January 6, 2013
After a unique, very-informal-for-Downton dinner party, Carson poses an interesting question in this episode: "Where's the style, Mrs. Hughes, where's the show?" "Perhaps people are tired of style and show," she responds. Perhaps. Well, most definitely for a good portion of the estate. Sibyl and Branson are - yes!! - very happy with their more low-key life in Dublin. Cora is even pretty much done with all the frivolity. Same goes for her mother, the visiting Martha Levinson (guest Shirley MacLaine)
January 3, 2013
Here's a question for you Maryland taxpayers out there: Would you rather pay a higher tax on many items you purchase each day or on something you may buy perhaps once a week (a commodity that's actually decreased in price nearly 20 percent in recent months, by the way)? Surely, most people would choose the latter. But there's another way to look at it: Would you rather see the Maryland sales tax rise after enduring a similar increase a mere five years ago, or see the gas tax rise after a 20-year freeze?
December 23, 2012
Among the most memorable of newspaper editorials ever put to paper was published Sept. 21, 1897 in the New York Sun and is credited to Francis P. Church, characterized by the Newseum, a repository of the history of journalism, as a "veteran newsman. " Though published as summer was turning to fall, the subject was Christmas, as the editorial reply was to a letter from Virginia O'Hanlon, 8, who was curious as to the existence of Santa Claus. The Sun's editorial has often been republished and was even made into a movie.
December 4, 2012
Watch out, folks, this could get bumpy. With the release Monday of a proposal, or something approximating one, from House Republican leaders on a way to avert the "fiscal cliff," we now have the opening positions from both parties, neither of which has any chance of becoming law. That is to be expected; no deal is going to be accomplished without a lot of political posturing from both sides and without some serious deadline pressure. But despite what in some respects is a step forward, there is real reason now to think that we will, at least briefly, go over the cliff.
December 4, 2012
Letter writer John Bonn's accusation that former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and the GOP are out of touch with reality as related to the journalistic elitist left is a pure example of self-delusion ("The GOP lost because it's out of touch," Nov. 28). If Mr. Bonn's lofty opinion of reality is shaped by today's journalistic credentials then he needs to re-examine the reality of the left's agenda without the arrogance of a card-carrying liberal. Since when do Democrats have the sole pulse of "real world" politics or societal challenges?
November 28, 2012
In a recent commentary, former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. exhorted Republican candidates not to whine about the allegedly liberal media ("How Republicans win in 2016," Nov. 25). Of course, a few lines earlier, Mr. Ehrlich whined about just that, saying: "Remember that the major media are not exactly even-handed when it comes to candidate foibles. Nine out of 10 journalists vote Democratic. Most possess a left-leaning agenda. " Yet with the possible exception of The New York Times, the major media outlets in this country are owned by large, multinational corporations, most of whose top executives subscribe to a political outlook similar to Mr. Ehrlich's.
November 27, 2012
Was the big loser of this month's election Grover Norquist? It's starting to look that way, as an increasing number of Republicans in the House and Senate are announcing that they could be willing to violate the pledges they signed at the behest of the president of Americans for Tax Reform to never raise taxes under any circumstances. Nearly every Republican in Congress has signed the pledge at one time or another, but as President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats continue to insist that higher taxes on the wealthy be part of any deal to avoid the impending fiscal cliff, they may soon be worth no more than the pieces of paper Mr. Norquist reportedly keeps in a secret, fireproof safe.
November 14, 2012
Anyone who wondered whether a vote for President Barack Obama meant something should have been reassured by his performance in today's news conference. In the central issue that faces the country right now, whether the resolution to the so-called fiscal cliff will involve higher taxes on the wealthy, he could not have been more clear. Republicans who think they can blackmail the president into backing down on that question, as he did two years ago, had better think again. Mr. Obama outlined several reasons why he was willing to accept an extension of all the Bush tax cuts, including those for the wealthy, at the end of 2010.
November 12, 2012
Mount St. Mary's will discontinue three of its Division I athletics teams in 2013 in an effort to reduce its athletics budget while expanding its existing programs. Men's soccer, along with men's and women's golf, will cease after the 2012-13 academic year. As many as 30 Mount student-athletes will be affected by the elimination of the three sports, as well as one full-time and three part-time coaching positions. The decision will save the university more than $400,000 annually. "This is a decision we didn't want to make, but the budget realities require it to protect and reinvest in our remaining Division I programs," university President Thomas H. Powell said.
November 8, 2012
Nice try, John Boehner. On Wednesday, the House speaker announced a willingness to work with the newly re-elected President Barack Obama on a long-term solution to the nation's budget problems that avoids January's "fiscal cliff" - and if you didn't listen too closely, it sounded like he was even willing to budge on the GOP's no-new-taxes dogma. In reality, though, Mr. Boehner was more or less recapping the House's position from 2011, the last time he and Mr. Obama engaged in serious discussions on the issue.