Mike Pretl: It's morning again in Maryland

Lost amid our gloom and doom over the tea partiers' nonsensical, reactionary effort to bring down effective government in Washington is this happy local counterweight: 2013 has been an incredibly fruitful year for the forces of forward-thinking government in Annapolis and throughout Maryland. October is not only the month when federal expenditures are debated and approved; it is also the starting-point for much of the legislation passed in the spring session of our General Assembly. Other laws enacted in previous years, subsequently challenged and then wisely ratified by Maryland voters, went into effect earlier this year. (Balt. Sun)

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Jean Marbella: Carson is quoting Lenin to criticize Obamacare. Is the reference bogus?

It was the most expensive campaign ever launched, but opponents were determined to defeat the president's health care reform plan. "Would socialized medicine lead to socialization of other phases of American life?" began one of the pitches used in a massive advertising and lobbying effort. "Lenin thought so. He declared: 'Socialized medicine is the keystone to the arch of the Socialized State.'" That may sound like it was ripped from today's headlines — or at least, the debut this week of Fox News' latest talking head, Dr. Ben Carson. (Balt. Sun)

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Taking the shutdown too far

OK, now they’ve crossed the line. It’s one thing to furlough 800,000 or so non-essential federal workers, close the national parks and Head Start programs. Now the whole shutdown, so far more of a cathartic unleashing of angry rhetoric at a dysfunctional Congress, is really hitting us somewhere very real — that which Ben Franklin said is proof of God’s love, the lifeblood of the working man, the liquid of Sunday afternoon football — beer. (News-Post)

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Tim Rowland: Are city, county serious about change?

Appearances are important, or so they say. And Washington County governments were chock full of lipstick and rouge this week, shedding old names and mission statements like snakes wriggling out of excessively irritating skins. The Washington Co. Commissioners announced a major reorganization of the county bureaucracy and changed the name of the Economic Development Commission to the Department of Business Development. Not to be outdone, the City of Hagerstown changed its mission from: “Being the location of choice for a diverse and dynamic citizenry” to “a diverse, business-friendly and sustainable community with clean, safe and strong neighborhoods.” (Herald-Mal)

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Jim Lee: Self-inflicted wounds hurt GOP

For all its whooping and hollering about “taking back America,” the tea party movement since its inception has done nothing except gain a reputation for its uncanny ability to shoot itself in the foot. The fight over the debt ceiling and government shutdown is just the latest example. Reasonable Republicans finally appear to be working with reasonable Democrats to find solutions to the budget problems, but the approval ratings of the Republican Party have plummeted since the tea party-manufactured crisis began, and an opportunity to highlight failures of that one government thing they hate the most — Obamacare — slipped away in the process. (Carroll Co. Times)

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Government keeps digging holes, then falling in

If the past few days have proven anything, it’s that watching the federal government stumble out of a fabricated crisis isn’t much more enjoyable than watching it lurch into one. With important issues stacked up on its docket, Congress has so far spent October allowing the federal government to shut down for lack of a continuing budget resolution. This happened because a minority of hotheads in the House of Representatives had the absurd idea that they could force President Barrack Obama to back down on the health care law that is his signature accomplishment. (Capital)

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Barry Rascovar: Ben Carson’s split personality

As a pediatric neurosurgeon, Ben Carson was spectacular. His extraordinary eye-hand coordination and three-dimensional skills led to the world’s first separation of twins joined at the head — a 22-hour procedure requiring an expert Johns Hopkins surgical team of 70. As a philanthropist, he and his wife are exemplary leaders in awarding scholarships to deserving youths who strive to be the best, regardless of economic or societal circumstances. But as a novice political commentator, Ben Carson is displaying a less admirable side. (Md. Reporter)

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Double celebration

We are in the tail end of National Newspaper Week, which began Oct. 6. The 15th of this month also marks The Frederick News-Post’s 130th anniversary — when the “Vol. 130” on the front page ticks over to “Vol. 131.” We’re still glad to be here, engaging our community and earning your trust. This year’s newspaper-week theme, “Your Community, Your Newspaper, Your Life,” mirrors well what we hope to live and deliver every day here at The News-Post, whether it’s the local elections, the Friday night lights of the local football game, birth and death announcements, following the money, profiling a business, testing your word knowledge with the day’s crossword, helping you look for a job, or just giving you the day’s weather. (News-Post)

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