Friday, October 10, 2008

Fun With Wine

I am happy to bring you not one, but two wine-related stories as we head into this weekend. The first comes from the notorious 1st Ward, and Alderman Israel, who is proposing to change the permitted operating hours for wine bars in the MX zone, specifically to allow them to stay open until midnight 7 days a week.

The first thing that strikes me is that I only know of 1 wine bar in the MX district: The Purple Tooth. Catchy name, good cheese, old fire station, fine by me. I just don't like the specificity of the bill--instead of writing a bill for one constituent, how about relaxing the Ward 1 Superiority Doctrine and allowing the rest of the city to operate under the same rule. I think it's a bit of a stretch to compare this bill to Alderman Israel's stance on the 2 a.m. issue, but it's interesting to see how Alderman Israel is willing to extend the business hours for 1 wine bar in his district, yet favors reducing the business hours for the regular bars that comprise the majority of hospitality business in his ward.

The second wine story comes from a letter writer to The Capital. For the ever-increasing new readers of this blog, I enjoy having debates with these letter writers for 2 reasons:

1. These letters writers are either more fanatical, or less fanatical, than me.
2. They cannot debate back.

I have not done one of these in a while. A couple of months ago I cancelled my subscription to The Capital, the result of a joint collaboration of this blog's "save-the-blog-publisher-money" and "stick-it-to-the-man" initiatives. However, I have located a gem on the internet version.

The original text of the letter writer appears in bold, with my uncontested commentary in regular font.

Open letter to Gov. Martin O'Malley:

Since you could not be bothered to attend the Maryland State Wine Festival and present "The Governor's Cup" in person for the second year in a row, I can't be bothered to support you on slots, or for any re-election attempt you may make.

Sadly, I have never won the Governor's Cup. However, I have won the Mayor's Cup, a fictional award that my fictional social club has awarded itself for the past 20 years, in recognition of having the best float in the city's 4th of July parade.

By the way, what an insignificant reason to drop your support for someone!

Dear John McCain: In these troubling economic times with major world issues, I cannot support you on anything because when you had hair, you parted your hair to the right and I part mine to the lef. Dear Gov. O'Malley: I cannot support you, for many other reasons.

Wine production in Maryland is a growing and thriving business. As such it brings in an increasing amount of revenue to this state, which you say is much needed to make up for the shortfall that your tax increases did not bring in.

What O'Malley says about the budget shortfall cannot be believed. He spent us into a deficit by withdrawing $1 billion from the rainy day fund and increasing spending, then "solved" that problem with a special session that raised taxes AND ADDED $600 million or so in new spending, but now there is a deficit again, so O'Malley calls for cuts, but also doesn't call for cuts. Got it?

Many liberals do not understand that raising taxes can actually have a negative effect on total taxes collected, a relationship suggested by the Laffer curve. Not always, not immediately, but eventually. Raising taxes depresses total business output, and encourages businesses to move to lesser taxing jurisdictions (think India, offshore bank accounts, etc.), meaning that the government loses income and payroll taxes. The evidence is too vast for me to enumerate here (mainly because I have a doctor's appointment in an hour), but if commenters press me on the issue, I may be forced to comply.

However, I have noticed that you and your band can play every pub and bar in Baltimore.

Do they take requests?

So I can assume that you're not personally opposed to the sale or consumption of alcohol by adults, just opposed to supporting the entire state instead of just one city.

Have you ever considered a career in politics?


Dear Rhonda,

I live a maverick's life outside of Annapolis, which is near Gambrills. Please send the wine you set aside for Gov. O'Malley to "The Fourth Most Popular Political and Economic Blog In the General Vicinity of The Annapolis Mall, Annapolis, MD, 21401", so I can surprise Mrs. Politics with a fancy dinner.

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