Wednesday September 02, 2015
May 7th, 2015
This city needs to be built up again, but first a lot of it ought to be torn down.
There has been much talk, following Monday's night of rage, about the social maladies that afflict this city. One of the most visible should also be one of the most straightforward to address: Baltimore's enormous stock of derelict, abandoned housing. Federal, state and local officials should work together -- now -- to eliminate this blight.
Those kind and compassionate Republicans just can't stop themselves. The trouble is their compassion is directed to the wrong people. Apparently the budget negotiators of the house and senate have reached a consensus and it is just as bad as we feared. I don't suppose we should be surprised, but I just keep hoping that someway, somehow there will be some hint of appreciation of the lives of the not rich.
"Mr. President, what are you doing here?" I kept asking myself as the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner wore on (and on).
My favorite bit from Friday's news reports about the guilty plea by a former patronage appointee of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, R, comes courtesy of The Washington Post: "A guilty plea by the longtime aide could spell trouble for the New Jersey governor."
Indeed it could.
It could have been billed as a postmortem on what we have been witnessing in Baltimore, except the event occurred 10 days before "Charm City" unceremoniously lost its luster. The event was an April 16 forum at Howard University - "From Protest to Policy: A Bipartisan Approach to Criminal Justice Reform" - moderated by Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md.
Bridgegate just won't leave Chris Christie alone.
Friday's indictments of two top aides to the New Jersey governor and the guilty plea of another of his close confidantes over politically-motivated lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in fall 2013 will re-pick the political scab that has already cost Christie so much in the early 2016 presidential jockeying.
Of all the images captured of this week's riots in Baltimore, none was more arresting that of an irate mother chasing, berating and striking her protesting son.
The violence that has engulfed Baltimore is visible and heartbreaking evidence of a city that has been under siege for decades.
The mistrust between police and the people they are sworn to protect has crumbled in too many poor neighborhoods in this country. And we see the devastating results in the protests rocking Baltimore and other American cities, as those appalled by the deaths of Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Walter Scott and other black men take to the streets to express long-simmering rage at the way police interact with their communities.
The 2016 campaign should be almost entirely about issues. The parties are far apart on everything from the environment to fiscal policy to health care, and history tells us that what politicians say during a campaign is a good guide to how they will govern.