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Sunday, January 13, 2019

Transgender female cyclist places first against biological women in meet: 'I'm a WORLD CHAMPION

Transgender cyclist Rachel McKinnon — a biological male — placed first in a female cycling world championship competition Saturday.

McKinnon won the sprint final at the 2018 UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships in Los Angeles, besting Carolien Van Herrikhuyzen of the Netherlands and Jennifer Wagner of the United States. (The race results page shows the age bracket as 35-44, but the previous menu displays 35-39 as the age range.)

An assistant philosophy professor at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, McKinnon (center, wearing gold medal) announced the victory on Twitter:


Wicomico Nursing Home Concerns Addressed

SALISBURY – While the future of a county-owned nursing home remains uncertain, officials this week assured community members they would work toward a solution that preserves jobs and services.

On Tuesday, members of the community came before the Wicomico County Council once again to make their case for keeping the Wicomico Nursing Home under county ownership.

In December, the council agreed to loan the facility $489,320 to sustain operations through fiscal year 2019 after learning low occupancy, personnel costs and write offs of bad debt had affected the nursing home’s bottom line.

In doing so, county officials also agreed to explore capital improvements, personnel changes and privatization. By way of background, the county took ownership of the nursing home in 1972 when the nonprofit corporation charged with operating the facility ran into financial difficulty.


Americans aren't making enough babies to replace ourselves

Government researchers did not offer an explanation, but experts cited factors including changing economics and fewer teen pregnancies.

Americans are having fewer and fewer babies, a new government report finds. In fact, we now aren’t making enough babies to replace ourselves.

For the population to reproduce itself at current numbers, the “total fertility rate” needs to be 2,100 births per 1,000 women of childbearing age per year, researchers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in their report, released early Thursday. But the latest data show a current rate of just 1,765.5 per 1,000, or 16 percent below the number needed to keep the population stable without additions through immigration.

The total fertility rate has been declining steadily for seven years, but the numbers for 2017 represent the biggest drop in recent history. The rate for 2016 was 1,820.5; for 2015, 1,843.5; and for 2014, 1,862.5.


Federal workers to be stiffed $2.2B when they miss their first paycheck Thursday

Federal workers affected by the partial government shutdown will miss their first paycheck on Thursday of this week, the date that the funds are set to go out through direct deposit, if Congress and President Trump do not pass spending legislation before then.

Overall, an estimated $2.2 billion in pay will not be heading out into workers' pockets due to the shutdown, according to the liberal Center for American Progress.

The bulk of the federal workforce is paid biweekly, and the next payday is Jan. 11, according to officials with federal worker unions and congressional staffers. An estimated 800,000 workers will not get paid, with 420,000 working without pay and another 380,000 staying at home. That encompass 29 federal cabinet agencies, commissions, and other entities like NASA that haven't received funding to operate.


Cardin: ‘We Will Not Support a Wall’

On Friday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Situation Room,” Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) declared, “We will not support a wall.”

Cardin said, “We’re prepared to talk with the president as to what we need for border security. We will not support a wall. Because the experts tell us the wall is a waste of money, and it detracts from dollars being available for real border security..."


Armed Teachers Would Make Schools As Safe As Armed Cops

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission stirred up controversy last week when they erred on the side of common sense and the Second Amendment. The Commission investigating the so-called “Valentine’s Day massacre” that left 14 students and 3 teachers dead, and another 17 people wounded recommended that teachers who were willing to volunteer, undergo background checks, psychological evaluations and training, be allowed to carry concealed firearms on campus.

Opponents of the recommendation argue that armed-teachers wouldn’t stop mass shootings and it’s a bad idea that would make students less safe. They feel teachers should be teaching, not playing Robocop. Some of them have asked the questions, what if a teacher goes crazy and shoots a student? Or, what if the teacher is so inept with a gun that they accidentally shoot anyone who may be in the way? They believe guns are better off left in the hands of trained professionals such as cops and military personnel. But are they right? I don’t think so.

First off, the only things that separate an armed-cop from an armed-teacher is training and permission to carry. There’s nothing a cop can learn about firing a gun that a teacher cannot. Additionally, teachers tend to be patient, caring and protective of their students. It’s no wonder so many have stood in the line of fire in school shootings. You may recall that instead of engaging Nikolas Cruz in a fire fight, it was the Broward County deputies themselves, led by Sheriff Scott Israel, that hid behind their vehicles and school walls while students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High were executed by the killer. Several staffers courageously stood between the shooter and their students. They were the first line of defense for those kids.


Heiser Sworn In As Worcester County’s First Female State’s Attorney

SNOW HILL – Veteran prosecutor Kris Heiser was sworn in as the first female state’s attorney for Worcester County this week.

On Monday, Heiser was instated as the new Worcester County state’s attorney in front of a standing room-only crowd.

Heiser defeated challenger William McDermott with 51 percent of the vote to win her seat in June’s primary election. The primary race ultimately decided who would take over the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office as no Democrat filed for election.

For Heiser, the victory represented a homecoming of sorts. After obtaining her Juris Doctorate from the University of Maryland School of Law, she soon moved to Ocean City to pursue a career as a prosecutor.


Congressman calls on Justice Department to halt federal funding for Nation of Islam

Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., Monday called on the Department of Justice to immediately halt federal funding to the Nation of Islam, after the Washington Examiner first reported that the group has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the government to teach religious studies programs to prison inmates.

In a letter to the Justice Department obtained by the Washington Examiner, Buchanan called the report “disturbing” and said the government’s funding of the openly anti-Semitic black separatist group was “downright immoral.”

“As you may know, the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center have designated the Nation of Islam as a hate group for its racist and anti-Semitic beliefs,” Buchanan wrote in the letter to acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.

“The federal government should not use taxpayer dollars to subsidize one of the most infamous hate groups in the United States,” Buchanan added. “That’s why I’m demanding your department immediately cease all contracts with the Nation of Islam and prohibit it from receiving any contracts in the future.”

The funding was designed to provide "Nation of Islam religious services," "Nation of Islam spiritual guide services," "Nation of Islam study services," and other related programming led by the organization’s leaders, according to Bureau of Prison records.


Chesapeake Bay To Be Drained, Cleaned, Refilled On Thursday

NORFOLK, Va. — Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Chesapeake Bay Office announced this morning their plans to drain, clean, and refill the Bay this Thursday.

This operation marks the first effort to clean the Bay since its construction was completed 35.5 million years ago. “The Chesapeake Bay is an incredible natural wonder,” commented Martin Randalls, NOAA Director, “But she’s way overdue for a scrub.”

The 64,299-square-mile drainage basin has been the focus of organized cleanup efforts since the 1980s to combat industrial pollution, toxic waste, algae blooms, and some minor staining. “We want a bay for future generations to enjoy, for wildlife to continue to thrive in, and, ultimately, we also want to protect the resale value,” commented Alison Masters of Beach and Bay Realty, a sponsor of the project. “God forbid Virginia needs to sell one day, but a good cleaning every once in awhile is a great way to protect your investment, just in case.”

Officials have asked recreational boaters, commercial fishermen, and all plant and wildlife to avoid the estuary between 10 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. Friday.

“Shouldn’t take too long—we’ve got a hell of a system down,” added Jay Peebles of Peebles Aquatics, a Hampton Roads-based pool cleaning company contracted to lead the cleanup. “We’ve been draining and scrubbing pools for 35 years; this won’t take us more than a day, tops.”


Publishers Notes: LMAO

A 4 mile long fence in Philadelphia around the Democratic national convention ... just saying

Ravens Fans Brawl As Baltimore Gets Eliminated from the Playoffs

Some Baltimore Ravens fans did not take their team’s loss in the first round of the AFC Wild-Card Game very well, leading to a wild melee in the stands.

A video posted by Barstool Sports shows a group of purple-clad Baltimore fans flailing at a few Chargers fans in the upper section of M&T Bank Stadium, Daily Snark reported.

Mick Coley of Barstool noted that eventually the police got tired of all the flailing and shoving and “started stomping fools out in the staircase.”

Coley also joked that if “the Ravens offense showed this much fight today this game might have been watchable.”


Here We Go: Biden Reportedly Telling Associates He's the Democrats' Best -- or Only -- Shot at Beating Trump

Somewhat lost in the shuffle of the intertwined shutdown and immigration dramas this week was yet another significant indication that former Vice President Joe Biden is leaning heavily toward doing something he opted out of last cycle: Mounting his third bid for the presidency. Werecently noted Biden's carefully-calibrated moves designed to avoid certain errors and pitfalls that helped sink Hillary Clinton (the details for that piece were almost certainly leaked into the open by Bidenworld), and now another insight into Biden's timing and thinking has miraculously ended up in the pages of the New York Times. Nothing's settled until it's official, but it sure sounds like he's planning to go for it:

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. is in the final stages of deciding whether to run for president and has told allies he is skeptical the other Democrats eyeing the White House can defeat President Trump, an assessment that foreshadows a clash between the veteran Washington insider and the more liberal and fresh-faced contenders for the party’s 2020 nomination. Many Democratic voters, and nearly all major Democratic donors, are keenly interested in Mr. Biden’s plans because of their consuming focus on finding a candidate who can beat a president they believe represents a threat to American democracy. But there is also a rising demand in the party for a more progressive standard-bearer who reflects the increasingly diverse Democratic coalition. “He has the best chance of beating Trump, hands down,” said Senator Tom Carper of Delaware, Mr. Biden’s longtime friend and former colleague. “On a scale of one to 10, that’s probably about a 12 for us.”...


Clintons take in acclaimed Broadway play about a gay black choir boy

Rather than stay in to watch President Donald Trump's prime-time address to the nation about what he's been calling the crisis on the border, Bill and Hillary Clintonenjoyed a date night on Broadway instead.

The former commander-in-chief and the former secretary of state attended a star-studded premiere of the new play Choir Boy, which tells the story of a gifted gay black teen at an all-male prep school.

The Clintons were all smiles as they posed up with their 'Playbill' booklet at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on West 47th Street Tuesday night.


Coons claims border wall would not stop majority of drugs, criminals entering U.S.

U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) claims a border wall would "do nothing to stop the overwhelming majority of drugs and criminals that enter our country."

Sen. Coons issued a statement reacting to the President's address from the Oval Office, saying “I am not going to support a costly and ineffective border wall that will do nothing to stop the overwhelming majority of drugs and criminals that enter our country through airports or land ports of entry."

“The President’s continued insistence on building a wall along our southern border, which he justifies with misleading and even false information, is not productive and only serves to further divide our country," Coons stated.

Sen. Coons said he and his colleagues are willing to vote to invest in "smart, effective border security," that does not include a wall. "It is my hope that he will understand in the coming days that he needs to accept one of the bipartisan options available to him to re-open the government and make sensible, robust investments in border security that we can all agree on.”


Ocasio-Cortez: Critics Are More Concerned About Facts Than Being ‘Morally Right’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) said on "60 Minutes" Sunday that the focus on her factual errors by political opponents was "missing the forest for the trees" and having her facts right wasn't as important as being "morally right."

"One of the criticisms of you is that your math is fuzzy," interviewer Anderson Cooper said.

Cooper mentioned the Washington Post‘s Four-Pinocchio rating of Ocasio-Cortez's claim that $21 trillion in Pentagon "accounting errors" could fund two-thirds of progressives' desire for "Medicare for all."

"Oh my goodness," she said. "If people want to really blow up one figure here or one word there, I would argue that they're missing the forest for the trees. I think that there's a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct, than about being morally right."

Oh my goodness, more factual errors here

AT&T, Dish, Comcast all raising Cable TV Rates

Another year, another increase to your monthly pay-TV bill.

Giants including AT&T Inc.'s DirecTV, Dish Network Corp. and Comcast Corp. plan to raise rates again in the new year, a move that could boost revenue but risks alienating subscribers who have been ditching their traditional TV subscriptions in record numbers.

Cable and satellite providers are hoping to squeeze more money from consumers who remain loyal to their packages with hundreds of channels, Philip Cusick, a JPMorgan Chase & Co. analyst, said in a note this week, even though "this strategy could accelerate video sub declines."


Not On My Watch...

"Imminent Collapse": Oregon's Pot Glut Drives Prices Even Lower

Approximately three years after Oregon lawmakers signed a recreational cannabis law, the state is now experiencing a massive glut in its marijuana supply, collapsing prices and putting dozens of the industry’s licensed growers and retailers on borderline bankruptcy.

For the second year in a row, cannabis farmers harvested more than 2.5 million pounds of pot in October. Of that, the so-called wet harvest, 1.3 million in usable marijuana was logged into the Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s cannabis tracking system as of December.

The state of about 4 million people harvested a half pound of marijuana per every resident, which raises concern that there are too many growers. According to government data, there are 1,107 licensed active producers and another 900 producers seeking licenses from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC).


'I was elected to protect our country'

President Trump on Sunday said that he gets no pleasure from shutting down the government but felt duty-bound to do it to protect the country.

“I don’t like doing this. I have no fun doing this. I was elected to protect our country. That’s what I’m doing,” said the president.

The partial government shutdown continued for a 16th day as the president and Capitol Hill Democrats remained in a standoff over his demand for $5.6 billion for border security, including a barrier or wall on the southern border.

“This shutdown can end tomorrow. It’s really dependent on the Democrats,” said Mr. Trump.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said a border wall is “immoral.” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Mr. Trump shut down the government in a “temper tantrum” over not getting his way.

Mr. Trump said he expected “very serious” talks this week that could break the impasse.

“Schumer and Nancy Pelosi and myself could solve this in 20 minutes if they want to. If they don’t want to it’s going to go on for a long time,” he said as he left the White House for Camp David.

More here

TV special glosses over the truth behind JFK Jr.’s doomed flight

This year marks the 20th anniversary of John F. Kennedy Jr.’s fatal flight. Three days in and already the hagiographic retellings have begun.

“The Last Days of JFK Jr.,” a two-hour special promising new details and new interviews under the ABC News banner, aired Thursday night. Not only did the program soft-pedal Kennedy’s complete and utter fault for the crash but it got crucial details wrong — claiming that the FAA said flying conditions that night were “excellent” (according to the National Transportation Safety Board review of the crash, they were extremely poor, and JFK Jr. would have known it), and that his flight instructor was unavailable that night to fly with him. In fact, the NTSB report said one of Kennedy’s instructors did offer to fly with him, but Kennedy said no, that “he wanted to do it alone.”

Philosophically, though, there’s a much more malignant problem here: the continued idolatry of all things Kennedy, the media’s reluctance or outright refusal to acknowledge the clan’s dark and sometimes criminal side, and — when she’s not been villainized as the cause of all John’s woes, if not the fatal accident — the perfunctory treatment of Carolyn in this narrative.


You Can't Make This Up!

Even After A Tip, Texas Sheriff And Shaun King Pushed False Narrative In Jazmine Barnes Murder

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez and activist Shaun King continued pushing the theory that a white man murdered Jazmine Barnes, even after both had received a tip that the 7-year-old Houston girl’s killer was black.

Gonzalez acknowledged at a press conference Sunday that he received a tip from King in the middle of the week that Barnes’s killer was not the white male initially suspected in the case.

King wrote Sunday on Instagram that he received the tip on Jan. 3 that a 20-year-old black man named Eric Black Jr. and another man had shot Barnes.

The girl was killed around 7 a.m. on Dec. 30 while riding in a car with her mother and three siblings.


Harry Reid Endorses Mitt Romney for 2020 Republican Nominee for President

Former Senate Leader Harry Reid endorsed Mitt Romney as the next Republican presidential nominee in 2020.

“I think that he would be a great foil against Trump, and I think that Republicans may even allow him to be nominated to be the Republican nominee,” Reid said. “That would be good for the country.”

The former Democratic Senate Leader praised Romney in a recent interview with Nevada radio station KNPR.

Reid praised Romney’s op-ed critical of President Donald Trump that he wrote for the Washington Post. He also revealed he sent a message to Romney after the former presidential candidate was elected to the U.S. Senate, telling him he was “the moderate voice that Republicans need.”

“That’s how I feel about Mitt Romney, I like him,” Reid said.

Reid falsely claimed that Romney paid zero taxes on the Senate floor in the 2012 election when he was the Republican nominee challenging Obama.

In his interview, Reid defended his false statement citing “ample evidence” but said he was glad he raised the issue because it forced Romney to release his taxes.


Test of steel border wall prototype showed it could be sawed through

President Donald Trump has repeatedly advocated for a steel slat design for his border wall, which he described as "absolutely critical to border security" in his Oval Office address to the nation Tuesday. But Department of Homeland Security testing of a steel slat prototype proved it could be cut through with a saw, according to a report by DHS.

A photo exclusively obtained by NBC News shows the results of the test after military and Border Patrol personnel were instructed to attempt to destroy the barriers with common tools.

The Trump administration directed the construction of eight steel and concrete prototype walls that were built in Otay Mesa, California, just across the border from Tijuana, Mexico. Trump inspected the prototypes in March 2018. He has now settled on a steel slat, or steel bollard, design for the proposed border barrier additions. Steel bollard fencing has been used under previous administrations.

In a statement, DHS Spokeswoman Katie Waldman said, "The steel bollard construction is based on the operational requirements of the United States Border Patrol and is a design that has been honed over more than a decade of use. It is an important part of Border Patrol's impedance and denial capability."

"While the design currently being constructed was informed by what we learned in the prototypes, it does not replicate those designs," said Waldman. "The steel bollard design is internally reinforced with materials that require time and multiple industrial tools to breach, thereby providing U.S. Border Patrol agents additional response time to affect a successful law enforcement resolution. In the event that one of the steel bollards becomes damaged, it is quick and cost-effective to repair.

More here

Ocasio-Cortez says "no question" Trump is a racist

In a 60 Minutes interview that touched on a number of subjects, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said there's "no question" President Trump is racist. The comment came after correspondent Anderson Cooper asked Ocasio-Cortez, "Do you believe President Trump is a racist?"

"Yeah. Yeah. No question," Ocasio-Cortez replied.

The rookie congresswoman cited the president's rhetoric as proof.

"When you look at the words that he uses, which are historic dog whistles of white supremacy," Ocasio-Cortez said. "When you look at how he reacted to the Charlottesville incident, where neo-Nazis murdered a woman, versus how he manufactures crises like immigrants seeking legal refuge on our borders, it's night and day."

In response, the deputy White House press secretary said, "Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez's sheer ignorance on the matter can't cover the fact that President Trump supported and passed historic criminal justice reform..." and "... has repeatedly condemned racism and bigotry in all forms."


Police: Resident Took Away Suspect's Gun Then Killed Him with It

Police indicate that a New Jersey resident took away an intrusion suspect’s gun then shot and killed him with it.

NBC 10 reports that the incident occurred around 7:30 pm Wednesday, after an “intruder allegedly arrived at the residence brandishing a semi-automatic handgun.”

Police say the resident and the suspect, 29-year-old Terrence Coulanges, wrestled for control of the firearm on the patio, with the resident ultimately taking control of it and shooting Coulanges.