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The Fed isn’t the enemy folks

constitution quill penPrivatization of the federal workforce was a goal of Ronald Reagan during his administration. He convened the Grace Commission to look into how best to do just that. Now, more than thirty years later, the number of contract employees compared to career federal employees approaches a five to one ratio.
Clearly, there are some benefits to contracting out some very skill-specific functions, but the value of a properly staffed and experienced federal workforce should not be taken lightly. Nor should a dedicated federal workforce that is sworn to uphold the Constitution and not the profit motive of the company winning a federal contract be something that is taken for granted.
Placing the burden of the federal deficit on the shoulders of the federal workforce is doing exactly that and is certainly not cost effective.

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Hindsight and the 2020 election

PhoropterThe 2020 presidential election seems like a far off event even though it cannot come soon enough. In politics, as we all know, it is never too late to speculate, especially when it comes to the Democratic candidate. Who should it be?
To answer that question we must first speculate who the Republican opponent will be. Yes, it is likely that it would be the current president, but, unlike most previous elections, incumbency is certainly no guarantee.

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Raskin shines the light on government darkness

 

Jamie Raskin Paul Schwartz 0370I recently had the opportunity to listen to Congressman Jamie Raskin address the Women's Democratic Club of Montgomery County and provide some insight into the current political climate.
If you are one of the many Democrats who wake up each morning wondering how a Trump presidency could have happened, how a man so unfit for office could be living in the White House, whether there is any reason for hope, then hearing Raskin's presentation would have provided you with some level of comfort, maybe even inspiration.
Congressman Raskin made it clear that we are living in troubling times with the administration of one Donald J. Trump. However, the congressman also made it clear that it is the Constitution that gives us hope that our democratic ideals will ultimately win out and protect American values.

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Pee-wee Herman and today's political scene

pee wee herman

 

“I know you are, but what am I?” are the famous words of man-child Pee-wee Herman when caught in a heated argument. Should there really be any surprise that this is the same reaction of the other famous man-child, Donald J. Trump, when he reacts to those who question his fitness for the presidency or the actions he takes as president?

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Dreaming the impeachable dream

Don Quixote tilting at windmillsIn 1868 the House of Representatives resolved to adopt articles of impeachment against President Andrew Johnson because, it was contended, the president violated the Tenure of Office Act. This Act required Senate approval for removing certain office holders.
It was the contention of the House that the president violated this Act when he removed Edwin McMasters Stanton, the Secretary of War, from office and replaced him with Lorenzo Thomas.
The Tenure of Office Act, by the way, was only in effect from 1667 to 1887.
Did this violation by President Johnson truly warrant impeachment or was adopting articles of impeachment purely a political act by Congress? Your guess is as good as mime regarding this impeachment hearing, but of note President Johnson was not convicted by the Senate.

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Meet the new boss - same as the Nixon boss

20170503 100417Before there was the firing, there was the hearing. This column is about the hearing held on May 3rd during which F.B.I. Director James Comey met with the Senate Judiciary Committee. The hearing was part of the annual oversight hearing of the F.B.I. although most of the discussion dealt with the Director's handling of two specific investigations. More specifically, the discussion centered on the differences in the Director's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation and his handling, quite differently, of the ongoing investigation into the current administration's involvement with Russia during the presidential campaign to influence the outcome of the election. Apparently the part about the Russia investigation was enough to frighten the administration into firing Director Comey less than a week later.

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Threats to the democratic process

monopoly man2I must readily admit and the readers of this column will most assuredly agree I have had a very difficult time coming to terms with the election of Donald J. Trump. I have not been able to truly understand how anyone could vote for someone as unqualified and unfit as he is. Granted, he did corner the market of “Deplorables.” Certainly, if anyone finds him or herself in that grouping they almost certainly voted for Trump. However, that grouping alone could not have won him the election. There was clearly a grouping not consisting of Deplorables, misguided maybe, but not deplorable, that put him over the top. 

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The loyal opposition isn’t Anti-American

Trump face

Trump supporters like to put anti-Trumpers on the defensive by telling them how un-American it is to not want our president to succeed. The usual response is to point out that that is exactly how President Barack Obama was treated throughout his eight years in office by the far right. Remember Mitch McConnell's famous quote about his number one priority was to make President Obama a “one-term” president? Don't fall for that trap.

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Sitting down with Van Hollen

Chris Van Hollen interview

With the November 8th election behind us and with the elevation of reality T.V. host Donald Trump to the White House in front of us, many Democrats are scratching their collective heads trying to figure out the best way forward.

The Montgomery County Sentinel sat down with newly elected Senator Chris Van Hollen to find out his views on the next steps for Democrats and, more importantly, the nation as we enter into somewhat unfamiliar territory with the Trump administration.

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