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Rebuilding the Democratic Party

Rep. John SarbanesRep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.)  COURTESY PHOTO  It seems almost unimaginable that the Republican Party can be in control of both chambers of Congress as well as the White House especially when you consider that registered Democrats significantly outnumber registered Republicans. It becomes a good deal less unimaginable when you factor in the impact of the gerrymandering of our district lines, the widespread voter suppression efforts by Republican state governments and the gullibility of the American voter.

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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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In farewell, Mikulski urges bipartisanship and a warning

  • Published in News

Barbara Mikulski at DNCRetiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski addresses the audience earlier this year at the Democratic National Convention. FILE PHOTO  

WASHINGTON - Since the 1990s, Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski has periodically organized dinners with the rest of the women in the Senate, no matter the party affiliation.

The women call these dinners their “zone of civility,” in which they talk about things ranging from their personal lives to political matters. Everything is off the record, their mantra being “no staff, no memos, and no leaks."

During her farewell remarks Wednesday, which she called a "summing up" speech, Democrat Mikulski recalled the first time Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Republican, reached out to work together. Both women’s staff responded negatively.

“‘Ew, she wants to work with you on something,’” Mikulski recalled her staff saying. “‘She’s a conservative from Texas and she wants to do something for women.’”

To which Mikulski responded, “How about if we listen?”

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Van Hollen, Raskin Win!

  • Published in Local

John Sarbanes and John Delaney also win as Democrats roll statewide

Election Night 2016-0116 editedJamie Raskin celebrates his win in the race for Congressional District 8. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER 

Montgomery County voters overwhelmingly backed all available Democratic congressional candidates Tuesday, turning out strong for Sen.-elect Chris Van Hollen, Reps. John Sarbanes (D-3) and John Delaney (D-6) and Rep.-elect Jamie Raskin (D-8).

Next door in Prince George’s County, former Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) resurrected his political career two years after losing the 2014 gubernatorial race by winning the open fourth congressional district.

Van Hollen won 74.8 percent of the vote with 99 percent of precincts counted, Sarbanes won 72.4 percent of the vote with 92 percent of the precincts counted, Delaney won 68.5 percent of the vote with 97 percent of precincts counted and Raskin won 74 percent of the vote with 98 percent of the precincts counted.

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Media responsibility and the new American political dynamic

Media responsibility lacking

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With the nation stunned and Donald Trump’s minions giddy as teenagers on ecstasy, it’s time to take a good hard look at the national media.
After all, the national press has a lot to answer for in how the recent presidential race was covered and the inability to see the wave of anger, fear and hatred of Washington D.C. and traditional politics that has swept the electorate and Heir Donald into the White House.
Trump has destroyed both major parties and is set to spread his demagoguery across the country via his newly won bully pulpit.
To quote Mencken, “… it is to the interest of all the rest of us to hold down his powers to an irreducible minimum and to reduce his compensation to nothing.”

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Local officials decry Trump's "rigged" claims

  • Published in Local

voting-booth

Though some local residents are supporting Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s (R) claim the coming general election is “rigged” those who run the elections are urging voters to keep the faith.

“The Democrats have damaged the integrity of our elections, the Democrats have damage the integrity of the election process,” said Jerry Cave, a Bethesda resident who volunteers for the Trump campaign.

However, Cave did not cite any evidence of voter fraud occurring in Montgomery County.

Mary Wagner, director of voter registration for the Maryland Board of Election (BOE), said voters should have confidence in the electoral system.

“I think we have safeguards in place, I think our voter registration roll as in great shape,” Wagner said.

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Democrats outpace Republicans in new voter registrations in Montgomery

  • Published in Local

ROCKVILLE – With early voting beginning in one week, Montgomery County Democrats are out-registering Republicans by an eight-to-one margin, according to the County Board of Elections.

From Sept. 1 through 30, the number of registered Democrats in the county increased from 377,130 to 381,837, a total of 4,707 additional registered voters.

During the same time period, the Republicans increased their total from 121,492 to 122,075, an increase of 583 voters, less than the 1,002 people who joined the ranks of unaffiliated voters.

That came one month after the Republican voter roll dipped by 376 voters while Democrats increased their voter roll by 1,114 voters.

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An Obsession:

Local Chevy Chase home becomes the last refuge for the donkey lover in all of us

Donkeys 3Bernice Rabin presents one of the pieces of her extensive collection of art and memorabilia that feature donkeys. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  

Inside Bernice Rabin’s Chevy Chase home is a world of donkeys, more than 1,000 of them, although none of them are alive.

Donkeys cover the walls, shelves, stairways, cabinets and table tops. They are found in toys, paintings, tapestries, ash trays, thimbles, troll dolls, paper fans, cut glass, clothing, a chess set, record albums, wine and beer bottles, musical instruments, plates, wind chimes and pillows.

Many of them depict folk art from countries that Rabin, 79, has visited. Others have been given to her by friends. Rabin believes she has spent close to $25,000 on her obsession.

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First-timers enjoy their time in Philadelphia during Democratic Convention

  • Published in State

MP1 9323Democratic nominees Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine in Philadelphia.   PHOTO BY MARK POETKER

Maryland State Delegate Shane Robinson, a supporter of Bernie Sanders, said attending the Democratic National Convention reminded him that he is proud to be a Democrat.

Robinson said he watched the Republican National Convention on television last week and then was struck by a contrast in tone when he attended the Democratic National Convention. While speakers and Presidential nominee Donald Trump seemed to him to be encouraging citizens to be fearful of refugees and potential terrorists, Robinson said the speakers in the Democratic convention conveyed hope and zeal.

“The difference in tone and in positive enthusiasm was striking,” said Robinson. “I’m so proud to be a member of the Democratic Party right now.”

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