Rough justice on tax credit errors

We applaud Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's decision to help homeowners whose property tax bills suddenly jumped after the city corrected errors in how their historic tax credits had been calculated. These people made decisions about whether to buy their homes based on assurances from the state about what their tax bills would be, and although the city was under no obligation to honor those mistaken promises, it was the right — and strategically wise — thing to do. (Balt. Sun)

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Dvorak: Maryland’s health Web site debacle: A scandal of incompetence

No one can look at The Washington Post’s exhaustive investigation into the construction, rollout and crash of the Maryland health insurance exchange and walk away with any measure of confidence in government. Hubris, vanity and plain incompetence all played a role and have cost tens of thousands of Marylanders health coverage for months. Some of these folks have heart conditions, diabetes or other chronic health problems and need treatment that they can’t afford. (Wash. Post)

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The virtues of engagement

Universities are supposed to be places where the search for truth is carried out through a free-wheeling process of vigorous, open debate and the unfettered exchange of opposing views. But that's not what the American Studies Association apparently had in mind last month when its members voted to endorse a boycott of Israeli academic institutions to protest the Jewish state's treatment of Palestinians. It wants to cut off dialogue between Israeli and American scholars until the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved. (Balt. Sun)

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Todd Eberly: Maryland Needs to Embrace the Natural Gas Economy

We cannot spend the next 3 generations burning ever more coal, it is a dirty and dangerous fuel source and a major contributor to global CO2 increases. People need to see natural gas for the crucial and beneficial stopgap that it is. Our nation's steady transition to natural gas in recent years resulted in U.S. CO2 emissions falling to their lowest levels in 20 years The more we replace coal with gas, the better off we are. (FreeStater)

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Michael Barone: Is Martin O'Malley still presidential material after collapse of Maryland website?

It's fair game to look closely at the governing record of a governor who may become a presidential candidate. That's the one serious argument for all the attention directed at the closing of two access lanes to the George Washington Bridge ordered, or at least encouraged, by two appointees of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. So it's fair to take a look at another governor, Democrat Martin O'Malley of Maryland, who has been mentioned as possible presidential candidate and who has traveled around the country in a way that invites such mention. (Examiner)

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Jeff Singer: People over profit

In the face of the federal claim that homelessness has been receding since 2010, the U.S. Conference of Mayors reports that most cities are experiencing surges of homelessness. It's perhaps unsurprising, given a recent announcement by the chief federal housing official that our nation faces the most severe affordable rental housing crisis in our history. (Balt. Sun)

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Eileen Pollock: Baltimore is no New York

Eight months ago I exchanged my posh Lincoln Center zip code (10023) and 212 area code for Baltimore's 21209 and 410. This is my new/old city — I was raised here but spent my working life in New York. When I was laid off from a legal administrative assistant job in New York, it made sense to move back to the Baltimore area. Here, I am combining my continuing job search with giving of my time to worthwhile organizations. Meanwhile I cannot help but observe the differences between living in an exciting world capital with living in a — well, smaller city. (Balt. Sun)

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Jan. 13 // Martin O'Malley: New Md. health care delivery system will prioritize wellness

Beyond the political debates over the Affordable Care Act is a bipartisan consensus about the future of our nation's health care system. Across the political spectrum, officials and experts agree that we must shift from a near exclusive focus on treating people when they get sick to a balanced approach that also promotes health and wellness. Such a shift will both reduce costs for families and small businesses and keep many Americans from dying of preventable causes. (Balt. Sun)

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