Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Three Men Charged With Selling Heroin At Day Care Center

Mothers of young children, when choosing a day care center, please make sure that nobody's using it to sell heroin.  From Newsitem:
Three men were charged in connection with selling and using heroin in a city day care while it was closed after one of the men overdosed at around 9 p.m. Saturday.
Christian L. Kehler, 37, of 1114 N. Shamokin St., Shamokin, Ryan Varano, 28, of 114 S. Fifth St., Shamokin, and Frederick Russo, 49, of 1321 Chestnut St., Kulpmont, were each charged with felony criminal conspiracy and possession with intent to deliver and misdemeanor possession of an illegal substance.
Varano and Kehler were also charged with felony criminal use of a communication device, and misdemeanors of possession with intent to use drugs and, related to the potential harm of children, reckless endangerment of another person. Russo does not face those additional charges because he wasn't present Saturday night, police said.
This story comes via Fox News.  Read the original article.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Paul Torgerson 1931-2015

Paul Torgerson, former president and dean of engineering at Virginia Tech, has passed away at age 83.  The cause of his death is not yet reported.  He survived a battle with cancer in 2008.

Dr. Torgerson was born in Staten Island, New York and educated at Lehigh University and Ohio State University.  He was first hired by Virginia Tech as an Industrial and Systems Engineering professor and department head.  In 1970, he became the dean of the College of Engineering, a position he held for over 20 years (including my own four years as a VT student).  He served as Virginia Tech's 14th president from 1993 until January 2000.  During all his time as dean and president, as well as after stepping down from the latter post, he continued to teach, giving his last lecture in May 2014.

Read more at The Roanoke Times, the News Messenger and the Collegiate Times, which is Virginia Tech's student newspaper.

"What If We Carried Ourselves More Like Ted Kennedy?"

So asked our president, in his speech at the dedication of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate.  I would answer Obama's question with a question, "How much alcohol would be required?"  This video comes from Real Clear Politics:

As many before myself have noted, Mary Jo is unavailable for comment.

Incident Reported At Fort Meade Gate

Two people are reported as injured, and two vehicles have been damaged, at one of the gates to Fort Meade in Maryland, this particular gate also serving the NSA headquarters.  There are also reports of a shooting during the incident.

As I write this, the linked articles are rather short, since the story broke about an hour ago.  I have a feeling that as the day goes on and more information becomes available, they will be updated and expanded.

UPDATE:  As I expected earlier, more info has come out.  The pages linked above now report that two men dressed as women tried to ram the gate with a stolen SUV.  A gunfight broke out, resulting in the death of one of the two suspects and serious injuries to the other.  A gun and drugs were found near the SUV.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Links For Palm Sunday

A week before Easter, Catholic and Protestant denominations of Christianity remember Jesus entering Jerusalem riding on a donkey, as onlookers waved palm leaves along his procession route.  In Catholic practice, palm leaves are given to churchgoers which they hold onto during Mass.  The leaves are gathered up afterwards to be burnt, with the ashes saved for use during the next year's Ash Wednesday.

Here are some things in the news on this year's Palm Sunday:

From UPI, thousands demonstrate in Tunis, after a suspect in the Bardo Museum attack was killed by Tunisian security forces.

From Politico, my former governor, Martin O'Malley (D-MD), says that the presidency is not a "crown to be passed between two families", referring to possible candidates Hillary Clinton (D) and Jeb Bush (R).  Although his statement is not religious, I must give him a big fat "Amen!"

From Newsbusters, newsman and former Clinton aide George Stefanopoulos interviews Indiana Governor Mike Pence about his state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

From The Christian Science Monitor, Carly Fiorina (R) says that there is a "higher than 90 percent" chance that she will run for president.

From the New York Post, a corridor near the Herald Square subway station in New York City has become a camp for the homeless.

In Clash Daily, Paul Hair writes an "I told you so" about the repeal of the ban on openly gay people serving in the military.

From Yahoo News, recently re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "lashes out" in response to the U.S.-Iran nuclear talks.

From Fox News, a woman in Pennsylvania charged with forgery allegedly posed as a lawyer for over a decade.

From the Epoch Times, with the upsurge in border protection along the Rio Grande, more people attempting to illegally cross the river from Mexico end up drowning as a result of choosing more dangerous routes.

Legal Insurrection asks "Who will replace Harry Reid as Senate Minority Leader?"

From The Express Tribune, an editorial on the possible use of Pakistani troops in Yemen.

From Reuters, a report on the fighting and air strikes in Yemen.

From the Chicago Tribune, Harper College will offer free tuition scholarships.

From Bizpac Review, a debate on Hillary Clinton's emails on Meet The Press "descends into chaos".

From My Fox Chicago, despite technical difficulties and attacks from Boko Haram, Nigerians voted in an election today.

And from Bleacher Report, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who has been attending Wisconsin Badgers basketball games, and CBS Sports writer Dennis Dodd call each other out.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Senator Reid To Retire

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), currently in his fifth term, has announced his decision to retire at the end thereof.  He was also the Senate Majority Leader from January 2007, after the Democrats took the Senate (and House) in the 2006 election, until January 2015, after the GOP retook the Senate in the 2014 election.  Senator Reid was also recently in the news because of injuries to his face and eye suffered while exercising at home.

Obviously, rightwing nutjobs such as yours truly will not miss the man from Searchlight, Nevada.  But as the saying goes, I do indeed hope that the door (and the gym equipment) doesn't hit him on the way out.

Read more at The New York Times, Fox News, CNN, The Washington Times and Politico.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Plane Crash Alleged To Be Intentional

According to French prosecutor Brice Robin, the Germanwings aircraft that crashed in the Alps was intentionally brought down by the plane's co-pilot, identified as Andreas Lubitz.  Information recovered from the plane's black box indicated that the pilot, who has not been identified, had left the cockpit and was trying to re-enter, but the cockpit door was then locked.  The black box recorded knocks on the door, but no unusual breathing or other sounds from the co-pilot.

Read more at ABC News, BBC News, NBC News and AOL.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Charged With Desertion

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who disappeared from his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and was returned five years later in exchange for five Taliban leaders held in GITMO, has been charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.  Bergdahl is currently stationed at Fort Sam Houston in Texas.  The five released Taliban were taken to Qatar.

Read more at USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, ABC News and CBS News.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

German Airplane Crashes In The Alps

An Airbus 320 operated by Germanwings, a subsidiary of Lufthansa, crashed in the French Alps between the towns of Digne and Barcelonnette.  The plane was flying out of Barcelona, Spain and was destined for Dusseldorf, Germany.  French police have indicated that none of the 150 people on board survived.  One of the plane's black boxes has been recovered.

Read more at Reuters, AOL, BBC News, Russia Today and The Local DE.

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Few Random Musings #4

It's been a while since I put up this type of post, here are a few comments about things going on, and whatever else might have popped into my mind:
It seems that environmentalists have always been fond of trees.  I can't really blame them, since trees are pretty and do indeed take CO2 from the atmosphere.  But the ability to absorb CO2 is not unique to trees.  Every other plant, including grasses and crops, does the same thing.  Yet, I can't recall any environmentalist showing the same concern for corn, wheat or bluegrass that they seem to show for trees.

The term "green energy" is commonly used to denote energy sources that do not produce CO2, implying that this feature would be good for the environment.  (See here, for example.)  This is ironic because without CO2, the environment would not include any life forms that are naturally green.

I wonder how many people who wear a T-shirt depicting Che Guevara oppose the death penalty, while being blissfully unaware that he was an executioner.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

23 Things You'll See In Israel

Just something seen on Twitter, posted by Sue from New Mexico:

Here are 23 things that you'll see if you travel to Israel, which for the most part, can't be found elsewhere.  I think that #2 is especially profound.  The audio portion is a popular Jewish folk song.

Due to the thumbnail (still pic preview) being borderline NSFW and not even appearing in the actual video, I'll use a link instead.  Go here to watch.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Man Attacks TSA Officers At New Orleans Airport

Yesterday evening, a man attacked TSA officers at the New Orleans international airport with wasp spray and a machete after walking down a Pre-Check security line.  He was shot three times and wounded by a Jefferson Parish police lieutenant stationed at the security checkpoint, and taken to a hospital.  The attacker, identified as Richard White, has reportedly been a taxi driver, and has a criminal history consisting of only charges of disturbing the peace and traffic-related infractions.

Read more at USA Today, Yahoo News, Fox News, The New York Times and The Times Picayune.

UPDATE:  From Fox News, the suspect has been pronounced dead.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Links For The Spring Equinox

Here in my part of the world, the first day of spring has been snowy.  So far, it's been the "wet" variety of snow that seems to melt on contact with roads and sidewalks, and is expected to turn over to rain later today.  Tomorrow, we're supposed to see temperatures of around 60F, so it looks like winter will be over with.  But back to today, here's a bit of what's going on:

From CBS Connecticut, some 36 million Americans will be dealing with winter today.

From Fox News, the US will train 750 Ukrainian troops.

From Vatican Radio, Pope Francis invokes the memory of Japan's "hidden Christians".

From DC Inno, Amazon gets FAA approval to test their drones.

From AOL, a report on yesterday's solar eclipse, seen in parts of northern Europe and islands in the northern Atlantic Ocean.

From OneNewsNow, Texas appears ready to discontinue a steroid testing program for high school students.

From CNN, suicide bombers in Sanaa, Yemen kill at least 120 people in attacks on Zaidi mosques.

From Politico, General David Petraeus calls Iran a greater threat than ISIL (a.k.a. ISIS).

From Watchdog, Pennsylvania Republicans launch a website to keep track of tax proposals from Governor Tom Wolf (D).

From Townhall Finance, talk of another bailout for Fannie and Freddie.

From UPI, the US dollar and talks with Iran influence the price of crude oil.

From the Epoch Times, Internet users in China can no longer access Reuters websites.

In National Review, columnist Mona Charen gives us her idea of the conversation we should be having about race.

From the Los Angeles Times, farmworkers in Mexico strike over low wages.

From the National Journal, Hillary Clinton's emails could reach the National Archives - in 30 years.

And from WebProNews, a parody of Too Many Cooks.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Gunman Shoots Six In Mesa, Arizona

In Mesa, Arizona this morning, a gunman shot six people, killing one.  The shooter was first reported to be at large, but later said to be in police custody.  The shooting spree started in a motel room at the Tri-City Inn, which is across the street from the East Valley Institute of Technology.  That school and nearby Mesa Community College were placed on lockdown.

Terrorists Attack Museum In Tunis

At least 17 tourists, and at least 21 people overall, were killed today in a terrorist attack at the Bardo Museum in Tunis, during which other tourists were taken hostage.  The victims included people from Italy, Germany, Poland and Spain.  The overall death toll includes two of the attackers.  Police have captured two other gunmen, with one more being possibly at large.  The Bardo Museum is close to the Tunisian Parliament building.

Read more at The Independent, Fox News, ABC News, The Star and BBC News.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Exit Polls Show Close Results In Israeli Election

According to exit polls taken in Israel, either the Likud party (of current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) and the Zionist Union party have each taken 27 seats in the Knesset, or Likud has taken 28 seats to Zionist Union's 27.  In third place is the Joint Arab party, with either 12 or 13 seats.  Whether Netanyahu keeps his current job will depend on the size of the coalition that Likud builds with the various minor parties.

Read more at Ynetnews and The Telegraph, both links Tweeted to my attention by Sue from New Mexico.

UPDATE:  From NBC News, Netanyahu declares victory.

Happy St. Paddy's Day

Top o' the afternoon to ya.  After dining on some corned beef and cabbage (which also includes potatoes and carrots), I ran across an article at Warrior setting forth some surprising facts about St. Patrick and the day on which we remember him.   A few I already knew, such as Patrick not being Irish but British by birth, but a few others were a surprise indeed.

So before you drink that whisky or green beer, read the full article.

Monday, March 16, 2015

How Do The Israeli Elections Work?

The Israeli system is quite a bit different from that of the United States.  While it is tempting to say that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is up for reelection, the reality is more complicated.  From Ynetnews:
Unlike the US, Israelis vote for parties but do not directly determine which politician will head the next government. Instead, voters cast a ballot for one party, and the faction with the most votes gets a chance to form the next ruling coalitions.

Essentially, the elections for the government are actually a vote for who will sit in the 20th Knesset – a 120-person body of MKs.
The Israeli system differs in one other central way – the entire country functions as a single district. Unlike the British parliament, on which Israel's founding fathers modeled the nascant[sic] state's legislature, all 120 seats in the Knesset are elected through a national process – much like a US senator must campaign across his state.
To learn how the Israelis choose their legislature, read the full story.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Fire Breaks Out At Convent In Moscow

In Moscow, the bell tower of the Novodevichy Convent was damaged by a fire that burned for three hours today.  The tower has been under renovation and thus largely surrounded by scaffolding, which is where the fire broke out.  The interior of the tower is reported to be undamaged.  Due to the convent's proximity to the Kremlin, there were some rumors that the Kremlin was the site of the fire.

Read more at Russia Today, The Moscow Times, The Telegraph and The Guardian.

Full disclosure:  Over 20 years ago, I visited Moscow, including the Kremlin and the Novodevichy Cemetery adjacent to the convent, in which many historically famous Russians are buried.  According to our guide, "novodevichy" means "new maiden".

Links For The Ides Of March

On the anniversary of the stabbing death of Julius Caesar, here are some things being reported today:

From Gateway Pundit, the public debt accumulated during the Obama presidency of just over six years has just passed the total run up under all other presidents combined.  This accomplishment (to use the term loosely) is particularly staggering considering that the previous total would include the trillions in debt racked up during the eight years of Bush the Younger.

From The Muslim Issue, due to the civil war and campaigns by ISIS, the lights have gone out in Syria.

From Gulfnews, aid workers in Syria voice their frustration.

From the Chicago Tribune, Iraqi Kurds claim to have evidence that ISIS has used chemical weapons.  Interesting how that WMD which wasn't there in Iraq during the Bush years keeps turning up.

From The Counter Jihad Report, the United States closes their embassy in Saudi Arabia due to concerns about ISIS, and lots of links.

From Breitbart's The Wires, a man formerly held hostage by ISIS describes their mock executions.

From International Business Times, Secretary of State John Kerry says that the U.S. will have to negotiate with Syria's president.

From the Washington Examiner, the Organization of America States, whose headquarters is about 400 yards from the White House, is about to choose their next secretary general, for which there is only one candidate.

From The Daily Caller, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) calls criticism of the letter signed by 47 GOP senators to Iran's government "selective outrage".

From AOL, the White House warns Congress to "stand down from interference" with the negotiations with Iran.

From the Daily Herald, Wall Street bonuses increased by 3% in 2014.

From Fox News, officials say that the U.S. might be keeping more troops in Afghanistan than previously planned.

From Yahoo News, suicide bombers kill 14 Christians in Lahore, Pakistan.

From The Weekly Standard, the House will reportedly start an investigation of former Secretary of state Hillary Clinton's email practices.

From MSN News, three people in Kansas have died from eating contaminated ice cream.

And from PJ Tatler, leftwing Canadians react to their government's new anti-terrorism bill.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Arkansas Girl Claims Bill Clinton Is Her Father [Satire?]

A teenage girl living in Arkansas, whose mother once worked for President Bill Clinton, claims that he is her father, and has filed a suit based on that allegation.  From World News Daily Report:
Alyssa Gilmore claims that her mother, a former secretary of the oval office named Whitney Gilmore, had an affair with President Clinton between 1998 and 2001. She says she was born out of that relationship, and demands that Mr. Clinton undergoes a paternity test to prove that her story is true.
A judge is allowing the suit to proceed.  Also from WNDR:
Judge Henri Watkins of the Arkansas state court, rapidly decided that Ms. Gilmore had enough evidence to support her demand and announced that the presentation of the evidence will begin on March 19. Bill Clinton wasn’t present in the courthouse this morning, in Little Rock, but he met the media less than an hour after the judge’s decision, in Washington.
As I understand the science, males have an X chromosome and a Y chromosome, while females have with two X chromosomes, one coming from each parent.  This would mean that one of Ms. Gilmore's two X chromosomes would match Bill Clinton's X chromosome if he is her biological father.

This is not the first time Mr. Bill has been accused of fathering a child in an adulterous manner.  Over 20 years ago, a prostitute in Little Rock claimed that he was the father of her son, but DNA tests proved her wrong.  So when you read the WNDR story, having some NaCl on hand is probably not a bad idea.

UPDATE:  From looking around WNDR, the story appears to be satirical.  But considering Mr. Bill's various dalliances and the above-noted paternity claim from the Little Rock prostitute, it was all too believable.

Water Possibly Found On Ganymede

The Jovian moon Ganymede, the largest in the solar system, might have an ocean beneath its crust of ice, according to data gathered by NASA scientists using the Hubble telescope.  With a depth of about 60 miles, it would have more water than is found on the earth's entire surface.  The upper surface of this ocean is about 95 miles below the outer surface of this moon.

Read more at CBS Chicago, Scientific American, The Verge and Russia Today.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Time Inadvertently Gives Hillary Clinton Horns

By featuring her on their cover, Time may have given Hillary Clinton her an unfortunate but some would say appropriate new pair of features.  As The Blaze, Breitbart's Big Journalism, The Weekly Standard and Poynter, among others, have all noticed, the dark spaces below the capital "M" blend with her silhouette to form what look like devil's horns.  Click on any of the above links, or on this one from Time, to see for yourself.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wednesday Links

Some stories in the news, and other interesting items:

From the New York Post, seven Marines and four soldiers are presumed dead from the crash of an Army Black Hawk helicopter off the Florida coast.

From The Observers at France24, video of Shiite militias burning down a Sunni village in Iraq.

From UPI, car bombs kill 10 people in Ramadi, Iraq.

From Fox News, ISIS terrorists flee as Iraqi soldiers and Shiite militia enter Tikrit.

American Thinker asks, "Do black lives really matter?"

From Ohio Watchdog, the state's budget keeps getting bigger.

From The Roanoke Times, Pittsburgh Steeler linebacker and former Virginia Tech football player Jason Worilds decides to retire at age 27.

From Watts Up With That?, a look at Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius, an early proponent of the view that burning fossil fuels would lead to global warming.

The Daily Caller begs to differ with a recent survey which indicated declining gun ownership.

From America's Navy, the USS Theodore Roosevelt embarks on a world tour.

From National Review, records kept by Al Sharpton have been destroyed by a suspicious fire - twice.

From WebProNews, Uber promises to hire a million female drivers by 2020.

From The Daily Signal and the "old but still relevant" department, nineteen examples of missing and later found documents, from both Dems and GOPers.  (via Sharyl Attkisson)

From Legal Insurrection, Seattle police have started to post online footage from their body cameras.

From Epoch Times, a Q&A with a Michigan toxicologist who won an award for research on birth defects in Iraq.

From Yahoo News, polls in Israel show the left-center Zionist Union party having a lead over Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party.

From USA Today, actor Windell Middlebrooks, who appeared several Miller High Life commercials, has died at age 36.

From The Big Story at AP, the AP sues the State Department for Hillary Clinton's emails and other records.  (A media outlet thus reports on itself.)

And from Life News, former Ravens linebacker O.J. Brigance, now suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease, urges the Maryland state legislature to reject legalizing assisted suicide.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Chicago-Area Softball-Playing Beauty Queen

A beauty pageant contestant in the Chicago area has an unusual idea for the talent part of her next competition.  From DNAinfo:
Mary Kate Love briefly entertained the idea of setting up a batting cage for the talent portion of the Chicago Rose of Tralee competition.
Love earned her ticket to compete in the upcoming pageant after being named 2015 South Side Irish Parade Queen on Feb. 21.
Love plays in a league that uses a 16-inch ball and no gloves.  She plays third base, and has suffered two broken digits during her recreational career.  Later in one of those two games, she hit a triple.  She also plays flag football.  Read the full story.

Monday, March 9, 2015

NY Times Omits Bush

While some have noticed the "conspicuous absence" of Republicans from 50th anniversary commemoration of the 1965 civil rights march in Selma, Alabama, one recently prominent member of the GOP did indeed attend.  But as Bizpac Review notes, his presence seems to have been ignored by one of America's leading newspapers.
Former President George W. Bush was the only ex-resident of the White House to show up for events marking the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement milestone of “Bloody Sunday,” but Americans wouldn’t know that from the front page of the country’s “newspaper of record.” 
The old Gray Lady’s photo capturing the symbolic march of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., left out Bush and his wife, Laura.  [emphasis in original]
The photo centers on the current occupant of the White House, but as WSB-TV showed in their Twitter feed, his immediate predecessor was also in the front row of the marchers.  Whether the NYT chose to focus their pic on the current president or deliberately cropped out the former one is a matter of debate and speculation.  But it does beg the question:  If any other Republicans had made the effort to show up in Selma, would they have been recognized?  Read the full story.

UPDATE:  Also covering this story is The Telegraph.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Senator Menendez To Face Corruption Charges

The Justice Department is expected to file corruption charges against Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), arising from his relationship with Salomon Melgen, an eye doctor in Florida.  Melgen is also a Democratic donor and has flown Senator Menendez to the Dominican Republic on his private plane.  Menendez allegedly tried to persuade Medicare to change its reimbursement policies in a way that would have benefitted Dr. Melgen.

Read more at CNN (who first broke the story), The New York Times, USA Today and NJ.com.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Links For A Snowy Day

As the snow falls once again, here are some things in the news:

From Frontpage Mag, Democrats "spin furiously" for former Secretary of State/Email host Hillary Clinton.  (If a member of GWB's cabinet had used a personal email account at a server registered to his/her home for government office work, how loudly would the left have shrieked and howled?)

From UPI, almost 700 koalas were killed in Australia between September 2013 and March 2014, due to alleged overpopulation.

From Wisconsin Reporter, did former Senator Russ Feingold (D-WS) violate the Hatch Act?

From LifeNews, a group wants to replace the portrait of Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with that of Planned Parenthood founder and genocidal racist Margaret Sanger.

From ChristianNewsWire, the distribution of 1.65 million scriptural leaflets is being carried out in Egypt.  (via Lisa Graas)

American Thinker delves into the Obama amnesty plan.

From The Washington Free Beacon, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) secures subsidies for a green energy operation run by some of his former staffers.

From National Review, an archaeological site in the United Kingdom shows that people were building and trading 8000 years ago, without any help from government.

From NewsBusters, a video from 1972 with Walter Cronkite warning of a "new ice age".

From Fox News, students in New Mexico taking Common Core tests walked out in protest.

From Natural News, cigarettes have been found to contain metals.

From China.org, the government of India has forbidden the broadcasting of a BBC film documenting a gang rape.

From KPHO, jurors have reached a verdict in the sentencing phase of the trial of Jodi Arias, to be read at 9:30 a.m.  (Since the trial is in Arizona, I believe that this would correspond to 11:30 a.m. back here in Maryland.)

From the Chicago Tribune, the Ringlong Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has decided to phase out elephants from their act.

From CNS News, Grand Ayatollah Ali Khameini tells his country's air force that Iran has produced 20% enriched uranium.

From Reuters, near Tikrit, ISIS torches an oil field.

From The Daily Caller, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) finds out that EPA Chief Administrator Gina McCarthy doesn't know too much about recent weather trends.

From WHAS, due to the current snowstorm, conditions on Interstate 65 in Kentucky have become so bad that the National Guard has been called out.

The Washington Post asks, "Can a solar eclipse shut down Europe?"

And from Politico, with current Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) announcing his intention to run for the seat of retiring Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Marriott International's executive vice president Kathleen Matthews is planning to run for his seat.  She is the wife of someone who once got a tingle up his leg from the guy currently in the White House.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Hillary Clinton's Emails

Former First Lady/Senator/Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is back in the news due to her use of private email on the job at the State Department.  Here are some related stories:

From The New York Times, how her using private email "thwarted record requests".

From Mother Jones, how she "may have violated government rules on emails".

From The Big Story at AP, the server used by Hillary Clinton for her emails was traced to an Internet service registered to her home in Chappaqua, NY.

From Breitbart's Big Government, the server was registered to "a man who does not appear to exist".

And from Gawker, it might not just have been Hillary.  (via Weasel Zippers)

You know something's up when a rightwing nutjob such as myself can find relevant material in leftwing sources like Mother Jones and Gawker.  (At least I think that Gawker is on the left.)  But if you wish to ask, using Hillary's own words, "What difference, at this point, does it make?", let's not forget that she is "at this point" one of the leading contenders for her party's presidential nomination.

Microsoft Co-Founder Claims To Find Japanese Battleship

Billionaire Paul Allen, a co-founder of Microsoft, claims to have found the Musashi, an enormous Japanese battleship sunk during World War II.  In October 1944, Allied forces attacked and sunk the ship in the Sibuyan Sea, near the Philippines.  What Allen believes to be the Musashi's remains have been found on the seafloor, about a kilometer below the surface.

Read more at The Washington Post and MSN.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

General Petraeus Gets Plea Bargain

Retired General and former CIA director David Petraeus has agreed to plead guilty to one count of removing and retaining classified information, a misdemeanor.  Prosecutors have reportedly recommended a $40,000 fine and two years probation.  The charge stems from his allegedly giving the information to Paula Broadwell, who has been both his biographer and his lover.

Read more at The New York Times, Fox News, USA Today, Politico and CNN.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Does Obama Love America?

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani certainly touched a nerve by saying that President Obama doesn't love America.  In response, many have weighed in, from both sides of the political aisle, perhaps most notably a 12-year-old kid in Georgia who came down on his honor's side and soon afterwards started to experience some technical difficulties with his Facebook account.  (See also here.)  I've come to believe that there is an America that Obama loves, which is not the country as it actually exists, but the country that he wants to "fundamentally transform" (to use his words) America into.  Here are some things that to some extent lead me to have this belief:

As a candidate and later as president, Obama did not place his hand over his heart, the traditional civilian salute to the flag during the Pledge of Allegiance or the National Anthem, while others were shown do doing so.  In another instance at Arlington National Cemetery, he was shown without his hand over his heart, but this was during the playing of Hail To The Chief, which is a salute to him as president rather than to the flag, so I'll have to cut him some slack on that one.  Of course, in the future he might wish to dispense with the coffee cup before returning the salute of a Marine.  (If gets his coffee from KFC, he can actually eat the cup.)