Vol 1. No. 25.Baltimore, MD  Tue July 29th 2014GIVING YOU THE NEWS THE MSM IGNORES 
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Harvey a talent beyond his years
Hunter Harvey has the repertoire, the mechanics, the mound presence and the command to become a highly qualified Major League starting pitcher. He throws strikes and takes charge on the mound. He has the ability to repeat his simple, uncomplicated delivery and not waste energy with extraneous movement. He uses his size to his advantage, as he comes over the top and gets late life on all his pitches. Even at the young age of 19, Harvey has the ability to keep the ball down in the strike zone.

McFarland placed on bereavement list
The Orioles will place left-handed pitcher T.J. McFarland on the bereavement list prior to Tuesday's series opener against the Angels. McFarland's grandmother, who was recently transferred to hospice care, passed away Sunday.

Bundy headlines Orioles' updated Top 20 list
With the passing of the Draft signing deadline, teams have had a recent influx of talent into their farm systems, and with that, MLBPipeline.com has updated the Top 20 Prospects lists of all 30 teams.

O's end West Coast trip with extra-innings victory
Baltimore ended a tremendous three-city trip on the West Coast with Sunday's 3-2, 10-inning win over the Mariners at Safeco Field, the latest example of a thriving starting staff backed by solid defense and just enough from the bats.

University of Maryland arena is rechristened Xfinity Center
The University of Maryland's Comcast Center, home of the school's basketball teams, is being renamed the Xfinity Center at the request of the media and technology giant, which is eager to promote its "Xfinity" brand.








More BGE customers earning bill credits for cutting back
First the first time, 'Energy Savings Day' option extended to most BGE households

Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. said 640,000 customers earned a credit on their bills last week for cutting back on electricity, the biggest test of a fledgling program aimed at reducing demand on hot days.








City's largest supermarket to open in Howard Park after years of lobbying
Residents of one of Baltimore's many "food deserts" will gain more access to fresh meats and produce as what city officials say is its largest grocery store opens in Howard Park Thursday.








City to check sewer lines to prevent backups
At least 9,000 properties to be inspected over 5 years

Inspectors will begin examining small sewer lines leading to at least 9,000 homes in Baltimore under a new five-year initiative Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is set to announce Tuesday.








NAACP, labor union claim racial inequality in BWI airport restaurant hiring
Results disputed by airport concessionaire

Racial disparities in the restaurant labor force of BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport are hurting African-American employees and contributing to poverty in Baltimore, according to a study released Monday by the national labor organization Unite Here.







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Perhaps the best part of blogging or the internet in general is the occasional discovery of something unexpected.Over on Baltimore Reporter and Conservative Thoughts is a great and thought provoking article by Robert Farrow.I hope you will follow this link and read this great post.

from conservativecontracts.com


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1/19/2009

The Mother of All Pork Bills
Filed under: — Robert Farrow @ 1:02 am

Crossposted from Flopping Aces

2009-paul-j
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

What’s worse than fiscally irresponsible Republicans controlling taxpayer purse strings? Democratic majorities in both Houses controlling taxpayer purse strings. And President-Elect Obama is finding that bipartisan agreement is unlikely when it requires both sides to compromise their visions for what is good for the country:

The president-elect’s efforts to win over Republicans — in keeping with a campaign promise to end Washington gridlock — ignited a backlash within his own party. Obama has dedicated 40% of the package to tax reductions, divided evenly between business and middle-class tax cuts. But Democratic leaders are dissatisfied and want more focus on direct spending, less on tax relief.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) told reporters Wednesday the package needed a single focus: “Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs.”

“It must create jobs immediately, and it must contribute to the long-term stability of our economy to continue to create jobs,” she said.

Last Thursday, House Democrats proposed an $825 billion stimulus package that is shamefully laden with pork that does not appear to have much to do with job creation for the purposes of economic stimulation:

GOP lawmakers also balked at the thousands of individual projects designated for funding in the House plan. “Oh, my God,” House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said to reporters. “My notes here say that I’m disappointed. I just can’t tell you how shocked I am at what I’m seeing.”

~~~

Acknowledging concerns about potential government waste, Congress is creating a Web site — http://www.recovery.gov — to allow the public to track stimulus spending and file complaints. Obey said about 60 percent of the spending portion would assist states, local governments and local nonprofit organizations in providing social services, and that most of the money would be spent based on funding formulas.

“No earmarks,” the chairman asserted.

And yet looking at the House Bill, it appears to be more of the same borrow and spend that has gotten us into so much of our economic woes in the first place.

WaPo:

The House measure is far larger than lawmakers envisioned when the stimulus idea surfaced last fall and, as the recession shows signs of worsening, Democrats predict the price tag could grow to nearly $1 trillion before the bill reaches Obama’s desk.

The Senate has yet to add their own “wish list” to the bill.

To fathom what “1 trillion” is like, Thomas Sowell put it into these terms: “one trillion seconds ago, humanity still hadn’t figured out how to read or write yet.”

Hugh Hewitt on his radio program brought attention to a new website, ReadtheStimulus.org, where you can read the entire 334 page bill in pdf format. The site also has a search function, so you can type in keywords and find (or not find) specific passages in the bill; such as a search for whether or not there’s any mention of “nuclear power plants” (there isn’t any). The site will also update with future versions of the bill, including what comes out of the Senate.

Hugh Hewitt:

The president-elect is a hoops player. The House proposal amounts to the greatest head fake ever. He had many of us believing that the stimulus package would actually embody a centrist approach, using proven methods of economic growth based in tax cuts and real infrastructure improvements like nuclear power plant construction.

The impacts on the deficit are chronicled by Heritage’s Conn Carroll, but the obvious reality is that this is a bill from the far left side of a largely left-leaning House leadership.

Either the president-elect demands it be overhauled in the Senate or we will know in the first month just how far to the left the new president really is on matters domestic. At least then we can put away the idea that he is about transforming politics. Pork and payoffs by any other name are still pork and payoffs.

Related reading:
Obama, Stimulus Proposals Enjoy Broad Backing in Poll

Also:

The United States Of Obama

Many of us have been saying the Obama presidency will be dangerous to this country, now even more proof.

First he wants to set up a permanent campaign in which they will pressure other Democrats to obey his wishes:

Organizers and even Republicans say the scope of this permanent campaign structure is unprecedented for a president. People familiar with the plan say Obama’s team would use the network in part to pressure lawmakers — particularly wavering Democrats — to help him pass complex legislation on the economy, healthcare and energy.

~~~

Though the plan still is emerging, one source with knowledge of the internal discussion said the organization could have an annual budget of $75 million in privately raised funds. Another said it would deploy hundreds of paid staff members — possibly one for every congressional district in certain politically important states and even more in larger battlegrounds such as Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Virginia and North Carolina

~~~

Concerns about Obama’s ambitions are coming from state party leaders as well as from Capitol Hill.

“The party needs to be rooted not just around one individual, but it needs to have a grass-roots base that can survive the times and even endure past whoever may be in office,” said Jerry Meek, chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party. “Obama brings a lot to the table, but, on the other hand, state parties exist for more than serving the objectives of the president and are in the business to elect county commissioners, school board members and members of the legislature.”

Allah puts it well:

What fascinates me is his faith that his supporters, almost all of whom are Democrats, can be counted on to side with him on policy against … other Democrats. There’s no reason in principle to believe that’s true — Obamites logically should prefer his position on economic recovery to McCain’s, but to Chris Dodd’s or Barney Frank’s? — but it’s perfectly sensible if you view Obamamania as a cult of personality with The One as the object in whom all trust is reposed. (See also.) He does a superb job of cultivating it too, from using the paparazzi to enhance his status as an icon to dumping one dopey Lincoln allusion after another on a media that’s itching to make the comparison. In theory it’s a bad idea to have a party “rooted around” one individual — but The One isn’t just any individual, or so we should believe. If Lincoln told you to dial up some Blue Dog Democrat and ask him to vote for another bailout, you’d do it, wouldn’t you? Well, there you go.

This cult of personality is just downright creepy. I mean really, the guy is a naive neophyte with hardly any record of accomplishment. How in the world can anyone compare this man to Lincoln, how in the world can anyone fall for this mindnumbing cult?

Just makes me wince at the ignorance in our country.

That’s not all:

In what would be another unprecedented step, Obama’s political staff is deciding whether to create a service organization that would use the vast corps of its grass-roots campaign supporters. As described by one source knowledgeable with the discussions, this nonprofit arm would be used to help victims of natural disasters, but would do so under the Obama umbrella while continuing to build the overall network’s massive e-mail database.

So his own personal FEMA. WTF! A private organization answerable to no one. Scary.

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Browns put on the pads, get physical in camp (The Associated Press)
Behind his stylish sunglasses, Browns first-year coach Mike Pettine stayed cool and showed little outward emotion on a day he had been looking forward to for months. The Browns practiced in full pads. For the first time since training camp opened, the Browns weren't just running around the manicured fields behind their training headquarters in helmets, jerseys and shorts. They wore shoulder pads, thigh pads, hip pads, knee pads and whatever other protective padding NFL players decked out in these days.

Detroit Lions tabling contract extension talks with Suh until after season (Shutdown Corner)
Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand told the media Monday that the team will table contract talks with free-agent-to-be defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh until after the completion of the season. Lewand wouldn't rule out using the franchise tag to keep Suh next year, just said a lot of options on table — Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) July 28, 2014 [ Smack talk season is back at Yahoo Sports: Sign up and play free Fantasy Football! ] Although Lewand said he's optimistic the team can find a way to make the deal happen, Suh's massive 2014 base salary of $22.5 million (!) means that his franchise-tag number will be a whopping $27 million (!!) next year. If the Lions are nuts enough to tag Suh at that level, he should just sign the franchise tender and collect the guaranteed pile of cash. It would be more than what Baltimore Ravens defensive lineman Haloti Ngata received for guaranteed money for his entire extension and $11 million more than what Suh's teammate, Calvin Johnson, received in the form of a signing bonus a year and a half ago. This one is going to be extremely tough. The Lions, of course, don't have to make Suh their franchise player, but if they can't sign him now and Suh plays at an All Pro level this season, the price for an extension only goes up. And in Suh's mind — one that's tricky to crack — he might think his value should break the bank after this season even if he does not play at an elite level. Suh is a very good player whose inconsistencies have been a tad frustrating. He's better than most of the defensive tackles in the NFL, and Suh occasionally has played at a very high level. But the Lions always appear to be wanting just a little more. We'll need to see how he fares with a new head coach and defensive coordinator, but you might be able to make the argument that Gerald McCoy — taken one slot after Suh in the 2010 draft — might have passed him as a player. You get the feeling that the Lions are putting up a good front on their chances to re-sign Suh one day, but they can't really be feeling too good deep down. That franchise number would be cap-crippling to use on a quarterback, much less a defensive tackle, even one as talented as Suh. It's just not feasible unless it's a vehicle toward getting him signed for the long term. - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm

Jaguars' WR woes offer Lee, Robinson more chances (The Associated Press)
Justin Blackmon is probably gone for good. Ace Sanders is suspended the first four games of the season. Good thing the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted fellow receivers Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson, two second-round picks who could be opening-day starters. Lee and Robinson have stood out during the first few days of Jacksonville's training camp - and not just because they're running with the first-team offense.

NFL claims message sent in Rice ban (The SportsXchange)
Uproar over the NFL's punishment for Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is unfounded, NFL senior vice president of labor policy Adolpho Birch said Monday. Rice was suspended two games for his offseason arrest and plea deal in a domestic violence incident involving his then-fiancee and now wife, Jenay Palmer. Rice was seen on surveliance video at a casino in Atlantic City dragging an unconscious Palmer out of an elevator in February. The Ravens have supported Rice in the case, citing his sterling reputation before the incident, which create a social media firestorm in February and again last week when the NFL handed down a two-game suspension.

NFL VP defends Ray Rice suspension, appears tone deaf to public outcry (Shutdown Corner)
Commissioner Roger Goodell might be the one handing down discipline in the NFL, but he doesn't always have to be the first to respond to criticism for it. The league sent out of NFL vice president labor policy and government affairs Adolpho Birch as a human bullet shield on ESPN in lieu of Goodell on Monday after Friday's two-game suspension for Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, discipline that roundly was met with contempt from the public. “It is multiple games and hundreds of thousands of dollars. I think it’s fair to say that doesn’t reflect that you condone the behavior,” Birch said on the network's Mike & Mike show , defending the suspension that came off as extremely light for a man who beat and then publicly dragged his fiancée (now wife) through the halls of an Atlantic City hotel. Why Birch? Who is he? In his bio on the Partnership For Clean Competition website , Birch's responsibilities are described as such:  "In his current capacity, he oversees the development, administration and enforcement of the League's policies on substances of abuse, steroids and other performance-enhancing substances and criminal misconduct. Mr. Birch also oversees the League's player engagement efforts, which comprise a number of initiatives designed to support player and employee off-field success, focusing on continuing education, financial education, career development, career transition and clinical assistance."   And then we are fed a line to remember. "Today, the NFL is widely regarded as the most proactive, comprehensive and effective sports organization in dealing with these issues." Guessing this was not written in the past week. Birch was asked some tough questions about the Rice punishment, and there were few firm answers from Birch to latch onto. Little he said justified the NFL's suspension, the process or what message the league seems to be sending with its inconsistency and light hand. “The discipline that was taken by the NFL is the only discipline that occurred with respect to Mr. Rice in this case,” Birch said. “Were he not an NFL player, I don’t know that he would have received punishment from any other source. "We believe that the discipline we issued is appropriate. It’s multiple games and hundreds of thousands of dollars. It doesn’t reflect that we condone the behavior.” Asked how the league arrived at two games, Birch went into his lawyerly bag of tricks to deceive and create diversionary tactics. In the matter of a few breaths, Birch claimed that Rice's two-game suspension was “bound in large part by precedent in prior cases” but then said it's unfair to compare cases, such as Ben Roethlisberger receiving a six-game suspension (later reduced to four). “I don’t think it’s particularly appropriate to weigh each case against itself,” Birch said. No, because that would make the NFL look silly, would it not? But how can we not stack and compare some of the discipline cases on Goodell's watch, which now appear as arbirtrary as dart throws? Cedric Benson once received a three-game suspension for assaulting a former roommate. Albert Haynesworth got five games after stomping on an opponent's head in the heat of a game. Terrelle Pryor received five games in the Ohio State tattoo case before he ever entered the NFL. Tank Johnson was suspended half a season for illegal firearm possession. Where is the consistency? Is there any scale at all here? Birch also hid behind the veil of the “privacy of the process” when asked if Goodell had more information to review on Rice's case than what already has been made public. We don't know what statements were made by Rice or by people in defense of Rice, but as of right now the information that is out there and the past precedents — Birch's pleas not to compare cases be damned — do not match up with the punishment that was handed down. As a result, the NFL appears completely tone deaf to the seriousness of violence committed by its players, and especially against women. The case as spiraled into a national discussion, and it's one that believes the NFL took a major misstep here. We now have no clue what to expect the league to do about the Carolina Panthers' Greg Hardy, who was convicted by a district court of assaulting his girlfriend, but please don't blame us if our expectations are disappointingly low. The comparison of Rice's two-game suspension versus drug violation cases isn't the best measuring stick. Those are second-offense cases akin to comparing apples to oranges, and we're willing to give the league that. But apples to apples, Rice got off easily if we're considering the nature of the offense, the sensitivity of the topic and the way the NFL can manage to so brazenly alienate a large chunk of the people who watch the sport without an apparent hint of awareness. “These cases are not really subject to that form of set penalty,” Birch said. “So there is more thought and judgment that has to be employed. In this case, this is what the Commissioner felt was appropriate.” If that's the case, Goodell should be out front saying it himself. If he's going to be the one responsible for the discipline, then he must be prepared to defend the process, shed light on the facts of the case and justify his findings. After all, this is the most proactive, comprehensive and effective league on such matters, right? - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm

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