Saturday, May 23, 2015

Millenials love Einstein more than Jesus, and hate George W. Bush more than Joseph Stalin. Well good for them!

Courtesy of the Daily Mail: 

George W Bush has gone down in history as one of the world's most evil people, just behind Adolf Hitler and Osama bin Laden. 

The former president beat Stalin, Mao and Lenin as a figure of hate in a new study of history's biggest heroes and villains. 

Albert Einstein, meanwhile, beat Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King and even Jesus Christ to be crowned the world's biggest hero. 

This is according to the opinions of almost 7,000 students from 37 countries including Argentina, Pakistan, South Korea, Italy, and the US. 

The students, who had an average age of 23, were asked to give their opinions on 40 figures and significant events throughout world history. 

Interestingly enough the historical figures more despised than Bush were Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, and Adolph Hitler. Great company you keep there Georgie! (Can you believe his brother actually thinks he might be elected to the White House?)

Personally I was a little disappointed to see that Jesus beat out Buddha for biggest hero, and that President Obama was nowhere on the list.

I found this study particularly interesting in that the sampling was from all over the world, and that it was focused on a fairly young population.

This indicates to me that these young people are less religious, more inspired by science (Thomas Edison and Sir Isaac Newton also made the top ten.), and totally fed up with dictators and their wars.

In other words they are moving toward a more peaceful coexistence based on a love of logic, and away from the constant state of warfare dictated by an adherence to religious doctrines.

If true that is very good news indeed.

FBI admits that no major acts of terrorism have been prevented by the Patriot Act.

Courtesy of The Washington Times:  

FBI agents can’t point to any major terrorism cases they’ve cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating. 

Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said that between 2004 and 2009, the FBI tripled its use of bulk collection under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which allows government agents to compel businesses to turn over records and documents, and increasingly scooped up records of Americans who had no ties to official terrorism investigations. 

The FBI did finally come up with procedures to try to minimize the information it was gathering on nontargets, but it took far too long, Mr. Horowitz said in the 77-page report, which comes just as Congress is trying to decide whether to extend, rewrite or entirely nix Section 215. 

Backers say the Patriot Act powers are critical and must be kept intact, particularly with the spread of the threat from terrorists. But opponents have doubted the efficacy of Section 215, particularly when it’s used to justify bulk data collection such as in the case of the National Security Agency’s phone metadata program, revealed in leaks from former government contractor Edward Snowden. 

Clearly it is time to do away with the program completely or  modify it in such as way that every single American citizen is not treated as a potential terrorist.

But it is equally clear that most likely neither of those two things will ever happen.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Hundreds of Hillary Clinton e-mails pertaining to Benghazi released today. Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi!

Courtesy of Time Magazine:

The State Department released hundreds of emails Friday that were stored on Hillary Clinton’s private server during her time as Secretary of State. The emails, which pertain to the Benghazi terror attacks in September 2012, do not change the official assessment of the incident in which a U.S. ambassador was killed, the State Department said. 

“The emails we release today do not change the essential facts or our understanding of the events before, during, or after the attacks, which have been known since the independent Accountability Review Board report on the Benghazi attacks was released almost two and a half years ago,” wrote spokeswoman Marie Harf. 

Clinton, who wants to avoid the controversy over her emails and Benghazi stretching into the primary and general election next year, told reporters in Hampton, N.H. on Friday that the released emails had previously been sent to the committee investigating the Benghazi attack in 2012. “I’m glad that the emails are starting to come out. It is something that I’ve asked to be done, as you know, for a long time. Those releases are beginning,” Clinton said.


Clinton has asked that the State Department speed up the release of her work emails. “I’ve said from the very beginning that I want them to release all of them as soon as possible. They are in the process of doing that. I understand that there is a certain protocol that has to be followed,” Clinton said. “It’s beginning. I would like to see them expedited to get more of them out, more quickly.”

Doesn't sound like a person who has something to hide does it?

As reported by the Daily Beast there is no smoking gun in this e-mail dump:

If Republicans were looking for a silver bullet to use against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, the State Department’s Friday document dump about Benghazi wasn’t it. 

There’s no illicit weapons Libyan program to be found in the emails, as some have speculated. No ‘stand-down’ order. Just a hectic flow of information to and from Hillary Clinton—about danger, about death, and ultimately, about condolences.

Of course the fact that these e-mails do not contain the smoking gun that the Republicans have been hoping for does not mean they have given up. Oh no, not them.

This from Reuters:

Rep. Trey Gowdy, the Republican who heads the Benghazi probe in the House of Representatives, said the emails made public on Friday "continue to reinforce the fact that unresolved questions and issues remain as it relates to Benghazi." 

He also complained that there was a significant gap in the emails between late April and July 4, 2012, a period when threats from militants in Benghazi were being more regularly reported.

Keep digging Gowdy, after all that is how your spirit guide Ken Starr found that stained blue dress.

Of course some conservatives simply cannot wait for investigations to find dirt on Hillary. They want to impeach her now, even though she is no longer Secretary of State and not yet the President.

This courtesy of something called Special Operations Speaks PAC. (SOS, get it?): 

Special Operations Speaks PAC is calling on the United States Congress to impeach former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for "high crimes and misdemeanors" pursuant to Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution of the United States in response to the following: 

1. As U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton absented herself from the besieged in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, costing four American lives: U.S. Ambassador Christopher J. Stevens, security officers and former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, and information officer Sean Smith.

2. As U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton received, through the Clinton Foundation, emoluments from foreign governments, despite Article I, Section 9, which proscribes the reception of foreign "gifts" by U.S. officials without the express consent of Congress.

3. As U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton unlawfully housed her official emails on a private server in violation of the Freedom of Information Act and to the detriment of national security. Take action and blast faxes to members of the U.S. Congress – Demand that they impeach Hillary Clinton and disqualify her from enjoying "any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States" per Article I, Section 3, Clause 7 of the Constitution.

Gee, they at least let President Obama get elected first before they actively started to try and undermine his presidency and call for his impeachment.

To me it sounds like these people are flat out terrified of Hillary, which of course makes me all the more interested in seeing her win the 2016 election.

(H/T to Politicususa.)

Four of the six Christian homeschooled brothers who molested their younger sister for a decade plead guilty.

Courtesy of Raw Story:

Four homeschooled brothers pleaded guilty Thursday to molesting their younger sister from the time she was 4 years old until she was almost 15 – and their parents and two other brothers still face charges related to the case. 

The oldest brother confessed in December 2012 to molesting the girl after becoming a born-again Christian, and a pastor from the Baptist church in Wake Forest, North Carolina, contacted authorities the following day. 

“He confided in his pastor and his pastor told him that was wrong and not the way normal families are,” said Perquimans County Sheriff Eric Tilley. 

Eric Jackson, then 25, told authorities that he and all five of his brothers had sexually abused their younger sister for a decade, and authorities say their parents knew but did nothing to stop the abuse. 

An elder at Hope Baptist Church, which Jackson and another brother attended, compared the pattern of abuse to other “horrible” sins such as adultery and homosexuality. 

“If Jesus had not saved Eric, perhaps the devastating culture of this family could have continued, even to more generations,” wrote elder Scott Brown. “But the gospel transforms and shines light in dark places. Jesus was the source of light that caused things to be brought into the light.”

So Jesus could bring things to light after the fact but could do nothing to prevent this child's abuse? 

Not a terribly impressive deity is he?

Still I am going to give this pastor some credit for not helping to hide the secret as the Duggar family's religious advisers seem to have done.

However in this case just like the last, it is the parents who most deserve our disgust.

They knew about this and did nothing to protect their children, both the molesters who will now serve time in jail for their offenses, and the molested who will serve a life sentence in a prison from which there is not parole.

Gee two different Christian homeschooled families, kept apart from their contemporaries, and now revealed to have serious episodes of incest and sexual abuse.

Anybody else noticing a pattern?

Okay this Hardball interview with the guy who provided intelligence about Iraq to George W. Bush in the lead up to the war is not getting nearly enough attention.

Courtesy of Salon: 

On Tuesday night, former CIA Deputy Director and Bush’s intelligence briefer Michael Morell appeared on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” where he, under an amount of good cable news duress, admitted that the administration intentionally misrepresented intelligence. 

The show played a clip of Cheney saying, “We know [Saddam Hussein] has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons. And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.” 

“Was that true or not,” host Chris Matthews asked. 

“We were saying–” 

“Can you answer that question? Was that true?” 

“No, that was not true,” he finally said.

Okay as all of you know I often find Matthew's interview style irritating because he will never let anybody finish their answer, but in this case it was EXACTLY what was needed to get the truth out of this guy.

And like Matthews I am amazed that this guy has allowed his intelligence to be mischaracterized for all of these years as faulty, and has essentially unfairly taken the blame for the purposeful lies that the Bush administration told to convince Americans to support this unnecessary war.

What I want from this moment forward is for reporters to start every interview with the GOP presidential wannabes with a showing of this clip, followed up by the question "Now do you think President Bush was right to send troops into Iraq?"

Because let me tell you I would be eating popcorn by the fistful while gleefully watching their responses to that!

It's been revealed that one of the Duggars from the reality show "19 and Counting" is a child molester. Seriously who didn't see that coming? Update!

Courtesy of In Touch:

Jim Bob Duggar waited more than a year after his son, Josh, confessed to sexually molesting several female minors before contacting police, In Touch Magazine is reporting exclusively, based on information contained in the official police report.

What’s more, Jim Bob informed the elders of his church about Joshua’s actions and they waited three months before contacting authorities. The explosive new information is contained in a Springdale, Ark., police report obtained by In Touch magazine. 

The report has been hidden since 2006 and was just obtained by the mag through a Freedom of information Act request. Jim Bob also refused to allow police to interview Josh when they opened a felony investigation in 2006. The Duggars star on TLC’s hit show 19 Kids and Counting.

In Touch provides a copy of the very damning police report which reveals that Josh had molested at least five children multiple times, which included touching the breasts and vagina of a sleeping 14 year old girl.

What's more when his father, Jim Bob Duggar, first heard of the molestations he did not immediately contact the police instead choosing to discipline his son on his own. He and his wife also lied to the police about sending Josh to a Christian counseling center when instead they sent him to hang out with a family friend.

Since this all came to light Duggar has made a statement to People magazine, which glosses over the seriousness of this abuse:  

"Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends," Josh, 27, tells PEOPLE in a statement. "I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life." 

Josh was also a spokesman for the  Family Research Council, which of course was founded by James Dobson a man who promoted the idea of using corporeal punishment on your children so long as you don't leave any marks.

However that gig is over now: 

"Today Josh Duggar made the decision to resign his position as a result of previously unknown information becoming public concerning events that occurred during his teenage years. 

"Josh believes that the situation will make it difficult for him to be effective in his current work. We believe this is the best decision for Josh and his family at this time. We will be praying for everyone involved," concluded Perkins.

"Josh believes that the situation will make it difficult for him to be effective in his current work." Gee, ya think?

Of course it did not take long for people to start making certain connections.

I swear it's like everybody she knows is some kind of pervert or another.

Now one of the reasons that I did not jump on this story when it first broke was because, well first I was waiting for credible news outlets to follow up, and second it seems that these incidents happened when Josh was only fourteen or fifteen years old.

Since I work with young people who have also engaged in similar activities as teens, I was a little hesitant to condemn Josh for activities that he may never have revisited as he grew older. (Some of these kids live with the label of "sexual predator" even though they never abused another child for the remainder of their lives.)

However, and this is the REAL scandal as far as I am concerned, his parents are completely culpable for not notifying the police or getting their son the actual counseling that he needed at the time. Not only that but any children who were molested after they first learned of the incident are the fault of their incompetence as parents and their failing as human beings to protect children in their care.

So for that reason, more than Josh's possibly continued predilections, this story needs to be seen far and wide. If for no other reason than the inherent hypocrisy of the family's anti-gay rhetoric.

Update: Here is the police report, which seems to confirm that the molested children were Josh's own sisters.  (Who else would be sleeping in his house night after night?) So we can now add incest to the list of charges.

Okay well now Sarah Palin is just out and out trolling Dakota Meyer.

Courtesy of Palin's Facebook page.
There was no text posted with the above image, but then again there doesn't need to be.

I think the message to Meyer is pretty hard to miss.

Anybody still think Bristol and Dakota are "on a break?"

Update: By the way I should also add that one of the main reasons there are young children grieving the loss of their military parents is directly due to the unnecessary wars that George W. Bush started, that many Republicans still support, and which certain presidential candidates cannot bring themselves to condemn.

Update 2: Well it looks as if Dakota is doing a little trolling back.

This from his Facebook page: 

#‎MorningMotivation‬ I am thankful for all of those who said NO to me. It's because of them I'm doing it myself. - Albert Einstein

Here's hoping this evolves into a back and forth Facebook bitchslapping contest between Meyer and Palin.

Former campaign staffer: “I’d rather go to Iraq than work for Carly Fiorina again.”

Courtesy of Business Insider: 

Twelve of about 30 people who worked on Fiorina’s failed 2010 California Senate campaign, most speaking out for the first time, told Reuters they would not work for her again. Fiorina, once one of America's most powerful businesswomen, is now campaigning for the Republican nomination in 2016. 

The reason: For more than four years, Fiorina — who has an estimated net worth of up to $120 million — didn’t pay them, a review of Federal Election Commission records shows. 

On the campaign trail, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO has portrayed herself as a battle-hardened business leader who possesses the best financial skills among fellow Republican presidential hopefuls. But some former staffers on her Senate campaign are now raising questions about that portrayal. 

Federal campaign filings show that, until a few months before Fiorina announced her presidential bid on May 4, she still owed staffers, consultants, strategists, legal experts, and vendors nearly half a million dollars. 

FEC records show, for example, that her former campaign manager Martin Wilson was owed $80,500; legal counsel Ben Ginsberg $60,000, and the widow of California political adviser Joe Shumate, who died during the final month of the campaign, at least $30,000. 

Yes this is exactly who we want running the country. A person who treats their staffers like indentured servants and does not pay their debts.

Not like she has a snowball's chance in Hades of being the nominee anyhow of course.

However the Republicans need to keep her in the race, because she has a vajayjay. And if they don't have at least one candidate with a vajayjay, and at least one candidate who is not blindingly white, they will get accused of being both sexist and racist.

Which of course they are, but they hate when people point that out.

So if for reasons like this Fiorina drops out of the race, before it even gets started, the Republicans will be forced to pull another potential presidential candidate with similar plumbing out of mothballs.

So somebody should probably start dusting Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin off, because they might soon be on deck.

Here's a little Bernie Sanders to start your day off right.

Courtesy of Facebook
Here is a little more about Sanders "College for All Act:" 

Titled the “College for All Act,” the bill would eliminate the $70 billion dollar tuition costs at all 4-year public colleges and universities. 

Under the plan, the Federal Government would cover 67% — $47 billion dollars each year — of the costs. 

States would be required to produce the remaining 33% of the costs, or 23 billion dollars.

Damn that sounds good.

You know the only reason I did not finish my college education was that I simply could not afford it, and was terrified of accumulating debt that I would never be able to pay off. 

I would given anything to have a program like this available back then.