1997: Elijah Cummings talked about ‘horror stories’ of ‘dreaded’ IRS audits

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I noted previously that there was a time when Congressman Elijah Cummings owed the IRS $30,000 in back taxes. When I wrote about that, I also pointed out some 1997 comments he made about the IRS in a column published in the Baltimore Afro-American.

From that column, as noted by The Baltimore Sun in 1999:

All of us pay taxes. Many of us share a paralyzing fear that we have made a mistake when we file our tax return by the April deadline. We have all heard the horror stories of the dreaded audit or the mistake made by the IRS and the years it took to fix it.

This is in contrast to comments made recently by Cummings. In fact, last night he was almost in tears as he apologized for IRS commissioner John Koskinen being put through “hell” by being asked hard questions by Rep. Trey Gowdy and other Republicans.

Watch those remarks below:

Pregnant woman and her unborn child murdered

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Baltimore County Police reported that Friday evening (6/20/14) they responded to a home in the Rosedale area of Baltimore County after a 911 call from a resident who found her daughter severely injured. The victim, later identified as Summer Shemida Smith, was declared dead on the scene. Smith was 33 years old and lived at the home with her mother. Media reports indicated that her pregnancy was full-term. Her unborn child also died.

After an autopsy Saturday ,police announced that Smith’s death was the result of homicide. No cause of death or details on her injuries have been released. The autopsy results for her unborn child have not been announced yet by police either. Police say they don’t believe there is a danger to the community.

Maryland has a fetal homicide law (§ 2-103) which says that a defendant can be prosecuted for manslaughter or murder if (via NCSL.org) the perpetrator “intended to cause the death of the viable fetus; intended to cause serious physical injury to the viable fetus; or wantonly or recklessly disregarded the likelihood that the person’s actions would cause the death of or serious physical injury to the viable fetus.”

Under Maryland law (§ 2-209), viable “means that stage when, in the best medical judgment of the attending physician based on the particular facts of the case before the physician, there is a reasonable likelihood of the fetus’s sustained survival outside the womb.”

The fact that Smith’s pregnancy was full-term would seemingly indicate that any homicide prosecution would include a second charge for the death of the child in addition to charges for Smith’s death.

Watch Trey Gowdy question IRS Commissioner John Koskinen

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Rep. Trey Gowdy questioned IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, a major Democratic Party donor, in a committee hearing tonight (June 23, 2014.)

Here’s the video:

Watch a new Adidas commercial featuring Sammy Watkins

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Sammy Watkins, who the Buffalo Bills picked 4th in the 1st Round of the 2014 NFL Draft, has a new commercial for adidas Springblade Drive shoes.

Watch the commercial:

Watkins played football in college for Clemson, here’s a video of a kickoff return he made for a touchdown against Maryland in 2011:

Hat tip: Tigernet.com.

VIDEO: Musicians outside Baltimore Basilica

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Last night, I attended the opening Mass of the 2014 Fortnight for Freedom at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption in downtown Baltimore. These musicians pictured above were playing and singing both before and after the Mass and I shot some video of them that’s embedded below. I’ll have more on the Mass itself later.

Here’s the first video I shot:

Here’s the second video:

Congressman: Impeachment “probably could” pass

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Andrew Kaczynski reports on remarks made by GOP Congressman Lou Barletta of Pennsylvania:

“He’s just absolutely ignoring the Constitution, and ignoring the laws, and ignoring the checks and balances,” Barletta said. “The problem is, you know, what do you do? For those that say impeach him for breaking the laws or bypassing the laws. Could that pass in the House? It probably, it probably could. Is the majority the American people in favor of impeaching the president? I’m not sure.”

Listen to the remarks below:

Statue of Jesus at Catholic Church beheaded

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WCSC in Charleston, SC reports:

A 38-year-old Columbia man is behind bars after destroying the head of a Jesus statue at a church in downtown Charleston.

The Charleston Police Department charged Charles Jeffrey Short with malicious injury to real property.

Around 5:45 a.m. on Sunday, a police officer was flagged down in the area of Huger and King streets by two concerned citizens who reported that a man walking down the street had broken off the head of a statue at the Sacred Heart Catholic church on 888 King St

Short was seen leaving the general area police and they searched his backpack after he reportedly gave consent. Police reported finding a sledgehammer in his backpack and then read Short his rights before he allegedly admitted to it.

More details:

When the officer asked Short if he knew anything about the statue at the Sacred Heart church, Short said,”I think I used a sledge hammer to strike the statue about six or seven times, because the second or first commandment states to not make an image of a male or female to be on display to the public.”

The officer reported he went to the church, examined the statue and saw visible damage to the head.  A police report states that the head “was completely demolished off the statue.”

Interesting that he cites the Ten Commandments for beheading a statue of Jesus. Why wasn’t he going after every other statue in downtown Charleston?

7 Facts you should know about the U.S. Army on its 239th Birthday

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Saturday (June 14, 2014) is the 239th Army Birthday (and it’s also Flag Day.) Here are some facts about the United States Army that you may or may not know already.

  1. Almost 70% of all Medals of Honor have been awarded to soldiers in the U.S. Army. Figures from August 2013 show that 2,403 Medals of Honor had been awarded to soldiers while 3,468 had been awarded to service members in all branches combined. 1198 of the Army Medal of Honor recipients were awarded the medal for actions during the Civil War.
  2. The youngest officer to become a General in the Army was only 20 years old. Galusha Pennypacker, of Pennsylvania, enlisted in the Army at the age of 16 in 1861. He received a brevet promotion in January 1865 to Brigadier General after the Battle of Fort Fisher. He received a full promotion to that rank a month later and also received the Medal of Honor for those actions. After the war, he continued in the regular Army as a Colonel. George Armstrong Custer was also one of the youngest officers promoted to general during the Civil War. He was promoted from Captain to Brigadier General only three days before the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.
  3.  Henry “Hap” Arnold was the only person to hold the rank of five-star general in two branches of the military. Arnold became a five-star general (General of the Army) and was only behind Marshall, MacArthur, and Eisenhower in seniority at that rank. He retired in 1946 and a law passed by Congress in 1949 made his last rank General of the Air Force – since the Air Force didn’t exist as a separate branch until 1947.
  4. The oldest active duty regiment in the Army is the Old Guard. The Old Guard has been designated as the 3rd Infantry Regiment since 1815. Before that, it was organized as the First American Regiment in 1784. There have been five Medal of Honor recipients who served in the 3rd Infantry Regiment – the last was during Vietnam. In addition to the ceremonial units at Fort Myer adjacent to Arlington Cemetery, 2nd Battalion of the 3rd Infantry Regiment is at Fort Lewis, Washington. That battalion is equipped with Stryker armored fighting vehicles (wheeled) and is part of the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team of the 2nd Infantry Division. UPDATE: One highly-knowledgeable reader points out that the “oldest continuously-serving unit in the Regular Army is D Battery, 1st Bn, 5th Field Artillery” that was formed as Alexander Hamilton’s Battery during the Revolution.
  5. The earliest actions that an African-American soldier received the Medal of Honor for resulted in William H. Carney receiving the MOH. While he actually received the Medal in 1900, the actions he earned it for took place on July 18, 1863 at Battery Wagner on Morris Island in South Carolina. Carney served in the 54th Massachusetts, the unit immortalized in the movie Glory.
  6. The Lewis and Clark Expedition was an Army operation. Captain Meriwether Lewis and Lieutenant William Clark could choose any member of the Regular Army or the Militia to be a member of their Corps of Discovery. The expedition was funded by the War Department and the Army Quartermaster procured supplies for it. The soldiers were split into squads and were in uniform for the whole expedition.
  7. The Army Astronaut Badge is said to be the rarest badge issued by the U.S. Army. As of 2008, around 15 soldiers had earned it. Most of them have been graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

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May 2014: Another record month for The Quinton Report

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Site traffic for The Quinton Report in May surpassed the previous monthly site traffic record set earlier this year in March.

Here are the top 20 posts, based on traffic, from May:

  1. It’s Memorial Day, not Veterans Day (and why that distinction is important)
  2. UMBC student Matt Vesely missing – last seen in Perry Hall, MD (a post when he was found ranked highly too)
  3. 47% of Maryland residents would leave if they could
  4. A note about Ryan Miner
  5. Maryland tied for “most gerrymandered state”
  6. Clayton Kelly, Chris McDaniel, and rumors about Thad Cochran
  7. Larry Hogan, “a businessman, not a politician”, filed for bankruptcy
  8. Catholic blogger mistakes Memorial Day for Veterans Day; then politicizes it
  9. Schuh’s campaign gets it wrong on Constitution, Pledge
  10. Baltimore mayor shows her ignorance of farms
  11. ‘Total victory’ for pro-life pregnancy centers in Montgomery County case
  12. Charles Lollar earns a D+ from the NRA
  13. Prankster invades O’Malley’s Reddit AMA
  14. Is this church ad over the line or just tacky?
  15. Hogan internal poll memo omits GOP primary; shows him losing in November
  16. More on Larry Hogan’s Campaign Staff and Consultants
  17. GOP calls on O’Malley appointee to resign over campaign sign theft charges
  18. Opponents call for investigation into Hogan’s campaign finances
  19. Union-connected O’Malley appointee charged with campaign sign theft
  20. Sarah Silverman refers to the unborn as “goo” on Bill Maher

Who will replace Shinseki at the VA?

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Kevin Cirilli of The Hill writes about five possible replacements for Eric Shinseki as Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

His list includes Senator Jack Reed, General Stanley McChrystal, General Peter Chiarelli, Admiral Michael Mullen, and Representative Tim Walz.

This list leaves one out that I think makes the most sense after reading an oped endorsing the move -

former Senator Jim Webb, who also previously served as Secretary of the Navy.