My critique of the severe and drastic overreaction of Harris supporters to the Banks campaign remains....
Official Blog of Brian Griffiths
"Thank goodness for Brian Griffiths!" - G.A. Harrison
"Brian is the Godfather of the Maryland Blogosphere" - Mark Newgent
Labels: College football
The human race will one day split into two separate species, an attractive, intelligent ruling elite and an underclass of dim-witted, ugly goblin-like creatures, according to a top scientist.No word yet on how future Maryland Democrats will attempt to protect the goblin class by jacking up taxes on the goblin class....
100,000 years into the future, sexual selection could mean that two distinct breeds of human will have developed.
The alarming prediction comes from evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry from the London School of Economics, who says that the human race will have reached its physical peak by the year 3000.
Labels: 2008 Congression Elections
Labels: Fringe Left
When we asked those who disapprove of the job Governor O’Malley is doing why they felt that way, 61% said it was because of his proposal to raise taxes, 17% said it was because of his proposal to legalize slots, 12% said they generally don’t like his style or manner, and 9% specifically said they thought he was “arrogant.”Amazing. Additionally, now fewer than half of Marylanders believe that our state is moving in the right direction.
Labels: 2008 Presidential Election
Read that last sentence again. According to the geniuses on Calvert Street, the deficit was not caused by paying for too many government handouts, but the deficit was caused by too few government handouts.
The reality of state government is that most tax dollars go straight into schools, public safety and health care - and often, it's still not enough.
When the General Assembly convenes one week from tomorrow in special session to consider Mr. O'Malley's plan, every option should be on the table, including eliminating government programs that are no longer vital. But anyone who claims cuts can balance the budget is either ill-informed or baldly mendacious.
The deficit wasn't caused by waste; it's primarily the result of failing to pay for programs that most people living in this, one of the wealthiest states in the nation, would regard as sensible and prudent.
Labels: 2008 Congression Elections
I said last year that this was a bad idea. So now that we've all been proven right, can somebody please call Michael Steele?
Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) will resign as general chairman of the Republican Party today, saying he wants to spend more time on his work as Florida's GOP senator, Politico has learned.
Martinez, who took the job nine months ago as the public face of the national GOP, steps down during a tough time for the Republican party, out of power on Capitol Hill and trying to gain traction in the national campaign under the shadow of an unpopular, lame duck president. Martinez, who publicly parted ways with GOP congressional leaders earlier this year on immigration issues, will not be replaced as general chairman.
The day to day duties of running the Republican Party's political operation will be left to chairman Mike Duncan, the current chairman of the Republican National Committee.
The Buffalo Bills on Thursday announced they are seeking approval to play a preseason and at least one regular-season game in Toronto as part of the franchise's attempt to expand its market base beyond western New York.Of course, the NFL in Toronto does sense. Possibly one of only two viable major metropolitan area on the continent that currently do not have NFL football (the other being Los Angeles; you're not gonna sell me on Mexico City). Certainly more viable than Jacksonville or Arizona have proven to be (two cities which got teams, incidentally, ahead of Baltimore; though I think it's safe to say that we came out ahead on the Cardinals deal).
"The team hopes to capitalize on the increasing interest of fans in the Canadian market by playing a regular-season game in Toronto," the Bills announced in a release.
The Bills hope to play a preseason game at Toronto next summer, with plans to play a regular-season game as early as 2009. The games would be played at Rogers Center, a downtown stadium with a retractable roof that serves as home to baseball's Blue Jays and the Canadian Football League Argonauts.
Labels: NFL Football
Labels: John Leopold
County Executive John R. Leopold, a Republican, said the state's transportation demands justify higher taxes.True, transportation demands are at an all-time high. But as we noted yesterday, there are alternatives to taxpayer-funded roads. Leopold's snap judgment that taxes should be raised to fund transportation projects are just another notch in his pro-tax, pro-big government, pro-liberal belt.
Gov. Martin O'Malley today formally called a General Assembly special session that would start Oct. 29, despite a warning from the state Senate president that lawmakers were far from consensus on O'Malley's plan to close a projected $1.7 billion budget shortfall.OK, now let's delve into the gobbledygook:
"The time for delay is past. I am very, very optimistic about what the leaders of our state can accomplish when they know so much is at stake,'' said O'Malley, who signed an executive order calling the session. "We have the ability to come together and forge a consensus.Which is amazing given the fact that the Administration has gone out of its way to exclude the Republican leadership from this process. Also, don't forget the fact that the Administration knows so much is at stake. Why have they sat on the sidelines during O'Malley's entire time in office, fiddling without dealing with the spending problem like responsible adults?
O'Malley has said the special session is needed to prevent the budget gap from growing wider. He has said the state could face a $2.2 billion budget shortfall on July 1 if lawmakers don't act now, rather than in the legislature's regular session that starts in January.Again, the budget gap could have been lessened or eliminated had O'Malley introduced a responsible budget back in January. One that did not call for increases in state spending.
At a news conference, the first-term governor said he hoped legislators would take action by Thanksgiving, but he added: "If they need to take more time, they will."No, they want to continue to fiddle as the deficit goes higher and higher. It's almost as if it took six months for the Administration to realize there was a problem before saying "hey, we have to fix this." Unless you believe that this was their motivation all along; to continue to increase state spending to push through the buffet of taxes O'Malley wants to ram down our throats.
"We don't want this to be a slapdash process,'' O"Malley said.
Although Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller had been pushing for a special session, he told reporters before O'Malley's news conference that he had recommended holding off on calling lawmakers back to Annapolis.Starting October 29th, the taxpayers of Maryland are going to pay roughly $40,000 a day (a cost of nearly $1 million if it goes to Thanksgiving) for some bizarre Kabuki theater allegedly designed to get us out of the financial hole. In reality, the Administration is going to try to ramrod through historic tax increases that will do little more than cripple our state's economy in an already economically disadvantageous time. And they will try to do so under the cover of darkness, right before the Holidays so your average taxpayer doesn't know what hit them.
"I asked him if he had the votes, and he doesn't as of this day," Miller said. "I counseled him not to call a special session until he had the votes. He is determined to go forward."
I'll think I'll put my faith in a guy with a long, respected history of academic scholarship in the field of meteorology than I will a politician from
ONE of the world's foremost meteorologists has called the theory that helped Al Gore share the Nobel Peace Prize "ridiculous" and the product of "people who don't understand how the atmosphere works".
Dr William Gray, a pioneer in the science of seasonal hurricane forecasts, told a packed lecture hall at the University of North Carolina that humans were not responsible for the warming of the earth.
His comments came on the same day that the Nobel committee honoured Mr Gore for his work in support of the link between humans and global warming.
"We're brainwashing our children," said Dr Gray, 78, a long-time professor at Colorado State University. "They're going to the Gore movie [An Inconvenient Truth] and being fed all this. It's ridiculous."...
...But Dr Gray, whose annual forecasts of the number of tropical storms and hurricanes are widely publicised, said a natural cycle of ocean water temperatures - related to the amount of salt in ocean water - was responsible for the global warming that he acknowledges has taken place.
However, he said, that same cycle meant a period of cooling would begin soon and last for several years.
"We'll look back on all of this in 10 or 15 years and realise how foolish it was," Dr Gray said......."It bothers me that my fellow scientists are not speaking out against something they know is wrong," he said. "But they also know that they'd never get any grants if they spoke out. I don't care about grants."
Labels: College football
The University of Maastricht in the Netherlands is awarding a doctorate to a researcher who wrote a paper on marriages between humans and robots.I'm not going there. The jokes will come to you....
David Levy, a British researcher at the college, wrote in his thesis, "Intimate Relationships with Artificial Partners," that trends in robotics and shifting attitudes on marriage are likely to result in sophisticated robots that will eventually be seen as suitable marriage partners.
The United States of America vs. Mandel et al officially began Nov. 24, 1975, when a federal grand jury handed up a 24-count racketeering and mail fraud indictment against Mandel and five members of his inner circle.Needless to say, I got a chuckle. I guess the Sun really hasn't been paying attention to the Governor's attempts at a slots deal, have they?
On the heels of the resignation and guilty plea from Vice President Spiro Agnew, the case against Mandel was also handled by federal prosecutors in Maryland, who established a national reputation for going after public corruption. Many believe the Mandel trials also marked of the end of the backroom, political-machine era in Maryland.
Labels: Sun follies
Former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Friday for their efforts to spread awareness of man-made climate change and lay the foundations for counteracting it.I suppose he'll take his private jet to Oslo to pick up the hardware and, of course, the check.
"I am deeply honored to receive the Nobel Peace Prize," Gore said. "We face a true planetary emergency. The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity."
Czech President Vaclav Klaus, a rare vocal global- warming sceptic among heads of state, is "somewhat surprised" that former US vice president Al Gore received the Nobel Peace Prize, the president's spokesman Petr Hajek said in a statement.I would say this cheapens the value of the Nobel Peace Prize that was given to people who have actually worked to do good in the world, like Martin Luther King (1964), Norman Borlaug (1970) and Muhammed Yunus (last year). And David Keelan says he has lost all respect for the prize. But given the fact that Communists, terrorists, anti-semites, and crooks have already won the award, I'm not exactly sure how Al Gore being a hysterical hypocrite makes thing any worse than they already were.
"The relationship between his activities and world peace is unclear and indistinct," the statement said. "It rather seems that Gore's doubting of basic cornerstones of the current civilization does not contribute to peace."
Klaus said in a recent speech that environmentalists' efforts to halt global warming "fatally endanger our freedom and prosperity."
I think that it says so much about government overreach that innovators and early adopters of such emerging technologies could be subject to fines and penalties for doing something so innovative. Though I bet somebody in the Comptroller's office is looking at how to enforce this now given Franchot's zeal for collecting tax dollars...
But it is technically illegal to modify a car to run on any fuel other than the one it was designed for. Because the Environmental Protection Agency has not approved vegetable oil as a fuel, grease cars are in violation of the Clean Air Act.
This does not apply to the use of biodiesel, an EPA-regulated fuel created from soy and other organic oils.
People who modify their cars to run on vegetable oil could face a $2,750 fine, although the EPA has no record of any such penalties, said spokesman Dale Kemery.
People who run their vehicles on homebrewed fuels are also supposed to pay a Maryland fuel tax of 24.25 cents per gallon, be licensed as a special fuel user by the state and file a monthly report on the use of fuel.
But because the use of vegetable oil fuel is so new, nobody has been penalized for not paying taxes, said Warren Hansen, spokesman for the Maryland Comptroller's Office. He said there are only about 100 licensed special fuel users in the state.
Carolina Panthers quarterback David Carr missed practice for a second straight day Thursday with a sore back, increasing the chances 43-year-old Vinny Testaverde could start on Sunday at Arizona.I am stunned an amazed that the same Vinny Testeverde that was run out of Baltimore after the 1997, only to be succeeded by a guy who is now Stanford's Head Coach.
Testaverde, signed on Wednesday, and undrafted rookie Matt Moore, signed just over a month ago, took all the snaps in practice for the banged-up Panthers. Coach John Fox wouldn't say which QB he'd use if Carr can't play Sunday.
Labels: NFL Football
State Comptroller Peter Franchot has agreed to cull state income tax records to identify Howard County families who might qualify for health care assistance and then send them letters offering help, county officials said yesterday.So the state is going to spend taxpayer dollars to help Howard County spend more taxpayer dollars on covering the uninsured? Where exactly is that in the Comptroller's job description?
"Who knows better than the state comptroller who is making less than 300 percent of [the federal] poverty [level]?" asked Dr. Peter L. Beilenson, the county health officer, referring to the income cutoff to qualify for federally funded health care programs for children.
The letter campaign was to be announced today at Franchot's Baltimore office on West Preston Street as the latest component of what Howard County officials say will be a comprehensive plan to offer health care access to all uninsured residents. Details of the plan are to be revealed Tuesday.
Russians should move the embalmed body of revolutionary leader from 's and bury him as an act of closure on 's turbulent past, a insider said on Wednesday....
...."We have only just moved away from revolutions, from turbulent political battles, the country wants to live normally, to work, to be rich," Vladimir Kozhin, one of the Kremlin's top administrators in charge of its property portfolio including Red Square, told the official daily, Rossiskaya Gazeta.
..."Of course, having this necropolis at the centre of the city is nonsense," Kozhin said, adding he wanted a national referendum on whether Lenin should be moved and buried.
Of course, that's not going to happen any time soon, because one Vladimir Putin likes the concept of honoring Lenin in this manner. And since Putin wants to hold on to power as long as possible, that's not going to happen.Incidentally, I went to the Lenin Mausoleum when I was in Russia in 1997. And it's a pretty odd site to see the body of a guy who died 73 years before being guard by soldiers with Kalashnikovs...
At least Villa Julie has better reasons to change their name than my alma mater did when they made the bonehead decision to change its name five years ago. And like many people, I have not given a dime to the school in response.
Villa Julie College went coeducational in 1972 and became a four-year school in 1984, but a lot of guidance counselors don't seem to know that.
The college separated from the Roman Catholic Church four decades ago, but to many employers and would-be students the words "Villa Julie" still summon images of a religious institution.
Now the suburban Baltimore college is considering changing its name.
Labels: Duh moments
Jerry Walker has called a Special Meeting of the Republican Central Committee this Wednesday, October 10, at 6:30 pm. This meeting will be held at the home of Debbie Belcher, 1441 Shot Town Road, Annapolis.What better way to dissuade the public from participating than by having a meeting at the home of somebody who doesn't think the public has the right to question the Committee, in order to hear a budget proposed by somebody who thinks the Committee should conduct its business in secret.
The agenda will be distributed at the meeting and will include briefing proposed events to be hosted by the Central Committee and a proposed budget by Tom Redmond.
The meeting will be short and followed by stuffing invitations for the upcoming Business event on October 25th, so volunteers are encouraged to attend.
Labels: AAGOP Leadership Battle 2007
This is the type of liberal nannystatism that you would expect from Democrats, not a veteran Republican County Councilwoman in the county's most conservative Councilmanic District. And certainly not from a politician looking for a promotion in 2010. Voters remember when politicians add at least $1 per square foot to the costs of their new home.Of course, protecting her firefighter husband from harm is an added benefit of the mandatory fire sprinkler initiative Councilman Cathy Vitale plans to push this month.But the reason she wants every new home in Anne Arundel County to come with sprinklers springs from a story he once told her after a heart breaking day on the job.....
....For the past month, she has floated a plan to join the growing ranks of nearly 20 other jurisdictions that require every new home to come with sprinklers.
At least six counties have the rule, from neighboring Prince George's County - which passed the ordinance in 1992 and since then has not seen a fire death in any of the 50,000 homes with sprinklers - to Talbot County, where an ordinance passed last week followed the death of a family of three.
Ms. Vitale has shopped her plan to fellow councilmen, who appear largely supportive, firefighters who have been longing for a sprinkler policy since the 1970s and to the homebuilders association, which generally oppose such measures.
And the real question on everybody's mind is how in the world the residents of this county are going to pay for this?
Councilman Ed Reilly, R-Crofton, is an insurance agent and said the sprinklers will diminish the cost of insurance policies.
"I'm very much in favor of it, and I'm embarrassed we haven't done anything before," Mr. Reilly said at the hearing.
For example, neighborhoods on wells must also install holding tanks to make sure the sprinklers have enough pressure to work.Who is going to pay for that? Is the county going to force new communities to build holding tanks, thus artificially inflating the prices of these new homes?
Today, people building custom homes order sprinklers, but it is rare for the builder of a subdivision to voluntarily install them in a new home, said Larry Cate, the vice president of Absolute Fire Protection in Severna Park who has been installing sprinkling systems in Anne Arundel for two decades.
"You won't close a tough sell," Mr. Cate said of sprinkler skeptics. "It's usually black or white. You either believe in it and you want it, or you don't."
The extra costs put builders constructing neighborhoods at a competitive disadvantage, but Mr. Cate suspects that if every home was forced to have it, the playing field would be even.
Which is also a completely ridiculous statement from Mr. Cate. The playing field is already even. Some builders choose to install sprinklers. Some don't. The consumer gets to make that choice as it is.We all agree that deaths from fires in the home are a tragic loss to a family and a tragic loss to the community. But this idea is all wet. What is the benefit to the consumer if such systems are mandated? What are the chances that a home is going to be involved in a fire? Do we really want to pass such a cost on to homeowners, who are already going to be expected to pay more and more under the O'Malley tax plan? Do we want to pinch builders, who will likely see somewhat of a hit in business if they are required to install such systems at an additional cost?
O'Malley's pretty good at blaming everybody else too, given his consistent record of failure. But I find his hubris completely overwhelming consider that it is the Administration who is purposely keeping the GOP caucus out of the discussions on his slots plan. It is O'Malley who wants to keep Republicans at arms length. It is O'Malley's actions that are ensuring no bipartisan cooperation is taking place on these issues.
The GOP tactic of opposing a special session produces conflict when lawmakers should be working to build consensus, O'Malley said on Thursday.
''Over the next couple of weeks, any group of 10 or 20 people will get together and figure out if they can keep anything from happening, as if that should be a revelation," he told reporters at Embassy Day in North Bethesda. ''The last four years in Annapolis have unfortunately proven to the people in Maryland that Annapolis is really good at not getting anything done, but blaming everybody else. What we need to do now is find consensus to solve problems."
O'Malley's warped view of bipartisanship is amazing. But I take solace in the fact that it will more than likely be conservative Democrats in the General Assembly who are ultimately responsible for ensuring his tax increases fail to come to fruition...
In his travels around the state, O'Malley has made references to meeting with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle as he developed his budget solution.
Poppycock, Allan Kittleman said.
The party's No. 2 man in the Senate says the guv has only reached out to him twice — once to congratulate him on being elected minority whip and once to inform him that O'Malley was firing his mother, Trent Kittleman, as head of the Maryland Transportation Authority.
America's swing voters, especially the suburban "security moms," who abandoned the GOP in droves in 2006 still hold Republicans in very low regard. What has party tacticians especially spooked is that these independents are apparently not much attracted to what the Republicans are saying about taxes. That's a bitter pill for party leaders to swallow, because for 25 years the anti-tax banner has been a political trump card for conservative candidates. A top strategist at the Republican National Committee who attended the meeting told me: "Our tax message has worn thin."And he's right. Unfortunately, the message of tax cuts cannot in and of itself save the GOP anymore. Not because people want to pay more in taxes; check out Maryland's reaction to Governor O'Malley's attempts to swindle us out of more money and you'll see that. It's because Republicans, particularly in Congress, stopped being about what Republicans have been about. Smaller government and less government spending. Something the American people do understand:
There is another GOP imperative: The anti-tax message must be linked to wasteful government spending. "There's no question that for seven out of 10 American voters, wasteful government spending is one of the largest problems in Washington," says pollster Tony Fabrizio. "For many of these voters it's a bigger issue than taxes." All of the polling consistently finds that voters believe about 40 cents of every dollar spent by Washington is wasted. So this widespread aversion to the way government mishandles money may be the best shield against tax hikes--at all levels of government.
In Mr. Winston's survey, 75% of respondents agreed that, "Taxes should not be increased as long as Congress continues to waste the tax money it already receives." Only 23% did not.
We need to reclaim the Republican Party as the party of small government conservatism, not statism wrapped in a conservative bow. To continue to spend like Democrats only further imperils our current political state...
Labels: AAGOP Leadership Battle 2007
Labels: AAGOP Leadership Battle 2007
Former Vice President Al Gore is expected to make an appearance on the NBC comedy show "30 Rock" in November. Gore was in New York last week to tape the episode, and a Gore spokeswoman says "he did have a great time".I am stunned that NBC will waste a week of program preaching environmentalist propaganda. That being said, if they are dumb enough to try this stunt during the November sweeps, then they've got it coming to them:
Gore's office anticipates the episode will air as part of, what it called, NBC's upcoming "Green is Universal" week of environmentally-based programming, Nov. 4 - 10.
"We need to not just think green, but act green," said Zucker. "This commitment to a week of programming is an incredible opportunity for NBCU to use the collective power of its platforms – broadcast, cable, and film – and consumer expertise and reach to further the message of environmental awareness and change."And it goes on like this.
"For the first time ever, the massive resources of the entire NBC Universal family will stand together behind a single pro-social cause," said Zalaznick. "This far-reaching initiative represents the first step in our commitment to help raise environmental awareness and effect change both internally and externally."
Highlights from the "Green is Universal" week include:
NBC Entertainment programming, both scripted and unscripted, will adopt green-friendly and environmentally-oriented messages – across all dayparts – to promote the crucial issue of ecological awareness. Among NBC's many programs to feature this content will be the entire Thursday night line-up, including the Emmy Award-winning comedy "The Office," "My Name is Earl" and "30 Rock," the hit drama "Heroes" and "Deal or No Deal."
NBC News' platforms including "Today," "Nightly News," "Dateline," MSNBC and MSNBC.com, will support a week of special programming, including in-depth looks at the issues and some unique special broadcast events. NBC News' Chief Environmental Affairs Correspondent Anne Thompson will be featured throughout this special week of programming.
NBC Sports kicks-off "Green is Universal" week November 4th with its Sunday Night Football match-up between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles. The broadcast will feature additional announcements about "Green is Universal," as well as incorporate the themes throughout its telecast on Sunday and the following Saturday's Air Force vs. Notre Dame game.
Hartley goes on to show what the numbers really are going to add up to. He concludes with this:
"The vast majority of Maryland families will be paying less," Mr. O'Malley said during an event in Ellicott City, one of seven stops he made in nine days.
But that's an assumption resting on some dubious and suspiciously precise numbers. And the truth is, a lot of us probably will be paying more.How do I know? Let's look at the numbers.
Which reminds me back from a few months ago when we talked about getting nickeled and dimed. Which is exactly what Maryland Democrats are going to do to the middle class. Maryland Democrats don't seem to care how much the middle and working classes are going to be forced to pay in order to fund their special pet programs....
Are the numbers false? Not exactly, but the presentation is carefully calculated to show the poor and middle class saving money. If the chart showed average families paying, say, $50 or $100 more, it wouldn't be so effective.
But then, it's only October. There are plenty of lies, damned lies and statistics still to come.
I'm a resident of Montgomery County, and under the O'Malley proposal to close the $1.7 billion structural budget deficit the state is facing, I am definitely going to end up paying higher taxes overall, even while some 83.5 percent of other Marylanders will end up paying less. So how can I claim that this plan is good for me, good for my county and good for Maryland?Hey, if Lanny Davis is so rich he wants to pay higher taxes, I'm not going to stop him. Maybe the O'Malley tax plan should include one of Mike Huckabee's good ideas when he was Governor of Arkansas: a tax me more fund.
First, I believe that most people in Montgomery County, as elsewhere, support the principle of progressive taxation.Have some numbers to back that up? Nope, didn't think so. The only possible reason that Davis can possible believe that this is true is the fact that he surrounds himself with like-minded urban liberals who all think that the middle classes should be taxed at a high rate in order to spend more and more on social programs. And I'm willing to bet that these same people Davis knows love the idea of "progressive" taxation when it's someone else paying the freight,
Some of Montgomery County's elected officials immediately opposed this income tax increase because, combined with Montgomery's local add-on income tax of 3.1 percent, it would give county residents a total of 9.7 percent in state and local income taxes.Hold on: elected officials opposing tax increases? Because it is going to screw their constituents? In Montgomery County? This is supposed to be a bad thing? Are elected officials in this liberal bastion opposed to new taxes? Hallelujah!
Second, despite its image of affluence, Montgomery and other suburban jurisdictions suffer from overcrowded roads and schools. So Mr. O'Malley has proposed a 1 percent increase in the state's corporate income tax, with the revenues (more than $100 million a year in the next four years) dedicated to transportation and education, including stabilizing college tuition after an increase of more than 50 percent in the last six years, and providing long-term security for the Thornton plan's multibillion-dollar education investment.The law of diminishing returns tells us that an increase in the corporate income tax is going to cause businesses to either pump less into the economy, or to bail out of the state completely. That's to say nothing of the citizens who may sell "the hell with this" and move elsewhere. And we have already talked about the education funding fiasco that is Thornton and general education funding.
It is regressive, because rich and poor pay the same rate. But the governor has compensated for this by offering special tax relief for seniors and the working poor. And few could argue that the extension of the sales tax to tanning and massage services cannot be absorbed by those who use these services.Some call it "regressive". Others call it "unfair" because some citizens are treated differently than other citizens. Usually liberals call the treatment of one group of people differently than others"discrimination." In this case liberals call it "justice."
All parts of the state and all income groups benefit from different parts of this package. That is its genius.I'm not seeing how me paying more taxes to fund services I don't use and I don't want to pay for benefits me. That's not genius. And that's extortion when it is done through additional taxes.
The bottom line: The governor is required, under our state's constitution, to close a $1.7 billion structural deficit. He has chosen an artful and comprehensive balancing act of spreading the pain and benefits equitably.The middle class seems to be the one getting most of the pain. Billions in new taxes to cover a deficit and then some; up to $3.6 billion more than necessary to cover the deficit. That's not leadership; that's irresponsible fiscal stewardship.
Anybody have a better idea?Yeah. Cut taxes and cut discretionary spending. Don't steal from me to buy a Rolls Royce when you can only afford the Pinto. Make intelligent choices. How hard is this basic economics stuff to figure out?
Labels: 2008 Presidential Election
In an unlikely marriage of desire to secede from the United States, two advocacy groups from opposite political traditions — and the South — are sitting down to talk.Read the whole thing. Man, to have been a fly on the wall in that room. But it is incredibly that this kind of thing gets reported in the news. I wonder what the reaction would have been if the same fringe elements held such a meeting during the Clinton years....
Tired of foreign wars and what they consider right-wing courts, the Institute wants liberal states like to be able to secede peacefully.
That sounds just fine to the League of the South, a conservative group that refuses to give up on Southern independence.
"We believe that an independent South, or Hawaii, Alaska, or Vermont would be better able to serve the interest of everybody, regardless of race or ethnicity," said Michael Hill of Killen, Ala., president of the League of the South.
Senate Republican leaders said that they do not support a special session of the General Assembly and that if Gov. Martin O'Malley calls for one anyway that the GOP caucus would block his slots proposal.Presumably, the House Caucus is probably going to take a similar stance.
Sen. David Brinkley, the Senate minority leader, chided O'Malley for not releasing the details of his proposal to legalize slot machine gambling in Maryland before calling for a November special session. Brinkley said he and his colleagues would be open to a slots bill, however, when the General Assembly convenes for its annual three-month meeting, which begins in January.
"Part of our concern is that the Republican votes for slots were being taken for granted," Brinkley said in an interview. "The whole package has been crafted without our input."