Menu

A New Face In The Crowd

Alec RossIn the aftermath of the national disaster known as the 2016 presidential election, cries among Democrats were heard throughout the nation for new faces with new ideas. I believe I found one such new face when I sat down with Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alec Ross to discuss his campaign, his vision for Maryland and how he plans to apply his experience to turn that vision into a reality for Maryland.
I began the questioning asking him how he distinguishes his experience from the experience of the other candidates, namely the administrative experience of County Executives Rushern Baker and Kevin Kamenetz, the state legislative resume of State Senator Rich Madaleno and the national exposure of former head of the NAACP Ben Jealous.

Read more...

Playing "Hardball" with Chris Matthews

20171025 1407530During a recent luncheon hosted by the Women's Democratic Club of Montgomery County, the packed crowd of more than 175 attendees was provided the opportunity to play a little “hardball” with MSNBC's host of Hardball, Chris Matthews. Chris served as luncheon guest speaker but not to discuss the usual politics.
Rather, he was there to discuss his new book “Bobby Kennedy – A Raging Spirit.” I had the pleasure of attending and listen to Chris talk admiringly about an individual I, too, admire greatly.
Interestingly, so much of what he covered has relevance in today's politics.

Read more...

And it really should be equal justice for all

Accused of sexual misconductHollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey, film director James Toback, comedian Louis C.K., Alabama senatorial candidate Roy Moore, longtime U.S. Congressman John Conyers of Michigan, U.S. Senator Al Franken of Minnesota, veteran broadcast journalist and TV host Charlie Rose, Fox News egoist Bill O'Reilly, comedy icon Bill Cosby, and President Donald J. Trump.
These are names on the list of high-profile individuals who have been recently accused of sexual misconduct and the list seems to be growing with new revelations every single day. Sexual misconduct is not and should not ever be acceptable today or in any society or period of time.
However, just like any other inappropriate behavior there are gradations of severity and heinousness and all should not necessarily be painted with the same broad brush. The penalty should fit the crime.

Read more...

Welcome to the ‘Never mind Obama, it’s all about me’ Donald Trump presidency

Pres. Obama 12 31 12I can remember quite vividly the days during the 2016 presidential when Hillary Clinton was portrayed as a “third term of Obama.” Considering the current disaster in the White House, a third Obama term would be quite welcome and be a major step in returning some dignity to the American presidency.
When considering what was accomplished by President Obama during a time in which the Republicans held a majority in both houses of Congress as compared to a Trump administration which has the benefit of that same Republican majority in both houses, one can only be amazed at the magnitude of the difference.

Read more...

Facebookin' on the Hill

Down with Hillary rallyI have covered several Congressional hearings on Capitol Hill for the Montgomery County Sentinel. That is what I do. However the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on social media influence in the 2016 U.S. election held on November 1st was like no other.
The usual Congressional hearings I have attended are like the hearing during which former CIA Director John Brennan testified before the House Intelligence Committee looking into the Russian influence in our 2016 presidential election. During that hearing it was difficult to tell if the Republican members and the Democrat members were there for the same purpose. While the Democrat questions dealt with Russian interaction with the Trump campaign, the Republican questions dealt primarily with Hillary Clinton's emails.
No such variation in questioning during the social media hearing on November 1st. During this hearing, to my surprise, both Republicans and Democrats were for the most part on the same page. Quite simply, their questions focused on the extent of the Russian use of social media to attempt to influence the outcome of the election, what is being done to prevent any recurrence of that improper use of social media AND why was nothing done earlier!

Read more...

Reasons for activism

GovernorBillSigning 1bLife is very much like a box; you can keep taking from it but there comes a time when you have to start putting things back into it or else be faced with an empty box or, to extend the analogy, a possibly less-fulfilled life.
That is where activism and advocacy come into play. Advocacy is a means of putting something back into that box of life by doing something that benefits the many and not just the individual, contrary to the Ayn Rand teachings.
My road to becoming an activist came rather late in life. During my rather lengthy federal career I focused on the many challenging issues I was involved in. These included such issues as addressing the security threat created by moving cargo under bond across the nation, especially in the post 9/11 environment, during my time at U.S. Customs.
It included implementing programs designed to more fully unify the more than 22 disparate entities comprising the newly-created umbrella known as the Department of Homeland Security while serving in that department. It included, while at FEMA post Katrina, estimating the needs and identifying the capabilities and resources at the local, state and federal levels prior to the advent of the next great disaster to, thereby, ensure a more effective response and recovery to avoid what is currently happening in Puerto Rico.
It wasn't until I left federal service that I became much more interested in public policy and community service leading to my becoming much more active in raising my voice to influence that public policy. This, to me, is the very definition of the word activism.

Read more...

A look back at history through clear glasses

17972 miscellaneous nuclear explosion explosionI am a child of the 1950's and 1960's and have also witnessed the challenges of the 1970's, 1980's, 1990's and where we are now in the 21st century. I experienced the Cold War first-hand and remember quite vividly practicing shelter drills in P.S. 213 by taking cover under my desk in case we were attacked with an atomic bomb. Even at that age I questioned the effectiveness of that particular strategy.
As a student in J.H.S. 166, I remember the anxiety of the nation during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the leadership provided by our young president in addressing the threat to our nation. I remember quite vividly, while in Brooklyn College, the feeling of panic when the student deferment was pulled during the height of the Vietnam War as well as the relief I felt when my lottery number was 272.

Read more...

It's never too early to talk about gun control

MC DC Wash Rinse Repeat in BW 1bIt is not too soon. Today's the day to talk about guns in the aftermath of the horrific tragedy that took place just a few short weeks ago in Las Vegas.
Let's start the discussion with some math. This country averages about 90 deaths by gun per day. That is about 33,000 gun deaths per year, every year. Compare that statistic to Japan which had one gun death last year. That is one.
Want more math? The population of this country is about 320 million and the number of guns in this country is about 265 million. Of those 265 million guns about half, or 130 million guns, are owned by only three percent of the population. 78 percent of the population do not own a firearm.
Here's an even better statistic: with only about five percent of the population, the United States accounts for 50 percent of all guns in the world.
One more statistic: there have been, to date, 273 mass shootings, or shootings that take at least four lives, in the United States this year.
Now let's add up all the numbers and what do we get? It is time to do something because doing nothing is not working. In the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting in our history, a record which seems to be broken every year or so, the Republican Congress said “too soon.”

Read more...

A closer look at the first two amendments to the Constitution

Bill of RightsSome recent events have made it an opportune time to take another look at the first two amendments to the Constitution.
Let's begin with the First Amendment. The First Amendment to the Constitution covers a great deal in very few words. Specifically it states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
If there is one word that is the most significant among the 44 words that comprise the amendment it is the word "Congress." The amendment is intended to prevent "Congress," and by Congress meaning the government, from enacting laws that would violate an individual's right to practice his or her religion or exercise his or her right to free speech, a free press, assembling peaceably, or petitioning the government.

Read more...

No room for aristocracy in today’s society

Anthony Andrews Scarlet PimpernelThere is no place for an aristocracy in our government. That concept was fairly well-established by our founding fathers. It is this well-established concept that makes the travel decisions by former Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, so disturbing.
When you consider how he railed in 2009 against government use of private planes (granted, 2009 saw a Democrat in the White House and a Democrat-controlled Congress, but still--!), and then, in 2017 chooses to spend in excess of $25,000 of taxpayer money to travel to Philadelphia from Washington via private jet, the operative word is likely “HYPOCRISY!”

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed