The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent our advertisers

Friday, April 08, 2016

Let Today’s Spending Habits Foretell Your Retirement-Spending Needs

A difficult task people face when planning for retirement is trying to gauge whether their spending will go up or go down.

No single answer fits everyone. But it’s prudent to plan on spending at least the same amount the month after retirement as you spent the month before, says Ken Sutherland, president of LifePlan Group (, an independent Registered Investment Advisory firm.

“I always ask clients to figure out how much they need to pay the bills and enjoy life prior to retirement,” he says. “That’s what they should figure they’ll need.”

Although a big worry is that monthly spending could go up, some factors can actually cause expenses to drop, says Sutherland’s son, Alex, a wealth advisor for LifePlan Group.

“Tax obligations may be less,” he says. “Also, retirees are no longer contributing to a 401k plan or to Social Security taxes, and their mortgage may be paid off.”

The Sutherlands say that when mapping out retirement spending:

• Expect to spend more earlier. Most people are healthier and more energetic in the first decade of retirement, so they may want to budget more for that period. As they get older, expenses may decrease because they are less active. One possible exception is medical expenses.

• Don’t assume a surviving spouse will need less. “For every widow I have worked with who spent less, there were others who spent more,” Ken Sutherland says. “Some of that is because they need to hire help for chores around the house. But they also may do more traveling and more dining out.” Make budget plans with that in mind.

• Use a modest inflation assumption. “Inflation has been high in the past and could be again,” Alex Sutherland says, “but in the near term inflation doesn’t impact you as much, and in the long term you likely won’t spend as much.” If you use a 5 or 6 percent assumption, which is much higher than today’s inflation-rate reality, you’ll conclude you need more money than you likely do. A 2 or 3 percent assumption would provide a more realistic scenario.

Williams: Campus Lunacy, Part II

Professor Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He recently wrote an article titled "The hypocrisy behind the student renaming craze." Students, often with the blessing of faculty, have discovered that names for campus buildings and holidays do not always fit politically correct standards for race, class and sex.

Stanford students have demanded the renaming of buildings, malls and streets bearing the name of the recently canonized Junipero Serra, an 18th-century Franciscan priest who was often unkind to American Indians. Harvard Law School is getting rid of its seal because it bears the coat of arms of the Royalls, a slave-owning family. This renaming craze is widespread and includes dozens of colleges and universities, including Amherst, Georgetown, Princeton, Yale and the University of California, Berkeley. The students have decided that some politically incorrect people from centuries ago are bad. Other politically incorrect people are not quite so bad if they were at least sometimes liberal; their names can stay.

San Diego State University students are not demanding that the school eliminate its nickname, "Aztecs," even though the Aztecs enslaved and slaughtered tens of thousands of people from tribes they conquered — often ripping out the hearts of living victims. Should UC Berkeley students and faculty demand the renaming of Warren Hall, named after California Attorney General Earl Warren, who instigated the wartime internment of tens of thousands of innocent Japanese-American citizens?

More here

Forbes’ 2016 Presidential Candidate Wealth List

Forbes put together the definitive wealth list of the 2016 presidential candidates. Looking at both major parties, we have come up with net worth estimates for the 20 top Republican and Democratic contenders.

To piece together a precise picture of their individual wealth, Forbes used a variety of documents, starting with financial disclosure with the Federal Election Commission. Candidates are only required to report their net worth in ranges, so the Forbes wealth team dug deep, looking through property records, mortgage papers, and tax records when available. We called experts and checked with county clerks. Finally, we called the candidates themselves, looking to corroborate our figures. We didn’t always get a response.

Their average net worth, excluding Trump, tops $13 million, while all but four can call themselves multi-millionaires. Several of them have leveraged their political capital–contacts while in office, influence, power–into successful careers in the private sector (particularly private equity and consulting), or turned to media, raking in big bucks from book deals, radio shows, TV appearances, and even films. At the end of the day, being a successful politician is a lucrative business, as the Clintons can attest to.


The Rainbow Mafia's Corporate Hitmen

PayPal canceled its plans this week to create a global operations center in Charlotte, North Carolina, after the state passed a law requiring people in the state to use the bathroom appropriate for the equipment God gave them. In doing so, the company joined the legions of other big corporations that have become hitmen for the Rainbow Mafia.

More than 120 corporations have demanded that North Carolina repeal its bathroom law, a number unheard of nearly a decade ago, according toWashington Post columnist Jena McGregor. “Corporate America’s evolution on gay rights appears to have reached a tipping point, one where so many companies have taken a stand on the issue that the risk of speaking out has been superseded by the risk of not doing so,” McGregor wrote. “What was once exceptional has become, in other words, almost expected.”

These corporations wield real power to do the bidding of a tiny fraction of the population. It was the corporate influence sitting on the board of the Boy Scouts of America that overturned the scouts' longstanding ban on homosexuals serving as leaders. The mafia took out Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich for supporting traditional marriage in California, after having attempted to do likewise with Chick-fil-A.

More here

Teacher Caught Having Sex With THREE Students Speaks Out – and You Won’t Believe What She Says

Is there a growing trend of teachers having sex with students, or is it merely being reported on more often? Either way, there’s absolutely no excuse for an educator to have an inappropriate relationship with their students.

From The Daily Mail:

A Utah teacher serving time after she admitted to having sexual contact with three of her students defended her actions from behind bars while lashing out at the parents of one of her teenage victims.

Brianne Altice, 37, of Salt Lake City responded to a lawsuit filed against her and the Davis School District in December by one of her victims and his parents saying that they failed to attend her parent-teacher conferences and that their son often complained about his strained relationship with the two.

She also shot down claims that she wore ‘risque’ clothing in the classroom saying that there she had never received any complaints about her work attire.

Altice, who is serving a minimum of two years in prison after pleading guilty last April to three counts of forcible sexual abuse, also said that she had no ‘evil or malicious intent’ by having sexual contact with her three victims.

Altice said she wrote the two-page letter that was submitted to the court last month in response to the lawsuit because she cannot afford legal counsel.

In the letter, obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune, she also responded to allegations that she allowed the boys to skip class and hang out with her, saying that she frequently let both male and female students spend time together in her classroom before and after school and during their lunch hour.

The initial complaint claims that employees at the school told administrators about Altice’s inappropriate behavior with male students and they chose to ignore the problem.

Attorneys for the school district have denied this claim.


The Daily Times Are Not Only Lazy, They're Incompetent

"Although he was charged as an adult, the Wicomico Bureau of Investigation has not released his name as of Friday".

All ANY reporter has to do is GO TO THE COURT HOUSE and look at the charging documents.

Implying the police are trying to cover it up reminds me of their lawsuit against Ocean City because they refused to give up a juveniles name.

My hat is tipped to Law Enforcement and the States Attorneys Office for not formally exposing this child's name until due process is complete. 

WashPost Writer Admits To ‘Raising’ Her Cats ‘Gender-Neutral’

It's fair to conclude that when an article's title carries the preface "don't laugh," what follows could easily be ridiculed. Lauren R. Taylor's Tuesday online blog item for the Washington Post certainly fits that bill, as the title continued that she has "a serious reason for raising my cats gender-neutral." Taylor revealed how she once accidentally called her two female cats "boys," and used this mistake as a jumping-off point to start regularly using "gender-neutral language for the humans in my life."
The part-time editor for the liberal newspaper led with her pronoun trouble towards her cats. She conceded that it was "an understandable mistake, as I’ve had cats for about 50 years, and all of them have been male." She initially thought that she was going to "work on using the right pronouns," but soon changed her mind:
Why? They're cats. That's when I decided to raise my cats to be gender neutral.
The cats' lives wouldn't change, I reasoned, and it would help me learn to use plural pronouns for my friends, neighbors and colleagues who individually go by they, their and them. Even though using they, them and their as singular pronouns grates on many people because it's grammatically incorrect, it seems to be the most popular solution to the question of how to identify people without requiring them to conform to the gender binary of female and male....
Around the house, with just me, Essence and Trouble...things were pretty easy. I'd make a mistake (called "misgendering"), saying something like "Where's your brother?" (Yes, I talk to my cats.)  Usually, I'd remember to fix it ("Where's your sibling?” or "Where's your pal?").  Just as I'd hoped, I began finding it easier to remember to use gender-neutral language for the humans in my life.

What life is like after police ransack your house and take ‘every belonging’ — then the charges are dropped

A self-described Michigan “soccer mom” who had “every belonging” taken from her family in a 2014 drug raid has been cleared of all criminal charges, 19 months after heavily armed drug task force members ransacked her home and her business. But in many ways, her ordeal is only beginning.

Annette Shattuck and her husband, Dale, had been facing felony charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession with intent to manufacture marijuana and maintaining a drug house. But last month, Michigan Circuit Court Judge Daniel Kelly threw out all criminal complaints filed against the Shattucks "on the grounds of entrapment by estoppel,"according to court filings. Entrapment by estoppel occurs when a government official leads a defendant to believe that their conduct is permissible under the law.

The Shattucks' case is an illustration of how the nation's patchwork marijuana laws can be a confusing mess for patients, businesses and law enforcement officials alike. Nearly two dozen states now have medical marijuana laws on the books, but laws vary significantly from state to state. And even within states, various arms of government have clashed over how the laws are interpreted and enforced.


Bummer: ‘Climate Change” Caused Earth To Slow By A Whopping 1.7 Milliseconds In 100 Years

This obviously means total doom is soon coming, because you have your schedule completely thrown off. It’s as bad as a 1.4 increase since 1850!

Climate Change decreased Earth’s Spin Speed – El Paso Daily Science

Scientists are examing histroical changes in sea level in order to make accurate future predictions of this consequence of climate change, and they’re looking down to Earth’s core to do so. “In order to fully understand the sea-level change that has occurred in the past century, we need to understand the dynamics of the flow in Earth’s core”


Planned Parenthood Sues to Stop Abortion Law

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky is asking a federal court to stop Indiana's new abortion law.

The local Planned Parenthood affiliate contends the expanded abortion restrictions are unconstitutional, in part because they infringe on a woman's right to obtain a first-trimester abortion. And requiring a doctor or nurse to inform patients of an unconstitutional law, the organization said, violates free speech.

Known as HEA 1337, the law bans abortions sought solely because the fetus may be born with a disability such as Down syndrome, or because of the fetus's gender or race.

The law "therefore imposes an undue burden on a woman’s right to choose an abortion because it bars that choice under certain circumstances, even if the pregnancy is in its early stages and the fetus is not viable," said the Planned Parenthood complaint, filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for Southern District of Indiana in Indianapolis.

Planned Parenthood also takes issue with the part of the law mandating that abortion providers to cremate or bury fetal remains.

More here

Ex-Israeli Ambassador Oren Demands Sanders Apologize for Gaza 'Blood Libel'

An outspoken Israeli diplomat-turned-politician is demanding an apology from Democratic presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders for his "blood libel" about the Palestinian death toll during the 2014 Gaza war, The Times of Israel reports.

In an interview Thursday, Knesset lawmaker Michael Oren said Sanders' remark that more than 10,000 innocent Palestinians were killed in the latest conflict with Israel only furthers the cause of Hamas terrorists.

"First of all, he should get his facts right," Oren said of the inflated estimate Sanders' provided during a sit-down with the New York Daily News.

"Secondly, he owes Israel an apology. He accused us of a blood libel. He accused of bombing hospitals. He accused us of killing 10,000 Palestinian civilians."

"He doesn't mention the many thousands of Hamas rockets fired at us," Oren added. "He doesn't mention the fact that Hamas hides behind civilians."

More here

Six Salisbury Police Officers At Bank Near Giant: PAYDAY???

Hillary Just Got Some BAD News – She’s Panicking…

Hillary may have expected this Presidential race to be a piece of cake. A new national poll suggests she might be in a little more trouble than she had anticipated.

From Western Journalism:

A new national poll shows Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., leading Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential race.

The new McClatchy-Marist poll released Wednesday showed Sanders leading Clinton, 49 percent to 47 percent.

The poll also shows that creating a unified party will be difficult, with 25 percent of Sanders’ supporters saying they would not back Clinton in a general election if she wins the nomination.

“If you ignore what you hear on corporate media, the facts are pretty clear: We have a path toward victory, a path toward the White House,” Sanders said Tuesday.

The poll shows that Sanders, who has won seven of the last eight primaries including the Wisconsin primary Tuesday, has the strongest support among Democrats aged 29 and younger, Hispanics and independents. Clinton took the lead among voters 60 and older, African-Americans and enrolled Democrats.

The margin of error for the poll is 2.7 percentage points.

Is this good news, or terrible news?


FBI director says government 'purchased a tool' to access San Bernardino gunman's phone

The head of the FBI said Wednesday that the government had "purchased a tool" enabling investigators to access an iPhone belonging to San Bernardino gunman Syed Farook.

The disclosure by James Comey in a speech at Ohio's Kenyon College was a departure from previous official statements, which had been vague in explaining the details of how the government broke into the phone last month.

The Justice Department had only said that a third party had "demonstrated" an alternate method of unlocking the device to the FBI the evening before federal prosecutors filed a motion to delay a court hearing on the matter.

"The people that we bought this [tool] from – I know a fair amount about them and I have a high degree of confidence that they are very good at protecting it, and their motivations align with ours," Comey said during a question-and-answer period following his talk.


Federal Government To Slam North Carolina Over LGBT

At least five agencies are reviewing whether to withhold funds from the state of North Carolina after the state enacted a law which critics say legalizes discrimination against members of the LGBT community. The Washington Post reports the Departments of Education, Transportation, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, and Health and Human Services are conducting assessments.

$600 million Social Security fraud investigation

An interagency effort nails a big-time fraud. Three schemers were caught in a $600 million Social Security fraud investigation. The FBI worked with IRS Criminal Investigations and Social Security’s inspector general to obtain a long list of conspiracy and wire fraud charges. The alleged thieves, a retired administrative law judge, a lawyer and a psychiatrist. The Justice Department said they ran a racket to get thousands of disability payments.

Disparity Grant Bill Passes the House of Delegates

Former Coal Executive Don Blankenship Sentenced To 1 year In Prison

Four months after former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship was found guilty for his role in a 2010 mining disaster that killed 29 miners, he has been sentenced to the maximum one year in prison and another year of supervised release.

Judge Irene Berger also imposed a maximum $250,000 fine, which is due immediately, West Virginia Public Broadcasting's Dave Mistich reports for NPR's Newscast unit.

"Blankenship was convicted in December of conspiring to violate federal mine safety laws — a misdemeanor," Mistich said. "The charge stemmed from an investigation into the April 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine near Montcoal [W.Va.] that killed 29 men."

It was the worst mine disaster in the U.S. in 40 years.


Car vs House In Salisbury

Supermassive Black Holes May Be More Common Than Anyone Imagined

Scientists have discovered a supermassive black hole that may be the biggest ever spotted — and its location in a ho-hum group of galaxies suggests that cosmic monsters like this one might be more common than astronomers previously thought.

The newly discovered black hole is about 17 billion times more massive than our sun. Another black hole is currently listed in the Guinness World Records as the heaviest, because it may be as much as 21 billion solar masses. But the measurement of that black hole was not very precise and it might actually be less massive than the new one, which is described in this week's issue of the journal Nature.

"It has highest confidence of anything I've seen of being the largest black hole," saysKarl Gebhardt, an astrophysicist at the University of Texas, Austin and expert on black holes. He was not involved in the study.


A Big Week For Parents: New York State, San Francisco Establish Paid-Leave Laws

Two record-setting parental-leave laws were passed this week, on opposite sides of the U.S.

In New York, the state became the fourth in the country to offer some form of paid parental leave to residents. When fully implemented, the state's program will compensate parents for up to 12 weeks of leave — twice what's currently covered in the most generous states.

And in San Francisco, city supervisors voted to require employers to give workers six weeks of paid parental leave — not just partially paid, but fully paid. It's the first U.S. city to pass such a measure.


What Keeps Election Officials Up At Night? Fear Of Long Lines At The Polls

Election officials around the country are nervously planning how to avoid long lines at the polls this year, after voters waited for hours at some Wisconsin sites earlier this week. That came after voters in Maricopa County, Ariz., had to wait up to five hours last month, in part because the county cut back on the number of polling sites. Those delays led to raucous protests at the state capital and a voting rights investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.

This year's unusually large voter turnout in the primaries has caught a lot of people by surprise, according to Tammy Patrick of the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

"I think most election administrators worry about this, and are staying awake at night thinking about it," she said.

Patrick is a former Maricopa County election official, who also served on a presidential commission appointed after the 2012 elections to try to eliminate long lines at the polls. She's now working with election officials across the country to help them do that, and says one challenge is that voting can be unpredictable.


Officials Scrutinized Over Classified Information, But Rarely Found Criminal

An ongoing FBI inquiry into Hillary Clinton's private email server has dogged the Democratic presidential candidate on the campaign trail.

Federal agents want to know if any U.S. secrets were compromised through Clinton's unusual set-up when she worked as secretary of state. Clinton has not been named as a target of the FBI probe. But there's a long history of top officials getting scrutiny over classified information (see below).

In 2012, David Petraeus was forced to resign as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency after the FBI uncovered an affair with his biographer, who was also his mistress. Shortly after, federal agents found he allowed her to read his top secret diaries. Those black notebooks contained war plans and names of covert operatives.

In court papers, prosecutors said Petraeus initially lied to the FBI about it. Last year, a federal judge sentenced him to probation on a single misdemeanor count of mishandling classified intelligence.


The public debate over private parts in bathrooms [Commentary]

If each of us has a soul —and I've got no empirical evidence one way or the other on that -- then it stands to reason that what we are goes beyond the configurations of our physical bodies.

We are more than the sum of our parts.

People get hung up on their parts, though, and that propensity lies at the heart of a push by social conservatives to make sure that the plumbing of the potty matches the plumbing of the people using it.

A recently enacted North Carolina law prohibits transgender people from using a public restroom assigned to the gender with which they identify. In passing it, the state legislature there nullified an ordinance that the city of Charlotte had implemented to protect trans people from discrimination.

Advocacy groups including the American Civil Liberties Union have filed suit in federal court. North Carolina's attorney general -- who is running for governor against the incumbent -- has said he will not defend the new law.

This isn't the first instance of governments trying to legislate gender identity. South Dakota nearly enacted a similar law before the governor there had a change of heart and vetoed the legislation. Nor is it likely to be the last. The bathroom and the locker room, it seems, are the newest fronts in the culture wars.


Franchot, Hogan protest after Maryland legislature overrules school AC rule

Gov. Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot were fuming Wednesday that theGeneral Assembly has barred school systems from spending state tax money on portable air conditioners.

The General Assembly also put an end to the annual "beg-a-thon," in which local school superintendents appear before the Board of Public Works to ask for more construction money.

Hogan said the provisions were major reasons he decided not to sign the capital budget bill, where lawmakers made both changes. The bill will become law without his signature.

"It's one of the most absurd and ridiculous things I've ever seen the legislature do," Hogan said.


Dems on FEC Target Conservatives, Vote to Punish Maker of Anti-Obama Movie

The three Democrats on the Federal Election Commission, in their latest and boldest move to regulate conservative media, voted in unison to punish a movie maker critical of President Obama after he distributed for free his latest work, Dreams of My Real Father: A Story of Reds and Deception.

Filmmaker Joel Gilbert, owner of Highway 61 films, has produced several independent politically-themed movies and sent Dreams out to millions of voters in key swing states prior to the 2012 election.

While he acted on his own, and with no ties to political groups or parties, an FEC complaint was filed claiming he violated reporting rules, prompting him to seek the standard media "exemption."

But despite giving the same exemption to liberal movie makers like Michael Moore and Daily Kos, the Democrats recently voted against Gilbert in a February action, reviving their bid to punish conservative media, a campaign initially targeting online news outlets like the Drudge Report.

More here

Governor Larry Hogan Urges House Of Delegates To Take Action, Pass Tax Relief

It’s Been 17 Days Since The Senate Passed Tax Relief, Marylanders Deserve Immediate Action From The House Of Delegates
"Reducing and eliminating taxes, tolls and fees will not only help to create efficiencies and streamline state government — it also has direct, dramatic and positive impact on our state economy and the livelihoods of Maryland's retirees, working families and small businesses. -Governor Larry Hogan, 1/12/16
Governor Hogan Proposed $480 Million In Tax Relief During 2016 Legislative Session For Maryland Citizens And Businesses
Governor Hogan Introduced $480 Million In Tax And Fee Relief. “Additionally, the FY 2017 budget provides for the tax and fee relief legislation recently announced by the governor that will save Maryland citizens and businesses approximately $480 million over the next five years. The Marylanders who will benefit the most under the governor’s proposals are the citizens who have been struggling the most: working families, retirees, and small businesses.” (Press Release, “Governor Larry Hogan Announces Fiscal Year 2017 Budget,” Office Of The Governor, 1/20/16)  
  • Tax Relief For Seniors. “Following last year’s passage of a retirement income exclusion for military veterans over the age of 65, the Hogan administration will introduce new legislation to extend the same tax relief to all retirees in Maryland. The administration’s proposed legislation would phase in an increase of the personal exemption for seniors to $5,000 over four years.”  (Press Release, “Governor Larry Hogan Announces Fiscal Year 2017 Budget,” Office Of The Governor, 1/20/16) 
  • Tax Relief For Working Families. “For working families, let's deliver on a popular bipartisan issue and accelerate the Earned Income Tax Credit. Most of the tax increases in recent years are regressive taxes that hit working families and retirees on fixed incomes the hardest. They deserve and desperately need our help. Let's work together and finally give them that much-needed tax relief."  (“2016 State Of The State Address,” Office Of The Governor, 2/3/16) 
  • Fee Reductions, Resulting In $100 Million In Tax Relief For Marylanders. “The Hogan administration will propose in an omnibus bill a range of fee reductions across state government, reducing or eliminating the cost associated with a variety of permits, applications, and services. These new fee reductions will result in nearly $100 million in tax reductions to taxpayers over the next five years.”  ("Press Release, “Governor Larry Hogan Announces Fiscal Year 2017 Budget,”Office Of The Governor, 1/20/16)
  • Business Fee Reductions. “The Hogan administration will propose a reduction in the current $300 business filing fee paid annually to the State Department of Assessments and Taxation, by $50 a year for four years.” (Press Release, “Governor Larry Hogan Announces Fiscal Year 2017 Budget,” Office Of The Governor, 1/20/16)
  • Tax Relief For Manufacturing Companies And Their Employees. “...Governor Hogan will introduce new legislation designed to make Maryland a more attractive place for manufacturers to locate new factories… Eliminate the state corporate income tax for a period of 10 years on new manufacturers in areas designated as Empowerment Zones, or areas where unemployment is highest…" (Press Release, “Governor Larry Hogan Announces Fiscal Year 2017 Budget,”Office Of The Governor, 1/20/16)
Governor Hogan: “I can’t imagine any member of the legislature from any party possibly having a problem with providing tax relief to retirees on a fixed income, struggling working families or struggling small businesses.” (Pat Warren, “What’s Ahead For 2016 Legislative Session?,” WJZ, 1/12/16)
Governor Hogan Has Made It Clear That He Will Support Real Tax Relief That Will Ease The Burden On Marylanders
Governor Hogan: “First, legislators can focus on passing the across-the-board-income-tax reductions. This much needed tax relief has passed the Senate, it has my full support, and we urge the House to act favorably about it as well.” (Tamela Baker, “Hogan Pushes Lawmakers On Tax Relief, Redistricting,” Herald-Mail Media, 4/5/16)   
Hogan Spokesman Matthew Clark Insisted That Governor Hogan Would Not Veto A Tax Cut Unless It Was “Phoney-Baloney.” “Hogan spokesman Matthew A. Clark said there is no way he could see the governor vetoing a tax cut authored by Democrats unless it was a 'phony-baloney' measure that was actually an increase.” (Michael Dresser, “Assembly Democrats Likely To Wrangle Over tax Cut Specifics,” The Baltimore Sun, 1/24/16)
Hogan Spokesman Doug Mayer: "Ultimately, the governor doesn't care whose name is on the bill or who claims credit — his only interest is in delivering the common-sense tax relief that Marylanders clearly want and deserve." (Michael Dresser, “Senate Panel OKs Income Tax Cuts For Most Marylanders,” The Baltimore Sun3/17/16)
Capital Gazette Editorial Board: Still, Gov. Larry Hogan, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. and House Speaker Michael E. Busch are all interested, in one degree or another, in tax changes to make Maryland more business-friendly and give some help to hard-pressed state residents. So you would think something would get done.” (Editorial, “Our Say: This Session Should Produce Tax Relief Deal,” Capital Gazette, 3/14/16)   
The Senate Passed Bipartisan Tax Relief; Senators Have Expressed Support For Tax Relief
Senate President Mike Miller
“Let’s Help The People Who Don’t Have Anything.” (David Collins, “Personal Income Tax Cuts Talk Don’t Produce Bill In General Assembly,” WBALTV, 2/5/16)  
“...I prepare to vote for tax cuts again, if it’s the right thing to do and all of our Democratic initiatives are fully funded. When I mean Democratic initiatives, I mean K-12, higher education. I mean not putting a tax on students by increasing the tuition by five percent. If those things are fully funded, I’ll look at tax cuts again.” (“Hogan Outlines $480 Million Tax Cut Plans,” WBAL, 1/12/16)
“The fact is that we’re not [just] losing people to Florida… We’re losing to Delaware, we’re losing to Virginia, North Carolina, we’re losing to Tennessee. I wish those states hadn’t abolished their estate tax, but they have. We’re in competition to keep our Marylanders home.” (Jeremy Bauer-Wolf. “Miller Reluctantly Supports Estate Tax Cut He’s Sponsoring,” Maryland Reporter, 3/19/14)

2 dead in apparent murder-suicide at Texas Air Force base

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The fatal shooting of two people at an Air Force base in Texas appears to be a murder-suicide, authorities said Friday.

Two bodies were found inside a room of a building at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Bexar County sheriff’s spokesman James Keith said.

It’s believed the shooter is among the two dead, Keith said, adding that sheriff’s deputies and other law enforcement officers are continuing to search the building and nearby facilities.


State Department Seeks to Limit Judicial Watch Questioning of Clinton Aides

The State Department is seeking to limit questions a conservative watchdog group can ask aides for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, The Washington Post reports.

In a filing made late Tuesday, State asks U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan to limit Judicial Watch's questions of seven current and former Clinton aides to "the reasons for the creation of [the] system."

State has asked the judge to keep off-limits the employment status of Huma Abedin, who was then deputy chief of staff and currently vice chairman of Clinton's presidential campaign. The department also wants Judicial Watch to be barred from asking about "the storage, handling, transmission, or protection of classified information, including cybersecurity issues; and questions about any pending investigations."


Formal Investigation Requested Into Mismanaged Adoption of Military Dogs

A congressman is calling for an investigation into the mismanagement of the adoption process for military dogs.

Rep. Richard Hudson (R., N.C.) sent a letter to the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee asking for a formal investigation into adoption procedures for dogs from the Tactical Explosive Detector Dog program. Allegations that former handlers looking to adopt the dogs are being overlooked while the dogs are being sold to civilian families instead have cast shadows over the adoption process.

Both the Office of Provost Marshal General, which oversaw the adoptions, and K2 Solutions, which housed the dogs during the process, have come under scrutiny for their role in the program.

“This problem came to my attention a year and a half ago when I helped reunite Specialist Brent Grommet and his military working dog Matty who were separated after being wounded overseas,” Rep. Hudson said in his letter. “Since then, my office has been contacted by countless veterans who have described the mismanagement of the program. Our veterans selflessly put themselves in harm’s way with their military working dogs, yet too many of them are now separated because of hollow promises from our government. They deserve answers, and it’s for this reason that I am requesting the House Armed Services Committee to launch a formal inquiry into the adoptions of these combat dogs.”

More here

Training on how to administer life-saving Narcan offered free by the Somerset County Health Department

WESTOVER — In just one month’s time, the Somerset County Health Department is reporting eight overdose reversals through the use of Narcan, a life-saving medication that can quickly restore the breathing of a person who has overdosed on heroin or prescription opioid pain medication.

Anyone from a police officer to a family member or friend can administer Narcan to save a life from overdose. To help address the opioid addiction epidemic the local community and Delmarva region are facing, the Somerset County Health Department is offering FREE Narcan training to qualifying individuals who live or work in Somerset County the first Monday of each month.

“We wanted to make the training more accessible to people and thought that a standing date, the same day every month, would be easier for people to build into their schedule and remember.


How Families Can Help End Prison’s Revolving Door For Inmates

They serve their time and are released, free men and women once again.

But within a year, more than 40 percent of ex-prison inmates end up back behind bars. Within five years, three-fourths are arrested again, according to one study that tracked prisoners released in 2005.

In the wake of arrest after arrest they leave behind sorrowful mothers, fathers, siblings and spouses who long to help, but are unsure how to end the cycle.

“The problem is prison life doesn’t prepare the average inmate to succeed on the outside,” says Christopher Zoukis (, a prison-education advocate who himself is incarcerated at the medium-security Federal Correctional Institution Petersburg in Virginia.

“So when they can’t adjust or they fail to land a job, they get in trouble again.”

Better education opportunities in prison would help, but spending tax money to educate inmates is a tough sell, says Zoukis, author of two books on the subject – “College for Convicts: The Case for Higher Education in American Prisons” (McFarland & Co., 2014) and “Prison Education Guide” (Prison Legal News Publishing, 2016).

So prisoners must take matters into their own hands, and that’s where family members play a critical role, he says. Just as parents on the TV show “Beyond Scared Straight” strive to keep young people out of prison, families of those already behind bars can intervene to keep them from returning.

The family should encourage inmates to take steps now that will help them succeed once they are on the outside, he says, such as:

• Earn a GED or high school diploma. Many prisoners lack the education that is a critical element in a successful job search. Fortunately, most prison systems offer the opportunity to earn a GED. Unfortunately, a true high school diploma isn’t as easy to come by.
• Research career opportunities. Prisoners need to determine what career best suits their personality, skills and interests, but remind them to be realistic. “They are more likely to succeed with a job that has few entry requirements,” Zoukis says. “Any occupation that requires a substantial amount of money to start, or an advanced education, is probably out of reach.”
• Read and read some more. Once prisoners narrow their career ideas, encourage them to read up on each field. This enables them to understand how to find employment in the field and determine entry requirements.
• Seek advanced education and vocational training. Some prisons might offer adult education or vocational training in the career area the inmate targets, but most don’t offer much in terms of training, Zoukis says. Suggest that correspondence programs, such as the terrific Prison College Program through Adams State University, could be an option.

“Preparing for a career after you’ve been in prison is not easy,” Zoukis says. “But family support can go a long way toward improving the odds of success.”

Salisbury/Maryland Community Legacy Announce Downtown Grant Awards

Salisbury – Mayor Jake Day is pleased to announce that the following local businesses have been selected to receive a grant from the City of Salisbury to assist with the cost of rehabilitation work to be performed on their commercial or residential buildings located in the Downtown Historic District:

1) $20,000 – Devreco, LLC / 207 West Main St.
2) $13,300 – REPC & HTC, LLC / 106 West Circle Ave.
3) $20,000 – Randolph J. Taylor & Merrill W. Tilghman, Jr. / 232-234 West Main St.
4) $17,360 – Dana Simson & John Orth / 501 West Main St.
5) $13,980 – Wicomico Public Libraries / 122 South Division St.
6) $18,570 – Manhattan Square, LLC / 104 Poplar Hill Ave.

The City of Salisbury received the funding for these grants from the Community Legacy Program of the Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD). These funds may be utilized for interior and/or exterior improvements to the structure.

The Community Legacy Program is designed to aid in the revitalization of the Downtown area by fostering the growth of new businesses and assisting expanding businesses. Its objectives are to improve the physical appearance of both the interior and exterior of commercial and mixed-use buildings. Additionally, the program helps to preserve historical structures which are architecturally significant, and address any health and/or safety issues by eliminating code deficiencies.

“This year’s Community Legacy grant recipients represent a diverse cross section of the real estate Downtown,” said Mayor Day. “Among the recipients you’ll find buildings where people gather to shop, learn, eat, live, perform, and work—all in the heart of our City. To the recipients I offer my congratulations, and also my gratitude for their continued investment in Downtown Salisbury. I look forward to seeing the beautification of Salisbury continued in the improvements these grants make possible.”

Cash for Clunkers

Hillary Clinton's sputtering campaign finally ended its month long run of media silence yesterday. The former First Lady chose to sit down with CNN's Chris Cuomo. Why Cuomo? As the Free Beacon notes:

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton granted a live interview Wednesday with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, the brother of one of her top fundraisers.

Cuomo did not disclose to viewers prior to his interview with Clinton that his brother Andrew is the Democratic governor of New York. He also did not mention Andrew has endorsed Hillary Clinton, raised money for her and appeared alongside her in Manhattan two days ago.

Andrew Cuomo was housing secretary under President Bill Clinton and campaigned for Hillary in 2000 during her run for the U.S. Senate. He also campaigned for her failed presidential bid in 2008.

Clinton and Andrew Cuomo came together for a celebratory rally on Monday for the minimum-wage hike he signed into law...


Upper Ferry Closed On Tuesday, April 12th

Upper Ferry will be closed on Tuesday, April 12th for replacement of the across the river cable. It will take approximately 4 hours to repair so hopefully it will reopen around 11:00 AM.

Why Trump has a YOOJ Advantage

Donald Trump has a "yooj" advantage in his home state. Polls suggest that before he's even started campaigning, he's at over 50 percent:

Donald Trump is leading his rivals among with over 50 percent support among New York voters heading into the Empire State’s primary, according to a new poll out Wednesday.

Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University polling institute, said in a press release, “if this result holds in every single congressional district, Trump will walk away with nearly all of New York State’s delegates.” New York has 95 delegates up for grabs.

In the poll Trump leads with 52 percent, in second is Ohio Gov. John Kasich with 25 percent, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is last with 17 percent support.


Why Is This Network Protecting Hillary?

Is the media kicking in to overdrive to help Hillary Clinton get elected? It's starting to look like it. 

For months, conservatives have noted, quite correctly, that Donald Trump has received inordinately nice media coverage. The Donald has received unprecedented free media, and enjoys a friendly rapport with a slew of top hosts. MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and his liberal counterpart Mike Brzezinski have not been bashful about their love for Trump, as have Fox hosts Sean Hannity and Eric Bolling. Even shows that are less than sympathetic to Trump have taken the unprecedented step of allowing him to phone in, where other candidates are usually required to do face-to-face sessions, and he's rarely had to go too far in explaining many of his more popular policy proposals. 

Still, many have warned that this sort of treatment is a honeypot meant to lure Trump into a feeling of comfort, until Hillary Clinton has secured the nomination. Then, as the theory goes, the long knives will come out. 

Sounds crazy, right? Well, the campaign to get Hillary elected may already be underway.


Paid sick leave legislation killed in Senate

Senate chairman wants to revive bill for vote in next session

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Paid sick leave legislation clears a big hurdle with passage in the House, but it is being declared dead on arrival this year in the Senate.

The measure requires employers with at least 15 workers to allow them to earn up to seven days of paid sick leave per year.

The earned paid sick leave bill has never gotten this far.

"Basically, this maybe is the extinction act of the small family restaurant," said Delegate Susan McComas, R-Harford County.

Earned paid sick leave survived a hard fought battle on the House floor, only to land in limbo in a Senate committee. The chairman believes the legislation needs too much work and not there's enough time to finish it this session.

"We will get the bill ready for voting next year," said Sen. Mac Middleton, chairman, Finance Committee.


Subject: Honor Your Hero this Memorial Day

Honor Your Hero...


The 3 Rotary Clubs of Wicomico County proudly present Flags for Heroes, a project designed honor heroes in our community while supporting local veteran causes and Rotary's community projects including scholarships, wheelchair ramps and food distribution. 

The "Field of Heroes" will be a spectacular visual display of American Flags. The 3ft x 5ft flags will stand 8 feet tall in the highly visible location located on Route 50 next to Arthur W. Perdue Stadium. In the two weeks surrounding Memorial Day the display will be set up so that visitors can walk among the flags, and reflect and honor their personal heroes.  We hope to inspire pride, respect and patriotism among the local community and those who pass through town as they travel to Ocean City.  A special flag ceremony will take place on Memorial Day afternoon and all are encouraged to attend.
This is an opportunity for community members to honor personal heroes... whomever they are... a veteran, a family member, a friend, a member of the armed services, a favorite teacher, a police officer, a firefighter or any other person who has made an impact on their lives.  The names of heroes will be displayed at the flag site, on the Flags for Heroes website, throughout social media, and in a special Memorial Day insert in the Salisbury Independent.  All flag sponsors receive a commemorative certificate in honor of their hero.
Sponsors may honor a personal hero by sponsoring a flag with a tax deductible $50 donation.  Sponsorships are available for purchase at or by mailing in this printable form.  Each sponsor will receive a commemorative certificate honoring their hero within  1-2 weeks.
Presented by
Salisbury Sunrise Rotary Club  
The Rotary Club of Wicomico County
The Rotary Club of Salisbury

Questions?  Contact us via email at or reach out to any of our local Rotary Presidents

Amateur Plays His Way Into Masters With Hole-In-One… on a Par 4

Last April when the world’s 2,535th-ranked amateur golfer gazed at the TV tuned to the Masters while sitting in a Farmington, Minnesota, saloon, he told his dad that someday he would take him to Augusta National to watch the tournament.

Of course, Sammy Schmitz expected to join his dad as a fan, never imagining that he would be teeing it up on Thursday as one of the 90 tournament players all vying for the coveted green jacket. Sammy’s dad Steve, his brother Simon, wife Natalie, and two daughters, Aubrey and Allie, will all be in Augusta to cheer for the unlikely Masters entrant.

Schmitz, a Division III Golf All-American, developed his athletic skills playing hockey and golf as a teen. He even hacked around for a couple of seasons on the Hooters Tour.Sammy decided that playing golf for money took the fun out of the game, so he dropped out and reinstated his amateur status.

Nevertheless, it was a special drive that he hit on the 33rd hole of a 36-hole finals at the U.S. Mid-Amateur that paved the way for his Thursday tee time.


Obama Should Answer Hogan’s Call on Redistricting

From The Carroll County Times

Editorial Board – “[I]t's plain as day that Maryland's current congressional and legislative districts don't make much sense.”

The Carroll County Times
Editorial Board
April 6, 2016

“Gov. Larry Hogan, just the second Republican governor in the past four and a half decades in Maryland, is seeking an unlikely ally in President Barack Obama. We're hoping the most powerful Democrat in the land answers the call.

“On March 31, Hogan wrote a letter to the president, asking for his help in convincing Democrats in the Maryland General Assembly to allow a floor vote on Hogan's proposed redistricting reform, stating that ‘On this issue, we are in complete agreement.’ …

“Obama has also been an advocate for redistricting reform, noting in his January State of the Union speech that the country needs a bipartisan group to ‘end the practice of drawing our congressional districts so that politicians can pick their voters, and not the other way around.’

“In the letter, Hogan appealed to Obama to encourage Maryland's lawmakers to take a vote on the governor's bill before the end of this year's session April 11, noting, ‘[n]ext year, we may not have as strong an advocate in the White House as you have been on this issue.’ …

“It's no surprise that Democratic leaders in both chambers in Annapolis would mothball Hogan's legislation, which seeks to replace the current, governor-led redistricting process with a nonpartisan Apportionment Commission that would be required to base the districts on population, compactness and natural boundaries. Approving it could potentially take away from the Democrats' dominance in state politics. Democrats might also be counting on Hogan not winning re-election in 2018. If he does earn a second term, giving him the power to redraw the districts in 2020, Democrats might be more amenable to a nonpartisan process then.

Previously Deported Illegal Alien May Face Charges for Killing Texas Firefighter, 2 Children

An illegal alien who hit a Texas firefighter head-on and killed him and his four-year-old stepdaughter and 22-month-old son will be charged with criminally negligent homicide if he recovers from his critical injuries.

The man did not have a drivers license and was in the country illegally, according to the CBS affiliate for Dallas/Fort Worth. He first came to the U.S. in 2006 but was deported in 2008.

L.P. Phillips of KRLD radio in Dallas spoke to ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) officials who verified that Margarito Quintero was an illegal alien.


The Donohoe Companies Moves Headquarters, 240 Jobs to Maryland

One of Region’s Oldest and Largest Commercial Real Estate Firms Picks Bethesda for Future Growth

The Donohoe Companies, one of the region’s oldest family-owned commercial real estate companies, is relocating its corporate headquarters as well as its construction, real estate, hospitality, and development divisions from Washington, D.C. to Maryland. The 132-year old company has signed a lease for office space along Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda, will move 240 employees to Maryland later this year, and plans for continued job growth companywide.

“Our continued growth and success has paved the way for expansion into larger, new, vibrant offices in Montgomery County’s urban core – Bethesda,” said Chris Bruch, president and chief operating officer of The Donohoe Companies. “With this move we are proud to plant roots in Bethesda, a thriving business district, as well as maintain a significant presence in the District where the business began in 1884.”

“The Donohoe Companies has been a great corporate citizen in the region for more than 130 years and we are very excited they will soon be making Maryland their home,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Job creation and economic prosperity are our primary focus in Maryland, and welcoming The Donohoe Companies to our state is a shining example of the progress we are making.”

“We are proud to welcome The Donohoe Companies and their growing team to Maryland,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. “The company’s new headquarters location in Bethesda offers a strategic location where they can serve their many customers in the region, and we are pleased to be able to work with our partners in Montgomery County to support this important project.”

“Montgomery County is thrilled to have The Donohoe Companies move their headquarters to the county,” said Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett. “They have done good business here for a long time. Now they will be putting down roots and we are pleased to support that move.”

Offended Bronx Students Allow Principal to Cancel Ted Cruz

A group of charter school students offended by the “presence of
wrote a letter in protest to a scheduled school event with the presidential candidate, accusing him of being “misogynistic, homophobic, and racist” and giving the school’s principal the opening she needed to cancel the visit.

The letter was addressed to the Principal of Bronx Lighthouse College Preparatory Academy, a charter school. In it the group of students called Cruz’s ideas and very presence “offensive,” claiming that Cruz’s views are “actively working to harm us, our community, and the people we love.” They threatened to walk out of their 4th period classes as an “act of civil disobedience” against the scheduled Cruz appearance.

The New York Daily News posted the full text of the letter. One 16-year-old associated with the letter told the outlet that many of the school’s students are immigrants or from an immigrant background.


Planes, Boats Hit by North Korea GPS Signal Jamming

North Korea's jamming of GPS signals has the Pentagon worried about public safety in the region.

Fox News reports that North Korea, which began jamming the signals in South Korea last week, has affected passenger airplanes, Uber drivers, fishing boats, and people who use GPS signals for directions.

The U.S. military's 30,000 troops stationed in South Korea use an encrypted GPS system, which is immune to the jamming.

North Korea last jammed GPS signals on its southern neighbor in 2012, reports Fox, which says several officials at the Department of Defense told the network the U.S. is growing concerned over the latest round of GPS jamming.


Old Photos of "Firsts"

Minneapolis women lining up to vote for the first time in a presidential election. [1920]

Millions of Students may Never Repay Their Loans

More than 40% of Americans who borrowed from the government’s main student-loan program aren’t making payments or are behind on more than $200 billion owed, raising worries that millions of them may never repay.

The new figures represent the fallout of a decadelong borrowing boom as record numbers of students enrolled in trade schools, universities and graduate schools.

While most have since left school and entered the labor force, 43% of the roughly 22 million Americans with federal student loans weren’t making payments as of Jan. 1, according to a quarterly snapshot of the Education Department’s $1.2 trillion student-loan portfolio.


Is Megyn Kelly Moving On?

In a candid interview, Megyn Kelly says she hasn't decided whether she wants to stay at Fox News after her contract expires next year. 

"I don't know what's going to happen," Kelly told Variety. 

Kelly says she's had a "great 12 years" at Fox and really likes working for the network's chairman Roger Ailes, but is also weighing the drawbacks of the job as it comes time to negotiate. 

The Fox News host's recent round of interviews might be seen as a public negotiation -- setting the table, at least, for talks with Fox and other networks.

Source: CNN

Thank God Its Friday 4-8-16

What will you be doing this weekend?

POLL: Hogan's Approval Rating Highest For Md. Governor ...

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland voters stand by their man. Governor Hogan’s approval rating is the highest for a governor since 1998. That’s according to The Washington Post and University of Maryland poll released Wednesday.

Nearly two-thirds of Marylander polled — 66 percent — approve of the job he’s doing.

Political reporter Pat Warren asked voters what they think of that.

It may be sour grapes, but some Democrats don’t want to believe it.

Larry Hogan, the most popular governor since 1998?

“I’ll be glad when he’s done, when he puts in a four-year stint and he’s done,” said Democrat Mel Eisenstein.

Maybe, maybe not.

“I’m a registered Democrat. I like the Republican governor,” said Democrat Heather Berlett.

“[Tuesday] night, I broke through four boards, which were labeled ‘Partisan Gridlock,'” Hogan laughed.