Monday, November 26, 2012

Affordable Care Act’s Value-Based Purchasing Summary Reports Available: but not to the Public

Here’s a Press Release from King & Spaulding announcing the VBP scores the Government will be calculating for each hospital as required by ACA.  The scores will rank your community’s Hospital on a Quality Score that will by the government to reduce the Medicare reimbursement to your hospital. 

Per a comment from local Healthcare guru CSteven Tucker, the Independent Payment Advisory Board will get these scores, and can use them for the algorithms they’ll build defining just what’s “quality” healthcare, but everyday citizens trying to make their own decisions won’t have access.

Just another murky and secretive feature of ACA that those folks funded by AARP at Illinois Health Matters ought to come clear on to the public.

Below, per King & Spaulding (link follows),

On November 7, 2012, CMS posted notice announcing that actual percentage payment summary report for fiscal year (FY) 2013 Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) program was available on its QualityNet website.  The report provides information to FY 2013 VBP Program participating hospitals of their actual, as opposed to estimated, Total Performance Score (TPS) and incentive payment adjustment for the first year of the VBP program.  Hospitals must request a recalculation of their performance scores on each condition, domain, and TPS within 30 calendar days of the date on which their Value-Based Percentage Payment Summary Report is posted on QualityNet.  An adverse determination from CMS on such recalculation request is a prerequisite to appeal.  Therefore, failure to request recalculation within 30 days of posting on QualityNet will result in waiver of any future appeal of those issues.

CMS’s notice is available here.

CMS Issues Notice That Value-Based Purchasing Summary Reports for FY13 Are Now Available | King & Spalding - JDSupra

Illinois Pay to Play: Eavesdropping on the Sun Times Chutzpa

Illinois Pay to Play speculating Carol Marin doing some heavy lifting for the Mayor on the case of Annabel Melongo using the Safe-a-Life Scandal as club.

Eavesdropping on the Sun Times Chutzpa «

Nathan Englander's New Play 'The Twenty-Seventh Man' Stages Soviet Literary Murder – Tablet Magazine

This sounds worth a trip to NYC to see,

Nathan Englander packs big themes into small places. The Twenty-Seventh Man, a 90-minute play that runs through Dec. 9 at the Public Theater, is a fictionalized account of Stalin’s murder of 26 of the Soviet Union’s most gifted Yiddish writers. Based on Englander’s short story of the same title, the play is performed on a compact stage that feels almost claustrophobic, which is clearly director Barry Edelstein’s intent. Almost all of the “action”—lots of talk about writing and writers, politics and destiny—takes place in a windowless cell in a Soviet prison in 1952 as the writers await their fate. Compression, in time and place, is one of those aesthetic tools that Englander uses to evoke his play’s quintessentially Jewish notes of tragic irony.

The Twenty-Seventh Man is based on a real incident—“The Night of the Murdered Poets,” about which too little is known. The name refers to the evening on which Stalin executed 26 Yiddish writers in the summer of 1952, only months before his own death. Among them were several of the Yiddish language’s greatest poets, playwrights, novelists and journalists—Peretz Markish, Leib Kvitko, Dovid Bergelson, Itzik Fefer, David Hofshteyn, Benjamin Zuskin, Leon Talmy, and Ilya Vatenberg. Where and how they died remained unknown until the collapse of the Soviet Union. But their murders were said to have ended a Yiddish literary and artistic culture without equal anywhere in the world. Englander told one interviewer that since the writers were killed “without their last story being told,” he felt that “somebody should write them a story.’ ”

Nathan Englander's New Play 'The Twenty-Seventh Man' Stages Soviet Literary Murder – Tablet Magazine

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Congressmen: Jackson Jr. suffering tremendously

Congressmen: Jackson Jr. suffering tremendously

Suffering 'cause the Feds turning the screws on JJJr to talk.

'Satellites show Iran moving quickly to rearm ... JPost

Iran’s sending more Fajr-5 missiles to Gaza.  This hasn’t ended and could easily get much bigger.

'Satellites show Iran moving quickly to rearm ... JPost - Defense

Islamic Terrorists Bomb Egyptian-Gaza Border Base - Middle East - News - Israel National News

Islamic Terrorists Bomb Egyptian-Gaza Border Base - Middle East - News - Israel National News

Iran's play for Gaza.

Chicago Tribune reporter John Chase talks about Rezko's friend and sponsor

The dogged Ernie Souchak untangling Rezko’s story.

Chicago Tribune reporter John Chase talks about Rezko's friend and sponsor

William F. Buckley Against the World

William F. Buckley Against the World: Jeremy Lott remembers William F. Buckley Jr. on the occasion of the late, great Conservative Catholic's eighty-seventh birthday.

Chicago Daily Observer » Cratered Republicans will Climb Back in 2014

Russ Stewart’s take on the election over at Chicago Daily Observer. Hope he’s right.  I don’t really see the case on climbing back in the piece.

Chicago Daily Observer » Blog Archive » Cratered Republicans will Climb Back in 2014

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Jesse Jackson Jr. resigns from Congress, acknowledges federal probe

Jesse Jackson Jr. resigns from Congress, acknowledges federal probe

Seems like we should wait and see who he's taking down with him as part of the plea deal before the usual cast of suspects start angling for his seat.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Safety Net Hospitals Could Lose Money In Medicare Changes, Study Warns – Capsules - The KHN Blog

More on Affordable Care Act’s war on the poor.  Liberal / Progressive social engineering yield very Illiberal / Reactionary outcomes.

An accompanying editorial by Katherine Neuhausen, a family physician at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Mitchell H. Katz, director of the Los Angeles County of Public Health Services, warns that the financial losses could push safety net hospitals “closer to the brink of bankruptcy,” especially since the 2010 federal health law in October 2013 will start reducing special payments to hospitals that treat disproportionately large numbers of poor people.

“Safety-net hospitals that are already drained by the DSH [disproportionate share payment] reductions are likely to lose additional funds under this program, leaving them without any capital to launch initiatives to improve quality and patient experience. Over time, VBP [value-based purchasing] could worsen the disparities between prosperous non-SNHs and struggling SNHs. It would be a tragedy if the combined stressors of the DSH cuts and VBP trigger the closures of SNHs. These hospitals will still be needed to care for the estimated 23 million individuals who will remain uninsured even if health care reform is fully implemented…. The closures of SNHs would also be detrimental to the millions of insured Americans who rely on them for specialized services such as trauma care, disaster relief, burn treatment, neonatal intensive care, psychiatric care, and substance abuse treatment. These unprofitable services are more likely to be offered by SNHs than non-SNHs.”

Safety Net Hospitals Could Lose Money In Medicare Changes, Study Warns – Capsules - The KHN Blog

Illinois Policy Institute - Blog - Illinois’ pension debt grew by nearly $12 billion last year

Illinois Policy Institute - Blog - Illinois’ pension debt grew by nearly $12 billion last year

H/T Illinois Review

So how constitutional is an insolvent pension system?  Question for all of those fond of quoting the Illinois Constitution on pensions.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Iranian Blogger Who Told Supreme Leader Khamenei 'Your Judicial System... Is Nothing But A Slaughterhouse' Tortured To Death In Prison

Iranian Blogger Who Told Supreme Leader Khamenei;Your Judicial System... Is Nothing But A Slaughterhouse; Tortured To Death In Prison

via MEMRI,

After posting on his blog an open letter to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei accusing him of operating a murder industry against the Iranian people in the name of Islam, Iranian blogger Sattar Beheshti, 35, was told by Iranian authorities that he had crossed the line. He was arrested, and 10 days later, on November 6, 2012, it was reported that he had died in prison under torture.[1]

US, France assemble coalition to confront Islamists in Mali - The Long War Journal

US, France assemble coalition to confront Islamists in Mali - The Long War Journal

Check the video with now retired General Carter Ham of AFRICOM. Off to war in Africa without much consultation with Congress, and a General sacked from the command over Benghazi.

This is not off to a good start.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

15 members of Joe Berrios' family on county, state payrolls - Chicago Sun-Times

15 members of Joe Berrios' family on county, state payrolls - Chicago Sun-Time

One of those stories Main Stream Medias runs post election.


For Joe Berrios, the Cook County assessor who is also the county Democratic Party chairman, government is the family business. 
That got him in trouble with the county ethics board, which called for Berrios to fire three family members who are on his staff and fined him $10,000 for violating the county?s anti-nepotism ban by hiring two of them -- his son and sister -- after he was elected assessor in 2010. 
But the Berrios family's presence on government payrolls goes far beyond that. In September, his nephew Stephen Berrios got a job working for the Cook County judiciary. That made him the 13th member of the powerful politician's family on a county or state payroll, a Chicago Sun-Times examination of government records shows. 
And two of Berrios' siblings have recently retired from government jobs and now get public pensions. Count them, and that makes 15 members of the Berrios family who receive a total of more than $1.05 million a year in wages and pension payments, records show. 
All six of Berrios' brothers and sisters work for or recently retired from jobs with the county, the state or the Chicago Public Schools. All three of his children are state or county employees. So are three nephews, a sister-in-law and a brother-in-law.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Rep Fred Crespo’s shameless advice to the GOP

Geez, the Democrats have a majority, claim they're fiscal conservatives, yet instead of getting down to business explaining what they’re going  to do with this immense power, they’re out there giving advice to the GOP! 

Democrats can’t govern even when they run the table.  They shamelessly seek cover yakking advice to the GOP.

You own it Fred Crespo.  Do your job or go.
These might include rethinking immigration and social issues as well as creating a more unified front — or at the very least clarifying and modifying the rhetoric on these issues. Some suburban Democratic candidates have appealed to independents who find fault with the more traditional Republican policies and those who pushed them at all costs.  
“The key word is moderate,” state Rep. Fred Crespo, a Hoffman Estates Democrat who won re-election, told State Government Writer Mike Riopell. “It seems like the pattern is we’re all fiscal conservatives up here.”

Editorial: Seize the moment, state Republicans - DailyHerald.com

Politcal Healthcare's hammer slams down on Dr. Bellar

Seems the hammer of Political Healthcare fell on Dr. Bellar.  H/T Illinois Review.

Throwing Dr. Bellar under the bus for fear of retribution not at all far fetched in an Illinois where a Hospital Exec wore a wire for the Feds, or a Senator's wife made big six figures telling poor patients in a hospitals catchment area they should go else where for care.

No surprise here at all.  Providers woven tight with Politicans and have good reason to fear them.

Aafaq.org - Today: Women in Iraq are among the Major Users of the Internet

Via Aafaq.org - Today

As soon as the internet came to Iraq, Iraqis seized upon it, and began browsing.In a short time Iraqi women have come to be among its most frequent users in Iraq.And no sooner did the internet come into Iraq homes, than the proportion of users who are women increased even more.In the following, we cover what Aafaq learned from discussions of internet usage with a number of Iraqi women.

Three Republicans Urge House Leadership To Set Up New Health Care Committee

A committee with a fifth of the US Economy under its purview.

Three House Republicans are proposing to shift all health care jurisdiction away from the powerful Energy & Commerce and Ways & Means committees to a new Committee on Health Care, according to a 'Dear Colleague' letter they sent to Republicans Wednesday (Nov. 14), and are eying Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as a potential head of the proposed committee, a source close to the issue says. The lawmakers intend to offer the proposal as an amendment at the Republican Organizing Conference on Thursday, and the source says the idea has support from many of the outgoing GOP freshmen.

A health care lobbyist told Inside Health Policy there is little chance of such a committee becoming a reality. The Ways & Means and Energy & Commerce chairmen could not be reached for comment by press time.

The proposal is being pitched by Reps. Doc Hastings (R-WA), Rob Woodall (R-GA) and Reid Ribble (R-WI), who said in their email to Republican colleagues that the current committee setup is a “relic of decades of Democratic control,” and if the party is committed to reforming the federal government and repealing the Affordable Care Act, establishment of a new health care committee represents the best chance.

Three Republicans Urge House Leadership To Set Up New Health Care Committee

Teamsters weren’t fools on Hostess

H/T commenter WoodyWoodpecker2016 over at the Daily Herald. Teamsters weren’t idiots.  Sadly the Bakers were.  The Brand will survive but these jobs are gone.

The company, founded in 1930, is fighting battles beyond labor costs, however. Competition is increasing in the snack market, while Americans are increasingly conscious about healthful eating. Hostess also makes Dolly Madison, Drake’s and Nature’s Pride snacks.

The Teamsters union is urging the bakers union to hold a secret ballot on whether to continue striking. Citing its financial experts who had access to the company’s books, the Teamsters say that Hostess’ warning of liquidation is “not an empty threat or a negotiating tactic” but a certain outcome if workers keep striking.

Hostess warned that it would begin closing operations as early as Tuesday.

Striking workers defy Hostess’ demands | Indianapolis Star | indystar.com

Friday, November 16, 2012

Nation Horrified To Learn About War In Afghanistan While Reading Up On Petraeus Sex Scandal | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

H/T Steve Weintraub

Sometimes satire all too true.

Nation Horrified To Learn About War In Afghanistan While Reading Up On Petraeus Sex Scandal | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

Insurance Lobbyist Pressuring MO GOP On Obamacare State Exchanges (Blues should remember Evelyn Knoob)

Dana picks up an email from David Smith, Director of Governmental Affairs, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, putting the screws on the Mo Senate to set up a Health Exchange.

As the Government Contractor standing to make immense profits off the Affordable Care Act they’re also assuming an immense risk to their brand when ACA goes south with mismanagement.  Poor David Smith’s going to have his hands filled with complaints and IG investigations.

Long ago, on a much smaller scale, I remember Evelyn Knoob and the disaster with EDS claims processing in Marion Illinois.  The Blues are going to be under immense pressure to implement ACA now, and they’ll be raking in an immense about of dollars. Failures will not be treated kindly.

David Smith inserting the blues into our divided politics of the moment, seems one foolish thing to do.

Wake up BCBS.  Your going to come under some very intense scrutiny now.  One misstep and your brand’s going to be toast.

Insurance Lobbyist Pressuring MO GOP On Obamacare State Exchanges | The Dana Show

Feds ‘going down every rat hole’ in Jesse Jackson Jr. probe: source - Chicago Sun-Times

Feds ‘going down every rat hole’ in Jesse Jackson Jr. probe: source - Chicago Sun-Times

That's a lot of holes.  Imagine the panic among the other rats.

Liberated Kafranbel, Syria

People the US is letting down in Syria.  They will be pushed into the unknown and it won't be good for them, us, or anyone in the Middle East.


Anti-Israel Protest at Obama HQ in Chicago

Rebel Pundit covers the anti-Israel demo in front of Obama HQ in the loop.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Illinois Pay to Play: Meet John Doe

Illinois Pay to Play finds a fellow pictured with George Bush long ago filing a suit for defamation against the Sun Times under the name John Doe.

Strange story but heck we're in Illinois and a state with plenty strange politics.

NO Barbara Stanwyck in this tale though.  Nothing pretty at all coming I suspect.

Pakistan to restore NATO's Afghan oil supply line after 12-month hiatus - Threat Matrix

Shellacked by the Paks I’d say.  Pakistan with a nasty problem shooting Muslims who don’t quite fit the Deobandi narrative of what’s Muslim.

Via Bill Roggio’s indispensible Long War Journal (link at bottom of post),

After a 12-month blockade, the flow of oil through NATO's Pakistani supply lines is due to resume by the end of this month, according to the Express Tribune. The first two test-run tankers made it through the Torkham crossing in Khyber last week. "Officials cited multiple reasons [for the stoppage] including security issues faced by drivers and oil tankers on the route through Pakistan," the Express Tribune report stated.

As we noted back in July, the deal with Pakistan for the reopening of the supply lines involved sweeteners beyond Clinton's apology, including but not limited to: the release of $1.1 billion in withheld funds for Pakistan's counterterrorism efforts; reimbursements to Pakistani truckdrivers to the tune of $6,000 per truck stranded by the closure of the supply lines; and authorizing Pakistan to inspect every NATO vehicle passing through its territory.

And as we also observed, the deal also included the stipulation that the supply lines through Pakistan would not be available after the 2014 deadline set for the withdrawal of Coalition forces from Afghanistan. Pakistan seeks to hold the US to its 2014 withdrawal date and to limit, by means including control over supply routes, US influence in Afghanistan.

Our conclusion then still applies: "The bottom line is that Pakistan has manipulated the supply route issue -- which even the Taliban have called a "drama" orchestrated by the Pakistani government -- to continue to siphon billions of US dollars while at the same time maintaining Pakistan's jihadist proxies in Afghanistan and elsewhere."

Pakistan to restore NATO's Afghan oil supply line after 12-month hiatus - Threat Matrix

Cullerton to Civic Committee: Turn your sights on GOP lawmakers opposed to pension 'cost shift' - Sun-Times Politics

A bit too coy of Cullerton: shift the costs to local districts on deals they neither made, or have much control over.  Just shift ‘em the costs and I bet the plan is let them going belly-up.  Much easier for a local district to go bankrupt than the whole State.  The poor suffer the most here.  It’s their communities that will pay the price.  Leave this mess to the Democrats and their now veto proof majorities in both chambers.  They made this mess.  Voters made Madigan and Cullerton the two most powerful men in Illinois Politics.  They should man up and figure it out.  It’s all theirs now.

Via the Sun Times…..

"Democratic leaders were poised to pass Civic Committee-approved pension fixes in May," Cullerton said. "In fact, the Senate passed significant reforms to the State Employees' Retirement System and their own pensions. And while the Civic Committee endorsed reforms that included asking local school districts and universities to pay their fair share of pension costs, Republican leaders still haven't offered their support.

"The Civic Committee's post-election condemnation on political courage would be more appropriate if it were directed to those leaders," he said.

Cullerton to Civic Committee: Turn your sights on GOP lawmakers opposed to pension 'cost shift' - Sun-Times Politics

Jackson Jr. won’t resign until he gets disability pay: EXCLUSIVE - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Jackson Jr. won’t resign until he gets disability pay: EXCLUSIVE - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Pretty bold of him.  I wonder it there's a review of his severity of illness to see if it warrants Residential Treatment under his insurance plan?

Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections

A nice resource I’ve added to my links section.

Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections

President Obama's silly, sexist defense of Susan Rice

Kirsten Powers on one of the odder moments in yesterday’s presser.  I’d also add I’m aghast the FBI would investigate the Director CIA w/o letting the Prez now asap.  The O was almost certainly lying there when he yacked about FBI protocols on criminal investigations.

From Powers (link below) on Ambassador Rice,

As the president expressed outrage over the atrocity of members of Congress holding administration officials accountable, he said, "I'm happy to have that discussion with them. But for them to go after the U.N. ambassador? Who had nothing to do with Benghazi?"

Feast on those words for a second:  The U.N. Ambassador had "nothing to do with Benghazi."  At this point, the White House press corps should have flown into a frenzy, demanding to know why a person who had nothing to do with Benghazi was put on five Sunday talk shows as...the face of Benghazi! 

This was an issue that had people scratching their heads the day of the Rice interviews, and plenty of questions were asked as to where Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was, and why Rice was put out instead. The administration at the time acted as though there was nothing remarkable about it, even though there clearly was.  

But now we know -- straight from the lips of the president of the United States -- that they sent out a person who knew "nothing" about Benghazi to explain an atrocious attack against the United States that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans serving their country abroad.

No temper tantrum from the White House on the insult of being questioned about a terror attack against the U.S. abroad would be complete without  their perennial favorite: the straw man. 

The conceit of Obama's argument is that people are picking on a helpless girl -- a lowly U.N. ambassador -- because they are afraid of the big bad president.  

Oh, please. 

President Obama's silly, sexist defense of Susan Rice | Fox News

Marathon Pundit: Chicago Teachers Union a co-sponsor of the Teaching for Social Justice Curriculum Fair

I can’t think of a greater injustice than what passes for Education in Chicago with CTU leading the way in the oppression of our kids. MP on the latest from Teachers for Social Justice.

Marathon Pundit: Chicago Teachers Union a co-sponsor of the Teaching for Social Justice Curriculum Fair

Gov. Jindal: Romney ‘absolutely wrong’ to blame loss on Obama ‘gifts’ for voters - The Hill's Video

Gov. Jindal: Romney ‘absolutely wrong’ to blame loss on Obama ‘gifts’ for voters - The Hill's Video

Jindal's got it right.  Romney needs to retire.

Kiva and Campton Hills

Via the DH on the proposed drug treatment facilities just down the road from me.  I have absolutely no issues with what Kiva’s proposing.  I think it can only be an asset for the community and region and I’m taken aback at the opposition to this service.  I hope the board does what’s right here and allows Kiva in.

A 96-bed drug treatment center proposed for Campton Hills gained a key recommendation from the plan commission last week, but people opposing the facility are not giving up.

Village trustees will meet Tuesday to discuss setting a future date to consider the Kiva Recovery Center, which is proposed for the 120-acre site formerly home to the Glenwood School for Boys on Silver Glen Road.

Village President Patsy Smith said Nov. 27 is a possibility for the Kiva meeting, but a decision will be made next week.

Foes want vote on proposed Campton Hills rehab center - DailyHerald.com

. . . With Both Hands: Media Mum on Protected Codes of Silence, But Can't Shut Up About Alleged Cop Omerta

Pat Hickey on the schools of silence in Chicago.  We are a community of scams it seems.   Algen’s City on the Make ‘cept we no longer make much and there’s only so much hustlers can sponge out of stagnant business.  Things look Algren-like bleak in Illinois.

. . . With Both Hands: Media Mum on Protected Codes of Silence, But Can't Shut Up About Alleged Cop Omerta

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

European-style austerity: Obama’s new ‘balanced’ debt plan is 73% tax hikes

European-style austerity: Obama’s new ‘balanced’ debt plan is 73% tax hikes

Tought times ahead....  via Jim Pethokoukis,

Even if you include interest savings, 60% of the debt reduction comes from tax hikes. Obama is making the exact mistake Europe is making by employing a tax-hike heavy version of fiscal austerity. Indeed, a 2010 analysis by AEI scholars found that successful fiscal consolidations are heavy on spending cuts, light on tax hikes. Even Bill Clinton’s debt reduction plan was 2-1 in favor of spending cuts. The Obama plan is dangerously unbalanced, especially given the weak economic recovery.

Comrade Jesse Sharkey in kahoots with the Capitalist Press

They aren't making Trokskyists any more the way I remember them.  Here's International Socialists Organization's Jesse Sharkey going mum when questioned about his politics, and then NBC's Charlie Wojciechowski slamming Breitbart for asking questions.

Compare the political cowardice today with the Socialist Worker Party's Fred Halstead, years ago, explaining Socialism and Marxism on Bill Buckley's Firing Line in the 70s.  A decade when the Left not shy about their convictions, and proud about what they stood for. 

I can hear the groans now over at German Waldheim of the old Radicals lamanting a Left no longer with the conviction to speak its mind, and instead hiding under the covers of big Media.






William Buckley Show with Socialist Workers Party Presidential Candidates from asi somburu on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Christine Radogno: Pension shift plan a ‘disaster’ - Southtown Star

Senator Radogno writes,

House Speaker Mike Madigan’s continued push for shifting the costs of teachers’ pensions onto local school districts should scare the daylights out of suburban property taxpayers.

Under the guise of “pension reform,” Madigan (D-Chicago) and Gov. Pat Quinn would shift hundreds of millions in pension costs to local districts — forcing massive cuts or property tax increases onto suburban and downstate homeowners.

It makes sense for school districts to have “skin in the game,” but pension benefits are set by the Illinois General Assembly. To allow politicians in Springfield to set the benefits, but send the bill to suburban property taxpayers, is a recipe for disaster.

Illinois desperately needs public employee pension reform. But we cannot allow decades of mismanagement to be shoved onto the suburban and downstate property taxpayers and call it “reform.”

Chicago property taxpayers do pay for Chicago Public Schools pension benefits. But CPS is also the beneficiary of state funding not available to suburban and downstate school systems.

The pension cost shift being pushed by Quinn, Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) and their Democrat allies in the House and Senate will ease the pension burden on the state — freeing up cash to pay for more spending.

But it shouldn’t come from suburban and downstate property taxpayers.

State Sen. Christine Radogno (R-Lemont)

Senate Minority Leader

Forum: Pension shift plan a ‘disaster’ - Southtown Star

When Madigan and Cullerton shift the pension costs onto municipalities, maybe they should just shift management of the plans onto communities too.  We’ll get stuck with the funding now either way.  Maybe we should grab the right to define the benefit too.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

John Batchlor on Petreaus and the link to Syrian Arms Transfers

Batchlor says,
“Benghazi is not about Libya, Benghazi is about the policy of the Obama administrtion to involve the United States without clarity to the Americvan people, not only in Libya but throughout the whole of the Arab world now in turmoil,” Baxter told Kudlow. “Benghazi is about the NSC directing an operation that is perhaps shadowy, perhaps a presidential finding, perhaps doesn’t, that takes arms and men and puts them into Syria in the guise of the Free Syria Army.”
Makes more sense than affair to me. Might even be a good thing to do. But the Prez is in a bad habit of not keeping Congress in the loop.


Update:  Another take here at Stop Making Sense: There’s A Reason Why All Of The Reports About Benghazi Are So Confusing ~ Business Insider

Thursday, November 08, 2012

If JJJr flips, who's he take down?

Just curious who readers might think JJJr would take down under a plea deal with the Feds.  Waiting for the even insightful folks over at Illinois Pay to Play to suggest.

Anyone else have thoughts?
--Bill

Chicago Daily Observer » Blog Archive » Ending The Cycle of Corruption in Ilinois

CDO quoting Matt Murphy on one of many agencies and panels Illinois ought to drop.  At best they waste money.  They’re nothing but patronage opportunities to pay off people.

It’s time to eliminate the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, the top Illinois Senate Republican budget negotiator said today.

State Senator Matt Murphy (R-Palatine) said Governor Quinn’s maneuvering to install a former spokeswoman to lead the sports authority is just the latest example of why it is time to eliminate the agency.

Chicago Daily Observer » Blog Archive » Ending The Cycle of Corruption in Ilinois

Sattar Beheshti dies after prison interrogation - Reporters Without Borders

Arrested for actions against Iranian National Security on facebook, and he died for it.

Jailed netizen Sattar Beheshti dies after prison interrogationBeheshti, a 35-year-old worker and political activist, was arrested at his home on 30 October by the FTA, Iran’s cyber police, for “actions against national security on social networks and Facebook”, before being taken to an unknown location. Security officers seized his computer. Beheshti was known to the police and had already been arrested during the student riots in 2002.

According to information received by Reporters Without Borders, the family came under pressure to bury the body quickly and was ordered under threat not to inform the media.

The 54-year-old Canadian-Iranian journalist Zahra Kazemi also died under torture while in detention in Iran, on 10 July 2003. She had been arrested on June 23 June while she was photographing the families of inmates outside Evin prison.

Jailed netizen Sattar Beheshti dies after prison interrogation - Reporters Without Borders

Americans Elect sets stage for next election, buys its first U.S. senator « Klein Online

Brenda Elliot’s first post over at Klein Online on the money behind the new Senator from Maine.

Americans Elect sets stage for next election, buys its first U.S. senator « Klein Online

Obama supporters celebrate no more Israel

Rebel Pundit talking to Obama supporters election night.

Crony Capitalism At Work Under Illinois’ Health Exchange? « Waking America Up Blog

via Ron Broska… H/T Cal Skinner.

Go read his whole post (link at bottom of this post). ( I’m “woke” because very good friend laid off from his healthcare related job yesterday and I haven’t been able to sleep)
Tell me these exchanges would turn out to be Stu Levine style sources of ongoing corruption.
A few weeks ago, several local outlets ran a story about, in a wonderfully bi-partisan move, a small start-up business was being recommended for a $150 million dollar federal loan so they could build Illinois’ healthcare exchange under the Affordable Care Act. ( http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20121011/INFO/310119991/illinois-governor-senators-back-proposed-health-insurance-co-op# )

The company, SimpleHx, was founded by a group of MBA candidates from Northwestern University last year. From looking at there website, www.simplehx.org, it doesn’t appear that they have any clients yet. Their website reads more like a business prospectus for investors rather than information on a fledgling business or non-profit. They refer to their “members”, but they make no mention of the names of their leadership. Somehow, this group has won the support of Governor Pat Quinn (D), Senator Dick Durbin (D), Senator Mark Kirk (R), Representative Jan Schakowsky (D), and Representative Mike Quigley (D). They are being recommended for a $150 million dollar loan from the tax payers to help make healthcare more affordable.
Crony Capitalism At Work Under Illinois’ Health Exchange? « Waking America Up Blog

Zawahiri says raids on diplomatic facilities were 'defeats' for US - The Long War Journal

Zawahiri' seems to escape those predator drones easily enough.  Production studio and all….

In a new audio message addressed to Shabaab, al Qaeda's affiliate in Somalia, Ayman al Zawahiri cites the raids on US diplomatic facilities in September as evidence of American weakness.

Shabaab has suffered setbacks in recent months, including the loss of its stronghold in the port city of Kismayo. But in what amounts to a pep talk, Zawahiri says Shabaab's spirits should be buoyed by the supposed losses suffered by America and its allies elsewhere.

"They were defeated in Iraq and they are withdrawing from Afghanistan, and their ambassador in Benghazi was killed and the flags of their embassies were lowered in Cairo and Sana'a, and in their places were raised the flags of tawhid [monotheism] and jihad," Zawahiri says, according to a translation provided by the SITE Intelligence Group.

"After their consecutive defeats, they are working from behind agents and traitors," Zawahiri continues. "Their awe is lost and their might is gone and they don't dare to carry out a new campaign like their past ones in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Al Qaeda-linked extremists have been tied to the three assaults on US diplomatic facilities Zawahiri mentions.

Zawahiri says raids on diplomatic facilities were 'defeats' for US - The Long War Journal

Monday, November 05, 2012

The Beachwood Reporter - Fact-Checking Rahm: How He Faced The Nation And Lied Through His Teeth

From the Beachwood Reporter’s imaginary interview (link at the bottom of this post) with the Mayor on Face The Nation. Not mentioned is falsely slamming the Muslim world with over reaction to this video about the most Islamophic thing I’ve seen.  It’s simply false.  There was no reaction.  This was a calculated assault by al Qaeda.  Radical Islamists who mostly kill Muslims they find of the wrong sort.

RAHM: And the events there are a human tragedy. It's an assault on America.

RHODES: Then we are at war?

A clear-eyed review of the coverage and official statements clearly show that the Obama administrations went to great lengths to portray the Benghazi assault as one of spontaneous mob reaction to a crappy anti-Muslim video. Why? Because a planned attack by Libyans upon a U.S. embassy in which the ambassador is killed is a Tet moment; it demonstrates an organized opposition capable of such attacks that belie the rosy story we've been told about the president's brave intervention there. A spontaneous mob action spurred by a video, on the other hand, posits an ambassador's death an "accident" in the chaos of irrational extremists, even if aided by "opportunists."

This is why this is important. We were misled - and not just to preserve the president's policy options (for example, not having to declare war on Libya or send troops or take retribution militarily, explicitly anyway, special forces are probably operating, but so the administration doesn't have to respond immediately and publicly) but also on behalf of the president's political imperatives, particularly this close to an election.

While the Republicans have failed to explain this dynamic, instead just repeating the apparent sin of not immediately labeling the attack as a terrorist act, i.e., taking the macho approach and trying to paint the president as weak and not standing up for America, the critique remains just as validly from a progressive perspective. But that perspective, one that takes great issue with the civil rights disaster this president has been as well as the radically right-wing foreign policy approach going further than Dick Cheney ever would have dreamed including kill lists and civilian drone bombing campaigns, is missing from the media discourse.

The Beachwood Reporter - Fact-Checking Rahm: How He Faced The Nation And Lied Through His Teeth

Obama Supporters Think His Policies Are Crazy And Immoral When Attributed To Romney

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Egypt arrests pro-al Qaeda jihadist tied to Benghazi suspect - The Long War Journal

Egypt arrests pro-al Qaeda jihadist tied to Benghazi suspect - The Long War Journal

See if the Administration will ask for extradition.

What laser capability did Benghazi team have?

More here on the laser capabilities. This will dog Obama after the election win or lose. Democrat Kristen Powers devastating here.
Sources who have debriefed the team that was at the CIA annex the night of the attack in Benghazi say that the CIA operators from the Global Response Staff, or GRS, were equipped with Mark 48 machine guns and had two types of laser capability. Each weapon had both a “passive” as well as a “visible” laser that could be used against the Libyan attackers.  
The presence of laser capability on the roof of the CIA annex confirms what Fox News sources that night in Benghazi originally said, which is that they had laser capability and for 5 hours and 15 minutes were wondering where the usual overhead air support was, especially since, according to this source, they radioed from the annex beginning as early as midnight asking for it.
The presence of lasers raises more questions about why air support was not sent to Benghazi even protectively once it became clear that the fighting had followed the CIA rescue team back to the annex. U.S. military officials say they "thought the fighting was over" after the team left the consulate and that there was a lull in the fighting.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/11/04/what-laser-capability-did-benghazi-team-have/#ixzz2BHFRcyoS

NYT's Jeff Zeleny: "There Is A Real Sense Of Enthusiasm For The Romney Campaign"


The most screwed-up State Rep race in Illinois

The most screwed-up State Rep race in Illinois

Doug Ibendahl shows why politics in Chicago's West Burbs always interesting: Luis Gutierrez endorsed Republican Angelo “Skip” Saviano in his race against Democrat Kathleen Willis in the new 77th House District.

Needless to say, Speaker Madigan's prints all over this one.  Ibendahl deconstructs this one in the link above.

FOX: Disconnect Between What We're Told And Aid People Are Receiving


African American activists protest Chicago's Racist-Liberal Media

Well, I do get the feeling local MSM's in Rahm's pocket. H/T Illinois Review


Police Report Filed Against State Senator Mike Noland Days Before Election - Illinois Review

Illinois Review (link below) picks up the story,

Building on allegations of sign theft in previous elections, a report was filed with the Elgin Police Department alleging that State Senator Michael Noland was seen stealing the signs of his opponent, Cary Collins, as well as those of Congressman Joe Walsh.

Noland was seen in Elgin on Tuesday afternoon, by Elgin residents Mike Walker and Larry Stonecypher, taking down signs near Chippewa Drive and Patricia Avenue, according to the police report HERE.

The police report goes on to estimate that Noland had up to 50 campaign signs in his vehicle that were from campaigns other than his own.

Police Report Filed Against State Senator Mike Noland Days Before Election - Illinois Review

Say’s something about the state of Noland’s organization (or his state of mind) that he’s out there all by himself.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Foster Laughs Off Domestic Abuse

H/T Illinois Review
CHICAGO - IL GOP Chairman Pat Brady is reprimanding 11th CD Democrat candidate Bill Foster for his surprise response when a caller during a CLTV interview asked about his ex-wife's report of domestic battery prior to their divorce. 
Wednesday night, Brady called on Foster to apologize to voters for laughing at serious accusations made in official court documents by his now ex-wife that he physically abused and emotionally harmed her.
See for yourself below.