Rubin: Republicans’ words betray a lack of moral core

The Republicans’ moral decline and perverse priorities have never been more evident than in the remarks of three Republicans who weighed in on the Ukraine scandal. At one end of the spectrum — the one marked “repugnant” — stands former U.S. attorney Joseph diGenova. (Wash. Post)

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Devenport: Md. legislators distort vaping risks

Maryland state legislators have moved toward banning flavored vaping products, such as those that smell and taste like fruit or candy, and they cite the increased number of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) cases as evidence that vaping among youth must be stopped. But the current best evidence, released Friday by the CDC, continues to indicate that the strongest risk factors for lung injury are a) vaping pre-filled cartridges b) containing cannabis derivatives like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which are c) obtained from an illicit or informal source. (Balt. Sun)

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Witcover: Michael Bloomberg, late-arriving spoiler to Democratic nomination race

Presumably out of concern that none of the declared Democratic 2020 presidential nominees could defeat President Trump next year, former New York Mayor Bloomberg has suddenly signaled his own intention to jump into the race. He has taken the unorthodox route of filing for the Democratic primary in Alabama just under the deadline Friday, and in time to meet the upcoming deadline in New Hampshire, which will be the first significant test as the traditional opening primary following the Iowa caucuses in early February. (Balt. Sun)

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Holtz: How Hong Kong’s protests became a de facto war about the future of democracy

When Hong Kong’s protests broke out in June, I was 5,000 miles away in Copenhagen. I saw headlines but was ignorant of the scale and complexity of what has become a de facto war against creeping authoritarianism. It was only through a chance encounter with two students from Hong Kong that I became aware of the passion and ingenuity at the movement’s core. (Wash. Post)

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EDITORIAL: 2019 election results shouldn't be cause for concern among Republicans

Largely overlooked amid Virginia Democrats’ (understandable) gloating about capturing control of the Virginia General Assembly for the first time in 20 years and narrowly winning the Kentucky governorship, there were election results — from Pennsylvania and New Jersey to Arizona and Mississippi and back to Kentucky — that should help take Republicans off suicide watch. With the benefit of a week’s hindsight since the Nov. 5 off-off-year elections, a calm examination of last week’s vote should serve to allay some of the handwringing. (Wash. Times)

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EDITORIAL: Congress, stop ducking. Free the ‘dreamers.’

In the expansive realm of congressional dysfunction, there are few recent examples that surpass the failure to shield from deportation hundreds of thousands of unauthorized migrants, now in their 20s and 30s, who have grown up, studied and entered the job force after being brought to the United States as children. Here is a youthful cohort of more than 700,000 — as ambitious and promising as their native-born neighbors, classmates, co-workers and friends — whom large majorities of Americans want to protect. (Wash. Post)

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Capehart: Why Bloomberg won’t be the Democratic nominee

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg has all but officially announced that he’s running for president. He would make an excellent president of the United States. I’m not just saying that because I was a policy adviser on his first of three successful campaigns for mayor of New York. He started his 12-year tenure as mayor by pulling the city from the brink of economic oblivion after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and then presiding over a resurgent Big Apple in the years that followed. (Wash. Post)

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Editorial: Contradictions reveal strained relations between Baltimore police, prosecutor

The public squabble over whether a city and state police investigations is open regarding the mysterious death of Det. Sean Suiter tells us nothing new about how the officer died. But it reveals volumes about the dysfunctional relationship between the Baltimore Police Department and the city prosecutor’s office — made worse by the police union, which appears largely incapable of supporting the BPD commissioner. After the latest review of circumstances surrounding Suiter’s death pointed to suicide, as an earlier panel also found, Commissioner Michael Harrison released a statement closing the case Wednesday. Less than 24 hours later, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby contradicted him, declaring it: “an open and pending matter.” (Balt. Sun)

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