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Gov. Martin O'Malley and the General Assembly are taking an important step to shore up the state's finances and to ensure the sustainability of state workers benefits by enacting a series of reforms to the state worker pensions and retiree health benefits. We break down the last areas of dispute and find that negotiators made good decisions about cost of living increases, benefit levels, retirement ages, and other details.

We also say that while the actions of a fringe Florida pastor to burn the Quran were despicable, the deadly riots in Afghanistan are much worse

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Brett Fleagle of Carroll County, questions why the state is considering granting in-state tuition benefits for illegal immigrants at a time when it is unable to provide a cost of living increase to a disabled former policeman like himself.

Praise continues to come in for state superintendent Nancy Grasmick's legacy.

The former board chairman of the Maryland Science Center says the state is right to start focusing on the deplorable state of science education here -- but he says it makes no sense that funding for the science center is being cut at the same time.

On the op-ed page, L.A. Times columnist

Stephen Biddle at the Council On Foreign Relations and Michael O'Hanlon at the Brookings Institution argue that we're making progress in Afghanistan, even if the evidence of it may seem counter-intuitive.

And

Finally, please vote in our poll of the day: Do you support the Obama administration's decision to try the remaining Sept. 11 suspects in military tribunals rather than civilian courts?

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