Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Jimmy Braswell Experience: 2/29/12

Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio

Video streaming by Ustream

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Special Edition of The Broadside Tonight 6pm

Andrew will be broadcasting live from U.S. Senate Candidate Daniel Bonginio's event at R's Americantina. The event is from 6-8pm. The show starts at 6pm.

Broadside Game Show Episode champion Steve Parkhurst will be guest hosting.

Tune in to watch on Ustream on BroadsideTV The audio podcast will be available on The Red Maryland Network.

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Upcoming Team Reason Events

A couple of upcoming events to help Team Reason raise money to support pancreatic cancer research, in honor of our friend Ron Smith. Find out more and help keep Ron's legacy alive at Friends of Ron Smith. Click here to make a donation to the Ron Smith Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.

Sunday, March 4, 2012, 1 p.m.
Fund Raising Lunch & Silent Auction
benefiting the Ron Smith Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund at Johns Hopkins
CRUSH Restaurant. 501 East Belvedere Avenue, Belvedere Shopping Center,
Baltimore, MD 21212 Tickets are still available. Reservations: 410 666-3212

April 27, 2012 Inaugural Ron Smith Memorial Golf Tournament
Bon Air Country Club Glen Rock, PA (Ron's home course)
Proceeds benefiting the Ron Smith Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund at Johns Hopkins
Foursomes and corporate sponsorships available.
Contact: Patrick Hart, 19618 Old York Road, White Hall, MD 21161

Ron's wife, June has set a goal of raising $1 million for pancreatic cancer research. More events to come so stay tuned to find out more ways to help Team Reason.

“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."

-Ron Smith

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WaPo & Baltimore Sun Repeat O'Malley Budget Cuts Fiction

Here's my first piece over at the Media Research Center's Newsbusters Blog.

Since ascending to the head of the Democratic Governor’s Association last year, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has been fashioning a national profile for himself as a responsible fiscal steward of Maryland’s finances. The Washington Post and Baltimore Sun are dutifully helping O’Malley perpetuate that fiction.

O’Malley released his fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget last month, which includes, among other taxes, an income tax hike for 20 percent of taxpayers to close a $1 billion structural deficit.

Echoing Governor O’Malley’s claim of record budget cuts, ($7.5 billion over six years), the Washington Post wrote:

Democratic leaders in the General Assembly offered initial support for the governor’s budget, calling his push for new revenue the embodiment of what O’Malley and other Democratic leaders nationwide have labeled a “balanced approach” to government spending after nearly a half-decade of budget cutting during the downturn…

What cuts? What balance? The Post failed to mention that Maryland’s budget is $6.4 billion (21 percent) larger today, than O’Malley’s first budget in 2008. According to a report from the National Association of State Budget Officers O’Malley’s FY 2012 general fund budget increased spending by 11.4 percent, the fourth largest increase in the nation. Nor did the Post mention that O’Malley raised taxes by $3.6 billion over his first term according to a report from Maryland’s non-partisan Department of Legislative Services.

The Baltimore Sun similarly recited O’Malley’s budget cut claims without any context the real numbers in its coverage of his recent state of the state address to the legislature:

But he [O’Malley] said that the spending reductions his administration has made over the last four years, in addition to $800 million in his proposed budget, have left "fewer options for responsible budget-cutting."

However, buried in O’Malley’s own budget book (pp. 94-97), are two tables, which show a $1.6 billion increase in spending in FY 2013 over FY 2012. O’Malley’s 2012 budget spent $34.2 billion, and his proposed budget spends $35.8 billion.

It appears that the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun’s coverage of Maryland’s fiscal issues is as unbalanced as the state’s budget.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Listen to Jimmy Braswell at 8, then me at 9:30

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

The guys will be talking with Jerry Shandrowsky, as well as about Koran Burning, Warren Buffet, and Islands that tip over.

Listen in or watch live tonight at 8 PM.

After that, flip over to WBAL Radio after the news at 9:30, at which time I will be joining Brian Murphy on the air. Listen online at or at 1090 AM on your AM dial.

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The Broadside 2-27-12

Hope you caught another exciting edition of the Broadside.

Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio

Capitals Examiner Michael Hoffman talked the NHL trade deadline

Matt Lewis of the Daily Caller dished the latest news on the GOP primary races in Michigan and Arizona.

Shannon Goessling gave a rundown of Southeast Legal Foundation's lawsuit against the EPA.

Listen up for a special Wednesday edition of the Broadside starting at 6pm live from US Senate Candidate Daniel Bongino's event at Rs Americantina on Kent Island.

The Broadside is a production of the Red Maryland Network.

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Transgender Bill: Hyper-inclusion hurts all discrimination protected groups

When the Baltimore County Council voted to add Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity or Expression in as new protected groups in the existing Human Relations law through the “Transgender Bill”, they set the civil rights legislation on a path to self-destruction.

Previously, the Human Relations law protected hard demographics: race, creed, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, marital status, and physical or mental disability. With the addition of unverifiable sexually-related behaviors to the list, the councilmen opened the door to any behavior seeking the status of protection.

What about nudists? What about persons with any multitude of sexual fetishes? What about nerds? How about the obese or extremely gangly? Is protection up for sale to the highest bidding lobby?

The law, seems to me, should be limited to those with inalienable conditions (of which you are born), legally verifiable or professionally diagnosed, or groups making choices protected by the U.S. Constitution, as in Religion. To open it to behaviors and disorders takes all meaning from the intent of the law.

As Gender Identity confusion is listed as a disorder by the American Psychiatric Association, an inflicted person could receive a professional diagnosis and be protected under the physical or mental disability group, rather than create a new protected class for that disorder alone.

A serious disservice has been done to all discrimination protected groups.

Please join those opposing this law by helping with the petition against it. For information:

Please see my other articles on this issue on

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Monday, February 27, 2012

For Your Consideration

If you have been listening to Red Maryland Radio, you have heard us talk about the brewing scandal in the Department of Justice arising from allegations of bribery in the Virgin Islands.

For some background, read this and listen to our interviews with Matt Boyle of the Daily Caller and Jeffrey Prosser.

Mr. Prosser now submits the following additional information. This situation is unfolding and you will be reading more about this in the coming weeks.

RedMD_TheCause - Revised (1)

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The Broadside Tonight 7pm

Tonight on The Broadside

We're talking Washington Capitals hockey with Capitals Examiner Michael Hoffman.

Matt Lewis of the Daily Caller joins us to talk about tomorrow's GOP primary races in Michigan and Arizona.

Shannon Goessling talks about the Southeast Legal Foundation's lawsuit against the EPA.

All that and more tonight on The Broadside. Join us on BroadsideTV on Ustream

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For Gay Marriage, Against Some Gay Marriage Proponents

I’m on record as being conflicted over the issue of gay marriage. However, since the issue is most likely to be staring me in the face at the ballot box this November, it’s time to shit or get off the pot as they say.

I will vote for gay marriage in November.

I believe in limited government, and that the state should have no power to prohibit two consenting adults to from entering into a union called marriage. Either you have equality under the law or you don’t.

That said, I do understand and sympathize to a degree with the arguments of gay marriage opponents, especially those made from a religious standpoint. Marriage is a fundamental building block of society and opponents have every right to be skeptical. I fully admit I may be wrong, but in the end I do not believe gay marriage will doom our state, or the republic. When in doubt, I’m going to err on the side of liberty.

As we saw in the legislative debates these last two weeks, gay marriage is a heated and emotional issue for both sides, and it will become more so as the debate plays out in a public campaign. For the most part the debate has been civil and respectful. However, there are gay marriage proponents—looking at you David Moon—who slander gay marriage opponents as bigots and purveyors of hate. He claims to know that the intent behind all gay marriage opponents is hate, especially people of faith. That is, opponents of gay marriage are using faith as an excuse for bigotry.

Now, Moon will ask how does gay marriage affect an opponent’s faith? The answer is that gay marriage affects one’s faith, if their faith tells them that marriage is between one man and one woman. That may seem like a tautology, but faith isn’t about cold hard logic or empirical evidence—that’s why it’s called faith.

On a related topic, it is this blithe dismissal of faith as a legitimate reason for disagreement, which allows progressives to trample on the first amendment right of religious freedom. For too many progressives, the cause of liberty disappears when it comes using state coercion to implement their policy goals.

Though I find myself on the same side of the gay marriage debate with David Moon, he and other gay marriage proponents are slandering people of goodwill who hold a legitimate, opposing point of view. Are there some bigoted gay marriage opponents out there? Yes. However, Moon and his cohorts have painted all opponents of gay marriage with the same bigot brush. Those juvenile antics may win plaudits from his neck of the fever swamp, but it is no way to win over voters to your cause.

I would hope that Moon could learn from the example of Delegate Heather Mizeur, an eloquent proponent of gay marriage, who tweeted this graceful and gracious note to her colleague Justin Ready—an equally eloquent opponent of gay marriage.

But alas, I’m probably hoping for too much.

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Reliable Sources Watch (cont.): Down-the-Middle Liberal/Conservative Media Criticism -- Sometimes

--Richard E. Vatz

Teaching a course on Media Criticism for about 20 years, I make considerable use of CNN’s “Reliable Sources (RS),” a show moderated by the indefatigable Howard Kurtz and dedicated entirely to the subject matter of my course. It is really an exceptionally excellent show --with an exception here and there -- which often focuses on journalistic ideological bias and always – always – ensures that the conservative perspective is at least articulated.

That said, one of my persistent criticisms of the show is the consistent weighting of each segment’s 3-person panel by composing it with 2 liberals and one conservative.

For the first time in memory – and I never miss a show -- yesterday, Sunday, February 26, RS had a segment that included two conservatives out of three panelists. Now a niggling observer would say that the liberal, Margaret Carlson, is so far left as to make it even, but the fact of the unique ratio of conservatives to liberals is striking.

The conservatives were David Brody and S.E. Cupp, respectively of CBN News (Christian Broadcasting Network) and The New York Daily News. The issue was analysis of journalistic treatment of Rick Santorum (not the writer’s favorite Republican aspirant). The question was addressed: do the media try to destroy conservatives?

The conservatives, as is their stylistic wont, did not gang up on the single liberal, as sometimes happens when the right-left ratio is reversed on RS. It was a substantive analysis throughout.

Later in the show, along with a superb interview with journalists in Syria, the superlative CBS Syrian reporter Clarissa Ward and the excellent CNN reporter Arwa Damon, there was the always insightful David Zurawik discussing the fairness of HBO’s “Game Change,” the alleged bio-pic of Gov. Sarah Palin's VP run. The only journalist on the left to give consistently disinterested distinguished critiques of ideological issues, Zurawik was his usual first-rate self on the show.

One of the last segments included some criticism of Bill Maher’s donation of $1 million to President Barack Obama's super PAC, Priorities USA Action. I believe it was Kurtz who opined that if conservative comic Dennis Miller had made a similar donation to a Republican, liberals would have loudly yelled foul.

This conservative, influenced by the slogan “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king” (in regione caecorum rex est luscus), believes a television show on media criticism that is so superior to any of its competition deserves praise, even if it is not perfect. There is very little in the media that is really balanced in treatment of liberal and conservative journalistic issues.

“Reliable Sources” may not be perfect, but it is the closest media criticism comes to that measure on national television.

Prof. Vatz teaches Media Criticism at Towson University and is author of The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion (Kendall Hunt, 2012)

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Tony O'Donnell For Congress (MD-5)

As Brian has announced, the editors of Red Maryland will be making a series of endorsements in advance of the upcoming primary election. We will not be making an endorsement in every race, and all of our endorsements represent the unanimous opinion of the editors of this blog.

It is my privilege to announce that Red Maryland is endorsing Delegate Tony O'Donnell for Congress in Maryland's Fifth Congressional District.

For those who may not know, the Fifth District is currently represented by the US House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD). For those living under a rock, Steny Hoyer is the epitome, and often the face, of the failed liberal, Nancy Pelosi-led House Democrats. Hoyer is an unabashed proponent of bailouts, stimulus, Obamacare, Cap and Trade and every other policy that has brought us the stagnation of American greatness during the Obama Presidency.

Defeating the career corruptocrat Hoyer is no easy task and many well meaning GOP candidates have come and gone in this effort. With Marylanders awash in the flotsam caused by his failed philosophy, defeating Steny Hoyer has never been more important.

Maryland voters now have a candidate with nearly two decades of experience fighting the Democrat machine here in Maryland, current Maryland House of Delegates Minority Leader, Tony O'Donnell.

Delegate O'Donnell is a navy veteran and engineer by trade. He is a family man who has been committed to serving his community. On a personal note, I have known Tony for many years. He is a man of unique integrity and commitment. A minority leader in the Maryland House of Delegates has many opportunities to lose their way ideologically and lose their passion to fight an often indomitable democrat majority. Tony O'Donnell has done neither.

Tony is a staunch fiscal conservative who believes in American Exceptionalism. He is all too familiar with the devastation that liberal policies have wrought on the lives of Marylanders. Tony has spent most of his adult life dedicated to fighting for common sense values in the General Assembly. He would take that same spirit to the United States House of Representatives.

You can read more about Tony's views on the issues here.

While we often lament on this blog the failures of the MDGOP to recruit quality candidates to run, especially in tough races, Delegate O'Donnell's entry in to this race represents the strongest challenge to Steny Hoyer in many years. This race, coming on the heels of the recent Congressional redistricting, represents an all too rare and precious opportunity for a Republican gain in Maryland's Congressional delegation. This is why the editors of Red Maryland are so enthusiastic in our support of Delegate O'Donnell and why we urge our readers join us.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Gays and crossdressers now have more rights than any other protected group

With the passage Tuesday and the signature into law by County Executive Kevin Kamenetz Thursday of the Baltimore County “Human Relations” bill, which amends pre-existing law, gays and crossdressers are now elevated to a position above all other protected groups against discrimination in the county.

Why? Because the pre-existing law includes a Preferential Treatment exclusion which basically precludes employers from being forced to meet training and apprenticeship quotas in order to balance the number of employees from minority protected groups with those of the general population. It lists the protected groups: race, creed, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, marital status, and physical or mental disability.

However, in the new law, it fails to list the newly added groups (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity or Expression) to this exclusion, meaning gays and crossdressers can sue employers if the percentage of employees within training or apprenticeship programs of a company (or school) from these groups does not correspond with the percentage within the general population. See previous article here.

Now gays and crossdressers have rights beyond those of minority races, religious groups, women, the elderly, and the disabled. Oops.

Was this a hideous oversight by our five eager-to-please-the-LGBT-lobby councilmen, or a blind eye? Did they pull a Pelosi and sign the bill without first reading it?

It is time once again for the people to clean up the mess left behind by left-wing legislators who do not represent us and are inadequate to the challenge of discerning good legislation from bad, necessary from overreach. The petition to overturn the Transgender Bill begins soon. Help us tell our five councilmen to First Do No Harm. Please see the website at for more information, updates, and to volunteer to help with this essential effort.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Red Maryland Radio: 2-23-12

Hope you caught another great episode of Red Maryland Radio tonight.

Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio

On the show:
  • Jeffrey Prosser joined us to discuss the brewing Department of Justice/Virgin Islands bribery scandal,
  • Medical Marijuana is again a hot topic in the General Assembly; we discuss;
  • And mercifully the Presidential Debate season is finally over; we'll share our views on the state of the race
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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Red Maryland Radio tonight

Another great episode of Red Maryland Radio comes at you tonight at 8 PM

Tonight on the show:

  • Jeffrey Prosser will join us to discuss the brewing Department of Justice/Virgin Islands bribery scandal,
  • Medical Marijuana is again a hot topic in the General Assembly; we'll discuss;
  • And mercifully the Presidential Debate season is finally over; we'll share our views on the state of the race

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.

More below the fold.

Perspective on the Anne Arundel County Council Vacancy

As we continue the saga on the Anne Arundel County Council regarding who the Council will pick to replace Daryl Jones in District 1, let's take a trip in the wayback machine to Michael Wagner's last campaign, in 1994. During that election two issues that we are very familiar with these days, the gas tax and raising taxes on those making over $100K a year, were big issues.

Take a look at the 1994 Baltimore Sun story below to read more about Wagner's thoughts on these issues while he was a Senator...

Middlebrooks vs Wagner 1994

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Arizona Republican Presidential Debate: Republicans Now Have All the Information They Need; Romney Should Be the Nominee

--Richard E. Vatz

Last night’s Republican debate broke no new ground: no new and significantly inconsistent positions were broached.

The only new insights concerned Rick Santorum. When the possible frontrunner, he is no longer phlegmatic. It’s hard to be the object of harsh contenders who think you are now their greatest threat.

Having said that, let me argue that Santorum hurt himself with the persistent iteration that he made mistakes: Voting for No Child Left Behind, earmarks, voting for omnibus bills that had irresponsible amendments, etc. He periodically brought it up...why?

But the consensus that he destroyed himself or severely hurt himself in the debate was fostered to a large extent by the fact that the audience was simply not on his side. It is easy to hiss and boo anything anyone says and have others think it therefore has some credibility.

The reason the Republicans should not nominate Santorum is that he is simply too conservative to win in November.

Mitt Romney can, but probably won’t, win in November, but he has a chance. Once again, his articulation and being on top of a multitude of issues and being able to articulate them well bodes positively for him. The anti-Mormon bias from which he suffers is something that everyone apparently thinks should not be discussed.

Newt was wonkishly impressive, but his time has passed; he is not personally electable, and Ron Paul obviously is not either.

Moderator John King was less liberally offensive, but not by much...he still frames questions in a way to make Republicans look bad – “X said you’re a damn hypocrite regarding earmarks last week; do you agree?” – and he brings up minor issue after minor issue that redounds against Republican prospect of victory – [paraphrase] so, what think you about birth control?

A few minutes at the end of the debate focused on the foreign policy mess around the world after King emphasized the “women in combat” issue as pre-eminent. Oh, and he had them all describe themselves in a single word – good for 12 year-old viewers. I loved Gingrich’s choice, denigrating the exercise: “Cheerful.”

Overall a not useless final debate (one hopes), albeit one with some diminishing returns.

If Republicans don’t realize that Mitt Romney is the best candidate substantively and has the best chance to beat President Barack Obama, they deserve to lose.

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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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Jimmy Braswell Experience: 2/21/12

Live streaming video by Ustream

Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio

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The Victims of Overzealous Environmentalism

Watch the video below and see just how amok environmentalism in Maryland running.

Feel good about yourselves waterkeepers?

[Go to and donate to Maryland Family Farmers Legal Defense Fund, Inc to help the Hudson's pay their legal bills]

Although the New York-based Waterkeeper Alliance brought the suit, with the help of the University of Maryland Environmental Law Clinic, the suit is being funded by the Town Creek Foundation based in Easton, MD. According to Town Creek's grants page, the foundation has given the Waterkeeper Alliance $300,000 to fund the lawsuit.

With such well heeled benefactors, why does the Waterkeeper Alliance need the help of the taxpayer funded University of Maryland Environmental Law Clinic?

Even Governor O'Malley decided to buck his environmental masters when he sent a scathing letter to law school Dean, Phoebe Haddon.

However, O'Malley's criticism rings hollow, given that in 2009 he signed legislation allowing waterkeepers legal standing to challenge environmental permits and other decisions. Students from the University of Maryland Environmental Law Clinic, were the unregistered, taxpayer funded lobbyists for the legislation.

Oh by the way, since 2009 Town Creek Foundation has given the law clinic $260,000.

Town Creek is a major funder of environmental groups in Maryland, especially Environment Maryland and the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. Town Creek funding paid for Maryland's Climate Change Commission and the report it produced, which recommended a menu of economically ruinous taxes, fees, and regulations. The Maryland Department of the Environment is due recommend many of these actions to implement the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act.

Of course, it helps Town Creek to have Donald Boesch, one of it's Board Members--you know the folks who make grant funding decisions--as a member of the climate commission. Town Creek also funds the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences, which just happens to be run by Donald Boesch. Convenient.

Town Creek also funds the Maryland Offshore Wind Coalition--over $240,000--to push for O'Malley's offshore wind boondoggle, which will force utility ratepayers to subsidize costly, inefficient energy.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Jimmy Braswell Experience returns tonight

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

The guys will be talking about the fiasco with the District 1 vacancy on the Anne Arundel County Council. They'll also discuss gay marriage and "stupid bills."

Listen in or watch live tonight at 8 PM.

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This Man Is Teaching Your Children

One of the reasons that conservatives look askance at those who call themselves professional educators is that so often they are little more than socialist rent seekers who spend at least as much time on propagandizing students as they do actually teaching.

Maryland has its share of these but today I'm going to talk about one in particular. Shaun Johnson, assistant professor of education at Towson University. Johnson, it seems, is a stereotypical leftie who has, as is stereotypical of the breed, underachieved his way into a Ph.D. in education. He runs a silly blog called At The Chalk Face. (Shaun, you can thank me for the link.) When he isn't teaching insipid courses like Practical Conversations on Gender or lecturing on the Manliness of Education Reform (I remain more than a little unclear on his qualifications on the latter) he insults people.

In the course of a Twitter discussion between Dana Loesch and some other people over the egregious misrepresentation by the left of a pro-life law in soon to be passed in Virginia, he called her a "Conservadouche." Brooks Bayne at the blot The Graph did a screen cap of the tweet as Mr. Manliness, after insulting a woman he doesn't know over a issue he was obviously ignorant about deleted the tweet.

So what makes this insult different from any other insult tossed about on Twitter? The fact that Johnson identifies himself as an assistant professor of education at Towson University on his Twitter profile.

Bayne made a complaint to Towson University and Mr. Manliness has made an apology.

That's fine as far as it goes. The meta issues are 1) is this considered appropriate behavior for Towson faculty by the administration of that college and 2) if not, what is going to be done about it?

More below the fold.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Broadside Tonight 7pm

Tonight on The Broadside

Andrew is out tonight, and guest host John Morony joins Mark live from Thunderdome in the bustling metropolis of Centreville, MD

Reax to the gay marriage vote in the House of Delegates and how it went down Friday night.

Tom Firey Senior Fellow at the Maryland Public Policy Institute and The Cato Institute joins us to talk about Governor O'Malley's offshore wind boondoggle.

Red Maryland's newest contributor J. Doug Gill resurrects his Strange News segment.

All that and more tonight on The Broadside. Tune in at 7pm on The Red Maryland Network or watch live on Ustream on BroadsideTV.

More below the fold.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

BREAKING: Miller, Busch pushing Wagner for AA Vacancy?

We're getting reports about a very interesting set of circumstances surrounding the 1st District vacancy on the Anne Arundel County Council.

Sources are indicating the Senate President Mike Miller and Speaker Mike Busch are both encouraging that former State Senator Mike Wagner be picked as the Democrat to replace Daryl Jones on the County Council. The vacancy selection process went to 102 ballots on Thursday night as the Council deadlocked between Wagner and Marine Corps reservist Peter Smith.

Now there are several dynamics that are at play here, not the least of which is the fact that Miller and Busch are reported to be backing the candidate that is getting the votes of three of the four Republicans on the County Council, with John Grasso, Derek Fink, and Dick Ladd backing Wagner. That means that the two Democrats still sitting on the Council, Jamie Benoit and Chris Trumbauer, are at odds with senior Democratic legislative leadership.

What's even more interesting is the fact that the Democratic establishment is again picking the older, white candidate, in opposition to the African-American candidate Smith. This is the second time in a month that the Democratic establishment has picked the old white dude over a qualified African-American candidate, particularly interesting given the demographic makeup of the 1st District and the fact that Miller and Busch ostensibly have nothing to gain from Wagner getting the appointment.

There are other even more bizarre aspects of this story; Wagner attending a fundraiser for Dick Ladd the day before the vote and unverified rumors that Wagner has promised his vote to a particular individual for County Executive if John Leopold has to vacate the office before the end of his term. This process is a farce at this point and probably points out the need for a drastic change in the selection process, but it will be interesting to see how it plays out...

More below the fold.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Almost All Campaigning is Negative, But Some Is More Objectionable Than Others – the Republican 2012 Presidential Campaign

--Richard E. Vatz

The perennial Hydra issue of negative campaigning and negative ads has reared several of its heads recently, as Gov. Mitt Romney has begun to attack Sen. Rick Santorum.

This writer has written extensively on such campaigning (e.g. USA Today Magazine, September, 2008; see also a shorter version). One of the points I have argued consistently is that negative campaigning is unavoidable, particularly by lesser known candidates running against incumbents, because all such candidates need to say that “I shall be a better office-holder than my opponent, and here’s why.”

In this blog I just want to focus primarily on one two-pronged question: what is negative campaigning in the 2012 presidential Republican primary, and why does it matter.

For many of the campaign ads there is no dispute. No one disagrees, for example, that pro-Romney super PAC ads that, as The New York Times states, “connect Mr. Gingrich to Nancy Pelosi and China’s one-child policy,” are negative. (In fact Gingrich threatens to sue the creators of such ads.)

Similarly, no one disputes that the Newt Gingrich ads which disparage Gov. Romney through videos of his own statements (including taking some of his quotes out of context) are “negative ads.”

Also indisputable is the fact that, as Tribune Newspapers describes it, Romney has begun negatively attacking Santorum’s defending earmarks and not being a “deficit hawk.”

In reporting these ads, Tribune Newspapers also states that “While Romney was running a starkly negative campaign, Santorum and his supporters were running positive ads arguing that he is the only proven conservative in the race.”

Whoa – these are “positive” ads? One ad says that Gov. Romney is flinging mud because “Romney’s trying to hide from his big government Romneycare.”

If Santorum says that he is the only proven conservative Republican running, that is inarguably negative. It says that Romney is inauthentic – that’s positive?

People have problems articulating why they do not approve of certain campaigning, but the claim that one is “against negative campaigning” or that ads contrasting candidates worthiness is somehow “positive” is simply misleading and false.

It is quite legitimate to impose what a colleague and I have termed the “FIT” test:” evaluating if campaign ads are false, irrelevant (not irreverent) and/or tasteless.

Anything less specific is meaningless and does not discriminate fairly among campaign ads, particularly in the Republican presidential race of 2012.

-- Professor Vatz teaches political rhetoric at Towson University and is author of the recently released The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion (Kendall Hunt, 2012)

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Friday, February 17, 2012

On Cam & Company Tonight 9pm

I will be paneling with my Broadside colleague Andrew Langer tonight on Cam & Company from NRA News. Watch here, or tune in live on SiriusXM 125 The Patriot.

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Red Maryland Radio: 2-16-12

Hope you caught another great episode of Red Maryland Radio tonight:

Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio

Tonight on the show:
Be sure to listen 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.

John Donoghue Made An Offer He Can't Refuse?

Editor's Note: Delegate Donoghue voted no on final passage of the gay marriage bill.

Following hard on the heels of the purchase of Wade Kach... who we understand is now walking around Annapolis with an armed security officer to fend off questions from the press and comments from his colleagues whom he has screwed and not bothered to kiss... we hear of another situation involving Delegate John Donoghue of District 5C. Despite being a Democrat, Donoghue has maintained a fairly conservative voting record.

The story making the rounds is that Donoghue's wife was fired from her job in the past few days and Donoghue has been promised his wife will be rehired if he votes for gay marriage.

Another delegate, Republican, whom we won't name has been offered a favorable adjustment to their district boundaries in exchange for a change of their vote.

One would like to think this is hyperbole coming out of a supercharged legislative session. Unfortunately, this is the way Martin O'Malley's Maryland operates and it is the way it has operated since Day One.

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Red Maryland Radio Tonight

So......anything happening today in the world? Red Maryland Radio that comes at you tonight at 8 PM

Tonight on the show:

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.

More below the fold.

The Jimmy Braswell Experience: 2/15/12

Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio

Video streaming by Ustream

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