Schocker: Rep. Aaron Schock Resigns In Expenses Scandal

Aaron Schock, a conservative Baptist, went down in ignominy today, after a journalist caught the Illinois congressman and GOP Boy Wonder doctoring his expense report.

Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock resigned Tuesday, less than 12 hours after Politico raised questions about tens of thousands of dollars in mileage reimbursements he received for his personal vehicle.

Schock billed the federal government and his campaign for logging roughly 170,000 miles on his personal car between January 2010 and July 2014. But when he sold that Chevrolet Tahoe in July 2014, it had only roughly 80,000 miles on the odometer, according to public records obtained by Politico under Illinois open records laws. The documents, in other words, indicate he was reimbursed for 90,000 miles more than his car was ever driven.



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Snake-Handling Pastor Andrew Hamblin Is Arrested for Terrorizing His Family With a Gun

A year and a half ago, Tennessee preacher David Andrew Hamblin, who handles venomous snakes as part of his faith, got in trouble with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. TWRA agents raided his Tabernacle Church of God and took the dozens of illegal snakes they found, including rattlesnakes and copperheads, to the Knoxville Zoo. Hamblin was cited for possession of “wildlife inherently dangerous to humans,” but a grand jury, deferring to his “religious rights,” declined to indict him.

Now Hamblin, 23, who appeared on the National Geographic show Snake Salvation, is getting more law-enforcement and media attention — but not over serpents.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested him after he made threatening gestures at his estranged wife and his mother-in-law, waving a gun around. He then fired two bullets at his in-laws’ house. Though a baby was inside, and the couple’s other children watched the scene unfold outside, no one was hurt.



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It’s Worth Taking a Full Minute to Learn How to Add 9 and 6: A Response to the “Common Core” Critics

Quick: What’s 99 + 47?

No calculators.

It’s 146. Of course it’s 146. You know how I know that?

Because I rounded the 99 to 100… and then subtracted one from 47 to make up the difference.

I sure as hell won’t do this:

That would be a waste of time when rearranging the numbers in your head is a lot faster. That’s what’s the math teacher in the video below is trying to explain to a news reporter using the numbers 9 and 6:

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Ted Cruz Thinks NASA Spending on Earth Sciences Should Decrease; NASA Administrator Tells Him How Wrong He Is

On Thursday, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), noted science denier and chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness, voiced his concerns with NASA spending allocation during a committee meeting. Of particular concern to the senator was an increase in Earth sciences spending. Presenting a chart that showed an increase from the 2009 budget to the 2016 budget of 41% in Earth science spending, coupled with a decrease over the same period in space exploration of 7.6%, Cruz (below) argued that space exploration is the core function of NASA. Current spending was not honoring that mission, he felt.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden didn’t see things quite the same way. He began by noting that NASA has been actively seeking cost reduction for launches, and has managed to drive the costs down. But studying Earth is a critical function of NASA he argued, that “has enabled us to understand our planet far better than we ever did before.”

He also emphasized that he was not committing to Cruz’s numbers, as there is more to space exploration than the chart might accurately encapsulate.



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I’m a Presbyterian Minister Who Doesn’t Believe in God

This is a guest post by John Shuck, a Presbyterian minister.

“How can you call yourself a Christian, let alone a minister?!”

I get asked that question frequently and the questioner is hostile more often than not. Still, I like to answer it if I believe the questioner is sincere.

Though I self-identify as a Christian and I am an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), I raised eyebrows a few years ago when I posted an article on my website about how my personal beliefs don’t align with those of most Presbyterians.

For example, I believe that:

  • religion is a human construct
  • the symbols of faith are products of human cultural evolution
  • Jesus may have been an historical figure, but most of what we know about him is in the form of legend
  • God is a symbol of myth-making and not credible as a supernatural being or force
  • The Bible is a human product as opposed to special revelation from a divine being
  • Human consciousness is the result of natural selection, so there’s no afterlife

In short, I regard the symbols of Christianity from a non-supernatural point of view.

And yet, even though I hold those beliefs, I am still a proud minister. But I don’t appreciate being told that I’m not truly a Christian.

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