Hogan: Tax Cuts in Maryland Could Be Delayed

Jayne Miller made the following tweet today
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From a lede of a story in The Daily Record by Bryan Sears:

Maryland’s incoming governor said Monday that a larger-than-expected budget gap will likely affect how quickly he can keep a campaign promise to roll back taxes.

Hogan also said, “The problem seems to be even greater than we expected it to be.”

More from the Sears article:

“I’ve been talking about these issues for three years. Much of the time I was the lone voice in the wilderness talking about the problems. Now people are starting to realize that what we were talking about is true,” Hogan said. “Quite frankly, even I am surprised at the magnitude of the problem. The task ahead of us is vast.”

Hogan getting in front of this issue before he even takes office is a good move to prevent Democrats from hitting him on it. Hogan pointing out the state’s budgetary woes were even worse than he thought before he is even inaugurated should insulate him from criticism on the issue.

Hogan blaming O’Malley at this point is a valid thing to do and a Democrats would look hypocritical to attack him over it. After all, Nationally, Democrats and the President blamed all of the nation’s woes on the Bush administration for several years and, here in Maryland, the hyper-partisan administration of Martin O’Malley was an active player in the Blame Bush cavalcade.

With that being said, the delay in tax relief should not be much of one or it might actually hurt Hogan politically, especially if the Democrats try to sabotage his administration on this issue.

UPDATE
NBC Washington reports:

Gov.-elect Larry Hogan says he remains committed to pursuing tax relief in his first year as governor, despite a projected budget shortfall of more than a half a billion dollars.

Hogan, a Republican, said Monday in an interview with The Associated Press that he would consider calling a special session next year to do more work on the state’s finances, if that’s necessary.

Governor-Elect Hogan supports late-term abortion restrictions

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During the campaign, the Anthony Brown campaign dug into Larry Hogan’s past statements going back thirty years to try to scare some voters by making it look like Hogan could and would singlehandedly roll back Roe v. Wade if elected. Hogan initially said his past positions were “superfluous” because abortion is settled law in Maryland.

As the Democrats continued to hit Hogan, his campaign responded with an ad featuring his daughter. The ad included a pull quote from Hogan and a line from his daughter basically saying he wouldn’t do anything to restrict or roll back a woman’s right to choose.

I was a bit surprised that this didn’t result in further pushback by the
Democrats since Hogan answered a question about late term abortions by the Maryland Catholic Conference by saying:

If legislation were passed by the legislature that reflected reasonable restrictions to that effect on third trimester abortions past the point of fetal viability I would sign it.

Brown answers the same question, as I noted before, by saying:

I believe in a woman’s right to choose under Maryland law. This is a decision between a woman and her doctor.

Much legislation proposed now restricting late-term abortions is based on fetal pain and not just viability. I don’t foresee such legislation getting through the General Assembly yet for Hogan’s signature. I am more astonished that the Brown campaign did not hit Hogan on this issue and instead chose to dig up remarks he made in the early 1980s.

It’s either because they were incompetent (the election loss makes me think that’s why) or they were afraid to touch the issue themselves since Maryland has become a destination for late-term abortions.

The administration of Martin O’Malley and Anthony Brown gave a license to notorious late term abortionist Leroy Carhart, despite Carhart’s track record and his lies on his application. As a result, Jennifer Morbelli died after a botched abortion at Carhart’s Germantown facility. Complaints were filed against Carhart’s license, but “no deficiencies” were found in her death by the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Brown also told the conference that he had opposed a ban on physician-assisted suicide in the past when he was a legislator. As reported at LifeNews.com, Hogan would oppose legalizing physician-assisted suicide.

As I’ve noted before, I didn’t vote for Hogan in the primary. However, as I noted before the general election:

In the document A Brief Catechism for Catholic Voters, Fr. Stephen F. Torraco, PhD wrote that voting for a pro-abortion candidate is a mortal sin. Fr. Torraco also wrote that voting for a candidate who cites personal opposition to abortion while still voting for it would make the voter “an accomplice in advancing the moral evil of abortion.”

When none of the candidates for a particular office are completely pro-life, it’s necessary to choose the candidate that will do the most to promote a culture of life. There are many incremental steps that can be taken in Maryland to advance the pro-life cause. Otherwise, Maryland will continue to be a state where minors have to get parental consent to go to a tanning bed, but not to kill their unborn child.

Based on the principles I wrote about, I voted for Larry Hogan. I also detailed before the election about the reasons I couldn’t vote for Brown.

In the future, I will look at some of the executive actions and appointments that Larry Hogan can take as governor to protect the unborn – many of them non-controversial.

Report: WHO/UNICEF sterilized Kenyan women without their knowledge

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Catholic World News:

The Catholic bishops of Kenya have revealed that young women have been sterilized without their knowledge as part of a vaccination campaign sponsored by UNICEF and the World Health Organization.

Over 2 million young women in Kenya have been vaccinated as part of the international campaign, which was promoted as a drive against tetanus. However, in October the Kenyan bishops expressed fears that the vaccine being administered to young women also contained a sterilizing agent. The bishops told the Fides news agency that “we are convinced it is a masked program of population control.”

Now tests has confirmed that the vaccine contains HCG, a hormone ordinarily produced by women during pregnancy. When HCG is taken prior to pregnancy, it causes the woman’s body to manufacture antibodies that will cause miscarriage in future pregnancies.

Testing multiple samples of the tetanus vaccine, Catholic health-care workers found HCG contained in every one. The tests were taken after health-care workers noticed that the vaccine was being administered differently to women of child-bearing age.

Of course, Kenyan officials deny it.

Larry Hogan should do this on Day 1

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I remember a news story from the day Gov. Martin O’Malley was sworn in the first time in 2007 that dealt with the lightning speed with which state government workers replaced the small signs attached to all the highway welcome signs at the borders and at places like the Key Bridge in Baltimore. Pretty quickly after O’Malley became governor the old Bob Ehrlich signs were taken down and the new ones (see above) were put up. I’ve heard anecdotally that Ehrlich was the first governor to add these signs, but I have yet to see anything authoritative. [Update: I have since heard that there were signs for Governors Glendening and Schaeffer.]

Clarification – I am referring solely to the bottom portion with the name of the governor. That is actually a separate sign.

When Larry Hogan becomes governor these O’Malley signs should come down and not be replaced with Hogan ones. The production and installation of these signs might be a small number relative to the overall state budget, but the symbolism is important. It would be further proof of Hogan’s commitment to efficient stewardship of the taxes paid by the hard-working people of Maryland.
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Placing a portrait of the new governor and lieutenant governor in every state building probably should not be completely eliminated, but that is another early task that can be looked at to make sure it’s done as inexpensively as possible.

Another matter of signage that became more prevalent after all the federal stimulus project signs included the name of President Barack Obama on them is the state government construction project sign that basically brags a governor, lieutenant governor, and local officials brought government largesse to a particular area. This is something else that should be looked at as a place to cut government spending.

Larry Hogan can help reinforce his overall message just by doing these simple things.

Is it a mortal sin for Catholics to vote for Anthony Brown?

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I will start by noting that I am not going to answer the question in the title. I am going to note what has been said about the subject by much more eloquent writers than me and let the reader decide. Additionally, Anthony Brown is a placeholder in the subject line, so if you’re not in Maryland, like I am, you should substitute any other pro-abortion politician on the ballot Tuesday.

I’ll begin by urging Catholics to make the sacrament of Reconciliation a regular part of their lives if it isn’t already. Before you go to confession you should do a good examination of your conscience. One online examination of conscience asks the person examining their conscience if they “supported or voted for a politician whose positions are opposed to the teachings of Christ and the Catholic Church.” I’ll also note that two smartphone apps used for examining your conscience, both Confession and Mea Culpa, include certain voting behavior among their lists of sins. Specifically, the Confession app asks the user if they have “supported or voted for a politician whose teachings are opposed to the teachings of Christ and the Catholic Church.” The Mea Culpa app explicitly calls “voting for someone who is pro abortion” a Mortal Sin. (For anyone reading this who needs a quick primer on the definitions of mortal sin and venial sin, check out the very easy to read discussion at Catholicism for Dummies.)

I recently wrote the following:

In the document A Brief Catechism for Catholic Voters, Fr. Stephen F. Torraco, PhD wrote that voting for a pro-abortion candidate is a mortal sin. Fr. Torraco also wrote that voting for a candidate who cites personal opposition to abortion while still voting for it would make the voter “an accomplice in advancing the moral evil of abortion.”

When none of the candidates for a particular office are completely pro-life, it’s necessary to choose the candidate that will do the most to promote a culture of life. There are many incremental steps that can be taken in Maryland to advance the pro-life cause. Otherwise, Maryland will continue to be a state where minors have to get parental consent to go to a tanning bed, but not to kill their unborn child.

Anthony Brown got a D from the Maryland Catholic Conference on this issue and told them:

I believe in a woman’s right to choose under Maryland law. This is a decision between a woman and her doctor.

He also told the conference he supports a discussion on physician assisted suicide, but that he voted against a ban on it as a legislator.

Brown is a Catholic but he has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. I previously discussed the obligations Catholic elected officials have on life issues in the primaries.

Yes, there are other issues of importance to Catholics, but, as Saint John Paul II noted, the right to life is “the first right, on which all the others are based, and which cannot be recuperated once it is lost.”

If you already voted for a candidate who supported abortion in early voting, whether here in Maryland or another state, you should also examine your conscience as well.

A Catholic’s Prayer on Reformation Day

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Via Catholicism.org:

O Mary, Mother of mercy and Refuge of sinners, we beseech thee, be pleased to look with pitiful eyes upon poor heretics and schismatics. Thou who art the Seat of Wisdom, enlighten the minds that are miserably enfolded in the darkness of ignorance and sin, that they may clearly know that the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church is the one true Church of Jesus Christ, outside of which neither holiness nor salvation can be found. Finish the work of their conversion by obtaining for them the grace to accept all the truths of our Holy Faith, and to submit themselves to the supreme Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth; that so, being united with us in the sweet chains of divine charity, there may soon be only one fold under the same one shepherd; and may we all, O glorious Virgin, sing forever with exultation: Rejoice, O Virgin Mary, thou only hast destroyed all heresies in the whole world. Amen.

Here’s what Francis J. Beckwith wrote in 2010:

Since returning to the Catholic Church in late April 2007, I find Reformation Day has taken on a different meaning than when I stood on the other side of the Tiber. Nevertheless, even as a Protestant, my enthusiasm for October 31 never rose higher than modest appreciation for what I thought were Luther’s, and later Calvin’s, significant contributions in helping Western Christians to retrieve what had been lost. I say “modest appreciation,” since it always seemed to me rather unseemly to get too excited about schism and mutual charges of apostasy and heresy. It would be like celebrating the tenth anniversary of your divorce. You may think that the divorce was a good idea, but not because you think divorce itself is the proper end of a marriage.

Luther himself, though excommunicated, never saw his movement as anything more than a renewal movement within the Church. We, of course, know now that the movement he started had a life of its own, resulting in scores of different and often conflicting understandings of Scripture, sacrament, and Church, and each finding something in Christianity’s traditions to challenge.

More from Beckwith:

It is not surprising, then, why it is sometimes difficult for both Protestants and Catholics to think of ecclesial unity as the proper state of Christ’s Church. Because we are modern people, we tend to think of the Church as a collection of individual choosers, each with his own autonomy that may not legitimately be subject to something outside itself without good reason. That is, we assume that the burden of proving the necessity of ecclesial unity is not on the individual believer, but rather on the corporate entity that demands his allegiance. The Church, in that sense, becomes the enemy of faith, an unwelcome intruder into the believer’s pious solitude. For the modern mind, it would be like the commodity choosing the buyer, since religion, like sex and commerce, is just another act between consenting adults, which by implication makes the authority of creeds the doctrinal equivalent of annoying chaperones.

Ironically, this sort of mindset, which sees schism as proper and unity as unnatural, is one of the conceptual catalysts that helped lead me back to the Catholic Church. For I began to see that the whole idea of theology as something that is mine to choose – like a pair of slacks that I can have tailored for my own specifications – was precisely the problem. As long as “Church” was something that was under me rather than me under it, I was doomed to a life of ecclesiastical promiscuity despite my best efforts to practice safe sects.

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.