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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Saturday: Easter Egg Hunt


Bring out the whole family for a FREE fun filled day. Inflatables, face painting, hotdogs, a live DJ, snow cones, popcorn, and MORE!! Saturday April 15th, Right out front of James M. Bennett high school from 11-2pm. The hunt will begin at 12 pm, and please bring your own basket! We can't wait to see you there!

Please share with your family and friends!!

Judicial Watch Threatens to Sue 11 States With More Registered Than Eligible Voters

Judicial Watch, a government watchdog group based in Washington, D.C., is threatening to sue 11 states with counties that have more registered than eligible voters.

The group announced Tuesday it has sentnotice-of-violation letters to 11 states that combined have more than 100 counties where the number of registered voters surpasses the number of citizens of voting age. States that received the letters were Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

Judicial Watch requested that the states "conduct or implement a systematic, uniform, nondiscriminatory program to remove from the list of eligible voters the names of persons who have become ineligible to vote by reason of a change of residence, death or a disqualifying criminal conviction." States also were asked to remove from voter registration lists "noncitizens who have registered to vote unlawfully."


TOMORROW: Friday Night Dinner In Powellville

Hillary’s super witchiness helped doom her campaign, says book

'Visibly, unflinchingly p---ed off' and 'she let us know she felt that way'

Surprise, surprise: Hillary Clinton was a raving mad super witch to her campaign staffers – and she got “so mad she couldn’t think straight” after Democratic Party candidate Bernie Sanders stole Michigan from her grasp during the 2016 primary in March.

In fact, top aides say Hillary, who was “visibly p—ed off,” attacked them with a “potent mix of exhaustion and exasperation” after the unexpected and embarrassing defeat in which she lost to Sanders 49 percent to 48 percent.

During another Hillary freakout, husband and former President Bill Clinton jumped in and began ripping into her aides. He gave them an “a– chewing” on the phone and demanded that they “do their damn jobs.”

Hillary’s epic tantrums continuously plagued her campaign, according to the new book, “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign,” by political writers Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, who claim to have had “deep access to insiders from the top to the bottom of the campaign.”

The book, which is scheduled to be released next week, says Hillary’s presidential campaign was “living in denial.”


Breakfast With The Easter Bunny This Saturday

Tenderheart's Parent Support Committee is hosting...

*Breakfast with the Easter Bunny!!!*

Come join us at Applebee's in Salisbury on April 15th from 8:00-10:00 AM! Pancakes, sausage and drinks will be served, as well as a special appearance from the Easter Bunny!!!

Tickest are $8 per person

To get your tickets please call 410-742-9799, or stop by Tenderheart!

New expo celebrates Delmarva

HARRINGTON — Anglers, hunters, shooters, campers, boaters, and outdoor enthusiasts of all ages may enjoy the first Delmarva Outdoors Expo April 28-30 at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington.

When you think of the Delmarva peninsula, you think of the outdoors – hunting, fishing, the state parks and beaches. The area has something for almost everyone.

Darrell Meade, a local business owner and lover of all things outdoors, has wanted to organize an outdoors show in the area that the entire family could enjoy.


Community Meeting at Seaford High School

24 People Stuck On A Roller Coaster In Bowie. Rescue In Progress

24 people are stuck on a roller coaster at Six Flags America in Bowie.  Rescue is in progress.  Click the READ MORE button below to see the live feed.

Mother shares tragic story of losing her child to cancer

In the last moment of his life, with his breathing labored and his right lung collapsed, Nolan Scully was strong enough to open his eyes and smile at his mother.

"I love you mommy," the four-year-old told Ruth Scully, just before he died.

The grieving mother shared that story and the hours leading up to it in an emotional Facebook post last week on her son's "NolanStrong" page, dedicated to chronicling his fight against of Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare soft-tissue cancer. It has since received more than 600,000 shares and close to a million reactions.

Writing "two months since I've held you in my arms, heard how much you loved me, kissed those sweetie 'pie' lips," the post includes one of their finals conversations and a picture of Nolan on a shower rug "where once a beautiful, perfect little boy laid waiting for his Mommy."


CPS takes Ohio child after parents refuse to have their child evaluated on school’s insistence

One set of parents in Ohio is outraged after Child Protective Services took their child from his home on what many would call extremely flimsy grounds. According to these parents, CPS removed their 7-year-old child from their home after they refused to have their child diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder on the school’s insistence.

Camden Maple is a typical young boy, according to his stepmother, Katie Maple. He’s energetic and “rambunctious,” acting out in class when he gets bored “like children sometimes do.” According to her, the Bowman Primary School in Lebanon, Ohio believes his rambunctious side stems from ADHD. According to the Maples, Camden’s behavior stems from not being challenged in the classroom.

Todd Yohey, Superintended of Bowman Primary, refused to comment as to what disruptive behaviors Camden exhibited that caused the school to suggest a doctor’s visit, citing confidentiality laws.

According to the Maples, the school attempted several times to get the Maples to have their son diagnosed with ADHD and medicated, but they refused. As Katie Maple stated on her GoFundMe page, “we as parents do not have the problems the school claims to have with him, at home. We know how to deal with a rambunctious 7 year old, but the school is content with making him believe that he is a bad child, we disagree.”


Taiwan bans eating dogs and cats

Taipei (AFP) – Taiwan has banned the eating of dogs and cats, lawmakers said on Wednesday, as pressure grows to improve animal welfare after a spate of cruelty cases that stirred public outrage.

Parliament passed legislation to outlaw the consumption, purchase or possession of dog and cat meat, with offenders facing a fine of up to Tw$250,000 ($8,170).

The bill also hiked the penalty for killing or abusing animals to a maximum two-year jail term and a stiff fine of Tw$2 million, more than doubling that for repeat offenders.

“This shows that Taiwan is a society with advanced animal welfare,” said lawmaker Wang Yu-min who proposed the amendment.


IRS Offers Last-Minute Filing Tips; Use Direct Deposit for Quicker Refunds

ANNAPOLIS — With the April 18 deadline fast approaching, the Internal Revenue Service today offered taxpayers still working on their 2016 taxes a number of tips. These tips are designed to help taxpayers avoid common errors that could delay their refunds or cause other tax problems in the future.
The IRS encourages taxpayers to file electronically. Doing so, whether through e-file or IRS Free File, vastly reduces tax return errors, as the tax software does the calculations, flags common errors and prompts taxpayers for missing information. And best of all, there is a free option for everyone. Whether filing electronically or on paper, be sure to keep a copy of your tax return. In addition, the IRS offers these last-minute tips:

Report: VA hospital in D.C. putting 'patients at unnecessary risk'

(CNN) —The Department of Veterans Affairs' inspector general says practices at the Washington VA Medical Center are putting "patients at unnecessary risk," and the VA has removed the director of the hospital from his position, assigning him to temporary administrative duties.

A report out Wednesday raised several concerns related to staffing shortages, dirty storage areas and failure to keep track of medical equipment, leading to shortages that could endanger patient health.

The report identified 18 dirty sterile storage areas out of 25 reviewed at the medical center, and found that more than $150 million in equipment had not been inventoried or accounted for in the past year, which led to medical procedures being canceled or delayed.

The VA's inspector general, Michael Missal, said his "lack of confidence" in the VA's ability to address the root causes of the issues and the urgent nature of the risk to patients made it necessary to release his interim findings before the investigation is complete, a rare step.


Cruz Challenger Sold Million-Dollar Building to Donor Before Campaign Launch

Just weeks before Rep. Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke (D., Texas) officially launched his Senate campaign, he sold property valued at over $1 million to a wealthy El Paso family that has donated thousands of dollars to his political campaigns.

O'Rourke, first elected to the House of Representatives in 2012, announced last month after weeks of speculation that he would challenge Republican Ted Cruz for his Senate seat in 2018. The previous month, O'Rourke prepared for the campaign launch by unloading valuable property that his family had owned for more than three decades.

The Imperial Arms apartment complex, owned by O'Rourke through Imperial Arms LLC and valued by him at between $1,000,001 and $5,000,000, was sold on February 27, 2017, according to legal documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The recipient of the building was Patricia "Isha" Rogers, who has contributed thousands to O'Rourke since his first run for Congress in 2012 and has already given him $2,500 this cycle.

More here


BALTIMORE - The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland joined 41 other ACLU affiliates from across the country in filing 13 Freedom of Information Act lawsuits today demanding government documents about the on-the-ground implementation of President Trump's Muslim bans. There is a regional lawsuit combining claims from the states of Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland seeking records from U.S. Customs and Border Protection's offices. In particular, the ACLU seeks records related to CBP's implementation of President Trump's Muslim bans at Baltimore Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport, Dulles International Airport, Philadelphia International Airport and Pittsburgh International Airport.

"It is unacceptable for the Trump administration to ignore the public's right to know how immigration agents handled the implementation of the Muslim bans," said Susan Goering, Executive Director of the ACLU of Maryland. "Marylanders showed up in the thousands at the Dulles and BWI Marshall airports to protest the first executive order and they continue to be deeply concerned about federal anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim policies and how they affect people here in our state and across the country."

The ACLU first sought this information through FOIA requests submitted to CBP on February 2. Since the government has failed to substantively respond, the ACLU is now suing.

BOOM: Jeff Sessions Says Illegal Aliens Who Re-Enter Illegally Will Be Charged With Felony

Finally, we have someone who recognizes illegal immigration for the problem that it is, and is reacting accordingly.

Feels good after eight years of total ineptitude and limp-wristed attempts at making it seem like he’s doing something.

“For those that continue to seek improper and illegal entry into this country, be forewarned: This is a new era. This is the Trump era. The lawlessness, the abdication of the duty to enforce our immigration laws and the catch and release practices of old are over,” said Sessions.

He then laid out the punishment for re-entering the country after being deported.

From Townhall:

The attorney general announced that federal prosecutors are mandated to consider for felony prosecution people who transport or harbor illegal immigrants, and illegal immigrants who re-enter the country after being deported, especially those with a criminal history or gang affiliation. According to a memo signed Tuesday, prosecutors should, where possible, also charge illegal immigrants “with document fraud and aggravated identity theft — the latter carrying a two-year mandatory minimum sentence.”


Atlanta CBP Arrest Alleged Maryland Rapist

CBP & ICE turn over Guatemalan fugitive to MD lae enforcemnet at ATL airport
HSI and CBP at Atlanta International
Airport turn over wanted Guatemalan to
Carolina County Sheriffs' Office MD 
ATLANTA  U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working jointly with ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested an unlawfully present Guatemalan man wanted on six felonies related to rape and sexual assault in Maryland at the Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Wednesday. The man was arrested while he attempted to flee the country by boarding a flight destined for Guatemala.
Sergio Morales Soto, 19, a Guatemalan national, was arrested by a joint Border Security Enforcement Task Force (BEST) comprised of HSI special agents and CBP officers. The Hartsfield BEST exists to enhance extended border security by disrupting and dismantling transnational criminal activities transiting through the airport.
In addition to CBP and HSI, the task force includes the Drug Enforcement Administration as well as state and local partners from the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office, Clayton County Police Department, Atlanta Police Department and the Georgia Department of Revenue.

Melania Trump accepts Daily Mail damages and apology in libel case

The Daily Mail and Mail Online will pay significant damages to settle a libel claim brought by the US first lady, Melania Trump, over false claims about her work as a professional model.

An agreed statement was read out to Mr Justice Nicol in court 14 of the Royal Courts of Justice in London on behalf of both parties. Trump will receive damages and legal costs understood to be less than $3m (£2.4m). The precise amount was not disclosed in the hearing.

The statement said the article, published in a double-page spread and online last summer, included “false and defamatory claims about [Mrs Trump] which questioned the nature of her work as a professional model and republished allegations that she provided services beyond simply modelling”.


SBY MSP UPDATE: Suspect Identified and Arrested

United Airlines Bunny

New Poll: 10 Most Popular Governors in America Are Republicans

In their latest rankings of the job performance of all 50 governors, new polling via Morning Consult indicates that most voters across America overwhelmingly approve of their Republican governor. The poll, which included more than 85,000 registered voters, shows that the 10 most popular chief executives in America are Republican governors – all of which have approval ratings north of 60 percent.

In deep-blue Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker ranks as the most popular governor in America with an astounding 75 percent approval rating. Maryland’s Larry Hogan is the second most popular governor in America, with a strong 73 percent job rating – even though Democrats outnumber Republicans in the state by a 2-1 margin. Both are up for re-election in 2018.


Ocean City Fire EMS Dispatched to Tonys Pizza

Ocean City Fire EMS dispatched to Tony's Pizza, N. Division St. for a building fire. Smoke showing.

Syria Strike Fails To Follow Progressive Playbook, Leading To Unhinged Op-Eds

While the attached headline for this Washington Post opinion piece by uber-leftist Katrina Vanden Huevel is technically linked to the piece, it might have been better to call it “Trump Did Something Good, And That’s Not Something Progressives Should Agree With!!!!!”

Syria strike follows Washington’s failed foreign-policy playbook

“There’s a playbook in Washington that presidents are supposed to follow,” then-President Obama said last year, defending his decision not to unilaterally strike Syria in 2013. “It’s a playbook that comes out of the foreign-policy establishment. And the playbook prescribes responses to different events, and these responses tend to be militarized responses. Where America is directly threatened, the playbook works. But the playbook can also be a trap that can lead to bad decisions.”

Obviously, Katrina cannot place blame at Obama’s feet for 6 years of inaction, dithering, leading from behind, and general fecklessness. Nope. Trump

Last week, by impulsively ordering a military strike against a Syrian air base, President Trump both followed the playbook and fell into the trap. To be clear, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s apparent use of chemical weapons against civilians in the town of Khan Sheikhoun is a heinous crime. Almost six years of civil war in Syria have led to nearly half a million dead and millions more displaced, a humanitarian crisis worsened by the Trump administration’s cruel and senseless attempts to ban Syrian refugees. The human suffering has been horrific to watch. Yet despite the fervor of the bipartisan foreign policy establishment, which fetishizes the purported “credibility” that accompanies the use of force, it remains folly to think that Trump’s military action will help end the carnage.


Md. Lawmakers Vote To Allow Beekeepers To Shoot Black Bears That Threaten Hives

It's a cliché that happens to be true: Bears love honey. And in Maryland, lawmakers have passed a bill making it legal to shoot a black bear if it threatens a beekeeper's hive.

In February, state Del. Mike McKay testified before the Environment and Transportation Committee on behalf of the bill. He wore a vest festooned with the image of Winnie the Pooh.

Del. Herb McMillan noted McKay's attire didn't seem to square with his arguments. "I know you came in here talking about Winnie the Pooh, but the gist of the bill is that you can shoot him," McMillan said, according to The Baltimore Sun.


Prosecutor Sues Florida Governor For Pulling Her From 23 Murder Cases

The state attorney for Orange and Osceola counties has sued Gov. Rick Scott, alleging that he acted unconstitutionally when he removed her from 23 homicide cases. Scott had reassigned Aramis Ayala's cases to another state attorney by executive order because Ayala had declared her refusal to pursue the death penalty.

"The Governor did not take this drastic step because of any misconduct on Ayala's part, but simply because he disagreed with her reasoned prosecutorial determination not to seek the death penalty under current circumstances," Ayala's attorney, Roy Austin, writes in her filing.

The complaint also lists the prosecutor chosen to replace her, State Attorney Brad King, as a defendant.

"The people of Orange and Osceola Counties overwhelmingly elected State Attorney Aramis Ayala to serve as their prosecutor — not Governor Scott or State Attorney King," Austin explained in a statement.


Where Corporal Punishment Is Still Used, Its Roots Go Deep

Robbinsville High School sits in a small gap in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. Green slopes dotted with cattle hug in around the school before they rise into a thick cover of pine trees.

David Matheson is the principal here. And he's the only high school principal in the state who still performs corporal punishment. At Robbinsville, corporal punishment takes the form of paddling - a few licks on the backside Matheson delivers with a long wooden paddle.

North Carolina state law describes corporal punishment, as "The intentional infliction of physical pain upon the body of a student as a disciplinary measure."

Robbinsville High School's policy allows students to request a paddling in place of in-school-suspension, or ISS. Last year, 22 students chose it.


Black Caucus Wants One More Shot At Medical Marijuana Expansion

The head of the legislative Black Caucus wants one more shot at passing a law to expand the medical marijuana industry.

The Baltimore Sun reports that Delegate Cheryl Glenn, the caucus' head, wants Gov. Larry Hogan to issue a one-day special session for the General Assembly to pass a law that would grant more medical cannabis growing licenses.

The legislation was introduced in this year's session due to a lack of diversity within the industry -- despite a state diversity law, none of the 15 companies granted preliminary licenses were minority owned, according the the group.

Glenn said the legislative failure left black lawmakers "feeling rejected, dejected and taken for granted" by Democrats in the General Assembly.


This Is How Many Stingray Devices Exist in Trump’s America

An exclusive Vocativ survey of official documents revealed just how many of these surveillance gadgets the president has at his disposal

President Donald Trump is learning to reframe how he speaks about surveillance. On March 4, he claimed that former President Barack Obama had ordered Trump’s “wires tapped,” then later claimed “wiretap covers a lot of things,” prompting some members of Congress to try to capitalize on the moment to scrutinize what kind of spying, exactly, is legal when it comes to American citizens.

But even in this environment, there’s little hope of reforming a much clearer but unheralded form of spying: police use of stingray devices to track Americans’ phones. As Trump surveys the surveillance system at his disposal, he should know that there are at least 471 of the location-spying devices in the U.S. today, according to an exclusive Vocativ survey of known police and other official documents.

The term “stingray” is like “Kleenex” — in that it’s a brand name that became so prominent, it’s used to describe any similar product. The federal government tends to call these devices “cell-site simulators,” and they’re also known as IMSI catchers. Whatever you call them, they share a handful of things in common: They’re illegal for civilians to use; they’re expensive, ranging from some $40,000 to more than half a million dollars if you include accessories; their legality is still being figured out in our court system; and they vacuum up cell phone locations. Strikingly, only a handful of states, including California, Utah, Virginia, and Washington, actually require a warrant for their use, and to date there is no federal law that regulates them.


Clinton to Be Celebrated at Planned Parenthood Centennial Celebration

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America plans to honor Hillary Clinton at their Once-in-a-Lifetime Gala in New York City on May 2. Clinton will be awarded the Champion of the Century Award to celebrate her work on women's issues throughout her public life, according to an April 6 press release from Planned Parenthood.

100 Years Strong: The Celebration of a Century" is the official title of the centennial celebration, which will be held on May 2. Clinton is not the only big name being recognized during the event. Shonda Rhimes will be celebrated as well, recieving the Champion of Change Award for "revolutionizing the way women and issues of reproductive health — including safe, legal abortion — are portrayed on television.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards said of the event, "We’re proud to celebrate Planned Parenthood’s 100 years of strength and resilience at this moment in our history, as well as the tremendous outpouring of support for Planned Parenthood and our patients."

Clinton has an extensive relationship with the organization, previously receiving Planned Parenthood's Margaret Sanger Award, named after their founder, in 2009. She also received an endorsement and more than $22,000 in donations from the organization during her 2016 bid for president.


New York Gives Unions a Tax Break

Carve-out allows workers to deduct 100 percent of dues from income taxes

Union members will be able to fully deduct dues payments from their taxes thanks to a carve-out adopted by Democrats.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who received $4.4 million from organized labor groups over the course of his political career, signed off on a new budget that will allow union members to write off 100 percent of their dues or agency fees from their personal income taxes. The tax break is expected to return $35 million to members in 2018 and has generated controversy in the state.

Brian Sampson, president of Associated Builders & Contractors Empire State Chapter—an industry group for non-union construction workers and businesses—said that he expects the legislation to cost workers money in the short term, while boosting union coffers. The full write-off would give unions an incentive to hike dues and fees for workers, knowing that they will eventually get the money back.


Trump move ‘tremendous victory for America’s gun owners’

But ex-NRA chief urges president to 'kill' U.S. signature on U.N. treaty

Former National Rifle Association President David Keene says the Second Amendment dodged a major bullet when the vacant seat on the Supreme Court was filled by Justice Neil Gorsuch, but he warns the threat to gun ownership is far from over.

Keene gives credit to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for refusing to advance President Obama’s choice of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court and for doing what was necessary to get Gorsuch confirmed.

“If Garland had won confirmation, that would have reversed the majority favoring the Second Amendment as defined by the founders and as ratified by the Supreme Court in the Heller decision some years ago as an individual right to keep and bear arms,” Keene told WND and Radio America.

“Preventing the Garland confirmation and replacing Antonin Scalia with Justice Gorsuch is a tremendous victory for America’s gun owners, for believers in freedom and for the Second Amendment,” he said.


Report: Trump Deporting 4000 Somali Migrants

An estimated 4,000 Somali migrants in the U.S. are expected to be deported by President Donald Trump’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

In an interview, Somalia’s Ambassador to the U.S. Ahmed Isse Awad said the number of Somalis ICE is looking to deport is at least 4,000, with the vast majority not being currently held in immigration detention centers.

“We learned through immigration sources that the total number of the Somalis that are in the books of [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] to be removed are close to 4,000,” Awad told Voice of America.

Over the course of the next few months, Awad said some 300 Somalis would be deported, saying he was waiting for information as to who those deportees would be.


OC Church Rebuilding Effort Begins Four Years After Tragic Fire

OCEAN CITY – The vestry of St. Paul’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church awarded a contract to Gillis Gilkerson Inc. last month to begin construction on a two-story addition, which will replace the rectory that was destroyed in a fire nearly four years ago.

Tom Shuster, a member of the church’s reconstruction team, said the project will begin this month, sometime after the team’s April 12 preconstruction meeting.

“There is a tentative schedule for the construction,” he said.

Crews will first focus their efforts on adding a handicap-accessible restroom to Dewees Hall, the parish’s community hall. Work to build an addition off the church’s north-facing wall will begin in May.


Father shot, killed in front of son while trying to help strangers in GA

GAINESVILLE, GA (CNN/WSB) – A family is grieving their father who was shot and killed in front of his son while trying to help two people who waved them down.

“We stopped thinking they needed help,” says Tyler Gayton.

15-year-old Gayton says his dad, Dennis, was killed thinking two stranded men needed a ride.

“He came up, put his head in the window and pulled out the gun and put in his face,” says Tyler. “My dad grabbed it, pointed away from his body. Then the guy jerked back and shot him.”

Tyler says the man tried shooting him, too. He was grazed in the neck by a bullet.

Tyler’s mom Jonie was on the phone and heard the commotion.

“I didn’t even get to say goodbye,” says Jonie.


Company’s Plan To Place 12 Cell Towers Along Boardwalk Rejected

OCEAN CITY — Continuing a recent recurring theme about perceived visual pollution along the beachfront, the Ocean City Mayor and Council this week rejected a proposal to install as many 12 new cell phone towers on the Boardwalk.

As far back as 2015, private sector company Crown Castle announced a proposal to install as many as 90 Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS), or cell phone towers throughout the town, some as tall as 38 feet, in an effort to expand bandwidth, relieve congestion and improve service for cell phones and other mobile devices in the resort. Earlier this year, the Mayor and Council reached an agreement with Crown Castle allowing the company to install up to 90 of the towers in the public right-of-way throughout the resort after gaining assurances they would not be installed in certain residential areas.

That process is ongoing with the new towers sprouting up at locations all over the resort in recent weeks, but apparently the proposed 90 towers will not meet the town’s growing needs for cell phone service, particularly in the summer when thousands are on their phones and mobiles devices on the beach and Boardwalk.


Officials say Kushner taking unprecedented role to interfere in foreign policy matters

White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner is leading an unprecedented effort to meddle in the White House's National Security Council, causing mayhem for senior staff who say the president's son-in-law is interfering in key foreign policy debates, according to Trump administration officials who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.

Kushner has taken aggressive action to micro-manage the NSC, overshadowing even recently installed National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, according to sources both inside and outside the White House who described Kushner's behavior as highly unusual and damaging to the country's national security infrastructure.

Never before has a White House permitted such a figure to intervene in the NSC, which is traditionally given leeway to investigate foreign policy matters and bring advice to the president.

Sources who spoke to the Free Beacon described wide-ranging frustration at the NSC over Kushner's influence over some of the most important foreign policy portfolios, such as Iraq, Israel, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and China, among others.

Senior NSC staff are finding their hands tied when it comes to performing even perfunctory duties, such as talking points and statements on high profile issues that must go through Kushner for approval. Sources who spoke to the Free Beacon described this level of involvement as kneecapping the NSC and contributing to its difficulties formulating policy.

More here

Irish farmers go viral for their amazingly difficult accents

The pair from Brandon in West Kerry were interviewed about a serious matter – roughly 60 sheep were likely stolen from their flocks. But even people who were born and raised in Ireland have trouble understanding what they were saying.

Mike Joe O’Shea estimates that at least 45 of his ewes were stolen and his neighbor Richie Griffin thinks at least ten of his have been taken too.

“Whoever is doing it knows what he’s doing,” Griffin concluded.


Soros-Funded Group Chaired By Elizabeth Warren’s Daughter Fighting Voter Integrity Lawsuits

An organization funded by liberal billionaire George Soros and chaired by Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren's daughter is fighting lawsuits brought forth by election integrity groups in a number of cities.

Demos, a New York City-based progressive public policy organization, is assisting unions in pushing back against election lawsuits filed in North Carolina and Florida. The group is also writing letters of interest in another lawsuit in Pennsylvania. Amelia Warren Tyagi, Warren's daughter, chairsthe board of Demos.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation, an Indiana-based legal group that litigates to protect election integrity, filed a lawsuit against Wake County, N.C., on behalf of Voter Integrity Project NC, a research organization dedicated to fair elections, after the county had failed to accurately maintain their voter rolls.

The county also failed to provide records related to the maintenance of their voter rolls and possible noncitizen voting, as required by federal law.

"According to publicly-available data, Wake County has more registered voters on the rolls eligible to cast a ballot than it has citizens who are alive," PILF wrote.

More here

AG Jeff Sessions: 'Trump Era' of Stricter Immigration Enforcement Has Begun

Attorney General Jeff Sessions heralded the start of the "Trump era" of immigration by revealing stricter punishments for illegal immigrants in Arizona Tuesday.

"For those that continue to seek improper and illegal entry into this country, be forewarned: This is a new era. This is the Trump era," Sessions told immigration officials, according to ABC News.

"The lawlessness, the abdication of the duty to enforce our immigration laws, and the catch and release practices of old are over."

He also assured Customs and Border Protection agents that he will "bring the full weight of both the immigration courts and federal criminal enforcement to combat this attack on our national security and sovereignty."


Schumer: Tax Reform Won't Be Easy Unless Trump Releases His Returns

Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., warned President Donald Trump must release his tax returns if he is going to try and push through a comprehensive tax reform package.

"It's going to make tax reform much harder" if Trump doesn't release his returns, Schumer said.

Anytime the president proposes something on tax reform, "the average American is going to say, 'Oh, he's not doing that because it's good for me, he's doing it because it's good for him.' So, for his own good, he ought to make them public."

More here

Hogan expected to sign Md. bill that redefines rape

WASHINGTON — Among the bills the Maryland General Assembly has sent to the governor’s desk is a measure that would fundamentally change how the law defines rape.

Supporters of the measure expect Gov. Larry Hogan to sign the bill, which makes clear that rape victims don’t have to physically fight an attacker in order for prosecutors to bring charges.

The bill is called the “No Means No” law and is co-sponsored by Del. Kathleen Dumais, a Democrat representing Maryland’s 15th District.

Under current law, advocates said, there have been horrific cases of rape in which prosecutors declined to pursue charges against the attacker.


‘We Need a Change in Direction from this Speaker or We Need a New Speaker’

Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI) said that if the House of Representatives does not change course, Republicans might need a new Speaker.

The Michigan conservative responded to a question about gridlock in Washington, saying, “We need either a change in direction from this speaker, or we need a new speaker.”

Rep. Amash added that the speaker should be replaced with someone who is “nonpartisan.”

Congressman Amash also criticized the House Republican leadership. He said, “When we go home for the weekend, they give us a set of talking points. They say, ‘Here are your talking points.’ That’s not the way you’re supposed to represent a community.”

Congressman Amash echoes the sentiment of other conservatives who wonder if Ryan should lead the House.

More here

Morning Consult Poll: Chris Christie Most Unpopular Gov in Nation

Chris Christie is the most unpopular governor in America, a survey showed Tuesday.

In the Morning Consult Governor Approval rankings, just 25 percent of voters in New Jersey approve of Republican Gov. Christie, while 71 percent disapprove.

In the race to the bottom, Christie has surpassed Kansas GOP Gov. Sam Brownback and Democratic Connecticut Gov. Dan Mallory, both whom tie with 66 percent disapproval among their constituents, the survey found.


Is O'Reilly Going Off Fox?

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly announced Tuesday he's taking a long-planned vacation, but New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman reportedthere's speculation the embattled star may be gone for good.

According to Sherman, O'Reilly's decision to go off the air amid a reported sex harassment scandal and advertiser boycott "has the appearance of a suspension."

O'Reilly gave no hint of that on his top-rated show, "The O'Reilly Factor."

"Around this time of year, grab some vacation because it's spring and Easter time," he said in his "Tip of the Day" segment Tuesday night. "Last fall I booked a trip that should be terrific, not going to tell you where it is, but we have a contest on… I'll have a full report when I return."


The Worst Idea in Government Management: Pay for Performance

It hasn't worked that well in business. In the public sector, it has sometimes been disastrous.

I started paying attention to business management in the late 1970s, and my timing could not have been better. I saw all the business fads of the late 20th century paraded before me, from "management by objectives," "Theory Z" and "in search of excellence" through "reengineering the corporation," "good to great" and "Six Sigma." At one point I wondered, are all these management theories actually the same ideas with new titles?

The fads seemed harmless enough -- and may have been useful if they encouraged executives to think about their businesses in new ways. But one struck me, then and now, as dangerous. And that was "pay for performance." Even more frightening, it has made its way into government, with terrible consequences.

In one sense, there's nothing new about paying people for performance. Factories have long paid for "piece work" -- that is, for each unit a worker turns out. Salespeople often receive commissions, which are a share of each sale. And if you tip a waiter, a hair stylist or a parking attendant, you're paying for performance.


AG Sessions vows to confront Cartels, Gangs

Attorney General Jeff Sessions called Tuesday for a new focus on immigration enforcement during his first visit as the nation’s top law enforcement officer to the U.S.-Mexico border, vowing to confront the gangs and cartels plaguing the region and declaring: “This is a new era, this is the Trump era.”

Sessions met with law enforcement, members of the military and border agents in Nogales, Ariz., urging their confidence in the administration as they push to implement policies boosting agents working to secure the southern border. The tone of his comments at times echoed the explicit rhetoric President Trump himself used when discussing illegal immigration and cartels during the campaign.

“When we talk about MS-13 and the cartels, what do we mean? We mean international criminal organizations that turn cities and suburbs into warzones, that rape and kill innocent civilians, and who profit by smuggling poison and other human beings across our borders,” Sessions said.


Poll: Americans Support US Missile Attack in Syria

Sixty-six percent of American voters support the U.S. missile attack on a Syrian airbase, while 24 percent oppose it a new Morning Consult/Politico poll reveals.

Here are the highlights of the national survey, which was conducted after President Donald Trump ordered missile strikes at a Syrian airbase.

Trump's Border Wall will get its start in San Diego County

President Trump’s proposed wall with Mexico will kick off in the San Diego border community of Otay Mesa, U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed Monday.

The community is home to one of two border crossings in San Diego and will be the site where 20 chosen bidders will erect prototypes of the envisioned wall. Winners will be selected around June 1, the agency said.

While funding for the massive infrastructure project is still not set, up to 450 companiessubmitted designs last week. The agency’s bid said roughly 20 companies will be selected to build the prototypes — 30 feet long and up to 30 feet high.


BREAKING: Four-Star QB Desue Picks Terps

Bishop Sullivan (Va.) four-star quarterback Tyler DeSue breaks down why he chose the Terps.

Maryland's search for a quarterback in the Class of 2018 is complete. Bishop Sullivan (Va.) four-star quarterback Tyler DeSue has committed to the Terrapins, he announced Wednesday. DeSue becomes the second commitment for Maryland's 2018 class. He breaks down his decision with 247Sports.

“The reason I picked Maryland is the vibe at the school,” DeSue told IMS before his announcement. “Everyone on the team is on the same page with what they want to do with the program. The coaching staff also fits what I do now, mainly the offensive scheme.”

DeSue took his first unofficial visit to College Park on Feb. 18, the day Maryland offered him a scholarship. Hosted by the whole staff, the nation's No. 12 dual-threat quarterback was impressed by offensive coordinator Walt Bell's view of him in Bell's offense.


Lawmakers Approve Important Legislation In Governor Hogan’s Robust, Bipartisan 2017 Legislative Agenda

2017 Session Ends With Governor Hogan’s Top Priorities Receiving Final Passage, Legislation to Improve Lives of All Marylanders

“It was an incredibly successful session for the people of Maryland. Almost our entire package was enacted. Tonight we were very excited to see our jobs bill pass, which was one of our most important priorities, we also got our ethics bill passed, we got our roads bill passed.” - Governor Larry Hogan, April 11, 2017

More Jobs For Marylanders Act
The More Jobs For Marylanders Act Of 2017 Provides Tax Credits For Specified Business Entities That Locate Their Businesses In Qualified Target Areas Across The State; Eligible Existing Business Entities In These Target Areas Are Eligible For Tax Credits For New Jobs They Create. “An existing business entity may apply to be certified as a qualified business entity if the existing business entity increases the number of qualified positions as required under subsection (a) of this subsection for an eligible project in a Tier I or Tier II county...”Subject to subsections (d) and (e) of this section, the Department may issue a tax credit certificate to a qualified business entity in an amount not to exceed the amount determined under section (b) (2) of this section. In determining the allocation of the aggregate tax credit amounts available in a fiscal year as provided under subsection (d) of this section, the Department shall give priority to applications for eligible projects in a Tier 1 county, as defined under §6-801 of the Economic Development Article.” (“Senate Bill 317,” Maryland General Assembly, 4/10/17)

Public Integrity Act Of 2017
The Public Integrity Act Of 2017 Includes Provisions To Bar Members Of The General Assembly And State Officials From Lobbying For One Year After Leaving State Service And Prohibits Legislators From Participating In Legislative Action For Which They Have A Conflict Of Interest. “...A former member of the General Assembly may not assist or represent another party for compensation in a matter that is the subject of legislative action for 1 calendar year after the member leaves office; and a former Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller, or State Treasurer may not assist or represent another party for compensation in a matter that is the subject of legislative action for 1 calendar year after the official leaves State office… An interest of a member of the General Assembly conflicts with the public interest if the legislator’s interest tends to impair the legislator’s independence of judgement. The conflict disqualifies the legislator from participating in any legislative action, or otherwise attempting to influence any legislation, to which the conflict relates.” (“House Bill 879,” Maryland General Assembly, 3/20/17)

Road Kill Bill Repeal
Road Kill Bill Repeal Allows For The Construction Of 73 Top Priority Transportation Projects Across The State; Legislation Establishes A Two Year Workgroup To Study Feasibility Of A Transportation Scoring System In Maryland. “There is a Workgroup on the Maryland Open Transportation Investment Decision Act… The Workgroup shall: evaluate the model required under § 2-103.7(b) of the Transportation Article, as enacted by this Act; evaluate how prioritizing major transportation projects with higher scores for inclusion in the Consolidated Transportation Program over major transportation projects with lower scores applies to the Consolidated Transportation Program in fiscal years 2019 and 2020; evaluate the prioritization process in Virginia and North Carolina and the applicability of these processes in Maryland; evaluate regional prioritization processes and the applicability of these processes in Maryland; and make recommendations regarding whether modifications or changes to § 2-103.7 of the Transportation Article should be made… On or before January 1, 2019, the Workgroup shall report its findings and recommendations to the Governor and, in accordance with § 2-1246 of the State Government Article and the General Assembly.” (“Senate Bill 307,” Maryland General Assembly, 3/15/17)

Distribution Of Controlled Dangerous Substances - Fentanyl
Legislation Subjects Individuals To A Felony Charge And Up To 10 Years In Prison If Convicted Of Distributing Or Dispensing Fentanyl. “Except as otherwise provided in this article, a person may not: distribute or dispense a controlled dangerous substance; or possess a controlled dangerous substance in sufficient quantity reasonably to indicate under all circumstances an intent to distribute or dispense a controlled dangerous substance… A person may not knowingly violate § 5-602 of this subtitle with: a mixture that contains heroin and a detectable amount of fentanyl or any analogue of fentanyl; or fentanyl or any analogue of fentanyl. A person who violates this section is guilty of a felony and, in addition to any other penalty imposed for a violation of § 5-602 of this subtitle, on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years. A sentence imposed under this section shall be consecutive to and not concurrent with any other sentence imposed under any other provision of law.” (“Senate Bill 539,” Maryland General Assembly, 3/14/17)

The Prescriber Limits Act Of 2017
The Prescriber Limits Act Of 2017 Limits The Amount Of Opioids A Health Care Provider Can Prescribe To Patients. “On treatment for pain, a health care provider, based on the clinical judgement of the health care provider, shall prescribe: The lowest effective dose of an opioid ; and A quantity that is no greater than the quantity needed for the expected duration of pain severe enough to require an opioid that is a controlled dangerous substance unless the opioid is prescribed to treat: A substance-related disorder; Pain associated with a cancer diagnosis; Pain experienced while the patient is receiving end-of-life, hospice, or palliative care services; or chronic pain. The dosage, quantity, and duration of an opioid prescribed under subsection (b) of this section shall be based on an evidence-based clinical guideline for prescribing controlled dangerous substances that is appropriate for: The health care service delivery setting for the patient; The type of health care services required by the patient; and The age and health status of the patient. A violation of subsection (b) of this section is grounds for disciplinary action by the health occupations board that regulates the health care provider who commits the violation.” (“House Bill 1432,”Maryland General Assembly, 3/27/17)

Overdose Prevention Act
The HOPE Act Includes A Provision From The Overdose Prevention Act To Establish A Standing Order Allowing Licensed Health Care Providers To Prescribe And Dispense Naloxone; Provision From The Overdose Prevention Act To Allow Local Fatality Review Teams To Review Nonfatal Data Is Also Included In The HOPE Act. “A licensed health care provider with prescribing authority may prescribe and dispense naloxone by issuing a standing order if the licensed health care provider: Is employed by the Department or a local health department; or Has a written agreement with an authorized private or public entity under § 13–3104 of this subtitle…To achieve its purpose, each local team shall: In consultation with the Department, establish and implement a protocol for the local team; Set as its goal the investigation of drug overdose deaths in accordance with national standards; Meet at least quarterly to review the status of drug overdose death cases and information on nonfatal overdoses, recommend actions to improve coordination of services and investigations among member agencies, and recommend actions within the member agencies to prevent drug overdose deaths; Collect and maintain data as required by the Department; and Provide requested reports to the Department, including: Discussion of individual cases; Steps taken to improve coordination of services and investigations; Steps taken to implement changes recommended by the local team within member agencies; and Recommendations on needed changes to State and local laws, policies, or practices to prevent drug overdose deaths.” (“Senate Bill 967,” Maryland General Assembly, 3/23/17; “House Bill 1329,” Maryland General Assembly, 3/27/17)

Protecting Victims Of Sex Trafficking Act Of 2017
The Protecting Victims Of Sex Trafficking Act Further Defines The Definition Of Sexual Abuse Relating To Child Abuse To Include The Sex Trafficking Of A Child. “‘Sex trafficking’ means the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a child for the purpose of a commercial sex act. ‘ Sexual abuse’ means any act that involves: sexual molestation or exploitation of a child by a parent or other person who has permanent or temporary care or custody or responsibility for supervision of a child, or by any household or family member; or sextrafficking of a child.” (“Senate Bill 308,” Maryland General Assembly, 3/1/20/17)

EARN Maryland Program
Governor Hogan Doubled Maryland’s Investment In The Nationally Recognized EARN Maryland Program From $4 Million To $8 Million. $3 million of the newly invested funds will be used to increase cybersecurity and information technology training partnerships; $1 million of the newly invested funds will focus on workforce training partnerships for Tier One green industries. (Maryland Department Of Budget And Management)

Fiscal Responsibility Act Of 2017
Subject to subparagraph (II) of this paragraph, for each fiscal year, if the bureau’s estimate of the share of general fund revenues from nonwithholding income tax revenues is above the 10–year average share, the bureau shall adjust the revenue estimate by reducing general fund revenues from nonwithholding income tax revenues by an amount sufficient to align the estimated share of general fund revenues from nonwithholding income tax revenues with the 10–year average share of general fund revenues from nonwithholding income taxes. The adjustment made under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph may not exceed 2% of total general fund revenues.” (“House Bill 503,” Maryland General Assembly, 3/31/17)

Senator Adelaide C. Eckardt, District 37 2017 End of Session Update

Senator Adelaide C. Eckardt, District 37
2017 End of Session Update

The Maryland General Assembly adjourned on April 10, 2017. I want to thank all those who participated in this year’s legislative process. Despite some areas of disagreement, both the administration and the General Assembly were able to find common ground and work in a bipartisan fashion on many important policy initiatives to benefit Marylanders. This has been a very productive session. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office to discuss legislation during the interim.
Photo: Meg Maddox
Fiscal Year 2018 Budget

The FY 2018 Budget $43.63 budget passed and for the third year in a row, there will be no new taxes passed by the Maryland General Assembly. We worked to stop more than 90% of the new proposed mandated spending. Governor Hogan has made an historic investment in K-12 public education by funding $6.4 billion in the FY18 Budget. The Governor has invested nearly $19 billion in K-12 public education since taking office. The General Assembly worked together to preserve the Governor’s proposed investments to allow the number of P-TECH schools in the State to double and to secure funding to allow for the continuation of the bipartisan BOOST program. In FY18 Budget, the Governor invested over $20 million to tackle Maryland’s heroin and opioid crisis, that will go toward treatment, recovery, and enforcement. Over $1 billion in the budget will go towards preserving our most precious natural asset, the Chesapeake Bay. We continue to achieve fiscal responsibility to improve the quality of life for all citizens.
Senator Eckardt’s 2017 Passed Sponsored Legislation 

Senate Bill 343 – Bay Restoration Fund – Eligible Costs – Expansion
SB 343 expands the Bay Restoration Fund (BRF) eligible costs to include 100% BRF grant eligibility for secondary wastewater treatment plants that are upgrading to Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) technology. This bill allows 100% of the cost to upgrade from secondary to ENR treatment. Upgrades to minor Waste Water Treatment Plants will be significantly more affordable for users. SB 343 shall take effect July 1, 2017.
Senate Bill 436 – Income Tax – Credit for Nurse Practitioner or Licensed Physician in Preceptorship Program – Alterations
Senate Bill 436 makes alterations to last year’s bill that makes an income tax credit available for Nurse Practitioners. Clarifications to this bill includes language that ensures the Board of Nursing would asses a separate $15 fee for the renewal for the Nurse Practitioner and corrects the number of hours for a community-based clinical training for the Nurse Practitioners.  


Best Dog Joke Ever!!! ( With apology to the dog)

Hillary Clinton called Bill Clinton into her office one day and said,
"Bill, I have a plan to win back Middle America in 2017!"

"Great Hillary, but how?" asked Bill.

"We'll get some cheesy clothes and shoes, like most Middle Class Americans wear, then stop at the pound and pick up a Labrador retriever. Then, we'll go to a nice old country bar in Montana and show them how much admiration and respect we have for the hard working people living there."

So they did, and found just the place they were looking for in Bozeman, Montana. With the dog in tow, they walked inside and stepped up to the bar.
The Bartender took a step back and said, "Hey! Aren't you Bill and Hillary Clinton?"

"Yes we are!" said Hillary, "And what a lovely town you have here. We were passing through and Bill suggested we stop and take in some local color."

They ordered a round of whiskey for the whole bar, and started chatting up a storm with anyone who would listen.

A few minutes later, a grizzled old rancher came in, Walked up to the Labrador, lifted up its tail, looked underneath, Shrugged his shoulders and walked out.

A few moments later, In came another old rancher. He walked up to the dog, Lifted up its tail, looked underneath, scratched his head And left the bar.

For the next hour, another dozen ranchers came in, Lifted the dog's tail, and left shaking their heads.

Finally, Hillary asked, "Why did all those old ranchers come In and look under the dog's tail? Is it some sort of Montana custom?"

"Lord no," said the bartender. "Someone's out there running around town, claiming there's a Labrador Retriever In here with two assholes!"