Gov. Larry Hogan, Attorney General Brian Frosh know where wind is blowing

In a perfect world, state officials wouldn't have to go to court to make the federal government — specifically, the Environmental Protection Agency — enforce the law and get power plants in upwind states to control emissions. The EPA shouldn't need such prompting. But this is a less-than-perfect world and Marylanders have to breathe in it. So, a six-month response period having come and gone with no peep from the EPA, Gov. Larry Hogan was right in directing state Attorney General Brian Frosh to sue the federal agency. (Capital)

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Montgomery County considers risking thousands of jobs

Like congressional Republicans who attack studies showing how many people would lose health insurance if they repealed Obamacare, some Democratic lawmakers are in denial when it comes to the likely impact of a sharp increase in the minimum wage. A case in point is Montgomery County, where a majority of the all-Democratic County Council is pushing for a 30 percent minimum-wage hike, despite evidence it would cost thousands of jobs. (Wash. Post)

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The cost of demagoguery in Harford County

The dispute about the Old Trail housing development in Harford County’s Joppatowne community ought to be a simple matter of a disagreement between a builder and local officials over permits and stormwater plans. But instead, it’s the subject of a multi-million-dollar lawsuit in federal court, thanks to the unfortunate coincidence that the development is now being marketed as a retirement community for a particular sect of Muslims, and it happens to be in Maryland’s 7th Legislative District, home to the infamous duo of demagogues, Dels. (Balt. Sun)

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Commissioners, BOE need to grow up on central office showdown

How hard is it to get two government boards to honor the requests of each other? Impossible, apparently, for Carroll’s boards of county commissioners and education. Both are showing obstinacy that is creating more division among the two boards that should be working together to improve education for students in Carroll County instead of bickering over a new BOE central office. (Carr. Co. Times)

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September 28 // Dave Anderson: North Korea: Time for Plan B

The chief reason that North Korea keeps testing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles is self-defense. They rightly fear that the United States and our allies would dismantle the current regime if we could. During the Korean War the United States destroyed 80 percent of the buildings in North Korea. Our official policy toward the Korean Peninsula is one that calls for denuclearization, but it is clear that we have little chance of achieving that in the years to come. Very few countries that have acquired nuclear weapons have given them up. North Korea, which fears the United States and the West in general, and not without reason, has worked systematically for decades to be in a position to protect themselves. (Balt. Sun)

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Dr. Tina Lee Cheng: Congress must act to preserve CHIP and protect America's children

On any given day we see dozens of children and adolescents at the Harriet Lane Clinic, part of the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center located in the heart of Baltimore City. The kids come in from around the city for a variety of services — anything from a vaccine to comprehensive care for complex health conditions. We are their primary care provider and, for most, their only source of health care. Over 90 percent of our patients have access to this care because of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Despite last week’s Senate Finance Committee decision to extend federal funding of CHIP for five more years, the program is still in limbo as we wait for the House to address its looming expiration on Sept. 30. (Balt. Sun)

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Latest SAT scores offer some good news

Last month’s deflating scores for the Partnership for Assessments of Career and College Readiness exams left the state and the county in need of encouraging news about student achievement. And they got it, at least to a modest extent, from the latest scores for the SATs — a traditional measurement of college readiness. Maryland public school students averaged 528 out of a possible 800 in the reading and writing part of the test and 518 points in math — both 1 point higher than the national average. Anne Arundel County students scored 13 points higher than the state average in reading and writing, 12 points higher in math. (Capital)

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September 27 // The very narrow path for Democrats against Larry Hogan

If we were to try to find a bright side for Democrats in the first major poll on Maryland’s 2018 gubernatorial race, released this week by Goucher College’s Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center, it would be this: Four years ago, Larry Hogan was so little known (and not even certain to run) that the fall 2013 Goucher poll didn’t even ask about him. The Democrat who would be his opponent the following year, then Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, had strong name recognition, and President Barack Obama was broadly popular. Yet Mr. Hogan won anyway. (Balt. Sun)

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