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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Police Investigate Boat Explosion, and Arrest Motorist with Drugs and Guns

Last Friday evening, a Pennsylvania woman suffered severe abdominal injuries when she fell from a jet ski in Ocean City and was struck by the high-pressure water stream from the vessel.

Nathalie Busunga, 22, of Swarthmore, was a passenger aboard the watercraft that was traveling at about 20 to 25 knots in the Isle of Wight Bay near Swordfish Basin when she slipped off the stern of the vessel.

The operator, John Thompson, 44, of Wilmington, Delaware, said his passenger began complaining of internal pain soon after the fall so they went to Thunder Island and he called 911. Basunga was taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center by Ocean City first responders.

The incident was reported to the Coast Guard and remains under investigation.


On Sunday, officers and members of the Coast Guard on a saturation patrol off Ocean City stopped two jet skis for operating after sunset.

Both operators were suspected of being impaired. Justin Robert Drost, 35, of Baltimore, refused to take any sobriety tests. James Henry Stephens, 34, of Ocean City, agreed to be tested and showed signs of impairment.

Both men were charged with two counts of boating while impaired. They are scheduled to appear in Worcester District Court on October 7.

Global money-printing signals economy in freefall

Desperate central banks running out of ammunition

The policy of quantitative easing – otherwise known as “printing” money – is being employed worldwide at a record-breaking pace, signaling to many analysts that the global economy is in freefall.

Central banks are spending $200 billion a month pumping money into their economies, buying bonds as a pace even higher than during the worst of the financial crisis in 2008, reports the digital global business news publication Quartz.

The emergency measure, however, doesn’t seem to be helping, with low growth persisting while interest rates hover near zero.

In the U.S., the Federal Reserve policy of printing money to buy Treasury Department-issued government debt began under President George W. Bush and accelerated under President Obama.

A chart produced by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis shows the adjusted monetary base of the United States rose from $1.772 trillion on Jan. 14, 2009, to $3.996 trillion on March 16, 2016.


Severe Thunderstorm Warning

National Weather Service Wakefield Va issues Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico, Worcester [MD] and Accomack [VA] till 11:15 PM EDT.










Jeffrey Thompson gets 3 months' jail for corrupting D.C. elections

WASHINGTON (ABC7) — WASHINGTON (AP) -- A District of Columbia businessman who poured millions of illegal dollars into city, state and federal elections -- helping a mayor of Washington get elected and then creating a scandal that helped drum that mayor from office -- was sentenced Monday to three months in prison.

Jeffrey Thompson acknowledged setting up a $650,000 slush fund to help Vincent Gray defeat then-mayor Adrian Fenty in 2010. Thompson, 61, also gave more than $600,000 in illegal funds to help Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential bid.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly went beyond the recommendation of prosecutors in sentencing Thompson to prison. The government had asked for six months of home confinement, partly because of cooperation by Thompson that did not result in criminal charges. The judge ordered Thompson to serve three months of home confinement and three years of probation following his jail term.

The most prominent figure in the scandal was Gray, who denied all wrongdoing and was not charged after a five-year investigation of his 2010 campaign.


Schweizer: Hillary's in 'Complete Violation' of Her Memo of Understanding With Obama

During the Sunday edition of Fox News Channel’s “Justice,” Breitbart editor at large and author of “Clinton Cash” Peter Schweizer said Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is in “complete violation” of the memorandum of understanding she signed for the Obama administration promising to disclose all Clinton Foundation donors.

Schweizer noted that there are currently “at least 1,100” undisclosed Clinton Foundation donors.

Partial transcript as follows:

“Barack Obama, to his wisdom, required Hillary Clinton before she became secretary of state to sign that Memorandum of Understanding you are talking about. We now know that two planks of that they completely violated. Number one, they said they were going to turn over all the names of all the donors on an annual basis to the Clinton Foundation. We now know that there’s at least 1,100 they have still not disclosed and we don’t know who the names of all the people giving them money. And the second one is precisely this: she said there would be no overlapping of the two and clearly that’s happening in the new batch of e-mails. Complete violation of her agreement with Barack Obama.”


Benghazi Victims’ Lawyer: Hillary Clinton Is ‘Totally Exposed’

TEL AVIV — In the newly filed lawsuit on behalf of the families of the Benghazi attack victims, Hillary Clinton does not have diplomatic immunity and she is “totally exposed” to legal ramifications, according to the lawyer for the news-making case.

Larry Klayman, founder of Freedom Watch USA, had the lawsuit served to Clinton last week on behalf of Patricia Smith and Charles Woods, the parents of Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods respectively, both of whom were murdered in the September 11, 2012 attacks.

Klayman spoke Sunday night during an interview on this reporter’s talk radio program,Aaron Klein Investigative Radio, broadcast on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and News Talk 990 AM in Philadelphia.

Part of the lawsuit charges that Clinton defamed the victims’ families and was responsible for “intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress” by “directly brand[ing] Plaintiffs as liars.” She did so, the complaint alleges, when she contradicted the families over allegations that the Benghazi attacks were the result of a terrorist onslaught and not a protest over an anti-Muhammad video.

Regarding that section of the lawsuit, Klayman stated on the radio Sunday:



BALTIMORE - As advocates for youth and families in Baltimore City, the Coalition to Reform School Discipline thanks the Department of Justice (DOJ) for its thorough investigation and applauds its recommendations for sweeping reforms in response to overwhelming evidence of decades of constitutional violations of citizens' rights by the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) that significantly impact African-American communities and individuals with disabilities. While the DOJ report focuses on BPD, we are especially troubled by findings that the City has used the Baltimore School Police as an auxiliary of BPD and that there is a clear lack of coordination between the two forces. This raises questions about whether school resources allocated to school police are being used to support the role of BPD. City Schools' resources would be better spent on academic services, restorative practices, and ongoing professional development involving administrators, teachers, and school police.

DOJ further found that the BPD policies, procedures, training, and oversight are significantly deficient, contributing to unconstitutional and illegal practices, including the excessive use of force against young people. At the moment, Baltimore School Police have no policies, limited training relevant to working with youth, and insufficient oversight. The concerns in the DOJ report apply to school police, and it should trouble parents that City Schools is moving forward with redeploying officers into schools without proper policies in place. The Coalition to Reform School Discipline has expressed concerns about the lack of policies, procedures and proper oversight for the Baltimore School Police for nearly two years. We believe that clear policies and training governing how and when school police interact with students, school employees and the community are critical. We encourage City Schools to move swiftly to implement comprehensive policies and procedures with input from the community, students and advocates that ensure that students' rights are protected.

We acknowledge, and are hopeful, about the willingness of Acting School Police Chief Hamm to tackle these difficult issues. We are encouraged that school based arrests declined last year; however, there is significant work that still needs to be done to ensure that City Schools provides safe and positive learning environments for all students.

The Maryland Coalition to Reform School Discipline is committed to making school discipline practices in Maryland schools fair, appropriate, and designed to keep youth in school and on track to graduate. Unfortunately, discipline disparities plague the system and the discipline continuum also includes arrest-often for minor actions traditionally handled in the schoolhouse. Our members include direct service and public policy advocates working in support of families and communities to make schools a safe and welcoming environment, responsive to students' socio-emotional and academic needs.

Rudy Giuliani says Wisconsin riots prove Trump's right that 'law and order is out of control'

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani condemned overnight riots in Wisconsin and said they were proof that law and order was 'out of control,' while defending the black officer who shot a black man at a traffic stop in Milwaukee.

'Now we have two black men – a black perpetrator running away and a black police officer,' the former mayor said on Fox and Friends Monday.

'What was the black police off supposed to do, wait and get shot and then shoot back? Doesn’t his life matter? Doesn’t the fact that he had to take action in self defense matter?' Giuliani asked.

He then turned to Donald Trump's call for 'law and order' during his presidential campaign.

'Is the new rule I have to get shot first before I shoot back? Of course it isn’t if they can riot over something like this It makes Donald Trump’s point that law and order is out of control in America,' said Giuliani, who during his time in office oversaw a crackdown on serious as well as petty offenses.


Emergency Preparedness Night At The Shorebirds

Trump: Hillary Lacks The Stamina To Defeat ISIS

Donald Trump slammed Hillary Clinton on Monday during his anti-terrorism speech arguing that the former secretary of state “lacks the mental and physical stamina” to defeat ISIS.

While speaking at Youngstown State University in Ohio, Trump said, “Incident after incident proves again and again Hillary Clinton lacks the judgment — as said by Bernie Sanders — stability, and temperament and the moral character to lead our nation.”

“Importantly, she also lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS and all of the many adversaries we face,” Trump said. “Not only in terrorism but in trade and every other challenge we must confront to turn our great country around. It is now time for a new approach.”


Troopers Arrest Allegany Co. Man For Distribution Of Child Pornography

(CUMBERLAND, MD) – Maryland State Police today arrested an Allegany County man on charges of distribution and possession of child pornography after a five-month investigation.

The accused is identified as Patrick Ortiz, 51, of Cumberland, Md. He is charged with five counts of distribution of child pornography and five counts of possession of child pornography.

In March 2016, an investigator with the Maryland State Police Computer Crimes Unit initiated an investigation after encountering an individual on the Internet who distributed child pornography files. The files obtained over the Internet were identified as child pornography. The investigation led to the identification of an address in Cumberland, Md., where the suspect was located.

State Police Computer Crimes Unit investigators obtained a search warrant for the residence. The search warrant was served early this morning by troopers, members of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and investigators from Homeland Security Investigations and the Combined County Criminal Investigations unit.

Investigators identified the accused as the individual who distributed the child pornography via the Internet. He was arrested and charged. Computers found at the home were recovered and will be examined at the State Police Computer Crimes Unit forensic lab.

Mother Who Confronted Son During Riots, Family Displaced By Fire

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — She received national attention and even support from the president. Toya Graham was caught physically removing her teenage son from participating in the Baltimore unrest in April 2015. Now, she faces a new battle, one that could leave her family of six homeless.

Graham is no stranger to fighting battles, most notably, the one involving her 17-year-old son, Michael Singleton, more than a year ago.

In the midst of the unrest near Mondawmin Mall after the death of Freddie Gray, Toya spotted her then-16-year-old son and forced him out of the chaos between Baltimore police and dozens of teens. This time around, Toya’s battle is finding a place for her and her family to live.

The kitchen to the home where Toya and her family of six have lived since April caught fire Saturday afternoon while her son, Michael, who is now home from Job Corps, was cooking.

Michael says he was warming up a pot of cooking oil when he left for just a few minutes to go to the bathroom just off the kitchen. When he returned… “The pot is smoking, it was like smoking, so I went to go reach for it and then it burst out into flames,” Michael said.


Group Fights for Records on Clinton Foundation Donor on Panel

Conservative watchdog group Citizens United is pursuing legal action against the State Department in an attempt to compel the agency to hand over records involving a major Clinton Foundation donor who was assigned to a government intelligence advisory board despite no evident qualifications for the job.

Citizens United attorneys appeared in federal court Friday to argue the case against Rajiv Fernando, a stock trader and Democratic donor.

“The only reason why Mr. Fernando was appointed to this board of security experts was because of his big donations to the Clinton Foundation,” David Bossie, the president of Citizens United, toldABC News. “The American people have a right to see these documents before the November election.”

ABC News reported in early June that Fernando, who specialized in electronic investing, sat on the International Security Advisory Board to help advise Clinton on nuclear weapons issues while she served as secretary of state.

The panel is composed primarily of nuclear scientists, security experts, and former members of Congress, raising questions from ABC News in 2012 over Fernando’s lack of experience in the field.

“As you can see from the attached, it’s natural to ask how he got onto the board when compared to the rest of the esteemed list of members,” Jamie Mannina, a former Clinton press aide, wrote in one of the emails.


OC Likely To Follow Fed’s Lead On Looser Drone Regs

OCEAN CITY — After deeming most or all of Ocean City essentially a “no fly zone” for unmanned, remote-controlled aircraft, or drones, resort officials last week learned new federal regulation set to take effect later this month could open up more areas under certain restrictions.

Last month, the Police Commission initiated a conversation about drone use in and around Ocean City and essentially determined much of the resort area was off limits to the popular gadgets. For one thing, there was an existing prohibition from operating drones within five miles of an airport, which would encompass much of the resort area.

Other prohibitions existed on flying the unmanned aircraft over areas where large groups gather, which would encompass much of the beach and Boardwalk, particularly during the summer. In addition, there were existing restrictions on operating drones near other aircraft, including the banner planes that cruise up and down the coast.


Trump’s favorite general has master plan to wallop radical Islam

Lt. Gen. Flynn: 'We totally have lacked imagination, and we've forgotten how to win'

The former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency says the United States must get serious about defeating radical Islam, and he’s laying out a plan to do it – a plan he says is dependent upon GOP nominee Donald Trump winning the White House in November.

Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn is a frequent cable news contributor, and he spoke on behalf of Trump last month at the Republican National Convention. He is also author of “The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War on Radical Islam and Its Allies.”

In his book, Flynn said it’s long past time for the U.S. to stop “participating” in the war against radical Islam and start winning it. He believes America is just spinning its wheels while ISIS and other enemies pursue an announced, strategic campaign against the West.

“We totally have lacked imagination, and we’ve forgotten how to win, actually,” Flynn told WND and Radio America. “And we have to stop being politically correct about this enemy. We have to clearly define it.”



The reels have been pulled in, the prize money has been awarded, but what happens now? The White Marlin Open is the world’s largest billfish tournament and we were incredibly happy to hear that they have partnered with the Maryland Food Bank to use their huge following to help those in need. We spoke with Butch Langenfelder, Food Sourcing Manager of the Maryland Food Bank, to find out what happens to all of the fish caught during the tournament.

As the Food Sourcing Manager, Langenfelder is responsible for acquiring and sourcing donations from businesses and farmers, often working closely with corporations to collect donations. Butch has been working for the Maryland Food Bank for 10 years, and, after working with the White Marlin Open for the last 7 of those, he says, “as long as I am alive, I will be a part of the White Marlin Open.” The Maryland Food Bank is thrilled to work with the White Marlin Open since they rarely get fresh fish and high protein items through donations.

While anglers are not required to donate their catches, they find that many of them are excited for the opportunity to help their local community by donating their haul. The Maryland Food Bank averages 1,500 to 2,000 pounds of donated fish each year from the White Marlin Open – that’s a lot of fish! Can you imagine what it would cost the organization to purchase 2,000 pounds of fresh fish?! The best part is that all of the donations went to three local pantries: Diakonia in West Ocean City, Son’Spot Ministries in Ocean City, and St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Ocean City. “Everyone was super appreciative,” Langenfelder told us.


Hillary Clinton has no home base of support

Her economic plan would leave the U.S. flirting with recession

he’s a real nowhere girl. Sitting in her nowhere world. Making all her nowhere plans for nobody.

Poor Hillary Clinton. She’s trying so fervently to come up with at least one new, inspiring idea to jump-start a moribund economy and help the financially stressed-out middle class. She’s like the economics professor in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”: “Anyone? Anyone?” But the left’s idea cupboard is pitifully empty. They literally, not figuratively, have nothing to offer except tax, spend, spin and then hit the button again.

So in her speech on Thursday on the economy, she proposed last week’s leftover cold porridge. And it doesn’t taste any better today than when President Obama first served it up.

In her missive on the economy, Hillary pledged a jobs program “within my first hundred days in office.” Sure. But her former boss, Barack Obama, has had not just 100 but closer to 3,000 days to come up with a jobs program. Where are the jobs? Where are the pay raises? Where is the growth?


BREAKING NEWS: 9 Yr Old Dies In Boating Accident Near OC

Fifteen Guantanamo Detainees Sent to United Arab Emirates

The Pentagon has transferred 15 Guantanamo detainees to the United Arab Emirates, the largest transfer of detainees during the Obama administration. The transfer reduces to 61 the number of detainees still held at the detention facility and is another sign that the Obama administration continues pressing with efforts to reduce the prison population.

Twelve of the 15 detainees transferred to the United Arab Emirates are from Yemen, while the remaining three detainees are from Afghanistan.

Monday's transfer leaves 20 detainees at Guantanamo who have been cleared for release, the majority of whom are Yemeni. Their transfers have been problematic because they are prevented from returning to their home country and the Obama administration is being forced to look for third countries willing to take in the transferred Yemeni detainees.

The Yemeni nationals transferred to UAE are: Muhammad Ahmad Said Al-Adahi, Abdel Qadir Al-Mudafari, Zahir Umar Hamis bin Hamdun, Bashir Nasir Ali Al-Marwalah, Mahmud Abdulaziz Al-Mujahid, Majid Mahmud Abdu Ahmed, Abd Al-Muhsin Abd Al-Rab Salih Al-Busi, Abd Al-Rahman Sulayman, Saeed Ahmed Mohammed Abdullah Sarem Jarabh, Mohammed Nasir Yahi Khussrof Kazaz, Abdul Muhammad Ahmad Nassar Al-Muhajari and Ayyub Mursid Ali Salih.

The Afghan detainees transferred to UAE are Obaidullah, Muhammad Kamin, and Hamid Al-Razak.


Will Americans Truly Wake Up?

'Millions' of Volkswagen cars can be unlocked via hack

A sizeable proportion of 100 million Volkswagen Group cars sold since 1995 can be unlocked remotely by hackers, a team of researchers has said.

The problem affects a range of vehicles manufactured between 1995 and 2016 - including VWs and models from the company's Audi, Seat and Skoda brands.

A homemade radio costing about £30 is the only hardware an attacker requires.

Volkswagen said it was working with the researchers and added that several new vehicles were unaffected by the issue.

Two separate attacks affecting different models are described in a paper by researchers from the University of Birmingham and German security firm Kasper & Oswald.

With the second method, an older cryptographic scheme in some other brands was found to have a similar, albeit more complex vulnerability.

The team showed it was possible for a malicious hacker to spy on key fob signals to target cars via a cheap, homemade radio.



Is it constitutional to draw a congressional district that only one party can win?

A Crop of legal challenges to contorted legislative districts in states like Maryland will soon give the Supreme Court its best opportunity in years to consider whether maps drawn for partisan advantage deprive voters of an equal voice in elections.

Good-government groups believe the justices are poised to take up redistricting cases from North Carolina or Wisconsin — or both — in the next term. The plaintiffs are challenging the legality of one party drawing an electoral map that all but guarantees its candidates will win nearly all the seats.

Either case could have implications for Maryland, where squirrelly congressional lines have helped Democrats control seven of the state's eight House seats, but have drawn criticism from analysts, voters and the high court itself. The late Justice Antonin Scalia described Maryland's congressional map as a "crazy quilt" in a redistricting case last year.


Wow! Hillary Struggles to Fill High School Gym in City of 776,000 Democrats

Hillary held a small rally today at West Philadelphia High School in Philadelphia.
In 2015 there were 776,750 registered Democrats in Philadelphia.
But Hillary could only fill a high school gym.
And it’s a SMALL gym.
Only dozens of Democrats lined up for the small rally.
View image on TwitterView image on Twitter
It was another embarrassing display.
It’s a good thing the liberal media sent reporters – so they could help fill up the stands.

Ex-aides: Pa. AG Kane leaked files, lied for revenge

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — A perjury and obstruction trial set for closing arguments Monday pits Pennsylvania’s attorney general against two former confidants who testified that she leaked grand jury evidence to a newspaper and lied about it under oath.

Kathleen Kane, a first-term Democrat, is charged with releasing secret files to embarrass a rival prosecutor and then inventing a story to frame someone else for the leak.

“Revenge is best served cold. Her words,” a prosecutor said in opening statements, nodding to Kane at the defense table.

The tale of personal feuds and political gossip spun in the suburban Philadelphia courtroom last week often seemed petty. But there were times the testimony veered into what prosecutors called Kane’s taste for “cloak-and-dagger” techniques.

Her political consultant described being taken by her security agents to a Philadelphia parking garage to be frisked for a wire - and stripped of his wallet, cellphone and keys - all so he could have lunch with Kane at a hotel.

They met to concoct a cover story for the grand jury, consultant Josh Morrow testified Thursday at the Montgomery County trial.


Can You Relate?

Liberals rally to sink Obama trade deal

Liberals are amping up their opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on and off of Capitol Hill, amid escalating concerns that the package will get an 11th hour vote after the November elections.

Republican leaders in both chambers have said it's unlikely the mammoth Pacific Rim trade deal will reach the floor this year. But the accord remains a top priority for President Obama in the twilight of his final term, and the critics — leery of pro-TPP members in both parties — aren't taking anything for granted.

Liberal TPP opponents this month have launched a new wave of petition campaigns and fundraising drives; a free concert series is touring the country through the summer; and lawmakers on Capitol Hill are vowing to do "everything we possibly can," in the words of Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), to block a vote this year.

“Make no mistake about it, Speaker [Paul] Ryan and the administration are working hand-in-hand to plot a path for the TPP in a lame duck session of Congress," DeLauro, who's among the loudest TPP critics, said this week in an email. "They will do everything possible to try to pass the TPP after the election."

Fueling those concerns, Obama on Friday sent notice to Congress that he intends to deliver TPP implementing legislation to Capitol Hill later in the year — a maneuver dictated by the fast-track trade resolution Congress passed in 2015.


Obama Provides Clinton’s First Line of Defense Amid Scandals

Just as stunning as the unending stream of reports of scandal and subterfuge that has come to define Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state is the Obama administration’s tireless effort to keep a lid on it.

Whether it’s the Justice Department taking a pass when afforded the opportunity to investigate or the State Department steadfastly defending every controversy, President Obama's administration has emerged as a first line of defense for the woman who would carry on his legacy.

The kid-glove treatment of Mrs. Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, has helped shield her from bad headlines as Republican nominee Donald Trump has been battered by the news media over his remarks on the stump and rants on Twitter.

The administration’s protectiveness toward Mrs. Clinton has outraged Republicans and raised eyebrows among ethicists.

Aine Donovan, director of the Ethics Institute at Dartmouth College, said the Obama administration definitely has a problem with the appearance that it has failed to pursue questions of misconduct by Mrs. Clinton.


Gingrich Calls Out BLM for 'False Narratives'

Newt Gingrich on Monday called out the Black Lives Matter movement for focusing too much of its attention on "false narratives" instead of the innocent people being "killed routinely" in the streets of Chicago.

Appearing on Fox News' "Fox & Friends" show, Gingrich criticized the riots in Milwaukee over the weekend over a police-shooting that based on early reports seems justified.

Meanwhile, on the same day, five people were killed in Chicago, and over the past week, Gingrich said, 99 people were shot and 24 killed.

"I don't understand the Black Lives Matter's inability to see innocent people killed who aren't involved with a policeman," Gingrich said. "Everybody's just blasé, nobody pays attention, it's not a national scandal. … We're focusing on Baltimore, which turned out to be a false narrative, but we're not focusing on Chicago where American citizens are being killed routinely.

"Why aren't the BLM folks concerned about black, innocent civilians who are being killed by other folks in the neighborhood, and why aren't we insisting on safe neighborhoods?"

Meanwhile, the officer involved in the fatal shooting was black, and officials say cameras show the man who was killed wielded a gun and aimed it at the officer.


Dakota Pipeline Fight Revives Labor-Environmental Split

Nearly a year after President Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, controversy over another oil pipeline project threatens to deepen divisions between two key Democratic constituencies, labor unions and environmentalists.

The Dakota Access pipeline, which will carry oil from North Dakota’s Bakken shale formation through four states, has drawn vehement opposition from environmental groups. It was recently targeted by a string of arson attacks.

On the other side of the fight is organized labor, which says the pipeline is a source of high-paying union jobs. Many of the unions going to bat for the pipeline also supported Keystone XL, the rejection of which drove a wedge between segments of the labor and environmental movements.

The planned $3.7 billion, 1,172-mile pipeline will carry oil from the Bakken through North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois. All four states have signed off on the project, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave it the final regulatory go-ahead late last month.

Tensions have flared since then as environmental groups seek to block the pipeline’s construction. It was hit with three arson attacks in early August, and 12 protesters were arrested on Thursday after clashing with police.

Two environmental groups, EarthJustice and Oil Change International, are leading opposition to the project, organizing online petitions asking the Army Corps of Engineers to reject it.

The cause has drawn high-profile support from celebrities Leonardo DiCaprio, Rosario Dawson, and Shailene Woodley. Native American tribes along the pipeline route have also protested its construction.

More here

Aetna to Quit Most Obamacare Markets, Joining Major Rivals

Health insurer Aetna Inc. will stop selling individual Obamacare plans next year in 11 of the 15 states where it had been participating in the program, joining other major insurers who’ve pulled out of the government-run markets in the face of mounting losses.

It will exit markets including North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Florida, and keep selling plans in Iowa, Delaware, Nebraska and Virginia, Aetna said in a statement Monday. In most areas it’s exiting, Aetna will offer individual coverage outside of the program’s exchanges.

The decision by Aetna is the latest blow to President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy law. While it has brought coverage to millions, the new markets have proven volatile for some of the largest for-profit insurers, and UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Humana Inc. are also pulling out, after posting hundreds of millions of dollars of their own losses. Aetna said earlier this year that it expects to lose $300 million on the plans.

Next year will be the law’s fourth of providing coverage under the new markets. Aetna’s decision doesn’t affect people covered by the company this year, but when they look for 2017 coverage, they’ll need to pick a new insurer. The decision raises the prospect that some consumers will only have one insurer to choose from when they buy 2017 coverage.


Winter Weather Chatter

WINTER WEATHER PART II: Yesterday’s Propane Buzz focused entirely on the upcoming winter and some ‘forecasting’ I had come across from the weekend. This morning, I logged into and saw a brief post from Joe Bastardi.

Joe was writing about what he had just seen from the European computer models pursuant to the coming winter. He said that he is ‘fired up’ about this coming winter, which means he believes it will be cold and snowy. The European model weakens the ENSO signal even more, which “leaves the warm water ring in the Pacific and the warm western Atlantic as the dominant two factors. If this comes to pass and blocking is (in play), it offers the threat of winters that can resemble 1995-1996.” for this coming winter.

The ‘ENSO Signal’ describes the equatorial region off west of South America. ENSO stands for El Nino Southern Oscillation. When it’s a ‘cold signal’, it means that El Nino conditions are off the table, which seems to be the case for this coming year. So that is one very good thing for our chances at a cold winter. When the sea surface temperatures (SST’s) are consistently colder than normal below a certain departure from normal, that is when a La Nina event signal comes about. The models are still favoring either a weak La Nina or a La Nada…which is the cute term for neither a La Nina or El Nino influence.

If we have a weak La Nina, or La Nada, these are both good things for us and then you turn to examine what other climate driving factors are then present, which will have more ‘control’ or ‘influence’ over the weather we may experience in North America.

As Bastardi points out, which is what Matthew Holliday wrote about in the information I shared yesterday along with Al Marinaro’s charts showing what the American computer models were seeing, we’re looking at the warm SST’s off the Alaskan coast and potentially warmer waters in the western Atlantic, off the American East Coast.

More here

Sheriff Clarke: Progressive policies have hit black community like 'nuclear blast'

A top Wisconsin law enforcement official blames “progressive policies” for the behavior of violent protesters in Milwaukee who took to the streets after Saturday’s police shooting of an armed black man.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke said on Fox News' “America's Newsroom” Monday that “the growth of the welfare state” encourages the destructive behavior seen on Saturday and Sunday nights. Officials said 11 police officers were injured, two civilians were shot, six businesses were burned and several patrol cars were damaged as angry residents gathered to demonstrate two nights in a row in the wake of Sylville K. Smith’s death.

“These progressive policies have hit the black community like a nuclear blast, and until we reverse this government dependency, that’s what creates all of this – and encourages it, by the way,” Clarke said.

Clarke said “an intact family” and the ability to “self-criticize” could help curb such destructive behavior. But he said those values are being trampled by “progressive ideology.”

He added, “This dangerous ideology that has been very destructive on the black community, until we push back…this thing’s only going to get worse.”

At a news conference Monday, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said outsiders were trying to damage a great neighborhood where he lived for 11 years. Barrett said he was concerned about the economic damage being done to the Sherman Park neighborhood.

More here

Warning Re: Phone Scammer Who Says He Is A State Trooper And Demands Money

‘America’s other drug problem’

Dominick Bailey sat at his computer, scrutinizing the medication lists of patients in the geriatric unit.

A doctor had prescribed blood pressure medication for a 99-year-old woman at a dose that could cause her to faint or fall. An 84-year-old woman hospitalized for knee surgery was taking several drugs that were not meant for older patients because of their severe potential side effects.

And then there was 74-year-old Lola Cal. She had a long history of health problems, including high blood pressure and respiratory disease. She was in the hospital with pneumonia and had difficulty breathing. Her medical records showed she was on 36 medications.

“This is actually a little bit alarming,” said Bailey, a pharmacist.

[We doctors see death all around us, but we don’t like to think about our own]

He was concerned about the sheer number of drugs but even more worried that several of them — including ones to treat insomnia and pain — could suppress Cal’s breathing.

An increasing number of elderly patients nationwide are on multiple medications to treat chronic diseases, raising their chances of dangerous drug interactions and serious side effects. Often the drugs are prescribed by different specialists who don’t communicate with each other. If those patients are hospitalized, doctors making the rounds add to the list — and some of the drugs they prescribe may be unnecessary or unsuitable.

“This is America’s other drug problem — polypharmacy,” said Maristela Garcia, director of the inpatient geriatric unit at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, Calif. “And the problem is huge.”

More here