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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Oh Come On Now, $17,000,000.00??????

The government will pay more than $17 million to a family that lost four of its members in a military jet crash. The mother, two children and a grandmother were killed when a Marine Corps jet crashed into their San Diego home in 2008. The Marine Corps says the its engine failed but a series of bad decisions led the student pilot to bypass a potentially safe landing at a Navy base. He was able to eject in time.

The military disciplined 13 members of the Marines and the Navy for the errors.

Franchot Schedules Two Fundraisers

Comptroller Peter Franchot,  believed to be casting an eye on the governor's race in 2014, has scheduled two high-ticket fundraisers in early January during the countdown to the legislative session that begins Jan. 11.
Franchot, a Democrat, plans an event Jan. 4 at the home of Chuck and Beverly Ferrar in Edgewater, with tickets running from $250 to $2,000. He plans another for the eve of the session in Washington, hosted by Gerald Cassidy, Franchot's old boss from his days with the Cassidy & Associates lobbying firm in Washington. For that event, tickets run from $250 to the Maryland maximum of $4,000 to a single candidate during a four-year cycle.

Postal Regulatory Commission Slams USPS

The Postal Regulatory Commission is slamming the U.S. Postal Service's plan to close 3,600 post offices. The Commission says Postal executives used flawed research and questionable data to come up with their list of targeted facilities. USPS plans to replace many small and rural post offices with clerks in nearby retail stores. But the oversight commission says USPS used a screening process that was too simple. Chairwoman Ruth Goldway says USPS officials don't really know which of the targeted post offices are growing and which are shrinking. USPS is expected to sustain operating losses of $14 billion in 2012.

Citizen's Report Leads To Recovery Of Stolen Goods

QUEENSTOWN A citizen's report of a suspicious truck led to the arrest of a Queenstown man and the recovery of more than $10,000 in stolen property Wednesday, Dec. 21, according to the Queen Anne's County Sheriff's Office.
"This is one of those good things that comes from having a good relationship with the community," said Sheriff R.G. Hofmann. "I can't say it enough. We need the public's help. We need people to tell us what they see out there. By giving us a tip, that one person made a difference."

Obama To Announce Sale Of F-15 Fighter Jets

The Obama administration will announce a big sale of F-15 fighter jets to Saudi Arabia. The deal will deliver 84 new planes. Plus, 70 existing planes will receive upgrades. The deal is worth nearly $30 billion. Sources tell the Associated Press, the plan is to bolster Saudi military strength as Iran grows more belligerent. Last year, Congress approved an administration bid to sell a total of $60 billion worth of gear. Besides F-15s, Saudi Arabia will get helicopters, missiles, bombs and delivery systems — even night vision goggles.

Texts Show Texas Christmas Day Shooting Timeline

One of the victims of a Christmas Day shooting in Texas that left seven dead sent text messages before her uncle opened fire on the gathering saying he was there dressed as Santa Claus and wanted to be "all fatherly," police said Wednesday.


Petraeus Almost Quit

A new book says Gen. David Petraeus nearly quit over President Obama's decision to quickly draw down forces from Afghanistan. But the top commander in Iraq, now the CIA director, ultimately stuck with the job. The forthcoming authorized biography is by Paula Broadwell. The book says Petraeus didn't want to make what he felt would be a selfish, grandstanding move. Instead, the general decided to salute and carry on. Broadwell had unlimited access to Petraeus for two years, both in war zones and in Washington

Rescue Group in Crisis Mode After Cat Euthanized

PHOENIX - Animal lovers threatened to pull donations to an animal rescue group and the public flooded the agency with scathing comments and calls after a man's cat was euthanized when he couldn't afford its medical care, prompting the Arizona Humane Society to go into damage-control mode Wednesday.

25 States Have High Child Poverty Rates

Before the recession, high child poverty rates generally were clustered in 14 southern and southwestern states. Now, you’ll find one in five children living in poverty in half the country, even in places like California, Florida and Oregon, a new report says. Twenty-five states had child poverty rates of 20 percent or higher in 2010, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data by the Brookings Institution.

And if Brookings’ predictions are correct, Idaho and Rhode Island will join the ranks of states with high child poverty in 2011, bringing to 27 the number of states with rates of 20 percent or higher. That’s a near doubling of the number of states that experienced high child poverty before the recession.

“The economy may have begun its slow recovery, but conditions are not yet improving for children in the most vulnerable families,” Brookings’ Julia B. Isaacs, a child and family policy fellow, writes in her report.


FAQ Guide For Same-Sex Couples Released

Lambda Legal and Equality Delaware have released a frequently asked questions guide for same sex couples in Delaware who are considering getting a civil union:

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown Returns Campaign Donations From Richard Stewart

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- A spokesman for Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown says the lieutenant governor has returned political donations he received from Richard Stewart, who pleaded guilty to federal authorities this month for failing to pay about $4 million in employment taxes.

Marc Goldberg, the spokesman, said Wednesday the donations had been returned.

Stewart, of Mitchellville, donated $4,750 to Brown's campaign.


Can You Love More Than One Guy At The Same Time?

Love triangles. We see them all the time in books and on the silver screen.  But in real life falling in love with two guys at the same time can feel a lot less romantic, and a lot more painful.
So what do you do if you find yourself torn between two wonderful men, but know in the end, you have to make a choice? We asked psychotherapist and relationship coach Toni Coleman, LCSW, CMC of She says one of the most common scenarios is the best friend vs. lover debacle. 

Maryland's Entrapment Of Physicians

Twenty four thousand physicians have been granted licenses to practice the medical arts in Maryland. This privilege came with one caveat, their licenses would be supervised by the Maryland Board of Physicians. Of the 21 political appointees on the Board forty percent are not physicians, which questions the extent of the expertise embedded in its membership. Worse, the Boards functions are not managed by physicians. Instead its administrative staff, which is heavily weighted with attorney input, runs the operations on a day to day basis. The Board’s quality assurance section is administered by lawyers, not physicians. Imagine the Maryland State Board of Law Examiners being fronted by physicians, the state would see an major reduction in malpractice suits. Maryland Board of Physicians must comply with Maryland legislative mandates which are in place to protect the public from errant physicians and to provide doctors a level of due process when their practices come into question.


Black Students 5 Times More Likely To Be Suspended

ROCKVILLE, Md. - A published report says black students in the D.C. area are suspended and expelled two to five times as often as white students, and the trend can be seen in both the Maryland and Virginia suburbs and inner city Washington.

The Washington Post reports that its analysis found that in the suburbs alone, more than 35,000 students were suspended or expelled from school at some point last school year - more than half of them black students.


New Year's Eve fireworks A Go!

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Fireworks have been part of New Years Eve in Annapolis for more than a quarter century. That tradition may have been interrupted this year if some business didn't step up.

Harvey Blonder owns several businesses in Annapolis and with some other business owners has stepped up to help cover the cost of the more than $13,000 price tag for Annapolis' two fireworks shows on New Year's Eve.


Is The 9-to-5 Workday History?

If you are working 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., you may soon be the exception.

Younger workers -- those known as Millenials or Generation Y -- are changing the face of the workplace, and the traditional workday is going out the window.

The change to the workday is one of the Euro RSCG Worldwide's top trends for next year.


New Ways Needed To Use Poultry Waste, Study Aays

Maryland’s poultry industry is worth more than $600 million annually – but produces enough waste to pile up to the top of nearly two football stadiums and create about 40% of the phosphorus that pollutes the Chesapeake Bay, according to a report released Wednesday by Environment Maryland.


Today's Survey Question 12-29-11

Do you believe voters should be required to have a photo ID in order to cast a vote?

O'Malley: Expect Tax Hikes In 2012

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Taxes will be on the agenda in 2012, including a hike in the state's gas tax, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley announced Thursday at his year-end press conference reflecting on the past year.

The governor outlined his agenda for the year ahead less than two weeks before the 2012 Session of the Maryland General Assembly begins.

In addition to $6.8 billion in spending cuts to the budget, the governor is bracing residents for higher taxes.

O'Malley said some of the state's shortfall areas include its operating budget and infrastructure -- including bridges and roads, mass transit and the environment.

"You get what you pay for. There's no way to build a $100 million bridge for $10 million," O'Malley said. "(This is) a budget that uses an approach that every family has been using to weather or come through this recession. It will be a budget that meets spending affordability guidelines for the sixth consecutive year while protecting shared priorities of every Marylander."


Are Officers Being Set Up For A Big Fall, Where's The FOP?

"Well Sgt. Smith ordered us to write a 95 (formal department memo) to him stating if we wrote anything on the blog site. We were also ordered not to discuss it….yeah right!"

In a letter to the editor published yesterday the statement above was made. Since there's NO CRIME for a Police Officer or ANY American to make a comment on a Blog or ANYWHERE else, by allegedly demanding that Officers make such an official statement is creating a false case.

Since they believe at least ONE of the Officers there made comments, if they believe even ONE of the Officers did not tell the truth in their official statement they can charge them with perjury.

IF the entire statement is true, the FOP should be protecting each and every Officer within the OCPD. They have absolutely NO RIGHT asking Officers to answer that question and any good lawyer would tell you so. Plead the 5th, ALL of you.

So let's say some Officers have already been intimidated into saying they DID make a comment, will they now be a target? Considering ALL of the comments were pretty damning against the OCPD, this could get REALLY bad. Imagine the lawsuits that could be filed against the Town of Ocean City! While they continue to lose one case after the other in Baltimore, those cases would be pennies on the dollar compared to what's being set up right now.

I would STRONGLY urge the Ocean City Council to set up that meeting with Campbell and get this thing over with.

Happy 75th Birthday, Mary Tyler Moore

To millions of Americans, she's still 32, forever driving from her small hometown to Minnesota's Twin Cities on a sunny freeway in 1970. How will she make it on her own? This world is awfully big, and girl, this time she's all alone.


Lost Dog: UPDATE

UPDATE: You are amazing Joe... Less than 10 hours after posting about our missing beagle , he is comfortably snoozing on our living room couch. THANK YOU!!!

Greetings Joe,

I spent yesterday searching for our 2 year-old male beagle lost in the Hunter's Mill area. If you could kindly post his pic, it would be greatly appreciated. I know your blog reaches a large reader population and I'm hoping someone may have seen him.

Teresa 410-430-5745

State Gets $28.3 Million Bonus For Children’s Medicaid Enrollment

Maryland will receive a $28 million performance bonus from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for fiscal year 2011 for its consistent efforts to identify and enroll eligible children in Medicaid and CHIP coverage.


Hospital Staff Caught Storing Caviar In Morgue

Two Russian men were caught storing caviar for a New Year's Eve party alongside bodies in a morgue refrigerator.
A 64-year-old funeral business owner and a 42-year-old morgue attendant stashed the 385 pounds of red and black caviar in the morgue of the St. Petersburg hospital where they worked, The Moscow Times reported.
Police said Wednesday that the men "stored and packed red and black caviar next to the corpses inside the morgue's pathology department."

Read More

Man, 99, Divorcing Wife Of 77 Years Over Affair In The 1940s

Italian couple set to become the world's oldest divorcees
A 99-year-old Italian man is divorcing his 96-year-old wife after discovering that she conducted an affair in the 1940s, reports the Telegraph.

The couple have been together for 77 years, but time was no healer when the husband, referred to by Italian lawyers as Antonio C, found evidence of the affair while rummaging throw a chest of drawers. Having confronted his wife, who confessed to the affair, he is now seeking a divorce.


Md. Congressional Districts May Be Most Gerrymandered In Nation

Maryland officials constantly tout the state’s top schools and most educated workforce, but it may have a more dubious distinction – the least compact and most gerrymandered congressional districts in the nation.


Gay Seniors Face Housing Discrimination

At least 1.5 million seniors are gay, a number expected to double by 2030

— At age 62, Donald Carter knows his arthritis and other age-related infirmities will not allow him to live indefinitely in his third-floor walk-up apartment in Philadelphia.

But as a low-income renter, Carter has limited options. And as a gay black man, he's concerned his choice of senior living facilities might be narrowed further by the possibility of intolerant residents or staff members.

"The system as it stands is not very accommodating," Carter said. "I don't really want to see any kind of negative attitude or lack of service because anyone ... is gay or lesbian."


Tourist Arrested After Trying To Check In Gun At WTC Site

A tourist from Tennessee reportedly thought she could check her loaded gun at New York City's Sept. 11 memorial.

The New York Post says 39-year-old Meredith Graves was visiting the memorial at the World Trade Center site on Dec. 22 and noticed a sign that said "No guns allowed." The Post reports that Graves asked police where she could check her loaded pistol. She was arrested on a gun-possession charge.



The Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) will conduct its winter conference January 4th-to-6th at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay in Cambridge. A highlight of the event will be the presentation of the 2012 Marilyn J. Praisner Public Service Award at the Inaugural Ceremony and Awards Banquet at 6:30 P.M. on January 5th. The award was established in 2009 to recognize extraordinary public service, passion for county government, and tireless dedication to MACo. All of these characteristics were exhibited by the award’s namesake, the late Marilyn J. Praisner, who served as a Montgomery County Council Member and as the 2003 President of MACo. This year’s honoree is former Wicomico County Council President Henry S. Parker. Mr. Parker was nominated for the award by Wicomico County Executive Richard M. Pollitt, Jr., with the support of the Wicomico County Council.

Mr. Parker served on the council from 1982-to-1998 and was its president from 1982-to-

1994. As recognition for his distinguished service to the citizens of Wicomico County, the athletic complex on Naylor Mill Road bears Mr. Parker’s name.

Does It Get Any Better Than This?

The Housing Hangover

At the heart of a stalled economy, a hangover that won’t go away
By Drake Bennett

A bleak, by-the-numbers portrait of home prices, home sales, homeowners, and the construction and mortgage industries—all in distress.


Deaver To Introduce Preservation Ordinance

GEORGETOWN — Many jurisdictions require permits to demolish old buildings, but not Sussex County.
By code, county officials can order a building demolished, but there is nothing in the code requiring citizens in unincorporated areas to obtain a permit before tearing down a building.
That may change in 2012. Councilwoman Joan Deaver, D-Rehoboth Beach, said her constituents are interested in an ordinance to protect historic buildings. “I'm getting a lot of comments and lot of people who are interested in testifying in support of the ordinance,” she said. “The list is growing, but we need people from western Sussex to support it as well.”

Mortgage Rates For 30-Year U.S. Loans Climb From Record Low

U.S. mortgage rates for 30-year fixed loans increased from the lowest on record as home sales rose amid improved consumer confidence and employment data.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed loan rose to 3.95 percent in the week ended today, from 3.91 percent last week, the lowest in records dating to 1971, Freddie Mac said in a statement. The average 15-year rate climbed to 3.24 percent from 3.21 percent, according to the McLean, Virginia-based mortgage- finance company.

New-home sales jumped to a seven-month high in November, figures from the Commerce Department showed Dec. 23. The unemployment rate declined to 8.6 percent last month, the lowest level in more than two years, and confidence among consumers reached an eight-month high in December.

“Low interest rates are a necessary condition to help the housing market but they aren’t sufficient,” Charles Lieberman, chief investment officer at Advisors Capital Management LLC in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, said in an interview before Freddie Mac made the announcement. “We need some other things to happen to help housing. The most important of those is for job growth to continue at a stronger pace.”


Inside The Blue Angel Planes

Blue Angels practice run over the Naval Academy Annapolis Md. from the cock pit.

Raw cockpit cam footage from a practice run over the Severn River at the Naval Academy.


U.S. Jobless Claims Drop To Three-Year Low

Fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits over the past month than at any time in the past three years, a sign the U.S. labor market is on the mend heading into the new year.


NJ Educator Allegedly Taped Boys In Shower

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - An educator using a secretly installed camera videotaped teenage boys in the shower at a Catholic high school for nearly three years, authorities said.
Patrick J. Lott, who was arrested last week, was arraigned Wednesday on charges he videotaped students in a communal shower area at Immaculata High School in Somerville starting in January 2008. He did not enter a plea.

US Justice Department Logic: Bernanke Is A Domestic Terrorist

Editor's Note: As we're quickly approaching the end of December, I thought it would be appropriate to republish a few letters from earlier this year. 2011 brought a year of increased printing of fiat currencies around the world.

This selection, from March, combines logic from the U.S. DoJ and the actions of our current Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke. The destruction of currencies is a theme that we'll continue to address as governments cling to power. These next several posts are the core of our expanding community and I know that many readers probably missed some important letters from earlier days.

---------Original Dispatch on March 21, 2011 from Denver, CO---------

The United States Department of Justice delivered a very clear and unfortunate message on Friday:

"Attempts to undermine the legitimate currency of this country are simply a unique form of domestic terrorism. While these forms of anti-government activities do not involve violence, they are every bit as insidious and represent a clear and present danger to the economic stability of this country."


Victims Of Fatal Motor Vehicle Crash Identified

Millsboro, DE
- The deceased victim of the fatal motor vehicle crash that occurred yesterday afternoon in Millsboro, DE has been identified as Betty J. See, 84, of Lewes, DE. The front seat passenger has been identified as Felicia J. Stroup, 64, of Virginia Beach, VA.

The crash remains under investigation by the Delaware State Police Crash Reconstruction Unit.

Confirmed: Verizon Charging $2 Fee For Paying Bills Online Or By Phone

Verizon customers who make single payments by phone or online will be charged a $2 fee per payment starting January 15. The new fee is intended to offset the cost of processing these payments.

“The fee will help allow us to continue to support these single bill payment options in these channels,” Verizon said in a statement to Mashable.

Other Verizon payment options such as electronic check, AutoPay and payment kiosks are still free.

Customer representatives for Sprint and AT&T said that those companies charge no similar additional fee for paying by phone or online. The AT&T representative said there is, however, a fee for paying a bill through a customer service representative by phone.

Will Verizon’s $2 fee affect you? If so, will it motivate you to choose an alternate payment option, or do you find single payments by phone or Internet worth the extra couple of bucks? Let us know in the comments.


In Case Of Snow, Alarm App Wakes You Early

Waking up and realizing your car is covered with snow, or worse, that the roads are paved with ice, can be stressful, and the worst part is, no matter what you do, you're going to be late — maybe very late. If only there were an alarm clock that would automatically wake you up early on such mornings.

Wait! Stop! There's no need to try constructing some sort of bizarre snow-activated Rube Goldberg machine which will set off an alarm early if the world turns into a winter wonderland as you snooze — because there's an app for that.

The app's called Winter Wake-Up and it can be downloaded for free through either the Apple App Store or the Android Market.


Reddit Users To Target Supporters Of SOPA In Congress After Successful Boycott Of GoDaddy

When revealed that it was a supporter of the internet censorship legislation bills SOPA/PIPA, Reddit users and a few big names in the internet business including Wikipedia decided to boycott the web-hosting company.
They threatened to pull their domains, stop using GoDaddy, and get their friends and associates to do the same.

Pending Home Sales Highest In 1-1/2 Years

Contract signings for homes up in November

But the gauge has become less reliable lately because of cancellations

— The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes in November rose to the highest level in a year and a half.

Normally, that would signal better home sales. But a growing number of buyers are canceling their contracts at the last minute, making the gauge less reliable.

The National Association of Realtors says its index of sales agreements jumped 7.3 percent last month to a reading of 100.1.


Twitter Account Case May Blaze New Trails In Social Media Law

(CNN) -- Who, exactly, owns your Twitter account? It's a potentially complicated question when an account is used both professionally and personally. Now a case regarding whether a Twitter account belongs to a company or its former employee has raised questions about the use of the social media phenomenon.

PhoneDog, a website devoted to all things mobile products and services, sued former employee Noah Kravitz for $340,000, according to the complaint filed in US District Court in the Northern District of California.

The lawsuit, which was filed in July, alleges that Kravitz' continued use of a Twitter account he was "given use of" while employed with PhoneDog was a misappropriation of trade secrets and damaged the company's business, goodwill, and reputation.


Keep It In Your Pants Until You Double-Check Your Insurance

Maybe someday you'll sit your future child on your knee and reassure him he was created with budgetary responsibility in mind. Those who check out the quirks of their health insurance policies beforehand and babymake accordingly will be able to do just that.


Will The FAA’s New Fatigue Rules Do Enough For Pilots?

Taking into account recent scientific research, the Federal Aviation Administration announced new rules on Dec. 21 that are aimed at reducing fatigue among commercial airline pilots.
Airlines must now consider several factors when scheduling, including pilots’ duty periods, the number of time zones crossed and the time at which pilots start their first flight. Pilots must now have a 10-hour rest period before reporting for duty, a two-hour increase over previous regulations. The FAA has also increased the number of consecutive free hours pilots must have per week to 30 hours. And, added acting FAA administrator Michael Huerta, “If a pilot reports that he or she is fatigued, then the airline must remove the pilot from duty,” says acting FAA administrator Michael Huerta.

Read More

Millions Of Women Are Joining Shoe-Of-The-Month Clubs

Would you like to have a new pair of shoes in your favorite styles sent to you every month, at a discount, without having to visit stores to try them on, or slog through online catalog pages trying to find just the right pair? Millions of women think that this is a great idea, and have joined online shoe-of-the-month clubs like JustFabulous, ShoeDazzle, and ShoeMint.


10 Hot Careers For 2012 - And Beyond

Hiring overall probably won't pick up much next year, but there are pockets of prosperity even in this job market. Here's where the most opportunities are now.

-- Strange but true: Despite the fact that unemployment is stuck at around 9%, which translates to about 15 million Americans out of work, nearly 3 million job openings in the U.S. are going unfilled, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Why? The biggest reason is a mismatch between the qualifications employers are looking for and the skills job hunters have.

So which skills are most in demand? Here are 10 of the hottest:

1. Information technology. When career site recently analyzed millions of job postings on its web site, researchers found that the fastest-growing category of keywords — including HTML5, Android, mobile app, and social media — were in IT, and a new survey by tech job site bears that out: About 65% of hiring managers said they hope to add tech staff in the first half of 2012. Roughly a quarter of those (27%) said they want to expand their IT headcount by more than 20%.

Openings for software developers who specialize in applications will rise by more than one-third (34%) by 2018, says Best Jobs for the 21st Century, a new book by job market analyst Laurence Shatkin, while companies will hire 20% more computer systems analysts. Rising pay in these fields reflects the surge in demand: The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that developers of systems software, for instance, earn an average of $94,180 per year.



Why Americans Pay So Much For Brand Name Drugs
I am struggling a bit with the idea that reimportation back to the US of drugs made in America and sold to Canada is one of the solutions.

I believe Canada regulates prices, so they are much lower. So it does seem as that if one wishes to lower prices it makes more sense to merely emulate the Canadian approach, rather than add a Canada as a middleman.

One could make a decent case that the US consumer is filling the profit gap created by single payer price regulations in other countries.

I have not looked at it recently, but SGA (Sales, General and Administrative) Costs at big US Pharma firms had ballooned in the past twenty years as a factor on corporate balance sheets.

For example:

“In 1999, health administration costs totaled at least $294.3 billion in the United States, or $1,059 per capita, as compared with $307 per capita in Canada. After exclusions, administration accounted for 31.0 percent of health care expenditures in the United States and 16.7 percent of health care expenditures in Canada. Canada’s national health insurance program had overhead of 1.3 percent; the overhead among Canada’s private insurers was higher than that in the United States (13.2 percent vs. 11.7 percent). Providers’ administrative costs were far lower in Canada.”

New England Journal of Medicine, Aug 21, 2003


First Criminal Charges Prepared In BP Oil Spill

U.S. prosecutors are preparing what would be the first criminal charges against BP PLC employees stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident, which killed 11 workers and caused the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, said people familiar with the matter.

Read More

Ron Paul's Support Is Much More Widespread Than Reported

The establishment media and republicans are in a panic that Ron Paul is in a position to win the Iowa caucus, and is gaining momentum in New Hampshire. One of the main strawmen put forth is that Ron Paul has a small but fervent set of supporters, perhaps 1 Million, who take over online polls, and have now realized how to organize on the ground. In other words, the establishment argues that Ron Paul’s apparent popularity is really driven by a small group of Ron Paul fans, rather than being reflective of the majority of voters, and in a real election Ron Paul will be unable to win. Let’s use widely available Internet tools to examine this argument and draw our own conclusions.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and here’s my favorite. It was created using Google Trends, and I invite you to use the tool to replicate what I’ve done here: (Enter Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney). I changed the default time range to 30 days.


PETA Names Janet Jackson 'Grinch Of The Year'

The animal rights organization stirred up its nearly year-old campaign against singer Janet Jackson, who added part-time furrier to her resume.

PETA just can’t let an old dog rest. The animal rights organization stirred up its nearly year-old campaign against singer Janet Jackson, who added part-time furrier to her resume with a gig designing a collection for Blackglama. Time and again, PETA called for her to denounce fur, and now that she hasn’t, the organization named her the first ever PETA "Grinch of the Year".


2011: The Year Intellectual Property Trumped Civil Liberties

Online civil liberties groups were thrilled in May when Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), the head of the powerful Judiciary Committee, announced legislation requiring the government, for the first time, to get a probable-cause warrant to obtain Americans’ e-mail and other content stored in the cloud.
But, despite the backing of a coalition of powerful tech companies, the bill to amend the Electronic Communications Privacy Act was dead on arrival, never even getting a hearing before the committee Leahy heads.

HRA Plans

The plan year is coming to an end for medical reimbursement accounts. I was confused about the changes this year, and was able to find a resource through Google that helped me to understand the new guidelines for eligible expenses. While this is not the exact plan that I have, the list was accurate and provided great guidance. If people need medical supplies and items and have one of these plans with a balance, I hope that they will make their way to a LOCAL pharmacy before the 31st. Here is the link that I found useful:

If people have with plan balances have medications that need to be refilled, have been procrastinating about eye exams, etc., they might appreciate this reminder. With everything going on at this time of year, it is easy to forget about having one of these accounts and they really do help to “stretch the pennies.” Plus, if we would all use local pharmacies, which I have found to be no more expensive and much friendlier than the national chains, for all of our pharmacy needs we could have a very positive impact on local businesses whether we have one of these plans or not. Buy local…support local businesses!

40 Years of a Pointless, Tragic Drug War -- But As Feds Crack Down, Reformers Fight Back

Tension between popular will and the political establishment makes this a time of hope and frustration for the drug reform movement.

Last week, President Barack Obama marked the end of the Iraq War at a ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base. The war, launched amid widespread support in the spring of 2003, is now viewed by most Americans as having been a terrible waste of money and lives. 2011 marked a milestone in another war. It’s been 40 years since President Richard Nixon declared America’s War on Drugs. More than a trillion dollars later, this conflict shows no signs of ending. But like the War in Iraq, it’s become increasingly unpopular.


Maryland Company Gives Unlimited Vacation

Management's mantra: If you can get the work done, take all the time off you need
Imagine this, when you’re carefully plotting out when to use your precious vacation days next year: what if you could take as much time off from work as you’d like?

You don’t have to imagine it, if you work for WeddingWire. The Maryland-based company is now offering its employees unlimited vacation time.

The company claims it has no problem giving its workers plenty of time off, as long as they do their work and meet their job goals.


Victoria Jackson: Muslim Brotherhood Taking Over America, Six Hour FBI Meeting

Former "Saturday Night Live" actress Victoria Jackson, working on confidential information she as a web talk show host has special clearance to obtain, has claimed that the United States is being overtaken by radical Muslims bent on bringing the nation under Sharia law.


The Case For Austerity

Do you remember this summer's debt debate debacle? It ended with the supercommittee, which ended in failure, which resulted in no cuts in government spending. Do you remember the summer before that, when tea party protesters came out in full force against Obamacare and members of Congress who were contemplating supporting it? Do you remember when the tea party movement made the Republicans the majority in the House and replaced a few prominent liberal Republicans in the Senate with small-government conservatives?

Where was all the raucous protest when those who were elected to Congress in 2010 on the promise of reining in spending so spectacularly and clearly failed to do it?

It seems everybody wants something for nothing and everybody wants something from the government. Frankly, this is why Ron Paul has never been the flavor of the week. He is the only serious presidential candidate who is actually advocating real austerity, real spending cuts, a real shrinking of government.


Why Are American Citizens Getting Locked Up And Even Deported By Immigration Authorities?

Over 4,000 citizens were detained or deported in 2010 alone.

On November 5, 40-year-old Antonio Montejano was holiday shopping with his four children at a Los Angeles mall and unintentionally dropped a $10 bottle of cologne that his young daughter begged him to buy into a bag of items he had already purchased. Upon leaving the store, Montejano was stopped by security guards and arrested for shoplifting. He assumed the ordeal would end quickly since he had no prior criminal record. Instead he spent two nights in a Santa Monica, CA police station followed by another two nights in a Los Angeles county jail on suspicion of being an undocumented immigrant.

Montejano pleaded with officers about his citizenship, presenting them with his driver’s license and other legal identification, but they wouldn't budge. “I told every officer I was in front of that I’m an American citizen, and they didn’t believe me,” Montejano told the New York Times. He believes his detention was a direct result of his ethnicity. “I look Mexican 100 percent,” he says.


Cleanse Soul And Closet Of Ex-Love's Items Online

WASHINGTON - If your ex left you with more than just a broken heart, a new website may help you shed the grief and the goods that remind you of the one that got away.

If you find the reminders of your past love are too much to bear, you can put the goods up for sale on Never Liked it Anyway.

On the site are items such as the wedding dresses that never made it to the altar, the painting that one man can't bear to look at anymore, the jacket a guy bought for his girl from the salesclerk he was seeing on the side.


Weapons Sales To Iraq Move Ahead Despite US Worries

Baghdad - The Obama administration is moving ahead with the sale of nearly $11 billion worth of arms and training for the Iraqi military despite concerns that Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki is seeking to consolidate authority, create a one-party Shiite-dominated state and abandon the American-backed power-sharing government.

The military aid, including advanced fighter jets and battle tanks, is meant to help the Iraqi government protect its borders and rebuild a military that before the 1991 Persian Gulf war was one of the largest in the world; it was disbanded in 2003 after the United States invasion.

But the sales of the weapons — some of which have already been delivered — are moving ahead even though Mr. Maliki has failed to carry out an agreement that would have limited his ability to marginalize the Sunnis and turn the military into a sectarian force. While the United States is eager to beef up Iraq’s military, at least in part as a hedge against Iranian influence, there are also fears that the move could backfire if the Baghdad government ultimately aligns more closely with the Shiite theocracy in Tehran than with Washington.



Huntsman: 'They Pick Corn In Iowa,' Presidents In New Hampshire

Former U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman is defending his refusal to compete in the leadoff Iowa Republican precinct caucuses, focusing instead on New Hampshire. 
Huntsman tells CBS's "The Early Show" the formula, so far as he is concerned, is quite elementary. Says Huntsman: "They pick corn in Iowa. They pick presidents in New Hampshire." 

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Troopers Seek Public’s Help In Located Wanted Subject

Location of Occurrence: Residence in the 29000 block of Lawrence Circle, Lewes, DE

Date of Occurrence: Saturday, October 1, 2011 through Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Brian R. Salyer, 34, Lewes, DE
White male, 6’01” tall, 220 lbs, brown hair, blue eyes


Providing Pornographic Material to a Person Under 18 Years of Age
Endangering the Welfare of a Child

Lewes, DE- The Delaware State Police are seeking the public’s help in locating a Lewes, DE man after he showed pornographic material to an 8 year old juvenile.

Troopers have obtained warrants charging Brian R. Salyer, 34, with one count each of Providing Pornographic Material to a Person under 18 Years of Age and Endangering the Welfare of a Child, after they were contacted by the mother of an eight year old Lewes, DE juvenile. The mother advised Troopers that her son had viewed pornographic material supplied to him by Brian Salyer. Salyer had been living in the victim’s residence between October 1st and November 9th of this year and had shown the child both pictures and videos of nude men and women. Salyer has since moved from the victim’s home and Troopers have been unable to locate him.

The Delaware State Police are asking anyone who may have any information in reference to the location of Brian Salyer to contact Detective Jon King at 302-856-5850 ext. 208. 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

Half Of North Carolina Concealed Carry Permit Holders With Felony Convictions Keep Their Permit

North Carolina is one of the few states in the country with public records of who has a permit to carry a concealed firearm, so it provides a rare window into how such permits are handled once their holder’s criminal record proves them unfit to carry a hidden gun. The results are not pretty:

More than 2,400 permit holders were convicted of felonies or misdemeanors, excluding traffic-related crimes, over the five-year period, The Times found when it compared databases of recent criminal court cases and licensees. While the figure represents a small percentage of those with permits, more than 200 were convicted of felonies, including at least 10 who committed murder or manslaughter. All but two of the killers used a gun. [...]

The review also raises concerns about how well government officials police the permit process. In about half of the felony convictions, the authorities failed to revoke or suspend the holder’s permit, including for cases of murder, rape and kidnapping. The apparent oversights are especially worrisome in North Carolina, one of about 20 states where anyone with a valid concealed handgun permit can buy firearms without the federally mandated criminal background check. (Under federal law, felons lose the right to own guns.)



DES MOINES — Ron Paul’s college-aged volunteer army — a core of the powerful ground organization that is the envy of rivals — is descending on Iowa from around the nation to coax people to the state’s Republican caucuses as he seeks to pull off what only months ago seemed like an unthinkable victory here on Tuesday.

Four years after young people flocked to the state to help propel the campaign of Barack Obama, this radically different movement is embracing a 76-year-old veteran Texas congressman who is drawing supporters for his libertarian and antiwar views.

And they say they are under strict orders: To look, dress, shave, sound and behave in a way that will not jeopardize Mr. Paul’s chances. Even before flying here on their own nickel, some students said they had been instructed to cover up tattoos and told that their faces should be fresh-shaved or beards neatly trimmed, wearing only nice clothes that one described as “business casual.”

“No tats,” another volunteer, Rocco Lucente, said as he ticked off the rules after arriving at the airport Tuesday night. No liquor, no drugs and, he said, no “fraternizing in the dorms, nothing like that.”

He said the standard expected of volunteers was: “What would Ron Paul do?”


America's Big Loser In 2011: Americans

In North Carolina this week, a young man named Mostafa Kamel Hendi hit upon a plan to make ends meet in this rotten economy: He decided to knock over a local gold store. Video shows this determined and enterprising flower of American youth strolling into the store, hoodie over his head, and then gesturing to the clerk, Derek Mothershead, to shove some money in a plastic bag.

Mothershead, however, not being a member of the liberal effete class who believe that all robbery is a noble re-distributionist impulse, had an unexpected reaction. He handed Hendi some money — and then, as Hendi bent to put the money in the bag, Mothershead clocked him with a tremendous left.

Hendi went down, bleeding profusely. "There was just an opportunity there where I thought that I could actually do something and justice could be served," said Mothershead, "and I thought that's what needed to be done."

This tough Mother then forced Hendi to clean up his own blood with paper towels and cleaning solution. "If he wants money," Mothershead added, "get a job. Work like everybody else in this world."

Poor Hendi. If only he had worked for the government, none of this would have ever happened. Unfortunately, it seems there's simply no way to fight back against a government full of Hendis hell bent on taking our money at the point of a gun — for our own good, of course.

When 2011 dawned, it seemed a year of hope and change. After all, at the end of 2010, we elected Republicans in a Congressional landslide. President Obama was on the rocks thanks to charting a committed course of spending, spending and more spending. Most of all, the voting populace seemed to understand for the first time in 60 years that not only is there no such thing as a free lunch, but the man who offers the free lunch expects your firstborn child in return. Government, we realized, was Rumpelstiltskin rather than Santa Claus.

As the year progressed, however, it became clear that no matter who we elected, they were unwilling to say Rumpelstiltskin and make the greedy monster disappear. Republicans collapsed not once but twice on the spending issue. First, led by hack Speaker John Boehner, they imploded in April when, to avoid the dreaded "government shutdown" — a shutdown which, by the way, would essentially impact nobody except those on government benefits — Republicans agreed to cut a mere $38 billion from the 2010 baseline budget and keep funding to Planned Parenthood flowing. As it turned out, that $38 billion wasn't $38 billion at all but actually $352 million.

Then, in July, Republicans caved again. This time, they agreed to raise the debt ceiling so that Obama could continue his Mary Kate and Ashley Olson style spending spree, complete with Rodeo Drive montage. What did they get in return? A big, heaping bowl of nothing: A promised $2.2 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years that actually amounts to a cut of $7 billion in 2012 budget authority and baseline cuts that actually allow Obama's plans to move forward. And, to top that off, Obama got to push the debt crisis down the road past the election so that he wouldn't have to discuss his shopaholic problem until after his re-election. Oh, yes, we were also downgraded, to boot, on our national credit by Standard & Poors. So that worked out well.

The Republican Party has responded to all of this chicken-heartedness by feting Boehner as a great leader and proposing that conservatives nominate one Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts. Romney is clearly to the GOPs liking — he fits the profile of the tough-talking scalpel-wielder and the in-office wimp. And we've been told that he's inevitable, like death and taxes. Meanwhile, Iowa Republicans, in the apparent grip of rabies, are now considering nominating Congressman Ron Paul, who is a real scalpel-wielder on domestic policy but has his cannon fixed on self-slaughter on the foreign front.


Troopers Probe Millsboro Fatal Crash

Location: SR 5 (Indian Mission Road) ¼ mile north of SR 24 (John J. Williams Highway), Millsboro, DE

Date and Time of Occurrence: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at 3:38 p.m.

Operator and Vehicle:

84 year old Lewes, DE woman
2008 Ford Mustang

Other Injured:

64 year old Virginia Beach, VA woman

Millsboro, DE- The Delaware State Police Crash Reconstruction Unit is currently investigating a fatal single vehicle crash that occurred this afternoon in Millsboro, DE.

The incident happened at approximately 3:38 p.m. as an 84 year old Lewes, DE woman was operating a 2008 Ford Mustang and was traveling southbound on SR 5. For an unknown reason, the Mustang drifted off of the west edge of the roadway and entered a ditch. It then struck a tree causing it to overturn onto its side. The roof of the vehicle then struck a second tree where it came to rest.

The 84 year old operator of the vehicle was removed from the scene by EMS and transported to the Beebe Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead as a result of her injuries at approximately 7:50 p.m. A 64 year old front seat passenger was flown from the scene to the Christiana Hospital where she was admitted with serious injuries.

The names of both victims, who are mother and daughter, will be released upon the notification of the next of kin. Both victims were properly restrained at the time of the crash. Alcohol is not being considered as a factor in the crash.

Indian Mission Road between the John J. Williams Highway and Friendship Road was closed for approximately 2.5 hours as the crash was investigated and cleared.

This crash remains under investigation at this time.

Dick Morris: Ron Paul More Liberal Than Obama

Speaking on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" Wednesday night, political strategist and best-selling author Dick Morris called Rep. Ron Paul's rise in the polling for the Iowa caucuses as one of the most distressing political developments of the season.

Morris told substitite host Eric Bolling that it was "horrible" that Paul was doing so well. Several polls have him leading in Iowa, though in recent days former House Speaker Newt Gingrich seems to be mounting a comeback.

"I think that he is absolutely the most liberal, radical, left wing person to run for president in the United States in the last 50 years," Morris said. "Nobody else wants to dismantle the military, including Obama, but he does. Even Obama doesn't want to repeal the Patriot Act. But he does.

"Even Obama doesn't say that we caused 9-11 and brought it on ourselves. But Ron Paul does. Even Obama doesn't want to legalize heroin and cocaine, but Ron Paul does. This guy is no conservative. This guy is a ultra, ultraleft wing radical.


Congress Sics IRS On "Enemies"

I was thinking of writing a book. “The Coming Age Warfare”. If I did get around to it, the following story might be the first chapter. Like most wars, the one I see coming between young and old will simmer for years. Along the way there will be skirmishes that result in injury and bad feelings. I find this example comical. But there is nothing funny about it.

Three members of Congress have shot a cannon at the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). Republicans Herger (CA), Boustany (LA) and Reichert (WA) sent a letter to the head of the IRS asking that the tax status of AARP be reviewed.


Republicans Question O’Malley’s Judgement

O’Malley Remains Silent on Stewart’s Appointment: No knowledge. No experience. No comment.

- In the two weeks since Richard Stewart plead guilty to tax evasion, Governor Martin O’Malley has yet to adequately address looming questions about the appointment of his friend, donor, and political ally to the Maryland Stadium Authority and the Governor's Redistricting Advisory Committee.

David Ferguson, Executive Director of the Maryland Republican Party, commented by saying, “This is the single-most important appointment in the state and it only comes around once every ten years. The buck stops on State Circle. Ignorance, irresponsibility, and misinformation are no excuse for appointing a man to manage the people’s business; especially when the appointed person has no experience and no knowledge of drawing legislative districts.

In the absence of O’Malley’s comment, one is left to draw their own conclusions why Stewart was appointed in the first place. All signs point to Stewart’s donations. Is the Governor’s office for sale? Pay for play is very serious, especially when it involves an office that affects every person in Maryland.

Stewart’s appointment merely highlights how little transparency there is in the Governor’s office. There is no repository of information where citizens can see upcoming appointments and submit individuals they feel are qualified.

Again, the citizenry demands and deserves to know more.”

Salisbury Kennel Club New Class Schedule

Click on images to enlarge.

Baby Ava Update

Update Dec. 28, 2011

According to family members, baby Ava had an MRI on Tuesday, Dec. 27 at Johns Hopkins Hospital and the results of the MRI were mostly inconclusive. “So while we did not get positive news the family is still very hopeful and praying to get some good news in the next 2-4 weeks. Baby Ava’s parents ask that everyone please continue to pray for Ava as she fights to try and recover,” said Lisa DelRicco, Ava’s aunt.

Once again, the family would like to thank everyone for their support. ”We are humbled by the generosity both monetarily and through prayer.” For those that would like to make a donation, you can make them through please use the following as your donation recipient: or

Eric "The Barber" Ludwig Recuperating At PRMC

There have been many concerned customers of Eric's who have been calling me for updates on Eric's condition. Eric had full open heart surgery and test results this week have come back saying he is doing very well and may even be back on his feet in a few weeks.

HOWEVER, Eric is uninsured, like far too many Americans. It should also be known that Eric is a Veteran. Nevertheless, Eric and his Wife will be hit up with one whopper of a medical bill and we may in the near future help participate with a fundraiser on behalf of those medical expenses.

Anyone who knows Eric knows he's a great guy who loves giving to others. He has established a great business in Downtown Salisbury and we hope you'll join us in supporting Eric and his Wife to get back on their feet.

We'll keep you updated as to when the fundraising will begin. Eric's friends are trying to set up an account today at a local Bank. As soon as we know what Bank and the Account number we'll let you know.


We love to say “told you so” and that’s what we did in this recent post -

The action predicted in that post became official in Mr. Pollitt’s latest “state of the county” spiel yesterday morning. Rick’s strategy won’t involve a direct attack – his not so subtle suggestions during the past 5 years have shown such an approach to be folly. So, he is now using an indirect approach. He announced that he will soon ask our local expert on all things economic, “Doctor” Memo Diriker, to supervise a study of the effects of the cap on property tax revenue that was imposed on County government by the initiative of its citizens. Rick wants the study to be done by the Beacon group at Salisbury University, which Dr. Diriker heads. You can be sure that the report will be highly critical of the cap, and Rick knows that he can count on it as fodder in his campaign to kill or emasculate the cap.

In his spiel, Mr. Pollitt made vague promises about reducing the tax burden on business by changing the County’s tax structure, but failed to point out that if his plan to reduce business taxes were passed by the Council, the County’s property tax rate would need to be increased to provide the lost revenue unless new income taxes or sales/excise taxes are imposed on County residents.

As stated in the post mentioned above, “you’ve been warned.” Look for the Beacon group to recommend whatever Rick requests. Based on his speech, the net result could be an even greater tax increase than the nearly 10% property tax rate increase that he wants the Council to support and pass in the coming fiscal year to allow the County to borrow its portion ($42 Million) of the cost to build the new Bennett Middle School. That additional tax revenue would be needed and used to pay the debt service on the bonds.

Chávez: U.S. May Have Caused Cancers

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez hinted that the U.S. may be behind a "very strange" bout of cancer afflicting several South American leaders.

) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez hinted that the U.S. may be behind a “very strange” bout of cancer affecting several leaders aligned with him in South America.

Chavez, speaking a day after Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, said the Central Intelligence Agency was behind chemical experiments in Guatemala in the 1940s and that it’s possible that in years to come a plot will be uncovered that shows the U.S. spread cancer as a political weapon against its critics.

“It’s very difficult to explain, even with the law of probabilities, what has been happening to some of us in Latin America,” Chavez said in a nationally televised speech to the military. “Would it be so strange that they’ve invented technology to spread cancer and we won’t know about it for 50 years?”



(PIKESVILLE, MD) – Losing a loved one caused by drunk driving or any other dangerous driving behavior, is not the way anyone would want to ring in the New Year, so Maryland state troopers have already started their increased patrols aimed at preventing those tragedies.

On the previous New Year’s Eve, there were four alcohol related fatalities in Maryland. Additionally, police made 193 DUI arrests statewide. This year, Maryland State Police have already begun extra enforcement patrol efforts targeting drunk drivers, aggressive drivers, and those exceeding speed limits.

“Motorists will see extra troopers patrolling our highways, working in collaboration with local police agencies this holiday season and into the New Year with a common goal,” Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel Marcus L. Brown said. “Our top priority is to protect our citizens while they are traveling and celebrating, during one of the most joyous times of the year. We urge motorists to plan ahead before they decide to drink, by choosing an alternative to driving while impaired.”

State Police traffic safety initiatives include DUI saturation patrols to be conducted by troopers at each of the 22 barracks in Maryland. Troopers will also be conducting sobriety checkpoints at various locations, in cooperation with other state and local police departments. Extra troopers will be on grant funded overtime supplied by the Maryland Highway Safety Office and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Speed and aggressive driving enforcement will also be priorities for troopers. High visibility enforcement is planned on Maryland roads, with a special emphasis on interstates and major highways where the majority of travel will be occurring. Colonel Brown has ordered all troopers, not just those on special assignments, to be working DUI, speed and aggressive driving enforcement whenever they are not handling a call for service. Barrack commanders will be focusing these special enforcement efforts in areas where they have experienced the most crashes related to DUI, speed, and aggressive driving.

Gun Accidentally Fires From Inside Girl's Purse At Wyoming Starbucks

If there's ever a really great time to make sure your gun's safety is on, it's when you're carrying it in your purse while ordering a super non skinnyfat with extra whip peppermint mocha or whatever at Starbucks. A girl in Wyoming who doesn't really get firearms was packing a small gun that accidentally went off while she was stopping for her caffeine fix.


Fill In The Blank 12/29/11

I ________ my neighbors.

Survey Says Latino Voters Sticking With Obama, Democrats

Washington (CNN) -- Latino voters strongly support President Barack Obama and his Democratic Party, despite dissatisfaction with the administration's deportation policies, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Pew Hispanic Center.

The results are good news for Obama and Democrats for next year's election, as Hispanics are the fastest-growing population group in the country and comprise a major voting bloc.

According to the survey, Latino registered voters favor Obama over Republican presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney or Texas Gov. Rick Perry by margin of more than 2-to-1.

The results are similar to the presidential election in 2008, when Obama got 67% of the Latino vote compared with 31% for Republican candidate Sen. John McCain.


Red Light Camera Company Posts Car Crash Montages On YouTube

We're all familiar with traffic cam footage being used in local news highlights of rain-slicked roads or cars drifting through snowy intersections, but one of the country's biggest suppliers of red light traffic cameras has been posting collections of crash clips on YouTube to show how dangerous running a red light can be.


Poll: 53% Favor Keystone XL Pipeline

A majority of voters continue to favor the building of an oil pipeline from Canada to Texas that congressional Republicans are prodding President Barack Obama to approve in legislation passed last week.

Republicans see the pipeline as a job creator, while Democrats view it as an environmental risk.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 53 percent of Likely Voters now at least somewhat favor building the Keystone XL pipeline. That’s down seven points from 60 percent five weeks ago, but the level of strong support is basically unchanged.

In November, the overall finding included 36 percent who Strongly Favored building the pipeline, and 35 percent feel that way now.

Twenty-nine percent of voters at least somewhat oppose building the pipeline, with 15 percent who are Strongly Opposed. In the previous survey, 24 percent were opposed, including 10 percent Strongly Opposed. Seventeen percent remain undecided.

The shift in numbers is largely due to increased opposition by Democrats and voters not affiliated with either of the major political parties. More than 70 percent of Republicans still favor the pipeline, but a plurality (46 percent) of voters in the president’s party now are opposed, compared to 46 percent who favored it in November.

Similarly, 61 percent of unaffiliated voters supported building the pipeline in the earlier survey. Now, just 49 percent favor the project, and opposition has risen from 22 percent to 27 percent. The number of undecideds has increased among these voters as well.


Was I Wrong To Profit From Returning An Online Purchase To Walmart?

A frequent reader who we'll call M. wrote in to offer his post-holiday moral dilemma. Well, it's not so much a dilemma, since he he's already done it. He bought a Microsoft Kinect controller online, but wanted to return it after the holidays were over. Too lazy to package the controller and mail it back, he instead took it to his local Walmart and returned it for store credit. $50 more than he originally paid for the device.



Less than two weeks after the Department of Justice found widespread lawlessness and abuse of Latinos by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his deputies, an Arizona federal judge ordered Arpaio to end one of his most abusive practices — detaining and arresting people who have committed no crime merely because his office suspects them of being undocumented.