Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Prodigal Pol (Tuesday LINKS)

"What a jerk."

Jane said it before Elliott Spitzer had the opportunity to speak.  His face, on television, beside his tearful wife in a reminder to the public of what brought Spitzer from the New York Governor's Mansion to MSNBC commentator was enough.  He was a jerk (and there would be no defense from me).

But Elliott Spitzer is back in politics.  He is running for New York City Comptroller.  Many have suggested that the successes of Mark Sanford in South Carolina and Anthony Weiner in his bid for New York City Mayor have inspired Spitzer to put back up the straw hat and give it another go.

This is one area of politics for which I am completely dense.  I had a conversation with a friend about two weeks ago during which I said, word for word, "There is no coming back for people like Elliott Spitzer."  That would not be so bad a prediction had I not also said, four months ago, "South Carolina is not going to re-elect a guy who abandoned his office to run away with his mistress."

But that conversation with my friend two weeks ago was not about Elliott Spitzer.  It was about whether a woman, exposed under the same circumstances as Anthony Weiner, would be able to recover.  If there were semi-nude pictures of a female politician, would there be any possible way she could resume public office?  Possibly displaying the same density noted above, I said "most likely not", but I think I may be right on this one. 

I understand the retort that what these people do in their personal lives has little relevance to their ability to do the job, but I don't agree.  I think infidelity shows you something about a person's world-view.  Leaving moral judgments aside, it shows you a person who cares more about themselves than their best friend, life-partner, and parent to their children.  Imagine where that leaves us.

What a jerk.


Social media went crazy over the news that Main Street Ellicott City would be getting a new coat of paint.  I don't know if we'll have the numbers, but I wonder if the "vote every day" campaign did as much for Howard County Tourism as the ultimate paint job.

And on that note, I would like to officially welcome the new Howard County Government beat reporter Amanda Yeager to town.  

I strongly recommend taking the time to read this article in the Washington Post by Eli Saslow about child hunger, poverty, and the USDA's attempt to feed the rural poor outside of the school year.

Justin Fenton with The Sun notes that community activism in response to Baltimore's recent spat of violence has given some hope that change may be possible.  A "300 Men March" over the weekend far exceeded that total, with some even estimating closing to 600.

The sequester has resulted in $1.5 billion in cuts to the National Institute of Health, which, in turn, has cut funding to research programs at Johns Hopkins.  One would presume that if law-makers had actually made affirmative choices about these cuts, instead of tying the chainsaw to a rope and letting it swing, they would not have cut funding to the greatest advances in prolonging the human life the world has ever known.  Maybe that's just me.

Featured Blog Post of the Day: HowChow gives a rundown of recent food finds across the region.  Always worth a click.

That's all for today.  Have a great Tuesday doing what you love.