The head of an Air Force ICBM wing that last week failed a safety and security examination said his team missed the standard only by the barest of margins — “a fraction of a decimal point,” Military Times reported on Monday.
The 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana was given a failing grade for its performance in a single exercise that was part of a broader inspection. That failing grade, though, affected the entire inspection. The 341st Missile Wing oversees one-third of the nation’s 450 Minuteman 3 ICBMs.Wing commander Col. Rob Stanley would not disclose which part of his unit was responsible for the failed exercise, saying this information could be misused by adversaries. “The thing that we were rated unsatisfactory on, I have every confidence in the world if it were a real-world situation, it would have been flawless, but our standards are so geared toward perfection — as they should be — that in this simulated environment that we have to put them through to test them, if they fall even slightly, we have to rate the whole thing as unsatisfactory,” the colonel said in an interview. Because of the inspection failure, a “very small number of some very young folks” have lost their operating certifications and are now being retrained, Stanley said. The refresher course is anticipated to last several days. None of the involved military personnel will be punished, the publication reported. The Air Force in recent years has had a string of embarrassing episodes involving slip-ups by airmen with roles in the nuclear-weapons mission. The most recent inspection failure adds to a public perception problem for the Air Force’s Global Strike Command, which was established in 2009 to improve the service’s management of its nuclear-capable strategic missiles and bombers. “How can you build public trust with an inspection system where nuclear units continue to fail?” Hans Kristensen, head of the Federation of American Scientists’ Nuclear Information Project, said to Military Times over e-mail. Earlier this year, the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota received a less-than-satisfactory rating when it was tested on its ICBM-launch operations “The leadership should not connote a mindset that failing an inspection is a good thing because it reveals things that should be fixed,” Kristensen said. “Units with responsibility for nuclear weapons should not fail inspections. Period.” In three months, officials from Global Strike Command and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency will reassess the Air Force wing on those parts of the examination that it failed. “I wish they could come today,” Stanley said. “We’re ready for them, and our folks that came up short are ready to get up and fight and prove that they are much better than is being portrayed in the media right now.”
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Before we get to the specifics of this exposé about escorts working the Iowa and New Hampshire primary crowds, let’s get three things out of the way: 1.) It’s from Cosmopolitan; 2.) most of the women quoted use fake (if colorful) names; and 3.) again, it’s from Cosmopolitan. That said, here’s what we learned:
- Business was booming: one escort who says she typically gets two inquiries a weekend got 15 requests in the pre-primary weekend.
- Their primary season clientele is a bit older than normal—”40s through mid-60s, compared with mostly twentysomething regulars” and “they’ve clearly done this before.”
- They seemed more nervous than other clients, because “the stakes are higher when you’re working for a possible future president” but “all practiced impeccable manners.”
- One escort “typically enjoy[s] the company of Democrats more, just because I feel like our views line up a lot more.”
No matter where you stand on mandating companies to include a backdoor in encryption technologies, it doesn’t make sense to allow that decision to be made on a state level. “The problem with state-level legislation of this nature is that it manages to be both wildly impractical and entirely unenforceable,” writes Brian Barrett at Wired. There is a solution to this problem. “California Congressman Ted Lieu has introduced the ‘Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications Act of 2016,’ which we’ll call ENCRYPT. It’s a short, straightforward bill with a simple aim: to preempt states from attempting to implement their own anti-encryption policies at a state level.”
Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
The New Covenant. The Third Way. The Democratic Leadership Council style. Call it what you will, but whatever centrist triangulation Bill Clinton embraced in 1992, Hillary Clinton wants no part of it in 2016. Writing for Bloomberg, Sasha Issenberg and Margaret Talev explore how Hillary’s campaign has “diverged pointedly” from what made Bill so successful: “For Hillary to survive, Clintonism had to die.” Bill’s positions in 1992—from capital punishment to free trade—“represented a carefully calibrated diversion from the liberal orthodoxy of the previous decade.” But in New Hampshire, Hillary “worked to juggle nostalgia for past Clinton primary campaigns in the state with the fact that the Bill of 1992 or the Hillary of 2008 would likely be a marginal figure within today’s Democratic politics.”
At first, “it was pleasant” to see Trevor Noah “smiling away and deeply dimpling in the Stewart seat, the seat that had lately grown gray hairs,” writes The Atlantic‘s James Parker in assessing the new host of the once-indispensable Daily Show. But where Jon Stewart was a heavyweight, Noah is “a very able lightweight, [who] needs time too. But he won’t get any. As a culture, we’re not about to nurture this talent, to give it room to grow. Our patience was exhausted long ago, by some other guy. We’re going to pass judgment and move on. There’s a reason Simon Cowell is so rich. Impress us today or get thee hence. So it comes to this: It’s now or never, Trevor.”