Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Red Maryland Radio this week

We've got a lot to talk about this week on Red Maryland Radio Thursday Night at 8. Topics will include:

  • Brian Murphy made his announcement about his U.S. Senate Candidate, former Secret Service Agent Daniel Bongino. Bongino joins us at 8:05;
  • The Robocall Grand Jury has called witnesses, including former Governor Bob Ehrlich. We'll discuss the case.
  • And, we've got more to talk about the 2012 Presidential Election;
All that and more this week. Be sure to listen Thursday Night at 8, on the Red Maryland Network.......and don't forget that you can subscribe to the Red Maryland Network on iTunes.

More below the fold.

LIve coverage of Petition Press Conference

Webcam chat at Ustream

More below the fold.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Maryland Catholic Conference supports the Dream Act

The Maryland Catholic Conference is the lobbying arm of the Catholic Church in the Maryland region. Per its website, it describes itself:

“The Maryland Catholic Conference advocates for the Church's public policy positions before the Maryland General Assembly and other civil officials. The Conference represents all three dioceses with territory in the state - the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington - and is directed by a Board of Governors that includes all of Maryland's bishops.”

I have been getting reports from many people telling me about postings in their Catholic church’s bulletins regarding the Dream Act. For full article, click here.

More below the fold.

O'Malley Whiffs on Christie RGGI Criticism

From my Washington Examiner Local Opinion Zone post

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (D) took another swipe this week at his bête noire Chris Christie the Republican Governor of New Jersey. O’Malley slammed Christie for withdrawing New Jersey from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multistate cap and trade compact with the ostensible goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Under RGGI power producers buy emission allowances at auction to power, states then use the proceeds to subsidize renewable energy and efficiency programs. Utilities pass on costs to ratepayers

"This program is not effective in reducing greenhouse gases and is unlikely to be in the future," Christie said. "The whole system is not working as it was intended to work. It’s a failure."

In a statement O’Malley said “I reject his assertion that the initiative is ineffective in reducing greenhouse gases…Governor Christie is simply wrong when he claims that these efforts are a failure. Here in Maryland, RGGI has avoided dangerous carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to taking nearly 3,500 cars off the road.”

However, RGGI’s record supports Christie’s claim, because in reality it is a political Potemkin village masquerading as a policy initiative.

As one RGGI insider noted:

I do not think RGGI cap was set to reduce emissions because that wasn’t the
purpose of RGGI. At the start of the RGGI process there was a tacit understanding amongst the participants that the real goal of RGGI was to develop the framework for a CO2 cap and trade program that could be used as a model for a national program. After all, the unstated reality is that it could never hope to actually have any impact on global warming.
Indeed, as the New York Times noted as RGGI took effect:

So auction demand may be weak at the start, with millions of allowances the states planned to sell not immediately needed. And with the cap on emissions most likely to be higher, at least initially, than the plants’ actual carbon-dioxide output, it may be many months before utilities have an incentive to cut pollution…

“The supply of allowances is more than what the market needs,” said Milo Sjardin, head of the North America division of New Carbon Finance, a research and analysis firm. “Prices are not going to be high, not for the foreseeable future.” He also noted that the market was also “not going to produce a lot of emission reductions” as long as the supply of allowances outstrips utilities’ need.

Since trading began, the cost of RGGI allowances has dropped from $5.58 per ton to the preset floor of $1.86 per ton.

Even The New Jersey Star Ledger—no fan of Christie—admitted contrary to O’Malley’s claim, “emissions dropped of their own accord, due to the economic slowdown and the discovery of new supplies of cleaner natural gas.”

Furthermore, O’Malley lacks credibility on the issue given he raided some RGGI funds to help balance this fiscal year’s budget.

Unlike RGGI a federal cap and trade program, like the failed Waxman-Markey bill would be economically ruinous. The Heritage Foundation estimated that had Waxman-Markey passed Maryland would lose over 31,000 jobs and see a $2.7 billion reduction in gross state product by 2012 as a result.

While the rest of the nation is safe from cap and trade—for the moment—Marylanders are not as O’Malley has pressed ahead with an equally ruinous carbon reduction plan, which purports to reduce emissions 25 percent below 2006 levels by 2020 without having an adverse effect on jobs or the state economy. O’Malley proposes to achieve these impossible goals through cumbersome taxes, fees, regulations and, cap and trade.

O’Malley’s reaction only serves to reiterate Christie’s point that RGGI is a cheap façade used to create support for a larger cap and trade boondoggle.

More below the fold.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Red Maryland Radio: 5-26-2011

Check out this week's show, where we discuss:;

Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio

More below the fold.

Another Disastrous Sentence Mitigation for Maryland

--Richard E. Vatz

Maryland's generally liberal ethic has always extended to its criminal justice system.

How do Marylanders react when felonious actors are rewarded with verdicts exculpating them from responsibility from horrible acts?

Mostly with a yawn; after all, very few Marylanders will ever experience violence for which the perpetrator will, pace judges who sympathize with criminals and psychiatrists who mystify juries and courts with their psychojargon, serve no time in prison and/or will gain early freedom.
Latest case in point (credit The Baltimore Sun's Andrea F. Siegel for the following factual basis and quotes): A Crofton teenager, David B. Raszewski, has his 50-year sentence for raping a 7-year-old cut to 20 years -- and it may effectively be cut in half again to allow him parole before he is 30.

Why? Try to understand the rationale:

The premeditated outrage -- including Raszewski's enticing the little girl to his house and then raping her, followed by his trying to bribe her to ensure her silence -- was mostly forgiven by three Anne Arundel County judges who should be impeached for such a dereliction of duty.

What did the judges cite as mitigating factors? The rapist's youth, lack of prior record (want to bet whether he has committed similar atrocities before?), and post-arrest diagnosis of "atypical autism." "Atypical" is added to psychiatric diagnoses to make them compatible with their lack of correspondence to accepted behavioral symptomatology. Moreover, there is no evidence that this heinous act was uncontrollable or that Raszewski didn't know what he was doing (not even alleged by the defense). The judges, including Paul F. Harris and Pamela L. North, wrote that the attacker had "a fantastical view of sexuality." Ergo, what? Largely excuse those who rape children unless they have a well-adjusted view of sexuality?

The family of the victim and the victim are apoplectic and forever scared and scarred. Ten years until the criminal is free -- how reassuring. How sensitive the judges must be toward the permanent terror experienced by a little girl just starting life.

After release Raszewski will receive "therapy and psychiatric care." Show Marylanders the evidence that such coddling results in a cessation of sexual assault. There is no such compelling case that can be made.

This is yet another case of psychiatric/judicial get-out-of-jail early cards.

It can happen only when a state's population and legislative representatives condone it by inaction.

Professor Vatz has written for decades on psychiatry and criminality

More below the fold.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Illegal immigrants can get tax funded tuition without ever paying income taxes

The Dream Act, which grants in-state tuition to Maryland colleges to illegal immigrants, has a set of criteria required to qualify.

The main requirements include that the individual:

  • attended a secondary school in Maryland for at least three years
  • received a high school diploma or equivalent in Maryland
  • registers to attend a community college in Maryland not earlier than the fall 2011 semester
  • they or their parents file a Maryland income tax return for at least three consecutive years

The media has been repeatedly and incorrectly saying that the requirements state they must have PAID taxes. Unfortunately and not surprisingly, this is false information. For full article, see here.

More below the fold.

Rough Start for O'Malley at DGA

My latest Washington Examiner Local Opinion Zone blog post

With political aspirations far beyond his home state, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (D) will be judged on how well he performs his chief duty as Chair of the Democratic Governors Association: electing Democratic governors. So far O’Malley is off to an inauspicious start.
In what appears to be shaping up as the main gubernatorial battleground this fall in Kentucky, O’Malley’s horse in the race, incumbent Steve Beshear, has run into early trouble.

At least twice in recent years, Gov. Steve Beshear's office called the Kentucky Retirement Systems to suggest meetings with two of the governor's Democratic political supporters who were working on behalf of private investment

The supporters were Mark Guilfoyle, a Northern Kentucky lawyer and lobbyist who helped lead Beshear's 2007 transition team, and Jill Daschle, wife of the then-executive director of the Democratic Governors Association and daughter-in-law of former U.S. Senate leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D...

Unlike those previously identified, Guilfoyle and Daschle have ties to Beshear, his senior staff and other Kentucky Democratic politicians.

Guilfoyle, who was an aide to Democratic Gov. Brereton Jones, and his wife have given at least $61,000 in political donations since 1998, including checks to Beshear and the Kentucky Democratic Party. He has been a Democratic Party leader and campaign strategist.

In 2007, Guilfoyle led Beshear's transition team at the Finance and Administration
Cabinet, where he got to know Burnside, the outgoing finance secretary under Gov. Ernie Fletcher, according to interviews with Guilfoyle and Burnside. Burnside then took charge of KRS.

Do Kentuckians still believe O’Malley’s statement that they can “trust” Steve Beshear?

In addition to Kentucky, there are three gubernatorial contests this year in West Virginia, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Louisiana and Mississippi are considered locks for Republicans. The DGA didn’t bother to mention these two states in an early April fundraising email.

Larry Sabato lists West Virginia special election a toss-up and considers incumbent Democrat acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin vulnerable. Tomblin assumed the governorship after former governor Joe Manchin won a special U.S. Senate election after the death of Robert Byrd. Early polling has Tomblin leading Republican Bill Maloney, but the same poll also shows a nine-point drop in his approval rating.

In late March, O’Malley appeared to be recruiting Fayard, a former Lt. Governor candidate, to challenge Louisiana’s incumbent Bobby Jindal (R), until news surfaced of ugly comments she made about Republicans at a Democratic banquet

"I hate Republicans. I hate Republicans. They are cruel and destructive. They eat their young. They don't think. They don't allow people to think. They are bullies."

In fact, this isn’t too far away from the rhetorical Republican straw men O’Malley often sets ablaze.

Fayard has now announced she’s running for Louisiana Secretary of State.

O’Malley appears more interested in the press he receives from picking fights with Republican governors Chris Christie in New Jersey and Scott Walker in Wisconsin, than fulfilling his duty as DGA chief. Not necessarily the best contrast to be drawing, given Christie and Walker stand up for taxpayers in their states against powerful public sector employee unions, whereas O’Malley has gone out of his way to criticize his own budget in order to placate the same powerful special interests in Maryland.

If West Virginia and especially Kentucky go Republican, O’Malley’s national ambitions will be diminished. However, given his irresponsible stewardship of Maryland, that may not be such a bad thing.

More below the fold.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Red Maryland Radio this week

We've got a lot to talk about this week on Red Maryland Radio Thursday Night at 8. Topics will include:

  • Campaigns and Elections Magazine rated the top 100 Influencers in Maryland Politics. We made the list, but who's there, who should be there, and who shouldn't be there? We'll discuss;
  • Brian Murphy will be making an announcement on Thursday about a potential U.S. Senate Candidate? We'll talk about what he talked about;
  • Also, we've got more to talk about the 2012 Presidential Election;
  • And we will also discuss the passing of Daniel Vovak (make sure to read Alan Brody's story in the Gazette if you have not done so already).
Be sure to listen Thursday Night at 8, on the Red Maryland Network.......and don't forget that you can subscribe to the Red Maryland Network on iTunes.

More below the fold.

Petition sponsors against Dream Act have until Tuesday to submit signatures

The Dream Act was passed in the last session by Maryland legislators and signed in a very public media event by Governor O’Malley. It grants tax funded tuition to Maryland colleges to illegal immigrants through the in-state tuition program.

Opponents are exercising their only recourse, a petition to referendum, meaning they are gathering petition signatures in order to have the bill placed on the ballot in 2012 so the voters can decide. It is their hope that the citizens of Maryland will vote to overturn the law.

Read full article here...

More below the fold.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Daniel Vovak RIP

Montgomery County political activist/prankster Daniel Vovak died this past weekend at the age of 39. Vovak announced he was in late Stage IV of an undiagnosed cancer last December.

A member of the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee, Vovak ran unsuccessfully for various offices including President, United States Senate (in both Maryland and Illinois) Montgomery County Executive, and Chair of the Maryland Republican Party.

However, Vovak will be remembered most for wearing an 18th century style wig, an affectation, which garnered more attention than any of his policy proposals. Vovak stated wore the wig to evoke the Republican Party's roots in the Whig Party, even though the wearing of wigs as a socio-political status symbol was abandoned in the century prior to the advent of the Whig Party.

Whether it was pretending to be the campaign manager of South Carolina Democratic Senate candidate Alvin Greene, his comedy film project about the Monica Lewinsky scandal the Blue Dress, or any of his sundry political stunts, we at Red Maryland didn’t take him seriously, and he was often antagonistic towards us.

Still, to be felled at such a young age is a tragedy, our my prayers are with his family and friends.

“He could be maddening at times,” said Andrew Langer, president of the Institute for Liberty and Queen Anne’s County Central Committee member. "Yet, given what he said at the convention several weeks ago, perhaps his legacy ought to be that the time has come for Maryland Republicans to put their pecuniary interests aside and focus on the real goal: winning elections."


More below the fold.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Red Maryland Radio: 5-19-2011

We talk taxes, Special Session, Preakness, and with YRNF Chair Lisa Sticakn:

Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio

More below the fold.

What About the Shore Governor?

From my latest at Washington Examiner Local Opinion Zone

Over the last two days tornadoes reportedly hit Maryland’s Eastern Shore, yet not a word of caution or concern from Governor Martin O’Malley (D).

On Wednesday a tornado and water spout were spotted near Oxford Maryland in Talbot County, and Thursday afternoon several reports indicated tornadoes hitting northern Queen Anne’s County.

A look at O’Malley’s Twitter feed during the height of Wednesday’s severe storm shows he was more concerned about counties on the western side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge under a tornado watch rather than the folks on the Eastern Shore under a similar warning.

During Thursday’s tornado warnings, O’Malley was too busy touting the taxpayer subsidized General Motors plant and the 200 jobs, which cost taxpayers $577,500 each.

Over the last two years O’Malley has proposed a ban septic systems from new developments, which disproportionately affects the Eastern Shore’s economy; his central planners picked the Eastern Shore as a loser on future economic growth; he shuttered the Upper Shore Community Mental Health Center, and his transportation authority is set to impose drastic toll increases for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, effecting many of the commuters and who live in Queen Anne’s County.

Eastern Shore counties voted against O’Malley in 2006 and 2010.

O’Malley’s neglect merely reinforces the perception that he is punishing his enemies and rewarding his friends. It also gives more credence to what Eastern Shore legislators Senator EJ Pipkin (R) and Delegate Mike Smigiel (R) call O’Malley’s war on rural Maryland.

More below the fold.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sign the Petition

There is an effort underway to have a state-wide referendum on the subject of giving in-state tuition rates to criminals illegal aliens. The referendum, if passed, would bar the state from giving giving this preferential tuition rate to people who have no legal right to be in the United States and who cannot legally be employed in the United States even if they complete their degree work.

This should be a no-brainer. Really. But it isn't. I say this because if there is any place on the face of the earth that a no-brainer should find a home it would be Annapolis and the General Assembly could not bring itself to vote in favor of supporting US immigration law.

This idea in gaining traction even in Montgomery County. If there is one thing that we should all be able to agree on it is that we should not reward people who have broken the law. And we certainly shouldn't give financial preference to illegal aliens to the disadvantage of American citizens and legal residents.

Anyway, the deadline for the petition drive is May 31. Go to MDPetitions and sign yours today.

It is easy and your voice will be heard.

More below the fold.

From the Red Maryland Video Vault

In honor of former PG County Executive Jack Johnson pleading guilty to extortion and tampering we pulled out of the vault this ode to Maryland Democratic corruption.

Stay classy MD Dems!

More below the fold.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Red Maryland Radio this week

We're back live Thursday Night on The Red Maryland Network. This week:

  • We talk about the upcoming special session of the General Assembly, particularly as it relates to the discussion surrounding the gas tax;
  • With the Preakness coming up this week, we discuss the state of Horse Racing in Maryland;
  • We talk with Young Republican National Federation Chairman Lisa Stickan who is seeking re-election this year to a full term (Full Disclosure: she's running on a ticket with somebody you've heard of);
  • And even more discussion of the 2012 Presidential Election.
Be sure to listen Thursday Night at 8, on the Red Maryland Network.......and don't forget that you can subscribe to the Red Maryland Network on iTunes!

More below the fold.

WJZ's Slant Oil Reporting Project

Watch this WJZ transcribed press release from Ben Cardin’s press office report, which Cardin’s office probably has on a DVR replay loop.

Parroting Democratic talking points about Big Oil and their hefty campaign contributions makes for a nice lead on the 6:00 news, but as for informing their viewers…not so much.

Left out of this “report” is the fact that a Congressional Research Service report on President Obama's own plan to raise taxes on the oil companies would in fact lead to higher gas prices.

The proposals also would make oil and natural gas more expensive for U.S. consumers and likely increase foreign dependence.

Curious isn’t it that
Ben “energy independence” Cardin would back a similar plan, which would only make us more dependent on foreign sources. You’d figure WJZ would think that would be news!

If WJZ had been busy paying attention instead of transcribing, they would have known that two of Cardin’s Democratic colleagues doused that pile of overheated rhetoric with a splash of common sense.

Take Alaska’s Mark Begich – who has a facebook page for Alaskans to post photos of high gas prices – and Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu, for instance. Today on the Senate floor the two teed off on their fellow Democrats for pushing this measure & for holding tomorrow’s Finance Committee hearing with the Big Oil bosses.

“Instead of addressing the problem with specific solutions, they are going for headlines by dragging energy company executives before committees or proposing roadblock incentives for increased domestic energy consumption, some of which have been on the books for decades. Let's stop the headline-grabbing and get serious about energy security,” railed Begich.

“This is a piece of legislation they put down without a committee process. It is a gimmick, a gimmick to get through the next week of activity, get some press out there,” he said later, arguing that Democratic leaders were only pushing the bill for a “good political score” and “good fodder for the newsprint.”

“You ask me, ‘Can I vote for a bill like this?’ No. Not only can I not vote for it, it's laughable,” added Landrieu. “And I mean, I know we're going to be the skunks at the garden party because for Democrats to be against this bill it's because we coddle this industry. I don't coddle this industry.”

Instead, WJZ helped reignite a Democratic straw man.

Since WJZ is now so concerned about well heeled political contributors, perhaps they should look at Ben Cardin’s top contributors (trial lawyers, Goldman Sachs, Constellation Energy) and investigate what legislation he’s supporting or opposing on their behalf.

More below the fold.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Baltimore Sun's Unintended Argument Against State Renewable Portfolio Standard

Looks like more than one post went down the Google Blogspot memory hole.

In arguing for Governor Martin O’Malley (D) to veto a bill qualifying energy derived from waste incineration a Tier 1 source under Maryland’s renewable portfolio standard, The Baltimore Sun inadvertently made the case against O’Malley’s offshore wind bill it supported during the past legislative session, and reveals the shell game that is the RPS program.

But relatively high prices for Tier 1 renewable credits could make the difference in whether other projects, such as wind farms, get built because they help guarantee investors would get a sufficient return. That's similar to the theory behind Governor O'Malley's failed wind bill this year, which would have forced the Public Service Commission to require that power companies enter into long-term contracts for wind energy. Including incinerators as Tier 1 renewable resources would dilute the value of the credits and, effectively, push energy policy in the opposite direction of the wind bill.

The proponents of the legislation are right to point out the problems with landfills — both in terms of methane emissions and in the sustainability of continuing to store so much trash in them. But this bill is not about landfills, it is about increasing subsidies for an environmentally ambiguous activity that would have occurred anyway, while at the same time reducing the incentives to create other, cleaner power sources…

The Sun editorialist leaves out the fact that the law’s graduated percentage increases automatically builds in higher prices for Tier 1 renewable energy credits. As the mandate increases over time so does the price of credits, which is why the Public Service Commission found that renewable energy facilities were banking 90 percent of their renewable energy credits for sale in future years. Like the would be wind barons pushing for O’Malley’s wind mandate, renewable energy generators are already chasing the subsidies, the costs of which, the Sun admits are passed on to ratepayers.

Also, O’Malley has manipulated the law over the last three years to ensure higher prices for renewable energy credits for his favored forms of energy.

The 2010 Public Service Commission report on the RPS program revealed that O’Malley’s increase in of the RPS mandate to 22 percent by 2020 and geographic restrictions on energy sources when he first took office, increased demand and reduced supply and therefore put upward pressure on the price of renewable energy credits.

Even though solar constituted less than 0.2% of the renewable energy credits used to satisfy the mandate in 2009, O’Malley backed a successful bill the next year increasing the RPS solar requirement, even though PSC reports indicated that alternative compliance payments were “the predominate compliance method used by electricity suppliers” to satisfy the solar carve out.

O’Malley’s wind farms aren’t the “cleaner” power source the Sun fell all over itself to support during the legislative session. Wind power is intermittent by nature and utilities must continually cycle their coal and gas fired plants for backup. Bentek Energy’s analysis of Colorado and Texas power plants showed that use of wind power in fact, increased carbon dioxide emissions due to the constant cycling of fossil fuel backup generation.

Furthermore, Maryland utilities have been satisfying RPS requirements with “dirty” sources of energy like black liquor mixed with diesel (which paper mills burn to get even more lucrative federal subsidies) and waste wood projects. Where's the Sun's opprobrium for this violation of the spirit of the RPS law?

If the Sun thinks subsidy chasing for a form of polluting energy it does not like is bad policy, then where is the virtue in supporting subsidies for a polluting energy source it favors?

More below the fold.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

"60 Minutes'" Best and Worst Interviewers: Scott Pelley/Steve Kroft and Katie Couric

-- Richard E. Vatz

Towson University is going to be honored by having Scott Pelley as Commencement speaker later this month.

The reason this columnist is so pleased is that Scott Pelley is one of the best -- and maybe the best -- interviewers on serious news shows in mainstream television. "60 Minutes'" Pelleyan colleague Steve Kroft is also superb. Katie Couric, no fool, is, nonetheless, out of her league when she interviews serious newsmakers. She, of course, will soon be replaced by Mr. Pelley as anchor of the CBS Evening News.

I have been teaching the craft of interviewing for decades as part of my courses in Communication Studies at Towson. I have stressed the need for follow-up questions which reflect the interviewer's keeping his or her eye on the interviewing ball. Any interviewer can ask good initial questions, but keeping the interviewee focused on points-in-question is an art. As critical as follow-up questions are, it is important to emphasize that an interviewer should not press repeatedly for an unanswered response, so as to have his/her interviewing technique become the story.

I shall not list in this blog all of the good and bad interviewers on mainstay television news (I shall say that Howard Kurtz is usually excellent, Christiane Amanpour is excellent really without exception, and Barbara Walters is almost always terrible -- she cannot ask a follow-up to save her life, but she has prided herself on that very talent). The paradox is that bad interviewers often get some of the best interviewees because they (the interviewers) do not pose a genuine threat of unmasking a sophisticated interviewee.

"60 Minutes," good in the past (some of Ed Bradley's interviews still serve as models for my classes), has two standouts in Pelley and Kroft and several additional excellent interviewers currently. They also have the aforementioned Katie Couric who, again, is bright but seemingly just out of her element. They also have Andy Rooney who was once good, but is now so lacking in valuable new insights as to be an embarrassment.

Ms. Couric interviewed Defense Secretary Robert Gates tonight. There was a lack of well-thought-out questions, but there was a simply awful moment as well. Secretary Gates said that President Obama's decision to allow the Navy Seals to kill Osama bin Laden was one of the most "courageous" acts he had witnessed by a president due to the uncertainty, consequences and risks of the attack. Interviewer Couric never asks why it was "courageous" since avoiding the action could have destroyed the president's credibility if it were known that he missed such an opportunity. Ordering the attack showed the president has a good mind, not that he has guts. Just a seriously deficient interview all around.

Mr. Pelley's exquisite interview in 2008 of George Piro, the FBI agent who himself interviewed with an agenda Saddam Hussein, and his other interviews, such as that of Lara Logan, have been models of how to conduct an interview. I went through the Piro and Logan interviews with my classes, and none of us could find a major missing probe or a moment of tastelessness.

The skilled practice of interviewing significant people is complicated and requires a multitude of rhetorical skills as well as great preparation.

Scott Pelley, Towson's College of Fine Arts and Communication Commencement speaker, is one of the very best, and Towson University, which has not had an abundance of exquisite choices, has now made a perfect choice.

Richard E. Vatz teaches an advanced class of Media Criticism at Towson University

More below the fold.

Friday, May 13, 2011

ACORN Back in MD, But Did it Ever Really Leave?

This post from yesterday somehow disappeared down the Blogspot memory hole. Here it is again.

Matthew Vadum of the Capital Research Center warned that despite filing for bankruptcy, the discredited community-organizing group ACORN has not gone away. Rather they are reorganizing hoping no one will notice.

ACORN seems back in Maryland. According to the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation ACORN Housing Corporation Inc. reorganized under the name Affordable Housing Centers of America in February 2010.

Acorn Reformation

State documents also show that Affordable Housing Centers of America also filed to do business in Maryland as a foreign corporation. The reorganization documents list the address for principal office for Affordable Housing Centers of America as 5460 Midwood Ave. Baltimore MD, which according to a Google Map search is a residential address. Affordable Housing Center of America’s website lists its Maryland office address as 1800 North Charles St., Baltimore MD.

That state records show ACORN reorganized in February 2010 casts doubt on the veracity of former ACORN state co-chair Sonja Merchant-Jones' statement to the Baltimore Sun in March of 2010 that there were no plans for ACORN to rebrand in Maryland under a different name.

Baltimore was the site of the first of several videos, which revealed ACORN employees providing tax advice to undercover activists-journalists James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles posing as a pimp and prostitute seeking to set up a brothel for underage Guatemalan girls.

More below the fold.

Red Maryland Radio 5-12-2011

Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio

More below the fold.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Red Maryland Update # 23

Brian Griffiths with a commentary on the lies told by state Democrats when they promised not to raised taxes during the 2010 campaign.

More below the fold.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

In case you missed it....

.....I appeared on the Monday edition of Andrew Langer's always awesome Liberty Line podcast, recorded at the Maryland Republican Party Convention last Friday night.

And it isn't just me. Additionally Andrew talks to Sam Hale (who will be on Red Maryland Radio tonight), Larry Hogan talking about his new effort Change Maryland, Harford County Executive David Craig, and the trio of Rory McShane, Ruben Vellekoop, and Maryland YR National Committeewoman Carlotta Capuano.

Take a listen.

More below the fold.

Red Maryland Radio this week

We're back live tomorrow night Thursday Night on The Red Maryland Network. This week:

Be sure to listen Thursday Night at 8, on the Red Maryland Network.......and don't forget that you can subscribe to the Red Maryland Network on iTunes!

More below the fold.

O'Malley Restores Scholarships, Covers Ass

My latest Washington Examiner Local Opinion Zone post.

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (D) has restored $1.1 million in funding for the Distinguished Scholar Program, which he had originally cut from his proposed budget.

The Baltimore Sun reported on its front page the story of 350 Maryland students who were informed they were not going to receive the $3,000 per year scholarship they earned to help pay their college tuition.

But the Maryland Higher Education Commission did not begin sending letters about the scholarship cuts until the end of last week. That meant students potentially made college decisions assuming that they could use the scholarship money to attend a Maryland university.

Ann-Marie Michocki said her daughter's deadline to accept the University of Maryland's offer was May 1, and they did not receive word of the scholarship's cancellation until May 6. Deadlines for nearly all of the other scholarships Lindsay qualifies for have passed, Ann-Marie Michocki said.

A MarylandReporter.com blog post noted that the scholarship cut would provide added ammunition for supporters of a petition drive to put a recent law—the DREAM Act—granting illegal immigrants in-state tuition at state universities if they meet certain requirements, on the November 2012 ballot.

Apparently seeing the political peril of supporting in-state tuition for illegal immigrants or “New Americans” as he likes to call them while axing promised scholarships for citizens, O’Malley quickly reversed course. O’Malley ordered the Maryland Higher Education Commission to restore the scholarship awards to the recipients.

Restoring the scholarship will cost the state $1.1 million, while the DREAM Act could cost the state up to $3.5 million or more.


Upon further review it appears that Governor O'Malley's explanation that the cuts for current recipients were an "error" doesn't hold water. MHEC legislative Gareth Murray, quoted in the Baltimore Sun said, "The hope was that people would have a back-up plan," indicating that the cuts were fully intended for this year's scholarship recipients.

More below the fold.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Walk Towards the Fire

Andrew Breitbart is a man at war with the institutional left or as he describes it the “Democrat Media Complex.” Breitbart is a soldier in a media war that the right, until recently, never realized was being waged. For Breitbart the twilight struggle of the Cold War didn’t end, it merely shifted to an electronic battleground where the ideological fight between liberty and statism never ended. And on that battleground the left was better prepared to control the narrative. “Schools. Newspapers. Network News. Art. Music. Film. Television. For decades the left understood the importance of education, art and messaging.”

In his new book, Righteous Indignation, Excuse Me While I Save the World!, Breitbart explains the Democrat Media Complex and how the right can use new media to mount a counter attack.

Righteous Indignation is part biography, part primer for conservatives and those who value liberty to fight against the march of collectivism. Breitbart describes his youth in the liberal enclave of the tony Brentwood suburb of Los Angeles, his college years in the wilderness, and his evolution from a default liberal to conservative culture warrior. Breitbart’s personal journey is a compelling read. After partying through his days as a C-student at Tulane and “seeing the world through the prism of moral relativism and grays,” and the reality of being cut off financially by his parents Breitbart had an “Emersonian” epiphany at having to obtain the basic necessities of life on his own, a self actualization that living off his parents—as so many of his Brentwood and college friends did—could never provide. Waiting tables and seeing his self worth in the application of hard work toward productive pursuits restored the parental values lost in his college years.

Still a default liberal, Breitbart explains how his turn to the right came through listening to talk radio and witnessing the travesty perpetrated on Clarence Thomas by the Democrats and what he labels the Democrat Media Complex. Angered by the grunge rock invasion his radio station, ousting his favorite British New Wave bands like Depeche Mode and The Cure, Breitbart flipped to the AM dial and found Rush Limbaugh. Thank You Kurt Cobain!

Breitbart’s explication of the origins of the Democrat Media Complex in the pernicious cultural Marxism of the Frankfurt School, which embedded itself in American higher education like a parasitic host, provides a layman’s guide to the infection of the critical theory, multiculturalism, and political correctness in the body politic.

However, Breitbart shows us that it wasn’t Herbert Marcuse or Theodore Adorno, who exacerbated the metastasis of cultural Marxism rather it was Saul Alinksy’s his Rules for Radicals, which spread the cancer into our cultural DNA.

Where Marcuse and Adorno sought to tear down Western culture from the outside, it was Alinsky who took their intellectual masturbation and made it practical politics by playing the inside game. Alinsky an avowed Marxist wrapped Frankfurt School theories in the dressings of American constitutionalism, then used Marcuse’s notion of repressive tolerance (political correctness) to target, freeze, and polarize his opponents. Frankfurt School cultural Marxism implemented with Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. It’s the playbook of the left.

I experienced, first-hand, the results of Democrat Media Complex in two instances. In graduate school I witnessed the denial of respected academics and journal editors of the truth that American communists did indeed spy for the Soviet Union. Not only did they deny the incontrovertible truths of the Venona decrypts and the Soviet documents, but also they schemed to keep that new scholarship out of the academic journals.

I saw it again when the education association I worked for elected unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers as the head of its curriculum studies division. That is the “the most prominent international professional organization, with the primary goal of advancing educational research and its practical application," chose a leader of the Weather Underground to set the agenda for how our teachers are taught.

As Breitbart wrote, “Thank God for Internet!” No longer can the complex lock out conservative ideas and messages. During the Clinton scandals, he witnessed the democratizing power of the Internet (with Matt Drudge and Arianna Huffington before she flipped) to combat the complex. Now, Breitbart has forged a new media army and put the complex on notice.

With Big Hollywood, Big Government, Big Journalism, Big Peace, and the soon to be launched Big Education he’s put together a group of citizen journalists tackling the stories and angles—ACORN and Pigford—the Democrat Media Complex ignores or doesn’t want you to know about. And, as Charlie Sheen would say, Breitbart is winning. The proof of his success: the complex has sent Soros’ digital Cheka, Media Matters and Think Progress after him.

Righteous Indignation offers many instructive lessons for Maryland conservatives to fight the Democratic oligarchy turning our state into the California of the East. The brave folks organizing the referendum petition to put instate tuition for illegal immigrants on the 2012 ballot (sign it at http://www.mdpetition.com/) are heeding Breitbart’s call to “walk towards the fire.” They know the slings and arrows, the baseless accusations the oligarchy will throw at them, yet they still walk towards the fire.

Andrew Breitbart is the William F. Buckley Jr. of Generation X. He is standing athwart history yelling stop. More importantly, he is empowering us to stand and fight with him.

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