Wednesday, February 15, 2012

U.S.N.S. Comfort Leaving Baltimore

For those of you who have traveled south on I-95 toward the Fort McHenry Tunnel (and look around while you're driving) you know that the massive U.S.N.S. Comfort has been a nearly constant presence in the area near the Seagirt Marine Terminal.

According to local officials, the presence of the Comfort provides about $35 million to the local economy. With the ship leaving for Virginia, so will 40 civilian positions in addition to the crew and medical staff of the ship.

While the loss of the Comfort is difficult to accept, what is even more difficult to accept is the fact that the city politicians and local "leaders" are spending tons of money and time bickering and fighting with one another trying to get a sponsor for the Baltimore Grand Prix while the Comfort quietly announces it's up and leaving.

The city claims that the impact of the Baltimore Grand Prix is about $40+ million. However, the U.S.N.S. comfort does not require year-long jobs. Nor does it require the city to chop down hundreds of trees along Pratt Street in order to create site lines, also known as urban eye sores. The Comfort also does not require mandatory traffic gridlock around the city for 8 weeks of the year. The Comfort does not require repaving of city streets.

Maryland Governor Martin "Look the Other Way" O'Malley tried to redirect everyone by claiming that while the loss of the Comfort is bad, the city will be announcing a new major shipping tenant. Word on the street is that the company has a fleet of rubber dinghies and specializes in cement shoes.

So why is the city focusing so much on the Baltimore Grand Prix while the U.S.N.S. Comfort, which generates nearly the same amount of economic benefit with vastly less overhead, is allowed move to Virginia with little resistance? Because Baltimore is run by a bunch of idiots.

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