Friday, October 31, 2008


Steve Hudson For Congress - Maryland's 8th

Look at it this way – it’ll be good for the environment AND good for your taxpayer wallet as Steve will not be flailing you – at government expense – with those obnoxious full-color glossy newsletters like the ones we've been getting that pimp Congressman Van Hollen’s various meet-and-greets.


No on the Constitutional Amendments

I’m heading to Ohio tomorrow morning – you can probably guess why – so did my civic duty and voted absentee today. Not a particular lengthy ballot but I did pause a bit over Question 2. Attila touched on this the other day and I want to follow-up with my own take on this.

I think slots should be legal for the simple reason that there are people who want to play them and there are others who want to provide the opportunity for those people to do so. Any governmental interest therefore is either pecuniary or paternal; neither of which resonates with any impact with me.

The arguments against slots usually invoke the regressive tax on the poor line or the increased crime statistic. The former is just Leftist speak for the poor-are-too-dumb-to-know-what-to-do-with-their-own-money; the latter just profiling of the politically correct type (and an argument which is always dismissed by the nanny-state’rs when others object to “affordable housing” projects).

The argument for slots always highlights just how much money it could bring the state and notes ominously that Marylanders have been trekking to neighboring states such as Delaware and West Virginia to drop their money into slots in those states. It also has been projected as a possible boost for the Horse Racing industry here.

As much as I enjoy a day at the races, that is no reason to bring in slots. I’m sensitive to what slot revenues has done for other states’ horse tracks but I still put our local tracks’ problems more at the feet of mis-management and of course inept state overview. Slots would be a natural fit at the tracks and I think the tracks should be allowed to have them – I’m just not convinced that Maryland should legislate such industry repairs.

But the argument that is the most fingernail-down-the-chalkboard for me is the one concerning the potential governmental rental stream. The last thing I want is government to have yet another revenue source with which to conduct their social engineering experiments. For example, the proponents brag that the Question 2 will:

“Dedicate 1.5% of gross proceeds to support small, minority and women-owned businesses in Maryland.”
(Of course, if all you did was read the Ballot version of Question 2, you’d never know that. see below)

Question 2 is a constitutional amendment meaning the governor and legislature were too candy-assed to make the decision themselves. Worse, Question 2, as written, limits access to slots to 5 locations which the legislature can’t increase on its own. The end result is a slots scheme that seeks first and foremost to enhance government revenue while deferring to the nanny-state denizens who want to tsk-tsk the life choices of the stereotypical poor and less-educated players all the while ensuring that none of them will ever actual visit the moralists locales. (Yes, I’m talking about you, Montgomery County.)

Probably the worse aspect of having to take a side in this matter is the unfortunate side-effect of aligning with some pretty unsavory characters no matter which way you go. The proponents include Governor O’Malley, the Baltimore Sun and the Maryland State Teachers Association; the Opponents include Comptroller Peter Franchot, the Washington Post and soon-to-be-ex Congressman Wayne Gilchrest.

But unlike Barack Obama, I couldn’t just vote “Present”…so I voted No. It’s too pro-government and too limiting on the industry. And ultimately, under the careful regulatory watchful eye of the State, I have no doubts that Maryland would completely botch the management of this enterprise such that the estimated returns don’t surface and we have another sick industry. Like I said earlier, we should have slots because there is demand for such gaming…not because Martin O’Malley has an agenda bigger than his resources.

Side Note I: Here is the text of the proposed Constitutional amendments.

“Authorizing Video Lottery Terminals (Slot Machines) to Fund Education
Authorizes the State to issue up to five video lottery licenses for the primary purpose of raising revenue for education of children in public schools, prekindergarten through grade 12, public school construction and improvements, and construction of capital projects at community colleges and higher education institutions. No more than a total number of 15,000 video lottery terminals may be authorized in the State, and only one license may be issued for each specified location in Anne Arundel, Cecil, Worcester, and Allegany Counties, and Baltimore City. Any additional forms or expansion of commercial gaming in Maryland is prohibited, unless approved by a voter referendum. Maryland State Board of Elections

…now see if you can discern from that verbage the following:

“The legislation also provides that the revenues generated by video lottery terminal gaming activities are to be distributed as follows: a minimum of 48.5% to the Education Trust Fund; no more than 33% to the video lottery operating licensees; 7% to horse racing purses (not to exceed $100,000,000 annually); 5.5% in local impact grants; 2.5% to the racetrack facility renewal account, not to exceed $40,000,000 annually (for the first 8 years only); 2% to the lottery agency for costs; and 1.5% to the Small, Minority, and Women- Owned Businesses Account. That companion legislation is contingent on the approval of this constitutional amendment.” Non-technical summary

Side Note II: I easily voted No to Question 1 also – that allows for early voting. Yeah, no chance of any mischief with that one.


Celebrating Diversity

The ballot box at Slate (“a daily magazine on the Web…owned by The Washington Post Company”):

Barack Obama: 55
John McCain: 1
Bob Barr: 1
Not McCain: 1
Noncitizen, can't vote: 4

The respondents gave a little background to their vote. A couple of my favorites:

“Ellen Tarlin, Copy Editor: Obama
“I cannot think of one reason not to vote for Barack Obama:…; he's anti-war; he wants to get out of Iraq and finish the job in Afghanistan;…”

“Emily Yoffe, "Dear Prudence" Columnist: Obama“Please, please, Barack, don't become another Jimmy Carter.”


Tough Times Call for Tough Talk

This is pretty funny:

“There's more. Mr. Obama's March 2007 letter included a stirring call to "assess options" and boldly suggested that the two men "facilitate a serious conversation" about housing. He was even brave enough to suggest that "the relevant private sector entities and regulators" might be able to provide "targeted responses." Then in paragraph four, the Harvard-trained lawyer dropped his bombshell: a suggestion that various interest groups get together to "consider" best practices in mortgage lending.” Barack Wrote a Letter . . . -

…and this (from the same piece):

“For example, recent media reports have lauded the prescience of Edward Markey, the Massachusetts Democrat who has long called for increased regulation of financial derivatives. Not that this says much about derivatives. Mr. Markey has also called for increased regulation of the Internet, cable TV, telephones, prescription drugs, nuclear plants, natural gas facilities, oil drilling, air cargo containers, chlorine, carbon dioxide, accounting, advertising and amusement parks, among other things.”

The whole piece is that wonderful combination of education and entertainment. Reminds me of a great line that Senator Clinton used during the primaries:

“I think you'll be able to imagine many things Senator McCain will be able to say,” she said. “He’s never been the president, but he will put forth his lifetime of experience. I will put forth my lifetime of experience. Senator Obama will put forth a speech he made in 2002.” Clinton Says She and McCain Offer Experience, Obama Offers Speeches - From The Road



Happy Halloween!

I’m going to a party tonight that I thought I was going to miss so I haven’t really given much thought to a costume. I guess I could just go as I am…which, as a Conservative Republican here in Montgomery County, would probably be construed as the Anti-Christ.


The World Series Champions

Belated Congratulations to the Philadelphia Phillies on their World Series Championship. I know of at least three people – Patrick, Kevin and Sean – for whom this is a deserved big deal and I hope they enjoy the moment…because it is not a common one for Philadelphia fans.

I just got back from Poland last night so unfortunately had to miss the entire Series…but on the bright side, I also missed out on the Obama infomercial.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Are Maryland's Democrats Misogynistic?

As you can tell from my moniker, I am a Marylander and am naturally wondering just how my state will vote next week. Towards that, I did a little research into past Maryland voting patterns and am dismayed at what it suggests: apparently Maryland just doesn’t believe women should be elected to the executive branch.

Now, it’s not as if Maryland hasn’t had its opportunities but 1994 and 1998 still represent the only times Maryland voters have allowed a female to ascend to an elected executive position. That was when the state electorate voted in Kathleen Kennedy Townsend as our Lieutenant Governor. That probably sounds very progressive and all until you remember that both times the defeated Republican nominee for GOVERNOR was ELLEN Sauerbrey.

Nominally, you may chalk that up to mere partisan politics – what with Maryland being an overwhelmingly Democratic state. But what then explains 2002? Recall then that running on her own, Ms. Townsend apparently encountered the same sexist buzzsaw that befell Ms. Sauerbrey enroute to becoming the first Democrat to lose a gubernatorial election in Maryland in over 30 years. Her opponent? The all-male contingent of Ehrlich-Steele.

Further evidence of this bias came four years later when Michael Steele bolted to run for the U.S. Senate. Governor Ehrlich then added KRISTEN Cox to his ticket…and despite his overall popularity, promptly lost to the all-male duo of O’Malley-Brown.

Finally, let’s not forget 1984 when Maryland voters awarded the state’s electoral votes to Ronald Reagan instead of the historic Democratic ticket of Walter Mondale and GERALDINE Ferraro.

Now through this all, Maryland’s Republicans have consistently supported the Republican candidates so it is clear that the problem of the lack of female accession is a Democratic one. That was never more evident than earlier this year when Maryland’s Democrats emphatically shot down HILLARY Clinton’s presidential bid in their primary.

So with this in mind, I look ahead with some trepidation toward our vote next Tuesday. If, as the past data suggests, Maryland does vote against the shattering-of-the-glass-ceiling ticket of John McCain and SARAH Palin, then - using the politically convenient logic of Identity Politics - I can only conclude that Maryland’s Democrats are a bunch of misogynistic sexist pigs.

I suggest mandatory Diversity Training.

UPDATE: It’s worse than I thought. Soccer Dad reminds me that in 1990 Governor Schaeffer defeated the husband –wife team of Bill and Lois Shepard…which jarred my memory enough to also recall Marvin Mandel beating Louise Gore in 1974.

Who knew the methodology of Identity Politics could be so much fun?

Monday, October 27, 2008


...and there are lawyers out there who studied the Constitution from this guy

“To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf…” Noted Constitutional Scholar - 2001

"Don't mock the Constitution. Don't make fun of it. Don't suggest that it's not American to abide by what the founding fathers set up. It's worked pretty well for over 200 years." Same Noted Constitutional Scholar - September 2008

But please don’t try this kind of legal reasoning at home…unless, of course, you went to Harvard.


We're too busy covering Sarah Palin

Some of you may have read (that is, if you aren't just limited to major city newspapers) about a tape held by the LA Times of a 2003 bash where Barack Obama – he of the excellent temperament – was apparently singing the praises of Rashid Khalidi. A brief synopsis on the Columbia professor (as if that description alone doesn’t tell you there’s a good chance he’s no fiend of America):

“But when Columbia academic officials made this choice they knew they were getting a Palestinian political activist. From 1976 to 1982, Mr. Khalidi was a director in Beirut of the official Palestinian press agency, WAFA. Later he served on the PLO "guidance committee" at the Madrid peace conference….The message sent by Columbia University officials by this choice was that they were determined to honor the memory of Edward Said by continuing to have radical Palestinian activism on campus.” The New York Sun, February 4, 2005 as quoted by TalkLeft - the politics of crime

Gateway Pundit has been a lead blogger on the matter and Andy McCarthy over at NRO has a pretty good run-down on all of this.

Side Notes I: Andy McCarthy reminds us of the flap over Trent Lott’s comments about Strom Thurmond at a birthday bash in 2002. Anyone remember Mr. Lott’s defense at the time?

“The first run through about Lott's opinions about Strom Thurmond's 1948 candidacy?

"Having said that, you know, I see -- I was 7 years old when, you know, Strom first ran for president. I don't really remember anything about the campaign." Talking Points Memo

Side Notes II: Also, mentioned in that New York Sun article:

“A big farewell dinner was held in their honor by AAAN with a commemorative book filled with testimonials from their friends and political allies. These included the left wing anti-war group Not In My Name, the Electronic Intifada, and the ex-Weatherman domestic terrorists Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers. (There were also testimonials from then-state Senator Barack Obama and the mayor of Chicago.)”

I know, I know – he was only forty years old at the time…

(I couldn’t find the commemorative book on Amazon but if anyone has a lead on a copy...)

Friday, October 10, 2008


Ayering the Wright ACORN

“Federal Election Commission reports show ACORN-affiliated Citizens Services Inc. got $832,598 from the Obama campaign for get-out-the-vote work during the primaries. But those payments stopped in May and the Obama campaign says they should not be an election issue. “ Washington Times - Obama camp downplays payments to ACORN

This should be significant because ACORN is back in the newsagain…and again.

How will the Obama Campaign respond with?

“You know, this conversation doesn’t help my kids.”

“This isn’t the ACORN
I know

“What ACORN has been doing lately
directly contradicts everything I have ever done or said in my life…well, at least since May"

4. “Acorn is not an organization with
which I exchange ideas from on a regular basis...well, at least since May. And the notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing an organization which engaged in detestable acts 40 months or 40 days ago - when I was much younger than I am now - somehow reflects on me and my values doesn't make much sense.”

But perhaps I’m being unfair to ACORN, after all, “…attacks against ACORN and community organizers continue a vile Republican pattern of mockery and viciousness against this noble profession. Community organizers are the very individuals Republicans should be celebrating for helping people to help themselves rather than depending on the government.” Fight the Smears: Barack Obama Never Organized with ACORN

Damn, after reading that, I’m inclined to think less of the Illinois Senator for NOT organizing with them.

Friday, October 03, 2008


Joe Biden cites military success, with international cooperation, during Bush Administration

I had a tough choice last night – College football, MLB Playoffs and the VP Debates. I compromised…and watched the Football and Baseball games.

So today, after deliberately avoiding watching/reading any reactions to it, I read through the transcripts of last night’s debate. But even without reading the websites, I’m guessing my side is generally onboard with Ms. Palin and the other side is continuing their meme about her unworthiness to even be within the same contiguous 48-States as Senator Obama.

Reading has the added advantage of having to devote much less than the televised hour and a half and you can gloss over all the fluff (and there is a lot of fluff). Politicians say things in the heat of the moment and I usually do not take such apparent gaffes that seriously but…

What the hell is Joe Biden talking about???

“When we kicked -- along with France, we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, I said and Barack said, "Move NATO forces in there. Fill the vacuum, because if you don't know -- if you don't, Hezbollah will control it."

Just for fun, try and find one fact within the quote that is correct.

But knowing the current sensibilities of the much of the press, I’m sure this will be spun as only a person with Joe Biden’s smarts and foreign policy experience could have come up with such a whopper.

I made the right decision last night.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Heads the Dems are right; Tails the Republicans are wrong

On today’s NRO, Jonah Goldberg raises a salient if predictable point:

“On that point, you know what I haven’t seen in all of the coverage of the bailout-blow-up? I haven’t seen a single interview with a Democrat who voted against this deal. I’ve seen interviews of Republicans who’ve voted for it. I’ve seen interviews of Republicans who voted against it. And, of course, I’ve seen interviews with the Democratic leadership in which they blamed the Republicans who voted against it but not the 94 Dems who voted against it.” Accountability by Jonah Goldberg on National Review Online

Coincidentally, I then went to where I was greeted by a picture of several prominent congressional Democrats looking very congressional:

House Democrats, from left, Lloyd Doggett (Tex.), Elijah E. Cummings (Md.), Robert C. Scott (Va.) and Rush D. Holt (N.J.) discuss revisions to the legislation. (By Melina Mara -- The Washington Post)”

…of those four Democrats, three (Doggett, Cummings and Scott) had voted AGAINST the bill on Monday. Final Vote Results for Roll Call 674

So how does the accompanying article describe congressional reaction?

“Prodded by a wave of angry calls from constituents, congressional leaders dialed back partisan bickering over the $700 billion Wall Street rescue plan yesterday and advanced modest changes to the legislation in an effort to win over House Republican holdouts.” Lawmakers Revise Rescue Plan -

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