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Thursday, December 06, 2012

Unfortunate Update On Brooke Mulford

Worst Fears

Written 3 hours ago by Amy MulfordThis is the journal update that I hoped to never have to give...Brooke's scans confirmed yesterday that she has relapsed with Neuroblastoma. There is no cure for relapsed Neuroblastoma and the treatment plan will be to prolong her life as long as possible...A miracle is the only thing that can save my baby girl. Please pray for that miracle. I can not bear the thought of life without her...she is my entire world. There is nothing fair about this...Brooke is the sweetest, kindest and most loving little girl that ever walked this planet. She is pure joy...

The light of Jesus shines through her in all that she does. She loves life like no other. How and why is this happening??? There's so much I want to say about her but I can't because this is killing me and she is sitting across from me right now and I can't bear for her to see the pain that I am in...
I will stick to telling you the events of the past 2 days:

Tues we arrived for CT scan and it was chaotic as usual...took two hours before they gave her the contrast to drink and to make matters worse she was not feeling well with a tummy ache. It took her 3 hours to not even get through the first bottle of contrast and then she threw it all up. They told her to stop drinking and they would just do the scan. It was a long exhausting day.

We arrived Wed morning at 9:00, registration was fast and we were taken right back to get started. This is rare so I thought it was a good sign and we were going to have a good day...smooth sailing. Typically I watch the monitors while she is being scanned but every time I peeked there was nothing for me to see. The scan ended after 45 min and the tech walked out of the room so I went and took another peek and clear as day I saw a spot lit up on her spine...I knew what I was seeing was relapse...and a few minutes later the tech came back in and said they were going to the spec scan (which they only use if there is a problem so that confirmed my fear). They started the spec scan immediately and it lasted an hour. I had to keep leaving the room so that Brooke would not hear me crying...I knew...

We had plans to meet our friends Lisa and Robyn (Robyn came to CHOP from England for the immunotherapy clinical trial that Brooke was in back in 09/10 and relapsed a year later and is now back at CHOP) at POD for a sushi lunch. Brooke was starving when she finished the second scan and still wanted to go and I was still trying to act like nothing was wrong but I think she knew as well...

While at lunch, I sent Dr. Weiser and email. I told him I saw the spot...I know what it is...please make sure Brooke is in the clinic playroom before you see me in the treatment room. I did not want her to witness what I knew would be my breakdown...

After lunch we headed back to CHOP (with Brooke in the clinic playroom making snowflakes) and Dr. Weiser walked through door into the treatment room and he and I both broke down...He loves Brooke so much and I know that giving me that news was almost as brutal for him as it was for me to hear it confirmed...

When Brooke was first diagnosed it was like being the whole deer in the headlights thing. You have no idea what is going on and you can't even begin to process it all. This time around I am all too aware of NB and what relapse means...

I had a glimmer of hope at least the first time around and I held on to that with every ounce of my being...the only hope now rests in a miracle.

For now, Dr. Weiser will meet with all of the NB greats at CHOP and brainstorm to see what options are out there and what they think will be best for Brooke. They have sent out her original tumor from 4 years ago for further testing. Hopefully the results will be back by next week and Brooke and I will head back to CHOP on Wed or Thurs.

As I laid awake all night holding onto my baby for dear life, I decided that in the time that she has left, I am going to make sure that every dream she has comes true. We will go everywhere and do everything...Last time around I didn't want to ask anyone for anything or ask for help...this time around I don't give a damn about that - I just want to make sure that she lives every day with the same joy she has now and then some. Nothing else matters...If you think of an experience that Brooke might enjoy - let me know!

Time to head back to Salisbury...please pray and ask everyone you know to pray for that miracle.

Amy

George Zimmerman Sues NBC Over Edited 911 Tape

George Zimmerman is suing NBC over its editing of a 911 tape, claiming that the network made him sound like a "racist and predatory villain."

On Thursday, Zimmerman filed a complaint alleging, “NBC News saw the death of Trayvon Martin not as a tragedy but as an opportunity to increase ratings, and so set about to create the myth that George Zimmerman was a racist and predatory villain.”

He is suing for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and seeks unspecified damages as well as a trial by jury. The news was announced on GZvsNBC.com, a website established by Zimmerman's legal representatives on their client's behalf.

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This Day In History Dec 6th 1884


Washington Monument Completed

On this day in 1884, in Washington, D.C., workers place a nine-inch aluminum pyramid atop a tower of white marble, completing the construction of an impressive monument to the city's namesake and the nation's first president, George Washington. As early as 1783, the infant U.S. Congress decided that a statue of George Washington, the greatRevolutionary War general, should be placed near the site of the new Congressional building, wherever it might be. After then-President Washington asked him to lay out a new federal capital on the Potomac River in 1791, architect Pierre L'Enfant left a place for the statue at the western end of the sweeping National Mall (near the monument's present location).

It wasn't until 1832, however--33 years after Washington's death--that anyone really did anything about the monument. That year, a private Washington National Monument Society was formed. After holding a design competition and choosing an elaborate Greek temple-like design by architect Robert Mills, the society began a fundraising drive to raise money for the statue's construction. These efforts--including appeals to the nation's schoolchildren--raised some $230,000, far short of the $1 million needed. Construction began anyway, on July 4, 1848, as representatives of the society laid the cornerstone of the monument: a 24,500-pound block of pure white marble.

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Fiscal Cliff Could Bring Paycheck Scramble


The longer Congress waits to avoid the fiscal cliff, the more complicated it will be for businesses to figure out how much to pay workers early next year.

The confusion poses the biggest threat to the nation's 27 million small businesses, because the vast majority do their own payroll. That means they'll have to understand what Congress decides and calculate the changes fast.

And the nation's leading payroll group warned on Wednesday that time is running out.

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Study: Natural Gas Exports Would Help Economy

Exporting natural gas would benefit the U.S. economy even if it led to higher domestic prices for the fuel, according to a study commissioned by the Energy Department.

The study was commissioned to help guide officials as they decide whether to approve 15 liquefied natural gas export applications now under review by the department. The report’s findings could push the department to approve some or all of the applications.

Companies are hoping to export U.S. natural gas because it is cheaper by at least half than natural gas in Europe and Asia.

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Governor Martin O'Malley Signs Proclamations Declaring Results Of November 6, 2012 Election Official

Key Point: At 10:15 this morning, Governor Martin O'Malley signed proclamations declaring the results of the election for measures submitted for voter approval. Based on election returns, Governor O'Malley declared by proclamation that a majority of votes were cast in favor of three constitutional amendments, three referendums by petition - Questions 4, 5, and 6 - and one statewide ballot question.

DHS Grants 'Like Winning The Lottery' For state, Local Officials

America is prepared if pumpkin-starved zombies that can only be killed with flavored snowballs invade, thanks to billions of dollars in federal grants to harden the homeland against terror attacks.

What's not clear is whether the United States is any better protected against more conventional attacks by actual humans using guns, bombs or chemical weapons, according to report on wasteful spending of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) money issued today by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.

DHS has spent $35 billion since 2003 on grants to help state and local governments prevent and respond to terrorist attacks. Money flowed through up to 17 different programs with few standards as to what would qualify.

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House Committee Purge May Continue As Boehner Tightens Grip


(Reuters) - U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner's purge of some dissident Republican congressmen from key committees may continue as he seeks to tighten control over his unruly caucus ahead of difficult votes on "fiscal cliff" issues.
House Republican lawmakers said on Wednesday that in addition to the four conservatives who were stripped of their committee assignments earlier this week, other unnamed lawmakers were warned that their votes need to be more in line with party leadership and committee chairmen.
In effect, these congressmen are not "team players" working constructively with committee colleagues and leadership, Representative Pat Tiberi, a close Republican ally of Boehner from his home state of Ohio, told Reuters. Gone are the days when a lawmaker could expect "to stay on a committee forever," Tiberi said.
"This is not golf. This is baseball. You're part of a team," he added.

Homeland Security Grant Spending Questioned

The Homeland Security Department paid for an underwater robot in a Midwest city with no major rivers or lakes nearby, a hog catcher in rural Texas and a fish tank in a small Texas town, according to a new congressional report highlighting what it described as wasteful spending of tax money intended for counterterrorism purposes.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said in his 54-page report that while much of the spending for the department's Urban Area Security Initiative appeared to be allowed under the program's rules, it was still inappropriate in an age of budget austerity and as the federal government faces a $16 trillion national debt.

"Every dollar misspent in the name of security weakens our already precarious economic condition, indebts us to foreign nations, and shackles the future of our children and grandchildren," Coburn said.

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UNBALANCED APPROACH: GOVERNMENT WORKERS WORK LESS AND EARN MORE

Analysis of government versus private sector pay and work hours suggests bureaucrats get more money for less work.

Andrew Biggs of the American Enterprise Institute and Jason Richwine of the Heritage Foundation have recently taken a look at two issues related to public sector pay, compensation and hours worked. What they find is that government workers work about one month less in a given year and earn more than comparably skilled workers in the private sector.

A summary of their findings on compensation were published by the Washington Post last month. Biggs and Richwine were responding to claims that public sector employees earn 35 percent less than their private sector counterparts. However, these comparisons are badly misleading.

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Heads Roll After Fast And Furious Investigation

Heads are beginning to roll nearly two years after the Fast and Furious gunwalker scandal first came to light. William McMahon, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) official who was in charge of field operations during the controversial operation, has been fired, according to his attorney Mark Zaid who told CBS News "we will be appealing the decision."

Other ATF managers reportedly face similar fates, and announcements could be made soon, though neither they nor their attorneys would confirm it.

They are: Mark Chait, who was ATF's assistant director for field operations; Bill Newell, who was ATF's Special Agent in Charge of Phoenix; and George Gillett, Newell's second in command. Chait's attorney David Laufman stated in an email: "Mr. Chait has not been advised of any adverse finding or recommendation by the Professional Review Board at ATF, and any such action would be utterly without merit."

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Fifty-Seven Percent Of Mexican Immigrants On Welfare

A report by the Center for Immigration Studies (www.cis.org) reveals some startling figures about welfare use by families headed by immigrants.

“In 2010, 36 percent of immigrant-headed households used at least one major welfare program (primarily food assistance and Medicaid) compared to 23 percent of native households,” summarizes the document which was published by the Center for Immigration Studies and examines a wide variety of topics relating to immigration. Click HERE to read the full report.

The document breaks down the immigrant families by country of origin and gives specific types of welfare and percentages of the families that used it in 2010. An average fewer than 23 percent of native households use some type of “welfare” which is specifically defined in the study. 36 percent of households headed by immigrants use some type of welfare. Families headed by immigrants from specific countries or areas of the world range from just over 6 percent for those immigrants from Great Britain to more than 57 percent of those from Mexico using some type of welfare.

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War On Terrorism Spurs House To Grant Presidents Secret Service Protection For Life

Two decades ago, with the Cold War receding and the world looking like a much less dangerous place, Congress passed a bill canceling former presidents’ Secret Service protection 10 years after they left office, beginning with George W. Bush.

But now, with the war on terrorism presenting new dangers and presidents taking more active roles around the globe, the House did an about-face Wednesday, voting to restore life-long Secret Service protection to all ex-presidents.

“The increased mobility and youth of still-living former presidents, coupled with the national security threat posed to post-9/11 leaders who were instrumental in the war on terror, necessitates protection for life, as has been the case since the 1960s,” said Rep. Trey Gowdy, the South Carolina Republican who is sponsoring the bill.

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Poll: Americans Favor Legalization of Marijuana 51-44 Percent

Americans favor the legalization of marijuana 51 to 44 percent, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday morning.

The poll showed a substantial gender and age gap on the issue:

-- Men favored legalization 59 to 36 percent, but women opposed it, 52 to 44 percent.

-- Americans 18 to 29 years old support legalization 67 to 29 percent, while those over 65 years oppose it, 56 to 35 percent.

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Ryan: US Could Give Every Poor American a Check for $20,000 With The Money Spent On Welfare Last Year

Former Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Tuesday that over a trillion dollars was spent on welfare programs last year, and for that amount, “you could give every single poor American a check for $20,000.”

“Just last year, total federal and state spending on means-tested programs came to over one trillion dollars. What does that mean in practical terms? For that amount of money, you could give every single poor American a check for $20,000 – every man, woman and child,” said Ryan in a speech at the Jack Kemp Award ceremony.

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The End Of The Free Internet?


Until now, the work of the U.N. negotiators pondering how to regulate the Internet has been shrouded in secrecy. But as 1,950 delegates from 193 countries gather this week in Dubai to consider 900 proposals to regulate the Internet, their game is becoming clear.

The Russian-educated head of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the U.N. body seeking to control the Internet, Dr. Hamadoun Toure says: “the brutal truth is that the Internet remains largely [the] rich world’s privilege.” He adds, “The ITU wants to change that.”

Here’s how:

The ITU wants to force companies — and eventually their users (us) — to pay for streaming video. The proposal is called “pay to stream” or “a quality based model.” According to the BBC, “This would see firms face charges if they wanted to ensure streamed video and other quality-critical content download without the risk of problems such as jerky images.” 
Presumably the revenues from this Internet tax would go to building up Net infrastructure in the less developed world. And, undoubtedly, the cost will be passed onto the users throughout the world — including you!

But building up the Net’s third-world infrastructure is not the real agenda here. It’s a facade.

Illinois Spent $2.26M on Cable TV For Prisons

The Illinois Department of Corrections spent approximately $2.26 million on cable TV subscriptions for its prison facilities in 2010-2012, according to the Illinois Policy Institute.

Through a Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA), the Illinois Policy Institute determined that the Illinois Department of Corrections spent $2,261,009 on cable television for prison inmates between specifically July 2010 and June 2012.

Popular channels in TV subscriptions included MTV, CMT, Fox Sports, ESPN, Lifetime, BET, the Home Shopping Network, Speed and Spike TV.

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Delaware Farmers' Markets Post Record Sales For 2012 Season


DOVER – Delaware’s farmers’ markets sold nearly $2 million in fresh produce and other goods this season, a new record for the rapidly-growing community-run market program, First Lady Carla Markell visits the Cool Spring Farmers' Market.according to the Delaware Department of Agriculture.
“Our farmers’ markets are a great symbol of how communities can shape their local economy and support our farmers and businesses,” said Gov. Jack Markell. “My family enjoys many items from Delaware farms and farmers’ markets, and is happy to join in celebrating this banner year.”
The 29 markets sold $1.96 million worth of goods during the 2012 season, with produce making up 57 percent of the total sales, or $1.1 million. Other sales included value-added products, such as meats, cheeses, jellies, breads, salsa, eggs or honey.
The record sales figures and the record number of markets this year show that Delaware agriculture has a strong place in the hearts of residents, said Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee.
“Farmers’ markets benefit both farmers and consumers by bringing neighbors together,” Kee said. “Those connections are stronger this year than ever before, thanks to a growing interest in local foods and healthy eating, and we want to help forge more of those bonds in the future.”

Citigroup To Cut 11K Jobs

NEW YORK — Citigroup said Wednesday that it will cut 11,000 jobs, a bold early move by new CEO Michael Corbat. The cuts amount to about 4 percent of Citi’s workforce of 262,000.

The bulk of the cuts, about 6,200, will come from Citi’s consumer banking unit, which handles everyday functions like branches and checking accounts.

Less than 1 percent of Citi’s 3,600 employees in Maryland will be affected, the Baltimore Sun reported, but the Glen Burnie branch will close, the Baltimore Business Journal said.

Citi said that it will sell or scale back consumer operations in Pakistan, Paraguay, Romania, Turkey and Uruguay and focus on 150 cities around the world “that have the highest growth potential in consumer banking.”

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The Delaware Office of Highway Safety Announces Results Of Phone In One Hand. Ticket In The Other


Dover, DE – Delaware law enforcement recently concluded the first wave of their tough new high visibility distracted driving enforcement campaign, Phone in One Hand. Ticket in the Other., and the results are in.
The Office of Highway Safety announced today that between November 7th and 20th, 1,830 drivers were stopped and given distracted driving citations.
“The State issued a total of 1,830 citations during this distracted driving enforcement initiative. We are particularly proud of our law enforcement partners throughout the State who joined with us to send a strong message about the dangers of distracted driving and for the excellent job they did in protecting the citizens of this State. Some police agencies including Greenwood, Newport, Oceanview and Smyrna made an average of more than one arrest an hour,” said Lewis D. Schiliro, Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security.
Even with the success of the first distracted driving campaign, not everyone observed the strong warnings.  The Delaware Office of Highway Safety and all Delaware law enforcement agencies plan to continue their efforts to reduce distracted driving.
“As we complete our first wave of Phone in One Hand. Ticket in the Other., we are beginning to see our message get through to Delaware drivers,” said Jana Simpler, Director of the Delaware Office of Highway Safety. “But we are committed to saving lives on Delaware roadways, and drivers should expect to continue to see us enforcing distracted driving laws time and time again.”
The Phone in One Hand. Ticket in the Other. is a year-long enforcement campaign to reduce distracted driving on Delaware’s roadways. The next special enforcement wave will be conducted in 2013.
Distracted driving consists of any non-driving activity a person engages in that has the potential to distract him or her from the primary task of driving.
Nationally in 2010, 3,092 people were killed, and an estimated 416,000 others were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.

House Approves Resolution To Keep Internet Control Out Of UN Hands

The House on Wednesday unanimously passed a Senate resolution introduced by Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) that calls on the U.S. government to oppose United Nations control of the Internet.

The 397-0 vote is meant to send a signal to countries meeting at a U.N. conference on telecommunications this week. Participants are meeting to update an international telecom treaty, but critics warn that many countries’ proposals could allow U.N. regulation of the Internet.

"The 193 member countries of the United Nations are gathered to consider whether to apply to the Internet a regulatory regime that the International Telecommunications Union created in the 1980s for old-fashioned telephone service," Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said on the House floor. 

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New Bill Would Take Income-Based Student Loan Payments Straight From Your Paycheck

Student Loan debt in the U.S. recently crossed the $1 trillion mark, with a good chunk of that owed to the U.S. government. In an attempt to streamline the whole process, a soon-to-be-introduced bill would replace the current system of debt collection with automatic payroll deductions tied to the borrower’s income.

Similar systems are already in place in the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand, and Wisconsin Representative Tom Petri plans to introduce the idea to Congress as soon as this week, reports Bloomberg.

Rather than paying huge fees to third-party bill collectors, the government would debit borrowers’ paychecks at an amount capped at 15% of income after basic living expenses.

SPD Press Release 12-06-12



A U.S. Marshal Arrested

A U.S. Marshal has been arrested and charged with blowing a federal agent's cover. Federal prosecutors say Lucio Osbaldo Moya showed a picture of an undercover agent to coworkers to find out his identity. He then shared that information with his father, who was a drug dealer. The undercover agent had to be pulled and the father has since been sent to prison. Moya's attorney claims he didn't know his dad was a drug dealer. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

Your Federal Tax Dollars Are Being Used To Prepare For The Zombie Apocalypse


The above film clip is not a “behind the scenes” of the latest Dawn of the Dead straight-to-DVD ripoff. It is the actual footage of first responder seminar in San Diego, California. The Department of Homeland Security deemed the event an allowable expense, enabling participants to use federal grant funding to pay to go.

That’s according to “Safety at Any Price: Assessing the Impact of Homeland Security Spending in U.S. Cities” a report compiled by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who chairs the investigations subcommittee of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. The report focuses on grants made by the DHS and the Urban Areas Security Initiative. Coburn says the report shows that DHS was “directing scarce dollars to low-priority project and low-risk areas.”

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Senate Passes Bill Ignoring Obama Veto

The Senate has unanimously passed a 2013 defense authorization bill, ignoring a veto threat by President Obama. It would give members of the military a 1.7 percent raise. It would also cut tens of thousands of civilian jobs in the Defense Department, and it would speed up the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. The bill authorizes a smaller increase in Defense spending than has occurred in the last several years. The sticking point with the White House is a provision limiting the president's power to move terror detainees out of the prison at Guantanamo Base, Cuba. Now the Senate must reconcile with the House version.

The Image Speaks For Itself


Former Texas Congressman Jack Brooks Died

The legendary former Texas Congressman Jack Brooks has died at 89. First elected in 1952, he spent 42 years in Congress. Brooks, a Democrat, was a close ally of the long-serving Speaker Sam Rayburn and of Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson. Brooks left a huge mark on federal contracting as the sponsor of the Brooks Act, which increased competition in contracts for computers. He was also a principal sponsor of the Inspectors General Act and of the bill which created the Education Department. Brooks was riding in the Dallas motorcade when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. 

DREAM Advocates Fight For Federal Law

DREAM Act advocates saw their efforts come to fruition when residents upheld a state version of the law on Election Day, but their battle hardly stops there.

Supporters on the campus said now that they have cleared the first hurdle, they hope to push into law the federal Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, which would provide undocumented students a pathway to citizenship if they pursue a college degree or serve in the military.

“It’s great that the state has been able to have such great changes,” said sophomore Diana Villatoro-Sancho, the public relations vice president for the Latino Student Union. “But it’s also important to not just move onto a national level, but to slowly move out of the borders of Maryland.”

The state DREAM Act’s passage means undocumented immigrants who have completed 60 community college credits, attended a state high school for at least three years and proven they or their parents have filed state taxes for at least three years will be eligible to pay in-state tuition rates at public institutions.

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Pay Raises

A federal coalition is launching a pre-emptive strike against further cuts to pay and benefits. The Federal-Postal Coalition represents 25 unions and associations. It's taken out a full-page ad in today's Politico newspaper. In it, the coalition says the government has cut more than $100 billion from federal employees' compensation over a decade. It points out that feds haven't gotten a pay raise in nearly three years. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said federal compensation reform should be part of a deficit-reduction package.

Agencies Threatened With Budget Cuts For Repeat Audit Problems

Legislators hope to put more teeth into repeat audit findings of problems in state agencies. The Maryland General Assembly’s Joint Audit Committee agreed Tuesday to recommend that House and Senate budget committees and subcommittees consider cuts to administrative funding for agencies that have four or more repeat findings in consecutive audits.

The cuts would not affect programs run by agencies but would be strictly targeted toward administration. The committee hopes that its recommendations to the budget committees and Department of Legislative Services to include repeat audit findings in budget analyses will provide an enforcement tool for the Office of Legislative Audits.

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DEATH SPIRAL STATES


Lots of data lately about the taker/producer ratios in the U.S. Nationally, there are 1.2 people working and paying taxes (or not) in the private sector for every welfare recipient and/or government employee. But some states, there are more FSA/government employees than actual workers in the private sector. Not surprisingly, these are considered “death spiral” states, because they are functionally, if not literally, insolvent. When takers extract more money than people pay in, the state is bankrupt.
I happen to live in one of these states. Terrifying to say the least. All this talk about “getting out of dodge”. If property taxes, and state taxes in general, are so high, people won’t/can’t buy your house or afford to relocate. No lifeboats for us people damned to living in a death spiral state.
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The 11 “Death Spiral” States
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/04/2012
Eleven states made Forbes’ list of danger spots for investors including California, New York, Illinois, and Ohio. They warned (and with the cliff it is even more critical), if you have muni bonds in these states – clean up your portfolio; if your career takes you there – rent, don’t buy! Two factors determine their list of ‘fiscal hellholes’. The first is whether there are more takers (someone who draws money from the government) than makers (the gainfully employed). The second is a state credit-worthiness score (via Conning) based on large debts, uncompetitive business climates, weak home prices, and bad trends in employment. Conning rates North Dakota the safest state to lend money to, Connecticut the most hazardous. A state qualifies for the Forbes’ death spiral list if its taker/maker ratio exceeds 1.0 and it resides in the bottom half of Conning’s ranking. See below for the 11 states to avoid…no matter what Bob Toll, Larry Yun, Bob Pisani, or Alexandra Lebenthal tells you..

OBAMA JOB


Why work when Obama will provide?

School Zone Speed Cameras - East Main Street

All – School Zone Speed Cameras have now been installed on East Main Street from DeVage’s to WI Middle.

Headed Toward the 11th Hour Compromise


As the year draws to an end, America faces yet another congressionally-manufactured crisis which will likely end in yet another 11th hour compromise, resulting in more government growth touted as "saving" the economy. While cutting taxes is always a good idea, setting up a ticking time bomb with a sunset provision, as the Bush tax cuts did, is terrible policy. Congress should have just cut taxes. But instead, we have a crisis that is sure not to go to waste.

The hysteria surrounding the January 1 deadline for the Budget Control Act's spending cuts and expiration of the Bush tax cuts seems all too familiar. Even the language is predictably hysterical: if government reduces planned spending increases by even a tiny amount, the economy will go over a "fiscal cliff." This is nonsense.

This rhetoric is based on the belief that government spending sustains the economy, when in fact the opposite is true. Every dollar the government spends is a dollar taken from consumers, businessmen, or investors. Reducing spending can only help the economy by putting money back in the hands of ordinary Americans. Politicians who claim to support the free market and the lower- and middle-class should take this to heart.

The reality is, however, that neither Republicans nor Democrats are serious about cutting spending. Even though US military spending is exponentially larger than any other country and is notorious for its inefficiency and cost overruns, Republicans cannot seem to stomach even one penny of cuts to the Pentagon's budget. This is unfortunate because this is the easiest, most obvious place to start getting spending under control. The military-industrial complex and unconstitutional overseas military interventions should be the first place we look for budget cuts.

Similarly, Democrats are digging in their heels on not cutting any welfare or entitlement spending and instead propose to fix the deficit by raising taxes on the rich, even though the US Government already has a progressive tax code and the rich already pay more than their fair share. Furthermore, these higher taxes would fall on small business owners, investors and entrepreneurs − in other words, the source of economic growth and new jobs!

Mayor Jim Ireton About To Start Name Calling Again


Against Salisbury City Council's wishes, Mayor Jim Ireton released information today stating he wants to put up for bid RFP's on the old Fire Station 16 and the majority of Downtown Parking Lots.

First of all, this is a slap in Palmer Gillis' face, if you ask me. Nevertheless, he'll have to deal with that when the time comes.

More importantly, he states in his press release that he knows he's doing this against their wishes but claimes he has the right to do it anyway.

OK, here's why he's doing what he's done. First of all, the Press will once again run at full speed attacking the Council when they say NO and call them the Council of No's once again. Even though this has been shot down, Jim has always brought forth proposals like this beating a dead horse in the hopes of getting Debbie Campbell off the Council, he will fail miserably. 

Instead, the "Council of Knows" (yes, I spelled that correctly) will use their wisdom to deny these proposals again until AFTER the upcoming election in April. Who knows, perhaps someone else will get elected with an entirely new vision for Downtown. 

Jim Ireton told me back during the Salisbury Festival that IF he were to get his 500 section 8 housing units complete Downtown he will NOT run again. So why is Jim so hell bent on completing a special interest project BEFORE he's done as Mayor? Perhaps the special interest statement is exactly what it is? 

Think about it. In every discussion I've ever had about surplussing the parking lots for 500 section 8 housing units, (or whatever Jim wants to call it today) each and every person said the man is crazy. Not one person I have spoken to likes the idea. In fact, every one agrees it will destroy ANY further hope of revitalizing Downtown for good. 

Again, it is my belief Jim Ireton wants to let the world know that when he is told NO, he doesn't have to listen. Clearly Jim likes to put children in time out but he's never been placed there himself, as his actions have proven such. 

IF Jim Ireton runs again for Mayor, you might want to keep a VERY close eye on these projects because in reality Jim Ireton cannot afford to run for Mayor again. He's only being paid part time by the Board of Education and he only makes $25,000.00 a year as Mayor. He can barely afford his mortgage and car payment and he told me this face to face during the Salisbury Festival. 

Today's Fill In The Blank 12-6-12

I think _____& _____ will run for President in 2016.

Smoking Makes Your Hangover Worse

Do know people that always seek out a cigarette when they are drinking? 
Well, a new study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs claims that these puffs may be making their hangover worse.
"At the same number of drinks, people who smoke more that day are more likely to have a hangover and have more intense hangovers," study researcher Damaris J. Rohsenow, of Brown University, said in a press release.

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Their Proper Name

Ask any lawyer about the importance of being precise – or evasive – with language. Alexander Hamilton and his federal supremacists understood. So did railroad lawyer and slave-not-freer Abe Lincoln. (For those who didn’t know, Abe only “freed” slaves he had no power to liberate – in the Confederate States. Slaves under his control – including slaves held by his chief warlord U.S. Grant, remained most un-free for the duration of the war.) Bill Clinton was a masterful practitioner of the Art of Word (I did not have sexwith that woman…). Which, by certain Talmudic parsings, he didn’t. Not exactly. Wiggle room, you see. Of a piece with Hamilton’s brilliant flim-flam about the “general welfare.”

That is how it is done.
To undo it, there must be a rebirth of what they called in cowboy flicks, straight-talking. Calls things by their proper name – and challenge those who don’t or won’t. Make them say what they mean – openly. If you fail to do so, you’ve accepted their terms.
Which means, they’ve already won. Ask any progressive.
Or just wait. He’ll soon be “asking” you to “help.”
Most people are innocent victims of verbal (and written) rights-rape. For example, public schools. Well, no – they’re not. Yes, they are “open” to the public – in the sense that the public is forced at gunpoint to send its children to them. Which gives us a clue as to the proper name that ought to be used in every instance of discussion: Government schools. It is what they are, in plain, direct – and thus, honest – language. Nothing less. Which of course is why honest language is not generally used to describe them. Because that might get people thinking along certain  lines. “Public” sounds so much… friendlier. Free, almost – a vicious irony if ever there was. You’re not free to decline to pay for them (even if you don’t use them). And most kids are certainly not free to not attend them. Very much what you’d expect of a government school. Because the essential attribute of government is coercion – force. The thing that must never be openly stated – but always euphemized.

Great Dance Routine: James Cagney And Bob Hope

Today's Advertiser Of The Day 12-6-12


Economic Stimulus

Sometime this year, we taxpayers will again receive another 'Economic Stimulus' payment.

This is indeed a very exciting program, and I'll explain it by using a Q & A format:

Q. What is an 'Economic Stimulus' payment ?

A. It is money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.

Q.. Where will the government get this money ?

A. From taxpayers.

Q. So the government is giving me back my own money ?

A. Only a smidgen of it.

Q. What is the purpose of this payment ?

A. The plan is for you to use the money to purchase a high-definition TV set, thus stimulating the economy.

Q. But isn't that stimulating the economy of China ?

A. Shut up.

A Very Late Start For The Board of Public Works

The bimonthly meetings of Board of Public Works in the Governor’s Reception Room at the State House often get started late — 15, 20 or 25 minutes behind schedule is not unusual.

But in what appeared to be a last minute move that surprised many of those attending, Wednesday’s meeting of the board that approves all major state contracts got started four hours after the originally scheduled 10 a.m.

Once they got started the board took just 20 minutes to approve the 73 items on its 167-page agenda worth over $42 million. Not a record time, but much shorter than the usual one- or two-hour meeting.

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Little Richard As A Child - Amazing!


For those that are old enough to remember Little Richard.  Yes, this is a rare video of him playing the piano when he was about 4 years old!!!
You have to see it. Watch how he uses his fists and elbows and doesn't even look at the keys when he sings! 

This is amazing to see. His real name is Richard Wayne Penniman (aka Little Richard) and this was made about fifteen years before he recorded "Tutti Frutti, Oh, Rudy....A-whop bop-a-lu bop a-whop bam boom."

... From a movie staring Van Johnson and Keenan Wynn.
Click below:

Today's Survey Question 12-6-12

Would you vote for O'Malley for President in 2016?

BREAKING NEWS: Senator Jim DeMint To Resign

Senator Jim DeMint, R-S.C., will resign in January to lead the Heritage Foundation. 

Leftist Media Hypes Treasonous Claim… We Call It A Serious Warning

Dear Reader,

What has the leftist media so upset...?

We recently published a presentation explaining why and how President Obama is likely to seek a third term. Our critics like to pretend that we don't understand the 22nd Amendment. Of course, nothing is further from the truth...

The truth is... there are simple, legal ways around this prohibition... And these same maneuvers have been used by other leftist governments around the world to hold power...

In fact, there's a direct link between Chavez in Venezeula, Putin in Russia and the Kirstners in Argentina... All of whom broke through Constitutional barriers to retain their power for more than a decade...

We believe the same thing is happening right now, in America. Liberal TV pundit Chris Matthews warned this could be the 'tipping point'... U.S. News and World Report warned that our research would enrage some viewers... and quotes an anonymous critic who says it borders on treasonous libel...

See our presentation for yourself. It's free.

And then, decide for yourself.

One man's warning is another man's treason. Get the full details here.

Sincerely,

Porter Stansberry
Founder, Stansberry Research

Judge Upholds Lawmaker's Removal

Former Delegate Tiffany Alston automatically lost her seat in the Maryland House of Delegates when she was convicted of misconduct in office in October, and a Prince George's County committee can withdraw the name of a former drug dealer it nominated to replace her, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Prince George's Circuit Court Judge C. Philip Nichols Jr. also ruled that the county's County Democratic Central Committee can submit another nominee to Gov. Martin O'Malley. However, the nomination won't be binding on the governor, because it would be made after a 30-day time limit set for the committee to forward a name.

The ruling brings some clarity to tortuous legal wrangling over the state's constitutional provision relating to an official's removal for wrongdoing and rules for replacing a state legislator. The case also has put renewed focus on a county that has been trying to emerge from a cloud of high-profile political corruption cases.

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What You Need To Know About The Looming Fiscal Cliff

January 1, 2013 will be the start of a new year that brings increased taxes and spending cuts. Ben Bernanke first used the term "fiscal cliff" when appearing before Congress in February of 2011. Many people seem to throw the term around without really knowing what they are talking about. Here are some quick specifics about the fiscal cliff:

To end the debt ceiling crisis in the summer of 2011, Congress passed and President Obama signed the Budget Control Act on August 2, 2011. The bill was signed into law the day before the purported crisis was supposed to hit, on August 3rd, which would have resulted in the U.S. credit going into default. 

Sequestration, which will cause $1.2 trillion in spending cuts, was a tactic pushed by the Obama administration when the Budget Control Act was being drafted as an incentive for Congress to find other ways to cut spending and/or raise taxes. A sequestration is a legal procedure that triggers automatic spending cuts. Congress never agreed on spending cuts, so the sequester will trigger defense cuts in 2013. 

The fiscal cliff also brings a $494 billion tax increase to Americans, which will cost the average American household an additional $3,800 just next year, according to the Heritage Foundation. This $494 billion tax increase is the largest ever to hit Americans in one year. 

The 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts are coming to an end, which accounts for almost 34% of the tax increases taking effect next year; the Alternative Minimum Tax will hit more of the middle class next year.The Heritage Foundation calls these collective tax increases "Taxmageddon."

The payroll tax cut will expire next year, which will result in a 2% tax increase for workers. This tax increase accounts for 25% of all the tax increases taking effect next year. 

The rest of the tax increases come from Obamacare. Those making over $250,000 will incur a 3.8% hospital insurance surtax; this is one of the several Obamacare taxes taking effect next year.
Estate taxes will be raised, affecting smaller estates.

Earlier this month, the Congressional Budget Office reported that if Congress extends the tax cuts, 1.8 million jobs could be created.

This fiscal cliff and uncertainty could all have been averted if the Senate had followed the law and passed a budget. Congress needs to abandon these ad hoc measures to handle impending fiscal doom and control spending long-term by making a budget resolution.

To read more about the fiscal cliff, read the Taxmageddon factsheet and Fiscal Cliff: What Congress Should Do from the Heritage Foundation.

Geithner Calls For Eliminating the Debt Ceiling Entirely

While the rest of Washington is anxious about the coming fiscal cliff, CNSNews reported Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner telling Bloomberg TV that Congress should raise the debt limit "to infinity." Geithner argued that in order for American credit not to be threatened with default, Congress should eliminate the debt ceiling entirely. To get rid of the debt ceiling to avoid default is not solving the problem of American credit decline but rather skirting the real issue of unsustainable spending--and even making it worse by allowing Congress to ignore any limits on spending.

The debt ceiling was increased in August 2011 by $2.4 trillion, and as of last week the Treasury Department still had $154.3 billion left in borrowing power, which means another debt ceiling crisis at the end of the year unless Congress decides to raise the debt ceiling again. Last week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, (D-Nev.) promised that when it comes to the debt ceiling, "If it has to be raised, we'll raise it."

Parking Lots & Downtown Fire Station 16

Request for Proposal

Mayor James Ireton, Jr. is pleased to announce that the City of Salisbury has issued requests for proposals for potential development projects for a number of City owned parking lots in the downtown area. In addition a request for proposals has been issued for the downtown Fire Station 16. 

“The City Council previously turned down my request for the surplussing of these parking lots. The last time the City Council, prior to this week, took up the issue of Fire Station 16 or a downtown plan for redevelopment was July 2, 2012. The City Attorney’s office has advised (under section SC16-2 G, H of the City Charter) that the City has the ability to solicit proposals to gauge interest in the development of these properties without actually surplussing them. That is why I have authorized the issuance of these RFPs,” said Mayor Ireton. 

The RFPs are being advertised beginning December 6, 2012 and developers will have until mid-March 2013 to submit proposals. 

The City of Salisbury is accepting bids on various City owned properties. Proposed usage is to be evaluated by the City Council prior to bid award. Vendors are required to document their proposed usage for the property, methodology for achieving proposed usage, financial ability to proceed with the project and benefits to the Central Business District of the City of Salisbury. 

· The purpose of this Request for Proposal (RFP) is to receive development proposals from experienced real estate developers (“Vendors”) that will transform the expansive City owned parking lots that now separate downtown from the riverfront into a vibrant mixed-use urban center; a place where people will live, work, shop and gather for City wide events as well as significantly change and provide a foundation for the continued transformation of Downtown Salisbury. 

A copy of Downtown Salisbury’s ‘Plan for Transformation’ can be found on the City Living Salisbury website:

http://www.citylivingsalisbury.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/A-Plan-for-Transformation.pdf 

Delmarva Power Rates To Rise In 2013

DOVER — Delmarva Power customers will see higher rates in 2013. Delaware Public Service Commissioners Jay Lester, Joann Conaway and Jeffrey Clark voted unanimously Nov. 29 to approve a $22 million settlement between Delmarva Power and the state, allowing rates to go up for the utility’s customers.

The settlement calls for advanced metering infrastructure, or smart meters, to be installed for all Delmarva Power customers.

According to the settlement, a typical residential Delmarva Power customer using an average of 1,000 kilowatt hours per month will see an increase of 3.3 percent in their electric bill, from $136.86 per month to $141.35 per month.

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When It Rains In Hell: By Local Author

The author remembers his year in Viet Nam as a machine gunner in a recon platoon during the year the troop buildup was at the highest and the casualties the greatest, 1968. He details his travels all over the country and describes the men, weapons, tactics and his love, and hate for a country he realizes he cannot help though he wishes he could. You will follow along beside him on the missions, feel the mud and the sweat, the relentless sun, and the pain and the horror his platoon goes through. You will feel his pain as he loses close friends, fights malaria and ultimately survives and returns home, only to find his battles are far from over. You will come to understand, as he did, that war is not something you go through and then forget, but something that stays with you throughout your life. This book dispels the romantic or adventuresome aspect of war that some people see, and he asks young men contemplating a career in the armed forces to consider their choice very carefully, to understand what they may be getting themselves into without fully realizing the consequences.

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Why I Chose Maryland


In this “People Behind the Policies” blog, we hear from a small business owner who talks about her decision to move her company to Maryland and how it affects our goal to Recover 100% of the jobs lost due to the Great Recession.
“Why I Chose Maryland”
As a small business owner, I looked all across the country for a new home for my company Bambeco, an online retailer specializing in sustainable home d├ęcor and furnishings. I considered sites in California, Pennsylvania, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C., but, in 2010, I settled on South Baltimore to take advantage of the area’s public transportation, incentives for eco-friendly businesses, and job creation tax credits within Enterprise zones, and proximity to the Port of Baltimore.
My company, which sells everything from solar-powered tea lanterns to rugs made of recycled soda bottles, has experienced strong growth since moving to Maryland. We have been able to hire throughout 2012, expanding our staff by about half. And we expect our current workforce of 24 to more than double over the next two years.
I am also pleased to report that Bambeco expanded its corporate headquarters this year and we expect to be at capacity again in a few months. And this fall, we moved our distribution operations into a 22,000 square-foot warehouse in the city. I want to thank the Department of Business and Economic Development for investing in our company through the Maryland Venture Fund andInvestMaryland and helping us to expand, grow jobs and add inventory.
I am proud to say that because of Bambeco’s success in Maryland, our products are being featured all over the country in major media outlets like USA Today, Every Day with Rachael Ray, People Magazine, and on TV, including The Today Show and Emmy-winning sitcom Modern Family.

Ocean City Police CARRY OUT MASSIVE ENFORCEMENT EFFORT


Project Saving Our Loved Ones (SOLO) Intensifies Patrols
To Catch Impaired Drivers and Save Live
Ocean City, MD (November 24, 2012) – [Ocean City Police engaged in Project Saving Our Loved Ones (SOLO), a Statewide initiative to combat impaired driving and underage drinking.  An expansion of the standard enforcement efforts launched last month, Project SOLO deploys mass patrols on area roads that are known to have higher instances of alcohol related crashes. The high risk zones, which are identified through data analysis of crashes, will be targeted and saturated by law enforcement through the end of the year.
“Impaired driving is a grave issue that results in the death of someone in Maryland every 57 hours,” said Chief Bernadette DiPino. “Just one loss of life is one too many, and a dedicated effort such as Project SOLO will help reduce such preventable, shocking consequences from happening on our roadways.”
The intense enforcement effort began in November and on November 24th, 2012 at 8:00 p.m.,multiple Ocean City Police officers saturated specific stretches of roadway until early Sunday morning to identify and arrest drunk drivers. The enforcement effort was successful and led to the arrests of multiple drunk drivers.
Project SOLO enforces Maryland’s Impaired Driving Laws, most prominently, at night. In 2010, alcohol impairmed fatal crashes were four times higher at night than during the day, nationwide. Fifty five percent of drunk drivers were involved in fatal crashes between midnight and 3:00 a.m., and 42 percent between 3:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.
“Project SOLO is about taking impaired drivers off the road, saving lives and raising awareness of the importance of safe driving,” said Chief DiPino. “Every law enforcement official involved in this initiative is thoroughly trained and briefed to effectively target impaired driving.”
For more information about Project SOLO or to arrange an interview with the Maryland Highway Safety Office, Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, Ocean City Police, Maryland State Police, or family members of drunk driving victims, please contact Pfc. Michael Levy at 410-723-6665 or mlevy@oceancitymd.gov.
There will be four more Project SOLO enforcement initiatives conducted in Ocean City during the month of December.