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The Talk: The future of America's space program

Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, who steps down today as chairman of an intelligence subcommittee that deals with space issues, is calling on the nation to revamp its space program as a matter of economic development and national security. He says we must refocus our energy on returning to the moon and sending astronauts to Mars.

Our editorials today tackle ideas for closing Maryland's budget gap and the problem of bad guys with guns in Baltimore. We say the idea of consolidating state agencies is a good one but that more painful cuts -- even to previously sacrosanct education -- will be needed. And we relate the story of one of Baltimore's serial gun criminals to highlight the need for stiffer penalties for gun crimes.

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Jules Witcover gets behind an idea by Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico to reform the filibuster by actually making senators stand on the floor and talk about the bill instead of just using the threat of filibuster to kill legislation.

State Sen. George Edwards and Del. Wendell Beitzel offer a critique of Del. Heather Mizeur's op-ed from last month on shale gas exploration.

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And Doc Cheatham criticizes Baltimore's method of filling empty City Council seats.

And be sure to vote in our poll of the day: Do you agree with Rep. Darrell Issa, new head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, that the Obama administration is one of the most corrupt in history?


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