Wednesday, January 31, 2007
And here is an article on the County's preparations for the Expansion of Fort Meade, often referred to as "BRAC."
The Federal, State, and County Governments are going to have to work together to make Ft. Meade's expansion a positive for HoCo (and other jurisdictions as well).
O'Malley called upon lawmakers to embrace a "shared agenda" on education, health care, public safety and the environment during this legislative session while putting off more "polarizing" debates until later in his four-year term.
And what is the State of O'Malley's Popularity?
Meanwhile Democratic leaders are working on expanding medical coverage for Marylanders. And it looks like the Ground Rents issue will be addressed this session.
So are those electric rate increased need to pay for BGE's increased costs? Its a complicated issue, but its parent is doing well, even though BGE's revenues are supposedly down.
Meanwhile,the sponsor of the Bill to require vaccination for the HPV, says she is going to withdraw the bill. Sorry, no link to this story.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
This is smart politics and smart policy.
Bold leadership, too, (for some reason that doesn't sound as good as it once did.)
Glad to see we have our priorities strait. Oy!
Lots of American Families are having simular experiences.
America needs universal healthcare.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Our current healthcare system is unfair, inhumane and economically inefficient.
Here's one organization trying to do something about it.
We lost Irag a long time ago, probably the day we invaded Baghdad and forgot to guard the water supply and power grid (but not the oil industry). You know it, I know it, but does Bush?
It looks like Iraq will be the most important issue of the 2008 campaign. Sen. Clinton has positioned herself poorly on this issue, and its going to hurt most of the Republican hopefuls.
And all signs point to a deteriorating situation in Iraq.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Things are going to get very interesting both here and in Iraq. Interesting isn't always a good thing.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Thats a lot of bad economic news for one day.
P.S. Union Membership is at a record low.
Now for the details Senator, please tell us you are in favor of a single payer system.
Meanwhile all of us who were disappointed by the failure to enact a verified voting law during the last legislative session might get our wish after all. Senate Majority Leader Kasemeyer is introducing a verifible ballot bill!
Sometimes good things come to those who wait.
Finally the last seat on the Board of Education Has been filled.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Our Police Chief has let our new County Council and Executive know what he thinks our Police Force needs: Tasers and more Police Officers. The Chief also put in a request for "sharks with fricking laser beams."
Meanwhile, the Governor and Legislature, working together (another departure from last year) are tackling the challenges posed by BRAC. We are going to have to upgrade our infrastructure and housing stock to meet this challenge, and it will be all the more difficult because of our budget issues. The Democrats have to do this right, because they won't have Licans to blame if things don't go well. Lets hope they never lose sight of this fact.
Meanwhile, Webb's rebuttal was first rate. According to Newsweek, Webb stole the Show.
Can anyone make sense of Bush's health care proposal? Was Bush actually talking about a tax increase?
And why no mention of Katrina?
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
The Sun has looked at Governor O'Malley's agenda and pronounced it "centrist." The story does have a good run down of the Gov's priorities. It looks like the Gov. wants to focus on Governing competently, thats a refreshing change. Peter Franchot was sworn in as Comptroller, probably the the 2nd or third most powerful position in Maryland Government. Its good to see a real liberal and a real Democrat in that office. Meanwhile, the Legislature is trying to figure out a way to pay for increasing the availability of health care. I say Universal Health Care would solve their problems, if the Governator can figure that out, why can't we?
Monday, January 22, 2007
Tomorrow night won't help him much. Sen. Webb is going to give the rebuttal speech.
Update: Here's yet another poll showing that "the Public has given up on Bush." Oy!
Sunday, January 21, 2007
All those U.S military personnel are dying for what? Everyone knows that we can't win. Every U.S. causality is a senseless loss. The longer we stay, the more of our brave volunteers will die for nothing, other than George W. Bush's madness and stupidity. Its time for all patriotic Americans to stand up for the good of their nation and to support our troops by bringing them home.
What can you do?
A march and protest against the Iraq war is being organized for Saturday, January 27, in downtown Washington DC. Organizers have called for participants to assemble at 11:00 a.m. on the Mall between 3rd and 7th Streets, N.W. The March begins at 1:00 p.m.
For further information about the March, please refer to the United for Peace and Justice website: www.unitedforpeace.org
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Can you blame them? After six years of disastrous Republican Leadership, its easy for the Democrats to look good. But the Democrats deserve the good grades they are getting.
Friday, January 19, 2007
They appear in Bold below, followed by my comments.
1. The community supports the continuing development of Downtown and wants it to be done on a human scale and at moderate, not high, density.
The community? Who says they speak for the community? I think High Density would be a good idea.
2. The community backs mixed-use development throughout Downtown.
I agree. Although goal No. 1 makes this harder to achieve.
3. The community wants new housing units to be affordable for a wide cross-section of people.
I agree. Although goal No. 1 makes this harder to achieve.
4. The community rejects the proposed major increase in traffic congestion and resulting deterioration of our quality of life.
I don't think any one has proposed a "major increase in traffic congestion and resulting deterioration of our quality of life." An inadequate plan, perhaps.
5. The community wants to move about safely and conveniently by foot, bicycle, auto, mobility devices, and mass transit.
I agree. Although goal No. 1 makes this harder to achieve.
6. The community desires Downtown to have a wide variety of civic, cultural, and entertainment, amenities.
7. The community recognizes the Lakefront as the heart of Columbia and wants it to be protected against overdevelopment.
I agree. But overdevelopment is in the eye of the beholder.
8. The community considers Symphony Woods and the Merriweather Post Pavilion as Columbia’s “Central Park” area, deserving of special consideration.
9. The community expresses strong support for implementing sound environmental practices in future development.
I agree. Although goal No. 1 makes this harder to achieve.
10. The community is intent on continuing to be actively engaged in decisions concerning their Columbia – the Next America.
Columbia happened, something else is next. ;-)
A good idea, by the way.
I just want someone who processes maturity, intelligence and good judgment, it would be a bonus if that individual was also a member of an underrepresented group. County Executive Ulman shouldn't have a hard time finding people in our county who fit all four of these criteria, the hard part will be to choose which one of many.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
So we will have to go back to the drawing board. Although I supported it, I don't think the Wal-Mart bill was a real solution, it was a band-aid when a tourniquet was called for.
What we should really do is establish universal health care in Maryland. This would ensure health care for all, protect the public health and provide our businesses with a competitive advantage. Doctors could make more money too!
Pros: Huge campaign fund, Bill, strong organizational infrastructure, last name is Clinton, brains, charm, articulate, political experience and savvy, did I mention she's married to Bill Clinton? From a big state with lots of delegates.
Cons: The right wing has successfully caricatured her (quite unfairly I add) as a sneaky, manipulative, cold hearted extremist. Was for the Iraq war. Pandered to the right-wing occasionally as a Senator (remember that we are talking about Democratic primaries here). Senate Voting Record. Sexism could hurt her.
Pros: Fresh new face, Charm, rock star charisma, articulate, smart, liberal, against the war, Presidential bearing. From a big state with lots of delegates.
Cons: Racism will hurt him. Lack of Experience. Has a Senate voting record to defend. Late start in fund raising and organization building.
Pros: Charm, charisma, articulate, smart, liberal, against the war, proven winner in the south, a strong message and theme. Experienced and skilled campaigner. Doesn't face sexism or racism.
Cons: Behind in fund raising, how strong is his organization? Has a Senate voting record to defend. From a mid-sized state. Ran and lost last time. Associated with Kerry's weak effort?
Cons: They are already significantly behind and they are presently lumped together as "the rest" in the public's and the media's mind.
Pros: Remember how Howard Dean came out of nowhere to become a serious contender?
So far, Democratic Annapolis has been pretty low key. How long will that last?
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
And its way too soon for anyone to do anything but guess who will win, but if I had to bet right now, it would be Sen. Obama.
Here's the latest polling, as reported by Daily Kos.
Theres a long, long way to go, but the trends are interesting (and perhaps meaningless: Clinton down, Obama and Edwards up, everyone else off the radar.
What do fineline readers think?
Some key paragraphs:
Marylanders and other non-Delawareans would pay the inevitably higher I-95 tolls plus any other consequences of placing this economic lifeline in private hands. Leasing I-95 to some corporation would be the worst example yet of a pernicious national trend: transforming public utilities into private monopolies
Discussion about road privatization reminds me of the push to deregulate Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. and other electric utilities a decade ago. Turn regulated assets over to the market, goes the refrain, and everything will be groovy. BGE customers saw how that turned out last year, with a 72 percent rate increase and much higher profits on BGE's former generation plants, now owned by the utility's parent.
Government is incompetent at many things, but history shows that natural monopolies must be owned or heavily regulated by the state. Few monopolies are as natural as I-95, the carotid artery of the East Coast economy. No matter how high its tolls might rise, travelers would have little choice but to pay them.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Atrios, scolding the mainstream news networks (you know, the "liberal" media") adds this very relevant point:
The Bush administration is purging federal prosecutors. Perhaps [CNN] should cover this.
The sad part is that if he were to work with the Democrats, instead of playing cheap politics, he could salvage his presidency and accomplish something for the Country. Sadly, we know what he will do instead.
Monday, January 15, 2007
Dr. King changed America and left it a far better place. He overcame hatred, oppression and injustice without bitterness or negatively. He knowingly gave his life for the cause of justice and did not flinch from his calling, even though his fate was obvious to him. He successfully opposed the forces of darkness without letting his heart be tainted by the darkness he fought.
So please, do yourself a favor, go to the links below to read about this incredible American and be inspired to be a better American and a better person.
The King Center
The Nobel Prize Organization
His most famous speech
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Freed from the pressures of being the majority and from the heavy hand of former leaders including retired representative Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), many back-bench Republicans are showing themselves to be more moderate than their conservative leadership and increasingly mindful of shifting voter sentiment. The closest vote last week -- Friday's push to require the federal government to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare -- pulled 24 Republicans. The Democrats' homeland security bill attracted 68 Republicans, the minimum wage increase 82.
Of Course there is one Republican who is oblivious to reality. Too bad he's the one who really counts.
Utterly disgusting, but not that surprising.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Friday, January 12, 2007
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Won't change the situation in Iraq.
But it has kept the House Democrat's recent accomplishments off the front pages.
The Democrats have voted to raise the minimum wage and to implement the 911 Commission's recommendations. But they aren't getting any headlines.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Basically, we have a President going against the advise of his generals and the American People, again. The real shame is that the President's real aim is to delay the inevitable, until it becomes the next President's problem. That means Bush is willing to let Americans die to make himself look better.
What's Congress going to do about it?
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Monday, January 08, 2007
I'm not unhappy about the way this worked out. We will now get a year to collect data on the effectiveness, fairness and real costs of this tax cut, then we can go forward armed with the facts.
Just something for Democrats to think about.
Next Wednesday evening, January 10, will be the Columbia Democratic Club's January membership meeting. As usual, the meeting will be held at the Jeffers Hill Neighborhood Center, 6030 Tamar Drive in Columbia. The meeting agenda is as follows:
Beginning at 7:00 p.m. noted political commentator - often featured on National Public Radio - UMBC Professor Tom Schaller will be on hand for a book signing of his latest publication, Whistling Past Dixie. The book argues that religion and race have already swung the South irrevocably to the GOP and to "value voters." Dr. Schaller advises the Democrats to focus on the Midwest and Interior Western states, which are now more receptive to Democratic messages thanks to pocketbook issues and changing demographics. Cost of the book is $20. Cash and checks will be accepted. Tom will also have some prepared remarks at 7:30 p.m.
Following an abbreviated business meeting, the January program beginning at 8:00 p.m. will include a presentation by Howard County Council Chair Calvin Ball and a to-be-announced member of the Howard County State Legislative Delegation, to speak to and share with CDC members, their thoughts on the year's expected legislative issues. These presentations will set the stage for an interactive discussion led by CDC Legislation Committee Co-Chairs, Kristen Neville and Josh Tzuker, on legislative issues of interest to CDC members. This discussion will help CDC develop its anticipated proactive 2007 legislative agenda.
Please mark your calendars now, and plan to join your fellow Democrats and CDC colleagues for an informative and entertaining evening. Light refreshments will be provided.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
It looks like the Democratic Congress is going to confront Bush in Iraq. That's great news.
Saturday, January 06, 2007
I'm really beginning to like what I see of this Congress.
But what will Bush do?
The selection of Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus to serve as the senior American commander in Iraq signals an important turn in United States strategy. As a supporter of increased forces in Iraq, General Petraeus is expected to back a rapid five-brigade expansion, in sharp contrast to his predecessor, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., who has been openly skeptical that additional troops would help stabilize the country.
Friday, January 05, 2007
The Democrats in Congress have a unique opportunity to both advance the interests of our nation and the Democratic Party by getting us out.
Its going to be a very interesting two years.
I predict these are the first inklings of a big story.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
On Thursday night, Mrs. Pelosi is having a $1,000-a-head fund-raiser with performances by Tony Bennett, Carole King, Wyclef Jean and the surviving members of the Grateful Dead. “Ms. Pelosi is a huge Dead fan,” her spokeswoman said.
Somethings you just don't play politics with. One of which is the lives of our people in the military. Oy!
Senator Obama proposes an independent ethics commission, in this OpEd appearing in today's Post.
Here's the NYTimes take.
Good things are happening, lets hope the Republicans and Joe Lieberman types don't muck it up.
And can we trust Bush?
House Democrats are crafting an energy package that would roll back billions of dollars worth of oil drilling incentives, raise billions more by boosting federal royalties paid by oil and gas companies for offshore production, and plow the money into new tax breaks for renewable energy sources, congressional sources said yesterday.Its nice to have the grown-ups in charge again.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Anyway, its shaping up to be interesting. CNN has this take on the relationship. The Times writes that Bush is trying to regain the initiative. The Post Reports that Bush is promising to balance the Budget . . . in 2012, six years after he leaves office. It its an interesting read with lots of choice nuggets, like this:
He went on to tout his economic policies, which he said have "allowed us to meet our goal of cutting the budget deficit in half three years ahead of schedule."
Hmm, he's bragging about fixing a problem he caused in the first place. And of course he's lying about it too:
The claim that the federal budget deficit has been cut in half stems from the administration's original projection of a $512 billion deficit for 2004, a number that critics have said was inflated, especially since the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was forecasting $477 billion at the time.
Meanwhile Bush blames everyone but himself for the mess. But who invaded Iraq? And what about the Bush tax cuts for the very rich?
Some economists also have charged that Bush has claimed unwarranted credit for his tax cuts, which they say have cost the Treasury more in lost revenue than has been gained from their economic stimulus effect.
According to Alan D. Viard, a former Bush White House economist who joined the American Enterprise Institute, "Federal revenue is lower today than it would have been without the tax cuts. There's really no dispute among economists about that."
Viard said in October there was "no evidence" that Bush's tax cuts come anywhere close to paying for themselves, a conclusion shared by economists at the Treasury Department and the nonpartisan CBO, Washington Post staff writer Lori Montgomery reported.
The Congressional Research Service has estimated that economic growth fueled by the tax cuts is likely to generate revenue worth about 7 percent of their total cost, which amounts to about $1.1 trillion since 2001.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Monday, January 01, 2007
WHAT is the most pressing problem facing the economy? A good case can be made for the developing health care crisis. Soaring costs, growing ranks of uninsured and a steady erosion of corporate health benefits add up to a giant drag on the nation’s future prosperity.The article goes on to argue that single payer health insurance would be a boon for the economy. A point I (and many others) have been making for a long time. Too bad it's unlikely to happen soon. Why is this?
There’s only one catch. Most Americans just don’t believe it can be done. The health care crisis may turn out to be more of a problem of ideology than economics.