Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Market Street Inn 13th Anniversary Party TOMORROW From Open To Close


Campaign Yard Signs

Not only are my signs disappearing all over the place, some are getting pulled up and laid on the ground. Others are simply disappearing. In the images above they are even going so far as throwing them onto this Delmarva Power fenced in lot. We have even been told they are pulling signs from one house and putting them back up on properties that didn't give permission to place them on. 

When you don't have a record to run on, this is what they do. 

CAN YOU GUESS WHAT THIS IS? SOME ARE LAUGHING, OTHERS ARE SAYING ‘EWWWW’

The above is a screenshot from a video, which we’ll show you in a bit, but for now, can you guess what it is? It’s something every human has, and we promise it isn’t something too disgusting.

There are times when the most usual, ordinary, everyday things viewed from different perspective can look downright weird. This is one of those cases.

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How Would Preschool For All Work: Is It All About Play Or ABCs?

Not many would take issue with President Obama’s recent call to make high-quality preschool a reality for more U.S. kids. Even before Obama announced his intentions, both Democrats and Republicans had already lined up in their home states to push preschool programs, with more than a dozen states considering bolstering early education.

What’s bound to be more controversial is the nature of the still-to-be-created “universal preschool” program. Should academics take front and center, with toddlers getting drills on the nuances of upper- and lower-case letters? Or should they more subtly absorb the concept that 2 + 2 makes 4 by building with blocks or playing sorting games?

New Chick-fil-A song by Tim Hawkins

Easter Party


Hemmer Calls Out Van Hollen

Caption This Photo 3-12-13


Democrats Bash Ryan Budget As ‘Radical’ Retread

Congressional Democrats came out swinging Tuesday after GOP leaders introduced a 2014 budget blueprint that would cut $5.7 trillion in spending over the next decade.

The lawmakers say the Republicans' budget plan, unveiled by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), protects the wealthy at the expense of more vulnerable people, such as seniors and the poor.

Echoing the criticisms leveled at previous budgets from Ryan, the Democrats placed particular emphasis on provisions that would cut Medicare for future beneficiaries.

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Upcoming Training Classes

What: First Steps in Starting Your Own Business

When: March 26, 2013 5:30-7:30pm
Where: One- Stop Job Market
31901 Tri-County Way
Salisbury, MD 21804
Conf. Room #012
Registration: Pre-registration is required. To pre-register or for more information regarding this course or other general inquiries, please contact Jennifer, Executive Assistant of Maryland Capital Enterprises by telephone: 410-546-1900 or via email: HYPERLINK "mailto:jcurrie@marylandcapital.org" jcurrie@marylandcapital.org . Sign up Online at HYPERLINK "http://www.marylandcapital.org" www.marylandcapital.org  
Course Fee: FREE
Course 
Description: Decide if entrepreneurship is for you. Find out about pros and cons of small business ownership, what skills and resources are needed, State of Maryland requirements to start a business, why is the credit important, why a business plan is needed.

Report: Half Trillion Need To Update Schools

WASHINGTON (AP) -- America's schools are in such disrepair that it would cost more than $270 billion just to get elementary and secondary buildings back to their original conditions and twice that to get them up to date, a report released Tuesday estimated. In a foreword to the report, former President Bill Clinton said "we are still struggling to provide equal opportunity" to children and urged the first federal study of school buildings in almost two decades.

Clinton and the Center for Green Schools urged a Government Accountability Office assessment on what it would take to get school buildings up to date to help students learn, keep teachers healthy and put workers back on the jobs. The last such report, issued in 1995 during the Clinton administration, estimated it would take $112 billion to bring the schools into good repair and did not include the need for new buildings to accommodate the growing number of students.

The Center for Green Schools' researchers reviewed spending and estimates schools spent $211 billion on upkeep between 1995 and 2008. During that same time, schools should have spent some $482 billion, the group calculated based on a formula included in the most recent GAO study.

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Columbia River Bar

WARNING: Foul Language

Why People Are Angry With Government

Click To Enlarge

House Committee Reduces O’Malley $37 Billion Budget By $420 Million

The House Appropriations Committee finished cutting Gov. Martin O’Malley’s fiscal 2014 budget Friday, and the final tally released Monday night in its report to the House shows the budget is $420 million less than what the governor proposed, bringing it slightly under $37 billion.

The overall budget still increases by $1.26 billion, or 3.5%, but excluding federal funds and the money put in the Rainy Day fund, spending of state taxpayer dollars rises by just 2%. There will be a planned surplus (general fund balance) of $200 million, plus another $921 million in the Rainy Day fund, bringing these reserves up to $1.1 billion.

“Building up these balances will help cushion any negative impacts on the Maryland economy resulting from federal budget actions,” the committee said, referring to the federal sequestration cuts.

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The Images That Show What Life Is REALLY Like In Guantanamo Bay

It holds some of the world’s most dangerous prisoners and is a byword for terror.

But astonishing new pictures have given a fresh glimpse of what life is really like inside Guantanamo Bay - the top-security, barb-wired holding pen for extremists captured in the war on terror.

Far from languishing in a dank and desolate dungeon as many in the outside world imagine, inmates are in fact able to rent Harry Potter movies, borrow car magazines and even get strawberries for their tea.
Detainees wake up each morning in a room equipped with a private lavatory, sink and toilet paper before dressing in the camp's standard issue clothing, laid out neatly on their bed.

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Gun Control Advocates Ride Into Baltimore

Twenty-six cyclists are almost finished with a more than 400 mile trek from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT to Washington, D.C. to fight for tougher gun control laws.

The last stop on their ride was Baltimore City Hall on Monday afternoon.

"I have been guided along by 26 angels," said Monte Frank, dressed in a green and white uniform with the phrase 'Team 26' on the back. 

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SPD Press Release 3-12-13


Investigators Looking For Wanted Sex Offender

Location: Georgetown, DE

Date of Occurrence: March 12, 2013

Suspect and Charges:

Steve Florestal, 21, Georgetown, DE (Photo Attached)
Black male, 5’06” tall, 175 lbs., black hair, and brown eyes
Failure to Re-Register as a Sex Offender (2 counts)
Sussex County Family Court Capias

Resume:
Georgetown, DE- The Delaware State Police Sex Offender Apprehension and registration Unit (S.O.A.R) is looking for a Georgetown sex offender after he failed to re-register his current address.

Investigators have obtained warrants on Steve Florestal, 21 of Georgetown, who is a medium risk Tier 2 sex offender, after they learned that he failed to register his home address and had not notified S.O.A.R. of his status within 3 days as he is required to do by law. Florestal is also wanted by Sussex County Family Court on a capias.

Steve Florestal is described as a black male, 5’06” tall and 175 lbs., black hair and brown eyes.

The Delaware State Police Sex Offender Apprehension and Registration Unit is asking anyone who may know the location of Steve Florestal to call302-672-5306. Citizens may also provide a tip by texting keyword “DSP” plus your message to 274637 (CRIMES). Tipsters may also provide information through lines maintained by Delaware Crime Stoppers at (800) TIP-3333.

Callers can also submit information via the internet at www.tipsubmit.com.

WSW Event

Who: Women Supporting Women
grass-roots local non-profit breast cancer support organization

What: Pink Ribbon Bingo
Featuring prizes from Longaberger, Pampered Chef, and Thirty-One Gifts

When: Thursday, March 14 – Doors open at 4:30, Games begin at 6:00 PM

Where: Salisbury Moose

Why: This event will provide an opportunity for media to get an inside look at the
community support for Women Supporting Women, surrounded by the frenzy
and excitement of a bingo fundraiser

For more information, contact: Carlos Mir, Director of Fund Development
410-548-7880
carlos@womensupportingwomen.org

DHS To Purchase MORE Firearms As Arms Build-Up Intensifies

Just days after announcing a 5-year, $4.5 million contract with Heckler & Koch, the Department of Homeland Security has released details of an identical agreement with weapons manufacturer Sig Sauer, as Forbes publishes an article calling for a “national conversation” about the DHS arms build-up that has been dismissed by the media as a conspiracy theory.

A solicitation for a no bid contract posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website contains details of a DHS agreement with Sig Sauer to provide weapons parts under the remit of a $900,000 dollar a year contract set to run for five years.

The PDF document accompanying the solicitation is virtually identical to an agreement announced last week for Heckler & Koch to provide firearms replacement parts for the exact same fee and time period.

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Man Dies After Fighting For His Home

Disabled Navy veteran who lost his house because of Wells Fargo TYPO collapses and DIES in court during fight against bank
Larry Delassus, of Hermosa Beach, California, lost his house two years ago after the bank thought he was behind on his property taxes but it was actually his neighbor


Despite proving he was ahead of schedule on his mortgage and had paid his property taxes in advance, he still had to fight the bank in court

The 62-year-old who suffered a rare blood-clot disorder, died of a massive heart attack in Torrance Courthouse on December 19, 2012, as he was fighting the shocking blunder
A 62-year-old U.S. Navy veteran has keeled over and died in a California court while fighting a legal battle against banking giant Wells Fargo, which foreclosed on his home by mistake.

Larry Delassus, of Hermosa Beach, lost his house two years ago after a typo in his assessor's parcel number suggested he was behind in his property taxes - but the number actually corresponded to his neighbor's home.
Despite records proving he was in fact ahead of schedule on his mortgage payments and had paid his property taxes in advance, Delassus still had to go to court, in Torrance Courthouse, which is where, on December 19, 2012, he suffered a massive heart attack and died.

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Vatican Smoke Cam

Vatican Smoke Cam

Following each round of voting, cardinals will burn their ballots, emitting smoke from a Sistine Chapel chimney. White smoke indicates a new pope, black signifies an inconclusive vote.


CLICK HERE to view the cam

Update 2:42 p.m.
Black smoke seen coming from Sistine Chapel Chimney

BREAKING NEWS: NASA Says Life Once Possible On Mars

NASA scientist says key chemical ingredients for life, including sulfur, hydrogen and oxygen, were found in Mars rock sample taken by Curiosity rover.
From Fox News

SKELETAL REMAINS FOUND ALONG A PATH IN CARROLL COUNTY BELONG TO LOCAL HOMELESS MAN

(Westminster, MD) -- Maryland State Police investigators identify skeletal remains found on October 6, 2012, along a path in a vacant lot in Carroll County, Md.
The man has been identified as Thomas E. Linhan, 67, no fixed address. An autopsy conducted by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner revealed no apparent trauma. There was no evidence of foul play. 

The skeletal remains, now identified as Linhan, were found shortly before noon on October 6, 2012, as citizens walked through a vacant lot in the 500 block of Baltimore Boulevard in Westminster, Maryland. There was no identification located with the remains. All remains were processed and recovered at the scene by forensic investigator and crime scene technicians. The skeletal remains were transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an examination and autopsy.

Maryland State Police Homicide investigators were contacted by Westminster Police Department and assumed the investigation. Information was communicated to police departments throughout the region and requests were made to check missing person files for potential matches based on the available information. Additional forensic tests were conducted.

After an exhausting search, investigators contacted the Carroll Hospital Center in Westminster and obtain x-rays of a local homeless man. A detailed comparison of the x-rays and the remains lead to a positive identification of Linhan. The comparison was conducted by Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Investigators are still attempting to locate Linhan’s next of kin. Anyone who may have information is urged to contact Maryland State Police investigators immediately at 410-386-3000

Ohio Court Calls Speed Cameras A 'Scam' Against Drivers

It's tough to challenge a speed camera in court: It's you against a camera.

To make matters worse, many lawyers don't even want to take the case -- the fine usually costs much less than an attorney's time. That means most drivers roll over when faced with speed camera fines.

But an Ohio judged struck down a speed camera ordinance in the Village of Elmwood Place, arguing, in part, that the law violated due process since defendants were not afforded an opportunity to contest the camera's maintenance or effectiveness in court. Although speed enforcement ordinances and court procedures vary, attorneys said that the Ohio case suggested that speed camera laws can be effectively challenged in court rooms -- including in the Washington area.

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Donald Trump Offers To Pay For Canceled White House Tours

Real estate titan Donald Trump said he’ll cover the costs to keep the White House tours open for rest of the fiscal year, an idea proposed online last week by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

The White House announced Tuesday it was suspending the tours through September 30 as a consequence of the forced spending cuts-known in Washington as the sequester–that began taking effect March 1.

The move quickly sparked controversy, with some Republicans arguing the Obama administration was using the canceled tours as a political ploy to draw up negative reaction from the American public over the cuts.

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The Defamation Of Independence, Or Getting Nothing For Something

One of the great ironies of the way that politics and economics is conducted in our “modern” societies is that the great majority of those who are lured into going along with the game by the promise of “something for nothing” end up in a situation where their payoff is “nothing for something”.

A truism of the retail trade is that you get what you pay for. This means that REAL quality costs more than the run of the mill. It has to. It takes longer to make. It uses superior raw materials. It requires a higher level of skill from those making it. It lasts longer. And it does what it is supposed to do better. There are many people who cannot afford or do not want real quality. But there are also many others who stridently maintain that there is no such thing as “quality” and that the widget that they paid $50 for is “just as good” as the one in the shop across the street that cost you $100.

There is great wisdom in the old adage that you should buy the best you can afford. If the item is vital to your well being or your livelihood, stretch what you can afford as far as it will go. But the operative word here is “afford”. Nowadays, people don’t look at the price tag, they look at the limit on their credit card(s). If they are buying a house, they don’t look at the cost of the house - and the mortgage - they look at the required down payment. They don’t look at what is left over after they have made the purchase. They think about “owning” the item. They don’t think about paying for it.

The old “buy now - pay later” - attitude leads to a lot of woe when the ability to pay dries up for whatever reason. Bad as that can often be, there is something much worse. That is the acceptance of the claim that government-run economies and welfare states hide behind - the claim that it is possible to get “something for nothing”. Everybody knows that this just ain’t so. But they see what appears to be people getting something for nothing all around them so they decide that it must “work” - somehow.

What the last five years has begun to teach an ever greater number of people is that those who succumb to the siren song of “something for nothing” end up with “nothing for something”. It’s a mugs game.

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Quote Of The Day 3-12-13

"The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
- Thomas Jefferson (quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria)

STATEMENT FROM GOVERNOR MARTIN O’MALLEY ON PASSAGE OF EARN BILL

ANNAPOLIS, MD (March 12, 2013) – Governor Martin O’Malley today issued the following statement on the passage of the Employment Advancement Right Now (EARN) bill:
“There is no progress without a job.

“I would like to thank Senate President Miller and House Speaker Busch for their hard work and support for the EARN bill this session. I’d also like to thank Senator Klausmeier, Delegates Olszewski, Jr., Mitchell and Clippinger - and all of the members of the General Assembly who’ve worked to help more Marylanders obtain the skills-training they need to secure better jobs.

“Though Maryland has built up one of the most highly-skilled workforces in the nation, too many of our workers lack the skills they need to compete for the jobs in highest demand. The EARN initiative will help us bridge that skills gap by creating employer-driven partnerships with businesses so together, we can grow our State’s economy and ensure that every Marylander has the opportunity to learn and earn.”

Congressman Andy Harris Reacts To The Path To Prosperity: “Much-Needed” & “Responsible”

House Budget Balances in 10 Years without Raising Taxes—Senate Proposal Never Balances but Raises Taxes

WASHINGTON, DC
—Today, House Republicans released their budget entitled The Path to Prosperity: A Responsible, Balanced Budget. It ensures that Washington finally lives within its means like hard working taxpayers all over Maryland are forced to do every day. The budget offered this year shows an even greater commitment to putting America on a path toward fiscal responsibility by balancing within ten years. House Republicans have passed a budget each of the last two years, something the Democrats in the Senate have failed to do any of the last four years.

“Washington owes the American people a responsible budget that balances and fosters a healthy economy that creates good paying jobs,” said Congressman Andy Harris. “This budget is a much-needed approach to get our country on sound financial footing and rein in our massive debt.” Unlike the President’s budget, which did not receive a single Democrat or Republican vote last year or achieve balance, The Path to Prosperity would balance the federal budget within ten years.

Leaders in Washington for too long have been deflecting blame and passing the burden of America’s crushing debt onto someone else. The Path to Prosperity recognizes the need for the federal government to play a positive role in peoples’ lives by strengthening the social safety net. This budget makes sure these programs are available to those who need it, at the same time preserving them for future generations. It cuts wasteful spending, while continuing to prioritize what is important. This budget fixes our broken tax code by leveling the playing field for workers and businesses alike to foster job creation – and rewards, not punishes, success.

“Earlier this year the President got his massive tax hike. Now it is time for us to control government spending,” Harris noted. “We welcome President Obama and Senate Democrats to the table to deal with America’s crushing debt so that the country we pass on to our children and grandchildren will be as free and prosperous as the one our parents and grandparents passed on to us.”

50% Ammo Tax In MD?

If you can't ban 'em, tax 'em.

Lawmakers looking to more tightly regulate firearms in the wake of the Newtown school shooting and other massacres are moving at the state and federal levels to introduce new taxes on firearms and ammunition.

The proposals range from the modest -- a proposed 5 percent tax in New Jersey -- to the steep -- a proposed 50 percent ammo tax in Maryland. The bills follow efforts to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and expand background checks, measures that have had mixed success at the state level.

The taxes -- much like so-called "sin taxes," like those on cigarettes -- serve a dual purpose. They can deter buyers, while using the extra revenue for favored programs. In this case, the sponsors want to direct the money toward mental health services, police training and victims' treatment.

But firearms groups say a "sin tax" on firearms wrongly punishes law-abiding gun owners. 


In Just The Last Week In The Land Of The Free...

It's a pretty sad state of affairs in the Land of the Free when they have to pass a law making it illegal for the government to assassinate its own citizens.

Yet that's exactly what's happening.

Late last week, US Senator Ted Cruz introduced Senate bill S.505, "A bill to prohibit the use of drones to kill citizens of the United States within the United States."

More than likely, this bill isn't going to go anywhere. It'll get shuffled around to various committees and be largely forgotten. But the fact that it was introduced shows just how far things have fallen in the US.

Again, do they really have to create a law to prevent the government from killing its own people?

Curiously, it's interesting that this particular legislation stops at outlawing the assassination of US citizens on US soil... as if the Griswolds on their European vacation are acceptable targets...

Or that the bill specifically prohibits using drones to kill US citizens... but nothing else.

This is really amazing. But it's just the tip of the iceberg.

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After Rand Paul's Filibuster, Ron Paul Pushes GOP To Transform

Ron Paul doesn't like to go to New York. No surprise, really. The city of Mayor Bloomberg, with its limitations on how much carbonated sugar citizens are allowed to pour down their own throats is bad enough. That a drone was reportedly spotted by Italian airline pilots this past week, hovering over the city, probably doesn't add to its charm for a guy like Paul. But he seemed to like Ottawa.

Only 48 hours after his son, Senator Rand Paul, wrapped up his 13-hour filibuster on the potential threat to civil liberties by way of aerial drone assassination, his father Ron was in the capital city to the north, telling Canadian conservatives that a transformative time is upon us. We are moving away from "interventionism", he said, and toward a new kind of societal dismantling, thanks to rampant debt and government overspending.

It was a familiar message for anyone who watched the Republican primary debates in the run-up to last year's election. It's happens to be a message with a particularly contrarian tone in a place like this, what with Canada's reputation for social programs and safety nets. The speech also exposed the fraying, existential nerve of the Republican party that Rand Paul danced on for most of Wednesday: is the party in need of a transformation?

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New Technology In MD For Modern Temporary Tags

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:Buel C. Young
MVA Media Relations
(410) 762-5188
MARYLAND'S MOTOR VEHICLE ADMINISTRATION PRODUCES FIRST OF ITS KIND TEMPORARY LICENSE PLATE

New Plates Have Multiple Security Features
(GLEN BURNIE, MD) March 11, 2013 – The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) has begun issuing a new, secure, weatherproof, tamper-resistant, reflective temporary license plate printed on rigid polycon paper with an ordinary laser printer. Maryland becomes one of the first states in the nation to use a reflective temporary tag which makes it both possible for automated tag readers to identify the plate and easier for law enforcement to see.  This new technology, which started being phased in at dealerships across the state on March 1, will be fully implemented by July 1, 2013.
"Maryland is proud to be a national leader in the area of employing technology to benefit Marylanders: in this case preventing fraudulent or difficult to read temporary tags from being used on the roads," said MVA Administrator John Kuo.  "These new tags are more visible, weatherproof, and will help law enforcement to make appropriate identifications."
Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel Marcus L. Brown acknowledged the benefits of the new temporary license plate.  “The efforts of the Motor Vehicle Administration have resulted in a temporary plate that is much clearer and easier to read, which will greatly aid the efforts of law enforcement throughout Maryland," Colonel Brown said.  "The new plates will make it easier for police officers to find stolen vehicles, fugitives, missing persons and those misusing temporary plates.  Whether using license plate readers or visual observation, the ability of police to read temporary plates has now been improved significantly."
In 2010, the legislature enacted SB 67 which laid the groundwork for individually printed temporary tags with ownership information available to law enforcement through the MVA's database.  The previous version of the tags, which are being phased out, are printed on standard paper and placed into a bag.  The new weatherproof tags on the polycon paper will remain readable and reflective through the 60 day validity period without being inserted into a bag.  Additionally, each polycon tag will include security features to prevent photocopying, and will display larger, more visible and reflective lettering.

Corporatism - State-Controlled Capitalism

The Dow is at a record high and so are corporate profits - so why does it feel like most of the country is deeply suffering right now? Real household income is the lowest that it has been in a decade, poverty is absolutely soaring, 47 million Americans are on food stamps and the middle class is being systematically destroyed. How can big corporations be doing so well while most American families are having such a hard time? Isn't their wealth supposed to "trickle down" to the rest of us? Unfortunately, that is not how the real world works.

Today, most big corporations are trying to minimize the number of "expensive" American workers on their payrolls as much as they can. If the big corporation that is employing you can figure out a way to replace you with a worker in China or with a robot, it will probably do it. Corporations are in existence to maximize wealth for their shareholders, and most of the time the largest corporations are dominated by the monopoly men of the global elite. Over the decades, the politicians that have their campaigns funded by these monopoly men have rigged the game so that the big corporations are able to easily dominate everything. But this was never what those that founded this country intended.

America was supposed to be a place where the power of collectivist institutions would be greatly limited, and individuals and small businesses would be free to compete in a capitalist system that would reward anyone that had a good idea and that was willing to work hard. But today, our economy is completely and totally dominated by a massively bloated federal government and by absolutely gigantic predator corporations that are greatly favored by our massively bloated federal government. Our founders tried to warn us about the dangers of allowing government, banks and corporations to accumulate too much power, but we didn't listen. Now they dominate everything, and the rest of us are fighting for table scraps.

In early America, most states had strict laws governing the size and scope of corporations. Individuals and small businesses thrived in such an environment, and the United States experienced a period of explosive economic growth. We showed the rest of the world that capitalism really works, and we eventually built the largest middle class that the world had ever seen.

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The Erosion Of The U.S. Economy In Two Words: Jobs And Wages

The current de facto policy of inflating asset bubbles to spark a "wealth effect" is no substitute for policies that make it less burdensome to start new enterprises and hire employees.

The Status Quo is shameless when it comes to hyping the recovery by whatever metric is most positive. Recently, that has been the stock market, but if GDP rises significantly (and recall GDP increases if the government borrows and blows money), then that number is duly trotted out by politicos and Mainstream Media toadies.

If we scrape away this ceaseless perception management, we find that legitimate broadbased prosperity is always based on rising employment and increased purchasing power of wages. The phantom wealth that is conjured by asset bubbles vanishes when the bubbles inevitably pop, leaving all those who borrowed against their ephemeral bubble wealth hapless debt-serfs.

Since very few households own enough productive assets (i.e. financial assets above and beyond the family home equity) to replace earned income (i.e. a job) with unearned income, rising asset yields and prices do little to improve household wealth or income.

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BREAKING NEWS

ABC/WMDT IS LIVE COVERING THE NEW POPE CHOICE AND CEREMONY.  

Md. Eyes Ban On Ginseng Hunting In State Land

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) -- The Maryland Department of Natural Resources says it's considering banning the age-old tradition of harvesting wild ginseng on state lands.

Biologist Jonathan McKnight said Monday that a state-funded study last year found that the root with supposed medicinal properties has nearly disappeared from Maryland except in the far western mountains.

McKnight says he expects a ban to be announced before the next harvest season begins Sept. 1.

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Hackers Post 'Private Data' of Michelle Obama, FBI Head

The US Secret Service launched an investigation Tuesday after hackers posted what they said was personal data and credit information of celebrities including first lady Michelle Obama online.

The probe was opened over files which included personal information purportedly from FBI chief Robert Mueller, Vice President Joe Biden, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and celebrities Beyonce and Jay-Z.

"We are investigating, but we will not comment due to... an ongoing investigation," said Secret Service spokesman Max Milien.

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Corporate Welfare in Maryland


At this time of severe cutbacks in government funding for food stamps, early childhood education, and meals on wheels, some Maryland legislators are hard at work looking out for the welfare of one of the world's wealthiest corporations. Under a bill rapidly advancing in the legislature of that state, the Lockheed Martin Corporation will have the taxes on its luxurious Montgomery County hotel and conference center reduced by approximately $450,000 a year and will also receive a $1.4 million refund for the period since 2010.

Lockheed Martin would seem to be an unlikely recipient of this lavish government handout, at least on the basis of need. Indeed, it is one of the world's largest business enterprises, with sales that reached $47 billion in 2012. It is also America's largest defense contractor, and in fiscal 2012 its U.S. military sales topped $29 billion.

The effort to shovel millions of additional taxpayer dollars to this giant corporation goes back to 2010, when the state legislature passed a bill that exempted Lockheed Martin's hotel guests from paying the state hotel tax. Then, in 2011, the company asked to be exempted from the 7 percent hotel tax levied by Montgomery County, a suburb of Washington, DC. Accordingly, the Montgomery County Council reviewed a bill that would change the definition of a hotel to exempt Lockheed Martin from this tax, too. Nevertheless, after citizen testimony at a public hearing, the County Council refused to rewrite the law. As a result, patrons of the hotel, grandly named the Center for Leadership Excellence, are forced to pay a lodging tax, just like patrons of all the other hotels in the county.

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Still Missing

Soccer Registration


Crime Solvers

Campbell Fundraiser


Five US Troops Killed In Helicopter Crash, Officials Say

Five U.S. service members died Monday when a helicopter crashed in the Kandahar province of southern Afghanistan, officials said Tuesday.

The cause of the crash was under investigation, but a statement from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said "there was no enemy activity in the area at the time of the incident."

The names and nationalities of the troops killed had not been released by U.S. officials early Tuesday, but an Afghan government official in Kandahar, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Tuesday that all of those killed were American.

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Feds Say Proposed Somerset County, Md., Wind Farm Could Kill Up To 20 Bald Eagles A Year

A proposed wind farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore could kill up to 20 bald eagles a year, according to federal regulators who have asked the developer to take steps to cut those numbers in a move that could affect developing the electricity source along the Eastern Seaboard.

A wind power group counters that the numbers are based on golden eagle data and are too high.

Adam Cohen, vice president and founder of Pioneer Green Energy, said the Austin, Texas-based company has agreed to raise just 30 of a possible 50 turbines initially to see how often eagle collisions occur. He said the company has cut the size of the project from 210 megawatts to 150. 

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Fire Damages Abandoned Building In Accomack Co.

ACCOMACK CO. - A serial arsonist may have struck again.

Va. State Police say fire broke out in an abandoned building on Nocks Landing Road in Oak Hall just before 10:00 a.m. Monday, March 11.

No one was hurt.

No injuries were reported and investigators say preliminary reports indicate that arson may be the cause. 

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Seriously?

The Air Force is offering counseling and stress relief to employees who may never be in a war zone but experience the stress of it nonetheless. The program targets analysts who sit in a room at Langley Air Force Base, Va. They provide information critical to battle strategies. They also go over videos of incidents to assess damage. The Air Force began the counseling program after noticing an uptick in sleeping problems, smoking, alcohol and behavioral issues.

In The Dark?

While the Obama Administration has pledged to make government more open, it is citing security concerns more often as a reason to keep the public in the dark. The Pentagon, intelligence community, NASA, Office of Management and Budget and nearly every other big department invoked the national security exemption last year in rejecting requests. TheAssociated Press reports, the government is answering more open-records requests overall. It released two-thirds of the documents requested by the public last year. The other third included cases where agencies couldn't find records, a person refused to pay for copies or the request was improper.

Maryland Spending Proposal Could Force County Tax Hikes

A bill before the Maryland Senate would require counties to maintain current levels of spending on public safety, transportations and libraries -- something critics say will almost certainly lead to county tax increases.

The legislature passed a similar law last year requiring so-called "maintenance of effort" for education, meaning counties wouldn't receive their share of state aid to education unless they provided the same level of funding they did the previous year. That effectively forbids them from cutting funding for education.

Montgomery County Council members said that would tie their hands when writing the budget and leave them no choice but to raise taxes in tough economic times.

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More Federal Employees Cheating On Taxes

The Internal Revenue Service says more federal employees are cheating on taxes. More than 300,000 feds owed a combined $3.5 billion in back taxes in 2011. That's a 12 percent jump over the year before. But the IRS cautions, feds do better than other Americans. The delinquency rate for the general public is three times as much. The IRS says most people who owe back taxes file their returns on time but cannot pay everything they owe at once. The Department of Housing and Urban Development had the highest delinquency rate, 4.4 percent of employees failed to pay all their taxes on time.

WCSO Press Release 3-12-13