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Democrats look for opportunity in healthcare

  • Published in State

One week ago Republican Senator John McCain stood on the floor of the U.S. Senate floor and with a thumbs-down gesture and a firm and loud “no,” killed the last Republican attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The possible end of Republicans’ “Obamacare” repeals now opens a bipartisan window for some healthcare reforms according to congressional Democrats.

“I am of the view that we just closed the door on these repeal and ravage campaigns,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-8).

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Republicans pass bill making pipelines easier

  • Published in News

CAPITOL HILL – The House is making it easier for companies to build natural gas pipelines. Two measures approved last Wednesday were touted by Republicans as means to streamline the approval process for oil and natural gas pipelines. The Promoting Interagency Coordination for Review of Natural Gas Pipelines Act, which passed by a 248-179 vote, codifies that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) act as the lead environmental review agency for projects and sets deadlines for other state and local agencies to ask FERC to become participating agencies, as well as deadlines for FERC to issue permit decisions. The Promoting Cross-Border Energy Infrastructure Act undoes an executive order saying a presidential permit is needed to build an oil or gas pipeline or electric transmission facility that crosses border with Mexico or Canada. That bill passed with a 254-175 vote.

“These are commonsense reforms that reduce interagency bureaucracy, and I think that we can all agree that permitting should be more transparent and more accountable,” said Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas-17), the sponsor of the first bill mentioned.

Republicans also spoke of the need for the U.S. to become energy independent and to foster economic growth, which they argue the bills help achieve.

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Bernie supports a Jealous vote

  • Published in State

Though Gov. Larry Hogan says he did not vote for President Trump, Ben Jealous, a progressive candidate and former NAACP president, is trying to turn his campaign for governor in 2018 into a referendum on the two Republicans.

“We are a great state with a great future with great people, but our children will not be able to realize their full potential if we continue to tolerate the status quo,” said Jealous.

Hogan is popular in the state, but certainly not among progressive voters in Takoma Park, many of whom were drawn to Bernie Sanders’ appearance at the rally. Trump, however, is not as popular in Maryland, and Jealous is ready to capitalize on that.

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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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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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