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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Blogger Publishes Names, Address Of Newspaper Staff After Gun-Permit Database

A blogger upset with a New York newspaper’s decision to publish an interactive map of local gun permit holders has returned the favor by posting the names and addresses of nearly every employee at the publication.

Blogger Christopher Fountain on For What It’s Worth published names, home address and email contact information for Journal News editor Cyndee Royle, publisher Janet Hasson and reporter Dwight Worley, who wrote an article on Sunday to accompany the map that led to widespread criticism aimed at the Lower Hudson Valley newspaper.

"Miss Royle’s married name is Lambert,” Fountain wrote. “She lives in White Plains and here is her Facebook page complete with pictures of her and her kids. Hello Sanctimony.”

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Federal Jury Finds City Of Chicago Responsible For "Code of Silence" In Chicago Police Department

On February 17, 2007, an intoxicated off-duty Chicago police officer, Anthony "Tony" Abbate walked behind the bar of Jesse's Shortstop Inn and pummeled, punched and stomped 125-pound bartender Karolina Obrycka. Her "crime" was to refuse serving any more liquor to the burly Abbate because he was too drunk.

That unprovoked beating by Abbate led to a precedent-setting finding this November by a federal court jury in Chicago that the city, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and Tony Abbate had engaged in a "code of silence" to try and minimize the incident, protect Abbate and prevent justice from being served to Obrycka.

As a local ABC News reporter concluded in February of this year, after US District Judge Amy St. Eve ruled that there was enough evidence and grounds for a trial to proceed, that the case could – and ultimately did - expose "the blue curtain, an understanding between police officers that they should cover for each other unconditionally and that testimony against a fellow cop amounts to a betrayal of their fellow bond. It is the underbelly of a police subculture that is rarely exposed to this day."

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Clemson Student's Turtle Project Takes Dark Twist

CLEMSON, S.C. Clemson University student Nathan Weaver just wanted to put together a project to help figure out the best way to assist turtles in crossing the road. But he also ended up with a peek into the dark souls of some human beings.

Weaver put realistic-looking rubber turtles, no bigger than a saucer, in the middle of a lane on a busy road near campus. Then he got out of the way and watched as over the next hour, seven drivers intentionally ran over the turtle, and several more appeared to try to hit the defenseless animal, but missed.

"It was a bit surprising. I've heard of people and from friends who knew people that ran over turtles. But to see it out here like this was a bit shocking," said Weaver, a 22-year-old senior in Clemson's School of Agricultural, Forest and Environmental Sciences.

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Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/12/27/3748693/clemson-students-turtle-project.html#storylink=cpy

As More Disabled Sue And Protest, Politicians Draw Line On Accessibility

Disabled are seen as a force to be reckoned with as more file lawsuits and protest for enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which some politicians seek to scrap.

Born and raised in New York City, Simi Linton knows that "There are times when you just need a cab." Like the time she learned her husband was in the hospital having emergency surgery. As soon as she heard, Linton left her Upper West Side apartment, headed for a hospital across town. "Cabs were whizzing by me, but none were stopping."

The fair-skinned, glasses-wearing, 64-year-old author/filmmaker with curly, brown hair and a penchant for scarves wasn't being skipped over for her race, age or her fashion choices. Linton was being profiled for another reason: her wheelchair.

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Georgia’s Hunger Games

Fewer than 4,000 adults in the southern state receive welfare, even as poverty is soaring. How Georgia declared war on its poorest citizens—leaving them to fight for themselves.
When the economy crashed in 2008, millions of Americans lost their jobs. Applications for food stamps soared. So did attendance at emergency food providers—soup kitchens and food pantries—that help the estimated 50 million people, working and non-working, who can't afford enough groceries to get through the month.

Unlike in past economic downturns, though, the welfare rolls barely budged. Where 15 years ago 68 percent of poor Americans received cash via Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (as welfare was officially renamed in 1996), today only 27 percent of Americans with incomes low enough to qualify for cash benefits receive them. As the New York Times' Jason DeParle discussed in a front-page article earlier this year, the resulting welfare gap has left at least 4 million families with neither jobs nor cash aid.

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32 States Include Starvation As A Penalty For Drug Use

Emily Wang, American Prospect - Carla walked into my office with despair in her eyes. I was surprised. Carla has been doing well in her four months out of prison; she got off drugs, regained custody of her kids, and even enrolled in a local community college.

Without much prodding she admitted to me that she had returned to prostitution: “I am putting myself at risk for HIV to get my kids a f---ing happy meal.”

Despite looking high and low for a job, Carla explained, she was still unemployed. Most entry-level jobs felt out of reach with her drug record, but what’s worse, even the state wasn’t willing to throw her a temporary life preserver.
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CNN ANCHOR NOW FACES DOUBLE DEPORTATION

CNN anchor Piers Morgan, the British host of “Piers Morgan Tonight” on the cable news network, may become a man without a country, as petitions on both sides of the Atlantic are looking to keep the TV host out of both the U.S. and U.K.

A petition on the White House’s “We the People” website looking to deport Morgan out of the U.S. has surpassed 75,000 signatures, far above the 25,000 needed to require a response from the White House.
 

The petition to deport Morgan reads, “British Citizen and CNN television host Piers Morgan is engaged in a hostile attack against the U.S. Constitution by targeting the Second Amendment. We demand that Mr. Morgan be deported immediately for his effort to undermine the Bill of Rights and for exploiting his position as a national network television host to stage attacks against the rights of American citizens.”
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How Much Did A Billionaire Casino Magnate Really Spend On Campaign 2012?

Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino magnate and emblem of the Citizens United-era of campaign finance, spent gobs of money on the 2012 elections — more money than anyone else in American history.

Exactly how much, you ask?

We don't really know, and it's likely we never will. Many of the groups that spent the most on the election aren't required to report their donors. But thanks to recent campaign finance filings, we can get a better idea.

We dug through Federal Election Commission and Internal Revenue Service records and found that Adelson and his wife, Miriam, spent at least $98 million this election cycle. The money went to at least 34 different candidates and groups, with contributions ranging from $2,000 for a Florida congressional candidate to $30 million for Restore Our Future, the super PAC that supported Mitt Romney.

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Retired Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf Dies

A U.S. official says retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, who commanded the U.S.-led international coalition that drove Saddam Hussein's forces out of Kuwait in 1991, has died. He was 78.

The official tells The Associated Press that Schwarzkopf died Thursday in Tampa, Fla. The official wasn't authorized to release the information publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

A much-decorated combat soldier in Vietnam, Schwarzkopf was known popularly as "Stormin' Norman" for a notoriously explosive temper.

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PSY CHRISTMAS SHOW BOMBS

The 31st annual “Christmas in Washington” concert on TNT December 21 suffered a dramatic 25 percent loss in viewers from the previous year, according to Nielsen Media Research. The 2011 cablecast of “Christmas in Washington” drew 1.5 million viewers. The 2012 showing had only 1.136 million viewers.

The concert, traditionally attended by the President and his family, drew international attention over the scheduled appearance by Gangnam Style rapper PSY (given name Park Jae-sang) when it was revealed the South Korean entertainer had made highly inflammatory, anti-American performances the previous decade.

In an insult to America’s troops and their families, President Barack Obama confirmed his attendance at the taping of the concert several hours before PSY issued a written apology the afternoon the news broke of his anti-American past on Pearl Harbor Day.

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Women's Incarceration Rate Soars By Over 600 Percent As They Face Abuse Behind Bars

Abuse ranges from outright rape, groping, invasive pat-downs and peeping during showers -- to verbal taunts or harassing comments.
Allowing male guards to oversee female prisoners is a recipe for trouble, says former political prisoner Laura Whitehorn. Now a frequent lecturer on incarceration policies and social justice, Whitehorn describes a culture in which women are stripped of their power on the most basic level. "Having male guards sends a message that female prisoners have no right to defend their bodies," she begins. "Putting women under men in authority makes the power imbalance as stark as it can be, and results in long-lasting repercussions post- release."

MILESTONE: U.S. TO HIT $16.4T DEBT LIMIT MONDAY

The U.S. Treasury Department announced today that the U.S. will reach its $16.4 trillion debt ceiling on Dec. 31, 2012, unless immediate steps are taken to avoid this grim milestone.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in a letter to congressional leaders Wednesday suggested his department use certain accounting measures that would save $200 billion in government spending, thereby keeping the government within its borrowing limit until at least February, 2013.

“The government is facing a crunch on the debt ceiling because the issue has become ensnarled in talks to avoid some $600 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts due to begin in early January. Failing to raise the debt ceiling could cause the government to default on its debt,” Reuters notes

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How The Republicans Quietly Won The Real Electoral Battle

In the November election, a million more Americans voted for Democrats seeking election to the U.S. House of Representatives than Republicans. But that popular vote advantage did not result in control of the chamber. Instead, despite getting fewer votes, Republicans have maintained a commanding control of the House. Such a disparity has happened only three times in the last century.
(Here’s a chart comparing 2010 and 2012.)
Analysts and others have identified redistricting as a key to the disparity. Republicans had a years-long strategy of winning state houses in order to control each state's once-a-decade redistricting process. (Confused about redistricting? Check out our song.)

ICE Scraps 287(g) Program That Allowed Local Police to Enforce Immigration Law

Amid Hispanic calls for immigration leniency, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency is scrapping a program that allowed specially trained state and local law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration law.

On Dec. 21, the Friday before Christmas, ICE announced that it has decided "not to renew any of its agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies that operate task forces under the 287(g) program."

ICE said it has concluded that "other enforcement programs, including Secure Communities, are a more efficient use of resources for focusing on priority cases."

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Facebook Ruins Zuckerberg Xmas

It seems that even Mark Zuckerberg’s older sister, Randi, has become a victim of Facebook’s totalitarian privacy settings. Forbes “30 under 30″ media honoree Callie Schweitzer tweeted the above photo of the Zuckerberg family, writing “@randizuckerberg demonstrates her family’s response to Poke #GAH.”

Zuckerberg responded, saying, “Not sure where you got this photo. I posted it only to friends on FB. You reposting it on Twitter is way uncool.”

Schweitzer immediately apologized, saying she thought it was okay to post because she saw it on her feed as a subscriber. ”I’m just your subscriber and this was top of my newsfeed. Genuinely sorry but it came up in my feed and seemed public.” But Zuckerberg thought it happened because Schweitzer is friends with her sister, also tagged.

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Deportations Of Illegal Immigrants In 2012 Reach New US Record

The Obama administration deported at least 400,000 illegal immigrants in fiscal year 2012, a new record. It emphasizes deporting 'criminal aliens' to protect public safety, but the high figure serves to remind Latinos of the president's unfilled pledge to reform immigration policy.

The United States deported more than 400,000 illegal immigrants in 2012, the most of any year in the nation’s history, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reports
The record number, released Friday, is also important for another reason: It is a stinging reminder to Latinos that President Obama failed during his first term to pursue the comprehensive immigration reform that they seek.

The Obama administration framed its 2012 work in immigration enforcement as focused mainly on criminals – 55 percent of deportations came from convicted criminals, a record high – rather than on indiscriminately rounding up illegal immigrants and sending them home. ICE on Friday also issued new detention guidelines intended to emphasize legal action against those who have committed crimes above and beyond immigration violations.

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RECORD 8.8 MILLION RECEIVE DISABILITY BENEFITS

The number of individuals collecting disability benefits has hit a record high 8,827,795, according to new figures released from the Social Security Administration. On average, beneficiaries receive a $1,130.34 monthly check.

The explosion of individuals now applying for federal disability means applications are being awarded without proper vetting. A congressional report examining a sample of 300 cases found that over a quarter of them “failed to properly address insufficient, contradictory or incomplete evidence.” 

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'Rescue Me' Singer Fontella Bass Dies

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Fontella Bass, a St. Louis-born soul singer who hit the top of the R&B charts with "Rescue Me" in 1965, has died. She was 72.

Bass died Wednesday night at a St. Louis hospice of complications from a heart attack suffered three weeks ago, her daughter, Neuka Mitchell, said. Bass had also suffered a series of strokes over the past seven years.

"She was an outgoing person," Mitchell said of her mother. "She had a very big personality. Any room she entered she just lit the room up, whether she was on stage or just going out to eat."

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For Poor, Leap To College Often Ends In A Hard Fall

GALVESTON, Tex. — Angelica Gonzales marched through high school in Goth armor — black boots, chains and cargo pants — but undermined her pose of alienation with a place on the honor roll. She nicknamed herself after a metal band and vowed to become the first in her family to earn a college degree.
“I don’t want to work at Walmart” like her mother, she wrote to a school counselor.

Weekends and summers were devoted to a college-readiness program, where her best friends, Melissa O’Neal and Bianca Gonzalez, shared her drive to “get off the island” — escape the prospect of dead-end lives in luckless Galveston. Melissa, an eighth-grade valedictorian, seethed over her mother’s boyfriends and drinking, and Bianca’s bubbly innocence hid the trauma of her father’s death. They stuck together so much that a tutor called them the “triplets.”

Low-income strivers face uphill climbs, especially at Ball High School, where a third of the girls’ class failed to graduate on schedule. But by the time the triplets donned mortarboards in the class of 2008, their story seemed to validate the promise of education as the great equalizer.

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PIERS MORGAN: BOTH THE BIBLE AND U.S. CONSTITUTION ARE ‘INHERENTLY FLAWED’ AND NEED TO BE AMENDED

While CNN’s Piers Morgan is a well known critic of America’s Second Amendment, he has now ventured into a new campaign to reform another document critical in the development of western civilization; the Bible.

During a discussion on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” on Monday — Christmas Eve — with Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren, Morgan argued that there needs to be an “amendment to the Bible” for same-sex marriage, because like the Constitution, the Bible is “inherently flawed.”

“Both the Bible and the Constitution were well intentioned but they are basically, inherently flawed. Hence, the need to amend it,” Morgan told Warren during a conversation where Morgan emphasized the need for America to separate Church and State.

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Dianne Feinstein 2013 Anti Gun Legislation

Stopping the spread of deadly assault weapons

Stay informed

In January, Senator Feinstein will introduce a bill to stop the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition feeding devices.
To receive updates on this legislation, click here.

Press releases

Summary of 2013 legislation

Following is a summary of the 2013 legislation:
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Dick Armey Wanted FreedomWorks to Endorse Todd Akin after “Legitimate Rape” Comments

More details have arisen regarding the split between Dick Armey and FreedomWorks from this Mother Jones article, reported early this Christmas Eve. The article specifically details a memo that was released by Matt Kibbe, President of FreedomWorks, that outlines his take on the dynamics of the split:
When the news broke in early December that former GOP Rep. Dick Armey had abruptly resigned as chairman of FreedomWorks, a powerhouse of the conservative movement and an instrumental force within the tea party, Armey maintained that the nasty split was due to differences he had with the top management of FreedomWorks about the group’s operations and future.
[…]
But Matt Kibbe’s memo paints a very different picture of the split.

One of the first actions taken by Dick Armey [after the September meeting] is his attempt to reassess our political priorities. “We have to help my friend Tommy Thompson,” he tells the staff in his first meeting with them. He later tells the staff that he has discussed the Missouri Senate race with “my friend [Senator] Roy Blunt, and he says they really need grassroots cover for Todd Akin.” FreedomWorks PAC had endorsed John Brunner, who barely lost to Akin [in the GOP primary]. We had declined to endorse Akin, even before “legitimate rape” became a late night punch line.

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Interest In Old Boardwalk Lumber Runs High

OCEAN CITY – Pieces of Ocean City’s old Boardwalk are being spread around the country for all to enjoy as the contractor has been recycling the lumber through interested parties.

City Engineer Terry McGean reported last Friday the reconstruction of Ocean City’s famous Boardwalk is going well and is still ahead of schedule.

Phase two of the Boardwalk’s reconstruction began in early October and is planned to end in April of 2013. The second phase will finish the entire Boardwalk reconstruction from Somerset Street to 15th Street. Last year, the project’s first phase included a section from the north terminus at 27th Street to 15th Street, along with another section between the Inlet and Somerset Street.

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Fatal Accident On Route 50 Yesterday

BERLIN -- A local man was killed yesterday in a two-vehicle accident along Route 50 at its intersection with Route 818, or Main Street extended, in Berlin late Wednesday morning.

Shortly before noon on Wednesday, Berlin Police responded to a reported vehicle collision at Routes 50 and 818 where Main Street extends across Route 50. The preliminary investigation revealed a vehicle, driven by Christopher Keenan, 24, of Berlin, was headed westbound on Route 50. Another vehicle, driven by Amberle Booker, 25, also of Berlin, was heading northbound on Route 818 and attempted to cross over Route 50.

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Madoff, in Christmas Eve Letter, Says Insider Trading Has Gone On 'Forever '

The recent rash of insider trading cases may be a shock to some on Wall Street, but not to one long-time market player: Bernie Madoff.

In a Christmas Eve letter from the medium security federal prison in North Carolina where he is serving a 150-year sentence for running a massive Ponzi scheme, Madoff tells CNBC that insider trading has been around "forever."

He also rails against what he calls a lack of transparency in the financial markets, and says the growth of hedge funds is forcing market players to take outsized risks in order to earn decent returns.

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Should It Be Mandatory To Employ Attractive Women In The Workplace?


What rights does an employer have over whom he employs and whom he doesn’t employ? What classes should be protected from discrimination? There are many interesting questions tied up in the case of Dr. James Knight, who fired his assistant, Melissa Nelson, because he found himself tempted by her.

But my thoughts on this issue regarded the moral matters tied up with Dr. Knight’s behavior towards Nelson in the workplace, and then his decision to fire her. Thankfully, Jonathan Turley brings the moral issues into focus by being 180 degrees from correct.

Turley writes:
 
Knight is described as a deeply religious man, though his communications to Nelson do not speak of religiosity or restraint in a pious man. Indeed, he comes across as pretty creepy. I always thought that religion taught the pious to resist temptation not eradicate its sources. Yet, Knight actually fired Nelson with a pastor present….
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Boston Police Officer Jumps In Freezing Water To Save Drowning Woman

NRA Takes Fire For Stance On Mental Illness

The National Rifle Association has come under fire by an association of psychiatrists for its characterization of people who commit violent crimes as "monsters," "lunatics" and "insane."

The American Psychiatric Association, which represents more than 30,000 mental health professionals, released a statement that expressed its "disappointment" over the gun lobby's use of those terms in the wake of the massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Conn., where Adam Lanza, 20, slaughtered 20 children, six school staffers and his mother.

In a news conference last week, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre repeatedly used the word "monsters" and "insane" to describe people who carry out mass shootings.

And during an interview this weekend on "Meet the Press" LaPierre used the word lunatic "as a catchphrase for those who commit violent crimes," the APA said.

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Stop Subsidizing Obesity

Not long ago few doctors – not even pediatricians – concerned themselves much with nutrition. This has changed, and dramatically: As childhood obesity gains recognition as a true health crisis, more and more doctors are publicly expressing alarm at the impact the standard American diet is having on health.

“I never saw Type 2 diabetes during my training, 20 years ago,” David Ludwig, a pediatrician, told me the other day, referring to what was once called “adult-onset” diabetes, the form that is often caused by obesity. “Never. Now about a quarter of the new diabetes cases we’re seeing are Type 2.”

Ludwig, who is director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center in Boston, is one of three authors, all medical doctors of an essay (“Viewpoint”) in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association titled “Opportunities to Reduce Childhood Hunger and Obesity.”

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This Is A Real Man

Today my wife and I were at T.J.Max finishing up on some last minute shopping. Usually my wife and I walk into the store together. However today because of the cold I let her out at the door and park the car so she would not have to walk in the cold. As I entered the store "My Queen" greeted me with an efficacious smile. After shopping and paying for the stuff ( my wife hasn't worked in twenty years). I went to get the car while she waited inside for me. While walking to the car I over heard a man of the ebony hue cussing at his wife or significant other? He left her in the car and went into the store. As I looked into her eyes from a distance I could see the anguish and humiliation in her eyes as the kids played in the back seat. So I wanted to take this opportunity to encourage women abroad... You are to beautiful for a man to use derogative language when talking to you. You are no a "B", slut, nor a whore. You are a queen!!! The way a man talks and the way he treats you should enhance your position of royalty. If he isn't addressing you as a queen than he is not a king. Only kings can address a queen. My sister you are royalty. The bible says you are virtuous and your price is far above rubies. Stop letting fools talk to you. Fools are for the king and queens entertainment. For are only good for laughing at not relationship nor marriage. If no one has ever addressed you properly. Let me be the first. "Hello My Queen"!!!!! For you are a queen indeed.......

Missing: $200M In Gas Receipts For NATO Aid In Afghanistan

The multinational NATO force in Afghanistan has declared that it spent more than $200 million to buy fuel for the Afghan Army in 2010 and 2011, but cannot locate any documents to substantiate the expense or show precisely where the money went, according to a special report by a government watchdog on Dec. 20.

As a result, the U.S. government is unable to “account for $201 million” worth of fuel purchases, said Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko, in a letter alerting two members of Congress to the missing documentation.

The letter is a follow-up to a warning by Sopko in September that coalition force personnel in Afghanistan had improperly shredded fuel purchase records that covered a five-year period, blocking the ability of auditors to assess how much fuel was actually used by the Afghani army and how much might have been lost or stolen.

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Clout Diminished, Tea Party Turns To Narrower Issues

The Tea Party might not be over, but it is increasingly clear that the election last month significantly weakened the once-surging movement, which nearly captured control of the Republican Partythrough a potent combination of populism and fury.
Leading Congressional Republicans, though they remain far apart fromPresident Obama, have embraced raising tax revenues in budget negotiations, repudiating a central tenet of the Tea Party. Even more telling, Tea Party activists in the middle of the country are skirting the fiscal showdown in Congress and turning to narrower issues, raising questions about whether the movement still represents a citizen groundswell to which attention must be paid.

Grass-roots leaders said this month that after losing any chance of repealing the nationalhealth care law, they would press states to “nullify” or ignore it. They also plan to focus on a two-decade-old United Nations resolution that they call a plot against property rights, and on “fraud” by local election boards that, some believe, let the Democrats steal the November vote.

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Last Call For The Homestead Tax Credit

Residents have just a few more days to apply for the Maryland Homestead Tax Credit, which protects homeowners from sudden increases in property tax bills from reassessments.

Once a homeowner is eligible for the credit, his or her property tax can increase by no more than 2 percent in a given tax year.

To see if you have been approved for the credit, visit http://dat.state.md.us/ and type in your address. At the bottom of the page, check the field that says Homestead Application Status to see if you are approved.

If you are not approved, you can apply at www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/Homestead_application.pdf.

The deadline for applications is Dec. 31, and there is no way to appeal your bill once that date has passed.

For more information, call the state Department of Assessments and Taxation at 410-974-5709.

Breaking News Route 90 Eastbound Shut Down

Route 90 eastbound into Ocean City is closed down. There is a sinkhole at the foot of the bridge.

Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Who Arrested Speeding Miami Officer Files Lawsuit

The Florida Highway Patrol trooper who pulled over a speeding Miami Police officer last year filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that several agencies illegally accessed her personal information to intimidate her, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.

On Friday, Trooper Donna “Jane” Watts and lawyer Mirta Desir filed the 69-page lawsuit, which seeks more than $1 million in damages. It alleges that 88 officers from 25 jurisdictions, including her own, violated her privacy by illegally obtaining her personal information more than 200 times.

Watts said the Oct. 11 incident, when she pulled over Miami officer Fausto Lopez for speeding on Florida’s Turnpike, has caused backlash. She was captured on camera with her gun drawn as she approached Fausto, who she said she followed for seven minutes while he drove 120 mph.

The lawsuit alleges that following the traffic stop, actions of other officers created a “life-threatening” situation for Watts. She said she now fears for her life, has become a “hermit,” and is even moving.

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Starbucks Cups To Come With A Political Message

Starbucks is using its coffee cups to jump into the political fray in Washington.

The world’s biggest coffee chain is asking employees at cafes in the Washington, D.C. area to scribble the words “Come Together” on cups for drink orders. CEO Howard Schultz says the words are intended as a message to lawmakers about the damage being caused by the divisive negotiations over the “fiscal cliff.”

It’s the first time employees at Starbucks cafes are being asked to write anything other than customers’ names on cups.

While companies generally steer clear of politics to avoid alienating customers, the plea to “Come Together” is a sentiment unlikely to cause controversy. If anything, Starbucks could score points with customers and burnish its image as a socially conscious company.

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BREAKING NEWS: EPA Administrator Resigns

Environmental Protection Agency head Lisa Jackson says she's stepping down after four years in the position, ending a tenure marked by high-profile fights with business groups and Republicans.

Source Fox News

260 School Children Killed In Chicago In 3 Years -- Where Are The Tears For Them?


What makes the victims of everyday inner-city gun violence expendable?
Like President Obama and many others across the country, I too wiped away tears as I watched the horrifying news coverage of the tragic shootings in Newton, Conn. I immediately called my children who were still in school. I sat watching the television trying to fathom how I would respond if I got a call that a shooting had occurred at my children’s school. This brought on more tears. But for the parents of 20 children and six other families in Newton, it wasn’t an exercise; it was an excruciating reality. 
I then watched and listened to our President, and like parents around the world, the shooting had affected him emotionally as well. Twenty children gunned down. He struggled to hold back tears. 

It was then that my phone buzzed. I quickly grabbed it to see if it was one of my children calling back. But it wasn’t. It was a colleague in Chicago. I had emailed her the day before asking for research into one of the mentoring programs in the city’s schools for youth with the highest risk of being shot.

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D.C. Police Warned NBC Against Possessing Gun Clip

District of Columbia police say they warned NBC that having a high-capacity gun magazine in the city was against the law before reporter David Gregory brandished what he said was a 30-round magazine on "Meet the Press."

Police are investigating whether Gregory, 42, violated D.C. gun laws during the program, which was taped in Washington and aired Sunday.

D.C. police spokeswoman Gwen Crump said police discussed the use of the clip with NBC before the program was taped.

"NBC contacted MPD inquiring if they could utilize a high-capacity magazine for their segment. NBC was informed that possession of a high-capacity magazine is not permissible, and their request was denied," according to a statement released by Crump. "The matter is currently being investigated."

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Health Care Tax Hikes For 2013 May Be Just A Start

New taxes are coming Jan. 1 to help finance President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. Most people may not notice. But they will pay attention if Congress decides to start taxing employer-sponsored health insurance, one option in play if lawmakers can ever agree on a budget deal to reduce federal deficits.

The tax hikes already on the books, taking effect in 2013, fall mainly on people who make lots of money and on the health care industry. But about half of Americans benefit from the tax-free status of employer health insurance. Workers pay no income or payroll taxes on what their employer contributes for health insurance, and in most cases on their own share of premiums as well.

It’s the single biggest tax break the government allows, outstripping the mortgage interest deduction, the deduction for charitable giving and other better-known benefits. If the value of job-based health insurance were taxed like regular income, it would raise nearly $150 billion in 2013, according to congressional estimates. By comparison, wiping away the mortgage interest deduction would bring in only about $90 billion.

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Michael Moore: ‘Calm Down, White People, and Put Away Your Guns’

Documentary-maker and liberal activist Michael Moore said the reason for mass shootings in the United States is largely due to fear and racism, and on Christmas Eve he pleaded, “calm down, white people, and put away your guns.”

In a blog post entitled “Celebrating the Prince of Peace in the Land of Guns,”while still calling for stricter gun-control laws, Moore said such laws will not stop mass killings because of “who we are” as a nation.

“We are a country whose leaders officially sanction and carry out acts of violence as a means to often an immoral end,” Moore said. “We invade countries who didn't attack us. We're currently using drones in a half-dozen countries, often killing civilians.”

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THIS IS WHY PIERS MORGAN LEFT LONDON

Farmers Plow Through Red Tape To Hire Legal Workers

Bernie Kohl, Jr., president and part owner of Angelica Nurseries Inc., knew something was wrong when the then-Immigration and Naturalization Service showed up on his property with buses on a fall day in 1996. The INS went into the company’s offices, hung up phones, and lined workers up outside while they went into the company’s human resources offices to get paper files on all the laborers.

“They went through the I-9s and they scrutinized the paperwork and could say that these documents don’t look genuine,” Kohl said. “We aren’t document specialists, those are the kind of things that we can’t do.”

The raid resulted in around 80 of his workers being deported. The place didn’t quite shut down, but it meant an incredible struggle that year to make the harvest.

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Shot For Being White

I would like to talk to you today about the recent murder of 20-year-old Joshua Proutey, who was shot for being white by a gang of four blacks who were out targeting white people who were “bound to have money” – as you reported in your story on this for WND.com.

Tell us what happened.

Flaherty: Four black people in Wilmington, North Carolina needed money for marijuana and traveling. So they set out to get it by robbing white people. They tried to break into a house, but were seen, so they fled. They stalked a woman through downtown Wilmington, but she escaped. Finally they came upon a 20-year-old college kid named Joshua. They took his money, cell phone and sandwich. Then he asked them to only take his money and not his ID because he explained to them it was hard to replace. Then they shot and killed him. The reason I wrote about this for WND.com and for my book, is not that it is special, but because racial violence is increasingly common and most media ignore it.

FP: What do you mean it is not “special”?

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Wicomico County Council Meeting Cancelled

The Wicomico County Council has cancelled their meeting of January 1, 2013 and their next regular scheduled meeting will be on January 15, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. in Council Chambers, Government Office Building.

Christmas In An Anti-Christian Age

For two millennia, the birth of Christ has been seen as the greatest event in world history. The moment Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem, God became man, and eternal salvation became possible.
This date has been the separation point of mankind's time on earth, with B.C. designating the era before Christ, and A.D., anno domino, in the Year of the Lord, the years after. And how stands Christianity today?

"Christianity is in danger off being wiped out in its biblical heartlands," says the British think tank Civitas.

In Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Ethiopia and Nigeria, Christians face persecution and pogroms. In Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, conversion is a capital offense. In a century, two-thirds of all the Christians have vanished from the Islamic world.

In China, Christianity is seen as a subversive ideology of the West to undermine the regime.

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