Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Jimmy Braswell Experience: 1/31/12

Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio

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Reminder: The Jimmy Braswell Experience is Tonight

The Jimmy Braswell Experience returns live tonight at 8 with Jimmy and Ethan.

Be sure to stick around until 9 PM, when the guys interview U.S. Senate Candidate William Thomas Capps....

Listen in or watch live tonight at 8 PM.

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Monday, January 30, 2012

The Broadside Tonight 7pm

We apologize for the technical difficulties last week, but we've made up for it with a jam-packed show this week.

Patrick Gleason, Director of State Affairs for Americans for Tax Reform, will join us to talk about the dog's breakfast of tax increases Governor O'Malley put on the menu for this legislative session.

Gregg Keller, Executive Director of the American Conservative Union will stop by for a preview of CPAC 2012.

And a special Network Notes remix.

The Broadside tonight at 7pm, only on the Red Maryland Network. Watch the show on Ustream on BroadsideTV.

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Newt Gingrich vs. CNN’s John King and Wolf Blitzer on Media Bias: Outcome, 1-1

--Richard E. Vatz

Many people think “the media” are consistently virulently anti-conservative, while many others think the media are not biased against conservatives at all.

Only a few people think that mainstream media – namely CNN, ABC, NBC, and CBS -- sometimes are but sometimes are not hostile to conservatives.

I am a pundit who thinks the latter is true, although not equally fair and unfair. The two recent powerful examples of media-conservative clash in the Republican presidential debates are illustrative.

On January 19, 2012 and January 26, 2012, Newt Gingrich accused CNN’s John King and Wolf Blitzer, respectively if not respectfully, of unadulterated unfair treatment of conservatives in the Republican presidential debates in South Carolina and Florida.

The first attack appeared to help Gingrich win the South Carolina primary.

CNN’s King, who in mid-June of 2011 hosted a Republican presidential debate and consistently made derisive sounds to communicate his dissatisfaction with the answer and/or the length of the answer, hosted the January 19 debate.

He started that South Carolina debate by asking if Gingrich would “like to take some time to respond” to an ABC interview in which his ex-wife said he asked her to “enter into an open marriage” at a time in which he was “having an affair.”

In a lengthy response regarding the “destructive, vicious [and] negative nature of much of the news media,” Gingrich also ensured that there was a personal component of his outrage, saying in answer to King’s claim that he did not initiate the issue: “John, John, it was repeated by your network. You chose to start the debate with it. Don't try to blame somebody else. You and your staff chose to start this debate with that.” He then added that King’s significant introduction of such an irrelevant, personal issue was “close to despicable.”

Given King’s prior self-defined role as provocateur at the earlier Republican debate, the insistence of the question being the first asked and his recent Republican-negative reputation, no reasonable observer could doubt that Speaker Gingrich had portrayed King’s anti-conservative media bias accurately.

Then last Thursday night’s Floridian Gingrich-Blitzer clash was round two in the debate media bias wars.

After the debate had gone on for some time, Blitzer asked Gingrich, “Earlier this week, you said Governor [Mitt] Romney, after he released his taxes, you said that you were satisfied with the level of transparency of his personal finances when it comes to this. And I just want to reiterate and ask you, are you satisfied right now with the level of transparency as far as his personal finances?”

Gingrich lit into him with a vehemence not revealed by the language of the attack: ”This is a nonsense question. Look, how about if the four of us agree for the rest of the evening, we'll actually talk about issues that relate to governing America?”

Blitzer defended himself: “But, Mr. Speaker, you made an issue of this, this week, when you said that, ‘He lives in a world of Swiss bank and Cayman Island bank accounts.’ I didn't say that. You did.”

Gingrich argued that the question was illegitimate because it quoted him from “an interview on some TV Show…” but that this was a “national debate.”

Gov. Romney asked rhetorically, “Wouldn't it be nice if people didn't make accusations somewhere else that they weren't willing to defend here?”

Decision: Mr. Blitzer.

Unlike John King and a wealth of other anti-conservative questioners and news people in the media wars, Wolf Blitzer has no reputation of unfairness, even of just recent vintage, such as King; in fact, quite the opposite.

The question did not lead the debate, and it was eminently reasonable to ask a candidate if he stood by his statements issued publicly, especially statements indisputably material to a presidential race.

Gingrich, probably overconfident from his successful criticism of John King, had let his overconfidence lead him into an unfair misjudgment of what criticism would fly in this debate.

The lesson: media bias is real, but to accuse good journalists asking good, relevant questions of such unfairness is itself unfair and harmful to the quest to convince people of the existence of genuine media anti-conservative prejudice.

Professor Vatz has taught Media Criticism for about twenty years at Towson University. He is author of The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion (Kendall Hunt, 2012)

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Towson Tigers 2011-2012 Basketball Team of Character

--Richard E. Vatz

This is not a blog about basketball talent, for to write about that the author should have some exceptional knowledge about the sport, which, alas, this writer does not.

I do know something about character, however, and the gutsy first win of the season for Towson University basketball coach Pat Skerry, former assistant coach at my alma mater, University of Pittsburgh, and his never-give-up Towson Tigers in a transformative feat was a game I shall never forget.

The players, including especially, but not exclusively, Marcus Damas, Erique Gumbs, Robert Nwankwo, Jervon Pressley, and Deon Jones were effort personified. They never relaxed; they listened to their coach; they focused throughout, and they won a game they could win but were not favored to win.

I don’t know the stats, but it seems their rebounds, shooting percentage and turnovers must have been their best all year. Doesn’t matter. They could not have played with more heart than they did today. Every rebound was contested. When a ball appeared to be turned over, they pursued and pursued and pursued again. Throughout the game they fought every moment.

Their coach throughout the long season – a season that would seem longer but for the hard, unremitting work these young men put forth – has never mailed it in either.

I used to watch the team work out in the recent bad years when I would jog during practice, and many of the players would lounge around – it was so devastating: not the losing, but the lack of the very character they have shown before today and today. Those teams won more games than the players this year, but they had less guts.

A poetic note was sounded when an ESPN announcer called us "Towson State" – go ahead, buster; you obviously don’t prepare with the intensity of this group.

Again, my sport is tennis, another sport which measures character, so I cannot give you analysis of roundball playing excellence per play. But I go to all the games. I love Towson University, and the basketball men and their coach made me and the less-than-thousand or so folks who come to every game proud this afternoon.

Professor Vatz teaches at Towson University.

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Looking for a Coward Mrs. O'Malley? Try at Home.

The Associated Press quoted Maryland’s first lady Katie O’Malley telling the National Conference on LGBT Equality in Baltimore, “We didn’t expect things that happened to the House of Delegates to occur, but sadly they did, and there were some cowards that prevented it from passing.”

O’Malley later issued a statement regretting her choice of words.

Delegate Jay Walker (D-PG) said O’Malley’s statement was unsatisfactory

“Call me a coward, but I'm going to stand by my faith and my principles, as well as on my constituents' beliefs. Forget politics, my mom and dad did not raise a coward."

In one fail swoop Mrs. O’Malley alienated the crucial votes her husband needs to pass gay marriage legislation, and belittled the deeply held moral and philosophical convictions of those who oppose gay marriage.

Standing on your principles isn’t cowardice Mrs. O’Malley. It’s just another lame euphemism concocted to disparage those who disagree with you and your husband.

Then there is the hypocrisy factor.

Here is Mrs. O'Malley's husband tweeting “You have to have the guts to make the cuts and the foresight to make the investments.”

Of course Governor O’Malley hasn’t cut anything. O’Malley’s budgets have grown 16 percent since he first took office in 2007. His FY 2012 budget featured one of the largest general fund spending increases in the nation, and his FY 2013 general fund general fund budget increases by nearly $1 million.

In fact, Governor O’Malley was so courageous that in his FY 2013 budget presentation—containing 38 Power Point slides—he never bothered to mention the $35.9 billion total budget figure. A profile in courage indeed!

So Mrs. O’Malley, if you’re looking for a coward try looking for the one in your own home.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Red Maryland Radio: 1-26-12

Hope you caught this week's edition of Red Maryland Radio.

Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio

On this week's show:

  • Governor O'Malley wants to tax bloggers? We talking bout the digital products tax with Jeff Quinton;
  • We discuss the developing race for National Committeewoman, with Greg sharing a great deal of thoughts about both declared candidates;
  • In speaking of the upcoming Spring State Party Convention, I note that the convention was scheduled as the same weekend as the upcoming Young Republican Leadership Conference, despite my best efforts (hint: I'm not happy).Link
  • And Greg has some Network Notes...

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.

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Red Maryland Radio Tonight

This week's installment of Red Maryland Radio comes at you tonight at 8 PM

Tonight on the show:

  • Governor O'Malley wants to tax bloggers? We talking bout the digital products tax with Jeff Quinton;
  • We discuss the developing race for National Committeewoman;
  • How is the tenor of the Presidential Race going, as we head into another debate and the Florida primary?
  • And Greg has some Network Notes...
Be sure to listen tonight 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.

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Audrey Scott Responds

Former MDGOP Chair and candidate for National Committeewoman, Audrey Scott issued the following response to recent criticism of her attendance at a rally in support of raising taxes to to support increased infrastructure spending.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It has come to my attention that there is an effort underway to discredit and misrepresent my attendance at an event in Annapolis last week. I think it is important to tell you the facts of the situation.

Last Thursday there was a rally at Lawyers Mall to protest the perpetual raiding of the Transportation Trust Fund by Governors to benefit the State's general operating budget. Since our State requires a balanced budget, Governors have repeatedly raided the Trust Fund for cash (so they don’t have to cut the budget).

Unfortunately, Gov. O'Malley has not repaid the Trust Fund, instead he wants to use it's depletion as a gimmick to gain the public's approval to raise taxes. In other words, to use the revenue from the new taxes to fill up the Trust Fund (which he will then raid again and again and again).

Who suffers? We do. The Transportation Trust Fund is used to pay for road and bridge construction and repairs of which much goes directly to Counties and Municipalities. There has not been a new road or bridge project in the Transportation Trust Fund for 2 years, and every existing project in the Trust Fund has been pushed back indefinitely. Our State is now sitting on a ticking time bomb – to the tune of $1.5 billion in urgent road and bridge repairs.

As a former Mayor and County Councilwoman, I know firsthand that cessation of transportation projects in our state is 1) a public safety issue and 2) has driven multiple companies out of business and thousands of workers into unemployment.

Republicans in the Legislature are in the process of introducing legislation to enforce that Transportation Trust Fund dollars must be used to finance transportation projects. I strongly support this legislation.

My goal in attending the event was to support the Republican Trust Fund legislation. We must put the "Trust back in the Trust Fund."

Some people are stating that my support to put the "trust back in the Trust Fund" means that I support a gas tax. This is dishonest and wrong. I do not support tax increases. I support cutting the budget. Period.

Supporting the Trust Fund does not mean you support a gas tax. I reject these kind of "gotcha politics" and it has no place in our Party and has no place in the race for National Committeewoman.

Rather, we need to focus our attention on fighting the Democrats … not each other!

I will confront any distortions about my record or my actions head on and I welcome your phone call to answer any of your questions.


Audrey E. Scott

I believe Audrey Scott does indeed oppose tax increases however, more context is needed.

Scott works for Chaney Enterprises, which bills itself as "one of the leading suppliers of construction materials and supplies in the Mid-Atlantic.”

No doubt Chaney Enterprises would benefit from any increased infrastructure spending resulting from a hike in the gas tax.

I personally like Audrey Scott. I thought she did yeoman’s work in what is the thankless task of MDGOP Chair. However, I spend quite a bit of time railing against business lobbying to get from government—at taxpayer expense—what they can’t in the free market. While Scott can reconcile the contradiction of her personal opposition to tax increases while simultaneously advocating in her employer’s interests for them, I cannot.

Just look at the murderers row of corporatists supporters of the gas tax increase who staged the rally Scott attended. Looking at you Maryland Chamber of Commerce, Greater Baltimore Committee, Greater Washington Board of Trade.

Sure these groups mask their objectives in the guise of “public-private partnerships," but they are merely a clever conceit for funneling more taxpayer money to politically connected private interests. See State Center and offshore wind.

Furthermore, GBC, GWBOT, and the Chamber are fooling themselves if they think the temple monkeys in Annapolis would ever wall off a pot full of cash they can raid to cover their profligate general fund spending.

Too many conservatives and Republicans forget, or are ignorant of the fact that being “pro-business” is not the same as being “pro-free market.” Remember big business loves big government.

Exposing the corporatist aspects of Maryland Democratic Party rule is a powerful tool we can use to show how they've made Maryland a lucrative a place for the politically connected few at the expense of the rest of us.

Scott says we need to "focus our attention on fighting Democrats." I agree, but it doesn't help the cause when she--intentionally or not--defuses one of our best arguments.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

President Obama and the State of the Union: After the Moving Partisan Oratory, the Problems Remain

--Richard E. Vatz

Barack Obama could have used his extraordinary elocutionary talents in last night’s State of the Union address last night to outline the policies he would embark on to solve the structural deficit and national debt crises that face our country, but he didn’t. He could have addressed the growing international problems we face with a diminishing military, but he didn’t.

Mitt Romney, the likely but no longer certain Republican nominee for president this year, in a speech ahead of the president’s accused Mr. Obama of making campaign speeches instead of substantively dealing with America’s problems.

That was prescient analysis.

President Obama used the uniquely powerful real estate of the State of the Union address mostly to reiterate that the country’s financial problems are due to obstructionist Republicans and the self-concerned wealthy.

He affected incredulity – why cannot these conservatives just focus on “The Mission.” That’s what troops do, he said – they serve “as one unit, serving one nation, leaving no one behind.” Contrasting the selflessness asked of Republicans (and rejected) to that requested of the U.S. SEAL team (and accepted), the president argued, when they got Osama bin Laden, it didn’t matter whether they were Democrats or Republicans: “All that mattered that day was the mission...no one thought about politics... the mission only succeeded because every member of that unit trusted each other...”

The president erroneously portrays political disagreement on how we accomplish the mission for the mission itself, which is fixing the economy. In one of his characteristically false analogues, people agreed on both the mission of getting bin Laden and the strategy of how to get him.

Regarding the economy, President Obama argued repeatedly that one of the solutions is that "everyone does their [sic] fair share” and that the issue is making “folks like me [pay] my fair share of taxes...”

The president argued that "Tax reform should follow the Buffett Rule. If you make more than $1 million a year, you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes."

The two-fold argument against this approach is that even if millionaires (often in presidential speeches conflated with the far more wealthy “billionaires”) paid the increases Obama wants on their income taxes, it would make only a tiny dent in the national debt over ten years, although the range of estimates are breathtaking. Moreover, such taxes, which hurt small businesses taxed as individuals, severely affect employment.

But the rhetorical point is that the president did not honestly engage the arguments of those who disagree with him. There was no discussion of entitlements, the $500 billion decrease in military budget, the 8.4% unemployment rate, and how presidential policies would significantly reduce such a number outside of government hiring. There was the usual non-specific recommendation to “Expand tax relief to small businesses that are raising wages and creating good jobs.” That seems like a restrictive clause, but no matter: it was short and unspecified.

The president uses as his touchstone for tax change the current situation for the payroll tax cut and the situation before the Bush era for eliminating “tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.” The former, which helps the 47% who pay no income tax, goes to fund Social Security, and the latter, which allows people to keep some of their own money, goes to the general fund. Why are the years of comparison relevant? You could -- and Democrats do -- point to the confiscatory taxes of the Eisenhower years and say “Look at the break the well-to-do are getting, as contrasted with that era.” But the fact that there is precedent for unfair policy does not make that policy a reasonable basis for comparison.

Comparisons and contrasts with prior policies are somewhat arbitrary, but that doesn’t stop the president from making them to favor his pro-government spending preferences.

The president confidently interpreted his foreign policy as yielding success, but this was not a long-term assessment. Withdrawal of troops is always an easy way to build a temporary peace. The instability of the war situations in Iraq and Afghanistan went unaddressed. The situation in the Mideast went unaddressed. Pakistan went unaddressed, except to say that al Qaeda is scrambling. Let me praise one presidential sentence on a crucial foreign policy issue: "Let there be no doubt: America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal." Good, if he means it.

The issues of taxes, government spending and a strong foreign policy were not engaged as problems to be solved. President Obama’s State of the Union was a classic campaign speech with good guys, bad guys and rhetorical flourishes, without good substantive confronting of the long-term financial and foreign policy questions that face the United States.

It’s a pity, for after the partisan cheering dies down for the magical oratory, the problems remain.

Professor Vatz teaches political persuasion at Towson University and is author of The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion (Kendall Hunt, 2012)

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Broadside on 1090 at Night SOTU Reax

Mark and Andrew will be on WBAL AM 1090 tonight with reaction to Obama's State of the Union speech. Red Maryland contributor Rick Vatz will join them.

Tune your radio dial to AM 1090 or listen on line at wbal.com

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Reminder: The Jimmy Braswell Experience is Tonight

The Jimmy Braswell Experience returns live tonight at 8 with Jimmy and Ethan.

Tonight, the guys discuss the South Carolina Primary. And Chuck Norris.

Listen in or watch live tonight at 8 PM.LinkLink

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Is this the way to win an election?

Last night I was tipped off (h/t Richard Cross of Cross Purposes) to a Washington Post item regarding bipartisan support for the gas tax increase. Yes, you read that right - bipartisan.

It seems our Chamber of Commerce types have the misguided notion that increasing the gasoline tax will allow the state to fully fund transportation projects, but I ask of them: what planet are you living on again? This is Martin O'Malley's Maryland - we all know that the money is going to be spent on 1,001 items in the general fund and the rest will go to build more mass transit and bike paths we don't need.

Meanwhile, the victims of the War on Rural Maryland will have to once again pay through the nose perpetually, because as proposed by one possible scheme advanced by a state commission the gas tax isn't just going to go up a nickel each year in 2013, 2014, and 2015 - nope, it's going to be indexed afterward to a construction cost index. So as union demands get more and more brazen and the cost of construction climbs at a dizzying rate, so will the gas tax. Nice system if you can con people into believing the roads will actually get fixed.

But that wasn't really the reason why I brought this subject up - most who frequent this page know I'm not keen on raising taxes when there are so many other solutions to our fiscal woes available to us if we only had the courage to act in a responsible manner.

To continue, I'm simply going to borrow a quote from the Post piece, which is from the AP:

Former Maryland Republican Party chairwoman Audrey Scott also attended, agreeing with other supporters that infrastructure is the key to economic growth and jobs. Scott also accentuated the need to safeguard transportation money, which too often has been tapped by governors from several administrations to plug other budget holes.

"They can’t raid the money that’s coming into the Transportation Trust Fund,” Scott said. “It’s got to be there for transportation needs."

To be fair, Republicans are attempting in this session to put just such a safeguard on the TTF. But her presence at the rally would lead me to presume she doesn't mind this tax increase, undermining the vast majority of Republicans who will likely vote against it. (I say likely only because a number of General Assembly Republicans have sold us out before, some more than others.)

It's also worth pointing out that Audrey is a former Chair of the Maryland GOP who spent a year finishing out the unexpired four-year term of Jim Pelura, who resigned (read: was ousted by an unhappy Maryland Republican Executive Committee) in 2009 - she only took the position when asked and didn't seek it originally. But somehow I don't think Pelura would have graced the rally with his presence, nor would current Chair Alex Mooney.

Yet Scott is in the running to join Mooney in party leadership as a candidate for the state's National Committeewoman post which will be voted on at the party's spring convention; longtime officeholder Joyce Terhes decided not to seek re-election. As it stands at the moment, it is a two-woman race as Nicolee Ambrose, a former Chairwoman of the Young Republican National Federation, opposes Scott for the post. While both have ties to the so-called "establishment," Ambrose isn't out stating the case for a tax increase, either. This doesn't seem like a good move from someone as ostensibly politically savvy as Audrey Scott.

Moreover, in a time when we need Republicans to hold the line against the constant onslaught of state government prying deeper and deeper into our wallets and our liberties, making such an effort bipartisan only hurts the GOP. I'm certainly aware that, while business groups like the Chamber of Commerce are generally backed by Republicans, their aims aren't always aligned with the conservative cause. (One prime example on a national level is illegal immigration.) At a time when the TEA Party distrusts the party apparatus, having a member of the "establishment" waving a gas can with a dime in it to signify the extra tax - on top of everything else working families (what few there are these days) have to contend with - isn't going to make us a whole lot of friends.

Friends in high places are one thing, but friends in low places can get us the votes to win elections. Let's not get away from our fiscally conservative roots.

Crossposted on monoblogue.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Republican Floridian Debate: Brief Romney-Gingrich Clash Plus Gingrich Appeasement

Republican Floridian Debate: Brief Romney-Gingrich Clash Plus Gingrich Appeasement

--Richard E. Vatz

Well, the anticipated Romney-Gingrich fireworks came early, but were not sustained. Those who wanted Romney to show more life were not disappointed, but those who may have wanted Gingrich to have emphasized more issues in his favor may have been disappointed. Gingrich defended himself with non-substantive ad hominem attacks – this time he repeatedly said in a variety of ways that Romney had mischaracterized him and his failures, but avoided the “L” word (liar). Had I been coaching the former Speaker, I would have focused more on Romneycare, but Gingrich might have been concerned that his early-on support of that program would hurt him in debate. It did come up again with Romney’s familiar refrain of the program’s alleged saving grace of not requiring national coverage. The wealth of non-medical coverage in Romneycare is just one more problematic element of his relatively unexamined Massachusetts health care.

But on the issue of Newt Gingrich’s lobbying or not lobbying (and whether it can properly be called “lobbying”) for Freddie Mac, Newt never tells anybody what he did for the money, the $300,000 he received.

Gingrich, after a moderate push-back, became the mellower Newt. In this softer persona, he incongruously tried to enlist Ron Paul, leaving the audience incredulous by saying that he and Paul are so close on federal reserve and monetary policy that they could enter into a coalition.

Forgive me for resurrecting an expression of decades ago, but “gag me with a spoon.”

The irreconcilability of Gingrich and Paul, to Gingrich’s credit, comprises national security, troop policy, foreign policy and even economic policy for the most part. Their unbridgeable differences became quite evident as the debate wore on, as they discussed policy on Iran, a crucial presidential issue. Incidentally, Gingrich and Paul may be the most polarized American candidates ever on Israeli policy since 1948, an issue that was not raised. Where was the moderator on this matter?

Speaking of the moderator’s responsibility, Brian Williams has been my least favorite moderator due to his cocky “The Debate is About Me” style, but he did slightly at least attenuate some of his more offensive moderator stylistics. He let the candidates speak without consistently interrupting them; he lessened his condescension; and he slightly, but only slightly, lessened his “Candidate X says you’re a liar; what do you think about that?” approach.

Issues, Mr. Williams – stay on the issues. But he was better – 5 more debates and he’ll be a decent moderator.

The other questioners, Adam Smith (I know; I know – the incredible irony; the participants knew it as well) and Beth Reinhard were fine.

Candidates Paul and Rick Santorum have become more inconsequential, but Santorum throughout has been as conversant with a wide range of domestic and foreign policy matters as any candidate I have seen. Santorum’s 18-point loss in his last Pennsylvania Senatorial race was brought up in a debate for the first time (by Williams), I believe, and he really had no answer for it, except that it was a bad year for Republicans and he stood his ground in that election.

The issues of the Keystone Pipeline, the Dream Act, a national language of English, Iran and implications should Castro die and several other foreign and domestic policy issues were brought up with little difference among the candidates. Oops…Paul dissented on celebrating Castro’s death – Newt and he disagreed on this, damaging their putative “coalition.”

In the end this observer does not believe that Newt Gingrich has any chance to be nominated by the Republican Party. Mitt Romney does, and it is his nomination to lose. That is a change from the perception just days ago that it was his going away.

Dr. Vatz teaches political rhetoric at Towson University and is author of The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion (Kendall Hunt, 2012); Vatz will be away for the final Florida Republican debate

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The Broadside on WBAL AM 1090 Now

Tune in now to WBAL AM 1090 or online http://www.wbal.com/ and listen to Broadside hosts Mark Newgent and Andrew Langer.

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Daniel Bongino for U.S. Senate

U.S. Senate Elections in Maryland are a tricky proposition. So rarely do we get a great shot as Republicans to win an election that it’s important that we nominate a good candidate with a good message and great enthusiasm. The closest Senate election that we have had in recent times was Michael Steele’s 2006 loss to Ben Cardin. And while we are far past the point of nominating candidates like the late Ross Pierpont, our other candidates since 2000 (the late Paul Rappaport, EJ Pipkin, Eric Wargotz) have all been stuck mired in the 30-percent range.

This year we are presented with a varying number of candidates, some of which are perennial contenders, some of which are extremely qualified and able candidates. The top two candidates in the race are Daniel Bongino and Richard Douglas. Both would bring a lot to the table as U.S. Senators

Richard Douglas has an interesting and diverse background. He enlisted in the Navy, went to college on the G.I. Bill, got a Master’s Degree, went to law school and became a Staff Counsel for the Stevedore’s Union. He became a reserve officer in the Navy, serving a tour at the Pentagon and a tour in Iraq. He joined the Foreign Service, worked for the U.S. Senate, and became a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, and started a Defense contracting company working in logistics. All in all, Richard Douglas has a long and distinguished career serving the people of this nation.

Daniel Bongino, as many of you know, has just as interesting and diverse background. Growing up poor in New York City, Bongino joined the New York Police Department. While simultaneously working on the force, he put himself through college at the City University of New York. From there, he joined the U.S. Secret Service, working his way through the ranks until he joined the Presidential Protection Detail. On the detail, he immediately worked his way to become a leader of the detail and a lead in planning Presidential Security for Presidential trips to dangerous locations such as Afghanistan and Indonesia. As has been well documented, Bongino left the service to pursue this race. In addition to his law enforcement experience, he has advanced degrees in both Psychology and Business Administration, as well as experience operating small businesses in diverse fields such as web design, sporting goods, and risk assessment. Bongino has a wealth of law enforcement and small business experience.

All of that being said, the difference between Bongino and Douglas boils down to their positions on the issues. In forums and on the stump, both men have focused on different aspects of their experience. Douglas has relied on his national security background, and many of his answers to questions will come back to security policy or energy policy; two areas that are closer to his professional experience. Bongino, in addition to his professional experience, is well-read on a multitude of economic subjects. He really understands the economic situation in our state, and has a number of creative and conservative solutions that will put people back to work.

The other thing differentiating Bongino and Douglas is energy. Richard Douglas, for all of his strengths, cannot match the energy that Bongino on the stump. Take a look at these brief remarks that he gave at October’s Tea Party rally in Annapolis:

He gets it. He really understands not only what it is like to be concerned about our economy, but also what it’s like to see the failure of big government social programs. In a state with such a huge Democratic population, in an election where the likely Democratic nominee is a 40-plus year public official, we need the kind of energy and enthusiasm that Bongino brings to the table. We need somebody who can bring the conservative message of hope and prosperity to the masses.

The editors of Red Maryland enthusiastically and unanimously endorse Daniel Bongino for U.S. Senate. We encourage you to visit www.bongino.com to find out how you can help him win the nomination and to elect him as a U.S. Senator we can be proud of.

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