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constitutionThe United States has been a curious experiment in government from its inception.
Highly influenced by the Magna Carta, our forefathers sought to govern themselves. No King. No despot. No Tyrant. A nation of ordinary people making decisions for their own lives and working together to help each other – that was the ideal upon which our government was founded.
The bedrock to this experiment was and has been a well-informed electorate. That free flow of information has been instrumental in exposing the evils of slavery, the hopes of a Civil Rights movement, the dreams that landed man on the moon and giving parents a thrill at seeing their son and daughter in print. Sometimes, when first published, those facts were contested and called false - though they later turned out to be true. The struggle then boils down to writing things with which the government disagrees versus the government's spin on events. Because of this, and much more, an independent press is specifically protected in the First Amendment to The U.S. Constitution.

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Holding three of a kind

MC DC Kill the Music Cancel the Victory Dance“Excellent Smithers. Release the hounds.”
Or, if you prefer, “The die is cast.”
New or ancient reference, the bottom line is there’s a three-way race now underway for County Council.
Marc Elrich, the Democrat is squared off against Republican Robin Ficker - the notorious gadlfy popular for a variety of things, including yelling at professional basketball players and getting a term limit measure leveled on county councilmembers.
That move alone has earned Ficker a huge following as county voters, unable to move themselves into a voting booth, can now rely on term limits to automatically kick out the best, the worst and the mediocre councilmembers after three consecutive terms.
Ficker hopes to turn his popularity into a trip to the County Executive’s chair and guess what? He has a better chance than most Republicans in this very blue county at getting the results he wants.
The reason is twofold. It isn’t just that voters love the idea of automatically kicking out the rascals.
One of those rascals, Nancy Floreen (a Democrat) has apparently obtained enough signatures to enter the race as an independent.

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President’s analyst is definitely missing

James Coburn in The Presidents AnalystI will readily admit that I am not a trained, certified psychiatrist. I haven’t even played one on TV, although I have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express not to mention my car insurance is with GEICO.
However, when it comes to psychoanalyzing one Donald J. Trump, it’s not that difficult a task. The only question, really, is whether to use the term “psychoanalysis” or “analysis of a psycho.”
To quote Mitt Romney, something I never thought I would ever do, “Donald Trump is a fraud, a phony.”
That he is, but now for the psychoanalysis.

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The basic lessons need to be remembered

PCF90Despite the best efforts of Congressional Republicans to call for an investigation into the “Hillary Clinton Administration,” the reality is that there is no Hillary Clinton Administration.
Hillary Clinton was not elected president on November 8, 2016. Hillary Clinton, to the detriment of America and its ideals, lost the election and Donald J. Trump sits in the Oval Office of the White House. I am made eminently aware of this sad fact every time I attend the daily White House press briefings and, at times, witness Trump attempting to read from the teleprompters at a ridiculously embarrassing third-grade reading level.
His reading level, though, is the least important of all of the embarrassments he brings to the presidency. Our descent from the world stage and the loss of status as the leader of the free world along with the loss of respect by our allies is quite a bit higher on the embarrassment list.
So how do we fix this catastrophe? How do we learn, or rather re-learn, the lessons of the 2016 presidential election as we approach the 2018 midterm elections and the 2020 presidential election?
Let's start with something we learned in the two elections of Barack Obama as president of the United States: “If all minorities band together and vote, they become the majority.”

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And remember - that was the week that was

images 1FBI Agent Peter Strzok. COURTESY PHOTO The week of July 9th or thereabouts was just another week in the Trump administration. The good news for the current president is that he finally drew a crowd of mammoth proportions, a crowd size far exceeding the crowd size of his inauguration. Regrettable for him, however, the crowd consisted of protesters as he descended on London and they converged to send him a message of their outrage.
The week consisted of the president portraying our NATO allies as “foes” just as he prepared for his summit with Vladimir Putin. At that meeting Trump, never learning from the past, repeated that disastrous phrase “both sides” when deciding to blame both Russia AND the United States for the current contentious relationship between the two countries. The President of the United States also used the shared podium with Vladimir Putin to portray Putin's denial of Russian meddling in our elections as “strong and powerful” even though in direct contradiction of the findings of Trump's own intelligence community. One can almost hear O.J. Simpson asking “What about me?”

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The danger to democracy is far deeper than the current problems of Trump

6a3395d1e814e981a706b4eac458fb45 political memes political cartoonsRemember when Trump spoke endlessly of “beautiful clean coal?” You probably thought it was because he is so committed to saving jobs in the coal industry. If his concern about jobs was legitimate, then why is he far less concerned about the many more jobs found in the renewable energy industry?
These jobs, the wave of the future, are jeopardized with his policies which make renewable energy much more costly.
Well maybe, just maybe, his interest in the coal industry is tied to an individual by the name of Corbin Robertson? Who is Corbin Robertson you ask? He happens to be a major Republican Party campaign donor who also just happens to own 21 billion tons of coal reserves.
Climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, is a frequently-recited refrain by Trump during both his campaign and his presidency. This, despite the overwhelming proof of the existence of the effects of climate change as attested to by almost the entire scientific community.
Any chance that Trump’s ignorant denials of climate change has more to do with the influence of the fossil fuel industry lead by major campaign donors Charles and David Koch, a.k.a. The Koch Brothers? I think so.

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Elrich, Ficker and Floreen

Elrich Ficker FloreenAnd so it’s over – or is it?
Councilman Marc Elrich apparently survived an attempt by local businessman Donald Trump, I mean David Trone, I mean David Blair to buy the Democratic nomination for county executive. By just 80 votes Elrich emerged victorious from this summer’s primary election only to face a cornucopia of challenges headed into the fall general election.

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Taking another close look at Hogan, the governor’s race and much more

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A few weeks ago, my column “Will the real Larry Hogan please stand up?” published June 7, took a look at some key issues that will surely be debated during the Maryland gubernatorial campaign. To say it generated some controversy would be putting it mildly. Like most things in life, there is always more than one side to any issue. To say that the governor’s office, specifically his Director of Communications, Ms. Amelia Chasse, took exception to my portrayal of the governor’s record would be quite the understatement.

As an advocate of the “fairness doctrine,” the purpose of this column is to provide the governor’s office with an opportunity to share their view and provide the reader with a more balanced approach. For space considerations I will have to condense much of their input, but I will make every effort to capture the essence of their responses. I will also take the opportunity to offer my own response to their counterpoints. I’ll leave it to the reader to judge the merits of either side of the debate.

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Democracy finds itself in a shambles as Mad King Donald takes center stage

RTS1JGW31 1024x692Trumpian political tactics are not new to history; just new to an American presidency.
Back in the early 1940s, from 1941 and into 1945, the vice president of the United States was not Harry Truman. The vice president of the United States was a progressive by the name of Henry Wallace.
Wallace actually founded the Progressive Party. A strong supporter of New Deal liberalism, Wallace was considered by many Democrats to be too liberal to remain on the presidential ticket in the upcoming election and was denied re-nomination at the 1944 Democratic National Convention. He was replaced by Harry Truman to run as President Franklin Roosevelt’s running mate and who became president with the death of President Roosevelt in April of 1945.
Why is this relevant, you wonder? It is relevant now more than ever because of the rise of Donald J. Trump. It was Vice President Henry Wallace who warned us about the rise of threats such as Donald J. Trump. It was Vice President Henry Wallace who recognized that the rise of Adolph Hitler could occur any place if citizens are too lazy to care. It was Vice President Henry Wallace who shared way back in 1944 this prescient observation:
“American fascists claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.”

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Happy Independence Day Mr. President

Fourth of July fireworks

The American voting public during the Republic’s history has delighted itself upon the thought that an average citizen of reasonable intelligence can rise to the fore and serve a great nation dedicated to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Nothing, of course, can be further from the truth.

Our history, indeed, is replete with the election of fools to the highest office in our land. The notable exceptions being perhaps the first four or five presidents and maybe two or three more during the run of the Republic.

Many of them have had connections and wealth. None have been from the lower class. None of them are the “great unwashed.”

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