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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Legislative Field Notes 10-19-11

October 19th, 2011
Special Session

Morning Session:

We opened the session with the introduction of SB-1, the governor’s redistricting bill. It is a gerrymandered conglomeration of districts and the only good thing I can say about it is the Eastern Shore is intact. Numerous amendments were presented to change the Senate bill to a different map.

Amendments to adopt the MD GOP Map (Good Government Map) were rejected along party lines. The same is true for the amended map offered by Del. Hough (known as the Fannie Lou Hamer PAC) which also went down on party lines. Both of these maps were more generous to creating minority majority district representation.

There was good debate on the subject. A few democrats spoke about about various aspects of the governor’s plan with which they took exception. Once all of the amendments were dealt with, the bill was moved to Third Reader.

Afternoon Session:

SB-1 was brought up on Third Reader. There was some additional debate followed by the final vote tallied at 91-46 with five democrats crossing over and joining with the republicans. 85 votes were needed for passage.

So, once again, Maryland will see the redistricting process moved through the courts as many oppose the gerrymandering and overtly political process that has produced such a terrible product. No map is perfect, but the alternative maps offered would have gone a long way to providing all Marylanders with a meaningful vote at the polls.

There will be a final session on Thursday morning to insure that any action taken by the Senate is confirmed by the House before adjournment.

Several bills never saw the light of day. I co sponsored many with other Eastern Shore Delegates that would have gone a long way to halting many of the provisions of Plan Maryland as well as addressing future toll increases on the Bay Bridge. These will all be reintroduced in the 2012 session as they were not passed out of the Rules Committee for proper consideration.

By Delegate Mike McDermott

Biggest Strike Yet Brings Greece to Halt

The 48-hour walkout by Greek workers on Wednesday and Thursday has been dubbed "the mother of all strikes" by leading Greek daily Ta Nea. The biggest strikes since the debt crisis began in the country almost two years ago saw thousands of protesters ringing parliament on Wednesday as part of massive demonstrations against the latest raft of austerity measures — measures that parliament is expected to pass on Thursday.

After a massive and largely peaceful anti-austerity demonstration devolved into street fights between riot police and hooded youths, Evangelia Trifona sat on the steps of a store with smashed windows, her eyes red and watery from tear gas.


Florida Boy, 12, Charged as an Adult in Brother's Murder

In the courtroom, the first-degree murder defendant is shorter and outsized by the cops surrounding him. In the interrogation room, he can barely sit still and stay awake. This defendant, who, if convicted, could spend the rest of his life in prison, is 12 years old.

His name is Cristian Fernandez. And he is the youngest person to be charged as an adult with murder in Jacksonville, Florida’s history.


Son Calls 911 On Drunken Mom

Teen Says Mom 'Not A Very Smart Alcoholic'

A local mother is in custody after police said she raced down Interstate 95 while drunk with her family in tow.

Investigators said Patricia Siciliano's own son had to call police to rescue the family.

According to police, the boy told officers that his mother was drunk and out of control at the time.

"She was doing a 100 (mph) down I-95 and I told her I didn't want to die. And then she wouldn't get out of the car so I had to pull it over. I had to pull like her, like, move her over and she started hitting me. I have bites, cuts and punches all over my face," the boy said.

Understanding The Human Need For Gossip

(CBS News)

We've all at one point or another participated in a juicy gossip session. It's only natural, right? According to a new book, gossiping is exactly that -- natural, for women at least. In fact, according to the author, it is part of the evolutionary process.

Whether it's sharing secrets on television or dishing dirt in magazines, gossip is big business, generating $3 billion a year annually on TV, print and online.

According author John Locke, it's part of human evolution.


Troopers Investigate Shots Fired At Car

Location: Friday, October 14, 2011 at 2:35 a.m.

Date of Occurrence: Residence located in the 32000 block of Dogwood Lane, Laurel, DE


-42 year old Laurel, DE female
-41 year old Laurel, DE male
-11 year old Laurel, DE male
-10 year old Laurel, DE female


-There are no known suspects at this time.

Laurel, DE- The Delaware State Police are currently investigating an incident in which the vehicle and home of a Laurel, DE family was shot at that occurred this past Friday.

The investigation into this incident began at approximately 2:35 a.m. on Friday, October 14 after Troopers were told to respond to a residence located in the 32000 block of Dogwood Lane, Laurel, for the report of a burglary. Upon their arrival, the investigating officers discovered that there was no burglary; however, they were advised by the homeowners that someone had fired several shots from an unknown type of gun into their 2011 Toyota Sequoia which was parked in their driveway. Further investigation revealed that a shot was also fired into the residence where it traveled through a laundry room and lodged in a bedroom wall. None of the four occupants of the home was injured.

This incident remains under investigation at this time.

Detectives are asking anyone who may have any information in reference to this incident to contact Troop 4 at 302-856-5850. Citizens may also provide a tip by texting keyword “DSP” plus your message to 274637 (CRIMES). Tipsters may also provide information through lines maintained by Delaware Crime Stoppers at (800) TIP-3333. Callers can also submit information via the internet at

Hairline Cracks Found In Three ICC Bridges

WASHINGTON - Construction work is expected on the Inter County Connector after inspections on some bridges in found flaws which presented long-term structural safety concerns.

Problems were found on three bridges along the ICC in Montgomery County.

Project Director Melinda Peters says hairline cracks were found on several concrete piers of the bridges along Emory Lane, Needwood Road and Georgia Avenue.

In a press release, Peters says:

"After consultations with the engineering and contracting teams, and an independent expert, it has been determined that modifications to supplement the support structures are required to ensure the long-term safety and durability of the bridges. The contractor has been directed to immediately begin making short-term modifications and develop the plan for further long-term corrective actions."


Officer Violated NYPD Guidelines By Using Pepper Spray On Wall Street Protesters

NEW YORK — An internal New York Police Department review has found an official violated department guidelines when he used pepper spray on Occupy Wall Street protesters last month, a person with knowledge of the investigation said Tuesday.

Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna faces discipline of a loss of 10 vacation days after the Sept. 24 incident near Union Square, shortly after the now-global protests began in a tiny private plaza in lower Manhattan, the person said. The person had direct knowledge of the review but was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.


US Presidential Hopeful Confused Over Libya's Location

US Republican Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann has revealed that geography is not her strong point with a Libyan mix-up.

In today's Republican debate, Bachmann attempted to criticise President Obama's foreign
policy, but instead highlighted her limited knowledge of geography.

"The president, he put us in Libya. He is now putting us in Africa," said Bachmann.


Once You Go Black You Never Go Back Cain 2012

You know what they say, once you go black you never go back. You may not go back for more Obama, but Cain sure seems like a presidential candidate you could really get down with.

7 Ways to Love Being Single

Is serial monogamy the best way to find long lasting love? As a former relationship addict myself, I'm saying NO and GalTime's Dating Diva Jennifer Oikle, Ph.D., founder,, is backing me up. She says there are many benefits of spending some time being single--to find yourself before you start looking for someone else.


Death Row Dog Missing From Oregon Pet Hotel

Blue the dog had spent his days locked up in the Albany Pet Hotel, waiting while his death sentence is appealed. Now police say someone climbed the fence at the hotel, smashed a window and helped Blue the dog escape death row.

Family of 4 Found Dead in Suburban NYC Home

A family of four was found dead in their sprawling home in an affluent suburb after what appeared to be a murder-suicide, state police said.

The bodies of Amy and Sam Friedlander and their children, 8-year-old Gregory and 10-year-old Molly, were discovered in their four-bedroom, blue-gray, Colonial-style house in Cross River on Tuesday afternoon, according to police Maj. Michael Kopy.

Police: Lost Cell Phone Held For Ransom

A 28-year-old Cape Coral man was arrested Monday night after finding a man's lost cell phone and holding it ransom for $300, police said.

The victim, Michael Pfister, told Lee County Sheriff's Office deputies that he lost his cell phone Friday night at the Zombicon event in downtown Fort Myers.

On Saturday afternoon, Pfister's girlfriend received several text messages from the missing phone.

The suspect with the phone, later identified as Joel Ervin, demanded $200 for the return of the phone.


Dog For Sale

A  guy is driving around the back woods  of Montana  and he sees a sign in front of  a
broken  down shanty-style house:   'Talking  Dog For Sale 'He rings  the bell and  the owner appears and tells him  the dog  is in the  backyard.

The guy goes into the  backyard and sees a nice looking  
 Labrador  retriever sitting  there.

'You  talk?' he asks.

'Yep,'  the Lab replies.

After  the guy recovers from the shock of  hearing
 a  dog talk, he says  'So, what's  your story?'

The  Lab looks up and says, 'Well, I  discovered
 that  I could talk when I was pretty  young.. I wanted to help the government, so I  told  the CIA.

In  no time at all they had me jetting  from
 country to  country, sitting in rooms with  spies and  world leaders, because no one figured  a dog would be  eavesdropping.'

'I  was one of their most valuable spies for  eight
 years  running... 

But  the jetting around really tired me  out,
 and  I knew I wasn't  getting any younger  so I  decided to settle down. I signed up for a  job at  the airport to do some  undercover  security, wandering  near suspicious characters  and listening  in. I uncovered some  incredible dealings  and was awarded a batch of  medals.' 'I  got married, had a  mess  of puppies, and now I'm just  retired.'

The  guy is amazed. He goes back in and  asks
 the  owner what he wants for the  dog.

'Ten  dollars,' the guy says.

'Ten dollars?  This dog is amazing! Why  on
 earth  are you selling him so  cheap?' 

'Because  he's a liar.  He's never been out of  the yard'

Marines Approve 'KIA' Wristbands To Remember The Fallen

Soldiers, like all of us, want recognition. Sure, the mission comes first, and then your buddies, and maybe, eventually, you. But such recognition is hard-earned, and outsiders tinker with it at their peril.
That's why two recent events are worth noting. One involves -- of all things -- jewelry worn by Marines to honor those lost in battle. The second concerns a court's decision to protect fake soldiers boasting of fake heroics from punishment. Both would probably not have happened if the nation were at peace...

Our Guide To The Best Coverage Of Herman Cain

The Basics

As the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, Herman Cain touts himself as the “non-politician” candidate of the 2012 race. He impressed viewers in the first GOP debate [2], but he has struggled recently to remain in the picture.

Cain, 65, is a staunch conservative who promises to use “common sense” business solutions to revive the U.S. economy. He wants to [3] dramatically reduce taxes, cut government spending and cut back on government regulation of business. He also opposes legalized abortions and affirmative action and says he “supports traditional marriage [4].”

Cain is also one of the most colorful Republican candidates. Known to friends as "The Hermanator," he has trademarked the phrase “The Hermanator Experience [5]” and occasionally talks about himself in the third person [6]. (“Let me tell you something about Herman Cain!”) In a detailed piece on Cain’s political rise [7], Slate’s David Weigel describes how the Tea Party has embraced Cain because he’s a political outsider. “That's the oddity of the Cain campaign: He's a man out of time,” Weigel writes. “In the 1990s and 2000s, there was no easy way to transition from The Man Who Invented the Hot Slice into politics. In 2011, the Republican electorate wants to hear from anyone who's not a politician.” The Atlantic reported that Cain attended more than 40 Tea Party rallies [8] last year. But while Cain won the first Tea Party straw poll [9] in February, a recent Gallup poll shows Cain’s Tea Party support has fallen to 6 percent [10].

His background:

Cain first grabbed the national spotlight in 1994, when he was credited with taking down Bill Clinton’s health-care reform plan. During a town hall meeting, Cain publicly challenged Clinton’s estimate [11] of how much the employer mandate, which would have required all employers to provide their workers with health care, would cost businesses. Cain then wrote an open letter with his calculation [12] of the cost of an employer mandate to Godfather’s Pizza.

At the time, Cain was president of the National Restaurant Association and held a seat on the board of directors of the Kansas City Federal Reserve [13] [PDF]. He went on to work as an adviser to the vice-presidential campaign of Jack Kemp in 1996. Kemp described Cain as [7] “a black guy who stands up with the voice of Othello, the looks of a football player, the English of Oxfordian quality and the courage of a lion."

In an interview with the National Review, Cain cited Kemp as a major influence in his political life [14]. In 2004, Cain ran for the GOP nomination for a U.S. Senate seat in Georgia, coming in second [15] with 26.2 percent of the vote.

Cain points to his success bringing Godfather’s Pizza back from the verge of bankruptcy as a sign that he’d come to Washington with practical solutions for economic recovery. PolitiFact found that, while Godfather’s wasn’t literally filing for bankruptcy, Cain did help [16] stabilize the company financially “by uniting the franchisees, overhauling the chain's advertising, and getting his team focused on its core mission: pizza.”

Dispute Over Monkey Refuge Settled

Monkeys Can Stay; Neighbors Still Not Happy

BALTIMORE -- A compromise has been reached in a long-standing neighborhood dispute over a refuge for monkeys in Howard County.

The county Board of Appeals ruled that the nearly two dozen monkeys currently at Frisky's Wildlife Center in Woodstock can stay put; however, the refuge has to turn away any new monkeys brought in within the last seven days.

Read more:

Hensarling Places Lobbyists In High Positions

Compared to some of his "super committee" colleagues, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) has relatively few revolving door connections. But he doesn't appear to shy away from such ties: the co-chair of the super committee hired a former lobbyist as the committee's general counsel.

We've identified at least nine Hensarling staffers who have also lobbied, including seven who worked in his personal office, as well as others who worked under Hensarling at the House Republican Conference and on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, as the super committee is officially known. Hensarling has been in Congress fewer than 10 years and hasn't had a plum committee chairmanship, so he also simply hasn't employed as many staffers as many of the more senior members.

Perhaps most notably, Hensarling named Mike Bloomquist as the super committee's general counsel. Bloomquist had been the Republican's deputy general counsel for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is chaired by one of Hensarling's Republican super committee colleagues, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.). Bloomquist served as a lobbyist for Patton Boggs during two separate stints away from Capitol Hill and Wiley Rein before joining the Energy Committee in January.

read more ...

Education Makes A Political Comeback

President Barack Obama has made saving teachers' jobs a key part of his effort to sell his $447 billion jobs package as he travels the country. Separately, a Senate committee was to meet Wednesday to debate and amend No Child Left Behind.

Full Story

Vaccine Could Stifle Malaria Menace

Researchers may be about to take a bite out of malaria. The mosquito-borne disease, which infects 225 million people each year and kills 781,000 victims, but a new vaccine has cut the number of infections of test subjects in half in the year following vaccination.

More »


The Empty Suit

In the wake of the recent New Hampshire debate televised on Bloomberg October 11th, one has to conclude that Rick Perry's star is not just fading; it has crashed into that horrible fate known as FIP (flash in pan). He desperately needed to throw several ideology-policy bombs to the country intertwined with a charismatic assertiveness that demonstrates gravitas and political leadership. Instead, what came forth was mild-mannered folksy boilerplate that one finds in talks to Rotary groups and Kiwanis meetings. His vibrant Texas charm that carried him to the governor's mansion in Austin during the past decade is simply not enough to impress the national media and the dominant power brokers of Washington, so crucial in achieving credibility as a serious presidential candidate. Perry is too light on substance with an embarrassingly weak grasp of the fundamental issues at stake in the national-global arenas, or at least an inability to express his grasp of such issues in clear, forceful orations off the top of his head.

In addition, as governor he callously enacted statist policies of the most fulsome kind such as sidestepping the legislature and issuing an edict to force inoculate 11 and 12 year old school girls with Merck's Gardasil HPV drug. Big dollars in profits were the motive for Merck, big campaign donations were the lure for Perry, and Big Brother gratification was the drive for the statist cheerleaders in the media that tolerated such an outrage.
As governor, Perry also offered shameful bribes to win Hispanic votes by granting discounted college tuition breaks for illegal immigrants in Texas, which exacerbates this tragic problem all the more. Illegals come to America in droves because of a slew of magnets that we allow to exist (jobs, welfare services, dual official languages, state assistance for college, etc.). With this handout, Perry has placed himself in the "hypocritical conservative" camp, and consequently the voters are in the process of consigning him to second-tier status.


4 Things Debt Collectors Won't Tell You

Of all the industries the Federal Trade Commission receives complaints about, debt collectors are involved in the most, accounting for around 27% of all complaints received in 2010. A big part of the problem is misinformation about the rules regarding what debt collectors can legally say and how much authority they actually have.

More »

States, Banks Close To Foreclosure Deal

Several states and major banks are said to be close to sealing a deal that would protect banks from civil suits over sketchy mortgage practices in exchange for $25 billion that would help underwater homeowners refinance their loans. The deal could help the weak housing market.

More »

Class-Action Lawsuit Claims Fruit Roll-Ups Are Unhealthy, Contain Little Fruit

Do phrases like "low fat," "gluten-free," "made with real fruit" and "good source of vitamin C" on the package of a processed fruit snack product make you think that the product is a healthy food? These phrases have all been on the packaging of fruit-like snack substances from General Mills: Froot by the Foot, Fruit Roll-Ups, and Gushers. Marketing copy on the front of a box is no substitute for taking a moment to read nutrition information and ingredients. But that hasn't stopped the Center for Science in the Public Interest from filing a class-action lawsuit alleging that the company tried to make consumers believe that their products were wholesome and fruit-based, not full of trans fats, preservatives, and food coloring.

More »

Revolution Is Inevitable

To The Editor,

It is with heavy heart that I watch the goings on across the country, and indeed around the world, as the frustration of the populace with their respective governments reaches critical mass. While my heart is heavy, the realist in me knows that this is necessary. As an American I know that this must occur in order to effect the necessary change to bring us back to our constitutional underpinnings. We are, after all, a nation born of violent revolution. We are also a people whose hunger for the freedom and liberty for which our founding fathers fought and died has been ignored for too long. We have been betrayed by politicians at all levels of government who have been bought and paid for by special interests - including the Banking industry.

Each recent movement driven by the discontent of the people was quickly followed by attempts to hijack them by  establishment political parties and sadly, some have let it happen. Others, however, have not. There are some of us who simply recognize it for what it is - blatant attempts to divide and conquer the movements and to harness the energy contained within the movements for further political gain.

While the Tea Party and the Occupy movements have many differences, there are some similarities that are striking:

1) Both movements are dissatisfied with their representation and believe that they aren't being adequately represented;
2) Most in both movements no longer believe that their votes matter;
3) Most members of both movements believe that the are under tyrannical rule (though there may be differences in what that rule is)
4) Both movements agree that the system is broken and that it simply cannot continue as is;
5) Both movements believe that bailing out the financial institutions on the backs of the taxpayers was wrong but that they were ignored when they spoke out in opposition;
6) Both movements believe that the FED controls the direction of this once great nation and that they are being used as drones used by the government to make the FED rich;

I believe that the Tea Party movement hoped to make a political change. They hung thier hopes on a political solution that never came. This confirmed that their government was no longer a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Oh...the AFP continues to be a pawn for the establishment republican party and there are the kool-aid drinkers who wear blinders hoping for a political solution as their representatives work them like part time jobs, but most of us who marched when the movement began recognize that our energy was wasted - no more.

The Occupy movement recognizes that there is no political solution and they protest in their own way. While most of us find defecating on police cars repulsive, they are pushing the envelope. They are showing the government that they are willing to do whatever it takes to make changes. While I personally may not agree with some of the ideology of some of the Occupy members such as socialized medicine, free college education, etc., I recognize that they are on the fast track to violent revolution. I also recognize that there is growing sentiment that there will be no other way to take our nation back. Whether or not I agree is of little consequence. The point is that as we watch things unfold in Greece, Yemen, and other nations as their citizens rebel against their own governments, we are seeing what is to come here in the United States. If our government responds in the same manner as those in other nations, the reaction of the citizens will not likely be the same. Our founding fathers knew this day may come and provided for the people via the 2nd amendment. This is precisely why our government hasn't tried to crush the Occupy movement thus far. The government is beginning to fear the people - the way it was intended.

There are some who think that revolution is tantamount to treason. Some believe it is patriotism. Regardless, we must remember that it was only 3% of the population who fought and won our independence from tyranny in 1776. We are at a crossroads. Tough decisions must be made. The more people I talk to, the more I hear the same message pleading "Wake up people! Revolution is at hand!"

Musings On GOP Follies

The Empty Suit

In the wake of the recent New Hampshire debate televised on Bloomberg October 11th, one has to conclude that Rick Perry's star is not just fading; it has crashed into that horrible fate known as FIP (flash in pan). He desperately needed to throw several ideology-policy bombs to the country intertwined with a charismatic assertiveness that demonstrates gravitas and political leadership. Instead, what came forth was mild-mannered folksy boilerplate that one finds in talks to Rotary groups and Kiwanis meetings. His vibrant Texas charm that carried him to the governor's mansion in Austin during the past decade is simply not enough to impress the national media and the dominant power brokers of Washington, so crucial in achieving credibility as a serious presidential candidate. Perry is too light on substance with an embarrassingly weak grasp of the fundamental issues at stake in the national-global arenas, or at least an inability to express his grasp of such issues in clear, forceful orations off the top of his head.

In addition, as governor he callously enacted statist policies of the most fulsome kind such as sidestepping the legislature and issuing an edict to force inoculate 11 and 12 year old school girls with Merck's Gardasil HPV drug. Big dollars in profits were the motive for Merck, big campaign donations were the lure for Perry, and Big Brother gratification was the drive for the statist cheerleaders in the media that tolerated such an outrage.
As governor, Perry also offered shameful bribes to win Hispanic votes by granting discounted college tuition breaks for illegal immigrants in Texas, which exacerbates this tragic problem all the more. Illegals come to America in droves because of a slew of magnets that we allow to exist (jobs, welfare services, dual official languages, state assistance for college, etc.). With this handout, Perry has placed himself in the "hypocritical conservative" camp, and consequently the voters are in the process of consigning him to second-tier status.


Brother Duo linked To 44 Millsboro Burglaries

Communities Victimized:
Pot-Nets Bayside
Pot-Nets Creekside
Pot-Nets Lakeside
Long Neck Village
Leisure Point Millsboro

Date Range of Occurrences:
August 2011 thru October 2011

44 victims (44 residences)

Defendants/Charges/Bond Information:
Travis W. Cosbey-19 of Millsboro, DE (Photo attached/black t-shirt)
Joel E. Cosbey-25 of Millsboro, DE (Photo attached/white t-shirt)
418 total charges related to Burglary Second Degree, Theft, Criminal Mischief, Possession of Burglar Tools, and Conspiracy.
Both have been committed to Sussex Correctional Institution on $23,500 Secured Bond each.

Millsboro- After an intense and lengthy investigation, Delaware State Police Troop 4 Property Unit Detectives have charged two Millsboro brothers in connection with 44 burglaries that took place over a three month period in multiple communities in Millsboro.

Delaware State Police Detectives have charged brothers, Travis W. Cosbey-19 and his brother Joel E. Cosbey-25, both of Millsboro, DE for a total of 418 charges related to Burglary Second Degree, Theft, Criminal Mischief, Possession of Burglar Tools, and Conspiracy. They both have been committed to SCI on $23,500 Secured Bond each.

The arrest of the Cosbey brothers was the result of an investigation into residential burglaries dating back to August 2011 in the listed communities. The duo would forcibly enter residences through locked doors. Once inside they would remove flat screen televisions, video games systems, various electronics, jewelry, tools and other property.

Detectives have recovered stolen property from these burglaries and are in the process of conducting an inventory to identify ownership of the items and will contact the victims when this process is complete.

Bernanke: Let's Not Blow Bubbles

Bernanke says Fed should keep a sharper eye on financial bubbles... Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said Tuesday that he is more open to using the Fed's interest rate policies to combat financial bubbles, arguing that in the wake of the economic crisis, central bankers must rethink their assumptions. Before the economic upheaval, Bernanke acknowledged, central banks viewed financial stability as a "junior partner" to the task of tweaking interest rates to try to boost growth. But both stability and monetary policy are of vital importance to the U.S. economy, he said. – Washington Post

Dominant Social Theme: These bubbles have got to go! Where they came from, I don't know. But they need to be popped, not just stopped, and to fix them I need to say "No!"


Federal Reserve And Bank Of America Initiate A Coup To Dump Billions Of Dollars Of Losses On The American Taxpayer

Bloomberg reports that Bank of America is dumping derivatives onto a subsidiary which is insured by the government – i.e. taxpayers [24].

Yves Smith notes [25]:
If you have any doubt that Bank of America is going down, this development should settle it …. Both [professor of economics and law, and former head S&L prosecutor] Bill Black (who I interviewed just now) and I see this as a desperate move by Bank of America’s management, a de facto admission that they know the bank is in serious trouble.

The short form via Bloomberg:

Bank of America Corp. (BAC), hit by a credit downgrade last month, has moved derivatives from its Merrill Lynch unit to a subsidiary flush with insured deposits, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation

Bank of America’s holding company — the parent of both the retail bank and the Merrill Lynch securities unit — held almost $75 trillion of derivatives at the end of June, according to data compiled by the OCC. About $53 trillion, or 71 percent, were within Bank of America NA, according to the data, which represent the notional values of the trades.

That compares with JPMorgan’s deposit-taking entity, JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, which contained 99 percent of the New York-based firm’s $79 trillion of notional derivatives, the OCC data show.

Now you would expect this move to be driven by adverse selection, that it, that BofA would move its WORST derivatives, that is, the ones that were riskiest or otherwise had high collateral posting requirements, to the sub. Bill Black confirmed that even though the details were sketchy, this is precisely what took place.

Lose Weight

Solar Panels Start To Outshine Mirrors

As prices for photovoltaic cells tumble, developers are abandoning solar thermal plants

Factories in China have been churning out solar panels so fast that prices have plunged. Just ask the folks at Solyndra, the bankrupt photovoltaic-cell maker that has gotten the Obama Administration into hot water over loan guarantees. Those Chinese manufacturers are now disrupting another corner of the solar industry: so-called solar thermal installations, which make electricity by bouncing sunlight off mirrors to boil water, creating steam that drives turbines.

At least four companies have abandoned plans for solar thermal plants in the U.S. in favor of electricity-producing solar cells, which have fallen in price by nearly half this year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. That means it may no longer make sense to complete many solar thermal projects, typically vast installations in deserts that take years to build. For solar thermal, “the future in the U.S. looks very challenging,” says Brett Prior, an analyst at energy consultancy GTM Research.


Man Not Criminally Liable For Trail Attack

Indian River Inlet Bridge Construction Reaches Milestone Today

Final Bridge Deck Concrete Pour Links North and South Spans
Rehoboth Beach -- The Delaware Department of Transportation announces that the last section of main span deck concrete was poured for the new Indian River Inlet Bridge during the late evening hours of Tuesday, October 18, 2011. The final concrete deck pour links the north and south side of the bridge together over the inlet waterway. This event represents an historic milestone in the bridge's construction.

DelDOT Chief Engineer Natalie Barnhart, along with Project Manager Doug Robb, joined members of Skanska USA Civil Southeast and the Design-Build Team for the exciting nighttime pour. Secretary of Transportation Shailen Bhatt said, "DelDOT and the entire Project Team are excited to complete this final bridge deck pour. Bridges are about connecting people in communities, and today we made that much-anticipated connection a reality for the citizens of Delaware."

The event itself consisted of concrete being pumped and poured into a form system completing the final 10-foot section of the main span. Skanska crews worked to successfully complete the 5 foot wide by 6 foot deep edge girders, the final 96 foot long transverse floor beam and the 8 1/2" thick deck section, which spans the final 10 foot opening. In all, the entire closure pour itself took roughly six hours to complete.

This event brings the bridge to over 90% completion. In the coming months, remaining activities include pedestrian bridge barrier installation, deck joint installation, bridge electrical work and lighting, stay cable tensioning and damper installation, load balancing, placement of protective bridge deck overlay, surveying, form traveler removal, tower crane removal, and overall site cleanup.

A specific date for the official opening of two lanes of the new bridge to traffic cannot be set due to the fact that the remaining activities are very weather dependent. In addition, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee delayed bridge construction activities during the end of August and beginning of September which has the potential to affect the goal of opening the bridge to traffic before the end of the year. While it is still possible that DelDOT could potentially open the bridge to traffic by year's end, it is too soon to know for certain. DelDOT expects to be able to announce a completion schedule by the end of November.

Once the completion schedule is set, DelDOT will plan for the opening of two lanes of the bridge with a Ribbon Cutting ceremony. A date for this ceremony will be announced once available.

Meanwhile motorists, cyclists and pedestrians should remain alert as the roadway approach construction continues into the coming months.

DelDOT encourages the public to stay engaged on this project, as the next few months will be very exciting as we bring the bridge construction to completion. Those interested are welcome to follow the project via its website at


Wicomico County Executive Richard M. Pollitt, Jr., announced today that the Connelly Mill Road Railroad Crossing in Delmar will be closed to traffic on October 24th so that county public works can make major improvements to the road bed. “I know our residents will be very pleased to see this long-delayed re-construction take place. This is the last railroad crossing in the county system to be upgraded. The project will cost $130,000 and is funded entirely by federal stimulus and railroad funds.”

Roads officials anticipate the work to be completed within one week.

Zombie Pandemic

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants your family to prepare for a zombie pandemic. And if that happens to get you ready for floods, hurricanes and tornadoes, even better. USA Today reports that the CDC health preparedness and response team has produced an online graphic novel that tells the story of a couple struggling to survive a zombie pandemic. The whole idea is to help Americans think about how to prepare for emergencies. We won't tell you how the novella ends...except to say that it includes a handy list of items for an emergency kit.

Terroristic Threats Will Land You In Jail: UPDATE

Remember the guy who left suspicious packages at the Bank in Hebron a year and a half ago? Well, he was released a few weeks ago and instantly started harassing me and my Family, once again.

While he was incarcerated he had sent several letters and ultimately started dropping suspicious packages at my mailbox with bombs drawn on the packages.

Delaware State Police and Salisbury Police were able to obtain warrants against Mr. Collins and he was arrested late last week. Things got so bad, Delaware State Police were ready to extradite Mr. Collins to Delaware, something rarely done for a misdemeanor.

Nevertheless, I was not the only recipient of Mr. Collins threats and games. Even Sheriff Lewis was the recipient of similar letters as well as another local business.

At one point and time Mr. Collins had been found in a local Hotel across the street from one of his other victims. When Police entered his Hotel room they found photos tacked to the walls of employees coming and going from their business.

What amazed me the most about this guy is the fact that even though he was put away for 15 months, the mental institution that housed him allowed these letters to go out from their facility. I was not made aware of Mr. Collins court date when he was released and if I had I could have presented the Judge with multiple letters for their review.

Yesterday I received another threat, "Joey boy today I had you in my sights while you were out front of your shitty building talking on the phone. It was around 2:35 but the time just wasn't right."
Mind you, this was a pansy anonymous comment in which, (I guess) is meant to scare me. They failed, of course. Doing what I do every day is a service to this community. I do it because of people like this. In the past the Tilghman Administration threatened citizens with lawsuits and Lord knows what else. I was the first to stand up to them and ultimately they went away.

It may take a while to catch you but in time someone will talk, someone will screw up and as we save ALL of these threats, it will one day come around. Local Law Enforcement are no longer patient with these threats.
I welcome anyone to disagree with me, that's your right. However, the images above and the message above are just a very small example of what I receive on a regular basis. Look, if you don't like Salisbury News or Joe Albero, STOP coming here. It really is that simple. There's no need for these threats. It was only a few weeks ago we had to call the Police to have a local nut case removed from my Downtown building. The person tried to claim he had video of me assaulting him. Even though he stated he was going to put the video on Facebook for all to see, interesting how it never surfaced BECAUSE IT NEVER HAPPENED. This is a person who has filed Peace Orders against me and failed each time. This is a person who has threatened many lawsuits against me and again, it never happened.

Clearly there are a select few who would enjoy seeing Salisbury News just go away. IF we had lied, IF we had made things up over all the years I have been doing this, I would have LOST lawsuits and or I would have been placed in jail. Neither has happened because we do not lie and we simply expose true information SOME do not want made public.

All that being said, I will continue doing what I have done for the past 7 years. If you do not like what I publish you have two choices. Contact me and discuss it or simply do not return. If you threaten me or my Family I will request that Law Enforcement find you and prosecute you.

UPDATE: I have added some additional photos. One of George Collins and the other is one of the flyers he had in the suspiscious package at the Bank.

Hot Potato

The Senate has thrown its support behind the potato. It votes to block an Obama administration proposal to limit potatoes in school lunches. The Agriculture Department proposed earlier this year to cut french fries to twice a week. That angered the potato industry, some school districts and members of Congress from spud-growing states. Potato boosters say USDA should focus on how the tubers are prepared, not how often they're served. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) called the bipartisan voice vote a victory for common sense.

More On The USPS

The Postal Service will have to deal in more than just mail. The Wall Street Journal reports USPS is going to have to change its business model if it is going to survive.For more than 200 years, the agency has been almost singularly focused on delivering mail to everyone, everywhere. But that won't keep the Postal Service afloat. In other countries, post offices diversified as soon as they noticed a decline in first-class mail. Now they offer everything from banking to fingerprinting. You can buy jewelry, candy, and children's books. The inspector general's report suggests the Postal Service get into the logistics business by helping big commercial retailers navigate customs in cross-border business.

More Buyouts Offered At Agriculture Department

More buyouts and early outs are being offered at the the Agriculture Department — this time to nearly 2,000 employees in the Rural Development division, GovExec reports. A USDA memo cites tight 2012 budgets as the motivation behind the latest round of belt tightening. Employees who accept the buyouts can receive a up to 25,000 dollars. That can be combined with early retirements for all eligible employees, the memo says. Employees have until Oct. 31st to accept, and must retire no later than Dec. 3. USDA offered more then 500 buyouts back in May.

Military Bases Become Test Beds For Alternative Energy Sources

The Pentagon will hand out $30 million in grants for new energy technologies. The grants are aimed at projects to help military bases become test beds for alternative energy sources. Dorothy Robyn, DoD's deputy undersecretary for installations and environment, said DOD received 600 high-quality responses to a February notice announcing the grants. DoD already has 49 pilot projects underway, including smart micro grids, wind and solar generation, and landfill gas.

Lawmakers Support For Md. Gas Tax Hike

Some local lawmakers are adding their support to a proposal in Maryland to add 15 cents to the state gas tax.

Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker and Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, both supported the plan during a radio program on WTOP.

California's Coming Crackdown On Pot: What Do You Do If You Need It?

When Richard Kearns wakes up each morning, he vomits. A former university professor who was diagnosed with AIDS 30 years ago, Kearns, 60, resides in a Los Angeles assisted-living facility and relies on marijuana, which he gets from local dispensaries, to manage the pain, anxiety and intense nausea that would otherwise prevent him from being able to keep down the pills he also takes daily. Now those dispensaries are in danger of being shut down.

Transportation Spending And Job Creation Linked, Officials Say

Maryland needs both job creation and work on its transportation infrastructure, and the two go hand in hand, government, business and industry leaders told legislators on Tuesday.

Continue Reading...

Chinese Toddler’s Hit and Run: Mother Praises Rescuer

The mother of the two-year-old girl who was run over twice by vans and left bleeding in the middle of a narrow market street in China has praised the woman who rescued her gravely injured daughter.

“I don’t have enough words to thank her with,” the mother, who would identify herself only as Qu, said at the hospital on Monday, according to China Daily.

Chen Xianmei is the 57-year-old woman who moved Qu’s daughter Yue Yue to the side of a road and called for help in Foshan, Guangdong province, last Thursday after eighteen pedestrians and cyclists passed right by the little girl.


Fill In The Blank 10-19-11

My child is going to be ______ for Halloween.

Vehicle Stop Nets Georgia Murder Suspect

  • I95 northbound in the area of Otts Chapel Road, Newark
Date of Occurrence:
  • Monday, October 17, 2011 at 2:00 p.m.
Defendant/DE Charge/Bond Information:
  • Orville C. Rivera-32 of Atlanta, Georgia (No photo available)
  • Fugitive from Another State (Murder that occurred in Georgia)
  • Committed HRYCI on $1,000,000.00 Cash Bond pending extradition to Georgia.
Newark-Delaware State Troopers have arrested a 32 year old man wanted in connection for a homicide that occurred in Marietta, Georgia.
The incident occurred on Monday, October 17, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. as a Trooper on routine patrol conducted a vehicle stop for a traffic violation in the area of I95 northbound at Otts Chapel Road, Newark.  A computer check of the operator of the vehicle, Orville C. Rivera-32 of Atlanta, GA, revealed that he was a wanted fugitive with active warrants for a murder that occurred in Marietta, Georgia on Sunday, October 16, 2011.  Rivera was taken into custody without incident.  Rivera was charged with the above crime in Delaware and was committed to HRYCI on a $1,000,000.00 Cash Bond pending extradition to Georgia.
All questions in reference to the murder investigation can be directed to the Cobb County Police Department, Georgia.

How Parents Are Falling Short With the ‘Sex Talk’

Parents are talking to their kids about sex, but they're still not being specific enough

Have you ever noticed how clearly most people ― parents and children alike ― remember their first conversations about sexuality? One of my favorites involves a toddler pondering his anatomy as he wakes up for pre-school and sheds his pajamas. “Mom,” he asks, “does your penis always stand up in the morning?”


Palin: Gingrich Would Clobber Obama

Palin: We're Still Looking for the Candidate Who Will Rise to the Top, Be the Frontrunner ... Gingrich Would Clobber Obama

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," October 18, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Tonight, we have a blockbuster new show. The Republican candidates for president -- well, they're all revved up over issues and over each other. And in just minutes, three of them go "On the Record" right here, live from Las Vegas. We have Speaker Newt Gingrich, Representative Michele Bachmann and Mr. Herman Cain. They are just minutes away.


Steve Jobs Amassed $6B Fortune

(CBS News)

Steve Jobs is being remembered for many things, but his wealth has largely been out of the picture since his death at age 56 two weeks ago.

Just how much was the tech innovator worth?

Jobs amassed a fortune valued at more than $6 billion, CBS News correspondent John Blackstone reported on "The Early Show."


25 Now Dead In Cantaloupe Listeria Outbreak

Twenty-five deaths in 12 states are now linked to listeria in cantaloupe, the deadliest known outbreak of food-borne illness in the United States in more than 25 years.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that 123 people have been sickened, including those who died.

The tainted Colorado cantaloupes should be off of store shelves by now, but the number of illnesses may continue to grow, as the symptoms of listeria can take up to two months to appear.


Oklahoma Mother Reportedly Refused Cancer Treatment So Child Could Survive

Stacie Crimm made the ultimate sacrifice -- and she got her dying wish. As doctors and nurses wearing protective gear looked on last month, the 41-year-old mom got to hold her newborn daughter.

Three days later, Crimm died. But her baby girl, Dottie Mae, is alive, because her mom refused the cancer-fighting treatments that might have saved her life -- and that she feared would risk the life of her unborn child.

Alleged Vigilante Brothers Stare Down More Potential Prison Time Than Child Molester

Two Northern California brothers who allegedly beat a child molester after they learned of his attack on an 8-year-old girl may get more time in prison than the molester, The Mercury News reported.

Miguel Cerda, described as a father figure to the girl, and brother Erik Cerda turned down two plea deals that would have brought them one to four years in state prison. Instead, they now face seven years to life in prison if convicted at trial.