Friday, December 24, 2010

Harford County Tea Party Call to Arms!

from The Dagger

Letter from Tony Passaro:
Citizens of Harford County –

While I was distracted by the shenanigans in Washington D.C. this week by the Turn Coat RINOs selling us out in the SALT treaty, I almost missed the following action occurring right here in our own Harford County.

It is almost impossible to imagine it but the Harford County Board of Education (HCBOE) and Superintendent Tomback would even think about giving raises in next year’s budget request, let alone actually formally ask for them!

However, under the cover of darkness Superintendent TOMBACK has asked to give the all HCBOE employees (all 5,000) a pay raise that will come out of the pockets of the already over taxed Harford County Tax Payers…..all the while we are in a raging recession and suffering under an unemployment rate that hovers around 9%….

Let us rise up and put the BOE in its place. We need a groundswell of TEA PARTY folks to speak out on this arrogance and point out the insanity to the H.C.B.O.E. What cave has HCBOE they been living in for the past 3 years anyway???? We are fighting to keep people employed and services at a sustainable level and the BOE want to give a pay raises and increase their spending by 6.3%….All the while unemployment rages at 9% and our taxes are already as high as we can tolerate…….this increased spending can not be allowed to pass.

Spread the word.

The school board will hold work sessions and accept public comment on the budget on January 10 and January 15, before adopting a budget recommendation to County Executive David Craig on January 18, 2011.

We stopped the Town of Bel Air Pension increase, now we will need the help of the TEA PARTY to stop the rape of the Harford Tax Payer by the sacred, untouchable, arrogant, and unsupervised HCBOE…..

It is time to “Hit the Bricks”. Bring your thoughts and indignation to the next BOE meeting. We must swarm the meeting room, like we did in the town of Bel Air, and tell the BOE NO MORE SPENDING OF OUR DOLLARS……PERIOD.
Tony Passaro
Bel Air Tea Party Patriots
Alliance of American Patriots

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hey Hey Hey!

from the Baltimore Sun

Comedian, actor and Jell-O pitchman Bill Cosby comes to Baltimore next month in a new role: political fundraiser.

Cosby will be the star attraction Jan. 11 at a $4,000-a-plate dinner at the Tremont Grand on North Charles Street to benefit Otis Rolley, a former city housing and planning official who is challenging Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake in the Democratic primary for mayor.

There also will be a $500-a-head reception and a $75 stand-up performance.

“He typically doesn’t get involved in this kind of stuff,” Rolley, who was Sheila Dixon's chief of staff during her first year as mayor, told me Wednesday.

But The Cos agreed to do it after talking with Rolley over the phone recently.

That phone conversation took place at the behest of Karen Miller, who was Rolley’s director of budget and human resources when he headed the city planning department, and now serves as his fundraiser. Miller had arranged for Cosby to come to town twice, for a Park Heights block party in 2008 and for Black History Month in 2009, when she worked for then-Mayor Dixon.

“I really would like you to talk to this person,” Miller recalled telling Cosby. “I think he’s a rock star.”

Cosby’s reply, according to Miller: “What do you need me for if he’s a rock star?”

“OK,” she conceded, “he’s not a rock star.”

But Rolley is, she said, someone who shares Cosby’s passion for “what’s happening in urban cities and what’s not happening.”

Cosby agreed to give Rolley 20 minutes. They wound up talking for 40.

During that time, Rolley said he talked about both his master’s degree in planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his poor childhood in Jersey City, New Jersey, where Rolley said he was physically and sexually abused.

“I do have a degree from MIT,” Rolley recalled telling Cosby. “I also have a PhD from the school of hard knocks.”

My call to Cosby’s publicist was not immediately returned, so all I have is Rolley’s account of the conversation. Rolley said it ended abruptly.

“He didn’t say goodbye,” Rolley said. “He just hung up. ‘Oh, gosh. Did I say the wrong thing?’”

Two hours later, Miller called to say Cosby wanted to endorse him, do a fundraiser and eventually go door-knocking with him.

The fundraiser will come at a critical time for Rolley, whose first campaign finance report is due Jan. 20.

“Word on the street is, ‘Otis is good. He would be great, but there’s no way he can raise money,’” Rolley said. "If I have a strong showing on the 20th, then that conversation will change.”

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mooney to Chair MD GOP

from the Baltimore Sun

Departing state Sen. Alex X. Mooney has been elected chairman of the Maryland Republican Party after a contested election. He edged out Mary Kane, who ran for lieutenant governor this year.

We will have updates with the vote count and additional details right here.

Mooney can look forward to a season of change: Gov. Martin O'Malley and the Democrat-controlled General Assembly will be redrawing legislative and congressional districts, term limits mean the next gubernatorial race will be for an open seat and, for the first time since 1998, former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. is unlikely to be the party's nominee for governor.

"The party is on the brink of making a change of some sort," Chris Cavey, a former chairman of the Baltimore County Republican Party said in a story published today. "It is at the crux of change. and [Saturday] is Day One."

Ehrlich's 14.5-percentage point loss to O'Malley last month in a year that was good for Republicans elsewhere has stirred debate within the Maryland GOP, with some saying the party should focus more on local elections than on the top of the ticket, while others want to aggressively recruit new members from Democratic strongholds such as Baltimore.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Rogue Republicans Wanted....???

from the Baltimore Sun

Richard Cross, a former speechwriter for Bob Ehrlich who became a vocal critic of "strategic missteps" made by his campaign four years ago and again this year, is ready for a revolution.

"[A] bunch of us will be celebrating the rising renegade movement in Maryland GOP politics by hosting a 'Renegades Room' at the state Republican convention on the evening of December 10, 2010 at the Doubletree Hotel in Annapolis," Cross writes on his politics and pop culture blog, Cross Purposes.

Cross writes that he has reserved a hotel suite for "free-thinking" Maryland Republicans who are ready to shake up the party.

"[P]lease keep in mind that the organizers of the event reserve the right to control access to the room," he writes. "In other words, legitimate renegades are welcome, but those who foment trouble simply for self-serving reasons are not."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

O'Malley Crowned DGA Chairman

from the Baltimore Sun

North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue spilled the news: as expected, Martin O'Malley was picked* today to be the next chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.

(*While the organization already has announced O'Malley's election in a press release, and Perdue described him in her speech as the chairman, the actual vote is happening right now.)

** UPDATE: O'Malley has now, officially, been selected chair via a unanimous vote, says spokesman Rick Abbruzzese. **

O'Malley is currently emceeing an association lunch at the St. Regis Washington hotel. He spoke briefly, giving a somewhat nationalized version of his stump speech.

As DGA chairman, O'Malley now has the opportunity to expand his Rolodex with Democratic donors from other states, deepen relationships with a network of emerging Democratic leaders and recruit new faces to the party.

The position proved a stepping-stone for former President Bill Clinton, current Health Secretary Kathleen Sibelius and current Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, among others.

"It is an important leadership position," Nathan Gonzales, the political editor of the Rothenberg Political Report, said Tuesday, before the vote. "If it is O'Malley, it will put him on a larger stage than just being the governor of Maryland."

Republican Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi showed the way during the 2010 election campaign, when he made the Republican Governors Association a major fundraising resource for GOP candidates — and kept his own name in the national media.

But the job does not necessarily translate into national stardom.

"You don't get this huge national profile unless you seek it out and work it," said Jennifer Duffy, an analyst with the Cook Political Report.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Attack on Andy Harris (R, MD 1st) Moves to Radio

from The Baltimore Sun

In a possible sign of things to come, a liberal organization is going after Maryland Congressman-elect Andy Harris, starting today.

The initial strike, over health care, is somewhat reminiscent of the Republican strategy against Harris' Democratic predecessor. Republicans began attacking Rep. Frank Kratovil before he was sworn in and kept it up for much of his two years in the job.

Americans United for Change says it plans to whack Harris over a comment he made about health care at a Washington orientation session for new members of Congress last week. The Baltimore County Republican became a Democratic target after he demanded to know why new congressmen had to wait almost a month for their health care coverage to kick in.

The "Drop it or Stop it" mini-campaign against Harris, who favors repeal of the new health care law, argues that he should either drop his own government-provided health care or quit trying to deny coverage to others, according to the group's spokesman, Jeremy J. Funk.

"Call Congressman Harris and tell him to stop whining about his healthcare – and start fighting for our," declares a 30-second ad the group says it is running on talk radio in Baltimore and Salisbury for two days.

At the same time, the group is extending its anti-Harris effort to Facebook users in the First Congressional District, which covers the entire Eastern Shore and portions of Baltimore, Anne Arundel and Harford counties.

Full text of the radio spot:
Our new Congressman Andy Harris vowed to repeal the new health reform law during the campaign.

So what was the first thing Andy Harris did when he got to Washington?

Harris complained that he wasn’t getting HIS new government-provided health care fast enough.

Say what?

Call Congressman Harris and tell him to stop whining about HIS healthcare – and start fighting for OURS.

If he wants to deny Maryland families quality, affordable healthcare, tell him to start with his own.

Paid for by Americans United for Change.
----

Please give generously to the Andy Harris Campaign. He hasn't even taken his seat and the Borking has already begun.

ps - And if you ever get an opportunity to slam Donna Edwards (D, MD 4th), DO IT!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Donna Edwards Fabricates Controversy for Incoming Congressman Andy Harris

So much for collegiality, fair play and the spirit of bipartisanship within the Maryland Congressional delegation.

from The Baltimore Sun

House Democrats are trying to keep the spotlight on Congressman-elect Andy Harris of Maryland. They're demanding that Republicans in Congress declare whether they plan to use taxpayer-subsidized health insurance for themselves and their families, even as they call for repeal of the new health care law.

Harris, you may recall, got unwanted publicity on Capitol Hill after he asked about health benefits during a private briefing for 250 newly elected House members, staff and family this week. The Baltimore County Republican was reported to have expressed surprise that the federal health care plan, which is offered to all federal employees and members of Congress, would not start covering new congressmen until almost a month after they are sworn in.

Four House Democrats, including Rep. Donna Edwards of Maryland, began circulating an appeal to their colleagues in an effort to keep the story alive. So far, 35 congressional Democrats have agreed to sign a letter to Republican leaders about the issue.

The Democrats' letter said that Harris, described only as "a Republican Member-elect who ran on a platform of repealing" the new health care law "complained about a possible delay in the start of his employer-subsidized Federal Employees Health Benefits coverage."

The Democrats added that "[u]nfortunately, Republicans, like [the unnamed Harris], are happy to receive care that is paid for, in part, with taxpayer funds, but do not want to extend a similar benefit to hard-working, under- or uninsured Americans." According to the Democrats, the federal government -- the taxpayers -- will pay $10,503.48 of the premiums for each member of Congress who chooses a family policy under the Blue Cross standard option offered by the FEHB program.

The letter went on to demand that Republican leaders survey their members "to find out which of their members will forgo the employer-subsidized Federal Employees Health Benefits coverage before trying to make it harder for others to obtain affordable coverage."

In football, they call it piling on. In politics, there's no such infraction.

Harris did not respond to a request for comment sent to his spokeswoman.

In addition to Edwards, the Democrats circulating the letter are Reps. Joseph Crowley of New York, Linda T. Sánchez of California and Tim Ryan of Ohio.

Below is the full text of the Democrats' letter:
Dear Senator McConnell and Representative Boehner:

We were surprised to read in today’s article “GOP frosh: Where’s My Health Care?” in Politico that some of your incoming members are unhappy with the health benefits they are eligible to purchase under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) – particularly the fact that there is a delay before benefits take effect. Ironically, this is the same predicament millions of Americans currently find themselves in.

It is amazing that your members would complain about not having health care coverage for a few weeks, even after campaigning to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which will help provide coverage to millions of Americans who find themselves without health insurance for months or even years.

We also find it interesting that members of the Republican conference would have no problem taking away health coverage from hard-working Americans, but expect expanded coverage for themselves and their families. The system set up by the Affordable Care Act will allow Americans to choose the plan that works best for them from a variety of private insurance plans, just like the FEHB program that members of Congress are now able to access. The uninsured, small-business employees, and the self-employed will now be able to benefit from this same choice and competition.

It begs the question: how many members of the Republican conference will be forgoing the employer-subsidized FEHBP coverage and experiencing what so many Americans find themselves forced to face? If your conference wants to deny millions of Americans affordable health care, your members should walk that walk. You cannot enroll in the very kind of coverage that you want for yourselves, and then turn around and deny it to Americans who don't happen to be Members of Congress. It is worth noting that in 2011, the Federal government will pay $10,503.48 of the premiums for each member of Congress with a family policy under the commonly-selected Blue Cross standard plan.

It is important for the American people to know whether the members of Congress and members-elect who have called for the repeal of health insurance reform are going to stand by their opposition by opting out of the care available to them at the expense of hard-working taxpayers. We look forward to your response in the coming days about exactly how many of the members in the Republican conference will be declining their taxpayer-supported health benefits.

Sincerely,

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Will There be Any Tea for the MD Republican Party?

from The Baltimore Sun

Setting up a possible re-match of the 2010 GOP primary, Brian Murphy's camp began hinting that the conservative upstart wants to be the state's next party chair.

The move has been rumored for days, but gained credence here when Murphy's spokeswoman called to say that the Smith Island Cake investor will appear for three hours Friday afternoon a radio show hosted by former state Sen. Clarence M. Mitchell IV. Karla Graham, the spokeswoman, also said calls have been coming in from county GOP chairs across the state encouraging the run. But she stressed that her boss has not made a final decision.

Murphy lost handily to Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and in September and got a frosty reception from the former governor at an Annapolis rally after the primary. But as his poll numbers plummeted Ehrlich embraced Murphy, calling him "the future" of the Maryland Republican Party at an event with former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani.

If Murphy goes forward, the competition will be familiar. Ehrlich's most recent running-mate Mary Kane has said she wants to take over the Maryland GOP, a position that her husband John Kane held when Ehrlich was in office. Murphy would undoubtedly position himself in the same posture he did during the election: An outsider with business success hoping to shake up the Republican party.

And, with the Ehrlich-Kane team losing to Gov. Martin O'Malley by double digits in year where the GOP made national gains, the Maryland party faithful might be more interested now then they were two months ago.
---

Update - This story was all the make-believe wet-dreams of the Baltimore Sun's "progressive" reporters.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Public Employee's Feather their Nest and Invite Harford Countians to Bend Over & Grab their Ankles

from The Harford County Dagger

From the Harford Campaign for Liberty:

I want to make you all aware of the upcoming fleecing of the Town of Bel Air.

This is nothing more than a naked grab of the taxpayers wallet. The Bel Air Town Commissioners are going to vote on Monday 11/17 to increase the pension obligation of the town for new retirees by between 10%-15%. This is an outrage. The current pension rate is 40% of final year’s income.

If approved, it would grow to 50%-55%.
This is a huge increase in the entitlement obligation for the town. Most governments are looking for ways to REDUCE their obligations. Not Bel Air! The state of Maryland is $1+ Billion in the hole for 2011. Harford County is $40 Million in the hole. Worse, the state of Maryland is going to push teachers pensions back on the counties, thus worsening the financial standing of local government.

Yet, during one of the biggest recessions in the nation’s history, one where 9,000 folks in Harford are unemployed (Aegis front page 11/10) the Town of Bel Air thinks it is an excellent time to pass the loot to their friends!! This is an abuse of power at worst. It is irresponsible & incompetent governance at best. Neither are good. Both are unacceptable. Politicians who use the public coffers to enrich their friends or themselves is one of the reasons there is a Tea Party & a great reason to throw them out at the next opportunity.

WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT THIS?

The Resolutions to approve this legalized theft will be voted on in the Town Commissioners meeting on Monday 11/15/2010 at 39 North Hickory Avenue @ 7:30 p.m. We need to get the word out on this ASAP.

We need to get people out to the Town Commissioner Meeting to speak out, protest this abuse & hold these Town Commissioners responsible to their employers…the taxpayers of Bel Air. The Commissioners were trying to sneak this through without anyone noticing. So much for transparency. This is flat out wrong plain & simple. I have included the link of the website for the Bel Air Town Commissioners.

Please call them & email them.

Voice your outrage at this assault on the town treasury. Please ask your friends & family to do the same. The people are not their private piggy bank!

Sincerely,
Harford Campaign for Liberty

P.S. Please speak out about this abuse of taxpayer money on Monday at 7:30 at the Bel Air Town Commissioners meeting! See you there!
___________________________________

Follow up 11/16 from the Dagger comments section....

Tonight Resolution #947-10 was heard before a packed house of over 50 people at the Bel Air Town Hall. Testimony from one of the plan administrators conferred that the pension fund currently has $3.5 million dollars in assets, after recent loses, with a total of 60 town employees participating. A total of six people it is believed would chose retirement if the current plan is enhanced as proposed in the new bill.

If the current resolution is adopted someone currently making $100,000 a year in salary would have their annual pension raised from $40,000 to between $50,000 to $55,000 dollars. If that person lives 20 years, the pension plan would pay out between $1 million to $1.2 million dollars for this single person. Remember the plan currently only has 3.5 million in assets.

It appears the current plan is unsustainable, and any increase in benefit payments is simply ludicrous. I am sure the current employees eligible for retirement have been good public servants and they deserve all that was promised to them when they accepted employment. But enhancing the current plan is simply giving the lion’s share of the accumulated assets to those currently eligible, leaving the scores of other good Bel Air Town employees that will follow in retirement the crumbs. And ultimately, over the years, how much will the retirement fund have to be bailed out by the Citizen’s paying increased property taxes.

The Council voted tonight to table the current Resolution until an independent advisor can review the current state of the pension plan. In light of his comments, and questions, the only Councilman that made it clear he was against enhancing the payouts of the retirement plan was Terry Hanley. It was clearly the Citizens in attendance and Mr. Hanley that slowed down and derailed this run away train tonight.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Why DC is Broken and Needs a Paring Down Followed by a Bureaucratic Flushing

America is more than a mere plaything for the cognitive elites... and the only cure for this new malaise is a restoration of America's founding principles of liberty.

from Charles Murray @ AEI

The tea party appears to be of one mind on at least one thing: America has been taken over by a New Elite.

"On one side, we have the elites," Fox News host Glenn Beck explained last month, "and the other side, we have the regular people." The elites are "no longer in touch with what the country is really thinking," Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle complained this summer. And when Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell recently began a campaign ad by saying, "I didn't go to Yale," she could be confident that her supporters would approve.

All this has made the New Elite distinctly touchy (see Maureen Dowd's "Making Ignorance Chic"), dismissive (see Jacob Weisberg's "Elitist Nonsense") and defensive (see Anne Applebaum's "The Rise of the 'Ordinary' Elite").

"Elite?" they seem to be saying. "Who? Us?"

Why are the members of the New Elite feeling so put upon? They didn't object back in 1991, when Robert Reich said we had a new class of symbolic analysts in his book "The Work of Nations." They didn't raise a fuss in 2000 when David Brooks took an anthropologist's eye to their exotic tribe and labeled them bourgeois bohemians in "Bobos in Paradise." And they were surely pleased when Richard Florida celebrated their wonderfulness in his 2002 work, "The Rise of the Creative Class."

That a New Elite has emerged over the past 30 years is not really controversial. That its members differ from former elites is not controversial. What sets the tea party apart from other observers of the New Elite is its hostility, rooted in the charge that elites are isolated from mainstream America and ignorant about the lives of ordinary Americans.

Let me propose that those allegations have merit.

One of the easiest ways to make the point is to start with the principal gateway to membership in the New Elite, the nation's most prestigious colleges and universities. In the idealized view of the meritocrats, those schools were once the bastion of the Northeastern Establishment, favoring bluebloods and the wealthy, but now they are peopled by youth from all backgrounds who have gained admittance through talent, pluck and hard work.

That idealized view is only half-right. Over the past several decades, elite schools have indeed sought out academically talented students from all backgrounds. But the skyrocketing test scores of the freshman classes at Harvard, Yale, Stanford and other elite schools in the 1950s and 1960s were not accompanied by socioeconomic democratization.

On the surface, it looks as if things have changed. Compared with 50 years ago, the proportion of students coming from old-money families and exclusive prep schools has dropped. The representation of African Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans has increased. Yet the student bodies of the elite colleges are still drawn overwhelmingly from the upper middle class. According to sociologist Joseph Soares's book "The Power of Privilege: Yale and America's Elite Colleges," about four out of five students in the top tier of colleges have parents whose income, education and occupations put them in the top quarter of American families, according to Soares's measure of socioeconomic status. Only about one out of 20 such students come from the bottom half of families.

The discomfiting explanation is that despite need-blind admissions policies, the stellar applicants still hail overwhelmingly from the upper middle class and above. Students who have a parent with a college degree accounted for only 55 percent of SAT-takers this year but got 87 percent of all the verbal and math scores above 700, according to unpublished data provided to me by the College Board. This is not a function of SAT prep courses available to the affluent--such coaching buys only a few dozen points--but of the ability of these students to do well in a challenging academic setting.

Far from spending their college years in a meritocratic melting pot, the New Elite spend time with people who are mostly just like them--which might not be so bad, except that so many of them have been ensconced in affluent suburbs from birth and have never been outside the bubble of privilege. Few of them grew up in the small cities, towns or rural areas where more than a third of all Americans still live.

When they leave college, the New Elite remain in the bubble. Harvard seniors surveyed in 2007 were headed toward a small number of elite graduate schools (Harvard and Cambridge in the lead) and a small number of elite professional fields (finance and consulting were tied for top choice). Jobs in businesses that provide bread-and-butter goods and services to individual Americans, which make up the overwhelming majority of entry-level openings for aspiring managers, attracted just 1.7 percent of the Harvard students who went to work right after graduation.

When the New Elite get around to marrying, they don't marry just anybody. One of the funniest and most bitingly accurate parts of "Bobos in Paradise" was Brooks's analysis of the New York Times's wedding announcements. Go back to 1960, and the page was filled with brides and grooms who grew up wealthy but whose educations and occupations did not offer much indication that they were going to set the world on fire. Look at the page today, and it is studded with the mergers of fabulous résumés.

Three examples lifted from last Sunday's Times: a director of marketing at a biotech company (Stanford undergrad, Harvard MBA) married a consultant to the aerospace industry (Stanford undergrad, Harvard MPP); a vice president at Goldman Sachs (Yale) married a director of retail development for a financial software firm (Hofstra); and a third-year resident in cardiology (Yale undergrad) married a third-year resident in pathology (Columbia undergrad, summa cum laude).

The New Elite marry each other, combining their large incomes and genius genes, and then produce offspring who get the benefit of both.

We are watching the maturation of the cognitive stratification that Richard J. Herrnstein and I described in "The Bell Curve" back in 1994. When educational and professional opportunities first opened up, we saw social churning galore, as youngsters benefited from opportunities that their parents had been denied. But that phase lasted only a generation or two, slowed by this inescapable paradox:

The more efficiently a society identifies the most able young people of both sexes, sends them to the best colleges, unleashes them into an economy that is tailor-made for people with their abilities and lets proximity take its course, the sooner a New Elite--the "cognitive elite" that Herrnstein and I described--becomes a class unto itself. It is by no means a closed club, as Barack Obama's example proves. But the credentials for admission are increasingly held by the children of those who are already members. An elite that passes only money to the next generation is evanescent ("Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations," as the adage has it). An elite that also passes on ability is more tenacious, and the chasm between it and the rest of society widens.

What Herrnstein and I did not fully appreciate 16 years ago was how relentless this segregation would be. It is hard to get numbers--no survey has samples large enough to calibrate precisely what's going on with the top percentiles of the population that I'm talking about--but the numbers we do have, combined with qualitative data provided by observers such as Brooks, Florida and Bill Bishop, in his book "The Big Sort," are persuasive.

We know, for one thing, that the New Elite clusters in a comparatively small number of cities and in selected neighborhoods in those cities. This concentration isn't limited to the elite neighborhoods of Washington, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley and San Francisco. It extends to university cities with ancillary high-tech jobs, such as Austin and the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill triangle.

With geographical clustering goes cultural clustering. Get into a conversation about television with members of the New Elite, and they can probably talk about a few trendy shows--"Mad Men" now, "The Sopranos" a few years ago. But they haven't any idea who replaced Bob Barker on "The Price Is Right." They know who Oprah is, but they've never watched one of her shows from beginning to end.

Talk to them about sports, and you may get an animated discussion of yoga, pilates, skiing or mountain biking, but they are unlikely to know who Jimmie Johnson is (the really famous Jimmie Johnson, not the former Dallas Cowboys coach), and the acronym MMA means nothing to them.

They can talk about books endlessly, but they've never read a "Left Behind" novel (65 million copies sold) or a Harlequin romance (part of a genre with a core readership of 29 million Americans).

They take interesting vacations and can tell you all about a great backpacking spot in the Sierra Nevada or an exquisite B&B overlooking Boothbay Harbor, but they wouldn't be caught dead in an RV or on a cruise ship (unless it was a small one going to the Galapagos). They have never heard of Branson, Mo.

There so many quintessentially American things that few members of the New Elite have experienced. They probably haven't ever attended a meeting of a Kiwanis Club or Rotary Club, or lived for at least a year in a small town (college doesn't count) or in an urban neighborhood in which most of their neighbors did not have college degrees (gentrifying neighborhoods don't count). They are unlikely to have spent at least a year with a family income less than twice the poverty line (graduate school doesn't count) or to have a close friend who is an evangelical Christian. They are unlikely to have even visited a factory floor, let alone worked on one.

Taken individually, members of the New Elite are isolated from mainstream America as a result of lifestyle choices that are nobody's business but their own. But add them all up, and they mean that the New Elite lives in a world that doesn't intersect with mainstream America in many important ways. When the tea party says the New Elite doesn't get America, there is some truth in the accusation.

Part of the isolation is political. In that Harvard survey I mentioned, 72 percent of Harvard seniors said their beliefs were to the left of the nation as a whole, compared with 10 percent who said theirs were to the right of it. The political preferences of academics and journalists among the New Elite also conform to the suspicions of the tea party.

But the politics of the New Elite are not the main point. When it comes to the schools where they were educated, the degrees they hold, the Zip codes where they reside and the television shows they watch, I doubt if there is much to differentiate the staff of the conservative Weekly Standard from that of the liberal New Republic, or the scholars at the American Enterprise Institute from those of the Brookings Institution, or Republican senators from Democratic ones.

The bubble that encases the New Elite crosses ideological lines and includes far too many of the people who have influence, great or small, on the course of the nation. They are not defective in their patriotism or lacking a generous spirit toward their fellow citizens. They are merely isolated and ignorant. The members of the New Elite may love America, but, increasingly, they are not of it.

The Absolute LAST Thing the GOP Needs...

from The Baltimore Sun

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will be appearing on CNN's Sunday talk show this weekend, and if host Candy Crowley wants to make news, perhaps she should ask if he's interested in leading the national Republican Party for the next two years.

Bush, who has already ruled out a run for president in 2012, is being interviewed with his big brother, currently campaigning for his place in history and selling books.

Jeb, on the other hand, is taking a victory lap after Florida Republicans scored big in last week's election and may be looking to raise his political profile.

He has close ties to Marco Rubio, who won election to the U.S. Senate and will be the nation's first Hispanic senator with tea party connections. Meantime, Florida Republican Gov.-elect Rick Scott has placed three of Jeb's close political associates and former aides on his transition team.

As the next national Republican race, the one for national committee chairman, takes shape, a member of the anti-Steele caucus, Katon Dawson of South Carolina, has been dropping Jeb's name into conversations about possible alternatives to incumbent Chairman Michael S. Steele, who is expected to seek another two-year term in January.

Dawson said earlier this week he'd had no indication that Bush was interested. Today, he emailed that "a big, big name" could join the chairmanship contest late next week. Asked if the name might be Jeb Bush, he replied enigmatically that "no names surfaced yet."

Pursuing the party job would let Bush re-enter the partisan realm, as memories of his brother's administration fade. He's a prodigious fundraiser--which is what the job of national chairman is really all about--and he could help the party reach out to Hispanics--a high-priority task if Republicans hope to thrive in a rapidly changing America.

One Republican strategist with Bush and Rubio ties, who said he'd heard no talk of a Bush run for chairman, nevertheless said that he loved the idea.

Over the next two years, a generation of potential Republican rivals will be duking it out for the presidential nomination. If one of them unseats Barack Obama, it could well end Jeb's chances of becoming a third President Bush (he'd be 67 in 2020). Otherwise, he could be well-positioned for a run in 2016, when the White House would be wide open again.

Of course, it's by no means clear that he has any interest in the party post. Has he got the patience for the more mundane aspects of the job? Would he consider the position beneath him? Has he got better things to do? And would he be trying to emerge too soon? After all, his mother recently remarked that the country is "Bushed out," as Crowley said in an online posting.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hoyer & Pelosi Send Clyburn to the Back of the DNC Bus... AGAIN!

from The Baltimore Sun

Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland formally announced his candidacy Monday for House Minority Whip, the second-ranking position in the House Democratic leadership.

Hoyer is currently the second-ranking Dem, as Majority Leader, a position he'll lose when the Republicans take over in January. The southern Maryland congressman had been seen by some as a possible Minority Leader in the next Congress but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi decided she wanted the job after her demotion from the top spot in the House.

Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, the highest ranking African-American in Congress, has also announced his pursuit of the Whip position.

A source close to Hoyer said the Marylander has the votes to win. The election will be conducted by secret ballot, and there's no guarantee that the pledges he has received will actually turn into votes. However, a defeat at this point would be a major surprise.

Clyburn may wind up getting another position in the leadership, as top Democrats attempt to work out a plan that would head off a messy internal fight, probably the last thing they need after getting stomped in last week's midterm elections.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Democrats Hold Harford Sherriff's Office

from The Dagger

Several close local races highlighted Tuesday’s general election, with state senate and delegation and the Harford County Sheriff’s races all seperated by just a few percentage points.

Sheriff Jesse Bane narrowly defeated Republican challenger Jeff Gahler in a close battle. The two went back and forth throughout the early returns, with Gahler claiming a brief, slim margin of less than a percentage point over Bane before the incumbent regained the lead.

At about 9 p.m., the mood at the Bane camp was upbeat, but by 9:45 those presented were more somber and the sheriff appeared concerned.

Just before midnight, however, the sheriff said he was just “relieved” with the close win.

“It’s been a long year, a lot of work, a lot of stress, and now I don’t have that,” he said.

Bane said he expected the race would be tight. “I faced a major effort to remove Democrats,” he said. “I was not only fighting to hold onto the office but fighting a movement to remove Democrats and incumbents from office.”

Bane added that he did not believe the filing of charges of theft and misconduct in office against Maj. Mark Forwood, one of his top deputies, just 24 hours before the election, played a role in the slim margin of victory.

“No, I don’t think it played a role,” he said. “The stage was already set months ago.”

Gahler conceded the race via a voicemail to Bane, calling Bane immediately after the last results were made public.

“It’s over, and Jesse has won,” he said. “We both ran very good campaigns. I congratulate him on a well-deserved win.”

Gahler added that he hoped Bane would take action on some of the issue brought to light during the race. Asked about his future plans, Gahler said, “We’ll see what the next few years bring for Harford County.”

District 34 incumbent Sen. Nancy Jacobs narrowly lost to Art Helton in Harford voting, but appeared to retain her seat with strong Republican returns in Cecil County. Across the district, she held a double-digit lead just before 11:30 p.m.

Harford County Council District A incumbent Dion Guthrie defeated challenger Yvonne Baldwin with 55.8 percent of the vote to Baldwin’s 44.1 percent.

In the County Council District F race, incumbent Mary Ann Lisanti edged out challenger Sheryl Davis Kohl, claiming 51.6 percent of the vote to Davis Kohl’s 48.2 percent.

Just before 11 p.m., the mood at Democratic county headquarters was somber, with those present holding out hope for Helton and monitoring the District 34A delegation race.

In that race, Del. Mary-Dulany James led Harford voting, followed by Glen Glass, Patrick McGrady with 24.1 percent, and Marla Posey-Moss. The same order followed in statewide voting just before 11:30 p.m.

Incumbent Delegates Wayne Norman and Donna Stifler maintained an insurmountable lead in District 35A voting, easily claiming re-election to their seats. Stifler said she eager to get back to work, and focus on lowering taxes and improving the local business environment.

“I don’t care who’s governor, we need people to be able to hire other people,” she said.

County Executive David Craig claimed a second election victory, with more than 80 percent of the vote over Constitution Party candidate Mark Fisher. Craig took the stage at his victory party to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “I Won’t Back Down,” telling those assembled that he would continue to prepare the county for BRAC and move the county school system “from good to great.”

Craig noted that it was his 20th election, but the first in which he did not face a Democratic opponent.

“I believe it was because people in the Democratic party appreciated what I had done as much as people in the Republican Party,” he said. In his speech, Craig spoke of “promises kept,” including education, quality of life, and economic development.

Craig said 60 new jobs are created in Harford County each week.

“Nowhere else in the state can you find anyone else who does that,” he said.

On crime, Craig said, “We’re going to make all of Harford County safe, not just the northern portion, not just the middle portion.”

Gov. Martin O’Malley claimed 32 percent of Harford’s votes with more than ha, while challenger Robert Ehrlich took 63 percent.

Moments after early voting results were announced, Democratic Register of Wills candidate Tom Hopkins conceded the race to Republican Derek Hopkins, delivering a statement to The Dagger at one end of its mobile news lab, while his opponent was congratulated by supporters at the other. In the statement, Tom Hopkins commended Derek Hopkins on a “professional, positive” campaign.

Hopkins gave the first victory speech of the night at Ehrlich/Craig HQ, asking the assembled crowd, “is this a great night for Republicans or what?”

Later, Hopkins said he would hold to his campaign promise and his wife Katrina, a 12-year veteran of the Register of Wills office, would step down shortly. He hoped that she would be able to remain in the court system in some capacity.

Hopkins added that he would cease doing auctioneering business in Harford County or Baltimore County under his own banner, but would maintain out of state business.

In the Board of Education races, Bob Frisch defeated Jansen Robinson for the District A seat, with 66 percent of the vote. In District B, Cassandra Beverley appeared to defeat Ron Eaton, claiming 50.9 percent of the vote to Eaton’s 48.6 percent. Rick Grambo defeated Lorrie Warfield for the District F seat with 55 percent of the vote.

Frisch said he was “humbled” by the result and said it was proof that voters “did their homework.”

About his oversized campaigns, one of which was pictured on The Dagger, he asked, “Does size matter? I think it did matter.”

In what was by far the most combative of the three school board races, Bob Frisch beat Jansen Robinson by a margin of 2 to 1. Robinson said that he planned to continue serving the community and that some good had come out of the campaign, “Now there will be some more eyes on the Board of Education.”

The school board race in Fallston/Abingdon District B ended Election Day with Cassandra Beverley ahead of Ron Eaton by just 291 votes.

Asked whether she was declaring victory, Beverley said that would be “premature”, and she would instead await the results from absentee ballots. With at least 473 absentee ballots to be counted in District B, Bevereley said that she was planning to attend the first absentee ballot canvass scheduled for Thursday, November 4 at the Board of
Elections office in Forest Hill. Beverley said she had not yet heard from her opponent, Ron Eaton. Eaton did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

With 7,008 votes on Election Day, Grambo was the top vote-getter among the all of the school board candidates in all three districts.

“I’m happy that the voters in District D chose me,” Grambo said, “I’m going to work hard to make sure their voice is heard.” Grambo said that he also wanted to thank his North Harford opponent Lorrie Warfield for running a clean campaign.
---

Harford County Election returns here.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Corrupt Suvive the Tea Tsunami

Harry Reid, Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi... are ALL still members of Congress.

This Leviathan called the US Government is rotten from the head on down. And when the system cannot be counted upon to take out its' own garbage, it's become time for a new system that can.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

It's Now or Never Time!

From Tony Passaro, publisher of “Tea Party Views” and "The Dagger":

Under the light of a full moon, approximately 500 of the Tea Party faithful came together on a balmy Fall evening to listen to election eve speeches at a local grass roots “Now or Never“ rally.

The rally (organized by Americans For Prosperity) was held in Shamrock Park, not far from the Bel Air public library where early voting polls were already open to voters…..

The speakers included Kendal Ehrlich, Ellen Sauerbury, Jim Rutledge (currently positioned as a write in candidate for State Attorney General), David Schwartz, Chief Organizer of Maryland’s Americans For Prosperity, Dave Pridgeon Chief Organizer for Maryland’s Campaign for Liberty and Tony Passaro publisher of the widely read newsletter, “Tea Party Views” as well as several local businessmen….

Kendal Ehrlich gave a spirited speech and asked the audience, in spite of the polls, to not to give up hope and get the vote out for Bob Ehrlich.

Dave Schwartz advised the audience of the importance of this election and the fact that it would have a long term effect on State and National politics…

Other topics included the rising cost of health insurance to due to Obama Care and the Gerrymandering that would result if Maryland retuned a Liberal O’Malley to the State House (Dave Pridgeon).

Passaro reminded the audience that the current state of affairs was due to voter indifference in the past and that if the Tea Party wanted to take the country back from the Socialists they would need to not only get the vote out but to assist in the election of their local candidates.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Great Conservative Voter "Shut-Out" FAILS in Maryland

from The Baltimore Sun

A federal judge has ordered the State of Maryland to extend the deadline for accepting overseas ballots by 10 days, the Associated Press reports.

Judge Roger Titus issued an order Friday extending the deadline from Nov. 12 to Nov. 22.

The judge ruled on a lawsuit against the state Board of Elections by a member of the Maryland National Guard who said overseas voters have not been given enough time to obtain and return ballots for next week's election.

The guardsman, identified in court papers as Officer John Doe, and the Washington-based Military Voter Protection Project alleged that officials mailed overseas ballots listing candidates for federal office only by the deadline set in a new federal law designed to protect military voters.

They say this prevents them from voting for state office candidates, including governor.

Friday, October 29, 2010

State Democratic Leadership Pleased w/MD Early Voting Program

from The Baltimore Sun

Democratic leaders were so enthusiastic about the 219,000 Marylanders who participated in the six-day early voting program that Friday there was already talk of expanding it.

Gov. Martin O’Malley, who was campaigning in Rockville, said that he’d like to look at adding more locations there and in neighboring Prince George’s County — where voters stood in line to cast ballots.

The program, which ended Thursday, attracted 6.3 percent of eligible voters and was far more popular than the early voting period for the primary election which only drew 2.4 percent or 77,000 participants.

Democrats cast 64 percent of total early votes, outstripping their voter 56 percent registration advantage. Republicans cast 27 percent of the vote — slightly better than their 26 percent registration, according to the state board of elections. Absentee returns are following that trend, with 65 percent of the vote-by-mail cast by Dems and 27 cast by GOP so far.

Political watchers warned not to read too much into early voting numbers, as The Sun reported earlier this week. Actual results will not be tallied until election day. But that didn't stop partisans from celebrating.

Susan Turnbull, the chairwoman of the state Democratic party, said she was “very pleased” with the participation levels. “These votes are in the bank,” she said. “We don’t have to concentrate on those people,” she said.

Voting picked up as the days went on, with Thursday by far the most popular day at the polls.

Prince George’s county residents cast the most early votes, with 38,500 participating. Baltimore County took second place with 31,000 voters turning out early.

---

Heavily Democratic districts (like PG, Montgomery & Baltimore) need MORE early voting locations... and sprawling rural Republican ones like in Harford County (with only 1) not so much...

Now THERE's a surprising conclusion. < /SARCASM>

btw - More Democrats AND Republicans have voted thus far... Independents being severely underrepresented amongst "early" voters.

Democrats Pulling the "3rd Party Card" AGAIN in MD 1st District Race?


from The Baltimore Sun

In what appears to be a national pattern, the Democratic Party is highlighting a longshot third-party candidate in an effort to undermine a Republican nominee--in this case, Andy Harris, the GOP challenger in Maryland's tightest House race.

The tactic is either a desperation move, or a sign of how close the contest is, or both. It has special resonance in Maryland's First District, where the Libertarian candidate's two percent of the vote arguably tipped the historically Republican seat to Democrat Frank Kratovil in '08.

The Democratic mailer, first reported by Eastern Shore blogger Michael Swartz, masquerades as an attack on Richard Davis, the third man in the race, running again this year on the Libertarian line, with no realistic chance of winning.

Paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the flier describes Davis, twice, as an outsider and Tea Party type.

Davis "plans to cut government spending, will drastically reduce the size of government across the board, is a complete outsider . . . Davis and the Tea Party think government is part of the problem, and want to make it as small as possible."

"Richard Davis: Is he too conservative?" asks the mail piece.

The audience for the flier appears to be conservative voters. The barely disguised ploy to pull votes away from the Republican is a tactic Democrats are using elsewhere, too.

In Illinois, Democrats are promoting another Libertarian candidate, Mike Labno, in an attempt to cut into Republican Senate nominee Mark Kirk's support in conservative southern Illinois, the Wall Street Journal reported this week.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

MD Dems Making a Show?

It is tempting to see evidence of a Democratic leaning enthusiasm gap when examining trends in the early voting data released by the state's election board, but national political observers say: Resist that urge.

In Maryland the numbers show that Democratic voters have cast 63 percent of the vote so far -- even though the make up 56 percent of the electorate, a trend the Sun reported in a story for Wednesday's paper. Republicans, on the other hand, made up 27 percent of the vote, doing slightly better than their 26 percent registration.

The data would seem to show that Maryland is already bucking the predicted tend of highly energized GOP voters this year. After all, if the Rs were truly excited about Maryland's race, wouldn't the numbers show them flocking to the polls ahead of the allegedly disgruntled Democrats?

Jennifer Duffy, of The Cook Political Report, warned that the data is best used as a progress report for the competing D and R early voting programs. Indeed, the Democrats seem to be reaching more people on a nightly basis, though the GOP in Maryland claim they are exceeding goals.

George Mason University's Michael McDonald, who this week got into a lively debate with The New York Times' Nate Silver on this very topic, says early voting seems to be tracking pollsters' predicted outcomes in a number of states. But, he argues that the most insightful way of looking at the figures is to compare them with the turnout breakdowns by party from previous elections. Such a comparison is impossible here where early voting is brand new.

Todd Eberly, of St. Mary's College of Maryland, takes a stab at Mason's suggested analysis anyway and notes that in the September primary GOP voters stayed away from early voting places, but percentage-wise turned out more than Dems when the election was over.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Early Voting in Maryland Has Begun!

from The Baltimore Sun

Yesterday was the first day of a weeklong early voting period -- and people seem much more enthusiastic than they did during the primaries.

Both Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley and Republican former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. are storming the state today to get out the early vote.

The State Board of Elections reported that 32,000 people voted yesterday. On Day One of primary early voting, merely 14,000 came out. In total, 77,000 people voted early in either the Democratic or Republican primary.

Yesterday's numbers show that twice as many Democrats as Republicans voted. That tracks from the primary early voting turnout. Prince George's County, a Democratic stronghold, notched the highest Day One turnout, with more than 4,600 casting ballots.

Registered voters can head to early voting centers until 8 tonight. One reader reported a line in Towson this morning. The centers are closed tomorrow but will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Check here for details.

Tallies from each day of early voting won't be made public until after the polls close on Election Day, Nov. 2.from The Dagger

The first day of early voting for the 2010 Gubernatorial General Election got underway in Harford County Friday morning with long lines outside the doors of the Bel Air library.

About 25 people turned out to vote before 10 a.m. (there was some confusion as to whether early voting started at 9 or 10 a.m.) Hundreds of signs lined the streets. Bob Ehrlich, Jesse Bane and Andy Harris sign waving volunteers were out in full force. Del. Wayne Norman and Register of Wills hopeful Derek Hopkins were among those to cast the first votes.

It was also announced that Ehrlich would be coming to Bel Air this weekend for an Early Voting Rally at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday across from the Bel Air Library on Hickory Avenue.

---Update 10/29

Early voting is now OVER in Harford County. Your LAST opportunity to vote will be on the original/actual Election Day, this coming Tuesday, November 2.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Loving it - 1st Congressional District has Become a DNC Money Pit


from The Baltimore Sun

Democrats up ante; put $1 million behind Kratovil

So, do the folks at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee know something about the Frank Kratovil-Andy Harris rematch that the wise-guy analysts don't?

If not, why have they poured $1.1 million into a race that some--though by no means all--handicappers see as a likely Republican pickup?

The DCCC just put another $300,000 into attack ads against Republican Harris in Maryland's First District, according to a new filing with the Federal Election Commission. That brings the DCCC's total investment in Kratovil's re-election to $1,118,981.78.

That spending vaults Maryland's easternmost congressional district into the top ranks of House races nationally and raises the stakes for a party fighting to keep its majority in Congress.

Perhaps it's simply home-state pride. After all, Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland is the DCCC chair. And Baltimore-born Speaker Nancy Pelosi--the GOP's punching bag in its anti-Kratovil ads--and neighboring Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer, the Majority Leader, are the top Democrats in the House.

Or might Democratic strategists have reason to think Kratovil will hold off Harris, long regarded as one of the Republican Party's best bets in the nation to take back a Democratic seat this fall?

If it's merely an attempt to entice the national Republican Party into redoubling its support for Harris--which would deflect resources that could be deployed elsewhere--that's a very expensive ploy. For now, though, the National Republican Congressional Committee is being outspent better than two-to-one in the conservative district, which takes in parts of Baltimore, Harford and Anne Arundel counties and the entire Eastern Shore.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Early Voting in Maryland Begins Friday, 10/22

See here for details.

The Bel Air Public Library @ 100 E. Pennsylvania Avenue in Bel Air is Harford County's designated early voting site.

Q- Who can vote early? A- Any registered voter can vote during early voting.

Q- When can I vote early? A- For the general election, early voting centers will be open starting Friday, October 22, 2010 through Thursday, October 28, 2010, except for Sunday, October 24th when early voting centers are closed.

Early voting centers will be open from 10am until 8pm each day of early voting. Anyone in line at 8pm will be allowed to vote.

---Update 10/29

Early voting is now OVER in Harford County. Your LAST opportunity to vote will be on the original/actual Election Day, this coming Tuesday, November 2.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Moving the Tea Party BEYOND November

Don't let your vote in 2010 be wasted on the same good-ole-boy DC-RINO Tea Party!
In a recent article for Forbes magazine, Rick Unger offered the following insightful observation:
It’s the dirty little secret that should haunt every conservative candidate with the presence of mind to see a few years into the future.

The GOP victory likely to be experienced on November 2nd will not only represent the ultimate success of the Tea Party movement, it will also mark the beginning of the end for the well organized anger fest destined to propel a new crop of small government populists into office.
He goes on to state that since the vast majority of the federal budget is dedicated to entitlement spending, there's nothing that can be done about it, funds previously committed MUST be spent. But is he right?

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Well, if the Tea Party movement decides to rest on its' laurels AFTER the November election, he will be right. THAT is why the Tea Party must do something never before witnessed in the annals of American politics. Many of it's RNC party-affiliated activists should strategically resign their "party" membership in Republican held districts from the RNC and re-affiliate along with non-affiliated Tea Party activists as Democrats. And so by 2012, the Tea Party must thoroughly reform and restructure BOTH the Republican AND Democratic Parties in conservative Districts so as to offer the voters a REAL CONSERVATIVE choice, threatening to outflank the newly elected Republicans FROM THE RIGHT and Left. In this manner, going partisan-RINO/ Washington DC native will not be an option for freshmen Republican legislators in 2012. The ship of state will continue its' corrective rightward turn away from the reefs, shoals and sirens of socialism and effect the seemingly impossible goal of enacting entitlement reform, which can then be signed into law by a new and truly post-partisan Republican-Bluedog coalition in the years 2012-14.

It is only by taking VIGOROUS action starting THIS November to shift non-Progressive elements of the Democratic Party to the right that we will be able to re-center our nation and prevent it's ever "Leftward Drift". Progressives do NOT faithfully represent a significant majority in the DNC. They are, however, THE predominating elite minority. We must cease neglecting our civic duties and prevent them from ever again in the future taking hold of the reins of one of our major political parties.

Barack Obama wanted to both be America's first post-partisan President of the United States and to usher in a new post-partisan political era. He didn't accomplish that lofty goal, but WE CAN make sure he's America's LAST UNAMBIGUOUSLY PARTISAN President of the United States. Let his rhetoric become OUR reality.

The Arrogance of Power - MD Governor's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Policy for Lawbreakers

from CNS News

(CNSNews.com) – Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, in his first televised debate with Republican challenger Bob Ehrlich, repeatedly referred to people who come to this country illegally as “new Americans” on Monday night.

In response to a question, O’Malley called illegal immigration “a huge challenge for our country” and he said the federal government needs to “do a better job” of enforcing the nation’s borders.

He called on Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform “so that people who are here can apply for citizenship, obey the law, and pay their taxes and live in the full light and openness and transparency of our American society.

“I do not believe, as the former governor (Ehrlich) has said before, that multi-culturalism is bunk,” O’Malley continued.

“I believe that we are a multi-cultural people and a multi-cultural country, and from many comes one strong nation. And I also believe that we should not blame new Americans for the problems that our country is going through right now. It’s wrong.

“New Americans did not drive Wall Street into a ditch. New Americans did not have regulators look the other way while credit markets were crashed and driven into the ground with false vehicles for investment. New Americans did not get us into a series of unfunded wars that have driven up debt. I believe we’re all in this together – we’ve got to find a better solution to our immigration challenge.”

‘Laws count’

Ehrlich, who answered the immigration question before O’Malley did, noted that governors deal with specific issues regarding illegal immigration, including drivers’ licenses, in-state tuition, and funding. He said he vetoed in-state tuition when he served as governor, and he tried to strengthen the process for obtaining Maryland drivers’ licenses but was stymied by the legislature.

Ehrlich singled out the group Casa de Maryland, an immigration advocacy group, for taking state tax money to print booklets that protect illegal immigrants from the “long arm of the law.” He said he'd applaud groups such as Casa if they would focus on “assimilation” and teaching recent immigrants about capitalism, democracy, and economic empowerment.

Instead, “Our tax money is now going to support illegal behavior,” Ehrlich said. “That’s the clear line that really has to be drawn in this campaign. That’s the clear line that taxpayers are demanding.”

American is a pro-immigrant country,” Ehrlich said. The current debate should be about “a singular American culture – capitalism, equal opportunity, unlimited opportunity. That’s what we should be engaged in,” he said.

“Why should we pretend laws don’t count?” Ehrlich asked. “Drivers’ license laws count. In-state tuition laws count. Taxpayer dollars count. Enforcing the law counts.”

Ehrlich said the situation in Arizona is out of control because both Republican and Democratic administrations have failed the country, the taxpayer and “our way of life.”

Friday, October 15, 2010

No More Sanctuary in Baltimore County?

from The Dagger

From the office of Del. Pat McDonough:

One of the biggest lies told to the American people is the false claim that the federal government has total control over illegal immigration. Although the feds are mostly responsible for border security, state and local governments have enacted more than 700 laws designed to protect their citizens from the burdens created by illegals.

Politicians and candidates, like Martin O’Malley, like to mislead the people by telling them that illegal immigration is a federal issue. At the same time, more than 350,000 illegals have flooded into Maryland, costing taxpayers 2 billion dollars and creating problems in healthcare, education, public safety, jobs, and drugs.

O’Malley and the rest know the solutions are at the local level. The Governor and the General Assembly leaders have transformed Maryland into America’s premier “sanctuary state.” It is almost impossible to pass much needed common sense legislation against illegals at the state level although we must continue to make the effort.

Now it is time to take the battle to the local level. In Baltimore County, we have a key election that will place in office a new county executive and many freshman council members. This is the perfect time to initiate a powerful grassroots movement dedicated to guaranteeing that Baltimore County will lead the state in creating a “rule of law” environment discouraging illegals from coming here. Illegals may continue to flood into Maryland, but they will not enter Baltimore County. I call the program, ”Stop Illegals.” The symbol will be a stop sign. The plan consists of four elements.

1) E-VERIFY - Every county employee, applicant, contractor and sub-contractor must pass an E-Verify test procedure to confirm their lawful presence in the United States.

2) 287 G FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM shall be enacted by the County Executive. This existing successful program is utilized in more than 80 counties across the country. It provides federal funds, intelligence, and assistance with the arrests of dangerous criminal illegals, especially gang members. They are deported immediately out of the county into federal custody, saving local taxpayers money.

3) SAFE NEIGHBORS – Local police shall have the authority upon first visit to a nuisance house to fill out a police report which would generate mandated identification. Should identification fail to be produced and there is reasonable suspicion that a person may be an illegal alien, the immigration enforcement office will be contacted immediately. There are too many nuisance houses in Baltimore County neighborhoods with multiple families unlawfully residing in the units creating problems. This law will help correct the problem.

4) ENGLISH RECOGNITION - No county or Board of Education funds shall be used for any programs, policy, printing, or other action using a foreign language unless reviewed and approved by the County Executive and the entire County Council. The cost of an approved action must be fully disclosed to the public. E.S.O.L. and other federal programs are exempt. A questionnaire will be provided to all of the candidates for County Executive and County Council prior to the November 2 General Election seeking their position on the “Stop Illegals” Program. No response will be considered non-support. All results will be made available to the public. More importantly, I will work to organize a “Citizens’ Grassroots Movement” supporting the “Stop Illegals” Program designed to lobby the new County Executive and County Council for their support after the election.

For information, contact Delegate Pat McDonough by calling 410-238-0025 or send an e-mail to Patmcdee@comcast.net.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Catch the Ehrlich-O'Malley Debate(s)

Catch the 1st debate again at the WJZ-TV website.

from The Baltimore Sun

The next televised gubernatorial debate will not be held in the state of Maryland. It will be in Washington, D.C.

Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, and former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich, a Republican, will sparwith each other for an hour at a live forum noon on Thursday.

The event, to hosted by The Washington Post, WAMU and WUSA, has been the topic of considerable bickering between the two campaigns, but came together shortly after today's WJZ forum.

It is free and open to the public but anyone wishing to attend must register and seats are limited, according to the Post. The Post offices are at 1150 15th Street, NW.

Also scheduled next week are two radio debates. One on Oct. 21 to be broadcast by WOLB and another the next day on Oct. 22 at WTOP.

Watch/replay the entire 2nd Washington Post Ehrlich-O'Malley Maryland Gubernatorial Debate here.

----
Update 10/20

One of the two radio debates between the state's two gubernatorial contenders is off the table - for now at least.

The Post's John Wagner reports that the debate planned in the Washington suburbs at WTOP radio was canceled because both candidates want to attend the funeral of Betty Peebles a co-founder of an important Prince George's County megachurch.

A spokesman for Republican former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich said their camp "hopes" to reschedule and is "working" to do so. Rick Abbruzzese, with Team O'Malley, said they are "continuing to work" with the station and Ehrlich's campaign to find reschedule. With the election about two weeks away, the timing might be hard.

Ehrlich and Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley with still face off at 8 a.m. Thursday at Baltimore's WOLB radio station.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I've Never Felt Uncomfortable at a Tea Party Rally...

from The Dagger

From Harford County Republican Central Committee member Frank Dupree:

My name is Frank, and I am a Republican. I have attended numerous tea parties over the past 18 months and I am very excited about the upcoming elections.

I would like to thank the voters of Harford County for electing me to the Republican Central Committee because I think we can really take advantage of the resurgence of conservative values to get the Maryland tax-and-spend situation under control.

And while I have your attention, I would like to point out that I am proud to be a home schooler, proud to be a Christian, proud to live in Aberdeen, and proud to be an American of African descent. Contrary to news reports, I have never felt uncomfortable at a Tea Party or republican club meeting. I signed the Liberty Pledge to secure freedom for all Marylanders, and I was proud to have my photo on the literature we mailed and passed out at the polls.

There are many black Republicans seeking Congressional seats in the US: 12 of them, all impressive in their own ways. In Maryland, we even have a former Marine Major in Charles Lollar, challenging Steny Hoyer for the MD-5 seat.

This is a great opportunity for us to look past race and start looking at principles. I support candidates who care about job creation, fair taxes, and economic prosperity. I support candidates that put community, family, and God above government.

Consider what you stand for, and consider voting Republican this year.

Frank A. Dupree
Aberdeen, MD.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Obama Rally's Democrats & One Heckler at Bowie State


from The New York Times

CHICAGO — President Obama used twin campaign appearances on Thursday to lash out at the private money that has filtered into Republican coffers for the November election campaign, suggesting that some of it came from abroad, and urging the Democratic Party faithful to symbolically drown out the cash with their “millions of voices.”

In a not-so-veiled reference to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, President Obama complained that “groups that receive foreign money are spending huge sums to influence American elections, and they won’t tell you where the money for their ads come from.” Mr. Obama mentioned a report by the Center for American Progress, a liberal research group, which this week asserted in a blog that the Chamber of Commerce may be mingling money from foreign contributors with its domestic receipts as it pays for advertisements and other political activities. That could be illegal, and the Chamber has vehemently denied it.

His remarks came at campaign events first in Bowie, Md., where he rallied about 4,000 students and African-Americans to support Gov. Martin O’Malley, and then later in Chicago, where he stumped for Alexi Giannoulias, the youthful state treasurer who is locked in a close fight with Representative Mark Steven Kirk, a Republican, for Mr. Obama’s old Senate seat.

In Chicago, Mr. Obama did not mention Mr. Kirk’s name — he became, instead, “Alexi’s opponent” — but he spent much of his time attacking the Republican Party for its ties to big business.

The combined Chicago events, organizers said, will raise more than $750,000, half for Mr. Giannoulias and half for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

The Republican Party’s “big idea,” Mr. Obama said, was to give a tax cut to the wealthiest Americans. “At a time when education is the biggest predictor of this country’s success,” he said, “they think it’s more important to provide these tax breaks.”

In Bowie, Mr. Obama characterized the outside campaign financing as not “just a threat to Democrats.”

He added: “All Republicans should be concerned. Independents should be concerned. This is a threat to our democracy. The American people deserve to know who’s trying to sway their elections.”

White House officials and Mr. Obama’s Democratic backers have been taking aim at the Chamber of Commerce; Karl Rove, President George W. Bush’s political adviser; and independent groups that have been spending to elect Republicans in November. The Chamber of Commerce on Thursday announced a new campaign focusing on the administration’s rules on health care, the environment, labor and Wall Street reform.

David Plouffe, Mr. Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, told reporters in Washington that such groups “are becoming the central financial actors in the 2010 election.” He called the flood of money a “hijacking of our democracy.”

Whether that sticks remains to be seen. Backers of Republicans and big business counter that Democrats, including the Obama campaign, also received money from undisclosed organizations in the 2008 campaign.

Mr. Obama has been seeking to fire up his Democratic base in the last three weeks before the November elections. To that end, he has been devoting a lot of his campaigning to friendly audiences on college campuses — like the historically black Bowie State University — and to fund-raisers, like the one in Chicago.

Facing what most political observers predict will be significant losses of the Democratic majority in Congress, Mr. Obama was using every weapon in his arsenal to convince the people who put him in the White House two years ago not to abandon the Democratic Party now.

“Don’t make me look bad now,” he said. “I’m betting on you.”

Mr. O’Malley, who is battling the Republican he beat when Democrats were riding high in 2006, former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., sounded familiar Democratic themes in introducing Mr. Obama.

“They took six years to drive the country into a ditch, and then wonder why this president can’t make it right as rain in 18 months,” Mr. O’Malley said.

But then, foreshadowing the tough road for his party this year, Mr. O’Malley added, perhaps unhelpfully, “They can take back New Jersey, they can take back Virginia, but they can’t take back Maryland!”

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We'll see about takin' back Maryland, Mr. Soon-to-be-Ex-governor...

I wonder if it was his speech that made two dozen of his supporters sick... or whether they just beat a few "dissenters" up.

"Crowds" @ Obama Rally - "We Are NOT the Tea Party"

from The Baltimore Sun

One theme emerging from the crowds of people waiting to see President Barack Obama: The Tea Party has competition.

Brenda Pridgen, a 59 year old Baltimore resident isn't particularly enthusiastic about Gov. Martin O'Malley but came to “restore my understanding that the whole country has not gone crazy.”

She'll vote for O'Malley, a Democrat, reluctantly. “When you have two devils to chose from you might as well pick the one who is more progressive,” Pridgen said. “You can’t vote for the top of the ticket and leave the bottom naked.”

Faye Salisbury, 59 year old Bowie woman took off work from her human resources job to attend the rally out of a desire to “be part of the crowd.” Salisbury does not blame Obama – or O’Malley – for the rocky economy, which she said “feels like it hasn’t gotten any better” and also wanted to show that Republicans are not the only voters enthused this season.

Naturally there were a few perennial rally goers. Yvonne Neal, an 80-year-old Maryland Democrat used her O’Malley campaign sign as a chair. (Pictured on left) She said she comes to “as many rallies as possible” and reports back to her senior citizens community in Upper Marlboro.
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Crowds? One woman sitting on an O'Malley sign?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Old Media Continues to Carry DNC's Water

The REAL sentiment outside of Baltimore City

from The Baltimore Sun

Republican challenger Andy Harris holds an insignificant lead over incumbent Democrat Frank Kratovil in the race for Congress in Maryland's easternmost district, according to a new poll just out.

The survey, the first independent poll to be released in the high-profile contest, suggests that the 2010 rematch could be about as close as the 2008 election, which Kratovil won by roughly 3,000 votes.

In the new poll, Harris, a veteran state legislator from the Baltimore suburbs, is favored by 43 percent of likely voters to 40 percent for Kratovil, a first-term representative from the Eastern Shore. Another 15 percent said they were undecided.

When the poll's 4.9 percent margin of error is taken into account, the contest is a statistical tie. The survey of 400 likely voters was conducted September 28-30.

The results reflect the strong Republican leanings of the district, which went for the Republican presidential ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin over Democrats Barack Obama and Joe Biden by almost 20 points.

However, the survey offers some flickers of hope for Kratovil, considered one of the most endangered Democrats in the country. It shows him winning independent voters by a 38-35 margin.

Independents make up the largest bloc of undecided voters in the district.

In fact, Kratovil was one of just two freshman Democrats out of 12 nationwide in the new survey to be leading among independents. The former Queen Anne's County prosecutor has been highlighting his independent voting record in his re-election campaign.

The survey was published by The Hill, a Capitol Hill publication, and conducted by Penn Schoen Berland, a Democratic firm that has done work for the Clintons. The poll was co-sponsored by America’s Natural Gas Alliance, a trade association representing gas producers and exploration companies.

Interestingly, the survey asks respondents whether they would favor Obama or Hillary Clinton if the Democratic primaries were held today.

In Maryland One, which includes the entire Eastern Shore and portions of Baltimore, Anne Arundel and Harford counties, the answer was Clinton. But that includes answers from Republicans. Among Democrats in the district, Obama was the pick and they approved of the job he is doing by 72 percent to 24 percent.

Overall, most likely voters in the district disapprove of the job Obama is doing. A total of 59 disapproved compared with 38 percent who approved. Independents gave him a negative job rating, by a 52-44 margin.