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Creatures of scary habits

Plane OverheadSomewhere in Potomac tonight there is a family sitting in a home that cost more than $1 million, upset with the noise coming from commercial aircraft flying into Reagan National Airport and they’ve convinced the county to spend $150,000 to an aviation expert in order to come up with alternative flight plans into Reagan.
Putting aside that it is still hard for me to swallow that there is an airport named after the president who took a giant squat on air traffic controllers, I’ll happily sign up to take the money from the county because I can tell you there can be little if no change in the traffic pattern at National.
That’s not something those people living in multi-million dollar homes want to hear, but it’s something that’s going to be said.

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Democrats face a messaging problem

safe imageThe biggest issue facing Democrats as they head toward the 2018 midterm elections and their quest to retake both the House of Representatives and the Senate is to identify what Democrats are for and not just against. The search is for a rallying issue, so to speak.
The difficulty is that it is sometimes a bit challenging to distinguish the two especially when dealing with such a destructive force as the CONmander-in-Chief.
There are a couple of good places to start, however. First, simply look at all of the Obama Administration actions that have been, item by item, undone by the current administration. Re-entering the Paris Climate Accord since we are the only nation, and I said only nation thanks to Trump, who is not a signatory is one easy issue to adopt for Democrats. Climate change, by the way, is real, and not being part of the solution implies we are part of the problem. Current efforts to roll back automobile emission standards are a prime example.
Rescinding President Obama's executive order on DACA, Deferred Actions on Childhood Arrivals, only served to create an unnecessary crisis. How this issue will ultimately be addressed remains to be seen, but it is likely that it will leave casualties no matter how it is addressed, if at all.

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A win for the rule of law

  • Published in News

Federal judge rules lawsuit can proceed against President Trump

gavel2 1 Federal judge Peter J. Messitte ruled Friday that a joint lawsuit filed by Maryland and the District of Columbia against President Donald J. Trump can proceed, refusing the government’s request to drop the case.

Last June, D.C. and Maryland, announced they were suing Trump for violating the Emoluments Clause in the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits elected officials from receiving any present, title or emolument from a foreign head of state. Maryland and D.C.’s lawsuit against Trump alleges he has received emoluments through his various businesses, which Maryland and D.C. claim have become a hotspot for foreign dignitaries looking to curry favor with the president by patronizing his businesses.

“Today’s decision is a win for the rule of law, and soundly rejects the Trump administration’s argument that nobody can challenge the President’s illegal conduct,” said Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh.

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Baking chocolate chip cookies for the President

  • Published in Local

Two Clarksburg cousins visit the White House for culinary fun

Twelve-year-old Natalie Elder Dalton (at right) and her nine-year-old cousin Celia Sheehan, (at left - both in peach) along with other members of their family in the White House briefiing room. PHOTO BY SENTINEL STAFFTwelve-year-old Natalie Elder Dalton (at right) and her nine-year-old cousin Celia Sheehan, (at left - both in peach) along with other members of their family in the White House briefiing room. PHOTO BY SENTINEL STAFF  Two cousins from Clarksburg earned bragging rights after spending Friday at the White House, baking in the kitchen and sharing time with the President and First Lady of the United States.

Twelve-year-old Natalie Elder Dalton and her nine-year-old cousin Celia Sheehan, combined their love of cooking with their hope of meeting the man who “was keeping them safe,” and penned a letter to President Donald Trump.

Dalton, who attends Hallie Wells Middle School, explained how much she and her cousin would love to cook for him, either at his home or hers.

Soon, they were baking cookies with the First Lady and several White House pastry chefs and sharing their delicious results with President Trump in the Oval Office.

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Keep your hands off the pension, dude

download 2Back, way back, in the early 1980s, the New York office of the United States Customs Service experienced a full-fledged scandal concerning illegal kickbacks, graft, extortion and more, much more, including obstruction of justice. High-level customs officials went to jail.
The Area Director of the Port of Newark was charged with illegally raising the prices a bit extra, shall we say, for licenses and permits in the port. The extra proceeds, apparently, were directed to his personal coffers, not the government's. Other high-ranking officials were indicted for other illegal activities such as outright theft of imported goods and, as did the Area Director, served time in prison.
While I was working at Newark I recall quite vividly the morning anxiety of wondering who was going to be taken away in handcuffs that day, the goal of which was to put all employees on notice. (Note to my right-wing readers: no, I wasn't among them.)
What was not done, however, was not allowing those who were eligible to retire and collect their earned pensions. The pensions had nothing to do with the penalties for the crimes committed. That was determined in a court of law. Yes, people lost their jobs but, if they were eligible, they did not lose their pensions because one thing had nothing to do with the other.

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Maryland crafts legislation targeting presidential tax return

  • Published in State

A Maryland bill that would require all future presidential candidates to release their tax returns passsed the Maryland Senate last week, taking aim at President Trump. 

The Presidential Candidate Tax Transparency Act – which passed the state Senate last week 28-17 – would make Maryland the first state to require future presidential candidates to release their tax returns as a condition of appearing on the ballot, so as to let voters evaluate any potential conflicts of interest.

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Everyone needs to establish standards

trump hotelThere are certain expectations we, as citizens, have for the individual occupying the White House. We expect that they have a certain level of integrity, honesty, morals, intelligence, experience, judgment and so forth even if we do not always agree with positions, political or otherwise, they may take.
Clearly there have been times in which we may have been let down by occupants of the White House, but just as certainly failure to live up to expectations should not result in lowering our expectations. We should always demand the best of our elected officials even if, at times, we are let down by their actions and judgment.

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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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