The AP Says Rep. Aaron Schock, a Conservative Baptist, Used Donor Funds For Massages and Katy Perry Tickets

Life is good for GOP Boy Wonder Aaron Schock. Or at least it was until his financial ethics came under sustained fire.

First, in 2013, the Office of Congressional Ethics said Schock probably violated campaign-financing rules (the House Ethics committee still considers that affair an active query). Now, Associated Press reporters Jack Gillum and Stephen Braun have done some sleuthing of their own, and it doesn’t look good for the 33-year-old Congressman from Illinois.

Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock, a rising Republican star already facing an ethics inquiry, has spent taxpayer and campaign funds on flights aboard private planes owned by some of his key donors, the Associated Press has found. There also have been other expensive travel and entertainment charges, including for a massage company and music concerts.

The reporters employed pretty clever ways to gain insights into Schock’s spending:

The AP tracked Schock’s reliance on the aircraft partly through the congressman’s penchant for uploading pictures and videos of himself to his Instagram account. The AP extracted location data associated with each image, then correlated it with flight records showing airport stopovers and expenses later billed for air travel against Schock’s office and campaign records.

Asked for comment, Schock responded in an email on Monday that he travels frequently throughout his Peoria-area district “to stay connected with my constituents” and also travels to raise money for his campaign committee and congressional colleagues. … Schock’s high-flying lifestyle, combined with questions about expenses decorating his office after the TV show “Downton Abbey” [here, with pictures!] add to awkward perceptions on top of allegations he illegally solicited donations in 2012.



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Here’s the Raunchiest ISIS Recruiting Video You’ll See All Day

ISIS fighters love each other like brothers. Like passionate, sweaty, fabulous brothers. (Caution: crude humor and smutty words.)



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Girl, Possibly Just Seven Years Old, Is Suicide Bomber in Latest Boko Haram Atrocity

The effort to carve out an Islamic paradise in Nigeria continues unabated. The human toll over the past six years, since Boko Haram began its slaughter, stands at 13,000 corpses and a million displaced Muslims. Every day, the count goes up — and sometimes, so does the level of depravity. It certainly did yesterday.

A girl thought to be as young as seven killed herself and five others in a suicide bombing in north-east Nigeria on Sunday. …

The attack on a market in the town of Potiskum is the latest in a string of suicide strikes in which children have been used.



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Church of England Pays Some Workers Less Than the Living Wage It Tells Other Employers To Offer

Do as I say, not as I do:

The Church of England pays some staff less than the living wage — despite calling on employers to pay at least that amount – it has been revealed.

The living wage, calculated from the basic cost of UK life, is currently £7.85 an hour outside London. But the Sun newspaper reports a Church job advertised at £6.50 an hour — something an MP called “astonishing”.

The Church said each parish, diocese and cathedral was a separate legal entity which made its own decisions.

According to the Sun, Canterbury Cathedral advertised for a kiosk assistant to be paid £6.70 an hour. The … advertisement was for “waiting-on staff” at Lichfield Cathedral.

Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke told the newspaper: “It’s astonishing that the Church of England can call for the living wage to be paid by employers but don’t pay it themselves.”



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Ayaan Hirsi Ali Takes Aim at the Notion That Muslims Turn to Terrorism Because of Poverty and Bad Governance

In Time, Ayaan Hirsi Ali advises that, from the White House on down, U.S. policy makers come to grips with the reality that Muslims who become jihadis don’t necessarily do so because they’re victims of poverty, bad education, or bad governance.

President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have argued in recent days that economic grievances, a lack of opportunities, and countries with “bad governance” are to blame for the success of groups such as ISIS in recruiting Muslims to their cause.

But Hirsi Ali points out that there are plenty of countries where those conditions are all but absent, and they still have to contend with homegrown jihadists.

Both Denmark and the Netherlands have “good governance.” Denmark and the Netherlands not only offer free health insurance but also free housing to Muslim refugees, along with high-quality education for their children. This should produce an outpouring of gratitude by young Muslims towards the host society, and no Jihadists.

Yet there are dozens of Jihadists hailing from the Netherlands, and a recent attack in Copenhagen was committed by a man who was raised in Denmark and had effectively enjoyed years of Danish hospitality.

The question is not limited to Europe. Minnesota, for instance, is hardly a state with “bad governance.” Minnesota offers ample opportunity for immigrants willing to work hard. Yet more than a dozen young men from the Twin Cities area have joined the Jihadist movement in recent years.

I have been arguing the same thing for years (since long before ISIS arrived on the scene), based on the observable fact that jihadists — both leaders and foot soldiers — include lots of well-educated, often middle-class young men with degrees and/or bright prospects, such as Faisal Shahzad, Anwar-al-AwlakiNidal Malik Hasan, Mohamed Atta, Ziad JarrahAbu Hamza al-MasriUmar Farouk Abdulmutallab, and, most famously, Osama bin Laden, who was born into wealth and privilege.



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