“What is a mere individual to do? Live as sane and decent a life as you can, love your family and friends and understand that everybody is in this together." 

 · Ron Smith


The Race Card Cometh Yet Again

Derek Hunter 

Political pundits often refer to the time we’re in now – a few weeks out from an election – as the “silly season.”

It’s a time for obsessing over gaffes real and perceived, faux outrage over harmless statements and a general sense of desperation on the part of one candidate or perhaps both. This cycle’s silly season started early, which is to be expected when the challenging party picks its nominee early and the incumbent party has no record of success to promote. But that early start means we sometimes run out of “silly” early and head straight to desperate – and absurd.

Virginia State Sen. Louise Lucas, a Democrat from Portsmouth, already has run out of silly. An official representative of the Obama 2012 campaign, a member of its “Truth Team,” no less, Sen. Lucas went on the John Fredericks Show in Virginia to discuss the presidential election and went off the rails. If you support Mitt Romney, she said on the air, you’re a racist.

Usually, leftists play the race card a little closer to the vest. They slip it into the game subtly, through hints and occasional one-liners. But not Sen. Lucas. She pulled it right out … early … and tossed it into the middle of the table.

“What I am saying to you is Mitt Romney, he's speaking to a segment of the population, who does not like to see people other than a White man in a White House or any other elected position,” she said.

But she wasn’t done. She continued, “Let's be real clear about it... let's be real clear Mitt Romney is speaking to a group of people out there who don't like folks like Barack Obama in any elected or leadership position. We know what's going on here, and some people may be afraid to say it but I am not. I am not afraid to say it.”

She was “real clear,” all right … but only about her own bigotry and ignorance.

Lovely, right? The Obama “Truth Team” has yet to condemn this statement from an officially sanctioned campaign spokesman.

In 2003, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton said, “I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration, somehow you're not patriotic. We should stand up and say we are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration.” Aside from the fact no one had suggested she couldn’t debate or disagree with the administration, she was absolutely right. But don’t tell that to Sen. Lucas.

According to Sen. Lucas, “All the folks who are saying 'We don't like Barack Obama' they can't tell you any reason they don't…”

No reason? None at all? How about three years of unemployment above 8 percent every month and growth below 3 percent every quarter? Or the $5 trillion in new debt, ObamaCare or recess appointments when Congress wasn’t in recess? I could go on, but to Sen. Lucas, I’ve already gone too far. I’m a racist. I wonder if my opposing President Clinton makes me a redneck-ist. Or my opposition to President Bush’s Medicare prescription drug program makes me a…actually, there isn’t a word for people who oppose things Republicans propose because the people with the hair-trigger to name-call all oppose Republicans. Weird.

Senator Lucas is mad – about what or at whom I have no idea. But she’s happy about one thing – she’s managed to pollute her children’s minds with her sickness. She told Fredericks, “I absolutely believe it's all about race, and for the first time I've convinced my children finally that racism is alive and well.”

Great mom, eh?

When asked “Even in Virginia?” she replied, “In Virginia? How about all across this nation. And especially in Virginia!”

I guess she, a black woman, was elected by a bunch of racists. And I guess President Obama carried Virginia in 2008 because all the racists there forgot they were racists for a while.

Or maybe, just maybe, this country isn’t a racist country. This is where I add the caveat that racism still exists, in people of all colors, but in smaller numbers all the time. Progressives would like people to believe we’re a nation full of Mississippi Democrats from the 1950s, but we’re not.

Criticism of – and dislike for – the policies of a president who happens to be black does not a Klansman make.

Nor does judging the President by the standard he set for himself when he said in 2009, “I will be held accountable. I’ve got four years….A year from now, I think people are going to see that we’re starting to make some progress, but there’s still going to be some pain out there. If I don’t have this done in three years, then this is going to be a one-term proposition.”

It’s not “done” in any sense – not even close. Every piece of economic data suggests it hasn’t even started in the direction of being “done.” But don’t tell that to Sen Lucas, lest she call Barack Obama a racist. 

Courtesy of Jonathan Garthwaite @ Townhall.com



So, today, the Governor, sandwiched between Miller and Busch, surrounded by gambling expansion supporters Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, and a dozen of representatives of organized labor a/k/a the gang that waged high-powered lobbying efforts in favor of the proposal, called lawmakers back to Annapolis for another special session, this time betting on the passage of the expansion of gambling in the Free State.

The188 members of the General Assembly will gather August 9th to debate the issue at the cost of $30,000 a day. The second Special Session is expected to last a couple of days.

The session will give legislators just enough time to debate and vote on whether to put the proposal for expanding gambling and pave the way for a casino in P.G. County on the November ballot.

The legislation hasn’t yet been written but that’s just a technicality. The Governor said it is “still being hammered out" and the full bill “will be released a few days before the legislature convenes.”

The state’s 67% tax on slot machine revenues will remain at that rate for now, or as O’Malley said, “until the citizens make a decision about whether there would be a sixth site.”

If the proposal passes, O’Malley said it will add an additional $100 million in state revenue with the “bulk” of it going to education and will create thousands of construction and permanent jobs. “It’s time now to act and put this issue behind us so we can move forward on the other issues” facing the state, he added.

No doubt it’s a divisive issue. So is the second special session. Assembly Republicans have objected to this special session and argued that the issue should be handled in next year’s session.

This boils down to a Rocks, Paper, Scissors-style game between the Democrats and Republicans with a few new rules. Rocks will be thrown, tons of paper wasted printing the bills, retorts, testimonies and newspaper reports, and in the end, the scissors held by the Governor and controlling party will cut through all of it to get what they want.

Running with scissors seems to be the new motto of State Government. 

June Smith founded this site in memory of her late husband, Ron Smith, WBAL Talk Show Host, Emmy Award winner, and Baltimore Sun Columnist. Smikth was a media titan in Maryland and beyond for almost forty years. Mrs. Smith is working diligently to raise one million dollars for the Ron Smith Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund at Hopkins. She blogs for Red Maryland www.RedMaryland.Blogspot.com. Her email is june@friendsofronsmith.com.



Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

By Henry Payne

Courtesy of Jonathan Garthwaite @ Townwhall.com



Rob Douglas

The killing of 12 and wounding of 58 moviegoers in Aurora by alleged gunman James Holmes has reignited the debate about gun control — including whether citizens should be able to carry concealed handguns. The debate should be put to rest. After all, if a man won’t abide by the laws against murder, he won’t abide by gun control laws.

In the past 30 years, the overwhelming majority of states, including Colorado, have legalized the carrying of concealed handguns. Currently, the legislative trend is toward further reduction of existing state restrictions on concealed handgun permits and increased permit reciprocity between the states.

To date, more than 6 million Americans have availed themselves of their right to carry a concealed handgun. As expected after an incident like the Aurora mass shooting, there will be an increase in the number of Americans purchasing weapons and seeking permits to carry guns.

Carrying a gun brings a tremendous responsibility — the responsibility to assure yourself that you have the maturity and competence to be in possession of a deadly tool. Make no mistake, a handgun is a deadly self-defense tool and one that I carried for a number of years during my career as a private detective.

From the day I decided to carry a gun, I set personal ground rules that went beyond what the law required to obtain a concealed handgun permit. I followed the rules until the day I stopped carrying a weapon. Those rules included but were not limited to:

■ At the outset, three months of weekly gunfight training with a combat firearms instructor

■ After the first three months, monthly range shooting and quarterly gunfight training

■ Keeping the gun completely concealed at all times

■ Never informing anyone that I was armed

■ Never consuming alcohol while carrying a gun

■ Storing all guns appropriately at home or work

My self-imposed rules are not unique among those who routinely carry guns. Most everyone who carries a deadly weapon quickly realizes doing so is a responsibility and, indeed, a burden. There never was a moment that it wasn’t in the back of my mind that I was armed.

On more than one occasion I walked away from situations that, had I not been carrying a gun, I might have allowed myself to engage in a confrontation. Twice, I was physically assaulted while working. During those fights, my paramount concern was ensuring that my gun remained holstered and concealed so the assailant wouldn’t attempt to grab it.

If you’re considering obtaining a concealed handgun permit because of the events in Aurora, wait a month. Let the emotion of the moment pass. Then, do an honest appraisal of your need for a concealed weapon. Be forthright with yourself about whether you will invest the time and training needed to carry a gun competently and responsibly.

If you decide to move forward in the permit process, enroll in a firearms training class that goes beyond what is required for the gun permit. Find the best instructor you can. Go shoot. Shoot a lot. Shoot under every conceivable circumstance. Get to know your gun like the back of your hand.

After you receive your permit and you are carrying your weapon, keep training. If you stop training for more than several months, stop carrying your weapon. You owe it to yourself. More important, you owe it to those around you should the day come that you must employ your weapon in self-defense.

Bottom line: With few exceptions, law-abiding Americans have the right to carry concealed handguns for self-defense. The Aurora massacre won’t change that reality, nor should it. But, the right to carry a concealed handgun brings the responsibility to train in the proper use and handling of that deadly weapon.

Steam Boat Today, July 26, 2012

Since 1998, Steamboat resident Rob Douglas has been a commentator on local, state and national politics in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Colorado. To reach Douglas, email rdouglas@SteamboatToday.com.