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Shell Game

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NEWS
April 30, 2012
The Sun finally got one thing right: A special session of the Maryland legislature is needed - but not for the reasons stated in your editorial ("Twice as nice?" April 25). King Marty and his clown princes, Mike and Michael, need to reverse the shell game they've been playing with their subjects for the last several years. Every year, the king raises taxes to fund "shortages" in, alternately, the education, transportation and public safety budgets. Then, when the peasants are not looking, they shift the money to the special interests - satisfying their big-time donors - and to failed social programs.
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NEWS
May 10, 2013
Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has proposed to use a substantial portion of stormwater fee revenues - the "rain tax" - to lower the city's overwhelmingly high property tax ("Faceoff over city water fee plan," May 6). The mayor's relentless assaults on city residents in an attempt to generate ever more tax revenue to cover the major cause of its financial problems - namely its expenditure of 20 percent of revenues on retirees - are not even thinly veiled anymore. The city's large tax and fee increases, including speed cameras, trash fees and now the rain tax, have been enacted in an attempt to lower the property tax without a corresponding reduction in city expenditures and are nothing more than a shell game.
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SPORTS
By PETER SCHMUCK | April 3, 2009
My favorite recollection of spring training: saving the giant tortoise on the way to camp back in late February. It was frightened when I picked it up, and it peed all over me. Had to trash one of my shirts, but I'd do it again. (For more, go to baltimoresun.com/schmuckblog)
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater and The Baltimore Sun | June 14, 2012
Attorneys representing City Hall have abruptly backed out of a $150,000 settlement agreement with the family of a teen allegedly kidnapped by Baltimore police. Baltimore attorney A. Dwight Pettit is accusing lawyers representing City Hall of playing an "unethical shell game" in their handling of a $100 million lawsuit filed against Baltimore police officers Milton Smith III, Tyrone Francis and Gregory Hellen. The officers were accused of picking up two West Baltimore teens in 2009 and driving one to East Baltimore and dropping the other off in a Howard County park.
NEWS
May 10, 2013
Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has proposed to use a substantial portion of stormwater fee revenues - the "rain tax" - to lower the city's overwhelmingly high property tax ("Faceoff over city water fee plan," May 6). The mayor's relentless assaults on city residents in an attempt to generate ever more tax revenue to cover the major cause of its financial problems - namely its expenditure of 20 percent of revenues on retirees - are not even thinly veiled anymore. The city's large tax and fee increases, including speed cameras, trash fees and now the rain tax, have been enacted in an attempt to lower the property tax without a corresponding reduction in city expenditures and are nothing more than a shell game.
NEWS
April 16, 1991
Until now, Prince George's County Executive Parris Glendening has been a model of responsible and visionary leadership in tough times, slashing spending and wringing impressive concessions from county labor unions.But his latest scheme to deal with the county's deficit-traumatized budget is more irresponsible than innovative. In a dangerous, politically inspired gamble on better times, Mr. Glendening has won preliminary approval from the county council to borrow $60 million -- probably by selling short-term notes -- to help cover this year's $80 million revenue gap. The script goes something like this: The county borrows money to get through the next year without slashing services, the economy picks up and Prince George's pays off the loan.
NEWS
By Gilbert A. Lewthwaite and Gilbert A. Lewthwaite,Washington Bureau of The Sun | July 26, 1991
WASHINGTON -- As the United Nations deadline for Iraq to disclose all its nuclear secrets passed yesterday, the Bush administration continued to accuse Saddam Hussein of playing "a shell game" but gave no hint of executing the allied threat to bomb suspected sites.Thousands of Iraqis fled to Jordan out of fear of renewed bombardment, but officials here played down the deadline as "a marker" for Iraqi political compliance rather than a "D-day" for military action.At the same time, the Bush administration demanded that Iraq disclose all its "substantial" financial and gold holdings to enable the U.N. Security Council to judge how much oil it would need to sell to feed and care for its hard-pressed civilians.
NEWS
By George Neff Lucas | July 1, 1994
Repeatedly Clinton rebukesKim for playing a shell game with nukes;Why must the world beContinuallyAt the merciless mercy of kooks?Of health care reforms, take your pick;Getting any one passed is the trick;When all's said and voted,This change may be noted --We perhaps can afford to get sick.
NEWS
By Amy L. Miller and Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer | August 9, 1992
WESTMINSTER -- Amid loud cries of "Vote Republican!" from the captive listeners, congressional hopefuls Alan Keyes and Roscoe Bartlett toured the Carroll County Detention Center Friday."
NEWS
By Gregory Kane | February 4, 2001
IT'S CALLED A SHELL game. You've heard of it, haven't you? The con artist has three shells and challenges you to find the one with the pea under it. He puts the pea under one shell, shuffles the three around and then lifts the shell the pea is under to show you how easy it is. Except when you try it for real, for money, the con artist has diverted your attention and slipped the pea elsewhere so that there is nothing beneath any of the shells. In Baltimore of late, we've had our own political shell game going on. The con artists are Mayor Martin O'Malley and Baltimore Police Commissioner Ed Norris.
NEWS
April 30, 2012
The Sun finally got one thing right: A special session of the Maryland legislature is needed - but not for the reasons stated in your editorial ("Twice as nice?" April 25). King Marty and his clown princes, Mike and Michael, need to reverse the shell game they've been playing with their subjects for the last several years. Every year, the king raises taxes to fund "shortages" in, alternately, the education, transportation and public safety budgets. Then, when the peasants are not looking, they shift the money to the special interests - satisfying their big-time donors - and to failed social programs.
NEWS
February 24, 2012
Will there ever be a time when the Sun editorial board will present an objective case outlining all the pros and cons of an issue? Their latest failing is their position regarding teacher pensions and who should pay for them ("Kamenetz stands alone," Feb. 22). The assumption, it seems, by the Sun, Gov.Martin O'Malleyand now Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz is that local teacher pension costs should be paid at the local level. It seems to me that the Governor is trying to unload costs from his already bloated 35+ billion dollar budget, and he is using the pension cost move to do that, and proposes that somehow, in the Sun staff's opinion, an "elegant solution," would be to raise taxes in a way that would increase the "piggy back" payment back to the counties.
SPORTS
By PETER SCHMUCK | April 3, 2009
My favorite recollection of spring training: saving the giant tortoise on the way to camp back in late February. It was frightened when I picked it up, and it peed all over me. Had to trash one of my shirts, but I'd do it again. (For more, go to baltimoresun.com/schmuckblog)
SPORTS
By RICK MAESE and RICK MAESE,rick.maese@baltsun.com | November 7, 2008
BLACKSBURG, Va. - Intense investigative work isn't usually required: College bowl officials, it turns out, are pretty easy to spot. They're usually wearing a grateful grin and a colorful jacket, something you would imagine Craig Sager donated to charity. Eight of them were in the press box at Lane Stadium last night, witnessing firsthand the mystery of the Maryland Terrapins, a group that fears no ranked team yet stumbles against lesser foes. "We have to decide what we want to be," coach Ralph Friedgen said after the game.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | March 9, 2005
WASHINGTON - If George W. Bush were not president of the United States, he would make one great bunco artist in a traveling carnival. In his more than four years in the White House, he has shown himself to be the master of the old bait-and-switch: Offer the customers one thing, and when they nibble, peddle them something else. The latest illustration of his political sleight of hand is his deceptive campaign to reform Social Security by allowing young and middle-age taxpayers to divert some of the payroll tax to stock market investment.
NEWS
By THE ANNAPOLIS BUREAU STAFF | March 11, 1991
A headline in the Notes From Annapolis column in yesterday's edition's of The Sun incorrectly referred to Medicare, when the story was about the state Medicaid program. The article also may incorrectly have led to the conclusion that doctors billing the state twice the amount they are now allowed to bill might actually get paid more. In fact, the higher billing to the state is designed to leverage a greater federal reimbursement to the state. The doctors' share of the reimbursement will not increase.
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