Megachurch televangelists lay hands on Donald Trump, ask Jesus to vote for him


GOP presidential candidate and noted scumbag Donald Trump met with a bunch of televangelists, Tea Party “teavangelicals,” and preacher profiteers at his Trump Tower office Monday afternoon.

The elite group, which included some megachurch chiefs who have previously been investigated by the federal government for misuse of donations, prayed while performing the “laying on of hands” to infuse him with the Holy Spirit. The goal: Jesus, get our man elected. Read the rest

In Volkswagen emissions fraud scandal, proprietary software is the real villain


“Proprietary software is an unsafe building material. You can’t inspect it.”

Columbia University law professor Eben Moglen made that observation 5 years ago. It's timely today, as the Volkswagen emissions fraud scandal--enabled by proprietary software--worsens. Read the rest

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VW's car DRM let it get away with cheating on its diesel emissions testing


The EPA has accused Volkswagen of rigging its software to cheat the agency's diesel emissions standards so that its cars could be on the road while spewing 40 times the legal limit for diesel emissions. Read the rest

False weight scam captured on camera

Sneaky scales.

UK Tories forged letter of support in the Telegraph from "5,000 small businesses"

David Cameron tweeted it and the Telegraph published the letter on the front page, listing 5,000 businesses who endorsed the Conservative Party in the General Election, many of which weren't businesses, weren't supporting the Tories, were repeat entries, or were individual employees of businesses who were incorrectly presumed to speak for their employers. Read the rest

DEA and Secret Service agent charged in Silk Road fraud schemes


Former DEA agent Carl Mark Force IV and former Secret Service agent Shaun W. Bridges were charged this week with money laundering and wire fraud stemming from their involvement in the Silk Road dark web undercover investigation. Read the rest

Prisoner escapes by faking an email ordering his release

Neil Moore was locked up in England's notorious Wandsworth Prison when he used a smuggled cellphone to send an email to the prison that appeared to come from a court clerk who was ordering his release on parole. Read the rest

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FBI seizes LA school district's Ipad purchasing docs

It's not clear what they're investigating, but the DoJ subpoenaed everything related to the $70M program to give Ipads to all 650K kids in the district. Read the rest

Chicago schools lost $100M by letting Wall Street engineer their finances

In 2007, the school raised $1B, and instead of issuing bonds, it let the bankers who'd been courting it talk it into issuing a floating-rate bond that it swapped into a fixed-rate issue. Read the rest

Chip-and-PIN cards let nearby fraudsters steal $1M at a time

Visa's new Paywave chip-and-PIN credit-cards have a $1M limit on foreign-currency transactions that can be verified "in-card," meaning that someone who gets close enough to your UK wallet can simply wave a phone at it and charge a megabuck to it without raising any realtime security alerts. Read the rest

Larry "Wide Stance" Craig busted (again)

The former conservative GOP senator from Idaho illegally used his campaign funds to defend himself on charges of soliciting sex in a men's toilet in the Minneapolis airport. Read the rest

Eric Holder: creator of the "Too Big to Jail" bankster

While you contemplate Eric Holder's track record of surveilling, intimidating and indicting journalists, remember that he also invented the Too Big to Jail doctrine, the failed idea that the answer to breathtaking criminal activity by gigantic banks is big fines, not criminal prosecutions. Read the rest

Fake drugs and the plague that never lifts

To pharmaceutical firms, legitimate replicas and outright fakes are much the same: neither make them money. But to sufferers in the developing world, the difference is life and death. Charles Ebikeme on the big business of counterfeit medicine in the developing world.

GOP set up phishing sites to trick Democrats into donating to the NRCC

At least 16 fraudulent sites attributed to the National Republican Congressional Committee have been discovered. These sites, whose domains are the names of Democratic candidates, use large type and photos that make them appear to be fundraisers for those candidates, though the small-print text makes it clear that these are actually sites set up opposing their apparent candidates. The NRCC claims these are all fair game and blame Democrats for not registered their candidates' names as for campaign sites. But when there's a site at, with the words ANN KIRKPATRICK FOR CONGRESS and a DONATE button beneath it, and when that DONATE button sends money to Ann Kirkpatrick's GOP rival, the intent to deceive is pretty clear. Read the rest

The Edwardian fabulist who stole from the British Museum and got a whole species declared erroneously extinct

Meet Richard Meinertzhagen, a fascinating and disturbing character from the golden age of Edwardian science. I first learned about him last weekend, reading the Extinction Countdown blog. Meinertzhagen was single-handedly responsible for convincing a couple generations of scientists that the Indian forest owlet was extinct when it actually was not. How?

Turns out, Meinertzhagen had a habit of stealing taxonomic specimens from museums, altering them, and then resubmitting them to different museums as his own discovery, complete with fabricated information about where and when he found the animal. His forest owlet, for example, was an 1884 specimen swiped from the British Museum of Natural History sometime after 1925. He later repackaged the bird as his own specimen, collected in 1914. The problem: Meinertzhagen claimed to have found the forest owlet in an Indian state where the owlets don't live. Later researchers, upon not finding any owlets in that state, concluded the birds must be extinct. This assumption wasn't disproven until 1997. But that's not even the weirdest stuff in Meinertzhagen's biography ... Read the rest

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