Friday, February 26, 2021 |
Baltimore
37°
Clear
FOLLOW US:

Commentary

Editorial: Biden is moving to end Trump’s inhumane border policies. Can he avoid triggering a new migrant surge?

The Biden administration is engaged in a high-wire act at the U.S.-Mexico border, trying to dismantle what it rightly regards as former president Donald Trump’s inhumane immigration policies and simultaneously to avoid signaling to desperate migrants that the doors to the United States have swung open amid a pandemic. The stance is inherently contradictory — little wonder it began springing leaks days after the new president took office.

Olsen: Robinhood takes its turn in the congressional hot seat

The widely awaited first congressional hearing on GameStop took place Thursday, and it was nowhere near as climactic as expected. True, most — though not all — representatives quickly agreed on the villain: Vlad Tenev, CEO of Robinhood, the platform many of the investors in the game retailer used to run the stock up from low double digits to more than $500, before it plunged back to earth. Of course, Tenev apologized in the semi-groveling, semi-self-aggrandizing way typical at these hearings, promising to do better in the future — but it wasn’t clear what exactly needed to change. When asked point blank by Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.) what “mistakes” he specifically made, he couldn’t answer.

As ‘reasonable Republican,’ Larry Hogan talks up bipartisanship. But who wants it?

Like most politicians with aspirations for higher office, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan must read polls. But the other night on CNN, he seemed to have either overlooked or avoided recent polling about his political party and about the country’s desire for big government action to help us through the pandemic and recession. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it’s refreshing to hear a politician speak his mind and not just what a poll tells him he should say.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Require universal background checks for all gun purchases

Last Sunday marked a tragic anniversary. It was three years ago that a lone gunman shot and killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. President Joe Biden marked the date issuing a statement not only grieving for the loss of 14 children and 3 adults, but promising swift action to end “our epidemic of gun violence.” First on his list of proposals: Require background checks on all gun sales. That the measure topped the president’s agenda was likely no accident: It is surely the most common-sensical, broadly supported and easily accomplished gun safety reform imaginable.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Housing is a human right, but Maryland’s system works mainly in landlords’ favor

More than a dozen pieces of legislation in the Maryland legislature are aimed at correcting what The Post has called a “rights equation [that] is badly tilted in [landlords’] favor.” Scores of regional and statewide organizations, the attorney general’s office, responsible legislators and hundreds of thousands of renters are looking to the legislature’s leadership to act. Yet the prevailing wisdom of these leaders and landlord supporters is that the system works. It does, but mostly for landlords. In coming months, more than 200,000 Maryland renters risk eviction from their homes. They will feel what one Gaithersburg retiree felt as he simultaneously faced heightened vulnerability to the coronavirus and the loss of housing.

Our Say: Taxation bills would give more power to Anne Arundel County. That’s a good thing.

Tax policy is never an easy topic of conversation in Anne Arundel County, where a revolt by taxpayers 30 years ago hobbled government with a revenue cap and still echoes politically and culturally. This year in the General Assembly, local lawmakers are focused on two major themes for county taxpayers: Tax cuts that would give the county power to help businesses hurt by the pandemic, and tax rate flexibility that would give the county the power to shift more of the tax burden to those at the top of the economy. There are, to be sure, wider tax measures coming out of the assembly that will impact county consumers and businesses.

Mourn Rush Limbaugh’s death, then bury his shock-jock approach to politics

Nil nisi bonum. Do not speak ill of the dead. The Latin proverb has provided sage advice for centuries, yet the passing of Rush Limbaugh has caused some to turn to another thought leader: Mark Twain, who once observed on the death of a famous public figure, “I did not attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.” Mr. Limbaugh might have appreciated the humor, but then, it was probably too subtle for his taste.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
State lawmakers should support tighter fiscal oversight of Visit Annapolis

Unlike most taxes, you don’t often hear fiscal conservatives raise concerns about the levy on hotel rooms. Those who actually pay the taxes tend, in the main, not to be residents of the taxing jurisdiction and are voiceless in expressing a feeling about the fairness of this particular taxation. Hotels and other hospitality businesses that pay Anne Arundel County’s room tax pass them on to customers, spelling them out in the bill. Those businesses might argue that hotel taxes make a destination less competitive compared to other places with lower hotel taxes, but that’s about the amount of discussion on the subject.

This is how the Maryland General Assembly should reform policing in the state

Right now, contrasting views exist on how discipline should be handled in the future. Democratic House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones proposes keeping a trial board system where cases are reviewed, but adding civilians to it, rather than having it stacked with all police officers, as is the case now. A bill by Democratic Sen. Jill Carter would get rid of trial boards and put the firing power in the hands of police chiefs.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Bridging the Digital Divide for Students Is a Moral Imperative and Legal Obligation

When I taught English to middle schoolers last year, I saw the lives of almost 100 students change on March 12 as schools closed because of COVID-19 — a deadly virus that students couldn’t see but has kept them away from their friends and classmates for the rest of the school year and beyond. Now, my students struggle to stay connected during virtual instruction. For one student, her audio fails because of spotty Wi-Fi, making it frustrating for her to engage in class and come off mute. For another student, his broadband connection is unreliable in supporting his Zoom classroom, much less the individual breakout rooms that are so critical for peer-to-peer collaboration and socioemotional development.

The Morning Rundown

We’re staying up to the minute on the issues shaping the future. Join us on the newsletter of choice for Maryland politicos and business leaders. It’s always free to join and never a hassle to leave. See you on the inside.