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"Broken Down"

 

Raskin evaluates the possibility of peace in the Middle East after recent trip

Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-Md.). COURTESY PHOTOCongressman Jamie Raskin (D-Md.). COURTESY PHOTO  More than a year after being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) got his first bit of foreign policy experience after returning from a Congressional trip to the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Raskin, along with 10 other Democratic members of Congress including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), visited Israel, Jordan and Afghanistan, meeting with heads of state in all three countries.

For Raskin, who is midway through his first term in Congress and serves on the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees, said the trip was particularly eye-opening, especially into the current stalemate on peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders and the United States’ involvement in the war in Afghanistan.

“As far I can tell, the peace process has broken down completely,” Raskin said of peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

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A win for the rule of law

Federal judge rules lawsuit can proceed against President Trump

gavel2 1 Federal judge Peter J. Messitte ruled Friday that a joint lawsuit filed by Maryland and the District of Columbia against President Donald J. Trump can proceed, refusing the government’s request to drop the case.

Last June, D.C. and Maryland, announced they were suing Trump for violating the Emoluments Clause in the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits elected officials from receiving any present, title or emolument from a foreign head of state. Maryland and D.C.’s lawsuit against Trump alleges he has received emoluments through his various businesses, which Maryland and D.C. claim have become a hotspot for foreign dignitaries looking to curry favor with the president by patronizing his businesses.

“Today’s decision is a win for the rule of law, and soundly rejects the Trump administration’s argument that nobody can challenge the President’s illegal conduct,” said Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh.

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Local students run for Governor ... in Kansas

gabrielle zwiGabrielle Zwi COURTESY PHOTOIlan Cohen and Gabrielle Zwi have neither set foot in Kansas nor graduated from high school, but Kansas voters could soon count one or both county teenagers among their choices to be the state’s next governor. 

“Kansas is not one of the states I have visited – nor is any of the states bordering Kansas,” he said, while Zwi admitted she might have passed through the Jayhawk state in transit but has never “been there.”

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Personal experience of Florida shooting

It was almost the end of the school day for 14-year-old Isabella on Valentine’s Day when she heard an alarm ring. The ninth-grader at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. ran back to her classroom, only to discover that the door was locked.

“She started pounding on the door,” but no one opened it, said Isabella’s aunt, Veronica Penaranda of Bethesda.

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Women’s March draws record crowd

Womens March on WashingtonHuge crowds show up at the Mall to protest.       PHOTO BY NICKOLAI SUKHAREV  

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Thousands marched on the nation’s capital Saturday in support of women’s rights and gender equality. 

“We understand that a year ago Donald Trump and Mike Pence were sworn in and immediately began turning the clock back on women’s rights, worker’s rights, LGBT rights, and our fundamental values of inclusion, opportunity and tolerance,” said Takoma Park resident and current Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez speaking to a crowd gathered around the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

Perez, who served one term on the Montgomery County Council, urged people to stand up for progressive beliefs and to “organize, mobilize and vote for Democrats.”

Marking the one-year anniversary of the 2017 presidential inauguration, the march drew thousands from around the region and country, many of whom held signs, to protest the actions and rhetoric of the Trump administration.

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Raskin works to evaluate Presidential mental fitness

Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-Md.)  COURTESY PHOTO Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-Md.)       COURTESY PHOTO  While the physical examination President Trump undertook last Friday may not have included an evaluation of the President’s mental health, the discussions of Trump’s mental health and fitness have put freshman Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-8th District) in the spotlight to an extent rarely experienced by first-term House members.

Raskin, who voters elected to the House after nine years representing parts of Silver Spring and Takoma Park in the General Assembly, has become a regular on the cable news circuit in the wake of revelations made in “Fire and Fury,” the explosive tell-all book by Michael Wolff, which has shined a spotlight both on Trump’s potential unfitness for office, and on Raskin’s efforts to create a Constitutional process to evaluate the fitness for the office of President, now and in the future. 

But despite the recent attention, Raskin has been talking about evaluating U.S. Presidents’ fitness to serve since last May, when he introduced the Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity Act to establish a permanent body with authority to declare whether the President can discharge the powers and duties of his office.

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Raskin’s 25th Amendment bill picks up co-sponsors

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Representative Jamie Raskin’s 25th Amendment bill is picking up momentum in Congress. As of today, 50 cosponsors have signed on to the ‘Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity Act’ (H.R. 1987), which will establish the Constitutionally-provided and Congressionally-appointed “body” we need to determine presidential capacity with the Vice President.

Under Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet or the Vice President and a majority of “such other body as Congress may by law provide” can determine in the event of a crisis that the President is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office” due to physical or mental incapacity.

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Protesters confront Sen. Cardin at town hall

ROCKVILLE – Protesters assembled outside a town hall to voice their opposition to legislation sponsored by Sen. Ben Cardin.

"There's a long track record of Cardin, among other people in Congress, of supporting policies that don't recognize the humanity of Palestine," said Benjamin Douglas, 33, who led the protest.

The protest was part of the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) movement which aims to change Israel's West Bank settlement and embargo policies through international pressure. They gathered Thursday at a town hall focused on health care with Sen. Cardin at the Johns Hopkins Rockville campus.

Douglas, who works as a lawyer, said he was there to specifically protest a bill primarily sponsored by Maryland's senior U.S. Senator.

"The specific catalyst is Senator Cardin's role as a primary introducer and primary sponsor of the Israel Anti-Boycott Act which actually seeks to criminalize certain forms of boycott, divest, sanctions movement," Douglas said. "The intent is to intimidate civil society and promote investment even in things the U.S. government considers illegal like settlement in the West Bank," he added.

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Hogan offers expansion plans and toll roads to ease traffic congestion in Capital corridor

GAITHERSBURG – Gov. Larry Hogan announced three separate projects totaling $9 billion to widen Interstate Highway 270, Interstate Highway 495 and State Route 295 Sept. 21.

Hogan, along with Maryland Secretary of Transportation Pete Rahn, announced officials in his administration began the process of soliciting potential companies with which to form a public-private partnership (P3) to add four toll lanes each to Interstate Highway 270, to Interstate Highway 495 and to the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

“The daily backups on the Capital Beltway, I-270 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway have made the Baltimore-Washington corridor one of the most congested regions in the nation,” Hogan said. “This problem has been marring the quality of life of Maryland citizens for decades. Today we are finally going to do something about it.”

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NIH finds health risks can lead to early dementia

NIH LogoA new NIH-funded study indicates that midlife vascular health risks may increase chances of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

"We know how to treat vascular disease and we know how to prevent vascular disease but we don't know how to treat or prevent Alzheimer's disease, so it's particularly important to evaluate the side of the equation we do know in terms of treatment," said Dr. Rebecca Gottesman, a neurologist at Johns Hopkins University and lead researcher of the study.

Gottesman and her research team examined 15,744 individuals, aged 45 to 64, and found that 1,556 participants suffered from dementia or experienced significant cognitive impairments.

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