Obama Deal Seeks to 'Eliminate' Trade Barriers With Communist Regime Now Running $24.9B Trade Deficit With U.S.. The Trans-Pacific Partnership that President Barack Obama is negotiating with 11 other nations seeks to eliminate both tariff and nontariff trade barriers with these countries, according to the Congressional Research Service. One of those countries is Vietnam, which the State Department says maintains a Communist regime. In 2014, the U.S. ran a $24,858,700,000 trade deficit with Vietnam, according to U.S. government trade data published by the Census Bureau. U.S. producers sold $5,724,900,000 in goods to purchasers in Vietnam. At the same time, producers in Vietnam sold $30,583,600,000 in goods to purchasers in the United States.
Go Forth And Pwn For Shizzle, Word List Guardians Tell Scrabble Players. A new batch of 6,500 words are now available to Scrabble players, after publishing house Collins updated its widely used Official Scrabble Words list Thursday [5/21/2015]. The list includes tech jargon and slang, such as pwn, twerk and shizzle.
Congressman Laughs at Conservative Sheriff for Saying Pot Causes Violent Behavior. During a House Judiciary hearing Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN) asked conservative Milwaukee sheriff and frequent Fox News guest David Clarke if he thought marijuana possession should excluded from the discussion of violent drug offenses that included meth, crack, and heroin. When Clarke said no, Cohen burst out laughing.
Study: Lyrics of No. 1 Hit Songs Average a Third-Grade Reading Level. Have you ever been driving along, listening to the latest hit song on a Top 20 radio station, and thought, "Man, these lyrics are really dumb?" Well, you're not alone. According to a new study conducted by data wiz Andrew Powell-Morse, the lyrics for the last decade's No. 1 hit songs average a third-grade reading level.
The Editor says...
This isn't much of a news bulletin, inasmuch as the vocabulary one would expect to encounter in college is replete with words that don't rhyme with any other words. The simpler the lyrics, the more memorable the song will be.
Cancer charities bilked donors out of $187 million, government says. A group of four cancer philanthropies bilked donors across the country out of $187 million, the Federal Trade Commission charged Tuesday [5/19/2015] in what the agency called one of the largest government actions against charity fraud. The four groups named in the civil complaint are the Cancer Fund of America, Cancer Support Services, the Children's Cancer Fund of America and the Breast Cancer Society. Their operations from 2008 to 2012, which were called a "sham" by the FTC, relied on emotional appeals to help women and children with cancer.
Cancer charities used public's $187 million for cruises, dating sites: FTC. The federal government has charged four sham cancer charities for bilking more than $187 million from consumers for cars, trips, luxury cruises and even dating site memberships. All 50 states and the District of Columbia joined federal officials to charge in federal court the Cancer Fund of America, Cancer Support Services, Children's Cancer Fund of America and the Breast Cancer Society, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The four charities and various executives were charged with using telemarketing calls, direct mail, websites and other materials to raise money.
Tennessee family accused of spending $187M raised for cancer charities on themselves. The charities hired telemarketers to collect $20 donations from people across the country, telling consumers that they provided financial aid and other support to cancer patients, including pain medication, transportation to chemotherapy visits and hospice care. But little money made it to cancer patients, as the groups "operated as personal fiefdoms characterized by rampant nepotism, flagrant conflicts of interest, and excessive insider compensation" with none of the controls used by bona fide charities, the FTC said Tuesday [5/19/2015].
Senators in both parties defy Obama, push renewal of crude oil exports for economy, energy security. The bill demonstrates growing support among Republicans and Democrats for lifting the export ban, implemented in the 1970s when the Arab oil embargo prompted the prohibition of all exports of American crude oil. The U.S. now has become the world's largest producer of crude oil and natural gas. Supporters of the measure say it's time U.S. law catches up to that reality and point to provisions in the legislation that would halt exports in the event of unintended consequences. "This bill provides triggers to stop exports if gas prices increase or if our economy is adversely affected," said Sen. Joe Manchin III, a West Virginia Democrat and co-sponsor of the bill.
NYPD Commissioner Considering Granting Amnesty To 1.2 Million Low-Level Offenders. First he called for reduced penalties for smoking marijuana. Now, Bratton wants to explore granting amnesty to 1.2 million city residents with open warrants for low-level offenses, people who run the risk of being arrested for failing to resolve tickets for drinking in public, disorderly conduct and the like, CBS2's Marcia Kramer reported Monday [5/18/2015]. There is one statistic that shows the magnitude of the problem. Last year, of the hundreds of thousands of tickets that were given out for low-level offenses, fully 40 percent of the people either skipped the proceedings or didn't show up, Kramer reported.
HTTPS: the end of an era. Mozilla, the foundation that maintains Firefox, has announced that it will effectively deprecate the insecure HTTP protocol, eventually forcing all sites to use HTTPS if they hope to use modern features. [...] An HTTPS site can not be built on a desert island network, because you need a signature from a certificate authority. A dissident is screwed, because the dissident must give identifying information to the certificate authority.
Editor In Chief Of World's Best Known Medical Journal: Half Of All The Literature Is False. Over the course of human history, our planet has experienced multiple paradigm shifting realizations, all of which were met with harsh resistence at the time of their revelation. One great example is when we realized the Earth was not flat. Today, we are seeing these kinds of revelatory shifts in thinking happen in multiple spheres, all at one time. It can seem overwhelming for those who are paying attention, especially given the fact that a lot of these ideas go against current belief systems. There will always be resistance to new information which does not fit into the current framework, regardless of how reasonable (or factual) that information might be.
New bill would allow New Jersey drivers to pump their own gas. New Jersey and Oregon are the only two states that require attendants to pump gas.
Automakers Say You Don't Really Own Your Car. [The Electronic Frontier Foundation] is fighting for vehicle owners' rights to inspect the code that runs their vehicles and to repair and modify their vehicles, or have a mechanic of their choice do the work. At the moment, the anti-circumvention prohibition in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act arguably restricts vehicle inspection, repair, and modification. If EFF is successful then vehicle owners will be free to inspect and tinker, as long as they don't run afoul of other regulations, such as those governing vehicle emissions, safety, or copyright law.
The Saudis drop the veil: Yes, we're considering our own nuke to balance against Iran. The Saudis have not been coy about their intention to address the threat posed by a revisionist and potentially nuclearizing Iran. While the West and the Obama administration, in particular, have been pursuing a deal with Iran that critics say ensures that the Islamic Republic will eventually develop an atomic weapon, Iran has been expanding its influence across the region.
More Pirate Fishing Off the Texas Coast!. In a Saturday [5/2/2015] story from Breitbart Texas, you read about a tough new bill being pushed by the Texas congressional delegation to combat illegal fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. The need for that law was proven again on Friday [5/1/2015], as not one, but two Mexican Lanchas were seized in US waters for poaching with illegal long lines and gill nets.
9th Circuit Court's Democratic Campaign Contribution. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has handed a gift to the Kamala Harris for U.S. Senate campaign, allowing Ms. Harris to collect confidential taxpayer information about donors to charities and nonprofit advocacy organizations, all without probable cause and a warrant. The leftwing Harris is currently California's Attorney General, and is touted by some as "the next Barack Obama." She also is the state's top charity regulator. The court said she may collect names of top donors to all charities and nonprofit advocacy organizations for "law enforcement" reasons even without a hint of lawbreaking. This will undoubtedly intimidate nonprofit critics of her policies.
Congress Launches Probe Into White House Data Breaches. Congress has launched a probe into cyber attacks on White House computer networks that are believed to have exposed personally identifiable information of U.S. citizens and official meetings with ambassadors, according to a letter sent to President Obama by a Senate investigatory committee. Lawmakers are attempting to determine the extent of a recent breach reported to have been committed by Russian hackers in 2014. While the White House initially downplayed the extent of the information accessed by these cyber criminals, investigators say the breach may have been more widespread than previously believed.
FEC head under fire for women's forum 'stacked' with Dems. The chairwoman of the supposedly nonpartisan Federal Election Commission is under fire for planning a forum next month on women in politics "stacked" with Democrat-leaning speakers and apparent Hillary Clinton supporters. One conservative lawyer already is calling for an inspector general investigation; another group is urging Chairwoman Ann Ravel to call off the event. To Ravel's detractors, the forum is yet another example of the allegedly partisan turn being taken by the FEC under her leadership.
Hugging without permission now 'sexual assault' at U.Va.. I and my wife [sic] are happily married, and neither of us is abusive, much less criminal. But under the University of Virginia's broad new "sexual assault" policy, my wife could be deemed guilty of "sexual assault" when she hugs me without advance permission. So, apparently, would any couple in America that engages in making out, without lots of explicit discussion in advance — that is, pretty much every person in America who is married or in a committed relationship.
1 receipt, 2 shopping carts, nearly $500K in losses for Home Depot. A Bloomfield man was sentenced to three years probation Monday [4/27/2015] for scamming Home Depot out of nearly $500,000 with an elaborate ruse prosecutors say was carried out hundreds of times at stores in New Jersey and along the East Coast. Daniel Chalet, 29, pleaded guilty in January 2014 to conspiring to commit wire fraud for a scheme that ran from 2009 through 2012, New Jersey federal prosecutors say.
GM, Ford, And Others Want to Make Working on Your Own Car Illegal. It's called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). It's been around since 2000 and started as anti-Internet piracy legislation. But automakers want to use it to try and make working on your own car illegal. Yes, illegal. The general premise is that unlike cars of the past, today's vehicles are so advanced and use such a large amount of software and coding in their general makeup, altering said code could be dangerous and possibly even malicious.
Former CBS Reporter Sharyl Attkisson to Host New National Sunday Morning Show. Sinclair Broadcasting Group has announced that it has hired former CBS News investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson to host a new national Sunday morning program that will air on its affiliates. The 30-minute show will launch in the fall and will be "a blend of investigative and political journalism, with a focus on accountability."
There are a remarkably small number of people who trust the government. Buried in a massive Pew study on the public's feelings about data and open government is this amazing nugget: Just 23 percent trust the federal government to do the right thing "at least most of the time." [...] Not surprisingly, how you feel about the federal government depends somewhat on your party affiliation. Twice as many Democrats as Republicans say they trust the government to do the right thing most of the time, a function of the fact that the "government" is currently represented, symbolically speaking, by a Democratic president. Those splits would likely reverse themselves if a Republican was in the White House.
Belle Gibson, wellness author, admits she faked cancer: 'None of it's true'. Australian wellness writer Belle Gibson, who built an online empire and sold a cookbook based on claims that a healthy diet cured her of cancer, has admitted for the first time that she never had the life-threatening disease. "None of it's true," the 23-year-old confessed to Australian Women's Weekly in an interview published Thursday [4/23/2015].
Earth Day & Bill Penzey. This week I placed an order with Penzey's Spices, a company headquartered in Milwaukee, WI. [...] They also have a catalog that they mail out periodically. Lately it has come to my attention that the owner of the company, Bill Penzey Jr., includes a "newsletter" in his catalog, which is his soapbox to lecture his customers about diversity and other topics close to the hearts of progressives.
Journalists Who Reported That Tulsa Deputy Had Falsified Records Abruptly Resign. Two journalists from The Tulsa World, who reported last week that the reserve officer who accidentally killed an unarmed black man had falsified training records, turned in their resignations today [4/20/2015] for reasons unknown. Talking Points Memo learned that Dylan Goforth and Ziva Branstetter, the two staffers who broke the story last Thursday, were no longer with the World.
Missouri Town Responds To Officer Exodus After Election Of Black Female Mayor. A small city in Missouri caught national attention when roughly half of its employees resigned following the election of its first African-American female mayor. Many news outlets and bloggers have speculated that racism and sexism drove the exodus in Parma, a city of about 700 near the Mississippi River; whereas several residents say other factors were at play.
FEC Chairwoman to Solo Host Panel on Women in Politics Dominated by Dems. The chairwoman of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) will be hosting a public forum next month to discuss the under-representation of women in politics "despite record-breaking numbers of women in the 114th Congress". Though the government-funded event will be held in the FEC's Washington, D.C. office, the invitation is only signed by FEC Chairwoman Ann Ravel, who is a Democrat, and not by any of the other five FEC commissioners. However, the main focus of the event — the recruitment of female candidates for public office — falls outside the traditional scope of FEC activities.
The Quest to Boot Old Hickory Off the $20. This week, Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire introduced the Women on the Twenty Act, legislation aimed at putting an American woman on the $20 bill. Shaheen's efforts nod to an initiative by Women on 20s, a group that is lobbying to change the $20 by 2020. That year Americans will mark the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote.
DHS Ranked 'Worst Place To Work' In Federal Government. According to a 2014 survey by the Office of Personnel Management, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was ranked by its employees as the worst place to work among the government's 37 large departments or agencies, Congress was told Thursday [4/16/2015]. The department, which includes agencies such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), received an index score of 48 on global satisfaction in 2014, compared to a score of 62 in 2010. Last year's score marks the lowest ranking of any government department that year.
Hacking into your home: TVs, refrigerators could be portal to most sensitive info. Forget doors and windows, the easiest way for a crook to break into your home may be through the stainless steel refrigerator in your kitchen, or the big screen TV in the living room. Modern appliances are increasingly connected to the Internet, and each presents a potential path for savvy hackers to enter your home virtually and steal your identity, bank and credit card information and any other personal information they can use to line their pockets and leave you in the lurch, experts warn.
Obama's 'Jade Helm' Program Comes to Texas. Some have speculated that Jade Helm is the military's response to a possible attack by a weapon of mass destruction. Others have noted that the training seems to be focused on putting down domestic political disturbances. Monday [4/13/2015], an overflow crowd for the Real County Commissioners Court meeting, heard Lt. Col. Daniel Pawlak explain why the United States military has begun training inside the United States in unprecedented ways. Sources in attendance in the Real County Courthouse told PJ Media that Pawlak said the military would be in Texas to train for "unconventional warfare suited to large land, low population areas."
Report: Tulsa sheriff's employees were told to forge Bates' training records. Some supervisors at the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office were told to forge Robert Bates' training records, and three who refused were reassigned to less desirable duties, the Tulsa World reported. Bates' training has come under scrutiny since the 73-year-old volunteer deputy killed Eric Harris on April 2. Bates claims he meant to use his Taser, but accidentally fired his handgun instead.
Ex-Im Bank Official Hit With Bribery Charge. A former loan official for the Export-Import Bank has been charged by the Justice Department with bribery for accepting cash or goods as bribes on 19 separate occasions.
North Korea Transfers Missile Goods to Iran During Nuclear Talks. North Korea supplied several shipments of missile components to Iran during recent nuclear talks and the transfers appear to violate United Nations sanctions on both countries, according to U.S. intelligence officials. Since September more than two shipments of missile parts have been monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies as they transited from North Korea to Iran, said officials familiar with intelligence reports who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Pentagon Deploys 'May I Kiss You?' Training. An issue that could "dramatically affect" the mission of the United States Armed Forces is telling soldiers when it is okay to kiss a girl. The Air Force is the latest branch to employ the services of Mike Domitrz, a speaker and author known for his "May I Kiss You?" training session, to teach servicemembers about consent and sexual assault prevention. On Thursday [4/9/2015] the Air Force awarded Domitrz's company, the Date Safe Project, $10,000 for three training sessions.
The Editor says...
This sort of training might indeed be necessary because the military probably gets a lot of godless, fatherless recruits who don't know how to behave.
FTC opens new office to protect you from the Internet of Things. The FTC says it'll be broadening its scope with the launch of a new Office of Technology Research and Investigation, described by the agency as "the next generation in consumer protection." The new division succeeds and replaces the FTC's current Mobile Technology Unit, which focused on safeguarding children from deceptive mobile apps and overseeing other smartphone-centric topics.
21 Days: Treasury Says Debt Has Been Frozen at $18,112,975,000,000. According to the Daily Treasury Statement for Friday, April 3, which was published by the U.S. Treasury on Monday, April 6, that portion of the federal debt that is subject to a legal limit set by Congress closed the day at $18,112,975,000,000 — for the 21st day in a row. $18,112,975,000,000 is about $25 million below the current legal debt limit of $18,113,000,080,959.35.
Court asked to bar D.C. government from illegally spending federal funds. A nonprofit government watchdog is asking a federal appellate court to bar District of Columbia officials from spending tax dollars under a budget measure previously declared unconstitutional by a U.S. District Court Judge Emmett Sullivan. Judicial Watch filed its motion Tuesday [4/7/2015] to intervene in the case on behalf of Clarice Feldman, a longtime D.C. resident. The case revolves around a measure passed by the D.C. Council and signed by then-Mayor Vincent Gray, the Local Budget Autonomy Act of 2012. Gray reversed himself and declined to enforce the law after being advised by then-D.C. attorney General Irvin Nathan that it was unconstitutional.
Key Witness: Prosecutor Manipulated Me Into Falsely Testifying Against Scooter Libby. Judith Miller, the former New York Times reporter, has blown a big hole in the case against Lewis "Scooter" Libby, convicted of lying to avoid blame for outing a CIA agent. Miller was a key witness in Libby's trial, but in her new book she has repudiated her testimony.
Alaska House brushes off constitutional claims, 'orders' massive federal land transfer. Rejecting the advice of its legal staff, the Alaska House of Representatives approved a bill Monday [4/6/2015] ordering the federal government to hand over most federal land in Alaska to the state by Dec. 31, 2016. House lawmakers said the federal government would be allowed to keep national parks, such as Denali, but not national monuments, preserves and areas such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.
New revelation helps exonerate Scooter Libby. In a book just released, The Story: A Reporter's Journey, Judith Miller, a key witness in the Libby prosecution, states that Patrick Fitzgerald had offered repeatedly to drop all charges against Lewis Libby if he would "deliver" Vice President Cheney to him. In addition, she charges that Fitzgerald manipulated her into incorrectly testifying about a critical conversation she had with Libby and withheld exculpatory evidence from both her and the defense in order to induce her mistaken testimony — testimony the prosecution knew was made because she was acting under a false belief.
Native Hawaiians Arrested in Protests of Massive Telescope. After days of blockading the road to prevent construction machinery from reaching the summit, thirty-one out of about 300 protesters against the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) in the Mauna Kea Conservation District on the Big Island of Hawaii were arrested by the Hawaii Police Department and officers of the Department of Land and Natural Resources. [...] Native Hawaiian protestors hope to reach the Supreme Court and worry that beginning construction before the courts reach resolution will cause irreparable harm to the environment and to Native Hawaiian ancestral graves and sacred places.
Army bows to Generation Y, loosens tattoo policy allowing more ink. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno confirmed Wednesday [4/1/2015] that the Army will change its unpopular tattoo policy, with looser rules that allow for more ink to take effect in the near future. "Society is changing its view of tattoos and we have to change along with that. It makes sense. Soldiers have grown up in an era when tattoos are much more acceptable and we have to change along with that," the general said while speaking at a conference in Huntsville, Alabama, Army Times reported.
Brains behind the 1970s Pet Rock fad and 'Advertising for Dummies' Gary Dahl dies aged 78. Gary Ross Dahl, the creator of the wildly popular and bizarre 1970s fad the Pet Rock, has died aged 78 in southern Oregon.
Obama commutes sentences of 22 people serving time in federal prison, mostly for drug crimes. President Barack Obama on Tuesday [3/31/2015] shortened the prison sentences of nearly two dozen drug convicts, including some given life in prison for their crimes.
The 2 states Obama hasn't visited. When President Barack Obama speaks at the Hill Air Force Base in Utah on Friday [4/3/2015], he'll have traveled to 49 states as president, nearly reaching his goal of stopping in every single one during his eight years in office.
Arizona Governor Vetoes Bill To Delay Identifying Police Officers Who Shoot People. A controversial bill that aimed to prohibit law enforcement in Arizona from releasing the names of officers involved in shootings until 60 days after the incident was vetoed Monday [3/30/2015] by Gov. Doug Ducey. Ducey said his No. 1 goal was to protect officers and their families, and the "arbitrary" 60-day timeframe didn't help police. In a letter explaining his decision, the governor also noted that Arizona law already allows local police departments to weigh officer safety as they decide when to release names.
Military planning to spend billions on new Air Force One. The Pentagon is considering spending billions of dollars on three new Boeing 747s to use as Air Force One, the aircraft that shuttles the United States president. According to CBS News, the current Air Force One fleet is getting old, and the U.S. military says it's time for a new generation to carry future commanders in chief. "We've got a pretty good size team working on it," said Air Force Col. Amy McCain, who is in charge of ordering the new Air Force One, according to the station.
BLS: Bartenders in U.S. Outnumber Clergy 12 to 1. According to annual employment data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on Wednesday, bartenders in the United States outnumber clergy 12 to 1. According to the report, there were 46,510 individuals working as members of the clergy as of May 2014, compared to 579,700 working as bartenders. Clergy made an average salary of $47,730.
33 Strange Facts About America That Most Americans Would Be Shocked To Learn. [#2] In more than half of all U.S. states, the highest paid public employee in the state is a football coach.
Republicans pass budgets in both House and Senate, trim $5.1 trillion in spending. Remember when a disagreement between Republicans on the budget was "cataclysmic" for GOP claims to governance? Democrats last passed a normal budget resolution six years ago, but Republicans went all of seven days before both chambers finally passed budget resolutions.
Firm Founded By David Axelrod Worked In Nigerian Election As Recently As December. The political consulting firm founded by former Obama message guru David Axelrod was working for the challenger to the Nigerian president as recently as this winter, a spokesman for the firm confirmed on Friday [3/27/2015]. AKPD Message and Media said in August that it had stopped working with All Progressives Congress (APC) — the party of former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari who is challenging current president Goodluck Jonathan in elections next week — in March. AKPD partner Isaac Baker confirmed to BuzzFeed News on Friday that the firm worked for APC again for a period beginning in December 2014.
Will California's drought affect hydroelectric power? For California, now in its fourth year of drought, the record low snowfall, in addition to the lack of rain, is beginning to hamper the state's supply of hydroelectric energy. This winter California received only 12 percent of its average snowpack, meaning that there will be dramatically less runoff into the rivers and dams across the Sierra Nevada this spring.
A Test of Free Speech and Bias, Served on a Plate From Texas. Nine states let drivers choose specialty license plates featuring the flag and honoring the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which says it seeks to celebrate Southern heritage. But Texas refused to allow the group's plates, saying the flag was offensive. On Monday [3/23/2015], the Supreme Court will hear a challenge to that decision in Walker v. Sons of Confederate Veterans, No. 14-144, a case that considers the limits of free expression and the meaning of a charged symbol that many associate with secession and slavery.
House Republican Budget Overhauls Medicare and Repeals the Health Law. House Republicans on Tuesday [3/17/2015] will unveil a proposed budget for 2016 that partly privatizes Medicare, turns Medicaid into block grants to the states, repeals the Affordable Care Act and reaches balance in 10 years, challenging Republicans in Congress to make good on their promises to deeply cut federal spending.
GOP Shows What A Responsible Budget Looks Like. President Obama's budget, summed up: More taxes ($1.8 trillion), more spending ($547 billion), more debt (about $6 trillion), and no hard choices. Nothing on entitlement reform, tax reform, regulatory reform or anything else that Washington ought to be addressing. The House budget, in contrast, eliminates annual deficits in less than a decade — without higher taxes — and does so by targeting the real problem: out-of-control entitlement spending. It would turn Medicare into a premium support program and Medicaid into block grants to states. It would kill ObamaCare, which alone saves about $2 trillion over the next decade. And it keeps control on overall discretionary spending while adding needed funds to the Defense Department.
House GOP Budget Axes Obamacare, Boosts Defense. Republicans in the House of Representatives released their $3.8 trillion budget proposal for fiscal year 2016 Tuesday — a plan that would balance the budget within a decade by slashing $5.5 trillion in spending over that span while increasing military outlays and fully repealing Obamacare, among other policy initiatives.
House Republicans seek ObamaCare repeal, more defense $$ in new budget plan. House Republicans, unveiling their first budget blueprint since the party took control of Congress, issued a sweeping spending plan Tuesday [3/17/2015] that calls for complete repeal of ObamaCare, major changes to Medicare and controversial moves to boost defense spending despite tight budget limits. GOP leaders say their budget would balance in less than 10 years, and in that time cut spending by $5.5 trillion compared with current projections.
Lawyers say Canadian-born Cruz eligible to run for president. While questions about Canadian-born Sen. Ted Cruz's eligibility to be president haven't drawn much attention, two former Justice Department lawyers have weighed in with a bipartisan verdict: Cruz, they say, is eligible to run for the White House. Neal Katyal, acting solicitor general in the Obama administration, and Paul Clemente, solicitor general in President George W. Bush's administration, got out in front of the issue in a Harvard Law Review article. "There is no question that Senator Cruz has been a citizen from birth and is thus a 'natural born Citizen' within the meaning of the Constitution," they wrote.
Media Matters pushes hard for Hillary 2016, putting its nonprofit status in question. By retaining longtime Clinton loyalist James Carville as a regular columnist, the liberal watchdog Media Matters for America has increased its influence as a player in the 2016 presidential election. But Media Matters may be edging toward violating the tax rules that govern nonprofit organizations. Carville's new role at Media Matters was announced Thursday [3/12/2015], following two weeks of controversy surrounding Hillary Clinton, a likely Democratic presidential candidate and former secretary of state. Media Matters was founded by another Clinton friend, David Brock, one of the rare Clinton acolytes willing to defend her amid reports that she violated federal law by exclusively using a personal email address during her tenure as secretary of state.
Why does Media Matters deserve tax exempt status when they're cheerleaders for Hillary? Last week, the Democratic party website Media Matters hired long time Clinton family friend and advisor James Carville to write for the site. This is just the latest in a series of moves made by the Democratic party organ to boost the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. But, as the Washington Examiner points out, Media Matters is a tax exempt organization, prohibited by law from engaging in political activity.
Ex-energy official's $1.7 million gig draws fire. For five years, Dan Poneman was the Energy Department's No. 2 administrator during a time when the agency steered hundreds of millions of dollars to a struggling nuclear company that has won the backing of both the Obama administration and top Republicans and Democrats in Congress. This month, he's set to become the company's president and CEO — a post that will bring him as much as $1.7 million a year.
Jesus Wants Me to Have This Jet. God wants Pastor Creflo Dollar to have a $65 million private jet, according to paid spokesman for God, Pastor Creflo Dollar. On Friday [3/13/2015], Dollar's website unveiled Project G650, an "airplane project" that he claims has something to do with "Understanding Grace" and "Empowering Change." You may be wondering, What could this mysterious, holy airplane project be? Probably something related to charity, you must think, like air-dropping food into famine-ravaged countries, or flying sick children to doctors, or lifting two of every animal out of a flood. Not quite.
Reagan Was Right, Government Is The Problem. The latest Gallup poll finds that more people list the government as a bigger problem in the U.S. than anything else — including the economy, jobs, health care, terrorism and race relations. Global warming doesn't make the list at all. Gallup notes that this is the fourth month in a row that government has topped the list.
Oil tankers Idle for Months off Delaware Waters, Puzzling Some. Late last November, the tanker Olympic Flag carrying 650,000 barrels of Angolan crude dropped anchor about 7 miles off the coast in Delaware Bay, a seemingly routine shipment destined for a nearby Philadelphia refinery. What happened next was anything but routine. Instead of discharging its cargo within days and heading off for the next port, the ship idled offshore for nearly 11 weeks, discharging the oil at an unaccountably slow rate, according to shipping sources as well as vessel tracking data on ThomsonReuters Eikon.
Environmental trouble brewing for the K-Cup? Keurig was sold to Green Mountain Coffee of Vermont in 2006, and last year sales of the coffee pods made up most of the company's $4.7 billion revenue, which was five times the amount from just five years earlier, according to the Atlantic. Last year, the company sold more than nine billion K-Cups. Almost one in three American households has a pod-based coffee machine. As of last spring, only five percent of K-Cups sold by Keurig were recyclable, according to Mother Jones. The remaining 95 percent are made with composite plastics and have the recycling number "7 blend" distinction, which cannot be processed in most recycling plants.
In a first, senators plan to introduce federal medical marijuana bill. The bill, to be introduced by Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), would end the federal ban on medical marijuana and implement a series of reforms long sought by advocates. They include downgrading its status with the Drug Enforcement Agency from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2, allowing doctors to recommend its use in some cases to veterans, expanding access to researchers and making it easier for banks to provide services to the industry.
FBI email warns whistleblower of retaliation if surveillance program concerns reported. The FBI bluntly told a potential whistleblower that he could face retaliation by coming forward with concerns about political meddling inside a secret terrorism and counterintelligence surveillance program. The warning came in an email from a bureau attorney that raises questions in Congress about the bureau's ability to properly handle accusations of wrongdoing and protect those who come forward.
Feds crack down on Chinese 'birth tourism'. In the largest operation of its kind, early Tuesday morning federal officials in Southern California served warrants at "Chinese birthing houses" or "maternity hotels," where wealthy Chinese nationals paid up to $80,000 for the sole purpose of giving birth in the U.S. to obtain citizenship for their children, earning in-state tuition to U.S. universities for them and permanent U.S. residency for the parents.
Fraudsters in Department of Education are caught stealing students' personal information to apply for loans and cellphones. Government employees have been caught stealing students' personal information to apply for loans, credit cards and set up new cell phone accounts, Daily Mail Online has learned. Reports on breaches of staff conduct inside the Department of Education shows how workers stole social security numbers from a database while a man was fired for trying to look up President Barack Obama's student loan records. Cyber security campaigners warned that the failure to protect sensitive information because of 'bureaucratic incompetence' is just the 'tip of the iceberg'.
Bernanke: No to Fed audit, yes to emergency powers for president. Many Republican lawmakers favor legislation introduced by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., that would subject the Fed's monetary policy decisions to policy audits by the Government Accountability Office. Current Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen and other officials have criticized the audit idea in recent weeks on the grounds that it would politicize monetary policy decisions made by the independent central bank. Bernanke, who was appointed by Republican George W. Bush, pushed back against Paul's bill and other proposals to ramp up congressional oversight of the Fed. "I don't think that Congress has failed to make the Fed accountable," the former Princeton professor said.
Dumping subway trains into the ocean ... in a good way. Usually, dumping metal into the ocean is a bad thing, but for once throwing disused items into the sea is working out for the greater good. Over 2,500 New York subway cars have been used to create an underwater reef for crustaceans and fish in the Atlantic.
How Does PolitiFact Fact Check? By Tweeting People. The Pulitzer Prize winning website PolitiFact has made quite a name for itself in the fact-checking business. Operated by the Tampa Bay Times, the website is cited regularly by media outlets across the country as an authority on what is and is not true. But how do they go about fact-checking claims they investigate? PolitiFact routinely embeds links in its stories to supporting materials, but how does it reach out to an author of a column it is fact-checking? Turns out it's not by phone or email, it's Twitter.
I strongly oppose 'Audit the Fed,' Yellen says. Fed Chair Janet Yellen testified before Congress on Tuesday [2/24/2015] after presenting her semiannual monetary policy report. The Federal Reserve will not hike rates for the next few Federal Open Market Committee meetings, according to Yellen's prepared remarks. During the question-and-answer session, Yellen addressed a range of questions from the committee about the Fed's structure, its inflation measurement and the movement to "Audit the Fed."
U.S. Homeownership Rate Hits 20-Year Low. The homeownership rate in the United States dropped to a 20-year low of 64.5 percent in 2014, according to new data released by the Census Bureau. The homeownership rate is the percentage of households that own the home in which they live. "It is computed," says the Census Bureau, "by dividing the number of households that are owners by the total number of occupied households."
Obama embraces natural gas exports to drive job growth despite likely domestic price hike. The Obama administration is warming up increasingly to U.S. exports of natural gas after years of blocking greater access by domestic producers to the international market. Tucked inside the White House's latest economic report to Congress is a section on energy production, with President Obama's top economic advisers embracing the concept of boosting natural gas exports as a driver of job growth, even as it would likely drive up prices paid by U.S. consumers and businesses.
Marine who vanished in Iraq in 2004 found guilty of desertion, sentenced to 2 years in prison. A U.S. Marine who vanished in Iraq in 2004 has been sentenced to two years in prison for leaving his post and then fleeing to Lebanon after a brief return to the U.S. As part of the sentence handed down Monday, Cpl. Wassef Hassoun will have a reduction in rank, loss of pay and a dishonorable discharge. He was given two years and five days' confinement.
Big Pharma Is America's New Mafia. Even our most prestigious journals publish research based on falsified studies, according to Charles Seife, a journalism professor whose class spent a semester trying to figure out why the data don't get corrected once research fraud comes to light. "As a result," Seife writes, "nobody ever finds out which data is bogus, which experiments are tainted, and which drugs might be on the market under false pretenses." If no one knows which data is bogus, we obviously have a big problem in conventional medicine.
Somehow the building didn't collapse, like both of the World Trade Center buildings did (in less than two hours).
Dubai Fire: Massive Blaze Strikes One of World's Largest Residential Towers. One of the world's tallest residential towers caught fire early Saturday [2/21/2015] in Dubai's Marina district, sending bright yellow flames several stories high, but there were no reports of casualties, civil defense officials said.
Will Obama's New Regulations Wreak Havoc Upon The Elderly? Financial Advisers Say Yes. If you're over 65 and you like your financial adviser, there's a good chance you won't be able to keep your adviser. President Obama is set to speak at AARP headquarters in Washington, D.C. Monday afternoon [2/23/2015] alongside Sen. Elizabeth Warren and consumer protection chief Richard Cordray. Obama will announce new regulations from his Department of Labor, which will set new rules governing financial managers and advisers.
The Fall of MSNBC. Rarely has a prince so keenly disappointed his trumpeters. It was announced yesterday [2/19/2015] that MSNBC's Ronan Farrow, once the sparkle-eyed wunderkind who would lead the network into broad, sunlit uplands, will be stripped of his show. His time there, it turns out, was a waste of everyone's time. In 2013, MSNBC chief Phil Griffin had enthused breathlessly that "Ronan has established himself as a provocative, independent journalist, capable of challenging people's assumptions and empowering audiences. His show will be a game changer for MSNBC." By February of 2015, he was forced to acknowledge that Farrow had "empowered," to judge from the ratings, almost nobody at all.
Federal Court Blocks Dem's Attempt to Out Conservative Donors. A federal court on Tuesday [2/17/2015] blocked efforts by officials in California to force a conservative group to hand over the names of its donors, saying the order could violate those donors' First Amendment rights. Kamala Harris, California's attorney general and a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, demanded last year that the Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFPF) turn over its donor rolls. The court enjoined that demand pending the outcome of AFPF's suit attempting to invalidate the order.
New York Compels 20 School Districts to Lower Barriers to Immigrants. Twenty New York school districts found to be blocking access for undocumented immigrant children will be forced to modify their enrollment policies to break down illegal barriers to education, the state attorney general's office said on Wednesday [2/18/2015].
Going on the offensive against robocalls. The group said Americans' frustration with being bombarded by auto-dialed calls, many of which are scams, has reached a breaking point. Consumers Union said the campaign seeks to take advantage of that frustration by getting consumers to put their names on a petition at www.endrobocalls.org intended to get Verizon (VZ), CenturyLink (CTL) and AT&T (T) to provide free call-blocking technology.
Russian Cyber-thieves Steal $1 Billion From Russian Banks? The first public exposure of the plot to steal millions at first appeared in late 2013 to be a simple mistake: an ATM in Kiev, Ukraine, started dispensing cash while no one was around. Within seconds, security cameras showed participants in the theft arriving and scooping up the loot and escaping before anyone at the bank could be alerted. The losses extended far beyond that single ATM, and, according to Kaspersky, represent a quantum jump for the hackers, who stole as much as $18 million in 2014. As Forbes noted in December, this is the same group that stole vast amounts of data from Staples, Sheplers, and Bebe, and is now considered to be "one of the most sophisticated cybercriminal groups ever seen."
Tattoos, prescription drugs, obesity hinder Army Reserves recruitment effort. The majority of potential Army reservists are either hooked on prescription drugs, have too many tattoos, are overweight or have mental conditions that prohibit them from joining the military, recruiters say. Seven out of 10 applicants — who return to their civilian lives after training, but can be called into active service at any time — fail to meet Army Reserve standards on "mental, moral and physical reasons," said Capt. Eric Connor, U.S. Army Reserve Command spokesman.
Israel prepares for 'mass immigration from Europe'. The cabinet approved a 180 million Shekel immigration plan aimed at French, Belgian and Ukrainian Jews on Sunday, only hours after a Jewish guard was shot outside a synagogue in the Danish capital of Copenhagen. Though less than the nearly half a billion Shekels initially requested by Immigration and Absorption Minister Sofa Landver, the new allocation would still mark a significant increase in Israel's efforts to promote immigration abroad.
Secret tapes reveal JFK's duplicity in Cold War, civil rights. When buses carrying black and white passengers hoping to protest segregated facilities in Alabama were attacked, and their passengers beaten, in May 1961, Attorney General Robert Kennedy sent US marshals to protect the protestors, who came to be known as the Freedom Riders. But [Patrick] Sloyan writes that neither Kennedy brother was genuinely sympathetic to their cause, concerned as they were with losing the support of white southern Democrats in '64.
FAA proposes drone pilots should get certificates, not fly over people. The U.S. aviation regulator proposed rules on Sunday for commercial drone flights that would lift some restrictions but would still bar activities such as the delivery of packages and inspection of pipelines that have been eyed by companies as a potentially breakthrough use of the technology.
Chicago Little League whistle-blower getting death threats. The man who blew the whistle on the Jackie Robinson West Little League team claims he's been receiving death threats for spoiling the youngsters' glory. The team from Chicago's South Side was stripped of its US Little League Championship on Wednesday [2/11/2015] for using suburban players from outside its geographic boundaries. Chris Janes — the vice president of the Evergreen Park Athletic Association and coach of a team that lost 43-2 to Jackie Robinson in four innings — had emailed Little League International in October to alert officials that he and others thought the all-star squad had been "manipulating, bending and blatantly breaking the rules for the sole purpose of winning at all costs."
New High-Tech Farm Equipment Is a Nightmare for Farmers. The cost and hassle of repairing modern tractors has soured a lot of farmers on computerized systems altogether. [...] "There's an increasing number of farmers placing greater value on acquiring older simpler machines that don't require a computer to fix." The problem is that farmers are essentially driving around a giant black box outfitted with harvesting blades. Only manufacturers have the keys to those boxes.
Thieves use explosive gas to rob ATMs. The strongbox inside an ATM has two essential holes: a small slot in front that spits out bills to customers and a big door in back through which employees load reams of cash in large cassettes. Criminals have learned to see this simple enclosure as a physics problem. Gas is pumped in, and when it's detonated, the weakest part — the large hinged door — is forced open. After an ATM blast, thieves force their way into the bank itself, where the now gaping rear of the cash machine is either exposed in the lobby or inside a trivially secured room. Set off with skill, the shock wave leaves the money neatly stacked, sometimes with a whiff of the distinctive acetylene odor of garlic.
Want to Stop Drones from Flying Over Your House and Snooping in your Window? Here's How! If you're concerned about the growing cultural propensity for voyeurism, some help is on the way. Now that drones are widely available for public purchase and use, noflyzone.org lets you establish a no-snoop area over your property.
David Axelrod's Political Consulting Firm Far More Involved in Nigeria Election than Previously Disclosed. A political consulting firm founded by Obama administration confidante David Axelrod has been far more involved in backing controversial Nigerian presidential candidate Gen. Muhammadu Buhari than previously disclosed, according to a series of emails obtained by the Washington Free Beacon and interviews with sources on the ground. Axelrod's firm, the Chicago-based AKPD, has admitted to doing work on behalf of Buhari's All Progressives Congress (APC) party in the past, but claimed to have ceased its ties in March 2014 after the Islamist terror group Boko Haram kidnapped hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls.
Obama reportedly considered appointing Hillary Clinton to the Supreme Court. President Barack Obama once mulled whether to make Hillary Clinton a Supreme Court justice, according to his top former adviser. The Daily News reported Tuesday [2/3/2015] that former White House official David Axelrod said Obama considered offering Clinton the job after defeating her in the presidential primary six years ago.
US Navy's new 'Star Wars'-style railgun hits Mach 6. The weapon was on display to the public for the first time at the Naval Future Force Science and Technology EXPO at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Wednesday and Thursday. The biennial event showcases the latest advances in power projection and force protection, including this year's star — the EM Railgun. To defend ships, conduct surface warfare against enemy vessels and support U.S. Marines and ground forces, EM Railgun-armed ships will be able to fire hypervelocity projectiles giving US forces even greater reach and lethality.
In a surprise, Texas says it will stop collecting fingerprints of driver's license applicants. Texas will stop capturing full sets of fingerprints of Texas driver's license applicants on Monday. In a surprise move late Friday afternoon [2/6/2015], the Texas Department of Public Safety reversed its position and promised to stop the practice it quietly began a year ago. The fingerprinting ends as quietly as it began. DPS rolled out the program in January 2014 without any public announcement.
Some doctors won't see patients with anti-vaccine views. With California gripped by a measles outbreak, Dr. Charles Goodman posted a clear notice in his waiting room and on Facebook: His practice will no longer see children whose parents won't get them vaccinated.
Massachusetts Supreme Court Rules All Juror Names Will Now Be Made Public. In a decision made Tuesday [1/27/2015], the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the names of jurors who serve in criminal cases are to be available to the public. The new ruling means that if you serve on a jury, your name will become public record by the end of the trial at the latest, but the decision that isn't sitting well with everyone. Those opposed to the ruling argue it will create harassment and other risks for those jurors.
NYC Gives Machete-Wielding Thug $5K For Menacing Cops. He menaced cops with a machete — and the city paid him for it. A Brooklyn thug who was shot by officers while waving an 18-inch blade at them and later sued the department for $3 million got a $5,000 settlement from the city — even though his own attorney said the shooting was probably justified. Ruhim Ullah, 24, had pleaded guilty to menacing a police officer after the 2010 confrontation, in which he was shot once in the leg by a cop trying to stop him from attacking officers with the machete, according to his lawyer.
The Latest from West Virginia. Currently, 40 states are in the process of initiating an Article V convention to propose three specific amendments. One would impose fiscal restraint on the federal government through a balanced budget amendment, the second would limit the government's power and jurisdiction, and the third would impose term limits on Congress. Should these amendments become ratified, they become law. Congress can't change or amend (add pork to) them, the president can't veto them; the Supreme Court can't overturn them.
Grassley to hospitals: Explain why you're suing low-income patients. Sen. Charles Grassley is calling out nonprofit hospitals who are suing poor patients over unpaid bills and says they could be breaking the law, according to a report by ProPublica and NPR. Grassley, R-Iowa, sent a letter, dated January 16, 2015, to Heartland Regional Medical Center, a nonprofit hospital in St. Joseph, Mo., that has garnished the wages of low-income patients who were unable to pay their medical bills.
State Department Official Wants Disney's 'Frozen' to Teach Kids About Climate Change. A high-ranking State Department official wants to enlist Princess Elsa and a talking snowman to teach the American public about the Arctic. Adm. Robert Papp, the U.S. special representative for the Arctic, told an audience at the Arctic Frontiers conference in Norway this week that he met with a Disney executive to discuss raising awareness about the polar region using characters from the wildly popular movie Frozen.
The Editor says...
In normal times (prior to January, 2009), the State Department wouldn't have anything to do with environmentalism or elementary education.
CIA's Top Spy Steps Down. The director of the CIA's National Clandestine Service, the storied home of the agency's most secretive intelligence operations, has announced that he plans to retire, The Daily Beast has learned. CIA spokesman Dean Boyd confirmed that the director announced his retirement "after a long and distinguished career at CIA. We thank him for this profound and lasting contributions to both CIA and to our nation's security."
Cruz Files Bill to Ban American Islamic State Fighters from Returning to U.S.. Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) will file legislation on Friday to ban American citizens who fight alongside the Islamic State (IS) and other terror groups from returning to the United States, where they pose a significant terror threat, according to sources in the senator's office. Cruz, who first proposed the legislation last year, seeks to strip those Americans who travel abroad to fight with IS (also known as ISIL or ISIS) of their U.S. citizenship rights and stop them from coming back stateside. The bill, known as the Expatriate Terrorist Act (E.T.A.), tightens and updates existing regulations by which a U.S. citizen effectively renounces his or her citizenship.
Republicans outfox Democrats on climate votes. Senate Republicans head-faked Democrats on climate change Wednesday, agreeing in a floor vote that the planet's climate was changing, but blocking language that would have blamed human activity. In a complicated maneuver that was the first politically perilous test for Senate Republicans, the new majority party split up the votes that Democrats had hoped would force the GOP into an awkward roll call on whether they believed in the science behind climate change — just hours after President Barack Obama slammed Republicans in his State of the Union address for dodging the issue.
Obama assails Supreme Court. A day after snubbing liberal activists who were pushing for tougher campaign-finance regulations, President Obama took a swipe at the Supreme Court Wednesday [1/21/2015] for its "wrong" ruling five years ago on the issue. "Five years ago, a Supreme Court ruling allowed big companies — including foreign corporations — to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence our elections," Mr. Obama said in a statement. "The Citizens United decision was wrong, and it has caused real harm to our democracy."
Mad Dad Tells Off Kids For Yapping During National Anthem, Gets Year-long Ban From Games. [Justin Schill] was attempting to enjoy a Brookside High basketball game when he saw some of these kids today chatting and laughing and generally having too swell of a time during the customary presentation of the national anthem. Schiller was "absolutely infuriated" by what he perceived as disrespect for the song expressing America's very patriotic soul, he wrote on his Facebook page. He decided to approach the kids and give them his version of the what-for. The confrontation got Schiller kicked out of the game. A few days later, he received a letter from the Brookside High principal informing him that he would be banned from school athletic events for all of 2015.
Saudi Arabia Gives the PA $60 Million. Saudi Arabia has provided $60 million in direct support for the Palestinian Authority's (PA) budget, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Egypt Ahmad Abdulaziz Qattan said Tuesday [1/13/2015], according to the WAFA news agency. Qattan reportedly said that the Saudi Fund for Development had transferred $60 million to the PA Finance Ministry's bank account. The Saudi diplomat noted in a press release that amount covers Saudi Arabia's financial contribution to the PA's budget for October, November and December 2014.
Yemen not 'exporter of terror': president. Yemen's president said Tuesday [1/13/2015] his country was a victim not an exporter of "terrorism" after it emerged one of the Paris gunmen received training from Al-Qaeda in the violence-torn country. Said Kouachi, one of the two brothers behind the attack on French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, travelled to Yemen in 2011 and received weapons and training from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), security sources said.
Dish Network Head Has Strong Ties to Democrats. Dish Network claims that they dropped the nation's number one cable news network [Fox News Channel] because of a contract dispute. Fox News disagrees, claiming that the move is an effort by Dish Network to censor their content. While it's not entirely clear who's in the right in this matter, digging into the background of Dish Network's founder and chairman Charles Ergen may help to illuminate why animosity between Dish and FNC has reached such epic proportions. As it turns out, Charles Ergen is a big-time donor to the Democratic Party.
President Obama just made a big privacy announcement. Here's what you need to know. Here's what the president is announcing, in plain English. [#1] An expansion in the number of Americans benefiting from free credit scores. [...] [#2] A federal bill requiring companies to reveal when they've been hacked. [...] [#4] A bid to safeguard data about your energy habits.
Tiny Cokes: Less guilt means more money for makers. As people cut back on soda, the two beverage giants [Coke and Pepsi] are pushing smaller cans and bottles they say contain fewer calories and induce less guilt.
Pelosi to name first Muslim lawmaker to House intelligence committee. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced in a closed-door meeting Tuesday [1/13/2015] she would name the first Muslim lawmaker to the House's Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. A senior Democratic aide said Rep. André Carson of Indiana would be named in the "coming days" to the key national security-focused panel.
Protesters Gather at Clinton Foundation to Complain of 'Missing Money' from Haiti Recovery. Protesters gathered outside the Clinton Foundation in New York City to complain about "missing money" from the Haiti recovery effort from the 2010 earthquake: [Video clip] "New Yorkers with roots in Haiti say the picture [of the Haiti recovery] isn't so rosy," said the NY1 anchor. The protesters claimed that the $10 billion meant to help rebuild Haiti did little to help the country after the devastating quake. And that much of the money went to non-Haitian companies.
Former Haiti official: We have no idea where all that recovery money went. Nearly five years after a 7.0 magnitude quake killed hundreds of thousands of its citizens, Haiti's recovery efforts remain muddled and confused, with the whereabouts of the billions of dollars pledged by the international community an apparent mystery to the country's leaders. "We don't know where the money has gone," Raymond Joseph, former ambassador of Haiti to the U.S., said Friday [1/9/2015] in an interview on Bloomberg's "Market Makers."
A Statue of Muhammad on a New York Courthouse, Taken Down Years Ago. It would have given great offense, had anyone known it was there. For the first half of the 20th century, an eight-foot-tall marble statue of the Prophet Muhammad overlooked Madison Square Park from the rooftop of the Appellate Division Courthouse at Madison Avenue and 25th Street. Sixty years ago, the statue was quietly removed, in an episode that now looks, in light of recent events in Paris, like the model of tact, restraint and diplomacy.
Islamic State Hacks CENTCOM Twitter Feed as Obama Talks Cybersecurity. "ISIS is already here, we are in your PCs, in each military base. With Allah's permission we are in CENTCOM now," said one tweet sent from CENTCOM's account. The apparent hack came as President Obama addressed the nation regarding cyber security. He is expected to propose two pieces of cyber security legislation and to address the effort in his upcoming State of the Union address. The hackers subsequently tweeted images of spreadsheets containing the home addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of dozens of current and former senior U.S. military officers.
China's $20 Billion Bailout For Venezuela Gives It A Caribbean Beachhead. With crude at $47 a barrel and Venezuela's budget premised on oil at $120, the country is broke and looking for a bailout. Surprisingly, it got one — from China, which happens to need a strategic beachhead.
Poll: For first time ever voters say "the government" is the biggest problem in America. America is not Europe. We are a country founded by individualists, scoundrels, dreamers, and doers. We do not have the aristocratic legacy of the Old World with its stifling worldview and distinct class system within an ever present welfare state. We are a free people. This country was an escape from Europe. This country is a free land. [...] This unique American nature is reflected in [a] recent poll. As the state has encroached more and more into our lives in recent years, and as Americans have educated themselves on the Constitution and liberty generally over the last few years, the ignorance which simply allowed the state to expand without check has diminished. People (at least some people) are waking up.
Piano Stores [are] Closing as Fewer Children [are] Taking Up [the] Instrument. Stores dedicated to selling pianos like [Jim] Foster's are dwindling across the country as fewer people take up the instrument and those who do often opt for a less expensive electronic keyboard or a used piano.
Federal Debt Increased $7,458 Per Full-Time Worker in 2014. The federal government drove $789,473,350,613.20 deeper into debt in calendar year 2014, an increase that equaled $6,875 per household, $7,458 per full-time year-round worker, and $8,853 per full-time year-round private-sector worker. [...] When Obama took office on Jan. 20, 2009, the debt was $10,626,877,048,913.08. Since then, it has increased $7,514,567,086,650.22 — which is $65,443 per household, $70,985 per full-time worker and $84,266 per full-time private-sector worker.
Congress poised in 2015 to order audit of Federal Reserve long sought by Ron Paul. After years of being blocked by Democratic leader Harry Reid, the Senate will finally get a chance next year to vote on legislation to force a broad audit of the Federal Reserve's decision-making. Once championed in Congress by former Rep. Ron Paul, the push to force the country's central bank to undergo a full audit has been picked up by his son, Sen. Rand Paul, and others, and has the backing of the leader of the new Republican majority, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, whose office says the legislation will earn a floor vote.
Cosby hires investigators to smear rape accusers. Bill Cosby has hired a battalion of private investigators to dig up dirt on his many accusers, The [New York] Post has learned. The comedian, fighting an onslaught of accusations that he sexually assaulted more than two dozen women over many years, is paying six-figure fees to private investigators for information that might discredit his alleged victims. Multiple sources confirmed that Cosby, through his Hollywood attorney Martin Singer, is implementing a scorched-earth strategy in which anything negative in his accusers' pasts is fair game.
FBI rejects alternate Sony hack theory. U.S. law enforcement officials say an alternate theory of the Sony hack doesn't stand up. After FBI agents were briefed yesterday, they concluded the security company offering the alternate theory did not have an accurate understanding of all the evidence, a U.S. official familiar with the matter told POLITICO today.
Norm Macdonald Was Right: Sony Hack Was an Inside Job. Early in December, when little was known about the SONY hack, comedian and actor Norm Macdonald wrote the following tweets... [...]
FBI briefed on theory Sony hack was inside job. A security firm has brought new evidence to the FBI that it claims points to a laid-off employee and others as the hackers behind the massive cyber-breach at Sony, even as the bureau publicly stands by its explanation that North Korea executed the attack. Kurt Stammberger, senior vice president for market development at cyber intelligence firm Norse, told FoxNews.com that his company was turning over "raw data" to the FBI on Tuesday [12/30/2014]. He said the company also briefed the FBI for "two or three hours" on Monday during a meeting in St. Louis. "They were very open" to the new information, Stammberger said.
No, North Korea Didn't Hack Sony. The FBI and the President may claim that the Hermit Kingdom is to blame for the most high-profile network breach in forever. But almost all signs point in another direction.
A Lot of Smart People Think North Korea Didn't Hack Sony. The evidence linking agents of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to the recent digital implosion of Sony remains vague. And even though the feds are squarely blaming North Korea, many security experts aren't buying it.
Malaysia premier under fire for golfing with Obama. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak was under fire at home on Thursday [12/25/2014] for spending his holiday golfing with US President Barack Obama in Hawaii while the country faces one of its worst floods.
Real-world doctors fact-check Dr. Oz, and the results aren't pretty. What do real-world doctors have to say about the advice dispensed on "The Dr. Oz Show"? Less than one-third of it can be backed up by even modest medical evidence. If that sounds alarming, consider this: Nearly 4 in 10 of the assertions made on the hit show appear to be made on the basis of no evidence at all. The researchers who took it upon themselves to fact-check Dr. Oz and his on-air guests were able to find legitimate studies related to another 11% of the recommendations made on the show. However, in these cases, the recommendations ran counter to the medical literature.
Half of Dr. Oz's medical advice is baseless or wrong, study says. It's not hard to understand what makes Dr. Oz so popular. Called "America's doctor," syndicated talk-show host Mehmet Oz speaks in a way anyone can understand. Medicine may be complex. But with Dr. Oz, clad in scrubs and crooning to millions of viewers about "miracles" and "revolutionary" breakthroughs, it's often not. He somehow makes it fun. And people can't get enough. "I haven't seen a doctor in eight years," the New Yorker quoted one viewer telling Oz. "I'm scared. You're the only one I trust." But is that trust misplaced? Or has Oz, who often peddles miracle cures for weight loss and other maladies, mortgaged medical veracity for entertainment value?
The Editor says...
The Doctor Oz show is apparently targeted toward hypochondriac women between the ages of 18 and 49. The show is an endless parade of insipid oversized models of human organs and an array of pointless props and gimmicks, padded to 58½ minutes by an overabundance of self-promotion, "coming up next" teases, and animated graphics.
China Tests Ballistic Missile That Uses Guidance Technology Traded by Bill Clinton for Campaign Donations. China has just tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile that can deliver up to 10 independently targeted nuclear warheads, using technology given to them on President Clinton's watch to launch communications satellites. The Dec. 13 test of the DF-41 was the third for the new weapon. But it marked the first test of a multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle, or MIRV, technology and raises by an order of magnitude the nuclear threat to the U.S. as China continues its massive arms buildup. And disturbingly, the threat is in large part of our own making.
$100 million wilding. Is the cost of a brutal rape in Central Park 25 years ago heading toward $100 million? Word broke last week that the Central Park Five, who have already won an unprecedented $40 million settlement from the city, are now making a second wrongful-imprisonment claim — this time against the state. Possible payout: $52 million! It gets worse. A spokesman for Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says the AG is likely to settle, because "he's committed to protecting the rights of the wrongfully convicted, and to helping individuals obtain justice and put their lives back together again."
States Move Forward With Plan To Alter Constitution. A very important meeting is being held in Washington this week, but career politicians, lobbyists and most in the media don't want you to know about it. More than 100 state legislators from around the country are meeting at the Naval Heritage Center. The Assembly of State Legislatures (ASL) will discuss the rules for the first-ever Article V Constitutional amendment convention. This is their third meeting. They're preparing to take on Washington, and Congress doesn't like it.
The Gruber-Garner Connection. Obamacare Architect Jonathan Gruber testifies before Congress to try and explain his comments about relying upon the "stupidity of the American voter" to pass the Affordable Care Act, it seems that Gruber's fingerprints can be found on another policy that has been in the news recently. It turns out that Gruber was also helped Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg sell his plan to tax cigarettes at extraordinary levels.
Why Is This One Campus Assault Statistic Being Ignored? Given all the attention paid to sexual assault on college campuses in recent months, you'd think a Justice Department report showing that the campus rape and assault rate had dropped 52% since 1997 would attract a lot of attention. That is, after all, what the data contained in its 20-page report, released on Thursday [12/11/2014], show. In 1997, the number of rapes or sexual assaults per 1,000 students ages 18-24 was 9.2. By 2013, that had fallen to 4.4. The same trend occurred for young women who weren't attending college. Justice data show that the rate peaked in 2000 at 12.2, but was down to 4.3 last year.
Average Federal Spending Per Household Nearly $30K. Did you know that the National Institutes of Health spent $374,000 to find out if a puppet show would convince preschoolers to eat more vegetables? Or that the Department of Agriculture gave $50,000 to a business that packs and sells alpaca manure? Your tax dollars paid for it — and much more. In 2014, federal spending per household was $28,826.
Yes, Dems did funnel money to 'independent' in Kansas Senate race. [Scroll down] What voters did not know was at that very moment, Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid's political action committee, the Senate Majority PAC, was preparing to pour more than a million dollars into the pro-Orman effort in Kansas. Reid was just waiting to make sure the donations came so late in the campaign that the public wouldn't find out about them until after the election.
Watchdog scolds State Department over security lapses, using warehouses for office space. The top watchdog for the State Department warned Wednesday [12/10/2014] that U.S. personnel overseas remain at "increased risk" due to security shortcomings at diplomatic posts, including the "egregious" use of warehouses that don't meet security standards for office space.
Walgreens Pulls Gift Wrap Over Swastika Pattern. A Southern California was shopping at a Walgreens in the Northridge neighborhood of Los Angeles when she saw what appeared to be a swastika pattern on blue and white gift wrap.
Stolen Valor "Ranger" meets actual Ranger. Does not fare well. There are far too many of these stories each year and they really cause me to grind my teeth. People going around claiming the status of heroes, wearing the uniforms and badges of honor granted only to those who served our nation with distinction, while having either never served or not having been awarded those honors are among the lowest types of cretins.
Keywords: rigged, cahoots, scam, fishy.
Report: Half of N.J's most frequent Lottery winners are lottery retailers, family members. Half of the 20 most frequent New Jersey Lottery prizewinners since 2009 are reportedly either licensed lottery retailers or family members of store operators. An investigation by the Asbury Park Press found that as a group, those 10 people collected 840 prizes totalling nearly $1.8 million and that about 70 percent of those payouts were for Pick 4 tickets, where the odds of winning are 1 in 10,000. The New Jersey Lottery told the newspaper that it is investigating some of the people on the list to see if they're actually illegally cashing in other players' winning tickets for a percentage of the winnings.
UC students protest tuition hikes while Napolitano is showered with pay and benefit. University of California students are revolting over a significant tuition increase and the compensation for the college system's president likely won't soothe them. Students across the state — most notably in Berkeley — are protesting a vote of the Board of Regents that approved "hikes of up to 5 percent a year, for the next five years, unless state funding is increased," according to NPR. Contending "education is a universal human right," a group called "The Open UC" is staging walkouts and protests.
Electronic Election Fraud Apparent In Brazil; Done In America Today? It would be a sure bet to think that a presidential candidate who bankrupted a country, brought growth to a standstill and inflation back to 6,5% would be summarily defeated in the coming elections. That was the situation of the Marxist President of Brazil, the former terrorist Dilma Rousseff of the Workers' Party, the woman booed by 60,000 fans in the last World Cup games. [...] However, she won. How can that be? The leader of the Party, former president Lula, said they would do "the devil's work" in order to win. The answer is worrisome and may be the greatest example of a perfect crime.
Drone pilots keep nearly crashing into real pilots. Pilots of consumer are flying dangerously close to passenger aeroplanes, according to new information, and have been within feet or seconds of bringing down planes in New York and Washington. Since June 1, airlines, pilots and air-traffic controllers told the FAA that drones have been within a few seconds or a few feet of crashing into aircraft, the Washington Post reported. The near-misses mostly happened as planes took off and landed from some of the US's biggest airports, including those in New York, Washington and a US Air Force base in Oklahoma.
The Editor says...
Commercial and military pilots are trained to deal with bird strikes, and there are plenty of large birds that outweigh battery-powered low-level hobby-grade drones. This appears to be an attempt on the part of the government to justify the regulation and licensing -- if not the prohibition -- of camera-bearing drones.
Ted Cruz: The Senate must block all presidential nominees until Obama rescinds his amnesty. It's not so much that he wants the Senate to block O's nominees as he wants Mitch McConnell to refuse to bring those nominations to the floor in the first place. That's a clever way of killing two birds with one stone. If McConnell follows Cruz's plan, Cruz can take credit among conservative voters for having been the motive force in bottling up O's nominees. If McConnell doesn't follow Cruz's plan, Cruz can point to it as proof that the establishment squishes refuse to fight the White House with everything they've got,
Stelter: News Anchors Have Secretly Met with Darren Wilson. Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter broke news Sunday morning [11/23/2014]: according to his sources, multiple major news anchors have spoken to Officer Darren Wilson in hopes of securing a televised interview. The meetings were secret and off-the-record, and the news organizations would not even confirm that they had happened.
If you really try, it is possible to get yourself killed by brandishing a fake gun.
Angry father speaks out after his 12-year-old son was shot dead by cops. A concerned man, who was sitting nearby, called 911 and told the dispatcher: 'I'm sitting in the park... there's a guy here with a pistol, and it's probably a fake one, but he's pointing it at everybody. 'The guy keeps pulling it in and out... it's probably fake, but he's scaring the s*** out of people.' [...] Despite the 911 caller's prior warning that the gun was likely fake, the officer then fired two shots at Tamir, at least one of which hit him in the stomach, according to Cleveland.com. [...] Police later told Fox 8 the weapon Tamir was carrying was 'an airsoft type replica gun resembling a semi-automatic pistol.' They added that the gun's orange safety indicator had been removed.
Cleveland Boy with fake gun killed by police. A 12-year-old boy shot by police after grabbing what turned out to be a replica gun died from his wounds on Sunday, one day after officers responded to a 911 call about someone waving what the caller described as a "probably fake" gun at a playground.
Judicial Watch To Congress: Boycott Obama's State of the Union Speech Over Executive Amnesty. Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton tells Breitbart News that Congress should boycott President Barack Obama's next State of the Union speech as part of its response to Obama's executive amnesty for five million or more illegal aliens. "That seems to be one appropriate response," Fitton said in an email. "Imagine if half of the chamber is empty."
Even the liberal media say Mary Landrieu is toast. Had the Republicans been slightly less successful in the midterms, legions of expense-account reporters would now be in New Orleans, chronicling Mary Landrieu's effort to save her seat. With Democratic control of the Senate at stake, there would be an avalanche of stories about how the underdog from one of Louisiana's most storied political families was fighting for her life in next month's runoff. Instead, she's got this: "Mary Landrieu: Dead Woman Walking?" That's not a right-wing attack. It's a headline on the liberal site Talking Points Memo.
Democrats fleeing Landrieu in Louisiana runoff. National Democratic campaign groups have abandoned Sen. Mary L. Landrieu in Louisiana, leaving her massively outspent as she tries to hang onto her seat in a Dec. 6 runoff election to determine the last Senate seat. And analysts say even if she wins a vote in the Senate tomorrow on approving the Keystone XL pipeline, she'll still face an uphill climb against Rep. Bill Cassidy, a Republican who is favored because of the state's increasingly conservative bent and the growing antipathy toward President Obama's agenda.
Chinese hack U.S. weather systems, satellite network. The intrusion occurred in late September but officials gave no indication that they had a problem until Oct. 20, said three people familiar with the hack and the subsequent reaction by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which includes the National Weather Service. Even then, NOAA did not say its systems were compromised. Officials also said that the agency did not notify the proper authorities when it learned of the attack.
Democrats Leave a Body on the Campaign Trail. Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu's re-election race is truly running out of air: She's responsible for a mere 4 percent of all TV spots in the week-old Louisiana runoff. Republican challenger Bill Cassidy and his friends paid for 96 percent of the spots that have run so far. That's a spending disparity unthinkable just two weeks ago when top Democratic strategist Guy Cecil estimated a runoff could cost $35 million on each side.
Abandon ship: No outside groups donating to Landrieu runoff yet. Granted, it's still early, but speed is of the essence in the short time of a special election. Capitol City finds a notable lack of urgency on the part of Democratic outside groups to get involved in Louisiana.
64 percent say Obama is a 'liberal'. President Obama's losses in the 2014 election come as an increasing number of Americans view him as a "liberal," according to a new post-election survey from the Public Religion Research Institute. The poll shows 64 percent of Americans view Obama as a "liberal" — up from 57 percent after Obama's reelection two years ago and from 53 percent during the 2008 campaign. Another 19 percent say Obama is a "moderate," while 12 percent label him "conservative" or "very conservative."
The Editor says...
We now know that 12 percent of Americans don't know how to use a dictionary.
GOP adds another Senate seat as Sullivan wins Alaska. Republican candidate Dan Sullivan defeated Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Begich in Alaska's U.S. Senate race Wednesday [11/12/2014]. The win gives the GOP eight Senate pickups in the midterm elections. The party is also seeking a ninth seat in Louisiana's runoff in December. Sullivan ran a confident campaign, ignoring the debate schedule Begich established and setting his own terms.
As War Heats Up, Obama Dismantles War Approach to Counterterrorism. Lost amid Shellacking 2.0 — and between the sudden dump of over 60,000 previously withheld Fast & Furious documents and the president's reaffirmation of his executive illegal-alien amnesty vow — was the administration's further dismantling of the post-9/11 counterterrorism paradigm. With nearly no one noticing, the administration transferred a long-held terrorist detainee out of Guantanamo Bay.
Now that the election is over...
Obama more than doubles number of troops authorized for Iraq. President Obama authorized Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Friday [11/7/2014] to send up to 1,500 additional U.S. troops to Iraq, roughly doubling the force the United States has built up since June to fight the Islamic State militants who control much of Iraq and Syria. The announcement of a major increase in the U.S. force in Iraq deepens U.S. involvement in a messy regional conflict that officials are warning may last for years. The White House said it would request $5.6 billion for the military campaign against the Islamic State, including $1.6 billion to train and equip Iraqi troops.
Days after election, Obama sends another 1,500 troops to Iraq to battle ISIS. President Barack Obama told Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on Friday that the Pentagon can send as many as 1,500 additional ground troops to Iraq as part of the U.S. mission to fight ISIS. That deployment would approximately double the American military personnel in place there. The Defense Department had until Friday a mandate to send no more than 1,600 troops, and had put 1,400 in the field already. The White House also asked Congress for $5.6 billion in new war funding, all while insisting that the U.S. military is not using ground forces in a combat role.
More Non-White Voters for the GOP. [B]lack voter participation this year actually went up from the last midterm election, rising to 12 percent of the electorate, compared with 11 percent in 2010. The new GOP strength among non-black minorities was to some extent the product of aggressive outreach in minority communities by the Republican National Committee and various state parties. In Texas, GOP senator John Cornyn carried the Latino vote by a single percentage point, while Greg Abbott, who is married to a Latina, lost it by only ten points in the race for governor. Abbott carried the Asian-American vote 52 to 48 percent.
US sends long-held Guantanamo prisoner to Kuwait. One of the longest-held prisoners at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay was sent home to Kuwait on Wednesday, the first release based on the determination of a review panel that has been re-evaluating some men previously classified as too dangerous to release.
Curiouser and Curiouser — Eric Frein Had Laptop and WiFi While Eluding Capture. On the night he was "captured" there were many, well, observations that just didn't align with the previous narrative as delivered. Frein was clean shaven, well kept, and did not appear to present post-capture in a manner consistent with media reports.
New details revealed about accused cop killer's actions while on the run. The former fugitive charged with ambushing a Pennsylvania state police barracks had a laptop computer and used the Internet while evading hundreds of law enforcement officials, according to court documents released Tuesday [11/4/2014]. State police found the laptop and two storage drives inside an abandoned airplane hangar near the spot where Eric Frein was captured Thursday night [10/30/2014], according to a search warrant inventory. Frein told authorities he used unprotected Wi-Fi hotspots to connect to the Internet during his 48-day flight, documents said, raising the possibility he knew where police were focusing their search efforts each day.
92% of Marine Casualties in Afghan War Occurred Under Obama. As U.S. Marines withdraw from Operation Enduring Freedom (the Afghanistan war), CNSNews.com's database on casualties shows that 418 Marines have given their lives in the conflict and that 92% of those casualties, 385 deaths, have occurred since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009.
Mormon church admits founder Joseph Smith was a polygamist who married a 14-year-old. The Mormon church has admitted that its founder was a polygamist who married a 14-year-old girl, breaking a lengthy silence about its history. Joseph Smith, who wrote the Book of Mormon and established the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is thought to have married as many as 50 women, but for years the senior church officials did not address the subject.
Muslims increasingly moving away from GOP. Two-thirds of Muslim voters plan to visit the polls on Election Day, and more than half of them are Democratic Party supporters, according to a new survey. Of 1,500 Muslim registered voters surveyed, 69 percent plan to cast ballots in the Nov. 4 midterm elections and 16 percent do not plan to vote, according to the poll conducted Wednesday [10/22/2014] by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Fourteen percent declined to answer.
Socialist Utopia: Venezuela is Rationing Food And Importing Oil. Venezuela's economic woes just won't quit. Its currency recently hit an all-time low with black market traders. Now the South American country has to ration food — and, believe it or not, import oil. Venezuela has the world's largest oil reserves. But it produces mostly thick, heavy crude that has to be mixed with lighter oil to make it usable. Problem is, Venezuela's seriously mismanaged state-run oil industry isn't pumping enough light crude. So this weekend the country will receive its first ever shipment of foreign oil: two million barrels from Algeria.
Despite Riches, Venezuela Starts Food Rationing. Amid worsening shortages, Venezuela recently reached a milestone of dubious distinction: It has joined the ranks of North Korea and Cuba in rationing food for its citizens.
Jeanne Shaheen Campaign Kicks Breitbart News Reporter out of New Hampshire Event. The campaign of Democratic incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) kicked this reporter out of an event at ReVision Energy on Wednesday afternoon [10/22/2014]. Shaheen's campaign asked the owner of the business — who refused to identify himself — to say to this reporter that "this was a private event and you're not welcome here."
Texas Ranked As Having Best Business Climate, Sixth Year In Row. For the sixth year in a row, Texas is the highest-ranked state in the Development Counsellors International's (DCI) "Winning Strategies in Economic Development Marketing" survey. The survey of U.S. corporate executives has tracked economic trends each year since 1996. Of the 356 who were interviewed, about 50 percent said that Texas is the best state in which to conduct business. Florida came in a distant second, followed by Georgia and North Carolina.
Texas led national job creation in September, marking 12th straight month on top. Last week, we learned that Texas added 36,400 jobs in September and set a state record for adding 413,700 jobs in the last 12 months. Today [10/21/2014], we know Texas led the nation in job creation for September and the last 12 months, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Secret Service agents were sent to their boss's house to deal with his 'troublesome' neighbor. More bad news for the Secret Service today as a government investigation has found more conduct they deem 'problematic.' Operation Moonlight, which happened three years ago, had agents removed from their posts in Washington D.C. and heading almost an hour outside the city to settle a dispute between an agency employee and her neighbor.
Bush Didn't Lie. New media accounts — including coverage by NRO's Patrick Brennan — confirm what I repeatedly have written since the depths of Operation Iraqi Freedom: The late dictator Saddam Hussein did have weapons of mass death, and the United States of America was correct to invade Iraq, find these toxins, and destroy them.
Government Case Implodes as Its Former Lawyers Allege Fraud Against Holder's DOJ. The New York Observer reports that two former Assistant United States Attorneys say the Holder Justice Department engaged in deceit and corruption of justice in connection with the DOJ's litigation against Sierra Pacific Industries, a California lumber company. As a result of the allegations, a federal district judge has ordered the recusal from the case of every judge in the Eastern District of California. He reasons that the court may have been defrauded by the government, thus requiring the appointment of an outside judge to handle the matter going forward.
Space plane lands after record 674-day secret mission. An unpiloted Air Force space plane glided back to Earth Friday after a record 674-day stay in orbit, closing out a clandestine military mission with a computer-controlled landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The Boeing-built X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, wrapping up its second long-duration mission and the secretive program's third flight overall, touched down at 12:24 p.m. EDT (9:24 a.m. local time) [10/17/2014], rolling to a stop a few moments later.
The wobbling of Saturn's moon might mean there's an ocean sloshing inside of it. Planets aren't always filled with molten rock, and guessing the composition of distant planets can be a tricky business. But scientists now believe that Saturn's moon Mimas has one of two things under its icy, rocky surface: a core shaped like a football or a liquid ocean. In a study published Friday [10/17/2014] in Science, researchers analyzed Mimas's movements as it orbited Saturn. By looking at images from NASA's Cassini satellite, they determined how much Mimas was wobbling. The wobble was a lot wonkier than expected, leaving the research team puzzled.
The Editor says...
That's all very amusing, and it must be nice to make a living by engaging in idle speculation about such immaterial concerns. (That's a problem if they are government scientists whose paychecks come from tax dollars.) But the maximum temperature of Mimas is something like 80 or 85 degrees Kelvin, and there aren't many materials that "slosh" at those temperatures.
Do Reports of WMD Found in Iraq Vindicate George W. Bush? The New York Times published an article this week that has re-ignited a 12-year-old debate: Was then-President George W. Bush right about Iraq? The report examined U.S. service personnel's encounters with abandoned chemical weapons in Iraq — and some conservatives were quick to pounce on the story as evidence that claims by Bush in the lead-up to the war that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction were true and that the United States' 2003 invasion was justified.
Rev. Billy Graham: 'America is Just as Wicked as Sodom and Gomorrah Ever Were'. Reverend Billy Graham, arguably the most well-known and respected evangelical preacher of the last 50 years, said in a recently published commentary that America was "founded by men who believed in prayer" and that prayer can turn "the tide of history," adding that while "America is just as wicked as Sodom and Gomorrah" and deserves "the judgment of God," this judgment can be lessened through prayer.
Man Stabbed in Store, Customers Keep Shopping. A Philadelphia supermarket stabbing that left a man with wounds in his face and neck didn't deter some customers, who continued to shop.
Clinton Aide Peddled Stories Against Conservatives Exposing Lewinsky Affair. Emails sent by Sidney Blumenthal, a former aide to President Bill Clinton, to a prominent liberal journalist during the Monica Lewinsky scandal provide a rare look at the Clinton White House directly attempting to influence the journalistic process to target the Clinton's conservative critics. Blumenthal, who is considered one of Clinton's staunchest defenders, did so by attempting to convince David Corn, then a reporter with The Nation, a progressive magazine, to look into Lucianne Goldberg and Bill Kristol. Emails sent from Blumenthal to Corn are contained among thousands of documents released by the Clinton Presidential Library on Friday [10/10/2014].
Why Is CNN Laying People Off When It's Forecasting a $1 Billion Profit? Yesterday afternoon [10/6/2014], Turner Broadcasting CEO John Martin announced that the company will reduce its headcount by 10 percent, eliminating 1,475 positions in the coming weeks. At CNN, that means 300 positions will be cut through a mixture of buyouts and layoffs.
Tom DeLay Found Not Guilty by State's Highest Court. Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was found not guilty today by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. This is the highest appellate court in Texas for criminal cases and thus brings DeLay's political persecution to an end.
Evidence of the Islamic terror threat within our borders. From shortly after 9/11 through 2006, I was busily conducting covert surveillance of certain Islamic centers in urban and rural locations inside the U.S. I secured photographic and videotape documentation of what could be best and most accurately described as paramilitary type training at two locations, and turned over significant amounts of data, witness statements, videos, and photographs to a Washington, DC location. I felt like I was doing my part to make the U.S. safer for my children and future generations. That is, until I realized that nothing was as it appeared to be. As time progressed, I noticed, as did others in our group that nothing was seemingly being done with the evidence we collected, assembled and submitted.
U.S. to pay Navajo Nation $554 million in largest settlement with single Indian tribe. In the largest settlement with a single American Indian tribe, the Obama administration will pay the Navajo Nation $554 million to settle claims that the U.S. government has mismanaged funds and natural resources on the Navajo reservation for decades. The settlement, to be signed in Window Rock, Ariz., on Friday [9/26/2014], resolves a long-standing dispute between the Navajo Nation and the U.S. government, with some of the claims dating back more than 50 years.
Harvard Gives Student Full Ride After He Tells Them He's Illegal Immigrant. When Dario Guerrero, an illegal immigrant who found out about his status in high school, told Harvard that he was in the country illegally, the school encouraged him to apply — and gave him a full scholarship after he was accepted.
Coverup after New York mayor killed groundhog. We already knew that this Groundhog Day, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio accidentally dropped a woodchuck named "Staten Island Chuck" before a crowd of spectators. What went unreported until Thursday [9/25/2014] is the fact that the groundhog died of internal injuries one week after being dropped. Moreover, the woodchuck was not actually the infamous "Staten Island Chuck," and Staten Island Zoo officials covered up the death.
D'Souza Speaks Out on Sentencing: There Was 'All-Out Attempt to Put Me Away'. Conservative filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza spoke out tonight about his five-year probation and eight-month sentence to a community confinement center on Fox News. D'Souza told Megyn Kelly, "My faith in an independent judiciary is affirmed." D'Souza was indicted in January for campaign finance, and pled guilty in May. D'Souza had suggested on multiple occasions that he was targeted for his criticisms of President Obama, a charge prosecutors strongly denied.
Today is the First Time Obama Has Said the Word 'Khorasan' in Public. Today [9/23/2014] is the first time President Obama has uttered the word "Khorasan" in public. Indeed, we can find no example of any White House official ever mentioning this al Qaeda cell by name in public. The group has never even been mentioned in any of the White House background briefings on the terrorist threat emanating from Syria (and there have been several such briefings). It's quite extraordinary to see military action against a group the White House has never talked about.
Chelsea Clinton Fears Her Baby Could Live on a 'Planet Without Elephants'. If there is one thing Chelsea Clinton is most worried about, it may be that her soon-to-be child will grow up in a world without elephants.
The Editor says...
That's the way "survival of the fittest" goes sometimes, Chelsea. You're going to teach your daughter about Darwin, aren't you?
Student loan debt curbs housing market by $83 billion, study says. There's been lots of debate lately in housing circles about the impact of student debt on home ownership. Now there's a new study out that attempts to put a number on that impact: 414,000. That's how many home sales will not happen this year because of high levels of student loan debt, according to a report from John Burns Consulting, an Irvine-based firm that advises home builders. That's equal to about 8% of all home sales, and enough to dent the housing industry by $83 billion a year.
Shape Shifter. J. Christian Adams discussion of the Obama political machine's CATALIST database provides a peek into "Big Data" as applied to politics. Mr. Adams gives an example of how CATALIST, which collects, collates and analyzes data on a vast scale can be used as a political marketing tool. He tells the story of voters who should have been "safe" Republican voters being lured away by this new tool.
Top-level turnover makes it harder for DHS to stay on top of evolving threats. An exodus of top-level officials from the Department of Homeland Security is undercutting the agency's ability to stay ahead of a range of emerging threats, including potential terrorist strikes and cyberattacks, according to interviews with current and former officials. Over the past four years, employees have left DHS at a rate nearly twice as fast as in the federal government overall, and the trend is accelerating, according to a review of a federal database.
HHS Spending Millions to Stockpile Ventilators in Case of 'Public Health Emergency'. The Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday it is spending almost $14 million over three years to develop "low-cost, user-friendly ventilators" that can be stockpiled in case of a "pandemic or other public health emergency." "In pandemics and other emergencies, doctors must have medicines, vaccines, diagnostics, and critical equipment such as mechanical ventilators at the ready in order to save lives," said Robin Robinson, director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), which is part of HHS.
'CATALIST': Obama's Database for Fundamentally Transforming America. The Democrats and the institutional left have a new political tool that allows them virtually to ignore moderates yet still win elections. This tool, the Catalist database, was employed in the 2012 election. That election defied conventional wisdom: Mitt Romney sought and won independent voters overwhelmingly, but still lost. If you wondered why the conventional wisdom about independents and moderates didn't seem so wise in 2012, the answer is Catalist.
House passes bill to audit Federal Reserve. The House on Wednesday [9/17/2014] passed legislation to audit the Federal Reserve System. Passed 333-92, the bill would require the comptroller general to conduct an audit of the Federal Reserve's board of governors and banks within one year and submit a report to Congress on the findings. A total of 106 Democrats joined all but one Republican in support of the measure. A version of the bill sponsored by then-Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) passed in 2012 by a vote of 327-98. Paul's son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), has introduced companion legislation in the Senate.
Comcast's open Wi-Fi hotspots inject ads into your browser. Comcast is giving users a very good reason to demand an HTTPS connection on every site they visit. The Internet service provider has started injecting ads for its services on websites where you wouldn't normally see them when you're using an Xfinity public Wi-Fi hotspot.
AT&T and Verizon say 10Mbps is too fast for "broadband," 4Mbps is enough. AT&T and Verizon have asked the Federal Communications Commission not to change its definition of broadband from 4Mbps to 10Mbps, saying many Internet users get by just fine at the lower speeds.
More seniors are carrying student loan debt into retirement. Student loan debt doesn't only hurt the young. More seniors are carrying their college debt into retirement. The total outstanding debt load held by seniors grew to $18.2 billion in 2013, up from $2.8 billion in 2005, according to a report released by the Government Accountability Office on Wednesday [9/10/2014]. The share of households headed by people between the ages of 65 and 74 who have student loan debt also grew, reaching 4 percent in 2010 from 1 percent in 2004.
Senator Cruz Walks Out. Congratulations are in order to Senator Ted Cruz who, when he found himself facing an audience that was hostile to Israel, turned around and walked out. The Texas Republican was speaking at a sold-out dinner gala for Middle East Christians, according to the report on the Daily Caller, when he asserted, "Christians have no greater ally than Israel." [...] It was when Senator Cruz said "Christians have no greater ally than Israel" that at least some members of the audience began to boo him and yell "stop it."
Ted Cruz Bids Mid-East Christian Audience Goodnight When They Boo'd His Defense of Israel and Christianity. Kudos to Ted Cruz who stood on principle and boldly walked off stage when the audience openly reflected their anti-Semitism. Cruz was the Key Note speaker.
Ted Cruz Stands Up to 'Hatred and Bigotry' at Conference of Middle Eastern Christians. Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) said in an interview with the Washington Free Beacon that the "hatred and bigotry" he encountered when he was booed off the stage at a Middle Eastern Christian conference for defending Israel on Wednesday night was like nothing he has previously seen in his political career. "I've certainly encountered audiences that disagreed with a particular point of view. But this virulent display of hatred and bigotry was remarkable, and considerably different from anything I've previously encountered," Cruz said, just a few hours after his pro-Israel speech to the In Defense of Christians conference was drowned out by shouts and jeers from the audience.
Ted Cruz Booed for Supporting Israel at Christian Conference. Leading Republican Senator and Christian supporter of Israel Ted Cruz (R-Tx) was booed off stage at a gala dinner in support of the Middle East's embattled Christian minority, after voicing support for Israel. Cruz was the keynote speaker at the event, hosted by the recently-founded In Defense of Christians (IDC) organization. In his speech, he declared that Christians "have no greater ally than Israel" — the only state in the region whose Christian population is growing as opposed to shrinking.
Ted Cruz Booed Off Stage At Middle East Christian Conference. Sen. Ted Cruz was booed offstage at a conference for Middle Eastern Christians Wednesday night [9/10/2014] after saying that "Christians have no greater ally than Israel." Cruz, the keynote speaker at the sold-out D.C. dinner gala for the recently-founded non-profit In Defense of Christians, began by saying that "tonight, we are all united in defense of Christians. Tonight, we are all united in defense of Jews. Tonight, we are all united in defense of people of good faith, who are standing together against those who would persecute and murder those who dare disagree with their religious teachings." Cruz was not reading from a teleprompter, nor did he appear to be reading from notes.
The Editor says...
Ted Cruz never uses a teleprompter to deliver speeches. A man of sound mind who knows what he believes and has the intellectual capacity can speak extemporaneously for as long as necessary. In this regard, Senator Cruz presents a sharp contrast between himself and Barack H. Obama.
Gallup: By 6 to 1, Americans Think Our Gov't More Important Problem than Situation in Iraq. By a margin of around 6 to 1, Americans says their own government is a more important problem than terrorism, war, or the situation in Iraq, according to a new Gallup Poll. Asked, "What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today," 18 percent of Americans said "dissatisfaction with government," while 4 percent said terrorism, and 3 percent said the situation in Iraq. In fact, dissatisfaction with government topped the list of problems; terrorism was number 9 on the list, just above "poverty/hunger/homelessness."
Obama Admin Finally Has A Major Border Security Plan — For Nigeria. Last Thursday [9/4/2014] the State Department announced that it is launching a border security plan in cooperation with officials from Nigeria and several other nearby African nations such as Cameroon. The problem Obama's regime hopes to correct with this border security program is that of the constant raids and attacks by the Islamic terror group Boko Haram.
NBC pays for Matt Lauer's helicopter rides to work: report. In an effort to keep Matt Lauer happy, NBC is reportedly footing the bill for the "Today" host to take a helicopter to and from work so he can spend more time with his family. In June, Mr. Lauer extended his $20 million salary with NBC News through 2016, following speculation that he would leave the show over the brutal departure of Ann Curry in 2012, the New York Post reported. As part of the deal, the network reportedly agreed to pay for Mr. Lauer to take a helicopter to work in Manhattan from his home in the Hamptons. Mr. Lauer also has an apartment in Manhattan.
Foreign Ownership of U.S. Government Debt Passes $6 Trillion. For the first time in the nation's history, foreign interests now own more than $6 trillion in U.S. government debt, according to the most recent Treasury Department report on major foreign holders of the debt, which includes the numbers through the end of June. As of the end of June, foreign owners held $6,013,200,000,000 in U.S. Treasury securities, up from $5,976,500,000,000 as of the end of May.
This is how wars get (re)started:
Obama Sending 350 Troops to Protect Baghdad Embassy. The White House just announced that President Obama authorized hundreds of extra troops on the ground to protect the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Press secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement that that the Defense Department authorization stemmed from a State Department request for "approximately 350 additional U.S. military personnel to protect our diplomatic facilities and personnel."
Obama Orders 350 More Troops to Be Sent into Iraq to Bolster Security. President Obama tonight [9/2/2014] ordered sending 350 additional troops into Iraq to bolster security at the United States embassy in Baghdad. This is in addition to the 300 military advisors the president sent into Iraq back in June that he maintained would not mean a "return to combat."
The 10 Most Vulnerable Senators. Montana's appointed Sen. John Walsh was by far the most endangered incumbent in the chamber at the time of the previous installment in early August, but his decision last month to not seek a full term opened the top slot to a couple other worthy contenders. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., is still in a perilous political position, but Louisiana Sen. Mary L. Landrieu has leapfrogged him on the list to become the Senate's most vulnerable incumbent.
Missing Libyan Jetliners Raise Fears of Suicide Airliner Attacks on 9/11. Islamist militias in Libya took control of nearly a dozen commercial jetliners last month, and western intelligence agencies recently issued a warning that the jets could be used in terrorist attacks across North Africa. Intelligence reports of the stolen jetliners were distributed within the U.S. government over the past two weeks and included a warning that one or more of the aircraft could be used in an attack later this month on the date marking the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against New York and Washington, said U.S. officials familiar with the reports.
Lawsuit details the chilling of conservative speech in Wisconsin. Wisconsin prosecutors have selectively targeted conservative groups to effectively chill their speech, lawyers for a conservative activist detailed in a Tuesday [9/2/2014] filing with a federal appeals court. Eric O'Keefe, director of the limited government advocacy group the Wisconsin Club for Growth, in February sued prosecutors over a secret investigation into potential campaign finance violations by conservative groups during recall elections. Two judges have already rejected the legal theory offered by prosecutors and the probe has been halted, but prosecutors have asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit to reopen the case.
St. Louis cop suspended for old YouTube video; officer critical of Obama. A 35-year veteran of the St. Louis Police Department who'd been assigned to duty in Ferguson suddenly retired this week over a YouTube video, it was reported Saturday [8/30/2014] as activists conducted another march through the strife-torn town pleading for God "to even the score." Officer Dan Page's video, titled "The End of American Sovereignty & Constitutional Rights," is harshly critical of President Obama, liberal judges, affirmative action, and notes that the Declaration of Independence gives the people the right to overthrow the government.
Uh Oh: Mary Landrieu Doesn't Own a Home in Louisiana. This is not what embattled "Louisiana" Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu wanted to read in the Washington Post — which, as it turns out, is her hometown paper: [...] Landrieu has gone 'full Beltway.' She lives in her multimillion-dollar DC mansion, not in the state she ostensibly serves. The Senator claims that she lives at her parents' house when she's in town, but neighbors, including some of her supporters, aren't so sure.
Grimes bus lacks permit to carry passengers. The company owned by Jerry Lundergan that is leasing a tour bus to the U.S. Senate campaign of his daughter, Alison Lundergan Grimes, does not appear to have the proper permits required to operate the charter bus. Grimes' campaign tour bus has come under scrutiny in the last two weeks since Politico ran a story suggesting that the campaign paid less than the market rate to charter the bus, which if true would violate federal campaign finance law.
'Retaliation': Docs show state prosecutors' launched mini-NSA probe of state conservatives. Conservative targets of a Democrat-launched John Doe investigation have described the secret probe as a witch hunt. That might not be a big enough descriptor, based on records released Friday [8/22/2014] by a federal appeals court as part of a massive document dump. Attorneys for conservative activist Eric O'Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth point to subpoenas requested by John Doe prosecutors that sought records from "at least eight phone companies" believed to serve the targets of the investigation. O'Keefe and the club have filed a civil rights lawsuit against John Doe prosecutors, alleging they violated conservatives' First Amendment rights.
Cops cleared more than 400 times each year for justified homicides. More than 400 fatal police killings a year are sanctioned by local, state and federal authorities as justified homicides, but the FBI doesn't specifically track how many times officers are prosecuted for improperly causing a person's death. The FBI said Tuesday [8/19/2014] that it doesn't keep statistics on specific prosecutions of law enforcement officers because it doesn't track crimes by profession, though it does track justified homicide rulings. [...] The FBI defines justifiable homicide as "the killing of a felon by a law enforcement officer in the line of duty."
Perry Grand Juror Was An Active Democratic Party Delegate During Jury Proceedings. Rho Chalmers, who disclosed to the Houston Chronicle yesterday [8/19/2014] that she was a member of the grand jury that indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry, was an active delegate to the Texas Democratic Party convention during grand jury proceedings. Chalmers' active participation in Democratic state politics is important because she claimed yesterday to the Houston Chronicle that her decision to indict Perry, a Republican, was not based on politics.
Surprise! Perry Grand Juror Is Also a Partisan Democrat Activist. Tuesday night [8/19/2014] the Houston Chronicle published a story about the grand jury that indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Those grand jurors who spoke with the Chronicle broke the law to do so, and they knew that they were breaking the law. They claimed that they were speaking to the newspaper to counter Gov. Perry's "spin" on the case. That's not the job of a grand jury, by the way. One of them is a woman named Rho Chalmers. Chalmers tried to get around her lawbreaking by attempting to build this wall of implausible deniability. [...]
Several Perry Grand Jurors Broke the Law to Explain Why They Think Perry Broke the Law. By Texas law, grand jurors are not supposed to talk to the media about their cases. That did not stop several of the Gov. Perry grand jurors from breaking the law, specifically, talking to the Houston Chronicle.
New Site Recovers Files Locked by CryptoLocker Ransomware. First spotted in September 2013, CryptoLocker is a prolific and very damaging strain of malware that uses strong encryption to lock files that are likely to be the most valued by victim users, including Microsoft Office documents, photos, and MP3 files. Infected machines typically display a warning that the victim's files have been locked and can only be decrypted by sending a certain fraction or number of Bitcoins to a decryption service run by the perpetrators. Victims are given 72 hours to pay the ransom — typically a few hundred dollars worth of Bitcoins — after which time the ransom demand increases fivefold or more.
Top websites crash as web 'starts to run out of space'. Major technical problems could become a regular occurrence for website users because the internet is running out of space, experts have warned. An online breakdown caused chaos on Tuesday [8/12/2014], costing the economy millions of pounds in lost trade and effectively closing access to a number of huge websites. Online auctioneer eBay was out of action for most of the day, with buyers and sellers inundating the site with complaints about lost business after being unable to log onto their accounts.
Map: How much $100 is really worth in every state. For the first time ever, the federal government this year introduced a data series that compares price differences among states and metropolitan areas. Those estimates — regional price parities and real personal income — offer something simple and immensely useful for anyone considering making a move: They allow you to compare how far your money goes in each state.
Here's why your Internet might have been slow on Tuesday. Much of the network depends on trust: Servers publicly announce their routes, which are then rebroadcast to help networks know the best path for their data. Because of that variation, the total number of routes changes depending on the time they're accessed and other factors. But some older hardware has trouble handling things when the number of routes reaches above 512,000 because of restrictions in the hardware's specific type of memory. And on Tuesday [8/12/2014], researchers say, it appears some servers vulnerable to that issue crossed that threshold.
State Department hires company to prep officials for congressional grillings. The State Department has reportedly approved a contract worth up to $545,000 to help train department officials to effectively testify at congressional hearings after a series of poor performances. The Washington Times reports that the department has hired a company called AMTIS, Inc. to train staffers to effectively speak with lawmakers and testify at congressional hearings. According to the Washington Times, the contract included classes, such as "Communicating with Congress: Briefing and Testifying," which will be taught by instructors with Capitol Hill experience.
Canadian Green Party President Resigns After Backlash over Pro-Israel Blog Post. The president of the Green Party in Canada is stepping down from his position after a controversy over the fact that he expressed support for Israel in a blog post. On Tuesday [8/5/2014], Paul Estrin issued a statement announcing his immediate resignation. [...] The post, which was later removed, marked a departure from the party's leftist and pro-Palestine stance, and as a result it angered many party members.
SketchFactor app racistly helps users avoid 'sketchy' black neighbourhoods. A new app from smiling young white people in suits has come under fire for crowdsourcing tips on "sketchy " neighbourhoods in order to help pedestrians avoid trouble. Creators Daniel Herrington and Allison McGuire, who previously provoked anger over their GhettoTracker website, insist on their website they are not "racists, bigots, sexists" but are simply trying to help people "take the guesswork out of city nagivation". A press release for SketchFactor is very careful not to link "sketchy" areas with race or poverty, joking that unwanted encounters might include a man wearing no pants or an R Kelly cover artist and ironically suggesting that bad experiences users might report includes "racial profiling".
California couple struggling after being forced to pay deceased daughter's student loans. A California couple is speaking out after they say their finances have been devastated over their daughter's student loan debt, which they are being forced to repay after the woman died unexpectedly four years ago. Steve and Darnelle Mason's 27-year-old daughter Lisa died suddenly from a liver disease, leaving behind three children. Darnelle Mason, who is now raising her grandchildren along with her husband, told Fox Business the "excruciating" pain of losing her daughter has only been compounded by the crushing debt.
The Editor asks...
Don't student loans have credit life insurance?
Scrabblers Rejoice: 5,000 New Words Are On the Way. The word "te" as a variant of "ti," the seventh tone on the musical scale, is a hardworking little gem among 5,000 words added to "The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary," out Aug. 11 from Merriam-Webster.
Dr. Ben Carson: Mistake to Bring Ebola Patients to US. Monday [8/4/2014] on Newsmax TV's "America Forum," Dr. Ben Carson said we should not have brought the Ebola infected missionaries back to the United States. Carson criticized the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) pointed out we could send a hospital equipped plane or set up a properly equipped hospital on location in Africa.
Congressman calls for release of redacted 9/11 papers. A U.S. congressman calling for the release of classified material from a report into 9/11 has warned there would be 'anger, frustration, and embarrassment' if the redacted pages were made public. Representative Thomas Massie has joined a call for the government to declassify 28 pages redacted from the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001. Earlier this year, the lawmaker described how he had to 'try to rearrange my understanding of history' after he read the classified pages of the joint investigation by the House and Senate intelligence committees.
The Editor says...
Maybe now we can find out what really happened to World Trade Center Building 7.
Afghan Teen Murders 3 U.S. Marines, Gets 7½ Year Sentence. Amid the continuing imprisonment in Mexico of a U.S. Marine, another apparent miscarriage of justice is being called out by the families of three Marines who were killed in an insider attack in Afghanistan. The attacker has been sentenced to just 7½ years in prison by an Afghan court.
Verily I say unto you, They have their
reward. (Matthew 6:5)
N.C. restaurant surprises customers who give prayer of thanks with 15% discount. A North Carolina restaurant is offering a 15 percent discount to customers who publicly give thanks for their meal with prayer. Mary's Gourmet Diner in Winston-Salem has been offering the discount for four years, but a recent Facebook post showing a receipt with the discount has gone viral, drawing special attention to the restaurant, Fox News reported Friday [8/1/2014]. One customer told the news agency that she visited the restaurant during a business trip. Jordan Smith said she and her colleagues, "prayed over our meal and the waitress came over at the end of the meal and said," Just so you know, we gave you a 15 percent discount for praying."
Italian Reporter Reveals Hamas Cover-Up Over Misfired Rockets. An Italian journalist who until Tuesday [7/29/2014] was embedded in Gaza has backed the IDF's account of a rocket strike on a school playground in central Gaza's Shati refugee camp on Monday. At least 10 people were killed in the attack — most of them children — and some sources claimed the death toll was as high as 30. Palestinian sources were quick to blame Israel, claiming that an Israeli fighter jet fired missiles directly at the playground and nearby hospital. Israel denied the accusations, saying that Hamas rockets aimed at Israel from the area misfired, and struck both the school and the hospital.
Embarrassing leaked campaign memo spells out Nunn's strategies, vulnerabilities. To the degree voters think about the internal workings of a political campaign, they probably assume some version of this exists for every candidate. And they're probably right. But there's a difference between assuming campaign operatives think and talk this way, and seeing it all laid out in black and white.
1 in 3 U.S. adults have 'debt in collections'. An estimated 1 in 3 adults with a credit history — or 77 million people — are so far behind on some of their debt payments that their account has been put "in collections." That's a key finding from a new Urban Institute study. It examined non-mortgage debt, including credit card bills, car loans, medical bills, child support payments and even parking tickets. The debt in collections ranged from as little as $25 to a whopping $125,000. But the average amount owed was $5,200.
State Dept. Respects Religious Liberty In Countries Overseas, But Not In The US. Sen. John Kerry spent more than 20 minutes discussing the religious crises overseas during the 2013 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom, advocating religious freedom for all and declaring religious liberty to be "a universal value... ingrained in every human heart... a birthright of every human being." "That's what we believe," Kerry said. But Kerry's speech has some ironic timing. He's speaking on behalf of the State Dept. — that is, the federal government — the same federal government that tried to force a business to provide contraceptives contrary to the employers' religious beliefs.
Hillary Team Calls for Media Blackout of Anti-Clinton Books. [Scroll down] The interview doesn't detail any specific behavior that drew Team Hillary's ire beyond the simple act of writing a book. Without the benefit of full context, it appears as though Hillary's flack is suggesting the books be banned. At a minimum he is imploring the overwhelmingly pro-Clinton mainstream press to freeze out these authors and prevent their ideas and findings from being discussed on the media stage. This is blatently hypocritical coming from the folks surrounding the former first lady, who famously defended "the right to debate and disagree" on the campaign trail in 2008.
Dallas County confirms first chikungunya case in local traveler. Given the heavy travel patterns to Caribbean countries where the new mosquito-born virus is spreading widely, it was inevitable that someone would bring it back to Dallas County. Dallas County Health and Human Services confirmed Tuesday [7/22/2014] the first case of imported Chikungunya virus in Dallas County this year. The patient was infected with the virus during recent travel to the Caribbean, and was diagnosed after returning home, the health department said.
Working-Class Whites Lose Voting Dominance in Ohio. For the first time, working-class whites make up less than half of Ohio's eligible voters, part of a demographic shift in a key Midwestern swing state that is pushing political parties to widen their appeal beyond the once-dominant bloc.
FBI warns driverless cars could be used as 'lethal weapons'. In an unclassified but restricted report obtained by the Guardian under a public records request, the FBI predicts that autonomous cars "will have a high impact on transforming what both law enforcement and its adversaries can operationally do with a car." In a section called Multitasking, the report notes that "bad actors will be able to conduct tasks that require use of both hands or taking one's eyes off the road which would be impossible today." One nightmare scenario could be suspects shooting at pursuers from getaway cars that are driving themselves.
Dozens of Disney World workers arrested in child sex stings. Almost three dozen Disney theme park workers have been arrested for alleged kiddie-sex crimes since 2006, according to a broadcast report. The 35 busts have been for possession of child porn or trying to meet a minor for sex, CNN found after combing through law enforcement and court records. So far, 32 of those busted have been convicted and the other cases are pending.
Obama administration fights to seize Microsoft emails held in Ireland in landmark legal battle. The U.S. Justice Department is claiming that Microsoft must hand over emails that the company stores in databases in Dublin, Ireland, in a case that is being watched closely by tech companies legal scholars. The U.S. federal government is claiming that it can force any company that conducts business operations within its borders to comply with warrants for data stored on its databases, even if those databases aren't physically located within the United States.
Comic books as propaganda:
Comic Character Archie to Die Taking Bullet for Gay Friend Pushing Gun Control. On July 16, comic character Archie Andrews, of Life With Archie, will die after being shot while protecting gay friend Kevin Keller. Keller is "Archie Comics' first openly gay character." According to the Associated Press, Keller is "a married military veteran and newly elected senator who's pushing for more gun control in Riverdale after his husband was involved in a shooting."
Costco's Removal Of Dinesh D'Souza's 'America' Proves To Be A Massive Backfire. Costco, a discount chain co-founded by a major Democratic donor, faced the wrath of the almighty dollar after stripping its shelves of Dinesh D'Souza's bestselling book America: Imagine The World Without Her. According to Newsbusters, after Costco announced that it was dropping D'Souza's work, the book soared to #1 on Amazon.com. Book reviewers on the website made clear their opinion of the retail giant.
Uniguest Needs a Better Explanation for Why Conservative Sites Are Being Blocked. James Varney of the Times-Picayune in New Orleans, stayed at the Hyatt Place hotel in Riverhead, NY. He tried to look at the Drudge Report, but was blocked from doing so by his hotel's internet connection. In fact, he tried looking at a number of conservative websites, including Powerline and Instapundit. They too were blocked. He then tried a number of liberal websites from Talking Points Memo to DailyKos. None of them had access problems. His hotel, Hyatt Place, uses Uniguest to connect its guests to the internet.
Congress Quietly Deletes a Key Disclosure of Free Trips Lawmakers Take. It's going to be a little more difficult to ferret out which members of Congress are lavished with all-expenses-paid trips around the world after the House has quietly stripped away the requirement that such privately sponsored travel be included on lawmakers' annual financial-disclosure forms. The move, made behind closed doors and without a public announcement by the House Ethics Committee, reverses more than three decades of precedent. Gifts of free travel to lawmakers have appeared on the yearly financial form dating back its creation in the late 1970s, after the Watergate scandal. National Journal uncovered the deleted disclosure requirement when analyzing the most recent batch of yearly filings.
Progressive Watchdog Media Matters Employees Finally Get Their Own Union. Progressive watchdog group Media Matters for America lost the fight to keep its workers from unionizing Monday, the Huffington Post reports. Staff had been agitating moving to unionize since March, with Media Matters executives "fighting it every step of the way," according to a Service Employees International Union statement. They filed a petition to the National Labor Relations board in April after executives rejected an attempt to unionize through a card check — an open method of unionizing that avoids secret-ballot elections.
DHS Flunks Citizenship Test Question: '15 Stars and Stripes' on U.S. Flag. A DHS press release, dated June 20, commemorated the June 17th naturalization of 15 new US citizens, noting the "15 stars and stripes" on the U.S. flag. The problem is that the American Flag doesn't have 15 stars and stripes; it has had 13 stripes since the Act of April 4, 1818, was signed by President James Monroe, and 50 stars since 1960, after Hawaii became a state the year before. "These 15 candidates, symbolically representing the 15 stars and stripes on our Nation's flag, hailed from Australia, Canada, El Salvador, Greece, Guatemala, India, Iraq, Italy, Kenya, Lithuania, Mexico, the Philippines, Romania, Sierra Leone and South Korea," the press release said.
Scientist who faked AIDS research indicted. A former Iowa State University scientist who admitted faking lab results to obtain millions in grant money for AIDS research has been charged with four felony counts of making false statements, an indictment filed in federal court shows. Dr. Dong Pyou Han left his job as an assistant professor and a laboratory manager at the university last year after admitting that he spiked rabbit blood with human antibodies that made it appear the animals' immune systems were reacting to an AIDS vaccine being tested. In reality, the vaccine was having little effect, according to Han's indictment. Before the fraud was detected, the research was hailed as groundbreaking, according to the federal indictment.
Transgender priest gives sermon at Washington National Cathedral. The first openly transgender priest to preach at the Washington National Cathedral urged the gay community Sunday to be brave and open-minded as it works to eliminate oppression. The Rev. Cameron Partridge told the audience at the landmark Episcopal church that people need to be unashamed of who they are and embrace "the blessing of collaborating visions."
The Pacific's Salmon Are Back — Thank Human Ingenuity. In 2012, the British Columbia — based Native American Haida tribe launched an effort to restore the salmon fishery that has provided much of their livelihood for centuries. Acting collectively, the Haida voted to form the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation, financed it with $2.5 million of their own savings, and used it to support the efforts of American scientist-entrepreneur Russ George to demonstrate the feasibility of open-sea mariculture — in this case, the distribution of 120 tons of iron sulfate into the northeast Pacific to stimulate a phytoplankton bloom which in turn would provide ample food for baby salmon. The verdict is now in on this highly controversial experiment: It worked.
The people who sold Obamacare on the basis of several undeniable lies are now pushing a "Truth in Advertising Act."
New Bill Would Let FTC Regulate Photoshop. Looking too good could literally become a crime under newly proposed federal legislation, which would give the Federal Trade Commission power to regulate Photoshop image editing software use in advertising and other media. The Truth in Advertising Act of 2014 or "Anti-Photoshop Act" was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year by Florida Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen along with Democrats Lois Capps of California and Theodore Deutch of Florida. If enacted, the bill will empower the FTC to regulate and reduce the use of Photoshopped images in media.
Mom of Marine held in Mexico says she hasn't heard from Obama administration. The mother of U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, who has been jailed in Mexico since March 31, says she has not heard from the Obama administration since her son's imprisonment. Pressure continues to mount for the president to take action in securing the release of Mr. Tahmooressi, who says he got lost and took a wrong turn into Mexico while carrying three firearms in his truck. Jill Tahmooressi, the veteran's mother, said she hasn't heard from the White House or the State Department, despite the nearly 125,000 signatures she's received on her "We the People" petition, which should entitle her to an official response, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
The NSA now owns Bitcoin. Here's the flaw they exploited. When a single entity ("a single miner" or "a mining pool") controls over 50% of the transaction processing it can control the entire system. This means they can "see" every transaction, spend the same coins more than once, and deny transactions they don't approve of. That's finally happened.
US marshals leak list of possible Bitcoin buyers. The U.S. Marshals Service's auction for the for 29,656.51306529 Bitcoin it seized from online recreational pharmaceuticals purveyor Silk Road has gone off the rails after the Service accidentally spilled a list of interested parties. Coindesk reports that an email sent to those asking for information about the auction listed those who have asked it more detailed questions about the event.
Rats outnumber NYC's human population. City officials have declared war on rats in their latest effort to attack a population that experts estimate could be double that of the Big Apple's 8.4 million people. Starting next month, the city's 45 inspectors will be bolstered by nine new employees of a pilot program to tackle the vermin in neighborhoods where rats have resisted repeated efforts to eradicate them — such as Washington Heights, West Harlem, Chinatown, the Lower East Side and the South Bronx.
'Pork' spending may curb invasive wild hogs. The feds are offering big money to anyone who can hunt and kill wild pigs on federal lands in South Carolina — the latest move in the government's battle against an invasive species causing an estimated $1.5 billion in damage to farmland and property each year. In a contract solicitation last week, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture offered up to $150,000 for bidders of a one-year feral hog control contract in federal forests about 30 miles northwest of Charleston, South Carolina.
Chelsea: The Poorest Clinton. Today, we learned that Chelsea Clinton has been taking home an annual salary of $600,000 for her work as a "special correspondent" for NBC News. In case you had no idea NBC News was employing the Clinton scion, here is an example of her "work": [Video clip]
Why did NBC pay Chelsea Clinton $600,000 a year? NBC's hiring of Chelsea Clinton as a "special correspondent" in its news division was widely recognized as an exercise in corporate cynicism when it was announced in November 2011. Now a price tag has been hung on that scandal, with Politico's reporting that Clinton has been paid a salary of $600,000.
Obama's Balloon: Federal Student Loan Debt Up 517% in 5 Years. Since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, the cumulative outstanding balance on federal direct student loans has jumped 517.4 percent. The balance owed as of the end of May was $739,641,000,000.00. That is an increase of $619,838,000,000.00 from the balance that was owed as of the end of January 2009, when it was $119,803,000,000.00, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement. Earlier this month, Obama announced new executive actions to allow five million student-loan borrowers to cap their monthly payments at 10% of their income, according to the White House.
Protesters to Obama: Grant Jailed Christian Sudanese Woman U.S. Citizenship, Secure Her Release. A coalition of Christian groups held at protest in front of the White House on Thursday [6/12/2014] to raise awareness about a Christian woman who is imprisoned in Sudan with her infant daughter and toddler son for apostasy. "In the case of Meriam Ibriham, she needs to be released from the prison in north Sudan," Ed Lyons of the Persecution Project told CNSNews.com. "She needs to be granted American citizenship."
Get Paid To Pull Over For "Voluntary" DUI Stops? A private company is hoping drivers would voluntarily pull over to perform a roadside drug and alcohol test on Washington roads for some extra money. Pacific Research Institute (PIRE), along with several other federal and non-profit agencies, is looking for approval from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission to begin work on a voluntary research study that would allegedly give a snapshot of how many impaired drivers are on the road at all times of the day.
Hillary and Obama and the Present Idiocracy. Going by the evidence, Hillary Clinton may not have finished high school. Or maybe she slept through history class. She thinks that Abe Lincoln was a "senator from Illinois." Abe Lincoln was never a US senator. He was never a state senator, either. He was never a senator at all. Hillary, or her speechwriters, could have Googled that.
Hillary Fails History: Calls Lincoln a 'Senator from Illinois'. President Abraham Lincoln was never a Senator. Ever. From Illinois or anywhere else. Other than a single, two-year term as an Illinois Congressman, Lincoln held no national elective office other than that of our 16th president. Lincoln did run for the United States Senate in 1858, but lost to Stephen Douglas.
Ted Cruz renounces Canadian citizenship. Canada-born U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has given up his citizenship from his birth country, making good on a promise from last summer.
It's official: Ted Cruz a citizen of the U.S. - and the U.S. only. If you remember, the Texas Republican was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father. As such, he was a dual citizen — an American because of his mother, and Canadian because the country, like America, grants automatic citizenship to anyone born there.
23 Republicans and 55 Democrats Confirm HHS Secretary Who Will Force Christians to Act Against Their Faith. Twenty-three Senate Republicans joined 55 Democrats last Thursday to confirm Sylvia Mathews Burwell to replace Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of Health and Human Services. Burwell was sworn-in today [6/9/2014]. During her confirmation process, no senator on the two committees that took her testimony asked her any questions about the Obamacare contraception-sterilization-abortion-inducing drug mandate that Sebelius issued in 2012. That regulation is now the target of 100 lawsuits arguing that it violates the First Amendment right to free exercise of religion by forcing Christian to act against their faith. Burwell will now succeed Sebelius not only as HHS secretary but as defendant in these lawsuits.
Islamic Prayers at Vatican for First Time As Pope Hosts Interfaith Prayer. On Sunday, Islamic Prayers and readings from the Quran were heard from the Vatican for the first time in history. The prayers came as a result of Pope Francis's request that Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas meet him at the Vatican City to pray amongst each other for peace. Pope Francis hoped that inter-faith dialogue would promote peace between the Israeli and Palestinian people.
The Editor says...
If you are a Catholic, this should be enough to make you shop around for another denomination. One cannot be a Christian and participate in Islamic prayers in one's church.
Marine Jailed in Mexico as US Welcomes Illegal Immigrants. Since March 31, 25-year-old Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi has been jailed in Mexico after making a wrong turn and inadvertently crossing the international border. Tahmooressi's vehicle carried several guns and the ammunition for them which led Mexico to charge him with possession of unregistered (in Mexico) firearms. Americans are outraged that a U.S. Marine spent Memorial Day behind bars in Mexico with little meaningful attempt by the White House, Congress or the State Department to free him.
USDA's Wildlife Services killed 4 million animals in 2013; seen as an overstep by some. The more than 4 million animals shot, poisoned, snared or trapped by the Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services in fiscal year 2013 included 75,326 coyotes, 866 bobcats, 528 river otters, 3,700 foxes, 12,186 prairie dogs, 973 red-tailed hawks, 419 black bears and at least three eagles, golden and bald. [...] At least two members of Congress have called Wildlife Services secret and opaque for failing to provide more information, and there are mounting calls for an investigation into how it operates.
Harvard grad Chuck Schumer fails history, credits Jefferson for Bill of Rights. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, stumbled Tuesday over basic American history, crediting Thomas Jefferson for authorship of the Bill of Rights during a debate over the First Amendment and campaign finance. "I think if Thomas Jefferson were looking down, the author of the Bill of Rights, on what's being proposed here, he'd agree with it. He would agree that the First Amendment cannot be absolute," Mr. Schumer said. While Jefferson is deemed the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, he was not intimately involved in the writing of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, which is the first 10 amendments to that founding document.
Vacationing Air Force bomber pilot helped land United Boeing 737 with 160 aboard. United Flight 1637 was returning off-duty Air Force Captain Mike Gongol, his family and 157 other souls from their Christmas vacation when disaster struck. The Boeing 737's pilot suffered a devastating heart attack at 30,000 feet on the way from Des Moines to Denver, forcing Gongol to rush to the cockpit and help guide the plane to an emergency landing. His heroic actions have gone unheralded until now, as Gongol recalls the dramatic moment he answered the chilling announcement on the December 30 flight, 'Does anyone know how to fly a plane?'
A Group of Amateur Programmers Just Took Over an Abandoned NASA Satellite. The ISEE-3 is a 36-year-old satellite that has been floating through space all willy nilly, ever since NASA left it for dead almost 17 years ago. That was until a group of engineers and computer programs decided to take over the satellite and set it off on a new mission. Now, two-way contact has been made via the Arecibo Radio Observatory in Puerto Rico and the amateurs are "in command" of the satellite.
Cabinet politics: Federal officials, grants are sent to help vulnerable Democrats. If you were looking for Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz this week, you might want to consult the 2014 electoral map of endangered Democrats as a guide. Mr. Moniz toured Louisiana's Gulf Coast oil and gas operations to assure the industry the administration supported its growth even as the president rolls out his climate change agenda. At his side was Sen. Mary Landrieu, Louisiana Democrat, one of the most vulnerable incumbents in this fall's election. [...] Mr. Moniz's schedule is just one sign of the Obama administration's concerted effort to use the levers of government to prop up its chances of keeping a Democrat-controlled Senate in November.
Don't Change the Channel: Leave Channel 37 alone. That was the chorus that came from a WMTS Coalition of healthcare organizations and manufacturers in late January, as they addressed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) about their concerns. Those organizations, along with healthcare facilities across the country, want the FCC to leave the 608-614 MHz spectrum band alone and maintain it for the Wireless Medical Telemetry Service (WMTS). Better known as channel 37, the FCC is considering relocating the existing WMTS and allowing unlicensed devices to share it.
McAdams on Channel 37. Fortunately for the FCC, it can bend time, because, as Flick notes, the incentive auction notice is a doozy. It covers — in some detail — the auction, who's eligible; what to do with low-power TV stations, broadcast auxiliary operations, wireless microphones, white spaces, Canada, Mexico, pesky TV stations that stay on the air, extraterrestrial communications and annoying people visiting emergency rooms with heart attack symptoms. Any one of these things alone typically would be addressed in a separate ruling, possibly to flounder indefinitely, but the FCC has to pry the spectrum away from broadcasters before the public discovers that its "public" airwaves are being completely privateered by the progeny of Ma Bell.
More about Channel 37.
Hollywood biggies caught on tape agreeing to hide Middle East funding for anti-fracking film. James O'Keefe of Project Veritas has struck gold with his latest sting operation. The Hollywood Reporter explains how the guerilla warrior is publicizing his latest achievement in unmasking the left.
James O'Keefe Punks Hollywood Greens. O'Keefe's crew pose as a Middle Eastern potentate named "Muhammad" and his American ad executive. They approach the Tickells with an offer of $9 million to finance an anti-fracking film. "Muhammad's" motives are clearly expressed: he wants to keep the U.S. dependent on Middle Eastern oil, and to that end he wants to stamp out fracking. The Tickells have no problem with this at all. They discuss the need to keep the film's source of funding secret, and talk about how they can create a false impression as to who paid for it.
The Editor says...
James O'Keefe has done some important work in the past, but if this is the best he can do, I think he's about halfway over the shark.
Scientists Are Creating New, Incurable Diseases in Labs. Swine flu, or H1N1, had been dead for 20 years when it suddenly re-emerged in 1977 with a curious twist. The new strain was genetically similar to one from the 1950s, almost as though it had been sitting frozen in a lab since then. Indeed, it eventually became clear that the late-70s flu outbreak was likely the result of a lowly lab worker's snafu. Lab accidents like that are extremely rare. Still, two scientists are now arguing that it's not worth continuing to create new, transmissible versions of deadly viruses in labs because the risk that the diseases will escape and infect the public is too great.
No more get-out-of-jail-free cards for Minnesota legislators. Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie (D) is robbing state lawmakers of a cherished perk long used to get them out of sticky situations: A card that allows legislators to avoid arrest while the state House or Senate are in session. Under the state constitution, lawmakers cannot be detained except in cases of treason, felony or breach of the peace. The wallet-sized card has been used to get lawmakers out of drunken driving charges and other arrests, the Star-Tribune said.
The Robot Car of Tomorrow May Just Be Programmed to Hit You. Suppose that an autonomous car is faced with a terrible decision to crash into one of two objects. It could swerve to the left and hit a Volvo sport utility vehicle (SUV), or it could swerve to the right and hit a Mini Cooper. If you were programming the car to minimize harm to others — a sensible goal — which way would you instruct it go in this scenario? As a matter of physics, you should choose a collision with a heavier vehicle that can better absorb the impact of a crash, which means programming the car to crash into the Volvo. Further, it makes sense to choose a collision with a vehicle that's known for passenger safety, which again means crashing into the Volvo.
Arizona College Student Bounces Back From the Dead After Nearly Giving Organs. Two years ago, Sam Schmid's close encounter with death was called a "Christmas miracle." As he lay in a coma after sustaining massive brain injuries in a car crash, doctors were discussing organ donation with his parents and ready to take him off life support. Schmid astounded those at his hospital bedside who thought he was brain dead, raising two fingers to signal he still had life left in him. But at the time, no one knew if the Tucson, Ariz., college student would ever return to his studies — or even walk or talk again.
Governor signs bill allowing 'Dreamer' to get law license. Gov. Rick Scott signed 58 bills into law Monday [5/12/2014], including one that will allow a Pinellas County law school graduate to qualify for a Bar license even though he's not a citizen.
Ben Carson Moves Toward Presidential Run. Ben Carson is warming to the idea of running for president. Since the famous brain surgeon retired last year from Johns Hopkins Hospital, he's been speaking around the country to enthusiastic audiences. And they've affected his thinking about seeking national office. [...] Carson writes that he suspects many others interested in high office would be better candidates. But in his book he has a caveat: "If I felt called by God to officially enter the world of politics, I would certainly not hesitate to do so."
ICE data: 36,000 illegals with criminal convictions were released during deportation proceedings. A preemptive strike on DHS from the Center for Immigration Studies, designed to make Obama's upcoming "relaxation" of U.S. deportation procedures as politically painful as possible. He's desperate to pander to his base, which is impatient after waiting more than five years for amnesty and has now convinced itself based on cooked numbers that he's some sort of crazed border hawk. That's where the "relaxation" comes in — and that's the beauty of CIS's otherwise grim data, which shows just how relaxed the system already is.
Lamar Smith Calls Ice Release of 36,000 Criminal Immigrants a President-Sanctioned Prison Break. Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith reacted harshly to a new report detailing the crimes committed by 36,007 criminal immigrants that Immigration and Customs Enforcement released last year. "This would be considered the worst prison break in American history, except it was sanctioned by the President and perpetrated by our own immigration officials. These criminal immigrants should have been deported to ensure that they could never commit crimes on U.S. soil. But instead, ICE officials chose not to detain them and instead released them back onto American streets," Smith said in a statement Monday.
Feds released hundreds of immigrant murderers, drunk drivers, sex-crimes convicts. Immigration officials knowingly released dozens of murderers and thousands of drunken drivers back into the U.S. in 2013, according to Obama administration statistics that could undercut the president's argument that he is trying to focus on the most serious criminals in his immigration enforcement. Among the 36,000 immigrants whom U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released from custody last year there were 116 with convictions for homicide, 43 for negligent manslaughter, 14 for voluntary manslaughter and one with a conviction classified by ICE as "homicide-willful kill-public official-gun."
The Editor says...
Fidel Castro did the same thing 20 years ago.
Military now turns down 80% of applicants. The U.S. Army hopes to hit 57,000 recruits for active duty this year. It's on pace to do just that, even while applying a stricter set of standards as it pertains to physical fitness, appearance (i.e., tattoos), intelligence test results and an applicant's criminal history. The Navy is no different.
When Driverless Cars Break the Law. There is little doubt that the technology behind driverless cars is nearly advanced enough for mainstream use. Google plans to make its biggest public display yet of its cars on Tuesday [5/13/2014], when it takes reporters on spins around Mountain View, Calif. Carmakers like BMW and Toyota are also preparing to sell cars that drive themselves. Instead, the bigger question about driverless cars is a legal one. Who is responsible when something goes wrong?
Bad Ideas in Oligarchy: Biden's Son Joins Board of Ukrainian Energy Company. Today, Burisma Holdings, a company that describes itself as "Ukraine's largest private gas producer," announced the newest member of its Board of Directors: R. Hunter Biden, a seasoned lawyer with extensive international business experience, will be in charge of the company's legal unit, as well as "provide support for the Company among international organizations." His end goal: to guide the company in a manner that will "contribute to the economy and benefit the people of Ukraine." Biden also has a prominent dad who's part of an administration currently embroiled in a conflict with Russia over the Ukraine, so, that's cool too. And it's not just that Joe Biden is his father, it's that Joe Biden has openly pledged to help Ukraine gain "energy independence" from Russia while condemning the latter's recent annexation of the Crimean peninsula. Really, this is an awkward situation.
9 Questions To Ask About Biden's Work With A Gas Company In Ukraine. Twitter is abuzz with questions about the involvement of Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter with a gas company in Ukraine. The company, Burisma, allegedly appointed Hunter Biden to its board of directors. In late April, around the time the vice president made an official trip to Ukraine, Burisma allegedly appointed Devon Archer, one of Hunter Biden's business partners, to its board as well.
Urban Texans Lead Nation in Not Biking to Work. Among large cities with 200,000 or more people, according to a report released this week by the Census Bureau, five communities in Texas led the nation in having the smallest percentage of workers commuting by bicycle. In the border city of Laredo, Texas, in the five year period from 2008 through 2012, 0.0 percent of workers rode bikes to work. That topped all large cities for the smallest percentage of workers commuting by bike. In Garland, Plano, Fort Worth and Dallas, only 0.1 percent biked to work. These Texas cities tied for next to last. In four other Texas cities, only 0.2 percent rode bikes to work. These included Arlington, Irving, San Antonio and El Paso.
Pope Francis Demands 'Legitimate Redistribution' of Wealth. In Rome, during a speech to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and other UN agency heads, Pope Francis called for a "legitimate redistribution of economic benefits" using government and the private sector. The AP reports that Francis asked the United Nations to promote "a worldwide ethical mobilization" through the "legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the state, as well as indispensable cooperation between the private sector and civil society."
Pope Francis should stick to doctrine, stay away from economic 'redistribution'. Until this week, his statements have called for voluntary action by wealthier countries and individuals as the right way to relieve economic inequality. He appealed to our better selves, and in so doing, made us all ask if we could be kinder and more generous. The answer, of course, is yes. On Friday [5/9/2014], however, Francis chose a meeting with — of all people — officials of the United Nations to endorse what he called "the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the state, as well as indispensable cooperation between the private sector and civil society."
EMP Attack On Power Grid Could Kill 9-In-10. Expert testimony before Congress on Thursday [5/8/2014] warned that an electromagnetic pulse attack on our power grid and electronic infrastructure could leave most Americans dead and the U.S. in another century. That dire warning came from Peter Vincent Pry, a member of the Congressional EMP Commission and executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security.
The Editor says...
One big problem with government forecasts of doom is the government's track record on pronouncements about global warming and various other potential threats, like SARS and acid rain and swine flu and holes in the ozone layer. I'd rather take my chances with EMP than with Big Brother.
When the lights go out forever. It would come with almost no warning. Without any immediate signs as to why, the lights go out, cars stop dead, telephones cease to function, everything with a microchip in it fails, and most of it all never works again. In the wake of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on the United States, part or all of the country is thrust back into the 1860s but with 10 times the population. The threat is real, it is pressing, and the United States is doing little to address it. It strikes many Americans as a fanciful prospect, almost cheesy apocalypse porn, to suggest that something as simple as the destruction of the nation's power grid could thrust the United States into the dark ages. But those who have investigated this prospect are not rolling their eyes to the threat as are so many of the country's sophisticates.
Mayor de Blasio unveils $41B proposal to develop 200,000 units of affordable housing. Plan envisions 80,000 new apartments and says housing 'central pillar' of fight against inequality.
The Editor says...
That's $205,000 per unit to build apartments — in a housing project.
Judge halts secret probe of Wisconsin conservative groups, in win for Walker. In a monumental victory for targeted conservatives in the secret Wisconsin investigation, Judge Rudolph Randa on Tuesday granted a preliminary injunction to stop the politically charged probe, ruling in favor of conservative activist Eric O'Keefe, his Wisconsin Club for Growth and "others." The probe had been looking into possible illegal coordination between conservative groups and Republican Gov. Scott Walker's recall election campaign, but came under fire for the opaque way it was conducted.
Libertarians Trail Meter Readers, Telling Town: Live Free or Else. Keene's two parking officers, both women, are often videotaped by young adults known as "Robin Hooders." They track the whereabouts of the officers by two-way radio, feed expired meters before $5 tickets can be written, and leave a business card saying that "we saved you from the king's tariff." Welcome to Sherwood Forest, N.H., where these acts of charity have led to some donations and gratitude, but also to sidewalk tensions, harassment allegations and litigation.
Arms Cache Most Likely Kept in Texas by the C.I.A. In passing references scattered through once-classified documents and cryptic public comments by former intelligence officials, it is referred to as "Midwest Depot," but the bland code name belies the role it has played in some of the C.I.A.'s most storied operations. From the facility, located somewhere in the United States, the C.I.A. has stockpiled and distributed untraceable weapons linked to preparations for the Bay of Pigs invasion and the arming of rebels and resistance fighters from Angola to Nicaragua to Afghanistan.
Indiana to host meeting for planning Constitutional Convention. The movement toward calling a state-led Constitutional Convention for the purpose of altering the Constitution bypassing Congress, as specified by Article V of the Constitution, has taken a step forward.
Lawsuit: Iowa's do-not-hire list is illegal. Iowa's state government has illegally used a so-called "do-not-hire" list for decades, a lawsuit filed Monday [4/28/2014] claims. The lawsuit argues that the state has created "blacklists" despite multiple rulings by administrative law judges warning against the practice.
Keywords: Necessarily skyrocket.
Energy Future Holdings files for bankruptcy, power business will continue operating. Energy Future Holdings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization Tuesday after agreeing with key financial stakeholders to keep its power-producing businesses operating in Texas while it reduces roughly $40 billion in debt. The company owns TXU Energy, a retail electricity provider, and Luminant, the state's largest power generator. State agencies, including the manager of Texas' electricity grid, have been closely watching the company in the run-up to its filing to ensure that power production is not impacted. In the short term, it appears power distribution and production will continue normally.
Clinton Library's Doc Dump Reveals CRA Fueled Subprime Bubble. During the 1990s, former Clinton aides bragged that more aggressive enforcement of the Community Reinvestment Act pressured banks to issue riskier mortgages, lending more proof the anti-redlining law fueled the crisis. A 2012 National Bureau of Economic Research study found "that adherence to that act led to riskier lending by banks," with "a clear pattern of increased defaults for loans made by these banks in quarters around the (CRA) exam, (and) the effects are larger for loans made within CRA tracts," or low-income and minority areas. To satisfy CRA examiners, Clinton mandated "flexible" lending by large banks. As a result, CRA-approved loans defaulted about 15% more often, the NBER found.
VA hospital backs down after slapping man with $525 fine over soda refill. The VA hospital that slapped a $525 federal fine on a man after he refilled his 89-cent drink without paying has backed down, choosing to issue a warning instead of a citation, a spokesperson for the facility said Thursday [4/17/2014]. Christopher T. Lewis, of North Charleston, was issued the $525 citation on Wednesday after he ignored signage indicating that there's no such thing as a free lunch — or complimentary drink refills — at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston. Lewis, who is not a federal employee, told responding officers he had done the same thing "multiple times" before and never had any problems, hospital spokeswoman Tonya Lobbestael told FoxNews.com.
Texan, 23, Headed To State Prison For Urinating On The Alamo. A Texas man was sentenced yesterday to 18 months in state prison for urinating on the Alamo. Daniel Athens, a 23-year-old El Paso resident, pleaded guilty earlier this year to a criminal mischief charge in connection with the April 2012 incident at the Texas shrine. While Athens could have faced a maximum of two years in custody, a plea deal saved him up to six months in custody.
Police: Ohio Man's Drone Hindered Medical Chopper. A man is facing charges after deputies say he was flying a video camera-equipped drone that hindered the landing of a medical helicopter at an accident scene.
The Editor says...
I find this story hard to believe. A medical helicopter would blow a toy "drone" out of its way, and in the event of a collision, the helicopter would win. Sounds to me like a fabricated problem designed to build up public consensus in opposition to privately-owned and remotely-controlled aircraft.
U.S. Export-Import Bank: Corporate Welfare on the Backs of Taxpayers. Congress will soon debate the fate of the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im), which doles out financing to favored corporations and credit to foreign governments. Proponents claim that such taxpayer bankrolling creates jobs and fills "gaps" in private financing. In fact, the bank is a conduit for corporate welfare beset by unreliable risk management, inefficiency, and cronyism. Terminating the bank's charter should be an easy call for lawmakers. Even Barack Obama, as a presidential candidate, endorsed its end. With strong growth in privately financed exports, there is no justification for maintaining this Depression-era relic.
This reader mocked Heartbleed, posted his passwords online. Guess what happened next. Here's a lesson in online security: Passwords are important. They keep your information safe. Crucially, they also prevent other people from impersonating you. Unfortunately, one of The Switch's readers learned that the hard way.
UNICEF launches 'Mr. Poo' mascot in India to curb public defecation. UNICEF's new campaign, "Poo2Loo," targets India's public defecation problem with a series of music videos, pranks and advertisements featuring a giant feces mascot. According to the campaign, 620 million Indians are defecating in public every day. "That's half the population dumping over 65 million kilos of poo out there every day. If this poo continues to be let loose on us, there will be no escaping the stench of life threatening infections, diseases and epidemics," the Poo2Loo website says, while asking visitors to sign a pledge to ending public defecation.
Facebook Exec to Headline Muslim Advocates' 'Countering Hate on the Internet' Dinner. Increasingly, the war in the information battlespace is being waged outside the hallowed halls of the enemedia. [...] The key to winning this war for freedom is in the war of ideas. So the apparatuses that truth-tellers and voices of freedom including my colleagues and me use, tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin, are of cardinal importance. When news from my website AtlasShrugs.com goes viral, invariably it is Facebook that drives it.
Is One of the Most Famous Exonerations in U.S. History About to Fall Apart? One of the guidelines of liberal propaganda is that if you are going to lie, lie big. Global warming, Obamacare, Romney's a heartless guy. It might be time to add to the list the famous Anthony Porter exoneration in Chicago in 1999. Not only is Porter likely guilty of the double murder he was initially charged with, an innocent man therefore sits in an east central Illinois prison serving a 37-year sentence. His probable framing was largely orchestrated by a since-discredited "journalism" professor and his students at Northwestern University, a cowed prosecutor's office in Cook County, and a Chicago media that enabled the whole charade.
Carson for president backers report $4 million raised, campaign apparatus into place. Conservatives frustrated with the direction of the country think Dr. Ben Carson can change the course by winning the 2016 presidential race. Now they just have to convince him. The group, RunBenRun.org, a super PAC, has already raised $4 million toward a Carson bid for the Republican nomination and has collected 200,000 signatures for a petition to get him to join the race.
After 25 years in prison, man exonerated of NYC murder committed while he was at Disney World. Despite having documents to back him up, he was convicted of murder.
Men Average $11,505 Higher Salary than Women in Dick Durbin's Senate Office. [Sen. Dick] Durbin took to the Senate floor on Tuesday to preach on the importance of passing legislation aimed at solving the gender pay gap. "How serious is equal pay for equal work to working people across America?" said Durbin, "I think it's critical." The average female salary is $11,505 lower than the average male salary in Durbin's office, according to an analysis of Senate salary data from fiscal year 2013 that showed that more than two-thirds of Democratic Senate offices pay men more than women.
UPS Fires 250 Union Workers for Refusing to Work. The liberal pro-union agenda has been taking a toll on the American workforce for years. Our society has been eaten up by the entitlement mindset, training all of us to believe that we deserve certain things from our government and from our jobs. A prime example of this is how unionized workers have been trained to believe that if they don't get what they want, the best option is to just stop working until they get it.
House kills Obama budget 2-413. The House on Wednesday handily rejected a GOP budget alternative based on President Obama's 2015 spending blueprint. It was defeated 2-413, following a pattern seen in recent years in House votes to overwhelmingly reject Obama's budget proposals. Today's vote is just slightly better than the unanimous vote against Obama's budget in 2012. The two "yes" votes came from Reps. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) and Jim Moran (D-Va.), who is retiring.
Obama dangles student-loan freebie for midterm 2014 voters. President Barack Obama today suggested that's he'll pressure Congress to to reduce voters' student-loan payments before the November elections. "We've got to make it easier to repay student loans," he told a subdued and unresponsive audience at Bladensburg High School, in Prince George's County, Md. He used the same student-loan pitch in the run-up to the 2012 election, which helped him improve his support among younger voters, many of whom are having difficulty earning enough in the Obama economy to pay off their college debts.
Rangel didn't pay rent but state bailed him out. New York City's longest-serving congressman won't pay his rent. State taxpayers were stiffed out of at least $87,000 when Rep. Charles Rangel stopped paying for the district office he rents in Harlem's Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building, records ≠obtained by The [New York] Post show.
Canadian troops told to zip it on leadership complaints if they want medical care. Canada's wounded warriors are now being told they cannot criticize military leadership if they want to receive medical treatment, a top Canadian newspaper reported Wednesday. Injured troops are first being told they must sign a form that requires they do not discuss "your views on any military subject" and should not "write anything that might discourage others or make them dissatisfied with their conditions or their employment," The National Post reported.
Insult And Injury: How Doctors Are Losing The War Against Trolls. In the untamed world of online comment sections, no one is more vulnerable to criticism than doctors, who are restricted by confidentiality laws from defending themselves against even the most outlandish of claims. With patients increasingly dependent on internet marketplaces to find care — and increasingly prone to frustration — it's the caregivers who get hurt.
UPS fires 250 drivers in New York over walk out, report says. The shipping giant Monday [3/31/2014] fired these employees because they walked off the job in February in protest over the dismissal of a fellow Queens employee who worked for the company for 24 years, The [New York] Daily News reported. The report said 20 workers were fired after their shifts and 230 were told they will be fired once replacements are in place.
UPS dismisses 250 Queens drivers after they protested against long-time employee's dismissal. UPS has delivered a special message to 250 of its Queens drivers: You're fired! The Atlanta-based company is booting 250 of its unionized drivers from its Maspeth facility because they walked off the job for 90 minutes Feb. 26 to protest the dismissal of a long-time employee, UPS told the [New York] Daily News. Twenty employees were terminated Monday after their shifts — and the remaining 230 notified that they'll be canned as soon as replacements are trained, a company spokesman said.
Did Michigan just trigger 'constitutional convention'? Bid gains steam. At issue is what's known as a "constitutional convention," a scenario tucked into Article V of the U.S. Constitution. At its core, Article V provides two ways for amendments to be proposed. [...] The idea has gained popularity among constitutional scholars in recent years — but got a big boost last week when Michigan lawmakers endorsed it.
Study: Civil servant system outdated. The federal government is headed for a crisis, a new report warns, and without reforms, a homegrown problem threatens to derail everything from foreign policy, to entitlements, to food safety. The problem is the way the government manages its more than 2 million civil servants, according to a report from the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service and government consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton.
U.N. Court Orders Japan to Halt Whaling Off Antarctica. The decision to ban Japan's annual whaling drive off Antarctica, handed down by the United Nations' highest court on Monday, was a hard-won victory for conservationists who long argued that Tokyo's whaling research was a cover for commercial whaling. The ruling by the International Court of Justice in The Hague halts a Japanese program that has captured more than 10,000 minke and other whales in the Southern Ocean each year since 1988 in the name of biological research.
U.S. to require rear cameras in all vehicles by 2018. The new rules set rear visibility standards that automakers will initially be able to meet only by installing cameras. [...] Since it was first proposed, the cost of hardware has come down as more cameras have been added to certain models. Honda Motor Co. and Subaru Motor Co. both announced they are making the cameras standard in all vehicles.
Iowa expands its 'do not rehire' list. Iowa continues to maintain an internal "do not rehire" list of fired employees who are barred from returning to state employment, even though judges have raised questions about its legality, according to a review by The Associated Press.
Anti-hate group blamed for inspiring Family Research Council gun attack dumped by FBI. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which has labeled several Washington, D.C.-based family organizations as "hate groups" for favoring traditional marriage, has been dumped as a "resource" on the FBI's Hate Crime Web page, a significant rejection of the influential legal group. The Web page scrubbing, which also included eliminating the Anti-Defamation League, was not announced and came in the last month after 15 family groups pressed Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director James Comey to stop endorsing a group — SPLC — that inspired a recent case of domestic terrorism at the Family Research Council.
The FBI isn't breaking up with the SPLC — it's just not keeping the relationship "official". Last week, the FBI received a lot of attention and praise from conservative sources for finally eliminating the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) from its website's list of "hate crimes" resources. However, while a headline at Breitbart says the FBI "dumps [SPLC] as hate crimes resource," and an article at The Daily Caller said the FBI was "breaking ties" with the SPLC, a public statement from the FBI and the agency's own website indicate the removal may mean just that — removal from the site, not a diminishing of the relationship between the two organizations.
More than half of top posts in key Obamacare agency are vacant or held by 'acting' caretakers. Eighteen of the 32 top management jobs in the federal agency that is "ground zero" for running Obamacare are either vacant or filled on an acting basis. The agency is the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight. Its problems start at the top. Gary Cohen's last day as CCIIO's deputy administrator after less than two years on the job will be March 31, the latest departure from the agency. Including Cohen's position, more than half of the most important jobs in CCIIO are either vacant or held by caretaking "acting directors."
Half-blind guard caught sleeping at WTC site. Only days before President Obama revealed that his worst fear was a nuclear terror attack on Manhattan, a nearly blind guard was caught sleeping on the job at the Freedom Tower — where he was the building's first line of defense. In this cellphone photo obtained exclusively by The [New York] Post, Abdul Basher, 65, is wearing shades and lying almost completely horizontal in a chair in the No. 1 terror target's south lobby, where he was the only guard stationed, sources said. Even when awake, Basher admittedly can't open his left eye and has "hazy" vision out of his right due to a nerve condition.
Half-blind guard caught sleeping at WTC says he was just 'exercising his eyes'. An alarming photograph taken in the lobby of One World Trade Center shows a half-blind security guard sleeping on the job — but the security guard swears he was in fact 'exercising' his bad eyes. Instead of acting as the first line of defense for the world's number one terror target, Abdul Basher, 65, is laid out almost horizontal in a chair. The intensely embarrassing image was taken at around 2.45 am on Saturday — six days after a New Jersey teen made it past another guard on the 104th floor.
Security Boss at 1 World Trade Center Resigns. A spokesman for the New York City company that manages 1 World Trade Center says the building's head of security has resigned. The Durst Organization's Jordan Barowitz confirms David Velazquez resigned Friday [3/28/2014]. The departure comes just days after the arrests of three skydiving enthusiasts who in September parachuted off the building, the nation's tallest skyscraper. It comes about two weeks after authorities say a New Jersey teenager sneaked onto the site and climbed to the top of the 1,776-foot tower to take pictures.
DOJ: Free Exercise Clause Does Not Protect Kosher Meat Companies. U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli told the Supreme Court on Tuesday [3/25/2014] that the First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) — which Congress enacted to guide the Executive Branch and courts in defending that right — would not directly protect kosher or halal meat-processing corporations from a hypothetical federal rule that by generally banning certain meat-processing practices effectively banned kosher and halal meat processing by incorporated businesses.
Nabisco Ad: Homosexuality 'Wholesome'. Nabisco added its voice to the current trend of forcing liberal social agendas by producing a commercial for their Honey Maid graham crackers and Teddy Grahams snacks showing a homosexual couple raising two children with a voiceover stating "this is wholesome." The ad begins with a father bottle feeding his baby as another father slips in to kiss the baby's forehead. The commercial then meanders through a montage of families: mixed race, single dad, tattooed dad, military dad, and two dads.
NJ police: After finishing 15-year term for robbing shoe store, man returns and does it again. Police say a man who just completed a 15-year prison term for robbing a New Jersey shoe store went back there the day after his release and committed the same crime.
Sinkhole of bureaucracy. Here, inside the caverns of an old Pennsylvania limestone mine, there are 600 employees of the Office of Personnel Management. Their task is nothing top-secret. It is to process the retirement papers of the government's own workers. But that system has a spectacular flaw. It still must be done entirely by hand, and almost entirely on paper. [...] During the past 30 years, administrations have spent more than $100 million trying to automate the old-fashioned process in the mine and make it run at the speed of computers. They couldn't. So now the mine continues to run at the speed of human fingers and feet.
ORI Director's Resignation Demonstrates Corruption in Science. Science is rife with corruption, incompetence, dishonesty and fabrication — and now, thanks to a frank resignation letter by the US's top scientific misconduct official we have a better idea why. David E. Wright, a respected science historian, has just quit his job as director of the Office of Research Integrity (ORI; part of the Department of Health and Human Services) and is scathing about his experiences there. In his resignation letter, he accuses his boss HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Howard Koh of running an organization which is "secretive, autocratic and unaccountable."
Daredevil stunt reveals there are no working cameras in WTC tower. The Freedom Tower, America's top terror target, doesn't have a single working surveillance camera inside — a stunning security lapse that let a New Jersey teen roam the top floors undetected for two hours, The [New York] Post has learned. The video system for 1 World Trade Center "won't be operational until the building opens later this year," said a source familiar with the security plan. That means there is no footage of Justin Casquejo, 16, as he slipped by a sleeping guard to the antenna of the 1,776-foot-tall building Sunday morning.
Charges unlikely for Houston dad accused of shooting daughter's boyfriend, prosecutor says. The Houston father who police say fatally shot a 17-year-old boy who was inside his daughter's bedroom early Thursday morning [3/13/2014] will likely not be charged, an area prosecutor told MyFoxHouston.com. Although a grand jury will review the case, prosecutor Warren Diepraam said it is unlikely that the father will be charged.
Top HHS Official Resigns, Rips Sebelius On His Way Out. Calling working for the Obama/Sebelius Department of Health and Human Services the "worst job ever," David Wright has resigned as HHS director of the Office of Research Integrity. That office monitors potential research misconduct, a job that must have kept it quite busy before, during and after the Obamacare rollout.
HHS official resigns, pens a must-read rebuke of federal bureaucracy. A Health and Human Services official has resigned after dealing with the frustration of the "profoundly dysfunctional" federal bureaucracy, which left him "offended as an American taxpayer." In a resignation letter obtained by ScienceInsider, David Wright, director of the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) — which oversees and monitors possible research misconduct — offers a scathing rebuke of the unwieldy and inefficient bureaucracy that he dealt with for the two years he served in the position.
Official resigns over "remarkably dysfunctional HHS bureaucracy". The former Director of the Office of Research Integrity (OIR), David Wright, recently resigned in powerful fashion, penning a scathing letter to his boss in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) about the "remarkably dysfunctional HHS bureaucracy." The letter, written on February 25th and recently published at sciencemag.org, details the "intensely political environment" that is HHS, the department charged with crafting and implementing Obamacare policy and regulations. Apart from being famous for drafting 20,000 pages of onerous regulations inspired by the nearly 2,000 page Obamacare statute, HHS also made headlines for it's [sic] spectacularly disastrous rollout of healthcare.gov, the website responsible for ensuring the American people are actually able to comply with the new healthcare law.
Earth has a secret reservoir of water, say scientists. Writing in the journal Nature, scientists on Wednesday [3/12/2014] said they had found an elusive mineral pointing to the existence of a vast reservoir deep in Earth's mantle, 400-600 kilometres (250-375 miles) beneath our feet. It may hold as much water as all the planet's oceans combined, they believe. The evidence comes from a water-loving mineral called ringwoodite that came from the so-called transition zone sandwiched between the upper and lower layers of Earth's mantle, they said.
Senate chaos: Democrat says cabinet secretaries can ignore GOP questions. The Democratic chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee declared Wednesday that cabinet secretaries do not have to answer questions at hearings if they don't feel like it, the latest breakdown in collegiality. In a politically-charged atmosphere during a hearing on increasing the minimum wage, HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin brushed aside ranking Sen. Lamar Alexander's request for a "yes or no" answer from Labor Secretary Thomas Perez.
Koch Brother Donates Money to Hospital, Liberals Protest (Not a Parody). In fact, it was the New York State Nurses' Association, the NAACP New York State Conference, and SEIU Local 1199, among others, who marched on the soon-to-be-built David H. Koch Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, which was funded in part by a $100 million donation from the man one prominent liberal recently predicted would go down in history as a "famously evil person." The donation was the largest in the hospital's history, and will presumably create a fair number of new nursing jobs. So why are the usual suspects up in arms?
First state passes Article V Convention of States resolution. Hey libs, it's happening. The first state has passed a resolution to convene a constitutional convention and right the balance between the federal and state governments.
Court decision invites widespread public school violence. A three-judge panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals may have been on solid legal ground when they agreed that school officials in Morgan Hill, Calif., could bar students from wearing U.S. flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo to prevent ethnic violence from students of Mexican ancestry, but their decision raises troubling concerns about threatening such violence as a means of suppressing free expression.
Discipline reform' is in Obama program to help young men. What's that mean? When President Obama announced "My Brother's Keeper" Thursday [2/27/2014], he identified school discipline reform as one key to supporting the success of young men of color. School suspensions and expulsions, which occur more often among black and Latino boys, make dropping out of school — and the host of risk factors that come with that — more likely. "My administration has been working with schools on alternatives to the so-called zero-tolerance guidelines — not because teachers or administrators or fellow students should have to put up with bad behavior, but because there are ways to modify bad behavior that lead to good behavior," Mr. Obama said in announcing My Brother's Keeper.
Farrow, After Three Days on the Air, Receives Cronkite Award. His first television show has only been on the air for three days, but Ronan Farrow is already winning awards for his journalistic work. Reach the World, a global education group, will honor the 26-year-old Farrow with its annual Cronkite Award for Excellence in Exploration and Journalism.
Feds unveil plan to save honey bees — and $15 billion in crops they pollinate. Claiming that the future of American food production depends on a revived honey bee population, the Agriculture Department on Tuesday [2/25/2014] announced it will spend $3 million to help ranchers and farmers improve the health of the bugs, key to pollinating $15 billion worth of food. [...] The money will be in the form of financial assistance and technical help targeted to five Midwestern states: Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Here Come The Democratic Birthers. What? You thought only Republicans could be birthers? In a fundraising email sent out Monday [2/24/2014], the bombastic, bombthrowing Florida Democrat Alan Grayson included a transcript of remarks from an interview with MSNBC where he claimed that Ted Cruz was ineligible to be president. [...] Although the Constitution says that the President must be a "natural born citizen," the term is not defined. However, most legal scholars believe that anyone who is a citizen at birth is "natural born."
Another "Successful Banker" Found Dead. The dismal trail of dead bankers continues. As The Journal Star reports, a successful Lincoln businessman and member of a prominent local family died last week. [...] This brings the total of banker deaths in recent weeks to 9 as Stuart is sadly survived by three sons and four daughters.
Group tries to slow federal government's move away from paper to the Web. As the Obama administration pushes to do more business over the Internet, finally seeking to close the technology gap with the private sector, the digital makeover is running into a dogged opponent called Consumers for Paper Options. The group is working the halls of Congress in closed-door meetings, underwriting research favorable to its position and mounting a news media campaign in an effort to preserve Washington as the capital of paper — and slow the move away from printed checks, forms and other paper communication.
Closing Arguments in ATF Agent's Case Against The Government Begin and End Today. The closing arguments in Dobyns v. USA are set to take place this morning at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Tucson, Arizona. Former ATF Special Agent Jay Dobyns has been suing the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms for more than a year after the agency failed to properly provide protection for himself and his family. His battle with the government has spanned over the course of a decade.
Most troubled PAC in history flies under radar, squanders Democratic donors' cash. A PAC called 21st Century Democrats has raised $5.3 million since 2009, but not a penny of it has gone to candidates' campaigns or independent expenditures on their behalf, according to Federal Election Commission records. That makes 21st Century Democrats one of the largest, yet least effective, independent political action committees in the country.
Medical Center won't let patients watch Fox News. I imagine the only thing worse than being forced to watch CNN inside an airport terminal is being forced to watch it in a doctor's office. So you can imagine my surprise when I discovered a Michigan health care facility, funded by federal tax dollars, blocked Fox News Channel from its waiting room television sets. The president of Family Health Care directed staff to block Fox News after a board member complained about our network's coverage of the Affordable Care Act, an employee told me.
Judicial Watch: Top Pentagon Leader Ordered Destruction of bin Laden Death Photos. Judicial Watch announced Monday [2/10/2014] that it received documents through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit showing that Admiral William McRaven ordered the immediate destruction of any photos of Osama bin Laden's death within hours of a Judicial Watch FOIA request.
Making butane hash a lethal mix in home drug labs. The "chef" hunkered over a batch of hash oil he was making in a kitchen in Redondo Beach, using a common but extremely dangerous method known as "open blasting." The 26-year-old meticulously stirred and heated the marijuana extract into the highest clarity, slowly producing "butane honey oil" that would be as clear and pure as amber. This potent type of hash, also called "wax," has taken off in the marijuana market with the rise of electronic cigarettes and other vaporizing devices.
Michelle Obama Pitches Student Aid: 'Almost Everyone Is Eligible'. [Scroll down] The latest data show that the national two-year student loan default rate rose from 9.1 percent for FY 2010 to 10 percent for FY 2011. The three-year default rate rose from 13.4 percent for FY 2009 to 14.7 percent for FY 2010. The Financial Stability Oversight Council, a division of the U.S. Treasury, reported in April 2013 that "large and growing student debt burdens and a poor job market have pushed many borrowers into delinquency."
Study: Fatal Car Crashes Involving Marijuana Have Tripled. According to a recent study, fatal car crashes involving pot use have tripled in the U.S. "Currently, one of nine drivers involved in fatal crashes would test positive for marijuana," Dr. Guohua Li, director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia, and co-author of the study told HealthDay News.
Half the nation's uninsured live in just 116 counties. A new study conducted for The Associated Press shows the administration is best off focusing on a relatively narrow geographic area: Half of those under 65 without insurance live in just 116 of the nation's 3,143 counties. And half of all 19-39 year olds without insurance — the most coveted demographic as health-care providers look to expand their risk pools — live in 108 counties.
Bernanke Leaves Fed with Record Balance Sheet of $4,102,138,000,000. Retiring Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who was replaced by Janet Yellen as of today, is leaving the Federal Reserve with an unprecedented $4,102,138,000,000 in total assets on its balance sheet, up 391 percent from the $834,663,000,000 in total assets the Fed showed on its balance sheet when Bernanke took over as chairman in February 2006. Much of the increase in the Fed's assets has come in the form of U.S. Treasury securities and Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae mortgage-backed securities that the Fed purchased over the last five years in its attempts to stimulate the economy.
There's Something About MyRA. By now, you may have heard about MyRA. The acronym, which President Barack Obama stumbled over in his State of the Union speech Tuesday night, stands for My Retirement Account. Obama introduced the new plan like this: "MyRA guarantees a decent return with no risk of losing what you put in." On Wednesday, the administration said it will launch a pilot program of the "new, simple, safe and affordable 'starter' retirement savings account" by the end of the year.
Western residents face threat of water rationing as feds reduce water flow. For years, experts have been warning people in the American West they will have to make do with less water in the future. That dryer future already may have arrived. This year, for the first time in history, lower flows in the Colorado River have prompted the federal government to reduce the amount of water flowing into Lake Mead reservoir outside Las Vegas. Bureau of Reclamation officials say if the river's level doesn't increase soon, there's a 50 percent chance that by next year, residents in Arizona, southern Nevada and California will have to start rationing water.
Most Americans Are Unaware Of [Insert Issue
• Fewer than 25% of Californians knew "much at all" about the massive healthcare overhaul, the Affordable Care Act, that impacts every single American.
• Fewer than half of parents with children in public schools knew anything about the Common Core Standards, arguably one of the most radical overhauls of education in at least 50 years.
• A measly 39% of Republicans who think the 2012 attacks on an embassy in Benghazi was the "biggest political scandal in American history" could identify that event took place in a country called Libya.
• For kicks, 41% of Americans cannot ID their folksy deputy commander-in-chief, Vice President Joe Biden.
Feds charge Bitcoin start-up founder with money laundering. Less than a year after raising $1.5 million for his Bitcoin exchange start-up BitInstant, CEO Charlie Shrem has been charged with money laundering. A news release from U.S. prosecutors in Manhattan said that Shrem knowingly facilitated illegal purchases on the now-shuttered underground drug marketplace Silk Road. Silk Road was a Web site that allowed users to buy everything from heroin to fake IDs. To help preserve users' anonymity, the site required all transactions to be conducted in bitcoins. According to the government, a man named Robert Faiella worked with Shrem to sell bitcoins to Silk Road users.
Fed's Dirty Little Secret: "The Gold Isn't There... Exists as Paper IOU's". The assumption by global depositors who have entrusted their national savings with the Federal Reserve and US Government has always been that when they request to repatriate their holdings the Fed would simply open the vault, access said assets and ship them back to where they belong. That's exactly what Germany expected would happen last year when the country requested that the Federal Reserve return about one-fifth of their gold reserves. But that's when things got really dicey.
An Allen West comeback? Allen West may have lost his seat in Congress, but the Florida Republican is not done with elected politics. West told radio host Jesse Lee Peterson Thursday [1/23/2014] that another Allen West candidacy would likely be coming in 2016. "I will definitely come back," said West, who lost his seat in 2012 to now-Congressman Patrick Murphy by fewer than 3,000 votes.
The 25 most common passwords of 2013. According to password management company SplashData, the top three passwords of the year are "123456," "password" and "12345678." The top three passwords haven't changed, but "123456" and "password" swapped places from last year. The company's list of the "25 worst passwords of the year" was compiled using data that hackers have posted online, which are said to be stolen passwords.
Bombshell sworn allegation against Tim Geithner. If anyone thinks "Bridgegate" is an example of political bullying and abuse of power, then the sworn (under penalty of perjury) allegation of a corporate heavy hitter against Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner is off the charts.
Pro-death Insanity Envelops Belgium. [T]here's an insidious creeping horror that is progressively challenging our inherent notions of compassion and decency: the Culture of Death, which, over the last 30 years, has steadily been pushing the limits of acceptable medical behavior. Europe has been ground zero for the pro-deathers' ultimate goal: Death on demand at any time, anywhere, for any reason, for anyone, and by any means necessary — usually by assisted suicide and euthanasia. Even within the European pro-death context, Belgium has gone stark raving mad.
Judge allows subpoena for records from Times-Picayune. A federal magistrate has allowed a defense attorney to subpoena records from a New Orleans news organization about comments anonymously posted on its website.
National Cathedral goes off the deep end. The cathedral's website promised that "written prayers, yoga mats, zafu meditation cushions, poetry, and mandalas to draw and color" would be "available as reflection tools." For those unfamiliar with Eastern religions, you use a zafu during a zazen (sitting) meditation session. Mandalas are geometric patterns representing the cosmos, and are used in Hinduism, which has thousands of gods, or in Buddhism, which is godless.
Ukrainians rally against new protest law. Demonstrators packed Kiev's Independence Square in freezing temperatures on Sunday, rallying in defiance of new laws that set limitations on the right to protest. Protesters and police accused each other of attacks during the large demonstration, which stretched into the early morning hours.
Court: Bloggers Have Same First Amendment Protections as Traditional Journalists. A blogger — and, really, the public at large — has the same protections for free speech in the United State as a traditional journalist and can only lose a defamation lawsuit on an issue of public concern if plaintiffs manage to prove negligence. In a ruling that may come as a surprise to many bloggers who probably didn't even realize this was even a question, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a new trial for Crystal Cox, a blogger who had lost a defamation lawsuit in 2011 over a blog post that accused an Oregon bankruptcy trustee and Obsidian Finance Group of fraud, reports the Associated Press.
Change for a Nickel? U.S. Mint Is Weighing It. Industry groups are particularly wary of tweaks to U.S. coinage, which could force companies to update the equipment they use to accept change. Machinery is now calibrated for a nickel that has been 75% copper and 25% nickel since 1866, except for a brief stint during World War II. Dimes and quarters have been made out of the same nickel-copper sandwich since 1965.
Daunting Mathematical Puzzle Solved, Enables Unlimited Analysis of Encrypted Data. The patented breakthrough, called "fully homomorphic encryption," could enable deep and unrestricted analysis of encrypted information — intentionally scrambled data — without surrendering confidentiality. IBM's solution has the potential to advance cloud computing privacy and security by enabling vendors to perform computations on client data, such as analyzing sales patterns, without exposing or revealing the original data.
Exclusive: U.S. waived laws to keep F-35 on track with China-made parts. The Pentagon repeatedly waived laws banning Chinese-built components on U.S. weapons in order to keep the $392 billion Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter program on track in 2012 and 2013, even as U.S. officials were voicing concern about China's espionage and military buildup.
FBI quietly drops 'law enforcement' as its primary mission. Without any fanfare, "law enforcement" has been dropped from its status as the FBI's primary mission.
Obama's War Against the Elderly. To begin with, you are probably aware that the nest-egg you saved is being undermined by inflation and lowered interest rates. But let's consider how much and why this has happened, by doing some arithmetic.
Study names Virginia 'Worst state to be a burglar'. Virginia is the worst state in the U.S. for burglars, according to a new nationwide study by a security systems company. According to statistics compiled by SimpliSafe Home Security Systems, Virginia homeowners are 46 percent less likely to be burgled than the national average. The study compares the legislative codes of all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, and contrasts maximum and minimum burglary sentences, as well as maximum fines, as well as other factors.
Cops can use radio waves to bring your car to a halt. Finding a safe way to stop fleeing cars has been a difficult problem for law enforcement for a long time. Police have tried everything from spike strips to PIT maneuvers to bring fleeing villains to a halt. Now, however, a British company has a slightly more high tech idea: radio waves. The company, known as E2V is working on a system called RF-Safe Stop that projects radio pulses which overwhelm and shutdown engine electronics.
The Editor says...
I would not want to be in the vicinity when that weapon was used. Will the police pay for knocked-out engines on nearby cars? Probably not. If the radio signal is powerful enough to kill an automobile engine, wouldn't it also kill all the electronics in the are, and wouldn't it be a severe health hazard? At the very least, this would almost certainly violate the FCC's RF exposure standards for "uncontrolled exposure areas."
State Dept Whistleblower's Emailed Hacked, Deleted. The personal e-mail account of a State Department whistle-blower was hacked, and four years worth of messages — some detailing alleged wrongdoing at the agency — were deleted, The [New York] Post has learned. The computer attack targeted the Gmail account of Diplomatic Security Service criminal investigator Richard Higbie, his lawyer, Cary Schulman, confirmed. "They took all of his e-mails and then they deleted them all," said Schulman. He said that he could not prove who was responsible for the hack job, but said the attack was "sophisticated" and called the targeting of Higbie "alarming."
19% of Americans Trust Government. According to this new Pew Research poll, very few people trust government. Let's hope it drops even lower so we can have a better shot at returning our society to a more rational, free, and productive state. The more people believe in individual liberty and taking personal responsibility for their actions the better off we all will be.
Cryptolocker ransomware has 'infected about 250,000 PCs'. A virulent form of ransomware has now infected about quarter of a million Windows computers, according to a report by security researchers. Cryptolocker scrambles users' data and then demands a fee to unencrypt it alongside a countdown clock. Dell Secureworks said that the US and UK had been worst affected.
Twitter Reportedly Blocking Links to Phil Robertson Petition Site. Plenty of Phil Robertson and Duck Dynasty fans have flocked to Twitter to voice their support for the Duck Commander, but it appears that Twitter is now blocking users from posting links to the site IStandWithPhil.com.
Twitter Apologizes for 'Mistakenly' Blocking Pro-'Duck Dynasty' Site. On Tuesday, Twitter apologized for "mistakenly" blocking the iStandWithPhil.com website, which meant users who supported the Duck Dynasty patriarch who was suspended from A&E for supposedly "anti-gay" remarks could not link to the site in their tweets. The petition demands the reinstatement of Phil Robertson and has nearly 250,000 signatures.
Ethnicity And Race Designations Required? As usual, the girl behind the front desk handed me a sheet with insurance information to verify. I did so by comparing all the numbers on the sheet with the health insurance card that I carry in my wallet, then handed the sheet back to her. She said: "You haven't completed the form. See the top right." There were two more lines to fill in. One said "ethnicity," the other "race." Never before has any insurance form in any doctor's office I have visited required such designations!
X-37B Marks One Year On Orbit. The X-37B offers a unique opportunity to not only launch things into space but get them back intact. Combine the goals of the USAF and the NRO, and there's enough justification for the cost of operating the X-37B program. So the X-37B sits calmly in orbit, quietly testing its mettle against the harsh environment of space. Amateur satellite watchers who track the spacecraft have sometimes observed orbital changes, but no really strange behaviour. The Air Force says almost nothing. The NRO says nothing at all. And X-37B normally remains out of the news headlines.
28 Pages Later: Shrouding an Act of War. American blood spilled in wars that do not attack those who attacked us on 9-11. To put this in perspective, fewer died in Pearl Harbor and we nuked the Japanese. We were told after 9-11, that it was al Qaeda, with no other state sponsors. If the allegations prove accurate, 9-11 was nothing less than an act of war by Saudi Arabia.
TSA Wants to Hire 'Economically Disadvantaged Woman Owned Small Business'. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is looking exclusively for an "economically disadvantaged woman owned small business" when it awards its next $30 million contract for security training. The agency announced a solicitation for a company to conduct training for its Inter-Modal Security and Training Exercise Program (I-Step) last week. [...] An economically disadvantaged woman is one who earns less than $350,000 a year, with a net worth not greater than $750,000.
The Editor asks...
What happened to "equal employment opportunity without regard to race or gender"?
City to dealership: Take military flags down. The City of Idaho Falls told an auto sales company to take down its flags honoring the military. "We're just here supporting the troops," said Autos 4 Less owner Jonathon Long. "We're even doing a Christmas donation box for veterans." Long was told to take these flags down after the city apparently received complaints.
The Editor says...
Car dealerships routinely use ridiculously large flags to attract attention. In west Dallas, it is often the Mexican flag. Sometimes it is an exercise in bad taste, but even the most despicable used car dealer is entitled to freedom of expression, is he not?
Homeland Security inspector general who was under probe steps down. An acting inspector general who was himself under investigation for allegations he misused his office and softened reports to keep from embarrassing the Obama administration stepped down from his job late Monday [12/16/2013]. Charles K. Edwards, who was charged with overseeing the vast Department of Homeland Security and its many bureaus and agencies since the retirement of the former inspector general, had faced a broadening Senate probe this year that focused on whether he had altered and delayed investigations to please the agency and the White House.
Convicted Terror Supporter Attends Congressional Briefing. A convicted terrorist supporter who is currently under house arrest attended a Capitol Hill briefing hosted by a pro-Muslim Brotherhood group in a congressional office building earlier this month, according to reports. Sami Al-Arian, a former engineering professor at the University of South Florida, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to aid the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in 2006. He has been under house detention in Northern Virginia since 2008 for refusing to testify in a subsequent terror financing trial. Al-Arian admitted in the plea agreement to having worked with the PIJ and other groups from the 1980s to the 1990s.
Ex-Scientology leader sues Church for harassment. Scientology members allegedly set up high-tech surveillance cameras to spy on the family of a disillusioned former leader, a bombshell harassment lawsuit against the church claims. Monique Rathbun, wife of former church bigwig turned critic Marty Rathbun, filed a suit in Comal County, Texas, saying she has been "harassed, insulted, surveilled, photographed, videotaped, defamed and humiliated" by church members, including a group called the "squirrel busters" who allegedly rented a home near the couple to spy on them.
Journalists Place Near Bottom in Poll Ranking Public Respect for Professions. Continuing a decades-long trend, members of the media placed near the bottom in a poll which asked respondents their opinions of various professions. In the Gallup survey, TV reporters were barely more popular than advertising salespeople, state-level politicians, car salesmen, members of Congress, and lobbyists with just 20 percent of respondents saying they had a favorable opinion. They were tied with lawyers. Print newspaper reporters fared slightly better at 21 points.
Report: W.H. delayed Obamacare, EPA rules till after 2012 election. In an effort to ease President Obama's reelection bid, the White House delayed the imposition of a series of regulations affecting Obamacare and environmental protection ahead of the 2012 election, according to a new report in the Washington Post.
White House delayed enacting rules ahead of 2012 election to avoid controversy. The White House systematically delayed enacting a series of rules on the environment, worker safety and health care to prevent them from becoming points of contention before the 2012 election, according to documents and interviews with current and former administration officials. Some agency officials were instructed to hold off submitting proposals to the White House for up to a year to ensure that they would not be issued before voters went to the polls, the current and former officials said.
Kermit Gosnell Gets 30 Years In Drug Sentencing. Dr. Kermit Gosnell was sentenced Monday [12/16/2013] in federal court for distribution of drugs from his West Philadelphia doctor's office. This is almost a footnote to the three consecutive life terms he is already serving for murder and other crimes.
Inside the Saudi 9/11 coverup. After the 9/11 attacks, the public was told al Qaeda acted alone, with no state sponsors. But the White House never let it see an entire section of Congress' investigative report on 9/11 dealing with "specific sources of foreign support" for the 19 hijackers, 15 of whom were Saudi nationals. It was kept secret and remains so today. President Bush inexplicably censored 28 full pages of the 800-page report. Text isn't just blacked-out here and there in this critical-yet-missing middle section. The pages are completely blank, except for dotted lines where an estimated 7,200 words once stood.
The Editor says...
In general, those of us who question the official government narrative about 9-11-2001 are mocked as "truthers" by the political left and (if you will pardon the redundancy) the news media. Eventually the truth will be fully exposed, and those of us who seek to uncover it will be vindicated. Please note that the article immediately above was published in the New York Post, not just on a web site that caters to dubious conspiracy theories.
Act of War: CIA Leak Gives "Incontrovertible Evidence" That 9/11 Was State Sponsored. If you have ever questioned the official narrative for the September 11th attacks then you have, without a doubt, been dubbed a conspiracy nut by the establishment media and those who hang on their every word. Like the Warren Commission report on the JFK assassination, the 9/11 Report assembled by a Congressional investigation is unraveling and being revealed for what it really is — nothing more than a cover story. This is no longer a conspiracy theory... it's conspiracy fact.
Obama Becomes First President to Acknowledge Existence of Area 51. According to NPR's Adam Wollner, the closest any other U.S. president has come to discussing Area 51 was when President Bill Clinton issued a presidential determination exempting the site from environmental disclosure laws. But that document only referred to the base as "the Air Force's operating location near Groom Lake, Nevada." The CIA did not acknowledge its existence until last year.
Lockheed Martin Contracted to Colonize Mars in Mars One Project. Lockheed Martin has landed a contract to build a lander to colonize Mars as a part of the Mars One Project. The bid proposed by a Dutch company says they have received over 20,000 applications to be one of the first people to not only ever set foot on Mars, but set up a permanent human colony on the red planet. The plan involves sending four people in the year 2025, funded by the Mars One foundation, with absolutely no chance of returning back to Earth once dispatched.
Meet the Robot Telemarketer Who Denies She's A Robot. The phone call came from a charming woman with a bright, engaging voice to the cell phone of a TIME Washington Bureau Chief Michael Scherer. She wanted to offer a deal on health insurance, but something was fishy. When Scherer asked point blank if she was a real person, or a computer-operated robot voice, she replied enthusiastically that she was real, with a charming laugh. But then she failed several other tests. When asked "What vegetable is found in tomato soup?" she said she did not understand the question. When asked multiple times what day of the week it was yesterday, she complained repeatedly of a bad connection.
Comrade Mandela's Secret Life. The South African Communist Party is admitting Nelson Mandela was a high-ranking member. Will the media report these facts? Or will the "myth" continue to prevail?
Private company plans US's first controlled moon landing in 40 years. A U.S. spacecraft hasn't made a controlled landing on the moon since Apollo 17 left the lunar surface on Dec. 14, 1972. That's about to change.
The Coming Global Wealth Tax. Between ObamaCare, Iran and last quarter's uptick in U.S. economic growth, taxpayers these days may be distracted from several dangers to come. But households from the United States to Europe and Japan may soon face fiscal shocks worse than any market crash. The White House and New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio aren't the only ones calling for higher taxes (especially on the wealthy), as voices from the International Monetary Fund to billionaire investor Bill Gross increasingly make the case too.
Drones [are the] secret weapon in [the] hunt for feral pigs. Feral pigs in America's deep South are a major problem for farmers and civilians alike, with the porcine predators causing an estimated $1.5 billion annually in damage to crops and wildlife. Enter the Louisiana Hog Control, an extermination company launched in 2011 by a couple of engineers determined to make a dent in the thriving pig population.
Republican doctors running for Congress amid ObamaCare rollout fiasco. Eleven Republican doctors are running for the Senate, hoping that voters will see their medical expertise as an asset amid the administration's botched rollout of ObamaCare [...] A 2012 Gallup survey rated medical doctors as the third most-trustworthy profession, below only nurses and pharmacists. In contrast, members of Congress were second from the bottom, considered more trustworthy than only care salespeople.
US's top secret launch nuclear launch code was frighteningly simple. For nearly 20 years, the secret code to authorize launching U.S. nuclear missiles, and starting World War III, was terrifyingly simple and even noted down on a checklist. From 1962, when John F Kennedy instituted PAL encoding on nuclear weapons, until 1977, the combination to fire the devastating missiles at the height of the Cold War was just 00000000. This was chosen by Strategic Air Command in an effort to make the weapons as quick and as easy to launch as possible, as reported by Today I Found Out.
Detroit bankruptcy moves forward as judge rules city can shed debt. Detroit's historic bankruptcy will move forward after a judge ruled Tuesday [12/3/2013] that the financially crumbling city is eligible to shed billions in debt.
Obama Admin Drafted Memos on Trillion-Dollar Coin During Debt Ceiling Showdown. Fans of economic policy may recall that during one of the many recent debt ceiling showdowns, the idea to mint a trillion-dollar platinum coin came to the fore. It turns out that the Obama administration took the idea seriously enough to have the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel draft memos pertaining to its legality, a fact belied by the White House's out-of-hand dismissal of the option in January.
U-M Paul DeWolf murder case: How stolen laptop's 'Find my Mac' app led to arrests. It had been more than two months since a popular University of Michigan medical student was shot to death, and police seemingly had few leads. But on Oct. 3 — 45 miles from where student Paul DeWolf was killed in his Ann Arbor fraternity — a man in Detroit attempted to log onto a computer he'd just purchased through Craigslist. The man didn't know it, but the Mac laptop had been stolen from DeWolf's next-door neighbor around the time he was killed. That computer had an app that would lead police directly to it, and to the two suspects now charged in DeWolf's killing.
DeKalb County juror form lists "slave" as occupation. A new online juror questionnaire offered by the DeKalb County Court listed "slave" as an occupational option. Court Administrator Cathy McCumber told 11Alive, the questionnaire went online a month ago, but is based off an internal list that's been used for 13 years.
Inside a Twitter Robot Factory. One day earlier this month, Jim Vidmar bought 1,000 fake Twitter accounts for $58 from an online vendor in Pakistan. He then programmed the accounts to "follow" the Twitter account of rapper Dave Murrell, who calls himself Fyrare and pays Mr. Vidmar to boost his standing on the social network. Mr. Vidmar's fake accounts also rebroadcast Mr. Murrell's tweets, amplifying his Twitter voice.
Mother claims flu shot is responsible for death of teenage son. A Utah mother is claiming that a flu shot is responsible for the recent death of her 19-year-old son. Chandler Webb received the shot on October 15 during a routine physical, after he had decided to go on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The day after the exam, Chandler became extremely ill — suffering from vomiting and headaches. A little more than a week later, Chandler slipped into a coma and spent nearly a month on life support at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah. While at the hospital, Chandler underwent a variety tests, but his doctors couldn't confirm what had caused his illness.
The Editor says...
Here in Dallas, the County government has been aggressively promoting and marketing flu shots for several years. As for me, I'd rather take my chances with the germs than the government, because the people who are lining up for flu shots don't really know what's in it! After making flu shots a matter of routine for several years, the government may someday add some extra ingredients.
Lefties fabricate a new reason to hate online college courses. The ability of people to enroll in online college course is a grave threat to the power of professors. First and most obviously, it is low cost, high quality competition. If students can listen to lectures by superstar professors from elite schools like Harvard or Stanford for free or nearly free, they might not be so anxious to fork over tuition for the local talent at a second or third tier institution. The faculty at San Jose State University understands this very well, and have revolted against their institution participating in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
Don't trust anything on Wikipedia. Based on Wikipedia's comical ignorance of a subject I know well — New York City real estate — I'd take it a step further for the entire "people's encyclopedia" site: Believe nothing it says about anything. It's no secret Wikipedia's often bonkers. Teachers warn students, and editors warn reporters. Even so, the myth endures that it's a viable research tool that "usually" gets it right, even if a touch of skepticism occasionally comes in handy.
A Russian GPS Using U.S. Soil Stirs Spy Fears. In recent months, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon have been quietly waging a campaign to stop the State Department from allowing Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, to build about half a dozen of these structures, known as monitor stations, on United States soil, several American officials said. They fear that these structures could help Russia spy on the United States and improve the precision of Russian weaponry, the officials said.
Ex-Fed official: 'I'm sorry for QE'. There's a real question as to whether the massive bond-buying program known as quantitative easing was worth the cost, former Federal Reserve official Andrew Huszar said Tuesday [11/12/2013]. "My argument is not that QE was not at all useful," he said on CNBC's "Fast Money." "I believe that at the time, it was just one more tool that the Fed introduced to try to help the economy," he said. "My point, ultimately, is the idea that very quickly into QE, it started becoming obvious that it wasn't working in the way that it was supposed to."
The secret world of cargo ships. [Scroll down] A system to scan 100 percent of all U.S.-bound cargo was to be in place by July 2012. Six foreign ports signed on to the 100 percent requirement, but by February 2012 five had dropped out. The process was too expensive and too difficult. In reality, scanning every single U.S.-bound container is an outlandish idea: Customs officials attempting to scan all U.S.-bound containers leaving one Hong Kong terminal managed only 5 percent. The authors of a study commissioned by the EU thought the 100 percent target akin to a trade barrier and undiplomatically said so. The technology to do the scanning isn't yet good enough; the blockages would choke ports.
Obama's Portable Zone of Secrecy (Some Assembly Required). When President Obama travels abroad, his staff packs briefing books, gifts for foreign leaders and something more closely associated with camping than diplomacy: a tent. Even when Mr. Obama travels to allied nations, aides quickly set up the security tent — which has opaque sides and noise-making devices inside — in a room near his hotel suite. When the president needs to read a classified document or have a sensitive conversation, he ducks into the tent to shield himself from secret video cameras and listening devices.
HHS to issue sweeping mental health rules. The Obama administration will issue long awaited regulations Friday [11/8/2013] that require insurers to treat mental illness and addiction the same as physical illnesses, current and former lawmakers said. In testimony Thursday before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee, mental health advocate and former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius would announce the action during a speech in Atlanta. Members of the panel familiar with the rule-making also said the regulations would be issued Friday.
Marvel Comics Introduces Muslim Superhero. Marvel Comics latest minority superhero is a teenaged Muslim-American girl of Pakistani descent who will take on the currently unused Ms. Marvel persona. The teen will be named Kamala Kahn, a Muslim girl going to high school and growing up in Jersey City, New Jersey. For the last few years the comics giant has been engaged in an effort to introduce "diversity" into a comics universe historically dominated by white, male superhero characters.
Obamacare Woes Put Shutdown Rationale in New Light. For three years Republicans warned that this contraption was so bulky and poorly built that it would have trouble getting off the ground — and that Americans would hate it. Ignored or marginalized by the media, these critics are now having their say.
Vets group halts donations after official refuses to stand for Pledge. A north suburban parks official says he's standing up for the U.S. Constitution by sitting down during the Pledge of Allegiance. But Morton Grove Park District Commissioner Dan Ashta's symbolic actions have spurred an ideological tug of war with a local veterans group, which recently halted cash donations to the Park District until its entire board stands for the pledge at park board meetings.
8,400 Security Clearance Holders Owe IRS $85 Million in Unpaid Taxes. More than 8,000 federal workers and contractors with security clearances owe $85 million in unpaid taxes to the IRS, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The GAO warned that individuals who have significant debt and access to classified documents pose potential security risks.
Every state's richest person: America's wealthiest people from sea to shining sea. A new list out Tuesday [10/29/2013] reveals that America's wealth isn't just for the coastal elite by showing just how rich each state's most monied top dog really is. From Hawaii, where real estate mogul Jay Shidler reigns supreme to Maine, where L.L. Bean chairman Leon Gorman looks out onto his outerwear empire, these are the richest in each.
Obamacare launch spawns 700+ cyber-squatters capitalizing on Healthcare.gov, state exchanges. More than 700 websites have been created with names playing off of Obamacare or Healthcare.gov, making it likely that some Americans will mistakenly hand over private information to unknown third-parties.
USS Forrestal, the Navy's first supercarrier, sold for 1 cent. It's an inauspicious fate for a ship with a colorful — and tragic — history. It's perhaps best known for a 1967 incident in which stray voltage triggered an accidental explosion that struck a plane on the flight deck whose cockpit was occupied by a young John McCain. A chain reaction of blasts and fires ultimately killed 134 men and injured more than 300. But its rich past and nearly four decades of service are not enough to spare it.
Broke U.S. Resumes Spending. What would you think of a person who earned $24,000 a year but spent $35,000? Suppose on top of that, he was already $170,000 in debt. You'd tell him to get his act together — stop spending so much or he'd destroy his family, impoverish his kids and wreck their future. Of course, no individual could live so irresponsibly for long. But tack on eight more zeroes to that budget and you have the checkbook for our out-of-control, big-spending federal government.
There's no actual debt ceiling right now. The fiscal deal passed by Congress on Wednesday evening to re-open the government and get around the $16.4 trillion limit on borrowing doesn't actually increase the debt limit. It just temporarily suspends enforcement of it. That means Americans have no idea how much debt their government is going to rack up between now and Feb. 7, when the limits are supposed to go back into place and will have to be raised. There is no dollar amount set for how much debt the government can accumulate between now and then.
Loophole will allow government to spend without limit until February.
Surprise! Debt-ceiling deal gives Obama a blank check. It's the ultimate sweetheart deal for a free-spending federal government: Wednesday night's [10/16/2013] debt deal didn't actually raise the limit on America's credit card, but instead removed it entirely until February 7, 2014. Whether through legislative sleight-of-hand or something less sinister, the law of the land now permits the U.S. to run up new debts for 16 weeks without consequences, and forbids the Treasury Department from enforcing the debt limit that ordinarily keeps spending from spiraling out of control.
The International Monetary Fund Lays The Groundwork For Global Wealth Confiscation. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) quietly dropped a bomb in its October Fiscal Monitor Report. Titled "Taxing Times," the report paints a dire picture for advanced economies with high debts that fail to aggressively "mobilize domestic revenue." It goes on to build a case for drastic measures and recommends a series of escalating income and consumption tax increases culminating in the direct confiscation of assets.
Nobel Peace Prize Again Goes To Group That Has Done ... What, Exactly? Alfred Nobel would be rolling over in his grave to see some of the absurd choices his beloved peace prize is now drawing. No, it wasn't just the award to global terror pioneer Yasser Arafat in 1994. Or the one that went to the bureaucrat-filled, bankrupt European Union in 2012. There also was the premature award to just-elected President Obama in 2009, who had done literally nothing but get elected president of the U.S. on a make-America-smaller platform.
Air Force fires general in charge of ICBMs. The Air Force is firing the two-star general in charge of all of its nuclear missiles in response to an investigation into alleged personal misbehavior, officials told The Associated Press on Friday [10/11/2013].
Air Force Fires Two Star General in Charge of Nuke Missile. The Air Force's two star general in charge of the units responsible for its 450 nuclear missiles has been fired "due to a loss of trust and confidence in his leadership and judgment." Maj. Gen. Michael Carey has been removed from command of the 20th Air Force, according to an Air Force statement. That command is responsible for the three wings that maintain control of the 450 intercontinental ballistic missiles scattered in missile silos across the northern plains.
NBC/WSJ poll: 60 percent say fire every member of Congress. Throw the bums out. That's the message 60 percent of Americans are sending to Washington in a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, saying if they had the chance to vote to defeat and replace every single member of Congress, including their own representative, they would. Just 35 percent say they would not.
Liberal heckling sparks stream of one-liners from Ted Cruz. [Scroll down] To another heckler, Cruz responded: "Ma'am, thank you for being here. I wish you would participate in the democratic process through speaking respectfully. ... It seems that President Obama's paid political operatives are out in force today. And you know why? Because the men and women in this room scare the living daylights out of them."
Hard truths: Obama's report card 1,724 days in. Six out of ten Americans now believe their federal government has become too powerful. That's the largest percentage this century and one point higher than the previous top, 21 months into the Obama administration.
We Are All Tea Partiers Now: Americans Say No to Debt Ceiling Increase. A new Fox News poll shows that a majority of American voters — 58 percent — would vote "no" on raising the debt ceiling. Only 37 percent of American voters would vote to raise the debt ceiling. An even bigger majority — 62 percent — would only vote to raise the debt ceiling after "major cuts in government spending."
Ford lets cars find parking spots. Ford Motor Co. says it has developed a car that can sniff out open parking spaces ahead — and then park itself in that space, even without a driver behind the wheel. [...] Ultrasonic sensors can detect an open parallel, diagonal or perpendicular parking space ahead while a vehicle is traveling up to 18 miles per hour, with enough lead time that the driver doesn't overshoot the space. The driver can then brake, shift to neutral, and press and hold the Fully Assisted Parking Aid button in the car.
The Editor says...
This might have been an amusing college-level programming project, but it is a solution for which there is no problem. If you can't put your car into a parking space without making contact with the surrounding cars, and if you need a computer to take over that task, you should not be driving a car. Press releases about technological "breakthroughs" of this sort serve only as free advertising, because the perception of cutting-edge technology will get mentioned on the air every time.
FBI raids on homes in Texas, Michigan remain a mystery. Federal officials on Monday remained silent on why they raided homes in Texas and Michigan this weekend that property records indicate are owned in part by a Houston art appraiser.
The Editor says...
I find it hard to believe there's a valid reason for all the secrecy about what they were looking for, or what they found. My guess, based on the treatment of Gibson Guitar, is that the "art appraiser" said or did something Barack H. Obama didn't like.
Mugged by a Mug Shot Online. Mug shots are merely artifacts of an arrest, not proof of a conviction, and many people whose images are now on display were never found guilty, or the charges against them were dropped. But these pictures can cause serious reputational damage, [...]
Who's Afraid of Peer Review? [Scroll down] The goal was to create a credible but mundane scientific paper, one with such grave errors that a competent peer reviewer should easily identify it as flawed and unpublishable. Submitting identical papers to hundreds of journals would be asking for trouble. But the papers had to be similar enough that the outcomes between journals could be comparable. So I created a scientific version of Mad Libs.
How Soviet Intelligence Promoted Christian Marxism. When you can't beat them, join them. That's what the Soviet Union did to curtail Christianity's anti-communist influence. In a new book titled Disinformation, a covert campaign to discredit Pope Piux XII is revealed. In addition, the Soviets tried to influence the church with a Marxist-friendly version of Christianity.
No astroturf here.
Tea Party Patriots Have Record Turnout for Cruz on Tele-Townhall. The Tea Party Patriots blew away expectations at last night's tele-townhall on the Continuing Resolution with 104,000 participants for Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK). The previous record for an event was three weeks ago when 67,000 participants attended. TPP Co-founder Jenny Beth Martin stated, "no special measures were taken to draw the crowd — only the standard Facebook post for two hours and a robocall earlier in the day."
U.S. Federal Housing Administration to tap $1.7 billion in taxpayer funds. The U.S. Federal Housing Administration said on Friday [9/27/2013] it will draw $1.7 billion in cash from the U.S. Treasury to help cover losses from troubled loans, marking the first time in its 79-year history that it has needed aid.
The Pentagon's biggest, baddest — and costliest — piece of hardware ever. When the USS Gerald R. Ford is finally christened, the massive aircraft carrier will be the biggest and baddest piece of Pentagon hardware ever built — and, critics note, the most expensive. The 1,106-foot ship, under construction in Newport News, Va., has seen cost overruns push its expected price tag up some 22 percent to nearly $13 billion, with new technology dictating changes since work began in 2007.
Craig James accuses FOX Sports of religious discrimination. Former Patriots running back Craig James, who lost his job commentating on college football for FOX Sports after just one week, now says he was the victim of religious discrimination, and he has hired a lawyer to do something about it. James spent one week working for FOX Sports Southwest before FOX announced that he would not be back, citing anti-gay comments James had made. James now says those comments were expressions of his religious beliefs, and he says FOX's statement about his termination was tantamount to a ban on religious people working at the network.
Broadcaster Fired for Opposing Same-Sex Marriage Blasts Fox Sports for Religious Discrimination. This is not just a blatant case of religious discrimination in violation of law. It is not merely an example of yet another step in the media's attempt to silence those of a traditional perspective on same-sex marriage. It is a story that traces up much higher in the national FOX Sports organization than the regional network.
Bank of America ordered to pay $2.2 million to black Charlotte job seekers. Bank of America has been ordered to pay $2.2 million to more than 1,000 black job applicants turned down for positions in Charlotte after a federal judge ruled that the bank racially discriminated against them, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Monday [9/23/2013].
The Editor says...
It sounds like a trap was set for the bank. Do you really believe that in a city with a population of 750,000, a thousand people — all of them black — applied for work at the same bank, and they were all turned down, and then they all got together and hired a lawyer? Isn't that a little far-fetched?
A River of American Money Flows to D.C.. To be sure, Americans' money is flowing to the nation's capital. But it's not flowing back. Indeed, the metropolitan area of Washington, D.C., a city with little identifiable industrial output, dominates the Census Bureau's newly updated list of America's wealthiest counties. [...] Based on the median family income in 2012, the wealthiest county in America — by far — is Arlington Co., Va., located just across the Potomac River from D.C. In fact, Arlington's median family income ($137,216) is more than $10,000 higher than that of any other county in the United States.
Atomic bomb nearly exploded over North Carolina in 1961, report says. The U.S. Air Force nearly detonated an atomic bomb over North Carolina in 1961 that would have been 260 times more powerful than the device that destroyed Hiroshima, according to a declassified report published Friday [9/20/2013] in The Guardian. The 1969 document, obtained by investigative journalist Eric Schlosser under the Freedom of Information Act, details the Jan. 23, 1961, B-52 crash near Goldsboro, North Carolina, that saw two Mark 39 hydrogen bombs break up in mid-air. The report said that one of the two bombs behaved exactly as nuclear weapon is designed to function in wartime and that only a single low-voltage switch prevented detonation.
US nearly detonated atomic bomb over North Carolina. The document, obtained by the investigative journalist Eric Schlosser under the Freedom of Information Act, gives the first conclusive evidence that the US was narrowly spared a disaster of monumental proportions when two Mark 39 hydrogen bombs were accidentally dropped over Goldsboro, North Carolina on 23 January 1961. The bombs fell to earth after a B-52 bomber broke up in mid-air, and one of the devices behaved precisely as a nuclear weapon was designed to behave in warfare: its parachute opened, its trigger mechanisms engaged, and only one low-voltage switch prevented untold carnage.
Acquittal: Tom DeLay's Conviction Overturned. Ronnie Earle's ridiculous, political case against former Rep. Tom DeLay has finally collapsed. An appeals court has not only overturned DeLay's conviction, but has ordered him acquitted of all charges.
Appeals court overturns DeLay conviction, acquits him. For the second time in the last few years, a high-profile corruption prosecution against a Republican member of Congress has collapsed. This time, it's Tom DeLay that gets to celebrate, as an appeals court not only overturned his conviction but ordered an acquittal.
Tom DeLay money laundering verdict overturned. For Tom DeLay, it was a day of triumph in the arena where he once held sway. Walking through the halls of the U.S. Capitol, the once powerful Republican was greeted by cheers, hugs and slaps on the back from friends and former colleagues. The images are a stark contrast to DeLay's darker days in the not so distant past.
DeLay: 'I can get my concealed weapons license back'. Mr. DeLay had been convicted by a Texas jury of laundering money through several political groups in order to help federal candidates win elections in Texas, but an appeals court said the money-shifting was legal and tossed the conviction and officially acquitted him of the charges.
Tom Delay conviction overturned. The wheels of justice have finally ground into dust the conviction of former Majority Leader Tom Delay, whose brilliant political career was ruined by a politicized indictment undertaken by a left wing district attorney named Ronny Earle.
DeLay conviction overturned. An Austin appeals court on Thursday [9/19/2013] overturned the conviction of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on charges related to a scheme to influence Texas elections. The vote by the 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin was 2-1. DeLay's three-year prison sentence has been on hold as his case has made its way through the appellate process.
DeLay's Vindication, Texas's Shame. It is a scandal that there has been and will be no serious jail time in the matter of former Republican majority leader Tom DeLay — Ronnie Earle, the hyperpartisan Democratic prosecutor whose risible case against DeLay has just been finally thrown out by the Third District Texas Court of Appeals, richly deserves to be measured for an all-orange wardrobe. After eleven years, the matter of Mr. DeLay's fund-raising in the 2002 election cycle has been finally put to rest, with Mr. Earle's case having been vivisected by Justice Melissa Goodwin, [...]
Washington Sees Incomes Soar as Most of U.S. Declines. American incomes have tumbled over the last decade. But for many people in Washington, D.C., it's been something of a party. [...] [The D.C.] economy is expanding faster than the broader nation, and its property market is soaring, thanks in part to increased federal-government spending and an influx of federal contractors, lawyers and consultants.
Germany Could Face Electricity Customer Revolt. Der Spiegel, Germany's leading weekly news magazine, reports this week that Germany's aggressive renewables program "has come with a hefty price tag for consumers," especially the poor. Though no immediate action is expected before national elections in two weeks, there may be new initiatives soon after, as "government advisors are calling for a completely new start."
U.S. soldiers accepting cash, drugs for Mexican drug cartel contract hits. Mexican drug syndicates have been offering cash to American military members to act as contract killers in murder-for-hire plots in the United States. Experts worry this line of work will only become more enticing for vets who struggle to find civilian jobs after serving in combat zones and wary military recruits look for gang connections to potentially use their skills unlawfully.
Quran-Burning Pastor Terry Jones' Arrest Could Be Unconstitutional, Experts Say. Terry Jones, the Quran-burning pastor based in Gainesville, Fla., says his Wednesday [9/11/2013] arrest by Polk County police was pre-planned to prevent his First Amendment-protected book bonfire. Free speech experts say if that's true, his arrest was unconstitutional. Jones was arrested after traveling in a truck that police say was towing 2,998 kerosene-soaked Qurans inside a large grill. He said he intended to burn one Quran for each of the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
'Eco-school' that opened just three years ago is already leaking. When it opened its timber doors three years ago, this £7million 'eco primary school' was applauded for its environmentally friendly credentials. It was heated by solar power and its plumbing system relied on rain collected from the roof, which was made of locally grown sweet chestnut. Sadly, the zero-carbon building is not quite as sustainable as the designers had hoped.
Venezuelan Gov't launches mandatory news broadcast. Venezuelan President, Nicolás Maduro announced on Tuesday [9/10/2013] at a public event that the Government would launch a "Truth News Broadcast" via mandatory radio and television broadcasts to air his Administration performance.
A Million Muslims and Two Million Bikers. With an additional three million people descending on Washington, DC, for two separate rallies, one would've thought the National Mall would've been difficult to navigate yesterday afternoon. It wasn't. The Million American March Against Fear, sponsored by American Muslim Political action Committee, was only sparsely attended. With about two dozen people present, planners' estimates fell short by about 999,976 attendees.
Dozens Attend 9/11 Million Muslim March. As of 12:35 PM EST on Wednesday, September 11, the much-ballyhooed Million Muslim March on the National Mall had a grand total of 25 attendees — including Professor Cornel West. The rally has thus far included some "prayers, speeches, and a moment of silence" for victims of the September 11, 2001 Islamist terror attacks.
Will US Media Take Note of Growing Values-Driven Spanish-Latin American Coca-Cola Boycott? Catholic News Agency is ahead of the curve on a likely major development affecting a U.S. household name. The Coca-Cola Company's sponsorship of a "controversial Spanish reality (TV) show" ("disgusting" would appear to be a better word) in Spain is blowing up in its face, and not only because of the content of the program itself. The caustic reaction of a Coke executive to those who have criticized his company's support of the program has sparked calls for a boycott of the company's products which seems to have the potential to cut into the company's sales volume.
California judge rules on the side of sound science — no warning labels required. In the culmination of a five-week trial, California's Judge Brick ruled that health warnings would not be necessary on various fruit and vegetable products, 100% juices and baby foods, from companies including Del Monte, Dole, Gerber, Hain-Çelestial, J.M. Smucker, Seneca Foods and Welch's. The demand for such labeling was sparked by an environmental advocacy group, the Environmental Law Foundation, [...]
Shooting breaks out — at anti-violence vigil. Charlotte's recent spate of violence took a new twist Thursday night when gunfire broke out at an anti-violence vigil in the city's Villa Heights neighborhood.
Marines retreat on court-martial charges in Taliban urination case. The Marine Corps has suddenly dropped criminal charges against an officer in the infamous Taliban urination video case, heading off what promised to be an embarrassing pre-trial hearing for the commandant on Wednesday [9/4/2013]. Defense attorneys for Capt. James V. Clement had won a judge's order, over objections from Marine prosecutors, for two staff attorneys to testify in open court about how senior commanders had interfered in the case to get a guilty verdict.
Congressmen Intentionally Remain 'Low Information Voters' on Obamacare. On 9/10 Tea Party Patriots will descend on Washington to provide their federal representatives with something they apparently don't have — a clue. That clue is that the citizens want Congress to exempt America from Obamacare, just like they've exempted big special interest groups.
Tea Party Groups Nationwide Unite Against American Attack on Syria. Tea Party activists appear to be virtually unanimous in their support for the position taken by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who said on Tuesday [9/3/2013] the United States "should not serve as Al-Qaeda's Air Force."
What's the worst that could happen in your state? An interactive map.
Russia releases 100-page report blaming Syrian rebels for a chemical weapons attack. Russia says it has compiled a 100-page report detailing what it says is evidence that Syrian rebels, not forces loyal to President Bashar Assad, were behind a deadly sarin gas attack in an Aleppo suburb earlier this year.
Hackers find weaknesses in car computer systems. In recent demonstrations, hackers have shown they can slam a car's brakes at freeway speeds, jerk the steering wheel and even shut down the engine — all from their laptop computers.
220,000 pounds of fish poisoned in Chinese river in latest pollution scandal. Authorities in China have scooped up around 220,000 pounds of dead fish today that they say were poisoned by ammonia from a chemical plant. Locals said dead fish covered the surface of the Fuhe River in central China and stretched for about 25 miles.
The Editor asks...
Where are the environmental activists and the animal rights people now? They are all completely silent, because the offense took place in a Communist country.
This sounds like satire, but maybe it isn't.
Ex-squaddie changes sex and converts to Islam. A former soldier has gone from downing pints with the lads — to having a sex change and converting to Islam. Lucy Vallender, 28, said she is finally being "true to herself" after becoming Britain's first transgender Muslim. Defiant Lucy — who used to be a TA private called Laurens — has become the second wife of a devout Muslim. Lucy, who used to live in Cirencester, wed her online sweetheart without telling him she used to be a man. Now she prays five times a day and wears a full burkha [...]
The Editor says...
This story is a liberal tabloid newspaper's dream come true: It includes polygamy, a transsexual freak, a Muslim man-woman in a burkha, long-distance courting over the internet, and a subtle slap at the military. Any bets on how soon he/she will be stoned, doused with acid, or shot, when his/her new husband finds out he/she used to be a man?
Alleged chemical weapons sites can't be bombed safely: experts. Bombing stockpiles of chemical weapons — purposely or accidentally — will likely kill nearby civilians in an accidental nerve agent release, create a long-lasting environmental catastrophe or both, experts said.
Pentagon knew in 2012 that it would take 75,000 ground troops to secure Syria's chemical weapons facilities. Securing Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles and the facilities that produced them would likely require the U.S. to send more than 75,000 ground troops into the Middle Eastern country, MailOnline learned Wednesday [9/4/2013]. That estimate comes from a secret memorandum the U.S. Department of Defense prepared for President Obama in early 2012.
The More Participants Used Facebook in a Michigan Study, the Worse They Felt. For $20 and the chance to win an iPad, participants agreed to answer five survey questions texted to them five times a day over two weeks and a more broad survey at the beginning and end of the study. After two weeks, the team tabulated the data and found some fairly unambiguous results. Participants who logged into Facebook more often tended to suffer a diminished sense of well-being ("how do you feel right now") moment to moment and lower overall life satisfaction at the end of the period.
Tea Party Leader Who Endorsed McConnell Opponent Is Registered Democrat. A prominent Kentucky Tea Party leader who endorsed the Republican primary challenger to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is a registered Democrat who signed a pledge to support Democratic policies and principles while running for state representative in 2012.
NY case puts N-word use among blacks on trial. A federal jury has rejected the argument that use of the N-word among blacks can be a culturally acceptable term of love and endearment, deciding its use in the workplace is hostile and discriminatory no matter what.
The problem with commercial drones: Sometimes they crash. Small drones are regulated like radio-controlled airplanes, in that they aren't really subject to much regulation at all, beyond guidelines that say they should be kept under 400 feet and stay clear of populated areas. While drones are technically banned from commercial use, the Federal Aviation Administration rarely punishes companies that use them.
These guys are definitely not law school material.
Gun-carrying criminals taunting NYPD cops after stop-frisk ruling. "You can't stop me! You can't do that no more! There are new rules!" suspect Steven Sidbury, 21, allegedly yelled at officers as they approached him in crime-riddled East New York last week. The cops walked over to Sidbury when they spotted a suspiciously heavy object in the pocket of his hoodie outside 225 Wortman Ave. in Brooklyn just before midnight Thursday. He taunted them over stop-and-frisk, then ran and tripped — and a loaded .38-caliber revolver dropped out of his jacket, law-enforcement sources told The [New York] Post.
The VA's Backlog of Unprocessed Claims Swells Under Obama-Shinseki. [Scroll down] Meanwhile, albeit largely ignored by the mainstream media, Obama's own veterans affairs "scandal" was unfolding — an enormous backlog of veterans claims. In 2011, the claims backlog ballooned by 155 percent. To its credit, the Washington Post is now covering this matter. And the more it probes, the worse the matter looks.
Despite backlogs, VA disability claims processors get bonuses. While veterans waited longer than ever in recent years for their wartime disability compensation, the Department of Veterans Affairs gave its workers millions of dollars in bonuses for "excellent" performances that effectively encouraged them to avoid claims that needed extra work to document veterans' injuries, a News21 investigation has found.
New Obama Scandal Erupts: Trump Targeted. [Scroll down] Then on Thursday [8/22/2013], Obama himself meets "privately" with his buddy the Attorney General of New York, Eric Schneiderman. Two days later? This headline in Politico: ["]N.Y. sues 'Trump University'["] Coincidence?
Houston Could Add 80,000 Jobs in 2013. So many jobs are coming to Houston top oil companies from around the world are building new office spaces to accommodate their new employees. In fact, banks are loaning money to companies even if the developers do not have a tenant. Texas's economy is growing and grew 4.8% last year. They added 100,000 jobs and Houston alone could add 80,000 this year.
U.S. agency says Michael Jackson estate owes $702 million in taxes. The estate of pop music legend Michael Jackson owes $702 million in federal taxes and penalties, the Internal Revenue Service charged in U.S. Tax Court, accusing the estate of undervaluing some of the star's assets by hundreds of millions of dollars.
CIA Authors "Secret Key" Unlocks CIA Redactions. "I was in the belly of the beast. I began to see the lengths to which the CIA will go to conceal unconstitutional operations, hide information from Congress and silence anyone inside who challenges it." Those are the words of Kevin M. Shipp, a former category 1, highly decorated CIA agent [...]
Woman Settles With Chicago Over $100,000 Parking Fine. A Chicago woman has settled with the city of Chicago after she was left with more than $100,000 in parking fines when her ex-boyfriend abandoned her car in an inaccessible airport parking lot for nearly three years.
The Editor says...
Common sense would suggest a ceiling on parking fines, perhaps equal to the auction value of the offending vehicle. But most traffic fines and parking fines have only a thin connection to common sense or public safety — they are all about raising money.
Nonprofits Take to the Air. From October 15 to October 29, the Federal Communications Commission will be accepting applications for low-power FM radio licenses — community radio stations that broadcast at 100 watts or less, typically listenable within a roughly 5-mile radius. Organizations must be locally owned, not-for-profit and be able to identify an unused frequency in their area.
The Editor says...
I could easily identify unused frequencies in my area, except that the big-money broadcasters own several stations apiece, which used to be illegal. This action by the FCC will put the finishing touches on total bedlam on the FM broadcast band, which is exactly the kind of situation that the FCC was created to prevent.
Suspect in Huntington Beach riots arrested after "liking" his photo on police dept's Facebook page. When the Huntington Beach Police Department posted a series of photos to its Facebook page on August 7th, asking for assistance in identifying some of the suspects involved in some of that day's activities, Luis Rodriguez was the feature in photo #15. Apparently the temptation was too much for Rodriguez to resist. He "liked" the photo of himself, a mock-worthy move that wasn't lost on viewers of the post.
What a tough life they have!
White House Press Corps: We're Prisoners of Obama's Vacation. Members of the White House press corps went on record Sunday [8/18/2013] complaining about what it's like to follow the President around on vacations such as his present one in Martha's Vineyard. Some even said they're prisoners of Obama's vacation.
The Editor says...
Years ago, many members of the press complained about having to spend so much time in Crawford, Texas. It's hard to imagine that Martha's Vineyard is such a rough place to spend a week.
Feds lose another case against employers using credit, criminal reports to screen applicants. A Maryland court has dismissed a lawsuit against an events-services company accused by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of discriminatory hiring practices, a setback for a federal agency that increasingly argues the use of credit reports and criminal background checks can disproportionately impact minorities. The judge stated that using such checks can in some cases be discriminatory. However, the EEOC "bears the burden of applying reliable expert testimony and statistical analysis that demonstrates disparate impact stemming from a specific employment practice before such a violation can be found. ... The EEOC has failed to do so in this case."
The press is suddenly interested in the citizenship of presidential candidates.
Ted Cruz releases birth certificate. [Senator Ted] Cruz was born in Canada in 1970, to an American mother and Cuban father. By virtue of his mother's status, Cruz instantly became a U.S. citizen. He released his birth certificate to the Dallas Morning News, verifying what he has previously asserted. [...] As the Dallas Morning News points out, some legal experts say that Cruz also became a Canadian citizen by virtue of being born there, and must renounce his citizenship there, lest he remain a citizen of both countries. But Cruz's office says that so far as it knows, the senator has no Canadian citizenship.
Ted Cruz Releases Birth Certificate, Is Eligible to Run for President, Canadian Parliament. Texas Senator and potential 2016 candidate for the Republican nomination Ted Cruz released his birth certificate to the Dallas Morning News on Sunday, in an attempt to quell a minor birther movement that has questioned Cruz's American citizenship and eligibility to be president.
This is reason enough to leave Facebook, if you didn't have plenty of reasons already:
Facebook Group Says 'Virgin Mary Should've Aborted'. Bible-believing Facebook users who are members of the group, "Catholics & Protestants Against FB Religious Discrimination" led the online fight to have the page taken down — and succeeded. But, they didn't have long to celebrate. As the religious group reports, Facebook just reversed its decision. Now, the newly republished "Virgin Mary Should've Aborted" page has over 8,000 likes.
Defended murderers and pedophiles? New ICE boss' background called into question. The acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a former criminal defense attorney who represented accused and convicted murderers, sex offenders and pedophiles and fought for the release of violent convicted offenders — a background some critics say makes him a less than ideal choice to lead the nation's second-largest law enforcement agency.
CVS is now requiring ID to buy nail polish remover. Nail polish remover has become an age restricted, controlled substance. A week ago, CVS has instituted a policy in the Washington D.C. region that anyone who purchases nail polish remover from one of their stores will have their ID scanned and their purchases tracked. Nail polish is removed by acetone, a colorless, flammable liquid which is also used as paint thinner and it would seem, as an ingredient necessary for making methamphetamine.
FCC approves rate cuts for inmates' interstate phone calls. Over the objections of groups such as the Idaho Sheriffs' Association, the FCC set a top rate of 25 cents a minute for collect calls and 21 cents a minute for prepaid calls. Current rates can be roughly four times higher. The commission also directed that rates be "cost-based," which rules out certain considerations that have increased contract costs."
'Sliders' steal from cars as you pump gas. Thieves now brazenly steal while you're pumping gas. It's been happening across the country, from Florida to Texas to Kentucky to Washington, D.C., according to reports on NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America. Women seem to be primary targets in what are usually drive-by purse-snatchings.
Man Accused of Blowing Up Dog Not Charged With Animal Cruelty. A man accused of blowing up his daughter's dog because he was mad at her is being held on $500,000 bail, but not for harming the pet pooch. "In the animal cruelty statute in the state of Washington it talks about animal suffering," Undersherriff Dave Cox told ABC News. Since the dog died instantaneously and didn't suffer before it died, "the prosecutor was concerned about that verbiage," Cox said.
Exclusive: FBI allowed informants to commit 5,600 crimes. The FBI gave its informants permission to break the law at least 5,658 times in a single year, according to newly disclosed documents that show just how often the nation's top law enforcement agency enlists criminals to help it battle crime.
Extreme irony — EPA rules shut down the mother of all weather conspiracy theories. The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) — a subject of fascination for many hams and the target of conspiracy theorists and anti-government activists — has closed down. [... ] The proximate cause of HAARP's early May shutdown was less fiscal than environmental, Keeney said. As he explained it, the diesel generators on site no longer pass Clean Air Act muster. Repairing them to meet EPA standards will run $800,000.
Homeland Security's Future Home: A Former Mental Hospital. In the months after Sept. 11, the Bush administration and the U.S. Congress decided that Americans would be safer from terrorists if they combined 22 federal agencies into a single unit — including the Coast Guard, the Customs Service, the Secret Service, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Transportation Security Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Infrastructure Protection Center, the Federal Computer Incident Response Center, and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, to name just a few.
Angela Corey's team reportedly destroyed evidence in Zimmerman trial. During George Zimmerman's trial for second-degree murder, and later manslaughter, computer analyst Richard Connor was called to testify for the defense. His testimony was eventually stricken from the record by Judge Debra Nelson, but has nonetheless allowed for some startling discoveries. Chief among these is that Trayvon Martin's cellular phone belonged to an account owned by his mother, Sybrina Fulton.
The great Beanie Baby bubble. In 1998, so-called "investment-grade" rare Beanie Babies were projected to be worth vastly, vastly more than their $5 purchase price. [...] The Beanie Baby phenomenon taught some tough lessons about speculative bubbles and value in economics to a young audience. Beanie Babies demonstrate that scarcity or a fixed supply is no guarantee of future price gains.
Math Behind Leak Crackdown: 153 Cases, 4 Years, 0 Indictments. Soon after President Obama appointed him director of national intelligence in 2009, Dennis C. Blair called for a tally of the number of government officials or employees who had been prosecuted for leaking national security secrets. He was dismayed by what he found. In the previous four years, the record showed, 153 cases had been referred to the Justice Department. Not one had led to an indictment.
Hamas Mourns Helen Thomas. It might not be the way most high-profile journalists would like to be remembered. Not long after the passing of veteran American journalist Helen Thomas yesterday, aged 92, Hamas' very own "military wing", the Izzedeene al-Qassam Brigades, posted on its website a heartfelt eulogy.
Kindle fired: 75% want printed books, not ebooks. A stunning 75 percent of adults told Rasmussen Reports that they prefer a printed book on actual paper to an electronic version displayed on devices like the Kindle Fire, Nook or iPad. Just 15 percent prefer ebooks.
Rand Paul: Obama Will Bail Out Detroit 'Over My Dead Body'. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said he will use every resource he has at his disposal to stop President Barack Obama from bailing out newly-bankrupt Detroit because he believes the city can and must save itself and learn from its fiscal mistakes.
The foolish man built his house upon the sand.
Some Mormons Search the Web and Find Doubt. Around the world and in the United States, where the faith was founded, the Mormon Church is grappling with a wave of doubt and disillusionment among members who encountered information on the Internet that sabotaged what they were taught about their faith, according to interviews with dozens of Mormons and those who study the church.
Homeland insecurity. Consistently, DHS is at the bottom of the list of Best Places to Work in the Federal Government, hardly a testament to its leader. If you know anybody who works for DHS, you know morale is terrible. DHS employees were warned in an internal memo recently that any one of them opening a Washington Post article on the Internet containing a classified slide showing how the National Security Agency eavesdrops on international communications was subject to being penalized.
Bill Cosby Agrees with the Zimmerman Verdict. Joining former NBC player turned sports commentator Charles Barkley, actor and comedian Bill Cosby says that he agrees with the verdict in the Zimmerman trial. Cosby also questions the media's handling of the shooting and the trial.
Selective silencing: Was Michael Hastings murdered? [Scroll down] According to most recent investigative findings, it appears that Mr. Hastings made multiple contacts with sources directly associated with the illegal NSA domestic spying program, and either recently acquired materials and/or information about the extent of, the targets of, and the recipients of the information of domestic spying program. [...] Additionally and relevant to the circumstances surrounding his death, I believe that Michael Hastings knew, or had reason to know, that he was under both investigation and surveillance of the FBI as well as the NSA at the time of his death.
Panama Canal Missile Seizure Shows Cuba Remains A Threat. As the vessel lumbered into the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal from Cuba, Panamanian authorities cornered the 450-foot rust-bucket, battled a maniacally violent crew who slashed ship lines to make it hard to unload the ship, and then watched as the ship's captain tried to kill himself before having a heart attack. After subduing the crew, the Panamanians found no drugs buried beneath sloppily packed brown sugar, but did find defensive RSN-75 "Fan Song" fire-control radar equipment for SA-2 surface-to-air missiles.
Missiles and MiG fighter jets found hidden in sugar aboard North Korean ship. Cuba has said missiles and fighter jets found buried under sacks of sugar on a ship bound for North Korea were being sent to the secretive state to be repaired. The Caribbean nation admitted last night that it owned the military equipment and said it was due to be returned to the island once repairs had been completed.
The Editor says...
In order to return the airplanes for repairs, it was apparently necessary to hide them in a shipment of sugar.
Black Caucus preparing legislation to address racial profiling. Congressional Black Caucus members are preparing racial-profiling legislation in response to the fatal shooting of an unarmed black Florida teen, aides say. CBC lawmakers are drafting proposals meant to curb racial profiling; end state stand-your-ground laws and promote better training for the nation's neighborhood watch volunteers, among other anti-violence measures, The Hill reported.
I hope he boycotts Texas, too.
Stevie Wonder Boycotting Florida Following Zimmerman Verdict. Stevie Wonder won't be performing in Florida anytime soon. In the wake of the George Zimmerman acquittal, the singer said he would not be performing in the Sunshine State until its Stand Your Ground law is "abolished." He also said he would not be performing in any other state that recognizes the law, which some say contributed to Zimmerman's acquittal in the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012.
Kentucky Censors N.C.-Based Syndicated Columnist. North Carolina psychologist John Rosemond's popular parenting advice column has been syndicated in more than 200 newspapers across the country since 1976, but soon it may disappear from all newspapers in the state of Kentucky. In May, Kentucky's attorney general sent Rosemond a letter asking that he "cease and desist" publishing his Dear-Abby-style advice column in the state, saying that doing so constituted the unlicensed "practice of psychology," a crime punishable by $500 per offense and up to 6 months in jail.
Telemarketers call in reinforcements as they ignore do-not-call list. Regardless of having registered a phone line with the Federal Trade Commission as a telemarketer-free zone, a growing number of consumers are saying that some businesses are ignoring their stated preference and calling anyway.
In Honor of Bill Clinton, EPA Pushes ATF Hero Off Building. This Wednesday [7/17/2013], the Environmental Protection Agency will officially dedicate its office building at 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue as the William Jefferson Clinton Federal Building. [...] There's just one slight problem — the building already has a name.
The Editor says...
This is an obvious effort to put a positive light on the Clinton name, in preparation for Hillary's presidential run.
19 Years, 7 Months for Biggest Municipal Theft in US History. Rita Crundwell of the small town of Dixon, Ill., has been sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison for stealing almost $54 million from the city to finance a lavish lifestyle that included ownership of farms with hundreds of show horses. In a Rockford, Ill., courtroom on Feb. 14, U.S. District Court Judge Philip Reinhard handed down a sentence of 19 years, seven months in prison. Last November Crundwell, 60, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and admitted stealing $53.7 million. Authorities believe it could be the largest theft from municipal government in U.S. history.
Judicial Watch sues National Archives over sealed Robert Kennedy records at JFK Library. The contents of the requested boxes include subjects ranging from the Central Intelligence Agency to the minutes from meetings of the so-called "special group" that RFK chaired, and his personal notes on Cuba. Robert Kennedy, as President Kennedy's closest aide and confidant, was given unusual responsibility for overseeing covert operations against Communist Cuba and other sensitive national security and foreign policy matters.
Entire government of Luxembourg resigns after spying and corruption scandal. The government was forced to resign after junior coalition partners withdrew their support in protest at Juncker's apparent failure to rein in a secret service spiralling out of control.
Ex-Sanford police chief: Zimmerman probe 'taken away from us'. The George Zimmerman investigation was hijacked "in a number of ways" by outside forces, said the former police chief of Sanford, Florida. Bill Lee, who testified Monday in Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial, told CNN's George Howell in an exclusive interview that he felt pressure from city officials to arrest Zimmerman to placate the public rather than as a matter of justice.
Britain set to privatize its Royal Mail postal service. Britain is privatizing its Royal Mail postal service through a public stock offering within the next nine months. The step was expected as the British government has been giving the Royal Mail a big overhaul in preparation for going public, including paying its whopping $6.9 billion pension fund deficit and bolstering its profit.
Russia convicts dead whistleblower. A Russian court wrapped up the trial of a dead man Thursday, finding whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky guilty of fraud but waiving a sentence. Magnitsky was a lawyer who unearthed a $230 million fraud by police and tax officials, but he was arrested and charged with perpetrating the fraud himself. He died in a Moscow prison in 2009, apparently after a severe beating.
In Rapidly Aging Japan, Adult Diaper Sales Are About to Surpass Baby Diapers. Japan's rapidly aging population is producing some interesting new business opportunities, including a booming market for adult diapers. The Nikkei newspaper (subscription only) reported on Thursday that three Japanese paper companies — Daio, and Nippon Paper — are expanding their manufacturing facilities for what are politely called "incontinence products" due to an expected surge in demand.
With Political Ad Profits, Swing-State TV Stations Are Hot Properties. When Allbritton, the media company that owns Politico, put its seven television stations up for sale this spring, analysts quickly singled out one as the most attractive: WJLA, the company's ABC-affiliated station in Washington. It is the biggest of the bunch, the best known and, perhaps most important, a magnet for political spending. WJLA banked $33 million in election-related advertising last year.
NSA recruitment drive goes horribly wrong. On Tuesday, the National Security Agency called at the University of Wisconsin on a recruitment drive. Attending the session was Madiha R Tahir, a journalist studying a language course at the university. She asked the squirming recruiters a few uncomfortable questions about the activities of NSA: which countries the agency considers to be "adversaries", and if being a good liar is a qualification for getting a job at the NSA.
Cameras Catch Mystery Break-In at Whistleblower's Law Firm . The offices of a Dallas law firm representing a high-profile State Department whistleblower were broken into last weekend. Burglars stole three computers and broke into the firm's file cabinets. But silver bars, video equipment and other valuables were left untouched, according to local Fox affiliate KDFW, which aired security camera footage of the suspected burglars entering and leaving the offices around the time of the incident.
Watergate-style burglary hits State Dept. whisteblower's law firm. Remember Aurelia Fedensin? She's the former investigator for the State Department Inspector General who blew the whistle on Hillary Clinton's State Department covering up scandals and squashing investigations around the world. Fedensin and her family have already been hassled with intimidating displays of force by the same State Department that seemed relatively untroubled by an ambassador allegedly chasing underage prostitutes through the streets of Belgium. Knowing that her allegations would be explosive, Fedensin wisely retained the services of a law firm called Schulman & Mathias of Dallas, Texas. Which just got robbed in a Watergate-style break-in.
Security Cameras Catch Break-In at Whistleblower's Law Firm. The Dallas law firm representing the State Department whistleblower's had file cabinets and computers stolen but the thieves left behind valuables like silver bars.
Obama Scandal Machine's Own Amateurish Break-In? [Scroll down] [Aurelia] Fedensin's allegations touch former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton more directly than anyone else currently in the Obama administration. Clinton was SecState when the eight investigations that Fedensin alleges were scuttled by senior department members, were scuttled. The scandals even touch Clinton's own security detail as well as her long-time fixer, Cheryl Mills.
What Went Wrong with Asiana Flight 214. The jury is still out on the official cause of the Asiana crash but most experienced airline pilots have heard enough to know this is most likely a case of gross pilot error. [...] The underlying reason of their error is one that is both simple and frightening and one that we see occurring more and more frequently. Airline pilots are losing their ability to fly their aircraft. Overreliance on automation has degraded airline pilots' basic flying skills to the point that many seem unable to cope when they are forced by circumstances to hand fly the aircraft.
Doug Engelbart obituary. Doug Engelbart, who has died aged 88, will be remembered as the man who in 1963 invented the computer mouse, but that was incidental to his vision of computers augmenting the human intellect and increasing our "collective IQ".
'Freedom From Facebook' Wants Conservatives to Boycott This July 4. A group of conservative activists and bloggers is urging right-wingers to defriend Facebook this Independence Day. The 24-hour "Freedom From Facebook" boycott is necessary, they say, because the social-media giant has been systemically targeting and discriminating against conservatives, blocking content, and suspending or outright banning users.
Funny business in Jesse Jackson Jr. sentencing? Sentencing for disgraced former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife Sandi has been delayed, but the question is, why? Is there a legitimate reason for the delay, or is something else going on behind-the-scenes? U.S. District Judge Amy Berman-Jackson posted a note on the court's docket stating that Wednesday's [7/3/2013] hearing for the Jacksons would be delayed to "accommodate the court." She said it was not requested by the couple's attorneys. [...] Judge Amy Berman-Jackson was nominated to the bench by President Obama on June 17, 2010.
For Starters, It's Not a Coin. What is a bitcoin? As a virtual currency, it is hardly an easy or intuitive concept. The securities filing for the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust defines a bitcoin as "one type of a digital math-based asset that is issued by, and transmitted through, an open source, cryptographic protocol platform known as the bitcoin network." In plainer terms, a bitcoin is digital money that you cannot hold, but can be bought and sold online in exchange for traditional currencies like dollars and yen. The value of a bitcoin is set by transactions on online exchanges.
Anonymous Jihad. The Tor network has become a go-to means for jihadists and criminals to communicate, raise money, and buy and sell illicit goods and services without fear of being identified or traced by intelligence or law enforcement officials. The network uses technology called "onion routing" (Tor is an acronym for The Onion Router), which refers to layers of encryption that prevent governments or other users from obtaining information about users or websites hosted on the network.
Lose an Anti-Robocall Contest? One Solution: Annoy the Government. Commercial robocalls, prerecorded sales pitches known to interrupt family dinners and playoff football games, are illegal unless a person has given written permission to get calls from the company. At the FTC, they are one of the top consumer complaints, accounting for some 200,000 a month. For a time, the advent of caller-ID in the 1990s allowed people to screen the intrusions. But robocallers soon learned how to trick the devices so they would appear listed as someone else, such as a "card services" company.
Justice Department freezes funds to Big Brothers Big Sisters following audit. Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the national charity that has been championed by President Obama for its work with at-risk kids, overpaid consultants, failed to track taxpayer funds it passed on to affiliates and kept such sloppy financial records that the Department of Justice has cut off millions of dollars in federal grants, officials said.
The Other Court-Packing Scandal. The United States Court of Federal Claims is a specialty court located just across the street from the White House. The Court serves an important function: it adjudicates claims for monetary damages, including takings claims, brought against the United States government. [...] This court's mission is more critical than ever in light of the rapid growth in the size and intrusiveness of government power under President Obama — and unless Senate Republicans object, its character is going to move far to the left in a few weeks.
Leftus Ignoramus. Mary Landrieu last Thursday showed what would be, for many of us, appalling ignorance. [...] Consider just how profoundly ignorant that was for any grownup, to say nothing of a senator who chairs the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee. South Dakota has no border with Canada. Perhaps a state which was north of South Dakota might have such a border. Let's see. What state might that be?
Memo To G-8: Problem Isn't Tax Dodging; It's Spending. The world economy is a shambles due in large part to governments in Europe, Japan and the U.S. continuing to spend beyond their means. So what was topic No. 1 at the just-concluded G-8 summit? Corporate tax avoidance!
McD's worker sues: Don't pay by debit card. All Natalie Gunshannon wanted was to be paid a fair wage for her work, she said. [...] When she received her first paycheck, enclosed was a Chase Bank debit card with instructions on how to use it and the fees attached. Her future earnings would be deposited into the debit card account and she could access her money from there. Gunshannon never signed the card and when she returned to work she asked her supervisor if she could be paid by check or by direct deposit. She was told the card was the only option.
The $9,000,000,000,000 Missing From The Federal Reserve. Rep. Alan Grayson questions the FED inspector General where $9 Trillion dollars went... and Inspector General Elizabeth Coleman hasn't a clue. [Video clip]
Class action suit filed against record label's ownership of 'Happy Birthday'. Good Morning to You Productions has filed the lawsuit aimed at striking down Warner/Chappell Music's copyright claim to the iconic century-old birthday song. Other parties include those over the past four years who have had to pay to use the song on stage, TV or in film.
Free Beacon Targeted In Hack Attack. The Washington Free Beacon yesterday [6/10/2013] became the latest victim in a wave of cyber attacks targeting conservative news outlets. The Beacon, in what appears to be a coordinated assault, joined National Journal and radio station WTOP as a target after certain articles were featured on the Drudge Report, one of the most heavily trafficked and influential sites in the world. The Drudge Report itself has not been infiltrated.
FEMA Denies Aid to Texas for Blast. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is refusing to provide additional money to help rebuild the small Texas town where a deadly fertilizer plant explosion leveled numerous homes and a school, and killed 15 people.
Monica Lewinsky was unavailable for comment.
Bill Clinton Wins Father of the Year. Former President Bill Clinton was awarded "Father of the Year" this morning at a reception at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. Clinton received the award from the National Father's Day/Mother's Day Council. According to the nonprofit's website, the award is presented to fathers who have achieved professional success while serving as role models to their children. Clinton's daughter, Chelsea, was on hand to present her father with the award and had this to say [...]
Benghazi II? Beirut Embassy 'Fails to Meet Security Protocols'. Three decades after 63 people were killed in a bombing there, the U.S. embassy in Beirut is not classified as "high threat," even though Lebanon as a whole is listed as "critical," Hezbollah has a strong presence near it, and the embassy itself "fails to meet security protocols."
MSNBC Chief Phil Griffin: Our Network Is 'Not The Place' For Breaking News. Over the last several months, it has become pretty clear that when it comes to ratings, MSNBC struggles during breaking news events, while CNN and Fox both receive boosts. In an interview with the New York Times this morning, MSNBC chief Phil Griffin essentially conceded the "breaking news" mantle to the other networks, telling viewers that his network is not focused on that sort of coverage.
Furloughed feds can tap jobless benefits, raising questions about sequester savings. Though sequester-tied furloughs have forced federal employees to cut their hours and their pay, it turns out some of them are eligible for unemployment benefits. That means that while individual agencies are trimming their own budgets with furloughs, the cost to taxpayers of unemployment benefits could simultaneously rise — in turn, undermining lawmakers' goal of using the sequester to cut costs.
Staples Disqualifies Gun Stores, Lumps Firearms Together With Illegal Drugs. Staples is currently conducting a "PUSH It Forward Contest," which awards a $50,000 marketing campaign to the small business that wins it. However, as Maple Creek Gunsmithing in Fremont, Neb. learned — small businesses that sell guns are not allowed to take part in the contest.
Due to the emissions control system...
DC ambulance breaks down while transporting shooting victim to hospital. The D.C. fire department is trying to determine why one of its newer diesel ambulances broke down as crews were transporting a patient in cardiac arrest. [...] The driver of Ambulance 19 is telling investigators the indicator lights on the emission control system suddenly and unexpectedly jumped from a warning to shut down in a matter of seconds, and as the engine died, she was able to pull the rig to the side of the road.
Gov. O'Malley's inaction on Baltimore jail scandal. Tavon White, the imprisoned gang leader who allegedly treated Baltimore's main jail as his fief, its guards as his concubines and his fellow inmates as enforcers, has been transferred to federal custody; for now, he is no longer Maryland's problem. But the revelations (and an indictment) related to Mr. White's alleged jailhouse criminal enterprise continue to embarrass the administration of Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and the state's Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.
China Is Our Number One National Security Threat. Chinese hackers have obtained the designs for more than two dozen major U.S. weapon systems, including the Navy's missile defense system and our latest fighter. Our very national survival may soon be at risk.
IRS: Women Filed $1.4 Million in False Returns. Clinton [North Carolina] residents Angela Christina Lainez-Flores and her daughter Karen Mejia filed fraudulent federal tax returns for refunds totaling $1.4 million from tax years 2006 through 2012, IRS special agent Bennett Strickland stated Thursday [5/30/2013] at a probable cause hearing in a Raleigh federal courtroom. Lainez-Flores and Mejia had been charged with conspiracy to defraud the federal government by filing fraudulent income tax returns.
Western Civilization Dumber Than 100 Years Ago. A new study may stimulate the old adage of respecting your elders; it says the general level of intelligence in the Western Hemisphere has declined since the Victorian Era. The study claims the IQ numbers are 14 points lower than from the 19th century. One of the authors of the study, Dr. Jan te Nijenhuis, professor of work and organizational psychology at the University of Amsterdam, says the cause of the movement toward stupidity is that smarter women have fewer children while those of lower intelligence have more children.
Pope Francis suggests atheists' good deeds gets them to heaven. Pope Francis has sparked a religious debate with comments made earlier this week confirming atheists can indeed go to heaven. Christian teaching generally holds that belief in Jesus, and not good deeds, grants eternal life. But the pope, in a morning Mass on Wednesday [5/22/2013], suggested that belief and faith weren't the biggest factors.
Pope Francis says atheists can be good. Atheists should be seen as good people if they do good, Pope Francis has said in his latest urging that people of all religions, and none, work together.
Spain spent $680 million on submarine that 'can't resurface'. Spanish engineers, who already spent some $680 million on designing the new generation S-80 class submarine, say it is a major "technical innovation." There is just one problem the calculations show — if submerged into water, it may never come up again.
NY man admits to filing tax returns for dead. A western New York man has pleaded guilty to filing more than 100 tax returns under the names of people who had recently died.
Mt. Everest's filthy secret: It's a dump. The world this week is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the first successful effort to reach the top of the world's highest peak. But environmental activists are using the occasion to call attention to the tons and tons of garbage — and human excrement — that have been left on Mt. Everest's slopes in the decades since Sir Edmund Hillary and his Nepalese Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay, made their historic climb. And the picture they are painting isn't pretty.
Mount Everest Crowded, Littered with Corpses. Edmund Hillary made history when he scaled Mount Everest fifty years ago. Now, it's crowded with guided tours and littered with the corpses of inexperienced climbers.
MSNBC ratings hit 7-Year low with Obama scandals. I guess liberals don't want to cringe and watch their pitiful 'news network' while the spin doctors at the propaganda station spin for Obama.
Report Says Poor Are Moving to Nation's Suburbs. More poor people live in the nation's suburbs than in urban cities because of affordable housing, service-sector jobs and the increased use of housing vouchers, according to a study released Monday [5/20/2013].
The states with the most native-born residents. In some states, more than three-quarters of residents were born in that state. In others, fewer than 40 percent of residents are native-born.
There[']s a Question Mark Hanging Over the Apostrophe[']s Future. The U.S., in fact, is the only country with an apostrophe-eradication policy. The program took off when President Benjamin Harrison set up the Board on Geographic Names in 1890. By one board estimate, it has scrubbed 250,000 apostrophes from federal maps.
The Looming Student Loan Crisis. Failure to scrutinize employment income contributed to the housing crisis and now threatens student loans, which total more than $1 trillion.
Excluded by the Inclusion Cops. I'm tired of being told what I'm allowed to read and hear by statist hacks like Inspector Veerappan. John O'Sullivan likes to call the politically correct British police "the paramilitary wing of The Guardian". Unfortunately, the "Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Bureau" would take that as a compliment.
Roger Stone: LBJ had Kennedy killed. Legendary Republican operative Roger Stone claims in his new book that Lyndon Johnson arranged John F. Kennedy's assassination, and that Richard Nixon and Johnson had a documented relationship with Lee Harvey Oswald's killer, Jack Ruby, years before Ruby shot Oswald in the basement of Dallas police headquarters in 1963.
University of Georgia stops plant photosynthesis to generate solar power. Researchers at the University of Georgia have [...] discovered a way to generate electricity from plants through hijacking the photosynthesis process. By altering the proteins inside a plant cell's thylakoids, which store solar energy, scientists can intercept electrons through a carbon nanotube backing that draws them away before they're used to make sugar. While the resulting power isn't phenomenal, it's still two orders of magnitude better than previous methods, according to the university.
New Wyoming lithium deposit could meet all US demand. Last year virtually all of the major brine and mineral-based lithium producers increased their prices, which in turn has spurred prospecting. In the US exploration has been largely centred in Nevada, but the growing worldwide market for lithium has also spurred exploration in Argentina, Australia, Bolivia and Canada. And now, the good news. University of Wyoming researchers found the lithium while studying the idea of storing carbon dioxide under-ground in the Rock Springs Uplift, a geologic formation in southwest Wyoming.
Unsustainable and Unconstitutional General Welfare Spending. Obviously, there is a spending problem in Washington, D.C., and the reason for it is no mystery. The largest expenditure in Obama's budget — and the largest federal outlay in every budget since 1970 — is an expense item labeled "payments for individuals," which includes spending on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment benefits, disability payments, and other federal welfare subsidies. These payments constituted 65 percent of all federal spending in 2012 and are expected to grow to 70 percent in 2016. (By contrast, national defense spending was 19 percent of the federal budget in 2012 and will decrease to only 14 percent in 2016.)
FBI Hunts Cop Killer Domestic Terrorist. This one is hiding out in Cuba, where she is being treated like a celebrity. Which is pretty much how Columbia University treats domestic terrorists.
The 'pay to grieve' 9/11 museum is a national disgrace. 9/11 family members never wanted a billion-dollar money pit. All we hoped for was a simple, uplifting, honorable and patriotic memorial for all who were lost that terrible September day. Instead, those who want to pay their respects will have to pay Bloomberg & Co.
New Poll Finds CNN Far Less Believable Cable Channel Than Fox News. It used to be that whenever an important news story broke, cable television viewers would quickly turn to CNN for must-see coverage of what was happening. However, according to a poll conducted regarding the five-day coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing, that is definitely no longer the case. The survey, which was conducted by the liberal Huffington Post website and the international marketing agency YouGov, determined that former titan CNN came in as far less trustworthy than Fox News over which was the most believable cable news channel.
Thirteen correctional officers indicted in Maryland. More than a dozen Maryland state prison guards helped a dangerous national gang operate a drug-trafficking and money-laundering scheme from behind bars that involved cash payments, sex and access to fancy cars, federal prosecutors said Tuesday. Thirteen female corrections officers essentially handed over control of a Baltimore jail to gang leaders, prosecutors said. The officers were charged Tuesday [4/23/2013] in a federal racketeering indictment.
Police buried Trayvon's criminal history. Sanford Police Department (SPD) investigator Chris Serino, for instance, said publicly of Martin, "This child has no criminal record whatsoever." He called Martin "a good kid, a mild-mannered kid." The media almost universally sustained this tragically false narrative. [...] For a variety of reasons, none of them good, elements within the SPD and the Miami-Dade School District Police Department, or M-DSPD, conspired to keep Martin's criminal history buried.
A 'Rag Tag Bunch' Strikes Gold. It seems that "Trayvon" should have been on trial in Miami rather than enjoying his "suspension" in Sanford the night George Zimmerman killed him in self-defense. Do read the whole thing to understand the deception with which liberalism has distorted this fiasco and the greater fiasco of crime in the Miami-Dade School System.
A Criminologist Questions Sandy Hook. A statistical analysis of 30 years' worth of mass public shooting hard data shows that the odds are 2,000 to 1 against the processes underlying that data accounting for the kill/wound figures of the Sandy Hook shooting. Therefore, very meaningful and very serious questions arise as to precisely what transpired in Newtown — questions that are very unlikely to receive a hearing in the MSM.
9/11 death 'toll'. The 9/11 Memorial foundation, funded to the tune of $830 million, has begun nickel-and-diming visitors for ticket reservations. Even though the nonprofit has long vowed admission to the sacred site would be free, it is now demanding $2 per ticket for all advance reservations made online or by phone. Officials quietly rolled out the fee on March 1 [...]
The Gosnell Grand Jury Report. Having now read the Gosnell grand-jury report, I must say I'm extremely impressed with how well-written it is. Yes, the underlying facts are horrifying and disgusting. But it reads like some of the best journalism. Is that typical?
HHS Sebelius: America is a violent country. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Friday declared America a violent country, and she blamed the media, Hollywood and street crime for the Wild West culture. In a House budget hearing, Sebelius also said that violence in American culture has a "desensitization" effect that can push the mentally ill over the edge.
The Editor says...
Hollywood is the first place President Obama goes when he wants to raise money for Democrats. If his administration genuinely feels that Hollywood is one of the country's biggest problems, perhaps he shouldn't fraternize with the Hollywood kingpins.
Democrat Robin Kelly wins special Illinois House election, but what about prison? Despite the endorsement of President Obama, Robin Kelly easily won election Tuesday night [4/9/2013] in a special House election to represent Illinois' troubled Second Congressional District. The sprawling urban-suburban district, containing Chicago's ugly South Side, was formerly represented by Jesse Jackson Jr., who like a number of Illinois politicians will be residing in a federal penitentiary for a while.
When a car salesman tells you keyless entry is safe, ask about this:
High-Tech Thieves Use New Gadget To Gain Keyless Access To Vehicles In Long Beach. Police are asking for the public's help in identifying three tech-savvy criminals wanted for a series of car burglaries in which they used an unknown device to gain keyless entry to vehicles.
Conservatives Shouldn't Own Newspapers? The Los Angeles Times is up for sale, and there are super-wealthy conservative bidders. Get the popcorn out and watch the liberals squeal.
Give me two fish filets and help me with my homework.
McDonald's want ad demands bachelor's degree, two years experience for cashier. With colleges producing more graduates, and youth unemployment at a sky-high 11.5 percent, even landing a job selling Big Macs is getting competitive. Consider: A job opening at a Massachusetts McDonald's restaurant for a full-time cashier requires one to two years experience and a bachelor's degree.
Associated Press bans the phrase 'illegal immigrant'. "It's 'illegal immigrant' no more" says the Associated Press, which banished the phrase from its usage guide on Tuesday — the latest stylistic edict for journalists who have for years juggled such terms as "undocumented worker" or "illegal alien," its politically incorrect variant. "The Stylebook no longer sanctions the term 'illegal immigrant' or the use of 'illegal' to describe a person. Instead, it tells users that 'illegal' should describe only an action, such as living in or immigrating to a country illegally," said the senior vice president and executive editor Kathleen Carroll.
Clear Data: More Federal Dollars Push Up Unemployment. How do we know when government spending is too high or too low, or if fiscal policies are stimulative or restrictive? As President Obama and Congress work to shrink the $1 trillion federal budget deficit, it is important that they understand the fundamental inverse relationship between the size of government and jobs. Since 1970, all six instances when our government got larger as a percent of GDP, the unemployment rate went higher. All six times when government got smaller as a percent of GDP, our unemployment rate went lower.
Pedro is reluctant to "give back to the community."
Pedro Quezada, $338M Powerball winner, owes $29K in child support. The New Jersey man who won the $338 million Powerball jackpot owes approximately $29,000 in child support. Authorities stopped by Pedro Quezada's Passaic apartment on Wednesday [3/27/2013], one day after the 44-year-old claimed a lump-sum payment worth $221 million, or about $152 million after taxes. No one answered the door.
Three Egyptian divers 'tried to hack through internet ocean-floor cables [...]'. It is believed they were trying to cut through an SEA-ME-WE 4 undersea cable — one of the main connections between Asia and Europe, running from France to Malaysia and linking Italy, north Africa, the middle east and south Asia.
Paul's Budget Kills Departments of Commerce, Education, Housing, and Energy. "Washington has a serious and reckless spending problem that must be re-evaluated. American families across the country are required to live by a budget and Congress should be no different — every taxpayer dollar needs to be spent more wisely. Therefore, I am offering a plan that will address this country's looming debt crisis in a truly timely manner — balancing the budget in just five years," Paul said.
Pope Francis: 'I Am Thinking Particularly of Dialogue With Islam'. Speaking on Friday [3/22/2013] at an audience held for diplomats accredited to the Vatican, Pope Francis said that he hoped to "intensify dialogue" with other religion, particularly Islam. He noted the pope is also known as the "pontiff" — or "a builder of bridges" — and that St. Francis was a peacemaker.
The Editor says...
The Pope needs to go back and read Exodus 20:3-4. Then he should compare those verses in the Catholic Bible to the Authorized King James Version.
Despite abortion views, Biden, Pelosi receive Communion in Vatican Mass. Vice President Joseph R. Biden and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi both received Communion during the Mass to celebrate the installation of Pope Francis in spite of their pro-choice position on abortion. The vice president's office confirmed Tuesday night [3/19/2013] that both he and Mrs. Pelosi took Communion during the Mass at St. Peter's Square in Rome.
Dem Senators Vote to Keep WH Tours Closed. While President Obama's administration has suggested that the Secret Service is to blame for the closure of White House tours, the onus now falls on the Democrat-controlled Senate. On Wednesday [3/20/2013], Democrats rejected a Republican attempt to reopen the White House tours in a straight party-line vote. 54 Democrats voted against reopening the tours. None have voted to defund President Obama's golf trips.
White and Wrong in Philly. [Robert] Huber's article contains mostly tepid examples of whites' negative experiences with blacks and primarily black neighborhoods, such as a Philadelphia resident whose grill was stolen from her backyard but "blames herself" for not fencing it in. Its tone is basically apologetic, absolving a drug dealer of responsibility because he was just "trying to get by" and describing the US' racial history as "horrible and daunting." Yet this wasn't good enough for Mayor Michael Nutter and his comrades. They still want Huber silenced.
Mayor Nutter Threatens Magazine with Criminal Charges for "White in Philly" Story. Philly's Mayor Nutter is living up to his name. And more troublingly his language quite clearly summons up the censorship used in countries such as Canada and the UK to suppress freedom of speech. This isn't about the content of the article. That's not even the point now. It's about the mayor of a major city threatening a magazine without the usual Freedom of the Press types having much to say about it.
Despite Cuts, Schumer Gets Marine Corps Band to Play at St. Patrick's Day Parade. Forget the sequester. If you're Chuck Schumer, there are ways around it. Consider the recent example of a U.S. Marine Corps band cancelling its scheduled performance at a St. Patrick's Day parade due to the "sequester" — and Chuck Schumer's successful "push" for the band to come anyway.
Government Steering Americans Toward a Tele-Work, Tele-Shop, Mass-Transit Future. The Obama administration envisions a "low-carbon, low-petroleum" future where Americans tele-work, tele-shop, walk, bike and use carpools or mass transit if they must leave the neighborhood at all. A study released Friday [3/15/2013] says the U.S. has the potential to reduce petroleum use and pollution in the transportation sector by more than 80 percent by 2050. In other words, gasoline-powered cars may go the way of the dinosaur, and many Americans may end up living in planned, mixed-use, "walkable" neighborhoods, built along mass transit lines.
Poll: Government dissatisfaction highest since Watergate. More Americans cite dissatisfaction with government as the biggest problem facing the country than at any other time since the months leading up to the Watergate scandal, a new poll finds. Twenty percent of those surveyed call dissatisfaction with government the country's biggest problem, according to a Gallup survey on Thursday [3/14/2013] — up from 16 percent the month before.
Hundreds of family pets, protected species killed by little known federal agency. Over the years, Wildlife Services has killed thousands of non-target animals in several states — from pet dogs to protected species — caught in body-gripping conibear traps and leg hold snares, or poisoned by lethal M-44 devices that explode sodium cyanide capsules when triggered by a wild animal — or the snout of a curious family pet.
No matter what you do, you can't be fired from a government job.
GSA ordered to give job back to executive fired after Las Vegas conference scandal. The General Services Administration was ordered this week to reinstate a senior executive who lost his job last year amid revelations of lavish spending at a Las Vegas conference. GSA officials had told Paul Prouty that he "knew or should have known about the questionable and excessive expenditures" that embarrassed the Obama administration when they were revealed last year. But the agency failed to prove that the career civil servant in charge of federal buildings in the Rocky Mountain region was guilty of misconduct, the Merit Systems Protection Board ruled.
3,000 More Dead Pigs Won't Make the Huangpu River Any Worse. The Huangpu River, a source of drinking water to Shanghai's 23 million residents, should basically be called rotting swine soup. Some 3,000 more decomposing pigs have been found in the river near Shanghai since Monday [3/11/2013], bringing the number to about 6,000 dead hogs, but authorities claim that water is just fine.
Shanghai dead pig toll nears 12,600. The number of dead pigs retrieved from waters in and near China's financial hub of Shanghai has reached 12,566 after local authorities plucked 611 pig carcasses Saturday [3/16/2013] from the Huangpu River, which provides drinking water to the city's 23 million residents.
Pew: For Every 10 Americans, Only 3 Trust The Government. The Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C. has found that fewer Americans than ever trust the decisions made by the government. Data collected from a survey taken in January of this year indicates that all demographics and partisan groups experienced an increasing lack of faith in government leadership, according to a release posted on the Pew Research website late last week.
Ryan Shows How To Balance The Budget Without Tax Hikes. Rep. Paul Ryan's latest budget plan shows that we can balance the budget in just a decade without any new taxes and still increase spending if we get rid of the massive cost of ObamaCare./p>
Yes, Ted Cruz Likely Eligible to be President. On Mar. 8, reporter Carl Cameron on Special Report on Fox News Channel was surveying potential GOP 2016 presidential candidates. Then he raised Ted Cruz — one of the most brilliant constitutional lawyers ever to serve in the Senate — the new 41-year old Hispanic senator from Texas. Cameron added, "But Cruz was born in Canada and is constitutionally ineligible" to run for president. While many people assume that, it's probably not true.
Forget Transgender, Get Ready for Transpecies. Species dysphoria is the equivalent of Gender dysphoria. Mentally ill persons with gender dysphoria are fashionably diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder. There is as of yet no Species Identity Disorder, but that is no doubt coming. Like Trannies, Transpecies Americans create special pronouns for themselves and insist that refusing to pretend that they're cats or wolves is a hate crime.
Elderly Woman Dies After Nurse Refuses to Give Her CPR. A 911 dispatcher pleaded with a nurse at a Bakersfield, Calif., senior living facility to save the life of an elderly woman by giving her CPR, but the nurse said policy did not allow her to, according to a newly released audiotape of the call.
The Editor says...
Two questions come to mind immediately: Why did she call 9-1-1, and why did she go to school to become a nurse? It appears that she is not a nurse, but a janitor or perhaps a zookeeper. There's nothing wrong with being a janitor or a zookeeper, unless you were hired to be a nurse. If she didn't want to resuscitate the dying patient, she should have waited until she could say, "There is someone here who has died," rather than, "There is someone here who is dying."
Projected Growth in Unpaid Bills Shows Illinois on Path to Total Breakdown. On Monday [2/25/2013], the Insitute for Illinois' Fiscal Sustainability (IIFS), an outfit associated with the Civic Federation, a "nonpartisan" organization which appears to have leftist instincts and funding, warned that the state government's $8 billion stack of unpaid bills will grow to $22 billion in five years. IIFS correctly blames out of control pension costs, and recommends several reforms which don't seem to match the urgency of the situation.
GOP Leaders Break 72-Hr Pledge. The House Republican leaders today [3/6/2013] rushed through a vote on a 269-page $982-billion continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government for the remainder of fiscal 2013 in direct violation of a pledge they made to the American people to post bills online for at least 72 hours before voting on them.
American Conservative Union Chairman: Legalize Illegal Aliens. American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas said he supported a bipartisan Senate effort at immigration reform, stressing that the proposal must include a way for an estimated 11 million illegal aliens to "come out of the shadows" and be given "a legal status where they can be secure in this country for their future and that of their children."
Border Patrol Union Local 2544: What They Think of Homeland Security. The Arizona Local 2544 Union members website, which they make clear is not an official Border Patrol Website, also makes it clear exactly how they feel about the Department of Homeland Security. After you read [this article], read Idol Worship vs Reality, a Local 2544 dissertation on the administration.
Now they tell us: AP kills word 'sequestration'. It hasn't even happened yet, but the Associated Press style gurus are killing the word "sequestration."
Clearing Away the Rubble...with Black Hawks, Tanks, and Loads of Ammo. I've lived in this country my entire life and never heard of government agencies stockpiling millions of rounds of the hollow-point "training ammo" listed in its solicitations or shooting blanks from military aircraft over our neighborhoods and cities. Not until now. None of this makes sense if things are as peachy as the president claims, and I think these circumstances raise enough questions to warrant a congressional hearing.
The Feds Want Your Retirement Accounts. Quietly, behind the scenes, the groundwork is being laid for federal government confiscation of tax-deferred retirement accounts such as IRAs. Slowly, the cat is being let out of the bag.
Senate Hearings Already Held: National Retirement Accounts. The Senate held RECESS hearings in October 2010 — only Senators Harkin (D-IA) and Socialist Bernie Sanders (D-VT) were in attendance, representing the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. First up to testify before Harkin and Sanders was a Ross Eisenbrey, the Vice President of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), which "is housed on the third floor of the building occupied by the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress." [...] As I discussed earlier this month, part of this is about bailing out union pensions with your retirement.
What John Adams Foretold Has Come True. [Scroll down] What's next? Confiscation! "The Obama administration is reportedly moving on plans to nationalize private 401k and IRA retirement accounts, and replace them with government sponsored annuities (aka Treasury bonds that the Treasury currently can't sell to anyone but the Fed)." Obama has begun a plan to nationalize (aka confiscate) private pensions and to eliminate private retirement accounts, including IRAs and 401k plans. Think it can't happen here? Think again!
Mosquito repellent Deet 'losing its effectiveness'. The mosquito repellent Deet, which is widely used by holidaymakers and residents in warm climates, is losing its effectiveness, scientists say.
The Editor says...
Nobody makes such claims about DDT. DDT kills mosquitoes, whereas Deet just diverts them to someone else.
Insolvency, U.S.A.. There are fiscal cliffs at every level of government, and it doesn't help that states and many municipalities cannot legally go bankrupt.
Saving the Fish to Kill the Fish. Saving the fish isn't about saving the fish. It's about preventing fishermen from making a living selling the fish.
'Trillions of carats' of diamonds found under Russian asteroid crater. The Russian government has revealed that a vast quantity of high-quality diamonds rests beneath a Siberian impact crater, numbering in the "trillions of carats".
Virginia moves closer to creating state's own currency. Lawmakers in Virginia say they want to keep their options open in case the value of the U.S. dollar ever collapses — so they're considering minting state coinage. The Washington Post reported Tuesday [2/5/2013] that a proposal to study the effectiveness of such a plan "sailed through" the state's lower house this week.
Here's a sure way to drive small businesses out of business:
Democrats: Stop banning job candidates with criminal records. New Jersey Democrats today introduced legislation meant to give convicted criminals a better shot at finding work and, sponsors hope, avoid returning to a life of crime. The measure, known as "ban the box," would require employers to consider the qualifications of job candidates before asking about criminal histories. Only after a person is offered a position would a company be allowed to inquire about past convictions under the bill, according to a draft copy.
Is your 401K about to be nationalized? The $19.4 trillion sitting in personal retirement accounts like the 401K may be too tempting an apple for a government that is quite broke, both monetarily and morally. The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray recently mentioned these accounts in a recent interview, stating "That's one of the things we've been exploring and are interested in, in terms of whether and what authority we have."
Obama misses budget deadline. President Obama missed the Monday [2/4/2013] deadline for submitting a budget to Congress, marking the fourth time in five years he has been late — and in a town where missing deadlines is routine, this one is beginning to get noticed. The Budget Act requires that he submit a blueprint for taxes and spending by the first Monday in February, but only once, in 2010, has he met that deadline. This year, the White House hasn't yet said when it will have a plan.
Gitmo Detainees Return to Field of Battle. Former terrorists held at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo, Cuba were detected by U.S. intelligence agencies recently working with Islamist rebels in Syria, according to U.S. officials. The al Qaeda-linked terrorists in Syria are part of a group called the Al Nusrah Front that is fighting alongside the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the rebels opposing the Bashar al-Assad regime in the civil war. The number and names of the former Guantanamo inmates were not disclosed.
Guess which giant special interest is really polluting Alaska? I wonder who was responsible for this mess? BP? Chevron? But wait... if you read back to the first paragraph of that article, it almost sounds as if the US BLM (Bureau of Land Management) is in charge here. How could that be? An what's a "legacy well?"
Rep. Gohmert Calls On Obama's Former Constitutional Law Students To File Class-Action Lawsuit. Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas appeared on Fox News' Hannity to discuss the court ruling against Obama on his National Labor Relations Board appointee.
LSU instructor sues university. An LSU faculty member is suing the university, alleging that she was fired after reporting what she called the School of Art's theft of more than $75,000 from students. In Margaret Herster's lawsuit filed this month, the digital art instructor says the art program illegally charged students course fees that hadn't first been approved by the Legislature as required by law.
The EEOC's New Rule on Background Checks. [Scroll down] The reasoning is as follows: Blacks and Hispanics are more likely to be incarcerated than whites. Therefore, even a facially neutral policy against hiring ex-offenders will screen out more blacks and Hispanics than whites. Consequently, the agency argues, this may constitute evidence of unlawful racial discrimination in violation of Title VII, giving the EEOC the authority to investigate and sue offending employers.
Big Brother's pencil-pushing bureaucrats guarantee high prices will stay high.
Louisiana stops sale of cheap milk at market. A Louisiana supermarket was forced to yank its low-cost milk special after state auditors objected to the price. Fresh Markets in Perkins Rowe was selling milk for $2.99 a gallon as part of a weekly promotion deal, but Louisiana requires that retailer markups be at least 6 percent above invoice and shipping costs, The Advocate reports. State Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain said Fresh Market violated state regulations by selling milk below cost as part of a promotion.
State stops sale of cheap milk. For Lafayette stockbroker Kenneth Daigle, buying a gallon of milk is no longer the bargain it used to be on Tuesdays at Fresh Market. The upscale supermarket chain yanked milk from its $2.99 once-a-week promotion after a state auditor objected to the low price.
Walid Shoebat to America: You have been infiltrated, your president is a Muslim. Walid Shoebat spoke a few days ago on Bible Prophecy talking mainly about Islam and the Antichrist. But he focused part of his message on America and why he believes she will be one of the major countries fighting against the Islamic Antichrist in the end. He acknowledges, though, that America has been infiltrated by the enemy, that even our own president is a Muslim who is supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in different parts of the world whether it be in Egypt or Syria. Most of us here know that already but it’s great to hear Walid speak the truth.
What's that? Obama is a Muslim? Yes, he is.
New Hampshire has most machine guns per capita in the country. The number of automatic weapons in New Hampshire increased dramatically after 2010, according to federal firearms records, although it remains unclear whether the growth is being driven by civilians, law enforcement or the military. The number of registered machine guns in New Hampshire spiked 80 percent between the end of 2010 and March 2012, according to the most current data available from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
A real leader doesn't need a teleprompter.
Sen. Ted Cruz says the GOP should focus on opportunity for lower classes. Freshman Senator Ted Cruz challenged the Republican Party to return to championing growth and opportunity for the lower and working classes during a lunchtime address at the National Review Institute Conference Saturday afternoon [1/26/2013]. Speaking without a lectern or notes, Cruz moved easily around the stage as he presented his vision for the Republican Party's future to the audience at the conference. "The policies of the Obama administration have fundamentally failed the communities struggling to climb the economic ladder," Cruz said.
President Obama's Cat-Food Future For Retirees. Americans are drawing down their 401(k)s for nonretirement needs in record numbers, just as Social Security goes bust. This portends poverty for millions as the White House fiddles.
Coulter: Guns Don't Kill People, Mentally Ill Do. Seung-Hui Cho, who committed the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, had been diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder as a child and placed under treatment. But Virginia Tech was prohibited from being told about Cho's mental health problems because of federal privacy laws. [...] He was involuntarily committed to a mental institution for one night and then unaccountably unleashed on the public, whereupon he proceeded to engage in the deadliest mass shooting by an individual in U.S. history.
Mark Levin: Background Check Needed For Barack Obama. Mark Levin is calling for background checks for all politicians, including one Barack Hussein Obama. [Video clip]
Woman drives 900 miles out of her way after GPS error. Put too much faith in technology and you may wind up in Croatia. [...] The woman only wanted to go about 90 miles from her hometown of Hainault Erquelinnes, Belgium, to pick up a friend at the Brussels train station. Her GPS device sent her about 900 miles to the south before (during the second day of driving) she realized that something was amiss.
Leahy: Abolish mandatory minimum sentences. The longest-serving Democrat in the Senate on Wednesday called for scrapping mandatory minimum sentences at both the federal and state levels, and said he wants Congress to take a critical look at the way U.S. law enforcement agencies use drones. [...] "This fast-emerging technology is cheap, but I think just because it's available doesn't mean it helps. I think there could be a significant threat to the privacy and civil liberties," he said.
White House now requires 'We the People' petitions to have 100,000 signatures for official response. President Barack Obama's deputies have quadrupled the number of signatures that petitioners on the administration's "We the People" website must collect to get an official response from the White House, following a series of popular, provocative and disrespectful signature drives by his critics.
The Editor says...
So you get a White House response. Big deal. What have you gained?
Civil servant working two full time public jobs, 70 miles apart. A Michigan civil servant is in hot water after being exposed as holding down two six-figure public posts at the same time — earning him more than the Vice President. Barnett Jones, has been paid $273,750 since May as Flint's administrator of public safety and head of security for the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, despite the fact the posts are both full-time and based 70 miles apart, according to the Free Press.
RFK Jr. says lone gunman not solely responsible for assassination of President Kennedy. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is convinced that a lone gunman wasn't solely responsible for the assassination of his uncle, President John F. Kennedy, and said his father believed the Warren Commission report was a "shoddy piece of craftsmanship."
The Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy. Matthew Continetti writes at the Washington Free Beacon about the formation of an incredibly powerful lobbying group, composed of organizations that boast millions of political foot soldiers, with a total income measured in the billions of dollars. It plans to spend tens of millions of dollars pushing a rigid ideological agenda. It's a textbook example of everything we are constantly told is "wrong" with Washington, a combination of big money, political self-interest, political influence, and secrecy.
The Trillion-Dollar Platinum Coin. Of course, there is one small problem: Platinum is currently selling for about $1,590 a troy ounce. So a $1 trillion coin would weigh 26,221 "troy tons," which might present a bit of a transportation problem getting from the mint to the Federal Reserve. There is also the problem that nowhere near that much platinum has ever been mined since the metal first came to the attention of chemists in the 1740s.
Two years in the slammer if your dog bites a burglar. The United Kingdom seems to have a lot of concern for protecting the rights of burglars as they commit crimes against law abiding citizens. The case of Tony Martin, convicted of murder (later reduced to manslaughter after an international outcry) in 1999 for killing a burglar in his house with a shotgun was only the beginning.
Next Big Gov't Housing Bailout: Federal Housing Administration. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA)'s 2012 audit confirmed what has been obvious for some time: The FHA is deeply underwater, with a negative economic value of $34 billion. With over $1 trillion in mortgages backed by the FHA, even minor changes in the housing market could add tens of billions to that total. A taxpayer bailout is inevitable.
Fiscal Cliff Deal: $1 In Spending Cuts For Every $41 In Tax Increases. When Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush increased taxes in return for spending cuts — cuts that never ultimately came — they did so at ratios of 1:3 and 1:2.
The Real Country-Killer in 2013. Every week, the U.S. Treasury borrows money to keep operating, by holding auctions of "T-Bills." Institutional investors, foreign and domestic, show up to bid on these government bonds (Treasury Bills). What if investors decide that it just isn't worth risking any more of their money? There won't be any money. Even when the country still looks strong, investors could sit on the sidelines, worrying: "Let someone else take the risk." If the lending stops, can the country survive when the Ponzi scheme collapses? What if there is no money to cut social security or Medicare checks, or operate the government?
Obama Orders Raise for Biden, Members of Congress, Federal Workers. President Barack Obama issued an executive order to end the pay freeze on federal employees, in effect giving some federal workers a raise. One federal worker now to receive a pay increase is Vice President Joe Biden.
Any Raise is Too Much; Congress Approval Rating is 18%. Congress has done such a beautiful job handling the fiscal cliff and debt ceiling that president Obama felt it mandatory to issue an Executive Order giving [Vice President] Biden [and] Congress pay raises.
Home Depot Promotes Mexican-Made Coca-Cola Products. Did Home Depot get a good deal from the bottler which enables them to "pander" to Hispanic labor force at-large? Is "Made in America" branding simply not cool in the Era of Obama, and will it be diminished by similar promotions in the future? I can only wonder what the local union employees that work for Coca Coca think about Home Depot promoting and selling the same non-American labor force products.
Biofuel credits behind mystery cross-border train shipments. The mystery of the trainload of biodiesel that crossed back and forth across the Sarnia-Port Huron border without ever unloading its cargo, as reported by CBC News, has been solved. CBC News received several tips after a recent story about a company shipping the same load of biodiesel back and forth by CN Rail at a cost of $2.6 million in the summer of 2010. It turns out the shipments were part of a deal by a Toronto-based company, which made several million dollars importing and exporting the fuel to exploit a loophole in a U.S. green energy program.
Chinese prison factories revealed. A Chinese prisoner's note, found in a box of Kmart Halloween decorations by an unsuspecting Oregonian, described the horrors of China's prison-factories. Despite that sort of thing not supposed to be happening, it is happening because China remains a communist tyranny.
Has Obama's Big Spending Also Bought American Silence On Chinese Prison Camps? Despite a slew of laws to the contrary, it looks as though America's vaunted trade relationship with China — the one hailed by the Obama administration and praised by CEOs from Siemens, Bayer, Coca-Cola, Citibank, and General Electric — remains what it always has been: a great slave empire.
EEOC Protected Classes. On September 19, 2012, the Newark, New Jersey Municipal Council passed Ordinance 12-1630, "which limits employers' ability to conduct criminal background checks." The ordinance went into effect November 18, 2012 and "prevents employers with five or more employees who do business, employ persons or take applications for employment in the City of Newark, from asking applicants about their criminal history." The employer "can only perform the background check after a conditional offer has been made and the employer makes a 'good faith determination' that the job position is of a sensitive nature." Sensitive nature is, however, not defined.
Egypt: Nobody Gets Out With More Than $10K. The tyranny is in full swing in Egypt, where the government has now banned anyone wanting to leave the country from taking more than $10,000 with them. This is the same measure used by the government of Iran to prevent emigration, or to confiscate the cash of those who do wish to emigrate.
Alaska legislative aide's anti-Islam activism forces resignation. A legislative aide who joined an anti-Islam group and became obsessed with its mission crossed the line and illegally used state resources to promote its interests, a state ethics panel concluded in a ruling released Friday [12/14/2012]. [...] [Karen] Sawyer's activism on behalf of Stop Islamization of America became an issue when she was chief of staff to Palmer Rep. Carl Gatto before his death this year.
Nelson Mandela 'proven' to be a member of the Communist Party after decades of denial. Now, nearly half a century after the court case that made him the world's best-known prisoner of conscience, a new book claims that whatever the wider injustice perpetrated, the apartheid-era prosecutors were indeed right on one question: Mr Mandela was a Communist party member after all.
NASA is completely unnecessary. The Air Force has its own space program.
U.S. military sends mystery space drone back into orbit. The U.S. military launched its highly secretive unmanned $1 billion X-37B space plane into orbit today from Cape Canaveral on top of an Atlas V rocket. The U.S. Air Force which operates the small, top-secret version of the space shuttle still will not say how long the third X-37B mission will last, nor what the vehicle will be doing in orbit.
Many so-called comedians are political propagandists.
Comedian: Liberal comics 'don't want to make fun of Obama because they feel that it will weaken him'. Conservative stand-up comedian Evan Sayet says there is "no doubt" his fellow comics have taken it easy on President Barack Obama. "They've even admitted it themselves," he told The Daily Caller. "Liberals don't want to make fun of Obama because they feel that it will weaken him if they honestly point out his foibles and his shortcomings. The narrative is that Obama is sort of a god (in fact, Evan Thomas of Newsweek said exactly that.)
That's just crazy!
Congress strikes word 'lunatic' from US laws. Americans may be forgiven for calling their lawmakers "lunatics" given the partisanship that has consumed Washington, but that term will no longer be allowed in laws promulgated by Congress. The House of Representatives voted 398-1 on Wednesday [12/5/2012] to strike the word "lunatic" from all federal legislation.
The Editor says...
The word lunatic is archaic, but it is still well-known. Everybody knows what the word means, and it isn't particularly defamatory if the shoe fits. Doesn't the Congress have more important things to work on?
Massive Anti-Obama Rally Planned for Inauguration Day. Inspired by concerns of unemployment, the economy, Benghazi, and matters of foreign policy; organizers are promoting a "Massive Anti-Obama Rally @ Obama's Inauguration Day." Their goal? 500,000+ protesters armed with signs identifying the reason for their participation in the rally.
Oak Ridge and NVIDIA unveil Titan supercomputer. Titan, according to Oak Ridge's announcement, is 10 times more powerful than its predecessor, Jaguar, with a theoretical peak performance of 20 petaflops, or 20,000 trillion calculations per second.
Does Government Want To Drain Americans' 401(k) Plan? As Washington debates what to do about the fiscal cliff that it foolishly created, many potential sources of new revenue will be thrown on the table. One of them is likely to be 401(k) plans.
Cornyn labels 'outrageous' Obama's 'crazy idea' to unilaterally raise debt ceiling. John Cornyn is known for being a politician who carefully chooses his words. He is, by choice, deliberate and judicious. Today [11/30/2012], he was just plain mad. In an interview on Fox News, the San Antonio Republican condemned a proposal floated by the White House to unilaterally raise the nation's debt ceiling if Congress fails to act before the spring 2013 deadline. "It's profoundly irresponsible," Cornyn said. "So that's a crazy idea and I'm amazed that [Treasury] Secretary [Tim] Geithner had the courage to float that yesterday."
Treasury Borrowed $211.69 Per U.S. Household on Black Friday. The U.S. Treasury increased the net debt of the United States $24,327,048,384.38 on the day after Thanksgiving, which equals approximately $211.69 for each of the nation's 114,916,000 households.
$6800 per capita in redistributed wealth.
$3.4 billion Indian settlement finalized. Finalization of a $3.4 billion settlement between the United States and nearly 500,000 American Indians was lauded Monday [11/26/2012] by the Obama administration.
Tulsans against Chloramine. The Tulsa Metropolitan Utility Authority (TMUA) recently switched Tulsa's water system from the use of chlorine as a secondary disinfectant to chloramine — a combination of chlorine and ammonia — despite concerns about the effects of the chemical when ingested, used in cooking, or used in bathing. The conversion was complete at the end of July 2012. Chloramine-treated water can't be used directly in fish ponds and can't be used in dialysis. It is documented to cause deterioration of materials commonly used in plumbing.
Sandy Island 'Undiscovered' After Appearing on Maps. Sandy Island was nowhere to be found when Australian scientists reached the South Pacific location where it appeared on Google Earth, nautical charts and world maps. "It raises all kinds of conspiracy theories," expedition member Steven Micklethwaite said, adding that the CIA is among the sources of the world coastline database.
States Choose Own Paths With One-party Governments. Starting next month, Americans in 25 states will have Republican governors and Republicans in control of both houses of the state legislatures. They aren't all small states, either. They include about 53 percent of the nation's population. At the same time, Americans in 15 states will have Democratic governors and Democrats in control of both houses of the state legislatures. They include about 37 percent of the nation's population. That leaves only 10 percent in states in which neither party is in control.
WWII code 'may never be cracked'. Experts at intelligence agency GCHQ have asked for help in de-coding a message found attached to a pigeon leg, thought to date back to WWII. The dead bird was found in a chimney in Surrey a few weeks ago.
Report: French officials accuse US of hacking Sarkozy's computers. [Scroll down] According to the l'Express report, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano reportedly did not deny the allegations when asked point-blank about them. "We have no greater partner than France, we have no greater ally than France," Napolitano reportedly answered, at the opening of an interview with l'Express. "We cooperate in many security-related areas. I am here to further reinforce those ties and create new ones."
Obama administration declares: 'we have no greater ally than France'. In an interview with L'Express, Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano told her French audience that "we have no greater partner than France, we have no greater ally than France," in an effort to convince them that Washington had not been hacking into Nicolas Sarkozy's office ahead of the French presidential election, as some French sources are suggesting.
FBI raids Detroit Public Library; $1,000 trash cans, possible shady deals raise eyebrows. "There may be an individual who awarded contracts for personal gain. And if that is the case, it is a total violation of the public trust," Jonathan Kinloch, president of the Detroit Library Commission, told the [Detroit] Free Press. According to Kinloch, the contracts involve two technology firms that were hired for at least $2 million to update the library's computer systems. A library official allegedly had ties to at least one of the contractors, and benefited personally from the million-dollar deals, he said.
The CIA Has Closed Its Climate Change Research Office. EEnews.net's Greenwire reports the CIA has shut down its Center on Climate Change and National Security due to budget constraints. The closure evidently took place earlier this year.
FHA Faces $13.5B Fiscal '12 Deficit, Audit Says. The Federal Housing Administration faced a deficit of $13.5 billion for the fiscal year ending in September, according to an audit released late Thursday. The report says the FHA will not have the capital resources available to handle the estimated losses on the roughly $1.1 trillion in mortgage debt that it backstops. In total, the FHA has $25.6 billion in resources, but is forecast to see future cash flows of negative $39.1 billion, creating the deficit. Analysts have said the FHA could require a bailout from taxpayers in order to bridge the gap.
White House website deluged with secession petitions from 20 states. How would Old Glory look with 30 stars instead of 50? As far-fetched as it may sound, the White House might soon be forced by its own rules to examine the question. On Nov. 7, the day after President Barack Obama was re-elected, the White House's website received a petition asking the administration to allow Louisiana to secede.Rep. Allen West demands recount. Florida Rep. Allen West on Wednesday demanded a recount as his bid for reelection remained too close to call, with the tea party Republican trailing his Democratic opponent by fewer than 3,000 votes. [...] West, who warned before the election of "nefarious actions" by Democrats, suggested a county election supervisor was trying to rig the election.
"In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense."
Some E-Books Are More Equal Than Others. This morning [7/17/2009], hundreds of Amazon Kindle owners awoke to discover that books by a certain famous author had mysteriously disappeared from their e-book readers. These were books that they had bought and paid for — thought they owned. But no, apparently the publisher changed its mind about offering an electronic edition, and apparently Amazon, whose business lives and dies by publisher happiness, caved. It electronically deleted all books by this author from people's Kindles and credited their accounts for the price. This is ugly for all kinds of reasons.51% Say Congress is Too Liberal, 22% Say It's Too Conservative. Fifty-one percent (51%) of voters nationwide believe that Congress is too liberal while 22% hold the opposite view and say it is too conservative. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 14% say the ideological balance of Congress is about right and 12% are not sure.
Lawmakers (again) propose replacing $1 bills with coins. Eliminating the dollar bill in favor of the coin would save $13.8 billion over 30 years, says the consumer group Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW). At a Capitol Hill briefing on Monday [7/22/2013], the group said printing dollar bills may be cheaper than minting coins, but they last only about four years compared with 30 years for a coin.
Only 18 months earlier...
Treasury to stop producing unneeded dollar coins. Vice President Joe Biden and several cabinet secretaries announced today the administration's efforts to identify and eliminate misspent tax dollars. My favorite — the savings of $50 million annually by no longer minting unneeded and unwanted dollar coins. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Neal Wolin says they currently have a decade worth of excess coins on the shelves!
The Editor says...
If an individual had done what Sony did, peddling a product with a built-in rootkit, he could have been sent to prison as an evil, pernicious hacker. But the courts seem to look favorably on music companies that are trying to protect their intellectual property, no matter how they do it.
Automatic registration for the draft: The Texas DPS is going to automatically register 18 to 26 year old males with the US Selective Service (military draft) when they apply for or renew a Texas driver's license.
The Editor says...
This raises some important questions. How many state agencies use their leverage to gather information for federal agencies? And what other agencies will begin using this technique?
Charges Dropped Against Yee. Citing national security concerns, the Army on Friday [3/19/2004] dropped all charges against a Muslim chaplain accused of mishandling classified documents at Guantanamo Bay, which houses suspected terrorists.
The Editor says...
The charges were dropped because of "national security concerns"? That's why he was arrested!
The Editor says...
Obviously the International Court has no leverage with which to enforce this order.
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Updated May 26, 2015.
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