Friday, January 29, 2010


Councilmembers Have a Stimulus Package for
Political Cronies that Grows Government...
...and the Budget

I suspect that you, like me, are wondering when you are going to get a bailout? When you are going to get some of that stimulus funny money?

Somebody's getting it, but it's not us!

Blue Ribbon panels and bipartisan commissions have always been a way that tired, incumbent politicians can give the appearance they are actually doing something.

Recent calls for a variety of experts, studies, and commissions in Montgomery County raise questions about the ability of our elected officials to do their jobs.

Council President Nancy Floreen has proposed creating a new bureaucratic body at taxpayer expense to supervise economic development (with heavy emphasis on "development," as Floreen is the largest recipient of campaign contributions from developers).

But we already know what stimulates real economic growth: less Draconian tax and regulation policies, high quality schools, and a functioning transportation system. Hey, 1 out of 3 ain't bad, right? Unfortunately, you need all three, and now the council has admitted that it is putting those high quality schools on the back burner. They've taken a new direction - a complete break with Montgomery County's traditions and values - in education.

They're asking for less money for schools, cutting programs and teacher salaries, and promising to crowd classrooms and expand the "trailer parks" outside of county schools. All to appease their developer buddies.

Anyway, back to the point: Economic experts, and the experience of the last 100 years, makes clear what we need to have in this county. So why do we need to pay a new government body, sure to be made up of the same old Democrat developer-friendly cronies, to tell us what to do?

And does this mean that Steve Silverman will be fired? After all, Mr. Silverman already holds the position that does what Floreen's commission supposedly will do. Does this mean they're saying Silverman can't do the job? I'd like to hear that discussion.

Either way, the council is sidestepping its obligations.

Now there is going to be a Duchy Trachtenburg development oversight office. Wait a minute. Isn't that what the Planning Board and Dr. Yes do already? Are they saying Dr. Yes and the Board and planning staff cannot do the job?

Then why are we, the taxpayers, paying the council, Mr. Silverman, and the Planning Department employees' salaries?

Don't forget, Ike Leggett is spending $100,000 to have a guy look at the new Growth Policy. Why didn't he just email it to me for free, so I could tell him it's a recipe for disaster, traffic gridlock, and overcrowded schools?

At some point, our elected officials either need to take action, or resign and let more qualified replacements take over.

In an abysmal economy, stimulating cronies, bailing out developers, and Growing Government is not a blueprint for economic growth.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

This just in...
...from the surreal files:

Remember the December blizzard? You know, the one where many streets were unplowed a week after the storm? Remember how hard it was to get around in your car or on public transportation (if it was running at all)?

The County Council doesn't.

In fact, they just issued a press release congratulating themselves on a job well done!

Read these excerpts:

Council Vice President Valerie Ervin told DOT Director Art Holmes,
Deputy Director Al Roshdieh and DHS Chief Keith Compton that she “never had such great removal on my street.”
DHS did “fantastic work, and we thank you for that. ….. It was exemplary.”

Council President Nancy Floreen echoed Ms. Ervin’s statement, saying “terrific job” and “We should all be very proud.”

Of course, the snowplow drivers put in many hours of hard work as always. And did a good job where they were told to plow. But not all streets got the same treatment!

This is not the time for our elected officials to congratulate themselves. Rather, it's a time to ask questions about planning and whether or not making all the wrong budget decisions has impacted the basic function of government to clear residential streets of snow in a reasonable amount of time.
I'm trying to create a sample usage of my proposed transit card, but I didn't realize that the Baltimore area transit website (MTA) was so poorly designed. It's going to take forever for me to connect the dots for a sample trip across the region. And the limitations of the MARC schedule (nothing after 8:20 out of Greenbelt) only emphasizes why expansion of MARC is desperately needed. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Another Exclusive!!!

The Metro budget options currently on the table are short-term band aids, but long-term disasters if we really hope to increase the use of transit in the area.

Higher fares? Less frequent service? Crowded trains and platforms? Why not just get back in your car at that point?

The real way to get people to use transit is to make it easy to access, convenient, and an enjoyable experience.

Now, the restructuring of Metro is a completely different topic. Today, I'm just talking about the plan I proposed when I ran for state delegate 4 years ago.

My proposal was to create a single card that works with WMATA rail and bus, MTA light rail/subway/bus, MARC, VRE, Amtrak, Ride On and other regional buses, etc. It might also be expanded to include the ability to pay parking meters at transit station lots and taxi fares. In addition, the functions could potentially be transferred to your cellphone, allowing for a completely paperless transaction system giving you full access to every transit option in the DC/MD/VA area.

Users would pay a daily or weekly price that would allow unlimited use of all bus, rail, and subway systems mentioned above. This would not only provide a low price, but encourage more transit use. First of all, your additional use would be "free," unlike the gas you use for the equivalent car trip. Second, the user never has to worry about one mode of transit shutting down, or getting on the wrong route by mistake. With unlimited use, you can keep riding all day if you want.

In order to make this system work, and have a sustainable transit network, we'll still need to radically change the structure and operations of Metro. It will have to be financially solvent, and hopefully one day, profitable.

Increasing ridership is essential to any of that success. Without riders, you can raise fares all you want, but - like Metro at this moment - you'll be going nowhere.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Check out a new video of Woodmont Avenue on the Robert Dyer Channel at!

Have you called your legislators and told them you won't vote for them if they vote for the Carr Tax?

Friday, January 22, 2010

from the outrageous

Elected Officials Seek to Slash MCPS
Budget, Transfer Education Funds to
Developers and Special Interests

It's Outrageous

Education ALERT: Bill MC14-10 "Maintenence of Effort Waiver" aka Less Money for MCPS Hearing, today at 9:30 a.m., Rm. 170 Lowe Bldg., Annapolis.

In plain ingles, Bill MC14-10 is Montgomery County's legislators, county executive, and councilmembers asking for the ability to drastically cut MCPS funding. A free pass to transfer funds from education to the developers and special interests that got them elected.

Nancy Floreen has even proposed spending millions to create a new department that will help those interests! Carl Sagan is still laughing hysterically somewhere out there in the cosmos about Leggett and Floreen's plan to spend billions to save millions.

Pretty much everything parents are asking MCPS, and the County Council, to keep in the budget is on the line with Bill MC14-10.

They're trying to quietly sneak this through. You need to call your legislators before that happens, and tell them you oppose MC14-10.

You may remember Ike Leggett recently said that the law requiring the county to maintain funding for MCPS is "stupid."

That tells you all you need to know about this council and legislature's commitment to the children, parents, and teachers of Montgomery County.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Another Exclusive!!!

One of the biggest challenges Montgomery County and Maryland face is that we have decades worth of highway and transit projects to complete, but a lack of funds to pay for them. The bungled ICC has ravaged transportation budgets at the expense of everything else. And leaders such as Ike Leggett and Nancy Floreen (who say they'll spend billions to save millions) and Martin O'Malley (who has put the state's AAA bond rating on the line with a big-spending, no cutting, smoke and mirrors budget proposal - literally, because Wall Street has said so!) are intent to keep on spending transportation money on their special interest friends who got them elected.

This means that new, fiscally responsible citizens who win elections this November will have to save every penny, to spread funds across more projects.

One example would be to scrap the idea of light rail for the Purple Line and Corridor Cities Transitway, and run the routes as MARC commuter rail instead. It's hard to even fathom the CCT right now, as the route is poorly planned, and lacks the bicounty strategy, ample parking, and bus links it needs to have even a small benefit.

But both eventual projects could save money by using MARC diesel locomotives and passenger cars. Reliable, refurbished locomotives can be acquired at a lower cost, and combined with a larger MARC order to save even more.

Diesel trains do run on urban streets in other U.S. cities, and unlike Metro, they don't shut down when it snows!

What about the louder engine sound, you ask? Well, those same locomotives rode the rails of the Purple Line route two decades ago, so the precedent is set.

It's a sensible, responsible plan to provide more transit in the horrible fiscal situation this 8 year county council has left behind in its path of economic destruction.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


With $600 Million+ Budget Shortfall and
Record Debt, Leggett Calls for 7%
Capital Spending Increase

This reminds me of the story earlier this year about a Montgomery County resident who was making less than $15,000 and on food stamps. She said she was convinced by a realtor that she could afford a brand new, luxury colonial in Clarksburg. And actually went ahead and bought it. Guess who's picking up the tab now? You, the county taxpayer.

Imagine a man comes home from work, and has just been fired. His wife tells him they have $60,000 in credit card debt, a child about to go to college, and they can't pay the mortgage.

What if his reaction was, "I'm going out to buy a Cadillac!!"

Would you want that man running your county government?

Apparently our elected officials are just like that. What are you going to do about it in November?

You'll have to wait 'til then, though, because Ike Leggett and Nancy Floreen have big plans for your wallet, and big debt for your grandkids to pay off.

"I think we can probably afford this," says Floreen in the Washington Post.

The Post definitely believes her: Reporter Michael Laris says Leggett's is an "upbeat approach," a "boost" for a mighty government with a "vast physical presence." Leggett's fanciful address was heartily received by Laris and a "cheering audience" at Paint Branch HS, whose principal gushed that Leggett's dream will "forever mark him as the 'Education County Executive.'"

I guess running the county budget into the ground, saddling taxpayers with more debt, cutting teacher salaries two years in a row, saying that a state law requiring full funding of education is "stupid," and asking Annapolis for less money for schools is the recipe for anyone to be an "education county executive." Brilliant analysis. Duh.

But let's do the analysis:

Leggett says we are going to spend $4 billion to "save millions." Huh? Maybe my calculator is broken, but I thought a few million was less than even 1 billion, much less 4... This is New Math, possibly?

So let's say we spend that $4 billion. This means, based on the $249 million in debt service this year, an average additional debt service of at least $17 million a year over the next 6 years. Imagine taking that out of education, police, or transit budgets. I'm not even sure that figure is high enough, given we're talking about $4 billion.

I'll take a successful education program, more police officer hires, and more transit and road construction over a building ribbon-cutting any day of the week.

But then, this is the same council that, facing that $600 million plus shortfall, spent $170 million to buy the Webb Tract. So they could then work out a sweetheart land deal near Shady Grove for the developers that got them elected.

It's outrageous.

You won't read this in the Post, or hear it from your elected officials, but we have a structural deficit. Thanks to tax-and-spend government by this 8 year council, we will continue to have budget shortfalls every year for the next several years. This council has failed to create jobs for 8 years, and their late proposal to "turn it around" is the same as the last: more mixed-use development, which - as you know - created no significant jobs. But it sure works for the developers who got them elected, and expect to get them reelected this fall!

No jobs. Cut education, police, fire, transit. Increase debt. Spend billions to save millions.

Like Jerry Weast said, "It's like a no-brainer."

Monday, January 18, 2010


Another Exclusive!!!

I don't like to spend much time on national issues on this blog, but this story has implications for everyone who will be devastated if Congress passes its health "reform" bill.

As you may know, there is a special election tomorrow in Massachusetts to determine who will replace Ted Kennedy in the U.S. Senate. The candidates are Republican state senator Scott Brown, and Attorney General Martha Coakley.

What you may not know, is that Yahoo! put itself in a bad ethical position yesterday by promoting Coakley on its front page. Yahoo!'s front page serves as the "home page" for many internet users.

Yesterday morning, under the "top searches" box, one of the top 10 was "Martha Coakley." Later, I checked again, and it was still there. Like so many of the Yahoo! Top 10 search terms, this was clearly inaccurate. "Martha Coakley" is not in any way more searched for nationally than "Scott Brown." Yet "Scott Brown" was not present in the Top 10.

The ethical thing to do would have been to use the term "Mass. Senate Race."

Instead, Yahoo! chose to only show the Democrat, correctly assuming 2 things: first, Massachusetts voters unfamiliar with the candidates would hear only about Coakley; second, many users click on unfamiliar names or terms - thereby executing search results - to find out what they are. This action would probably lead them to click through to Coakley's home page.

This may seem like a small detail. But given the small turnout in special elections, the power of Yahoo! could conceiveably tip what is expected to be a very close election.

For a web company attempting to be a news outlet, that impression of abuse of power is unethical and simply unfair. But given the desperation of Senate Democrats who want to increase the profits of the insurers and drug companies who got them elected, it's not surprising.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Should We Boycott Safeway for Supporting
A Grocery Tax on Every Bagful of Groceries?

I believe Delegate Al Carr's proposed 5 cent-per-bag grocery tax will spawn a Tea Party movement in Montgomery County, and across this state. It will be a Tea Party beyond the official Tea Party groups - although the formal groups will surely have a record boost in membership.

But this issue cuts across many partisan and political boundaries. This tax is an assault on freedom, a meddlesome intrusion of Big Government into the simple transaction of buying food at the local grocery store, and a highway robbery theft from the pockets of working families across the county and state.

We had the Madaleno 6% internet tax proposal, and the Floreen $250 parking tax proposal. And now we have the Carr Tax proposal. Most residents of Montgomery County are unaware this is even being proposed. That's what happened in D.C., and then it was too late.

Big Government is again punishing you, the taxpayer, to gain the income it desperately needs to grow ever-larger and satisfy the ferocious appetite of the special interests and developers who brought it to power. It's going beyond human decency, and taxing groceries, which have been exempted from most sales tax formulas for years. That's because even the poorest among us must eat.

And that's another important point: what makes the Carr Tax so regressive, punitive, draconian, and gratuitous is the fact that Carr and Co. know that you must buy groceries. You need bags to carry those groceries in. This is exactly the same as another Big Government scheme: something that the Powers-that-Be such as "COG" and other groups like to call "congestion pricing."

As you know, that is the fantasy concept that you will be charged a higher road toll (when it is immoral to charge a toll for roads you already paid for!) or Metro fare during "peak travel times."

Those wise and superior souls who make these decisions for you have claimed that this will force you, a simple-minded fool to their minds, to "change" your "behavior," and that will magically and mysteriously get traffic off the roads during those "peak times."

Of course, not being a simple-minded fool, you know that this is a preposterous and misleading front to vacuum more money out of your wallet. That's because even simple-minded fools know that 90%+ of working people MUST travel during peak times. That's the schedule set up by society, and that's why we have this thing called rush hour.

So politicians pass a tax they KNOW you will have to pay because you can't change the hour your workday starts (unless you've got one of those plum jobs). And they do it under the guise of "the environment."

It's outrageous.

But I am confident that this latest such tax will galvanize the taxpayers of Montgomery County like never before. Are we going to just quietly take another beating at the hands of Big Government? Or are we going to hold every last delegate and senator who votes for the Carr Tax accountable at the polls this September and November?

I'm confident there are Democrats as well as Republicans who can run for office, and who sincerely oppose this neverending stream of flat, regressive taxes and fees on the working people of Montgomery County.

Finally, I think it is quite disturbing to hear that a Safeway representative is endorsing the Carr Tax Grocery Tax. What is Safeway's opinion of you, its loyal customer? Why would Safeway - unless this representative misspoke - get involved in a scorching hot potato local politics issue like a grocery tax? Is that a winning message to customers? You're against us too? You want your customers to pay a tax-per-bag of groceries (never mind that that might cause shoppers to buy less)?

Whatever the reason is, we have a wealth of options here in Montgomery County when it comes to groceries. Giant, Food Lion, Whole Foods, Weis Markets, Wal-Mart, etc. And many smaller, independent grocers and convenience stores.

So think about it. Maybe you should shop somewhere else until the fate of the Carr Tax is decided. And keep monitoring the story, to find out if any other grocery chain joins Safeway in supporting the Carr Tax. Visit my website,, and use the email link there to get on my mailing list as we crusade to change Montgomery County for the better. To transform our government into one that serves the people, not the other way around.

Support the grocers who support you.

And vote out the politicians who vote for the Carr Tax. They believe that you serve the government, when the original Patriots who founded this country believed it should be the other way around.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Tax-per-bag to Hit Poor Residents and
Seniors Hard in Already-Bad Economic Times

Virginia has a Car Tax. Now Maryland is getting a Carr Tax.

Delegate Al Carr (D-Dist.18) has introduced a new tax bill for you, the residents of Maryland. Aside from all of the new taxes and "fees" levied on you by Montgomery County and the state since 2007, and Sen. Richard Madeleno's and Nancy Floreen's attempts to add an internet shopping sales tax and parking tax respectively, Del. Carr has just the thing to lift the poor out of this recession: More new taxes!

Carr's tax will cost you 5 cents per bag of groceries. Carr says 3 cents will go to "the environment," but failed to mention where the other 2 cents go. (Guess.) As usual, the rich will have no problem covering 5 cents per bag of groceries. As for the poor and senior citizens, and working families across the state...'re going to have less money, and Carr and his cohorts in Annapolis will have all the more of your money to play with. All under the usual guise of helping "the environment."

It's outrageous.

Mr. Carr is calling from the same playbook as his fellow politicians and environmental extremists across the nation: to get more money from your wallet, a devious scheme: turn you, the victims of pollution in our community into the villain, who will now be punished by a grocery tax.

Yes, they're claiming your grocery bags are ending up in Rock Creek. Funny, I've never left a plastic bag there or in any other waterway. So, I have to pay a tax because Mr. Carr and his buddies are unable to do their job, and catch and punish those who litter?

There's nothing new about that. Our elected officials have allowed littering to continue unabated. There is constant trash in the Little Falls stream system. There has been an ongoing problem of trash being left by the tennis courts down on Westbard, across from the Park Bethesda.

I also saw, and captured photos of, trash, litter, and junk dumped in the spring alongside Woodfield Road extended in Damascus. There was even a pet carrier down there!

What have Mr. Carr and Co. done to catch the people who illegally dump that trash in our waterways? Why are so many of the "fines" for those who litter and dump toxic waste and pollutants into our waters so laughably low? (When they bother to catch them at all).

If Del. Carr and other politicians - as well as Safeway, which claims to support Carr's tax(!!) - are so genuinely concerned about bags...

...why don't they give each customer who uses a reusable bag 5 cents for doing so?

What? They won't do that? You mean, their passion, and Safeway's passion for the environment has limits? They're saying that 5 cents would be just too much to give you, their loyal taxpayer and customer?

Again, 5 cents is "small" when you pay it, but "too much" for Carr and Safeway to pay you for helping the environment.

Ladies and gentlemen, the hypocrisy of "environmentalists" has been laid bare once again.

And as usual, it is the poor who will suffer the pain of yet another flat, regressive tax. And seniors on fixed incomes. And large families, and you know that liberal extremists like to punish large families, because they believe "there are too many of us on the planet."

Will this tax succeed in such dark economic times? Let's just say this won't earn any delegates who support it many votes at Leisure World!

Note who votes for it. Hold them accountable. Pay attention to which grocery chains support the tax; shop elsewhere. Stand up for your rights. It's your money, not Mr. Carr's, Mr. O'Malley's, or Mr. Leggett's.

As for Del. Carr, once his constituents realize they are paying a new "Carr Tax," he should not assume his reelection is in the bag.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Countywide Cuts Target Hospital Staff and Patients,
Seniors and the Disabled, Early Voters

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett has proposed a devastating course for Ride On bus service, eliminating multiple routes altogether, and weekend service on all buses serving West Bethesda: T2, Ride On 23, Ride On 29.

This means that no one in West Bethesda will be able to reach a Metro station without driving there on weekends. So much for our "green" elected officials. In April of last year, Leggett and the county council made a similar decision for Damascus, eliminating weekend service for Ride On route 90 - the only transit service in all of Damascus.

One small implication of this, is that now both western Bethesda and Damascus residents will be unable to participate in early voting this fall via mass transit.

It's also interesting that at least 2 lines being cut serve Sibley Hospital and Montgomery General Hospital.

Deep service cuts in White Flint and Germantown call into question yet again the council's decision to go forward with massive development in both areas without the infrastructure in place.

Finally, not only does a Rockville Senior Center route get slashed, but disabled residents losing free taxi service were told they "could use Ride On."

Not if Ride On doesn't run anymore!!

It's outrageous.

And all of these devastating cuts only add up to $1.2 million in "savings." While other wasteful spending has occurred and continues. This as a shortfall of over $600 million remains!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Another Exclusive!!!

The Washington Post has once again failed to disclose a financial conflict of interest with a topic it is covering. Sunday's Post contained an article that painted a negative picture of biofuel/biomass tax credits and subsidies from the Federal government, that are artificially raising the cost of lumber used for applications such as composite board used in homebuilding.

Here's the problem: Post Co. Director Warren Buffett just happens to have an ownership stake or financial interest in multiple companies that utilize wood and wood byproducts for everything from custom wood frames (Larson-Juhl, Inc.) to home furniture (RC Willey Home Furnishings, Star Furniture, Nebraska Furniture Mart) to - yes - homebuilding (such as a little company called Crest Modular Homes, and Clayton Homes, to name two). For shame, for shame.

There are so many instances of conflict of interest in the Post's reporting, that I'm getting a bit bored investigating and bringing you the facts. But in a town where no one else will report on these things, someone has to do it!

By the way, I oppose many of these biofuel, biomass initiatives myself because they drive up the costs of everything from homes to food, which is morally questionable. Especially when the rationale for these fuels is a mere theory and hoax known as "global warming" (or as they have to call it during 2 solid months of below-freezing weather, "climate change"). So I guess I actually agree with Mr. Buffett on this one.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Another Exclusive!!!

The FY2011 MCPS budget process is underway, and there are all kinds of threats from Ike Leggett, councilmembers, and state legislators to reduce funding for education in Montgomery County.

At this critical time, the school board has closed the speaking lists for the public's commentary at 2 hearings.

That is an improper action, but it is still possible to submit written comments, and I have done so. My specific message was to retain the funding in the CIP budget for ADA upgrades at Damascus Elementary now scheduled for next summer (see previous entries for more about that).

Speaking of Damascus, I have a new photo of the water tower on my photos page at

Friday, January 08, 2010

Did you know Ike Leggett's proposal to eliminate RideOn 3 in Silver Spring will put approx. 100 additional cars on the road? That sounds "green" to me!

$70 million in proposed cuts to education, police, seniors, and taxi service for the disabled, and yet that only scratches the surface in a $640 million budget shortfall!

Expect a second shipment of Federal "funny money" from the Obama administration to cover a lot of the Democratic deficits in Rockville and Annapolis this year, in a "surprise" award of more "stimulus funds," aka "get-failed-Democrats-reelected-at-taxpayer-expense funds."

I don't believe they can cover over $600 million in debt without devastating MCPS in the process. Will Democrat delegates and senators actually vote to CUT money for education in Annapolis this session? In an election year? That will take some nerve, and a whole lot of that Washington Post/local liberal media magic to make that work.

More portables. Crowded classrooms. Less ESOL and special education.

Will the voters buy that this November?

Thursday, January 07, 2010

If you're in any way inclined to take Councilmember Nancy Floreen's Gazette piece seriously, please supply yourself with the actual facts on the 8-year record she and her colleagues have on the issues of jobs and economic development:

<< + >>
We were speaking earlier this week about monopoly utilities, and what do you know? PEPCO wants to increase your monthly rate again.

<< + >>
I've been a strong supporter of Amtrak over the years, but, sadly, Amtrak's newest plan to shove operation costs to states ironically makes the case for privatization.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


Post Puff Piece on Fantasy MoCo Traffic
Patterns Says "The System Worked"

Is this Health/Science section article on traffic lights in Montgomery County a stunt or hoax to get attention for the newspaper? I don't want to take the bait, but this article is so inaccurate and so glorifying of Ike Leggett and his transportation department, that it literally defies reality.

In short, I can't let such a blatantly false story pass.

I don't know where Mr. "Green Green Green" aka Ashley Halsey III is reporting from, but the lights on 355 depicted as green during rush hour in the article are anything but.

I often have to make the trip up to Rockville during the evening rush, and if I use 355, I can tell you with the absolute authority of experience that 7 to 8 of the 10 signals illustrated on page E6 will turn RED as you proceed north. Period.

Wooten Parkway, Mt. Vernon Pl., Richard Montgomery Dr., 355/28, E. Middle Lane, "entrance to shopping center," North Washington St., and Mannakee St. are all RED, RED, RED. EVERY TIME. Believe me, because it is so infuriating to make the trip on 355 or 270.

Yet, Halsey writes that all of those plus Monroe St. and Beall Ave. are green, and that the total trip will take you only 3 minutes and 5 seconds.


I don't understand where Halsey is getting his information besides Ike Leggett and county press releases. Has he ever actually driven on 355?

What happened to accuracy?

This article was clearly a hoax, an exercise in reporting naivete, or a calculated attempt to help our current elected officials - who have created the traffic mess we deal with each day - get reelected despite their failed "leadership."

The Washington Post thinks you - its few remaining readers - are idiots who will believe anything. Surely an editor would have realized this piece was depicting a sheer fantasy about one of the most notoriously gridlocked counties in America. Right?

It's outrageous.
Following up on the latest Comcast story... Is it any wonder that Comcast bills continue to be outrageously high, and customer service poor, if our elected officials are receiving perks such as the free TV time given to Attorney General Doug Gansler?

That's in addition to the usual fat checks our monopoly utitilites write to incumbent politicians. What exactly goes on inside our MoCo government's "county cable office?" We are experiencing the same problems we were 10 years ago, as even those with limited cable packages are paying big bucks. And constantly losing channels! For example, why in the name of Pete does the basic digital box cable seniors and low income residents were forced into upgrading to not include basic channels like MTV2, CMT, and G4? It's outrageous. And so were the lines I've been told those customers were forced to stand in at Comcast HQ in Shady Grove.

There is no legitimate competition, unless you are willing to give up county government channels, or give your entire telecommunications business to one company - or both.

That's thanks to our elected officials, who continue to do nothing about the abuse of the public by cable and utility monopolies, which exist in every city across the country.

This is the year to change that, by electing those who are willing to bring about change and introduce competition to stagnant markets that drain the average citizen's wallet.

Monday, January 04, 2010


Maryland Attorney General Receives Free Airtime from
Cable Monopoly Under his Jurisdiction
Another Exclusive!!!

Well, it may still be the 12 Days of Christmas on, but the investigative reporting doesn't stop for holidays. This blog doesn't comment on the news; it makes news.

And here we go again.

Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler has been appearing on a Redskins pre-game show on Comcast Sportsnet for an unknown number of game days this season. This raises ethical questions for a number of reasons.

First, as a sitting attorney general, Mr. Gansler has an active campaign account and is widely expected to run for reelection. This puts reporting requirements and limitations upon what types of in-kind contributions he may accept. In my opinion, extended airtime such as this qualifies as an in-kind contribution. Especially in an election year as we are right now.

Second, Mr. Gansler is in a powerful position to make rulings affecting Comcast's business and operations within the state of Maryland. On-air personalities and other Comcast employees are, in effect, acting as unregistered lobbyists by pandering to Mr. Gansler and giving him this tremendous advantage his prospective election opponents will not have.

Third, the Washington Post company has a business relationship with Comcast and Comcast SportsNet. Is this an attempt to buy favor on behalf of the Post Co., as well? If the Post. Co. is willing to give this special, political favor to Mr. Gansler, are they also going to give him favorable coverage on the Post's pages and website? We'll monitor this, and hold all parties accountable.

I hope the Post, Gazette, Examiner, etc. will hold them accountable as well.

Ultimately, the voters - sports fans included - will hold our public officials accountable on election day.

In the meantime, I am looking forward to an invitation from Comcast to be part of the on-air team for the Orioles games this season.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Watch an exclusive new video on the Robert Dyer Channel, as the 12 Days of Christmas continue on!!!

Meet the "Big Cheese of New Orleans" as I unbox an assortment of Elmer's Chee Wees snacks, direct from Louisiana: