Photo by ReneS with Flickr Creative Commons License

Maryland’s Thanksgiving jobs feast

The monthly jobs report for Maryland has delivered a table of plenty, just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. The ghoulish data from September were revised from a loss of 4,000 private-sector jobs to a loss of just 300, with private-sector gains for October totaling 12,500 jobs. Even so, the public sector has been relegated to the kids’ table for the Thanksgiving feast, as it experienced a loss of 1,700 jobs from September to October.

X's and O's opening scene. Photo copyright by Richard Anderson

X’s and O’s: A play about playing football

X's and O's is a new play about playing football, and you don't have to be a fan to like it. If you're only a dabbler in the gridiron that friends and relatives are obsessed with, you'll still find X's and O's stimulating and thought-provoking. It's theme is concussions and injuries in pro football.

Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley debate on CBS Nov. 14. Screen capture

Why O’Malley is still in single digits

ormer Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has gotten very positive media reviews after his last two national TV appearances in a forum and debate. But it hasn't helped him get out of the single digits in polling. Public Policy Polling took a poll of 538 Democratic voters by robocall and online last week. "O'Malley’s 7% appears to be the best he’s done in a national poll by any company to date."

Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley. Screen shot from CNN coverage

Rascovar: Hillary is grateful for Martin and Bernie

If Martin O’Malley wasn’t a participant in the current presidential election cycle, Hillary Clinton would have to find a replacement figure to fill his essential role. The same goes for Bernie Sanders. He and O’Malley are perfect foils for Clinton as they seek to impress Democratic voters.

A family submitting an application at the U.N. High Commission for Refugees registration center in Tripoli-Lebanon in 2014. By Mohamed Azakir, World Bank Photo-Collection with Flickr Creative Commons License.

Hogan on refugees: More Goldilocks than Big, Bad Wolf

Gov. Hogan’s statement on Syrian refugees seemed much more of a Goldilocks policy statement ― not too hot, not too cold, not too big, not too small. He wasn’t closing the door, he just wanted to look through the peephole before he opened it.

Reps. Chris Van Hollen and John Delaney, right, were on opposite side of the House vote on refugee restrictions. Democrat Delaney voted with Republicans for the bill, as did a full quarter of House Democrats. Democrat Van Hollen was opposed. Photo by Karen Smith Murphy with Flickr Creative Commons License.

Delaney, Harris vote for restrictions on Syrian refugees, five Md. Dems opposed

Maryland Rep. John Delaney was among 47 Democrats to join with almost all House Republicans, including Rep. Andy Harris, Thursday in blocking further admissions of Syrian refugees into the United States pending tougher vetting. The restrictions, in a bill called the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act, passed on a 287-137 vote, despite a veto threat from President Barack Obama. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Timonium, was recovering from surgery and was one of only eight representatives who did not vote.

A Syrian refugee camp in Cappadocia, Turkey. Photo by Fabio Sola Penna with Flickr Creative Commons License

Visa program critical to U.S. security; we should process Syrians at Guantanamo

In the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, Americans are more worried than ever about an attack on the United States. Their concerns are aggravated when they hear Washington debating the Visa Waiver Program, something most people had never heard of before. But it is critical to the security of our nation. The Visa Waiver Program allows visa-free entry to our country. It is this critical process that is intertwined with the President's stubborn insistence on resettlement of Syrian refugees in the U.S. To ensure Americans’ safety, Congress must engage.

School testing commission meets for first time.

Md. commission studies testing in all 24 school districts

Maryland education officials and lawmakers, members of the state’s first commission to review standardized testing, appeared ambivalent on Tuesday about how they will determine the value of statewide assessments.

Some commission members wanted to look at the technology infrastructure for testing, while others want to further study the ancillary effects on students -- such as school computers being used for exams instead of instruction.