Democratic Donkey I went to a local Democratic Club fish fry this weekend and set up the sound system. Almost everyone there except me and the musicians was a candidate, married to a candidate or on the central committee. There may have been 40 people at the height of the event. The level of popular enthusiasm was underwhelming.

This is the problem with Democratic Party voters. They only come out during Presidential election years and don’t care otherwise. I predict big losses for the Dems in the house and Senate this year.

Maryland State Flag

Welcome to the newly revived Carnival of Maryland, a compilation of blog posts by Marylanders and/or about Maryland. Between February of 2007 and April of 2009 the Carnival appeared 56 times on various blogs, all having to do with the state of Maryland. This is the 57th edition. If you would like to participate in future editions, you may submit tour Maryland related posts through our submission page at .  If you would like to host an edition, please email me at the address in this blog’s sidebar.

Maryland Social and Entertainment Scene:
There are lots of things to see and do in Maryland and Maryland bloggers want you to know about them.

Clark’s Picks shows a video of a performance of the Santa Cruz River Band at Rock Hall’s The Mainstay.

Angie likes to go to a bar in Baltimore called Howl at the Moon where people drink too much, out of buckets and using straws, and tip the piano players too much to play requests.

Summer is Icumin In:
Some of those good things only happen in the summer.

Lynn Brtlet’s Ocean City Maryland Blog has a calender of Ocean City events for SUMMER!.

Inside Charm City announces Soft Shell Crab Week!

Breaking News: according to Oriole Post, the Orioles aren’t doing so well.

Politics:
What good would blogging be without politics to argue about?

Joyce Dowling of Creating a Jubilee County: Prince George’s Co., MD, took some notes on an immigration question at candidate forum in Prince George’s on same day as Obama visited Silver Spring.

Pus Polling in Montgomery County is the subject at Maryland Politics Watch.

Maryland Conservatarian is not impressed that E.J. Dionne is impressed with Elena Kagan.

The Natural Capital Wanats to know what you hope will come out of President Obama’s Great Outdoors Initiative.

Raynard Jackson, or P. Kenneth Burns or somebody on Maryland Politics Today is against amnesty for illegal aliens, but isn’t nasty.

Leviathan Montgomery doubts that the benefits of Real ID will outweigh the costs.

The Greenbelt defends Massachusetts Governor Duval Patrick’
s right to call Republican opposition to Obama administration policies almost seditious.

Oil In The News:
Did you ever wake up with oil spills on your mind?

Monoblogue wants everyone to know that the oil industry isn’t particularly happy with President Obama’s moritorium on offshore oil drilling.

Kevin Dayhoff – Soundtrack quotes a breaking story on the Washington Post, that Topkill has failed.

Blogging for Bloggers:
Sometimes you gotta blog about blogging.

C. Dowd Art, Illustratiion & Design encourages artists to use Facebook or it’s equivalent , despite what Dowd calls Facebook’s privacy “cluster”.

This concludes the 57th Carnival of Maryland. Te next edition will appear at I’ll Never Forget The Day I Read A Book! on June 13th. See you there.

Carnival of Maryland

The first edition of the newly revived Carnival of Maryland will be posted on this blog on May 30, 2010. Anyone may participate, however I will need to be convinced that your post is about Maryland in some way. Please submit you Maryland related posts at http://blogcarnival.com/bc/submit_1134.html right away!

Vice President Joe Biden gave a speech this weekend on a US Navy ship. Fortunately the “Mission Accomplished” banner was nowhere to be seen, however in his comments he told a story about something that Admiral Mullen, the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a secret, hush hush meeting with the President. “I can’t tell you the event because it’s classified, but I can tell you what happened,” the V.P. said.

You can’t tell us that it was about the recent pirate hostage rescue, Joe? How come?

I got another one this morning, an email from David Plouffe, Barack Obama’s campaign manager, asking for a donation. Plouffe’s email says that it is to help overcome the negative messages of those defenders of the status quo who are calling for Obama to fail. I guess he means Rush.

Excuse me, but I was under the impression that President Obama had the resources of the entire executive branch of the U.S. government at his disposal. Why does he need another $25 from me? Come 2011, 2012 I will be ready to donate to his reelection campaign, assuming he continues to have policies that I approve of. I’m not donating to operating budget of the White House.

I see, according to the omniscient Wikipedia, that Plouffe does not even have a job with the Obama White Hose. He’s writing a book about the campaign. Do I get a copy of the book for my $25?

Photo from LIFE photo archive.

Photo from LIFE Magazine archive.

On Thursday, President Obama signed the long delayed Omnibus Spending Bill. He also said that he was going to do something to control earmarks in the future. Congress had attached some 8,000 earmarks in the bill. Each earmark an example of Congresspeople and Senators bringing home the bacon to their respective districts, or of the other guy’s pork barrel spending. John McCain was quite upset that the President signed this pork laden bill, which enables the Federal Government to continue operating, which the last Congress was unable to pass at all. I guess he should have just shut the Government down instead.

When is an earmark bacon and when is it pork? The total cost of the earmarks is less than 2% of the total spending bill. Each of them is for a project that a Congressperson or a Senator asked for in order to benefit that Congresspersons constituents. They go back to their districts and brag about the fine projects that will help the people of their districts, providing much needed jobs, infrastructure or whatever. Republicans do it. Democrats do it. They talk trash about their neighbor’s pork even while they are bragging on their own bacon. Hey, if it smells like bacon it came from a pig. Bacon and pork are indistinguishable.

We can make fun of studies of the sleeping habits of bears in Montana, overhead projectors in Illinois or fish waste processing plants in Mississippi but when you look at individual projects they do seem to be beneficial and not as outlandish as their critics pretend. Maybe the Federal Government should get out of the business of funding school construction, funding research, highway building and job creation. Arizona is doing without, since John McCain refuses to play the game . . . er, he does refuse to bring earmark money to Arizona right?

President Obama wants to bring more transparency to the earmark process but not to eliminate them. He would like to see all earmarks published on a website with the names of their Congressional sponsors attached. It will be interesting to see how that works for him. Congresspeople and Senators loves them some earmarks. They don’t care to have a lot of people looking over their shoulders, though.

Frank Kratovil

Frank Kratovil

The first district Congressional race has been an interesting one and a cliff hanger this year. Republican State Senator Andy Harris defeated eight term Congressman Wayne Gilchrest in the primary, running as a more conservative candidate. This opened the race to a serious challenge from the Democrats who nominated Queen Anne’s County prosecutor Frank Kratovil to run for the seat.

The first district was designed to be a Republican district in the redistricting after the 2000 census. Areas of Baltimore city were removed from the district, so that it included the Republican leaning Eastern Shore counties and some more Republican suburbs in Ann Arundel, Baltimore and Harford counties. This was done, by the State Legislature, to insure the easy reelection of incumbent Democrats in the surrounding districts.

The campaign was marked by negative ads from both sides. Kratovil was portrayed as a tax and spend liberal by the Harris camp, although, as a prosecutor, it was hard to find his voting record on budget issues, while, to listen to the Kratovil ads, you would think that Andy Harris was opposed to motherhood, apple pie and the forty hour work week.

Andy Harris

Andy Harris

The vote was too close to call on election night with Kratovil holding a lead of less than 1,000 votes when all polling places were counted, leaving the election to be decided by absentee and provisional ballots. It was expected that Harris would be able to close that lead, on the conventional wisdom that absentee ballots tend to lean more Republican. At last report Kratovil’s lead had grown to more than 2,000  in the absentee count.

The Associated Press has called the first district race in Maryland for Frank Kratovil. There are some provisional ballots yet to count and neither Kratovil of Republican Andy Harris has yet claimed victory or conceded defeat.

Frank Kratovil can thank Barack Obama for giving him a ride on his coat tails this year. The first district is still the Republican district it was designed to be and he will be facing a strong challenge in 2010.

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