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Friday, January 20, 2012

Study: Don't Blame School Lunches For Childhood Obesity

As childhood obesity rates have increased over the last few decades, a lot of focus has been put on insuring that school lunches are healthier than the chocolate milk/cheeseburger/tater tot pig-out some of us grew up eating. But according to a new study, the real source of those extra pounds is the stuff kids are devouring when they're not in school.

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The Work-At-Home Survival Guide

For many career moms, the chance to work from home is nirvana. Ahh, the bliss… no commute; more time with the kids. Visions of emailing in your slippers. But, alas, balancing a home and a home-office isn’t as easy as it seems. At Hulafrog, we know a bit about the trials and tribulations of being a work-from-home mom (WFHM). We’re a network of local web guides for moms, run by moms--100% virtual--no offices here. So we polled our team to find out what their "tried and true" tips are on their quest for work/life balance:


During Trying Economic Times, Some Small Towns Turn To Their Own Currency

Who hasn't grabbed a handful of Monopoly money and just wished it could be used to purchase things in real life? A few towns are doing that with their own currencies, and it's helping to keep things bustling within their communities.

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Cops: Gunman Robs Choir Group At Church

Police in Goose Creek, S.C. say a man armed with a shotgun robbed a choir group as they practiced at a church.

According to WCSC in Charleston, authorities responded to the St. James United Methodist Church around 8 p.m. Wednesday after reports of an armed robbery.

One of the victims told police that a man entered the church through an unlocked door and aimed a shotgun toward the choir area, WCSC reports. According to the station, the suspect then told the choir to get on the floor and keep their heads down.


Cruise Ship Disaster Rescue Efforts May End Soon

The death toll in last week's Italian Costa Concordia cruise ship crash had climbed to 11 as of Thursday night, and officials say they're considering when to call off rescue operations. There are 21 people still missing.

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OC Motel Worker Busts Vending Bandits

OCEAN CITY -- A vigilant downtown motel employee this week is being credited with nabbing a pair of vending machine burglars wanted by resort police after observing their latest break-in early Monday morning. Throughout much of the summer, the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) has been pursuing the unidentified suspect or suspects wanted in connection with a string of vending machine break-ins throughout the resort area to no avail.


Obama To Press Congress To Revisit $1.2T In Cuts

The President's likely proposal of new taxes and fees may be dead on arrival in Congress, which is making its own plans. Lawmakers are focusing on a one-year extension of a payroll tax cut and supplemental jobless benefits sought by the president as part of last fall's jobs agenda.


Canada Pledges To Sell Oil To Asia After Obama Rejects Keystone Pipeline

President Barack Obama’s decision to reject a permit for TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL oil pipeline may prompt Canada to turn to China for oil exports.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in a telephone call yesterday, told Obama “Canada will continue to work to diversify its energy exports,” according to details provided by Harper’s office.

Harper “expressed his profound disappointment with the news,” according to the statement, which added that Obama told Harper the rejection was not based on the project’s merit and that the company is free to re-apply.

Canadian Natural Resource Minister Joe Oliver said relying less on the U.S. would help strengthen the country’s “financial security.” The “decision by the Obama administration underlines the importance of diversifying and expanding our markets, including the growing Asian market,” Oliver told reporters in Ottawa.

The Keystone decision is the latest of several U.S. moves that have irked Canadian policy makers. Canada objected to “Buy American” provisions in the Obama administration’s $447 billion jobs bill that was blocked by Republicans in Congress, as well as the restoration of a $5.50 fee on Canadian travelers arriving in the U.S. by plane or ship.

Approval of Keystone is a “no-brainer,” Harper said in a Sept. 21 interview with Bloomberg.


Executive Order Encourages More Foreign Visitors

A new White House executive order puts pressure on federal agencies to encourage more foreign visitors. President Barack Obama is directing the Departments of State and Homeland security to approve 40 percent more visa applications from Chinese and Brazilian would-be visitors. In addition, they must expand the visa-waiver program and speed up approval of tourist visas for those visitors that still need them. Meanwhile, a task force lead by the departments of Commerce and the Interior will focus on boosting tourism and recreation jobs. Commerce also will launch a website with tourism-related federal stats. Obama announced the new tourism strategy in Orlando yesterday. Anti-immigration groups say the measures will weaken visa requirements.

Farmers Brace For Changes Under Tough Immigration Laws

Farmers have begun changing their plans for planting and harvesting this year's crops because of the worry that tough new immigration laws in states like Georgia and Alabama will create work shortages.

Some producers said they might reduce the number of acres they plant or shift to less labor-intensive crops, while others are bracing for higher labor prices and have turned to new recruiting tools to attract workers.

"We're expecting some shifts, but it's a bit too early to tell," said Charles Hall, executive director of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.

Georgia and Alabama have approved laws that have tough enforcement provisions that farmers say are scaring migrant workers away from the states.


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It Won't Be Easy To Cut The Cost Of Medicare

The Congressional Budget Office says, two promising techniques just don't work. And both are part of the Health Care Affordability Act. One was to have better coordination among care givers for the chronically ill. The other was a system that pays doctors on quality of care, not on volume. The CBO looked at 10 demonstration projects. It says neither way saves money. In fact, care coordination drove costs up thanks to fees for people doing the coordinating.

Cops: Man Skinned And Ate Cat, Used Tail As Necklace

PHOENIX — A transient was arrested after police said he skinned and ate a cat while camping inside a Phoenix warehouse and music venue.
Authorities say the building's owners reported a burglary after they opened the warehouse Wednesday and heard blaring music.
Police found 24-year-old Russell Christopher Hofstad inside with his face painted and the cat's tail and intestines around his neck.


U.S. Is Paying Six Times As Much To Send War Supplies To Troops In Afghanistan

Military supply transportation costs have soared through the roof since Pakistan shut border crossings to NATO convoys. The U.S. is paying six times as much to send war supplies to troops in Afghanistan through alternate routes. The Associated Press reports, the monthly transportation tab tops $100 million. That's up from $17 million per month before Pakistan clamped its border shut in November. Pakistan's action was retaliation for a Coalition air strike that accidentally killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

Teacher Allegedly Poured Hot Tea On Students To Quell Fight

Police in southwestern Michigan are investigating a claim that a teacher dumped hot tea on a two students after they refused to stop fighting at school.
The Grand Rapids Press and television stations WOOD and WWMT report the dispute happened this week at Hastings High School, about 30 miles southeast of Grand Rapids.
Police say the students had been texting each other before the older student, who is 18, confronted the younger one, 15, in a hallway. Police say they were told the teacher threatened to dump the tea if they didn't separate.


Anonymous Hacker Takes Down Justice Department Website

The hacker group Anonymous says it was responsible for taking down the Justice Department's website yesterday. Justice said its site was hit by a denial of service attack. The incident occurred a few hours after Justice officials shut down a popular file-sharing website called Mega-upload. Anonymous also claimed responsibility for downing the websites of the Motion Picture and Recording Industry associations. was running normally this morning. The attacks occur as Congress debates a controversial bill to stop internet piracy.

Under The Ocean In Fiji

Navy Breaks Ground For Solar Energy

The Navy has broken ground on what will become its biggest energy project. A new solar array is under construction at the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station in California. It will cover 118 acres of Mojave Desert, and it will produce nearly 14 megawatts of electricity. Only the Air Force's array in Nevada is bigger. Sun Power of San Jose will build the Navy's array at its own cost, while the Navy agrees to buy the power for 20 years.

Debate Audience Protests CNN Attempts To Exclude Ron Paul

A remarkable scene unfolded during last night’s CNN hosted South Carolina debate when not once but twice, the audience had to intervene to ensure that Ron Paul be included in questions, as host John King attempted to skip over the Congressman following answers from the other three candidates.

Even more remarkable was the fact that both times the questions were related to medical issues and Ron Paul is the only qualified doctor among all the candidates.

Between the sideshow of Newt Gingrich’s infidelity and yet more mudslinging and circus like back and forths between Romney, Gingrich and Santorum, Ron Paul did his best to speak on real issues such as cutting foreign military spending, protecting the borders and the need to reform the government-run health care system.

However, when it came to two key questions it was left to the audience to remind the CNN anchors that Ron Paul was up on the stage and that voters wanted to hear him speak.

The first instance occurred when King somewhat reluctantly threw Ron Paul the question “would you repeal Obamacare?” following answers from the rest of the field.


Ayatollah Santorum the Sanctimonious (ASS)

In a January 18 interview with Glenn Beck Rick Santorum decided to compare his view of the Constitution with that of Ron Paul. His statements can only be described as delusional and totalitarian.

Santorum first claimed to have read an eighteenth-century dictionary that defined happiness as "to do the morally right thing." This is how the founding fathers defined happiness, he said. This is Santorum’s definition of "happiness," not the founding fathers. It’s a good bet he is lying when claiming to have read an eighteenth-century dictionary. (But I suppose anything is possible with a man who brought his deceased infant home who died two hours after birth and slept with it after showing it to his children, as Santorum admits to have done).

The freedom to do whatever you want to do – as long as you do not harm anyone else or interfere in their equal freedom – would "lead to libertinism and lead to chaos" said Sanctimonious Santorum, who has also pledged to do what he can to put an end to contraception if elected president. Contraception changes "the way things ought to be," he says. Santorum is self assured that he, and he alone, understands "the way things ought to be" and pledges to use the powers of the state to forcefully impose his "understanding" on the entire country.


Study: No Amount Of Boozing Is Safe For Pregnant Women

The medical consensus holds that pregnant women need to stop drinking in order to avoid harming their babies, but some conventional wisdom and myths temper that advice with the understanding that an occasional drink is OK. The latter line of thinking — reflected half-mockingly in the latest episode of Justified — is false and potentially dangerous, according to a University of California San Diego study.

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Bill Would Amend Constitution To Force Out Convicted Officials

A state constitutional amendment that would force convicted public officials to leave office as soon as they are found guilty is gaining steam in the House of Delegates.

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Romney’s Offshore Accounts Draw Scrutiny

With Mitt Romney still refusing to release his tax returns, we can only speculate as to why he’s so afraid of disclosure. The widely held assumption has been that the Republican frontrunner is embarrassed by his “15% problem” — the multi-millionaire takes advantage of existing tax loopholes to pay lower tax rates than millions of middle-class workers.
But that’s not the only thing Romney’s returns might show. Reuters’ Sam Youngman reported on a related issue:


Rural Marylanders Support Tighter Regulations On Septic Systems And Taxes For Bay Clean-Up, Poll Says

A new poll found that 62% of rural respondents favored tighter regulations on septic systems, and 57% favored “limiting the number of septic systems in rural areas. ”The poll of 801 registered voters by Opinion Works in mid-December found statewide support was 72% for tighter septic regulations, and 69% for limiting the number septic systems in the state.

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Why The 'Check Engine' Light Is Stupid And Should Be Banned

In my seven years of car ownership, the only time I've ever seen the "check engine" light was when I neglected to screw in the gas cap tightly enough on my Accord. That wasn't very useful. But our ex-sibling site, Jalopnik, made the case earlier this week that there's no good reason why car makers can't just do away with the "check engine" light altogether, and have our cars actually tell us what's wrong with them.

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Mortgage Foreclosure Law Revisions Advised

HONOLULU (AP) - Foreclosures in Hawaii have plummeted 53 percent since the Legislature passed sweeping mortgage legislation last year, officials said Thursday.

Hawaii had the nation's 11th highest foreclosure rate in 2010, prompting lawmakers to establish a Mortgage Foreclosure Task Force to look into all aspects of judicial and nonjudicial foreclosures in the state.

The task force's 2011 findings helped shape legislation that provides extensive protections to residents in danger of losing their homes due to unfair or deceptive practices.

According to a recent RealtyTrac report cited by task force member Jeff Gilbreath, the law has already made an impact.

"(The report) showed a 53 percent decrease in foreclosures in the state of Hawaii that I think we can attribute to Act 48," he said, speaking Thursday at an informational briefing before the House and Senate consumer protection committees.

The task force's mandate for 2012 was to conduct further analysis of foreclosure rules and regulations and recommend refinements to make the law clear and equitable to all stakeholders in the foreclosure process.


Did Military Rules Cost A Soldier His Life?

(CBS News) Combat medics call it the golden hour -- the window of opportunity to provide treatment and save a life. On a September night in Afghanistan, the minutes ticked away as an American soldier lay wounded, waiting to be evacuated. CBS News national security correspondent David Martin looked into the problem.

A roadside bomb just went off. A soldier let out that timeless battlefield cry: "Medic!"
Specialist Chazray Clark stepped right on the bomb and lost both feet and his left forearm. The race to get him to a hospital was videotaped by freelance journalist Michael Yon.

"One-two-three lift. Let's go guys we got to get him out of here," said a soldier on the tape.
His commanding officer, Lt. Col. Mike Katona, seemed confident Clark would survive.
"He's going to make it," he said at the time. "He's got three good tourniquets on. I have him stablized. He's doing good."


Found Kitty In Mardela Springs

Since you have success with reuniting owners with their animals, I wanted to pass along this flyer to you in hopes that someone will come forward and claim this cat that keeps visiting our home.


Virginia Schools To Offer Social Media Education Program

RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia's schools will soon offer a new digital education program that will encourage students to use technology and social media safely and responsibly.

Gov. Bob McDonnell and U.S. Sen. Mark Warner appeared at a news conference Thursday to introduce the program, "My Digital Life."


Gingrich Slams CNN For Marriage Question, Gets Ovation

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich drew at least two standing ovations just moments into the final South Carolina GOP presidential debate last night when he criticized CNN moderator John King for opening with “trash,” and accused the liberal media of attempting to protect President Barack Obama by attacking Republicans.

King began the two-hour debate from the North Charleston Coliseum with a question on accusations by Gingrich’s ex-wife, Marianne, that the former speaker had asked her for permission to have an "open marriage" after she learned he was having an affair with his current wife, the former Callista Bisek.

“As you know, your ex-wife gave an interview to ABC News and another interview with The Washington Post and this story has now gone viral on the Internet. In it she says that you came to her in 1999 at a time when you were having an affair. She says you asked her, sir, to enter into an open marriage. Would you like to take some time to respond to that?” asked King.

“No, but I will,” snapped Gingrich, who was visibly angered by the question. “I think the destructive, vicious negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office and I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate with a topic like that.”

Interrupted frequently by applause — including standing ovations similar to what he received at Monday’s debate — Gingrich strongly denied the accusation and said that he offered to give ABC News the names of “several” friends who knew him at the time he was married to his ex-wife and would support his contention that the story is false.

“Every person in here knows personal pain. Every person in here has had someone close to them go through painful things. To take an ex-wife and make it, two days before the primary, a significant question in a presidential campaign is as close to despicable as anything I can imagine,” he said. The audience roared.

Gingrich also pointed to support from his two daughters. “My two daughters wrote the head of ABC and made the point that it was wrong, that they should pull it. And I am frankly astounded that CNN would take trash like that and use it to open a presidential debate,” Gingrich told the host.

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Marijuana At Virginia Liquor Stores?

"Think of all the money it could bring in," supporters of legalizing marijuana often say. Now, there's an effort to find out exactly how much revenue it could generate.


At $400 Billion, Apple Is Worth More Than Greece

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Apple's value on the stock market briefly rose to $400 billion on Thursday, a record high for what was already the world's most valuable technology company.
The company's market cap slipped below the $400 billion mark by midday as Apple's (AAPL, Fortune 500) stock fell back from the all-time high of $431.37 it set earlier in the morning. Shares ended the day slightly down, leaving Apple with a $398 billion market value.


Thieves Find New Ways To Rip Off Gas

Police say thieves aren't just targeting gas stations. They're going after your car when it's parked on the street. The damage to your gas tank can be costly.


AT&T Hikes Data Plans' Caps & Costs

If you plan to switch to AT&T for a new smart phone or wireless tablet contract, do it now. After January 22, AT&T's monthly wireless data plans get more expensive by $5. If it's any consolation, you do get up to one additional gigabyte of data.

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Response To Video Showing Man Attacking Baltimore Police Officer

Mitt Romney: I Have ‘Lived In The Real Streets Of America’

During the CNN debate in South Carolina tonight, Mitt Romney struggled to draw a clear distinction between himself and his chief challenger Newt Gingrich. Chiding Gingrich for spending decades in Washington as a political “insider,” Romney insisted that he’s the “perfect example of why we need to send to Washington someone who has not lived in Washington, but someone who has lived in the real streets of America.” Watch it:

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ANNAPOLIS, MD – TODAY, Governor Martin O’Malley will join labor leaders, and officials from RG Steel to officially announce Sparrows Point will return to operations.

WHAT: Governor to attend announcement that Sparrows Point workers will soon return to work.

WHEN: Friday, January 20, 2012 12:30 p.m.

WHERE: 7234 Parkway Drive, Hanover, Maryland

BREAKING NEWS: Pakistan to Forbid US Drones, Source Says

EXCLUSIVE: Pakistan official tells Fox News that US military trainers will be invited back into the country but not CIA drones 

Source Fox News

Don't Buy These Things At The Grocery Store

As big box stores like Target and Walmart have expanded to include groceries, so have more traditional grocery store chains begun to offer more than foodstuffs for your pantry. But as tempting as it might be to turn your trip to the supermarket into a one-stop shopping trip, there are some things you might be better off buying elsewhere.

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Bait & Switch At Wicomico Youth & Civic Center

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Lone Star Rodeo at Wicomico Youth & Civic Center on Friday, January 20, 2012 at 7:30 PM

To view the seating chart click here.


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Noise Regulations Would Limit Music At Boardwalk Shops

Boardwalk stores that use music to catch the attention of passersby might have to keep the volume down when they re-open for the 2012 season.


Farmers Wary Of Possible Septic Tank Rules

BALTIMORE (AP) — Long blamed for many of the ills facing the Chesapeake Bay, farmers find themselves straddling both sides of proposals to deal with another source of pollution: septic tanks in housing developments.

That’s because while farmers have long argued that they are working to cut runoff of manure and fertilizer from their fields and pointed to the impact of development on the Chesapeake, they also are wary of moves to limit what they can do with their land.

So, as lawmakers in Annapolis begin this year’s General Assembly session, farmers find themselves waiting along with homebuilders, county officials and others to see how lawmakers will deal with septic tanks.


Not All Charitable Donations Become Tax Deductions

Whenever you fill your heart with joy by contributing to a worthy cause, you get the bonus assurance that you'll see further benefits from the donation come tax time. But the belief is not always well founded, because in the eyes of the IRS, not all charitable donations are created equal.

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Amazing Video

Gingrich Daughters Say Their Father Has Dramatically Changed

Presidential candidate New Gingrich’s daughters Jackie Gingrich Cushman and Kathy Gingrich Lubbers said Thursday they have seen a dramatic change in their father over the years and he is not the man he was years ago when married to his ex-wife Marianne. Cushman and Lubbers were speaking to Fox News’ Sean Hannity following CNN’s presidential debate.

“The truth of the matter is, the people of South Carolina and the people in that room in particular — and I’m sure across this country watching that debate — knew in their hearts the reality that the American people deserve to have a president such as our father,” Lubbers said. “He responded and he brought up the fact that you know what? The American people deserve to have real questions in the debate — not things that are not pertinent to the current situation at hand —which is what is important to the American people in regard to jobs, and the economy, and national security.”

Cushman concurred and noted although the question of Gingrich’s marital infidelity was inappropriate for a presidential debate, the former House speaker responded directly.

Cushman also noted the faith-based change in her father over the years and the fact that Gingrich has been open about his mistakes.


Maryland Young Republicans Statement On Governor O'Malley's Budget

ANNAPOLIS- Governor Martin O'Malley's proposed budget does not meet the needs of our state, the Maryland Young Republicans said in a statement today.

"Governor O'Malley's budget proposal merely continues his legacy of fiscal irresponsibility, and balances the budget on the backs of Maryland's working families," said MDYR Chairman Brian Griffiths.

O'Malley's $35.9 billion budget will increase income taxes on nearly half a million Marylanders, who already shoulder two-thirds of the states tax burden. The income tax hike will also negatively affect small businesses, which are already suffering in Maryland.

Despite his claim of $7.5 billion in budget cuts, the Maryland budget has increased 16% since he first took office, and as proposed it will increase 22% or $6.5 billion in real dollars. General fund spending increases by nearly $1 million over FY 2012. Last year, Maryland's general fund spending increase was one of the largest in the nation according to the National Governor's Association and National Association of State Budget Officers.

"It is a slap in the face to all Marylanders," said Griffiths. "It is the height of dishonesty to claim you cut billions when the budget has in fact ballooned by billions, then turn around and slap us with higher taxes to pay for it."

"The Maryland Young Republicans continue to stand by our proposals, including reducing the state sales tax, an across the board tax cut, and an across the board reduction in state spending. Only then will Maryland truly have a responsible budget and job creation plan."

Postal Service Shows It Can Toss Fragile Packages Over The Fence Just As Well As FedEx

The U.S. Postal Service is always trying to convince people that it's just as good as FedEx or UPS. But for all the aspects of those businesses the Postal Service should emulate, there's one it shouldn't: Tossing expensive packages over customers' fences.

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Ex-wife tells ABC News Gingrich wanted ‘open marriage’ with both wife and mistress

— Newt Gingrich’s second wife says the GOP presidential candidate asked her for an “open marriage” in which he could have both a wife and a mistress.

In an interview with ABC News’ ”Nightline” scheduled to air Thursday night, Marianne Gingrich says she refused to go along with the proposal.

The interview is airing just two days before the South Carolina presidential primary, and as Gingrich is gaining ground on GOP front-runner Mitt Romney.

Marianne Gingrich was the candidate’s second wife. He is now married to Callista Gingrich, with whom he has acknowledged having an affair.

In excerpts of the interview released by ABC, Marianne Gingrich said Gingrich conducted his affair with Callista “in my bedroom in our apartment in Washington.”


Anonymous Hackers Go on Revenge Spree After US Government Shuts Down Megaupload

The US government shut down one of the world’s largest filesharing websites, Megaupload, accusing its founders of racketeering, money laundering and piracy. The popular filesharing website attacted 50,000,000 visitors a day. These actions prompted Anonymous hackers to go on a revenge hacking spree.



Fill In The Blank 01/20/12

Fridays are for _____!

Ron Paul's Standing Not Discussed In Iowa Vote

Republican officials in Iowa today said that there was no clear winner in the caucus held there on January 3. Party officials said results from eight of the 1,774 precincts were missing when they conducted the vote certification process, meaning they likely will never know what the final tallies were for the candidates.

Despite the ambiguity, Rick Santorum was quick to declare a “virtual tie” in the race and the establishment media obliged him on the claim while ignoring how the change effected Ron Paul’s standing.


"The Building Tension"

Everything seems extremely slow and boring right now. After so much happened in bursts during various periods last year, we are currently in a gestation period. We are in a period of building tension. In retrospect, it seems that this period began in September/October of last year, thus it has now been building energy for almost five months. This period of building tension happened after the last major release of energy in this Fourth Turning and that was in August/September, with the debt ceiling debt debacle, markets crashing, gold soaring and the emergence on the scene for the first time of a “progressive/urban rebellion” against bankster puppet Barack Obama from within his own set of perceived supporters. Namely, the OWS movement.

Yes, everything seems extremely slow and boring right now. This is an illusion. As I said at the time, the emergence of OWS was a huge deal. Obama and his minions immediately attempted to co-opt the movement and create class warfare and that failed miserably. Once that failed, King Bloomberg and other feudal mayors from all across the country went out and cleared them out in a coordinated fashion. Let me ask you a question? If this movement had publicly supported Obama and his dishonest agenda do you really think they would have been cleared out so aggressively? I for one do not. TPTB initially saw the movement as a way to divide and conquer the nation along the traditional geographic and “cultural” lines. Once this failed, and they recognized that it actually had much in common with the angst of the tea party movement (demands for an end to crony capitalism, no bail outs or socialism for the super rich connected elites while at the same time free market capitalism and austerity for the poor) they shut it down faster than you can say 99%.


Thank God Its Friday 1-20-12

What will you be doing this weekend?

MD Teachers Pensions Legislation Is Now Sponsored That Will Pass Cost Onto Local Counties

Maryland House Bill HB-87 and Senate Bill SB-152 have been sponsored in the House and Senate that will require local counties to pay a portion of the schoolteachers pensions.

Also, Individual income deductions shall be decreased that will require higher taxes to be paid by individual taxpayers.

Total employer 21 contribution for teacher and librarian retirement shall be as follows: 22

Allegany 2,890,831 23
Anne Arundel 20,349,335 24
Baltimore City 21,893,869 25
Baltimore County 28,184,531 26
Calvert 4,874,186 27
Caroline 1,402,418 28
Carroll 7,019,651 29
Cecil 4,284,094 30
Charles 6,884,597 31
Dorchester 1,154,127 32
Frederick 10,281,577 1
Garrett 1,210,268 2
Harford 9,824,156 3
Howard 17,225,564 4
Kent 641,149 5
Montgomery 47,406,507 6
Prince George’s 34,062,796 7
Queen Anne’s 1,923,341 8
St. Mary’s 4,287,204 9
Somerset 836,461 10
Talbot 1,121,726 11
Washington 5,530,496 12
Wicomico 3,806,299 13
Worcester 2,222,012 14

New Posts to fall below.

Help Wanted 01/20/12

Businesses looking to fill positions can put their information in comments for FREE.

BREAKING NEWS: Etta James Dies At 73

Singer Etta James dies at 73 from complications of leukemia.

From Fox News

Parents Of Dead Teen Say State Lost Organs During Autopsy

The parents of a teenage girl from Virginia who was found dead next to a trash bin in Baltimore in 2008 are alleging that a state medical examiner threw away her heart and brain, among other organs.
During a news conference Thursday in Washington, Mary Jane and Daniel McCann also continued to sharply criticize the Baltimore Police Department's investigation and conclusions by detectives that the 16-year-old committed suicide by drinking a lethal dose of Bactine.
The alleged mistreatment of Annie McCann's remains is a further indignity, her parents said, adding to their continued suffering as they wage a years-long campaign to convince authorities that their daughter was murdered and that a killer remains on the loose.

Girl Scouts Creates Inclusive Gender Policy, and a Right-Wing Boycott Fails -- They Sell More Cookies!

A few months ago, the Girl Scouts of America (GSUSA) found themselves in the midst of a unique controversy. A Denver, Colorado troop initially refused to let 7-year-old Bobby Montoya join. Montoya, who identifies as female, was denied entry to the troop when Felisha Archuleta, Bobby’s mother, first approached them. After protests from Archuleta, and some media coverage, the Colorado Girl Scouts of America ended up welcoming Bobby into the scouts, and released a statement through GLAAD, clarifying the organizations policy:
“Girl Scouts is an inclusive organization and we accept all girls in Kindergarten through 12th grade as members. [...] If a child identifies as a girl and the child's family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout.”

General Says Army Suicides Have Largely 'Leveled Off'

Washington (CNN) -- For three years, Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli has been spearheading the Army's effort to reduce the number of suicides in the service.

His effort has been thorough and transparent -- but the numbers indicate the effort may not be effective. The latest numbers released by Chiarelli during a briefing with reporters Thursday show that active-duty Army suicides were up again in 2011, compared to 2010. And suicides throughout the Army, the Army Reserves and the National Guard, while down in the past year, are still nearly 40% above what they were from 2008, the year before Chiarelli began overseeing the Army suicide prevention effort.


Today's Survey Question 1-20-12

Which GOP candidate do you want to win the presidential nomination?





On Mitt Romney's Millions In Cayman Island Offshore Tax Havens

While the news that Mitt Romney has joined Warren Buffet in the "my secretary makes more than me" 15% tax club has come and gone, even as America appears largely confused or dismissive that Romney, at least on paper appears to be precisely the puppet that Wall Street [10]wants put in charge, we are not so sure how it will react to discovering that in addition to all of the above, Romney also holds a substantial of his assets deep offshore, in the much maligned recently Cayman Islands. As a reminder, it has long been Obama's "tax-policy" to force repatriation of virtually all individual tax holdings held abroad, both legally and illegally, much to the detrimental collapse in the UBS business model. Yet apparently when it comes to potential future presidents, loopholes are quite welcome. Especially when as ABC reports, "the offshore accounts have provided him -- and Bain -- with other potential financial benefits, such as higher management fees and greater foreign interest, all at the expense of the U.S. Treasury." As a reminder: "Rebecca J. Wilkins, a tax policy expert with Citizens for Tax Justice, said the federal government loses an estimated $100 billion a year because of tax havens." But who needs taxes when America can just print all the money it will need to fund its deficit in perpetuity. Just ask the Neo-Keynesians. Perhaps all these are questions that the candidate that so hard is trying to channel Ronald Reagan and so far failing, can finally address once and for all, before he moves into one of his patented Obama bashing subject changing routing.


Gingrich Angrily Rebuffs Questions About Ex-Wife

Newt Gingrich opened a pivotal Republican presidential debate with a fiery attack on the media for publishing stories regarding new allegations made against him by an ex-wife.
Gingrich assailed, in no uncertain terms, CNN moderator John King for opening the debate by asking Gingrich to answer allegations made by his ex-wife, Marianne, in an interview with ABC News, saying the then-speaker of the House asked to engage in an "open marriage," or else he would file for divorce.

You Can't Fool Mother Nature For Long: The Substitution Of Debt For Productivity

The "big story" of the U.S. economy is that we have substituted expansion of debt for meaningful increases in productivity.

For the past 30 years, the U.S. economy has become increasingly dependent on explosive debt expansion for its "growth" rather than on meaningful rises in meaningful productivity. Growth is in quotes because growth based on secular increases in productivity--that is, the same investment of labor and capital produces goods and services of greater value--is qualitatively different from "growth" based on a pyramiding of debt.

Real growth based on rising productivity is sustainable, "growth" based on ever-greater expansions of debt is not.

What has kept the Status Quo from falling off the debt cliff over the past four years is the substitution of exploding Federal/public debt for no-longer-rising private debt. If Federal borrowing were to return to 2006 levels, the economy would immediately experience a severe contraction.

We can understand this reaction as that of a debt junkie economy suddenly deprived of massive infusions of fresh credit.

This substitution of public debt for private debt is simply an attempt to fool Mother Nature. The justification of the Status Quo for impoverishing future generations is the massive expansion of Federal debt is needed to "kick start" the economy, i.e. "get us through a rough patch."

After four years of kick-starting and muddling through rough patches, the economy has yet to recover benchmarks set in 2007, much less grown. Meanwhile, the kick-starting added $6 trillion in visible public debt and trillions more in off-balance sheet obligations and backstops.

Substituting debt for productivity is also an attempt to fool Mother Nature. Here's how the substitutiion works: when productivity is flat, then "growth" can be created by leveraging the economy's surplus into greater amounts of debt, which can then be squandered on mal-investments and consumption to foster an illusion of "growth."

Note that I use the phrase "meaningful productivity." If a highrise tower is built in the middle of nowhere and sits empty, the construction and related costs (inspections, transport of goods, utilities, etc.) are added to the gross domestic product (GDP) as "growth," even though the empty building is not adding any real value to the economy.

The same can be said of millions of unneeded medical tests, millions of doses of medications that don't work as advertised, etc.--all the costs of sickcare that rarely add productive value to the economy but which are all added to the GDP as "growth."

If you leverage $100 per month in surplus capital in a household into a $100,000 home equity loan that is squandered on luxury cruises, a new kitchen, boats and dining out, then that explosion of spending boosts "growth" like a shot of cocaine.

But then what happens when the borrowed money has all been spent? What happens when the borrower defaults? The underlying assets--the boat, home, etc.--can all be auctioned off, but a massive loss remains to be swallowed by the lender.

Needless to say, the bankrupt borrower will be unable to borrow another $100,000 any time soon, even if interest rates are lowered to near-zero.


Jon Stewart On SOPA: "It's Like Coming Up With A Plan To Prevent Teen Pregnancy That Includes Filling Penises With Cement"

Last night Jon Stewart took on the raging fight against SOPA and yesterday's Internet blackout in protest of the legislation. (Upon finding out that Wikipedia had gone dark yesterday, Stewart asked, incredulously, "What do they expect us to do? Go to the library? Like a common masturbator?")
The Daily Show host likened the SOPA bill to "coming up with a plan to prevent teen pregnancy that includes filling penises with cement. Your penis is still there, it's just [that] no one can get at it."


GOP presidential candidate and Texas Rep. Ron Paul came out Wednesday in support of the “blackout” efforts taking place across the Web protesting pending anti-piracy legislation many have decried as an Internet censorship effort.

Paul made a statement through a Facebook status update, saying:

“My campaign, and the entire freedom movement, would not be as strong as they are today without a free Internet, and that’s just one of the reasons why the establishment hopes to censor it with SOPA and PIPA. I’m proud to see so many taking a stand today. Contact your representative and senators and tell them to oppose these disastrous bills.”

Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich – at least on Facebook and Twitter — were silent on the issue, and instead devoted their social media platforms to further campaign against one another.

Paul’s son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, also came out Wednesday pledging to filibuster PIPA, which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has promised to bring to the Senate floor on January 24.


Florida Teen Who Allegedly Posed As Doctor Busted Again

A teen who was arrested last year after allegedly posing as a physician's assistant for nearly a week is in hot water again, this time allegedly posing as a Florida police officer.

 Matthew Scheidt, 18, was taken into custody today by Miami Beach police after he pulled up next to a man and allegedly told him to buckle his seat belt. That man was an undercover cop.

 The officer observed Scheidt conducting himself like a member of the police force complete with police jargon and a laptop, authorities said. The officer engaged the teen in conversation while he called for back-up and initiated a traffic stop.



Otway,Russo & Rommel,P.C.


Salman Kahn, founder of the Kahn Academy, does a brilliant job of explaining the totalitarian reach of SOPA and PIPA. Be sure to listen to the entire clip. The most draconian parts of the legislation is detailed in the second half of the clip.

Woman Used Young Children To Rob 84-Year-Old Of Life Savings

A robber used young children to help take advantage of an elderly woman in Montgomery County, Md., last week, according to police.
The 84-year-old victim said she was robbed of her life savings by a woman claiming she needed help cashing a check at a bank. The culprit approached the victim at Murry’s Steaks in Takoma Park about noon Thursday with two toddlers and an infant in tow. She said the children hadn’t eaten in days.
“That’s the only thing that stopped me, to help the children,” the victim said.

Mitt Romney's Tax Savings

When Mitt Romney conceded on Jan. 17 that he pays a tax rate of about 15 percent—far less than millions of wage earners whose votes he’s trying to win—he deflected criticism by employing what might be called the Ordinary Rich Guy Defense: Like a lot of people who are wealthy enough not to work, Romney said his income “comes overwhelmingly from investments made in the past.” That’s not quite the whole story. What he left out is that, because of the way he made his money, he is eligible to take advantage of a special tax provision that even some of his richest friends would envy.

Private equity executives such as Romney, who spent 15 years running Bain Capital, arrange to receive much of their compensation in the form of “carried interest.” This enables them to treat what would be work income for most people, taxed at rates up to 35 percent, as capital gains, taxed at just 15 percent. “It’s a method of converting one’s labor into capital gains in a way that’s unusual outside the investment management industry,” says Victor Fleischer, an associate law professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder whose 2007 paper on the topic helped spur calls in Congress to change the law. “Ordinary people wouldn’t be able to do this.”


Man Convicted Of Killing Georgia Girl Found Dead In Apparent Suicide, Prison Official Says

A 20-year-old maintenance worker who this week pleaded guilty to molesting and killing a 7-year-old girl was found dead of an apparent suicide in his prison cell Thursday, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.
Ryan Brunn was found unresponsive at 4:15 p.m. at the state prison in Jackson, said spokeswoman Kristen Stancil. Brunn was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 5:37 p.m., Stancil said in an email to The Associated Press.

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This Bill gives the authority to pass on a portion of the schoolteachers pensions onto the Counties. . . and also penalizes County Councils for failing to fund above previous years education budget.

Sponsored By:
The Speaker (By Request - Administration)
Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act of 2012

Altering or repealing specified required appropriations; altering the distribution of specified revenues; altering or repealing specified funding requirements; altering the authorized use of specified funds; authorizing the transfer of specified funds; etc.

History by Legislative and Calendar Date
Legislative date is used to record history occurring in the Chambers otherwise Calendar date is used.

Any actions occurring today are available in the proceedings and hearing schedule
House Action
First Reading Appropriations
Senate Action
No Action

Feds Bust One Of World's Biggest File-Sharing Sites

McLEAN, Virginia - One of the world's largest file-sharing sites was shut down Thursday, and its founder and several company executives were charged with violating piracy laws, federal prosecutors said.
An indictment accuses of costing copyright holders more than $500 million in lost revenue from pirated films and other content. The indictment was unsealed one day after websites including Wikipedia and Craigslist shut down in protest of two congressional proposals intended to thwart online piracy.

Wicomico County Teacher Arrested & Held On $300,000.00 Bond

Case Number: 4H00062689Tracking No:111001883742
District Code: 02Location Code:03
Document Type: WARRANTIssued Date:01/19/2012
Case Status: ACTIVE

Defendant Information
Sex: MHeight:600Weight:180DOB:07/20/1968

Address: 6638 OAK RIDGE DRIVE
City: HEBRONState:MDZip Code:21830 - 0000

Charge and Disposition Information

(Each Charge is listed separately. The disposition is listed below the Charge)

Charge No: 001Description:SEX ABUSE MINOR
Statute: CR.3.602.(b)Description:SEX ABUSE MINOR
Amended Date: CJIS Code:1 0322MO/PLL:Probable Cause:X
Incident Date From: 12/23/2008 To: 12/22/2010 Victim Age:

Charge No: 002Description:ASSAULT-SEC DEGREE
Statute: CR.3.203Description:ASSAULT-SEC DEGREE
Amended Date: CJIS Code:1 1415MO/PLL:Probable Cause:X
Incident Date From: 12/23/2008 To: 12/22/2010 Victim Age:

Charge No: 003Description:SEX OFFENSE FOURTH DEGREE
Statute: CR.3.308Description:SEX OFFENSE FOURTH DEGREE
Amended Date: CJIS Code:4 3600MO/PLL:Probable Cause:X
Incident Date From: 12/23/2008 To: 12/22/2010 Victim Age:

Charge No: 004Description:ASSAULT-SEC DEGREE
Statute: CR.3.203Description:ASSAULT-SEC DEGREE
Amended Date: CJIS Code:1 1415MO/PLL:Probable Cause:X
Incident Date From: 12/23/2008 To: 12/22/2010 Victim Age:

Charge No: 005Description:SEX OFFENSE FOURTH DEGREE
Statute: CR.3.308Description:SEX OFFENSE FOURTH DEGREE
Amended Date: CJIS Code:4 3600MO/PLL:Probable Cause:X
Incident Date From: 12/23/2008 To: 12/22/2010 Victim Age:

Charge No: 006Description:ASSAULT-SEC DEGREE
Statute: CR.3.203Description:ASSAULT-SEC DEGREE
Amended Date: CJIS Code:1 1415MO/PLL:Probable Cause:X
Incident Date From: 12/23/2008 To: 12/22/2010 Victim Age:

Charge No: 007Description:SEX OFFENSE FOURTH DEGREE
Statute: CR.3.308Description:SEX OFFENSE FOURTH DEGREE
Amended Date: CJIS Code:4 3600MO/PLL:Probable Cause:X
Incident Date From: 12/23/2008 To: 12/22/2010 Victim Age:

Related Person Information
(Each Person related to the case other than the Defendant is shown)

Agency Code: ZVAgency Sub-Code:2201Officer ID:W273

Event History Information
Event Date Comment
WARI 01/19/2012 120119;ZV 2201;2;ARR;D11100891-4
WARS 01/19/2012 120119;D11100891-4;
INIT 01/19/2012 120119;00300000.00;HDOB;100; ;2094

1 In 5 Americans Suffer From Mental Illness

One in five Americans experienced some sort of mental illness in 2010, according to a new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. About 5 percent of Americans have suffered from such severe mental illness that it interfered with day-to-day school, work or family.
Women were more likely to be diagnosed with mental illness than men (23 percent of women versus 16.9 percent of men), and the rate of mental illness was more than twice as likely in young adults (18 to 25) than people older than 50.

Mortgage Registry Wants Delaware Lawsuit Dismissed

A company that registers mortgages electronically is asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Delaware attorney general's office accusing it of deceptive trade practices.

 State officials sued Virginia-based Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. last fall, claiming it has sown confusion among consumers, investors and other stakeholders in the mortgage finance system.


SOPA Protest: Wikipedia Traffic Up, Congressional Support Down

Yesterday's mass protests about the SOPA and PIPA anti-piracy bills have yielded some positive results: At least 18 members of Congress — including several PIPA co-sponsors — have withdrawn their support for the legislation. And Wikipedia, which went dark for the day, saw its traffic go up, as visitors used the site's SOPA page as a resource for information about the issue.

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Many Teen Moms Say They Didn’t Think They Could Get Pregnant

A new government study suggests a lot of teenage girls are clueless about their chances of getting pregnant.
In a survey of thousands of teenage mothers who had unintended pregnancies, about a third said they didn’t use birth control because they didn’t believe they could get pregnant.
What were they thinking, exactly, isn’t clear. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey didn’t ask teens to explain their reasoning.

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Sex Poses Surprisingly Low Risk To Heart Patients

Good news: Sex is safe for most heart patients. If you're healthy enough to walk up two flights of stairs without chest pain or gasping for breath, you can have a love life.
That advice from a leading doctors' group on Thursday addresses one of the most pressing, least discussed issues facing survivors of heart attacks and other heart patients.

Popular File-Sharing Site Megaupload.Com Shut Down; Founder, Others Indicted On Piracy Charges

McLEAN, Va. — One of the world’s most popular file-sharing sites was shuttered Thursday, and its founder and several company officials were accused of facilitating millions of illegal downloads of films, music and other content.
An indictment accused of costing copyright holders at least $500 million in lost revenue. The indictment was unsealed one day after websites including Wikipedia and Craigslist shut down in protest of two congressional proposals intended to make it easier for authorities to go after websites with pirated material, especially those with overseas headquarters and servers.

The subtle effects of a controlled MSM

The presidential debates are in full swing. Members of the MSM (main stream media for those unfamiliar) are asking ridiculous questions and feeding into "Republican vs Democrat" rhetoric. They are effectively changing the focal point of U.S. citizens away from serious economic situations taking place elsewhere in the world that will have a profound impact on our economy here at home. I understand that the upcoming elections are important. In fact the upcoming elections are likely the most important in over 100 years. But the fact that the MSM is intentionally ignoring the global economic situation and stoking the political inter party ferver is proof that the news media is being manipulated by the wealthy elite. Why?

Look at the facts:

Two months ago, the economic events unfolding in the eurozone were at the forefront of every news station.

Even the smallest change in the economic news in Europe caused a significant change in our stock market and in fact the global markets - as they should.

All of a sudden - over the past several days - the news relating to the economy of the eurozone has been virtually non-existent even though the financial condition in Europe is degrading rapidly. Over the past few days:

1) S&P openly states that Greece will default in a "very short time";
2) Officials in Greece cannot come to terms on a continued bailout;
3) Pressure mounts in other Eurozone nations to kick Greece out of the
European Union;
4) Most experts agree that the Euro is on the brink of collapse;

All of these things will bring massive negative affects upon the global

Yet over the past several days the American stock markets have been steadily increasing with the absence of any of this economic news out of Europe from the MSM controlled by the wealthy elite. Anyone getting the picture yet?

BUT....If you go to foriegn news agencies you will readily find this information.

Keep this in mind. Wealth in the stock market doesn't disappear. It shifts. It does so as people buy and sell stock. As the news of the EU is kept out of the American MSM by the wealthy elite who own it, U.S. consumer confidence increases without real justification and the value of the stock market subsequently increases. Just before the market crashes because of actual circumstances in the Eurozone, those in the know will bail out of the stock market taking the increased value with them. Those who are invested in 401k's and the like for retirements, etc., will be the big losers. Who will be the big winners? The very people who control the MSM. The wealthy elite. THEY are the ones in the know. THEY are the ones who control what news is reported to the masses. THEY are the ones who will benefit.

Can anyone now see why they are manipulating their puppet politicians to control the internet? If the government controls the internet they will be able to control what the American public can learn from the last unbiased infortmation source in the world. And they will do this to the benefit of their puppet masters - the wealthy elite.

Newt vs. CNN

Maryland HB-83 - Legislation Sponsored to Overide Counties Revenue Cap

Tonight - HB-83 became available online whereby Sheila Hixson - Montgomery County, Kumar Barve - Montgomery County, and Maggie McIntosh - Baltimore City sponsored enabling legislation that would allow a County Council to override a county's revenue cap.

This is about the 4th year in a row whereby certain members of the Maryland Legislature have attempted to preempt a public referendum for Charter counties to operate under a revenue cap.

Today Weather 01/20/12





Overnight Low