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Saturday, October 05, 2013

Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Retires

The Air Force Lieutenant Colonel whose sexual assault case sparked national outrage is retiring. Former Aviano Air Base Inspector General James Wilkerson is leaving, possibly at a lower rank, Air Force Times reports. A military court had found Wilkerson guilty of sexual assault, but his commander overturned the verdict. That led to calls that military leaders be stripped of their power to change convictions of service members. The Air Force had given Wilkerson a show-cause notice asking him to retire or make his case for staying in the military.

FEMA Recalls Furloughed Workers

FEMA is recalling furloughed workers as the United States faces the first real threat of the hurricane season. Tropical Storm Karen is poised to hit the northern Gulf Coast over the weekend. It's unclear how many FEMA employees are being brought back, but the White House says President Barack Obama has told his team to make sure there are enough staff and resources to respond to the storm. Meteorologists say when Karen hits, it will fall somewhere between a hurricane and a tropical storm bringing heavy rain.

Bad Blood: Four Feuding Leaders

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid privately told fellow Democratic senators this week what he really thought of Speaker John Boehner.

“He’s a coward,” Reid angrily said, referring to Boehner’s private push for federal health care contributions for lawmakers and their staff. Boehner later backed legislation to end those subsidies in order to win points with House GOP conservatives. “He’s a coward!” Reid exclaimed.

Reid’s outburst — confirmed by several sources attending a Senate Democratic policy luncheon on Tuesday — is the latest example of how the relationship between the nation’s top political leaders is now brimming with acrimony, distrust and pettiness at a perilous time for the country’s economy. The government shutdown — the first in 17 years — is in its fourth day with no end in sight. With the Treasury Department saying it might not be able to borrow money as of Oct. 17, the U.S. and global financial markets are already starting to fret about what would happen if the country defaults on its $16.7 trillion debt.

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Canteen Boutique


God Bless Our Vets


Fail Leviathan

It’s not a bug, it’s an undocumented feature.

As the woefully misnamed Affordable Care Act and its new online exchanges were rolled out this week, a weary nation received a reminder about the efficiency and effectiveness of government-run enterprise. The damned things just didn’t work. From Connecticut to California, Americans went online and check out such richly subsidized deals as were available under the new law — and one gets the distinct impression that a goodly share of those doing so were reporters and political activists — and they were greeted with the federal version of the Twitter “fail whale” — call it the Fail Leviathan.

But the Democrats had their talking points down. Everybody from the secretary of health and human services to the president himself cited Apple’s rollout of iOS 7, and the inevitable software updates that will follow, as a model of federal action. It wasn’t incompetence, they assured us, or inability, or lack of aptitude, just a few “glitches.” And soon, the story goes, we’ll have some updates, we’ll work out those glitches, and all things Obamacare will move with the intuitive ease of an iPad.
And a weary nation might wonder: Who plays Richard Williamson in this drama?

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Joe Biden Backs Park Ranger Who Stopped Vets At WWII Memorial

Vice President Joe Biden is proud of the National Park Service ranger who stood up to Rep. Randy Neugebauer at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

On Thursday, video surfaced online of Neugebauer, a Texas Republican, angrily lecturing the ranger for setting up barricades to the memorial.

"I'm proud of you," Biden said, according to his office's Twitter account, revealing that the vice president had called the ranger to thank her for her service.

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House Approves Retroactive Pay For Furloughed Government Workers

Seeking to dent President Obama’s refusal to chip away at the government shutdown piece-by-piece, House Republicans passed a bill Saturday to guarantee all federal employees get paid after the government shutdown — including those who have been sent home and aren’t on the job.

The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Virginia Reps. James P. Moran, a Democrat, and Frank Wolf, a Republican, cleared without opposition on a 407-0 vote, marking a major bipartisan breakthrough. The bill, which now heads to the Senate, would ensure that tens of thousands furloughed government workers receive full back pay after lawmakers strike a deal to reopen the federal government.

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Canadian Firm Hired To Build Troubled Obamacare Exchanges

A Canadian tech firm that has provided service to that country's single-payer health care system is behind the glitch-ridden United States national health care exchange site healthcare.gov.

GCI Federal is a subsidiary of Montreal-based CGI Group. With offices in Fairfax, Va., the subsidiary has been a darling of the Obama administration, which since 2009 has bestowed it with $1.4 billion in federal contracts, according to USAspending.gov.

The "CGI" in the parent company's name stands for "Conseillers en Gestion et Informatique" in French, which roughly translates to "Information Systems and Management Consultants." However, the firm offers another translation: "Consultants to Government and Industry."

The company is deeply embedded in Canada’s single-payer system. GCI has provided IT services to the Canadian Ministries of Health in Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Saskatchewan, as well as to the national health provider, Health Canada, according to GCI Group’s Canadian website.

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THE NUCLEAR OPTION: BEST. SHUTDOWN. EVER!

Fear not the shutdown, Republicans in Congress!

You are the supposedly conservative alternative in politics, and we are currently $16 trillion in the hole. The least you can do is stop spending so much money everyday to keep the vile beast going. Also, as the supposedly conservative alternative, you should be thrilled that all the "non-essential" bureaucrats have been sent home while our military remains at post.

For most of us innocent taxpayers, this suits us just fine. The only people who should be scared are the big government enthusiasts when the vast majority of Americans realize they didn't even notice the monstrous federal government had shut down; it shows the public they really don't need all of this nonsense that hurls us deeper and deeper into a abyss of debt with every passing week.

Yet being slippery politicians, Republican leaders in Congress cannot help but worry about the political fallout. They clutch their pearls and wrench their undergarments and fret over how badly Republicans lost the "blame game" the last time the federal government shut down in 1996.

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NY TIMES: SOUTHERN STATES RACIST FOR REJECTING MEDICAID EXPANSION

The New York Times, in one more effort to paint the Southern states as hotbeds of racism, estimates that two-thirds of poor blacks and single mothers will be denied health insurance under Obamacare because the Southern states refuse to expand their Medicaid programs.

The Times adds that more than half of low-wage workers without insurance won’t get any, either.
Well down in the Times piece is this nugget: more than half of states in the United States have rejected Medicaid expansion, including Ohio, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin, which are hardly Southern. 

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The Cheap Tricks Of The Game

The games politicians play: Barack Obama is having a lot of fun using the government shutdown to squeeze the public in imaginative ways. The point of the shutdown game is to see who can squeeze hardest, make the most pious speech and listen for the applause. It’s a variation on the grade-school ritual of “you show me yours, and I’ll show you mine.”

President Obama is not a bad poker player, but the man with all the chips always starts with the advantage (and he gets all the aces). He has closed Washington down as tight as he dares, emphasizing the trivial and the petty in making life as inconvenient as he can for the greatest number. It’s all in a noble cause, of course. Access to most of the memorials is limited, and often in curious ways. The Lincoln Memorial is easy to reach, with the streets around it remaining open. But the Martin Luther King Memorial is made difficult to reach, relegating it, you might say, to the back of the bus. Not very nice.

The Park Service appears to be closing streets on mere whim and caprice. The rangers even closed the parking lot at Mount Vernon, where the plantation home of George Washington is a favorite tourist destination. That was after they barred the new World War II Memorial on the Mall to veterans of World War II. But the government does not own Mount Vernon; it is privately owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association. The ladies bought it years ago to preserve it as a national memorial. The feds closed access to the parking lots this week, even though the lots are jointly owned with the Mount Vernon ladies. The rangers are from the government, and they’re only here to help. 

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JERRY BROWN: ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT DRIVER'S LICENSES 'ONLY THE FIRST STEP'

It's been a whirlwind month for Gov. Jerry Brown—four weeks in which the California chief executive's desk saw an anti-paparazzi bill and a bill to allow non-physicians to perform abortions, and he himself lofty praise in Rolling Stone.

The latest bill to pass his desk, granting illegal immigrants the ability to apply for driver's licenses in the state, is "only the first step" of a national movement, the governor told a crowd yesterday.

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They’ll Say The Cops Did A Great Job; They Always Do

Having had been in a number of “emergency” situations on Capitol Hill during my decade there, I feel safe saying I never felt so unsafe as when the pumped-up, tattooed, shorts-wearing, military assault rifle-toting Capitol Hill cops were trying to keep us safe. Like the time we were told a dangerous criminal with a gun was roaming the halls of Cannon Office Bldg and we were ordered to…wait for it: all leave our safe, locked offices and gather together in the main lobby of the building, fully exposed to the supposed assailant!

Of course we were the kind of office that questioned authority, so we kept our door locked, shut off the lights, and pretended the room was empty when the cops came pounding on the door. It made no sense. It turned out the cops manning the metal detectors were too busy chatting up the cute female staffers to notice that someone had walked through with a “gun” — which, being the day before Halloween, turned out to be a toy, some staffer’s stupid idea of a costume prop.

The evacuation plan in the first few years after 9/11 was practiced with some regularity, keeping us away from our jobs for hours at a time. Whenever the House was out of session, we could look forward to another evacuation drill, where the cops had the chance to yell at us to “KEEP ON THAT SIDE OF THE STREET!!!” as they fingered their assault rifles.

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Obama Forcing Shut Down Of Parks The Feds Don't Even Fund

Looking to cause as much pain as possible to the American people during this shut down, President Obama sent National Park Service (NPS) police officers to shut down hundreds of parks and historic sites that the federal government doesn't even fund.

We are all familiar with the barricades erected at the open-air WWII Memorial in Washington DC. Images of aged WWII veterans being prevented by armed NPS officials from entering the memorial were all across the media.

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Government Shutdown 2013: 'Completely Avoidable' Shutdown Scuttles Obama's Asia Trip

President Barack Obama decided to stay home from economic summits in Asia as Democrats stepped up pressure Friday on congressional Republicans to rein in their tea party faction and reopen the government with no strings attached.

House Speaker John Boehner shot back with an assertion that "this isn't some damn game."

The White House had earlier called the partial government shutdown "completely avoidable" and complained that the disruption in federal agencies and governmental services was interfering with the president's efforts to promote trade and U.S. influence in emerging world markets.

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Mayor's Neighborhood Roundtable - Oct. 15

City of Salisbury, Public Works Director, Mike Moulds will speak about the river, about the Watershed Improvement Plan, and about making Public Works more responsive to businesses. Please join him on October 15, 2013 at 1pm in room 306 at the GOB, 125 N. Division Street.

BREAKING NEWS: Navy SEALs Raid Al Shabaab Camp

Navy SEALs raid Al Shabaab camp in Somalia; terror group leaders believed to be among those killed, but Pentagon unable to confirm whether head of Al Shabaab is among the dead.

Team Hillary Clinton Blames GOP For Park Closings

Hillary Clinton's shadow campaign for president has joined the administration in selling Obamacare -- and blasting Republicans for trying to kill it in the budget showdown that has closed the government.

Ready for Hillary, a group staffed and supported by former aides to Clinton and President Obama, just dispatched an email urging supporters to sign up at www.healthcare.gov. The email includes an Image of the site which, when clicked, reroutes to the Obamacare signup page.

The note also takes a slap at the GOP efforts to stop the Affordable Care Act, blaming them for the government shutdown and the closing of national parks.

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On "Presstitutes"

As we’ve said on numerous occasions, politicians aren’t the only ones to blame for the rampant excess, corruption and dysfunction in American government at all levels.

Politicians and their corporate cronies/ welfare constituencies are simply taking whatever they can get (which is whatever they can get their hands on). The real enemy? A mainstream media establishment which has gone from complacent to accommodating to downright co-conspiratorial.

Summing it up perfectly is this excerpt from a post on the website Liberty Blitzkrieg …

“It has become abundantly clear in recent years that the mainstream media can not be identified as anything other that a collective of mediocre, corporate/government ass-kissing presstitutes,” the website notes. “Different media outlets cater to different special interests, but the end result is all the same. MSNBC for example is essentially a straight up PR outlet for the Democratic Party, while Fox News represents the neo-con arm of the Republican Party and the military-industrial complex generally.”

Wait … what’s a “presstitute?” Glad you asked …

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BREAKING NEWS: US NAVY SEALS KILL LEADER OF AL SHABAAB

US Navy SEALS have killed the head of the Al Shabaab militant group in Somalia linked to last month's Kenya mall attack that killed more than 60 people, Fox News confirms.

Fractured Prune Plans to Expand Nationwide

When Football Was Football

No One Signs Up For ObamaCare In Sebelius' Own State Of Kansas

PRUDEN: The Cheap Tricks Of The Game

The games politicians play: Barack Obama is having a lot of fun using the government shutdown to squeeze the public in imaginative ways. The point of the shutdown game is to see who can squeeze hardest, make the most pious speech and listen for the applause. It’s a variation on the grade-school ritual of “you show me yours, and I’ll show you mine.”

President Obama is not a bad poker player, but the man with all the chips always starts with the advantage (and he gets all the aces). He has closed Washington down as tight as he dares, emphasizing the trivial and the petty in making life as inconvenient as he can for the greatest number. It’s all in a noble cause, of course. Access to most of the memorials is limited, and often in curious ways. The Lincoln Memorial is easy to reach, with the streets around it remaining open. But the Martin Luther King Memorial is made difficult to reach, relegating it, you might say, to the back of the bus. Not very nice.

The Park Service appears to be closing streets on mere whim and caprice. The rangers even closed the parking lot at Mount Vernon, where the plantation home of George Washington is a favorite tourist destination. That was after they barred the new World War II Memorial on the Mall to veterans of World War II. But the government does not own Mount Vernon; it is privately owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association. The ladies bought it years ago to preserve it as a national memorial. The feds closed access to the parking lots this week, even though the lots are jointly owned with the Mount Vernon ladies. The rangers are from the government, and they’re only here to help.

More

Sun Readers Call New Gun Control Law ‘Unconstitutional’ Really? Hardly

An overwhelming majority of people responding to a Baltimore Sun poll this week — a whopping 94% — called “Maryland’s ban on assault weapons and large capacity magazines” “unconstitutional.” What’s more, 18,109 people responded to the “poll” published Tuesday, meaning about 17,000 responders objected to the new bans.

Right below these amazing results was the daily warning “results not scientific.”

No kidding. This was not a real public opinion survey seeking a random sample of the population that would show what a representative group of Maryland citizens think of the new law. It was one of those pop quizzes made possible by the wonderfully interactive nature of the Internet.

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Missing Dog: UPDATE

Missing Shepard named Zack in Pine Bluff area, reward if found. 

YOU HAVE TO READ THIS!! IT'S A MUST!!

Medical Excise Tax on Retail Receipts. This is amazing.
Attached is an image of a sales receipt from Cabela's, a popular sporting goods store.

The 2.3% Medical Excise Tax that began on January 1st is supposed to be "hidden" from the consumer, but it's been brought to the public's attention by hunting and fishing store, Cabela's, who have refused to hide it and are showing it as a separate line item tax on their receipts, the email states.

I did some research and found directly from the IRS's website information that PROVES this to be true and an accurate portrayal of something hidden in Obamacare that I was not aware of! Now, being skeptical of this, I went to the IRS website and found this!

Q1. What is the medical device excise tax? A1. Section 4191 of the Internal Revenue Code imposes an excise tax on the sale of certain medical devices by the manufacturer or importer of the device. 
Q2. When does the tax go into effect? A2. The tax applies to sales of taxable medical devices after Dec. 31, 2012. 
Q3. How much is the tax? A3. The tax is 2.3 percent of the sale price of the taxable medical device. See Chapter 5 of IRS Publication 510, Excise Taxes, and Notice 2012-77 for additional information on the determination of sale price.

Hmmmmmm, What Have I Been Saying?

GOVERNOR O’MALLEY DECLARES OCTOBER "MARYLAND MANUFACTURING MONTH”

BALTIMORE, MD – Governor Martin O’Malley issued a proclamation declaring October “Maryland Manufacturing Month” and kicked off a year-long focus on the State’s manufacturing industry.

“Manufacturing offers one of our greatest opportunities to strengthen our middle class, grow jobs and create new opportunities here in Maryland,” said Governor O’Malley. “To have a growing economy, we must also have a diverse economy which, at its core, must include a thriving manufacturing sector. I look forward to continuing to work with our industry stakeholders to turn the promise of manufacturing today into the reality of manufacturing tomorrow.”

Beginning today, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) will feature a monthly story on a manufacturer in the State on its business blog, MDBiz News. The series, titled “Maryland’s Next Generation Manufacturers,” will highlight companies employing the latest advancements in manufacturing. Click here to see this month’s story on Tulkoff Foods. In addition, DBED will issue a report later this year on the state of the manufacturing industry.

Governor O’Malley has implemented a number of initiatives to grow Maryland’s manufacturing industry. Last year, Governor O’Malley reinvigorated the Maryland Advisory Commission on Manufacturing Competitiveness, which is charged with advising the Governor on ways to encourage new and expanding manufacturing enterprises in Maryland. The 16-member Commission also recommends ways in which to retrain and educate Maryland workers for manufacturing jobs, support research, and foster the growth and viability of manufacturing enterprises in the State.

During this year’s legislative session, Governor O’Malley created the EARN (Employment Advancement Right Now) job training initiative – a joint effort with members of the Maryland General Assembly to create industry-led regional job creation and workforce development partnerships that help to identify common workforce needs for high-demand occupations such as construction, traditional and advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, and health care; and develop and implement education or training strategies to address those shortages.

In 2012, Maryland had 3,694 manufacturers employing 108,985 people. Manufacturing accounts for almost $19 billion worth of output in 2012, or 6 percent of the State’s total GDP.

Former DHS Chief Privacy Officer Was Regularly Called A “Terrorist” By The Intelligence Community

So it appears one of the few decent people at the gestapo that is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was constantly berated and referred to as a “terrorist” for her attempts to defend the privacy of American citizens.

So let me get this straight, the tea party are “terrorists,” privacy officers that look after privacy are “terrorists,” yet we almost launched a war in Syria to fight alongside our al-Qaeda allies.

Yes folks: This is your government.

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‘Grotesque’ DOJ Misconduct

The Holder DOJ stopped at nothing to convict five New Orleans police officers.

In a shocking case of “grotesque” misconduct by federal prosecutors, a federal judge in Louisiana has ordered a new trial for five New Orleans police officers convicted for a shooting on the Danziger Bridge on September 4, 2005 — in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina — and for a subsequent cover-up. This is another black eye for the Holder Justice Department that the media have barely covered.

Participating in the misconduct that the judge said had created an “online 21st-century carnival atmosphere” was Karla Dobinski, a lawyer in the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department and the former deputy chief of the section. The reversal of the convictions is what Judge Kurt Engelhardt calls a “bitter pill” for Hurricane Katrina survivors, but his investigation of the matter provides an intensive inside look at the unprofessionalism of some of the lawyers at the Holder Justice Department, and also at the department’s attempts to obscure its misdeeds.

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$175 Premium For A Young, Healthy Student? Thanks, Obamacare!

American media outlets were finally able to track down a mythical creature — a person who actually signed up for the Obamacare exchanges online.

But that person, Chad Henderson, admitted to the Washington Post that the premium for the plan he enrolled in was $175. Ouch! Wasn’t Obamacare supposed to lower premiums?

Henderson’s going to pay a $175 premium and he won’t even receive vision or dental insurance. He has contacts, so not having vision insurance is kind of a bum deal.

Henderson, as far as we know a healthy, 21-year-old college student at Chattanooga State Community College who lives in Flintstone, Ga., and works part-time at a day-care center, did not qualify for tax credits to purchase insurance, according to the Post.

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Temple University Student Suing Atlantic City Police After Violent Beatdown Caught On Video

A 20-year-old student at Temple University is suing the Atlantic City Police Department after he was allegedly violently detained and beaten outside a casino, CNN reports.David Connor Castellani says he was kicked out of the Tropicana Casino because he was underage. A recently released video shows the Temple junior gesturing and yelling at a group of police officers, who run at him and violently wrestle him to the ground before releasing a police dog to attack him.

According to CNN, Castellani was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and aggravated assault on an officer and a canine. He needed more than 200 stitches to close up multiple wounds and dog bites on his head and neck, and was also treated for a crushed spinal nerve and numbness on the right side of the skull.

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Obamacare Marketplaces Raise Data Security Concerns

Minnesota insurance broker Jim Koester was looking for information about assisting with Obamacare implementation; instead, what landed in his inbox last month was a document filled with the names, Social Security numbers and other pieces of personal information belonging to his fellow Minnesotans.
In one of the first breaches of the new Obamacare online marketplaces, an employee of the Minnesota marketplace, called MNsure, accidentally emailed Koester a document containing personally identifying information for more than 2,400 insurance agents, the Minnesota Star Tribune reported. MNsure was able to quickly undo the damage because Koester cooperated with them, but the incident left him unnerved.
"The more I thought about it, the more troubled I was," Koester told the newspaper. "What if this had fallen into the wrong hands? It's scary. If this is happening now, how can clients of MNsure be confident their data is safe?"

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REID LEAKS BOEHNER EMAILS TO UNDERCUT POSITION AGAINST OBAMACARE

Emails authored by Mike Sommers, House Speaker John Boehner’s Chief of Staff, indicate possible coordination between House Speaker Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) in the exemption of Congress from Obamacare.

The leak occurred Tuesday when Reid’s Chief of Staff David Krone sent the emails to Politico. It is not looked upon favorably by others when something like this is done revealing the inner workings of the deals made on the Hill.

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Larry Sabato: Shutdown Blame Will Not Cost GOP The House

Giddy Democrats already measuring the drapes in the Speaker’s office for Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s return once voters, angered by the government shutdown, end the GOP’s reign, can put away their rulers. According to the authoritative and reliable political team at the University of Virginia, headed by Larry Sabato, there is little chance the Republicans will lose control of the House of Representatives.

“We continue to believe that the Republicans are strongly favored to hold control of the House,” said Sabato's top House analyst Kyle Kondik in the latest “Crystal Ball” weekly political newsletter put out by the school's Center for Politics and provided in advance to Secrets.

Unlike in 2010, when there were several vulnerable Democratic seats up for grabs in an election won by the GOP which installed Rep. John Boehner as speaker, there are few GOP House seats in play and most are moderate Republicans in districts President Obama won or did well in last year. They include three Virginia House members, Reps. Frank Wolf, Scott Rigell and Randy Forbes, though Kondik suggested that only Rigell’s seat is in jeopardy.

“Republicans just aren’t exposed this cycle the way Democrats were in 2010,” wrote Kondik of the upcoming 2014 midterms.

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Assateague State Park Busy With Island’s Federal Side Closed By Shutdown

ASSATEAGUE — A perfect storm of sorts, including the closure of the Assateague Island National Seashore this week due to the federal government shutdown, ideal summer-like conditions and the Seagull Century bicycle tour set for Saturday, have conspired to create some confusion at the popular barrier island this week, but the Assateague State Park remains open albeit with a few caveats.

When the clock struck midnight on Monday without any progress on the impasse over the federal spending plan, driven largely by the divide over Obamacare, the federal government began a shutdown early Tuesday, including the closure of the Assateague Island National Seashore. Late Monday, Assateague Island National Seashore officials were already planning for the pending shutdown and by Tuesday morning, barriers and interactive signs warned visitors the federal park’s public facilities would remain closed until further notice. AINS Chief of Interpretation and Education Rachelle Daigneault said late Monday the federal side of the island had already begun preparations for the shutdown.

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Keeping The Lights On In A Shutdown

The federal government might be shut down, but the lights at Kloudtrack stay on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, President and CEO Mike Binko said.

With eight employees in Rockville and Annapolis, Kloudtrack is a subcontractor on three IT and cloud computing projects within the Defense Information Systems Agency, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Homeland Security. An example of the kind of innovative small businesses that are helping strengthen Maryland’s growing and upwardly-mobile middle class.

Kloudtrack is making tremendous progress, even in the face of an unnecessary government shutdown, and their work on contracts critical to our national defense and obligations to our veterans continues. However, if the Congress fails to fund our government, it will eventually be forced to put its ambitions and growth on hold.

“We are keeping an eye on it and if it goes beyond a week, then it’s a bigger concern,” Binko said. “We have to ask ‘Are we going to have to carry the load on operating costs?’”

Kloudtrack is a tremendous example of the startup culture that has made Maryland the #1 state in the nation to start a business. Their original focus on financial services firms helped guide them through the transition from legacy IT systems to cheaper, more nimble cloud computing. They look at which systems and data sets are best suited for a move to the cloud, and then provide the software to ensure that sensitive information and processes are safe, secure and auditable. Kloudtrack later broadened its expertise to include the healthcare sector and government.

As it turns out, government contracts have become Kloudtrack’s greatest source of uncertainty. Companies with smaller profiles like Kloudtrack, that have invested in the expertise necessary to handle government contracts, will feel the impacts of an extended shutdown more acutely than their larger counterparts. Small and medium-sized businesses typically don’t have the cash flow, reserves and borrowing capacity to withstand a long-term shutdown that puts their ability to receive payment in jeopardy.

“Small- to medium-sized guys like us, who are at a critical growth stage … that decision making is more on a month and quarters timeframe,” Binko said. “If the shutdown is protracted, if it goes beyond days or weeks, we have decisions to make on hiring, profits and cash flow. And that’s a concern for us.”

For now, despite the uncertainty, Kloudtrack will keep going.

“When the government shuts down, Kloudtrack doesn’t shut down,” Binko said. “We’re going to keep working. Our lights stay on 24/7.”

Senior Admin. Official: 'We Are Winning...It Doesn't Really Matter To Us' When Shutdown Ends

Although the government shutdown continues, it appears President Barack Obama and the White House are not getting any closer to negotiating with Republicans. A quotation from an unnamed senior administration official in today's Wall Street Journal explains why.
Said a senior administration official: "We are winning...It doesn't really matter to us" how long the shutdown lasts "because what matters is the end result."

With this view, it explains why President Obama won't agree to any piecemeal legislation that would keep Veterans Affairs and NIH open during the shutdown. And it explains why President Obama would rather cancel his Asia trip than negotiate with Republicans.

It's because the White House (or, at least this unnamed official) believe it is "winning" by shutting down the government and blaming Republicans. And when one's winning, he's not likely to change course.

As the Journal details, Obama has also argued that he won't negotiate over the debt ceiling because the stakes are too high.

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This Just In: Sea Gull Century Update

Approximately 70 y/o male participating in the sea gull century, collapsed on Sinepuxant Rd. of a heart attack. Berlin Fire EMS dispatched, pt. Pronounced dead on arrival at Atlantic general.

Salisbury Station 2 Fire Department Enjoys Red Lobster Today


Obamacare Freebie: Obamaphone

In order to get folks to shop Obamacare coverage in Tennessee, the Community Health Alliance (CHA) co-op is giving away government subsidized smart phones in a program reminiscent of the original Obamaphone program.

According to the Nashville Biz Blog, “qualified individuals” with receive an LG Lucid 2 4G smart phone, or equivalent model, a phone plan and tech support. The phone plan includes unlimited talk, unlimited texting and 1.2GB of data, according to staff writer E. J. Boyer.

Members will have to select a primary care physician from CHA’s network within 90 days of their coverage start date and must “pledge to stay connected for better health” within 90 days. After “those requirements are met, the phone — preloaded with health apps, contact information for a CHA representative, and phone numbers for primary care doctors and after-hours clinic — will be shipped to members within two weeks,” writes Boyer.

CHA is promoting the effort as a way to keep in touch with patients. “Members will have the phone number for their CHA representative pre-loaded in their phones and can quickly get answers to questions about their policies,” said CHA Chief Operating Officer Judy Slagle in a press release. “At the same time, we will be able to connect with our members by phone, by email or by text almost instantly with health tips and reminders.”

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Makes Sense To Me


This Is All About A Petulant President

In the showdown over the shutdown of the U.S. government, the Obamaites tipped their hand yesterday as what their strategy is.

Taking a page out of Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals," the plan is to maximize the people's pain — to maximize the political damage to the enemy, the Republican Party.

What else explains it?

Consider this: Asked Wednesday if there were any danger of America defaulting on her debt, President Obama rushed to assure a reporter that, yes, indeed, there certainly is such a peril.

Why would a president act in so perverse a manner, were he not trying deliberately to rattle or panic the markets?

Obama's tactic worked. Thursday, the Dow plunged below 15,000.

Equally telling is what happened at the World War II Memorial.

This is an open memorial on the mall, to which the old soldiers of the Greatest Generation, flown here on honor flights, come to a last roll call with their comrades. The memorial is dedicated to them, to what they and their buddies did, and to those who never came home.

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Mathias Optimistic About Post-Holiday School Start Committee

OCEAN CITY — The task force studying the issue of moving the start date for public schools across Maryland back after Labor Day had its first meeting last week with positive results, but it will likely take serious support from the resort business community to make the change a reality.

Last spring, the Maryland General Assembly approved a bill that created a task force to study the issue of moving the start date for public schools across the state back after Labor Day. Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot last year pushed legislation to create task force to study a post-Labor Day start date for public schools, citing the economic benefit while preserving the mandated number of days in the school calendar.


In a report released in August, Franchot pointed out a post-Labor Day start date for schools could result in $7.7 million in state and local revenue and an additional $74 million in direct economic impact.

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Let's Get This Straight


Democrats Chose The Shutdown

And Republicans are within their legal and constitutional rights to act as they have.

Even when it comes to something as basic, and apparently as simple and straightforward, as the question of who shut down the federal government, there are diametrically opposite answers, depending on whether you talk to Democrats or to Republicans.

There is really nothing complicated about the facts. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted all the money required to keep all government activities going — except for Obamacare.

This is not a matter of opinion. You can check the Congressional Record.

As for the House of Representatives’ right to grant or withhold money, that is not a matter of opinion either. You can check the Constitution of the United States. All spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives, which means that congressmen there have a right to decide whether or not they want to spend money on a particular government activity.

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On The Mark


Car Show Brings Flood Of Volkswagens As Well As Police Activity

As the name would indicate, Volkswagen is definitely the people’s car.

At least it was this past weekend in the resort, as swarms of the automobiles gathered in the area for the H2O International car show, an event that, while taking place outside of the city limits, has become popularly associated with Ocean City whether the resort likes it or not.

But while the show is an unsolicited affair, many local businesses are reporting a more profitable and less unruly weekend than in years past, likely because of intensive enforcement by the Ocean City Police Department.

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The Teams Will Play But The Troops Can't Watch

The Air Force and Naval academies will play as scheduled this weekend. However, overseas military personnel accustomed to getting their football on Armed Forces Network will not be able to watch.

Nextgov.com, where, by the way, there is outstanding shutdown coverage, reports that the Pentagon has:
… reduced the civilian staff of its Armed Forces Network Broadcast Center in Riverside, Calif., which normally transmits nine television channels and seven radio channels via satellite worldwide … the center said most of its channels are off the air, except for news channels … The AFN sports channel, which broadcasts professional sports live, went dark yesterday along with the network’s movie, family and children’s channels.

Source

Government Shutdown: Why Many Republicans Have No Reason To Deal

The prevailing wisdom ahead of the government shutdown was that tea party lawmakers who agitated for it would fold within a few days, once they got an earful from angry constituents and felt the sting of bad headlines. House GOP leaders called it a “touch the stove” moment for the band of Republican rebels, when ideology would finally meet reality.

But there’s another reality that explains why that thinking may well be wrong, and the country could be in for a protracted standoff: Most of the Republicans digging in have no reason to fear voters will ever punish them for it.

The vast majority of GOP lawmakers are safely ensconced in districts that, based on the voter rolls, would never think of electing a Democrat. Their bigger worry is that someone even more conservative than they are — bankrolled by a cadre of uncompromising conservative groups — might challenge them in a primary.

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Government Shutdown: Democrats Preempt Entitlement Change Talk

Liberal Democrats are already railing against the notion that entitlement programs could be scaled back as part of any grand bargain to end the government shutdown and hike the debt ceiling.

At a press conference of the Congressional Progressive Caucus led by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the group said they aren’t waiting to see if the murmurs that it’s a possibility become reality.

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Corsican Assassin In Dallas On Day JFK Killed

CIA document reveals mysterious appearance
What was a Corsican assassin doing in Dallas on the day JFK was assassinated?

The intriguing question is probed by WND senior staff reporter Jerome R. Corsi in his new book “Who Really Killed Kennedy? 50 Years Later: Stunning New Revelations about the JFK Assassination.”

Corsi says that along with the Corsican assassin, the Vietnam War, the CIA, the international heroin trail and the 1971 movie “The French Connection” are all relevant to solving the JFK assassination.

“Did CIA mobsters running the heroin trade in Vietnam kill JFK?” he asks.

“Who Really Killed Kennedy,” released this month as the 50th anniversary of the assassination approaches, is bolstered by recently declassified documents that shed new light on the monumental event. Corsi sorted through tens of thousands of documents, all 26 volumes of the Warren Commission’s report, hundreds of books, several films and countless photographs.

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Fund-Raising Blues: DNC Remains In Debt As It Competes With Obama Group For Donors

Barely more than a year before the 2014 midterm elections, the Democratic National Committee is struggling to pay off debt and rebuild its war chest while competing for donations with Organizing for America, the Web-based political group created from the remnants of President Obama’s re-election organization.

Since the 2012 presidential campaign, which cost almost $7 billion and was the most expensive in history, the DNC has been struggling with a debt load that stands at more than $18 million.

The Republican National Committee, meanwhile, has no debt and about $13 million cash on hand. On virtually every major benchmark — cash on hand, debt and money raised to date — the RNC is outperforming the DNC.

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How Obamacare's Glitches Could Become Deeper Problems

As enrollment in President Obama's health care program enters its third day, its network of insurance exchanges is still plagued by glitches along the lines of what I described in my column this week.

My Thursday morning attempt to login to the main Healthcare.gov hub that’s supposed to serve residents of 36 states, was greeted with a 404 error: “The requested URL /serverdown.html was not found.”

Defenders of the health care law argue that early glitches were inevitable and will be worked out and note that plans don't actually kick in until Jan. 1 and the open enrollment period goes through March. The even more optimistic spin is that the problems are due to high traffic, suggesting overwhelming demand for Obamacare.

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WCSO Press Release 10-5-13

Incident: Warrant
Date of Incident: 2 October 2013
Location: Salisbury, MD
Suspect: James Thomas Heath, 44, Salisbury, MD
Narrative: On 2 October 2013 at 1:00 PM, a deputy from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office arrested James Heath on an open Circuit Court Bench Warrant. The warrant was issued after Heath violated the terms of his probation in a Malicious Destruction of Property Case.  The deputy transported Heath to the Detention Center where he was processed and detained in lieu of $25,000.00 bond pending an initial appearance in front of a Circuit Court Judge.
Charges: Violation of Probation
Heath, James
Incident: Fugitive


Date of Incident: 2 October 2013
Location: Sussex County, DE
Suspect: Kenneth Lee Isenhower, 21, Seaford, DE
Narrative: On 2 October 2013 at 5:20 PM. A deputy from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office traveled to Sussex County where authorities there had detained Kenneth Isenhower at the behest of Wicomico County. Isenhower was wanted in Wicomico County on a Circuit Court Bench Warrant that was issued after he failed to appear for a theft case back in March 2013.  The deputy transported Isenhower to the Detention Center where he was detained without bond pending an initial appearance in front of a Circuit Court Judge.
Charges: Failure to Appear
Isenhower, Kenneth


Incident: Assault
Date of Incident: 2 October 2013
Location: 7000 block of Gumboro Road, Pittsville, MD
Suspect: Dutch Stephen Harbour, 28, Pittsville, MD
Narrative: On 2 October 2013 at 6:07 PM, a deputy from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office responded to a reported disturbance at an apartment complex in the 7000 block of Gumboro Road in Pittsville. Upon arrival, the deputy learned that a resident, Dutch Harbour, had engaged in an argument with subjects that he resides with that turned physical when he began assaulting them. Harbour stands accused of assaulting two other individuals and a minor child. During the investigation, the deputy observed signs of injury on victims that corroborated their account.  The deputy placed Harbour under arrest and transported him to the Central Booking Unit where he was processed and taken in front of the District Court Commissioner. After an initial appearance, the Commissioner detained Harbour in the Detention Center in lieu of $300,000.00 bond.
Charges: Assault 2nd Degree (3 counts) and Child Abuse
Harbour, Dutch


Incident: Assault
Date of Incident: 2 October 2013
Location: 7000 block of Gumboro Road, Pittsville, MD
Suspect: Brice N. Long, 32, Pittsville, MD
Narrative: On 2 October 2013 at 6:07 PM, a deputy from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office responded to a reported disturbance at an apartment complex in the 7000 block of Gumboro Road in Pittsville. During the investigation of this incident, a visibly agitated Brice Long arrived on scene and appeared to be upset with the suspect in the assault, Dutch Harbour. The deputy instructed Long to keep his distance from the investigation, but Long ignored that instruction and proceeded to assault Harbour in the presence of the deputy.  The deputy placed Harbour under arrest and transported him to the Central Booking Unit where he was processed and taken in front of the District Court Commissioner. After an initial appearance, the Commissioner detained Long in the Detention Center in lieu of $5,000.00 bond.
Charges: Assault 2nd Degree
Long, Brice


Incident: Assault
Date of Incident: 3 October 2013
Location: 1000 block of Marine Road, Salisbury, MD
Suspect: Charles Anthony Davis, 55, Salisbury, MD
Narrative: On 3 October 2013 at 6:15 PM, a deputy from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office arrested Charles Davis in connection with an assault he allegedly committed on 30 September 2013. In this incident, Davis allegedly attacked an individual that had come to Davis residence to pick up a family member’s bicycle. According to the victim, Davis approached him cursing and visibly under the influence of alcohol. The victim stated that Davis began assaulting him in his head which knocked him to the ground. While attempting to extricate himself from Davis’ property, Davis reportedly threw a 5lb weight at the victim which also knocked him to the ground. The victim managed to get back to his vehicle and summons help.  Upon arrest Davis was transported to the Central Booking Unit where he was processed and taken in front of the District Court Commissioner. After an initial appearance, the Commissioner detained Davis in the Detention Center in lieu of $25,000.00 bond.
Charges: Assault 1st Degree, Assault 2nd Degree and Reckless Endangerment
Davis, Charles
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Releasing Authority: Lt. Tim Robinson        Date:  4 October 2013

Very Dumb People In America

HISTORICAL COMMENTS BY GEORGE CHEVALLIER 10-5-13

WICOMICO HIGH SCHOOL

Below are a few facts about Wicomico High School that people have asked me about throughout the years.

Higher education in Salisbury began in 1818 with the formation of The Salisbury Academy. The building was located at the corner of N. Division and Chestnut Sts. The structure was destroyed in the fire of 1886. Salisburyformed an educational system in 1867 when Wicomico County was formed. Up to that point, higher education was for boys only. The Constitution Convention of 1867 changed all that and girls were admitted. The originalSalisbury High School remained open to only Salisbury students until 1905. When a new high school was built on Upton St. (where The Daily Times building was), students from the entire county were admitted. This new high school became known as Wicomico High School. This was done as the additional funding was needed to build the school.

The first effort at a yearbook was in 1904. It was known as the Tattler, a name that remained until its discontinuance during the Depression. I have not seen a yearbook from 1929-1941, although graduates from that period have told me that soft bound copies of a reasonable facsimile of a yearbook were issued. Printing of an annual yearbook resumed in 1946. By this time it was known as the Tom-Tom, a name that remains to this day. The first two issues of the Tattler were from Salisbury High School. After they built the new school that opened in the fall of 1905, the school was identified as Wicomico High School in the Tattler.

By 1931 Salisbury’s population had more than tripled since Wicomico High was erected on Upton Street and school enrollment had proportionately grown. A new High School was built on E. Main St., opposite the City Park on land recovered from when the Humphreys’ mill dam broke in 1909. When another new Wicomico High School was built on Long Ave. in 1954, the school on Main St. became Wicomico Jr. High.

Early high school consisted of 9 grades. A 10th grade was added in 1902. An 11th grade was added in 1906. The final 12th grade was added in 1949. So, the Wicomico High School Class of 1950 had to go two years as seniors to complete their education. The yearbook of 1949 has “graduates”, so I guess that you could opt out of that 12th year if you so desired.

(The above photo shows postcards of the 3 different structures that have served asWicomico High School with the high school ring of the era.)

SPD Press Release 10-5-13



Maryland Is Richest State, Census Data Reveals

Maryland is the richest state in the country, according to data released this week from the Census Bureau.

Recent data from the Census Bureau this week reveals Maryland as being the richest state in the country.

According to the data, Marylanders have a median household income of about $71,000.

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Cost Of Installing Residential Fire Sprinklers Averages $1.35 Per Square Foot

New Fire Protection Research Foundation report assesses costs

The cost to install home fire sprinklers in 51 homes in 17 communities averaged $1.35 per sprinklered square foot, down from the $1.61 average in 2008, according to a report conducted by Newport Partners (Newport) and released by the Fire Protection Research Foundation(the Foundation) an affiliate of the National Fire Protection Association. (Sprinklered square feet is a measure of total area of spaces with sprinklers.) The new report, Home Fire Sprinkler Cost Assessment – 5 Year Update, provides a national perspective on the cost of installing home fire sprinklers.

The primary purpose of the 2013 study was to review current home fire sprinkler costs against a 2008 benchmark study, Home Fire Sprinkler Cost Assessment, also commissioned by the Foundation and conducted by Newport, to better understand the relationship between adoptions, various elements of cost such as installation and materials, how efficiency in design or installation may be introduced and more.

In 2008, sprinklers were becoming more common in one- and two-family homes but adoption was not widespread. Fire sprinklers in homes have steadily increased in recent years, driven in large part by building codes, outreach and education. Two states - California and Maryland - have sprinkler requirements in place for all new one- and two-family homes with numerous other jurisdictions in the process of partial or full adoption of the provision.

The current study examines 51 homes in 17 communities throughout the U.S. selected on the basis of geography, regulations, housing types, sprinkler systems and materials, and water supply situations. The 2008 study examined 30 homes in 10 U.S. communities.

“There is concrete data that shows home fire sprinklers save lives and reduce losses from fire,” said Kathleen Almand, executive director of the Fire Protection Research Foundation. “However, objective cost information is difficult to find. Our latest research project provides these costs based on actual data.”

Ice Cream Recalled Due To Possible Metal Shavings

Pennsylvania based Turkey Hill is recalling three of its ice cream brands due to possible metal shavings being found. The ice cream is sold in Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

If you have any of these types of ice cream products, you're asked to return them to the store for a full refund:

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