Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Wayne Gilchrest is becoming a national story

Today at NRO, Club for Growth President Pat Toomey discusses his organization’s priorities with NRO’s Kathryn Jean Lopez:

Lopez: Which Republicans must be defeated in 2008?

Toomey: If there is one Republican who must be shown the door, it is Representative Wayne Gilchrest (Md., 1). Representing the conservative First Congressional District in Maryland, Rep. Gilchrest is one of the most economically liberal Republicans in Congress, ranking 212th on the Club for Growth’s 2006 scorecard. His anti-growth votes read like a “RINO of the Year” award. He recently broke his anti-tax pledge, not once, but twice, voting for the Farm Bill, including a tax hike on foreign companies, and for a tax hike on oil companies. He feels no compunction about wasting taxpayer dollars, whether he’s voting for mohair and Viagra subsidies or against every anti-pork amendment (for which he was present) in 2007 and 2006. In a blow to political free speech, Gilchrest supported McCain-Feingold and the so-called 527 Reform Bill last year. Of course, there’s his vote to increase the minimum wage and his vote against an amendment restricting eminent domain abuse — and well, I could go on for a long time.

In contrast, his opponent, Maryland State Senator Andy Harris, has a long record of fighting for taxpayers at the local level, leading the fight against the Wal-Mart Tax Bill in the Maryland State Senate and sponsoring repeal of the Maryland inheritance tax. Harris has successfully ousted a Republican incumbent before, has been endorsed by former Maryland Republican Governor Bob Ehrlich, and is outraising Gilchrest. A Harris victory in the February primary will be a decisive victory for the conservative movement.” Interview on 2008 & GOP on National Review Online

Wayne Gilchrest has taken up where Connie Morella left off. The Andy Harris candidacy is real and the dueling candidacies should be the highlight of our primary day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


A win for Delaware and Virginia and Pennsylvania...

“Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot (D), a vocal critic of the special session, said the tax package is "regressive" and "may damage the Maryland economy, which is in a volatile and soft position right now." Experts Divided on Md. Tax Package's Effects

God help us when Peter Franchot is the voice of sanity in Maryland’s ruling party.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


John Kerry as a Coming Attraction

Less than two weeks ago, we learned that over three years after the fact, John Kerry was ready to once again face the Swift Boat Veterans:

“We have put together a documented portfolio that frankly puts their lies in such a total light of absurdity and indecency, that should they ever rear their ugly heads again, we have every single ‘t’ crossed and ‘i’ dotted, and I welcome that in a sense,'' Kerry said following a morning address to the South Shore Chamber fo Commerce. ``It’s a shame we weren’t able to produce all that at the time.'' WEB EXTRA / Kerry says he’ll be ready next time

Yeah – a real shame.

Well, apparently the timeline for proving the charges were lies has been moved up considerably:

Kerry Vows to Disprove Swift Boat Claims

“Sen. John Kerry, whose 2004 presidential campaign was torpedoed by critics of his Vietnam War record, said Friday he has personally accepted a Texas oilman's offer to pay $1 million to anyone who can disprove even a single charge of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.”

The whole article is rather amusing and definitely sympathetic to Mr. Kerry:

“While fellow veterans and reporters disproved many of the group's claims at the time…”

Uhh – if that’s true, why haven’t the skies been full of “fellow veterans and reporters” swooping into Dallas to collect the $1 million. My own recollection of the furor surrounding the charges was that at best the reporters concluded that the Swift Boaters hadn’t proved all their charges and that the fellow veterans that did come forward for John Kerry were just agreeing with his version of events.

“Ever since, Kerry has worked to lay the criticisms to rest.

“In May 2005, he began allowing reporters access to his full Navy personnel and medical records _ something he refused to do during the campaign.”

We then found out why he wasn’t eager to disclose all during the campaign:

Yale grades portray Kerry as a lackluster student - The Boston Globe

“In 1999, The New Yorker published a transcript indicating that Bush had received a cumulative score of 77 for his first three years at Yale and a roughly similar average under a non-numerical rating system during his senior year.”

“Kerry, who graduated two years before Bush, got a cumulative 76 for his four years, according to a transcript that Kerry sent to the Navy when he was applying for officer training school. He received four D's in his freshman year out of 10 courses, but improved his average in later years.”

Yep – he didn’t even do as well as George W. Bush. Heh, heh – how would that piece of info have played in 2004?

And that also serves to question the accuracy of this statement:

“[John Kerry’s] own response was muted for fear of legitimizing his critics' attacks.”

I’m not sure which is more moronic – that really being a “fear” or the reporter’s acceptance of it as the explanation. The book “Unfit for Command” was a #1 bestseller – only an incredible conceit could possibly conclude that the attacks would still lack legitimacy as long as they didn’t garner a John Kerry response.

As to that being the reason for the muteness; how does the reporter verify that? Wouldn’t it be more accurate to write that the Kerry campaign claimed that as a reason for the muted response? My own belief is that John Kerry thought he didn’t need to do anything because his friends in the media would handle it for him. (And they did try.) Further, I can easily imagine the Kerry campaign not eager to let his GPA become public knowledge because it wouldn’t fit the mythology.

My suspicion is that one’s reaction to the charges by the Swift Boat Veterans was a function of how you already felt about John Kerry. If John Kerry really can blow these charges out of the water, I will post a very sincere “mea maxima culpa”. Until then…

Friday, November 16, 2007


Just take Metro to the Reston stop...

I meant to post this a few days ago…but it’s still funny:

“Only four riders showed up to voice their opposition to the largest increases Metro has ever proposed in rail fares and parking fees.

"One rider blamed the small turnout on the location, a conference center in Reston, that was not easily accessible by bus or rail. The rider said she could not even find it on MapQuest. Metro board member Catherine Hudgins, who represents Virginia, acknowledged that it was possible the location might have contributed to the small turnout.”
Location Blamed for Small Turnout

Anyone care to guess where Ms. Hudgins lives?

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Congratulations, Soccer Dad

Impressive link in today's Best of the Web:

OpinionJournal - Best of the Web Today - November 15, 2007

See: Taint Nobody's Biz-ness if I Do

Although some might accuse him of shooting the proverbial fish in a barrel, SD has a great catch on the ongoing perfidy that is NY Times journalism.

Here’s the original posting: Soccer Dad: What i didn't read in the ny times

Since I'm listed right after Soccer Dad on the MBA blogroll, I'm going to take some time and revel in his reflected glory.


The Mexican President is P***ed!!

Kudos to any presidential aspirant – Democrat (yeah, right) or Republican – who publicly disses this guy.

“Mexican President Felipe Calderón took the unusual step Wednesday of injecting himself into U.S. presidential politics, calling Mexican migrants "thematic hostages" of the race and urging candidates not to use them as a talking point.” Mexican Leader Sees Bias in U.S. Politicking

It is a cliché that the Mexican citizenry that illegally sneaks into this country are merely taking on the so-called menial jobs that Americans just won’t do and that they are a net-gain for our economy. If that is so then Mr. Calderón should learn from OPEC and threaten us with a withholding of this valuable labor source if we don’t start acting nice. If they are important as the pro-illegals intimate, a quick capitulation by us should follow.

I think we all know which country would bear the worst of that move.

To me, it is a remarkable insight then into just how pathetic a country Mexico has become: a gringo-run country with an oft-lamented bias against Mexicans is still much preferred by a significant number of the discriminated-against Mexicans over a country run by Mexicans, supposedly for Mexicans.

And if we really want to irritate President Calderón, we should just adopt Mexican-style immigration rules.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


A Democratic Prayer

Soccer Dad has a post (by Daled Amos) commenting on Howard Dean’s latest outreach to Jews. Therein, I followed a link to a Politico article that included this strange quote:

A DNC official said the chairman was saying that “Democrats, unlike the Republicans, are an inclusive party, respectful of all people, and he said that prayer in public settings should reflect that.” Dean says Jews can go to heaven - Mike Allen -

Yeah, Republicans are the ones making us all skittish about uttering God’s name in public. For a prayer in a public setting to properly reflect Democratic inclusiveness, it would need to read something like this:

“Lord, as a testament to just how inclusive the Democratic Party is, we publicly ask your blessings on our gathering today. We pray for the conversion of those who sinfully take up the cause of the unborn in clear contradiction of your scripture that is Roe v. Wade. We ask, if it’s not too much trouble, you pick a different “Chosen People” because your current one isn’t playing well with some of our more vocal constituents. Finally, we ask you to smote the evil Republicans who thwart our efforts to fulfill your scriptural admonition to “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s”…because, of course, it should all be Caesar’s.”


Driving after midnight...oh yeah, and without a license

The Post follows up on a tragic accident that killed 17-year old Christian Cruz in Montgomery County early Monday morning. According to the Post report, Mr. Cruz and three high school friends – all aged 15 years old – were together for a sleepover and went out about midnight for some food. Christian’s mother claims he wasn’t driving.

Glossed over in the article is just how unlicensed teenagers get access to a car to drive. Wasn’t there any adult/parental supervision present at the sleepover? If not, why not and if so,…well that’s just too pathetic to think about. But the Post spins the story thusly:

“The cycle of grief recalls fall 2004, when 15 young people died in the span of a month in Washington area crashes involving teenage drivers. A Maryland law enacted in response to those deaths could have prevented two of the most recent wrecks -- including the one that killed Cruz -- if the teens had obeyed it.”

The article goes on to summarize Maryland's 2005 expansion of its "graduated driver's license". But what would the “graduated driver’s license” have done to prevent Mr. Cruz’s death? Nobody in the car was licensed and if the driver was other than Mr. Cruz, then that driver wasn’t even eligible to be licensed. Seems the Maryland law passed decades ago requiring a license to drive should have been more than enough…had the teens obeyed it.

Side Notes: Of course, unlicensed (and uninsured) teenagers driving cars is not a new phenomenon. So, using the logic of such deep thinkers as Eliot Spitzer, maybe we should just give them all licenses. I know I’d then feel safer and more secure.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Al Gore: Venture CAPITALIST

The lure of the green…back, that is, has apparently ensnared Al Gore:

Gore Joins Major Venture Capital Firm

“Al Gore announced Monday he's joining Silicon Valley's most prestigious venture capital firm to guide investments that help combat global warming.”

Fret not, however, his heart remains pure:

Gore said he'll donate 100 percent of his salary as a Kleiner Perkins partner to the advocacy group, which focuses on accelerating policy solutions to the climate crisis.”

Now those familiar with tendency of Mr. Gore to get green by going green will not be surprised to learn that the advocacy group named is one that he helped found and with which he remains active: The Alliance for Climate Protection (whose “…mission is to persuade the American people — and people elsewhere in the world – of the importance and urgency of adopting and implementing effective and comprehensive solutions for the climate crisis.”) Apparently a key part of their strategy is to be a non-stop shill for Al Gore ( The Alliance in the News).

Further, I can’t resist parsing the bit about salary donation: is that partner salary vice partner share of income or is it all included. Amusingly, if his salary is sufficiently large enough so that it accounts for more than 50% of his Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), then he would run up against the 50% limit on charitable contributions (no more than 50% of your AGI can be offset by charitable contributions) meaning he’d have to pay tax on money he hadn’t received. Of course, based on previous donation records, it would be understandable if the former Vice President was not familiar with this provision of the tax code.

Bottom line: this (as well as other tax code traps such as AMT and limits on itemized deductions) could mean that the government will be taking money from Al Gore that instead could have gone to his efforts to solve global warming. But hey – ask any liberal-progressive – who knows better what to do with our money than the government.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Governor O'Malley's for the working man...unless he drives a car

Governor 'Likes' House Tax Plans; Delegates Plan Night Moves; Consider Auto Repair Tax - WBAL Radio -

“O'Malley says he likes the House version better so far. That's because it moves back in the direction O'Malley wanted by putting more of the tax burden on the wealthy and helping working families.”

“A House committee voted Friday to replace a sales tax on computer services and video game arcades with sales taxes on parking and repair services such as auto repairs.”

Yep – walk into any car repair shop or any public parking garage and there’s nary a working family’s car to be found.

UPDATE: Apparently this bit of progressivism could affect parts of the progressive coalition and thus is no longer part of the package.


An Orange Bowl remembrance

Covering sports doesn’t require you to know any more about sports than the average fan. We sports fans are reminded of that on a constant basis and it is my segue into a rant about an admittedly insignificant but still irritating bit on Miami and the Orange Bowl: Top 10 games

“With Miami playing its final game in the Orange Bowl this weekend against Virginia (the Hurricanes will move to Dolphin Stadium for 2008), it's time to reflect on some of the most memorable games the Hurricanes have been a part of in the O.B.”

So J. Darin Darst of CBS Sportsline, with the help of “ staff, writers and producers”, has put together a list of the 10 greatest games Miami played there along with 7 “honorable mentions”. Turns out, by the most amazing coincidence, that just about every game worth mentioning happened while Mr. Darst and that collection of sports whizzes he consulted were alive. Yep – of the 17 games mentioned, 16 occurred since 1984. Who’d a thunk it? The only pre-84 game deemed worthy of mention by these sports denizens was an actually forgettable 45-16 shellacking of Miami by Florida in 1971. (As a point of reference, Miami played its first game there December 10, 1937.)

Now I am no fan of the “U” so it is reasonable to ask why I even care. And the more astute reader will be asking: What does this have to do with Holy Cross?

Glad you asked.

“January 1, 1946 UM 13 Holy Cross 6: Al Hudson returns an interception 89 yards for a touchdown on the game's final play to give the Canes the victory. Hudson was a state champion sprinter at Miami's Edison High School.” Goodbye to 70 years of Canes football at the OB

Yeah we lost but it was our only appearance in a bowl game so I want it remembered. Surely such a game merits greatness status over several of the games noted by I mean, if a 27-10 win over Notre Dame in 1989 is #7 simply because Miami converted on a 3rd and 44 play then a final play interception to win the Orange Bowl game has to be a Top 5….Doesn’t it? (And never mind the inclusion of that embarrassing brawl game with FIU a few years ago which inexplicably garners an honorable mention.)

And as I will never tire of reminding people, note that Holy Cross did not play for the tie in a big game…unlike a certain other Catholic institution (currently experiencing one of their worst seasons ever) did in 1966.

Friday, November 09, 2007


Montgomery County's Fair Share: Whatever a Progressive says it is

Fun little dust up between fellow MBAer Mark Newgent’s The Main Adversary and Andrew Kujan of Free State Politics over - what else - money.

Free State Politics:: Money Wins, We Lose “I wonder if the Delegate considered that Mongomery already DISPROPORTIONATELY BENEFITS from government programs in Maryland? I suppose the wealth in Montgomery is just happenstance, and has little to do with well maintained infrastructure, quality public schools, etc.

The Main Adversary: "Disproportionately Benefits" “How Kujan can say that MoCo disproportionately benefits while simultaneously footing most of the bill for the rest of the state and getting less in return for their “investments” is beyond me.”

Free State Politics:: Every County for Itself “What it boils down to is that some in the state of Maryland refuse to acknowledge that our state, as all states, is a set of parts that make up a whole. When my tax money goes to pay for Baltimore City public schools, I benefit, despite not having any children.”

The Main Adversary: Purporting to Argue Otherwise “Exactly how Kujan benefits from his tax dollars going to Baltimore city schools is another assertion he doesn’t justify. MoCo certainly does not benefit. How can it when MoCo tax dollars pay for the lions share of of school construction costs and MoCo gets the same amount money as Baltimore City, yet has 40% more students to service.”

It should come as no surprise that I’m with Mark in all this. I am wracked with ZERO guilt over my dis-inclination to support higher taxes – particularly as I do not see how the taxes already collected are being put to an especially efficient and effective use. Further, I am amazed that Mr. Kujan perceives any benefit from his tax investment in Baltimore City schools; I doubt most of those directly receiving the so-called benefit of a Baltimore City public school education share his apparent enthusiasm. It’s like anything else, it’s not the price – it’s the value received. Only a progressive – required by dogma to support all union-dominated efforts at public education – could possibly think we are getting anything close to our paid-in value out of the Baltimore City schools. Hell, looking at the dropout rate there – we’re not even getting babysitting services out of it.

I recently moved from Baltimore City to Montgomery County. Politically, there’s not much difference although the pretentiousness quotient is probably a bit higher here in MoCo. But despite a bit of recent squirming by some Montgomery County pols over the latest tax hikes, the mantra remains the same for liberals/progressives everywhere: Trust us – we know what’s best for you.

I know I’m going to be paying more in taxes. And I’ve pretty much resigned myself to the fact that the state will realize no additional benefits from those higher taxes. I could take the time to follow up on that prediction to prove it but I know I won’t have to. The same people who brought you this tax increase will be eager to prove it when they come back for even more taxes.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Dog bites man: More Incompetence in the DC Government

D.C. Tax Workers Charged In Scam

“Two mid-level D.C. government employees used phony paperwork to collect more than $16 million from illegal tax refunds, avoiding detection for at least three years while issuing more than 40 checks cashed by friends and family members in on the scam, prosecutors said yesterday.”

Apparently authorities weren’t able to break this case until the acting Attorney General specifically authorized the waterboarding of a witness.

Ha! Just kidding…only because I think waterboarding is funny. Anyway, the story doesn’t say so we’ll probably just have to wait to learn how all this is George Bush’s fault.

Side Notes: “Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi asked for the resignations at the tax office… None was implicated in the fraud, but officials said they left because of their failure to catch it….

“Still, [Mr. Gandhi] said, "The most sophisticated audits won't be able to find this kind of corruption."

Uhh, yes they would. Actually, the audit need not be that sophisticated. As the story indicates, the refunds issued were extremely large. An ordinary audit procedure would stratify the populations of property tax refunds such that the large dollar refunds would be grouped for testing. Such tests would include tracing back to the original tax payment, examining the real property records for the history of the account (including any changes in assessments) and even sending out confirmations to all the parties listed on the checks.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Senator Clinton can't seem to pass her driver's license test

Clinton's Answers on Immigration Grant License to Criticize

I honestly do not know what the big deal is about saying yea or nay to illegals getting drivers’ licenses but Senator Clinton just can’t seem to make it happen. If it truly involves a lot of nuances (and what is with the left and nuances?), outline what they are. If you can’t endorse a blanket denial then tell us in what instances you would grant an illegal a driver’s license?

But I am sure Ms. Clinton would have little problem generally opining that a State shouldn’t give a license to a 12 year old or to the uninsured or to someone thrice convicted of drunk driving. This even though the 12 year old may be a parent’s only way to get to medical care or the uninsured may be independently wealthy enough to handle any claims against him or the ex-drunk may be his family’s only source of income and needs his car thusly. What, beyond feared political repercussions (both ways), makes this question different?

Ideally, the granting of a driver’s license would not be a federal concern except, of course, that everything has become a federal concern. A proposal to tie some federal highway money to a prohibition on granting illegals access to our nation’s most important source of picture IDs might be a good way to get some people to say “yea” or “nay”.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Election Day - 2007

I am voting in Rockville (Maryland) elections for the 1st time since moving here in March. Unfortunately, there is not a lot to go on because it seems that everyone wants to keep Rockville Rockville while at the same time introducing some fiscal responsibility. Still some clues from the websites are helping me out:

For Mayor: 3 on the ballot: Susan Hoffman enjoys the endorsement of both Senator Ben Cardin and our Comptroller Peter Franchot and Drew Powell has at least two pictures of himself with Governor O'Malley.

...'nuff said. Mark Pierzchala gets my vote by default.

On the City Council side, 11 candidates for 3 slots. Instantly eliminated:
  1. Tracy Pakulniewicz-Chidiac because she used to work for Paul Begala and the Clinton Administration and seems quite proud of it;
  2. Carl Henn is a member of Amnesty International and reading his webpage makes me think he would cost us a fortune;
  3. John Britton is a former administrator for the United Nations refugee relief program in the Sudan...and now he wants to help administer my city?

I appreciate that these people care enough to want to get involved on the not-so-glamorous city level but I am also aware that cities (Rockville is Maryland's second largest city) can be stepping stones *cough*Martin O'Malley*cough* to bigger things. So I will do my part and vote (and not vote)...

...hey, Attila over at Pillage Idiot is a Rockville guy – maybe I'll just write him in.


If Bush said it, she's offended by it.

As noted elsewhere, Hillary Clinton was apparently offended by the President’s comparison of Osama Bin Laden to Joe Stalin and Adolph Hitler:

“George Bush’s faulty and offensive historical analogies aren’t going to end the war in Iraq, make America safer or bring our troops home.” Bush Scolds Congress

And here’s apparently what offended her:

“Bin Laden and his terrorist allies have made their intentions as clear as Lenin and Hitler before them. And the question is: Will we listen?” President Bush Discusses Global War on Terror

Meanwhile, Linda Hirshman weighs in on the whole Tim Russert-Hillary Clinton brouhaha. Whereas in the good old days, politics stopped at the shoreline, now, I guess, for Democrats, politics needs to cease at Tim Russert’s podium:

“Oh, and for you Obama and Edwards supporters, remember the story about the man who didn’t stand up to the Nazis when they came for his neighbors.” THE NEW REPUBLIC Blogs

So I think this can set up an interesting political Rorschach test: Which do you think is the less offensive/more accurate analogy: President Bush’s lumping Osama in with Hitler or Ms. Hirshman’s not-to-subtle comparison of non-Hillary supporters with those who didn’t stand up to Hitler.

Side Notes: Mark Hemingway over at NRO does a nice job of getting the reactions from a couple of groups that one could imagine would be offended: the Communist Party USA and the American Nazi Party.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Another book about the Clintons

Nina Burleigh reviews a new book about the Clinton’s in today's WaPo:

“Sally Bedell Smith is not the first and surely not the last to propose that the Clintons are in bed together (at least sometimes, presumably) "for love of politics" and nothing more. I suspect there's more to their relationship. But then again, I also think it's not for us to speculate….Similarly, who are we to assess the path a heartbroken woman finds out of the darkest night of her soul? Judge not, sisters, lest ye . . . well, you've heard it before.” Votes and Vows: The Marriage Of Bill and Hillary Clinton -

Don’t know who Ms. Burleigh is? The Post helpfully reminds us:

“[She]…covered the Clintons for Time and whose "Mirage: Napoleon's Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt" will be published next month.”

What? Still can’t place her? Well, she is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post but is probably best remembered for her defense of Bill Clinton at a particularly low point in his presidency.

"I'd be happy to give him a blow job just to thank him for keeping abortion legal."

Side Notes: …and why did she feel the need to include this cheap shot at Rosalynn Carter?

“The most avid consumers of the Clinton marital analysis are female because of what Hillary means to American women (otherwise, why not a shelf of books about the role of the silent partner in the most disastrous presidency in history?).”

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