Archive for News

Baltimore, DC named to Top 10 Cities for rats

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Fast Company

Earlier this month, the pest control company Orkin released a ranking of the top rattiest cities–the places that sent out the most rodent-elimination requests in the year 2013. Here are the top 10 winners:

Chicago
Los Angeles
Washington, D.C.-Hagerstown
New York
San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose
Seattle-Tacoma
Detroit
Cleveland-Akron-Canton
Baltimore
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale
Rats are well-suited to carry lots of different diseases that are harmful to humans. Hantavirus, the bubonic plague, and Leptospirosis (a disease causing liver damage) are just a few. Some research suggests that rat infestation problems could be worsened by climate change, as rats tend to breed in warmer and wetter weather. If rising sea levels mean increased flooding, that could mean more ideal habitats for rats to raise families.

Of course this is only counting rats with four legs or DC would likely rank at the top. Earlier this year, Baltimore ranked 3rd internationally for rats in an Animal Planet ranking.

Desperate Democrats Play Race Card in Maryland

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(Via the Maryland Daily Record)

Democrats have already sent racially-tinged mail in Georgia and North Carolina that evoked lynchings and the specter of Michael Brown’s death. Now they’ve sent the above mailer targeting Black voters in Charles and Princes George’s County.

Bryan Sears has more at The Daily Record:

The glossy mailings, sent out in the days before the beginning of early voting, target black voters in key areas in support of Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown. Samples obtained by The Daily Record were sent to voters in Charles and Prince George’s Counties.

“They’ve placed a lot of roadblocks in our path at every turn,” reads the flier over segregationist images from the Civil Rights era as well as more recent photos relating to voter ID laws and real estate mogul Donald Trump and his views on President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

[...]

In addition to the message that evokes racial tension, the mailing urges voters to come out for the early voting period and reminds voters that Brown would be the first black governor in Maryland history—a designation from which Brown has shied away.

Sears also reports no one at the Maryland Democratic Party would comment.

Sears also talked to two political observers about the mailer:

Political observers say the mailings are yet another sign that the race for governor between Brown, the Democrat, and Republican Larry Hogan is closer than the Democratic Party would like.

“I’m not saying they’re scared but the race is definitely tighter,” said John Bullock, assistant professor of political science at Towson University.

Bullock added that the mailing attempts to paint Hogan in a racially derogatory light without using his name or image.

“It doesn’t specifically say Hogan is this person but it definitely goes there,” Bullock said. “It’s making a direct appeal to race and clearly targeting black voters.”

[...]

Todd Eberly, a political science professor at St. Mary’s College, said the mailing is similar to others in North Carolina and in Georgia that highlight racial division to evoke emotional responses in order to turn out black voters.

“This mailing really seems to suggest that some people in Maryland want to take someone else’s rights away,” Eberly said. It’s not a claim that can be substantiated nor defended.”

“The implied ‘they’ has to be Republicans—who else can it be?” Eberly said. “If this is what the Democratic Party has to do to get people to vote then they should probably take a look at themselves in the mirror and ask themselves why they don’t have a positive message to get people to the polls.”

Democrats packed a gym in Prince George’s County Sunday to see President Obama but news reports indicated they weren’t that excited about the Brown campaign. In fact, many of them left during the middle of Obama’s speech. Instead of admitting people left, they tried spinning it in various directions and it blew up in their face.

The fact the Democrats only have this tactic to go to right now shows the race is tighter than they expected and all their other attack ads aren’t work as well as they’d hoped. It’s a desperate tactic whether the situation is desperate for them or not.

The Washington Post ignored crowd streaming out of Obama speech


(Reuters Photo)

I noted last night that Reuters and Politico (including the White House pool report by a reporter from that paper) reported on a stream of people leaving after President Barack Obama started speaking last night at an event for Lt. Governor Anthony Brown in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Democrats tried to spin the reports, including one in The Baltimore Sun, by saying that the people leaving were from an overflow room that the president spoke to first. There was pushback by reporters on this (and pictures were tweeted proving it) and I’ll have more on that in a minute. There were even some Obama supporters on Twitter, when they weren’t calling reporters names, who were claiming the people who left were Republican plants.

The story in the Washington Post made no mention of people leaving at all, whatever the explanation. That story was written by Jenna Johnson and Arelis R. Hernandez (and John Wagner contributed to it.)

Excerpts from WaPo:

President Obama stood before thousands of Marylanders in a high school gym in Prince George’s County on Sunday and urged them to vote for Democrats who fight for the working class — such as gubernatorial candidate Anthony G. Brown.

The president told the largely African American, and wildly enthusiastic, crowd that Republicans want voters to become so cynical that they don’t vote.

[...]

Although Obama has seen his popularity fade in many parts of the county, he was welcomed with raucous applause at Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School in Upper Marlboro. At times, the crowd punctuated each of his sentences with cheers. It also defended him with boos when a heckler challenged Obama on immigration.

It was a level of enthusiasm that Brown has yet to see as he campaigns to become the state’s first African American governor and the nation’s third to be popularly elected.Some in the crowd said they waited in line for hours to see Obama, not Brown.

I noted last night that news reports indicated that a “steady stream of people walked out of the auditorium while he spoke” and that “once the president started speaking, the crowd began streaming out, a few at first, but then by the dozen once Obama was about 10 minutes into his talk.”

Other reports indicated there was a “traffic jam” of people trying to leave.

Maryland Democratic Party Chair Yvette Lewis called the Politico report a “lie” and crappy reporting. She also castigated Reuters and Yahoo for reporting it. She claimed that the people leaving were coming from an overflow room that Obama already spoke to prior to an event. She also had confusing versions of that spin, including saying the people in the overflow were leaving but then claiming they weren’t allowed to leave.

The reporter from Politico engaged with her on Twitter and corrected her and pointed out that the people were in the main room. Obama supporters and Democrats in Maryland and nationally took to Twitter to attack the reports who wrote about people leaving. These included claims of the reporters being “Obama-haters”, “racists”, “liars”, and other attacks. One person on Twitter even claimed that the people who walked out were GOP plants.

Here’s what Jeff Mason of Reuters told one of the Obama supporters (one who also engaged with me last night) on Twitter after she accused him of being a “dumb ass” and a “jealous hater”:

mason-hater

Twitchy also wrote about it and included tweets with details and pictures.

Other links:
Legal Insurrection
The Political Insider
Liberty News

Anthony Brown’s Gaffe: Refers to “Frederickstown” not Frederick

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In Saturday’s gubernatorial debate, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown contributed to the perception that he’s out of touch, especially when it comes to the western part of Maryland.

Near the end of the 10/18 debate, Brown was talking about his travels around the state and recited a number of cities, including “Frederickstown.”

As a response, the campaign of Larry Hogan changed the name of their Frederick page on Facebook to Frederickstown for Hogan-Rutherford.
frederickstown

The complete debate video is below (go to the 53:34 mark for Brown’s embarassing gaffe):

Here’s a quick transcript of the Brown gaffe in question:

When I travel around the state of Maryland… whether I’m in Oakland… whether I’m in Cumberland… whether I’m in Frostsburg, Hagerstown, Frederickstown, families want the same thing….

UPDATE
A parody has already popped up, set to the tune of Billy Joel’s “Allentown”:

Columbus sought gold to fund crusade to retake Jerusalem from Muslims?

christopher-columbus

A Columbia magazine interview with Carol Delaney detailed her background:

[A] cultural anthropologist and long-time professor at Stanford University, had little knowledge or interest in Columbus — that is, until she was teaching a course called “Millennial Fever” at Stanford in 1999 and came across a reference to the explorer’s apocalyptic beliefs. Delaney was intrigued and set out to research Columbus at Brown University in the summer of 2003. Two years later, she retired from Stanford to devote herself to research, which launched a remarkable journey in the footsteps of the explorer.

The same interview discusses Delaney’s book, Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem: How Religion Drove the Voyages that Led to America.

From the interview:

Everybody knows that Columbus was trying to find gold, but they don’t know what the gold was for: to fund a crusade to take Jerusalem back from the Muslims before the end of the world. A lot of people at the time thought that the apocalypse was coming because of all the signs: the plague, famine, earthquakes and so forth. And it was believed that before the end, Jerusalem had to be back in Christian hands so that Christ could return in judgment. Columbus actually calculated how many years were left before the end of the world. He seemed to think of his whole voyage as a mission, which was part of this apocalyptic scenario.

Delaney also discusses Columbus wanting to evangelize and convert the natives after they were instructed in the faith properly. She points out that Columbus thought he could convert the Grand Khan of China to Christianity and that his forces could march on Jerusalem from the east. She also wrote about Columbus ordering his men to treat the natives with respect.

Delaney’s assessment of Columbus and his successes:

He was angry with King Ferdinand for not pursuing the crusade, and he recognized that terrible crimes had been committed. From this point of view, he felt the quest was a failure. In reality, it was a major accomplishment. Columbus went across the ocean four times in small wooden ships, without the use of modern instruments. In the process, he discovered the New World, even though he thought that he had found only the periphery of Asia.

 

From a review of Delaney’s book:

Delaney argues that Columbus was inspired to find a western route to the Orient not only to obtain vast sums of gold for the Spanish Crown but primarily to fund a new crusade to take Jerusalem from the Muslims before the end of the world—a goal that sustained him until the day he died. Drawing from oft-ignored sources, some from Columbus’s own hand, Delaney depicts her subject as a thoughtful interpreter of the native cultures that he and his men encountered, and tells the tragic story of how his initial attempts to establish good relations with the natives turned badly sour. Showing Columbus in the context of his times rather than through the prism of present-day perspectives on colonial conquests reveals a man who was neither a greedy imperialist nor a quixotic adventurer, but a man driven by an abiding religious passion. Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem is not an apologist’s take, but a clear-eyed, thought-provoking, and timely reappraisal of the man and his legacy.

Report: Video shows beheading of British hostage Alan Henning

alan-henning-isis

Associated Press/WPIX:

An Internet video purports to show an Islamic State group fighter beheading British hostage Alan Henning.

The video was released Friday night. It mirrored other beheading videos shot by the Islamic State group, which now holds territory along the border of Syria and Iraq.

The video ended with an Islamic State fighter threatening a man they identified as an American.

The Associated Press could not immediately verify the video’s authenticity, though it was released in the same manner as other Islamic State group videos.

The barbarism continues from the “Religion of Peace.”

Tonight’s Musical Interlude: Forgot About Dre

dre-eminem

Tonight’s Musical Interlude is Forgot about Dre by Dr. Dre featuring Eminem. Consider yourself warned for strong language if you choose to play it.

Top Stories from The Quinton Report in September 2014

TQR-og

Here are the top 10 stories for September based on readership:

  1. Trade in your Ray Rice jersey for a free pizza
  2. Parody video targets Ray Rice in “Video Killed the Ravens Big Star”
  3. Video shows apparent beheading of journalist Steven Sotloff
  4. Natty Boh, PBR now owned by Russian company
  5. Top golf courses rejected Obama over Labor Day Weekend
  6. Did a MD GOP candidate lie about having a college degree?
  7. Bedbugs give some MD state employees the day off
  8. Police: Former WWE Wrestler Sean O’Haire committed suicide
  9. Canonization process for Archbishop Fulton Sheen halted
  10. Did FSU’s Jameis Winston punch an opponent?

Did a MD GOP candidate lie about having a college degree? #integritymatters

cap-scroll

On his editorial board questionnaire for The Baltimore Sun (screenshot at the bottom of this post), Maryland State Senate candidate Don Quinn indicated he has a B.S. from Washington State University. His Linkedin profile (screenshot also below) indicates he has a B.A. in Political Science and Government from Washington State University and was there from 2008-2012. Other candidate profiles online, including this one, indicate that he graduated in 2014.

WSU-logo

Here’s what an official in the Office of the Registrar had to say when asked:

Donald Quinn has not received any degrees from Washington State University.

There is also no listing for Quinn in the online commencement guides at WSU. I’ve laid out the facts and I’ll let my readers decide whether Quinn lied. (The screenshots below are in case any changes get made now that I’ve written this.)

Quinn was also recently in the news when he was blasted on Red Maryland Radio last week for a palm card his campaign was distributing that seemed to attack his opponent, Senator John Astle, over his large gun collection.

Here’s the portion of the card with that claim:

astle-guns

Quinn, who won the GOP primary by a narrow margin over Eric Knowles in June (despite being endorsed by both Bob Ehrlich and Michael Steele), encountered controversy during his primary campaign as well.

Among the things that I reported on Quinn before the primary:

  • Quinn’s residency was called into question and he was driving around a vehicle to events with Washington state plates.
  • He also only registered to vote on January 8, 2014 – the same day he filed to run for State Senate in District 30. He was still apparently registered in WA until then.
  • Quinn registered the domain name for the website FindLocalPot.com and before I pointed that fact out the website also had a copyright notice for his business on the site itself (that disappeared after my report.) Quinn claimed he just did the site for a client he didn’t name despite all the evidence to the contrary. Of course, after Quinn responded in the comments on that story, several comments were left using different names but the same IP address blasting me. These comments stopped when I pointed out the IP address being identical for all of them.
  • The Capital Gazette published a Fact Checker piece that largely agreed with what I wrote about the pot website.  In that piece Quinn claimed he had taken a leave of absence from his business in January, which doesn’t match his spin in the comments on my original piece. Of course, the business was registered in Wyoming and that state dissolved the whole company in January for non-payment of taxes.

As a result of all of this Quinn, a candidate for Senate, took to his campaign website and published a screed attacking a lowly, obscure blogger (me.) It’s a pretty amusing rant to read despite all the falsehoods in it (and yes I saved a copy of it in case it disappears too.) I’m sure the Knowles campaign would’ve been surprised to know about me supporting Knowles after all the abuse they heaped on me when I questioned the timing of when Knowles endorsed Steve Schuh for County Executive.

I stated clearly more than once before the primary that I gave Knowles and Quinn both no chance to take down Astle in November. Knowles’ defense of Michael Peroutka since and Quinn’s attack on Astle for gun ownership show they both would have run into problems in the general election campaign.

This is an issue that should matter to voters, activists, and officials in both party, since it’s an issue of integrity. This is the reason vetting of candidates is a crucial issue for the Republican Party in Maryland.  Otherwise you end up with candidates like Janice Fountaine or you have a state party that attempts to get Michael Peroutka to run for Attorney General.

With all this being said, I would hope generally the Republicans running for the Maryland General Assembly make gains this year. I just don’t expect it to happen in District 30 (I didn’t expect it to there no matter who won the primary.) I’ll be focusing primarily on Democrats and the O’Malley-Brown machine’s attempt to get a third term as governor for the rest of the campaign season this year.

The promised screenshots are below the fold.

Read More…

DC makes list of Top 10 Happiest Big Cities

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MindBodyGreen has this list: “Top 10 happiest metropolitan areas with a population greater than 1 million (as of 2010)”

  1. Richmond-Petersburg, VA
  2. Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News, VA
  3. Washington, DC
  4. Raleigh-Durham, NC
  5. Atlanta, GA
  6. Houston, TX
  7. Jacksonville, FL
  8. Nashville, TN
  9. West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, FL
  10. Middlesex-Somerset-Hunterdon, NJ