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Saturday, April 21, 2018

News in Numbers

Between $8.4 billion and $13.5 billion

APRIL 20, 2018
Estimate of annual online sales tax revenue that states are missing out on because the federal government bans them from collecting it. The Supreme Court heard a case this week that challenges that ban, but some of the justices raised concerns about ending it.
Source: Governing


APRIL 19, 2018
State funding the Tennessee House revoked this week from the city of Memphis as punishment for removing Confederate monuments last year.
Source: the Tennessean


APRIL 18, 2018
Chicago police officers who have bought homes in high-crime parts of the South and West sides since the mayor revived a program six months ago that offers them $30,000 loans to do so. If they live there for a decade, they don't have to repay the loan.

3 states

APRIL 17, 2018
What California would be divided into if voters approve a proposed ballot measure. Supporters say they have collected enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

$1.4 trillion

APRIL 16, 2018
Funding deficit for state public pension systems in fiscal 2016, which is a record high and a nearly $300 billion increase from 2015.
Source: Reuters


APRIL 13, 2018
Increase in homeownership among black Americans since the Fair Housing Act was signed 50 years ago. Housing advocates say progress has been slow because of the federal government's varied enforcement of the law over the years.
Source: Governing


APRIL 12, 2018
Year the Equal Rights Amendment was introduced in Congress. Almost half a century later, it's still not in the U.S. Constitution because at least two more states still need to ratify it. On Tuesday, which was Equal Pay Day, Republicans in the Arizona Legislature blocked an attempt to debate the gender equality amendment.

Daily Government Quotes

I am still waiting for someone to produce pieces of the planes that opened the doors for US Citizens to lose all privacy rights (from the conspiracy theorist in me).

APRIL 19, 2018
Charlotte, N.C, City Councilmember LaWana Mayfield, in a Facebook post sharing an article from titled "European Scientific Journal Concludes 9/11 Was A Controlled Demolition." Her comments have sparked a nationwide backlash and led to calls for her resignation.

I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them.

APRIL 18, 2018
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, when asked about teachers leaving school to protest at the statehouse. He has since apologized after lawmakers from both parties condemned his comments.

Philly is superficially progressive. We want to be better but we are unwilling as a community to do the tough work in reconciliation of our past.

APRIL 17, 2018
Erica Atwood, former executive director of the Philadelphia Police Advisory Commission, after two black men were arrested for refusing to leave a Starbucks where they were waiting to meet a friend. The incident attracted national attention and set off protests outside the store.

When a deputy shoots somebody, which way is better financially? To cripple them or kill them? Absolutely [to kill them].

APRIL 16, 2018
Sheriff Donny Youngblood of Kern County, Calif., caught on a recently released 2006 tape talking to a union of jail employees. In 2015, The Guardian found that the county had the nation's highest per capita rate of killings by police officers. He is up for reelection this year.

I understand I may lose support over the decision to sign these bills today, but those are consequences I am prepared to live with.

APRIL 13, 2018
Vermont GOP Gov. Phil Scott, as he signed gun control bills on Wednesday -- in front of an angry crowd -- after campaigning against more firearm regulations. He says his stance changed earlier this year when authorities stopped a teenager's plan for a school shooting in the state.

When you go back and forth every eight years about whether you are going to enforce the [Fair Housing Act] or how you are going to fund HUD, of course you are not going to make any progress.

APRIL 12, 2018
Kate Scott, deputy director of the Equal Rights Center. In the 50 years since the law was signed, homeownership among African-Americans -- one of the Fair Housing Act's goals -- has increased just .1 percent.
Source: Governing

Women are told they are not worth as much as men. Allowing prior salary to justify a wage differential perpetuates this message.

APRIL 11, 2018
Federal Judge Stephen Reinhardt, who died last month. Before his death, he wrote this court opinion -- revealed this week -- in which he ruled that employers can't consider salary histories when deciding pay.

CNN hounds Sean Hannity, but still employs serial plagiarizer Fareed Zakaria

CNN journalists are scrutinizing the ethical standards of Fox News and one of its primetime hosts, Sean Hannity, even though CNN continues to employ and provide a large platform for Fareed Zakaria, who media ethics experts have deemed a serial plagiarist.

Hannity is catching flak after it was revealed Monday that he sought legal consultation from Michael Cohen, the longtime personal attorney to President Trump and who is responsible for paying out hush money to women claiming to have had affairs several years ago with the president.


This is Ridiculous

Maggots With a Side of Dirt? What Privatization Does to Prison Food

The meals served to prisoners have been a catalyst for riots throughout history. Prison advocates and workers say outsourcing the kitchens to companies only makes them worse.

In the popular imagination, prison food is disgusting. The images crop up in films and TV shows as unidentifiable cafeteria slop or a sweaty slab of bologna on two pieces of white bread shoved through a cell door.

But the reality is sometimes even worse.

Incarcerated people are six times more likely to contract foodborne illnesses than people on the outside. Across the country, prisonerscomplain of hunger, sometimes intense enough that it drives them to eat toothpaste and toilet paper. They have been served rancid chicken, food infested with maggots, cake that was nibbled on by rats. Problems with food -- both in terms of quantity and quality -- have been the basis ofprison riots throughout history.

To be fair, running a prison kitchen is no simple task. Staff oversee dozens of inmate kitchen workers and feed hundreds or thousands of prisoners at every meal.


Senators doubt Russia will retaliate over Syria strikes

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is one of many senators who doesn't expect Russia to retaliate against the U.S. over the recent strikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.

"No, I think they're very pleased with the strikes over the weekend,” Graham told theWashington Examiner.

Russia issued a series of increasingly-dire warnings last week, when President Trump promised to make Assad pay a “big price” after humanitarian groups reported hundreds of casualties resulting from a chemical weapons attack outside of Damascus. Afterward, U.N. officials warned repeatedly of a potentially-catastrophic clash brewing between Russia and the U.S.


As War Drums Beat for Syria, Remember, Lies And Propaganda Started Nearly Every War In US History

War is one of the most primitive and senseless manifestations of the human experience, so naturally, most sane people with families, ambitions and kind hearts want nothing to do with such things. Unfortunately, as we are seeing with the Syrian escalation, governments thrive on war, as it gives them a pressing excuse to grab more power and take extrajudicial measures—both at home and abroad.

To get around the obstacle of public opinion, governments have an extensive history of lying their way into war. This is hard to believe for people who think that government has their best interest in mind, but it is something that rulers have been doing since the beginning of time. In the modern United States, people are led to believe that the establishment accidentally flounders its way into war with the good intentions of protecting the country from harm or liberating an ally in distress.

This strategy of deception was illustrated by the Nazi propagandist Herman Goering, who famously said:

“Of course the people don’t want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”


Karl Lagerfeld says he is FED UP with the Me Too movement

Karl Lagerfeld has slammed the #MeToo movement while revealing that he is 'fed up' with models and actresses speaking up about the sexual harassment they have faced over the years.

In an interview with French magazine Numéro, the 84-year-old German designer suggested that models should know what they are getting into, while defending former Interview magazine creative director Karl Templer, who has been accused of 'aggressively' pulling down models' underwear without asking them.

'If you don't want someone pulling down your panties, don't become a model,' he said. 'Join a nunnery, there'll always be a place for you in the convent. They're recruiting even!' he said.


Media’s Linguistic Gymnastics Mislead on Gaza Protests

As Adam Johnson (, 4/9/18) writes, media have engaged in extraordinary mental gymnastics to describe the Israeli military’s deliberate killing of Palestinian protesters in the Great Return March, framing long-distance sniper shootings as “clashes” in order to misleadingly “give the reader the impression of two equal warring sides.”

Equally torturous are the linguistic contortions news outlets have performed to avoid stating the simple fact that Israel is shooting hundreds of demonstrators with live ammunition (Electronic Intifada,4/6/18), killing 30 (Reuters, 4/9/18) and injuring close to 2,000. An Associated Press headline (4/6/18) said, “Palestinian Protesters Burn Tires, Sending Smoke Billowing at Gaza/Israel Border; Israeli Troops Fire Back Sporadically.” That’s a logical impossibility: Israeli forces cannot “fire back” at people who aren’t firing at them. The sentence rests on the absurd assumption that burning tires is the same as shooting people.

Another AP headline (4/7/18) said, “Gaza Buries Journalist Who Died After Covering Mass Protests,” a reference to Palestinian journalist Yasser Murtaja, whom Israel shot while he filmed Friday’s march in Gaza. Readers could conclude from the headline that Murtaja covered the protests and then went home and died of natural causes. In reality, he died because an Israeli sniper shot him. Obfuscating that absolves Israel.


Study reveals sobering news on how much you should be drinking

Here’s some sobering news: A large international study says adults should average no more than one alcoholic drink per day, and that means drinking guidelines in many countries may be far too loose.

The study found that people who down more than seven drinks a week can expect to die sooner than those who drink less.

“What this is saying is, if you’re really concerned about your longevity, don’t have more than a drink a day,” said David Jernigan, a Johns Hopkins University alcohol researcher who was not involved in the study.


Ten glasses of wine a week can cut two years off life, experts warn

Drinking ten glasses of wine a week can cut life expectancy by two years, a major study says.

Even a daily glass of wine or pint of beer significantly raises the risk of heart disease and stroke.

This likelihood of an early death increases the more alcohol is consumed, the Cambridge-led researchers said.

Experts concluded that, for a 40-year-old, each unit above guidelines takes away, on average, about 15 minutes of their life. That is about the same as smoking one cigarette.

The findings support recently lowered guidelines in the UK, which suggest there is no safe level and recommend that both men and women’s drinking should not exceed 14 units a week.


Gallup: Drop in U.S. Catholic Church Attendance Under Pope Francis Sharpest in Decades

Catholic church attendance in the United States fell by six percent between the pontificates of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, the sharpest drop in decades, a new Gallup poll has revealed.

An average of 39 percent of U.S. Catholics attended church weekly during the heart of the Francis papacy, from 2014 to 2017, Gallup found in a survey released April 9, which represents a significant drop from the 45 percent of Catholics who attended weekly Mass from 2005 to 2008, in the early years of the Benedict pontificate.


The Deep State Closes In On The Donald, Part 3: The Capture Is Complete

The Donald seems to be taking a Deep Breath on his Syria bombfest, but the Deep State has him by the orange hairs. So we doubt the delay will last much longer. [he didn't!]

That's because our Art of the Deal genius is getting bamboozled yet again. They are telling him that wiping out up to a dozen Syrian airfields, military installations and a dog-eared factory or two that can be identified as chemical weapons sites will amount to some pretty serious Shock & Awe where it counts: That is, the mere witnessing of it will cause the Fat Boy of Pyongyang to brown his ample trousers, thereby getting his "mind right" for the upcoming summit.

That's exactly the kind of macho-bargainer stuff that the Donald thrives on, and is further proof that the Deep State has figured out exactly how to press his buttons.

To be sure, Trump is no innocent victim. He voluntarily made himself hostage to the War Party by surrounding himself with failed generals and the most rabid war-mongers to be found in the Imperial City----John Bolton, Mike Pompeo and Gina Haspel.

Indeed, you have to wonder. How could anyone with even a half-baked notion of America First think that a hard core interventionist like John Bolton should be brought up right close and personal to the POTUS ear lobes, Walrus mustache and all?

But whatever the Donald was thinking when he made such horrendous choices for his top national security posts, these denizens of the War Party have wasted no time shoving their own agenda right down his throat.


Pat Buchanan Asks "Is Trump Now A Prisoner Of The War Party?"

Is the U.S. indeed in the Syrian civil war “for the long term”?

If so, who made that fateful decision for this republic?

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley confirmed Sunday there would be no drawdown of the 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria, until three objectives were reached. We must fully defeat ISIS, ensure chemical weapons would not again be used by Bashar Assad and maintain the ability to watch Iran.

Translation: Whatever Trump says, America is not coming out of Syria. We are going deeper in. Trump’s commitment to extricate us from these bankrupting and blood-soaked Middle East wars and to seek a new rapprochement with Russia is “inoperative.”

The War Party that Trump routed in the primaries is capturing and crafting his foreign policy. Monday’s Wall Street Journal editorial page fairly blossomed with war plans:

“The better U.S. strategy is to … turn Syria into the Ayatollah’s Vietnam. Only when Russia and Iran began to pay a larger price in Syria will they have any incentive to negotiate an end to the war or even contemplate a peace based on dividing the country into ethnic-based enclaves.”

Apparently, we are to bleed Syria, Russia, Hezbollah and Iran until they cannot stand the pain and submit to subdividing Syria the way we want.

But suppose that, as in our Civil War of 1861-1865, the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939, and the Chinese Civil War of 1945-1949, Assad and his Russian, Iranian and Shiite militia allies go all out to win and reunite the nation.


Nolte: The Media's 'Sean Hannity Standard' Is a Wonderful Idea!

From what we know so far, conservative talker Sean Hannity had a limited business relationship with Michael Cohen, who is also President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, and who just had his offices, home, and hotel room raided by the FBI. Because Hannity is a commentator with four hours to fill every day, he has a lot to say about the raid.

But now that a partisan judge (to say the least — the swamp is deep, my friends) has forced Cohen to reveal that Hannity is a client, everyone in the establishment media (read those with much lower ratings than Hannity) have the knives out because Hannity did not reveal this potential conflict of interest.

So desperate are they to bloody Hannity, the media have just done a very good thing with the creation of what we will call the “Sean Hannity Standard,” a standard that demands commentators and reporters disclose any and all potential conflicts-of-interest pertaining to the story or person they are reporting on.

What a wonderful idea!

Over at the far-left Politico, Michael Calderone writes, that Hannity “should have disclosed that he’s a client of Cohen’s.”

What a wonderful idea!

Kathleen Bartzen Culver, director of the Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin, told Politico, “commentators should still be expected to maintain independence from subjects they covering and disclose relevant ties.”

What a wonderful idea!


Soldier, MIA since 1950, returning to North Charleston to be buried

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- 7,704 Americans are still unaccounted for from the Korean War close to 70 years ago. While these service members may be missing, they are not forgotten. This week, one man is finally coming home to his family in North Charleston.

Roseann Stonestreet says, "After all that time, I never thought that it would be possible."

Stonestreet last saw her father, Army Master Sergeant Finley "Fin" Davis when she was 12-years-old.

She says, "He took me to the movies and we saw Flamingo Road with Joan Crawford."



Billionaire Matthew Mellon using controversial Ibogaine treatment for for opioid-addiction

Matthew Mellon — the billionaire banking heir who died Monday in Mexico — was there to try the controversial opioid-addiction treatment ibogaine, sources told us exclusively.

Meanwhile, insiders say that Mellon was dating Kick Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s daughter, before he passed away.

Illegal in the US, ibogaine is a psychoactive root found in Africa that’s purported to treat drug addiction. Said a source: “Matthew had tried ayahuasca,” the trendy Amazonian hallucinogenic, “but it did not agree with him, so he moved on to try ibogaine.” There are a number rehab of centers in Cancun offering ibogaine.


Freedom Caucus seeks to make McCarthy pay to become speaker

The Freedom Caucus is prepared to exact a price from Kevin McCarthy if he wants to be the next speaker of the House — three years after foiling his first bid for the job.

A POLITICO survey of about 20 of the conservative group’s three dozen members found varying degrees of openness to the California Republican known as a deal-making pragmatist. But nearly all the hard-liners said he’ll have to make concessions to win their support. Without it, they could block his path to the speakership.

“We’re not just going to rearrange the deck chairs around this place and keep doing the same stuff with different people,” said Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), a caucus board member. McCarthy, currently the majority leader, “hasn’t earned my vote."


All bets are off as Caesars Palace resort set to open in Dubai

Caesars Palace is world famous for hosting some of the biggest boxing bouts in history and one of the most popular casinos on the Las Vegas strip.

And now the company behind that glamour and success is bringing a taste of the big time to Dubai, as a second Caesars Palace is planned for the Bluewaters Island development off Jumeirah Beach Residence.

A partnership between Meraas and Caesars Entertainment will bring two luxury hotels, a conference centre and beach club to the resort later this year.

Details of the décor and design of the Dubai hotel remains tightly wrapped, but in line with the UAE's laws on gambling, the Dubai facility won’t be taking any bets.

The exclusive 178-key Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai, will be the world’s second Caesars Palace, featuring one indoor and two outdoor swimming pools, a 630 square-metre spa and a health centre with stunning views of Ain Dubai and six restaurants.

The property will also include a dedicated event hall, meeting room and a business centre.

Caesars Bluewaters Dubai, the second hotel, will have 301 rooms, two outdoor swimming pools, three 'world-class' restaurants, three meeting rooms equipped to provide business services, and an 850 square-metre event hall.


Mark Alexander: Patriots' Day and the Flags of Our Forefathers

We thank God for those generations of Patriots who sacrificed their personal safety in defense of Liberty.

April 19th is Patriots’ Day, commemorating the anniversary of that date in 1775 when American militiamen at Lexington and Concord fired the “Shot Heard ‘Round The World” — the opening volley of the American Revolution.

We hold this historic date in high esteem, along with those days commemorating the anniversaries of our Declaration of Independence, Constitution and its Bill of Rights. Indeed, our publication takes its name in honor of this first generation of American Patriots — and all those since. Unfortunately, Patriots’ Day receives little attention nationally, and even less in educational institutions, where our nation’s stirring and singular history is rarely taught to young people.

The most basic principles of American Liberty and Rule of Law, and the generational sacrifices of millions of Americans who have honored their oaths “to support and defend” Liberty’s enshrinement in our Constitution, are often not understood or appreciated by many young people — and too many adults.


Philly Fed Flashes 'Stagflation Dead-Ahead' Warning As Prices Paid Hits 7-Year High

While Philly Fed's headline index marginally beat expectations, under the hood, things are not so promising as Prices Paid surged to 7 years highs and Prices Received did not (crushing margins).

Worse still, expectations for new orders (down) and prices (up) signal stagflation dead-ahead.

Once again 'soft' survey data is falling back to the reality of weak 'hard' data.


"A Calamitous Collapse": Former Podesta Group Employees Reveal Truth Behind Firm's Downfall

Former Podesta Group employees have spilled the beans about their former boss, Tony Podesta - in a scathing Wall Street Journal article which details the firm's collapse. As part of the report, The Journal got its hands on "internal Podesta Group accounting," as well as "financial documents, calendars and communications."

The D.C. lobbying firm founded in 1993 by John and Tony Podesta folded shop following Hillary Clinton's monumental loss in the 2016 US election, when a flood of clients ran for the door virtually overnight, realizing the Podesta Group's influence ended with the Clinton campaign.

The Journal describes Tony Podesta's fall as a "calamitous collapse" following the 2016 US election:


GOP alarmed by tax law's falling poll numbers, privately blame Trump

President Trump is undermining voter support for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act with erratic messaging after it was gaining popularity, alarming Republicans counting on the law to save the party’s vulnerable House majority.

Senior Republicans are declining to publicly finger Trump for the heralded tax overhaul’s sagging approval ratings. Views of the law steadily climbed during the first two months of the year on the strength of a unified push from the White House and Capitol Hill ahead of the midterm.

Privately, Republicans complain that the president’s sudden shift to tariffs, with threats of trade wars, distracted from the positive impacts of $1.3 trillion in tax cuts and allowed Democrats to regain the upper hand. Concluding that Trump is unreliable, Republicans say it’s their responsibility to turn public opinion around.


Queens party boss angles to succeed Pelosi as speaker

Rep. Joe Crowley is making moves to take over the House Democratic Caucus whether the party wins or loses in November.

Rep. Joe Crowley — buoyed by a caucus thirsty for change and his rising national profile — is angling to become the next House Democratic leader if Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats fall short.

Whether Democrats win the House majority or not, the affable Queens party boss and current Democratic Caucus chairman would have to first go through the party’s longtime septuagenarian leaders — Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and Jim Clyburn — who’ve shown no hurry to head for the exits. In fact, the three have already started sending strong signals that if Democrats take the House they’re prepared to beat back a younger generation clamoring for new leaders.


David Hogg Calls for Boycott of 15 Financial Firms Over Investment in Gun Manufacturers

Gun control activist David Hogg on Tuesday called for the boycott of at least 15 financial firms because of their investments in gun manufacturers.

Hogg, a 18-year-old student who survived the February mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., used his Twitter platform to push for the boycott of 15 financial firms, specifically the Vanguard Group and and BlackRock.

"@blackrock and @Vanguard_Group are two of the biggest investors in gun manufacturers; if you use them, feel free to let them know. Thanks " Hogg tweeted. "#BoycottVanguard #BoycottBlackrock."

Hogg then tweeted out a list of 15 financial firms, instructing his followers to "feel free to tag these companies." While the tweet does not say which gun manufacturers the financial institutions have investments in or a source for the data, the screenshots appear to show the number of shares the firms have in the gun manufacturers.


Louis DeBroux: Public Employees Resist Pension Reform as Crisis Looms

According to a new report, states face a collective [pension funding shortfall of $1.4 trillion.

“Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.” —Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)

For years, state and local politicians have ignored a looming fiscal crisis; namely, rapidly exploding deficits to public-sector employee pensions. Unfortunately, ignoring the problem does not make it go away, and now politicians, public employees and unsuspecting taxpayers face a brutal reality.

According to a new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts, states face a collective pension funding shortfall of $1.4 trillion. To put that into perspective, that amounts to roughly three times the annual budgets of California, Texas, New York and Florida … combined.

States must now choose among unpleasant options: cut back on other government services like education, public safety and parks to redirect funds to public employee pensions; raise taxes (angering voters and slowing economic growth); or reducing lavish public employee benefits (angering powerful unions).


BREAKING NEWS: A Viewer Writes: Lower Shore Shelter about to close

The Lower Shore Shelter, the new homeless shelter that opened in Princess Anne in December is about to close down. Due to mismanagement, general incompetence, and arrogance on the part of the board members, the shelter is out of money. The state is all over it about unapproved expenses, high salaries and other problems. The state dumped about a million dollars into building it and the county has been pouring money into keeping it alive. Another stellar example of the stupidity. They are already looking to move homeless people at that shelter to other shelters as soon as possible. There is no money to pay employees.

The Infamous "Batman DJ" Hangs Out At The New OC Billiards @ Trader Lee's

To the nay sayers out there who keep sending in negative comments, (rejected) claiming OC Billiards is failing, I think you better ask Batman what he thinks of the place as well as how much traffic we so enjoy. He is a first hand witness to our success and is a major fan of SBYNews ever since I first started 14 years ago.

The "Free Pool" event last night was a HUGE success. So much so, I'm thinking I'm going to continue it next Friday night as well. D.J. Sneak Attack was a grand slam home run last night. So much so, we're bringing him back again tonight. 

DNC Sues Over Alleged Collusion

The Democratic National Committee has filed a lawsuit against the Russian government, one of its spy agencies, WikiLeaks, and numerous Trump campaign associates seeking damages related to the hack of its email systems during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The lawsuit seeks millions of dollars for what it alleges is a conspiracy between President Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russian government to disseminate emails hacked from the DNC.

The documents were released through WikiLeaks and Guccifer 2.0, a website believed to be affiliated with Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU.

“During the 2016 presidential campaign, Russia launched an all-out assault on our democracy, and it found a willing and active partner in Donald Trump’s campaign,” DNC Chairman Tom Perez told The Washington Post, which first reported the lawsuit. “This constituted an act of unprecedented treachery: the campaign of a nominee for President of the United States in league with a hostile foreign power to bolster its own chance to win the presidency.”


Meet the US attorney who could prosecute Andrew McCabe

U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu landed a major case on Thursday when the Justice Department's internal watchdog reportedly sent her a criminal referral involving former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who stands accused of misleading federal investigators over his involvement in sensitive leaks to the media.

The criminal referral comes less than a week after Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz sent a report to Congress claiming McCabe lied to then-FBI Director James Comey and investigators on four separate occasions, at least three of which occurred when he was under oath. In most cases, these were intended to cover up his unauthorized approval of the release of sensitive information to reporters. CNN first reported Horowitz decision to recommend McCabe for prosecution.

Liu is no stranger to the political spotlight. The former deputy general counsel for the Treasury Department was appointed by President Trump last July to be U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.


'Diamond and Silk' to Testify Before House Judiciary Committee on 'Social Media Filtering'

The flamboyant video blogging duo of "Diamond and Silk" will testify before the House Judiciary Committee next week as part of a "hearing to examine social media filtering and policing practices."

The House Judiciary Committee announced:

On Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to examine social media filtering and policing practices. This hearing will focus on what metrics social media platforms use to moderate content, how filtering decisions are made, and whether viewpoints have been silenced on some of the most popular and widely used platforms.

Diamond and Silk will take part in the third panel, alongside Corynne McSherry—the Legal Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation—and News Media Alliance CEO David Chavern.


Stockman On The Delusions Of MAGA

The Donald is not leading America to the promised land.

Instead, he's leading it to war abroad, fiscal and economic calamity at home and a crisis of governance that pales Watergate into insignificance.

To be sure, these baleful outcomes were baked into the cake when Trump took the oath 15 months ago, and there was never any rational reason to think he could reverse the tide.

As we have said from the beginning, the Donald's historic role is to function as the Great Disrupter---tying the system in knots and causing the malefic Washington/Wall Street consensus to become irreparably fractured and thoroughly discredited.

But he can not possibly fix anything because he has no agenda, no mandate and no capacity whatsoever to lead.

His domestic program boils down to crude protectionism, nasty xenophobia and epic fiscal profligacy; his foreign policy is a function of who he talks to last among his worsening team of failed generals and bloody-minded neocons; and his notion of White House leadership consists, self-evidently, of early morning tweet-storms from the East Wing Residence.

The single thing that the mainstream media acknowledges as a "success" is the Christmas Eve tax cut, but that will soon prove to be the most counterproductive and irresponsible fiscal policy action in modern history--or even ever.


Two Suspects Arrested For 2017 Wicomico Co. Murder

(SALISBURY, MD) – Maryland State Police Homicide Unit investigators have charged two men with the murder of a man outside a Wicomico County fraternal organization hall last summer.

The suspects are identified as Lee R. Braboy, 38, and Dionte K. Dutton, 33, both of Salisbury, Md. Both have been charged with first degree murder, second degree murder, conspiracy to commit first degree murder, first degree assault, second degree assault, possession of a handgun, and use of a firearm in the commission of a violent crime. Both suspects are being held at the Wicomico County Detention Center.

The suspects are charged with the June 10, 2017 murder of Jaquanta Walton, 20, of Salisbury. Walton had attended a party held at the VFW in the 800-block of West Main Street, Salisbury. When the establishment closed at 1:00 a.m., dozens of people, including the victim, were out on the parking lot. Walton was shot by a suspect who fled on foot.

The investigation by the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit has continued since the murder occurred. Hundreds of hours of investigative work resulted in the development of evidence implicating the two suspects with the murder. After a review of the investigation with the Wicomico County State’s Attorney’s Office, the charges listed above were approved.

Homicide investigators obtained arrest warrants for both suspects yesterday. Both suspects were arrested separately yesterday at locations in Salisbury by troopers with the Maryland State Apprehension Team and the State Police Gang Unit. Both suspects were arrested without incident.

The investigation into this murder is ongoing. Anyone with information is urged to contact Lower Eastern Shore Crime Solvers at 410-548-1776, or the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit investigators at the Salisbury Barrack, at 410-749-3101. Callers may remain anonymous.

State Police Homicide Unit investigators were assisted in this investigation by allied police agencies and State Police units. They included the Salisbury Police Department, DEA, the Wicomico County Narcotics Task Force, the Wicomico County State’s Attorney’s Office and State Police from the Salisbury Barrack, the Criminal Enforcement Division, the Gang Enforcement Unit, the State Apprehension Team, and the Special Tactical Assault Team Element.

CONTACT: Greg Shipley – Office of Media Communications – 410-653-4236

Lee Braboy

Dionte Dutton

There’s “unusual surveillance activity” around D.C. and senators want answers

In a story straight out of Spy vs Spy, unusual cellular activity has been detected around Capitol Hill, and now four U.S. Senators want some answers.

A bipartisan group of senators sent a letter to Homeland Security asking for details about the cellular activity. The surveillance activity is akin to so-called stingrays that are used by law enforcement agencies to trick suspects’ cellphones into revealing their locations,according to Reuters.

Last month, the Department of Homeland Security revealed that it had “observed anomalous activity in the National Capital Region that appears to be consistent with International Mobile Subscriber Identity catchers.” It claimed not to know who was behind the use of the surveillance devices.


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The Fire of 1886

(The picture above is Main St. looking east from Market St.)

After the fire of 1860 destroyed Salisbury’s downtown, the people showed their resilience by building the area back better than before. Businesses sprang up and things were progressing better than expected. They built back using the same antiquated methods and materials they had used before. The timber structures and close proximity of same were not conducive to fire prevention. That fact was evident on the fateful Sunday of October 17, 1886.

Another near disaster occurred in 1879 at the Jackson Lumber Company. Anything more than a small fire was averted with the assistance of the Wilmington Fire Department. The Salisbury Fire Department was so impressed with Wilmington’s Silsbury steamer that they spent $4,000 over 10 years to purchase one of their own. They named if the “L. P. Almond” in honor of Wilmington’s fire chief.

On Sunday evening, October 17, 1886, St. Peter’s church bell was ringing the congregation to Sunday evening prayers. When the bell started ringing, most people just thought it was the regular Sunday service bell. The peel became more insistent as time and the fire progressed. The fire had started at Toadvine’s Livery Stable on the corner of Dock (now Market) Street and Camden Avenue. The fire was small at first and probably could have been put out with a bucket brigade, the livery stable being in close proximity to the river. Excitement to view the operation of the new piece of fire equipment caused a fateful delay. When the L. P. Almond arrived, it was discovered that a lack of maintenance had caused the valves to seize up and render the pumper inoperable. By this time the fire had raged out of control. Aided by a stiff northeasterly wind, it quickly engulfed the entire downtown area. The stores of hay, paint and gunpowder in local hardware stores and stables only caused the fire to spread more rapidly.

When they built back after the Fire of 1860, they built the buildings out of the same flammable timber and kept the width of Main Street narrow. The flames took advantage of the easily combustible lumber and jumped over Main Street with ease. Only with the assistance of the Wilmington. Pocomoke and Crisfield Fire Departments did they contain the fire to the commercial district. Ironically, the Crisfield Fire Department is credited with saving the Court House. Built in 1878, it was the symbol of our new county of Wicomico. It was carved out of land from Somerset and Worcester counties. Crisfield firemen, from Somerset County, didn’t let politics get in the way when it came to saving property and lives. Every time we look at the Court House, we can thank Crisfield.

When the fire was finally extinguished after a long 17 hours, 22 acres of downtown Salisbury was nothing but a smoldering ruin. In the ruins was the bell of St. Peter’s that had first sounded the alarm. The fire had burned through the rope holding it and it came crashing down in ruins. It was salvaged and recast. Not having a church, St. Peter’s loaned the bell to the county and it rang out the time for the next 100 years from the tower in the Court House. The bell was recently returned to its original place at St. Peter’s. This is only one of two relics from the Fire of 1886. The other is the Silsby fire engine, the same one that failed and caused Salisbury to lose most of its downtown. It can be viewed at the Fire Museum located in the new fire house on Cypress Street in Salisbury.

New zoning laws were adopted by the town commissioners on October 19, only two days after the fire, which widened Main Street by five feet and required any new building to be constructed of brick. Since that time the fires at the Peninsula Hotel, Benjamin’s and the Ulman Theater were contained to only one building.