Tag: Maryland

A Free State First

Maryland has become the first state in the nation to enact a tax on online advertisements.

They had to override a veto though, because Governor Larry “Rat-F%$#” Hogan vetoed the bill, because he promised no new taxes ever.

Revenue is to be dedicated to education:

Maryland today became the first state in the nation to impose a tax on digital advertising revenue, overriding an earlier veto from the governor and incurring the wrath of piles of Big Tech businesses that are all but guaranteed to sue.

The bill (PDF) levies a state tax of up to 10 percent on the annual gross revenues of all digital advertising aimed at users inside Maryland state. Proceeds from the new tax are explicitly earmarked to go into an education fund dedicated to improving Maryland public schools.

“Right now, they don’t contribute,” the bill’s primary sponsor, Sen. Bill Ferguson (D) said of the bill. “These platforms that have grown fast, and so enormously, should also have to contribute to the civic infrastructure that helped them become so successful.”

Both chambers in the state’s General Assembly, its Senate and its House of Delegates, approved the bill by wide majorities last year. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed the bill in May, but it had sufficiently high support in both chambers of the legislature to pass a veto override, and both houses approved the veto override this week.

It will work on a sliding scale, with larger companies, like Google and Facebook, paying up to 10% of gross revenue from the portion of their ads from Maryland, which constitutes about 1.8% of the US population.


A coalition of small and medium businesses and trade groups launched a coalition last year to lobby against the tax. The group, which bills itself as Marylanders for Tax Fairness, argues that the tax will “place an unnecessary and undue burden on the state’s entrepreneurs and job creators.”

Yadda, yadda, yadda,

The internet economy wants not to pay taxes.

F%$# that.


Among the coalition members are not only several Maryland-based businesses and organizations, including several local Chambers of Commerce, but also most of the large tech-related trade groups. All of the usual suspects who represent advertising, Internet, tech, telecom, or media firms are on the list, including the Internet Association, the IAB, the NCTA, and TechNet. Those four groups represent every online firm from Amazon to Zillow and just about any brand you can name in between.

The stakes for all the firms involved may go well beyond Maryland. Other states, including high-population New York, are considering similar advertising revenue bills of their own.

I’m not sure what the right rate is, though I do support an aggressively progressive tax.

Well, This Sucks

Today, literally a day after a security audit stated that the security for the Baltimore County Public Schools computer network was so much Swiss cheese, they were hit with a massive ransomeware attack

My wife works as a special education consultant, primary in Baltimore county, and her meeting today was cancelled, and it looks like BCPS may not sort out this cluster-f%$# until the new year.

I’m not entirely sure how to fix this, but I think that relying more on internal expertise, as opposed to over-paid consultants, would be a good start:

Baltimore County’s school system was shut down by a ransomware attack that hit all its network systems and closed school for 115,000 students Wednesday.

While little has been made public about the extent of the attack, school officials said at an afternoon news conference outside the county school headquarters in Towson that they are working closely with state and federal law enforcement and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency to investigate.


Superintendent Darryl Williams said he has no timeline for when school will resume. School officials said the network issue has affected the district’s website, email system and grading system. Until the problem is resolved, students will have no school.

The attack comes as the school system continues to operate online only, with all in-person classes delayed, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.


The school system stopped communicating to staff and parents by email and began using Twitter and robocalls to inform its community about the attack. The district is advising all students, parents and teachers not to turn on their school laptops, and some students have taken any county applications off their phones as a precaution.


Baltimore County’s network is the conduit for grades, lesson plans, and communication between teachers and students and parents. Unlike some other school systems in the region, Baltimore County began giving students devices more than a decade ago.


It’s unclear when the attack started, but the school board meeting video stream abruptly cut out late Tuesday evening. And according to social media accounts, school system teachers began noticing problems about 11:30 p.m. as they were entering grades.

It actually knocked the virtual BCPS school board meeting that was held last night.

What a mess.

It’s a Sucker Bet

So, you want your buddies to get their tax dollars so that they can buy a better boat, but you don’t want to tarnish your reputation as a good government Republican?

The solution is simple: A public-private partnership.

Your friends get their vig, and you get to pretend that you are working for the taxpayer.

Unfortunately, as Maryland Governor Larry “Governor Rat-F%$#: Hogan as demonstrated, these efforts never save a dime, and frequently cost money, as Richie Daley’s infamous Chicago Parking Meter Deal.

Well, sooner than anyone expected, Hogan’s public private partnerships are descending into chaos and litigation:

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan differs from President Trump about as much as possible for a Republican, but they share one characteristic: Both won their offices in part by selling themselves as experienced business executives who would run government efficiently and cheaply.

Hogan has applied that approach to his two biggest transportation projects, the light-rail Purple Line and a plan to add toll lanes to the Capital Beltway, Interstate 270 and the American Legion Bridge. He brought in private companies to share responsibility with the state for the enterprises, saying they would complete the work more efficiently than the government and save taxpayers money.

If it saves taxpayers money, then how are the profits generated, particularly the ridiculously high profits that the finance types demand?

It isn’t working out that way, and the difficulties threaten to tarnish Hogan’s legacy as he approaches the midpoint of his second and final term as governor. (Maryland governors are limited to two terms.)

The construction contractor for the Purple Line quit mid-project in a dispute with the state over a reported $800 million in unpaid cost overruns. The Maryland Transit Administration has taken over hundreds of subcontracts to continue the work while the state negotiates with the consortium of companies managing the project over whether the larger $5.6 billion partnership can be salvaged.

The Purple Line problems raise fresh questions about whether the much larger toll lanes project will fare any better.


“With the Purple Line, we have basically a fiasco on our hands,” said Melissa Deckman, chair of the political science department at Washington College in Chestertown, Md. “It calls into question in some way his legacy, his promotion of having the private sector solve big public problems.”

The Purple Line project is structured as a public-private partnership (P3). The state is also pursuing a P3 for the toll lanes project. In such deals, private companies help finance and construct the projects, then receive a return over the long-term either from state payments or money earned while managing the enterprises.

The theory is that taxpayers gain more from the private investment and promised efficiency than they lose by letting the companies reap a profit.

Which never happens.  Just profits for the private sector, with perhaps a nickel on the dollar up front to the politicians.

The strategy has backfired with the Purple Line, a 16-mile light-rail line running from New Carrollton in Prince George’s County to Bethesda in Montgomery County. The construction contractor has quit and the consortium managing the project, Purple Line Transit Partners, is in a legal battle with the state over extra costs caused by more than 2½ years of delays.


Critics say the experience highlights the risk in some P3s that private companies get too much power.

“The private entity can essentially hold the government and taxpayers hostage to ask for more money,” said Jeremy Mohler, communications director for In the Public Interest, a think tank.

Meanwhile, concerns have arisen about Hogan’s ambitious plan to add four toll lanes — two in each direction — to I-270 and the Maryland portion of the Beltway and build a new, wider American Legion Bridge. Tolls would vary according to congestion, and the existing lanes would remain free.

Hogan famously promised that using a public-private partnership would mean the project, with an estimated total price of up to $11 billion, would not cost taxpayers any money. But a draft state study warned in July that the plan could require a government subsidy of up to $1 billion, depending on how toll revenue compares with construction and financing costs.



Even if both projects collapsed entirely, which seems unlikely, Hogan could point to other accomplishments in what has generally been a politically successful governorship.

He was the state’s first Republican governor in 64 years to win reelection and has consistently had one of the highest favorability ratings among the nation’s state chief executives. He has blocked tax increases — his signature issue — and acted early to stem the coronavirus pandemic.

Which is what the PPP is all about:  He wants to keep his no new taxes pledge, and doesn’t care that he will be shafting the next 2-3 generations.  

Same as Richie Daley.

Saying the Quiet Part Out Loud

Maryland Governor rat-f%$#, aka Paul Hogan, has just fired Arthur (Mac) Love IV, his now former deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives for social media posts lauding white supremacist terrorist Kyle Rittenhouse.

Hogan has always had a racist undertones to his campaigns, but the rule is that you don’t say it out loud:

A member of the Hogan administration who had been posting statements, photos and memes on social media that appear to applaud the 17-year-old vigilante who allegedly shot three protesters on the streets of Kenosha, Wis., this week, was fired on Saturday afternoon.

The posts by Arthur (Mac) Love IV, who had been the deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, have attracted widespread attention on social media over the last several hours, sparking a furor. The chairman of the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus called on the staffer to be fired.

Shortly after 2 p.m. Saturday, Steven J. McAdams, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, issued a statement saying Love had been “relieved…of his duties.”

“These divisive images and statements are inconsistent with the mission and core values of the Office of Community Initiatives,” McAdams said. “Earlier today, I relieved this employee of his duties. Kevin Craft, administrative director of the Governor’s Commission on African Affairs, will assume these duties effective immediately.”

I’m Not Blowed Up

There was a massive gas explosion in Northwest Baltimore this afternoon.

There has been at least one confirmed fatality.

The accident occurred in the 4200 block of Labyrinth Road, and when I first came to Baltimore, I lived on the 3700 block of Labyrinth Road, about 10 minutes walking distance.

I have since moved about 8 miles north-west, an at the time of the explosion, I was over 15 miles further south.

It’s surreal when sh%$ like this happens in the old ‘hood.

How Is This Not Attempted Bribery and Extortion?

In response to Maryland Delegate Gabriel Acevero promoting legislation repealing the so-called “Maryland Police Bill of Rights”, his employer, Montgomery County Government Employees Organization Local 1994, browbeat him over his bill, and then fired him when he refused to withdraw the bill. (Local 1994 has a few Montgomery County deputy sheriffs among its members)

When Mr. Acevero noted that the meeting was completely inappropriate, they fired him:

The movement for greater accountability in policing poses a dilemma for organized labor. Union federations include and indeed welcome police organizations. Yet police unions can use their clout to win protection from complaints of officer brutality and other misconduct.

We offer no advice as to how union leaders should address this conundrum, but it is clear what they should not do: expel unionists who take a principled position in favor of police reform. And that is what Local 1994, which represents Montgomery County’s public employees, stands accused of doing to one of its salaried employees.

The staffer, Gabriel Acevero, 29, doubles as a member of Maryland’s House of Delegates, having represented District 39 in Montgomery County since January 2019. Mr. Acevero, who is black, has been outspoken against police abuses and is sponsoring a bill to provide greater transparency on misconduct cases: A key provision gives complainants access to previous documented allegations against accused officers. Mr. Acevero calls his bill Anton’s Law, after a 19-year-old African American from Caroline County, Anton Black, who died in policy custody in September 2018 under still-unclear circumstances.

In December, Local 1994 president Gino Renne, whose union also includes Montgomery County deputy sheriffs, summoned Mr. Acevero to meet with him, as well as deputies and an official of the county’s Fraternal Order of Police unit. The topic, according to an email from Mr. Renne: Mr. Acevero’s “support of legislation that interferes with our members’ employment rights” and “is in direct conflict with [the union’s] representational obligations and responsibilities.”

Mr. Acevero reiterated his position and said he considered the meeting inappropriate — whereupon Mr. Renne fired him. “I can’t have someone on my payroll who is slandering the very people who pay his salary,” Mr. Renne told us in an interview. Mr. Renne offered Mr. Acevero $35,000 severance if he would promise in writing not to discuss his firing publicly. Mr. Acevero refused, and instead filed a formal complaint against Mr. Renne’s union at the National Labor Relations Board last month. 

Gino Renne should be under criminal investigation, because this was a clear attempt to offer something of value to influence the actions of a public official.

Renne should be frog-marched out of his offices in handcuffs.

Support Your Local Police

A Baltimore police sergeant had a dispute with a contractor, so he detained the man while in uniform, and with 3 of his cop friends in attendance, used the threat of arrest to get a refund.

I will make a note here: This cop is a crook, and he probably has been for a long time, and he has made it to sergeant.

If you don’t think that police need intense and major reform, you are either stupid or willfully blind:

A Baltimore Police Department homicide unit sergeant was ordered held without bail Friday after allegedly extorting, kidnapping and threatening to arrest a home contractor whose work he was unhappy with and whom he drove to a bank to withdraw money for a refund.

Three other homicide unit detectives were present at one point during the confrontation, and the department said a preliminary review indicates all were on duty at the time.

“You are going to give me my money back, and I’m going to give you freedom,” Sgt. James Lloyd told the contractor, according to charging documents.


The department said [Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael] Harrison had taken “swift and decisive action to the maximum state law allows.” His chief of staff, Eric Melancon, said the state Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights limited the commissioner’s options.

We really need to repeal the, “Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights,” which is a license for corruption and misconduct by law enforcement.

Lloyd, a 21-year veteran of the city police department who was the lead detective on the investigation of the death of Detective Sean Suiter, was upset with a patio that a contractor had built, county police say.

He demanded a refund and confronted the contractor with information about his driver’s license being suspended, saying he could arrest him, according to charging documents. Then, authorities said, he made the victim get into Lloyd’s car. The victim told police that he feared being arrested and complied with Lloyd’s demands of going to the bank and getting a certified check for the refund, officials said.


At a bail review hearing Friday, defense attorney Matthew Fraling told Baltimore County District Court Judge Kimberly Thomas that the matter should be a civil issue and not criminal, saying it all stems from “poor construction” by contractor on a new patio.

“I agree 100% this should have stayed a civil matter,” replied county prosecutor Thomas Kane. “The defendant made certain decisions which grossly changed the character of the interaction with the victim.”

Fraling asked that Lloyd be released on his own recognizance, while Kane asked the judge to set “some monetary bail.” Thomas, however, said Lloyd posed a threat to public safety and ordered him held.

I’m glad that the judge refused bail.

This guy abused his office, and he involved other cops in his extortion attempt.  He is a menace, and needs to stay behind bard until his trial is done.

Happy Independence Day

Protesters in Baltimore have dumped the statue of Christopher Columbus in Little Italy brought down into the Inner Harbor.

I’ll call it the Baltimore Tea Party:

A crowd of shouting protesters yanked down the Christopher Columbus statue near Little Italy, dragged it to the edge of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and rolled it with a splash into the water as fireworks went off around the city on the night of the Fourth of July.

Dedicated in 1984, the statue is the latest monument in the U.S. to fall this year during the national reckoning over racism and police violence that also has toppled statues of Confederate figures and enslavers around the country.

If there is a day best suited for such an impromptu reevaluation of statuary,  July 4 is it.

Her Honor

She self-published a children’s book and then used her position to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars of sales:

In her three years as mayor, a seat she often described as her “dream job,” Catherine E. Pugh sought to burnish the image of her adoptive hometown, a city battered by rioting, a soaring murder rate, and a history of corruption at City Hall and in the police department.

Yet, as she was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison after pleading guilty to fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy, Pugh personified the dysfunction that has long permeated Maryland’s largest city and sown distrust among its 600,000 residents.

“This became a very large fraud,” U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow said before punishing Pugh for using her self-published “Healthy Holly” children’s books to generate more than $800,000 in income while failing to deliver tens of thousands of the books to youngsters.
The fraudulent sales to entities with business before city and state government helped fund straw donations to Pugh’s political campaigns and allowed her to buy and renovate a second home in Baltimore.

2 of the past 4 mayors of Baltimore have been charged with corruption while in office.

Governor Ratf%$#

I am not a fan of Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.

He is implacably opposed to mass transit, and has made his political career on deliberately targeting minorities.

Well, now we learn that there is a corrupt method to his madness. The money hat he has diverted from mass transit, has gone to build roads going to his real estate holdings.

It appears that Donald Trump’s self dealing in office is not a norm that he has subverted.

It’s just what our corrupt political elites do:

For years, Never Trump Republicans have courted Larry Hogan to run for president. It’s easy to see why. He’s won two gubernatorial elections in Maryland, where Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one; he’s currently one of the most popular governors in America; and he’s widely viewed as a moderate who’s willing to reach across the aisle. The late-night talk-show host Seth Meyers recently described him as “a Republican who believes in climate change.” In June, he’s publishing a memoir—a move that suggests he’s laying the groundwork for a 2024 presidential bid. Last spring, he launched a national advocacy group, An America United, designed to break partisan gridlock and “bring people together to advance bold, common-sense solutions for all Americans.” Simply put, everything about Larry Hogan’s public image would lead you to believe he’s the opposite of Donald Trump.

But Hogan, it turns out, has more in common with Trump than his reputation suggests.

Both are real-estate executives who have refused to relinquish their private businesses while in office. Just as Trump maintained his ownership of the Trump Organization when he became president, Hogan maintained ownership of HOGAN, a multipurpose real-estate brokerage firm, when he became governor. Both have left close family members in charge of their businesses—Trump with his children; Hogan with his brother, Timothy—and created arrangements that allow them to be apprised of the company’s dealings. In other words, they have set up situations in which they can use their powerful government positions to increase their private profits.


Hogan has advanced a number of major state transportation projects that are near properties his company owns, a development that can boost the value of those properties. Before canceling the Red Line, he approved construction of an interchange down the road from a parcel of land his company controlled. Later, he approved millions of dollars in road and sidewalk improvements near property he had bought approximately two years earlier and was turning into a housing development.

Maryland law says that an official may not partake in a decision if the official or a qualifying relative—defined as a parent, spouse, child, or sibling—has an economic interest in the matter and the official or employee knows of the interest. These decisions “certainly seem to implicate the statute,” said Virginia Canter, the chief ethics counsel for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and a former ethics adviser for the International Monetary Fund. “It looks like there’s credible evidence of a violation.”


But Hogan has not revealed payments he has received from specific real-estate transactions while in office. “He’s getting paid by developers all across the state—who he’s in charge of regulating in one way or another—and the public has no idea who they are,” said Democrat John Willis, a former Maryland secretary of state and now a University of Baltimore politics professor and a historian of Maryland politics and government.


In February 2018, Maryland Matters, a state-based politics and policy website, reported that Hogan held ownership in a company called Brandywine Crossing Realty Partners LLC. The company was chartered on March 9, 2015, and it became a controlling partner for a parcel of land behind the Brandywine Crossing Shopping Center in Prince George’s County. The land was just down the road from a major state transportation project: a new highway interchange.


Multiple legislators said they were not informed of the governor’s nearby real-estate interests before voting on his transportation budget. “I certainly had none of this information when working on the budget committees or in discussions,” said Bill Ferguson, a Democratic Maryland state senator, when we spoke in September. (In October, Ferguson was selected to become the Maryland Senate’s next president.) “Had I known this information, I think there would have been much more targeted and purposeful questions about the necessity of projects that appear to have a financial benefit to the governor.” (Hogan listed his holdings in real-estate LLCs in his submission to the Maryland State Ethics Commission, filed 17 days after the legislature approved his first budget, but he did not identify specific properties, let alone the dates of acquisition.)


Experts I spoke with who reviewed Maryland’s ethics laws were alarmed by the Hogan administration’s decisions around Brandywine and other properties. Richard Painter, a professor of corporate law at the University of Minnesota Law School and a former chief ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, said that Hogan should have been prohibited from participating in the decision. “The [ethics law] language suggests that he should recuse because the official or employee or qualifying relative—he himself—has an interest in the matter and he knows of the interest,” Painter told me.


Brandywine isn’t the only place where Hogan has advanced construction projects near his existing property interests. On November 12, 2014, just eight days after his election, Hogan’s company bought a parcel of land from Maryland’s State Highway Administration in Severn, Maryland, for $400,000. The sale was conducted through a public auction, and only one bid was made: by Timothy Hogan. In November 2014, HOGAN created a new LLC called the Villas at Severn Crest. Since Larry Hogan took office, the State Highway Administration has begun a number of transportation projects that could boost the value of that property, including intersection improvements and road resurfacing less than a mile away, which started in 2018.


But Hogan’s election came with an immediate complication: What would he do with his real-estate business? Maryland ethics law bans officials or employees from making decisions on matters in which they have an economic interest. But the law states that this prohibition does “not apply if participation is allowed as to officials and employees subject to the authority of the [Maryland State] Ethics Commission.” Hogan reached out to the ethics commission for advice.


In December 2015, Hogan entered into a trust agreement that he asserted would prevent conflicts of interest. On April 15, 2016, the trust was approved by the state ethics commission. Between Hogan’s inauguration and the trust agreement’s approval, the governor submitted two transportation budgets—including the one advancing the Brandywine interchange—and gained ownership of at least seven newly created real-estate LLCs. In other words, Hogan’s real-estate business was growing just as he was supposed to be separating himself from it.


But even after Hogan began talks with the ethics commission, there were signs that he had not made a clear break from his business. In February 2015, while serving as governor, Hogan himself announced a $3.4 million real-estate transaction in a press release issued by his private company. His administration began construction on projects near both the Villas at Severn Crest and the Riverfront at West Hyattsville after his trust went into place.


But Hogan’s trust is not blind. The ethics commission granted the governor a “financial-interest exemption,” which allows him to continue to own real-estate projects and to be apprised of his company’s business dealings, as well as how much money he’s making. In a letter to Lord, Hogan wrote that the arrangement “will not prevent me from requesting or receiving information about the status of the Hogan Companies . . . including the status of its current investments and, [sic] the identity of the investors and the locations of real property in which the Hogan Companies have an investment.”


But the trustees Hogan chose to manage his holdings are not just experts in the real-estate field—they are his previous business associates: Victor White, the chief operating officer of HOGAN; Jacob Ermer, the executive vice president of HOGAN; and David Weiss, a former broker at HOGAN. According to public records, all of them are Hogan campaign contributors. His brother, Timothy, is in charge of his company.

As governor, Hogan has maintained a close relationship with all four of these individuals. He had at least eight meetings with them between 2015 and 2018, according to his meeting calendar, obtained by the Washington Monthly through a Public Information Act request.


In its specific guidance to Hogan, the commission stated that Hogan could, and should, identify “a specific person within the Governor’s Office to act in his place on any such matters that come to the Office while he continues to retain his financial interest in his businesses.” Yet when I asked Ricci, Hogan’s spokesperson, if the governor had ever recused himself from a decision in his transportation budget that could impact his properties, he was clear that Hogan had not. “The answer is no,” Ricci said. “The governor does not make decisions on individual projects, so he has no decisions to recuse himself from.”


But Hogan has been, at best, silent over the president’s alleged violations of the Emoluments Clause. In fact, in 2018, he withheld $1 million from the Maryland attorney general’s office to stop a series of lawsuits against Trump, the most prominent of which alleged that the president was using his position to bolster his real-estate empire’s profits.

The governor justified his decision on fiscal grounds. “The administration takes its responsibility to find efficiency and savings in the state budget extremely seriously,” Doug Mayer, a spokesperson for Hogan at the time, told The Baltimore Sun. “This is a perfect example of that.”

Have I mentioned that Governor ratf%$# is a corrupt racist SOB who has no shame or decency?

Well, that Was Exciting

Lmfaooo Baltimore always got some shit wit us but I gotta love my city 😂😭💯 pic.twitter.com/jj29rWKJZT

— tayyfromthetrap (@tayyfromthetrap) August 29, 2019

This is Completely Nuts

I was driving down to Fells Point to pick up Nat from the Fells Point Corner Theater, where she is ASM for the play Perfect Arrangement tonight, and after we got on local streets, we were passed by at least a dozen police cars with lights flashing.

About a mile from the theater, I thought that I heard a large number, 20 or so, gunshots.

It appears that there was a shooting incident, with an officer wounded and the suspect killed:

A male suspect is dead after a Baltimore police officer was shot in the leg in the Southeast District on Wednesday around 11 p.m.

Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said the suspect was pronounced dead at the hospital after he was struck by gunfire by responding officers.

Harrison said the suspect is believed to be the man who tried to run over a police officer and fired at another early Tuesday morning while trying to stop an SUV that attempted to strike another officer. He said the vehicle Wednesday is the one that was used during the attacks on the officers Tuesday.

A woman was injured during Wednesday’s incident, but Harrison said it was unclear whether she was hurt by gunfire or the resulting shrapnel. She and the officer are in good condition, Harrison added.

The commissioner said officers encountered the suspect at Fayette and North Caroline streets and that officers began firing at the suspect. Harrison said he did not know whether the suspect fired at officers, but added he was believed to be armed.

Harrison said that after the exchange, the suspect got back into his car and drove down Caroline Street as officers chased him.

After picking up my thespian child, we went home, and there were dozens of cars and at least 20 officers at the site of the incident.


Headline of the Day

Better to Have a Few Rats Than to Be One

Baltimore Sun Editorial Board

This is in response to Trump’s latest tirade against Elijah Cummings, where he slams the Congressman and his district, basically relegates Baltimore to his list of “sh%$ holes”.

Needless to say, residents of the Charm City, and I consider myself one, though I live in the suburb of Owings Mills, are less than amused at the Donald’s latest tantrum.

On edit.

Nancy Pelosi, Baltimore native and daughter of former mayor Tommy D’Alesandro, is unamused by this as well.

Bye Felicia Catherine

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh has resigned following multiple criminal investigations of the sales of her self-published children’s book series:

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh (D) resigned in disgrace through her attorney Thursday after weeks of temporary leave coinciding with the unfurling scandal of her self-dealing children’s book scheme.

“I am sorry for the harm that I have caused to the image of the city of Baltimore and the credibility of the office of the mayor,” Pugh’s attorney, Steven Silverman, read from a statement. “Baltimore deserves a mayor that can move our great city forward.”

Pugh’s resignation is effective immediately

Using her children’s series “Healthy Holly,” Pugh cut multiple book deals with organizations that do business with the city and other organizations she oversaw.

In the first break in the case, the Baltimore Sun revealed that she did not disclose that she’d received $500,000 from the University of Maryland medical system since 2011, while she sat on its board.

It really is remarkable just how petty and small time this all is.

Local Baltimore Pol Makes the Big Time

Hauling out boxes of “Healthy Holly” books and documents, dozens of federal law enforcement agents Thursday struck homes, businesses and government buildings across Baltimore as an investigation into Mayor Catherine Pugh’s business dealings widened.

FBI agents and IRS officials executed search warrants at her City Hall office, Pugh’s two houses, and offices of the mayor’s allies, as the growing scandal consumed the city’s attention, generated national headlines and provoked fresh calls for the embattled Democratic mayor’s resignation.

“This is too much for our city,” Democratic City Councilman Zeke Cohen said. “It puts all of us under a tremendous strain, and again it is not fair either to the people that live here, or the people that work here.”

The short version of this is that Pugh is accused of using her office to push sales of her self-published “Healthy Holly” children’s books.

It really amazes me just how petty and small time corruption typically is.

My Life is a Lie

I just read that the death metal band Hatebeak, has released its 4th album in 12 years.

That doesn’t make my life a lie.

Neither does the fact that the lead singer is, “Waldo, a 21-year-old African grey parrot.”

What makes my life a lie is the fact that they are a, “Baltimore-based three-man studio project”, involving drummer Blake Harrison, guitarist Mark Sloan, and the aforementioned Waldo.

I have been living in the greater Baltimore area for 18 years, and I have never heard of Hatebeak.

Seriously, here is a a bit of Baltimore performance art that makes John Waters look like Pat Boone, and I was completely unaware.

What is wrong with me?

I could have had these guys play at Natalie’s or Charlie’s B’nei Mitzvah, if I had only known.

Racist Dog Whistles

On Monday, I was listening to Democrat Johnny “Johnny O” Olszewski and Republican Al Redmer, candidates for Baltimore County Executive, on the local public radio station.

Olszewski spent his time talking about issues, and Redmer spent his time talking about how to shut out section 8 housing (black) families and how schools are being destroyed because teachers cannot suspend or expel (black) kids.

It was like this over, and over, and over again.

I think that some canine eardrums may have been ruptured by all of this.

The Term Here is “Corrupt”

In July, I commented on a how a real Democrat won the primary for Montgomery County executive, and the party establishment there saw this as a threat to their bribes support from real estate developers, so they stood up a Democrat who changed her party registration for an independent bid to sabotage his run.

Well, now Nancy Floreen is trying to claim that she was really a Democrat the whole time.

She was never a Democrat. She was a tool of the developers who found pretending to be a Democrat was useful.

It’s time for the Democratic Party of Montgomery County to tell her to pound sand, and say, “No backsies.”

Montgomery County executive candidate Nancy Floreen says she will return to the Democratic fold after the Nov. 6 election — regardless of whether her independent bid for the liberal county’s top post is successful.

Floreen, a 16-year county council member and two-time delegate to the Democratic National Convention, left the party in July to make a surprise run for county executive, gathering enough petition signatures to appear on the November ballot.

The move was prompted by her opposition to the Democratic nominee, 12-year council member Marc Elrich. It left some Democrats feeling betrayed.

At a candidate debate Wednesday morning hosted by the Greater Bethesda U.S. Chamber of Commerce and moderated by Bethesda Magazine editor and publisher Steve Hull, Floreen said she would re-register as a Democrat if she’s elected.

Floreen later said she plans to return to the party regardless of the outcome of the election, “because I am a Democrat at heart.”

“I only changed parties in order to run the petition drive,” she said. “I’ve been very upfront about that.”

You are a contemptible piece of excrement, you’ve been very upfront about that.

BTW, whenever you hear a corporate Democrat call for unity, know that it’s only a one way street.