Archive of Uncategorized News Items


This is the overflow from the Uncategorized News page, which is located here.




The Top 10 Prescribed Pharmaceuticals of 2016 Are a Sign That Food is Killing Us.  Our food supply is being compromised and bastardized by corporations who profit handsomely by feeding the American public ever-more processed, modified, and chemical-laden foods.  As if this were some kind of revolving door conspiracy, when food makes us sick, we spend more money on healthcare, and a look at the most prescribed medications of 2016 make it clear there is a direct link between poor food and poor health in America.  The 2016 list of the 50 most prescribed medications in America, as reported by Lowest Med, includes among the top ten, nine medications used to address health problems that can be primarily associated with an unhealthy diet.

US home ownership
Something Wicked This Way Comes.  Something is not making sense.  During the debates Trump declared on more than one occasion the stock market was in a bubble.  It is now 2,000 points higher and he is proclaiming its advancement as an endorsement of his plan to drastically cut taxes, spend trillions, and Make America Great Again.  The financial media, which despised Trump six weeks ago, is now peddling an economic recovery, soaring future corporate profits, and a stock market poised to blast through 20,000 to higher and higher all-time highs.  I think that would be swell, but let's examine a few facts before putting our life savings in Twitter and Fakebook stock.


Kim Jong Un orders North Koreans to celebrate his grandmother on Christmas.  Kim Jong Un is the Grinch who stole Christmas.  North Korea's tubby tyrant wants the few Christians in the hermit state to spread cheer only to celebrate his grandma, Kim Jong Suk — not the birth of Jesus.  Jong Suk — who was born on Christmas Eve in 1919 — was an anti-Japanese guerrilla and Communist activist, wife of North Korea's first dictator, Kim Il Sung, and former leader Kim Jong Il's mother.  Many pay homage to the "Sacred Mother of the Revolution," who died under mysterious circumstances in 1949, by visiting her tomb.

Peter King Accuses CIA Director John Brennan Of 'Hit Job' On Trump.  GOP Rep. Peter King accused CIA Director John Brennan on Sunday [12/18/2016] of orchestrating a "hit job" against GOP President-elect Donald Trump.  In an interview Sunday on ABC's "This Week," King, a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said while he agrees there should be an investigation into Russian involvement in the election, there should also be an investigation into Brennan for the "hit job he seems to be orchestrating against the president-elect," Politico reports.  This hit job, according to King, has taken the form of Brennan allegedly leaking intelligence assessments to the press and circumventing Congress, in order to take shots at Trump.

South Carolina lawmakers propose pornography block on new computers.  Computers and devices sold in South Carolina that can access the internet would be required to have filters installed to prevent people from viewing pornography, although buyers could pay a $20 fee to remove the blocking software under a proposal before the legislature.  The amendment would require manufacturers or sellers of computers and internet-accessible devices to install software that blocks pornography, according to a draft of the amendment filed with the South Carolina General Assembly on Dec. 15.

Working for Media Matters Is a Miserable Job.  Progressives tend to be terrible people to work for.  There are a legion of horror stories about life working for Bernie Sanders, Ralph Nader or Michael Moore.

Dems push to penalize foreigners who subvert US elections.  A group of House Democrats has proposed legislation that would impose a series of penalties against foreigners who try to interfere in U.S. federal elections, the latest shot fired in the fight over whether Russia improperly tried to tip the election to President-elect Trump.  Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., and more than a dozen Democrats proposed the Protect American Democracy Act on Tuesday.  The aim of the bill is to "expose and deter unlawful and subversive foreign interference in elections for Federal office."

The CIA, Washington Post, And Russia:  What You're Not Being Told.  According to an unsubstantiated article by the Washington Post, anonymous CIA officials have confirmed that the Russian government hacked the United States election to favor Donald Trump.  Though it's entirely possible the Russian government attempted to influence the election, the Post has been widely criticized — for the second time in a month — for its failure to follow basic journalistic practices.  Nevertheless, the narrative is sticking.  But the outlet's behind-the-scenes relationship with the CIA is nothing new.

National popular vote now final:  Clinton finishes 2.1 points ahead, Trump has highest vote total ever for a Republican.  Trump's total of nearly 63 million votes is almost a million votes better than the second-largest total by a Republican in history.  You might guess that that distinction belongs to Mitt Romney; after all, with the population increasing every four years, chances are that each successive nominee will bank more votes than the last.  Not so, though.  Romney has the third-most votes by a Republican in history.  McCain has the fourth-largest amount.  Second place belongs to George W. Bush, who received a little more than 62 million votes for his reelection bid in 2004, a gigantic improvement of nearly 12 million ballots over his 2000 total.  Both parties' voters were out in force in 2004 for the first presidential election since 9/11 and the Iraq war.  It took 12 years of population growth before Republicans were able to improve on Dubya's total, but Trump did it.  Bush's 2004 campaign does retain one title, though:  It's the only time in the last 25 years that a Republican has won the popular vote.

College enrollment drops 1.4% as adults head back to work.  Despite aggressive efforts nationwide to boost the number of people who attend college, enrollments declined this fall for the fifth straight year as better job prospects for older potential students and a stalled pipeline of new high-school graduates were compounded by continued woes in the for-profit college sector.  Total fall-term undergraduate and graduate enrollment slid by 1.4% to 19.01 million students as of the beginning of this month, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, a nonprofit education organization.  Enrollment peaked at nearly 20.6 million in 2011.

Paedophile aged 101 will die behind bars after victims saw Facebook posts celebrating his 100th birthday.  A 101-year-old paedophile will die behind bars after being jailed for a string of sex crimes against three children in the 1970s and 1980s.  Ralph Clarke's traumatised victims began to come forward in August last after seeing Facebook posts celebrating their abuser's 100th birthday.  The retired lorry driver, believed to be the oldest person ever convicted by a jury in Britain, has today been thrown in jail for 13 years.

Florida woman selling her positive pregnancy tests to pay for college.  A Florida woman said she is paying her way through college by selling her positive pregnancy tests and urine on Craigslist.

Court says man can't seek divorce without wife's permission.  The Kentucky Supreme Court says the only way a mentally incompetent 88-year-old man can seek a divorce is if his guardian files for it on his behalf.  The trouble is, Elmer Riehle's legal guardian is his wife, and she does not want a divorce.

Russia's Doomsday Bomb.  While liberal mainstream media concoct fake news that President-Elect Trump is Moscow's Manchurian Candidate, they ignore the latest real threat from Russia.  Russian state television "accidentally" disclosed plans for a robot submarine, reportedly armed with a massive 100 megaton warhead-the largest nuclear weapon ever deployed by any nation.  The submarine doomsday bomb would explode underwater to radioactively contaminate and inundate with tsunamis U.S. coastal cities and seaboard, where are concentrated much of America's military-industrial strength and population.  A diagram of the robo-bomb was shown on Russian TV, supposedly inadvertently, over the shoulder of a Defense Ministry officer.

Story of Santa with dying child may not be true.  In a story posted Wednesday afternoon [12/14/2016] by [Knoxville] News Sentinel editor Jack McElroy, the paper said it "has done additional investigation in an attempt to independently verify Schmitt-Matzen's account.  This has proven unsuccessful.  Although facts about his background have checked out, his story of bringing a gift to a dying child remains unverified.  The News Sentinel cannot establish that Schmitt-Matzen's account is inaccurate, but more importantly, ongoing reporting cannot establish that it is accurate."  "Therefore," he wrote, "because the story does not meet the newspaper's standards of verification, we are no longer standing by the veracity of Schmitt-Matzen's account."

Comey to Trump:  The Russians Didn't Influence the Election.  In telephone conversations with Donald Trump, FBI Director James Comey assured the president-elect there was no credible evidence that Russia influenced the outcome of the recent U.S. presidential election by hacking the Democratic National Committee and the e-mails of John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.  What's more, Comey told Trump that James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, agreed with this FBI assessment.  The only member of the U.S. intelligence community who was ready to assert that the Russians sanctioned the hacking was John Brennan, the director of the CIA, according to sources who were briefed on Comey's conversations with Trump.  "And Brennan takes his marching orders from President Obama," the sources quoted Comey as saying.

Could The Testimony of Defectors Cause Scientology To Implode?  In the first episode of her eight-part series exposing the cult of Scientology, Leah Remini pledged not to focus on herself or her celebrity, but instead on the stories of Scientology defectors.  As promised, the second episode focused on one of the most highly placed executives in the "Church" to leave, Mike Rinder.  Rinder, an Australian by birth, was raised in Scientology since age six.  He spent 46 years practicing the faith, and spent over 20 years serving as International Spokesman for the organization. [...] Rinder was brutally honest about his role in the organization as a henchman.  He spent his career in Scientology discrediting those opposed to it, actively trying to ruin the lives of those who dared cross the organization.

U.S. to send 4,000 troops to Poland.  The U.S. Army plans to deploy about 4,000 troops to Poland in early 2017 in a demonstration of strength aimed at Russia, a senior U.S. military official said.

More Intelligence Officials Are Disputing CIA's Claims About Russian Hacking.  The CIA's assessment that Russian hackers intervened during the presidential election specifically to help Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton relies on a "thin reed" of evidence, an official with the U.S. intelligence community says.  The official, who is with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), is one of three sources who told Reuters that the CIA's assessment, which was reported over the weekend, is flawed.

Socialist Venezuela Steals Toys To Impose Its Version Of Christmas.  You better watch out, you better not cry, better not pout, let us tell you why:  Santa Claus is coming to Caracas, and this year he'll be bringing toys to all the pro-regime boys and girls — and jailing those who get in his way.  Striking an almost comically Orwellian posture of Saint Nick meets Robin Hood, last week Venezuela's consumer "protection" agency seized several million toys that will, ostensibly, be redistributed to the poor.  The trinkets were confiscated from a toy distributor that had purportedly "committed fraud" against the country by selling the goods at unlawfully high mark-ups.

99 Dallas officers have quit or retired in last 10 weeks, reports say.  Interim Police Chief David Pughes told City Council members Monday night [12/12/2016] that the department wanted to fill the next academy class with 60 officers but has only hired 30 for the February class, the Dallas Morning News reported.  The department is down to 3,252 officers and wold like to have at least 3,500.  CBS 11 reported that most of the 99 who left since Oct. 1 were some of Dallas' most experienced officers, according to the incoming president of the Dallas Police Association.

Catholic priests will have to preach about climate change as part of a drive by the church to cut global warming.  Catholic priests are now expected to learn about climate change, church chiefs have announced.  It is part of a worldwide drive by the faith to increase environmental awareness.  New guidelines issued to priests state that members of the clergy should be 'promoters' of 'appropriate care for everything connected to the protection of creation'.

Exclusive:  Top U.S. spy agency has not embraced CIA assessment on Russia hacking - sources.  The overseers of the U.S. intelligence community have not embraced a CIA assessment that Russian cyber attacks were aimed at helping Republican President-elect Donald Trump win the 2016 election, three American officials said on Monday [12/12/2016].  While the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) does not dispute the CIA's analysis of Russian hacking operations, it has not endorsed their assessment because of a lack of conclusive evidence that Moscow intended to boost Trump over Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, said the officials, who declined to be named.

Atheist who fought Illinois laws dies in small plane crash.  The McHenry County coroner said an autopsy Monday [12/12/2016] revealed that Robert I. Sherman, 63, of Poplar Grove, died from multiple crash injuries.

The Editor says...
One thing is certain:  He's no longer an atheist!

Bombshell Dropped in Federal Court:  Proof of a Silver Market "Mafia" Among Big Banks.  Lawyers representing traders who allege they were ripped off by a group of colluding global banks filed eye-popping evidence in a Manhattan Federal Court yesterday showing that even as global banks were being criminally probed for rigging currency markets, they continued to engage in rigging the silver market, with a UBS trader referring to the group as the "mafia."  In order to settle the charges against it in the matter, yesterday's [12/7/2016] filing shows that the beleaguered Deutsche Bank turned over to the plaintiffs' attorneys "more than 350,000 pages of documents and 75 audio tapes" that implicate other banks in a very serious way.

CDC: Heroin Deaths Surpassed Firearm-Related Homicides in 2015.  The latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) numbers show heroin deaths surpassed firearm-related homicides for the first time ever in 2015.  The number of heroin deaths was 12,989 and the number of firearm-related homicides was 12,979.  The Washington Post published the CDC numbers, which show the deaths from all opioids combined topped 33,000 in 2015.  That means opioid deaths outnumbered firearm-related homicides nearly 3 to 1.  Opioids include heroin and prescription drugs like oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and oxymorphone.

State Dept. approves $3.5B Apache helicopter sale to UAE.  If approved by Congress, the UAE's order will also come with training devices, technical data and publications, and other supporting services.  The total estimated cost of the program is $3.5 billion.  U.S. defense officials say the sale enhances foreign policy interests in the region, and will not alter the balance of power in the Middle East.  Boeing and Lockheed Martin are listed as the primary contractors.

Russian Senator Wants to Make Chess Mandatory in All High Schools.  A Russian senator is asking the Education and Science Ministry to make chess a mandatory subject in high schools across the country, according to the newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta.  Senator Vadim Tyulpanov says chess lessons could replace one of the required physical education classes now in place, arguing that adding chess to Russia's school curriculum would also allow disabled students to participate in sporting activities.

Three Muslim pilots detained after near collision with Florida cop.  A senior official from the Indian River County Sheriffs Office told Edward that the driver of the White Hyundai Sonata was cited for running a stop sign, and that all three passengers were flight students attending a pilot training academy located in Vero Beach.

State Dept Claims No One Used 'Sham' Visas From Fake Embassy.  None of the visas issued by a fake U.S. embassy that operated abroad for almost a decade were used to enter the U.S., the Department of State claimed Monday [12/5/2016].  After nearly 10 years in business, a fake U.S. embassy in Accra, Ghana, was shut down this past summer, the State Department revealed last month in a press release.  The Department reportedly discovered the operation earlier this year through an informant.

For 10 years, a fake U.S. embassy in Ghana sold illegal visas and ID papers.  Every Monday, Tuesday and Friday for the past decade, a pink building in Accra, the capital city of Ghana, flew an American flag from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Inside, a portrait of President Barack Obama hung on the wall, and people claiming to be consulate workers speaking English sold visas to the U.S., India and other countries to rural Ghanaians for $6,000 apiece.  It was all a fraud, a scheme of organized crime rings and a Ghanaian lawyer to defraud people of tens of thousands of dollars, according to the U.S. State Department, which recently raided and shut down the fake embassy.  And it wasn't just the U.S.  There was also a fake Dutch embassy being run as well.

The death rate among white Americans now outstrips the birth rate in a third of states.  More white people are dying than being born in a third of the states, according to new research.  The death rate among Caucasian Americans outstripped the birth rate in 17 states in 2014, compared to just four in 2004, the University of New Hampshire found.  While Latino, black and Asian populations continue to grow, soaring death rates among white middle-aged Americans — combined with the fact that white families are having less children — mean certain states are seeing falling Caucasian populations.

'You need to concede': President Obama called Clinton on election night to urge her to step down as results turned against her.  President Obama urged Hillary Clinton to concede to Donald Trump on the night of election, sources claim.  'You need to concede,' Obama told the Democratic candidate as the tide of Rust State votes began to turn against her.  Clinton had been hoping for a last minute turnaround in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, sources say.

Obama urged Clinton to concede on Election Night.  President Obama urged Hillary Clinton to concede to Donald Trump on the night of her devastating loss, it was reported Friday [11/25/2016].  Obama made the call as Clinton and her campaign were watching the election slip away from them in Rust Belt states, according to The Hill newspaper, citing a forthcoming book by its senior White House correspondent Amie Parnes.  "You need to concede," Obama reportedly told Clinton.  Clinton allies were apparently hoping she would wait for a miracle turnaround in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania — three states where Green Party candidate Jill Stein is seeking recounts.

Dallas to Declare Bankruptcy?  The New York Times just reported that the Dallas police and firefighters pension plan is $7 billion short of meeting its obligations and needs an immediate bailout of $1 billion just to stay afloat.  The problem is that Dallas' annual budget is $3 billion.  Three years ago Dallas wasn't on anyone's "watch" list.  Barron's worst 10 cities included Charleston, West Virginia; Omaha, Nebraska:  and Portland, Oregon, but not Dallas.  Pew Charitable Trusts identified nine cities in trouble, including Charleston, Chicago, Fargo, Jackson, Mississippi, and Little Rock, Arkansas.  But Dallas didn't make that list.

Shootings of police skyrocketed this year.  The number of police officers who were shot and killed this year jumped 67 percent compared to 2015, according to the latest data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.  Sixty police officers died from firearm-related incidents so far in 2016, up from 36 by this point last year.  The overall number of police fatalities, including traffic deaths and other causes, increased 18 percent.  The data covers from Jan. 1 to Nov. 25 of 2016 and 2015.  This year has also seen the most targeted attacks, or ambushes, on police since 1995.

Pope Francis Equates Christianity to Communism.  In an interview with Pope Francis published November 11 by the Italian newspaper, Repubblica, the supreme authority of the Catholic Church equated Christianity with Communism when asked about his views on Marxist ideology.

9/11 Memorial and Museum loses $25M in first full year.  The private nonprofit foundation, chaired by former Mayor Mike Bloomberg, racked up $108 million in expenses but took in only $87.3 million, just-filed 2015 tax records show.  The negative bottom line stems largely from a drop in revenues as government grants used to construct the museum were spent.  The foundation received only $17 million in grants and contributions in 2015 but raked in $61.8 million from the sale of tickets, tours, memberships and souvenirs.

Federal Judge Sides With Man in Free Speech Lawsuit Against Charlottesville.  A federal judge said that the Charlottesville City Council violated the U.S. Constitution when it had a resident removed from a council meeting for violating its group defamation rule, according to a report in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.  A lawsuit was filed by Charlottesville resident Joseph Draego after two police officers carried him out of a June 20 meeting at the order of the Virginia town's mayor.  Draego had taken the floor during the public comment portion of the meeting to voice his concerns about the "public safety" concerns he had about Muslims in the community.

Mall Santa loses job for telling girl Hillary Clinton on naughty list.  A shopping mall Santa Claus in Florida is out of a job for telling a 10-year-old girl that Hillary Clinton was on his "naughty list."  WKMG-TV in Orlando reported Friday [11/18/2016] that the Santa was relieved of his duties at the Seminole Town Center in Sanford after the girl's mother complained.

Son puts valuable coins stolen from father through Coinstar to buy crack:  Torrington police.  Police said a man stole a valuable coin collection from his father and put it through a Coinstar machine at a local supermarket in order to get money to buy crack cocaine.  Police said Leonard Rinaldi, 53, of Torrington, was arrested on larceny charges in connection with the theft of thousands of dollars worth of valuable coins from his father.  The coins, worth $8,000, were reported stolen on October 11.  Police said Rinaldi told them he stole the coins, took them to a CoinStar machine at a Stop and Shop and received approximately $60 dollars for them.  He then told police he used the money to buy crack cocaine.  Police said he has a lengthy criminal record.  He was living at home with his father at the time of the theft.

Judicial Watch and Russell Pearce Sue Arizona Attorney General for Communications with ACLU.  Under Arizona law the Attorney General's office was required to respond "promptly" to the records request.  After nearly two months, the Attorney General has failed to comply.  The request seeks to shed light on the unusual settlement of the SB 1070 case, including an agreement that the Attorney General would issue an "informal opinion" setting forth his "interpretation" of the meaning of certain provision of SB 1070.  The agreement also provided for payment of $1.4 million of taxpayer money to the ACLU and other groups.

Too many pot cookies brings trouble for assistant principal.  Donna Lynch Haff, 50, has worked for the Pasco County School District since 2008 and started as an assistant principal at Anclote High School in 2012, according to the school's online staff page.  Haff was released Monday [11/14/2016] from St. Joseph's Hospital in North Tampa after overdosing on edible marijuana in cookies made with cannabis oil, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.  Deputies went to Haff's Land O'Lakes home and arrested her for possession of a controlled substance.

Huffington Post Owner AOL Lays Off 5% Of Staff: 500 Workers Lose Their Jobs.  Following news that vocally pro-Hillary Clinton Spanish language media conglomerate Univision, which had a Q3 loss of $30 million after revenues dropped 8% to $735 million, would lay off between 200 and 250 workers, in part driven by the media organization's recent acquisition of insolvent Gawker Media, on Thursday ReCode reported that the media bloodbath continues, with another 500 workers, or 5% of the total staff, set to be let go by AOL.

Mich. vote tally may change, but outcome will hold.  As of Monday afternoon [11/14/2016], President-elect Donald Trump was winning Michigan by a razor thin 13,107 votes out of 4,785,223 votes cast, according to the Michigan secretary of State.  But those are not the official results of the Nov. 8 election.  The state's 83 counties have until Nov. 22 to certify their election results.

78,000 military email accounts found in adult website hack.  Tens of thousands of government and military-issued email addresses were among those stolen from a conglomeration of adult hookup and pornography sites last month, according to an analysis of the breach issued Monday [1/14/2016] by LeakedSource.com.  At least 78,000 dot-mil email addresses and 5,650 dot-gov addresses were stolen from Friends Finder Network, which includes AdultFriendFinder.com, porn site Penthouse.com, and live streams Stripshow.com and Cams.com.

FDNY forbids firefighters from hanging pictures of Trump.  The FDNY has ordered firefighters to not hang pictures of President-elect Donald Trump in firehouses or on their trucks, angering some members of the department.  "Only [the] FDNY wouldn't want the democratically elected president of America hanging in a firehouse," said one firefighter, who asked to remain anonymous.  "The firehouse is supposed to be a symbol of America.  That's hard to believe when you can't post a picture of the president."

The Editor says...
Obvious follow-up question:  How many New York fire stations feature prominent pictures of Obama?

Poll: Voters Ignorant On Issues That Affect Them.  If there is truth in Ben Franklin's precept that "tyranny begins" with "ignorance," a poll commissioned by Just Facts shows that the U.S. may be in deep trouble.  While most polls measure public opinion, this unique poll measures voters' knowledge of issues that affect their lives in tangible ways.  These include education, taxes, healthcare, the national debt, pollution, government spending, Social Security, global warming, energy, and hunger.  This national scientific poll surveyed 700 people who vote "every time there is an opportunity" or in "most" elections.  In other words, these are voters who regularly exercise their constitutional right to choose the politicians who govern them.

Did Trump Actually Get 1.7 Million Fewer Votes Than Mitt Romney?  Never-Trumper Ben Shapiro, writing in National Review, claimed that "Trump underperformed Romney ... in a vastly expanded electorate.  That's not the mark of a huge wave."  Some reporters are making the same claim about Hillary Clinton.  The Washington Post's Philip Bump wrote that "Hillary Clinton's campaign was crippled by voters who stayed home," and that she "received far fewer votes than Barack Obama in an election that was supposed to see a big increase in turnout."  The problem is, all these stories are wrong.  In fact, they all suffer the same flaw:  The reporters were counting the complete, certified vote totals from previous elections to the incomplete, uncertified results for 2016.  Believe it or not, there were still millions of votes to be tallied.

Someone Pinch Me:  Michael Moore Probably Summed Up the Election Best.  In fact, the "Trump supporters are racists" lie was repudiated by none other than Michael Moore earlier today [11/11/2016].  He said, "You have to accept that millions of people who voted for Barack Obama, some of them once, some of them twice, changed their minds this time.  They're not racist.  They twice voted for a man whose middle name is Hussein.  That's the America you live in."

Obama Administration Gives up on Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  Donald Trump's victory in Tuesday's presidential election has prompted President Barack Obama to abandon the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, the Wall Street Journal reported late Friday [11/11/2016].  According to the Journal, the White House had hoped to push the deal forward in the lame-duck session of Congress, assuming Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton had won the election.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is dead, Schumer tells labor leaders.  The Senate's soon-to-be top Democrat told labor leaders Thursday [11/10/2016] that the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the trade deal at the center of President Obama's "pivot" to strengthen ties with key Asian allies, will not be ratified by Congress.  That remark from Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), who is expected to be the incoming Senate minority leader, came as good news to the AFL-CIO Executive Council, which met Thursday in Washington.  Schumer relayed statements that Republican congressional leaders had made to him, according to an aide who confirmed the remarks.

Chelsea Clinton being groomed to run for Congress.  While some pundits are declaring the Clinton political dynasty dead, sources tell us that it is far from over.  Chelsea Clinton is being groomed for the New York seat held by Rep. Nita Lowey.  Chelsea could run for the seat in NYC's 17th Congressional District once Lowey, a 79-year-old respected career politician with nearly 30 years in office, decides to retire, we have exclusively learned.  Lowey's district includes parts of Rockland and Westchester counties and, conveniently, Chappaqua, the Clinton family home base.

Burglar flees with arrow in buttocks after Australian pensioner shoots intruder with bow.  An Australian pensioner resorted to Robin Hood-style tactics, shooting a bow and arrow at an intruder, in an effort to stop him from fleeing his home with stolen goods.  The burglar was struck in the buttocks with the medieval weapon Sunday afternoon [11/6/2016] as he tried to steal the 68-year-old homeowner's car from the Sydney residence.

Palestinian Authority Demands Israel Give Them Dead Sea Scrolls.  The Palestinian Authority is preparing to demand that UNESCO force Israel to "return" the Dead Sea Scrolls, one of the Jewish state's most important archaeological treasures and proof of Jewish existence in the land of Israel two millennia ago.  "This is another provocative and audacious attempt by the Palestinians to rewrite history and to erase our connection to our land," Ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama-Hacohen said.  "The Dead Sea Scrolls are factual and weighty archaeological evidence of the presence of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel."

A New Cuban Connection to JFK's Murder.  Days after the John F. Kennedy assassination, top White House aides read an eyes-only report that Cuba was behind the shocking Dallas murder.  Castro had warned he'd retaliate if the Kennedy administration kept trying to kill him, and they continued.  New president Lyndon Johnson ordered the secret report buried.  If made public, the U.S. would have to attack Soviet-backed Cuba and thus start World War III.

Gambler offered steak dinner after casino claims $43 million jackpot was 'machine malfunction'.  Katrina Bookman visited the Queens, New York casino in late August and started playing on one of the floor's slot machines.  According to the New York Daily News, the machine on which Bookman was playing flashed $42,949,642.76 and read "Printing cash ticket."  The excited mother-of-four thought she had won nearly $43 million and took a selfie video next to the machine.  "I couldn't believe it," Bookman told the Daily News.  "My body went numb."  But instead of being able to collect her reported winnings immediately, Bookman says she was escorted off the floor by Resorts World employees and told to come back the next day.

Are You Ready For Mandatory Adult Education?  The Washington Post reports on a debate over mandatory adult education currently happening in Nordic countries.  Forcing adults to return to school is seen by some as a way to make people adapt to the changing 21st century economy.  The story is published in the Post's "Inspired Life" section which means someone thinks governments forcing people to go back to school is an uplifting idea, and not an assault on individual liberty.

Doesn't matter the language, appeals court rules no profanity allowed on vanity plates.  In regards to customized license plates, an appeals court in Maryland ruled that there is no profanity when it comes to vanity ... no matter what language it's in.  After bouncing through the court system for almost five years, the Maryland Court of Appeals unanimously decided late last week that state officials did not violate a Washington D.C.-area lawyer's right to free speech by recalling his license plate for displaying a Spanish-language curse word.

Venezuela inflation
Venezuela's Inflation — Zero Hedge Repeats the Errors Printed Ad Nauseam in the Financial Press.  As the accompanying chart shows, Venezuela's inflation is not about ready to break out in hyperinflation, but has decelerated dramatically from annual rates exceeding 700 percent in 2015 to today's still punishing rate of 74.4 percent.  By the way, for those who play fast and loose with the word "hyperinflation," the hyperinflation threshold is 12,875 percent, year over year.


It Begins — Chicago Tribune Says Hillary Should Resign.  Liberal papers like the Chicago Tribune are calling on Hillary Clinton to step aside and let Tim Kaine run for the presidency instead.  Of course, the same writer in this article claims that the Democrats hold themselves to the high moral standards which is hilarious.  The Chicago Tribune at least has a little shred of credibility, as they didn't endorse Hillary Clinton back in early October.  They endorsed Gary Johnson.

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jamal D. Sutter
Air Force general:  A-10 Thunderbolt will be sustained 'indefinitely'.  The iconic A-10 Thunderbolt's time in Air Force limbo appears to be over with the announcement that depot lines are nearing full capacity for the purpose of sustaining it "indefinitely."  Ground troops will brief a sigh of relief with the recent assurance of Air Force Materiel Command chief Gen.  Ellen Pawlikowski that resources to perpetually maintain and repair the aircraft are in place.  In short, plans to completely scrap the "Warthog" — and its famous 30 mm GAU-8/A seven-barrel Gatling gun — in favor of the newly minted F-35 stealth fighter jet have been thwarted by performance in the field and lawmakers in the nation's capital.


The Editor says...
I like the A-10 because I like seeing bad things happen to bad people, and the A-10 delivers bad news in heavy doses.

Norwood Business Operator Gets Prison Time for Tobacco Tax Fraud and Money Laundering.  Muhammad Saleem Iqbal, 53, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 42 months in prison, two years of supervised release and restitution of $28,027,946, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.  The court also ordered forfeiture of hundreds of thousands of dollars in tobacco products and over $150,000 belonging to Iqbal and the tax-evading wholesale tobacco business in which he engaged.  In May, 2016, he pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud Massachusetts of wholesale tobacco taxes and to filing a false personal income tax return.

US charges 61 over India-based impersonation scam.  The US Justice Department charged 61 people and entities on Thursday (Oct 28) with taking part in a scam involving India-based call centres where agents impersonated Internal Revenue Service, immigration and other federal officials and demanded payments for nonexistent debts.  The scam, which had operated since 2013, targeted at least 15,000 people who lost more than $300 million.

Satire:
Queen Offers to Restore British Rule Over United States.  In an unexpected televised address on Saturday, Queen Elizabeth II offered to restore British rule over the United States of America.  Addressing the American people from her office in Buckingham Palace, the Queen said that she was making the offer "in recognition of the desperate situation you now find yourselves in."  "This two-hundred-and-forty-year experiment in self-rule began with the best of intentions, but I think we can all agree that it didn't end well," she said.

China repeatedly hacked US, stole data on nukes, FBI & war plans — security report.  Chinese intelligence repeatedly targeted US national security agencies and email accounts of US officials, a soon-to-be-released report says, adding that Beijing spies targeted info on nuclear weapons, FBI investigations and war plans.  "Chinese intelligence has repeatedly infiltrated US national security entities and extracted information with serious consequences for US national security, including information on the plans and operations of US military forces and the designs of US weapons and weapons systems," a draft annual report for 2016 said, as cited by the Washington Free Beacon.  The final version of the report of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission is to be released November 16.

How Hackers Wrecked the Internet Using DVRs and Webcams.  The internet was on shaky footing for the better part of Friday [10/21/2016] thanks to a large-scale attack on a company that runs a large portion of crucial internet infrastructure.  It's still too early to know exactly who is behind the attack, but experts have begun to pin down which devices are doing the bulk of the work.  It's not computers, but devices from the so-called Internet of Things.  We're talking smart fridges, web cams, and DVRs.  It may sound funny, being attacked by refrigerators, but don't laugh.  It's actually horrifying.

'Have You Changed the Password on Your Smart Fridge Lately?'.  That's the question asked by Popular Mechanics writer Eric Limer, who wrote an article explaining the massive internet outage that hit the East Coast on Friday [10/21/2016], saying the attack may be only the beginning.  The Distributed Denial of Service attack (DDoS) used thousands upon thousands of computers and other internet-connected devices to attack the internet performance company Dyn.

Investigators say attack could have relied on internet-connected household items to flood servers with traffic.  Early investigations into the attack that crippled websites across the US and in some parts of the UK on Friday [10/21/2016] found the 'internet of things' could have been used to overload servers at Dyn — the company that was targeted.  The shocking development revealed almost 500,000 items were potentially at risk of being activated without their owners' knowledge, with everything from baby monitors, DVRs, security cameras, and other gadgets turned into cyber weapons.

How a Bunch of Hacked DVR Machines Took Down Twitter and Reddit.  A distributed denial of service attack, or DDoS, is not an uncommon attack on the web, and web hosts have been fending them off for years.  But according to reports, Friday's [10/21/2016] attack was distinguished by its distinctive approach.  The perpetrator used a botnet composed of so-called "internet-of-things" devices — namely, webcams and DVRs — to spam Dyn with more requests than it could handle.

DNS devastation:  Top websites whacked offline as Dyn dies again.  An extraordinary, focused attack on DNS provider Dyn continues to disrupt internet services for hundreds of companies, including online giants Twitter, Amazon, AirBnB, Spotify and others.  The worldwide assault started at approximately 11am UTC on Friday [10/21/2016].  It was a massive denial-of-service blast that knocked Dyn's DNS anycast servers offline, resulting in knock-on impacts across the internet.  Folks immediately started reporting problems; millions of people are affected.

A grandmother is suing KFC for $20 million because she didn't get enough chicken.  A lot of small businesses advertise but it's worth taking care how you tout your wares.  Take the case of KFC's allegedly under-stuffed bucket.  A New York woman says she spent $20 for a bucket of chicken last summer and was disappointed when the meal fell short of what was advertised, the New York Post reports. [...] She claimed the fast-food giant's advertising shows a "bucket that's overflowing with chicken," according to the Post.  She's claiming false advertising.

Is CIA censoring jailed contractor's explosive book to protect Clinton?  The CIA has been accused of political bias by trying to stall publication of an explosive memoir which could damage Hillary Clinton's chances of reaching the White House.  The book tells the story of CIA contractor Raymond Davis, who was imprisoned in Pakistan in 2011 after shooting two men in self defense before being released in a controversial blood-money deal.  According to the authors, the CIA held the book manuscript for several months before demanding a swathe of redactions — even on information that is publicly available — pushing the publication of the book from September 2016 to March 2017.

Democrats warn of a racist uprising if Donald Trump loses election.  In Democratic circles, the talk about the presidential election has increasingly turned to fears of a violent uprising by white supremacists and neo-Nazis if Donald Trump loses.  The nervous talk holds that Mr. Trump's alleged racist followers are being primed to take to the streets to challenge election results should Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton prevail Nov. 8.  They say Mr. Trump's followers reveal their revolutionary fervor at rallies by chanting "lock her up" about the former secretary of state.

The Editor says...
Look at the people who have rioted in the streets for the past few years.  They don't look like Republicans.

Wikileaks Provides An Update On The Assange Internet Outage.  It seems that the Obama administration's efforts to save the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton is finally starting to yield tangible results as WikiLeaks just provided the following update that Julian Assange was cut off from using the Internet at the Ecuadorian embassy in London effective Saturday evening. [...] Of course, this comes just a few days after the Obama administration announced overt plans to escalate a cyber war with Russia over allegations they were behind the hacking of Hillary's private email server.  Certainly, one has to wonder what this means for the future of Assange as clearly the Obama administration has applied sufficient pressure on the Ecuadorian government such that they have started to cave on their support of him.

RT's Bank Accounts Frozen, Assange's Internet Cut In Apparent Move to Silence West's Critics.  [Scroll down]  Although neither the cutting of Assange's Internet access nor that a state agent was responsible have been proven, if factual, speaks to the power wielded in the government transparency Wikileaks continues to provide when, for instance, President Obama's administration has failed.  Wikileaks assumedly already has possession of whatever documents Assange might have obtained and plans to release in the future, but the attempt to silence the controversial and vociferously debated public figure are at least concerning — and at worst disturbingly indicative of the trouble an unknown will go to silence free speech and press.

Julian Assange's internet link has been intentionally severed by a state party - WikiLeaks.  WikiLeaks has activated "contingency plans" after its co-founder's internet service was intentionally cut off by a state actor, the media organization said in a tweet.  The internet is one of the few, if not only, available ways for Julian Assange, who has been locked up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for more than four years, to maintain contact with the outside world.  Facing extradition to Sweden over allegations of rape, which he denies, the Australian computer programmer has been holed up in the embassy in West London since 2012.  He claims the extradition is actually a bid to move him to a jurisdiction from which he can then be sent to the US, which is known to be actively investigating WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks says Assange's Internet link was severed by 'state party'.  The website's announcement came hours after it published three cryptic tweets.  The messages referenced Ecuador, Secretary of State John Kerry and the United Kingdom's Foreign Commonwealth Office.  Each tweet was matched with a string of numbers. [...] Gizmodo noted that the 64-character codes sparked a whirlwind of rumors that the 45-year-old Assange had died.  Rumors on Reddit and Twitter said the numbers triggered a so-called "dead man's switch," which could be enacted in case Assange did die.  Gizmodo reported that such switches do exist.  WikiLeaks hasn't tweeted anything else about Assange's Internet access or how it may have been "severed."

Clinton Campaign chairman:  I'm OK with taking money from foreign agents.  Sunday's Wikileaks dump includes an email discussion within the Hillary Clinton campaign about whether they should continue to take money from people who were registered with the U.S. government as foreign government agents under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.  At first, on April 15, high-level campaign officials met by telephone and made the honorable decision to not take money from foreign government agents, but, as Hillary's national finance director, Dennis Cheng, wrote, when he reopened the decision later that same day, "we are leaving a good amount of money on the table."

Rio Grande Valley Corruption Update for October 2016.  Two Hidalgo County employees arrested for stealing from the county.  "La Villa Alderman Jose Lupe Contreras, 32, and 26-year-old Derick Palomin were arrested and charged with theft by a public servant, a Class B misdemeanor, and abuse of official capacity, a Class B misdemeanor, according to the news release."  What did they take?  "The pair of cousins is accused of using county equipment to steal caliche from Precinct 1."  It takes a certain kind of genius to be arrested for stealing dirt.

The Editor says...
For those of you who have not yet been fortunate enough to move to Texas, let me offer some background information to accompany the article immediately above:  Caliche is a white, chalky dirt that is used to pave roads where asphalt is too expensive.  Even the weeds won't grow in caliche, so its value is just slightly above zero.  Presumably, the value of caliche was zero until the widespread popularity of the automobile.  Caliche is low-class:  If you live on a street that's paved with caliche, your car is always dirty.  Caliche is mined at several locations in Texas.

Venezuelan regime runs out of other people's money.  Though every eye in the country is focused on the election, Americans should take a moment to look at the socialist disaster unfolding in Venezuela.  Domestic economic anxiety is legitimate, but we should be thankful we're so much better off than those subjected to the economic nostrums of the far Left.  Americans are fortunate they no longer have to worry about diphtheria; Venezuelan doctors warn that their country may be on the verge of an epidemic because vaccines and antibiotics are so scarce.  Americans are fortunate that prices are fairly stable; Venezuela has the highest inflation rate in the world, expected to hit 700 percent this year.

Lookalike Toy Gun Ban Moves Forward in N.J. Assembly.  New Jersey Assembly Democrat Mila Jasey wants to outlaw toy guns in her state not because she has a problem with her grandchildren playing with them.  A Republican in the New Jersey Assembly, who used to be a cop, argues her legislation, while well-intentioned, might backfire and empower criminals.  But Jasey is afraid children are going to be killed by cops because they are waving around toy guns that are too realistic.  "As a mother and a grandmother, I shudder to think that a child can be playing one moment and dead the next simply because an officer was unable to determine whether a gun was real or a toy," said New Jersey Assembly Democrat Mila Jasey.  As a result, Jasey is a co-sponsor of legislation that would outlaw toy guns that look too much like the real thing.

The Editor says...
After this law is enacted, the police will be even less hesitant to assume that there are no fake guns -- making toy guns (i.e., realistic BB guns) even more dangerous.

Legislator Wants Mandatory Class to Teach Teens How to Deal with Cops.  To paraphrase John Oliver, the host of HBO's "Last Week Tonight," the good news is this won't be like Algebra 101.  Teenagers are actually going to use it in real life.  Texas Sen. John Whitmire will introduce legislation to mandate traffic-stop etiquette classes for 9th-grade students.  In other words, the kids will be taught how to act when they're pulled over by a cop — or, worst-case scenario, when they are arrested.

Russia Hints at Reclaiming Cuba, Vietnam Bases in Test for U.S..  Threatening to open Cold War wounds and further aggravate ties with the U.S. that are already strained by the conflict in Syria, a senior Russian defense official said the military is considering a possible return to its Soviet-era bases in Cuba and Vietnam.  In the clearest confirmation to date that Russia may scrap its decision to withdraw from the two countries more than a decade ago, Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov told lawmakers in Moscow on Friday [10/7/2016] that the military is revisiting the issue, without providing more details, according to the state-run Tass news service.  Responding to a question about the plans, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the global security situation has become "rather fluid" after "substantial changes" over the past two years.

Judge allows a lawsuit to be served by tweet.  A California nonprofit was having a hard time serving a Kuwaiti sheikh with lawsuit papers, so it got permission to do it in the most 21st-century way possible:  on Twitter.  Courthouse News Service reports that a federal judge is allowing St. Francis of Assisi, which assists refugees, to tweet the suit at Hajjaj al-Ajmi, whom the group is suing (in addition to two Middle Eastern banks) for what they say is his role in funding a Christian genocide in Iraq and Syria.

Dad shocked that he was charged $40 to hold his newborn in the delivery room.  A Utah dad counted his blessings when his son Samuel was born Sept. 4, but when he got the hospital bill weeks later, he saw a charge he hadn't banked on — $40 to briefly snuggle his newborn in the delivery room.  Dad Ryan Grassley was stunned when his bill arrived from Utah Valley Hospital in Provo, with a $39.35 charge for "skin to skin after C-section."  And that was just part of the itemized $13,280.49 delivery bill.  "We weren't mad, but it seemed ridiculous," Grassley, 37, who works at an iron foundry, told the Daily News.  "I had no idea that I'd be charged for that."

Russia Suspends Nuclear Agreement, Ends Uranium Research Pact With United States.  Russia further curtailed its cooperation with the United States in nuclear energy on Wednesday [10/5/2016], suspending a research agreement and terminating one on uranium conversion, two days after the Kremlin shelved a plutonium pact with Washington.

Another Newport home tied to Trinity Broadcasting Network is for sale — this time at $5.25 million.  A secluded, ocean-view "trophy" home tied to the Trinity Broadcasting Network has hit the market in Newport Beach for $5.25 million.  The 9,467-square-foot house is set on over an acre in the guard-gated Harbor Ridge community.  The listing follows that of another home in the neighborhood tied to the broadcasting network earlier this year.  Built in 1979, the latest house to come up for sale has its own large gates, six bedrooms, an elevator, private tennis court, swimming pool and spa and a grassy pavilion area with an outdoor kitchen.  In the foyer, a chandelier hangs from a high ceiling.  Interiors include a formal library, piano room and bar.

Federal Debt in FY 2016 Jumped $1,422,827,047,452.46 — That's $12,036 Per Household.  At the close of business on Sept. 30, 2015, the last day of fiscal 2015, the federal debt was $18,150,617,666,484.33, according to the Treasury.  By the close of business on Sept. 30, 2016, the last day of fiscal 2016, it had climbed to $19,573,444,713,936.79.

2016 SAT test results confirm pattern that's persisted for 45 years — high school boys are better at math than girls.  Even though female high school students are better prepared academically than their male classmates on many different measures of academic success, both overall and for mathematics specifically, female high school students score significantly lower on the SAT math test, and the +30-point differences in test scores favoring males has persisted for several generations and exists across all ethnic groups.

Debate Commission: 'There Were Issues' with Donald Trump's Audio.  The commission on presidential debates admits there were problems with Donald Trump's audio during his first presidential debate with Hillary Clinton.  "Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump's audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall," the Commission on Presidential Debates say in a carefully worded email to reporters.

Debate Commission Says There Were 'Issues' With Trump's Mic.  The Commission on Presidential Debates admitted today [9/30/2016] that Republican nominee Donald Trump's audio was not working properly during Monday's night debate at Hofstra University.  "Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump's audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall," according to a statement from the commission.

Senate votes to override Obama veto on 9/11 bill.  Congress on Wednesday [9/28/2016] overwhelmingly rejected President Obama's veto of a bipartisan bill letting families of Sept. 11 victims sue the Saudi Arabian government, in the first successful veto override of Obama's presidency.  Marking a significant defeat for the White House, the House ensured the bill will become law after voting 348-77 to override Wednesday afternoon.  This followed a 97-1 vote hours earlier in the Senate.  Despite last-ditch warnings from the Obama administration that the legislation could hurt national security and was "badly misguided," lawmakers dismissed the concerns.

Congress rejects Obama veto of Saudi September 11 bill.  The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday [9/28/2016] to reject President Barack Obama's veto of a bill allowing relatives of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia, the first veto override of Obama's eight-year-long presidency.

Cost of taxpayer-backed student loan forgiveness could skyrocket.  A program to encourage student-loan borrowers to go into public service may come with a hefty price tag.  Anyone who takes out a federal student loan can qualify for public service loan forgiveness.  (Borrowers who took out private student loans are not eligible for the program.)  Qualified borrowers will be able to use this benefit starting next year.  The ultimate cost of the program is difficult to determine.

Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson can't name foreign leader he admires.  Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson could not name a foreign leader he admires, when asked during a televised town hall meeting. [...] It is not Jonhson's first gaffe this month: about three weeks ago, he was asked what he would do about Aleppo if he becomes president.  A truly surreal dialogue followed.

Female Navy sailor who refused to stand during national anthem while in uniform is 'under review' by military and 'has been threatened with jail'.  A female US Navy sailor, who refused to stand for the national anthem while in uniform, is now under investigation by the military.  Intelligence Specialist 2nd Class Janaye Ervin posted a photo on Facebook explaining why she stands in solidarity with 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's Star Spangled Banner protest.

Walmart workers refuse to make cop's retirement cake.  Three Walmart workers in McDonough, Ga., refused to decorate a "thin blue line" cake for a police officer's retirement party because they said it was racist.  A number of my Georgia readers alerted me to the story and on Saturday night I spoke directly with the police officer's daughter.  She asked that I not divulge her name and I've agreed to do that.  "I was so shocked," she told me.  "I didn't know what to do or say or anything.  I was trying not to lose my temper or make a scene."  For the record, Walmart has confessed that most of her allegations are true.

White House says U.S. safer under Obama, despite crime surge.  The White House said Monday [9/26/2016] that Americans are safer under President Obama, despite FBI crime statistics showing that violent crime rose about 4 percent last year.  "The numbers indicate that since President Obama took office, the violent crime rate has fallen 15 percent," said White House press secretary Josh Earnest, who said crime rates are still "near historic lows."  The FBI reported Monday [9/26/2016] that violent crime rose nationwide, fueled by an 11 percent increase in homicides, particularly in some of the largest cities.

FBI hands Trump a new talking point on debate day with news that murders were up more than 10 percent last year.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation handed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump a gift-wrapped talking point on Monday morning [9/26/2016], announcing just hours before his first debate with Democrat Hillary Clinton that America's murder rate rose by 10.8 percent last year.  Trump has sought to tie Clinton to the Obama administration's domestic policy record while arguing that tougher policing can curb U.S. inner-city violence if only black voters would break from their traditional Democratic loyalties.

This is gun control at its finest:
'1 shot — 1 note': Russian sharpshooter performs Beethoven using pistols (Video).  A Russian sharpshooter has proven his skills are going way beyond just precisely hitting targets, as he performed various musical pieces, including by Beethoven, using two Glock pistols, a video has shown.

No, Terance Crutcher Wasn't Shot With His Hands Up And PCP Was Found In His Car.  First problem, he was walking back to his car, against the commands of the officers.  See why officers are very leery of that kind of action.  He drops at least one hand if not both when he reaches the car.  The reason the helicopter cut said 'he looks like a bad dude' was because he wasn't following commands of officer and officer thought he was on something.  Both officers fire, one tasing, one shooting at the same time.  Which means they both recognized a danger at the same time.

Terence Crutcher Was Not Shot With His Hands Up.  Here's the Definitive Proof.  Numerous media organizations that should know better, from Sky News, to Reuters, to NPR, are claiming that white Tulsa (OK) Police Department officer Betty Shelby shot and killed Terence Crutcher standing in the road with his hands up.  That is a demonstrable lie, as proven with simple screen captures from video footage from the police helicopter circling overhead.

DoD: $8.7 Billion So Far Fighting ISIL in Iraq and Syria, Averaging $12.1 Million A Day.  In a special report on Operation Inherent Resolve, the Department of Defense (DoD) details the actions and cost of fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL — $8.7 billion so far for an average of $12.1 million a day.  "As of July 31, 2016, the total cost of operations related to ISIL since kinetic operations started on August 8, 2014, is $8.7 billion and the average daily cost is $12.1 million for 724 days of operations," the report stated.

How Bad Off Is Oil-Rich Venezuela?  It's Buying U.S. Oil.  One oil rig was idle for weeks because a single piece of equipment was missing.  Another was attacked by armed gangs who made off with all they could carry.  Many oil workers say they are paid so little that they barely eat and have to keep watch over one another in case they faint while high up on the rigs.  Venezuela's petroleum industry, whose vast revenues once fueled the country's Socialist-inspired revolution, underwriting everything from housing to education, is spiraling into disarray.  To add insult to injury, the Venezuelan government has been forced to turn to its nemesis, the United States, for help.

Clinton Cash comic book
Florida Library Bans 'Clinton Cash:  A Graphic Novel' from Its Shelves.  A library in Florida denied a woman's request to put a New York Times bestselling graphic novel that criticizes Hillary Clinton on its shelves.  The Alachua County Library District denied Alachua County resident Ann Lhota's request to make Clinton Cash:  A Graphic Novel available to borrow.  Clinton Cash:  A Graphic Novel is currently the number one New York Times bestselling graphic novel, based off Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer's book Clinton Cash.


EpiPen manufacturer under scrutiny for defrauding Medicaid, suspicious influences.  EpiPen maker Mylan's CEO's connection to the National Association of State Boards of Education may be a part of the shady dealings being investigated by US lawmakers, including allegations that they defrauded West Virginia's Medicaid department.  Mylan has been highly scrutinized after increasing the price of its medical devices that fight life-threatening allergic reactions by 400 percent this year.  The pharmaceutical company is now facing an enforcement action after not cooperating with the West Virginia attorney general's subpoena issued last month, CNBC reported.  Heather Bresch is the CEO of Mylan and is reportedly very well connected.

AAA: You're All Wasting Billions Of Dollars On Premium Gas, So Stop It.  The American Automobile Association has an important message for Americans: we're all wasting billions of dollars every year on premium gasoline for vehicles that don't actually need it, and we should stop.  While high-octane gasoline is available everywhere and might make us feel like we're doing something good for our cars, we actually aren't.  It's not that putting higher-octane fuel into your car is going to hurt your car, but an additional survey by AAA shows that only 16% of drivers have cars with an engine type that can actually take advantage of high-octane gasoline and would benefit from it.

Hillary in for a new walloping with 'Clinton, Inc.' movie that digs deep into her psychology — and Bill's.  With the right lighting a twenty-something Virginia Clinton — Bill's mom — was a dead ringer for Monica Lewinsky.  That realization alone, and all its Freudian implications, is enough to recommend 'Clinton, Inc.: The Movie,' a film adaptation of the 2014 book that will hit theaters on September 30.  It turns out the future president's sexually undiscriminating but lovable and charming mother — and the rock-steady but ambitious and intimidating grandmother who helped raised him — formed maternal bookends that he would later reanimate with Lewinsky and Hillary Rodham.

US Air Force Grounds $400billion F-35 fighter jets due to 'faulty cooling lines'.  The US Air Force is struggling to get the world's most expensive weapon off the ground.  Just a month after declaring the F-35 'combat ready,' officials have now grounded 10 of the fighter jets.

U.S. national debt is more than all the world's physical cash, gold, silver, and bitcoin combined.  The U.S national debt is quickly approaching $19.5 trillion.  It will very likely be there this month.  It is hard to comprehend how much this amount is for the average American that is barely trying to get by.  But people are starting to wake up.  There is a large financial charade going on.  Most people realize that their standard of living is being eroded.  Anyone outside of coastal regions realizes that many parts of this country are struggling to levels that are not understood by the mainstream press.  Their control is slowly being lost.  One way to understand the amount of debt we have as a nation is to simply look at in context to how much physical currency is out there.

Inmates say prison made them watch Hillary Clinton's speech, blacked out Donald Trump's.  Federal convicts told a judge they were forced to watch Hillary Clinton's convention speech at the federal prison where they're being held — but said the prison imposed a blackout on Donald Trump's speech, tuning the facility's televisions to other channels.  The felons are trying to join the federal case against President Obama's 2014 deportation amnesty, saying that Mr. Obama is discriminating against U.S. citizens caught breaking the law by punishing them, even as he attempts to grant work permits and taxpayer-funded benefits to illegal immigrants.

Reminiscent of Mecca?
Glowing, cube-shaped design for performing arts center at World Trade Center complex unveiled.  A design of translucent marble and glass was unveiled Thursday [9/8/2016] for a long-stalled performing arts center at the World Trade Center complex.  Officials also announced that Barbra Streisand will serve as board chair of the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center that will be dedicated to producing new works and serving as a public space.  Located between One World Trade Center and the memorial plaza, the cube-shaped center will aim to both commemorate the Sept. 11 tragedy and reflect the vitality of New York City, board members said from a room overlooking the project site.

Trump Supporters Call for Boycott After Starbucks CEO Endorses Hillary.  Donald Trump's supporters took to Twitter today [9/8/2016] to call for a boycott of Starbucks after CEO Howard Schultz endorsed Hillary Clinton.

Wells Fargo fined $185 million for improper account openings.  California and federal regulators fined Wells Fargo a combined $185 million on Thursday, alleging the bank's employees illegally opened millions of unauthorized accounts for their customers in order to meet aggressive sales goals.

Bakery refuses to write 'Trump 2016' on cake.  A Facebook post shared by a Bossier Parish teen is getting a lot of attention.  It reads, "Just left Albertsons.  The woman behind the cake counter just refused to make me a birthday cake because I wanted Trump 2016 on it.  Did that really just happen."  The cake is for the Benton girl's 18th birthday party, and the post has been shared now more than 150 times.  [Video clip]

This denied request for a cake didn't involve a gay wedding.  I'll confess I didn't see this one coming.  A 17 year old from Louisiana who is excited about voting in her first election and happens to be supporting Donald Trump got an unexpected surprise while preparing for her birthday party.  Going to the local baker, she was met with rejection when she asked for a cake with the candidate's logo on it.

The One Trillion Dollar Consumer Auto Loan Bubble Is Beginning To Burst.  Do you remember the subprime mortgage meltdown from the last financial crisis?  Well, this time around we are facing a subprime auto loan meltdown.  In recent years, auto lenders have become more and more aggressive, and they have been increasingly willing to lend money to people that should not be borrowing money to buy a new vehicle under any circumstances.  Just like with subprime mortgages, this strategy seemed to pay off at first, but now economic reality is beginning to be felt in a major way.  Delinquency rates are up by double digit percentages, and major auto lenders are bracing for hundreds of millions of dollars of losses.  We are a nation that is absolutely drowning in debt, and we are most definitely going to reap what we have sown.

US government orders antibacterial chemicals be removed from soaps.  They may look fancy.  But the US government has said old-fashioned soap and water is more effective than anti-bacterial products.  On Friday [9/2/2016], the federal authorities banned 19 chemicals long-used in antibacterial soaps, saying manufacturers failed to show they are safe and kill germs.  "We have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water," Dr Janet Woodcock, of the Food and Drug Administration's drug centre, said in a statement.

Wells closing after Oklahoma quake fraction of state's total.  The 37 wastewater disposal wells to be shut down in north-central Oklahoma, where a 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck this weekend, are just a fraction of the state's total number.

Is Putin plotting to undermine the presidential election?  US intelligence officials are investigating whether Vladimir Putin is trying to undermine the race for the White House.  It follows concern the Kremlin is planning a 'covert operation' ahead of the presidential election in a bid to reduce public trust.  The probe is looking into the extent of Russia's suspected attack, which involves hacking political components that are vital to the vote in November.  Moscow's intent may not be to impact the result, but could be to cause chaos and create propaganda damaging to the US.

After NAFTA: $1.66B Merchandise Trade Surplus With Mexico Became $60.66B Deficit.  In 1993, the last year before the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect, the United States ran a $1,663,300,000 merchandise trade surplus with Mexico, according to the trade data published by the U.S. Census Bureau.  In 2015, the last full year on record, the U.S. ran a merchandise trade deficit with Mexico of $60,662,800,000.  In 1994, the first year NAFTA was in effect, the U.S. ran a merchandise trade surplus with Mexico of $1,349,800,000 — down from the $1,663,300,000 surplus of 1993.

Finally — Jacksonville State Attorney Angela Corey Defeated.  The brutally corrupt Jacksonville State Attorney Angela Corey, has been beaten in the 2016 primary race.  State Attorney Angela Corey pushed the false story that surrounded Trayvon Martin.  Corey lied to the Florida judiciary, lied to the public, and forced the investigators in her office to lie on her behalf.

Most Scientific Findings Are Wrong or Useless.  [Daniel] Sarewitz cites several examples of bad science that I reported in my February article "Broken Science."  These include a major biotech company's finding in 2012 that only six out of 53 landmark published preclinical cancer studies could be replicated.  Researchers at a leading pharmaceutical company reported that they could not replicate 43 of the 67 published preclinical studies that the company had been relying on to develop cancer and cardiovascular treatments and diagnostics.  In 2015, only about a third of 100 psychological studies published in three leading psychology journals could be adequately replicated.  A 2015 editorial in The Lancet observed that "much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue."  A 2015 British Academy of Medical Sciences report suggested that the false discovery rate in some areas of biomedicine could be as high as 69 percent.

Erdogan Goes Full Autocrat, Press Freedom Extinct in Turkey.  Since the media crackdown began, 2,308 media workers and journalists have been fired.  Hundreds of other journalists have had their government-issued press accreditations taken away, and many other journalists (the precise amount is unknown) have been informed that their passports have been revoked, making it impossible for them to travel abroad to either do their job or escape before they too are jailed.  Erol Önderoğlu, who is Turkey's representative for Reporters Without Borders, explains that the government is using the state of emergency to shut down as many newspapers, TV channels and websites as possible.

30 pieces of silver, adjusted for inflation:
Leaked Document Shows Soros Spent $650K To Influence Pope Francis On 'Economic And Racial Justice Issues'.  George Soros's Open Society Foundations spent $650,000 in an effort to influence Pope Francis during his visit to the United States, a leaked document reveals.  The document is an agenda for a May 2015 New York meeting of the U.S programs division of the Open Society Foundations.  It states that it had allocated $650,000 for a grant related to Pope Francis' September 2015 visit to the United States.  The group DC Leaks has released over 2,000 documents from groups associated with Soros.

Grocery store boots Girl Scouts, Salvation Army.  "Our primary obligation is servicing our customers by providing the most pleasant and convenient shopping environment," company spokesman Paul Simon said in a statement to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  "Because of this we have decided to end the solicitation of our customers or distribution of written or other materials at our stores."  For the record, Schnucks is a privately owned company and the owners have a right to run their business however they see fit.  But they might want to reconsider calling themselves the "friendliest store in town."

University of Chicago to freshmen:  We do not support 'trigger warnings,' 'safe spaces'.  The University of Chicago has once again expressed its commitment to free speech, warning incoming freshmen not to expect any "trigger warnings" or safe spaces on campus where individuals can retreat from intellectual challenges.  In a letter sent to the class of 2020, the dean of students for undergraduates explained the private university's "commitment to freedom of inquiry and expression."

Company that price gouged EpiPen is Clinton Foundation donor.  The pharmaceutical company under fire for increasing the cost of its life-saving EpiPen has been criticized by Hillary Clinton — despite the fact that the manufacturer donated to the Clinton Foundation.  Records available on the website of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation reveal Mylan, the company that manufactures the EpiPen, has donated up to $250,000.  On Wednesday [8/24/2016], Clinton released a statement blasting her family foundation's donor.

Target Refunding Millions Over Fake Egyptian Cotton Sheets.  Target Corp. is refunding millions of dollars worth of sheets after finding a textile supply company was pawning off phony fabrics as luxurious Egyptian-cotton.  Approximately 750,000 sheets and pillowcases manufactured by Welspun India Ltd. were labeled to be 500-threat count Egyptian cotton, Bloomberg reports, but found to be a knockoff instead.

Unsecured WiFi at Trump rally named 'Clinton Email Server'.  A WiFi network at a Donald Trump rally was named after his Democratic rival's long-running email controversy.  "Clinton Email Server" popped up at the rally Tuesday night [8/23/2016] in Austin, Texas.  The network — of course — was unsecured.

The Pentagon Takes Aim at Bomb-Carrying Consumer Drones.  They're cheap, they're light, and they can carry a small bomb:  The commercial drone is essentially a new terror gadget for organizations such as Hezbollah, Islamic State, or anyone else looking to wreak havoc on a budget.  "That's the same quad copter you can get on Groupon or go down to Sam's Club and buy for $400," U.S. Marine Corps Commandant General Robert Neller said last week at a Washington forum on future warfare.  The elusive nature of small drones is one reason the federal government has designated the District of Columbia a "national defense airspace" and prohibited drone flights there.

More of Kremlin's Opponents Are Ending Up Dead.  [Scroll down]  "It all went so fast," he recalled.  "In the space of about 20 minutes, I went from feeling completely normal to having a rapid heart rate, really high blood pressure, to sweating and vomiting all over the place, and then I lost consciousness."  He had ingested a poison, doctors told him after he emerged from a weeklong coma, though they could find no identifiable trace of it.  While Mr. Kara-Murza survived, few others in his position have proved as lucky.  He said he was certain he had been the target of a security service poisoning.  Used extensively in the Soviet era, political murders are again playing a prominent role in the Kremlin's foreign policy, the most brutal instrument in an expanding repertoire of intimidation tactics intended to silence or otherwise intimidate critics at home and abroad.

Why Venezuela faces collapse.  Last week the socialist government of Venezuela began seizing and destroying handguns, rifles and shotguns — continuing the late Hugo Chavez's effort to solve the nation's crime problem by disarming the nation.  However, since Chavez imposed what he and his followers proudly called "21st-Century Socialism" on one of the wealthiest nations in South America, Venezuela has been in economic, political and social free fall.  Disarming the country won't work, but one can certainly understand current President Nicolas Maduro's desire to disarm as many Venezuelans as possible.  He and his cronies are increasingly worried that an angry and frustrated populace could turn his country into a revolutionary cauldron.

Venezuela crushes 2,000 guns in public, plans registry of bullets.  Venezuelan police crushed and chopped up nearly 2,000 shotguns and pistols in a Caracas city square on Wednesday [8/17/2016], as the new interior minister relaunched a long-stalled gun control campaign in one of the world's most crime-ridden countries.  Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said the event marked the renewal of efforts to disarm Venezuelans, through a combination of seizures and a voluntary program to swap guns for electrical goods.  Venezuela has the world's second highest murder rate and the street gangs that plague its poor neighborhoods have become increasingly heavily armed in recent years, at a time when a deep recession has reduced resources available to police.

Venezuelan Responds to Economic and Societal Collapse by Theatrically Destroying Guns.  Socialism in Venezuela has failed.  The country can't even keep the power on.  What is left of the strangulated free market cannot provide jobs.  People have been reduced to eating garbage, pets, and zoo animals.  As civilization collapses, crime has exploded.  So what does the leftist government that brought about this situation do to rectify it?  Target guns, of course.

Starving Venezuelans Break into Zoo, Eat Horse.  As the economic crisis in Venezuela continues to worsen, starving citizens broke into a zoo and slaughtered a horse to eat it.  Several people busted into the Caricuao Zoo in Caracas and then butchered the zoo's stallion.

Tylenol use during pregnancy linked to behavioral problems in children.  Acetaminophen — most commonly in the form of Tylenol — is generally considered a safe method of treating pain and fever during pregnancy, but new research in England suggests it has an effect on children after birth.  Behavioral problems in children ages 5 to 7 was linked to maternal use of acetaminophen during pregnancy, though researchers at the University of Bristol say the risk should be weighed against not treating health conditions of a pregnant woman.

George W. Bush Didn't Kill Harambe, The Internet Is Just Weird.  If you're a normal, well-adjusted human being, you might vaguely remember Harambe, the endangered gorilla who was fatally shot by zookeepers at a Cincinnati zoo after a young boy fell into his exhibit pit back in May.  If you're a Weird Internet Person, then you have probably never stopped thinking about Harambe since his death.  The web has been whirling with conspiracy theories centered around the *real* cause of the gorilla's death.  The conspiracy theories are, of course, both inaccurate and (most of the time) passed along as a joke.  But the Harambe obsession is all too real.

NSA and the No Good, Very Bad Monday.  [Scroll down]  Because of the sheer volume and quality, it is overwhelmingly likely that this data is authentic.  And it does not appear to be information taken from compromised targets.  Instead, the exploits, binaries with help strings, server configuration scripts, 5 separate versions of one implant framework, and all sort of other features indicate that this is analyst-side code — the kind that probably never leaves the NSA.  It is also unlikely that this data is from the Snowden cache.  Those documents focused on PowerPoint slides and shared data, not detailed exploits.  Besides NSA, the only plausible candidate for ownership is GCHQ — and the implications of stealing Top Secret data from GCHQ and modifying it to frame the NSA would themselves be startling.  All this is to say that there is relatively high confidence that these files contain genuine NSA material.

NSA website recovers from outage amid intrigue.  The National Security Agency's website was offline for almost a full day until Tuesday evening [8/16/2016], in an unexplained outage that began shortly after hackers claimed to have stolen a collection of the agency's prized cyber weapons.  It's unknown if the two events are connected.  POLITICO first noticed that the agency's website wasn't working at 10:54 p.m.  Monday.  It came back online around 5 p.m.  Tuesday.

Key studies cited to 'prove' vaccines are safe were funded almost entirely by vaccine manufacturers.  In this critical review of the scientific literature on vaccines, ANH-USA and Brian Hooker carefully scrutinize the gross scientific flaws and blatant financial conflicts of interests that undermine the most commonly cited scientific studies which "prove" vaccines don't cause autism.  In a startling percentage of these studies, the "scientists" were either directly funded by vaccine manufacturers who stood to profit from vaccine safety whitewashing or served as highly paid expert witnesses to defend vaccine makers against lawsuits.

Newspapers rethink paywalls as digital efforts sputter.  Paywalls were supposed to help rescue newspapers from the crisis of sinking print circulation as readers shifted to getting their news online.  But with a few exceptions, they have failed to deliver much relief, prompting some news organizations to rethink their digital strategies.  Newspapers in the English-speaking world ended paywalls some 69 times through May 2015, including 41 temporary and 28 permanent drops, according to a study by University of Southern California researchers.

Donald Trump's Name Finally Shows Up on The D.C. Presidential Ballot.  Republican nominee Donald Trump was not on the presidential ballot in Washington, D.C. as of Thursday afternoon [8/11/2016].  The ballot included only Democrat Hillary Clinton and Libertarian Gary Johnson in the presidential race.  The Trump-Pence ticket was finally added after insiders expressed concern about the situation to Breitbart News.  The D.C. Republican Party blamed various paperwork-related complications that needed to be sorted out.

Fake wi-fi hotspots at the Olympics.  A cybersecurity report reveals several fake WiFi hotspots have been set up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in order to take advantage of the influx of people attending the 2016 Olympics.  Skycure, a mobile security firm, found that places like Rio Galeão Airport are unaware they were inadvertently hosting several nefarious networks, according to Forbes.  In other words, tourists arriving in the city are leaving themselves vulnerable to hackers once they turn on their phones or turn off airplane mode.  Another report, published by Kaspersky Lab, discovered that 18 percent of the available networks were highly unsafe.  Another 7 percent used antiquated encryption technology.

Hillary Will NOT Congratulate 'Girl With A Gun' Who Took Gold But GLADLY Congratulates....  Identity politics is something that progressives have always practiced, and Hillary is a master at cherry picking certain individuals that fit nicely into her narrative.  Simply listen to any of her speeches on any issue, and no doubt identity politics will eventually rear its ugly head.  Perhaps the most notorious example of identity politics was played out in public during ol hound-dog Bills many sexual scandals, in particular the Monica Lewinsky escapade, when Hillary a big advocate for woman's rights went on damage control and virtually on a smear campaign destroying the reputation of then intern Lewinsky and scores of other woman, with some actually being sexually assaulted by the president.  So it should come as no surprise that Hillary would congratulate a Muslim wearing a hijab for competing at the Olympics in Rio, while totally ignoring the first American gold medalist, because it involved a firearm.

Hacker Publishes List Of Cell Phone Numbers, Private E-Mails For Most House Democrats.  After disappearing for a couple of weeks, the hacker "Guccifer 2.0" returned late this afternoon [8/12/2016] to provide a new headache for Democrats.  In a post to his WordPress blog, the vandal — who previously provided nearly 20,000 Democratic National Committee e-mails to Wikileaks — uploaded an Excel file that includes the cell phone numbers and private e-mail addresses of nearly every Democratic member of the House of Representatives.  The Excel file also includes similar contact information for hundreds of congressional staff members (chiefs of staff, press secretaries, legislative directors, schedulers) and campaign personnel.

Cyberattack on Democrats bigger than first believed.  The Russian hackers who exposed a pro-Hillary Clinton bias at the Democratic National Committee have reportedly hacked even more Democratic emails than previously believed.  The cyber-criminals gained access to the correspondence of more than 100 Democratic Party officials and groups, apparently targeting Clinton campaign officials and party operatives, according to the New York Times.  The FBI has broadened its investigation, the paper said, and the agency alerted potential targets that their personal accounts may have been breached.

George Soros Had White House Meeting With Obama's ISIS Czar.  Liberal billionaire George Soros was at the White House late last year to meet with President Obama's controversial top adviser on ISIS, according to the White House visitor log.  Soros, joined by top aide Michelle's Vachon and Bulgarian political scientist Ivan Krastev, met with White House ISIS czar Rob Malley late in the afternoon on October 8, 2015 in the Executive Office Building, according to a recent update of the log.

DNC Email Hack Just Got A Whole Lot Bigger.  An investigation by the FBI has revealed the hack against the Democratic National Committee (DNC) may be much larger than expected.  According to The New York Times, the hack extended well beyond the DNC, and may have affected hundreds of other Democratic party officials and organizations, including the Democratic Governors Association.  The FBI briefed staff members of the House and Senate intelligence committees last week on the investigation into the email hacks against the DNC in July.  The FBI told staff it has no doubt that the Russian government was behind the hack, according to The New York Times, citing an anonymous staff member briefed on the matter.

'Self-driving' in spotlight again as China sees first Tesla autopilot crash.  Tesla said on Wednesday [8/10/2016] that one of its cars had crashed in Beijing while in 'autopilot' mode, with the driver contending sales staff sold the function as 'self-driving', overplaying its actual capabilities.  Tesla said it had reviewed data to confirm the car was in autopilot mode, a system that takes control of steering and braking in certain conditions.  The company, which is investigating the crash in China's capital last week, also said it was the driver's responsibility to maintain control of the vehicle.  In this case, it said, the driver's hands were not detected on the steering wheel.  [Video clip]

Protected minorities must be portrayed in a favorable light — whether it's realistic or not.
Disney Accused of Cultural Insensitivity Because a Character Is Too Fat.  The upcoming Disney film Moana will star a Polynesian princess for the first time in the franchise's history — but, rather than be excited, many people are complaining that the film's portrayal of a Polynesian demigod character is culturally insensitive because he's too fat.  According to MauiNow.com, Polynesian politicians are among those speaking out.  For example, New Zealand Labour MP Jenny Salesa (who is of Polynesian heritage) complained on Facebook that the movie having a fat demigod will actually harm children.  "The environment our kids grow up in and what they are exposed to have a role to play," she wrote.  "Disney movies are very influential on our children."

TSA: 'Artfully concealed' weapons on the rise in airports, create fears about threats to airliners.  A confidential Transportation Security Administration report says the number of "artfully concealed" prohibited items increased at airports in June, creating fears about threats to passenger aircraft.  Meanwhile, a U.S. railroad association issued a separate alert Monday [8/1/2016] to workers in light of the Islamic State's mass of social media posts, such as its magazine Dabiq, urging followers to kill.  A year ago this month, two U.S. service members stopped a heavily armed jihadi from gunning down passengers on a high-speed Amsterdam-to-Paris train.  Authorities said the National Guardsman and Air Force airman likely prevented a railway massacre.  The report by TSA's office of intelligence and analysis said the bulk of June incidents were at aviation hubs and included discoveries of weapons, ammunition and a hatchet hidden in luggage.

DC Travel Guide Rejects NRA Museum Ad.  The travel guide published by the Washington, D.C., official convention and sports authority has refused to run ads for the National Rifle Association's National Firearms Museum because those ads depict firearms.  Destination DC told officials from the NRA that it would no longer accept ads that depict any weapons or ammunition despite a relationship with the museum that dates back to 2012.

Why is Apple so afraid of a little picture of a gun?  Apple's next iPhone and iPad operating system will no longer feature an emoji picture of a handgun.  In its place will be an emoji of a green, plastic squirt gun.  There is nothing particularly threatening about the current handgun picture.  You only see the side of the gun; it isn't pointed at the reader or anyone else.  No bullets are even being fired.  The whole idea to drop the handgun emoji came about through a lobbying effort started by New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.  The bomb, sword, knife, and axe emojis will stay.  Apparently, a bomb with a lit fuse is OK but a nonthreatening handgun is too much.

Obama owes money from his 2012 presidential campaign.  This is not uncommon.  Politicians love to stiff vendors.  This is why smart printers demand cash up front for signs and the like. [...] By the way, Obama spent $1.5 billion in his two presidential campaigns.

3 of 4 NYT bestsellers are anti-Clinton books.  For the first time, three of the top four New York Times nonfiction best sellers are anti-Clinton books.  Two new books jumped to the front of the all-important hardcover nonfiction list just this week:  Armageddon, by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, and Hillary's America, by Dinesh D'Souza.

Clinton campaign denies reports that its computer system was hacked.  The Clinton presidential campaign said Friday [7/29/2016] that an "analytics data program" maintained by the Democratic National Committee had been hacked but that its computer system had not been compromised, denying news reports from earlier in the day that the campaign had become the third Democratic Party organization whose systems had been penetrated.  So far, campaign computer experts "have found no evidence that our internal systems have been compromised," campaign spokesman Nick Merrill said in a statement.

Police officer who was accused of racism after he arrested Django Unchained actress faces demand for $10,000 after he leaked a recording of the incident.  A police officer accused of racism after he arrested Django Unchained actress Daniele Watts is being told to pay a $10,000 fine for leaking audio of the incident.  Sergeant James Parker released a recording of his encounter with Watts after she was found having sex in a parked car in an attempt to show the arrest was not racially motivated.  But now the Los Angeles Ethics Commission is demanding recently retired Parker admits he was wrong to release the tape — or else hand over the money.

Official figures reveal UK billed more than £350m each week by EU.  NEW figures have revealed that Vote Leave under-estimated the amount of money demanded by the EU from the UK each week by £26 million.  According to the Office of National Statistics the EU billed the UK for £19.6 billion in 2015 or almost £376 million each week.  The revelation comes after repeated claims by the Remain campaign and its supporters that Vote Leave's battlebus gross figure of £350 million a week going to the EU was "a lie".  They claimed the number was much lower but instead the ONS has confirmed it was an under-estimate.

Getty Sued for $1B for Selling Public Domain Images.  Documentary photographer Carol Highsmith made what the Library of Congress calls "one of the greatest acts of generosity," in the history of the institution, when she donated more than 18,000 of her photos to them in 2007.  But her generosity — intended to empower anyone to use her iconic photos of cities across America — was taken advantage of.  Getty Images and Alamy Limited have apparently been charging users to use her photos, which they rejiggered with new watermarks, a new lawsuit, spotted by Hyperallergic, alleges.  The 70-year-old photographer revealed this scam when the companies sent her a cease-and-desist letter for her own photo, after she posted it to her website.  The letter demanded $120 payment.

We'll Build a Wall and We'll Get Philadelphia to Pay for It.  Much has been made of the gigantic four-mile wall that the security people have built to shield DNC attendees from the robust protests taking place throughout Philadelphia.  Even People magazine noted that high-profile supporters of Bernie Sanders cannot get anywhere near the delegates they're hoping to influence and several have been arrested trying to scale the 8-foot fence that rings not just the stadium proper, but a giant area outside the stadium.  According to the US Secret Service, it was a nearly unprecedented effort to shield convention-goers from the riffraff.  Special Agent James Henry told NBC10.com that it would include "no-scale fencing to enclose the Wells Fargo Center and Xfinity Live!"

Mega-Rich Clinton Surrogates Create Reward For Espionage On Trump.  Republican nominee Donald Trump is in hot water for his call for Russia to release Clinton's deleted emails, but top Democratic donors announced two separate bounties for Trump's tax forms.  Democrats united against Trump during the third night of the DNC Wednesday.  Each speaker mentioned Trump's taxes, and former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine made fun of Trump by impersonating him, saying, "There's nothing suspicious in my tax returns, believe me."  Top Clinton fundraiser Moishe Mana offered to give $1 million to charity, and an unnamed donor teamed up with Clinton ally David Brock to make a $5 million reward for the tax documents.

Ronald Reagan's attempted assassin to be released from mental hospital 35 years after the shooting.  President Ronald Reagan's daughter is criticizing a judge's decision to allow the release of John Hinckley Jr. from the psychiatric hospital where he's been confined for more than 35 years since the attempted assassination.  Patti Davis says in a lengthy statement on her website that she will 'forever be haunted' by the day her father almost died in 1981.  Davis says she believes in forgiveness.  But she says forgiving someone doesn't mean letting them 'loose in Virginia to pursue whatever dark agendas they may still hold dear.'  Davis also says she's not surprised by the decision, but says her 'heart is sickened'.

Judge: Reagan shooter John W. Hinckley Jr. to be released after 35 years.  After more than 35 years in a psychiatric hospital, John W. Hinckley Jr. — who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan — will walk free.  A federal judge ruled Wednesday [7/27/2016] he is no longer a danger to himself or others.  The 61-year-old will be released as soon as August 5 to his mother in Virginia with a number of monitoring requirements.  Hinckley Jr. attempted to kill Reagan and shot three people outside the Washington Hilton in March 1981.

The Editor says...
If Mr. Hinckley is 61 years old, how old must his mother be?  Is she supposed to keep an eye on him?

Chappaquiddick movie heads towards production.  Last December, John [Hinderaker] wrote about the plan to make a movie about the Chappaquiddick scandal.  It was at Chappaquiddick where Ted Kennedy, who was drunk, drove a young campaign worker off a bridge to her death, failed to take reasonable steps that might have saved her, and tried to cover up his culpability.  The notion of Hollywood going through with such a project struck me as implausible.  It's easy enough to make such a film without revealing the true degree of Kennedy's evil behavior, and John's post suggested that this is how the filmmakers would likely proceed.  But how do you make the film without casting Kennedy is a bad light over an incident that most Americans have either forgotten or never knew anything about?

DNC Promises to Fix Superdelegate Corruption — Next Election.  The Democratic Party was split between supporting former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders.  Wikileaks revealed this week the Democratic Party conspired from the beginning to torpedo the Sanders campaign and place Clinton as the nominee.  The deep chasm between the two party wings, with Clinton representing establishment dogma of pro-war/pro-Trans-Pacific Partnership and Sanders representing anti-war/anti-TPP principles shared by Republican nominee Donald Trump, created convention chaos as party leaders scrambled to rally disenfranchised Sanders voters.  To heal the fractured Democratic Party, the newly announced Reform Unity Commission will devise a plan to disenfranchise superdelegates from deciding the party's nominee.  The commission is expected to make its recommendations shortly after the 2016 presidential election.

'DNC Hacker' Unmasked:  He Really Works for Russia, Researchers Say.  The hacker who claims to have stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee and provided them to WikiLeaks is actually an agent of the Russian government and part of an orchestrated attempt to influence U.S. media coverage surrounding the presidential election, a security research group concluded on Tuesday [7/26/2016].  The researchers, at Arlington, Va.-based ThreatConnect, traced the self-described Romanian hacker Guccifer 2.0 back to an Internet server in Russia and to a digital address that has been linked in the past to Russian online scams.  Far from being a singly, sophisticated hacker, Guccifer 2.0 is more likely a collection of people from the propaganda arm of the Russian government meant to deflect attention away from Moscow as the force behind the DNC hacks and leaks of emails, the researchers found.

Faking it: headline-making viral video hoaxes were funded by Screen Australia.  [Scroll down]  The Investment Manager of Multiplatform & Interactive at Screen Australia, Mike Cowap, said the Terry Tufferson project was funded through Screen Australia's multiplatform investment arm, which focuses on online programming, access initiatives for new talent, and experimental technology and formats such as virtual reality. [...] "We were aware that some people may not realise the videos were fiction, so Screen Australia was clear from the outset that none of the content could cause a potential War of the Worlds moment, alarm people or cause them to take action."  The focus, he said, had to be on short and simple narratives that showed creative and technical skill and was entertaining.

Infant's death at day care investigated as homicide; high levels of Benadryl found in blood.  Authorities in Connecticut are investigating the death of a 4-month-old boy at an unlicensed day care as a homicide after medical inspectors working the case months later found that the baby had an extremely high level of Benadryl in his blood, Fox 61 reported.  Fairfield police have not made any arrests.  Investigators are now trying to determine if the homicide was intentional or accidental.

Obama vetoes bill to cut ex-presidents' pay.  President Obama on Friday [7/22/2016] vetoed legislation that would have scaled back the pensions of former presidents, a change that would have affected his own pension when he leaves office early next year.  Obama said he agreed with the bill's objective, but said the "Presidential Allowance Modernization Act of 2016" included provisions that would have unintentionally hurt government employees who work for former commanders in chief in ways lawmakers probably did not intend.

Two Islamic Jihad Terrorists Die in Gaza 'Work-Related' Accident.  They were working on a tunnel that is used to smuggle terrorists into Israel.  And last week, a tunnel collapsed on another jihadi, killing him.  Oops.

The Hostage Air Base — and Its Hydrogen Bombs.  The United States runs its air operations against ISIS in Iraq from Incirlik Air Base in Turkey.  The base, used by other NATO forces as well, is not American.  It is Turkish, and the U.S. needs government permission to fly from there.  Since the 15 July coup attempt in Ankara, U.S. forces at Incirlik are essentially hostages to the Turkish government. [...] Most worrisome, about 50 hydrogen bombs are stored by the U.S. at Incirlik, ostensibly on behalf of NATO.  These bombs are "protected" by Turkish troops and to some degree their potential use is shared with the Turkish Air Force.

Ohio: Hotel Clerk Saw Something, Said Something, Got Fired, May Be Arrested.  Three weeks before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, a Muslim man in traditional attire asked multiple questions about booking a hotel for a month and refused to leave the hotel despite learning that it was booked for the time he wanted.  A hotel clerk, disturbed by his actions, asked her family to call 911.  The police responded immediately, because the clerk's sister said the man had mentioned the Islamic State (ISIS).  The clerk was fired in less than a week, and now the police may charge her, thus setting a dangerous precedent that if you point out a potential threat, you yourself will land in jail.  This is not to say that the man himself was a threat, but the circumstances were suspicious and the hotel clerk has arguably been mistreated in this case, with a chilling effect on the idea that "if you see something, say something."

Lawsuit seeks to expose, unravel plea deal for billionaire sex offender.  Palm Beach billionaire Jeffrey Epstein could face new criminal charges if lawyers for his alleged former teen "sex slaves" succeed in an unusual effort to overturn a 2008 plea deal that gave him house arrest, despite accusations he pimped the girls out to his rich and powerful friends.  Attorneys for two of the 30 girls Epstein, 63, allegedly prostituted on his private jet, in his Florida mansion and at his private island hideaway are attempting to open up — and potentially overturn — the government's secretive agreement with Epstein that critics say left him with just a slap on the wrist for pleading guilty to soliciting an underage girl for prostitution.

Budget deficit nearly doubles during Obama years.  The White House predicted Friday that the federal government's budget deficit for the current fiscal year will hit $600 billion, an increase of $162 billion over last year's and a final sour note on President Obama's watch.  While the figure was expected, the increase represents a reversal from previous years, in which budget deficits had steadily declined from the massive $1.4 trillion annual deficit early in Mr. Obama's first term during the recession.

28-Page Bombshell:  Saudi With Terror Ties Worked Security At US Border In 1999.  A Saudi national who was under investigation by the FBI checked a security checkpoint on the southwest U.S. border prior to the 9/11 attacks, according to 28 pages from a 2002 joint inquiry released by the House Intelligence Community on Friday [7/15/2016].

Sen. Shelby:  Obama Commuted Sentences of 33 Inmates Convicted of Firearm Violations.  Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) criticized President Obama for commuting the sentences of 33 criminals he said were convicted of firearm-related offenses while pushing for more gun control.  "By my count, the President has commuted the sentences of over 200 of these 'non-violent' federal inmates, of which 33 were convicted of firearm-related offenses," Shelby wrote in a sharply worded March 31 letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch.  Shelby sent the letter to Lynch a day after Obama commuted the sentences of 61 federal prisoners, bringing the total to 248, more than the last six presidents combined, according to the White House.

After 45 years, the FBI finally throws in the towel on D.B. Cooper hijacking.  The FBI has ended its nearly 45-year active investigation into the identity of skyjacker D.B. Cooper, who turned a $20 airplane ticket into a $200,000 ransom payoff and then parachuted into legend.  "Following one of the longest and most exhaustive investigations in our history," said Seattle FBI spokeswoman Ayn Dietrich-Williamson in a statement Tuesday [7/12/2016], the agency has "redirected resources allocated to the D.B. Cooper case in order to focus on other investigative priorities."

Former Fox News commentator sentenced to nearly 3 years for lying about CIA ties.  An Annapolis man who falsely claimed to work for the CIA was sentenced Friday [7/15/2016] to nearly three years in prison as a result of fraud convictions related to his deceptions.  A federal judge sentenced Wayne Shelby Simmons, a 62-year-old whose claims of CIA work propelled him into a guest slot as a terrorism analyst on Fox News and to work as a defense contractor, to 33 months in prison.

Crybabies:
Students scared of cops on campus force university to take drastic measures during RNC.  Students at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland were so traumatized by the prospect of sharing their campus with armed police officers during the Republican National Convention next week that the university has opted instead to essentially shut down for the week.  The students were incensed that school officials had agreed to allow police officers imported to maintain order during the convention to stay in campus housing.  More than 300 of them signed an online petition demanding that, among other things, the "riot police" store their weapons off-campus between shifts, restrict themselves exclusively to the residence halls and abide by university rules regarding anti-discrimination and sexual harassment.  Some students even asked to be moved to alternative housing for the week, saying the increased police presence caused them to "fear for their safety" following the shooting deaths of two black men in Minnesota and Louisiana.

What the city of Cleveland says you CAN'T bring to the Republican National Convention.  With protests raging nationwide and a controversial candidate set to seize his party's nomination in Donald Trump, the city of Cleveland has prohibited a long list of items from the area around the GOP convention — with an outright ban on gas masks and a strict limit on the allowable length of string.  Under regulations released by the city, 'rope, chain, cable, strapping, wire, string, line, tape, or any similar material' in lengths greater than 6 feet are strictly prohibited within all public access areas in the zone surrounding the convention.

Police Walk Out of WNBA Arena After Players Wear Activist Black Lives Matter Garb.  Good for them.  Four police officers walked out of basketball arena (Target Center), and away from extra-duty security assignment, after Minnesota WNBA players show up in activist warm-up gear and spout anti-police Black Lives Matter commentary.

Ruling could make sharing passwords for subscription services a federal crime.  A new federal court ruling could make sharing your passwords for subscription services — covering everything from Netflix to HBO GO — a federal crime punishable by prison time, according to a judge who opposed the decision.  The ruling, issued by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last week, pertained to a trade-secrets case and found that certain instances of sharing passwords are prosecutable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) — legislation predominantly concerned with hacking.  The case involved David Nosal, a headhunter who left his former company Korn/Ferry and then used the password of an employee to access the company's database and use that information at his new firm.  According to Fusion, the defendant was convicted of hacking charges in 2013 and sentenced to one year and one day in prison.  The appeals court upheld the conviction by 2-1.

Court: Private-account email can be subject to FOIA.  On the same day that the FBI announced that the criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server is likely to conclude without any charges, a federal appeals court issued a ruling that could complicate and prolong a slew of ongoing civil lawsuits over access to the messages Clinton and her top aides traded on personal accounts.  In a decision Tuesday [7/5/2016] in a case not involving Clinton directly, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held that messages contained in a personal email account can sometimes be considered government records subject to Freedom of Information Act requests.  The case ruled on by the D.C. Circuit focused on a relatively obscure White House unit: the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Breakaway Catholic group accuse Pope Francis of spreading errors about faith.  A breakaway traditionalist Catholic group accused Pope Francis on Wednesday of spreading confusion and errors about the faith, joining a chorus of conservative criticism over his perceived lax doctrine and emphasis on mercy at the expense of morals.

Security theater depends on believable props:
Iraq PM orders removal of British-made fake bomb detectors.  For the past nine years, Iraq's security forces have tried to stop car bombs with a British-made bomb detector wand that was long ago proven to be fake.  A day after a car bomb killed at least 157 people in central Baghdad, the country's prime minister, Haidar al-Abadi, has demanded their withdrawal.

Intel's Supercomputer Chips Get KO-ed By China and IBM.  Intel likely won't power the world's top supercomputers anymore, following two stunning announcements from the Chinese government and IBM.  The Chinese governmentunveiled Sunway TaihuLight, a supercomputer which has theoretical peak performance of 124.5 petaflops, making it the first supercomputer to break the 100 petaflop barrier.  A single petaflop equals about one quadrillion calculations per second.  The TaihuLight runs entirely on Chinese hardware, using ShenWei CPUs developed at the Jiangan Computing Research Lab in Wuxi.  That means Intel, which previously provided Xeon chips for the country's Tianhe-2 supercomputer, has been cut out of China's supercomputer loop.

National debt jumps nearly $100 billion in one day to record high.  The U.S. national debt is creeping up again, after holding steady for the last few months thanks to the annual flood of individual and corporate tax receipts.  Total government debt hit a record $19.38 trillion on Thursday, up nearly $98 billion from the day before.  It's the first time it has ever exceeded $19.3 trillion.  The debt will soar higher still in the coming months, and is expected to approach $20 trillion by the time President Obama leaves office.

At whose expense?
Obamas tap two firms to design Obama Center in Chicago.  After almost a yearlong search for an architect, President Obama and first lady Michelle announced on Thursday [6/30/2016] the firms they selected to design their Obama Center on Chicago's South Side — adding a Chicago shop that never even applied for the coveted commission.  Tod Williams Billie Tsien, based in New York, bested an international field of architecture stars.

Japan's top court has approved blanket surveillance of the country's Muslims.  Japan's Supreme Court has upheld the government's blanket surveillance of the country's Muslim community.  The court struck down the second appeal by Japanese Muslim plaintiffs against what they perceive as an unconstitutional invasion of their privacy and freedom of religion.  A 2010 leak of 114 police files revealed nationwide surveillance of Japanese Muslims.  The files revealed that Muslim places of worship, halal restaurants and Islam-related organisations across the capital, Tokyo, were being monitored.

PCUSA Assembly Lifts Up Muslim Prayers to Allah.  The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) offered prayers to the Islamic deity, Allah.  The prayer was led by a representative of the Muslim community on behalf of the Presbyterian Assembly. [...] The Islamic prayer was the the first order of business for the assembly.  The prayer was arranged by the Ecumenical and Interfaith ministry staff for the PCUSA.  They apparently got what the asked for.

Microsoft forced to pay £7,500 after Windows 10 began automatically installing on woman's computer.  Teri Goldstein made the claim after her computer — which previously ran on Windows 7 — became unusable after the software tried to download without her approval.  Microsoft has now said it will roll out an update that will change the alerts it uses for Windows 10 to prevent complaints such as this from happening again.

Swimming against the tide:

Mexican president urges North American integration after Brexit.  Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Monday [6/27/2016] called for greater integration with Canada and the United States in the wake of Britain's vote to split with the European Union.  Nieto, who spoke during a stopover in Quebec City, is scheduled to attend a North American leaders summit in Ottawa on Wednesday with his US and Canadian counterparts.  The three countries are economic partners in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and work closely on security matters.

Company that collected royalties for 'Happy Birthday' ordered to pay back $14 million after judge approves settlement that puts the song in the public domain.  A judge has approved a settlement that will put 'Happy Birthday to You' in the public domain and ordered the companies that collected royalties on the song for years to pay back $14 million.

Weaponized drone swarms will meet their match with this 60-kilowatt laser.  Drones may be fantastic as a consumer hobby, but these small unmanned aerial vehicles pose a significant security threat when they fall into the wrong hands.  One weaponized drone is bad enough, but drone swarms are a security nightmare for military officials.  Drones, whether alone or in groups, are difficult to spot when approaching, tough to follow on radar, and cannot be easily shot down using conventional weapons.  To combat this potential threat, Lockheed Martin is developing a laser-based weapon that'll blow such drones out of the sky.

Brexit: EU Planned to Ban Popular British Tea Kettles, Toasters.  Just two months before the Brexit vote, the European Union announced that it would begin banning the most popular "high powered" British tea kettles and toasters.  With British consumption of tea outstripping continental Europe's average by a factor of six, the European Commission (EC) had quietly delayed the implementation of new "ecodesign" restrictions on small household appliances during the run-up to the Brexit referendum vote over fears that bans would be perceived as an assault on the British staples of tea and toast.

Pope says Church should ask forgiveness from gays for past treatment.  Pope Francis said on Sunday that Christians and the Roman Catholic Church should seek forgiveness from homosexuals for the way they had treated them. [...] He recalled Church teachings that homosexuals "should not be discriminated against.  They should be respected, accompanied pastorally."

Pope says Christians should apologize to gay people.  Pope Francis said Sunday [6/26/2016] that Christians owe apologies to gays and others who have been offended or exploited by the church, remarks that some Catholics hailed as a breakthrough in the church's tone toward homosexuality.  "I repeat what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says:  that they must not be discriminated against, that they must be respected and accompanied pastorally," Francis said at a press conference aboard the papal plane returning from Armenia.

The Editor says...
The Bible is quite clear about what happens to effeminate men:  They don't go to Heaven, and there's only one other place to go.  First Corinthians 6:9-10:  ["]Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.["]  So if the Catholic Church wants to apologize, they should apologize for not preaching about the sixth chapter of First Corinthians.

US Customs and Border Patrol wants to ask for your "online presence" at the border.  The week, the US CBP published a notice in the Federal Register proposing a change to the Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record paperwork that visitors to the US fill out when they cross the border, in which they announce plans to ask travellers to "please enter information associated with your online presence."  The form element will be optional, but of course, CBP screeners may subject travellers who decline to reveal their online names for additional scrutiny.  Visitors the USA are already photographed, fingerprinted, and interviewed.  Many countries have reciprocity policies through which they subject visitors to procedures that mirror those imposed by their own governments.  For example, Brazil fingerprints Americans, because Americans fingerprint Brazilians; other visitors are not fingerprinted.

It's like working in a Dilbert comic strip, but with lots of violence.
Chinese bank employees get beatings from trainer angered at low scores.  A motivational trainer in China, upset at the low scores in a session with rural bank employees, handed out beatings for eight of them, shaved the heads of the men and cut the hair of the women.

Foggy Bottom Breakdown?  After last week we must conclude that not everyone in the State Department is an idiot.  That conclusion — guarded, reluctant, and certainly temporary — is based on a truly earth-shattering event.  As the Wall Street Journal reported, fifty-one State Department officials, all of whom are or were advisors on the State Department's policy on Syria, authored a "dissent channel cable" (State's grandiose term for an email) petitioning for military strikes against Bashar Assad's government and urging regime change in Damascus as the only way to defeat the ISIS terrorist network.  The petition, in part, says, "Failure to stem Assad's flagrant abuses will only bolster the ideological appeal of groups such as Daesh [ISIS], even as they endure tactical setbacks on the battlefield."

What the story of ATMs and bank tellers reveals about the 'rise of the robots' and jobs.  One thing automation alarmists sometimes miss is that the simplistic "machines steal jobs" story tells an incomplete tale.  Take automatic teller machines.  One might think the introduction of ATMs first in the 1970s eventually meant massive technological unemployment for bank tellers.  Instead of depositing a check or withdrawing cash from a human, you could do it with an ATM card and a machine. [...] But that's not what happened, [...]

Workers May Soon Have To Share Health Data — Or Pay A Penalty.  Sometime next year, you may hear about a new way to save money on your health insurance.  To get the discount, you and your spouse have to join your company's voluntary "wellness program," the kind that typically promotes exercising more or losing weight.  As part of signing up, you're both asked to share your blood pressure, weight, diseases you've had and have, and your medical records, which may include the results of any genetic tests.  But if you don't want to fill out a questionnaire or get medically screened?  You won't qualify for the discount.  Or your premiums could go up by hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Obama has ordered flags at half-staff more than any president in history.  With his tenure in office marked by terror attacks and mass shootings, President Obama has reached a sad but remarkable milestone in his presidency:  He has ordered the lowering of the nation's flags to half-staff more often than any president in history.  On Sunday, Obama extended that unenviable streak even further, ordering all flags at federal buildings and ships at sea to be flown at half-staff to honor the 49 victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting.  Those flags will remain at half-staff until sunset Thursday, meaning that the nation will spend most of National Flag Week — proclaimed by Obama in a separate order last Friday — with the stars and stripes in a mournful pose.

This Is How All Bureaucrats Should Be Answered.  Making the rounds right now is an exchange that I certainly hope is authentic, between the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife and ranchers Larry and Amanda Anderson.  It seems the Oregon bureaucrats want permission to survey the Andersons' ranch land for purposes of tracking species decline.

Saudi Arabia Has Funded 20% Of Hillary's Presidential Campaign, Saudi Crown Prince Claims.  It is illegal in the United States for foreign countries to try to influence the outcome of elections by funding candidates.  In what may be the pinnacle of hypocrisy, moments ago Hillary Clinton, while speaking live on national security and addressing the Orlando shooting took some time from her constant bashing of the Second Amendment and calling for a ban on assault rifles, to say some less than kind words about Saudi Arabia whom it accused of supporting radical organizations. [...] According to the US Federal Election commission, over the past two years Clinton has raised a little more than $211.8 million.  20% of this sum is $42.4 million.  The report was published (and then mysteriously deleted) on the eve of Prince Mohammed making an official visit to the United States.

FAA Warns That Mystery Military Tests May Cause Widespread GPS Disruptions.  Starting June 7th, and continuing for the next month, the FAA has warned airplane pilots that GPS signals on the West Coast, and especially over California and Nevada, may be impacted.  The reason why is not exactly clear, but as Gizmodo notes, the US military will be testing a device or devices that will potentially jam GPS signals for six hours each day.  Officially the tests were announced by the FAA but are centered near the US Navy's largest installation in the Mojave Desert, China Lake, located "just down the road" from Area 51.  The Navy has kept silent about the nature of the tests.

Homeland Security Chair: 'We Are in the Highest Threat Environment I Have Seen Since 9/11'.  House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul said today [6/9/2016] that "we are in the highest threat environment" he has seen since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  McCaul made the statement at an event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations and moderated by Andrea Mitchell of NBC News, where House Republicans released their national security plans.

Was the Gotthard Base Tunnel Opening Ceremony an Illuminati Ritual Intended to Honor Satan? 
  •   The central figure in this production was a "goat-man" that bore a striking resemblance to Baphomet.
  •   In the occult world, Baphomet is often a symbol of Satan or the human embodiment of Satan.
  •   During the ceremony, the "goat-man" dies.
  •   During the ceremony, the "goat-man" recovers from his fatal wound.
  •   During the ceremony, the "goat-man" is worshipped by everyone else.
  •   During the ceremony, the "goat-man" is crowned as the ruler of the world.
Is it just me, or does that sound like it is a description of the one commonly known as the Antichrist?  For a very long time, global secret societies have conducted their dark rituals out of the view of the general public, but we appear to have entered a time when they are becoming much bolder.  These days, we are seeing these sorts of "Illuminati rituals" just about everywhere.  We have seen them regularly at major awards shows, in music videos, in television shows and movies, and even at the Super Bowl.

Why is Barack Obama Warning Americans 'To Be Prepared For A Disaster'?  When Barack Obama speaks to the public, it is very rare that he does so without a specific purpose in mind.  So why is he urging Americans "to be prepared for a disaster" all of a sudden?  On May 31, Obama took time out of his extremely busy schedule to deliver an address at the FEMA National Response Coordination Center in Washington.  During his speech, he stressed that every American is responsible for preparing for disasters, and that includes "having an evacuation plan" and "having a fully stocked disaster supply kit".

Australian heritage sites wiped from UN climate report at government's request.  The "World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate" was released Thursday [5/26/2016] and lists 31 natural and cultural world heritage sites in 29 countries that are said to be vulnerable to climate change.  Risks to iconic tourist sites such as the Statue of Liberty, Venice, Stonehenge and the Galapagos Islands are described in the report.  However, no sites in Australia, such as the famous Great Barrier Reef, are mentioned.  News.com.au reports that the initial version of the report included references to the Great Barrier Reef as well as the Kakadu National Park and the Tasmanian Wilderness.  The Australian Department of the Environment confirmed to News.com.au that it asked for references to Australia to be removed, citing a negative impact on tourism.

Lawmakers Try to Roll Back Executive Power in Rulemaking.  Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has proposed a bill that would make Congress responsible for the economic costs of federal regulations rather than unelected officials in federal agencies.  Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) joined Lee to formally introduce the Article I Regulatory Budget Reform Act, which would require Congress to cast a vote on the "total regulatory burden" federal agencies are able to enforce on the private sector each fiscal year.

The best-run states are heavily Republican
Best-Run States Are Heavily Republican, Study Finds.  The ten most financially sound states in the country are all heavily Republican, while all but one of the ten worst states are heavily Democratic.  That's according to a ranking of states in a new report from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University[.]  The report — "Ranking the States by Fiscal Condition" — used official government data to measure the states' ability to pay short-term bills and meet longer-term obligations, such as public pensions or health care costs, using five separate measures.


Muslim girl picks Vermont military school after being denied from The Citadel over hijab.  A Muslim high school student from Florida who hopes to become a Navy officer is going to attend Norwich University after the Vermont military school said it would allow her to wear her headscarf beneath her uniform.

Obama commutes sentences of 42 prisoners.  President Obama on Friday [6/3/2016] commuted the sentences of 42 inmates, as he accelerates his effort to free prisoners burdened with lengthy sentences in the government's war on drugs.  Nearly half were granted to people serving life sentences, mostly for convictions related to crack or cocaine possession and distribution.  Most will be released on Oct. 1, but some will be freed next June.  Obama has issued 348 commutations during his time in office, more than the previous seven presidents combined, according to the White House.  Among those freed include 130 who were serving life sentences.  The president has said he will continue to grant commutations during his final months in office to nonviolent offenders who meet standards laid out by the Justice Department.  It's the third round of commutations for drug offenders the White House has announced this year.

Progressives Hope 'Finding Dory' Features Disney's First Lesbian Couple.  A blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment from the latest trailer for Disney/Pixar's upcoming film Finding Dory has prompted speculation that the film will be the first Disney project to feature a lesbian couple.

Sub sailor's photo case draws comparisons to Clinton emails.  A Navy sailor entered a guilty plea Friday [5/27/2016] in a classified information mishandling case that critics charge illustrates a double standard between the treatment of low-ranking government employees and top officials like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and ex-CIA Director David Petraeus.

Mishandling classified information leads to prison (if your name isn't Clinton).  With the release this week of the Inspector General's report on Hillary Clinton's private email server we learned that a lot of the things she has said over the past year were not true.  But we still have to wait for the FBI to decide whether Clinton's behavior rises to the level of a crime.  With that in mind, it's instructive to consider how the federal government responds to cases of mishandling classified information for people other than Hillary Clinton.  Today Politico has an important story on the fate of Petty Officer First Class Kristian Saucier.  Saucier pleaded guilty Friday [5/27/2016] to taking cell phone pictures of the engine room of his submarine.

DNC Chair's PAC Has Paid More in Salaries Than It Has Given to Democrats.  The leadership PAC of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.) has paid out nearly $100,000 more in salaries than it has given to Democratic candidates during the 2016 election cycle, a review of Federal Election Commission records shows.  The Democrats Win Seats PAC, or DWS PAC, has a stated mission of directing "resources to help elect Democrats around the country."  However, records show the PAC has spent more on staff than helping campaigns.  Between Jan. 1, 2015 and April 30, 2016, the PAC paid $153,453 to Lindsey Schulte, the committee's highest-paid employee, according to a review of the DWS PAC's finances.

NYPD checking ammo after knifeman's jacket stops cops' bullets.  Four of the shots that cops fired at a madman waving a knife in Midtown failed to penetrate his jacket — which was not bulletproof — and the NYPD will now check the weapons for malfunction, law enforcement sources told The [New York] Post.  "The bullets we have may be defective and that's very disturbing," one source said.  "When we fire our weapons, we want to make damn sure that our bullets hit our target — neutralizing our target."  A sergeant and an officer fired a total of nine rounds at 46-year-old Garry Conrad on Wednesday [5/18/2016], with one of the shots killing the depressed Broadway stagehand who refused to drop the blade at West 49th Street and Eighth Avenue.

Newspeak is doubleplusgood.
Obama signs measure striking 'oriental' and 'negro' from federal law.  President Obama has signed legislation striking outdated racial terms such as "Oriental" and "Negro" from federal laws.  Obama signed the bill without fanfare on Friday along with six other pieces of legislation, the White House said.  The measure sailed through Congress unopposed, a rare example of bipartisan agreement in an election year.  It reached the president's desk after the Senate unanimously approved it on Monday [5/16/2016].

This Man Saved A Girl From Being Stabbed To Death, And Now Target Is Suing Him For It.  In 2013, Michael Turner saved the life of a 16-year-old girl who had been viciously attacked and stabbed in a Target store in Pennsylvania.  And instead of thanking him for protecting its customers and preventing them from being murdered, Target is now suing him for his heroism and alleging he acted irresponsibly.  The attacker, Leon Walls, was convicted of attempted homicide for stabbing then-16-year-old Allison Meadows in 2013.

Navy secretary fires back at conservatives:  Will name warships as I please; no politics involved.  Navy Secretary Ray Mabus says in a letter that he has the power to name warships as he chooses, in response to a former Marine and congressman who charges he has politicized the process.  Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican and House Armed Services Committee member, wrote Mr. Mabus to question the naming of an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer after former Sen. Carl Levin, Michigan Democrat and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.  The naming followed a pattern of Mr. Mabus, a former Democratic governor of Mississippi, of naming warships after Democrats and liberal activists, some of whom had little or no link to the military.

Study Finds That Tylenol Kills Much More Than Just Pain.  A new study suggests the popular painkiller Tylenol does more than reduce pain — it can actually reduce your ability to imagine other people's pain.  Researchers at Ohio State University conducted three experiments on college students to test whether acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol and many other prescription and over-the-counter painkillers, affects users' abilities to empathize with others who are experiencing physical or emotional pain.  Their findings were published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

U.S. Discloses Saudi Holdings of Treasuries for First Time.  The Treasury Department released a breakdown of Saudi Arabia's holdings of U.S. debt, after keeping the figures secret for more than four decades.  The stockpile of the world's biggest oil exporter stood at $116.8 billion as of March, down almost 6 percent from a record in January, according to data the Treasury disclosed Monday in response to a Freedom-of-Information Act request submitted by Bloomberg News.  The tally ranks Saudi Arabia among the top dozen foreign nations in terms of holdings of U.S. debt, and compares with China's $1.3 trillion trove, and $1.1 trillion for Japan.  "The politics has always been secretive, so have their finances," said David Ottaway, a Middle East Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center, a research institute in Washington.  "It does answer the question of how much they own, which is surprisingly not that much."

Mark of the Beast:
You Can't Leave Home Without It:  A Temporary Tattoo Could Replace Your Credit Card.  If you've ever been to a music festival, sports stadium or any other crowded event, you may have been concerned about carrying a purse or wallet, which can not only be cumbersome, but can make you the target of pickpockets.  And the alternative of carrying a solitary plastic credit card isn't much better since they can easily slip out of your pocket.  Those concerns might disappear in the not-so-distant future, thanks to technology being developed for ultra-thin, contactless payment stickers similar to temporary tattoos.  MC10, a healthcare technology company, is developing tattoo wearables that can affix to a payer's body as a breathable, waterproof NFC, or near-field communication, payment solution.

Study: Changes in racial composition lead to decline in church attendance.  The more mixed the Sunday morning pews are, the fewer people are likely to be in them.  That's the primary finding of a new study from Baylor University published in the current Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.  Researchers studied the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, where racial diversity doubled from 1993 to 2012, and found that, at the same time, churches with the greatest diversity growth also had the steepest declines in attendance.

Report: Romney recruiting Kasich, Sasse for third-party option.  Mitt Romney, the GOP's 2012 nominee, is among those courting prospects for a possible third-party bid to keep Donald Trump from the White House, according to a Washington Post report.  Among those prospects are Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), one of Trump's most vocal Republican critics, and Ohio Gov.  John Kasich, who suspended his presidential campaign in early May.  Kasich's chief strategist John Weaver said the governor isn't interested in running an an independent.

Venezuela Unleashes Tanks as 4 Killed, 1,200 Arrested.  Police and National Guard killed four suspects Tuesday during a wide raid in Western Caracas that involved tanks and helicopters, as Venezuela also underwent the rare climate phenomenon known as a "solar halo."  "As has been the request of our people, we have deployed OLP New Phase in 4 areas of Caracas," tweeted Interior Minister Gustavo Gonzalez as the operation began unfolding.  Local media said eight suspected criminals were killed during the operation, but Gonzalez spoke only of four killed when resisting police action.  Some 400 vehicles were used during the operation, ranging from motorcycles to tanks and choppers.

Consent of the governed and judicial tyranny.  Yes, Montana is a purple state in that it has elected both Democrats and Republicans to statewide offices, but at heart we are a conservative state — a state grounded in traditional values such as respect for God, love of country, hard work and fair play.  Unfortunately, because we go along to get along, we've been an easy target for the folks who are offended by God, are not that into patriotism, prefer not to work if at all possible, and think Fair Play is an amusement park ride.  Consider this:  According to a 2012 study by two political science professors at Stanford, Montana's state Supreme Court is the sixth most liberal court in the country.  No wonder folks from California like to move to Montana!  They probably view us as a colony.  The latest last straw that should motivate a political revolution in our state, but probably won't, happened on Tuesday [5/10/2016] when the Montana Supreme Court threw out a voter-approved law meant to send a clear message to illegal aliens that they are not welcome here.

Negative interest rates spark record gold rush as demand for safe deposit boxes jumps.  Investors snapped up gold at a record pace in the first three months of 2016 as global growth fears intensified and central banks slashed interest rates deeper into negative territory.  Concerns that Britain could leave the EU also triggered a spike in demand across Europe where "investors were plagued by lingering Brexit fears," according to the World Gold Council.

Report: Government Regulations Add $84,671 to New Home Prices.  Government regulations are responsible for adding $84,671 to the final price of a new single-family home, according to a report from the National Association of Home Builders.  According to the report, regulations implemented during the lot's development are responsible for 14.6 percent of the total, while 9.7 percent is due to costs that accrue after the builder has purchased a finished lot.  "Regulations come in many forms and can be imposed by different levels of government," explains the report.  "At the local level, jurisdictions may charge permit, hook-up, and impact fees and establish development and construction standards that either directly increase costs to builders and developers, or cause delays that translate to higher costs."

The Editor says...
Personally, I don't object to sensible rules about home construction, especially the part about having a city inspector look at the wiring and plumbing before it's all covered up.

Software Update Destroys $286 Million Japanese Satellite.  The Japanese X-ray telescope Hitomi has been declared lost after it disintegrated in orbit, torn apart when spinning out of control.  The cause is still under investigation but early analysis points to bad data in a software package pushed shortly after an instrument probe was extended from the rear of the satellite.  JAXA, the Japanese space agency, lost $286 million, three years of planned observations, and a possible additional 10 years of science research.  Hitomi, also known as ASTRO-H, successfully launched on February 17, 2016 but on March 26th catastrophe struck, leaving only pieces floating in space.

Dystopia: Venezuelans Are Now Killing Cats, Dogs, and Pigeons for Food Because Socialism Can't Provide.  Venezuela is on the verge of economic collapse.  The price of oil has dropped precipitously over the past few years — that's a budgetary nightmare for a nation dependent on its oil exports.  As a result, basic necessities, like toilet paper, are being rationed.  There's limited access to television and long distance phone service.  There are rolling blackouts due to energy shortages.  And now the government is cutting back the workweek to just two days.  This comes at a time when Venezuela's citizens need government services the most.  Supermarkets are not stocked regularly, so there's a food shortage; people are starving.  They've resorted to looting to survive.  You would think that the government can't really afford to print its own currency because it's so broke would be the cherry on top of this socialist nightmare.

'I have to be taller': the unregulated world of India's limb-lengthening industry.  Komal never told her friends where she really went for six months last year.  The 24-year-old, from the town of Kota, in western India, went to see Dr Amar Sarin, an orthopaedic surgeon in Delhi, who made her eight centimetres (3in) taller, a procedure which involved breaking the bones in her legs and wearing a brace until she could walk again.  Her parents had to sell the family's ancestral lands so she could get the surgery, but for Komal, the extra height is worth it.  "I have so much confidence now," she says.

The Editor says...
This misguided young woman needs to learn an important lesson about life:  Play the cards you were dealt, and make the most of what you have.  Your life isn't about you anyway.

Warning: Your hospital may kill you and they won't report it.  Medical error is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. after heart disease and cancer — an estimated 210,000 to 400,000 deaths a year among hospital patients — say experts in an open-access paper in the British Medical Journal — despite the fact that both hospital reporting and death certificates in the U.S. have no provision for acknowledging medical error.

Poll shows Gary Johnson in double digits in 3-way race against Clinton, Trump.  Libertarian presidential hopeful Gary Johnson, possibly benefitting from dissatisfaction with the two major parties' front-runners, is in double digits in a potential three-way race, according to a poll released Thursday [3/24/2016].  In a three-way contest, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton was at 42 percent, GOP front-runner Donald Trump was at 34 percent, and Mr. Johnson, who is seeking the Libertarian Party's nomination, was at 11 percent, according to the Monmouth University poll.

Gary Johnson for President?  The Case for — and against — the Likely Libertarian Nominee.  Good news, disgruntled Americans:  As you ponder whether to vote for one of the two most-disliked, dishonest, and morally corrupt politicians ever to run for president — Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton — you just might have a third option.  His name is Gary Johnson.  He's a popular two-term former governor of New Mexico.  He's the likely Libertarian party nominee.  And he's set to be on the ballot in the vast majority of states.

Famous California vegan restaurateurs under fire over revelation they eat meat.  The California-based husband and wife founders of celebrity-endorsed vegan restaurant group Cafe Gratitude say they have received death threats after it was revealed last week that they are raising, slaughtering and eating animals on their farm north of San Francisco.

So, something interesting happens to weed after it's legal.  Two years ago, the Washington state began an unprecedented policy experiment by allowing large-scale production and sale of recreational marijuana to the public.  The effects on public health and safety and on the relationship of law enforcement to minority communities will take years to manifest fully, but one impact has become abundantly clear:  Legalized marijuana is getting very cheap very quickly.

A SEAL's death shows US involvement in Iraq is more than just advisory.  Navy SEAL Charlie Keating IV — an adviser to Kurdish troops in Mosul, Iraq — was killed Tuesday [5/3/2016] in an encounter with Islamic State militants.  Keating, 31, born and raised in Phoenix, was a track star at Indiana University before joining the Navy after 9/11.  Technically, Keating was not a combatant.  He was an "adviser" who died in a firefight, rescuing other advisers under attack.  Which is exactly as he should be remembered — as an American serviceman of high skill and valor, not because a grandfather of the same name had been a notable figure in the 1990s savings-and-loan crisis.

The crash that broke the Kennedy grip on the White House:  Hollywood film to revisit events on Chappaquiddick in 1969.  It was an event that dashed the chances of Edward Kennedy inheriting his older brother's presidency and appalled millions of Americans.  Now the incident at Chappaquiddick in 1969 that broke the Kennedy grip on the White House will be revisited in an independent feature film.

Can Kennedys quash film?  Do the Kennedys still have enough clout to kill a movie about Chappaquiddick?  We ask because Apex Entertainment has announced that Jason Clarke [...] has been cast as Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy in the drama about the death of Mary Jo Kopechne.

Politics Move Left, Americans Move Right.  In an election year in which the top likely candidates come from New York, big cities arguably dominate American politics more than at any time since New Deal.  The dynamics of urban politics, which are characterized by high levels of inequality and racial tensions — may be pushing Democrats ever further to the left and Republicans toward the inchoate resentment of Donald Trump.  Yet if politics are now being dominated by big cities along the coasts, the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data suggests that when it comes to their own lives, Americans are moving increasingly elsewhere, largely to generally Republican-leaning suburbs and Sunbelt states.  In other words, politics and power are headed one way, demographics the other.

Animals get to use their own bathrooms at JFK airport.  The 70-square-foot room, at JFK's sprawling Terminal 4, allows dogs and other animals to relieve themselves without needing to exit the building to find a place to go outside — a step that requires an annoying second trip through the security line.

Cuban-American Filmmaker Warns America Is Morphing Into Communist Country.  Filmmaker and American citizen Agustin Blazquez never thought his native Cuba would become a communist country, but now he sees the same radical shift happening in America.  In [an] exclusive video interview for The Daily Caller News Foundation, he says the left has been clever by using "very non-threatening words," like liberal, progressive and concerned citizens, for advancing government control of American lives.  The truth about Cuban politics is hard to find because of media spin and propaganda dominating American discourse.

Nearly 1 in 4 Americans say they'll opt out if Trump and Clinton are their only choices in November.  Nearly a quarter of the electorate is just not that into a Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton general election.  A new poll out today from Rasmussen Reports shows that the parties' two frontrunners are tied among likely voters at 38 percent, but 24 percent would like to opt out of the presidential race.  Further breaking down that 1-in-4 figure, pollsters found that 16 percent would vote for some other candidate if they were forced to choose between Trump and Clinton.  Another 6 percent would stay home and 2 percent remain undecided.

Philip Kives, Pitchman Who Perfected 'As Seen on TV' Infomercials, Dies at 87.  Philip Kives, a Canadian entrepreneur whose company, K-tel, saturated North American airwaves for decades with ads for a gaggle of gadgets (the Patty Stacker, the Miracle Brush and the emblematic Veg-O-Matic) and a cornucopia of compilation albums ("Hit Machine: 20 Original Hits, 20 Original Stars," "25 Polka Greats" and "A Musical Journey:  Pan-Flute"), died on Wednesday in Winnipeg, Canada.  He was 87.

K-Tel Founder And Infomercial Icon Philip Kives Dies At 87.  Philip Kives, master of the infomercial, has died.  He was 87. With gadgets like the Miracle Brush and — wait, there's more! — the Veg-O-Matic food slicer, Kives started reeling in customers when he founded K-tel International in the 1960s.

Philip Kives, K-tel founder and 'wait there's more' infomercial king, dies at 87.  Philip Kives, the tireless TV pitchman whose commercials implored viewers to "wait, there's more!" while selling everything from vegetable slicers to hit music compilations on vinyl, has died at age 87.  Samantha Kives said Thursday [4/28/2016] that her father died a day earlier after being hospitalized with an undisclosed illness.  Kives became wealthy after founding marketing company K-tel International, which sold Miracle Brush hair removers, Veg-o-matic vegetable slicers and compilation albums with such titles as Goofy Greats among numerous other products.

Suit Alleges Al Jazeera America Lost $585 Million in Two Years.  Al Jazeera America, the ratings-challenged cable news network that shut down two weeks ago, and which was owned by the Qatari government, was hit with a lawsuit by one of its former employees who alleges among other things that the network lost $585 million in 2013 and 2014.  According to The New York Times, Anand Gupta, the former executive vice president of finance, filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court in Manhattan charging the network with denying him a promised promotion and salary increase because of racial discrimination.

Nooo!  Cracker Jack Ending Toy Prizes In Favor of Digital Codes.  Is there nothing sacred?  The toys in the Cracker Jack box are classic and fun.  They require a kid using their imagination.  Not everything has to be digital, in fact, the digital experience removes us from the human experience.  It has its place, but really, nothing will replace getting a mood ring or a dinosaur or even a toy gun!  Yes, all teeny-tiny but that's the point.

See?  You should have studied for your ham radio license years ago!
Venezuelan cellphone carriers suspend international calls, users innovate to stay connected.  Among the many aspects of daily life impacted by Venezuela's government tight control of the economy is the ability to use a cellphone, as carriers find it increasingly hard to make a profit due to people-oriented regulations they call senseless.  Last week, two of the three cellphone companies that operate in the country suspended all international service after they say the government repeatedly refused requests to increase the fees for international calls.

The rancid fruits of socialism are now on display:
Venezuela blackouts: 'We can't go on living like this'.  About the only thing that can be counted on around the clock at Gustavo Diaz's home these days is the gas stove.  The food in the fridge is spoiling.  The microwave oven sits unused.  The television is dark and the stereo system silent.  It's sweaty and uncomfortable inside, thanks to government-imposed electricity blackouts meant to deal with chronic power shortages across the country.  Even getting running water is a problem.

9/11 Memorial Is Super Sorry And Will Stop Banning Middle School Kids From Singing National Anthem.  The management at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City has now indicated that a pair of security guards acted improperly last week when they ordered a group of North Carolina middle school students to stop their choral rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner."  The guards had told the 51 Waynesville Middle School students — and a teacher conducting them — that their outburst of patriotism honoring dead Americans required a $35 performance permit.  Also, it turns out, the 9/11 Memorial — which reportedly spends $60 million each year to operate itself — takes 10 days to process each permit.

Why Puff the Magic Dragon Died Young.  A new study says early marijuana use could drastically cut life spans. [...] Somehow, I suspect that no matter unhealthy smoking marijuana should prove, our popular culture will never make Puff the Magic Dragon into the same kind of villainous product as cigarettes.  That's because the war against tobacco isn't only about health, but changing culture.  Ditto, the promotion of marijuana legalization.

Over Sixty Thousand Christians In America Gather Together To Fight Against Islam And The Islamic Persecution Of Christians.  Japan is reviving Shintoism, Zen Buddhism and emperor worship; Turkey is reviving Islam as its central religion and political objective and as well as Sufism; but Christians, they have thrown out their Faith for secularism, and envisage only secular war.  But this will not be the case in the future, when the lands of Christendom are surrounded by their enemies.  It is a sad reality that the spirit of zeal is truly only ignited in the midst of war.  In Russia, in Serbia and Poland, the flames of Christian militancy are growing, while they are still extinguished in the Western nations.  But this will soon change.

One of 12 in the World to Achieve a Perfect AP Calculus Score.  Seventeen-year-old Cedrick Argueta recently learned he's one of 12 young people in the world — out of 302,532 — to have gotten a perfect score on the Advanced Placement calculus AB exam.  "While I think talent is a big part of doing well, hard work definitely trumps that," he told a local news station, echoing what many researchers have said despite the widespread belief that stupendous academic skills are a fixed trait.

Controversial $400bn F-35 fighter jet now has computer 'brain' problem which could see entire fleet grounded.  The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has been hailed as the 'most expensive weapon in history.'  But despite a price tag of $400 billion for 2,457 planes, the fifth-generation fighter has been plagued with issues.  Now, a new report says problems with its logistics software system could ground the entire fleet.

Chinese man gets death for selling documents on encryption.  Chinese state media say a former computer technician has been sentenced to death for selling 150,000 classified documents to an unidentified foreign spy agency.

Here's someone who should know better, but he doesn't:
Ex-police commish caught carrying loaded gun in park.  A former Westchester County police commissioner was caught with a loaded gun without a permit in a park last week — but cops at the scene were ordered by higher-ups to let him go, law-enforcement sources told The [New York] Post.  Police responded to a report of a fight between two men at the Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla in Westchester on April 14 around 5:20 p.m.  There, they found former Mount Vernon Police Commissioner Terrance Raynor, and he fit the description of a suspect involved in the dispute, sources said.  But when cops tried to question Raynor, 52, he became "hostile and uncooperative," sources said.  He refused repeated requests to remove his hands from his pockets, according to sources.  When cops asked him for identification, Raynor, also the former chief criminal investigator for the Westchester District Attorney's Office, told them that he did not have to provide it.

Federal Park Ranger Mocks Founders, Constitution ... While Leading Tour of Independence Hall!.  A federal employee of the National Park Service who offers guided tours of Independence Hall in Philadelphia — the birthplace of the Constitution — stunned a group of tourists this week by telling them the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were the product of "class elites who were just out to protect their privileged status."  Mary A. Hogan, a federal employee making in excess of $95,000 per year in salary and benefits, provided a tour Monday afternoon [4/18/2016] at Independence Hall laced with factual inaccuracies and disparaging comments about the Founders and the Constitution.

McDonald's is testing giant and mini versions of its famous burger.  McDonalds are trialing a new version of their most famous burger for customers for whom the Big Mac, just isn't big enough.  The Grand Mac, made with a third pound of beef, two slices of cheese and salad on a huge sesame bun is being offered in Dallas and Ohio until June.  If the giant burger is a hit, the restaurant chain plans to roll them out nationwide.  The Grand Mac may be a way for the firm to catch up with its rivals who have begun offering bigger and bigger burgers over the years.

The Editor says...
The first time I ate a Big Mac, I was hooked.  The price was 48¢.

Lawmakers say Secret Service running out of agents.  Two lawmakers claimed Tuesday [4/19/2016] that the U.S. Secret Service may need to seek outside help to fulfill its mission because agents are leaving the agency faster than they can be replaced.  "USSS simply cannot hire enough personnel to keep pace with historic attrition rates," House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings of Maryland noted in a Tuesday letter to Secret Service director Joseph Clancy.

The Editor says...
Hmmm.  "[H]istoric attrition rates.  These guys see a lot of stuff that we don't, and I suspect they don't like what they see.

New housing boss makes $167k on top of $163k pension ... in same city.  Stanley Sanger's retirement didn't last long.  Neither did his time away from Union City, where he was born and raised, then worked for 41 years as a teacher, school principal and, not quite finally, as superintendent of schools.  After being credited with leading a turnaround of Union City's largely working class, urban district, Sanger retired after the 2013-14 school year, intending to live off his $167,000 school pension, and devote more time to his family and his fishing pole.  But then came some unexpected personal demands — which Sanger preferred to keep private — and when the executive director position at the Union City Housing Authority opened up with the retirement of Virgilio Cabello, Sanger applied for the job and got it.

F.B.I. Tells Panel It Needs Hackers to Keep Up With Tech Companies.  The F.B.I. defended its hiring of a third-party company to break into an iPhone used by a gunman in last year's San Bernardino, Calif., mass shooting, telling some skeptical lawmakers on Tuesday [4/19/2016] that it needed to join with partners in the rarefied world of for-profit hackers as technology companies increasingly resist their demands for consumer information.  Amy Hess, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's executive assistant director for science and technology, made the comments at a hearing by members of Congress who are debating potential legislation on encryption.  The lawmakers gathered law enforcement and Silicon Valley company executives to discuss the issue, which has divided technology companies and authorities in recent months and spurred a debate over privacy and security.

Sweden's deputy PM sparks outcry after describing the 9/11 Twin Towers attack as 'the September 11 accidents'.  Åsa Romson made the comments during an interview on Tuesday [4/19/2016], regarding the recent resignation of Sweden's Minister for Housing and IT after he compared Israel to Nazi Germany.  Romson, 44, of coalition partner the Green Party, commended Mehmet Kaplan on his work with young Muslims during 'tough situations like at the 11 September accidents'.

The Battle for Religious Freedom.  Georgia Republican Governor Nathan Deal recently vetoed H.B. 757, the Georgia Religious Liberty Bill.  The governor warned that he would veto any legislation that "allows discrimination in our state in order to protect people of faith."  He went on to tell fellow Republicans, who shepherded the bill that they should "recognize that the world is changing around us."  Governor Deal wasn't alone in issuing warnings about the bill.  Large corporations with a presence in the state threatened to pull operations out of Georgia if the bill passed.  Perhaps this was more on Governor Deal's mind than our changing world.

Report: Wikipedia retaliates against critics, blocks 1,000 IP addresses daily.  Wikipedia, the so-called people's encyclopedia that strives for even-handedness, "often" is edited with an agenda and retaliates against editors who see problems with entries by blocking their IP address, according to a new investigative report.  This Sunday's "Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson" includes two "Wikipedia insiders" who detail the retaliation, information control and conflicts of interest by the website, one of the most important on the web.

Andrew Jackson to be removed from the $20 bill and replaced by a prominent woman.  Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will announce this week that Alexander Hamilton will remain on the $10 bill and Andrew Jackson will be pushed off the $20 note in favor of a woman from American history, CNN said Saturday [4/16/2016].  The announcement will come around a year after an online petition called for Jackson to be replaced with a woman, and ten months after Lew announced he wanted to replace Hamilton instead.

Jack Lew nears decision to keep Hamilton on front of $10 bill, put a woman on the $20.  Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is expected to announce this week that Alexander Hamilton's face will remain on the front of the $10 bill and a woman will replace Andrew Jackson on the face of the $20 bill, a senior government source told CNN on Saturday [4/16/2016].  Lew announced last summer that he was considering redesigning the $10 bill to include the portrait of a woman.

Nagasaki mayor asks Obama to visit A-bombed city.  Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue on Wednesday [4/13/2016] said he handed a letter to U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy during a meeting in Tokyo, urging President Barack Obama to visit the atomic bombed city when he comes to Japan to attend the Group of Seven summit next month.  "Please express your country's steadfast determination to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons through a message, stating that Nagasaki must be the last place to suffer the devastation they bring," the letter said.

The Editor says...
No American president should ever apologize for the use of atomic bombs against Japan in 1945.  Has Japan apologized for the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor?  Didn't the sole possession of atomic weapons turn America into a superpower in the 1950's?  Didn't the United States rebuild Japan after the war, turning it into the world's leading source of cheap toys and transistor radios?  Didn't the use of atomic bombs against Japan demonstrate to the world that atomic weapons will bring the most determined military force to its knees?  That would have been demonstrated sooner or later, and if not by us, then by someone with less likelihood of halting their use when the point had been made.

Ugliness all around as news leaks that Florida prosecutor won't take Corey Lewandowski to trial on battery charges.  Yesterday evening [4/13/2016], Politico provoked the "breaking news" chime on Fox News (and presumably elsewhere) with its report that Palm Beach County state attorney David Aronberg has decided not to bring Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski to trial on charges of simple battery brought by local police. [...] But far from ending the unpleasantness and letting the matter go away, this move has only led to further ugliness.

Here's how well socialism works:
Venezuela Is So Broke It Can't Even Print Its Own Money.  The world's most renowned banknotes, coins and paper printing house, De La Rue, based in England, demanded that the Central Bank of Venezuela pay up US$262,647,997 in fees for printing money and passports, among other goods.

Federal Court Rules That Spaghetti Is Not a Real Religion.  The United States District Court for the District of Nebraska ruled on Wednesday [4/13/2016] that worshipping spaghetti is not a religion.  The ruling was issued after a federal prisoner claimed that as a "Pastafarian," a member of a sect that worships a god known as the Flying Spaghetti Monster, his religious requests were not being respected by officials.  The pasta-shaped deity is a satiric creation rather than a genuine object of worship, the ruling said.

This Problem Could Push Much Of America Into Bankruptcy.  Puerto Rico's recent financial woes have deflected attention from a problem potentially far "yuger," as Donald Trump might say:  The $3.4 trillion black hole at the center of state and local pensions. [...] The problem is surprisingly simple:  States and cities overestimate returns on their pension fund investments, while systematically underfunding them.  The result is a growing deficit that will require massive tax hikes or dramatic and painful cuts in government services and promised pensions to public workers.

Medal of Honor recipients snubbed as warships named after liberal politicians.  As the Obama administration this week named another warship after a politician, a new report is circulating in Congress that shows that nearly 200 Navy and Marine Corps Medal of Honor recipients have never been awarded such an honor, contrary to naval guidelines and tradition.  Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, who has named several ships after Democrats and liberal activists not connected to the military, was in Detroit on Monday [4/11/2016] to announce that an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer will be named the USS Carl M. Levin.  The Michigan Democrat served 31 years in the Senate and chaired the Senate Armed Services Committee from 2007 to 2015.

Chase Bank Decides ATM Withdrawals Over $1000 Are Shady.  Not kidding.  Regular Americans must be stopped from taking out $1001 at a cash machine because it's probably shady, but Iran getting $150B is just fine.  The new ATM rule, f[o]r the moment, applies to non-Chase account holders.  Give it a little while and I bet it'll apply to Chase accounts sooner than later.

Sorority ditches Kentucky Derby party over "racial connotations".  Back in 2015, a group of Black Lives Matter protestors targeted an exclusive Kentucky Derby party hosted by the ladies of Kappa Delta Epsilon — calling the event overtly racist and "recreating an Antebellum South atmosphere on the Ivy League campus."  The protestors accused the party of being a "bastion of racism, exclusion and oppression."  They chanted, "What is Derby?  It's the face of genocide" and "What is Derby?  It's the face of police brutality."

Indiana University Students Mistake Priest for KKK Member.  On Monday [4/4/2016], students at Indiana University Bloomington mistook a priest for a Ku Klux Klan member, taking to social media to express their fear of the alleged Klansman, who they claimed was carrying a whip, and dressed in "white robes."  Rumors of a Klansman on campus were extinguished after it was pointed out that the passerby was actually a priest innocently making his way through Bloomington, Indiana.  When sighted on campus, students thought his white robes indicated an affiliation with the KKK.

Everyone mistook a priest for a KKK member.  Rumors of a klansman on campus have proven false after a priest innocently made his way through Bloomington.  Last night around 9:15 PM, social media became a furious storm of confusion regarding a man in white robes roaming along 10th St. and purportedly armed with a whip.  Students thought the white robes indicated Klu Klux Klan affiliation. [...] While the KKK has been active in the area in the past, it later became apparent this klansman armed with a whip was actually just a monk of the Dominican order in traditional white robes.  The "whip" he was holding may have been his rosary beads.

The Editor says...
The people making the false identification were university students.  Apparently none of them know a priest when they see one.  What does that tell you?

The Panama Papers Vindicate the NSA.  The NSA is recovering validation in another area, thanks to the "Panama Papers" reports on vast corruption in business and political elites around the world.  Those reports have shown in public what U.S. policymakers — via the NSA — have long known:  that many politicians around the world — elected and autocratic alike — are deeply corrupt.

Government Dysfunction Costs Lives.  Every year, more than half a million patients in the U.S.  are unknowingly put at risk of contracting a superbug infection during a common medical procedure.  A doctor threads a tube-like scope down your throat and into your digestive system to treat cancer and other problems.  You assume the tube is clean.  Think again. [...] The biggest problem is the unholy alliance between the hospital industry and complacent federal bureaucrats.  They all want to keep problems quiet.  Publicizing infections is bad for hospital revenues and erodes the public's misplaced confidence that the federal government is performing its oversight function.

Obama's Tax-And-Spend Budget Would Add $7.5 Trillion To Debt, CBO Report Shows.  President Obama's first budget as president declared that he was ushering in a "new era of responsibility."  His last budget as president shows that he's presided over an era of unprecedented fiscal irresponsibility.  That at least, is what the Congressional Budget Office's independent analysis of Obama's budget shows.  According to the CBO, Obama's budget would, if implemented, boost taxes by $2.8 trillion and increase spending by $401 billion over the next 10 years.  While it would trim 10-year deficits somewhat, annual deficits would climb every year after 2018, from $383 billion that year to nearly $1 trillion by 2026.

'Blunt' Obama: Drug Problem Was Ignored When It Was Hurting Minority Communities.  President Obama joined the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta this afternoon [3/29/2016] to discuss the problems of drug addiction and the importance of treating it as a disease instead of a character flaw.  Obama explained at the summit that he was going to be "blunt," since his was in his last year of office, and he criticized people for ignoring the problem in the past.

The Editor says...
In my opinion as a non-doctor, drug abuse, alcoholism, and gluttony really are massive character flaws.  It is counterproductive to characterize them as incurable medical conditions.  The medicalization of character flaws is just an attempt to generate sympathy for the "victims" of drugs, alcohol and over-eating, who in reality are living with the consequences of their own poor judgment.

Library of Congress cancels 'illegal aliens' subject heading.  The Library of Congress is no longer using the heading "illegal aliens" in bibliographic records, thanks to a request from Dartmouth College students.

Library of Congress to Eliminate Terms 'Illegal Alien' and 'Alien'.  The Library of Congress is dropping the terms "illegal alien" and "alien" from its subject headings after a group of college students and the American Library Association protested the words' usage.  As early as May, the Library of Congress will begin revising its subject headings and replacing "Aliens" with "Noncitizens" and heading references to "Illegal aliens" with "Noncitizens" and "Unauthorized immigration."

Texas is trying to get rid of mandatory vehicle inspections. Should everyone?  The Texas branch of Watchdog.org has a good study out this week which looks at the question of state mandated vehicle safety inspections and if they are actually worth the money that is flushed into them every year.  The Lone Star State has been examining the question for a while now and their conclusions seem fairly obvious since this is the second time they've tried to do away with them.  As it turns out, there's a lot of money moving around but no real benefits in terms of safety and injuries or fatalities is evident.

Vehicle inspections should go, says state senator.  Last year Texas inspectors checked 19 million passenger cars.  That's more than 50,000 safety and emissions inspection trips seven days a week, and more than nine million hours spent by vehicle owners complying, according to Department of Public Safety figures.  The program returns just $125 million of the $275 million generated in fees back to the state.  But there has not been a single audit or study by the DPS chief auditor's office or the state auditor to determine if vehicle inspections have made Texans safer or allowed them to breathe easier.

Failed Reagan Assassin Secretly Lives In Lap Of Luxury, And Nobody Seems To Know.  The man responsible for shooting then-President Ronald Reagan spends much of his time in a posh, gated resort residence near Virginia's scenic James River located just outside of Williamsburg.  John Hinckley Jr., 60, could observe the 35th anniversary Wednesday of his attempted assassination of Reagan from a luxurious community astride the 13th hole of a PGA championship golf course, complete with a picturesque view of a tranquil lake, an investigation by The Daily Caller News Foundation has found.

John Hinckley Jr.  Could Become First Person Ever to Shoot President and Be Set Free.  Could John Hinckley Jr.  become the first person to ever shoot a president and then walk the streets again as a free man?  A judge is now considering the possibility, per a Fox 8 report.  Hinckley shot at President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981, hitting Reagan, press secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and police officer Thomas Delahanty.  Brady was critically injured in the incident, eventually dying from his injuries in 2014.

They're 400,000 strong and the Pentagon sees them as an emerging threat.  The Pentagon, the world's largest user of drones, has posted a new policy on signs outside the mammoth five-sided building: No Drone Zone.  The signs, complete with a red slash through an image of a quadcopter drone, reflect America's growing concern about the proliferation of the small, inexpensive remote-controlled devices and the risk they pose to safety, security and privacy.  Federal law prohibits flying a drone anywhere in and around Washington, an area known as the National Capital Region.

Revealed: Clinton backer who called Trump 'divisive and inflammatory' is in charge of Trump aide prosecution in Florida.  The Florida-based prosecutor whose office will handle the battery case of Donald Trump's campaign manager is a Hillary Clinton supporter who once characterized the Republican frontrunner's rhetoric as 'divisive and inflammatory.'  Dave Aronberg, the 44-year-old State Attorney for Palm Beach County, was a former Democratic state senator and in November was named as part of Clinton's 'Florida Leadership Team.'  These political connections have caused Trump supporters to take to Twitter worrying that Corey Lewandowski, Trump's campaign manager who yesterday [3/29/2016] was charged with simple battery over an altercation with ex-Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields, wouldn't get a fair shake.

Dozens of drug criminals freed by Obama in clemency move designed to boost criminal justice reform.  All of the inmates are serving time for drug possession, intent to sell or related crimes.

Officers who shot unarmed black man Jamar Clark will NOT be charged because 'evidence shows they feared for their lives'.  Two Minneapolis police officers involved in the November fatal shooting of a black man will not be charged, a Minnesota prosecutor said Wednesday [3/30/2016].

Seoul says North Korea fires short-range missile into sea, jams GPS signals.  North Korea fired a short-range missile into the sea and tried to jam GPS navigation signals in South Korea on Friday [4/1/2016], Seoul officials said, hours after U.S., South Korean and Japanese leaders pledged to work closer together to prevent North Korea from advancing its nuclear and missile programs.

Men of Steal.  Here's what happens in Batman v.  Superman. [...] Lex Luthor knows that Superman is Clark Kent and Batman is Bruce Wayne.  How?  We aren't told how.  He also knows that a giant piece of kryptonite is in the South Seas.  How?  We aren't told how.  Bruce Wayne knows this, too.  How?  We aren't told how.  He just doesn't know that Lex Luthor is the guy who found it.  Why not?  We're not told why not.  Also, Wonder Woman is around.  She's been missing from the world stage since the end of the First World War, except that recently she used an ATM machine in France.  Why is Wonder Woman using an ATM machine?  We aren't told why.  And why, all of a sudden, is she in Gotham City?  We don't know why.  And since when is Gotham City across the bay from Metropolis?  We don't know since when.

As North Korea faces famine, Kim Jong-un balloons to 300 pounds.  The life of a tyrannical, murderous third-generation Communist dictator isn't all roses, apparently.  Kim Jong-un has really packed on the pounds, even as state media are warning his  slaves  subjects that they are going back to the bad old days of famine.  In the early 1990s, as many as one million North Koreans starved to death, and a generation of children were stunted in their growth, averaging a reported 4 inches shorter than their South Korean cousins.  So when they warn of tough times, North Koreans mean horror beyond the imagination of rich Americans, Japanese, South Koreans, or probably even Bangladeshis.

Cash or Digital Money, Personal Freedom or Globalism.  Sweden seemed to be at the forefront of the newest globalist scheme digital money v. cash, advocating a cashless global economy with a one-world currency.  A CBS World News article reported in 2012 that a small number of businesses in Sweden accepted only credit cards, including some churches, even though elderly people prefer cash, especially in rural areas.  Bjorn Ulvaeus, a former rocker, stated that cash encourages theft, citing his own son who was the victim of armed robbery three times.  Cheating and cash theft may have declined in Sweden but cybercrime around the world is indisputably on the rise.  Even though Sweden was the first European country to introduce bank notes in 1661, Ulvaeus would like Sweden to phase out cash altogether.

Japanese space agency loses track of $265 million satellite.  The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) lost contact with its ill-fated X-ray satellite, Hitomi, over the weekend.  The satellite, which was launched on February 17 and was calibrating its equipment before it was due to explore the universe, was supposed to start operating at 3:40 a.m. Eastern time on Saturday [3/26/2016].  But the spacecraft didn't send a signal to Earth at that time.  "Up to now, JAXA has not been able to figure out the state of health of the satellite," the agency said on Sunday.  JAXA says it is investigating what happened.

Israel's Democratic Collapse.  In states not controlled by a legal junta, as the people's elected representative it is the government's sole prerogative to determine the state's energy policy and to sign deals with foreign governments and investors.  But in Israel, the court gives standing to whoever it wants.  Given the radical pedigree of our justices — who have engineered a process where they appoint themselves — it was not surprising that the court permitted a group of unelected radicals to petition to destroy Israel's energy sector, and to cause the loss of hundreds of billions of shekels in future revenue to Israeli society.

Police trash man's home, take all electronic gear over alleged 'anti-Islam' tweet.  On Sunday [3/27/2016], the UK Telegraph reported that 46-year-old Matthew Doyle, of South Croydon, was initially charged by police with violating the Public Order Act 1986, a law basically designed to implement a form of Orwellian political correctness, after he tweeted about asking a Muslim woman he met to explain the Brussels terror attack.  The charges were dropped, however, primarily on procedural grounds.  It seems officers did not consult the attorney general's office before making the charge.  Nevertheless, he said his home had been ransacked and all of his electronic gear — computers, phones, etc., were confiscated.  All over a tweet.

Court bans father from taking son to church because ex-wife is Muslim.  On Sunday [3/27/2016], Breitbart.com reported that a British father was banned from taking his son to church because his ex-wife is Muslim.  The father, unidentified due to legal reasons, was also ordered to feed the child only halal food and must tell him he is a normal Muslim boy.  Worse yet, the father cannot take the boy to any Christian functions or even to a Christian building.  He could lose custody of the boy if he violates the ban, Breitbart added.  The father, Breitbart said, "was raised as a Muslim by his strict Pakistani immigrant parents" but left Islam and said he and his wife enjoyed a "Westernized" lifestyle.

Almost Entire City Council Arrested By FBI.  It was eerily quiet when Joel Barajas got to his office on Friday [3/25/2016].  That's because Joel was the only city council member inside the building.  The rest of them, as it happens, were in FBI custody.  Five top Crystal City, Texas officials were arrested on Thursday [2/4/2016].  A federal indictment accuses them of helping the operator of an illegal gambling operation and taking tens of thousands of dollars in bribes.

Some English Confectionaires Drop the Word 'Easter' From Chocolate Eggs.  How can you tell a civilization is dying?  When they try to appease the Barbarians at the Gate.  For a while, this tactic worked for Rome, which bought off various barbarian hordes so they wouldn't sack the city.  Unfortunately, some of those hordes eventually figured out that Rome was a paper tiger and would gratefully accept the ransom and then gleefully sack the city anyway.  What's happening in Great Britain as the dominant culture seeks to appease the unappeasable is that so much of what is being lost could have been saved if the powers that be actually believed in their own historic values.  Take away what made them great and they become less than ordinary, leaving themselves wide open to emotional exploitation.

Easter quietly dropped from Easter eggs.  Easter — the most important Christian festival of the year, celebrated by well over two billion people around the world — appears to be quietly disappearing:  at least when it comes to eggs.  Growing numbers of chocolate eggs are on sale in the UK without any mention of the word "Easter" on the front of the packaging.  Many of Britain's best known brands have quietly dropped the name of the Christian festival from their main branding, now selling Easter products labelled simply as "chocolate egg" or even "egg", it has been claimed.

The Editor says...
Easter eggs have nothing to do with Christianity, so this is a relatively minor concern.

French scream as US govt gives up the internet to ICANN.  The French government has slammed the agreement to move the domain name system out from under US control and hand it to Californian non-profit ICANN.  The French believe the move hands too much control to internet giants like Google and Amazon.  Speaking to leading French newspaper Le Monde, French government officials said that the transition plan will lead to the "privatization of ICANN, not its internationalization."  Axelle Lemaire, minister for the digital economy, put out a statement on Thursday which complained:  "Despite the continued efforts of civil society and many governments to reach a balanced compromise, elements of this reform project will marginalize States in the decision-making processes of ICANN, especially compared to the role of the private sector."

Interesting Lottery Terminal Hack.  The 5 Card Cash game was suspended in November after Connecticut Lottery and state Department of Consumer Protection officials noticed there were more winning tickets than the game's parameters should have allowed.  The game remains suspended.  An investigation determined that some lottery retailers were manipulating lottery machines to print more instant winner tickets and fewer losers.

Surrounded special forces hero blows up ISIS jihadis after calling in airstrike on himself.  The brave commando gave bomber jets his own co-ordinates after being trapped by a gang of evil Islamists whilst carrying out covert operations to disrupt their supply line.  His extraordinary bravery meant vital operational information did not fall into the jihadis' hands and also ensured that he took several of the group's twisted militants down with him.  The bloodthirsty Islamists were moving in to capture the stranded soldier following a fierce gunfight when they were surprised by the bombing raid and blown to hell.

The Editor says...
Yes, "blown to hell" — literally.

U.S. Marshals arrest 13,000 in sweep targeting 'worst' violent offenders.  The U.S. Marshals Service arrested more than 13,000 individuals with open warrants as part of a national operation aimed at targeting the "worst of the worst" violent, repeat offenders.  The Justice Department announced the results of the six-week fugitive sweep Wednesday [3/23/2016], which targeted individuals wanted for crimes like homicides, sex assaults and aggravated assaults.  Dubbed Operation Violence Reduction, the sweep focused on 12 cities currently combatting upticks in violent crime, including Baltimore; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and New Orleans.

The Editor says...
I don't know what else was going on that day, but I am of the opinion that operations of this sort are carefully timed and executed in a manner designed to divert the attention of the news media away from something else.

Men are fleeing Christianity, but embracing Islam.  A new study confirms what regular U.S. churchgoers have long known:  Women tend to outnumber men.  But the Pew Research Center report also says the phenomenon is not universal.  While Christian congregations may have difficulty keeping men in the pews, Islam faces no such trouble.  According to the study, less than one-third of American men say they go to church on a weekly basis, compared to 40 percent of American women.  But in 40 Islamic countries surveyed by Pew, 70 percent of Muslim men said they attend religious services at least once per week, compared to 47 percent of Muslim women.

The Editor says...
If I were a Muslim woman, I wouldn't be too excited about going to the local mosque, because of all this.

Muslim garb used in at least 12 Phoenix-area armed robberies.  Burka robberies (and burqa) are a growing trend in the U.S.  And they say Islam hasn't contributed anything to America.  This is not to say the robber(s) are Muslim, but thieves are clearly using the guise of Islamic clothing in their crimes.  Why?  Because even criminals are well-aware that law enforcement and civilians have been beaten down by Muslim supremacists into not speaking out for fear of being incorrectly labelled racist or Islamophobic.  In fact, one burka bandit described the Islamic head covering as the "perfect disguise".

Nixon Invented the Drug War to Decimate Hippies and Black People, Former Adviser Confesses.  President Richard Nixon launched the War on Drugs for one specific reason:  to decimate his perceived political enemies — the anti-war left, and black people.  That's according to an anecdote in a lengthy cover story for Harper's, in which journalist Dan Baum recounts an interview he conducted with John Erlichman, a former Nixon staffer who was jailed for one year due to his involvement in the Watergate scandal. [...] The dastardly plan failed only in the sense that Nixon ultimately lost — a victim of his criminal behavior and utter lack of scruples.  But the War on Drugs certainly brought ruin, poverty, and crime to minority communities, cost the nation outrageous sums of money, and expanded the scope of the federal government's oppressive power.

U.S. steps up fight over Yosemite names, asking trademarks be canceled.  The battle over Yosemite National Park trademarks is now sprawling across multiple fronts, and it could take more than a year to sort out.  Going on the offensive, the National Park Service has formally urged the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to cancel the Yosemite-affiliated trademark registrations secured by the famed park's former concessionaire.  "These registrations are causing damage and injury to the National Park Service," Interior Department attorneys stated in a filing with the trademark board.

Clintons fiercely suppressing movie putting them in bad light.  Hillary Clinton's presidential aspirations may be threatened by a possible indictment over her email server, the loss of American lives in Benghazi and other scandals.  But the Clintons still wield enough power to suppress a movie that reflects poorly on her husband's administration 10 years after the only time it was allowed to be seen.  "The Path to 9/11" was written by Cyrus Nowrasteh, who confirmed to WND this week that the Clintons ordered the five-hour documdrama to be quashed after it drew a stunning 28 million viewers when it was aired by ABC amid controversy. [...] "The Path to 9/11" dramatizes the events leading to the 9/11 terror attacks, beginning with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.  It derived many of its scenes from the 9/11 Commission Report.  However, it was "never seen again," Nowrasteh said.

Top conservatives gather to plot third-party run against Trump.  Three influential leaders of the conservative movement have summoned other top conservatives for a closed-door meeting Thursday [3/17/2016]in Washington, D.C., to talk about how to stop Donald Trump and, should he become the Republican nominee, how to run a third-party "true conservative" challenger in the fall.  The organizers of the meeting include Bill Wichterman, who was President George W. Bush's liaison to the conservative movement; Bob Fischer, a South Dakota businessman and longtime conservative convener; and Erick Erickson, the outspoken Trump opponent and conservative activist who founded RedState.com.

Trump Volunteers Have to Promise Never to Insult Him for the Rest of Their Lives.  Donald Trump fans have to sign a contract promising to never insult the candidate for the rest of their lives if they want to volunteer for the campaign's phone bank.  NBC reported last week that Trump was making some volunteers to sign non-disclosure agreements before they were allowed to help the campaign.  "In a Thursday email inviting supporters for phone-banking at Trump Tower, the campaign tells supporters to attend a briefing and then 'sign your NDA' before volunteering begins," they reported.  On Tuesday [3/15/2016], The Daily Dot got their hands on the actual contract in question.

Keywords:  Egotist, thin-skinned, control freak, tyrant.

Donald Trump's volunteer contract forbids all criticism of Trump for life.  Donald Trump's campaign requires volunteers to sign a contract that forbids them from criticizing the Republican presidential front-runner, his family members, any Trump businesses or products, or his campaign.  The six-page contract, reviewed in full by the Daily Dot, theoretically lasts for the entirety of a volunteer's life.  Legal experts say, however, that the contract's non-disparagement clause would likely never hold up in court.

Hellfire Missiles Bound For Portland Oregon Intercepted in Europe.  This is the same type of missile recently admitted as being "accidentally" shipped to Cuba.  In a little discussed 2014 article, the Obama administration announced they were sending 5,000 of these missiles to Iraq.  Is it possible these sketchy transfers are lining up to be a similar problem evidenced in Operation Zero Footprint?

Senator hits NY's 'very dangerous' plan to give medical licenses to illegals.  A top Senate lawmaker and medical doctor on Tuesday ripped New York's new plan to let illegal immigrants become certified doctors and pharmacists, warning that it could lead to greater abuse of opioid prescriptions.

Windows 7 users complain of unprovoked Windows 10 auto-upgrades.  As Microsoft auto-upgrades more PCs to Windows 10, some users are complaining that they weren't adequately notified.  Reports of unwanted Windows 10 upgrades have been circulating for the past few days on Reddit and Twitter, after the last Patch Tuesday.  These users say they never approved or initiated the upgrade, and were dragged away from their Windows 7 (or perhaps Windows 8) installs anyway.

Pentagon seeks a few good computer hackers to test security.  Screened high-tech specialists will be brought in to try to breach the Defense Department's public Internet pages in a pilot program aimed at finding and fixing cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

The Editor says...
Excuse me for being perpetually skeptical, but in my opinion, this is a reverse trojan horse — a somewhat subtle sting job.  I doubt if the government is looking for help "finding and fixing cybersecurity vulnerabilities."  They're trying to identify all the most competent hackers by inviting them in to this contest.  Maybe a few will get government jobs, but I'll bet the rest will be under intense scrutiny for years to come.

Bitcoin's nightmare scenario has come to pass.  Over the last year and a half a number of prominent voices in the Bitcoin community have been warning that the system needed to make fundamental changes to its core software code to avoid being overwhelmed by the continued growth of Bitcoin transactions.  There was strong disagreement within the community, however, about how to solve this problem, or if the problem would ever materialize.  This week the dire predictions came to pass, as the network reached its capacity, causing transactions around the world to be massively delayed, and in some cases to fail completely.  The average time to confirm a transaction has ballooned from 10 minutes to 43 minutes.  Users are left confused and shops that once accepted Bitcoin are dropping out.

GAO Audit: Federal Government's Balance Sheet $18 Trillion in the Red.  At the end of Fiscal Year 2015, the federal government's liabilities exceeded its assets by more than $18 trillion, according to a February 26 audit report released by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).  "The federal government's reported assets totaled about $3.2 trillion as of September 30, 2015, which was about $165 billion greater than the amount reported as of September 30, 2014," Gene Dodaro, comptroller general of the United States, wrote in a letter accompanying the audit report that was sent to President Obama and leaders of Congress.  "Its reported liabilities totaled about $21.5 trillion as of September 30, 2015, which was about $686 billion greater than the amount reported as of September 30, 2014," he continued, warning that "absent policy changes, the federal government continues to face an unsustainable long-term fiscal path."

Osama Bin Laden called for Americans to Fight Climate Change and 'Save Humanity'.  Osama bin Laden wrote a letter calling on the American people to help President Barack Obama fight "catastrophic" climate change and "save humanity", in the latest evidence of his worries about environmental issues, newly released documents show[.]  The letter was among materials that were seized in the May 2, 2011, U.S. raid on bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan that killed the al Qaeda chief and which were released on Tuesday [3/1/2016] by the Obama administration.

Drug dealers will be executed by force-feeding them their own supply under new rules being considered in Indonesia.  Drug dealers in Indonesia will be made to eat their own supply until they die if new rules are pushed through.  The country's National Narcotics Agency has suggested the punishment in a desperate bid to tackle growing drugs problems.  The proposal would strengthen already tough laws, which include death by firing squad if citizens are caught drugs trafficking.

Congressmen Have No Idea Why Special Operators Have To Pay Out Of Pocket For Basic Gear.  For reasons still unclear, elite special operators are often let down by their respective services and have to pay out of pocket for the most basic gear.  Private military suppliers have started to notice this phenomenon.  During a panel discussion on Capitol Hill Thursday [2/25/2016], heads of supply companies met with Congress to discuss the shortages and raise the issue with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, Stars and Stripes reports.  In one case, former Navy SEAL Sean Matson had to pay $900 for an advanced ballistic helmet after the military measured his head four times but subsequently failed to provide him with the necessary equipment.  This same scenario has repeated itself with GPS devices and medical gear.

College bans energy drinks: 'They lead to high-risk sex'.  A Vermont college has banned the sale of energy drinks on campus because it said the drinks may lead to "problematic behavior" like "high-risk sexual activity" and alcohol abuse.  Middlebury College, in Middlebury, Vermont, also said the beverages may affect students' academic performance and lead to a culture of stress, Fox 2 Detroit reported.  The Middlebury Campus, the college's student newspaper, reported that the ban will take effect March 7.

Obama extends U.S. privacy protection to foreign citizens.  President Barack Obama signed into a law the Judicial Redress Act giving some European citizens recourse in U.S. courts to protect their personal data.  The Judicial Redress Act allows citizens of major U.S. allies, including the European Union, to pursue legal action against some U.S. agencies if their personal information is mishandled during a transatlantic criminal or terror investigation.  Under the Redress Act, private European citizens can sue some U.S. agencies for improperly disclosing their personal data.

Thousands Sign Online Petition Urging Kerry to Call Killing of Mideast Christians 'Genocide'.  More than 25,000 people have signed an online petition launched this week by the Knights of Columbus and In Defense of Christians asking Secretary of State John Kerry to designate the Islamic State's (ISIS or ISIL) systematic killing of Christians and members of other religious minority groups in the Middle East as "genocide."  The two groups are also launching a television advertising campaign calling for such a declaration, Andrew Walther, Knights vice president of media research and development, told CNSNews.com.

This is great news, because some Republican is sure to be nominated.
The View's Raven-Symonè Vows to Leave US 'If Any Republican Gets Nominated'.  Thursday [2/25/2016] on ABC's "The View," co-host Raven-Symonè declared she would leave the United States for Canada if a Republican is "nominated."  Symonè said, "My confession for this election is if any Republican gets nominated, I'm gonna move to Canada with my entire family.  Is that bad?"  When pressed she added, "I already have my ticket ... No, I literally bought my ticket, I swear."

Appeals court dismisses Rick Perry's criminal case.  The state's top criminal court on Wednesday [2/24/2016] threw out the remaining criminal charge against Rick Perry, sparing the former governor from trial and a potential prison sentence on a felony charge of misusing the power of his office.  The charge, related to Perry's 2013 threat to veto money for Travis County prosecutors in an attempt to force District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg from office, violated the Texas Constitution's separation of powers provision by improperly limiting the governor's veto authority, the Court of Criminal Appeals said in a 6-2 ruling.

A 'progressive' bully strikes again.  What do most Republican presidential candidates have in common with dozens of Christian, pro-family and patriotic organizations?  They're prominently featured in the Southern Poverty Law Center's latest report, "The Year in Hate and Extremism."

Can you imagine Reagan or Eisenhower or JFK putting up with this?

Russia to fly high-tech spy jets over the US in surveillance loophole.  Moscow is to ask permission to the Open Skies Consultative Commission on Monday [2/22/2016] to fly the surveillance planes.  However, Washington fears that Moscow is trying to gather intelligence on the US by flying the jets.  The planes have powerful digital cameras, which officials worry could be used to help Moscow gather sensitive intelligence.

Russia wants to fly over US with advanced digital camera.  Russia will ask permission on Monday to start flying surveillance planes equipped with high-powered digital cameras amid warnings from U.S. intelligence and military officials that such overflights help Moscow collect intelligence on the United States.

An Island of Rattlesnakes: What Could Go Wrong?  There was a time when human beings had a pretty clear idea of who their friends and enemies were.  Rattlesnakes were definitely in the latter category.  Political figures like Ronald Reagan and Rick Perry earned credit by shooting them, as I recall — or at least being prepared to do so.  But that was then, and this is the bizarrely perverse now.  In Massachusetts, government officials worry that they don't have enough rattlesnakes.

Oh, good.  A rattlesnake refuge.  Because you can never have too many rattlesnakes!
Massachusetts plans venomous rattlesnake colony on island.  A plan by the state to establish a colony of venomous timber rattlesnakes on an off-limits island in Massachusetts' largest body of water has some rattled by visions of dangerous serpents slithering through the surrounding woods, attacking hikers, fishermen and hunters.  Those are completely irrational fears based on the public's aversion to snakes, said Tom French of the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, who's directing the project at the 39-square mile Quabbin Reservoir and representing the state at a public meeting Tuesday [2/23/2016] to address the concerns.

Because they taste like chicken!

Massachusetts Plans Rattlesnake Colony on Uninhabited Island.  A plan by the state to establish a colony of venomous timber rattlesnakes on an off-limits island in Massachusetts' largest body of water has some rattled by visions of dangerous serpents slithering through the surrounding woods, attacking hikers, fishermen and hunters.

Uncle Bernie Sanders Is Brainwashing Our Uneducated Youth.  People are fleeing Venezuela at the rate of one million a year.  According to Forbes, the South American country's inflation rate is a staggering 808%!  But don't blame the USA for this.  Unlike with Cuba, we are still the number one importer of Venezuelan oil and the number one exporter of goods to that benighted country.  We essentially support Venezuela, even though it has been led sequentially by rancid America-hating despots like Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro.

Hospital pays nearly $17,000 in bitcoins to hackers who disabled computer network.  A Los Angeles hospital paid a ransom of nearly $17,000 in bitcoins to hackers who infiltrated and disabled its computer network because paying was in the best interest of the hospital and most efficient way to solve the problem, the medical center's chief executive said Wednesday [2/17/2016].  Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center CEO Allen Stefanek said the hackers demanded a ransom of 40 bitcoins, currently worth $16,664.  The FBI is investigating the attack, which began on Feb. 5.

Report: U.S. Cannot Protect Homeland From Iranian, North Korean Missile Strikes.  The United States remains incapable of fully protecting the homeland from ballistic missile strikes from North Korea and Iran, despite spending billions to develop a missile defense system that remains unproven and unfinished, according to a government oversight report.  The U.S. Missile Defense Agency, or MDA, continues to sink billions of taxpayer dollars into technology that is not proven to be capable of handling an onslaught of ballistic missile strikes from Iran or North Korea, according to the report, which was issued Tuesday [2/16/2016] by the Government Accountability Office.

Zika 'hysteria' is way ahead of research into virus, says expert.  One of the world's leading virologists has warned against public hysteria surrounding the Zika virus, saying global health authorities need to focus more broadly on prevention of infectious diseases rather than finding a cure for specific outbreaks.  Leslie Lobel, an Israeli physician who has worked with the US military and the Uganda Virus Research Institute to try to find a vaccine for Ebola, believes public panic over epidemics can cause more damage than the diseases themselves.

Architect of 2008 bailout says US banks still pose 'nuclear' threat to economy.  America's biggest banks present a "nuclear" threat to the US economy and should be broken up, a Federal Reserve policymaker and architect of the 2008 banking bailout said Tuesday [2/16/2016].  Neel Kashkari, the head of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, said the US's biggest banks were still "too big too fail" and Congress should consider "bold transformational solutions to solve this problem once and for all".  "I believe the biggest banks are still too big to fail and continue to pose a significant, ongoing risk to our economy," Kashkari said in his first public speech since becoming a Fed policymaker in January.

Stray electronic-magnetic leaks used to harvest PC crypto keys.  Israeli security researchers have been able to extract encryption keys from a nearby computer by analysing stray electromagnetic radiation.  The attack by computer scientists from Tel Aviv University shows that TEMPEST-style side channel attacks are no longer just the preserve of Mission Impossible and three-letter spy agencies.

Exclusive: Twitter Shadowbanning 'Real and Happening Every Day' Says Inside Source.  Rumours that Twitter has begun 'shadowbanning' politically inconvenient users have been confirmed by a source inside the company, who spoke exclusively to Breitbart Tech.  His claim was corroborated by a senior editor at a major publisher.  According to the source, Twitter maintains a 'whitelist' of favoured Twitter accounts and a 'blacklist' of unfavoured accounts.  Accounts on the whitelist are prioritised in search results, even if they're not the most popular among users.  Meanwhile, accounts on the blacklist have their posts hidden from both search results and other users' timelines.

ISIS is broke, and only accepting payments in US dollars.  Faced with a cash shortage in its so-called caliphate, the Islamic State group has slashed salaries across the region, asked Raqqa residents to pay utility bills in black market American dollars, and is now releasing detainees for a price of $500 a person.

'Deafening silence:' Obama, 2016 Dems mum on recent police deaths.  A Fargo police officer fatally shot responding to a routine domestic disturbance call.  A 25-year police veteran killed while trying to serve a warrant outside Atlanta.  These are just the latest tragedies of cops murdered while performing their sworn duty — "to protect and serve."  But while President Obama and the Democratic candidates vying to succeed him are putting America's police departments on trial in the court of public opinion in response to a rash of deadly police shootings, the murder of police officers on America's streets is being met with a "deafening silence."

Top terror groups [are] focused on targeting planes, DHS secretary says.  Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson warned Thursday [2/11/2016] that terror groups remain focused on targeting aviation, on the heels of an attempted bombing last week in Somalia — and after the top U.S. intelligence official warned that the Islamic State will try to attack the U.S. this year.  Johnson, delivering his final State of Homeland Security address, stressed that his department is moving to reduce the number of access points to airport employees to reduce any insider threat.

Say Hello To Twitter's Tweet Police.  Twitter yesterday [2/9/2016] announced it is forming a "Trust and Safety Council," an effort to "ensure that people feel safe expressing themselves on Twitter."  The council features "safety advocates, academics, and researchers," "grassroots advocacy organizations" and "community groups," all of them emphasizing "safety" of varying degrees and types, in order to allow "everyone, everywhere to express themselves with confidence on Twitter."  This is a rather startling development, chiefly because Twitter already allows its users to either mute or block anyone who is being bothersome or threatening.

The Editor says...
This might be one reason Twitter has stopped growing.

US Congress locks and loads three anti-encryption bullets.  US Congress is preparing no fewer than three new bills over the ongoing encryption debate:  one banning end-to-end encryption, one setting up a commission to review the issue, and a third to make sure that it is Congress that gets to decide what happens next.  Leading member of the Senate Intelligence Committee Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) — who has been criticized for being too close to the NSA — has said she will introduce a new bill that will impose limits on encrypted devices.

Tin cans found 'reinforcing' concrete walls of high-rise building which collapsed in Taiwan quake.  The only high-rise building to have collapsed in the Taiwanese city of Tainan following a major earthquake on Saturday seems to have had serious constructions flaws.  The collapse has exposed cooking-oil cans embedded inside the building's concrete walls.  Witnesses at the scene have told Reuters that they saw large rectangular, commercial cans of cooking-oil packed inside the wall cavities of the 17-story Wei Guan Golden Dragon Building, apparently having been used as building material.

Caution:  Clinton anecdote.  May not have happened.
Chelsea Clinton says she left the pro-life Baptist church at age six because they talked about abortion in Sunday school.  Chelsea Clinton claims she left a Baptist church as a child because they started talking about abortion in Sunday when she was just six years old.  Chelsea made the comment at a recent fundraiser for her mother Hillary Clinton in an attempt to address evangelicals who question her mother's faith in God and secular voters who say she's too religious, according to The New York Post.  A Democrat shared Chelsea's speech with a Post reporter who did not specify where the campaign fundraiser took place.

Pharma Bad Boy Martin Shkreli Is a Big Democrat Donor.  Democrats have castigated [Martin] Shkreli for hiking the price of a potentially lifesaving drug by more than 5,000 percent.  Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, berated Shkreli during the hearing:  "I call this money blood money ... coming out of the pockets of hardworking Americans," he said indignantly.  Cummings might be interested to know that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign in July 2015 took $33,400 of Shkreli's "blood money."

Biggest Drug Bust In NJ History Tied To Mexican Cartels.  A historic drug bust led by multiple authorities from New York and New Jersey has resulted in the seizure of $2.4 million worth of heroin and the arrest of four dealers tied to Mexican drug cartels.

What the government is still hiding about the JFK assassination.  More than five decades after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, thousands of government files detailing the activities and testimony of shadowy spies, long-deceased witnesses and others with possible knowledge of the events remain shielded from public view.  The government gave a first-ever peek at what's still out there Thursday [2/4/2016], as the National Archives released a list of the 3,063 documents that have been "fully withheld" since JFK's murder in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.

Erika Lopez, first Tenn. woman to enlist for combat role, goes AWOL from Army.  The first woman in Tennessee and the fourth in the nation to enlist as a combat engineer in the Army went AWOL last month and is now considered a deserter, according to a military spokesperson.  Erika Lopez made headlines in July when she enlisted for a role that could put her on the front lines of battle, just after the U.S. Army lifted its ban on women in combat roles.  Ms. Lopez was in basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, by September but was placed on convalescent leave by the end of the year, according to a local CBS affiliate.

National debt hits $19 trillion.  The national debt hit $19 trillion for the first time ever on Friday [1/29/2016], and came in at $19.012 trillion.  It took a little more than 13 months for the debt to climb by $1 trillion.  The national debt hit $18 trillion on Dec. 15, 2014.

Dutch Police Are Teaching Eagles How to Capture Renegade Drones.  As quadcopters and other remote controlled flying devices becomes [sic] more popular — and laws against them become more restrictive — law enforcement is left with the challenge of taking increasingly large numbers of law-breaking drones out of the sky.  Some agencies opt for anti-drone drones.  The military can usually just shoot 'em down.  But the Dutch have an clever solution:  trained eagles.

Why Dip Buyers Will Get Clobbered: The US Economy Isn't Doing "Just Fine".  [Scroll down]  For example, consider the allegedly robust condition of auto sales.  During the last 12 months, retail sales of autos were up 6.1% or by $65 billion.  But then again, auto loan paper outstanding was up by nearly $90 billion!  That's right.  Auto lenders — especially the legions of subprime nonbank operations that have sprung up with junk bond financing — have been extending credit to anyone who can fog a rear view mirror.  Indeed, since mid-2010 when the auto recovery incepted, auto credit outstanding is up by $340 billion or by 90% of the $375 billion gain in auto sales.

The admiral in charge of Navy intelligence has not been allowed to see military secrets for years.  For more than two years, the Navy's intelligence chief has been stuck with a major handicap:  He's not allowed to know any secrets.  Vice Adm. Ted "Twig" Branch has been barred from reading, seeing or hearing classified information since November 2013, when the Navy learned from the Justice Department that his name had surfaced in a giant corruption investigation involving a foreign defense contractor and scores of Navy personnel.  Worried that Branch was on the verge of being indicted, Navy leaders suspended his access to classified materials.  They did the same to one of his deputies, Rear Adm. Bruce F. Loveless, the Navy's director of intelligence operations.

Drug traffickers secretly shipping mass quantities of weed out of Colorado.  Seeking a safe haven in Colorado's legal marijuana marketplace, illegal drug traffickers are growing weed among the state's sanctioned pot warehouses and farms, then covertly shipping it elsewhere and pocketing millions of dollars from the sale, according to law enforcement officials and court records consulted by The Associated Press.

Fox's News Corp Is a Major Donor to the Clintons.  21st Century Fox/News Corp. ranks ninth on the list of the top "corporate and union donors to the Clintons over two decades," according to a little-noticed list compiled by The Wall Street Journal in 2014.  The list counts donations from "companies, foundations, and employees."  21st Century Fox also ranks as the 13th biggest contributor to Hillary Clinton during her political career, according to a database maintained by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Report: 7-Year-Old Children Mining Cobalt for Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung Products.  In recent years, activists and independent media have brought attention to "conflict minerals," key components in technology that are often sourced from war-torn countries.  And a recent report from a major human rights group sounds the alarm on a largely overlooked metal that's being mined by thousands of children and underpaid adults in Africa.  Amnesty International issued the results of its detailed investigation into the sourcing of cobalt, a rare metal that forms a crucial ingredient of lithium-based rechargeable batteries, in a Jan. 19 report.  According to the authors, more than half the world's cobalt comes from Congo, including at least 20 percent which comes from so-called "artisanal miners" in the southern part of the country.

This fake swimming pool messes with your mind.  Argentinian artist Leandro Erlich created a mind-bending exhibit at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan that gives visitors the illusion that people are submerged in nine feet of water. [...] Erlich's work tries to "undermine the human senses," and "enter into relationships with spaces, and grasp reality."

With 22.3 million digits, new prime number sets record.  Mathematicians at the University of Central Missouri have discovered a record-setting prime number that's so large it would take about 6,000 pages of paper to print, the school announced Thursday [1/21/2016].

Lawyer Challenging Ted Cruz Eligibility Was Suspended From Practice of Law.  A birther lawsuit challenging Ted Cruz's eligibility was filed today [1/15/2015] in federal court in Texas.  I had previously written that such a lawsuit challenging the eligibility would most certainly lack standing and would be frivolous.  The lawyer who filed the complaint, Newton B. Schwartz, Sr., had been suspended from the practice of law by two separate states for disciplinary infractions.

Bitcoin Declared An "Inescapable Failure".  Bitcoin, a distributed and decentralised digital currency dubbed "the currency of the Internet", has been declared a failure by one of its most ardent supporters and developers.  In a lengthy post on Medium, Mike Hearn states that "despite knowing that Bitcoin could fail all along, the now inescapable conclusion that it has failed still saddens me greatly."  This comes as unfortunate timing as PayPal appoints Fintech figure and bitcoin entrepreneur Wences Casares to its board this week.  "I am honored to serve on the board of an iconic global company dedicated to driving the transformation of money on a global scale.  I look forward to working together with the PayPal board and leadership team to continue to deliver their compelling vision," Casares said.

Pope: "...all of the major religions are different paths to the same God." Really?  We have a dictator wannabe sitting in the White House who not only has fundamentally changed the United States but has encouraged and supported the spread of Islam throughout the world.  Islam, a so-called religion that has but one goal; domination!  Barack Obama has openly supported the Muslim Brotherhood an Islamist organization whose sole purpose in life is to destroy western civilization... since their founding in 1928! [...] And now we have a Pope that some have already declared, "The Pope from hell" who seems to be encouraging a fundamental change in Catholicism.

One World Religion: Pope Francis Says All Major Religions Are 'Meeting God In Different Ways'.  A new video has just been released in which Pope Francis very clearly expresses his belief that all of the major religions are different paths to the same God.  He says that while people from various global faiths may be "seeking God or meeting God in different ways" that it is important to keep in mind that "we are all children of God".  This is the most recent example that shows that the Pope has completely abandoned any notion that a relationship with God is available only through Jesus Christ.  As he has done throughout his papacy, he continues to lay the groundwork for the coming one world religion, and yet hardly anyone seems upset by this.  When I first heard of this new video, I was so stunned that I thought that it might be a joke.  But the truth is that this video is very real.

Two Months Later, Still No Answers in Death of Vladimir Putin Crony.  In early November, Russian millionaire Mikhail Lesin was found dead in a Washington, D.C., hotel room.  Lesin was very useful to Russian President Vladimir Putin in life, and his mysterious demise was extraordinarily well-timed.  Two months later, there are still no official answers to questions about how he died or what he was doing in Washington, D.C. [...] He was known as "The Bulldozer," and what he bulldozed was opposition media in Russia, which had been almost entirely replaced by State-funded, state-friendly, and outright state-controlled outlets by the time he was done.

Acting Army secretary steps aside amid Guantanamo fight.  The Pentagon on Monday [1/11/2016] announced that acting Army Secretary Eric Fanning is stepping aside temporarily while he awaits confirmation by the Senate.  Fanning was nominated as Army secretary in September but was designated as "acting" secretary after the former Army secretary retired in October.  The Pentagon said some members of the Senate Armed Services Committee expressed concerns over Fanning's designation pursuant to the Vacancies Act.

Was Putin's Media Chief Ready to Snitch Before He Dropped Dead?  When police found Mikhail Lesin dead in a Washington, D.C., hotel room, the most interesting question wasn't the cause of his demise, but what he was doing in the United States in the first place.  The former propaganda chief for Russian president Vladimir Putin, nicknamed "the bulldozer" for his history of rolling over his opposition, Lesin had been under scrutiny by the FBI and the Justice Department for potential money laundering and violation of corruption laws.  Lesin was suspected of hiding ill-gotten gains in nearly $30 million worth of luxury real estate in southern California, an astounding set of assets for a man supposedly collecting a civil servant's salary.  He'd also been considered for sanctions that would have prevented him from obtaining a visa to enter the United States.

Obama Has Killed Public's Trust In Government.  A new Gallup poll finds that the public ranks "government" as the top problem facing America today.  They put it above the economy, above unemployment, and way above immigration.  When Obama took office in 2009, government ranked fourth on the list of problems, but it has moved up steadily and has held the top spot for two years now.  Government wasn't even on the list of problems in George W. Bush's last year in office.  Gallup's data show that the share who rank government as their top concern climbed from 7% when Obama was sworn in to 16% in 2015.

Donald Trump's brilliant Ted Cruz birther strategy.  Say what you will about Donald Trump, but the man is not stupid.  Particularly when it comes to how to play the political game.  Witness how he has injected the idea — that nominating Ted Cruz might be a dangerous thing for Republicans because of the fact that the Texas senator was born in Canada — into the daily narrative this week.  The idea first came up in an interview with The Washington Post published on Tuesday [1/5/2016].

Islam v. Free Speech: Twitter Surrenders.  Apparently, Twitter has opted to join the campaign to crack down on free expression.  And one is left to wonder whether the big Saudi bucks that have come its way are a factor in Twitter's decision-making.

CIA Fooled by Massive Cold War Double-Agent Failure.  The CIA was fooled by scores of double agents pretending to be working for the agency but secretly loyal to communist spy agencies during the Cold War and beyond, according to a former CIA analyst, operations officer, and historian.  The large-scale deception included nearly 100 fake CIA recruits in East Germany, Cuba, as well as the Soviet Union (and later Russia) who supplied false intelligence that was passed on to senior U.S. policymakers for decades.  "During the Cold War, the Central Intelligence Agency bucked the law of averages by recruiting double agents on an industrial scale; it was hoodwinked not a few but many times," writes Benjamin B. Fischer, CIA's former chief historian.

Turkish Man Held in Preventive Detention for Insulting Erdogan on Facebook.  A Turkish court ordered preventive detention for a 17-year-old young man for insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his Facebook account, Dogan news agency reported on Monday [12/28/2015].  After the Turkish authorities checked the account's content, the teenager was arrested by the police and taken to court, which issued its decision.  The Turkish criminal code stipulates sentences of between one and four years in prison for insulting the president.

The Editor says...
See?  This is why I stay away from all forms of "social media."  It's nothing but trouble!

Powerball exec Charles Strutt quietly quits post as nationwide investigation into lottery rigging grows.  A prominent lottery official who has run the Powerball game since its inception was quietly removed from his 28-year post leading the Multi-State Lottery Association after a jackpot-fixing scandal inside his organization got bigger, according to a document obtained by The Associated Press.

Declassified Cold War files reveal America's extensive nuclear target list.  The 800 pages of documents from a 1956 plan known as the "Atomic Weapons Requirements Study" were released by the National Archives and published this week for the first time by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.  "As far as can be told, no comparable document has ever been declassified for any period of Cold War history," the organization said, while calling the Strategic Air Command study a "chilling" document depicting plans to attack population centers filled with civilians.  The study includes thousands of targets or "designated ground zeros" — spanning 1,200 cities.

FAA Finally Admits Names And Home Addresses In Drone Registry Will Be Publicly Available.  The FAA finally confirmed this afternoon that model aircraft registrants' names and home addresses will be public.  In an email message, the FAA stated: "Until the drone registry system is modified, the FAA will not release names and address.  When the drone registry system is modified to permit public searches of registration numbers, names and addresses will be revealed through those searches."  I've been trying to get to the bottom of whether names and home addresses of model aircraft or hobby drone owners — including children as young as 13 — will be made available by the FAA to the public once the FAA's new unmanned aircraft registry goes live on Monday [12/21/2015].

Sheldon Adelson's stealth purchase: Why owning a Vegas paper shouldn't be secret.  It's downright bizarre: A newspaper struggling to figure out who its owner is.  And yet that's what unfolded at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, complete with tweets from staffers asking "who's our daddy."  We now know the mystery buyer was Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino mogul who is a major-league donor in Republican politics.

Insider allegedly hacked lottery software in multiple states.  If you use insider knowledge for your own gain, it could land you in hot water... especially if you hacked the computers at your job to get the information you need.  At least that's what Eddie Tipton, Multi-State Lottery Association's former security director, is being accused of.  Tipton allegedly used a rootkit — a malicious software that activates when a computer boots up — to know a drawing's winning numbers in advance.  He'd then ask an accomplice to buy the winning ticket and to collect the money afterward.  He was already convicted of fraud for tampering the lottery in Iowa, but he allegedly tinkered with more drawings in four states within the course of six years.  Authorities believe he may be involved in even more instances of fraud, though.

Jackpot-fixing inquiry spreads to 5th state as prosecutor says insider fixed 2 Kansas prizes.  The former security chief for a national group that operates state lotteries personally bought two prize-winning tickets in Kansas worth $44,000, investigators said Monday [12/21/2015], bringing to five the number of states where he may have fixed games to enrich himself and associates.

Jackpot-Fixing Investigation Expands to More State Lotteries.  The allegations read like a movie plot:  a lottery industry insider installs undetectable software giving him advance knowledge of winning numbers, then enlists accomplices to play those numbers and collect the jackpots.

Most cancer cases due to lifestyle choices, not 'bad luck,' study suggests.  Between 70 and 90 percent of cancer cases are linked to avoidable lifestyle choices like exposure to radiation and toxic chemicals, suggests a study published online Wednesday [12/16/2015] in the journal Nature.  That conclusion, drawn from researchers at Stony Brook University in New York, adds to ongoing study of the causes of cancer and individuals' ability to reduce their risk.  It also challenges findings published in the journal Science earlier this year that suggested most cancer cases are primarily due to "bad luck."

2,009-Page, $1,205,146,000,000 Republican Spending Deal Allows Funding of Planned Parenthood.  The 2,009 page fiscal 2016 spending deal that the Republican House leadership released today [12/16/2015] authorizes $1,205,146,000,000 in federal outlays between now and the end of fiscal 2016, according to the Congressional Budget Office, and it does not prohibit funding of Planned Parenthood, according to the House Appropriations Committee.  The spending bill is paired with a separate 233-page tax bill.

Today's terror threat level:  Woo-woo-woo-ding-ding-woo-woo-woo!
DHS Unveils New Terror Warning System, Issues First 'Bulletin'.  The Department of Homeland Security has a new terrorism advisory system, aimed at providing updates about potential threats to the American people.  It issued its first "Bulletin" warning Wednesday [12/16/2015].

Massive spending agreement reached; 2,009-page bill spends $572 million per page.  The new spending deal reached early Wednesday morning spans more than 2,000 pages, spends $1.149 trillion — and lawmakers will have only a few days to digest it all before they're asked to vote on the legislation, which lays out Congress's priorities for the rest of fiscal year 2016.  It works out to nearly $572 million per page, with lawmakers splashing money throughout the government, boosting both popular and unpopular programs alike, thanks to a spending hike agreed to in October's budget deal.

Where Did All the Money Shaun King Raised for Black Lives Go?  Shaun King is very good at raising money in support of black lives and one of those lives might be his own.  King, one of the most visible faces of the Black Lives Matter movement and no stranger to controversy, is now beating back accusations that he has misappropriated or mismanaged charitable funds.  King collected millions of dollars for everyone from Haitian orphans to the families of black men and children killed by police across America.  Some of that money went to survivors or victims' families, but much of the largess either went into failed projects, King's own pockets, or is unaccounted for.

Black Lives Matter leaders duke it out over disappearing charity money.  Are there cracks appearing in the far flung leadership of the Black Lives Matter movement?  One might imagine that inside any disparate political organization, disputes will eventually arise over the message, the strategy, priorities or any of several key management issues.  The same thing happened to the Occupy movement when they were unable to reach a consensus of Up Twinkles on who was supposed to clean out the rape tents in New York City.  The organization never really recovered.

Navy's Newest Ship, USS Milwaukee, Breaks Down at Sea.  The littoral combat ship USS Milwaukee, the Navy's newest ship that was commissioned in Milwaukee in November, broke down at sea Friday [12/11/2015] and had to be towed more than 40 nautical miles to a base in Little Creek, Va., the Navy Times reported.

Plumber's old truck spotted in ISIS video.  A Texas plumber who was flooded with threats after his old truck — still emblazoned with his company's name — was seen driven by ISIS thugs in Syria has armed himself and is suing a Ford dealer.  Mark Oberholtzer of Mark-1 Plumbing said a jihadi tweeted a photo of a fighter shooting an anti-aircraft gun on the Ford 2005 F-250 in December 2014 with the company logo and phone number still visible.  The nasty calls started pouring in, up to 200 a day.

Global Supermarkets Selling Shrimp Peeled by Slaves.  Despite repeated promises by businesses and government to clean up the country's $7 billion seafood export industry, an Associated Press investigation has found shrimp peeled by modern-day slaves is reaching the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Why you should wrap your keys in aluminum foil.  Your car is always listening.  Not for your voice, like the Amazon Echo or Siri, but for an electronic signal, such as the coded "unlock" signal from your electronic key fob.  If it's a newer car model, you might not have to press any buttons; just approach your car and the doors will unlock automatically.  In some cars, the engine will even turn on.  Wirelessly unlocking your car is convenient, but it comes at a price.  Criminals can easily intercept the key fob's signal and open your car without setting off any alarms.  If you have a true keyless car model, they might be able to just drive away.

Treasury Department delays decision on which woman to put on $10 bill.  Treasury Secretary Jack Lew won't be deciding which woman to feature on the next $10 dollar bill until 2016, after initially saying he would finalize a pick by the end of the year, a Treasury spokesperson tells CBS News.

The Editor says...
I'm still rooting for Mary Jo Kopechne.

The untold story of the campus 'rape crisis'.  [Scroll down]  This all began several years ago with the study that presented the "1 in 5" statistic.  The Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) went to work.  They used Title IX law — which forbids discrimination on the basis of sex.  They argued that harassment, assault, rape, rob a student of their right to their education.  President Obama and Vice President Biden decried the "rape crisis" on our nation's campuses, and the OCR issued its "Dear Colleague" letter, which directed college administrations to take the issue on forcefully — and prove they were doing so — or risk losing their federal funding.  In just over 12 months there has been a more than 100 percent jump in the number of colleges and universities being investigated by the DOE for being lax in pursuing this problem.

U.S. Army changing dog tags for first time in 40 years.  For the first time in 40 years, the U.S. Army is making changes to a century-old piece of hardware, dog tags, the identification implements that hang around each soldier's neck.  For a low-tech thing like the aluminum dog tag, the reason for the change is decidedly high-tech, the threat of identity theft.  On the new dog tags, the service member's Social Security number will be replaced with a randomly-generated, 10-digit Department of Defense identification number.

India's capital limits drivers to alternate days to curb dire pollution.  The Delhi government announced a plan Friday [12/4/2015] to curb the capital's pollution levels, among the worst in the world, by limiting drivers to alternate days beginning next month.  From Jan. 1, residents of the city, which had been choking in thick smog in recent days, will be able to drive only every other day according to their license plate numbers — odd numbers on one day, even numbers on the other. [...] New Delhi's air — a noxious combination of exhaust, dust, smoke from wood and dung-fired stoves, burning leaves and industrial output — surpassed Beijing's last year as the dirtiest in the world, according to a study by the World Health Organization.

Russia Is Planning To Build A Permanent Manned Base On The Moon.  Russia's space agency is planning to build a manned moon base — launching modules into space on six separate rockets.  Russia plans to launch a lunar probe in 2024 which will scout possible locations — before landing a man on the moon in 2030.  Construction of the Luna 25 lander has already begun, the official state news agency Tass has reported.  Once the components are in place, assembly of the moon base will continue over ten years.

The Editor says...
By all means, the U.S. should let Russia spend money on pointless trips to the moon, because there is no strategic advantage to a permanent lunar presence, and it siphons money out of Russia's government that would otherwise be used (presumably) on a military buildup.

Researchers find new phase of carbon, make diamond at room temperature.  Researchers from North Carolina State University have discovered a new phase of solid carbon, called Q-carbon, which is distinct from the known phases of graphite and diamond.  They have also developed a technique for using Q-carbon to make diamond-related structures at room temperature and at ambient atmospheric pressure in air.

Addicted to Distraction.  Addiction is the relentless pull to a substance or an activity that becomes so compulsive it ultimately interferes with everyday life. By that definition, nearly everyone I know is addicted in some measure to the Internet. [...] The brain's craving for novelty, constant stimulation and immediate gratification creates something called a "compulsion loop."  Like lab rats and drug addicts, we need more and more to get the same effect.  Endless access to new information also easily overloads our working memory.  When we reach cognitive overload, our ability to transfer learning to long-term memory significantly deteriorates.  It's as if our brain has become a full cup of water and anything more poured into it starts to spill out.

Donors gave a super PAC $6 million.  Candidates actually got about $140,000.  [Many donors] money went to the American Legacy PAC, an organization with ties to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.  With Carson as the face of its Save Our Healthcare campaign, American Legacy raised close to $6 million in 2014 — and spent nearly all of it paying the consultants and firms that raised the money.  Just 2% was donated to Republican candidates and committees, financial reports show.

Obama judicial nominees in limbo as 'nuclear option' backfires on Democrats.  The Republican-controlled Senate is confirming President Obama's judicial nominees this year at a slower pace than Democrats did after taking the Senate majority in 2007 under President George W. Bush, prompting court watchers to warn that politics is skewing the process.  Two years after Democrats detonated the "nuclear option" to change the filibuster rules to speed judges through confirmation, they are facing the other side of the coin:  Republicans in charge who are flexing their powers to slow down the process.

Illinois Lottery spends money on ad to say it has no money for big payouts.  For over four months Illinois has operated without a budget.  But the Prairie State continues function, not particularly well, as was the case when Illinois had a budget.  Despite those budgets, the state's pension fund is the worst-funded one in the nation.  Illinois has the lowest credit rating of the 50 states — so it shouldn't be shocking that Illinois, with a few exceptions here and there, continues to stumble along.  One of those exceptions is the Illinois Lottery.  Payouts are limited to $600 until the budget impasse is resolved — if you win more you are the proud owner of an IOU, which is suitable for framing assuming that your artistic tastes are modest.

Kansas Asks Its Entire Supreme Court to Step Aside in Key Case.  Kansas Republicans believe they have created a law that their own high court cannot review.  In the latest twist of the topsy-turvy constitutional showdown between the GOP-controlled state legislature and the state Supreme Court, the Kansas attorney general has asked the entire Kansas Supreme Court to recuse itself from hearing a key case.  The power struggle between Kansas Republicans and the state's highest court goes back to a years-long battle over education funding.

Forfeiting justice to over mighty officials.  New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican, signed a historic reform of civil forfeiture in her state earlier this year.  The reform law cracked down on the much-abused practice by, among other things, requiring that defendants be convicted of crimes before government can cite those crimes to justify taking away their property.  It also required that the proceeds of all forfeitures must go to the state's general fund, so as to eliminate any profit motive for state agencies or local governments.  This admirable reform doesn't sit well with officials in New Mexico's largest city, Albuquerque, who have decided to exempt themselves from the law by pretending that the law does not apply to municipal forfeitures.

King of Sweden calls for a ban on baths and admits he is now 'ashamed' to run one after realising how much energy they use.  The King of Sweden has called for a ban on baths to help save the environment.  King Carl XVI Gustaf, who once had a reputation as a lothario and is now a staunch environmentalist, said he realised how much water and energy they used when he was recently staying somewhere without a shower.  The 69-year-old 'green king' told Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet:  'It hit me how much water and energy it used.  'I thought "I can't believe I'm having to do this".  I felt quite ashamed.'  Apparently in jest, he added:  'We should ban all baths.'

The Editor says...
A king who doesn't feel that he can afford to take a hot bath now and then is not aware of his position.  What citizen of his country would expect him to forego that little luxury?  Is there really so little energy available in Sweden that bathing is a luxury beyond even the King?

ISIS guides followers on how to hide online with 34-page manual.  The Arabic document was translated and released this week by analysts at the Combating Terrorism Center, an independent research group at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.  It includes warnings to avoid Instagram because it is owned by Facebook, and Dropbox because former secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sits on its board of investors.  Famous government leaker Edward Snowden has also criticized Dropbox over its privacy, the document notes.  Users are also directed to use Apple's encrypted FaceTime and iMessage features over regular unencrypted text and chat features.

What's Actually in the Trans Pacific Partnership?  Here's a quick summary:
  •   A legislative body superior to Congress
  •   A vehicle to pass Obama's climate change treaty
  •   Increased legal immigration
  •   Reduced patent protection for U.S. pharmaceuticals
  •   Quotas on U.S. agricultural exports
  •   Increased currency manipulation
  •   Reduced U.S. power

Re-creating Noah's Ark: A project of passion and purpose.  Wherever you go, the physical features of the earth's terrain clearly indicate a catastrophic past, from canyons and craters to coral beds and caverns.  Some layers of fossil-bearing strata extend across continents, revealing the effects of a huge catastrophe.  In addition, the earth's crust has massive amounts of layered sedimentary rock, sometimes miles deep!  These layers of sand, soil and material — mostly laid down by water — were once soft like mud, but they are now hard stone.  Encased in these sedimentary layers are billions of dead things (fossils) buried very quickly.  Yes, the evidence for Noah's global Flood is everywhere and confirms the biblical account.

Islam, Christianity Are Fundamentally the Same, Prof Writes.  Yale theology professor Miroslav Volf argues that all religions are basically the same — equally prone to fanatical violence and to peaceful love of neighbor — and thus should be treated in exactly the same way.  In the wake of the extraordinarily brutal jihadist attacks perpetrated on innocent civilians in Paris Friday, Volf suggests in an article in the Washington Post that we look at religion as a single reality rather than making distinctions between different religions.

The Editor says...
It's hard to imagine that a man can make a living as a theology professor who believes all religions are the same.

Hackers Catch Prison Phone Company Securus Recording Attorney Calls.  In an example of Aaron Swartz's SecureDrop technology working as intended, the Intercept received a trove of dumped Securus phone records recently.  Securus, for those who have never been jailed in the United States virtually anywhere, is a phone services leader in the justice industry.  That particular part of the prison industrial complex, communication, is worth about $1.2 billion annually.

Texas biker shootout: 106 indicted by grand jury.  A grand jury in Texas has indicted 106 people in connection with the deadly May shootout between bikers at a strip mall restaurant parking lot, McLennan County Criminal District Attorney Abel Reyna said Tuesday [11/10/2015].  The defendants are accused of "engaging in organized criminal activity with the underlying offense being aggravated assault and murder," Reyna said.

Ted Cruz gets Heritage Foundation 'endorsement'.  According to a new a report from the Heritage Foundation, Sen. Ted Cruz is just about the ideal presidential candidate.  Heritage Action, the political arm of perhaps the most respected think tank in the conservative movement, which is now run by former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, had almost nothing but praise for Mr. Cruz in its first ever presidential policy scorecard.

Obama's War Advisors Turn on Him.  On September 22, Barack Obama's hand-selected advisor coordinating global efforts to combat the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, retired General John Allen, announced his intention to resign the post.  Within a week, Evelyn Farkas, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia, also handed in her resignation.  Given the ongoing wars in Europe and the Middle East into which the West is increasingly committing resources, these resignations are alarming.  In general, the flight of Obama's war advisors from his administration went unnoticed by all but the keenest of observers.  Both Allen and Farkas have determined, however, to make it difficult for the public to ignore their warnings.

Obamatrade's Preamble Backs Government Ownership of Business.  The preamble to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal that the Obama administration has negotiated with eleven other governments — including what the U.S. State Department describes as a Communist regime in Vietnam — expressly affirms the "legitimate role" of "state-owned enterprises."  According to the Congressional Research Service, 40 percent of Vietnam's output comes from state-owned enterprises (SOEs).  In addition to the United States and Vietnam, the parties to the TPP include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru and Singapore.

Woman who won $8.5 million jackpot at casino is denied her winnings because managers claim the slot machine 'malfunctioned'.  Veronica Castillo, from Portland, Oregon thought she had struck it lucky after hitting an $8 million jackpot.  The loan officer was playing alongside her mother on the slots at Lucky Eagle Casino in Rochester, Washington last weekend, when she put $100 in the machine and spun the digital wheels.  The machine declared her to be a winner but all she ended up getting was a measly $80 after staff at the casino say the winning payout was in fact an error.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: A Ben Carson Presidency Would Be 'Terrible' for Black Americans.  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has a new column out for Time Magazine rather bluntly titled "Ben Carson Is Terrible for Black Americans."  The former NBA champion wrote that while Carson's success story is an inspiring one for African-Americans, his presidential run is "bad" because of his "repressive, muddled and pious policies."  Abdul-Jabbar doesn't think it helps African-Americans to have a president who "flounders helplessly in office because it would perpetuate the stereotype that blacks can't be effective CEOs, quarterbacks and leaders."

The Editor says...
Mr. Abdul-Jabbar (who lives under an assumed name, just like Barry Soetoro) should open his eyes, and see that the current president is "flounder[ing] helplessly in office" more obviously than any other president in the country's history.

Rivers of Rotting Garbage Anger Residents in Beirut, Lebanon.  Mountains of rotting garbage have been piling up for four months in the streets of Beirut, with recent heavy rains creating rivers of festering refuse in a the streets of a city that's home to 2 million people.  Waste-collection services ground to a halt in the Lebanese capital after one of the main landfill site[s] was shuttered in July.

Mexicans come up with "World's Worst" internet law.  Typically laws drafted by politicians to deal with computer crime are based on a complete lack of knowledge about how the Internet works, but the "Fayad Law" has been hailed as one of the worst in Internet history.  [Mexican] Senator Omar Fayad claimed he wrote the law in conjunction with the Federal Police but is so badly worded that it could effectively lock up any internet user in the country.

Woman Who Bought Gun That Killed Officer Gets Probation, Community Service.  A Jonesboro, Georgia woman who bought the gun used to kill Omaha Police Officer Kerrie Orozco was sentenced on Monday [11/2/2015].  26-year-old Jalita Johnson was convicted in August after pleading guilty to lying when she bought the gun for her convicted felon boyfriend, Marcus Wheeler, who later used the gun to kill Officer Orozco in May while she was attempting to serve a warrant on Wheeler for his arrest.  Wheeler was killed in the shootout with police during which Officer Orozco died from her wounds.  Johnson was given one year of probation, 40 hours of community service and 180 days' home confinement.

F-35 Data Smuggler Sentenced to Jail.  A former Connecticut resident has been sentenced to 97 months in jail for attempting to send sensitive technical data on the F-35 engine to Iran.  Mozaffar Khazaee, 61, was sentenced Oct. 23 to 97 months of imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release, according to a recent Pentagon Inspector General statement.  Khazaee also was ordered to pay a $50,000 fine.

The Editor says...
This guy will be out in a year if he gets a presidential pardon.

Shocking!  People in New York City make money through deception!  Who knew?
New York company fined over fake clothing donation bins that netted $10m.  Thrift Land USA of Yonkers Inc placed bins labeled with the names and logos of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rockland County and I Love Our Youth Inc throughout the New York metropolitan area, leading the public to believe that donated clothing would benefit the two charities.  Instead Thrift Land, a for-profit company, made about $10m by reselling the clothing and gave the charities $100-$200 for the use of their names, plus a small monthly fee.

Judge rules man had right to shoot down drone over his house.  Should it have temporarily escaped your pressured memory, William Merideth in July said he saw a drone flying above his property in Hillview, Kentucky.  He believed it was spying on his 16-year-old daughter who was sunbathing in the garden.  So he took out his shotgun and blasted the drone out of the sky.  He was arrested for wanton endangerment and criminal mischief.  Now a Kentucky court has declared Merideth an innocent man.  Bullitt County District Court Judge Rebecca Ward on Monday [10/26/2015] dismissed all charges against Merideth, reported local TV station WDRB-TV.

Lottery clerks selling themselves winning tickets.  A man who sold himself a $1,000,000 winning D.C. Lottery ticket is just one of many retailers a WUSA9 investigation found winning the lottery at rates statisticians say border on impossible.  At least three retailers won the lottery around 100 times according to an analysis of D.C. Lottery records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.  "$10,000, $5,000," Lounes Issaad said about some of his 27 payouts that averaged $30,000 each.  "I don't have nothing to hide."

The Editor says...
One could easily surmise that scratch-off lottery tickets are marked, and these store clerks were able to crack the code.  Oh, but that would be a conspiracy theory!.  Couldn't possibly be true!  Most Americans would find it far easier to believe that convenience store clerks (in general) are the luckiest people alive.

6,600 federal inmates to be released this weekend.  The biggest federal inmate release on record will take place this weekend [10/31/2015].  About 6,600 inmates will be released, with 16,500 expected to get out the first year.  More than 40,000 federal felons could be released early over the next several years, the U.S. Sentencing Commission said.

Did Obama call FBI Director Comey on the carpet yesterday?  FBI Director James Comey holds the future of Hillary Clinton's campaign in his hands, as the FBI investigates her handling of classified information.  Director Comey last Friday [10/23/2015] also made some comments in a speech that seemed to contradict a recent propaganda push by the Obama administration. [...] So it is quite notable that yesterday Comey was called to the White House for a talk with the president.  Buried 362 words into the [Michael] Schmidt NYT article on Comey, we learn:  ["]On Thursday, the president met with Mr. Comey in the Oval Office to discuss his views.  The White House declined to describe the conversation.["]

Record number of Americans renounce citizenship.  According to IRS data published in the Federal Register on Monday [10/26/2015], 1,426 Americans expatriated in the third quarter of 2015, bringing this year's total to 3,221 so far.  The figure is 25 percent higher than the same period last year, when 2,585 renounced their citizenship.

Feds Preparing To Undo 'Citizens United' by Forcing Disclosure of Donors to Conservative Groups.  Citizens United was the Supreme Court case that ruled the First Amendment applies to everyone:  unions, individuals, and corporations supporting their interests through free speech.  But the Federal Election Commission has started the process to undo the Citizens United case [...]

How to spot a fake online review.  Now that Amazon is suing more than 1,000 people who allegedly offered to write glowing product reviews for cash, you might reasonably be concerned.

Illinois fails to pay lottery winners as state's budget craters.  The lottery is akin to the magical kingdom where dreams come true.  In New York, their constant advertisements on television assure us that all you need is "a dollar and a dream."  Sure, your odds of hitting the big, top level jackpot are significantly worse than getting hit by lightning while being attacked by a shark, but hey... somebody's got to win, right?  And every week somebody does, leading to a huge weight off their minds if they were financially struggling.  Unless, of course, they happen to live in Illinois where the state has stopped paying the winners while still selling tickets every week.

U.S. Spends $300 Mil on Stoves for Developing Nations.  The U.S. government has spent over $300 million on "efficient cook stoves" for developing nations and the federal employee behind the costly initiative just got a prestigious award that's supposed to honor those "whose work makes our country better, healthier and stronger."  It's not clear how American taxpayer-funded stoves operating in a poor African village makes the U.S. better, healthier and stronger.  What we do know for certain is that Uncle Sam has been a major contributor to a United Nations project, called Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, that aims to improve the lives of those living in the poorest areas of the world by reducing the health risks of indoor smoke from cooking meals over open fires and crude stoves.

Captain America battles right-wing conservatives in new comic.  In the latest issue of Marvel's revamped Captain America, the iconic superhero takes on a group of right-wing conservatives trying to stop illegal immigrants from crossing the border.  In "Captain America: Sam Wilson #1," the superhero also known as Sam Wilson heads to the border to take on an "evil" militia group known as the Sons of the Serpent, who are patrolling the area between Mexico and Arizona, according to a video summary of the issue created by the Maciver Institute.

Drone owners to be required to register devices.  The U.S. Transportation Department plans to start requiring drone owners to register their devices with the government later this year in a bid to crack down on unsafe flights, according to three people familiar with the plans.  The department aims to convene a task force next week to figure out the specifics of the policy, including which drones will be included, how users will register the devices, and whether the policy will apply to devices that have already been sold, the people said.  The task force is expected to deliver recommendations next month, the people said, with regulators aiming to implement a policy before Christmas — an exceptionally fast timeline for aviation regulations.

McDonald's all-day breakfast has been a disaster.  They're in no way "lovin' it."  McDonald's franchisees say the launch of all-day breakfast has been a disaster — griping that it has slowed down service, lowered average bills and sparked chaos in the kitchens.  Mark Kalinowski, an analyst for the Japanese finance company Nomura, surveyed 29 operators overseeing 226 different locations in the US and found that many were pulling their hair out due to the new menu options, which rolled out last Tuesday [10/13/2015] to much praise from Egg McMuffin lovers.

Whither Guantanamo Prisoners?  Pentagon officials are in Colorado this week to scope out potential sites to house prisoners [who are currently] at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, the Associated Press reported Monday [10/12/2015].  A team of officials will evaluate the state penitentiary in Canon City and the Federal Correctional Complex in Florence, which has been dubbed the "Alcatraz of the Rockies," according to the AP. Pentagon spokesman Navy Commander Gary Ross called the visits "informational."  The Pentagon previously looked at the Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, South Carolina.

Confederate flag supporters indicted under Georgia terrorism law.  A Georgia grand jury formally charged 15 members of a group supporting the Confederate flag on terror charges following a July confrontation with a black family who was celebrating a child's birthday, according to an indictment released Monday [10/12/2015].  Douglas County District Attorney Brian Fortner said members of the "Respect the Flag" group violated the state's Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act and made terroristic threats when their caravan of vehicles bearing the rebel flag drove past a neighborhood party.

Congressional Review Of Copyright Law May Threaten Drudge Report.  Congress may update digital copyright law affecting aggregator sites, like the Drudge Report and Real Clear Politics, along with news sites in the near future.  "Two years ago, the House Judiciary Committee launched a comprehensive review of our nation's copyright laws, which have not been updated since 1976.  As technology continues to rapidly advance, we have a responsibility to ensure that our laws are keeping pace with these developments," Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte said in a statement.

US navy returns to celestial navigation amid fears of computer hack.  For millennia, travellers used the stars to guide them on their journeys — a technique which, in recent decades, has been replaced by modern technology.  But now the US navy is reinstating classes on celestial navigation for all new recruits, teaching the use of sextants — instruments made of mirrors used to calculate angles and plot directions — because of rising concerns that computers used to chart courses could be hacked or malfunction.

The Editor says...
Sounds like a brilliant plan, unless you're on a submarine, or you're stuck in a fog or a thunderstorm.  On the other hand, if GPS has been made unavailable by enemy forces, the average sailor probably has more pressing concerns than bad weather.

Senators back celestial navigation for all Navy personnel.  Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) are pushing the Navy to teach all its sailors the ultimate backup plan in case of navigation systems sabotage — celestial navigation.  The pair sent a letter to Secretary of the Navy Raymond Mabus, Jr. asking why the celestial training was only being taught to some, but not all, personnel.  "Though celestial and nautical navigation skills are more challenging to acquire, they are absolutely critical for our sailors," they wrote.

Rebuttal:
Senatorial celestial GPS silliness.  The first sentence is a real howler.  I am a big fan of celnav (I own 5 sextants and know how to use them), but teaching celnav out of fear of GPS sabotage demonstrates a profound lack of understanding about both GPS and navigation in general.  There are plenty of reasons to know how to use a sextant, but these land-lubber senators have completely missed the boat.

Iranian complicity in the Khobar Towers bombing was suppressed.
A still-unsettled Clinton-era tragedy.  For 19 years, the survivors of the Khobar Towers bombing, myself included, and the family members of the fallen have had minimal clarity or explanation about who was responsible and why this devastating event took place.  The event that changed our lives so significantly has been shuffled off into the dustbin of history, until now.  I must pause to thank Washington Times Executive Editor John Solomon for his Oct. 5 article titled "Bill Clinton White House suppressed evidence of Iran's terrorism."  Finally, we can begin to answer many of the questions that have haunted us for so many years.  The betrayal by the Clinton administration began swiftly after the explosion[,] and a scapegoat had to be found.

The Editor says...
Now that the connection has been made between Iran and the Khobar Towers bombing, perhaps some "mainstream" reporter will address the connection between Iraq and the Oklahoma City bombing, and tie up the many loose ends in the case of TWA 800, both of which took place during the Clinton administration.

Most Russians Want Homosexuals 'Liquidated' or Ostracized — Poll.  More than half of Russians think that gay people should be either "liquidated" or isolated from society, according to a poll published Friday [10/9/2015] that showed a hardening of attitudes toward many minority groups in Russia in recent years.  The survey by the Levada Center, an independent pollster, is the latest in a series charting Russians' views on marginal social groups since 1989. [...] Gay people, prostitutes, homeless people and members of fringe religious groups have all become less welcome in Russia during the past 15 years — a period that has seen democracy diminished, tighter state control of information and growth in the power of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Declassified CIA report concluded director led 'cover up' of Kennedy assassination investigation.  The 2013 report, declassified last fall, concludes that [John] McCone, who ran the spy agency when Kennedy was fatally shot in November 1963, kept information from the Warren Commission during its investigation into the assassination.  The report's author, CIA historian David Robarge, writes that McCone and other top CIA officials were part of a "benign cover-up" to keep the commission focused on what the agency believed at the time was the "best truth ... that Lee Harvey Oswald, for as yet undetermined motives, had acted alone," according to Politico Magazine.

Former CIA director was part of a 'benign cover-up' to withhold information from investigators about JFK's assassination.  A former CIA director withheld information about President John F Kennedy's assassination, according to declassified agency reports.  The CIA reports, which were declassified last fall, claim that then-agency head John McCone and other top officials were part of a 'benign cover-up' surrounding the assassination of Kennedy in November 1963.  The report's author, CIA historian David Robarge, claims McCone withheld information to keep the Warren Commission focused on what the agency believed to by the 'best truth... that Lee Harvey Oswald, for as yet undetermined motives, had acted alone,' according to Politico.

Nurse used same syringe on 67 people at N.J. flu clinic, state says.  A nurse who administered flu vaccines to employees of a West Windsor company has been reported to health officials because she re-used a single syringe for the shots.  At an employer-sponsored flu clinic at Otsuka Pharmaceuticals last week, the unnamed nurse committed an "infection control breach," according to a spokeswoman for the New Jersey Department of Health.

Pilots Warned Not to Eject from F-35.  The "next-generation" F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has a problem.  No, not that one.  A new one. [...] Representative Jackie Spier told Defense News:  "We're seeing these flight restrictions because the F-35's ejector seats weren't tested to the level they would be on a normal aircraft, and the Pentagon rushed to field them prematurely.  This is yet another example of the kind of procurement malpractice we should be avoiding[.]"  The military's solution?  Tell pilots they need to weigh more than 136 pounds.

Toyota, U.S. clueless about how ISIS got hundreds of brand new pickup trucks.  Let's go places — like Syria and Iraq.  The U.S. government can't figure out how ISIS terrorists got their hands on hundreds of brand new Toyota pickup trucks, and the Japanese automaker is stumped, too.  Top U.S. counterterror officials probed the automaker about how the Islamic State acquired a fleet of new cars after souped-up Toyota pickups loaded with weapons and packed with fighters began appearing in its propaganda videos, ABC News reported.

US Officials Ask How ISIS Got So Many Toyota Trucks.  U.S. counter-terror officials have asked Toyota, the world's second largest auto maker, to help them determine how ISIS has managed to acquire the large number of Toyota pick-up trucks and SUVs seen prominently in the terror group's propaganda videos in Iraq, Syria and Libya, ABC News has learned.  Toyota says it does not know how ISIS obtained the vehicles and is "supporting" the inquiry led by the Terror Financing unit of the Treasury Department — part of a broad U.S. effort to prevent Western-made goods from ending up in the hands of the terror group.

The Editor says...
Build your own punchline:  To stop ISIS in its tracks, the U.S. should supply them with [insert the name of your least favorite truck] instead!

Bill Clinton White House suppressed evidence of Iran's terrorism.  Bill Clinton's administration gathered enough evidence to send a top-secret communique accusing Iran of facilitating the deadly 1996 Khobar Towers terrorist bombing, but suppressed that information from the American public and some elements of U.S. intelligence for fear it would lead to an outcry for reprisal, according to documents and interviews.  Before Mr. Clinton left office, the intelligence pointing toward Iran's involvement in the terror attack in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 U.S. servicemen and wounded hundreds was deemed both extensive and "credible," memos show.

The rise of ad-blocking could herald the end of the free internet.  here is, alas, no such thing as a free lunch.  What's even more depressing is that there is no such thing as a free internet service.  Most people nowadays probably understand that in relation to, say, social networking services, if the service is "free" then the users (or, more precisely, their personal data) are the product.  But this also applies to stuff that you haven't signed up for — websites that you browse, for example.  The site may be free to view, but there's often a hidden cost.  One part of that cost comes from surreptitious tracking of your browsing habits by outfits that sell that information to advertisers.  The other cost comes from ads that are placed on a webpage either directly by the site owner or as the outcome of a real-time auction that goes on in the depths of the internet.

Your three most vulnerable locations.  [#1] Parking lots.  The first location was parking lots — specifically that last fifty feet as you're returning to your vehicle.  Why is this a dangerous place?  Well, aside from lots of places for a bad guy to lurk, the average person's mind is already thinking about other things — other destinations, chores or personal issues — and not situational awareness.  Add to that one's hands may be full carrying bags and there may be some fumbling for keys.  Don't be this person!

'Happy Birthday' song copyright is not valid, judge rules.  None of the companies that have collected royalties on the "Happy Birthday" song for the past 80 years held a valid copyright claim to one of the most popular songs in history, a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled on Tuesday [9/22/2015].  In a stunning reversal of decades of copyright claims, the judge ruled that Warner/Chappell never had the right to charge for the use of the "Happy Birthday To You" song.  Warner had been enforcing a copyright since 1988, when it bought Birch Tree Group, the successor to Clayton F. Summy Co., which claimed the original disputed copyright.

Hillsdale Says it Was Excluded from Dept of Ed's 'College Scorecard' Because it 'Doesn't Count Students By Race'.  The Department of Education recently released its College Scorecard, an annual resource for students searching for schools that would perfectly match their interests.  Suspiciously kept off the list this year, were conservative colleges like Hillsdale College.  When the school asked why they did not appear on the Scorecard, the assistant press secretary for the Department of Ed, Denise Horn, told them it was because the school awards more certificates than two or four-year degrees and therefore doesn't meet their criteria.

After Obama Claims Conservative Voices Need to be Heard on Campus, WH Dismisses Conservative Colleges from 'Scorecard'.  Last week, President Obama offered a glimmer of hope to conservatives by slamming the politically correct culture on today's college campuses.  Students shouldn't be "coddled" from opposing viewpoints, he insisted.  Conservative speakers shouldn't be "silenced."  Obama's tolerant rhetoric, however, appears to be short-lived.  In the Department of Education's newly released College Scorecard, which helps students search for schools that fit their needs, the Center for College Affordability and Productivity noticed that certain schools were conspicuously left off the list.

U.S. taxpayers duped into shelling out $51 million in green subsidies for 'clean' VW vehicles.  The federal government paid out as much as $51 million in green car subsidies for Volkswagen diesel vehicles based on falsified pollution test results, according to a Times analysis of the federal incentives.  On Friday [9/18/2015], federal and state regulators said the German automaker used software in 482,000 of its diesel vehicles since the 2009 model year to cheat on U.S. emissions tests.  Environmental Protection Agency officials said Monday that the U.S. Department of Justice is also investigating.

Regulators say Volkswagen cheated on environmental standards.  News is breaking this morning that Volkswagen's tampering of emission control software is much larger than the 500,000 or so diesel models reported over the weekend: the true number may be as high as 11 million VWs.  Yesterday [9/21/2015] a spokesperson for the EPA said that VW could be liable for fines as much as $37,000 per vehicle, or $18 billion for the 500,000 or so models then reported to be offending vehicles.

Exclusive: In clash with pope's climate call, U.S. Church leases drilling rights.  Casting the fight against climate change as an urgent moral duty, Pope Francis in June urged the world to phase out highly-polluting fossil fuels.  Yet in the heart of U.S. oil country several dioceses and other Catholic institutions are leasing out drilling rights to oil and gas companies to bolster their finances, Reuters has found.

Blue stripe
Have You Seen a Blue Strip On a Curb?  I can't say that I have noticed any of these blue strips popping-up in my area, but I certainly hope they do!

The Editor says...
This is an internet hoax.  There is such a stripe in front of my house.  The city put it there, to show the location of the pipe that connects the water main to my water meter.  Everybody on the block has a blue stripe.  There is no further significance.


75% in U.S.See Widespread Government Corruption.  Three in four Americans (75%) last year perceived corruption as widespread in the country's government.

EPA Says VW Intentionally Violates Clean Air Standards.  The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday [9/18/2015] ordered Volkswagen to fix nearly 500,000 VW and Audi diesel cars that the agency said are intentionally violating clean air laws by using software that evades EPA emissions standards.

Ben Carson says he would not support a Muslim for president.  Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said he would not support a Muslim for president, stating that he believes a president's faith matters and that Islam is not consistent with the Constitution.  "I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation.  I absolutely would not agree with that," he said in an interview broadcast Sunday [6/20/2015] on NBC's "Meet the Press."  Carson said earlier in the discussion that a president's faith should not matter so long as its "within the realm of America and consistent with the Constitution, no problem."  When host Chuck Todd pressed Carson on whether he believes "Islam is consistent with the Constitution," Carson said, "No, I don't, I do not."

Obama Administration Slams Conservative School As Not A Real College.  An Obama administration representative took a shot at a well-known conservative college Thursday, [9/17/2015] saying the school wasn't included on its much-heralded new "College Scorecard" because it isn't a real two-to-four year college.  Hillsdale College, a 1,500-student liberal arts college in Michigan, is ranked by U.S. News and World Reports as the 67th-best national liberal arts college in the country.  The college is well-known for the conservative identity of its student body and its focus on a core curriculum that emphasizes Judeo-Christian tradition and the U.S. Constitution.  It's also known for its refusal to accept any federal funding (including federal student loans), in order to remain free of most federal regulatory control.

Census reveals the richest and poorest families in America based on earnings.  The United States added 3.2 million jobs to the workforce in 2014, bringing the total to 139 million people employed, according to new figures released by the Census Bureau.  But despite the employment growth, the number of people living in poverty remained the same as in 2013 — around 46.7 million, or 14.8 percent — the bureau's American Community Survey showed.  And average incomes improved only slightly to bring them to $53,660.  For the poorest state, Mississippi, the median household income dropped to $39,680.  In the richest state, Maryland, the figure was almost double, at $73,971.

Stop using difficult-to-guess passwords, UK's spying agency GCHQ recommends.  The British spying agency, found to have been conducting wholesale surveillance on UK citizens, has recommended that the public make their passwords less complex.  In a brand new document called 'Password guidance: simplifying your approach', the company gives a range of guidelines to keep consumers safe.  That includes rolling back previous guidance "that complex passwords are 'stronger'" — instead recommending that people simplify their approach.  The agency gives a range of hints to those working in IT as well as normal consumers.

Three Good Samaritans helped Polk County Deputy Mike Walsh fight off a suspect who attacked him.  The Polk County Sheriff's Office is publicly thanking the three Good Samaritans who came to the aid of Deputy Sheriff Mike Walshon Sunday [9/6/2015] when they witnessed a suspect, Corey Johnson, beating up Deputy Walsh and then fleeing on foot.

Justice Dept. pressing for changes to computer crime law.  It's clearly illegal to hack into someone else's computer network and steal information from it.  But what about a police officer who uses his own department's computer database to look up women from his past?  Or an employee who uses his log-in credentials to download confidential information from his employer?

Government Employees Outnumber Manufacturing Employees 1.8 to 1.  The BLS [Bureau of Labor Statistics] has published seasonally-adjusted month-by-month employment numbers for both government and manufacturing going back to 1939.  In the first 50 years of the 76-year span since then, manufacturing out-employed government.  But in August 1989, government overtook manufacturing as a U.S. employer.

Ex-Labor Department employee admits bootleg movie operation.  A former longtime Labor Department employee admitted Friday to running a bootleg movie operation within the department's headquarters in Washington.  Ricardo Taylor — a three-decade Labor veteran who was the supervisor of the department's mailroom — will serve 24 months' probation with no prison time after pleading guilty to a federal charge of copyright law violation.

Russia makes play for Arctic, Obama seeks more Coast Guard icebreakers.  Forty percent of the world's oil and natural gas reserves lie under the Arctic.  Melting ice also would lead to new shipping routes, and Russia wants to establish a kind of Suez Canal which it controls.  More than a Cold War, Russia may be preparing for an Ice War, and the Pentagon is taking note.  Last March, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a snap, full combat military exercise in Russia's Arctic north to mark the anniversary of his annexation of Crimea — with 40,000 Russian troops, dozens of warships and submarines.

Illinois Says It Can't Pay Big Lottery Winners.  Without a state budget agreement two months into the new fiscal year, there's no authority for the state comptroller to cut checks over $25,000.

The Raspberry Pi is succeeding in ways its makers almost imagined.  When the Raspberry Pi shipped to a planet excited geeks in the middle of 2012, it changed the way we taught IT.  That had always been the intention of creator Eben Upton.  Give the kids the goods and they'll do the rest.

Many scientific studies can't be replicated. That's a problem.  Maverick researchers have long argued that much of what gets published in elite scientific journals is fundamentally squishy — that the results tell a great story but can't be reproduced when the experiments are run a second time.  Now a volunteer army of fact-checkers has published a new report that affirms that the skepticism was warranted.  Over the course of four years, 270 researchers attempted to reproduce the results of 100 experiments that had been published in three prestigious psychology journals.  It was awfully hard.  They ultimately concluded that they'd succeeded just 39 times.  The failure rate surprised even the leaders of the project, who had guessed that perhaps half the results wouldn't be reproduced.

AT&T reportedly playing dirty tricks to serve extra ads through airport hotspot.  AT&T's "free" Wi-Fi may be too good to be true. One of the company's Wi-Fi hotspots, in Virginia's Dulles airport, is reportedly using an ad-injection platform to tamper with the web traffic of users and bombard them with more ads.  Jonathan Mayer, a computer scientist and Stanford lawyer, says he discovered ad-injecting code while using the AT&T hotspot in the airport.  Mayer noticed ads appearing on educational, government, and ad-supported sites such as The Wall Street Journal, and decided to take a look at the web source, discovering that it was adding lines of code that would pull in promotional materials from outside companies. [...] For now, such tools exist in something of a legal gray area, with the FCC's net neutrality rules and a host of other legislation and rulings theoretically restricting their use.

Leading science publisher retracts dozens of papers for fake peer reviews.  Springer Publishing, one of the world's leading publishers of Science, Technology and Medicine (STM) books and journals, issued an announcement this week that 64 different professional articles, primarily in the medical field, had been retracted.  It turns out that the vaunted peer review process, designed to ensure that multiple sets of experts evaluate the quality of the work before it hits the presses, had fallen apart.  The peer reviews in some cases were found to be "highly suspicious" with bogus email addresses and questionable credentials.

Police radios will be killed soon — yet no one dares say 'Huawei'.  In less than 18 months' time the police radio network will be switched off.  There is no obvious replacement and the looming omnishambles is turning into a bonanza for Arqiva, the only company brave enough to offer a solution. [...] The British police and the other emergency services use a system called Airwave.  This uses a technology called Tetra (Terrestrial Trunked Radio) which is half way between a mobile phone system and a walkie talkie.  It's an ancient technology and very poor at mobile data, which runs at 7.2kbs.

Hackers who breached corporate wires made millions off insider trading.  An international hacking ring armed with tens of thousands of corporate secrets pocketed more than $100 million from illicit trades, targeting a core vulnerability of the financial system in one of the digital age's most sprawling insider-trading schemes, federal investigators said Tuesday [8/11/2015].  Since 2010, more than 30 hackers and traders across the U.S., Ukraine, Russia and other countries coordinated to steal and profit from more than 150,000 press releases, which were scheduled to be delivered to investors from corporate wire services Business Wire, PR Newswire and Marketwired.

Fox News Lurches Left as Murdoch's Sons Take Control of Media Dynasty.  Last year Murdoch elevated his sons to prominent positions, James to co-COO and Lachlan to non-executive co-chairman, but the turnover of the conglomerate came sooner than expected.  For 15 years, Roger Ailes has enjoyed near total autonomy as head of Fox News, but Ailes' sovereign rule ended abruptly with the move.

Republicans slam Obama administration as Russia tries Arctic land grab.  Republican lawmakers slammed the Obama administration this week after Russia announced it had submitted a bid to the United Nations for huge areas of the Arctic that could contain vast quantities of oil and gas, with one lawmaker describing the application as evidence of a "strategic blunder" on the part of the administration's foreign policy.  Russia's foreign ministry said in a statement Tuesday [8/4/2015] that Moscow was claiming over 463,000 square miles of Arctic sea shelf, extending more than 350 nautical miles from the shore.  The Arctic is believed to hold up to 25 percent of the planet's untapped oil and gas supplies.  Russia, the U.S. and Canada are among those trying to assert jurisdiction over parts of the region.

Lawsuit could reveal secret Saudi connection to 9/11.  A federal lawsuit moving forward in Manhattan could open the floodgates to tightly held government secrets about foreign connections to the 9/11 attacks.  While the Obama administration refuses to make public the censored 28 pages of the congressional intelligence report implicating the Saudi government in the terror strike — defying bipartisan requests from lawmakers — the two investigators who authored the long-secret section will more than likely be called to testify in the lawsuit brought against the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  Former FBI investigator Michael Jacobson and former Justice Department attorney Dana Lesemann ran down FBI leads tying Saudi officials to some of the Saudi hijackers and documented their findings in the report.

North Korea turns back clocks to create new time zone.  The isolated nation's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) announced the change Thursday [8/4/2015].  North Korea's clocks will be turned back half an hour on Aug. 15, which marks the 70th anniversary of the country's liberation from Japanese rule at the end of World War II.  The change will place North Korea 12½ hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, taking the country's time out of synch with Japan and South Korea, which are both 13 hours ahead of the U.S. East Coast.

RollJam: This $50 'Universal Remote' Unlocks All Kinds Of Car Doors.  With just two radios, a microcontroller and a battery, all purchasable over eBay for less than $50, independent researcher Samy Kamkar has created something wonderfully villainous.  His so-called RollJam exploits digital keys and unlocks cars almost at will.  In recent weeks, he's done just that on his own Lotus Elise models from 2005 and 2007, as well as some Toyotas, a Cadillac and the Cobra alarm keys used by a number of vehicles.  The RollJam takes advantage of a design flaw in the protocol that determines how keys communicate with cars.  It intercepts "rolling codes", the one-time authentication codes exchanged by car and key that change with each lock and unlock.

Russia hacked Joint Chiefs of Staff and shut down the email system of 4,000 Pentagon employees for Eleven Days.  Russia was behind a huge cyber attack on the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff, it has been reported.  The 'sophisticated cyber intrusion' occurred sometime around July 25 and affected some 4,000 military and civilian personnel work for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  It shut down the email system for 11 days, and masses of sensitive information is feared to have been sent to accounts across the internet.

Russia hacks Pentagon computers: NBC, citing sources.  U.S. officials tell NBC News that Russia launched a "sophisticated cyberattack" against the Pentagon's Joint Staff unclassified email system, which has been shut down and taken offline for nearly two weeks.  According to the officials, the "sophisticated cyber intrusion" occurred sometime around July 25 and affected some 4,000 military and civilian personnel who work for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  Sources tell NBC News that it appears the cyberattack relied on some kind of automated system that rapidly gathered massive amounts of data and within a minute distributed all the information to thousands of accounts on the Internet.

Kellogg's to dump artificial ingredients from cereal by 2018.  Amid declining sales and growing customer concern over processed foods, Kellogg's has announced it will eliminate artificial ingredients from its products within the next three years.  Paul Norman, the president of Kellogg North America, announced the company's decision on Tuesday [8/4/2015] during a call with investors.  "We have been working to remove artificial colors and flavors across Kellogg's branded cereals and a variety of Kellogg's branded snack bars as well as Eggo frozen foods," Norman said in a transcript released from the call.  "Our goal is to complete this transition by the end of 2018."

Ted Cruz Number One with Grassroots Tea Party Activists.  On a national grassroots call hosted by Mark Meckler, tea party leader and founder of Citizens for Self Governance, Texas Senator Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) came out as the clear early favorite of national grassroots leaders.  The call included over 100 tea party leaders and some former country Republican Party officials from 33 states including the early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

Santa Claus held hostage!
Russia demanding ownership of the North Pole.  Russia, while still digesting its meal of Crimea, is taking another bite at expanding its sovereignty by laying claim Tuesday [8/4/2015] to the North Pole and a large area of the Arctic Ocean — an area involving oil and gas drilling as well as fishing.  The Russian Foreign Ministry submitted its request on Tuesday to the United Nations committee that arbitrates sea boundaries.

Ted Cruz Edges Donald Trump in July's Breitbart Primary.  Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) barely edged businessman Donald Trump in July's Breitbart Primary as Trump surged into second place, followed by Dr. Ben Carson, who grabbed the third spot.  Cruz, who won June's inaugural Breitbart Primary, was the first choice of 28.3% of the 70,566 participants last month.  Trump was second with 27% of the vote.

ICANN chief warns of potential 'major problems' as U.S. prepares to relinquish Web oversight.  A year away from a historic transition affecting the digital landscape, the head of the organization that regulates Web addresses warns that much still needs to be done to keep the Internet intact, regardless of whether the U.S. relinquishes its oversight as expected. [...] As recently as last month, ICANN encountered a firestorm after publishing a proposal that privacy advocates said would ravage the concept of anonymity on the Internet.

State Department watered down human trafficking report.  In the weeks leading up to a critical annual U.S. report on human trafficking that publicly shames the world's worst offenders, human rights experts at the State Department concluded that trafficking conditions hadn't improved in Malaysia and Cuba.  And in China, they found, things had grown worse.  The State Department's senior political staff saw it differently — and they prevailed.  A Reuters examination, based on interviews with more than a dozen sources in Washington and foreign capitals, shows that the government office set up to independently grade global efforts to fight human trafficking was repeatedly overruled by senior American diplomats and pressured into inflating assessments of 14 strategically important countries in this year's Trafficking in Persons report.

Pope to lead Havana mass next to Che Guevara portrait.  Workers in Cuba have begun building the altar where Pope Francis will deliver mass during a landmark visit next month, placing it just to the left of a giant image of Che Guevara.  Francis, who hails from Argentina like the famous revolutionary, will visit Cuba September 19 to 22 as part of a tour that will later take him to the United States.

Mt. Gox head arrested over loss of 650,000 bitcoins.  Mt. Gox head Mark Karpelès was arrested by Japanese police on Saturday [8/1/2015], more than a year after the exchange folded amidst the loss of 650,000 bitcoins.  Karpelès hasn't been formally charged but "police are alleging that he manipulated the company's computer system to inflate its assets," The Wall Street Journal reported.

NY to give low-cost electricity to Amazon, Bausch & Lomb, 13 other businesses.  ReCharge NY allows selected businesses to buy low-cost power from the New York Power Authority in exchange for commitments to expand or create more jobs.

Obama poised to give financial aid to federal, state prisoners.  More prisoners may soon have access to federal subsidies to pay for college under a new Obama administration initiative, ending a 20-year ban on Pell grants for state and federal prisoners.  The move could come as soon as this week.  Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Loretta Lynch are scheduled to visit Goucher College's Prison Education Partnership at the Maryland Correctional Institution in Jessup on Friday [7/31/2015], to make "an important announcement related to federal aid."

Thanks Obama: American Homeownership at Lowest Rate Since 1967.  In the era of Obama fewer Americans than ever own their own homes in yet another example of how there is no recovery in Obama's recovery.  In a sure sign that America is not doing well, the rate of homeownership has fallen as low as a time in American history when there were still large parts of the country that didn't even have electricity yet!

Swedish military investigating video of possible sunken Russian submarine.  Sky News reports that video of the 66-foot vessel was shot by a private company, Ocean X Team.  The company said on its website that it was unclear how old the ship was or how long it had been at the bottom of the sea, but added "the Cyrillic letters on the hull indicate that it is Russian."  Stefan Hogeborn, an OceanX diver that made the discovery, told Reuters that the submarine was "completely intact" with "no visible damage to the hull" and the hatches closed.

Want longer battery life? Avoid the New York Times and The Grauniad.  Software developer Santeri Paavolainen says the code powering today's websites is taxing browsers so much, it's having a significant impact on power consumption.  The programmer came to that conclusion after a casual examination of news sites including the New Scientist, the BBC, Forbes, The Guardian, and The New York Times, as well as Google and its YouTube video vault.  Paavolainen used an electrical power meter and a 2013 Retina Macbook Pro running on 50-per-cent-brightness with Flash disabled by default to work out the amount of power devoured when browsing various sites.

Congress Demands Answers After Meth Lab Explodes In Federal Building.  A suspected meth lab exploded in a federal laboratory Saturday night, and now Congress wants to know why.  Congress opened an investigation into the blast that occurred at a laboratory on the National Institute of Standards and Technology campus in Gaithersburg, Md., after initial reports that it was caused by a security guard manufacturing drugs.  On Wednesday [7/22/2015], Rep. Lamar Smith sent a formal letter to Penny Pritzker, secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, which oversees the NIST, demanding to know exactly what was going on.

Thousands of Apps Secretly Run Ads That Users Can't See.  Thousands of mobile applications are secretly running ads that can't be seen by users, defrauding marketers and slowing down smartphones, according to a new report by Forensiq, a firm that tracks fraud in online advertising.  Over the course of the 10-day study, one percent of all devices observed in the U.S. ran at least one app committing this kind of fraud; in Europe and Asia, two to three percent of devices encountered fake ads.  Forensiq identified over 5,000 apps that display unseen ads on both Apple and Android devices.  Advertisers are paying about $850 million for these ads each year, according to the report, and the apps with the highest rate of ad fraud can burn through 2 gigabytes of data per day on a single device.

Green Beret tells of shooting Taliban in CIA job interview, loses Silver Star for it.  A Green Beret who was awarded the Silver Star, then saw it stripped away because he killed a Taliban bombmaker, is telling why he did it, as conveyed in a CIA job interview he conducted nearly four years ago.  Maj. Matt Golsteyn said the insurgent was a known maker of improvised explosive devices and was in the presence of such components.  He considered him an armed combatant, so he shot him.

Military reservists with DEA jobs say agency bosses ridiculed their service.  More than a dozen senior Drug Enforcement Administration agents who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan as military reservists claim their bosses within the law enforcement agency ridiculed their service, assigned them to jobs their war injuries made especially difficult — and, in one case, allegedly planted a cellphone in an agent's car to track his movements and record conversations.  The agents, who have filed a formal complaint with a federal watchdog agency over allegations that date back more than a decade, believe they were singled out from other veterans within the agency because their duties caused staffing problems, according to interviews and court documents obtained by Fox News.  If their claims are true, the agency's treatment of the reservists is in violation of President Obama's direct order to federal agencies that unfair treatment of veterans will not be tolerated.

Campaign Memo: Ted Cruz Has Raised More Hard Money Than Every Other GOP Candidate Including Jeb Bush.  The fundraising numbers from last Federal Election Commission (FEC) fundraising quarter for 2016 GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) were so good combined with one week in the previous quarter, he has actually raised more "hard money" than former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a new memo from his campaign manager Jeff Roe obtained exclusively by Breitbart News reveals.

Obama's Waldorf Astoria snub breaks presidential tradition.  President Obama will not stay at the Waldorf Astoria on Friday amid fears the place could be bugged after it was sold to a Chinese company.  The Department of State changed a tradition of putting up US officials at the Waldorf — where every president since Herbert Hoover has hung his hat — after Hilton Worldwide announced it was selling the hotel to Anbang Insurance Group.  Reports say there are fears the Chinese might set up a bugging system.

Illegal Immigrant Who Killed Chandra Levy May Be Released.  Attorneys for Ingmar Guandique, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador who murdered Washington intern Chandra Levy in 2001, will likely ask for Guandique to be released from jail while he awaits a retrial of his 2010 conviction.  A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday [7/14/2015].

Judge Orders Anti-Obama Filmmaker D'Souza Receive Psychological Counseling.  A Manhattan judge ordered Dinesh D'Souza, best known for documentaries critical of President Obama, to continue four more years of community service, as well as psychological counseling on Monday. [...] The psychiatrists D'Souza was first ordered to see found no signs of depression, but U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman overruled their findings and ordered D'Souza see a new psychological counselor weekly.

Ex-Obama DHS Adviser Tweets #AllahuAkbar Celebrating SC Flag Change.  Mohamed Elibiary, the former Department of Homeland Security Advisor who was relieved of duty last year after his ties with the Muslim Brotherhood became publicly known is now praising Allah and the Obama Administration in response to South Carolina's decision to remove the Confederate Flag.  Taking to twitter, Elibiary applauded Obama's efforts to shame the South into giving up history for political correctness while praising federalism.

World's smallest [B]ible is the size of a grain of sugar.  The world's smallest [B]ible, etched on a microchip the size of a grain of sugar, has been placed on display as part of the Israel Museum's 50th anniversary celebration.  Created by scientists at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, the Nano Bible is a gold-plated silicon chip the size of a pinhead on which the entire Hebrew Bible is engraved.  The tiny [B]ible needs to be magnified 10,000 times to be legible.

Overflowing GOP presidential field has Fox News in demand.  [Scroll down]  It's not just Fox News.  Broadcast stations in the early primary voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada are preparing for a 2016 onslaught — which they welcome, because presidential ads boost their bottom lines every four years.

Man Catches Mechanics in His Car at Taco Bell Drive-Thru in Moreno Valley.  Several hours after dropping his car off at a Nissan dealership, an employee at a Taco Bell in Moreno Valley found two mechanics in his vehicle in the drive-thru lane. [...] The dealership told Eyewitness News the mechanics did violate policy.  Their standard test-drive route is 4.8 miles, and the two mechanics drove Jones' car a distance of close to seven miles.

The Editor says...
It doesn't matter if the standard test drive route is a quarter of a mile.  The standard test drive shouldn't loop through the Taco Bell drive-through line.  Your car is still yours while it's in the shop.

Inside the Biggest Lottery Scam Ever.  Eddie Tipton's case may piece together the most ornate and brazen run on the lottery of all time.  It's certainly the largest jackpot claimed and then withdrawn in lottery history.  And Tipton — if he did pull off the attempted heist — may not be the only one in on the job.

Obama's grandmother to cook for president on Kenya trip.  President Barack Obama's Kenyan grandmother, known as Mama Sarah, vowed Friday [7/3/2015] to cook a traditional meal for her grandson when he visits the East African nation, the birthplace of his father, later this month.

South Carolina church fire caused by lightning, officials say.  Lightning, not arson, caused the fire that gutted a traditionally black church in South Carolina this week, federal and state investigators have concluded.  Tuesday's [6/30/2015] fire at Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church in Greeleyville was caused by lightning, and there was "no criminal intent," the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said Thursday on Twitter.  The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division concurred, releasing a statement Thursday [7/2/2015] saying that the fire is "best classified as natural" and that investigators found no indications of wrongdoing.

Isn't this what the telephone is for?
Obama to visit Pentagon for ISIS update.  Obama plans to meet with his national security team and speak on the subject in the afternoon [7/6/2015], according to the White House.  He is expected to be briefed on the war by Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, among others.  The president's rare visit to the Pentagon comes as he is deepening the U.S. military's involvement in Iraq to help drive back ISIS forces.

Obama heads to the Pentagon for ISIS update.  President Obama will head to the Pentagon Monday [7/6/2015] to receive an update on operations against the Islamic State, Navy Times reported Sunday night.  At the Pentagon the president is expected to make remarks to the press on the ongoing airstrikes and operations against the terror group, one day before Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Somebody is cutting Internet cables, causing massive outages.  The FBI is investigating a mysterious string of attacks on fiber optic cables in the San Francisco Bay area, including one that severely disrupted Internet service at numerous businesses and residential buildings Tuesday morning [6/30/2015].

Survey says: 35 percent of Americans would expatriate.  As the Fourth of July weekend looms and Americans prep their grills and ready their fireworks, some citizens are packing their bags.  A recent online poll of more than 2,000 adults by TransferWise, a peer-to-peer money transfer service based in the United Kingdom, revealed that 35 percent of American-born residents and emigrants would consider leaving the United States to live in another country.  This percentage greatly increases for those age 18 to 34.

Why couldn't they have left the country eight years ago?
Poll: Obama Millennials Want To Leave The America They Created.  A new poll from TransferWise shows that 35 percent of those born in the United States would consider ditching their home country to live elsewhere; that number skyrockets among those aged 18-34, the so-called millennials, 55 percent of whom said they would think of taking off if given the chance.  Most of those millennials cite economics as a chief factor in their desire to leave:  43 percent of men and 38 percent of women said they'd leave if they could get paid more in another country.

Cruz Reminds Katie Couric That Hillary Created Anti-Obama Birther Movement.  Faded, former-media darling Katie Couric hosted Republican Senator Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for a full-hour to discuss a wide range of issues Monday [6/29/2015].  The left-wing anchor, who is now perched at a place called Yahoo!, introduced Cruz as a historic candidate — potentially the first American president to be born in Canada.  Later in the interview, she questioned Cruz on his citizenship.

Biden cheers end of white majority, 'that's a good thing'.  Vice President Joe Biden welcomed a top Latin American leader to Washington by declaring that "those of us of European stock" will be the minority in less than two years, and, he added, "that's a good thing."  Biden made the comments during a State Department luncheon for Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

Report: Sweeping New Hostage Policy Due To 'Idiot' At State Dept, WILL Harm Americans.  The federal government will stop threatening families with criminal prosecution for attempting to pay ransom for loved ones taken hostage by terrorist groups, President Barack Obama will announce Wednesday [6/24/2015] in an executive order clarifying and changing the way the government handles hostage situations.  The sweeping new policy is due to "an idiot" at the Department of State, an official close to the review process told The Daily Caller News Foundation — and "it's going to encourage more kidnappings of U.S. service members and U.S. diplomats stationed abroad, and it's going to make Americans targets."

Senate advances fast-track trade bill for Obama.  The Senate on Tuesday [6/23/2015] voted to advance President Obama's trade agenda, approving a measure to end debate on fast-track authority.  The 60-37 motion sets up a vote on final passage on Wednesday [6/24/2015].  If the Senate approves fast-track or trade promotion authority (TPA), it would then be sent to Obama's desk to become law.

Texas turns away from criminal truancy courts for students.  Gov. Greg Abbott has signed into law a measure to decriminalize unexcused absences and require school districts to implement preventive measures.

After Hacking U.S. Personnel Files: Chinese Will Dine With Kerry at Mt. Vernon.  Secretary of State John Kerry said he will meet with Chinese leaders next week for the annual U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue and then hold "a dinner at Mount Vernon" for them.  Kerry will be hosting the Chinese at Mount Vernon, the Virginia estate of George Washington, less than three weeks after the Office of Personnel Management announced that the personnel files of some four million current and former federal employees had been hacked, reportedly by the Chinese.

When was anyone fired for incompetence in the Obama administration?
Will anyone at OPM be fired for this catastrophic mega-hack by China?  Imagine the situation was reversed and the NSA had been caught lifting the personnel files of virtually every human being who works for the Chinese government.  How tense would relations be with China right now?  I'm thinking somewhere on the order of you-just-bombed-our-embassy tense.  As it is, if there are plans afoot to retaliate, the White House is doing an uncharacteristically good job of keeping them secret so far.

Pope Francis warns of destruction of world's ecosystem in leaked encyclical.  Pope Francis will this week call for changes in lifestyles and energy consumption to avert the "unprecedented destruction of the ecosystem" before the end of this century, according to a leaked draft of a papal encyclical.  In a document released by an Italian magazine on Monday, the pontiff will warn that failure to act would have "grave consequences for all of us".

The Editor says...
I guess the Pope should read the Bible, which clearly states that God has made the heavens, with all their host, and the earth, and all things that are in it, and the seas, and all that is in them, and He preserves them all. (Nehemiah 9:6)  God himself preserves the earth (and the oceans and the atmosphere), not governments, not environmentalists, and certainly not the U.N.

Obama Dealt Massive, Humiliating Defeat on Trade.  President Obama was handed a horrific defeat Friday [6/12/2015] in Congress as his own Party deserted him to thwart trade legislation for which he had personally lobbied and which he viewed as a keystone of his second term legacy.  The vote, which was on a measure crucial to passage of the legislation, wasn't even close, as the House rejected a trade adjustment assistance (TAA) package by 302-126.

How telemarketers get around the "Do Not Call" list.  The federal government set up the Do Not Call Registry 12 years ago, to stop annoying calls from sales people.  But they're still getting through.  Since 2009, complaints to the Federal Trade Commission have nearly tripled, from 63,000 a month to 150,000.

Vatican makes history: Pope allows Islamic prayers, Koran readings.  For the first time in Vatican history, the pope allowed for the reading of Islamic prayers and Koran readings from the Catholic facility.  The readings and prayer came as Pope Francis met with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Vatican City, a gathering designed to pray for Middle Eastern peace.

Whistleblowers testify on gov't backlash, DHS agent says bosses tried to strip her gun rights.  A Department of Homeland Security whistleblower testified Thursday [6/11/2015] that the "retaliation" against her for probing a controversial visa program was so extensive she was told she couldn't "carry or own a personal weapon" — a step she described as a constitutional rights violation, and just one of several ways she was punished for speaking out.  Taylor Johnson, a senior special agent in the Homeland Security Investigations division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, testified at a Senate hearing alongside whistleblowers from several other agencies who claim to have faced similar harassment.

'Wounded Warrior' Charity Fights — To Get Rich.  The Wounded Warrior Project's CEO wants charity execs to get a big-league salary without worries about high overhead — and he's not shy about selling donor info.

Top Weather Service official creates consulting job — then takes it himself with $43,200 raise, watchdog says.  A senior National Weather Service official helped write the job description and set the salary for his own post-retirement consulting post — then came back to the office doing the same job with a $43,200 raise, the agency's watchdog found.  The deputy chief financial officer also demanded that he be paid a $50,000 housing allowance near Weather Service headquarters in downtown Silver Spring in violation of government rules for contractors, one of numerous improprieties in a revolving-door deal sealed with full knowledge of senior agency leaders, according to an investigation by the Commerce Department inspector general's office.

Huge fall in stop-and-frisk raises fear that cops are reluctant to confront criminals.  The frightening message — echoed by police supervisors and union leaders — comes as stop-and-frisk encounters are on pace to plunge by 42% this year, with 20,000 fewer street stops.  There were 11,652 stops across the city through June 3 — projecting to roughly 28,000 for the year, records obtained by the [New York] Daily News show.  As the number of stops fell, the number of murders spiked 19.5% during the first five months of the year, the number of people shot is up 9.2% and the number of shooting incidents jumped 9%.

Mississippi superintendent won't say if he'll drop charges against cheering spectators.  A Mississippi superintendent who pressed charges against people for cheering during a high school graduation ceremony says he plans to make a statement in court Tuesday [6/9/2015], but did not say whether he would drop the charges.  Senatobia school Superintendent Jay Foster reiterated Friday in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that his aim is to ensure that some families do not ruin graduations by causing a ruckus.  He said that when he first started at Senatobia four years ago, out-of-control cheering meant some families could not hear a graduate's name called or see them walk across the stage to receive their diploma.

The Editor says...
It's a shame they have to bring in the police to control the behavior of those who have no concept of decorum or polite behavior.

China is gambling Obama doesn't have will to respond to its massive land grab.  You may not have noticed, as ISIS expands its reach across Iraq and Russia fuels conflict in Ukraine, but the odds of an armed confrontation between the United States and China just dramatically increased.  After years of ignoring China's growing assertiveness in Asia, the Obama administration has been taken unaware by a major land and power grab by Beijing.  Over the past several years, China has steadily expanded its territorial ambitions, including a claim that the entire South China Sea is under its dominion.  The sea is one of the world's most strategic bodies of water.

We Can't Let John Deere Destroy the Very Idea of Ownership.  It's Official: JOHN Deere and General Motors want to eviscerate the notion of ownership.  Sure, we pay for their vehicles.  But we don't own them.  Not according to their corporate lawyers, anyway.  In a particularly spectacular display of corporate delusion, John Deere — the world's largest agricultural machinery maker — told the Copyright Office that farmers don't own their tractors.  Because computer code snakes through the DNA of modern tractors, farmers receive "an implied license for the life of the vehicle to operate the vehicle."  It's John Deere's tractor, folks.  You're just driving it.

GM says you don't own your car, you just license it.  GM has joined with John Deere in asking the government to confirm that you literally cannot own your car because of the software in its engine.  Like Deere, GM wants to stop the Copyright Office from granting an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that would allow you to jailbreak the code in your car's engine so that you can take it to a non-GM mechanic for service, or fix it yourself.  By controlling who can service your car, GM can force you to buy only official, expensive parts, protecting its bottom line.

Defense chief: Iraqis showed no will to fight at Ramadi.  The Islamic State group's takeover of the provincial capital Ramadi is stark evidence that Iraqi forces lack the "will to fight," Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a TV interview that aired Sunday [5/24/2015].

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.

How rude!
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.

License plate

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 WilsonReliable 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.

100 dollar equivalent
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.

Update:
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 Here].
  •   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.

Update:
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 RevoltDer 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.

Heresy:
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.

Update:
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.

Business Owners Warn Of 4,100 New Regs And The Administration's Secrecy About Them.  Every administration is legally required to publish a report each April and October in the Federal Register to inform Congress and the public of the administration's regulatory agenda and its potential economic impact.  The requirement is part of the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980.  The Obama administration has missed its second straight legal deadline for disclosing its regulatory plans and their economic impact to Congress and the American public.  No previous administration has ever failed to produce the report even once.

NV newspaper: Obama a "narcissistic amateur," "embarrassment," "incompetent".  And those are the kinder thoughts that the editors of the Las Vegas Review-Journal had for Barack Obama in their lead editorial yesterday.  Those conclusions refer to Obama's overall performance on the economy and foreign policy.  When they get down to specifics on Benghazi, the anger pulses through every sentence.

Las Vegas Review-Journal lets Obama have it.  This is the most incendiary indictment of a politcian I've ever read in the mainstream media.

The Saudis are bulldozing Islam's heritage. Why the silence from the Muslim world?  The long-cherished ambition of Saudi Arabia's ruling Wahhabi sect to smash up the ancient buildings of Mecca and Medina is nearing fruition.  In Mecca, the house of one of Mohammed's wives has been demolished to make space for public lavatories.

Facebook admits error in censoring anti-Obama message.  Mistakes happen, for sure, yet Facebook made three or four in quick succession, evidence that this wasn't just a goof.  "They warned us once.  They censored it twice and then they suspended our account," says [Larry] Ward.

3.5 Years: Zero Budgets.  Senate Dems haven't approved a budget resolution since April 29, 2009.

The wealthiest person in each of the 50 states.  Bill Gates, who is America's wealthiest person worth $64.5 billion, still lives in Seattle, Washington near to the headquarters of Microsoft which he founded, while Wal-Mart heir, Jim Walton, worth $33.6 billion lives in Bentonville, Arkansas, where the retail giant is headquartered.

Historical treasures missing from National Archives.  Precious historical artifacts like the Wright Brothers airplane patent, the bombing maps for the nuclear attack on Japan, the original eyewitness radio report of the Hindenburg disaster and photos taken by the astronauts on the moon are just some of the items stolen from our National Archives.  So much of our past has been pocketed by thieves that the National Archives has formed a recovery team to get them back.

Government: Violent crimes rose 18 percent in 2011.  The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics reported Wednesday [10/17/2012] that the increase in the number of violent crimes was the result of an upward swing in simple assaults, which rose 22 percent, from 4 million in 2010 to 5 million last year.

DOE delays decision on natural-gas export license.  The Obama administration punted a decision on whether to prevent a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export license, saying it needs more time to review a complaint that an environmental assessment for the plan did not go far enough.  The Department of Energy (DOE) said it needs to review a complaint regarding a conditional permit granted to Cheniere Energy.  That permit would let the firm export LNG to countries without free-trade agreements from its Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana.

The Editor says...
What does the Department of Energy do to facilitate the production of energy?  The DOE doesn't produce energy — it reluctantly issues permits to energy producing companies.  In other words, the United State would have far more energy available if the DOE were abolished.

Obama White House Lists Prisoner Re-Entry Programs as Budget Priority for Black Families Only.  The White House's fiscal year 2013 budget includes $831 million for Department of Justice prisoner re-entry programs, which are designed to help inmates who have been released from prison find a job and to reduce recidivism rate.  Take a look at the Obama White House's Office of Management and Budget, and you'll find the program is mentioned under the fact sheet on key issues titled, "An Economy Built to Last and Security for African American Families."

Some States Not Sending Absentee Ballots to Military.  Jurisdictions in Vermont, Michigan, Mississippi and Wisconsin have failed to mail absentee ballots to military members by the Sept. 22, 2012, deadline established by the MOVE Act.  That was 45 days before the November 6 elections, which was what was required.

U.S. to End Pro-Democracy Broadcasts in Russia.  America's broadcast voice in Russia will soon be silenced following Moscow's ratification of a new law that will force a legendary broadcasting company to abandon the Russian airwaves.  Radio Liberty (RL), a division of the U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe (RFE), recently fired a large portion of its staff after the passage of a Russian law prohibiting foreign-owned media outlets from broadcasting on AM frequencies.

The Editor says...
During the Cold War, the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe didn't wait for Russia's permission to use specific radio frequencies.  Things in the White House are different now, and not in a good way.

Fox News Contributor Can't Accept New Heart for Wife Due to Government Regulations.  [Charles Payne's] friend recently lost his daughter.  Payne's wife needs a heart transplant.  His friend offered them his daughter's heart.  Overwhelmed, they accepted.  Then the government got involved.

Disorder and Corruption in a New World Order.  Sixty years of communism, theft, and abuse of power are hard to overcome even though a strange form of capitalism has taken strong roots in Romania.  The shadow communism never went away and is re-emerging with a vengeance in public life with empty promises of free food, easy money, and free housing.

Just five per cent of takings from NFL's pink kit for breast cancer campaign goes to charities.  The proceeds ostensibly go to help support the fight against breast cancer, but critics now allege that most of the cash ends up in the pockets of NFL owners. [...] However, Business Week discovered that only 5 percent of the sales are being donated to the American Cancer Society.

Nebraska town with only 11 residents sells more than Four Million cans of beer every year.  The Oglala Sioux Tribe governs the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota, just over the state line from Whiteclay [Nebraska].  Last year the four beer stores named in the suit sold the equivalent of 4.3 million 12-ounce beer cans even though according to the latest census, Whiteclay has only 11 residents.

The Editor says...
I'll bet they sell a lot of this stuff, too, in addition to Aqua Velva, Woolite, and Listerine.

Military absentee ballots remain drastically low.  As of today [10/11/2012], voting registration deadlines in 18 states and territories have passed, and military absentee ballot requests remain at a worryingly low level compared with past election years.  According to the most recent data, released Sept. 22, Florida has sent 65,173, compared to the just over 95,000 it counted four years ago.  Virginia has sent out 12,292 military and overseas absentee ballots, less than 43 percent of the 28,816 it counted in 2008.

Cash-strapped farmers feed candy to cows.  Cattle farmers struggling with record corn prices are feeding their cows candy instead. [...] While corn goes for about $315 a ton, ice-cream sprinkles can be had for as little as $160 a ton.

Did someone mention ethanol?

Members of Congress Financially Benefit from Legislation They Support.  A Washington Post investigation found that 73 members of Congress have "sponsored or co-sponsored legislation in recent years that could benefit businesses or industries in which either they or their family members are involved or invested."

The Collapse of Communism: The Untold Story.  [Scroll down]  Should we really believe that millions of communists just became overnight capitalists and good citizens?  Surprise!  They turned out to become leaders of the new system.  It doesn't matter what political party in the former Soviet satellite countries you are looking at, left or right, they all were created and are run by former communists.  So communism didn't really disappear, it didn't go away.  It just adapted, morphed into the new system in order to survive and to continue on its mission.

Reid Attacks Romney in Apparent Violation of Senate Ethics Rules.  The personal political attack from [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid appears to violate the Senate's ethics rules.  According to the Senate Select Committee on Ethics, "Senate resources may only be used for official purposes.  The General Appropriations statute, 31 U.S.C § 1301, provides that official funds are to be used only for the purposes for which they were appropriated.  No official resources may be used to conduct campaign activities."  Reid's bold attack could attract the attention of the Senate Ethics Committee.

U.S. Investigating White House Cyber Attack.  Law enforcement and national security agencies are investigating the hacking of a White House computer last month that penetrated a network inside the White House Military Office that handles top-secret data, U.S. officials said.  On Capitol Hill, House Republicans this week asked the White House to provide details of the attack on the White House Communications Agency, which runs the Situation Room and classified communications and teleconferences.

October Surprise: Obama Plans Major Airstrike on Libyan Targets.  Today [10/3/2012], a Defense Department official confirmed to Breitbart News that there is advance planning for a "substantial air package" against targets in Libya.  Military sources suggest that this means that flight missions against Libyan targets will include manned flights, not merely drones.

Obama to designate Chavez home as nat'l monument.  President Barack Obama is designating the California home of labor leader Cesar Chavez as a national monument, a move likely to shore up support from Hispanic and progressive voters just five weeks before the election.

White House confirms cyberattack.  The White House confirmed but sought to downplay a report by a conservative website on Sunday [9/30/2012] that it had been the victim of a cyberattack, volunteering to POLITICO that no harm had been done.  The Washington Free Beacon reported that Chinese hackers had attacked a computer system in the White House Military Office.

Is QE 3 Really Just Another Bailout?  At a time when mortgage rates are at historic lows, home prices have fallen, and previous overbuilding leaves little room for growth in employment in the housing industry, why would the Federal Reserve suddenly decide to purchase $40 billion worth of mortgage securities a month supposedly in order to stimulate the housing market and thereby create more jobs?

Explosive Update: The Smolensk Crash.  The shocking news this week is that a snapped rivet was found during an autopsy of one of the recently exhumed victims of the crash.  This evidence bolsters growing evidence for an alternative explanation of the crash, which the new Polish government and Russian authorities insist was a matter of pilot error and heavy fog.  The alternate theory, increasingly borne out by evidence and testing, is that there was an explosion on board.

'Slander' and free speech are one and the same.  Who said the following:  "The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam."  Iran's Ahmadinejad?  Egypt's Morsi?  Some little-known, fatwa-flinging cleric increasing the bounty on Salman Rushdie's head?  None of the above.  The words are President Obama's, and he spoke them this week to the U.N. General Assembly.  No Big Media outlet reported this stunning pronouncement.

Where are all the separation of church and state people now?

Trump: Obama is a "Teflon" president.  Donald Trump, the real estate mogul and reality television personality, attacked President Obama Monday [9/24/2012] as a "Teflon" president, arguing that Mr. Obama benefits from a journalistic bias in his favor.  "You know, he gets the greatest press of anybody that I think I've ever seen," Trump said of the president, speaking at the convocation at Liberty University, a Christian college founded by Jerry Falwell.

How to Stop Hospitals From Killing Us.  Medical mistakes kill enough people each week to fill four jumbo jets.  But these mistakes go largely unnoticed by the world at large, and the medical community rarely learns from them.  The same preventable mistakes are made over and over again, and patients are left in the dark about which hospitals have significantly better (or worse) safety records than their peers.

Apparently, if you are a white male farmer, you do not have civil rights.
Obama USDA offering women, Hispanic farmers over $1.3 billion in discrimination payouts.  As part of "a new era of civil rights" at the Department of Agriculture, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced Monday that Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers who believe USDA discriminated against them can file claims to get a piece of at least $1.33 billion in cash awards and tax relief payments and up to $160 million in farm debt relief, beginning this week.  Women and Hispanic ranchers and farmers who feel the agency denied their loan or loan servicing applications because of their race or gender at various periods from 1981 to 2000 can file claims alleging discrimination from Sept. 24, 2012, to March 25, 2013, for a slice of the payout.

Hard Unemployment Truths About 'Soft' Skills.  "What exactly are the skills you can't find?" I asked, imagining that openings for high-tech positions went begging because, as we hear so often, the training of the U.S. workforce doesn't match up well with current corporate needs.  One of the representatives looked sheepishly around the room and responded:  "To be perfectly honest ... we have a hard time finding people who can pass the drug test."

Translation:  "Historically black college" means "all-black college."
Historically black colleges get $228 million in federal funds, including 15 schools in Alabama.  The U.S. Department of Education announced today [9/18/2012] that 97 historically black colleges will receive $227.9 million in federal funds as part of its annual Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities grants.  Miles College President George French said there's a sense of relief after efforts to decrease federal funding across the board in the Department of Education.  "We're happy the funding levels were restored," said French.  "This is the second year we had to fight for funding.  It's still lower."

Three lawmakers, FEMA aide help open Scientology national office.  Three House members this week helped to open the first-ever Church of Scientology National Affairs Office in Washington, drawing politics into the controversial movement just as a new movie inspired by church founder L. Ron Hubbard opens.  Reps. Dan Burton, R-Ind., Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, and Danny Davis, D-Ill., spoke at the Wednesday [9/12/2012] opening on Dupont Circle.

Kansas considers removing Obama from ballot.  A GOP-controlled board in Kansas is trying to decide whether to remove President Obama from the state ballot over objections about his birth certificate.  The State Objections Board — consisting of three of the state's top Republican elected officials — ruled Thursday [9/13/2012] it did not yet have enough information and postponed a decision until Monday.  "I don't think it's a frivolous objection," Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach told the Topeka Capital-Journal.  "I do think the factual record could be supplemented."

The Editor says...
In case this is your first day on the internet, let me explain.  You see, President Obama (a/k/a Barry Soetoro) released an image of a document on April 27, 2011, which he claimed to be his birth certificate.  Subsequent examination of the image quickly revealed it to be a Photoshopped fake.  This act of fraud is one of many reasons that I believe President Obama/Soetoro should be impeached in the U.S. Senate and removed from office.

Obama Admin Transferred 3,000 Detainees to Afghan Gov't Control Day Before 9/11.  The U.S. formally transferred control of its largest prison to the Afghans in a ceremony Monday at Bagram airbase north of Kabul.

Strange Railroad Traffic Being Re-Routed Through Ft. Leavenworth Military Base.  The Northern line out of Kansas City has been closed since yesterday [9/10/2012], and all rail traffic is detoured through Lawrence since then.  The Northern line runs through the Leavenworth Military Base, and around the prisons. [...] These trains have been running non stop both directions all day long.  We know this because the trains blow whistles at every intersection, and every time they pass each other.

Chicago Under RahmCare: Do as We Say or Pay Up.  Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced a new "wellness program" for all city employees and their spouses (or domestic partners or civil-union spouses).  "Our program will change lives, make our workforce healthier, and save taxpayers money," Emanuel said.  The program, called Chicago Lives Healthy, is technically voluntary; but those refusing to participate in it will be penalized $50 a month per covered adult.  In other words, it's only voluntary if a couple wants to forego $1,200 a year.

'New York Post' Runs Boldest Anti-Obama Ad Yet.  Even casual readers of the New York Post will find it hard to miss the full-page ad immediately following the paper's must-read gossip section, Page Six, that claims President Obama's biological father is not Barack Hussein Obama Sr., but rather poet and labor activist Frank Marshall Davis.  Or as the ad puts it, "Communist Party Propagandist Frank Marshall Davis."  The ad, headlined "Obama's Big Lie Revealed," is a promotion for a DVD titled Dreams from My Real Father, which is billed as "Amazon's #1 documentary."

Students say they are forced to work on new iPhone 5.  Thousands of students in an east China city are being forced to work at a Foxconn plant after classes were suspended at the beginning of the new semester, it has been revealed.  Students from Huai'an in Jiangsu Province were driven to a factory in the city run by Taiwan's Foxconn Technology Company after the plant couldn't find sufficient workers for the production of Apple's much-anticipated iPhone 5, they said in online posts.  A student majoring in computing at the Huaiyin Institute of Technology said 200 students from her school had been driven to the factory.

Alinskyite Super PAC's Crusade to Take Down Michele Bachmann.  Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is now in the crosshairs of the radical left-wing Credo Super PAC which jettisoned an earlier pledge not to target any female congressional candidate in the upcoming election. [...] Bachmann is the "Queen of Crazy," according to Credo's website.  The PAC is attacking Bachmann because, among other things, she believes the U.S. Constitution limits the powers of the federal government, is an outspoken Christian, opposes same-sex marriage, believes manmade global warming is a myth, and wants to reform Medicare and Medicaid.

Television Stations Could Start Using Drones To Cover News Stories.  A drone originally developed for military use could soon be used by television stations and journalists as a news-gathering device.  The Schiebel Corporation's Camcopter, which is used by the United Arab Emirates Army and the Germany Navy, could soon be used for broadcasting purposes, according to TV News Check.

GOP platform proposes Tenth Amendment test for all federal spending.  All federal spending should be reviewed to ensure powers reserved for the states are not given to the federal government, according to the GOP platform approved Tuesday [8/28/2012].  The platform language is meant to ensure all federal spending meets the requirements of the 10th amendment, which prohibits state powers from being given to the feds.

One of most dangerous cities in US plans to ditch police force.  Amid what they call a "public safety crisis," officials in Camden, N.J., plan to disband the city's 141-year-old police department and replace it with a non-union division of the Camden County Police.  Camden city officials have touted the move as necessary to combat the city's growing financial and safety problems.  The entire 267-member police department will be laid off and replaced with a newly reformatted metro division, which is projected to have some 400 members.

Anti-Obama doc '2016' doing well in Ohio, Texas.  Here are the five strongest U.S. theater markets in terms of ticket sales for "2016: Obama's America," based on box office data from Rentrak, a media measurement and research company.

What Is the Natural Political Home of Indian-Americans?  One group whose support President Obama can apparently take for granted is Indian-Americans.  But why?  As we enter the home stretch of the presidential election, one group whose support President Barack Obama can apparently take for granted is Indian-Americans.  According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, 65 percent of the 2.85 million-strong community self-identifies as Democratic or Democratic-leaning.  Fewer than one in five see themselves as Republicans.  In 2008, a whopping 84 percent of Indian-Americans voted for Obama, one of the highest proportion of any ethnic group in America.

Feds shut down criminal probe of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.  Federal prosecutors closed an exhaustive four-year FBI criminal investigation and grand-jury probe targeting Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, former County Attorney Andrew Thomas and their top deputies, saying there will be no indictments.

Fed Primes the Pump to Re-Elect Obama.  [Scroll down]  "We will act in an apolitical, non-partisan manner to do what is necessary for the economy," Bernanke quickly responded.  "We have said we are willing to take further action."  As the election grows close, the Fed is acting to inflate the dollar — just in time to try to save President Obama.  According to the Fed, a third round of "quantitative easing" may be on its way so long as the economy doesn't ratchet up.

Box Office: Obama Doc '2016' Stuns Hollywood.  Gerald R. Molen, the Oscar-winning producer behind "Schindler's List" and "2016," and Dinesh D'Souza, upon who's book the film is based, should send the corrupt media a fruit basket today.  The corrupt media will likely tell you "2016" is a success because of racism and hate, but the real reason people are flocking is to try and grasp a better understanding of this awful, divisive, inept, and anti-American failure currently sitting in the Oval Office.  Nothing we've seen over the last four years and especially during this campaign in any way matches the carefully crafted image Obama and his media punks have crafted and bitterly clung to.

Exposing the Real Barack Obama.  Every seat in the theater was filled, even though there had been an earlier showing that day, and more showings were scheduled for the rest of the afternoon and evening.  I had to sit on a staircase in the balcony, but it was worth it.  The audience was riveted.  You could barely hear a sound from them, or detect a movement, and certainly not smell popcorn.  Yet the movie had no bombast, no violence, no sex and no spectacular visual effects.

Anti-Obama Documentary a Box Office Hit.  A documentary highly critical of President Obama's past became the second highest-grossing documentary of the year last weekend, grossing $1.2 million last weekend.  "2016: Obama's America," based on conservative author Dines D'Souza's book "The Roots of Obama's Rage," expanded to 169 theaters nationwide on Friday [8/24/2012], following the success of its limited release to 61 theaters over the past month, the Hollywood Reporter first reported.

Box Office Report: Anti-Obama Doc Drawing Big Crowds, Even in New York City.  An anti-Barack Obama documentary based on conservative author Dinesh D'Souza's book The Roots of Obama's Rage will expand nationwide this weekend after doing notable business in select markets across the country — including in liberal-minded New York City.

Wash Post Gushed Over 'Emotional Power' of 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' Slams 'Fear-Mongering' '2016'.  Apparently, one-sided documentaries are only a problem if they're conservative.

Why Is The Press Ignoring The Success Of '2016'?  So far, "2016" has taken in more than $9.3 million, which puts it easily within reach of becoming one of the top five highest-grossing political documentaries of all time.  And, if anything, the movie is just getting started.  Last weekend, it averaged nearly $6,000 per screen, which is higher than when it was showing in just 62 theaters a couple weeks ago.  But aside from a few grudging news stories about the weekend box office take and a smattering of predictably critical reviews, the media are largely turning a studied blind eye to the film.

Holder Justice Department Recruits Dwarfs, Schizophrenics, and the 'Intellectually Disabled'.  The PJ Tatler has obtained documents from the Justice Department detailing efforts to recruit attorneys and staff who are dwarfs or who have "psychiatric disabilities" or "severe intellectual disabilities."  On May 31, 2012, Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez issued a directive to affirmatively recruit people with these "targeted disabilities."  This DOJ policy does not merely involve prohibitions against discrimination, but rather the documents reveal deliberate recruitment efforts to hire as attorneys and staff for the Department of Justice people suffering from psychiatric disorders and intellectual disabilities.

The Editor says...
Why would the leadership of the Justice Department do something like this?  Because the Justice Department is politicized from top to bottom, and the next President will find it impossible to fire these people.  It's like pouring sugar in the gas tank of a car right before it is repossessed, just to be spiteful.  By loading the Justice Department with half-wits and psychotics, the next (non-Democrat) administration will have a hard time prosecuting any voter fraud that takes place in the November 2012 election.  On the other hand, how many people with "severe intellectual disabilities" make it through law school?

Federal Auditor: 2,527 DHS Employees and Co-Conspirators Convicted of Crimes.  There have been 2,527 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees and co-conspirators convicted of corruption and other criminal misconduct since 2004, according to a federal auditor. [...] Some cases date back to fiscal year 2004 (Oct. 1, 2003 thru Sept. 30, 2004) although the majority of the open investigations were initiated in the last three fiscal years.  The DHS started operating in March 2003.

The Editor says...
That sounds bad, but it also sounds like a meaningless one-dimensional statistic that gives no indication of the seriousness of those crimes or the percentage of the DHS workforce involved.  The details are laid out in the remainder of the article.

Oklahoma police captain sues department over mosque assignment.  A Tulsa police officer and devout Christian is suing his department after being punished for refusing to go to a mosque for a mandatory cultural event.  Police Capt. Paul Campbell Fields, a 17-year veteran, was docked two weeks' pay, transferred, reduced to the graveyard shift and made ineligible for promotions for at least a year, after he told his chief his faith made it impossible for him to attend a "Law Enforcement Appreciation Day" at the Islamic Cultural Society of Tulsa, according to the lawsuit.

'2016: Obama's America' Movie Is Disturbingly Necessary.  [Scroll down]  To watch this movie and realize — or simply be reminded of — all that is unknown about President Obama is of concern.  Much of the information has been ignored by the American media totally.  When appropriately reminded as to what is still unknown about Obama to date, one has to ask:  How can any logical-thinking person [care] about Romney's taxes while not asking any questions regarding our current president's past?  The man influences the entire globe, but liberal Americans want to know how much Mitt Romney paid in taxes in the past rather than learn about the man who they have entrusted with the country.  Unbelievable.

Is America becoming a 'socialist state'? 40 percent say yes.  Two of every five Americans today say their country is evolving into a socialist state.  That finding, contained in a new nationwide poll, highlights a central debate in the 2012 election campaign and a major challenge for President Obama.

New Evidence of Corruption Involving Sale of Farmington Public Schools Property to the Islamic Cultural Association.  A stunning new development has come to light surrounding allegations of public corruption over the sale of Farmington Public Schools (FPS) property to the Islamic Cultural Association (ICA).  On Wednesday, August 8th, Reverend Bruce D. Burwell, Senior Pastor of Light of the World Christian Center in West Bloomfield, read aloud a prepared statement on how the person in charge of FPS properties told him the property was not for sale when he expressed an interest in purchasing it for his church.  FPS subsequently sold the vacant Eagle Elementary school property to the Islamic Cultural Association.

National Review's Rich Lowry Destroys MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Meet the Press.  She's touted by the liberal media as one of the brightest commentators on television, yet MSNBC's Rachel Maddow got thoroughly demolished by National Review editor Rich Lowry on Sunday's Meet the Press.

Report: Rep. Steve King mulling bill to repeal everything Obama has signed.  Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), an outspoken critic of just about everything President Obama supports, is considering introducing a bill that would repeal everything Obama has signed into law.  King put forward this suggestion to an Iowa audience on Tuesday [8/7/2012], when he also reiterated his threat to sue the Obama administration for its June decision not to deport younger illegal immigrants.

Zimmerman Prosecutors In Huge Screw-Up.  In an embarrassing screw-up, Florida prosecutors today [8/9/2012] accidentally distributed a post-mortem photo of Trayvon Martin as well as copies of George Zimmerman's college records, material that Florida law considers confidential and exempt from disclosure.  The documents were inadvertently included in supplemental discovery records distributed this morning by prosecutor Angela Corey's office.

Zambian miners crush a Chinese manager to death.  Suppose a manager of a British mining company picked up a gun and opened fire on his African workforce?  What if the company concerned paid its Zambian miners less than the legal minimum wage?  Suppose relations on the shop floor became so poisonous that furious workers chose to crush a manager to death? [...] Yet all of the above has happened at a Chinese-owned mine in Zambia.

You drop fifteen tons an' whaddaya get?  In a move surely designed to give Iran's militant mullahs pause for thought, the Obama Administration has released information that America's biggest bunker-busting bomb is ready to use.  Last week, Air Force Secretary, Michael Donley, told Defense News that the massive ordnance penetrator, MOP, a 30,000 pound behemoth designed to penetrate the earth to an alleged depth of 200 feet, is ready to be employed against Iranian nuclear weapons production sites.  It is almost a certainty that the weapon's announced capabilities are short of actual performance.  You don't announce your limitations to your enemies so they can simply dig deeper redoubts for their bomb building program.  So actual penetration capabilities remain unknown.

Congressman's Anti-Big Government Rant Gets Standing Ovation On House Floor.  Rep. Mike Kelly just gained a lot of new fans.

The Editor says...
The Mike Kelly video is well worth your time.

The Communists Killed Kennedy.  Former CIA officer Brian Latell's new book, Castro's Secrets, includes the revelation that Fidel Castro knew Lee Harvey Oswald was going to kill President Kennedy.  The book deserves far more attention that it has received and adds to an existing body of evidence that Castro not only had foreknowledge of the plot to kill JFK but was actually behind it, most likely with Soviet backing.

Bill Nye the Obama Guy.  Bill Nye, that quirky science guy of 1990s TV fame, is taking his colorful bow ties and sweet science tricks on the road as another famous face of the Obama campaign.  Nye made a three-stop tour through New Hampshire this week touting the president's education policies and pushing for science and engineering programs.

Vast aquifer found in Namibia could last for centuries.  A newly discovered water source in Namibia could have a major impact on development in the driest country in sub-Saharan Africa.  Estimates suggest the aquifer could supply the north of the country for 400 years at current rates of consumption.  Scientists say the water is up to 10,000 years old but is cleaner to drink than many modern sources.  However, there are concerns that unauthorised drilling could threaten the new supply.

Unintentionally Hilarious Trailer for Pro-Obama Movie.  Judging by the 2:30-long trailer for The Obama Effect, the movie, set in 2008, is the fictional account of a man named John (played by Charles S. Dutton) who suffers a heart attack and discovers he's spared death because he has a mission from God:  campaigning for Barack Obama.  No, I'm serious.  The promoters of the film cast it as a comedy, but it's NOT a satire.  It really does appear to be a serious movie.

The biggest financial fraud in history receives scant media attention.  We are now finding out that the entire system has been rigged, enriching the "elect" and financially looting the rest.  If you are reading this, you have been robbed, although the corporate media remains silent about who robbed you, how it was done, and which government and non-government officials were complicit and benefited.  Why?  Perhaps the most compelling reason is that when the "average" person learns the depths at which corruption exists between the various banks, governments and government officials, there will be a revolution like the world has never seen.

All GOP Governors Elected in 2010 Reduced Unemployment.  Meanwhile, our president touts stagnation at 8.2% as "a step in the right direction."  Clearly, the solutions put forth in these 17 states are working, and the ones offered by the White House aren't.

Unemployment Rate Dropped In Every State That Elected A Republican Gov. In 2010.  In 2010, influenced by the Tea Party and its focus on fiscal issues, 17 states elected Republican governors.  And, according to an Examiner.com analysis, every one of those states saw a drop in their unemployment rates since January of 2011.  Furthermore, the average drop in the unemployment rate in these states was 1.35%, compared to the national decline of .9%, which means, according to the analysis, that the job market in these Republican states is improving 50% faster than the national rate.

The soft sexism of low expectations:
Mayor designates parking spaces for men.  Calling himself a proponent of equal rights, the mayor of a small town in the Black Forest has designated special parking spaces in the municipal garage for men — because they're harder to get into.

Restaurant Faces Investigation For Offering Church Discount.  A family-owned restaurant in Pennsylvania is under a state discrimination investigation for offering a ten percent discount for diners who present a church bulletin on Sundays. [...] According to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, a restaurant classified as a public accomodation.  As such, restaurants are not allowed to discriminate based on religion — among other things.

Why More And More Americans Are Abandoning Their US Citizenship.  In November, millions of Americans will trudge to their local polling places to cast votes in the hope of improving their lives here in the USA.  Between now and then, a few hundred Americans will vote with their feet in the hope of improving their lives outside the USA.  Last year, nearly 1,800 Americans surrendered their citizenship.  In a nation of 300 million folks, 1,800 émigrés is hardly a rush for the exits.  But the recent trend is, nevertheless, intriguing.

Justice Department files complaint seeking revamp of Corpus Christi police hiring practices.  The Department of Justice filed a federal complaint Tuesday [7/3/2012] against the city of Corpus Christi claiming its human resources department practiced a pattern of discrimination against prospective female police officers.  The complaint states the city violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and challenges the department's use of a physical ability test for new officers.

DOJ lawsuit: Physical test for police officers discriminates against women.  The Corpus Christi, Texas Police Department has found itself on the business end of a civil rights lawsuit after the Justice Department concluded that a physical ability test used when considering job applications discriminates against women.

Marylanders move in droves to Virginia.  Maryland lost the most residents in the mid-Atlantic between 2007 and 2010  — and many of them moved to Virginia, according to a study released Tuesday [7/3/2012].  Almost 40,000 Marylanders crossed the Potomac River for new homes in Virginia, taking $2.17 billion with them, according to the Internal Revenue Service data used in the study conducted by Change Maryland, a nonpartisan group advocating for less state spending and lower taxes.

Lifeguard in Florida fired after saving drowning man.  A young lifeguard in Florida has lost his job after rescuing a drowning man in a section of beach he was not assigned to patrol, local news media reported Wednesday.  Tomas Lopez, 21, was manning his post on Hallandale Beach, north of Miami, on Monday afternoon [7/2/2012] when a beach-goer alerted him to a swimmer struggling in an "unprotected" part of the beach.

Florida lifeguard fired for rescue outside beach zone.  A South Florida lifeguard who rushed to save a drowning man has been fired for leaving the section of the beach his company is paid to patrol.

Symptoms of a sick culture.  Two days before the Fourth of July, [Thomas] Lopez was fired for helping rescue a man drowning 1,500 feet outside of his designated zone.  "It was a long run, but someone needed my help.  I wasn't going to say no," Lopez told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and other media outlets.  When Lopez filed his incident report, he was canned on the spot.

Florida lifeguard says he's been offered his job back.  The south Florida lifeguard fired for leaving his post so he could save a swimmer outside his coverage zone said Thursday he has been offered his job back.  But Tomas Lopez told CNN he does not plan to return to work.

Consumers Prefer to Get More Rather than Pay Less — Because They're Bad at Math.  When offered the possibility of 33% off a product or the same product with 33% more quantity, which would you choose?  The Economist sums up the results of a new study published in the Journal of Marketing, which reveals that most consumers view these options as essentially the same proposition.  But they're not.

Con Ed locks out 8,000 employees, managers take over system as talks with union break down.  Negotiations broke down early Sunday [7/1/2012] between Consolidated Edison and its unionized workers, prompting the lock out of about 8,000 employees, utility officials said.  "We remain far apart," said Michael Clendenin, a Con Edison spokesman.

Rand Paul puts forward measure that would force the Senate to read bills.  After blasting the Senate last week for passing a 600-page bill no one had time to read, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced legislation that would force the Senate to give its members one day to read bills for every 20 pages they contain.  "For goodness sakes, this is a 600-page bill.  I got it this morning," Paul said Friday [6/29/2012], just before the Senate approved a massive bill extending highway funding, federal flood insurance and low student loans rates.

Report: FBI Investigates More Than 100 Suspected Islamic Extremists Within U.S. Military.  More than 100 investigations into suspected Islamic extremists within the military have been carried out by the FBI, including 12 cases considered serious, NPR is reporting.  Investigators believe the main target to be military bases.

FBI Tracking 100 Suspected Extremists In Military.  The FBI has conducted more than 100 investigations into suspected Islamic extremists within the military, NPR has learned.  About a dozen of those cases are considered serious.  Officials define that as a case requiring a formal investigation to gather information against suspects who appear to have demonstrated a strong intent to attack military targets.  This is the first time the figures have been publicly disclosed.

Investigate Radical Christianity!  According to the esteemed Bible scholar Rosie O'Donnell, it's "just as dangerous as radical Islam."

Obama's red ink problem spreads to his campaign.  Deficit spending has become such a habit with President Obama that now his campaign is doing it.

This sounds like an idea you'd expect to hear in a communist dictatorship.
Desperation: Obama Surrogate Calls to Make Voting Mandatory.  Peter Orszag, former head of the Obama Office of Management and Budget, is desperate.  With even Roll Call recognizing that President Obama is fighting an uphill battle for re-election, Orszag is floating a trial balloon:  mandatory voting.

Voter Apathy Isn't a Crime.  It's a sure sign someone is losing when he demands that the rules be changed.  That might explain the renewed interest in forcing people to vote against their will.  Peter Orszag, President Obama's former budget director and now a vice chairman at Citigroup, recently wrote a column for Bloomberg View arguing for making voting mandatory.

Gary Kreep clinches win for judge.  Ramona lawyer and conservative legal advocate Gary Kreep, nationally know for challenging the legitimacy of President Barack Obama's birth certificate, has clinched a seat on the San Diego Superior Court.  Kreep led Deputy District Attorney Garland Peed by 1,569 votes Tuesday [6/19/2012], with 1,000 ballots left to count from the June 5 election.

Man Goes On Casino Bender After An ATM Let Him Take Out Unlimited Cash.  Ronald Page thought he'd hit the jackpot when a glitchy ATM at a Detroit casino allowed him to make unlimited withdrawals, reports Detroit's Local 10 News.  With unlimited funds at his fingertips, police say Page went on a gambling bender, hitting up at least three casinos, including the MGM Grand and Motor City.  By the time his bank, Bank of America, figured out what was happening, he had reportedly withdrawn and gambled away $1.5 million.

Tax-exempt Media Matters ramps up support for Obama during election year.  President Obama has received a steady drumbeat of support from Media Matters for America as he shifts into campaigner-in-chief mode.  A content analysis by The Daily Caller shows that the tax-exempt liberal messaging organization has steadily committed more of its resources to defending Obama from critical media coverage during 2012.

Government Thumb-Breakers.  When President Obama signed the controversial overhaul of the federal student loan program into law in 2010, he declared victory over "bankers and middlemen."  To this day, however, the federal government continues to engage in some of the same deceptive lending policies private firms are frequently accused of practicing.  Most glaring, experts say, is an extraordinarily high collection penalty — up to 25 percent — imposed on students who default on their federal loans.

NJ housing authority says old glory must go.  A 75-year-old Phillipsburg, New Jersey woman faces the possibility of eviction for hanging three American flags from her balcony.  The stars and stripes hang in front of the municipal building, on private homes and commercial businesses.  There's a big one outside the government run senior housing complex where Dawn Paulus lives, but it's the three little ones hanging from her sixth floor balcony that have stirred a huge controversy.

Wis. Leftist Group's Mailing Tries to Shame Non-Voters by Revealing Their Names to Neighbors.  Friday evening [6/1/2012], Madison, Wisconsin blogger Ann Althouse reported receiving (HT Instapundit) an "Incredibly creepy mail today from the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund."  She has a put up an image of what she received with names and addresses redacted (except for her name).  It's a list which includes Althouse and many of her neighbors indicating who has and hasn't voted in the last two elections.

FEMA chief refuses to attribute recent tornado activity to global warming.  Although the official line of the Obama White House is that global warming is a serious issue that needs to be dealt with, the president's point man on disaster relief refused Wednesday [5/30/2012] to attribute the recent increased tornado activity to the alleged climate threat.

Attendees of Eric Holder event think Operation Fast and Furious is a movie.  Attorney General Eric Holder gave the keynote address at a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus and the Conference of National Black Churches on Wednesday morning.  Following the speech, The Daily Caller asked attendees what they thought of Operation Fast and Furious...

Top weather forecaster retires amid controversy.  The head of the National Weather Service has retired unexpectedly after an internal investigation found that agency employees improperly shifted millions of dollars in budget resources to weather service offices around the country.

Why would Obama's campaign strategist attend Obama's Kill List Meetings?  David Axelrod evidently attended the highest level national security meetings that decided who would be subjected to targeted assasination from above via drone strikes. [...] Wonder if Axelrod has security clearance?  Recall that Axelrod also attended meetings with Netanyahu -- why was he there then?

766,000 More Women Unemployed Today Than When Obama Took Office.  The number of American women who are unemployed was 766,000 individuals greater in May 2012 than in January 2009, when President Barack Obama took office, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  In January 2009, there were approximately 5,005,000 unemployed women in the United States, according to BLS.  In May 2012, there were 5,771,000.

Target Corp. Announces T-Shirt Campaign for Homosexual Marriage.  Pro-family groups are taking major U.S. merchandiser Target Corporation to task for its recently announced initiative to raise money for homosexual activism.  Two years after getting into hot water with homosexual groups for backing Republican Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, who supported a state amendment to define marriage as only between a man and a woman, the Minnesota-based Target Corp. is now "inching into the gay-pride market," reported the St. Paul Pioneer Press, "offering 10 rainbow-themed T-shirts for sale online and promising to donate 100 percent of the proceeds to the Family Equality Council [FEC], a group for gay and lesbian families."

Meet Soros-Funded Domestic Terrorist Brett Kimberlin Whose 'Job' Is Terrorizing Bloggers Into Silence.  Drug dealer, alleged child molester, and convicted perjurer, forger and Indiana Speedway Bomber (who is also believed to have played a role in the assassination of a grandmother), Brett Kimberlin, spent 17 years in prison before his ultimate re-absorption into American society.  He started a non-profit dubbed "Justice Through Music (JTM)" that has, since at least 2005, been funded by George Soros' Tides Foundation and Barbara Streisand among other leftists.  Along with his associate, Kimberlin also started an organization called "Velvet Revolution" that supports the Occupy movement.

30 North Korean officials involved in South talks die 'in traffic accidents'.  Thirty officials of the North Korean regime who were involved in talks with South Korea have been executed or died in "staged traffic accidents," according to a human rights report.

Ohio has one of lowest rates of injury-related deaths in U.S..  Ohio has one of the lowest injury-related death rates in the country even though it has fewer injury prevention laws and programs than most other states, according to a national report released Tuesday [5/22/2012].

Tony Blair wanted to end speech with: "God bless Britain".  Tony Blair has disclosed that he once wanted to end an address to the nation with the words "God bless Britain".  However, the former Prime Minister said his suggestion provoked such strong concern from civil servants that he was forced to drop the idea.

Those who live to impose regulations on others aren't always as eager to obey regulations themselves.
What Stimulus?  [I]t's not only in formal speeches that the Obama administration is steering clear of publicizing the stimulus.  It has now been five months since the administration last put out a report card on the so-called American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA — aka the "stimulus"), which the act itself requires the administration to do.  In fact, the administration is now three economic quarters behind schedule in chronicling the effects of Obama's second-most prominent piece of legislation — again, in defiance of the very law it's supposed to be reviewing.

Critics Blast Big Psychiatry for Invented and Redefined Mental Illnesses.  [Scroll down]  Depending on the outcome of the ongoing conflict, millions of people may suddenly find out that they are afflicted with newly created "diseases," while others — especially certain individuals diagnosed with forms of autism — may no longer qualify under the new definitions.  Tens of millions more may soon be officially considered "addicts" under the revised definition for addiction, too.

Taxpayers On Hook For $850 Billion In Student Loans.  With a possible higher-education bubble looming, taxpayers are on the hook for about $850 billion in student loan debt.  Exactly how much of that the federal government would have to bail out if the bubble bursts is unknown, but with delinquency and default rates rising, it could be substantial.  Yet Congress may exacerbate the problem with current efforts to maintain lower interest rates on student loans.

Why France Has So Many 49-Employee Companies.  Here's a curious fact about the French economy:  The country has 2.4 times as many companies with 49 employees as with 50.  What difference does one employee make?  Plenty, according to the French labor code.  Once a company has at least 50 employees inside France, management must create three worker councils, introduce profit sharing, and submit restructuring plans to the councils if the company decides to fire workers for economic reasons.  French businesspeople often skirt these restraints by creating new companies rather than expanding existing ones.

Missing: $400 purse holding $800 cash, plus food stamp cards.  It bears repeating, as both a critique and a warning of things to come, that the great project of the American Left involves teaching the middle class to think of itself as "poor."  That way, they'll vote themselves into servitude.

Situation room
Strange Anomalies in the Famous Situation Room Photo.  The concept of a composite presidency certainly comes as no shock as someone who participated as a contributor and authored evidence presented at Sheriff Joe Arpaio's press conference on Obama's long-form birth certificate report.  On the heels of these events — and taking advantage of an anniversary of the bin Laden raid — are recent campaign tactics to politicize the killing of Osama bin Laden.  With the re-emergence of another round of gutsy call faux heroism regarding Obama's decision, it may also be a good time to revisit the famous "Situation Room" photo released by the White House.  Is it Photoshopped?  Like everything else Obama does to make a political point, is the photo a composite as well?

May 8, 2012:  The Night the Primaries Got a Lot of Fun.  In Wisconsin, Scott Walker received more votes running against no one in the Republican primary than the two major Democratic candidates got combined.  In North Carolina, "No Preference" garnered 21 percent in the Democratic Party presidential primary against Barack Obama.  In West Virginia, "A felon incarcerated in Texas took one in three votes away from President Obama in West Virginia's Democratic presidential primary on Tuesday.  Keith Judd, who is serving time in a federal prison in Texarkana, Texas, for extortion, took 37 percent of the vote, with 50 percent of precincts reporting.  Obama captured the remaining 63 percent."

Family Matters.  President Obama's brother-in-law Konrad Ng may have been involved in a federal Hatch Act violation, Buzzfeed reported Thursday [5/3/2012]:  ["]The Maryland Democratic Party appears to have skirted federal law on political activities by government employees, identifying President Barack Obama's brother-in-law Konrad Ng as the Director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program in an email on the party's Asian American and Pacific Leadership Council.["]

Secret files missing at National Archives.  The National Archives and Records Administration has lost track of dozens of boxes of confidential and secret government files at its records center just outside of Washington, the latest in a series of such incidents spanning more than a decade.

'Boycott Best Buy' Movement Takes Off.  A former Marine who served in Beirut in 1982-1983 and Iraq in 2003 looks into the camera and declares, "On behalf of myself and my family, we will no longer conduct business at Best Buy."  He cuts his card in half.  The Marine joined over 8,000 others who have signed a petition to boycott Best Buy over the company's financial support for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group tied to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

Twitter used to silence conservatives?  Conservative Chris Loesch, music producer and husband of radio host and CNN contributor Dana Loesch, had his Twitter account suspended on Sunday [4/29/2012].  He was apparently targeted by leftist users who utilized the "Block & Report Spam" function to trigger the social media account's automatic spam algorithm.  He was notified of his suspension via an email from Twitter claiming it was due to multiple unsolicited mentions to other users.  "You will need to change your behavior to continue using Twitter," the email admonished.

Are you on a "Block-List?"  As of late, conservatives have been dominating social media platforms including Twitter.  In 140 characters or less, conservatives have managed to get deep under the skin of the progressives using the site and in retaliation, it seems, some Twitter users from the left are creating "blocklists" to automatically get conservatives' accounts suspended.  If you are conservative and using Twitter, you may be on a "blocklist."

Senators want to rid federal law of word 'lunatic'.  Sens. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) on Wednesday [4/25/2012] introduced legislation that would remove all references to the word "lunatic" from federal law, a step they said is needed to reflect the country's modern understanding of mental-health conditions.  Conrad said that by eliminating "lunatic" from federal law, the 21st Century Language Act, S. 2367, would help reduce the stigmatization of such conditions.

Lights, Camera, Crazy!  According to Richard Vedder, an Ohio University economist and the foremost national expert on college tuition, the fees at his alma mater, Northwestern University, consumed 15 percent of the annual median family income in 1958.  By 2003, tuition at Northwestern chewed up a gaudy 53 percent of median family income.  Other schools exhibit similar explosions.  Much of this obscene acceleration in prices can be laid at the feet of the federal government, which, in a vicious cycle, subsidizes loans, makes direct grants, and offers loan forgiveness, all of which in turn spur higher education institutions to hike tuition further, which in turn necessitates further government aid.

Five Devastating Numbers That Show Obama's Incompetence.  The average unemployment rate during George Bush's time in office was roughly 5.3% as compared to 8.2% today, which is part of the longest streak of over 8% unemployment since the Great Depression. [...] There are 5 million Americans who not only lost their jobs, but who became so discouraged trying to find a job that they just gave up.

America's false autism epidemic.  We have a strong urge to find labels for disturbing behaviors; naming things gives us an (often false) feeling that we control them.  So, time and again, an obscure diagnosis suddenly comes out of nowhere to achieve great popularity.  It seems temporarily to explain a lot of previously confusing behavior — but then suddenly and mysteriously returns to obscurity.  Not so long ago, autism was the rarest of diagnoses, occurring in fewer than one in 2,000 people.  Now the rate has skyrocketed to 1 in 88 in America (and to a remarkable 1 in 38 in Korea).  And there is no end in sight.

Obama Woos Young Voters with Cheap Student Loans.  Obama is calling on Congress to extend a law that cut interest rates on a popular federal loan program for low- and middle-income undergraduates.

GOP senators sue Obama over sham labor board nominees.  In a double-barrelled blast at President Obama, Senate Republicans today moved to join a lawsuit challenging the White House's Christmas "recess appointment" of National Labor Relations Board members even though the Senate was technically in session.  To handle their case, they hired Miguel Estrada, who in 2002 became the first-ever judicial nominee to be torpedoed by a Democratic filibuster.

Total Recall: Our Future Hangs on Wisconsin Vote.  Most Governors can slip in and out of other states with almost no notice, but Gov. Walker has been criss-crossing the country speaking on government reform and eliciting both ardent support and fervent opposition.  Such scenes go a long way to explaining why the upcoming recall vote in Wisconsin is so critical.  In fact, the upcoming vote is the most important election taking place in 2012.

She was for it before she was against it.
Retreat.  The congresswoman who has stood next to Trayvon Martin's parents at rallies and emerged as one of the most vocal critics of the Sanford Police Department supported the "Stand Your Ground" law at the center of the case.

Allen West speaks with Soledad O'Brien.  CNN's Soledad O'Brien got a much-needed education about political ideologies from Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) Thursday [4/19/2012].  When she brought up a quote from the Vice Chairman of the National Communist Party refuting the Congressman's claim there are 78 to 81 Communists in Congress, West simply replied, "I don't care what he says".

Obama Administration Discontinues Transparency Tool.  Since 1993, the Census Bureau has made available detailed data about federal government expenditures in its Consolidated Federal Funds Report (CFFR).  The 2012 report will be the last one.  Through the CFFR website, the public had access to such data as federal expenditures made at the county level for programs such as Medicaid, Social Security, and Medicare as well as for more obscure federal spending programs.  How much did the federal government send to Autauga County in Alabama for a hazardous materials training program?  That data was available, but now it is concealed.

'No trace' left after extreme executions in North Korea.  [Scroll down]  "When Kim Jong-un became North Korean leader following the mourning period for his father in late December, high-ranking military officers started disappearing," the South Korean government source told Chosun Ilbo.  "From information compiled over the last month, we have concluded that dozens of military officers were purged."  Mr. Kim also ordered loyal officials to "get rid of" anyone caught misbehaving during the mourning period for his father, the source added.

Strength of case against Zimmerman questioned.  Now that George Zimmerman is behind bars facing murder charges for shooting Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. on Feb. 26, there are questions about just how strong a case prosecutors have against him.

Evidence against Zimmerman lacking on key issue.  Records released last week show little evidence that George Zimmerman acted with malice when he shot Trayvon Martin.  That could pose a problem for prosecutors.

George Zimmerman Case: Should Charges Be Dropped?  Two prominent U.S. lawyers are among the skeptics questioning whether evidence in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin supports the second-degree murder charge against George Zimmerman, given the confessed shooter's apparent injuries and freshly released eyewitness accounts.  "There is no second-degree murder evidence in this case," Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said.  "It's a very close case."

Several George Zimmerman witnesses change their accounts.  Evidence released last week in the second-degree-murder case against George Zimmerman shows four key witnesses made major changes in what they say they saw and heard the night he fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford.  Three changed their stories in ways that may damage Zimmerman.  A fourth abandoned her initial story, that she saw one person chasing another.  Now, she says, she saw a single figure running.

Maryland becomes the first state to ban employers from asking for social media passwords.  Moving to the forefront of social media privacy law nationwide, the Maryland General Assembly has passed legislation prohibiting employers in the state from asking current and prospective employees for their user names and passwords to websites such as Facebook and Twitter.  If Gov. Martin O'Malley signs the bill — his office said it was one of hundreds of bills it has yet to review — the bill would make Maryland the first state in the nation to set such a restriction into law.  Other states are considering similar legislation, including Illinois and California.

Bunkers, Food, Armor: Disaster Prep Hits Mainstream.  Preppers are folks who detect the possibility of calamity and decide to increase their odds of surviving it by putting aside supplies.  "Putting things by" — essential throughout most of humanity's existence — was common in the United States up until advances in transportation logistics brought about the "just in time" shipping model.

Remember:  Always get a second opinion.
'Stillborn' Argentine baby found alive in morgue — 12 hours after being pronounced dead.  A newborn in Argentina declared dead shortly after her birth was reportedly discovered 12 hours later alive and well in her coffin.  When six-months pregnant Analia Bouter gave birth at a hospital in Resistencia, staff told her the baby was stillborn and showed no signs of life, the BBC reported, citing local media.

Congressman Questions Labor Dept 'Propaganda'.  Rep. Joe Walsh (R., Ill.) is calling on Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis to explain why the department posted a series of overtly political posters throughout the building.  Walsh is responding to a Free Beacon report revealing that signs posted in at least 20 DOL elevators depict Secretary Hilda Solis carrying a bullhorn and rallying alongside the Rev. Al Sharpton.  Next to the pictures is a quote from Solis that reads in part:  "We all march in our own way."

British writer John Derbyshire sacked by The National Review for racist article.  Derbyshire wrote that parents of white and Asian children should teach them not to "attend events likely to draw a lot of blacks", who he said were generally less intelligent and more dangerous.  "A small cohort of blacks — in my experience, around five per cent — is ferociously hostile to whites and will go to great lengths to inconvenience or harm us," Derbyshire wrote.

Huckabee Show Opens With Staged Caller.  The thought is now out there that Mike Huckabee himself knew exactly who was on the other end of his phone line — a Cumulus programming executive with whom, presumably, he had spent a small eternity in the weeks leading up to the show's launch — and quite deliberately played possum.  Going along with a game to fool his listeners into thinking he was getting a real call when in fact he was not.  Was Mike Huckabee a participant in this charade?  Whose idea was it if not Mike Huckabee's?

Carpetbagger Joe K3 sweeps query under rug.  If you are Joe Kennedy 3.0 running for Congress as a member of the most politically connected family in the nation and you make an appearance at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, what questions should your handlers have primed you to expect?  I'll give you a hint — the JFK library is next door.  Here's another hint — Uncle Teddy's shrine is going up next to that.  Located between UMass-Boston and the presidential library is the under-construction Edward Kennedy Institute, more commonly referred to as the Ted Kennedy Shrine.

Woo-woo-woo!  Ding-ding!  Woo-woo-woo!
New tornado warnings to pinpoint storm's severity.  In a test that starts Monday [4/2/2012], five weather service offices in Kansas and Missouri will use words such as "mass devastation," "unsurvivable" and "catastrophic" in a new kind of warning that's based on the severity of a storm's expected impact.

The Editor says...
Since there are so many weather warnings on radio and TV, usually about storms in another county, the public has become annoyed and desensitized by the alerts.  So the government will now incorporate more shocking rhetoric in their warnings, so people will pay attention — for a few years.  After a while, the general public will blow off these warnings, too.  It is a lot like the government wanting to put graphic pictures on cigarette packages because nobody pays attention to the verbal warnings any more.  Bureaucrats hate to be ignored.

Ex-wife could be jailed for baptizing kids.  A Tennessee woman could do some time in jail for getting her two children baptized without consulting her ex-husband.  A state appeals court ruled this week that Lauren Jarrell could be charged with criminal contempt for violating a parenting agreement, WREG-TV, Memphis, reported.  She could face 10 days in jail if convicted.

Elderly Florida couple lawyers up after Spike Lee address tweet.  It was bound to happen.  The elderly Sanford, Florida couple whose address was misidentified by a tweet from a Los Angeles man and later retweeted by filmmaker and actor Spike Lee, has hired the Morgan & Morgan law firm to represent them, reports the Orlando Sentinel.  "At this point, they have retained us to protect their interests" and their safety, attorney Matt Morgan said of Elaine and David McClain, an elderly Sanford couple in their 70s.

Elderly couple forced out of home after tweet claims killer of Trayvon Martin lives there.  An elderly Florida couple have been forced to move into a hotel after their home address was wrongly tweeted as belonging to the man who shot teen Trayvon Martin.  The tweets were traced back to a man in California and the address was also reportedly retweeted by director Spike Lee to his almost 250,000 followers.

Couple who fled home after Spike Lee tweet hires Morgan firm.  A couple who say they were forced to leave their home after director Spike Lee retweeted their address to his Twitter followers has hired the Morgan & Morgan law firm to represent them.  "At this point, they have retained us to protect their interests" and their safety, attorney Matt Morgan said of Elaine and David McClain, an elderly Sanford couple in their 70s.

Elderly couple targeted by Spike Lee lawyers up; Lee promptly apologizes.  Alas for Spike, the law has no love for slow-witted hate-mongering celebrities who recklessly endanger people without even bothering to spend 30 seconds Googling the address they were given, and learning whether or not it falls within a certain famed gated community.  The elderly couple who live at the address Lee targeted have been forced into hiding, and are currently living in a motel.

GOP Rep. introduces Obama budget, measure gets 0-414 drubbing.  By a stunning 0-414 tally Wednesday night, the House of Representatives voted down a budget proposal based on President Barack Obama's 2013 recommendations.  Congress hadn't seen a budget vote that lopsided since last May, when the Senate voted down an Obama budget plan by a 0-97 margin.  That 2011 Senate slaughter came after minority leader Sen. Mitch McConnell insisted on a vote to demonstrate that Democrats would not endorse a budget with specific, targeted cuts.

Whose Movie Is Propaganda?  It's more than a little shocking when someone makes a movie that deals harshly with abortion.  This is Hollywood after all.  Abortion is a feminist sacrament.  The movie "October Baby" just debuted on 390 screens and registered in eighth place for the weekend, with an estimated $1.7 million gross. [...] Naturally, the critics just couldn't judge this movie by artistic standards.  It had to be savaged because it is so politically incorrect.

Georgia ranked as The Most Corrupt of the 50 States.  Georgia law books are chock-full of statutes written to curtail undue influence on political activity and public policy.  So utilities and insurance companies can't give to a candidate seeking an office that regulates them.  Legislators can't take political donations while in session.  Politicians can't use campaign money for personal benefit.  State workers can't accept gifts from vendors or lobbyists.  Except when they can.  Time and again, Georgia journalists and watchdog groups have found that money finds a way to flow around those laws.

Pentagon: Trillion-Dollar Jet on Brink of Budgetary Disaster.  At an estimated $1 trillion to develop, purchase and support through 2050, the Lockheed Martin-built F-35 was already the most expensive conventional weapons program ever even before Tuesday's [3/20/2012] bulletins.  The Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps are counting on buying as many as 2,500 F-35s to replace almost every tactical jet in their current inventories.  More than a dozen foreign countries are lined up to acquire the stealthy, single-engine fighter as well.

ObamaCare, the Comic Book.  The case for the health care law is just as annoying in cartoon form.

Federal government discards 10,000 computers a week, EPA says.  The U.S. Government Accountability Office is trying to put an end to one wasteful federal habit:  The 10,000 computers the Environmental Protection Agency estimates the government discards each week.  The U.S. government is the world's largest purchaser of information technology, yet doesn't always dispose of its technology in responsible ways.

Largest Missouri Caucus Adjourns Without Conducting Business.  No business was conducted.  No delegates were selected.  Attendees were threatened with arrest for trespassing if they did not immediately vacate the premises.  The entire affair was a comedy of mismanagement. [...] If establishment Republicans wonder why the support from the grassroots is waning, the blatent disregard for those who vote them into office and to whom they should be answerable, as exhibited in this circus of a "caucus", should be ample answer for them!

GOP Presidential Caucus in St. Charles, Missouri.  GOP voters began showing up at the high school two hours before the caucus was set to begin at 10 a.m.  Though the meeting didn't start on time as organizers worked to accommodate the near-overflow crowd, attendees would get more than they bargained for before the day ended.

'Birthers' sue to force state to verify candidates' eligibility.  Politicians and others file a lawsuit that seeks to make California Secretary of State Debra Bowen verify candidates' eligibility before allowing them onto a ballot.

Minnesota to vote on rescinding immunity for lawmakers facing drunken driving arrest.  The Minnesota Legislature is expected to vote this week to rescind a get-out-of-jail-free card for state lawmakers who are arrested for drunken driving.  The provision, found in the state constitution, allows lawmakers "privilege from arrest" when they are pulled over by police.

Utah State Legislature Unanimously Passes Anti-NDAA Resolution.  Earlier this week, lawmakers in Utah stood together and expressed their opposition to the indefinite detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Pat Robertson: Pot should be legal like alcohol.  Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson says marijuana should be legalized and treated like alcohol because the government's war on drugs has failed.

End the Drug War, Mr. President.  The War on Drugs has been a massive failure by any serious estimation.  Sixty-seven percent of our nations' [sic] police chiefs consider it so.

Here is what's wrong with that:
Top 10 Obama energy blunders.  Of course energy prices are exploding.  That's what the President wanted all along.  Remember his famous utterance, saying that under his policies, "electricity prices will necessarily skyrocket."  Also telling was his selection of Steven Chu as energy secretary.  Chu once said that it was important for U.S. gas prices to mirror Europe's sky-high petrol costs.  It looks like he may be getting his wish.

More about high gas prices.
More about Steven Chu.


Democratic megadonors like Soros to benefit from Nat Gas act.  Congress could pass what is dubbed the Nat Gas act as early as March 31, which will polish the fortunes of Westport Innovations of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and the Democratic donors who own it.  This lucrative connection has gone unnoticed and unexamined in Senate debate this week.  More alarming, the House has indicated it is ready to move forward on the Senate version with little evaluation.

Parents realize they left toddler at Chuck E. Cheese after seeing her on news.  A three-year-old girl was left alone at a Maryland Chuck E. Cheese after her parents — who are separated and share custody — both left, assuming she was with the other.  The pair didn't know their daughter, named Harmony, was all alone at the restaurant until they saw an appeal for help on the 11:00 p.m. news, ABC News reported.

Mich. 'Drive-Off' Plan: Swipe Drivers' Licenses.  A Saginaw, Michigan business owner says requiring customers to swipe their drivers' licenses when topping off their tanks could stop drive-offs — clients leaving gas stations without paying.  Privacy advocates, however, say the new "Post-Pay" method subjects innocent customers to potential identity theft.  Bob Hohn, president of Paxson Oil Company, invented Post-Pay because he was fed up with costly drive-offs.  Post-Pay makes it easier for police to catch people who pump-and-run without paying.

Leaked E-mails Suggest bin Laden Not Buried at Sea.  According to the official version of events promulgated by the Obama administration, after U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden, his body was flown to Afghanistan for identification and then buried in the Arabian Sea about 12 hours after his death, supposedly in keeping with Islamic ritual.  However, internal e-mails from intelligence service Stratfor, obtained by the hacker group Anonymous and posted to the Internet by WikiLeaks, cast doubt on that story.

Anyone Caught Defecting From North Korea Will See Three Generations Of Their Family Executed.  While all defectors sent back from China are believed to face harsh punishment upon their return to North Korea, the group now in China is particularly at risk:  the North Korean government has said that anyone caught defecting during the period of mourning for Kim Jong Il's death would have three generations of family members executed.

Trashing Tricare.  The Obama administration's proposed defense budget calls for military families and retirees to pay sharply more for their healthcare, while leaving unionized civilian defense workers' benefits untouched.  The proposal is causing a major rift within the Pentagon, according to U.S. officials.  Several congressional aides suggested the move is designed to increase the enrollment in Obamacare's state-run insurance exchanges.

The Ticking Time Bomb in Your Dashboard.  Air bags don't go off in fender-benders, but it's not necessary to have a catastrophic wreck for them to deploy, either.  The threshold is about 20-25 MPH, which isn't insignificant but also not enough (in many cases) to cause major structural damage to the car — the kind of damage that in the past would have resulted (reasonably) in a decision to throw the car away.  But today, it is routine to find otherwise repairable cars — some that can still even be driven — consigned to the junkyard because of the cost of replacing the air bags.

It is remarkable that the states are making plans of this sort.
Wyoming House advances doomsday bill.  State representatives on Friday [2/24/2012] advanced legislation to launch a study into what Wyoming should do in the event of a complete economic or political collapse in the United States.  House Bill 85 passed on first reading by a voice vote.  It would create a state-run government continuity task force, which would study and prepare Wyoming for potential catastrophes, from disruptions in food and energy supplies to a complete meltdown of the federal government.

Fearing A National Collapse, The State Of Wyoming Is Putting Together A 'Doomsday Bill'.  Wyoming state representatives have taken a cold hard look at the state of America and it seems they do not like what they see.  Jeremy Pelzer at The Casper Star-Tribune reports that legislators approved Friday [2/24/2012], a study looking at what the state of Wyoming should do if the U.S. suffers a total political and economic collapse.  House Bill 85 would create a state-run "government continuity task force," to prepare Wyoming for possible disruptions in energy and food, to a total breakdown of the federal government.

Reduced for Quick Sale: Mary Kay's Mansion.  The 11,874 sq ft property, which was built in 1984, has been put on the market at $3.3 million.  It is a significantly lower figure than the $5.7 million price tag it failed to sell at in 2007.

Transistor Made Using a Single Atom May Help Beat Moore's Law.  Scientists have taken a first early step toward escaping the limits of a technological principle called Moore's Law by creating a working transistor using a single phosphorus atom.

Feds Debunk Food Pyramid They Pushed for Two Decades.  President Obama says we should allow the federal government to take charge of our healthcare; as usual, the "experts" are best positioned to instruct us how to live our lives.  Except they're not.

Air Force trains flight attendants for VIP trips.  As attendants on Air Force One and other VIP planes flying as many as 1,000 missions a year, they perform all the safety and comfort functions of their commercial airline counterparts and more.

Do You Like Online Privacy? You May Be a Terrorist.  A flyer designed by the FBI and the Department of Justice to promote suspicious activity reporting in internet cafes lists basic tools used for online privacy as potential signs of terrorist activity.  The document, part of a program called "Communities Against Terrorism", lists the use of "anonymizers, portals, or other means to shield IP address" as a sign that a person could be engaged in or supporting terrorist activity.  The use of encryption is also listed as a suspicious activity along with steganography, the practice of using "software to hide encrypted data in digital photos" or other media.  In fact, the flyer recommends that anyone "overly concerned about privacy" or attempting to "shield the screen from view of others" should be considered suspicious and potentially engaged in terrorist activities.

Family of murdered Border Patrol agent files $25M suit against ATF.  The family of murdered Border Patrol agent Brian Terry has filed a $25 million wrongful death suit against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives claiming Terry was killed with AK-47s that were knowingly sold under the Fast and Furious gunrunning probe to a straw purchaser for drug cartels.  In a 65-page complaint, filed in Arizona state court on Wednesday [2/1/2012], attorneys for the family claim ATF "wrongdoing" in Operation Fast and Furious.

More about the Fast and Furious scandal.

Gallup state numbers predict huge Obama loss.  Gallup released their annual state-by-state presidential approval numbers yesterday [1/31/2012], and the results should have 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue very worried.

Northwest Indiana power plant to shut on March 31.  After electrifying Northwest Indiana for more than 80 years, one of Indiana's oldest coal-burning power plants will be switched off by March 31, and 109 workers will lose their jobs.  The State Line Energy Station in Hammond, a hulking red landmark between Chicago and Indiana, is closing due to economics, lawsuits and new federal clean-air regulations.

The Editor says...
Free advice for the owners of that plant:  Put it in moth balls.  Surround the building with fences and guards, and keep the place ready to restart when common sense prevails in this country once again.

The $1.2 Tril Gap: Obama's Subpar Recovery Continues.  Real GDP climbed a less-than-expected 2.8% in final quarter of 2011, and just 1.7% for the entire year, down from 3% in 2010.  The trend of subpar growth under Obama continues.  To get a better sense of how bad Obama's recovery is, consider this:  Under Obama, real GDP has climbed a total of just 6% in the two-and-a-half years since the recession ended in June 2009.  By comparison, real GDP had grown 16% by this point in the Reagan recovery, after the very deep and painful 1981-82 recession.

Romney Family Had Ann Romney's Atheist Father Posthumously Baptized Into The Mormon Church.  After wondering aloud yesterday [1/26/2012] whether the Romneys converted Mitt's dead father-in-law to Mormonism, Gawker's John Cook has confirmed it:  Yes.  They did.  Edward Davies, Ann Romney's father, was an atheist who was also strongly anti-religion.  By the time he died, he was the only member of Ann Romney's immediate family to not convert to Mormonism.  Fourteen months later, in 1993, he was baptized in a special ceremony at a Salt Lake City church.  This practice requires a living person who has already been baptized to undergo the immersion in water again on behalf of the dead.  No word on who this person might have been in Davies' case.

Buffett's Burlington Northern Among Winners From Keystone Denial.  Warren Buffett's Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC is among U.S. and Canadian railroads that stand to benefit from the Obama administration's decision to reject TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone XL oil pipeline permit.  With modest expansion, railroads can handle all new oil produced in western Canada through 2030, according to an analysis of the Keystone proposal by the U.S. State Department.

The Editor has two questions:
Do railroads present less danger to the environment than pipes?  And why is the State Department involved in this anyway?

Why is it necessary to conduct military exercises in a big city?
LA Military Exercises.  The training, which a department official said would involve helicopters, has been coordinated with local authorities and owners of the training sites, police said.  Police said safety precautions have been taken to prevent risk to the general public and military personnel involved.  The exercises are closed to the public, police said.

11 stunning revelations from Larry Summers's secret economics memo to Barack Obama.  A lengthy piece in The New Yorker looks at policymaking in the Obama White House.  A key source for writer Ryan Lizza is a 57-page, "Sensitive & Confidential" memo written by economist Larry Summers — eventually to be head of Obama's National Economic Council — to Obama in December 2008.

This 30,000 Pound Bomb Works So Well Its Design Team Just Won A Rare Honor.  At over 20 feet in length and weighing 30,000 pounds, the MOP is a precision guided bomb whose first successful test in 2007 led to an Air Force order for eight more worth $28 million in April 2011.  One of the requirements of Boeing and Lockheed Martin's next generation bomber is to accommodate the MOP as the B-52 does now.

School Fears "Cougars" Mascot Will Offend Women.  A Utah school district decided not to select a cougar as the mascot of a new high school partly because school officials and some parents believed the word is disrespectful to women.

The Editor says...
One by one, legitimate and harmless words are being hijacked by the amoral dregs of society.

Top 10 Obama revelationsNew York Times reporter Jodi Kantor's new book, The Obamas, is chock-full of revelations about the First Couple.  To save you the time of reading (and the cost of buying) Kantor's account, we have compiled the Top 10 Obama Revelations that are contained in the book.

Harsh Punishments for Poor Mourning.  The North Korean authorities have completed the criticism sessions which began after the mourning period for Kim Jong Il and begun to punish those who transgressed during the highly orchestrated mourning events.  Daily NK learned from a source from North Hamkyung Province on January 10th, "The authorities are handing down at least six months in a labor-training camp to anybody who didn't participate in the organized gatherings during the mourning period, or who did participate but didn't cry and didn't seem genuine."

Oh, wait!  It was all just a misunderstanding.
North Korea denies punishing citizens for not mourning enough.  North Korea has angrily denied allegations that it punished some of its citizens for inadequately mourning the death of its late leader Kim Jong Il.  Kim died last month after 17 years of repressive rule over the secretive state, setting off deep uncertainty about North Korea's future.  The North Korean regime commemorated his death with elaborately choreographed ceremonies broadcast on state-run media that showed crowds of mourners beating their chests and wailing with grief in the snow-covered streets of Pyongyang.

U.S. Drops to 10th Place in Economic Freedom.  Well-defined, well-enforced property rights; a stable rule of law that prevents corruption and encourages equal justice; free trade; responsible government spending; ease of doing business; well-reasoned, certainty-inducing regulation:  these are the types of factors that energize a society toward productivity and prosperity, and have made the United States the world's leader in liberty and living standards for going on two centuries.  Unfortunately, the sort of big-government, top-down-virtue policies that adulterate such righteous merits have been infiltrating our beautiful country at an exponential rate, and subsequently, we've already lost our foothold among the freest of nations.

Pepsi Beverages pays $3.1M in racial bias case.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says the company's policy of not hiring workers with arrest records disproportionately excluded more than 300 black applicants.

Pepsi suffers $3.1 million shakedown for 'discriminatory' hiring policies.  Pepsi Beverages Co. has agreed to a $3.1 million settlement to end federal charges of racial discrimination over its hiring practices — but this wasn't the sort of discrimination that once existed in the Jim Crow South.  Pepsi was guilty of racial discrimination as defined by government bullies at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  Increasingly, the EEOC has used the battering ram of discrimination, as it loosely defines it, to promote "diversity" at all cost.

Iran building missile base in Venezuela.  Iran and Venezuela are feverishly building ICBM bases on the Paraguana Peninsula, a thumbnail shaped spit of arid land around a thousand square miles in size, 250 miles northwest of Caracas.  These bases are designed to house missiles with nuclear tipped warheads capable of reaching large portions of the United States.

The Editor says...
Stand by for the Venezuelan Missile Crisis.  Many of the people who don't care if Iran nukes Israel will sing a different tune if Iran nukes Houston.

Hotel Room Key Failure Causes Chaos.  At midnight on New Year's Eve, key software at the Denver Marriott Tech Center failed, locking guests out of their rooms and causing chaos on hotel grounds.  According to a letter given to guests by hotel management, the building's "room key software crashed" at midnight on Dec. 31 [2011].

The Editor says...
Let this be a lesson to us all:  Y2K can happen at the end of any year!

Grandparents kicked out of mall after taking picture of grandson.  Two grandparents were kicked out of the University Park Mall Tuesday [12/20/2011] after they took a picture of their visiting grandson in the Food Court.  "We were going to take our grandson, he's five and visiting from California, to see Santa and we were just sitting around the table having something to drink, talking about what we were planning and that's when my husband took the picture," said Grandmother Debbie Cassella.  Cassella said immediately a mall employee instructed them to stop taking pictures or they would be thrown out of the mall.

The Curious Lack of Indonesians at Gitmo.  [Scroll down]  Sure enough, zero Muslims from the world's largest Muslim society were lured by the siren call of 72 virgins to the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq to wage glorious jihad against invading infidels.  That is, unless they were either extraordinarily cunning or extraordinarily easy targets.  Coincidentally, that's the same number of Indonesians caught trying to hijack our planes or blow them up with bombs in their Reeboks or underwear.

A $2.5 Million Libel Judgment Brings the Question: Are Bloggers Journalists?  'Bloggers Beware'  That was the headline on a conservative blog following a $2.5 million judgment this month against blogger Crystal Cox in a defamation case tried in federal court in Oregon.

Gary Johnson to leave GOP race, run as Libertarian.  Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson will drop out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination and instead seek to run as a Libertarian, according to the Independent Political Report.  The switch, which has been rumored for weeks, is set to be announced Tuesday [12/20/2011].

Occupying Churches.  The Episcopal cathedral in Boston seems to resemble what comedian Flip Wilson once spoofed in the early 1970s as the "Church of What's Happening Now."  Rev. Strait boasts on his cathedral website that this church named for the Apostle Paul resembles a "United Nations gathering" and holds weekly Muslim prayer meetings.  One canon priest, he notes, is quite "disciplined" in yoga practice.  And "ancient church traditions" mix with "urban grooves" at the cathedral's "emerging church worship community."

Romney in 2002: 'My Views Are Progressive'.  Another old Mitt Romney video is making the blog rounds.  In this one, from 2002, Romney says that he is "not a partisan Republican," but "someone that is moderate, and my views are progressive".

Mitt: 'progressive' to 'conservative' in 27 months.  A devastating video has emerged this morning showing Mitt Romney declaring himself as a non-partisan "moderate" and "progressive" candidate as he was courting the liberal Massachusetts electorate in 2002.  Yet just over two years after the statement was made, as he geared up toward a presidential run, he started describing himself as a "conservative Republican."  In the video segment that aired on New England Cable News, Romney can be seen making a late campaign push before his November 2002 election as governor of Massachusetts.

Americans' Fear Of Big Government Has Risen Under Obama.  The percentage of Americans who fear big government is close to an all-time high.  It's no coincidence that in recent history this alarm has tended to peak toward the end of Democratic terms in the White House.

Texas Approves Controversial License Plate Featuring Crosses.  Texas license plates are again drawing national scrutiny.  Last week, the board of the state's Department of Motor Vehicles voted to approve the "Calvary Hill" specialty license plate that reads "One State Under God" and features three crosses.  Motorists who choose to buy the plate pay a surcharge, which is divided between the state and the sponsoring group — in the case of Calvary Hill, a Christian-based youth anti-gang ministry in the east Texas city of Nacogdoches.

Hurricane predictors admit they can't predict hurricanes.  Two top U.S. hurricane forecasters, revered like rock stars in Deep South hurricane country, are quitting the practice because it doesn't work.  William Gray and Phil Klotzbach say a look back shows their past 20 years of forecasts had no value.

Federal judge: Montana blogger is not journalist.  A federal judge in Oregon has ruled that a Montana woman sued for defamation was not a journalist when she posted online that an Oregon lawyer acted criminally during a bankruptcy case, a decision with implications for bloggers around the country.

Crystal Cox, Oregon Blogger, Isn't a Journalist, Concludes U.S. Court.  Representing herself in court, Cox had argued that her writing was a mixture of facts, commentary and opinion (like a million other blogs on the web) and moved to have the case dismissed.  Dismissed it wasn't, however...

Dodge Dart is coming back.  Chrysler Group is tapping its history, resurrecting the Dodge Dart name for a new small car being unveiled at next month's Detroit Auto Show.  The Dodge Dart name was last used on a small car sold in the mid-1970s.

Connecticut Residents Left Without Electricity Spark Power Line Debate.  As electricity crews in Connecticut work around the clock to restore power to frustrated and fed up residents left in the cold after a rare October snowstorm took out trees and utility lines, many are wondering if burying all the power lines underground might solve the problem of power outages.  As of Wednesday afternoon [11/30/2011], more than 4,800 Connecticut Light & Power customers were still without power, which forced many into hotels and the homes of family members and friends to wait it out.

New Regs Make it Easier to be 'Hired Into the Federal Family'.  John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), praised new government programs where students and recent graduates can be "hired into the federal family," during a speech on Tuesday [11/29/2011] entitled, "Why It's Cool to Work for the Federal Government," at a NASA educational summit in Chantilly, Va.  Berry also said that working for the government is "cool" because "the scale of your impact is greater than anywhere else you can be engaged and involved."

Obama, Congress restore U.S. horse-slaughter industry.  President Obama last month quietly signed into law a spending bill that restores the American horse-slaughter industry, just a few months after a government investigation said the ban on slaughtering was backfiring.  The domestic ban didn't end horse slaughter but instead shifted the site of butchery to Mexico and Canada — which meant increased abuse or neglect as the horses were shipped out of the country and beyond the reach of U.S. law.

Comedy of Errors Led to False 'Water-Pump Hack' Report.  It was the broken water pump heard 'round the world. [...] Within a week of the report's release, DHS bluntly contradicted the memo, saying that it could find no evidence that a hack occurred.  In truth, the water pump simply burned out, as pumps are wont to do, and a government-funded intelligence center incorrectly linked the failure to an internet connection from a Russian IP address months earlier.

15 Facts About McDonald's That Will Blow Your Mind.  In 1992 when Rutgers professor Benjamin Barber coined the term "McWorld," there were 12,700 McDonald's worldwide.  Today there are over 33,000.  The relentless spread of McDonald's over the past 61 years is an incredible business success story.  In some markets the burger chain is just getting started, with plans to open 200 stores in China this year.

"Living documents" are nothing but trouble.
Revision of psychiatric manual under fire.  The "bible" of American psychiatry — a manual of mental health used around the world by doctors, consumers and insurance providers — has come under fire from a growing group of psychologists who worry that proposed revisions will feed into a culture of overdiagnosing, and overtreating, otherwise healthy people.

Seniors scammed into buying 70 years' worth of toilet paper.  Florida scam artists told elderly victims the government had changed the laws regulating toilet paper and that their septic tanks would be ruined unless they bought specially formulated rolls, court documents said.  "Through this scheme, some elderly customers were defrauded into purchasing more than 70 years' worth of toilet paper," federal prosecutors in Miami said in a news release.

The Editor says...
Who is the real culprit in this case?  The U.S. government!  This sort of scheme only works because it is easy to believe that the government is about to outlaw something that everybody uses.  People who live in tyranny are never surprised by ridiculous and draconian changes imposed by their governments.

Couple forced to exchange Facebook passwords during divorce.  Breaking up just got harder to do — thanks to a Connecticut judge who ordered a soon-to-be divorced couple to exchange their Facebook passwords.

EU bans claim that water can prevent dehydration.  Brussels bureaucrats were ridiculed yesterday [11/17/2011] after banning drink manufacturers from claiming that water can prevent dehydration.  EU officials concluded that, following a three-year investigation, there was no evidence to prove the previously undisputed fact.  Producers of bottled water are now forbidden by law from making the claim and will face a two-year jail sentence if they defy the edict, which comes into force in the UK next month.

Water Water Everywhere, But Not a Drop to Think.  On November 17th, the European Union revealed what ought to be considered a "watershed" moment of philosophical bankruptcy:  Brussels bureaucrats banned all advertising which claims water can prevent... dehydration.  But wait, it gets better.  Producers of bottled water are now forbidden by law from making that claim.  If they do?  They'll be facing a two-year jail sentence for violating the law, which will be enforced in the UK beginning next month.


"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."
George Orwell    


Cain Supports Collective Bargaining for Public Unions?  In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Herman Cain said he supports the "right" for public employees to bargain collectively.  In other words, he is in favor of unions on the taxpayer dime.  Cain also said federal workers have unions, meaning the right to collectively bargain, but they do not.

Investigator: Herman Cain innocent of sexual advances.  Private investigator TJ Ward said presidential hopeful Herman Cain was not lying at a news conference on Tuesday [11/8/2011] in Phoenix.  Cain denied making any sexual actions towards Sharon Bialek and vowed to take a polygraph test if necessary to prove his innocence.  Cain has not taken a polygraph but Ward said he does have software that does something better.  Ward said the $15,000 software can detect lies in people's voices.

One woman who accused Cain of sexual harassment now works for Obama.  GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain argues that he's no sexual harasser — but friends and family members of one accuser were only trying to right a wrong no woman should suffer in the workplace.  Karen Kraushaar, a 55-year-old former journalist who currently works for the Obama administration, was outed today [11/8/2011] as one of the three women who had filed sexual harassment complaints against Cain.

Murky past of Herman Cain accuser starts to emerge.  A 'gold digger' embroiled in legal and financial difficulties who has always lived above her station and will do anything to never have to work again.  This is the portrait that has started to emerge of the fourth woman to accuse Herman Cain of sexual harassment — the first to come out publicly.

Why not five terms?  Why not ten?
Bill Clinton thinks presidents should get 3 terms.  Former President Bill Clinton criticized the two-term limit on the presidency during an appearance on Morning Joe, noting that leaders of states with parliamentary governments have benefited from a lack of term limits.

Congress Uses Chimps To Monkey Around With Budget.  While Congress has talked a good game about reducing the deficit, it still uses a variety of gimmicks to hide how much it is spending.  One such trick is known as "changes in mandatory spending programs."  These "Chimps" are inserted into appropriations bills to produce phony budget savings.

2.6-tonne church bell stolen.  Brazen thieves have stolen a 2.6-tonne church bell from an iconic church in San Francisco.  The 122-year-old relic, which sat in front of St Mary's Cathedral after being replaced by an electronic chime in the 1970s, had survived the devastating 1906 San Francisco earthquake and a 1962 arson attack that gutted the building, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.  But it was unable to withstand the determination of metal thieves who would have used heavy lifting equipment in the brazen heist.

The Editor says...
The big news here is that there is a church in San Francisco.  Who would have believed it?

Replacing $1 bill with coin could save $5.6 billion.  A proposal to phase out the $1 bill and replace it with a $1 coin could be gaining currency as the "supercommittee" looks to find ways to save the government money. [...] Moving to a coin could save $5.6 billion over 30 years, according to the Government Accountability Office.

The Editor says...
Saving 5.6 billion dollars over the next 30 years is only a drop in the bucket.  The supercommittee is supposed to come up with a trillion dollars in immediate spending cuts.  They need to chop about 5.6 billion per week, starting immediately.

Hill Super Committee To Return To Public Session.  Some Republican members of the panel, such as Sen. Jon Kyl, has said the panel should focus on achieving the $1.2 trillion to $1.5 trillion deficit cutting goal.  Some lawmakers and outside groups have urged the panel to come up with a $4 trillion deficit reduction plan over 10 years.

Super Committee Health Goals Need Sound Policy.  If the goal is producing $1.2 trillion to $1.5 trillion in 10-year savings, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction must think big and produce recommendations with real substance.

A New Spending Record.  Maybe it's a sign of the tumultuous times, but the federal government recently wrapped up its biggest spending year, and its second biggest annual budget deficit, and almost nobody noticed. [...] What happened to all of those horrifying spending cuts?  Good question.  CBO says that overall outlays rose 4.2% from 2010 (1.8% adjusted for timing shifts), when spending fell slightly from 2009.  Defense spending rose only 1.2% on a calendar-adjusted basis, and Medicaid only 0.9%, but Medicare spending rose 3.9% and interest payments by 16.7%.  The bigger point:  Government austerity is a myth.

Not a Single Christian Church Left in Afghanistan, Says State Department.  There is not a single, public Christian church left in Afghanistan, according to the U.S. State Department.  This reflects the state of religious freedom in that country ten years after the United States first invaded it and overthrew its Islamist Taliban regime.

Algore Akbar!  The cultist EU is about to impose cap-and-trade on U.S. airlines. [...] This is, to state the obvious, an invasion of U.S. sovereignty and a limitation of our freedom of navigation in the air and at sea.

An EMP Attack on America?  For most of this week, the Department of Energy and the states of Maryland and Florida will be holding emergency response exercises to determine their readiness in the event of a major failure of the national electric power grid.  The scenarios to be tested vary from a low-level event that would take out a handful of the transformers that control the grid that conceivably could be repaired within a matter of days, to a "worst case" scenario to simulate a total take-down of the grid, an event many experts believe could take four to six years to recover from.

Freedom of speech is dead in Australia.  For my money probably the best political blogger in the world is Australia's Andrew Bolt. [...] His war, like mine, is against those who would constrain our liberty by imposing on us more tax, more regulation, more control.  He's firm but fair:  one of the good guys.  This is why we should all worry greatly about the latest bizarre ruling from the Australian federal court, which has found Bolt in breach of the Racial Discrimination Act.

Chinese Ballet at Kennedy Center Extols Violent Revolution.  Audiences at the prestigious Kennedy Center are being asked to applaud a ballet that celebrates a movement that went on to murder hundreds of thousands.  The Chinese National Ballet is performing on Sept. 22-24 "The Red Detachment of Women," which glorifies the history of the communist land reform campaign in China, while concealing the reality of the violence that suffused it.

Conservatives Stop New Boehner CR.  The Republican leadership tried to pass a continuing resolution through the House of Representatives on Wednesday afternoon [9/21/2011] that would have permitted funding for Obamacare implementation, Planned Parenthood, the United Nations Population Fund, and the Palestinian Authority to continue in the new federal fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1.

Over 500 at Defiant Freedom Rally Near Ground Zero.  In a tone of defiance AFDI Executive Director Pamela Geller declared, "While White House guidelines forbid official 9/11 ceremonies from mentioning who attacked the U.S. on that day or why, our 9/11 Freedom Rally features more honest speakers.  We are here today to honor our war dead and stand for freedom and against the deception and lies being used to subdue us.  We must show the jihadists we are unbowed in the defense of freedom."

Oops!  How did THAT get in there?
Long-Lost Moon Rock Turns Up In Clinton Papers.  A long-lost, highly valuable Moon rock brought back from the Apollo 17 mission has turned up in the files of Bill Clinton.  The rock was one of 50 presented to each state, and was given to Arkansas while the ex-president was governor.  The rock, worth millions of dollars, had been missing since at least 1980 until an archivist found it in old gubernatorial papers.  Bobby Roberts, director of the Central Arkansas Library System, told Reuters the archivist opened a box previously archived as "Arkansas flag plaque."

September 11 SIOA Freedom Rally at Ground Zero.  While clergy, 9/11 first responders, and 9/11 family members are barred and/or not invited to the official ceremonies, both are welcome at the 9/11 Freedom Rally.  And while White House guidelines forbid official 9/11 ceremonies from mentioning who attacked the U.S. on that day or why, the 9/11 Freedom Rally features more honest speakers.

Feinstein: 'Wiped out' by scandal.  Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said she was "wiped out" by Kinde Durkee, a well-connected California Democratic political operative who served as treasurer for hundreds of state, local and federal campaign committees.

Rick Perry's governing style: Secrecy over straight talk?  Gov. Rick Perry's straight talk may have made him an instant star of the Republican presidential field, but even some of his supporters say his frank one-liners don't reflect his governing style in Texas, where Perry has been criticized as one of the most secretive governors in the country.  At home, Perry has fought for years to keep even mundane details of his schedule, spending and decision-making away from reporters and the public.

Prominent scientist pleads guilty to attempted espionage.  Stewart Nozette, once a prominent scientist for NASA who served on the Space Council under President George H.W. Bush, pleaded guilty Wednesday [9/7/2011] to attempted espionage, a case that attracted widespread notice but began as a seemingly routine fraud investigation.

Does Obama have something against Texas?  Is President Obama's failure to sign a disaster declaration for the Texas wildfires due to an anti-Texas bias?  On Mark Levin's radio program Wednesday night [8/31/2011], Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry speculated that one of the reasons federal assistance for the rampant wildfires has not been forthcoming might just be because the state in question is Texas.

MLK's Daughter: 'Lincoln Remembered for Signing the Declaration of Independence'.  At a ceremony to honor the opening of the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in our nation's capital Friday [8/26/2011], the late civil rights leader's daughter Bernice made an historical error that would evoke tremendous ridicule and derision if she were a conservative.

Martha's Vineyard is the president's fantasy island.  In Obama's halcyon days, right after the campaign but before that governing part, three-fourths of Vineyard voters cast ballots for the Hope-Change ticket.  They overwhelmingly passed a nonbinding resolution on that same Election Day declaring health care a right.  The bluest town in the bluest state just happens to be on the island where the president passes the dog days of summer.  In Aquinnah, a stunning nine out of ten voters cast ballots for Barack Obama in 2008.

After guns are outlawed, what happens?
Baseball Bat Sales Up 6,000% as London Riots Continue.  With riots spreading from London to other cities in the UK, sales of aluminum baseball bats on Amazon.com's UK website have risen an astonishing 6,000%.  And no, the British haven't suddenly developed a love for America's national pastime.

Debt deal: $32.4 billion per page.  The debt framework President Obama and congressional leaders reached Sunday night [8/7/2011] runs 74 pages long, and could authorize as much as $2.4 trillion in new debt — or $32.4 billion per page.  That debt increase will get the country through the 2012 election, both sides said, but it does not bring to an end the sea of red ink that will continue to wash over the federal government for the foreseeable future.

Fertilizer Control:  Another liberty lost.
DHS Creates 'Ammonium Nitrate Security Program'.  The Homeland Security Department on Tuesday [8/2/2011] announced the creation of an Ammonium Nitrate Security Program, which is intended to prevent terror attacks like the ones perpetrated by Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma City in 1995; and more recently, by a Norwegian man in Oslo.

The Editor says...
First of all, the actions of a single psycho in Norway should not affect U.S. laws or diminish our freedom.  Secondly, there is considerable doubt that a fertilizer bomb in a truck could have done the damage inflicted in the Oklahoma City bombing.

Uniformed Mexican Soldiers Cross Into South Texas.  Almost three dozen uniformed Mexican soldiers in four military vehicles crossed the Rio Grande [7/26/2011] into South Texas near McAllen without authorization.

U.S. returns 33 Mexican troops who strayed into Texas.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspectors returned 33 Mexican soldiers on Tuesday [7/26/2011] who inadvertently crossed over the Rio Grande river into Texas, authorities said.  The soldiers, packed into four Humvees, crossed over the Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge into south Texas at around 2 p.m., said Felix Garza, a spokesman for CBP in Pharr, Texas.

The Editor says...
I find it impossible to believe that the soldiers did not know exactly where they were.  International bridges are clearly marked.

Crews Need Police Escort To Shut Off Fire Hydrants.  City crews scrambling to turn off nearly 2,000 fire hydrants opened by residents seeking relief from the heat required a police escort to protect them from gang members and others upset with the shutdowns.

Norway suspect Anders Behring Breivik was a member of Nazi web forum.  The suspect in the twin attacks that killed at least 92 people in Norway was a member of a Swedish neo-Nazi Internet forum, a group monitoring far-right activity says.

The Editor says...
The Nazis are not on the "far right."  Nazi is a contraction of the German name of National Socialism.  Regardless of what you read in the press or hear from the Democrats, the Nazis are (and always have been) on the far left.

5 American Economic Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind.  Remember the Judgment Day style theatrics that surrounded the threat of a government shutdown back in April?  That sliced $3