Saturday, May 31, 2014

Are Homosexuals Born that Way?

Stand to Reason ^ | 05/31/2014 | ALAN SHLEMON
Lady Gaga’s mega-hit song “Born this Way” sold millions of copies affirming what many people believe: homosexuality is hardwired. In fact, people think that’s as axiomatic as saying the earth revolves around the sun. No rational person rejects the idea. The only hold-outs, it is said, are either ignorant of science, homophobic, or bigots (read: Christians). But before I explain why this view is beset with problems, let me make a tactical suggestion. Many Christians get defensive when someone says homosexuality is inborn. I understand the temptation to argue against this claim. But it’s a mistake to try to show it’s false, at least initially. That’s because the claim is not an argument. It’s just an opinion and, therefore, not necessarily true. In order for their claim to become a bona fide argument, it must be supported with evidence or reasons. So, instead of defending your convictions, make them defend their claim. Simply ask, “What evidence do you have that homosexuals are born that way?” Then wait and listen. This is totally appropriate and not just a rhetorical trick. It’s how the burden of proof works. Whoever makes the claim bears the burden to show it’s true. Since they’ve made the claim, it’s their job to back it up, not your job to prove them wrong. If they don’t have evidence for their claim, then it’s fair to graciously explain that their view is unreasonable – that they don’t hold their view for good reason. If they do offer evidence for their view, only then is it appropriate to respond with a counter-argument. With that tactic in mind, let’s look at three problems with the born-that-way theory. The first is the most egregious. A simple scientific fact-check demonstrates that no study has proven that homosexuality is biologically determined. Decades of research to discover a “gay gene” have been unsuccessful. It’s now uncommon for scientists to think that homosexuality is solely genetic. Perhaps the most powerful line of evidence is found in twin studies. Since identical twins have identical genetics, it would follow that if one twin was homosexual, the other would also have to be homosexual 100% of the time. But both twins are homosexual in less than 15% of the cases.[1] Not only is the genetic effect extremely low, but it also accounts for shared environmental factors. In other words, even saying that the genetic contribution to homosexuality is 15% is not accurate because identical twins are usually raised together and share a similar environment. In order to isolate the contribution of genetics, one would have to study identical twins raised apart. That way you eliminate the effect of their environment. It was also speculated that homosexuality had a biological basis. But research that correlates brain anatomy/physiology with homosexual behavior doesn’t prove causation. In other words, even if the brains of homosexuals have structural differences from those of heterosexuals, that might suggest their behavior changes their brain, not necessarily the other way around. This is possible due to neuroplasticity – the lifelong ability of the brain to change in response to the environment, behavior, brain injury, or even acquiring knowledge. For example, blind people’s brains have a different neurologic structure because reading braille using fingers is a different behavior than using eyes to read. What’s surprising is that pro-gay researchers and organizations acknowledge the dearth of evidence for a biological cause to homosexuality. The American Psychological Association (APA), for example, once held the position in 1998 that, there is “evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person’s sexuality.” However, a decade of scientific research debunked this idea and caused the APA to revise their view in 2009. Their new position reads: “Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors”[2] [emphasis mine]. A pro-gay group like the APA wouldn’t revise their statement unless there was overwhelming evidence that necessitated a position change. A second problem with the born-that-way theory is that even if true, it wouldn’t prove that homosexual behavior is moral. Consider that scientific research has discovered genes they believe contribute to alcoholism, unfaithfulness, violence, and even many diseases. Are we to believe that because there is a genetic contribution to these behaviors (or even if they were genetically determined) that they should be regarded as morally appropriate? Of course not. So, proving homosexual behavior is appropriate by appealing to a genetic determinant is equally spurious. This mistake in thinking is known as the naturalistic fallacy. You can’t get an “ought” from an “is.” Even if homosexuality is natural, it doesn’t prove it ought to be. And scientists who are attempting to prove homosexuality is inborn agree. Harvard geneticist Dean Hamer, himself a homosexual, says, “Biology is amoral; it offers no help in distinguishing between right and wrong. Only people guided by their values and beliefs can decide what is moral and what is not.”[3] Simon LeVay, a Harvard trained neuroscientist and also openly gay, concurs: “First, science itself cannot render judgments about human worth or about what constitutes normality or disease. These are value judgments that individuals must make for themselves, while taking scientific findings into account.”[4] A third problem stems from the mere existence of the “ex-gay” community. If homosexuality is, as many pro-gay advocates state, as inescapable as eye color, then how do they explain former homosexuals? Eye color is genetic, something that one is born with and can’t change. But sexual orientation is fluid, as evidenced by the changed lives of thousands of men and women. There are women who have had long-term, lesbian relationships with other women and then changed and became attracted to men. There are also men who have had same-sex attractions since puberty, spent a decade in gay relationships, and then developed attractions to the opposite sex. Many of these people have gone through some form of counseling or therapy, but many have not. The fact that even one person has changed is evidence that homosexuality is not hard-wired. But that there are thousands of individuals who share this experience is significant counter-evidence against the born-that-way theory. I know many of these people. They can’t all be lying about their life. Instead, what they offer is hope. Since many people are dissatisfied with their same-sex attractions, these changed lives represent an opposing voice to the cultural chorus that claims homosexuals are born that way.

Graduation Day for the Tea Party

blog.chron.com ^ | 5/30/14 | Mustafa Tameez
Tuesday marked the Tea Party’s graduation from an insurgent, grassroots movement touting a populist and anti-establishment message to actually becoming the establishment itself. With the dust settled from the Republican primary run-offs it is now plain to see: the Tea Party isn’t just a growing faction of the Texas Republican Party, it IS the Texas Republican Party establishment. Senator Ted Cruz and State Senator Dan Patrick, both Houston natives, are most certainly enjoying their graduation party; their leadership roles mean that they will now be the ones calling the shots. The Texas Republican establishment received an absolute shellacking on Tuesday night. The losses among the establishment include many of the most powerful and influential elected offices in Texas: Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and Agriculture Commissioner. Where the GOP establishment touted the qualifications and experience of its candidates, the rank-and-file voters favored the Tea Party candidates for their ideological purity, conservative bona fides and willingness to ‘shake things up.’ The former Republican establishment has lost its grip on these offices and we need to understand just how important this is. The Texas Lieutenant Governor is the most powerful elected position in the state. The Lieutenant Governor controls the legislative agenda, makes committee appointments, and has the leading role in the state budgeting process. The Attorney General is the highest law enforcement office in the state, and is intimately involved in the enforcement and practical impact of Texas law. The Agriculture Commissioner deals not only with agricultural issues, but also food inspection and disease and pest control, in addition to its historical importance in the rural areas of our state.
(Excerpt) Read more at blog.chron.com ...

Scientists Admit Polar Bear Numbers Were Made Up To ‘Satisfy Public Demand’

dailycaller.com ^ | 5/30/2014 | Michael Bastasch
This may come as a shocker to some, but scientists are not always right — especially when under intense public pressure for answers. Researchers with the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG) recently admitted to experienced zoologist and polar bear specialist Susan Crockford that the estimate given for the total number of polar bars in the Arctic was “simply a qualified guess given to satisfy public demand.”
(Excerpt) Read more at dailycaller.com ...

Is U.S. Chamber Of Commerce President Thomas Donohue An Idiot? Or A Scoundrel?

Townhall.com ^ | May 31, 2014 | Humberto Fontova
U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue was barely finished calling for the further impoverishment of American workers (i.e. “immigration reform”) when he shows up as a guest of Cuba’s Stalinist regime and gives a speech at the University of Havana calling for a further fleecing of American taxpayers (i.e. ending the so-called Cuba embargo.) “For years, the US Chamber of Commerce has demanded that our government eliminate the commercial embargo on Cuba. It’s time for a new approach,” proclaimed Donohue this week to an ovation from communist apparatchiks, some who in 1960 stormed into almost 6000 U.S. owned businesses (worth almost $ 2 billion at the time) and stole them all at Soviet gunpoint. A few American business-owners resisted. One of these was Howard Anderson who owned a filling stations and Jeep dealership (not a casino or brothel, which were relatively rare in pre-Castro Cuba, by the way.) I’ll quote from Anderson v. Republic of Cuba, No. 01-28628 (Miami-Dade Circuit Court, April 13, 2003). "In one final session of torture, Castro's agents drained Howard Anderson's body of blood before sending him to his death at the firing squad." The Inter-American Law Review classifies Castro’s mass burglary of U.S. property as “the largest uncompensated taking of American property by a foreign government in history.” Rubbing his hands and snickering in triumphant glee, Castro boasted at maximum volume to the entire world that he was freeing Cuba from "Yankee economic slavery!" (Che Guevara's term, actually) and that "he would never repay a penny!" This is the only promise Fidel Castro has ever kept in his life. Hence the imposition of the Cuba embargo, not that you’d know any of this from the mainstream media, much less from Thomas Donohue. The burglarized (and often brutalized) American owners filed those property claims against Castro’s regime with the U.S. government. They’re worth $7 billion today--and must be settled before the so called embargo is lifted. This settlement provision for lifting the embargo was codified into U.S. law in 1996 by the Helms-Burton act, which means only Congress can lift the embargo, obviously after a vote. But the votes are not there. Shouldn’t the President of an outfit like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce be aware of this? Or is Donohue calling for more of Obama’s “executive overreach?” “The reforms under Raul Castro’s government demonstrate that Cuban leaders understand that direct economic investment can be a powerful tool for economic development,” proclaimed Donahue to another ovation from his communist audience. Oh, Cuba’s Stalinist kleptocracy understands this alright. But this “economic development” via foreign investment exclusively benefits the tiny Stalinist nomenklatura that has run Cuba since 1959—and enthusiastically hosted Thomas Donahue this week. All foreign trade with “Cuba” is still conducted exclusively with the Stalinist regime—no exceptions. In fact private property rights still do not exist in Cuba, much less an independent judiciary and the rule of law. According to figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. has transacted almost $4 billion in trade with Cuba over the past decade. Up until four years ago, the U.S. served as Stalinist Cuba’s biggest food supplier and fifth biggest import partner. We’ve fallen a few notches recently but we’re still in the top half. For over a decade the so-called U.S. embargo, so disparaged by Thomas Donahue, has mostly stipulated that Castro’s Stalinist regime pay cash up front through a third–party bank for all U.S. agricultural products; no Ex-Im (U.S. taxpayer) financing of such sales. And that’s the catch with Donahue’s gracious hosts. They’re desperate to abolish that provision. Enacted by the Bush team in 2001, this cash-up-front policy has been monumentally beneficial to U.S. taxpayers, making them among the few in the world not screwed and tattooed by the Castro regime, which per capita-wise qualifies as the world’s biggest debtor nation, with a foreign debt estimated at $50 billion, a credit rating nudging Somalia’s and an uninterrupted record of defaults. Standard & Poors refuses even to rate Cuba, regarding the economic figures released by its Stalinist apparatchiks as utterly bogus. Just this year the Russians wrote off almost $30 billion Castro still owed them. Regarding the disconnect seen above between historic truth and Castroite propaganda, what we have here, amigos, is not a “failure to communicate.” Instead it’s perfect communication-- between Castro’s propaganda ministry and the U.S. media (and “business leaders”) to whom they issue press bureaus and visas, after careful vetting. These latter amply live up to their side of the bargain, “reporting” exactly what Castro wants them to report. A Spanish businessman named Fernandez Gonzalez has an interesting story that might serve as an education for Thomas Donahue, or for those who might fall for his siren song, as composed by the kleptocratic Castro brothers: “A few years ago, I created in the Hemingway Marina, a tourist zone near Havana, a bar/restaurant…then during a farce that would not hold water in any Western judicial system -- my business was taken from me and I became "an enemy of the people." Today, I remain deprived, without recourse, of the property that I steadfastly and honorably worked to create for many years. I don't want other foreign investors, who travel to Cuba under some siren song to suffer the same fate as I did. Thus I recommend, I beg, that you don't contribute with your money and knowledge to shore-up Cuba's dictatorship…Because there is not the slightest judicial guarantee. There is no Rule of Law that protects investors, nor anyone else. In Cuba, what prevails are not rights, but the will and whim of those who govern. The same thing that happened to business owners at the beginning of the revolution can happen, and does happen, to today's investors and businessmen.” One fine morning in February 2009 the Castro brothers woke up and decided to freeze $1 billion that 600 foreign companies kept in Cuban bank accounts. Another fine morning in April 2012 the Cuban regime arrested the top officers of Britain-based Coral Capital that had invested $75 million in the Castro brothers’ fiefdom and was planning four and luxurious golf resorts. These hapless (greedy, unprincipled and stupid, actually) businessmen find themselves with no more recourse to law than the millions of Cubans and Americans who had their businesses and savings stolen en masse in August of 1960 by Castro’s gunmen. After all, Che Guevara who served as Cuba’s “Finance Minister” during the initial mass burglaries of Cuban and U.S. owned properties explained the regime’s legal guidelines very succinctly in January 1959, when he served as chief hangman. “Judicial evidence is an archaic bourgeois detail. We execute (and jail and torture and steal) based on Revolutionary conviction.”

Jindal: Obama Told Governors He Doesn’t Trust the States

Townhall.com ^ | May 31, 2014 | Leah Barkoukis
Fox News’ Sean Hannity sat down with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on Thursday at the Republican Leadership Conference to talk about the accomplishments conservative governors have made across the U.S. “All of you inherited deficits you turned into surpluses, high unemployment now low unemployment,” Hannity said of Jindal and Govs. Rick Scott (FL), Rick Perry (TX), John Kasich (OH), Scott Walker (WI), and Nikki Haley (SC). “What can the Republicans in Washington learn?” Washington can actually learn a lot from states if they want to—it’s just common sense, Jindal replied. Lawmakers inside the beltway always talk about the things they can’t do, like cutting spending, repealing Obamacare, enforcing term limits, cutting taxes. “All that’s ridiculous. At the state level, we’ve done those things,” he said. The conversation then switched to trust. Jindal said that conservative governors actually understand and trust the American people. The Obama administration, however, doesn’t seem to trust the public to choose their own insurance, or their child’s school, for example. “When we met with him as governors, I asked him, why don’t you give the states more influence on accrediting higher education, to bring more competition in the marketplace?” Jindal said. “Here’s the insulting thing: In a room full of Democratic and Republican governors, basically, in so many words he said, ‘We can’t trust states. We can’t trust governors to protect their own people.’” Given the Obama administration’s efforts going after states for their voter ID and immigration laws, for example, Jindal’s claims aren’t that hard to believe. Jindal: President Obama Most Liberal & Incompetent In Lifetime

Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi Dodge

PJ Media ^ | May 31, 2014 | Andrew C. McCarthy
Is Hillary Clinton a charlatan or just the crappiest lawyer in Washington? As the Obama Left likes to say, that’s a false choice. There’s no reason she can’t be both.  The question arises thanks to yet another excellent report on the Obama administration’s Benghazi fraud by the Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes. The Benghazi fraud is a prominent subject of my new book, Faithless Execution , which traces the debacle from the president’s unauthorized, unprovoked, and ultimately disastrous instigation of a war against the Qaddafi regime; through his (and Secretary Clinton’s) recklessly irresponsible failure to provide security for the American officials they mysteriously stationed in Benghazi (a jihadist hotbed that is one of the world’s most dangerous places for Americans); through the president’s shocking failure to attempt to rescue Americans under siege on the night of September 11, 2012; and finally through Mr. Obama’s carefully orchestrated deception, in which the administration tried to hoodwink the country into blaming the murders of our ambassador and three other Americans on a video rather than on his calamitous policy of empowering Islamic supremacists. Steve’s latest report homes in on Mrs. Clinton’s infamous “What difference, at this point, does it make” caterwaul, emitted during tense questioning by Senator Ron Johnson (R., WI) during a hearing on Benghazi. Apparently, the former secretary of state struggles to rationalize this appalling testimony in her forthcoming memoir, Hard Choices. As notorious for taking no responsibility as for committing blunders over which accountability becomes an issue, Mrs. Clinton complains that her “What difference” yowl has been distorted. It was not, she insists, an exhibition of callous indifference; it was, in Steve’s description, “an attempt to redirect the questioning from its focus on the hours before the attacks to preventing similar attacks in the future.” Or, as Mrs. Clinton reportedly writes:
My point was simple: If someone breaks into your home and takes your family hostage, how much time are you going to spend focused on how the intruder spent his day as opposed to how best to rescue your loved ones and then prevent it from happening again?
As Steve quite rightly observes, this is nonsense. By the time of Mrs. Clinton’s testimony, the Benghazi Massacre—and, indeed, even the Obama administration’s fraudulent “The Video Did It” cover-up of the cause of the Benghazi Massacre—was several months old. We were long, long past the intruder-in-the-home phase. We were in the accountability phase—the phase of: let’s now establish what actually happened and why, so we can then figure out how to prevent a recurrence. Any competent lawyer knows that during the investigative and trial stages that follow a public debacle—to say nothing of an act of war in which American officials were derelict in responding to a murderous terrorist attack—the obligation of the witnesses is not to redirect the questions. It is to answer the questions. Any competent trial judge would have sustained an objection to the secretary of state’s evasive answer, striking it from the record as non-responsive. Mrs. Clinton is a crappy lawyer if she does not get that, since a first-year law student would. And she is a charlatan because the transparent two-step objective of her performance was, first, to dodge questions about her conduct and, then, to wail that the questions must cease because she has already answered them. Would that the Senate had better cross-examiners. One suspects that former prosecutor Trey Gowdy, who will chair the House select committee on the Benghazi Massacre, would have known to ask the right follow-up question that eluded Senator Johnson. To wit, “Secretary Clinton, how many times did you practice that little speech in front of the mirror before you came here today?” Then, after the smoke pours out of her ears, you keep asking the accountability questions until you get real answers—or, as in Mrs. Clinton’s case, until it becomes painfully obvious that the witness has no satisfactory answers. Did Secretary Clinton really believe her job was to steer the Senate’s questions rather than answer them? Did she seriously believe her appearance as a witness was the occasion for moving on to the matter of preventing a recurrence of—rather than establishing accountability for—the derelictions of duty that resulted in the killings of four Americans? If so, that is the easy part. Clearly, we should make certain that she is never again in a position of responsibility for the formulation of American foreign policy and for the protection of Americans serving our country in perilous places.

Pilot Lands a Plane [in a simulator] with His Thoughts

FoxNews/SciTech ^ | May 30, 2014 11:15 AM ET | // by Allison Barrie
Wearing a cap with lots of cables attached, pilots in the simulator were able to land a plane simply by looking at the screen and moving the control stick with their thoughts, correcting the plane’s position repeatedly until it landed. To achieve the breakthrough, the researchers connected electroencephalography (EEG) electrodes to a cap to measure the pilot’s brain waves. An algorithm created by Berlin Institute of Technology scientists enabled a program to decipher the brain waves and convert them into commands fed into the plane’s control system. Once it’s perfected, brain-controlled flight could reduce pilot workload and increase safety. Freeing up pilots’ hands would give them freedom of movement to manage other manual tasks in the cockpit.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.discovery.com ...

The worst week of the Obama presidency!

The Washington Post's Post Partisan ^ | May 30, 2014 | Ed Rogers,
This was probably the worst week of the Obama presidency so far. President Obama’s foreign policy reboot failed, the economy is in the tank, the VA scandal is a growing cancer on the presidency, criticisms of the administration’s forthcoming gratuitous plan to raise everyone’s power bill via regulations that will essentially shut down coal-fired power plants have already emerged, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned this morning and just a short while ago solid but beleaguered White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said he is throwing in the towel. How could things get any worse for Obama and the Democrats? In terms of impact on the 2014 elections, Obama certainly seems to be doing his part for the Republicans. And as the old axiom goes, never interfere when the opposition is in the process of destroying themselves. Unfortunately we are still several months away from the elections, and Republicans will still need a core message. With all the debacles, calamities, failures, mistakes and plain old bad policies associated with this administration and the Democrats generally, it’s easy to get lured off-topic and it’s hard to maintain good message discipline. Republicans should not take the bait. They should not be too distracted by faux-scandals like the accidental naming of the CIA station chief in Kabul. Republicans should not get caught up in the disaster du jour, nor should they pursue the VA fiasco as a scandal in the traditional sense. The systemic mismanagement within the VA is a political catastrophe – similar to what Hurricane Katrina was like for President Bush. No one at the Obama White House wanted to deprive veterans of proper care; they just don’t know how to govern. We should not overreach....
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...

FLOOD OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION MINORS TO COST TAXPAYERS $2 BILLION NEXT YEAR!

BREITBART ^ | 30 May 2014 | CAROLINE MAY
Illegal immigrants under the age of 18, including unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors, will likely cost taxpayers $2 billion next year, according to Reuters. With the Obama administration already grappling with a veritable onslaught of unaccompanied children crossing the southern border into the United State, the flow is only expected to grow. Reuters reports that administration officials are estimating that the number of these illegal immigrant minors are likely to double in 2015 to nearly 130,000, causing an increase in the cost to taxpayers from $868 million to $2 billion. In March HHS estimated that 60,000 unaccompanied minors would be caught trying to cross the border this year. In FY 2011 a vastly few 6,560 unaccompanied minors were caught attempting to cross the border. Many have pointed to the poverty and violence in Mexico and Central America as an impetus for these minors to see a better live northward to the United States. Customs and Border Protection commissioner Gil Kerlikowske admitted at a House appropriations subcommittee hearing in April, however, that Obama administration policies have also been a factor in the increase of illegal youths crossing the border unaccompanied.
(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...

Phony Scandal? Courts Open Window on the IRS’s Political Litmus Tests

Jonathan S. Tobin

Interest in the Internal Revenue Service’s outrageous practice of subjecting politically conservative groups to discriminatory treatment has died down a bit since the revelations about this scandal first hit the news a year ago. But a court decision that was handed down earlier this week about a similar instance of potential government misconduct may shed more light on the way the Tea Party and other right-wing organizations were given the business by Lois Lerner and the rest of what appears to be a highly politicized bureaucracy at the heart of our tax collection system.On Tuesday, Federal Judge Ketanje Brown Jackson issued the first substantive ruling in any suit that challenged the IRS’s pose of political neutrality under the Obama administration. The case concerns Z Street, a Philadelphia area-based pro-Israel organization that filed for tax-exempt status in December 2009 because of its role in educating the public about Israel and the Middle East conflict. The group’s founder Lori Lowenthal Marcus wrote in the Jewish Press this week about what followed:
On July 19, 2010, when counsel for Z STREET spoke with the IRS agent to whom the organization’s application had been assigned, that agent said that a determination on Z STREET’s application may be further delayed because the IRS gave “special scrutiny” to organizations connected to Israel and especially to those whose views “contradict those of the administration’s.”
Z Street subsequently sued the government and rightly argued that its constitutional rights had been violated because of the “viewpoint discrimination” that the IRS agent had openly displayed. Now after years of delays, Judge Jackson has ruled that by asserting that Z Street had no right to sue, the government had tried to “transform a lawsuit that clearly challenges the constitutionality of the process … into a dispute over tax liability.” She similarly dismissed the government’s claims of sovereign immunity.What has this got to do with the Tea Party and its complaints? Plenty.As the Wall Street Journal editorial page noted yesterday:
This ruling will force the IRS to open its books on the procedures it used and decisions it made reviewing Z Street’s tax-exempt application, procedures it has tried to keep shrouded. As the case proceeds, Z Street’s attorneys can seek depositions from many who have been part of the larger attempt to sit on similar applications by other conservative groups.
In other words, this case may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back of the IRS’s politically prejudicial policies. If an IRS agent can reject or stall a pro-Israel group’s application on the grounds that “these cases are being sent to a special unit in the D.C. office to determine whether the organization’s activities contradict the Administration’s public policies,” then no group, no matter what its political orientation or cause is safe from being subjected to a political litmus test designed by any administration of either political party.Z Street’s Marcus deserves praise for having the guts to persist in her challenge to the government for years even though the media had little interest in publicizing what appeared to be an outrageous example of how the IRS had become politicized under the Obama presidency. Last year Marcus learned she wasn’t alone when the news about the Tea Party broke. Now, as her legal process unfolds, Americans may get a better idea about how broken the system has become.Using the IRS to punish political foes is blatantly illegal. If, as we suspect, the Z Street case reveals the sort of internal email traffic that will reveal how widespread this practice has become in the last five years, perhaps even a liberal mainstream press that still thinks the problems at the IRS are a “phony scandal” will start to pay attention.

President Not Getting Enough Credit for Foreign Policy

Semi-News/Semi-Satire ^ | 30 May 2014 | John Semmens
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki lamented the perception that President Obama’s foreign policy has been plagued by incoherence and inconsistency, saying that “President Obama doesn’t give himself enough credit for what he’s done around the world.”  “Lesser minds are having difficulty comprehending the sophisticated nuances of the President’s world view,” Psaki contended. “They see the resurgence of al-Qaeda as evidence of failure in the war on terror. What they fail to understand is that if the United States is not perceived as threatening, that it is no longer their enemy, they will have no reason to attack us. And unlike during the Bush Administration, there have been no terrorist attacks on America since President Obama introduced his ‘smile turneth away wrath’ approach.” Some members of the media found Psaki’s perspective “laughable,” however, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean came to her defense. “There is no question that there are vast differences between the mental capabilities of different people,” Dean said. “President Obama is at the pinnacle of the human pyramid. It stands to reason that persons further down would have a hard time trying to figure out his thinking.” As an example of President Obama’s superhuman mental accomplishments Dean cited “the transformation he has wrought in Libya. For 40 years Gaddafi ruled that land with an iron fist, but with the skilled intervention carried out under President Obama’s orders a democratic and peaceful regime has supplanted his tyranny.” According to Dean, the fact that few would be inclined to agree with his assessment “only bolsters the case for President Obama’s genius. Historically, geniuses have always stood out from the pack. Many have been pilloried and persecuted as President Obama is being pilloried and persecuted for his vision of a better world.” In related news, Secretary of State John Kerry labeled Edward Snowden a coward for refusing to return to the United States where he faces the threat of prosecution for divulging that the US Government spies on its own citizens. “I think that a person who has objections to what his Government is doing has an obligation to air these grievances face-to-face like I did as a young naval officer in order to expose the war atrocities being committed by US troops in Vietnam,” Kerry said. The Secretary’s comparison may be inapt, though. While Kerry may have committed crimes, the Government never sought to try him—a circumstance that Kerry attributed to “both Nixon’s cowardice and the irrefutable truth of what I had to say.”

How Google Got States To Legalize Driverless Cars

Associated Press ^ | 5/30/14 | Justin Pritchard
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) -- About four years ago, the Google team trying to develop cars driven by computers - not people - concluded that sooner than later, the technology would be ready for the masses. There was one big problem: No state had even considered whether driverless cars should be legal. And yet this week, Google said it wants to give Californians access to a small fleet of prototypes it will make without a steering wheel or pedals. The plan is possible because, by this time next year, driverless cars will be legal in the tech giant's home state.
(Excerpt) Read more at hosted.ap.org ...

Hillary Clinton: I'm the Real Victim of Benghazi

Breitbart's Big Government ^ | May 30, 2014 | Ben Shapiro
(VIDEO-AT-LINK) Hillary Clinton may not be much at administering the State Department, but she’s certainly a pro when it comes to expressing outrage at her own persecution. For the woman who is supposedly the world’s most powerful feminist, her sense of victimhood remains surprisingly strong. That’s never been more true than in her new book, Hard Choices, which points out that she – not the four men who died in Benghazi, Libya, on the night of September 11, 2012 – is the victim. The Clinton camp reportedly leaked the 34-page Benghazi chapter of Hillary’s latest tome to favored outlet Politico. The portions quoted by Politico demonstrate an offputting self-pity and a false righteous indignation utterly at odds with Clinton’s actions as Secretary of State. According to Politico, Clinton writes, “Those who exploit this tragedy over and over as a political tool minimize the sacrifice of those who served our country.” Of course, the sacrifice of those who served our country wouldn’t have been necessary if Clinton had done her basic duty in protecting diplomatic facilities overseas. And when it comes to politicizing Benghazi, it was the Obama administration that repeatedly lied for weeks to the American people about the source of the attacks to continue portraying President Obama as tough on terror during election season. Hillary goes on to attack anyone who asks questions about her behavior during Benghazi, writing, “I will not be a part of a political slugfest on the backs of dead Americans. It’s just plain wrong, and it’s unworthy of our great country. Those who insist on politicizing the tragedy will have to do so without me.”(continued)
(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...