Common Sense Comes To Montgomery County Maryland

On Monday The Daily Caller posted an article about some recent changes to Montgomery County, Maryland, laws dealing with people who are in America illegally.

The article reports:

Following months of national media coverage over the handling of illegal aliens in his custody, Montgomery County, Maryland, Executive Marc Elrich has somewhat reversed a sanctuary policy he signed into law.

Elrich will allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents the ability to access certain areas of the Montgomery County jail in order to apprehend illegal aliens, according to ABC7 News. A county spokesman confirmed to the local news outlet on Nov. 1 that correctional officers have been ordered to give ICE agents clearance to “identified areas” of the jail to “ensure that transfers are conducted in a safe environment.”

News of the cooperation between Montgomery County and federal immigration authorities comes three months after Elrich signed an executive order that prohibited county officials from working with ICE.

After Marc Elrich signed the executive order, there were a number of illegal aliens arrested in Montgomery County who were charged with rape and other sexual assault crimes. The national news picked up the story, and the executive order became controversial.

The article concludes:

It’s not clear if Elrich’s rollback of his sanctuary rules are sufficient enough for federal immigration authorities. ICE did not respond to a request for comment from the DCNF.

There are caveats to the renewed cooperation, however. Before arriving at the county jail, ICE must submit an immigration detainer and arrive before the wanted illegal alien is released. If, for some reason, ICE agents are not able to arrive on time, the individual is released into the public — even if the individual has been charged with murder, rape or other heinous crime.

It’s not perfect, but it’s a start.

Where In The World Does This Appear In The U.S. Constitution?

The Gateway Pundit reported today that the State of Maryland has filed a legal objection to President Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting Attorney General. When did state courts have any say over presidential appointments?

The article notes:

The state seeks a preliminary injunction that prevents the federal government from responding to the suit while Whitaker appears as acting attorney general. Instead, Maryland requests a declaration that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is the acting attorney general.

Jonathan Turley posted an article about the apointment of Matthew Whitaker.

The article states:

However, this morning some members and commentators have declared that Whitaker cannot serve as an Acting Attorney General under federal law.  I have to disagree.  While not getting into the merits of the selection, it seems clear to me that, under 5 U.S.C. 3345, that Whitaker does indeed qualify.  (This of course does not address the long-standing debate over the constitutionality of such laws.  A challenge can be made under the Appointment Clause of the Constitution, mandating that a “principal officer” in the federal government may not be appointed without Senate confirmation).

…I fail to see the compelling argument to disqualify Whitaker. Any challenge would face added challenge of finding someone with standing, though Mueller could contest an order on the basis of the legal status of Whitaker. That would make for an interesting challenge but the odds would be against Mueller over the long course of appeals.

The motive behind the lawsuit evidently has to do with fear that Matthew Whitaker will shut down the Mueller Investigation. That may be a valid fear, but I think a more valid fear would be that under Matthew Whitaker the Justice Department might actually take another look at how some people handled classified information during the Obama administration. Hillary Clinton was not the only person with classified information on a non-government secured device. An investigation into mishandling of classified information under President Obama would be a serious threat to many people who were in the Obama administration.

 

 

The Real Threat To The Integrity Of Our Elections

On Monday, The Washington Times posted an article about research into the number of ineligible voters who are voting in our elections.

The article reports:

Just Facts’ conclusions confront both sides in the illegal voting debate: those who say it happens a lot and those who say the problem nonexistent.

In one camp, there are groundbreaking studies by professors at Old Dominion University in Virginia who attempted to compile scientifically derived illegal voting numbers using the Harvard data, called the Cooperative Congressional Election Study.

…On the other side are the professors who conducted the study and contended that “zero” noncitizens of about 18 million adults in the U.S. voted. The liberal mainstream media adopted this position and proclaimed the Old Dominion work was “debunked.”

The ODU professors, who stand by their work in the face of attacks from the left, concluded that in 2008 as few as 38,000 and as many as 2.8 million noncitizens voted.

Mr. Agresti’s analysis of the same polling data settled on much higher numbers. He estimated that as many as 7.9 million noncitizens were illegally registered that year and 594,000 to 5.7 million voted.

These numbers are more in line with the unverified estimates given by President Trump, who said the number of ballots cast by noncitizens was the reason he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton.

Last month, the president signed an executive order setting up a commission to try to find on-the-ground truth in illegal voting. Headed by Vice President Mike Pence, the panel also will look at outdated voter lists across the nation with names of dead people and multiple registrants.

For 2012, Just Facts said, 3.2 million to 5.6 million noncitizens were registered to vote and 1.2 million to 3.6 million of them voted.

There is real evidence that this is a problem:

There is hard evidence outside of polling that noncitizens do vote. Conservative activists have conducted limited investigations in Maryland and Virginia that found thousands of aliens were registered.

These inquiries, such as comparing noncitizen jury pool rejections to voter rolls, captured just a snapshot. But conservatives say they show there is a much broader problem that a comprehensive probe by the Pence commission could uncover.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation, which fights voter fraud, released one of its most comprehensive reports last month.

Its investigation found that Virginia removed more than 5,500 noncitizens from voter lists, including 1,852 people who had cast more than 7,000 ballots. The people volunteered their status, most likely when acquiring driver’s licenses. The Public Interest Legal Foundation said there are likely many more illegal voters on Virginia’s rolls who have never admitted to being noncitizens.

Every vote cast by a noncitizen cancels out the vote of a citizen. It is time for voter identification and proof of citizenship before people can register to vote.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. There are problems with our voter integrity, and those problems have nothing to do with Russia.

Something Doesn’t Seem Right Here

On Friday The Washington Times reported that the two illegal immigrants charged with raping a classmate in Rockville High School in Maryland in March have had the charges against them dismissed.

The article reports:

“Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy told a judge Friday that after an investigation, authorities are dropping rape and sex offense counts against 17-year-old Jose Montano, who was charged as an adult,” the Daily Mail reported. “He and 18-year-old Henry Sanchez, both of who were in the U.S. illegally, were charged in the alleged assault of the girl at Rockville High School in March.”

McCarthy also said his office was dropping charges against Sanchez, for the same reason — no evidence.

His statement, to reporters, was blunt: “The facts in this case do not support the original charges filed,” he said, the news outlet reported.

There is, however, some good news here. The article reports that both suspects still face charges tied to possession and distribution of child pornography.

The boys’ defense lawyer claimed that the incident was nothing more than consensual sex. I tend to wonder.

The Cost Of Raising The Minimum Wage

On Friday, The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about a new minimum wage law in Washington, D.C.

The article reports:

Washington, D.C. will lose thousands of jobs as the district’s plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 goes into effect, while the higher wages will primarily benefit workers in the surrounding suburbs, according to a new report by the city’s chief financial officer.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser spearheaded the effort for a $15 minimum wage, more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Analysis by the city’s Office of Revenue Analysis, however, says the plan could cost the district 2,500 jobs by 2026, the Washington Times reports.

The district’s minimum wage is currently $11.50 an hour and each year will grow by 70 cents until it reaches $15 in three years. After 2020, the minimum wage will grow based on inflation.

The article explains that the probable impact of the increase in the minimum wage will be to bring more workers into Washington from the neighboring suburbs. This will increase the competition for jobs within the city and make it more difficult for residents of the city to find jobs.

The article concludes:

D.C. passed a measure to raise the minimum wage to $15 for hourly employees in June. Critics immediately castigated the law at the time.

“Unfortunately, it’s employees and small businesses who will pay the tab,” Michael Saltsman, research director of the free market Employment Policies Institute, told the Washington Free Beacon at the time.

D.C. restaurants lost 1,400 jobs in the first six months of 2016 and experienced their worst hiring period in 15 years. Suburbs in Virginia and Maryland added nearly 3,000 jobs over the same period.

Punishing Little Boys For Being Little Boys

Yesterday Breitbart reported on a court case in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, located near Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland. The case was an appeal of a case involving a second grade boy who was suspended from school in March 2013 after chewing his pastry into the shape of a gun and “[pretending] to fire it.” The boy’s father took the case to court with the hope that the suspension would be reversed and removed from the child’s school record.

The article reports:

But WJZ 13 reports that an Anne Arundel County circuit judge upheld the suspension, ruling that Joshua’s actions were “disruptive.”

Anne Arundel County Schools reacted to the ruling by releasing a statement which said, “We have believed from the outset that the actions of the school staff were not only appropriate and consistent, but in the best interests of all students.”

Welch family attorney Robin Ficker lamented the ruling and pointed out there was “no violence, no real weapon, no ammunition.” But the suspension will now “be on [Joshua’s] record in school… every time he goes into a new grade.”

I believe our educators have lost their collective minds. I wonder if he would have been suspended had he just pointed his index finger and pretended it was a gun. If you combine the fact that this incident will follow the child through school with the data mining that is part of Common Core, you realize that the report of this action will also follow the child into the workplace–with or without the details. So we have a second grader branded for life as a troublemaker because he acted like a little boy. That is child abuse.

There Is A Third Democrat Candidate For President

There are three Democrat candidates who want to run for President in 2016–Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley. Bernie Sanders describes himself as a democratic socialist. His voting record is generally in line with liberal ideas. Hillary is running on her accomplishments as Secretary of State, and Martin O’Malley is running on his record as governor of Maryland.

Bernie Sanders wants to make college tuition free, end income inequality, raise the minimum wage, and cut taxes for the middle class. There is no mention of how he is going to pay for any of this. He also says he stands for much higher taxes on businesses and rich people. The man is obviously unfamiliar with the Laffer Curve.

Hillary on March 11, 2014, described her accomplishments as Secretary of State as follows:

My accomplishments as Secretary of State? Well, I’m glad you asked! My proudest accomplishment in which I take the most pride, mostly because of the opposition it faced early on, you know, the remnants of prior situations and mindsets that were too narrowly focused in a manner whereby they may have overlooked the bigger picture and we didn’t do that and I’m proud of that. Very proud. I would say that’s a major accomplishment.   Hillary Clinton 11 March 2014

That makes my head hurt, but maybe someone can figure out what she said.

The Washington Examiner posted an article today on Martin O’Malley’s record as governor of Maryland. The headline of the article read, “From the ‘rain tax” to the ‘flush tax’: 40 times Martin OMalley raised taxes.”

Do we really want any one of these people running our country?

Who Is Setting Up The Voting Machines?

Last Wednesday I posted an article (rightwinggranny.com) about voting machines in Schaumburg, Illinois, registering a Republican vote as a Democrat vote. That story was based on a Fox News story. Yesterday the Examiner posted a story about voting machines in Maryland that are refusing to let voters vote for Republican candidates.

The article reports:

“When I first selected my candidate on the electronic machine, it would not put the ‘x’ on the candidate I chose — a Republican — but it would put the ‘x’ on the Democrat candidate above it,” reported Donna Hamilton.

“This happened multiple times with multiple selections. Every time my choice flipped from Republican to Democrat. Sometimes it required four or five tries to get the ‘x’ to stay on my real selection,” the Frederick, Md., resident said Thursday.

…two voters in Anne Arundel County experienced the same problem: A touchscreen voting machine switched their Republican votes to Democrats. The voters had to cancel theirs votes and start over.

Joe Torre, election director in Anne Arundel, called it a “calibration issue” involving a single machine.

Hamilton said she notified officials of the problem she encountered at the Frederick County Center, where she voted. “I’m not sure what was done about it. If someone is not paying close attention, they could end up voting for the wrong candidate,” she said.

No kidding. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue–this is an honest elections issue. Both parties need to make sure voting machines are calibrated correctly so that votes get counted correctly. As Americans, we need to be able to trust the integrity of our elections.

Making The Case For Voter ID

Today’s Daily Caller posted a story about voter fraud in Virginia and Maryland. An election integrity group, Virginia Voters Alliance, has uncovered a large amount of voters registered on both of those two states.

The article reports:

According to the Virginia Voters Alliance (VVA), the state has decided to term these as inactive voters, meaning that they join the total of 43,896 Virginia and Maryland voters who are eligible to vote up until 2019.

As state officials have taken little action, Fairfax General Registrar Cameron Quinn has announced she intends to step in, although since there are an estimated 14,646 duplicate registrations, it’s a race to the clock to remove them before the voter database freezes 60 days before a general election.

“We can’t do anything with that volume of names in the time we have,” Quinn said, according to Watchdog. For Quinn, the best option is to send out letters to all of the duplicate voters in Virginia, asking them to clarify their status.

If all states required picture voter identification that includes name and address, this problem would be eliminated. This story is one more example of why we need voter identification.

I Don’t Think This Was Part Of The Plan

Yesterday’s Daily Caller posted an article about the Maryland Obamacare exchange. It is currently under federal investigation for fraud.

The article reports:

The inspector general’s office for the Department of Health and Human Services reportedly told Maryland Republican Rep. Andy Harris that it will proceed with an investigation into how Maryland’s Obamacare exchange spent copious amounts of federal grant money in the face of its failing exchange.

Oregon’s Obamacare exchange will also be investigated by the General Accountability Office after a separate request from House Republicans.

Large amounts of federal money were given to these two states to set up their exchanges–Oregon was awarded $304 million in federal funding for its Obamacare exchange — in addition to $160 million spent in state funding so far, the Maryland Health Benefits Exchange expects to spend $261 million, over 80 percent of its federal grants, by the end of 2015.

It seems to me that any person with some degree of common sense would be looking at these numbers and wondering how Obamacare was going to save money. It really is time to get the federal government out of the health insurance business and let the free market reign. There are ways that the government can set basic regulations to make it easier for people to afford health insurance–more competition in the free market would allow prices to drop, as would portability across state lines, tort reform, tax credits for individuals purchasing health insurance, and some other basic changes. It’s time to admit that Obamacare does not work and needs to be done away with and replaced with a free market system. The insurance industry is a business. There is nothing evil about business. Businesses work best with the least amount of government interference.

 

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What Sort Of Vindictiveness Is This?

On Saturday, CNS News posted an article explaining how the government shutdown has impacted C&O Canal National Historical Park (Chesapeake and Ohio Canal). The canal was chartered by President James Monroe and opened in 1828.

The park rangers have removed the handles from the 40-some public water pumps and closed restrooms in the park. However, the cyclists who use the park have simply responded by bringing their own water bottles and by using the woods for other personal needs.

The article reports:

“The State of Maryland requires the park to monitor 40 public wells for contaminants every two weeks,” he (Michael Nardolilli, president of the non-profit C&O Canal Historical National Park Trust) told CNSNews.com. “When the park was shut down on October 1st, they furloughed the park employees who do the testing,” and the park was “not in compliance with Maryland water quality standards.”

Nardolilli added that C&O is home to “1,300 historical structures, more than any other unit in the National Park Service,” and “60 rare or endangered species.” He said there are currently “no eyes and ears to protect these resources” because the “handful of Park Police still on duty” are too busy patrolling the entrances to the park’s 15,000 acres in a futile attempt to keep people out.

Taking the handles off the water pumps is just petty. It is another example of the use of the government for partisan political purposes. This can be stopped at the voting booth if Americans educate themselves as to its source and vote accordingly.

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Lying As A Way Of Life

If you heard someone you knew tell this story, you would immediately feel sympathy:

“I’ve had a situation in my family — a child — who had serious physical problems, who could not have qualified but for group health insurance available to me as a member of Congress,” Durbin (Senator Dick Durbin) said in response to a pointed question to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

“If I had gone on the open market to buy a policy I’m not sure I could have bought one for my family to cover my child,” said Durbin, who was first elected to Congress in 1982 when his Christine was fourteen.

When you hear that story, you immediately think how horrible it would be to have a child who needed medical attention and not be able to provide the necessary care. However, when you look a little bit closer, that is not exactly what the situation was.

The quote above is from a Daily Caller article posted on Tuesday.

The article tells a little more about the story:

…the Illinois Democrat (Senator Dick Durbin) neglected to mention that his late daughter was easily covered by existing insurance, and that he used taxpayer money to reward the hospital that treated her.

Despite her preexisting condition, Christine Durbin, who suffered from a lifelong heart condition and died at age 40 in 2008, was eligible for coverage under existing laws in multiple states, including the senator’s state and the state she ultimately settled in.

Durbin also neglected to mention that he sent his daughter to one of the best children’s hospitals in the country, to which he earmarked millions of dollars from 2002-2010.

…State law also addressed the problem of individuals in the open market suffering from preexisting conditions. In 1987, Illinois passed the Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan (CHIP, which covered any Illinoisan who could not “obtain individual coverage from private insurance companies because of medical conditions.” Thirty-five other states have similar programs, including Maryland, where Christine ultimately settled.

It is entirely possible to address the problem of providing health insurance for people with pre-existing conditions without wrecking health insurance for the rest of us. If the Senator feels that it is necessary to lie to promote ObamaCare, why should we believe anything else he is saying?
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Insurance Companies Are Businesses–They Have The Right To Make Money

One of the things that seems to be missing in the comments by the few politicians who actually support ObamaCare is the understanding that insurance companies are businesses–their goal is to make a profit. If the rules of the game are such that the insurance companies cannot make a profit, they can easily choose not to participate in the marketplace involved. We are now seeing that dynamic in ObamaCare.

CNS News reported yesterday that Blue Cross, Aetna, United, and Humana, the major health insurance companies, will not be participating in the health-insurance exchanges in various states.

Aetna, an insurance company founded in Connecticut, has pulled out of the exchanges in Connecticut, Georgia and Maryland, saying that the limitations that would be imposed on them by those states would not allow them to make a profit. The company never planned to participate in the California exchanges, and will not be doing so. They are, after all, a private company in business to make a profit.

Senator Max Baucus recently stated about ObamaCare, “I just tell ya, I just see a huge train wreck coming down.” He is one of the Senators who supported ObamaCare when it was passed. I think he is right.

 

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How Much Is Enough?

Will there ever come a time when the government feels that it has enough money to run the country, the state, or your town? I am beginning to wonder.

Holly Robichaud at the Boston Herald posted an article today about the tax bill passed by the Massachusetts House yesterday. While reading the details of this bill, please keep in mind that state revenue is presently $575 million above predictions. So what did the House do? They raised taxes!

The article reports:

How much are taxes going up?  Bacon Hill says $500 million.  Do you trust them?  $500 million is just the first year.  This is a tax package on steroids.  It gets bigger every year with no end in sight. 

Bacon Hill indexed the gas tax to inflation which means it will increase every year.  This year it is an additional 3 cents.  Next year it will increase again and the following year and the following year and the following year…..  It is the gas tax increase to infinity and beyond. 

Bacon Hill also tied the tax on underground storage tanks to inflation.

The cigarette tax is going up $1 per pack.  This is a direct attack on poor people. 

Unless the voters of Massachusetts change the way they vote, we can expect to see more of the same.

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There Are Probably Some Maryland Residents Hoping For A Drought This Year

The Blaze posted an article today that shows what happens when the federal government passes unfunded mandates that the states have to pay for–the states then pass unfunded mandates that the taxpayers have to pay for.

On April 5, the Gazette (Maryland Community News Online) reported:

In 2010 the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency ordered Maryland to reduce stormwater runoff into the Chesapeake Bay so that nitrogen levels fall 22 percent and phosphorus falls 15 percent from current amounts. The price tag: $14.8 billion.

And where do we get the $14.8 billion? By taxing so-called “impervious surfaces,” anything that prevents rain water from seeping into the earth (roofs, driveways, patios, sidewalks, etc.) thereby causing stormwater run off. In other words, a rain tax.

And who levies this new rain tax? Witness how taxation, like rain, trickles down through the various pervious levels of government until it reaches the impervious level — me and you.

The EPA ordered Maryland to raise the money (an unfunded mandate), Maryland ordered its 10 largest counties to raise the money (another unfunded mandate) and, now, each of those counties is putting a local rain tax in place by July 1.

There is nothing in the law that says the tax is less if the rainfall is less, but that would be an interesting wrinkle in the whole thing. The tax is slated to be in place by July 1.

It is interesting to note that although government-owned buildings are exempt from the rain tax, religious organizations and non-profit organizations are not exempt. I suspect there will a lawsuit about that somewhere along the line.

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Two Pinocchios For The White House Vaccine Statistics

Yesterday Glenn Kessler at the Washington Post awarded two Pinocchios to the White House for their comments on how the sequester would affect children’s vaccines.

The article quotes Congressional testimony from March 5:

Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.): “Let me get it straight. Under the president’s cut of $58 million to the [Section] 317 program, you think you could get around that to avoid cutting vaccines to children, but under a sequester, that the president blames on Republicans, you don’t know if you can do that?”

CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden: “We’re going to do everything we can to limit any damage that occurs because of the across-the-board cut, but it reduces our flexibility significantly.”

Harris: “Is it your testimony that under the president’s proposed cut of $58 million in his budget to the 317 program you could have avoided cuts to vaccines to children in Maryland?”

Frieden: “We believe that we could have maintained vaccination levels, yes.”

Well, let’s not let the facts get in the way of a good story. Please follow the link above to read the details of the fuzzy math and issues involved in children’s vaccines and the sequester.

The article concludes:

Still, even before the sequester, the administration had sought to reduce costs by ending shots for children who have insurance–on the grounds that the president’s own health-care law was creating new avenues to obtaining vaccinations. Many families might have been dissuaded from getting vaccinations because of the higher costs involved. What are those numbers? That’s still unclear.

The administration’s vaccination statistics earn Two Pinocchios.

I would have given them at least three.

 

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Overreacting To A Perceived Threat

CBS Baltimore reported yesterday that two six-year old boys were suspended after playing cops and robbers during recess and using their fingers as toy guns. Needless to say, the children‘s parents are furious.

The article reports:

Dr. Kaine (child psychologist Dr. Joe Kaine) says most six-year-olds’ minds aren’t developed enough to understand why their idea of fun play might make adults upset.

“I can certainly appreciate that at school, that’s not a type of play that they are going to endorse and I certainly support that, but that’s where we educate the time and place for doing things,” Kaine said.

A number of parents agree.

“Suspending them is a bit harsh and I don’t think that’s gonna do any good for the parent, child or school,” said Janet Geotzky.

The number of suspensions has been on the rise in Maryland. School leaders say they will try to reduce those numbers.

I am neither a violent person nor a mass murderer, but I will confess to playing cowboys and Indians as a child and using my pointed finger as a gun. With all the truly gory violence children are exposed to on television and in video games, it seems to me that the least of our worries is children imagining that their pointed fingers are guns. Have we forgotten how to let children be children?

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Stupid Things That Slow Down The Recovery From Hurricane Sandy

WAFF.com, an Alabama news site, is reporting that utility crews from Decatur, Alabama, were told that they would not be allowed to help in the New Jersey clean-up unless they affiliated with a union.

The article reports:

The general manager of Decatur Utilities, Ray Hardin told Fox Business they were presented documents from the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers at a staging area in Virginia. The documents stated they had to affiliate with a union to work, which the crews could not agree to.

Hardin said the crews were told this was a requirement to work.

As they waited for confirmation on the documents, crews received word that Seaside Heights had received the assistance they needed from other sources.

The crew returned home on Thursday night.

The article further reports:

Huntsville Utilities said they were not turned away and are in Long Island, New York working.

Joe Wheeler EMC said they did not respond to New Jersey, but did go up to Maryland and headed home once they were done.

We really do need to reevaluate some of our priorities.

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Taken To The Woodshed For Telling TheTruth

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today about some recent comments by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. On “Face The Nation” yesterday, Governor O’Malley told Bob Schieffer that he couldn’t say that we were better off now than we were four years ago, but “but that’s not the question for this election.” Really? (or ‘seriously?’ as my three-year-old granddaughter likes to say)

Here is the video:

The logical question at that point was, “Then what is the point of this election?”

Today Governor O’Malley has changed his mind.

According to the article:

A day after saying, no, the country was not better off than it was four years ago, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley reversed course on Monday and said, yes, indeed it was.

“We are clearly better of as a country because we’re now creating jobs rathare than losing them,” O’Malley, a Democrat, said on CNN’s Starting Point. “But we have not recovered all that we lost in the Bush recession. That’s why we need to continue to move forward.”

He then motioned to a panel that included Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, among others. “Is there anyone on this panel that thinks we’ve recovered all we lost in the Bush recession? Clearly we’re moving forward, we’re creating jobs, unemployment is down, job creation is up. And that job creation would not happen without the president’s leadership.”

I get it–it’s George Bush’s fault. These people are getting so desperate they are becoming comical. We need to make sure no one votes for them out of sympathy.

This is the chart posted at Hot Air:

The Republicans are echoing Ronald Reagan:

I am sorry (but not surprised) to see the failure of the Obama Administration in so many areas. President Obama has done nothing that had a positive impact on our economy, and he has treated many of our friends around the world badly. I celebrate the fact that America elected a black President, but I fear that because President Obama has done such an inadequate job in the office that it will be difficult in the future for a black man to convince Americans that he is qualified to be President.

 

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Exactly What Does ‘Paying Down The Debt’ Mean ?

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article yesterday about President Obama’s claim that he plans to pay down the debt in a balanced fashion–increasing taxes on the wealthy to increase revenue and reduce the deficit. Aside from the fact that it is historically proven that raising taxes does not increase revenue, there are some definite problems with that approach.

This is a picture of a concept called the Laffer Curve:

As the illustration states, 50% is not necessarily the ‘magic number’–that number could be anywhere. The best real life illustration of this principle is the migration of millionaires out of Maryland after the tax on millionaires was increased (see rightwinggranny.com). People who will be impacted by large tax increases on the upper middle class (no–they are not ‘the rich’) usually have the means to shelter their wealth from the tax man (check out the financial disclosure statements of some of the Kennedy’s running for office).

The article at Power Line shows a graph of what President Obama’s budget plan will actually do for the deficit. The graph is based on figures from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB):

As voters, we need to be aware of the consequences of another four years of President Obama’s economic policies.

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The Cost Of Raising Taxes In Maryland

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley pushed through a millionaires tax that went into effect in 2007 and expired in 2010. Yesterday CNBC reported that during that time Maryland lost approximately $1.7 billion in lost tax revenues. The tax imposed a rate of 6.25 percent on incomes of more than $1 million a year. Approximately 31,000 residents left the state during the time the tax was in effect.

Obviously, there is no proof that the people who left the state left because of the additional tax, but if you look at population growth in various states, you find that statistically, states with the lowest tax rates are growing and states with the highest taxes are losing population (e.g. Californians are migrating to Texas). On December 19 of last year, I posted an article (rightwinggranny.com) about the migration of people from states with high taxes to states with low taxes.

The December article at rightwinggranny stated:

There are also some interesting statistics on what happened in Maryland after the state passed a millionaires’ tax in 2008–there was a 33 percent decline in tax returns from millionaire households. The article also reports that Maryland lost $1 billion of its net tax base in 2008 because of out-migration.

There is a point at which raising taxes is counterproductive. President Obama’s statement yesterday that he would keep the tax breaks for people making under $250,000 a year was interesting for a number of reasons. First, it contradicts his previous statement that it is unwise to raise taxes during a recession (technically we are no longer in a recession, but we currently have a very weak economy). Secondly, it changes the subject–instead of looking at the impact President Obama’s policies have had on the economy, this debate will stir up class envy and paint the Republicans as the party of the rich. This is getting old.

Raising taxes in a weak economy is economic suicide. The Obama Administration knows that and knows that the President will not win this debate, but as long as we are talking about raising taxes, we are not talking about the President’s record on the economy.

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Somehow I Think The Unions Have Lost Their Way

If you belong to a union, I am sure that you are grateful for the job protection and voice that the union gives you. I am sure you appreciate the benefits your union has bargained for and won for you. But have you ever thought about the seamy side of unions?

On Monday the Washington Examiner posted the following:

Something questionable is going on when a state chapter of the Service Employees International Union advertises on the SEIU national website a “Lead Internal Organizer/Home Care (LiA)” position paying up to $65,000 a year for somebody with the following qualifications:

• Train and lead members in non-violent civil disobedience, such as occupying state buildings and banks, and peaceful resistance.

The article lists some of the other qualifications. It does talk about planning takeovers of capitols and banks.

The article further reports:

…what SEIU is looking for is somebody who has no qualms about joining with other union-trained cadres and like-minded people from other organizations to invade government buildings such as state buildings and private banks — and getting arrested (“peaceful resistance”) in the process. We’ve already seen the kind of thuggery SEIU has in mind. Remember two years ago when 14 busloads of leftist demonstrators from SEIU, National Peoples’ Action, MoveOn.org, and other activist groups converged on the private home of a bank executive in the Maryland suburbs of the nation’s capital?
 
It seems as if the unions have forgotten what their original purpose was.
 
The article relates the story of the union convergence on the private home of a bank executive in Maryland. It is worth reading for the report on the incident. I personally encountered a political example of union thuggery during a primary election debate for a Massachusetts seat in the House of Representatives. One of the candidates in the debate was supported by local unions. Union thugs showed up early for the debate and blocked off the parking lot from supporters of the other candidates. They then proceeded to line up in an intimidating manner in front of the doors leading to the debate hall. This was followed by a series of actions designed to create an incident that would be covered by the press. The funny thing about the whole exercise was that the audience in the debate was generally over the age of fifty and not likely to respond to the taunting and intimidation.
 
However, there are enough examples of union thuggery in recent years to cause us to rethink the role (and the amount of money involved) of unions in our society.
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The True Christmas Spirit

Stonewood Rd. in Baltimore Maryland cropped fo...

Image via Wikipedia

There are people among us who practice Christmas all year long. The Los Angeles Times posted a story about some of them today.

Earl Johnson, a former Army Ranger who served in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, Rich Blake, 32, a Marine Corps veteran; and Jeremy Johnson, 34, a Navy veteran, are part of Operation Oliver, a mission to clean up one of Baltimore Maryland’s worst neighborhoods.

The article at the Los Angeles Times reports:

Operation Oliver, which began in July, is a one-year commitment to the neighborhood, the veterans say. It involves cleaning up alleys, rehabilitating homes, organizing volunteers and notifying police about illegal dumping sites and drug dealing.

To say the idea has caught on would be an understatement. Word of the intensive yearlong service project has spread throughout Maryland — and the nation.

Tons of trash have been hauled away, homes have been rehabilitated, and the drug dealers and prostitutes are being pushed out of the neighborhood.

These men have already served their country abroad. Now they are making a considerable difference at home.

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