Okay, let’s get a couple of things out of the way.
First, I have terminal cancer. This week I learned it’s even more terminal than I had thought. Three forms of malignancy are now competing to kill me—bladder cancer, metastatic transitional cell carcinoma, and colon cancer. I don’t mean to complain, but this seems like overkill to me. I try to keep a good sense of humor about it, but it literally hurts to laugh.
The Maryland General Assembly recently passed two important pieces of legislation, HJ002 by a vote of 89 to 49 and SJ0002 by a vote of 29 to 18. These two bills formally support the Democracy for All Amendment which calls for a Constitutional Convention to overturn the Supreme Court's devastating decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010). This decision has, in effect, turned back the clock on campaign finance reform by declaring that corporations enjoy the First Amendment political rights of the people and, in so doing, it toppled dozens of state and federal laws and many decades of judicial precedent which had prevented both corporations and unions from spending corporate and union treasury funds in political campaigns.
Editor's note: We welcome the commentary of Forrest Carr, a former television news director and executive producer in several large television markets around the country. We will carry his commentary weekly as provided.
Since 47 Republican Senators recently deemed it appropriate to correspond directly with Iranian leadership in a blatant attempt to undermine President Obama and the administration's efforts as part of the multinational negotiations for an Iranian nuclear proliferation agreement, would it also be deemed appropriate for Iranian leadership to now correspond directly with those same Senate Republicans?
Gov. Hogan may have campaigned to change Maryland, but his budget actions could shortchange Maryland. Right out of the gate, he proposed $144 million in school funding cuts—meaning approximately $100,000 would be cut from every school in Maryland and $3,600 from every classroom.
In today's world of social media and the multitude of outlets for public discourse, how disturbing is it that much of our public discourse has been reduced to a dialog that consists of either being for or against without any consideration for the many nuances and issues that fall between those two extremes?
I spent a rather interesting day last week, and by day I mean the entire day, waiting to testify before the Ways and Means Committee in Annapolis in support of House Bill 822. This bill is being sponsored by Delegate Frush and is designed to provide a tax incentive for purchasing long-term health care insurance. (There is a comparable bill in the Senate, SB6, sponsored by Senator Klausmeier.)
Fifty years after the historic march on Selma for voting rights we should give pause and reflect how far we have come. This is how far: fifteen red states recently enacted voter I.D. laws to address a problem that does not seem to exist with a remedy that does not seem to address the non-existing problem.
Senator Barbara Mikulski's announcement that she will not seek re-election for the Senate in the 2016 election has set off a domino effect. There will undoubtedly be many candidates announcing their candidacy for her Senate seat in the upcoming months and several of them will be highly qualified and quite desirable candidates.