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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What If The Government Guaranteed You An Income?

First, the bad news: Even if the economy improves, middle-class career paths will continue to disappear as globalization and technological innovation render more jobs obsolete.

Now, the good news: The fear, stress and humiliation caused by unemployment (and underemployment) can be alleviated with a simple solution.

And now, the even-better news: This simple solution is starting to find backers on both sides of the political spectrum.

A monthly cash payment to every American, no questions asked, would solve several of our most daunting challenges. It's called a basic income, and it's cheaper and much more effective than our current malfunctioning safety net, which costs nearly $1 trillion per year.


The Bundy Ranch Saga Proved the American People are Fed Up

The Bundy Ranch Saga has crystallized the mood of the American people.

Cliven Bundy, in a dispute with the Federal government, managed to call enough attention to his plight to mobilize hundreds of Americans to stand with him as he nullified federal law.

Through organized networks of regular Americans and largely through social media, and without traditional news media calling attention to Bundy's side of the complaint, the Federal government found out in a hurry that heavy-handed tactics against the American people will not work.

I believe regular Americans are on the cusp of doing what it takes to teach the Federal government that they work for us, not the other way around, and the mood of the nation is reflected in The Bundy Ranch Saga.


Hilarious SWA Flight attendant

Mortgage Lending Drops to 17-Year Low as Rates Curb Borrowing

U.S. mortgage lending is contracting to levels not seen since 1997 — the year Tiger Woods won his first of four Masters championships — as rising interest rates and home prices drive away borrowers.

Wells Fargo & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., the two largest U.S. mortgage lenders, reported a first-quarter plunge in loan volumes that’s part of an industry-wide drop off. Lenders made $226 billion of mortgages in the period, the smallest quarterly amount since 1997 and less than one-third of the 2006 average, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association in Washington.

Lending has been tumbling since mid-2013 when mortgage rates jumped about a percentage point after the Federal Reserve said it might taper stimulus spending. A surge in all-cash purchases to more than 40 percent has kept housing prices rising, squeezing more Americans out of the market. That will help push lending down further this year, according to the association.


The Crime of Being Bullied: 15-Year-Old Special Needs Student Convicted of Disorderly Conduct for Recording Evidence of Bullying

It’s a horrific case study in bullying. A high school sophomore who suffers from comprehension delay disorder (an information-processing disorder), ADHD, and an anxiety disorder was regularly shoved and tripped, nearly burned with a cigarette lighter, and psychologically tortured by his peers. He fought back in the only way he could, documenting the abuse on his school-issued iPad. His mother, Shea Love, submitted the evidence to school administrators.

And the administrators took action. Not against the bullies. Against their victim.

According to, a sophomore at South Fayette High School in McDonald, Pennsylvania, whose name has been withheld at the family’s request, suffered a year of abuse before he decided to take a stand. After researching anti-bullying websites, he used his school-issued iPad to make a seven-minute audio recording of his treatment during math class, where the most intense bullying took place. He later explained his actions: “I wanted her (Love) to understand what I went through…. I wanted it to stop. I just felt like nothing was being done.”

Baywater Animal Rescue Hosts Pitter Patter of Little Paws Baby Shower April 26th

Cambridge, MD -- Don't miss your opportunity to enjoy the Pitter Patter of Little Paws at Baywater Animal Rescue! The shelter has puppies and kittens of all shapes, sizes and personalities for adoption. These new babies increase the shelter's need for kitten formula, kitten & puppy food, towels, blankets, toys and laundry detergent. On Saturday, April 26th from noon to 3 p.m., you can bring needed items to the shelter to help save a life. Citizens bringing a donation to the shelter that day will spend time with the animals while enjoying adoption specials, refreshments and door prizes. Prospective pet parents can visit adoptable animals at Baywater Animal Rescue’s Pet Adoption Center located at 4930 Bucktown Rd. Cambridge, MD Tuesdays & Thursdays 1-7 p.m., Wednesdays and Fridays 1-5 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Adoptable animals can be viewed on the shelter’s website If you are not ready to adopt, but would still like to get involved, the shelter continues to need volunteers and foster homes. Ask at the shelter or visit their website to learn more.

GOP Lawmakers Oppose Bonuses For IRS Division That Targeted Groups

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Mich.)
A group of House conservatives is pushing to cut off bonuses for the Internal Revenue Service division that targeted advocacy groups during the past two election cycles based on their names and policy positions.

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and six other Republican lawmakers wrote to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) on April 2 requesting that the next general spending bill prohibit bonuses to the IRS’s Tax-Exempt Tax-Exempt and Government Entities Division, which carried out the agency’s screening efforts.

The lawmakers also criticized an IRS decision in February to reinstate performance awards for IRS employees. Agency-wide payouts for work in fiscal 2013 are expected to total $62.5 million in 2014, compared to $89.1 million for fiscal 2012, according to the IRS.

Jeb Bush Was Public Enemy No. 1 At One Of The Year's Biggest Conservative Gatherings

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has started, over the past few weeks, to ratchet up talk of a potential presidential run in 2016. If that's the case, the reaction he received this weekend at a gathering of conservatives in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire was not what he was looking for.

Bush served as a punch line for — of all people — Donald Trump.

"You know, I heard Jeb Bush the other day," Trump said during his speech at the Freedom Summit, hosted by the conservative groups Citizens United and Americans for Prosperity.

The crowd immediately started to boo and groan upon hearing Bush's name. Trump then referenced comments Bush had made on immigration on April 6, when he said most people who cross the border illegally do so out of "love."

"He was talking about people that come into this country illegally. They do it for love," Trump said as the boos got louder.


Sen. Harry Reid on Nevada Ranch Battle: ‘It’s Not Over’

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Monday argued the battle between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the federal government is “not over.”

“Well, it’s not over. We can’t have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it’s not over,” Reid told KRNV-TV.

On Saturday, the Bureau of Land Management released roughly 400 head of cattle it had seized from Bundy in Clark County, Nev., a short time after prematurely putting a stop to the roundup, citing concerns for public safety.

Congressman Andy Harris’ Office to Host College and Academy Resource Event

The Event Is Open to Eighth-Grade and High School Students on the Lower Eastern Shore

Washington, D.C.
– The office of Congressman Andy Harris has announced it will host a College and Military Service Academy Resource Event for the students of the lower Eastern Shore. The event will be held at Washington High School in Princess Anne, Maryland, on Wednesday, April 23, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. All eighth-graders and high school students on the Lower Shore, and their parents, are encouraged to attend.

Rep. Harris’ office has invited representatives from the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy to attend. They will guide students in mapping out their high school careers, in the effort to help them increase their chances of being accepted to an elite service academy.

Other experts will also be available to discuss financial aid resources with students who wish to attend a four-year college, technical school, or trade school.

The event will be an excellent opportunity for our future leaders and their parents to ask questions and learn more about the academy and college application process. If you have any questions or would like to RSVP for the event, please feel free to contact Rep. Harris’ Salisbury District Office at 443-944-8624.

Federal Agent Tried to Blame Him for an Accident — Little Did He Know This Key Piece of Evidence Existed

A video circulating on the Internet appears to show a member of the U.S. Border Patrol crash into a civilians car — then wrongly blame the accident on the other driver, probably not knowing his dash-camera recorded the entire incident.

The April 10 video shows a man coasting through a New York intersection when a U.S. Border Patrol van with it’s siren on suddenly makes a left turn in front of him, causing him to crash into it.

“As you can plainly see, I was driving along at a normal pace minding my own business when out of nowhere, a van from the US Border patrol (my luck!) makes a left turn right in front of me, and then BAM!” the individual named “Ted” wrote on his website about the accident

Maryland has 7th highest state-local tax burden in U.S., Tax Foundation report shows

Maryland residents have the seventh highest state-local tax burden in the U.S., according to a new report from the Tax Foundation.

The report shows Marylanders paid 10.6 percent of their income in state and local taxes in fiscal 2011, the most recent data available. The national average was 9.8 percent.

By comparison, neighboring Pennsylvania ranks No. 10 at 10.3 percent, while Virginia comes in 30th with 9.2 percent of income going to state and local taxes.

New York, at 12.6 percent, had the highest state-local tax burden, followed by New Jersey and Connecticut.



The National Youth 5k Series is excited to expand to Maryland's Eastern Shore with the announcement of Salisbury, MD as the 6th city to host a National Youth 5k Series Event. The Salisbury Race will be the kickoff event for the all day Benefit for The Brooke Mulford Foundation.  The Benefit will take place at The Amphitheater at Heron Ponds, a premier event venue that is dedicated to supporting families and giving back to the community.  Beginning the day long benefit will be The National Youth 5k Series' timed 5k and 1 mile Fun Run.  Post race, the festivities continue with the 2nd Annual "Brooke Mulford Soccer Tournament" followed by "Eastern Fest," celebrating signature crab dishes of the Eastern Shore's local restaurants.  The grand finale of the day will be an outdoor concert produced by Great Scott Broadcasting.      

Missing Child In Salisbury

Salisbury Police

Missing Child-Jayshaun James, 11 yoa, black male, 4’11, 90 lbs,Lt. Blue Polo Shirt, grey shorts, dark blue shoes

James last seen 04-15-14 at 11:50a.m. 300 Block of Park Ave. No critical factors or suspicious circumstances. 

UPDATE: The child has been located.

Lawmakers Say E-cigarette Makers Target Kids

A group of congressional Democrats released a report Monday accusing the electronic cigarette industry of pushing their products on children and teens.

The report shows a significant increase in recent years in the marketing of e-cigarettes to minors through social media, radio and televisions advertisements, and sponsoring events with young audiences.

"From candy flavors to rock concert sponsorships, every single company surveyed in this report has employed a marketing strategy that appears to target youth," said Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois, who helped spearhead the report.


'Tax Man' Obama has sought 442 tax increases

April 15 is a hard day for many, as their annual federal tax bill comes due. But it could have been worse.

According to a new report, President Obama has sought 442 tax increases since taking office, though most have died because of congressional opposition.

Having included 93 new taxes in his fiscal 2015 budget, the anti-tax Americans for Tax Reform reviewed his proposals since his 2009 Inauguration to determine just how tax-friendly the president has been. Their conclusion: He's very friendly.



The body of an unidentified male was found by Park Rangers on Assateague State Park.

It appears to be a self inflicted gun shot wound. 


What would one of America’s leading neurosurgeons know about the American Health care system? Other than the fact that he has had to practice medicine and administer whole medical clinical specialties from within that system, what does he know about it?

Well Dr. Ben Carson has a plan that make tons more sense than Obamacare and is at least easy enough for even the most disinterested people in America can understand.

Dr Carson wants to keep it simple. Simply put, healthcare is about a patient and a doctor. That’s it. The middleman i.e. Healthcare Insurance agencies have nothing to do with healthcare but to raise the cost of healthcare. So now the middleman in America is the U.S. Government, and the Government will use the IRS as its collection agency. And to think that some in America today think that’s a good idea. Myopic visionaries one an all.

Reid Smelling Anything But Rosy In Ranch Fight

Desert showdown blows lid off long-standing plans with the Chinese

When Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy refused to take his cattle off land the federal government demanded for the habitat of an endangered desert tortoise, it focused the nation’s attention on an arena Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., may have preferred to be kept quiet.

An investigative report published last week by drew a connection between Senate Majority Leader Reid’s involvement with Chinese energy giant ENN, Chinese efforts to build massive solar facilities in the Nevada desert and the showdown between Bundy and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, or BLM.

It wasn’t the first report to notice curious dealings involving the Chinese and America’s top Democrats.


Watch Young Kids Hilariously Try to Identify a Piece of 1980s Technology

Are you old enough to remember the Sony Walkman?

The once-ubiquitous portable cassette player turns 35 on July 1. Introduced in 1979, Sony did not know if the Walkman was going to be a hit, barely selling 3,000 at first. That number ultimately grew to more than 200 million sold over the Walkman’s lifetime.

The success of the Walkman eventually succumbed to the inevitable change in portable music technology. Cassette tapes were replaced by CDs, which were ultimately made obsolete by digital audio players like the iPod.


Glass without the glasses: Google patents smart contact lens system with a CAMERA built in

Google has patented a smart contact lens that could see its Glass wearable computer fit inside a smart lens.

The firm has already developed a contact lens for diabetics analyses their tears, warning them if their glucose levels are low.

Now it has revealed plans for a lens with a camera built in - opening the possibility of its Glass system being shrunk down significantly, offering features such as 'superzoom' to wearers and even helping the blind see.

Scroll down for video


United Needs & Abilities Spaghetti Dinner

SFD Calls For Service 4-14-14

  • Monday April, 14 2014 @ 22:45:08Nature: Diabetic DifficultyCity: Salisbury
  • Monday April, 14 2014 @ 22:45:04Nature: Medical AssistAddress: 200 Civic Ave Salisbury, MD 21801
  • Monday April, 14 2014 @ 22:45:04Nature: Difficulty BreathingCity: Salisbury
  • Monday April, 14 2014 @ 22:38:25Nature: Diabetic DifficultyCity: Salisbury
  • Monday April, 14 2014 @ 21:39:00Nature: OverdoseCity: Salisbury
  • Monday April, 14 2014 @ 21:34:03Nature: Subject FallenCity: Salisbury
  • Monday April, 14 2014 @ 19:37:28Nature: Psychiatric EmergencyCity: Salisbury
  • Monday April, 14 2014 @ 19:33:28Nature: Pi AccidentCity: Salisbury

Sears in Seaford to close; 30 losing jobs

A Sears store in Seaford will close this summer, joining a shutdown of a Kmart in Dover that is part of a national transformation of their parent company.

There will be 30 jobs eliminated when the Sears at 22954 Sussex Highway (U.S. 13) shuts its doors in July, a company spokesman said Monday.

And 72 jobs will be lost when the Kmart on U.S. 13 in Dover closes the same month, as the company reported earlier this month.

Most of the jobs were part-time, hourly positions.


Another Phony Budget Debate

Anyone watching last week’s debate over the Republican budget resolution would have experienced déjà vu, as the debate bore a depressing similarity to those of previous years. Once again, the Republicans claimed their budget would cut spending in a responsible manner, while Democratic opponents claimed the plan’s spending cuts would shred the safety net and leave vital programs unfunded. Of course, neither claim is true.

The budget does not cut spending at all, and in fact actually increases spending by $1.5 trillion over ten years. The Republicans are using the old DC trick of spending less than originally planned and calling that reduced spendingincrease a $5.1 trillion cut in spending. Only in DC could a budget that increases spending by 3.5 percent per year instead of by 5.2 percent per year be attacked as a “slash-and-burn” plan.


Important Campaign Announcement

Today, Jeannie and I joined Dan Bongino and endorsed Anthony Brown for Governor of Connecticut.

After tens of millions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted on broken technology, Martin O'Malley and Anthony Brown want to spend more of your tax dollars for the system in Connecticut.

Today's announcement was an opportunity to highlight the failed policies of the last seven years and Anthony Brown's inability to successfully lead Maryland's healthcare exchange.

Jeannie and I believe the best solution to this disaster is for Anthony Brown to resign like Kathleen Sebelius, the former HHS Secretary.

Brown can resign now or later but on January 21, 2015, he will be out of a job.


David Craig

Authority: Craig-Haddaway for Maryland, Franklin Hajek, Treasurer

Hillary Clinton all but erased from tragic story of Benghazi

Multiple inquiries about her role hit dead ends

A huge wave of public testimony, reports and documents on what happened in Benghazi now floods Washington, and little of it focuses on the role of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton before, on, or after Sept. 11, 2012.

Over the past 18 months, there have been at least seven public congressional hearings and three fact-finding reports on the terrorist attack. If not invisible, Mrs. Clinton is certainly portrayed as being only in the background during Benghazi, unaware of key events.

In the early post-Benghazi days on Capitol Hill, Republicans tried to pry “what did she know and when did she know it” information out of witnesses. But in later hearings, her name came up rarely — if at all.


Governor O’Malley Signed Jake’s Law Monday

It was an emotional day in Annapolis for the family of a five-year-old boy killed in a distracted driving accident. Monday, Governor Martin O’Malley signed Jake’s Law.

Mary Bubala reports it increases penalties on those who hurt others in distracted driving accidents.

A 2011 crash killed five-year-old Jake Owen. The driver that struck Jake’s family car from behind was talking on his cell phone and only paid a $1,000 fine.

The Regime Doesn’t Handle Defeat Gracefully

When the ATF attacked the Branch Davidians outside Waco in February 1993, the expectation was a quick and painless victory over an eccentric religious sect and a public relations boost for the scandal-plagued agency. This is why the assault was code-named “Showtime.”

The Davidians, however, refused to follow the script. When the ATF stormtroopers arrived at the sect’s sanctuary at Mt. Carmel, David Koresh – who had known of the impending assault, and released an ATF informant rather than holding him as a hostage — attempted to de-escalate the confrontation, only to be answered by a murderous volley of gunfire. Rather than allowing themselves to be shackled or slaughtered, the Davidians stood their ground, killing four of the assailants in a morally unassailable exercise of self-defense and forcing the ATF to retreat.

Because the Regime cannot countenance resistance, the FBI laid siege to the Davidians for 51 days before the final assault that left of scores of Davidians dead from fire, asphyxiation, and gunfire.


Imam raped, tortured 5-yr-old because he 'doubted her virginity'

In the eyes of Saudi Arabian jurisprudence, Sheikh Fayhan al-Ghamdi has been released from 13 months in jail and subsequently cleared of his rape, torture andmurder conviction against his daughter due to the "blood money" he paid out to his former wife, as reported by theInternational Business Times (of London, UK) on March 10, 2014.

As previously covered last year by, al-Ghamdi was initially sentenced to pay out $50,000 to his ex-wife per Islamic Sharia Law regarding the savage killing of their daughter, Lama al-Ghamdi, as "blood money" compensation in the death of his child.

However, a Saudi court has sinced imposed an additional 1 million Saudi riyals ($270,000) as additional payment to Lama's mother. With the payment comes no further possibility of future fines or punishment.


It Slowly Dawns on the WashPost That Maryland Looks Like a 'Nanny State'

At the end of Maryland’s legislative session in Annapolis, The Washington Post and reporter Fredrick Kunkle slowly realized outnumbered Republicans are outraged with “a slew of what they call well-intentioned but annoying attempts to micromanage people’s lives with bans, prohibitions and regulations, these critics say the state’s latest attempt to boldly embrace the future felt more like the smothering clasp of Mary Poppins.”

“Where’s this going? Are we going to ban dark chocolate bars now?” wondered Jeff Zellmer, a lobbyist with the Maryland Retailers Association who testified against a bill that would have criminalized the sale of energy drinks to minors. “Criminalizing energy drinks! And down in Judiciary they’re [decriminalizing] pot ! What the hell is going on? Next you’re going to have to check IDs at Starbucks.”


This Is the End of Facebook as We Know It

Facebook, the company that makes billions from connecting people to each other, is about to make it harder to have a conversation. In the coming weeks, Facebook’s mobile app will be losing its chat feature, a move that will no doubt annoy many regular users. But the gutting likely won’t end there. According to many Facebook watchers, the end of chat is just the first cut in what could eventually lead to the end of Facebook as a single, unified app altogether.

Facebook notified users and confirmed to the press yesterday that instant messaging functionality will be disappearing from its iOS and Android apps in the coming weeks. If users want to keep chatting, they’ll have to download Facebook’s separate Messenger app. It’s one thing to roll out specialized apps like Messenger, Paper, and Camera as optional alternatives for using Facebook, but quite another to force the issue and risk a real sacrifice in user engagement. Some people will upgrade to the Messenger app right away; many others will not. The net result, at least in the short-term, will be fewer people to chat with. Why would Facebook make that kind of sacrifice?

The resounding consensus among the Facebook experts I talked to is that the company is finally making the jump to thinking and acting like an app maker, a software company the keeps functionality narrow and targeted. While users may grow attached to services that work the way they’re used to, like the full-featured Facebook app, the growing Silicon Valley consensus is that people really want a more bite-sized future.

“In mobile we see simple, clear, snackable experiences winning,” says Matt Murphy, who manages the app-focused iFund at venture capital shop Kleiner Perkins. “When you introduce complexity, it can dilute the overall experience.”


Taxi Driver Paid $600 To Be Unwitting Accomplice In Bank Robbery

We’ve written before about triple-digit taxi fares, but it’s usually a case of sketchy drivers taking advantage of naive customers or passengers who don’t realize there are less-expensive options. So here’s a story of how a cab driver in Kansas was paid $600 to help a bank robber make his escape.

The driver tells Kansas City’s WDAF-TV that he picked up a passenger in Lawrence, KS, who offered him $600 to drive him the 200 or so miles north to Omaha, NE.

But first, the passenger had to stop by a Truity Credit Union branch to cash a check.


Howard County Public Schools Adopt New Wellness And Nutrition Policies

Howard County public schools will have new wellness policies based on food sales, physical activity and more.

The Howard County Board of Education adopted a revised Policy 9090 Wellness Through Nutrition and Physical Activity on April 10th, 2014.

Phase I of the policy was put in place May 9th 2013. In this phase, breakfast is available in all schools, vending machines are only allowed in high schools and begin sales after the school day ends. Also, recess cannot be taken away as punishment, since it takes it's a daily component of all elementary school students’ physical, social, and academic development, according to the 90-90 policy.

Playing Chicken

An ongoing saga over poultry inspection rules has pitted the Agriculture Department against another agency: the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. NIOSH accuses the Agriculture Department of mischaracterizing a report about a poultry plant that is piloting USDA's new inspection methods. In a blog post, Agriculture official Al Almanza says a NIOSH study found faster poultry lines did not endanger workers. NIOSH says that's wrong. Its report highlighted increased cases of carpal tunnel syndrome and related conditions. NIOSH is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Delaware Department of Transportation Suspends Interstate Projects This Easter Weekend

Dover -- The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) reminds drivers to expect heavy traffic in all parts of the state this Easter weekend. Planned lane closures on Delaware's major roadways, Route 1, I-95, and U.S. Route 202 will be suspended on Friday, April 18. Traffic accidents and other unpredictable types of transportation incidents may cause delays or lane closures.

Motorists looking for a break during their travels can stop at the I-95 Service Plaza or the Smyrna Rest Area just off of Exit 119 on Route 1.

Motorists can adjust their routes or travel times by using DelDOT's Smartphone application. The DelDOT App is available for Apple & Android smart phones and tablets, and can be downloaded free at the Apple and Google Play stores or go to DelDOT and click on the link to stores.

Those interested can view video of "Live Traffic" conditions in New Castle, Kent, and Sussex Counties at DelDOT Live Traffic Info

Live County Council Meeting

Russia Pushing Our Buttons

The Navy says a Russian aircraft repeatedly flew near a U.S. guided missile destroyer in the Black Sea earlier this week. A Navy spokesperson calls the act "provocative" and "unprofessional." Army Col. Steve Warren says the Russians did not respond to multiple warnings from the USS Donald Cook. 

The Russian attack jet was unarmed. It flew off after about 90 minutes, but not before making a dozen passes within about 1,000 yards of the ship. Warren says the USS Cook was never in danger. President Barack Obama spoke yesterday with Russian President Vladimir Putin upon Russia's request. Obama urged Putin to ease tensions in Ukraine.

April 15 Not Much Of A Deadline For Most Taxpayers

The calendar shows April 15, and you haven't even started on your federal tax return? Chances are, you don't need to fret.

If you're due a refund -- and about three-fourths of filers get refunds -- April 15 isn't much of a deadline at all.

The Internal Revenue Service doesn't like to talk about it, but penalties for filing late federal tax returns apply only to people who owe money. The penalty is a percentage of what you owe. If you owe nothing, 5 percent of nothing is ...nothing!

But it doesn't make much sense to file late. If you are owed a refund, why wouldn't you want it as soon as possible? And if you have unpaid taxes, the late fees add up quickly.

IRS Backs Down

The Social Security Administration has halted a program of seizing people's tax returns to repay old debts. Acting Commissioner Carolyn Colvin says she wants a review before continuing. The collections were enabled by a 2008 law giving Social Security and other agencies the right to use Treasury information and the IRS to settle overpayments. Reports in the Washington Post described people having tax refunds taken to cover overpayments made decades earlier to relatives. That prompted complaints from members of Congress. Social Security says it's collected $55 million so far out of a potential $715 million.

Corporate tax hikes approved by Delaware Senate

State senators signed off on the bill raising annual fees on LLCs by $50 and the minimum corporate franchise tax by $100 Thursday along party lines just before the General Assembly recesses for their Easter break.

Some Republicans admitted that they don’t think this will deter businesses from incorporating in Delaware, but Minority Leader Gary Simpson (R-Milford) says it’s shortsighted.

“I think we’re absolutely forgetting the long term effects this may have on our state attracting business to Delaware,” said Simpson.

Republicans also said they wanted to wait for newer revenue reports in the coming months before digging into the pockets of LLCs and businesses incorporating in Delaware.


North Texas city asks residents to consider drinking TOILET water as they struggle with three-year drought

Grappling with a three-year drought, a North Texas city is awaiting word from the state to re-use wastewater, including some from toilet flushes, for drinking.

Mother Nature's been stingy with Wichita Falls, a city of about 104,000 near the Oklahoma border that's about 34 inches behind on rainfall over the past three years.

At the end of February, Wichita Falls had recorded its driest 41-month period since record keeping began in 1897.

The dire situation is fallout from Texas' driest year ever in 2011.

Since then, rainfall has been more plentiful in the eastern half of the state. When it fell in the western half of the state, the precipitation didn't fall into lakes' watersheds.


Chances Are Slim You'll Be Audited By The IRS

A day ahead of the filing deadline, the IRS says taxpayers have a historically low chance of being audited, because budget cuts have reduced the agency's ranks. 

Commissioner John Koskinen says the IRS will still go after the biggest tax scofflaws, but many will simply get away with it. This year, the IRS will have fewer people auditing returns than in the 1980s. Last year, 1 percent of returns were audited. Koskinen says this year, the numbers will go down. He says staff cuts have also hurt customer service. Millions of phone calls to IRS help centers are going unanswered.

Florida closer to waiving gun laws during riots, other emergencies

Hurricanes, toxic events, riots, and other emergencies in Florida could soon be enough to allow residents to circumvent the state’s gun laws and carry a weapon without a permit if a bill passed Friday is signed into law.

The bill would allow any Floridian without a criminal record to flaunt an assault weapon or pistol with a high-capacity magazine during a state of evacuation. Known as HB 209, the legislation passed in the state house by a 80-36 margin with support from the National Rifle Association. Six Democrats voted for the bill, ignoring Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri’s objection that the bill was too vague.

“To allow people to go into a riot while concealing a gun without a permit is the definition of insanity,” he told the Miami Herald. “The bill is crazy, it’s absurd.”


Absentee Ballots Moving Online Causes Security Concerns

Voters may get to skip the lines at the polls this summer by receiving and marking their ballots online, but election officials must first decide if the convenience outweighs the security risks.

The State Board of Elections will vote this month on using a new online ballot marking system, which includes electronic delivery of absentee ballots, in the June 24 gubernatorial primary election.

But voter advocates and security hawks warned in recent months that poor authentication methods — as well as inconsistent online requirements — make the system vulnerable to voter fraud.


It's Back! 3F Outside! Comic Con Style

See you THIS Friday!

3rd Friday in Downtown Salisbury kicks off their outdoor season Friday, April 18 th, 2014! 3rd Friday is back outside, creating an Arts & Entertainment Street Festival, with local artists and vendors set up along Main Street and live music from Pressing Strings, Groove Joose, and The EdgeUcators. 3rd Friday is opening the season with one of the most popular themes from last year; COMIC CON! So dig out the costumes, and get ready for a SUPER TIME!

3rd Friday will be jammed packed with all things Comics and Heroes. Meet real life comic book creators, illustrators, and graphic designers who produce comics right here on the Shore. MeetColdStream Studios founder and UMES Sequential Arts Professor Bradley Hudson as well as DarkCity Creation's founder Lex Gochnour, as they display their latest projects and creations. 3rd Friday veterans, Eastern Shore Fan Con organizers and recent winners of the Wicomico Library's Light of Literacy Award,PLB Comics, will be out in full force with all your favorite series and special editions. If you've never checked out these local publishers, you should definitely stop by their table and chat. PLB, Hudson, Gochnour and many more local illustrators will also have their Fine Art Works on display in the Art Institute and Gallery's first ever "Art of Illustration and Comics" Exhibit. AIG will be focusing an entire showcase on the genre, exploring the aspects and concepts that have allowed the art form to maintain such a strong presence and influence in pop culture and social consciousness.

Hey Mr. President, Set The Example Of Equal Pay And Maybe Others Will Follow

Eighty-seven cents on the dollar — that's how much a female white collar federal employee makes compared to the man sitting in the cubicle next door. The Office of Personnel Management compares 2012 salaries for 37 federal job categories. It says the government has made strides towards closing the gender wage gap

Twenty years ago, women in those jobs made 70 cents for every dollar men earned. OPM says the wage gap diminishes at the upper ranks. Senior executives get paid nearly the same regardless of gender. But there aren't a lot of women in that group. The personnel agency says the government needs to build stronger pipelines for women and increase pay transparency, particularly when it comes to starting salaries.

Md. grocery store: Obamacare preventing new hires

A D.C.-area grocery store says it has been forced to freeze hiring to avoid costs tied to a new rule under Obamacare.

The Washington Free Beacon reports that Snider’s Superfoods of Silver Spring, Md., will not hire new cashiers or baggers so it can stay below a 50-employee threshold under Obamacare’s “employer mandate.”

Under the mandate, companies with 50 or more employees must provide health coverage or pay fines if at least one of their workers takes advantage of tax credits on the law’s new health exchanges.

The mandate, which has been delayed twice, will kick in for employers of 50-99 workers in 2016 and phase in for companies of 100 or more workers in 2015.


Rick Pollitt’s FY 15 Pre-Budget Message

The way Mr. Pollitt goes about gathering public input in proposing the County’s annual budget is perplexing. This year, he again scheduled the meeting for that purpose on a date less than one week before he is required to submit the budget. And, as usual, the meeting was so packed with students and their parents and teachers as well as school administrators that you would have thought it was a PTA meeting.

It is doubtful that any significant change in the budget will occur after the meeting. A multi page handout discussing and summarizing the budget was distributed, indicating that the budget has already been set in the form that will be presented this week.

That handout gives insights about both the budget and the tax increase that Mr. Pollitt is about to propose, which are truly disturbing, and how he plans to screw the public while running for reelection this fall. Here are some takeaways:

First, some facts –

1. Employment in Wicomico County declined throughout 2013.

2. Regional job trends are flat to down.

3. Wicomico County is 21st lowest out of 24 in overall tax capacity, but has the eighth highest tax effort.

4. The net taxable real property base is estimated to decrease by 2.8% in FY 15 (an 18.7% decline over the past four years).

5. But, because the tax rate proposed by Mr. Pollitt would be increased by 4.7%, there will be about $1 million more revenue from that source.

6. Despite the job and employment situation, income tax revenue is estimated to actually increase somewhat – that’s because the job base is going to pick up according to Mr. Pollitt.

At this point, please sit down if you’re not already seated, and recall that in this year’s budget the income tax revenue was grossly overestimated and the shortfall is being covered by raiding the County’s reserve funds – the Obama/O’Malley method of balancing the budget.

The total expense proposed by Mr. Pollitt for FY 15 – $129,434,069 – exceeds the estimated new revenue, inflated by the property tax increase described above and other sources, by about $6.5 Million dollars, which will be taken from County fund balance, once again. That amount, if obtained by taxes on real estate, would require that the tax rate be raised by about $.12 more above the proposed 4 cent increase – or a total of about 18% higher taxes. By using the County’s reserve funds, Mr. Pollitt’s proposed budget requires only a 4.7% tax rate hike.

Here’s a little-known aspect of the budget. Despite Mr. Pollitt’s whining about the loss of state funding for roads, etc., The County gets a special “disparity grant” that Maryland gives to counties considered too poor to fund their government expenses. In FY 15 it will be $8.4 million – equal to the revenue that would be raised by about 15 cents additional tax rate on real property.

Between that disparity grant and money to be taken from reserve funds, Mr. Pollitt’s proposed budget – even with the 4.7% property tax increase – will be about $15 million more than the true estimated revenue, which includes the increase in income tax receipts that were overestimated by a huge amount last year.

Continued reduction of the reserve fund to avoid higher taxes on County residents in order to fund the budget cannot continue much longer. The handout presented by Mr. Pollitt last week shows that in FY 15 the total unassigned funds will be reduced by more than 23%. But, he has an answer to those who point out that the well will run dry in a few more years at that rate – he says that his economic gurus predict a turnaround in our local economy, beginning soon, that will result in greater tax revenues in future years and (are you still sitting down) that there will be less rapid increase in County spending.

We will explore the “Pollitt Prosperity Plan” soon in another post in the future. In the meantime check out the handout, which he said would be posted on the County’s website and, if you are a glutton for punishment, read the complete budget when it is posted.

Obama has Proposed 442 Tax Hikes Since Taking Office

Since taking office in 2009, President Barack Obama has formally proposed a total of 442 tax increases, according to an Americans for Tax Reform analysis of Obama administration budgets for fiscal years 2010 through 2015.

The 442 total proposed tax increases does not include the 20 tax increases Obama signed into law as part of Obamacare.

"History tells us what Obama was able to do. This list reminds us of what Obama wanted to do," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

The number of proposed tax increases per year is as follows:

  • 79 tax increases for FY 2010
  • 52 tax increases for FY 2011
  • 47 tax increases for FY 2012
  • 34 tax increases for FY 2013
  • 137 tax increases for FY 2014
  • 93 tax increases for FY 2015

More Families Are Saving For College, But It May Not Be Enough To Match Rising Tuition Costs

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times: college tuition is rising and along with it,student debt. While a new report shows that families are doing their best to help cover the costs by saving more, it likely won’t be enough.

According to Sallie Mae’s annual “How America Saves for College” report [PDF], the average family now has a total of $115,604 saved in various forms. But while 51% of these families are saving for college, only 10% of their savings are going toward their kids’ education.

This year’s report, which surveyed 2,020 parents with children under 18 years of age, found that families’ increased their average college savings by nearly $4,000, or 30%, from the the previous year.


Gold Alert Issued for Missing Rehoboth Man: UPDATE

**Gold Alert Cancellation**

Location: Rehoboth Beach, DE

Date of Occurrence: Tuesday April 15, 2014

Gold Alert Subject: Terry L. Burns, 56, Rehoboth Beach, DE (photo attached) White male, 6’00” tall, 250 lbs. Grey hair, green eyes

Rehoboth Beach, DE-The Delaware State Police are issuing a Gold Alert for Terry L. Burns, 56 of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

Troopers are looking for Terry Burns who was last seen this morning around 1:00 a.m. after leaving his residence on Second Street, True Vale Acres, Rehoboth.

Troopers have been unable to make contact with Burns to check on his welfare. Attempts to locate Terry Burns have been unsuccessful and there is a concern for his safety and welfare.

If anyone has any information in reference to the whereabouts of Terry Burns, they are asked to call Troop 7 at 302-644-5020 or by utilizing the Delaware State Police Mobile Crime Tip Application available to download at: Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333, via the internet, or by sending an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword "DSP."

Gov’t to Stop Seizing Tax Refunds From Americans Over Parents' Debts

The Social Security Administration says it will stop seizing IRS refunds from Americans whose deceased parents incurred debts if the debts are more than 10 years old.

The government had been seizing IRS refunds from adults whose parents were allegedly overpaid Social Security money and have since died. Some of the debts dated back as far as the middle of last century.

Judge Andrew Napolitano said the government sent a notice to people’s last known address, then held hearings where no one was there to resist them, then got judgments against them. Social Security then seized the refund checks.

Teenagers Turning Restaurants Into The Cool New Hangout Spots As Malls Die Off

A word to any Hollywood screenwriters working on a scene where old cops go back to high school disguised as implausibly believable students — put those characters at a mall and real teenagers will know you don’t know what’s cool these days. Namely, malls are out, and restaurants are in as the new spot to hangout.

Ever since the 1950s, the mall was the place teens begged their parents to let them go to hang out mostly unsupervised, inspiring such cinematic classics like Mallrats and intense brain games like Mall Madness.


Md. Governor Signs Pot Decriminalization Bill

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Gov. Martin O'Malley has signed a bill that decriminalizes the possession of small amounts of marijuana starting in October.

Maryland is now the 17th state in the U.S. to decriminalize marijuana. The Democratic governor says the law should improve public safety by freeing police officers to focus on more serious threats.

The Maryland State's Attorneys Association sent O'Malley a letter Friday, urging him to veto the measure. The group's president says the bill was passed too hastily. Charles Smith wanted amendments that would keep it a crime to smoke pot in public or carry it onto school property.

O'Malley also approved a measure to improve the distribution of medical marijuana.


When Driving, This is More Dangerous Than Texting

It's true that texting while driving may be dangerous, but it pales in comparison to the dangers of daydreaming while behind the wheel, a new study says.

According to new research by the Erie Insurance Group, daydreaming drivers are five times more likely to suffer a deadly car crash than those who were focused on an electronic device.

“The results were disturbing,” Erie Senior Vice President Doug Smith said.


Ghostly Images of Abandoned Malls by Seph Lawless (PHOTOS)

They're typically bustling with activity, packed during the winter holiday shopping season or teeming with families during the summer break, but the shopping malls in this selection of photos by photographer Seph Lawless are ghostly and eerie as they are left to succumb to the elements.

The two Ohio shopping malls in this slideshow above — Rolling Acres Mall and Randall Park Mall — were both built in the the mid-1970s and abandoned in 2008 and 2009. Both malls, which now feature dead plants, broken glass and crumbling walls, are set to be demolished any day now.


Local Fundraiser

Now it takes Two Boston Globe reporters to ignore an epidemic of black mob violence

So now we learn that groups of “teenagers” have been taunting, harassing and beating white people in the historic heart of Boston. The Boston Commons.

Happened Wednesday. Twenty black people.

Here is something else we learn from the Boston Globe: It now takes two Boston Globe reporters to ignore the fact that everyone involved in the beatings is black.

I was in Boston last year for a local produced show that featured Asians. My topic: Black mob violence against Asians is at epidemic levels.

The show never aired.

We are past silence now.

Way past silence.

We are now at deceit.

Here is the story from the Boston Globe.

Let me know what you think.

Fleeing Hostage Mistakenly Shot by LA Deputies

The panicky 911 caller said a man with a 10-inch butcher knife was threatening people. So when Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies saw a wounded, bloody man rush out of a West Hollywood apartment with someone on his heels, they opened fire.

But the man they gunned down Monday night wasn't a mad slasher; he was a fleeing hostage.

John Winkler, 30, an aspiring television producer, died at a hospital.

"Taking the life of an innocent person is a police officer's greatest nightmare," Interim Los Angeles County Sheriff John Scott said Thursday at a news conference.

The entire department mourned Winkler's death, he added.


Dashcam: Crash w/ US Border Patrol Van - Flipped over!

IRS Seizing Tax Refunds From Children and Grandchildren of Debtors

How’s this for outrageous? The IRS is collecting decades-old debts from thechildren and grandchildren of people who owe money to the government.

In 2011, Congress lifted a 10-year statute of limitations on debts owed to the government, allowing them to pursue relatives who had nothing to do with the debt.

The measure also allows the government to collect from debtors’ children and grandchildren, according to Fox News…Now, “some 400,000 Americans may see their tax refund checks grabbed by the government,” Fox reported.

This is the same IRS that pays out billions in fraudulent claims. Instead of fixing that problem, they’re going to use their power to harass law-abiding citizens instead.