Monday, December 4, 2023 |


Stacey Abrams: Our democracy faced a near-death experience. Here’s how to revive it.

The violent Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, coupled with ongoing threats to election officials, election workers and lawmakers at all levels, represent unprecedented attacks on the foundations of our democracy. Certainly, President Donald Trump and others in his party who inspired the attacks must be held accountable through all available means. But accountability alone will not be nearly enough. Only meaningful reforms can undo the damage done — and establish a government that is truly representative of the people. The next real test of our democracy comes now.

Rodricks: In the midst of the muck, Maryland’s Steny Hoyer stands up for decency

It was in a Senate hearing room in Washington in 1954 when the bow-tied Boston attorney Joseph Welch asserted “a sense of decency” as an American ideal. In the early 1950s, in the midst of the Cold War, Sen. Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin had almost single-handedly created a second red scare by claiming, with little evidence, that the federal government and Army had been infiltrated with communist sympathizers. His obsession was the “deep state” of the Eisenhower era.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Vaccinated Montgomery County teachers should be in the classroom

ABCs, 123s. Sitting in a circle and waiting your turn. Keeping your hands to yourself. Not taking your neighbor’s belongings and absolutely no cutting ahead in line. Beyond basic classroom rules, these are the life lessons that teachers impart to our kids each and every day in schools across the country. Some of these rules are about fairness and right and wrong, and others are about how a person’s actions can affect the good of the group. Teachers start these lessons early and recite them often because these are all critical concepts about being part of a community and they are the foundations upon which a school is run and society prospers.

Another year starts violently in Baltimore. Roca keeps knocking on doors to try to save lives.

The gauge we hate but cannot ignore shows that 2021 is already worse than 2020. There were 29 homicides in Baltimore by Wednesday; that’s one more than at the same time last year. All but six of those killings were by gun. On top of that, 51 other people were wounded, and that represents 10 more nonfatal shootings than police recorded by Feb. 3, 2020. There were no killings on Dec. 8, the day Brandon Scott took office as Baltimore’s new mayor. But there have been 56 homicide victims since then, including the Safe Streets peacemaker Dante Barksdale.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
‘Normalcy’ is still a long ways off, despite COVID vaccine rollout

To say we were overjoyed after we were each vaccinated against COVID-19 would be an understatement. As two physicians, one of whom works in the ER and the other of whom works in the medical wards and ICUs, we had spent our shifts watching COVID ravage our patients and worrying that we would contract the virus ourselves. This vaccine marks, to date, the best weapon available to turn the tide against this virus. However, as the vaccine begins to be rolled out to the general public, we do want to remind everyone that this vaccine, while incredible, will not end the threat that COVID poses overnight.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
New environmental scorecard a sign of change in Anne Arundel politics

American carnage is a phrase Donald Trump used in another context. Of course, it is hyperbolic. But the damage to the environmental cause done during the reign of Donald Trump is hard to overstate. He rolled back more than 100 anti-pollution rules, sold off national resources, abandoned enforcement of environmental laws, purged government agencies of scientists and replaced talented technocrats with political hacks. President Joe Biden’s administration will surely do its best to reverse the damage but it will be a lengthy undertaking.

Our Say: Ed Reilly is just messing with your head

Sometimes, lawmakers are just messing with our heads. That must be the explanation for state Sen. Ed Reilly’s non-binding resolution that would ask school systems in Maryland to add “female monthly cycle tracking for adolescent girls” to the school health curriculum. Reilly, whose views on reproductive health are based partly on his faith, knows this idea isn’t going anywhere. And even if it did pass, it is unlikely the Maryland Department of Education would add it to the health curriculum for schools.

Covid-19 Vaccine Bottle Mockup (does not depict actual vaccine).
Editorial: Maryland’s vaccine rollout, the ‘Hunger Games’ of health care

If we needed any more indication that the Maryland vaccination rollout has been an utterly, confusing mess, we got news Monday that there may not be enough doses for people to get their second shots. This came on the same day that the state opened up vaccines to yet another group of people (those with certain health conditions who are hospitalized) even as those in earlier groups, those older than age 65 for instance, are still desperately struggling to get an appointment. What sense does that make? Expanding eligibility for vaccines that aren’t available and building up false expectations and anger?

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Peter Franchot: Why Hogan’s COVID Relief Proposal Isn’t Enough

Avid Maryland Matters readers — particularly my colleagues in the legislature — know that for several months I’ve advocated for a Maryland stimulus package that helps Marylanders, small businesses, and communities most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. For months, I’ve urged Gov. Larry Hogan to tap into the more than $1.5 billion in reserves in the state’s treasury — our $586 million surplus from Fiscal Year 2020 and the almost $1 billion in our Rainy Day Fund — to provide immediate cash assistance to low-income families and struggling small businesses who are barely keeping their heads above water.

Marcus: Trump’s Senate impeachment trial won’t be a waste of time

The Senate impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump promises to be an event entirely lacking in suspense. The verdict seems clear before the first words have been uttered; Trump will be acquitted because not enough Republicans will vote to make up the two-thirds majority needed for conviction. This disappointing reality does not mean the trial will be a waste of time or even counterproductive. To the contrary, as the House prosecutors’ brief filed Tuesday underscored, the magnitude of Trump’s misconduct requires that the Senate proceed regardless of the outcome.

The Morning Rundown

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