Thursday, August 31, 2017

Iraqi government announces liberation of Tal Afar from Islamic State | FDD's Long War Journal

Iraqi government announces liberation of Tal Afar from Islamic State | FDD's Long War Journal

Thursday, August 17, 2017

US military hits Shabaab with 3 more airstrikes | FDD's Long War Journal

US military hits Shabaab with 3 more airstrikes | FDD's Long War Journal

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Rock Island Confederate Cemetery Rock Island, Illinois

And here's the Rock Island Confederate Cemetery in Congresswoman's Bustos's District.
The Confederate Cemetery covers a rectangular, three-acre parcel of land, bound by Rodman Avenue and a post-and-chain fence to the north, Confederate Avenue to the south, and heavy tree cover to the east and west. A paved walkway extends from Rodman Avenue to the edge of the burials, passing a six-foot tall obelisk the Daughters of the Confederacy dedicated in 2003 to the Confederate veterans who died at Rock Island. At the south end of the grounds, opposite the monument, is the cemetery’s flagpole. Four Confederate cannons sit near the entrance, two each on either side of the monument.

Confederate Mound at Oak Woods Cemetery Chicago, Illinois

Southsiders of a certain age know about Chicago's Camp Douglas. My Dad would point it out every trip south on Lakeshore Drive. 1965 was the centenary of the Civil War so there was much more talk of the war in the 60s than today perhaps. 4,200 graves of Confederate Soldiers who died at the camp were interned at Oak Woods Cemetery and memorialized with a statue dedicated by President Cleveland (a Democrat btw) in 1895.
Confederate Mound is an elliptical plot, approximately 475 feet by 275 feet, located between Divisions 1 and 2 of Section K. The most prominent feature of the plot is the Confederate Monument, a 30-foot granite column topped with a bronze statue of a Confederate soldier, a figure based on the painting “Appomattox” by John A. Elder. At the base of the tapered square shaft are three bas-relief images: “The Call to Arms” showing a group rallying for the cause, “A Soldier’s Death Dream” depicting a fallen soldier and his horse on the battlefield, and “A Veteran’s Return Home” showing a soldier arriving at a ruined cabin. General John C. Underwood, a regional head of the United Confederate Veterans, designed the monument and was at its dedication on May 30, 1895, along with President Grover Cleveland and an estimated 100,000 on-lookers. In 1911, the Commission for Marking the Graves of Confederate Dead paid to have the monument lifted up and set upon a base of red granite; affixed to the four sides of the base were bronze plaques inscribed with the names of Confederate soldiers known to be buried in the mass grave.
Update: Lee Bey writing in 2010,
The fix-up would rejuvenate one of the most spectacular, if little-known, monuments in Chicago. The two-acre mound at Oak Woods features a 46-foot Georgia granite monument topped by a bronze statue of a Confederate soldier with this arms folded and looking downward.‚ The names of the dead are written on bronze plaques near the base.‚ Cannons and stacked cannonballs mark the perimeters of the mound. Here's what the monument looked like before the scaffolding went up:

The dead were prisoners at the notorious Camp Douglas, a Union training base turned prisoner-of-war camp near 35th and the Lake. As a prison camp, Douglas was called "eighty acres of hell" because of the disease and cruelty manifest there. After the war, the federal government bought land within Oak Woods and buried the dead prisoners there without much fanfare.‚ But by the 1890s, ex-Confederates within Chicago and in Georgia raised the funds to design and build the monument, which was dedicated in 1895.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Modern Healthcare: Hospital volumes laid low by high-deductible health plans

The results of hallow insurance via Modern Healthcare.
The ascendency of high-deductible insurance plans is making it just that much more difficult for hospitals to hold the margins they've come to enjoy, he said. In 2016, for the first time, more than half of all workers (51%) with single coverage faced a deductible of at least $1,000, according to a study released last September by the Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust. The study showed that 29% of workers were in high-deductible plans compared with 20% two years earlier.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Chicago's Westside East On Lake Street From Austin Blvd( 6/19/2017)

Nice video of what's a scenic drive for some of us, or at least a memory drive.

About Rich Miller's for the Bruce Rauner pivot


Rich tells the Guv to pivot yesterday and I agreed with a lot of what he said till this,
Rauner campaigns a lot better than he governs, however. If he finally rights his ship, he does have a chance. Committing July 27 to sign the Trust Act, which will provide strong state protection for undocumented immigrants, is a good start.
Strongly protecting undocumented immigrants while taxpayers, wage earners, and pop consumers take it on the chin (and wallet) seems a pivot towards a losing trail. 

Rauner needs Democrats in Cook County and the suburbs to win.  He needs African American votes from those dwindling numbers of them willing to stay in Illinois.  Rauner needs to go a little Trump to get those votes. 

Illinois protects enough people breaking laws.  Rauner wants to win he better start hammering Rahm Emanuel, TIFs, and the appalling degradation of life in Chicago for those outside the Northside.   If anyone needs strong protection in Illinois its the citizens of the South and West sides.

On Wednesday, CNN’s Jim Acosta took White House aide Stephen Miller to task for President Trump’s proposed immigration policy reform, which seeks to institute a “merit-based system for green cards based on the ability to speak Engli...

On Wednesday, CNN’s Jim Acosta took White House aide Stephen Miller to task for President Trump’s proposed immigration policy reform, which seeks to institute a “merit-based system for green cards based on the ability to speak Engli...

Friday, August 04, 2017

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Politico's Health news: Jared Kushner on the Cerner VA deal

A very interesting thing out of Politico's Health news.  I watched a lot of big names struggle with this one for years.  If this story just half true, it is a very big deal.  

KUSHNER ON VA: White House adviser Jared Kushner's pep talk to a swarm of Congressional interns got attention for the burning issues it contained - Israel-Palestine peace, for one example. But we at Morning eHealth, after taking a listen to the full audio (posted here by Wired), noted another interesting subject: the Cerner/VA deal. 
Kushner explains that getting the deal done is "one of the great successes we've had so far" in overhauling the department. Here's how, according to Kushner, the deal got done: He was "talking about the issue" with David Shulkin, and they called Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Mattis and Shulkin convened the top five EHR guys from each department. 
"We said, guys, we want a solution to get us on one system. This is absolutely crazy," Kushner said, and apparently, the group of EHR experts were given a deadline of two weeks to solve the problem. They managed to solve the whole thing in that time - when, by comparison, "they've been holding Congressional hearings since 2000. Sixteen years and nothing's happened."

Tuesday, August 01, 2017