Tuesday, June 24, 2014


We Virginians LOVE Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and, short of you Marylanders changing your laws so he can have a third term, the best thing for Virginia is that you elect O’Malley’s hand chosen successor and present understudy Anthony Brown as your next Governor!  Electing Brown will ensure Virginia can continue eating your lunch in business for at least another four years.  As a matter of fact, on 20 Oct the Washington Post just reported this headline:  "Construction giant Bechtel's Reston move shines spotlight on Md-Va business rivalry."  Keep up the Good Work!


Under the O’Malley-Brown Team and his liberal Democrat fellow-travelers, Maryland has acquired a well earned reputation as a state that is so extremely unfriendly to business and job creators that they are fleeing in record numbers.  Virginians are confident that Anthony Brown will continue the current anti-business crusade that has allowed your neighbor to the south to flourish while Maryland has been hemorrhaging businesses, jobs and even taxpayers in record numbers.  As a result of additional taxes and fees stemming from 40 separate O’Malley-Brown increases, wealthy Marylanders are fleeing the state faster than the state can drain their bank accounts!


The well respected CNBC business network scored and ranked all 50 states using the “51 Measures of Competitiveness” developed with input from business groups including the National Association of Manufacturers and the Council on Competitiveness. States received points based on their rankings in each metric. Then, they separated those metrics into ten broad categories, weighting the categories based on how frequently they are cited in state economic development marketing materials. That way, their study ranked the states based on the criteria they use to sell themselves.   The entire 50 state ranking is appended at the bottom of this entry but here is a snap shot of how Maryland and Virginia compare.  I would note that Maryland, at #40, did beat out #41 Mississippi by “a smidgen” while Virginia came in a strong #5!

Overall Rank
Cost of Doing Business
Quality of Life
Technology & Innovation
Business Friendliness
Cost of Living
Access to Capital

To reinforce that the CNN ranking was not an aberration, the nonpartisan Tax Foundation ranked Maryland even lower at #41 in the nation for business climate.  Today Maryland's unemployment rate is 75% higher than when the recession began and the main cause is it costs too much for job creators to stay in let alone come to Maryland. According to data released on 20 Jun 14, by the U.S. Department of Labor, Maryland shed 1,300 jobs in May 14 in both the public and private sectors and the unemployment rate jumped to 5.6 percent.  By contract, Virginia’s unemployment rate is a full half percent lower at 5.1%.  Hence, that sucking noise you Marylanders hear all the time is jobs and businesses fleeing your state!  Within the past couple of years Maryland lost out to Virginia when Northrop Grumman, SAIC and CSC all relocated their headquarters from your clone state, California, and after looking at Maryland they all decided Virginia was a much more business friendly location.  

According the Washington Post's Washington Technology publication, of the 100 largest Government Contractors, 41 are headquartered in Virginia and just 5 are in Maryland; only one is in DC.  Of the Top 20, 11 are in Virginia and only one in Maryland.  Given over two-thirds of the Nations Capital is surrounded by Maryland, business climate and not proximity is the reason for Maryland's dismal performance.  And the main factor driving businesses (and Marylanders) away from your state can be summed up in one word – TAXES!


The O’Malley-Brown administration has levied 40 consecutive taxes on Marylanders in their term in office.  From increases in sales and income taxes, to regressive taxes such as the gas tax and rain tax, Marylanders are paying more for just about everything than they were seven years ago. These taxes have taken $9.5 billion from Maryland’s economy and are projected to cost $20 billion by 2018.  Maryland is now one of the highest taxed states in the country and the O’Malley-Brown Team has been innovative in dreaming up new ones – Maryland is the ONLY State that taxes citizens for the rain that falls on their property!


Over 31,000 Marylanders have voted with their feet since 2007.  As a result of the O’Malley-Brown historic tax increases, those 31,000 Marylanders that left the state took $1.7 billion yearly out of Maryland’s economy and took it to the more tax-friendly states, such as Virginia and North Carolina.  Along with those 31,000 taxpayers, Maryland lost over 6,500 small businesses, the worst in the region, thus showing the state’s inability to support business, produce jobs and maintain its tax base is eroding. The state has lost 10 of its 13 Fortune 500 companies.  This is a sharp contrast to 24 large corporate headquarters in Virginia.  In a recent pole, almost half of All Marylanders said they would leave the state if they could.

The Good News for Virginia is, with leaders like the O’Malley-Brown Team in Annapolis, we don’t need to worry about competition from our neighbors to the North.  We Virginians LOVE the O’Malley-Brown Team and many of us even contributed funds to their elections because they are the best thing that's happened to the Virginia economy in years.  Their anti-business policies are directly responsible for driving down our unemployment rate to the lowest on the Atlantic seaboard and now with their other harebrained initiatives like their off-shore wind turbine fiasco Virginia will do even better.  Their wind turbine fiasco, which locks Maryland taxpayers into paying for a 20 year binding contract to buy uneconomically feasible electricity from a bunch of their political cronies, will accelerate the loss of the few manufacturing jobs left in the State!.  Already electricity in Maryland averages 12 cents/kW hr while it’s only 8 cents across the river in Virginia but off shore wind will drive it up to 18 cents/kW Hr in Maryland.  Although the O’Malley-Brown Team only “intends” to tack on $1.50 for residential and 1.5% onto industrial monthly power bills, the rest of the costs will just be paid by other taxes such as your new 9% State Income Tax (on top of 35% Federal), increased sales tax and your new 24 cent/gal gas tax.  Don't forget your new "flush tax!"  Marylanders can't even take a crap without being taxed!

So PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE Marylanders, Elect Anthony Brown as your next Governor so Virginia can continue to grown and prosper.  My only advice to you is, in your haste to flee the State is don’t forget to leave someone behind to turn out the lights.

And here is the side-by-side Maryland-Virginia comparison recently published in the Washington-Post and below it are some other observations about how the two states stack up.

Here are some observations -- More are coming:
  • Virginians have 2.7 Times more Registered Firearms yet Marylanders are 2.5 times more likely to become a victim of violent crime!
  • Maryland has 30% more Lawyers by population - guess that's to service all the additional criminals Maryland has than Virginia.
  • Maryland teachers' salaries are 8th highest in the nation and 20% more than Virginia teachers (tied for 32nd) and Maryland is 9th in the nation in per pupil spending at $14,616 while Virginia is 20th spending $11,192 yet Marylanders SAT scores were 30 points lower than Virginia students in 2012.  In the past year while O'Malley has been off running for President and his approval ratings have plunged 13 points to a mere 41%, Brown has been running the state with disastrous results.  Brown's mismanagement of the state's ObamaCare website rivals his ineptitude in managing the education system.  He has managed to double last year's 30 point gap with Virginia to 62 point in the last round of SAT testing.  According to a 7 Oct 14 Washington Post article, state-wide the Maryland SAT average dropped 1468 while Virginia's average increased to 1530.
  • Maryland does NOT even meet the requirements of the Individual & Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) "guaranteeing students a free and appropriate education" while Virginia had no problem satisfying the law.

Completely CNBC State Rankings for Business Competitive.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Why Does the Liberal Press Continue to Lie About General Eric Shinseki’s Tenure as Army Chief of Staff?

Isn’t It About Time the Liberal Press Puts to Bed the Myth that General Eric Shinseki Was Fired as Army Chief of Staff and Cashiered Out of the Army for Confronting Defense Secretary Rumsfeld Over Post Invasion Troops Levels that would be Required in Iraq?

Since the day in December 2008 that President-elect Obama announced retired Army General Eric Shinseki to be his nominee to be the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Liberal Press with NPR in the vanguard has advanced the myth that the General had been fired from his job as Army Chief of Staff by then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and “cashiered” out of the Service for disagreeing with him over the number of troops required to stabilize Iraq after the invasion – when NOTHING could be further from the truth.  Although this false narrative might have enhanced the General’s bona fides with Liberal Democrats, NPR's natural constituency, it does not comport with the facts.

FACT:  General Shinseki served as Army Chief of Staff for every minute of his entire four year tour.  To be completely accurate, he served two terms as a term is two years but with few exceptions Army CSAs serve two terms.  He did not leave one minute early and even he has repeatedly stated this.

This week as VA Secretary Shinseki was actually being cashiered by President Obama, NPR continued to perpetuated the Rumsfeld firing myth and I heard several NPR commentators describe the General’s Pentagon departure as “being fired,” “cashiered,” and “removed from his job.”  Here are just a couple of examples:

On 30 May NPR Morning Edition Steve Inskeep: Can I just mention briefly, this is a difficult thing for a Democratic President to do because Shinseki as a general became a hero to many Democrats. He was a serving general who was perceived anyway as having lost his job because he spoke forthrightly about the pending cost of the Iraq war that was on the way at the time

On 30 May All Things Considered Quil Lawrence: That contradicted the George W. Bush administration's plans of a quick invasion with a much smaller force. His candor effectively ended a 38 year Army career, which included two combat tours in Vietnam, two Purple Hearts - one from the landmine that caused most of Shinseki his foot.

And now the Real Story:
I’ve known General Eric Shinseki since we were Fort Leavenworth CGSC Classmates back in 1978, and back in 2008 I blogged the truth when NPR and even the Washington Post tried to enhance his reputation among Liberals by broadcasting these outright falsehoods about his tenure as Army Chief – a post he served in until the last minute of his term and from which he was NOT Fired.

The best explanation of GEN Shinseki “relationship” with then Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and his now-famous February 2003 Senate Armed Services Committee testimony was contained in an 8 Dec 2008 article by Jamie McIntyre, the CNN Senior Pentagon Correspondent.  In that article, Mr. McIntyre made the following points:

Shinseki told the Senate Armed Services Committee a month before the invasion that something on the order "several hundred thousand troops" would be necessary to keep order in a post-invasion Iraq…. Still, Shinseki wasn't advocating 300,000 troops be dispatched into Iraq… he said specifically that the forces mobilized in the region to that point were probably enough, and he made it clear he would have defer to the combatant commander, Gen. Tommy Franks…."I would have to rely on combatant commanders' exact requirements," he said…. pressed by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, to make an off-the-cuff guesstimate, Shinseki said "it would take a significant ground force." …. At the time, that observation drew loud scoffs from then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and from his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, who dismissed the prediction as "wildly off the mark."

Since that day, critics of the war have lauded Shinseki's prescience and his willingness to speak truth to power….   It's an appealing narrative, but the facts as we know them are not nearly so complimentary to the retired Army chief…. Shinseki never made any recommendation for more troops for Iraq…. According to senior military officers who were in the pre-war meetings, Shinseki never objected to the war plans, and he didn't press for any changes…. When the joint chiefs were asked point-blank by then-Chairman Gen. Richard Meyers if they had any concerns about the plans before they went to the president, Shinseki kept silent.

…. Washington myths like the popular misconception that Shinseki was fired for standing up to Rumsfeld…. is so pervasive the authoritative Associated Pres repeated it …  saying "Shinseki was removed from [his] post after challenging the Bush administration." ….  He did not stand up to Rumsfeld, nor was he fired.

There's no question that Shinseki was on the outs with his civilian bosses, especially Rumsfeld.

He retired after serving a full four years as chief at a ceremony in 2003 that neither Rumsfeld nor Wolfowitz attended.

To be fair, NPR and the Washington Post were not the only Liberal news outlets that perpetuated the Shinseki firing myth.  As usual, NBC in general and Tom Brokaw in particular fell right in line and on Meet the Press on 7 December 2008, when President-elect Obama made the following announcement: "I'm going to be making announcement tomorrow about the head of our Veterans Administration, General Eric Shinseki" -- BROKAW made the following comment: "He's the man who lost his job in the Bush Administration because he said we will need more troops in Iraq than Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld thought we would need at that time."

For the record, GEN Shinseki stepped up from Vice Chief to become the Chief of Staff of the Army (CSA) in June 1999 and served his entire COMPLETE four year term until June 2003. Characterizing this as "losing his job" is par for the course for "history revisionists" like Brokaw and NPR.

What is true is the General was treated very shabbily by Rumsfeld after his prophetic but controversial testimony with his replacement being identified earlier than usual and Rumsfeld not attending his retirement -- All inexcusable. As a retired 30-year Army Officer and CGSC Shinseki Classmate, I like most Soldiers was no Rumsfeld fan, but even GEN Shinseki has corrected interviewers when they mistakenly mention he was dismissed early.

I would also mention that GEN Shinseki did not counsel NOT to go into Iraq, only correctly that we needed more troops to maintain order after that government was toppled.

Isn’t it about time the Liberal Press put that "firing" myth to bed?