With letters like these…


I can’t imagine how these letters requesting leniency in sentencing for former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell are helping his cause.

The Washington Post reported Saturday on the letters of support daughters Jeanine McDonnell Zubowsky and Cailin McDonnell Young wrote to a federal judge asking for leniency in their father’s sentencing, which is scheduled for Jan. 6.

“Through my life, I have seen my dad wear t-shirts with holes in them, shoes with the soles falling off and pants that are too short,” Zubowsky wrote. “My dad is the least materialistic person that I have ever known and he has never cared about things … my Mom, in contrast, has always been concerned with getting discounts or freebies.”

via Bob McDonnell’s Daughters: Don’t Sentence Our Dad For Our Mom’s Faults.

I haven’t been following the trial to know if the federal judge sentencing McDonnell does or doesn’t believe Maureen McDonnell is indeed mentally ill and ultimately a victim of stresses of being isolated in public life exacerbated her condition. I do know the jurors thought the McDonnell’s were guilty.

I have no reason to doubt that their father is the least materialistic person Bob McDonnell’s daughters know. They could probably benefit from knowing a few more people.

You have nothing to worry about if you don’t…work for the senate


Lack of oversight affects senators too:

A panel investigating the Central Intelligence Agency’s search of a computer network used by staff members of the Senate Intelligence Committee who were looking into the C.I.A.’s use of torture will recommend against punishing anyone involved in the episode, according to current and former government officials.

The panel will make that recommendation after the five C.I.A. officials who were singled out by the agency’s inspector general this year for improperly ordering and carrying out the computer searches staunchly defended their actions, saying that they were lawful and in some cases done at the behest of John O. Brennan, the C.I.A. director.

You have nothing to worry about if you don’t…work for the senate

Why doesn’t DHS vet airline IT like Apple vets Apps?


A BuzzFeed intern and NYU senior recently claimed to have hacked Delta’s paperless boarding pass system by changing just one digit in a URL. “On Delta, you can change the URL of your boarding pass and get someone else’s boarding pass,” Dani Grant wrote in a Medium post. “Even if they’re on a different airline.” This seems crazy.

A URL Trick Let You Use Someone Else’s Delta Boarding Pass.

This is where the DHS can have value. Instead of thousands of under-tasked security guards doing what airline staff can be trained to do, they should be rigorously running airline IT through the ringer.

Gizmodo: “A Little Lead Can Make Graphene Magnetic”


That’s quite something. And it also has some very real and plausible applications. Magnetism lies at the heart of a lot of digital storage, and graphene could provide a bomb-proof material to make such devices from, or it could be used to create robust, nano-size magnetic sensors.

via A Little Lead Can Make Graphene Magnetic.

Is graphene the super “clean” material we need to help stem climate change? where do we put it? Is this more toxic than current alternatives if disposed of in the worst possible way? (Because as human beings have gone that’s what can we expect)

“Actionable Intelligence”


Torture is immoral. The CIA being authorized to use torture is immoral. That’s why we shouldn’t do it. There is no argument for violent sadism as a preventive measure that preserves any moral high ground including an appeal to our fears of being attacked by a terror cell. We are state sponsors of violent sadism, no matter the outcome of the torturing of prisoners. And if that’s okay with you, then fine, but that’s exactly what it is.

But it’s clear it was a waste. It’s also clear tortured prisoners were savvy enough to screw with us:

Before I get into the weeds, let me be clear: there are almost no black Muslims in Montana. Just 0.6% of Montana’s roughly 1 million people are African American, or about 6,100 total. Just 0.034 Montanans identify as Muslim (or around 345 people). Montana has both the fewest African Americans and fewest Muslims. It is almost certainly the least likely state to find black Muslims seeking to wage jihad.


A year after CIA decided KSM was not really going to have a non-existent cell of black Muslims start forest fires, the FBI nevertheless warned a bunch of Rocky Mountain states, including Montana, to be on guard for the threat.

via KSM Had the CIA Believing in Black Muslim Convert Jihadist Arsonists in Montana for 3 Months | emptywheel

This information is why every state has swollen counter terrorism budgets from DHS through a funding source known as the “State Homeland Security Program” (SHSP). Even after program wide cuts to SHSP, Montana still got about $3.5 million in 2013 and $3.7 million in 2014.

This would be hilarious if it wasn’t TORTURE.