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Monday, February 27, 2012

Obama Plays Race Card, Calls On Churches To Support Campaign

Imagine if Paul campaign launched ‘Whites for Ron Paul’

Imagine if Ron Paul announced a national campaign called ‘Whites for Ron Paul’ – he’d be vilified as a racist. And yet Barack Obama has done the equivalent of precisely that with his launch of ‘African Americans for Obama’.


231 Nominations for 2012 Nobel Peace Prize

OSLO, Norway (AP) - The Nobel Peace Prize jury has received 231 nominations for this year's award, a spokesman said, with publicly disclosed candidates including a former Ukrainian prime minister and the U.S. soldier accused of leaking classified material to WikiLeaks.

The secretive committee doesn't reveal who has been nominated, but those with nomination rights sometimes announce their picks.

Names put forward this year include Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army private charged with the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history, Russian human rights activist Svetlana Gannushkina and former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Others believed to have been nominated include former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.


Obama Dividend Tax Would Devastate Retirees

Buried within President Barack Obama’s 2013 budget is a proposal to triple the tax rate on corporate dividends which now stands at 15 percent, a move that would have a severe effect on retirees, " target=_blank>The Wall Street Journal notes in an editorial.

Obama is proposing to raise the dividend tax rate to the higher personal income tax rate of 39.6 percent, according to the Journal. The rate jumps to 41 percent with the planned phase-out of deductions and exemptions and then hits 44.8 percent with the 3.8 percent investment tax surcharge in Obamacare.

“Of course, the White House wants everyone to know that this new rate would apply only to those filthy rich individuals who make $200,000 a year, or $250,000 if you're a greedy couple. We're all supposed to believe that no one would be hurt other than rich folks who can afford it,” the Journal wrote.

“The truth is that the plan gives new meaning to the term collateral damage, because shareholders of all incomes will share the pain. Here's why. Historical experience indicates that corporate dividend payouts are highly sensitive to the dividend tax. Dividends fell out of favor in the 1990s when the dividend tax rate was roughly twice the rate of capital gains.”

When the rate fell to 15 percent in 2003, dividends reported on tax returns nearly doubled to $196 billion from $103 billion the year before the tax cut, and by 2006, dividend income had grown to nearly $337 billion, The Journal wrote. Economists who examined dividend payouts came to the conclusion that the tax cut played a significant role in the increase in dividend payouts.

“If you reverse the policy, you reverse the incentives,” the Journal wrote. “The tripling of the dividend tax will have a dampening effect on these payments.

“Who would get hurt? IRS data show that retirees and near-retirees who depend on dividend income would be hit especially hard. Almost three of four dividend payments go to those over the age of 55, and more than half go to those older than 65, according to IRS data.”

The Journal concluded that “all American shareholders would lose” as the taxes would make stocks less valuable and prices would fall, causing a sell-off and noting that 51 percent of adults hold shares of stock today either directly or through mutual funds.

“Tens of millions more own stocks through pension funds. Why would the White House endorse a policy that will make these households poorer? Seldom has there been a clearer example of a policy that is supposed to soak the rich but will drench almost all American families.”

Read more on Obama Dividend Tax Would Devastate Retirees

Important: Do You Support Pres. Obama's Re-Election? Vote Here Now!

Deadline Approaching To Register To Vote in Md.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The deadline to register to vote or change party affiliation for the 2012 presidential primary in Maryland is approaching.

The Maryland State Board of Elections says the deadline to register to vote or change party affiliation is 9 p.m. March 13.

That's also the deadline to request a polling place change.

To vote in the upcoming primary, Maryland residents who are eligible to vote but are not yet registered must complete a voter registration application and hand deliver or mail it to a local board of elections.

The 2012 presidential primary election will be held on Tuesday, April 3. The general election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Early voting will begin on the second Saturday before the election through the Thursday before the election.



The real world revolves around cash flow. Families across the land understand this basic concept. Cash flows in from wages, investments and these days from the government. Cash flows out for food, gasoline, utilities, cable, cell phones, real estate taxes, income taxes, payroll taxes, clothing, mortgage payments, car payments, insurance payments, medical bills, auto repairs, home repairs, appliances, electronic gadgets, education, alcohol (necessary in this economy) and a countless other everyday expenses. If the outflow exceeds the inflow a family may be able to fund the deficit with credit cards for awhile, but ultimately running a cash flow deficit will result in debt default and loss of your home and assets. Ask the millions of Americans that have experienced this exact outcome since 2008 if you believe this is only a theoretical exercise. The Federal government, Federal Reserve, Wall Street banks, regulatory agencies and commercial real estate debtors have colluded since 2008 to pretend cash flow doesn’t matter. Their plan has been to “extend and pretend”, praying for an economic recovery that would save them from their greedy and foolish risk taking during the 2003 – 2007 Caligula-like debauchery.

I wrote an article called Extend and Pretend is Wall Street’s Friend about one year ago where I detailed what I saw as the moneyed interest’s master plan to pretend that hundreds of billions in debt would be repaid, despite the fact that declining developer cash flow and plunging real estate prices would make that impossible. Here are a couple pertinent snippets from that article:

“A systematic plan to create the illusion of stability and provide no-risk profits to the mega-Wall Street banks was implemented in early 2009 and continues today. The plan was developed by Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulson, Tim Geithner and the CEOs of the criminal Wall Street banking syndicate. The plan has been enabled by the FASB, SEC, IRS, FDIC and corrupt politicians in Washington D.C. This master plan has funneled hundreds of billions from taxpayers to the banks that created the greatest financial collapse in world history.

Part two of the master cover-up plan has been the extending of commercial real estate loans and pretending that they will eventually be repaid. In late 2009 it was clear to the Federal Reserve and the Treasury that the $1.2 trillion in commercial loans maturing between 2010 and 2013 would cause thousands of bank failures if the existing regulations were enforced. The Treasury stepped to the plate first. New rules at the IRS weren’t directly related to banking, but allowed commercial loans that were part of investment pools known as Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits, or REMICs, to be refinanced without triggering tax penalties for investors.

The Federal Reserve, which is tasked with making sure banks loans are properly valued, instructed banks throughout the country to “extend and pretend” or “amend and pretend,” in which the bank gives a borrower more time to repay a loan. Banks were “encouraged” to modify loans to help cash strapped borrowers. The hope was that by amending the terms to enable the borrower to avoid a refinancing that would have been impossible, the lender would ultimately be able to collect the balance due on the loan. Ben and his boys also pushed banks to do “troubled debt restructurings.” Such restructurings involved modifying an existing loan by changing the terms or breaking the loan into pieces. Bank, thrift and credit-union regulators very quietly gave lenders flexibility in how they classified distressed commercial mortgages. Banks were able to slice distressed loans into performing and non-performing loans, and institutions were able to magically reduce the total reserves set aside for non-performing loans.

If a mall developer has 40% of their mall vacant and the cash flow from the mall is insufficient to service the loan, the bank would normally need to set aside reserves for the entire loan. Under the new guidelines they could carve the loan into two pieces, with 60% that is covered by cash flow as a good loan and the 40% without sufficient cash flow would be classified as non-performing. The truth is that billions in commercial loans are in distress right now because tenants are dropping like flies. Rather than writing down the loans, banks are extending the terms of the debt with more interest reserves included so they can continue to classify the loans as “performing.” The reality is that the values of the property behind these loans have fallen 43%. Banks are extending loans that they would never make now, because borrowers are already grossly upside-down.”


Gov't Moves To Convert Foreclosures To Rentals

WASHINGTON (AP) - The government is looking to sell off some of its stock of homes in foreclosure.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has control over roughly 250,000 foreclosed homes owned by Fannie Mae. One percent of those homes, or 2,500, will be available for investors to buy and convert into rentals.

Officials say the foreclosure-to-rental program can help reduce credit losses and stabilize home values. Homes in foreclosure sell at a 20 percent discount on average, which can hurt surrounding home values.

Investors can submit applications to purchase properties owned by Fannie in some of the nation's hardest hit metro areas _ Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, Phoenix and parts of Florida.

The government rescued Fannie and its sister organization Freddie Mac in September 2008 and has funded them since the financial crisis.



“Can you hear us now? They surely will after this!

Come one and all! Here is your golden opportunity, if we all stand together!”

Wed, Feb 29, Calling all groups, club members to join in! Come to Annapolis. Demonstrate to legislators that you don’t want any more of this reckless taxing and spending. It is harming Maryland’s economy, our family budgets and our jobs!

Times and details:
Realtors from all over the state will attend from 9:15 to 11 am. To protest the elimination of the mortgage deduction.

Legislators get out of session in the Statehouse about 11 am. This is your chance to visit offices, especially Democrats offices. (They hold the majority and control the outcome of the tax and spending votes.) Office visits are really important.

1 pm – 4 or 5 pm—Legislators are in committee hearings. The most important area to be is House Appropriations and Ways & Means. These committees will be hearing the Budget Financing and Reconciliation Act, HB 87 (BRFA) the following day. You are welcome to go in and listen to a bit of the hearings. Or simply converge in the hallway between the two committees.
What we need to do is, by our presence and opinion, persuade legislators to vote with us against higher taxes and big spending!

Identify yourselves and your issue(s). Make up your own name badges to wear. Or cut out and wear the one that is attached.

Above all, forward this to your list and bring a friend. It is high time that legislators and the governor start paying attention! They won’t unless we show up!

Bring a lunch. Park at Naval Academy Stadium. Take the shuttle down the road to the government buildings.

For questions: Reply to and leave a phone number in case you need a call.

Oops: Obama Calls O'Malley 'Jack'

President Addresses Governors On Education

WASHINGTON -- The first name of Maryland's governor briefly slipped the mind of President Barack Obama on Monday.

Obama was addressing the National Governor's Association at the White House and wanted to make mention of Maryland education policies, according to | Click To Watch Video.

He then asked if Jack O'Malley was in the audience. After a brief silence, he corrected himself and said, "I mean, Martin."

Martin O'Malley, who has a son named Jack, took it in stride.

"I thought my son had crashed the party," he said, according to Politico.



Divided Virginia Senate passes voter ID bill

RICHMOND — The Virginia Senate on Monday signed off on legislation that would require voters who can’t produce identification at the polls or are not recognized by an election officer to cast their ballot provisionally.

Proponents argue the hot-button measure is intended to prevent voter fraud while opponents say it is unnecessary and will suppress voting.

The Senate deadlocked 20-20 on the bill, with Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling providing the tie-breaking vote.

Right now, voters can simply sign a sworn affidavit saying they are who they say they are if they don’t bring identification to the polls



Isn't It Ironic?

The food stamp program, managed by the Department of Agriculture, is pleased to be distributing food stamps to more than 46 million people in the USA.

Meanwhile, the Park Service, also managed by the Department of Agriculture, threatens to prosecute those who "Feed Wild Animals" because the animals may grow dependent upon us and not take care of themselves.

White House Hails Scaled-Down Keystone Pipeline Plan

A Canadian company said it will push ahead with an oil pipeline from Canada to Texas after President Obama put the larger XL pipeline on ice over environmental concerns.

Calgary-based TransCanada can move forward with that segment of the project because it does not require presidential approval because it won’t cross a U.S. border. The shorter pipeline is expected to cost roughly $2.3 billion and be completed next year.

A White House spokesman welcomed the news of the partial project, suggesting that development of an Oklahoma-to-Texas line to alleviate an oil glut at a Cushing, Okla., storage hub. Congressional Republicans, business and even some labor groups have pressured Mr. Obama to approve the entire route as a way to boost production and create jobs.



These fit so well they should be in the dictionary.

A person who has stopped growing at both ends and is now growing in the middle.

A place where women curl up and dye.

The only animals you eat before they are born and after they are dead.

A body that keeps minutes and wastes hours.

Mud with the juice squeezed out.

Someone who is usually me-deep in conversation.

Cold Storage.

Cutting money in half without damaging the paper.

An insect that makes you like flies better.

A grape with a sunburn.

Something you tell to one person at a time.

A bunch of bones with the person scraped off.

The pain that drives you to extraction.

One of the greatest labour saving devices of today.

An honest opinion openly expressed.

Something other people have, similar to my character lines.

USPS Mail Processing To End In Cumberland

CUMBERLAND — The U.S. Postal Service says it will move its mail-processing operations in Cumberland to Johnstown, Pa.

The Cumberland Times-News reports that the Postal Service announced the decision Thursday.

The Postal Service says it hasn’t set a date for the transition.

The American Postal Workers Union says the move will eliminate 30 jobs in Cumberland.

The Cumberland plant is among more than 260 mail-processing centers nationwide that the Postal Service says it plans to consolidate, starting in mid-May.

U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin oppose the move in Cumberland. The Maryland Democrats said in a press release that moving the mail-processing operations 70 miles away will affect mail service and raise transportation costs.

The senators also say they would oppose any relaxation of delivery standards resulting from the move.


Why Freedom?

Freedom Revived

Few can deny that human beings care about liberty. There are, of course, different senses in which the term "liberty" is used. One sense of it means being without obstacles in life; another, to be able to develop fully with as little hindrance as can be achieved through collective action; or, again, to have the chance to obtain from others their surplus wealth and labor-power.

The sense of the term employed in classical liberal political theory, usually interchangeable with "freedom," has meant the condition that obtains when one is not intruded upon by other human beings who can choose how they will treat other people.

My main focus here will be on this last sense of the concept "liberty," the sort of liberty that can obtain among human beings. The sort of liberty at issue concerns what we can do something about by an act of mere will or self-discipline, namely, not intruding on each others' lives, not encroaching upon one another's sovereignty. I will also touch on another topic that is related to this sort of liberty, namely, free will or the human capacity to act on one's own initiative, without being driven to behave by forces apart from oneself. These two notions of liberty or freedom are both vital to human living as well as closely related.

The basic motivation for addressing these topics is to explore why human beings have cared about liberty. The issue hardly ever goes away—every new generation seems to need to consider its significance and ramifications.


Maryland Soldier Killed in Afghan Ministry Attack

BALTIMORE - A Maryland Army National Guard major was one of two military advisers killed in a heavily guarded government building in Afghanistan, the U.S. military announced Monday.

Army Maj. Robert J. Marchanti II, 48, was killed Saturday in an attack at the Interior Ministry in Kabul, military officials said. He and Air Force Lt. Col. John D. Loftis were found dead in their office with gunshots to the back of the head. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the killings, saying it was in retaliation for the burning of Qurans at a U.S. base.

The gunman was still at large and authorities are looking for that person, Navy Capt. John Kirby, spokesman for the U.S.-led international military coalition in Afghanistan, said Monday. Almost immediately after the shootings, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, withdrew all coalition advisers from Afghan ministries. Allen is not yet ready to send them back, Kirby said


Heaven & Hell - Political

While walking down the street one day a Corrupt Senator(that may be redundant) was tragically hit by a car and died.

His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

"Welcome to heaven," says St.. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in," says the Senator.

"Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from the higher ups. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."

"Really?, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven," says the Senator.

"I'm sorry, but we have our rules."

And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.

The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course.

In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.

Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people.

They played a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and the finest champagne.

Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who is having a good time dancing and telling jokes.

They are all having such a good time that before the Senator realizes it, it is time to go.

Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises.

The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens in heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him, "Now it's time to visit heaven...”

So, 24 hours passed with the Senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.

"Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity."

The Senator reflects for a minute, then he answers: "Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell."

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell...

Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage.

He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls to the ground.

The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulders.

"I don't understand," stammers the Senator. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?"

The devil smiles at him and says,
"Yesterday we were campaigning,

Today, you voted.."

Karzai’s Response to Obama’s Apology: Put U.S. Troops on Trial and Punish Them

( - Three days after President Barack Obama dispatched his ambassador to Afghanistan to hand deliver a personal letter from the president of the United States to Afghan President Hamid Karzai apologizing because U.S. forces at Bagram Air Force Base had mistakenly burnt some Korans, Karzai has responded to the gesture in a statement broadcast live on Afghan television.

Karzai, according to a BBC translation of his remarks made Sunday, told the Afghan people he was speaking to them after discussing the matter with “jihadi leaders,” “prominent scholars,” and Afghan elected officials, and that he spoke for the “pure sentiments” of the “Afghan nation” and the “Islamic world,” when he said: “We call on the US government to bring the perpetrators of the act to justice and put them on trial and punish them.”


Caption This Photo 2-27-12

Flashback to May 2009: Media Ignored U.S. Military Burning Bibles to Appease Afghans

As violent, deadly demonstrations have broken out in Afghanistan following the recent accidental burning of Korans, it's interesting to look back nearly three years ago when the U.S. military burned a shipment of Holy Bibles written in the Pashto and Dari languages. The military destroyed the Bibles rather than ship them back stateside apparently out of fear the American church that sent them would just try shipping them back through other channels to Afghanistan.

The al-Jazeera network was involved in the breaking of the story, but a search of Nexis found no stories from the time by the Washington Post or New York Times nor the ABC, CBS, or NBC networks about the disposal of the Christian holy texts.

Use Your Brain

I've seen this with the letters out of order, but this is the first time I've seen it with numbers, F1gur471v3ly 5p34k1ng? Good example of a Brain Study: If you can read this you have a strong mind:

7H15 M3554G3
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D0 4M4Z1NG 7H1NG5!
1MPR3551V3 7H1NG5!
1N 7H3 B3G1NN1NG
17 WA5 H4RD BU7
N0W, 0N 7H15 LIN3
R34D1NG 17
W17H 0U7 3V3N
7H1NK1NG 4B0U7 17,
C3R741N P30PL3 C4N
R3AD 7H15.
PL3453 F0RW4RD 1F
U C4N R34D 7H15.

Pelosi’s ‘Message to Church:’ ‘Catholic Women…From 14…Or Younger…Are Practicing Birth Control’

( - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) used her closing remarks at a special hearing called by the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee on Thursday to summarize what she described as a “message” to the Catholic Church: Your teaching on birth control “isn’t even accepted by the laity churchgoing people themselves.”

To illustrate her claim, Pelosi, who is Catholic, said that "an overwhelming number" of American Catholic girls from age 14 “or younger” are using birth control. Pelosi cited no source for this assertion.

After asserting that “over 300,000 people” had complained that no woman had testified on a panel in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that had discussed the Obama administration’s regulation that will force all health-care plans—including those provided or purchased by Catholics and Catholic institutions--to cover sterilizations, contraceptives and abortifacients, Pelosi was interrupted by the Georgetown Law School student she had called in to testify to rectify the matter.


Tom & Nicole McGuire Remain Behind Bars

A quick update reveals Tom and Nicole McGuire remain in WCDC. Tom McGuire's bond remains at $300,000.00 and Nicole's remains at $200,000.00.

Nicole is being represented by the public defender's office while it appears that Tom is still represented by Seth Mitchell.

Sources have told us that the evidence against the McGuire's is very strong and there's no doubt these two will remain in jail for many years to come.

Based on their admitted lifestyles, unfortunately, this may not be a punishment. Three square meals a day, a roof over their head, once again, more Bloggers living off the taxpayers wallets.

Fire Leaves Cruise Ship Adrift Off Seychelles

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - A fire broke out in the generator room of an Italian cruise ship on Monday, causing no casualties but leaving the vessel adrift in an area of the Indian Ocean where Somali pirates have been active, officials said.

The accident aboard the Costa Allegra occurred about six weeks after the Concordia, another Italian cruise ship owned by the same company, capsized off Italy, killing 25 people and leaving seven missing and presumed dead.

Asked about Monday's Costa Allegra accident, Italian Coast Guard Cmdr. Cosimo Nicastro told SkyTG24 TV that the ship's captain told Italian authorities the blaze was quickly extinguished.


Churches At The Center Of Md. Same-Sex Marriage Debate

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Last week’s Senate approval of the state’s same-sex marriage bill marked another victory for supporters. But the campaign to give the last say to voters is underway.

As Gigi Barnett reports, churches may be at the center of the fray.

Maryland’s same-sex marriage bill has passed two major hurdles–the House and Senate.

Now it’s primmed for the Governor’s signature. But after that–the battle to get the issue in front of voters is already underway. And churches may be at the forefront of the campaign.

“The word marriage is what we’re all not liking,” said Phyllis Walstrum.

Many members at St. Alphonsus Shrine in Baltimore are against the same-sex marriage bill. Parishioners like Phyllis Walstrom and Alice Charnasky aren’t against equal rights, but they believe that only traditional unions should be called “marriage.” And they fear most voters don’t see it that way.


Police Oversee Gas Station Wedding Before Arresting Groom

It probably was not their idea of a dream wedding, but one Albuquerque couple had little choice when they were married at pump three of an Albuquerque gas station Thursday.

Police said when they swarmed a gas station at San Mateo Boulevard and Indian School Road to arrest 28-year-old Caleb Rogers, they had no idea he was on his way to marry his fiance.

When they found out, they cut him a little slack."

He was standing there in handcuffs. They were all standing around and I thought, 'What's going on? This is very bizarre,' because they're just standing around talking," gas station cashier Ellen Coffman said.

Man Sues AT&T For Throttling His iPhone Service -- And Wins!

This could be the start of something interesting. An AT&T customer in California was less than thrilled by the Death Star's decision to throttle his iPhone service even though he was on an unlimited data plan. So he went down to small claims court and came out victorious.



ANNAPOLIS, MD (February 27, 2012) – Governor Martin O’Malley today released the following statement on the fatal shooting of Major Robert Marchanti, a Maryland National Guard solider who supported Operation Enduring Freedom:

“Through Maj. Marchanti’s service and sacrifice, we are reminded of the brave men and women who risk their lives every day protecting our freedom and safeguarding the people of our of State and our nation. On behalf of all Marylanders, I’d like to extend our most sincere condolences. Our thoughts are with the Marchanti family at this time."

Rep. Barton: Solyndra Probe Could Lead to Criminal Charges

The ongoing congressional investigation into a failed California solar panel maker that garnered more than a half-billion dollars in federal loans from the Obama administration could lead to criminal indictments, Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, tells Newsmax.TV.

Barton, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, also expressed incredulity over the fact that a federal bankruptcy judge would approve $400,000 in bonuses for executives at Solyndra, which declared bankruptcy in 2011.

“I cannot believe that the bankruptcy judge allowed that — given that they fleeced the American taxpayers for over a half a billion dollars,” Barton said in an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV. “I don’t see any reason to be giving the executives that remain with Solyndra any kind of a bonus at all. It’s possible that after the investigation there could be criminal indictments brought so why in the world you’d give a bonus is beyond me.”

Pope: Marriage Only Place 'Worthy' For Conception

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday urged infertile couples to shun artificial procreation, decrying such methods as a form of arrogance.

Speaking at the end of a three-day Vatican conference on diagnosing and treating infertility, Benedict also reiterated church teaching that marriage is the only permissible place to conceive children. Matrimony "constitutes the only 'place' worthy of the call to existence of a new human being," he said.



Bear Tagging

22 Cruise Passengers Robbed In Mexican Resort

Robbery Comes 2 Weeks After State Department's Warning To Avoid 14 Mexican States

(CNN) -- Twenty-two Carnival Cruise Lines passengers were robbed of valuables and their passports during a shore excursion in the Mexico seaside resort of Puerto Vallarta, cruise officials said late Saturday.

The passengers were robbed Thursday during a guided trail excursion, according to a statement released by the cruise line.

The cruise line did not provide details of the robbery, saying only that there were no injuries and the tour was suspended on future sailings under further notice.

"Carnival is working with guests to reimburse them for lost valuables and assist with lost passports or other forms of identification," the statement said.

Companionship - Homeless

Facebook Spies On Phone Users' Text Messages, Report Says

Internet giant Facebook is accessing smartphone users' personal text messages, an investigation revealed Sunday.

Facebook admitted reading text messages belonging to smartphone users who downloaded the social-networking app and said that it was accessing the data as part of a trial to launch its own messaging service, The (London) Sunday Times reported.

A spokesman for Facebook says while nothing has been launched yet, users will be prompted to give permission when the feature debuts.

"The permission is clearly disclosed on the app page in the Android marketplace and is in anticipation of new features that enable users to integrate Facebook features with their texts," a spokesman for Facebook said in a statement. "However, other than some very limited testing, we haven't launched anything yet so we're not using the permission.

One More Chance?

84th Academy Awards Winners List

List of the 84th Annual Academy Award winners announced Sunday:

1. Best Picture: "The Artist."
2. Actor: Jean Dujardin, "The Artist."
3. Actress: Meryl Streep, "The Iron Lady."
4. Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, "Beginners."
5. Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, "The Help."
6. Directing: Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist."
7. Foreign Language Film: "A Separation," Iran.
8. Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, "The Descendants."
9. Original Screenplay: Woody Allen, "Midnight in Paris."
10. Animated Feature Film: "Rango."
11. Art Direction: "Hugo."
12. Cinematography: "Hugo."
13. Sound Mixing: "Hugo."
14. Sound Editing: "Hugo."
15. Original Score: "The Artist."
16. Original Song: "Man or Muppet" from "The Muppets."
17. Costume Design: "The Artist."
18. Documentary Feature: "Undefeated."
19. Documentary Short: "Saving Face."
20. Film Editing: "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."
21. Makeup: "The Iron Lady."
22. Animated Short Film: "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore."
23. Live Action Short Film: "The Shore."
24. Visual Effects: "Hugo."
Oscar winners previously presented this season:
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award: Oprah Winfrey.
Honorary Award: James Earl Jones.
Honorary Award: Dick Smith.
Gordon E. Sawyer Award: Douglas Trumbull.
Award of Merit: ARRI cameras.

Eric Bolling's Fuzzy Math Busted By Megyn Kelly!


Can Obama's Detention Plans Be Stopped?

A bipartisan team ranging from former Al Gore consultant Naomi Wolf to Ronald Reagan Justice Department official Bruce Fein have committed to working with state and local governments to make sure the citizen detention plans signed into law by Barack Obama are not enforced.

“Journalists aren’t safe. Union leaders aren’t safe. Activists aren’t safe. Liberty is not safe,” Wolf, an author of half a dozen books, said during a telephone conference call announcing plans.

The focal point of their worry is the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes several sections that provide for the unrestricted detention of even U.S. citizens under some circumstances.

Obama, in signing the law, suggested that such detentions are a possibility but promised not to exercise his power.


Snopes No More

Many of the emails that I have sent or forwarded that had any anti Obama in it were negated by Snopes. I thought that was odd. Check this out.

Shades of Krystalnacht

Snopes, Soros and the Supreme Court's Kagan. We-l-l-l-l now, I guess the time has come to check out Snopes! Ya' don't suppose it might not be a good time to take a second look at some of the stuff that got kicked in the ditch by Snopes, do ya'?

We've known that it was owned by a lefty couple but hadn't known it to be financed by Soros!

Snopes is heavily financed by George Soros, a big time supporter of Obama! In our Search for the truth department, we find what I have suspected on many occasions.

I went to Snopes to check something about the dockets of the new Supreme Court Justice. Elena Kagan, who Obama appointed, and Snopes said the email was false and there were no such dockets. So I Googled the Supreme Court, typed in Obama-Kagan, and guess what? Yep, you got it; Snopes Lied! Everyone of those dockets are there.

So Here is what I wrote to Snopes:
Referencing the article about Elana Kagan and Barak Obama dockets:
The information you have posted stating that there were no such cases as claimed and the examples you gave are blatantly false. I went directly to the Supreme Courts website, typed in Obama Kagan and immediately came up with all of the dockets that the article made reference to. I have long suspected that you really slant things but this was really shocking. Thank You. I hope you will be much more truthful in the future, but I doubt it.

That being said, Ill bet you didn't know this.

Kagan was representing Obama in all the petitions to prove his citizenship. Now she may help rule on them. Folks, this is really ugly. Chicago Politics and the beat goes on and on and on. Once again the US Senate sold us out!

Now we know why Obama nominated Elana Kagan for the Supreme Court. Pull up the Supreme Courts website, go to the docket and search for Obama. She was the Solicitor General for all the suits against him filed with the Supreme Court to show proof of natural born citizenship. He owed her big time. All of the requests were denied of course. They were never heard. It just keeps getting deeper and deeper, doesn't it? The American people mean nothing any longer. It's all about payback time for those who compromised themselves to elect someone who really has no true right to even be there. Here are some websites of the Supreme Court Docket: You can look up some of these hearings and guess what?

Elana Kagan is the attorney representing Obama!

Check out these examples:

Domestic Drones Lining Up To Invade Privacy

Dozens of organizations concerned about a cataclysmic loss of privacy for Americans are petitioning the federal government to address that issue as thousands – maybe even tens of thousands – of drones are expected to be put into the air over the U.S. in coming years.

“Drones greatly increase the capacity for domestic surveillance. Gigapixel cameras used to outfit drones are among the highest definition cameras available, and can ‘provide real-time video streams at a rate of 10 frames a second.’ On some drones, operators can track up to 65 different targets across a distance of 65 square miles. Drones may also carry infrared cameras, heat sensors, GPS, sensors that detect movement, and automated license plate readers,” warns the letter sent to Michael Huerta, the acting administrator of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.


O’Malley To Sign Md. Same-Sex Marriage Bill Thursday

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley will sign the state’s same-sex marriage bill into law during a ceremony Thursday in Annapolis.

Mr. O'Malley, a Democrat, will sign the bill at 5 p.m., making Maryland the eighth state along with the District to legalize gay marriage.

The governor served as lead sponsor of the bill, which passed the Senate Thursday night and received House last week.

If signed, the law would not go into effect until Jan. 1.


The Real 7 Wonders of the World

The Real 7 Wonders of the World

Junior high school students in Chicago were studying the Seven Wonders of the World. At the end of the lesson, the students were asked to list what they considered to be the Seven Wonders of the World. Though there was some disagreement, the following received the most votes:

1. Egypt’s Great Pyramids
2. The Taj Mahal in India
3. The Grand Canyon in Arizona
4. The Panama Canal
5. The Empire State Building
6. St. Peter’s Basilica
7. China’s Great Wall

While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one student, a quiet girl, hadn’t turned in her paper yet. So she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list. The quiet girl replied, “Yes, a little. I couldn’t quite make up my mind because there were so many.” The teacher said, “Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help.”

The girl hesitated, then read, “I think the Seven Wonders of the World are:

1. to touch…
2. to taste…
3. to see…
4. to hear… (She hesitated a little, and then added…)
5. to feel…
6. to laugh…
7. and to love.

The room was so quiet, you could have heard a pin drop.

May this story serve as a gentle reminder to all of us that the things we overlook as simple and ordinary are often the most wonderful – and we don’t have to travel anywhere special to experience them.

Enjoy your gifts!

- Author Unknown

Why Facebook Must Stay Quiet

Like other companies that file to sell publicly listed stock, Facebook must limit its statements to comply with federal rules

While Facebook’s plan to go public seems to be all many investors talk about these days, the company itself is keeping mum. That’s because it’s in the so-called quiet period, mandated by federal rules dating to 1933 that aim to prevent companies from hyping and selling stocks that aren’t worth as much as the sellers claim. It’s one part of the intricate process that will take the social network from its initial filing on Feb. 1 to being publicly traded in several months.

The markets have evolved since the ’30s, but the temptation for companies to puff their feathers for investors is still strong. “We’re watching all the time,” Shelley Parratt, an SEC deputy director, said at a conference in January. Parratt helps run the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, which polices the quiet period rules. What companies can and can’t say loosened up in 2005, when the Securities and Exchange Commission overhauled the IPO process for the first time in more than 70 years. Before the changes, companies felt their hands were tied to communicate publicly at all, even halting regular advertising campaigns. “There was a good set of complaints that said the IPO process should be about making sure various types of manipulations don’t occur but shouldn’t be about stopping the business plan of a company dead in its tracks,” says Eric Talley, a law professor at University of California Berkeley.

In 2005, the SEC’s new, more open guidance said companies still couldn’t hype their stocks, but they could continue regular communications with customers, shareholders, and suppliers. The key there is that a company’s communications can’t be new or differ from what it has done before, it can’t make any forward-looking statements, and it can’t talk about the offering specifically.


Judge Orders Mark Byron to Apologize to Wife on Facebook

A county judge is ordering a man to post a court-approved apology to his soon-to-be ex-wife on his Facebook page every day for 30 days, or face 60 days in jail, the Chicago Tribune reports.

In June 2011, Mark Byron was found guilty of civil domestic violence and his wife was granted a temporary protection order.

In November, Byron posted the following rant about his wife on Facebook:

"If you are an evil, vindictive woman who wants to ruin your husband’s life and take your son’s father away from him completely – all you need to do is say that you’re scared of your husband or domestic partner and they’ll take him away!"


Iran Dismisses Inspector Concerns While Tripling Uranium

(Bloomberg) -- Iran tripled its production of enriched uranium and rejected the international concerns about its possible pursuit of nuclear weapons that a team of United Nations inspectors carried to Tehran this week.

Amid rising tensions about its nuclear research, Iran “dismissed the agency’s concerns,” the International Atomic Energy Agency said today in an 11-page restricted document obtained by Bloomberg News. “Iran considered them to be based on unfounded allegations,” according to the document.

The report, distributed to IAEA member states, was published three days after inspectors’ talks with Iran broke down. The inspectors said Iran has increased the number of machines it’s using to enrich uranium at its Natanz complex by 14 percent and has begun enriching material at its underground Fordo complex near the holy city of Qom.

Iran is now making almost 31 pounds (14 kilograms) of 20 percent-enriched uranium a month compared with almost nine pounds (4 kilograms) in November, according to the report.

“Iran has continued to pursue its uranium enrichment program in violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions without demonstrating any credible or legitimate purpose for doing so,” Tommy Vietor, spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council, said today in an e-mailed statement.


Why 2012 Will Be Cybercrime's 'Hell Year'

For online security professionals, 2012 is turning out to be a banner year. Prominent hacks are taking place nearly every week. Credit card fraud and piracy on the Internet are booming. Hacktivist attacks against government computers and private companies are occurring almost daily. Big-name government agencies and businesses everywhere are shelling out for security assistance ... but for everyday Internet users, it's a giant headache with unclear risks.

The one thing no one is really able to explain is why cybercrime's booming. According to a recent Norton study, cybercrime cost the global economy (in both direct damage and lost productivity time) $388 billion in 2011 — significantly more than the global black market for marijuana, cocaine and heroin combined. Officials at the Department of Homeland Security have reported exponentially increasing demand for cybercrime assistance—something confirmed by this reporter in anecdotal discussions with online security experts.


BREAKING NEWS: 1 Student Dead In Ohio School Shooting

Ohio police say 1 student has died in a shooting at Chardon High School, while 4 others wounded and suspected gunman in custody.

From Fox News.

More California Teachers Accused Of Sex Crimes

Allegations of teachers committing sex crimes against California children increased last year, even though total teacher misconduct complaints declined, according to figures compiled by the state's Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

During the 2010-11 school year, the commission opened 129 cases involving allegations of sexual crimes against children. That was up from 112 cases the previous year.

Over the same period, there was also an increase in the number of allegations of non-sexual crimes against children – from 234 to 254.

In contrast, the total number of cases opened for all reasons declined – from 5,662 to 5,400, according to figures published in the Workload Report for the Divisions of Professional Practices Discipline.


Today's Fill In The Blank 2-27-12

This year I will vacation at _________.

$5 Gas, 50-Cent Postage Stamps?

(CNN) -- Remember those carefree days when a gallon of gas was only $5? And when you could cheerfully mail a letter for the rock-bottom price of 50 cents?

Just saying those words out loud here to see what they sound like -- just trying to imagine what it will be like, 50 or 60 years from now, when Americans who are young today look back over their lives and recall fondly the second decade of the 21st century, when prices were low and reasonable.

When you could actually buy a gallon of gas for five bucks, or a postage stamp for half a buck.

Back before prices started to soar.

Will it actually happen? Will the once-unheard-of prices we appear headed toward seem someday like great bargains, to be remembered warmly by Americans accustomed to paying $20 a gallon for gas, and $6 to mail a first-class letter?

It seems at the same time impossible and inevitable.



The light turned yellow, just in front of him. He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.

The tailgating woman was furious and honked her horn, screaming in frustration, as she missed her chance to get through the intersection, dropping her cell phone and makeup.

As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up..

He took her to the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a holding cell.

After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.

He said, "I'm very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the 'What Would Jesus Do' bumper sticker, the 'Choose Life' license plate holder, the 'Follow Me to Sunday-School' bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk, so naturally....I assumed you had stolen the car."

Wyoming House Advances Doomsday Bill

CHEYENNE — State representatives on Friday advanced legislation to launch a study into what Wyoming should do in the event of a complete economic or political collapse in the United States.

House Bill 85 passed on first reading by a voice vote. It would create a state-run government continuity task force, which would study and prepare Wyoming for potential catastrophes, from disruptions in food and energy supplies to a complete meltdown of the federal government.

The task force would look at the feasibility of

Wyoming issuing its own alternative currency, if needed. And House members approved an amendment Friday by state Rep. Kermit Brown, R-Laramie, to have the task force also examine conditions under which Wyoming would need to implement its own military draft, raise a standing army, and acquire strike aircraft and an aircraft carrier.

The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. David Miller, R-Riverton, has said he doesn’t anticipate any major crises hitting America anytime soon. But with the national debt exceeding $15 trillion and protest movements growing around the country, Miller said Wyoming — which has a comparatively good economy and sound state finances — needs to make sure it’s protected should any unexpected emergency hit the U.S.

Several House members spoke in favor of the legislation, saying there was no harm in preparing for the worst.


Today's Advertiser Of The Day

The Left Declares Victory

Culture Challenge of the Week: The Left Declares Victory

“The culture wars are over, and the Republicans lost.” So says liberal columnist John Alter.

He’s not the only one declaring victory. Over at the Daily Beast, one columnist judged the Republican Party as “flat-out nuts” for taking on social issues and mocked Rick Santorum as “a refugee from the 16th century.” And Andrew Sullivan takes things a step further, saying that “Republicans are losing the pop culture wars” played out in music, movies, and art. And Salon, the predictable liberal voice, shrills about “the Right’s lost causes” and claims victory.

So what have they “won?”

Let’s look at two examples of the ‘achievements’ wrought by liberalism:

Fractured families and a soaring out-of-wedlock birth rate. The liberals’ mantra that ‘there’s nothing inherently better about a married mom and dad raising their own kids’ has produced dismal results. According to new data from Child Trends, and reported in the New York Times, 53% of children born to women under 30 (the age group that is responsible for two-thirds of the birth rate) are now born out of wedlock. And, tragically, the leading cause of poverty in America is single motherhood.


Seven Female Missouri House Members Say They Were Kept Out Of Contraception Debate

It was a purely symbolic move when the Missouri House passed a resolution this week decrying the Obama administration’s mandate that health insurance policies include birth-control coverage.

But it still managed to spark outrage from a group of seven female Democratic lawmakers, who said they were denied a chance to speak on an issue that affects them.

“These women stood and waited to be recognized for two hours,” said Rep. Tishaura Jones, a St. Louis Democrat. “They never got a chance to speak on an issue that is unique to women.”

Republicans pushed the resolution, arguing that the president’s policy — announced as part of the federal health care law —– violates a constitutional right to religious freedom, since many religious groups object to the use of contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs.

Democrats countered that the issue was really about women’s health, not religion.

“Republicans need to stop this war on women,” said Margo McNeil, a St. Louis County Democrat.


Never Met A Tax He Didn’t Like

The defining trait of Obama’s presidency.

After three years of the Obama presidency, the economy is growing, but only slowly (1.7 percent in 2011). And Obama is threatened with the prospect of fewer Americans holding jobs on Election Day in November than were employed on the day he was inaugurated in 2009. At the moment, he’s roughly one million jobs short. But if you suspect Obama is now inclined to seize the opportunity, cut taxes, and create faster growth and more jobs, you don’t know the president. He wants to raise taxes.

Obama is eager to tax anything the IRS can get its hands on, so long as the revenue is taken from the well-to-do. Just for starters, he’d let the Bush tax cuts expire, raising the top income tax rate for individuals earning more than $200,000 to 39.6 percent from 35 percent. And when the new Medicare tax on investment income and the stripping of deductions are added, the top rate would exceed 44 percent, its highest in a quarter-century.

He’s eager for the income of millionaires to be taxed at no less than 30 percent. His so-called corporate tax reduction package is actually designed to raise tax revenues by $250 billion. He would triple the tax on dividends to 44.8 percent from 15 percent and boost the long-term capital gains rate, with the Medicare tax included, to 24 percent from 15 percent.


Obama Accused of Ignoring Security in Plane Deal

A former congressman is warning Barack Obama is playing politics instead of watching over national security by manipulating a military aviation contract to be awarded to an unfriendly nation, while refusing to allow an American company with a track record from competing for the work.

Todd Tiahrt, a former congressman from Kansas who now runs an aerospace and aviation consulting company, says despite Obama’s claims on the campaign trail that he wants to create jobs in America, his actions show the only jobs he is interested in creating are in other countries.

The Air Force put out a request for 20 light attack aircraft to be used in Afghanistan. Hawker-Beechcraft, an American-based company with 80 years of aviation experience, designed the AT-6, a slightly modified version of a T-6 trainer which has been in production since 1999 to meet the Air Force’s needs.


Gas Prices Have Gone Up 18 Cents In The Past 2 Weeks

If you're running a little low on gas but don't need to fill up until a few days from now, you might consider gassing up anyway. The way things are going, pump prices will be much higher by the time your tank is almost empty. Prices have shot up 18 cents in the past two weeks.

More »

US Agencies See No Move By Iran To Build A Bomb

Washington - Even as the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog said in a new report Friday that Iran had accelerated its uranium enrichment program, American intelligence analysts continue to believe that there is no hard evidence that Iran has decided to build a nuclear bomb.

Recent assessments by American spy agencies are broadly consistent with a 2007 intelligence finding that concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program years earlier, according to current and former American officials. The officials said that assessment was largely reaffirmed in a 2010 National Intelligence Estimate, and that it remains the consensus view of America’s 16 intelligence agencies.

At the center of the debate is the murky question of the ultimate ambitions of the leaders in Tehran. There is no dispute among American, Israeli and European intelligence officials that Iran has been enriching nuclear fuel and developing some necessary infrastructure to become a nuclear power. But the Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence agencies believe that Iran has yet to decide whether to resume a parallel program to design a nuclear warhead — a program they believe was essentially halted in 2003 and which would be necessary for Iran to build a nuclear bomb. Iranian officials maintain that their nuclear program is for civilian purposes.


Should We Abolish The Corporate Income Tax?

In other words: Is zero percent even better than 28 percent?

No. Bad idea.

OK, sorry, that was a little blunt. After all, there are a lot of smart people who think President Barack Obama didn’t go far enough in his recent proposal to cut the corporate income tax rate to 28 percent from 35 percent. They would like to see it go all the way to zero. They say trying to tax corporations is a waste of time because they aren’t like people—ultimately they just pass along the cost of the tax to their shareholders, workers, and (to a small extent) customers.

The abolitionists aren’t all conservatives, either. The Atlantic‘s Megan McArdle has said the corporate income tax “may be the stupidest tax we have.” Even a liberal like blogger Matt Yglesias asked on Feb. 24 why the U.S. doesn’t just ditch the corporate income tax. (He decided that getting rid of it now and replacing the revenue in a fair way is politically unrealistic.)

But this just might be a case in which the policy elites of both left and right are wrong—and ordinary Americans, who kind of like the corporate income tax, are right. The strongest argument for the corporate income tax is one that is rarely heard anymore but was widely used at its inception in 1909—namely, that the tax is a brake on excessive corporate power.


Today's Survey Question 2-27-12

Do you believe the local Main Stream Media is fair & truthful?

Video: Comptroller Franchot Talks About Negative Impact Of Gas Tax

Comptroller Peter Franchot says any increase in the gas tax will have "a direct negative impact on Maryland's very feeble economy." In this video he talks about his relations with Gov. Martin O'Malley and what has turned him into a fiscal conservative.

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Your Email Account Has Been Deactivated

Imagine waking up one day only to find out that your email account has been deactivated and the contents seized by some alphabet soup government organization.

That's exactly what happened to one unsuspecting Gmail™ user not long ago.

At the order of a judge, Google® was required to deactivate the user's account and disclose certain private details to the court

Did the Gmail™ user break a law or perhaps violate Google's Terms of Service?


In fact, the user did absolutely nothing wrong according to all parties involved.


Garagiola Says He Failed To Disclose Income For Six Years

Senate Majority Leader Rob Garagiola confirmed Friday that he failed to disclose income as a lobbyist from 2001 to 2003, as reported by the Washington Post. But the Montgomery County Democrat also said that he didn’t report income from another law firm from 2003 to 2006. Garagiola said he did not report income from the two employers because he misunderstood the instructions on a required financial disclosure form.

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