In the News

Kujanblog, in association with Google news search (not really), brings you interesting news from around the state.


Somewhat discouraging article in the WAPO about Charles Dutton and his support for Mike Steele. Dutton, the actor and Baltimore native recorded a radio ad for Steele, but is dismayed by the reports of homeless men from Philadelphia being paid to distribute misleading (to say the least) campaign literature.

Dutton then goes on to make some completely unsupportable claims about Ben Cardin and Martin O'Malley. Apparently, all Dutton wanted out of Steele was a Senator who would return the calls of his Black constituents. But, but, but... what about passing legislation that will make America a better place for working folks and for folks in poverty? Nah, just phone calls.


In case you didn't know already, the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walters Art Museum have been offering free admission since October 1st. Guess what has happened since then?

Museum attendance is up more than 200%.

My girlfriend and I dropped into the BMA a few weeks ago and it was totally worth the 10 minute walk from my Charles Village apartment. I might try to make it to the Walters this weekend.

The Baltimore Museum of Art
The Walters Art Museum


On the medical front in Maryland, the Maryland Health Care Commission is working on a plan for the assembly that would require all Marylanders to buy health insurance. A similar bill passed in Massachusetts. It would require employers to pay the lions share of health plan costs for their employees, and the kicker is that the employee has the choice when it comes to coverage, not the employer, as it always has been.

Towards the end of the article, I noticed this awesome piece of news:

A $1 per pack increase in the state cigarette tax is being pushed by the Maryland Citizens Health Initiative to raise an estimated $200 million a year to expand Medicaid to more adults and to subsidize small businesses that can't afford to pay for health insurance for their employees. The Maryland Hospital Association considers expanded health insurance coverage its top priority.

As a smoker I actually see this as a good thing. First, it creates revenue that Maryland desperately needs after 4 years of Ehrlich. Secondly, and most importantly, if state and city governments are serious about ending tobacco use (I don't even think it should be on the radar) the best method is increasing the tax on it. Bans in bars do nothing but hurt business and force me to smoke outside. Raising taxes is the key. I wouldn't buy a pack of cigarettes if it cost $9, but I will probably still buy them at $5.15, which will be about the price of a pack of Camel lights after the proposed tax increase.


And finally, my main man for 2008, John Edwards, visited Maryland, bring with him his message of honesty and economic populism:
But it was his focus on honesty that seemed to resonate most strongly with several in the crowd, many of whom waited in line after his speech to have their books signed.

"Most politicians follow a package that sells, and I'm tired of being lied to," said Jan Chapman. "He's genuine and I don't think he can be bought by special interests. That's very rare."
Indeed it is.

See ya' in the comments.

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