Dutch Ruppersberger: Md. congressman drafts violence prevention program bill because 'even small actions are better than thoughts and prayers'

You may have heard about the social media firestorm that erupted earlier this week between the National Rifle Association and doctors around the country. Responding to a position paper from the American College of Physicians that suggested a public health approach to gun violence, the NRA took to Twitter to urge “self-important” physicians to “stay in their lane.” I’d urge the NRA to talk to some of the emergency room surgeons here in Maryland — particularly those at the University of Maryland’s Shock Trauma in downtown Baltimore — and ask them if they deserve a voice in the gun control debate as they pull bullet after bullet from patients. (Balt. Sun)

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Josh Kurtz: The Future Is Now

Now, more than ever, Maryland politics is at an inflection point. Every election is a change election – even in a state like Maryland, where political leaders become embedded in their jobs. Think about the last few: In 2016, Baltimore City got a new mayor and several dynamic new City Council members and the state got two new members of Congress. Not only did we get a rare Republican governor in 2014, but Republicans made significant, durable gains in certain rural and exurban legislative districts. Overall, more than 40 percent of the House of Delegates turned over. (Md. Matters)

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Donald C. Fry: Md. voters deserve redistricting reform

A federal judge once colorfully observed that the shape of one of Maryland’s congressional districts is “reminiscent of a broken-winged pterodactyl, lying prostrate across the center of the state.” The judge was referring to Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District that includes snippets of three counties – Anne Arundel, Baltimore, and Howard — and a swath of Baltimore city. Maryland’s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who was overwhelmingly reelected to another four-year term, describes the district’s shape in blunter terms: “I don’t know what this looks like to you, but to me, it looks like gerrymandering,” he said. (Daily Record)

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While Frosh appeals gerrymander ruling, Hogan and Busch should seek a solution

Attorney General Brian Frosh should have let stand the recent federal ruling tossing out the state’s congressional map for the 6th District, giving Maryland the chance to create a process that will get past the national conundrum of gerrymandered districts. Instead, the Democratic attorney general, acting against the wishes of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, notified the U.S. District Court in Baltimore Thursday that he will contest last week’s order that the state redraw the map in time for the 2020 elections. Frosh argued it would be unwise for Maryland to begin drawing a new map when the Supreme Court could adopt a different standard in a North Carolina gerrymandering case that is apparently heading to the top court. (Capital)

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Brian Griffiths: Searching for the disconnect between Hogan and Pittman victories

As it turns out, some of my prognostications over the course of the last year were a bit off. Sure, I was absolutely correct about Gov. Larry Hogan’s massive, historic, and unprecedented re-election as governor. I was right about Ben Jealous being the worst major-party candidate for governor that we have ever seen. But what I said about Anne Arundel County was — not. About a year ago, I wrote that the recruitment of Steuart Pittman as the Democratic candidate for county executive showed that county Democrats were “firmly in retreat” and “it shows that Democratic prospects in Anne Arundel County have collapsed.” Whoops. (Capital)

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Kevin C. Coates: Maglev is 'totally doable' in Northeast corridor

Since I arrived in Maryland 35 years ago, traffic congestion has increased almost exponentially. Yet relatively nothing has been done to alleviate the congestion problem. This is because very little can be done to accommodate a doubling or tripling of the number of vehicles. The simple reason for this is that road capacity is limited — and measurable. If the “throughput” of vehicles exceeds 2,000 vehicles per lane-mile, per hour, you get traffic jams. (Balt. Sun)

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Zeke Cohen: Baltimore leaders band together as anti-Semitism surges

The murder of 11 Jews in a synagogue on the Sabbath is the devastating consequence of our decaying national discourse. Hate speech is wielded by profiteers and politicians whose goal is to divide, devalue and dehumanize. They conjure mythical hordes of black, brown and Middle Eastern “barbarians” invading our southern border. The dog-whistle has become a bullhorn. And people like the Pittsburgh shooter are listening. White nationalists have answered the call in cities and towns across America. (Balt. Sun)

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The Catholic church is in crisis, and its leaders are making it worse

If any truth emerged from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting this week in Baltimore, it was surely Archbishop William E. Lori’s observation that the priest sex abuse scandal “ is going to be with us for a long, long time.” The church covered up the widespread abuse of children and adults by priests for a long, long time. It denied and deflected public outrage for a long, long time. And now, when a Pennsylvania grand jury report revealed the breadth of the abuse, and the fall of former Washington Archbishop Theodore McCarrick demonstrated that it extended to the top rungs of the Catholic hierarchy, the church is waiting longer to take even the most obvious of steps to restore its parishioners’ faith. (Balt. Sun)

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