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Saturday, February 04, 2012

Just What Kind Of Political Game Is Mayor Jim Ireton Playing?

I want you to think about a couple of things here. At this point we all know legally the Council couldn't hire Rick Hoppes as the new Fire Chief, (we'll give even more details about that soon). However, the Mayor, (who had denied Rick Hoppes the last go around because he wasn't qualified) now all of a sudden he feels Rick is and runs to his "play nice" media friends to go after three Council Members who followed the law.

Now, I want you to think very hard about this. Ivan Barkley WAS QUALIFIED to become Police Chief of Salisbury. He had all the degrees and qualifications, the Council SUPPORTED Ivan, yet the Mayor rejected him and hired someone else. Is this starting to make any sense to you?

Lost Dog

Her name is Belle, she is a boxer. Appr 3 years old. She went missing
on 2/2 around 4:30 pm in the Lewes DE area. I am attaching 2 pictures of

The contact name is Gina and her number is 302-228-8277

BREAKING NEWS: Russia, China Block UN Resolution Calling For Syria's Assad tT Step Down

Russia, China veto UN resolution backing Arab plan calling for Syrian president to step down after hundreds of people were reportedly killed.

From Fox News

A Little More Light On Fredericksen And The Board

Yeah, this is a teaser. I'm trying to decide, do I put up yet ANOTHER damning Post today, or should I wait until tomorrow? Comments will help me to decide. You tell me, today, or tomorrow? One way or the other, Fredericksen better start packing his things and the taxpayers better brace for a huge financial loss through lawsuits.

Believe me Folks, this next story is NOT the only one we'll be publishing. Honest to God, we have been slammed with e-mails and phone calls from so many other people that have been abused by the BOE. We've got a LOT more coming.

Ocean City Parking Issues

There are a few issues that may or may not be proprietary to the OCPD that I would like to raise. I would prefer you post it. Or set the stage so I can post remarks. This parking meter issue on Monday night is opening a can of worms that many do not know about but I think once it is aired there will be many comments.

1. The year-round tenants downtown are given parking permits when they sign a lease. However, in many of the older downtown locations there is not enough parking for the number of tenants in that building. The landlord is not explaining this to the prospective tenants and it isn't until they get a parking ticket which can be given every 3 hours or they get towed. It used to be you could only get one ticket per day but then the Town realized people were purposely getting tickets versus paying meters and changed it to every 3 hours. So you are looking at a young adult trying to work full-time, sometimes two jobs and their paycheck goes to the Town Of Ocean City to pay for parking (or tows). This brings up towing...and insider knowledge...but anyone having paid the fine will attest to the conundrum they encounter. I will get to towing in a minute.

The delivery drivers to the many downtown businesses also get tickets and not cheap ones! for double parking, blocking dumpsters and the meter readers wait for them to jump out to deliver their goods and then ticket them. Doesn't matter if it is a 2 minutes UPS delivery or a Sysco 15 minuted food delivery or dry cleaning pick up from a hotel. No one is safe from the jaws of the meter reader. Thick-skinned they are! This requires the delivery person to come to HQ and pay the fine, out-of-pocket and then some companies reimburse that employee and some do not. And some tickets are given to Council members who give them to the Chief to be dismissed....who gets this privilege and who does not? This all takes time away from the business and leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the innocent.

The condominiums and hotels in town are not telling their paying vacationers that the alley or the road next to them is not their property some even direct them to park there until their unit is ready! and they are getting towed (is there a phone call made when they park there? Is there a payoff? between the tow company and the hotel front desk?) Seems to me too many coincidences to ignore...the majority of the towing is done on check-in and check-out days when vacationers are loading or unloading. I had families show up claiming they had started to load the vehicle to leave and they got towed while going back upstairs to retrieve more luggage! Car seats were in the vehicles and babies formulas and the vehicle was towed! Talk about entrapment! Also, the hotels and condos are overbooking and this means not enough parking spaces and even though the condo or hotel gives the customer a parking pass to hang in their window they get towed because they were not on the property and not one of these people were informed of this.

2. Let's keep with the young adult working full-time. They have a room-mate and they both have cars but only have one parking pass because the landlord's building does not have enough parking spaces. They work opposite schedules now because of this. One comes home from work to find their car gone and they call the police thinking it has been stolen. Which the first place they (OCPD) check is the impound lot and guess what! it is there. Now, you can not get your car out for less than $180 or if a dolly was used $215. Seriously. Get this. The Town collects $25 of that fee, the Tow Company gets the rest. The Town houses the vehicle and charges $15 per day storage so if the young adult can not pay the fee until the end of the week the fee just goes up and up. There were even times when the vehicle was forfeited because the young adult could not afford to pay the fines. The Town then turns around and sells this vehicle on it auction site. Talk about a bad experience in Ocean City.

3. Let's talk towing. Last I knew there were 13 Tow Companies. But in reality only about 5 actual because one company can have multiple names. There is not a limit on applying for a license, I think they even did away with needing to be licensed to tow in OC. and I don't know why there are not more companies or who or how they get to do it but these Tow truck companies make 87% of the income and it seems there are sections, almost like territories, that are consistent every week. It is guaranteed income for these guys.

Rehoboth Fatal Crash

Coastal Highway southbound south of John J. Williams Highway, Rehoboth, DE

Date of Occurrence:
Friday February 3, 2012 at 9:00 p.m.

Rehoboth, DE- The Delaware State Police Crash Reconstruction Unit is continuing their investigation into last nights fatal crash. The investigators will be on the scene again this morning gathering more information.

A more detailed release into the cause of the crash will be given later today.


Click on image to enlarge.

Delegate Mike McDermott Field Notes 2-4-12

Field Notes

Observations and Reflections on Legislative Activities

By Delegate Mike McDermott

Week 4 January 30-February 3, 2012

Judiciary Hearings

Flash Mob

On Tuesday, the committee received testimony on several bills. HB-4 seeks to address the recent problems of Flash Mobs by allowing the total amount of goods stolen by the group to be used in determining whether or not the crime is a felony or misdemeanor for all of the individuals involved. We observed a store video of a recent mob event in Montgomery County.There were some concerns about the severity of the sentencing guidelines. To me, the act resembles a robbery more than a theft. They are being driven by the use of various social media outlets and we should be more than a little concerned.

Background Checks
A Wicomico Delegation bill (HB-63) was reviewed. It would simply authorize Criminal History checks to be performed by Wicomico County for potential employees. The records are confidential and cannot be disseminated. It would also require guidelines be in place by the county government which address the authorized provisions in the bill.

It seems under current law that buffalo must be provided certain protections from the weather which are required for other domestic stock. HB-80 seeks to modify this requirement as it would seem the current law was crafted without bison in mind.

Public Defender Act
This may be the biggest issue we address this year based upon the potential impact it could have on the criminal justice system. A recent decision by the MD Court of Appeals ruled that defendants have a right to representation even before a District Court Commissioner. Cost estimates to implement this change range from $28 million to over $100 million. It would impact the state budget and would require county budgets to provide additional money for the States Attorneys Office for their representatives as well.

HB-112 seeks to correct the Public Defender Act by specifically removing the need for an appearance by the Public Defender at the Commissioner level while affirming the need to have this representation at the Bond Review in the District Court. This was the second hearing on this bill and it lasted for over 6-hours. The change is slated to take affect within the next few days. This bill is classified as an Emergency Bill so it can be fast tracked and signed by the governor upon passage.

For over 40 years the Maryland system of Commissioner review followed by a Bond Review by a judge the next day has served us well. The Commissioner screening results in the release of about 65% of those arrested on Personal Recognizance or Unsecured Bonds and those folks never see the inside of the county jail. The next morning, a Bond Review by the District Court Judge insures that defendants have the opportunity to argue why they should be released if the commissioner determined they should have a bond. Involving defense attorneys and States Attorneys at the Commissioner level will change the nature of these hearings and add longer wait times. This will mean keeping police tied up with prisoners for extended periods. The bill seeks to answer the problem and could save the state and county governments tens of millions of dollars if passed.

Misdemeanors on Citation
Another of my bills to be heard was HB-119 which would expand the ability of police officers to charge people who have committed minor offenses on a citation instead of arresting them and taking them before the District Court Commissioner process. This would save a lot of money and would keep our limited police resources on the street and available for the more serious crimes. Many states have adopted this practice as a practical matter. There was some resistance from the State’s Attorneys Association as they wanted further limits on the crimes which could be charged on citation. This bill would not allow any crime of violence or domestic assault to be charged via citation. It looks favorable that HB-119 will have a vote and move to the House for consideration.

Judiciary Committee Votes:
The first voting session took place on Thursday with the following bills moved to the whole House for a vote:
HB-4 Requiring Orphan’s Court Judges in Baltimore County to be attorneys.
HB-63 Local Delegation Bill allowing Wicomico County the ability to access criminal history information for the purpose of job screening.

Discussions continued in work sessions regarding HB-112 and the Public Defender Act modifications. There has been general agreement that requiring the Public Defender to appear at Bond Reviews before the judge should be required, but not before a District Court Commissioner. I expect a vote on this bill on Tuesday next week.

Eastern Shore Delegate Meeting
We met with the Secretary of Agriculture, Buddy Hance, on Friday morning and discussed his departments legislative agenda and our concerns over much of the regulations being heaped upon our farming communities. After listening to the Secretary for a few minutes discussing the new or proposed regulations, I thought I was in a meeting with the Secretary of the Environment. It would appear to me that the department of Agriculture has succumbed to being an apologist for the governor’s office instead of being a advocate to the governor for the farmers (as we have always had in the past). The Secretary was questioned about his support of Plan Maryland particularly when it came to the land development rights of the farmers. He indicated that the state needed to “preserve” farmland, but not compensate owners over development rights denied through regulations. There were no administrative policies that the Secretary opposed.

Delmarva Poultry Industry (DPI) was on deck and followed Secretary Hance. They spoke of the economic impact of poultry in the region and also the escalating regulations on the industry. I thought the most interesting comment was made by DPI President Andrew McLain when he indicated that farmers use to have plans drafted to address improving agronomics of a farming operation, but now the plans are drawn up to satisfy regulations and mandates by the government. Those two goals can often find themselves in a state of conflict. An industry that is not profitable will cease to be an industry for very long. It is clear that in Maryland, we have arrived at a point of diminishing returns on poultry operations. If this does not change, our economy will suffer irreparable damage.

One effort to bring awareness was the first annual Delmarva Chicken Day at the capitol. The luncheon event was well attended and provided a great chance for industry advocates and shore legislators to talk to others about the economic impact of poultry in Maryland. It was very well received and will be built on for next year.

The last presentation was made by the nine shore counties various departments of Tourism. All of the directors indicated a strong need to maintain funding levels for tourism promotion in the budget. They provided reports on economic impacts at the local level which showed a very impressive return on state investment of tax dollars. As part of the presentation, each county displayed some artifact or item representative of tourism in their area. It is always a pleasure to see folks displaying a great sense of pride for their represented areas and how each area offers a unique experience to their visitors.

Good Government Work Group
I have been appointed to lead other House Republican Caucus members in developing a legislative strategy to address transparency issues and the promotion of Good Government (G- Squared) practices. We will be scheduling several press conferences in the coming weeks to highlight these efforts and to contrast them with many bad government bills or policies supported by the administration. The first effort will take aim at auditing practices and a bill I will be introducing which will require independent audits of all state agencies every two years with the cost borne through the commission paid to the auditors based upon the potential savings realized by the state. I will keep you posted on our progress.

Keystone Pipeline Problem

Teaching Math

1. Teaching Math In 1950s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit ?

2. Teaching Math In 1960s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

3. Teaching Math In 1970s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit ?

4. Teaching Math In 1980s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

5. Teaching Math In 1990s

A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers, and if you feel like crying, it's ok).

6. Teaching Math In 2010

Un hachero vende una carretada de madera para $100. El costo de la producciones es $80. Cuanto

dinero ha hecho?

ANSWER: His profit was $375,000 because his logging business is just a front for his marijuana farm.


GO HERE to view more.


We accountants are all-powerful. With the submission of a few journal entries, Wall Street Criminal Bank accountants created $26.7 billion of profits for these fine upstanding institutions. The mouthpieces in the MSM ignore the fact that Wall Street banks aren’t really making money from banking. It’s all fake. Nothing but a show for the ignorant masses. And they believe.


Cowboy Stew

Prep Time:
5 Min

Cook Time:
45 Min
Ready In:
50 Min

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (14.75 ounce) can cream-style corn
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chili with beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can baked beans with pork
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles


  1. Crumble the ground beef into a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir until beef is no longer pink. Drain off grease. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in the corn, chili with beans, baked beans, tomato sauce and green chilies. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.               



If you can read this article without being worried, you just ain’t thinking. Charles Hugh Smith is another truth teller. He should be read every day.
Counterfeit Value Derivatives: Follow the Bouncing Ball (Guest Essay)

This guest essay on derivatives was written by frequent contributor Zeus Yiamouyiannis.

Here is how the counterfeit value derivative con works.It’s a game of “I pretend, you pretend, we all pretend, and the taxpayer will pay in the end”.

1) I’ll create an instrument, say a credit default swap (CDS), an unregulated insurance with no capital requirements, with a certain “notional” value. Notional value is just something I assign. It does not have to be attached to or backed by any real asset or actual money/principal, but I can pretend as if it is. (Notional amount.)

2) As a seller, I will just declare that this swap covers the full value X of this company, contract, etc. if credit event Y happens. I receive lucrative insurance premiums and fees for my unbacked promise. The CDS’s value is based in nothing more than my promise to pay. I don’t have to have adequate capital reserves on hand, but I can pretend as if I do perhaps with some mini-reserves based on objective-seeming risk ratios calculated by my mathematical models. (credit default swap.)

3) As a buyer, you can then buy as many of these CDS’s as you want, even for a single default. If you are really sure something is going to tank you can insure it 30 times over (or a 100 or 1,000) and get 30 (or 100 or 1,000) times the return when it goes bust! In regulated insurance it is unacceptable to insure beyond the full replacement value of the underlying asset. Not so with CDS’s. The seller has gotten 30x the premiums and the buyer gets 30x value in the event of default. As a buyer of this phony “insurance” you don’t have a stake in the affected properties, but you can essentially pretend you do.

4) As buyer and seller of CDS’s either one of us can assign our risks to a third party through another contract, and pretend as if we are covered in case our own game playing blows up in our faces. This allows us to retain even less reserve capital and spend freed-up funds on more high-risk, high-(pseudo) return speculation. (The monster that ate Wall Street.)

5) We can purchase and sell of these derivative contracts to each other at unlimited rates to generate massive volume and huge fees and profits. We can simply hyper-cycle risk and take our chunk each time.

According to the Bank of International Settlements, as of June 2011 total over-the-counter derivatives contracts have an outstanding notional value of 707.57 trillion dollars, ( 32.4 trillion dollars in CDS’s alone). Where does this kind of money come from, and what does it refer to? We don’t really know, because over-the-counter derivatives are not transparent or regulated.


The Biggest Super Bowl Fat Bombs

You won’t believe your eyes when you discover how many of these Super Bowl baddies you’re tucking in

Whether you’re rooting for the Patriots or the Giants this Super Bowl, chances are you’re going to rack up calories faster than Tom Brady puts up points. Aside from Thanksgiving, we eat more on Super Bowl Sunday than on any other day of the year—an estimated 1,200 extra calories and 50 grams of fat on top of our usual three square. (Search: How many calories should I eat on a regular day?) But that’s not the only disgusting food fact behind football’s biggest day of the year. For example, Americans eat millions of pounds of guacamole and build “snackadiums” containing more than 45,000 calories a pop. Here, we’ve rounded up cringe-worthy Super Bowl food stats that might push you to the sidelines.


Transgender Person Dies After Stabbing At D.C. Bus Stop

WASHINGTON - A transgender person who was stabbed in the head at Metrobus stop Thursday night has died, police say.

The victim was stabbed near Benning Road in the 4100 block of East Capitol St. NE around 8:17 p.m.

Metro spokesman Dan Stessel tells WTOP a passerby tracked down a police officer who helped the victim.

The victim was taken to Prince George's County Hospital, Stessel say.




The annual Post Card Show will be held on Sunday, February 12. This is a good opportunity to get out those old post cards and see if they have any value. Generally, local view post cards are the most desired in any area. So, post cards with views of the towns of the Eastern Shore are more highly prized than ones from out of the area. Even if they are not postmarked, someone at the show can date them just by looking at them.

The very best to any collector are “real photo” postcards because there are fewer of them. These are views taken by a photographer who then might write on the negative. The ensuing postcard will have the writing come out white. Many families from 1900 to about 1925 had photos taken by a photographer and had some of them made into postcards to send to relatives and distant acquaintances. If anyone finds one of these in the family album or among loose pictures in an old shoe box, be sure to write the name on the back (pencil preferably). So many pictures that should be family treasures end up in a box in some antique store labeled “instant relatives” and sell for about $.50 each. I know I value the real photo post cards of my family much higher than would anyone else. The card pictured above is of my mother taken at her First Communion in 1918 when she was six years old. I have several real photo cards of some of my relatives and treasure them greatly.

It seems like anymore the only post cards in our mailbox are for advertising. Gone are the days of summer vacation and the standard “Wish you were here” cards from places as close as Ocean City. Today it is much easier, and cheaper, to just use a cell phone and call someone to let them envy your vacation. There is nothing like holding something in your hand that is a tangible reminder of another person. The same holds true for the handwritten letter. Who takes the time and effort to sit down and put their thoughts on paper to send to another person when the same information can be transmitted via cell phone in the time it would take you to find paper, pen and stamp?

Post cards can be a visual picture of the past. Places that are no longer here can be revisited through a post card of that long-gone establishment. There are books that show many of the post cards of the past along with a slight descriptive passage under each picture that really takes you back to an era of long ago. I hope to see you there at the Post Card Show.

Nevada Solar Co.

The Solar thing just got a little more interesting.......REALLY!

The Tonopah Solar company in Harry Reid's Nevada is getting a $737 million loan from Obama's DOE.

The project will produce a 110 megawatt power system and employ 45 permanent workers.

That's costing us just $16 million per job.

One of the investment partners in this endeavor is Pacific Corporate Group (PCG).

The PCG executive director is Ron Pelosi who is the brother to Nancy 's husband.

Just move along folks.....nuthin goin on here.


Women’s, Coed Softball Leagues Swing Into Action This Spring

Registration Begins in March for Women’s Softball, Coed Softball in Wicomico County

(Salisbury, MD)
The Wicomico Department of Recreation, Parks & Tourism will open registration in March for the 2012 Women’s Softball and Coed Softball seasons. Information for each program is listed below.

Women’s Slow Pitch Softball

The Women’s League is for female players ages 15 years and older who enjoy the game of softball. The season will consist of 12 regular season games and league playoffs. Games are played on Wednesday evenings at the Henry S. Parker Athletic Complex and other Wicomico County fields. The registration deadline for Women’s Softball is Thursday, April 5. A pre-season informational meeting will take place at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center on Wednesday, February 29 at 6:00pm.

Coed Softball

The Coed League is for men and women ages 16 years and older. Regular season action includes 10 regular season games followed by league playoffs. The league will consist of a competitive division and a non-competitive division (male players bat opposite-handed in the non-competitive division). Games will be played on Sunday afternoons/evenings at the Henry S. Parker Athletic Complex and other Wicomico County fields. The registration deadline for the Coed League is Thursday, April 5. A pre-season informational meeting will take place at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center on Wednesday, February 29 at 7:00pm.

For more information contact Louie Richardson at 410-548-4900 ext. 105 or email

If you would like to learn about other upcoming programs offered by Wicomico County Recreation, Parks & Tourism sign up for email alerts at

Kiss The Foreclosure Settlement Goodbye: Bank of America, Wells And JP Morgan Are Sued Over Use Of MERS

A little over a year since the day that the world first learned about robosigning and the broader problem of fraudclosure, which is merely the functional equivalent of infinite rehypothecation of an underlying asset between a daisy-chain of lien holders, we get the first legal incursion into this farce. From Bloomberg we learn that:

In other words, kiss that foreclosure settlement goodbye. In the meantime, the electronic momos keep taking BAC ever higher even as this news confirms that the bank is about to suffer a multi-billion impairment shortly.

From the AG office:


Complaint Charges Use Of MERS By Bank Of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, And Wells Fargo Resulted In Fraudulent Foreclosure Filings
Servicers And MERS Filed Improper Foreclosure Actions Where Authority To Sue Was Questionable

Schneiderman: MERS And Servicers Engaged In Deceptive and Fraudulent Practices That Harmed Homeowners And Undermined Judicial Foreclosure Process

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today filed a lawsuit against several of the nation’s largest banks charging that the creation and use of a private national mortgage electronic registry system known as MERS has resulted in a wide range of deceptive and fraudulent foreclosure filings in New York state and federal courts, harming homeowners and undermining the integrity of the judicial foreclosure process. The lawsuit asserts that employees and agents of Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo, acting as "MERS certifying officers," have repeatedly submitted court documents containing false and misleading information that made it appear that the foreclosing party had the authority to bring a case when in fact it may not have. The lawsuit names JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., Bank of America, N.A., Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., as well as Virginia-based MERSCORP, Inc. and its subsidiary, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.


Ron Paul: Reactionary Or Visionary

After his fourth-place showing in Florida, Ron Paul, by then in Nevada, told supporters he had been advised by friends that he would do better if only he dumped his foreign policy views, which have been derided as isolationism.

Not going to do it, said Dr. Paul to cheers. And why should he?

Observing developments in U.S. foreign and defense policy, Paul's views seem as far out in front of where America is heading as John McCain's seem to belong to yesterday's Bush-era bellicosity.

Consider. In December, the last U.S. troops left Iraq. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta now says that all U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan will end in 18 months.

The strategic outposts of empire are being abandoned.


What Is A Just War?

When President Obama announced last April that he was sending the United States military to bomb Libya, he not only violated the United States Constitution, which he has taken an oath to uphold, but he also violated the moral principles of the just war. The Constitution permits only Congress to declare war and the president to initiate on his own only a truly defensive war. When the president takes an oath to uphold the Constitution, he also promises to uphold the treaties into which the U.S. has entered and the laws that have been written pursuant to those treaties.

St. Thomas Aquinas is the modern articulator of the idea that governments are required to follow the same moral principles as the rest of us. This is particularly so in the case of a government that claims its source of power is the consent of the governed. St. Thomas More once put it this way: "Some men say the earth is round and some say it is flat. If it is round, can the King's command flatten it; and if it is flat, can Parliament make it round?"

Of course, the answer to those questions is no; and the reason it is no is that kings and parliaments – all governments – just like all living beings, are subject to the laws of nature. One of those laws was articulated by Aquinas and embraced by More and accepted by Thomas Jefferson and taught by many Judeo-Christian scholars, and was eventually engrafted into treaties and into American law. It is the concept of the just war. In American law and culture, for war to be valid, it must not only be lawful, meaning either declared by Congress or defensive; it must also be just.

What is a just war? For a war to be just, generally, a half-dozen principles must be met.

First, since force destroys, and there is a presumption against its use, the presumption must be overcome by first using all peaceful and viable means and alternatives to war; and it must be clear that these alternatives are fruitless before a war can be just.



Why aren’t reasonable, intelligent, honest people like Ron Paul and Jim Grant in positions of power? They understand history and they understand the monetary system. They are right. Our system is so corrupt and dysfunctional that perfectly reasonable solutions proposed by Grant and Paul are made out to be crazy. Why can’t people step back and realize that spending $3.7 billion more per day than you bring in is crazy and will eventually result in economic collapse?

Getting back to the gold standard
Commentary: Jim Grant says gold, not paper currency, is the future
By Brett Arends, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Jim Grant’s rise to power may be delayed.

The legendary Wall Street writer, publisher of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, has been mentioned by two of the rivals for the Republican presidential nomination. Newt Gingrich said if elected president, he’d name Grant to help run a commission looking at a possible return to the gold standard. And Ron Paul said, if elected president, he’d go all-in and name Grant — one of Wall Street’s best-known gold bugs — as the new chairman of the Federal Reserve.

As Paul wants to abolish the Fed, it would doubtless be a temporary post. But Grant says he found the offer — which came out of the blue — very flattering.



Long-Awaited Baby Boomer Die-Off To Begin Soon, Experts Say

After decades of waiting, the much-anticipated mass Baby Boomer die-off should finally commence within the next five to ten years, Census Bureau officials said Monday.

“I am pleased to announce that it won’t be much longer now,” Census Bureau deputy director Arthur Clausewitz said at a press conference. “According to our statistics, by 2009, we should see the Baby Boomers start to die off in large numbers. Heart attacks, strokes, cancer, kidney failure—you name it, the Boomers are going to be dropping from it.”

Clausewitz said the Great Boomer Die-Off should hit full stride in approximately 2015, when the oldest members of the Baby Boom generation—born during the last days of World War II—turn 70.

“Before long, tens of millions of members of this irritating generation will achieve what such Boomer icons as Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Timothy Leary and John Kennedy already have: death. Before long, we will live in a glorious new world in which no one will ever again have to endure tales of Joan Baez’s performance at Woodstock.”

Despite his enthusiasm, Clausewitz cautioned that the Great Boomer Die-Off will not be without its downside.

“Our nation must steel itself for one vast, final orgy of Boomer self-obsession as we are hit with a bewildering onslaught of magazine pictorials, hardcover coffee-table books and multi-part, Motown-soundtracked television specials looking back on the glory days of the 1960s,” Clausewitz said. “But once this great, final spasm of nostalgia passes, the ravages of age will take its toll on boomer self-indulgence, and the curtain will at long last fall on what is regarded by many as the most odious generation America has ever produced.”

Clausewitz also noted that the cost of caring for the elderly and infirm of the nation’s largest demographic group will be enormous.


Fighting Against Drug Shortages

Fellow Delawareans,

Can you imagine being on the operating table as your doctor realizes that he doesn’t have the anesthetic he needs to give you for your procedure? Can you imagine being a cancer patient and going to your doctor for an appointment, only to be told that the treatment you need is unavailable?

For thousands of people across the country, this is their reality.

Since 2005, the number of drug shortages in the United States has quadrupled. In 2011, there were more than 230 reported drug shortages, with oncology drugs, anesthetics, and nutrition medicines overwhelmingly affected by the shortages. This is a crisis, and I do not believe we have time to waste before tackling this problem.

That’s why I’ve crafted legislation that makes simple, yet fundamental changes to slow the tide of current shortages -- and prevent future ones. This week, I introduced the Drug Shortage Prevention Act with Representative Larry Bucshon, a Republican from Indiana, who was a heart surgeon before coming to Congress.

The Drug Shortage Prevention Act will help fix problems in the pharmaceutical supply chain and ensure that the FDA is taking necessary action to prevent drug shortage problems before they begin impacting patients. The FDA regulates the safety of our pharmaceutical industry and this legislation mandates expedited FDA review of drugs vulnerable to shortage. The legislation also requires streamlined communications between the FDA, manufacturers, distributors, providers, and patients to make sure action is being taken proactively to prevent shortages from occurring.

This legislation will not fix all of the problems related to drug shortages, but it is an important first step. My colleagues are also working to address other aspects of this crisis. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) is currently writing legislation to incentivize manufacturers to produce a larger quantity of drugs on the shortage list. In addition, Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has been investigating the practice of price gouging, which drastically increases the cost of critical medications that patients need to stay alive and healthy.

Drug shortages in the United States affect people of all ages and backgrounds, with a wide range of illnesses and diseases. By working across the aisle and putting forward sensible legislation that addresses drug shortage problems early in the manufacturing process, I’m hopeful that more Americans will be able to access the drugs they need to live longer, healthier lives.


John Carney


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