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Posted by madinmaryland in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Sep 22nd 2010, 09:52 PM
They say private companies can provide far better and cheaper services, but they have spent the last 30 years decimating government services such that they cannot provide adequate services.

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Posted by madinmaryland in The DU Lounge
Wed Feb 20th 2008, 02:04 PM

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Posted by madinmaryland in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Fri Feb 08th 2008, 08:51 AM

Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes and Help Hospitalized Veterans.

An envelope arrived in our office the other day. It had the bulky, tawdry look of junk mail: pink and lavender Easter eggs, a plastic address window and a photo of a young man in fatigue shorts using crutches to stand on his only leg. “Thousands of severely wounded troops are suffering,” it read. “Will you help them this Easter?”

It was a plea for money from the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, one of the worst private charities — but hardly the only — that have been shamefully milking easy cash from the suffering and heartache caused by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The coalition and its sister organization, Help Hospitalized Veterans, were among a dozen military-related charities given a grade of F in a study last December by the American Institute of Philanthropy, a nonprofit watchdog group. These and other charities have collected hundreds of millions of dollars from kind-hearted Americans and squandered an unconscionable amount of it on overhead and expenses — 70 percent or 80 percent, or more. The usual administrative outlay for a reputable charity is about 30 percent. Money that donors surely assumed was going to ease the pain and speed the healing of injured soldiers went instead to junk-mail barrages, inflated executive salaries and other forms of corporate-style bloat.

It’s all legal. There is very little regulation in the charity game, and if someone like Roger Chapin, the “nonprofit entrepreneur” who founded the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes and Help Hospitalized Veterans, wants to mismanage your money, he has great leeway in doing so. His veterans’ charities raised more than $168 million from 2004 to 2006, but spent only a pittance — about 25 percent — to help veterans. The rest, nearly $125 million, went to fund-raising, administrative expenses, fat salaries and perks. Mr. Chapin gave himself and his wife $1.5 million in salary, bonuses and pension contributions over those three years, including more than $560,000 in 2006. The charities also reimbursed the Chapins more than $340,000 for meals, hotels, entertainment and other expenses, and paid for a $440,000 condominium and a $17,000 golf-club membership.

And what did the soldiers get? Try almost $18.8 million in “charitable” phone cards sent to troops overseas in 2006 — not to let them call their families, but rather to call up a stateside business that sells sports scores.


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Posted by madinmaryland in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Tue Apr 04th 2006, 12:23 PM
Next Thursday April 6 between 12-3pm in the Jack Morton Auditorium (same location as the original CrossFire was shot
in). /
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"D'Amato and Weld Locked in G.O.P. Feud"


For the last few months, William F. Weld's bid to become governor of New York has had a sharp thorn in its side: the outspoken opposition of the onetime kingmaker of state Republican politics, former Senator Alfonse M. D'Amato, who has said that Mr. Weld is "without any real experience" in New York.

Yesterday, Mr. Weld struck back in force, telling how their feud dated at least to a 1996 encounter in which Mr. D'Amato gave him $750,000 in donations for his Senate campaign that year against John Kerry of Massachusetts. The donations, according to Mr. Weld, came with an expletive-laced warning: that Mr. Weld distance himself from Robert S. Mueller III, who as a Justice Department official oversaw a federal fraud investigation of Mr. D'Amato's brother, Armand, in the early 1990's.

"If I ever see that expletive Mueller at an expletive fund-raiser, I'm going to get every expletive dollar of this back out of your hide," Mr. Weld, a former Massachusetts governor, quoted Mr. D'Amato as saying. Mr. Mueller, a friend of Mr. Weld's, has been the director of the F.B.I. since 2001.

Mr. D'Amato yesterday vigorously denied that the encounter had taken place and said he had not even met Mr. Weld until recently, at a Feb. 23 fund-raiser for Representative Vito J. Fossella. But newspaper articles indicate that Mr. D'Amato introduced Mr. Weld at a 1996 Republican fund-raiser in Washington.

The clash exposed in the most bare-knuckled form the searing divisions that have afflicted state Republicans as they seek to find credible candidates to run for governor and to challenge Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in November.


The best thing for Hillary is to have "pothole Al" back in the spot light!!!
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Posted by madinmaryland in The DU Lounge
Fri Mar 24th 2006, 08:37 AM
Sonia & Panda


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Posted by madinmaryland in Editorials & Other Articles
Thu Mar 23rd 2006, 08:12 AM

Published: March 23, 2006
Diebold, the electronic voting machine maker, suffered another sharp setback recently, when Maryland's House of Delegates voted 137-to-0 to drop its machines and switch to paper ballots. The vote came in the same week that Texas held elections marred by electronic voting troubles. Maryland's State Senate should join the House in voting to discontinue the use of the Diebold machines, and other states should follow Maryland's lead.

Maryland was one of the first states to embrace Diebold. But Maryland voters and elected officials have grown increasingly disenchanted as evidence has mounted that the machines cannot be trusted. In 2004, security experts from RABA Technologies told the state legislature that they had been able to hack into the machines in a way that would make it possible to steal an election. Senator Barbara Mikulski, a Democrat, informed the State Board of Elections in 2004 that voters had complained to her that machines had mysteriously omitted the Senate race.

The Maryland House's bill calls for replacing the Diebold machines with optical scanning machines for this fall's elections. Gov. Robert Ehrlich Jr., once a Diebold supporter, has said he'll sign the bill if the State Senate agrees. Optical scanning machines would be a vast improvement. Voters using them fill out paper ballots, which are scanned electronically. Those ballots are a permanent record that can (and should) be used to double-check the machine results. Although time is short, Maryland should be able to get optical scanning machines operating by the fall. Even though the Board of Elections has been resisting the proposal, that should not stop the General Assembly and the governor from fighting for machines that voters will trust.

The Maryland House voted days after Texas held an election with the sort of disturbing electronic voting glitches that have by now become common. In Tarrant County, as many as 100,000 extra votes appeared on the machines — election officials insisted that they knew which ones to eliminate to make the results correct. In a hotly contested Congressional race in another part of the state, results were delayed by programming errors in the machines used in two crucial counties. Many states have passed laws requiring paper records for electronic voting. What is happening in Maryland is important, because not a single member of the House stood behind the once popular Diebold machines. It is just the latest indication that common sense is starting to prevail in the battle over electronic voting.


Maybe this is finally going to happen!! Hats off to our Senator Mikulski!!
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