New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) last week banned hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, or fracking, in his state, while Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) last month decided to allow it in ours. Andy Galli, the Maryland coordinator for Clean Water Action, an environmental group that opposes fracking, yesterday emailed a statement, which concluded that "how Governor O'Malley came to a different conclusion is both confusing and wrong." The Washington Post's Chris Mooney tries to explain: The term-limited O'Malley will soon be replaced by pro-fracking Republican Larry Hogan, while Cuomo was just re-elected; in New York, the health department studied the issue, while in Maryland it was the environmental and natural-resources agencies; Maryland has a small slice of land in play, while a huge part of New York was primed for exploitation; and New York's assessment placed a high value on the precautionary principle, a risk-management strategy that suggests it is most wise, in the absence of conclusive data, to preserve your options by playing it safe. (Van Smith)

It's still 2014, but we found ourselves reading two pieces about potential presidential candidates last night. Sunday's piece on Ben Carson shows the Hopkins doc and right-wing nutjob sticking to his homophobic guns and again declaring that legalizing same-sex marriage will lead to legalized pedophilia and bestiality, while also comparing the Obama administration to the Hitler regime. But the point of the story is about the way his potential campaign could upend Republican unity in the next election, a theme also broached by Ruby Cramer's fascinating piece on the attempts of Moveon and others to draft Elizabeth Warren to seek the Democratic nomination. Cramer is the daughter of the legendary former Sun reporter Richard Ben Cramer who wrote the monumental book "What It Takes" about the 1988 presidential campaign. That book asked what makes someone think he should be president, while Ruby Cramer's piece flips it on its head, asking instead, "how can you convince someone she should be president" in a sort of What it Takes 2.0. (Baynard Woods)

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Kyle Hackett's one-night show at DCCAS at month or so ago was one of our favorite shows this year and he is probably the artist we are most excited to watch in 2015, so we were psyched to see this Huffington Post piece by John Seed include him in "Ten Memorable Paintings from 2014." We were the only local venue to mention his show at all (and because it was only one night and we couldn't send people there, it ended up in the Conflicts of Interest column), so we hope this national nod will bring more attention to his new show up at The Hamilton Street Club (16 E. Hamilton St.) through February. Look for our review soon. (Baynard Woods)

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