June 2, 2014
Two years ago, Republican Del. Neil Parrott and MdPetitions.com had become so adept at petitioning Maryland laws to referendum that some Democrats, Gov. Martin O'Malley included, urged the General Assembly to make it tougher to do. How foolish that looks now. Over the weekend, the conservative group came up short in its efforts to petition to referendum the transgender rights law passed this year by the legislature. MdPetitions.com had only to produce 18,500 signatures by midnight on Saturday - a goal the organization had little trouble meeting previously when it petitioned same-sex marriage or Maryland's version of the Dream Act in recent years.
April 20, 2014
For Southern Maryland, the Patuxent River Naval Air Station is an economic engine like no other. It accounts for $6.6 billion in economic activity, including 41,185 jobs, so it's small wonder that elected leaders from that region of the state are extremely protective of it, and that includes House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer. But at what cost? One of the more curious events of the most recent General Assembly session was the passage of legislation that would bar the Maryland Public Service Commission from approving a wind-powered generating facility between now and July 1 of next year within a 56-mile radius of the Navy base.
February 20, 2014
"You can get killed just for living in your American skin. " -- Bruce Springsteen On Aug. 7, 1930, two young black men were lynched in Marion, Ind. A photographer named Lawrence Beitler had a studio across the street from the lynching tree. He came out and snapped what became an iconic photo, which he made into a postcard and sold. It shows Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith hanging dead and their executioners, faces clearly visible, milling about as if at a picnic. Though authorities possessed this damning photographic evidence, they never arrested anyone for the crime.
January 22, 2014
Guess we can all stop wondering what the New York Yankees are going to do with the $25 million annual increase in their national television revenues. They spent almost that much per year on Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka , if you combine their reported seven-year, $155 million deal with the $20 million posting fee they must pay to Japan's Rakuten Golden Eagles to pry him out of his existing contract. That's just crazy, of course, but why should anyone be surprised? Not only did the Yankees get that boost from the new national TV contracts that kick in this season, but they also will save about that much if Alex Rodriguez and his lawyers don't find a federal judge to strike down his one-year Biogenesis suspension.
January 13, 2014
The train wreck of Maryland's Affordable Care Act insurance exchange should have been no surprise to Gov. Martin O'Malley, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown or anyone else responsible for its creation. That's the unmistakable conclusion from a Washington Post article on Sunday based on not-previously disclosed documents and interviews with key participants. The Post's report fleshes out the story of dysfunction revealed in records obtained last month by The Sun through a public information request and leaves no doubt that state officials were warned repeatedly and in detail that the website was, in one former official's words, "a disaster waiting to happen.
January 10, 2014
Yesterday New Jersey's Republican Governor Chris Christie fired his deputy chief of staff for her role in “bridgegate,” a political scandal in the Garden State involving state officials closing lanes on the busy George Washington Bridge connecting Ft. Lee, N.J., to New York City. Christie fired Bridget Anne Kelly after emails surfaced exposing her involvement in closing the lanes a part of political payback against Ft. Lee's Democratic mayor, Mark Sokolich, who did not endorse Christie for reelection.