August 31, 2015

Why Is the Press So Quiet About Illinois Lottery Winners Not Getting Paid?

Silly me. I really thought that every state’s lottery operation was walled off from the rest of its finances. They collect bets, pay out winnings and administrative costs, and turn over the profits to general fund. End of discussion. No muss, no fuss. Right?

In Illinois, based on recent developments, we know that’s obviously not the case — leading me to wonder how many other states potentially have the same problem the Land of Lincoln currently has. You see, the state is about to move into the third month of a budget standoff between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and its Democrat-controlled state legislature. As a result, because the lottery’s operations are at least in a legal sense commingled with the rest of the state’s finances, its comptroller has been forced to cancel payouts of lottery winnings greater than $25,000. It appears that very few media outlets outside of Illinois are interested in covering this obviously important story. Why?

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Begala Calls Dick Cheney a ‘Sociopath’ — Then Apologizes to Sociopaths

This is obviously sarcasm: Right behind all the positive racial healing we’ve seen during Barack Obama’s presidency is the vast improvement in the degree of civility seen and heard in leftist discourse.

Obviously, that’s not so. Hillary Clinton calls GOP presidential candidates “terrorists” and invokes Nazi-era images of illegal immigrants being “loaded into boxcars.” The press — which would treat either utterance as front-page news if said by a Republican or conservative — gives her a pass, and some of its members are virtually cheering her on. Barack Obama calls his opponents “crazies,” arguably even including some Democrats on matters on the Iran “deal,” aka the “orchestrated surrender to Iran’s nuclear ambitions.” Former Bill Clinton administration and current Hillary Clinton insider Paul Begala joined the parade today as he attacked Dick Cheney:

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Press Fawns Over ‘Black Lives Matter’ Rally, Ignores 20K ‘All Lives Matter’ March

On Saturday, “more than 20,000” people — perhaps as many as 25,000 to 30,000, according to some police — marched through the streets of Birmingham, Alabama at a Glenn Beck-led “Restoring Unity” rally chanting “All Lives Matter.” The event has been described as possibly “the largest march in Birmingham since the civil rights marches of 1963.”

Searches at Google News and at the Associated Press’s main national and “Big Story” sites indicate that no establishment press outlet gave the rally national coverage. The AP only managed to push out terse three-paragraph and seven-paragraph local stories. Meanwhile, a Reuters story on the less than peaceful march by the “Black Lives Matter” crowd attended by an estimated 325 (compared to an expected 900) in Minneapolis was carried at Yahoo News and the New York Times (at least).

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PolitiFact Howler: Saying That PP Does No Mammograms Is Only ‘Half True’

In the course of evaluating a claim made by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a prolife group, PolitiFact Georgia’s crack investigators learned from a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Federation of America that the organization “does not provide mammograms at any of its health centers.” Since such facilities must be licensed by the Food and Drug Administration, no PPFA facility can legally perform a mammogram.

The claim ADF made in a tweet is that “ZERO @PPFA facilities are licensed to do mammograms.” On August 21, despite PPFA’s de facto acknowledgment that ADF is correct, PolitiFact Georgia determined that ADF’s claim is only “Half True.”

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Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (083115)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: Siri ‘butt dial’ to 911 brings rescuers to trapped victim

Filed under: Marvels,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Murfreesboro and Nashville, Tennessee (HT Daryn Kagan):

Friday, Aug. 14, 2015, 10:40 AM

A Vanderbilt patient who survived the unthinkable has brought a whole new meaning to the term “butt dialing” and believes that prayer, along with a little help from Siri, saved his life.

Sam Ray, 18, was never a fan of Siri, the hands-free virtual assistant on Apple iPhones, until he found himself pinned under his truck with Siri as his only way to call for help.

On July 2, the recent high school graduate was working under his truck, which was lifted up on a jack in the driveway of his family’s Murfreesboro, Tennessee, home. Needing a little advice, he called his father, who encouraged him to stop what he was doing until they could look at the truck together. Sam put his phone in his back pocket and proceeded to slide out from under the truck when the jack gave way, causing the nearly 5,000-pound vehicle to fall on him.

“I just kept praying out loud, ‘Lord, get me out of this,’” Sam said. “I kept reciting Philippians 4:13, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’”

He yelled for help, but no one could hear him. Helpless and alone, he suddenly heard the familiar sound of Siri activating in his back pocket and realized that this iPhone feature could possibly allow him to call for help.

His arms were trapped, making it impossible to access his phone, but he was able to push up on his hip to activate Siri in his pocket and request that his phone call 911. After several attempts, he heard a voice on the line and realized he had gotten through.

“When I heard a woman talking from inside my pocket, I just started shouting,” Sam said. “I didn’t know if she could hear me or not, but I heard her say that help was just around the corner.”

Responders with Rutherford County Emergency Medical Services, the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department, the Rutherford County Fire Department and the Tennessee Highway Patrol responded to Sam’s call. They were able to move him out from under the vehicle and then transported him to the Vanderbilt LifeFlight base in Murfreesboro, where he was then flown to Vanderbilt.

“We’re always concerned with crush injuries, and the longer a patient is trapped, the more problems they can have,” said Kirk Krokosky, one of Sam’s flight nurses. “He could have been there for hours, but as fate would have it, Siri was sort of his guardian angel.”

During the estimated 40 minutes that Sam was under his truck, he sustained three broken ribs, a bruised kidney, a cut on the forehead, and second- and third-degree burns to one arm that was under the exhaust pipe.

However, an accident like this could have easily had a very different outcome, said his doctor, Richard Miller, M.D., Chief of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care and professor of Surgery at Vanderbilt.

“A tool like Siri is a modern-day rescue item that we didn’t have in the past and potentially saved him from more serious or long-term complications from his crush injury.”“He’s very lucky. …

Go here for the rest of the story.