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NEWS
November 6, 2012
President Barack Obama won re-election yesterday thanks to a narrow edge in a swath of key battleground states. His prize: another four years as the leader of a sharply divided nation facing a series of seemingly intractable problems, chief among them the economy, the debt and employment. The first order of business must be to avoid the fiscal cliff looming over the country at year's end that will mandate tax increases and deep, across-the-board cuts to defense, entitlement programs and domestic spending programs unless he and Congress can agree on a way forward.
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SPORTS
By Dean Jones Jr. and The Baltimore Sun | September 11, 2014
The Orioles recently joined a growing number of teams to institute additional security procedures to prepare for Major League Baseball's requirements at the beginning of next season. While the added measures currently are in effect at some entrances to Camden Yards, MLB has mandated that all 30 ballparks develop a screening program before Opening Day in April. "The safety of our guests is of the utmost importance to the ballclub. As such, the Orioles are cooperating with Major League Baseball's efforts to implement enhanced security measures at all ballparks," Orioles vice president of communications Greg Bader said in a statement.
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NEWS
March 24, 2010
For a party that claims not to care for lawsuits interfering with medical care, it didn't take Republicans long to take to the courts to challenge health care reform. The thrust of the litigation filed Tuesday in Florida and Virginia is that requiring people to purchase health insurance is unconstitutional. Yet again, conservatives are falling on a 10th Amendment "states' rights" claim when they don't care for progressive actions at the federal level. The argument is as old as the Civil War and is commonly trotted out when public outrage (think the 1964 Civil Rights Act)
HEALTH
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | August 22, 2014
Under increasing legal and political pressure, the Obama administration issued a new rule Friday designed to ensure that female employees have access to birth control while accommodating religious employers that object to covering it through their health insurance plans. But the latest attempt at a compromise — which comes in response to recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions — was quickly criticized by religious groups, including the Catonsville-based Little Sisters of the Poor, for not fully addressing their concerns.
NEWS
April 8, 2010
It is not socially irresponsible to not buy health insurance, but it is unconstitutional to mandate people to purchase it ("Senate defeats bill opposing Obama health care rule," April 7). I understand that medical costs are inflated due to uncompensated care; however, Massachusetts has proven that a health care mandate is not a successful way to reform health care. Do we need reform? Yes, everyone agrees with that, but will costs go down with a health care mandate? I do not believe that based off of what I've read has happened in Massachusetts.
NEWS
November 28, 2012
Even though I did not vote for him, my prayers and congratulations are with President Barack Obama as he enters his second term in office. With God's help, it is within his grasp to become one of this country's great presidents, but he needs to lead the whole country, not just half of it. The country is at a crossroads, and this election was more an expression of the political polarization that exists in America today than it was a mandate for...
NEWS
March 23, 2012
This contraception mandate requires the provision of contraception. The next contraception mandate could require the use of contraception. At that point, our government would be engaging in eugenics. Considering that contraception has been readily available for more than half a century and is relatively inexpensive, that's a high price for free contraception. Yet disagreeing with this particular government mandate constitutes a war "on women?" I guess I'm just a little slow on the up-take.
NEWS
August 12, 2011
Do you need a mandate to force you to buy something you want or need? This question isn't asked by those who support a health insurance mandate, such as Dr. Edward Miller and Scott A. Berkowitz of Johns Hopkins ("Hopkins leaders support health insurance mandate," Aug. 9). The reason we have so many uninsured Marylanders is that health insurance is either too unaffordable or it doesn't offer a good value to those who can afford it. A mandate won't solve either of those problems. Responding to self-interested lobbying groups, well-meaning legislators have mandated that any health insurance sold in Maryland must cover over 60 procedures, something that has dramatically raised the cost of insurance in this state.
NEWS
November 17, 2012
I think President Obama's claim that the election results were a mandate is stretching reality ("On taxes, 'Americans agree' with Obama, Axelrod says," Nov. 12). Approximately 120 million people voted in the election, and of that number a little more than 58 million voted for Mr. Romney. Mr. Obama's margin of victory was only about 1.6 percent. Almost half the voters opposed his policies. Granted, Mr. Obama won a clear majority of electoral votes. But the huge number of people who voted against him does not give him the mandate he claims.
NEWS
November 9, 2012
The Sun portrays the defeat of George Bush's immigration reform bill as due to the fact that he "failed to get [it] past his own party" ("Obama's mandate," Nov. 7). In fact, 15 Democrats in the Senate failed to vote for the bill; it would have passed with their support. Why not mention that as a reason why the bill failed, rather than blame it on Republicans? I thought all Democrats were for immigration reform. Perhaps President Obama should "start talking about climate change," but he should do nothing.
NEWS
June 30, 2014
In recognizing that for-profit corporations like Hobby Lobby can hold religious beliefs that trump secular laws like the Affordable Care Act's requirement that women have access to contraceptives without out-of-pocket costs, the Supreme Court has moved the nation in an unwelcome direction. Differentiating between religious organizations and private companies used to be a straightforward matter (and a practice dating back to English common law), but now that distinction is no longer so clear.
NEWS
May 20, 2014
Last week, Gov. Martin O'Malley signed into law legislation requiring that adults caught and convicted of drunk driving while transporting a child younger than age 16 be required to install an ignition interlock system - a device that won't let them start their cars unless they pass a breath test. The bill received modest attention when it passed on the final day of the legislative session, and deservedly so. There's nothing wrong with the law, of course. At least not in a state where police ticketed nearly 400 individuals during the last fiscal year for either Driving While Impaired (DWI)
NEWS
March 31, 2014
Since the inception of the contraception mandate, the federal government has struggled to paint its position as the only legitimate pro-woman stance and to paint religious Americans as irrational and anti-women ( "Don't open Pandora's box," March 24). The 41,000 strong grass roots network of women, Women Speak for Themselves, has continually demonstrated that the government is wrong on both counts by working in local communities and states to educate politicians, the media and the public about women's support for religious freedom and their opposition to the mandate.
HEALTH
By Jean Marbella, The Baltimore Sun | March 25, 2014
A springtime snowfall dampening their signs, if not their spirits, several hundred activists divided into opposing groups Tuesday on the plaza in front of the Supreme Court to make their own opening arguments over the Affordable Care Act. The point of contention: the law's requirement that privately owned businesses provide employees with health insurance that covers contraception. Supporters offered up call-and-response volleys of, "Pro-birth control, pro-family. " Opponents countered with the chant, "Pro-faith, pro-freedom, pro-life.
NEWS
March 1, 2014
I was in attendance at the recent Baltimore County PTA Council meeting mentioned by letter writer Laura McDowell, and I can assure you that her description of the meeting is inaccurate and actually a bit offensive ( "Hereford bullies," Feb. 26). Although the number of representatives from high schools across the county was low, I have attended several PTA Council meetings, and low attendance is unfortunately typical. The PTSA at Loch Raven supports the new schedule change for Loch Raven.
NEWS
January 24, 2014
Thank you for the thoughtful editorial on the Supreme Court case of Harris v. Quinn ("Paying one's dues," Jan. 23). While it may seem reasonable to force people to pay union dues in order to engage in commerce, it might be more reasonable to consider the possibility that people should be free to engage in commerce on their own terms. Why did Illinois decide to treat these people as employees in the first place? After all, the doctors who receive Medicare funds are not state employees.
NEWS
By Ron Moore | November 19, 2013
As one of the first post-9/11 screeners hired at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport and as the first president of the national union fighting for screener's rights in the workplace, I find the deadly shooting at Los Angeles International Airport earlier this month to be deeply troubling. The words of comfort and respect regarding slain Transportation Security Administration Officer Gerardo Hernandez, who was gunned down by a rogue shooter, are intermixed with calls to reform the way the agency carries out its mission, to which I say: What took you so long?
NEWS
September 13, 2011
Stephanie Rawlings-Blake appears likely to win the Democratic primary for Baltimore mayor with the fewest votes of any successful candidate since at least 1983. She may clear 50 percent of those who went to the polls, but the message the voters sent this election is indifference. Turnout appears to have been a record low, perhaps as little as 20 percent. The city may not have been moved by the untested promise of Mayor Rawlings-Blake's challengers, but it didn't rally fully behind her steady but unimaginative leadership either.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | January 23, 2014
Maryland's top court on Thursday left in place a bail system it declared unconstitutional four months ago, deciding instead to hear further arguments on how to ensure that poor people have legal representation at the earliest stage of their cases. But the next hearing on the matter — on technical issues — isn't until March 7, just a month before the state's annual legislative session comes to an end. The decision creates further uncertainty for lawmakers who had hoped to iron out a deal that would avoid the potential $30 million cost of sending public defenders to represent suspects at their first bail hearings.
NEWS
By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun | January 7, 2014
Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Lillian Lowery said Tuesday that school districts across the state should be allowed to determine for themselves when to start classes after summer break, whether it's before or after Labor Day. Lowery said districts now have the autonomy to start the school year when they see fit and she doesn't want a statewide initiative mandating a post-Labor Day start for all districts. The superintendent spoke in Anne Arundel County at a meeting of a task force considering starting the school year after Labor Day. The Task Force to Study a Post Labor Day Start Date was created by Gov. Martin O'Malley and the General Assembly during last year's Annapolis session to study whether the tourism industry would get a boost if public schools start after Labor Day. Greg Shockley, chairman of the Maryland Tourism Development Board, said pushing back the start of school would not only benefit tourism, but also education through tax revenue.
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