Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Red Maryland Radio this week

Don't forget that we have another great episode of Red Maryland Radio this week, starting Thursday night at 8.

On this week's show:

A jam packed show indeed. Be sure to listen this and every 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.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Jimmy Braswell Experience: 11/29/11

Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio

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The Jimmy Braswell Experience returns tonight

The Jimmy Braswell Experience returns live tonight with Jimmy, Ethan and Craig.

The gang will discuss, among other things, the "real" meaning of Herman Can's 9-9-9 plan (though that might be the least of Cain's problems today....)

Listen in or watch live tonight at 8 PMLinkLink

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Playing Spot the Fallacy with Maryland Juice

I read this from Maryland Juice the other day:

But I would still note that if Maryland is going to be serious about fiscal austerity and holding the line on revenues and spending, it only seems fair to ask for consistency from conservatives and business representatives. They have been very vocal in arguing that we cannot afford government workers and social programs, but they have also been arguing for additional corporate and upper-bracket tax welfare, including new tax cuts. All this after we already allowed the millionaire's tax to sunset. Meanwhile, it should be obvious that the responsible thing to do is to cage our revenue streams. At a minimum, it also seems fair to ask that money spent on new corporate welfare be given as much scrutiny from policymakers as government employees' contracts are currently receiving. Don't you think our corporate welfare needs to be shovel-ready or otherwise prove that it is a good investment?

Emphasis mine

Spot the fallacy?

A tax cut for individuals or corporations isn't "welfare," as David Moon presumes to call it. Welfare is when government takes from those that create wealth and gives it to those who consume wealth. A tax cut, is government prohibiting itself from taking more money than it already does from those who earned it.

Labeling a tax cut as "welfare" is a fallacy that presumes that money taxpayers earned was never their money to begin with. David, isn't the first nor the last progressive to purvey such ignorance.

But we should thank David for highlighting his belief that our money really isn't our money.

To be fair to David, that graph is part of a longer, skeptical piece on Invest Maryland and state budget woes. However, if corporate welfare concerns him so, where was his vociferous dissent of Governor O'Malley's ratepayer subsides for offshore wind, or the millions in subsidies for the crony capitalist State Center boondoggle.

Oh right, those are the good subsidies and corporate welfare, the type that further liberal policy goals and benefit Democratic donors.

Since 1997 state spending has increased 98%, while revenues have only increased by 78% over that same period (including the largest tax hike in state history). Sorry David, Maryland's problem is that is spends too much not that corporations and millionaires, or smokers or drinkers for that matter, aren't taxed enough.

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Where Your Money is Spent

Thanks to Fox 5 for finally catching on to what most of us already knew about the special fund raids Maryland uses to balance its general fund budget.

Give Speaker Michael Busch credit (at the 4:02 mark) for admitting that state education spending crowds out other priorities. Now, if Busch could only admit we spend too much on education for the results we get back.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

The Broadside 11-28-11, Live from NPGCRC Senate Candidate Forum

Mark and Andrew were live from the Northern Prince George's County Republican Club's U.S. Senate Candidate Forum.

We talked with candidates Robert Broadus, Richard Douglas and and Daniel Bongino.

Even Brian Griffiths stopped in to join in the fun.

Listen here

Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio


Watch on Ustream

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The Broadside Tonight, Live from NPGRC Senate Candidate Forum

Tonight, a very special 6pm edition of The Broadside, live from the Northern Prince George's County Republican Club U.S. Senate Candidate Forum at the Greenbelt American Legion, hosted by Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney.

Mark, Andrew, and our Red Maryland Network colleague Brian Griffiths will be broadcasting live from the event. We'll interview the candidates and take the pulse of Maryland Republican primary voters.

Tune in at 6pm on The Red Maryland Network or watch live on BroadsideTV on Ustream.

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Classic Red Maryland Radio: 11-24-2011

This, the 4,000th Post in the history of Red Maryland, is in fact tonight's Classic Episode of Red Maryland Radio.

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Classic Red Maryland Thanksgiving Special

A special treat for Thanksgiving, a classic edition of Red Maryland Radio tonight at 8pm. Originally broadcast in August 2008 this is the hosts' favorite show from its original run on WAMD.

In the first segment, Greg Kline and Brian Griffiths discuss proposed changes to the drinking age.

Then in the main event, the guys discuss the favorite songs of Barack Obama and John McCain and then give a list of their favorites. Keen political insight with pop culture humor and just a touch of chop busting.

Classic Goodness, just for you. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at the Red Maryland network.

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Happy Thanksgiving

A lesson in property rights from the Pilgrims.

A happy Thanksgiving to all of you, from all of us at Red Maryland.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Red Maryland Radio: 11-23-2011

Well, we certainly had a different edition of Red Maryland Radio this week:

Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio

All that and a whole lot more this week. Be sure to listen Thursday nights at 8, on the Red Maryland Network.......and don't forget that you can subscribe to the Red Maryland Network on iTunes.

Also as promised.....

More below the fold.

Reminder: Red Maryland Radio is Tonight!

Don't forget that we have another great episode of Red Maryland Radio this week, starting tonight, Wednesday at 8.

Greg and I are going to talk about the favorite movies of our Presidential Candidates, which will tie in nicely with our rebroadcast of tomorrow's night's Classic Red Maryland Radio episode.
Be sure to listen tonight and in our regular time slot Thursday nights at 8, on the Red Maryland Network.......and don't forget that you can subscribe to the Red Maryland Network on iTunes.

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Is Roscoe Bartlett Trying To Give His Seat To Bud Otis?

We hear Roscoe Bartlett's long time chief of staff, Bud Otis, has been visiting members of the GOP delegation and the business community from Western Maryland soliciting their support for his Congressional run in 2012 to succeed Bartlett. The only problem is that Bartlett is leading everyone to believe he intends to run for reelection.

I call shennanigans.

The redrawn MD-6 will be hard enough to hold with Bartlett running. Bartlett's fundraising is anemic, to be charitable, but on the other hand he's never been a fundraising animal. He hasn't had to be. If Bartlett intends to retire he needs to let us know so we can have a primary to choose our candidate, not have some functionary foisted off on us at the eleventh hour.

What's the deal Congressman Bartlett? Are you running or retiring? Your seat belongs to the people of Western Maryland. It isn't yours to hand out as some sort of bequest.

Our delegation should let Bud Otis that he'll have our support if he wins the GOP primary. Otherwise, not so much.

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Renewable Energy Mandates: Costly, Inefficient, and Unconstitutional

With news that Maryland's environmental special interests and O'Malley's cronies are renewing their campaign for ratepayer subsidies to prop up the wind energy industry, now is a good time to highlight the American Tradition Institute's three part series on Colorado's dirty, inefficient, job killing, and unconstitutional renewable portfolio standard.

Despite Governor O'Malley's similar RPS mandate, Maryland's renewable energy generation decreased, and the program is nothing more than a shell game.

ATI has filed a lawsuit claiming Colorado's renewable portfolio standard is unconstitutional and violates the commerce clause.

Full Disclosure: I am an ATI Research Fellow.

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Don't Forget: Red Maryland Radio on a Special Night Tonight

Don't forget that we have another great episode of Red Maryland Radio this week, starting tonight, Wednesday at 8.

Be sure to listen tonight and in our regular time slot Thursday nights 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.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Jimmy Braswell Experience Thanksgiving Spectacular

Hoep you caught The Jimmy Braswell Experience Thanksgiving Spectacular, with its featured live cooking demonstration.....

Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio

Be sure to listen Tuesday nights at 8, on the Red LinkMaryland Network.......and don't forget that you can subscribe to the Red Maryland Network on iTunes.

More below the fold.

Romney and Blitzer Stand Out in Outstanding Republican Debate of Nov. 22

--by Richard E. Vatz

Tonight's Republican debate in Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. illuminated much in the area of foreign policy, but this observer at least found no surprises in the participants' contributions.

Before I get to those, a word must be said near the outset about the job performance of CNN's Wolf Blitzer: this was a near-perfect moderating of a political debate: just as many truly great acting jobs go almost unnoticed because of their authenticity and lack of false dramatics, the few flawless debate stewardships also may not be memorable. Mr. Blitzer covered almost all relevant issues (maybe not nuclear proliferation much), avoided focusing on himself, moved the issues along while including everyone and yet ensured that just about all participants were able to articulate their positions fully.

The vote here is that Wolf Blitzer has a head start for being informally elected as "America's Moderator."

All of the strengths and weaknesses this observer has seen previously were true to form tonight:

Former Gov. Mitt Romney was clear, articulate, knowledgeable and presidential. He (and Michele Bachmann to be fair), unlike Gov. Rick Perry, knows you cannot simply cut off aid to a major international player such as Pakistan (until they prove they're a genuine ally) without likely disastrous policy fallout, pun intended.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich was clear, articulate, fair to his opponents and weak on one salient issue: illegal immigration. It may be hard to imagine telling 25-year law violators that they are not entitled to stay in the United States, but there is no legal squatter's right or statute of limitations for being in the United States illegally, and such caving is not popular with Republicans or other conservatives. Substantively, it is an insult to those who legally wait their turn to immigrate -- clear and simple. Gov. Romney's warning against incentivizing illegal behavior was classically and irrefutably good, conservative-consistent philosophy.

Gov. Perry has calmed down and seemed more relaxed, but he will not regain the surging popularity he once had. His relatively strong performance tonight, however, should ensure that he is no longer a laughing stock anywhere.

Herman Cain was, as he always is, likeable and unremarkable. I find him an impressively knowledgeable citizen, but so is my Uncle Fred, and I wouldn't want him for president either. As candidate Richard M. Nixon used to say, "Experience Counts," and it does; we need someone at the least with political executive experience.

Rep. Michele Bachman showed once again that women can be serious policy discussants, if anyone ever doubted it. Clear policy declaiming distinguishes her from another likeable politician, Sarah Palin, but she (Bachmann) is too far out on a number of issues and has no executive political experience.

Jon Huntsman is the least impressive intelligent politician since Gov. Bill Richardson of “Withdraw Now” fame in the Democratic debates of 2008. Answer after answer filled with weak or generalized policy recommendations drove the discerning viewer to distraction. We are "a country of values...we need an honest conversation..." Blaaugh. Oh, and outside of the debate Huntsman is pandering with the proactive assertion that he'd be "the first person to sign up...absolutely" to be Rep. Bachmann's running mate if she were the Republican presidential nominee.

Ron Paul's sophistry also is so dispiriting for such a fine mind. Rejecting much of the Patriot Act, he summarizes his position: "You never have to give up liberty for security." How irresponsibly simplistic. I wonder if he would take that position if his son were in the hands of foreign terrorists. Gingrich destroyed Paul's atypical example of Timothy McVeigh by pointing out that McVeigh's terrorism succeeded. Paul looked as if an impenetrable argument had struck him in the face.

Former Senator Rick Santorum was bright and not uninsightful, but the Uncle Fred analogy applies to him as well as Mr. Cain.

Regardless of no one's sticking out in a manner contrary to prior debates, this Republican clash was filled with informative clash and honorable disagreement.

You want to know what a good, solid -- if not brilliant -- debate looks like?

It looks like the Republican debate on national security with Wolf Blitzer moderating.

Prof. Vatz teaches political persuasion at Towson University and is author of the newly released The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion (Kendall Hunt, 2012)

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The Broadside 11-21-11

Watch last night's episode of The Broadside with Mark Newgent and Andrew Langer.

Yes, the Caps did win last night 4-3 over Phoenix, breaking their four game slide.

Don't forget our lineup change for this week. The regularly scheduled episode of Red Maryland Radio will air Wednesday night at 8pm, and on Thursday tune in for a an edition of Classic Red Maryland Radio from August 2008.

More below the fold.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Red Maryland Network Programming Notes for This Week

You get an entire week of Red Maryland Network Related content this week:

Be sure to stay attuned to all of our programming this holiday week!

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The Broadside Tonight 7pm

Tonight on The Broadside, with Mark Newgent and Andrew Langer

Former Governor Bob Ehrlich was back in the news this week, and he'll joins us tonight.

The Washington Capitals started the season 7-0 but have struggled mightily since. Washington Capitals Examiner Michael Hoffmann will join us to diagnose the Caps woes.

Andrew had a cameo in 60 Minutes segment on Grover Norquist and "The Pledge" last night.

We'll also talk about our two nights on WBAL last week, and our upcoming show on Black Friday.

More below the fold.

Crony capitalism: it's not just for the feds anymore

I intended this as an opinionated followup to the story below, which details the incestuous political relationship between Delegate Maggie McIntosh, who chairs the Environmental Matters Committee in the House of Delegates, and a number of other Maryland officeholders. According to Newgent, Delegate McIntosh has personally brought in nearly $400,000 to her direct-mail and consulting firm, called McIntosh Files, from other Annapolis politicians including Governor O'Malley.

While the maneuver of being a political consultant and Delegate is a little fishy, it's apparently not illegal. But Newgent digs deeper and claims that McIntosh hasn't disclosed her interest in another consulting firm called TruBlu Politics. (Yes, failure to disclose this sort of information IS illegal as it runs afoul of ethics laws.) A press release from 2009 published on the Maryland Politics Watch website quotes McIntosh as being "extremely excited" to join TruBlu.

In his post, Newgent compares the McIntosh shenanigans to those of Ulysses Currie, who was recently acquitted of federal charges stemming from his work for Shoppers Food Warehouse.

But I sense a different brand of hypocrisy running through this episode. For years, Democrats have attempted to secure a public financing system for state elections (this was the latest rendition from the 2011 session) in order to rein in the amount of money going into politics - but they seem to be the ones who use their office for personal financial gain the most. Apparently in Maryland the pay-to-play system is alive and well, and McIntosh is one of the chief beneficiaries.

So let's paint a scenario here. A would-be politician gets into the race and decides, since he's a loyal liberal Democrat, to use the companies McIntosh owns or works for to assist in his campaign. That's all perfectly legal on his behalf, but what favors would he owe to McIntosh - remember, she's a committee chair and there's always the chance he could be assigned to her committee - for helping him get the seat? Even if he's not placed on her committee, if a bill has anything to do with the Bay it's likely that McIntosh will either put the bill in play or lock it in her desk drawer, depending on her mood and reading of the bill - so it's good to have her as a friend.

And the GOP really can't do anything about her practice. Right now Republicans don't have enough numbers to bypass committees by themselves, and it's not likely a Democrat will cross one of their own to make that happen. This is even more true if the committee chair in question helped with your winning campaign.

Certainly Republicans have their political consulting firms too but I don't think any of them are owned or operated by a sitting member of the House of Delegates who runs a pretty powerful committee. As Newgent says right up front, using your office to drum up clients isn't illegal. But it still reeks to high heaven, particularly when many other members of the House of Delegates make an honest living outside of politics and act as citizen legislators instead of being paid mercenaries for those who want a larger slice of the taxpayer pie.

Of course, the cynic in me will simply wait for the McIntosh mea culpa and her pledge to refile the paperwork to reflect the additional duties (and paycheck) she's taken on for TruBlu. Whether those papers will actually be filed is unimportant, since the partisan media will consider the apology and promise as the end of the story, dismissing anyone who follows up on whether things were actually set right as simply a partisan hack. We all know Maggie's heart is in the right place, and there's just so much paperwork involved with being a public servant. (Yes, that last sentence is sarcasm.)

If Maggie McIntosh wants to be a full-time lobbyist and political consultant, there's nothing stopping her from doing so. But it would be a better example if she confined her efforts to the federal level instead of the body to which she belongs, otherwise she should drop the pretense and leave the House of Delegates.

I'm not holding my breath on that happening, though. We all know what happens when one gets absolute power.

A slightly different version is crossposted on monoblogue.

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Using Your Office to Drum Up Clients Isn't Illegal in Annapolis Either

If the acquittal of Ulysses Currie on corruption charges proved one thing it was that the financial disclosure forms Maryland legislators file with the State Ethics Commission are meaningless.

In Maryland, taking $250,000 to do special favors for Shoppers Food Warehouse, while simultaneously serving, as chair of the Senate committee, which writes the state budget and tax laws, isn’t a crime.

Nor is it a crime, in Maryland, to use your position as a powerful legislator to drum up clients for your political consulting business.

Delegate Maggie McIntosh is chair of the House Environmental Matters Committee, a former majority leader, and a powerful ally to Governor O’Malley. She is also a federal lobbyist for The Johns Hopkins University. McIntosh, a protégé of Senator Barbara Mikulski, is an influential legislator with connections to the levers of power in Baltimore and the state.

McIntosh also owns a political consulting and direct mail company The McIntosh Files. It appears she has leveraged her connections very well. According to data from the Maryland Campaign Finance database McIntosh’s clients include Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, members of the House of Delegates, and several candidates for and current members of the Baltimore City Council. Available data shows McIntosh has pulled in over $370,000 in revenue for her firm.

McIntosh listed ownership of the firm on her Financial Disclosure Statement to the state ethics commission. However, McIntosh did not disclose her partnership interest in another political consulting firm, the Columbia-based TruBlu Politics. McIntosh joined TruBlu Politics as a full partner in April of 2009. Although she is not listed on TruBlu Politics current website as a partner, you can find this version TruBlu Politics "About Us" webpage on the Intertubes.

Legislators are given the option to be notified when someone looks up their form, McIntosh selected yes…. Hi Maggie!

TruBlu Politics lists several Maryland Democratic legislators as their clients. It just so happens that may of these legislators happen to sit on the very legislative committees McIntosh chairs or sits, whether it is the Environmental Matters Committee or the Rules and Executive Nominations Committee. Whether through individual or various campaign slate committees, TruBue Politics has earned quite a bit of money from legislators tied to McIntosh.

Schedule H of the disclosure requires that the filer to list any business entity from they earned income during the filing period.

Either TruBlu Politics failed to make a profit, highly unlikely given it pulled in close to $1 million from Maryland clients according to the state campaign finance database, or McIntosh had an Ulysses Currie moment, or felt no need to disclose the relationship.

As the old Annapolis definition of conflict of interest goes… “if it doesn’t conflict with my interests…”

TruBlu Politics also made a mint off the slots the 2008 referendum, taking in nearly $100,000 from O’Malley’s pro-slots campaign organization For Maryland For Our Future. McIntosh—the anti-slots legislator—pulled $19,000 for her own firm from O’Malley’s pro-slots outfit.

According to this screenshot from the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation online database, TruBlu Politics forfeited its status to do business in Maryland in October of 2010 for failure to file a property return in 2009.

Interestingly though, TruBlu Politics seems to have disappeared from the SDAT database. Only days after the screen grab was taken, a search of the database for TruBlu Politics no longer produces a return.

But as the Currie episode teaches us, none of this is illegal or does it matter, because self-dealing, cronyism, conflicts of interest: it’s all business as usual for the temple monkeys in Annapolis. Ethics, transparency, following the rules, that’s just for us rubes who have the pleasure of paying taxes to fund them.

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Friday, November 18, 2011

If It Can Happen in San Diego...

That Governor O'Malley and Maryland's one-party Democratic rulers are hell bent on turning the Free State into the fiscal and economic train wreck that is California is a given.

However, here is one instance where we actually should be looking toward California for ideas:

The current liability for Maryland's public sector employee pension and OPEB benefits is $34 billon, and the system could run out of money in a little over a decade.

But that would mean a critical mass of Democrats willing to stand up to the powerful public sector unions who bought them.

More below the fold.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Red Maryland Radio: 11-17-2011

Hope you caught another great episode of Red Maryland Radio. On this week's show, Greg and Brian discuss:

Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio

All that and a whole lot more this week. Be sure to listen every Thursday night at 8, on the Red LinkMaryland Network.......and don't forget that you can subscribe to the Red Maryland Network on iTunes.

More below the fold.

Join Us Tonight!

We have another great episode of Red Maryland Radio tonight at 8. On this week's show:

  • Greg and Jimmy Braswell broadcast from the Maryland Republican Party convention; we wrap it up

  • The University of Maryland is discussing eliminating several sports to cover a projected budget deficit; what does this mean to you as a taxpayer?
  • And Mark Newgent comes back for our NFL picks for the week.
All that and a whole lot more this week. Be sure to listen Thursday night at 8, on the Red LinkMaryland Network.......and don't forget that you can subscribe to the Red Maryland Network on iTunes.

More below the fold.

"My work here is done"

I can't express enough how sad I am at hearing the news that Ron Smith is stopping chemotherapy and opting for home palliative care

I am no longer on chemotherapy. After consultations it was determined that was a futile way to go. And therefore I have ceased, that there won’t be a second round of chemotherapy instead what we are doing is palliative care that that will result down the road in home hospice care.

So the idea of some miracle with a stage 4 pancreatic cancer, well there isn’t going to be any miracle. And this is a decision that was reached and agreed upon among everyone concerned

It is the best thing under the circumstances and I’m okay with it. There is no way of predicting how long I’m going to be functioning so we’re sort of playing it by ear from this time forward.

I’ll be on the air as long as I can.

I began listening to Ron when I first moved to Baltimore and I was immediately taken with his erudition and grasp of the topics he spoke about. The Ron Smith Show became a daily addiction for me. The links on the Ron Smith page became my daily reading, and the books he recommended ended up on my shelf, especially Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson.

My favorite segment of Ron's show had nothing to do with politics or policy, rather it was Ron taking our own colleague Rick Vatz to task for thinking Christiane Amanpour was somehow hotter than Lara Logan. I was driving on I-83 near Timonium and nearly had to pull over because I was laughing so hard. Ron's veering into other realms constantly reminded me that there is life outside politics and it is precious and funny, worth stopping to enjoy it.

After I started writing for Red Maryland, Ron gave me several opportunities join him on air to talk about things I had written. Ron always greeted me with a smile, hearty handshake, asked about my family. They were wonderful experiences and I will cherish them always.

In his farewell Baltimore Sun column Ron wrote:

The country is torn asunder between those who perceive a profound decline and those who believe passionately that there is no decline at all, but rather the beginnings of a march into a progressive utopia. That all previous utopian schemes have failed utterly is ignored.

What is a mere individual to do? Live as sane and decent a life as you can, love your family and friends and understand that everybody is in this together.

My work here is done.

That we as a nation are running out of road to which we can kick the can, is a lesson Ron always stressed to me. It is a lesson I keep in mind every time I write about what faces our state as well.

Ron Smith is a local treasure and to think that there will be a time when his voice and wisdom will no longer grace the airwaves is unfathomable.

More below the fold.