Brickley: Maryland’s 100-year transportation decision

President Theodore Roosevelt said in 1907, “The one characteristic more essential than any other is foresight.” Maryland is planning on a multigenerational bridge project to last far into the next century. This is the proposed replacement for the Nice-Middleton two-lane bridge over the Potomac River connecting Charles County with King George County, Va. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) expressed his early support for the construction of a new four-lane bridge that includes a barrier-separated path for hikers and cyclists. The obsolete Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge, constructed in 1938, was designed at a time when cyclists and hikers were in no planner’s mind. (Wash. Post)

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Editorial: Maryland business leaders should make education reform a priority, call on governor for support

Gov. Larry Hogan announced two proposals Thursday aimed at increasing investment and accountability in schools. And we say kudos for turning his attention to what can be done to improve Maryland education, rather than limiting his focus to what he believes can’t be done — namely raising taxes. The first proposal appears to build upon the legislature’s Protect Our Schools Act, which he vetoed in 2017 and lawmakers later overrode (for the record: The Sun’s editorial board backed the veto; we found the act too meddlesome in school board business). The governor’s new version, named the Community and Local Accountability for Struggling Schools (CLASS) Act, (Balt. Sun)

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Rose-Stern: Maryland’s prisons and an unjust justice system

In Baltimore last week, 25 corrections officers were indicted on a charge of abusing their authority [“Prison guards, staff charged in violent ‘criminal enterprise’,” Metro, Dec. 4]. We must confront the injustices of our justice system. Principles of justice call for a system void of bias, but the history of race in the United States ensures this goal remains elusive. The Justice Policy Institute recently released a report analyzing the racial injustices that continue to plague Maryland’s system. More than 70 percent of people in Maryland’s prisons — double the national average — and almost 80 percent of people serving at least 10 years are black. (Wash. Post)

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Cortellessa: Why don’t Marylanders vote?

On paper, Maryland looks like one of the United States’ most voter-friendly states. It holds eight days of early voting, has same-day and automatic voter registration, allows returning citizens to vote and doesn’t impose undue obstacles, such as voter-identification laws, to prevent people from exercising their franchise. Why, then, do Marylanders vote in such disappointingly low numbers? In 2018, for instance, only 54 percent of eligible Maryland voters showed up to the polls for the general election — meaning almost half of all the state’s residents who could have voted didn’t. (Wash. Post) 

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Anderson: There’s no reason moderate presidential candidates can’t show passion

The Democrats need at least one candidate who is passionate about being a centrist to electrify the primaries for the party. Attracting voters is more than just about presenting sound policy solutions for problems facing the nation. Candidates need something extra that will draw people to their platform. Moderates, who aren’t always known as the most exciting candidates, can take a lesson from the extreme liberal and extreme conservative candidates who have mastered this strategy and in turn excited voters with their strong platforms and campaigns. (Balt Sun)

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EDITORIAL: The left set the precedent for gun-rights supporters

Some on the left are angry, if not apoplectic, that conservatives are turning the tables on them and co-opting one of their own tactics against liberal policies. But turnabout, as they say, is fair play: Self-styled “progressives,” it seems, aren’t the only ones who can unilaterally decide which laws they will or will not enforce and/or comply with.  (Wash Times)

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Tumulty: Nancy Pelosi and that four-letter word

One of the things every Catholic child is taught is that the word “hate” should never be used in connection with another human being. This admonition flows from the expansive Catholic interpretation of the Fifth Commandment. In a General Audience last year in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis declared that to hate is to murder in your heart. All of which explains House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) reaction when James Rosen, a journalist for conservative Sinclair Broadcast Group, asked her: “Do you hate the president, Madam Speaker?” (Wash Post)

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Rampell: Republicans are all about boosting economic growth — except when it comes to food stamps

Republicans are all about boosting economic growth, so they say. Eking out a few extra bucks of economic activity is their top priority — more important than, say, curbing illness and death (hence, looser water pollution standards, fewer slaughterhouse inspections) or even reducing deficits (hence, those budget-busting tax cuts). Unless it comes to punishing poor people. In which case, even the economy has to take a back seat. (Wash Post)

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