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Thursday, February 25, 2016

U.S. Marshals Use Powerful Cellphone Surveillance Tools to Track Suspects

Federal marshals have used invasive cellphone surveillance devices to track down 6,000 suspects in the United States – the most prolific use of the so-called stingray of any other law enforcement agency, USA Today reports.
The U.S. Marshals Service even bills itself as the country's most prolific user of powerful phone-tracking devices that intercept cellphone signals, newly disclosed records show, USA Today reported.

A U.S. Marshals Service surveillance log reviewed by USA Today lists 5,975 cases in which the agency used stingrays – a suitcase-sized device that can pinpoint a cellphone location by posing as a cell tower.

The agency wouldn't disclose what time period the log covered, where suspects were arrested or who the suspects were, the newspaper reports.

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Bernie Sanders: Republican Base Is ‘Absolutely’ Racist

There is racism in the Republican base, Vermont
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said during Tuesday night’s CNN Democratic town hall in Columbia, South Carolina.

“There was an effort to delegitimize the president … do I think in some parts of that Republican base there’s racism involved? Absolutely,” he said.

“Nobody has asked for my birth certificate. Maybe it’s the color of my skin,” Sanders said, referring to the birther movement that questioned President Barack Obama’s natural-born status in the United States.

Donald Trump was one of those who voiced concerns about why Obama delayed releasing his long-form birth-certificate. “I’m not a psychoanalyst and boy, would a psychoanalyst have an interesting time with Donald Trump,” Sanders said.

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Scalia Autopsy Decision Divides Pathologists

Should Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s body undergone an autopsy?

A group of pathologists polled by The New York Times offered mixed perspectives when asked the question of whether the 79-year-old’s body should have been examined after he was declared to have died from natural causes, presumably cardiac arrest.

No autopsy was performed and the certification of death was made without even an examination of the body, The Times says.

Texas officials said they had obeyed the wishes of the Scalia family in not authorizing an autopsy after the justice was found Feb. 13 in his bed at a West Texas ranch.

An estimated 326,000 people of all ages experience cardiac arrest out of a hospital in the United States each year, and 90 percent of them die, according to the American Heart Association.

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Plea deal means mom avoids jail in son's swing death

LA PLATA, Md. (AP) — A woman found pushing her dead son in a playground swing last year will avoid time in prison or a mental institution under a plea deal accepted Monday. As part of the deal, a Charles County judge found Romechia Simms not criminally responsible, media outlets reported.

Sen. Jeff Sessions: Only 3 Percent of Illegals Caught at Border Are Sent Back

Only 3 percent of the illegal immigrants arrested at the U.S. border with Mexico over the past two and a half years have been returned to their home countries, Sen. Jeff Sessions said Tuesday.

At a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, the Alabama Republican said that only 4,680 of the 127,000 illegals have been returned.

He challenged Thomas Homan, a senior official at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, on whether the administration was returning illegals.

"So, isn’t it the truth, Mr. Homan, that these individuals … go out into the country — and if they don’t show up for court, nobody goes out and looks for them?" he asked.

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Number of Maryland farms shrinks in 2015

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The U.S. Agriculture Department says the number of farms in Maryland continues to shrink.

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service in Annapolis says in a statement that the number of farms in Maryland in 2015 is estimated at 12,200. That’s 100 fewer than in 2014.

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CDC: 1 in 2 Black Gay Men in US Will be Diagnosed with HIV

About half of gay and bisexual black men will be diagnosed with the AIDS virus in their lifetime, according to new government estimates.

Overall, for the average American, the odds of an HIV infection is 1 in 99 and has been declining.

But the risk varies widely for different groups. For example, the projection is 1 in 2 for gay black men but fewer than 1 in 2,500 for heterosexual white men.

"The differences are stark," said Dr. Jonathan Mermin of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC released the estimates at a Boston medical conference on Tuesday.

HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is spread mainly through sex and sharing needles for injecting drugs. In the U.S., infections have long been most common in men who have sex with men. Since AIDS was first identified more than 30 years ago, medicines have changed it from a death sentence to a chronic threat.

The report provides an unusually vivid picture of what's been happening with HIV infections. The estimates were calculated from HIV diagnosis and death figures from 2009 through 2013.

New HIV infections have been falling in the United States, to about 40,000 annually. A disproportionately large share — about 10,000 cases — has been in gay and bisexual black men. That number has been holding steady while infections in other groups have fallen.

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Thief Dons Walmart Smock, Steals Four Flat Screen TVs

In September, an alleged thief posing as a Walmart employee walked into a Dallas-area store, grabbed four big screen TVs, and simply walked out the way he came. That theft apparently worked so well, another shoplifter pulled the same stunt in Virginia.

WTVR News reports that a man dressed as a Walmart employee made an unauthorized trip into the retailer’s stockroom last month and left with four TVs.

A spokesperson for the local Crime Solvers says the man, dressed in khaki pants, a light grey sweatshirt, and a typical blue Walmart vest, loaded four flat-screen TVs onto a cart and pushed them out of the store through an emergency exit.

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More than 13 Million Latinos to Vote in US Election

More than 13 million Latinos are expected to vote in November's US presidential election -- almost two million more than in 2012 -- according to a study released Tuesday.

The total could be even higher depending on which candidates the Republican and Democratic parties nominate and how effectively they reach out to the increasingly influential Latino community, said the report from the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO).

Latinos are already affecting voting patterns in some swing states such as Colorado, and NALEO executive director Arturo Vargas said no one camp could claim to own their loyalty.

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Only One Retailer Comes Out Smelling Worse Than Walmart In Latest Customer Satisfaction Surveys

The American Customer Satisfaction Index has released its annual look at the retail industry, and once again Walmart scored the lowest among department stores, supermarkets, and personal care retailers. But one specialty retailer did manage to eke out an even lower score than Walmart.

That would be Abercrombie & Fitch, which made its bare-chested debut on the ACSI specialty retailers index with a horrid 65 out of 100, a full 12 points below the sector’s average and seven points under the next-lowest scorer (Advance Auto Parts). In fact, A+F’s 65 was the lowest score in all of retail for 2015.

Perhaps the clothing store can chalk it up to the old sports cliche of a “rebuilding year,” as Abercrombie kicked off 2015 saying goodbye to controversial CEO Mike Jeffries — the man who looked like Gary Busey in Lethal Weapon but had the tact of a Mean Girls character.

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McConnell: No Vote on Obama Court Nominee

Some senior U.S. Senate Republicans on Tuesday moved to slam the door shut on any Supreme Court nomination President Barack Obama will make as they voiced opposition to even committee hearings on a replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

"That's the consensus view. ... No hearing, no vote," Senate Judiciary Committee member Lindsey Graham told reporters after leaving a private meeting of the panel's Republicans with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Separately, Senator John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican behind McConnell, said, "Correct," when asked by Reuters whether the path forward on any Obama nominee would be to deny that person a committee hearing.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley had previously left open the possibility of convening hearings once Obama nominates a justice. He was not immediately available for comment.

Earlier on Tuesday, in remarks on the Senate floor, McConnell said: "Presidents have a right to nominate, just as the Senate has its constitutional right to provide or withhold consent. In this case, the Senate will withhold it."

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Amazon Now Selling Clothing Under Its Own In-House Brands

In yet another effort to completely and totally dominate the shopping world, Amazon has apparently started a few private label clothing brands and has been quietly shilling apparel and accessories under those trademarked names with nary a press release to let anyone know.

WWD cites KeyBanc Capital analyst Ed Yruma, who said the company has introduced at least seven private label fashion brands recently: Franklin & Freeman, Franklin Tailored, James & Erin, Lark & Ro, North Eleven, Scout + Ro and Society New York.

There’s a range of items for sale from the brands: men’s dress shoes, suits, and other clothing; women’s clothing and accessories; and children’s apparel. The brand with the most items for sale focuses on women’s dress and handbags, called Society New York.

The prices seem to fall in the middle of the road, with dresses for $66.60 on Lark & Ro and tops for $31.41. A Franklin Tailored man’s suit costs $247.97, with ties for around $25.

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JEB BUSH’S “MONEY FOR NOTHING”

South Carolina’s “First in the South” primary exploited a truth that the Washington, D.C. elites have been suppressing and obfuscating over; This is not the “Chinese Year of the RINO.’

In another well struck blow to the establishment, Donald Trump took the Palmetto State’s hard knocks contest hands down – taking forty-four of South Carolina’s forty-six counties. Again, his success came from voters characterized as angry, evangelical, and dissatisfied with Washington.

“Change” was certainly the centerpiece of this southern smorgasbord, and South Carolina voters dished themselves up a heaping, healthy serving of Trump-style shrimp and grits.

The media intelligentsia will be spoon-feeding the narrative for days to come, but nothing better defines the collective mindset of the electorate than the slow motion train wreck of the Jeb Bush campaign finally come to a screeching halt.

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Today's Feel Good Stories

Our first story this morning happened in Birmingham, Alabama where an eight-year-old was home alone and he called his father to tell him that three men were trying to break into his house. Dad returned home and found the three guests inside while the boy his in a closet. Dad started busting caps, and when police arrived they found Raheem Stubbs on the floor with gunshot wounds. The cops searched with K9s and couldn’t find anyone. With tips from the public, police found Jarmarcus Boris Stubbs. Raheem was declared DOT (dead over there) at the hospital and Jarmarcus was charged with his murder.

In Hickory, North Carolina, Brian Foster Eckard was going about his business as a burglar when a very rude homeowner shot him twice, once in the arm and again in the back. Eckard went to the nearest bar for treatment, they called him an ambulance and he’s been released from the hospital into the arms of local constabulary. In another story, Eckard appeared in court in a wheelchair. The homeowner said that he didn’t want to shoot Eckard, but that he had no choice. That’s why these are “feel good stories” – they’re about the best possible outcome after the criminals leave innocent civilians with no good choices.

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South Carolina Students Sue After Being Interrogated Over Free Speech Event

MORE PC NONSENSE ON AMERICA’S COLLEGE CAMPUSES

We’ve written extensively in recent months about higher ed’s deplorable descent into politically-correct madness. Sadly, this taxpayer-subsidized trend is alive and well even at our founding editor’s alma mater, the University of South Carolina (USC).

The latest example?

A crackdown on USC’s chapters of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) and College Libertarians – two groups which had the audacity to organize an event promoting free speech on campus last fall.

Apparently this “free speech zone” violated the “safe space” of some of their fellow students, who reported flyers promoting the event to school authorities – claiming they were “offensive” and “triggering.”

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Why Rubio Can’t Win

Now that Chris Christie has crashed, John Kasich has been ghettoized, Scott Walker self-destructed, and nobody bought the idea of Jeb Bush, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men — as well as Fox News — are trying to shove Marco Rubio down the throats of the Republican electorate.

But they’ll never make the sale.

The fundamental fault line that runs through the middle of the Republican and Democratic parties is that which separates the establishment from the true believers. And nobody will cross that line unless there is absolutely no other option.

The basic strategy of the anti-Donald Trump hysterics is to force an amalgamation of the alternatives into a Great White Hope who can take on The Donald. They believe that Trump can only win a plurality and not a majority. Based on that flawed reasoning, they posit that all they have to do is to pick off the alternatives until there is only one remaining opponent to Trump, and they have decided that his name is Rubio.

But the defect in this thesis is that it ignores the fault line. Rand Paul voters didn’t go to Rubio, they went to Ted Cruz; Ben Carson voters would do likewise.

And should Rubio best Cruz and force his de facto withdrawal, his votes would not go to Rubio. They would go right to Trump.

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Revived Streetcars May Be On Track For Disappointment

Streetcars are rumbling back to life in cities across the country from Portland to Salt Lake City and Atlanta, with New York becoming the latest city to hop on the bandwagon. But as these new streetcars run into unexpected roadblocks, critics say this mode of transportation might not be the answer to great public transit.

New York City has an ambitious, multi-billion dollar plan to connect Brooklyn and Queens with a streetcar. It would bring convenience to residents from Red Hook, an isolated area cut off from the rest of Brooklyn by water and a major highway.

"There's only really one way into Red Hook, and that's it," says Jackie Soto, who lives in one of the several big public housing development in the neighborhood. "We only have the buses that come in out and out."

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Powellville Spaghetti Dinner


Consumer Confidence in U.S. Sinks to Seven-Month Low

Consumer confidence slumped in February as households grew more concerned about the outlook for the economy and jobs, sending their inflation forecast to a nine-year low.

The Conference Board’s sentiment index slid to 92.2 this month, less than the lowest forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg and the weakest since July, from a revised 97.8 in January, the New York-based private research group said Tuesday. The survey reflected responses received through Feb. 11, the day the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index sank to an almost two-year low. Shares have since rallied.

“It’s too early to say that consumer confidence is really on the cusp of rolling over, but your antennae have to be raised and you have to pay attention to see where this goes over the next three months or so," said Brett Ryan, a U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank in New York, whose confidence forecast was the lowest in the Bloomberg survey. Consumers “may be frustrated that they are not seeing wage gains. Corporate profits have been weak as of late, and add to that the volatility in the equity markets, it probably has people a little uneasy."

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Senate Republicans Agree To Block Obama's Supreme Court Nominee

Any doubt that Senate Republicans would hold the line behind their leader's decision to block President Obama's Supreme Court nominee has been erased.

"I can now confidently say the view shared by virtually everybody in my conference, is that the nomination should be made by the president the people elect in the election that's underway right now," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters.

Senate Republicans on Tuesday held their first closed-door meeting since the unexpected death of Justice Antonin Scalia to discuss the party's strategy going forward.

"I believe the overwhelming view of the Republican Conference in the Senate is that this nomination should not be filled, this vacancy should not be filled by this lame duck president," McConnell added.

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Union-backed bill pushes better pay for TSA airport screeners

Two Democratic House leaders and the largest federal employee union are leading the charge on a bill to give Transportation Security Administration airport screeners better pay, benefits and workplace protections.

House Homeland Security Committee ranking member Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and House Appropriations Committee ranking member Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) introduced a bill earlier this month that would transfer more than 45,000 airport transportation security officers to the General Schedule pay scale.

TSA currently operates under a pay-for-performance system meant to reward employees with outstanding evaluations, but Charity Wilson, a legislative representative with the American Federation of Government Employees, told Federal News Radio that the system has not been keeping workforce morale high.

“There have been various forms of this pay-for-performance system over the years, and it has devolved down to the point where TSOs are getting the highest rating, but they’re not seeing it reflected in their paychecks at all,” Wilson said. “Under the General System, which includes a form of evaluation that is built into that system, there is transparency, fairness and stability that is currently lacking.”

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Shortage Of Addiction Counselors Further Strained By

As the drug-related death toll rises in the United States, communities are trying to open more treatment beds. But an ongoing labor shortage among drug treatment staff is slowing those efforts.

Each year, roughly one of every four substance-abuse clinicians nationally chooses toleave the job, according to recent research. And that's not just turnover — leaving one job for another in the same field. As an Institute of Medicine report documented in 2006, there's been a shortage of addiction workers for decades. And the demand is only increasing; the Affordable Care Act and other federal laws have given millions more people insurance to help them pay for those services. If only there were enough counselors to treat them.

Amelie Gooding runs Phoenix House in Keene, New Hampshire, and says she's been short a full-time counselor for a year and half.

"Everybody thinks, 'Oh, there aren't enough beds!' " Gooding says. "But there's not enough treatment staff to open more beds."

Because she's understaffed, Gooding has to leave three of her 18 residential beds empty, and she cut her outpatient groups down to 50 percent capacity.

So where have all the counselors gone?

"For me, it got to be too heavy," says former counselor Melissa Chickering, who used to work for Gooding at the Phoenix House and still lives in the area.

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State Dept. Created Classified Email Account For Hillary

Secretary of State John Kerry’s testimony in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday produced a number of revelations about the ongoing Hillary Clinton email probe, including that she was provided an email account during her time at the agency designed to handle classified information but never used it.

During one part of an at-times intense exchange, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson 60% read from a letter from Julia Frifield, who serves as State Department assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs.

“Secretary Clinton did not use a classified email account at the State Department. An account was set up on ClassNet on her calendar, but it was not used,” Frifield wrote in response to a Sept. 21, 2015 letter from the committee asking for information about Clinton’s use of an account equipped to handle classified information.

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Charlotte council votes to extend transgender rights

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's largest city passed a law Monday allowing transgender people to choose public bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity, which the governor had called a threat to public safety and warned that the General Assembly may step in.

The Charlotte City Council voted 7-4 to expand protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity, making it the latest frontier in a national debate on how businesses treat gay, lesbian and transgender customers. One of the revisions to the city's nondiscrimination ordinance allows people to choose restrooms corresponding to the gender with which they identify.

"I'm pleased that Charlotte has sent a signal that we will treat people with dignity and respect, even when we disagree," Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts said moments after the vote.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory — a former mayor of Charlotte, one of the 20 largest cities in the U.S. according to census figures — said in an email Sunday that changing the policy on restrooms could "create major public safety issues."

"Also, this action of allowing a person with male anatomy, for example, to use a female restroom or locker room will most likely cause immediate State legislative intervention which I would support as governor," he wrote in the email to two Council members.

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When Louisiana Offered Free College Education, Guess What Happened

Several politicians have recently been offering free goodies to voters. One of the most popular of these, oddly enough, is something that several state governments have already tackled: free college tuition.

The details vary by state, but Oregon, Tennessee,Georgia, Michigan, andLouisiana (among others) all use tax dollars to pay for at least some of their residents’ college tuition.

Louisiana provides a great case study for advocates of similar federal policies. Louisiana just so happens to be in the news right now because the governor is threatening to suspend his state’s version of free college tuition for everyone.

Louisiana’s Tuition Program

Louisiana’s plan is called the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students, or, more commonly, TOPS. This extremely popular program uses tax dollars topay full tuition (and some fees) at any of Louisiana’s public universities. Other than residency requirements, all high school students qualify as long as they have a C average (2.5 GPA) and at least an 18 on the ACT.

So the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students doesn’t cover everystudent’s tuition, but it ends up covering it for a large chunk of middle-/upper-class families.

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RECESSION 2016: IN SOME STATES, A VERY DEEP ECONOMIC DOWNTURN HAS ALREADY ARRIVED

Economic activity all over the planet is in the process of slowing down, and there are some areas of the country that are really starting to feel the pain

Did you know that there are some U.S. states that have already officially fallen into recession?

Economic activity all over the planet is in the process of slowing down, and there are some areas of the country that are really starting to feel the pain. In particular, any state that is heavily dependent on the energy industry is hurting right now. During the years immediately following the last recession, the energy industry was the primary engine for the growth of good paying jobs in America, but now that process is completely reversing. All over the U.S. energy companies are going under, and thousands upon thousands of good jobs are being lost.

On Sunday evening, Bloomberg published an article entitled “The U.S. States Where Recession Is Already a Reality“. The following is an excerpt from that article…

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Somerset County Sheriff's Office Press Release 2-25-16

Michael Noah Davis of Crisfield, arrested 2-5-16 for possession of marijuana. Davis was later released on a civil citation.

Joseph Thomas Bradshaw of Crisfield, criminal summons served on 2-8-16 for theft under $100.00. Bradshaw was later released on signature pending court actions.

Tiffany Lynn Guzman of Princess Anne, arrested 2-9-16 on a warrant for failing to appear in court. Guzman was later released on a unsecured bond.

Eric Lee Williams of Baltimore, arrested 2-13-16 for driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while impaired by alcohol, negligent driving, consuming alcohol in a vehicle, and violating license restrictions. The arrest was the result of a malicious destruction of property report, where Deputies later located Williams’s vehicle in the area of Pomfrett Rd, Crisfield.

Martin Theodore Batze of Westover, arrested 2-13-16 for malicious destruction of property. Deputies responded to the area of the Goose Creek Store, Westover regarding a subject pulling road signs out of the ground. Batze was later located, and released on signature pending court actions.

Eddie Turrell Miller 3rd of Princess Anne, criminal summons served on 2-13-16 for 2nd degree assault. Miller was later released on signature pending court actions.

Rodger Dean Pilkinton of Crisfield, arrested 2-18-16 on a warrant for violation of probation. Pilkinton was held without bond.

Keon Scarborough of Virginia, arrested 2-19-16 on four warrants for failing to appear in court. Scarborough was later held without bond.

Kamari Tarik Dickens of Baltimore, arrested 2-20-16 for driving while under the influence of alcohol, driving while impaired by alcohol, and driving under the influence of alcohol per-se. Dickens was later released on signature pending court actions. The arrest was the result of a traffic stop conducted by Deputies in the area of UMES Blvd. regarding reckless driving.

Bradford Carter of Salisbury, arrested 2-20-16 on a warrant for failing to appear in court. Carter was later held on a $500.00 bond.

Dwight Alex Sampson of Princess Anne, arrested 2-22-16 on a warrant for failing to appear in court. Sampson was later released on a unsecured bond.

John Robert Weil of Eden, arrested 2-22-16 for failing to appear in court. Weil was later held on a $500.00 bond.

Andrew Thomas Marshall of Crisfield, arrested 2-23-16 on a warrant for failing to comply with pre-trial release conditions. Marshall was later held on a $25,000 bond.

Emily Louise Davis of Princess Anne, arrested 2-23-16 on a warrant for reckless endangerment, second degree assault, and deadly weapon with the intent to injure. Davis was later released on a $5,000 unsecured bond.

THIS IS WHY THE MINIMUM WAGE IS SUCH A HORRIBLE IDEA

In case you haven’t heard, the Oregon state legislature has recently approved a new minimum wage, and Governor Kate Brown has already agreed to sign it

In case you haven’t heard, the Oregon state legislature has recently approved a new minimum wage, and Governor Kate Brown has already agreed to sign it.

This minimum wage law will be very different from the wage laws of most states, in that it will vary on a region by region basis. There will be gradual increases in each city and rural county until the year 2022. At that point, the city of Portland will have a minimum wage of $14.75, smaller cities will be at $13.50, and rural areas will be at $12.50.

But for all their good intentions, the leftists that pushed this legislation through have no idea what they’re in for. It will be rife with unintended consequences. Take for instance, what happened in Seattle shortly after their city council approved a $15 minimum wage. Before the wage increase even went into effect, restaurants all over the city crunched the numbers for what it would mean to their bottom line, and shuttered their doors. And for those who are still employed, the minimum wage increase hasn’t really helped them at all. Here’s what two cleaning ladies told the Seattle Times last year:

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HHS: Immigrants with HIV, STDs welcome

The administration has decided to let immigrants with three sexually transmitted diseases known for causing sores or lesions on genitalia to enter the United States, an expansion of a previous decision to let in those with HIV.

The Department of Health and Human Services this month opened the borders to those with the STDs, deeming the communicable diseases not a big threat to the United States.

A report from the Center for Immigration Studies said that HHS does not believe that the costs to taxpayers to handle the immigrants with STDs will be significant.

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TRUMP INSIDER ROGER STONE SAYS CBS ABOUT TO SLIME TRUMP WITH ALLEGED MAFIA TIES (VIDEO)

Didn’t CBS already try out this smear last year?

Roger Stone – Republican Political Consultant, Correspondent, The Daily Caller, Editor, StoneZone.com – joined Steve Malzberg on Newsmax TV to discuss Trump and his South Carolina win.

Stone said CBS is about to SLIME Donald Trump on mafia tie claims.

“The other thing you should be prepared for Steve is a major onslaught by CBS claiming that Donald Trump has ties to the mafia to the mob. Donald Trump has been licensed by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission in toughest gaming regulatory law in the country. There’s nothing to this canard. This is the kind of smears that were used on Barry Goldwater, by the way. They did work then. They will not work now.

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Md. justice reforms a first step

As Baltimore and the nation reeled in response to the mistrial a week ago in the first case of police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, Maryland's Justice Reinvestment Coordinating Council, or JRCC, made recommendations to Gov. Larry Hogan on how to reform Maryland's criminal justice system.

The JRCC recommended some laudable and important policy reforms that would reduce sentences for some offenders, increase parole grant rates and strengthen supervision, particularly removing some of the many barriers to reentry into society. But it is critical that we recognize these recommendations as a first — not final — step toward confronting all the ugly realities plaguing Maryland's criminal justice system.

Nationwide, there are more Americans in state and federal prisons than ever before; nearly 2.3 million Americans are currently incarcerated, which is more than six times the average rate across developed nations. But the incarceration rate does not hit everyone equally. Communities of color, and particularly men of color, are more likely to be behind bars than other groups. In fact, black men are six times more likely, and Latino men 2.5 times more likely, to be incarcerated than white men.

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Arrests Made In McDonald's Assault On Marine

Police on Monday arrested two juveniles for their assault on a decorated Marine in a Washington, D.C. McDonald’s, but have yet to charge either with a hate crime.

Chris Marquez, a decorated Marine veteran, was followed out of McDonald’s and assaulted by a person brandishing a handgun February 12 following a verbal altercation in which Marquez was called a racist.

The Metropolitan Police Department confirmed in a press release the arrests of two 17-year-old black juveniles Monday, one male, one female, for the attack. They were charged with aggravated assault and robbery, respectively. They have not yet been charged with a hate crime, but the investigation is ongoing.

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Hogan Administration Announces Support for Greater Transparency During Legislative Sessions

Bill Would Require the General Assembly to Live Stream and Record Floor and Voting Sessions

ANNAPOLIS, MD –
Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford today at a Board of Public Works meeting announced the Hogan administration's support for HB 316 – Live and Archived Video Streaming of Meetings. This bill requires the Maryland General Assembly to provide live streaming and archived video of floor and voting sessions in the House of Delegates and Senate.

“Maryland citizens deserve accountability and transparency from their elected leaders, especially when modern technology should make access easy and inexpensive,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “This is a common-sense piece of legislation, and I applaud the bill’s bipartisan sponsors – Delegates Kathy Szeliga and David Moon – for their commitment to ensuring transparency in state government.”

The governor's office currently live streams and archives year-round Board of Public Works meetings at an annual cost of only $3,000-$3,500. Currently, Maryland is one of seven remaining states that do not offer similar video streaming or recordings of legislative floor sessions.

HB 316 is also supported by Common Cause Maryland – a nonpartisan group dedicated to promoting open, honest, and accountable government.

People Of Colour From Around The World Respond To “White”

Maryland Democrats have Hogan Derangement Syndrome

MARYLAND GOV. Larry Hogan, a Republican in a heavily Democratic state, won election as a pro-business moderate, took office with a limited agenda and has governed from the center. For this, plus the sunny disposition he projected through a bout with cancer, Mr. Hogan has been rewarded with sky-high public approval ratings, which appear to have unhinged Democrats.

The latest eruption of the Democrats’ Hogan Derangement Syndrome occurred last week, when African American legislators accused him of racially motivated “assaults” on black communities. The so-called evidence included the governor’s decisions, last year, to kill a light-rail line, trim extra education funding and fund a new jail in Baltimore, while initially withholding funds for a new hospital in Prince George’s County. Both Baltimore City and Prince George’s are majority-black.

We didn’t support Mr. Hogan in his 2014 campaign. Nonetheless, what has been striking since he took office is neither his ideology (faint), nor his agenda (small-ball), nor his governing style (laid-back), nor his partisanship (run-of-the-mill) but the disproportionate attacks by Democrats on a governor whose record so far qualifies him as a moderate.
Last year they pilloried him for trying to divert money for the state’s underfunded pension system, a cause Democrats themselves embraced just four years earlier, before legislative amnesia set in. This year they derided his anodyne State of the State address, heavy on pledges to work collaboratively with Democrats, with initiatives — some targeted tax cuts and fee reductions;nonpartisan redistricting; efforts to combat heroin addiction — that could easily have been issued by a reform-minded Democrat.

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Judge Says Hillary's Emails May Have To Be Subpoenaed

A federal judge said Tuesday that he may be forced to subpoena former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton and her aide, Huma Abedin, for emails that the pair withheld when they turned their work-related records over to the State Department.

Judge Emmet Sullivan also ruled in favor of Judicial Watch, which is suing the State Department, by granting its motion for discovery into whether the agency 0r Clinton deliberately thwarted the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by approving and utilizing a private email system.

Sullivan slammed the State Department during the hearing, saying that “it just boggles the mind a little that the State Department allowed this practice to occur in the first place.”

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VIDEO: OBAMA CRACKS JOKE ABOUT SCALIA’S DEATH

President sneers after making joke at late Supreme Court justice's expense

During his National Governors Association speech Monday, President Obama joked there was a lot to get done during his final days in office, including “appointing judges.”

“Some of you may be in the final year of your term, working as hard as you can to get as much done as possible for the folks you represent, fixing roads, educating our children, helping people retrain, appointing judges, the usual stuff,” the president jested, as the crowd in attendance burst into laughter.

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John Kerry Complains About Hillary Email Inquiries

Sec. of State John Kerry complained on Tuesday that the numerous investigations into Hillary Clinton’s home-brew email setup is “tying up international diplomats” and other limited agency resources.

But Kerry, who as a Massachusetts senator traded “Secret” emails with Clinton when she was secretary of state, also insisted that it is not clear whether Clinton’s email habits or the investigations undertaken by Congress looking into them have been more of a strain on the State Department’s resources and budget.

“We have more than 50 simultaneous investigations going on, and we have an unprecedented number of FOIA requests,” Kerry told Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing. “I have had to cannibalize bureaus to get people to go spend their time on these requests.”

“I’m concerned about it because this is tying up international diplomats,” he added later in the testimony.

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POLL: JEB SUPPORTERS JUMP TO TRUMP

Trump, not Rubio, gains from Bush's demise

The GOP frontrunner experienced a surge in support once Bush suspended his campaign, and the only other candidate to gain at Bush’s expense was John Katich.

“The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of likely Republican voters finds Trump with 36% support, giving him a 15-point lead over Senator Marco Rubio who earns 21% of the vote,” the poll revealed. “Senator Ted Cruz is in third place with 17%.”

“For Trump, that’s a five-point gain in support from the beginning of this month just after the Iowa caucus and right before the New Hampshire primary when it was Trump 31%, Rubio 21% and Cruz 20% among likely GOP voters; Rubio’s support has held steady, while support for Cruz has fallen slightly.”

The poll also revealed that 71% of Republican voters now favor building a wall along the U.S/Mexico border and among these voters, 43% support Trump.

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Trump Spent Zero Money on Ads in Super Tuesday States

Republican front-runner Donald Trump has spent zero money on political ads ahead of the multi-state Super Tuesday presidential nomination voting, NBC News reports.

Citing data from SMG Delta through Feb. 28, NBC News reports Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's Super PAC is advertising in eight states, spending $1.2 million, while Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's campaign has doled out $185,000 for ads in five states.

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NY Couple End Fight Against Hosting Gay Marriages on Their Farm

A New York couple ordered to pay $13,000 for refusing to host a same-sex wedding at their rural farm because it conflicts with their Christian belief are reportedly ending their legal fight.

A state appeals panel ruled in January that Cynthia and Robert Gifford's refusal was unlawfully based upon sexual orientation, and the couple won't challenge the January decision, the Daily Signal reports.

"We looked at the road ahead, we saw that we had an uphill climb, and I think the Giffords wanted to get on with their lives — as committed as they are to the cause," their lawyer, James Trainor, tells the Daily Signal. "It took its toll on them as a family and a business."

The dispute began in 2012, when Cynthia Gifford, citing her Christian beliefs about marriage, refused to have the wedding of Melisa Erwin and Jennifer McCarthy at the Gifford's Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke, N.Y. north of Albany.

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Debate - Does God Exist?

What I See Happening In a Trump Presidency

By Bill Bennett

They will kill him before they let him be president. It could be a Republican or a Democrat that instigates the shutting up of Trump.

Don't be surprised if Trump has an accident. Some people are getting very nervous: Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett, Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton and Jon Corzine, to name just a few.

It's about the unholy dynamics between big government, big business, and big media. They all benefit by the billions of dollars from this partnership, and it's in all of their interests to protect one another. It's one for all and all for one.

It's a heck of a filthy relationship that makes everyone filthy rich, everyone except the American people. We get ripped off. We're the patsies. But for once, the powerful socialist cabal and the corrupt crony capitalists are scared. The over-the-top reaction to Trump by politicians of both parties, the media, and the biggest corporations of America has been so swift and insanely angry that it suggests they are all threatened and frightened.

Donald Trump can self-fund. No matter how much they say to the contrary, the media, business, and political elite understand that Trump is no joke. He could actually win and upset their nice cozy apple cart. It's no coincidence that everyone has gotten together to destroy The Donald. It's because most of the other politicians are part of the a good old boys club. They talk big, but they won't change a thing. They are all beholden to big-money donors. They are all owned by lobbyists, unions, lawyers, gigantic environmental organizations, and multinational corporations - like Big Pharmacy or Big Oil. Or they are owned lock, stock, and barrel by foreigners like George Soros owns Obama or foreign governments own Hillary and their Clinton Foundation donations.

These run-of-the-mill establishment politicians are all puppets owned by big money. But there's one man who isn't beholden to anyone There's one man who doesn't need foreigners, or foreign governments, or George Soros, or the United Auto Workers, or the teacher's union, or the Service Employees International Union, or the Bar Association to fund his campaign.

Billionaire tycoon and maverick Donald Trump doesn't need anyone's help. That means he doesn't care what the media says. He doesn't care what the corporate elites think. That makes him very dangerous to the entrenched interests. That makes Trump a huge threat to those people. Trump can ruin everything for the bribed politicians and their spoiled slave masters.

Fox in the Annapolis Hen House

There are three bills coming up in Annapolis that would negatively impact Maryland’s poultry industry: anti-chicken manure (SB 496 on 2/23 and HB 599 on 2/24), anti-feed bill (HB 1163 on 3/2), and mandatory unionization (HB 1496 on 3/2 and SB 761 on 3/9).

At the beginning of this month, there was a conference announcing the anti-farmer initiative by urban/suburban politicians who are bent on destroying the vital poultry industry in Maryland. Among them was a “farmer” who supported their efforts.

Image matters more than truth in Annapolis, and press conferences are particularly based on optics, not substance. Often, the “common” person turns out to be a long time activist, yet the media fails to catch these foxes in the hen house.

“Farmer Carole Morison” is one of those foxes.

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No Love For Congress


A Viewer Writes: Who To Vote For?

Upon investigation of what the democratic and republican parties stand for you only need to google. What consists of what liberals and conservatives stand for. If you want a larger gov't and more welfare programs you are definitely thinking democrat. If you want smaller gov't control of your life then you are going to vote republican, even if it means giving in to big business. So would you rather see businesses thriving with less gov't regulations or would you rather have a democrat in office to control more of your life and increase payout to many undeserving welfare and gov't program recipients. NOW if only politicians would only do what they promised when elected. Crap flows downhill, so if the crooked dealings start at the top, why should we expect less at the lower levels.

The Ethics of Armed Self Defense

USA – Discussions about the role of guns in society often founder under the weight of dueling statistics thrown out by both sides.

I’d like to avoid the statistical food fight and base this article solely on the ethics of armed self-defense.

How much do you value your life?

Modern America has a strong pacifist streak that originated among some of our Christian denominations and spread to non-religious people, most notably during the 1960s. It is now associated with the liberal side of the political spectrum and with those who support strict gun control.

It is easy to find people who say they would never use potentially lethal force against another person, even to save their own lives from a criminal assault. Under this principle, the life of a violent sociopath is more valuable than theirs. Each person has the right to place a value on their own life, so it may seem difficult to argue against this way of thinking. But let’s pose some serious questions and see where this line of reasoning takes us.

Do you have an obligation to your loved ones?

If you won’t save your own life by using lethal force, what about your spouse, children or co-workers? If you allow yourself to be killed by a violent attacker, what effect will this have on those who depend on you? If you are responsible for supporting them and you are killed, the results will be devastating.

Let’s say you are not killed, but suffer a brain injury that leaves you unable to work, or you are abused in ways that leave you unable to work due to lifelong psychological issues. In a way, this is worse than death, as you are now a burden on those you felt obliged to provide for.

Giving up your life for your beliefs is one thing, but making people you care about suffer for those beliefs is something much more serious.

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Pink Ribbon Bingo March 10th!

 
Thurs. March 10, 2016
Salisbury Moose Lodge
 833 Snow Hill Road
 
MUST BE 18 TO ENTER!

Doors Open At 5:00 pm
Games Start At 6:30 pm

Tickets $20 In Advance
 $25 At The Door

50/50 AND RAFFLES!

Food for sale starting at 5pm  
Prizes From:
                  

Texas Flashlight

The Golden Arch


Was This You Back In The Day?


Unscented Fox?


Just What Do You Think He's Doing?


Upcoming Specials

"Zenful Petals" from OC/MD is coming to SoBo's!
This Thursday... February 25th 6:30pm.
Angie Gillis will help you create your own TERRARIUM!
DIY Wine Bottle Terrarium w/ recycled wood frame!

Tickets are available now online! $39 each

Includes all the supplies and unique fillers....
You'll make a creation uniquely your own!

Come early and enjoy happy hour at the bar... 
Cocktail Service Available.. sip as you create!
Appetizers and Dinner Menu Available!
Space is still available... 

EVO's "NOSE to TAIL" Beer Dinner
This Thursday, Feb. 25th  
Dinner starts: 6:30pm

Call today to reserve your seat...
443.260.2337
evolutioncraftbrewing.com
Sobo's is excited to announce a special event...

Thursday, March 3rd  6:30pm
"3rd WAVE BREWING BEER DINNER"

Only $50 per person, plus tax and tip.
Space is limited.  Reservations required.

SoBo's Wine Beerstro ~ 410.219.1117