The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent our advertisers

Friday, February 14, 2020

Pillstream #3 They wanted edgy! Live from the "Bunker"

Harris Announces Nearly $2 Million in Local Grant Funding

WASHINGTON, DC: Rep. Andy Harris, M.D. (MD-01) announced nearly $2 million in local grant funding awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to the city of Salisbury and to Harford County. The funds were awarded through the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) and the HOME program. The CDBG program funds grants to provide for decent housing and a suitable living environment, and to expand economic opportunities, for low- and moderate-income persons. The HOME program helps to expand the supply of decent, affordable housing to low- and very low-income families by funding housing programs that meet local needs and priorities.

  • The Community Development Block Grant program awarded $387,418 to Salisbury.
  • The Community Development Block Grant program awarded $1.089 million to Harford County.
  • The HOME program awarded $492,822 to Harford County.
Congressman Harris made the following statement:

“Affordable housing is an increasingly important issue for our local communities, and I applaud the award of these federal grants to invest in housing for low-income families. As a member of the Committee on Appropriations, I am committed to ensuring that families in our local communities get the help they need.”

You’ve Got Mail: Governor’s Office Delivers Gerrymandering Valentines to Maryland Legislators

“I Wish My Feelings For You Could Be Fairly Represented”

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan’s office today delivered gerrymandering-themed valentines to lawmakers to remind them of the 13 Going on 30 reasons why the Maryland General Assembly should finally take action on nonpartisan redistricting reform.

These love notes to democracy, delivered to members of House and Senate leadership, as well as members of the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs and House Rules and Executive Nominations committees, include:

  • “Hey Valentine! You have an unfair advantage in the race to my heart.”
  • “Roses are red, violets are blue. Together let’s ensure voters’ votes remain true!”
  • “You’re as fine as a fairly drawn district line.”
  • “I wish my feelings for you could be fairly represented.”
The valentines were adorned by some of the most perplexing and Clueless of Maryland’s congressional and legislative districts.

This marks the fifth straight year that Governor Hogan has submitted legislation to create a nonpartisan redistricting commission. And while it may seem like Groundhog Day to legislators who keep putting the legislation in a drawer without even bringing it up for a vote, the Hogan administration will not let up in its efforts to ensure fairness in the drawing of both congressional and legislative districts.

Calls for nonpartisan redistricting reform have reached a Fever Pitch in recent years, and in Maryland, Love Actually is all around for the governor’s common sense proposal, which is supported by an overwhelming majority of Marylanders.

There’s Something about Mary(land), which has the unfortunate distinction of having some of the most gerrymandered districts in America, and clearly Something’s Gotta Give. In March 2019, Governor Hogan and former California governor and Kindergarten Cop Arnold Schwarzenegger filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court in support of the plaintiffs in Benisek v. Lamone, which challenged the constitutionality of Maryland’s gerrymandered 6th Congressional District. Several prominent Maryland politicians were deposed in the case, including former Governor Martin O’Malley, who admitted to drawing maps While You Were Sleeping with the “intent to create a district where the people would be more likely to elect a Democrat than a Republican.” Governors Hogan and Schwarzenegger attended oral arguments in the Benisek v. Lamone case and took part in a rally hosted by Common Cause and the League of Women Voters.

Taking action this year would be As Good As It Gets for the Maryland General Assembly and a huge win for the people of Maryland.

Print your own valentines to show your loved ones the importance of free and fair elections in Maryland. xoxo

Adding a Slice of Lemon to Your Water Is Actually a Terrible Idea

We've all heard of the stomach-flattening properties of detox water, and many of us rely on a simple recipe daily—adding a slice or wedge of lemon to every glass. While this practice is super-common, and an easy and affordable way to pep up plain H2O), it turns out lemon lovers could be ingesting a lot more than they think.

According to The Huffington Post, cafe lemon water is seriously, surprisingly gross. Like, maybe don't drink it gross. Citing a recent study conducted by the Journal of Environmental Health, in which researchers swabbed 76 lemons (collected from 21 restaurants), it was found that 70 percent had produced microbial growth. Worse, the samples were collected from either soda or water as soon as either were served, which means the microorganisms present most likely came either from an employee, or (worse) raw meat or poultry contamination. Kind of terrifying, right?

Well, it gets worse, because that's not the only study that's contained similar results. In a similar experiment conducted by Philip Tierno, Ph.D., a clinical professor of microbiology and pathology, researchers found that half of lemon wedges collected from various restaurants were contaminated with human fecal matter. Let's let that sink in for a minute, shall we? Fecal matter. It seems like those "all employees must wash their hands upon using the restroom" signs are actually necessary. Apparently Tierno believes that this could be due at least in part to a tendency for restaurant staff to either not wash lemons at all, or just give them a quick rinse. Among the specimens of microbes collected were E. coli, staphylococcus epidermidis and candida. Yep, the same candida you're thinking of.


North Korean official reportedly executed for breaking coronavirus quarantine

A North Korean official who returned from China has reportedly been executed for going to a public bath in violation of his quarantine – while experts express doubts about Pyongyang’s claim that the hermit kingdom doesn’t have a single case of the coronavirus.

The trade official, who had been placed in isolation after traveling to China, was arrested and immediately shot for risking the spread of the deadly disease, the Dong-a Ilbo news outlet in South Korea reported.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has vowed to “rule by military law” against anyone who leaves quarantine without permission.


It’s all skate on second floor at Berlin Fire Co

The Berlin Fire Company will install a portable synthetic ice rink inside its facility for use for the entire month of March, the organization said during a quarterly report to the Berlin mayor and Town Council last Monday.

“We are in the process of bringing [the ice rink] to the town of Berlin, and that will be at the Berlin Fire Company’s second floor,” President of Berlin Fire and EMS David Fitzgerald said. “We are going to use it for fundraisers.”

The 32 by 52 feet rink can used for parties, fundraisers and other special events. The Berlin Fire Company will have a $5 charge to use the rink on Thursday through Sunday evenings as well as Saturday afternoons.

“We appreciate any support we have from the community to come up and enjoy that rink in March while it’s still cold out,” Fitzgerald said. “Our hall is heated and uses synthetic ice. You can have a nice evening or afternoon.”


Herman Cain: Growing support for Trump among black voters has Democrats 'terrified'

Herman Cain said President Trump’s policies are starting to win over black voters.

In an opinion piece written for Western Journal, Cain detailed an experience he had with a black small business owner who waited for him as he exited a plane and spoke of his support for Trump.

Cain, a former pizza business CEO and presidential candidate, explained how this black Trump supporter saw through the “groupthink that has clearly afflicted the black population” in the United States.

“He hasn’t been influenced by the rhetoric, the innuendo and the propaganda,” Cain wrote. “He’s looking at the results. He works hard at his business, and he understands the dynamics that are necessary if he’s going to succeed. He recognizes that it’s President Trump’s policies that are creating that necessary environment for success.”


College football player slams officer onto concrete during heated altercation, video shows

An altercation between a college football player and Ohio police officers Monday during a traffic stop ended up with the man slamming one of the officers, dashcam video shows.

Michael Harris, a linebacker for Eastern Kentucky University, was seen on the video in a parking lot near what appeared to be his SUV. As a Grove City police cruiser pulled up, the dashcam video showed Harris and another officer talking to each other.

Harris at one point put his hands up while being patted down. More words were exchanged and one officer appeared to put one of his hands on the back of the player’s head. Harris then tried to get back into the vehicle, but was pushed away and officers tried to arrest the man.

Mr. Smith Gets Blackpilled

Donald Trump's White House showdown with Andrew Cuomo over banning global entry for New Yorkers ends in stalemate after president demands state stops suing him and attacks his brother Chris as 'Fredo'

A White House meeting Thursday between U.S. President Donald Trump and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo over New York's pro-immigrant policies was 'productive,' according to Trump's top homeland official.

Acting U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, who attended Thursday's meeting, said in a written statement that discussions between both sides would continue with the goal of reaching 'a mutually agreeable solution.'

The DHS announced a policy last week that would bar hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers from new enrollment and renewals in federal programs that help travelers speed through airport security lines and borders.

The action was in response to New York's Green Light law passed last June that lets unauthorized immigrants apply for driver's licenses and limits the access of federal immigration authorities to records from the state's Department of Motor Vehicles



Three Members of an Eastern Shore Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced to Five, Eight, and Eleven Years in Federal Prison

Distributed Substantial Quantities of Fentanyl, Heroin, Cocaine, and Methamphetamine

Baltimore, Maryland – Three members of an Eastern Shore drug trafficking organization have been sentenced to federal prison on drug conspiracy charges. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced the three co-defendants to terms of imprisonment ranging from just over five years to just over 11 years.

Today, James Eley, age 34, of Millsboro, Delaware, was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison, followed by four years of supervised release, for a drug distribution conspiracy involving heroin and fentanyl. On February 10, 2020, co-defendant James Martel Frazier, age 34, of Cambridge, was sentenced to 135 months—just over 11 years—in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, on the conspiracy charge and a related firearms charge. On January 15, 2020, co-defendant Jason Brittingham, age 37, of Federalsburg was sentenced to eight years in federal prison, followed by four years of supervised release, for his role in the organization.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge John Eisert of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; the members of the Dorchester County Narcotics Task Force, including: Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Dorchester County Sheriff James W. Phillips, Jr.; Chief Mark Lewis of the Cambridge Police Department; Chief Bruce Jones of the Hurlock Police Department; Caroline County Sheriff Randy Bounds, Chief Rodney R. Cox of the Denton Police Department, and Colonel Nathaniel McQueen, Jr. of the Delaware State Police.

Launch At Wallops Delayed

Md. lawmaker proposes bill after teen given birth control implant at school

BALTIMORE — A new bill requires parental consent for certain kinds of birth control.

The legislator proposed the measure after seeing WMAR-2 News Mallory Sofastaii's report on a 16 year old girl who received a birth control implant while at school.

Nicole Lambert learned from her child's pediatrician that her daughter had Nexplanon, a form of long-acting reversible contraception, implanted in her arm and it wasn't by her doctor.

“She was like the school did it. The nurse at the school,” Lambert said.

Lambert had received calls from the school for permission to dispense other medications, but never this.

“They call me for Tylenol, but they don't call me about birth control,” said Lambert.


JUST IN: Michael Avenatti found guilty in Nike extortion case

Former Stormy Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti was found guilty of trying to extort Nike.

A jury in a New York federal court determined Avenatti, 48, was guilty of three charges on Friday: transmission of interstate communications with intent to extort, attempted extortion, and honest services wire fraud.

Prosecutors said the disgraced lawyer attempted to extort between $15 million and $22.5 million from the company “by threatening to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial and reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met.”

His sentencing is June 17.


Nathan’s OC Franchise Seeks Hot Dog Contest Qualifier

OCEAN CITY — Although there are details to work out and approvals to be gained, a qualifying event for the world-renowned Nathan’s Fourth of July hot dog eating contest on the Fourth of July could come to Ocean City.

During Tuesday’s Recreation and Parks Committee meeting, Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs Ocean City Boardwalk franchisee Russell Laurenzano told committee members he was in discussion with bringing a qualifying event for Nathan’s famous 4th of July hot dog eating contest at Coney Island to Ocean City in June.

In the months leading up to the popular annual event, pre-qualifying events are held at different venues in cities all over the country. For example, the list of last year’s qualifying events included cities such as Washington, D.C., Norfolk, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Salt Lake City and Santa Cruz, N.M., for example.

Laurenzano told the recreation and parks committee on Tuesday he is working with the event’s promoter, Major League Eating, to host a Nathan’s hot dog contest qualifying event on the beach in Ocean City near his Nathan’s franchise on the Boardwalk near 3rd Street on Saturday, June 13, which is also the Saturday of the Ocean City Air Show this year.


3,000 Students Expected To Attend JA Inspire Event In OC

OCEAN CITY – Thousands of eighth-grade students from six counties will visit Ocean City later this month for an interactive career exploration event hosted by Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore.

On Thursday, Feb. 27, the entire eighth-grade population of Worcester, Wicomico, Somerset, Dorchester, Caroline and Talbot counties will attend the second annual JA Inspire event at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center in Ocean City.

Throughout the course of the day, roughly 3,000 students will interact with representatives from nearly 140 local businesses to learn about various career paths.

“Part of the problem on the Eastern Shore is not that there’s a lack of jobs, but that there’s a lack of people who are trained to do the jobs that exist …,” Junior Achievement’s Development Manager Lisa Thornton said. “So JA Inspire was our answer to the shortage of skilled employees here on the shore.”


Roger Stone jury foreperson comes forward to defend prosecutors - but social media history of the failed Democrat candidate reveals she mocked his arrest, labeled Trump supporters racist and posed with ex-DNC chair Donna Brazil

The foreperson on the jury that convicted Roger Stone has come forward, and is revealed to be a failed Democrat candidate for Congress and activist vehemently opposed to President Donald Trump.

Tomeka Hart, a former Memphis City Schools Board President, came forward as the Stone jury foreperson in a Facebook post on Wednesday, voicing support for prosecutors in the case.

Hart confirmed to The Daily Memphian that she wrote the Facebook post, but she declined an interview with the newspaper.

Stone supporters were shocked when a review of Hart's social media posts showed that she posted on Twitter mocking Stone's dramatic arrest prior to being seated on the jury, and frequently denounced Trump, including calling the president and his supporters racists.


Coronavirus 2-14-2020


DOJ: Andrew McCabe Will Not Face Criminal Charges

Former Acting Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe will not face criminal charges for allegedly lying to agents about a leak to reporters, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) letter released Friday afternoon.

J.P. Cooney and Molly Gaston, two officials in the DOJ’s Fraud & Public Corruption Section, wrote to McCabe’s lawyers, saying, “after careful consideration, the Government has decided not to pursue criminal charges against your client, Andrew G. McCabe.”

McCabe was under investigation for reportedly lying to FBI agents in 2017 who were investigating a leak to the Wall Street Journal which he allegedly authorized. The Washington Post reported that a grand jury was impaneled for the case in 2018.


Why Are RED States Turning BLUE? LTC Allen West Explains

No Action For Fenwick On Trump Executive Order

FENWICK ISLAND – Officials in Fenwick Island took no action last month in responding to a presidential executive order involving refugee resettlement.

At its meeting Jan. 24, the Fenwick Island Town Council took no action on a presidential executive order requiring state and local governments to consent, in writing, to the resettlement of refugees in local jurisdictions.

The executive order, issued by President Donald Trump on Sept. 26, 2019, states that the directive would enhance state and local involvement in the refugee resettlement process.

“State and local governments are best positioned to know the resources and capacities they may or may not have available to devote to sustainable resettlement, which maximizes the likelihood refugees placed in the area will become self-sufficient and free from long-term dependence on public assistance,” the executive order reads. “Some states and localities, however, have viewed the existing consultation as insufficient, and there is a need for closer coordination and a more clearly defined role for State and local governments in the refugee resettlement process. My Administration seeks to enhance these consultations.”

In short, the executive order requires state and local governments to consent, in writing, to the resettlement of refugees in local jurisdictions before they are resettled in states or municipalities under the Department of State’s Reception and Placement Program. If a state or local government does not provide consent, refugees will not be settled in that area unless decided otherwise by the U.S. Secretary of State.

In Delaware, Gov. John Carney has issued a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agreeing to continue accepting the resettlement of refugees.


Environmentalists, Shore officials oppose Conowingo settlement

The Conowingo Dam controversy isn’t settled just yet.

Environmental groups and some rural Maryland officials are calling on federal regulators to reject the deal that the state has reached with the owner of the Conowingo Dam to address the harm the hydropower facility has caused to the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay. Spurred by that opposition, a bipartisan group of state lawmakers is making a bid to block the agreement through legislation.

Nearly 60 comments, the vast majority critical, have been filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission concerning the dam relicensing agreement announced in late October between the Maryland Department of the Environment and Exelon Corp. Along with a petition bearing more than 600 names, they argue that the settlement falls far short of remedying the ecological harm the dam has caused in the lower Susquehanna River and Upper Bay.


Wicomico Council Supports Student Transportation Bill

SALISBURY – Officials in Wicomico County last week agreed to send a letter of support for proposed legislation that could improve student transportation.

Last week, representatives from Wicomico County Public Schools (WCPS) came before the Wicomico County Council seeking support for proposed state legislation permitting alternative modes of student transportation.

According to the Code of Maryland Regulations, often referred to as COMAR, school systems can utilize two types of vehicles – school buses and taxicabs – to transport students to or from school or school-related activities. While a school system can seek a waiver from the state superintendent to use alternative vehicles, that approval does not permit transportation to and from school.

Desmond Hughes, transportation services director for WCPS, told the council last week that those regulations were incongruous with federal mandates.


How Is this Fair? Social Media Posts Prove Judge Amy Berman Jackson Rigged Roger Stone Trial with Far Left Loons and Activists

Corrupt Obama-appointed Judge Amy Berman Jackson last week denied Roger Stone’s sealed motion for a new trial.

As reported earlier by Cristina Laila — according to the February 5th order issued by Judge Jackson, Roger Stone cited a problem with a juror, however his motion was denied.

The details of the juror are unknown because the order released Wednesday was redacted, however, Roger Stone’s defense team in November tried to strike down several potential jurors who were overt Trump-hating leftists.


'They should be terrified': Republicans fear Bloomberg as Biden fades

With Joe Biden staggering, confidence in President Trump’s reelection is soaring inside a once-concerned Republican establishment, with only Michael Bloomberg among the remaining Democratic contenders identified as a mortal threat.

Biden placed a demoralizing fifth place in the New Hampshire primary, and, in interviews on Wednesday, nearly a dozen senior Republican strategists dismissed the top three finishers, the Democratic Party’s new 2020 top tier, as fatally flawed. Bernie Sanders is too liberal to beat Trump in key suburban and Midwestern battlegrounds, they claim, and Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar are too weak with nonwhite voters, a core Democratic constituency that would need to turn out strongly for any Democrat to win and that is being aggressively wooed by the president.

Bloomberg suffers from some of the same vulnerabilities, but the billionaire media mogul has one undisputed advantage that has Republican insiders on edge: money. The former New York City mayor has invested more than $350 million since late November, fielding a campaign so massive that it amounts to a shadow political party. Republicans take seriously Bloomberg’s promise to spend whatever it takes to oust Trump and concede the gambit could work.


MSP Investigating Apparent Triple Shooting In Wicomico County

Cuomo caves in: NY Governor says he WILL give Feds access to state DMV records if Trump reverses ban on 175,000 New Yorkers accessing trusted traveler schemes - hours before meeting the President

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has indicated that he will make concessions to President Donald Trump in a long-standing dispute over the state's pro-immigrant 'sanctuary' policies.

In radio interviews on Wednesday, Cuomo said he would allow federal officials limited access to a Department of Motor Vehicles database if the Trump administration reverses its move to block state residents from Global Entry and other programs that allow travelers to avoid long border security lines.

The governor's unexpected comments came just hours before he is set to meet Trump on Thursday to discuss the issue that's had the pair at odds for the past week.


"Maybe I'll Vote Democrat Again"

Liberal Groups and High-Powered Lawyers Swarm Detroit to Keep Dead Voters on Rolls

Liberal groups and high-powered New York attorneys swooped into Detroit this week to help the city fight a lawsuit over its voter roll irregularities, which included thousands of deceased individuals appearing on the rolls.

The League of Women Voters of Michigan and its Detroit chapter filed a motion to intervene on behalf of Detroit city clerk Janice Winfrey and Director of Elections George Azzouz. Winfrey and Azzouz were sued in December by the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), an election integrity group. The officials had ignored PILF's requests to inspect Detroit's voter registrations after the group discovered thousands of ineligible voters on the city's rolls.

The Brennan Center for Justice, a progressive policy institute at New York University School of Law, will help the League fight PILF's lawsuit.


Flu warnings after 25 people die in Maryland

Scott Brady: Sanctuary cities undermine law

On Jan, 6, 2020, 92-year-old Maria Fuentes was raped and murdered by Reeaz Khan, a 21-year-old illegal immigrant in New York City.

But this tragedy was entirely preventable. In fact, Khan should have been in custody at the time because six weeks earlier Khan was jailed and arrested for domestic violence charges.

Because he was in the country illegally, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) filed a detainer that requested that the jail give ICE prior notice and the opportunity to detain Khan before the jail released him. Rather than honoring this request, New York officials released Khan. Had they honored the detainer, Ms. Fuentes might still be alive today.

We have witnessed similar tragedies in Pennsylvania.


IMPORTANT SMS School Messenger to Parents and Staff

House votes to end deadline for states to ratify the ERA

WASHINGTON-The House voted Thursday to remove the deadline for states to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.

The ERA states that the “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on the basis of sex.”

Democrats unanimously supported the resolution abolishing the deadline, sponsored by Rep. Jackie Speier, D-California. Five Republicans joined them on the 232-183 vote.

“Today, we made it clear that progress and justice cannot be stopped and that righteousness still prevails in our proud democracy,” said Speier, who is co-chairwoman of the Democratic Women’s Caucus.


Thank God It's Friday

What will you be doing this weekend?

Prosecutors recommend Pugh be sentenced to almost 5 years in prison

BALTIMORE —Federal prosecutors are recommending a sentence of almost five years in prison for former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh.

Federal prosecutors said an investigation into Pugh began in February 2017 based on accusations she used her children's books as a ruse to raise money for her mayoral campaign and a new house.

Prosecutors are seeking a sentence of 57 months. The case never went to trial and this new 90-page filing is loaded with details of what likely would have been used against Pugh in court.

In its sentencing memorandum, the government wrote, "The maximum sentence within the applicable guideline range provides an adequate and just punishment for Pugh's longstanding pattern of criminal conduct and serves to deter other would be corrupt politicians from breaching the public's trust."


Political Memes

Friday Morning Funnies

Crews from Salisbury, Delmar, and Hebron battled a rowhouse fire

Harris Statement on Equal Rights Amendment Deadline

WASHINGTON, DC: Rep. Andy Harris, M.D. (MD-01) made the following statement regarding the House vote to remove the ratification deadline for the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution.

“This is just another example of the Speaker of the House trampling the Constitution. Even Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said this week that this process must start all over.”

The Equal Rights Amendment was passed by Congress in 1972, with a ratification deadline of March 1979 for the required number of states (38). When this deadline passed, only 35 states had ratified the amendment, and five of these states also rescinded their ratifications.