Thomas F. Schaller’s latest Baltimore Sun column responds head-on to arguments that the Department of Defense (DoD) should be exempt from sequestration.
Schaller describes several concerns regarding financial waste, fraud and abuse in the DoD, but notes, “The good news is that the sequester, coupled with America’s downsized presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, has actually reduced military spending significantly.”
He writes, “We can have a strong defense, support our troops and veterans, and do so without holding the Pentagon to different standards just because it has the unique and essential duty of defending the nation.”
As the initial shock following last week’s indictment of inmates and correctional officers at the Baltimore City Detention Center gives way to more detailed analysis, the Baltimore Sun is asking what ramifications this case could have on Gov. Martin O’Malley’s future political career.
“It’s a major problem that has to be fixed,” Donald F. Norris, professor and chair of public policy at UMBC, told the Sun, suggesting the debacle’s ultimate political impact will depend on how O’Malley handles it going forward. He noted, “It could tarnish O’Malley. It could also rebound in his favor.”
On Saturday, April 27, UMBC political science professor Thomas F. Schaller spoke at the 9th annual Western Maryland Democratic Summit, alongside Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, U.S. Sen. Benjamin Cardin, U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen and others.
According to coverage in the Herald-Mail, Schaller commented that the Republican Party has become a “Housified party” in recent years. Since 1994, Republican majorities in the U.S. House of Representatives have been driving the policies, philosophy and message of the party, which Schaller argued is to the GOP’s detriment in Senate and presidential politics. On the 2014 midterm election, Schaller predicted the Democrats are unlikely to regain a majority in the House because that would require 18 more seats and there are fewer swing districts across the nation than in the past.
Hilltop Institute Senior Research Analyst Michael T. Abrams, MPH, presented his work on substance use disorder (SUD) treatment to the Maryland Addictions Directors Council on on March 11, 2013. The work focuses on coordination of care and cost saving opportunities evident in the federal Affordable Care Act, and traceable within Maryland’s Medicaid program.
On April 10, 2013, Abrams presented a description of three UMBC-centered research projects examining supported employment for persons with serious mental illness at the Behavioral Health Research Conference. The University of Maryland Department of Psychiatry and Maryland Mental Hygiene Administration sponsored the conference. The audience included statewide policymakers and other stakeholders.
Two of the projects are federally funded and direct collaborations between The Hilltop Institute and the UMBC Department of Public Policy, and the third was the dissertation project of Brent Gibbons (Public Policy PhD candidate). All three studies are under the leadership of David Salkever, professor of public policy. To learn more about these projects, contact Abrams at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As injured survivors of the Boston bombing start their long and challenging road to recovery, Washington D.C.’s WTOP interviewed UMBC’s Seth D. Messinger yesterday on the topic of rehabilitation following traumatic limb loss.
Messinger, an associate professor of anthropology who works primarily with service members, notes, “the question is whether or not civilian patients are going to be able to have the kind of time in therapy or in rehab that military patients take for granted.” He also highlights the financial hardship that the recovery process might place on victims and their families, remarking, “It’s not only the individual who’s injured who then steps out of work, but also a caregiver.”
Thomas F. Schaller, professor of political science at UMBC, offers his expertise on Maryland politics in a new Governing Magazine article that asks “Are the States Deepening the Nation’s Red-Blue Divide?”
The article explores how the expansion of unified party control and legislative supermajorities at the state level are impacting policymaking, examining what policies are being approved in strongly Republican and strongly Democratic states.
The article identifies Maryland as a Democratic state that has taken a turn to the left with recent legislation on assault weapons, education, same-sex marriage and the death penalty. “Maryland is getting bluer in election results,” says Schaller; conveying that Maryland’s GOP has become increasingly marginalized.
Yesterday’s allegations that state prison guards helped a gang operate a contraband smuggling scheme from behind bars at the Baltimore City Detention Center are prompting strong responses from Maryland lawmakers. While Sen. Brian E. Frosh said the O’Malley administration deserves credit for its role in a “very bold, aggressive and appropriate” prosecution, Del. Curtis S. Anderson called the indictments “just horrific” and asked for further explanation from the governor.
Donald F. Norris, professor and chair of public policy at UMBC, told the Washington Post that any political fallout from the episode for O’Malley, who is considering a 2016 presidential bid, will likely be determined by “how he handles this, whether he gets out in front of it.” Norris notes, “If the state were riddled with incompetence and corruption, that’d be one thing, but it’s not. … This kind of thing happens in all prison systems, though maybe not this flagrant.”
Today’s Boston Globe published a letter by Seth D. Messinger, associate professor in UMBC’s Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology, in the opinion series “Voices on the Bombings.” Messinger, a medical anthropologist, is an expert on recovery from traumatic limb loss, specifically among military service members. In “The Need for Strong Rehabilitation Services” he writes,
Military patients with traumatic limb loss take part in a comprehensive rehabilitation program that provides them with surgical and medical care, physical and occupational therapy, and a wide variety of prosthetic limbs as well as opportunities to use them in a diverse array of sporting and recreational activities. Observers of the military’s physical rehabilitation program cannot help but be impressed by the extraordinary results achieved by patients, many of whom go on to attain a degree of physical functioning that approximates their pre-injury abilities. [...] Does the civilian health care system provide access to the kind of care that has been so successful with military patients?
Read the full letter through The Boston Globe.
In the last year, three top aides and three department secretaries have left Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration. Although some have voiced concern, Donald F. Norris, professor and chair of public policy at UMBC, tells The Daily Record, “This is not at all unusual for the second half of the second term of a term-limited governor.” Norris notes, “If the replacements are qualified, there’s no brain drain.”
NBC Chicago’s politics blog “The Ward Room” recently posted an opinion piece affirming Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s decision to refuse to provide public money for a $500 million renovation of Wrigley Field. The writer, Edward McClelland, cited research by UMBC economics professor Dennis Coates that found pro sports reduce a city’s per capita income by putting entertainment dollars into the hands of athletes and team owners who live outside the area rather than local businesses around the stadium.
Coates wrote, “money paid to players does not circulate as widely or abundantly as it would were it paid to people with less wealth and more attachment to the city.” Read the article to learn more.