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Friday, July 27, 2012

Few Think Sluggish US Economy Will Strengthen Soon

A U.S. economy that plodded along in the first three months of the year likely grew even less in the April-June quarter. And most economists no longer think growth will strengthen much in the second half of 2012.

Weaker hiring, nervous consumers, sluggish manufacturing and the overhang of Europe's debt crisis might be pointing toward everyone's big fear: another recession.
Against that background, the government on Friday will issue its first of three estimates of how much the

U.S. economy expanded last quarter. The consensus forecast is that growth slowed to an annual rate of 1.5 percent, according to a survey of economists by data firm FactSet. The Commerce Department will issue the estimate at 8:30 a.m. EDT.


U.S. Weighs Retail Sweep After Wal-Mart Bribery Scandal

U.S. authorities are considering launching a wide-ranging examination of the retail industry for violations of an anti-foreign bribery law, after Wal-Mart and other retailers have come forth with their own potential offenses, people familiar with the matter said.

Retailers have been reviewing their international operations in light of a bribery scandal at Wal-Mart Stores Inc's (WMT.N) operations in Mexico that is the subject of investigations by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission.


Colorado Hospitals Chip In For Shooting Victims' Care

With many patients still being cared for after last week's Colorado movie theater shootings, one burden is being lifted by some of the hospitals: medical expenses.

Children's Hospital Colorado said it will use its charity care program and donations to cover medical expenses for victims of the shooting who do not have insurance. Victims who do have insurance will have their co-pays and deductible-related expenses waived.

"We are committed to supporting these families as they heal," Elizabeth Whitehead, spokeswoman for Children's Hospital Colorado, said in a statement.


Five Guys Take Same Photo for 30 years

When five teenagers sat down and posed for a picture at Copco Lake in 1982, they didn't plan on making it a tradition. But that's what it became.

Every five years for the past three decades, John Wardlaw, John Dickson, Mark Rumer, Dallas Burney and John Molony have been meeting at the California lake and taking the same photo.

The first photograph of the high school friends was just happenstance. Wardlaw, known as Wedge in the group, had a family cabin at the lake where the friends gathered in July 1982.


Jewish Summer Camp in Pennsylvania 'Terrorized'; Five Charged

Five people face charges for allegedly terrorizing a Jewish summer camp in Pennsylvania.

In three separate episodes earlier this month, three adults and two juveniles caused property damage as they sped dangerously through Camp Bonim in Wayne County in a pickup truck, shouting anti-Semitic epithets and firing paintball guns at campers and staff, District Attorney Janine Edwards said in a press release. The three adults were arrested Wednesday morning and face felony and misdemeanor charges, including ethnic intimidation, terroristic threats and assault.

"These children were terrorized and in fear for their lives by the actions of this group," Edwards said in the release. "The vicious, cruel and obscene nature of the language hurled at the campers is unspeakable. Luckily none of the children suffered any serious physical injury, however, the emotional damage is immeasurable." 


Obama Email: This Could Be My Last Birthday As President

President Obama is about to hit the Big 5-1. And he’s feeling pretty sorry for himself. At least that’s what readers can gather from his latest campaign missive, titled simply “Hey”:

Benjamin --

My upcoming birthday next week could be the last one I celebrate as President of the United States, but that's not up to me -- it's up to you.

This July deadline is our most urgent yet, coming after two consecutive months of being significantly outraised by Romney and the Republicans.


San Francisco Library Providing Helpful Privacy Screens For Online Porn-Viewing Comfort

Just because a person is viewing online porn at a public library doesn't necessarily mean they want everyone to know that — and plenty of fellow patrons might not want to accidentally catch an eyeful, either. San Francisco's main library is taking all that into consideration with its new privacy screens on its free computers.

The idea is that the 18 new plastic shields will limit what can be seen on the computers' monitors to the person using that particular machine, reports

A city librarian said the library doesn't want to filter Internet access, so the screens allow for free and equal access to information without offending anyone.


ICE, Border Patrol Unions Claim Illegal Immigrants Exploiting 'Dreamer' Policy

Union heads representing thousands of America's immigration agents slammed the Obama administration Thursday over a policy they claim is forcing officials to ignore the law and allowing illegal immigrants to exploit the system.

In a startling allegation, the president of the union representing Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers claimed illegal immigrants are "taking advantage" of a new directive allowing some undocumented residents who came to the U.S. as children to stay in the country. Union boss Chris Crane said the policy ends up allowing illegal immigrants to avoid detention without any proof -- particularly so-called "dreamers," or those illegal immigrants who would benefit under the "DREAM Act" proposal, which Congress has not passed but the administration  has partially implemented.


Poll: Less Than Half of Voters Think Obama is Christian

About one in six voters still thinks President Obama is Muslim while only half identify him as a Christian, according to a new national poll released Thursday.

Just 49 percent of voters surveyed by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life said the president is Christian, while 17 percent said he is Muslim and 31 percent did not know his religion. (Click here to view the poll results)

The percentage who think Mr. Obama is Muslim has actually increased by 5 percentage points since he was elected in 2008, although it has decreased 2 percentage points since an August 2010 poll.


Households Divided By Campaign Donations

Husbands and wives may share checking accounts, but they don’t always share political preferences. So what happens when one-half of the marriage wants to donate to a candidate?

A wife writes a $1,000 check to her preferred candidate, President Obama. A week later, her irritated spouse fires back with a $1,000 check to Republican Mitt Romney. The money cancels out, leaving the candidates even, television stations and campaign consultants a little bit richer — and the couple quite a bit poorer.

When politics meet family, emotion often trumps reason.


Dont Tell Rahm: Louis Farrakhan Opposes Same-Sex Marriage

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel blasted Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy's divulgement in a recent interview that he was against same sex marriage. Emanuel blasted Cathy, saying that his values "aren't Chicago's values" and agreed with Alderman Joe Moreno's vow to block another Chick-Fil-A restaurant from opening in Chicago. 

Yet the next day, Emanuel welcomed Louis Farrakhan and his Nation of Islam for assistance battling Chicago's crime. Apparently Farrakhan's legendary antisemitism is a "Chicago value" -- but what about Farrakhan's own stance against same sex marriage?


Christianity and Homosexuality by Matt Slick

The homosexuals and lesbians have gained considerable political and social momentum in America.  They have "come out" as the term goes, left their closets, and are knocking on the doors of your homes.  Through TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines, they are preaching their doctrine of tolerance, equality, justice, and love.  They do not want to be perceived as abnormal or dangerous.  They want acceptance and they want you to welcome them with open, loving arms, approving of what they do.

In numerous states in America several bills have been introduced by the pro-homosexual politicians to ensure that the practice of homosexuality is a right protected by law.  Included in these bills are statements affecting employers, renters, and schools.  Churches could possibly be required to hire a quota of homosexuals, and "sensitivity" training courses would be "strongly urged" in various work places.  There is even legislation that would force the state to pick up the tab for the defense of homosexual agendas in lawsuits while requiring the non-homosexual side to pay out of his/her pocket.  Is this fair?  Of course not.  But fairness isn't the real issue here.  It is social engineering.  Think about it, the homosexual community wants legal protection for having intercourse with people of the same sex.  And, if that weren't enough, it wants its views taught in schools, promoted over the airwaves, and codified in literature.

The Christian church, however, has not stood idly by.  When it has spoken out against this political immorality, the cry of "separation of church and state" is shouted at the so-called "religious bigots."  But when the homosexual community attempts to use political power to try and control the church and get its agenda taught in schools, no such cry of bigotry is heard from the sacred halls of the media.  Why?  Because it isn't politically correct to side with Christians.


Romney Camp Hits Obama Over "It Worked," Left Screams "Out of Context"

Impressively quick reflexes from the Romney campaign -- hopefully this is only the beginning of a wider attack strategy constructed around "it worked:"

Liberals are again claiming that Obama is being taken "out of context" here.  Slate's Dave Weigel says Obama was obviously referring to the Clinton-era tax rates -- which he mentioned just prior to "it worked."  Five points:  (1) If you read the full transcript of the speech, Obama was building a broader case against Mitt Romney's "top down" approach to governance (full of distortions, of course, but that's politics).  The president described at length the "contrasting visions" that separate himself from his opponent, listing off tendentiously-phrased examples along the way.  So the "context" of "it worked" was ambiguous, at best.  The Examiner's Joel Gehrke makes this point, as does The Fix's Aaron Blake, albeit reluctantly:


Will More Mobile Facebook Ads Be Annoying Enough To Drive Users Away?

Earlier today, Facebook's very own Mark Zuckerberg and the site's other head honchos held a conference call with investors to discuss the company's first earnings report since it went public back in May. Given the stock's not-stellar performance and investors' concerns about Facebook's ability to actually, ya know... make money, the Zuck did his best to liven up spirits by saying the company is beefing up its mobile ad strategy. Which yes, means ads for Facebook users on their smartphones and tablets. Let the clogging begin.

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Terry Cohen On Dun Rush This Morning

GO HERE to listen.


A few lucky OceanCity ATM users might have gotten something hard to come by these days – more money than they asked for.

Last week, Ocean City Today was tipped that for a brief period last Thursday evening, the Bank of America ATM at the Boardwalk’s south-end tram terminal was dispensing twice the amount of cash that users requested.

According to a witness who wishes to remain anonymous to protect his cash windfall, he received a text message from a friend around 7 p.m. that evening, telling him to come to the ATM because it was giving out extra money.


Governor O'Malley Announces 28 New Bikeways Grant Winners

$3.13 Million in Projects Will Provide Key Bike Network Connections

HANOVER, MD – As part of the O’Malley Administration’s Cycle Maryland Initiative, Governor Martin O’Malley today announces 28 winners of the Bikeways Program Grants. The Maryland Bikeways Program, administered by the Maryland Department of Transportation, was established in November 2011 as a program to support planning, design and construction of projects that create and improve bicycle connections in Maryland to key destinations, like work, school and shopping. Governor O’Malley’s program is providing $3.13 million for this round of grants to seven counties, Baltimore City and 12 other municipalities for a variety of projects in different stages of development from feasibility assessment and design to construction. These grant recipients are the second set of awardees announced this year bringing the total to 48 bikeways grant recipients and $5.63 million for 2012.

“I am pleased to see such a great interest in working together to build a more comprehensive bike network statewide that will benefit our citizens,” said Governor O’Malley. “These grants will help local jurisdictions build key connections that make bicycling a true transportation option. Bicycling is a win-win for all of us by helping us learn to enjoy more of Maryland’s natural treasures, reducing the impact on the land, improving our fitness and well-being, and enhancing our quality of life.”

The grant winning projects include: on and off-road bicycle route connections, bike route signage, bike racks and safety improvements. A complete list of projects is available at this link: .

Some of the winning projects are:

City of Brunswick’s bike route, connecting the Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) Canal Trail, the MARC train station and Main Street;

Baltimore County’s Towson Bike Beltway, installing bike lanes and bike route improvements;
Baltimore City’s downtown bike network, supporting design and construction of a cycle-track and bike lanes;

Laurel’s bike connection project, installing a bike lane on Lafayette Avenue and connecting it to the Laurel MARC station;

Anne Arundel County and Prince George’s County’s Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis Trail (WB&A Trail), providing feasibility assessment and preliminary design of a trail bridge over the Patuxent River;

Salisbury’s on-road bikeways, connecting Salisbury University and local businesses; and
Shore Transit on the Eastern Shore, providing bike racks on buses and at key stations.

The Maryland Bikeways Program grant applications are reviewed with the goal of awarding grants to support plans and projects that: maximize the use of Maryland’s existing bicycle facilities, make needed connections and support Maryland’s bike sharing efforts. The Bikeways Program will address key funding gaps for bicycle projects. Program flexibility ensures that the best possible bicycle routes can be developed, by utilizing local and state roads, off-road trails, parks and other available pathways. Through strategic investment in the bicycle network, Maryland and our partners hope both to stimulate the economy and to achieve cost savings for households and government agencies.

Governor O’Malley kicked off his Cycle Maryland Initiative to consolidate and coordinate bicycle programs in Maryland in an effort to make bicycling a true transportation alternative and to encourage more Marylanders to get out and ride. The goal is to support Maryland’s economy, to provide a cleaner environment and to encourage a healthier lifestyle and a better quality of life for all Marylanders.

California Leads Way in Foreclosures

IRVINE, Calif. — California is still dominating the foreclosure scene.

California cities made up seven of the top 10 metro areas with the highest rates of new foreclosures in the first six months of this year, according to data released Thursday by RealtyTrac, which tracks foreclosure properties. That’s unchanged from the same time last year.

Foreclosure activity also spiked by more than 25 percent in and around Philadelphia, Chicago and New York. The new inventory could start hitting the market in the next several months, potentially weighing further on home values.


A Letter To The Editor 7-27-12

Hi Joe,

I just found out yesterday that the special needs swimming pool at Pinehurst elementary is sitting empty and has for a long time due to funding for a new roof. I am curious whether or not this was ever made public. I don't have a special needs child but I do have some friends that do, and they would tell me that the students for which the pool was intended for, loved nothing more then the time they could spend in that pool. The smiles that the children had by being in the pool would just make things a little easier for the parents, the teachers, and the children. These children have to go through enough in their lives. It is a shame this has been taken away from them.

The talk about all the money the county got for the new Bennet middle school and yet no mention about this. I hear there are 12-14 classes of special needs students just at Pinhurst alone. I'm not positive about those numbers but that is a lot of students and I am sure more were bused in from other schools as well. I was also told the repairs for the roof would be a couple of million dollars. How is that possible? How about for a fraction of that they tear the roof down and make it an outside pool. I bet all the people that are for the funding of a bike lane to be built in Salisbury would rather have this special pool fixed for the children that would never be able to use a bike path in the first place. It seems the county knows how to get grant money for everything from building low income housing to fire boats. How can there be no money for this? If anyone knows more about this topic then fill us in. I might not have all the facts about this and in a way I hope there is more to the story then just needing a new roof.

Department Makes Annual Bulk Ammo Purchase

The Ocean City Police Department will soon be making its annual mass purchase of ammunition, a requisition that will supply 86,000 rounds for the department’s firearms and highlight the unique situation of the OCPD as a largely seasonal police force.

According to OCPD Lt. Richard Moreck, this will be the third year in a row that the department has made its purchase from The Gun Shop in Vincentown, N.J.

The Gun Shop is the regional distributor for Federal brand ammunition, allowing the OCPD to get its order direct from the factory. The store also holds the ammunition contract for the state of Maryland, and the state extends its contract pricing to the OCPD to for certain types of ammunition, a benefit that helps subsidize the training of Ocean City’s seasonal police force. Ocean City is the only jurisdiction in the state allowed to raise such a force each summer.


Harry Reid Was Before Ron Paul's 'Audit The Fed' Before He Was Against It

After three decades of railing against the U.S. central banking system, Ron Paul finally had his day Wednesday, when the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved his bill to audit the Federal Reserve with a bipartisan 327-98 vote.

The vote marked a triumphant — albeit largely symbolic — last stand for the Texas Congressman, who will retire from politics at the end of this year.

But while Paul's bill has broad bipartisan support, it's fate remains uncertain, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said that the Senate will not consider the legislation, virtually guaranteeing that it will never become law.

But Reid hasn't always been opposed to a central bank audit. In fact, the Nevada Senator has himself introduced legislation to audit the Federal Reserve, and co-sponsored several bills to increase transparency at the central bank in the 1990s, according to government transparency watchdog Govtrack.


Census Shows 200,000 Small Businesses Shut Down From 2008-2010

According to Census figures, some 200,000 small businesses disappeared from the rolls between 2008 and 2010. Those businesses were responsible for some three million jobs. The Obama administration claims that they’re moving in the right direction – but the direction of the economy is now reversing itself.



British Soccer Camp Approaches

Registration is Currently open for Soccer Camp

(Salisbury, MD)
The British are coming! As the number of soccer players in the USA nears 20 million, the number one soccer company in the United States, Canada and Australia - Challenger Sports, has been invited to hold one of their nationwide programs of British Soccer training camps right here in the growing soccer community of Salisbury.

The Wicomico County Recreation, Parks & Tourism Department has teamed up to host the week-long British Soccer camp during the week of August 13 – 17 on the Henry S. Parker Athletic Complex soccer fields.

The camp will run Monday through Friday and each child will be coached by a member of challenger’s British coaching staff, flown to the USA exclusively to work on these programs. Challenger will hold over 2,000 British Soccer camps this summer. They will coach over 100,000 players between the ages of 4 and 18 and over 20,000 parents and coaches.

Challengers’ British Soccer Camp is more than a week of drills and skills. In addition to taking part in a daily regimen of foot skill development, technical and tactical practices and daily tournament style plays, each child will also be treated to a rich cultural experience and lessons on respect, responsibility, integrity, leadership and sportsmanship.

British Soccer camp sessions are available for the following ages:

Ages 4-5 10:15 – 11:45am $100
Ages 6-14 9:00am – 12:00pm $131
Ages 10-14 9:00am – 4:00pm $190

Each camper will receive a camp t-shirt, soccer ball, giant soccer poster and an individual skills performance evaluation. To register for camp either visit or the Box Office located at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center.

For more information contact program director Kelly Rados at 410-548-4900 ext. 108 or email


The Ocean City Police Department will be getting 10 new Tasers this fall, after OCPD Chief Bernadette DiPino presented City Council with data showing that the devices have been effective with just their presence, let alone their actual use.

In February, the OCPD purchased 15 devices and had an additional one donated to the department by a local business. All 16 equipped officers, as well as several alternate users, were given 30 hours of training on the device. The X2 is essentially a ‘double-barreled’ Taser device, capable of firing two sets of barbs without reloading. The barbs, trailed by thin wires, stick to the target’s skin so that the officer can deliver a shock from some distance.

However, according to the data that DiPino submitted to the council, more results have come from simply displaying the Taser as a means of warning, rather than have come from actually firing the weapon. Since February, the department has recorded 19 instances in which officers have intentionally removed their Tasers from their holsters and displayed the devices as a means of gaining submission from uncooperative subjects.


You Didn't Build That


If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business–you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the internet so that all the companies could make money off the internet.

Much of the blogosphere has defended Obama’s statement, along one of two lines:

That Obama didn’t mean that business-owners didn’t build their businesses — he was talking about infrastructure creation and the wider economic, legal and political system.
That Obama is right — and businesses owners are really not responsible for building their businesses.
Both of these arguments are nonsensical.

Economic and business growth is a complex and multi-dimensional thing, driven by the complex relationship between both supply and demand. To claim that those who put the legwork into building a business — whether that is the owners, or workers — “didn’t build” the business is totally false and absurd.

And even if Obama was talking about infrastructure and the wider economic system (which I suspect was the case) it is taxpayers who fund infrastructure creation, and the overwhelming majority of businesses and business owners (other than the bailed-out financial institutions and similar) contribute heavily to tax revenue.

Whichever way we look at it tax-paying business owners past and present — particularly small businesses, who create far more jobs than their larger corporate counter-parts [6] — built not only their businesses, but also contributed to and funded the wider economic system and the institutions of the state.

Obama and his speechwriters ought to look more carefully at the country they desire to be elected to lead. Obama’s comments are hostile to the moral and intellectual foundations on which America has been built — the celebrated ideals of individualism and the self-made man.


Probe Cites Justice Employees for Schemes to Hire Relatives

Looking for that edge in the job search? For one division in the Justice Department, you just needed to be related to the right people.

A new report by the department's inspector general alleges that several career employees inside the Justice Management Division worked to hire their own friends and relatives into the department, in turn violating anti-nepotism rules, federal law and other standards.

The improper actions by senior officials of the division, including alleged violation of the federal nepotism statute, date back to the previous administration. At least 14 times since May 2008, the division hired or was pushed to hire personnel at the behest of a family member working in the division or as a result of family ties, the new report says.


It's Impossible For Governments To Grow Their Way Back To Solvency

While it might seem like somewhat stating the obvious, it is nonetheless worth driving home to the politicians and public policy wonks who see rates at record lows and perceive a Keynesian borrow-and-spend-fest as once again the solution to borrowing-and-spending too much. As Morgan Stanley puts it, fiscal policy is sailing between the Scylla of chase-your-tail austerity and the Charybdis of sovereign insolvency. In short, it is impossible for developed market (DM) governments to grow their way back to solvency. Doing nothing would sail governments towards the whirlpool of national insolvency – at some stage. But avoiding insolvency would risk being monstered by recession. If 'expansionary austerity' worked, then Europe would now be booming. The outlook for fiscal policy and public sector finances is a major uncertainty for investors and, critically, is part of the reason why risky assets are being de-rated and 'safe' assets are at unprecedented valuations.

Morgan Stanley:The Strait of Mess

Fiscal policy is sailing between the Scylla of chase-your-tail austerity and the Charybdis of sovereign insolvency. It may be possible – with perfect foresight, untrammeled authority, tolerant markets, accommodating central banks and a disregard for political pressure – to navigate between these two threats. History suggests otherwise. Either way, this adds what is likely to be a long-running element of political and financial risk to the investment outlook. Markets are reacting by increasing the rating on ‘safe’ assets, and de-rating riskier assets, including equities.

Most DM governments are essentially broke. Of course, governments are not businesses, so the usual rules do not apply. But it seems that the net present value of governments’ liabilities – including the commitments embodied in current social security policies – exceed the net present value of their assets (including yet-to-be collected tax receipts). Exhibit 1 shows estimates of the (negative) net worth of some G-10 governments, relative to current-day GDP.


Capitol One To Pay $12M In Case On Servicemen

The Justice Department says Capital One has agreed to pay $12 million to resolve allegations the bank violated special protections in federal law for members of the military.

The government says Capital One wrongfully foreclosed on some homes and improperly repossessed some cars. In addition, the government says the bank obtained wrongful court judgments against some service members and improperly denied interest rate relief on some credit card and car loans.


Education Secretary Could Furlough Employees

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said sequestration could force him to furlough employees at the Education Department. Speaking Wednesday at a Senate appropriations subcommittee, Duncan did not say exactly how many employees would have to be furloughed. Duncan also said sequestration would hamper the Education Department's ability to detect waste, fraud and abuse. Lawmakers have already spoken with defense officials about the effects of sequestration. But this is the first time Congress spoke with a civilian agency leader

Chick-fil-A So Packed They're Parking In Kohl's Parking Lots

Pictures Don't Lie!

Don't even think of challenging me on this one because I can tell you first hand they have been packed all week long. GOOD FOR THEM.

London Welcomes World for Olympics Opening Ceremony

One of the biggest secrets in London will finally be revealed Friday: what will happen at the opening ceremony for the Summer Olympic Games.

Friday night perhaps a billion people will finally get to see the extravaganza created by Danny Boyle, best known for the Oscar-winning film "Slumdog Millionare."

The day got off to a resounding start as bells around the country, including London's famous Big Ben, pealed for three minutes.


Hiring The Disabled

Agencies are hiring more people with disabilities but risk falling short of a goal set by President Barack Obama. This week marks the two-year anniversary of the president's executive order directing agencies to hire about 20,000 more people with disabilities a year over five years. Agencies did better last year than in 2010. About one in six new hires were people with disabilities. Still agencies would have to hire even more workers with disabilities in the next three years to meet the goal. Assistant Secretary of Labor Kathy Martinez said fear is one of the biggest hiring barriers. Managers do not know how a person with disabilities can perform a job even if they're qualified, she said.

Women Forget The “Take The Baby With You” Part Of Their Walmart Shoplifting Plan

Perhaps the saying should be changed from "don't throw the baby out with the bath water" to "Don't forget while attempting to shoplift to also bring your child with when fleeing the store." A mother and her sister are accused of leaving a 1-year-old behind when running from a robbery attempt at Walmart.

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Here’s The Letter Where Boston Mayor Tells Chick Fil-A To Stay The Cluck Out Of His Town

The controversy surrounding Chick fil-A and its leadership's stance on same-sex marriage will likely not die down anytime soon, especially now that the Internet has the actual letter sent by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino to the eatery's president Dan Cathy.

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Today's Fill In The Blank 7-27-12

I've broken __ bones in my body.

Surprise! That’s Not A Bible In Your Hotel Nightstand — It’s ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’

When was the last time you read a Bible at a hotel? And when is the last time you read or were tempted to read Fifty Shades of Grey? The widespread and overwhelming popularity of the steamy trilogy has led a hotel owner in England's Lake District to replace all of the bibles in his 40 guest rooms with a copy of E.L. James' book, in order to appeal to that second group of people who would pick it over the traditional copy of the Gideons Bible.

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Slightly Fewer Employers Checking Job Applicants’ Credit Reports

Despite proof that a person's credit history isn't an accurate predictor of their job performance, companies still do it. This is unfortunate for candidates whose recent payment history isn't so great because they--I don't know--need a better job, or don't have one to begin with. The good news for job hunters is that the number of employers performing these checks is falling.

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MDYR Nomination Speech Viewing Party

Join the Maryland Young Republicans at a Viewing Party as we watch Governor Mitt Romney accept our party's nomination to become the next President of the United States.

This Viewing Party is being held on Thursday, August 30th at the Comfort Inn, 4500 Crain Highway in Bowie. The event starts at 8 PM with a live broadcast of Red Maryland Radio, with the acceptance speech tentatively scheduled to begin at 10 PM.

The suggested donation for this event is $5 per person! Feel free to contribute in advance by clicking here to donate to the Maryland Young Republicans!

If you have any questions please contact us at

I Want This To End And I Have Another Proposal

My proposal is to encourage local Nurseries, Florist Shops and Landscaping Companies to take over the flower beds on the Downtown Plaza and let them maintain them.

Each day the IRS has a security truck that comes through the Plaza as well as UPS, FedEx, USPS and many other food and beverage deliveries. That comes to an immediate halt at least two times a week so Public Works can shut down the Plaza and maintain the plants.

This would eliminate ANY further expense to the taxpayers including plants and maintenance. The Plaza is shut down anywhere from 2 to 4 hours each day Public Works does this.

In addition, I'd like to reverse the traffic on the Plaza. While I'm even open to closing it to foot traffic only, I'd at least like to see the traffic heading east bound instead of west and let me explain why.

WHY someone thought of heading the traffic west is truly beyond me. Number one, Camden Street runs in the same direction, it makes no sense. Second and more importantly, WHY do you want people racing OUT of Downtown instead of slowly inviting them INTO Downtown.

Right now when you head into the Plaza and get to the top of the hill, people see the traffic light turn green and guess what happens, they start racing down the hill and run right through the stop sign to get through the green light. They never even notice what business is on the Plaza and they rarely ever pay attention to the speed limit.

By reversing the traffic I believe people will go much slower. (I'd like to add two speed bumps along the way as well). If they're heading east bound they will have a traffic light at the end, unlike the west end. It will be much safer for pedestrians.

Here's one more thing I'd like to see and let's see through comments how YOU feel about this idea. IF you had traffic going east bound, I'd like to see the entire north side of the Plaza cleared and replace the planting beds with diagonal parking from one end to the other. I'm sure there would be a good 50 parking spaces, (give or take a few) added to the Plaza and it would greatly enhance traffic to those businesses on the Plaza. NO METERS! We could put a 2 hour parking limit on those spaces so employees won't take advantage of those spots.

I look forward to your comments.

Today's Advertiser Of The Day 7-27-12

13-Year-Old Businessman Gets Shut Down By Local Regulators

A 13-year-old mowed lawns to save up enough money to buy a hot dog cart. He got licensed. Then he tried to sell hot dogs. The city shut him down.


Two reasons. First, the good old boys who run local restaurants two decades ago got independent food vendors zoned out. Second, the teachers union got businesses banned for anyone under 18.

He had paid $2,500 for the cart. He sold it for $1,250.

He has just had the finest civics lesson that any public high school kid has received in twenty years in Holland, Michigan. He has seen civil government at work. He has seen how special-interest groups get politicians to feather all their nests.


Protecting Your Gun Rights

I Can Think Of Plenty Of Things To Wish For Obama Michelle, Happy Birthday Isn't One Of Them

Joe --

Barack's 51st birthday is coming up.

I hope you'll wish him a happy birthday by signing the card we're putting together for him.

You'll be adding Joe, from Maryland, alongside thousands of other supporters' names -- folks from all 50 states, from all different backgrounds. Together, all those names will be impressive -- they'll show the strength of this campaign and our support for Barack.

And I know he's going to love it.

Add your name today -- and then ask a friend to join you:

These last few months until Election Day won't be easy -- so let's show Barack we have his back every step of the way.

- Michelle

P.S., He didn't wish ME a Happy Birthday NOR did my Wife send YOU an e-mail begging you to do so.

Corzine Firm Member's Attorney Is Holder’s Former Lawyer and 'Best Friend'

Breitbart News has learned that a central figure in the Jon Corzine/MF Global case seeking immunity from federal prosecutors, former MF Global treasurer Edith O'Brien, is represented by lawyer Reid Weingarten.

What is the significance of this revelation?  

According to this 2008 New York Times article, Reid Weingarten was previously Eric Holder’s attorney. 


Time To Act

There is no progress without jobs.

That's why this morning, I called for a special session of the Maryland General Assembly to address the gaming issue.

By moving forward on expanded gaming, we have an opportunity to create thousands of new construction jobs and as many as 2,000 permanent jobs. What's more, by acting now, we have an opportunity to secure an additional $100 million in new revenue for Maryland's #1 in the nation public schools.

This issue has always been a very divisive one for our General Assembly. That's why I want us to resolve it now.

The compromise we're putting forward will create predictability in the marketplace, protect local and city aid being generated at current sites, ensure authorized facilities are able to be built and allow the people of Prince George's County to decide at the ballot whether they want a sixth site for the benefit of their county and revenue base.

Progress is a choice. Job creation is a choice. Maximizing the return on Maryland gaming for the benefit of Maryland families -- this, too, is a choice.

There's been plenty of talk and deliberation. Now, it's time to act.

Thank you,

Martin O'Malley

Maryland Mass Shooting Suspect Arrested

Authorities in Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties have foiled what they believe would have been a mass shooting in the style of the one that killed 12 people in a Denver-area movie theater, police sources tell ABC 7 News.
Law enforcement sources tell ABC 7's Brad Bell that the suspect, who has yet to be identified, was arrested in Crofton on Thursday night. According to officials, the man was facing termination from his job in Prince George's County.
Authorities say they found an "arsenal" of weapons in his home at the time of his arrest and that he had made threats directed toward his employer.

Voorhees Cop Charged With Using Police Database To ‘Friend’ Driver On Facebook

VOORHEES, N.J. (CBS) — A Voorhees police officer was charged Monday with misusing his police powers for personal reasons, according to officials in Camden County.

Forty-four-year-old Jeffrey M. Tyther is accused of using the State Police NCIC motor vehicle database on September 9, 2011 to get personal information about a female driver he passed in Voorhees.

Authorities say while on duty in a marked police cruiser, Tyther saw the woman pass him in traffic, pulled up next to her and waved at her. Neither one of them stopped their vehicles nor did they speak to one another. However, authorities say days later, Tyther used the woman’s personal information retrieved from the database to find her and “friend” her on Facebook.


Today's Survey Question 7-27-12

Where's the best Bar on the Shore?

Extreme Downpours On The Rise In Maryland

Scientists Link Trend to Global Warming

: Environment Maryland will hold a press conference to release a new report documenting the increase in the frequency of extreme rainstorms and snowstorms over the past 65 years in Maryland. Recent extreme rainstorms and snowstorms are highlighted as part of a larger trend of more powerful storms occurring more often—a trend that scientists have linked to global warming. Advocates will use this latest data as further evidence for the compelling need for state and federal leaders to reduce global warming pollution.

WHO: Congressman John Sarbanes (MD-3), U.S. House of Representatives
Ben Zaitchik, Asst. Professor of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Johns Hopkins University
Ken Mallette, Executive Director, MD Emergency Management Agency, invited
Tommy Landers, Director, Environment Maryland

WHEN: 10:00 AM, Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

WHERE: Broadway Street Pier in Fells Point.

VISUALS: Backdrop of inner harbor that has flooded in recent years. Enlarged map showing extreme precipitation trends.


WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced that the City of Salisbury’s Fire Department was awarded grants through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program to hire 12 firefighters. Salisbury has been awarded $1,038,912 in federal funds. As a member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Mikulski fights each year to increase federal funding for the fire grants program. Senator Cardin is a member of the Finance and Budget committees.

“Now more than ever, we need to make sure that we have the first responders in place that are needed to protect our families and communities,” Senator Cardin said. “From fires to natural disasters to possible terrorist threats, communities cannot shoulder this burden alone. It is important that we provide the federal investment that is needed so communities can hire the first responders that are needed to protect us from harm.”

“I know how important this funding is to Maryland communities – often it’s the difference between life and death. First responders protect our homes and communities, and the federal government has a responsibility to protect them by providing them with the tools they need to do their jobs safer and smarter,” Senator Mikulski said. “Every day when our first responders report for duty, they don’t know what they will face. That’s why I fight every year for the staffing, equipment and training our protectors and communities deserve.”

The Salisbury Fire Department will use the grant funds to hire 12 firefighters necessary to protect residents and maintain a full staff. Due to the economic downturn, this has not been possible in two out of the three Salisbury stations in four years. For more information, please contact Chief Richard Hoppes at the Salisbury Fire Department at (410) 548-3120.

The goal of any SAFER grant is to enhance the ability of grantees to attain and maintain 24-hour staffing. The objective of the program is to award grants directly to volunteer, combination, and career fire departments to help the departments increase the number of frontline firefighters, and to rehire firefighters who were laid off due to the economy.

Since 2001, Maryland fire departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units have received more than $107 million in fire grant funding, more than $10.1 million of which has gone to fire departments and EMS units in Montgomery County.

Free Crabs This Weekend Only!

Are you the one in your group of friends who always organizes fun things to do and then gets stuck paying out more than your fair share? Let us help! This weekend, get yourself and 9 or more of your friends together and we'll take care of YOUR crabs! Here's how it works:

Organize a group of 10 or more friends (including yourself) and make a reservation in YOUR name (this is how we determine who will receive the free crabs!)
When at least 10 regular menu priced adult Entrees or All You Can Eat Specials are ordered, we will give YOU (the organizer) FREE AYCE Blue Crabs! (a savings of $33.99!)

*Only one discount per reservation, regardless of group size

*May not be combined with any other offer, discount, coupon, or promotion

*Reservation MUST be made in your name to receive discount

*Valid Friday, July 27 - Sunday, July 29

Call now for your reservation! 410.546.5443

Police: Drunk 'Martini' Tried To Run Down Officer

Ocean City Police have arrested and charged a Pennsylvania man with several counts of assault after investigators say he tried to run down an officer.

Investigators say an officer on bike patrol pulled over an SUV driven by 20-year-old Corey Martini for a traffic violation.

As the officer was speaking with Martini he noticed the smell of alcohol on the man and saw a bag of pot in the SUV, according to police.


Don't Forget The Farmers Market This Weekend

Sides Spar Over Gay Boy Scouts and Leaders

The debate continues over a decision by the Boy Scouts of America to exclude gay people from leadership positions. Now there is a petition to try and change that policy.

Zach Wahls, an Eagle Scout with two lesbian mothers, is the founder of Scouts for Equality and says he already has 130,000 signatures for the petition.

"Six hundred Eagle Scouts have spoken out against this policy to try and actually put an end to the policy of exclusion by the Boy Scouts of America" he says.


Thank God Its Friday 7-27-12

What will you be doing this weekend?

My Harassment By The TSA/Customs Gestapo

The following post is by Ed Bugos, TDV Senior Analyst... this occurred last week, on the same day that TDV Correspondent and new TDV employee, Justin O'Connell was incarcerated in Las Vegas. Is it because we are vigilantes that we continue to be cloistered and caged? We don't think so. We believe it is solely because we have an inability to cowtow and submit to "authority"... unless you do that, you will be kidnapped and questioned... as Ed was last week. Here is more...

“What kind of business are you going down to the US for, sir?” asked the customs officer.

I was coming from Vancouver, BC, Canada, and it was supposed to be just another trip. I was going to visit a mine site in Redding (owned by a private company), and a prospective mining property in Grass Valley (both in California) in some of the oldest mining districts at the request of potential investors who wanted me to vet the assets.

I wasn’t being paid for the excursion. The trip’s expenses were straight out of my pocket. Maybe it would lead to some business, maybe it wouldn’t. Chances are, it wouldn’t. That’s the risk in this business.

As we headed to the airport Sunday morning, my wife didn’t understand why I was so tense. We even argued about it a little. I told her I was worried that I’d miss my 6am flight because the TSA might detain me.

Not because I write for TDV, or because I have been a general critic of the fascist state since before Greenspan’s tech bubble. But because they detained me the last two out of three times I went to the US on business. At the airport, I even hesitated before checking off the box on my customs declaration that denoted I was visiting the US for business related reasons.

But, I thought, better tell the truth. Besides, what were the odds they would detain me again just to answer the same questions they asked last time? Boy, was I wrong.



Math is hard
Ignorance is easy

Getting a good education is hard
Not studying is easy

Saving money is hard
Spending money is easy

Delayed gratification is hard
Buying what you want today using a credit card is easy

Saving money and buying cars, clothes and electronics with cash is hard
Leasing cars and carrying credit card balances is easy

Honoring your contracts and commitments is hard
Defaulting on your obligations is easy

Accepting responsibility for your life and actions is hard
Irresponsibility and blaming others is easy

Getting married and raising a family is hard
Getting a girl pregnant and walking away is easy

Reality is hard
Delusions are easy

Planning for the future is hard
Hoping things turn out for the best is easy

Critical thinking is hard
Believing a lie is easy

Sacrificing for future generations is hard
Selfishness is easy

Freedom and liberty are hard
Dependence and an entitlement mentality are easy

Keeping our noses out of other countries’ business is hard
Telling other countries what to do at gunpoint is easy

Negotiating with countries on an equal basis is hard
Invading a country pre-emptively is easy

Living within our means is hard
Deficit spending is easy

Managing our own currency in a prudent manner is hard
Letting private bankers control our currency for their benefit is easy

Defending yourself against crime with a gun is hard
Hoping the police will keep you safe from criminals is easy

Living your life with as little state control or impact on your life is hard
Depending on the state for protection and your welfare is easy

Resisting a corrupt criminal government is hard
Passively bowing down to the state is easy

Taking care of each other is hard
Letting the government take care of others is easy

Staying healthy is hard
Getting fat and sickly is easy

Hard work is hard
Being lazy is easy

Finding a job is hard
Collecting unemployment is easy

Being honest, truthful and forthright is hard
Lying is easy

Earning trust and respect is hard
Expecting respect automatically is easy

Going to work every day for forty years is hard
Pretending to be disabled and collecting SSDI for life is easy

Holding politicians accountable is hard
Voting for the politician that promises you the most is easy

Keeping a Rebublic is hard
Allowing oligarchs to gain control over our Republic was easy

Life is hard
Tough sh!t – anything worthwhile in life is not easy

This Fourth Turning will be hard
There is no guarantee that we make it to the next First Turning where life would be easier

Police Release Photo Of Suspect & Car In Ripken Kidnapping; Reward Offered

Aberdeen Police have released a surveillance photo of the man they believe kidnapped Vi Ripken on Tuesday.

The mother of Hall of Fame shortstop Cal Ripken Jr., was abducted from her home Tuesday morning and found in her car near her home in Aberdeen Wednesday morning.

Aberdeen Police Lt. Fred Budnick would not say where or when the picture was taken, noting that was part of an ongoing investigation.


Its A Zoo Out There


Pet stores have long been under fire for selling dogs from puppy mills. After years of protestors, petitions, boycotts, and angry animal rights activists, some are starting to make serious changes. The latest trend is for retailers to shift from stocking their shelves with mistreated puppy mill pups to filling their shops with adoptable dogs from high kill animal shelters instead. Many of these transformations are being done through the help of animal advocate organizations such as Pet Connection Inc. and Best Friends.

Best Friends, a Utah-based animal sanctuary has single handedly helped almost 40 pet shops in the US to convert to adopt only stores through its Puppy Mill Initiatives program. In their stand against puppy mills and irresponsible breeding, the Best Friends Puppy Mill Initiatives program holds peaceful demonstrations in front of pet stores that sell puppy mill dogs. Representatives from the campaign strive to educate consumers about inhumane treatment of dogs in puppy mills and encourage people to adopt versus purchase pups from pet stores. Best Friends launched their first Puppy Mills Initiative program in Los Angeles in 2008 and have since expanded their efforts across the country.

Pets of Bel Air, an upscale boutique pet store in Bel Air, California, was once considered the pet store to the stars, outfitting the likes of Paris Hilton with pricey teacup Chihuahuas, before being forced to close down from allegations of selling pets from 28 separate puppy mills. With the help of Best Friend, the store is now occupied by Fresh Paws of Bel Air, which is run by Ilene Katz and Linda Massaro. The stores new owners have taken a stand against puppy mill dogs and have dedicated their retail space towards their humane business model that involves finding homes for deserving shelter dogs. The boutique adopts out dogs for a fee of $495 to $650 and gives half the cost back to the shelter or the rescue organization from which the dogs came from.



WHO: Safe Kids Lower Shore Maryland, WalMart

WHAT: FREE CHILD SAFETY SEAT CHECK. Have a certified child safety seat technician inspect your child’s safety seat for free!

WHEN: Friday, July 27, 2012
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

WHERE: WalMart
11416 Ocean Gateway
Berlin, Maryland

WHY: Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 14 and under. Each year, more than 1,700 children die and an additional 265,000 are injured as occupants of motor vehicles. Among children who were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2000, 56% were completely unrestrained.

Just Ask And I'll Respond

"Wow that was a great explanation, thank you! I'm so ready for you to become Mayor of Salisbury, I know you'll get things done! "

Md. Job Losses Cause Partisan Tussle

The conservative advocacy group Change Maryland charged Monday that “Maryland has lost more jobs so far this year than any other state in the nation according to the U.S. Department of Labor,” losing “just over 10,000 jobs since the beginning of this year.” Gov. Martin O’Malley’s press office questioned the figures, and said the organization was cherry-picking numbers to fit in with its partisan Republican agenda. Both sides in the dispute were using figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but they chose a different starting point. Using the end of December as a starting point, Maryland had only lost 1,200 jobs this year.

Continue Reading...

Legal Eagles Cry Fowl Over Politicians' Plans to Block Chick-fil-A

As Chicago became the latest city to tell Chick-fil-A it isn't welcome because its president doesn't support gay marriage, legal experts said the communities don't have a drumstick to stand on.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel became the second big-city mayor to blast the company over president Dan Cathy's comment last week that he is “guilty as charged” for supporting the traditional definition of marriage. Emanuel spoke up after Alderman Proco Joe Moreno announced he intends to block the chain from opening its second Chicago location over his stance.

But barring the popular fast-food restaurant over the personal views of Cathy is an “open and shut” discrimination case, legal scholars told


Democratic Lawsuit Challenges GOP Petition Success

The Maryland Democratic Party is challenging one of the Republican Party’s biggest successes in years. It filed a lawsuit yesterday seeking to overturn the GOP’s successful drive to put the Democrats’ congressional redistricting map on the November ballot. The suit says the online petition process developed by violates state law.

Continue Reading...

Unilever Ends Ice Cream Production in Western Md.

HAGERSTOWN, Md. - Ice cream production has ended at a Hagerstown plant that supplied Good Humor bars and other frozen goodies for nearly 30 years.

The president of the United Steelworkers local that represents 391 plant workers said Thursday that the shutdown by British-Dutch conglomerate Unilever will affect the entire community.

Larry Lorshbaugh says he'll have to travel at least 70 miles to find another employer who could use his skills as a certified pasteurizer.


Yard Sales 7-27-12

TONS of boy and girl baby items (all like new) - chicco keyfit 30 car seats, bumbos, fisher price swing, infant chairs, play mats, clothes, etc!!!! Furniture items and power tools, all priced to sell.

Saturday July 28 - 6am.
Quantico Crees Estates in Hebron (Placid Pond Dr., past Hebron carnival)

Yard Sale on Saturday July 28, 2012 at 122 Maryland Ave, Crisfield, MD at 7am.

Having a yard sale on Saturday.

Yard sale

208 Hollow Mist Drive- Salisbury6am till - rain or shine
Clothing- baby boy, toddler boy kid girl, maternity
Baby Toys
Strollers- double jogger and a snap n go
Household items
Collectables- baseball cards
Mountain bike
And much more