Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Libby Guilty (and Some MoCo Stuff, Too)

Originally posted at MoCoPolitics.

Less than two hours ago, Scooter Libby was found guilty on four of the five counts against him in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Between Walter Reed, the emerging U.S. attorney scandal and this, it's been a bad, bad week for the Bush Administration. How sad -- not. ;-D

Seems like as good a reason to come out of "blogger hibernation" as any.

And while I'm here, a few more choice tidbits:

(1) Peter Franchot throws down on Mike Miller and Martin O'Malley.

Went to the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee annual brunch on Sunday. Saw, was seen and the usual political palaver ensued. Everyone (literally) was there -- O'Malley, Mikulski, Cardin, Wynn (is he still a Democrat?), Leggett, the County Council, and Comptroller Peter Franchot. Chris Van Hollen was both under the weather and mourning the passing of his mom.
It was refreshing to see such MoCo appreciation from Baltimore politicians Cardin and O'Malley; Cardin especially seemed genuinely cognizant and appreciative of the support he received here. One hopes that in 2008 and beyond, the rest of the state's Democratic Party recognizes, as Cardin clearly did, that the road to statewide electoral success runs through Montgomery County.

Then Peter Franchot stood up to speak. And he threw down the gauntlet right in Martin O'Malley's gubernatorial face (literally, as O'Malley was sitting right in front of him). Franchot said, and I am paraphrasing from memory, anyone who supports slots cannot be a real progressive. Slots are evil, slots are exploitative, and we as Marylanders must not allow slots to become a reality. The reaction from the room was, to be as polite as possible, stunned. O'Malley then stood up, and after giving his "thank you very much" bit, proceeded to respond to Franchot, stating that, again paraphrasing, we're not going to do anything about slots this year anyway, and by the way, Mr. Franchot, telling someone they're a bad person for thinking a certain way is kind of like what that bad Mr. Ehrlich used to do.

Whoa. Clearly, Franchot did not (nor, honestly, should he have) heeded the warning shot issued by Mike Miller some weeks ago about the job description of the comptroller being a "tax collector and not a policymaker." More importantly, something tells me that those Board of Public Works meetings are going to be just a wee bit testy for the foreseeable future.

(2) What is up with Marilyn Goldwater?

Noticeably absent from the Central Committee brunch was Delegate Marilyn Goldwater (D-District 16). Word has it she has been equally absent from the House of Delegates since the session began in January (only attending around 10 out of the 40 legislative days thus far, and none in the past month or so). Questions were raised regarding Goldwater's health during last year's campaign, so it would appear that her health has taken a turn for the worse. While this is obviously highly unfortunate, one must wonder whether the residents of District 16 are aware that one-third of their House delegation (and Vice Chair of the Health and Government Operations Committee) has for all intents and purposes been absent from the current legislative session.

(3) Why has there been so little reaction to this story?

We live in one of the most affluent areas of the country. Montgomery County in particular is in the top ten jurisdictions in terms of per capita income. We shower money on our schools and on our other services. Even Prince George's County, while not as affluent as MoCo, is the most affluent majority-minority jurisdiction in the country. Whatever our shortcomings, we are not, forgive me, Alabama or Mississippi or Texas.

So how is that the reaction to a 12-year-old boy dying, in essence, of an untreated toothache, can be so muted? Yes, there are proposals for this and that, and yes, Ben Cardin, bless him, stood up on Sunday at the Central Committee brunch and was outraged that we do not have basic dental care available to our citizens. But where is the public outrage? We are upset about development (Dan at Just Up the Pike, by God, thinks we need more of it, and is going to tell Ike Leggett and each and every one of our Council members precisely this), and yes, the war in Iraq and other national issues certainly demand some of our attention, but where in the name of all that is good and holy is the @#$@#$@ outrage over a child dead from lack of a dentist?

OK, I'm exhausted. Like exercising, I shouldn't blog too much the first time out in quite some time. More soon -- really, I promise.

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Blogger OnBackground said...

thanks for letting us know about the fireworks at the brunch -- sounds more interesting than is so often the case. and for reminding us what other things we should be watching out for.

come with us to freestatepolitics.us?

3/07/2007 05:50:00 PM  

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