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

Thursday, April 16, 2020

China Touts ‘Health Silk Road’ Takeover Plan in Coronavirus-Stricken Iran

China’s ambassador to Iran published an op-ed on Monday promoting China’s “Health Silk Road,” – a new health care analog to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – in the state-run Iran newspaper, Radio Farda, the Persian affiliate of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), revealed.

Iran has become the second-worst hit country after China by the Wuhan coronavirus, according to figures organized by dissident groups amid widespread distrust of official government statistics. Over 28,200 people have died from the coronavirus in Iran, according to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the country’s largest opposition group.

In contrast, Iran claims only 4,777 deaths officially. Local Iranian officials have cast doubt on this figure, however, noting that Tehran’s national numbers are smaller than the result of adding up local case counts in the nation’s various provinces.

The Health Silk Road “serves as a new approach for perfecting global public health governance,” according to an article published on March 25 by the People’s Daily, an official Chinese Communist Party (CCP) newspaper. “The joint construction of a Health Silk Road has expanded the space for cooperation on co-construction of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).”

China’s longer-established BRI has been a means for the country to establish and consolidate power across Asia, Europe, and Africa through infrastructure projects, which are economically predatory and debt-inducing for the host nation. Iran is already a key partner in China’s BRI.


SBA Expects Paycheck Protection Program Will Run Out Of Money TODAY As Dems Block Emergency Funding

The Small Business Administration says that, without an emergency influx of cash, the Paycheck Protection Program, a low-and forgivable-interest loan system designed to help small businesses hurt by coronavirus-related lockdowns, will run out of cash by close of business on Wednesday.

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), passed as part of the third coronavirus relief package, the CARES act, is a fund of $349 billion, designed to buoy struggling businesses with fewer than 500 employees. Business that apply for PPP loans can apply later to have those same loans forgiven if they use the money to keep their employees on the payroll, pay rent, buy office supplies, or, simply, keep their doors open to commerce.

Freelancers and other independent workers who own their own businesses are also eligible to apply for the loans.

But banks like Wells Fargo told the Treasury Department late last week that applications were far outpacing availability.


Auntie Maxine: People Could Think Stimulus Checks ‘Bogus’ After Seeing Trump’s Name

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) on Tuesday evening ripped President Donald Trump for insisting that his name appear on the stimulus checks, even suggesting that people “may think it’s a BOGUS check from a BOGUS president!”

The Washington Post, citing several “senior IRS officials,” reported on Tuesday that The Treasury Department “has ordered” Trump’s name be printed on stimulus checks the Internal Revenue Service is rushing to send to tens of millions of Americans, a process that could slow their delivery by a few days.”

According to the report, “Trump had privately suggested to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who oversees the IRS, to allow the president to formally sign the checks.” But since “the president is not an authorized signer for legal disbursements by the U.S. Treasury,” the stimulus checks will reportedly “instead bear Trump’s name in the memo line, below a line that reads, ‘Economic Impact Payment.’”


[Fact Check: Stimulus Checks Not Being Held up for Donald Trump’s Name]

Rush: Here’s The Real Reason Trump Is Not Pushing Back More On Fauci

On his popular program Tuesday, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh offered his theory on why President Trump is not pushing back more on the nation’s leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, at least “not publicly.”

One of the more prevalent COVID-19 crisis narratives pushed by the mainstream media is the supposed conflict between Trump and Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and one of the leading voices of the Coronavirus Task Force, which has directed the national response to the crisis. As the left-leaning media has repeatedly portrayed it, Fauci is supposedly at odds with Trump and rebuking him at nearly every turn — a narrative Fauci himself has refuted publicly.

Meanwhile, on the right, some have begun to criticize Fauci, casting him as an out-of-touch member of the elite and a product of the Washington “swamp” who Trump has trusted too much.

Limbaugh, as usual, has his own particular angle on the Trump-Fauci question. Asked by a caller Tuesday about why Trump seems to be “going along with everything” Fauci says, Limbaugh responded by offering his “take” on the issue.

More here

Obama Says He’s Proud To Endorse Biden If He Must

President Barack Obama has endorsed Joe Biden for President.

The endorsement comes after Bernie Sanders dropped out, Tulsi Gabbard became mathematically impossible and a potted plant with a sign hung on it saying “Vote for me,” was run over by an out-of-control forklift.

In a speech made in an irritating, self-satisfied voice that was almost impossible to tolerate, Obama said, “I am pleased and proud to have no choice but to endorse the last person left in the race."

“Picking Joe Biden as my vice president was the best decision I ever made which, all right, isn’t saying much since I’m the guy who decided to give Iran 150 billion dollars and a nuclear bomb,” he continued.

Obama may have gone on to praise Biden’s character but after a while that voice of his just sounded so much like an ailing rhinoceros apologizing to Arabian tyrants for our traditions and history that most Americans zoned out and aren’t entirely sure what-all the guy said.

When it again became possible to listen to that ceaselessly depressing drone, Obama told the nation, “With Joe Biden we will turn away from divisive politics of self-dealing and mis-information, toward divisive politics of incompetence and abject stupidity. And that’s why I feel honored to be forced to finally break down and confess that this is what we’re stuck with.”

Bernie Sanders also endorsed Biden, saying, “Here, at last, is a man so politically inept, I should be able to squeeze concessions out of him until he sounds like Stalin, only senile.”

More satire here

Your shower head could make you sick

Here's some news that could make your next shower a little less relaxing: A 2018 study found that shower heads are rife with bacteria-filled slime that could make us sick.

Showering may cleanse our bodies of sweat and dirt, but over time our shower heads develop scum — also known as biofilm — due to the warm, wet conditions. Curious to know what was living in this biofilm, researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder collected samples from 656 households across the United States and Europe.

It turns out, shower heads are crawling with bacteria. Many aren't harmful, but the team did find traces of nontuberculous mycobacteria, or NTM, in shower heads across the United States. NTM is particularly prevalent in parts of Southern California, Florida and New York — all areas with higher reported incidences of NTM lung disease, the study authors note. They believe shower heads may transmit the disease.


Cruz Sounds Alarm: We Must Get Americans ‘Back To Work’

In an interview Tuesday, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz declared that “it is time for Texans to get back to work” and warned that if we let the widespread shutdowns drag on, we will see not only more “economic devastation” but major public health consequences.

Speaking with Lubbock’s KCBD NewsChannel 11 on Tuesday, Cruz said that while we need to continue to protect those who are “very vulnerable, like the elderly and those with serious underlying conditions, we must urgently address the “economic devastation” caused by the mass shutdowns, and the only way to truly do so is to get people back to work.


Plaque with Seal of Maryland stolen from Antietam Battlefield

SHARPSBURG, Md. (WBFF) - The National Park Service is investigating the theft of a plaque from Antietam National Battlefield in western Maryland.

The bronze plaque is from the 5th Maryland Marker; it's about 20 inches in size and depicts the back of the Great Seal of Maryland.

Anyone with information is asked to call 301-714-2235.


$3.5 Billion Has Flowed From U.S. Taxpayers To The World Health Organization Since 2010

With his recent vow to halt and reassess all aid to the World Health Organization (WHO), President Trump legitimized critics who allege that the agency shielded information from the world about the lethality of the coronavirus and its ability to spread by human-to-human contact.

The WHO delegation highly appreciated the actions China has implemented in response to the outbreak, its speed in identifying the virus and openness to sharing information with WHO and other countries.

World Health Organization | January 28, 2020 | Beijing

The most likely presidential policy response will be to re-purpose all or most federal money from the WHO. If done in this manner, the president must notify Congress, but has the executive power to reallocate the monies to other organizations. Therefore, legitimate programs will continue to help humanity.

Responding to our request for comment, the White House, Office of Management and Budget provided a fact sheet detailing the WHO’s “corruption and abuse.”

The W.H.O. really blew it. We will be giving that a good look.

President Donald J. Trump

Our auditors at reviewed all disclosed grants by federal agencies to the WHO since 2010 and found that $3.5 billion in taxpayer money funded the WHO during this period.

What’s more, only $611.1 million of that funding came from “assessed dues” required by participating countries. The U.S. government voluntarily sent the WHO roughly $2.9 billion more than their required contribution. It’s no surprise that, annually, the United States is the largest funder of the WHO.

We also found that federal funding of the WHO remained strong during the Trump era. We compared the first three years of the Trump administration (FY2017-FY2019) to the first three years during the second term of President Barack Obama’s administration (FY2013-FY2015).

The WHO received more money under Trump than Obama (inflation adjusted): $1.4 billion versus $1.1 billion.


Music fans angered over Ticketmaster refusing refunds for canceled concerts

Ticketmaster, a major American hub for buying concert tickets, recieved backlash from concert-goers after an update to the refund policy on its website seemed to make it unlikely most concerts postponed by the coronavirus will be refunded.

The change was meant to clarify its stance, but received criticism from refund-seeking consumers who had ordered tickets for live events.

Originally, Ticketmaster's website used to say that refunds were "available if your event is postponed, rescheduled or canceled," the New York Times reports. Then, the page was edited to say refunds "are available if your event is canceled."


A Viewer Writes: Thoughts/Comments?


Everyone is all up in arms about the new mask orders. Seems like Hogan slid the pharmacy order in under the radar. Now there are restricted drugs that we are "saving" for patients that typically use them?

President Donald Trump and the White House coronavirus task force hold a press briefing.

Robin Ficker Running for Governor

Longtime Republican Activist Robin Ficker has launched a campaign for Governor of Maryland.

Ficker is a longtime Republican activist. He has run for office many times in the last 50 years, winning once: he was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1978, where he served one term. He has since run for Congress, County Executive, County Council, and U.S. Senate numerous times.

Ficker may be most famous for being a heckler at Washington Bullets games and for his successful anti-tax ballot initiative in Montgomery County in 2016.


Memo Reveals When Chinese President Xi Knew Outbreak Was ‘Severe’ ‘Epidemic’

Leaked documents reveal that Chinese Communist President Xi Jinping knew that the coronavirus outbreak in China was a highly contagious “epidemic” at the same time that China told the World Health Organization (WHO) that there was no “evidence of human-to-human transmission.”

The Associated Press reported late on Tuesday night that leaked internal documents from China show that Xi knew that the situation was dire and that the “risk of transmission and spread” was “high” by January 14 at the latest, the same day that the WHO downplayed the outbreak.

That same day, the WHO tweeted: “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China”


Kanye West: ‘We Know Who I’m Voting On’ In The Next Election

Despite sitting out in 2016, Kanye West will be “definitely voting” come November 2020, and though he did not specifically say for whom, the rapper/entrepreneur hinted that he will pull the lever for President Trump.

In an extensive interview with GQ, published this week, West reiterated his stance that he will not be told which white person to vote for based on the color of his skin.

“Both my parents were freedom fighters, and they used to drink from fountains they were told they couldn’t drink from, and they used to sit in restaurants where they were told they couldn’t eat from,” said West. “They didn’t fight for me to be told by white people which white person I can vote on.”

More here

With no tourists around, animals at Yosemite are 'having a party'

Being cooped up at home is no fun for humans, but bears are making the most of the extra space at California's shuttered Yosemite National Park.

"The bears are just literally walking down the road to get to where they need to go," Ranger Katie Patrick said during a Facebook Live event on Sunday. She is a wildlife biologist who has worked with black bears in Yosemite since 2007.

"For the most part, I think they're having a party," she said in response to questions about what the animals have been doing since Yosemite closed on March 20.


Valerie Jarrett: ‘We Should Make It as Easy as Possible to Vote’

Appearing Wednesday on MSNBC, former President Barack Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett said the federal government should make it “as easy as possible” for people to vote as Democrats continue to push a vote-by-mail option ahead of the 2020 election.

A partial transcript is as follows:

SUSAN DEL PERCIO: When we last spoke, you were talking about increasing voter enrollment, getting people registered to vote, participation. Now we see that there’s a big drive for registering and voting by mail. How concerned are you that the president is looking to privatize the post office, limit the amount of service that is possible for the post office with all of this effort on mail-in voting?

VALERIE JARRETT: Very concerned, in a word. And I think as, you know, earlier this week, Michelle Obama announced “When We All Vote,” an organization she formed, non-partisan organization, I might add, a call on Congress to ensure that we have the ability to have absentee ballots. We shouldn’t have to choose between our health and exercising our most fundamental right to vote.

I think we should make it as easy as possible for people to vote.

[This is the first time I've ever seen a snake with fake eyelashes. --Editor]

AOC on minorities in America: 'It’s inequity that’s the preexisting condition'

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the issues that make minority communities more susceptible to the coronavirus are economic.

"Obviously, there are certain things we can do to make sure that preexisting conditions don’t exist," Ocasio-Cortez said on The View on Wednesday. "But, ultimately, it’s inequity that’s the preexisting condition ... and you can’t just go to someone and tell them, 'Hey, you should have had healthcare this whole time when you’re working an hourly job and your employer doesn’t give it to you.'"

Surgeon General Jerome Adams recently said blacks, Latinos and other minority groups have a greater risk of contracting the virus.


Holder: Coronavirus ‘An Opportunity’ to Permanently Change America’s Voting System

Former President Barack Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder admitted he saw coronavirus as “an opportunity” to permanently change the way Americans voted.

“Coronavirus gives us an opportunity to revamp our electoral system so that it permanently becomes more inclusive and becomes easier for the American people to access,” Holder said in an interview with TIME magazine.

He called for a “sea change” in voting systems, allowing Americans to vote from home, using prepaid mail-in ballots and unlimited absentee voting. Holder did not discuss concerns about voter fraud in his interview but posited that any special exceptions made to the voting process during the coronavirus should remain permanent.

“It would be foolhardy to take these pro-democracy measures off the table after we get on the other side of the virus,” he said. “These are changes that we should make permanent because it will enhance our democracy.”


Bill Cosby’s Attorneys Fear He Will Contract Coronavirus in Prison

Bill Cosby’s attorneys fear that he will contract the coronavirus in prison, and are contemplating asking for him to serve the remainder of his sentence at home.

Cosby, 82, is serving a three- to 10-year sentence at State Correctional Institution Phoenix, near Philadelphia, after being convicted in 2018 of sexually assaulting a woman at his home.

Cosby is blind, and his spokesman fears that he will contract the virus from one of the inmates or a staff member who is charged with taking care of him.

“Prisons and jails around the country are becoming infested with coronavirus cases — and it’s only a matter of time before Mr. Cosby’s prison likely falls victim to the virus,” said the spokesman, Andrew Wyatt.


'Significant' coronavirus mutation discovered, could make vaccine search 'futile,' study says

Researchers have discovered what they described as a "significant" mutation of the novel coronavirus, which they believe "raises the alarm" that the search for a vaccine could become "futile" down the line.

The study, published on the repository, notes researchers were able to analyze a sample of SARS-CoV-2 from India on January 27 and found a mutation that "leads to weaker receptor binding capability." The receptor, known as ACE2, is an enzyme in a person's lungs.

"The discrepant phylogenies for the spike protein and its receptor binding domain proved a previously reported structural rearrangement prior to the emergence of SARS-CoV-2," researchers wrote in the study. "Despite that we found, the spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 is particularly more conserved, we identified a mutation that leads to weaker receptor binding capability, which concerns a SARS-CoV-2 sample collected on 27th 26 January 2020 from India. This represents the first report of a significant SARS-CoV-2 mutant, and raises the alarm that the ongoing vaccine development may become futile in future epidemic if more mutations were identified."


17 bodies found piled up in nursing home, reports claim

NEW JERSEY - At least seventeen bodies of coronavirus victims were reportedly discovered jammed into a make-shift nursing home morgue inAndover, New Jersey.

Police were tipped off to the bodies being improperly stored at the Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center, including one body reportedly being stored in a shed.

13 of the bodies were moved from a "holding area" on Monday, according to the NJ Herald. No bodies were found in the shed.

“They were just overwhelmed by the number of people who were expiring,” Andover Police Chief Eric Danielson told the NY Times.

Five bodies were found on Easter Sunday and 13 the next day. There have been at least 68 recent deaths at the facility including two nurses.

The facility has since been equipped with a refrigerated truck, according to the Herald.

Deaths at New Jersey nursing homes are a growing problem.


Airmen volunteer to restock Commissary shelves, as demand increases amid pandemic

PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. — Each day, more than 1,200 customers shop for groceries at the Joint Base Andrews Commissary.

“The necessities, a lot of it, we’re constantly running out, because a distributor can’t supply them. Just like the outside stores...the demand,” said manager Devera King.

King says demand remains high for products like toilet paper and cleaning supplies, which leaves some shelves empty within a few hours.

“It’s just a big challenge overall,” she said.



Hunter Biden Still Listed on Board of Chinese Firm Despite Claim of Resignation

Hunter Biden is still listed as a board member of a Chinese private equity firm that his lawyer said he resigned from months ago.

Chinese business records show Biden is still on the board and has a 10% equity stake in BHR Partners, which manages $2.1 billion in assets, the Daily Caller reports.

Biden previously stated he would resign by Oct. 31, 2019 and his lawyer George Mesires confirmed he relinquished his position.

His attorney said Biden served as an unpaid member of BHR’s board since its founding in 2013. In October 2017, he obtained his equity stake in the firm with a $420,000 investment through his company Skaneateles LLC.


Sources believe coronavirus originated in Wuhan lab as part of China's efforts to compete with US

EXCLUSIVE: There is increasing confidence that COVID-19 likely originated in a Wuhan laboratory, though not as a bioweapon but as part of China's attempt to demonstrate that its efforts to identify and combat viruses are equal to or greater than the capabilities of the United States, multiple sources who have been briefed on the details of early actions by China's government and seen relevant materials tell Fox News.

This may be the "costliest government cover-up of all time," one of the sources said.

The sources believe the initial transmission of the virus was bat-to-human, and that "patient zero" worked at the laboratory, then went into the population in Wuhan.

The “increasing confidence” comes from classified and open-source documents and evidence, the sources said. Fox News has requested to see the evidence directly. Sources emphasized -- as is often the case with intelligence -- that it’s not definitive and should not be characterized as such. Some inside the administration and the intelligence and epidemiological communities are more skeptical, and the investigation is continuing.

What all of the sources agree about is the extensive cover-up of data and information about COVID-19 orchestrated by the Chinese government.


Small business loan program runs out of money, no longer accepting applications

A popular small business relief program ran out of funds on Thursday morning, as billions of dollars in additional coronavirus aid remain stuck in congressional limbo.

The Small Business Administration said on its website that the agency is "currently unable to accept new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program based on available appropriations funding. Similarly, we are unable to enroll new PPP lenders at this time."

Although Republicans and Democrats agree they need to replenish the program, a $349 billion fund approved last month as part of the CARES Act, they have remained at an impasse over how to do so.

Last week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin asked Congress to allocate $250 billion more for the program. But a GOP attempt to approve it was rejected by Senate Democrats.

"The President and his Administration will continue to prioritize relief for all those affected by this unprecedented crisis, which is why Congressional Democrats must stop playing politics and blocking additional emergency relief for our Nation's small businesses," White House spokesperson Judd Deere said in a statement.

Lawmakers from both houses are working from their home states as a result of the outbreak and are unlikely to return to Washington, D.C. until at least early May.

The program, which launched less than two weeks ago, provides loans at ultra-low interest rates to businesses with fewer than 500 employees to incentivize them to keep staff on payroll, or rehire workers who have already been laid off. If at least 75 percent of the money goes to keep employees on the payroll, the federal government will forgive the loans.


Navarro: China is 'very aggressively' trying to 'gain control' of UN agencies

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro claimed that China was “very aggressively” trying to “gain control" of agencies of the United Nations.

Navarro joined Fox News’s Martha MacCallum on her show Wednesday night to discuss China, its role in the coronavirus outbreak, and the communist country's relationship with agencies such as the World Health Organization.

“Martha, let me — let me give you a kind of bigger look at the chessboard here because the U.N. itself has 15 specialized agencies including the WHO, the World Intellectual Property Organization, things like that,” Navarro said.

“And what China has been doing very, very aggressively over the last decade is to try to gain control of those by electing people to the top," he continued. "It already controls five of the 15. And also by using proxies, colonial-type proxies like Tedros [Adhanom Ghebreyesus], at the WHO.”


Andrew Cuomo: New York is sending 100 ventilators to Michigan and 50 to Maryland

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said now that his state has started to flatten the increase of critically ill coronavirus patients, he will send ventilators to states that are still struggling to contain the virus.

"There are other places in this country that are now seeing increases in the death rate," Cuomo said Wednesday during a press briefing. "I will never forget the generosity people across this country showed to our state."

Cuomo continued: "When you need help, we will be there for you."


Harris Announces Additional Health Center Grant to Lower Shore

WASHINGTON, DC: Rep. Andy Harris, M.D. (MD-01) announced the award of a $2,011,138 federal grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to Three Lower Counties Community Services, Inc. in Salisbury. The award is funded through the annual HRSA competitive Health Center Cluster grant project.

Congressman Harris made the following statement:

“This funding, especially during this pandemic, will continue to allow Three Lower Counties to serve many families in our local communities. As a physician, I am particularly focused on providing access to quality health care for rural families on the Eastern Shore. I thank the administration for providing this additional financial assistance to our local front line rural medical providers.”

You Can Thank Me Later Ocean City...

OK Governor Hogan, it's time to reopen the bars as there is a solution for beer and mixed drinks. Who agrees???

Maryland governor says now is 'the worst possible time' to lift coronavirus restrictions

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R ) said Thursday this week “would be the worst possible time” to lift coronavirus restrictions.

“Here in the Washington-Baltimore corridor we’re still heading up that curve … it would really be the worst possible time to put our people out there and endanger them,” Hogan said on the “Today” show.

Hogan’s comments come as the White House and state leaderssh him and crush him in the upcoming electeionbegin talks about reopening the economy and scaling back social distancing guidelines. The governor said that while he is already working an a plan to reopen his state, more issues need to be addressed before that can happen.


Publishers Notes: Well Jackass, You lead the Governors across the nation and defied our incredible President, now you have to face the world and answer for your stupidity. President Trump was so smart that he laid it upon ALL of you Governors to shut down and then laid it upon all of you to decide when to reopen. ALL of you tried to bash him in the upcoming election and it completely backfired. So screw all of you. Hogan thinks he's going to run for President and Trump just squished him, (and others) like no one has ever seen before. Stop the crying. Now it's YOUR turn to act presidential and you are already crying out of the gate. GOOD!

Court Rules Against Trump's School Nutrition Rollback

After making a brief comeback on school lunch menus, white bread and other refined grains may be vanishing again when schools re-open after a federal court threw out the Trump administration's rollback of school nutrition standards.

The U.S. district court in Maryland this week said the administration did not give adequate public notice of the change, which had gone into effect for this past school year. The ruling was in response to a lawsuit brought by the Center for Science in the Public Interest and Healthy School Food Maryland.


ECI Is Building Their Own Tent City For Possible Coronavirus Inmates

While I can't get in to take pictures at ECI I had to use an image from elsewhere to give you an idea of what things might look like. 

Nevertheless, the top secret tents are going up and the community sould be made aware what's about to happen. When ECI was built they, (the community) was assured there wouldn't be more then 1,800 NON VIOLENT prisoners. The next thing they knew they immediately started putting in double bunks in each cell and ultimately started letting in murderers and violent offenders. 

All it will take is one prisoner to get the coronavirus and I guess the whole place will be living in tents outside. There's nothing better the Salisbury Mayor and this Warden to take advantage of federal funds to construct these tents. 

Amazon Cuts Commissions for Affiliate Marketing Program

Amazon reportedly told members of its affiliates program on Tuesday that it will be cutting commission rates beginning on April 21. The “Amazon Associates” affiliate marketing program pays a percentage of sales to publishers that direct consumers to Amazon via links on their website and social media.

CNBC reports that e-commerce giant Amazon is cutting commission rates for members of its affiliate programs. The company reportedly notified members of the affiliate program, known as Amazon Associates, that it will be slashing commission rates beginning on April 21.

Amazon has operated the affiliate program for years, allowing members to advertise and link to Amazon products in exchange for a percentage of sales. This drives significant revenue for online websites that link to Amazon products in their content.

Publishers such as BuzzFeed, the New York Times, and Vox Media regularly publish buying guides that drive readers to buy products from Amazon in exchange for a cut of the sales, meaning they will likely be hit hard by this cut in commission rates.

Rates are being cut across a number of affiliate products categories. Rates for purchases of furniture and home improvement products have fallen from eight percent to three percent while the commission rate for grocery products has slid from five percent to one percent.

More here

'Unbecoming': Kellyanne Conway scolds CBS reporter for White House briefing question

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway chided a CBS News reporter for asking a question relating to the diversity of Trump's announced White House coronavirus economic council.

On Wednesday, CBS News correspondent Paula Reid asked Conway if President Trump plans to further diversify his economic council during the coronavirus pandemic beyond "wealthy white men," which Conway called an "unbecoming" question.

“The president listed off a long list of names yesterday. How will they work, how will they meet, how will they make recommendations to the president, and is there any thought to diversifying that council beyond what is predominantly a group of very wealthy white men?” Reid asked.


Maryland COVID-19 Data 4-16-2020

COVID-19 Statistics in Maryland

Number of confirmed cases: 10,784
Number of negative test results: 48,059
Number of deaths: 392
Number of probable deaths: 67
Hospitalizations: 2,451 ever hospitalized
Released from isolation: 736

Cases and Deaths Data Breakdown
Parenthesis = Number of confirmed deaths
Asterisk = Number of probable deaths
NH = Non-Hispanic

By County
Allegany 20 (1)
Anne Arundel 896 (29) 6*
Baltimore City 1,160 (31) 4*
Baltimore County 1,516 (31) 6*
Calvert 103 (1)
Caroline 23
Carroll 283 (21) 2*
Cecil 101 (2)
Charles 327 (13)
Dorchester 18 (1)
Frederick 497 (22) 7*
Garrett 4
Harford 161  4*
Howard 451 (10) 1*
Kent 11 (1)
Montgomery 2,133 (56) 14*
Prince George's 2,722 (70) 10*
Queen Anne's 19 (1)
St. Mary's 98 (1)
Somerset 6
Talbot 14 (1)
Washington 109 (1)
Wicomico 87 (1)
Worcester 25
Data Not Available
(98) 13*

By Age Range and Gender
Age/Gender Cases
0-9 86
10-19 231
20-29 1,162 (2)
30-39 1,784 (6)
40-49 1,951 (6)
50-59 2,138 (23) 3*
60-69 1,602 (61) 9*
70-79 1,065 (77) 12*
80+ 765 (123) 30*
Data Not Available (94) 13*
Female: 5,817 (187) 33*
Male: 4,967 (205) 34*

By Race and Ethnicity

Race/Ethnicity Cases
African-American (NH) 3,978 (153) 13*
Asian (NH) 239 (11) 1*
White (NH) 2,535 (126) 39*
Hispanic 1,180 (15)
Other (NH) 376 (8) 1*
Data Not Available 2,476 (79) 13*

China may be conducting secret nuclear tests, State Department warns

The State Department is concerned China may be conducting small nuclear tests in secret, possibly violating an international agreement banning such tests, Fox News confirmed Wednesday.

A new State Department report on compliance with arms control, nonproliferation and disarmament, first obtained by the Wall Street Journal earlier Wednesday, found that China may be flouting international law by conducting the tests within the northwest region of the country, using low explosive power.

The report didn't prove any wrongdoing on the part of the Chinese, but still raised red flags.

"Some compliance concerns are raised and some findings of violations are made," it read.


Wicomico Council Opposes Letters To Governor, Mayor

SALISBURY – Highlighting the inappropriate nature of the missives, officials in Wicomico County agreed to hold off on sending letters of concern to the Maryland governor and Salisbury mayor regarding COVID-19 mandates.

Last week, the Wicomico County Council agreed not to send letters to both Gov. Larry Hogan and Salisbury Mayor Jake Day regarding mandates surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak.

In March, Hogan declared a state of emergency and catastrophic health emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and issued an executive order prohibiting large gatherings, closing non-essential businesses, and requiring all persons to stay at home unless conducting essential activities. The governor also ordered anyone entering Maryland to self-quarantine for 14 days.


There's A Ton Of Counterfeit Masks Out There

While Governor Hogan has now demanded as of Saturday you must wear masks in public places, he's failed to educate and even warn everyone about the counterfeit masks being sold/distributed around the world right now.

I have a close friend who is an expert in this field. He and his business associates buy millions of masks in their profession and the key thing they look for is the "NIOSH" label on each mask. This mask meets all of the major standards necessary to keep you safe.

These particular masks at this time are pretty much impossible to find. These specialty companies have bonded together to purchase masks by the millions and they just can't find them as they were sold out immediately after this coronavirus was exposed. 

I have come across a few companies who were willing to sell the masks in their inventory but as soon as I asked if they have been NIOSH approved they refused to answer if they were or weren't. 

So what I learned was, there are MILLIONS of asks available, most of which are from China. However, they are counterfeit and bogus. For our Governor to demand we wear something, anything, even if it's home made is very irresponsible. I'm sure most of you will come back and say something is better then nothing. You may be right, I'm not a doctor. However, I do know experts in the field and they have assured me that if I want to be safe we need to wear NIOSH approved asks. Now YOU are educated as well. You can either listen to me or you can trust your Governor, that's up to you. At least I've offered you a disclaimer. Our Governor did not.

Beware of Globalist Power Grab!!!!

Democrats Demand..

A group of more than 90 House and Senate Democrats are demanding President Trump’s administration halt all border wall construction at the United States-Mexico border during the Chinese coronavirus crisis.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), along with 24 other Senate Democrats and 66 House Democrats, have sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security, the Defense Department, and the Department of Justice requesting a halt on border wall construction.

“While our country to combat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, continuing border wall construction places local communities at unnecessary risk,” the Democrats wrote. “We request that during this crisis, all border wall construction halt immediately.”

The group of Democrats claims that construction workers helping to build the border wall cannot possibly be practicing social distancing measures and that money allocated for the border wall should be reassigned to aid in the coronavirus fight.


Blood tests promise to show who had COVID-19 and didn’t know it

SEATTLE — With people ordered to stay home to slow the spread of coronavirus, streets are empty.

But is there a way to figure out who might return, if they're immune to COVID-19?

Dr. Keith Jerome, the head of the virology division at University of Washington Medicine, said ablood test has big possibilities.

"We're not looking for the virus itself, we're looking for the body's response to the virus and that lasts for weeks or months after they've been infected," Jerome said. "So we may be able to start identifying people who maybe wondered if they had the infection or find out they had it and hardly even knew."

Blood tests for coronavirus antibodies are beginning around the country and could potentiallyidentify people who are protected from the virus because they’ve already had it.

"If so, those people could be the ones who help rebuild our economy and rebuild our active society," Jerome said.

Dr. Larry Corey, president and director emeritus at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center said researchers are encouraged by data from Asia, where the pandemic began.


HEY JAKE DAY!!! Who will be the first to file a law suit against him

Court Rules Public Officials Can’t Block Critics on Facebook

One of the core purposes of the First Amendment is to allow people, regardless of their views, to hold the government accountable through expression. So, if your elected representative has an official Facebook page where she invites comments, can she block you from commenting because you criticize her work?

According to a federal appeals court, the answer is a resounding no.

On Monday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the interactive portion of a public official’s Facebook page is a “public forum,” so an official cannot block people from it because of the opinions they hold.

The case arose after the chair of a local board of supervisors in Virginia, Phyllis Randall, briefly blocked a critic from her official Facebook page and deleted a comment he made about her colleagues’ management of public funds.

The critic, Brian Davison, represented by the Knight First Amendment Institute, filed a lawsuit arguing that Randall had violated his First Amendment rights by removing him from a public forum — space the government makes available for people’s expressive activity — because she disagreed with his views. Randall countered that she has the authority to control the page’s content — including the comments. (President Trump has used some of the same arguments in a lawsuit against him for blocking people on Twitter.)

We filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of Davison, arguing that officials cannot prevent people from joining in a public conversation because of their viewpoints, and the three-judge appeals court panel agreed.


Virginia Governor Signs New Gun Control Laws During Pandemic While Nobody Can Protest

Chicken Truck Load Sale at Cordona Volunteer Fire Department

Trump says he may forcefully adjourn Congress, use recess to appoint nominees

President Trump announced during a White House address Wednesday that he is considering adjoining Congress and using their absence to make political appointments.

"If the House will not agree to that adjournment I will exercise my constitutional authority to adjourn both chambers of Congress," he said.

The president claimed his administration is understaffed and blamed congressional Democrats for holding up his confirmations and stonewalling his agenda.

Trump added that he has the constitutional authority to dismiss both chambers and accused Congress of failing the American people and shirking their responsibilities as elected leaders.

"The current practice of leaving town while conducting phony, pro forma sessions is a dereliction of duty that the American people cannot afford during this crisis," he said. "It is a scam, what they do."


Chicken Truck Load Sale At Blades Volunteer Fire Company

BVFC has partnered with Allen Harim for a sale of boneless chicken breast, Tenders and Cut Wings. 

This will take place Friday April-17, 2020 at Blades Volunteer Fire Company (200 E. 5th Street Blades Delaware 19973)

Payment must be Debit or Credit and you will pay from your vehicle. Please share this post so everyone is able to have the opportunity to purchase some chicken!

Joint Chiefs chairman: U.S. intel investigating whether coronavirus leaked from Wuhan lab

U.S. intelligence agencies are investigating whether the coronavirus may have leaked from a Chinese laboratory in Wuhan, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Tuesday.

Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, the nation’s most senior military officer, told reporters at the Pentagon the initial assessments indicate the coronavirus causing the global pandemic appears to have been a “natural” event arising from animal-to-human transmission.

However, he noted published reports that the origin may have occurred as an escape from a research laboratory.

“It should be no surprise that we’ve taken a keen interest in that and we’ve had a lot of intelligence [agencies] take a hard look at that,” Gen. Milley said. “I would just say at this point it’s inconclusive although the weight of evidence seems to indicate natural. But we don’t know for certain.”

The comments by the four-star general are the first time a senior American government official publicly raised the prospect that the virus may have originated from a Chinese laboratory.

The comments by Gen. Milley also challenge the comments of some scientists and news media outlets that have labeled any discussion of the possible leak of the virus from a Chinese laboratory as a conspiracy theory.

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that State Department officials had warned about poor security at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2018, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that China is continuing to hold back needed information about the virus and the disease it causes.


Fed-Up Michiganders Stage Massive Protest Against Whitmer's One-Size-Fits-All Lockdown

The people of Michigan are done being told they can't go check on their parents or buy "non-essential" goods like tomato seeds on the order of that woman, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who thinks she has magical powers to dictate to free people what they can or can't buy. Thousands of cars descended on Lansing Wednesday to bring the clear message that Michigan is still a free state, and its citizens have not suddenly lost their constitutional rights because of a viral pandemic.

Massive convoy Protesting in Michigan against the Lockdown.

Glad to see this happening!— Joey Saladino (@JoeySalads) April 15, 2020

The biggest complaint most people in America have with the overreaching tyrannical edicts infecting our nation (besides the obvious abuse of civil rights) is the lack of understanding that we are all adults and are perfectly capable of social distancing and taking precautions on our own without police "help" in the form of fines and tickets or arrests. The governors of blue states are gleeful with their newfound power to direct everyone's lives down to the most minuscule decisions, such as whether or not you are allowed to plant a garden this spring.

It's heartening to see Michiganders rise up and say "NO."


Harris Applauds $830K Grant to Eastern Shore Shipyard

WASHINGTON, DC: Rep. Andy Harris, M.D. (MD-01) announced the award of a $830,622 federal grant to Chesapeake Shipbuilding Corporation in Salisbury. Funding is being provided by the Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration (MARAD) Small Shipyard Grant Program. This program is designed to support small shipyard projects that make capital and related improvements or provide training for workers in shipbuilding, ship repair, and associated industries. Grants are capped at 75 percent of the project's estimated cost and are available to facilities with fewer than 1,200 production employees. Chesapeake Shipbuilding will use the funding to purchase a 130-ton rough terrain crane to enable the increased use of modular construction and pre-outfitting and eliminate bottlenecks.

With the assistance of several MARAD Small Shipyard Grants, the shipyard has acquired new equipment, enhanced engineering capabilities for modular and pre-outfit design, trained employees and made improvements to the ship construction buildings.

There has been a shipyard at this location for more than 150 years.

Congressman Harris supported the grant application to MARAD, and made the following statement on the award:

“I support our Eastern Shore small businesses and the many local communities they serve. Chesapeake Shipbuilding is a great company and employer in the greater Salisbury region, supporting both the maritime industry and providing many jobs to local families. I have supported these grant applications, and I am proud to see this local employer increase productivity, efficiency and the shipyard’s ability to compete in the shipbuilding industry. I will continue to work in support of the economy and jobs on the Eastern Shore, and I applaud MARAD for selecting Chesapeake Shipbuilding for this award.”

Harris Announces Over $18 Million in Emergency Grants to Airports

WASHINGTON, DC: Rep. Andy Harris, M.D. (MD-01) announced the award of $18,368,304 in federal grants from the Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Improvement Program. Funding was provided by the recently enacted CARES Act, also known as the “Phase III” Congressional emergency legislation. The CARES Act provided $10 billion in funding for the FAA to allow critical safety and capacity projects to continue as planned regardless of airport sponsors’ current financial circumstances while preparing for, and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, six airports in the First Congressional District will receive funding:
Cambridge-Dorchester Regional Airport: $30,000
Crisfield-Somerset County Airport: $1,000
Easton Airport – Newnam Field: $157,000
Ocean City Municipal Airport: $30,000
Salisbury Regional Airport: $18,120,304
Bay Bridge Airport (Stevensville): $30,000

Congressman Harris made the following statement on the FAA awards:

“I support our local regional airports and the rural communities they serve on the Eastern Shore. These small businesses support badly needed jobs in our local communities, and during this pandemic and economic disruption, I thank the FAA for quickly distributing funding to airports in the First District. I will continue to work to support jobs on the Eastern Shore.”

AOC, Schumer urge FEMA to provide emergency burial assistance to New Yorkers as coronavirus death toll rises

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez urged the federal government on Tuesday to provide additional funds to New York families to cover funeral expenses as the death toll continues to climb from coronavirus.

"It's bad enough people are losing their jobs, and don't have food to eat, are separated from their families and loved ones," Schumer said. "But to not be able to give a decent funeral and burial to someone who is near and dear to you is outrageous."

The two Democratic lawmakers from New Yorkers appeared at a press conference outside Elmhurst Hospital in the ironically named Queens neighborhood of Corona, which has had the greatest number of positive COVID-19 cases in the state.

Schumer and Ocasio-Cortez pushed for the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to grant the state access to the relief under the Disaster Funeral Assistance program, which the organization ordered in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.



NOI 04-14-2020 Wicomico Incendiary SF Dwelling Roger St Salisbury

new patch


Date: April 14, 2020
Time: 4:44 pm
Location / Address:  1004 Roger Street, Salisbury, Wicomico County
Type of Incident: Fire
Description of Structure / Property: Vacant 2 story wood frame single family dwelling
Owner / Occupants: Captain Investments
Injuries or Deaths: none
Estimated $ Loss: Structure: $ 2,500.00  Contents: $ 0.00
Smoke Alarm Status: none present
Fire Alarm / Sprinkler Status: n/a
Arrests(s): none
Primary Responding Fire Department: Salisbury Fire Department
# of Alarms: 1   # Of Firefighters: 25
Time to Control: 15 mins
Discovered By: neighbor
Area of Origin: 2nd floor bedroom
Preliminary Cause: Incendiary, intentionally started fire
Additional Information: Anyone with information in reference to this incident is urged to contact the Lower Eastern Region Office of the State Fire Marshal @ 410-713-3780