EDITORIAL: Md. governor must engage with education commission if he hopes to influence it

Gov. Larry Hogan is increasingly looking like the anti-education governor with his dark money fundraising effort to fight reform and outright refusal this week to even engage with the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, also known as the “Kirwan Commision.” Commission Chair Willam E. “Brit” Kirwan last week sent a letter to the governor asking him to address members "to find common ground on how we can ensure that all Maryland students have access to a high quality education and that the state is producing the quality of workforce that will enable it to sustain a vibrant and global competitive economy.” (Balt. Sun)

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EDITORIAL: Rising seas are a much bigger danger than experts thought

Here's another piece of evidence that climate change might be worse than scientists previously predicted. The seas are rising, and will continue to rise, because hotter temperatures melt land-based ice and expand the volume existing ocean water takes up. But while much study has examined the shift in amount and warmth of seawater humans will face, there is another variable scientists must get right to assess the risk to humanity: just how many people live in low-lying areas. A new paper suggests previous estimates of land elevation — and, therefore, the number of at-risk people — were wrong. (Wash. Post)

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EDITORIAL: Denying fundamental fairness will come back to haunt Democrats

“Boo” only startles when its target is caught by surprise. Democrats chose Halloween to spring a preliminary impeachment vote on the nation, but their move was spotted a mile away. Adversaries of President Trump have been loudly proclaiming their intention to expel him from office since the day he was elected. Now that the campaign to unelect him is out in the open, partisan accusers operating in the shadows must step into the light. Judgment cuts both ways. (Wash. Times)

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Milbank: Republicans convene the cult of Trump

That Rep. Devin Nunes serves as the ranking member on something called the Intelligence Committee has always been a contradiction in terms. The California Republican displayed his intellectual heft earlier this year by suing a fictitious dairy cow that was mean to him on Twitter. Even so, what he said on the House floor during Thursday’s debate to authorize a formal impeachment inquiry was jaw-dropping. (Wash. Post)

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Editorial: It’s time Md. banned flavored tobacco products

The country’s vaping crisis, and the lives it has claimed, has brought new attention to the candy and fruit-flavored tobacco products that have proven to get young people hooked on nicotine. Maryland and other local jurisdictions across the country are pushing for partial or all out bans on the products with names straight out of the candy aisle, like Arctic Ice and Banana Smash. (Balt. Sun)

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Vatz: The Capital Gazette shooter’s fraudulent insanity plea

Americans have had doubts about the validity of the insanity plea in criminal cases at least since the 1980s, when John W. Hinckley Jr. was found not guilty in federal court in the attempted murder of President Ronald Reagan. The presumption for insanity is no longer the case in the federal courts. In Maryland, the burden of proof, only by a preponderance of the evidence, is on the defendant for a “not criminally responsible” plea. (Wash. Post)

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Suleiman: Case shows why federal ‘First Step Act’ sentencing changes must be made retroactive

At a sentencing hearing this month, Lamont Gaines, a criminal defendant I represent, benefited from a provision in the First Step Act, the Trump administration's criminal justice reform legislation. Because the provision does not apply retroactively, Mr. Gaines’s co-defendants, who were sentenced before Congress passed the law, cannot benefit from it. Prosecutors argued that the difference was unfair. They were right. (Balt. Sun)

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Olsen: Republicans might regret pushing Pelosi so hard on an impeachment vote

Republicans have been urging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to hold a vote authorizing that chamber’s impeachment investigation. Now that she has scheduled a vote for Thursday formalizing procedures for the impeachment inquiry, they might wish they hadn’t pushed so hard. The vote’s outcome is a foregone conclusion, as a clear majority of the House, and almost all Democrats, have publicly declared their support for such an inquiry. The only practical effect of the resolution is to allow Democratic members from swing districts to distance themselves from the speaker’s effort without disrupting her plans. It’s hard to see how that is in the GOP’s interest. (Wash. Post)

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