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Commencement speeches: Help wanted

It must be nice to attend a school that scores incredible commencement speakers year after year. There is, after all, no more exciting time for college students than commencement. It is then, surrounded by their friends and family, that the sacrifices they have made to their brains and livers over four years finally pay off.

And for thousands of students across the country, the headline moment is when a big-name personality speaks to students directly, pushing them to excel and do great things. Read more

Andy Harris: The doc is in the House

Gather ’round and let me tell you a story of a man named Andy. For those of us lucky enough to live in this state’s 1st Congressional District, he is the grandstanding, porn-hating, Republican state senator from my hometown of Cockeysville. And in January, he will become a member of the U.S. House of Representatives when he joins the other Republicans who swept Congress last month.

But while his official arrival in Washington is still a month away, Andy Harris is already making headlines. During a closed-door orientation session for freshman members of Congress last month, he surprised many of his colleagues by incredulously asking why the government-subsidized health-care plan provided to all members of Congress would take a month to kick in after his inauguration. He then inquired whether he could purchase insurance from the government to cover the gap. Why the fuss? Mainly because Harris, who is an anesthesiologist, campaigned hard against “Obamacare,” which would have allowed Americans to buy government-subsidized health care, as a giant step toward socialism. Oh, the irony. Harris’s spokeswoman said he was simply trying to point out the inefficiencies of government health care — as if the public is so naive. Read more