Carroll County Times

Michael Zimmer: Winter wonderland wanderings

Our winter wonderland has been causing my mind to wander and wonder lately.

I'm wondering when Carroll County will change its form of government to charter. My prediction is in 20 years.

I'm wondering how many delegates and senators representing Carroll County one year from now will actually live in Carroll County. The new district map wipes out the singlemember delegate District 9B from the Eldersburg-Sykesville area that we've had for the last three election cycles. The new map also does away with the single-member district 4B, which contained the western side of the county and one precinct in Frederick County, Mount Airy.

The new map divides Eldersburg. If you live north of Liberty Road, you can vote for up to three delegates in District 5. That district, entirely in Carroll County, includes Westminster, Hampstead, Manchester, Taneytown and other communities.

Voters in the Freedom area south of Liberty Road may vote for up to two delegates in a majority Howard County District known as 9A under the new map. Senate district 9 encompasses that same area, plus a large swath of western Howard County and a single member District 9B in the Ellicott City area.

Folks in the Mount Airy area of Carroll County will be lumped into a Frederick County centric delegate District 4. That will be a three member district.

My prediction is that no Carroll residents will be elected in either District 9A or District 4. If voters elect members who take their duty to represent Carroll County interests in Annapolis seriously, this may end up being a positive. That's because the net size of our delegation will increase.

This new structure will take some getting used to by candidates, voters and all the various interest groups in our county.

I'm wondering whether Republicans in Congress have the will to hold President Barack H. Obama accountable for, shall we say, his expansive vision of executive authority. The Washington Post covered a House of Representatives committee hearing held February 26 on this topic.

The report noted the testimony of Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University.

He stated that, "Recently, Congress has seemed frankly feckless and uncertain as to its authority." He also suggested that for Congress to fail to respond to some of the president's actions bordered on "self-loathing."

One of the complaints of Obama's executive action abuses was the 2012 announcement that the federal government would not deport "illegal immigrants who were brought to this country as children." Republican members of the committee also criticized numerous executive orders that delayed deadlines established by the Affordable Care Act.

One Democratic member suggested that the hearing was mere "political theater." U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-TX, said the hearing raised a "question of frivolity."

Based on events between Russia and Ukraine, I wonder if President Vladimir Putin is glad of the election outcome of 2012 in our country.

I wonder if the president will stop putting diplomatic pressure on Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described this pressure and his reasons for standing up against it in a recent press availability with Obama. Netanyahu related his deep desire for peace, but not at the price of a loss of security for his nation.

Finally, I was watching MSNBC's "Morning Joe" show Tuesday, as I do every weekday, and the weather forecaster during that broadcast related that 86 percent of the Great Lakes were currently frozen over. I wonder whether former Vice President Al Gore was watching that day.