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Sunday, April 07, 2013

Bible Verses Obama Seems to Have Missed

Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama loves to quote (and misquote) the Bible in order to lend credence to what he is saying. For example, he (actually, his speechwriter), in Newtown, Connecticut, quoted several Bible verses, including Matthew 19:14: "Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'"

Bible quotes, in and of themselves, are fine. But when Obama misquotes and/or misinterprets what he quotes, that is not fine. For example, on March 30, 2012, in an address to supporters at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont, Obama said, "I am my brother's keeper. I am my sister's keeper." He was speaking about values and thought this misquote would further his cause. That Bible quote came from the fourth chapter of Genesis. The actual verse is: "Then the Lord said to Cain, 'Where is your brother Abel?' 'I don't know,' he replied. 'Am I my brother's keeper?'" Cain said this to God after murdering his brother Abel and was trying to hide the act from God.

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A Victim Is A Victim


Ten years after wrongful conviction, former high-school football star signs with Falcons

I feel like this story might be slightly treacherous in the wake of the Steubenville case because the roles are reversed, but it shouldn’t be. A victim is a victim, and in this case, the football player ended up being a victim of his accuser and the justice system. His accuser hurt not only Brian Banks, but real victims of rape. Banks is getting a second chance at an NFL career after five years in prison and five years on probation. Unfortunately, that’s more than many wrongfully convicted people get after emerging from the system.

ISRAEL SUPPORTERS STRIKE BACK AGAINST ANTI-ISRAEL HACKERS BY…HIJACKING THE HACKERS’ WEBSITE

Hackers purporting to be affiliated with the collective Anonymous have for days been threatening a massive cyber attack against Israel on Sunday. Their stated vow: to “erase Israel from cyberspace.”

While Israeli government websites appeared to be functioning as of Sunday morning Israel time, Israel supporters had a surprise for the would-be attackers. The OpIsrael website associated with some of the anti-Israel hackers was itself hacked and late Saturday was playing Israel’s national anthem, Hatikvah. It also listed 20 facts about Israel not usually recognized by the Jewish state’s detractors, including:

• Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in Tanach, the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran.

• King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem.

• Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray with their backs toward Jerusalem.

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A 7 Year Old Boy Now Faces TWO FELONY CHARGES For A BB Gun Accident

Kids do dumb things. It’s part of being a kid. Little Sam Grant could tell you all about that. The seven year old was firing his BB gun at an abandoned house across the street. Unfortunately, Grant hit two cars that were driving between him and the house.
After finding out that her son had hit a car, his mother talked to the driver and called the police, “The officer told me he didn’t want to charge my son. The lady told me she didn’t want him charged and the next thing I know, I’m getting a letter from DPS saying he’s being charged with two felonies.”

Now, the seven year old may face probation, hundreds of hours of community service and the felonies could remain on his record until he’s 16.

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Disability Trust Fund Ran Record $31.2B Deficit in 2012; In Deficit Every Year Under Obama

The federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund, which takes in money via a federal payroll tax and pays it out in disability benefits, ran a record $31.2 billion deficit in calendar year 2012, according to the Social Security Administration.

That means the trust fund has run a deficit in each of the first four years of the Obama presidency.

For fifteen straight years before Obama took office—from 1994 through 2008—the Disability Insurance Trust Fund ran a surplus. In 2007, for example, it ran an $11 billion surplus and in 2008 it ran an $889-million surplus.

In 2009, however, the Disability Insurance Trust Fund dipped into the red and has not returned to the black since then. In fact, each year since then the annual defiict has increased.

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Student: Teachers Bully Me Because I’m Conservative

A Wisconsin school district has launched an investigation into accusations that teachers have bullied and harassed a politically active student.

Benji Backer, a 15-year-old student at Appleton North High School in Appleton, told me that he’s been subjected to name-calling, foul-language and classroom lectures that bashed Gov. Scott Walker and labeled Republicans as racist:

“They are harassing and bullying me as well as indoctrinating other students,” Backer said. The 15-year-old wrote about his allegations in great detail in an essay first published by FreedomWorks.

“My teachers have always talked about bullying, including bullying homosexuals and how wrong it is,” Backer wrote. “I agree 100 percent. They shouldn’t be bullied, nor should anyone else.”

Backer wrote that if homosexuals can get equal treatment, why can’t conservative students?

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Obama Budget To Take Aim At Wealthy IRAs

President Obama’s budget, to be released next week, will limit how much wealthy individuals – like Mitt Romney – can keep in IRAs and other retirement accounts.

The proposal would save around $9 billion over a decade, a senior administration official said, while also bringing more fairness to the tax code.

The senior administration official said that wealthy taxpayers can currently “accumulate many millions of dollars in these accounts, substantially more than is needed to fund reasonable levels of retirement saving.” 

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HOPE & CHANGE

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Team Long Brothers: The Journey of Brotherly Love!

Is War With North Korea Inevitable?

"If you see 10 troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you," said Calvin Coolidge, who ever counseled patience over the rash response.
Unfortunately, the troubles presented by North Korea's Kim Jong Un seem unlikely to run into a ditch before they reach us.

For Kim has crawled out on a limb. He has threatened to attack U.S. forces in Korea and bases in Asia, even U.S. cities. He has declared the truce that ended the Korean War dead and that "a state of war" exists with the South. All ties to the South have been cut.

The United States has sent B-52s and stealth fighters to Korea and anti-missile warships to the Sea of Japan. Two B-2 bombers flew from Missouri to Korea and back in a provocative fly-by of the Hermit Kingdom. And both South Korea and we have warned that, should the North attack, swift retribution will follow.

Kim Jong Un is in a box. If he launches an attack, he risks escalation into war. But if his bluster about battling the United States turns out to be all bluff, he risks becoming an object of ridicule in Asia and at home.

Why is he playing with fire? Because his father and grandfather did, and got away with murder.

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A Dog's Last Will & Testament

 


Is Disability The New Welfare?

It asked everyone receiving an “incapacity benefit” — a disability program slowly being phased out under new reforms — to submit to a medical test to confirm they were too disabled to work. A third of recipients (878,000 people) didn’t even bother and dropped out of the program rather than be examined. Of those tested, more than half (55 percent) were found fit for work, and a quarter were found fit for some work.

But that’s Britain, where there’s a long tradition of gaming the dole. Americans would never think of taking advantage of the taxpayers or misleading the government. Well, except for the couple dozen people who have pleaded guilty to scamming the Long Island Rail Road’s federal disability system in a $1 billion fraud scheme. A billion bucks would pay for a lot of White House tours.

Though hardly isolated, the LIRR scandal is an obvious black-and-white case of criminality. The real problem resides in a grayer area.

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Sequester Cuts Hit Elderly Cancer Patients

They were supposed to save money, but an unintended side effect of federal budget cuts has prevented that, CBS New York station WCBS-TV reports.

The most vulnerable Americans, elderly cancer patients, are being turned away from community clinics.

They're being denied chemotherapy because doctors said they can't afford to absorb steep Medicare cuts for chemotherapy drugs.

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The Sequester Cuts Are Taking Effect All Throughout Our Nation

Starting this month, the Environmental Protection Agency will implement its first phase of employee furloughs. The agency's 17,000 employees will start receiving notices of when they'll be required to take time off without pay. Each worker could be forced to take as many as 13 furlough days, as the EPA struggles to implement the across-the-board budget cuts. According to the president of the National Treasury Employee Union, which represents about 2,500 EPA workers, “these employees are middle-class workers who are in the third year of a pay freeze. These furloughs will hurt their ability to pay their bills and serve the public. This is incredibly unfair to them and to the public.” So, in addition to making it more difficult to safeguard our food, the Republican austerity will mean EPA workers have less money to spend, and thus have a negative impact on our economy. The GOP must be thrilled with their handy work.

Our Bay: This Week's Take: Local Government Set Pollution-Busting Examples

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s 2012 "State of the Bay" report tells us the health of the Chesapeake Bay has improved 14 percent since 2008. But that doesn’t tell the whole story.

Throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, we hear about local governments, businesses and citizens rolling up their sleeves to reduce pollution from all sectors — agriculture, sewage treatment plants and urban and suburban runoff. They are working to restore local rivers and streams.

That is the goal of the federal/state Chesapeake clean water blueprint (formally known as the Total Maximum Daily Load and state Watershed Implementation Plans). The blueprint, if fully implemented with programs in place by 2025, will restore clean water throughout the Chesapeake’s 64,0000-square-mile watershed.

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Selling Stealth Jets To South Korea

Tension on the Korean Peninsula may be bad for world peace, but it could be good news for two big defense contractors. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency says both Lockheed Martin and Boeing are now authorized to sell new stealth jets to South Korea. Lockheed can sell up to 60 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. They'd be worth nearly $11 billion. Or South Korea can select 60 Boeing F-15 SE Silent Eagles. They'd be worth $2.4 billon. South Korea's fleet now consists of Vietnam-era F-4s and F-5s jets.

Caption This Photo 4-7-13


Anti Terror Grants

When they give law enforcement and anti-terror grants, federal investigative agencies practically stumble over each other. That's the gist of a new report from the Government Accountability Office. It says Homeland Security, Justice, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy don't coordinate field work by grantees. And that leads to overlap and redundancy. GAO found that many units, centers and task forces have sprung up in the past 30 years to take on drugs and other crimes, and terrorism. These state-level groups are often funded by multiple federal agencies. GAO urges more oversight and information sharing to avoid wasting money and effort.

CAIR Claims Victory Over AP Stylebook’s Restrictions on Word 'Islamist'

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) praised the Associated Press (AP) for revising its stylebook to forbid the use of the word “Islamist,” if it is used to describe Islamic militants or extremists.

In a press release on Friday, CAIR said revising the term is a "step in the right direction,” and that they helped influence the AP’s decision.

“Late last year, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) approached AP about modifying the reference, which had been added to its influential Stylebook,” the release said.

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Payrolls Plunge To 88K, Biggest Miss Since December 2009, Participation Rate At New 30 Year Low

So much for "open-ended QE driven recovery". Moments ago the March Non-farm payroll hit and it was a doozy, printing at 88K, below the lowest forecast of 100K, well below the expected number of 190K, and a tragedy compared to the February revised print of 268K (was 236K). This was the biggest miss to expectations since December 2009 and the worst print since June 2012. The unemployment rate declined to 7.6%, but this was due entirely to the collapse in the labor force participation rate, which declined by 20 bps to 63.3%, a new 30 year low.

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Easily Defeated?


China Begins Mass Slaughter Of Poultry As Bird Flu Kills Six, On Verge Of Becoming Epidemic

While everyone is fascinated by the unraveling slow-motion North Korean theatrical trainwreck, which is nothing but a desperate attempt by a broke "leader" to get paid some "nuisance" cash by the west just so he goes away, the real Asian story has been the latest outbreak of birdflu in China which has not only claimed six lives already (and many more coming), but is starting to have major spillover effects on the broader economy, such as mass slaughter of poultry at local markets - a move which will have certain inflationary effects to an economy already on the cusp of losing the war with the G-7's hot money.
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The Summer Question: Can Washington Govern?

Congress returns to work next week facing a crowded legislative agenda and one big question for President Obama and Republican lawmakers: Can Washington govern?

At no time since the earliest days of Obama’s presidency have conditions seemed as potentially favorable for cooperation as they do this spring, largely because both sides have reasons to want to show results.

That’s the optimistic view. But running counter is another reality. The agenda is extraordinarily challenging, and trust remains at a minimum. The issues on the calendar — gun control, immigration and the budget — strain the coalitions of each party. At the same time, existing philosophical differences and the rigid contours of political polarization stand in the way of agreements. 

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When You See It........

Blue Mass - April 13, 2013


Maryland Casino Revenues $58M In March

BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland’s three casinos pulled in $58 million in March.

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency announced Friday that Maryland Live! Casino in Anne Arundel County accounted for $44.6 million of the revenues. The Hollywood Casino Perryville, which debuted its table games in March, generated $9.5 million. And the Casino at Ocean Downs generated $3.9 million.

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UNIONS VERSUS BONDS

Stockton, California was allowed to declare bankruptcy this week. With all the other news, it was overlooked (on purpose or not). It’s the biggest bankruptcy of an American city yet, and it won’t be the last.

Cities and states have been selling bonds to cover their pensions and debt (instead of cutting spending). The Muni bond market is huge. When cities can’t borrow any more, can’t tax anymore, and run out of money they will go bankrupt. Only by actually going bankrupt can cities dispense with their gold plated union pensions. But, of course, unions and pensioners aren’t going down without a fight.

The new battle coming to a city or state near you: Muni bondholders versus union pensions. Unions have bankrupted everything they touch, and now it’s the government’s turn to pay the price. Who get’s the haircut? You decide.

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Pastor Rick Warren's Son Commits Suicide

The Southern California church headed by popular evangelical Pastor Rick Warren says his 27-year-old son has committed suicide.

Warren's Saddleback Valley Community Church in Lake Forest, Calif., said in a statement to CBS News and other outlets Saturday that Matthew Warren had struggled with mental illness and deep depression.

"Despite the best healthcare available, this was an illness that was never fully controlled and the emotional pain resulted in his decision to take his life," the statement said.

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Secession

Hi! 

I just signed the petition "Governor Martin O'Malley: 

SECESSION from the State of Maryland" on Change.org. It's important. Will you sign it too? Here's the link:

Maryland Lawmakers Pass Bill Forcing Teachers To Pay Union Fees, Bucking Right To Work Trend

Maryland lawmakers agreed this week to require public school teachers to pay union fees – a move that bolsters the state’s connection to organized labor as others move toward a right-to-work status.

The bill passed Thursday in the General Assembly and is headed to the desk of Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley for signing after Monday, the final day of Maryland’s 2013 legislative session.

The bill is also part of a larger progressive agenda put forth this year by leaders of the Democrat-controlled Assembly that includes the approval of tax increases and one of the toughest gun-control proposals in the country.

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The Fourth Tenor

Maryland Professor: Carson's Apology Is "Compelling"

Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson has apologized for recent comments where he compared supporters of same sex marriage to pedophiles and those who support bestiality.

In an email sent to Hopkins colleagues on Friday, Carson says the remarks he made on Sean Hannity's FOX News program last month included "poorly chosen words."

In that interview Carson told Hannity that, "no group be they gays, be they NAMBLA (North American Man-Boy Love Association), be they people who believe in bestiality, they don't get to change the definition (of marriage)."

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Fascinating

7 Yr Old Scores 69 Yd Touchdown

Jack Hoffman, the 7-year-old boy whose courageous battle with pediatric brain cancer has touched the lives and hearts of Husker Nation stepped into the Nebraska backfield Saturday and with a helping hand, galloped 69 yards scoring the final points of the game.
"I had to follow 31, he handed the ball off to me," Jack said.
"We wanted to get him around the edge, and give him a nice lane, and he did a great job," Husker CJ Zimmerer said.
"He went to the sideline, he reversed field, he stayed with his blockers, he finished the run, that was awesome!" Nebraska running backs coach Ron Brown commented.
Wearing number 22 just like Rex Burkhead, Jack did one of his biggest fans proud. He finished as the leading rusher in the game.
"Obviously, Jack is a young man that has touched the hearts of a lot of people. People have gotten behind him and he's become a big part of the team," head coach Bo Pelini said.
"Everything happened so fast. We went from just going to the spring game, maybe we'll get to see Rex, to getting the call from coach, it's pretty special," Andy Hoffman said.
"It's awesome. Jack is such a strong kid and to see him run around and enjoy the husker experience, it's a dream come true," Rex Burkhead said.
It's one play, one moment helping everyone remember the true message of the game, not that one team wins, but that spirit and inspiration live longer than any season record ever will, realizing that ones dream can become reality — and thanks to the Nebraska football team, Jack scored something big that will live in the hearts of all who attended the Red/White Spring Game on Saturday.


37 O'Malley Tax Increases Cost Us $3.1 Billion More Each Year

Annapolis - Change Maryland released today an updated list of tax, fee and toll increases under the O'Malley Administration. This latest report details 37 increases that remove an additional $3.1 billion more out of the pockets of Marylander's every year.

Final passage in the legislature of transportation taxes and offshore wind fee increases will add another $800 million in additional annual tax burdens borne by Marylander’s. The previous Change Maryland list released one week ago quantified an annual impact of $2.3 billion on 32 levies.

The so-called "Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act" is actually four different revenue measures rolled into one bill – sales taxes on fuel, indexing the previously flat excise tax to inflation and increased mass-transit and vehicle registration fees. Bringing the total to 37, the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act enables the collection of fees from electricity ratepayers needed to support the concept.

The revenue measures in the list chronicle the state’s emergence as a national leader in raising taxes. As a result of this 2013 legislative session, electricity and gasoline will now be more expensive. This is especially so due to the transportation revenue package which disproportionately funds mass transit projects in the planning stages.

"The Governor calls it the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act that will create jobs, end road congestion and create a 21st Century Transportation Network,” said Change Maryland Chairman Larry Hogan. “I call it the Highway Robbery Act of 2013 - the 37th consecutive O’Malley tax hike that takes us to $3 billion removed annually from struggling Maryland families and small businesses which will cost us even more businesses, jobs and taxpayers.”

Change Maryland now has almost 35,000 members and has grown by nearly 10,000 since the most recent tax-raising legislative session began less than 90 days ago.

"Our top elected officials went to great lengths to avoid news coverage of the overwhelmingly unpopular gas tax by scheduling key announcements, committee votes and floor action on evenings and late Friday afternoons," said Hogan. "The Governor led wind energy activists in chanting 'give wind a chance,’ while the vast majority of Marylander's wish he would just give taxpayers a chance instead. Our top elected officials don’t know it yet, but they are sealing the deal for a tax revolt in Maryland.”