Cumberland Times-News

October 31, 2008

Maryland to stay true blue

Jan Alderton, Managing Editor

It has been 20 years since a Republican candidate for president has won in the state of Maryland. That streak is not likely to be broken Tuesday.

Maryland has long been considered a blue state, but Republicans still have managed to carry the state in six of 15 elections since 1948. The breakdown:

1948 — Dewey (R) over Truman (D)

1952 — Eisenhower (R) over Stevenson (D)

1956 — Eisenhower (R) over Stevenson (D)

1960 — Kennedy (D) over Nixon (R)

1964 — Johnson (D) over Goldwater (R)

1968 — Humphrey (D) over Nixon

1972 — Nixon (R) over McGovern (D)

1976 — Carter (D) over Ford (R)

1980 — Carter (D) over Reagan (R)

1984 — Reagan (R) over Mondale (D)

1988 — GHW Bush (R) over Dukakis (D)

1992 — Clinton (D) over GHW Bush (R)

1996 — Clinton (D) over Dole (R)

2000 — Gore (D) over GW Bush (R)

2004 — Kerry (D) over GW Bush (R)

With Maryland’s lopsided Democratic registration, it is little wonder that Republicans have an uphill fight. The state has about 1.9 million Democrats and 926,000 Republicans. Tuesday’s election turnout is forecast to be as high as 85 percent....

Local historian Al Feldstein provided us with a copy of the local page of the Cumberland Evening Times of Feb. 21, 1952, showing a photograph of confiscated slot machines being destroyed.

The caption said the 20 machines were smashed by the Allegany County sheriff and roads department employees and the money was turned over to the county treasurer, James W. Bishop. It was not indicated where the machines were found.

Slot machines will be legal in Allegany County if Tuesday’s statewide referendum on gambling is approved by voters....

The federal Food Stamp Program is a thing of the past. It’s official name is now the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the program, said the new name represents a “new era” and more accurately reflects the program’s mission. Perhaps the SNAP was borrowed from the snap, crackle and pop slogan of a popular cereal....

A recent Times-News article about the Allegany County school board election focused on whether candidates should have a certain level of education to be qualified to run. One of the candidates, Tim Iman, recently received his GED certificate.

According to the Web site increasebrainpower.com, there are many famous people on the high school dropout list. Among them are actor Michael J. Fox, comedian Jim Carrey, George Eastman, founder of the Kodak company; Thomas Sowell, economist, author and political commentator; Dave Thomas, founder of the Wendy’s restaurant chain, and Ansel Adams, photographer and author.

But the Website also points out that in recent years it has become less common for dropouts to succeed in many areas because diplomas, degrees and official papers have become more important to society....

Copper thefts continue to be a problem for the railroad industry. Numerous thefts have occurred in Morgan County, W.Va., where thieves have stripped several thousand pounds of copper from overhead lines at random times and locations between Hampshire County and Hancock....

If you are planning to fly over the Thanksgiving holiday but have not yet made reservations, you may find it a rough go.

USA Today reports airlines will offer almost 3,000 fewer domestic flights a day during the Thanksgiving season, promising fewer choices, fuller planes and higher fares.

Compared to last Thanksgiving, there will be 11 percent fewer flights —2.6 million fewer seats — on non-stop domestic routes from Nov. 20, the Thursday before Thanksgiving, through Nov. 30, the Sunday after....

Seen on the Internet — Election Quotations:

• The politicians were talking themselves red, white and blue in the face — Clara Boothe Luce.

• Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right? — Robert Orben.

• We always want the best man to win an election. Unfortunately, he never runs. — Will Rogers.

• A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman, of the next generation. — James Freeman Clarke.

• Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few. — George Bernard Shaw.

• Those who stay away from the election think that one vote will do no good. “Tis but one step more to think one vote will do no harm. — Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Jan Alderton is managing editor of the Cumberland Times-News. Contact Jan Alderton at jpalderton@times-news.com.