Thursday, January 31, 2013

Kirk on Hagel and Legitimacy of the Iranian Regime


Fed Economist Steps Into Dispute On Geographic Differences In Health Spending - Kaiser Health News

Fed Economist Steps Into Dispute On Geographic Differences In Health Spending - Kaiser Health News

The Obama administration and many prominent economists believe that as much as a third of the $2.7 trillion spent on health care may be due to wasteful practices of physicians and hospitals that could be eliminated without hurting patients. This is based on decades of research, principally by the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice in New Hampshire, showing that Medicare spending in some regions of the country is significantly higher than others.

The Fed study suggest the more obvious answer: some populations just sicker, and with fewer social resources to maintain or restore health.  What looks like waste to you, is needed care to another.

Why are Illinois Democrats so awful?

Why are Illinois Democrats so awful?

By a Democrat too....

Cardinal Health cutting 650 jobs in Waukegan

Cardinal Health cutting 650 jobs in Waukegan

Cardinal’s decision will cut 650 jobs in Waukegan, leaving about 700 there, a Cardinal Health spokeswoman said. The Waukegan production of surgical kits will move to South Carolina and Mexico, she said. The net job loss to the company will be about 100.

Surprise....

Execs named for Illinois health insurance nonprofit

Execs named for Illinois health insurance nonprofit

Gotta wonder how long these Execs can make this co-op go after the funding for the program's been pulled as part of the fiscal cliff deal.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Gallup Paid Hagel for Expertise on 'Wide Variety of Subjects'

Gallup Paid Hagel for Expertise on 'Wide Variety of Subjects'

Cruz to Rahm: Don’t mess with Texas

Cruz to Rahm: Don’t mess with Texas

FBI raids West Palm Beach office of doctor tied to U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez - Florida - MiamiHerald.com

FBI raids West Palm Beach office of doctor tied to U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez - Florida - MiamiHerald.com

January homicides - chicagotribune.com

January homicides - chicagotribune.com

A graphic of January's butcher bill.

Girl who performed at Obama inaugural events slain on South Side

Girl who performed at Obama inaugural events slain on South Side

Chicago's in the hands of barbarians now.

The American Spectator : Learning to Love Sequestration

Bergner on Sequestration: a foolish way to budget but maybe no more wiser than the way budgets put together anyways.

According to Professor Jeff Bergner, writing in the Wall Street Journal, “Some would inevitably argue that these cuts are unfair. Is the current budget fair? Everyone knows that a $3.6 trillion budget isn’t the happy result of Congress providing exactly what is ‘fair’ to every program.”

“The federal budget is the result of temporary and arbitrary political compromises, with each program funded as much as its advocates can get it and as little as its detractors can support,”says Bergner.

Bergner points out “There is no transcendent wisdom here, nor any argument that a federal budget that preserves the current allocation of spending, but at a slightly lower level, is somehow less fair.”

“Are we really to believe that a government that spent $2.7 trillion five years ago couldn’t survive a 3% cut that would bring spending to only $3.5 trillion today?” asks the good Professor.

Ergo, let it rip. Maybe it is time to start loving the sequestration.

The American Spectator : Learning to Love Sequestration

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Elkhart, Indiana: A Right-to-Work Recovery

H/T Illinois Review A lot of lessons here.

Betty's Blog

Betty Loren-Maltse is blogging..  link below… check her out.

Welcome friends ! I didn’t know Facebook has a 5,000 friend limit, which we all couldn’t fit on, so I had to get my own website. Now I have room for everyone. I am new at being a Webmaster so please be patient. Feel free to sign in and create a Nickname for yourself so that you can post some comments. Cicero folks get two pages – one for public viewing and one just for my eyes if you have a top secret comment only for me. If you have any suggestions for the site, let me know that too

Betty's Blog

Ron Paul calls US involvement in Mali 'undeclared war' — RT

I think our support of France necessary and a part of GWOT.  Important enough that Obama should be explaining to Congress and the American people to win support in a country tired of war.  War’s not tired of us though, but creeping into it no way to go. PS I need to get this viewpoint from RT?  US Media not talking about it….

Ron Paul said US assistance to the French intervention in Mali is a sign that the Obama administration is creeping into another war – especially since questions about the extent of US involvement remain largely unanswered.

­The recently retired congressman outlined his fears in his weekly column, “Texas Straight Talk”. Paul said that while the US has only announced its transport and intelligence assistance to the French initiative, “this is clearly developing into another war”.

“President Obama last week began his second term by promising that ‘a decade of war is now ending,’” Paul wrote. “As he spoke, the US military was rapidly working its way into another war, this time in the impoverished African country of Mali.”

Paul believes that unanswered questions about possible US involvement on African soil further indicates that Obama has been more active in the conflict than he admits, and that Congress has been kept out of the loop.

Ron Paul calls US involvement in Mali 'undeclared war' — RT

Mali: French Troops Advance In Timbuktu

Good video of the Foreign Legion Para’s entering Timbuktu, and the destruction of the Shrines and Library.

Mali: French Troops Advance In Timbuktu

Fordow, Iran

The US and Iran both denying it, but if Reza Kahlili right, it’s quite a story. Link to the full WND article at bottom of quote.

The source said a log on closed-circuit cameras installed by the regime to monitor the site’s three centrifuge chambers and two highly enriched uranium reserves gave this account:

  • On Jan 21, 14 members of the North Korean team and two military officers now stationed at Fordow along with Iranian scientists started the process of feeding uranium gas into the newly set-up cascades at 9:15 a.m. Tehran time
  • At 10:43 a.m., due to a drop in power pressure, system warning signs went off, but everything went back to normal after two minutes.
  • At 11:36 a.m., five explosions occurred concurrently in the centrifuge chambers, two explosions in the uranium reserve enclosures and a subsequent explosion in the main hallway close to the exit.
  • At the time of the explosions, a very bright red and purple light distorted the image and an extremely loud noise could be heard. Before the explosions knocked out the cameras, interior walls could be seen coming down within the centrifuge chambers. All the explosions seemed to have been initiated from the ceilings.
  • All cameras on the lowest floor (about 300 feet deep under a mountain) and the floor above it (about 250 feet deep) were knocked out, and only two cameras above the installation where security personnel are stationed were working.
  • Security forces immediately informed their superiors, who ordered them to remain in the monitoring room and avoid further communication with the outside world until counterintelligence forces arrived. Twenty-one personnel were gathered in a conference room to await further instruction.
  • Security forces were then told to close down all surrounding roads.
  • Approximately two hours after the explosions, counterintelligence agents arrived and, after interviewing personnel and reviewing tapes, initially concluded that explosives may have been placed in ceiling lamps with some kind of trigger mechanism controlled by a power voltage frequency.
  • The last images show eight personnel in anti-radiation clothing trying desperately to secure one of the rooms.

The regime believes the technology used with the explosives is unknown to their forces, the source said.

New details surface on Iran nuclear explosion

U.S. Plans Base for Surveillance Drones in Africa - NYTimes.com

Where’s Congress on all of this?

The United States military is preparing to establish a drone base in northwest Africa so that it can increase surveillance missions on the local affiliate of Al Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups that American and other Western officials say pose a growing menace to the region.

U.S. Plans Base for Surveillance Drones in Africa - NYTimes.com

Cullerton wants votes on pensions and gay marriage - Springfield, IL - The State Journal-Register

You’d almost think Cullerton were trying out as stand-up comic here.  The guy’s been in Srpingfield since 1979 and voted for most of the budgets that have landed Illinois insolvent.

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton wants to push forward with a pension overhaul "as quickly as possible" and says the timing is good to move forward with legalizing gay marriage.

He spoke to the City Club of Chicago on Monday, giving a slide-show presentation on Illinois' financial problems.

Cullerton wants votes on pensions and gay marriage - Springfield, IL - The State Journal-Register

The comments to this piece over at SJ-R are excellent.  Including,

You never know for sure, but a lot of what is in there was pretty much ruled out by his own legal researcher. There are a few pieces, such as redirecting the money used for current pension bond payments when paid off, that would pass muster if seperately enacted.

It's possible the courts could change their mind about the rules at hiring (plus enhancements granted while employed) are what applies but they've been pretty consistent up to this point in Illinois (and NY and AZ which also have a constitutional clause). I would expect none of the retroactive stuff to those already retired would stand up in court. The major thing the latest bill is hanging it's hat on is making the changes apply going forward for current workers; the courts here usually haven't gone along with that argument in the past but courts in other states that just rely on contract law and don't have the constitutional diminishment clause have allowed changes to as yet unearned benefits. For an example of that, see the latest FL decision that reversed the lower courts. So nothing is cast in concrete ...

I'm convinced there are two different agendas going on with one end goal, another tax hike.

1) Depending on how you read current law, the pension funding is either ahead of (1995 ramp bill) or equal to the bond repayment funding. Both have 'continuing appropriations' so they can get paid more or less regardless of the General Assembly. The current bill SB0001 has a section in it that is supposed to 'guarentee' the State will pay in to the pension funds; however, if you read it carefully, in it's present form it actually says all past and any future state debt (read bonds and other borrowing) gets paid ahead of any of the payments that are supposed to be guarenteed by the bill. That's the first agenda point - guarentee the bonds will get paid so the State can keep on borrowing and spending.

2) The GA is going to keep passing stuff that will end up in court. Even the S&P report downgrading the state said so. If the courts let something slip through, the GA wins. If the courts reject it, then the GA will raise taxes and claim there is nothing else they can do ... the courts made them raise taxes. There's the second agenda point - finding someone other than themselves to blame the coming tax hike on.

Spfld Reader,

The sad thing is that Cullerton is actually one of the more moderate people on pension reform. Compared to a lot of the other garbage that has been proposed, he (or his staff) at least tried to skirt the constitutional restrictions.

This bill is a nightmare to try to read and figure out. They put almost every proposal (except Martire's change the ramp suggestion) from the last two years in it. It has a Part A that is supposed to be the changes. It also has a Part B that is supposed to kick in if Part A is found invalid. To a layman like myself, Part B seems to be at least half or more the same as Part A with some different qualifers and thresholds ... and is nothing more than a delaying tactic that will result in having a second lawsuit against it if/when Part A is ruled invalid.

Same Sex Marriage advocates tell me marriage will some how affirm them and make them feel full Citizens of Illinois.  I'm at a loss how a license from these peculiar politicans Illinois Voters send to Springfield will affirm anyone.  A affirmation from someone who treats me as a dope with bills per jjw's analysis above seems not much.  Seems being Gay in a well run Indiana a far more preferable thing: affirmation or not.

Chinese missile technicians spotted in Egypt | Washington Free Beacon

I’d rather see our bucks going to pro-Democracy groups (yes, they’re there) rather than this.  North Koreans working on Egypt’s Scuds while we send F-16s.

United Nations sanctions imposed on North Korea for its nuclear and long-range missile tests prohibit U.N. members from purchasing such North Korean military assistance.

Sen. James Inhofe (R., Okla.), ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said last week that he is opposed to sending advanced U.S. jets to Egypt. Inhofe asked President Barack Obama in a letter to delay sending additional F16s to Egypt until Congress can review the sale.

A $1.5 billion arms package was approved for Egypt under the former regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, including 20 F-16s and coproduction of M1A1 tanks. Other significant military sales being considered include the transfer of U.S. military transports.

“The recent transfer of four F-16 Block 52 fighter jets to Egyptian Armed Forces is troubling, and future deliveries of the remaining 16 jets scheduled to be completed by the end of 2013 should be delayed until Congress has had time to review further this foreign military sale,” Inhofe stated in a letter sent Friday.

The senator is concerned about conditions in Egypt, which have changed significantly since the sale was first approved.

Chinese missile technicians spotted in Egypt | Washington Free Beacon

Anna Wintour's boyfriend 'owes US government $1.2 million in taxes' - Telegraph

Why am I not surprised?

J. Shelby Bryan, the long-term boyfriend of Anna Wintour, the Vogue editor in contention to be Barack Obama's next ambassador to Britain, owes the US government more than $1.2 million (£760,000) in taxes.

Anna Wintour's boyfriend 'owes US government $1.2 million in taxes' - Telegraph

Monday, January 28, 2013

California becoming less family-friendly | california, families, state - Opinion - The Orange County Register

California becoming less family-friendly | california, families, state - Opinion - The Orange County Register

GOP Chair Misses Opportunity to Promote Black Republicans Running in IL-02 Race

I like Pat Brady. He's been accessible. But the last elections thrown him for a loop. He should be out building and promoting, and not splitting the party. Rebel Pundit asks,

Why should voters in Illinois care about the local Chicago media ignoring black Republican candidates in the race for Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s old congressional seat when the Illinois State Republican Party Chairman won’t acknowledge them either?
Read the rest here, and video of the candidates below.



Sunday, January 27, 2013

Illinois Review: Meet John Guevara, RNHA of Illinois' new state president

H/T Illinois Review Impressive guy.....



Kane County GOP Chair Wojnicki Welcomes New Kane County RNHA Chair - News - Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Illinois


Kane County GOP Chair Wojnicki Welcomes New Kane County RNHA Chair - News - Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Illinois

"The Kane County Republican Organization is proud to welcome Margarita Mendoza as the newly elected chairwoman of the RNHA of Kane County,” says Barbara Wojnicki, Chairwoman of the Kane County GOP. “We are fortunate to have Margarita share her talents with our organization. Congratulations Margarita!”

I have some video from the convention here and here.

Chicago, what do you really sound like?

Now I know why I talk the way I do….  via WBEZ

Here: Chicago, what do you really sound like?

…and here and here.

Diplopundit’s take the Clinton Hearings

From the Diplopundit’s post on the hearings…  The DP didn’t think much of them.

The question the reps should have asked is how many NODIS cables did Ambassador Stevens send from Tripoli?  Cables captioned NODIS identifies messages of the highest sensitivity between the chief of mission and the Secretary of State.  All other regular cables marked Routine, Priority or Immediate would have gone through the appropriate distribution channels, and up the offices and bureaus within State.  Security request cables would have been received at Diplomatic Security, any deliberation beyond the bureau would have gone up to the Under Secretary for Management (“M”).  That’s within their pay grades.  We doubt very much that any would have gone to the Secretary’s office.  Note that this is not the first time that an ambassador’s request for additional security was not seen by the Secretary of State. Ambassador Bushnell prior to the bombing of the US Embassy in Nairobi made a similar request to Secretary Albright. In the aftermath of the bombing  Secretary Albright told the ambassador she never saw the letter.

Read it all here: Diplopundit

Amos Gager Throop

Throop’s bio via the Chicago Historical Society.  Hard to think of contemporary Chicagoan’s as accomplished or involved.  Gary Comer comes to my mind.

Throop’s Second Universalist Church still stands, near the Stadium, its story here.

Amos Gager Throop was a self-made businessman, social reformer, and early civic leader in Chicago, Illinois, and in Pasadena, California. Throop (pronounced "Troop") was born at De Ruyter, Madison County, New York in 1811. His mother died while Throop was a child. His father was an alcoholic who struggled to support his family. Throop settled in Michigan in 1832, became a town official in Clyde, Mich., and married Eliza Wait of Preston (N.Y.) in 1838. In 1843, the family moved to Chicago, and Throop began a lumber business in partnership with Solomon Wait and John Throop. Throop also bought and sold residential and commercial real estate, dredged and built, ran a brick yard and a coal company, and speculated in stocks.

He was a member of the Chicago Common Council, the Chicago Board of Trade, town supervisor and assessor of West Chicago, Chicago city Assessor, organizer of the Boys Reform School, a corporator of the People's Gas, Light and Coke Company, and a member of the Sanitary Commission. He joined the "Old Abolition" party when he came to Chicago and then the Republican Party when it was formed. He ran for mayor twice on the Temperance ticket and once on the Republican ticket and lost each time. He purchased and managed a temperance hotel, the Garden City House. He was a founder of the Second Universalist Church in Chicago. He also served in the Illinois House of Representatives for 1863-1864.

Amos Gager Throop's son William died in 1860 of typhoid. His son George served in the Chicago Mercantile Battery during the Civil War and was killed at Sabine Cross Roads on the Red River in Louisiana in 1864. Also in 1864. Amos Gager Throop's left eye was pierced by a steel splinter, and the eye was removed. His daughter Martha (called Mattie in some letters) was a school teacher in Chicago and married John Charles Vaughan in 1877. John Charles Vaughan founded Vaughan's Seed Store, based in Chicago with nurseries and seed stores in other parts of the country. Their children were Roger T. Vaughan, Leonard H. Vaughan, and Charles Gager Vaughan. She became an active participant and speaker at women's clubs.

In September 1880, Amos Gager Throop and his wife Eliza set out by train for a tour of the West ending in California, where they spent the winter, and he bought a farm in Los Angeles. Gradually, he spent more and more time in California, whre he bought orchards and farmland, built irrigation and drainage systems, and moved to Orange Grove Avenue in Passadena in 1887. In Passadena, he served as a member and president of the Board of City Trustees, a president of the school Board, a founder of the First Universalist Church, an advocate of anti-saloon legislation, and founder of Throop University (1891, later renamed the California Institute of Technology. He died on March 22, 1894.

VIDEO: Sen Barrasso on Morning Joe: "I have significant reservations about Chuck Hagel"

The video....



...and the WSJ piece


Senator Feinstein's God

A new Cartoon from Bones on Progressives invoking an odd theology. Somehow I think Creation frowns when the left uses her this way.



‘Pro life and pro gay’: Gay March for Life participants threaten liberal media narrative | Twitchy

Some interesting tweets here:

‘Pro life and pro gay’: Gay March for Life participants threaten liberal media narrative | Twitchy

McHenry County Blog | A Case That Could Have Threatened Horror Movie Makers Had It Been in Illinois

Cal Skinner recalls a solution proposed in the past.

A couple of decades ago when Will County’s Ed Petka was in the Illinois General Assembly, he passed a bill to create a new tort.

His law would cover crimes committed that were inspired by movies, TV shows and probably other entertainment.

If one inspired violence, the company putting out the entertainment would be liable for damages.

McHenry County Blog | A Case That Could Have Threatened Horror Movie Makers Had It Been in Illinois

We're No. 1 — Illinois Has Nation's Worst Credit Rating - St. Charles, IL Patch

Chicago leads in murders; Illinois leads in poor credit ratings. 

Illinois now has the lowest credit rating of all 50 states. Standard & Poor’s rating services downgraded Illinois’ credit rating last week to A-, with a negative outlook. 

State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, who blamed the negative rating on inaction on the public pension system by Gov. Pat Quinn and the General Assembly, said Illinois is headed for "fiscal disaster."

He said the lower rating will force the state to fork over more money on interest payments. This will affect state universities, road construction and other public institutions because more will go to interest than principal as these projects are paid for.

We're No. 1 — Illinois Has Nation's Worst Credit Rating - St. Charles, IL Patch

Saturday, January 26, 2013

New leadership elected at RNHA Illinois - Illinois Review

via Illinois Review.  (Link below)

The Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Illinois elected new leadership at its convention in Elgin, Illinois today. Elected with a unanimous vote, the team includes: John Guevara as Chairman, Li Arellano as Vice Chair, Gloria Cudia Cardenas as Secretary, Ben Ordonez as Treasurer.

Gloria Campos was elected National Committeewoman and Rafael Rivadeneira was elected National Committeeman.

New leadership elected at RNHA Illinois - Illinois Review

Also videos here and here.  More to come….

Adam Andrejewski speaks at the Republican National Hispanic Assembly, Elgin Illinois 26 Jan 2013


Joe Walsh Speaks to the Republican National Hispanic Assembly, Elgin, Illinois

Joe Walsh speaks to the Republican National Hispanic Assembly today in Elgin. I'll be posting more video from their convention tonight and tomorrow.



Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof's hassle with Immigration

Via Susanne's facebook page.  Copied with her permission.  Seems no Dream Act stuff for her.


 

Dear U.S. Government,

Greetings from Bahamas!

Over the years I’ve had the pleasure to interact with you on multiple occasions. The most recent one was two days ago, at the US border control in Nassau, Bahamas, when I tried to fly back to Washington.
...
It started out in the same passive-aggressive but rather innocent way as all border control interactions do – the officer was looking with a perplexed air between my passport and me. I know what it looks like - a young woman with a Swedish passport, a distinctively non- Swedish name, accent and look, who’s going to US, with a vast collection of ‘axis of evil’ visas. He stared at me and said ‘So… What were you doing in PAKISTAN?’ with an ‘aha, got you there’ air on his face.

- Work.
- What sort of work?
- I’m a US Government contractor. I do research in conflict zones.
- A US GOVERNMENT CONTRACTOR!?
- Yes, Sir.

He kept staring at the passport for another 10 minutes, before he concluded that it was to confusing to deal with. ‘Follow me to the backroom, please.’ A Caucasian American guy, looking like a typical Midwestern college geek, was sitting there with a tired look -- I asked him for how long he had been there, and why. ‘Hours. When I said I was here to scuba dive they brought me back here. Since when is scuba diving a suspicious activity?’. The handful others, most of them U.S. citizens, had similar stories. Then the actual backroom interrogation started with the usual questions, designed for illegal Cubans having been hiding out in some basement in the states for months.

- Why are you going to the US?
- Business. I own properties and a company there.
- What properties?
- A condo in DC and a church in Pennsylvania.
- A CHURCH in Pennsylvania?
- Yes. I was drunk and bought it online, it was really cheap. We’ve all done crazy shit when we’re drunk, right.
- Yes that’s true, but I never bought a church online.
- Aha. Each to their own device.
- Have you ever been arrested?
- No. (I opted out of telling him of my arrest warrant in Pennsylvania for not cutting the grass on the church property --- which I got because I was hanging out with rebels in Libya during the revolution, and hence didn’t check my mail in DC for months, and the fines eventually turned into a warrant. But I never did get arrested, though).
- What business are you going back for?
- Fight a couple of lawsuits. Deal with the IRS, clients and employees. You know, the usual mind-numbingly boring rubbish.
- What law suits?
- I got a one million dollar lawsuit for smoking in my condo. It’s not a non-smoking building, by the way.
- Wow.
- Yeah.
- So who are your clients?
- The U.S. Government (I gave him the names of departments and persons)
- Why would the government hire… uhmm… a young Swedish women?
- I’ve been asking myself the same question for years.

And it kept going in the same vein for another hour, or two – I lost track of time. The officer eventually left the room, and I was alone. Other officers came, stood at the door, stared at me for a couple of minutes, and then left again, like I was some sort of circus animal. I asked to get my passport back, but didn’t. So, finally, I asked to speak with the supervisor.

The young officer came back, with the supervisor, an angry African-American woman in her mid-forties. ‘WHAT DO YOU WANT?’ She screamed. I explained that I didn’t understand why I was being held in interrogation for hours, without access to my phone or passport. ‘Well…’ The junior officer started saying, but the supervisor interrupted him “WHY ARE YOU LOOKING AT HIM? LOOK AT ME, I’M THE SUPERVISOR.’ I understand that, I asserted as diplomatically as I could, just pointing out that he caught my attention when he was trying to say something.

- YOU DO UNDERSTAND THAT YOU OVERSTAYED YOUR VISA?
- No, I’m afraid I’m not aware of that.
- Your visa is valid for 90 days. You stayed 91 days.
- Ah ok, I’m sorry, that was not intentional. I miscalculated the days. It certainly won’t happen again.
- YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO ENTER US ANYMORE, she said with a sadistic - and for the first time - happy glimpse in her eyes. Hence, after 4.5 hours of interrogation I was finally released having signed a form saying I was not allowed to go back to US…

Dear US Government, I’ve been working for you for more than seven years, since the age of 22. I’ve risked my life in multiple war zones, receiving uncountable amounts of death threats, and I’ve had employees kidnapped, imprisoned and killed in various places from Afghanistan to Libya, for you. I’ve invested more than half a million dollars in your country, at a time when most foreign investors were fleeing the defaulting economy. I start companies that employs US citizens. I pay taxes - from property taxes to employment taxes and a vast range of other taxes. I speak highly of you in foreign media. And now you tell me I can’t enter the country because I overstayed my visa, obviously unintentionally, with ONE day?

Arrest warrants for not cutting the grass on my own property. A one million dollar law suit for smoking in my condo. And now, not being able to enter the country again because I overstayed my visa with one day… And I have no idea when or if I can ever enter again, to see my properties, friends, colleagues, clients, etc… Seriously? I won’t go as far as saying that you’re creating enemies (I don’t want more problems with the TSA than I already do, anyways), but you’re certainly alienating friends. Your country is about to implode in its own dystopian bureaucracy. And frankly, there are plenty of other country options out there, with more booming economies and less insane laws. I don’t think I speak only for myself when I say that if foreign entrepreneurs and investors get treated like this, we’ll just go somewhere else instead.

Dear US Government, I don’t have to advice you to go and fuck yourself, because you’re obviously doing that already.

With all due respect,
Susanne
See More
— in The Bahamas.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Lisa Madigan considering run for Guv

I don't know. I have the feeling her time is past before she even really got started. But then Illinois voters sent three Democrats under indictment to Springfield this past election. Who knows what more we're capable of. H/T Illinois Review


Lunch at the Old Fashioned, Madison Wisconsin

Sunday noon at the Old Fashioned in Madison, Wisconsin.  Start off with a bottle of Ouisconsing Red Ale from Central Waters Brewery.














A look at the traditional Wisconsin snacks.
















Followed by the Walleye Sandwich...



Early Perspectives on the Mali Crisis from a Jihadist Forum (II) | The Moor Next Door

From another must read blog on North Africa,

Since the beginning of France’s intervention in northern Mali (Operation SERVAL), users of the Ansar al-Mujahideen forum have posted continuous news updates on the situation in northern Mali. During much of 2012, forum users have seen Mali as an unqualified success for Salafi-jihadism in Africa, posting long essays and poems praising and theorising the potentials that an Islamist emirate in Azawad would offer their cause. Mali’s jihadist groups allayed suspicions over their legitimacy and authenticity by posting increasingly voluminous threads featuring videos, photographs and newsletters with news from the region showing the implementation of shari’ah in Timbuktu and Gao, and documenting the Islamist coalition’s battles against the MNLA and the Malian Army at various points.

Early Perspectives on the Mali Crisis from a Jihadist Forum (II) | The Moor Next Door

Belmokhtar claims Algerian raid, slaying of hostages for al Qaeda - The Long War Journal

Belmokhtar claims Algerian raid, slaying of hostages for al Qaeda - The Long War Journal

LWJ is must read for keeping up with GWOT.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Serious crime in Elgin at 40-year low - DailyHerald.com

Zero murders in Aurora last year, and now Elgin racks up the lowest crime rate in forty years.  Would Rahm or McCarthy ever wander out from Chicago and ask Chief Swoboda how?

Crime in Elgin is at a 40-year low for serious crimes, according to 2012 crime data released Thursday by the Elgin Police Department.

Last year, there were only two homicides, compared to five in 2011, along with a 36 percent decrease in burglaries and a 24 percent decrease in rape and criminal sexual assault, Police Chief Jeff Swoboda said.

Serious crime in Elgin at 40-year low - DailyHerald.com

Joe Walsh on Chicago Tonight

Past and present in Cicero, Illinois | WBEZ 91.5 Chicago

from WBEZ’s history of Cicero…   Lessons learned: low taxes should be a no brainer.  Transportation’s impact on development is huge too.  Forget high speed rail though, and focus on investments that ease the congestion of moving freight. That’s what made northern Illinois and still’s critical.

Cicero had excellent railroad transportation and low taxes. Industry was attracted to the town, and by the 1920s it became the state’s second largest manufacturing center. The population grew from 16,000 in 1900 to over 66,000 in 1930. By that time Cicero boasted 115 factories.

Past and present in Cicero, Illinois | WBEZ 91.5 Chicago

Kiva hysteria in Campton Hills

Via the Daily Herald (link below).  Congratulations to Jim Kopec and John Strauss for a brave vote here.  Kopec’s likely right below.  There’s little the County can or will do to stop Kiva anyways.  Annexation would have benefited the Village most.  Village Prez Patsy Smith deserves much praise for enduring all the slander tossed at her and patiently moving this process along.

Trustees Jim Kopec and John Strauss voted in favor of the project, saying it would benefit the community and society; Village President Patsy Smith votes only to break a tie.

Strauss characterized resident fears about Kiva patients as "wrongheaded."

"If it goes to (the Kane) county (board), it will be approved," Kopec said.

Kiva officials declined to comment after the vote, but their attorney urged trustees to sign off on the plan earlier in the meeting.

"We have worked tirelessly to accommodate every legitimate concern that was raised, whether we agreed with the concern or not," said attorney Steven Elrod.

Campton Hills trustees reject Kiva rehab center - DailyHerald.com

Friday, January 18, 2013

Analysis: Al Qaeda central tightened control over hostage operations - The Long War Journal

Analysis: Al Qaeda central tightened control over hostage operations - The Long War Journal

From Long War Journals analysis least anyone thing these events random,
Some have argued that bin Laden was an isolated fanatic during his final days. But the fact pattern here, as with other evidence, shows that he was still involved in managing the terror network's operations just months before his death. 
The outcome of al Qaeda central's power play is not entirely known. But this episode demonstrates that in the not-too-distant past, al Qaeda central was able to order AQIM to stand down in its hostage negotiations. 
Given that Belmokhtar's spokesman admitted that he was operating "under the orders of al Qaeda central" just last month, we are left to wonder what role (if any) bin Laden's successor, Ayman al Zawahiri, has played in recent events.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Hundreds of French troops drive back Mali rebels

France goes in; we send the drones.

The sudden military operation is a reversal of months of debate over whether or not Western powers should get involved in a military bid to oust the militants, who took advantage of a coup in Mali's capital in March to capture the north. As recently as December, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon cautioned against a quick military operation. Diplomats said that September would be the earliest the operation could take place.

All of that went out the window this week when the fighters pushed south from the town of Douentza, which demarcated their line of control, located 900 kilometers (540 miles) from the capital. By Thursday, they had succeeded in pushing another 120 kilometers (72 miles) south, bringing them nearly face-to-face with the ill-equipped and ill-trained Malian military in a showdown that couldn't be ignored by the international community.

In a statement released Saturday, the bloc representing nations in West Africa, ECOWAS, said they had authorized the immediate deployment of troops to Mali. ECOWAS Commission President Kadre Desire Ouedraogo said they made the decision "in light of the urgency of the situation."

In Washington, a U.S. official confirmed that the country has offered to send drones to Mali. The official could not be named because he wasn't authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

Hundreds of French troops drive back Mali rebels

Also: Via Meadia,

France is at war in Mali, launching air strikes against jihadi forces threatening the country’s fragile (and not very impressive) government. Given the sharp limits on France’s ability to project power, French officials are in discussions with the Pentagon about possible American intelligence and logistics support.

And Robert Kaplan’s background.

AMERICANS aren’t paying much attention to Africa right now. Eclipsed by the violent politics of the Middle East and the turbulent economies of Europe, the world’s second-largest continent often flies under our radar altogether. Which is why, when something very important happened in the western African nation of Mali last April, it made few headlines.

No kidding…. so what would Chuck Hagel do?

Republican Establishment Declares War on GOP Voters - Rasmussen Reports™

Republican Establishment Declares War on GOP Voters - Rasmussen Reports™

Some good advice for the Illinois GOP here.

Former Congressman Joe Walsh eyeing ILGOP chairmanship? - Illinois Review

My first thought would have been Steve Raushenburger, but who knows Joe might be good firing up the Illinois GOP and maybe better at it than running as candidate.

Scuttlebutt abounds about possible replacements for state party chairman Pat Brady. With various Republican organizations, leaders, and ILGOP State Central Committee (SCC) members calling for his resignation, Brady's time may be limited; although there is no word yet on an official SCC meeting or vote.

Former Congressman Joe Walsh eyeing ILGOP chairmanship? - Illinois Review

Shabaab kills, captures French soldiers during failed rescue mission in Somalia - The Long War Journal

Shabaab kills, captures French soldiers during failed rescue mission in Somalia - The Long War Journal

...and this on Mali per above,

France's failed rescue mission in Somalia took place just one day after President François Hollande announced that the military would intervene in Mali as three al Qaeda-linked jihadist groups are advancing southward. French forces launched an airstrike in central Mali yesterday, and European soldiers were seen disembarking from an airplane in Sevare, near the city of Mopti. French citizens have been advised to leave Mali. 
The rescue mission in Somalia was attempted as France feared Shabaab would execute Allex due to the French intervention in Mali

PETER ROSKAM ON CNBC'S KUDLOW

Signs of things to come: Is housing subsidy distribution being rationed in Michigan? Lee Cary sees a ‘brewing storm’ « Hoocoodanode?

Today’s Liberalism about creating scarcity and rationing it.  Not about creating abundance and prosperity.

Signs of things to come: Is housing subsidy distribution being rationed in Michigan? Lee Cary sees a ‘brewing storm’ « Hoocoodanode?

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Danny Davis: Debt-ceiling blank check is like Emancipation Proclamation [VIDEO]

H/T The Daily Caller The Congressman is really a gift sometimes.



Senator, AFSCME to discuss dispute over who can join unions

Senator, AFSCME to discuss dispute over who can join unions

SEIU budgeting half a mil to slam Rahm, and now Dems turn on AFSCME.  Maybe a civil war between Democrats and the Unions will be the big story in 2013.

Also, and correct me if wrong, but Progress Illinois has been silent on these stories affecting AFSCME.  Solidarity clearly has limits it seems.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Furniture Company Obama Held Up As Example Of Recovering Economy Goes Bust…

Furniture Company Obama Held Up As Example Of Recovering Economy Goes Bust…

Chicago Murder Clearance Rate Worst in More Than 2 Decades - DNAinfo.com Chicago

Chicago Murder Clearance Rate Worst in More Than 2 Decades - DNAinfo.com Chicago

Seems Rahm and McCarthy need to visit some other Departments not just to learn how to prevent crime, but solve the ones committed too.

Heard McCarthy ramble on senselessly last night about how even a 25% reduction in the murder rate would still yield a bad murder rate.

Yep, that's right Chief. 

Please, someone take away McCarthy's calculater.