The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent our advertisers

Wednesday, February 06, 2013


A burglar got more of a fight than she expected after a super tough 86-year-old would-be victim confronted her with a handgun. Though she was unable to hit the home intruder with the one shot she fired, the elderly woman engaged in a struggle with the burglar and refused to let go of her gun.

“I told different people, if I ever catch ‘em, I mean to kill ‘em,” Louise Howard told WCYB-TV. In other words, the burglar should be thankful she’s still alive.

The incident occurred on Friday afternoon and Howard was forced to defend her home and her life from a female burglar who broke the glass on her door with a wrench and forced her way into her Tennessee home.


The Senate Must Reject Hagel

The Senate’s “advice and consent” role doesn’t require it to rubber-stamp a presidential appointee for secretary of defense who senators believe would weaken America in this increasingly dangerous world.
Notwithstanding former Sen. Chuck Hagel’s diminished view of the post — “I won’t be in a policymaking position” — the secretary of defense is an exceedingly important position and must be filled with someone who understands the complexity and gravity of the threats we face.

In his testimony at his confirmation hearing, Hagel demonstrated a remarkable unwillingness to clarify his past statements, a stunning misapprehension of the identity, intentions and capabilities of our enemies, and a disturbing ignorance of the critical subject matter on which he would be advising the president. For example, he was unaware that the sequester cuts come out of the Budget Control Act.


New Details About Final Moments On Bus, In Bunker In Ala. Hostage Standoff

New details have emerged about Jimmy Lee Dykes, the 65-year-old captor of a 5-year-old boy who was in a standoff with the FBI for nearly a week.

CBS News senior correspondent and former FBI assistant director John Miller said that as the FBI Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG) and the Dale County Sheriff looked to bring in a "third party intermediary," or TPI, to advance negotiations, it became clear that Dykes had no relationship with his family or neighbors.

"They always look for a TPI. As they negotiate, they can bring in a co-worker or a friend, somebody that the hostage-taker likes and respect. Sometimes that can help move things along," Miller explained Wednesday on "CBS This Morning."


DNREC Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Blotter Jan. 23-30

Reminder for the week: Conservation Order allows snow goose harvest now through April 13

DOVER (Feb. 1, 2013) – To achieve public compliance through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement agents responded to 33 complaints and issued 16 citations between Jan. 23 and 30.
Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation:

Hunting on a refuge (2), New Castle County; Driving a motor vehicle off an established roadway in a state wildlife area (2), driving an unlicensed motor vehicle in a state wildlife area (1), damaging state property (1), and trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (2), Kent County; No hunting license in possession while hunting (2), New Castle and Sussex counties; Hunting migratory waterfowl without state stamp (1), hunting migratory waterfowl without HIP number (1), possession of prohibited toxic lead shot while hunting waterfowl (1), butchering antlerless deer prior to registration (1), and failure to display hunter orange during a firearms deer season (1), Sussex County.
Other: Littering (1), Kent County.

Boy Scouts Delay Decision On Admitting Gays

IRVING, Texas — Faced with intense pressure from two flanks, the Boy Scouts of America said Wednesday it needed more time for consultations before deciding whether to move away from its divisive policy of excluding gays as scouts or adult leaders.

Possible changes in the policy — such as a proposal to allow sponsors of local troops to decide for themselves on gay membership — will not be voted on until the organization’s annual meeting in May, the national executive board said at the conclusion of closed-door deliberations.

As the board met over three days at a hotel in Irving, near Dallas, it became clear that the proposed change would be unacceptable to large numbers of Scouting families and advocacy groups on the left and right. Gay-rights supporters said no Scout units should be allowed to exclude gays, while some conservatives, including religious leaders whose churches sponsor troops, warned of mass defections if the ban was eased.


Nine Football Players Killed By Brain Trauma

Gridiron football has never been more popular. Unquestionably the most popular sport in the United States, professional football is a ten billion dollar a year industry, and high-level college football brings in billions more. The sport is at the top of its game, and with Super Bowl XLVII coming up on Sunday, it’s easy to think that football can only continue to get more popular.

Behind the scenes, though, there is increasing concern that football could be in trouble. The sport is violent by its very nature, and that has long been understood to lead to long-term physical damage. Increasingly, however, it’s becoming apparent that there is a far worse trauma being inflicted on players — serious, irreversible, devastating traumatic brain injuries.


Reporter Corners Carney: Why Is Obama For Drone Strikes And Against Water Boarding?

A reporter asked Jay Carney to explain the President's changing positions on human rights issues in war. The reporter asked, "The President strongly opposed the 'enhanced interrogation techniques,' so called, of the Bush administration. He ended them. How does dropping a bomb on an American citizen without any judicial review, any trial, not raise the very human rights questions, or more human rights questions than something like water boarding?"
See Video HERE

Check Out Where The Newest $30 Million Amusement Park Will Be

Abbottabad, Pakistan will forever be remembered as the city where Osama Bin Laden was found, and eventually killed in his compound, by U.S. Special Forces. But the local government wants the city remembered for something else – namely – an amusement park. Pakistan is planning to build a $30 million amusement park and zoo in Abbottabad. The entire complex will span 500 acres, and include restaurants, attractions, and other touristy clubs. The local government says its decision to build the park has nothing to do with the 2011 Bin Laden raid at all – and is strictly about promoting tourism.

Baltimore Among 20 Best-Paying Cities For Women

Baltimore ranks as one of the 20 best-paying cities in the nation for women, according to Forbes Magazine.

Forbes, using Census Bureau data provided by financial literacy site NerdWallet Inc., says Baltimore-area women working full-time earn a median income of $47,635, more than double the salary in the worst-paying city for women, Opelousas, La., where women earn just $21,658. Overall, Baltimore ranks 16th on the Forbes list.

Washington, D.C., ranks first on the list.


Vending Machines At School May Soon Disappear

The USDA has proposed a new rule, which could go into effect as early as next year, that would ban most candy, sugar-filled drinks, and greasy foods from being sold in our schools. The new rule would require schools to provide snacks that have less than 200 calories. Over the next 60 days, the USDA will take comments and feedback about the proposed rule. According to data, local and state regulations on unhealthy vending machines may have played a role in slowing childhood obesity rates.

Gun Control Hearing

Picture sent in by a reader
taken today at 11am

Don Dwyer announced that the Senate building has been closed for the first time in 11 years due to overwhelming voter turnout.


Let this be a lesson: Even if you believe it, even if you don’t like customers, keep it professional and keep it to yourself.

During a taping of the CBS hit show “Undercover Boss,” a reality program where top execs and CEOs go undercover to see what it’s like to work for their company, a supervisor at a Duluth, Ga., Boston Market decided to tell his “co-worker” all about his deep-seated hatred of customers.

But here’s the thing: His “co-worker” turned out to be Sara Bittorf, Chief Brand Officer of Boston Market. As you can imagine, the exchange between the supervisor, Ronnie, and Bittorf didn’t end well.


Gun Control Hearing Draws Big Crowd To Annapolis

Hundreds have gathered to express opposition to Gov. Martin O'Malley's gun-control measure outside the Maryland Statehouse as the Senate began a public hearing on the bill that is expected to last for hours.

A large crowd of people filled Lawyer's Mall in Annapolis on Wednesday.

Lou Levy of Parkton was among them. He says he disagrees with changing gun laws instead of focusing on the people who commit crimes.Members of the public and lobbyists filled a Senate committee room and into an overflow room ahead of a hearing on the governor's gun control bill. Access to the Miller Senate Building was cut off to better handle the crowds.


Argentina Freezes Supermarket Prices To Halt Soaring Inflation; Chaos To Follow

Up until now, Argentina's descent into a hyperinflationary basket case, with a crashing currency and loss of outside funding was relatively moderate and controlled. All this is about to change. Today, in a futile attempt to halt inflation, the government of Cristina Kirchner announced a two-month price freeze on supermarket products. The price freeze applies to every product in all of the nation’s largest supermarkets — a group including Walmart, Carrefour, Coto, Jumbo, Disco and other large chains. The companies’ trade group, representing 70 percent of the Argentine supermarket sector, reached the accord with Commerce Secretary Guillermo Moreno, the government’s news agency Telam reported. As AP reports, "The commerce ministry wants consumers to keep receipts and complain to a hotline about any price hikes they see before April 1."

Perhaps they will. What consumers will certainly do is scramble into local stores to take advantage of artificially-controlled prices knowing very well they have two short months to stock up on perishable goods at today's prices, before the country's inflation comes soaring back, only this time many of the local stores will not be around as their profit margins implode and as owners, especially of foreign-based chains, make the prudent decision to get out of Dodge while the getting's good and before the next steps, including such measures as nationalization, in the escalation into a full out hyperinflationary collapse, are taken by Argentina's female ruler.



A 72-year-old homeowner immediately retrieved his handgun when he heard several home intruders attempting to gain entry to his Las Vegas residence early Monday morning. And when the criminals entered his bedroom, he opened fire, killing one of the suspects and sending the rest fleeing, KLAS-TV reports.

“Several intruders, had gotten into the home, entered his bedroom and he fired at least one shot, and they fled,” Metro Police Officer Bill Cassell said. “It is unusual, first of all, to have multiple people burglarizing a residence, especially when they are carrying weapons.”




Budget strains will force the Pentagon to cut its aircraft carrier presence in the Persian Gulf area from two carriers to one. As a result, the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman won't deploy from Norfolk on Friday as planned.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta formally approved a plan to keep just one carrier in the region. There have been two aircraft carrier groups there for most of the last two years.

The Navy requested that the Truman deployment be delayed and the secretary approved it, George Little, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a news release.

The announcement is the biggest indication yet that looming defense cuts have affected the way the U.S. military operates – an effect that will only grow as the cuts materialize. It was a highly symbolic move with lots of practical consequences for Hampton Roads.

It affects more than 5,000 sailors assigned to the carrier, its air wing and the smaller ships that were to accompany it to the Gulf. Sailors routinely put their cars in storage, give up their apartments and sometimes move their families closer to loved ones while they’re gone. Carrier deployments now last around 8 months, meaning the crew likely planned to be gone until October.


Time To Catch A Thief In Wicomico County

 INCIDENT: Rogue and Vagabonds

DATE: Over the Last Couple Weeks

LOCATION: Wicomico and Worcester Counties

Over the last couple of weeks the Wicomico Sheriff’s Office and the Maryland State Police in
Wicomico County have experienced a rise in the report of thefts from vehicles, Rogue and Vagabond investigations. 

Victims have found in the morning that their vehicles have been broken into and that items have been taken. In most
cases it involves the theft of items that include credit cards. Ultimately the suspect uses the credit cards for personal gain. The Rogue and Vagabonds are not restricted to a given area in Wicomico County. Detectives are asking the public to view the attached photos of a possible suspect and suspect vehicle and if anyone has any information about 
them to contact the WBI. 

WBI is also reminding the public to be careful about the placement of personal items within view inside their given
vehicles. WBI is asking the public to remove the items from clear view by placing them possibly in the trunk of the vehicle or taking them in their residence. We believe the suspect is spotting these items in given vehicles and then breaking into the vehicles to recover the property. 

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact the Wicomico Bureau of Investigation at 410-548-4898 or
Crime Solvers at 410-548-1776

We Don't Need No Standardized Tests!

Across the nation, more and more teachers are fighting back against mandatory standardized testing. Over the last few decades, the use of standardized testing in our schools has exploded, as part of the corporate school reform agenda. These tests do little to improve the actual education of students, but do funnel huge profits to standardized testing companies. In Seattle, teachers at three schools have come forward saying the will sit out this year's mandatory testing. Teachers in Providence, Rhode Island and Portland, Oregon have also stood up against their states' standardized testing regime. And in Illinois, the Chicago Teachers Union launched a new campaign last week, to eliminate certain types of standardized testing. This movement is growing – stay tuned.

ACLU Of Maryland Testifies Against Cell Phone Tracking Information Bill

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland House Judiciary Committee is considering a bill that would allow law enforcement officials to obtain location records from mobile devices without a search warrant.

Opponents of the legislation said during a House judiciary committee hearing on Tuesday that House Bill 377 lowers the standard of probable cause law enforcement officials must meet before obtaining cell phone tracking information. But supporters say the proposed legislation will provide a uniform standard across the state for obtaining real-time location information of an individual involved in an investigation.

In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement must obtain a search warrant before using GPS technology to track criminal suspects. While the ruling did not impose a warrant requirement or a probable cause standard for obtaining real-time location records, both practices became commonplace in several of the state jurisdictions, including the city of Baltimore, for obtaining real-time location information records. 


Super Bowl 47 Is In The Books

And the Baltimore Ravens captured their second world championship on Sunday night. In what was dubbed "The Har-bowl" with two competing Harbaugh brothers coaching both teams, the Ravens were able to hold off a huge comeback in the second half by the 49ers. The game didn't exactly go off without a hitch though. A massive power outage in the stadium, at the start of the second half, delayed the game by more than a half-hour. It's also worth mentioning that the Superdome in New Orleans, which hosted last night's game, was renovated to accommodate the Super Bowl, thanks in large part to $470 million of taxpayer funds, following Hurricane Katrina. Unfortunately most of the financial gains from hosting the Super Bowl won't go to the taxpayers, but instead billionaire sports-team owners.

Testimony On The Firearm Safety Act Of 2013

February 6th, 2013

Annapolis, MD

Chairman Frosh, Vice-Chair Gladden, Members of the Committee:

We choose to take on gun violence because every life is precious,… because every life is needed,… because there is no tragedy worse than the death of a child

In Maryland, even as we’ve partnered with law enforcement to drive down homicide to three decade lows, we are still losing too many of our fellow citizens to gun violence.

In 2011, the most recent year for which we have data, 516 Marylanders – mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts – were killed by guns.[1] We have more work to do.

There is no such thing as a spare Marylander or spare American. That’s why a broad coalition of police chiefs, faith leaders, advocates for domestic violence victims, and citizens from across our State have come together in support of the legislation you consider today.

These proposals build on the important work we are doing together to protect domestic violence victims from guns,… and on the important work of our Task Force on Guns and Mental illness,… and it builds on the work of brave Maryland law enforcement who put themselves in harm’s way and seized over 18-hundred illegal guns from criminals last year.
A Comprehensive Approach

This legislation takes a comprehensive approach:

It includes common sense licensing provisions to keep guns away from criminals while protecting the right to legal handgun ownership. It requires a license and a criminal background check to purchase a gun. It has a gun safety training component. And it has other measures aimed at preventing criminals from obtaining guns.

Licensing provisions work. In cities where licensing is required, there are fewer guns diverted to criminals: so-called “straw-purchases” – in which people with clean records buy guns and hand them over to criminals, who then use them to kill or commit other crimes.

What’s more, other states that have similar licensing provisions and they also have substantially lower gun death rates than states that do not.

Let me be clear: we are not trying to ban handguns. This law protects legal gun ownership. It is designed to stop criminals from buying guns.

Let me be clear about another thing: we are licensing handguns, not hunting rifles. We are committed to protecting hunter’s and their traditions.

This legislation bans the sale of military-style assault weapons.

We are also proposing a limit on the size of high capacity magazines.

Today, four states ban high capacity magazines with more than ten rounds. All are among the states with the lowest rates of gun deaths.

With your vote we will take a number of actions to improve mental health treatment and timely data sharing. Never again do we want to say after the fact “if we only knew what we knew.” In addition to new investments and information sharing upgrades, we will create Center for Excellence on Early Intervention for Serious Mental Illness. The Center will utilize more effective early intervention strategies so we can save more lives.

We will act to upgrade security at Maryland’s schools with a $25 million investment in security upgrades at Maryland’s schools. Those of us that have occasion to visit our children’s schools know that there is a wide spectrum when it comes to the safeguards that are in place. Simple things like the doors being locked, and visitors being checked in could make all the difference. So, we will be creating a fund within our capital schools budget which will help us to bring schools up to higher standards.

Building on our Task Force’s recommendations, we will create a “Maryland Center for School Safety,” which will work with both public schools and law enforcement to provide advice for school officials on the things we can do to effectively safeguard our campuses.

To conclude: we’ve made important progress together, driving violent crime in Maryland down to three decade lows. This didn’t happen by itself. It wasn’t barometric pressures. These are human problems we are confronted with, and so too are their solutions.

The solutions we’re proposing are not about banning all guns or casting blame on everything but guns. They are about putting the focus on saving lives,… with a comprehensive approach that puts the focus on the practical, common sense things that we can do together to save lives.

This isn’t about ideology, it is about public safety. Doing common sense things that work to save lives.
[1] This includes murders, suicides, and accidents




Rep. Andy Harris Supports PLAN Act to Force President Obama To Pass A Balanced Budget

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Rep. Andy Harris (MD-1) strongly supported the “Require a PLAN Act” (H.R. 444) that requires President Obama to submit a budget that balances in 10 years or let Congress know by April 1st when his budget would balance. Below is also a radio recording by Rep. Harris where he outlines his support for “Require a PLAN Act.” 

The President of the United States is obligated by “The Budget and Accounting Act” to submit a budget each year on the first Monday in February. Even though he is obligated to do so, President Obama has been late to submit a budget four of the last five years. On Monday, the President said he would not be submitting his budget on time and did not let Congress know when his budget would be submitted. 

This bill is common sense legislation to compel President Obama to fulfill his responsibility to pass a budget that balances. Families and businesses all across Maryland have to live within a budget, so Washington needs to as well. After four years of trillion dollar deficits, it’s time that President Obama acknowledge the spending problem America faces and do something about it. 

Rep. Andy Harris statement: 

“America cannot continue spending money we don’t have. We have a moral obligation to ensure that the country we leave our children and grandchildren is as free and prosperous as the one our parents left for us. Yet today, each child in this country owes $53,000 as a share of the national debt. That must change. President Obama needs to get serious about the debt being left to our children, and the “Require a PLAN Act” forces him to do his job.”

We Can Reduce Gun Violence Without Infringing On Law Abiding Gun Owners’ Rights

Gun safety experts, as well as most Marylanders, agree that these are common sense steps we can take to keep families safe and reduce gun violence in Maryland. Nevertheless, there are some, including gun manufacturers, who will oppose any and all efforts to put safety measures in place. They will use scare tactics and misinformation in order to stir up fear and generate opposition to the Governor’s initiatives.
Let me set the record straight:

(1) Our Gun Safety Proposals Are Not Aimed At Hunters and Sportsmen. The Governor understands and respects the traditions of hunters and sportsmen in Maryland. That’s why we explicitly carve out shotguns and rifles from the licensing requirements of our bill.

(2) Our Gun Safety Proposals Would Not Ban Handguns. The bill would not prevent law-abiding Marylanders who want to purchase a handgun to protect themselves or their families from doing so. Our goal is to prevent criminals from getting guns by using straw purchasers, so the bill creates certain licensing requirements for purchasing a handgun. But law-abiding citizens would still be permitted to purchase and own handguns.

(3) Our Gun Safety Proposals Are Consistent with the Constitution. Maryland’s Attorney General analyzed the proposals and determined that they are “constitutional under the Second Amendment,” that “law-abiding gun owners have nothing to fear,” and that our proposals “do not allow for confiscation of guns nor could they” under Supreme Court precedent.

The lobbyists for the gun manufacturers want to preserve the status quo and block even common sense gun safety measures. They will spread falsehoods in order to create unwarranted fear. Know the facts: the licensing requirements don’t affect shotguns and rifles, we don’t ban handguns, and the proposals are consistent with the Constitution.

For more information on the bill, click here:

Record 40 Governors Declare Feb. 6 'Ronald Reagan Day'

In honor of President Reagan's 102nd birthday, a record number of governors declare "Ronald Reagan Day" in their states.

Each year the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project asks governors from all 50 states to issue a proclamation declaring Feb. 6 "Ronald Reagan Day" in their respective states. Today, the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project proudly commends the 40 governors -- Republicans and Democrats alike -- who have chosen to honor President Reagan's 102nd birthday.

"Ronald Reagan led America forward to defeat the threats to our prosperity of high taxes, inflation, and recession at home and a surging Soviet Empire abroad. He left America stronger, freer, and safer than the day he became President," said Grover Norquist, founder and chairman of the project.


Burger King Admits Some Beef In U.K. Contained Horse Meat, But None Sold To Diners

Despite taking its business elsewhere after a meat processing plant in Ireland was found to have beef mixed with horse meat, it seems Burger King didn’t move fast enough to insure its 100% beef patties stayed that way. The fast food chain admits that some of the beef from its supplier contained trace bits of horse DNA, but none of that meat made it into its restaurants.

The horse meat scare across the pond is shaking up a lot of consumers there, but Burger King is stressing the very important fact to its customers that although tests at the plant it got beef from had “very small trace levels” of horse DNA, all burgers taken from restaurants had tested negative. The beef that tested positive never left the plant and was never in danger of reaching stores.

On Gun Control, Banning Semiautomatics Isn’t The Answer

I was at the NRA gun range in Fairfax County the other day, shooting an AR-15 “assault rifle.” It’s eerie to hold at first, as if the gun was not merely the same kind used in several recent mass killings but the same one. And when you hear the blast from that supersonic .223-caliber bullet, the thought that someone would use such a weapon on elementary school children makes you want to put it down.

Ban it. Take it away. Beat it into a plowshare. For a moment, the proposal by gun control advocates to outlaw the rifle actually seemed to make sense. It was the relief that accompanies any quick fix to a vexing problem. Doing something is better than doing nothing, President Obama says.

Except that blaming the gun really is doing nothing. The more I fired the AR-15, the harder it was to pretend that any gun was somehow more dangerous than the person holding it. 


SodaStream Customer Service Finds It Hilarious That Its Products Send Me Straight To The Toilet

Consumerist reader C. had a problem of a well, rather delicate nature. She writes that after receiving a SodaStream for Christmas, she was beyond excited to try it out, using a few of the company’s flavored syrups to make her own carbonated beverages at home. That excitement waned when she started experiencing an — how shall we say it? — ill health effect that sent her running for the bathroom every time she drank the stuff.

After trying various non-diet syrups (she adds she never drinks diet soda because she doesn’t like the taste of artificial sweeteners) and waiting a week or so in between trials to make sure it was the SodaStream syrups causing the bathroom trips, she decided to write to the company and see if others were having a similar problem.

She says hesitated to reveal the nature of her problem, but figured if the syrups were contaminated with bacteria or something else, the company should know.

Same-Sex Couples Fight For The Right To Marry

Delaware residents, legislators and human rights organizations say 2013 is the year for marriage equality in the state.

About 100 people gathered at CAMP Rehoboth on Baltimore Avenue to participate in a town hall discussion about the evolution of the gay rights movement, on a state and national level, and the progress many hope is forthcoming.

Equality Delaware President Lisa Goodman, who led the discussion, said discrimination was still legal in Delaware in 2009. That year, the General Assembly voted to include homosexuals in Delaware’s anti-discrimination laws, which took effect in July 2009. “And it was signed right here,” Goodman said of the bill.


Too Big To Jail Is Here To Stay

Lanny Breuer, the Assistant Attorney General who claimed that prosecuting banks for crimes poses a risk to the financial sector and so corrupt bankers are “too big to jail” has lost his job:
MARTIN SMITH: You gave a speech before the New York Bar Association. And in that speech, you made a reference to losing sleep at night, worrying about what a lawsuit might result in at a large financial institution.


MARTIN SMITH: Is that really the job of a prosecutor, to worry about anything other than simply pursuing justice?

LANNY BREUER: Well, I think I am pursuing justice. And I think the entire responsibility of the department is to pursue justice. But in any given case, I think I and prosecutors around the country, being responsible, should speak to regulators, should speak to experts, because if I bring a case against institution A, and as a result of bringing that case, there’s some huge economic effect — if it creates a ripple effect so that suddenly, counterparties and other financial institutions or other companies that had nothing to do with this are affected badly — it’s a factor we need to know and understand.

But the man who put him there, and who is ultimately responsible for the policy — the Attorney General himself — is here to stay .

The Government Generously Offers To Help You "Manage" Your Retirement Account

We have discussed this threat over the past several years (must read).] The obvious concept is that when the government runs out of money, or they face a drying up in interest for its debt, they will come for the $19.4 trillion in American’s retirement accounts. It seems that day may be finally drawing near.

I stopped contributing to my 401k back when I worked at Bernstein, and I will probably now have to give more serious consideration whether I want to take the penalty and move the funds out of my retirement account entirely. I haven’t made any decisions, but will be watching closely.

I’m sure the government is just trying to protect your retirement account from terrorists.


Brennan Nomination Exposes Criticism On Targeted Killings And Secret Saudi Base

President Obama’s plan to install his counterterrorism adviser as director of the CIA has opened the administration to new scrutiny over the targeted-killing policies it has fought to keep hidden from the public, including the existence of a previously secret drone base in Saudi Arabia.

The administration’s refusal to provide details about one of the most controversial aspects of its drone campaign — strikes on U.S. citizens abroad — has emerged as a potential source of opposition to CIA nominee John O. Brennan, who faces a Senate confirmation hearing scheduled for Thursday.

The secrecy surrounding that policy was punctured Monday with the disclosure of a Justice Department “white paper” that spells out the administration’s case for killing Americans accused of being al-Qaeda operatives. 


Free Car Seat Check

The Subsidy Addiction: Jobs Vs Foodstamps

In the aftermath of Friday's mediocre jobs report, and while we wait for the USDA to release the latest November foodstamp update which will almost certainly print at a new record high, here is yet another representation of a relationship we have shown on several occasions previously, yet which is always entertaining, and shows just what kind of "recovery" the US is undergoing. Presenting the indexed change of payrolls (green line) and foodstamps recipients (red). No explanation is necessary.

Lost Cat 2-6-13

Lost Cat around Emerson Ave & Whitman Dr in Salisbury. If seen please call, if have will pay reward for him. He is not friendly, will bite and scratch. He was wearing a red studded leather collar. He is tall and weighs approx. 18lb, call 410-548-7440



February 5, 2013, a Wicomico County Judge found Kirkland Hall III Guilty of Possessing 2.8 grams of crack cocaine in 25 separate bags with the intent to distribute it.

On August 1, 2012 Kirkland Hall III was arrested in the area of Truitt Street after running from the Salisbury Police, who recognized the defendant to be a wanted Safe Streets Offender. A search of Mr. Hall’s flight path after his arrest revealed a bag containing 2.8 grams of crack cocaine, broken into 25 separate bags.

Hall was found to be a subsequent offender by the Wicomico County Circuit Court and was sentenced to 30 years with the first 20 years to be served by the Defendant in the Division of Corrections (DOC).

Wicomico County State’s Attorney Matthew A. Maciarello commended the Salisbury Police Department’s Safe Streets Unit, The Salisbury Safe Streets Coalition Team, and the Maryland State police for their excellent teamwork in the investigation and prosecution of this case. Mr. Maciarello also thanked Safe Streets Prosecutor, Richard J. Brueckner Jr., who prosecuted this case.

Public Announcement For The City Election Board Members

Fast Asleep.... Until Her Favorite Song Comes on

Americans Spent Highest Percentage Of Income In 30 Years On Fuel In 2012

Even though Americans are cutting down on how often they hit up the gas pump, as a country we’re paying a higher percentage of our incomes on gasoline than we have in the last 30 years. The Energy Department said in a new report that U.S. households shelled out an average of $2,912 last year for gas, or about 4% of their pretax income.

It’s kind of a bummer to hear such figures, especially with the increasing popularity of fuel-efficient vehicles and opting to say, walk or ride a bike instead of driving somewhere nearby, notes the Los Angeles Times.

“The effect of the higher prices in 2011 and 2012 outweighed the effect of reduced consumption,” the Energy Department said.

Budweiser Clydesdale Foal Is Named Hope

The three-week-old star of Budweiser's Super Bowl ad now has a name: Hope.

Anheuser-Busch said Tuesday that its contest to find a name for the foal born Jan. 16 at the company's Clydesdale ranch in mid-Missouri generated more than 60,000 tweets, Facebook comments and other messages. Hope was one of the more popular names generated through the social media effort.

Other suggestions were nods to the song featured in the commercial, including Landslide -- the name of the song -- and Stevie -- for Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks.



The Somerset Long Term Recovery Committee will hold its second town hall meeting at Crisfield Academy and High School at 6:00 p.m. in Crisfield, Maryland on Wednesday February 6, 2013. The meeting will be held in the school’s auditorium and cafeteria.

Residents of Crisfield and Somerset County who experienced property damage and loss because of Super Storm Sandy are encouraged to attend to learn about what assistance is available to them. Representatives from important agencies will be in attendance to answer questions. The status of recovery efforts will be discussed along with future plans and options for the citizens. In addition, the newly hired case manager for the Somerset Long Term Recovery Committee Mitchell Simpson will be introduced. People representing local, state and national agencies will be in attendance.

Why A Super Bowl Loss Is Good News For Kids In Mongolia & Zambia

Even for people who don’t follow football, Super Bowl Sunday is a de facto holiday here in the U.S., filled with its own rituals, language and imagery. It’s also a time to celebrate for people in some underdeveloped countries, who will reap the benefit of the 100,000+ pieces of clothing that the NFL can’t sell.
As you’ve probably already deduced after years of watching Super Bowl champs slip into pre-printed shirts announcing their victory, those garments weren’t printed during the two-minute warning. No, there are boxes of shirts and hats proudly proclaiming the other team’s victorious effort.

Diplomatic Security Boosted By $1 Billion

The Senate has approved a measure to boost funding for diplomatic security following attacks on U.S. compounds in Libya and Turkey. The bipartisan measure would let the State Department tap more than $1 billion. The money originally was set aside for activities in Iraq, but the government has since scaled back operations. The department had asked for more than twice that amount in its 2013 budget for overseas security. Still, this money would fund security upgrades at overseas posts and additional guards. The bill now goes to the House.

Gun Licensing Splits Maryland Democrats, Endangering O’Malley’s Agenda

In the wake of the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley was quick to propose a package of gun-control legislation that would ban assault weapons and create some of the nation’s strictest gun-licensing requirements.

But now his proposal is caught in a tug of war between members of his own party that some fear could threaten its chances of passage.

Liberal Democrats, intent on capitalizing on public support for gun safety after the massacre, have introduced more than dozen pieces of legislation that add several additional gun-control measures. 


President Barack Obama Is Going Pale And Male

The White House is rejecting talk that President Barack Obama is going pale and male in making up his second term cabinet. Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett told CNN she expects to see more women and people of color tapped for key roles. Obama is considering women for Commerce secretary and Office of Management and Budget chief. The president picked white men to lead the departments of State, Defense, Treasury and the CIA, leading some critics to question his commitment to diversity.

Statue Of Liberty Is Still Closed

Severe nature has been hard on federal landmarks. First an earthquake crumbled parts of the National Cathedral and cracked the Washington Monument. Now, three months after Superstorm Sandy, the Statue of Liberty is still closed. The statue itself wasn't damaged. But the National Park Service says all of the electric, water, sewer, phone, security and radio systems on Liberty Island were destroyed. The Wall Street Journal reports, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is demanding to know what's taking so long. But Park Service officials say they have no idea how long it will take for the place to reopen to the public.


George Zimmerman was back in court today for a hearing on the start date for his trial on murder charges. Zimmerman, of course, was the Hispanic neighborhood watchman in Sanford, Florida, who trailed a young black man named Trayvon Martin after calling 911, got into an altercation with Martin in which Martin ended up pounding Zimmerman’s head into the pavement, and then ended up shooting Martin in the chest. The media used the Zimmerman case as an opportunity to bully Americans over their supposed racial intolerance. Even the President of the United States weighed in in the midst of an election cycle, suggesting that if he had a son, he’d look like Trayvon Martin.

Breitbart News had the opportunity to sit down for a one-on-one interview with George’s brother, Robert, in Los Angeles. Excerpts of that interview played tonight on Fox News’Hannity.


WCSO Press Release 2-6-13

Tax Return Preparers

After a court told the Internal Revenue Service it lacks the power to regulate tax return preparers, the agency is going ahead with telling them to obtain an ID number. GovExecreports, the U.S. District Court modified a ruling from Jan. 18 that barred the IRS from any regulation of tax preparers. When the Justice Department appealed, the court said the IRS could continue to require the IDs so it could track the preparers' performance. But the agency still isn't allowed to impose testing or certification on tax preparers. The IRS already has 250 testing centers. It plans to appeal the rest of the earlier ruling.

BREAKING NEWS: US Postal Service To End Saturday Mail Delivery

Financially hemorrhaging US Postal Service announces it will end Saturday mail delivery beginning in August. 

From Fox News

Car Keys

If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car.The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies.  

This tip came from a neighborhood watch coordinator. Next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys away, think of  this: It's a security alarm system that you probably already have and  requires no installation. Test it. It will go off from almostanywhere inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key fob chain. It works if you park in your driveway or garage.  

If your car alarm goes off when someone is trying to break into your house, odds are theburglar/rapist won't stick around. After a few  seconds, all the neighbors will be looking out their windows to see who is out there and sure enough the criminal won't want that. And  remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking  lot. The alarm can work the same way there. This is something that  should really be shared with everyone. Maybe it could save a life or a sexual abuse crime.