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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Wells Fargo under fire again, for Tennessee pension fund snafu

Just as Wells Fargo tries to repair its image with a new “Re-Established” campaign in the wake of numerous improprieties, the bank is admitting it kept rebates that should have been deposited in a Tennessee public pension fund.

Wells Fargo, the trustee of the Chattanooga Fire & Police Pension Fund, took $47,000 in fee rebates that should have been passed on to the pension fund, as first reported by The Wall Street Journal. The fund has 1,600 members and $215 million.

As trustee, under a system known as revenue sharing, Wells Fargo received the fee rebates from third-party fund companies because of investments it held for clients. The bank was then expected to return the rebates to those clients.

In a statement, Wells Fargo acknowledged that it “made an error in setting up the revenue sharing” and “the revenue share rebates did not occur as intended.”

The bank, which apologized for the mistake, recently returned $15,000 to the fund, which is the amount it said was owed.

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https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/wells-fargo-kept-tennessee-pension-fund-money

Tesla Bursts Into Flames After "Violent Crash" In Switzerland, Killing Driver Trapped Inside

In the same week in which a Tesla Model S erupted in flames after a "horrific" crash in Ft. Lauderdale, fatally trapping the two teenagers who died inside, while a second Model S rammed a stopped Salt Lake City firetruck at 60mph, mercifully without any fatalities, the Swiss tio.ch reports that yet another Tesla burst into flames after crashing on the A2 highway near the town of Bellinzona, killing a 48-year-old German driver who was trapped inside.

According to the Swiss publication, the driver, a 48-year-old German motorist from Baden-Wurtermberg, lost control of the vehicle a few meters after the Monte Ceneri tunnel, crashing into the central guardrail, an accident that was remarkably similar to an October 2017 crash in Austria, in which a Model S also burned down, however without any fatalities.

The car then overturned and caught fire, fatally trapping the driver.

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Out of the Sea! A pirate story in 13 parts

Three centuries ago, any ship coming or going along the Virginia coast was at the mercy of pirates, and a righteous colonial governor had had enough. In the spring of 1700, in a historic encounter, forces of good and evil came face to face in Lynnhaven Bay. Sometimes, it was hard to tell which was which.

WALSH: The Only Thing Preventing Us From Descending Into Civil War

We’re told that “division” and “partisanship” and “bigotry” are destroying America. “Hate" is the cancer in our cultural bloodstream, they say. We must fight against hate speech and hate crimes and hate in every other form. There is so much hate, allegedly. Some people are even worried that another civil war might be on the horizon.

I think we flatter ourselves. There will be no civil war. We’re far too lazy for such an onerous pursuit. It’s easier to snipe at each other in the comments section or shoot off insults on social media. We much prefer a tweet war to an actual war because tweet wars don’t interrupt a Netflix binge.

During the real Civil War, men marched over mountains in bare feet in the winter. They lived on salt pork and black coffee made from acorns. They charged headlong into cannon fire. They used whiskey as an anesthetic while they had their limbs amputated. They had convictions, and they died for them.

We do not have that kind of conviction. We have enough conviction to participate in a hashtag campaign, or to hurl a snarky gif at our cowering adversaries, but civil war? We need not worry our silly heads about that. We spend literally billions of dollars on iPhone upgrades, porn, video games, tickets to superhero films, and accessories for our pets. How many people would be willing to jeopardize a life of such insane, stifling luxury for the sake of fighting a gruesome battle out in the street? Not many. Not nearly enough to get even a halfway respectable war together.

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Jim Smith Federal Vet Contracts Faulted

The VA barred a Democrat running for governor from receiving agency contracts after an audit found he may have misused his disabled-veteran status

Smith’s campaign said the decision was overturned but won’t say on what grounds

Smith is a representative in the state legislature, serves in the National Guard, runs a law firm, and owns and manages a business

A Democrat running for governor on his military and small business bona fides may have used his disabled veteran status to obtain government contracts and then hand off the work to non-veteran owned entities, a government audit found.

James Smith, a candidate for South Carolina governor in the state’s June 12 primary election, is a representative in the state legislature, serves in the National Guard, and runs a law firm in Columbia. He also finds time to operate the Congaree Group, a small company that has received millions of dollars in federal contracts. The company operates out of the same office as his law firm.

The firm boasted the capability to do everything from distributing pharmaceuticals to parking hundreds of cars per day as part of valet services at massive hospitals — all with Smith telling Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) officials he was its only employee, a 2013 document from the VA’s Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE) shows, which TheDCNF obtained.

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Ex-congressman says he's 'given up on America' after sentenced for 3rd conviction

A former Democratic congressman from Chicago, heading to prison for the third time, says he has “given up on America” and plans to move to Africa after he serves his latest sentence.

At his sentencing Thursday, Mel Reynolds, 66, got six months in prison for failing to file tax returns on more than $400,000 he received for consulting work.

He also received a scolding from federal Judge Robert Gettleman, who told the Harvard graduate he could recall thinking to himself in the early 1990s that Reynolds had tremendous promise.

“It's a tragedy that you squandered the opportunities you had and the type of person you could have become," Gettleman said.

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http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/05/11/ex-congressman-says-hes-given-up-on-america-after-sentenced-for-3rd-conviction.html

Mueller Indicted A Russian Company That Didn't Even Exist, Court Transcripts Say

This week, one of the Russian companies accused by Special Counsel Robert Mueller of funding a conspiracy to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election was revealed in court to not have existed during the time period alleged by Mueller's team of prosecutors, according to a lawyer representing the defendant.

U.S. Magistrate Judge G. Michael Harvey asked Eric Dubelier, one of two lawyers representing the accused Russian company, Concord Management and Consulting LLC, if he was representing a third company listed in Mueller's indictment.

"What about Concord Catering?" Harvey asked Dubelier.

"The government makes an allegation that there's some association. I don't mean for you to – do you represent them, or not, today? And are we arraigning them as well?"

"We're not," Dubelier responded.

"And the reason for that, Your Honor, is I think we're dealing with a situation of the government having indicted the proverbial ham sandwich."

"That company didn't exist as a legal entity during the time period alleged by the government," Dubelier continued.

"If at some later time they show me that it did exist, we would probably represent them. But for purposes of today, no, we do not."

The term "indict a ham sandwich" is believed to have originated from a 1985 report in the New York Daily News when New York Chief Judge Sol Wachtler told the news publication that government prosecutors have so much influence over grand juries that they could get them to "indict a ham sandwich."

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Rest In Peace My Old Friend Chuck Campbell

It was an incredible journey working with a man who desperately needed lung transplants several years ago. Unfortunately Chuck passed away yesterday. Till we meet again. 

DeSantis May Know Who Was Spying On Trump

Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis of Florida thinks he may know who was spying on President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, but said further investigation is needed to get to the truth.

Rumors of an FBI mole planted within the campaign have surfaced and DeSantis, a Florida gubernatorial candidate, believes the accusations have merit.

“I know that we’re actively trying to get the underlying documents that would tell us — did they spy on the Trump campaign or not?” DeSantis said on “Fox & Friends” Monday. “The reason why a lot of us were suspicious was because Glen Simpson at one point, the head of Fusion GPS, testified that there was a human source inside the Trump campaign, based on his conversations with Christopher Steele. So it suggests that Steele as a British agent, may have been working with somebody who the FBI was also working with.”

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The Deep State Mob Targets Nunes

In an absurd tweet on Wednesday, Lawfare’s executive director suggested that Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) should be replaced as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee:
This is a hugely significant story. DOJ and the IC do not trust the HPSCI chair to protect sources and methods that directly risk human lives. Nunes simply cannot continue to serve in the role and Speaker Ryan is wrong to not remove him and appoint a suitable choice like Conaway. https://twitter.com/mkraju/status/994318826404708353 
That wasn’t even the most moronic tweet in Susan Hennessey’s arsenal. She went on to warn how “the intelligence oversight system is based on trust. Without trust it is irretrievably broken. The [Intelligence Community] and [Department of Justice] don’t trust Nunes and he cannot perform his job functions.” Get that? The Intelligence Community and the Justice department—which have proven to be as political and devious as a Chicago ward boss—are the white hats and Nunes is the black hat.

That is not ignorance on Hennessey’s part: it’s calculated deception.

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Nunes, Gowdy accuse DOJ of launching anonymous attacks on congressional investigator

Two senior House Republicans are accusing the Justice Department of being behind “anonymous attacks” in the press targeting a House Intelligence Committee GOP staffer who helped author the committee’s well-publicized memo alleging surveillance abuse by the FBI and DOJ during the 2016 election.

The same House staffer is also a driving force behind the latest Russia records standoff.

"I would have a lot more respect for DOJ or House committee Democrats if they would take out their frustrations on members of Congress, and leave staffers alone,” South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, told Fox News on Monday. “The members make the final decision and are responsible for them, not staffers."

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http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/05/14/nunes-gowdy-accuse-doj-launching-anonymous-attacks-on-congressional-investigator.html

Shock Study: Major Depression Diagnoses Spike 33 Percent Since 2013

Teens, millennials showing largest jump in diagnoses due to social media, electronics

Major depression cases skyrocketed by 33 percent from 2013 to 2016, according to a study by health insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA).

The spike is even more serious for young people, with a 47 percent jump in millennials and a 63 percent jump in adolescents.

“The high rates for adolescents and millennials could have a substantial health impact for decades to come,” BCBSA chief medical officer Trent Haywood said in a press release.

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Breaking Down America's Worst Long-Term Challenges: #1- Debt

On October 22, 1981, the national debt in the United States crossed the $1 trillion threshold for the first time in history.

It took nearly two centuries to reach that unfortunate milestone.

And over that time the country had been through a revolution, civil war, two world wars, the Great Depression, the nuclear arms race… plus dozens of other wars, financial panics, and economic crises.

Today, the national debt stands at more than $21 trillion– a milestone hit roughly two months ago.

This means that the government added $20 trillion to the national debt in the 37 years between October 22, 1981 and March 15, 2018.

That’s an average of nearly $1.5 BILLION added to the national debt every single day… $62 million per hour… $1 million per minute… and

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Boy Scouts Lose 425,000 Members After Announcing Name Change-Truth! & Unproven!

Summary of eRumor:

After announcing it would change its name to Scouts BSA and start welcoming girls, Boy Scouts lost 425,000 members in just over a week.
The Truth:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been one of the Boy Scouts of America’s biggest supporters over the year, with about 425,000 church members belonging to the group as of 2014. The church announced that it would sever ties with Boy Scouts of America in 2019 days after the name change.

These development led to reports that the Boy Scouts of America lost 425,000 members within a week of announcing that it was changing it’s name. That might not be the case, however. It’s not clear that all 425,000 Mormon boys will quit scouting — only that the church will no longer automatically enroll each boy who attends a Mormon church as a Boy Scout beginning in 2019.

And the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been discussing the possibility fo ending its relationship with Boy Scouts for years. In 2017, the church announced it would leave Boy Scouts of America teen programs — but denied that it was because of inclusiveness or LGBT issues. “The BSA has always allowed the Church to operate its programs in ways that are consistent with our standards and beliefs, and they have been very supportive,” the church said in a statement.

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Governor Larry Hogan Announces Federal Approval of “Maryland Model” All-Payer Contract

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Maryland Department of Health Sign New Five-Year Contract for Innovative Provider Payment System, $1 Billion in Savings Expected

ANNAPOLIS, MD –
Governor Larry Hogan, together with the Maryland Department of Health and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), today announced the federal approval of Maryland's Total Cost of Care All-Payer Model, known as the “Maryland Model,” contract. This innovative approach to health care provider payment is unique to Maryland and made possible via a contract between CMS and the state. Maryland’s current model has already saved Medicare more than $586 million through 2016, compared to national spending, and the new model is expected to provide an additional $300 million in savings per year by 2023 and a total of $1 billion over five years.

Under Maryland’s current All-Payer Model, approved in 2014, hospitals have successfully reduced unnecessary readmissions and hospital-acquired conditions while decreasing the growth in hospital cost per capita. The new Maryland Model will expand this successful approach across the health care system when it takes effect on January 1, 2019 and will extend through the end of 2023. The contract can then be extended for an additional five years, pending a review of the terms.

“The new Maryland Model will expand health care access and affordability – and ultimately improve quality of life – for Marylanders, especially those with chronic and complex medical conditions,” said Governor Hogan. “Maryland continues to lead the nation in innovative health care delivery, and the expansion of our successful model is a huge step forward in our efforts to ensure that every Marylander has access to quality care.”

The Maryland Model aims to control the growth in health care costs, both at hospitals and community providers, while improving patient outcomes and quality of care. To achieve this comprehensive coordination across the entire health care system, the Maryland Model will:

Dick Morris: Forget About ‘Blue Wave’ in 2018 Midterms --- Get Ready for ‘Red Wave’

Sunday on New York AM 970 radio’s “The Cats Roundtable,” political commentator and former Bill Clinton adviser Dick Morris shot down the idea that there will be a “blue wave” in the 2018 midterm elections, instead saying a “red wave” is on the way.

Morris told host John Catsimatidis he believes “Democrats are overplaying their hand” by going after President Donald Trump for the Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels scandals, adding it will show in the 2018 elections.

“I think that [Democrats] see fool’s gold in these scandals,” Morris stated. “They’re putting everything behind the Stormy Daniels scandal and Michael Cohen … and the country doesn’t give a damn.”

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Breaking News: North Korea, in a surprise late-night call, postponed high-level talks with South Korea, objecting to the South's military drill with the U.S.

North Korea indefinitely postponed high-level talks with South Korea scheduled for Wednesday, citing a joint South Korean-United States air force drill, South Korean officials said.

Senior officials from the two Koreas had been scheduled to meet in the “truce village” of Panmunjom on their border on Wednesday to discuss putting in place an agreement to improve ties between the countries that their leaders signed in a meeting on April 27.

Sentencing of John Shipley


ICE worksite enforcement investigations already double over last year

WASHINGTON – Less than seven months after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Deputy Director Thomas Homan issued a directive that called for increased worksite enforcement investigations to ensure U.S. businesses maintain a culture of compliance, the agency’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) has already doubled the amount of ongoing worksite cases this fiscal year compared to the last fully completed fiscal year.

From Oct. 1, 2017, through May 4, HSI opened 3,510 worksite investigations; initiated 2,282 I-9 audits; and made 594 criminal and 610 administrative worksite-related arrests, respectively. In comparison, for fiscal year 2017 – running October 2016 to September 2017 – HSI opened 1,716 worksite investigations; initiated 1,360 I-9 audits; and made 139 criminal arrests and 172 administrative arrests related to worksite enforcement.

“Our worksite enforcement strategy continues to focus on the criminal prosecution of employers who knowingly break the law, and the use of I-9 audits and civil fines to encourage compliance with the law,” said Acting Executive Associate Director for HSI, Derek N. Benner. “HSI’s worksite enforcement investigators help combat worker exploitation, illegal wages, child labor and other illegal practices.”

ICE is the federal agency responsible for upholding the laws established by the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986, which requires employers to verify the identity and work eligibility of all individuals they hire. These laws help protect jobs for U.S. citizens and others who are lawfully employed, eliminate unfair competitive advantages for companies that hire an illegal workforce, and strengthen public safety and national security.

In Sao Paolo, Brazil a gunman attempting to rob families outside school was shot dead by waiting mother who was off-duty police officer.

Dulles CBP Intercepts Liberian Impostor to U.S. Passport

STERLING, Va. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers intercepted a male Liberian posing as a United States citizen at Washington Dulles International Airport Thursday.

CBP is withholding the man’s name because he was not criminally charged.

The 25-year-old man arrived on a flight from Brussels, Belgium and processed his admission on an Automated Passport Control self-help kiosk. He then presented his kiosk receipt, passport and Pennsylvania driver’s license to a CBP officer, who suspected the man to be an impostor. A facial comparison scan supported the officer’s suspicion and the officer referred the man to a comprehensive secondary examination. During that examination, the man admitted his true identity and that the passport was not his.

As an impostor, CBP ordered the Liberian man removed and the man faces a five-year ban from returning to the U.S.

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CBP Reminds Boaters Arriving to the U.S. in Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Delaware of Federal Reporting Requirements

PHILADELPHIA – With the quickly approaching Memorial Day weekend kicking off the unofficial start to another busy summer boating season, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is reminding pleasure boat operators of federal reporting requirements.

“It has been a long winter, and Customs and Border Protection wants to remind vessel operators, especially those arriving from Canada or returning to our area after wintering over in the Caribbean, how and where to report their U.S. arrivals,” said Joseph Martella, CBP’s Area Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia. “CBP will continue our marina visits throughout the boating season to remind vessel operators and verify compliance with the federal reporting requirement.”

CBP’s Area Port of Philadelphia, to include the Port of Wilmington, is contacting local Harbor Masters and has posted updated pleasure boat reporting directions on CBP’s website.

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More U.S. Parents Smoking Pot Around Kids

Progress made in limiting kids' exposure tosecondhand smoke could be undermined by the increasing popularity of pot, a new study suggests.

"As we are removing cigarette smoke -- and that's a major public policy achievement -- that success will be attenuated by increasing exposure to secondhandmarijuana smoke," said lead researcher Renee Goodwin.

The numbers confirm the trend.

Fewer parents are smoking cigarettes who have kids in the home these days -- about 20 percent in 2015 compared with more than 27 percent in 2002.

But marijuana use among cigarette-smoking parents increased dramatically during that same period, indicating that kids in those families could be exposed to more secondhand smoke than ever.

Among parents who smoke cigarettes, pot use increased from 11 percent in 2002 to over 17 percent in 2015, the researchers found.

"The kids who are already exposed to one thing, they're more likely to be exposed to both," said Goodwin, a professor with the City University of New York. "It's even worse for them."

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Social Assistance Reform Isn't Cruel; It's Necessary

Recently, the Trump administration has caught fire from the media for a straightforward attempt to reform the long outdated food stamps program -- officially titled the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Rather than doling out food stamps, which could hypothetically be used for almost any food, Trump’s proposal would be to deliver an assortment of canned goods, including peanut butter, pasta, juice, and powdered milk to intended recipients.

This reform has been called cruel, or even “inhuman,” by critics.

And yes, there are flaws with this plan. Most notably, the costs of assembling and shipping these packages around the country would probably limit, if not eliminate, the $129 billion it was intended to save. However, we can’t adopt the mentality that reshaping social assistance programs is cruel or inhuman. It’s necessary if we want to pave the way to a balanced budget and, more importantly, to a population that’s better served.

Why Social Assistance Reform Is Necessary

The amount of money we spend on welfare programs is staggering. In 2011, welfare was spread across 83 overlapping programs, which cost a combined total of more than $1.03 trillion, which is more than we spent on Social Security, Medicare, or our national defense.

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BREAKING: Baltimore Police Commissioner Resigns After Tax Charges

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Darryl De Sousa has resigned as Baltimore Police Commissioner after being charged with failure to file his taxes.

The 53-year-old was charged with three misdemeanor counts of failure to file a U.S. tax return. He faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a $25,000 fine for each of the three counts.

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Senator Bill Cassidy: Build the Wall — and Make the Cartels Pay for It

Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) says we should fund a U.S.-Mexico border wall using money confiscated from Mexican cartels.

“The cartels move about 110 billion dollars a year from the United States to Mexico,” the Louisiana senator explained to Breitbart News Sunday host Amanda House. “If we can stop that, confiscate that money, we can use cartel money to build the wall. It won’t be the Mexican government, it’ll be the Mexican cartels [paying for the wall], and that’s probably the better party to build it.”

Cassidy introduced an amendment this year that would crack down on drug traffickers laundering money across the southern American border. The American government could then use the seized funds for increased border security and to build President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall. A press release at the time read:

“It’s estimated drug traffickers launder $110 billion between the U.S. and Mexico every year, but as best we can tell the U.S. government only captures about $7 billion,” said Dr. Cassidy. “We need to do better. If we confiscate this money, we can pay for better border security and make drug traffickers less able to hurt our communities.”

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Australia's Restrictive Gun Laws Are Working Nearly As Well As Chicago's

Many liberal concepts begin as well meaning “good intentions”. I believe a large portion of those peoples who consider themselves liberals do not realize that they are being led or herded in a direction where the true agenda is much more sinister than the “rallying cry” they have chosen to “follow” (i.e. gun control). I sincerely believe the people who are REALLY seek to disarm Americans (or any country for that matter) are people who have a vested interest in controlling and imposing their will upon those who are armed.

People tend to be harder to load onto cattle cars or line up beside a ditch for that little brown spot in the back of the head when they have the means to kill their oppressors. Who is not for lower homicide and suicide rates? If one listens to the “MINISTRY OF PROPAGANDA” (aka MSM) long enough, one might be convinced that gun-owning conservatives are not and are only blood thirsty-racist-deplorables. Commie-liberals are masters of the lie. They tell similar lies in regard to pollution and “clean drinking water”.

Who in the hell is not for clean drinking water? According to liberals and the MSM, it is the evil capitalist business owner, whose only concern is profit, The image Commie-liberals want to project is that business owners will stop at nothing even if it means throwing strychnine and baby kittens into nearby streams to make a dollar. Wasn’t it Goebbels who said “repeat a lie enough and it becomes the truth” (or something to that effect)? Using environmental laws and gun control are two tenants of Communism. These two issues are used to manipulate and to control people. Of course there are others, but since we are discussing gun control, I will not go there today.

Australians along with the inhabitants of many countries and cities have been lulled into believing that by surrendering or greatly curtailing the right for an individual to keep and bear arms murders, suicides and violent crimes can nearly be wiped out forever.

This is not true in any society.

As much as liberals and Communist want people to believe it, it doesn’t make it so. Never surrender any firearms. Citizens without arms are subjects.

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Subprime Auto Loan Default Rates Are Now Higher Than During The Financial Crisis

One month ago, when discussing the most recent trends in the US subprime auto loan space, we revealed how despite a virtual halt in direct loans by depositor banks to subprime clients following the financial crisis, the US banking sector now has over a third of a trillion dollars in indirect subprime exposure, in the form of loans to nonbanks financial firms which in the past decade have become the most aggressive lenders to America's sub-620 FICO population.

As we further explained, the banks' total indirect exposure to subprime loans – not just auto loans, but also subprime mortgages, and subprime consumer loans – could be pieced together through public filings, and according to FDIC reports, bank loans to nonbanks subprime lenders soared this decade, with the following 5 names standing out:

Wells Fargo: $81 billion, up from $13.4 billion in 2010
Citigroup: $30 billion, up from $4.1 billion in 2010
Bank of America: $30 billion, up from $2.8 billion in 2010
JP Morgan: $28 billion, up from $10.4 billion in 2010
Goldman Sachs: $22 billion
Morgan Stanley: $16 billion

This Jobs Program Just Might Get People Back to Work

BALTIMORE — When the man in the teal hoodie mentioned that he had trained as a pharmacy technician, Lachelle Hill’s voice rose in excitement. “Why don’t I see that on here?” the state job counselor asked, pointing at the paperwork on the table between them.

Hill was counseling Corey, a 30-year-old jobseeker who didn’t share his last name, at a federally funded job center here on the top floor of a shopping mall, an escalator ride away from a Forever 21 and a Cinnabon.

Unemployment insurance beneficiaries are required to look for work, but Hill wasn’t just checking Corey’s paperwork for compliance. She was helping him focus his job search, and trying to steer him toward positions he was qualified for.

Such conversations are central to a reemployment grant program that the U.S. Department of Labor has touted for years. In February, Congress passed a budget bill that would make the program permanent and increase its funding from about $100 million last year to more than $3 billion over the next six years.

To push states to improve their programs further, the law requires that starting in 2023 states must spend a quarter of their money on “evidence-based interventions” that have been proven to get people jobs faster.

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The Secretive Wild Feline: A profile of bobcats in Maryland

Among the many wild animals that roam our farms, fields and forests, there is one native midsize carnivore that goes largely unnoticed: the bobcat. In fact, the bobcat is the only wild member of the cat family found in Maryland.

Pet or predator?

Bobcats resemble domestic house cats with a few key differences. They are considerably bigger—about twice as large as typical pet cats, ranging in size from approximately 15-40 pounds and 29-39 inches in length.

They have a stocky build and notable pointy tufts of black fur at the tips of the ears. They also have that characteristic ‘bobbed’ tail for which they’re named. Their short tails have a distinct dark band near the tip and their coats range from grayish brown to yellowish brown in color. They have a mix of dark stripes and spots on their coats that are also highly variable —from barely noticeable to distinct. Their stomachs are typically white and contain dark spots, with each animal having its own unique spot patterns. Bobcats also have a ‘ruff’ of longer fur around their faces that helps give these animals a distinct look.

Range

Bobcats can be found in suitable habitat throughout most of North America from central Mexico northward to include many parts of Canada, therefore encompassing most of the continental United States. In Maryland, bobcats are found in greater numbers in the western region (Garrett, Allegany, Washington and Frederick counties) but can occasionally be found as far east as the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay.

While bobcats can be found occupying many different habitat types, they seem to favor areas with dense vegetative cover with interspersed openings. Their affinity for these rugged types of habitat that people tend to shy away from may contribute to the fact that people do not commonly see them.

Occasionally, however, people do hear them vocalize, which eerily sounds like a baby screaming.

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Seafood Industry Begs Trump to Import More Foreign Workers

President Trump’s tightened labor market is giving Maryland’s seafood industry reason to complain, mainly because they want to import more foreign workers to do U.S. blue-collar jobs.

For weeks, media outlets printed warnings from Maryland’s seafood companies of an impending “labor shortage” with the latest claims coming from the Wall Street Journal where businesses say they want more foreign workers to come to the U.S. through the H-2B visa program.

The complaints center around Maryland’s seafood industry and specifically crab-picking jobs. For decades, companies have imported mostly Mexican women to do the grueling crab-picking work, housing them in remote locations where they have little interaction outside of their job.

This year, seafood companies are complaining that they need more foreign workers. The Wall Street Journal reports:

The Chesapeake Bay Seafood Industries Association, which represents the roughly 20 licensed processors in Maryland, says this year’s randomized allocation has left the state’s industry short about 200 workers, almost half the seasonal workforce, typically all from Mexico.

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New Striped Bass Regulations Effective May 16

Enhanced Conservation Rules on Use of Bait and Hooks; Minimum Size Reduced to 19 Inches

The opening of regular striped bass season May 16 begins with new conservation-minded regulations pertaining to the use of bait, gear and hooks.

The Maryland General Assembly Joint Committee Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review Committee recently approved Maryland Department of Natural Resources regulations, which are effective now through Oct. 12, 2018.

Effective May 16, 2018, in Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries:
1. Anglers must use non-offset circle hooks when live-lining or chumming;
2. Anglers must use circle hooks or “J” hooks when using fish, crabs or worms as bait, or when using processed baits; and
3. The minimum size for striped bass is 19 inches.

“The new rockfish regulations seek to address the shared concerns of anglers, charters and conservationists who have reported high mortality rates of sublegal rockfish,” Fishing and Boating Service Director David Blazer said. “The new rules aim to increase fishing opportunity and success while reducing unnecessary mortality in the bay.”

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US School Districts are Hiring More Foreign Educators

LAS VEGAS – Adrian Calabano, 23, left his native Philippines to fill a void of teachers in a Nevada suburb. He said he sold his car to pay for his flight and hefty administrative fees so he could get a salary several times higher than he would receive in his homeland.

But his salary is still lower than an average American teacher. He was hired to teach sixth grade special education class at Greenspun Junior High School in Henderson, Nev., a suburb of Las Vegas.

“My salary is much better than what I receive and get from the Philippines,” he told Fox News.

As debate over low teacher salaries makes its way across the country – there have been statewide protests in at least four states the past two months – this little-known U.S. program for foreign teachers is growing.

U.S. school districts are increasingly hiring teachers from abroad to fill a dearth of teacher in school districts across the country. They are brought in through a cultural exchange visa program offered by the U.S. State Department. Known as the J-1 visa, it is the ticket for teachers abroad to come to the U.S. and teach American students.

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http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/05/14/school-districts-increasingly-hiring-foreign-teachers-to-fill-shortages.html

The Matera Samich

Nothing says summer has begun more so then when a friend delivers you the first garden grown tomatoes, (materas), fresh white toast, mayo and Italian dressing. My summer has officially begun. 

The media WON'T tell you about these stories

A Chinese Restaurant Is Offering Free Food To Diners Under One Condition

A restaurant in China is offering patrons free food, but there’s a catch. They have to be able to fit through the smallest opening of the gate.

This will probably upset and offend those who meltdown over the most inane issues, so if you’re easily offended, perhaps stop reading now. But the owner of an eatery in East China obviously doesn’t care who is offended. Zhao Long is asking patrons to try to squeeze through different sizes of gaps between bars and offering discounts for those who get through the narrowest spaces.

His restaurant in Jinan City offers customers free food and free beer, as long as they can fit through a 15cm (almost 6 inches) gap. Now, 15cm wide isn’t all that wide, and some say it’s too “skinny.” However, most people would have a go at it if they thought it meant free food and beer for everyone, and it does.

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MAC can help you navigate the Medicare maze

Choosing a new drug plan, and navigating the Medicare maze, can be confusing. MAC, Inc., the Area Agency on Aging is ready to help! Here’s how:

INFORMATION SESSIONS: Learn more about Medicare and open enrollment. MAC will offer sessions at the following locations:

 Wednesday, May 16, 12:30 p.m., at the Willards Senior Center (located in the Willards Lions Club building)

 Friday, May 18, from 2-3 p.m., at MAC, Inc., Salisbury

 Wednesday, May 23, from 2 to 3 p.m., at the Crisfield Library

 Wednesday, May 30, from 2-3 p.m. at Delmarva Community Services in Cambridge

DO-IT- YOURSELF TRAINING: MAC will offer enrollment how-to programs for the do-it-yourselfer. DIY training will begin in early June and is open to the public. Call 410-742- 0505 for information, or visit www.macinc.org.*

OPEN ENROLLMENT EVENTS: MAC will offer walk-in Medicare open enrollment events throughout the Lower Shore during the open enrollment period, Oct. 15-Dec. 7. Specific sites and dates to be announced. Call MAC at 410-742- 0505 or visit www.macinc.org for more information.*

ONE-ON- ONE ASSISTANCE: Meet with a representative of the State Health Insurance Program at MAC. To make an appointment, or for more information, call 410-742- 0505.*

* These MAC services are free and are available to anyone who needs help enrolling in Medicare, or updating their prescription plan.

More help is available:

 Call 1-800- MEDICARE

 Visit www.Medicare.gov/part-d

 Visit a participating pharmacy on the Lower Shore

ATTENTION: Change in coverage for State of Maryland retirees. Medicare-eligible State of Maryland retirees will no longer receive prescription drug coverage under the Maryland State health plan, effective Jan. 1, 2019, the Maryland Department of Budget and
Management, Employee Benefits Division has announced.

These Medicare-eligible retirees have until Dec. 31, 2018, to enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription plan, at their cost, to ensure there is no gap in coverage.

For more information:

Call MAC, Inc., at 410-742- 0505

Visit http://dbm.maryland.gov/benefits/Pages/EGWP.aspx

1 Picture of Young Trump vs. Young Obama Says It All

Did the FBI Have a Spy in the Trump Campaign?

Did the FBI have a spy working within Donald Trump’s campaign team? That’s the question Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is seeking to answer. We recently noted that the Justice Department has been slow-walking its compliance with Congress’s request for documents and information. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein angrily responded to subpoenas and threats of impeachment over his stonewalling of Congress, stating that he would not be “extorted.” Why this aggressive rebuttal?

Well, slowly but surely the mystery behind all of the slow-walking and stonewalling from the DOJ is finally coming to light, albeit bringing even more questions with it. To begin, we must go back to January of this year, when Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson’s Senate testimony from five months prior was finally made public. At that time, Simpson’s testimony appeared to reveal a bombshell (emphasis added):

Essentially, what [Christopher Steele] told me was [the FBI] had other intelligence about this matter from an internal Trump campaign source, and that — that they — my understanding was that they believed Chris at this point — that they believed Chris’s information might be credible because they had other intelligence that indicated the same thing, and one of those pieces of intelligence was a human source from inside the Trump campaign.

After the media hoopla, Simpson quickly backed off the claim of the FBI having a “human source” inside the Trump campaign, insisting instead that he had “mis-characterized” the nature of the source. But had he? It now appears that the FBI did indeed have a “human source” — a spy — within the Trump campaign.

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Limbaugh: Mueller's Investigation 'a Cover-up' of Obama DOJ, FBI Effort to Destroy Trump Presidency

Friday on his nationally syndicated radio show, conservative talker Rush Limbaugh speculated that special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, and has expanded into an investigation of wrongdoing by Trump campaign operatives, has an ulterior motive.

Many have tried to compare Trump’s administration to that of Nixon during the Watergate scandal, but Limbaugh said the analogy of Watergate is more appropriate for the Obama administration.

According to Limbaugh, the Mueller probe has the purpose of covering up efforts by the Obama Department of Justice and FBI to taint Donald Trump’s presidency.

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Report: Harley-Davidson Laying Off Hundreds of American Workers, Sending Jobs to Thailand

Harley-Davidson, the iconic American motorcycle company, is set to lay off hundreds of American workers at its Kansas City, Missouri factory while creating jobs in Thailand.

After laying off nearly 200 American manufacturing workers last year, as Breitbart Newsreported, Harley-Davidson is expected to fully close its Kansas City manufacturing facility, leaving 800 workers out of work.

Harley-Davidson executives say about 400 jobs will be sent to the corporation’s York, Pennsylvania manufacturing plant, but union workers allege their jobs are being sent overseas to Thailand.

In remarks to USA Today, a manufacturing worker who’s been at Harley-Davidson for more than 20 years will lose his job at the Kansas City Harley-Davidson facility. He says his job is going to Bangkok, Thailand, where the corporation is expanding jobs.

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Surveillance footage shows moment when road rage turned into a shooting outside a Georgia Walmart

Surveillance footage has surfaced showing the end result of a road rage incident that resulted in a shootout outside a Georgia Walmart.

Authorities said the incident occurred on April 30, when Jermaine Davis, 23, got into a verbal disagreement with Samuel Jones, 62, in the parking lot of a Walmart in Cobb County, Georgia.

Davis then allegedly punched Jones, who responded by pulling out his gun and shooting Davis.

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Trump Threatens "Traitor" White House Leakers: "We Will Find Out Who You Are"

Ever since President Trump took office, he has had to contend with leaky staff. From transcripts of his call with Mexican President Peña Nieto, to little leaks such as Trump ignoring the advice of national security advisors not to congratulate Russian President Vladimir Putin on his election win, to the seemingly monthly rumors of interpersonal feuds, imminent firings and upcoming plans - the Trump White House has been a veritable leak factory.

In response, President Trump has come out with a serious warning for White House leakers after a callous comment about John McCain's brain cancer made by communications staffer Kelly Sadler was leaked to the media last week.
The so-called leaks coming out of the White House are a massive over exaggeration put out by the Fake News Media in order to make us look as bad as possible. With that being said, leakers are traitors and cowards, and we will find out who they are!
After McCain urged the Senate to reject Gina Haspel's nomination for CIA director, calling her refusal to acknowledge torture's immorality "disqualifying," Sadler reportedly said "[i]t doesn't matter, he's dying anyway."

After the controversy over the Sadler comment, White House Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders held a meeting with the communications team about leaks, which promptly leaked to Axios.

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The Suicide of Europe

Baltimore’s acting police commissioner submits incorrect information on his ethics form

It was an error, says Gary Tuggle, attributing the misstatement of his Upper Marlboro home as located in “Baltimore MD” to a pull-screen problem.

On his first day as acting police commissioner, Gary Tuggle filed a city ethics statement on Friday that – twice – listed his home address as Baltimore, Md.

Tuggle, in fact, lives with his wife in a $760,000 house in Prince George’s County.

Reached this evening by The Brew, Tuggle said, “It should have stated Upper Marlboro. It’s obviously an error on my part.”

Asked how such an error could happen, he recalled that he had used a pull-down screen to list his address. “So why would it do that? Come up as Baltimore, Md., when the actual [street] address is correct?

“You know what I did,” he continued. “I went to the pull-down screen for the state, probably not the county.”

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Cities Now Use Taxes to Fight Blight. Is It Working?

Land use experts question whether vacant property taxes are the right way to spur development.

It’s a scenario that plays out over and over in cities across the country: A small business in a hip neighborhood closes, the storefront is left empty for months -- maybe years -- and then eventually gets replaced by a national chain.

Whether it’s gentrifying Brooklyn, Greenwich Village in Manhattan orMiami Beach, the coffee shops, boutiques and eateries that drew many residents to those areas are struggling to stay.

But why?

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An "Audible Gasp" Was Heard When The Chicago Fed Unveiled Its "Solution" To The Pension Problem

An audible gasp went out in the breakout room I was in at last month’s pension event cosponsored by The Civic Federation and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. That was when a speaker from the Chicago Fed proposed levying, across the state and in addition to current property taxes, a special property assessment they estimate would be about 1% of actual property value each year for 30 years.

Evidently, that wasn’t reality-shock enough. This week the Chicago Fed published that proposal formally. It’s linked here.

It surely ranks among the most blatantly inhumane and foolish ideas we’ve seen yet.

Homeowners with houses worth $250,000 would pay an additional $2,500 per year in property taxes, those with homes worth $500,000 would pay an additional $5,000, and those with homes worth $1 million would pay an additional $10,000.

Is the Chicago Fed blind to human consequences? Confiscatory property tax rates have already robbed hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of Illinois families of their home equity — probably the lion’s share of whatever wealth they had.

Property taxes in many Illinois communities already exceed 3%, 4% and even 5% of home values. Across Illinois, the average is a sky-high 2.67 percent, the highest in the nation.

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Pedestrian Deaths Are Rising. One Big Reason? SUVs

Local leaders are trying to figure out how to respond to the growing number of SUV-related fatalities while more Americans are choosing bigger cars.

As the number of pedestrian deaths continues to climb nationwide, a recent report highlighted one likely contributor that's only likely to get worse: a growing number of fatal SUV-pedestrian crashes.

Deadly SUV crashes are increasing at a far higher rate than crashes with any other type of vehicle. Fatal SUV-pedestrian collisions increased by 81 percent between 2009 and 2016, compared to 46 percent for all vehicles.

Fatal collisions with cars went up 41 percent in the same time, while they increased 32 percent with trucks and 15 percent with minivans and vans.

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Maryland Rep. Anthony Brown recovering from minor stroke

WASHINGTON — Maryland Rep. Anthony Brown (D, Md.) is resting at home after suffering a minor stroke Friday.

Brown was released from University of Maryland Prince George’s County Hospital Center Sunday.

Brown was taken there Friday afternoon, hours after attending the funeral for Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

According to The Washington Post, Brown complained of nausea and severe dizziness, causing his wife to call 911.

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Jury System

"We have a criminal jury system which is superior to any in the world; and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding
twelve men every day who don't know anything and can't read."
-- Mark Twain
[Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910

Cal Ripken Jr.'s Reisterstown estate sells at auction

Cal Ripken Jr.'s 24-acre Reisterstown estate sold at auction Saturday.

Eight bidders registered to participate in the auction, which was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. at the Dover Road property, according to Daniel DeCaro of DeCaro Auctions. The auction lasted about 15 minutes, he said.

The name of the winning bidder and the sale price were not announced; that information will become public record upon the settlement of the sale within the next 30 days, DeCaro said, declining to reveal the information.

Ripken had originally put the Worthington Valley property, at 13301 Dover Road, on the market for $12.5 million in September 2016. The price dropped to $9.7 million in April 2017, and was taken off the market altogether in August, real estate listings show.

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Navy’s new dress white uniforms put on display at Recruit Training Command

This may come as a shock, but the Navy is rolling out a new uniform.

Over 600 of the Navy’s newest sailors donned the latest duds — the updated service dress whites — during a May 5 graduation ceremony at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois.

Featuring noticeable blue accents, along with new side and front zippers designed to make changing in and out of the uniform easier, the first SDW redesign since 1980 made a positive impression on those in attendance, according to a Navy release.

“I like the change in the blue piping as it adds character to the uniform and makes it look dressier, compared to the old jumper top,” recruit band and choir conductor, Musician 1st Class Joseph Moore, said in the release. “The fit is more athletic along with the zipper allowing for easy removal of the jumper top.”

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Ocean City restrictions on boardwalk performances are unconstitutional, judge rules

Some restrictions on boardwalk performers in Ocean City have been deemed unconstitutional.

The Daily Times of Salisbury reports U.S. District Court Judge Richard D. Bennett ruled performers on the Ocean City Boardwalk will no longer have to sign up for spaces a week in advance. Performers are also no longer restricted to certain dedicated areas, and performances before 10 a.m. and advertising are now permitted.

The decision says Ocean City’s restrictions placed a “substantial burden” on harmless speech. Ocean City can still ban performances after 1 a.m., items bigger than 6 feet and performances on certain streets.

Ocean City Town Solicitor Guy Ayres says the town hasn’t decided whether to file an appeal.

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BAN THE VANS!! VANS ARE TOO DANGEROUS FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!

The Truth About Gold That Neither Bugs Nor Bulls Like to Admit

Let’s talk about Gold as an investment.

Gold is one of the most divisive asset classes on the planet. Stock-centric investors such as Warren Buffett think it’s a worthless “pet rock” that fails to appreciate in value. Gold bugs, on the other hand, revere the precious metal with an almost religious-like ferocity.

Both of these views are misguided particularly when you apply them to a framework that involves TIME.

The fact that Buffett accrued his great fortune during a brief period in which the financial system was based solely on fiat currency has lead him to view Gold with contempt. However, the fact remains that Gold has been a storehouse of value for 5,000 years.

Based on this alone, Buffett’s ideology is myopic. To sneer at Gold is to sneer at the history of money.

However, Gold Bugs are no better in that they focus too much on this “5,000 year metric.” The fact remains that since 1971, Gold has ceased to operate as a storehouse of value in the same way as it did during the other 4,962 years.

I’m NOT saying Gold is no longer a storehouse of value… I’m saying that Gold no longer stores value as it did PRIOR to 1971.

The reason for this concerns the fact that the world is now in a completely fiat-based financial system in which Central Banks can print tens of billions of their currencies at a whim. This opens the door to abject manipulation of Gold prices.

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Caption This Photo 5-15-18


Done


Cycling tourists were robbed, murdered in Mexico

Two European bicyclists found dead in a ravine in southern Mexico were robbed and murdered, authorities say, despite earlier claims they plunged to their deaths in an accident.

Prosecutor Luis Alberto Sanchez said the bodies of Krzystof Chmielewski, of Poland, and Holger Hagenbusch, of Germany, were found at the bottom of a cliff in Chiapas state, the BBC reported.

Chmielewski, 37, was shot in the head and found on April 26 about 130 feet below the road he’d been traveling on. Hagenbusch, 43, likely died from a head wound sustained during a beating and wasn’t discovered until May 4.

The announcement, on Friday, was the latest report to shock the crime-ridden country.

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Dave Janda – Global Criminal Syndicate Stripping Us of our Freedoms and Money

DOJ, FBI slow-walking release of documents hoping for a blue wave in midterms: Darrell Issa

Rep. Darrell Issa charged the Justice Department and FBI with purposefully slow-walking their responses to document requests from Congress in the hopes that Republicans will lose their majorities after the 2018 midterms.

With the Democrats in power, the California Republican claimed the intelligence community will get their way.

"The realty is they are being slow-walked until after the election with the hopes the Democrats will take over the House or the Senate and then the investigations will be covered up," Issa said on Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures."

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