First Presidential Debate an Embarrassment for America

American politics nose-dived spiraled and crashed and burned during what masqueraded as the first 2020 presidential debate.

“You’re a clown!” “Would you shut up, man!” “Everything you say is a lie.” Those were just some of the barbs from Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden who grew irritated by repeated interruptions by President Donald Trump at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland on Tuesday, Sept. 29. Trump, who received a regular rebuke from moderator Chris Wallace, claimed Biden was weak and unintelligent. “Don’t ever use the word smart with me,” Trump railed at Biden.

“There’s nothing smart about you, Joe.” The president sunk even lower, making accusations that Biden’s son, Hunter, was “kicked out of the military dishonorably discharged because of drugs.” Biden reminded the audience of a little more than 100 people down from an anticipated 900 because of the pandemic that Trump called fallen military members “losers and suckers.”

While Trump dared Biden to say, “Law and order,” Wallace opened discussions on race. “Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down?” the moderator asked Trump.

“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” Trump reluctantly said in a declara- tion that fell well short of condemnation. “But,” Trump insisted, “I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left.”

Biden also blasted Trump’s handling of the coronavirus. The former vice president said more than 200,000 people have died, and some 40,000 people are still contracting COVID each day. “The President has no plan. He hasn’t laid out anything,” Biden charged.

Trump responded that a vaccine and life-saving treatments might come before the election. The president again hit out at China, blaming the Far East nation for the virus.“It’s China’s fault. It never should have happened,” Trump contended. “We’ve done a great job,” Trump added, accusing the “fake news” of distorting his record on the virus. Trump claimed a Biden administration would have “lost far more people.”

Biden responded: “Get out of your bunker and get out of the sand trap and your golf course.” Later, Trump again refused to say whether he’d leave office peacefully if Biden wins the election. The ugly match further denigrated when the topic turned to Trump’s in- come taxes, which he has refused to re- lease them publicly.

A New York Times investigation re- vealed that Trump had gone 10 of the past 15 years without paying any income taxes, and in 2017 and 2018, he paid just $750.

The president disputed the report but evaded Wallace’s questions about specifics. As a successful businessman, Trump offered that he understands the tax code, and others who don’t take advantage of it are inept. Biden’s campaign released the former vice president’s 2019 tax returns before the debate, which showed he paid nearly $300,000 in federal income tax last year. “You are the worse president America has ever had,” Biden told Trump.

Fix Our Medical Insurance Dilemma

Give all Americans the option to buy into Medicare. I’ve paid into Social Security and Medicare my entire life. I’m still paying to be on plan B and supplemental coverage. I also pay for prescription insurance. I often feel like a coffee coupon from McDonald’s would pay for about as much medicine as my prescription card pays.

I no longer pay over $1600 a month in medical insurance but I still pay about $450 a month even with Medicare. Nothing is free.

Americans should have the option to buy into Medicare especially if medical insurance will not cover them and they can’t afford the sky rocketing premiums. It’s also time to get rid of medical supplements and prescription cards. Make Medicare a single payer of the doctor’s visits, prescription costs and all the above.

The government has more power to control the cost of big pharmacies and hospital costs. Most medical providers have “one price” but then the “price” they will accept from Medicare. Under President Trump Hospitals will have to display their secret negotiated rates to patients starting in January 2021. This gives you the option to shop around.

I’m all for having medical insurance available. Make it available from state to state. Make it easy for Americans to buy from pharmacies in Canada. Let senior Americans at age 55 buy 20-year term medical insurance plans if they would prefer to do so. Some Americans have no idea how desperate other Americans are when it comes to medical treatment.

Why make it so hard for Americans who do not have access to healthcare? Let them buy into Medicare. If they are unemployed or disabled then give them the Medicaid option. However, this is just more bureaucracy. This system needs to become one.

It’s also time to make 60 the age that retired Americans go on Medicare. In your late fifties and early sixties Americans have to start going to the doctor more. A friend of mine is waiting until she turns 65 and has Medicare so she can have a badly needed surgery. She needs it now. If she could buy into Medicare she could go ahead and move forward with her needed surgery.

We also need to turn the age back to 65 for collecting full Social Security benefits. American men die by the time they are 76.1 years old. Many die much younger. This is very little time to enjoy retirement. Sadly, many Americans aren’t having much of a retirement in their golden years. Many are working longer and spending less time doing what they had hoped to do.

The government wastes our Social Security contributions. They’ve spent trillions on foreign wars. They now tell us Social Security has been reduced by 25% in a few years. Rich political leaders want to push the age until 70 for you to collect your Social Security. This is not working for the American people. We are working longer with the prospects of collecting less. On top of this, older Americans are having to pay more of their dwindling retirement dollars for medical bills.

Bringing our troops home and spending less money in Iraq, Afghanistan and on rebuilding foreign nations is a start. We can and we must fix our medical insurance dilemma.

Dr. Glenn Mollette is an author and syndicated columnist. To contact him, email: or visit:

High-end clothing store becomes go-to spot for PPE during the pandemic

When Dominick Davis and Steven White united to start the high-end clothing store “Different Regard” in 2011, their vision was to provide domestic and international manufacturing with various products for consumers, corporations, and governments. They accomplished that and quickly became the go-to shop for the perfect tuxedo, stylish dresses, and fashionable accessories.

The testimonials posted on the company’s website, along with a myriad of photos, show much love for Different Regard.

Different Regard Models.


Different Regard Models.

“Best experience I have had with getting a custom suit made,” wrote Stephen T.

Meagan L., another satisfied customer, wrote: “My husband’s wedding tux made by Different Regard was absolutely flawless.” And this from Victor B.: “Steven and Dominick are forces of sartorial nature. Their customer service is without parallel in the Baltimore men’s fine clothing market. These two young men have brought a certain stylistic panache to Baltimore that was previously sorely missing.” Then the coronavirus pandemic struck.

Like most businesses, Different Regard wasn’t prepared for COVID-19, which among many other things, pivoted the shop’s fashion brand.

“Our sales decreased by 90 percent, and we had to creatively meet and figure out who was going to be available to work during the pandemic,” Davis recalled. “We had to consider the safety of our team, and we took some time to do research and some development.”

Davis and White hit the ground running. They began to manufacture Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and obtained private and government contracts for the life-saving gear. They donated more than 20,000 facemasks to hospitals in Baltimore and locations around the country.

Different Regard also began selling stylish facemasks to the public, including the popular deep red, red sand, and smoke pleated masks.

“We were able to hire seven additional employees, and we increased our manufacturing and equipment by over 60 percent,” Davis noted.

The overall aim of Different Regard remains the same: to provide affordable luxury clothing for everyone.

According to Davis, the business’s clients are men, women, kids, and nongender who prefer a classic style with a modern edge.

The Baltimore-based clothing brand continues to design luxurious well- tailored garments that are created in-house “for those who have an uncompromising vision of style and quality,” he stated.

“We design for the professional, personal, and social lifestyle. We believe your clothing helps to promote your lifestyle growth. We create not just fashion-forward clothing, but a lifestyle and attitude.”

With the pandemic still raging, Davis said there remains a need to manufacture personal protection equipment while creating job growth, strengthening the community and families.

“Our company was not prepared for COVID-19 to come and pivot our fashion brand,” Davis said.“The pandemic had us shift our business from how we normally would operate and create another operation overnight. Our whole system and process had to be rebuilt. However, our company is honored to help during our global crisis.

HTP Homes, Inc. announce ‘Building Second Chances’ crowdfunding campaign for at-risk youth

It’s estimated to cost about $38,000 per year to incarcerate an individual in America, a sum that includes a cell, three meals per day, perhaps a work assignment behind bars but no educational or life skills training to prepare prisoners for successful reentry.

Further, young people of color tend to receive longer prison sentences, which effectively wipes out a large portion of their lives, meaning they’ll receive little to no job training and education.

One organization is seeking to change the narrative. HTP Homes, Inc., a minority and woman owned tax exempt entity, provide skills-based on the job training in construction trades for jobless young adults from 17 to 24. Those include formerly incarcerated returning citizens.

The nonprofit began a crowdfunding campaign to help secure grant money from the USA Today/Gannett A Community Thrives program, which supports projects that contribute to community building with a preference for those impacting historically underserved individuals and groups.

The more than $2 million initiative allows organizations to apply to raise money for a specific project. Those chosen, work to raise money through a crowdfunding campaign, making them eligible for more than 100 grants.

More than a dozen grants are set for distribution ranging from $25,000 to $100,000. With support from donors, HTP Homes seek to raise the $64,500 needed to launch its skills training initiative in Baltimore. The “Building Second Chances” fundraiser will close on Oct. 16, 2020.

“Here people can make a difference. It may sound small to people, but it’s something that can grow; each one, teach one,” said Raymond P. Lewis, the principal at RP Lewis & Associates.

“We have a goal of $64,000, but think of what they can do with $164,000,” Lewis noted. “We are the richest country in the world with the largest number of inmates, and most are of color, and they never get a chance at an education or to vote.

HTP Homes, Inc., founder Claudia Jones

HTP Homes, Inc., founder Claudia Jones

HTP Homes, Inc., founder Claudia Jones

HTP Homes, Inc., founder Aaron Thompson

Courtesy photo

HTP Homes, Inc., founder Aaron Thompson

M&T Bank Shines Spotlight on Local businesses

Melody McCrea has worked at M&T Bank for nearly eight years, and her passion for helping customers has never waned. As a relationship manager with M&T Bank’s Women & Minority Owned Business Banking group, McCrae said she thrives on providing opportunities that bolster targeted businesses. “I love my role so much because it’s like that thing where your passion meets your everyday job,” McCrae told the Baltimore Times.

“My group focuses primarily on women and minority owned businesses, so we provide resources for them. We’re just really intentional about seeking out and providing resources for them.”

Among the new initiatives is the M&T Bank Spotlight Shop, where some of the bank’s Baltimore-based small business clients are featured.

In 2019, the pop-up shop proved successful, welcoming almost 174,000 visitors and boosting participants’ sales and clientele. Since then, officials at the bank have noted that 2020 has brought its own set of challenges, and COVID- 19 has significantly impacted small businesses.

While M&T provided capital through PPP loans, the bank committed to an in- novative approach to boosting small business beyond providing capital.

This year, the Spotlight Shop moved online, and more than a dozen of the state’s small businesses are featured on M&T Bank’s Virtual Spotlight Shop on a rotating basis. Currently, Hersh’s of South Baltimore is featured.

Shoppers are driven to the website through digital advertising to generate more revenue and strengthen the vitality of the participating businesses. M&T also plans to live virtual stream concerts, featuring homegrown musicians to attract visitors.

“This year has been really tough because you know the pandemic and these circumstances, so what we did was we made the Spotlight Shop, virtual,” McCrae stated.

“Not only do these businesses have so much exposure through the Baltimore area but throughout our entire footprint,” she said.

“They are really exposed to new potential customers, which is really, really cool. It’s just another way that M&T can support our businesses during these difficult times.”

The Spotlight Shop’s mission is to shine a spotlight on Baltimore’s local businesses and create a space for the community. The shop was open for six months, and every two weeks, a new small business would take over the shop to sell their products and promote their brand. While things looked a little different this year, M&T Bank officials said they are proud to continue that mission virtually and highlight even more of some of the best businesses that Baltimore has to offer.

“I was just so excited to hear that we were able to pivot this and make it virtual because last year was such a great ooyear for so many small businesses,” McCrae proclaimed.

“To get so much more exposure and to be able to do that again this year virtually I feel like we’re impacting even a larger portion of the community that is so, so important to me, and I’m grateful and happy to work for organizations who care about what’s important.”

Visit the virtual spotlight shop at

New Drug Pricing Executive Order Burdens Patients

President Trump just signed an executive order designed to reduce drug prices. Dubbed a “Most Favored Nations” policy, the order pegs Medicare payments for medicines to the prices paid by foreign governments.

This plan would reduce access to today’s innovative medicines and stifle medical progress. It must be shelved. There are much better ideas for reducing prescription drug costs.

Many foreign nations have single payer health systems that impose strict price controls on new medicines and refuse to cover particularly expensive drugs.

Patients living in those nations end up with fewer treatment options. Patients in the United Kingdom and France had access to just seven in 10 new cancer therapies between 2011 and 2018. American patients could access to virtually all of them.

The U.S. market operates differently. Insurers compete for patients often by offering generous drug coverage. Drug researchers are incentivized to develop new treatments, as they know that American patients value innovation. As a result, research companies across the world generally launch their newest drugs here first.

The executive order will slow medical progress. There are currently 4,500 drugs in America’s development pipeline. These medicines target everything from cancer and HIV to heart disease and asthma. Price controls would inevitably reduce drug firms’ revenues and leave them less to invest in research and development. This could block the next generation of drugs from ever even hitting the pharmacy shelf.

Medical breakthroughs are constantly making it easier and cheaper for patients to stay healthy. A recent study from my organization, the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, found that new medicines could avoid $6 trillion in healthcare costs and prevent 16 million deaths by 2030.

It isn’t fair that Americans pay so much more than Canadians and Europeans. But policymakers should work to get these nations to shoulder more of the research burden not import their harmful policies. Kenneth E. Thorpe is a professor of health policy at Emory University and chairman of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease. This piece originally ran in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Nonprofit leaders provide Chromebooks for students locally, nationally

After a new academic year began for students across the U.S., amid the corona virus pandemic, virtual learning in school districts presented challenges which ranged from lack of broadband connections and system outages to Chromebook shortages. One Virginia resident and nonprofit leader has been saving the day for families who were still in need of devices for online learning. Gerald Moore Sr., founder of Mission Fulfilled 2030, has been hitting the road to deliver technological gifts to help students who still do not have them. Although Moore’s primary nonprofit mission is to inspire, educate and activate 100,000 black boys in technology by 2030, he is currently serving a wide student population.

“When the pandemic first hit, and schools shut down in March, we were able to pivot from our live offerings and partner with the (Gerald Moore Online) Technology School for Black Boys and launch a successful online computer science program. This actually presented some challenges as we began to get feedback from parents in disadvantaged and underserved communities that they did not have the necessary equipment to participate,” Moore said. “Therefore, I began to think about ways that we could create a program to address this need as a future offering of Mission Fulfilled 2030. My thinking was to create a technology fund to support families and kids in need.” Moore’s timing was impeccable. When a second grade teacher working in Baltimore City contacted Moore, after being referred to him by one of his colleagues, he was able to lend a technological hand.

“I knew at that moment I needed to act swiftly to help these children and families. Therefore, I purchased 10 Chromebooks for the students in Mrs. Payne’s class,” Moore said. “Once I engaged those students, I realized that I needed to step it up and I created the “Chromebooks for Kids Tech Fund Challenge” fundraiser.”

Trivia Payne, a first year teacher who works at Sinclair Lane Elementary School, teaches 100 percent virtually, roughly six hours daily. The educator remarked that on the first day of school, she received calls about students not having a working laptop, or for some, no laptop at all at home.

Trivia Payne sits alongside Chrome- books that were provided for ten of her students who needed them.

Courtesy Photo

Trivia Payne sits alongside Chrome- books that were provided for ten of her students who needed them.

“At the time there were at least 10 of my students out of 21 who did not have an appropriate device,” Payne said. “We received 10 Chromebooks, and our young guys received a signed copy of Mr. Moore’s book. All of the students received a gift bag with some other fun items. His (Moore’s) plan is to deliver printers and headphones to the students who received laptops.”

Payne explained that her students had excellent attendance, but the Chromebook gifts removed their challenge of not logging on properly, due to not having appropriate equipment.

Although Moore plans to return to Sinclair Lane Elementary School, the expanding national need for tools to participate in distance learning also led him to serve students beyond Baltimore. Students who reside in the District of Columbia, Prince George’s County and Texas have benefited from Moore’s “Chromebooks for Kids Tech Fund Challenge” fundraiser. After Moore provided the first ten chromebooks, he challenged his network. A federal government contractor was the first company to answer Moore’s call to action.

“Semper Valens Solutions is proud to support this very important and crucial mission. Being able to help bridge the technology gap in underserved communities at a time where so many students do not have access to technology, is critical for the success of virtual schooling. As we deal with unprecedented times, we all need to come together to support our communities in any way that we can,” a statement on the company’s website said. “The Chromebooks For Kids initiative is a great step in showing that support.”

To date, Moore’s nonprofit reportedly raised a little over $13,000 for this cause and has served 20 children in need. A second company recently matched Moore’s donation of 10 Chromebooks. Funding is still needed to support the initial challenge of serving 100 youth and additional students. “The cost to do this is approximately $35,000, but considering the need, this will be a program that we will continue to run as a goal of Mission Fulfilled 2030 to equip kids in need.” Moore said. “Therefore, we will continue to run this fundraiser year-round.”

Gerald Moore Sr., right, speaks to a student about scholastic achievement, after giving a Chromebook and gifts to him.

Courtesy Photo

Gerald Moore Sr., right, speaks to a student about scholastic achievement, after giving a Chromebook and gifts to him.

To participate in the fundraiser, please visit and click the donate button. Families in need with students in the U.S. who are in grades K-12 may apply for Chromebooks via a case for support form via

Preakness 145 to include Introduction of The George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan Stakes

(Baltimore, Md) —In addition to crowning a Preakness champion at Old Hilltop this year, 1/ST today announced it will celebrate the life and legacy of George E. Mitchell with the introduction of “The George E. Mitchell Black- Eyed Susan Stakes (GII). A tireless community advocate for Park Heights, Mr. Mitchell’s contributions will be recognized this year and for years to come during the Preakness celebration.

Mr. Mitchell’s three children as well as other family members will be in attendance to present the trophy to the winner of the first-ever “George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (GII)”.

Post time for the race is 4:41 p.m., and will be part of NBC’s national broadcast coverage from 4:30-6:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 3.

George E. Mitchell was a longtime leader and champion for the Park Heights community. Born in Florence, South Carolina, Mr. Mitchell moved to Baltimore shortly after his first birthday. He graduated from Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School in 1972 and Morgan State University in 1976. He then served in the U.S. Army and earned a master’s degree at Saint Leo University.

Mr. Mitchell was one of the first Black partners of a Golden Corral franchise. He was also a licensed real estate agent. From 2017 until his passing in July 2020 at the age of 65, Mr. Mitchell oversaw operations of the Langston Hughes Community, Business and Resource Center, which houses a food pantry, library and computer lab as well as youth and adult programs and services including those for literacy, education and workforce development.

He also served as president of Neighborhoods United, an organization made up of several community associations organized to help bring positive change to Northwest Baltimore.

Mr. Mitchell was a passionate advocate for keeping the Preakness in Baltimore and was an important contributor to the passage of the Racing and Community Development Act 2020.

The President and first lady tested positive for Covid-19. Here’s what CDC guidelines say should happen next

President Donald Trump announced early Friday he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for Covid-19.

His announcement came just hours after news that Hope Hicks, one of the President’s closest aides, also tested positive. Hicks had traveled with Trump multiple times recently and was seen this week with several other of the President’s aides — none of whom wore masks.

“This is very concerning,” says Anne Rimoin, an epidemiology professor at UCLA. “The number of people that could potentially be exposed and at risk of contracting this virus is significant here.”

There are many questions going forward — including who else may have been exposed to the virus and what the President and the first lady will need to do now.

Here’s what the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says should happen when someone tests positive for the virus or is exposed to an infected individual.

If you test positive for Covid-19

People who have tested positive for Covid-19 need to go into isolation, according to guidance from the CDC updated in August.

Those in isolation should stay home, unless they need to get medical care, and monitor their symptoms, according to the agency.

According to a statement from Trump’s physician, both the President and the First Lady plan to remain in the White House as they recover while a medical team keeps a “vigilant watch” on them.

Navy Commander Dr. Sean Conley said he expects Trump to “continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering.”

According to the CDC, infected individuals should separate themselves from others and stay in a separate room from other household members, if possible, and use a separate bathroom.

“Don’t share personal household items like cups, towels, and utensils,” the agency said. “Wear a mask when around other people, if you are able to.”

Those infected should wear masks covering their nose and mouth when they’re around others, the CDC said.

When can you leave isolation

The CDC recommends people who tested positive for Covid-19 should stay isolated for at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared and after they’ve been at least 24 hours fever-less without the help of medications. Symptoms should also be improving before people leave isolation, the CDC said.

For those who tested positive but showed no symptoms, the agency said they can be around others after 10 days since their last positive Covid-19 test.

People who are severely immunocompromised, according to the CDC, may require testing before interacting with others.

Who may have been exposed

According to the CDC, an infected person can spread the virus starting 48 hours before the person has any symptoms or tests positive.

“By letting your close contacts know they may have been exposed to COVID-19, you are helping to protect everyone,” the agency said.

The CDC says close contacts can include:

Anyone who was within six feet of an infected individual for at least 15 minutes

Anyone who cared for someone who was infected or had direct physical contact, like hugging or kissing

Anyone who shared eating or drinking utensils

Anyone who may have gotten respiratory droplets from an infected individual through something like a sneeze or a cough

What to do if you’re exposed

People who had close contact with someone with Covid-19 should stay home for 14 days after they were last exposed to that person, the CDC says.

Individuals don’t have to quarantine for two weeks if they’ve been infected in the previous three months and recovered without lingering symptoms, the agency said.

Ravens prepare to move on from ugly loss to Chiefs

Monday night’s contest against the Kansas City Chiefs was supposed to be a coming out party for the Baltimore Ravens. They welcomed the defending Super Bowl Champions to M&T Bank Stadium for a clash of top teams on the AFC.

The Chiefs came out firing on all cylinders, putting 27 points on the board in the first half and won the game 34-20. Patrick Mahomes led an orchestrated attack that had Baltimore’s defense on their heels for most of the game.

“We got beat just about every way you can get beat, and we understand that. We have a long way to go to get better. This will be a beginning for us,” Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said. “We just have to take this situation as we find it and find our way through it and build as a football team.”

The Ravens have to regroup quickly as they get ready to play the Washington Football Team on Sunday. The players were back in the team facility on Tuesday to dissect the frustrating loss and move forward. Veteran defensive lineman Calais Campbell said he will apply the 24-hour rule to the loss just the same as he does to wins.“You have 24 hours to grieve or celebrate. Then you study the film and move on,” Campbell said after the game.

The convincing loss would send a weak team on a downward spiral. The Ravens are determined not to let it snowball into a losing streak. No player is ever happy with a loss, but veteran defensive back Jimmy Smith is making the best of the situation.

“I’m not discouraged. I don’t think we’re discouraged at all. I think the good thing about playing a team like that—that is just hitting on all cylinders right now—is they can show you where we’re weak at, and they did. So, we get the chance to go back and fix it. So, I don’t think our team is discouraged by any means. I think it’s just an opportunity to go see what happened, look at it, fix it up, tweak some things, maybe add some new things and go out and play,” Smith said.

“Get back in the book get right back to the grind. You don’t want to sit and sulk. You don’t sit and sulk about anything in life; it’ll just weigh on you too much. Just get in there and correct it. Let’s fix it, because we have a game in six days, so we don’t have time to sit there and sulk about anything.”

Baltimore is 0-3 against the Chiefs with Lamar Jackson as quarterback. Jackson called Kansas City his kryptonite after the lopsided loss in which he finished with 97 passing yards.

The Ravens still sit on top of the AFC North with a 2-1 record and they still have one of the leagues top-rated defenses. It’s not time to throw in the towel.

Baltimore has to shift focus to the next game in front of them and take steps each week of the season to lone themselves up with a rematch against the Chiefs in the playoffs. Tight end Nick Boyle who scored a touchdown on Monday firmly believes the Ravens will bounce back.

“I’m not worried,” Boyle noted. “Because I know what kind of people that are in this locker room. I know the relationships we have, and I think that will carry us forward. It will drive us to do better and hold each other accountable.”