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By Jules Witcover | December 21, 2010
Just when liberal Democrats were painting President Barack Obama as a traitor for swallowing extension of the Bush tax cuts for the rich, the American military that has often been lukewarm to him has come to his rescue. Over the bitter objections of the country's most lauded military hero — one-time Vietnam prisoner of war Sen. John McCain — the top brass were instrumental this week in erasing the ban on gays serving in the armed forces. With the conspicuous exception of Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos, who argued that homosexuals in combat could be a "distraction" that could "cost Marines' lives" and damage "unit cohesion," the other members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff supported lifting the ban. They provided the most influential backup to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who deftly guided the Pentagon through a careful study of armed forces sentiment on the issue, including among soldiers, sailors and Marines with combat experience on the unit-cohesion question.
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NEWS
August 1, 2014
Commentator Jules Witcover writes that President Obama "needs to put a bit of John Wayne in his words" vis-a-vis his handling of Russia over the Malaysian Airlines tragedy ( "The Obama doctrine under fire," July 25). Mr. Witcover acknowledges that interventionism may not be the best idea. But what is to be gained from a disparity between the president's words and actions he doesn't venture to say. The airliner was flying from Europe with primarily European passengers aboard.
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NEWS
December 28, 2010
Boy, what a pleasant surprise when I picked my Baltimore Sun on Sunday morning and read Ross Mackenzie's op-ed, "To congressional Democrats: Merry Christmas and thanks for nothing" (Dec. 26). I agree with virtually every word Mr. Mackenzie wrote in his letter to the Pelosi/Reid Congress. I would like to add my Maryland's Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Sen. Benjamin Cardin and Rep. Elijah Cummings to his list to let them know that I do not agree with or appreciate with their wrong spirited actions in a lame duck Congress.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | February 18, 2013
It's sometimes said that a lame-duck president is a weakened leader from the first day of his last term. The two-term limit of the 22nd Amendment, imposed by wrathful Republicans in 1951 in response to FDR's breach of the George Washington tradition, is supposedly a political kiss of death against achieving future goals. But President Barack Obama, in his second inaugural address and then in his State of the Union Address starting his second term, issued a blunt pushback against the lame-duck sentence.
NEWS
December 20, 2010
Like it or not, the 111th Congress has been nothing if not productive. In two years, it has passed the stimulus bill, health care reform and an overhaul of financial industry regulations, along with a host of other bills, dealing with issues ranging from fair pay to hate crimes to credit cards. Perhaps we should not, then, be surprised that its lame duck session is on track, despite the political tumult that accompanied November's election, to be particularly productive as well. Late on Thursday night, the House of Representatives approved a massive tax bill that effectively amounts to a second stimulus, and on Saturday, the Senate voted to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" ban on gays serving openly in the military.
NEWS
May 19, 1993
Loyalty has its rewards. Just look at ever-loyal Del. Tyras S Athey, a quiet, obedient spear carrier for speakers of the House since in 1966. For his faithfulness, Mr. Athey, now chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, is being named secretary of state, a superfluous job that comes with a whopping salary of $70,000 a year.Then look at loyal Del. Sheila Hixson, whose allegiance to House Speaker R. Clayton Mitchell likely will lead to her reward as the new leader of Ways and Means. When a rump faction from her own Montgomery County tried to dump Mr. Mitchell last winter, Ms. Hixson remained by his side; when Mr. Mitchell's friend Del. John Arnick was under attack for sexism in his bid for a judgeship, Ms. Hixson led the women's caucus into an endorsement of the would-be judge, a position the group never recanted even as support for Mr. Arnick vanished.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | February 18, 2013
It's sometimes said that a lame-duck president is a weakened leader from the first day of his last term. The two-term limit of the 22nd Amendment, imposed by wrathful Republicans in 1951 in response to FDR's breach of the George Washington tradition, is supposedly a political kiss of death against achieving future goals. But President Barack Obama, in his second inaugural address and then in his State of the Union Address starting his second term, issued a blunt pushback against the lame-duck sentence.
NEWS
By Peter Kumpa | November 7, 1990
SOME LEFTOVERS from the 1990 campaign:* Few comments made Gov. William Donald Schaefer angrier this year than references to him as "a lame duck" for the next four years. He's right. He isn't. The term refers to an officeholder soon to leave office because of an election defeat or a statutory limit in office.True, the governor can't run for another term. But four years is too long a life for a lame duck. The description was used primarily to describe outgoing presidents before the 20th amendment to the Constitution in 1933.
SPORTS
By Vito Stellino and Vito Stellino,SUN STAFF | June 9, 1996
Don't expect the NFL to use it as a marketing slogan, but this is going to be the league's year of the lame duck.The Oilers will be playing as a lame duck in Houston after making a deal to move to Nashville, Tenn., and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are likely to move if voters reject a proposed tax increase on Sept. 3.The Hillsborough County Commission voted 4-2 last week to put a 15-year, half-cent sales tax on the ballot for schools, public safety and the construction of a new stadium.Tampa voters last year rejected a one-cent sales tax for schools and public safety.
NEWS
By Marina Sarris and John Rivera and Marina Sarris and John Rivera,SUN STAFF | November 6, 1996
Maryland voters amended the state constitution to give the public greater influence in the disciplining of judges and to limit the powers of "lame duck" governors.Of the six constitutional questions, voters passed five by wide margins.But they balked at allowing the Harford County Council to use the "quick-take" method of condemning unimproved property needed for a right of way for road, storm drain, sewer or water projects.In Harford, voters overwhelmingly rejected the property measure. With all but one of the county precincts reporting, it was defeated by a 3-to-1 margin.
NEWS
October 11, 2012
Congrats to Marta Mossburg on her great job of illustrating how our lame duck governor's quest for national fame and fortune supersedes his ability serve the citizens of the state that put him in position to seek it ("Is O'Malley annoyed that he's still governor?" Oct. 10). Any additional proceeds realized should Question 7 be passed will go to the state's general fund, not to public schools. Yes, the same general funds that Gov. Martin O'Malley has earmarked for the three counties that got him elected as governor twice.
NEWS
February 7, 2012
Gov. Martin O'Malleyis a lame duck, so we can't refuse to re-elect him. His "flush tax" will affect people of all incomes, as will his gas tax, which will affect not only drivers but transportation costs on all goods. While we can't do anything about our out-of-touch governor, our legislators in Annapolis can be voted out of office. Some of them have been in office way too long anyway, but if they just choose to rubber stamp the governor's proposals instead of cutting the spending and corruption, they should be tossed out on their collective ears.
NEWS
December 28, 2010
Seldom have I read a more biased and offensive article than Ross Mackenzie's op-ed, "To congressional Democrats: Merry Christmas and thanks for nothing" (Dec. 26). One could have expected such a distorted statement in the Wall Street Journal or the Weekly Standard but not from the usually balanced and mainstream Baltimore Sun. The article cries out for repudiation. Most observers have concluded that the Congressional session just ended was one of the most active and progressive since the days of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson.
NEWS
December 28, 2010
Boy, what a pleasant surprise when I picked my Baltimore Sun on Sunday morning and read Ross Mackenzie's op-ed, "To congressional Democrats: Merry Christmas and thanks for nothing" (Dec. 26). I agree with virtually every word Mr. Mackenzie wrote in his letter to the Pelosi/Reid Congress. I would like to add my Maryland's Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Sen. Benjamin Cardin and Rep. Elijah Cummings to his list to let them know that I do not agree with or appreciate with their wrong spirited actions in a lame duck Congress.
NEWS
December 23, 2010
President Obama's New Start nuclear weapons reduction treaty with the Russians and its approval and ratification by the Senate is a huge mistake. It will prove dangerous and not consistent with the national security interests of our country. This treaty will now effectively limit further U.S. anti-missile defenses. It simply is not adequately verifiable, and the Russians now can and will engage in significant violations. This will now likewise reduce the flexibility and survivability our strategic military forces.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | December 21, 2010
Just when liberal Democrats were painting President Barack Obama as a traitor for swallowing extension of the Bush tax cuts for the rich, the American military that has often been lukewarm to him has come to his rescue. Over the bitter objections of the country's most lauded military hero — one-time Vietnam prisoner of war Sen. John McCain — the top brass were instrumental this week in erasing the ban on gays serving in the armed forces. With the conspicuous exception of Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos, who argued that homosexuals in combat could be a "distraction" that could "cost Marines' lives" and damage "unit cohesion," the other members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff supported lifting the ban. They provided the most influential backup to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who deftly guided the Pentagon through a careful study of armed forces sentiment on the issue, including among soldiers, sailors and Marines with combat experience on the unit-cohesion question.
NEWS
By C. Fraser Smith and C. Fraser Smith,Fraser Smith covers Maryland politics for The Sun | January 13, 1991
Annapolis--HAVING RIDDEN A rubber ducky to the Maryland State House, William Donald Schaefer begins his second term as governor this Wednesday with the worry that he will instantly become a canard of another sort.Lame.As mayor of Baltimore, Mr. Schaefer appeared in a striped bathing suit (the famous duck under his arm) to help inaugurate the National Aquarium. A photograph of that moment provided a lasting image of his many successes in the city. Those were, in a sense, the best of times.
NEWS
By Jonathan Weisman and Jonathan Weisman,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | June 13, 1999
WASHINGTON -- Only four months after impeachment apparently left Bill Clinton the lamest of lame ducks, the president stands alone in Washington as the only political leader with real star power and a track record of success that has been burnished by triumph abroad and legislative victories at home.He has prevailed in Kosovo, his most daunting foreign policy challenge; his gun control proposals have captured the public's support and thrown Congress into chaos; his brief campaign against Hollywood violence scored an early victory last week; and his seventh-year poll ratings exceed Ronald Reagan's and are on par with those of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the only other post-World War II presidents to serve two full terms.
NEWS
December 20, 2010
Like it or not, the 111th Congress has been nothing if not productive. In two years, it has passed the stimulus bill, health care reform and an overhaul of financial industry regulations, along with a host of other bills, dealing with issues ranging from fair pay to hate crimes to credit cards. Perhaps we should not, then, be surprised that its lame duck session is on track, despite the political tumult that accompanied November's election, to be particularly productive as well. Late on Thursday night, the House of Representatives approved a massive tax bill that effectively amounts to a second stimulus, and on Saturday, the Senate voted to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" ban on gays serving openly in the military.
NEWS
November 23, 2010
President Obama has now met with leaders from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and indicated that he wants the DREAM Act passed before lawmakers adjourn in December. The lame duck Democrats are now going to try to push through amnesty for illegal immigrants — that's what the DREAM Act is all about. They will start with a House vote and then move this unwise legislation to the Senate. Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tentatively scheduled a vote on the DREAM Act for Nov. 29, the Monday Congress returns from Thanksgiving recess.
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