Edwards: It’s time for the Democratic field to start getting smaller

It’s after Labor Day and the race for the Democratic nomination is now well underway. Despite the fact that it’s a long road trip, the field seems determined to use the byways instead of the highways. Democrats know where they’re headed, but they aren’t so sure when they’ll get there. And at this point, they might be better off with fewer passengers along for the ride. Watching last night’s debate didn’t do much to help clarify the route. Joe Biden. Bernie Sanders. Elizabeth Warren. You can flip the order, but nothing about this latest debate has changed anything about their standings. (Wash. Post)

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Viewpoint: Small business owners wise to watch debt rule

A new debt collection rule proposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau purports to make Main Street workplaces safe from abusive debt collectors. It does the opposite. If finalized as proposed, the new CFPB rule gives debt collectors such wide latitude to harass their targets — whether they owe anything or not — that it exposes small businesses to debt collectors that will do just about anything, including interfering in the workplace. From contact rules via text and email to hounding third parties, including colleagues, there is wide latitude for abuse. (Wash. Bus. Journal)

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Why you should be worried if your teen smells like berries, cotton candy or mint

Mint. That’s how the teens are already a step ahead of you on this whole vape thing, Washington Wonderminds.  Vaping can be deadly, we’re learning, with a sixth death linked to the habit announced this week.  So the Trump administration announced that it wants to put the kibosh on the wicked marketing scheme to snare a whole generation into addiction by hooking kids on e-cigarettes with flavors like cotton candy, sour double rainbow or blue raspberry razzle dazzle. (Wash. Post)

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Alternative Fact of the Week: Commemorating the anniversary of Donald Trump’s false 9/11 claims

One would think that even 18 years later, the terrible events of Sept. 11, 2001, would require no embellishment from the commander-in-chief. After all, four coordinated attacks by members of the terrorist group al-Qaida resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans. They triggered a war in Afghanistan and a state of national emergency in which this country has largely remained. But for this particular individual, ringing bells and playing “Taps” isn’t quite enough. Making dubious claims to insert himself into the thick of the action? Now, that’s more like it. (Balt. Sun)

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A call to action on affordable housing

The Urban Institute’s important new analysis highlighting the region’s critical need for more affordable housing should be a must-read for policymakers. As Montgomery County’s largest nonprofit providing quality, affordable housing, Montgomery Housing Partnership (MHP) has been in the trenches on this issue for 30 years. (Wash. Post)

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We Don’t Know Nearly Enough About E-Cigarettes

“At least it’s better than smoking” was a common mantra when it came to vaping devices. Not anymore. Doctors in more than 30 states have seen hundreds of patients turn up with severe and mysterious lung illnesses this year as the popularity of vaping explodes. As many as six people have died. (Wash. Post)

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Colvin: 9/11 led me to Syria, Afghanistan and national service

In response to my outreach to military recruiters, my parents persuaded me to anchor my pursuit of service in education. Determined to understand the roots of the attacks, I went to college to study Arabic and Middle East history. On Sept. 11, 2006, I was in Syria, teaching English to Iraqi refugees. From Damascus, I saw how poorly the war was being managed in Baghdad. I could also see that if we got it wrong in Iraq, the violence would spill over into Syria and elsewhere. That experience led me to join the U.S. Army when I returned home. (Balt. Sun)

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Morales: What would a voluntary week in an ICE detention facility mean for my Latino husband?

Like many Baltimore area families, the week leading up to the first day of school was filled with jitters in our house — along with anxiety, excitement, nervousness, energy, hope and joy as we wondered aloud about teachers and class lists and friends and summer reading. It was a week of intense feelings for me, heading into my 18th first day of school as an educator, and my two children, who were starting third and sixth grades. (Balt. Sun)

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