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Saturday, March 07, 2015

Bad Accident in Accomac Tonight

Who Said It? "If You Take Out Saddam, I Guarantee It Will Have Enormous Positive Reverberations"

In 2002, Benjamin Netanyahu already harbored some extremely strong convictions on how to deal with both Iran and Iraq. Back then, his opinions on how to handle the particular challenges each presented were quite divergent. On the one hand, he suggested beaming “reruns of Melrose Place” into Tehran, as a way of inspiring a popular uprising. In contrast, he suggested such an approach could never work in Iraq, and instead advocated for his preferred solution: violence.

Naturally, he believed that a violent overthrow of Saddam Hussein would be a great thing. Specifically predicting that:

If you take out Saddam’s Regime, I guarantee you, that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region.


UPDATE: Power Outage In Salisbury and Berlin

Choptank is reporting a large power outage in the Salisbury and Berlin areas.  If you have family or friends in that area please call to make sure they are ok.  They have estimated that power should be on slightly before 6:30pm in all areas.

Choptank Electric Cooperative

We currently have 8,896 members without power in our Salisbury and Berlin areas. Delmarva Power has lost a transmission line between Worschester and North Salisbury. Crews are en route to investigate the problem.

Choptank Electric Cooperative

Ok, folks, here's the latest update: All members being fed from Ocean Pines and New Hope substations appear to have their power restored. We still have no power to members being fed from Walston Switch substation in the Salisbury area. This currently leaves 1,208 members without power at this time. We appear to have had a bird’s nest in the substation which caused equipment to fail. If you are experiencing an outage other than described above please call our Outage Reporting number at 1.800.410.4790. We appreciate your patience as our crews work quickly and safely to restore power to our members!

UPDATE: 9:00pm
Choptank Electric Cooperative

Progress is slowly being made to restore power to the remaining 483 members still out of power in the Salisbury area. Linemen are continuing to make repairs in the Walston Switch substation.

UPDATE: 11:00pm
Choptank Electric Cooperative

All members should be restored at this time! If you are still experiencing an outage please call our Outage Reporting Number at 1.800.410.4790. We appreciate everyone's patience during this outage.

Men on Film III

Hillary's Private Emails Show Saudi Arabia Funded Benghazi Attack

Justices Divided at Health-Law Argument

Liberals grill plaintiffs, conservatives tough on government in case concerning Affordable Care Act subsidies; focus turns to Justice Anthony Kennedy, Chief Justice John Roberts

The Supreme Court sparred Wednesday over a lawsuit that could gut the Affordable Care Act across most of the nation, going overtime in arguments that suggested the law’s fate likely rests with two justices.

The outcome of the case, a challenge to the insurance subsidies in the 2010 health law, appeared to turn on the views of Justice Anthony Kennedy and Chief Justice John Roberts . Justice Kennedy, in the biggest surprise from the session, suggested the challengers’ theory could face a constitutional roadblock, since it assumes Congress was trying to strong-arm the states into carrying out a federal policy. Chief Justice Roberts, who joined liberals to uphold most of the health law in 2012, was uncharacteristically quiet through most of the argument, leaving observers guessing.

The challengers’ attorney, Michael Carvin, barely began his statements before the court’s four liberals launched a fusillade of questions deriding his claim that a clause in the law denies tax credits to Americans in at least 34 states where residents use the federal website to obtain insurance.


The centenarian's guide to living to 100+

Misao Okawa from Japan turns 117 on March 5, 2015, making her the oldest person alive as recognized by the Gerontology Research Group (a global group of researchers who verify and track supercentenarians) or Guinness World Records. Here are living and deceased supercentenarians (aged over 110 years) and their secrets to long life.

All ages as of March 5, 2015, or at the time of death.

What are the secrets to a long, long life? These supercentenarians (all over 110 years old) reveal their secrets.


If Retirement Health Care Costs Look Scary, Try These Tactics

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Planning for retirement is a gamble. You don't know how long you'll live, how well your investments will do or how high the cost of living will go. One of the biggest wild cards: health care costs.

The older you get, the more you're likely to spend on health care, because Medicare doesn't cover everything. So how do you plan for that?

A study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute shows that recurring health care costs for Medicare beneficiaries average $1,885 a year. If those expenses — visits to the doctor and dentist and routine prescriptions — grow at 2% a year, a person who will live to 90 will require $45,708 at 65 to pay for them.

But that's just part of the picture. Retirees also face harder-to-predict non-recurring expenses for such things as hospital and nursing home stays, outpatient surgery and home health care. For people aged 85 and over, a nursing home could cost an average of $24,185 for two years, or $66,600 for those near the high end of the expense spectrum.


Potential weight-loss agent from a tree is almost too good to be true

It has qualities so remarkable, it could come from the land of Oz (and could become the television doctor's next big thing, too): a compound derived from a tree growing in South and Central America prompted obese mice to lose 20 percent to 30 percent of their weight. It also allowed normal, healthy mice to chow down on fatty foods — as much as they wanted — and never become obese, accumulate excess fat or develop diabetes.

Oh, and it only worked in females.

A new study details the effectiveness with which a synthetic compound that mimics a flavenoid found in the leaves of the primula tree prompted the muscles of female mice to behave as if they were getting regular, intensive exercise.

Compared to female mice who got a placebo, those who got an oral formulation of a compound called 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (7,8-DHF for short) burned more calories, became more sensitive to the effects of insulin and developed body compositions that had more lean tissue and less fat.


U.S. considering possible Middle East missile defense

The U.S. military is considering sending its THAAD missile defense system to the Middle East, a senior U.S. Army general said on Wednesday, citing what he called an urgent need to respond to foes with missile systems and the will to use them.

General Vincent Brooks, head of U.S. Army Pacific Command, said no decisions had been made about deploying a U.S.-owned Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery in the Middle East or South Korea, another region where he saw an urgent need given the threat posed by North Korea.

"The need is there in ... those two places, urgently, because we have adversaries who have capability and they have demonstrated that they are willing to use it," Brooks told Reuters in an interview.

Brooks did not name Iran, but U.S. military officials have raised concerns in the past about Iran's development of longer-range missiles that could reach Israel and potentially Europe.

The U.S. military must weigh its options, given the high cost involved in deploying the THAAD weapon system, built by Lockheed Martin Corp, Brooks said. He said the U.S. military also continued to explore options for lower-cost systems to defend against lesser threats, but gave no details.

The Army is preparing to swap out a THAAD battery that has been operating in Guam for about a year. It has four active THAAD batteries, with a fifth to start training this year.


Jane Fonda says male domination of world has been 'wounded'

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Jane Fonda said Wednesday the male power structure that has dominated the world for centuries has been wounded — "but there's nothing more dangerous than a wounded beast."

The actress and women's rights activist spoke in a telephone interview ahead of U.N. meetings next week to assess progress toward women's equality. She said "the most intractable problem that humanity faces is the problem of patriarchy," which she partly blames for the rise in terrorism and the destruction of the environment.

She said patriarchy is very entrenched, which has made it difficult for women fighting for real equality to challenge it, though she says women have made inroads.

Male power is "wounded now but there's nothing more dangerous than a wounded beast, thrashing about, flailing its tail with the barbs on it, and a lot of people are really getting hurt badly," she said.

Fonda said this challenge to male power has not only had an impact on terrorism and the environment but has affected women demanding equality because "there's a lot of guys who won't stand for it."


Judicial Watch Sues for Hillary and Huma’s Egypt Emails

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the State Department seeking any and all communications – including emails – from then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Chief of Staff Huma Abedin with Nagla Mahmoud, wife of ousted Egyptian president Mohammad Morsi, from January 21, 2009 to January 31, 2013 (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00321)).

This latest lawsuit will require the State Department to answer questions about and conduct thorough searches of Hillary Clinton’s newly discovered hidden email accounts. Judicial Watch also has nearly a dozen other active FOIA lawsuits that may require the State Department to search these email accounts.

Huma Abedin is also alleged to have a secret account as well.

More on this..

Roaming Buffalo Cause Havoc In Grand Canyon National Park

The growing bison herd occupying the northern reaches of Arizona's Grand Canyon National Park is decimating the area's ecosystem, and some conservationists are ready to call in the hunters.

The 600-head herd rarely if ever strays from the 1,900-square-mile park, where hunting is banned. If they were to stampede into the adjacent Kaibab National Forest, they might find themselves in the crosshairs of hunters with permits to bag them, but inside the park they are safe - and free to wreak havoc.

"As long as there's no lethal removal of bison, our ability to remove them is greatly diminished," said Craig McMullen, the regional director of Arizona Game and Fish Department's Flagstaff office.

The state claims ownership of all bison in the state, and sells "tags," or permits, for hunters to kill them. While no hunting is allowed in the national park, the National Park Service has the authority to kill animals that harm resources, using park staff or volunteer shooters. But there are no trophy heads or hides to be kept and the meat is handed over to wildlife agencies, tribes or charities to distribute. Arizona officials say the only answer to thinning out the herd, which effectively has no natural predators, is to declare a hunting season.

"If you want them out of the park, you are going to have to annihilate them; shoot every last one of them," Gary Howell, a former bison hunting guide in the region, said. "Once these lead cows know where to go, you'll never move them."

More here

Cities Paying Millions to Get Out of Bad Bank Deals

Chicago is the latest example of the many local and state governments that are haunted by interest rate swap agreements they made before the Great Recession.

When the Great Recession delivered the biggest blow to government budgets this side of World War II, it wasn’t just slashing revenue streams -- it also made certain financing agreements more costly in the long run.

The agreements are called interest rate swaps, a holdover from the years leading up to 2008 when the booming market made even risky investments seem like a good idea. But in reality, these financing agreements with banks have come back to haunt governments following the financial markets crash and severe drop in interest rates. Last week, Chicago became the latest example when a credit rating downgrade by Moody’s Investors Service triggered a potential $58 million penalty for the fiscally beleaguered city.

Penalties related to ratings downgrades are common in swaps, says Municipal Market Analytics Partner Matt Fabian. But typically, the ratings floor is well below the government’s rating at the time of the deal.


50th Anniversay Of Bloody Sunday In Selma Alabama

Inventor Of The Keurig Doesn’t Own One, Regrets Inventing It

Keurig’s K-Cup coffee pods are popular brewing devices that you can find in homes, offices, and waiting rooms. There are even refrigerators with a machine built right in. Do you know where you won’t find one, though? The home of the man who invented the machine back in the ’90s, John Sylvan.

This week, The Atlantic looked at the practical and environmental problems that the Keurig causes, and started from the very beginning, when inventor Sylvan was just a guy who wanted to invent a better way to dispense coffee in the office. He figured that people would buy the pods, but didn’t foresee how popular his invention would become. He sold his share of the company (“Keurig” is the Dutch word for “excellence”) for $50,000.

K-Cups are complicated; Keurig-licensed cups can theoretically be disassembled, but only in rare cities that recycle #7 plastic and if you have the patience to take the cup apart, tossing out the foil top, paper filter, and coffee grounds, and recycling the tiny cup.

“It’s like a cigarette for coffee, a single-serve delivery mechanism for an addictive substance,” he explained to the Atlantic. Very few people want to disassemble a convenience pod so it can be recycled.


The Maryland Eastern Shore Regional Spelling Bee Winner Is............

DOJ Won't Prosecute Former Officer Darren Wilson

The Justice Department announced Wednesday that it will not prosecute former Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old, while also releasing a report faulting the city and its law enforcement for racial bias.

In the criminal investigation, federal officials concluded Wilson's actions "do not constitute prosecutable violations under the applicable federal criminal rights statute."

Specifically, the DOJ said there was "no evidence" to disprove Wilson's testimony that he feared for his safety, nor was there reliable evidence that Michael Brown had his hands up when he was shot.

The report said: "Although there are several individuals who have stated that Brown held his hands up in an unambiguous sign of surrender prior to Wilson shooting him dead, their accounts do not support a prosecution of Wilson.‎ As detailed throughout this report, some of those accounts are inaccurate because they are inconsistent with the physical and forensic evidence; some of those accounts are materially inconsistent with that witness's own prior statements with no explanation, credible or otherwise, as to why those accounts changed over time."



He was the Don of students.

A top educator at a Boston high school ran an underworld crime syndicate, punctuated by the “execution-style” shooting of a pupil over a marijuana deal gone bad, authorities said.

The Rev. Shaun Harrison, 55, lured his young protege into an ambush on Tuesday evening with promises of weed and girls before blasting him in the head, the Boston Herald reported.


Marketer Of Snuggies, Perfect Brownie Pans, Others Must Pay $8M For Allegedly Deceiving Consumers

The marketer of popular “as-seen-on-TV” products such as Snuggies, Magic Mesh door covers and Perfect Brownie Pans must pay $8 million to resolve federal and state charges it deceived consumers with promises of buy-one-get-one-free promotions and then charged exorbitant fees for processing and handling, nearly doubling the cost of the products.

The Federal Trade Commission announced Thursday that Allstar Marketing Group, LLC, agreed to pay $7.5 million to the agency for restitution to consumers and $500,000 to the New York Attorney General’s Office for allegedly deceiving consumers about the cost of its products marketed through commercials.

According to the FTC complaint [PDF], since at least 1999, New York-based Allstar deceived consumers by failing to disclose additional fees associated with its frequent buy-one-get-one-free offers used to sell products such as Cat’s Meow, Roto Punch, Perfect Tortilla, Forever Comfy.

The FTC cites a recent commercial for the Magic Mesh door cover in which the narrator claims the company will “double the offer, just pay separate processing and handling fees.” The commercial goes on to describe the purchase as “two Magic Mesh curtains for $19,95, that’s less than $10 each.”


WHO WON THE CIVIL WAR: You Won't Believe the Answers from These Texas College Students

Obama Counsel Not Aware of Clinton's Secret Email System

The White House counsel's office was not aware at the time Hillary Clinton was secretary of state that she relied solely on personal email and only found out as part of the congressional investigation into the Benghazi attack, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The person said Clinton's exclusive reliance on personal email as the nation's top diplomat was inconsistent with the guidance given to agencies that official business should be conducted on official email accounts. Once the State Department turned over some of her messages in connection with the Benghazi investigation after she left office, making it apparent she had not followed the guidance, the White House counsel's office asked the department to ensure that her email records were properly archived, according to the person who spoke on a condition of anonymity without authorization to speak on the record.

More here

Common Core Lesson Teaches that America is a Racist Nation

The United States Constitution gives no authority to the federal government over education. In fact, since education is not listed as an enumerated power within the authority of the federal government, by law, the authority of education is left in the hands of state and local governments. But, that has not stopped the federal government from attempting to get their grubby hands all over the education of youth.

Ever since the establishment of the Department of Education by then President Jimmy Carter, we have witnessed states scrambling to meet the requirements as set forth by the feds. Republican presidents have even infringed on the state’s authority over education. A prime example is George W. Bush’s ‘No Child Left Behind’ law.

With the introduction of Common Core ‘standards’, schools around the nation have witnessed not only a decline in the academic standards expected of children under the guise of improving problem solving skills, but we have seen numerous examples of children being exposed to very disturbing and dangerous lessons.


Iranian Officers Take Over Battle Against Syrian Rebels

Ten thousand volunteers flown in

Iranian officers who lead Shiite volunteers from Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan have taken over the battle against rebels in southern Syria, within six miles of the Golan border, according to a reserve Israeli army general.

Gen. (res.) Israel Ziv, who led counter-terrorism efforts for the Israeli General Staff, wrote in Yediot Achronot Thursday that ten thousand volunteers have been flown in by Tehran to bolster the flagging efforts of the regular Syrian army and their Hezbollah allies from Lebanon in meeting an offensive by Sunni rebels pushing towards Damascus from near the Jordanian border.

“Iran is taking over the reins in Syria,” said Ziv. Members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) stay close to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on the grounds that he needs protection, he said. “In fact, no military decision [in Syria] is made without [the IRGC].” He described Assad as “a puppet looking out at his lost land.”

The presence of Iranian advisers in Syria and Lebanon in recent years is well known but Ziv writes that there is now an entirely new dimension with Iranian officers leading combat troops within six miles of the Golan Heights, captured by Israel in the Six Day War.

There has thus far been no direct clash with Israeli troops, but an Iranian general and five other Iranian military personnel, as well as six Hezbollah militiamen, were killed when an Israeli aircraft attacked vehicles reconnoitering the Golan border in January.


GOP senators look to legalize industrial hemp

Hemp isn’t a drug, it’s an important commodity. Or at least that’s the argument from Republican Sen. Cory Gardner.

Gardner (R-Colo.), along with three co-sponsors, introduced the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015 Thursday.

“Industrial hemp is a safe substance with many practical commercial applications,” Gardner told The Hill. “Removing it from the Controlled Substances Act is a commonsense move, which would create jobs and get the government out of the way of farmers and our agricultural industry.”

Gardner stressed that legalizing hemp farming would help the Colorado economy.

“Hemp has the potential to be a major boon to Colorado agriculture, giving farmers another viable and profitable option for their fields,” he continued.

Since hemp is grown from the same plant as marijuana, it is currently included on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s list of banned drugs. However, it is widely believed to be less potent than the pot plants grown and loved in Colorado.

Hemp can be used to produce products such as paper, plastic, rope, fuel, or some organic foods, The Hill reported.

The bill’s other co-sponsors include Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon, whose state currently allows the legal recreational use of marijuana, libertarian-leaning Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

A related bill was introduced in the House back in January.

But the prospective rope-makers of the world should be patient. The bill is currently languishing in the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health and the House Judiciary Committee.


Don't Forget To Spring Foward!

Obamnesty Will Give $1.7 Billion In Taxpayers’ Cash To illegals

President Barack Obama’s November amnesty will give $1.7 billion in taxpayers’ cash to illegal immigrants, according to a congressional study.

The news emerged two days after top Republican leaders overcame GOP opposition to a 2015 budget bill that allows Obama to fund his unpopular amnesty for roughly 5 million illegals.

“The program could cost taxpayers $1.7 billion over 10 years, almost all of it in the first five years,” according to a report by the McClatchy Washington Bureau. The rebates are allowed by the IRS’ interpretation of existing laws governing the Earned Income Tax Credit program, which was designed to subsidize low-wage employment in the United States.

The Joint Committee on Taxation compiled the estimate, which was obtained by McClatchy.

“Those who were working illegally in the United States shouldn’t be rewarded for doing so,” said a statement to McClatchy from Republican Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, who is pushing a bill that would bar tax payments to illegals.

“My proposal would prohibit those granted deferred action from claiming the EITC [payments] for any year they were working without authorization in the United States,” Grassley said.

There’s little evidence that Democrats will end their prior support for sending taxpayers’ money to illegal immigrants.

More on this..

Md. Senate Votes To Create Alert Program For Hit-And-Runs

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Maryland Senate has voted to create an alert program to find missing drivers in hit-and-run accidents that result in serious injury.

The Senate voted 47-0 Thursday for the bill, which is sponsored by Sen. Bryan Simonaire, an Anne Arundel County Republican.

The measure would create a Yellow Alert system, similar to alert systems used to help find missing children and endangered adults.


Richard Hazel Youth Center held it's annual Martial Art's tournament

Feb. 28, 2015, hosted by promoter David Higgins. Competitors from DelMarVa and some traveled as far as New York to converge here in Salisbury for the fierce competition. The forecast was clear but the action was thunderous, martial arts biggest stars from the past - present - and future came to participate. Celebrity judge Grandmaster Elton Trowers overseeing the intense competition. Weapons, kata's, and sparring were some of the events. The main event of the day was the highly awaited Men's Grands Championship fight between World Champion Sensi Ali vs. Rondell who was coach by Berlin own muti time World Champion Kurt Purnell. The fight stared slow but both fighters pick up the pace with Rondell delivering a fierce body shot, the World champ answer with a kick to the face for a score 2 -1 both warriors trade scores again in a strategic battle the spectators cheers filled the center cheering on there favorite fi ghter the wars ends with the champ Sensi Ali defeating Rondell in a final score 5 -4

"I was just trying to get home."

This is a place where getting vaccinated can feel festive, and what that says about the US

On a recent afternoon at Benito Juárez Elementary School in Mexico City, pop music blared from speakers and uniformed kids ran around. Eventually, one by one, they each swallowed precisely two drops of clear liquid.

Welcome to Mexico’s vaccination day.

While the debate over vaccines continues in pockets of the United States — heated up by the recent measles outbreak linked to Disneyland — the take on vaccines is quite different in Mexico.

In fact, the atmosphere at the Mexico City school during the vaccination event felt festive, and part of an accepted and routine government intervention into the lives of schoolchildren.

Of course, when preschooler Matias Martínez jumped on stage to receive his anti-polio booster, he was oblivious to the day's serious message — that vaccinations save lives. And he barely listened while Mexico’s health minister, Mercedes Juan López, talked about the measles outbreak at Disneyland, how two Mexicans caught the disease and imported it back to Mexico, and how a high immunization rate here prevented more cases.

All that Martínez knew was that the vaccine tasted “like strawberry.”


This group wants to banish Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill

Andrew Jackson's portrait has held its place on the $20 bill since Jackson replaced Grover Cleveland in 1928. For the organizers of Women on $20s, that's quite long enough. "A woman's place is on the money," the Women on $20s campaign says. The new group has come up with a list of 15 women it would like to see on the $20 bill instead, including Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt and Harriet Tubman.

Campaign organizers are targeting the 20 because 2020 will mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

But there's another reason: Jackson's authorization and enforcement of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 -- which forced several Native American tribes to give up their land to white farmers and move to Oklahoma -- makes his continued presence on American currency controversial. Slate pitched the idea of doing away with the seventh U.S. president's face on the $20 bill last year, writing: "Andrew Jackson engineered a genocide. He shouldn’t be on our currency."


Murder allegation sidelines football player's career, divides community

VALDOSTA, Ga. — Brian Bell is a linebacker without a team, just the latest twist in a complicated tale in which race and class intersect with a mysterious death that authorities call accidental but that an aggrieved and grieving family allege was murder.

Florida State University withdrew a football scholarship offer to Bell in January, one year after FSU had offered it — and two years after the death of Kendrick Johnson, Bell's former teammate at Lowndes High School who was found dead in a rolled-up gym mat at their school in January 2013.

Law enforcement officials theorize that Johnson, 17, went into the upright mat to retrieve athletic shoes he'd put inside, got stuck and died of accidental asphyxiation. Johnson's family does not believe the official version. They allege he was killed by blunt-force trauma and put into the mat.


House Democrats Express Concerns About Outdated Voting Machines

WASHINGTON–Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Baltimore, joined other House Democrats in a letter Wednesday urging the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review the status of voting machine technology and the potential problems posed by using outdated equipment.

Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, signed the letter along with Reps. Joaquín Castro, D-Texas, Danny Davis,D-Ill., Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, Hank Johnson D-Ga., Robin Kelly, D-Ill. and John Lewis, D-Ga..

The members asked the GAO to review challenges state and local jurisdictions face with aging voting systems, the impact of federal standards on developing new voting systems and benefits and challenges of policies in place regarding voter turnout.


Harry Reid Secured Subsidies for Aides’ Donors

Nevada Dem brags about support for green energy companies as ethics watchdogs suggests influence-peddling

Corporate donors to a green energy nonprofit operated by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s (D., Nev.) former staffers and a current campaign operative have received billions of dollars in federal loan guarantees and grant money as a result of Reid’s advocacy.

Fulcrum Bioenergy began contributing to the Clean Energy Project (CEP) in 2013. One year later, the Nevada Democrat steered tens of millions of dollars in federal grant money to the California biofuel company.

Fulcrum is one of at least nine corporate donors to the Clean Energy Project (CEP) that have secured federal financing for themselves or a client due in part to Reid’s behind-the-scenes advocacy—activity that watchdogs warn could be construed as unethical.

Rebecca Lambe, Reid’s top political strategist who has been directed by Reid to take the lead in hiring for his 2016 reelection campaign, founded CEP in 2008 and served as its executive director. Reid’s former chief of staff Susan McCue served as CEP’s president at that time. Lambe is now an adviser to CEP, according to her official bio. McCue is a member of its board.

McCue and Lambe also run Senate Majority PAC, a powerhouse Super Pac with close ties to Reid that spent $67 million to elect Senate Democrats last year.

Far from denying a role in steering subsidies to donors to aides’ group, Reid’s office brags about it.

More here

Arab Paper: Obama Only One Not To Understand Mideas

Nations are collapsing in the Middle East and the terror organizations, mostly backed by Iran, are filling the void, according to a new commentary published by a Saudi-owned news website.

The Jews understand that fact, the Arabs get it and the rest of the world seems to get it.

So who doesn’t?

President Barack Obama.

That’s the conclusion of Faisal J. Abbas, editor for the English-language website of Al-Arabiya.

“It is extremely rare for any reasonable person to ever agree with anything Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says or does,” he wrote Tuesday, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute.

“However, one must admit, Bibi did get it right, at least when it came to dealing with Iran. The Israeli PM managed to hit the nail right on the head when he said that Middle Eastern countries are collapsing and that ‘terror organizations, mostly backed by Iran, are filling in the vacuum’ during a recent ceremony held in Tel Aviv.”

Abbas wrote that in just a few words, Netanyahu “managed to accurately summarize a clear and present danger, not just to Israel (which obviously is his concern), but to other U.S. allies in the region.”

“What is absurd, however, is that despite this being perhaps the only thing that brings together Arabs and Israelis (as it threatens them all), the only stakeholder that seems not to realize the danger of the situation is President Obama, who is now infamous for being the latest pen-pal of the supreme leader of the world’s biggest terrorist regime: Ayottallah Ali Khamenei (although, the latter never seems to write back!).”


Purim, The Prime Minister And The President

Twenty-five hundred years ago, Queen Esther violated protocol and appealed to the king to intervene against a threat to annihilate the Jewish people. This week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu violated protocol and appealed to the United States Congress to intervene against a threat to annihilate the Jewish people. In both cases, the enemy threatening the people of Israel was Persia (today, Iran).

In the days of Esther, the deliverance of the Jewish people led to the institution of the holiday known as Purim. Today, just one day after Netanyahu’s speech, it is Purim again.

Truth sometimes is stranger than fiction, especially at this time of the year.

In Esther’s day, she had to approach the king without being called for, a violation of protocol that could have cost her her life. Netanyahu came to America to address Congress despite President Obama’s strong objections, potentially risking his nation’s relationship with our country, not to mention potentially endangering his own re-election campaign.

Odd things often happen in conjunction with Purim, including:

In 1991, the Gulf War against Saddam Hussein ended after just 100 hours of battle, coinciding with the beginning of Purim. During the war, despite Hussein raining down 39 SCUD missiles on Israel, casualties were so minimal that even non-religious Jews called it miraculous.

In 1953, during Purim, Josef Stalin died suddenly, putting an end to his infamous Doctors’ Plot aimed at slaughtering Jewish doctors. Ultra-orthodox Jews of the Lubavitch, Chasidic sect, believe that it was just as their grand rabbi (the Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who died in 1992) was reciting an inspired (and mystically relevant) discourse that Stalin was smitten.

Although it was not on Purim in 1946 when Julius Streicher, the notorious Nazi propagandist, was being led to the gallows for his war crimes, he cried out in mockery, “Purim-fest, 1946!” meaning, the Festival of Purim, 1946. His point was that just as Haman, the instigator of the plot against the Jews in Esther’s day, was hung on the very gallows he prepared for his Jewish enemies, so Streicher was hung for his crimes against the Jews.

Tragically, Purim was also a time when the Nazis would carry out public Jewish executions to ridicule the biblical story of Jewish deliverance.

Twenty-five hundred years ago, Haman, raised to high command by the king of Persia, devised his plot to exterminate the Jews. Today, Ayatollah Khamanei, the supreme leader of Iran, has offered a 9-point plan to “eliminate” the Zionist regime, explaining that, “During its 66 years of life so far, the fake Zionist regime has tried to realize its goals by means of infanticide, homicide, violence and iron fist while boasts [sic] about it blatantly.”

Read more here

Charge Hillary With Contempt for Email Scandal

Freedom Watch founder Larry Klayman says his government watchdog group wants Hillary Clinton held in criminal contempt for "purposely" hiding her emails with a private Internet account as secretary of state.

"We're not trying to influence an election, I'm trying to bring out justice here," Klayman, a former federal prosecutor, said Thursday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"People use private emails. If you want to have a personal message with somebody, no harm in that. If it's dealing with your family or Chelsea or whoever, that's fine.

"But she purposely from the get-go, from the start of her reigning as secretary of state, decided she was not going to use government email."

Freedom Watch will petition a federal court to charge Hillary, following the bombshell New York Times report that Clinton used a private email account "to communicate with people in and out of government, separate from the system maintained at the State Department."

The group also plans to ask that the State Department under President Barack Obama be charged as well.

"She apparently had a server installed in her house in Chappaqua, New York," Klayman said.

"We're filing what is known as Motions for Orders to Show Cause why Hillary Clinton and the State Department should not be held in criminal contempt of court for obstructing justice and lying to the courts.

More here

Storage dearth may drive oil prices to $30

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — As the U.S. runs out of space to store its glut of crude-oil supplies, prices for the commodity could sink to as low as $30 a barrel.

When storage is full, there is pressure on those holding oil in storage to “dump that inventory,” said Charles Perry, chief executive officer of energy-consulting firm Perry Management. So a space shortage could cause a drop in prices to the $30 to $40-per-barrel range, he said.

West Texas Intermediate crude CLJ5, -1.48% — the U.S. benchmark — has already seen its prices halved from a year ago. A cost of $30 per barrel of oil represents a 40% drop from the current level, which stands near $51.

At Cushing, Okla., the “mecca” of oil storage in the U.S., “the Motel 6 may have a vacancy sign out, but the storage terminals really don’t,” said Kevin Kerr, president of Kerr Trading International.

Here’s why storage plays such a big part: While there are several storage options such as pipelines, very large crude carriers, also known as VLCCs, aboveground tanks and underground salt caverns, the costs for these have “dramatically increased, forcing some companies to sell their inventory as a cheaper option, thus putting significant pressure on prices,” said John Macaluso, research analyst at Tyche Capital Advisors.


The Loophole That Could Liberate Maryland From Common Core Testing

As millions of students across the nation begin taking Common Core-aligned standardized tests for the first time, Maryland finds itself in a unique position to opt-out.

A loophole discovered by a state lawmaker gives the governor the power to withdraw Maryland from tests created by Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), which are designed to assess how well students are learning under the Common Core standards.

“It’s important for Maryland because the PARCC assessments and the consortium already—in its very short life—has shown clear evidence that it was poorly developed, poorly managed, and crammed down the throats of the states,” said David Vogt III, a Republican member of the state assembly.

Vogt recently discovered a hidden clause in a memorandum — signed by former Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley in 2010 — that committed Maryland to PARCC testing.


China’s new terrorism law provokes anger in U.S., concern at home

BEIJING — A new draft counterterrorism law here is provoking unusually strong condemnation, from multinational companies trying to do business in China to domestic dissidents trying to stay out of jail and from global human rights groups to foreign health workers.

Governments around the world have dealt with the threat of terrorism by increasing surveillance and curtailing civil rights, but China’s government, critics say, has exploited a genuine terrorist threat to further empower its repressive state-security apparatus. It is, they say, invoking the dangers of violent extremism to justify and expand an already harsh crackdown on civil rights and to punish foreign information technology companies that refuse to play by its rules.

Human Rights Watch calls the draft law a “recipe for abuses.” President Obama focused his ire on provisions in the law that would affect U.S. technology companies doing business here and force them to hand over the keys to their operating systems to Chinese surveillance.


Headquarters Live TONIGHT

This is the first Saturday we will be open! Show kicks off at 4:00 for a fundraiser supporting local music (1st Saturday). The Eastern Electric show kicks off at 8:00, FREE if you attend the fundraiser!

BREAKING NEWS: 54 dead, 143 wounded in series of suspected Boko Haram suicide blasts in Nigerian city

A series of suicide blasts in Maiduguri, Nigeria have killed at least 54 people and wounded 143 others in a suspected Boko Haram attack, The Associated Press reports.


Quinnipiac Poll: Jeb Bush and Chris Christie Favorability Underwater

Roughly three quarters of Republicans have already made up their minds about Jeb Bush and Chris Christie — and a striking share, 16 percent, say they would not vote for either one.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday shows Christie, the governor of New Jersey, and Bush, a former Florida governor, both facing likability problems among Republicans nationally as they gear up for presidential bids.

Christie and Bush top the ranking of Republicans whom voters say they "would definitely not support," and their favorability ratings are also underwater.

Forty percent of those polled view Bush unfavorably, compared to 34 percent who perceive him favorably. Similarly, Christie received an unfavorable rating from 39 percent of respondents, while 32 percent responded favorably. In both cases, roughly one quarter of Republicans said they still haven't heard enough about the candidate to make a decision.


Mystery Man Behind Clinton Email Server Uncovered?

A longtime Clinton aide who had involvement in the former first couple's multiple controversies appears to be the person who registered the server for Hillary Clinton's private email address at her upstate New York home.

Eric Hothem, a Washington stockbroker and the husband of a Democrat fundraiser and consultant, is reportedly the person who created the personal email server for Hillary Clinton to use during her tenure as secretary of state. The New York Times reported this week that Clinton exclusively used a private email account instead of a government email, an alleged violation of the Federal Records Act.

On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that the private email server installed at the Clintons' Chappaqua home was traced to a man named Eric Hoteham, though the AP could not find anyone with that name in public records or other online databases, according to Politico.

After some investigation, it was uncovered that an Eric Hothem was an aide to Hillary Clinton during her time as first lady.

Hothem was involved in the 2001 controversy over the Clintons removal of furnishings from the White House when President Bill Clinton left office.

A White House usher told the Washington Post at the time that Hothem assured him the items belonged to the Clintons.

Ultimately, the Clintons returned several pieces of furniture to the White House and paid $86,000 for gifts they took with them, according to Politico.

More here

Study indicates Delaware Tech offers a good return on investment

An independent study on the value of Delaware Technical Community College, validates the role Delaware Tech plays in Delaware’s economy, according to a college release.

The report indicates that Delaware taxpayers see a rate of return of nine percent on their investment in Delaware Technical Community College. The overall impact of Delaware Tech on the state business community in 2013-14 was $1.1 billion. This figure represents the money expended in the state by the college and its employees, students and alumni.

The report says the college creates value to the state of Delaware in many key ways, including increasing employability of graduates and providing necessary skills needed to fill critical jobs.


Williams: Social Justice

Remember snow days before technology took over?

I'm writing this on a laptop as I sit at the dining room table in my home in Mt. Washington on this snowy day. In front of me I can see my boys, ages 10 and 7, playing games on the carpet in front of the fireplace. Beyond them is a large window that looks out to the trees and street, where it's still and quiet. In the kitchen my wife is preparing a feast of banana chocolate chip pancakes. I can see the snow falling. I can smell the pancakes. Oh my, now I smell bacon. I sip my coffee.

And I sit here, thinking, working, but also daydreaming about how nice it would be to not be working at all.

Remember snow days? I don't mean the kind when you were a kid and went sledding when school shut down. I mean grown up snow days, when you had a job but no one could get to the job, so there was no job to do that day. Because we didn't all have laptops and Dropbox and smart phones and the general sense that you could (and should) work anywhere and at anytime.


Putin takes 10% salary cut in crisis-hit Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Friday he was cutting his salary by 10 percent as well as the earnings of several top government officials, as the country's economy reels from the collapse of the ruble.

The salaries of Putin, his Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Prosecutor General Yury Chaika and the president of the powerful Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin, will all be cut by 10 percent from March 1 to December 31, according to a decree signed by the president.


Senate OKs required polygraph for correctional applicants

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Maryland Senate has voted unanimously to require correctional officer applicants to pass a polygraph exam.

The Senate voted 47-0 for the bill Thursday. It now goes to the House of Delegates.

Under current law, the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services is authorized to require correctional officer applicants to pass a polygraph before being hired. The measure goes a step further by making the exams a requirement.


Trooper Injured and Suspect Killed in Claymont Shooting

Claymont - The Delaware State Police Homicide Unit is currently investigating a Trooper involved shooting that occurred this morning in Claymont, which has left a 35 year old man dead.

The following information outlines the preliminary investigation into a Trooper involved shooting that occurred this morning in Claymont, Delaware.

The incident occurred on Sunday, March 8, 2015 at approximately 1:35 a.m. as a Trooper responded to the Rite Aid at the Northtowne Plaza, located at 641 Naamans Road Claymont, for a burglary alarm. Upon arrival the Trooper observed the suspect’s vehicle parked at the rear of the business. As the Trooper exited his vehicle he observed the suspect exiting the rear door of the Rite Aid and quickly entered his vehicle. The suspect then attempted to flee with the Trooper at his opened driver’s side door. The suspect dragged the Trooper as he reversed his vehicle striking the marked patrol Tahoe. The suspect then again attempted to drive off and continuing to drag the Trooper. The Trooper then fired his divisionally issued weapon striking the suspect’s upper torso. The Trooper immediately rendered first aid to the suspect until the arrival of EMS personnel.

During the altercation the Trooper sustained bodily injuries with lacerations and contusions. He was transported to the Wilmington Hospital for his non-life-threatening injuries and was treated and released.

The suspect was airlifted to the Christiana Hospital by the Delaware State Police Aviation Unit, where he was pronounced dead at approximately 4:08 a.m.

The Trooper involved in this incident is a 16 year veteran of the Delaware State Police assigned to Troop 1 in Claymont, DE. He has been placed on administrative leave as per Divisional Policy, pending the outcome of the investigation.

Detectives from the Delaware State Police Homicide Unit responded to the scene and are conducting the investigation. This is an active and ongoing investigation with Detectives continuing their investigation, evidence processing, and interviews.

What Happens If You Boycott Your Student Loans?

Fifteen former Corinthian Colleges students are angry. The group alleges they were taken advantage of and targeted by the for-profit college system. They’re not the first to complain about the institution, but what makes these students different is that they’re refusing to pay back their federal student loans. They’re called the Corinthian 15 and they’re going on strike.

“If you owe the bank a thousand dollars, the bank owns you. If you owe the bank a trillion dollars, you own the bank. Together, we own the bank,” reads the website of the Debt Collective, a grassroots anti-debt organization calling on other students to challenge their creditors. Specifically, they’re calling on people with student debt from Corinthian Colleges to join the Corinthian 15, who say they will no longer pay for “degrees that have led to unemployment or to jobs that don’t pay a living wage.”

The school, for its part, isn’t backing down.

“Corinthian Colleges stands by the education it provided for its students and we are proud of our track record of helping students meet their educational and career goals,” said Joe Hixson, a spokesman for Corinthian Colleges, though he wouldn’t comment specifically on the actions being taken by the Corinthian 15.

He did note: “The traditional community college graduation rate is as low as 20%. Many Corinthian students tried a traditional community college before coming to Corinthian and found the Corinthian education better fit their needs. There’s clear need for an alternative to community colleges and Corinthian provides that.”


PGPD officer killed in crash in Lanham

LANHAM, Md. (WJLA) -- A Prince George's County police officer was killed in a crash around 3:30 a.m. Saturday in Lanham.

It happened between the NASA facilities and Good Luck Road in the 9500 block of Greenbelt Road in Lanham.

The road was shut down for several hours.


T.J. Maxx coming to ‘premier’ Gold Coast Mall in Aug.

Months of rumor and speculation ended earlier this week when Gold Coast Mall owner Fred Wine confirmed a signed multi-year lease with T.J. Maxx to open a store in August at the 115th Street and Coastal Highway complex.

Wine said the mall had to deliver the space to the retailer in 30-60 days. “We’ve had to relocate a bunch of tenants, everyone is in flux,” Wine said.

Admitting he “doesn’t control everything,” Wine said all of the permitting and other construction formalities were in order, so everything was moving along satisfactorily.


Remember the Video Showing What Happens When a Jew Walks Around Paris? See a Christian Who Tried the Same Thing in Israel

Israeli journalist Zvika Klein drew a lot of attention to Muslim anti-Semitism in Europe last month when hewalked around Paris for 10 hours wearing a yarmulke and faced a torrent of insults and curses. The video, captured by a photographer with a hidden camera, subsequently went viral.

Two Christian groups decided to try the same experiment, but this time showing a Christian man walking the streets of Haifa in Israel. The results were, to say the least, remarkably different.

In the video, we see Jonathan Elkhoury, an Israeli Christian, wearing a large wooden cross around his neck, walking the main streets of Haifa in northern Israel.


Obama Asks Judge to Speed up Immigration Decision

The Obama administration asked a federal judge in Texas to decide by Monday whether he will put on hold his prior decision to block the White House's executive orders on immigration, or at least limit the impact to Texas.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, a city along the border with Mexico, issued a temporary court order last month halting President Barack Obama's orders that would have shielded millions of illegal immigrants from deportation.

The administration asked Hanen for a stay on his order last month and late on Wednesday requested a decision by Monday.

Hanen on Thursday declined to comment while the case is ongoing.

Hanen, who had previously criticized U.S. immigration enforcement as too lax, based his ruling on an administrative law question, faulting Obama for not giving public notice of his plans. He also cited ways that Texas would be harmed by the action but used no other states as examples.

Anne O'Connell, a professor at University of California Berkeley School of Law, said it is doubtful that Hanen will grant even the partial stay, but said the administration's move appears designed to force Hanen to defend his argument.


Will concern for states’ rights win out in subsidies battle? Today’s argument in Plain English

After nearly ninety minutes of oral arguments today in King v. Burwell, the challenge to the availability of tax subsidies for people who purchase health insurance on a marketplace created by the federal government, six Justices had tipped their hands. Justices Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg all seemed like solid votes for the federal government, defending the subsidies, while the challengers could clearly count on the votes of Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito. Chief Justice John Roberts – who three years ago joined the Court’s more liberal Justices to uphold another provision of the Affordable Care Act, requiring everyone to buy health insurance or pay a penalty (it’s a tax!) – kept his cards close to his chest, asking only a few questions that gave no real hint as to how he might vote. But even if it ultimately doesn’t get the Chief Justice’s vote, the government could still win as long as it can pick up just one more vote. And that seemed like at least a possibility, because Justice Anthony Kennedy asked several questions which suggested that he might be leaning more toward the government than the challengers. Let’s talk about today’s argument in Plain English.

First up this morning was attorney Michael Carvin. As I explained in my preview of the case, Carvin’s four clients receive subsidies to help pay for their health insurance. But they argue that they aren’t actually eligible for the subsidies because the part of the Affordable Care Act which explains how the IRS should determine the amount of their subsidies refers to an exchange “established by the State.” And that, they contend, means that when a state – like their home state of Virginia – declines to set up its own exchange, leaving the federal government to step in, the subsidies are not available for the residents of that state.


WBOC, Phony, Acting & Evidence Part 1

Just before the holidays, late-night comedian Conan O’Brien poked a little fun at local TV newscasts. In doing so, he illustrated some serious issues about the compromises journalists make in understaffed newsrooms.

O’Brien strung together clips of two dozen local news anchors reading an identical story – a consumer report about the supposed trend of holiday “self gifting.” The newscasts were broadcast in different cities – from Boise to Ft. Wayne to Dothan, Ala., but each of the anchors introduced the story with the exact same words: “It’s okay; you can admit it if you bought an item or two or ten for yourself.”

O’Brien has aired similar montages in the past, capturing repetition in local stories about such topics as Cyber Monday shopping, restaurants that serve political-themed food, and the news that actor Mike Myers and his wife were expecting a baby. The compilations are popular fodder for Internet discussions, where viewers attributed the homogeneity to “consumerist propaganda,” “controlled brainwashing,” and “corporations spitting out prefabricated copies of fake news.”

The truth is less conspiratorial. Each story O’Brien featured was supplied by a syndication service that distributes scripts, video clips, and fully-produced news packages to local stations. The self gifting story came from CNN Newsource, which claims 800 affiliates. (CNN is part of Time Warner, which also owns the TBS cable channel that airs “Conan.”)

You’re almost certainly watching syndicated content when your local newscast shows video of national or international stories. Stations also rely on Newsource for sports highlights, business and consumer reports, entertainment news, and stories CNN categorizes as “Caught on Camera,” “Animals,” “Kickers,” and “Easy to Tease.”

Salisbury News has learned this is just one of several things WBOC does to make it look like they're doing the interview when in fact a multitude of news agencies use scripted lines prepared in advance. In other words, acting. You'll recognize the same thing on WBOC's Delmarva Life.

WBOC, Phony, Acting & Evidence Part 2

Creepy trend: Local TV buying canned news, broadcasting as their own

Conan O’Brien Breaks Some Actual News

A fascinating, and somewhat disturbing, story from the Washington Post yesterday, that Conan O’Brien, of all people, broke on his show a while back. Local TV news stations are buying pre-packaged “instant” news stories, with accompanying script and film footage, and simply reading them on the air as “new” news produced by the local station itself.

It’s akin to syndicating a column in local papers, but instead of each newspaper around the country carrying Maureen Dowd’s weekly column with her byline, they would hypothetically print the same column but each paper would sign it with a different local journalist in order to make it look original to that specific local paper. It would be like bloggers Chris in Paris, Markos Moulitsas, and Marcy Wheeler all actually being the same person: a retired cafeteria worker in Pensacola, Florida.

Here’s Conan’s compilation of numerous stations reporting on the same story, “Is it time for dogs to have a social network of their own?”:


WBOC, Phony, Acting & Evidence Part 3

The three-minute "cover story" on the Jan. 15 news looked like a powerful local investigative report, just what you'd expect from a trusted news source like NBC.

But little about the story was as it appeared.

NBC 11's consumer exposé purported to reveal a "secret" credit bureau that "may be collecting your information and selling it without your knowledge." And that information, anchor Brad Hicks warned, was so suspect that viewers were urged to contact the bureau to be sure it hadn't ruined their credit rating.

Ominous as that sounds, each claim was misleading. The company, Innovis, isn't secret. It doesn't report to those who might approve your car or house loan. And according to the story's own sources, it's received far fewer complaints than its competitors -- only two nationally in three years.

KNTV-NBC 11 might have discovered that, if it had done any of its own reporting. But that night, Mr. Hicks was more actor than reporter. He appears to have merely reshuffled a script produced by a low-profile content provider in suburban Atlanta that distributes canned video "news."

For decades, television stations have quietly outsourced portions of their local news program. But in the last five years, scores of broadcasters around the country have discovered a resource that helps them serve up pre-packaged stories, leaving viewers with the mistaken impression that journalists in their communities did much of the research, writing and on-camera interviewing.

NBC 11 defended its un-credited use of canned news. "When you have a news service, you don't always independently verify where each individual piece of information came from," said Jim Sanders, the station's vice president of news. "What becomes important for the audience is where they're getting the information, not where you, the journalist, are getting it from."

But ethics codes disagree and some prominent journalists decry broadcasting unidentified content from outsiders.

"This kind of 'reporting' is the result of budget cuts in local news departments that no longer have enough staff to produce both daily material and the kind of stories that feel promotable for sweeps or other competitive purposes," said Harry Fuller, an editor with CNBC Europe in London who formerly was news director at KGO Channel 7 and KPIX Channel 5.

Twenty years ago, he said, stations always identified video from other stations, networks or other providers. "I think that's no longer a policy in many newsrooms.

"It has long since ceased to matter to many news departments whether they are 'cheating' the viewers. It only matters if the news department can win the ratings."


WBOC, Phony, Acting & Evidence Part 4


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Christie’s Office Drove Exxon Settlement, Ex-Official Says

For more than a decade, the New Jersey attorney general’s office conducted a hard-fought legal battle to hold Exxon Mobil Corporation responsible for decades of environmental contamination in northern New Jersey.

But when the news came that the state had reached a deal to settle its $8.9 billion claim for about $250 million, the driving force behind the settlement was not the attorney general’s office — it was Gov. Chris Christie’s chief counsel, Christopher S. Porrino, two people familiar with the negotiations said.

One of those people, Bradley M. Campbell, was the commissioner of New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection in 2004 when the lawsuits against Exxon were filed. Mr. Campbell, in an Op-Ed article appearing in The New York Times on Thursday, wrote that “even more troubling” than the decision to settle the lawsuit were “the circumstances surrounding the decision.”


Health-Care Law Arguments: A Big Battle Over Four Words

The fundamental question facing the justices in the latest challenge to the 2010 Affordable Care Act has nothing to do with health care: how to interpret a tiny snippet – specifically, four words — embedded in the voluminous law.

First, some background: Congress in the law authorized the government to provide tax credits for insurance purchases by middle- and low-income people. The credits are vital to the program.

The law says that those who purchase coverage through an exchange “established by the state” are eligible for the credits. More than two-thirds of the states declined to set up their own exchanges. Currently, residents in 37 states can purchase insurance through, the federal exchange.

The key question for the justices: What is meant by “established by the state”?

The challengers argue that the credits are available only to those who buy coverage through one of the state exchanges, that is, exchanges “established by the state.” The Obama administration argues, however, that the language refers not just to the states that have set up their own exchanges, but also to the others, where exchanges are operated by the federal government.

The Internal Revenue Service, one of the agencies tasked with implementing the health-care law, sided with the administration’s interpretation.

When faced with differences over statutory language, the Supreme Court typically looks to one of its own rulings, a 30-year-old matter known colloquially as the “Chevron” case.


Did John Roberts Tip His Hand?

The Supreme Court oral argument on Wednesday in King v. Burwell featured thousands of words, dozens of provocative questions, two engaged and skillful lawyers—and one very striking silence. Chief Justice John Roberts, usually among the most active questioners on the court, scarcely said a word throughout the highly anticipated clash. The justices besieged Solicitor General Donald Verrilli and Michael Carvin, the lawyer for the plaintiffs, who are challenging a central provision of Obamacare, with so many questions that Roberts gave the pair ten extra minutes a side. The chief himself didn’t take up any of that time until practically the last moment.

Roberts’s one question may turn out to be extremely important. The issue in the case is whether the Obama Administration, in implementing the Affordable Care Act, violated the terms of that law. The plaintiffs assert that the A.C.A. only authorizes subsidies for individuals who buy health insurance on the fourteen state-run exchanges, or marketplaces. Under their reading of the law, the eight million or so people in the other thirty-six states who currently buy their insurance from the federal marketplace should be denied their subsidies. Most of the justices’ questions dealt with the issue of how to read the law correctly, but Roberts, in his single substantive question, took a different tack.



Salisbury Streets
When doing any Salisbury history, knowledge of former street names is essential. References to Bridge Street might bring about some undue consternation. Actually, Bridge Street was the former name of Main Street. The name was appropriate since it went down to the only bridge in Salisbury across the Wicomico River. An earlier map of 1817 lists it as Bridge Street, but it was named Main Street by 1885. The same holds true for Division Street. It was originally named Dividing Street because it was the dividing line between Somerset and Worcester Counties. The street to the south of Main Street was named Back Street. This has become Camden Avenue. The street that connected Back Street to Bridge Street was named Dock Street because of its location near the river and the adjacent docks. We now know it as Market Street.

The only two streets that have retained their original names are High Street and Church Street. These two names go back to at least 1817.

In the area of East Salisbury, there are two names that have been changed over the years. One is Truitt Street. The block encircled by Church Street, Holland Avenue, Isabella Street and Truitt Street was at one time the Fairgrounds. There are still some of the mighty oaks trees that were planted around the area but few are left. There were many of them left when I grew up on the corner of Church and Truitt in the 1940’s. In the 1870’s, when the Fair was held there, the road that ran alongside it was known as Fairground Road. That road is now Truitt Street.

The other street in East Salisbury that changed was Naylor Street. The original name of the street was Williams Row. The street name was changed because Dr. Robert Naylor moved into town and built what has become the Hotel Esther. The farm he bought encompassed all the land east to Truitt Street. His heirs sold off the house and land, and new streets cropped up in the names of Benny Street and Coles Circle.

A bane to anyone giving directions is the name change on the same stretch of road. The most recent example of this is College Avenue. At Snow Hill Road, it becomes Beaglin Park Drive. Another is Mt. Hermon Road. What was originally Williams Street Extended took on a life of its own at Main Street and took on the name of its destination about four miles out of town.

Of course the building of a major highway will disrupt the flow of a city street’s original configuration. The original Wailes and Cemetery Streets were greatly affected by both the construction of Route 50 in 1961 and the building of the new high school in 1932. Cemetery Street was to eventually become Commerce Street, and Sharp Energy has their offices and plant there now. The easterly extension of Cemetery Street would be Glen Avenue. Wailes Street now ends at Route 50.

Maryland casinos generate $82.8M in February

BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland’s five casinos generated a total of $82.8 million in revenue last month.

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency released the February revenue numbers on Thursday.

Total casino revenue from February increased from the same month last year by $16.8 million, or about 25 percent.


Public Safety Tops Grant Funding Requests From County; Ocean Pines Seeks $625K For Police Coverage

SNOW HILL – Appeals for funding support in the areas of public safety and tourism highlighted municipal budget requests presented to the Worcester County Commissioners this week.

While Ocean City officials asked county leaders to consider a new funding formula as an alternative to a tax differential, other local towns presented requests in line with those heard in the past.

Pocomoke City officials said their primary concern heading into the coming fiscal year was the cost of ambulance service. Between the associated equipment costs and the price of fuel, the ambulance department struggles to break even.


Artist Releases CONTROVERSIAL Painting of Barack Obama... You Have to See This!

President Barack Obama has played hundreds of rounds of golf since being elected into the White House. Our Campaigner-in-chief, who is unfit for the complicated nature of foreign policy, seems to enjoy his vacations while Americans suffer.

But one talented artist has had enough. A new painting by artist Jon McNaughton has been released, which is entitled, “Obama Foreign Policy,” and it’s been creating a slew of controversy.

The artwork depicts Obama smiling mid-swing as he plays a round of golf with a massive nuclear explosion visible in the background:


The Picture Tells The Story

Wicomico War Memorial Committee Receives Americanism Award from Salisbury Elks Lodge #817

Salisbury, MD – The Salisbury Elks Lodge #817 honored the Wicomico County War Veterans Memorial Committee with its Americanism Award for Flag Flying, as part of its President’s Day Award Ceremony on Wednesday. The ceremony took place at the Elks Lodge where committee members Tony Sarbanes, Don Fitzgerald and Ralph Cordrey along with Wicomico County staff member Tammy Taylor were present to accept the award.

As part of their mission, the Elks strive to quicken the spirit of American patriotism, and they have done this in part by establishing the Americanism Award for Flag Flying. This award recognizes those in the community who fly our nation’s flag in the correct manner. The Wicomico County War Veterans Memorial Committee was selected as this year’s recipient for properly displaying flags in the War Memorial located out front of the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center.

The War Memorial was erected in 2002, after a group of veterans from all branches of the military came together to honor and preserve the memory of Wicomico County’s fallen heroes. Flags from each service branch, along with a United States, Maryland, Wicomico County and the POW-MIA flag, proudly fly over a brick wall displaying bronze plaques with the names of Wicomico County’s fallen veterans beginning with World War I.

To learn more about the Wicomico County War Veterans Memorial and the men and women it was built to honor visit

Mounting School Closures Mean Decisions Ahead

BERLIN — While a bill that would mandate a post-Labor Day start to the school year continues to plod through the General Assembly, the number of weather-related school closure days on the Lower Shore and across the state continues to mount.

Schools across Maryland were closed again on Thursday and Friday from the latest winter storm, the third to result in school closures in the last three weeks. In Worcester, Thursday’s and Friday’s closures brought the total number of school days missed for the year to nine.

Worcester County has three inclement weather days built into the 2014-2015 school calendar, a number that has long been surpassed. With six days to make up, Board of Education officials are already working on plans to meet the state’s 180-day minimum requirement for this year.

“To date, Worcester County Public Schools has had eight inclement weather day closings,” said Coordinator of Public Relations and Special Programs Barb Witherow on Thursday prior to the announcement Thursday evening to close on Friday. “This means the school system will have to recoup five days. Winter, of course, is not over.”


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Salisbury, MD … Representatives from Wicomico County School System will discuss measures used to close the achievement gap and how much success has been made since 2012. School system staff will share what their goals and objectives have been since 2012.

President Ashanti says, “The NAACP sees the achievement gap as an opportunity gap. It is a missed opportunity to learn and be successful."

The public is encouraged to attend. Door prizes will be distributed. For more details, contact Mary Ashanti at 410-543-4187 or via email at

Due to severe weather on February26th, February monthly meeting was cancelled.

However, it is scheduled for March 17th, Tuesday, at Chipman Cultural Center.

Everyone is welcomed.