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Promises, promises, and is it tee time again already?

Trump on golf courseI know we are in the middle of winter, but I didn't want to let this issue escape my scrutiny. Besides, it is sunny in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Remember during the presidential campaign of 2016 how often candidate Trump complained about how many times his predecessor took time off to play golf? Quite a bit as I recall. I also recall quite vividly candidate Trump promising not to play golf if elected because there is so much to do there won't be enough time to play golf.
He stated over and over again how he will be working, not playing. How he would “stay in the White House and work his ass off.” He accused his predecessor of playing more rounds of golf than Tiger Woods, than the players on the PGA tour. Quite a difference between promises made during a campaign and the reality after election. Especially when it comes to golf and the presidency and Donald J. Trump!
Now for some of that post-election reality as it relates to golf and vacation days as a whole. Reality: Donald J. Trump during his first year in office took five times more vacation days than his predecessor Barack H. Obama.

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MS-13 and a parade

handcuffed manGang violence isn’t new in Montgomery County. It isn’t new anywhere in the country.
It is dangerous and serious, but the federal government has never been particularly good about dealing with the problem and the Trump administration is particularly inept in its ability to deal with one particular gang - MS-13.
The gang has been active for at least a decade and a half in Montgomery County and has been responsible for some horrible crimes, particularly in the immigrant community.
John Cronan, an assistant attorney general said Tuesday the Trump administration will not protect immigrants who come forward to testify against MS-13 members - particularly otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants who fear deportation.

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Local politicians turn deaf ears to bipartisan pleas from Trump

  • Published in Local

In Tuesday night’s State of the Union Address President Donald J. Trump called for my bipartisanship in hopes to unify the County – a message that local leaders did not receive.

“The first year of the Trump administration has been one of most significant tests of our democracy in our lifetime,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) about Trump’s State of the Union speech. “In tonight’s State of the Union address, President Trump was eager to take credit for things he had nothing to do with and ignore the harm he has imposed on the country over the last year.”

The State of the Union, an annual speech that most modern presidents have given to a joint session of Congress, has become a platform for presidents to speak to the nation directly and talk about their policy achievements and goals. During his speech, Trump highlighted a tax cut he signed in December, decreasing unemployment and increasing economic growth as his main accomplishment. In response Democrats have criticized the Trump’s touted accomplishments saying the majority of the new growth has gone to the nation’s wealthiest citizens.

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Redistributing the wealth the old-fashioned Donald Trump way…

Congressman Jamie Raskin (D).  PHOTO BY PAUL K. SCHWARTZRep. Jamie Raskin (D).     PHOTO BY PAUL K. SCHWARTZWhenever a Democratic administration attempts to raise the tax rate on the ultra-wealthy among us in an attempt to get them to pay their fair share of the tax burden you will inevitably hear the cries of “redistribution of wealth,” followed by the ultimate buzz word, “socialism.”
Well, the recently-enacted Republican federal tax plan does exactly that, it redistributes wealth. HOWEVER, it does so in a new and innovative way by shifting financial resources from the highly-taxed, so-called “blue” states such as Maryland, New York, Connecticut, California, and New Jersey to the so-called “red” states such as Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama to name just a few.
An individual in Mississippi who ordinarily takes the standard deduction on his federal return will see that deduction rise from the first $12,000 to the first $24,000. Big windfall.
In Maryland, an individual who ordinarily itemizes (because in such a highly-taxed state, state and local taxes are a major item to deduct), those middle class deductions, according to the federal tax plan, are either no longer allowed or significantly capped. Disaster!

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Women’s March draws record crowd

  • Published in News

Womens March on WashingtonHuge crowds show up at the Mall to protest.       PHOTO BY NICKOLAI SUKHAREV  

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Thousands marched on the nation’s capital Saturday in support of women’s rights and gender equality. 

“We understand that a year ago Donald Trump and Mike Pence were sworn in and immediately began turning the clock back on women’s rights, worker’s rights, LGBT rights, and our fundamental values of inclusion, opportunity and tolerance,” said Takoma Park resident and current Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez speaking to a crowd gathered around the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

Perez, who served one term on the Montgomery County Council, urged people to stand up for progressive beliefs and to “organize, mobilize and vote for Democrats.”

Marking the one-year anniversary of the 2017 presidential inauguration, the march drew thousands from around the region and country, many of whom held signs, to protest the actions and rhetoric of the Trump administration.

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Rockville takes in second annual anti-Trump fest

  • Published in Local

ROCKVILLE — Until Donald Trump took the oath of office to become the 45th President of the United States, Nina Liakos never considered herself someone who would ever be politically active.

Like most, the long-term Gaithersburg resident never had an interest in being involved in politics besides voting, and in fall of 2016 during the presidential election, she said she could have never imagined changing that.

“The one thing that has been good for me this year is that I became more active than I was before,” Liakos said. “Before, I used to vote and that was pretty much it, now I do a lot more…he [Trump] inspired me to become a better citizen.”

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Raskin works to evaluate Presidential mental fitness

  • Published in News

Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-Md.)  COURTESY PHOTO Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-Md.)       COURTESY PHOTO  While the physical examination President Trump undertook last Friday may not have included an evaluation of the President’s mental health, the discussions of Trump’s mental health and fitness have put freshman Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-8th District) in the spotlight to an extent rarely experienced by first-term House members.

Raskin, who voters elected to the House after nine years representing parts of Silver Spring and Takoma Park in the General Assembly, has become a regular on the cable news circuit in the wake of revelations made in “Fire and Fury,” the explosive tell-all book by Michael Wolff, which has shined a spotlight both on Trump’s potential unfitness for office, and on Raskin’s efforts to create a Constitutional process to evaluate the fitness for the office of President, now and in the future. 

But despite the recent attention, Raskin has been talking about evaluating U.S. Presidents’ fitness to serve since last May, when he introduced the Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity Act to establish a permanent body with authority to declare whether the President can discharge the powers and duties of his office.

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