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Friday, May 11, 2018

Industrial Accident

Event: Industrial Accident with serious Life Threatening Injuries 

Date: 05/09/2018 

Time: 1415 hrs. Location: E/B Rt. 50 @ Old Bradley Rd., off the roadway near the tree line. County: Salisbury Wicomico County Maryland 

On the date and time stated above Troopers of the Salisbury Barrack responded to the area of E/B Rt. 50 and Old Bradley Rd., Wicomico County for the complaint of an Industrial Accident with injury. The caller report a contractor hired with the Maryland State Highway Administration was cutting trees in the area. The employees were using a bucket truck that had an extended boom. While the bucket was extended in the air approximately 25 to 30 feet, cutting trees the vehicle overturned. The contractor company was identified as Honey Cove Lawn Care of 1965 Grays Rd., Prince Frederick Calvert County Maryland. The employee in the bucket portion was identified as Johny Arnoldo Picon Velasquez, 5, M, 6/24/1995 of 21079 Winding Way, Lexington Park St. Mary’s County Maryland. When EMS arrived they made the request for Trooper 4 to respond based on the life threatening injuries assessed. Trooper 4 transported the victim to Shock Trauma. Troopers on the scene secured the incident, while D/Sgt. Welch and Sgt. Ramey of CED were notified. Cpl. Hale of CED responded to assist with the investigation. Sgt. Staten made contact with MOSH and learned that Regional Inspector Robert Fadrowski was enroute to assist with the investigation as well. Cpl. Phillips responded to the scene to serve as the onsite supervisor. The incident was off of the roadway that caused no delays in traffic or closures. 

Trooper(s) involved: Cpl. Phillips, Trp. Davis of Salisbury Barrack "E", and Cpl. D. Hale of CED Lower Shore. 

Resources: MSP Aviation Trooper 4, Maryland Occupational Safety and Health, Inspector Robert Fadrowski, Maryland State Highway Administration Misc: N/A 

Cooperating With Trump on Immigration Takes Political Toll on Sheriffs

There may be no politics more local than a campaign for sheriff, but the charged national issue of immigration has become suddenly salient. The defeat of two prominent sheriffs in North Carolina may set a template for progressive challenges nationwide.

President Trump's immigration policies are having an effect in unexpected places -- namely, local elections for sheriff.

The question of local cooperation with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement was central to the outcome of three races for sheriff in North Carolina on Tuesday. Many voters objected to the program known as 287(g), under which local law enforcement agencies contract with the feds on immigration enforcement.

"In the sheriff's race, that was the main issue that got voters out to the polls," says Oliver Merino, an organizer with Comunidad Colectiva, an immigrant rights group in Charlotte. "The fact that we had two candidates committed to ending the program, while the current sheriff didn't want to hear anything about ending the program, that gave a clear choice."


CNN Poll: 'Blue Wave' Virtually Disappears as Democrat Generic Congressional Ballot Advantage Dwindles to 3 Points

CNN released a poll on Wednesday with results that shocked its own pundits: the much vaunted “Blue Wave” hoped for by Democrats in the coming midterm elections has virtually disappeared.

The Democratic generic Congressional Ballot advantage has dwindled to three points, 47 percent to 44 percent among registered voters, two points below the five point generic advantage Democrats need to hold onto the 196 seats they currently hold. That five point bar is due to the significant gerrymandering advantage Republicans obtained when Republican majority state legislatures in states that had Democratic majority legislatures in 2000 redrew Congressional district lines after the 2010 census.


Do Traffic Cameras Really Make Streets Safer?

They are despised by drivers and many lawmakers.

I opened the mail one day last fall and found an envelope from the D.C. government charging me $100 for driving too fast on K Street on a Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks before. You go through little stages in those situations: First, disbelief -- “Surely we weren’t doing that.” Then, anger -- “Can’t the District of Columbia find a better way to pay its bills?” And finally, a fear of having blundered into a rigged game. Maybe we were going 39 miles an hour in a 25-mph zone, as alleged, but 25 is a suspiciously low limit for a spot just off a freeway. Is the whole point to make a little extra money off unsuspecting motorists? If so, the only practical way to enforce that kind of rule is with cameras, which is exactly how it’s done in D.C.

If this is the way they are going to use technology, you may be tempted to say, perhaps we’d all be better off if they took the cameras out. But would we? Let’s stop and think about it for a minute.

They’ve been thinking about it a lot in Iowa, where an angry and long-running fight is taking place between cities that consider traffic cameras an essential component of safety and conservative state legislators who see them as one more scheme for fleecing taxpayers. Both sides accuse the opposition of playing Big Brother. But they have wildly different ideas about just who or what Big Brother is. To the anti-camera Republicans in the legislature, Big Brother is the cities that have installed the machines to snoop on motorists. To the cities, Big Brother is an insensitive state government trampling on local rights.


Court Sides Again With Ocean City Street Performers; Registration Process Eliminated By Federal Judge

OCEAN CITY — A federal judge on Wednesday ruled against the Town of Ocean City on the salient points of a civil suit filed in U.S. District Court by a group of Boardwalk street performers.

For the fourth time in as many tries, the Town of Ocean City was not successful in defending street performer regulations after U.S. District Court Judge Richard Bennett on Wednesday ruled in favor of the plaintiffs on the most important aspects of the town’s latest street performer ordinance. Bennett issued his opinion on Wednesday on the cusp of another summer season in Ocean City. Essentially, the federal court’s ruling eliminates the pre-registration requirement, location limitations and most of the time and space restrictions on street performing on the Boardwalk.

The case was first filed in 2015 by eight Boardwalk street performers and challenged many of the provisions on the town’s latest attempt to regulate busking along the famed promenade. The case was rife with procedural issues from the beginning, which delayed a final ruling from the federal court before Wednesday’s opinion was handed down.

In the end, however, the eight street performer plaintiffs were successful in arguing the town’s street performer ordinance violated their First Amendment rights to free speech. As a result, most of the provisions in the town’s ordinance will be struck down, likely resulting in a return to the old “wild west” days where almost anything goes on the Boardwalk related to street performing.


Beer Boom: How One City Used Suds to Brew Up a New Economy

Roanoke, Va., is betting big on beer.

Roanoke, Va., was a city built by the locomotive. Crisscrossed by rail lines, Roanoke served as a regional freight hub as well as a manufacturing center for steam engines for the Norfolk and Western Railway.

By the time the railroad shuttered its Roanoke headquarters in 2015, however, the city had already worked to wean itself off the rail industry. Like many other successful former factory towns, Roanoke had developed a solid "eds and meds" economy focused on health care and higher education centers, such as the Virginia Tech medical school. The city has also begun to capitalize on the nearby Appalachian Mountains to attract visitors and residents who enjoy biking, hiking and other outdoor activities.

But there's something else that's helping Roanoke's economy thrive: beer.

"For most of our history we thought of ourselves as an old railroad town," says Beth Doughty, executive director for the Roanoke Regional Partnership, which works to attract business to the area. "In 10 years we've changed the narrative. Today, she says, "we use the term 'beer, bikes and brains.'"


The Real Reason Behind Recent Teacher Strikes -- And Why They're Likely to Continue

It's about much more than low salaries.

In the first few months of 2018, long-simmering teacher anger has already resulted in a series of strikes, walkouts and protests in Arizona, Colorado, Kentucky, Oklahoma and West Virginia. Teacher pay and education underfunding issues have also sparked controversy this year in local governments including Milwaukee, Jersey City, N.J., Clark County, Nev., and a slew of Florida counties.

To be sure, a big part of the problem has been relatively low teacher pay. But the situation is much more complicated than that.

In 26 states, average teacher salaries, adjusted for inflation, were less in 2016 than they were at the end of the 20th century, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Two years ago, an Economic Policy Institute (EPI) report documented the dive in weekly wages for teachers compared to other workers with comparable education requirements. In 2015, an average teacher made 17 percent less than comparable workers in salary. Back in 1994, the salary gap was 1.8 percent.


National Security Desk: Profiles of Valor: U.S. Navy SEAL Britt Slabinski

This particular Medal of Honor for a battle in Afghanistan is not without controversy.

A retired U.S. Navy SEAL, Master Chief Special Warfare Operator (Sea, Air, and Land) Britt K. Slabinski, will receive the Medal of Honor on May 24 for “conspicuous gallantry” during a firefight in Afghanistan. Here’s how the White House describes Slabinski’s heroism:

As a Team Leader assigned to a Joint Task Force, in the early morning hours of 4 March 2002, then-Senior Chief Slabinski led a reconnaissance team to its assigned observation area on a snow covered, 10,000-foot mountaintop in support of a major coalition offensive [Operation Anaconda] against Al-Qaida forces in the valley below. Rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fired from enemy fighters hidden and entrenched in the tree lines and rocks riddled the team’s insertion helicopter. One teammate was ejected from the aircraft, and the crippled helicopter crash landed on the valley floor below. Then-Senior Chief Slabinski boldly rallied his remaining team and organized supporting assets for a daring assault back to the mountain peak in an attempt to rescue their stranded teammate. Later, after a second enemy-opposed insertion, then-Senior Chief Slabinski led his six-man joint team up a snow-covered hill, in a frontal assault against two bunkers under withering enemy fire from three directions. He repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire as he engaged in a pitched, close-quarters firefight against the tenacious and more heavily armed enemy forces. Proximity made air support impossible, and after several teammates became casualties, the situation became untenable.

Senior Chief Slabinski maneuvered his team to a more defensible position, directed air strikes in very close proximity to his team’s position, and requested reinforcements. As daylight approached, the accurate enemy mortar fire forced the team further down the sheer mountainside. Carrying a seriously wounded teammate down a sheer cliff face, he led an arduous trek across one kilometer of precipitous terrain, through waist-deep snow while continuing to call fire on the enemy who was engaging the team from the surrounding ridges. During the subsequent 14 hours, he stabilized casualties on his team and continued the fight against the enemy until the mountaintop was secured by the quick reaction force and his team was extracted.


Thomas Gallatin: NAACP: We Need Mandatory 'Implicit Bias' Testing for All Public Officials

The real-life implications of the NAACP's call would see the end of Americans' First Amendment rights.

On Wednesday, USA Today ran an opinion article by NAACP President Derrick Johnson in which he called for mandatory “implicit bias” testing for all public officials. Hello 1984. Johnson asserts that recent events, such as the arrest of two black men at Starbucks, indicate “that racism still remains a much more popular drink in America than coffee.” He then commends Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson for his decision to train all employees in “unconscious and implicit bias,” though Derrick Johnson questions why the entire nation waits and doesn’t proactively engage in implicit bias testing and training.

Johnson further writes, “The NAACP is calling for an expansion of the movement to demand mandatory testing for implicit bias, particularly for officials paid with public dollars. For major corporations, implicit bias training must become a part of corporate responsibility rather than always as a response to video-taped intolerance.” The test he recommends is the dubious Harvard University implicit association test (IAT). But the IAT breaks the cardinal rule of sound research: It doesn’t produce repeatable results. Thus, it’s anything but good science.


Caroline C. Lewis: Faith Community Wins More Support From Trump

Trump signed an executive order establishing the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative.

While major news outlets continue to recycle stories on Stormy Daniels, Michael Cohen and the Robert Mueller probe, it can be difficult to see if anything significant — or at least good — is happening in Washington. However, this administration has prioritized religious liberty, conscience rights and the importance of the faith community in our country’s policies.

Last week, President Donald Trump signed a little-noticed executive order establishing the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative. The executive order acknowledges the vital role that faith and community-based organizations play in the transformation and empowerment of our society. “Faith-based and community organizations have tremendous ability to serve individuals, families, and communities through means that are different from those of government and with capacity that often exceeds that of government,” Trump’s order stated. “These organizations lift people up, keep families strong, and solve problems at the local level.”


New Loan Sharks Enter The Credit Card Business

A while back, a writer (whose name and story details I unfortunately don’t remember) was researching the credit card business and tried to figure out how card issuers decide which customers to pursue. To this end he created a series of fake personas ranging from an affluent straight-arrow who always pays her bills on time to a white-trashy guy with impulse control issues and a history of multiple defaults and late payments.

The findings? Impulse-control-issues guy was deluged with card solicitations while straight arrow’s mailbox was relatively empty. Credit card companies, it turned out, make most of their money by extending credit to people who will be frequently late (thus generating massive late fees) and who are likely, when they do make a payment, to choose the minimum and let their balances accrue at double-digit interest rates. Customers who pay off their modest monthly balance are relatively unprofitable for the card companies and are therefore not as attractive.

Why bring this up, other than because it’s always fun to pick on such obvious villains? Because two uber-villains are now eyeing the business:

Goldman, Wells Fargo Look to Credit Cards for Bigger Returns

Two of the biggest U.S. banks, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.and Wells Fargo & Co., are on the brink of piling into credit-card lending, seeking a share of the $183 billion in fees and interest tied to the product.

Goldman Sachs is weighing the move as part of a push into consumer finance with its Marcus online lender, Chief Financial Officer Marty Chavez said during a conference call with analysts last month. Wells Fargo plans to resume targeting U.S. non-customers with mailed credit-card offers later this year and began accepting new applicants from outside affiliates in 2016.

The firms have pressing reasons to jump into card lending. Goldman is looking for a business that promises attractive returns even if the bank doesn’t win a large share, Chavez said. And for Wells Fargo, entering a market rich with fees is even more important after a Federal Reserve order crimped its business plans amid customer abuses in retail banking.

The lure is clear. The fees and interest U.S. banks collected from their card businesses jumped 12 percent in 2017 from a year earlier, according to estimates from payments consultancy R.K. Hammer. The average household that maintains a balance in credit-card debt pays $904 in interest a year, a study by Nerdwallet shows.


NOI 5/9/18 Wicomico Multi-Family Dwelling Fire Rose Street


Date:   May 9, 2018
Time:   9:21 p.m.
Location / Address:   725 Rose St., Salisbury, Wicomico Co.
Type of Incident:  Fire
Description of Structure / Property:   One story wood framed multi-family dwelling (4 occupied, 4 vacant)
Owner / Occupants:   Milford Twilley Management (Owner)
Injuries or Deaths:  None
Estimated $ Loss: Structure:  $150,000                      Contents: $50,000
Smoke Alarm Status:  Unknown
Fire Alarm / Sprinkler Status:  n/a
Arrests(s):  None
Primary Responding Fire Department:  Salisbury FD
# of Alarms:  1     # Of Firefighters:  21
Time to Control:  1 hour
Discovered By:   Neighbor
Area of Origin:  Interior
Preliminary Cause:  Under Investigation

Additional Information:   Occupants from adjoining units were assisted by the American Red Cross.  Anyone with information is asked to call the Salisbury Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal at (410) 713-3780.

Public Notice: 2018 Recreational Black Sea Bass Fishery

The secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, in response to the action taken for black sea bass by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, pursuant to the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) and F, announces the season, catch limit, and minimum size for the recreational black sea bass fishery for the remainder of 2018.

Effective 12:01 a.m. May 15, 2018:
The season is open May 15, 2018 through December 31, 2018.
Anglers may keep up to 15 black sea bass per person per day.
The minimum size is 12.5 inches.

This notice supersedes previous public notices issued in 2018 for the recreational black sea bass fishery.

REPORT: Comey Seemingly Coordinated His Russia Testimony With Mueller, Emails Show

A government watchdog group released new emails on Thursday that revealed former FBI Director James Comey seemingly coordinated his testimony last year before the Senate Intelligence Committee with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Top-level FBI officials advised Comey to "consult" with Mueller before testifying in front of any congressional committees regarding the Trump administration firing him as FBI director and alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.Journalist Sara Carter notes:

It is the first time evidence reveals there was coordination between the Special Counsel and Comey in the long drawn out controversial Mueller investigation.


Nurse charged in death of ex-Trump adviser H.R. McMaster's father

A nurse has been charged in the death of President Donald Trump's former national security adviser's father at a Philadelphia senior care facility.

Christann Shyvin Gainey, 30, was charged on Thursday with involuntary manslaughter, neglect and records tampering in the death of H.R. McMaster Sr.

McMaster died on April 13 after falling and hitting his head at the Cathedral Village retirement community.

The 84-year-old was left in a wheelchair in the lobby and died about eight hours after his fall.

The Pennsylvania attorney general's office says surveillance video showed that Gainey failed to conduct a total of eight required neurological checks on McMaster after his fall.


MS-13 gang abduction, killing in Woodbridge was completely random, police say

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VA (WUSA9) -- A horrific gang killing in Woodbridge involving a victim who was found inside his burning car took a shocking turn Wednesday.

Prince William County Police are now calling the attack completely random, which is sending chills through the community.

In most gang murders, the victim usually has some type of gang affiliation or connection. That wasn't the case here. Police said the victim had no connection to any gang.


Sarah Palin calls John McCain's comments a 'perpetual gut-punch'

Former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin says hearing that Sen. John McCain now regrets choosing her as his 2008 running mate is 'like a perpetual gut-punch' every time she hears about it.

And the latest verdict from the ailing 81-year-old Arizona Republican, she said, is perplexing because McCain has told her very different things over and over in person.

'That's not what Sen. McCain has told me all these years, as he's apologized to me repeatedly for the people who ran his campaign – some who now staff MSNBC, the newsroom there, which tells you a lot,' Palin said.

Hearing the opposite on TV, she said, was unnerving.

'It's not a real fun thing that part of my job is the requirement – is having to read the news every day,' Palin lamented.

The onetime Alaska governor spoke to in Washington before headlining a fundraising event for a Trump-friendly political action committee.


Avenatti Exposed: Stormy's Lawyer May Face Disbarrment, Legal Action As Past Catches Up

Stormy Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti has some explaining to do...

After appearing on CNN 59 times to claim the moral high ground over President Trump's alleged decade-old affair with Daniels, skeletons in Avenatti's closet are now beginning to pour out.

Questions have emerged over who's funding Avenatti, how he was privy to Trump attorney Michael Cohen's bank records - and how exactly did he obtain banking transactions for two men also named Michael Cohen, who he wrongly accused in a seven-page "dossier" released this week.

Other questions have come to light over a bankrupt coffee chain Avenatti left in smoldering ashes with $5 million in unpaid taxes to the IRS, an alleged $160,000 owed for unpaid coffee, and over 45 lawsuits filed in connection with the failed venture.


Mossberg Cuts Ties With Dick's Sporting Goods — Releases a Savage Statement

In another blow to Dick's Sporting Goods, gun manufacturer Mossberg announced on Wednesday it will be cutting all ties with the outdoor store after it was revealed that it hired Washington, D.C.-based gun control lobbyists.

“Effective immediately, O.F. Mossberg & Sons will not accept any future orders from Dick's Sporting Goods or Field & Stream, and is in the process of evaluating current contractual agreements,” Mossbergwrote in its statement.

“It has come to our attention that Dick's Sporting Goods recently hired lobbyists on Capitol Hill to promote additional gun control.” Iver Mossberg, the chief executive officer of O.F. Mossberg & Sons, said. “Make no mistake, Mossberg is a staunch supporter of the U.S. Constitution and our Second Amendment rights, and we fully disagree with Dick's Sporting Goods' recent anti-Second Amendment actions.”


VIP packages for Clinton Foundation gala cost $100K

While the Clinton Foundation was believed to be on the down low after the 2016 election, it’s back, with a bang.

The philanthropic organization is throwing a glitzy gala featuring Shaggy (whose hits include “It Wasn’t Me”) and Sting (frontman for The Police).

Fox News reported last year that the Clinton Global Initiative — a branch of the foundation which had hosted an annual conference of world leaders and influencers — was laying off 22 employees, leading many to believe that the whole Clinton Foundation was kaput.

But an invitation — first reported by Axios — just went out to Clinton megadonors from Hillary, Bill and Chelsea urging supporters to join a May 24 dinner, with tables going for up to $100,000.


3 misdemeanor counts for the head fo Baltimore cops chief for not filing?

Let’s not water this down. The former head of police in Baltimore was replaced by One Darryl SeSousa. Why was he chosen to replace the last Chief?

IRS Criminal Penalties: Tax Evasion, Filing False Tax Return, Not Filing

criminal tax penalties and tax evasion

Last year, 2,300 criminal tax convictions were made and 2,043 taxpayers were incarcerated. Incarceration refers to jail time, home confinement, and electronic monitoring.  Although civil penalties are normally assessed, in some cases, a taxpayer could experience criminal charges, fines and jail time. In rare cases, IRS auditors, or Revenue Agents, could report you to the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Unit. This happens many times without your knowledge. Whenever your case is handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department, other enforcement actions are typically paused.
Here are some common criminal penalties and/or consequences.

Filing a Fraudulent Return Penalty or Charge

It is a felony and a form of fraud. This is more common than tax evasion simply and less severe. It carries up to 3 years in prison, and up to $100k in fines.

Tax Evasion Penalty or Charge

This is a type of criminal felony whereby a taxpayer willfully uses illegal means to conceal or misrepresent financial details in order to evade tax laws and avoid paying taxes. If convicted, tax evasion carries up to 5 years in jail and up to $100k in fines. This is different than filing a false tax return.

Failing to File a Tax Return (Not Filing) Penalty or Charge

This is a misdemeanor, and normally civil tax penalties are assessed, instead of criminal. Although unlikely, you could face up to 1 year in jail and $25k in fines for each year you failed to file. One thing to note is that you can only face criminal charges for not filing a tax return (with civil penalties there is no time limit) if it was due no more than six years ago. As long as you file before the IRS contacts you, you are in the clear. This charge is more common than the former because the IRS only has to prove that you did not intend to file.

Willfully Failing to Pay Estimated Taxes or Keep Records

This is a misdemeanor, and normally civil tax penalties are assessed, instead of criminal. Although unlikely, you could face up to 1 year in jail and $25k in fines.
Realize that civil tax penalties for fraud are more likely than criminal penalties or consequences. In most cases, fraud is punished with civil penalties.

Willfully Failing to Disclose Offshore Bank Accounts

If the IRS can prove you willfully failed to disclose offshore bank accounts, you can face fines up to the greater of $124,588 per violation per year or 50% of the account balance at the time of the violation. Moreover, criminal prosecution can also take place with up to a five year prison sentence possible. A few years ago, the IRS offered the Voluntary Disclosure program for offshore tax evaders, and 15,000 taxpayers came forward. Those that came forward benefited from lower penalties and the avoidance of criminal prosecution.
If you are facing any of these charges or penalties, speak to one of our tax attorneys or professionals today.

Hamas Gaza head gives support for protesters to breach Israel fence

A senior Hamas official signalled support Thursday for thousands of Palestinians to breach the border fence from Gaza into Israel at protests to coincide with next week's US embassy move to Jerusalem.

In his first major briefing to international media since becoming Gaza head of the Islamist group in 2017, Yahya Sinwar implied he would like to see thousands of Palestinians crossing into Israel as part of more than a month of protests.

Asked what he wanted to see from protests on Monday and Tuesday, Sinwar pointed out Israel has never specifically defined its borders.

"What's the problem with hundreds of thousands breaking through a fence that is not a border?"

Sinwar said he hoped Israel would not shoot at what he called "peaceful" protests.


BPD Commissioner Darryl De Sousa charged with failing to file taxes

Federal officials say De Sousa hasn't filed taxes for 3 years

Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa was charged with failing to file his tax returns, federal officials said Thursday.

Officials with the U.S. Attorney's Office said De Sousa, 53, was charged by federal criminal information Thursday with three misdemeanor counts of failure to file a U.S. Individual Tax Return.

De Sousa willfully failed to file a federal return for tax years 2013, 2014, and 2015, despite having been a salaried employee of the Baltimore Police Department in each of those years, officials said.

Court documents say De Sousa had and received gross income of at least $93,104 in 2013, $101,985 in 2014 and $127,089 in 2015. He was a salaried employee of the Baltimore Police Department each of those years.


Who is paying Michael Avenatti?

So exactly who is paying Michael Avenatti? And is he a lawyer, an opposition researcher, a journalist, or a campaign operative?

He wants to make the discussion all about where Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal attorney, got his money but, to have clean hands, Avenatti needs to come forward with exactly who is financing his operation, who his sources were for detailed banking information, and whether he really is an attorney solely representing Stormy Daniels or just using her as cover to wage a political operation.

From the beginning, this has been fishy. Daniels’s previous lawyer advised her to stick to her agreements. In contrast, Avenatti okayed her violating with impunity her non-disclosure agreement on “60 Minutes” despite a binding arbitration judgment against her.

She acknowledged on Twitter that she is not paying for her lawyer. So who is? And did he indemnify her against all multimillion-dollar penalties?

It took a long time and even a court battle to find out that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid for the Fusion GPS dossier, a fact that was disclosed only after the damage was done, as former British spy and the dossier’s compiler, Christopher Steele, had already created a vast echo chamber as though the material he was peddling had been verified in some way, which of course, it never was. Now Avenatti is being allowed to repeat this same process, mixing truths with half truths and evading accountability.


Juuling: The e-cigarette device that's exploded in popularity among teens

At a high school in Maryland's capital city of Annapolis, the principal ordered doors removed from bathrooms to keep students from sneaking hits in the stalls.

A school system in New Jersey installed detectors in its high schools to digitally alert administrators to students looking for their next "rip."

And recently in Fairfax County, Virginia, students broke into vape shops looking to score some nicotine.

Those are just some of the consequences school administrators and law enforcement officials across the country are confronting as Juul e-cigarette devices have exploded in popularity among teens. Parents, principals and police struggle with underage use, worried the novelty of the slim e-cigarettes that look like USB drives and their fruity nicotine pods will create a new generation of addicted smokers.

"The problem with the juuling device is they say they are manufactured for adults, but it is manufactured in a way that appeals to children," said Deborah Wheeler, superintendent of the Upper Dublin school district in eastern Pennsylvania. The school system has banned USB memory sticks because students were charging their Juuls with school-issued laptops. "Students don't realize it is still dangerous and harmful to their health."

More here

Tucker Carlson: ‘Modern Liberalism Is a Religious Movement’ to Replace Christianity

Wednesday night on Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” host Tucker Carlson declared “modern liberalism” a religious movement.

Partial transcript as follows:

CARLSON: In the wake of Eric Schneiderman’s resignation as attorney general of New York, some of his long-time friends on the left are professing shock.

You’ve heard them. We just can’t believe it, they say. How can a man so publicly committed to feminism beat women? It just doesn’t make sense.

But, of course, it makes perfect sense. Self-righteousness is always a marker for secret creepiness. The people yelling the loudest are usually hiding the most.

Keep that in mind the next time you hear some Democratic politician lecturing you about your moral inferiority. That’s the guy you need to watch carefully. Chances are he’s up to something awful behind closed doors.

Hypocrisy isn’t just a feature of modern liberalism. It’s the heart of modern liberalism. Ever wonder how people who advocate for abortion can say they stand for children? How a movement that demonizes an entire race can claim to oppose racism? The same way Al Gore can travel by private jet while trying to ban your SUV.

More here

CONFUSION: Pelosi says tax cut was ‘uh milli-, uh billi-, uh a trillion and a half dollars‘

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently met with members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers to discuss the “GOP Tax Scam,” though her message was hard to make out at times.

Pelosi began her remarks by thanking Democratic lawmakers who joined the group to talk, as well as the union’s top officials and members, before turning her focus on badmouthing tax cuts approved by Congress last year.

“Now this is, we are here, you heard after they did their tax scam that they were giving this tax break to corporate America. That 83 percent of the benefits of the tax scam will go to the top 1 percent in our country.

“And a big chuck of that, uh milli-, uh billi-, uh a trillion and a half dollars will go to corporate America, but don’t worry they are going to create jobs, raise wages, give bonuses and the rest,” Pelosi muttered.


UK Proposes Six Year Prison Sentences for Online Posts Against Religion, Transgender

People promoting “hostility” towards a religion or the transgendered online could get much harsher sentences, of up to six years in jail, especial if they have a large online audience according to new proposals.

The Sentencing Council for England and Wales has drafted changes to public order offenses, including anyone perceived as targeting online “protected characteristics” including “race; sex; disability; age; sexual orientation; religion or belief; pregnancy and maternity; and gender reassignment.”

The most severe punishments will be handed to those “in a position of trust, authority or influence and abuses their position to stir up hatred,” such as political leaders or figureheads and anyone whose offenses are “persistent.”

If an “offender was a member of, or was associated with, a group promoting hostility based on race or religion,” their sentence will also be harsher.

The Sentencing Council believes that the use of social media, YouTube, and other “websites” to stir hatred is a growing problem – despite the number of prosecutions remain relatively low.


DHS Secretary Nielsen Begs Asylum-Seekers: ‘Please Come to Ports of Entry’

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen begged foreign asylum-seekers to “please come to the ports of entry” on the U.S.-Mexico border during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing.

Nielsen pleaded with asylum-seekers to enter the U.S. by using the ports of entry to legally come and claim asylum, despite President Trump’s concerns over the nation’s weak and often abused asylum laws.

Nielsen told asylum-seekers during the hearing:

NIELSEN: If you are fleeing and you have a need to come to the United States, please come to the ports of entry. You — you — you know, we will process your claim there. But if you come across the border illegally, you’ve — you’ve broken the law and we have to prosecute. It’s the only way to keep our border — to have a border.

So if you have a claim, you have children, you’re concerned for your life, go to a port of entry. You’ll be processed. We have asylum laws. But when you break the law, that’s where it gets very difficult because we have to prosecute those who break the law.

As Breitbart News reported, Center for Immigration Studies Director of Policy Jessica Vaughan described Nielsen’s comments telling foreign nationals to use the ports of entry as a “colossal mistake.”

More here

A home completely controlled by Alexa..

Amazon wants to show you how much you can rely on its Alexa voice assistant to control everything in your home, from thermostats to TVs.

The company announced Wednesday it's partnering with home builder Lennar to create "Amazon Experience Centers" — model homes containing built-in Alexa-controlled appliances — in hopes of persuading home owners and home buyers to embed Amazon services into their houses.

Lennar is outfitting model homes with TVs connected to Amazon's Fire TV system, buttons that can reorder goods from Amazon, and Alexa-enabled products that allow customers to control the lights, TV, shades and other appliances with their voices. Customers can tour the homes in cities around the U.S. to get an idea of how they work.

Apple has taken a similar approach. It has already teamed with home builders to create model new homes with HomeKit-ready products that can be controlled from an iPhone or iPad with Apple's Siri assistant. Brookfield Residential is one such home builder.

For Amazon, it's another example of how badly it wants to be in your home. Doing so lets it collect valuable data on how you purchase goods...

More here

NHL playoffs 2018: Lightning enforcing dress code for Capitals fans

Ticket restrictions in the NHL, especially during playoff games, aren't unheard of. What is odd is enforcing a dress code.

According to the team's website, Capitals fans will not be allowed to wear red or anything with the team's logo if their seats are in the Lightning's Lexus Lounge, which includes seats against the glass, or in the Chase Club luxury suites. Instead, they will have to wear neutral colors.

“Fans wearing visiting team-branded apparel will be asked to remove such apparel while in these areas,” the team said.

Tickets for Capitals fans are already limited, since Tampa Bay will not allow anyone who doesn't reside in Florida to purchase a ticket through the team site or Ticketmaster.

“Orders by residents outside of Florida will be canceled without notice and refunds given,” the team said.


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Is Common Core Racist? Check Out The Results

The December 2015 re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act required all states that wanted Title I money to help school districts with low-income students to develop and submit a four-year plan, under the control of the state’s education department. All state plans had to be “peer reviewed” by people chosen by the U.S. Department of Education and approved by the U.S. Secretary of Education. The bill, known as the Every Student Succeeds Act, did not require or even suggest that these four-year state education plans be approved by a state’s elected legislators or by the elected local school board members in the state.

Interestingly, no state’s attorney general is on record as declaring the plan submitted by its state’s education department illegal or unconstitutional. No state attorney general pointed out that the federal government has no constitutional authority over a state’s education policies.

The federal government can require a state to be accountable via an audit for the funding it provides states for K-12 public education, mostly through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and other programs established by the federal Department of Education. (However, most of the money for K-12 — about 90 percent — comes from local and state funds provided by taxpayers in a state.) An audit enables the U.S. Department of Education to ensure that the funds Congress appropriates for K-12 education are used in the categories approved by the House and Senate appropriations committees. Audits were used for funds allotted under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act until about 2001, when the act was reauthorized by a bill called No Child Left Behind. Audits tied to disbursements of federal funds comport with common sense, but the U.S. Department of Education has no legal or statutory authority to impose educational policies or practices on states or school districts.


Masters of the Universe: Google and Facebook Censor Abortion Referendum Ads in Ireland

Tech giants Facebook and Google have banned advertisements related to Ireland’s upcoming abortion referendum this month.

Ahead of Ireland’s upcoming referendum, which will decide whether or not the country’s eighth amendment preventing abortion in the country will be revoked, Silicon Valley’s masters of the universe have chosen to ban advertisements relating to the referendum. Facebook and Google both announced separately that they would be banning the advertisement of ads relating to the referendum. Facebook has banned ads from organizations based out of Ireland, while Google has banned all ads regardless of source.


The Rothschild Syria Connection - Major Revelations

Israel Destroyed ‘Almost All’ Iranian Sites in Syria

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Thursday morning that the IDF destroyed “almost all of Iran’s military infrastructure sites in Syria” overnight in response to a rocket barrage on Israel’s north, and warned Tehran that attacks on Israeli territory will be met with “the strongest possible force.”

Liberman said that Israel has no interest in a conflict with Iran but will not accept any threat against it.

“If we get rain, you will get a flood,” he warned. “We will not let Iran use Syria as a base to attack us from.”

“The Iranians tried to attack the sovereign territory of Israel,” Liberman said. “Not one Iranian rocket landed in the State of Israel. Nobody was hurt. Nothing was damaged. And we’re to be thankful for that. We damaged nearly all of the Iranian infrastructure in Syria.”


Poll: Marylanders back spending more on school safety, career education, but less support for pre-K and teacher pay

Marylanders support spending more money on school safety and career and technical education, according to a new statewide poll. But they are less enthusiastic about expanding pre-kindergarten or paying teachers more if those initiatives mean higher taxes or reductions in other services.

They also do not believe politicians who say casino revenues will be dedicated solely to education aid, as promised by a constitutional amendment the legislature just put on the November ballot.

Those are some of the results of a new statewide poll of 600 voters by Burton Research and Strategies paid for by Maryland Public Policy Institute, a free-market think-tank.

“The survey findings cast doubt on several sweeping proposals offered by the state’s closely-watched education reform commission, known as the Kirwan Commission on Innovation and Excellence in [Education],” said pollster Jim Burton, whose firm has done work for many Republican candidates.


Amnesty ‘Discharge Petition’ Gains: Ryan Urges Bipartisan DACA Deal

House Speaker Paul Ryan is calling for a bipartisan ‘DACA’ amnesty, as business-first Republicans gather signatures on their discharge-petition plan to push through a no-strings amnesty.

Ryan used his weekly press conference to criticize the discharge-petition plan, which would combine signatures from 25 Republicans and all 193 Democrats to vote through a no-strings amnesty for 3 million or more younger illegals. The petition plan would also torpedo the compromise reforms proposed by President Donald Trump and Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House judiciary committee.

“We never want to turn the floor over to the minority, and what I don’t want to do is just have a process that just ends up with a [presidential] veto,” Ryan told reporters on Thursday.

He continued:

New Zealand fisherman reels in 321-pound marlin too big for his boat

A 25-year-old angler in New Zealand caught himself a monster marlin during a fishing trip late last week — but the fish was so large he couldn't even haul it into his boat.

“It was an epic day,” recalled Josh Roberts, a Whangarei resident, of his 321-pound catch.

"I've caught other fish but I've never caught a striped marlin. I've been targeting one for the past 10 years," he added.


Maryland KKK leader pleads no contest to firing gun at Charlottesville white nationalist rally

A Maryland man who has identified himself as a Ku Klux Klan imperial wizard was found guilty Tuesday for illegally firing a weapon during last year’s volatile “Unite the Right” rally in the Charlottesville’s downtown.

Richard W. Preston Jr., 53, had planned on going to trial on the gamble that he could possibly persuade a jury that he had acted in defense of himself or others — an argument he made at earlier stages of his case.

But on Tuesday, Preston abandoned that strategy and pleaded no contest to the charge of firing a weapon within 1,000 feet of a school property. After entering his plea, prosecutors laid out the case they would have presented at trial. Immediately afterward, Charlottesville Circuit Court Judge Richard E. Moore found Preston guilty.

Preston’s no-contest plea acknowledges that there is enough evidence to convict him without admitting that he committed the crime.


Thank God Its Friday 5-11-18

What will you be doing this weekend?

Bill Nye the Science Guy Touts Planned Parenthood As Antidote To Overpopulation

Comedian Bill Nye gave a talk at Planned Parenthood on Tuesday night in which he suggested that keeping the population level to a minimum is the best way to roll back the scourge of global warming.

Exploding population levels are driving climate change, Nye said at a Planned Parenthood event in South Texas. One of the best ways to quell that problem, he added, is to find an effective way to prevent women from having children. He went on to applaud the group for their efforts.

“What’s the one thing to do about climate change, if you want to think about the big picture? Raise the standard of living of girls and women,” he said, adding that “when you raise the standard of living of girls and women, they have fewer kids.” The abortion provider also sold $5,000 tickets to people interested having lunch with the comic.

Nye, who has a degree in mechanical engineering but is not a scientist, also heaped praise on Planned Parenthood for its efforts at tackling overpopulation. “The thing that gets me about the time that I grew up in and the time we’re living in now,” he said, “is how fast things have changed, and Planned Parenthood has been here since the very beginning.”


It's Free Pool Night At OC Billiards @ Trader Lee's

Come join us this evening for free pool and our house DJ. We've got EVO 3 on tap for just $3.00 for a 16 oz mug.

Sears is working w Amazon to install Car Tires

Sears Holdings is taking its relationship with Amazon one step further.

The department store chain announced Wednesday at its annual shareholders meeting in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, that it will offer full-service tire installation for orders from all tire brands on Amazon, including its own DieHard.

News of the partnership sent Sears' stock soaring as much as 22 percent in early trading. The shares were last up 24 percent.


Mormon church to cut ties with Boy Scouts and start its own gospel-driven youth program

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is ending its more than century-old relationship with the Boy Scouts of America and will create new youth programs for its members.

The church announced Tuesday evening that it will sever ties with the organization, effective Dec. 31, 2019, according to a news release. The church said it’s making the change to better serve its worldwide congregation.

“As a global church with millions of children and youth, we need to address diverse needs and fortify all children and youth with gospel-centered growth and learning experiences now more than ever,” the church said in a joint statement with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).


Abuse of Opioid Alternative Gabapentin Is on the Rise

Doctors who are cutting back on prescribing opioids increasingly are opting for gabapentin, a safer, non-narcotic drug recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

By doing so, they may be putting their opioid-using patients at even greater risk.

Recently, gabapentin has started showing up in a substantial number of overdose deaths in hard-hit Appalachian states. The neuropathic (nerve-related) pain reliever was involved in more than a third of Kentucky overdose deaths last year.

Drug users say gabapentin pills, known as “johnnies” or “gabbies,” which often sell for less than a dollar each, enhance the euphoric effects of heroin and when taken alone in high doses can produce a marijuana-like high.


Georgia Becomes Latest State to Go After Internet Sales Taxes

Without comment, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, signed legislation requiring online retailers to collect and remit sales taxes on purchases made on their sites, or send notices to the consumers that they owe the sales tax.

The law would apply to retailers with at least $250,000 in Georgia sales or 200 individual transactions in the state in a given year. Retailers would have to send the notices to customers who spend at least $500. Amazon, the nation’s biggest online retailer, already collects sales taxes on its purchases in Georgia and most other states.

Georgia and 37 other states have some kind of law on the books aimed at expanding sales tax collections to online sellers. Some of the laws would only take effect after a favorable Supreme Court ruling. Other states are attempting to enforce the collections now, although some are facing legal challenges. The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a test case about online sales tax in April. In South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc., the state contends that a 1992 high court ruling prohibiting the collection of sales taxes from any seller that does not have a physical location in the state is outdated. The justices seemed split on the issue. A ruling is expected this summer.


Work Requirements for Medicaid Are Now OK in Four States

New Hampshire has become the fourth state to get approval from the federal government to require some Medicaid recipients to work.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services sent a letter to the state this week granting its approval of the state’s proposal to require most working-age, able-bodied adults to work, go to school, get job training or participate in community service for 100 hours a month in order to continue receiving health insurance under the state’s expanded Medicaid program.

Arkansas, Indiana and Kentucky also have received approval to move forward with work requirements under the program, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Waivers are pending in Arizona, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Utah and Wisconsin. Most are states with Republican legislatures and governors.


Civil Rights Groups Sue HUD Over Segregation Rule

A coalition of civil rights groups is suing the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development over the Trump administration’s suspension of an Obama-era rule that forced cities to aggressively address racial segregation in their communities.

The National Fair Housing Alliance, Texas Appleseed and Texas Low Income Housing Information Center asked a federal court to order HUD to reinstate the 2015 requirement. HUD Secretary Ben Carson suspended the rule in January because, he said, “we were petitioned by dozens of cities and municipalities to in fact delay because it cost between $100,000 and $800,000 to follow the regulations.”

The complaint charges that by suspending the requirement, HUD is failing to adhere to the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which requires that communities “affirmatively further fair housing.”


New York Times slams AWOL Pompeo, then learns he was rescuing Americans

As the New York Times was bashing Mike Pompeo for being missing in action while President Trump tore up the Iran nuclear deal, it turned out the secretary of state was busy rescuing three Americans who have been held captive in North Korea.

In an apparent jab at the administration, The Times’ headline said, “At a Key Moment, Trump’s Top Diplomat Is Again Thousands of Miles Away.”

The Times’ story noted that “Senior State Department officials were momentarily speechless on Tuesday when asked why Mr. Pompeo did not delay his trip by a day to be in Washington during Mr. Trump’s Iran deal announcement.”

It became clear on Wednesday morning why Pompeo didn’t delay his trip to Pyongyang when Trump took to Twitter.