November 2012

The University of Maryland caught the ACC most of the NCAA off guard, when they announced on Monday that they would be leaving the ACC and joining the Big 10 conference starting in 2014.

For Maryland it was an offer they felt they couldn’t afford to turn down, as the Big 10 offered the university a chance to earn more money through television contracts than the ACC could hope to and in the process help close a yawning sports budget deficit that led to the cutting of seven sports programs.

The announcement has brought widespread disbelief from the student body, and concern from coaches and players who aren’t sure what the future holds for the program.

Maryland isn’t the first team to change sports conferences, but it may be one of the most shocking considering they had been a charter member of the ACC since its inception in 1953.  They now become just the second team to ever leave the conference- South Carolina departed in 1971,  and they weren’t on anybody’s radar screen as a potential defection.

As a Maryland graduate, I have mixed feelings.  If the school can improve its bottom line when it comes to athletics, then that’s great.  It was a tragedy that they had to chop some of the non-revenue programs, especially ones that were competing quite well, but now maybe, some of them will get a second chance with the Big 10 realignment.

There are still some hurdles facing Maryland- including determining whether or not the regents vote was legal, as well as the $50 million exit fee they owe the ACC- one that they voted against, making me wonder if a move wasn’t in the works long ago.

I won’t miss the regular beatings in football that Maryland suffered at the hands of Virginia Tech and FSU, but they will only be replaced by Penn State and Michigan , and maybe a few others, making their conference play a much tougher road to hoe.  On the other hand, it might be fun to travel to a Big 10 away game and the huge stadiums most schools play in.

But I will miss the basketball rivalries against Duke and UNC in particular, but the Big 10 has some excellent basketball schools and more exposure for Maryland’s resurgent basketball team won’t hurt.

College sports has become a big money game-witness the constant realignment of the various conferences all done on the basis of automatic bowl bids and more television money, which means that Maryland’s move while certainly not the first, will definitely not be the last.

It’s been two weeks since the election, but you wouldn’t know it by the daily barrage of stories in the media of Republicans wallowing in their misery and trying to figure out how to fix their broken party.

Yes, the Republicans suffered a rather surprising defeat in the presidential election, but the Civil War that has been so heavily mentioned in the media within the party has largely been driven by the media would like nothing better than to see the party fight to the degree that they will be too weak to defend their turf in 2014.

Of course it hasn’t helped that several Republican leaders have bought into this notion and have run away from Mitt Romney and the Tea Party faster than you can say “boo,” but instead of banding together and putting up a united front, they have decided to play the blame game to the media’s delight.

There is no doubt that Romney should have won the election. But he was hobbled by a brutal primary campaign that gave the Democrats plenty of fodder for the general election.  The same could have been said had any of the other Republican candidates won the nomination as well, since the primary was more about beating each other up, than beating the president.

Romney was plagued by other problems as well, but when your party brings 2 million fewer voters to the polls than they did for John McCain, the problem is larger than the candidate.

And it wasn’t just the presidential race that was a problem.  The GOP lacks a credible system for vetting their Senate candidates and making sure they are media ready.  For two elections in a row, the Democrats were ready to give the Republicans majority control and twice the GOP ran unprepared candidates in key races and dug themselves a deeper hole.  They’ll have another chance in 2014, but they have to do a better job in selecting and preparing candidates were skewered by the media in 2010, and 2012.

The media has also been dancing prematurely on the grave of the Tea Party.  On the one hand the Tea Party suffered losses in key Senate and House races, but overall they still helped keep the Republicans in control of the House, and the incoming GOP freshmen are more conservative as a whole than those who lost their seats.  And the election did bring the party Ted Cruz in Texas who will be star for many years to come.

So to all those in the GOP who are whining and moaning about losing two weeks ago, stop it now, and start recruiting for 2014 and beyond and build a ground game.

And stop all the talk about how the party has to change.  If you can’t stick to your core principles, then get out!

The longer you complain the more the liberal media will divide you. And who needs four more years of the clowns at MSNBC whooping and hollering?

The union, which was behind the strike at Hostess Brands that was cited by the company in its decision to shut down operations, is hopeful that not only will a buyer emerge to save the company, but a new owner would offer higher wages than they were previously receiving.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Frank Hurt, president of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union which represented 5,600 workers at Hostess, told the paper that a buyer could be encouraged to offer worker’s a better deal after seeing the negative reaction to Hostess’s proposal.

Say what?  The union head thinks that because the workers resoundingly rejected the company’s contract proposal which was aimed at cutting costs that a new owner would automatically pay the workers more?

What universe is he living in?

There have been plenty of rumors swirling around that buyers are looking into the possibility of buying the iconic Hostess and Wonder Bread brands, but it is more than likely that they will just absorb the brands into current operations and will need few of the former Hostess Brands workers and their costly union wages and benefits.

Hurt is just trying to put a good face on a disastrous situation for his union.  Accepting lower wages and benefits is never easy, but throwing  his 5,600 striking members out of a job along with the nearly 13,000 employed by other unions, shows just how badly he misjudged the company’s threat to close down unless the workers accepted a new contract.

Well at least he lived up to his name by putting a big Hurt on his members, just before the holidays.

Former NBC Evening News anchor Tom Brokaw, told the hosts of The Cycle on Monday that anyone who thinks the Tea Party is going away will be disappointed, an that they are an insurgency that will continue.

I’ve been talking to them. It’s an insurgency – and they’re going to continue.However large or small, their success is in this election, they have found their purpose in life.

Now that the election is over, the liberal media are dancing on the grave of the Tea Party after some tough, but not totally unexpected losses in Indiana, Missouri, Illinois and Florida.

What they are forgetting though is that the Tea Party also won races, with Ted Cri=uz in Texas being one of the biggest ones, as he is likely to hold that seat for decades to come if he so wishes.  Also the Republicans easily held on to the House, and there are plenty of Tea Party candidates among the victors.

It probably wasn’t easy for Brokaw to give a nod to the Tea Party- but at least he realizes that like any nascent political movement, they will hit a few bumps in the road and that it’s virtually  impossible to win every race they contest.  Especially when many of them are not professional politicians and will undoubtedly stumble on occasion.

Overall last night the victors outnumbered the losers, and it should only help cement the importance of the Tea Party in our political landscape.

President Obama did his best to spin the jobs report on Friday as a sign of progress, but as the liberal New York Times reported it’s not all wine and roses.

A report from the National Employment Law Project, a liberal research and advocacy organization that focuses on labor issues, found that while the majority of jobs lost in the downturn were middle-income jobs, the majority of the jobs created since then had been lower-wage ones.

And for those looking for a job, things are still tough.

 “I’m not just competing against all the other people who are out of work,” said Griff Coxey, 57, of Cascade, Wis., who was laid off in May from his controller job at a small business. “I’m also competing against all those people who are actually working but are underemployed.”

We don’t need another 4 years of stagnant or low-wage job growth. We need some real leadership and real action that will put this country back to work and move it forward not backward, as we have been for the last four years.