Tuesday, February 04, 2014
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Somehow I think this guy knows what he's talking about too.
Monday, January 20, 2014
Just watched it and I give it too Dan Rutherford. He just seemed the most natural responding to the questions. I liked his answer to the Q on what TV character best described him (it was teenagers asking these questions). Rutherford said he didn't watch much TV but to be responsive he thought the old shows he had watched as a kid inspired him to travel the world. May sound off here in my description, but it was authentic. I guess Rutherford just came off as the most authentic here. Brady a second place, and Dillard just sounded like he wat trying too hard. Forget telling us all the neigborhoods you visit Sen. Dillard. Just tweet us the pics.
Good news via PSR below,
Lawyer Eugene Volokh reports that the ruling in Obsidian Finance Group v. Cox (9th Cir. Jan. 17, 2014) holds that, “all who speak to the public, whether or not they are members of the institutional press, are equally protected by the First Amendment.”
The relevant section in the ruling is as follows: The protections of the First Amendment do not turn on whether the defendant was a trained journalist, formally affiliated with traditional news entities, engaged in conflict-of-interest disclosure, went beyond just assembling others’ writings, or tried to get both sides of a story. As the Supreme Court has accurately warned, a First Amendment distinction between the institutional press and other speakers is unworkable: “With the advent of the Internet and the decline of print and broadcast media … the line between the media and others who wish to comment on political and social issues becomes far more blurred.” Citizens United, 558 U.S. at 352. In defamation cases, the public-figure status of a plaintiff and the public importance of the statement at issue–not the identity of the speaker–provide the First Amendment touchstones.
Friday, January 17, 2014
Lazare Ponticelli was France's last surviving WW1 Veteran. He passed in 2008.
Whenever the topic came up over the course of his biblically long life, Lazare Ponticelli always doggedly rejected the idea of being buried in a state funeral. But shortly before his death, under pressure from both the media and political leaders, he gave his consent for a solemn ceremony, "without much fuss and without a big parade, in the name of all those who died, men and women."Ponticelli was the last recognized veteran of in France, the last living survivor of the more than 8 million people who were called to arms by the French Republic. Of that number, some 1.4 million did not survive the massive slaughter. When Ponticelli passed away on March 12, 2008, in Le Kremlin-Bicêtre near Paris, at the age of 110, his death moved the entire nation.
From Der Spiegel's piece on the start of the WW1 Centennial year,
The survivors of World War I included Franz Warremann, a journeyman bricklayer from the northeastern German city of Rostock, whose grandson, Joachim Gauck, is Germany's president today. Warremann brought home a helmet from the front that had been dented when it was grazed by a bullet just above his left temple. He had apparently been extremely lucky.
The dented helmet has since been lost, says Gauck in his office at Bellevue Palace in Berlin, but the sight of it created such a strong impression on him that he could "still draw it" today.
When his grandfather got together with other veterans in the evening and they talked about the war, young Joachim was always surprised at how exuberant they seemed. How could they be so happy after those harrowing experiences?
Only much later did he understand that the men treasured spending time with fellow soldiers who had also looked death in the eye in the trenches. Only they could understand what it meant.
And that was why they were celebrating life.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Illinois Medicaid asks feds to approve 'sea change' in how it spends money
Illinois Medicaid has a bold plan to use federal matching dollars for everything from job training to repurposing nursing homes to help cut costs in the financially-strapped program. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, which administers Medicaid, revealed the details last week as part of a proposal that would give the state more flexibility in how it uses federal matching...
DOJ needs to put the audio and transcripts of all the tapes up online. Way too much history here that needs to be aired and examined.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Sgt Bowe Bergdahl rarely makes the news. Taliban just released video of him.
2013 NAEP test scores are in for Illinois. 2/3rds of Illinois 4th graders do NOT read at 4th grade level. Nearly 2/3rds of Illinois 4th graders CANNOT do 4th grade level math. With all of this talk about equality from the Left, what about equality of educational opportunity for children left to rot in school systems that do not educate and have not educated children for successive generations? How much longer shall we rationalize systems that discriminate and thus foreclose opportunities based on zip code and HH income? Per the Left's after-the-fact prescriptions for the ravages of central planning, they won't be able to raise the minimum wage high enough, extend transfer payments long enough, or create social welfare schemes expansive enough to retrofit adults with critical thinking skills they should've acquired as children.
Attacks were preventable based on known security shortfalls at State Department Mission in Benghazi
Analysts inaccurately referred to protests without sufficient intelligence or eyewitness statements, causing confusion for policymakers
18 recommendations to improve security, improve process for sharing unclassified information with policymakers
Lauren Claffey (Chambliss), (202) 224-3423
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
The report—announced by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.)—was approved by the committee in December 2013 by voice vote. The report includes 18 recommendations designed to improve security of American diplomatic and intelligence facilities abroad. In some cases, the State Department and the intelligence community (IC) have begun taking action to adopt the recommendations identified in the report.
The report is based on dozens of committee hearings, briefings and interviews—including with survivors of the attacks—and the review of thousands of pages of intelligence and State Department materials between September 2012 and December 2013.
Chairman Feinstein said: "The committee worked on a bipartisan basis to investigate the various allegations that have come out since the terrorist attacks in Benghazi in September 2012 and to get to the truth about what happened leading up to, during and after the attacks. I hope this report will put to rest many of the conspiracy theories and political accusations about what happened in Benghazi. I strongly believe we should focus on what really matters: honoring the four Americans who were killed, bringing the attackers to justice, ensuring accurate and actionable warnings of future terrorist attacks and making sure that all U.S. facilities personnel overseas have adequate security and protection."
Vice Chairman Chambliss said: "The committee's bipartisan report provides many needed and deserved answers to the American people, and most importantly, to the families of those killed in the September 11, 2012, terrorist attacks in Benghazi. In spite of the deteriorating security situation in Benghazi and ample strategic warnings, the United States Government simply did not do enough to prevent these attacks and ensure the safety of those serving in Benghazi. I hope that the Administration—and most specifically, the Intelligence Community, the State Department, and our military—will review this bipartisan report carefully and quickly adopt the committee's recommendations."
Key Findings of the Report:
- Significant Strategic Warning Provided by the Intelligence Community—In the months before the attacks on September 11, 2012, the IC provided strategic warning through numerous intelligence reports that the security situation in eastern Libya was deteriorating and that U.S. facilities and personnel were at risk in Benghazi.
- State Department Failed to Increase Security Enough to Address the Threat—The State Department should have increased its security posture more significantly in Benghazi based on the deteriorating security situation on the ground and IC threat reporting on the prior attacks against Westerners in Benghazi—including two previous incidents at the Temporary Mission Facility on April 6, and June 6, 2012.
- "Tripwires" Were Crossed, But Other Nations Kept Their Facilities Open Along with the U.S.—There were "tripwires" designed to prompt a reduction in personnel or a suspension of operations at the Mission facility in Benghazi and although there is evidence that some of them had been crossed, operations continued with minimal change. Some nations closed their diplomatic facilities in Benghazi as the security conditions deteriorated during the summer of 2012, but other nations stayed along with the United States, contrary to some public reports and statements that the U.S. was the last country represented in Benghazi.
- U.S. Military Assets Were Not Positioned to Respond in Time to Save the Four Americans Killed—There were no U.S. military resources in position to intervene in short order in Benghazi to help defend the Temporary Mission Facility and its Annex. Unarmed U.S. military surveillance assets were not delayed when responding to the attack, and they provided important situational awareness for those under siege during the attacks.
- The Intelligence Picture After the Attacks Contributed to the Controversial CIA Talking Points—In intelligence reports after September 11, 2012, intelligence analysts inaccurately referred to the presence of a protest at the U.S. mission facility before the attack based on open source information and limited intelligence, but without sufficient intelligence or eyewitness statements to corroborate that assertion. The IC took too long to correct these erroneous reports, which caused confusion and influenced the public statements of policymakers.
- Failure to Bring the Attackers to Justice—More than a year after the Benghazi attacks, the terrorists who perpetrated the attack have still not been brought to justice. The IC has identified several individuals responsible for the attacks. Some of the individuals have been identified with a strong level of confidence. However, insight into the current whereabouts and links between these individuals in some cases is limited due in part to the nascent intelligence capabilities in the region.
- The State Department must ensure that security threats are quickly assessed and security upgrades are put into place with minimal bureaucratic delay.
- Only in rare instances—and only after a formal risk management plan has been put into place—should State Department facilities that fall short of current security standards be allowed to operate, and facilities that do not meet these standards should be prioritized for additional security measures.
- The IC should expand its capabilities to conduct analysis of open source information including extremist-affiliated social media, particularly in areas where it is hard to develop human intelligence or there has been recent political upheaval. Analysis of extremist-affiliated social media should be more clearly integrated into analytical products, when appropriate.
- It is imperative that the State Department, Department of Defense and the IC work together to identify and prioritize the largest gaps in coverage for the protection of U.S. diplomatic, military and intelligence personnel in the North Africa region and other high-threat posts around the world.
- Intelligence analysts should more aggressively request and integrate eyewitness reporting—especially from U.S. government personnel—in the aftermath of a crisis.
- In responding to future requests for unclassified talking points from Congress, the Intelligence Community should simply tell Congress which facts are unclassified and let Members of Congress provide additional context for the public.
- The U.S. government cannot rely on local security in areas where the United States has facilities under high threat or where the host nation is not capable of providing adequate security.
- The U.S. government must swiftly bring the attackers to justice, in spite of the unwillingness or lack of capacity of the Libyan government to assist in this effort.
Friday, January 10, 2014
Rep. Reboletti, Rep. Anthony, Rep. Ives Press Conference (Legislation in Response To The Hiring of a Convicted Gang Member Within The IL Dept. of Corrections
Hard to count on the community to report gang activity to the cops when they fear gangs influence with the Politicans. Three Illinois Pols respond here to Quinn's hiring of Gang Members for the Illinois Dept of Corrections.