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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cost of Doing Business Up - If Maryland Credit Is Downgraded

Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner says a drop in the Moody's top rating of AAA would put an added burden on government, or trickle down to taxpayer eventually.
"It will increase our cost of doing business," said Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner of a potential AAA bond rating drop. "So we'll do less, or we'll ask people to do more."

The additional burden for the counties to meet Maintenance of Effort is going to increase pressure on the local governments - that have to balance their budgets by the end of May. The added pressure has Moody's Investors Service considering a downgrade for individual county credit ratings. Since the legislature failed to agree on a House/Senate budget resolution - it triggered a so-called "Doomsday Budget" that cuts state spending by $512 million.

For Wicomico County - it could spell financial disaster as it tries to fill a 14 million dollar budget hole to fund the BOE maintenance of effort. If that is the case - it could ultimately effect the ability for Wicomico to receive an acceptable bond rating.

For more information - click here:

New Posts to fall below.

House Gambling Chairman Wants No Gaming Bills In Special Session

The chair of the gambling subcommittee in the House of Delegates said Wednesday he hopes there are no gaming bills in any special session to fix the current budget mess -- there are not enough votes to pass a 6th casino.


Pork in the Park Starts Friday

Pork in the Park National BBQ Cookoff in Salisbury, Maryland
Follow your nose and the pig signs off Route 50 to the Pork in the Park BBQ Festival at Winterplace Park in Salisbury, Maryland. This family friendly BBQ festival has grown in leaps and bounds as the recent events have hosted 142 BBQ competitor teams and saw over 35,000 attendees, making it the 2nd largest Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) Competition in the nation.

Festival Facts
Dates: April 20-22, 2012
Hours: Friday 4-10pm; Saturday 10am-10pm; Sunday 11am-5pm
Admission: $2/Daily for Adults; Kids under 12 Free
Location: Winterplace Park, Salisbury, Maryland - Get Directions
Additional Parking: FREE Parking and Shuttle from the Shorebirds Parking Lot All hours of the event and for one hour after the close of the festival

Listing Of 2012 Local Summer Camps

Shovel-Wielding Suspect Takes Police on Chase in Stolen Cruiser

WASHINGTON - A man who assaulted several officers and took police on a car chase after stealing a police cruiser Thursday is finally in custody.

Virginia State Police Trooper C. T. Grzelak responded to a pedestrian in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 66 in Prince William County. At the same time, an Arlington County Police officer pulled up to assist.

When he was approached by officers, the pedestrian began struggling and banging on the trooper's patrol car.

As the officers attempted to arrest him, the man hit the Arlington officer in the face and took off in the officer's cruiser.

The trooper pursued the suspect, with the chase continuing off I-66 and onto Route 29 before returning to I-66 westbound.


Yogi Berra once said: "You can see a lot by just looking." This is what you see if you look at corporate income tax revenue, as a percentage of GNP, since World War II:

I came up with this chart myself (hold your applause, please), after downloading the data from the White House's website, here. Corporate income tax revenue has dropped all the way down from 7.2% of GNP at the end of World War II to only 1.2% last year.

Go to a different government website, do a little arithmetic, and you'll find that corporate profits are now 12.7% of GNP. Some division then tells you that corporations are paying less than 10% of their income in taxes.

Wow. That's a tax rate that might make even Mitt Romney blush.

Under the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, corporations are people. Well, it appears that they are people who pay little or nothing in taxes.

Ben Franklin said: "In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." For corporations, though, neither is true.

There is something of a consensus among Washington, D.C. policymakers that corporate income taxes ought to be cut. That seems to be why the Obama Administration, unbidden by the Republicans, stuck in $100 billion in corporate tax breaks ("accelerated depreciation") into the so-called "compromise" bill that extended the Bush tax breaks for the rich through this year. (A bill that I voted against, by the way.)

That consensus is wrong. Based on this data, the notion of more corporate tax giveaways is laughable. If you care anything about the federal deficit, then corporate income tax revenues need to be higher, not lower.

If we simply returned corporate income tax revenue, as a percentage of GNP, to where it was six years ago in 2006 (2.7% of GNP), then we would reduce the federal deficit by over $200 billion a year. That is roughly fifty times the amount by which the "Buffett Rule" would reduce the deficit.

Fifty times as much.

Why isn't this all over the newspapers, radio and TV? Why aren't our so-called leaders saying something about this? As Casey Stengel, Yogi Berra's manager during most of his playing days with the Yankees, once asked, "Can't anybody here play this game?"


Alan Grayson

The Republicans Cheered

Ten days ago, Democrats in the Maryland General Assembly failed to reach a consensus on a budget to move Maryland forward. Now, there is more work to do.
As Democrats, we know we need to come together to protect our investments in public education, affordable college and public safety -- and we will come back to complete this important work.

The failure to pass a budget to move Maryland forward is bad enough, but the Republican reaction is even worse. When Republicans in Annapolis learned that the inaction by the Maryland General Assembly would result in more than $500 million in cuts to public education, public safety and social services, they cheered.

They cheered about the possibility of turning back Maryland's progress over the past six years.

They cheered for cuts that will harm every school in every county.

They cheered for cuts that will harm every student in every classroom, every library, and every local police department.

They cheered for cuts that will raise tuition on every Maryland college student, make our community colleges less affordable and reduce funding for life-saving and innovative research and development.

For all of this, they cheered.

If there is ever a time to come together as Democrats, it is now. You and I both know that a modern economy requires modern investments, by all of us, for all of us.

Let's do what's right to keep moving Maryland forward.


Martin O'Malley

New Posts to fall below.

Starbucks to Stop Using ‘Crushed Bug’ Dye

NEW YORK — Starbucks Corp. says it will stop using a red dye in its drinks that is derived from crushed bugs.

The Seattle-based coffee chain said in a blog post on its website Thursday that it made the decision to reformulate its drinks after feedback from consumers prompted a “thorough” evaluation.

The company says it will swap out cochineal extract, which is made from the juice of a tiny beetle, and instead use lycopene, a tomato-based extract.

Cochineal dye is widely used in foods and cosmetics products such as lipstick, yogurt and shampoo. Starbucks had used the coloring in its strawberry flavored mixed drinks and foods like the raspberry swirl cake and red velvet whoopie pie.


Lost Dog 4-19-12: UPDATE


My pug disappeared from the Pine Bluff area this morning. His name is
Snorty, he weighs about 20 pounds, and he's wearing a turquoise and
yellow collar. Thanks for your help!

Leftist Group Leaks Confidential IRS Information

If something this obvious had happened to a liberal organization, you can bet the mainstream media would be all over it. But being a conservative, pro-traditional-marriage group, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has been afforded no such luxury. On March 30 the Human Rights Campaign posted a scanning of NOM’s 2008 tax Form 990, complete with confidential donor information – including that of GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney, who is listed as having given a $10,000 donation to NOM. Shortly after the HRC posted the documents, the Huffington Post followed suit (h/t Daily Caller).
Here’s the problem: The donor information on a 990, which tax-exempt groups are required to file, is meant only for Internal Revenue Service eyes, and revealing it constitutes a felony. In a twist that seems not at all to be coincidental, the HRC is headed by Joe Solomonese, a recently appointed national co-chair of the Obama reelection campaign.

Following a public call by NOM last week for federal investigation into the matter, the documents are no longer available for general viewing on the HRC website. NOM has determined from document analysis that the scanned papers had to have come from within the IRS – meaning there was a high-level security breach, apparently for political purposes, at a government agency to which every citizen of this country routinely entrusts classified information.

Given that this all happened in the run-up to tax day, where was the outrage? Where was the swift condemnation by pundits and organizations on both sides of the political aisle? After all, this is not a gay-marriage issue; this isn’t even just a conservative issue (and if it were, it would still merit examination). The fact is this is a matter of legality. A crime appears to have been committed, and an investigation is indeed in order. That this matter is not getting the attention it deserves is testament, yet again, to the left-wing bias of the mainstream media.


Chesapeake Bay Crabs at Highest Level Since 1993

RIVA, Md. - Blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay are at record numbers, although there has also been a mysterious drop in adult females, according to an annual winter survey released Thursday.

The survey found an estimated 764 million crabs in the bay, nearly two-thirds more than last year. The increase was highest among juvenile crabs, which totaled 587 million, nearly triple last year's total.Â

Gov. Martin O'Malley said the numbers, the highest level since 1993, are "good news for watermen, it's good news for the bay, it's good news for jobs, it's good news for our economic recovery."

The result are the latest evidence of a continuing rebound for the bay's biggest money maker following severe harvest restrictions put in place in Maryland and Virginia in 2008 following a population drop. The comeback was interrupted last winter when extreme cold killed off nearly a third of the bay's crabs, but the harvest restrictions kept the population above recovery targets.



Tickets available at the school office or
call 410-677-5808

CNN Poll: Republicans Divided on VP choice

Washington (CNN) - Who should Mitt Romney choose as his running mate?

According to a new national poll, there's no consensus among Republicans. But a CNN/ORC International survey released Wednesday does indicate there's an ideological split that could put pressure on Romney, the all but certain GOP presidential nominee, as he tries to make his decision.

The poll asked Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP to choose from eight names who could be among the two dozen or so potential running mates that the Romney campaign may be considering as the vice presidential nominee.


We're All Branch Davidians Now

Nineteen years ago, just outside Waco, Texas, the FBI demonstrated once again that the state at its core is a killing machine. Monarchy, democracy, or republic – any government as conventionally defined is a legal monopoly on violence. The state is always inclined toward oppression, division, conquest, and bloodshed, because these are its tools of trade.

Matters are no different here. The myth of a free America was always seen with bitter irony by those not blessed by such freedom. In the founding generation, as half a million labored in slavery, many who fought in the Revolution genuinely believed in liberty, but for the ruling elite who chided them on, liberty was hardly more than a slogan. This has always been true of our political leaders. The Father of the Country was a centralizing slaveowner. Old Hickory talked up freedom as he threatened war on South Carolina and forced the Cherokee to flee from their ancestral land on a barbarously murderous walk of shame. The Great Emancipator turned America into a military dictatorship and abolished the revolutionary right of secession. Wilson’s New Freedom was cover for a Prussianized war machine generating revenue for his profiteering buddies on Wall Street. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms failed to include the freedom not to be drafted or interned in a concentration camp. Ronald Reagan threw the word freedom around as he trained Latin American torturers and raped the Bill of Rights in the name of fighting drugs. The United States has never lived up to its rhetoric.


NIH Under Fire For Grants Toward Creation of Homoerotic Website

The National Institutes of Health has spent millions of dollars over the past decade to fund the construction of an HIV-prevention website that, among other sexually explicit features, includes a graphic image of homosexual sex and a Space Invaders-style interactive game that uses a penis-shaped blaster to shoot down gay epithets.

The grant money went to a team of researchers at the University of Minnesota that created a site called Sexpulse. The goal was to draw in what are termed MISM -- or "men who use the Internet to seek sex with men" -- in order to educate them and ultimately reduce their risk of contracting HIV.

But the site used unorthodox methods to get subjects' attention and keep them interested. The site includes pornographic images of homosexual sex as well as naked and scantily clad men. It includes several risqué interactive features, like the Space Invaders-style arcade game.

Ron Paul: 'My Ultimate Goal Remains To Repeal The 16th Amendment'

Knowing that every penny the average American has earned from January 1st until today has gone to pay federal, state, or local taxes is a frightening reminder of how much liberty modern Americans have lost. Unfortunately, even after Tax Freedom Day, Americans will still suffer from the Federal Reserve’s regressive and hidden inflation tax, which erodes their purchasing power for the benefit of big banks and big-spending politicians...

My ultimate goal remains to repeal the 16th Amendment and end the tyranny of the IRS once and for all. Of the four men seeking the presidential nomination of one of the major parties – President Obama, Governor Romney, Speaker Gingrich, and myself – I am the only one who has consistently opposed increases in taxes and spending. I am also the only one who has consistently fought the Federal Reserve’s assault on the middle class’ standard of living. My campaign to Restore America Now is the clear choice for any American concerned about rolling back taxes, cutting spending, and curbing inflation.


Obamacare in Action? Private Practice Shuts Down Citing 'New Regulations'

Virginia Senator Jim Webb, a Democrat who is not running for reelection, said at at a Washington, D.C. breakfast that Obamacare would be President Barack Obama’s “biggest downside politically.” The legislation, he continued, “cost Obama a lot of credibility as a leader.”

On the same day as Senator Webb's remarks, the real-world consequences of Obamacare came to light, as a conservative South Carolina website, The Conservatist, flagged a letter that a Spartanburg, SC private practice wrote to its patients, telling them that the practice would close its doors next month.

Boiling Springs Family Medicine wrote to their patients that, presumably because of the regulations they would have to comply with under Obamacare, they would “no longer be able to provide you with medical care,” and “it is with a heavy heart that we have to inform you” of the closing.


Helicopter With 4 U.S. Troops On Board Crashes In Afghanistan

Black Hawk helicopter carrying 4 American troops crashes in Afghanistan. There was no immediate confirmation on casualties.

From Fox News

Dogs Jumping At Chance To Help Baywater Animal Rescue

Dogs are jumping, wagging and woofing about the Tails on Trails Walk to benefit the pets at Baywater Animal Rescue. Cats also wish they could attend the dog walk scheduled for Saturday, June 2 at Horn Point Laboratory in Cambridge. Registration begins at 9am and the walk starts at 10am. There will be vendors, refreshments and prizes for dogs raising the most money in sponsorships. Dogs may also have their caricature drawn by local artist Rick Kollinger for a $20 donation.

Dogs should have a current rabies vaccination and bring a human along to enjoy the wonderful trails at Horn Point. A $20 registration fee is required. Registration forms are available at local businesses and Baywater’s animal shelter.

Sponsors helping to make the event a success include: Cambridge Motorsports, Chesapeake Mortuary Services, Choptank Animal Hospital, Clayton’s Pharmacy, M/M Carl Crowder, Eastern Shore Properties, Flowers “N” Things, J.M. Clayton Company, Layfield Veterinary Services, Pet Stop of Delaware, Rose Hill Family Physicians, Schauber-VanSchaik Insurance Group, North Beach Realtors, Wayne Seed & Feed, and Wright’s Art & Framing. Details of the event and the registration form are available on-line @ or by calling 410-228-3090.

Florida Mom Accused of Running Hot Water on Crying Baby

A Florida mom was arrested after she allegedly put her seven-week-old baby under scalding-hot water as a form of punishment for his excessive crying, reports.

The station identifies the woman as Chekayla Dampier, from Port Richey, Fla. Dampier allegedly ran the water from the tap in her bathroom and held the baby under for two to three minutes, a spokesman Pasco Sheriff's Office said.

Dampier then brought the baby to a local clinic to be treated for burns, but the extent of injuries were so severe that the baby was transported by helicopter to Tampa General Pediatric Burn Unit, authorities said.

According to the complaint obtained by, the baby suffered burns to the eyes, ears, head, chest and arms. The extent of damage has not been determined and the baby remains in critical condition, authorities said.

Crony Capitalism And The Expansive Central State

Crony capitalism arises when an expansive Central State dominates the economy. The Central State can then protect crony-capitalist perquisites, cartels, quasi-monopolies and financialization skimming operations of the sort which now dominate the U.S. economy's primary profit centers.

If we step back, the larger context is the purpose and role of establishing a State to protect its citizens from foreign and domestic predation and exploition.

The Central State is granted the sole power of coercion by its membership (citizenry) to protect the membership from the predation of individuals, concentrations of wealth and other subgroups seeking monopoly. They grant the State this extraordinary power to insure that no subgroup or individual can gain enough power to dominate the entire membership for their private gain and to protect freedom of faith, movement, expression, enterprise and association.

Granting this power to the State creates a risk that the State itself may become predatory, supplanting the parasitic elements it was designed to limit. To counter this potential, the State has self-limiting mechanisms such as an independent judiciary, armed forces under civilian control, etc., a separation of powers such that no one institution or agency can dominate the State and thus the nation. The goal is to create a stable but flexible equilibrium between comparably powerful institutions, all of which are tasked with enabling and defending the members’ freedom of movement, expression, enterprise and association against the encroachment of powerful subgroups.


The Democrats’ Racist Gun Control History

Liberals have leapt on the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida to push for the repeal of “stand your ground” laws and to demand tighter gun control. (MSNBC’S Karen Finney blamed “the same people who stymied gun regulation at every point.”)This would be like demanding more funding for the General Services Administration after seeing how its employees blew taxpayer money on a party weekend in Las Vegas.We don’t know the facts yet, but let’s assume the conclusion MSNBC is leaping to is accurate: George Zimmerman stalked a small black child and murdered him in cold blood, just because he was black.If that were true, every black person in America should get a gun and join the National Rifle Association, America’s oldest and most august civil rights organization.

Apparently this has occurred to no one because our excellent public education system ensures that no American under the age of 60 has the slightest notion of this country’s history.

Gun control laws were originally promulgated by Democrats to keep guns out of the hands of blacks. This allowed the Democratic policy of slavery to proceed with fewer bumps and, after the Civil War, allowed the Democratic Ku Klux Klan to menace and murder black Americans with little resistance.


Fake Conservatives As Dangerous To Freedom As Obama

If Americans are looking for anything in the dark clouds of political dust and powdered ash that choke our air and leave us feeling naked against the elements, it is but a simple moment of sincerity. It sounds like an easily attainable thing, and yet, we continue to gasp and clamor. The visible surface of our nation is so devoid of honest connection with our social voice that we have turned to a cynical form of loneliness. We have embraced a life without clarity, and been made wretchedly bitter, desperate for even the faintest taste of truth.

The false two party paradigm that drives America gives us a measure of sustenance. Just enough to keep us from going completely mad, but not enough to end our hunger. As this process continues, however, and the establishment grows bolder, we too become savvy in the ways of the machine. Eventually, the old standards just don’t keep the masses distracted like they used to, and so, the system, not willing to give up power, decides instead to become “like us”, at least outwardly. It steals our vision and our song and goes on parade. It tries to make us believe again…

The campaign of Barack Obama in 2008 was a perfect example of the propaganda pageant, complete with visceral slogans like “Hope” and “Change”. After eight years of the clownish George Bush Jr., when our country spiraled down into a state of disturbed and vicious adolescence, people were looking for a renewal. They were looking for a path away from the edge of the abyss. Instead, they were given a better liar, with a brand new costume. The American Dream has become harder to sustain since…to say the least.

In 2012, what I see is like a lightning bolt in slow motion. I can sense it branching out across the sky towards the ground and tearing through our surroundings, upending everything we know. Both the President and Congress have some of the lowest approval ratings in history. The question of whether anything can be accomplished through government has been answered for most people with a resounding “no”. The citizenry is on the verge of total fury.

I wish I could say that most have abandoned the fleeting hollow satisfaction of choosing the “lesser of two evils”, but that would not be accurate.


Fiscal Problems 'Looming on Horizon' for Maryland

ANNAPOLIS - Maryland's tax collector warned on Wednesday that residents may need to pay $1.4 billion extra to pay off the state's debt in the next few years.

"I just want to indicate to everyone that we have some significant problems looming on the horizon," said Comptroller Peter Franchot during a Board of Public Works meeting in which officials kept the state property tax at 11.2 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Franchot pointed to a new report from the Commission on State Debt showing shortfalls of $246 million, $311 million, $395 million and $440 million in fiscal years 2014 through 2017 if property tax rates remain the same.


Levon Helm, Co-founder of The Band, Dead at 71

(CNN) -- Levon Helm, the drummer, multi-instrumentalist and singer for The Band who kept the band's heart for more than three decades, died "peacefully" Thursday afternoon, according to his record label, Vanguard Records. He was 71.

"He was surrounded by family, friends and band mates and will be remembered by all he touched as a brilliant musician and a beautiful soul," the record label's statement said.

A statement from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which inducted Helm in 1994, called him the backbone of The Band.

"As a member of the one of the most influential rock and roll groups, The Band, Levon Helm produced music that was as much timeless as it was timely," it said. "In the late 1960s and early 1970s when the country was divided, The Band still projected a sense of unity and brought generations of fans together from all over the world."



You don't want to miss this one!!

Please come to The Salisbury School's Mammoth Yard Sale.

6729 Hobbs Rd in Salisbury

There is something for everyone ..guaranteed!

There will be refreshments and a car wash weather permitting.

A Government Of Waste

What can we learn from allegations against a half-dozen supervisors in the Government Services Administration for wasting, and perhaps stealing, taxpayer dollars on foolishness in Las Vegas, and against a dozen Secret Service agents for dangerously procuring prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia, while there to prepare for a visit by the president?

If the allegations are true – and they seem to be – the behavior of these government workers reflects a view of government hardly consistent with the idea of limited government and public trust. The United States is the only nation in history founded on the principle that people voluntarily gave up some personal freedom in order to form a central government of limited powers and for limited purposes. Those purposes, according to the Constitution, consist primarily of the maintenance of personal freedom, natural rights and property rights, civil liberties and commercial liberties.


Think Carrots, Not Candy as School Snack, Group Suggests

(Reuters) - Junk food may soon be hard to buy at American public schools as the U.S. government readies new rules requiring healthier foods to be sold beyond the cafeteria - a move most parents support, according to a poll released on Thursday.

With childhood obesity rising, the survey found most people agreed the chips, soda and candy bars students buy from vending machines or school stores in addition to breakfast and lunch are not nutritious, and they support a national standard for foods sold at schools.

The findings from the advocacy group Kids' Safe and Healthful Foods Project came as the federal government prepares to roll out a nationwide standard that may set up another battle among health experts, schools and the food industry.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is expected to issue its guidelines by June, according to some experts. These could limit the amount of sugar, salt and fat foods sold at schools could contain.


Moody's - Maryland On Negative Watch List

In its “Weekly Credit Outlook” (page 8), Moody’s, one of the big three bond rating agencies, says “the combined measures would be credit negative for local governments, which would face more difficulty balancing their budgets.”

Read more:

Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

Walker Educates Obama's Illinois On Benefits Of Tax, Labor Reform

Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) took his campaign to stave off a Big Labor-led recall to neighboring Illinois today to extoll the virtues of his labor and tax reforms in Wisconsin. This, in stark contrast to the increased taxes and continued stagnation in President Obama's home state.

Video Here

Social Security Checks



Subject: HR 4646

Be sure to read entire explanation

Watch for this AFTER November elections; remember this BEFORE you VOTE, in case you think Obama is looking out for your best interest.

A 1% tax on all bank transactions is what HR 4646 calls for.

Do you receive a paycheck, or a retirement check from Social Security or a pension fund and have it direct deposit??

Well guess what ... It looks as if Obama wants to tax it 1% !!!

This bill was put forth by Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA).

YES, that is 1% tax on all bank transactions - HR 4646, every time it goes in and every time money goes out.

Ask your congressperson to vote NO.

1% tax on all bank transactions ~ HR 4646 - ANOTHER NEW OBAMA TAX SLIPPED IN WHILE WE WERE ASLEEP. Checked this on snopes, it's true! Check it out yourself ~ HR 4646.

President Obama's finance team is recommending a one percent (1%) transaction fee (TAX). Obama's plan is to sneak it in after the November elections to keep it under the radar.

This is a 1% tax on all transactions at any financial institution - banks, credit unions, savings and loans, etc. Any deposit you make, or even a transfer within your own bank from one account to another, will have a 1% tax charged.

If your paycheck or your Social Security or whatever is direct deposit, it will get a 1% tax charged for the transaction.

If your paycheck is $1000, then you will pay Obama $10 just for the privilege of depositing your paycheck in your bank. Even if you hand carry your paycheck or any check in to your bank for a deposit, 1% tax will be charged.

You receive a $5,000 stock dividend from your broker, Obama takes $50 just to allow you to deposit that check in the bank.

If you take $1,000 cash to deposit at your bank, 1% tax will be charged.

Mind you, this is from the man who promised that, if you make under $250,000 per year, you will not see one penny of new tax.

Keep your eyes and ears open, you will be amazed at what you learn about this guy's under-the-table moves to increase the number of ways you are taxed.

Oh, and by the way, if you receive a refund from the IRS next year and you have it direct deposited or you walk in to deposit that check, you guessed it. You will pay a 1% charge of that money just for putting it in your bank.

Remember, any money, cash, check or whatever, no matter where it came from, you will pay a 1% fee if you put it in the bank.

Some will say, oh well, it's just 1%. Are you kidding me? It's a 1% tax increase across the board. Remember, once the tax is there, they can also raise it at will. And if anyone protests, they will just say, "Oh,that's not really a tax, it's a user fee"!

Think this is no big deal? Go back and look at the transactions you made from last year's banking statements. Then add the total of all those transactions and deduct 1%. Still think it's no big deal?

The following is copied from Snopes:

1. Debt Free America Act •••

Is the U.S.government proposing a 1% tax on debit card usage and/or banking transactions?

...It is true. The bill is HR - 4646 introduced by US Rep Peter deFazio D-Oregon and US Senator Tom Harkin D-Iowa. Their plan is to sneak it in after the...

...moved beyond proposing studies and submitted the Debt Free America Act (H.R. 4646 ), a bill calling for the implementation of a scheme to pay down the...

...[2010] by Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.). His "Debt Free America Act" (H.R. 4646 ) would impose a 1 percent "transaction tax" on every financial transaction...

Wed, 02 Nov 201111:27:37 GMThttp://

Community Organizers Mobilize to Save ObamaCare

The Obama administration has enlisted one of America’s leading economic terrorist groups to help defend and promote the president’s widely unpopular socialist healthcare scheme.

This development is not all that surprising because when liberal policies threaten to destroy the country Democrats typically think all they need to do is shout louder to make people understand how wonderful the hated policies really are. This ongoing collaboration with radical left-wing community organizers is also part of the Obama reelection campaign’s divide-and-conquer strategy: Inflame the base and attack opponents relentlessly to draw the public’s attention away from the worsening economy.

In a spectacle that ought to nauseate decent Americans, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius supplicated before Rev. Al Sharpton’s radical left-wing National Action Network (NAN) at its annual convention in the nation’s capital last week. She urged activists at the fancy corporate-sponsored confab to get into the trenches and fight for the misnamed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) and to let their neighbors know that the law gives them access to mountains of taxpayer-funded freebies.


US Postal Service Bailout Imminent?

It has long been known that the United States Postal Service, in its current money-losing format, is unsustainable. The media has reported in the past that in order for this bloated government anachronism to be remotely competitive in the age of email and FedEx, it would need to cut hundreds of thousands of its workers. Even the USPS [7], via its largest union, the National Association of Letter Carriers, has admitted that the organization will need to undergo "tough sacrifices" although as the WSJ noted, "It didn't specify what concessions it would seek from members." And this is where it gets fun: because "just the tip", or even just talking about the tip, apparently is more than labor unions in this country can stomach. Enter Ron Bloom, Lazard, and the very same crew that ended up getting a taxpayer funded bailout for GM. From the WSJ: "The Postal Service's proposal to close thousands of post offices and cut back on the number of days that mail is delivered "won't work" and would accelerate the agency's decline, according to the six-page report by Ron Bloom, President Barack Obama's former auto czar, and investment bank Lazard Ltd., LAZ who were hired by the union in October." That's right: after all the huffing and puffing about "sacrifice" and austerity, the labor union took one long look at the only option... and asked what other option is there.

"Instead, the report says, the agency should raise its stamp prices, which are among the lowest in the world, and find new ways to profit more from its built-in advantage as the only entity to reach every American home every day." Well that... And the internet. "It should also replace its multi-layered governance system with a corporate- style board of directors whose members have entrepreneurial experience." Translation - let's just continue doing what we do, but kill demand for our services even more, because it is not the massively bloated expense side of the ledger that is the issue, it is how much the USPS charges. And apparently in mailman econo-logic, increasing prices leads to increasing demand, all else equal. At least this bailout plan came in 6 pages, as opposed to the 3-page one penned by Hank Paulson. Yet the kicker is that the "other option" is well-known: taxpayers get to fund another wholesale bailout of yet another worthless, ineffective government organization. But hey: there are hundreds of thousands of labor union votes, pardon, jobs to be saved. And with elections just 6 months ahead, is there any doubt what will happen?

More from the WSJ [7]:

The proposals are the opening salvo in what is expected to be a long series of negotiations as pressure mounts on Congress to approve legislation to restructure the Postal Service, which has said it is in danger of becoming insolvent without changes to its business model.

The union's plan is one of several competing proposals—including the Postal Service's and bills in Congress—that are promoting rescue ideas, and it illustrates the deepening divide over how to remake the 236-year-old institution for modern times.

And the shocker:

Labor groups, for instance, generally oppose cuts to service. The mailing industry opposes higher postage fees. Many legislators say the Postal Service needs to close facilities—but not in their district. And a Republican-led bill set to be heard by the full House looks askance at any proposal that would allow the Postal Service to compete with private industry. That bill's backers say the agency should act like a business—to a point. "Reducing excess capacity and adapting delivery to America's changing use of mail is exactly what any business would do as technology changes the market," said Ali Ahmad, a spokesman for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.


Parents asked to take kids out of class for day

Parents whose children are in public schools across the United States are being asked to take them out of class for a day because of the “political usurpation of public school classrooms through silence.”

The plea comes from a large coalition of family and conservative organizations and targets Friday, when the pro-homosexual activist group GLSEN promotes the annual “Day of Silence.”

“The explicit purpose of DOS is to encourage sympathy and support for students involved in homosexual and cross-dressing behaviors whose voices have been allegedly silenced by the disapproval of society,” explains the organizers behind the ‘Day of Silence’ Walkout website.

“The implicit purpose is to undermine the belief that homosexuality and cross-dressing are immoral.”


Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. Recognizes Achievements

Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. (DPI), the trade association for the Delmarva Peninsula’s meat chicken industry, held its 56th annual Booster Banquet tonight in Salisbury, Maryland and recognized 13 outstanding poultry growers and three individuals for their work on behalf of the chicken industry.

The J. Frank Gordy, Sr. Delmarva Distinguished Citizen Award, DPI’s highest honor, was presented to chicken grower, farmer, businessman, and DPI leader Douglas W. Green of near Princess Anne, Maryland. Mr. Green has served as chairman of the DPI Grower Committee and was 2003 DPI President. He remains on the Board of Directors. A graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore with a major in general agriculture Mr. Green started raising chickens on his own farm in 1977 and he continues to grow chickens at his Sandy Ridge Farm, along with corn, soybeans, and small grains. He also is manager of the Atlantic Tractor store near Pocomoke City, Maryland. While president, he led DPI’s efforts to become more active in legislative and community outreach programs. During his year as president, DPI hosted the National Chicken Cooking Contest in Baltimore. Mr. Green served as a member of the Maryland Agricultural Commission and was chairman in parts of 2005-2007. It was during his leadership that the commission, at the request of Governor Bob Ehrlich, began a 15 month process of gathering data for and writing “A statewide plan for agricultural policy and resource management.” He has served on the board of directors of the Somerset County Farm Bureau, including a stint as vice president; as a Maryland Farm Bureau member; a member of the Mid Atlantic Farm Credit Nominating Committee; and a Somerset Conservation District Cooperator.

DPI’s Medal of Achievement award for an elected person was presented to Maryland Delegate Addie Eckardt who represents Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot, and Wicomico counties. Mrs. Eckardt has been a strong supporter of the chicken industry. She first was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1994. Though not a member of the environmental committee that deals with most of the chicken industry issues, she worked for the chicken industry in the House Economic Matters Committee and Appropriations Committee. As a fiscal conservative, she understands the wishes of the majority of residents of the Eastern Shore and questions the size and mission of state government. Mrs. Eckardt believes in the Jeffersonian principles of limited government and attempts to apply those beliefs to the state of Maryland. As chairman of the Eastern Shore delegation, she has been a champion for the chicken industry and was instrumental in helping Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. offer its hugely successful Chicken Day in Annapolis lunch and reception in January. She has tried to convince the University of Maryland, Baltimore, home of the Environmental Law Clinic that is working against the chicken industry, to be less confrontational and to work to help farm families.

Dr. Nathanial Tablante with the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine and the University of Maryland College Park was presented with the Edward H. Ralph DPI Medal of Achievement for a non-elected person. With three dozen years of experience in the animal and poultry industries, including 15 here on Delmarva, he has made a positive difference for the chicken industry. Dr. Tablante has served on several DPI committees, including the Poultry Health Committee, Emergency Poultry Disease Task Force, Live Production Committee, and Grower Committee, among others. He has helped with the planning and execution of the Delmarva Chicken Festival educational component and the DPI-sponsored National Meeting on Poultry Health and Processing. As a university employee, he has responsibilities in extension, teaching, and research and is the author of hundreds of papers, reports, and presentations. He has been a faculty advisor for graduate-level students. As a veterinarian, he has been active in the American Association of Avian Pathologists and the American Veterinary Medical Association. He is president of the national Council on Agricultural Science and Technology, a group that works on a wide variety of agricultural science issues by developing, processing, and disseminating credible science-based information to legislators, regulators, policymakers, news companies, the private sector, and the public. Since assuming a faculty position at the University of Maryland Department of Veterinary Medicine in 1997, he has instituted an Extension and applied research program that focuses on improving poultry health and production through biosecurity and disease prevention.

Additionally, DPI recognized 13 outstanding poultry producers. Selected by their companies from Delmarva’s nearly 1,600 poultry growers, this year’s recipients are:

Earl and Karla Beardsley, Nanticoke, Maryland – Tyson Foods, Inc.

Chad and Joanna Carpenter, Millsboro, Delaware - Mountaire Farms, Inc.

Min Do, Pocomoke City, Maryland - Tyson Food, Inc.

Bill and Hiroko Goehner, Laurel, Delaware - Perdue Farms Inc.

Ali Razwan, Mears, Virginia - Perdue Farms Inc.

Deerfielde Farm, Centreville, Maryland- Allen Harim Farms, LLC

Dean Ricks, Seaford Delaware - Amick Farms, LLC

Bill and Connie Robinson, Church Hill, Maryland - Mountaire Farms, Inc.

Dead Broke Farm, Harrington, Delaware - Perdue Farms Inc.

Peter Tran, Princess Anne, Maryland - Mountaire Farms, Inc.

Ronald and Audrey Tyndall, Seaford, Delaware – Tyson Foods, Inc.

Abdul Wahid, Princess Anne, Maryland - Mountaire Farms, Inc.

Warrington Farm, Bridgeville, Delaware - Perdue Farms Inc.

Close to 700 people attended the DPI banquet; an annual celebration of the Delmarva Peninsula’s chicken industry.

This Day in History

Apr 19, 1861:
Baltimoreans attack Union troops

Residents of Baltimore, Maryland, attack a Union regiment while the group makes its way to Washington, D.C.

Baltimore's hostilities to the North were already well known, as just two percent of the city's voters cast their ballots for Abraham Lincoln for president while nearly half supported John Breckinridge, the Southern Democratic Party candidate. Lincoln was to pass through Baltimore on his way to Washington for his inauguration, but death threats forced the president-elect to slip through the city in the middle of the night in disguise.

Baltimore was a cauldron of secessionist feeling, and these tensions boiled over on April 18. Pro-Confederate volunteers gathered at Bolton Station to hurl insults and rocks at Pennsylvania troops as they changed trains en route to Washington. Now, on April 19, the 6th Massachusetts regiment disembarked from a train and was met with an even more hostile crowd. Tensions rose as the 11 companies of the 6th arrived. Cobblestones rained down on the soldiers as they prepared to transfer from the President Street Station to Camden Station. Shots were fired, and when the smoke cleared four Massachusetts soldiers lay dead along with 12 Baltimoreans, while 36 troops and an undetermined number of civilians were wounded.


Trax Deli Is A Winner

My Father came by my Office today and said he wanted to take me to lunch. We discussed a couple of places and decided to go to Texas Roadhouse. On the way there he mentioned a BBQ place he liked and pointed it out.

We got all the way out to Fruitland only to learn Texas Roadhouse isn't even open for lunch. As we headed back to Rt. 13 I said, well, there's a lot of places along the way. The next thing I knew I saw Trax Deli on the right and said, let's give these guys a shot. I've heard nothing but good things about them.

Well, we went in and unfortunately there was no one in the parking lot and no one inside. Considering it was lunch time and all the things I had heard about this place, this concerned me.

Nevertheless, I asked what they thought was the best item on the menu. He replied, the cheese steak sub. I said, go for it. My Father ordered a burger. We got two fountain drinks and the total was under $10.00!!!!!!

As you can see from the image above, it took everything I had to finish this incredible sub. It was NOT loaded with lettuce and other junk. It was mainly steak and the sub roll was incredibly fresh.

Look, even though this place is at the very far end of where I'd normally go to eat, they can count on my future business and hopefully the business of many of our readers. I should mention, as we sat there eating lunch their business continued to pick up and they were taking one order after the other. We simply beat the rush.

You all know how critical I can be when it comes to eating out but its very important that the GOOD experiences are mentioned as well as the bad. For a lunch, I'd give these guys a perfect 10 on a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, of course.

Make the trip there Folks, it's well worth the drive, especially for under $10.00 for two people!

Web Freedom Faces Greatest Threat Ever, Warns Google's Sergey Brin

ExThreats range from governments trying to control citizens to the rise of Facebook and Apple-style 'walled gardens'

The principles of openness and universal access that underpinned the creation of the internet three decades ago are under greater threat than ever, according to Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

In an interview with the Guardian, Brin warned there were "very powerful forces that have lined up against the open internet on all sides and around the world". "I am more worried than I have been in the past," he said. "It's scary."

The threat to the freedom of the internet comes, he claims, from a combination of governments increasingly trying to control access and communication by their citizens, the entertainment industry's attempts to crack down on piracy, and the rise of "restrictive" walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple, which tightly control what software can be released on their platforms.


Former State Senator Walter Baker Has Died

Former Maryland State Senator Walter Baker died this week at the age of 85.

Baker was the chairman of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee while serving in Annapolis.

The democratic lawmaker represented five counties on the Eastern Shore from 1979 to 2002.

WBAL's talk show host C4 served on Baker's committee and remembers him as a man who didn't let "bad" bills out of his committee chairman's desk.

"He taught me this one phrase 'One case makes bad law' that was Walter Baker," says C4.


Greg Rothman On The Santorum 2012 campaign

The French phrase “qu’il n’y avoit point de heros pour les valets de chambre“ in English means “No man is a hero to his valet.” Beginning with his first trip to New Hampshire in April 2010, I traveled regularly across the country with Rick Santorum on his remarkable campaign for president. I spent nearly every day with him in 2012.

I met Rick before his first improbable political victory in 1990. We were both in the Young Republicans. I supported him during his even less likely election to the U.S. Senate in 1994. But it was during and after his humbling loss in 2006 that we became friends. He didn’t have to ask me to drop everything to travel with him on his presidential campaign, I volunteered.

I was the omnipresent aide holding his phone or handing him a Sharpie or hand sanitizer. In the car, I sat beside or behind him handling calls and keeping information flowing between his “very small, dedicated and super smart team” as The New York Times called us.

It was my responsibility to keep him on time (he doesn’t wear a watch) and to make sure we had food (after a year traveling together, he told me he doesn’t really like cold sandwiches) in the car or on the plane.

I was called the “body man” or his “right-hand.” His exceptional daughter, Elizabeth, introduced me as “he’s like an uncle or a big brother.” The delightful media embeds called me “Senior Friend” or “Best Friend in Chief.”

From my position, I was able to see what made him tick. His personal creed was his campaign slogan: faith, family and freedom. His faith is genuine and central to his life. His wife, Karen, was like oxygen to him. He called her after every speech and event. Rick doesn’t have pollsters or speechwriters, but he seeks and takes advice from everyone. No adviser was consulted more than his wife and children.


Nurse Accused in Baby Abduction Had Miscarried

SPRING, Texas (AP) — Verna McClain told her fiance she had given birth to their child. But after she suffered a miscarriage, authorities said, she went looking for another baby to present to him.

Now she's accused of killing a young mother to take one by force.

Investigators say McClain waited outside a pediatrician's office north of Houston and shot Kala Golden before taking her tiny newborn son, who was only 3 days old.

Little Keegan Golden was found unharmed hours later with McClain's sister — who was told that her sister planned to adopt the boy. He is back with family members.

McClain is charged with capital murder and was being held Wednesday without bond. Authorities say she admitted attacking the woman Tuesday and stealing her baby from his mother's pickup truck.


What's Next?


While the US Supreme Court is considering ObamaCare, the American Medical
Association has finally weighed in on Obama's two-year-old health care package.

The Allergists were in favor of scratching it, but the Dermatologists advised
not to make any rash moves.

The Gastroenterologists had sort of a gut feeling about it, but the
Neurologists thought the Administration had a lot of nerve.

Meanwhile, Obstetricians felt certain everyone was laboring under a
misconception, while the Ophthalmologists considered the idea shortsighted.

Pathologists yelled, "Over my dead body!" while the Pediatricians said,
"Oh, grow up!"

The Psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness, while the Radiologists
could see right through it.

Surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing and the Internists
claimed it would indeed be a bitter pill to swallow.

The Plastic Surgeons opined that this proposal would "put a whole new face
on the matter".

The Podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but the Urologists were pissed
off at the whole idea.

Anesthesiologists thought the whole idea was a gas, and those lofty Cardiologists
didn't have the heart to say no.

In the end, the Proctologists won out, leaving the entire decision up to the
a-holes in Washington.

America Won’t Get Rich By Relying On The Permanent Poor

America is a land of class mobility. That’s what makes America a magnet destination for people all over the world: Come to America and make something of yourself. If you want great welfare benefits, try to bust into Europe; if you want to work for a living and get rich, come to the United States.

But for some Americans, there is no class mobility. There is a permanent economic underclass, and those who inhabit it have no ability to rise above their fiscal fate.

There is a reason for that: They make bad decisions.

Take, for example, prom night. A recent study from Visa shows that the average family spends a whopping $1,078 on their teenager’s prom night. But what’s more interesting is that there is an income breakdown. If you make more than $75,000 per year, you will spend somewhere between $700 and $1,000. If you are one of the unfortunates who earn between $20,000 and $29,999 per year, you will spend … $2,600. In other words, if you earn three times less, you’ll spend three times more.

This is not a recipe for financial success.


Today's Fill In The Blank 4-19-12

Ted Nugent _____ threaten the President.

Sharpton Should Have Been Shunned Long Ago

We'll know who to thank if Florida explodes.

Imagine a white preacher from the South.

Let us suppose this white, Southern preacher utters words full of racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Mormon and homophobic venom.

Let us suppose that the hateful words uttered by this white, Southern preacher incited violence which resulted in the deaths of innocent people.

Let us further suppose that this white, Southern preacher bore false witness and accused a man of raping a girl and that this man successfully sued the white, Southern preacher for slander only to refuse to recompense his victim.

Today, this white preacher from the South would be a despised figure. He would not be welcome in polite society. He would be regarded as a hatemonger with neither credibility nor legitimacy. He would be persona non grata. He would be shunned.

But it is today and Reverend Al Sharpton has uttered words full of racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Mormon and homophobic venom. Sharpton's words have incited violence that resulting in the deaths of innocent people. Sharpton did slander an Assistant District Attorney for committing rape and was successfully sued but got others to pay that debt. And yet if a preacher is black instead of white and is based in Harlem instead of Hattiesburg, that preacher isn't shunned but rather showered with praise and power. Consider what Jeff Jacoby wrote about Sharpton in the Boston Globe:

If Sharpton were a white skinhead, he would be a political leper, spurned everywhere but the fringe. But far from being spurned, he is shown much deference. Democrats embrace him. Politicians court him. And journalists report on his comings and goings while politely sidestepping his career as a hatemongering racial hustler.


Opening World Series Pitch--Following 9-11

Obama Wants Others To Fight Against Domestic Violence

President Barack Obama is asking agencies to lead the fight against domestic violence. The White House said the federal government should be a model employer. To that end, a new executive order directs the Office of Personnel Management to craft guidance on ways agencies can help workers at risk, set up leave policies and discipline employees who commit or threaten to commit domestic violence. After OPM does that, agencies have four months to develop policies. The White House is pushing Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, which expired last year. The Administration said three women die each day in this country from violence at the hands of a family member.

Today's Advertiser Of The Day 4-19-12


“America’s Cities and Countryside” Program

Willards Elementary first-grade students will present “America’s Cities and Countryside” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 19 in the Willards Elementary auditorium. Admission is free. As a part of our Arts Integration, all of the students at Willards Elementary have been studying the United States through the various art forms. The 1st grade has focused on the Mid-West and New-England regions of the United States with particular interest in the cities and countryside found in that region. Their Spring Program is based on “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse” and will include city and country soundscapes, dances, songs, drama, and scenery production. There will also be a 1:30 p.m. presentation for the school. 410-677-5819
The annual Unified Bocce County Championship will take place from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 19 at Wicomico County Stadium. All four high schools will be competing for the county championship using their best bocce skills and strategy and teamwork.


(This should keep you chuckling for awhile)

A bar called Drummond's (in Mt Vernon, Texas) began construction on an expansion of their building, hoping to "grow" their business.

In response, the local Southern Baptist Church started a campaign to block the bar from expanding - petitions, prayers, etc. About a week before the bar's grand re-opening, a bolt of lightning struck the bar and burned it to the ground!

Afterward, the church folks were rather smug - bragging about "the power of prayer". The angry bar owner eventually sued the church on grounds that the church ... "was ultimately responsible for the demise of his building, through direct actions or indirect means."

Of course, the church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection to the building's demise.

The judge read carefully through the plaintiff's complaint and the defendant's reply. He then opened the hearing by saying:

"I don't know how I'm going to decide this, but it appears from the paperwork that what we have here is a bar owner who now believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that does not."

True story !!


Overall population highest since 1993 according to winter dredge survey

RIVA, MD (April 19, 2012)
– Governor Martin O’Malley today announced the Chesapeake Bay’s juvenile blue crab population is at the highest level on record, and the overall blue crab population is at its highest level since 1993.

Joined by stakeholders and elected officials, Governor O’Malley revealed the results of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) annual winter dredge survey at Mike’s Crab House overlooking the Severn river.

“Just a few short years ago, the future did not look bright for our blue crab population,” said Governor O’Malley. “Our female crabs were being overfished, and our fishery was at risk of complete collapse. Today’s announcement marks four years in a row of progress to restore the blue crab. The kind of progress we’re making today really only happens when we work together.

None of us can restore the blue crab alone – we’re all in this together, and it will take all of us working together to achieve a better future for our crabs, our industry, recreational crabbers and crab-lovers across our State.

According to the survey, an estimated 764 million crabs spent this winter in the Bay, nearly 66 percent more than last year. Juvenile crabs reached a record high of 587 million, nearly triple last year’s 207 million. The previous record of 512 million was set in 1997.

“I'm proud to stand and fight for Maryland’s watermen who faced a potential disaster to their way of life. I fought to put funding in the federal checkbook to support Maryland’s watermen and protect the Bay,” said Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, Chairwoman of the Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee. “The replenishment and return of the blue crab is good news for Maryland's watermen who have been affected by shrinking crab harvests. I will continue to lead Team Maryland in our efforts to protect the Bay and those whose livelihoods depend on it.”

The survey results did sound one cautionary note, which was a decline in the number of spawning-age females from 190 million to 97 million crabs. Despite the downturn, the population remains above the safe threshold level. Preliminary estimates of the 2011 female harvest are below the target of 25.5 percent, again confirming that management measures have continued to be effective at constraining the fishery to appropriate levels.

“The drop in abundance of spawning-age females is neither unusual nor unprecedented – in fact, we expect this type of variation in populations from year to year,” said DNR Secretary John Griffin. “While last year’s severe storms and the warm winter may have had an impact, we are optimistic that our record recruitment will bode well for next year’s adults, both male and female. Meanwhile, it is our job is to make sure that fishing occurs at an appropriate level, which we will continue to do.”

Maryland’s management system of daily catch limits and closed periods is designed to adapt and ensure that annual crab harvests stay balanced with annual shifts in abundance.

“As we have done in years past, we will work with our stakeholders and our advisory commissions to develop a sustainable harvest level equivalent to last year,” said DNR Fisheries Director Tom O’Connell. “The preliminary Bay-wide harvest for 2011 is estimated to be 67.3 million pounds, again confirming that a robust industry can coexist with regulations designed to rebuild a self-sustaining, healthy blue crab population.”

Estimates of abundance are developed separately for young of the year crabs, mature female crabs, and adult male crabs. Together, these groups of crabs will support the 2012 fishery and produce the next generation of crabs.

“It is encouraging to not only see an improving crab population but also a management system that is working,” said Bill Goldsborough, director of Fisheries for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. “We applaud DNR and Governor O'Malley and encourage them to stay the course and continue the science based management approach that has lead to this resurgence in the Chesapeake blue crab.”

Through a historic collaboration in 2008, Maryland, Virginia and the Potomac River Fisheries Commission took strong coordinated action to reduce harvest pressure on female crabs by 34 percent. At that time, scientists from all three jurisdictions deemed conservation measures necessary as blue crabs suffered near historic lows in spawning stock.

“This fishery appears to be in far better shape than it was just a few short years ago and is one of the most successful fishery stock rebuilding programs ever, anywhere,” said Doug Domenech, Virginia’s Secretary of Natural Resources. “I attribute that to the actions taken by the Marine Resources Commission, the excellent scientific advice from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the continuing efforts of Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources.”

DNR and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science have conducted the primary assessment of the Bay’s blue crab population annually since 1990. The survey employs crab dredges to sample blue crabs at 1,500 sites throughout the Chesapeake Bay from December through March. Sampling during winter when blue crabs are usually buried in the mud and stationary, allows scientists to develop, with good precision, estimates of the number of crabs present in the Bay.

In 2011, Governor O’Malley and members of the Maryland General Assembly passed bills that increased enforcement authority and penalties for certain egregious violations of striped bass, oyster and blue crab regulations. This year the legislature passed an important measure to increase efficiency, flexibility, and accountability in Maryland’s commercial fishing license system and allow for cost recovery of some of the services provided to the commercial fishing industry.

In September 2008, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service responded to Governor O’Malley’s request for disaster assistance funding for watermen impacted by the declining blue crab population. With support from Senator Barbara Mikulski and Maryland’s Congressional Delegation, DNR received $15 million that extends into 2012 to assist management efforts and mitigate the impacts from the blue crab fishery disaster. In Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010, Governor O’Malley and the Maryland General Assembly also directed $6 million in capital funding toward these efforts. In further support of the industry, DNR recently launched a new True Blue labeling and promotion program that will let restaurant-goers know whether their seafood dishes use meat from Maryland blue crabs or less expensive (less tasty) crabmeat from abroad.

Water quality was also a big winner in the 2012 General Assembly. Legislation doubling the Bay Restoration Fund fee will support upgrades to 67 major wastewater treatment plants, upgrades to septic systems, stormwater management grants and the planting of cover crops – all of which will help dramatically reduce nutrient pollution entering Maryland waterways. A measure requiring the largest jurisdictions to implement a stormwater utility fee will fund stormwater pollution reductions, and The Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act of 2012 requires jurisdictions to develop land-use plans that will encourage growth in existing communities and preserve large tracts of agricultural and forest land in Maryland. A measure reducing the tax burden on Marylanders who inherit family farms will encourage farmers to keep their valuable land in agriculture, instead of selling it to developers.

Governor O’Malley’s 2013 capital budget includes more than $211 million in funding to help the Chesapeake Bay, including $38 million in GO Bonds for grants to fund stormwater projects through the Chesapeake and Coastal Bays Trust Fund, and $8 million for oyster recovery.

TransCanada submits new Keystone XL pipeline plan

For the first time since President Obama issued a controversial order halting its progress, the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline is once again on track for bureaucratic review after TransCanada submitted a new route through Nebraska designed to avoid environmentally sensitive areas.

The new plan, which TransCanada submitted to the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality on Wednesday, takes the Keystone project out of the deep freeze that began in January when Obama agreed with the recommendation of the State Department to reject the initial pipeline application.

This new development, first reported by Fox News, allows Nebraska officials to review the impact of the pipeline's adjusted route. It also opens the door for the pipeline's builder, TransCanada, to submit a new complete proposal covering the entire length of the pipeline to the State Department for its review.

USPS Plans For Workforce Cuts A Senate Expected To Take Up Reform Bill

This week the Senate is expected to take up legislation to reform the Postal Service. The bill (S.1789) could close post offices, end Saturday deliveries and return funds the Postal Service as pre-paid for retiree health benefits.

USPS already has started considering how it would operate with a slimmed-down workforce. Tony Vegliante, chief human capital officer for the Postal Service, said there are three ways it is trying to reduce the number of employees: Attrition, control hiring and voluntary separation incentives.


Today's Survey Question 4-19-12

Are you expecting a tax return from the feds and state?

FBI To Award $100,000.00 In Discrimination Case

A federal appeals court ruled in favor of a man who said the FBI did not hire him because he had diabetes. The D.C. Circuit panel said diabetes is a disability and the FBI's decision was discrimination. It upheld a lower-court ruling ordering the FBI to award $100,000 to Jeffrey Kapche, who had applied for a special agent position in 2002. The bureau offered him the job pending completion of a medical exam. It revoked the offer after determining that Kapche would not be able to perform certain tasks.

Michael Reagan: I’m Tired of Pres. Obama Lying About My Father

President Obama says Reagan would support tax hike plan. Michael Reagan reacts to president's remarks
Video Here

Latest: Suspended GSA Exec Created Culture Of Silence

Suspended General Services Administration executive Jeff Neely created a culture of lavish spending — and fear among his employees who spoke up against him — according to testimony in a House subcommittee hearing today. It was the second of four congressional hearings on excessive conference spending by GSA following an inspector general report two weeks ago.


President Obama's Gone From Hope and Change to Blame and Shame

Oh, to be a fly on the wall as President Obama gathered his human props for yet another attempt to find a scapegoat for America’s problems. With the twin scandals of the General Services Administration and the Secret Service exploding all around him, Obama summoned Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Attorney General Eric Holder and others for an attack on phantom oil “speculators,” who, he insisted, are driving up prices at the pump.

Before they marched to the Rose Garden like tin soldiers, did his aides express reluctance about the “crackdown?” Were they embarrassed at being used in a naked political stunt?

Probably not.

He doesn’t like dissent. Besides, there’s no time for scruples when a few voters can still be fooled into thinking the president has an energy policy, a tax policy and an economic plan.

Lawmaker Hopes To Stop Closing Of Post Offices For Two Years

A rural lawmaker hopes to throw a big wrench into the Postal Service's plan to slash its delivery network. Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) wants to stop the agency from closing any rural post offices for at least two years. He has proposed an amendment to a sweeping Postal Service reform bill. After the two years, it would let officials close post offices only if another one was within 10 miles, and if they could show that senior citizens and people with disabilities would not be inconvenienced. The Postal Service wants to close more than 3,000 post offices as part of a plan to save $20 billion a year. Postal executives don't like another amendment that Tester is pushing to cut their salaries, which are higher than those of counterparts at other agencies, but lower than leaders of private-sector competitors.

Trimmed-Down IRS Staff Means Fewer Audits This Year

We certainly don't want to give comfort to tax cheats — and we're not trying to imply that any of our beloved readers are anything less than honest when filing their tax returns — but for those who dread a random audit, there's some good news: Budget and staff cuts at the IRS will likely mean fewer audits.


Federal Employees Will Soon Be Able To Semi-Retire

A bill to let federal employees semi-retire has cleared a House panel. GovExec reported the bill had bipartisan support from members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The bill would let employees who are about to retire convert to part-time. They would be allowed to roll unused leave into their Thrift Savings Plans. Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who sponsored the bill, estimated it would save $465 million over 10 years.

Romney's 12-Point Surge Catches Obama

Mitt Romney is surging in the presidential polls, closing a 12-point gap over the last month to put him now in a potential dead heat with President Barack Obama, according to several authoritative surveys released this week.

A CBS News/New York Times poll released Wednesday found Romney and Obama tied at 46 percent support apiece among registered voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

That follows a Pew Research Center poll released Tuesday that found Obama barely leading Romney, 49 percent to 45 percent—a major shift from last month, when the president held a 12-point advantage over the former Massachusetts governor. (The margin of error for the Pew poll was plus or minus 2.1 percentage points.)

Heads Are Rolling At The Secret Service

Dismissals followed revelations that 11 agents had cavorted with prostitutes before President Obama arrived in Cartegena, Colombia. The Secret Service fired three agents and put eight on administrative leave. Agency officials said one supervisor would be allowed to retire but one more would be fired for cause. The Associated Press reported searches of the hotel rooms found no evidence of illegal drug use.

Sounds Like A Plan

When a company falls on difficult times, one of the things that seems to happen is they reduce their staff and workers. The remaining workers must find ways to continue to do a good job or risk that their job would be eliminated as well.

Wall street and the media normally congratulate the CEO for making this type of "tough decision", and the board of directors gives upper corporate management big bonuses...

Our government should not be immune from similar risks.


Reduce the House of Representatives from the current 435 members to 218 members.
Reduce Senate members from 100 to 50 (one per State). Then, reduce their remaining staff by 25%.

Accomplish this over the next 8 years (two steps/two elections) and of course this would require some redistricting.

Some Yearly Monetary Gains Include:

$44,108,400 for elimination of base pay for congress. (267 members X $165,200 pay/member/ yr.)

$437,100,000 for elimination of their staff. (Estimate $1.3 Million in staff per each member of the House, and $3 Million in staff per each member of the Senate every year)

$108,350,000 for the reduction in remaining staff by 25%.

$7,500,000,000reduction in pork barrel earmarks each year. (Those members whose jobs are gone.. Current estimates for total government pork earmarks are at $15 Billion/yr).

The remaining representatives would need to work smarter and improve efficiencies.. It might even be in their best interests to work together for the good of our country!

We may also expect that smaller committees might lead to a more efficient resolution of issues as well. It might even be easier to keep track of what your representative is doing.

Congress has more tools available to do their jobs than it had back in 1911 when the current number of representatives was established. (Telephone, computers, cell phones to name a few)

Congress does not hesitate to head home for extended weekends, holidays and recesses, when what the nation needs is a real fix for economic problems. Also, we had 3 senators who were not doing their jobs for the 18+ months (on the campaign trail) and still they all accepted full pay. Minnesota survived very well with only one senator for the first half of this year. These facts alone support a reduction in senators and congress.

Summary of opportunity:

$44,108,400 reduction of congress members.

$282,100,000 for elimination of the reduced house member staff.

$150,000,000 for elimination of reduced senate member staff.

$70,850,000 for 25% reduction of staff for remaining house members.

$37,500,000 for 25% reduction of staff for remaining senate members.

$7,500,000,000 reduction in pork added to bills by the reduction of congress members.

$8,084,558,400 per year, estimated total savings. (That's 8-BILLION just to start!)

Corporate America does these types of cuts all the time.
There's even a name for it.


Also, if Congresspersons were required to serve 20, 25 or 30 years (like everyone else) in order to collect retirement benefits, taxpayers could save a bundle.

IF you are happy with how Washington spends our taxes, delete this message.
Otherwise, it's time to "downsize" Congress

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