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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Smartie the Seal Finds Shelter from Storm on Car Dashboard

This seal is one smart pup! Ironically, this adorable creature is named Smartie, and he’s making headlines for finding shelter from a Scotland storm, PEOPLE reports.

Apparently, Smartie was found wandering the Dumfries, Scotland streets near the Cairnryan ferry terminal area. Staff members tried to return the 6-month-old to the water, but he wasn’t having it.

So, an employee took Smartie’s safety upon himself and placed him in his car trunk. This way the seal would stay safe and contained until animal rescuers arrived. (We hope it was a spacious trunk…)



Yesterday, Breitbart News reported that consumer confidence had dropped to its lowest level in almost two years. Much of the media spun the number as the result of a payroll tax increase that hit millions who were repeatedly told by Obama that only the rich would see their taxes increase. Surprise! But the spin didn't explain why consumer confidence had steadily dropped during the months prior. Well, now we know: The American economy has taken a nosedive.

For the first time in over three years, the U.S. Gross Domestic Product shrank. Between October and December of 2012, the GDP had a negative growth of 0.1. And let's remember that this is the same quarter where we saw the media go into hyper-drive to spin Obama's anemic job and GDP growth into a repeat of the Roaring Twenties.

The problem with the American economy is that Obama and his media can't fool it. Happy talk and spin and distractions about contraception don’t create jobs or growth. You might be able to fool legions of people into voting a certain way, but you can't fool them into spending and hiring and investing.



It’s a war out there folks. More people are dying in Chicago every day than are dying in Afghanistan (six people murdered this last Saturday). And they want to take away our means of protecting ourselves.

America’s inner cities are war zones. The democratic governments running these inner city plantation hellholes are running out of other people’s money, and can’t afford enough police to keep order. This happening all over the U.S. It’s so bad, army trauma doctors are training in real war zones (American inner cities) before they go overseas.

Maybe we can all chip in and get admin’s auto bullet-proofed. There is still time to get out of the cities. Don’t be a victim, be prepared!


Martin O'Malley Tells His Own Story

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who spent 2012 as a top White House surrogate telling an upbeat story about President Barack Obama’s record, has turned his attention to pushing a different story: his own.

In public speeches and private remarks, O’Malley has begun to lay out a more assertive case for himself as a national leader in the Democratic Party, a narrative anchored in his Maryland record and in the state’s performance during a deep national recession.

While O’Malley has done nothing to discourage widespread speculation that he’s very seriously eyeing a 2016 presidential run, he faces long odds and a Rubik’s Cube of political complications — starting with the prospect of a potentially field-clearing bid by either outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or Vice President Joe Biden.


Cops Busted For Racing Cars To Donut Shop

New Plan To Increase Ways To Get To The Water In Chesapeake Bay Watershed

A new Chesapeake Bay watershed access plan calls for more ways to get to the water.

The National Park Service and the six bay watershed states released the plan Wednesday. The plan recommends expanding places where visitors can get to the water by more than 20 percent.

Plan authors found more than 1,000 sites where people can launch boats, fish, swim and view the bay and its tributaries. But they also found many areas with little or no access. Those include nearly 60 miles of the south side of the tidal James River in Virginia. Stretches of the Rappahannock, Potomac, Susquehanna and Nanticoke rivers also had limited or no access. 


When Solar Becomes Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels

Solar power has been getting cheaper and cheaper:

Current estimates suggest that solar might be as cheap as coal by the end of the decade, and half the cost of coal by the end of the next decade:
If the trend continues for another 8-10 years, which seems increasingly likely, solar will be as cheap as coal with the added benefit of zero carbon emissions. If the cost continues to fall over the next 20 years, solar costs will be half that of coal. These predictions may in fact be too conservative given that First Solar have reported internal production costs of 75 cents (46 pence) per watt with an expectation of 50 cents (31 pence) per watt by 2016.

When applied to electricity prices this predicts that solar generated electricity in the US will descend to a level of 12 cents (7 pence) per kilowatt hour by 2020, possibly even 2015 for the sunniest parts of America.

What does that mean? Cheap, decentralised, plentiful, sustainable energy production. This would be a massive relief to global markets that have been squeezed in recent years by the rising cost of oil extraction, which has been passed onto consumers. Falling energy prices — all else being equal — mean more disposable income to save and invest, or to spend.

Texas Woman’s Execution Halted; DA Won’t Appeal

The first woman scheduled to be executed in the U.S. since 2010 won a reprieve Tuesday, hours before she was scheduled to be taken to the Texas death chamber.

State District Judge Larry Mitchell, in Dallas, rescheduled Kimberly McCarthy’s punishment for April 3 so lawyers for the former nursing home therapist could have more time to pursue an appeal focused on whether her predominantly white jury was improperly selected on the basis of race. McCarthy is black.

Dallas County prosecutors, who initially contested the motion to reschedule, chose to not appeal the ruling.


George Zimmerman's Attorney Asks Judge For Trial Delay

George Zimmerman's defense attorney Mark O'Mara filed a motion in his second-degree murder case on Wednesday, asking a judge to delay his trial in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, currently set for June.

The basis for the new motion is a series of issues and delays in gathering evidence and conducting depositions, and the defense filing lays much of the blame for the delay at the state's feet. Among O'Mara's arguments:

•The state delayed substantially in providing the defense a quality, color photo of George Zimmerman's facial injuries taken at the shooting scene. Prosecutors initially provided a black-and-white photocopy in May, O'Mara says, then a color photocopy in August and finally a digital copy in October, but only after repeated requests and a judge's direction.


OCEARCH Global Shark Tracker Finds Great Whites

If you are ever searching for a great white shark, look no further than the OCEARCH Global Shark Tracker, which provides the location of all the tagged great white sharks in the world. The sharks have been tagged with a tracker that communicates with research satellites, telling scientists the shark's location.
Great white sharks live throughout the oceans of the world, anywhere the water is between 54 and 75 degrees. They aren't uncommon off the coast of the U.S.

The researchers have posted all the GPS data from the sharks they track online, where you can see the latest blip from the trackers on a map, and dive into any individual shark's previous blips, which indicate where they have been in the past.

From this, we can see there's a great white shark named Mary Lee that's been swimming up and down the East Coast since September. She is currently off the coast of New Jersey. Mary Lee is a 16-foot-long female Great White shark weighing almost 3500 pounds. She was first tagged in Cape Cod on 17 September, and the researchers have been tracking her ever since. Here's where she's been since then:


Controversy is brewing in Fort Collins, Colo., after a Rocky Mountain High School decided to allow a multicultural student group to recite the Pledge of Allegiance over the loudspeaker in Arabic, among other languages. The situation landed Principal Tom Lopez in hot water, with a slew of angry statements and threats being phoned into the school.

Lopez, citing an extremely diverse school body, explained that he was approached by the student-led Cultural Arms Club and asked whether pupils could recite the Pledge in languages other than English. French, Spanish and Arabic were some of the options that were chosen, with the school agreeing to allow students to read the Pledge in these tongues during morning announcements.


Biggest Car Insurers Charge Low-Income Drivers More, Group Says

A study from a consumer group found that the largest auto insurers charge “discriminatory” higher premiums to safe drivers than those who cause accidents, mainly harming low- and moderate-income drivers.

The Consumer Federation of America released its third report studying auto insurance premiums, studying policies in 12 cities using the websites of the five largest car insurers: State Farm, Allstate, GEICO, Farmers and Progressive.

Those insurers comprise over half the private car insurance market, according to CFA.


Behind The Scenes: Speech Prep

What a great speech prep session we just finished! Governor O’Malley is hard at work putting the finishing touches on this State of the State. It’s gonna to be great. I thought I’d share with you a sneak preview…
The Governor plans to tell the story of how we came together over these past few difficult years. Marylanders are doing some really fantastic things, and the Governor will share a few of their stories. He will also tell our shared story. It’s a story about a people who didn’t just throw their hands up in the air when times got tough. Instead we came together and made tough choices so that we’d come out of this recession stronger – choices we made both around our own kitchen tables and through the common platform of our government.

Did these choices work? Spoiler alert: We’re #1 in education, #1 in innovation and #1 in regional jobs recovery. Tune in Wednesday to hear the Governor’s take on what choices we can make together to keep creating jobs, expanding opportunity, and strengthening Maryland’s middle class. Wednesday. Noon. Hope you’ll tune in! And follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #MDSOTS

Army Major Super Bowl-Bound During 2-Week Leave

A lot of Ravens fans are heading to New Orleans for the Super Bowl this weekend, but for one Mount Airy couple, it's been a long and unusual journey to get there.

Army Maj. Melissa Ridgely-Covolesky and her husband, Lt. Col. David Covolesky, are some of the biggest Ravens fans around. They're season ticket holders who are making the trek to the Super Bowl.

But Ridgely-Covolesky might be the fan traveling the farthest. She was deployed to Afghanistan in June and made it back home to Mount Airy just in time.


A Letter From The Special Forces Community Concerning The Second Amendment

Protecting the Second Amendment – Why all Americans Should Be Concerned

We are current or former Army Reserve, National Guard, and active duty US Army Special Forces soldiers (Green Berets). We have all taken an oath to “…support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.…” The Constitution of the United States is without a doubt the single greatest document in the history of mankind, codifying the fundamental principle of governmental power and authority being derived from and granted through the consent of the governed. Our Constitution established a system of governance that preserves, protects, and holds sacrosanct the individual rights and primacy of the governed as well as providing for the explicit protection of the governed from governmental tyranny and/or oppression. We have witnessed the insidious and iniquitous effects of tyranny and oppression on people all over the world. We and our forebears have embodied and personified our organizational motto, De Oppresso Liber [To Free the Oppressed], for more than a half century as we have fought, shed blood, and died in the pursuit of freedom for the oppressed.

Like you, we are also loving and caring fathers and grandfathers. Like you, we have been stunned, horrified, and angered by the tragedies of Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Fort Hood, and Sandy Hook; and like you, we are searching for solutions to the problem of gun-related crimes in our society. Many of us are educators in our second careers and have a special interest to find a solution to this problem. However, unlike much of the current vox populi reactions to this tragedy, we offer a different perspective.



Journalist Bill Moyers, who worked as an assistant to President Lyndon Johnson, shared memories in a column last year about how his old boss thought about our entitlement programs.

It was under Johnson, who championed the “Great Society” in the 1960s, that a good portion of the runaway government spending we are trying to get under control today originated.

Johnson signed into law Medicare, Medicaid, the War on Poverty programs, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Moyers recounted that for Johnson, Social Security and Medicare “were about a lot more than economics.”

He recalls a time when the Johnson administration was supporting retroactive increases in Social Security payments. Moyers said he argued for the increases as economic stimulus. But Johnson called him and said:

“My inclination would be … that it ought be retroactive as far back as you can get it … because none of them ever get enough. That they are entitled to it. That’s an obligation of ours. It’s just like your mother writing you and saying she wants $20, and I always sent mine $100 when she did. I always did it because I thought she was entitled to it. … We do know that it affects the economy. But that’s not the basis to go to the Hill, or the justification. We’ve got to say that by God you can’t treat grandma this way. She’s entitled to it and we promised it to her.”

I don’t think we could have a clearer picture of Johnson’s muddled thinking about his job and the role of government, which contributed so much to the problems we have today.

Johnson’s words sound so wonderfully compassionate. But let’s get things in perspective.



ANNAPOLIS, MD (January 30, 2013) – Governor Martin O’Malley today delivered his seventh State of the State address before members of the Maryland General Assembly, invited guests, and the citizens of Maryland. In his address, Governor O’Malley focused on the better choices made to achieve better results for our job creation, Maryland schools, and a strong and growing middle class. The Governor highlighted the tough decisions made in the midst of a national recession that enabled Maryland to protect priorities while creating jobs and expanding opportunity.

Tough, Fiscally Responsible Choices

We constrained budget growth and cut the size of government: We cut more than any administration in Maryland history; there are fewer executive branch employees now than there were in 2007; on a per capita basis, there are fewer executive branch employees than at any time since 1973; and we’ve constrained growth more than any administration in modern Maryland history.
We instituted reforms: We reformed hundreds of pages of regulations; streamlined permitting; fast-tracked projects that create jobs; eliminated paperwork and waste in State government; advanced public-private partnerships; and used smart maps to target our resources.
We made tough choices: While other states tried to cut their way to prosperity, we used a balanced approach. We made better choices that included new revenue to bolster schools.
Today, we’re on the verge of having closed the structural deficit, we’ve protected our AAA bond rating - certified by all three ratings agencies - and we’ve strengthened our Rainy Day Fund.

While Being Fiscally Responsible, We Still Achieved Results

We’ve made our schools better: We have the #1 schools in the nation for the 5th straight year; record student achievement; record high school graduation rates; narrower achievement gaps between white and non-white students; the nation’s best Advanced Placement scores; and the highest participation rate in AP science, technology, engineering, and math exams in our state’s history.
We’ve kept college affordable: Since 2007, we’ve done a better job than any state in the nation in holding down the cost of college tuition.
We’ve helped businesses create jobs: The U.S. Chamber ranks us as #1 state in the nation for entrepreneurship and innovation because of our high concentrations of high-tech activity and research; we’ve recovered a higher percentage of jobs after the national recession than any other state in our region; and we’ve exceeded our highest-in-the-nation goals for empowering women and minority-owned businesses by awarding state business.
We’ve helped keep families safe: We’ve driven down violent crime down nearly 25% since 2006, and even in light of population growth, incidents of violent crime are below where they were in 1977.
We are improving sustainability: We have made the Chesapeake Bay healthier; rescued the Blue Crab; restored our Native Oyster; and signed up more farmers than ever before to plant cover crops.
“As we emerge from the toughest of economic times, the state of our State is strong and we are growing stronger,” said Governor O’Malley.

For the Governor’s complete remarks, as prepared for delivery, click here.

Alabama Police In Hostage Standoff With Suspect In Fatal School Bus Shooting, Kidnapping

The Alabama man police say shot and killed a school bus driver Tuesday in an attempt to kidnap a 6-year-old boy has been hunkered down for hours with the child in an underground bunker on his remote property, The Dothan Eagle, a local newspaper, reported.

An Alabama legislator says the boy has been able to receive medicine and watch TV.

State Rep. Steve Clouse said Wednesday he met with authorities and visited the family of the boy.

Clouse described the standoff as a "static situation" and "a waiting game."

The paper reported that neighbors in Midland City, which is in south Alabama, identified the suspect as Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65. Police have not officially released the suspect's identity.

Neighbors, however, say Dykes, a retired truck driver, is known as a menacing figure who once beat a dog to death with a lead pipe, threatened to shoot children for setting foot on his property and patrolled his yard at night with a flashlight and a shotgun.


Mikulski Seeks Executive Order On Pay Equality

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski is calling on the Obama administration to prohibit federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss salaries -- a new twist on a key provision of the pay equality legislation the Maryland Democrat has sought for years.

In a letter to the White House on Tuesday, Mikulski argued that President Obama should sign an executive order baring contractors from firing employees who disclose their own pay or inquire about another employee's salary.

Mikulski has sponsored legislation, the Paycheck Fairness Act, that would put that prohibition in place for all employers. But the measure fell seven votes shy of the 60 needed to bring it to the Senate floor last year amid a charged presidential election in which women voters were courted by both Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney. 


Frustrated Daily Times Viewer

After months of threatening to disallow me to view the Daily Times on line, they have finally done it at least to a degree. Will not allow me open the Opinion tab but still can view Obits, etc. Get much more from Sby News anyway Thanks Joe and good luck in the upcoming race. ps The Times did have a headline stating that the C of C was going to have a debate but it would not allow me to open the story.

Arrest Numbers Signal 9 Percent Jump In Illegal Immigration In 2012

Even as President Obama travels to Las Vegas Tuesday to call for legalizing illegal immigrants, the latest numbers from the U.S. Border Patrol suggest that the flow across the nation’s southwest border jumped by 9 percent last year.

The Border Patrol made 356,873 arrests along the U.S.-Mexico border in fiscal year 2012, up from 327,577 in 2011, according to figures obtained by the Associated Press and confirmed by The Washington Times. Border Patrol officials estimate that apprehensions are a good proxy for illegal crossings, so when the numbers go up, it means that the flow of illegal immigrants is going up as well.

Last year’s increase marks a reversal. Apprehensions peaked in 2005 at 1.2 million and had been steadily dropping every year since as first President George W. Bush and then Mr. Obama committed more manpower and resources to the border.


Obama's Macabre Politics

Over the last few weeks, indeed since his victory at the polls, I have been listening toPresident Obama's speeches quite regularly. I wasn't surprised one bit at his ready exploitation of the Connecticut school shooting. As one of his hacks, Rahm Emanuel, said a few months ago, "You never want a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that, it's an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before." And more government control of the lives of American citizens is, as I can figure it, the priority of this president. He believes we are a tribe that he rules and whatever chance he finds he will use to make sure everyone does what he envisions is the proper thing to do. Give up your weapons; let the feds be the sole armed group in the country! Treat all wealth as public, collective and basically abolish private property rights, mostly by way of the constant increase of taxation. Don't respect anyone's right to use and dispose of resources; assume full authority over these and set the priorities for what to do with them.

I suppose there is still some semblance of liberty left in the country – mostly having to do with the free flow of opinion and the permission to engage in a great variety of artistic expression (although judging by what kind of works seem to gain the approval of the elite media, even this may reasonably be doubted).

If you check the president's inauguration speech accepting his election to a second term as president of the country, there is in it evidence of a decisive tone of post-modernist political thinking, the road to confusing the public. That is to say, no rhyme or reason can be found in the political ideas Obama has chosen to lump together. There is in the pile a bit of this, a bit of that, a bit of yet something else – socialism, capitalism, fascism, authoritarianism, welfare statism, feudalism and nearly every other identifiable political viewpoint.


Los Angeles County 'Birth Tourism' Complaints Spike

Complaints have spiked over "birth tourism" in Los Angeles County, with 60 alleged maternity hotels being reported in the past month, according to a report by the county planning department.

Authorities have found it difficult to gain access to the alleged maternity hotels and verify suspicions. So far, they have been able to inspect only seven, and found that three of them were in violation of zoning codes.

The surge in complaints comes after a high-profile campaign was waged to shut down a "maternity mansion" in neighboring San Bernadino County. Previously, the commission had reported 15 complaints over a period of five years, according to the Jan. 14 report.


Change Maryland Cites Dysfunctional Transportation Policy

Annapolis - Change Maryland charged that several years of poor budgeting decisions are causing elected officials to propose drastic transportation policy changes including leasing the Inter-County Connector, establishing new layers of government in the form of regional taxing districts and what is emerging as a perennial favorite - raising gasoline taxes.

"Our elected officials are throwing mud up against the wall to see what sticks," said Change Maryland Chairman Larry Hogan. "If the Governor, Senate President and House Speaker really cared about improving transportation, they would not have let it reach crisis proportions."

Compared to fiscal year 2007 levels, counties' transportation funding has declined nearly $380 million through what state government calls highway user revenues. For every jurisdiction except Baltimore City, fiscal year 2013 levels are 90% lower than just six years ago. The dollar amounts Maryland counties have lost is staggering. Compared to 2007 levels, Baltimore County went from $45.7 million to $3.7 million; Montgomery County went from $40.4 million to $3.3 million; Anne Arundel went from $31.8 million to $2.6 million.

“Maryland transportation policy seems to be done on the fly as an afterthought. Governor O'Malley's legislative priorities this session are focused on pet issues and reacting to the latest headlines," Hogan said.

Last year O'Malley floated raising gasoline taxes on a radio station towards the end of last year's session and the initiative subsequently flopped in the legislature. Nearly seven months has lapsed since O'Malley has named a transportation secretary leaving a massive state agency a rudderless ship.

Senate President Mike Miller last week proposed to raise gasoline taxes 3% and establish regional taxing districts to allocate money for local projects. House Speaker Micheal Busch has expressed doubts about Miller's proposal. Meanwhile, there is still no consensus of how any new or existing transportation revenues derived from gasoline taxes and vehicle fees would be dedicated to that purpose.

"The three-ring circus approach to making transportation policy must stop," said Hogan. Hogan said the current approach is backwards and outlined specific steps to restore the public's confidence that state government can address the challenges of maintenance and undertaking new road and mass-transit projects.

First, sound budgeting must apply to transportation. Second, the public must be assured that the transportation taxes and fees already collected are dedicated to this purpose. Third, elected officials must come up with cuts to other parts of the budget before even discussing additional taxes and fees. O'Malley's latest budget is up 30%, more than $9 billion since 2007.

The Change Maryland Chairman and its 26,000 members say no gas tax increase is needed. The state already collects enough from motorists to maintain roads and bridges. One of the problems is that revenues collected from motorists is disproportionately spent on expensive mass transit and even for non transportation related expenses.

$10.3B In Improper Unemployment Benefits Sent Out In 2012

The Department of Labor reports that $10.3 billion in benefits were handed to individuals who were not supposed to receive them in fiscal year 2012.

Given that the program paid out $90.2 billion, that means the Federal-State Unemployment Insurance program’s rate of impropriety for the year hit 11.4 percent., which discloses the data, contends that the majority of improperly allocated funds is due to “individuals [who] did not meet their active work search requirements, continued to claim unemployment benefits after they had returned to work, or were ineligible for benefits because they voluntarily quit their jobs or were discharged for misconduct.”



The Army psychiatrist charged in the Fort Hood shooting rampage still faces the death penalty if convicted in the worst mass shooting on a U.S. military installation, a judge ruled Wednesday.

The judge, Col. Tara Osborn, was expected to rule later on Maj. Nidal Hasan's request to plead guilty to 13 counts of premeditated murder in the 2009 attack on the Texas Army post. However, Army rules prohibit a judge from accepting a guilty plea in a death penalty case, so her earlier ruling Wednesday indicates he would not be allowed to plead guilty as long as that punishment option remains on the table.


UpdateJudge denies Hasan motion to keep beard, says she has no authority over his change of command which had ordered a shave.


UPDATE Homicide Investigation Reportedly Underway

OCEAN CITY -- Although no official confirmation has been received, multiple sources close to the ongoing investigation are confirming today authorities now believe a local man’s death on Saturday was the result of a homicide.

Over the weekend, the Ocean City Police Department announced it was investigating an unattended death after a local man was found unresponsive outside a downtown bar early Saturday morning and was later declared deceased at Atlantic General Hospital.

Around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, police and paramedics responded to the area of Somerset Street in reference to a male individual who was found unconscious on the street outside the Harbor Inn bar. Police and EMS arrived at the scene and located an unresponsive male.



“But keep in mind that we are at the stage of the cycle where those that have most adroitly profited from policymaking now control Trillions of assets – while enjoying a commensurate impact on how the financial media view the world.”

Doug Noland
“All I can hope to teach my son is to tell the truth and fear no man…

If none of us ever read a book that was “dangerous,” had a friend who was “different,” or joined an organization that advocated “change,” we would all be just the kind of people Joe McCarthy wants…

The only thing that counts is the right to know, to speak, to think — that, and the sanctity of the courts. Otherwise it’s not America.

No one man can terrorize a whole nation unless we are all his accomplices.”

Edward R. Murrow, speech to his CBS News staff, 1954

Lungs From Heavy Smokers May Be effective For Double-Lung Transplant

For patients with lung disease in need of a full-lung transplant, time is of the absolute essence – as the average survival rate without surgery is only one to two years, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

Although transplant patients do not have much time to wait, that is what many of them inevitably wind up doing. A critical shortage of organ donors leaves many of these patients without the vital organ they need, and a large portion of those on the waiting list simply do not get a new pair of lungs in time.

To combat this problem, researchers from Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia decided to think outside the box, in order to come up with ways of expanding the usable field of lung donors. Their research ultimately led them to the least likely candidates of all – heavy smokers.


Going To The Jim

Proof That You Can Get Over Anything

There's a school of psychology which holds that happiness is subjective. Good or bad things happen in life, but people return to the same base level of happiness.
This theory, while up for debate in extreme cases, was established in regard to common life events by a 2008 article by Andrew E. Clark, Ed Diener, Yannis Georgellis, and Richard E. Lucas in The Economic Journal.

Studying twenty years of survey data from Germany, researchers found evidence that people adapt completely to marriage, divorce, widowhood, birth of child, and layoff.

Death of a spouse, for instance, is a terrible event characterized by a radical drop in happiness, but in the year that follows happiness rises, and within two years happiness returns to normal and may even rise above the baseline (as the subject gets caught in another hedonic cycle).

A similar hedonic pattern follows most negative events—and positive ones too. People get over it.



Maryland law prohibits electioneering within 100 feet of the entrance or exit to a polling place on 
Election Day. No electioneering means that no canvassing, electioneering, campaigning or posting of any campaign political material is permitted within the 100‐foot zone. Posting of any campaign material is broadly interpreted to mean the wearing of any article of clothing, hat, sticker or button that indicates support of or opposition to any candidate, question or political party.

Two local churches have again offered their facility for use as a polling location for the City’s Primary and 
General Elections – Harvest Baptist Church and Wicomico Presbyterian Church. For our District 1 polling location, we are going to use the City of Salisbury Fire Station #16, located at 325 Cypress Street, instead of Saint James AME Zion Church.

They are asking for your cooperation that political signs not be displayed on their properties during 
Election Day. In order to be consistent throughout all three polling locations, we request that you
adhere to the following guidelines:

 No campaign signs are to be staked/placed on the polling location’s property; and

 No vehicles of any type, including trailers, are to be parked on the polling location’s property 
that contains campaign signs or material.

Candidates and/or campaign workers are welcome to distribute literature within the polling location’s 
boundaries as long as they adhere to the 100‐foot zone.

County Exec Calls For Spending Millions On School Security

The Baltimore County Council will review an almost four-million dollar request by the county executive to improve school safety.

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz says the $3.7 million would be spent on installing state of the art cameras in all the elementary and special eduction schools

Security cameras are already in the high schools and middle schools in Baltimore county.

According to Kamenetz the video from the cameras will be streamed live into the police patrol cars in that community, the local police precinct and police headquarters in Towson.


Massachusetts State House Firearms Rally

RECORD 100' wave ride!

BREAKING NEWS: Massachusetts Gov Picks Kerry Replacement

Gov. Deval Patrick selects former chief-of-staff William "Mo" Cowan as interim U.S. senator to fill seat left vacant by newly-confirmed Secretary of State John Kerry, AP reports.

Obama Cuts Military Health Benefits

The Obama administration’s proposed defense budget calls for military families and retirees to pay sharply more for their healthcare, while leaving unionized civilian defense workers’ benefits untouched. The proposal is causing a major rift within the Pentagon, according to U.S. officials. Several congressional aides suggested the move is designed to increase the enrollment in Obamacare’s state-run insurance exchanges.

The disparity in treatment between civilian and uniformed personnel is causing a backlash within the military that could undermine recruitment and retention.

The proposed increases in health care payments by service members, which must be approved by Congress, are part of the Pentagon’s $487 billion cut in spending. It seeks to save $1.8 billion from the Tricare medical system in the fiscal 2013 budget, and $12.9 billion by 2017.

Many in Congress are opposing the proposed changes, which would require the passage of new legislation before being put in place.

Rep. Harris And Senator Vitter Introduce Worker Choice Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC—Yesterday, Rep. Andy Harris (MD-1) introduced “The Government Neutrality in Contracting Act” (H.R. 436) which would level the playing field for construction workers applying for federal contracts and those funded by federal dollars. The legislation currently has 55 cosponsors in the House of Representatives. Rep. Harris is partnering with Senator David Vitter from Louisiana who introduced similar legislation in the U.S. Senate last week, S. 109.
In 2009, President Obama introduced Executive Order 13502 that strengthened project labor agreements (PLAs) which favored union-based construction workers over non-union construction workers. The result has been de-facto discrimination against non-union construction workers, costlier projects, and longer completion time.

Statement from Rep. Harris:

“The Government Neutrality in Contracting Act is pro-growth, pro-taxpayer, and pro-worker choice legislation that will lower government costs by increasing the competitiveness of federal contracts, while also ensuring all construction workers have equal opportunity to find work. For too long, President Obama has preferred mandating union-based workers for federal contracts. This has increased the cost of government contracts while it discriminated against qualified workers who chose not to belong to a union. I look forward to working with my colleagues from both parties in both chambers to build support for this common-sense legislation.”

Statement from Senator Vitter:

“One way to ensure that taxpayers get the most value for their dollar is to prohibit federal agencies from mandating contractors to agree to union-favoring project labor agreements in order to win a federal construction contract. President Obama has done his darndest to repay his Big Labor political debt, but we have a legislative fix - ensure bidding of the best possible construction product at the best possible price.”

"My Way"

Barbara Mikulski Wants Executive Order

Two female lawmakers want to encourage government contractors to speak openly about pay. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) are asking President Barack Obama for an executive order. They say it should ban retaliation by contractors against employees who discuss their salaries. The lawmakers say the move would help shed light on the difference between men and women's paychecks. They have introduced a bill that would prohibit any employer from retaliating against an employee who told their colleagues how much they earned.

Soldier Happy And Amazed To Have New Arms

A soldier who lost all four limbs in an Iraq roadside bombing says he looks forward to driving and swimming with his new arms.

Twenty-six-year-old Brendan Marrocco spoke at a news conference Tuesday at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.


Better Choices; Better Results

Excerpts From Governor Martin O’Malley’s 2013 State of the State Address
ANNAPOLIS, MD (January 30, 2013) - Today, Governor Martin O’Malley will deliver his annual State of the State address.

Below are some key excerpts of the Governor’s remarks as prepared for delivery:

Progress is a choice. Job creation is a choice. Whether we give our children a future of more or a future of less, this too is a choice.

Our story, Maryland’s story, is the story of better choices and better results.
No other state can say at once, that they are #1 in education five years in a row,[1] #1 in holding down the cost of college tuition,[2] #1 in innovation and entrepreneurship,[3] #1 in human capital capacity,[4] #1 in access to dental care for all children, regardless of income,[5] #1 in PHD scientists and researchers,[6] #1 in Research and Development,[7] #1 in businesses owned by women,[8] and #1 in median family income.[9]
When the national recession hit – wiping out jobs and revenues all across our country – other states tried to cut their way to prosperity. Many found this only made things worse. Laying off police officers,[10] fire fighters and teachers,[11] cutting public education,[12] hiking up college tuition by double digits every single year,[13] continuing down the merry path of cutting taxes for the very wealthy, hoping against cruel experience that somehow it would trickle down to the rest of their citizens.

But in Maryland, we made better choices.

We used the pressure of sinking revenues to make government more efficient. For the first time, we started setting public goals with more immediate deadlines.[14] We started measuring weekly performance to make government more effective. We constrained budget growth[15] and made government smaller.[16] We strengthened our Rainy Day Fund[17] and protected our Triple A Bond Rating.[18] We fixed our pension system.[19] We reformed hundreds of pages of regulations,[20] streamlined permitting,[21] and fast tracked jobs projects.[22] We eliminated paperwork, simplified applications for business licenses, and reduced waiting times from months to days.[23] We advanced public-private partnerships to create thousands of jobs at the Port of Baltimore.[24] We put-real time information about the people’s government on the internet, converted paper notecards to digital files, and used smart maps to better target our limited resources.[25]

We cut more state spending than any administration in modern Maryland history.[26]

Knowing that we could not cut our way to prosperity, we balanced record budget cuts with modern investments; investments in the very priorities that create jobs and expand opportunity: educating, innovating, and rebuilding for a better economic future.
[P]rogress is only possible with fiscal responsibility and a balanced approach.

The budget before you saves more than recommended by the Spending Affordability Guidelines. It increases both our Rainy Day Fund and our Cash Reserves.[27] It protects our Triple A Bond Rating. It very nearly eliminates the structural deficit.[28] And, it brings our total spending cuts to $8.3 billion dollars over the life of this administration.

These are the choices which enable us to invest in a stronger and better future: more job creation, more opportunity, and a stronger, growing middle class.
Better choices. Better results. The proof is in our progress.


The touted security at the Presidential Inaugural didn’t keep 80-100 masked Black Bloc anarchists from marching on the streets of nation’s capital and smashing windows without a single arrest Sunday night.

Police showed up at the “Black Bloc Inaugural” and caused the crowd to scatter but not until the protesters, live-streaming their chaos, caused property damage only about a mile from the White House.

As shown in the Stephen K. Bannon film Occupy Unmasked , the Black Bloc anarchists are closely aligned with the Occupy Wall Street movement. While many in the Occupy Wall Street movement claim to oppose President Barack Obama, his explicit use of their economic inequality message during the 2012 election shows the President feels an ideological kinship with Occupy Wall Street.

Local News station WJLA reports:
Police located 3 separate locations of damage:
-DVA Federal Credit Union ATM at 800 K St. NW. The front of ATM screen was completely smashed.
-TD Bank at 901 7th St. NW. A window was smashed and yellow paint was thrown on a side window.
-Hooters at 825 7th St. NW. A window was smashed out by a man wearing a black mask.
The group also dropped pamphlets on the ground near the TD Bank. The pamphlets said, "Against Every Cop. Against Every Boss. Against Every President."

Diane Sawyer Weighs Stepping Down From ABC News

The groundbreaking newswoman is said to be 'seriously considering' retirement as early as this year.

Diane Sawyer, anchor of ABC World News and a respected veteran at the network with nearly 25 years under her belt, is considering retiring in 2013, a source close to Sawyer tells Confidential.

“She has discussed with a few close friends and some people at ABC that she is seriously considering retiring,” says our insider. “She said she’ll be ready to hang it up not long down the road. She loves work and what she does and has endless energy, but she’s overwhelmed with personal problems and she is thinking about leaving to take care of her family.”

In addition to a private matter, Sawyer is also helping her mother battle an illness, says our source.



(Salisbury, MD) The employees of Wicomico County, MD today presented the United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore Executive Director, Kathleen Mommé and Board Member, Dwight Miller with a check in the amount of $15,230.60 for their support of the annual United Way campaign.

“We are extremely grateful to have the continued support of Wicomico County employees. This year’s record campaign shows their commitment to help our neighbors in need,” said Kathleen Mommé, Executive Director.

Special congratulations to the tremendous efforts of the Department of Corrections team of co-coordinators and employees who donated over $5,000 - a 25% increase over last year alone. The employees responded when United Way representatives explained that outside of government the United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore is the biggest supporter of services in our community.

“Once again, our family of Wicomico County employees has shown themselves to be truly engaged and committed citizens, sharing their spirit of generosity in record numbers,” said Richard M. Pollitt, Jr., Wicomico County Executive. “I am so proud and honored to be associated with such benevolence and love of community and so grateful to the United Way for the tremendous work they do for all of us.”

2 Ice Fishermen Rescued From Md. Mountain Lake

MCHENRY, Md. - The Maryland Natural Resource Police say two ice fishermen are recovering from a plunge into Deep Creek Lake near McHenry.

Sgt. Brian Albert says Thomas Soberdash of Dunbar, Pa., and Robert Ebbert of Fairfield, Iowa, fell into the lake early Tuesday afternoon about 250 yards from shore. Both men are 47 years old.



In North Korea, while Kim Jong Un is spending a fortune on two rocket launches in recent months and taken food away from the farming provinces of North and South Hwanghae to feed the people in the capital of Pyongyang, reports claim starving villagers in the provinces have resorted to cannibalism.

After the food was confiscated for residents of the capital, a drought followed, killing as many as 10,000 people in those provinces.


‘Government Control Of News’ Reveals U.S. Censorship Threats

In his book, “Government Control of News: A Constitutional Challenge,” former NBC-TV legal counsel Corydon B. Dunham chronicles the government’s censorship of broadcast news. He warns of a pending proposal that could renew television and radio news censorship and increase official control of local news content.

A new Localism, Balance and Diversity Doctrine would authorize the FCC to revise local news to meet government administration views, Dunham says. Since the FCC is now transferring the broadcast spectrum to the internet, it could potentially control internet local news as well.

“Government Control,” which includes pages of carefully cited references, began as a study at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars at the Smithsonian Institute. Dunham did extensive research of records and witnesses to document the effects of the Fairness Doctrineand other television news censorship.

“The government justified the doctrine as a way to investigate and ensure stations aired opposing viewpoints on issues,” he says. “But if a complaint was made about a view that had been broadcast, the FCC could order that the view be changed or other views presented.”

Failure to comply could result in no license renewal.

In 1987, the FCC revoked the doctrine after the agency and courts found that it deterred news coverage of important issues, imposed censorship, chilled speech and prevented criticism of the administration.

But in 2008, the FCC released a proposed Localism Doctrine to force local TV news to satisfy government’s views on localism, balance and diversity. “It has many of the same characteristics of the old Fairness Doctrine,” Dunham says.

The new rule would have three presidentially-appointed federal commissioners authorized to change news reports and impose penalties, and an official local board for each station that could override the news judgment of local journalists. These boards would recommend loss of broadcast license for violations.

A special 2011 FCC report concluded the new doctrine would violate the public interest, but it remains pending.

Hope Has Changed - It Died

Hope is dying in the US.

The performance of financial markets affects everyone. For savers and investors, these markets represent the means to an improved life, at least as they define it. Savings and wealth provide options and opportunities, the quintessential aspect of being an American. These options and opportunities differentiated an American from someone who was born and destined to die in a hut or remain locked in a societal class from which there was no hope of escape.

Bonds and stocks were the primary means for savings and investments for generations of Americans. When these do not perform up to expectations, lives are changed. Plans and dreams are dashed. College educations, retirements and similar major events are deferred or never happen.

We are twelve years into this new century and Americans are losing their hopes, dreams and aspirations. Hard reality has crushed the optimistic spirit that once drove the country. The first decade rivaled the 1930s in terms of stock market performance. Twice, stock market wealth was halved in this ten-year period. Twelve years in, the S&P 500 has returned a total of 14%. That puny return has not come close to covering the decline in purchasing power of the dollar during the same period. Worse, a generation or two, has lost probably 33% of their wealth-producing years.

College graduates come out of school under-educated and buried in debt. Most cannot find a job commensurate with their education or aspirations. Taxes rise and will accelerate in the future as the federal debt and social promises become more binding. Young people find it difficult to imagine getting out from underneath their student loans or buying a home.

Outcomes in the housing and stock markets have affected millions. Equity in homes has dropped dramatically. Some have lost their homes as a result. Savings and wealth that were reasonably expected based on historical precedents did not materialize.

These outcomes are explained away in terms of markets "underperforming." To speak of housing and stocks as if they are independent entities that suddenly somehow turn bad is to miss what is really happening. Markets" are nothing more than millions of us making individual decisions intended to improve our lives. Markets do not under or overperform. It is people, the millions of buyers and sellers, that drive markets. When markets "underperform" it is because people have "underperformed" or more properly, bought less common stock or fewer homes.

People are acquisitative by nature, wanting more rather than less. When they "underperform" in terms of purchasing decisions it is because they had to. Unlike the federal government, people cannot print money or spend beyond their means, at least for extended periods of time. Eventually they hit budget constraints. That is what is being reflected in stock prices and home values. They are reflecting the lower standard of living of the country.

The feel-good spending of the prior two decades caught up with the American consumer. He was never as rich as he believed. Now, as a result of having to service this debt binge, he is poorer than he should be. That is why markets are underperforming. That and the fact that fewer people have jobs.