Today at RedState (and perhaps a few other outlets) Governor and presidential candidate Bobby Jindal wrote something that you probably won’t see as a thirty-second commercial nor as an uplifting stump speech. He warned us at the outset “this is going to be a sermon,” but I think of it more as tough love. Jindal writes:
These shootings are a symptom of deep and serious cultural decay in our society.
Let that sink in for a minute.
These acts of evil are a direct result of cultural rot, and it is cultural rot that we have brought upon ourselves, and then we act like we are confounded and perplexed by what is happening here.
Jindal goes on to describe in an almost breathless style a number of indictments about modern society, and you really can’t argue with them. As I said above, it’s a dose of tough love, with special emphasis on the the father of the Oregon community college shooter.
Bobby Jindal was born about 7 years after me, so he came of age in the late 1980s. At that time, we were in the early days of the “thug” culture glorified by rap music and just a few short years away from the beginnings of the video games Jindal railed against. (The Sony PlayStation was introduced in 1994 as the first of the modern crop of video game consoles.)
But then again, we have had parents fretting about the decline of moral standards for generations. Nearly 100 years ago it’s likely the parents of the 1920s flappers thought they would be the generation that went to hell in a handbasket; instead they reared the kids who were present for the birth of rock n’ roll and rocked around the clock, only to turn atound and raise my generation. Maybe that’s where they went wrong.
I think Jindal comes closest to hitting the grand slam, though, when he talks about the absence of the father in modern society.
Look at how fathers are treated in the popular culture – most are the long-suffering types who regularly get rolled by scheming kids smart beyond their years while the women run the show. In the reality of life, we find millions of children in families where they have brothers and sisters by multiple fathers. If they are fortunate, one of them may be with the mother but many rarely see their father.
The next question, though, is what can Jindal do about it? It’s an interesting question since government’s role in shaping culture should be limited. Let’s hope that now that Jindal has vented that he can advance the discussion with some policy ideas.
Cathy Keim sent this along:
On August 22, over 78,000 people attended protests at over 300 Planned Parenthood centers, protesting that organization’s practice of harvesting and selling the body parts of aborted children, as revealed in a series of undercover videos released over the past three months. On October 10, the #ProtestPP coalition will again bring protests to hundreds of Planned Parenthood locations, including their center at 8579 Commerce Drive, #102, in Easton, MD.
Despite the controversy created by the undercover videos — including possible illegal activity — Planned Parenthood continues to receive over $500 million from state and federal governments. The organizers of #ProtestPP are calling for an end to this massive taxpayer subsidy for the nation’s largest abortion chain, and calling on all Americans of good will to oppose Planned Parenthood, especially by joining the growing pro-life presence at their hundreds of centers around the country.
“These undercover videos have shown the cruelty of abortion in a singular way,” said Cathy Keim. “It’s chilling to see Planned Parenthood’s doctors talk about how to crush an unborn child’s body in order to maximize profits from tissue sales. But too few of our fellow Americans have seen these videos. Our protest will invite everyone to learn the truth about Planned Parenthood, and to recognize that this injustice is taking place right here, in our own community.”
#ProtestPP is a coalition of state and national pro-life groups, headed by three national pro-life activist organizations: Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, Created Equal, and the Pro-Life Action League.
For more information please contact: Cathy Keim, (443) 880-5912, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now it’s my turn. I won’t make this one because I have a prior commitment, but I encourage those who read this space to make the time if they can.
Perhaps we have lost the immediate battle thanks to a gutless soon-to-be-former Speaker who threw up the surrender flag and got a “clean” continuing resolution with mainly Democrat support, so it’s up to us to change hearts as we change minds.
Well, that went over like a lead balloon.
Susan Canfora at the Salisbury Independent did a nice job wrapping up what seems like a one-sided hearing on the rent stabilization matter.
But the question from Councilman Tim Spies deserves an answer – why did this come up weeks before the election? I have a couple theories on this, one involving the immediate future election and one three years hence.
In the immediate election, he needs to make sure he has turnout among his base. A significant portion of Ireton’s district is either in minority areas or lives in rental housing so he has an issue he can bring up on the campaign trail.
But the real payoff, I feel, is in 2018. Jim needs to stand behind a progressive agenda to contrast him with his likely opponent, Delegate Carl Anderton. I’m not saying the agenda has to be enacted, just proposed.
And Jim’s now in a good position to blame failures on someone else while taking credit for successes. For example, if downtown revitalization continues under the Day administration, he’ll be quick to say he got the ball rolling but if things go south Jim can toss the new mayor under the bus. (This also holds true if Jim decides to square off with County Executive Bob Culver, but I think Delegate is the more likely play.) I think this is the best explanation why Jim didn’t seek another mayoral term – if he thought he had the record to beat Jake Day he would have.
There were a lot of holes in Ireton’s rental plan; for starters it only affected single dwelling units and not multi-family complexes. It would also put landlords in the perverse position of arguing for a higher assessment in order to be able to charge more rent.
So now this goes on the “mayor’s list.” That is interesting because that’s Ireton’s list for another few weeks before Day gets it. I’m not sure how long of a list he has, but let’s not cross that one off as an accomplishment anytime soon.
When I wrote my brief little synopsis on Friday regarding manufacturing, I noted in my promotion that it made me think of former gubernatorial (and future State Senate) candidate Ron George, for whom the most appealing part of his campaign was the emphasis on bringing industry back to Maryland. In response Ron wrote:
Your article is spot on. Note also the companies that are taking their manufacturing jobs out of China and bringing them home to many southern and midwest pro business states. Our Maryland midsize cities need it back.
Governor Larry Hogan needs help by voters in these areas pushing representatives and candidates for low taxes for manufacturing at the state and local level. The increase of the number of new workers paying the payroll tax will itself greatly increase state and local revenues. Keep it up Michael Swartz.
So I decided to revise and extend my remarks. Those of you who have read here awhile probably have a good idea about what I’m going to say, but I do have new readers all the time so a refresher is in order.
I have no doubt that Maryland can compete for businesses large and small once they eliminate the mindset that employers are cash cows to be milked dry for revenue and embrace the thought that their main goal is to be profitable. I definitely show my age and home state bias, but the mantra I grew up with under Ohio Gov. James Rhodes was that “profit is not a dirty word in Ohio” and to get there we wanted people to make things, just as this 1966 advertisement in my hometown newspaper states. Those things Rhodes touted a half-century ago are still valid today for attracting industry – low taxes, financial incentives, a well-trained workforce, and easy transportation. Plus aren’t we the land of pleasant living?
In the first case, Maryland can make a splash at the cost of three cents per dollar of state spending by completely eliminating the corporate tax. Even if it were phased out over a two- or three-year period, the fact that progress is being made should vault Maryland higher on those business-friendliness lists those whose business is to attract business refer to.
As for financial incentives, I’m leery about having the state in the investment business because I don’t believe they should pick winners or losers. At this time, though, they already have the Maryland Venture Fund although it’s geared more toward startups.
Supposedly Maryland has the best educational system in the country, although I’m a little skeptical of that claim based on some of the recent graduates I’ve seen. One thing we need to focus more on, though, is the idea that vocational education can be valued as much as college prep. Maybe Johnny and Susie’s parents think otherwise, but even “A” students sometimes show not all high school students are college material.
But people with the aptitude to run machinery, know how to tinker and fix things, and are good with their hands don’t need a degree from State U to succeed – and oftentimes have the advantage of not being thousands in debt. To be perfectly frank, to succeed in my chosen profession of architecture one should not need a college degree if they are willing to spend several years learning the craft from the bottom up as one of my former employers did. Somehow they have picked up the idea that five to six years of college schooling plus a couple years in an intern development program is the only way to create good architects, and that’s simply not so. This is why money should follow the child, so they can explore the maximum number of educational options out there.
Finally, there’s the aspect of transportation. Maryland is a state in a great location, but in our case on the Eastern Shore we have the lousy luck of a large body of water limiting our ground-based options. We can either go north through a tangle of traffic lights and small towns along U.S. 13 north or go south through a different gauntlet of traffic lights and small towns. Of course, any improvement to that situation requires the assistance of Delaware or Virginia.
Yet the alternative of going west remains with a third Bay Bridge span. Environmentalists can stop reading after this sentence because I will give them a stroke over the next paragraph – just pick it back up two grafs down.
To me, the best place for a third span runs between Dorchester and Calvert counties, southwest of Cambridge along Maryland Route 16. Obviously roadway improvements would need to be made, but imagine the ease it would bring for traveling between Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore. No longer would it be an arduous three-hour journey to travel perhaps 50 to 60 miles west as the crow flies. Would it go through some environmentally fragile areas? Yes. But I believe the benefits would outweigh the costs.
I know people will complain that bringing industrial development to Maryland in general and the Eastern Shore in particular would ruin the rural lifestyle, but lifestyle is what you make of it. The carrying capacity of the Delmarva Penninsula is probably at least double its population; a number that will increase with advancements in technology. Regardless, we are nowhere near the density of the I-95 corridor and that should remain the case for the foreseeable future.
I’ve often said that if an area doesn’t grow, it dies. I used to use North Dakota as my poster child for this until they got an energy boom and began attracting people seeking work in a lucrative field. While Maryland can get some benefits from doing the same and allowing fracking, perhaps the best way to make their mark is to adopt the old Ohio mantra that profit is indeed not a dirty word and take the bold steps needed to shake its anti-business reputation.
To enjoy the land of pleasant living, you have to be able to make one.
Today I review a four-song EP by the San Francisco-based guitarist J Blue. When this EP came out in late June, it was billed as the lead-in to a full-length effort by the band, which boasts two members of Bob Weir’s band RatDog. The EP was even recorded at TRI Studios, which Weir owns.
Of course knowing that bit of backstory helps to explain a little bit about this record, but what I can’t lay my finger on is why I didn’t derive as much enjoyment out of it as I have some others. Freight Train is a nice little story song that sets the tone, although we have heard the theme of wandering around like an old-time hobo many times over the years. The piano-driven Old Time Heroes is a good addition, too.
But something about the second song, Memory Lane, and the finale Our Song Shared just didn’t sound right.
One theory I came up with was something I think of as density. The average rock song isn’t just continuous instrumentation but has brief, sometimes noticeable interludes. Take a classic song like (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction where the opening guitar lick has that quick little pause in it. That makes it a little more hummable and accessible.
With J Blue the songs are unusually dense, with little bursts of violin or piano within the melody. It’s unusual to hear songs like that outside the classical realm, and even those have rests to go with the layering of instruments.
On the flip side, I got the impression he was trying too hard instead of letting the music and lyrics flow. The vibe I got from the set was similar to that of bluegrass music, which is generally simple in arrangement because it’s often performed acoustically. Granted, I don’t write songs for a living so I don’t have a professional opinion as much as I do a layman’s with no dog in the fight, just an advisory role. (This is why I invite people to listen for themselves when I can. You may love something I’m not enamored with or hate my new favorite.)
I think this is a case where the songwriting process would have been fascinating. I’m imagining these tunes done as a three-piece combo of just guitar, drums, and bass and thinking that would be an improvement. Given this is a stage before a longer full-length release, maybe they have time to do some revision and keep things simpler.
It’s been a crusade of mine to encourage the rebirth of American manufacturing – unfortunately, we seem to be going the wrong way, according to the union-backed Alliance for American Manufacturing. Holding Barack Obama to his promise for one million new manufacturing jobs in his second term, the net gain has fallen with the September employment results and the August revision to 370,000. Even if you consider that their figure is a net figure, we’re still way short of one million jobs created.
Overall, the job market is creating about 200,000 jobs per month – slower than last year, but still positive growth. Unfortunately, it’s barely exceeding population growth.
You may ask yourself, though – why the emphasis on manufacturing in these quarters, particularly when you work in a service industry? To me, the answer is simple: economic growth is achieved when we add value to the overall economy. Sure, you can print money until the printing presses break but that just adds paper and not value.
Consider the iPad I’m writing this on. Originally it was a number of raw materials extracted from the ground. The first addition of value came when they were extracted, but a far larger one came when the component parts were created. A further increase in value came from the assembly process, which made the iPad into something usable by a member of the public. At that point, a little extra was added in shipping it to the venue of retail.
While I can’t ascertain where the raw materials came from, the iPad is manufactured overseas and shipped to the American market. Supposedly Apple has moved some production here, but not for iPads.
I don’t want to get bogged down in those nuts-and-bolts, but suffice to say that I think manufacturing adds more value per dollar invested than service industries. Certainly it can be fickle – the fanfare associated with this early ’70s plant expansion died quickly when a national recession shuttered it within a couple years – but more often than not good jobs are provided.
We are better off when we make stuff. China may be cheaper, but is it better? How many times have you purchased some Chinese-made trinket only to scrap it in a couple years because it was assembled in a shoddy manner with substandard parts? America used to be better than that, and I want to see us return there.
By Cathy Keim
John Boehner hit the Sunday morning TV circuit to explain why he is resigning and to spin his past performances. In addition, the various media are adding their spin and giving advice as to how to proceed. After reading through a variety of reports, it seems pretty well decided that:
- John Boehner did the best he could under the circumstances.
- Congress never really had the ability to stop the Obama agenda.
- The conservatives/Tea Party types that caused this ruckus should go away.
- House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy will be the next speaker.
One can go farther and depending on the source conclude that:
- Our nation has grown too large to govern as a republic.
- Christians should withdraw to enclaves because it is all going to the dogs.
- There is no turning back from the path of destruction that we are on.
Before you give up hope and head for the hills with your guns, ammo, Bibles, and food, let us take a quick review of the comment sections of the same articles.
I do not read the comments on some sites because they are merely vile epithets interspersed with poor spelling, but other sites actually have rousing comment sections. There are many Americans that are still interested in the American Experiment and in their Christian faith. They are not giving up. Nor should we.
We need to think about the battlefield before we proceed. Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) says:
If we launch headfirst into leadership elections like this is a typical succession, without ever taking the time to diagnose our current ailments, we won’t heal the fractures in a Conference that has thus far proved unleadable. Simply reshuffling the deck won’t serve our members, and it especially won’t help our next slate of leaders who will be tasked with producing better results than our leaders have so far been able to achieve.
Kudos to Rep. Roskam for identifying the need to come up with a coherent strategy to unite the GOP. The current fracture between the leadership and the base is not going to disappear, especially if Boehner uses his last 30 days as Speaker to push through a clean CR as is rumored. (He did.) If the House replaces Boehner with McCarthy it will be viewed as the leadership ignoring the base once again. It is possible that McCarthy would acknowledge the desires of the base more than Boehner did, but it would be a long road to prove this and to gain the trust of the base.
We have entered into a dangerous time for the country with an expanded imperial presidency unfettered by the legislative branch and supported by the judicial branch. This president rules by executive order, regulations, and selective enforcing of the laws.
Congress has allowed this because under Pelosi and Reid they agreed with Obama’s agenda. The citizens expressed their strong disapproval by dismissing first Pelosi and then Reid by decisive victories in the House and the Senate. Those victories at the elections have never translated into victories in rolling back the president’s fundamental changes. This has led to extreme disappointment and anger amongst the base. The passage of the CRomnibus bill is a recent example of this outrage. Rep. Harris said we needed to just pass the CRomnibus so that we could focus on this year’s budget. We didn’t have time to fight over the previous budget, because we needed to look ahead. Fast forward. Now we are looking at another CR. Hmmm, we didn’t fight last time so that we could work on doing it right this time, so now let’s just pass another clean CR so we can focus on the next one?
We have been handed that line just a few too many times. They say we will hold the line on that debt ceiling; no, at the budget; no, back to the debt ceiling. The bait and switch doesn’t work once people realize that it is happening.
Congress under its present failed leadership has tried one too many times to blame everything on anything except themselves. Like a drug addict in rehab, they need to get clean, and face their inner demons. They were elected to serve their country, not to become rich, powerful men and women addicted to their status and in need of the next cash transfusion from their donors/masters.
The GOP leadership really cannot afford to kick this can down the road now. In the progressive movement, they are facing a ruthless, effective opposition that will stop at nothing to achieve total control of every aspect of our lives.
- Housing and transportation zoning codes: Agenda 21 takes care of that.
- Education: Common Core destroys that.
- Family: Changes to marriage and social mores finishes that off.
- Freedom of Religion: Reduced to a personal faith only to be expressed inside the church building, and only as long as they don’t get political.
- Government medical care: We have you covered, but that doesn’t ensure access to care.
We are well on our way to a totalitarian state and the progressives will not stop until they get there or are decisively defeated, not just pushed back for an election cycle or two.
Now, GOP leadership, do I have your attention? Your base understands and is extremely motivated to stop the fundamental transformation that is taking place in this country. We are no longer deceived by your show votes.
I suggest that instead of sneering at your base, the leadership of the GOP should take a brief time to reflect on the course of the nation and come to a plan of action that will encourage its base and present the proper explanations which can be ably defended by many of the presidential candidates as to why we need to defund Planned Parenthood, stop the flood of immigrants that we are not assimilating, and change our foreign policies, particularly our policy towards Iran.
Carly Fiorina is not backing down on the evil that is Planned Parenthood as revealed by the Center for Medical Progress’s videos. Congress should join her by forcing a vote on defunding PP and making the President veto it. Show the videos so that the President and his followers are exposed for supporting selling butchered baby organs.
Ted Cruz is standing alone on the floor of the Senate calling out the failed leadership on their collusion in funding Planned Parenthood and the Iran deal.
Ben Carson is not retreating from his statements about a Muslim president.
Many of our candidates are showing themselves to be fearless in presenting their ideas. This should be a lesson to our present failed leadership.
Do not go onto the battlefield without a strategy to win. Once you start, stand by your principles, and go for victory.
The only flaw in this advice is that it assumes that our current leadership is operating on principles when it sadly seems that they are doing the bidding of the highest donors. This is the most plausible theory to explain why the GOP keeps siding with the progressive agenda when it coalesces around the goals of crony capitalism rather than their base. If so, they need to reform or find themselves cast aside like Boehner. Revolutions can pick up momentum. The outsiders may just lead the base to true victory.
Last night Wicomico County Council held its third of four scheduled public hearings on the concept of an elected Board of Education. I arrived about 20 minutes late, so I didn’t hear all the testimony presented. Yet I felt I really didn’t have to because there are really only two sides as opposed to three options.
I had a few things to say, so I rattled off the following testimony before the hearing. Having had a day to ponder it some more, I wish to add a few thoughts; hence my testimony as written is blockquoted.
As I have been hearing the back-and-forth over whether Wicomico County should adopt an elected school board, the word I continue to hear over and over from opponents is “diversity.” Supposedly the only way to maintain this standard is for some number of members to be appointed in order to create the balance they’re obviously not trusting voters to produce.
The opposition seems to now be conceding the ground to securing a hybrid board with five elected and two appointed. I think they figure they can elect one minority (or maybe two) from the five districts and browbeat whoever does the appointments into selecting two more so that the minority can become a majority on the board. At a few points we were informed that minority students are now 52% of the district, which I guess makes whites the minority now.
The point is they don’t trust the voters.
It’s noteworthy to me that the diversity they seek seems to be centered on one quality, and that is skin color. One observation on that, though, is that for them the diversity ends there – seldom does it extend to other factors. In a political sense, the community in question is perhaps the least diverse out there.
Let’s consider one set of facts. It would not be a shock that the black vote for President Obama was 95% in 2008 and 93% in 2012 – they were understandably pleased that their long route to racial equality had finally culminated in the chance to elect our first mixed-race president. But how does that explain the 88% who voted for John Kerry, the 90% for Al Gore, the 83 and 84% for Bill Clinton, and so on back decades?
If you wonder why Hispanics are a sought-after minority electoral group while blacks aren’t, consider that the Hispanic vote is much more evenly split. If blacks only went 75% Democratic, suddenly the Democrats might pay more attention to their needs instead of taking them for granted.
On the other hand, just on a personal level I would be more than happy with five or six Clarence Thomases on the Supreme Court. Clone for me a sufficient number of Tim Scotts and Mia Loves and I might be more pleased with Congress. To me Dr. Ben Carson would be a solid choice as President. Sadly, people with a particular political viewpoint such as theirs tend to be mocked and chastised by members of their own community as not being true to their race.
I have no problem being represented by a minority but it seems the minority community is distrustful of the opposite, which I believe refutes their argument for diversity.
Furthermore, minority candidates have won countywide elections – they had a platform and viewpoint acceptable to all the voters. It’s been done before, and it can be done again through the electoral process.
I suspect that wasn’t what the minority group that made up about half the audience wanted to hear, but sometimes the truth hurts. So they really hated the next line, but this is how I assess the situation:
All of this diversity talk is a smokescreen to assure that arguably the least diverse group around gets a free pass onto the Board of Education.
Yeah, they didn’t like “free pass” but is that not how it would work? It seems to be expected that if the elected four who aren’t in the majority-minority district are white, at least one if not both appointees would be black. You know there would be an uproar if the two appointees were white.
Conversely, securing an elected board of education increases the chances of getting a diverse group in the arena of ideas – it would likely be a.place where educators, involved parents, and concerned citizens from all walks of life would come together with thoughts on educational improvement rather than a political agenda. Certainly there is the prospect of an elected board of education being a political springboard for an ambitious candidate, but it’s worked that way as an appointed body, too.
The idea to me is to have a group who will be faithful and careful stewards of our tax money as well as promoting policies that work to better educate our kids, whether state-approved or not.
There was a woman who testified after me – I didn’t get her name but she has a special-needs child and no political connections. As the system stands she has no voice, but I think she could be elected. One thing about our current board is that only one of the seven has kids currently in our schools.
So I would prefer a fully-elected school board, without the hybrid option. It seems like the counties which have come along last (for whatever reason) in the long, evolutionary process of switching from appointed school board to elected ones here in Maryland are being forced to compromise into adopting a hybrid model because the powers that be in Annapolis just don’t want to let go and recede power. Each of the three counties bordering Wicomico have fully elected school boards, so we just want what our neighbors have instead of an unnecessarily complex system that doesn’t serve our purposes well.
It seems like it’s the politicians and media who want hybrid boards to replace appointed ones the most – just look at Chicago or New Haven. But the small town of Mishawaka, Indiana overwhelmingly embraced the appointed to hybrid idea. Wonder how it was sold to them – or if they only had that choice? Politicians apparently know best in Utah, where their state school board is elected but a proposal for a hybrid was heard. (Their diversity was rural vs. urban.)
In 2016, when I go in to cast my vote for president, I want to be faced with a simple choice farther down the ballot: do you support or oppose a fully-elected school board for Wicomico County? I think the answer will be a resounding yes for an elected board, and it will be the right answer to move this county forward.
If it comes to a vote, I would support a fully elected school board. But the story of how Caroline County got its hybrid board is illustrative – basically, they were only given the hybrid option. Since Caroline County didn’t have a large enough minority group to create a district for themselves, the squeakiest wheels used the next best thing – the minority head of the Senate committee that heard the bill.
It may be time to consider the next step, and that involves talking some sense into the two people in Annapolis who run the respective Senate and House committees that hear the bill. If you thought having local roadblocks like Rick Pollitt, Norm Conway, and Rudy Cane was bad, imagine being stymied by two committee chairs we don’t even cast a vote for.
We have pretty much heard the arguments, and despite the clear advantages of full accountability that an elected board brings I think one sentence I uttered rings true: the powers that be in Annapolis just don’t want to let go and recede power. We’ll see if they prove me wrong.
It wasn’t the meeting we expected, but still turned out to be informative.
We had scheduled State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello to be our speaker, but with a pending trial Matt needed to burn a little midnight oil. So we were left with some reports instead. As one member put it, having members of several local groups meant we could always have an interesting meeting.
So once we took care of the usual opening business, we got a Central Committee report from Ann Suthowski. She reminded us the Lincoln Day Dinner was slated for November 7. When asked why it was so late in the year, Dave Parker noted it was originally planned that way to attempt to get Governor Hogan to speak, but his ongoing cancer treatments thwarted that idea. However, since Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford has a daughter who attends Salisbury University, it was hoped he may appear. Suthowski wondered if he was being considered as a commencement speaker since his daughter would be graduating this year.
Suthowski also revealed there was an opening on the Central Committee, with Parker adding action to fill the vacancy could occur as soon as their next meeting October 5.
Bunky Luffman, speaking on Delegate Carl Anderton’s behalf, announced he would hold an event Thursday evening at Evolution Brewing. It was to celebrate the first day of the “Evo Bill” that allowed Wicomico County breweries such as Evolution and Tall Tales to double their output yet keep their particular licenses.
Anderton is also planning a anniversary celebration November 4, said Luffman. When he won his initial election last year, the results weren’t official until late in the evening so they wanted to have a more proper celebration for his supporters.
As part of his own campaign, Muir Boda is getting some help from around the state with a Super Saturday planned for October 17. He’ll get assistance from various volunteers from the state party and Maryland Young Republicans.
On the We Decide Wicomico front (the grassroots effort to secure an elected Board of Education) Dave Snyder reviewed the first two public hearings, the second of which in Delmar had a “pitiful” turnout, according to another observer who was there. Nevertheless, they were pressing on for the third which was held tonight at First Baptist Church. (I’ll have some observations on that tomorrow.) Snyder also added he sought to speak to the local PTAs but was turned down until such time when a referendum was on the ballot.
When asked about media, the feeling among several members was that the Daily Times was doing “nothing” but the Independent was doing a good job pushing it. The hearings are also taped for broadcast on the local access channel PAC14.
County Councilman Marc Kilmer opined that a hybrid vs. elected question can be on the ballot. But Don Coffin cautioned that we should “keep it simple,” adding “our country was founded to have elected officials.” Dave Parker added that we needed a provision for replacing members as well. “I want the best people,” said Parker.
But Kilmer pointed out this “has to be acceptable to the majority of legislators in Annapolis.” It was also revealed by Bunky Luffman that there was no precedent for a three-way referendum such as an appointed vs. hybrid vs. elected would be. We were also told that Wicomico’s legislation last year was modeled on a version Prince George’s County used.
Turning to the Crab Feast, it was no surprise that the poor weather soaked the bottom line, Attendance and silent auction proceeds were down markedly from 2014, which was the run up to the election. One suggestion made for next year was to get a better sound system so people at the outside tables could hear.
I then discussed the upcoming Good Beer and Autumn Wine festivals, and we broached the idea of getting our Christmas Party organized.
Before we left, we learned from Joe Ollinger that the school board was working on a search for a new superintendent and wanted to finish by next March. There was also the news that the school system was being investigated by the Justice Department for disparity of discipline.
The next meeting will be October 26.
When I started this process back in June, the field of Republican presidential hopefuls was still expanding. Now that October is almost here, the roster is shrinking as Rick Perry and Scott Walker have already left and, aside from Carly Fiorina who was promoted to the main event, the half-dozen or so who didn’t make the initial Fox Newd debate almost two months ago now are on the endangered list. (Perry was one of the also-rans then; based on the most recent polling data Scott Walker was bound to slide out of the top ten or eleven before the next debate.)
But I’m ignoring the polling data in order to wrap up my personal process. My polling data will have 100% support for whoever comes out on top, and the five remaining points I award for intangibles finishes the 100-point scale, which began with education, the Second Amendment, and energy, then continued with social issues, trade and job creation, and taxation before concluding with immigration, foreign policy, entitlements, and the role of government.
I have decided that those candidates who have served as governors will get one point for that, so the first point accrues to Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Jim Gilmore, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, and George Pataki. After eight years where we lacked executive political experience in the White House, I think we need it back.
Up to two more points will be awarded (or deducted) for the candidate’s website. Admittedly this is a little picayune; however, the presentation and willingness to be concise and persuasive on issues reflects to me on how they will act accordingly as President.
So there are two candidates who get both points: Rand Paul and Marco Rubio. Both are well-organized and have an abundance of information about where they stand.
Just behind them with very good, one-point websites are Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina (whose Answers segment is rather unique), Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, and John Kasich.
On the other hand, I was disappointed with other websites for lack of clarity, poor layout, or a general lack of attention to detail. Ted Cruz falls into that category of one-point deductions, as does George Pataki and Donald Trump.
Rick Santorum loses two points, simply because he has promised an economic plan “in a few short weeks” since June. It’s almost like he’s going through the motions of having a website.
Finally, there are other issues people bring up which may not fit into one of my categories.
Jeb Bush has an interesting take on cyber security, which will add a point to his score.
Total score for Bush – 3.0 of 5 points.
Ben Carson gets kudos for this piece as only he can, being the one black Republican in the race.
Total score for Carson – 1.0 of 5 points.
Total score for Christie – 4.0 of 5 points.
Although I could have added this to the role of government, Ted Cruz‘s actions in defending the Constutution are worth mentioning..
Total score for Cruz – 1.0 of 5 points.
Carly Fiorina answers at least 80 valid questions on her site, and I agree with her on many not brought up previously.
Total score for Fiorina – 3.0 of 5 points.
I checked to see if I alluded to Jim Gimore‘s stance on climate change when I discussed energy and I had not. He’s a skeptic of anthropogenic climate change, which is a point in my book. Otherwise, I’ve covered his issues.
Total score for Gilmore – 2.0 of 5 points.
I didn’t gain anything from Lindsey Graham insofar as issues went, so he just gets the one point for the site.
Total score for Graham – 1.0 of 5 points.
One thing I like about Mike Huckabee‘s site is the record as governor. Certainly it glosses over some items but it’s a helpful reminder he wasn’t just a face on TV.
Total score for Huckabee – 3.0 of 5 points.
Something Bobby Jindal addresses on his site, which I haven’t seen much of otherwise, is radical Islam. It’s worth a point.
Total score for Jindal – 3.0 of 5 points.
I think John Kasich has beefed up his website over the course of this process, turning a negative into a positive.
Total score for Kasich – 2.0 of 5 points.
George Pataki has a poor website that lacks an issue page.
Total score for Pataki – 0.0 of 5 points.
Total score for Paul – 4.0 of 5 points.
Splashed on the front of the Marco Rubio website was a proposal for paid leave, which is a problem. But he is taking the fight to Hillary, which is a plus. It’s one of a plethora of items he’s placed on his site.
Total score for Rubio – 4.0 of 5 points.
Rick Santorum doesn’t tread any new ground with his issues, so he stands where he was.
Total score for Santorum – (-2.0) of 5 points.
Donald Trump has a slightly better website, but still not up to snuff.
Total score for Trump – (-1.0) of 5 points.
It’s time to determine who should be our next President – the one who will have a raging mess to clean up.
From the bottom up we go:
- George Pataki – 20.3 points
- Donald Trump – 29 points
- Chris Christie – 39.1 points
- John Kasich – 40.5 points
- Jeb Bush – 41.1 points
- Carly Fiorina – 42.6 points
- Rick Santorum – 44.5 points
- Jim Gilmore – 45.5 points
- Ben Carson – 46.2 points
- Marco Rubio – 49.6 points
- Mike Huckabee – 52.5 points
- Lindsey Graham – 52.8 points
I’m going to stop right there because my top three were head and shoulders above the rest of the field – a nearly 20-point spread. So I’m going to recommend two and endorse the winner.
Ted Cruz finished with 71.1 points. There was a point where he was leading but he slipped in a couple categories.
But where I could see him as an excellent President is his willingness to fight for principle. He hasn’t had a lot of success up to now because he’s saddled with a body of 99 others who mainly seem unable or unwilling to follow his lead as he tries to restore the pre-eminence of the Constitution.
Rand Paul was second-best with 74.4 points. The overall breadth of his platform is excellent, and while I may not be on board with his foreign policy I think he has learned from the extreme positions of his father. Both Cruz and Paul are champions of limited government, and a nation with a President Paul would rally back to its proper place in the world.
Unfortunately, neither of those two have significant executive experience while the man who has won the monoblogue endorsement does. Governor Bobby Jindal combines that leadership quality with some of those most well-thought out policy positions in the field. He scored 79.3 points, which meant he pretty much won this before the intangibles.
Now I’m aware of the report which was based on “experts” predicting Jindal would be next out. That would be a complete shame because out of all the candidates I can see Jindal being a modern-day Calvin Coolidge – reducing the budget in real terms (as he did in Louisiana), getting government out of the way, and bringing true prosperity back to the nation by allowing us to be an energy superpower.
It’s my job to begin reversing those polls and putting a thumb in the eye of those “experts.” Bobby Jindal wins my endorsement for President of the United States.
By Cathy Keim
I wrote a piece on Thursday night about John Boehner’s upcoming problem with the continuing resolution. To my surprise, Speaker Boehner announced on Friday morning that he would resign at the end of October. He claims that he had the votes to survive Rep. Mark Meadows’ (R-NC) motion to vacate the chair, but we will never know now if that was true.
At his resignation press conference he stated:
But more than anything, my first job is — as Speaker, is to protect the institution.
He seemed to think that by resigning he was protecting the institution. Actually, I believe that he was not protecting the institution by his continual acquiescing to President Obama’s desires, nor has he stopped the infighting amongst the House members by his resignation.
His self-deception will continue, it appears. In the corporate world when an employee is terminated, they are often escorted to the door immediately. Here, the Speaker is resigning before he can be fired, but he has decided to hang around for another month to help with the transition and has already said that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) would be a good Speaker of the House.
Since he is resigning due to conflict, perhaps it would be better if he left posthaste and didn’t try to influence the election of the next Speaker.
Here is my original piece. I still think that many of the points are worth reading since Boehner’s resignation has not fixed anything. Unless a new Speaker is elected that will replace the failed GOP leadership model, then there will be no improvement and the conflict between the conservative and moderate GOP House members will continue.
(Editor’s note: I slightly revised the original piece to refer to Boehner in the past tense as appropriate.)
It is possible that we are seeing the end of the Republican Party. We are rapidly approaching another continuing resolution battle where the fight is between two factions of the GOP rather than between the Democrats and the Republicans. The conservative portion of the House of Representatives would like to stand up and fight even to the point of shutting down the government. The mainstream portion would prefer that they go along to get along.
There are two potential sources of members refusing to go along with the party line: the Defund Planned Parenthood group and the no to Syrian refugee resettlement group (both of which may overlap.)
We may have to call this the Carly Fiorina dilemma: shut the government down to stop the attack on our physical security by importing thousands of Syrians who cannot be vetted by the FBI to ensure that they are not jihadists or shut down the government to stop the destruction of our moral character by the killing of our babies and selling their body parts for profit.
Personally, I am for attaching amendments to the CR to achieve both of these goals. However, as we have seen with the CRomnibus bill and numerous other opportunities, the leadership would rather throw in the towel before the fight begins than stand up to the President.
I am not a gambler, but as Kenny Rogers sang, “You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em.” Speaker Boehner seemed to have one policy and that was to fold ‘em and run away.
His refusal to fight resulted in the relinquishing of the power of the purse and the complete abandonment of any check on the executive branch of the government.
Speaker Boehner is leaving in part because he was in the unenviable position of being squeezed between the unhappy conservative members. If he insisted on the clean CR he would lose at least 50 conservative Republican votes – meaning he will need Democrat votes to pass his CR.
Had this come to pass, it would have caused Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) to call for his motion to vacate the chair. At that point, it is possible that the Speaker would have only been able to retain his position if he had support from the Democrats. He would have retained control as Speaker, but at the cost of being beholden to the opposition party for saving his speakership. There was even talk that Boehner would give subcommittee chairmanships to Democrats.
At some point, you have to ask, is it really worth being the Speaker of the House if it would require destroying your party to retain power? For Boehner, the answer was no.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-LA, is trying to woo the conservative bloc by offering to use reconciliation as a method to defund Planned Parenthood. Reconciliation only requires a simple majority, as we remember from the Obamacare fight. By using reconciliation, the amended CR could make it to President Obama’s desk, where he would promptly veto it and that would be the end of that since the GOP could not get the 67 votes necessary to override a veto.
So what does that get us? Nothing. Planned Parenthood would continue to receive 41% of its funding from taxpayers. Although they cannot directly use the money to fund abortions, we all know that they just shift money around and pretend that it didn’t enable them to do exactly what they want to do. PP would continue to abort babies. They would perform about 440,000 more abortions before President Obama would finish his last day in office.
If the GOP leadership would stand up and fight, there could be a chance to save some of those 440,000 babies. If they would refuse to allow thousand of “refugees” into the USA, they would not have to be concerned about jihadists gaining entry through the refugee programs.
Despite the clear and present danger to the lives of our unborn citizens and of violent jihadists gaining entry to our country, Speaker Boehner showed every sign of weepily folding without a fight. And by his staying through October, a grand bargain may well be set in motion.
Rather than hoping that the next president will be a Republican who will fix everything by undoing executive orders, I plead with our current leaders to do what we sent them to DC to do: fight.
Do not brag to me about how many bills you passed in the House when we all know they never made it through the Senate, so they never achieved anything. Stop passing bills that never go anywhere and get a strategy that will actually advance our cause. If we must shut the government down to get the president’s attention, then let’s do it. All essential personnel are required to work anyway, so the government never really shuts down.
This president has already shown his vindictive streak the last time there was a government shutdown when he “closed” the World War II Memorial and national parks. We know what he will do. Let’s prepare an offensive strategy.
We have many vocal Presidential candidates who can very ably make the case to the public that the President is the one that is shutting down the government by his veto. This may be the best possible time to have this battle since the Presidential candidates can use their public time to advance the cause.
Wouldn’t you like to see Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, and even Donald Trump explain why we needed to pass the CR with the defund Planned Parenthood amendment and the no refugee amendment?
Speaker Boehner and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell should welcome the help since they have been silent far too long.
Sometimes there is a natural marriage between modern jazz and rock music. While the two genres don’t often meet and create commercial success, it doesn’t mean those with an appreciation of both styles don’t stop trying. Such is the case with guitarist Gideon King and the New York-based cast of studio players he’s selected known collectively as City Blog. (An interesting name, to be sure.)
There are a couple things you should know about this collection of ten songs. It borrows heavily from the improvisation jazz is known for, with ten songs running a total of almost fifty minutes. The longest, Down, runs over seven minutes and looks askance at the modern music scene; meanwhile, the shortest is the final track Broken Noise. That’s not so much a song as a mashup of different takes of three of the preceding songs.
In the rock world they would classify this as a jam band, and City Blog fulfills those elements with the additional instrumentation traditional to modern jazz.
Additionally, there is a cynicism in much of the lyrical content, a world-weariness reflected best in the lyrics of songs like the title track, Friendship Cliche, and Dirty Bastard. “City Blog” stands out, however, as a group with multiple singers: Elliott Skinner of the band Third Story handles City Blog and Dirty Bastard, Marc Broussard provides the vocals for Down and New York Is, Saul Kurtz does See In Double, and Grace Weber does What Say You and Glide. Carolyn Leonhart of Steely Dan fame is credited with background and lead vocals on several tracks as well. To me, Weber provided the vocal highlights in making her two songs stand out a little from the rest.
Overall, for the number of players involved, King does an excellent job of putting together a relatively seamless whole. There’s more than enough variety in the tracks to hold the aficionado’s interest.
“City Blog” certainly has the sophistication to appeal to those who have attained a certain station in life and live in the Thirties or Forties, but it’s good for the rest of us, too. If broadening your musical horizons is a goal, this is a good choice – and if you’re reading this on this last Saturday in September, you can get in on the ground floor because “City Blog” drops today. Here’s the self-titled lead single so you can judge for yourself.