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The politics of a local tragedy

Sanchez mug shot

Somewhere in this county right now a 14-year-old girl is confused, angry and hurting. Dragged into a bathroom at her high school and repeatedly raped, she has been violated and her humanity torn from her in a way no child should ever face.
An 18-year-old illegal immigrant stands accused of the crime along with a 17-year-old juvenile illegal immigrant – one of whom was facing deportation hearings - and because of who they are the story has taken on national significance.

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Don't do that in my ear and tell me it's raining!

maxresdefaultWhen I was just a little boy – standing to my daddy’s knee - I learned the gentle art of appreciating artful dodging from my mother who was a successful local actress, my father who was a very successful car salesman, uncles who were attorneys and politicians, and grandparents who were lawyers and judges.
My grandmother once told me my dad was so good at spinning the truth she would know he was lying to her and she’d still believe him. Perhaps that is why I enjoy standup comedy and politics so much – both offer great yarns.
Imagine my hope when I first saw President Donald Trump arrive on the scene. He brought with him Steve Bannon, a man who is a legend in his own mind. He brought us Kellyanne Conway, a woman I debated a few times in Philadelphia some 15 years ago.
She was defending Dan Quayle and I was promoting a book called “Spin Control.” It was a debate made in heaven. We had fun.

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Puppies, rainbows and wet sponges

Mencken5

If you thought the blue lines in hockey were confusing (apologies to MAD Magazine), try spending time in the White House briefing room.
While most of the nation wants a health care plan much like the plan congressmen can enjoy, and while hate crimes and anti-Semitism are on the rise, reporters in the White House press briefing room are enduring a never ending epidemic of language H.L. Mencken would describe as “wet sponges,” though earlier this week we heard it in the guise of “rainbows and puppies.”
What was said? Well it turns out it wasn’t said. Maybe we didn’t understand and it doesn’t matter because there’s something new to say to us any way. Bad hombres are all about.

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The 50th Day of the Trump Administration

Sean Spicer with upside down flag  pinUPDATED 3/11/17

Friday I walked up to the White House and saw a couple of hundred pipeline protesters singing outside the West Wing. Meanwhile, as I got closer to the entrance, I saw a homeless man on the ground. Not sure why. The police were cuffing him, but it didn’t look like either side was struggling or too committed to the process. The takedown appeared to be in slow motion and I could’ve sworn I heard the guy on the ground saying “I’m not weird.”

Weird.

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I have a great idea for a Tweet

 

 

White House Front Twilight

Brevity can be the soul of wit. However, brevity often proves to be witless and soulless. Hence I’ve never been a fan of Twitter.
Last weekend President Donald Trump, riding high after a speech before a joint session of Congress –a speech when at times he waxed philosophical by implying it isn’t too much to dream of our footsteps on alien worlds – shot himself in his foot with a tweet.

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The case of the growling dog

Sean SpicerWhen approaching a growling dog wagging its tail, which end do you believe?
That’s the conundrum facing reporters in the White House press corps as the new administration works its way into a second month in office.
On the one hand we have a president calling the media the enemy while Tuesday press secretary Sean Spicer told assembled reporters the president has a “Deep respect for the First Amendment and the press.”

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Spicer's suit isn't the problem

 

Sean SpicerSo much has gone on in the first three weeks of President Trump’s first term it makes one wonder whether or not he will need to run for a second term.
He apparently intends to implement all of his campaign promises as quickly as possible. He’s told us there’s a new sheriff in town. He’s told us he intends to keep his word. He’s told other members of government to get on his side – because it’s his way or the highway.

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Facts and the White House

 

White House Front Twilight

The Sentinel’s first “get” of the new presidential administration occurred Tuesday night around 7 p.m. outside of the West Wing of the White House.
While the expanded press pool waited inside the press room to be led over to the East Wing where the president and members of the Senate and House were scheduled to announce a Supreme Court nominee, a group of people gathered at the gate near the West Wing.
They looked to be guests. They were very well dressed and festive and they appeared to be friends and family of whoever the nominee was.

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Hate crimes in the county

 

 

Hate Crime Forum 2Fred Davis, Hessie Harris, Daryl Davis, Brian Karem, Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger and Ron Halber at the forum on hate crimes. PHOTO BY MARK POETKERMonday night the Montgomery County Sentinel sponsored a community forum on the subject of hate crime.
We invited civic leaders, county council members, our local police chief and someone from the Help Save Maryland organization.
This prompted telephone calls, some our office manager deemed “harassing” and several emails – one of which said that in tolerant Montgomery County we could not tolerate an organization like Help Save Maryland.

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