryland registered voters. For its sample, Potomac used a current statewide list of registered voters matched with telephone numbers.

Multiple attempts were made to contact each qualified respondent. Throughout the interviewing process, quotas were established for geography, political party, gender and race to more accurately reflect the statewide electorate.
This opens up a few questions:
  • Who determined who was or was not a likely voter? Did Potomac figure out who was likely and who was not using voter records? Or did the voters self-identify as being "likely" to vote, thus rendering the likely voter label meaningless.
  • Why was the poll done over a five-day stretch inclusive of a weekend? To reflect an accurate snapshot, most polls are conducted over a three-day period, not five. Additionally, polls conducted over a weekend tend to have data that is biased on socioeconomic grounds. Pollsters are more likely to reach lower income groups over weekends. The poll does not specifically say that quotas were established for socioeconmic factors, so that was not taken to account in the construction of the sample.
I just wish the Sun one day would be able to print a more accurate poll...

Eggs-tra Effort

Here's an idea so ridiculous, it's brilliant:
IN September, CBS plans to start using a new place to advertise its fall television lineup: your breakfast.

The network plans to announce today that it will place laser imprints of its trademark eye insignia, as well as logos for some of its shows, on eggs — 35 million of them in September and October. CBS’s copywriters are referring to the medium as “egg-vertising,” hinting at the wordplay they have in store. Some of their planned slogans: “CSI” (“Crack the Case on CBS”); “The Amazing Race” (“Scramble to Win on CBS”); and “Shark” (“Hard-Boiled Drama.”). Variations on the ad for its Monday night lineup of comedy shows include “Shelling Out Laughs,” “Funny Side Up” and “Leave the Yolks to Us.”
I guess in this case, the early bird gets the yolk.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Don't "Hassel" Him

Hat tip to David Wissing for sharing this first, but this was too good to pass up.

What's worse is that you can buy the shirt.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Dwyer is in Trouble

Don Dwyer is a lot of electoral trouble right now.

First came his fundraiser last Friday; a $25 per plate spaghetti dinner that fewer than eighty people attended.

Then came Wednesday's Pasadena Business Association crab feast, where trouble continues in paradise. Dwyer and Pat Corcoran, supposed slate mates, barely even acknowledged the other's presence at the event. There is certainly bad blood between the two.

Then yesterday, as Dwyer disrupted traffic on Catherine Avenue with his sign waving, the first negative piece against him hit the street, noting his failure to pass a single bill during his four-year term, something I noted in May.

Not a good week for Dwyer, and a pretty good indication that he will turn out to be a one-term Delegate, something I have postulated for years...

A Sad Anniversary

On this day in 1798, President Adams signed the Sedition Act, part of the Alien and Sedition Acts into law.

Unfortunately, this was only the first time that the Federal Government tried to step into to limit Freedom of Speech during times of crises, during elections, or during other perceived injustices.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The FCC is out of Control

First Congress raises fines for indecency, now the FCC wants to go after networks for live sports coverage?:
In its continuing crackdown on on-air profanity, the FCC has requested numerous tapes from broadcasters that might include vulgar remarks from unruly spectators, coaches and athletes at live sporting events, industry sources said.

Tapes requested by the commission include live broadcasts of football games and NASCAR races where the participants or the crowds let loose with an expletive. While commission officials refused to talk about its requests, one broadcast company executive said the commission had asked for 30 tapes of live sports and news programs.
I am stunned by the commissions overreach in this issue. The fact of the matter is that sports broadcasters have no control over what athletes say, and certainly have no control about what paying spectators say. Does the FCC really want to go as far as to shackle Freedom of Speech at live athletic contests?

The FCC is out of control, and unfortunately it looks like Congress has no desire to reign them in.

Poll Results

From our second poll:
  • Phil Bissett: 90%
  • Tom Angelis: 5%
  • John Leopold: 5%
  • David Boschert: 0%
  • Greg Nourse: 0%
  • Undecided: 0%
Make of this what you will...

National Dems Do It Again

As if the national Democratic Party didn't have enough problems, check out this video, which uses dead soldiers and an idiotic attempt to link Tom DeLay to September 11th in order to raise money.

Here's a Good Idea

Carroll County has proposed that a basic financial management class be a high school graduation requirement. Given the financial problems of so many Americans these days, particularly college students who find themselves deep in credit card debt, this may be an absolute necessity for 21st century graduates. At the very least, it is certainly better than some of the other things people have proposed as graduation requirements...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Once Again...

Stop me if you have heard this before, but doesn't Congress have better things to do than going after internet gambling?

Enough with the Ceremonies

I think that Robert Clemente is a great example of what an athlete should be A great ballplayer and a great humanitarian, giving his life to that cause. I do not think, however, that Roberto Clemente would appreciate a ten-minute ceremony in the middle of the fifth inning recognizing his life thirty-plus years after he passed....

Fox loves these ceremonies; I guess they drive ratings. However, games that are already starting late enough in the evening that even regular baseball fans have trouble staying up to watch their conclusions do not need constant ceremonial interruption.

Whither the All Star Game?

I'm sitting here, watching the Major League All-Star Game. No matter how much the game "counts" for homefield advantage in the World Series, the fact of the matter is that the managers tend to still treat the game as a glorified exhibition game. When players start coming off of the bench in 3rd inning, how much can the game really count? Usually, by the 5th inning managers are trying to run players in and out of the game as if it were the next to last inning of a little league game.

I'm not sure what's more annoying; mass substitutions in the All Star game, or the nonstop promotion of Fox's fall schedule during the Playoffs...

It's a lot more fun to go to the ball park, like we did watching Adam Loewen throw 7-plus innings for the Lynx against Norfolk on Sunday night, than it is to watch this game. Yet, as a baseball fan, I continue to watch....

We're Back

Back from three days in Williamsburg, and I missed a lot:

- Apparently, the media realized that gun control doesn't really play real well.

- Apparently, Congress does have to play by the same rules as the rest of us.

The strangest thing about Williamsburg was parking across the way from a minivan that had a sticker for Janet Greenip's Democratic opponent on it. That was a bit unexpected...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

News of the World

Is the Post's Daniel de Vise watching the same election that I am watching? His story this morning about the District 31 election is rather interesting. In what circles these days is John Leopold regarded as the favorite in the County Executive's race?

Also from that story are these pair of gems from Don Dwyer:

"I've been, from my perspective, very successful in the House of Delegates," Dwyer said Monday. "Some people may not see it that way."

I'll say they don't. Dwyer's definition of success must be different then mine. Success means getting stuff done for your district, not raising a big fuss and taking up space. Well, sometimes taking up space.

Dwyer said he didn't mind forgoing the race but regretted the impression it might create in his district, where he is known for consistency. "It gets kind of frustrating," he said. "I'm the kind of guy, I don't like flipping back and forth on stuff."

He may not like it, but he does it. More on that later...

In the meantime, check out my letter to the editor in today's Bay Weekly dealing with a letter written two weeks ago by Scott Reed, big-time Leopold backer and engineer of Bob Dole's 1996 electoral defeat. Reed has an interesting background himself. More on that later, too...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Well, the Annapolis parade as a bust, because a severe thundrestorm came through and tried to tear us all to shreds. We were stuck out in it since the Bissett float still needed to be disassembled.

The only thing interesting about the parade was the appearance of...Don Dwyer, whose district goes no where near Annapolis. How come Dwyer can't come to the Lake Shore or Riviera Beach parades, supporting the fire stations in a district that he represents, but he can show up at a parade miles from his district?

Severna Park Parade By the Numbers

The Servana Park Parade was this morning (and boy was it ever hot). Here are the total number of volunteers with each County Executive campaign.

John Leopold- 1 (and that was John himself; Leopold knows he doesn't have enough support to warrant an actual entry, so he walked through the crowd part of the way up the parade route and left long before the parade actually started...)

Tom Angelis- 3

Dennis Callahan- 10(maybe)

Greg Nourse- 12

David Boschert- 24

George Johnson- 27

Phil Bissett- 82

Yes, the Bissett Brigade had 82 people at the parade today, indicative of Phil's broad base of support across our County...

Happy Independence Day Everybody

"Two Hundred and Twenty-Seven years ago a bunch of guys got together on the fourth of July and decided --- because they didn't have any cherry bombs --- they would declare some self-evident truths."
- Jed Bartlet, The West Wing

Monday, July 03, 2006

New Poll

Here, we at least admit we do unscientific polls. But I am doing a reprise of the County Executive poll that I last ran in April. In that poll, Phil Bissett defeat John Leopold 94-6, with no other candidates receiving votes.

Which Republican Candidate for County Executive will you vote for?
Tom Angelis
Phil Bissett
David Boschert
John Leopold
Greg Nourse
Free polls from

Warmongering on the East

Did North Korea really just threaten war with us?
North Korea would respond to a pre-emptive U.S. military attack with an "annihilating strike and a nuclear war," the state-run media said today, heightening anti-U.S. rhetoric amid close scrutiny of its missile program.

The Korean Central News Agency, citing an unidentified Rodong Sinmun newspaper "analyst," accused the United States of increasing military pressure on the isolated communist state and basing new spy planes on the Korean Peninsula.

The North Korean threat of retaliation, which is often voiced by its state-controlled media, comes amid U.S. official reports that Pyongyang has shown signs of preparing for a test of a long-range missile. North Korea claims it has the right to such a launch.

On Friday, Pyongyang accused the United States of driving the situation on the Korean Peninsula "to the brink of war," and said it is fully prepared to counter any U.S. aggression.
With the PDRK on one side, and Iran on the other, two prongs of the Axis of Evil remain in business. Let's hope that we don't have to deal with them sooner than we have to...

Enough with this Post Poll

The Washington Post ran another story yesterday on how their poll shows immutable evidence of something:
Former NAACP president Kweisi Mfume leads U.S. Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin in what is shaping up to be a racially polarized Democratic Senate primary in Maryland, even as roughly a third of the electorate has not settled on a candidate, according to a new Washington Post poll.
This is the same poll the allegedly has O'Malley up 19 points. The problem is that we really don't know that to be true or not. Here is the key sentence:
The Post's telephone poll was conducted among 902 registered voters, including 494 registered Democrats, and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points. The margin is four points for questions about the Democratic primary.
On top of that, the poll was supposedly done over a nine-day period, during the timeframe when Duncan dropped out of the race. Why is all of this a problem? Traditionally accurate polls poll the number of likely voters, not registered voters, over a three-day period, not a nine-day period. The Post's methodology is a shaky, and because of it its results are as unreliable, as the Sun poll that was so much maligned last year.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

John Leopold: Comedian

This sentence from this morning's Capital/Gazette story about Leopold finally jumping into the County Executive race is funny:
Promising an administration free of cronyism, Mr. Leopold said he believes in "creative financing" to solve problems, citing the radium legislation as an example.
It's funny for two reasons:
  • Who's his crony?: John Leopold's support is a mile wide and an inch deep. Realistically, he is an army of one who thinks his inheritance can buy him the seat; one guy against campaigns with fifty or sixty-times as many supporters and volunteers.
  • I get the analogy: "creative financing" sounds like the kind of "fuzzy math" most liberals use to justify one thing; tax increases. And tax increases don't fly with Republican voters.
It's going to be a long, long summer...

Site Feed