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DOCUMENTS


The Tentacle


John P. Snyder

August 24, 2006
Election Year Over/Unders
John P. Snyder
Step right up. Place your bets. The election season presents all sorts of wagering possibilities. Here are some early lines courtesy of bookmakers located just outside Feagaville. Remember all ties go to the house.

February 14, 2006
Random Thoughts in No Particular Order
John P. Snyder
My beloved Pittsburgh Steelers have won the Super Bowl, and to me, all is right with the world; except, of course, for a few minor irritations and annoyances.

December 14, 2005
Remembering Eugene McCarthy
John P. Snyder
It's a rather eerie coincidence that just when today's "White Flag" Democrats come to their party's forefront, their patron saint from another conflicted era departs this life.

November 7, 2005
Election Reflections
John P. Snyder
Be it duly noted. On September 19 my article in this space began: "Unless a paternity suit arrives with his name on it, I believe the mayor’s race in the City of Frederick is Jeff Holtzinger’s to lose.''

October 28, 2005
Random Thoughts
John P. Snyder
One has to pity the poor souls who hate politics and campaigns. It seems only by turning off the electric and curling up in the fetal position can one escape the daily ups and downs of the unending campaign for local, state and national office.

October 20, 2005
Corporal Cueball Is Coming To Town!
John P. Snyder
In an effort to raise the level of discourse in our area, The Frederick News-Post and Clear Channel Communication (WFMD) are sponsoring an evening with leading Democratic Strategist James (Cpl. Cueball) Carville and his wife, the Republican Mary Matalin.

October 13, 2005
Maryland Can Do Better? So Could Baltimore
John P. Snyder
A collective ho hum was heard statewide with announcement that Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley intends to run for governor of The State of Maryland. Aside from having no issues to run on - or a good record to point to - he is in good shape.

September 19, 2005
A Holtzinger Victory
John P. Snyder
Unless a paternity suit arrives with his name on it, I believe the mayor's race in the City of Frederick is Jeff Holtzinger's to lose. I have no hard data to buttress my claim, just a gut feeling that Ron Young's road to victory is much more difficult than his opponent's.

June 2, 2005
The Democrats' Dilemma
John P. Snyder
This week, Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele is expected to announce the formation of an exploratory committee to assess the basis of his possible candidacy for the U.S. Senate. Good news for those who believe in a strong two-party system.

May 26, 2005
Let There Be Peace and Unity
John P. Snyder
An outside mediator was brought in last week to the palatial Strathmore Arts Center in Rockville for a rally to help various warring factions to put aside their contempt and distrust for each other to work for a common goal. Israelis and Palestinians? North and South Koreans?

March 23, 2005
How Liberal Is Maryland?
John P. Snyder
Well, we are about to find out the answer to that question. With Paul Sarbanes surprise retirement announcement (the surprise for many was that he wasn't already retired) potential replacements are lining up.

March 8, 2005
Random Thoughts in No Particular Order
John P. Snyder
It was Eleanor Roosevelt who described the period around World War II as “no ordinary time.” And so it is for our times, for events seem to unravel every day, making change as the only constant in our lives. Allow me to deliver the Cliff Notes version of what I see.

February 4, 2005
A Real Profile in Courage
John P. Snyder
Even the most jaded critic of our involvement in Iraq had to be touched by the scenes of jubilant Iraqis casting their votes in last weekend’s national election. Just how many of us would wait outside our poling place if we knew a rocket attack or suicide bombing was a real possibility?

January 20, 2005
Dubya - Act Two, Take One
John P. Snyder
Today at noon, George W. Bush will be sworn in for his second term. Time for celebration with a sigh of relief for Republicans. A time for Democrats, especially those who hate George Bush, to close the drapes, turn out the lights and lie face down and hope it all goes away.

January 6, 2005
In Annapolis, Dems Take the Easy Way Out
John P. Snyder
Recall the old legislator's code of honor. "I won't tax you," it goes, "you don't tax me, we'll tax that fellow behind the tree."

November 11, 2004
Election 2004: The Winners and the Losers
John P. Snyder
America surely dodged a bullet last week when it reelected George Bush to a second term. This year’s presidential campaign resembled a continuous bare knuckled barroom brawl, just the way it should be.

October 26, 2004
Dreading November 3rd
John P. Snyder
I will not proffer an etched-in-stone predication for next Tuesdays election. However, news that the presidential race in Hawaii, a reliable safe haven for Democrats if there ever was one, is now rated a toss up.

September 28, 2004
How Do You Feel About Your Country? – Part Two
John P. Snyder
One can only assume that most Americans love their country. From that point, however, views and opinions diverge dramatically. I believe that the way one views one’s country is the greatest determining factor for whom one will vote this November.

September 27, 2004
How Do You Feel About Your Country? – Part One
John P. Snyder
One can only assume that the vast majority of Americans love their country. From that point, however opinions and feelings diverge into a myriad of positions. How one views their country, I believe, dictates for whom they will most likely vote on November 2nd.

September 17, 2004
Didn't We Saw This Campaign Two Years Ago?
John P. Snyder
How is it that John Kerry's presidential campaign, which looked so formidable just six weeks ago, now resembles only the Hindenburg, the German dirigible that crashed and burned while landing in New Jersey in 1936?

September 3, 2004
A Record Of Which To Be Proud - and To Run On
John P. Snyder
The Democrats, the mainstream media and other assorted whiners and criers insist that the campaign waged against John Kerry is a concerted effort by the Republicans to deflect scrutiny of George Bush's record.

August 27, 2004
What Did Your Expect, Mr. Kerry?
John P. Snyder
Those of us who have raised children certainly recognized the juvenile reaction to the current offensive mounted by the 265 members of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth regarding the military career of Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic Party nominee for President.

August 10, 2004
So Long, Bruuce! It Was Nice Knowin' Ya!
John P. Snyder
It was October of 1975. My date, and later wife, and I traveled to the Johnstown War Memorial Coliseum in Johnstown, PA to see and hear the future of goodtimes rock n' roll. It was a cozy crowd of maybe 250 hearty souls who were mesmerized by Mr. Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band.

August 2, 2004
Dems in Boston: Bored at Home, Asleep Abroad
John P. Snyder
It was H.L. Mencken who observed that, "The most grasping of all politicians is the war veteran." He may have had a futuristic vision of John F. Kerry when he made the assertion.

July 15, 2004
It's Deja Vu All Over Again
John P. Snyder
Democrats hate the analogy, but this year's presidential election has the smell and feel of the one held 16 years ago. Recall 1988 when another arrogant snob from Massachusetts, then Gov. Michael Dukakis, was the Democratic standard bearer.

June 30, 2004
Hold Your Nose! Michael Moore's Movie Is Now Showing!
John P. Snyder
I was half tempted to go out and see Fahrenheit 9/11 the latest documentary by Democratic icon Michael Moore.

June 15, 2004
What's Your Stand on Capital Punishment?
John P. Snyder
Now 42 years old, Steven Howard Oken went on quite a killing spree in 1987. In the space of two weeks, he killed a 20-year-old newlywed, his 38-year-old sister-in-law and, later, a motel clerk in Maine. It has taken 17 years for Mr. Oken to get this far. As this is being written, he is scheduled to die at the Maryland State Penitentiary in Baltimore sometime this week.

June 10, 2004
So Long, Mr. President, And Thank You
John P. Snyder
Ronald Reagan's passing at age 93 last Saturday completes the last chapter of an extraordinary American life.

May 25, 2004
Who Will Benefit from Thornton Funding?
John P. Snyder
For years, liberals have resisted any attempts at education reforms, preferring to operate under the assumption that throwing money at the problem will increase the quality of public education. The non-partisan Maryland Public Policy Institute recently released its report that suggests until Maryland parents receive more choices, the money will not improve anything but teacher salaries.

May 12, 2004
The Hate America Crowd in High Gear
John P. Snyder
It was Blanche Dubois, the aging debutante in the American Classic "Streetcar Named Desire" who allowed as to how she "always counted on the kindness of strangers".

May 3, 2004
A Quiet Organization Quietly Celebrates a Birthday
John P. Snyder
If you had the opportunity to save an infant from any danger, say drowning, choking or a fall, you would be regarded as a hero. Your quick thinking might earn you a favorable newspaper report or an award.

April 22, 2004
Random Thoughts in No Particular Order
John P. Snyder
The House side of the Maryland General Assembly squashed this year's slots initiative in what seemed like record time.

April 8, 2004
Memo to Democrats: Don't Expect Much from Kerry
John P. Snyder
As I listened to Sen. John F. Kerry give a speech recently, it occurred to me that he is the modern day version of Thurston B. Howell, the marooned millionaire on the '60s sitcom Gilligan's Island. A lovable lug, Mr., Howell was rich, condescending and arrogant, much like John Kerry, without the lovable part.

April 1, 2004
A Profile in Courage? Raising Taxes?
John P. Snyder
Say this for the Maryland Speaker of the House, Michael Busch (D., Anne Arundel), if you don't expect too much of him, you'll never be disappointed.

March 5, 2004
Election Reflections
John P. Snyder
In last week's article I predicted a Roscoe Bartlett win by a 60-40 margin over Scott Rolle. Tempting as it is to proclaim myself the local version of John Zogby or George Gallup, noted pollsters both, the truth is that the 60-40 tilt was good in Frederick county only. Every place else it was roughly 70-30. Oy!

February 25, 2004
Welcome ''Forgotten Tuesday''
John P. Snyder
There was a time, more than 20 years ago, when states located below the Mason Dixon Line banded together to stack all of their primaries on the first Tuesday in March in presidential election years. Super Tuesday, as it was known, was a very big deal.

February 3, 2004
The Primary Follies
John P. Snyder
Recall the words of the defeated politician on election night. "The people have spoken" he declared, then added quickly, "those bastards!"

January 23, 2004
Let’s Show a Little Courage, Please!
John P. Snyder
It is said that former President John F. Kennedy would frequently paraphrase the title of his Pulitzer Prize winning book "Profiles in Courage" when he encountered tepid responses to hard challenges.

January 9, 2004
Mike Miller and the Art of Squashing Debate
John P. Snyder
Can you blame them? Senate Democrats in Annapolis are there to carry out God’s will. Always getting in the way are those pesky Republicans, all 14 of them, who sometimes rise up to create a filibuster in order to kill legislation or force a compromise.

December 29, 2003
Thoughts Regarding The Year 2003
John P. Snyder
Despite advancements in just about every area of endeavor, no one has ever found a way to slow down the unending march of time. And so here we are, bidding farewell to the year 2003 and welcoming the New Year of 2004. Here are some items that have crossed my mind.

December 18, 2003
Who’s Our Most Effective Elected Official?
John P. Snyder
In the six years that he has served on the Frederick County school board, he has quietly, but effectively, made our school system better each year. Whether you are a taxpayer with children in public schools, or not, it would be hard to see your interests represented any better than by him.

December 10, 2003
Dean Nomination Would Cheer Up Republicans
John P. Snyder
God must be a Republican. Why else would he see to it that Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont, becomes the Democratic Party nominee for president next year?

November 25, 2003
Gentlemen! Please Observe This Commandment!
John P. Snyder
It was Ronald Reagan, patron saint for the modern day Republican Party, who inferred that the 11th commandment for all Republicans was never to speak ill or unfairly of any Republican.

November 21, 2003
The Eternal Sorrow
John P. Snyder
Tomorrow will mark the 40th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

November 6, 2003
With Sincere Regrets
John P. Snyder

FROM THE PUBLISHER!

We at The Tentacle.com pride ourselves on the accuracy of the facts contained in our columns. However, from time to time we become the victims of Lamont Cranston (The Shadow) and have our minds clouded. Such was the case on Monday. John P. Snyder has offered corrections to some of the facts in his column on November 3, 2003.

November 3, 2003
Slim Pickings for Circuit Court Opening
John P. Snyder
When it came to judicial nominations, Maryland Republicans have been on the outside looking in for roughly two-and-a-half generations. Democratic governors rarely, if ever, appointed Republicans to the judiciary.

October 14, 2003
Can't Recall An Election Like That One!
John P. Snyder
Californians made an unambiguous statement last week regarding the operation and direction of their state government. A similar refrain was heard last year in Maryland.

October 2, 2003
The California Earthquake of 2003
John P. Snyder
The popular uprising that I observed in California this summer seems to be reaching the full bore roar stage just in time for next Tuesday's recall election. Should the current polling data prove correct and Gov. Gray Davis is booted out of office, it will be a once in a lifetime upheaval that will be felt for a long time.

September 16, 2003
Who Will Succeed Roscoe?
John P. Snyder
It was hardly earth shattering news. State's Attorney Scott Rolle mentioned that he would be interested in running for Roscoe Bartlett Sixth Congressional seat.

September 2, 2003
Our Country's Defense and Why Democrats Can't Be Trusted
John P. Snyder
Ann Coulter is one smart lady. As a lawyer, political commentator and author, who happens to be conservative, she is unafraid to attack and dismantle one of the great myths of the last century.

August 21, 2003
The Impending Budget Showdown Draws Near
John P. Snyder
Fundamental policy issues regarding taxes and the role of government in our lives is being discussed by our elected officials across the state. Some Democrats, led by the far left speaker of the State House, Michael Busch, are rolling the dice on their futures by assuming that the voters of Maryland enjoy being taxed and would like to be taxed more.

July 21, 2003
Ah, California! Beautiful, But Nearly Bankrupt!
John P. Snyder
The wife and I mixed business with pleasure last week as we toured the San Francisco Bay area. What a place! No wonder San Francisco is referred to by the locals as "The City."

July 10, 2003
It's Time To Honor A Great American
John P. Snyder
There will be an additional high school added to Frederick County schools within the next five years. I believe it is time to honor a great American.

July 3, 2003
She 'Coulda Been A Contenda'
John P. Snyder
It seems eons ago, but when Jennifer Dougherty settled in as the Mayor of Frederick, many things seemed possible. She exuded confidence and determination, as befitting anyone who successfully operated a restaurant in Frederick, an iffy undertaking for sure, for more than 15 years.

June 23, 2003
Billy Gaines, R.I.P.
John P. Snyder
I never met Billy Gaines. Like so many others, I admired him from afar. You had to, because the fact that he was 5'7", 160 lbs., didn't hamper his ability to be a dominate player for the Urbana Hawks football team.

June 11, 2003
Governor Ehrlich: The $16 Million Dollar Man
John P. Snyder
Maryland Democrats certainly had their knickers in a twist when they saw the Governor take in over $1.5 million in fundraisers after the legislative session. Amid high minded complaints about government access for sale was the stark realization that Gov. Robert Ehrlich’s team will suck up all of the available cash in the state and leave some challenger financially deprived.

May 30, 2003
Help Wanted: Someone To Take On Barbara Mikulski
John P. Snyder
With U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D) up for reelection next year, Maryland Republicans are scrambling to find a viable candidate to take her on. It is imperative that they do so.

May 21, 2003
Welcome To Frederick, Boscovs! Where Were You 25 Years Ago?
John P. Snyder
With the addition of Reading (PA) based Boscovs to our town, the retail market has really taken a leap forward. The new 165,000 square foot store now arising from Penney’s former spot in the Fredericktowne Mall is a welcome addition. It’s a terrific store with a fine tradition that will breathe new life to our area’s oldest mall. For me, however, it closes a loop on an odyssey that began 25 years ago.

April 29, 2003
We've Got Your Back, Governor, So Do What You Have to Do!
John P. Snyder
That sentiment, and many variations of it, were often heard during the well- attended recent fund-raiser for State Senator Alex Mooney featuring Governor Bob Ehrlich. Republicans of all stripes know good and well that the task of dragging the Maryland legislature and government towards the center is an enormous job.

April 23, 2003
Our Lone Democrat In Annapolis - Del. Galen Hecht
John P. Snyder
How is it that a man generally regarded as a moderate, pro-business Democrat arrives in Annapolis and is suddenly transformed into a screaming Montgomery County-style liberal?

April 14, 2003
Will The Liberal Anti-War Crowd Admit Being Wrong?
John P. Snyder
Anything is possible, I suppose, but the chances of anyone on the long list of antiwar lefties actually admitting that they were wrong remains unlikely.

March 28, 2003
Success! Governor Ehrlich’s First Legislative Session
John P. Snyder
Time is dwindling on the current legislative session in Annapolis. It will not be long before the pundits and the sore losers give Gov. Robert Ehrlich an "F" for legislative accomplishments.

March 19, 2003
America Will Do What She Has To Do
John P. Snyder
How easy it is for countries throughout the world to oppose our invasion of Iraq. It takes no courage to urge caution and stress peaceful means of resolution. None of these foreign leader face the daunting challenges of protecting their country from terrorism like President Bush does.

March 12, 2003
The Legacy of TJ's Coach Tom Dickman
John P. Snyder
Although his remarkable 29- year tenure as the boys basketball coach at Thomas Johnson ended with a difficult one point loss last Friday night, those in attendance, and those who know basketball, agree that he occupies a special place that when measured for success over a long period of time is shared by just a handful of coaches.

March 6, 2003
Will Bush 43 Face The Fate of His Father?
John P. Snyder
With the presidential election coming up next year, Democrats are hoping that, for them, it will be "deja vu all over again." Recall that it was at this juncture in 1991 that George H. W. Bush (Bush 41) was in what seemed an invincible position.

February 25, 2003
Senate Democrats' Opposition To Slots Is Suspect
John P. Snyder
Certain Maryland Democratic legislators remind me of the conversation between a purveyor of earth's oldest profession and a potential client. "What kind of lady do you think I am," she replied to a likely partner who submitted a low bid for her services.

February 14, 2003
Charter Schools in Maryland? The MSTA Has Not Yet Begun to Fight!
John P. Snyder
My view of teachers unions has always been colored by an exchange I once saw between Tim Russert, host of NBC's "Meet The Press" and the late Albert Shanker, former president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). When asked about the well being of the children, Mr. Shanker sneered: "When children start paying union dues is when I'll start worrying about them."

February 5, 2003
Much Ado About Nothing - The Perils Of Slots
John P. Snyder
The whining and carping about Gov. Robert Erhlich plan for slot machines at four racetracks has reached a fever pitch. There should be no doubt about it, opposition to slots is deeply rooted in thwarting the governor’s agenda early on.

January 28, 2003
These Are Not Ordinary Times For Liberal Hypocrites
John P. Snyder
The great issues of our day, from Iraq to abortion, and now slot machines, provide liberals with grand occasions to illustrate hypocrisy in its finest form. Those who can spot hypocrisy from any distance will never be left disappointed by liberals. They have perfected it.

January 15, 2003
It's A New Day in Maryland!
John P. Snyder
In the annals of history, the Republican takeover of the Maryland state house doesn't compare with say, the fall of the Berlin Wall or the Man on the Moon story. It is, however, not far off.

January 7, 2003
Feeling Down And Depressed? Imagine How Loyal Democrats Feel!
John P. Snyder
It is difficult to recall a time when the Democrats were in such a pickle. From local and state level up to the national scene, Democrats face a daunting dilemma. They have gotten their message out successfully. Now they have to grapple with the fact that is not popular with the voters.

January 2, 2003
Headlines We Never Saw In 2002
John P. Snyder
Despite the best efforts of some, here is an incomplete roundup of headlines that were simply not to be in Frederick County in the year 2002.

December 18, 2002
January 15th Can Not Come Soon Enough!
John P. Snyder
The Glendening administration will officially come to an end on January 15, a blessed day. After offering pay raises to state workers that will cost deficit-ridden Marylanders roughly $100 million, many legislators hope that his time will be up before he can do further damage to the fiscal health of the state.

A HOLIDAY SEASON GIFT FROM THE TENTACLE! In the true spirit of this special time of year, The Tentacle will offer a modern day parady of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol set in the confines of historic downtown Frederick. Join us tomorrow through Christmas Eve - for a little fun and frolic.


December 6, 2002
HOLY DUKAKIS! Another Massachusetts Liberal Wants to be President!
John P. Snyder
To the surprise of no one, Sen. John F. Kerry (D.,Mass.) has announced that he is forming a committee to help steer his bid to become the Democratic Party’s nominee for President in 2004. Republicans everywhere are wondering just how much good fortune they are entitled to in one year.

November 26, 2002
Maryland Democrats Find Convenient Scapegoat
John P. Snyder
At last week’s Board of Public Works meeting, Comptroller William Donald Schaeffer said to Governor Parris Glendening: "I want to commend you. You have a legacy. You left $480 Billion due this year and $1.7 Billion for next year. You double crossed your lieutenant governor. But outside of that, you’re all right".

November 13, 2002
Some Winners and Losers From Election 2002
John P. Snyder
It does not matter whether they won or lost, any citizen that gets off the sidelines and into the political fray has performed a wonderful public service. Anyone who opens themselves up to the slings and arrows of the political arena should get everyone’s respect and appreciation.

November 11, 2002
Arscott Had It Right! KKT Had To Win Ugly If At All
John P. Snyder
You would think that Doppler Radar would have picked up the early warning signs, but Marylanders came out to the polls to change the direction of Maryland’s government forever.

November 4, 2002
Not Going Anywhere for Awhile? One Man’s Election Primer
John P. Snyder
This is the third straight governor’s race that finds Maryland Republicans overcome with a quiet optimism that this is their year. This time around the reasons for optimism may be well placed.

October 23, 2002
"MARYLAND, MY MARYLAND, MY SOCIALIST ONE PARTY STATE
John P. Snyder
It was British political philosopher Lord Acton who provided the assertion that "absolute power corrupts absolutely". If he were allowed to survey the political scene in Maryland today, he undoubtedly would say: "I told you so!"

October 14, 2002
At The Expense of Lennie Thompson, Republicans Prefer Reeder
John P. Snyder
You don’t have to be the local version of Nostradamus to predict that Bruce Reeder will be garnering a good share of the rank and file Republican vote for commissioner on November 5th.

October 7, 2002
Can Kathleen Kennedy Townsend Lose?
John P. Snyder
For such an outnumbered group, Maryland Republicans have made things interesting every four years when the governor is elected. Recall in 1990 an unknown policy wonk named Bill Shepard took on the Schaefer machine and garnered nearly 40% of the vote. This infuriated the governor who felt he should be given the job for another four years by acclamation.

October 1, 2002
The Ever Expanding Budget Deficit That is No One’s Fault
John P. Snyder
Well, there you have it. The State of Maryland is going to be $400 million in the hole for this year and a startling $1.3 billion for next year, for a grand total of $1.7 billion over the next two years.


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