A leftist is poised to lead Montgomery County. There’s cause for concern.

Marc Elrich, the most insistently anti-business and anti-development member of the Montgomery County Council for more than a decade , has eked out the narrowest of victories in last month’s Democratic primary for county executive. Pending a possible recount — and notwithstanding a still-uncertain independent candidacy in November’s general election by another veteran council member, Nancy Floreen — Mr. Elrich now looks like the odds-on favorite to assume the top elected position in the heavily Democratic locality of about 1.1 million people. (Wash. Post)

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Jimmy DeButts: John McNamara's legacy will live on with friends, family and UMd

John McNamara sized up the new guy. Leaning in, he delivered unsolicited advice. “You know, you really don’t need the tie.” Maybe a month later, he caught me on casual Friday. This time, the offending article was a lime green polo shirt. “You buy that in the men’s department?” he deadpanned past my desk at our old building on Capital Drive. He never broke stride sauntering to the sports department. It’s the moment I became a John McNamara fan. He was welcoming me into his fraternity. (Capital)

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Tim Prudente - Lessons from the Cult of Rob: Remembering a writing mentor at the Capital Gazette

Silver-haired and 6-foot-5, the big guy settled in an office chair draped one leg over another, and regarded my newspaper stories on the table. Silence. A young reporter, I had cold called Rob Hiaasen, the assistant editor at The Capital newspaper in Annapolis and driven two hours with my stories and thin credentials. Maybe this was a mistake. Years later, I remember his words. “Forget the resume. Let’s talk about this lede.” (Balt. Sun)

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Ramp up local prevention efforts as opioid deaths rise

Through the first half of 2018, Carroll County has seen nearly as many fatal overdoses as it did all of last year and in 2016, a heart-wrenching statistic that shows street drugs being used may be more potent and deadlier than ever. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be an obvious way at the local level to keep up with or keep ahead of these dangerous synthetics making their way into the county and into users’ hands. What is being done locally, and must continue to be done, are educational efforts about the dangers of opioids as well as expanding treatment options and availability. (Carr. Co. Times)

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July 11 // The questions Brett Kavanaugh needs to answer (and probably won't)

Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, clearly has the requisite experience and stature to serve on the Supreme Court. He has an extensive record in public service, dating back to the George H.W. Bush administration, and he has written hundreds of opinions, law review articles and other materials that will need to be examined to determine his suitability for a lifetime appointment. This is not something that can be rushed. (Balt. Sun)

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Carl Tobias: Judge Stephanie Gallagher deserves a confirmation vote

On June 7, President Trump nominated Stephanie Gallagher, who has served as a U.S. magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court in Baltimore since 2011, for a district vacancy on that court. This happened 21 months after former president Barack Obama nominated her to the same opening. Gallagher is a highly qualified, mainstream nominee who enjoyed the powerful support of former senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and current Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). The Senate Judiciary Committee approved Gallagher in May 2016 without dissent. However, she languished when GOP leaders would not allow a confirmation debate and vote, and her nomination expired in January 2017. Because Gallagher is an experienced, consensus nominee and the District of Maryland requires this vacancy filled, the Senate must expeditiously confirm her. (Wash. Post)

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Dan Rodricks: Is Kavanaugh Trump's 'Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card'?

Imagine this: In July 1974, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the president of the United States had to turn over evidence in a criminal proceeding, a decision that led, less than a month later, to that president’s resignation. And imagine this: Three of the justices at the time, including the chief justice, had been nominated to the court by the same Republican president whose fate their votes sealed. In a moment fraught with political consequences, the Supreme Court’s conservatives, liberals and moderates all agreed that the president had to comply with a subpoena, that he was not above the law. (Balt. Sun)

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Rodlyn-mae Banting: Why are white women the face of black and brown civil rights?

As I neared the southeast corner of Patterson Park on Saturday, June 30, the knot in my stomach had yet to untie itself. After days-long rumination over whether or not I should show up to the Baltimore Families Belong Together rally, I had finally settled on attending. But my qualms persisted. As I drew closer to the crowd, one thing became glaringly obvious: The sea of white was not merely a result of the organizers’ requested attire — I was in the minority. The range of protesters was narrow, with attendees differing more in age and poster design than in race and ethnicity. (Balt. Sun)

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