Rodricks: Baltimore once had a Rumor Control Center; the nation, under Trump, could use one

Baltimore once had a Rumor Control Center that responded to all kinds of questions: Were snakes being released in movie theaters? Did Johns Hopkins University really pay cash for rare blue-eyed cicadas? Was someone planning to build an underwater shopping mall in the Inner Harbor? Were downtown sinkholes caused by bombs? (Balt Sun)

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EDITORIAL: Let counties set their income tax rates

Do Marylanders believe that the wealthiest among us should pay income taxes at a higher rate than the less affluent? We would wager Ravens Super Bowl tickets that the answer is yes. Maryland’s last governor, Martin O’Malley, made the state income tax progressive a dozen years ago, raising the top bracket from 4.75% to 5.75% but applying that maximum rate only to those earning $250,000 or more as well as giving relief to moderate and lower income filers by raising the personal exemption and the earned income tax credit. (Balt Sun)

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EDITORIAL: The case for impeachment

The House of Representatives is moving toward a momentous decision about whether to impeach a president for only the third time in U.S. history. The charges brought against President Trump by the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday are clear: that he abused his office in an attempt to induce Ukraine’s new president to launch politicized investigations that would benefit Mr. Trump’s reelection campaign, and that he willfully obstructed the subsequent congressional investigation. (Wash Post)

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Weiner: The Supreme Court majority should resist the temptation to expand the Second Amendment

The Supreme Court’s newly reinforced conservative majority is facing a test. It could use a case before the court as an opportunity to expand the scope of Second Amendment protections. Or it could pursue the correct conservative approach: decline the temptation to intervene. This is a tension as old as the republic. In 1793, the Washington administration asked the Supreme Court to advise it about the interpretation of treaties. The court, under Chief Justice John Jay, demurred. (Wash Post)

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Rubin: The ‘travesty’ is William Barr

William P. Barr’s Tuesday interview with NBC News was certainly the most dishonest, frightful and deplorable given by an attorney general in modern times. He attacked the just-released inspector general report and excoriated the FBI for a “travesty” in investigating Russian manipulation of our 2016 election. (Wash Post)


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EDITORIAL: What will it take for Maryland to finally clean up its troubled prison system?

In 2013, a federal probe exposed a sophisticated drug-smuggling and money-laundering scheme between correctional officers and gang members at the state-run Baltimore City Detention Center. In 2016, another federal investigation uncovered massive corruption at Maryland’s largest prison, in which guards smuggled in narcotics, cellphones, pornographic videos and tobacco in exchange for money and sex with inmates. Now, three years later, comes the indictment of more than two dozen state corrections officers on charges of excessive force, assault and conspiracy. (Wash Post)

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DeFilippo: Return on Investment Projections for Kirwan Seem Unrealistic

If there’s such a thing as reincarnation, every Maryland taxpayer should engage Strong Schools Maryland and the Sage Policy Group to plot the kind of investment return they claim the Kirwan education reform plan promises its debtors, we, the people. We should all be so lucky as the Kirwan jackpot. The outsider advocates propping up the financial benefits of the education package are, in the grammar of politics, relying on more predicates than appear in Merriam-Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary. (Md. Matters)

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EDITORIAL: Criminal justice system less racially biased, but still bad, particularly for African Americans

Racial biases in the criminal justice system have started to decline, according to new research by the bipartisan Council on Criminal Justice, but that is no reason to celebrate. Mostly black and brown faces still fill the country’s jails and prisons, and people of color make up most of the parole and probation rolls. The work is not done until the gap is eliminated and the unfair targeting of people of color has ended. (Balt Sun)

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