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MS-13 and a parade

handcuffed manGang violence isn’t new in Montgomery County. It isn’t new anywhere in the country.
It is dangerous and serious, but the federal government has never been particularly good about dealing with the problem and the Trump administration is particularly inept in its ability to deal with one particular gang - MS-13.
The gang has been active for at least a decade and a half in Montgomery County and has been responsible for some horrible crimes, particularly in the immigrant community.
John Cronan, an assistant attorney general said Tuesday the Trump administration will not protect immigrants who come forward to testify against MS-13 members - particularly otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants who fear deportation.

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No Wall! Yes a Wall! Which Wall? This Wall?

160216182653 trump border wall explainer animation orig nws 00003622Steny Hoyer walked out of the White House with a grim look on his face. He had spent the last two hours sitting next to President Donald Trump in a bipartisan meeting with his GOP counterparts discussing DACA and border security.
He walked up with a contingent of Democrats to the makeshift podium in the stakeout area outside of the West Wing near the North Lawn to talk about the issue and amazingly, to some, Hoyer said the president had potentially brokered a deal on border security that would ensure The Dreamers could stay in this country.

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Nuclear brinkmanship - The Trump Years

250px Operation Upshot Knothole Badger 001It Only Takes One Match

Of all the tweets that have disturbed me from President Donald Trump, one where he recently talked about having a bigger nuclear button than the leader of North Korea disturbed me on a level in a way I thought impossible since the end of the Cold War. I thought I had buried those fears along with the memories of early childhood.

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Fighting Boys to the Rescue!

4315146 1513539905.5639When my children were small I often told them bedtime stories surrounding the adventures of “Fighting Boys to the Rescue!” Based on the stories my father told me and the stories his father told him, the stories I told had a central character of Ritzinputz the talking squirrel.
He was at the center of a group of friends including Captain Velvet from the planet Mars, Ghost Man – who was scared of himself, Frog Man who had a terrible flatulence problem and King Dinosaur who was a big Elvis Presley fan. Together this group righted wrongs, went on adventures and had fun. Of course my children were included in these tales and many a night getting the kids to go to bed was made easier with a “Fighting Boys to the Rescue!” story.

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True - Hope Springs Eternal

Trump offers Democrat congratulationsI woke up to hope for the first time in a while this morning – a different America than I’ve experienced in the last year and it wasn’t just because the people of Alabama decided not to elect a racist who despises blacks, gays, and Muslims – oh and is accused of being a serial pedophile.
Sure that was part of it, but in the last few days I admit I’ve been waking up more hopeful because of several actions. Looking beyond the daily Twitter litter, I believe President Trump is part of this hope, as is Joe Biden, the Democrats and the Republicans.
For those who are looking for the curve ball, that’s not what this is about – well keep your eye on the ball just the same.

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About that White House Press Christmas party

IMG 0341The annual White House Christmas party for reporters is always worthy of a few jokes.
During the course of the year a popular joke among the press corps is “Man you pissed them off. You won’t get an invitation to the Christmas party.”
Apparently April Ryan, the African-American reporter from American Urban Radio Networks, did just that. She angered the Trump administration so much she didn’t get invited to this year’s Christmas party.
“I’m okay,” she said later. “Everybody’s more upset than I am.”

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Trump and two empty chairs

TPW2F 1459972045 3144 list items hogans schultzThe White House continued several of its insipid, divisive and ultimately boring games this week. Boring because they are not as Nazi-like as the Far Left would have us all believe - unless you’re specifically talking about the Nazis in “Hogan’s Heroes.”
And I’ve seen all of those episodes.

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Be Thankful - always

Norman Rockwells Freedom From WantThe Hypnotized never lie”
– Pete Townshend “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. It has none of the trappings of the LSD-induced imagery of Christmas or the Meth-induced imagery of Halloween – let alone the opioid-induced imagery of chickens laying chocolate eggs you get at Easter.
It’s just a time home with friends, family and those who matter. If you can watch football without feeling guilty about the head injuries or angry someone is or isn’t taking a knee, then you’ve got the makings of a great extended weekend enjoying those you love.
Losing a loved one at this time is bitter and remembering them becomes bittersweet.
But I’ve always found Thanksgiving to be the most heartfelt time to remember those we’ve lost and to enjoy those still with us. It is a time to celebrate our shared experiences and to remember the things that divide us are not as consequential as those which bind us together.

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It is time for a Shield Law

constitution quill penFor the reporter in the street, help is at hand. According to Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) and Jim Jordan (OH-04) the help is in the form of the Free Flow of Information Act of 2017 (H.R.4382), a bipartisan federal shield law that would protect the public’s right to know by safeguarding a free and independent press. The legislation would establish a federal statutory privilege that would protect journalists from being compelled to reveal confidential sources and ensure that they can do their jobs without fear of imprisonment or intimidation.
The legislation was introduced after Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee refused to commit to not jailing journalists for doing their jobs.
Although many states have shield laws or some sort of reporter’s privilege, no such protection exists at the federal level. Dozens of journalists have served jail time, including former New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who served more than 80 days in jail for refusing to reveal a confidential source in 2005 – and me.

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Enough with the prayers already

MC DC Trump on Gun Violence in America 1bSomewhere in the United States right now, as you read this, the next victims of a mass murder are going about their business of life and have no idea what’s in store for them.
They don’t know they’ll soon be victims – perhaps before the ink dries on our newspaper.
They have no way of knowing how they’ll die, or when; whether they’ll die next to their loved ones or die running for safety.
They will just be dead and the dead can’t do anything about it.

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