Andrea Chamblee: Gov. Hogan must join regional coalition trying to stem the flow of illegal guns

A few months after a mass shooter made good on his threats to kill journalists working less than a 10-minute drive from the governor’s mansion, Marylanders voted for a governor with an A- rating from the NRA. Two weeks after Marylanders voted for Gov. Larry Hogan, who had won the NRA endorsement, Jews in prayer were mowed down by a Nazi with a gun a four-hour drive away. Hogan didn't advertise the NRA endorsement. In fact, he refused it. But he earned it. Thousands of Marylanders died from gun violence under his administration; almost a thousand died already just this year. (Capital)

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The Marriott data breach is a reminder that privacy concerns extend beyond tech

A massive data breach at Marriott International is a reminder that the debate over protecting personal information is much bigger than the tech industry. Until Congress acts, businesses across the country will remain unprepared for persistent attacks, and Americans will remain at risk. Marriott announced Friday that its Starwood reservations database had been infiltrated starting in 2014 by unidentified actors, exposing the data, from names and addresses to passport and credit card numbers, of up to a staggering 500 million guests. That makes this the second-largest breach in history — that we know of. Marriott is only one casualty in an epidemic enabled by corporate unpreparedness for the cyberthreats of the 21st century. (Wash. Post)

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Redrawing districts a tough but necessary task

Western Maryland Republicans, who have felt disenfranchised ever since the 6th Congressional District was redrawn after the 2010 census, are closer than ever to having the congressional map tossed. But the case is beginning to resemble one of those cliff-hanger elections where the result is not known for days or weeks. In early November, a three-judge federal court accepted the argument that the current map infringed on the First Amendment rights of Republicans because they were split into two districts and were not in the majority in either one. (News-Post)

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Chuck Collins: Be wary of billionaire beneficence

If you want to be the skunk at the garden party, tell people we should be very alarmed about billionaire donations. Michael Bloomberg just gave $1.8 billion to Baltimore's Johns Hopkins University, establishing a fund that will provide financial aid to thousands. While this is an act of visionary generosity, we should be wary of billionaire beneficence. This isn’t about Mr. Bloomberg, who is a smart and strategic giver. It’s about the way extreme wealth inequality is disrupting democracy, philanthropy and the vibrant independent nonprofit sector that we depend on. (Balt. Sun)

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Raise a 'red flag' to save lives

 

One of the most welcome developments of the Maryland General Assembly’s last session was passage of the “red flag” law, which went into effect Oct. 1 and is already saving lives. The law allows relatives, partners, law enforcement officers or medical professionals to ask a court to order a person to surrender any firearms in his possession, if they believe the person is a danger to himself or to others. We have not seen a rush to seek such court orders. But the new legislation can become an increasingly important tool to stem the rising tide of gun violence in this country. (News-Post)

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Jane C. Murphy - Ending mass incarceration: lessons from the 'Ungers'

Recent headlines suggest that we’ve finally decided to address mass incarceration. We all know the statistics. Over the past three decades, the number of people jailed in America has tripled to almost 2.3 million, more per capita than any other country in the world. The racial disparities in our criminal justice system are flagrant and well documented. And so President Donald Trump just endorsed First Step, federal legislation that would reduce or eliminate mandatory sentences for selected crimes and address racial disparities in penalties for drug possession, among other reforms. In Maryland, we’ve just reached the first anniversary of the Justice Reinvestment Act, which aims to shrink the prison population and reinvest the savings in efforts to reduce recidivism. (Balt. Sun)

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As Pittman takes office Monday, these changes could be coming

Whether your candidate won or lost in November, Monday should be a joyous day. The inauguration of a new county executive, county council and a range of other public officials signify that democracy works. The voters of Anne Arundel County decided they wanted a change and chose Steuart Pittman as the person to lead them toward it. When he takes the oath of office at Maryland Hall Monday morning, he can be expected to offer thanks as well as an indication of where he will go first. (Capital)

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Jimmy DeButts: Pittman putting fingerprints on key development planning committee

The long-term plan for Anne Arundel County’s growth will have Steuart Pittman’s fingerprints all over it. Elections have consequences. The biggest — and most immediate for Anne Arundel — could be the direction of the General Development Plan Citizen Advisory Committee. This committee will be responsible for providing input to the county’s Office of Planning and Zoning as it develops the blueprint for development over the next two decades. (Capital)

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