Editorial: Trump can’t fight extremism and ‘anti-conservative bias’ at the same time

THE WHITE HOUSE says it is attacking violent extremism on the Internet. If so, it is counterattacking at the same time. Two currents at cross purposes have emerged from President Trump’s administration in recent days, in the wake of yet another mass shooting apparently inspired by white-supremacist rhetoric on the Internet. The first has some potential. Senior officials will meet with executives of top technology companies on Friday to discuss the rise of violent online extremism, a plague Mr. Trump pledged to “do something about” this week. (Wash. Post)

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Franchot: Many items are tax-free next week in Maryland stores

With summer winding down, Maryland families soon will begin to trade the relaxation of Ocean City beach and Deep Creek Lake weekends for the rush of back-to-school shopping. The start of the school year is always an exciting time for Maryland students and their families. However, as a parent myself, I know that preparing for a new year can be hectic for everyone. To help alleviate the stress of back-to-school prep, while also highlighting our many outstanding locally owned businesses, I’m proud to announce this year’s Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week taking place August 11-17. Additionally, the first $40 of any book bag or backpack is exempt from the sales tax. (Times-News)

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Cooper: Democratic Party Should Take the Reins of Fiscal Responsibility

One year from now the Democratic Party will select its presidential nominee to run against Donald Trump, an incumbent president who is widely reviled on a personal level even by members of his own party. Yet incredibly, his re-election remains within the realm of possibility, becoming ever more realistic as Democratic presidential candidates struggle to differentiate themselves and fail to hone a message that both resonates and is simply identifiable to the general electorate. The national Democratic Party is in as much of a shambles now as the Republican Party was with the rise of the Tea Party 10 years ago. (Md. Matters)

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Our Baltimore: We asked why you love this city; here’s what you had to say

Baltimore is a city with challenges — big ones. But it’s not the hopeless place the president recently made it out to be, or the governments of Uruguay and Venezuela, which last week issued warnings against travel here. Yes, there is violence, and there is crime. There are drugs, inequity, racism and segregation. We have infrastructure issues, vacant homes, government scandals and subpar public education. We also have tight-knit communities, lush green spaces, rich history, outrageous characters, friendly neighbors, great food, creative visionaries and an unbreakable spirit. We asked readers to share their versions of Baltimore in 150 words or less and were overwhelmed with images of the city that don’t often make the headlines. (Balt. Sun)

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Pitts: And again. And still

And again. And still. Nine people shot dead in Dayton, 13 hours after 22 shot dead in El Paso, six days after three shot dead in Gilroy. And tears and disbelief and funeral preparations, candlelight vigils and a search for meaning, and talking heads on cable news and T-shirts and hashtags touting resilience in the face of pain: "Dayton Strong," "El Paso Strong," "Gilroy Strong." And again. And people asking "Why?" and Republican officials trotting out explanations noteworthy mainly for their uselessness. They blame mental illness, Colin Kaepernick, Barack Obama, video games, drag queens, gay marriage, TV zombies, immigrants and recreational marijuana. (Balt. Sun)

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Zurawik: Trump-inspired attacks on Baltimore continue in Facebook ads. We could be watching this all the way through 2020.

Given the dizzying pace of news cycles driven by tweets from Donald Trump, his attack on Baltimore and Congressman Elijah Cummings might seem like ancient history. That’s especially true after the mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso. But the Baltimore-is-hell-and-black-Democratic-leaders-are-to-blame narrative that President Trump lit a fire under with his tweets is still very much with us in social media, particularly in Facebook ads and YouTube videos. And upon closer examination and comparison with Team Trump’s characterization of immigration at the southern border as an “invasion,” it looks like Baltimore bashing might become a key part of the president’s 2020 election strategy. (Balt. Sun)

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Owens-Southall: Invest in Coppin, don’t ‘align’ it

Isn’t it interesting that during a time when Coppin State University is in a national search for a new president and, therefore, most vulnerable, that a proposal is made for “alignment” with another institution — a proposal lacking transparency and made without input of key stakeholders? It has not been defined how this “alignment” is to happen, nor which institution, as there must be a lead, will be at the helm. (Balt. Sun)

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Editorial: This is neither the time nor the way to loosen Maryland’s handgun permit restrictions

Given the recent mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso, many in Maryland may have been shocked (and rightfully so) to learn that the Maryland State Police decided Monday to loosen certain limits on handgun permits. Specifically, MSP unilaterally ruled that business owners with restricted concealed carry permits should be able to carry their guns at all hours. In other words, the owner of a company already granted a permit because he makes cash deposits at 4 p.m. on weekdays, for example, can legally tote his firearm around any time of the day — assuming he now applies for that modification and pays a nominal fee. (Balt. Sun)

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