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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ocean City Police Chief Bernadette DiPino To Retire After 25 Years With Town of Ocean City

Ocean City Police Chief Bernadette DiPino is retiring after serving the Ocean City community for 24 years with the Ocean City Police Department.  Chief DiPino, who is a fourth generation police officer, began her career in Ocean City in 1988, after three years with the Baltimore County Police Department. 
Chief DiPino worked her way meritoriously through the Ocean City Police Department’s rank structure, being promoted to PFC in 1993, to Sgt. in 1995, to Lt. in 1998 and to Acting Chief in 2002 and Chief of Police in 2003.  She earned a Bachelor of Art’s Degree from Salisbury State University in 1995 graduating with a 3.85 grade point average and in 2011 she graduated from the elite FBI National Academy’s 204th with a 4.0 grade point average.
She has worked in every division and on every shift in the Police Department. She served as a member of the Department’s Quick Response Team (S.W.A.T.), she is a certified police instructor in the state of Maryland and teaches many topics including firearms, defensive tactics and community policing. She has been awarded sixteen commendations and has been named Officer of the Year three times. In 2007, Chief DiPino was appointed by Governor O’Malley as the Regional Representative to the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions. She also serves on the Governor’s Emergency Management Advisory Council (GEMAC) and was appointed to the commission to study the death penalty.  Most recently, she was elected president of the Maryland Chiefs Association and was appointed to the executive committee for the International Chiefs of Police.    
“I have been honored and privileged to work with so many dedicated and professional individuals in the supportive community of Ocean City,” said Chief DiPino.  The people I have worked with over the last 10 years as chief and last 24 with the OCPD have allowed me to grow and gain valuable experience. I am most proud of the officers in this agency and the command staff which I’ve appointed over the years. They are more than capable of leading and managing this department without me.”
Chief DiPino has accepted a job as the Chief of Police of the Sarasota, Florida Police Department.  “I am leaving the department with mixed emotions- excitement about a new opportunity and challenge in beautiful Sarasota, Florida, but heartfelt sadness because I will miss the department, the officers, and the citizens with whom I’ve developed so many lasting friendships. I’d like to thank all the citizens, business’, and law enforcement partners who have supported me and the OCPD over the years. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to serve this community.”

Obama Vs. Romney Gallup Poll: Oct. 17 Results

Republican nominee Mitt Romney took his biggest lead yet in today's Gallup daily tracking poll, expanding his lead over President Barack Obama to an astounding 6 points among likely voters
Today's results reflect polling from last Wednesday through yesterday, so there is no data in the aftermath of last night's debate, which went much better for the president.
But Romney also took a 2-point lead among registered voters, a measure that has been more favorable to the president in Gallup's polling. That means Romney has swung the race 7 points in that measure — before the first debate, Obama led Romney by 5 points among registered voters.
On Tuesday, Romney led Obama 50-46 among likely voters, hitting the crucial 50-percent mark for the first time in the race. 


Chesapeake Striped Bass Reproduction At Record Low

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources says the number of young striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay has hit a record low.

The Baltimore Sun reports that state officials say the decline probably resulted from unfavorable weather during spawning season.

State biologists reported Tuesday that an annual survey found the fewest number of newly spawned striped bass since the tallies began 59 years ago.


Mayor Meehan: Next Month’s Election ‘About Character’

OCEAN CITY -- While acknowledging his last term has been the most difficult of his 27-year political career, Mayor Rick Meehan pointed to his commitment to Ocean City as why he wants to continue to serve.

Meehan has been mayor since 2006, but the Nov. 6 election will be the first time he has been challenged for his mayoral seat, thanks to Nicholas Campagnoli’s filing. He said Tuesday the fact he is contested will have no bearing on how he campaigns for re-election.

In an extensive interview this week, Meehan, who was first elected as a councilman in 1985 and served 14 years as council president, explained what it was like being city manager for 10 months; why he will not vote for the general employees’ union effort; gave specific examples of how the city cut spending prior to the advent of the current council majority; and reflected on his specific concerns about government under the council majority’s leadership.

Here’s a look at the conversation:

Legislators Search For Ways To Make Agencies Fix Audit Problems

Tired of auditors finding the same problems in state agencies over and over again, legislators on the Joint Audit Committee on Tuesday kicked around proposals that would put some teeth in the law and force agencies fix the problems auditors found.

“I have been on this committee for a long time,” said Sen. John Astle, D-Anne Arundel. “I have seen a number of these repeat violations come back and the auditors come back. The agencies haven’t dealt with them and then we come back another year and they still haven’t dealt with them.”

Tackling this issue is not new to the committee. Four bills were introduced last year that dealt with the issue, but none of them got out of committee.


Government: Violent Crimes Rose 18 percent in 2011

The number of violent crimes rose by 18 percent in the United States last year while property crimes went up by 11 percent, the government reported Wednesday.

It was the first year-to-year increase for violent crime since 1993, marking the end of a long string of declines. Violent crime fell by 65 percent since 1993, from 16.8 million to 5.8 million last year.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics’ annual national crime victimization survey, the size of the percentage increases in both violent crime and property crime for last year was driven in large part by the historically low levels seen in 2010.


Lost Dog 10-17-12 UPDATE

Hello Joe. Can you please post this picture of a lost dog?  His name is Rocky. 
He is a beagle/boxer mix. He is older and very friendly. He has been missing 
since this morning. He is missing from the area of the Heather Glen neighborhood 
off Parker Road in Salisbury. He may eve be in the area of Barnsdale Drive or 
even Old Ocean City Road in Salisbury.  If located please call Sue at 443-336-4111.

Why A Balanced Budget Is Impossible In America

If the US government cut all government services except Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and interest payments, federal spending would still outpace revenues. As we noted here [3], these four mandatory items dominate costs. All the arguing over sequestration and the fiscal cliff are moot since as Professor Antony Davis notes in this brief clip, there are no specific cust that will enable government to balance the budget; in fact "nothing less than a complete redesign will solve the problem." That redesign begins with determing the proper role of government. Source

More Than $18B Spent On 'Outdated And Outlandish' Projects, Coburn Report Says

A new report on government waste released by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) shines a light on eye-popping examples of frivolous federal spending.

In all, Coburn's "Wastebook 2012" details spending on 100 government projects, programs and initiatives at a cost of $18 billion.

But aside from highlighting the bizarre government-backed projects — such as a National Science Foundation grant to construct a robotic squirrel — the report also points to potentially systemic issues affecting federal management.


Hold This

Obama White House Lists Prisoner Re-Entry Programs as Budget Priority for Black Families Only

The White House’s fiscal year 2013 budget includes $831 million for Department of Justice prisoner re-entry programs, which are designed to help inmates who have been released from prison find a job and to reduce recidivism rate.
Take a look at the Obama White House’s Office of Management and Budget, and you’ll find the program is mentioned under the fact sheet on key issues titled, “An Economy Built to Last and Security for African American Families.”
However, there is no mention of prisoner re-entry programs under any other header – not under the fact sheet on middle class families, Latino families, Asian-American families, or giving a hand up to low-income families.


Traditional marriage is undefeated at the ballot box in the U.S. but the issue is before the voters in four more states this election.
Three states will be deciding whether to legalize homosexual marriage, while Minnesota residents will be asked to approve a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of only one man and one woman.
 Right now, polls show support for the amendment barely outpacing opposition. Minnesota for Marriage spokesman Chuck Darrell told WND’s Greg Corombos he’s confident his state will defend traditional marriage.


Fox News contributor and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said Tuesday night’s presidential debate was a “boxing match,” both candidates circling around each other on a stage that even resembled a boxing ring.
“We love this stuff. This was a boxing match, this was heavyweight, this was Frazier, Ali,” Krauthammer said.
“At one point I thought they were sort of going to use their mics as weapons and it would turn into the Taiwanese Parliament where you get these fantastic fist fights,” he added.

Cancer Survivor Travels U.S. Serenading Other Patients

A cancer survivor is using personal experience and the power of song to connect with patients undergoing treatment across the country, and he visited Baltimore on Tuesday.

Charlie Lustman is an inspirational singer who travels the country like a modern-day minstrel, except his tale is one of survival. After being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, he had to have his upper jaw removed.


Bangladeshi Man Arrested After Allegedly Trying To Blow Up Fed Building in NYC

DEVELOPING: Federal authorities arrested a Bangladeshi national Wednesday morning for allegedly plotting to blow up a Federal Reserve Bank in New York City's lower Manhattan, mere blocks away from the site of the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001. The bank is one of 12 branches around the country. 
The 21-year-old suspect, Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, attempted to detonate what he thought was a 1,000-pound bomb in front of the Fed building on Liberty Street, but the device was a fake supplied to him by undercover FBI agents who had been tracking his activity, the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force said Wednesday afternoon.
The supposed explosives posed no threat to the public, the FBI said.

Michelle's Last Four Years - Lest We Forget

Debate Body Language: A Testy And Tense Exchange

Maybe it's a cliché to say the gloves came off in Tuesday's presidential debate. But then again, maybe not, since the candidates sometimes looked like they were actually about to start boxing.

It was a tense and testy exchange at New York's Hofstra University, featuring a newly energized and forceful President Barack Obama squaring off against a vigorous, stand-your-ground Mitt Romney. But the evening will also be remembered for giving the distinct impression that these candidates were liking each other less and less.

_"I thought they were going to come to blows at one point," said Jonathan Paul, director of debate at Georgetown University.
_"It looked like they were circling a boxing ring," said Lillian Glass, a body language coach in Los Angeles.
_"I started thinking, here comes the Secret Service," quipped Jerry Shuster of the University of Pittsburgh.

Cliff Dive: Companies Brace As The Fiscal Cliff Cometh

The “fiscal cliff” is now 11 weeks away. The system of automatic sharp spending cuts and tax hikes that legislators agreed to in 2011 will start to be put into effect after Dec. 31 if the US political class can’t come up with a deal that makes some incremental progress on better balancing revenue and spending. And with key metrics on the US business spending looking weak, people are starting to worry about the looming threat.
As corporate earnings season continues, well-heeled investment bankers, budget retailers and health care companies alike are laying out how they’re keeping a tight handle on inventories, spending and expansion plans until they have a better sense of how the situation in Washington will shake out. Here’s some of what corporate officials are saying, culled from transcripts of earnings calls, via FactSet’s CallStreet service.
Goldman Sachs sees muted mergers and acquisitions deals as partially due to the cliff.

Pit Bull Lawsuit In Maryland Expands

he lawsuit over pit bull ownership in Maryland expands.
Three people are now suing to overturn the Appeals Court decision ruling pit bulls inherently dangerous.
The expanded suit also names Governor Martin O’Malley, Attorney General Doug Gansler, the Court of Appeals and Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert M. Bell as defendants.

Bus Driver Cited After School Bus Strikes Seven Parked Vehicles

  • Gov. Printz Blvd. Extension at Pyramid Ave., Claymont, DE
Date of Occurrence:
  • Wednesday, October 17, 2012, at 08:06 a.m.
  • Operator 1: Jennifer Little, 50, of West Chester, PA (properly restrained, not injured)
  • Vehicle 1: 2011 Blue Bird School Bus
  • Passengers: 13 Archmere students (no injuries)
  • Vehicles 2-8: Seven parked vehicles on the east side of Gov. Printz Blvd. Extension (all unoccupied)
Claymont- A school bus driver was cited for inattentive driving after the bus she was operating struck seven parked vehicles.
Jennifer Little, 50, of West Chester, PA, was traveling north along Gov. Printz Blvd. Extension when the bus she was driving, a 2011 Blue Bird with 13 Archmere students aboard, veered to the right and struck seven cars parked along the east side of the roadway.  The bus then came to a stop in the roadway.
No one was injured in this incident. Six of the vehicles were towed due to disabling damage.  Little, who was properly restrained, was cited for inattentive driving.

Chuck Yeager Re-Enacts Sound Barrier Flight On Its 65th Anniversary

Sixty-five years after becoming the first human to fly faster than the speed of sound, retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager is still making noise.

This time the 89-year-old Yeager, who was featured in the movie "The Right Stuff," flew in the back seat Sunday of an F-15 Eagle instead of the experimental rocket plane, Bell X-1, he piloted on the historic flight.


BREAKING NEWS: Suspected Plot To Bomb Fed Bank Foiled

Bangladeshi national arrested after allegedly plotting to blow up a Federal Reserve bank in New York City..

From Fox News

Face Transplant Patient Doing Well After 7 Months

The University of Maryland Medical Center said a Virginia man who received a full-face transplant seven months ago eats primarily by mouth and can taste and smell.   

Thirty-seven-year-old Richard Lee Norris of Hillsville, Va. received the transplant in a 36-hour operation in March. It included the replacement of both jaws, teeth, tongue, and skin and underlying nerve and muscle tissue from scalp to neck.


Mexico's Drug War: 50,000 Dead In 6 Years

Since Mexico's President Felipe Calderón began an all-out assault on drug cartels in 2006, more than 50,000 people have lost their lives across the country in a nearly-continuous string of shootouts, bombings, and ever-bloodier murders. Just last weekend, 49 decapitated bodies were reportedly discovered on a highway in northern Mexico. The New York Times reports on an increasing numbness and apathy among Mexicans after years of worsening carnage, about which they've been able to do virtually nothing. Gathered here is a collection of recent photographs from Mexico's drug war and the people so horribly affected by it. [44 photos] 

Warning: All images in this entry are shown in full. There are many dead bodies; the photographs are graphic and stark. This is the reality of the situation in Mexico right now.


Promising Solution For Poultry Litter Problem

A new heat recovery system for poultry litter in use at Cottage Hill Farm may hold some promise for energy cost control for Maryland farmers and may even reap environmental benefits.

In a nutshell, the heat recovery system takes the heat the litter generates while composting and transfers it into the chicken houses, reducing the amount of propane normally used to warm the barns.

“People look at litter like a villain, and rightly so,” said Triea Systems Inc. owner Jim O’Brien. “What we do is turn it into a hero. If you can use this instead of using propane, to do what you were once doing for 70 percent less than you were once doing it, then that stuff’s a hero.”


Keeping Up Statistical Appearances

Last week, supporters of the current administration rejoiced over job numbers released by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS). For the first time since the administration came to power, the official unemployment number fell below 8%. Keynesian cheerleaders all claimed the numbers meant we are surely on the road to economic recovery, just in time for Christmas, and also, the election. Others saw
through this ruse.

The situation on the ground looks nothing like a recovery. 23 million people are still out of work or chronically underemployed. This number is expected to rise dramatically next year. The situation in Washington should not give anyone cause for optimism. Politicians refuse to look honestly and
intelligently at the cause of our economic malaise, and so real solutions are not taken seriously or acted
upon. It is much easier and less painful to simply recalculate the numbers and redefine the terms until a
rosier picture is presented. There is only blind hope that at some point, for some reason, things might
change. But nothing will change for the better if we only stay the course.

The truth is the long term solutions to our economic quagmire involve some short term pain. Re-evaluating the economic role of an institution as insidious and behemoth as the Federal Reserve will inconvenience some people, and those people happen to have a lot of power. Similarly, the idea of ending government programs and closing down superfluous departments will always upset someone because it means someone will stop getting a government check.


Dirty Shoes? How Did Steroids Get Contaminated?

Was it some moldy ceiling tiles? The dusty shoes of a careless employee? Or did the contamination ride in on one of the ingredients?

There are lots of ways fungus could have gotten inside the Massachusetts compounding pharmacy whose steroid medication has been linked to a lethal outbreak of a rare fungal form of meningitis.

The outbreak has killed at least 15 people and sickened more than 200 others in 15 states. Nearly all the victims had received steroid injections for back pain.


America's Schools: Breeding Grounds for Compliant Citizens

“[P]ublic school reform is now justified in the dehumanizing language of national security, which increasingly legitimates the transformation of schools into adjuncts of the surveillance and police state… students are increasingly subjected to disciplinary apparatuses which limit their capacity for critical thinking, mold them into consumers, test them into submission, strip them of any sense of social responsibility and convince large numbers of poor minority students that they are better off under the jurisdiction of the criminal justice system than by being valued members of the public schools.” ~ Professor Henry Giroux

For those hoping to better understand how and why we arrived at this dismal point in our nation’s history, where individual freedoms, privacy and human dignity have been sacrificed to the gods of security, expediency and corpocracy, look no farther than America’s public schools.

Once looked to as the starting place for imparting principles of freedom and democracy to future generations, America’s classrooms are becoming little more than breeding grounds for compliant citizens. The moment young people walk into school, they increasingly find themselves under constant surveillance: they are photographed, fingerprinted, scanned, x-rayed, sniffed and snooped on. Between metal detectors at the entrances, drug-sniffing dogs in the hallways and surveillance cameras in the classrooms and elsewhere, many of America’s schools look more like prisons than learning facilities.

Report: Md. Congressional Districts Among Most Spread Out in U.S.

Four of Maryland's recently redrawn congressional districts are among the 25 least-compact congressional districts in the country, according to a study expected to be released within the next week.
Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot on Tuesday condemned the districts as severely gerrymandered and urged voters to overturn them on the ballot next month.
The study, by Philadelphia geospatial analysis firm Azavea, looked at 428 districts across the country and measured their compactness four ways before averaging the scores for each district to get the final ranking. Maryland, Texas and North Carolina were the only states to have four districts in the top 25, according to Daniel McGlone, an analyst who worked on the study.

Recruiters Forged Diplomas, Threatened Arrests And Lied On Drug Tests To Get Teenagers To Enlist After 9/11

Editor's note: This is an excerpt from chapter two of "The Lonely Soldier: The Private War Of Women Serving In Iraq" by Helen Benedict. She is also the author of Sand Queen, which is based on the lives of women on both sides of the Iraq war. See more on her website
Since 9/11 and the start of the Afghanistan War, the military has been targeting schools like Mickiela's—schools in communities where jobs are scarce and the students are poor or the citizenship of immigrants—and promising glamorous careers and citizenship to those who join. But by the time Mickiela was in eleventh grade, the government had given recruiters another advantage as well: the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
The act stipulates that no public high school can qualify for federal money unless it gives the address and telephone number of every student to the military and allows recruiters access to the school. Any family that wants to keep its address private has to submit a form saying so, but most people don't know this. Once recruiters have this information, they court students like baseball scouts, calling them at home taking them out for meals, and making any promises they want. Recruiters can do this because the enlistment contract that every recruit must sign states that none of these promises have to be kept—something else most people don't know.  


Threats To Assassinate Romney Explode After Debate

Obama supporters voice desire to kill Romney over fears food stamps will be taken away

Despite numerous media outlets attempting to downplay the issue, Twitter exploded last night following the debate with new threats from Obama supporters to assassinate Mitt Romney if he defeats Obama in the presidential race.

As we reported yesterday, in addition to threats by Obama supporters to riot if Romney wins, innumerable Twitter users are also making direct death threats against Romney.

The primary reason given for Obama supporters wanting to see Romney dead is the fear that he will take away food stamps.
If the tables were turned and conservatives were making death threats against Obama in these numbers, it would be a national news story. Indeed, the mere act of hanging empty chairs from trees as a reference to Clint Eastwood’s RNC speech was hyped by the media as a deadly sign that conservatives were out to lynch black people if Obama won.

Social Security Benefits To Go Up By 1.7 Percent

More than 56 million Social Security recipients will see their monthly payments go up by 1.7 percent next year.

The increase, which starts in January, is tied to a measure of inflation released Tuesday. It shows that inflation has been relatively low over the past year, resulting in one of the smallest increases in Social Security payments since automatic adjustments were adopted in 1975.

This year, Social Security recipients received a 3.6 percent increase in benefits after getting none the previous two years.


Random Thoughts

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

Not since the days of slavery have there been so many people who feel entitled to what other people have produced as there are in the modern welfare state, whether in Western Europe or on this side of the Atlantic.

Economist Edward Lazear has cut through all of Barack Obama's claims about "creating jobs" with one plain and inescapable fact – "there hasn't been one day during the entire Obama presidency when as many Americans were working as on the day President Bush left office." Whatever number of jobs were created during the Obama administration, more have been lost.

How are children supposed to learn to act like adults, when so much of what they see on television shows adults acting like children?

The know-it-all smirks and condescending laughs of Vice President Joe Biden, when Congressman Paul Ryan was speaking during their debate, were a little much from an administration presiding over economic woes at home and disasters overseas – and being caught in lies about both. Like Barack Obama, Joe Biden has all the clever tricks of a politician and none of the wisdom of a statesman.

If you truly believe in the brotherhood of man, then you must believe that blacks are just as capable of being racists as whites are.

One of the most foolish, and most dangerous, things one can do is to take love for granted, instead of nurturing it and safeguarding it as the prize jewel of one's life.


Why Americans Who Love Authority Are More Likely to Vote Republican

It’s a truism in American politics that President Obama has a hard time appealing to white working-class voters, the assumption being that whether you support or oppose the president is a function of race and class (and, to a lesser degree, geography, since Southerners are less likely to vote for Obama).

But this demographic view of voting behavior, while not entirely wrong, fails to capture the nature of support for Obama among whites, and misses a crucial dynamic among the electorate more broadly. To a large extent, it is not class or education that explains political preferences. It is personality; specifically, the degree to which white voters believe in order and hierarchy. In fact, it turns out that plenty of less well-educated whites who tolerate ambiguity and disdain hierarchy are highly supportive of the president. Conversely, many well-off, college-educated whites who dislike ambiguity and embrace hierarchy oppose the president.


Measurable Improvements

What exactly went wrong in Germany? Thomas Jefferson had been dead for 150 years when Adolf Hitler came to power. But he would have recognized the broad outlines of the problem. Jefferson: "My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government."

Too much security turned out to be as deadly to the people who created it as to those who fought against it. Even after the Germans had surrendered, the dying continued. The Allies turned their heads as 13 million Germans were expelled from Prussia, Poland, Hungary, Rumania, Czechoslovakia, and other nations in Eastern Europe. It was not a pretty sight. The Germans call it "die Flucht"...the biggest 'ethnic cleansing' in all history. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions — mostly women, children and old men — died en route. That too, was part of the cost of Germany's 'too much' reliance on military power. Once the downside was a long way down.

But suppose the government had confined its activism to helping people rather than killing them? Suppose Heinrich Himmler put flowers in his hair and Adolf Hitler went to anger management sessions. Suppose they turned their energies from mass murder abroad to 'making a difference' at home?

Is there any limit to the good works they might have realized? Could the world ever have 'too much' improvement? Where's the downside?

You fill the tank of your car. Minutes go by as the big tank fills, with a deep gurgling sound coming from the mouth of the tank. It gets fuller and fuller, better and better. Then, you hear a different sound. The tone changes as the neck of the tank fills quickly. It is time to click the nozzle and stop.

New York's Trinity Church Forced to Cancel Halloween Fest Over Occupy Wall Street Camp

Occupy Wall Street campers have made Halloween at a church in lower Manhattan simply too scary, church officials told
Citing an “abundance of caution,” the Rev. James Cooper of Trinity Church said the Episcopal parish at Broadway and Wall Street in Manhattan has canceled it popular Halloween activities due to safety issues arising from a sidewalk encampment in front of the place of worship.
“Canceling a beloved family event is not a decision taken lightly,” Cooper said in a statement issued Sunday. “Last year, more than 1,200 people took part. However, we are deeply concerned about the escalating illegal and abusive activity the camp presents.”

How Obamacare Is Costing My "Middle-Class" Family More In 2013

Obama’s medical insurance legislation that was first billed as not being a “tax” (hilarious given the number of “fees” and “surcharges” it levies; even the Surpreme Court could not pass up the opportunity to classify it as such), and also claimed that the plan would be “revenue neutral” (which it clearly won’t be if you look out a few years) also gave the impression that the costs would be primarily borne by business and the rich. Well, middle class Americans are bearing quite a burden as well, regardless of what you read in the ever-adoring mainstream media. See, in anticipation of the pending legislation, healthcare costs have skyrocketed leading into and shortly after it’s passage. It’s hard to believe, by my insurance costs (company sponsored by a large blue-chip) zoomed by 43% this year. Unbelievable huh?
Now, some critics will say that the cost increases had nothing to do with Obamacare and that they were increasing before hand. While I don’t think that is the case, let’s check out some of the other non-plan related hard costs our family is seeing since its passage. We make well less than the $250,000 per year that Obama calls the top of the middle class, so I’m not being hit with some of the surcharges and fees that more wealthy Americans are. But here are a few spots where I’m paying more out of pocket for medical coverage than I would have prior to Obamacare:

Will Obama Strike Libya In Delayed Pre-election War?

Speaking on conditions of anonymity, four administration officials have commented that they are actively seeking a target and readying strike forces and drones as retribution for the Sept 11 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi. As AP reports [4], if the administration does find a target, officials say it still has to weigh whether the short-term payoff of exacting retribution on al-Qaida is worth the risk that such strikes could elevate the group's profile in the region, alienate governments the U.S. needs to fight the group in the future and do little to slow the growing terror threat in North Africa. The efforts show the tension of the White House's need to demonstrate it is responding forcefully to al-Qaida, balanced against its long-term plans to develop relationships and trust with local governments and build a permanent U.S. counterterrorist network in the region. The verbal rhetoric is escalating from Biden's last year comment that "if you do harm to America, we will track you to the gates of hell if need be." to "If America hits us, I promise you that we will multiply the Sept. 11 attack by 10," said Oumar Ould Hamaha, a spokesman for the Islamists in northern Mali. U.S. officials say covert action is more likely.


In Another Blow For "Green Industry" A123 Files For Bankruptcy After Collecting Hundreds Of Millions In Government Grants

That troubled battery-maker A123 has just filed for bankruptcy (and no, in this case bankruptcy is not equal with deleveraging) should not be news to anyone who has followed the US government subsidized trainwreck of a company (especially since as we updated yesterday [8]it was known it would miss its bond payment today). Well actually we take that back. The bankruptcy may come as a surprise to the president. Recall that Obama called A123 Chief Executive Officer David Vieau and then-Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm during a September 2010 event celebrating the opening of the plant in Livonia, Michigan, that the company received the U.S. grant to help build. Surprise and epic humiliation that is. "This is about the birth of an entire new industry in America -- an industry that’s going to be central to the next generation of cars," Obama said in the phone call, according to a transcript provided by the White House. "When folks lift up their hoods on the cars of the future, I want them to see engines and batteries that are stamped: Made in America." Needless to say if the car is a flaming Fisker Karma or Chevy Volt, the hoods may be too hot to lift but that's another story. Most importantly, it will come as a big loss to the firm's equity holders (who have already lost their entire investment so hardly a surprise) creditors, who will likely be wiped out almost entirely (listed below), but most importantly US taxpayers, who funded the firm not on one occasion as conventional wisdom will have it, but with four distinct Federal and State agency grants, as is highlighted in the first day motion affidavit by David Pyrstash in support of the Chapter 11 petition.
Some more [9]on the actual bankruptcy:
A123 Systems Inc. (AONE), a maker of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for electric cars, filed for bankruptcy after failing to make a debt payment that was due yesterday.
The company listed assets of $459.8 million and debt of $376 million as of Aug. 31 in Chapter 11 documents filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.

The bankruptcy filing may fuel further political debate over government financing of alternative-energy and transportation businesses. Federal grants and loans to companies including A123, Fisker Automotive Inc. and Tesla Motors Inc. have drawn scrutiny from congressional Republicans following the September 2011 bankruptcy filing of solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC two years after it received a $535 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Energy Department.

Electric-vehicle sales since 2011 totaled fewer than 50,000 through September, just 5 percent of Obama’s target to have 1 million such vehicles on U.S. roads by 2015.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said last month that Obama has picked “losers” for alternative-energy loans and grants. His running mate, Paul Ryan, has called for all green-energy subsidies to be eliminated.

A123 has posted at least 14 straight quarterly losses. Its shares have fallen 85 percent this year to 24 cents at yesterday’s close in New York and traded at 16 cents at 8:29 a.m. before the start of regular trading.