EDITORIAL: The cringing abdication of Senate Republicans

Republican Senators who voted Friday to suppress known but unexamined evidence of President Trump’s wrongdoing at his Senate trial must have calculated that the wrath of a vindictive president is more dangerous than the sensible judgment of the American people, who, polls showed, overwhelmingly favored the summoning of witnesses. That’s almost the only way to understand how the Republicans could have chosen to deny themselves and the public the firsthand account of former national security adviser John Bolton, and perhaps others, on how Mr. Trump sought to extort political favors from Ukraine. (Wash Post)

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EDITORIAL: Former GOP congressman: ‘Republicans have thrown acid on the Constitution’

As the rationalizations poured in — convicting Donald Trump 10 months before the next presidential election would tear the country apart; his impeachment was partisan and, therefore, fatally flawed — a former Republican member of Congress had this to say from his home on Maryland’s Eastern Shore: “The Senate Republicans have just thrown acid on the parchment the Constitution is written on.” (Balt Sun)

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Samuelson: The (perplexing) state of the economy

It’s State of the Union time, and one of the few bright spots — so it seems — is the U.S. economy. Preoccupied by impeachment, politics has descended into acrimonious anarchy. We are at loggerheads with our traditional allies. The spreading coronavirus casts a cloud of dread. Meanwhile, the economy plods along at about a 2 percent annual growth rate. Though unspectacular, this has been steady enough to reduce the unemployment rate from a peak of 10 percent in 2009 to 3.5 percent, the lowest since the 1960s. (Wash Post)

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Libit, Neuberger, Budlow: Pimlico - a pivotal opportunity for Northwest Baltimore

The General Assembly will take up legislation this session that represents a pivotal moment for the future of Northwest Baltimore. The legislation outlines an expansive new plan for Pimlico race course that could benefit the surrounding neighborhoods for years to come. The package to redevelop Pimlico Race Course — carefully negotiated over many months — ensures the historic Preakness Stakes stays in Baltimore, offers a clear vision for horse racing’s future in Maryland and creates the kind of momentum that is critical for redeveloping and strengthening Central Park Heights and beyond. (Balt. Sun)

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McDaniels: What if Thiru Vignarajah had been a young black man stopped by cops in West Baltimore?

What if Thiru Vagnarajah had been a young black man in West Baltimore who was stopped by Baltimore police for driving with his lights allegedly turned off? What if that young black man turned testy with the police officer and questioned his authority and claims about the lights, as the lawyer and mayoral candidate did when he was stopped at 1 a.m. in the 2400 block of Greenmount Avenue in East Baltimore on Sept. 26? (Balt. Sun)

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Editorial: Is Governor Hogan serious about post-Labor Day school start?

On the second floor of the State House in Annapolis, April Fools’ Day arrived 63 days early. At least that’s the most logical explanation behind Gov. Larry Hogan’s announcement during Wednesday morning’s Board of Public Works meeting (always a preferred rant time for governors past and present). He promised he would submit legislation to mandate that all Maryland K-12 public schools set their calendars so that doors open after Labor Day and never before. (Balt. Sun)

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Editorial: Ending witness intimidation should be a priority of Maryland lawmakers

It is time for the code of silence that exists in Baltimore to end. For far too long, residents have been too scared to come forward and tell police what they know about crimes. This stop-snitching culture has hindered police investigations, made residents hostages in their own neighborhoods and left far too many criminals on the street. Lawmakers could potentially disrupt this status quo of fear with several bills introduced in this year’s General Assembly that would offer better protections for witnesses scared of retaliation from criminals, or the associates and family members of bad guys. (Balt. Sun)

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Editorial Advisory Board: Md. should keep judicial elections

Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera of the Court of Appeals, our highest court, has come out in favor of stripping the voters of their only real opportunity to hold state judges accountable for their performance. She proposes to end contested elections for the judges of circuit courts, our trial court of general jurisdiction. We dissent. Right now, when a vacancy opens up the governor appoints the 153 judges of the circuit courts upon the advice of a nominating commission. After a year in office, each appointee must stand for election. (Daily Record)

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