Thursday, July 28, 2005

What would YOU do with $1 billion?

Joanna Shoffner offers her suggestions on the Maryland Policy blog.
The Gov has other ideas and Shoffner's suggestion to look to the future and set some aside for a rainy day of course contradicts his Prime Directive: "Reward your patrons first."

See Three-card monte below.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Stop CAFTA - Call Now

Please click on this link to go to the Working Families e-activist page. A vote looms on CAFTA and we need more reminder calls to our United States representatives to stand firm AGAINST CAFTA.

Popular book

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Three-card monte

State's surplus was achieved at a high cost
Originally published July 25, 2005 in The Baltimore Sun

On July 20, The Sun reported on Maryland's unexpected surplus, and indicated that Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. claimed some credit for it ("Ehrlich says Maryland has surplus of $1 billion," July 20).

Of course, a better budget situation can be attributed to both increased revenues and decreased expenses.

On the revenue side, closing the Delaware tax loophole, which was a legislative initiative, and increasing the state property tax, which was the governor's initiative, both contributed significantly to increased revenues.

On the expense side, Mr. Ehrlich sought to balance the budget on the backs of the state work force.

One of his first acts in office was to refuse to comply with a collectively bargained 2 percent pay raise for state employees. Next, in spite of a campaign promise not to lay off employees, Mr. Ehrlich terminated hundreds of state employees with little or no notice.

Still not satisfied, Mr. Ehrlich shifted the burden of health insurance onto state retirees and employees by increasing basic health care costs and recently demanding more than $60 million in shifted costs for prescription drugs. Many employee and retiree prescriptions now cost literally 10 times what they cost one month ago.

The increased costs are not even covered by cost-of-living raises for many employees.

What do such policies mean for the average state taxpayer?

There are fewer correctional officers and there is more violence in Maryland prisons. Caseloads in social services, parole and probation, juvenile services continue to skyrocket. Tuition at state universities is higher.

Such cuts not only hurt state employees and higher-education workers, they also damage the quality of life of Maryland's residents.

A revolving door of state employees does not serve the citizens well. Now is the time to reverse this trend.

We ask Mr. Ehrlich to begin to pay state and higher-education employees what they are really worth. To acknowledge the dire need for increased staff and staff training. To restore critical services that have been cut.

Then Maryland will have something to be proud about.

Ron Bailey
Baltimore

The writer is executive director of AFSCME Council 92

Monday, July 25, 2005

A marriage made in heaven

UPDATE: According to the Washington Post, Little Gov Steele raked in $75,000 (at $1000 a head) and there were 35 protesters at the Rove-sponsored soiree. Hmmm, lessee . . . 75 fat cats enjoying cocktails and hors d'oeuvres in air-conditioned splendor vs. 35 working people sweating outside in 95-degree heat. Who gets courtesy and help when the phone rings on the Little Gov's desk? Do the arithmetic.
_________________________________________________

PROTEST KARL ROVE’S FUNDRAISER

FOR LT. GOV. MICHAEL STEELE

TUESDAY, JULY 26TH, 5:30 P.M., CAPITOL HILL
425 2nd Street NE, WASHINGTON, DC

Rove -- who betrayed our country by revealing the identity of an undercover CIA agent – thinks he can elect Steele as Maryland’s next U.S. Senator by funneling national right-wing money to him.

Let’s show Rove he is wrong!

Steele thinks Maryland’s moderate voters won’t notice he takes hard-right money from a traitor.

Let’s show Steele he is wrong – and demand he return the money!

When: Tuesday, July 26th, at 5:30 p.m.

Where:
Rove’s Fundraiser for Steele
National Republican Senatorial Committee
Ronald Reagan Republican Center
425 2nd St., NE
Washington, DC 20002
Two minute walk east from Union Station Metro station (Red Line)
Plenty of parking at Union Station garage

FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO YOUR LISTSERVES, COLLEAGUES, FRIENDS, FAMILIES, ALLIES

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Why the Prez is in Denmark

He thought Karl was gonna take him on a tour of the Copenhagen factory!

Governor Sensitive

If you still flinch when real estate agents describe neighborhoods as "exclusive," you are miles ahead of the Gov.

There's a reason for Blue State pride

Dear Red States . . .

We've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other Blue States with us.

In case you aren't aware, that includes Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the Northeast. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California.

To sum up briefly: You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states. We get stem cell research and the best beaches. We get Elliot Spitzer. You get Ken Lay.

We get the Statue of Liberty. You get Dollywood.
We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom.
We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss.
We get 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama.

We get two-thirds of the tax revenue, you get to make the red states pay their fair share.

Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. You get more single moms.

Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq, and hope that the WMDs turn up, but we're not willing to spend our resources in Bush's Quagmire.

With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80 Percent of the country's fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation's fresh fruit, 95 percent of America's quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners) 90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools, plus Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Cal ch and MIT.

With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88 percent of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100 percent of the tornadoes, 90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.

We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

Additionally, 38 percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62 percent believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44 percent say that evolution is only a theory, 53 percent that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61 percent of you crazies believe you are people with higher morals then we lefties.

By the way, we're taking the good pot, too. You can have that dirt weed they grow in Mexico.

Sincerely,


Author Unknown in New California