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Things my father taught me

nips wild turkeyMy dad taught me a lot of things growing up. Some I can share, but some would be best left to late night conversations after imbibing some Wild Turkey.
One of the things that sticks in my addled, aging mind is that it is best to “shut the Hell up and let everyone think you’re an idiot, rather than opening your mouth and getting your butt beat because everyone found out you’re an idiot.”
I know, there are plenty of other interpretations of that particular saying from dear old dad - but his sticks with me.
Obviously Kanye West, Donald Trump and several county candidates for council and county executive could’ve used the services of Dear Old Dad.

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Before you go too far . . .

Richard JeniThe late comedian Richard Jeni once said in reference to American politics if you’ve gone too far to the right or too far to the left then you’ve . . . gone too far.
And here we are in 2018. Our president says to the nation during a joint news conference how much he enjoys conflict and how happy his White House is. “Believe me everyone wants to work in the White House,” he said an hour before Gary Cohn became the latest to say “Not so fast.”

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Former Sentinel reporter makes history

  • Published in Local

With election win, Danica Roem becomes first openly transgender legislator to serve anywhere in the U.S.

Danica Roem photoDanica Roem after winning three MDDC awards for the Sentinel.                                        FILE PHOTO  The experience and knowledge Virginia Delegate-Elect (and former Montgomery County Sentinel News Editor) Danica Roem (D) gained while covering local politics in Montgomery County proved invaluable to her winning effort in Tuesday’s election, Roem told the Sentinel during an interview the morning after her historic victory, which will make her the first openly transgender individual to serve in Virginia’s House of Delegates.

“When I was news editor of the Montgomery County Sentinel, I was part of a team that did a five-part series on water infrastructure, and I talked a lot about that series,” Roem said. “I talked about water infrastructure a lot on this campaign.”

Such issues might be boring – “the kind of stuff that makes reporters zone out” – but are extremely important, she said. “You’ve gotta take care of your infrastructure.”

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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.

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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!”

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MoCo Dems begin the Summer of Resistance and Renewal

  • Published in Local

The Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee launched its “Summer of Resistance and Renewal in Montgomery County” in mid-July, but the canvassing that makes up those efforts began in earnest this past weekend. Those canvassing efforts are aimed at drop-off voters with the hope of ensuring a Gov. Larry Hogan loss in 2018.

“There’s good turnout for general elections, for presidential elections, more of a drop-off with midterms,” said Jackie Coolidge, a precinct official in District 18. “This is going to be a very exciting year leading up to the election.”

Before the canvassing started, the small group of canvassers gathered in the Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center, and one of the organizers, Marie Mapes, posed an important question: “What are the barriers to (drop-off voters) feeling engaged in the Democratic Party?”

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Monroe seeks full term in G-Burg

  • Published in Local

Gaithersburg Govt logoGAITHERSBURG — Yvette Monroe, the most junior member of the Gaithersburg City Council, is seeking a full term this fall.

Monroe and her husband moved to Gaithersburg from Philadelphia 27 years ago for work. Her interest in civic affairs in the city began when she attended the 2010 State of the City Address.

"I had been president of the Watkins Mill PTA, and I was interested in staying involved in education issues after my daughters graduated," Monroe said. She joined the city's Education Enrichment Committee and became its president in 2013. She also joined the Olde Towne Advisory Subcommittee in 2016. At the 2016 State of the City Address, Monroe received the city's Distinguished Citizen award.

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Raskin hopes to train next gen politicos

  • Published in State

Since his first campaign for elected office in 2006, Congressman Jamie Raskin has trained young adults to become political organizers.

"Politics at its best is all about education," said Raskin, who represents Maryland's 8th Congressional District. "You're educating people about the process, you're educating people about the substance of the issues, and then you're educating and getting educated by people about the prospects for real social and political change," he said.

Known as Democracy Summer, the program was formed alongside Raskin's first campaign for the Maryland State Senate in 2006 as a way to not only conduct political outreach but also to educate and encourage young adults to become involved in politics.

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The president finally makes sense

Fredo MichaelI finally get it.
All these months I could not understand why our president tried so hard to disrupt and destroy the investigation into Russian hacking of our elections. There are those who are convinced it is because the president was directly involved in collusion with the Russians.
Still others think the president is just a buffoon, but I’ve never bought into that theory – he has some innate intelligence and survival instincts or he wouldn’t be able to thrive in the cutthroat world in which he’s cruised all these years.

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