Marcus: Buttigieg returning the Kavanaugh lawyers’ donations was good politics. Was it good policy?

The Pete Buttigieg presidential campaign has announced it will return contributions from the lawyers who represented Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh at his confirmation hearings last year, saying that Kavanaugh “should have never been put on the Supreme Court and this campaign will not accept donations from those who played a role in making that happen.” As a political matter, this is a no-brainer. As a matter of legal ethics and good public policy, it leaves me uncomfortable. (Wash. Post)

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Editorial: Outlawing flavored vaping likely wouldn’t kill the demand for e-cigarettes, but it’s a start

AT A White House meeting on Nov. 22, President Trump sent more alarming signals that he will water down his planned restrictions on flavored vaping products. After promising in September to ban flavored vaping liquids that appeal to teenagers, the president fretted that “if you don’t give it to them, it’s going to come here illegally.” He previously raised concerns about protecting “jobs” in the vaping industry. The policy debate should focus on preventing a generation of teenagers from getting hooked on nicotine, not on the fear that efforts to protect public health will upset vapers and vape shop owners. (Wash. Post)

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Goldberg: Opponents of ‘unfettered capitalism’ are fighting a phantom

Enemies of unfettered capitalism, unite! For as long as I can remember, people on the left have complained about "unfettered capitalism." Moderate liberals do it, and of course flat-out Marxists do it. In his new book, "A Bit of Everything: Power, People, Profits and Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent," Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz contends that the only way we'll be able to confront climate change is through a new social contract. (Balt. Sun)

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Pincus: Good, bad and worse in the Trump administration

Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? As an unrepentant 1960s radical, I’m continually astonished how the Trump administration has made it more complicated to answer this simple question. The political center of gravity has shifted sharply to the right. Take the FBI, for example. In the ‘60s, I viewed the FBI as one of the bad guys. Through the COINTELPRO (counter intelligence program) operations, they spied on the legal activities of the movement against the war in Vietnam and tried to disrupt their activities. (Balt. Sun)

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Gill: The Green New Deal is no laughing matter

 

This October, the lodge on Fox Island in the Chesapeake Bay saw its last group of middle school students come and learn about the fragile ecosystem of the Bay. Fox Island is in Virginia but 6 miles from Crisfield, Md. The island is sinking, as the water is slowly rising and lapping at the foundation of the lodge. One reason for this rising water is that the ice cap in the Arctic is melting and so is the ice around Greenland and its glaciers. In 2016 and 2017, the Great Barrier Reef, one of the wonders of the world, underwent a mass bleaching due to warmer ocean temperatures. Dead coral does not recover. (Star Dem.)

 

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Olsen: Conservatives’ debate over their future is going to be bitter and fierce

American conservatives are finally debating how to respond to the challenge President Trump’s ascendancy poses for their future. The blowback over Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) recent speech at Catholic University shows that debate is going to be bitter and fierce. Rubio’s talk explored what he called “common-good capitalism.” He argued that the modern American economy falls short because it has fallen prey to the shareholder theory of value. That theory holds that a corporation has only one obligation: return money to its owners, the shareholders. Rubio contends that this ignores the corporation’s obligations to share a fair return to its workers and to reinvest in its business for the future. (Wash. Post)

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Tumulty: In the military, the rules matter

When President Harry Truman signed the Uniform Code of Military Justice into law just before the first Armed Forces Day in 1950, the former Army artillery captain lauded it as an achievement that assured “the democratic ideal of equality before the law is further advanced.” For nearly seven decades, the uniform code has served the military well, providing a standardized and well-understood system for dispensing justice while also giving commanders the tools they need to maintain order and discipline. (Daily Record)

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Brenner: Implications of the Broken Promise on the Nice Bridge

During the first year of the Hogan administration, I was asked by the governor to chair the Maryland Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee. This came at the end of a process started by our mutual friend Steve Kreseski, who served as chief of staff for Gov. Robert Ehrlich. In addition to being a partisan Republican, and a strong biker, Steve was in the process of dying (at age 58) from pulmonary fibrosis. (Md. Matters)

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