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Thursday, March 23, 2017

REMINDER: Annual Crisfield Elks Organization Day Celebration Parade

Podesta Was Board Member Of Firm Linked To Russian Investors

Rep. Louie Gohmert, an outspoken House Republican from Texas, is calling for a congressional investigation of John Podesta’s role with Rusnano, a state-run company founded by Russian President Vladimir Putin, The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group has learned.

Podesta — Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign chairman and former President Bill Clinton’s White House chief of staff — first made contact with the Russian firm in 2011, when he joined the boards and executive committees of three related entities: Boston-based Joule Unlimited; Rotterdam-based Joule Global Holdings; Joule Global Stichting, the company’s controlling interest. All are high-tech renewable energy enterprises.

Three months after Podesta’s arrival, Joule Unlimited accepted a 1 billion ruble investment from Rusnano, amounting to $35 million in U.S. currency. The firm also awarded a Joule board seat in February 2012 to Anatoly Chubais, Rusnano’s CEO, who has been depicted as a corrupt figure.

Podesta has attempted to downplay his relationship with Joule and Rusnano, but it could come to haunt him.


30 Vintage Photos Of Grocery Stores That Are Beyond Fascinating

Most of us spend at least 30-45 minutes or so every week at a grocery store - the same grocery store, typically - meaning we spend more time there than almost anywhere that's not work or home. That's why old photos of grocery stores spark such intense nostalgia: seeing how grocery stores have changed through the decades is kind of like looking at old family photos.

The gallery below of old photos of supermarkets spans from the late-19th century to the 1980s, covering several major evolutions in how grocers got their goods to the people. You'll see the switch to self-service, hand-painted window signs turn to plastic tags, and the aisles getting wider to accommodate those newfangled carts. You'll also see shelves full of soda in glass bottles - the way God intended.


Suspect in rape at Maryland school was stopped 7 months ago by Border Patrol

One of the two suspects accused of raping a 14-year-old student at Rockville High School was picked up by a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Texas seven months ago, determined to have illegally entered the country, and issued a notice to appear in immigration court, federal officials said Monday.

The suspect, Henry Sanchez-Milian, 18, arrived in Montgomery County around that same period, according to records filed at Montgomery County District Court. He was placed in ninth grade at Rockville High School, as was the other suspect, Jose O. Montano, 17, according to a court hearing last week.

Montano has been charged as an adult in the case.

Montano is accused of pushing the 14-year-old student into a boys’ bathroom during school hours Thursday morning and then forcing her into a stall as she tried to hold on to a sink, according to police affidavits filed in court. Inside the stall, he and Sanchez-Milian, whose name also is spelled as Sanchez in court records, took turns attacking the girl, according to court records.


Baltimore County Officials Notified Of Wiretapping Investigation

Agents are not disclosing details of an investigation, but the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office confirmed to The Baltimore Sun that letters were sent to Baltimore County officials telling them that their phones were part of a wiretap investigation dating back several years.

The wiretapping included the phones of employees of the county executive and county council members.

"Members of the county executive's staff have been assured that they are not in any way subject to an investigation," said Don Mohler, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz's chief of staff.

Mohler said he received one of the letters along with County Administrative Officer Fred Homan, Deputy Administrative Officer Donna Morris, and Arnold Jablon, director of the Department of Permits, Approvals and Inspections.


Hannity on Maryland high school rape: 'We're not protecting the American people'

Fox News' Sean Hannity opened Tuesday night's edition of "Hannity" with a monologue about illegal immigrant crime amid an uproar over the alleged rape of a 14-year-old Maryland girl by two Central American suspects, at least one of whom was in the U.S. illegally.


"[The victim of] this terrible crime is just the latest in a long list of Americans who are victims because of illegal immigration," said Hannity, who referenced the 2015 shooting of Kate Steinle in San Francisco.

"We’re not protecting the American people," Hannity said. "[And] these high-profile incidents, well, it’s only the tip of the iceberg."

According to Hannity, "36.6 percent of all federal sentences [in 2015] were given to illegal aliens, including convictions for drug trafficking, kidnapping and, yes, murder ... Between 2013 and 2015, despite the dangers we just showed you, the Obama administration released 86,288 criminal illegal aliens right back into the general U.S. population."

Referencing President Donald Trump's now-infamous comments about Mexican immigrants at the outset of his presidential campaign, Hannity said that Trump "is right [and] was right. We can never forget those whose lives were destroyed by illegal immigrants."


Brazilian woman convicted of human trafficking deported from US

BALTIMORE, Md. – A foreign national who was convicted and wanted by Brazilian authorities for international human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation was removed from the United States yesterday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Stefania Joaquina Campos Rezende, a 39-year-old citizen of Brazil, was arrested Feb. 14 by a Fugitive Operations Team assigned to ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) office in Baltimore. She was identified as a fugitive alien after an immigration judge issued her a final order of removal in 2006. She arrived at Belo Horizonte International Airport in Brazil yesterday and was turned over to local authorities to serve the sentence in her human trafficking conviction.
“ICE is committed to targeting, arresting and removing international criminals who attempt to use the United States as a safe haven from prison sentences,” said ERO Baltimore Field Office Director Dorothy Herrera-Niles. “The removal of a convicted human trafficker will keep our community safe, and allow exploited victims in Brazil to receive justice.”
Campos Rezende had been detained at the Worcester County Jail, located in Snow Hill, Maryland, since she entered ICE custody in February. In addition to her conviction in Brazil, Campos Rezende was recently convicted on felony drug charges stateside. 
Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed more than 1,700 foreign fugitives from the United States who were sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder. In fiscal year 2016, ICE conducted 240,255 removals nationwide. Ninety-two percent of individuals removed from the interior of the United States had previously been convicted of a criminal offense.
ERO works with the ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Office of International Operations, foreign consular offices in the United States, and Interpol to identify foreign fugitives illegally present in the United States. Members of the public who have information about foreign fugitives are urged to contact ICE by calling the ICE tip line at 1 (866) 347-2423 or internationally at 001-1802-872-6199. They can also file a tip online by completing ICE’s online tip form.

What We're Really Wanting To Say In Commercials

1st Sex Reassignment Inmate Says Women’s Prison Is ‘Torture’

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The first U.S. inmate to have taxpayer-funded sex reassignment surgery says she’s been mistreated since being transferred to a California women’s prison, where she now has a beard and mustache because officials have denied her a razor.

In a hand-written federal court filing, convicted killer Shiloh Heavenly Quine called her new housing at the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla a “torture unit.” She said she’s unnecessarily isolated from other inmates and denied basic items.

State officials say she’s being treated like other female inmates. All initially are denied privileges like razors and TVs as they are evaluated.


CEO gives job applicants a 'snowflake test'

MainStreetPatriots Writes: Maryland Sanctuary State


 E-mail      Website      Petition Opposing Sanctuary State Status

Dover lawyer demands end to ‘torture’ of prison inmates

DOVER — A local law firm sent a letter Monday to Gov. John Carney calling for the “torture of Delaware inmates at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center to cease immediately.”

Attorney Stephen Hampton, of the law firm Grady & Hampton, LLC, claims in the letter that “scores of inmates have been brutalized and tortured at the prison near Smyrna since C-building was stormed by law enforcement and correctional officers on Feb. 2.”

Mr. Hampton said he’s been “inundated with requests for help” from inmates and their families since the uprising at the prison that left Lt. Steven Floyd dead — many requesting a class action lawsuit be filed on their behalf.


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Police: Baltimore Man Went to NY to attack black people

NEW YORK (AP) — A white U.S. Army veteran from Baltimore bent on making a racist attack took a bus to New York, the “media capital of the world,” randomly picked out a black man who was collecting bottles on the street and killed him with a sword, police said Wednesday.

James Harris Jackson turned himself in at a Times Square police station early Wednesday, about 25 hours after Timothy Caughman staggered into a police precinct bleeding to death.

“I’m the person that you’re looking for,” Jackson told police, according to Assistant Chief William Aubrey.

Jackson, who was arrested on suspicion of murder, told police he’d harbored feelings of hatred toward black men for at least 10 years, authorities said. He traveled to New York on March 17 and had been staying in a Manhattan hotel.


WCSO Press Release Mar. 23, 2017

Incident: Possession of CDS
Date of Incident: 23 March 2017
Location: 5000 block of Mt. Hermon Road, Salisbury, MD
Suspect: Daniel Jacob Brittingham, Pittsville, MD
Narrative: On 23 March 2017 at 11:38 PM a deputy stopped a vehicle operated by Daniel Brittingham after observing Brittingham driving erratically. Upon contacting Brittingham, the deputy detected the odor of marijuana emanating from within his vehicle. During a subsequent search, the deputy located a clear plastic container that held what was recognized as marijuana. Further search revealed 17 individually wrapped baggies that each contained a brownie. Upon inspection of the brownie, the deputy determined they were laced with marijuana.
Further search also revealed digital scales.
Due to the amount of marijuana located, in conjunction with the individual packaging of the marijuana brownies, Brittingham was arrested and charged with Possession of Marijuana with the Intent to Distribute.
The deputy transported Brittingham to the Central Booking Unit where he was processed and taken in front of the District Court Commissioner. Following an initial appearance, the Commissioner detained Brittingham in the Detention Center in lieu of $5,000.00 bond.
Charges: Possession of CDS with the Intent to Distribute, Possession of CDS

Teen Cancer Survivor Gets Simon Cowell's Golden Buzzer

How Team Trump’s ‘unmasking’ by intel community may reveal illegal actions by Obama officials

Trump presidential transition officials had their communications monitored and “unmasked” by the intelligence community, the chairman of the House intelligence committee said Wednesday, offering the first major piece of evidence of possible illegal activity by Obama officials against Donald Trump as president-elect.

Rep. Devin Nunes, California Republican, said Mr. Trump’s own communications might have been monitored.

All of the information appears to have been scooped up legally and incidentally, meaning the Trump officials weren’t the targets. They may have been gathered by foreign intelligence and then shared with the U.S. under existing agreements, one lawmaker said.

But at some point U.S. intelligence officials unmasked some Trump figures — a process that involves attaching their names to the private conversations. That information was then circulated within the intelligence community, Mr. Nunes said.

“I have seen intelligence reports that clearly show the president-elect and his team were at least monitored and disseminated in what appears to be intelligence reporting channels,” said Mr. Nunes, who was part of the Trump transition team.

More here

Maryland GOP Ridicules Redistricting Reform Bill As ‘A Joke’

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Republicans are ridiculing a congressional redistricting reform bill supported by Democrats as an insincere “joke.”

The Maryland Senate gave the measure initial approval Wednesday.

Earlier this week, a House panel rejected Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s redistricting reform bill, which would have put the drawing of congressional districts in the hands of an independent commission.

But Maryland Democrats don’t want the state to change its redistricting process, unless other mid-Atlantic states do as well.


Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore Lead Nation in Population Loss; Maricopa County Has Biggest Gain

( - The counties containing Chicago, Detroit and the independent city of Baltimore were the biggest population losers in the United States from 2015 to 2016, according to data released today by the Census Bureau.

Cook County, Ill., where Chicago is the county seat, had the largest population loss of any county in the country from 2015 and 2016.

Between July 1, 2015 and July 1, 2016, Cook County lost a net of 21,324 people to hit 5,203,499, according to the Census Bureau.

Even while it was experiencing the largest net population loss of any county in the country, Cook Count was seeing an influx of migrants from foreign countries and more births than deaths.


10,000 Head Of Cattle And Horses Lost In Panhandle Fires – Please Pray For Everyone Affected

Friends and Fellow Animal Lovers. The people in Western Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas who are fellow horse and ranch owners need our help. This is a true farming and ranching community in the purest sense. Western Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas have had some of the worst fires ever sweep across their lands, through their ranches and their homes. Human Lives have been lost, 10,000+ head of cattle and horses have been lost, over 400,000 acres of land has been burned.

This devastating fire swept through with 70-80 mile an hour winds. People couldn’t get their livestock out in time. Some people lost their lives trying to save their livestock. Ranchers lost generations of cattle and horses. We all know how we cherish our animals family lineage, think if you lost the whole line! Many of these true grass roots ranchers used their horses in their daily work. Their ranch horses are gone. Their tack is gone. Fences are gone. Barns are gone. The land is littered with carcasses of burned animals.


Clinton Friend and Media Matters Founder David Brock Suffers Heart Attack

David Brock, the founder of left-wing news outlet Media Matters for America and a longtime friend of the Clintons, suffered a heart attack on Tuesday.

Brock was a conservative journalist before becoming a major influential figure for many liberal groups, the Washington Examiner reports.

A press release was issued on Wednesday stating that Brock had a heart attack.


The Minority Report Special Edition - Crossover Week Update March Madness

The Minority Report
Special Edition - Crossover Week Update
March Madness

Greetings from the 437th Legislative Session! We want to connect with you to keep you informed on caucus initiatives and the latest in Annapolis. Please feel free to share this with friends, family, and colleagues, and on your own social media sites.

Crossover Week Update - March Madness

The last few weeks of the General Assembly session are filled with activity, it is our own, unique version of March Madness!

As we told you last week, Monday was the General Assembly's "Crossover Deadline". This means that all the bills in the House that are going to move, must be passed and sent to the Senate by the end of session on Monday night. A LOT of bills have passed since our last update.

In this Special Edition of the Minority Report, we're going to provide you with brief overviews of some the bills that have moved forward - the good and the bad.

Some Bad Bills Move, While Good Bills Die

As is often the case during Crossover, some bad legislation came to the floor of the House over the last few days. While many of these pieces of legislation have good intentions, they could have very negative impacts to the citizens of our state.

PASSED HB 172 - Home Act of 2017 - This bill will force landlords across Maryland  to accept Section 8 vouchers. It is yet another intrusion by the government into not only private business, but also personal property rights. While sold as a "fair housing" bill, over 20 zipcodes are exempted from the bill that include areas in Prince George's and Baltimore County, as well as Baltimore City.

O'Reilly: Media's treatment of Maryland high school rape 'beyond anything I have ever seen'

Fox News' Bill O'Reilly slammed the mainstream media on Wednesday's "The O'Reilly Factor" for ignoring the case of two immigrant teens, at least one of whom is in the U.S. illegally, accused of raping a Maryland high school student.

"ABC, NBC, CBS did not cover it on their nightly news broadcasts," O'Reilly said in his "Talking Points Memo." "CNN did not cover the Maryland story in primetime last night. Ditto MSNBC. That is beyond anything I have ever seen in my 40 years-plus of journalism."

"[There] comes a time when citizens of any country have to demand justice, have to demand protection, demand the law be respected," O'Reilly said. "We have not, have not, come to that time yet in America."


School orders boy to "tolerate" undressing with girl and make it "natural"

A teenage boy was told by school leaders that he had to “tolerate” undressing in front of a female student and to make it as “natural” as possible, according to a blockbuster lawsuit filed in a Pennsylvania federal district court.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday by Alliance Defending Freedom and Independence Law Center, alleges the Boyertown Area School District shamed the teenage boy and violated his personal privacy. They are also alleging sexual harassment.

“No school should rob any student of this legally protected personal privacy,” ILC attorney Randall Wenger said. “We trust that our children won’t be forced into emotionally vulnerable situations like this when they are in the care of our schools because it’s a school’s duty to protect and respect the bodily privacy and dignity of all students.”

In the case of “Joel Doe” – they clearly ignored that duty.


Commissioners Face $5M Shortfall Entering Budget Process

SNOW HILL – Worcester County officials are facing a roughly $5 million shortfall as they begin the annual budget process.

County staff presented the Worcester County Commissioners with a requested FY2018 operating budget of $204 million on Tuesday. County revenues in the coming year are expected to reach $199 million, leaving officials with a shortfall of $4,919,840 to eliminate. The commissioners’ first budget work session is scheduled for next week.

“As we go through the budget reconciliation process the difference of $4,919,840 will be balanced either through an increase in revenues, a decrease in expenditures or a combination of the two,” said Harold Higgins, the county’s chief administrative officer.

According to Higgins, estimated revenues will increase roughly $10 million in FY2018. Net property tax revenues will jump $3,148,939 as a result of increased assessments and homeowner tax credits. Income tax revenues are expected to rise by $4.2 million. Other local taxes, such as recordation and transfer, are expected to provide the county with an additional $2.1 million.


High School Boy Sues Over Having To Change In Front Of Trans Boy

A Pennsylvania high school student filed a lawsuit Tuesday against his school district after he was forced to share a locker room with a transgender boy.

The lawsuit alleges that the plaintiff, “Joel Doe,” suffered immense embarrassment when a transgender student changed in front of him, reports CBS Philly.

“Joel Doe experienced immediate confusion, embarrassment, humiliation, and loss of dignity upon finding himself in this circumstance,” the lawsuit maintains.

Doe was in the middle of changing into his P.E. clothes when he spotted the transgender boy student in her bra and shorts. The student was still in the middle of transitioning from female to male, Kellie Fiedorek of the Alliance Defending Freedom, explained.


It's A GAME People

ABC News: OK, fine, Trump Tower was wiretapped, and it was all about Russians, but . . .

It's not quite what Trump's tweet seemed to suggest, unless . . .

Here's a pattern you've probably noticed about the way the media deals with President Trump. When his literal words might be off target but his meaning can be justified, his literal words are all that matters. But when his literal words turn out to be accurate . . . well, that's not what he meant!

Did the Obama Administration wiretap Trump Tower? Or were there some other form of FISA surveillance that Trump clumsily described as a wiretap in a very specific building? We've already dealt with the surveillance question, but the media rejects that because that's not specifically and literally what Trump said. He said Obama wiretapped Trump Tower. They've been telling us for weeks that there is no evidence this ever happened.

Um . . .

There, indeed, was an FBI wiretap involving Russians at Trump Tower.

But it was not placed at the behest of Barack Obama, and the target was not the Trump campaign of 2016. For two years ending in 2013, the FBI had a court-approved warrant to eavesdrop on a sophisticated Russian organized crime money-laundering network that operated out of unit 63A in Trump Tower in New York.


A Viewer writes: Idiot Driver

 Joe - I saw that you wanted instances of negligent drivers in Salisbury area - here's one. 15 year old daughter and my dog in backseat heading west on Nanticoke Road after school, approaching Levin Deshield Road, idiot driver pulls out right in front of me ! Scared us to death. My daughter had just completed her driving class last Friday. Amazing.

OC Council Looking To Tweak Trailer Rules Ahead Of Upcoming Vehicle Events

OCEAN CITY — A debate last week at the police commission level about tweaking the resort’s trailer parking ordinance enforcement spilled over to the Mayor and Council this week but was ultimately sent back to the drawing board with no action taken.

As part of the ongoing effort to rein in some of the behavior associated with the vehicle-related special events in the resort, the Mayor and Council passed an ordinance regarding trailer and oversized vehicle parking on city streets. After considerable debate, the final product included ban on all trailer and oversized vehicle parking on Baltimore Avenue and a registration policy for trailer parking on all other streets in the resort.

The ordinance allows only those participants registered with the special events to acquire a sticker permitting them to park on certain side streets throughout the resort. Unregistered participants were directed instead to the Park-and-Ride in West Ocean City or certain private parking lots with the permission of the owner.


Senator Feinstein Embarrasses Herself By Accusing Gorsuch of Not Fighting For The Little Guy

Trump Has To Tweet To Bypass A Dishonest Media Establishment

According to Politico, a study done by Media Research Center found that 91% of the news about President Trump on the three major networks was negative to him. The Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center found that during the presidential campaign, the major media outlets were negative towards Trump 77% of the time. The IBD/TIPP poll reported that 55% of Americans said they had less trust in the media as a result of the 2016 campaign coverage. Finally, the Media Research Center/You Gov Poll conducted on November 9th found that 70% of the responders did not feel the news media was honest and truthful.

Much has been said about the ‘Three Horsemen,’ united against Trump: the Media, Hollywood, and the Democratic Party. So I ask you this question, “If the Three Horsemen are against Trump, then who is defending him against this massive attack? Republicans? No, the only person that is defending Trump is Donald J. Trump himself.

Tweeting gives him a platform in which to respond and defend his actions and positions to the American people. Think back to Bush 43 and the attacks he went through just getting elected and even more so after the September 11 attack. The media pummeled him and he never responded. I think the best person to defend what you believe is you. Both Bush 41 and 43 rarely responded to media attacks and other onslaughts while they were president and they have been very restrained since they left office, unlike Bill Clinton and former President Obama.


BREAKING: Chuck Schumer: Democrats Will Filibuster Neil Gorsuch’s Nomination

The top Democrat said his party will insist that the president’s Supreme Court pick be confirmed with at least 60 votes.

WASHINGTON ― Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced Thursday that he will vote against President Donald Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court, adding that Democrats will also demand that Neil Gorsuch get at least 60 votes to be confirmed.

New Maryland Bill is Really Bad for Breweries

It puts a gag on collaborations and forces breweries to close earlier.

The Maryland House of Delegates passed a new bill (HB1283) that's a blow to breweries. While it does raise the cap on the amount of beer a brewery can sell in its taproom from 500 to 2,000 barrels, it cuts operating hours from 12 a.m. or 2 a.m. (depending on the brewery) to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 10 p.m. on weekends.

The bill also restricts beer sold in the taproom to beer produced at the brewery, meaning breweries can't give props to fellow brewers by selling their beer too. They can't sell collaboration brews, either. This provision makes entering the market extremely difficult for start-up breweries.

HB 1283 lands just a few months after Guinness announced that it would be spending about $50 million to open a brewery in Baltimore County.

While Denizens Brewing Co. in Silver Spring will not be affected because it's a Class 7 brewery, and the legislation regulates Class 5 breweries, it has long been active in state policy. Co-owner Julie Verratti has issued the following statement because she believes the bill, "sets a dangerous precedent and any damage to a local brewery is damage to the whole industry." It reads:

"Bill HB 1283 will be detrimental to local Maryland craft breweries if passed without amendments. This legislation will cause brewery closures, lay-offs, stop start-ups in their tracks, and thwart expansions across the state. We all want Guinness to come to Maryland, but it needs to be done in a way that does not simultaneously harm the many local craft breweries who have built the beer industry in this state.

The two specific amendments we seek are:


A Motivational Speaker Gets Disrespected By High Schoolers. What He Does Next Gave Me Chills

Former Hubbard mayor admits to raping 4-year-old

Poll Shows Gov. Hogan’s Popularity Slipping Since Trump’s Election

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new Washington Post-University of Maryland poll gives Governor Larry Hogan a higher approval rating than the past three governors, but questions whether he can be re-elected in 2018.

That election is already in the sites of candidates who see their chances through the eyes of the Trump administration and Maryland is still a blue state.

Hogan’s approval rating is 65 percent, according to the poll, higher than the three previous governors — Martin O’Malley, Robert Ehrlich and Parris Glendening — but down from the 71 percent he enjoyed in September.


A British man, Khalid Masood, 52, carried out yesterday's attack in London, the police said

ISIS has claimed responsibility.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility on Thursday for the deadly attack outside the British Parliament, as Prime Minister Theresa May described the assailant as a British-born man whom the country’s domestic intelligence agency had investigated for connections to violent extremism.

The London police identified him as Khalid Masood, 52, who had a long criminal history but no terrorism convictions. He had been living recently around Birmingham, England, where the vehicle used in the attack was rented. The police released few other details about him.

** Traffic Advisory** State Police Investigating a Fatal Crash North of Milford

Milford - The Delaware State Police are currently on the scene of a fatal crash north of Milford.

The incident occurred around 11:18 a.m. Thursday March 23, 2017 on southbound Bay Road (US113/SR1) and involves a tractor trailer and a motorcycle. The motorcyclist has been pronounced dead at the scene.

Bay Road southbound is currently closed at exit 79 (Thompsonville Road). Commuters are advised to seek alternate routes of travel.

Further details will be released upon the conclusion of the investigation.


At 6:35 a.m. on Monday, a few hours before the House Intelligence Committee convened its first public hearing on Russian involvement in the U.S. election, President Donald J. Trump asserted once more that the issue was nothing more than an elaborate political distraction. “This story is FAKE NEWS and everyone knows it!” he tweeted, adding, a short time later, “The Democrats made up and pushed the Russian story as an excuse for running a terrible campaign. Big advantage in Electoral College & lost!” He went on, “The real story that Congress, the FBI and all others should be looking into is the leaking of Classified information. Must find leaker now!”

Less than forty minutes into the hearing, James Comey, the director of the F.B.I., provided the latest official confirmation that the “Russian story” is not “FAKE NEWS.” It is, rather, the most serious legal scandal to confront a sitting President in nearly two decades. In an extraordinary public statement, Comey disclosed not only that the bureau is investigating Russian meddling in the campaign but that it is also looking at what relationship the Trump campaign might have had to that meddling. “The F.B.I., as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 Presidential election,” Comey said. “And that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coördination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.” Comey, who had previously avoided confirming the existence of the investigation, acknowledged that it had become a matter of public interest to do so.

Things did not end there. A few minutes later, answering questions from the committee, Comey calmly delivered yet more damaging news for the White House. Asked if he could confirm Trump’s tweets on March 4th that Barack Obama took steps to “tapp my phones” during the election, Comey said, “I have no information that supports those tweets.” Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, has tried to source his boss’s fiction to a Fox News pundit’s remark that Obama relied on British intelligence agencies to conduct the surveillance. Fox itself has renounced that claim, and British intelligence officials have called the assertion “nonsense” and “utterly ridiculous.” On Monday, Mike Rogers, the head of the National Security Agency, who testified alongside Comey, was asked whether he agrees with the British view, and his answer was “Yes, sir.” (Asked on Monday afternoon whether Trump will apologize for his remark, Sean Spicer said no.)


Are You Addicted To Your Smartphone?

A friend of mine, a professor at a university in Canada, confided to me a few days ago that she thinks she might be addicted to email.

She feels compelled to check her email all the time. And she feels bad about it. She experiences anxiety if she doesn't check, and anxiety if she does. Email gets in the way of her productivity at work and makes her feel distracted from family when she is at home.

Yup, sounds like addiction to me.

Behavioral addiction, especially to the new technologies so prevalent today, is the topic of Adam Alter's book Irresistible. I couldn't resist reading his book. Addiction is a topic I return to again and again here at 13.7. It's such an important topic, not only because it affects so many of us (according to Alter, about 41 percent have suffered from addiction in the past year) — but also because it is such an interesting point of intersection of moral and political and medical and social problems. I've also got kids — a child, a tween, and a teen — and I see every day the power of the screen in shaping their lives.


Nevada On Cusp Of Ratifying Equal Rights Amendment 35 Years After Deadline

Nevada has taken a crucial step closer to ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment — roughly 35 years after a deadline imposed by Congress. The state's Assembly approved the long-dormant measure in a largely party-line vote on Monday, sending it back to the state Senate for a final blessing.

Earlier this month, state senators approved the ERA, which among other thingsguarantees that "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex." Now they they are expected to sign off on the minor technical changes added to the resolution since it left their chamber.

It has been a long, twisty path for the ERA, which was first passed by Congress in 1972 and last approved by a state (Indiana) in 1977. Since then, the amendment has teetered just three states short of the threshold necessary to see it adopted into law nationwide — a threshold it failed to achieve by the time Congress' deadline came and went.

But for ERA supporters such as Democratic state Sen. Pat Spearman, that deadline is little more than a paper tiger.

"It was in the resolving clause, but it wasn't a part of the amendment that was proposed by Congress," she tells KNPR. "That's why the time limit is irrelevant."


Head Games

How The Government Ruined U.S. Healthcare (And What We Can Actually Do About It)

Government’s meddling in the healthcare business has been disastrous from the get-go.

Since 1910, when Republican William Taft gave in to the American Medical Association’s lobbying efforts, most administrations have passed new healthcare regulations. With each new law or set of new regulations, restrictions on the healthcare market went further, until at some point in the 1980s, people began to notice the cost of healthcare had skyrocketed.

This is not an accident. It’s by design.

As regulators allowed special interests to help design policy, everything from medical education to drugs became dominated by virtual monopolies that wouldn’t have otherwise existed if not for government’s notion that intervening in people’s lives is part of their job.

But how did costs go up, and why didn’t this happen overnight?

It wasn’t until 1972 that President Richard Nixon restricted the supply of hospitals by requiring institutions to provide a certificate-of-need.


Immigration, safety worry Md. parents, residents after school rape

WASHINGTON — Rockville High School parents and residents in Maryland remain angry and unsatisfied after meeting with school officials and Montgomery County police Tuesday night, several days after the rape of a 14-year-old girl in a school bathroom.

The meeting was closed to media, but afterward, those who attended shared their concerns with reporters. On Tuesday evening, the school system posted a video the meeting on its YouTube channel.

“I’m not satisfied,” said Elizabeth Plum, who doesn’t have a child in the school. She said that while the session was “pretty sedate,” she took issue with some of the answers from school officials.

“They were asked specifically whether they would admit students with criminal records and the answer is ‘yes.’ And would they be monitored? The answer is well, if they had a probation officer, maybe, or if they had an ankle bracelet, maybe,” she said.

“So in other words, the school apparently doesn’t take any responsibility, even if they know the student has a criminal record.”


NOI 3/23/17 Wicomico Poultry Fire Powellville Road


Date:  March 23, 2017
Time:  12:35 a.m.
Location / Address:  5679 Powellville Road, Powellville, Wicomico Co.
Type of Incident:   Fire
Description of Structure / Property:  40’ x 300’ poultry house
Owner / Occupants:  Michael and Christopher Zidanic
Injuries or Deaths:  None
Estimated $ Loss: Structure:  $200,000                    Contents: $30,000
Smoke Alarm Status:  n/a
Fire Alarm / Sprinkler Status:  Unknown
Arrests(s):  None
Primary Responding Fire Department:  Powellville
# of Alarms: 1      # Of Firefighters: 35
Time to Control:  1 ½ hours
Discovered By:  Passerby
Area of Origin:  Under Investigation
Preliminary Cause:  Under Investigation
Additional Information:  Anyone with information is asked to call the Salisbury Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal at (410) 713-3780.

After rape charges dropped, U of M law professor sues accuser

Francesco Parisi seeks $50K after investigation finds no evidence in case.

A University of Minnesota law professor who spent three weeks in jail on sexual assault charges before they were dismissed is suing his accuser for defamation.

The Hennepin County attorney’s office dropped charges against Francesco Parisi on March 9 after saying there was no evidence to support the allegations.

Parisi, 54, also teaches law in Italy. He is a speaker, author and editor, and since 2004 has served as a nominator for the Nobel Prize in economics, according to the lawsuit. Parisi said he has lost income and his reputation “has been irreparably damaged by the false and slanderous statements” made by his accuser, whom the Star Tribune is not naming. He asked for damages of at least $50,000.

From Free State to sanctuary state

Maryland vies for a new identity as a magnet for illegals

Maryland is quite a place. The state’s voters elected a Republican governor in 2014, but control remains in the hands of the same “progressives” who enjoy veto-proof majorities in both houses of the legislature on most issues. They vote as if former Gov. and presidential wannabe Martin O’Malley is still ruling the roost in Annapolis.

This hasn’t hurt current Gov. Larry Hogan’s popularity, but has made it difficult for the man to institute the reforms he promised when he was elected or to steer state policy in a more rational direction. Maryland Democratic leaders desire nothing so much as to outdo the liberal craziness so evident in California, and especially San Francisco.

Recently, the legislature granted the attorney general unilateral authority to sue anyone and everyone necessary to thwart federal policies progressives detest in the war on all things Trump. He immediately decided it would be in the enlightened interests of Marylanders and worshippers of open borders to join the assault on President Trump’s immigration policies while doubling down on pointing out that his state not only values, but welcomes illegal immigrants.

In support of all this and, no doubt, out of an ideologically driven desire to make the state a magnet for illegals, the House of Delegates in Annapolis voted on Monday to make Maryland a “sanctuary state” where illegal immigrants can find a home without fear of questioning, harassment or deportation just because they might be criminals in violation of federal laws and policy.


Our say: Maryland Democrats predictable on redistricting

Democrats in a key House committee on Monday killed Gov. Larry Hogan's proposal to assign the redrawing of Maryland's congressional districts to a nonpartisan commission.

The 18-5 party-line vote by the House Rules and Executive Nominations Committee surprised no one. The Democratic leadership of the General Assembly may realize that public sentiment has turned against gerrymandering — even the former governor who masterminded the process last time has come out against it. But they still find the tool politically indispensable.

Instead, Democrats have proposed an alternative: setting up a redistricting commission for Maryland just as soon as substantially similar moves have taken place in Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York — or until steamed crabs and Old Bay rain from the heavens.

OK, that last part is not actually in the legislation. But it might as well be. Keenly aware that Republicans use gerrymandering to safeguard their majorities in House of Representatives and the states they control, Maryland Democrats have likened redistricting reform to unilateral disarmament.

As we've said before in this space, if Democrats think they can make the tide turn in their favor by clinging to short-term tactical dodges and ignoring the desire of Americans for fair representation, they will wind up sopping wet.


Israeli Police Arrest Teen Suspect in Bomb Threats on US Jewish Targets

JERUSALEM — Israeli police on Thursday arrested a 19-year-old Israeli-American Jewish man as the primary suspect in a string of bomb threats targeting Jewish community centers and other institutions in the U.S., marking a potential breakthrough in a case that stoked fears across the United States.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld described the suspect as a hacker, but said his motives were still unclear. Israeli media identified him as an American-Israeli dual citizen and said he had been found unfit for compulsory service in the Israeli military.

"He's the guy who was behind the JCC threats," Rosenfeld said, referring to the dozens of anonymous threats phoned in to Jewish community centers in the U.S. over the past two months.


Democrats weigh all-out war against Trump's Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch

Senate Democrats got into several testy exchanges with Judge Neil Gorsuch during Tuesday's 11-hour hearing, which could end up being their opening move in a strategy that calls for doing anything it takes to keep him off the Supreme Court.

With 48 Senate seats, Democrats can't defeat Gorsuch on an up-or-down confirmation vote. But they do have the votes to filibuster his nomination, in effect forcing a 60-vote threshold Republicans cannot meet, and that's a step many on the left are encouraging Democrats to take.

"We want all senators to vote against Judge Gorsuch, including all procedural votes," said Shin Inouye, communications director for the progressive Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.


Court rules that another Obama labor appointee illegally served at NLRB

The Supreme Court ruled that President Obama violated the Constitution when he maintained an acting agency appointment after the Senate refused to confirm him.

The court ruled Tuesday that Obama appointee Lafe Solomon illegally served as acting general counsel to the National Labor Relations Board from 2010 to 2013. Solomon, who once violated the agency's ethics rules, should have vacated the position in accordance with the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (FVRA) after the Senate refused to take up his nomination to serve as permanent general counsel in 2011, the court found in a 6-2 opinion authored by Chief Justice John Roberts. The appointment was an "end-run around" the Constitution.

"We cannot cast aside the separation of powers and the Appointments Clause's important check on executive power for the sake of administrative convenience or efficiency," the majority ruled.


The Misplaced Compassion of 'Sanctuary Cities'

Once again the Left’s engagement in fantasy instead of fact leaves rationale people shaking their heads in utter disbelief. A mere four days after two criminal aliens were arrested for brutally raping a 14-year-old girl in a Rockville, Maryland high school, the state legislature passed a bill declaring Maryland to be a “sanctuary state,” affording illegal aliens more protections from deportation. As Mark Alexander noted last week, the “sanctuary” charade certainly makes these places safer for criminal aliens. Maryland’s Republican governor Larry Hogan, who promised to veto the bill, angrily responded to the crime and called for Montgomery County to “immediately and fully cooperate with all federal authorities” as they investigate the “heinous crime.”

To add insult to injury, it has been learned that one of the illegals had been previously detained in Texas for illegally entering the country, but was subsequently released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Obviously he should never have been released.

This past Monday, the Department of Homeland Security released a list, which is by no means exhaustive, of “jurisdictions that have enacted polices which limit cooperation with ICE.” A majority of the jurisdictions were located in Texas, but not surprisingly Montgomery County, Maryland, was also included on the list. Donald Trump has been working to expose just how big the problem of lawless local governments aiding and abetting of illegal aliens has become.

More here

Maryland Chiropractor Indicted for Filing False Tax Returns and Obstructing the IRS

Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has indicted Dr. Warren Gregory Belcher, age 58, of Salisbury, Maryland, with one count of corruptly endeavoring to impede the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and six counts of filing false tax returns. The indictment was returned on March 20, 2017, and unsealed late on March 21, 2017.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division; and Acting Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Holloman of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office.

According to the indictment, Dr. Belcher, operated a chiropractic business for nearly 20 years. During that time, he received income for chiropractic services from insurance companies, patients and other third parties, including another chiropractor in Baltimore. The indictment alleges that for the years 2009 through 2015, Belcher filed false individual income tax returns on which he failed to report that he operated a chiropractic business and falsely claimed that he had earned $0 in business income.

Look Who Voted/Supports A Sanctuary State

Maryland doctors win concessions on Hogan proposal to limit pain pill prescriptions

Maryland's doctors are on course to turn back Gov. Larry Hogan's plan to put strict limits on prescribing addictive opioid pain pills after securing major concessions Tuesday from a key House of Delegates panel.

The bill — proposed by Hogan to battle the state's heroin crisis — would have limited doctors and other medics to prescribing a seven-day supply of the pills when first treating a patient for pain, with a few exceptions. But a work group of delegates adopted an amended version of the bill that instead instructs medical professionals to follow best practices and give patients as few pills as they judge necessary.

The legislation wouldn't apply to patients getting treatment for an opioid addiction, who are in hospice care or who are suffering chronic pain.

The legislative panel also rejected an idea that would have allowed department officials to strip doctors of registrations needed to prescribe controlled drugs if they violated provisions of the bill. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said that provision would be critical to the success of the law, but it was strongly opposed by the state's medical society.


Army Vet Who Served Two Tours In Afghanistan To Be Deported, Judge Rules

His attorney is now hoping Illinois senators will act on his behalf.

A Chicago immigration judge ruled last week that an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan be deported back to Mexico, according to a local ABC affiliate.

The decision comes after Miguel Perez Jr. served seven years in prison for a felony drug offense. Perez, 38, was born in Mexico but has lived in the United States since the age of 8. He enlisted in the Army as a legal permanent resident in 2001 and served two tours in Afghanistan with U.S. Special Forces.

“My son served for this country, not for Mexico,” Perez’s mother, Esperanza Medina, told reporters at a Pilsen church on Sunday.

The veteran told The Chicago Tribune that after returning to the U.S. from the war zone, he had trouble finding work and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Perez said he sought treatment at a VA hospital, where they intended to run more tests to confirm a possible traumatic brain injury, but grew discouraged by the drawn-out process.

While he waited, he spent time with a childhood friend who gave him free drugs and alcohol. While with that friend, Perez handed a laptop case full of cocaine to an undercover officer in November 2008. He pleaded guilty and served seven years in a state penitentiary for the drug charge.


Feds Move to Obtain Land for Trump Border Wall

Texas landowners along the Mexican border received letters from Washington recently notifying them of the government’s intent to buy their land to build the border wall. Acquiring the real estate could be the biggest step for President Donald Trump to overcome in his effort to secure the border.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) sent letters to Texas border landowners notifying them as to the government’s intent to purchase the land needed for construction of the border wall promised by President Trump and previously authorized by Congress. One family received a letter offering $2,900 for 1.2 of their 16-acre property, the Texas Observer reported.

The Flores family has owned the acreage, located near Los Ebanos in Hidalgo County, for at least five generations, Yvette Salinas told the Observer. Her mother, Maria Flores, received a letter from the DOJ in January offering the compensation via a 21-page “Declaration of Taking,” the first step in an eminent domain condemnation process.

Salinas said this is the second time her family has received the $2,900 offer. The first notice came in 2008 following the passage of the Secure Fence Act of 2006. Following President Barrack’s election in 2008, the Justice Department backed away from the process as the administration took a different stance on building the wall.


Rape focuses critical attention on 'sanctuary' states

The rape of a 14-year-old girl last week in a boys’ bathroom of a Maryland high school, for which two immigrants have been charged, has fueled opposition to officials making the state a sanctuary for illegal immigrants.

One suspect in last Thursday’s attack is 17; the other is 18. Both were enrolled as freshman because of their weak English language skills. The two suspects, who were enrolled in Rockville’s Montgomery High School, are from Central America.

Four days after the rape, Maryland’s House of Delegates passed legislation to join states like California in becoming a “sanctuary state,” affording illegal criminal aliens additional protections and making it more difficult to deport them or ask about immigration status.

That action has infuriated Maryland officials.


Meals On Wheels Rolls On