Thursday, March 30, 2017

WashPost Prints Op-Ed: 'NPR and PBS Don't Need Tax Money Anymore'

The Washington Post published an op-ed on Sundayheadlined "NPR and PBS don't need tax money anymore." Manhattan Institute vice president Howard Husock is uniquely qualified on the topic: he's a former producer for Boston PBS superstation WGBH and now serves on the board of directors of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Some of Husock's argument is familiar, especially the change in the media landscape since the emergence of a public broadcasting system in the "Great Society" Sixties. What's eye-opening is how PBS and NPR sell themselves to underwriters as having an audience loaded with wealthier and more educated customers:

All this might matter less if it were clear that public media was a preferred choice of a broad cross-section of the American public. Doing so was part of the original mission. Instead, public media today looks far too much like a niche programming service for a left-leaning, upmarket urban constituency.

Of the top 10 most popular NPR affiliates, only one (Atlanta) is found in the South or Southwest. The major, “producing stations” of television programming — locals that provide the lion’s share of content broadcast on smaller affiliates — are based in liberal bastions Boston, New York and Washington. NPR, in data expected to appeal to financial underwriters, boasts that some 58 percent of NPR listeners are college graduates, and that its listeners are “74 percent more likely to earn more than $100,000.” (One NPR slide deck boasts that its programming reaches “cultural connoisseurs” likely to drink four glasses of wine per week.) The appeal makes a virtue of its elite demographics, noting NPR “attracts an audience most notably distinguished by its educational excellence and professional success.” In 2014, Pew Research found that “The clear majority of audience (67 percent) is left-of-center.” Nothing wrong with that, of course, unless your statutory mandate is to reach and inform the American citizenry broadly.


Baltimore Area Retailer Sentenced to Federal Prison for Food Stamp Fraud

Defendant Received Over $3.5 Million from USDA for Food Stamps Traded for Cash; Defendant Exploited Fact that the Program Relies on Trust

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Muhammad Sarmad, age 41, of Nottingham, Maryland, to 18 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to illegally redeem food stamp benefits in exchange for cash. At the sentencing on March 27, 2017, Judge Bennett also ordered that Sarmad pay restitution of $3,550,662.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William G. Squires, Jr. of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General, Northeast Region; and Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“The food stamp program can be exploited by criminals like Muhammad Sarmad, who take advantage of the fact that the Department of Agriculture trusts retailers to actually provide food in return for taxpayer money,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

Important Legislation Gives Courts More Tools to Prosecute Repeat Sexual Offenders

“The first part of our plan is the Repeat Sexual Predator Prevention Act of 2017. This is a bipartisan measure modeled after Senator Brochin’s Prior Bad Acts bill. It will allow a court to admit evidence of a defendant’s prior history of sexual assaults, during prosecution for subsequent sexual offenses.” - Governor Larry Hogan, January 12, 2017

The Time Is Now For Legislators To Act On The Repeat Sexual Predator Prevention Act Of 2017

The Repeat Sexual Predator Prevention Act Of 2017 Has Not Been Moved Out Of The Senate Or House Committees In Which A Hearing Was Held. The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee And The House Judiciary Committee Have Not Taken Action On This Important, Bipartisan Legislation. (“Senate Bill 316,” Maryland General Assembly, 1/25/17; “House Bill 369,” Maryland General Assembly, 1/25/17)

The Repeat Sexual Predator Prevention Act Of 2017

Governor Hogan's Proposed Legislation, The Repeat Sexual Predator Prevention Act of 2017, Would Allow A Court To Admit Evidence Of A Defendant’s Prior Sexually Assaultive Behavior During Prosecution For Certain Sexual Offenses Under Specific Circumstances. “The court may admit evidence of sexually assaultive behavior if the court finds and states on the record that: The evidence is being offered to: Prove lack of consent; or Rebut an express or implied allegation that a minor fabricated the sexual offense; The sexually assaultive behavior was proven by clear and convincing evidence; and The probative value of the evidence is not substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice.” (“Senate Bill 316,” Maryland General Assembly, 1/20/17)

Governor Hogan’s Proposed Legislation Is Bipartisan; Has Received Support From Lawmakers, Law Enforcement, And Sexual Assault Survivors

Recreational Crabbing Season Opens April 1

Crabbers Can Get Cracking on State’s Signature Catch

It’s crabbing season in Maryland!

Recreational fishing for the state’s most iconic aquatic species begins April 1 in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries as well as in the Atlantic Ocean, coastal bays and their tributaries, reports the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

“We are pleased to offer multiple opportunities for anglers of all ages to catch Chesapeake Bay blue crabs,” Fishing and Boating Services Director David Blazer said. “We wish everyone an enjoyable, safe and successful crabbing season.”

Crabbing in Maryland waters can be done a variety of ways, with or without a license depending on the equipment used, amount of crabs harvested and location.

Obama's rule changes opened door for NSA intercepts of Americans to reach political hands

As his presidency drew to a close, Barack Obama’s top aides routinely reviewed intelligence reports gleaned from the National Security Agency’s incidental intercepts of Americans abroad, taking advantage ofrules their boss relaxed starting in 2011 to help the government better fight terrorism, espionage by foreign enemies and hacking threats, Circa has learned.

Dozens of times in 2016, those intelligence reports identified Americans who were directly intercepted talking to foreign sources or were the subject of conversations between two or more monitored foreign figures. Sometimes the Americans’ names were officially unmasked; other times they were so specifically described in the reports that their identities were readily discernible. Among those cleared to request and consume unmasked NSA-based intelligence reports about U.S. citizens were Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice, his CIA Director John Brennan and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Some intercepted communications from November to January involved Trump transition figures or foreign figures' perceptions of the incoming president and his administration. Intercepts involving congressional figures also have been unmasked occasionally for some time.

The NSA is expected to turn over logs as early as this week to congressional committees detailing who consumed reports with unmasked Americans' identities from their intercepts since the summer of 2016.


Baseball Team Combines Krispy Kreme Doughnut, Hot Dog, Bacon & Jelly To Create Our Nightmare

Delaware’s minor league baseball team partnered with Krispy Kreme to debuted a doughnut-hot dog hybrid today.
Last year, San Diego County Fair vendor, Charlie’s Chicken, introduced the world to the triple cheeseburger on Krispy Kreme buns. While just looking at photos of the sandwich made our arteries cry for help, a minor league baseball team in Delaware is giving the restaurant a run for its money by taking consumers’ other favorite summer food, hot dogs, and creating the Krispy Kreme Donut Dog.

The Wichita Eagle reports that the Wilmington Blue Rocks partnered with Krispy Kreme to construct what basically amounts to a pork-flavored jelly doughnut.

The Krispy Kreme Donut Dog (not its permanent name) is comprised of a ballpark hot dog nestled inside a donut, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly.


Maxine Waters Fires Back: Is This Racist?

A Comment Worthy Of A Post: Could It Be True?

Joe a few weeks ago you published a post about the WCSO having bought motorcycles. It seems as they have claimed their first victim, one of the deputies went down near the Shorebirds Stadium and has a very bad broken ankle and some other injuries. It is rumored he may have to go on disability.

As crab season beckons, some watermen hope for new rules to bolster their harvest

Joel Hayden's investment, tens of thousands of dollars' worth of yellow-painted wire cages, is spread across his lawn in neat stacks. Just beyond the water's edge, his paycheck is burrowed in the mud.

It's the eve of blue crab season for watermen like the 28-year-old Hoopers Island native, and he is sparing no expense to prepare. After all, here at the southern edge of Maryland's share of the Chesapeake Bay, there is only a short springtime window before the biggest crabs head north to fresher waters.

Next month, Hayden will begin scattering hundreds of the handmade crab pots around nearby creeks. If there are as many of the blue-legged crustaceans as watermen and scientists expect, it will be a busy start to the season.


Breaking News: Two White House officials helped provide intelligence reports about surveillance to the Republican leading the House Russia inquiry

A pair of White House officials played a role in providing Representative Devin Nunes of California, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, with the intelligence reports that showed President Trump and his associates were incidentally swept up in foreign surveillance by American spy agencies.

The revelation that White House officials assisted in the disclosure of the intelligence reports — which Mr. Nunes then discussed with President Trump — is likely to fuel criticism that the intelligence chairman has been too eager to do the bidding of the Trump administration while his committee is supposed to be conducting an independent investigation of Russia’s meddling in the last presidential election.

BREAKING NEWS A repeal of North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” was sent to the governor

He’s expected to sign it despite criticism of the compromise.

Both houses of the North Carolina General Assembly voted in favor of a bill on Thursday that would repeal the controversial law affecting transgender bathroom use in public buildings, part of a compromise worked out earlier in the week between Republican legislative leaders and the Democratic governor.

But with anger rising over the compromise from groups on both the left and the right, it was unclear whether the anticipated signing of the new bill into law would extricate North Carolina from the roiling national controversy over the proper levels of legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Advocates, Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention Urge Maryland General Assembly to Act on Crime Victims’ Compensation Bill

New Victim Services Unit Would Increase the Collection and Enforcement of Restitution for Crime Victims

The Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention today called for the Maryland General Assembly to pass HB 1428, which would ensure that victims of crimes who are entitled to compensation receive it in a more efficient and effective manner. A hearing on the bill was held on March 7 in the House Judiciary Committee, but the bill has not yet received a vote.

This departmental bill, introduced by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention, would establish a Victim Services Unit in the Office to coordinate state responsibilities concerning compensation programs related to victims, including the collection of restitution and reimbursements for sexual assault forensic evidence examinations (SAFE exams) and other eligible expenses for cases involving rape, sexual offenses, or child sexual abuse. In addition, the bill would consolidate the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB) from the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, and the Sexual Abuse Forensic Examination (SAFE) program from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and place them under the new Victim Services Unit.

“This bill is an integral part of the Justice Reinvestment Act passed last year and signed by Governor Hogan,” said Glenn Fueston, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention. “The bill has the potential to provide an additional $780,000 per year in federal funds that will go directly toward compensating crime victims.”

“House Bill 1428 is our number one priority for this legislative session,” said Roberta Roper, founder of the Maryland Crime Victims Resources Center. “We should do everything in our power to improve the woefully insufficient compensation of victims in Maryland, and we strongly urge passage of this bill.”

Council To Remain In Towing Business After Contractors Outline Concerns; Fees To Increase Significantly To Offset Expenses

OCEAN CITY — Resort officials did an apparent about-face this week and decided to stay in the towing business with the requested increase in fees after an impassioned plea from a couple of different sources to maintain the current policy.

Back in October, a unified private-sector towing industry approached the town’s police commission about a proposed across-the-board rate increase in the fee schedule that has been in place for nearly a decade. The town’s code currently sets the maximum rate for a standard tow at $150, a figure that has remained unchanged since 2008, but the towing companies that work in partnership with the town were seeking a graduated, across-the-board hike by as much as 100 percent in some cases.

For example, the current rate for a standard tow in Ocean City is $150. The companies tow vehicles when requested by private property owners, such as restaurants, hotels and condominiums, for example, and take them to the town’s impound lot at the public works campus at 65th Street. Those whose vehicles were towed then go to 65thStreet, pay the requisite fees and fines and collect their vehicles. The town collects the fees, keeps its portion and remits the lion’s share to the tow companies.


Kent County Drug Unit Arrest Dover Man After Heroin Investigation


Dover – The Delaware State Police Kent County Drug Unit has arrested a Dover man following an on going drug investigation.

Detectives assigned to the Drug Unit, along with the Kent County Governor’s Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of Dover, conducted a search warrant at a residence in the unit block of Laws Lane around 5:56 p.m., Wednesday March 29, 2017. Upon conducting the search, detectives located a total of 843 bags of heroin (5.901 grams) as well as a small caliber handgun, a shotgun, and a fully loaded AK47 rifle.

Robert Reed, 20, was taken into custody during a traffic stop and found to be in possession of 9 bags (0.063 grams) of heroin and 7 Benzodiazepines prescription pills. He was transported back to Troop 3 where he was charged with two counts of Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance (Heroin), Possession of a Controlled Substance (Heroin), Possession of a Controlled Substance Without a Prescription, Possession of a Deadly Weapon by a Person Prohibited, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Reed was arraigned at JP2 and committed to James T. Vaughn Correctional Center on $47,000.00 secured bond

Mayor Day and City employees held a community "walk-and-talk" and cookout in the Doverdale neighborhood last night

Pork in the Park returns to WinterPlace Park this April for 14th year

Salisbury, MD – Gather the family for a weekend full of pork, wings, hot air balloons and fun children’s activities at Wicomico County Recreation, Parks & Tourism’s 14th annual Pork in the Park Festival.

This year’s festival will be held Saturday, April 22, and Sunday, April 23, at WinterPlace Park, located at 6737 Blue Ribbon Road in Salisbury. The festival hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. Free parking will be available on-site.

Admission is $3 at the gate for adults and free for children 12 and younger. A new Family Pack, which includes four ticket vouchers, two T-shirt vouchers, two wristband vouchers and a Gold Lot parking pass, is also for sale through April 14 for $50.

As part of Wicomico County’s 150 Year Celebration, there will be special promotions during the festival.

New this year will be additional activities for children, including an outdoor laser tag arena, a low ropes course and a rock wall, along with pony rides. Some activities at the festival have an additional cost, and age and height restrictions may apply.

The Rommel’s Ace Inflatable Park returns this year, offering a dozen bounce houses, slides and obstacles for children ages 12 and younger. The festival also hosts a Kids Corner with different children’s activities and performances. (Times vary for Kids Corner activities, please see full schedule of events on our website.)

“We’re excited to bring additional elements to the festival this year,” said Allen Swiger, a program director with Wicomico County Recreation & Parks. “Toddlers through teenagers will all have something fun to do while they’re here.”

And adults are sure to enjoy themselves, too.

NOI 3/29/17 Somerset Mobile Home Fire Joe Lewis Lane


Date:  March 29, 2017
Time:  9:09 p.m.
Location / Address:  Joe Lewis Lane, Crisfield, Somerset Co.
Type of Incident:  Fire
Description of Structure / Property:  12’ x 20’ vacant mobile home
Owner / Occupants:   Elisha Welton (Owner)
Injuries or Deaths: None
Estimated $ Loss: Structure:  $500                     Contents: $0
Smoke Alarm Status:   Unknown
Fire Alarm / Sprinkler Status:  n/a
Arrests(s):  None
Primary Responding Fire Department: Crisfield
# of Alarms:  1     # Of Firefighters:  15
Time to Control:  30 minutes
Discovered By:  Passerby
Area of Origin:  Interior
Preliminary Cause:  Under Investigation
Additional Information:  Anyone with information is asked to call the Salisbury Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal at (410) 713-3780.

Support Our Congressman Andy Harris at his Town Hall! (TOMORROW)

WHEN: Friday March 31, 2017 5 PM - 8 PM
WHERE: Todd Performing Arts Center, Todd Performing Arts Center, 1000 College Circle,, Wye Mills, Maryland 21658

Congressman Andy Harris is holding a town hall meeting for his constituents on Friday, March 31st. Liberals are looking to disrupt the meeting and bring in people to try to make him look bad. We need to support our Congressman!

The meeting starts at 6 PM, but you should try to arrive at 5 to get a seat.

If you live on the Eastern Shore, please share this event with your friends and neighbors.


NOI 3/29/17 Wicomico Dwelling Fire Meadowbridge Road


Date:  March 29, 2017
Time:  3:58 p.m.
Location / Address:  4008 Meadowbridge Road, Fruitland, Wicomico Co.
Type of Incident:  Fire
Description of Structure / Property:   Two story wood frame single family dwelling
Owner / Occupants:   Lisa Pusey
Injuries or Deaths:  None
Estimated $ Loss: Structure:  $180,000                     Contents: $70,000
Smoke Alarm Status:  Unknown
Fire Alarm / Sprinkler Status:  n/a
Arrests(s):   None
Primary Responding Fire Department:  Fruitland
# of Alarms:   2    # Of Firefighters:  55
Time to Control:   90 minutes
Discovered By:  Occupant
Area of Origin:  Rear porch
Preliminary Cause:  Under Investigation
Additional Information:  

How Truckers, Hotel Workers Can Fight Sex Trafficking

For most of his 20-year trucking career, Antoine Sadler figured if he saw something untoward at the truck stops, travel plazas and motels along his cross-country routes, the police would handle it.

But three years ago, Sadler, who drives for Wal-Mart, took a special training course for truckers, which taught him how to identify potential victims of sex trafficking: SUVs full of young girls in revealing clothing or someone at a rest stop clearly under the control of someone else. He realized that as a trucker, he was in a position to intervene by asking someone clearly in distress if they needed help or by calling the police.

“As drivers, we should be the front line,” said Sadler, 43, who lives in North Carolina and now educates other truckers about sex trafficking. “That’s the only way this epidemic will stop: if everyone’s watching.”

Some states are starting to agree with Sadler’s conclusion. Ohio in July began requiring that commercial truck drivers be trained in how to spot telltale signs of sex trafficking and how to report it. Last week, the Arkansas House approved a bill that would require training for truckers. Kansas, Kentucky and Texas also are considering similar bills — though the Kentucky bill goes a step further and would make it a crime for licensed truckers to use their rigs to facilitate trafficking, engage in prostitution or transport minors.


Illegal Alien With Long Rap Sheet Says It’s Unfair Trump is Deporting Him

If I hear the word “unfair” pass the lips of someone who has broken American laws, I’m going to throw a tantrum. You know what’s unfair? Sneaking into the United States illegally while there are masses of people who are waiting in line and doing it the right way.

But no, go ahead and complain that the President is finally enforcing our laws because you might actually have to pay for what you did.

From New York Daily News:

When Floyel Stapleton appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court for a routine hearing in his misdemeanor assault case, he was stunned to be met by federal immigration agents as he left the courtroom.

“I didn’t know they were there. They were in plain clothes. They had no badges and they arrested me when I was walking out of the courtroom. They just asked my name and they arrested me,” Stapleton, 39, who is from the Caribbean island of Nevis, told the Daily News from an immigration detention center in Hudson County.

“They are trying to deport me…The situation sucks.”


Today's Survey Question 3-30-17

Do you think Bill O'Reilly's 
statement was racist?

Report: North Korea on Verge of Major Nuclear Test

Satellite images taken this week suggest North Korea could be in the final states of preparations for a new nuclear test, US-based analysts said Tuesday.

The images, taken March 25, show up to four vehicles or equipment trailers continuously present at the entrance to the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site, with communications cables likely laid on the ground.

"This equipment would likely be used to initiate the test, collect data from the explosion and process the data," said 38 North, a project of the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University.


At issue in Rockville, Annapolis: What do sex-assault victims’ actions mean?

WASHINGTON — The question of how victims’ actions are analyzed in sexual assault and rape cases is the topic of legislation in Annapolis, and part of a legal argument being made in a Montgomery County case that’s gotten national attention.

The attorneys for the two teenagers accused of raping a 14-year-old fellow Rockville High school student argue that what happened in a boy’s bathroom at the school was not a crime but a consensual act.

Andrew Jezic, the attorney for 18-year-old defendant Henry Sanchez Milian, told WTOP that the police affidavit contains no evidence of physical resistance by the victim: “There are no scratches; there’s no bruises.”


Michael Moore Claims Trump's Rollback Begins 'Extinction of Human Life'

Filmmaker Michael Moore lashed out at President Donald Trump's easing of Obama administration energy regulations – asserting it will trigger the "extinction of human life."

Moore's dramatic declaration came in a tweet storm following Trump'sorder Tuesday rolling back regulations to curb carbon emissions.

Trump has called global warming a "hoax" invented by the Chinese, and has repeatedly criticized the power-plant rule as an attack on American workers and the U.S. coal industry.

"Historians in the near future will mark today, March 28, 2017, as the day the extinction of human life on earth began," Moore tweeted, adding the Environmental Protection Agency has been prevented from focusing on "climate change."


Trump Slams 'Fake News' Media Amid More Questions About Russia

President Donald Trump questioned Tuesday why "fake news" organizations do not report about former Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta's alleged ties to Russia — praising Fox News for its coverage — or other issues related to Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Trump took to Twitter:
Why doesn't Fake News talk about Podesta ties to Russia as covered by @FoxNews or money from Russia to Clinton - sale of Uranium?

In the post, Trump doubled down on two tweets he sent Monday alluding to a report by "Fox & Friends" that Podesta once owned stock in a company that was backed by aides with alleged ties to the Russian government.


Report: DNC Purges all Staff

All Democratic National Committee staffers have been asked to submit their resignations amidst party turmoil, according to a new report.

Narrowly elected DNC Chairman Tom Perez assumed the post in late February. Immediately after his election, staff were asked to submit their resignations by April 15, according to NBC News.

The report cited “multiple sources familiar with the party’s internal working” when it stated that Leah Daughtry, an adviser to disgraced outgoing chair Donna Brazile, made the request. Brazile has now admitted that while working for CNN during the 2016 presidential election she leaked debate questions to then Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

The establishment-wing’s Perez is the party’s third leader within months, as the party attempts to recover from a disastrous 2016 election for the Democrats. More changes are expected in “major staffing and structure changes,” according to the report.

December layoffs brought staff levels to a low point, according to the report.


Amazon will start collecting Sales Tax Nationwide April 1

No fooling - Amazon will begin collecting sales tax nationwide on April 1.

The mega-online retailer already adds sales tax to good shipped to 41 states - including Alabama,which began collecting and remitting an 8 percent sales tax on Amazon purchases late last year. CNBC reported Amazon will start collecting taxes in Hawaii, Idaho, Maine and New Mexico next month, completing its list of states. Alaska, Delaware, Oregon, Montana and New Hampshire don't collect sales tax.

Brick and mortar retailers have long complained that online stores such as Amazon have an unfair advantage because they didn't have to charge sales tax unless they had a physical presence in a state.


Bitter Hillary Clinton slams men throughout women's conference speech

Dogs rescued from dog meat farm arrive in Maryland

QUEENSTOWN, Md. —Some of the dozens of dogs that were rescued from a dog meat farm in South Korea have arrived in Maryland.

Humane Society International rescued 46 dogs, who arrived in the U.S. on Saturday. Some were taken to shelters in New York and Pennsylvania, and 11 were taken to the Animal Welfare League of Queen Anne's County in Queenstown.

"They were just kind of kept in the sheds with a lot of kennels on a lot of dirt," said Kirstyn Northrop-Cobb, the shelter's manager.

Northrop-Cobb said that for some of the dogs, their arrival on Maryland's Eastern Shore marked their first time on grass. She said either the dogs were going to become someone's meal or possibly work as puppy mill dogs.


Hillary Clinton's scold of Trump forgets Obama's own faults

Hillary Clinton, twice-failed hopeful for president, first to Barack Obama, second to Donald Trump — cut to smiley face stadium scene — made a remarkable recovery from her Great Sadness of November to take the national stage once again, picking up pretty much where she left off and slapping Republicans for putting down the Woman.

Has she forgotten the seeming no-diversity-allowed policies of the man she once served, Barack Obama? Apparently.

At a gathering of thousands of businesswomen in San Francisco, Clinton scolded Trump, without using his name, for having the “lowest” number of women in key administrative spots “in a generation,” various media reported. She shook her finger at White House spokesman Sean Spicer for chiding a black woman at a news conference for shaking her head.

“Too many women have had a lifetime of practice taking this kind of indignity in stride,” she said.


Another Great Wicomico County Shot

Soros-Funded Group Schemes to Stop Trump’s Latest Temporary Visa Ban

A lawsuit brought before a Maryland appeals court seeking to stop President Trump’s temporary ban on new visas from six Middle Eastern countries was filed by a left-wing group financed by billionaire George Soros.

The second group behind the lawsuit was massively funded by the federal government under the Obama administration to resettle refugees within the U.S.

On Monday, Bloomberg reported on the status of the lawsuit:

The Richmond-based appeals court on Monday offered to accelerate its review of the case, which would speed it along to the U.S. Supreme Court by skipping the traditional oral argument before three judges in favor of an initial full-court hearing. The parties have until March 30 to decide if they want that accelerated schedule.

The suit before the appeals court was filed by the International Refugee Assistance Project, HIAS, a refugee resettlement group established in the 19th century to aid Eastern European Jews, the Middle East Studies Association of North America and six individuals.

The International Refugee Assistance Project is located at the Urban Justice Center.

The Urban Justice Center is also the recipient of an Open Society (Soros) grant.


Maryland DNR Police Blotter

The Maryland Natural Resources Police handled oyster and striped bass cases and made a drug arrest in recent enforcement activity on the Eastern Shore.

Three men were charged Monday with illegal oystering in Talbot County after an investigation of activity in Broad Creek and Tred Avon River.
Daniel Franklin Haddaway, 62, of Bozman, and David Bryan Phillips Sr., 53, of Vienna, each received citations for harvesting oysters with power dredges in an area of Broad Creek designated for hand tonging only. Both men were observed March 9 working more than 150 feet inside the area.
Derek Anthony Spiegel, 29, of Stevensville, received a citation for harvesting oysters more than 250 feet inside the Tred Avon sanctuary March 16. Officers seized 4½ bushels of oysters and returned them to the sanctuary.
All three men must appear in Talbot County District Court. A trial date has been set for May 18.

A recreational fisherman whose fishing privileges were suspended after multiple striped bass violations was arrested Saturday in Dorchester County after he was caught fishing again.
Officers on surveillance saw Ricardo A. Alvarado, 43, of Washington, D.C., on Fishing Creek Bridge at 1:43 a.m., catching and keeping striped bass. When questioned, he gave officers a false name and said he did not have identification. Officers pieced together information and realized that Alvarado’s fishing privileges had been suspended.
A records check showed that he had been caught fishing on a suspended license in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and had been fined more than $3,000 over the last four years for a variety of fishing violations.
Alvarado received citations for fishing under suspension, possessing striped bass in a closed season and fishing without a license.
Officers arrested Alvarado after learning that he was wanted on an outstanding warrant from Virginia. He waived extradition Monday.
A trial date has not been set in Dorchester County District Court. If found guilty of all three charges, Alvarado could be fined as much as $2,625 and be sentenced to jail time.

Officers on surveillance March 18 around the Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park charged six men with illegally catching striped bass.
Jose L. Castro, 45, of Alexandria, Virginia; Manuel De Jesus Lazo, 52, of Silver Spring; Jose Francisco Pleitez Figueroa, 30, of Washington, D.C.; Jose Guevara, 50, of Alexandria, Virginia; Juan Carlos Valladares, 40, of Silver Spring; and Elvis Rodolfo Carreto, 25, of Hyattsville were all charged with possessing striped bass in a closed season. Carreto also was charged with fishing without a Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing License.
Officers found 13 striped bass the men had hidden near the pier.
The men are scheduled to appear in Talbot County District Court June 15. If found guilty, they could each be fined as much as $1,500. Carreto faces an additional fine of $125.

A traffic stop just outside Assateague State Park led to the arrest Saturday evening of two men on drug charges.
Alexander C. Rim, 26, of College Park, was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance – Adderall – without a prescription and possession of marijuana. His passenger, Paul Hyun Woo Kim, 25, of Laurel, was charged with possession of cocaine, Adderall and marijuana.
They were released on personal recognizance by an Ocean City court commissioner. A trial has been set for June 27 in Worcester County District Court.

JW's Fitton: New Hillary Emails Show Independent Investigation Needed

A government watchdog group Wednesday said a batch of State Department documents it has obtained lends additional proof that Hillary Clinton sent classified data through unsecured email accounts.

Judicial Watch announced it has released 1,184 pages of State documents, including 29 previously undisclosed Clinton exchanges that weren't part of the 55,000 pages she already turned over.

"These emails are yet more evidence of Hillary Clinton’s casual and repeated violations of laws relating to the handling of classified information," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, "The Justice Department should finally begin an independent investigation into the Clinton email matter."

The exchanges include one from February 2010, when Jake Sullivan, then-deputy chief of staff to Clinton, sent to her and top aide Huma Abedin’s unsecure email accounts classified information concerning a former Guantanamo detainee..

More here

Never Forget

House Committee Passes Bill To "Audit The Fed"

The Republican-controlled Committee on Oversight and Government Reform approved a bill earlier today to allow for a congressional audit of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy, a proposal Fed policymakers have opposed and likely faces a difficult path to final approval in the Senate. Under the bill, the Fed’s monetary policy deliberations could be subject
to outside review by the Government Accountability Office.

While similar bills have garnered some support from Democrats in the past, they uniformly spoke against the current proposal during a meeting of the House of Representatives suggesting the current iteration would face stronger resistance from an increasingly polarized environment in Washington D.C..

The House previously passed similar versions of this legislation twice before in 2012 and 2014, with dozens of Democrats joining nearly unanimous Republican support. That said, those bills both died in the Senate and likely would have faced a Presidential veto from Obama had they survived anyway.

That said, Trump expressed interest in passing such legislation multiple times during the 2016 campaign cycle which means the 3rd time might just be the charm for Republicans.


'It was literally a dinosaur.' Large alligator sneaks up on golfers at Kiawah Island golf course

A chance encounter with a large alligator at Kiawah Island Club’s River Course has created quite the social media buzz for the Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic.

Carrie Moores, the Marketing and Communications Specialist for the Johns Island clinic, was taking photos during a fund-raising golf tournament Monday when out of the corner of her eye she saw an alligator heading toward a group of golfers with their backs turned.


Oklahoma woman strangled to death during lunch break

A 19-year-old Oklahoma woman was strangled to death by a suspected burglar that she found inside her apartment when she returned home on her lunch break.

Greg Epperson, who is a suspect in two other murders, allegedly broke into Kelsey Tennant's apartment near 65th and Mingo in south Tulsa while she was away at work at Metro Appliances & More on Monday.

The 19-year-old came home from work around 3pm to watch 'Friends' reruns when she found Epperson inside her apartment, police said.

Epperson is then accused of viciously attacking, beating and strangling her.

As she was dying, he continued to go through her belongings inside the apartment, KFOR reported.


Legislature grants Frosh $1M to sue feds over Trump policies

By Dan Menefee

The Maryland Senate today passed, HB913, the Maryland Defense Act of 2017 – mandating that the administration fund five new attorneys in the Office of the Attorney General to sue the federal government — at a cost of $1 million annually.

The measure passed the Senate 30-15, a veto-proof majority. It is one of about two dozen bills delivered to Gov. Larry Hogan yesterday. He has only six days, not counting Sunday, to sign, veto or let the bills become law. Hogan has criticized the new powers for the attorney general, and is generally opposed to spending mandates.

The legislature would have time to override any veto by the time it adjourns April 10.


Conservatives Urge Sessions to Clean Out Obama's Civil Rights Division

A group of attorneys, scholars, and advocates put their names to a letter sent to Attorney General Jeff Sessions Tuesday, urging him to take a serious look at reform as he works with the President to select a new Assistant Attorney General for his Civil Rights Division.

“During the Obama administration, the Division served purely ideological ends with rigidity unmatched in other federal offices. Entrenched federal bureaucrats jettisoned precepts like equal enforcement in favor of political and racialized dogmas with a zeal that risks litigation failure and invites court sanctions,” the letter states.

Signed by such conservative heavyweights as Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the letter paints a picture of a Division ripe for sweeping reform after eight years under Obama during which “The Civil Rights Division has relegated its leadership role to political activists.”


VA Gov. McAuliffe To Domestic Abuse Victims Who Want To Arm Themselves: Drop Dead

Life just got a little bit safer in the great state of Virginia. Safer, that is, if you’re a domestic abuser and you don’t want to get shot by your victim.

Stephen Gutowski, Washington Free Beacon:

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D.) vetoed a bill on Friday that aimed to allow victims of domestic violence to carry concealed firearms without obtaining a permit.

House Bill 1852 would allow anyone in Virginia who has a protective order and is over 21 to carry a concealed firearm without a permit for up to 45 days after the order is issued…

“The bill perpetuates the dangerous fiction that the victims of domestic violence will be safer by arming themselves,” [McAuliffe] said. “It would inject firearms into a volatile domestic violence situation, making that situation less safe, not more.”

And McAuliffe knows this is a “dangerous fiction” because… Well, he just does.


Maxine Waters questions patriotism of Trump supporters from House floor

Note to Donald Trump supporters: Maxine Waters is a bigger patriot than you are.

At least that’s what she thinks.

During a screed on the House floor Monday night, Waters played the race card and the patriotism card against supporters of the president.

“Mr. Speaker, my position against this president and his administration is clear. I oppose this president. I do not honor this president. I do not respect this president,” Waters said during a nearly 9-minute speech.

“African-Americans have struggled and fought historically, many African-Americans have paid a huge price fighting for justice and equality in this country, have died for it. I don’t have to call the names of Martin Luther King and all the others. We have paid a price, we have fought.

“But guess what? Despite the fact that America has not always been there for us, we’ve always been there for America. We have fought in America’s wars. We have suffered discrimination, we have suffered isolation and undermining. But we stand up for America, oftentimes when others who think they are more patriotic, who say they are more patriotic, do not,” Waters said.


Russia threatens to leak info Obama would want to ‘keep secret’

During a press conference on Friday, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova dropped a bombshell that her country has damaging information the Obama administration asked them to “keep secret” — and they just might leak it.

While answering a question about how she sees “the future of Russian-US diplomatic relations in the context of the current atmosphere in Washington,” Zakharova said they have soured over the last few years.

She used as her example, the announcement of details for official visits, according to an English transcript provided by the Kremlin.

“To tell the truth,” Zakharova said, “over the past few years we’ve seen many strange things happen in Washington in connection with preparations for visits or talks by our foreign ministers. The US Department of State has more than once asked us not to announce planned visits until the last minute. This is not our tradition. We have been operating openly for years, but we have respected the requests we have received from our colleagues in Washington in the past few years.

“But what happened after that?"

Retired Texas Teachers "Very Fed Up" As Healthcare Costs Set To Triple

It seems President Trump was on to something when he said healthcare in America would "explode," if left alone. ABC reports that retired teachers in Texas are projected to pay double or triple their current premiums for healthcare beginning September 1.

Since 1985, the state has provided healthcare for retired teachers through a plan called TRS Care. As of last year, 261,500 retired teachers, dependents and their surviving spouses, according to the State Comptroller. But in recent years medical costs have risen higher than what the state contributes to TRS Care leaving the fund with more than a billion dollar shortfall now.

“At its creation in 1985, TRS-Care was expected to remain solvent for just 10 years, with the understanding that additional funding or benefit changes would be necessary to maintain the plan. Its funding formula hasn’t changed since 2005, however, and hasn’t kept pace with plan costs, requiring periodic supplemental appropriations,” wrote Hegar in a special edition of his newsletter called FiscalNotes.
As ABC notes, unless state lawmakers change the plan’s design or add significant funding, retiree premiums are projected to triple this summer.

"Retired teachers are very fed up. I'm extremely frustrated," said Pat Hill who taught math in Collin County schools for 32 years. Hill, who’s 68, uses TRS Care to supplement her Medicare coverage. She said her cost will double.

But like all retired teachers under 65, Reanel Merriman relies on it solely for her medical coverage. "We pay about $450 a month. I have heard possibilities of it going up to more than $1,800 a month. But I think it will probably be raised $1,000,” said Merriman, 63.

That's more than her monthly pension.


Buchanan On The Ryancare Route: Winning By Losing?

Did the Freedom Caucus just pull the Republican Party back off the ledge, before it jumped to its death? A case can be made for that.

Before the American Health Care Act, aka “Ryancare,” was pulled off the House floor Friday, it enjoyed the support — of 17 percent of Americans. Had it passed, it faced an Antietam in the GOP Senate, and probable defeat.

Had it survived there, to be signed by President Trump, it would have meant 14 million Americans losing their health insurance in 2018.

First among the losers would have been white working-class folks who delivered the Rust Belt states to President Trump.

“Victory has a thousand fathers; defeat is an orphan,” said JFK.

So, who are the losers here?

First and foremost, Speaker Paul Ryan and House Republicans who, having voted 50 times over seven years to repeal Obamacare, we learned, had no consensus plan ready to replace it.

Moreover, they put a bill on the floor many had not read, and for which they did not have the votes.