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Friday, May 08, 2020

Comey sounds off after move to drop Flynn case: 'DOJ has lost its way'

Former FBI Director James Comey lamented that the “DOJ has lost its way” as he expressed disappointment over the news that the Justice Department moved Thursday to drop the case against former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn.

“The DOJ has lost its way,” Comey tweeted just after the Justice Department filed the motion. “But, career people: please stay because America needs you.”

Comey, who led the FBI at the time the bureau began investigating Flynn, said: “The country is hungry for honest, competent leadership.”


Christie claims vindication, slams Obama Justice Department after Supreme Court tosses 'Bridgegate' convictions

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie claimed vindication on Thursday after the U.S. Supreme Court threw out the convictions of two political allies involved in the 2013 “Bridgegate” scandal, slamming the Justice Department under former President Obama for the “political crusade” that helped derail Christie’s presidential bid in 2016.

In its ruling on the “Bridgegate” scandal – which involved onetime Christie deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni, a Christie appointee to the Port Authority, creating a traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge – the Supreme Court noted that the move was political payback against the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., for not supporting Christie’s reelection campaign. The problem, the court pointed out, is that this is not a violation of the federal fraud statutes under which the defendants were charged.

Christie argued in a post on Twitter Thursday that the court’s unanimous ruling to toss Kelly and Baroni’s convictions shows that former United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey Paul Fishman was “motivated by political partisanship and blind ambition” when he prosecuted Kelly and Baroni.



Basketball star LeBron James claimed in a tweet that black people are “hunted every time we step foot outside our homes.”

Turns out that’s not true.

The tweet was a response to the killing of “jogger” Ahmaud Aubrey who was shot after a confrontation with two white men in Georgia who believed him to be a burglary suspect.

The media has spun the incident as Aubrey being “hunted” down, despite the fact that video of the incident shows him physically charging one of the other men.

“We’re literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes!” tweeted James. “Can’t even go for a damn jog man! Like WTF man are you kidding me?!?!?!?!?!? No man fr ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!”


Woman, 32, who 'shot three teenage McDonald's workers in angry rage after she was told the dining area was closed because of coronavirus restrictions'

An Oklahoma woman who was said to be so incensed that a McDonald’s dining area was closed due to the coronaviruspandemic that she shot three teenage employees has been identified by police.

Gloricia Woody, 32, was arrested Wednesday night after the shooting at the McDonald’s near Southwest 89th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, in Oklahoma City.

Police Captain Larry Withrow said Woody entered the restaurant at around 6:22pm and was told by workers the dining area had been closed for safety reasons.

Desperate Auto Dealers Betting Big On Discounts To Help Move Inventory

We have been extensively documenting the growing auto industry glut that literally has ports so full that they are keeping ships at sea because they can't accept any more inventory.

But now, the auto industry looks as though it has a plan to move some of this inventory: massive discounts and incentives.

Texas auto dealer Hayden Elder, who had his worst month in 42 years in March, told Reuters: “I think that will open the door for a ton of orders for the factory.” He owns two Dodge, Jeep and Ram dealerships in a rural eastern region of Texas and has remained open.

Jeff Schuster, president of the Americas for consultancy LMC Automotive expects that the industry will rebound in the second half of the year, but predicts that 2020 sales will end the year up to 25% lower than 2019.

Schuster said: "Until we get plants up and running and the economy restarted, we’re in uncertain territory." Though if inventory is the problem du jour, we're not quite sure what cranking out more vehicles at this point is going to solve.


Texas' Anti-Climactic Reopening: Malls & Restaurants Empty, Beaches & Parks Packed

As predicted, even when the economy finally opens back up across the US, the severe hit which has already seen a number of major retailers file for bankruptcy - with Nieman Marcus being the latest Thursday, it won't mark the end of the financial pain.

Take Texas, an early state to rapidly east pandemic restrictions and hoped for test case in terms of seeing its economy roar back to life: as of last Friday during a 'phase 1' reopening malls, department stores, restaurants, and even movie theaters were able to finally open their doors (these are all allowed 25% of capacity seating per phase 1 restrictions).

And yet, as Reuters details while visiting the major metropolitan Domain mall in Austin, Texas, customers are still staying home, hardly to be seen.



On paper, Flushing and Corona, two bordering neighborhoods in Queens, are more alike than different.

Separated by two highways and Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, the working-class neighborhoods have a large share of foreign-born residents. Corona is predominantly Latino, while Flushing is home to a large Asian community.

Both are high-density areas with similar socioeconomic profiles. They’re linked by the usually crowded No. 7 train.

Nearly half of workers in both neighborhoods are employed in food service, construction, cleaning and transportation — jobs that New York State has deemed essential through the pandemic.

Residents of both places typically have household income below the Queens median and a similar share of people who lack health insurance, as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau. And almost half of apartments and houses in both areas have more than one occupant per room, the Census definition of crowded.

Yet when it comes to COVID-19, the differences between the neighborhoods couldn’t be more stark.


‘A slow and botched response’: My eight weeks on the Covid-19 frontline have taught me how the NHS made this crisis worse

By Malcolm Kendrick, doctor and author who works as a GP in the National Health Service in England. His blog can be read here and his book, 'Doctoring Data – How to Sort Out Medical Advice from Medical Nonsense,' is available here.

No PPE, no tests, no support. I work as a GP in care homes and a hospital setting, and watched in horror over the past few weeks as the approach we took to tackling the virus caused my elderly patients to die.

As with most people, Covid-19 seemed a long way away to me in January. I was working as a GP in out-of-hours cover, and in Intermediate Care. This means rehabilitating elderly people following accidents or illness, who need support and medical attention before going home.

All was calm at the start of the year. Yes, China was going into lockdown, a few people had become trapped on cruise liners, posting interminable online videos. Would Covid come here, to the UK? The NHS was untroubled, slumbering.


Andrew McCarthy: Trump-Russia probe was baseless, newly disclosed memo confirms

Finally, three years coming, the Justice Department is showing a little more leg on the Rosenstein “scope” memo – the directive by which then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein defined the parameters of the investigation he’d appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller to conduct.

Of course, the games never end in the Trump-Russia probe, so there’s a hitch. The scope memo remains partially, tantalizingly redacted. Disclosure is limited to Rosenstein’s purported grounds for investigating four members of the Trump presidential campaign: Carter Page, Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos and Michael Flynn.

But six lines of text, which appear to describe a fifth person, and the supposed basis for investigating that person, remain blacked out.


In Megyn Kelly Interview, Tara Reade Says She’s Willing To Defend Sexual Assault Allegation Against Joe Biden Under Oath, Calls On Him To Drop Out

In preview videos released ahead of her sit-down interview with Megyn Kelly, Tara Reade said she would “absolutely” defend her allegation of sexual assault against Joe Biden under oath and cross examinations.

When Kelly asked whether she would take a polygraph test, Reade responded, “I’m not a criminal. Joe Biden should take the polygraph.” Arguing the move would set a precedent of presumed guilt for women who make accusations of sexual misconduct, Reade said, “I will take one if Joe Biden takes one.”

Reade alleges that Biden, the presumed Democratic nominee for president, forcibly kissed and penetrated her with his finger in 1993 when she worked as an assistant in his Senate office. A sexual harassment complaint Reade claims she filed at the time has yet to be located, and she accused Biden only of unwanted touching in media interviews last year, but her brother and a friend say she told them about the alleged incident after it happened.

The Media Research Center found video matching Reade’s description of a call her mother made to “Larry King Live” in August of 1993, seeking advice on how her daughter could resolve an issue with a senator without going to the press.


Democrats will unveil a 'Rooseveltian' coronavirus rescue package

Chuck Schumer said Thursday that Democrats are looking to pass a relief package as massive and far-reaching as those implemented during the Great Depression under then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

'We need Franklin Rooseveltian-type action,' the Senate Minority Leader told MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle during a three-hour coronavirus special Thursday. 'And we hope to take that in the House and Senate in a very big and bold way.'

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during her weekly press briefing Thursday morning that the next COVID-19 relief package will include an expansion of SNAP, the federal food stamp program.

Schumer, during his interview, compared Republicans, including Donald Trump, to former President Herbert Hoover, who was at the helm at the start of the Great Depression.

'The people like McConnell and McCarthy and even Trump who say let's wait and do nothing, well, they remind me of the old Herbert Hoovers,' Schumer said, referencing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.


Praying mantis kills and eats the head of a 'murder hornet'

The moment a praying mantis attacked and ate the head of what appeared to be a deadly 'murder hornet' has been captured on video.

Since the Asian giant hornet - nicknamed 'murder hornet' - arrived in the United States last week, reports of their lethal venom and ability to kill humans have quickly spread.

But a video shared by Nature is Metal on Twitter showed a giant hornet getting overpowered by a praying mantis.

Footage of the grisly take down captures the praying mantis quietly eyeing the hornet from a few inches away.


Carafano: 3 ways for US to be smart and still make China regret unleashing pandemic

Beijing’s cover-up of the coronavirus outbreak is the scandal of the century. Its unconscionable malfeasance launched a global plague, hobbled the international response and crashed the world’s economy.

Many people were already fed up with how Beijing had bullied, lied and cheated its way up the global food chain even before this outrage. Now, they’re downright angry and demanding some measure of payback.

Anger is justified, but the U.S. needs to be smart about its response. We need to react in ways that justly punish Beijing, but also make America stronger and more prosperous.

Here are three ways to do just that.

Expose the rot beneath the facade. The more people know about how the Chinese Communist Party operates at home and abroad, the better they can make informed decisions about when and how to deal with the regime in Beijing. The truth is, behind the Happy Face Beijing beams to the world, there is a lot of ugly underneath: slave labor in factories, concentration camps, intellectual property theft, identity theft, bribery, corruption and more.

What’s needed is a global campaign to expose all of this and the toll it is taking in human terms. Once the veil is pierced, righteous outrage will follow..

More here

Hollywood Has $9 Billion Reasons to Not Blame China for the Coronavirus Pandemic

Trump-bashing Hollywood figures, from film stars to studio executives, have been conspicuously silent when it comes to China as evidence mounts that Chinese dictators sought to hide the true gravity of the coronavirus outbreak and silence doctors who tried to speak out.

Take Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista. He’s attacked President Donald Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. As one of Hollywood’s most prominent anti-Trump voices, Bautista has fired off tweets insulting the commander in chief’s daily press briefings and recently called quarantine protestors “morons” for seeking to re-open state economies.

But the actor has been conspicuously silent when it comes to China — and he along with the rest of the entertainment industry have billions of reasons to stay quiet as more evidence points to actions that China’s dictators sought to hide the true gravity of the coronavirus outbreak and silencing doctors who tried to speak out.

Movie stars looking to find work in Hollywood need only glance at the figures to know that staying quiet about China is good for their careers and their coffers. The Chinese box office has skyrocketed in the past ten years. Officials claim that Chinese cinemas brought in $9.2 billion last year, compared to just $910 million a decade ago.


Coronavirus has ravaged this Maryland family, with their dad and grandparents dying just weeks apart

In the house her father built, Alyssa Chalk held his hand as he took his final breaths. He died in his office, surrounded by his family, gasping for air.

The coronavirus already had devastated the Chalk family before it swept into their Ellicott City home and took John Chalk Sr., whom his daughter described as a loving soul who would’ve given her the world. It also killed her grandmother, Pat Chalk, on April 29, and possibly her grandfather, Francis “Buzz” Chalk, who died April 14.

John Chalk Sr., a self-employed architect, had shown signs of improvement in the days before he died — and had felt well enough for Alyssa, 23, to bring him multiple plates of food as he worked at his desk, where he had quarantined himself after a brief hospital stay.

“He was supposed to be OK,” she said. “On Thursday, he said it was the best he’d felt. He wasn’t dehydrated, he was eating. He was working.”


Harris Announces Coronavirus Testing Grants to Eastern Shore Health Centers

WASHINGTON, DC: Rep. Andy Harris, M.D. (MD-01) announced the award of $1,639,947 in federal grants from the Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Funding was provided by the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which was signed into law by President Trump on April 24th. HRSA-funded health centers will use this funding to expand the range of testing and testing-related activities to best address the needs of their local communities, including the purchase of personal protective equipment; training for staff, outreach, procurement and administration of tests; laboratory services; notifying identified contacts of infected health center patients of their exposure to COVID-19; and the expansion of walk-up or drive-up testing capabilities.

Specifically, three health centers serving the Eastern Shore have been awarded funding:

West Cecil Health Center, Inc - $236,569
Choptank Community Health System, Inc. - $547,054
Three Lower Counties Community Services, Inc. - $856,324

Congressman Harris made the following statement:

“As a physician, I am pleased our local front line rural health centers will soon receive these additional funds for testing. Thankfully, we have successfully flattened the curve in much of the country, and this additional funding will allow our local communities on the Eastern Shore to continue testing when it is appropriate. Unemployment, bankruptcy, and poverty have severe health consequences as well as long-lasting economic impact. A bad economy is bad for health. Hopefully the increased testing capacity we have now can allow us to rapidly re-open low risk businesses while we concentrate on employees in high risk businesses like nursing homes and meat processing plants. I thank the Administration for awarding these grants to the First District.”

Salisbury Police Department Press Conference: Restoring Trust

Veto Veto Veto!!

Maryland: Gov. Hogan Vetoes Ban on Private Transfers of Long Guns

Today, Governor Larry Hogan issued a veto on Senate Bill 208 and House Bill 4. Gov. Hogan knows that restricting law-abiding citizens will do nothing to stop criminals. In his statement on the veto, he reaffirmed his priority to “hold violent criminals accountable” for their actions. Please click the button below to thank Gov. Hogan.

These bills would have banned the sale or transfer of long guns between private individuals without first paying fees and obtaining government permission. Firearm transfers such as loans and gifts between friends, neighbors, or fellow hunters, would not have been exempted. Research shows such proposals have no impact on violent crime and Gov. Hogan is to be commended for refusing to recognize the false claims pushed by anti-gun advocates on this legislation.

Your NRA would like to thank Gov. Hogan for protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Marylanders.

WCSO Press Releases - May 8, 2019

Incident: Possession of Controlled Dangerous Substance

Name of Suspect: Rolle, Keontaye M; 26, of Salisbury

Date of Incident: 5-7-20

Location: Naylor Mill Rd and Northgate Dr, Salisbury
Narrative: On 5-7-20, a Deputy conducted a traffic stop on Naylor Mill Rd near Northgate Dr. The vehicle was driven by Keontaye Rolle. The Deputy smelled the odor of CDS coming from within the car. The Deputy searched the car and located suspected cocaine along with some paraphernalia. Mr Rolle was arrested and taken to the District Court Commissioner at Central Booking.

Charges: Possession of CDS, Possession of Paraphernalia

Yale Scientist: Re-opening America Is ‘Awfully Close to Genocide’

A Yale University scientist argued in a social media post published on Wednesday that the United States government’s plan to re-open American after the Chinese virus pandemic amounts to “genocide” of “African-Americans, Latinos, other people of color.”

Yale epidemiologist Gregg Gonsalves criticized the U.S. government’s response to the Chinese virus pandemic and its plan to reopen the country in a tweet that was published on Wednesday, suggesting that it would be “genocide by default” to lift “shelter-in-place” restrictions. Gonsalves also suggested that the government’s response would disproportionately impact “people of color.”

“How many people will die this summer, before Election Day? What proportion of the deaths will be among African-Americans, Latinos, other people of color?” Gonsalves wrote in the tweet. “This is getting awfully close to genocide by default. What else do you call mass death by public policy?”


SBY Airport ETA 2:30pm Today

DHS Set to Welcome Many Indian H-1B Visa Workers Back to U.S.

The Department of Homeland Security revealed Wednesday it will allow many Indian H-1B visa workers to return from vacations in their homeland to regain the Fortune 500 U.S. jobs now needed by U.S. graduates.

The agency’s welcome for the H-1B outsourcing workers comes as 25 million Americans seek jobs amid the wreckage caused by China’s coronavirus epidemic, and after President Donald Trump barred the entry of legal immigrants for 60 days.

Late Wednesday, DHS told Breitbart News: “For non-immigrant H1-B workers who possess valid travel documents and who overcome all grounds of inadmissibility, including travel restrictions implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19, [Customs and Border Protection] will continue to process for admission into the United States.”

DHS refused to say if CBP will ask the Indians if their U.S. or Indian employers have already laid them off, or have violated the terms of their work visa. U.S. graduates expect many U.S. employers have laid off some Indian visa workers — alongside Americans — amid the crash.

Federal law requires the Indians to go home if their hours or pay are cut.


'Freedom Angels' protesters compare Gov Gavin Newsom to Hitler

Dozens of protesters gathered outside California's State Capitol Building in Sacramento on Thursday, demanding Gov Gavin Newsom completely reopen the state for business.

The demonstration was organized by the 'Freedom Angels' - a group of anti-vaxxers who are now fervently campaigning for an end to lockdown laws issued amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Freedom Angels claim the executive orders are an example of dangerous government overreach, with one protester even comparing Gov Newsom to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.

The demonstrator attached a large banner to the side of his U-Haul van Thursday, which showed Newsom standing behind a swastika with Hitler's moustache photoshopped onto his face. .


City Announces Comprehensive Plan to Ensure Trust and Transparency in Policing, Provides Status Updates in Ongoing Investigations

Salisbury – Chief Barbara Duncan and Mayor Jake Day announced today a multi-faceted plan aimed at bolstering public confidence in the Salisbury Police Department. The Salisbury Police Department Comprehensive Trust Rebuilding Initiative was drafted in response to officer-related incidents of misconduct which came to light in February of this year.

“We had to take a look in the mirror,” said Chief Duncan. “We found an overwhelming amount of positive work happening, but, unfortunately, we also saw some things that don’t reflect where we want to be as an agency. This plan is our roadmap to fixing those things and being a better department every day we’re out there.”

The Trust Rebuilding Initiative is written to reflect the core values of the agency: Partnership, Respect, Integrity, Dedication and Empowerment. By focusing on these ideals, the plan establishes this clear and concise set of guidelines for the agency, all aimed at restoring public confidence:

  • 100% Inventory of Property Room under supervision of independent forensic auditor in partnership with Maryland State Police, Wicomico County State's Attorney's Office and Office of the Public Defender
  • Revive the Citizen Police Academy 
  • Stand up a Criminal Justice Task Force to propose City, County and State institutional changes to law, policy and procedure
  • Update Property Room Staff Structure & Authorities
  • Update Property/Evidence Policies & Procedures 
  • Subsequently Reduce/Destroy Non-Essential Property
  • Launch Police Complaint Mediation Program
  • Launch New Pathways for Citizen Complaints
  • Launch Citizen Review of Police Department Policies 
  • Continue/Expand Community Relationship Building
  • Continue Youth Engagement
  • Explore and Launch New Deployment Tactics 
  • Field a Community Policing Team
  • Maintain Focus on and Successes in Crime Reduction
  • Expand Upstream policing with Data-driven decision making
  • Improve Recruiting/Retention with Public Safety tax incentives, expanded benefits package

Mayor Day said, “I have been impressed at every step by the actions of Chief Duncan and the command staff at SPD. They have proven their integrity, and their dedication to this City by holding every officer in these investigations accountable for their actions, and they moved swiftly and decisively to lay out a plan of action which I know will restore public trust in the agency.

“The Salisbury Police Department is made up of human beings, and human beings make mistakes. That said, when those mistakes cross a legal or ethical line, no title, no badge, no employment or allegiance will prevent justice from prevailing in this city, in this department. Not while I’m at the helm.”

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Covering Jailed Salon Owner’s Fine

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) said on Wednesday he is covering the $7,000 fine of the Dallas salon owner who was sentenced to seven days in jail for re-opening her shop in violation of stay-at-home orders, and he volunteered to “be placed under House Arrest so she can go to work and feed her kids.”

“7 days in jail, no bail and a $7K fine is outrageous. No surprise Texans are responding,” Patrick said on Wednesday.

“I’m covering the $7K fine she had to pay and I volunteer to be placed under House Arrest so she can go to work and feed her kids,” he added:


Report: New York City Was Primary Source of Coronavirus in U.S. in Early March

The New York Times reported Thursday that New York City had become the primary source of coronavirus infections throughout the rest of the United States by early March, thanks to travel to and from the city.

The Times reported:

New York City’s coronavirus outbreak grew so large by early March that the city became the primary source of new infections in the United States, new research reveals, as thousands of infected people traveled from the city and seeded outbreaks around the country.

The research indicates that a wave of infections swept from New York City through much of the country before the city began setting social distancing limits to stop the growth.

The central role of New York’s outbreak shows that decisions made by state and federal officials — including waiting to impose distancing measures and to limit international flights — helped shape the trajectory of the outbreak and allowed it to grow in the rest of the country.


Scientists say they’ve identified mutated COVID-19 strain — and issue a dire warning about new contagion

What next? (Don't ask)

Scientists say they have discovered what they believe is a mutated strain of COVID-19 — and are now warning that this new strain could be way more contagious than plain old coronavirus.

What are the details?

According to a Tuesday report in the Los Angeles Times, researchers say that a new "mutant" strain of coronavirus has emerged.

The study, led by scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, reveals that the new strain is more contagious than versions that spread in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to being more contagious, the new strain could reportedly make people more vulnerable to a second infection after a "first bout with the disease."


Wicomico Covid 19 Data 5-8-2020

Maryland COVID-19 Data 5-8-2020

COVID-19 Statistics in Maryland
Number of confirmed cases : 30,485
Number of negative test results : 121,702
Number of confirmed deaths : 1,453
Number of probable deaths : 107
Currently hospitalized : 1,674
Acute care : 1,103
Intensive care : 571
Ever hospitalized : 5,811
Released from isolation : 2,041
Cases and Deaths Data Breakdown:
Parenthesis = Confirmed death, laboratory-confirmed positive COVID-19 test result
Asterisk = Probable death, death certificate lists COVID-19 as the cause of death but not yet confirmed by a laboratory test
NH = Non-Hispanic

By County
County    Cases    Deaths
Allegany    143    (12)   
Anne Arundel    2,290    (105)    10*
Baltimore City    2,941    (146)    9*
Baltimore County    3,763    (162)    15*
Calvert    191    (10)    1*
Caroline    107       
Carroll    542    (56)   
Cecil    211    (13)   
Charles    716    (51)    3*
Dorchester    86    (2)   
Frederick    1,182    (64)    6*
Garrett    5       
Harford    572    (20)    4*
Howard    1,138    (26)    1*
Kent    98    (8)   
Montgomery    6,316    (324)    31*
Prince George's    8,901    (323)    16*
Queen Anne's    70    (9)   
St. Mary's    207    (8)   
Somerset    41       
Talbot    55    (1)   
Washington    259    (7)   
Wicomico    553    (15)   
Worcester    98    (2)    1*
Data not available        (89)    10*

By Age Range and Gender
Age/Gender    Cases    Deaths
0-9    486       
10-19    969       
20-29    3,848    (10)    1*
30-39    5,376    (17)    2*
40-49    5,468    (35)    3*
50-59    5,311    (90)    8*
60-69    3,972    (220)    12*
70-79    2,666    (356)    15*
80+    2,389    (635)    56*
Data not available        (90)    10*
Female    16,038    (706)    58*
Male    14,447    (747)    49*

By Race and Ethnicity
Race/Ethnicity    Cases    Deaths
African-American (NH)    10,165    (595)    38*
Asian (NH)    631    (48)    3*
White (NH)    6,695    (598)    51*
Hispanic    6,067    (101)    5*
Other (NH)    1,107    (17)   
Data not available    5,820    (94)    10*

Obama knew details of wiretapped Flynn phone calls, surprising top DOJ official in meeting with Biden, declassified docs show

President Obama was aware of the details of then-incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn's intercepted December 2016 phone calls with then-Russian

Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, apparently surprising then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, according to documents released Thursday as exhibits to the government's motion to dismiss the Flynn case.

Obama's unexpectedly intimate knowledge of the details of Flynn's calls, which the FBIsaid at the time were not criminal in nature, raised eyebrows because of his own history with Flynn -- and because top FBI officials secretly discussed whether their goal was to "get [Flynn] fired" when they interviewed him in the White House on January 24, 2017.

Obama personally had warned the Trump administration against hiring Flynn, and made clear he was "not a fan," according to multiple officials. Obama had fired Flynn as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014.


Frosts, Freezes, Snowflakes? Northeast Braces for a Miserably Memorable May Weekend

The most wintry spell of mid-May weather since last century is on tap for much of the eastern United States this weekend. Freezes will extend to the upper Ohio Valley, with frosts—possibly some of the latest ever recorded—across much of the Southern Appalachians. Damp, raw, windy conditions will sweep across big cities of the Eastern Seaboard on Friday night. And across parts of the interior Northeast, especially at higher elevations, snow is a real possibility.

The oddly wintry blast is coming from eastern Canada, pushed rapidly southeast by a compact upper low extending to heights in and near the tropopause (the dividing zone between the lowest two layers of the atmosphere). This isn’t the midwinter polar vortex you often hear about; that circulation, which is strongest in the stratosphere, has already dissipated for the season.


Chinese Cyber-Security 'Connection' at Miami University

Zaobo He

Assistant Professor at Miami University -- Jun 2018 – Present

Dr. He is an Assistant Professor in Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering at Miami University. He received his Ph.D. degree in 2018 from Department of Computer Science at Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA. He received his M.S. degree in Computer Science from Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an, China, in 2014 and B.S. degree in Computer Science from Yan'an University in 2011, Yan'an, China. Dr.

His research areas focus on data privacy and cybersecurity, including privacy preserving for data inference attacks; privacy preserving genomic data publishing; and data security in cyber-physical systems. Dr. He's current work focuses on privacy-preserving data collection and processing for the Internet of Things, and differentially-private algorithms for big data aggregation.

Published journal articles include:

He, Zaobo, Jiguo Yu, Ji Li, Qilong Han, Guangchun Luo, and Yingshu Li. “Inference Attacks and Controls on Genotypes and Phenotypes for Individual Genomic Data.” IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics 1 (2018): 1-1.

Zaobo He, Yingshu Li, Ji Li, Kaiyang Li, Qing Cai, Yi Liang. “Achieving differential privacy of genomic data releasing via belief propagation.” Tsinghua Science and Technology.

Hanzhou Zhang

Miami University, 2020 graduating senior, majoring in both computer science and engineering

Teaching assistant in the department of computer science and software engineering; has conducted research with one of his professors

Plans to attend the University of Southern California to pursue a master’s degree in cyber-security engineering

In October of 2019, He and Zhang attended IBM Security’s X-Force Command Cyber Range in Cambridge, Mass., where they took part in an exercise usually reserved for executives willing to spend thousands of dollars to attend. They were there were there as part of a'Boldly Creative' grant funded through the Cybersecurity proposal.

The two-day event is designed to help educate the next generation of cybersecurity professionals and give them a taste of the constant war of information being waged through firewalls, hacks, backdoors, and terminals.

[Is there any chance the Chinese government contributed funding to this grant program? --Editor]

On July 29, 2019, this event was held at Miami University:

Cybersecurity Summit, data defense in the education industry

"Cybersecurity and information professionals from the worlds of banking, insurance, pharmaceuticals, IT and others are meeting for a Cybersecurity Summit at Miami University in Oxford, Monday, July 29,2019 at the Farmer School of Business.

"Speakers and attendees will share the latest in best practices regarding data platforms, risks, employee exposure and more. The goal is to determine industry needs in cybersecurity, not only technical needs but also in the areas of policy, risk assessment and risk management.

"Miami is in the midst of a feasibility study for creating a Center for Cybersecurity, with faculty collaborating from departments of computer science and software engineering, information systems and analytics and political science. It’s funded by Miami’s Boldly Creative initiative, with faculty-launched programs aimed at spurring a new generation of academic excellence, enhancing its nationally recognized undergraduate teaching, learning and research with a sharpened focus on innovation and creativity. "

One can only speculate about these facts, but the FBI has already said that the Chinese government is deeply embedded in our universities, and it can safely be assumed that neither of the two individuals mentioned here are US citizens.

The fact that one or both of them are involved in these activities raises very important issues that need to be carefully examined. This is not to say that these individuals have done anything wrong, but from a security standpoint, these are big red flags.

It is also important to note that this is only two individuals. There are thousands more all over the US in various capacities that give them the access they need, not only to gain new skills, but to monitor emerging technologies and techniques that can be shared with the folks back home.

Horowitz: Your governor can’t force you to stay in your state. Period

Liberals finally support travel bans. No, not when the president uses his lawful power over foreign affairs and commerce to ban foreign nationals from dangerous countries, such as Iran or China, from immigrating here. Liberal governors are now illegally implementing travel bans on their own citizens from state to state. Welcome to the Articles of Confederation government, unless, of course, you’re a foreign national seeking entry to get on welfare. Then a court will defend your “right” to travel and immigrate to the U.S.

Truth be told, even when states were super-sovereigns, during time of the Articles of Confederation, they did not ban Americans from traveling from state to state, because that was recognized as a fundamental liberty interest that even King George didn’t try to stop. Even as states were free to regulate interstate commerce from 1776 to 1789, Art. IV of the Articles of Confederation unambiguously recognized the right of Americans to travel freely from state to state: “The free inhabitants of each of these states … shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several states; and the people of each state shall have free ingress and regress to and from any other state.”

But now, governors like “Lockdown Larry” Hogan of Maryland have illegally barred residents from traveling out of state. You heard that correctly. While these governors and some wayward federal judges opposed a travel ban on foreign nationals from terrorist countries or those who would become a public charge, when there is no right for foreigners to immigrate, they are now implementing a travel ban on their own countrymen.


WH Press Sec. On Flynn: ‘What we’ve learned…should scare every American’

“What we’ve all learned from that should scare every American citizen. The fact that you had Jim Comey admitting in December of last year that he violated a protocol by directing agents to confront Flynn and something that he ‘wouldn’t have gotten away with under previous administrations,” McEnany said.

She added, “The FBI told Flynn he didn’t need a lawyer when they came to meet with him. McCabe told FBI agents that he didn’t think Flynn was lying. And all of that information, we’ve learned over the last few months and years culminates in the fact that we have a handwritten FBI note that says ‘we need to get Flynn to lie and get him fired.’ There was an unfair target on the back of General Michael Flynn. It should concern every American. Anytime there’s a partisan pursuit of an individual, and that’s certainly at least those questions are raised with regard to General Michael Flynn an honorable man who served his country.”

As Sara A. Carter reported this week, a number of redacted handwritten notes, emails, and text messages were unsealed and allegedly revealed that Flynn was set up for a perjury trap by senior officials and agents at the FBI.

“Those handwritten notes and emails revealed that the retired three-star general appeared to be set up for a perjury trap and that senior FBI officials were also intending to target him to get him ‘fired’ by the President,” Carter reported on Thursday.


Here We Go Again

In unearthed private letter, Obama excoriated GOP-led probe into Biden as aiding Russian disinformation

He called the request unprecedented and improper

A newly unearthed private letter showed former President Barack Obama's response to a Republican-led demand for information on Joe Biden, and it was not well received.

The letter was sent from the office of the 44th president to the National Archives and Records Administration in March over a request from Republican Sens. Grassley (Iowa) and Ron Johnson (Wis.) for records relating to Biden's actions in Ukraine.

Critics have accused Biden of using his former position in the Obama administration in order to personally benefit his son Hunter Biden, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.

Obama called the request improper and said it was aiding a Russian disinformation campaign.


Vitamin D Linked to Low Virus Death Rate Says New Study

A new study has found an association between low levels of vitamin D and high numbers of COVID-19 cases and mortality rates across 20 European countries. The research, led by Dr. Lee Smith of Anglia Ruskin University, was published in the Aging Clinical and Experimental Research journal.

Previous research has indicated vitamin D plays a role in modulating acute respiratory infections by preventing white blood cells from over reacting to the infection by releasing too many inflammatory cytokines.

Now, scientists have found people in countries that have the highest mortality rates from COVID-19 like Italy and Spain, also had the lowest levels of vitamin D. Conversely, the highest levels of vitamin D were found in northern European countries, like Scandinavia, which was among the countries with the lowest mortality rates, according to Science Daily.


"Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Warns Stay-At-Home Violators: We Will Take You To Jail, Period!'"

Cuomo: Hero Healthcare Workers Who Came to Help New York Must Pay NY Taxes

Frontline healthcare workers who traveled to New York to assist the state with the coronavirus outbreak will be required to pay state taxes, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) confirmed this week.

When asked if he considered waiving the state tax for emergency workers who volunteered to travel and work in New York, an epicenter of the virus in the United States, Cuomo quickly dismissed the idea.

“We’re not in a position to provide any subsidies right now because we have a $13 billion deficit,” Cuomo told reporters.

“So there’s a lot of good things I’d like to do, and if we get federal funding, we can do, but it would be irresponsible for me to sit here looking at a $13 billion deficit and say I’m gonna spend more money, when I can’t even pay the essential services,” he continued.


Donald Trump's White House Navy valet tests POSITIVE for coronavirus

President Donald Trump and the White House staff will be tested daily for the coronavirus after a Navy valet who worked in the West Wing tested positive for the disease.

'I've had very little contact, personal contact with this gentleman,' Trump said of the valet.

That is highly unlikely given that a valet's duties include serving the president his meals, taking care of his wardrobe and traveling with him.

Trump noted, however, that the internal White House policy on testing will change from once a week to once a day at a time coronavirus testing is not available for the general public. Trump also said he was tested Wednesday and Thursday and was negative.

'It just shows you what I've been saying, testing is not a perfect no matter what you do, testing is not a perfect art so we test once a week,' the president said. 'Now we are going to go testing once a day.'

Trump also said his wife Melania and son Barron were fine.

'They're in good shape,' he said.


College Students Just Received Free Speech Protections, Due Process Rights Thanks To The Trump Administration

For nearly a decade, college students have had their constitutional rights infringed simply by stepping onto campus. On Wednesday, however, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos released new Title IX guidelines that seek to restore those rights to students.

The new guidelines help restore truth and fairness in college Title IX proceedings, which adjudicate claims of sexual misconduct. The Obama administration in 2011 issued guidelines that required schools to use a preponderance of evidence standard (50% plus a feather) to determine whether an accusation is truthful, and later discouraged the use of cross-examination to determine the truth. The Obama administration also fostered a climate where schools were forced to “believe all women” for fear of bad publicity should a woman claim she was a victim and the man she accused not be kicked off campus. The most famous example of this was Emma Sulkowicz, also known as “Mattress Girl,” who received national attention even though her allegations were dubious.

One of the most sorely needed new rule requires schools to actually inform accused students that an allegation has been made against them and the specific details of that allegation. Previously, many schools required accused students to give a statement in their defense before even learning the allegations against them.

The new regulations also include the presumption of innocence for accused students.

More here

Italian Researchers Claim That They Have the Vaccine that Can Kill the Coronavirus

It's been shared by Italian researchers that they are now planning to move to human trials after claiming that the vaccine they've developed is the first in the world that can neutralize and kill the coronavirus.

In their research, the antibodies that were produced from mice were able to kill the infection in human cells during a lab test.
Researchers in Italy claim that they have the vaccine that can kill the coronavirus

Antibodies are substances that are produced by the immune system that can help fight off a certain kind of infection; they are essential for immunity. Results from test labs have shown that these antibodies that were created in test mice were able to prevent human cells from being infected. Luis Aurisicchio, chief executive of Takis Biotech, unveiled that the team from Italy is now planning to begin trials in autumn.

However, leading scientists have said that they would be astounded if none of the other vaccines that are currently in development hadn't shown similar responses in mice tests. Oxford University is one of the many teams worldwide to already have ongoing vaccine trails on humans, with plans to have thousands to millions of doses ready by September.


GOP Senators Ask Trump to Expand Immigration Suspension to Guest Worker Visas

Top GOP lawmakers encouraged President Donald Trump to expand his suspension on immigration to also cover temporary guest workers, to keep foreigners from taking jobs from Americans at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has sent the unemployment rate to a record high.

Sens. Ted Cruz, Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, Josh Hawley of Missouri, and Tom Cotton of Arkansas all signed a letter insisting the president suspend H-1B visas, which are popular with many tech companies, and H-2B visas, which bring in many landscapers and resort business workers.

They also prodded the president to temporarily halt the Optional Practical Training program, which enables foreign students to work up to three years in the United States.

The senators argue thousands of foreigners use those programs annually, and nearly all of them are grabbing jobs Americans could occupy.


Wicomico County begins to ease restrictions on park facilities

SALISBURY, Md. – In response to Gov. Larry Hogan’s decision to broaden the list of permitted outdoor activities under the state’s Stay at Home order, Wicomico County officials have begun to ease restrictions on public use of park facilities.

In consultation with the County Executive’s Office and the Health Department, the department of Recreation & Parks will reopen the following facilities for public use, effective immediately:

- Park trails and day use areas
- Tennis courts
- Pickleball courts
- Disc golf courses
- Marinas
- Boat ramps

Permitted outdoor activities include:

- Hiking/walking/running/biking
- Individual or small group sports (10 people or less)
- Outdoor fitness
- Recreational fishing/hunting/shooting/archery
- Recreational boating
- Horseback riding

Park restrooms will remain closed, and visitors are advised to prepare accordingly.

The following facilities remain closed at this time:

- Playgrounds
- Pavilions
- Basketball courts
- Other sports fields
- Beaches

Officials will revisit these closures in the coming days as conditions evolve.

Visitors must continue to limit gatherings to 10 people or less and practice social distancing using guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC; and the Maryland Department of Health (MDH;

“We encourage people to get outside and exercise, but in a safe and responsible manner,” said Steve Miller, director of Wicomico Recreation, Parks & Tourism. “Public cooperation with social distancing guidelines at county parks remains critical.”

Decisions made by county officials are fluid and can be changed at any time.

The Wicomico Recreation, Parks, Tourism and Civic Center department will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation through regular updates from the Wicomico County Health Department and the Department of Emergency Services. Updates will be shared with the press, as well as posted to department websites and social media outlets.

Bug Experts Dismiss Worry About US ‘murder Hornets’ as Hype

Numerous bug experts told The Associated Press that what they call hornet “hype" reminds them of the 1970s public scare when Africanized honeybees, nicknamed “killer bees,” started moving north from South America

Insect experts say people should calm down about the big bug with the nickname “murder hornet” — unless you are a beekeeper or a honeybee.

The Asian giant hornets found in Washington state that grabbed headlines this week aren’t big killers of humans, although it does happen on rare occasions. But the world's largest hornets do decapitate entire hives of honeybees, and that crucial food pollinator is already in big trouble.

Numerous bug experts told The Associated Press that what they call hornet “hype" reminds them of the 1970s public scare when Africanized honeybees, nicknamed “killer bees,” started moving north from South America. While these more aggressive bees did make it up to Texas and the Southwest, they didn’t live up to the horror-movie moniker. However, they also do kill people in rare situations.


Officer bodyslams a woman in Walmart 'for refusing to wear a mask'

A police officer in Alabama body-slammed a woman inside a Walmart store after she allegedly refused to wear a face mask.

The alarming scene unfolded inside a store in the Roebuck neighborhood ofBirmingham, Alabama, onTuesday.

A resident who captured the the incident on her cell phone said the situation quickly spiraled out of control when the woman would not wear a face mask.


'Paid for the damn virus that’s killing us': Giuliani rips Fauci over grants to Wuhan laboratory

Rudy Giuliani questioned Dr. Anthony Fauci's involvement in grants from the United States to a laboratory in Wuhan, China, that has been tied to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a report, the U.S. intelligence community has growing confidence that the current coronavirus strain may have accidentally escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology rather than having originated at a wildlife market, as the Chinese Communist Party first claimed. During a Sunday interview on The Cats Roundtable, Giuliani questioned why the U.S. gave money to the lab.

"Back in 2014, the Obama administration prohibited the U.S. from giving any money to any laboratory, including in the U.S., that was fooling around with these viruses. Prohibited! Despite that, Dr. Fauci gave $3.7 million to the Wuhan laboratory — and then even after the State Department issued reports about how unsafe that laboratory was, and how suspicious they were in the way they were developing a virus that could be transmitted to humans," he claimed.

He added, "We never pulled that money. So, something here is going on, John. I don’t want to make any accusations. But there was more knowledge about what was going on in China with our scientific people than they disclosed to us when this first came out. Just think of it: If this laboratory turns out to be the place where the virus came from, we paid for it. We paid for the damn virus that’s killing us.”


Michigan Health Center Workers Stage “Fake Patients” In COVID19 Testing Line For CBS News

Thank God It's Friday 5-8-20

What Will You Be Doing This Weekend?

Last Night's Orange Moon Over Ocean City Maryland

Rush Limbaugh Floats Theory That Coronavirus Deaths Are Being Inflated to Push an Agenda

Conservative talk-radio host and recent Presidential Medal of Freedom honoreeRush Limbaugh on Thursday floated the theory that deaths from coronavirus have been inflated so that governments could further “the policies they have put in place.”

Citing the latest record-breaking unemployment claims numbers at the top of his radio show, Limbaugh groused that the 10 million jobless claims filed over the past two weeks aren’t “enough for people like Bill Gates” and others who “want to shut down the entire country.”

After referencing recent White House modeling projecting between 100,000 and 240,000 U.S. deaths if the country adheres to current social-distancing guidelines, the right-wing talker then cited an article written by a pathologist to bolster the claim that governments could be fudging their numbers.

“Now, folks, don’t misunderstand, look, I’m not trying to stir anything up here,” Limbaugh insisted. “There’s all kinds of people speculating about things out there. I’m just giving you facts.”



Surgeon General Doubles Down: Masks Increase Virus Risk

Surgeon General Jerome Adams Tuesday doubled down on his advice against healthy people wearing face masks to protect themselves from coronavirus, saying that wearing one improperly can "actually increase your risk" of getting the disease.

"What the World Health Organization and the CDC have reaffirmed in the last few days is that they do not recommend the general public wear masks," Adams told Fox News' "Fox and Friends." "There was a study in 2015 looking at medical students. And medical students wearing surgical masks touch their faces on average 23 times. We know a major way that you can get respiratory diseases like coronavirus is by touching a surface and then touching your face."

Masks also can give the wearer a "false sense of security" and can encourage people to be too close to each other, said Adams, and further, there are still mask shortages nationwide.

People who are sick should wear masks, said Adams, but acknowledged that if healthy people feel better by wearing a mask, "by all means, wear it" but they should not touch their faces.

He also insisted the general public should not wear medical-style N95 masks, because they must be fitted properly to avoid infection.

"There may be a day where we change our recommendation, particularly for areas that have large spread going on, about wearing cotton masks but again the data is not there yet," said Adams.


PNC North Salisbury Outbreak

Dear Valued Customer:

Because the safety and well-being of our employees and customers is our top priority, PNC continues to monitor developments related to the coronavirus from state and federal agencies. Awareness of the illness, its symptoms, methods of transmission and prevention tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is our primary source of information. 

We are writing to make you aware that our North Salisbury branch, located at 1810​ N​ Salisbury​ Blvd,​ Salisbury,​ MD​ 21801​ has been exposed to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Our records indicate that you, or someone on your account, may have recently visited this facility. Out of an abundance of caution, and as part of our ongoing efforts to protect the health of our employees and customers from the potential impacts of the coronavirus, PNC is taking steps to further mitigate risks associated with the illness. 

The impacted facility has been temporarily closed. Appropriate steps are being taken to clean the facility following guidelines established by the CDC. The facility will be reopened after cleaning is complete and will be temporarily staffed by other PNC employees until the impacted employees are authorized to return.
As a preventative measure, recommended by the CDC, please continue to:
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
For the most up to date information, refer to online guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

PNC recognizes that some of our customers may be negatively affected by impacts of this global outbreak in many ways. To that end, we stand ready to work with those who may be experiencing difficulty as a result of this pandemic. Should you, as a current customer of PNC, encounter hardship as a result of the coronavirus, please call us at 1‑888‑762‑2265 (7 ​a.m. — 10​ p.m. ET Monday — Friday; 8​ a.m. — 5​ p.m. ET Saturday & Sunday). 

It is hard to predict the spread of the coronavirus and fully understand its impact, but that does not alter PNC’s focus on continuing to serve you. We strongly recommend that you leverage all of the available PNC tools and resources for self-service banking and 24/7 account access through our mobile, online and voice banking services when possible at

Good Morning, Watch The Ball Carefully!!!

Students in hackers' crosshairs at IBM Cyber Range Center

In Cambridge, MA, there’s a room where disasters can happen daily, where battles are fought, vulnerabilities are discovered, questions are raised and answered, and untold amounts of data and personal information are at risk.

It’s a drill this time, but the point being made is that it won’t always be a drill.

The room is IBM Security’s X-Force Command Cyber Range. Students from Miami University's College of Arts and Science, College of Engineering and Computing and the Farmer School of Business were there as part of a Boldly Creative grant funded through the Cybersecurity proposal.

Students, along with their professors, took part in an exercise usually reserved for C-suite executives willing to spend thousands of dollars to attend. Those participating were: Zaobo He, assistant professor in computing science and engineering; graduate student Josh Morgan, and senior Hanzhou Zhang (both in computer science and engineering); Arthur Carvalho, information systems and analytics professor; and Farmer School Information Systems and Analytics seniors Kyle Kofsky and Yefe Soriano.

The two-day event is designed to help educate the next generation of cyber-security professionals and give them a taste of the constant war of information being waged through firewalls, hacks, backdoors, and terminals.

More here