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Money is the devil in politics

MC DC The Best Money Can BuyProgramming my own music on YouTube is one the last pleasures a diehard rock n’roll fan has left to look forward to in this topsy-turvy world.
Miguel is fine, but I like my guitar solos, back beats and a signature rock lyric.
Yes, I know I’m dating myself, but Led Zeppelin, The Stones, The Who, The Beatles, David Bowie, Lou Reed and a few others really still get my blood flowing.
And let’s face it, us old farts need to keep our blood flowing.
Everyone grows older if they’re lucky, but there are some things from childhood I absolutely refuse to part with until they pull the shroud over my eyes that one last time.
Imagine my consternation then when the Jim Carroll Band’s “Those are people who died” is interrupted by a David Blair ad.

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Mr. Hogan goes to Washington

  • Published in State

Governor Larry Hogan stands next to Sen. Ben Cardin on his visit to D.C. earlier this week. PHOTO BY NEAL EARLEYGovernor Larry Hogan stands next to Sen. Ben Cardin on his visit to D.C. earlier this week. PHOTO BY NEAL EARLEY  WASHINGTON -- When Gov. Larry Hogan (R) walked out of his meeting with Maryland’s Congressional Delegation last week it seemed it could not have gone better -- at least that's what he said.

Speaking at a brief press conference, Hogan and the delegation gave the impression after the meeting that their party affiliation did not matter.

Like political allies, each Maryland politician repeated and reiterated their shared priorities and objectives -- to save the state from a slew of federal cuts to the management of the Chesapeake Bay, healthcare, and transportation.

“I think it was a very productive meeting on really important shared priorities that are important to the people of Maryland,” Hogan said.

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"Broken Down"

  • Published in News

 

Raskin evaluates the possibility of peace in the Middle East after recent trip

Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-Md.). COURTESY PHOTOCongressman Jamie Raskin (D-Md.). COURTESY PHOTO  More than a year after being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) got his first bit of foreign policy experience after returning from a Congressional trip to the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Raskin, along with 10 other Democratic members of Congress including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), visited Israel, Jordan and Afghanistan, meeting with heads of state in all three countries.

For Raskin, who is midway through his first term in Congress and serves on the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees, said the trip was particularly eye-opening, especially into the current stalemate on peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders and the United States’ involvement in the war in Afghanistan.

“As far I can tell, the peace process has broken down completely,” Raskin said of peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

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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.

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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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Congress struggles to be more HONEST about transparency

  • Published in News

CAPITOL HILL – Republicans in Congress are having a second go at a measure they say will increase transparency of federal environmental regulations.

On March 29, the House of Representatives voted 228-194 to pass the Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment Act (HONEST Act), which prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency from proposing an action, including a new regulation, unless the scientific and technical information used to make that decision is “the best available science; specifically identified; and publicly available online in a manner that is sufficient for independent analysis and substantial reproduction of research results.”

Both Maryland Reps. Anthony Brown (D-4) and Steny Hoyer (D-5) voted against the measure.

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Promises, promises and the Dionne Warwick lament

Trump face

Oh, promises, their kind of promises, can just destroy a life
Oh, promises, those kind of promises, take all the joy from life
– by Burt Bacharach and Hal David

Elections, as we have all recently learned, have consequences. No one should be surprised that promises made by the elected candidate during the campaign run the risk of being implemented after the winner takes office.

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Maryland Congress members speak out against Trump in Silver Spring town hall

  • Published in Local

SILVER SPRING – Members of Congress representing Montgomery County appeared at a town hall meeting to express their concerns Sunday about President Donald J. Trump’s choices on various issues, from healthcare to Syrian refugees.

Senators Chris Van Hollen (D) and Ben Cardin (D) as well as Congressmen John Delaney (D-6), Jamie Raskin (D-8) and John Sarbanes (D-3) spoke on a number of topics before taking questions from constituents in the audience. They said they did not believe Trump’s decisions and remarks on current challenges facing the U.S. coincided with community interests. 

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'How many more people have to die?'

  • Published in Local

Congress grills Metro managers on ills

metro logo

WASHINGTON – Members of Congress pointed fingers at witnesses called to testify about Metro’s SafeTrack program Friday, including a federal safety official, Metro’s board chairman and a Metro union representative.

"How many more people have to die before we get you to act?" Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) asked Federal Transit Administration Executive Director Matthew Welbes.

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