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Sunday, June 10, 2012

State Pops The Cork on New Business Laws

Beginning July 1, small businesses in Maryland will have another tool to attract needed capital.

The law helping small companies obtain loans at lower-than-market interest rates is among those that impact businesses taking effect next month.

The state has had a similar program since 2009 for women- and minority-owned businesses.

“It’s a very good program. It reduces the interest rate you pay, which saves you money,” said Jacqueline Manzini, owner of Amtrac Railroad Contractors of Maryland.


Electricity Bills Are About to 'Necessarily Skyrocket'

In January of 2008, then Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama, talking about his energy plan, told the San Francisco Chronicle, “When I was asked earlier about the issue of coal…under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket…” He wasn’t kidding.

While he was talking about his cap and trade plan, something that went nowhere in Congress, even when Democrats controlled it with a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, his objective of changing how we generate electricity hasn’t changed. Neither has his lack of concern for the cost to consumers.

President Obama hates coal because he has deemed it too “dirty.” It’s also the largest generator of electricity in this country. Were there a cheaper, easier (and even cleaner) source of electricity generation the market would have embraced it because that’s how markets work. But there isn’t, at least not yet. 


Van Jones Issues Dire Warning: The Tea Party Will Use Power to ‘Decimate Us’

As The Blaze previously reported, liberals assembled this weekend in Providence, Rhode Island, for Netroots Nation, an annual conference aimed at promoting the progressive cause. Closing out the event was Van Jones, the former White House official who has distinguished himself as being especially hostile toward the American right. In his address, the one-time green jobs adviser warned the audience about the Tea Party and encouraged them to fight diligently to ensure their policies are enacted.

Here‘s just a sampling of Jones’ words:
“If the Tea Party is allowed to score a trifecta, their ideas already are corrupting the Supreme Court, you see that with Scalia’s antics, they already have half of the Congress. If they get the rest…and the White House…if the Tea Party governs America — if this time next year, you are living in a government run by the Tea Party — let me suggest to you that they might use power a little bit differently than we did. When they get power, they use it to decimate us…”

Montgomery School Leaders to Discuss Closing for Muslim Holidays

When Montgomery County Councilman George L. Leventhal sent a letter to school leaders in late May asking for schools to be closed on two Muslim holidays, he cited the county’s significant Muslim population and religious fairness.

But school systems in the state cannot declare days off — in this case Eid il-Adha and Eid ul-Fitr — solely because they are religious holidays, no matter population demographics, said attorney Rochelle Eisenberg, of Towson-based Pessin Katz Law PA, who specializes in education and employment law.

 School systems must base the decision on attendance rates, to avoid violating the Establishment Clause, which prohibits lawmakers from exerting religious preference, Eisenberg said, citing a 1999 Maryland court ruling.

"What you have to do is determine that there are so many absences in the school system, between students and staff, that the school system cannot be properly run,” Eisenberg said.


Wasps Unleashed in Maryland to Fight Invasive Pest

There are pests coming after some area trees and a local agriculture department is bringing in wasps to fight them.

Dick Bean with the Maryland Department of Agriculture says the stingless wasps attack the eggs of the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive species that threatens ash trees anywhere it goes.

"If left unchecked, it has the potential to completely wipe out all of the ash trees in the United States," Bean says. "So far, we've made releases in Prince George's County, Charles County, Howard County, Washington County and Allegheny."


Question of The Day

Does your family get together on Sundays for dinner/supper?  What is your favorite meal?

UMd. Students Go For a Midnight Dip, Get Clothes Stolen

A group of University of Maryland students decided to go for a midnight swim Friday in a campus fountain, but had their clothes stolen by a group passing by.

The group of women had stripped down to their underwear, and placed their belongings near the fountain on McKeldin Mall, according to the campus police department.

Police say a group of about 10 men and women came by and took their property, and starting dropping it as they walked to a campus garage.


After Walker Victory, Indiana Governor Suggests Public Unions Should Go

On the heels of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's history-making recall victory, the governor of nearby Indiana with his own record of curtailing union benefits suggested public-sector unions are past their prime and should be abolished.  

"I think, really, government works better without them," Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels told "Fox News Sunday," when asked whether public-worker unions should even exist.

Daniels had cracked down on collective bargaining for state workers as soon as he took office in 2005, six years before Walker and his GOP allies in the state legislature started down the same path -- triggering a backlash that forced him to stand for election this past Tuesday. Walker made history as the first governor to survive the recall test, beating Democrat Tom Barrett.


Several Reportedly Shot Near Ala.'s Auburn U.

Several people were shot at an apartment complex near Auburn University in Alabama when a fight broke out during a pool party, authorities and a witness said.

Auburn Police Chief Tommy Dawson told the Opelika-Auburn News that police were called Saturday night. He did not say who was shot or discuss their conditions.

Turquorius Vines, 23, said he was at the pool party Saturday evening at the University Heights apartments with one of his friends. He said he and his friend were approached by two other men who started arguing with them over a woman.


Md. Proposes Baby Bumper Pad Ban Next Year

Maryland's health department on Friday officially proposed the first statewide ban on the sale of crib bumper pads in cribs to begin next year.

The proposed ban would start June 21, 2013.

The department started investigating the risks the pads pose to infants last year. Since then, the department has convened a panel of health experts, held two public meetings and reviewed public comment.

"The safety and health of infants in Maryland is our first priority," said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Human Hygiene. "After an extensive year-long review of the evidence and thoughtful consideration of public comment, we agree with our expert health advisors that baby bumper pads pose unreasonable risks to infants."


Accused Fort Hood Gunman’s Beard Postpones Court Hearing

A pre-trial hearing for accused Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan was postponed Friday after the judge ruled the defendant‘s beard was in violation of the Army’s grooming standards.

It was the first time Hasan, accused of the 2009 mass shooting rampage that left 13 dead, had appeared in court with a beard, MSNBC reported. Because Hasan is still considered an active-duty soldier who has retained his military rank, he is required to remain clean-shaven when in uniform or civilian clothes.

“It is a disruption. The judge felt it was,” Fort Hood media officer Chris Haug told MSNBC. ”He‘s in violation of the Army’s dress and grooming standards,”


200,000 Girl Scouts Take Over the National Mall

About 200,000 Girl Scouts gathered on the National Mall to celebrate the organization's 100th anniversary with celebrities including Mandy Moore, a former scout.

Organizers said the Saturday event was the largest gathering of Girl Scouts in history, with girls coming from around the world. They hope to set a Guinness World Record. Girls from every state were expected to attend.

"We've done the 80th, the 90th, the 95th, but really those were rehearsals for this big day," Lidia Soto-Harmon, chief executive officer of the Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital, said.


70 House Members to Call on DOJ to Investigate SWATting of Conservative Bloggers

Earlier today, Breitbart News reported that the recent SWATting attacks on several political writers and commentators have been gaining traction in the mainstream media:

Today, CNN featured a story centering around CNN contributor and RedState managing editor Erick Erickson, the latest victim in a series of incidents in which an imposter mimics the phone number of a target, then calls the police and confesses to a violent crime. Such confessions often result in law enforcement personnel, many times special weapons and tactics teams (SWAT teams), responding to calls with full force, risking the life and health of the target. This tactic has been called SWATting by the FBI.

Later, on his own radio show, Erickson played a recording of the 911 call that triggered the visit from law enforcement to his home.  He went on to describe the series of events that occurred on the evening of May 27th.  As he discussed the recent letters sent by Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss and Texas Congressman Kenny Marchant calling on the Department of Justice to investigate the SWATting incidents, Erickson announced a breaking development regarding Congressional actions: