Larry O’Connor’s Daily Radar Report 10.27.17

Curious about today’s topics on The Larry O’Connor Show. Below are a few stories on Larry’s radar. Be sure to listen to The Larry O’Connor Show Monday – Friday 3pm – 6pm on WMAL.

Council Members Exploring Soda Tax in Montgomery County

A “soda tax” is being discussed in Montgomery County.

County Council members Tom Hucker and Hans Riemer are exploring the idea to tax sweetened beverages as a way to raise money to fund early-childhood education programs, according to council colleagues.

In an interview Wednesday, Hucker said he’s trying to learn more about a potential beverage tax, although he wouldn’t say whether he supports the idea or whether he’s lobbied other council members to support the idea. He said he has met with advocates to talk about the potential benefits of such a tax, but said the meetings weren’t significant.

One advocate who has met with Montgomery County officials about the idea is Leah Marcus from Bloomberg Philanthropies, which has backed taxes on sugary drinks in several U.S. cities.

Council Vice President Hans Riemer confirmed that he met with Marcus to talk about the idea. He said he also met with opponents of the idea. [Read More]

College Rolls Out Mandatory Military Patriotism Class

A private Christian college in Missouri is rolling out a mandatory military science course aimed at encouraging patriotism, making it a requirement for all freshmen.

“We think there needs to be a more intentional program regarding our country and especially the military,” College of the Ozarks President Jerry Davis told TIME on Wednesday. “We don’t think the military has been properly recognized, and students in general need to know more about the place of the military in the democracy.”

The course, called Patriotic Education and Fitness, combines the school’s prior physical education and patriotism requirements and adds more military training, such as rifle marksmanship, land navigation and ropes climbing. The course will also cover military customs and flag protocol. The college strives “to encourage an understanding of American heritage, civic responsibilities, love of country, and willingness to defend it,” according to its mission statement.

“To train a better citizen, so to speak — I don’t think there’s a better way to do that than to remind students of the importance of the military and to be respectful of the country in which we live,” Davis said. “Otherwise this division that we all see in this culture will do great damage to the United States.” [Read More]

Virginia high school named after Confederate general to change name to Justice High

A little before midnight Thursday, the Fairfax County School Board voted 7-4 to rename J.E.B. Stuart High School as “Justice High.”

The vote followed nearly five hours of debate, discussion and votes on other potential names.

An attempt to drop “J.E.B.” and rename the school simply “Stuart High” was voted down despite that option receiving the most support in a community survey. [Read More]

Georgetown students have filed a discrimination complaint against a campus group promoting heterosexual marriage

A Catholic student group at Georgetown University that promotes the benefits of traditional marriage risks losing its funding and other university benefits after being accused of fostering hatred and intolerance.

Love Saxa advocates for marriage as “a monogamous and permanent union between a man and a woman,” the group states in its constitution. That definition of marriage happens to be in line with that espoused by the Catholic Church,raising the question of how administrators at Georgetown, the United States’ oldest Catholic and Jesuit institution of higher learning, will handle the controversy if it eventually comes before them.

“I suppose the question for Georgetown is whether they think Catholic kids can still be Catholic there,” said Chad Pecknold, a theology professor at the Catholic University of America.

About half of the student body identifies as Catholic, according to the university. Seventy-five percent of Catholics ages 18 to 29 favor same-sex marriage, compared with 22 percent who oppose it, according to the Pew Research Center. [Read More]

House paves way for Trump tax reform plan by passing $4T budget

The House of Representatives on Thursday narrowly approved a $4 trillion budget that paves the way for Republicans on Capitol Hill to begin focusing on tax reform.

The vote was 216-212, with 20 Republicans, including conservatives unhappy about deficits and debt, opposing it. Republicans could lose only 22 votes for it to pass.

“Big news – Budget just passed!” President Trump tweeted Thursday morning.

The Senate passed the measure last week and the House endorsed it without changes.

“Tax reform will help reignite the American dream,” House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters after the vote. “It will help bring us back to a place of confidence, freedom, happiness and a stronger, healthier economy. And this budget that the House just passed, 20 minutes ago, brings us closer to making that dream a reality.”

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas announced that the text of the tax bill will be released Nov. 1.

“By passing this budget today, House Republicans just provided the legislative runway for pro-growth tax reform,” Brady said. “Our successful vote will allow us to move forward quickly on delivering the first overhaul of America’s tax code in more than three decades.” [Read More]

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