Thursday, March 31, 2011

Red Maryland Radio: 3-31-2011

If you couldn't catch us live, catch the archived version of the show!

Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio


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Red Maryland Radio Returns Tonight!

Don't forget that Red Maryland Radio is on live TONIGHT and every Thursday at 8 PM merely. Visit our show page to listen and to take a listen back at our show from this past Thursday.

We've got another great lineup for ttonight's show:

Make sure to take a listen to us live tonight at 8!


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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Conservative Refuge Podcast # 73

Sure to have people talking, it's the Conservative Refuge Podcast!! In the first segement, a discussion of the tax increases being proposed by the General Assembly and the efforts by Maryland Democrats to convince voters they are not tax increases at all. In our second segment, a special guest interview with RedMaryland caucus member Delegate Mike Hough. Delegate Hough gives his impressions as freshman conservative member of the House of Delegates. He also provides information on legislation you may not have heard about. In our last segment, a continuation of our ongoing dicussion about "GOP Branding." One Maryland GOP House member has broken ranks with all of his colleagues to vote to bring Obamacare to Maryland, to support taxpayer funded abortions and to provide special rights to transgender workers. Listen in to find out who.







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Red Maryland Update # 12

Greg Kline presents a commentary on the absurd lengths taken by the democrats in the General Assembly to justify raising taxes.




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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

O'Malley's Hypocrisy on General Electric


















The spotlight from all the national attention of being the Democratic Party’s new golden boy must be getting to Governor Martin O’Malley. Earlier this month he set the standard for the “new low in political hypocrisy” by trashing his own budget to appease angry public sector unions unhappy with his modest pension reform proposal. O’Malley told the union protestors “I don’t like this budget either.” Which is odd because when he submitted the budget back in January O’Malley told legislators he was “pleased” to submit a budget that allegedly will “create jobs and grow our economy.” What a difference a union temper tantrum makes.


This past week O’Malley set a new, new low in political hypocrisy when he tweeted this gem criticizing rent seeker extraordinaire General Electric for paying no taxes: “This is hard to believe & even harder to accept--$14.2 billion in profit w/ zero corporate taxes?”


O’Malley’s incredulity would be laughable if it weren’t so insincere. In fact, O’Malley has pursued the very big government, corporatist policies, which grant GE competitive advantages and subsidies that it could not otherwise get in an open market. Appearing in the Fox News special “Freeloaders,” the Examiner’s Tim Carney told host John Stossel, “General Electric is structuring their business around where government is going ... high-speed rail, solar, wind. GE is lining up to get what government is handing out."


O’Malley claims his offshore wind mandate is crucial for Maryland to meet his renewable portfolio standard goal of producing 20 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2022. General Electric is an ardent supporter of state RPS mandates, and lobbies for a federal renewable energy standard. Speaking of wind power, it was GE that bought up Enron’s wind interests in the wake of the accounting scandal that brought down the energy giant. GE is heavily invested in wind projects ($5 billion) and lobbied heavily to extend the renewable energy tax grant program, part of President Obama’s 2009 stimulus package, which O’Malley ardently defends.


GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt—Obama’s Job Czar and member of his Economic Recovery Board— stated he wasn’t “tackling climate concerns because it's moral or trendy or good for PR…the biggest driver for me is business potential…” Immelt and GE will find much business potential in the menu of climate taxes, regulations and mandates proposed by O’Malley’s climate change commission. Like Enron before it global warming legislation “would benefit many GE businesses.”


In 2009, Immelt told GE shareholders that government would be “an industry policy champion, a fancier and a key partner.” In other words the public end of the “public private partnerships” O’Malley loves to tout. According to Carney, at a U.S. Export-Import Bank conference last year, Immelt praised the idea of “government and business working as a pack,” which is a cruder explanation of O’Malley’s sanctimonious but equally corporatist vision of “One Maryland”.


Whether it’s costly mandates for renewable energy or cap and trade, O’Malley supports or has implemented the same policies GE uses to game the system and pass on higher costs to taxpayers and consumers.


GE sells us “Ecomagination,” O’Malley foists upon us O’Magination, both bring higher energy costs to life.



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Monday, March 28, 2011

Red Maryland Update # 11

Greg Kline shares a commentary on the Nannystate Nonsense going on in Annapolis.



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Sunday, March 27, 2011

What Libya Means to Military and Foreign Policy

I usually don't use Red Maryland as a forum to critique the President's foreign policy, but the situation in Libya of is so gravely concerning that it is something that needs to be addressed.

One of the overwhelming critiques of Barack Obama during the 2008 Presidential campaign was her overwhelming lack of experience when it came to issues regarding foreign policy and military affairs. It was unquestionable that John McCain had far more experience on both issues. Had the campaign remained focused on Iraq, Afghanistan, and the war on terror this would likely have become a major point of contention during the campaign. Of course, with the bottom dropping out of the global economy and the genuflection heaped upon Obama, his lack of credentials in these areas were generally glossed over.

During that time, we have seen a number of minor, albeit inconsequential long-term foreign policy flubs. Between the silly gifts given to Queen Elizabeth to II, the grammatically incorrect button given to the Russians, and bowing to the the royalty, this administration has committed a number of unenforced errors in this area. But ultimately while embarrassing, these errors were of no particular detrimental to US interests.

When the unrest occurred in Egypt is when the Administration began to take policy positions that seemed to put the U.S. in no-man's land. First the President supported our "ally'" Hosni Mubarak in maintaining control in Egypt. However that position did not stay for long as eventually the Administration reversed course and indicated that Mubarak had to go. It was a curious reversal, particularly considering that the Muslim Brotherhood, no champion of secular freedoms or a freely elected government, was helping to organize these protests and as my colleague Streiff reports is becoming dominant in the new Egyptian order.

Libya however is an entirely new animal, taking U.S. military and foreign policy down a frightening and dangerous new road. I'm not exercised by the idea of having so few allies joining us in this mission (comically, less than half the number of allies we had in Iraq). And while I find it humorous that we aren't calling it a war, but a "kinetic military action." But there are three things that I find extremely troubling about the President's unilateral decision.

  • Bad Timing: Several weeks ago, it looked like the rebels had Qaddafi on the ropes. It looked like the Libyan government was likely to fall. Yet the Administration took no position on helping the rebels until after tide had turned towards the entrenched regime. During the American revolution, when the Continental Army won the Battle of Saratoga and it became apparently that the Americans might be able to beat the British, the Kingdom of France threw it's support behind the Americans, keeping the Revolution afloat and having a direct and demonstrable impact on the outcome of the war. We seemed to have either missed the value of that lesson, or we missed our opportunity to put it in action.

  • Lack of Congressional Consultation: Yes, the President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. And one could clearly make an argument that the President should have wide discretion in the use of U.S. forces to directly combat or prevent offensive action against the U.S., American citizens or American interests. However, the President instead committed U.S. forces to fight in Africa in a situation that was clearly of no immediate threat or national interest to the United States. Making the President's own position even more bizarre is that no less authority than former the Vice-President indicated (while as a U.S. Senator) that a President taking any such action like the one the President has already taken should be impeached.

  • Lack of Goals: What is our endgame in Libya? What outcome are we looking for? Are we protecting the rebels? Are we looking for regime change? Are we trying to prevent a situation that allows the flow of refugees into neighboring countries? Does anybody know why we are risking the lives of American forces in Libya right no, because even Defense Secretary Robert Gates has acknowledged doesn't seem to know. As Peggy Noonan pointed out on Friday, the President owes us an explanation.
Now in a vacuum, one would think that the U.S. supporting rebels who were fighting the Qaddafi regime in Libya would be something that we would enthusiastically support. Supporting Libyan rebels would be something that would both uphold the Bush Doctrine to support freely elected governments in the Muslim World and in trying to replace and unfriendly regime that has been a state sponsor of terrorism.

But of course, the world does not exist in a vacuum and the rebels that we are supporting through the establishment of the no-fly zone are clearly not the guys wearing anything that remotely looks like the white hats. Leaders of the rebel movement have acknowledged that they have fought alongside al-Qaeda against Coalition forces in Afghanistan. Rebel forces are rounding up and possibly massacring sub-Saharan Africans on the presumption that Qaddafi's mercenaries are non-Libyan and that any sub-Saharan Africans. Now don't get me wrong, we have propped up a lot of bad regimes in the past in the guise of fighting communism (the Ngô Đình Diệm Government in South Vietnam of course comes to mind) but at no time to my knowledge have we ever taken military action against a hostile regime in order to support rebels who would likely install a regime even more hostile to U.S. interests.

If the President could at all justify, explain, or rationalize any of this, I think that American people might (and I say might) be a little more tolerant and understanding of the military action. But at this point the Administration has been completely incapable of articulating a reason, complete incapable of articulating the interest, and completely incapable of articulating the result that we are desired. Which leaves all of America wondering aloud "what the hell are we doing there?"

And it leaves me wondering about the long-term ramifications on U.S. foreign policy, particularly as it relates to hostile nations perception of our will to respond militarily. The confusion on the U.S. mission and desired outcome in the Libyan fiasco will probably hamstring this Administration on future multilateral endeavors and negotiations, and may make attacking U.S. interests a more viable alternative to those hostile to our nation.

The Libyan affair could have a profound impact on the 2012 Presidential Election as well, which we will explore another time...


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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Guest Lineup for the 3/31 Red Maryland Radio

Don't forget that Red Maryland Radio will be on live every Thursday at 8 PM merely. Visit our show page to listen and to take a listen back at our show from this past Thursday.

We've got another great lineup for this Thursday's show:

Make sure to take a listen to us live Thursday at 8!


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Friday, March 25, 2011

Choosing a Good President for Towson University

--Richard E. Vatz

It is my hope that this topic is not too "inside baseball" for the readers of Red Maryland, but I believe it is not.

President Bob Caret is leaving Towson University (TU) in April, and the UM System Chancellor, Brit Kirwan, with the advice but not the consent of an ad hoc presidential search committee, will choose our new president.

The choice of president for Towson is quite consequential since TU is becoming an even more significant university in Maryland and is growing toward a goal of over 25,000 undergraduate students, growth that President Caret has promised will proceed apace if and only if TU is supported financially commensurate with that growth. One factor inconsistent with this promise is that TU remains the least well funded major university in the University of Maryland System, a fact the president testified on in Annapolis this year, probably to no avail. Parenthetically, maybe it's time to stop the growth until promises are kept.

The Search Committee for the new president, which committee I have met during one of its many question and answer sessions, has a large percentage of higher educationally perspicacious members. Unfortunately, it contains as well one or two people who, due to their special agendas and self-serving motives and lack of knowledge as to what qualities are necessary in a president of a major research-intensive comprehensive university, should simply not have been chosen for this job. Fortunately, they are a small minority of the Committee.

The Committee also has a wonderful chair with excellent judgment, Ms. Louise Michaux Gonzales, a member of the University System Board of Regents who in addition demonstrates a discerning and unthreatened approach, and clearly knows how to conduct a search.

There are a number of issues pertaining to the search that deal with whether Towson will continue to produce excellent teachers (note to the higher education-challenged: TU, unlike many of its competitors, puts a major emphasis on its full-time faculty's teaching and rewards -- or used to reward -- its finest teachers for their superb skills in the classroom.)

Here are some issues -- by no means is this an exhaustive list -- by which candidates should be judged in their quest to become TU's next president:

1. As implied above, TU's identity has been inconsistently communicated to the university community for years. Are we a research-intensive university or not? How important is teaching? How important is research? What is the mission of Towson University?

2. What is the candidate’s view of shared governance between administration and faculty? There is a growing concern at TU that the tremendous cooperation that once marked the relationship between TU's administration and faculty has dissipated severely and continues to do so. Do the candidates intend to reestablish administrative respect for faculty opinion?

3. Towson's major athletic teams have fared poorly for a long time, yet we have a very promising athletic director and football coach, among others. Do the candidates pledge to finally allow Towson to create excellent athletic teams?

4. Advising for registration: this is a boring issue to those not on campus, but it is one of the most infuriating and consequential on campus -- for some. Again, Towson has been told that research and publication are important (good), but across campus there are departments which require up to 40 hours -- 40 hours -- of advising for registration per term, an activity that faculty, incidentally, simply does not do well. The top faculty member on campus in Linthicum Hall sits with 20 year-olds and tries to convince them that an 8 o'clock class "isn't the pits" and "doesn't suck." Faculty in some departments do no advising. I can tell you that no faculty member can dedicate himself or herself to dozens of hours of registration advising and be a top-notch faculty member. Why not hire more full-time advisors? Yes, that might be a good idea, if we were funded to do so.

5. A related problem is that the university inveigles many top faculty to come to TU

who expect to find more support for scholarly activities. What those faculty don't know is that there is a workload issue on campus that results in many of TU's colleges giving new faculty a lower teaching load their first three years and then making it almost impossible to get that research-encouraging load again unless they publish an exceptional amount. This workload policy, like advising, varies from college to college, and many resent what they regard as the administration’s lack of consistency on policy. Many of our aspirational and performance peer universities are moving away from requiring faculty to advise for registration (1. Cleveland State University 2. Portland State University 3. UNC, Charlotte 4. University of Akron). Would the new candidates insist on a consistent research-promoting workload policy and an end to mandatory "intentional advising?" Don't worry, dear reader; university personnel don't know what "intentional advising" is either.

I have taught at Towson University for almost 37 years. This university has done more for me than I could articulate even in a lengthy essay, but the university is making mistakes, and the attitude of some in the administration is to ignore them. An astute, shrewd and strong new president could constitute a great handoff from our current excellent president, fix the problems, and help move Towson University to the top of research-intensive, comprehensive universities.

These, as I said, are not the only issues, but they are critical ones.

Let's choose the right person, folks. Let Towson University continue to be great.

-----------------------------------------------

Richard E. Vatz is a faculty member in Mass Communication and Communication Studies at Towson University and is a member of Towson's University Senate.


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Red Maryland Update #10

A Red Maryland Update commentary by Mark Newgent and the insanity of Maryland Democrats.




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Listen to the return of Red Maryland radio below.


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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Red Maryland Radio: 3-24-2011

The first show (we think) was a great success. Take a listen for yourself if you weren't able to here us live...

Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio


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Get Ready....

Red Maryland Radio is on the air in 15 minutes. Log onto http://www.blogtalkradio.com/redmaryland to listen in!


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In Queen Anne's It's About Economic Growth

While I am loath to link to anything from Center Maryland that den of rent-seeking corporatists masquerading as a straight “news” site, this piece from Stevensville attorney Clayton Mitchell, Jr. is worth reading. Mitchell highlights the tough fiscal issues Queen Anne’s County faces as a result of anti economic growth policies pursued by the last set of county commissioners and the know nothing/no growth special interests, who pulled their strings.

On November 2, 2010, the Queen Anne’s County taxpayers said, “We are cutting government to the bone because we are tired of being pushed around”. We were pushed around when the preservationists shut down the Four Seasons development (and kept millions of additional property tax dollars from the County’s coffers) because the prior Commissioners lacked the political will to do what was socially and fiscally responsible in order make it happen.

The prior Commissioners were prepared to let a small vocal minority of protesters organize and prevent a multi-million dollar Federal training center from locating in the County – a project which would have yielded 500 new jobs, transferred in 500 additional taxpayers and which would have brought with it a catalyst to jump start and fuel the local economy. Because of the loss of these and other large economic development opportunities, the County consequently pushed us taxpayers to dig deeper and deeper into our pockets (every time our homes were re-assessed) to fund its penchant for ever more government services.

While I disagree with his call for tax hikes to fund county education budget—education spending cuts won’t hurt as much as he thinks—Mitchell is dead on here. I only wish he had mentioned that it was Governor O’Malley—whom Mitchell effusively praised—who cast a no vote against the Four Seasons project at the Board of Public Works. And, while I was not as sanguine about the federal training center (FASTC), there is no doubt a vocal minority of political bullies tossed their weight around and pulled the puppet strings attached to the previous commissioners.

Mitchell and I have our disagreements, but we both recognize the key for Queen Anne’s resurgence is economic growth. We must not let a small cadre of thugs stop the needed growth while frittering away our rights and prosperity on a bag of magic beans called “preservation.”


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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Red Maryland Radio Returns In 24 Hours

I honestly can barely contain the excitement that Red Maryland Radio is returning tomorrow night at 8 PM, broadcasting LIVE on BlogTalkRadio.

You can join myself, Greg Kline, and Mark Newgent tomorrow by logging on to http://www.blogtalkradio.com/redmaryland and listening in online.

And just to remind you about our all-star panel of guests for tomorrow's show:

  • Mark Kilmer from the Maryland Public Policy Institute on the Maryland Budget;
  • Delegate Mike Smigiel on Martin O'Malley's Environmental Agenda;
  • Doug Gill from the Baltimore Examiner on Public Sector Unions; and,
  • Rick Snider from the Washington Examiner on the NFL Lockout.

Don't forget that Red Maryland Radio, the flagship program on the Red Maryland Network, will be coming to you every Thursday at 8 PM!

Be sure to make it appointment listening!


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Red Maryland Update # 9

Brian Griffiths with a commentary asking, "Why do liberals hate the poor?"




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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Red Maryland Update # 8

Brian Griffiths uses an analogy regarding Governor O'Malley to make a point about the Governor's tax and budget policies....



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Monday, March 21, 2011

Conservative Refuge Podcast # 72


Jam packed with conservative goodness, its the Conservative Refuge Podcast!

In the first segment, host Greg Kline discusses the need to sell Maryland Public Television and get the state's taxpayers out of the broadcasting business.

In the second segment, a special guest interview with MDGOP Political Director Ryan Mahoney. Mr. Mahoney discusses the party's efforts to rebuild after 2010 and the strategy for victory in 2012.

In the final segment, a discussion of the investigation of Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold.













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Red Maryland Update # 7

Greg Kline provides a commentary on the Governor's failure to keep his campaign promise to reduce energy costs for working Marylanders.


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Friday, March 18, 2011

Red Maryland YouTube Channel

As part of our ongoing effort with Red Maryland Network to bring you more creative, multimedia content, I present to you the Red Maryland YouTube Channel. There you will find an archive of all our videos (more on the way).


Here's the last video we did about the arrests/convictions of several high profile Maryland Democratic politicians for corruption that the Maryland Democratic Party now conveniently no longer recognizes as Democrats.




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O'Malley Subsidies mean higher utility rates

Governor O’Malley wants to end a tax credit for Maryland’s coal industry. According to the Capital News Service, O’Malley’s budget proposes to eliminate the Maryland Mined Coal Credit, which gives energy producers a $3 per ton credit for procuring coal from Maryland mines. The 24 year-old tax credit is slated to end in 2020, the same year as a supply agreement with AES Warrior Run a Cumberland-based generation plant, which supplies power to PEPCO.

This is the third time O’Malley has tried to eliminate the credit.

O’Malley spokesman Shaun Adamec said incentives for fossil fuels is inconsistent with the governor’s policies.

Inconsistent indeed as O’Malley has lavished—at ratepayer expense—the renewable industry with generous subsidies and mandates. O’Malley increased Maryland’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) mandating utilities derive 20 percent of retail utility sales from renewable energy by 2022. Utilities must pay compliance penalties if they do not meet RPS goals. However, through cost recovery mechanisms they can bill ratepayers for those costs. In 2009, O’Malley created a special solar RPS carve out mandating utilities derive two percent of sales from solar power. O’Malley’s current proposal would require utilities enter into long term (25 year) contracts to purchase offshore wind power, guaranteeing customers for the firms vying for federal offshore wind development leases. O’Malley’s plan could also end up enriching his former staffers at even further expense of ratepayers.

Government subsidies for any industry are generally undesirable because they distort the market for the product. However, if we’re stuck with government subsidies given the higher costs of generating and transmitting renewables shouldn’t they be targeted to the more cost efficient energy sources?

According to Energy Information Administration data, renewables get billions of dollars in government subsidies over coal, and federal subsidies for solar and wind are $24 and $23 per megawatt hour respectively, while coal is less than half a dollar. Even with $30 billion in federal stimulus cash the wind industry could not stand on its own. Tellingly, a big player in the wind industry admitted that the industry “cannot exist without the federal production tax credit.”

All of this taxpayer money goes to produce about one percent of our energy needs. Renewable energy, wind in particular, is the new ethanol.

Furthermore, the tangible results of subsidizing these green panaceas have been less than advertised just ask Spain and Germany.

O’Malley touts his offshore wind proposal a job creator, but for whom? Stimulus cash for wind projects ended up going to Chinese manufacturers. The only way it appears O’Malley can attract wind turbine manufacturing jobs to Maryland is with the enticement of even more taxpayer money. If the importance of governors creating jobs is as paramount as O’Malley now preaches, is he not concerned with the jobs Western Maryland—a region of the state hit hardest by the recession—will lose?

It is true as Adamec stated, incentivizing cost-efficient energy sources is not consistent with O’Malley’s policies. However, those policies are inconsistent with the campaign promises of lowering utility rates, which first propelled him to the governor’s mansion.


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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Red Maryland Update #6 (St. Patrick's Day)

A special St. Patrick's Day commentary by Brian Griffiths discussing our favorite would be Irish rocker/Governor.








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Red Maryland Update # 5


Greg Kline shares a commentary on the efforts to repeal the death penalty and to ease the release of criminals serving life sentences.



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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Appearance on The Right Hook

I appeared on tonight's episode of The Right Hook, the official radio show of the New York State Young Republicans tonight, talking about YR stuff, the Red Maryland Network, and making jokes at the expense of Martin O'Malley. Listen to the whole thing, but if you want to start with my portion forward to about 35 minutes into the show.

Much thanks to John Brodigan and Lynn Krogh for having me on!



Listen to internet radio with The Right Hook on Blog Talk Radio



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Conservative Refuge Podcast # 71


Chocked full of conervative goodness, its the Conservative Refuge Podcast! In this intallment a discussion of hot issues in the 2011 Maryland General Assembly.
In the first segment, host Greg Kline exposes the efforts to simultaneously repeal the death penalty and to make it easier to release murderers sentenced to life in prison.

In the second segment, an analysis of the MDGOP alternative budget proposal. Can fiscal responsibility carry the day in Annapolis and have the Republicans gone far enough in cutting wasteful spending? Listen in and decide for yourself.

In the final segment, we open the "Fat Files" and reveal the truth about the proposed "snack tax."

Greg Kline
Host, Conservative Refuge Podcast




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Red Maryland Update #4 Have a Drink on Me

A Red Maryland Update commentary by Mark Newgent. The only thing worth a dime is Vinny DeMarco's propaganda.



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Monday, March 14, 2011

Red Maryland Radio RETURNS

You can't keep a good thing down forever. Two and a half years after we left the airwaves of WAMD, Red Maryland Radio is BACK starting next week.

The great return is Thursday, March 24th at 8 PM LIVE and online at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/redmaryland. The first episode back sees a three man booth of myself, Greg Kline, and Mark Newgent, and we have an all-star panel of guests:

  • Mark Kilmer from the Maryland Public Policy Institute on the Maryland Budget;
  • Delegate Mike Smigiel on Martin O'Malley's Environmental Agenda;
  • Doug Gill from the Baltimore Examiner on Public Sector Unions; and,
  • Rick Snider from the Washington Examiner on the NFL Lockout.
Red Maryland Radio is the flagship program on the Red Maryland Network and will be coming to you every Thursday at 8 PM, a long with other shows from Red Maryland contributors.

Spread the word and tune in next Thursday!


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Running on Empty

Maryland’s pension system will run out of money in the year 2024, according to a recent study by economist Joshua Rauh of Northwestern University and the National Bureau of Economic Research (see Table 1 pg. 26). Rauh’s analysis—as do most state pension systems including Maryland—assumes an eight percent return.

However, over the last decade Maryland’s pension system has seen only a two percent return, meaning the pension fund could run dry earlier than 2024. Even though the system saw a 14 percent return for the last six months of 2010, it lost $11 billion between 2007-2009.

The aggregate liability for state pension systems is $3 billion. Maryland’s pension system fun liability is $18 billion. Rauh argues that if sates want to remedy the problem—assuming the eight percent return—they would have add an additional $75 billion annually.

In addition to the pension fund problem, Maryland’s liability for retiree healthcare is $16 billion. All together, Maryland taxpayers are on the hook for over $6,000 each for state employee pensions and healthcare benefits.

Governor Martin O’Malley’s has put forth a modest reform proposal, yet the state public sector unions are opposing it. Patrick Moran, head of the Maryland chapter of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees said, “We're going to fight like hell against it."

AFSCME and other public sector unions are marching on Annapolis tonight to protest O’Malley’s plan and reductions in planned increases to education spending. Those unions are one of the most powerful political special interests in the state, contributing millions to Maryland’s one-party Democratic rulers.

Taxpayers are now acutely aware of the shakedown those unions have perpetrated, and the true costs of subsidizing their political power. They are demanding reform. The public sector unions know it, but like Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, they “will not go gentle into that good night.”

This video from the Manhattan Institute, a free market think tank, explicates the shakedown.





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Red Maryland Update #3

A Red Maryland Update commentary by Mark Newgent on the crocodile tears shed by public sector unions and why taxpayers will no longer subsidize their political power.







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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Red Maryland Bracket Challenge

Because all work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy, we've created a bracket challenge for Red Maryland writers and readers.

This link should take you there. If not, go to Yahoo Fantasy Sports, and enter our group ID number: 86869


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Fight the Power

The Maryland Conservative Action Network (MCAN) is putting together a counter rally to the scheduled public sector union tantrum in Annapolis Monday night. The counter rally will take place from 6pm-8pm Monday March 14 across the street from Lawyers Mall.


Perhaps AFSCME's Patrick Moran will have his facts straight this time.

Get there early as the Mayor of Annapolis will shut down Rowe Blvd to allow the unions to march from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium to Lawyers Mall.

The indefatigable Ann Corcoran has all the details at the Potomac Tea Party Report.

Bring your video cameras and obey Dalton's Rule #3: Be nice.


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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Red Maryland Network Update # 2


A Red Maryland commentary by Brian Griffiths. Click the icon to listen.

For all of the Red Maryland Network offerings visit:

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Did you hear it?

The Brian Griffiths Show made its debut tonight as an experimental show and the first live show on the RedMaryland Network.

Listen to internet radio with Brian Griffiths on Blog Talk Radio


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Maryland Democrats and their Situational Ethics

As I've noted multiple times, I'm a supporter of gay marriage. And yes I'm disappointed that the bill isn't going to pass this year.

With all of that being said, I'm even more disappointed in the Maryland Democratic Party. Why? Because it was the efforts of Democrats in the Maryland House of Delegates that torpedoed the gay marriage bill today. It is because of Maryland's Democrats that gay couples still do not have the right to marry in Maryland. It is the fault of Mike Busch that he was either incapable or chose not to whip the votes into place to pass this legislation given the overwhelming Democratic majority in the House of Delegates.

Now when the Republicans do something like this which offends the liberal sensibilities at the Congressional or state level, the Democrats start bombarding the media with press releases and statements that contain words like "immoral", "bigotry", "hatred".

Yet today there is nary a peep of condemnation from the Maryland Democratic Party. Their website barely mentions gay marriage. Their Twitter feed mentions the debate, but not the outcome. Even party apparatchik Matt Verghese who is never shy with throwing up a misguided rhetorical bomb talks about the need for resolve but seems to place no blame.

So at this point, I suppose that the question needs to be asked; why won't the Maryland Democratic Party condemn those Democratic members of the House of Delegates as bigots, as they would condemn Republicans if this situation were reversed?

We know that the Democrats in Maryland have situational ethics. This is just a sad, sad example of them in action...


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Red Maryland Network Update # 1

Brian Griffiths provides a Red Maryland commentary on the issues being ignored during the debate on gay marriage.



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Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Refuge Podcast Is Back!

As part of our new Red Maryland Network, the Refuge is back and better than ever! Greg talks about where the show has been and where it is going. The blogger roundtable discusses the gay marriage bill and how it might affect Maryland politics in the years to come. In the final segment, we discuss the launching of the Red Maryland Network.

Listen now by clicking here.








BTW, the very latest on the gay marriage debate is that the vote is extremely close. I have heard from multiple sources close the situation that Republican Delegate Bob Costa (R-33B) is considering changing his vote and voting for the measure. I spoke with Delegate Costa the other day and he gave every indication of voting against the measure along with his colleagues. Unfortunately, Delegate Costa has a habit of changing his mind and could probably use a friendly phone call to remind him that anything he is being offered to vote for this bill won't be enough.

Call him at

(410) 841-3551, (301) 858-3551
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3551 (toll free)

You may want to drop him an email encouraging him to stick with the caucus and vote against bill. bob.costa@house.state.md.us


More below the fold.

"Basically just a set of welfare programs..."

That's the perfect distillation from Cal State Fullerton economist Robert Michaels in this Reason.TV video about the subsidies and mandates for renewable energy, especially wind power.



Remember Martin O'Malley has set out to make Maryland the California of the east. California is a progressive state at war with itself. O'Malley's offshore wind proposal--like his making Maryland a signatory to RGGI, his increase of Maryland's RPS mandate, and his solar RPS carve out--is a corporate welfare boondoggle, the costs of which will be borne by the ratepayers.


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MARYLAND LEGISLATURE HEARS BILL TO LEGALIZE LAWSUIT LOAN SHARKING


By Todd Dallas Lamb-

Last week in the Maryland House Judiciary committee, arguments were heard on the Maryland Civil Litigation Funding Act (H.B. 873), a bill that would legalize lawsuit lending in Maryland.

Lawsuit lending is a misleading practice that harms consumers and preys on people when they are at their weakest – such as someone injured in an accident and struggling to pay medical bills. Lawsuit lenders use Internet advertising to target cash-strapped plaintiffs, offering fast and easy access to loans. They give plaintiffs advance payments with the expectation that those plaintiffs will receive a large award from their lawsuit. But while these lenders claim to offer financial help, their fees are often so high that consumers who use their services end up with nothing or – even worse – end up in debt even after receiving their lawsuit award or settlement.

This practice was recently highlighted in a New York Times story excoriating the practice. This piece was mentioned during the hearing on HB 873 by Delegate Luiz Simmons in his withering questioning of the proponents of the bill.

Indeed, in many cases, lawsuit lending can be considered outright loan sharking. Although these lenders may market their services as investments, they are really selling what amount to very-high-interest rate loans. The high rates charged by lawsuit lenders can deplete a court award intended to compensate a victim. While a lawsuit is supposed to be about making an injured party whole, these loans are designed to make lawsuit lenders rich and allow them to walk away with the money. The loans can also lead to inflated court awards because a consumer burdened with debt to a lawsuit lender may be unable to accept a fair settlement.

Lawsuit lending is essentially illegal in Maryland, and with good reason. In August 2009, Oasis Legal Finance, one of the largest lawsuit lending companies in the country, entered into a consent order with the Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation in which Oasis agreed to stop doing business in the state and pay a fine of $105,000. The Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation issued a Cease and Desist order for Oasis to stop doing business in the state after receiving complaints that the company was offering loans to Maryland consumers without licenses required under Maryland law. H.B. 873 is an effort to legalize the predatory lending model of Oasis and other members of the American Legal Finance Association, which pushed similar bills in seven states last year, including Maryland, and is currently actively lobbying legislatures in at least four states this year.

Lawsuit lending hurts consumers when they are most vulnerable. The only people it helps are predatory lenders seeking to profit by charging outrageously high fees and rates that violate the Maryland Constitution. This bill deserves to die a quick death in committee.


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