Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Latest on the Libby Trial

From the Post.

Tomorrow, Tim Russet is expected to take the stand.

Here is the Post's complete coverage of the trial.

Meanwhile, Firedoglake is "live-blogging" the trial.

Iraq Again

The GOP is divided over Bush's escalation plan.

Joe Biden Joins/Insults Race

Jumps in with both feet in his mouth.


HoCo Happenings

Apparently, big changes are in store for two County Agencies. The transition team issued a report critical of the two agencies. The Ulman Administration is determined to energetically address these problems. Interestingly, both agencies are key players in the redevelopment of Downtown Columbia.

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).

On the State Beat

There's a lot happening. First, Governor O'Malley gave an important address: the State of the State. Here is the Post's Report. Here's the Sun's Report. Here is the Transcript, so you can judge for yourself. The short version, as reported by the Post,
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


Once again, Senator Obama gives me another reason to like him.

This is smart politics and smart policy.

Bold leadership, too, (for some reason that doesn't sound as good as it once did.)



Sen. Clinton, Dems, Strong in Ohio

According to this poll.

Judy Miller Testifies.

The Republicans' nightmares continue.

Does Scooter look good in stripes?

Yet Another Bush Power Grab

Bush increases his control of the regulatory process. Now everything can be politized. Just what we needed.

What have we come to?

I was just watching CNN's morning "news" program: nothing on Iraq, nothing on global warning, nothing on the healthcare crisis, nothing on Bush's subversion of the Constitution and international law. There was however a lot of coverage devoted to Tyra Banks' thighs and rear end: it seems theres a bit of contraversy concerning their size.

Glad to see we have our priorities strait. Oy!

Another Family Victimized by Our Healthcare System

From Newsweek.

Lots of American Families are having simular experiences.

America needs universal healthcare.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Al Franken is Leaving Air America

To "explore" running for Senate.

I'll miss his show. What will become of Airr America? My bet is that Franken's departure is it's death blow.

Our Healthcare Crisis

One of the many ill effects of the Republican's invasion of Iraq is that it diverts attention and energy from other pressing needs. One of those pressing needs is for meaningful healthcare reform. Here's an article discussing just one flawed aspect (out of many flaws) of our current system.

Our current healthcare system is unfair, inhumane and economically inefficient.

Here's one organization trying to do something about it.

Iraq Again

I'm currently reading "The End of Iraq" a book by Peter W. Galbaith. Its a shocking indictment of the botched occupation of Iraq. Its a well written, researched and well thought out book. It is not, however, going to cheer anyone up. After reading this book, I have to say Bush and Cheney deserve to be impeached. What happened there is simply criminal and all Americans will be paying for it, for the rest of our lives, both economically and in other ways.

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.

Shameless Self-Promotion Department

Thank-you for being a fineline reader. If you read a lot of blogs you notice that many blogs ask their readers to kick in a bit of money now and then. Don't worry, I'm not asking you, fair reader,for money. I am asking a small favor, tell a friend about fineline, or if you think this blog s--ks, tell an enemy. Or post a comment or two.

The Real McCain

Actually there's nothing real about McCain, as this website shows.

For all of you who think that McCain is a different kind of Republican: a maverick, a strait-talker, etc., here's your coffee.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Scooter's Trial

Looks like a nightmare for the GOP.

Now Rove has been subpoenaed.

Iraq: A major Disaster for the U.S. and the Iraqi People

Iraq continues to spin out of control. Many experts indicate that things are about to get much worse. The American People realize it. So does Congress. Hopefully they will do more than just pass resolutions. Bush doesn't get it.

Things are going to get very interesting both here and in Iraq. Interesting isn't always a good thing.


Bush Hits All-Time Low

In the latest Newsweek poll.

If I were a Republican in Congress, I would be on the impeachment bandwagon, seriously.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Bad Economic News

Ford is in deep trouble, one of its problems is healthcare costs. Wall Street is scared of inflation and interest rate hikes. Existing home sales are plummeting. Meanwhile weekly unemployment claims jumped by 36,000 last week.

Thats a lot of bad economic news for one day.

P.S. Union Membership is at a record low.

Is Al Gore Running?

According to James Carville he is.

Hat tip to Political wire.

OBAMA: Time for Universal Healthcare.

Lets see, he's been against the war from the beginning and now he's in favor of Universal health care. I have to say, Senator Obama is impressing me.

Now for the details Senator, please tell us you are in favor of a single payer system.

On the State Beat

A Senate Committee is looking into a clean cars initiative. This is an important bill, the earth needs it, especially the Chesapeake Bay. Meanwhile, the Board of Public Works awarded $200,000 in legal fees to someone who was "investigated" by the Erlich Administration. Will Maryland follow the lead of the Big Apple and ban trans fats?

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.

HoCo Happenings

Well the Ulman Administration is beginning to take shape with two important policy initiatives, one is to expand the Police Force, a great idea and now the County Executive wants to extend Metro to Fort Meade, another great idea.

Finally the last seat on the Board of Education Has been filled.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

In Howard County

Just as we were about to find out if the "Columbia Skyscraper" would be built (well actually litigated), this happened. Speaking of downtown Columbia, Hayduke has a good post noting that one of the core issues in the whole Down Town Columbia controversy is whether Columbia should be a real city or a suburb. There is no wrong or right answer here, just as there is no one "right" flavor of ice cream, its a matter of personal preference. (That's not true of all the issues concerning Downtown's future). Hayduke's post also discusses a letter in the Flyer discussing another aspect of the Downtown issue. Here is Robert Turner's letter.

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."

On the State Beat

The newly reconstituted Board of Public Works, a very important agency in Maryland's Government, met for the first time. It's made up of three real Democrats. They are promising a new tone. In a major departure from last year, no aide's rear ends were ogled and no ethnic groups were insulted.

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, as the War In Iraq Rages on

Even members of Bush's own party are not convinced that escalation is the answer.

Did you know that the President Gave his State of the Union Message Last Night?

I don't think it helped him one bit. And why that nasty schoolyard jab at the Democratic Party?

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?

Kerry's Out

Yawn. It was a good decision on his part.

Obama Fights Back

Doesn't put up with Moonie hatchet job. I like this guy.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Bush Hits New Low

CBS has him in the 20's.

What's up with the remaining 20 percent?

Uphill Battle for Global Warming Legislation

Pelosi v. Dingell.

The Libby Trial

Is going to be very interesting. It might cost Cheney or Rove their job, or maybe even their freedom.

firedoglake is live blogging the trial.

State of the State

The pace is picking up in Annapolis. Governor O'Malley has appointed Tom Perez to the cabinet. I'm a big fan of Mr. Perez. The legislature is considering a ban on driving while using a cell phone. Good Idea.
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?

An Idea for A Drinking Game

You have to chug every time Bush lies during the State of the Union Speech. Careful, Alcohol is toxic, so limit yourself to the first 15 minutes of the speech.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Iraq Gets Worse

Yesterday was the worst day for the U.S. in Iraq in 2 years.

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:

Saturday, January 20, 2007

New Poll: Good News for Democrats

According to Newsweek's poll, The Public likes what it sees of the Democratic Congress, while Bush's approval is at an all time low.

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.

Its the Environment . . .

It really bothers me to see so many people who I know to be passionate and sincere environmentalists oppose "high-density" development in Downtown Columbia. High Density development leaves a much, much smaller environmental footprint on our earth than suburban sprawl. Basically, thats the big choice we are going to make here in Columbia. Because if we don't allow high density development in Downtown Columbia, those people who would have lived (or employers who would have located)in Downtown Columbia are going to live somewhere else and most likely they will end up locating someplace that is currently wild or farmland. And then they will waste energy and pollute when they make their longer commutes to work. Think of all the energy we could save if we had a lot of residences, retail business and employers located within walking distance of each other. Think of all the pollution we save when we walk instead of drive. Think how much healther we would be if we walked more and drove less.

Hillary's In

And she's "in to win."

Friday, January 19, 2007

Obama Smeared As Former ‘Madrassa’ Student, Possible Covert Muslim Extremist

Wow, the right wing must be very scared of him to drudge up a ridiculous pack of lies like this.

Fox "News" at its worst.

The Coalition for Columbia's Downtown

Has issued a 10 point Summary of its goals.

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.

Who doesn't?

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.

I agree.

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. ;-)

What will the Maryland Legislature's Priorities Be?

Here one possibility.

A good idea, by the way.

School Board Opening

There's a vacant seat on the Board of Education. Its County Executive's Ulman's responsibility to choose who will fill that seat. Some County residents are urging the County Executive to appoint a member of a minority group.

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

"Wal-Mart" Healthcare Bill Nixed by Federal Appeals Court

It's dead, Unless the U.S. Supreme Court Grants Cert. Which would be surprising.

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!

Fox News Poll

Shows that Republicans are very unpopular.

A nifty chart showing recent polls on Bush's job performance.

Handicapping 2008

Here's my first look at the prospects for the 2008 Democratic Presidential Nomination. Remember, this is just my analysis of each candidate's prospects, not my opinion on their merits as potential Presidents.

Hillary Clinton

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.

Barak Obama

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.

John Edwards

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?

The rest:

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?

Gov. O'Malley's First Budget

Funds education, but does not address the expected future deficit.

So far, Democratic Annapolis has been pretty low key. How long will that last?

Republicans Kill Ethics Reform

Two issues killed the Republicans last elections: Iraq and ethics.

So what are they doing? Escalating the war and killing ethics reform.

Can you explain this to me?


Technorati Profile

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

It's Way Too Early

For me to decide who I want to win the Democratic Presidential Nomination. But if I were forced to chose my favorite right now it would be Sen. John Edwards. That's subject to change several times before the primaries start. Ask me tomorrow and my opinion may well have changed.

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?

The Perils of Privatization

Jay Hancock writes on a plan to privatize Delaware's segment of I-95.

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.

HoCo's Economy is in Good Shape

But debt is rising.

Councilman Gray to Head HoCo Office of Human Rights

County Executive Ulman's latest appointment.

Governor O'Malley!

Was sworn in today.

Here's the text of his speech, its a good one.

What lies ahead?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I know I use that word often when discussing the Bush Administration and the Right Wing. However, the latest folly of the Bush Administration is plain scary: Bush is firing United States Attorneys (the head Federal prosecutor for each judicial district) left and right. And the firings are clearly politically motivated, with an unpleasant, Rovian twist (is there any other type of Rovian twist?). Josh Marshall, in my opinion, the very best blogger out there, bar none, is all over this story. Go to TPM for the details.

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.

Simply Amazing

Bush is going to try and blame the Democrats for our budget woes.

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.

This Should Be Interesting

The Scooter Libby trial begins.

Another Republican Bigot

From Virginia no less.

It Looks Like Sen. Obama is Running

I told you so.;-)

But check out this great speech by Sen. Edwards.

It was great. He said what really needs to be said, but isn't being said by the presumptive front runners.

O'Malley Budget Includes $400 Million for School Construction

Good policy, smart politics.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Only one American, who was not a president, has been honored with his own holiday. Dr. King is a real American hero who is quite deserving of that honor. I fear that many Americans are unaware of Dr. King's achievements and the incredible moral and physical courage he possessed.

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

Time Magazine

His most famous speech

Sunday, January 14, 2007

A Lot of The Republicans in Congress

See which way the wind is blowing. As the Post Reports:
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.

Happy One Year Anniversary!

To Evan's blog!

Delagate Turner is a Key Player in the Slots Controversy

The Howard County Delegation continues to gain influence.

Its Tough

It seems like no matter what you do, your going to upset people. Save a huge parcel in the middle of Columbia from development, and you get people mad because you want to put ballfields there. Don't build the ballfields and you will hear people complain about the lack of ballfields. Allow one little grocery store to sell organic beer and wine and soon, according to local liquor store owners, the whole alcoholic beverage industry will be down the drain.

General Growth Properties' New Downtown Guru

I'm not sure what to make of this.


The right wing is now going after lawyers who represent detainees in Guantanamo.

Utterly disgusting, but not that surprising.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Bush Administration is Held Accountable

Finally. We are going to see a lot of this. Bush Administration Officials up on Capital Hill forced to defend the undefensible. Its about time.

Maplelawn Expansion is Approved

How do people feel about this?

The U.S. House of Representitives is on a Roll

Finally, some progress on the stem cell front.

Interesting Quote

Reported at TPM:

Sen. Mikulski (D-MD): "This is a reckless plan - it is about saving the Bush presidency, not about saving Iraq."

Bush's Escalation Plan

Isn't popular.

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.

Sorry about the light posting

I'm very busy with a trial.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Escalation

It really is Vietnam all over again. But worse.

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?

Yet Another Republican Failure

During the Clinton Administration the Federal Government drastically increaed its aid to local law enforcement agencies. The result? A drastic decrease in crime. The Bush Administation cut this aid significantly. Guess what? Violent crime is again surging! Lets hope Congress addresses this issue.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Here We Go Again

Over at another local Blog, there is a discussion, in a comments section, of a rumor about our new County Executive. Basically, its an uncorroborated, unsourced quote attributed to Ken Ulman. Frankly, its the Internet at its worst. Come on people, Ken's going to have to make a lot of difficult decisions. Lets judge him on the proven facts.

The 100 Hours Starts Today

Apparently the first bill will implement the 9-11 Commission's recommendations. The Bush Administration reaction will be very interesting. If they go along with the bills, will Bush's approval go up? If he opposes the bills, will he sink into the 20's? Things are getting very interesting. What do you think? Or don't you?

Monday, January 08, 2007


The Senior Tax Cut Task force begins its work this week.

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.

An Observation

If it were not for his invasion of Iraq, its likely that Bush would still be a popular president. If not for Iraq and the ethics scandals, the Republicans would still control Congress. Note that it was these actions that drove them from power, rather than pandering to their base.

Just something for Democrats to think about.

CDC January Meeting

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.

Good News!

The Western Howard Co. Democratic Club is meeting, Thursday, 1/11/07, 7:00 p.m., at the George Howard Building.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Delegate Bobo's Environmental Bill Pick's up Momentum

More good news!

Another Good Move by the Democratic Congress

They are moving to tighten disclosure rules on earmarks.

I'm really beginning to like what I see of this Congress.

Democrats Confront Bush on Iraq

Urge pullout. It loooks like the Democrats in Congress mean business. Thats good for America, bad for Republicans.

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


It's very clear that the American People think that Iraq is the most important issue facing our nation and that they want out.

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.

Is a Constitutional Showdown Looming?

I've long felt that the Bush Administration has treated our Constitution with contempt. Now with the Democrats in control of Congress and the President's approval rating threatening to sink into the twenties, its likely that the issue will come to a head. Bush is now asserting, without any legal authority, that he has the right to seach mail without a warrant. Meanwhile, the Whitehouse is preparing for a legal confrontation, which has lead to the exit of the "best darn Whitehouse legal counsel ever."

I predict these are the first inklings of a big story.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

So there Will Be a Senior Tax Cut Task Force After All

So there's still hope of repealing (or fixing) this awful regressive tax cut. (Here's another take). Thats good, because we have a school system with unmet needs and we need to find 53 million dollars a year to set aside for for future health care benefits for county employees, at least if we want to keep our excellent bond rating.


Are happy days here again?

An End to Bush's Tax Cuts for the Rich?

The Democrats, in trying to bring some sanity to the fiscal mess created by six years of Republican mismanagement and corruption, are eying Bush's tax cuts for the rich. If you thought the Senior Tax Cut got under my skin, you should have seen me back when these were enacted. Let's hope the Democrats roll back these reverse-Robin Hood measures.

Pelosi Fundraiser: $1000 a Deadhead


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.

Sometimes One Line Tells it All

A Bush administration official admits that the surge plan is motivated by political rather than military considerations.

Somethings you just don't play politics with. One of which is the lives of our people in the military. Oy!

Dana Milbank

Writes a good column on the Republican's chutzpah. Isn't it amazing how the Republicans can now demand that the new Democratic majority give the new Republican minority all the rights that Republicans had denied Democrats for years?


The Post writes about Speaker Pelosi's plans for ethics reform.

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.

Could this Be A Good Sign?

Bush adopts the Democrats' goal of balancing the budget. Hopefully, he learned something from Clinton. I'm all for balancing the budget, but I hope they don't try to go too fast in a slowing economy. That could cause a recession.

And can we trust Bush?

Democrats Unveil a Real Energy Policy

From the Post:
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.


A new CNN poll shows that the Democratic Agenda has deep and broad support amongst the American public.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Don't Miss

This post by Hayduke. Hayduke points out that green building methods save money in the long run. Meanwhile, Evan Coren reports from Manhattan on his field research into building heights.

Another Ulman Appointment

Has close ties to O'Malley.

Gansler Sworn In As Attorney General

Vows to fight for the Chesapeake.

This will be interesting.

Torture American Style

Shame on us.

A New Congress

Begins tomorrow. I expect its relationship with the President will be interesting and unfortunately, unproductive. The President will most likely try to block any efforts at real progress. That's too bad, if Bush would work with the Democratic Congress to get something done, it might remove some of the tarnish from his legacy.

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.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Can a Senator Win the Presidency?

This article comparing Obama and Clinton's senate voting records also asks that question.

This article discussing the two senators discusses a more sinister question.

A Must Read on the Healthcare Crisis

From the New York Times:
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.

Yet Another Democratic Contender?

Sen. Chris Dodd.

Happy New Year!