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Rawlings-Blake off to Panama with Veep

Rawlings-Blake will tour canal whose expansion is expected to bring new port business to Baltimore.

Biden_port baltimore

Vice President Biden was in Baltimore in September hawking the importance of port expansion for job growth.

Photo by: ABC News

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is a member of the official delegation accompanying Vice President Joe Biden on a two-day tour of the Panama Canal expansion project.

Leaving this morning, the party will first examine the port of Houston, before continuing on to Panama. The purpose of the trip, according to the mayor’s office, is to gain firsthand knowledge of the $5.6 billion canal expansion, which will allow the passage of super-cargo ships when completed in 2015.

Rawlings-Blake called it “an extreme honor to be one of the few cities” chosen by the Obama administration to get a close-up view of the work.

Other members of the delegation include Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schulz of Florida.

Up-and-Comers, Plus one Republican

Lest anyone think of the trip as a partisan junket of Democratic Party up-and-comers (Wasserman Schulz is chairman of the Democratic National Committee, while Rawlings-Blake is its secretary), the delegation includes a single Republican – U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia.

Rawlings-Blake exercises little direct power over the port of Baltimore (the facilities are administered by the Maryland Port Administration), but has been an active promoter behind the scenes.

She and Gov. Martin O’Malley have encouraged CSX Transportation to expand and convert its rail yard in Morrell Park to a rail-truck transfer center to prepare for the expected influx of cargo containers arriving on the mega-ships. The state has promised to pay $32 million of the $90 million expansion price.

The mayor’s office said the costs of the two-day sojourn will be borne by the federal government. Vice President Biden was chided earlier this year for spending $585,000 for one-night’s stay in a Paris hotel during a diplomatic trip to Europe.

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  • ushanellore

    So this is what Biden does when he doesn’t have his foot in his mouth and his tongue in his ear!

    • James Hunt

      Again, our views are aligned. Incroyable!

      • baltimorebrew

        We, too, are impressed at the abilities of the mayor and veep to align/unite our readers!

  • ushanellore

    Gay Paree, O gay Paree,
    if I go to gay Paree,
    I’ll land there with little or no money–
    coz I got little or no money.

    When I land in gay Paree,
    I gotta find poor impoverished me-
    a youth hostel to lay me down–
    or find me a hole deep under the ground–
    away from the eyes of the gendarmes there–

    I’ll be anonymous in gay Paree,
    a woman alien to its native tongue,
    I’ll be sad and lonely there,
    as a soft drizzle curtains the air.

    I won’t be looking for goose pate,
    or wine bottled in vineyards fine–
    squeezed from grapes just ripened right–
    by soil, climate, shade and light.

    I won’t be climbing the Eiffel Tower,
    or hunting down Mona Lisa’s smile,
    just to boast I’ve seen her close,
    I won’t visit her frame on a wall.

    Living within a budget small,
    savoring that city’s bloody past,
    tasting its many pleasure spots,
    A ticket to a cabaret,
    or to a jazz club where a smoky voice,
    lingers on the skin at night–
    won’t be possible for me,
    when I visit gay Paree.

    I’ll have to count the dollars and cents–
    and though I’ll dream of Giverny–
    its ponds and gardens lush with flowers,
    the train ride there beyond my reach–
    I’ll have to be content to let–
    Monet paint that part of my sleep–
    where I do not toss and do not turn–

    My unconscious slid into the dark–
    goblins will snatch and bring it up–

    so his ghost can brush it mystic light–
    for free is what I am talking about–

    Gay Paree, O gay Paree–
    if I go to gay Paree–
    and that IF the biggest IF– of all
    the IFs upon this Earth–
    that IF reverberates a NO–
    any time soon–I won’t go there–
    because my budget won’t allow–
    such excesses in my dreary life–

    But every day I contribute

    to the ever growing pile that feeds–
    the ever growing monstrous greed–
    of a not so special class of folks–
    elected to be parasites—

    Upon my dime they travel far,
    upon my dime eat caviar,
    upon my dime have chauffeured cars,
    rub shoulders with VIPs and stars–

    Upon my dime they drop the dough–

    half a million for a one night stand
    in a motel room in gay Paree–
    where I cannot now afford to go–
    on a whim to splashily explore–

    Not even to an attraction close–
    like the aquarium in Baltimore–
    because after I’ve paid my bills,
    my tolls and taxes,
    fines and loans–
    with what is left–
    I can barely live–
    my existence is moans and groans–
    put there by the bureaucrats–

    Their paper work it overwhelms,
    their phone messages ravage the soul,
    their fabricated reasons to pick
    my pockets– in broad daylight–
    those highwaymen– they stick me up–
    and off they go–
    to gay Paree– for one night stands–

    They do it, they say, for global trade,
    for me to buy what they bring to sell–
    a cornucopia of goods,
    to clog a harbor clogged with silt,
    they’ll dredge it down until it stinks–
    with the waste from larger and larger ships..

    Gay Paree, O gay Paree…..
    if I go to gay Paree,
    I’ll land there with little or no money–
    coz I got little or no money…

    Usha Nellore

  • George Lopez

    This is huge for Baltimore and for Maryland. You ought to see one of the new Post Panamax’s. They’re huge.

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