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bengahzi

From the Associated Press report on the independent investigation into the deadly attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead on Sept. 11, 2012:

An independent panel charged with investigating the deadly Sept. 11 attack in Libya that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans has concluded that systematic management and leadership failures at the State Department led to "grossly" inadequate security at the mission in Benghazi.

"Systematic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the State Department resulted in a Special Mission security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place," the panel said.

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Chloe Murray races a present to the sorting table where her fellow 6th grade students will rush it over to the proper room to be bundled for a needy school in Chicago at Hickory Creek Middle School | Joseph P. Meier / Sun-Times Media


Here are some of the stories that caught our attention during the work day for December 5, 2012.

• A judge has ordered music website Pitchfork Media to hand over video of Chief Keef making the good decision of going to a gun range and handling a gun, all while on probation for charges stemming from the other good decision he made of pointing a gun at a police officer. Lest we forget, Keef still has a pile of money to shoot dirty Instagram photos on thanks to the record deal that's not going anywhere because, again, good decisions. [Sun-Times]

• State Sen. Donne Trotter was arrested when he tried to go through an O'Hare security checkpoint with a gun and bullets. Trotter says it was an accident as he had been working the night before at his other job as a security guard. The Good Decisions Train rolls on... [DNA Info]

• Mayor Emanuel is not backing down from his promise to station police armed with automatic weapons outside of funerals for gang members because that's a totally normally thing to do and Supt. McCarthy is doing a heckuva job and there's no crime problem why do ask shut up. [Sun-Times]

• The CTA hates the way you jam your stroller on the bus and train just like the rest of us. [RedEye]

• A new poll shows Illinoisans favor same-sex marriage and oppose a pardon for Blago proving that occasionally sanity reigns. [Sun-Times]

• The War On Christmas doesn't care about Charlie Brown. It claims whatever victims it wants. It gives absolutely zero cares about the damage it does to the world's children. [FOX News]

• How Streeterville got its name. [WBEZ]

• Gift guide: 11 books about Chicago, by Chicagoans. [Sun-Times]

• RIP Dave Brubeck [Tribune]

• BRIGHT ONE: With the pope on Twitter, Neil Steinberg wonders What Would Jesus Tweet and if the son of God can give us a follow-back! [Sun-Times]

• RUSH HOUR: Sudoku; Transit: Green Line delays; Weather: meh; Traffic: the usual

• FINALLY: Looking back, we had no idea that teaching dogs to drive would lead to humanity's downfall. [The Daily Mail]

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Josh Cunningham of Morgan Park flies in for a shot against Notre Dame. | Patrick Gleason~For Sun-Times Media


Here are some of the stories that caught our attention during the work day for December 4, 2012.

• Chicago Public Schools released its findings on the number of children in each school, figures that will help determine which schools will be closed or consolidated after the CPS ignores the pleas of parents. [Sun-Times]

• Mayor Emanuel's digital billboard plan got the rubber stamp approval from his minions was approved by the City Council. [WBEZ]

• Speaking of Mayor Emanuel, he doesn't care about the head of a firm with a big O'Hare contract being tied to the mob because the idea of such a thing happening in Chicago, of all places, is just preposterous. [Sun-Times]

• This year's New Years Eve penny rides on the CTA will be free this year, covered by beer megacorp MillerCoors though given the quality of the CTA lately, Malort would have been a better choice. [RedEye]

• A bill to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain state driver's licenses sailed through the state senate today. [Sun-Times]

• Former Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica was sentenced to four months of court supervision after being found guilty of criminal damage because he defaced campaign signs of his opponent in the 2010 election which Peraica lost. Let this be a lesson to other politicians: keep arguments with opponents confined to the bottomless pit of despair that is the Internet, where they belong. [Sun-Times]

• The city has quickly reached an agreement with the bartender beaten by former Chicago cop Anthony Abbate so it can ask the presiding judge to set aside the ruling a jury recently made. [CBS 2]

• It's like Yelp!, except for dirty massage parlors! [CSJ]

• NPR has a fantastic feature about renowned local reissue label Numero Group and its numerous compilations which any of you should feel free to buy me for Christmas. [NPR]

• EVERYBODY PANIC!!!! Bears Edition as Brian Urlacher may be done for the year. [Sun-Times]

• BRIGHT ONE: Carol Marin, one of the three Sun-Times reporters who helped push the David Koschman case, shares why Christmas is no joyful time for Nancy Koschman. [Sun-Times]

• FINALLY: Stop Tweeting from the toilet. [France 24]

Here are some of the stories that caught our attention during the work day for November 14, 2012.

• Perhaps you've heard about the latest craze sweeping an embittered nation: signing petitions to the White House requesting the allowance for states to secede because that worked so well the first time. Not surprising, the states with the most signatures are the states where NASCAR is most popular. A closer look at the White House website reveals this movement holds no merit and was started by bored, stupid people. In other words, the Internet is being the Internet. Over 5,000 people in Illinois have signed a pair of petitions for this state to secede which is still more than the average White Sox game attendance. [WHITE HOUSE; SUN-TIMES]

• The Invisibile Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. remains MIA as Congress reconvened. It's been over five months since Jackson was seen in Congress on behalf of his constituents who thought this wasn't a big deal so they re-elected him anyway. [SUN-TIMES]

• Even though Mayor Emanuel promised he would fight the private company raking in all of our quarters from those privatized parking meters that former Mayor Daley left in a flaming bag on our front porch before running off, it turns out the city joined forces with the company to defend the parking meter deal against a lawsuit. Don't question the logic because if you question the city's logic, you will find yourself spiraling down a rabbit hole that has no bottom. [THE READER]

• President Obama held his first post-election Q&A with reporters this afternoon and he was asked about the spreading Petraeus scandal as well as the fiscal cliff. But it was over a threat from Senators McCain and Graham to block a potential nomination of Susan Rice as Secretary of State that Obama got fired up, stopping just short of repeating Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy's infamous "I'm a man, I'm 40!" rant from a few years back. [SUN-TIMES; NY TIMES]

• A security breach on the city's election board website exposed information relating to either 1,200 people or 1.7 million people depending on who you ask. No big deal. [GAPERS BLOCK]

• The Choose Chicago tourism group is claiming this summer's push was a big success after targeting six cities and bringing in $207 million in additional revenue thanks to the campaign. Of course, if you lived in St. Louis, you'd want to escape upriver, too. [CRAIN'S]

• Peoples Gas is looking to jack up rates even more than originally planned. [WBEZ]

• I, for one, welcome our new ash borer overlords. [DAILY HERALD]

• The Texans' Tim Dobbins was fined $30,000 for his hit on Bears QB Jay Cutler that resulted in a concussion for Cutler. [SUN-TIMES]

• Don't blame me, I voted for Darko. The NBA season is two weeks old but there's already an All-Star ballot. [NBC CHICAGO]

• Stop me if you've heard this one before: Soldier Field is going to need new sod. [CBS 2]

• Bright One: Carol Marin is not impressed by Mayor Emanuel's typically flippant attitude towards the press, this time over the report that City Hall workers secretly taped reporters. [SUN-TIMES]

• AND FINALLY: If this whole "Internet" thing has you confused, Wal-Mart still has your AOL starter kits for $15. [CONSUMERIST]

The Day in Photos

CORRECTION TV-Elmo Ac_Newm.jpgThis Jan. 24, 2011 photo shows "Sesame Street" muppet Elmo and puppeteer Kevin Clash. (AP Photo/Victoria Will, file)

The latest twist in the case is that the accuser has now recanted his claim that he had a sexual relationship with Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash while he was underage. From the New York Times:

Andreozzi & Associates, a law firm that said it represented the accuser said in a statement that "he wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship." The statement added, "He will have no further comment on the matter."

The accuser's identity has not been disclosed.

Mr. Clash said through a spokeswoman: "I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest. I will not discuss it further."


Clash remains on a leave of absence from Sesame Street while another puppeteer fills the role.

Here are some of the stories that caught our attention during the work day for November 13, 2012

Embattled and invisible congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. is no longer a patient at the Mayo Clinic and the federal probe into misuse of campaign funds may be spreading to his wife, Ald. Sandi Jackson. [SUN-TIMES]

Speaking of Jackson, Jr., if he's ousted or steps down, Sam Adam, Jr., who has famously defended both R. Kelly and former governor Rod Blagojevich, has expressed an interest in running for the seat. [SUN-TIMES]

Former Dixon comptroller Rita Crundwell will change her not guilty plea in connection to a $53 million embezzlement charge to guilty tomorrow. [CBS 2]

A non-profit has filed a lawsuit over the strict guidelines in the city's food truck ordinance. [CHICAGOIST]

Controversial Cook County judge Susan McDunn, who claimed she was being ruined by secret lawsuits including powerful Chicago figures, has stepped down from her position. [SUN-TIMES; previously]

Those fancy-pants new CTA rail cars are debuting on the Red Line this week, just in time for no one on the South Side to be able to use them next summer. [ABC 7]

With the "fiscal cliff" looming, some Democrats have growing interest in a Romney campaign pledge as a way to raise taxes on the rich through deduction caps. [NY TIMES]

A gay marriage bill is high on Rahm Emanuel's Springfield agenda. [SUN-TIMES]

The renowned BBC finds itself mired in the middle of its largest scandal ever. [REUTERS]

Antivirus software pioneer John McAfee has been accused of murder but he tells Wired he's been framed. [GIZMODO; WIRED]

One goat, two giraffes missing in Lakeview. [WBEZ]

Porn star Jenna Jameson has to pony up almost $100,000 to a Naperville theater for pulling out of a planned appearance. [DAILY HERALD]

As if Mitt Romney needed another reason to be jealous of the Obamas, First Lady Michelle gets Downton Abbey episodes early. [POLITICO]

Bright One: Andy Ihnatko looks at the big tech FAIL the Romney campaign faced on Election Day and how the Obama campaign side-stepped the same fate. [SUN-TIMES]

And Finally: The Word of the Year is "GIF." [YAHOO NEWS]

The Day In Photos

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Gen. David Petraeus gives a thumbs-up after presenting his wife Holly with a bouquet of roses during an Armed Forces Farewell Tribute and Retirement Ceremony in honor of Petraeus at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Virginia, in this August 31, 2011 file photo. | Getty Images

Gen. David Petraeus resigned abruptly as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency on Friday after President Obama accepted his request.

Here is the letter Petraeus issued to the employees of the CIA explaining his resignation was due to an extramarital affair:

HEADQUARTERS

Central Intelligence Agency

9 November 2012

Yesterday afternoon, I went to the White House and asked the President to be allowed, for personal reasons, to resign from my position as D/CIA. After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the President graciously accepted my resignation.

As I depart Langley, I want you to know that it has been the greatest of privileges to have served with you, the officers of our Nation's Silent Service, a work force that is truly exceptional in every regard. Indeed, you did extraordinary work on a host of critical missions during my time as director, and I am deeply grateful to you for that.

Teddy Roosevelt once observed that life's greatest gift is the opportunity to work hard at work worth doing. I will always treasure my opportunity to have done that with you and I will always regret the circumstances that brought that work with you to an end.

Thank you for your extraordinary service to our country, and best wishes for continued success in the important endeavors that lie ahead for our country and our Agency.

With admiration and appreciation,

David H. Petraeus

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