Archive for the ‘horse racing’ Category

Save the Kids and Horsies!

November 3, 2008

Save the Kids and Horsies!

Only one thing can save Maryland’s education system and the futures of innocent children. Remarkably, the very same thing will save the state’s strategic Equine Industry — you know, racing, the track, the ponies, Sport of Kings And Guys Named Lefty.

The solution: License corporations to take money from Maryland’s poor, one quarter at a time, rake off half and give the rest to the state government. Slot machines are the only salvation for education and the impoverished owners of Thoroughbred horses.


Behind Every Great Fortune There is a Crime

September 7, 2008

Behind Every Great Fortune There is a Crime
James Willis Hensley and his 1948 arrest mugshot, from Kontar 7.

Behind every great fortune there is a crime.
— Attributed to Honoré de Balzac (1799 – 1850), in

 I’m very proud of Cindy’s father. He’s a guy who barely got out of high school, fought in World War II in the Army, came home and made a business and made the American dream.
— Senator John McCain
to Jay Leno on the “Tonight Show,” August 25, 2008 (video)

My father had nothing. He and my mother sold everything they had to raise $10,000. I’m proud of what my dad and my mother did and what they built and left me.  And I intend to carry their legacy as long as I can.
Cindy Lou Hensley McCain, on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,”  August 30, 2008 (video)

With all due respect to Ms. McCain, it seems that her father, James Willis (“Jim”) Hensley, was set up in the beer distribution business by Kemper Marley, a businessman and landowner with ties to gambling and other rackets, who owned two Arizona liquor distribution companies and employed Mr. Hensley and his brother Eugene.

The Hensleys were convicted of multiple federal felony counts of selling black-market whiskey and  a Federal conspiracy charge after their falsified liquor sales invoices, prepared in a criminal conspiracy benefiting Kemper Marley, were brought to the attention of the Alcohol Tax Unit at the U.S. Treasury Department. 


Hillary Clinton — the Last Yee-Haw?

May 14, 2008

Hillary Clinton -- The Last Yee-Haw?

Continuing her mission to divide the Democratic Party by race, age, and gender, Senator Hillary Clinton swept the West Virginia primary yesterday. The first woman Ivy League Dixiecrat won by nearly two-thirds of the vote, picking up a net dozen electoral delegates.


Sports Plus Steroids Equals Story

January 11, 2008

Sports Plus Steroids Equals Story

The press, if not the public, is obsessed with 20th century cases of Practicing Sports Medicine Without a License. Olympian Marion Jones is stripped of her medals and sent to jail; federal prosecutors and the U.S. Congress investigate the health of Major League players, collecting depositions as if they were baseball cards.


Comptroller Contests Slots Suitability

December 7, 2007

Comptroller Contests Slots Suitability

Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot apparently spoke at the University of Maryland/College Park yesterday, criticizing the proposal to permit slot machines championed by Governor Martin O’Malley. I say “apparently” because the “Diamondback Online” link is broken.

The slot question will be decided by Maryland voters in a November 2008 referendum.


All the Pretty Horses . . . and Slots

August 20, 2007

And they’re off . . . .


Only blue-haired ladies with paper cups full of quarters can save the Sport of Kings. That’s what Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and his Secretary of Labor say, anyway. 

A report claiming that slot machines will preserve his state’s horse racing industry was just issued by Thomas E. Perez, Maryland’s Secretary of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, but its objectivity has been questioned by the Washington Post, Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot, and the mayor and business leaders of Ocean City.


 Reports on the economic value of  Maryland’s horse racing industry are muddled because they mix racing and associated endeavors with recreational horse riding businesses and, as observed in a letter to the Post, the state’s tracks are owned by a large Canadian corporation and the wealthy de Francis family. 


Saving Maryland horse racing through slots is a transparent pretext to find a new source of government revenue that can’t be called a tax. Maryland’s historical experience  of slot machines and the associated political corruption have faded to nostalgia, and moral questions and the problems of compulsive gamblers can be ignored if, as with the state-run lottery, government uses gambling proceeds for schools and childcare. In today’s America, anything is okay as long as we do it for the good of the children.

Free State slots proponents also claim that racetracks in neighboring Delaware and West Virginia lure Maryland visitors to their slots palaces. It’s a good thing Maryland doesn’t border Nevada, where prostitution is legal.