Sunday, March 12, 2006

Politics, shmolitics...

The warm weather has lowered my level of maturity considerably.

Although it's not labeled as such, there is a regular feature on Sundays in the Sun that rounds up all the overtly political stuff from the week before (I have no idea why they don't follow my lead and simply label everything that could possible turn into a recurring feature).

Anyway, to make things easier on me, I'm going to title this weekly article Politics, Shmolitics. Sure, it's not very original, but it gets the point across.

Today in Politics, Shmolitics, David Rakes -- after showing up unnannouced and uninvited to the Columbia Democratic Club candidate forum on Wednesday -- continues his march towards irrelevancy.

Rakes seemed intent on showing that he is not intimidated by party critics.

"He's a fine, fine young man," Rakes said, gesturing at Calvin Ball, a declared candidate for Rakes' seat. Rakes defeated Ball in the primary election in 2002.

"I beat him up good four years ago, and if I run again, I'll beat him up again," Rakes said as Ball sat, grim-faced.

Later, when candidates facing contested primaries were asked by a club member if they would support Democratic nominees even if they lost the primary, Ball vowed that he would, but Rakes took a roundabout route before answering.

"I'm a leader," Rakes said. "A leader does what has to be done when it needs doing."

After discussing other things, he seemed to return to the query by saying, "To answer your question, yes, indeed."

Okay, I'll admit that it would be great to keep him around just to hear what he's going to say next. Not that I want him in a position that requires him to make decisions affecting the future of this county, though. Perhaps he can start a blog, or he can guest-blog here at Howard County's Third or Fourth Most Popular Weblog On Local Issues.

Back to the story. As a public service, the Sun reminds us who to thank when our energy bills practically double this year.

Who among Howard's current elected officials voted for electricity deregulation in 1999?

Not Democratic Dels. Elizabeth Bobo or Frank F. Turner, who opposed the bill. Del. Shane E. Pendergrass was absent.

Voting for the bill on final reader was Del. James E. Malone Jr. and Sen. Edward J. Kasemeyer, also Democrats.

All five of Howard's elected Republicans at the time supported the bill.

Remember, the best way to thank a politician is not by writing a letter or sending a card. Use November 7, 2006 wisely.

Finally, practically the entire second half of Politics, Shmolitics is devoted to a "tax policy debate." But quoting a bunch of politicians spewing partisan attacks does not constitute a "debate;" that's a pissing match. If you want a real debate, stick with the bloggers.

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