The state of Maryland

January 31, 2009 · Posted in Campaign 2010, Delmarva items, Maryland Politics, Politics · Comments Off on The state of Maryland 

As he is bound to do, Governor O’Malley delivered the State of the State Address earlier this week. While the state has challenges, Martin was optimistic for our future because a new Sheriff was in town a few miles down the road in Washington, D.C.

But I think the state of the state is much more accurately assessed in the rebuttal, presented by Delegate Anthony O’Donnell – who happens to be my 2008 Legislator of the Year based on his monoblogue Accountability Project score. If you go to the Maryland Public Television site, you’ll see and hear both speeches.

It’s also worthwhile to see the response from the Maryland Republican Party, which comes on the other side of my break. Read more

Republicans now party of Steele

Well, that’s one less statewide candidate the Maryland GOP has for consideration.

Needless to say, much of the mainstream media spin is that Michael Steele is the first black GOP head and was the most moderate of the five candidates who were formally nominated today. I damn well hope that the color of his skin had nothing to do with his appeal (and it probably didn’t) but certainly that will be the way this event is reported.

In a five-candidate race, Michael began in second place after the first balloting behind incumbent Chair Mike Duncan, but caught up to Duncan on the second ballot. Steele took the lead on ballot number three, which is when Mike saw the writing on the wall and bowed out. Subsequent ballots saw the perennial last-place candidate Ken Blackwell fold up his tent and endorse Steele after the fourth go-round and Michigan GOP Chair Saul Anuzis drop out after the fifth.

In the end, Steele polled 91 votes to Katon Dawson’s 77, enabling him to finally win on ballot six.

So we have a guy from Maryland running the Grand Old Party. What does that mean for our state?

Obviously it takes Steele out of contention for 2010. And with signs pointing to Senator Mikulski making a re-election bid next year, it’s likely we’ll not see a very strong contender from our side this time around. The state party may decide to put all of its marbles on a possible Bob Ehrlich-Martin O’Malley rematch for Governor; however if you believe this post on Joe Steffen’s Darkness Rising blog Governor Ehrlich has a long uphill fundraising slog to regain the seat. It’s not like the Democrats aren’t going to lie and obfuscate their pathetic record of leadership in Maryland under O’Malley just to get whatever votes they have to count twice or make up out of thin air to win.

Probably the biggest favor Bob Ehrlich can do for Maryland Republicans is announce his intentions early, like this spring.

Granted, the Maryland GOP doesn’t have all that deep of a bench. It’s not for a lack of trying, but a good number of their players are either statewide losers or not nearly known enough to play at that level. To continue the baseball analogy, it would be like the Orioles roster was peppered with a few guys who got their cup of coffee in the bigs but struggled to succeed at Norfolk coupled with players who shone at Delmarva and Frederick but may not have been polished enough to play in Bowie, let alone the big leagues.

Obviously this isn’t to say we won’t be successful in 2010, just that the bigger push may have to come mid-decade when the Governor’s chair would be an open seat and Senator Mikulski may finally decide to retire. Pushing our House of Delegates ranks into the fifties and Senate numbers over twenty would probably rank as a successful 2010 campaign overall.

Where can Michael Steele help on that front? For one thing, he noted in his platform that:

My plan for winning the future relies on collaboration as the foundation to the road to victory.   We need to forge a new working relationship between the RNC and state and local parties that will deliver a unified message and assure an amplification of resources.  This will require constant dialogue.  It will require a free and open exchange of ideas.  And, it will require an immediate and collaborative examination with the Republican leaders of every state and the leadership of the RNC on what is and isn’t broken.  Each state Party must examine how the Republican brand, and Republican ideals, can best be advanced in their ongoing efforts to improve.  As leaders, our role is to listen to a broad universe of stakeholders, to unify around our common goals and then to create solutions that work.

And also:

Building our grassroots will be paramount to winning elections.  We must do a much better job of networking into our communities. We spend too much time talking to ourselves instead of spreading the gospel to potential believers. As a party we need to focus on the people who live and work in our districts.  We need to speak to them directly and we need to facilitate their grassroots and turnout.  We must build and energize new volunteer networks. Without them, we lack the most important means of communicating our message — word-of mouth and neighbor-to-neighbor. To that end, I plan to recruit and train 25,000 new activist leaders by 2012.  Many of these folks will become campaign managers.  Most will help organize, train and lead volunteer organizations in their communities.  Activist enthusiasm and energy has to be fed with knowledge and resources.  We will lead the way in cultivating activists through training tailored to their strengths, interests and the needs of our Party on the ground. As their enthusiasm matures into success we will continue to invest in their growth and will recognize and celebrate outstanding accomplishments annually in Washington, DC.  We need to ensure our grassroots activists never have cause to doubt the immense value we place on their contributions.

While Steele wasn’t my first choice, he seems to be a good choice. And while I’m not exactly what one would call a prototypical grassroots activist, I’m certainly not afraid to advance a conservative agenda!

So let’s hope that my assessment of the Maryland GOP is one of underpromising, and we can overdeliver both on a state and national level in 2010 – Lord knows we can’t do it soon enough!

Salisbury Council District 2 candidate forum – January 29, 2009

It was a bit of an unusual venue to have a candidate forum, but the two remaining District 2 City Council candidates were slated to speak in front of about a dozen residents at Harbor Pointe, a local assisted living facility. Unfortunately, incumbent Debbie Campbell was unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict; standing in for her was a friend and fellow Camden neighborhood resident, Susan Tilghman.

With that situation, challenger Muir Boda basically had a walkover. But Tilghman did speak briefly on Campbell’s behalf, apologizing to the residents for Debbie’s absence and briefly going over some of issues Debbie wanted to stress.

Tilghman’s expertise on Debbie Campbell came from a history of working with her on neighborhood and city issues, with Susan particularly impressed by Debbie’s expertise in the housing field. She related that Debbie was the president of the Camden Neighborhood Council and that she was “amazed” at Debbie’s efforts to resolving problems by “asking tough questions.”

Susan also added that Debbie was “concerned with (the city’s) financial issues”, including “developer subsidies.” Campbell had also worked hard on the audit, and the city had shown “real progress” on the issue.

But primary among issues for Campbell, Tilghman continued, was crime. Having one of the highest per capita crime rates in the country, Salisbury is looking for help from outside sources, including having a crime task force working with Dover, Delaware – a city of similar size to Salisbury.

Susan concluded that Debbie Campbell would be a “hard worker…tireless” and “dedicated to Salisbury.” Read more

Welcome to a new advertiser

January 29, 2009 · Posted in Business and industry, Delmarva items, Personal stuff · Comments Off on Welcome to a new advertiser 

It took a few months to come to fruition, but today marks the debut of a new local advertiser.

If you scroll down to the bottom of the site, you’ll see an ad for a website called WomenPRWire. While the WomenPRWire site works with a national reach, it’s actually owned and operated by Nana Osei, a young lady who’s a student at Salisbury University.

Unlike other public relations websites which go for the lowest common denominator, the newly-launched Women PR Wire website seeks to connect on a woman-to-woman basis and targets the female audience for authors, performers, and small businesses who are seeking to capture a market segment that truly has the purchasing power in most households.

So I encourage you to check out the site and see what she and her small business can do for yours.

Odds and ends no. 17

Yet another compilation of stuff that doesn’t take a whole post to discuss.

It didn’t take too long, but the guys and gals at Our Country Deserves Better have a gradecard for President Obama. I’m simply shocked he didn’t get F’s across the board, but I’m not too inclined to disagree with their assessments. They’re backed up from a plethora of sources in the mainstream media.

The short story is that OCDB gives Obama a D- for Taxes and Fiscal Policy, a big fat F for National Security, another D- for Protecting the Unborn, and a D for Appointments. What does that work out to, an 0.5 GPA? That may chip farther into BHO’s steep 15-point approval drop in one week.

It’s not exactly breaking news that the stimulus program passed the House of Representatives, but Obama’s reaching out to the GOP bore no fruit at all – not a single member of the Republican caucus voted for the bill. Can’t say as I blame them – after all, the President haughtily reminded House Republicans that “I won.”

I have to give credit to Congressman Kratovil on this one too – he was one of 11 Democrats who voted no (the only Maryland Democrat to do so, needless to say.)

Even with that tilt toward moderation and independence, Kratovil is certain to be a target to be defeated by the Republicans in 2010. As for the here and now, much of the buzz in GOP circles this week concerns the upcoming election for party Chair. Unfortunately for local fans of Michael Steele, his bid could come up short according to this website called yourrnc.com.

While I like Steele, personally I think a better choice would be Ken Blackwell of Ohio. He’s the subject of this American Spectator profile by Quin Hillyer. Unfortunately, neither lead the pack – the incumbent Mike Duncan does. It’s a classic case of establishment vs. grassroots brewing, I fear.

I know fans of the aforementioned Frank Kratovil aren’t big supporters of the Club For Growth, but that group brings up an interesting market anomaly:

Have you heard of the Congressional Effect? Let’s say you invested $1 in the stock market on the days when Congress is IN session and another dollar on the days when Congress is OUT of session. Can you guess which investment has a better historic return (HINT: Congress is very capable of creating political mischief)? Find out what the Congressional Effect was for 2008 here. And here’s an old article from our friend Amity Shlaes who explains it at more length.

While neither result is doing much for our 401.k plans, one has to wonder when the markets will stop paying such attention to Congress and revert to gauging business trends. Or is that now a thing of the past?

One business trend that seems to be semi-permanent in Maryland is driving them away through excessive regulation. I’m going to wrap up this edition by pointing out an excellent post by Richard Falknor on his Blue Ridge Forum blog.

Once again, Governor O’Malley is operating with the mistaken belief that cutting greenhouse emissions in Maryland – a state with about 2% of the national population, and one who’s the 4th largest energy importer as Faulknor points out – will make a sizeable dent in global warming.

Which, by the way is not occurring. Is it my imagination or do we have a winter storm every time Al Gore comes to town?

Lesson three: green that costs green

One final lesson, for now.

Over the last decade or so, a movement has arisen. It’s embodied by Al Gore’s schlockumentary “An Inconvenient Truth”, which unfortunately is factually challenged at best. In effect, this movement blames the advance of mankind and our expanding economy (which, in turn, creates a demand for more energy, predominantly based on burning carbon-based fossil fuels) for global climate change.

(It used to be global warming, but inconveniently the earth’s average global temperature has actually declined over the last decade. So the green movement needed a new term.)

In response, we have undergone a number of changes in our lifestyle. Let me say right at the top that I believe I speak for conservatives when I say we have no problem with energy-efficient methods of operation. Where we differ from Democrats is believing that there should be a choice in the matter, and energy efficiency should not be achieved through fiat.

An example of this comes with “smart grid” technology. Quoting from Wikipedia:

“…smart grid features could expand energy efficiency beyond the grid into the home by coordinating low priority home devices such as water heaters so that their use of power takes advantage of the most desirable energy sources.

(snip)

Some of the benefits of such a modernized electricity network include the ability to reduce power consumption at the consumer side during peak hours, called Demand side management.

This all sounds well and good. But where does “the ability to reduce power consumption” end? For example, if Barack Obama repeated Jimmy Carter’s idea about keeping our home thermostats at 65 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees during the summer, couldn’t that same technology reset your home thermostats to those levels whether you wanted them there or not? Personally I’ve found my house is most comfortable at 68 and 75, repsectively. But the green lobby has pitched these sorts of measures in the guise of combatting global climate change.

Then we have our energy sources. Democrats like President Obama believe that we should cut our dependence on foreign oil, and so do I. The problem with their approach is that they don’t want to drill for domestic oil! Obviously any oil or natural gas we find here lessens our need for imports, but that lesson is lost on Democrats. Instead they want to “invest” (read: spend taxpayer dollars on subsidies) in “alternative” energy.

What should be most offensive to every one of you is the fact that some bureaucrat in Washington, D.C. who you’ve never met nor have you vetted for qualifications makes the decisions for you when it comes to the car you drive, the kind of light bulbs you use, and where energy companies can look for new sources of energy to rebuild our sagging economy.

The “green” movement is a symptom of a larger disease. When I cited the Pew study on Sunday, the Democrats’ 45-26 margin among the youth voters was only the second most alarming statistic.

What bothered me more than anything was the 69 percent of voters age 18-29 who thought that government should do more to solve problems, adopting an expanded role in our lives.

Benjamin Franklin is often quoted as noting, “(t)hey who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” While many use this as a warning about the PATRIOT Act (which is a valid criticism; personally I feel that act should have a sunset date), I look at this idea in a number of other ways.

On the whole, what the Democratic Party in place circa 2009 and their liberal, socialist followers would like to do is exert their control over your daily life.

This is perfectly embodied in the fact that, if you’re an employee who draws a paycheck, who gets the fruit of your labor first? The government does. Before you can cash your check at the bank or draw from the direct deposit, your money automatically goes to the federal and state government through backup withholding.

What I would suggest to our youth is to take an hour and study a copy of our Constitution, paying particular attention to the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Bill of Rights.

You’ll see that it’s not a perfect document, but the idea that freedom and liberty for the individual can and should be paramount shines through.

However, the party you subscribe to and their method of governance ignore that clear advice, instead believing that rights truly belong to the government and should be given out as they see fit.

I know that theory and practice aren’t exactly the same, and elites seem to operate under their own set of rules. This is only because we the people allow them to. In a more perfect Union, Americans would be much more vigilant and protective of their own rights.

By subordinating yourselves and believing only government can bring about solutions, you sell yourselves short and doom future generations to either a Long March toward serfdom or another bloody revolution to once again break the chains of tyranny. It’s your choice – please choose more wisely.

Question on metering

January 27, 2009 · Posted in Bloggers and blogging · 3 Comments 

I actually had meant to place a different post here this evening, but I received notice this afternoon that the Wicomico Neighborhood Congress meeting slated for tonight was postponed until next month. Something about snow?

Instead, I had a question I assume someone more conversant in the internet and tracking software could answer.

As most of you know, recently I finished up the 2009 Guide to the Maryland Blogosphere. Because there’s just so many websites in our fair state, one criteria I used to cull the list was readership – I placed a lower limit I thought was pretty fair, although I did get some objections and that’s understandable.

One thing I wasn’t aware of until late in the process was the Alexa rankings. In theory, every site on the web with readership should rank someplace from 1 to somewhere around 29 million on their rankings. (My rank is just over 1 millionth. I guess that’s not too bad.) I thought, hey, this is a way to judge readership where I don’t have to ruffle any feathers!

But I saw some interesting differences between sites I found previously with fairly low readership that had relatively good Alexa rankings and vice versa. As a test, over the weekend I compiled the open Site Meter rankings or Quantcast estimates of a number of sites (56 to be exact) on BlogNetNews and in the Maryland Blogger Alliance.

For example, of the sample my site has the 13th highest SiteMeter reading (of 42 sampled), the 10th highest Quantcast (of 21 sampled), yet the 11th best Alexa rank of the 56. Yet another site with significantly better SiteMeter than mine (4th out of the 42 sampled) was only 13th on Alexa, and the site immediately ahead of me on SiteMeter was 38th of 56 on Alexa. WTF?

On the other hand, the site which was 14th of the 21 Quantcast sites was 5th on Alexa. Similarly, the 6th best Quantcast site was 31st on Alexa.

Now, it’s my understanding that Alexa rank is based on prior 3 months, Quantcast is generally a monthly estimate (here my data is Quantified so it’s supposedly more exact), and Site Meter is one week’s worth of data. Obviously one could have a great week (like my Rushalanche) and appear to be a more well-read site than it truly is.

Another intriguing point comes up on the redesigned BlogNetNews site. They now go inside the influence numbers a little bit, posting a number of metrics for some top sites. (Go here and select Maryland. It’s funny that someone forgot to change the gibberish fill text under the “About BlogNetNews Influence”.) Selected blogs have their Alexa, Compete, and Quantcast rankings shown along with their authority measures from a number of services, including Technorati and Google. (I wonder if that’s why I usually rank so well, because I get a number of external links – my average is third best.)

While I made this an extremely long-form question, it does pique my curiosity whether there’s a good reliable method of determining readership. I’d like to have an easy method of determining if a site is well-read enough to belong to the Guide because it makes my life a little easier then!

Since I have the forum, let me also pimp my other interest. If you’d like to join the Maryland Blogger Alliance, let me know. We have well over 50 members – the listing on my site actually omits the latest joiners (it’s a Blogrolling issue; hopefully this will be corrected in the very near future.)

Hopefully you’ll pardon my digression from weighty political matters, but I had the opportunity to ask so I decided to do so.

Lesson two: The Long War

January 27, 2009 · Posted in National politics, Politics · 9 Comments 

How soon we forget. It seems like only yesterday that “Bush lied, kids died” and perhaps that’s another reason the youth vote swung Barack Obama’s way. And Obama originally campaigned on the fact that the surge didn’t work and he would have the troops out of Iraq shortly after taking office.

But shortly after taking office, Obama instead put in place a 16 month timetable for withdrawal, which brings the date reasonably close to the cutoff date prescribed by the Iraqi Parliament in 2011. Instead, Obama wants to ramp up the cause in Afghanistan on a mission to capture Osama bin Laden.

Naturally the Left clamored like the rest of us for bin Laden and dismissed Iraq as simply revenge sought by GWB for an assassination attempt on his father by Saddam Hussein. (This was in between the mantras of “no blood for oil”, equating Bush with Adolf Hitler, and making movies about Bush’s own demise.) They cried out about there not being weapons of mass destruction nor was Iraq seeking yellowcake uranium (both charges were instead proven true.)

Apparently since BHO took office warfare is now hunky-dory among the youth. We’re not seeing much outcry amongst the Code Pink crowd about beefing up troop levels in Afghanistan, despite the fact that wiping out the Taliban is proving to be a much more difficult task than subduing the al-Qaeda forces and their allies in Iraq. In fact, many of these same liberals would love to see us intervene in Durfur to quell the human tragedy there while we’re over that way.

So let me ask: was the torture and mayhem perpetrated by the Hussein family in Iraq any less despicable? Bush sent our troops there and wiped out all three of those miscreants yet got zero credit for that achievement, not to mention sending a lot of other jihadists to see their 72 virgins – you’d think they’d be running out up there with our success rate.

Here’s the way it is, kids. We have a national interest in what goes on in the Middle East because much of the free world (including a number of our European allies) gets their oil from there and will do so for the foreseeable future. My apologies to the green crowd for that inconvenient truth. Unfortunately for Africa, there’s just not a whole lot of reason to get involved on that continent, which, alas, is also cursed with more than its share of tinhorn despots and thugs. Even once-great countries like South Africa and the former Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe and under the thumb of the despot Robert Mugabe) have devolved into the morass the remainder of that continent inhabits.

In theory we could militarily overpower anyone else on the planet, but choose not to. The Long War was an exception in recent American history, because the last four protracted confrontations (Vietnam, Korea, and World Wars 1 and 2) were all started or escalated under Democratic administrations, with the last two ended under Republican administrations. Unfortunately, neither Korea nor Vietnam ended with the desired result a lasting American victory would have provided. Too many wanted peace at any cost.

Early on President Bush warned America that this would be a lengthy conflict against Islamic terrorists, who were essentially stateless but had a number of allies. “You are either with us or against us,” he warned.

When American interests are at stake, partisanship should end at the water’s edge. It’s only one party which has violated this rule, and the youth tend to belong to that party. But you can change that very easily at your local Board of Elections.

No one likes to go to war, and conservatives are no different in that respect. But America was attacked under George W. Bush, and dissed as a “paper tiger” by Osama bin Laden. Forceful action was needed, and forceful action was taken. If Barack Obama can keep us safe from a terrorist attack during his term in office, I’ll be the first to congratulate him for that. But don’t believe that some in the world will stop planning America’s demise just because we elected him and not the military veteran John McCain.

And yes, there’s more where that came from. I’m not done with you yet.

WCRC meeting – January 2009

For the first Wicomico County Republican Club meeting in 2009, it was time to “lick our wounds and build for 2010” according to club President Marc Kilmer. As always, we opened with the Lord’s Prayer, Pledge of Allegiance, minutes from our last meeting in November 2008, and the Treasurer’s Report. There was nothing out of the ordinary in those portions of the meeting, so we moved on to one piece of new business.

There were no objections to sharing the cost with the Wicomico County Democratic Club for co-hosting a City of Salisbury Candidate Forum on March 18th at Chef Fred’s, although one observer did wonder if we could trust the Democrats. Since the Salisbury city election is non-partisan we decided to make this exception.

Our first report came from the Young Republicans, with Dustin Mills filling in for their ailing President Mark Biehl. They had two items of interest.

First, the YR’s will be holding a canned food drive on Saturday, February 7th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of the Food Lion stores on Snow Hill Road and Nanticoke Road and the Salisbury Giant Foods store on South Salisbury Drive.

The following Thursday (February 12th) will be the regular club meeting at Flavors of Italy, 213 East Main Street in Salisbury.

With that being said, our Nominations Committee Chair George Ossman announced those who had accepted nominations to serve as club officers for 2009:

President: Marc Kilmer
First Vice President: Dustin Mills
Second Vice President: Michael Swartz
Third Vice President: Ryan Hohman
Fourth Vice President: Deb Longshore
Secretary: Dave Parker
Treasurer: Tom Hughes

Five of the seven are holdovers from 2008, with Mills and Longshore first-time nominees for 2009. Additional nominations will be entertained from the floor during our February meeting; if none occur these seven will be elected by default. (Watch for a battle for that 2nd VP slot, depending on who I upset between now and then.)

Brad Bellacicco of the Chamber of Commerce (who has been gracious enough to play host to our club for many years) gave a brief Legislative Update. Obviously much of it focused on Maryland’s budget woes, as the budget “will absorb most of the time and effort” of the General Assembly. The biggest budget cuts will come from reserve funds, which will decline a whopping 16.9% from FY2009.

Brad also mentioned the possibility of repealing the state’s little-used death penalty as another legislative priority, along with more trial-lawyer friendly tort changes, and possibly card check provisions to echo Big Labor’s national efforts (the misnamed Employee Free Choice Act.) There is also some possibility of a $15.5 billion effort to assure health insurance for everyone in Maryland, paid for in part by a 2% increase in payroll taxes.

One point of discussion was raised in a comment by Dave Parker, who teaches at Salisbury University. While Governor O’Malley was adamant about freezing tuition, that would come at a cost for employees who would be hit with unpaid furloughs and no raise for the year. The cuts would also be disproportionate to certain schools, particularly community colleges and private institutions who receive some state funding.

We next heard from our guest speaker, Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis.

Read more

Lesson one: the stimulus

January 26, 2009 · Posted in Business and industry, Campaign 2010, National politics, Politics, State of Conservatism · Comments Off on Lesson one: the stimulus 

Let me bounce off last night’s post, beginning with the so-called stimulus package.

In this case, though, it’s not just the young voters who want the government to do something, but almost everyone.

There’s no question we’re in a difficult economic period, but it bears repeating that the whole mess started when some of those who borrowed for a larger, more expensive home than they could truly afford found themselves unable to sustain their payments. At that point, the foreclosures began, the overbuilt housing market became even more saturated, and home values plummeted.

As money became tighter, harried consumers cut back on purchases, forcing retailers to close stores or go out of business entirely. In turn, this threw more onto the unemployment lines while at the same time states saw their revenues decrease at a time when they thought spending more on social programs was the way to go.

Enter the stimulus programs of the last 12 months or so. What did you do with your rebate check from last year? Many paid bills, while others put the money away in savings. As economic conditions became worse it was obvious that $150 billion didn’t do the trick – nor has the $350 billion used to bail out a number of banks appreciably loosened the credit market.

Step three seems to be where the Obama Administration and Democrats spend upwards of a trillion dollars on a number of scattershot proposals, including a tax cut for those who don’t pay taxes. In my day, that was called a welfare check – but then there’s no shame for being on the dole anymore. In truth, last year’s check was wealth redistribution too – those who earned above a certain threshold did not get one, either.

Let’s use a little logic here, kids. I know that most of you weren’t taught critical thinking in school, so this may be a foreign concept. Bear with me.

Those of you who are working – it’s likely you make a certain amount per hour and work 40 hours a week if you’re full time. To make math easy, let’s say you make $10 an hour, so your weekly paycheck should be $400. But it’s not, is it? If you’re like me, you have about 1/3 taken out for various reasons, mostly to pay taxes.

For the most part, those taxes go to the federal government. It was a law called the Community Reinvestment Act passed by the federal government which in essence told the banks that they had to lend to those who probably wouldn’t be good credit risks, or they would find it difficult to expand or merge to run more efficiently and profitably.

It was also the federal government who indirectly set the policy of easy credit for homeowners and others in order to make ours an economy based on consumer spending rather than investment.

So, in order to fix the problem they had a hand in creating, the federal government wants to take that money you earned through your hard work and, after they take their cut, give it to a vast array of organizations and inferior (e.g. subordinate to them) governmental bodies (who also take their cut) who will spend some of that money to “stimulate” the economy. Of course, also bear in mind that the money out of your check, even when combined with everyone else’s money, still will fall something on the order of a trillion dollars short of what the federal government would like to spend – for years to come.

Because of that shortfall, one (or both) of two things happen. The debt accrues over time because of interest, making it a larger burden on you later in life; or, the dollars you earn lose purchasing power because there’s more of them out there. You weren’t around for the double-digit inflation of the Carter years, I was. Your $10 an hour would only be worth $9 after a year, yet you work just as hard.

Now imagine that, instead of giving your money to the government who MAY provide you benefits (assuming you happen to be in a group who they target the benefits to at that particular moment, these things are always subject to change) you get to keep more of what you earned and spend it where you want to. Or you could save it and invest for your future dreams, like purchasing a house with a solid 20 percent down payment, as they did in the old days.

Does that sound appealing to you? Well, welcome to conservatism. It’s not practiced by the Democratic Party, so you may wish to rethink that political leaning.

If you’re not convinced yet, don’t worry. I have plenty more where that came from.

The need for education

January 25, 2009 · Posted in Campaign 2010, National politics, Politics · 3 Comments 

I’m probably going to harp on this a couple more times in the next few days, but the Pew Research Group sent me an alarming statistic last week.

Data from the Pew Research Center on voter identification.Young voters 18-29, according to the data they used (an exit poll from NBC News), now consider themselves Democrats by a 45-29 margin.

I’ll grant that perhaps that’s a little bit of a dubious source, since we know that NBC is one network seriously in the tank for Barack Obama. But the huge liberal advantage of indoctrination through public (and some private) schools and the internet seems to be bearing fruit as far as the forces favoring expanded government are concerned.

It’s worthy of note, though, that minority voters are better represented among the youth group as are unmarried female voters. These groups have generally swayed to the Democrats, and having a larger sample may be part of the reason for the radical shift. Nor can the constant drumbeat of bad news about the Long War be discounted, as this age group has made the largest amount of sacrifice fighting Islamic terrorists.

That indoctrination thesis of mine may well be proven with another point the Pew researchers (Scott Keeter, Juliana Horowitz, and Alec Tyson) assert:

Young voters differ most from older voters in their liberal views on the proper scope of government. Nearly seven-in-ten (69%) of voters ages 18-29 favor an expanded role for government, agreeing that it should do more to solve problems; fewer (27%) say the government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals. Opinion on this question is more closely divided among older age cohorts and a narrow plurality of those age 45 and older says government is doing too much.

Where are the youths taught about the benefits of limited government? Simply put, they’re not.

Unfortunately, I’m not in a position to personally beat some sense into these youth, but I’m curious what others think about this trend. As I said, I’m going to return to the topic a couple times this week when I’m not playing reporter.

It’s just another challenge we on the Right face. But we can win it – yes we can!

Carnival of Maryland 51 is up

This is just a quick reminder to my readers that, since I’m now the head of the Maryland Blogger Alliance I also run the Carnival of Maryland. Naturally I’m out to assist the membership in any way I can.

Since there’s no football game today, why not spend a lazy Sunday afternoon or evening reading the newest edition (#51, it’s almost the second anniversary of our semi-weekly look at Maryland blogging) on ROTUS.

The next edition will fall on Sunday, February 8th and Going To The Mat plays host.

By the way, if you have a Maryland-based or Maryland-themed website and would like to join the MBA, let me know at ttownjotes@yahoo.com. We’re looking for a few more good men and women.

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