Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Brian Griffiths Minute: 09-30-2009


More below the fold.

Borrowing Other People's Posts

H/T Erick Erickson....too good not to share:


More below the fold.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Obama Worship comes to Howard County

Well, it looks like the worship of his holiness Barack Obama has infected Longfellow Elementary in Howard County. See this email below, and get ready to be disgusted. Because no President, Republican or Democrat, should be glorified like this.

* * * * *

From: (Removed)

Sent: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 1:30 PM
Subject: Song

Hi everyone, below is the email that our son’s Assistant Principal sent us to let us know the wording of the Obama song that our son told us his class was instructed to sing last week…the teacher is part of the first grade team of teachers and is really nice, but this is not what we want our son doing at school or anywhere!

Any advice?

Sent: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 11:33 AM
To: (Removed)

Subject: Song

Hello Mr. (REMOVED),

The words to the song are below.

Thank you!

Laurel Marsh


President Obama,

President Obama,

President Obama,

President Obama--He says

Yes we can!

President Obama--We say

Yes we can!

President Obama--I say

Yes I can!

President Obama--He says

Yes we can!

Barack Obama--Oh yes he rates,

The first Black President in the United States!

He's smart and he's--so so good!

He'll lead this country as he should!

He wants us all to work together,

To make this country even better!

Prez' Obama says--"Yes We Can!"

Make the US better--hand in hand!


President Obama,

President Obama,

President Obama



Laurel Marsh

Assistant Principal

Longfellow Elementary



More below the fold.

Rodricks Honored

If anyone has picked up the recent edition of the Baltimore City Paper, you will know that our "favorite" guy, Baltimore Sun columnist Dan Rodricks was recently honored by the publication in the Best of Baltimore 2009.

Here's what they wrote:

While there is a certain confidence and homey assuredness in Dan Rodricks' writing, his radio style is awkward, oddly defensive, and actually seems to hinder conversational flow...Writing and hosting are very different skills. Maybe you should stick with the one you're best at.
Congratulations to Dan Rodricks for being picked as...THE BEST REASON TO TURN OFF WYPR!

More below the fold.

If Chicago Gets The Olympics...

... will they judge the competitions "The Chicago Way" with tilted, illegal votes?

... will Acorn be in charge of picking the judges, or tallying the scores?

... will Oprah fund the needed infrastructure improvements to Chi-Town out of her pocket change?

... will Saul Alinsky be in charge of security?

... will the Rev. Wright give the opening invocation?

... will the Olympic flag replace Old Glory as the official banner of the US of A?

... will the nebulous, feel-good rhetoric of "Global Unity" wipe-out "Don't Tread on Me" patriotism?

More below the fold.

The Baltimore Sun Likey EPA Extortion of Congress

The Baltimore Sun is all a twitter at the prospects of an emerging roadmap for a global climate plan. However, it is less sanguine about the Senate passing its own version of Waxman-Markey. So what do they do? Double down on the same stale, alarmist absurdity, which passes for argument on its editorial page these days.

Ad hominem attacks on skeptics as “knuckle dragging”, praise for rent seeking corporations like Pacific Gas & Electric and Alcoa for supporting cap and trade, and chicken-little predictions of climate catastrophe.

However, I’ve never seen an editorial board advocate for such undemocratic extortion as the proverbial gun to the Senate’s head that is the EPA’s threat to regulate carbon dioxide through the Clean Air Act. In the words of the Sun the EPA’s threat is a “blunt instrument that corporations fear - and apparently what's needed to spur Congress into action.” Got that! The Sun thinks an unelected bureaucracy extorting duly elected representatives into passing a bill is a good thing.

In Sun’s opinion it is de rigueur that only “knuckle dragging” troglodytes could oppose the enlightened, button-pushing technocrats who claim the end is nigh if we don’t act now. Technocrats, who, if only unleashed from that rotting corpse called the democratic process can solve all society’s problems.

The Sun lauds companies like PG&E and Alcoa for jumping on the cap and trade bandwagon. Yet they never ask why or if it is a good thing. It isn’t, it’s is merely another example of big business colluding with big government to fleece the taxpayer/ consumer. PG&E and Alcoa couldn’t give a fig about “saving the planet.” Both companies are members of that rent seekers ball known as the US Climate Action Partnership, which seeks to reap both financial reward and political favors from a cap and trade scheme. A scheme that will have no meaningful effect on global temperature all the while killing jobs, raising energy costs and hindering economic growth.
Then again, we already knew cap and trade is exactly the sort of corporatism—a bedrock economic principle of fascism—the Sun champions.

More below the fold.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


By Ellen Sauerbrey

Excuse me. Is this the former Soviet Union or the United States of America? A blatant effort by the powerful in government to censor speech with which they disagree makes one wonder what country we live in today. Every day seems to raise another challenge to fundamental freedoms.

In an outrageous and un-American attack on dissent aimed at Humana Inc., a major health insurer is being investigated for the crime of communicating its concerns about health care legislation to its enrollees. The mailing sent to seniors subscribed to the Medicare Advantage Program warned that "millions of seniors and disabled individuals could lose many … important benefits and services that make Medicare advantage health plans so valuable." The letter urges enrollees to protest the proposed legislation to their members of Congress.

Insurance experts argue that the proposal to cut “$123 billion in payments to insurance companies that insure about 10 million Medicare recipients will result in cuts in benefits. Most would agree that is a likely outcome.

But Congressional Democrats say “shut up”. Unhappy that an insurer disagrees with the impact of their legislative proposal, they have directed the Administration bureaucracy, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to go after Humana and any other insurance company that sends out letters that might alarm the elderly.

CMS has obliged by sending a warning to Humana. “CMS is concerned that, among other things, this information is misleading and confusing to beneficiaries, represents information to beneficiaries as official communications about the Medicare Advantage program, and is potentially contrary to federal regulations and guidance for the MA and Part D programs and other federal law, including HIPAA. As we continue our research into this issue, we are instructing you to end immediately all such mailings to beneficiaries and to remove any related materials directed to Medicare enrollees from your website….
Please be advised that we take this matter very seriously and, based upon the findings of our investigation, will pursue compliance and enforcement actions.

A similar letter also went to other Medicare Advantage insurers warning them not to follow Humana’s lead. There is no doubt that such communication from a federal regulatory agency with power over an industry’s destiny would have a very chilling impact on freedom of expression.

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) weighed in with its own attack on Humana. "The opponents of reform will stop at nothing to derail the process and protect their own vested interests, even if it means misleading older Americans." This from an organization experiencing membership flight by seniors who no longer feel that AARP represents their best interests.

Congressman John Boehner asked "would the Administration impose this sort of gag order if seniors were being given information promoting the Obama health care plan?" Great question! An amendment by Arizona Senator Jon Kyl aimed at protecting the First Amendment rights of insurers to criticize health care legislation was defeated on a strict party line vote with all Democrats in opposition.

Regardless of the merits of the Human letter, Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas said it best. “You have a right to be wrong.” At least in America we used to have that right.

More below the fold.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

THE BALTIMORE SUN and THE WASHINGTON POST: A Little Ideological Fairness Credit Where Credit is Due

--Richard E. Vatz

[Bulletin, if I may...I just learned of the death of William Safire, exquisite speechwriter, columnist and rhetorician. I cannot think of a better conservative than he. We shall all miss his erudition tremendously, as well as his brilliance and decency. -- REV]

I have for longer than I can remember been fascinated by the ideological agendas and biases of major newspapers and other major media. More specific, over the years, newspapers’ protestations of disinterest coupled with blatant, liberal bias (examples too plentiful to cite; just look at The New York Times' coverage of the 2008 presidential election as synecdoche) have made claims of good journalism in major newspaper outlets laughable.

Worse, many major newspapers have visited draconian measures upon those who criticize them in the media. For about six years I was blacklisted from writing any politically-related articles or letters in the Sun and then for a time from writing anything. Unfair journalistic practices ranged from censorship to politically correct coverage of the news, wherein important issues and important evidence were neglected in order to support liberal perspectives, liberal principles and liberal principals. In the 2006 election year there was not one -- not one -- article supporting Maryland’s sitting governor accepted or printed by the Sun on the op-ed page (or anywhere else). On a personal note, I had long been disabused of my childhood fantasies of journalists' generally being the good guys.

Over the last couple of years, some significant, unannounced correctives have occurred. There is nothing worse than criticizing untoward behavior and not noting when significant efforts are made to rectify that behavior, and so let me make the following observations:

First, a few words about The Baltimore Sun. The most liberal, censoring and unprofessional editor I have ever encountered, Dianne Donovan, and several of her acolytes and ideological brethren have been removed from that paper. The new editor, officially the “Head of Maryland Voices,” Andrew A. Green, is a man I met when he covered several of Gov. Robert Ehrlich’s visits to my class. He is an excellent journalist and a man of integrity – all the qualities necessary to practice journalism well. His op-ed editor, Michael Cross-Barnet, is now free to do his job with integrity. The newspaper is now open to conservative voices. Ron Smith has a regular column on the op-ed page. None of this means that The Sun lacks a liberal bent, but the newspaper, depleted though it may be, has its soul back.

Second, a few words similarly about The Washington Post. I have written on these pages concerning some writing in that paper that surprisingly has avoided hewing to the liberal line recently, but nowhere has this been more evident in the last few years than in the columns of their excellent ombudsmen, Deborah Howell and Andrew Alexander. I have also written here before about the honesty and courage of Ms. Howell, and it appears that Mr. Alexander has the same hierarchy of values. In his ombudsman’s column of September 20, 2009, “Wrongly Deaf to Right-Wing Media,” Mr. Alexander writes an exceptionally brave and accurate piece on liberal news filtering, attributing the lack of coverage of issues unfriendly to liberals to the likelihood that “…news outlets like the Post simply don’t pay sufficient attention to conservative media or viewpoints.”

Liberal-conservative disinterest and lack of political bias are critical to good journalism and probably to circulation of major news outlets. The Baltimore Sun and The Washington Post deserve some significant credit for their addressing of these issues.

Professor Vatz teaches Media Criticism at Towson University

More below the fold.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

All Night Vigil for the Upper Shore Community Mental Health Center

On August 26th, with no forewarning to the patients, staff, or the local community,and acting on incorrect information the Board of Public Works, led by Governor O'Malley ordered the closure of the Upper Shore Community Mental Health Center in Chestertown. The center serves roughly 200 patients, nearly all of them from the Eastern Shore. The closure is forcing these patients to scramble to find new facilities for treatment.

Senator EJ Pipkin and Delegate Mike Smigiel are fighting hard to get O'Malley to reverse his decision. Unfortunately, the Upper Shore isn't a key electoral swing district, like say for instance the BGE service area in and around Baltimore.

Pipkin, Smigiel, and others are staging an all night vigil to protest the closure

Local legislators invited the Governor to tour the facility--twice--to hear from affected patients, staff, and community members. O'Malley never responded. Yet O'Malley will attend a $1,000 per plate fund raiser in Chestertown, not far from the facility this Saturday afternoon.

More below the fold.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Webster defines dissent as: to differ in opinion… to disagree. This implies that one has an opinion. Dissent can be effectively stifled by keeping people too ignorant to form opinions, frightening them into silence or shutting down the means to express dissent.

The mass media that should keep the public informed is instead keeping the public ignorant. It acts as a gate keeper deciding what we should know. If facts about a controversial person or policy are never revealed, opinions go unformed and there is no dissent. Thomas Jefferson recognized the importance of educating the public when he stated, "If a nation expects to be ignorant -- and free -- it expects what never was and never will be."

As the 2008 election was nearing, I had occasion to ask many friends if they weren’t troubled by the association of Barack Obama and Weatherman Underground founder and bomber Bill Ayers. Without exception, no one I spoke with had heard of Bill Ayers. No opinion…. no dissent.

When Van Jones, the White House “Green Jobs” Czar stepped down in the dark of night, it was generally reported that he had called Republicans a nasty name and signed the “9/11 truther's petition” suggesting the Bush administration was responsible for the 9/11attacks. If not for Glenn Beck and Fox News, no one would know that Van Jones was a self avowed communist advising the President. That is rather significant information that was withheld from the public and ensured there would be no public outcry.

Then there is demonization of those who voice dissent. It began with the characterization of the tea party and town hall goers as un-American, Nazis, brown shirts, teabaggers, mobsters, and most recently domestic terrorists. But the ugliest technique of all is the race card. Being branded a “racist” is a direct assault on character that makes the average person want to run for cover.

Congressman Joe Wilson was the initial target. His two word outburst on the floor of the House was a breach of decorum, but quickly his very legitimate policy concern was branded “racist” by the likes of New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.

Next came the race baiting irresponsible former President Jimmie Carter charging that "There is an inherent feeling among many people in this country that an African-American ought not to be president, and ought not to be given the same respect as if he were white."

Charges of racism effectively squelch dissent when people are afraid to express policy differences for fear of being branded a racist.

The April 7th Homeland Security document profiling, as potential rightwing extremists and domestic terrorists, American citizens concerned about “gun rights” and the "current economic and political climate" was another intimidating event. It led to a policeman detaining an individual by a Louisiana roadside for half an hour to determine if he belonged to an extremist group. His crime was an expression of opinion. He had a “Don’t Tread on Me” bumper sticker on his car.

It caused an uproar when the White House asked people to squeal on their neighbors if they heard some “fishy” ideas about Obamacare. But some individuals are now afraid to sign petitions or express their ideas on Face book for fear of being “flagged” on a White House enemies list.

The major outlets for both information and dissent today are talk radio and the internet. Mark Lloyd, the Federal Communications Commission’s new “Diversity Czar” is a disciple of “Rules for Radicals” Saul Alinski and an admirer of Hugo Chavez. Lloyd describes freedom of speech and the press as a “distraction”. He proposes whipping private radio companies into line by threats to their license renewal or by taxing them so heavily that they would be driven out of existence.

If that doesn’t worry you, consider Senate Bill 773 which would permit the president to seize temporary control of private-sector non-governmental computer networks during a so-called cyber security emergency, however that may be defined.

Dissent is not un-American, but trying to intimidate and, squelch free speech is. As the editor of the Morning Journal wrote in an August 9 column, You had better keep a close eye on this White House. Because the Obama White House apparently has its eyes and ears out on the streets watching, listening and ready to 'flag' anyone who doesn't sing their tune.”

More below the fold.

Monday, September 21, 2009

You Make the Call

Now it's your turn to decided who should be the next Maryland Republican Party Chairman:

More below the fold.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sin Wagon

Once again it looks like some Democrats are going to go into the 2010 General Assembly session hellbent on raising your taxes. And once again these Democrats are going to try to take their pound of fresh from the poor:

Legislators are not ruling out increases in so-called sin taxes on alcohol and tobacco to prop up programs that have suffered during the state's ongoing budget crunch.

Such taxes have been at the heart of attempts in recent years to fund services for the developmentally disabled and to expand health care coverage for the needy.

Now, with services for the disabled sustaining $24 million in cuts, as part of the $735 million in budget reductions by the state Board of Public Works this summer, and with health care advocates looking to restart a stymied expansion of Medicaid, legislators say they are not ruling out raising taxes on alcohol and tobacco.

Cognizant of the 2010 elections, legislative leaders have said no to new taxes. And rank-and-file members agree that taxes are unpalatable.

"However, that being said, there may be a few targeted revenue increase measures that we may be able to take," said Sen. Mike G. Lenett (D-Dist. 19) of Silver Spring.

Of course sin taxes on alcohol and smokes disproportionately take their toll on the poor, since it is lower income Marylanders who use these products at a higher per capita rate than middle and upper class Marylanders do. And, of course, this is the kind of regressive tax that Democrats love to pretend to hate precisely because it is a tax that is aimed at those Marylanders who are least able to mount a credible response against them. Of course, calls for higher sin taxes are nothing new to Annapolis liberals, and still reeks of attempts at social engineering with a tax theoretically designed to bring diminishing returns.

Sen. Richard Madeleno of Neptune Kensington chimes in with this productive train of thought:

Madaleno expects an "uphill battle" when he introduces the bill again in 2010. Given the bleak fiscal outlook, a sin tax "might be more palatable to some of my colleagues who are prone to support them," he said.

But he doesn't expect to get the support of anti-tax conservatives. "To those who want to run on a mindless anti-tax platform, one tax is just as evil as the next," Madaleno said.

Wow, that added a lot to the debate. But I'm not exactly sure that Madaleno should be throwing stones when he and his leftist colleague in Annapolis run on a mindless platform to constantly screw Maryland's middle and working class families.

Either way, the politics of sin taxes are going to be on everybody's mind until the General Assembly gets to Annapolis January 13th...


More below the fold.

Rumor: Mike Busch, Democratic Establishment Tried to Force Pierre from Mayoral Race

Rumor has it that the relationship between liberal factions in Annapolis may be completely breaking down over the Zina Pierre fiasco. A well-placed anonymous source sent me this note about the situation:

We are hearing that zina was strongarmed by Mike Busch and and DCC, and that’s why she backed down so quickly.

There was no “miscommunication”, but her spokeswoman Michael is a loudmouth anyway and zina took the opportunity to throw her under the bus.

Zina was convinced to stay in the race by Robert eades (a local activist) and carl snowden, telling her that she doesn’t owe anything to her party but owes it to the black community to finish the race.

Incidentally, speaking of party, the black community has vowed not to forget this, and the Busch crowd will have a hard time keeping that faction of the party in line when he runs for reelection
This Zina Pierre story just keeps getting stranger and stranger....

EDIT: Eye on Annapolis is reporting that a quote from Mike Busch critical of Pierre was scrubbed from the original Sun story yesterday.


More below the fold.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


So apparently that whole Zina Pierre withdrawing from the Annapolis Mayoral Election? Well......nevermind:

The Annapolis mayoral candidate, whose spokesperson announced her withdrawal from the race Friday amid revelations of personal financial problems, said Saturday that she is staying in the contest.

Zina C. Pierre won the Democratic nomination last Tuesday, putting her on track to become Annapolis' first African-American mayor. Her campaign on Friday abruptly announced her withdrawal amid questions about her foreclosed home, bounced checks, state liens for unpaid income taxes and other problems. But less than 24 hours later, Pierre said she was staying in to "continue to fight for all residents, many of whom are calling, texting and e-mailing me with extraordinary support."
So in the last 24 hours, Zina Pierre has established herself as a fantastic joke. The fact that her campaign operation managed to bungle the story, announcing her withdrawal as a sure fact only to have the story revert itself, should show her inability to lead even the most basic of organizations.

Her campaign statement printed by the Capital is even weirder:
“I am running for Mayor of Annapolis and will continue to fight for all residents, many of whom are calling, texting and e-mailing me with extraordinary support. The same support I am getting from the chair of the Annapolis Democratic Central Committee. I will continue to be accountable, transparent and a strong leader. Misinformation led to the confusion of the last two days. We will hold a news conference on Wednesday to address issues in detail.”
I'm not exactly sure how Zina Pierre will continue to be accountable, transparent, and a strong leader when it is apparent that she intends to not be held accountable, be far from transparent, and so far seems to be one of the weakest leaders I have ever seen.

When you combine her inability to keep her campaign on the same page with what seems to be a lengthy history of questionable financial and legal decisions (I mean really, what kind of idiot lets their car insurance lapse twice?) , it makes you wonder how Zina Pierre could ever hope to lead the city of Annapolis.

I think it is time that bloggers, community leaders, and the local media to really do some soul searching and fully investigate what Zina Pierre has been up to.


More below the fold.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Annapolis Mayoral Race Evokes Fairy-Tale and Scandal: Democrat Nominee Pieree Withdraws

Whenever something confuses me in politics, I always look for the most cynical explanation possible. Such an approach is usually accurate in ascertaining the truth, and has served me well on several occasions where suspension of total disbelief was a good quality to have.

One day after Zina Pierre was officially certified as the Democrat nominee for the Mayoral election, details of legal problems surfaced. The Capital sent out an email confirming that, in the face of these revelations and citing personal reasons, Zina had decided to drop out of the race. I believe The Sun will run a story tomorrow.

To quote a poker promo from ESPN: this is beyond fairy-tale, it's inconceivable. So what now? You're going to like this. Section 4.20.150 (C) of the city code allows a candidate nominated for office to decline their nomination within 10 days of receiving that nomination. And wouldn't you know it: it's less than 10 days since Zina received the nomination. And wouldn't you also know, section 4.20.160 allows the central committee--in this case the Democrat Central Committee--to fill the vacancy with WHICHEVER CANDIDATE THEY PICK.

Here's the email from the chairman of the Democrat Central Committee:

Dear ADCC Members and Friends,

Zina has withdrawn her candidacy after the revelations of her legal
problems. We in no way urged her to do so and left it to her judgment. We feel
sad for her and all her supporters.This puts a great deal of importance on
the ADCC, that by city code is charged to name a successor by October 2. ADCC is
under no City Charter/Code restraints in our choice and we then must establish
the procedures for our choice.

We will have to meet shortly. Our meeting for September 23 is still on.
Let me know if these dates are available to the elected members: Sept. 24, 25,
26, 28, and 29. In the meantime, consult with Democrats in your wards, our
elected officials, and your own thoughts.

Still, Victory in ‘09!

The statement that "we in no way urged" Zina is of course believed by everyone to be fucking bullshit. I'm sorry to cuss but it's such an arrogant attitude that one is left with no other articulation of one's feelings.

The email chatter has been off the charts on this issue, so I'll pass that along to you. In addition to the email chatter, I've had several verbal conversations about what's happening. My promise to you, the blog reader, is that I will plagiarize equally the thoughts I heard from emails and those from phone conversations.

I enjoy email chatter, because it tends to offer the most cynical and far-fetched explanations of any given event. And as we learned at the beginning of this post, that makes it correct. Even the most amateur politico could follow the storyline. The "chosen candidate", Josh Cohen, gets in the race because he has the backing of the machine and thinks he can win with their money and influence. The "machine" is defined as Mike Busch, John Astle, Ellen Moyer, and the Democrat Central Committee. The machine got Sam Shropshire elected in this manner, and they're at it again.

I guarantee this info about Zina is not new. The machine likely dug it up when Zina jumped in the race, but sat on it in hopes that Josh would win straight up and they wouldn't have to use it. When Zina won, they sprung into action--and they worked quickly because they knew the code says Zina would have to resign within 10 days of winning the primary. I mean, think about it....Zina knows politics. She worked for Bill Clinton, and runs a lobbying firm. She had enough expertise to beat Cohen--despite his machine backing; and to beat Trudy McFall--who ran a perfect campaign for 2 years. You mean to tell me that one setback would be enough to convince her to drop out of the race for personal reasons?? Shenanigans!! I call shenanigans! The legal problems seem to deal with economic circumstances. So Zina is facing economic hardship...just like half of freeking Annapolis! A clever candidate could spin that in their favor...not bow out of the race.

You know what else is interesting?? People always talk about "ending the partisanship"...the bickering between Republicans and Democrats. But this wasn't the Republicans sticking it to the Democrats--this was Democrat skulduggery all the way!! "Incest Partisanship" is what I call it--don't be surprised if that term catches on. Heck, the Republican candidate hasn't done anything political in, like...8 years! It's not enough for the machine to retain power for their party; they have to retain power for their lineage.

Now, as far as I know, Josh has not yet been officially selected as the replacement for Zina. I know Josh on a quasi-personal level, and I will say that he's been pleasant on the few occasions we've ordered beers from the same bartender. He's commented on this blog before, and is more than welcome to offer an explanation. But this whole thing reeks of a sinister plan executed as designed.

Edit: After posting this, I spoke with someone who I consider to be reliable and knowledgeable, and that person swears the machine had no prior knowledge of these issues. It's hard to believe but I guess it's plausible. Could it possibly not be Cohen that is chosen by the central committee?

There is still much to consider. First, as the first commenter says, what a failure of journalism. If the Capital spent as much time researching their candidate profiles as they do the Home of The Week, we would have known about Zina's problems long ago.

...which brings me to another point--Zina deserves blame. The charges against her, if intentional, represent characteristics we don't want in a mayor. There were questions--including on this blog--about Zina's candidacy when she entered the race. And for every question answered, we have 3 new ones in its place.

More below the fold.

Hope and Shame

If as to prove that most local Democrats do in fact make up the gang that couldn't shoot straight, Annapolis Democrats lost their Mayoral nominee tonight:

Zina C. Pierre, a virtual unknown in Annapolis politics whose primary victory this week put her on track to become the city's first African-American mayor, dropped out of the race Friday evening in the wake of revelations of personal financial problems.

Pierre was besieged with questions about the foreclosure of her Bowie home and several state tax liens.

"Zina Pierre has decided that for personal reasons she will withdraw from the race for the city of Annapolis," said her spokeswoman, Michael Matthews, who declined to comment further.

According to city code, the Annapolis Democratic Central Committee must choose a replacement nominee by early October. Nick Berry, the chair, said the group will move "expeditiously" to appoint a nominee.
Go figure...a Clinton Administration figure with character issues. Who'd have thunk it?

To his credit, our sometimes nemesis Paul Foer broke the story this afternoon:
Zina Celestine Pierre, the recent upset winner in the Democratic Primary for Mayor, has a lengthy history of legal troubles that have repeatedly landed her in court for issues such as mortgage foreclosure, tax lien and a credit union judgment.

According to state records easily available online, Zina C. Pierre is listed as a defendant in 18 civil lawsuits and 3 traffic cases in Prince Georges County, the earliest being 1990 and the most recent two being filed in March of 2009. In all cases she is the defendant.

Five of the civil lawsuits are listed as still active and involve a mortgage foreclosure, a credit union judgment against her (over $6,000), a State of Maryland tax lien ($653), another approximate $6,000 judgment against her and what looks like her company, and another lien. These are just the active and open lawsuits. Among those listed as closed are lawsuits involving Hecht's and Jaguar Land Rover of Annapolis.
I am completely flabbergasted that a mayoral primary that seemed to have lasted almost a year managed to not see any reporting, any campaigning, or any discussion of this issue until three days after the Democratic primary.Especially when you consider all of these records were easily accessible via computer.

Looks like Annapolis Democrats were incredibly under served, not just by the other six Democrats who ran for Mayor, but also by local media. The Sun and The Capital managed to completely fumble this story and run no stories about Pierre's background until after her withdrawal from the race. Given how much ink was (rightfully) given to the Sam Shropshire sexual assault allegations, you would have thought that somebody in these journalistic institutions would have thought to sit at the computer and do this basic research.

Score one for the blogosphere, but what a complete embarrassment for the city of Annapolis...


More below the fold.

Credibility and President Barack Obama

--Richard E. Vatz

It is widely agreed in my field of rhetoric and communication that few qualities of political speakers are more important than their credibility, but as common an evaluational criterion as credibility is, it is used almost interchangeably in two senses: 1. whether one should be believed or 2. whether one is believed.

Even before the reaction to South Carolina's Rep. Joe Wilson's sending the rhetorical shot heard round the world, “You lie!,” critics, including yours truly, were asking whether President Obama was playing fast and loose with some of his representations of facts.

Eight months into his presidency, a president I personally have liked, but whose words ring less and less true, has lost a not insubstantial, but not overwhelming, percentage of credibility of the second order, “whether one is believed.” On credibility of the first order, “whether one should be believed,” his insufficient criterion of accuracy seems limited only by whether his representations are grossly inaccurate or demonstrably deceptive.

The consensus (second order)regarding presidential lack of credibility has generally followed the fact that they should not be believed: Lyndon Johnson and Bill Clinton are good examples.

Repeatedly critics have wondered how President Obama can say that health care reform will be revenue neutral. In one of his best columns, Charles Krauthammer unmasks that deception word by word. He also exposes the deceptiveness in other Obama claims that have not gone unnoticed by skeptics, including his (Obama’s) reassurance regarding illegal immigrants’ not being covered and the rhetorically false refuge of eliminating “hundreds of billions of dollars in waste and fraud,” applied in this case to Medicare.

Such a clever persuader is often described by average people not as a “liar,” but as “calculating and deceptive,” even when their style of presentation is articulate, even when they’re easygoing, and even when they’re generally non-confrontational.

Did those who voted for presidential candidate Barack Obama think that people would be saying after eight months, “He’s brilliant, easy on the eyes and ears, but you had better watch your wallet?”

Watch these doubts about President Obama's truthfulness metastasize, even where irrelevant to fiscal policy, regarding nuclear policy and the defense of Western Europe, the enlargement of big government and nuclear-acquisitive Iran.

President Obama should no longer be given the presumption of truth (credibility, first order), and more and more he will not be (credibility, second order).

Young, impressive, mystifying, charismatic Barack Obama: we hardly knew ye.

Professor Vatz teaches rhetoric and communication at Towson University

More below the fold.

Like Watching Astroturf Grow

The pro-Obamacare rally in Centreville took place over three weeks ago, but I did get some great video from the rally and the masterful counter protest organized by Queen Anne’s County Republican Club members Diana Waterman, Andi Morony, and Andrew Langer.

Before the vids a personal note: One of the ubiquitous union thugs attending the rally felt the need to cast ugly slurs at Delegate Mike Smigiel, a dedicated public servant and former U.S. Marine. I lost my cool and called the union thug a douchebag. Even though the pro-Obamacare advocates were yelling all manner of personal invective at the counter protestors, I was out-of-line and I apologize. I felt much like William F. Buckley pushed to the edge at being called a crypto-Nazi by Gore Vidal.

To his credit, Delegate Smigiel engaged the cretin on a more civil level.

The yellow chutes of “ authentic” grass roots.

The brown, I mean purple shirts of SEIU arrive late from DC.

OFA isn’t getting their money’s worth with these two. Hint: you want to hold the megaphone right side up.

Listen to the litany of liberal Astroturf groups.

I’m from PG County and I’m here to help

Kratovil aide Tim McCann explains Frank’s stance on Obamacare

McCann tries to defend/explain Kratovil’s vote for cap and trade

Delegate Mike Smigiel on enduring the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune.

More below the fold.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Now and Then

Remember the good old days, say about 2006, when Bob Ehrlich was in the process of leaving Maryland with a $1.2 billion budget surplus at the end of his term? You're right, it wasn't that long ago, and it really just emphasizes how bad of a steward Martin O'Malley is with your money when a $2 billion budget shortfall is staring us in the face.

We as conservatives and Republicans can jump up and down in the face and say I told you so. We told you that the Democrats spending plans were going to bankrupt the state. We told you that the historic and immoral tax hikes from the 2007 Special Session were going to dry up revenues. And now it seems like every day we are being proven right.

But none of that is going to provide responsible fiscal leadership here in Maryland. Martin O'Malley has shown time and time again that he does not care about the interests of Maryland's middle and working class families. Nor has Governor O'Malley shown the ability to learn from his mistakes.

Unfortunately, just being right on the issues isn't enough in a state like Maryland. So what you need to do is to go ask your friends, your neighbors, your colleagues, one simple question.

Is Maryland better off now than it was three years ago?


More below the fold.

O'Malley's Silence on ACORN

More than a week has passed since Big Government posted the videos of intrepid investigators James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles undercover sting on ACORN’s Baltimore office. O’Keefe and Giles posed as a pimp and prostitute seeking ACORN’s assistance in avoiding federal income taxes on her income, and on purchasing a house for use as a brothel for underage illegal aliens. ACORN officials were all too happy to help. Since that time, subsequent videos revealed similar ACORN assistance in Washington, DC, New York, and California.

Both the US House and Senate have voted to defund ACORN, which has received over $53 million in taxpayer funds over the last 15 years, and the US Census Bureau has severed ties with the group—ACORN was supposed to assist with the 2010 census.

It also turns out that ACORN has been operating illegally in Maryland since 2006.

Yet Governor O’Malley has not issued a statement nor uttered a single word about this scandal, Furthermore, Baltimore City State’s Attorney, Patricia Jessamy and wannabe Redskins broadcaster, Attorney General Doug Gansler, are incredulously looking into the possibility of charging O’Keefe and Giles for violating state law in obtaining the video.

One would think that since the story broke in Baltimore, the city where he was mayor, O’Malley would at least condemn ACORN? One would also think that the governor would be eager to do so given that in 2003 ACORN bussed in a group of thugs to protest outside his home, where they—in O’Malley’s words, “unloaded a busload of people shouting pretty ugly things and scared the daylights out of my wife and kids."

Perhaps O’Malley wants to forget that episode because after the protests ACORN began receiving $50,000 in grants from the city.

Governor, we understand you are busy shaking down Constellation and EDF to create the façade of keeping your undeliverable 2006 campaign promise, and finding new and novel ways to blame your second billion dollar structural deficit on Bob Ehrlich. However, is it too much to ask for you to stop for one second and condemn the egregious acts of ACORN?

More below the fold.

What I want in a MDGOP Chair

The reason this post may seem a little disjointed and out of context is because it's in response to a post by Joe Steffen at his Darkness Rising blog. I wouldn't say he was ecstatic about Jim Pelura resigning as party head but he certainly wasn't too far from the front of the victory parade - right up there with the state party insiders, certain members of the General Assembly, and most of the other Red Maryland writers.

I actually wanted to clarify to a previous commenter that Pelura's resignation wasn't immediate but you know me, I get started and once I'm rolling I may as well finish the job.

Actually, Pelura isn't technically out until November 14th, the date of the party's fall convention.

I'm going to be one of those who will certainly be kissed up to by would-be Chairs because I actually have a vote in the process (I'm on the Central Committee in Wicomico County.) So here's what I want from a new Chair.

  1. Someone who gives a damn about the parts of Maryland where people actually vote Republican and doesn't just represent the I-95 corridor. I know Chris Cavey wants to meet with us NOW - but where was he the last three years? Jim Pelura came down to visit us twice and was good enough to speak at our Lincoln Day dinner. I know, in Annapolis that and 5 bucks might get you a cup of coffee but to us out in the sticks little things like that mean a lot.
  2. Yes, our party has a debt. It seems to me that the fundraiser who now works for AFP wasn't too well liked by a lot of people who would be considered the "in" crowd among the party - so he left. That was a big help, huh? Guess whoever wins better have a plan to pay off the debt - as I recall there was enough left in the line of credit to satisfy the total so actually as settled this isn't a bad deal for the party.
  3. (This may be most important) - someone with the stones to stand up to Bob Ehrlich and tell him to go or get off the pot. Frankly, I'm tired of him fiddling while Rome is burning.

Whoever can convince me he or she will do the best job of doing that has the greatest chance at getting my vote. And I don't have a bad bully pulpit either.

A little over the top? Perhaps, but I'm passionate about my beliefs and believe that this whole anti-Pelura backlash served for nothing more than embarassing (and gleeful) headlines in the state's media. Hey, those column inches we devote to GOP infighting are much better used for that than actual investigative reporting as to why Governor O'Malley can't make a budget or guess the amount of revenue coming in properly. (Maybe it's because he raised taxes but didn't cut spending? Naaaaahhhh...)

Steffen also decided to poke a little fun at Daniel " The (formerly Wig, but now)Whig Man" Vovak, who's already jumped into the fray. I think if he matches his vote total in his 2006 U.S. Senate run for this election he might win. But moreso Joe shilled for Chris Cavey and to me that guy has a lot of 'splainin to do before he gets my vote. Then again, so does everyone else.

Crossposted on monoblogue.

More below the fold.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

If you build it, they won't come

For all of the people who seem to think that all of our nation's health care problems will magically disappear once socialized medicine is on the scene, I give you this:

Two of every three practicing physicians oppose the medical overhaul plan under consideration in Washington, and hundreds of thousands would think about shutting down their practices or retiring early if it were adopted, a new IBD/TIPP Poll has found.

The poll contradicts the claims of not only the White House, but also doctors' own lobby — the powerful American Medical Association — both of which suggest the medical profession is behind the proposed overhaul.

It also calls into question whether an overhaul is even doable; 72% of the doctors polled disagree with the administration's claim that the government can cover 47 million more people with better-quality care at lower cost.

Here is a graph for those of you who might not grok it otherwise:

So riddle me this; if we know that the passage of Obamacare means that we will artificially limit the number of practicing doctors in this country, and we know that through the artificial limit on practicing physicians that the quality of care will be significantly diminished and more expensive due to scarcity.....then what is the value-added to passing this boondoggle at all?

Looks like we might be going towards the DIY work ethic practiced by the British. Somebody get me some pliers....


More below the fold.

On A Slow Boat to China...

I highly recommend Jonah Goldberg’s excellent destruction of Thomas Friedman’s latest New York Times column wherein Friedman writes this gem:

Watching both the health care and climate/energy debates in Congress, it is hard not to draw the following conclusion: There is only one thing worse than one-party autocracy, and that is one-party democracy, which is what we have in America today.

One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century.

The FSP crowd would read that bit of technocratic arrogance and smile.

However, as Goldberg notes, those “drawbacks” are fairly significant, if one wishes to be governed by a system still nominally attached to the basic notions of democracy:

So there you have it. If only America could drop its inefficient and antiquated system, designed in the age before globalization and modernity and, most damning of all, before the lantern of Thomas Friedman's intellect illuminated the land. If only enlightened experts could do the hard and necessary things that the new age requires, if only we could rely on these planners to set the ship of state right. Now, of course, there are "drawbacks" to such a system: crushing of dissidents with tanks, state control of reproduction, government control of the press and the internet. Omelets and broken eggs, as they say. More to the point, Friedman insists, these "drawbacks" pale in comparison to the system we have today here in America.

I cannot begin to tell you how this is exactly the argument that was made by American fans of Mussolini in the 1920s. It is exactly the argument that was made in defense of Stalin and Lenin before him (it's the argument that idiotic, dictator-envying leftists make in defense of Castro and Chavez today). It was the argument made by George Bernard Shaw who yearned for a strong progressive autocracy under a Mussolini, a Hitler or a Stalin (he wasn't picky in this regard). This is the argument for an "economic dictatorship" pushed by Stuart Chase and the New Dealers. It's the dream of Herbert Croly and a great many of the Progressives.

Read those two graphs again and remember that in Obamacare and cap and trade we are fighting the establishment of the very “progressive autocracy” Friedman and his progressive predecessors will lead us to the sunny uplands of history.

More below the fold.

"Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangster"

Martin O’Malley took to his in-house newsletter, today to double down on the extortion of Constellation/BGE and EDF. I’m not going to quote from the governor’s piece because doing so would lend underserved dignity to O’Malley’s rank political shake down.

It is outrageous that the governor is threatening to gut a transaction, which will bring much needed energy to Maryland—the state is facing power shortages in the coming years—in order to create the illusion of fulfilling his impossible 2006 campaign promise.

The more O’Malley rattles the BGE saber, the more transparent his is political thuggery becomes. We only wish O’Malley was just as transparent in other areas of governing.

More below the fold.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Get Ready for Silly Season

I'll post more thoughts about the upcoming GOP Chairman's election later but it looks like silly season is upon us. And the first candidate officially into the pool is......

BETHESDA, MARYLAND ­ Historically, Maryland has had three governors and
seven senators who were members of the Whig Party, with the last serving in
1858. Following the surprise resignation of Maryland Republican Chairman
James Pelura, the Whigs should return to Maryland, though with a 2009 twist.

On Tuesday, Daniel "The Whig Man" Vovak, of Bethesda, announced that he is
seeking to become the next chairman of the Maryland Republican Party. A
movie producer and ghostwriter, Vovak is known for occasionally wearing a
distinguished powdered wig when he speaks at formal events. In August, Vovak
announced that the Young Republicans of Montgomery County were co-hosting an
upcoming fundraiser with the famous Paula Jones, of Arkansas. Proceeds of
the event will also benefit the Maryland Republican Party. Vovak is the
producer of The Blue Dress, a comedy movie about Bill Clinton and Monica.
Like I said, more comments later...


More below the fold.

Because Obama Said So

Andrew Green was at it again last week. To borrow from President Obama, Green’s Second Opinion post “would be laughable if it were not so irresponsible and cynical.”

As with a previous health care editorial Green is guilty of the very sin he projects on to those he disagrees with. Green takes Obama’s pronouncements as if they were the Word of God, and paints any opposition as illegitimate and outside the realm of civil discourse.

Nowhere did Green address the preposterous misdirections, sweeping contradictions, and grand evasions in Obama’s speech. Green can bang a spoon on his highchair all day about Rep Boustany’s response, but his Moses (or Ezra Klein) at the burning bush act belies the rotten core of his argument. For example, Green writes:

The president pledged not to sign a bill that adds a dime to the deficit. Mr. Boustany argued against a deficit-swelling health reform plan. The president said he was taking immediate action to limit medical liability lawsuits.

One would think Green had seen the multiple reports that Obamacare would create a Grand Canyon like chasm between spending and revenue, or at least try to square the circle of ringing up $900 billion bill, without cutting Medicare benefits or raising taxes, or—adding to the deficit. As for medical malpractice, Green’s definition of “immediate action” is a bit looser than the rest of us. Obama merely stated that he would have his DHHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius to initiate “demonstration projects.” That is hardly “immediate action” ushering in medmal reform.

Green’s epic battle against the straw men doesn’t end there:

The element of the Republican Party that wants to defeat Mr. Obama's health reform at all costs had a good August. They could take advantage of an information vacuum to spread untruths that caught on among a segment of the population. But their credibility is wearing thin. After hearing these same elements of the GOP warn against the socialist intent of Mr. Obama's speech to schoolchildren, only to watch the president champion the very American ideals of education, hard work and ambition, who are people going to believe about death panels, the future of Medicare or the possibility that government dollars would fund abortions? By setting out to defeat the president at all costs, Republicans have been arguing against strawmen instead of trying to color health reform with conservative ideas….

Green had to take a huge leap over a vast swath of his own ignorance (or ape White House talking points) to write those words.

Conservatives didn’t object to Obama’s school speech itself. The objection was to the Department of Education’s creepy lesson plans disseminated before the speech, containing exercises that recommended teachers ask their to students to “write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president.” Perhaps Green is unfamiliar with the American hostility to such “dear leader” indoctrination.

Fear over federal taxpayer dollars funding abortions is well founded. Instead of relying on the word of Obama, Green should have bothered to review the House bill’s markup session—as The Heritage Foundation’s Robert Moffit did—had Green done so he would have seen amendments that specifically prohibit federal money from funding abortions were voted down, whereas amendments requiring federal funding for abortions passed.

Furthermore, Moffit notes that the committee gutted amendments designed to protect consumer choice, protect current health coverage, and add health savings accounts to the government’s definition of a qualified health benefits plan. This puts the lie to Green’s claim that Republicans are fear mongering instead of seeking to, “color reform with conservative ideas.” Partisan Democrats were never going to incorporate conservative ideas into the reform effort.

Green was right that Joe Wilson’s outburst of “you lie” was shocking. However, Green once again takes Obama at his word that he “debunked the falsehood that the health reform plan would cover illegal immigrants.” The house bills do not specifically prescribe health coverage for illegal immigrants, but nor do they specifically proscribe it. Republican amendments designed to do so were voted down by Democrats on strict party line votes. One would think that Green, a veteran state house reporter, would smell such a fetid legislative loophole.

It’s quite ironic that after the president supposedly “debunked” that falsehood, the Senate felt the need to add a proof of citizenship requirement in it’s own health care bill. Wilson was out of line shouting at the president during a joint session of Congress, but he’s right on the substance.

I initially took Andrew Green’s elevation to the Sun editorial board as a welcome change, as I always considered him at fair reporter. However, as an editorial writer, Green is so in the tank for president that his arguments have absurdly devolved to “because Obama said so.”
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

More below the fold.

Larry Hogan Jr. Jumps Into the Governor's Race

Larry Hogan Jr., Appointments Secretary for former governor Ehrlich, is setting up an exploratory committee, Hogan for Maryland, to run for governor.

Hogan’s announcement however, makes clear that he would step aside should Ehrlich decide on a rematch with Martin O’Malley. “Should my friend decide to run, he would have my enthusiastic support, as he always has, and nobody would work harder for him.”

The Hogan name is no stranger to Maryland politics. His father, Larry Hogan Sr., won three terms to Congress running as a Republican in the deep blue fifth district, and ousted incumbent Winfield Kelly Jr. for Prince George’s County Executive.

The younger Hogan nearly pulled off the impossible in 1992: beating Steny Hoyer. Hogan challenged Hoyer for his father’s old congressional seat. Hoyer, who won with only 51% of the vote, called it the “toughest race of his entire political career.”

Hogan, who founded a successful commercial real estate brokerage, understands the threats to small business, taxpayers, and working families from O’Malley’s reckless spending, taxation, and mindless regulation.

You can send your thoughts and suggestions to

Financial contributions to Hogan for Maryland can be sent to 2661 Riva Road #300, Annapolis, MD 21401.

More below the fold.

Pelura to step down in November

In a move timed to coincide with the Maryland Republican Party's fall convention, Party Chair Jim Pelura announced yesterday that he would step down as of November 14. The press release follows:

Dr. James Pelura, Chairman of the Maryland Republican Party, has submitted his resignation effective November 14, 2009. In accordance with the Maryland Republican Party Bylaws, First Vice Chairman Chris Cavey will facilitate the transition for the period until November 14th.

A Nominating Committee has been formed with Montgomery County Central Committee Chairman Mark Uncapher as Chairman and he will follow the nominating process in accordance with our Bylaws.

In a letter to "Republican Leaders" Jim stated he was resigning "for personal and professional reasons" and also noted:

My tenure as your Chairman has at times been trying; however, our steady rebuilding of the grassroots has been very rewarding. For the first time in years, the Maryland Republican Party has asserted itself as the spokesman and the standard-bearer of the Republican philosophy. I am firmly convinced that a new dialogue has been started with my Chairmanship and it is my hope that this dialogue will continue.

Much of the controversy about Pelura's tenure stemmed from a perceived lack of fundraising prowess and continual bickering between three separate wings of the Maryland GOP: those who backed former Governor Ehrlich and saw the party as a vessel for his return to elective office, members of the General Assembly who wanted the party apparatus for their ends, and conservative activists at the local level who felt ignored, particularly those representing rural Maryland. It was a balancing act difficult to accomplish in good times, let alone a poor electoral cycle as 2006-08 was.

The dialogue Dr. Pelura started was one of actually listening and paying attention to the smaller counties. After all, they are the areas of Maryland which actually vote Republican. Granted, there's not a one-size-fits-all solution to ending Democrat dominance statewide but certainly those running on the other side in stronger GOP areas have found they need to move rightward to compete - case in point Frank Kratovil's Congressional campaign in 2008. (It doesn't matter that they're reliably liberal votes once they win - they're counting on voters to believe the promises and not look at the record.)

So, now that Pelura is gone, it's not unrealistic to expect 2011 to dawn with Republicans in all the statewide offices, a sweep leaving poor old Ben Cardin as the lone Democrat in the state's Congressional delegation, and unprecedented 141-0 and 47-0 margins in the Maryland House of Delegates and Senate respectively, right? After all, wasn't Jim Pelura the sole source of the problems?

Look for a number of people to step out of the woodwork now and claim to have all the answers to the woes of the Maryland GOP. It will make for an interesting and newsworthy convention in November, and the coalition building will begin immediately for those who wish to succeed Jim.

For Republicans in Maryland, 2009 just became a campaign year.

Crossposted on monoblogue.

More below the fold.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Jim Pelura has resigned as Maryland State GOP Chairman. A copy of the Press Release is below.

* * * * * *
For Immediate Release Contact: Cathy Watts

September 14, 2009 410-263-2125


Annapolis, MD - Dr. James Pelura, Chairman of the Maryland Republican Party, has submitted his resignation effective November 14, 2009. In accordance with the Maryland Republican Party Bylaws, First Vice Chairman Chris Cavey will facilitate the transition for the period until November 14th.

A Nominating Committee has been formed with Montgomery County Central Committee Chairman Mark Uncapher as Chairman and he will follow the nominating process in accordance with our Bylaws.


More below the fold.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Memo to Kanye: Liberals Do Not Care About People, period.

P. Kenneth Burns

September 2, 2005…NBC is airing a special fundraiser for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. For the record, a situation that would not have happened because of a bipartisan screw-up going back for decades, but it is what it is. Actor Mike Myers of “Wayne’s World” and “Austin Powers” fame was sharing the camera with rapper and self-proclaimed idol Kanye West. Myers stuck with the script; West did not. As a matter of fact, the guy who did not become humble following a recent “South Park” episode, despite his saying he would, proudly proclaimed that “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people.”

Well excuse me Mr. West, but you are dead wrong and by the way, you are not that good of rapper, sir. If one sits down and looks at the score card, it is the liberals who not only “doesn’t care about Black people,” they do not care about Spanish people, Asian people, and the list goes on and on. That includes you to Whitey. Let’s look at some recent incidents that demonstrate how the left would rather feel warm and fuzzy as opposed to being an actual help to people.

For starters, let’s talk about the cash for clunkers program, where some model years as recent as 2002 qualified to get destroyed because of the gas mileage. Well, I shouldn’t say destroyed, but really what else can you do with these “clunkers.” The dealers are required to make sure that the vehicles, whose only crime was not making at least 20 miles per gallon, could never be used ever again. These vehicles are then sent to a junk yard in hopes of getting sold for scrap metal. The C.A.R.S. program has not been completely environmentally friendly, let alone helpful to the populace.

Those cars now taking up space in a junkyard are a thorn in the side of the junkyard operators who cannot get the value out of the vehicles because there are a lot of scrap vehicles now. That means the cars will simply sit there and will undoubtedly rust out to become a completely different environmental hazard.

In the meantime there are a number of people, families in particular, who would love to own a “clunker” because they do not have a car. These cars that the left has deemed unnecessary, dirty or not environmentally friendly; could have gone to people in need to transport their families to school or work.

Speaking of schools, liberals are trying to take away school choice from the parents in the District of Columbia. President Obama has decided to end the school voucher program which gave low-income parents with well-performing children the option of putting said children in private schools which are doing much better than the DC Public School system. What’s wrong Mr. President? You don’t want you or your colleagues children to look at the riff raff you are trying to keep in place? This decision has nothing to do with education; it is a reward to the teachers unions who overwhelmingly supported Mr. Obama during the election. For those who do not keep an ear on local DC politics, you literally have to jump through hoops before a bad D.C. school teacher who does not improve is shown the door. Look up ‘The Education Issue’ of the Washington City Paper from 2007 to see what I mean.

Another footprint where liberals have ruined public education is Baltimore City. For those who are thinking “you are not from Baltimore,” I say no I am not and it’s high time an outsider with no cut cards speak out about it. The appointed school board is not working and why this 15-year debacle is continuing is beyond me. From the looks of it, I do not think it will improve based on who the current governor is.

Keep in mind during the 2006 election, state schools superintendent Nancy Grasmick decided to take over some of the worst city schools, only to be overruled by the General Assembly, by placing a one-year moratorium on the takeover. That wasn’t the only thing she had to endure. Shortly after Governor Martin O’Malley (D) took office, he decided to try and fire Grasmick, which is now looked on as an even dumber move considering she has led Maryland schools to be among the best in the nation. By the way, it should be noted that there have been no takeover attempts since then.

Looking at the big picture, Baltimore City as a whole is completely dysfunctional. Now the part where this gets dicey…by dicey, I mean racial because Baltimore City, as we know, is majority Black. Blacks continue to vote Democratic because of the myth that Republicans are racist and do not care about Black people.

My “friend” Doni Glover wrote earlier this year that he was not feeling conservatism and acknowledge that Democratic/liberal policies have not worked for the Black community in particular. I asked him that if he did not believe in conservatism and he knows that the Democratic polices have failed Black people, what do you propose should happen. I am still waiting for the answer to that question.

As a matter of fact, I will go on a limb and say that any Black person who says that they do not believe that Republican/conservative policies are the way, ask them which Democratic policies worked for the Black community. If they refuse to answer or if they cannot answer, you will know at that point that race guides their decision in the voting booth as well as their outlook on life. They know that Democrats are taking them for granted, but for fear of being ostracized by the Black community and ridiculed by Democrats, they vote Democrat. Do not misconstrue what I am saying here. Racism still exists, we are far from a kumbaya moment. I will also step out and say that thanks to Mr. President and his surrogates, race relations have worsen; but I have digressed enough.

The left has proven as of late that they are more concerned about giving themselves warm and fuzzy feelings about doing what they believe is the right thing. They do not care about the middle class, the poor or minorities as they like to portray. I’ll put it this way, if that is the case, they would be giving more money to charity than conservatives.

P. Kenneth Burns is the editor of Maryland Politics Today. He lives in Baltimore County. His email is

More below the fold.