Trump to visit Baltimore Thursday, a city he called a ‘rodent infested mess’

Just weeks after lambasting Baltimore as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess,” President Trump will visit the Maryland city to huddle with congressional Republicans — a gathering that could draw local protests and reignite an ugly feud between the White House and the black-majority locality. (Wash. Post)

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Projects defunded for Trump’s border wall include military buildings with ‘life safety violations’ and hazmat concerns

The U.S. Navy has been forced to stand down on construction projects meant to fix “life safety violations” and fire risks at dilapidated ship maintenance buildings and hazardous materials warehouses in Virginia after funds were diverted to pay for President Trump’s border wall. The pending construction projects at Norfolk Navy Shipyard are among 127 that the Pentagon has defunded to free up $3.6 billion in funding for fences and barriers on the southern border with Mexico using emergency powers. (Wash. Post)

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Trump calls off secret meeting with Taliban, Afghan leaders

President Donald Trump said Saturday he canceled a secret weekend meeting at Camp David with Taliban and Afghanistan leaders after a bombing in the past week in Kabul that killed 11 people, including an American soldier, and has called off peace negotiations with the insurgent group. Trump’s tweet was surprising because it would mean that the president was ready to host members of the Taliban at the presidential retreat in Maryland just days before the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. (News-Post)

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Enviros Fume as Hogan Downplays Rift With Pa. Over Bay Cleanup

Maryland Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) on Thursday sought to downplay any animus between his state and Pennsylvania over Chesapeake Bay cleanup efforts – a week after blistering the Keystone State in a letter to federal and commonwealth officials. “I wouldn’t really describe it as a tiff,” Hogan said in response to a reporter’s question following the annual meeting in Oxon Hill of the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council, which Hogan leads. “I think we’ve had very productive discussions today. I do think they’re doing everything they can…They’re good neighbors.” (Md. Matters)

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Maryland legislature probes horse racing panel’s oversight of subsidies for racetracks

The Maryland Racing Commission recently notified the legislature’s joint audit committee that most of the public subsidies spent on racetrack upgrades were awarded to the Maryland Jockey Club without the approved spending plans required by law. The commission’s executive director, Michael Hopkins, wrote in a letter to lawmakers that preliminary plans submitted by the Jockey Club and an accountant’s oversight of spending approvals gave horse racing regulators the authority needed to award $17.5 million to the company for renovations at Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park. (Balt. Sun)

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Michael Greenberger on Disaster Response

"One of the greatest problems for emergency managers in these situations is getting people evacuated. You have so-called “mandatory evacuations”, voluntary evacuations. One of the biggest problems—this has been a slow-moving hurricane that has been on the radar screens for over a week now. And there may be some emergency fatigue." (C-SPAN)

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Ben Jealous might seek Maryland governor’s office again, rules out run for Baltimore mayor

Ben Jealous, the former NAACP president and Democratic nominee for Maryland governor, said Thursday he’s ruled out a run for mayor of Baltimore to spend more time with his children and because he might run for governor again in 2022. Jealous, 46, a Fells Point resident who easily won the city during the 2018 governor’s race, said he struggled with the decision for months, but eventually decided against running. (Balt. Sun)

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Like White House Hopefuls, Md. Dems Split on ‘Medicare for All’

The heated health care debate that’s dividing Democrats at the national level is splitting them up in Maryland, too.  Four of the state’s eight members of the U.S. House are co-sponsoring legislation that would replace private health care companies with a government-run Medicare program serving all U.S. residents – not just those 65 and older and some younger people with disabilities. The other three Democrats haven’t signed on. (Md. Matters)

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