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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Republican Governors' Plans For No State Income Tax Lauded, Criticized

Several Republican governors are proposing an end to their state income taxes in exchange for closing loopholes including mortgage deductions -- plans to make their states more competitive in the U.S. economy but already being criticized by Democrats.

Gov. Dave Heineman, Nebraska, and Bobby Jindal, Louisiana, earlier this week proposed eliminating the tax on residents and corporations.

Meanwhile, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback proposed lower taxes for all residents in exchange for eliminating the tax deduction for interest paid on home mortgages.


Stan Musial, Epitome Of Good Hitting And Good Sportsmanship, Dies At 92

Stan “the Man” Musial, one of Major League Baseball's most prolific hitters and a model of good sportsmanship during his Hall of Fame career with the St. Louis Cardinals, died Saturday. He was 92.

The death was announced by the team and was ascribed to natural causes.

The most beloved Cardinal of all, Mr. Musial led the National League in batting seven times in the 1940s and ‘50s and was voted the league's most valuable player three times. His lifetime batting average was .331, his total of 3,630 hits ranks fourth all-time, and he was a perennial all-star. After spending the entirety of his 22-year career with the Cardinals, Mr. Musial retired in 1963 with so many firsts to his credit that he may have carved out a new category: the record for holding the most records at one time. 


Big Media Behaving Badly

America’s biggest media companies are on a roll this month.

Usually fancy new gadgets — not old-school media giants — are the focus of the Consumer Electronics Show. But this year the talk at CES was all about CBS.

On the last day of the big electronics trade show, the technology site CNET was ready to announce its best-of-show awards. The winning gadget was a new digital video recorder (DVR) made by the satellite company DISH.

However, CBS owns CNET, and CBS is in the midst of a messy legal battle with DISH. So at the last minute the DISH DVR disappeared from the awards. In fact, the Vergereported that CBS management forced CNET staff to re-vote on the best gadget award.

At the time, CNET released a statement that suggested CBS’ action reflected an ongoing company policy: “We will no longer be reviewing products manufactured by companies with which we are in litigation with respect to such product.”

This is one of the many problems that arise with huge media conglomerates: They often use business interests as an excuse for interfering with news content.

And sometimes the problem isn’t a company telling newsrooms what they can’t cover, but telling what they must address.


Fiery Orioles Manager Earl Weaver Dead At 82

Earl Weaver always was up for an argument, especially with an umpire.

At the slightest provocation, the Earl of Baltimore would spin his hat back, point his finger squarely at an ump's chest and then fire away. The Hall of Fame manager would even tangle with his own players, if necessary.

All this from a 5-foot-6 pepperpot who hated to be doubted.


Gun Violence is Not a Republican Problem, It’s a Democratic Problem

Forget Wal-Mart and skip your local gun show. The murderers of tomorrow will not be found wearing orange vests at your local sporting goods store. They won’t have NRA memberships or trophies on their walls.

You won’t find them in America. Look for them in Obamerica.

67% of firearm murders took place in the country’s 50 largest metro areas. The 62 cities in those metro areas have a firearm murder rate of 9.7, more than twice the national average. Among teenagers the firearm murder rate is 14.6 or almost three times the national average.


Corporate America Wants To Make It Harder For You To Retire

Following in the footsteps of CEOs who've organized the "Fix the Debt" campaign, which promotes raising the retirement age for Social Security, another corporate front group – the Business Roundtable – is calling for the same thing. They want to raise the retirement age for Social Security up to 70 years. Of course, just like "Fix the Debt", the Business Roundtable is made up of wealthy CEO,s who have little use for Social Security anyway – and will do just fine on their multi-million dollar nest eggs when they retire. But, fearing that they might see their taxes go up if the payroll tax cap was lifted to make Social Security more solvent, these executives would rather see Americans laying bricks until they're seventy-years-old. And for the record, this argument that Americans are living longer is bunk. While the wealthy who work non-physical jobs – like banksters – are indeed living longer – the working people in physical jobs have seen very few gains in average life expectancy. It's up to Democrats in Congress to protect Social Security – a program they created.

Jessie Duff + Semi-Autos & Pistols = Gold.

World champion shooter Jessie Duff demonstrates the firing power of several semi-auto rifles and pistols on the Hannity Show.

Survey Says: McDonald’s Customers Aren’t Satisfied But They’re Likely To Return Anyway

Do you have that one friend who you don’t like very much, but who is at least always available when you feel like doing something? That seems to be the way a lot of people view McDonald’s.
A new survey from the folks at Consumer Edge Insight looked at 20 fast food chains to review various factors — good value, convenience, fast service, overall satisfaction — and found something curious about the way customers view the Golden Arches.


After California residents voted to increase taxes via Proposition 30, state revenues have decreased, and residents and businesses are leaving to avoid burdensome taxes and regulations.

However, as Forbes notes, “leaving” California “is not always easy”; the state considers anyone in the state for anything other than a temporary or transitory purpose as a resident.

The burden is on the taxpayer to show they are not a Californian. The state presumes anyone who has been in California for at least nine months is a resident. 



Paraprosdokians (Winston Churchill loved them) are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous. Enjoy!
1. Where there's a will, I want to be in it.
2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.
3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
4. If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.
5. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.
6. War does not determine who is right - only who is left.
7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit.. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
8. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
9. I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
10. In filling out an application, where it says, 'In case of emergency, Notify:' I put  'DOCTOR'.
11. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy. (ever been to K MART)
12. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
13. I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure..
14. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
15. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
16. You're never too old to learn something stupid.
17. I'm supposed to respect my elders, but its getting harder and harder for me to find one now.

Burglar In West Ocean City Crime Gets Break In Court, Again

A Baltimore teen-ager who got a legal break after burglarizing a West Ocean City residence in July 2011 got another break in court last Friday.

Although Shane Andrew Cohill, 19, did not do what he was supposed to do while on probation for the burglary, Judge Richard Bloxom said “there is some chance” Cohill would do as required this time.

Cohill, a 19-year-old young woman and two 17-year-old boys came to the resort area and broke into a residence on Village Lane, just off Old Bridge Road. They pried open the back door to get in. Police said they were using it as a temporary place to stay.

A day or two later, the owner returned to his home to find the four teenagers inside and his television on. He did not know the intruders.


Its Cold

Some Higher Fees For County Rec and Parks Will Start This Summer

The county will charge a late fee of $1 per minute if children are not picked up from the After School Zone program on time, beginning July 1.

The new fee is part of the county’s Department of Recreation and Parks effort to help generate revenue. The After School Zone program is held at the Worcester County Recreation Center in Snow Hill where children learn new skills, sportsmanship, teamwork, cooperation and more. They play cooperative games, do arts and crafts projects, celebrate holidays and have other fun activities while learning.

During Tuesday’s meeting, County Commissioner Virgil Shockley questioned how the new fee would work.


The "Big Three" Banks Are Gambling With $860 Billion In Deposits

A week ago, when Wells Fargo unleashed the so far quite disappointing earnings season for commercial banks (connected hedge funds like Goldman Sachs excluded) we reported [18]that the bank's deposits had risen to a record $176 billion over loans on its books. Today we conduct the same analysis for the other big two commercial banks: Wells Fargo and JPMorgan (we ignore Citi as it is still a partially nationalized disaster). The results are presented below, together with a rather stunning observation.

First, Wells again - deposits over loans: record $176 billion.


New York Passed a Gun Control Law So They Could See What Was in It

Earlier this week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo rushed to sign sweeping and extremely restrictive gun control legislation into law. Negotiations were made behind closed doors in the middle of the night, debate was rushed, public input was ignored and the votes were taken. The legislation that was passed only allows New York residents to carry seven bullets in a maximum ten round magazine at a time and requires gun registration. The problem? Cuomo didn't read the bill and failed to notice legislators forgot to exempt law enforcement.

A troubling oversight has been found within New York State's sweeping new gun laws.

The ban on having high-capacity magazines, as it's written, would also include law enforcement officers.

Magazines with more than seven rounds will be illegal under the new law when that part takes effect in March.

Quotes Of The Day 1-19-13

“Somebody has to do something, and it’s just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.” Jerry Garcia.

“Remember the good times, forget the bad times, be good to those around you and hope that those around you are kind to you.” Mark Vange, owner, Ketsujin Studios.

Attempt To Transport Cigs To NY Leads Defendant Back To Israel

Yossef Dahan came to the United States more than 10 years ago, but now, because of a woman and an arrest, he can hardly wait to return to his native Israel.

That is also what the judge in his case wants.

“You better get out of this country in 60 days,” said Judge Dale Cathell in Circuit Court in Snow Hill on Monday, after Dahan pleaded guilty to transporting untaxed cigarettes. In exchange for the guilty plea, he was not prosecuted for possessing unstamped cigarettes.

Dahan, 60, was living in Brooklyn, N.Y., when a woman somehow took “quite a bit of his money,” defense attorney Julie Guyer told the court. “He determined this might be an opportunity to make some money.”


The Great Awakening Of U.S. Soldiers

O’Malley Recommends Expanding Free Breakfast Program To Needy Schools

Gov. Martin O’Malley listened to the local elected officials and 23 organizations he heard from last month asking him to increase state funding for a program that feeds breakfast to students at needy schools.

O’Malley announced his recommendation this week for $1.8 million to be added to the state’s budget for Maryland Meals For Achievement, which provides free breakfast for all students in their classrooms in schools that qualify.

This school year, the state is spending $3.38 million for services that provide breakfasts to 33,000 students at 271 schools.




JANUARY 22, 2013

1: 30 p. m. Further Discussion— Pay Classification Study
1: 55 p. m. Removal of Parking Spaces on Wayne Street
2: 20 p. m. Further Discussion— C[ P
3: 00 p. m. Break
3: 10 p. m. Further Discussion — Request for Reconsideration of a Payment Plan for Oasis Car Wash
3: 35 p. m. Vote to go into Closed Session, in accordance with Annotated Code of Maryland Section
10- 508( a)( 7)( 8), to consult with legal counsel for advice and with staff, consultants, or other
individuals about pending or potential litigation
4: l 5 p. m. General Discussion/ Upcoming agenda items
4: 30 p. m. Adjournment

Gov't: Food Allergies May Be Disability Under Law

Allergic to gluten? What about peanuts? Federal disabilities law may be able to help.

The Justice Department said in a recent settlement with a Massachusetts college that severe food allergies can be considered a disability under the law. That gives those who suffer from such allergies a new avenue in seeking menus that fit their diet. But some say it goes too far.

The decision leaves schools, restaurants and other places that serve food more exposed to legal challenges if they fail to honor requests for accommodations by people with food allergies. 


Backed Into A Corner Of Our Own Making

It is neither pessimism nor optimism but a squaring up with the facts and, when done, it is the inescapable conclusion that we have backed ourselves into a corner of our own making and that to escape this dark and dangerous place will be a painful experience. The scheme rests upon various feet; Central Banks acting in collusion to lower yields and provide capital as an off-set to the government in America and the governments on the Continent who cannot bear, for political reasons, to do what should be done and that is to cut expenditures.

The United States and the European Union are spending far too much money on anything/everything which cannot be afforded by their economies and so the Central Banks print more and more and more money to accommodate their Masters. Inflation, the conclusion that would be expected in normal times, is not present because all of these Central Banks are operating in unison and so, with nowhere to invest money off-world, we are restrained by the boundaries of the planet and what is available to absorb the slosh of capital that has been created. With the Central Banks buying up around eighty percent of any new supply; what is left for the poor beggars defined as private investors and so the money is put to use, equities head higher, absolute yields fall, compression continues unabated in Fixed Income, Real Estate increases in price and it soon become obvious that it is not this sector or that sector but the entire planet that has been filled with a gigantic amount of hot air and newly minted little pieces of paper and that a bubble has been created which is not only world-wide and systemic but it is the likes of one we have never seen which is why it has gone rather unnoticed. It is rather like lying in the poppy fields of Oz on some warm afternoon in May and forgetting that the wicked witch still lurks in her castle and watch out for Toto because she means to get you both!

The worry then is how does it all end, what do you do in the meantime and how and what do you do when the bubble is pricked. The Central Banks will try to manage it but they will fail as the demon is now far larger than either spun rhetoric or their ability to contain the monster that they have created. The politicians, on both Continents, have fed the incubus by offering sustenance to the people that elect them far past what their pocketbooks can afford and so Uncle Ben and Super Mario turn on their magic machines which mystically morphs paper into a special affair that can be used to buy goods and services with all of it backed by nothing more than promises to pay and “full faith and credit” and other lofty sounding words that mask the fact that no government could afford to pay except in this “pay in kind” fashion and so the presses print, old debt is paid off with new debt, the size of the debt is hidden in musty drawers, most isn’t counted and six and twenty blackbirds have baked a meringue pie.

A meringue is really nothing but foam. And what is foam after all, but a big collection of bubbles? And what's a bubble? It's basically a very flimsy little latticework of proteins draped with water. We add sugar to this structure, which strengthens it; but things can, and will, go wrong. Perhaps very wrong.


A suburban New York newspaper that outraged gun owners by posting the names and addresses of residents with handgun permits removed the information from its website Friday.

The Journal News took down the data just three days after the state enacted a gun control law that included privacy provisions for permit holders.

The provisions were a reaction to interactive maps the newspaper published on that pinpointed thousands of permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties.


Whole Foods CEO Says ObamaCare is "More Like Fascism"

I’ve been saying this for years. Obama is no socialist, Obama is a fascist. Only a fascist would steal from the middle class and the non-oligarch wealthy and hand it to the 0.01% oligarch class. At the same time, he pays off the poor with food stamps and/or disability checks. He doesn’t do this because he cares about them, he does this so that they remain quiet while he loots the country. It is also a great way to keep a large part of the population dependent on him and the government for survival. Now we hear from Whole Foods’ CEO, John Mackey, who also just recently released a book titled,Conscious Capitalism. From NPR:

When Inskeep asks him if he still thinks the health law is a form of socialism, as he’s said before, Mackey responds:
“Technically speaking, it’s more like fascism. Socialism is where the government owns the means of production. In fascism, the government doesn’t own the means of production, but they do control it — and that’s what’s happening with our health care programs and these reforms.”

Check please.

Full article here.

Guns Across America Rally In Maryland

Obama Scores Win With Debt Ceiling Vote

House Speaker John Boehner's decision to hold a debt ceiling vote next week without insisting upon matching spending cuts marks a clear political victory for President Barack Obama who has been pushing hard for Congress to raise the limit without debate, congressional insiders say.

The House Republican leader had been insisting upon dollar-for-dollar spending cuts to pair with any debt ceiling increase earlier this month. But following a soul-searching retreat with his unruly and divided caucus, Boehner did an about face by saying he will hold a vote on a three-month extension of the debt ceiling next week. But he added he would push for ways to make Senate Democrats pass a budget, something they haven't done in years.

"Avoiding a fight, even if for three months, certainly helps the president who is going to face substantial push back from Republicans on other issues, like gun control," says one former Senate Republican aide, who adds that public opinion polling is a key factor in Boehner's change of heart.


A Broken Justice System: "Most Americans Commit About Three Felonies a Day"

This article from the Huffington Post is timely and important, particularly in the wake of the Aaron Swartz tragedy. It demonstrates a criminal justice system that has become completely void of justice. A system in which medical marijuana dispensaries and raw milk farms are raided by SWAT teams, but in which bankers that rob trillions with a pen face a slap on the wrist at worst and promotions to higher office at best. This kind of system, where federal prosecutors will target citizens just for publicity or because they know Washington D.C. doesn’t like the person is more reminiscent or Nazi, Soviet or East German justice than traditional American justice. It is another symptom of a nation in rapid societal decline. From the Huffington Post:

Prosecutors have enormous power. Even investigations that don’t result in any charges can ruin lives, ruin reputations, and drive their targets into bankruptcy. It has become an overtly political position — in general, but particularly at the federal level. If a prosecutor wants to ruin your life, he or she can. Even if you’ve done nothing wrong, there isn’t a whole lot you can do about it.

But by most estimates, there are at least 4,000 separate criminal laws at the federal level, with another 10,000 to 300,000 regulations that can be enforced criminally. Just this year 400 new federal laws took effect, as did 29,000 new state laws. The civil libertarian and defense attorney Harvey Silverglate has argued that most Americans now unknowingly now commit about three felonies per day.
Worse, while we citizens can go to prison for unwittingly breaking laws of which we weren’t aware, prosecutors and law enforcement officers who wrongly arrest, charge, and try citizens based on a misunderstanding of the law generally face no sanction or repercussions.


Minnesota Lawyer Who Had Affair With Client Bills Her For Time Sent Having Sex

A Minnesota lawyer is suspended indefinitely after having an affair with a client and then billing her for the time spent having sex, reported.

Thomas P. Lowe, 58, of Eagan, Minn., who is married, had an affair with a woman he was representing in a divorce case, according to the website.

Lowe reportedly knew the client for many years, and agreed in August 2011 to represent her in her divorce case. The two began an affair one month later. 


Robert Gleason Jr. Put To Death

'Kiss my a**', put me on the highway to Jackson and call my Irish buddies': Defiant last words of death row killer as he is strapped to the electric chair

Robert Gleason Jr., 42, was serving life in prison without parole for a 2007 murder when he strangled his first inmate using bedsheets in 2009

One year later he strangled his second inmate through a wire fence while both were in solitary recreational pens
He vowed to kill again until his execution
On Wednesday he was strapped to the electric chair from his ankles to his chest before the last wide leather band was tightened across his face

A maximum of 1,800 volts at 7.5 amps ran through his body until he was pronounced dead at 9.08pm


Maryland Attorney General Files Suit Against ACC

The Maryland Attorney General filed a lawsuit against the Atlantic Coast Conference on Friday, saying its approximately $53 million exit fee for the University of Maryland's departure to the Big Ten is invalid and unenforceable.

Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler filed the suit on behalf of the school and its board of regents in Prince George's County Circuit Court.

The ACC sued Maryland in November in a North Carolina court to make the school pay the exit fee. Gansler also filed a motion Friday to dismiss that lawsuit, saying a court in that state has no jurisdiction over Maryland.


Some Subway ‘Footlong’ Subs Don't Measure Up

They deserve a knuckle sandwich.

Stingy Subway sandwich honchos are shorting customers by serving 11-inch “Footlong” subs, hungry New Yorkers say.

The Post discovered that the city’s lunchtime crowds are getting short-changed after a muckraking Australian revealed the company’s famous “Five-dollar Footlongs” were smaller than advertised.

Four out of seven Footlongs — purchased at Subway locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens — measured only 11 or 11.5 inches, according to the test.

And that’s not the only corner Subway is cutting — the shops have sliced their cold-cut sizes by 25 percent in the past few months, a Manhattan franchise owner told The Post.


Ex-New Orleans Mayor Nagin Charged With Bribery

More than a decade ago, Ray Nagin was elected mayor of New Orleans on a vow to root out corruption in a city plagued by decades of it. On Friday, the former mayor was indicted on charges he lined his pockets with bribe money, payoffs and gratuities while the chronically poor city struggled to recover from Hurricane Katrina's punishing blow.

The federal indictment alleges that city contractors paid Nagin more than $200,000 in bribes and subsidized his trips to Hawaii, Jamaica and other places in exchange for his help securing millions of dollars in work for the city.

The charges against Nagin are the product of a City Hall corruption investigation that already has resulted in guilty pleas by two former city officials and two businessmen and a prison sentence for a former city vendor.


Change Maryland Releases New Figures on County-Level Employment

Annapolis - Change Maryland released new figures today on county employment levels following the release of the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program on January 8.

Under the program, Maryland's 24 jurisdictions can be measured on employment levels over time periods. By comparing the annual year-end average against other years, the data shows multiple-year trends for each jurisdiction.

The largest population centers of Prince George's, Baltimore County, and Baltimore City have lost the most jobs, in total numbers, from 2007 to 2011. These jurisdictions, on average, experienced employment level declines ranging from 16,000 to 17,000 each. Just two counties – St. Mary's and Howard – gained jobs during that time.

“Coming out of the recession, we're just not posting strong gains consistently, across the state,” said Change Maryland Communications and Policy Director Jim Pettit. “And we're finding that our largest jurisdictions are pulling employment levels down, and we need to see an opposite trend in order to restore economic performance statewide."

In percentage terms, St. Mary's and Howard led the state in job growth with gains of over 6% and nearly 3%, respectively. In percentage terms, eastern shore counties Kent, Cecil and Talbot led in declines with employment levels dropping on average just over 9%.

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Guns And The Government

If you have listened to President Obama and Vice President Biden talk about guns in the past month, you have heard them express a decided commitment to use the powers of the federal government to maintain safety in the United States. You also have heard congressional voices from politicians in both parties condemning violence and promising to do something about it. This sounds very caring and inside the wheelhouse of what we hire and pay the federal government to do.
But it is clearly unconstitutional.

When the Founders created the American republic, they did so by inducing constitutional conventions in each of the original 13 states to ratify the new Constitution. The idea they presented, and the thesis accepted by those ratifying conventions, was that the states are sovereign; they derive their powers from the people who live there. The purpose of the Constitution was to create a federal government of limited powers – powers that had been delegated to it by the states. The opening line of the Constitution contains a serious typographical error: "We the People" should read "We the States." As President Ronald Reagan reminded us in his first inaugural address, the states created the federal government and not the other way around.

Notwithstanding the Constitution’s typo, the states delegated only 16 unique, discrete powers to the new federal government, and all of those powers concern nationhood. The Constitution authorizes the feds to regulate in areas of national defense, foreign affairs, keeping interstate commerce regular, establishing a post office, protecting patents and artistic creations, and keeping the nation free. The areas of health, safety, welfare and morality were not delegated to the feds and were retained by the States.