DeFilippo: Supreme Court Blesses Legalized Bodysnatching

Larrymandering is out. Gerrymandering is in. The Supreme Court’s five conservative justices, in tossing Maryland’s congressional redistricting map to the majority Democrats, decreed that the nation’s highest court has no role in what is pure politics, if you can believe that. Put another way, the court said that partisanship is no reason for them to get involved in an area where the court shouldn’t be sticking its nose. They said nothing of how they were chosen or appointed. (Md. Matters)

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Barker: In El Salvador, I saw hope

As I return to Baltimore after a week-long trip to El Salvador, I can’t stop thinking about the places I visited and the people I met — people not despairing but filled with hope and working to improve their lives and their communities. It was a week of walking through fields of cacao trees interspersed with banana and cinnamon plants in an agro-forestry farm owned by a young, recently married couple. (Balt. Sun)

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Border patrol agents' vile Facebook comments reflect an agency corrupted by Trump's rhetoric

Comments made by Border Patrol agents on a secret and private Facebook page weren’t just vile and offensive, but they put into question whether these agents can properly do their jobs. It’s no wonder conditions at border detention camps are so deplorable and migrants treated so inhumanely when those in charge are joking about their deaths and expressing utter disdain for their very being. It raises serious questions about whether the culture of the department has been infected by the hateful rhetoric and sentiments of President Donald Trump. (Balt. Sun)

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Hogan and the fenced-off funds: Just when did the governor get religion on Maryland's budget?

As pressure has mounted for Gov. Larry Hogan to release funds the legislature freed up to support the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, upgrade Baltimore police technology, provide summer jobs for kids in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County, build new schools and a variety of other things, his administration has voiced increasing concern about the state of Maryland’s finances. If he chooses not to fund any or all of the $189 million in general fund spending, it could provide a convenient excuse — something along the lines of, “It’s not that I disagree that we ought to be testing rape kits rather than throwing them away, and it’s certainly not that I’m being petty about the Democratic legislature trying to fund its own priorities. Maryland just doesn’t have the money.” (Balt. Sun)

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Waldman: Trump’s efforts to rig the census may already be working

One of the characteristic features of Donald Trump’s presidency is how he has taken the institutions and practices that used to be considered outside partisanship and above the interests of any individual, and turned them to his own ends. In some cases, it’s for his own personal aggrandizement, as he’s doing by turning the traditional Fourth of July event from a celebration of the country’s independence to a celebration of himself. In others, as with the 2020 Census, it’s to use the federal government to advance the interests of the Republican Party. (Wash. Post)

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Jennings, Deittrick: Fast-track Baltimore from Charm City to 'Smart City'

Smart city technologies empower cities to operate more efficiently by leveraging technology and “internet of things” (IoT) sensors that deliver sustainable solutions to economic growth and improve the lives of citizens. Consider this a call-to-action to fast-track Charm City into “Smart City” fully connected for the digital world. One need look no further than our rust-belt neighbor to the west, Pittsburgh, to find an American city that successfully made such a transition. Pittsburgh, once in dire economic straits after the decline of American steel, found a way to reinvent itself into Fast Company’s 2019 “Smart City of Future” through outstanding technology investments that transformed the city into an ecosystem of innovation. (Balt. Sun) 

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DeFilippo: Supreme Court Blesses Legalized Bodysnatching

Larrymandering is out. Gerrymandering is in. The Supreme Court’s five conservative justices, in tossing Maryland’s congressional redistricting map to the majority Democrats, decreed that the nation’s highest court has no role in what is pure politics, if you can believe that. Put another way, the court said that partisanship is no reason for them to get involved in an area where the court shouldn’t be sticking its nose. They said nothing of how they were chosen or appointed. The High Court has struggled for years over the issue of redistricting, juking case after case unlike lower appellate courts that appear eager to depoliticize politics. The high court, however, has intervened in cases of redistricting for racial reasons. (Md. Matters)

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Kalyanaraman: Md. hepatitis C treatment funding leaves key group behind

When I entered community health 13 years ago, treatment for hepatitis C — the deadliest infectious disease in the United States — was available, but only half of those who received it were actually cured. Treatment took a full year and made patients feel like they had the flu the entire time. Because of this, we carefully screened patients to make sure they could withstand such a rigorous regimen. During this time, I told John and Regina, two of my patients with hepatitis C, that there were whispers of a new medication that would revolutionize hepatitis C care. I urged them to wait for it. (Balt. Sun)

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