The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent our advertisers

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Volunteer Finds Cat In A Box Outside Of Shelter

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. - A volunteer who came up to the Small Miracles Cat Rescue Wednesday after hours found a cat in a box out in the hot sun.

The volunteer was dropping some things off and found the cat inside of a carrier with nothing but a handful of cheetos.

The cat was brought inside, cooled off, and must have used up one of it's nine lives but seems to be doing ok.


Group Asking Wal-Mart For A Little (retirement) Respect

LAUREL, Md. - An ordinary day of business at a local Wal-Mart recently turned into a call for retirement benefits while channeling the The Queen of Soul.
Respect DC, a group demanding better pay for workers and help for D.C. communities, organized a flash mob inside the Laurel Wal-Mart, belting out a version of Aretha Franklin's "Respect."
The song featured re-worked lyrics and choreographed dancing, with each dancer carried a small yellow sign that looked like Wal-Mart's yellow, smiley-faced mascot.
Video of the performance has made its way to YouTube.


The Deficit Is Not Default Of Obama

Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist" gave debtors' prison a bad rap. Too bad. I'd say that locking away GOP Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a penitentiary for deadbeats seems like a darn good idea.

Let's talk about how we ended up in this pickle, bucking up against the "debt ceiling." From 2001 to 2008, a Republican president took an annual surplus of $86 billion left for him by Bill Clinton and ran up the budget deficit to over half a trillion in a year ($642 billion in 2008). Altogether, George W. Bush blew up the national debt by over $3 TRILLION - then left the bills to Barack Obama.

For eight years, Bush spent like a drunk monkey. The world was the GOP's Bergdorf and they had our credit card. If there was a shiny, new war on the shelf, they just had to have it: Iraq, Afghanistan, and let's not forget the Fantasy Wars, the half a trillion dollars a year on fancy-ass weapons for a war that won't happen. (Example: the Virginia Class submarine. (The V-class was designed to attack Soviet subs. There are no more Soviet subs, but Bush ordered three dozen anyway - at $1.8 billion each.)

And tax cuts? Don't get me started!

Judge Denies Harford Co. Democrats' Redistricting Challenge

Door is open for an appeal to higher court

A circuit judge threw out a lawsuit Wednesday from Harford County Democrats who are challenging the makeup of the all-Republican commission drawing new County Council district lines.

Judge John F. Fader II said the suit essentially asked him to legislate a change to the county charter, which Democrats believe is written in a way that unfairly led to their exclusion from the redistricting commission.

"You're asking me to make new law," Fader said in court. "I'm not willing to do that."


Feds To Close More Than 20 Data Centers In Maryland

The federal government plans to close more than 20 data centers in Maryland by the end of 2012, part of a nationwide effort to reduce redundancy and save money on electricity-hungry computer servers, the White House said Wednesday.

Officials expect to close 373 centers nationwide by the end of next year and 800 by 2025, an effort the Office of Management and Budget estimates will save taxpayers more than $3 billion.

The centers, which typically house computer equipment, can be as large as a building or as small as a closet.
In one example cited by the White House, the Treasury Department will close a roughly 13,000-square-foot facility in Lanham.


Operation AIG II To Save Pensions?

With less than two weeks before the United States cannot borrow more money, the Federal Reserve and Wall Street are making plans to prepare for the country’s possible default on its $14.3 trillion debt.

In the most revealing comments to date, Charles Plosser, the president of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve, told Reuters [3] the nation has for months been in “contingency planning mode” to deal with the fallout when the federal government runs out of money.

“We are developing processes and procedures by which the Treasury communicates to us what we are going to do,” Plosser said. “How the Fed is going to go about clearing government checks. Which ones are going to be good? Which ones are not going to be good? There are a lot of people working on what we would do and how we would do it.”

The Treasury Department has repeatedly denied making plans for default, saying raising the debt ceiling is the lone acceptable option. A spokesman did not comment to Reuters.

Wall Street officials are in the same boat, devising what the New York Times called [4] “doomsday plans in case the clock runs out.”

Meanwhile, the Wall Street firms, the Times wrote, are seeking to reduce their risk related to Treasury bonds while hedge funds are hoarding cash to purchase U.S. debt if the price plummets in the event of a post-default sell-off.

The paper wrote that a full-scale financial panic has not set in but is close.

“The metaphor is a pile of sand,” Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, told the Times. “You keep putting one piece of sand on the pile, nothing happens, and then, all of the sudden it just caves.”

Plosser also told Reuters that, despite the shaky economy, the Fed may raise interest rates before the year is out. He said he expects the unemployment rate, now at 9.2 percent, to fall to 8.5 percent.

“I don’t see the fundamentals of the economy as changed that much,” he said. “Yeah, there’s been some shocks and disruptions, but the underlying forces that are going to cause us to continue a slow, moderate recovery are still in place.”

Hate to tell you, but it's becoming easier and easier to telegraph the Fed, the ECB and the rest of the financial "elite." I literally laugh when I read about a "doomsday scenario" or Wall Street firms "reducing their risk to Treasuries." Who are we kidding here? Wall Street firms are long Treasuries, so is PIMPCO and they're all long risk assets waiting for the Mother of All Short Squeezes. When everyone is bearish, get greedy and become a pig. Contrary to popular belief, pigs often don't get slaughtered and they make out like bandits!

It will be rocky but at the end of the day this sucker has to keep grinding higher or else the risk of debt deflation shoots up tenfold -- something which the financial oligarchs will not mess around with. They'll fight dflation or the perceived threat of deflation tooth and nail to ensure future profits.


ANNAPOLIS, MD (July 21, 2011) – TOMORROW, Governor Martin O’Malley will announce his decision regarding sponsorship of same sex marriage legislation in the 2012 Legislative Session. 

WHAT:           Governor O’Malley to Hold Press Conference

WHEN:           TOMORROW, Friday, July 22, 2011 at 2:00 p.m.

WHERE:        Governor’s Reception Room
                        2nd Floor, State House
Annapolis, MD

Redistricting Alert

In case you missed it, Gov. O’Malley has appointed a “Redistricting Advisory Committee” to help him redraw Congressional and Legislative boundaries for the next decade.  The commission will be traveling around the state to hold town hall meetings with the public.

I encourage all of you to attend these meetings to have your voice heard!

Public hearings have been scheduled for the following dates and locations in or near the First Congressional District:

Saturday, August 27th
  • Harford Community College – Amoss Center, 11:00AM
  • Towson University – Stephens Hall Thater, 2:00PM
Tuesday, August 30th
  • Anne Arundel Community College – Center For Applied Learning & Technology, 4:00PM
Saturday, September 10th
  • Salisbury University – Wicomico Room OR Perdue Hall, 12:30PM
  • Chesapeake College – Todd Performing Arts Center, 4:00PM

If you would like to speak at the public hearings, please email the Maryland Department of Planning at or by calling (410) 767-4490.

Again, I encourage everyone to attend these meetings so that your voice can be heard on a very important community issue.

Thanks, and I look forward to seeing you soon!
Andy Harris

"It’s A Cash-Flow Problem": The Ever Broker US Consumer Increasingly Relying On Credit Cards For Daily Staples

GAO Audit Exposes Fed's Corruption Once Again

The Federal Reserve: Our Policy Is To Steal From You

Inflation is theft in more ways than one: it also steals our liberty.

We know two things: 1) the official policy of the Federal Reserve is to engineer and maintain inflation and 2) inflation is theft. As I have recounted here many times, in nominal terms, it looks like average wages (earned income) in the U.S. have been rising smartly for decades. But measured in purchasing power, i.e. adjusted for inflation, earned income has declined for most workers, especially in the past three years.

Measured in purchasing power, i.e. the number of gallons of gasoline or loaves of bread an average worker could buy with one hour of labor, American workers have experienced a steady decline in the value of their labor for the past 40 years.

Whenever a pundit scoffs at the idea that the dollar might lose 95% of its value, readers remind me it already has lost 95% of its value in the past century.

The Myth That Democracy = Freedom

When the universally reviled South African policy of apartheid was ended and majority rule democracy instituted in that country there was great hope that democracy would at long last restore freedom and justice that the black majority of that country had been deprived of for so many decades. Most Western elites unquestioningly assumed that the god of democracy would work its usual miracles. It has not only not done so, but has created a catastrophe in that country, as documented by a new book by Ilana Mercer entitled Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa.

Mercer is a native South African whose parents and other relatives still live there. Her father is a renowned Rabbi who was for decades an outspoken opponent of apartheid, which she herself condemns in no uncertain terms as "the repressive – and reprehensible – apartheid regime." She has written about a topic that the Western media have almost completely ignored – the failure of post-apartheid South Africa to move in the direction of peace, justice, and prosperity. She hopes that her book will be a small contribution that can help turn things around in her native land, while providing valuable lessons to Americans as well.



This month marks the two-year anniversary of the official start of the recovery from the 2007-09 recession. But it’s a recovery in name only: Real gross domestic product growth has averaged only 2.8% per year compared with 7.1% after the most recent deep recession in 1981-82. The growth slowdown this year—to about 1.5% in the second quarter—is not only disappointing, it’s a reminder that the recovery has been stalled from the start. As shown in the nearby chart, the percentage of the working-age population that is actually working has declined since the start of the recovery in sharp contrast to 1983-84. With unemployment still over 9%, there is an urgent need to change course.

Some blame the weak recovery on special factors such as high personal saving rates as households repair their balance sheets. But people are consuming a larger fraction of their income now than they were in the 1983-84 recovery: The personal savings rate is 5.6% now compared with 9.4% then. Others blame certain sectors such as weak housing. But the weak housing sector is much less of a negative factor today than declining net exports were in the 1983-84 recovery, and the problem isn’t confined to any particular sector. The broad categories of investment and consumption are both contributing less to growth. Real GDP growth is 60%-70% less than in the early-’80s recovery, as is growth in consumption and investment.


Deal With Socialists

Left’s face it. Facts don’t matter to the left.

No matter how much evidence you offer them to support the free market system they still want their job-killing socialism. Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi are just the latest fools in a long line of failed socialists.

Lady Thatcher had a wonderful way of dealing with socialists.
She called them out and mocked them.

Mark Alexander: A Sign Of Sanity Amid The Budget Banter

Prospects Good for BBA

"I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution ... taking from the federal government their power of borrowing." --Thomas Jefferson (Letter of November 26th, 1798)
Over the din of the rancorous budget bull this week, the latest chapter in a debate, which has been raging ad nauseam infinitum for two years, you might have missed a small news summary about a comprehensive survey of small business owners and managers. Would you be shocked to learn that the vast majority of them are very concerned about taxes, regulations and out-of-control government spending? So concerned are they about the insurmountable debt, which threatens to collapse the U.S. economy, that small business owners are not hiring or spending reserves on business expansion.

This matters because small businesses are the foundation of free enterprise and the locus of most job creation and economic expansion.

For the record, I can assure you as a small business owner myself, that I did not need a survey to let me know what every business owner with whom I have spoken in the last two years has already affirmed: Barack Hussein Obama and his leftist cadres have placed our nation on a collision course with economic catastrophe, and plan to resurrect the pieces under a new Democratic Socialist framework.

Consequently, businesses of all sizes, those which have not already been blown away, are preserving capital in order to weather the gathering storm.

Twenty five years ago Ronald Reagan warned, "When a business or an individual spends more than it makes, it goes bankrupt. When government does it, it sends you the bill. And when government does it for 40 years, the bill comes in two ways: higher taxes and inflation."

Those were the good old days.

Today, deficit spending has become institutionalized, and the unprecedented debt accumulation enacted by the Obama regime in the last two years has taken the country to the brink of economic collapse. Every American should be concerned about the implications of this debacle, and its impact on the future of Liberty.

It's remarkable how far we've fallen. Just three years ago, then-Senator Obama was merely a smooth-talking presidential aspirant. But today, only a fool, or Socialist co-conspirator, would deny the threat that the Obama's ideological vision for the future poses to Essential Liberty.

With all that as a backdrop, there was additional news this week that provided a bright ray of hope through the oppressive cloud of budget banter.

Keep reading..

GOP Presidential Hopefuls Face Off In First Ever Twitter Debate

On Wednesday, held the first ever presidential debate on Twitter, posing questions to candidates in 140-character bursts as hopefuls answered in kind. On the sidelines, 22,400 viewers watched and commented.

The project is the brainchild of Andrew Hemingway, the creator of, which teaches politicians how to use Twitter effectively, and the chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hamphsire. He originally came up with the idea while riding in a car with presidential hopeful and former Speaker Newt Gingrich. He took the idea and started working with developer Adam Green, who, with his son Zach, helped create the debate.


Hikers Presumed Dead After Falling Over Yosemite Waterfall

[Updated 9:30 p.m. ET] Three Yosemite National Park tourists are presumed dead after climbing over a guardrail into the Merced River, park officials said Wednesday.

"So far we have seen no clues or no evidence of any of the bodies," said Kari Cobb, a spokeswoman for Yosemite National Park. "We are presuming that all three of them are dead ... we will scale up the search once the water levels have receded and we can insert crews to look for the bodies in the river safely."


Md Dream Act: Republicans Paint Themselves Into A Corner

Last week, WBAL TV’s David Collins reported that Maryland’s top Republicans, state party chairman Alex Mooney and Senate minority leader Nancy Jacobs, voted in favor of a bill granting in-state tuition to children of undocumented immigrants in 2003.  Then-Gov. Ehrlich vetoed that bill, but now Mr. Mooney and Sen. Jacobs are key supporters of a referendum to repeal a more stringent version signed into law this year.

Their leaders’ hypocrisy isn’t the Maryland GOP’s only Dream Act problem, however.  In their anti-Dream Act zeal, Maryland Republicans have painted themselves into a corner from which none of them could ever credibly support the Dream Act’s original signer and steadfast supporter, who will very likely be a leading 2012 GOP presidential contender……

No matter how phony Rick Perry‘s self-proclaimed “Texas Miracle” has proven to be, liberals will love one thing he did in his first term that worked out really well for his whole state, and that he has defended with integrity ever since.  And just like Mitt Romney will never wiggle himself free of the mandatory universal health care he enacted as governor of Massachusetts, no amount of longhorn bravado will save Rick Perry from Republican voters’ bile when they find out about this one.

Of course I’m talking about the Texas Dream Act, in-state college tuition for children of undocumented immigrants who graduate from Texas high schools.  In 2001 Gov.  Rick Perry signed the nation’s first Dream Act into law.  Eleven states have followed, but none as successfully as Texas.  It has delivered much more than a shot at the American dream for innocent children of illegal immigrants whom we all can agree should not be punished for the actions of their parents and who have grown up as American children. 

Rick Perry has defended the Texas Dream Act ever since.  It’s not just the right thing to do for children caught in a situation not of their own creation, but it also makes good business sense.  Dream Act beneficiaries who earn degrees can and do find paths to citizenship through marriage and other ways, and many find decent paying jobs, keeping them off dependency and away from crime and violence.  A few credible studies have tracked enrollment and graduation rates in Dream Act states, but no study to date has tracked post-college employment. 

Even if we make our borders impermeable, an estimated twelve million undocumented immigrants are already here, and any politician who says there’s a feasible way to deport that many people is lying.   (Deporting people who aren’t criminals—especially innocent children who have grown up American—would be despicable.)   Face it; they’re here, they’re not leaving, and the Dream Act is good for your bottom line.

Whether you weld steel for a living, sell cars, care for the ill, grow food, rent real estate, trade stocks or wait tables, you need enough people earning enough money to pay for your service or product, and like the waves of immigrants that fueled our growth through the last century, today’s immigrants promise tomorrow’s prosperity. 
There’s been lots of hot air about preserving tax breaks for extremely wealthy “job creators” who have been anything but that over the past decade.  The real job creators are people with enough money to redo their kitchens, buy new grills or nifty whatevers, or bicycles, or go out for dinner every now and then.  No one gets a  new job or a long overdue raise or grows her business unless the real job creators have money to spend.  Their earning capacity is fuel that drives our consumption economy.

To have another true American Miracle, we’ll need all the job creators we can get, spawned by smart economic moves such as enabling the innocent children of undocumented immigrants to go to college, get better jobs, become consumers and help renew our prosperity.

- Steve Lebowitz, Annapolis

Credit due: The Baltimore Sun’s Annie Linskey first reported Sen. Jacobs’ Dream Act reversal in a March 15, 2011 story.

Criminal Arrest / Theft From Vehicle

DATE & TIME: July 5, 2011 @ 2200        
Case # 11-158
LOCATION: 202 Broad Street, Berlin,Worcester County

CRIME: Theft over $10,000 and up to $100,000
VICTIM: Teresa Lerner Ocean City,MD
ACCUSED: juvenile male age 17, Berlin,MD
CHARGES:  Rogue and Vagabond, Theft over $10,000 and up to $100,000

On July 5, 2011, the Berlin Police Department initiated an investigation into the theft from a vehicle.  It was learned that the "victim" owner and landlord of an address located on Broad Street in Berlin, responded to the location to collect the monthly rent from tenants.  During her time away from her parked vehicle, her purse was stolen.  Items contained in the purse were several pieces of jewelry with a reported value of $20,000. 
Due to the nature of the crime, the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation was contacted to continue the investigation.

During the investigation, it was learned that a juvenile residing in one of the apartments was involved in the theft.  Contact was made with the juvenile’s father and a meeting was scheduled to speak with the juvenile.
During the interview, the juvenile confessed to the theft and all of the stolen items were ultimately recovered and returned to the victim.
The juvenile was arrested and charged on July 20, 2011 and released to the custody of his father, pending a juvenile hearing.

Great White Jumps On To Research Boat

Shark researchers in South Africa didn't have to go far Tuesday to find a specimen - a 10-foot great white shark leaped into the back of their boat. And rather than a story of the big one that got away, this is a story of a big one they couldn't get rid of.

The boat, from Ocean's Research in Mossel Bay on South Africa's southern coast between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, was chumming in the waters around Seal Island and monitoring the activity of four sharks as part of an ongoing study, researchers reported on their blog.


Today’s Top Local Posts

In response to many of our readers we have set-up an area that features our TOP LOCAL POSTS. Look to the left sidebar. We’ll be putting up our top posts there so that you don’t have to hunt for them.
This post is "sticky". New posts are below.

Dem. Senator: GOP Has ‘Morphed Into A Kind Of A Cult’

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) labeled the Republican Party as "kind of a cult" at the Capitol on Wednesday.

"The sad reality is that America no longer has a two party system. One of our two parties has morphed into a kind of a cult driven by a singular fixation and obsession – preserving and expanding tax breaks for the wealthy at all costs. This so-called balanced budget amendment would make it all but impossible to raise revenues in the future," said Harkin at a press conference on the "Cut, Cap and Balance" legislation passed by the GOP-led House on Tuesday.

Read more

BREAKING NEWS: Pentagon To Announce Repeal Of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

The Pentagon will announce Friday that it is ready to certify the repeal of the law that has banned gay service members from openly serving in the military, officials told Fox News.
From Fox News

Rep. Lee: Greedy Politicians Don't Want Balanced Budget

Members of Congress oppose a balanced budget amendment simply because they do not want to give up power that rightly belongs to the American people themselves, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, tells Newsmax.

Lee, who introduced the "cut, cap and balance" act in the Senate and is the author of “The Freedom Agenda: Why a Balanced Budget Amendment is Necessary to Restore Constitutional Government,” said some members of Congress are reluctant to support his amendment even though polls show wide public support for a balanced budget amendment.

Why? “Because a balanced budget amendment would make politicians less powerful,” he said. “It would make Congress as an institution less powerful. Anytime an institution has access to an unlimited pool of money, especially if it is a lawmaking institution like Congress, it will be made more power as a result of that.

“We need the balanced budget amendment to save the American people from this power," Lee added. "Every time we expand the power of the federal government we run the risk of interfering with the individual liberty of Americans.”

How To Help A Dog Locked In A Car

It’s probably obvious to most of us that dogs shouldn’t be left in cars in 90 degree heat, but what about on a regular warm day, when it’s cool in the shade?

You’ll crack the windows for Fido and everything will be fine … there’s a breeze coming in, you’re not parked in direct sun. No problem, right?

WRONG! A car traps the heat of the sun like a greenhouse, even when parked in the shade, even with the windows cracked.

New Zealand Bans Weird Baby Names

Celebrities with a penchant for weird baby names (looking at you, David and Victoria Beckham) should avoid having kids in New Zealand.

The country’s Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages has been cracking down on parents who get too creative when naming their kids, Australia’s Herald Sun reports.

The list of weird names for kids that are banned by New Zealand’s names registrar has grown to include Lucifer, Duke, Messiah and 89.

Also not approved: Bishop, Baron, General, Judge, King, Knight and Mr., names that were all said to be too similar to titles.

The letters, C, D, I and T were also rejected as first names, the Herald Sun says.

As well, the agency has refused to allow names involving asterisks, commas, periods and other punctuation marks.

And three different sets of Kiwi parents wanted to name their children Lucifer, only to have the name choice nixed.


Google Closing Experimental Lab, But Gmail Features Will Survive

Google announced Wednesday it will be slowly shuttering Google Labs, its experimental site for projects that aren't quite products.

That news prompted fear and news reports that popular "experimental" features in Gmail and other products would also be killed.

Heavy users of Gmail -- including me -- have come to rely on Labs features such as "Undo," which gives you a few seconds after hitting send to revoke the command, to the extent they now feel like permanent features.


First Celebrity Sex Tape? Alleged Marilyn Monroe Film Up For Auction

A Spanish collector plans to auction what he says is a newly discovered 8-millimeter version of a film purportedly showing Marilyn Monroe having sex when she was an underage actress known as Norma Jean.

A Marilyn Monroe expert, however, disputes that. He says the film shows another woman who is considerably heavier and less feminine than the legendary film star.

Collector Mikel Barsa says he wants at least $500,000 for the sexually explicit 6 1/2-minute film. He says some 600,000 copies of a 16-millimeter version of the same film were sold more than a decade ago.



Officials Sign Agreement to Develop Path Forward for Transforming County’s Health Care System

UPPER MARLBORO, MD (July 21, 2011) – Today, Governor Martin O’Malley, Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and Dimensions Healthcare System officials announced that the State, County and Dimensions have reached a partnership agreement with the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) and the University System of Maryland (USM) for developing a comprehensive plan for strengthening health care in Prince George’s County.

The multi-party agreement marks a major step forward in the long-standing efforts to stabilize the health care system in Prince George’s County.  Over the coming months, UMMS and USM will work with Dimensions as well as State and County health officials to establish plans for improving existing health services, increasing access to primary care, enhancing the County’s overall health infrastructure, and ensuring a stable and reliable health care system for Prince George’s County and Southern Maryland.

“Today is a great day for the health of Prince George’s County and Southern Maryland residents,” said Governor O’Malley.  “In Maryland, we are committed to ensuring that those in need have access to the highest quality care they deserve. I commend all of our partners for their leadership and willingness to come together to improve the health of Prince Georgians and all Marylanders.”

Among the items that the partnership will address is an analysis of the County’s health facility needs to determine the scale, cost and feasibility of constructing a new regional medical center and health sciences campus.  Prince George’s Hospital Center (PGHC) in Cheverly is currently the only trauma center serving Southern Maryland, including Prince George’s, Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s Counties.  UMMS has completed an initial study of the System and the health care needs of the County and estimates the overall costs necessary to implement this vision and strategy to be in the range of $600 million.

“As a Prince George’s County resident, I understand that establishing a world-class health care system, including a new regional medical center, is critical to the future success of our County and all of Southern Maryland,” said Lt. Governor Brown, who leads the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s efforts to improve health care throughout Maryland.  “While health care reform will help provide insurance coverage to thousands of Prince Georgians, their health will not improve without access to high quality care.  After years of struggles and false starts, today’s agreement represents a significant step forward towards transforming health care in Prince George’s County.”

A 2009 Rand report on health care in Prince George’s County found that county residents are more likely to be uninsured and have higher mortality rates than neighboring Maryland jurisdictions. The study also concluded that Prince George’s County lacks sufficient numbers of primary care physicians and safety net providers.

“Access to quality health care is one of the most valuable services government can provide to its citizens,” said Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III. “Today’s announcement is a pivotal moment to improve not just the quality of health care for County residents, but their quality of life.  I want to thank Governor O’Malley, Lt. Governor Brown, Chair Turner, the Prince George’s County Council, Dimensions, and, most importantly, the University of Maryland Medical System for their collaboration and advocacy on behalf of the welfare of the citizens of Prince George’s County.”

As one of Maryland’s primary providers of high quality health care, UMMS represents an ideal partner in the efforts to improve health care in Prince George’s County. UMMS is a private, non-profit network of 12 academic, community and specialty hospitals located throughout Maryland. UMMS hospitals employ over 15,000 people and generate $2.5 billion in annual revenue. These 12 hospitals admit more people than any other hospital system in Maryland. 

“The University of Maryland Medical System is pleased to be able to take this next step in developing a partnership to build a new Regional Medical Center for Prince George’s County,” said UMMS CEO Robert Chrencik.  “All parties understand that considerable state and local funding will have to be committed to make such a plan a reality, but we are committed to leading a robust process over the next 12 to 18 months to refine the plan.”  

Dimensions Health Care, the largest provider of health care services in Prince George’s County, currently operates the county’s three primary medical facilities: Laurel Regional Hospital, the Bowie Health Center, and Prince George’s Hospital Center (PGHC) in Cheverly. 

“We are extremely excited about the vision and commitment of our state and county government leadership to superior health care in Prince George’s County,” said Kenneth E. Glover, President and CEO, Dimensions Healthcare System.  “The Board of Directors and our 3,000 employees of Dimensions are thrilled to work with two world class giants such as the University System of Maryland and the University of Maryland Medical System to bring comprehensive and responsive health care to Prince George’s County.” 

The development of an overall strategic plan as outlined in the agreement is scheduled to be completed by early 2012, followed by the completion of subsequent studies, facility site selection and cost projections by 2013.

Coburn Bets a ‘Porterhouse Steak’ Obama Will Sign ‘Cut, Cap, and Balance’ Bill

Despite President Barack Obama’s vow to veto the Cut, Cap and Balance bill passed by the House of Representatives, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said he would bet a “Porterhouse steak” that the president would sign the legislation if it arrived at his desk.

“It doesn’t matter what the polls are,” Coburn told reporters at the Capitol on Thursday. “We’ve got to fix our country, and this is the only viable plan right now that will do that. And I will bet you a Porterhouse steak that if it lands on his desk, he’ll sign this puppy.”

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney responded to Coburn’s bet.


Lost Lab: UPDATE

Black Lab – Name Radar
Lost in Powellville Area
Around Jarmon Pond & Sixty Foot Road
Has collar & id tag
If found please call Newt Cropper 410-726-1921

Radar has two blue collars on.

He is microchipped.

Found in less than an hour!

O’Malley to Announce Gay Marriage Strategy on Friday

UPDATE: O’Malley Will Make His Announcement Friday in Annapolis

Gov. Martin O'Malley said this morning that he will reveal his strategy on same-sex marriage at an event either tomorrow or Monday.

Activists have been working for months to persuade him to put his name on the controversial bill and include it in his legislative agenda. "I supported it last year," he said. "I support it now."

The governor made his remarks in Washington, D.C. after addressing Democratic members of Congress at a closed door meeting.

O'Malley has told the Sun that he would have sponsored the bill this year if he thought it would be helpful for passage. The measure cleared the Senate this year, but was pulled from the House floor when it became clear that supporters were a few votes shy. The governor made phone calls to wavering members, but never made a full court push for the bill.

O'Malley this morning noted that the recently enacted gay marriage law in New York shows "that we can protect religious freedoms and equality of civil marital rights at the same time."

Much of the lengthy debate on the issue in Maryland centered on ensuring that churches, synagogues and other religious institutions could opt-out of performing ceremonies their faith does not condone. Supporters accepted amendments in committee and on the Senate floor to beef up that section of the bill -- making it clear that churches would not have to change their practices to accommodate gay members.

But opponents never believed the changes were sufficient -- in particular they wanted to enable religious institutions to deny gay couples services offered to the wider public, like adoptions.

from Annie Linskey @ the Baltimore Sun

POLITICO Slants Coverage of Debt Ceiling Debate

Read three articles published in three consecutive days, and the conclusion one would draw is clear: It’s the Republican-controlled House of Representatives that is to blame for the debt ceiling negotiation stalemate.

That’s not the view coming from one of the left-leaning talking heads employed at MSNBC. Nor is it something from the New York Times opinion page. Instead, it is coming from Politico, an outlet that claims it has no political leaning. But a closer look indicates otherwise, whether it is intentional or not.

In three separate articles published on July 18, 19 and 20 respectively, Politico reporter David Rogers found fault with congressional Republicans in his reporting on the standoff between the GOP-controlled House of Representatives and the Democratic-controlled Senate and White House. In those stories, he quoted Democrats at a margin of 2-to-1 over Republicans.

In his July 18 report, Rogers was very critical of the Republicans’ efforts in the House of Representatives.


BREAKING NEWS: Microsoft’s 4Q Results Beat Expectations

Microsoft on Thursday said it earned 69 cents  a share on revenue of $17.4 billion. Both were better than anticipated, as    Wall Street was expecting the software giant to post net income of 58 cents a share on revenue of $17.2 billion. The stock is edging higher in after-hours trading.

From Fox News

GOP Confronts NLRB Over Boeing Plant

House Republicans on Thursday pressed to rein in the National Labor Relations Board in its fight to stop a nonunion factory being built by aerospace giant Boeing, pushing forward a bill that would eliminate the regulator’s authority to oversee private business decisions on investment and where companies can relocate.

The House Committee on Education and the Workplace voted 23-16 to bring the bill to the floor, following a Thursday-morning markup. Rep. John Kline, Minnesota Republican, who is the panel’s chairman, said he expects a floor vote by the full House next week.

The NLRB filed an action in April to prevent the opening of the massive $750 million new plant near Charleston, S.C., intended to build Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, contending the company was illegally punishing its union workers in its Washington state manufacturing base by opening the new plant.

“This is the economic death penalty for workers,” Rep. Trey Gowdy, South Carolina Republican, told the committee. NLRB officials “have abused this remedy, and they should lose it.”


Two Arrested, Third Sought for Purple Parrot Burglary

Two Milford men – one a recent employee of the Purple Parrot Grill – were arrested July 19 in connection with the July 10 burglary of the restaurant. Police continue to search for a Milford juvenile allegedly involved.

Rehoboth police arrested Purple Parrot employee Ryan J. Smith, 20, and Brandon Williams, 18, and recovered the kegs of beer, cases of alcohol and flat-screen television taken during the July 10 break in, said Chief Keith W. Banks of the Rehoboth Beach Police Department.

The three men allegedly conspired to commit the burglary and were aided by intimate knowledge of the business obtained from Smith, Banks said.

Numerous people called with information after news of the burglary was released, he said.

Smith and Williams were charged with third-degree burglary, possession of burglar's tools, theft under $1,500, criminal mischief under $1,000 and second-degree conspiracy. Smith additionally was charged with two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana.

from the Cape Gazette

Philly Woman Gets 11 Months for Kidnap, Extortion Plot Against “Cheapskate” Spouse

A Philadelphia woman upset about her household allowance will spend 11 months in prison for plotting a fake kidnapping to extort money from her husband.
Authorities say Yudeka (you-DEE’-kah) Valdez complained her estranged husband wasn’t making payments on her Mercedes.
They say she told the supposed kidnappers that her husband was a heroin dealer who kept $20,000 in cash at home.
But the men were an undercover agent and informant.
After her 2008 arrest, Valdez said she never planned to go through with the plot.
U.S. District Judge Curtis Joyner told Valdez at Thursday’s sentencing that the 35-year-old Valdez is catching a break, given the three-year guideline range.
A defense lawyer called her a foolish woman, but one who was emotionally spent.
Authorities have been unable to find the husband.
from the Washington Post / AP

BREAKING NEWS: Boehner Prepared to Compromise!

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Thursday he has prepared his members to compromise on the debt ceiling and that a majority of House Republicans could support a potential deal with Democrats.

In a news conference at the Capitol, Boehner pressed anew for the GOP’s “cut, cap and balance” plan but also pushed back against conservatives in his caucus who are unwilling to move beyond it.

The Speaker was asked to respond to comments from Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, who described the “cut, cap and balance” plan as “the compromise” and signed a pledge opposing other alternatives to raising the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.

“I’m sure that we’ve got some members who [aren't willing to compromise], but I do not believe that’s anywhere close to a majority,” Boehner said.

Asked earlier if he had prepared his membership to compromise, he replied: “I have.”


What Does the Founder of Home Depot Know About Creating Jobs Anyway?

Investors Business Daily interviewed Bernie Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot, and what he said can’t be too pleasing to King Barack:

IBD: What’s the single biggest impediment to job growth today?

Marcus: The U.S. government. Having built a small business into a big one, I can tell you that today the impediments that the government imposes are impossible to deal with. Home Depot would never have succeeded if we’d tried to start it today. Every day you see rules and regulations from a group of Washington bureaucrats who know nothing about running a business. And I mean every day. It’s become stifling.

If you’re a small businessman, the only way to deal with it is to work harder, put in more hours, and let people go. When you consider that something like 70% of the American people work for small businesses, you are talking about a big economic impact.

IBD: President Obama has promised to streamline and eliminate regulations. What’s your take?

Marcus: His speeches are wonderful. His output is absolutely, incredibly bad. As he speaks about cutting out regulations, they are now producing thousands of pages of new ones. With just ObamaCare by itself, you have a 2,000 page bill that’s probably going end up being 150,000 pages of regulations…


Bear Rescued from Jar Stuck on Its Head for Three Weeks

A black bear is back in the woods in Tennessee after getting help with a problem — a plastic jar stuck on its head.

State wildlife officers looked for the bear for three weeks after reports he was caught in the jug. The Knoxville News Sentinel said the male bear was roaming around Newport, in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.

On July 17, wildlife officer Shelly Hammonds was checking another report of the bear when the animal ran in front of her vehicle. Hammonds fired a tranquillizer dart and the bear collapsed in downtown Newport.

The bear weighed just 115 pounds, about half its expected weight. It was released into the Cherokee National Forest. Wildlife officials believe the bear got into the jar while foraging through garbage.

from the Washington Post / AP

NASA Launches RockSat-X

NASA launched a Terrier-Improved Orion suborbital sounding rocket from its Wallops Flight Facility this morning.

The rocket, carrying experiments from four universities, launched at 7:58 a.m. after the event was delayed because officials were waiting for boats in the water near the facility to move, according to the NASA webcast.

The experiments were developed by undergraduates through a program with the Colorado Space Grant Consortium called RockSat-X. The students attend the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Northern Colorado, the University of Wyoming and the University of Puerto Rico.

To learn more about the sounding rocket program, visit the NASA site.

from Cindy Clayton @ the Virginian-Pilot

Bozell: Republicans Who Support "Gang of Six" Will "Walk the Plank"

The debt reduction proposal issued Thursday by the group of three Democratic and three Republican senators — known as the “Gang of Six” — won guarded optimism from some conservatives, but damnation from others.

In a statement to The Daily Caller, ForAmerica Chairman Brent Bozell promised retribution against any Republican who supports the deal, which would allow for an increase to the country’s debt limit.

“Conservatives will stand together to say the Gang of Six plan is dead on arrival and so is any effort to pass a short-term extension that only kicks the can down the road and does nothing to solve the problem,” Bozell said.

Bozell continued: “Should the Gang of Six plan pass, those fake ‘conservatives’ who supported it will walk the plank. That’s a promise.”


Wicomico County to Open Cooling Center Due to Extreme Heat

With temperatures expected in the high 90’s and possibly exceeding 100, Wicomico County government officials announced the opening of a cooling center Friday, July 22 and Saturday, July 23. The cooling center will be at the Wicomico County Youth and Civic Center, 500 Glen Avenue, Salisbury. Center hours are 10 AM to 8 PM each day.

Anyone coming to the cooling center should bring all medications with them as well as snacks. Bottled water will be provided.

A cooling center information line has been established at 410-548-9452. It will be staffed Friday and Saturday from 9 AM to 7 PM

Family, friends and neighbors who are at high risk will need extra help and residents should consider how they can help someone they know get to an air conditioned place, if needed. Protect yourself and family with these heat safety tips:

  • Stay Indoors, preferably in air conditioning

  • Drink plenty of cool fluids

  • Replace salt and minerals

  • Wear appropriated clothing and sunscreen. Schedule outdoor activities carefully

  • Pace yourself if you must be outdoors

  • Use a buddy system. Keep an eye on co-workers

  • Monitor people at high-risk

  • Bring pets indoors if possible and make sure they have plenty of fresh, clean water

  • Use common sense

For heat related tips and updates, visit the health department website at:


Current trash permits for use at Wicomico County’s Newland Park Landfill expire on July 31st. Due to a staff reduction, the permits will no longer be sold at the Wicomico County Public Works Office in the Government Office Building. Solid Waste officials said that users may obtain new stickers at the Landfill office and are renewable by mail as usual. Renewal notices have been sent.

The cost of the stickers is $55. The Landfill issues about 13,000 permits each year. Landfill users are urged to call 410-548-4935 on any questions.   

A Party Divorced from Sanity

by Gene Lyons

No wonder people are cynical. The nation increasingly appears to be governed by cheap political theater: made-for-TV melodrama more like professional wrestling than actual combat. As I write, the United States allegedly hovers on the edge of a fiscal crisis.

Should Congress fail to raise the National Debt limit between today and Aug. 2, the government will default on its debt for the first time in U.S. history -- a cataclysmic event, should it happen.

Dressed in his big boy suit, Republican House Speaker John Boehner put it this way on CBS News' "Face the Nation" back on May 15:

"I understand what the President was saying about jeopardizing the 'full faith and credit of the United States.' That's why I've said in every public and private utterance that our obligation is to raise the debt ceiling ... We could see the end of our economy if we don't act."

True, Boehner reads from a different script sometimes. Meanwhile, President Obama has made similar noises all along. Never mind that debt default by the world's largest economy could trigger a worldwide depression. Last week he told CBS that a failure to raise the debt limit might mean he couldn't guarantee Grandpa’s Social Security checks. In keeping with the time-honored precepts of Washington theater, Republicans cried foul.


Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist Gene Lyons is a National Magazine Award winner and co-author of "The Hunting of the President" (St. Martin's Press, 2000). You can e-mail Lyons at

Free Public Wi-Fi Coming to State House for 2012 Session

The entire State House complex will provide free public wi-fi access starting with the 2012 legislative session.

The Joint Advisory Committee on Legislative Data Systems unanimously approved a measure on Wednesday to allow the public to access the Internet for free from all meeting rooms and office areas throughout the complex.

“We’re turning the whole place into Starbucks, minus the coffee,” said Del. Kumar Barve, the House chairman of the committee.

The committee also supported a recommendation to redesign the General Assembly website which has changed little in the last decade.


Matt Maciarello Quits

While Matt Maciarello campaigned during the day, by this evening, (one year ago) he made the announcement he was calling it quitts and droppig out of the race for States Attorney.

What many of you do not know is the time and effort I personally spent with Matt trying to convince him it was NOT the right thing to do.

After several hours of conversation over the next two days, Matt was convinced the time was now to get back into the race and win it.

The move to get out and then jump right back in was thought by most to be a death wish for any chance of Matt winning this campaign, they were wrong.

Let's hope Matt never forgets where he came from.

Shore Health Names New CEO

Kenneth D. Kozel has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of Shore Health System.

Kozel has 23 years of health care experience, including most recently as president of the two hospitals that comprise Upper Chesapeake Health in Harford County. During more than eight years in executive leadership at Upper Chesapeake Health, Kozel helped guide the organization through multiple major projects resulting in improved patient safety and an enhanced environment of care, including a $35 million patient tower expansion and infrastructure renovations for Upper Chesapeake's two hospitals.

"I am very excited about becoming the next President and CEO of Shore Health System," Kozel said in a statement to The Star Democrat. "It has been a career aspiration of mine to become a CEO of a community hospital system and Shore Health is exactly the type of community I was hoping to find. In addition to finding the ideal community setting, there are so many similarities between Upper Chesapeake Health and Shore Health that will help to ensure my success. These similarities include the size of the hospitals, the scope of services provided and most importantly, the outstanding people who work for the health system and live in the community. Finally, the engagement and commitment to excellence demonstrated by everyone on the Shore Health Board of Directors, the medical staff, and the leadership team was great to witness and I am eagerly looking forward to becoming part of the Shore community and calling the Shore my home."

Kozel is scheduled to begin working at Shore Health System by Oct. 3.


One Year Ago Today

Marinas Become the Target of Theft

When Marian Nazelrod discovered her boat had been robbed while it was docked at the Bay Colony Community Yacht Club marina east of Dagsboro, her initial reaction was anger.

At some point between the evening of July 9 and the morning of July 12, rod and reels, a fishing net, the anchor, a cooler full of fishing supplies, tool and tackle boxes and some parts for the motor were taken from the Nazelrods' pontoon boat.

The couple was informed by their friends, John and Eileen Loftus, who also had items stolen, including two large crab pots, rods and reels and a Big Bertha towable float tube.

Nazelrod estimates it will cost her close to $500 to replace the items.

"I find it appalling," she said. "I'm just so angry. We've been (at the marina) since 2002 and we haven't had anything taken in that time."

Since July 12, two other boats have reported missing items, Nazelrod said, and she believes the economy is to blame.

The Nazelrods' and Loftus' boats are docked at the farthest pier in the marina, she said, making it easy for someone to arrive by boat and grab "everything they could take off with."


Bill to Abolish Visa Lottery Sent to Full House

A bill to abolish the U.S. government's annual visa lottery, which awards slots for legal entry into the United States, introduced by Virginia Republican Bob Goodlatte, has been referred by the Judiciary Committee to the full House.

Every year millions of would-be immigrants take a gamble and submit their names for the U.S. government's annual visa lottery. The odds of getting permission to move to the United States are slim at best — nearly 15 million people applied in 2010 for 55,000 visas — and could get slimmer.

Critics of the lottery argue that problems of fraud and the potential for the program to be exploited by terrorists make it a threat to national security.


O'Donnell Campaign is PAC's Largest Donor

Former GOP Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell has been the biggest contributor to the political action committee she launched in January.

Christine O'Donnell speaks at the Values Voter Summit on Sept. 17, 2010 in Washington, D.C.

“ChristinePAC” reported raising nearly $120,000 between Jan. 1 and June 30, according to a report filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission. The report showed a transfer of $50,000 from “Friends of Christine O’Donnell” to the PAC in April.

The PAC spent more than $86,000 during the first half of the year. Rent and fees for legal, communications and administrative services were among the expenses.

As of June 30, the PAC had more than $33,000 and no debts

ChristinePAC is a “Super PAC,” meaning it can accept unlimited amounts of money from any source.

O’Donnell can accept a salary from the PAC. She also can use it to spend unlimited amounts on political ads supporting or opposing individual candidates and touting specific issues.

On Friday, federal prosecutors closed an investigation into allegations that O’Donnell used campaign funds in 2009 to make rent payments.

U.S. Attorney Charles Oberly sent O’Donnell’s attorney a letter saying he was closing his investigation and “does not intend to pursue criminal charges at this time.”

Oberly said his office would refer the matter to the Federal Elections Commission.

from Nicole Gaudiano @ the Wilmington News-Journal

Apple's $76B Question: What to Do With the Cash?

Apple announced its quarterly earnings Tuesday, and -- big surprise -- they were stellar. But one of the numbers not discussed much in analysis of its results was the more than $76 billion Apple holds on its balance sheet. This includes $12.1 billion in cash and cash equivalents, $16.3 billion in marketable securities, and $47.8 billion in long-term marketable securities. More remarkable still is that, based onApple's earnings, that figure could reach $100 billion by year's end -- after all, the upcoming two quarters include back-to-school and the holiday season.

What Apple will do with all of that money has been discussed for two or three years as the balance has grown. Apple has made few acquisitions of any size. Its stock rose to near $400 after it released results. With a market cap in excess of $360 billion, it could easily use its stock as currency if it wanted to purchase of another large company.


BREAKING NEWS: O’Malley Accuses GOP of Trying to Destroy the Economy

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) said that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and the “dinosaur wing of the Republican Party” are actively trying to ruin the economy by undermining debt-ceiling negotiations.

Speaking to reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference Thursday, O’Malley said certain elements of the GOP are trying to undermine the economy to harm President Obama politically. O’Malley claimed that these Republicans are trying to either push the country into default or hurt the economy by cutting government jobs.

“I believe that there are some members – some members – of the Republican Party who, in order to defeat President Obama in the next election, would like to kill the jobs recovery now, either by default or by massive sudden cuts to public sector jobs,” O’Malley said.

When asked by after the press conference which Republicans he was talking about, Gov. O’Malley fingered the House Majority Leader and a “dinosaur wing” of the GOP.

“I’m talking about Eric Cantor and the dinosaur wing of the Republican Party,” O’Malley said.


Budget Disagreement In Memphis Threatens To Delay School Year

School children in Memphis probably shouldn't look to their city government and school board for a lesson in cooperation.

A fierce budgetary disagreement between the city and the school board threatens to delay the start of the school year indefinitely, reported.

School leaders say the city was supposed to find funding for a $78 million budget shortfall, but after months of tenuous debate between, an agreement was elusive, a school official said.


Ireland Denounces Vatican Over Abuse

(DUBLIN) — The Vatican encouraged Catholic bishops not to tell police about suspected pedophile priests and flouted Irish law, Ireland's lawmakers declared Wednesday in an unprecedented denunciation of the Holy See's influence in this predominantly Catholic country.

The government and all opposition parties unanimously backed a motion accusing the Vatican of sabotaging the Irish bishops' 1996 decision to begin reporting suspected cases of child abuse to police.


Worcester County Offers Alternatives to Beat the Heat

With temperatures soaring throughout the week, the public is invited to escape the heat by visiting any of the five Worcester County branch libraries, located in Ocean City, Ocean Pines, Berlin, Snow Hill and Pocomoke, as well as the Worcester County Recreation Center (WCRC) in Snow Hill during standard operating hours.

The WCRC is open Monday - Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., closed Saturday and Sunday. Residents are invited to walk on the four-lane competitive track, register for a youth sports camp, join in a table tennis game, or simply relax on the retractable bleachers, which can comfortably accommodate up to 520 people.

The Worcester County branch library hours are as follows:

  • Ocean City Library hours are Mon., Wed., Thurs., Fri. - 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tues. - 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sat - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

  • Berlin Library hours are Mon., Tue., Thurs., Fri. - 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wed. - 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sat. - 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

  • Ocean Pines Library hours are Mon. - 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tues., Wed., Thurs. - 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fri. - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sat. - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

  • Snow Hill Library hours are Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri. - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wed. - 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sat. - 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

  • Pocomoke Library hours are Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tues - 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sat - 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Call Recreation and Parks at 410-632-2144 or the Worcester County Library at (410) 632-2600 or visit for more information.

Worcester County Emergency Services urges residents to drink plenty of fluids, avoid alcohol and caffeine, and take frequent breaks from stressful activities to avoid becoming dehydrated and overheated, which can lead to heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

Be aware that heat stroke and heat exhaustion are both serious conditions. Heatstroke, which is characterized by a body temperature greater than 105 degrees, can develop quickly and is often accompanied by the following symptoms: dry, red skin, convulsions, disorientation, delirium and coma. Heatstroke is treated by rapidly lowering the body temperature by a cool bath or wet towels. A heatstroke victim should be kept in a cool area; emergency medical care should be obtained by dialing 911.

Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heatstroke, and symptoms may include extreme weakness, muscle cramps, nausea, and headache, vomiting or fainting. Heat exhaustion can be treated by drinking plenty of liquids and resting in a cool, shaded area.

Is It Hot Enough For You Yet?

Rep. Allen West – NO APOLOGY for Debbie Wasserman-Schultz

Rep. Allen West dug in his heels after congressional Democrats called on him to apologize for a heated email he sent to the Democratic Party chairwoman, adamantly denying reports that he had already done so.

West claims he was in his right to send fellow Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz an email Tuesday calling her "vile" and "not a lady," in response to her criticism of him on the House floor.

Rep. Allen West speaks at the Faith & Freedom Conference and Strategy Briefing in Washington June 3.

"Don't poke me in the chest, that's the bottom line," he told Fox Business Network on Thursday, adding that an apology is "not happening."

His aides underscored that response following reports and audio tape that seemingly showed him backing off his original comments. In the tape, West could be heard telling a Huffington Post reporter: "I just apologized."

It's unclear what he was referring to -- a West aide immediately shot down claims that he had apologized, calling them "absolutely false." Wasserman Schultz likewise said she had not heard from West.


Former P.G. Exec Johnson Collecting Pension Benefits

Pleaded guilty to extortion, tampering charges

Former Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson has been collecting benefits thanks to a loophole in Maryland's pension law that officials are now trying to close.

Johnson began receiving payments for his $49,552.32 per year pension in January, despite admitting to accepting up to $1 million in gifts for steering taxpayer dollars to crooked developers while serving as county executive for eight years.


Delaware State Police Citizen Satisfaction Survey

Dover-The Delaware State Police have implemented a Citizen Satisfaction Survey that is currently available on the Delaware State Police website located at

The Delaware State Police are committed to improving the quality of the services that are provided on a daily basis to our citizens and visitors. The Delaware State Police Citizen Satisfaction Survey is a brief and anonymous survey, available in Spanish and English, which allows the public to rate the quality of the service provided by the Delaware State Police. Responses to the survey will remain anonymous and confidential. The responses will assist the Delaware State Police in developing continuing training and steer the Division’s strategic planning based on the information and responses received.

What Can Happen Without Pension Reform

Two days ago we ran an op-ed asking – What Happened to Pension Reform in Wicomico County?.  Many commenters argued that it wasn’t necessary.  Here’s one example of what’s happening to towns and counties across the nation who continue to keep defined benefit pensions.

Is it better to fix a problem today, or go back on promises made tomorrow?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The state-appointed receiver seeking to rescue Central Falls from financial ruin told about 100 retired firefighters and police officers on Tuesday that their pensions must be slashed in half to save the city $2.5 million annually or face the possibility of bankruptcy, an alternative that could leave them with a lot less.

Receiver Robert G. Flanders Jr., a retired Supreme Court justice, calmly told the group of retirees in the steamy auditorium at Central Falls High School that difficult times call for drastic actions to tackle an estimated $25 million in deficits for the city over the next five years.

The city’s annual budget is about $17 million, and it faces $80 million in unfunded pension and benefit obligations.

Flanders’ proposal, which is voluntary on the part of the retirees, sets 60 as the “normal” retirement age, with a minimum of 10 years of service for a full pension of 40 percent of compensation.

Currently, public safety employees can retire after 20 years on the job and get 50 percent of their compensation, regardless of age. His proposal is for them to work a minimum of 25 years and get 40 percent of compensation, regardless of age.