Featured Story

University Students from 37 Nations Rank George W. Bush less Popular than Josef Stalin and Genghis Khan, but more Popular than Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden

Sunday, May 24, 2015
Out of 40 names given to the 6,902 university students in 37 countries who participated of the study, Bush ranked 37th, ahead of only Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and Adolf Hitler. Josef Stalin, who was responsible for up to 50 million deaths, was ranked 36th. The most popular people on the list were an interesting mix of those of reason and faith. Leading the list was Albert Einstein, followed by Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Isaac Newton.   read more
Latest News

Top Stories

  • Four Banks Guilty of Currency Manipulation but, as Usual, No One’s Going to Jail

    Friday, May 22, 2015
    “For more than five years, traders in ‘The Cartel’ used a private electronic chat room to manipulate the spot market’s exchange rate between euros and dollars using coded language to conceal their collusion,” said Attorney General Lynch. In one conversation, a Barclays employee said: “If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.” Lynch said the currency manipulation “inflated the banks’ profits while harming countless consumers, investors and institutions...including the banks’ own customers.”   read more
  • World Trade Organization Overrules U.S. Country-of-Origin Rules for Meat Products

    Thursday, May 21, 2015
    WTO ruled that American regulations that require the meat industry to use country of origin labels (COOL) represent a violation of NAFTA. “This is just the latest example of how multinational companies use the global trade system to attack basic protections for U.S. consumers,” said Wenonah Hauter. “The meat industry has been trying – and failing – for years to get rid of COOL through the U.S. system, so it had to use unaccountable, unelected trade officials at the WTO to do its dirty work.”   read more
  • Wyoming Criminalizes taking Soil Samples and “Ecological” Photos on Public Lands

    Wednesday, May 20, 2015
    The Republican-dominated state has adopted a new law which outlaws the collecting of ecological data on private and public lands. Violations can result in a year of prison time and fines of $5,000. It also makes any samples inadmissible as evidence in court, even if they show environmental hazards. The law prohibits photos and soil samples used for ecological purposes, even in state and national parks. Opponents say it is so broad, it would prevent taking photos at Yellowstone National Park.   read more

Unusual News

  • Capitol Police Ordered to Get More Training after Leaving Guns in Public Restrooms

    Saturday, May 23, 2015
    In March, a child found a gun belonging to a member of House Speaker John Boehner’s police detail in a bathroom at the Capitol. Another gun, this one belonging to a member of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s detail, was discovered by a worker in a bathroom at the Congressional Visitors’ Center. So now, officers will be required to take an online class in the proper protocol for handling weapons in situations such as when nature calls.   read more
  • Tall Men Make more Money…but only up to 6 Feet

    Wednesday, May 20, 2015
    About to ask for a raise? You might have more luck if you do it wearing a pair of elevator shoes. A study published in the Journal of Human Capital showed a difference in height among men, even just four or five inches, can result in higher earnings ranging from 9% to 15%, according to Joe Pinsker at The Atlantic. Pinsker also reported that another source indicated “an extra inch is worth almost $800 a year in elevated earnings.”   read more
  • Organic Produce Now Accounts for 12% of Sales in U.S.

    Tuesday, May 19, 2015
    “Across the heartland of America and all along the Gulf Coast, sales of organic products are posting double-digit increases,” according to OTA. “The majority of American households in all regions of the country now make organic a part of their supermarket and retail purchases – from 68 to almost 80% of households in southern states, to nearly 90% on the West Coast.” The trade group also reported that organic sales are reaching the “milestone” of 5% share of the total food market in the U.S.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • Millions Donated to Cancer Charities Paid for Online Dating, Caribbean Cruises, Hooters Meals and Victoria’s Secret Shopping

    Friday, May 22, 2015
    The FTC and attorneys general from all 50 states have accused the managers of four related cancer charities of spending millions of dollars in donations on themselves instead of helping cancer patients. Only 3% of the monies raised by the four charities went to help patients. The FTC and AGs have described the charitable operations as “sham charities” that “operated as personal fiefdoms characterized by rampant nepotism, flagrant conflicts of interest, and excessive insider compensation.”   read more
  • The $36 Million Marine Headquarters in Afghanistan that was never Used: Who Pocketed the Money?

    Thursday, May 21, 2015
    The money never would have been spent had the Corps heeded the requests of then-Maj. Gen. Richard P. Mills, who said the headquarters wasn’t needed and that commanders could make do with other facilities. The building wasn’t even seen as something that would have been nice to have. “We certainly needed many things in those early days,” Marine Maj. Gen. Larry Nicholson said, “but we were very pleased with [current headquarters].” Neither Mills nor Nicholson got their way, however.   read more
  • Franchises Most Likely to Fail: Golf Etc. and All Tune and Lube

    Saturday, May 16, 2015
    A report from Service Employees International Union shows that 19.3% of all franchises purchased with SBA loans from 2006 to 2010 have failed. That failure rate has increased over time; loans originating from 1991 to 1995 failed 12.7% of the time. Two franchises with the highest failure rates are Golf Etc., at 49.6%, and All Tune and Lube at 41.6%. Purchasers of those two franchises were almost even money to go down the tubes, costing the taxpayers thousands of dollars.   read more

Controversies

  • Biggest, Oldest Trees Most Likely to Succumb to Global Warming; Small Plants May be Spared

    Saturday, May 23, 2015
    If researchers are correct and older, larger trees die off as a result of climate change, the trees’ demise will cause there to be even more carbon in the atmosphere. “It’s the big trees that store the most carbon,” McDowell said, noting that the tall trees are also those that do the most photosynthesis, pulling more carbon out of the atmosphere than small trees. In addition, the loss of bigger trees could affect animal species that rely on them for their habitats.   read more
  • West Virginia Court Allows Illegal Prescription Drug Addicts to Seek Damages from Healthcare Providers

    Friday, May 22, 2015
    In a 3-2 decision, Chief Justice Margaret Workman said the plaintiffs were entitled to seek damages even though they themselves behaved illegally or immorally. Interestingly, “the majority noted that most, if not all, of the plaintiffs admitted their abuse of controlled substances occurred before they sought help at Mountain Medical Center,” according to the AP. Justice Allen Loughry, who dissented along with Justice Menis Ketchum, wrote: “There are no even remotely innocent victims here.”   read more
  • DEA Operatives Accused of Secretly Operating New Jersey Strip Club

    Friday, May 22, 2015
    Polos spent 24 years with the DEA, recently as assistant special agent-in-charge of a joint task force on illegal narcotics. Glover is a telecommunications specialist who has spent 17 years with the DEA. But neither revealed on a national-security form that they owned and operated the Twins Plus Go-Go Lounge which featured “scantily clad and sometimes topless women.” Had they told superiors about the strip club, they likely would have lost their security clearance and, thus, their jobs.   read more

U.S. and the World

  • Is Prosecution or Rehabilitation the Better Response to Home-Grown Terrorist Recruits?

    Saturday, May 23, 2015
    The prosecutor in the case, U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger, had previously opposed rehabilitation over prison for another Somali-American, Abdullahi Yusuf, who also wanted to join IS. Luger appears to have had a change of heart however, and hopes to fight the recruitment of young people by IS with programs such as mentoring and job counseling. The federal government estimates that between 150 and 180 Americans have tried to leave the country and join up with groups fighting in Syria.   read more
  • Release of Warren Report on U.S. Labor Protection Failures Aims to Counter Obama Fast Track Authority for TPP Passage

    Friday, May 22, 2015
    Warren claims the GAO, along with the Labor and State departments, have documented “significant and persistent problems with labor abuses in countries with which we have FTAs.” However, the report notes that the U.S. seldom tries to enforce fair labor provisions. Warren has also objected to the lack of transparency about the exact provisions of the TPP: “We’re being asked to grease the skids for a deal that’s basically done but is being held in secret until after this vote."   read more
  • Obama Promises U.S. Military will Defend Rich Arab Dictatorships

    Monday, May 18, 2015
    High officials from six Persian Gulf countries got assurances from President Barack Obama that the United States would respond, perhaps with military force, to an “external threat” to any of the countries. Amnesty International has cataloged human rights abuses in each of those countries.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration: Who Is Chuck Rosenberg?

    Sunday, May 24, 2015
    Beginning in 2007, he served as chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Rosenberg left again for the private sector in 2008, defending white-collar criminals as a partner at Hogan Lovells. Rosenberg returned in 2013 to work for James Comey again, this time as chief of staff and counselor to the FBI director. Unlike his predecessor, as leader of the DEA, Rosenberg is expected to focus more on heroin and harder drugs and less on enforcement of marijuana laws.   read more
  • Director of the Minority Business Development Agency: Who Is Alejandra Castillo?

    Sunday, May 24, 2015
    Castillo joined the Commerce Department in 2008 as special advisor to Christopher Padilla, the under secretary for the U. S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. In 2010, Castillo was named national deputy director of Minority Business Development Agency, and was moved up to the directorship in 2014.   read more
  • Director of the Transportation Security Administration: Who Is Peter Neffenger?

    Saturday, May 23, 2015
    Neffenger went on to serve as the Coast Guard’s director of strategic management and doctrine and by 2010 he was the Coast Guard’s deputy commandant for operations and deputy national incident commander and worked on much of that service’s response to the April 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. In May 2014, he was made vice commandant of the Coast Guard, that service’s No. 2-ranking officer, a post he held until his nomination as TSA director.   read more

Featured Story

University Students from 37 Nations Rank George W. Bush less Popular than Josef Stalin and Genghis Khan, but more Popular than Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden

Sunday, May 24, 2015
Out of 40 names given to the 6,902 university students in 37 countries who participated of the study, Bush ranked 37th, ahead of only Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and Adolf Hitler. Josef Stalin, who was responsible for up to 50 million deaths, was ranked 36th. The most popular people on the list were an interesting mix of those of reason and faith. Leading the list was Albert Einstein, followed by Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Isaac Newton.   read more
Latest News

Top Stories

  • Four Banks Guilty of Currency Manipulation but, as Usual, No One’s Going to Jail

    Friday, May 22, 2015
    “For more than five years, traders in ‘The Cartel’ used a private electronic chat room to manipulate the spot market’s exchange rate between euros and dollars using coded language to conceal their collusion,” said Attorney General Lynch. In one conversation, a Barclays employee said: “If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.” Lynch said the currency manipulation “inflated the banks’ profits while harming countless consumers, investors and institutions...including the banks’ own customers.”   read more
  • World Trade Organization Overrules U.S. Country-of-Origin Rules for Meat Products

    Thursday, May 21, 2015
    WTO ruled that American regulations that require the meat industry to use country of origin labels (COOL) represent a violation of NAFTA. “This is just the latest example of how multinational companies use the global trade system to attack basic protections for U.S. consumers,” said Wenonah Hauter. “The meat industry has been trying – and failing – for years to get rid of COOL through the U.S. system, so it had to use unaccountable, unelected trade officials at the WTO to do its dirty work.”   read more
  • Wyoming Criminalizes taking Soil Samples and “Ecological” Photos on Public Lands

    Wednesday, May 20, 2015
    The Republican-dominated state has adopted a new law which outlaws the collecting of ecological data on private and public lands. Violations can result in a year of prison time and fines of $5,000. It also makes any samples inadmissible as evidence in court, even if they show environmental hazards. The law prohibits photos and soil samples used for ecological purposes, even in state and national parks. Opponents say it is so broad, it would prevent taking photos at Yellowstone National Park.   read more

Unusual News

  • Capitol Police Ordered to Get More Training after Leaving Guns in Public Restrooms

    Saturday, May 23, 2015
    In March, a child found a gun belonging to a member of House Speaker John Boehner’s police detail in a bathroom at the Capitol. Another gun, this one belonging to a member of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s detail, was discovered by a worker in a bathroom at the Congressional Visitors’ Center. So now, officers will be required to take an online class in the proper protocol for handling weapons in situations such as when nature calls.   read more
  • Tall Men Make more Money…but only up to 6 Feet

    Wednesday, May 20, 2015
    About to ask for a raise? You might have more luck if you do it wearing a pair of elevator shoes. A study published in the Journal of Human Capital showed a difference in height among men, even just four or five inches, can result in higher earnings ranging from 9% to 15%, according to Joe Pinsker at The Atlantic. Pinsker also reported that another source indicated “an extra inch is worth almost $800 a year in elevated earnings.”   read more
  • Organic Produce Now Accounts for 12% of Sales in U.S.

    Tuesday, May 19, 2015
    “Across the heartland of America and all along the Gulf Coast, sales of organic products are posting double-digit increases,” according to OTA. “The majority of American households in all regions of the country now make organic a part of their supermarket and retail purchases – from 68 to almost 80% of households in southern states, to nearly 90% on the West Coast.” The trade group also reported that organic sales are reaching the “milestone” of 5% share of the total food market in the U.S.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • Millions Donated to Cancer Charities Paid for Online Dating, Caribbean Cruises, Hooters Meals and Victoria’s Secret Shopping

    Friday, May 22, 2015
    The FTC and attorneys general from all 50 states have accused the managers of four related cancer charities of spending millions of dollars in donations on themselves instead of helping cancer patients. Only 3% of the monies raised by the four charities went to help patients. The FTC and AGs have described the charitable operations as “sham charities” that “operated as personal fiefdoms characterized by rampant nepotism, flagrant conflicts of interest, and excessive insider compensation.”   read more
  • The $36 Million Marine Headquarters in Afghanistan that was never Used: Who Pocketed the Money?

    Thursday, May 21, 2015
    The money never would have been spent had the Corps heeded the requests of then-Maj. Gen. Richard P. Mills, who said the headquarters wasn’t needed and that commanders could make do with other facilities. The building wasn’t even seen as something that would have been nice to have. “We certainly needed many things in those early days,” Marine Maj. Gen. Larry Nicholson said, “but we were very pleased with [current headquarters].” Neither Mills nor Nicholson got their way, however.   read more
  • Franchises Most Likely to Fail: Golf Etc. and All Tune and Lube

    Saturday, May 16, 2015
    A report from Service Employees International Union shows that 19.3% of all franchises purchased with SBA loans from 2006 to 2010 have failed. That failure rate has increased over time; loans originating from 1991 to 1995 failed 12.7% of the time. Two franchises with the highest failure rates are Golf Etc., at 49.6%, and All Tune and Lube at 41.6%. Purchasers of those two franchises were almost even money to go down the tubes, costing the taxpayers thousands of dollars.   read more

Controversies

  • Biggest, Oldest Trees Most Likely to Succumb to Global Warming; Small Plants May be Spared

    Saturday, May 23, 2015
    If researchers are correct and older, larger trees die off as a result of climate change, the trees’ demise will cause there to be even more carbon in the atmosphere. “It’s the big trees that store the most carbon,” McDowell said, noting that the tall trees are also those that do the most photosynthesis, pulling more carbon out of the atmosphere than small trees. In addition, the loss of bigger trees could affect animal species that rely on them for their habitats.   read more
  • West Virginia Court Allows Illegal Prescription Drug Addicts to Seek Damages from Healthcare Providers

    Friday, May 22, 2015
    In a 3-2 decision, Chief Justice Margaret Workman said the plaintiffs were entitled to seek damages even though they themselves behaved illegally or immorally. Interestingly, “the majority noted that most, if not all, of the plaintiffs admitted their abuse of controlled substances occurred before they sought help at Mountain Medical Center,” according to the AP. Justice Allen Loughry, who dissented along with Justice Menis Ketchum, wrote: “There are no even remotely innocent victims here.”   read more
  • DEA Operatives Accused of Secretly Operating New Jersey Strip Club

    Friday, May 22, 2015
    Polos spent 24 years with the DEA, recently as assistant special agent-in-charge of a joint task force on illegal narcotics. Glover is a telecommunications specialist who has spent 17 years with the DEA. But neither revealed on a national-security form that they owned and operated the Twins Plus Go-Go Lounge which featured “scantily clad and sometimes topless women.” Had they told superiors about the strip club, they likely would have lost their security clearance and, thus, their jobs.   read more

U.S. and the World

  • Is Prosecution or Rehabilitation the Better Response to Home-Grown Terrorist Recruits?

    Saturday, May 23, 2015
    The prosecutor in the case, U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger, had previously opposed rehabilitation over prison for another Somali-American, Abdullahi Yusuf, who also wanted to join IS. Luger appears to have had a change of heart however, and hopes to fight the recruitment of young people by IS with programs such as mentoring and job counseling. The federal government estimates that between 150 and 180 Americans have tried to leave the country and join up with groups fighting in Syria.   read more
  • Release of Warren Report on U.S. Labor Protection Failures Aims to Counter Obama Fast Track Authority for TPP Passage

    Friday, May 22, 2015
    Warren claims the GAO, along with the Labor and State departments, have documented “significant and persistent problems with labor abuses in countries with which we have FTAs.” However, the report notes that the U.S. seldom tries to enforce fair labor provisions. Warren has also objected to the lack of transparency about the exact provisions of the TPP: “We’re being asked to grease the skids for a deal that’s basically done but is being held in secret until after this vote."   read more
  • Obama Promises U.S. Military will Defend Rich Arab Dictatorships

    Monday, May 18, 2015
    High officials from six Persian Gulf countries got assurances from President Barack Obama that the United States would respond, perhaps with military force, to an “external threat” to any of the countries. Amnesty International has cataloged human rights abuses in each of those countries.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration: Who Is Chuck Rosenberg?

    Sunday, May 24, 2015
    Beginning in 2007, he served as chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Rosenberg left again for the private sector in 2008, defending white-collar criminals as a partner at Hogan Lovells. Rosenberg returned in 2013 to work for James Comey again, this time as chief of staff and counselor to the FBI director. Unlike his predecessor, as leader of the DEA, Rosenberg is expected to focus more on heroin and harder drugs and less on enforcement of marijuana laws.   read more
  • Director of the Minority Business Development Agency: Who Is Alejandra Castillo?

    Sunday, May 24, 2015
    Castillo joined the Commerce Department in 2008 as special advisor to Christopher Padilla, the under secretary for the U. S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. In 2010, Castillo was named national deputy director of Minority Business Development Agency, and was moved up to the directorship in 2014.   read more
  • Director of the Transportation Security Administration: Who Is Peter Neffenger?

    Saturday, May 23, 2015
    Neffenger went on to serve as the Coast Guard’s director of strategic management and doctrine and by 2010 he was the Coast Guard’s deputy commandant for operations and deputy national incident commander and worked on much of that service’s response to the April 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. In May 2014, he was made vice commandant of the Coast Guard, that service’s No. 2-ranking officer, a post he held until his nomination as TSA director.   read more