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Saturday, February 15, 2020

Maryland AG Becomes First to Hide Plea for Bloomberg Money from Public

On Monday afternoon, May 6, 2019, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh filed an Answer in response to an open records lawsuit by Government Accountability & Oversight, P.C., a suit that seeks Frosh’s application to Michael Bloomberg’s “Center for State Impacts” for a privately hired prosecutor to “advanc[e] progressive clean energy, climate change, and environmental legal positions.”

That Center hired and is paying an attorney $125,000 plus benefits to serve as a “Pro Bono [sic] Special Counsel” in Frosh’s office in pursuit of issues of importance to Bloomberg and his Center. The group was organized for this purpose after the election of Donald Trump dealt the global warming agenda a setback.

As GAO details in its complaint, Frosh actually set the attorney’s six-figure salary before then appointing him a “pro bono” lawyer.

This is problematic: as affirmed in 2015 in State vs. Westray, under Maryland law “’Pro bono,’ of course, means that not only does the client not need to pay, but also the attorney represents the client without compensation.”

GAO has subsequently learned that Frosh first appointed the lawyer on January 3, 2018, but without citing any authority under Maryland law, which apparently does not exist. Then in another letter dated two weeks later — though apparently back-dated, as it was emailed to the lawyer over two months later — Frosh then appointed him citing the inapplicable “pro bono” provision.

Maryland OAG’s defiance represents a landmark refusal to provide a document that, while surely politically embarrassing and possibly offering legal or ethical peril, is not privileged.

That makes Frosh’s Office the only attorney general’s office to claim, brazenly, that whatever it promised to Bloomberg’s group, it is properly hidden from the public’s view.


A driver slams into a roundabout in Long Beach, California

US warship seizes huge cache of Iranian-made weapons including surface-to-air missiles from a vessel heading for Yemen in the Arabian Sea

A United States warship has seized a cache of Iranian-manufactured weapons heading to war-torn Yemen.

The USS Normandy boarded a dhow sailing vessel in the Arabian Sea on Sunday and found 150 anti-tank guided missiles and three surface-to-air missiles.

American Navy officials said the weapon design could be traced back to Iran, which is banned from shipping arms outside the country unless approved by the UN.


China Demands Resumption of Air Travel

Chinese state media on Wednesday demanded foreign carriers resume air travel even though the coronavirus epidemic is still raging.

China’s state-run Global Times insisted the number of coronavirus cases is dropping everywhere except for Hubei Province, the center of the outbreak, which “clearly shows the top-level preventive measures adopted across the country have taken effect and this severe epidemic has been put under control.”

Claiming that travel within China is beginning to return to normal, the Global Times declared, “It is high time for countries which have imposed travel restrictions on their citizens to reconsider this measure.”


Swamp Report: Peter Schweizer Reveals How Bernie Sanders Enriches His Family with Campaign Funds

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has repeatedly used his political position to steer money — both contributions to his campaigns and government funding — to his family members, explained Peter Schweizer, president of the Government Accountability Institute, senior contributor to Breitbart News, and author of Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite.

In the 13th installment of the Drill Down, Schweizer walks through how the self-described “democratic socialist” senator from Vermont channels campaign funds to his wife, Jane Sanders.

Throughout his congressional career in the House and Senate, Bernie Sanders has used campaign funds to procure media-buying services from a consulting company founded and operated by his wife and her children.


Maxine Waters: California Should Have More Say Over Primary Process Because of Its Rich Donors and Fancy Parties

Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.) said that California should have more influence over the Democratic primary process because the state has so many wealthy donors.

"We have candidates who fly out to Los Angeles from everywhere to raise money," Waters said Thursday on CNBC. "You would have two, three, four at a time in Beverly Hills having dinners and some of our contributors, who are very rich, were holding fancy parties, trying to accommodate the requests for donations and contributions."

"The thinking is that if we are supplying tremendous dollars to candidates, we ought to have more say," she added.


Weekly Wrap Up February 14th

Senator Addie Eckardt, District 37

Weekly Wrap-Up

February 14, 2020

This week, statues of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman were unveiled in the Old House Chamber.

2020 District Night
Our district night will be held on Monday, March 23rd in the Miller West Conference Room, starting at 6:00 p.m. We will have a tour of the State House at 7:15 followed by the Senate and House Sessions at 8:00. 
Please feel free to contact my office with any other questions and RSVP at

Bill Hearings this Week
Four of my bills were heard in committee this week. Senate Bill 337, which alters requirement for splash pads, was heard by the Judicial Proceedings Committee.
Senate Bill 495 allows for Bay Restoration Funds to be used to connect properties and subdivisions to waste-water treatment facilities that are in the process of being upgraded to achieve Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) or Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR). 
Senate Bill 387, if passed, would create a permanent funding source from unclaimed property for the Community Development Program and will help fund a program that promotes neighborhood revitalization across our District.
Senate Bill 576 alters requirements for certifications of competency and incapacity, allowing nurse practitioners to make these certifications. 
Thank you to all who testified in support of these bills. We will continue to work with our committees on these pieces of legislation.

Harris Announces Dredging Operations in Ocean City

WASHINGTON, DC: Rep. Andy Harris, M.D. (MD-01) announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has scheduled the next visit of their dredge CURRITUCK to Ocean City to begin on or about March 1st, subject to weather and schedule delays. The dredge will be dedicating 5 days specifically to Inlet dredging and then 25 days to Assateague Bypass dredging (which will benefit both the Inlet and the ebb/flood shoal).

Congressman Harris made the following statement:

“I am pleased that the Army Corps will again be conducting dredging operations in anticipation of the upcoming busy summer season. Keeping the channels open and navigable is crucial to the economy of Ocean City and I applaud the Corps for their continued efforts.”

Roger Stone demands a NEW trial after jury foreperson was revealed to be anti-Trump Democrat who posted about dirty trickster's arrest

Roger Stone demanded a retrial late Friday in a dramatic new twist in his prosecution - after the jury foreperson was revealed to be an anti-Donald Trump Democratic Congressional candidate who posted about Stone's arrest before his case.

Stone filed a sealed motion which the Department of Justice must respond to on Tuesday, two days before he was supposed to be sentenced.

The Washington Post reported that the motion was a request for a retrial, which is his second attempt at overcoming the outcome of his trial.

Stone was convicted on seven counts including witness tampering and lying to Congress and has already lost an attempt to force a retrial by claiming another juror was biased against him.


Mesh Nets Are Helping To Reduce Pollution

A city in West Australia has started putting netting over drainage pipes to reduce pollution.

The City of Kwinana has hailed the trial of drainage nets a success as it continues its journey towards less waste and increased sustainability.

The nets were first installed at just two locations in an effort to reduce trash from drainage systems within the city, particularly in areas where road drainage is discharged into public open spaces and reserves.

During the trial that lasted a few months, 370kg of debris consisting of food wrappers, plastic bottles, sand and tree leaves was cleaned out of the nets.


Feds to Track How Private Medicare Info Gets to Marketers

A government watchdog plans to launch a nationwide probe into how telemarketers may be getting hold of seniors’ personal Medicare information, a red flag for potential fraud and waste.

An official with the Health and Human Services inspector general's office told The Associated Press the audit will be announced next week. It would follow a narrower probe which found that an electronic system designed for pharmacies to verify Medicare coverage was being used for searches that appeared to have nothing to do with filling prescriptions. The official spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of a formal announcement.

The watchdog agency's decision comes amid a wave of relentlessly efficient telemarketing scams targeting Medicare recipients and involving everything from back braces to DNA cheek swabs.

Pharmacies are able to access coverage data on Medicare recipients by using a special provider number from the government.

But investigators found that four of the pharmacies they audited allowed marketing companies to use their provider numbers to ping Medicare.


Elizabeth Warren Consoles Supporters After NH: Breathe Deep, Eat Chocolate, ‘Hug Your Pet’

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) sent a sorrowful email to supporters following her poor performance in New Hampshire’s primary, assuring them it is acceptable to “take a moment and feel that pain” and encouraging them to eat extra chocolate, hug a pet, and “watch videos of cats and dogs who are friends” to better cope with the outcome.

More warm fuzzy thoughts here

Coronavirus Outbreak Exposes China’s Monopoly on U.S. Drug, Medical Supplies

The coronavirus outbreak has exposed the United States’ dangerous dependence on China for pharmaceutical and medical supplies, including an estimated 97 percent of all antibiotics and 80 percent of the active pharmaceutical ingredients needed to produce drugs in the United States.

The economic repercussions of the coronavirus reveal the dangers of allowing one country to have a near monopoly on global manufacturing, David Dayen explains in an article at the American Prospect:

China is a source of not only finished goods, but also of input parts and raw materials. A substantial number of the materials needed for defense and electronic systems come from China, and that nation is “the single or sole supplier for a number of specialty chemicals,” according to a recent Defense Department report. Rare earth minerals, which are critical to electronics, are largely mined in China. As a result, Chinese disruptions don’t just hit Chinese manufacturing, they hit everyone’s. Automakers have already had to slow or shut down factories globally due to supply shortages.

Perhaps the biggest concern is over medical supplies. China produces and exports a large amount of pharmaceuticals to the U.S., including 97 percent of all antibiotics and 80 percent of the active ingredients used to make drugs here. Penicillin, ibuprofen, and aspirin largely come from China.


Documents reveal DNC was 'intimately involved' with troubled Iowa caucus app

While the Democratic National Committee over the past 10 days has tried to distance itself from the troubled app that threw the results of the Iowa caucuses into disarray, a copy of the contract and internal correspondence provided to Yahoo News demonstrates that national party officials had extensive oversight over the development of the technology.

The Democrats’ Iowa caucuses took place on Feb. 3, but the outcome is still in question following a series of issues related to the failure of an app that was supposed to be used to submit results. In the days since the debacle, DNC Chair Tom Perez has criticized the Iowa Democrat Party, which ran the caucuses, and the developer of the app, Shadow Inc.

An unaffiliated Democrat operative in Iowa provided Yahoo News with a copy of the contract between Shadow and the Iowa Democrat Party. The contract, which was signed on Oct. 14, 2019, and refers to Shadow as the “Consultant,” specified that the company had to work with the DNC and provide the national party with access to its software for testing.


Obama admin. tried to meddle in several criminal probes

Democrats were quick to criticize President Trump’s words about the Roger Stone case this week. However, many have seemingly forgotten that former President Barack Obama involved himself in several criminal probes during his two terms in office.

In 2009, Obama faced backlash across the country after he criticized Massachusetts police for the arrest of Harvard Law professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. The former president, without a full briefing on the case, stated police had acted stupidly for arresting the black man and insinuated officers were guilty of racial profiling. He was later forced to apologize after learning the whole story.

“My hope is that, as a consequence of this event, this ends up being what I call a teachable moment,” stated Obama. “All of us, instead of pumping up the volume, (should) spend a little more time listening to each other.”

At a press conference in 2013, he unexpectedly weighed in on the shooting of Travyon Martin while the trial was still underway.

“When Travyon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son,” he said. “Another way of saying that is, Travyon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”

Later that year, Obama was caught in the crosshairs again when he stated military members convicted of sexual harassment should be dishonorably discharged.


Prosecutorial Misconduct, Clinton Connection in Duncan Hunter Case

It looked like a classic Justice Department squeeze play: pile a boatload of corruption charges on then-Representative Duncan Hunter, Republican of California, drag in his family, and plead it down to a single count and a resignation. But Hunter fought back. And now Judicial Watch has uncovered new evidence supporting allegations of misconduct by prosecutors in the case allied with Hillary Clinton.

Hunter and his wife were indicted in August 2018 on dozens of corruption charges related to misuse of campaign funds. Later, in separate court actions, they each pleaded guilty to a single charge. Hunter resigned from Congress in January.

In a June 2017 motion to dismiss, Hunter’s attorneys noted that the two lead Justice Department lawyers on the case, Alana Robinson and Emily Allen, had attended a 2015 political fundraiser for then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at the La Jolla mansion of a wealthy supporter. Hunter was a vocal critic of Mrs. Clinton and an early supporter of Donald Trump.

“In light of subsequent events and their initiation of the criminal investigation of Congressman Hunter,” Hunter’s lawyers wrote, the attendance at the fundraiser by the two prosecutors “raises serious concerns regarding a conflict of interest and a loss of impartiality.” Both prosecutors are registered Democrats. “The undeniable facts are that both attended [the fundraiser] for one purpose and one purpose only—they attended to meet the person they believed would be the next President of the United States.”

The Justice Department responded with a mystifying claim...

Judicial Watch Sues FBI for Records on Seth Rich

Judicial Watch has announced that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the FBI for all records related to murdered Democratic National Committee (DNC) Voter Expansion Data Director Seth Rich.

Rich, 27, was murdered on July 10, 2016, according to the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia. The DC police reports that Rich was killed at approximately 4:19 a.m. in the 2100 block of Flagler Place NW, Washington, DC.

No one has been charged in connection with Rich’s death. The case has not been closed, and the DC police are offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.


Launch Reminder......

Warren: Unequal treatment from mainstream media outlets

Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) issued a scathing denunciation of the mainstream media on Friday, accusing several outlets of ignoring her campaign in favor of lesser candidates and blaming that coverage in part for her campaign's failure to gain traction with primary voters.

In an email to supporters on Friday, Warren's campaign said it could no longer "count on the media to cover our campaign fairly." It argued that other candidates, such as former vice president Joe Biden, received more coverage despite posting less impressive results in early primary states.

More here

The Democrats CANNOT Win In November! Let Me Explain

A Viewer Writes....2nd Ammendment under assault in MD


Looks like we are in for a 2A battle this spring, see links. Public needs to know. Thanks in advance.

Coronavirus 2-15-2020


Trump has a big opportunity to win a lot of black votes in 2020

After two years of being called a racist every day by the national media and putting forth only the mildest effort to gain black support during the 2016 election, President Trump still earned roughly the same amount of black votes any Republican would have. But what are Democrats going to do if, this time around, he actually puts his back into it?

Some important liberals have already noticed that it might be happening.

“When Trump launched ‘Black Voices for Trump’ at an event in Atlanta in November, I gasped, ‘Lawd, Jesus!’” Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart wrote last month. “Politically, it’s a smart move on Trump’s part.”

Following Trump’s State of the Union address this month, CNN’s Van Jones said, “What [Trump] was saying to African Americans can be effective. You may not like it, but he mentioned [historically black colleges and universities]. … He threw a lifeline to them in real life in his budget.”


Did the dirty cops of the Roger Stone case step into a Barr trap?

Roger Stone liked to gleefully call himself a "dirty trickster," but he was no match for the dirty cops of the Department of Justice who railroaded him with a nine-year sentence for three process crimes, including one where his purported victim said no crime happened.

Now it looks as though the dirty cops - the four prosecutors who lied to the Department of Justice about Stone's sentencing recommendations, and the far-left judge who allowed a nakedly Trump-hating partisan to serve as Stone's jury forewoman again - might just have been trapped themselves by none other than U.S. Attorney General William Barr.

For starters, it would explain why President Trump says he has no beef with Barr over Barr's criticism of his tweets. It would also explain why the Schiff show in the House, fresh from failing to take down Trump, says it now wants to impeach Barr.


Are Americans Ready for a Homosexual President?

Rush Limbaugh asks: Does Mayor Pete's open homosexuality make him unelectable?

A glaring issue that few conservative pundits have hitherto dared to weigh in on was finally broached by Rush Limbaugh on his radio show Wednesday. Assessing Democrat voters’ options for presidential candidates, Rush observed, “You’ve got Fauxcahontas way back there in the background barely out of the tepee bringing up the tail end. Biden’s gone. So you’re faced with a dyed-in-the-wool socialist who’s not even a Democrat [and] a gay guy, 37 years old, loves kissing his husband on debate stages.”

Limbaugh continued, “You’re looking at your options today, and you’re asking, ‘OK, can we win with Klobuchar? We don’t want to put Klobuchar up there because she doesn’t have a prayer.’ Then they’re sitting there, and they’re looking at Mayor Pete, a 37-year-old gay guy, mayor of South Bend, loves to kiss his husband on the debate stage. And they’re saying, ‘OK, how’s this gonna look — a 37-year-old gay guy kissing his husband onstage next to Mr. Man Donald Trump? What’s gonna happen there?’” He then wondered, “[Democrat leaders] gotta be looking at that. They’ve gotta be saying that despite all the great progress and despite all the great ‘wokeness’ and despite all the great ground that’s been covered, America’s still not ready to elect a gay guy kissing his husband on the debate stage. … They have to be saying this, don’t they?”


Justice Department opens inquiry into Flynn's guilty plea

The Justice Department recently opened an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the FBI's interview of Michael Flynn while he was serving as President Donald Trump's national security adviser, according to two people familiar with the inquiry.

Flynn pleaded guilty to giving false statements to the FBI during that interview, but recently asked to withdraw that plea, further delaying his sentencing.

Attorney General William Barr asked the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, Jeffrey Jensen, to look into Flynn's FBI interview, the people familiar with the inquiry said. The inquiry began within the past month, they said.

Around that same time, federal prosecutors on the Flynn case came under pressure from senior Justice Department officials to recommend a lighter sentence for Flynn than they had proposed, according to people familiar with the matter.

A third person familiar with the inquiry said Jensen is broadly reviewing the Flynn case.


WSJ: No Sex ‘Spectrum’ Beyond Male and Female

The Wall Street Journal has issued a throwdown to the gender lobby, insisting in an op-ed Thursday that sex is binary and there is no “spectrum.”

“In humans, reproductive anatomy is unambiguously male or female at birth more than 99.98% of the time,” note biologists Colin M. Wright and Emma N. Hilton. “The evolutionary function of these two anatomies is to aid in reproduction via the fusion of sperm and ova.”

“No third type of sex cell exists in humans, and therefore there is no sex ‘spectrum’ or additional sexes beyond male and female."

"Sex is binary,” they assert.

As the American College of Pediatricians concurred in 2016, the exceedingly rare disorders of sex development “are all medically identifiable deviations from the sexual binary norm, and are rightly recognized as disorders of human design. Individuals with DSDs do not constitute a third sex.”

The WSJ writers are responding to what they call a “dangerous and anti-scientific trend toward the outright denial of biological sex,” which sees male and female as “arbitrary groupings.”

More here

Cops say they targeted Asian homeowners. In one case, stealing $243,000 in jewelry, coins.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WJLA) — A crew of burglars from New York City used research, walkie talkies, and bags filled with tools to target Asian homeowners in some of the DMV's most exclusive zip codes, court documents obtained by 7 On Your Side reveal.

On February 4, a resident along the 9900 block of River View Court in Potomac returned home and discovered his kitchen door had been shattered. It was 10:30 p.m. He had been gone since 2 p.m. The male homeowner entered his bedroom and determined $243,000 in jewelry, gemstones, and coins were missing.
  • Fifteen Olympic gold coins: $100,000
  • Fifteen Olympic silver coins: $50,000
  • Twelve jadeite gemstones: $20,000
  • Ten sapphire ruby gemstones: $20,000
  • Cartier platinum watch: $20,000
  • Jade flying dragon: $20,000
  • Gold watch: $10,000
  • Two rings: $3,000
According to Long & Foster's website, the 8,000-square-foot home along River View Court last sold in 2014 for $2.58 million. It sits on a cul-de-sac, at the end of a wooded street, off of River Road.


Government agents seized $181,500 in cash at airport and won't give it back

A Florida trucking company is suing two federal agencies, saying agents seized $181,500 in cash at Tampa International Airport and won't give it back.

The federal lawsuit filed by FGL Transport, Inc., and owners Scott Smith and Michael Rozenberg asks the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, along with agency officials, to return the money, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

The lawsuit claims that in September, the company gave employee Boris Nulman $191,500 and a plane ticket to Cleveland to purchase several big trucks. When the cash in Nulman's carry-on bag went through a Transportation Security Administration scanner, the agents pulled it aside for an inspection.


Report: Trump Deploying ‘Elite Tactical Agents’ to 10 Sanctuary Cities

President Trump is deploying a group of “elite tactical agents” to sanctuary cities across the United States to increase the number of arrests of criminal illegal aliens, a report states.

According to sources who spoke to the New York Times, Trump is sending about 100 agents of the elite U.S. Border Patrol tactical unit known as BORTAC to sanctuary cities such as:
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • New York City, New York
  • Newark, New Jersey
  • San Francisco, California
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Houston, Texas
  • Boston, Massachusetts
The BORTAC agents are expected to help Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents with deportation operations between February and May in an effort to increase arrests of criminal illegal aliens by 35 percent, according to emails read to the Times.


CDC Says Coronavirus Test Kits Flawed

Some coronavirus test kits distributed by the Centers for Disease Controls are flawed, and have resulted in "inconclusive" readings, resulting in delayed results, the CDC reported Thursday.

The CDC sent out 200 test kits to labs in the U.S. and to more than 30 countries after getting emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.

"We are looking into all of these issues to understand what went wrong," said Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC, on a press call with reporters.

"Obviously, a state wouldn't want to be doing this test and using it to make clinical decisions if it isn't working as well, as perfectly, at the state as it is at CDC,” Messonnier said.


Prosecutors: Boutique owned by Pugh & city comptroller Pratt was used to launder money

BALTIMORE, MD (WBFF) — Prosecutors claim a now closed boutique co-owned by former mayor Catherine Pugh and city comptroller Joan Pratt was used to launder thousands of dollars of unreported contributions from city contractor J.P. Grant.

Pratt admits filing the boutique’s tax return, but insists she thought the funds were a loan from Pugh, not a campaign contribution.

Last month fox45 also questioned donations Pratt received from city contractors. It's a practice some are questioning, but is not illegal.

"Those are the rules and I’m comfortable with it. That has been a pattern and practice for elected officials to obtain campaign contributions from people who do business with the city." Reporter Jeff Abell asked 'It doesn’t unduly influence you in any way?' "Absolutely not," Pratt replied.


WOCOSAO: Todd Pivec Sentenced To 17 Years in Prison For Negligent Manslaughter

Trump becomes first president named Daytona 500 grand marshal

President Trump is taking part in this year’s Daytona 500.

Not as a driver, but as grand marshal, which means he gets to give the “start your engines” command to the 43 entrants in The Great American Race.

It’ll mark the first time a president, sitting or former, has ever held the role. The only other time a sitting president attended the race was when George Bush came in 2004, the year Dale Earnhardt Jr. won his first 500.

Earnhardt was grand marshal in 2018 and will be on the stand this Sunday to wave the green flag as honorary starter.

Political Memes

Saturday Morning Funnies

NOI 2/14/2020 Wicomico Mult Family Dwelling Fitzwater Street

new patch


Date: February 14, 2020
Time:  1:15 a.m.
Location / Address: 673 Fitzwater Street, Salisbury, Wicomico Co. 
Type of Incident:  Fire
Description of Structure / Property: Two story wood and brick frame multi-family dwelling                 
Owner / Occupants:  GNI Properties (Owner)      Shaun Buie (Occupant)
Injuries or Deaths: None
Estimated $ Loss: Structure:  $40,000.00                      Contents: $5,000.00
Smoke Alarm Status: Present and Active 
Fire Alarm / Sprinkler Status: None
Arrests(s):  None
Primary Responding Fire Department: Salisbury Fire Department
# of Alarms: 1       # Of Firefighters: 35 
Time to Control: 30 minutes
Discovered By: Occupant  
Area of Origin: Front hall 
Preliminary Cause: Accidental, spontaneous combustion of recently laundered items
Additional Information: