Deborah Simmons — Life As It Happens - Washington Times
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Deborah Simmons — Life As It Happens

Deborah Simmons

Deborah Simmons

Award-winning opinion writer Deborah Simmons is a senior correspondent who reports on City Hall and writes about education, culture, sports and family-related topics. Mrs. Simmons has worked at several newspapers, and since joining The Washington Times in 1985, has served as editorial-page editor and features editor and on the metro desk. She has taught copy editing at the University of Maryland at College Park. An occasional panelist on Roland Martin's “Washington Watch” and Denise Rolark Barnes' “Let's Talk” weekly news analysis cable-TV programs, Mrs. Simmons has also appeared on BET's “Lead Story,” “Real Time with Bill Maher” and Mr. Maher's “Politically Incorrect,” “America's Black Forum,” Fox News' “The O'Reilly Factor,” “The Right Side with Armstrong Williams,” C-SPAN's “Washington Journal,” and “This is America with Dennis Wholey.” She also has been a guest radio commentator on NPR, WAMU, WMAL and WOL. Mrs. Simmons attended the University of the District of Columbia and Trinity College. She and her husband, who live in Washington, have four children and two grandchildren. Contact Mrs. Simmons at  

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Stick to the basics for a happy Thanksgiving

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Faith, family, village, food and football -- all stirred with loving and giving hands -- and never, ever argue when preparing and cooking food. In other words, ignore the acid and criticism on reality TV and social media, temptations that can lead to "acidic" food, which, in turn, can bring on acute indigestion. Stick to the basics.

Washington, D.C. City Council Chairman Phil Mendelson testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 12, 2016, before a House Oversight Government Operations subcommittee hearing on whether the District of Columbia government truly has the power to spend local tax dollars without approval by Congress. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)  **FILE**

Hey Chairman Mendelson, what's up?

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D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson has been juggling budgets since the pandemic hit. However, what he has yet to do is hold a press conference to announce how much money the city has spent so far battling COVID-19.

President-elect Joe Biden pauses as listens to media questions at The Queen theater, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

School Joe Biden on education

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As the husband of an educator who stayed home with their children when they were young, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden likely appreciates the similarities of teaching and learning.

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D.C. gals rule the roost

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The complete list of winners and losers from the Nov. 3 elections is lengthy. The District of Columbia, though, is a unique fishbowl. Not only because it is the nation's capital, but because its hybrid status allows RINOs, DINOs, Libbies, Greenies and Shadows to game the democratic system. Women candidates latched on and, if Tuesday's elections results run the current course, will control the political, cultural and socio-economic strings.

Pedestrians stand beside a fence covered in protest signs on the north side of the White House, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, on a section of 16th Street renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, on the day before the U.S. election. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

All eyes on election results 2020

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Tuesday's the day. Election Day. And the day after, if you live in the nation's capital or around the Beltway, all eyes and ears will be focused on election results after what happened on Election Day 2016, when The Donald beat Hillary.

President Donald Trump greets Jon Voight during a National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)  **FILE**

Celebrity families feud over Trump, Biden

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Let's move onto another platform, a fun-for-the-sake-of-fun platform, like where celebrities stand on Biden-Harris versus Trump-Biden. It's a worthy distraction if you didn't watch the final debate.

National Harbor has a problem

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National Harbor, a U.S. Census-designated site, is being overtaken by youths and nefarious ne'er-do-wells, including partygoers, restaurant-goers who skip out on their bills and -- get this -- parents and other adults who rent hotel rooms for the careless young people.

FILE - In this 1930s file photo, General Robert E. Wood, president of Sears, Roebuck & Co., and Julius Rosenwald, chairman of the board, posing for a photo next to an All State tire, outside of the Sears Distribution Center, in Atlanta.  (Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, File)  **FILE**

Public-private partnerships build schools

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There has been no rabid public outcry among Prince Georgians concerning the potential to raise taxes and fees and/or create new taxes. But there is measurable agreement about the need to begin erasing the county's $8.5 billion backlog in modernizing schoolhouses, most of which are 45 to 55 years old. Well, the Prince George's County Council disagrees, and somebody, ahem, should set them straight.

FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2020, file photo, stickers to be given to people who have voted are seen at a satellite election office at Temple University's Liacouras Center in Philadelphia. In the run up to Election Day, President Donald Trump is seizing on small, potentially routine voting issues to suggest the election is rigged. But there is no evidence there is any widespread voter fraud as the president has suggested. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

Protect our voting rights and our votes

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Two of the most consequential actions voters appreciate on Election Day, after casting ballots, are the election machine verifying it has received their ballots and a precinct volunteer handing them a red-white-and-blue sticker inscribed with "I Voted."

The COVID-19 fever

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Keep away from the fly-by-night crews, those tax "experts" that pop up online and along strip malls. They've got COVID-19 fever, too, and can't wait to get their hands on your Social Security number, bank account info, date of birth and other personal info.

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Tend to faith, family and food in the kitchen

- The Washington Times

2020, it seems, is the year of upsetting apple carts, by any means necessary, which is why it's time to take a leap. Redirect that energy, soothe the soul. Get in the kitchen, boil a pot of potatoes, peel them, add milk and butter, and whip away for you and your family. If that sounds too simple that's because it is, and that's why mashed potatoes is considered a "comfort food."

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Metro must brace for spending cuts ASAP

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Money doesn't grow on trees, as most average Americans have learned during the era of COVID-19. And it doesn't matter whether the tree is growing in Brooklyn, burning in California or standing tall in a cul-de-sac in suburban Virginia or Maryland.

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Single dads and moms need child care, too

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While such facts of life could challenge normal everyday living, COVID-19 and government shutdowns created a new "unnormal" by shuttering school buildings and child care services, and mandating virtual schooling.

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Will D.C. statehood spark partisan fire at the debates?

- The Washington Times

The Republican nominees, Donald Trump and Mike Pence, and their Democratic counterparts, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, are preparing for their upcoming debates. So, as a note, in case you're looking for candor and civility, look to Mr. Pence, who likely will be the lone grownup at the debate podiums. Even on such gnawing issues as D.C. statehood and congressional voting rights.

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The nefarious nature of Chinese drones

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If Black lives really do matter, prove it

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Give Mayor Muriel Bowser big credit: She's underscoring the crucial importance of voting in the republic. Other city and state leaders should take a page from her Election 2020 handbook. Miss Bowser wants voters where they should be on Nov. 3. At the polls.