Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist
Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Md Troopers Assoc #20 & Westminster Md Fire Dept Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

20070731 Cyber Alert


9:05 am EDT, Tuesday July 31, 2007 (Vol. Twelve; No. 129

1. NBC Skips More Upbeat Iraq Judgment ABC and CBS Find Newsworthy NBC Nightly News on Monday ignored a development both ABC and CBS found newsworthy, that after eight days in Iraq, two Brookings Institution scholars who describe themselves has "harshly" critical of Bush's Iraq policy, determined the situation in Iraq is better than they assumed and so the "surge" should continue into next year.

Instead of reporting the fresh assessment from Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack, NBC anchor Brian Williams, citing "a draft U.S. report," aired a full story on how "there are disturbing new details about corruption at the very top of the Iraqi government." But the NBC Nightly News has hardly been reticent before about running soundbites from O'Hanlon with dire warnings about Iraq. ABC anchor Charles Gibson declared "the column was the talk of Washington today." From Iraq, Terry McCarthy related that "the report tracks fairly closely with what we're seeing." On CBS, David Martin noted how "with one day left in the month, American casualties in July are the lowest since the troop surge began in February." Martin aired soundbites from Pollack and O'Hanlon as he described "just enough progress so that a critic like Michael O'Hanlon, who used to think the surge was too little too late, now believes it should be continued."

2. ABC's Harris: New British PM 'Potentially No More Poodle' to Bush ABC's World News Sunday featured a report about the Monday meeting between President Bush and recently chosen British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, which included speculation about how Bush's relationship with Brown will compare to that with Tony Blair.

Between anchor Dan Harris and correspondent John Cochran, the derogatory charge by Blair critics that he was Bush's "poodle" was mentioned three times.

While Cochran described the label as "perhaps unfair," when the report concluded, Harris, after having already mentioned the "poodle" insult once as he introduced the story, followed up by remarking, "Potentially no more poodle."

3. CNN Promotes 'Generation Chicken Hawk' Attack on College Repubs Five hours apart on Sunday night, CNN aired lengthy segments on a left-winger's Web video attack on College Republicans, "Generation Chicken Hawk," for supporting the Iraq war while they fail to serve in the armed forces. But CNN refused to properly label Max Blumenthal's ideology or far-left credentials.

Anchor Rick Sanchez set up the story: "A writer, opposed to the Iraq war, goes to a national meeting of College Republicans, and creates a video that's fueling a hot political debate over the Web. He says that he's exposing the quote, 'hypocrisy of a group of young people who are behind the war, but won't put their own lives on the line when it comes to the war.'" In the second airing, Sanchez made clear he agreed with the left-winger: "As you watch these guys -- and I think most people at home would agree -- there seems to be a certain hypocritical nature to this. I mean, they're so boastful when they talk about supporting the war, and yet sheepish when it comes to actually doing something about it." Sanchez also saw something even more nefarious: "They're young upstarts. But is there a sense that this is the kind of organization that makes the Karl Roves of the world?"

4. CBS Uses Child to Paint Bush as Heartless Over Spending on Cops Another example of how journalists equate federal spending with caring, on Saturday's Early Show, CBS news reader Jeff Glor used a seven-year-old's letter to portray President Bush as criminally uncaring for planning to veto a bill to spend more federal money to pay for local police officers.

5. Reporters on Tom Snyder's Shows Denied Bias, Made Liberal Points NBC, CNBC and CBS talk show veteran Tom Snyder, who passed away Sunday at age 71, frequently had media figures as guests on his shows and the journalists inevitably denied any liberal bias or otherwise made liberal political points.

Then-NBC White House reporter Brian Williams gushed over President Clinton in 1995: "I've also said that if Americans were paying Presidents by the thought, we're getting a bargain in this guy because, my God, he's just always moving, his brain's moving, he hardly sleeps."

Earlier that year, Dan Rather denied any media bias as he insisted "most reporters, when you get to know them, would fall in the general category of kind of common-sense moderates." A couple of years later, in 1997, actor Richard Belzer denounced former President Reagan for how "he did some unconscionable things," charging that Reagan "traded guns for cocaine to free hostages."

Check Out the MRC's Blog

A usually-daily report, edited by Brent H. Baker, CyberAlert is distributed by the Media Research Center, the leader since 1987 in documenting, exposing and neutralizing liberal media bias.

The 2,456th CyberAlert. Tracking Liberal Media Bias Since 1996

9:05am EDT, Tuesday July 31, 2007 (Vol. Twelve; No. 129)

The MRC's blog site, NewsBusters, "Exposing and Combating Liberal Media Bias," provides examples of bias 24/7. With your participation NewsBusters will continue to be THE blog site for tracking and correcting liberal media bias. Come post your comments and get fresh proof of media misdeeds at:

20070731 Quote of the day - Waste not

Quote of the day - Waste not

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

“The longer you wait to decide what you want to do, the more time you're wasting. It's up to you to want something so badly that your passion shows through in your actions. Your actions, not your words, will do the shouting for you.”

Derek Jeter Baseball player

Thanks TC

20070730 Chief justice Roberts hospitalized after seizure

Chief justice hospitalized after seizure

Roberts, 52, reportedly suffers minor scrapes, to stay overnight in hospital

MSNBC: Updated: 11:14 p.m. ET July 30, 2007 (AP)

WASHINGTON - Chief Justice John Roberts suffered a seizure at his summer home in Maine on Monday, causing a fall that resulted in minor scrapes, Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said.

He will remain in a hospital in Maine overnight.

“It’s my understanding he’s fully recovered, said Christopher Burke, a spokesman for Penobscot Bay Medical Center, where Roberts was taken.

Roberts, 52, was taken by ambulance to the medical center, where he underwent a “thorough neurological evaluation, which revealed no cause for concern,” Arberg said in a statement.

Roberts had a similar episode in 1993, she said.

Doctors called Monday’s incident “a benign idiopathic seizure,” Arberg said. The White House described the January 1993 episode as an “isolated, idiosyncratic seizure.” Both descriptions indicate that doctors could not determine the seizure’s cause or link it to another medical condition. For example, doctors would have quickly ruled out simple explanations such as dehydration or low blood sugar.

Roberts, who was named to the court in 2005, has led the Supreme Court to a more conservative stance, along with Justice Samuel Alito, who won confirmation in early 2006. Conservative causes have won twice as often as they lost on the Roberts-led court. The 2006-07 term brought limits on abortion rights, restrictions on school integration programs and greater freedom for political advertising.

Medical opinions differed on just what Roberts’ seizures mean.

Someone who has had more than one seizure without any other cause is determined to have epilepsy, said Dr. Marc Schlosberg, a neurologist at Washington Hospital Center, who is not involved in the Roberts’ case.




Roberts' rule: Conservative but incremental

Roberts, Alito help define new Supreme Court

Monday, July 30, 2007

20070730 Quote of the day - Think

Quote of the day - Think

Monday, July 30th, 2007

“If we get what we think about most, why would we think about what we don't want?”

Tom Payne Career development expert

Thanks TC

20070730 Answering questions from a Snowman

Answering questions from a Snowman

July 30th, 2007

Seems that not everyone was amused about the prospects of answering questions from a snowman

Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney Plan to Skip Youtube ...

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A Republican presidential debate scheduled for live national television coverage will be missing two of the GOP's leading contenders for the nomination… Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney both say they have more important campaign commitments scheduled….”

Dem Debate Attracts 2.6 Million Viewers - Politics ...

WASHINGTON — The melting snowman, Tennessee rednecks and the novelty of the CNN-YouTube Democratic debate attracted 2.6 million television viewers, a slight drop from the numbers who tuned in for a more traditional exchange last month… While the debate Monday stretched the boundaries of traditional political broadcasts, a previous CNN debate of the Democratic candidates on June 3 attracted 2.8 million viewers. A MSNBC televised debate on April 26 attracted 2.3 million… CNN reported getting 45.5 million page views on its Web site and said its television audience among 18-34 year-olds totaled 407,000, highest ever for cable news programing.

For political scientists, I will suggest that we witnessed a memorable moment in TV politics. Then again, I’m not too sure what was most memorable, the snowman asking a question or the fact that presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich actually answered it…

I am Billiam the Snowman from Point Hope, Alaska. Due to global warming, every year, my people move closer and closer to extinction.”

Then there are others who have started a “Billiam the Snowman for President” campaign.

And the snowman drew this response… A snowman's biggest question




Sunday, July 29, 2007

20070726 News Clips

News Clips

July 26, 2007


Poll results back higher Md. taxes
Balancing budget with cuts rejected,0,1916905.story?coll=bal_tab02_layout
A majority of Marylanders want state leaders to raise enough new tax revenue to fix the state's budget shortfall and increase spending on education, health care and other priorities, a coalition of labor unions, environmental advocates and liberal groups said yesterday. The Alliance for Tax Fairness released the results of a poll showing broad-based opposition to the idea of resolving Maryland's projected $1.5 billion budget shortfall by spending cuts alone. Respondents favored higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations, the coalition said. "We are increasingly concerned that the tax-a-holics in Annapolis are intent on getting their next tax hike fix," said Del. Anthony J. O'Donnell, the minority leader from Southern Maryland. "We believe that with some restraint in the growth of state government, there are ways to fix this problem without raising taxes."

Governor Opposes Increase in Property Tax
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley told lawmakers yesterday that a property tax increase should not be part of the solution to the state's budget shortfall next year.

Lawmakers have started talking about possible increases in the sales and income tax rates, but they said O'Malley was adamant yesterday about avoiding a property tax increase.

Chip Franklin leaving WBAL for job in Calif.
Departure comes amid slip in listeners,0,1463827.story
WBAL is losing its highest-profile talk-show host, Chip Franklin, as well as another on-air personality, Rob Douglas - the latest of several changes for Baltimore's largest AM station in the last year.

The departures of Douglas and Franklin come during a downturn in the station's audience numbers since it lost Limbaugh's nationally syndicated show May 31 last year.
Franklin, who feuded on-air with Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley before he became governor, said he would like to persuade O'Malley to join him on the program one last time before he leaves. The man O'Malley replaced in Annapolis, Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., was a regular guest of Franklin's while in office, and often called the program with news tips. The Sun was frequently in the crosshairs of Franklin's barbs.

5 schools in city labeled dangerous
Persistent student suspensions force state officials to act,0,6957406.story
Maryland school officials labeled five Baltimore middle and high schools "persistently dangerous" yesterday, making the state one of only seven in the nation to apply the federal designation to any of its schools.
All five schools were on the list last year and did not make enough progress in reducing student suspensions to get off the list. Baltimore's new school chief executive officer, Andres Alonso, said yesterday that he plans to focus on school safety and suspensions during the next school year. He pointed out he has said he will refuse to sign off on any long-term suspension until he had heard the facts of the case. "I don't think schools can move an instructional program if students and staff don't feel safe," he said. "I am going to pay a lot of attention to this."

O'Malley to seek help for drought
Gov. Martin O'Malley plans to ask President Bush today for a disaster declaration for the state's worsening agricultural drought.

"Farmers have been particularly hard-hit in Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore," Mr. O'Malley said yesterday. "And the loss has been further exacerbated by the fact so many chose to raise corn because of forecasts of what that crop would yield."

"We need rain and some areas need it desperately," said U.S. Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest, a Republican who represents many of the Eastern Shore farmland hit by drought. "Farmers are once again in a situation that is beyond their control, but we should be prepared to help."

Court in session, but not on line
Cable slice in Annapolis cuts judiciary web, local phones,0,5908911.story
Court employees across the state hand-wrote warrant, bail and case data all day Wednesday -- an unwelcome blast from the past thanks to damaged Verizon cables in Annapolis that shut down the Maryland Judiciary's computer system. The cables affecting the court system were to be repaired Wednesday evening, but cables providing phone service to about 6,300 businesses and homes in Annapolis and Parole might not be repaired until this weekend, a Verizon spokeswoman said. Affected businesses and offices along Jennifer Road included the county jail and the county school system. Darrell Pressley, spokesman for Maryland judiciary, said all District and Circuit courts were without access to computerized criminal records and case information.
"What this has done is slowed us down, but it hasn't stopped us," Pressley said. Courts are still operating as best we can under the circumstances."

State summit seeks a path to energy efficiency
Gov. Martin O'Malley and Maryland lawmakers gathered yesterday with utility officials, nonprofits and academics to exchange ideas about how to resolve energy-conservation and power-supply concerns. Mr. O'Malley, a Democrat, called for the summit to bring together experts to talk about reducing Maryland's per capita energy consumption, which he hopes to reduce by 15 percent by 2015. Mr. O'Malley said other states with similar levels of growth have used energy more sparingly, and now Maryland has to focus on being more efficient.The governor asked Malcolm Woolf, director of the Maryland Energy Administration, to develop an energy plan in time for the next General Assembly session with specific policy solutions for affordable, reliable and clean energy.

Shifting Migration Patterns Alter Portrait of Pr. George's
Prince George's, a county that underwent a seismic population shift a generation ago as it became the nation's wealthiest majority-black suburb, might be on the cusp of another demographic change. In the past decade, Prince George's has become a destination for many working-class and foreign-born families because of its relatively affordable housing. At the same time, thousands of middle-class people, many of them African American, have left for neighboring counties in search of better schools, less crime and bigger houses. The population swings -- documented in a recent report by the Brookings Institution and in census data -- have not made a significant difference in the overall socioeconomics of Prince George's, which has a population of 840,000. And county officials say a recent surge in commercial and residential development will continue to bring amenities that will attract affluent residents.

PSC seeks utilities' records
BGE-Constellation links are target of subpoena,0,1258103.story?page=1&coll=bal_tab01_layout
The Public Service Commission has subpoenaed documents from utility executives that it hopes will shed light on how much money Constellation Energy Group makes selling electricity to its BGE subsidiary and on whether there is anything improper in the dual roles that some executives play at both companies.
The demand yesterday follows a May ruling by the commission that raised questions about possible conflicts of interest between the two companies that could b enefit Constellation to the detriment of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. customers. Constellation executives deny any conflicts of interest and say BGE customers benefit from its being part of a larger corporation.

Bid to raise transfer tax comes up short
A bid to raise Harford County's transfer tax and eliminate impact fees failed Tuesday to win support from state lawmakers. Councilman Dion Guthrie argued for increasing the transfer tax a half a percentage point, to 1.5 percent, while wiping out the impact fee on every new home built. He said doing so would bring in $8 million more a year for school construction. But General Assembly members did not budge at a meeting of county and state lawmakers.

Del. J.B. Jennings, R-District 7, called impact fees fair and necessary. "Why do we need to build new schools? Because we have more children," he said. "Why do we have more children? Because we have more homes. It's the explosion in construction that's causing all the schools to be built."

Lawyer Questions State Charges For Election Records
The Maryland Board of Elections has begun charging fees of up to $100 for campaign finance information that's been previously available for free on its website. A state elections official confirms the board removed the addresses of individual campaign donors from its website, in order to protect the privacy of donors.
A WBAL News review of campaign finance records for Governor Martin O'Malley and former Governor Robert Ehrlich confirms that an individual donor's name is listed on the board's website, along with the donor's city, state and zip code, as well as the amount of the donation.


Average, and getting worse,0,4960370.story
Maryland, one of the wealthiest states in the nation, ranks only 24th in the well-being of its children, according to the latest Kids Count report. That's a notch below last year and a drop of five places in two years, pointing to a continuing, shameful gap and a need to reorder state priorities.


O'Malley to ask for emergency declaration for drought
Governor Martin O'Malley plans to ask the federal government tomorrow for a disaster declaration because of the ongoing drought. Today, Congressman Wayne Gilchrest met with U-S Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns to discuss the drought in Maryland. Corn crops have been especially hurt by the dry weather. In some areas, there has been NO significant rain since May, and some farmers say their corn crops are nearly all gone.

'Offshore Missile Defense: Where are the Submarines?'
Expertise in Congress occasionally manifests itself from an unlikely source. One of the unduly lesser heralded, but remarkably brilliant and versatile, Members of Congress is Roscoe G. Bartlett(R-MD). Who else in Congress is an experienced working farmer, a college and university lecturer on diverse subjects, a Ph.D. in human physiology - and a self-made man, working his way out of relative poverty! Now Ranking Minority Member of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Expeditionary Forces, Representative Bartlett has developed an exception al military and defense-needs knowledge. Not surprisingly, he is among the (unfortunately, too few) Members of Congress who advocate greater submarine construction.

Cardin supports former Maryland official for FEMA post
Senator Ben Cardin is supporting a former Maryland homeland security official for a top job in the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Dennis Schrader was Maryland 's first director of Homeland Security for Maryland under former Governor Robert Ehrlich.Today, Cardin voiced his support for Schrader's confirmation for the FEMA job. Cardin says Schrader worked across all levels of government and across party lines in Maryland.
Schrader has been nominated by the Bush Administration to be FEMA's deputy administrator for national preparedness.
Schrader appeared with the senator today at a hearing before the Homeland Security and Government Oversight Committee.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Friday, July 27, 2007

20070727 Quote of the day - Every minute

Quote of the day – Every minute

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Every minute your mouth is turned down you lose 60 seconds of happiness.

Tom Walsh

Thanks TC

20070725 Manchester police chief steps down

Manchester police chief steps down

By Kathryn Leiter, Times Staff Writer Wednesday, July 25, 2007

After being asked to step aside for the second time in two weeks, Manchester Chief of Police Charles Lewis resigned Tuesday.

“I spoke to [Lewis] yesterday afternoon, and he said he would write me a letter [of resignation],” Mayor Chris D’Amario said. “We both agreed it would be better if he resigned.”


Effective immediately, Lt. Gerald Gall will be taking over as interim chief of police, D’Amario said.


“I have not found one person who is happy with the mayor’s decision,” said Manchester business owner Gene Woodhouse.


Woodhouse, who is also a member of the Manchester Area Merchants Association, said the organization still plans to send letters to D’Amario and attend next month’s Town Council meeting to show support for Lewis.

Lewis recently worked with residents of Hallie Hills, Whispering Valley and Crossroads Overlook to let them know what may happen to their communities in the future. The meetings were initiated because of heavy traffic cutting through the neighborhoods.


Hallie Hills resident Ann Colmus, who attended the council meeting, said she believes the mayor’s request for Lewis’ resignation had to do with Lewis urging residents to air their concerns at the meeting.


Councilmen Dale Wilder Jr., Daniel Riley and Councilwoman Kathleen Clagg did not immediately respond to phone calls Tuesday.

Councilman David Richardson said he was unaware of the decision and did not know the mayor had spoken with Lewis.



Thursday, July 26, 2007

20070726 Quote of the day - Magic Vas

Quote of the day - Magic Vase

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

“Life is a magic vase filled to the brim, so made that you cannot dip from it nor draw from it; but it overflows into the hand that drops treasures into it. Drop in malice and it overflows hate; drop in charity and it overflows love. “

John Ruskin (1819-1900) Critic and social theorist

Thanks TC

20070725 O'Malley to ask for emergency declaration for drought

O'Malley to ask for emergency declaration for drought

By KRISTEN WYATT, The Associated Press 2007-07-25


Gov. Martin O'Malley will ask federal authorities Thursday to declare a drought disaster in parts of Maryland, hoping to open up federal aid for state farmers hurt by the dry conditions.

Some areas of the state haven't seen significant rain since May, and O'Malley says the drought has been made worse by the fact that high corn prices inspired many farmers to increase acres of the drought-sensitive crop. Corn prices are up because of increased demand for ethanol fuel, which is derived from corn.


Read more: O'Malley to ask for emergency declaration for drought

20070725 My July 25th, 2007 Tentacle column is on the Tour de France

My July 25th, 2007 Tentacle column is on the Tour de France…

July 25, 2007

Viva la bicyclette!

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Today, as you are reading this, over in France and a small portion of Spain, the 94th Tour de France is in Stage 16.

By the end of the day about 165 seemingly bionic cyclists will have burned over 10,000 calories as they travel through the Pyrenees at altitudes as high as 5,600 feet, up and down incredible mountaintops with 7.5 to 10% slopes.

Although relatively unknown in the United States, the Tour de France is reported to be the largest sporting event in the world. This year approximately 15 million spectators will line the route to personally witness the race - at no charge. And what they will see will whirl past them in 30 to 40 seconds.

For those not familiar with the Tour, it is dangerous, complex, and highly choreographed - if not ritualized. It is an exotic annual cycling event that very well may be considered the high opera of world sports. Every year the intrigue, mystery, drama, and much debated inevitable controversy is almost as exciting as the actual race itself.

Perhaps it would help if it were mentioned that Lance Armstrong of the United States won the race seven consecutive times from 1999 to 2005. A survivor of testicular cancer in 1996, he was not expected to live, much less win this race so frequently.

Read the rest here: Viva la bicyclette!

20070725 Child advocates State must do better for kids Examiner

Child advocates: State must do better for kids

Jaime Malarkey, The Examiner 2007-07-25


In the same year a Baltimore teenager died in a state-run residential detention center and a Prince George’s county youth died after a tooth infection spread to his brain, child advocates today pressured Maryland lawmakers to improve problems affecting kids that, according to a new report, appear to be worsening.

Maryland’s rank nationally fell from 23rd to 24th in an annual child wellness report released today from the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation, which analyzed factors including infant mortality, teen pregnancy and high school dropout rates.

Using the foundation’s indicators and some of their own, local advocates said the ranking should be much better considering Maryland is the second wealthiest state in the nation.

They said the gap is the third largest in the country.

(Click here to read the Annie E. Casey Foundations' KIDS COUNT 2007 Data Book.)

Read the rest here: Child advocates: State must do better for kids

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

20070725 This week in The Tentacle

This week in The Tentacle

July 25, 2007

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Viva la bicyclette!

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Today, as you are reading this, over in France and a small portion of Spain, the 94th Tour de France is in Stage 16.

Connections: We all have them

Patricia A. Kelly

As defined in the Random House College Dictionary, connection implies link, association or relationship. It could mean a circle of friends or associates, or a member of such, a relative, or a group of persons connected by a political or religious tie. It could mean a transfer from one airplane to another. It could mean an illegal drug dealer!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

$660 Million for Vatican Myopia

Roy Meachum

Those inclined to sympathize with Cardinal Roger Mahoney's $660 million pay out to sexual assault victims should look again at what he and his fellow prelates did to the Catholic Church. Their numbers include Baltimore's William Keeler.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Illegal Immigration: The New Battleground

Richard B. Weldon Jr.

Sure, you'd think Texas, New Mexico, or maybe even Arizona, right? Not even close. The latest skirmish in our most challenging public policy battle is in Georgia, at least a thousand miles from the U.S.-Spanish border.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Off with My Head

Roy Meachum

George W. Bush cannot be blamed. The Iraq report failed this week to live up to his expectations. He advised the American people to wait until October. We don't really have a choice. In the coming three months, hundreds of U.S. soldiers and thousands of Iraqi men, women and children will die or be mangled.

Will Al Gore Run?

George Wenschhof

With voters donating money to Democratic candidates in record numbers and Republican President George Bush's approval ratings falling below 30 percent, it is remarkable that no current Democratic candidate has emerged as a clear favorite.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Wrong Direction

John W. Ashbury

Revisionist history curdles the mind. Examples of how we interpret our past in the mindset of today are so very numerous because "political correctness" has invaded our society to the point of being ridiculous.

Waxing Poetic

Chris Cavey

The past two weeks seem to have been devoted to taxes. Property tax bills filled the carts, bags and trucks of mail carriers. Rumors out of Annapolis, gibberish from the Internet and speculation by the media have also been filled with tax increase speculation.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Three-Time Loser: Part II

Roy Meachum

Accompanied by her palm-weaving claque singing hosannas, Jennifer Dougherty ascended to the ante-bellum (barely) former courthouse and proceeded to act as if she had been - like many third world leaders claim - elected for life. That was January, 2002.

Lady Bird Johnson - Steel Magnolia

Kevin E. Dayhoff

A week ago today, Lady Bird Johnson, the celebrated wife of former President Lyndon Baines Johnson, passed away at age 94.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Three Time Loser: Part One

Roy Meachum

Politicians' mentalities can amuse. I do not mean the basic conceit. After all, someone must win. Why shouldn't it be me, they say. I applaud that approach. Indeed, why not? The lottery's millions can be attributed to the basic notion. Why not me? I whole-heartedly cheer risk takers.

The Growing Chasm

Farrell Keough

Our "smart growth" Board of County Commissioners is at it again. Rather than a thorough and thoughtful approach, the heavy hand of government approach is once again the chosen tool of enforcement.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Taxes, or Cuts and Slots

Richard B. Weldon Jr.

Last Tuesday, Gov. Martin O'Malley rolled out his proposed budget cuts. They are designed to ease the $1.5 billion structural deficit facing Maryland in the next budget.

20070725 Small Bomb Explodes on Tour de France Route in Spain

Small Bomb Explodes on Tour de France Route in Spain

Wednesday, July 25, 2007 - Tour de France

(AP) MADRID, Spain — At least one small explosive device detonated Wednesday in northern Spain along a route used by the Tour de France cycling race, the Spanish Interior Ministry said.

Spanish media said the blast or blasts were preceded by a call in the name of the Basque separatist group ETA, but the ministry said it could not confirm this.

It said the blast occurred in the town of Belagua in the Navarra region. The race's itinerary took it into Spain Wednesday.

The ministry said it had no other information. The newspaper El Pais said there were no injuries. Two devices exploded on small bluffs overlooking the road used for the Tour, it said.

The national news agency Efe quoted unnamed officials as saying the devices exploded after a caravan of Tour-related publicity vehicles had passed by. This caravan precedes the riders, but it. The race's route was not changed, the officials told Efe.,2933,290677,00.html

20070724 Tuesday Rasmussen Holds the Yellow Jersey going into Stage 16

Rasmussen Holds the Yellow Jersey going into Stage 16

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

20070724 Tour de France Astana Withdraws Vino Suspended

Astana Withdraws, Vino Suspended

For the latest on the Tour de France

By Phil Liggett, Tuesday July 24, 2007

Alexandre Vinokourov’s positive blood test announced Tuesday has stunned everyone from riders to organizers. Since his crash, he has been portrayed as a limping hero of what, so far, has been a marvellous Tour. Now, he seems to have been caught introducing homologous blood into his system just before the time trial he won in demonstrative fashion.

His Astana team has withdrawn at the invitation of the organizers and Vinokourov was suspended by Astana pending the confirmation of his positive test in his B analysis. It is very unusual for the second test not to confirm the first. In short, Vinokourov, one of the most respected riders in the peloton, will now leave the sport in disgrace.

British rider David Millar, himself a reformed drug taker, has been leading the campaign to clean up the sport. His comment during his own Saunier Duval team’s press conference in Pau, sums up the feelings of most: “I just feel like crying right now.”

Paul, Bob and I are, for once, speechless. We are all very upset with such a stupid action at a time the sport looked to be putting its own house in order. It is incomprehensible that Vinokourov could do such a thing when he must have known he was under suspicion because of his dealing with disgraced doctor Michele Ferrari in Italy. He must have known he would be tested at every opportunity and the time trial was the perfect occasion.

Tomorrow we will know more.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

20070724 Quote of the day - Respect and deference

Quote of the day – Respect and deference

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

To have a respect for ourselves guides our morals; to have deference for others governs our manners.

Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) Writer

Thanks TC

20070623 New Clips

News Clips

July 23, 2007


O'Malley's frugality under scrutiny
Budget statements overstate savings, some experts say,0,6924105.story
When Gov. Martin O'Malley began discussing the state budget deficit with a group of businessmen at a Frederick County Chamber of Commerce luncheon last week, he pitched his administration's frugality as the first step in putting Maryland's fiscal house in order.

True, spending under O'Malley this fiscal year is projected to grow at a slower rate than it increased in Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s final-year budget, which ended June 30. Recent cuts O'Malley pushed through the Board of Public Works make the contrast even stronger. But the difference is not as stark as the new governor suggests.

O'Malley's claim, based on total spending, ignores details about the nature of Maryland's fiscal crisis and about Ehrlich's budget that make a material difference in evaluating how his spending plan compares with his predecessor's, budget experts agree. When those factors and the recent spending cuts are taken into account, O'Malley increased spending by about 6.4 percent and Ehrlich by about 10.5 percent.

Sen. David R. Brinkley, the minority leader from Frederick County, said he was "rolling my eyes" when he heard O'Malley compare his spending growth with Ehrlich's. "He was talking apples and oranges, which, in their quest to rewrite history, he tends to be rather free with," Brinkley said. "It was just totally bogus."

Constellation nuclear plans in fiscal peril ss/,0,3564364.story?page=1
Constellation Energy Group has been planning to build a second nuclear reactor in Lusby for more than two years. The company might not get crucial financing without federal loan guarantees. Michael J. Wallace, who heads Constellation's nuclear business, said bankers won't finance the company's half-dozen proposed nuclear reactors unless the Energy Department agrees to back 100 percent of the debt rather than the 90 percent the agency has offered. The outcome of the Energy Department's deliberations could have far-reaching effects on Maryland utility customers.

"There is a lot of frustration among members of Congress about the way the Department of Energy and Office of Management and Budget have implemented the loan program," said Matt Letourneau, Republican communications director for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. "Specifically, the amount that the federal government will guarantee is not consistent with what Congress intended."

Letter presses to open BRAC
GOP senators want decisions made in public on base expansion,0,4906908.story?coll=bal_tab01_layout
Three Republican state senators are demanding that any decisions about the impact of the impending expansion at Aberdeen Proving Ground on the county be made in a public forum. The senators representing Harford County wrote to Democratic Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, who is leading the administration's base-realignment planning effort, complaining of closed-door meetings, including the most recent one July 13 in Aberdeen.

Republican Sens. Nancy Jacobs, J. Robert Hooper and Andrew P. Harris called the sessions "troubling and undemocratic" in a letter to Brown dated Thursday. "Legislators were disappointed that we were not only denied an opportunity to attend the subcabinet's deliberations that were held behind closed doors, but also that we were not afforded ample time to address our concerns," the senators wrote.

Signs law is struck down
Balto. County rules restrict free speech, federal judge says,0,5184591.story
A federal judge struck down yesterday Baltimore County regulations on political campaign signs in yards, saying the law violated the right to freedom of speech. The ruling could affect laws in other parts of the Baltimore region, where many local governments have restrictions similar to those passed by the Baltimore County Council in December.

County defends cuts to Hispanic groups
County government took its defense of grant cutting on the road last night, justifying the reductions to Hispanic nonprofit groups in a room full of Hispanic activists.Sheryl Banks, the county's special assistant for minority affairs, answered questions about why County Executive John R. Leopold cut $115,000 to Centro de Ayuda and the Organization for Hispanic and Latin Americans.

The county executive said he made the cuts to Centro de Ayuda and OHLA as part of his pledge to withhold money from any group giving support to illegal immigrants. "That does not mean we do not support the Hispanic community . with the limited resources we have," Ms. Banks s aid.

With Close Contacts, Md. Wind Project Gets Boost
When his plan for clean energy ran smack into a rare habitat on a rocky Appalachian ridge, Annapolis businessman Wayne L. Rogers turned to people he knew could help: his contacts in the Maryland General Assembly. State law and the environmental protections it afforded all but scuttled his proposal last year for 24 windmills atop Backbone Mountain at the state's western edge. So Rogers waged a successful campaign to have the law changed -- and environmental review gutted -- for wind-energy projects such as his.

Wind farms are turning air into electricity across the country. But they've been a tough sell in Maryland, where the best gusts blow on a steep, craggy habitat for birds, bats and other wildlife, land well protected by state regulations.

C. Ronald Franks, who was then the department secretary, said he advised the agency's scientists to be judicious. "I said I do not want them stopped for some minor, trivial situation," Franks recalled. "But by the same token, I did not want to give them carte blanche to ruin an endangered habitat."

How schools get it right

Experienced teachers, supplemental programs are two key elements to helping students thrive,0,546385.story
Tucked amid a block of rowhouses around the corner from Camden Yards is an elementary school with a statistical profile that often spells academic trouble: 76 percent of the students are poor, and 95 percent are minorities.

But George Washington Elementary has more academic whizzes than most of the schools in Howard, Anne Arundel, Carroll and Baltimore counties.

These students don't just pass the Maryland School Assessment - they ace it.

An analysis by The Sun of 2007 MSA scores shows that most schools with a large percentage of high achievers on the test are in the suburban counties, often neighborhoods of middle- and upper-middle-class families. But a few schools in poorer neighborhoods, such as George Washington, have beaten the odds. Whether they are in wealthy or poor neighborhoods, schools with lots of high-scoring students share certain characteristics. They have experienced teachers who stay for years, and they offer extracurricular activities after school. Sometimes, they have many students in gifted-and-talented classes working with advanced material.


Citizens should go to transportation meetings
If we, our children and grandchildren are stuck in traffic or packed on a decrepit train or bus some day, we won't have anybody to blame but ourselves. We can shape our destiny, and we'll get eight chances to do so through Aug. 28 when the Baltimore Regional Transportation Board meets on its 2035 outlook and recommendations for projects.

Five area county executives and the mayors of Baltimore and Annapolis are on the board because the whole thing about transportation is that it doesn't stop at government boundaries.

Folks, hang on to your wallets
Gov. O'Malley is talking about income tax changes
Marylanders of means had better button their back pockets and keep close tabs on their wallets: Gov. Martin O'Malley is making it increasingly clear that his battle to close a budget shortfall next year could result in higher income taxes.

Of course, the governor is also saying loud and clear that the tax changes would only be applied to Maryland's more affluent residents, hinting that tax breaks could be in store for those making less money. That's what conservatives like to call income redistribution.

But most of all, the matter comes down to a basic question that the governor will be expected to answer completely and loudly: Does anyone really believe that Marylanders are really undertaxed?

Reading essentials,0,1880142.story
Baltimore's health commissioner, Joshua M. Sharfstein, and schools CEO Andres Alonso are rightly urging parents, particularly low-income parents, to read to their young children. That may sound like a no-brainer, but too many young children are not read to regularly, making them ill prepared even for preschool and decreasing their chances for academic success and healthier lives. That is as true in Maryland as elsewhere; some parents here need more support to give their children a better educational foundation.


Md. bids for aid on BRAC growth
Lawmakers say billions needed for schools, transit as military bases expand,0,4871584.story?coll=bal_tab01_layout
With tens of thousands of new workers expected in the next five years, Maryland's representatives in Congress are trying to loosen the first federal dollars to help local communities cope with military base expansion in the state. "The requests this year are a down payment for the future," said Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, who represents the communities surrounding Aberdeen Proving Ground and Fort Meade. "We hope that there's more next year." "The Department of Defense made a decision to come here," the Baltimore County Democrat said. "We tried to prove our case. But now that they've made the commitment, we need their help."

Delegation members are using "earmarks" - federal funding that lawmakers secure for their pet projects - to get that assistance. Ruppersberger wants $1 million for roads that lead to Aberdeen Pro ving Ground in Harford County. Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen is looking for $1 million to improve safety on the road that passes in front of the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. Democratic Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski is trying to nail down $13 million to expand the MARC commuter rail system. Some local officials worry that the money isn't coming quickly enough. While Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold lauds the effort to secure federal money for mass transit, he has expressed concern that the highway improvements won't be finished by 2011, when new residents begin arriving en masse.

Bay cleanup could get funding boost
Efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay could get a major funding boost under the fa rm bill moving through Congress.Environmentalists have said for years that such a funding increase is needed, but previously found little support on Capitol Hill. This year, a group of lawmakers from the watershed - which stretches from southern Virginia to upstate New York - pushed for the bay to be singled out for federal funds. Vocal backers of the increased funding include Maryland Democrats Steny H. Hoyer, the House majority leader, and Rep. Chris Van Hollen.

Monday, July 23, 2007

20070723 Quote of the day - The Difference

Quote of the day – The difference

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one often comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't.

Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) Cleric

Thanks TC

20070623 Liv Myers’ husband Mason Waters passed away July 22, 2007

Liv Myers’ husband Mason Waters passed away July 22, 2007

Mr. Waters’ obituary appeared in the Carroll County Times on Monday, July 23rd, 2007

Liv Myers is the longstanding executive director of Junction, a drug prevention, treatment, advocacy organization in Carroll County. (I serve on the board of Junction.)

Mason W. Waters Jr., 59, of Thurmont died Sunday, July 22, 2007, at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

Born April 11, 1948, in Cavetown, he was the son of the late Mason and Margaret Kline Waters. He was the husband of Olivia M. Myers, his wife of nearly 29 years.

He graduated from Smithsburg High School and went on to graduate from Frostburg State College.

He worked for the Division of Corrections for 19 years, including serving as the warden at the Maryland Correctional Institution in Hagerstown. For five years, he was the warden at the Carroll County Detention Center in Westminster.

He also worked for the Hot Spots Program through the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention and was a substitute teacher for Frederick County Public Schools.

He enjoyed spending time with his family and coaching girls softball in Thurmont Little League, as well as attending his children's sporting events. He loved to travel with his family and enjoyed playing poker with his high school friends.

Surviving, in addition to his wife, are children Colin and Whitney Waters of Thurmont; and a sister, Linda Bowman of Hagerstown.

A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Thursday at Robert E. Dailey & Son Funeral Home, 615 E. Main St., Thurmont, with the Rev. Linda Lambert of Thurmont Church of the Brethren officiating. Inurnment will be private.

The family will receive friends from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Junction Inc., P.O. Box 206, Westminster, MD 21158; or to the Marie Myers Education Fund at the Thurmont Church of the Brethren, 16 Altamont Ave., Thurmont, MD 21788.