The articles posted on this page are written from a conservative, Christian worldview. Patriot Post publications are usually posted M, W, & F. Others are posted as discovered by yours truly. These posting are meant to instill a love for God, family and country as well as to educate, equip, enlighten, and challenge to good deeds for the betterment of mankind, those who visit these pages.
"The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president." Author Unknown
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The Patriot Post
Monday’s Daily Digest
Oct. 20, 2014
“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time; for that’s the stuff life is made of.” –Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1746
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
You Know What We Need? An Ebola Czar.
Barack Obama announced Ron Klain as his new “Ebola Czar.” Obama said, “It may make sense for us to have one person, in part just so that after this initial surge of activity we can have a more regular process to make sure we’re crossing all the t’s and dotting all the i’s.” Just who is Ron Klain? He’s the former chief of staff for both Al Gore and Joe Biden. As RedState’s Dan McLaughlin put it, “Maybe Ron Klain will do a good job, but for perspective, imagine Bush putting Karl Rove in charge of Katrina recovery in October 2006.” Or better yet, Scooter Libby. Furthermore, Klain is a K Street lobbyist with ties to the Solyndra boondoggle and bankruptcy1. He’s a political hack, not a doctor or an expert, but he did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Is the Federal Government Expecting Four Million New Immigrants?
If a document on the government’s website to publicize job-bidding opportunities is any indication, the Obama administration’s plan to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens will be breathtaking. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a draft solicitation Oct. 6 looking for a company that can produce four million identification card templates a year. The synopsis of the bid3 said, “The objective of this procurement is to provide card consumables for the Document Management Division (DMD) that will be used to produce Permanent Resident Cards (PRC) and Employment Authorization Documentation (EAD) cards.” In total, the company must be able to produce 34 million cards – about a tenth of the current U.S. population. Breitbart suggested this bid may indicate the executive is already implementing its version of immigration “reform.” What will be more telling is if we see more government bids soliciting more items preparing for a surge. The strategic aim is simple: Democrats' political salvation lies in creating a huge voter bloc protectorate just like they did with blacks.
That Time Obama’s Credit Card Was Declined
Credit card fraud has become a large problem, but there are measures being taken to stop it. This one is a federal order. The Hill reports5, “Obama on Friday is signing an executive order to move the government towards more secure payment cards, a measure designed to help fight the recent rash of data breaches at high profile businesses.” In announcing it, however, he recounted some credit card troubles of his own – his card was declined while dining in New York recently. “Turns out, I guess I don’t use it enough, so they thought there was some fraud going on,” he joked. Oh, there’s some fraud going on, alright. “Fortunately Michelle had hers,” he added. “But I was trying to explain to the waitress: ‘You know, I really think that I’ve been paying my bills.’” Actually, no, he hasn’t been “paying his bills” – that’s why the nation’s credit card is so far over its limit.
People Walk Out on Obama, Heckler Interrupts Him
How unpopular is Barack Obama? Well, let’s just say the Democrats' messiah has lost the luster from his 2008 Democratic Convention speech in front of those grand Greek columns. One of the few Democrats willing to be seen with Obama these days is Maryland Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown, who is campaigning for governor. Reuters reports it didn’t go well: “Obama made a rare appearance [with another candidate] on the campaign trail on Sunday with a rally to support the Democratic candidate for governor in Maryland, but early departures of crowd members while he spoke underscored his continuing unpopularity.” That’s right – people headed for the exits when he started speaking. “There are no excuses. The future is up to us,” Obama said as he repeatedly encouraged people to vote. Reuters adds, “A heckler interrupted his remarks.” How the mighty have fallen.
‘The President Hasn’t Had Anybody’s Back’
DNC Chief Debbie Wasserman Schultz squared off against her Republican counterpart, Reince Preibus, on Fox News over the weekend. As Democrats are wont to do, she made the election about emotion and a false sense of “caring” from Democrats. “The one question that voters are going to ask themselves,” she said, “is who has my back? And on issue after issue, Democrats have stood up for jobs, for the economy, for investing in education and health care – those are the issues that voters are talking about.” Preibus responded with this zinger: “Debbie, you guys are losing everywhere, first of all. And the president hasn’t had anybody’s back. He hasn’t even had your back. And so, I don’t know whose back these Democrats have, but it’s not the American people’s back.” Indeed, Democrats have destroyed jobs, held back the economy, and ruined education and health care. You might say Democrats have done quite well stabbing people in the back.
Voting Democrat Could Endanger Your Health
On Tuesday, Nov. 4, millions of Americans will head to the polls to vote in one of the more crucial elections of modern times. As we’ve witnessed the recent debacle surrounding the Obama administration’s response to Ebola, and its orchestrated dispersal of illegal alien children throughout the nation – with support from the Democrat Party every step of the way – one thing becomes clear: A vote for any Democrat is hazardous to your health.
Most Americans are now distressingly aware of the series of unconscionable bungles by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Nurses Nina Pham and Amber Vinson have both been infected by the late Patient Zero, Thomas Eric Duncan7, and the CDC response has been pathetic. CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden first sought to blame Pham herself for a “protocol breach,” even as it was subsequently revealed8 such protocols were either haphazardly applied or non-existent. Even worse, Vinson was cleared9 to fly to Ohio and back to Texas by the CDC itself, despite reporting a temperature. As a result, the agency was not only forced to monitor more than 100 people10 in Ohio, but hundreds more people that flew on the same Frontier Airlines plane in subsequent flights. Another hospital worker exposed to Duncan’s medical specimens was quarantined11 – on a Carnival Magic cruise ship.
There are numerous other examples of lapses committed by both the hospital and the CDC, but all of them have only happened for one overriding reason: Barack Obama refused to restrict incoming flights from Ebola-ravaged nations in West Africa. And make no mistake: Every subsequent bureaucratic failure stems from that decision.
Moreover, it is a decision on which the administration actually doubled down in August, when the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began “waiving fees, expediting the immigration process, and allowing extensions of visas for anyone coming from the three designated Ebola-stricken countries, provided that they are in the United States,” Breitbart reports12.
Obama’s fellow Democrats have supported him13 every step of the way. “There’s no such thing as fortress America when it comes to infectious disease,” said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO). “The best way to stop Ebola is going to be to stop this virus in Africa.”
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) agreed. “Sealing people off in Africa is not going to keep them from traveling,” he insisted. “They’ll travel to Brussels, as one of the people did, and then into the United States.”
Animals from foreign nations are subject14 to quarantine, and many agricultural products and other foodstuffs are denied15 entry altogether. Yet Democrats not only believe applying the same rules to people is impractical, they conflate going to West Africa to fight Ebola with allowing people from West Africa to enter our country.
And why not? Democrats are equally on board with the administration’s decision to allow 66,000 illegal alien children, not only to enter our country, but be dispersed throughout it. Alien children the administration knew were coming seven months before it occurred. This government ad16 posted on Jan. 29, entitled “Escort Services for Unaccompanied Alien Children,” sought escort services for “approximately 65,000 UAC in total” via “local ground transport,” “ICE charter” and “commercial air.”
The all-out assault on our Southwest border occurred over the same time frame Enterovirus D-68 (EV-D68), relatively rare in the United States, began ramping up in earnest. The CDC and state authorities confirm17 that 691 people in 46 states and the District of Columbia contracted EV-D68 between August and October. Five children have died from it, and it is also linked18 to four confirmed and seven suspected cases of paralysis-like symptoms in Colorado, as well as additional19 cases in Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles. In some cases, children have been left bound to a wheelchair, unable to speak or breathe on their own. They have little chance of full recovery, because the disease kills the connection between the muscles and the spinal chord. Stanford School of Medicine neurologist Keith Van Haren believes it’s “just a matter of time before we establish a definitive link between EV-D68 and this polio-like illness that follows.”
The CDC denies any connection between the disease and the illegals. How believable is that? Doctors from the Division of Viral Diseases at the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases published a study posted on the CDC’s own website. It reveals that EV-D68 “is one of the most rarely reported serotypes, with only 26 reports throughout the 36-year study period (1970 through 2006).” Thus we are expected to believe that 26 cases over a 36-year period, rising to 691 in a single year – even as the CDC waived its own health screening regulations20 for entry – is sheer coincidence.
If you believe that, by all means, vote Democrat.
Those would be the same Democrats, along with their media lapdogs, who have been decrying21 the “hysteria” surrounding the Ebola outbreak. Really? Nurse Vinson visited a bridal shop in Ohio and flew on Frontier Airlines. Anyone want to bet on that airline’s future business prospects, or those of Texas Presbyterian Hospital, which feels like a “ghost town” according22 to local health care vendor Rachelle Cohorn? How many people will forego booking a cruise on any Carnival Cruise ship? Moreover, note that all of this economic upheaval has been caused by a total of four people (Duncan, the two nurses and the shipboard health worker). Imagine the economic devastation that would follow an Ebola outbreak among, say, 50 Americans, including the massive amount of time, effort and money required to track down the exponential number of people with whom they will have come in contact.
Some Democrats aren’t stupid. Some of them recognize the administration’s response to Ebola and EV-D68 is toxic. Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes and Georgia Senate candidate Michelle Nunn both declined23 to say they voted for Obama. Yet is there a scintilla of doubt in anyone’s mind that they and every other Democrat currently distancing themselves from the president and his policies to win an election won’t turn around and support him wholeheartedly if they win? Have modern-day Democrats ever exhibited anything other than a lemming-like loyalty to their party, even when that loyalty is detrimental to the nation?
Don’t misunderstand. Many Republicans are equally loathsome. They love the trappings of power without the responsibility that comes with it when you’re the majority party. Mitch McConnell is willing24 to “follow the advice of the experts” with regard to Ebola, and many other GOPers support immigration reform even though they know the promise of border control is a joke.
Yet an Obama administration that reduces everything to a political calculation, even a life-threatening, economy-killing disease, along with one that has paralyzed and killed American children, is beyond the pale. So is every Democrat who supports it. The same Democrats who will stand up and cheer when Obama unilaterally and illegally grants amnesty of millions of illegals after the election – even as nearly 167,000 convicted criminal immigrants with final orders of removal remain at large25 in our nation.
Thus, the election comes down to the Stupid Party (GOP) versus the Toxic Party (Democrats). Opt for Stupid. Your life might depend on it – literally.
‘Inherent Resolve’ to Appear Hawkish
Political correctness has spread to the very naming of military operations. Despite objections from the Pentagon about the name, which one officer called “kind of bleh,” the administration chose a name for our military excursion against the Islamic State based on the effort to offend as few of our so-called coalition partners as possible. Thus, we’re embarked on “Operation Inherent Resolve.”
Barack Obama didn’t even have a strategy for countering ISIL until last month, and now he wants us to believe his plan is the essence of Inherent Resolve? In fact, resolve seems to be lacking in everyone involved except ISIL itself. And a nation doesn’t usually name its military operations as a compliment to its foe.
Many coalition nations fear getting involved in the Syrian civil war between forces allied with and opposed to Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad. But there’s a calculation involved. Since ISIL forces are generally seen as opposed to Assad, their defeat makes Assad stronger and by extension increases Russia’s influence in the region. On the other hand, few want a maniacal Islamic caliphate gaining power in the Middle East, either. The situation leaves many nations facing what they might consider a Faustian bargain. They already distrust the United States, given Obama’s erratic foreign policy and propensity to assume26 that nations will just let America use what it needs in the fight, whether domestically popular in those countries or not.
Nearly two dozen of these partners sent their best and brightest military minds to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland for a meeting with Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey. Obama tried to reassure them of our resolve but also warned, “There are going to be periods of progress and setbacks.” Clearly, even the best military strategy goes out the window as soon as the first shots are fired. But Obama’s setbacks are too often self-inflicted.
While we have made an effort to loosen ISIL’s grip27 on the Syrian border city of Kobani through ramped up airstrikes last week, the operational tempo of the newly christened Inherent Resolve falls far short28 of other recent operations in that region of the world. And since Obama has ruled out “boots on the ground” for purely political reasons, it’s clear he’s hoping other nations will do the dirty work in return for some unspecified reward down the road. That may be desirable – if it works. But it’s a big “if.”
What “inherent resolve” did Obama show in prematurely pulling our troops out of Iraq? His history of governing by poll numbers instead of a broad strategic plan against the entire scope of Islamic terror – whether al-Qaida, ISIL or the bevy of other splinter groups in the Islamic Crescent – shows why Inherent Resolve isn’t a philosophy. It’s just an empty name from an empty suit.
OPINION IN BRIEF
The Gipper: “When you see all that rhetorical smoke billowing up from the Democrats, well ladies and gentleman, I’d follow the example of their nominee; don’t inhale.”
Columnist Thomas Sowell: “Nothing is easier than to prove that America, or any other society of human beings, is far from being the perfect gem that any of us can conjure up in our imagination. But, when you look around the world today or look back through history, you can get a very painfully sobering sense of what a challenge it can be in the real world to maintain even common decency among human beings. Living just one year in the Middle East would be an education in reality that could obliterate years of indoctrination in grievances that passes for education in too many of our schools, colleges and universities. You could go on to get a postgraduate education in reality in some place like North Korea. … There is so much knowledge and skills that need to be transmitted to the young that turning schools and colleges into indoctrination centers is a major and reckless disservice to them and to American society, which is vulnerable as all human societies have always been, especially those that are decent.”
Columnist Burt Prelutsky: “One can imagine Obama being the Commander-in-Chief during World War II and announcing, ‘Yes, we are at war with Adolf Hitler and his savage war machine. But we are not – let me repeat – not at war with Nazism, which is a religion of peace. And we will definitely not have any boots on the ground in Europe.’ As for those European nations currently unwilling to take up arms either against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine or the Islamics in the Middle East, I suggest they heed the words of concentration camp survivor Elie Wiesel: ‘Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the oppressed. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.’ Or as Winston Churchill once said, ‘An appeaser is one who feeds an alligator in the hope it will eat him last.’ One can only hope that the civilized world will wake up sooner rather than later, and conclude that a united front is required to hasten the transformation of ISIS into WasWas.”
Fred Thompson: “White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that the U.S. strategy for defeating ISIS is ‘reliant on something that is not yet in place.’ Yes. A Republican President.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform – Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen – standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.
Kansas Senate Race is a National Election
10/20/2014 12:01:00 AM - Star Parker
Former Democrat House Speaker Tip O’Neill’s political wisdom that “All politics is local” has been a staple in political thinking for many years.
But the truth of the matter is that, regarding elections for national office, politics is really, today, a national business.
And this is what voters in Kansas should be thinking about in the current close Senate race between Republican incumbent Pat Roberts and Independent challenger Greg Orman.
Roberts has not been shy making the point that regaining the Senate by Republicans is crucial and this is what Kansas voters should be thinking about in this election. And he is right.
Let’s consider how the role of the federal government in American lives has changed since Tip O’Neill was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1953.
In 1953 about 15 percent of the federal budget consisted of direct payments to individuals and almost 70 percent of the federal budget consisted of spending on national defense.
Today it is the opposite. Seventy percent of expenditures of the federal government consist of transfer payments made directly to individuals and spending on national defense is barely 20 percent of the federal budget.
Where are all these transfer payments going?
According to John Merline of Investors Business Daily, 38.6 percent goes to pay health bills – through Medicare, Medicaid, or Obamacare, another third is in Social Security payments, 21 percent goes to poverty programs, and 5 percent to veterans.
When Tip O’Neill was first elected in 1953, non-defense expenditures of the federal government amounted to 10.4 percent of our GDP. Today it is 17.6 percent.
So politics cannot be local anymore. America is a different country today than Tip O’Neill’s America. The federal government places a major role – dwarfing that of local government – in the lives of every American citizen.
Furthermore, our political class in Washington – particularly the liberal ones that have controlled our government for the last 6 years – have advanced their control of our personal lives in a surreptitious way. Instead of raising taxes to cover the costs of all new expenditures, they just borrow the money.
Massive increases of American debt finances growth of government with citizens sitting on the sidelines, hearing about what they are getting and not what it is really costing them.
The latest report that federal debt has ballooned to $18 trillion boggles the mind.
That is over $57,000 debt on every US man, woman, and child.
Beyond the overriding economic control that the federal government now has over citizens, federal courts now dictate our social norms.
It is the federal judiciary that defines a woman’s ability to destroy life in the womb. And it is now the federal judiciary that defines what marriage is.
Kansas has always been a red state. The last time Kansans sent a Democrat to the Senate was in 1932. Since then, every Senator from Kansas has been a Republican, except for two populists.
The national agenda – runaway debt, runaway spending, loss of American leadership in the world, collapse of values and the American family at home – permeates every election in every state.
Greg Orman rejects Pat Roberts’ claim that he is a liberal Democrat in hiding. It’s pretty hard to not agree with Roberts when Orman ran for office as a Democrat in 2008, has given major contributions to Democrat candidates, is unapologetic in his pro-abortion stance, and has just been endorsed by the AFL-CIO.
Certainly conservatives have good reason to be disillusioned with the Republican Party over recent years. But at least there is hope that the Republican Party can get back on track.
There is no such hope for Democrats. They stand for everything that is sinking our country.
Pat Roberts is right. We cannot let Kansas turn purple or blue. We need to keep it red and we need to get conservatives back in control in Washington.
Trusting This Administration On Ebola, Or Anything Else, Is Insanity
10/20/2014 12:01:00 AM - Kurt Schlichter
Maybe the White House could organize a coherent response to the myriad problems exploding all over the place if this was an amorphous “community” instead of an actual country. We are seeing a real-life PowerPoint demonstration explaining exactly what happens when you turn the Executive Branch over to people who have never executed anything more complex than a sit-in at the local welfare office.
Since everything they touch turns to failure, their response is to lie. And everyone sees it. Everyone except Chet. Chet is my unicorn.
I’m a lawyer and get paid to watch equivocating weasels twist in the wind – in fact, one of the best parts of my job is doing the huffing and puffing. I have to give credit to the director of the Centers for Disease Control – rarely have I disbelieved someone so thoroughly so quickly. I don’t even believe his punctuation.
Instead of a rational, authoritative scientist calmly explaining what we do and don’t know, and exactly what commonsense steps his agency is taking to battle the Ebola outbreak, we get Dr. Kevin Bacon being flattened under a stampede of exposed medics running rampant across the country as he shrieks, “Remain Calm! All is well!”
Dude, all is not well. Everyone knows it. And that’s why people aren’t remaining calm.
When you tell us that you and your crack squad of pathogen professionals have got this, it would be infinitely better if you actually had this. Instead, after weeks of chaos, you finally announce that, “Yeah, we’ve decided that when Ebola pops up somewhere we’re going to send a big team in to make sure it’s contained.” Oh, you think?
I majored in communications, not communicable diseases, and I figured out that tactic weeks ago. Instead of studying, maybe you should have been drinking Coors Light and scamming hotties like me, because what you’re doing sure as hell isn’t containing the infection or reassuring the public.
Why hasn’t Barack Obama fired this guy? Well, that would be an admission of imperfection and that’s never going to happen. Instead of getting busy searching for a replacement, the White House is busy searching for a way to blame the GOP. Of course, in a nation dominated by failing unionized public schools, plenty of people will fall for the idea that the government is run by the party that has held one half of one branch of government for four of the last six years. Apparently evil genius John Boehner reigns over our nation from inside his extinct volcano lair.
Oh, in a totally unrelated story, the President recently played his 200th round of golf.
It’s no surprise that things go poorly when there’s no accountability. Leadership sometimes means pour encourager les autres by making an example of a non-hacker who can’t cut it. But if you take accountability off the table, you kind of limit your management options pretty much to just sitting back and watching yourself fail.
Of course, while placing the responsibility for nonperformance on specific individuals within the administration is not an option, generalized slander of elements of the government not generally associated with liberalism is just fine. Take the ISIS, or ISIL, or IS, or whatever’s conquest of Iraq – that was the fault of the intelligence community’s negligent failure to put the President in a half-nelson and force him to read the daily intel briefs that warned him for months that the junior varsity team was heading into the Super Bowl with a very favorable point spread.
It’s remarkable how this administration stumbles from disaster to disaster, each new day a surprise, each new challenge an utter shock. Putin in Ukraine? Who would have thought a revanchist Russian autocrat might try to reconquer the breadbasket of the Old USSR? What’s up with that? And that a wave of unaccompanied children might crest over our non-existent border after the administration practically sent them an engraved invitation? Who could have seen that coming?
Sure, we all understand that the essence of progressivism is the rejection of objective truth in favor of politically useful lies, but this is something more. When an administration is so unbelievably incompetent that it can’t even manage to perform the most basic functions of a government – like defeating our enemies, securing our borders, and not letting the country live out the plot of a Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow movie – there is no alternative. It has to lie. There’s literally nothing else it can do.
No wonder the Democrats’ favorable/unfavorable poll numbers are tanking. People, even the stupid ones who put this freak show in control, dislike being lied to. And they tend to stop believing people who lie to them all the time.
Yet this phenomenon baffles our would-be liberal overlords. For instance, they are in a perpetual tizzy because the American people laughed at John Kerry’s recent announcement that climate change was America’s greatest security threat and refuse to give up their cars and move into caves because of global warming. Or climate change. Or whatever they are calling it this week.
It’s remarkable that the American people resist shoveling heaps of money and much of their sovereignty over to a bunch of liberal elitists whose argument seems to consist of shouting, “SCIENCE!” They cite to the same scientific community that recently assured us that they had this whole Ebola transmission thing totally figured out. In the 70s, the liberals’ pet eggheads assured us that right now we’d be in an ice age.
Perhaps we might understand the evidence better if they shouted “SCIENCE!” at us a few more times.
We liked our health plans, and we got to keep them. Obama was furious that his IRS oppressed his political enemies. The Benghazi video did it.
It’s sheer insanity to believe anything anyone in this administration says, and everyone knows it. Everyone except Chet the Unicorn.
Troops Fight Obama’s Politically Correct War On Ebola
10/20/2014 12:01:00 AM - Katie Kieffer
Two lawyers fight Ebola in the U.S. while our troops are forced to combat Ebola in West Africa. Americans may contract Ebola but rest assured: no one will sue the federal government.
Your president, a former constitutional law professor, is violating our brave troops’ natural rights in the name of political correctness. Bypassing Congress, Obama has ordered up to 4,000 troops to fight Ebola in West Africa and has named lawyer Ron Klain “Ebola Czar.”
I realize Obama may admire Russia, given his whispered exchange with outgoing president Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that was transmitted over a hot microphone in March of 2012: "This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility." Alas, you and I aren’t Russians and our ancestors did not fight the Revolutionary War so that America could become the Land of the Czars.
Every human has a natural right to his or her own body, their first piece of private property, and the federal government’s role is to help protect your natural rights—not endanger them. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution acknowledges this natural right.
It’s infuriating that a man who has never served a day in his life in the military is abusing his executive privilege to compel our brave troops—including many Millennials of my generation—to risk their bodily health fighting Ebola in West Africa.
The president’s role is to keep Americans safe and defend our natural rights. If he’s able to keep Americans safe while also helping foreign countries, fine. But Obama’s current War on Ebola is jeopardizing American health. Below, I outline the unseen risks of sending U.S. troops to West Africa and offer a better solution:
Risks to troops and their families:
Pentagon officials boast of protocols to protect our troops and their families when they return from West Africa. However, the Pentagon’s protocols are subjective and porous—leaving too much up to the personal discretion of military commanders who lack medical experience.
Thousands of troops are expected to return home in late November or early December, after building 17 Ebola-treatment units. Given that Thomas Eric Duncan did not exhibit any symptoms of Ebola, including a fever, until a week after he arrived in the U.S. from Liberia—every single U.S. service member should be quarantined for 21 days to ensure their own and the public’s safety.
However, Stars and Stripes reported last week that the Pentagon is leaving quarantines up to the discretion of commanders and is only requiring every service member to undergo two comprehensive tests for symptoms prior to returning to their families and day jobs in the U.S. And, only one of these tests will be conducted by medical professionals.
If even one out of the thousands of returning U.S. troops has Ebola but does not display symptoms until later (think Duncan)—or if a patient with symptoms slips through the mandatory tests (think nurse Amber Vinson who treated Duncan and was given clearance to fly commercial after she notified the CDC of her elevated temperature)—Ebola could spiral out of control.
We have yet to develop an Ebola vaccine or accumulate a stockpile of a treatment such as the ZMapp serum. This lack of preparation is unacceptable given that the CDC spent a mere 6 percent of the $3 billion it received from an Obamacare fund to fight communicable disease and saw its overall budget swell by 5 percent in fiscal 2014 (far more than the average American saw their wages increase).
70 staffers were dedicated to treating Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Imagine if just 10 out of the thousands of returning U.S. troops break out with Ebola after returning home. A minimum of 700 health care workers would potentially be required to properly care for them—not to mention workers needed to monitor their families—straining our existing healthcare system and endangering healthcare workers.
We can’t trust our president on matters of healthcare. He told us we could keep our healthcare plan if we liked it and that health insurance would become more affordable. Yet many Americans, including yours truly, experienced price increases or cancelations. The Los Angeles Times reported in September that average health premiums are up 3 percent.
So, let’s take a listen to the folks who are being honest about what has worked in fighting Ebola.
Obama claims unnamed experts tell him: “ a flat-out travel ban is not the best way to go.” Hmm. That’s interesting. The Associated Press reported last week that West African officials are crediting strict “border controls” and “patient tracking” [two precautions that the CDC and Obama have failed to implement] for limiting Ebola’s spread to five African countries—two of which have succeeded in “snuff[ing] out the disease.” Dr. Nelly Bosire, leader of Kenya’s chief medical union, told the AP: “The fact we stopped doing the West African flights had an impact [on limiting Ebola’s spread]. On that part I think we got it right.”
Rather than forcing our troops to fight Ebola in West Africa without sufficient safety mechanisms in place, we should consider relying more heavily on the private sector. Liberal philanthropists like Bill Gates and Hollywood stars like Brad Pitt who boast about their like willingness to pay higher taxes would surely step up to the plate if Obama called on them to aid West Africans.
An infusion of private funding would help Liberia pay their own health workers $700 a month in hazard pay so that they do not go on strike. This would enable the country to continue the enormous progress it has already made on its own. We should also follow West Africa’s lead and implement a temporary travel ban to protect U.S. citizens from an Ebola outbreak.
“The first thing in caring for someone with Ebola is to do everything in your power to never become a victim,” the World Health Organization’s Dr. Aileen Marty advised after returning from combating Ebola in Nigeria. We should ignore pompous lawyers like Obama and Klain who possess zero medical or military expertise and start heeding medical professionals like Dr. Marty. We will not help Ebola victims in West Africa or the U.S. by turning our troops into victims in the name of political correctness.
The Unsavory History of Gun Control
Daniel J. Mitchell
10/20/2014 12:01:00 AM
But I hadn’t realized that some of the earliest gun control initiatives were designed to oppress blacks.
As Dave Kopel explains in Reason, the white power structure in many post-Civil War states was very anxious to disarm former slaves.
After the Civil War, the defeated Southern states aimed to preserve slavery in fact if not in law. The states enacted Black Codes which barred the black freedmen from exercising basic civil rights, including the right to bear arms. Mississippi’s provision was typical: No freedman “shall keep or carry fire-arms of any kind, or any ammunition.” …The Klansmen, unlike the freedmen, had horses, and thus the tactical advantages of mobility. In a few months, the Klan triumph was complete. One freedman recalled that the night riders, after reasserting white control, “took the weapons from might near all the colored people in the neighborhood.” …Sometimes militias consisting of freedmen or Unionists were able to resist the Klan or other white forces. In places like the South Carolina back-country, where the blacks were a numerical majority, the black militias kept white terrorists at bay for long periods. …In areas where the black militias lost and the Klan or other white groups took control, “almost universally the first thing done was to disarm the negroes and leave them defenseless,” wrote Albion Tourgeé in his 1880 book The Invisible Empire. …As Jim Crow intensified, other Southern states enacted gun registration and handgun permit laws. Registration came to Mississippi (1906), Georgia (1913), and North Carolina (1917). Handgun permits were passed in North Carolina (1917), Missouri (1919), and Arkansas (1923). As one Florida judge explained, the licensing laws were “passed for the purpose of disarming the negro laborers… [and] never intended to be applied to the white population.”
With this historical knowledge, this poster now makes a lot of sense.
It quotes the infamous Dred Scott decision, which also was predicated on the state-sanctioned oppression of African-Americans.
While I wasn’t aware of the racist history of gun control, I did have some familiarity with the fact that totalitarian governments traditionally have wanted to disarm citizens.
I wrote, for instance, about gun control initiatives by the Venezuelan dictatorship.
So this image is in that tradition.
Now let me make an important point.
I don’t think advocates of gun control in the United States are racists or fascists. I assume that 99 percent of them are guilty instead of being naive.
P.S. Switching to a different topic, a French economist (no, that’s not a contradiction in terms) was awarded the Nobel Prize about a week ago.
He’s apparently considered to be on the left of the philosophical spectrum, yet it’s worthwhile that even he thinks there’s too much statism in his home nation.
Hours after he won the economics Nobel Prize, Tirole said he felt “sad” the French economy was experiencing difficulties despite having “a lot of assets”. “We haven’t succeeded in France to undertake the labour market reforms that are similar to those in Germany, Scandinavia and so on,” he said in telephone interview from the French city of Toulouse, where he teaches. France is plagued by record unemployment and Tirole described the French job market as “catastrophic” earlier on Monday, arguing that the excessive protection for employees had frozen the country’s job market. “We haven’t succeeded also in downsizing the state, which is an issue because we have a social model that I approve of – I’m very much in favour of this social model – but it won’t be sustainable if the state is too big,” he added. Tirole remarked that northern European countries, as well as Canada and Australia, had proven you could keep a welfare social model with smaller government. In contrast, he said France’s “big state” threatened its social policies because there will not be “enough money to pay for it in the long run”.
He’s exactly right. I’m a libertarian, so I don’t want the government involved in areas such as housing, healthcare and income redistribution.
But even if you favor larger government, there’s a giant difference between having the public sector consume 57 percent of economic output (as in France) or a more reasonable amount, such as what’s found in Canada or Australia (as Professor Tirole mentioned).
By the way, I made the same point as Tirole when I spoke last year in Paris. I asked my audience whether they thought they got better and/or more services than the citizens of Switzerland, where the burden of government spending is far less onerous.
Ebola: Politics, Failure, And Opportunism
10/19/2014 12:01:00 AM - Derek Hunter
The Ebola outbreak has been a disaster in politics, but a boom for capitalism. Weird how that works, but it is how many things work.
President Obama’s handling of the Ebola outbreak has been an unmitigated disaster. At first, he dismissed it. Then, he panicked and started canceling campaign and fundraising events to engage in the “optics” of being in charge.
It was too late. With his indifference toward beheadings and terrorists attacks that killed ambassadors in the past, the president altering his heretofore unalterable schedule signaled a panic message to the American people. If there’s nothing to worry about, why would he change his schedule now when he couldn’t be bothered to during so many previous crises?
Barack Obama always has been politically tone-deaf when it comes to leadership, but nearly perfect pitch for campaigning. The Ebola crisis requires him to move from the latter into the former. It’s an unnatural fit, and it’s showing.
Obama isn’t a leader, he’s a cheerleader. If you ever saw Marlon Brando interviewed, that’s kind of how the president is.
Brando was a brilliant actor, believable in every film he made. But although he played brilliant and intelligent characters on the screen, he was crazy in real life. He rambled, said off-the-wall things and could barely string together a coherent sentence. The president is the same way.
Barack Obama on teleprompter has few peers. Off it, he’s the guy in class who writes exceedingly long answers to simple essay questions in hopes of throwing enough on the page to confuse the teacher into thinking he actually does know the answer.
After weeks of refusing to take Ebola seriously and trying to project calm, the president’s sudden and abrupt reversal didn’t quell fears, it’s sparked them.
The appointment of Ron Klain as Ebola czar shows the president is more interested in appearing to take Ebola seriously than actually doing so. Klain is a Democratic Party operative, lawyer and former chief of staff to both Al Gore and Joe Biden who has zero medical background. On top of that, this vital new czar won’t be reporting directly to the president at all.
The media, most of whom are fans and supporters of the president and his policies, found itself between a rock and a bleeding person with uncontrollable vomiting. Big Media has tried to protect the president, and it wants to do so again. But the old playbook doesn’t apply in this case.
The American people do find Fast and Furious, the IRS targeting Americans over their beliefs, Benghazi, and all the other Obama scandals unsettling, but those dust-ups are needle-movers only for people who didn’t trust him in the first place. With Ebola, as remote of a possibility as it is, people have a natural instinct to think it could happen to them. A history of incompetence and indifference turned on a dime does not confidence instill.
The media can’t ignore the story—and can’t resist it either. The only thing the media loves more than a crime involving an attractive, young white woman is a story out of a Hollywood movie that scares people. Unfortunately for them, this story, no matter how it’s told, makes government look incompetent.
Some in the media have tried to insulate the administration by attacking those critical of its inaction. But these attempts have failed miserably. The most spectacular failure was an attempted hit-job on Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., himself a doctor. It was a feeble and embarrassing failure.
So the media’s natural inclination to hype and sensationalize is butting up against the desire to protect Democrats, particularly the president. As hardcore Congressional Democrats continue to hold the line on simple measures such as implementing a travel ban to Ebola-affected countries, those in tight races are starting to break with the White House. The media is finding itself stuck defending a sinking ship in an increasingly pathetic way (as in, it would protect Americans, but it could hurt Africans), or satiating viewers who can’t get enough of the story.
This tug-of-war couldn’t have come at a worse time for Democrats. Faith in government was waning from the failures of the economy, Obamacare, the advance of ISIS, etc., etc., before this latest round of incompetence. But this one has people thinking about their mortality. Government incompetence could be a major contributor to the spread of something that could kill them. No reassurances can undo what demonstrated failure has done. At least not in such a short period of time.
Republican’s chances of a major electoral victory are increasing by the day, but there are still many days left before Nov. 4. Plenty of time remaining for them to blow it.
This election, thanks in large part to the Obama administration’s failures on the Ebola front, runs the risk of being a victory for whichever party or candidate fails the least, or fails last. It’s a hell of a way to run a country, but if it means President Obama won’t have a rubber stamp in the U.S. Senate to appoint more federal judges, especially to the Supreme Court, I’ll take it.
Wait, I did mention capitalism in the opening, didn’t I?
As with any event, triumph or tragedy, entrepreneurial types will find a way to make a buck off it. Ebola is no different. Everything from phony cures and hazmat suits, to stuffed viruses and comedy T-shirts is available for sale online. Human beings, like viruses, will always find a way to survive.
Are ISIS Fighters Learning to Fly Jets?
10/18/2014 12:01:00 PM - Leah Barkoukis
Not only is our current strategy against ISIS not working, according to a new report, they too may be taking the fight to the skies. Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is reporting that former Iraqi pilots who’ve joined the terror group are now training members to fly in captured Syrian fighter jets.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights group says some ex-Iraqi air force pilots are training members of ISIS to fly three warplanes—believed to be MiG-21 and MiG-23 jets-- captured from air bases in Syria.
The rights group reported the planes flying over the Jarrah air base in the eastern countryside of the Syrian town of Aleppo this week.
Rami Abdurrahman, director of the Observatory, said the planes have been flying at a low altitude, apparently to avoid being detected by Syrian military radar in the area.
"People saw the flights, they went up many times from the airport and they are flying in the skies outside the airport and coming back," the BBC reported Abdurrahman said.
The report, which could not be independently verified, comes as the U.S. and its allies are bombing Islamic State group bases in Syria and Iraq, where the extremists have seized large swaths of territory.
The Pentagon on Friday said it was “not aware” of any flight operations by the terror group.
"We continue to keep a close eye on (ISIS) activity in Syria and Iraq and will continue to conduct strikes against their equipment, facilities, fighters and centers of gravity, wherever they may be," U.S. Central Command spokesman Col Patrick Ryder told reporters.
"We don't have any operational reporting of (ISIS) flying jets in support of ISIS activity on the ground and so I cannot confirm that. And to the degree that pilots may have defected and joined the ranks of ISIS, I don't have any information on that either," Gen. Lloyd Austin, head of the U.S. military's Central Command, said on Friday.
A Thousand Times More Dangerous Than ISIS
10/19/2014 12:01:00 AM - Ken Blackwell
Editor's Note: This column was coauthored by Bob Morrison.
Several years ago, the Israeli satirical series, Latma, produced this funny sketch on the Iranian mullahs’ push for a nuclear bomb. “The bomb, the bomb, I’ll get the bomb. Listen to me, Honey, it ain’t gonna be too long” sings the frolicking mullah in the online version of this humorous look at a most serious subject.
The Israelis can joke about an Iranian nuclear bomb because they are on the front line. They know what it would mean. They don’t go on and on about “stability” in the Middle East the way our State Department types do. There hasn’t been stability in the Mideast in our lifetime and there is no likelihood of stability being achieved there in the future. All the Western journalists’ gushing about the “Arab Spring” has produced not one country with a semblance of stability, freedom, or genuine change.
Egypt has settled down for the moment into a familiar pattern of military dictatorship.
Hosni Mubarak maintained his dictatorship for three decades the same way Tsar Nicholas II had maintained his autocratic rule in Russia. The Tsar embraced the democratic Western nations. He happily took billions in aid from the democracies. But at home, he unleashed his brutality.
Now, we hear the Obama administration is negotiating with the Iranians in an attempt to stop their nuclear weapons program. “We know each other well enough to make jokes.” says a State Department spokesman in this story in the Weekly Standard.
They joke about the “peace process” because it is a joke. Nothing is clearer than that the Obama administration has no serious commitment to stopping Iran from getting the bomb. Negotiators are supposedly trying to give Iran freedom to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without allowing them to go ahead with construction of a nuclear weapon. The truth is that if Iran has nuclear power plants, it can readily produce nuclear weapons.
Left unasked are key questions. Why should the No. 1 state sponsor of terrorism in the world be allowed to develop any nuclear capacity? Even without an atomic bomb, the radioactive waste that is produced by every nuclear power plant could easily be used to create a so-called dirty bomb. That would be an explosive device that spreads deadly radioactivity in any Western capital city. Another key question is this: Why should one of the world’s leading oil producers be allowed the fiction that they need nuclear energy for peaceful purposes? Iran’s record since 1979 abundantly shows the ruling mullahs have no peaceful purposes.
Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, recently put the Mideast turmoil in perspective. “A nuclear Iran would be a thousand times more dangerous than ISIS,”
the envoy told guests at his suburban Maryland home.
Ambassador Dermer is right. This administration is simply not serious about stopping Iran from getting the bomb. The fact that Mr. Obama has set November 24th as his artificial deadline for progress in the nuclear arms talks is most illuminating. That is Monday before the traditional get-out-of-town fever hits Washington. Congressmen and staffers will be focused on Thanksgiving Recess, not on talks in Europe about Iran’s endless and monotonous negotiations. Iranians have long since mastered the technique of talking their opponents to death.
This much we know from the 444 days of captivity our U.S. hostages faced in Tehran from November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981: They were subjected to regular “mock” executions by their captors. Imagine being beaten, tortured, starved and then put up against the wall and told you were to be shot. Only with the click-click-click of the empty rifles to you learn you have been the victim of another cruel hoax.
In just this way, the Americans, British, and other victims held by ISIS are probably prepared for their eventual slaughter. Those haunting pictures of kneeling captives show them passively going to their deaths. Might it be they have been through this drill so many times they cannot believe that this time they really will be beheaded?
We do not have to watch these savage acts to learn from their heinous repetition on the Internet. Iran may well be subjecting the entire West to this same process. One day, we will awaken to find that this time Iran has actually gone through with a nuclear explosion.
Nothing this administration has done can prevent that dread day. And, if a nuclear explosion is “a thousand times brighter than the sun,” Ambassador Dermer is right: A nuclear Iran is a thousand times more dangerous than ISIS.
Regulators and Bureaucrats Vs The Soup Nazi
10/19/2014 12:01:00 AM - Gayle Trotter
Episode 115 of “Seinfeld” featured a gruff entrepreneur who ran a soup stand offering the best soup in New York City. “You can’t eat this soup standing up, your knees buckle,” Jerry Seinfeld explained to Elaine.
“There’s only one caveat — the guy who runs the place is a little temperamental, especially about the ordering procedure,” Jerry said. “He’s secretly referred to as the Soup Nazi” because if you don’t order right, “He yells and you don’t get your soup.”
No one liked the Soup Nazi — but everyone loved his soup! Despite his grumpy, rude and domineering demeanor, the Soup Nazi’s recipes would command long lines out the door of his shop because he offered irresistibly delicious food at a reasonable price.
The Soup Nazi freely chose what to serve and how to serve it. His customers voted with their taste buds. Good cooking trumped bad manners.
Life recently imitated art when, in San Francisco, a restaurateur lost it in response to customers who could not order right. James Chu’s restaurant offered old-fashioned, conventional fare, and he got “fed up with trying to satisfy every single patron’s particular demands.”
The last straw was a customer who said, “The rule is, if we don’t like it we don’t have to pay,” and then walked out cursing. “That’s when I went poof,” said Chu.
Chu temporarily closed the restaurant, posting a sign: “So, yes we use MSG! So, we don’t believe in organic food. And, we don’t give a s--- about gluten free.” There, he said it.
Instead of genuflecting to free-range, fair-trade, cruelty-free, wind-powered, non-GMO, non-transfat, gluten-free, no-MSG, crunchy-granola organic chicken, Chu cries conventional fowl. Soup Nazi and Joe the Plumber, meet James Chu, the entrepreneur of 2014.
Chu personifies the last vestige of the free-market economy in America. It’s a refreshing change to see that a shred of freedom remains in a world where agents shut down a child’s lemonade stand for lack of a business license, where local governments ban transfats and salts, where New York City bans large sodas, where state governments dictate the wages entrepreneurs must pay their employees, where Michelle Obama decrees “Let them not eat cake” at elementary school fundraisers, where government regulation runs amok and small businesses face seemingly endless job-killing bureaucratic red-tape.
It is easy to imagine nanny-state bureaucrats and politicians imposing their own views on Chu and other entrepreneurs. For now, we can celebrate Chu’s freedom to serve Chinese food that contains (gasp!) MSG and gluten, and we thank him for showing that, for now, the idea of America is not yet dead.
“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest,” wrote Adam Smith. “We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.” If Chu’s customers demand MSG-free Chinese food, he can give them what they want or go out of business. But if they want MSG in their kung pao chicken, Chu is free to serve it up.
That, after all, is what the free market is all about. Entrepreneurs choose what they sell. Customers vote with their taste buds, their pocketbooks and, ultimately, their feet. We don’t need government dictating what the result will be.
Our local, state and federal government has decided that food is the new sex, as Mary Eberstadt has argued. “The rules being drawn around food receive some force from the fact that people are uncomfortable with how far the sexual revolution has gone — and not knowing what to do about it, they turn for increasing consolation to mining morality out of what they eat.”
The hyper-regulation of food and entrepreneurs borders on obsession, with an effectiveness that exceeds that of the Puritans. But James Chu reminds us that we generally don’t need laws to make choices that market forces can make on their own.
“We work hard to please everyone, but we know we can’t,” reads Chu’s newest sign. “So if you’re hard to please, please just turn around and go somewhere else. Thanks!” A morsel of freedom remains in San Francisco — at least for today.
Gayle Trotter is an attorney and writer. Her views are her own.
Why I Oppose Barack Obama
10/18/2014 12:01:00 AM - John Hawkins
We keep hearing from liberals that people who oppose Barack Obama MUST feel that way because of racism. As if there couldn’t be another reason or for that matter, dozens of other reasons like…
· The IRS scandal
· Fast and Furious
· Opening up the borders and illegally implementing the DREAM ACT
· Lying about being opposed to gay marriage in 2008 and then supporting it later
· Refusing to turn away flights from nations with Ebola
· Killing NASA’s manned space program
· Losing America’s AAA credit rating
· Helping radical Islamists take over in Libya and Egypt
· His obnoxious bowing to other world leaders
· His doing nothing of consequence to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons
· 1 out of every 5 Americans is on food stamps thanks to Obama
· Going to war multiple times without congressional approval
· Creating the rise of ISIS in Iraq by not leaving American troops there
· Losing the fight against ISIS
· Losing the war in Afghanistan
· He’s a gun grabber
· Illegally bypassing Congress many times with overreaching, unconstitutional executive orders
· Trading Taliban terrorists for deserter Bowe Bergdahl
· Wasting billions to bail out his union allies at General Motors and the now Italian owned Chrysler
· His nearly trillion dollar failed stimulus program
· Increasing the debt from $10.6 trillion when he took office to $17.8 trillion today
….and the sad thing is, this isn’t even remotely close to a comprehensive list of Obama’s scandals, corruptions, stupidities and lawlessness. It’s just that reciting the sheer number of poor decisions and bad policy choices that Obama has made would cause people to mentally check out, like they do when they’re trying to wrap their minds around the almost unimaginable size of the national debt.
In fact, other than not stopping SEAL Team 6 from killing Osama Bin Laden, conservatives have disagreed with Obama on almost every significant decision of his presidency. When it matters, he either does nothing when he needs to do something, does something when he should be doing nothing or just plain old does the worst thing possible.
To top it all off, Obama doesn’t have that frustrating naiveté of Jimmy Carter or that “Well, he might be a jackass, but he’d probably be fun to chat with over a burger” charm of Bill Clinton.
Obama is both shockingly incompetent AND toweringly arrogant. He’s both habitually ineffective and habitually condescending. The man lies as often as a professional con man, but is so used to having his bumbling excused that he’s not even good at lying.
Certainly Obama would be more tolerable if he were called out for his screw-ups by his supporters, but he’s like the stereotypical no-good rich kid who gets away with being a punk because his dad is wealthy and owns the only factory in town. There are liberals who support Obama because he’s a liberal. There are Democrats who support Obama because he’s a Democrat. There are black Americans who support him because he’s black. But, there’s almost no one giving any sort of defense of Obama based on his doing a good job or because he’s actually helping the country. In fact, there’s very little defense of Obama at all anymore; there are just attacks on his political enemies, bald faced lies that even his own supporters have trouble swallowing, and excuses.
Oh, and are there excuses.
“It’s George Bush’s fault! The Republicans won’t do what I want! Sarah Palin said this! Rush Limbaugh said that! The media doesn’t support me enough. We didn’t add more jobs because it was cold this winter!”
What exactly does Obama ever do right? Certainly not the economy since there are fewer Americans working today than the day he took office. How about the fight against ISIS which we’re currently losing? How’d the roll-out of Obamacare work out? Did everyone who liked his plan get to keep his plan? What do we have to show for all the money Obama spent on the stimulus? Did he ever get to the bottom of the IRS scandal?
On second thought, does Obama ever get to the bottom of ANY scandal? Nixon was a choirboy compared to Obama and if we’re being perfectly honest about it, the only reason Obama hasn’t been impeached is because Americans don’t want to impeach the first black President. For all the talk about “racism” that we’ve heard, Obama’s race has been his #1 asset. He was elected and re-elected despite not being qualified for the job because he is black, he’s been treated with kid gloves by the press even for a Democrat because he’s black and the only reason he’s avoiding impeachment at this point is because he’s black. That’s a pretty big comedown from the high hopes so many Americans had after the first black President was elected. Obama’s election was going to be the exclamation point that proved America had gotten beyond race and instead, it turned out that the Jackie Robinson of the Presidency was the worst player to ever walk on the field and it was easier for his fans to blame “racism” than admit it.
What it comes down to is that Obama isn’t just a blithering, bumbling Barney Fife without the charm. He’s dishonest, corrupt, narcissistic – and, no, he doesn’t “mean well.” He doesn’t seem to give a flat damn about the country, the American people or anything other than glorifying himself and his ideology. He’s a vainglorious bush leaguer who was never worthy of the presidency in the first place and who views the American people as his servants instead of viewing himself as a servant of the people. That makes him a bad President. That makes him dangerous. That makes him a bad guy.
Too Much Burden To Show ID To Vote? What About Jury Duty?
10/18/2014 12:01:00 AM - Shannon Goessling
How much is too much of a burden when it comes to being an American?
As Americans, we’re required to engage with our government at all levels, in all sorts of ways. Many of those ways create burdens, but are part of the deal when we live under the rule of law and decide who represents us in government. Our relationship with our government is a two-way street.
Consider some of the pillars of civic duty – voting, jury duty, registering for Selective Service, participating in the Census, challenging a property tax assessment. All of these carry burdens on us to leave our homes, bring our stuff, travel to government offices, and spend time filling out documents.
A federal judge in Texas last week ruled that requiring citizens to show a valid photo ID was too much of a burden. The Supreme Court likewise ruled on similar photo ID requirements in Wisconsin, but not on the full merits.
To be fair, there’s more to the Texas voter ID requirements. In Texas, citizens must have one of several valid photo IDs, including a passport, driver’s license, state personal ID, a concealed carry gun license, or an “election ID certificate.” If a citizen doesn’t have one, a citizen has to produce a birth certificate, which can be ordered online or via mail in most cases. When a citizen applies for an ID in Texas, the fee, which ranges from $6 - $16, can be waived. The cost for a birth certificate is generally less than $5.
Advocates opposing photo ID requirements praised the two court decisions as a “perfect storm” in the legal battle to throw out voting requirements in many states (19 states have voter photo ID requirements of some kind). The decision turned on whether it was too hard for 600,000 Texans to get a valid photo ID. Less than 600 have been issued, representing one-tenth of one percent of the Texans who do not have a valid photo ID.
Voter photo ID requirements are routinely described by U.S. Justice Department attorneys and advocacy groups as “disenfranchising” for minorities, the poor, and the elderly. Too much burden. Too hard to accomplish. Too costly.
There’s an old saying that goes, “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.” There’s been a lot of complaining by non-voters. But maybe there’s more to our story of American citizenship. Maybe there’s “too much burden” all over the place.
Take jury duty, for example. In 2012, only one out of five Dallas County residents who were summoned to jury duty actually showed up. In Harris County, which covers Houston, 30 percent of the people summoned in 2011 did not appear – that’s 148,000 people.
Truth is, jury duty can be a pain. For the average person, it requires leaving your home during work hours, traveling tens of miles to a courthouse, and spending hours waiting to be called for a case. While there are valid excuses for avoiding jury duty, the failure to comply is a criminal offense. In Texas, the fines can be as high as $1,000, and some wayward Texans have even served jail time – and Texas is less harsh than many states.
Under the same logic as the “burdensome” voter photo ID analysis used by the federal court in Texas, jury duty is unconstitutional. Too much trouble. Too hard to travel to the courthouse. Too expensive to miss work. Too much time away from family. Clearly unconstitutional. Sound familiar?
So, when can we expect the multi-state, coordinated legal assault by the combined forces of the U.S. Department of Justice and its allied raft of civil rights advocacy groups to challenge the unconstitutional burden of jury duty? If the courts’ reasoning holds, jury duty is on the chopping block – and all of the other hallmarks of American civic life, too. That’s how absurd the voter ID issue has become.
Cornerstones of representative democracy and living under the rule of law – like voting and jury duty – require participation by citizens. We engage as participants in our freedom. So we must proceed with caution as we judge what constitutes “too much burden.” As Veteran’s Day approaches, we’re reminded of what kind of burden we regularly ask Americans in uniform to carry. Think about that the next time you consider voter photo IDs.
Senators Call For Travel Restrictions, Halting of Visas For West Africa Countries
10/17/2014 5:00:00 PM - Katie Pavlich
Senators on both sides of the political aisle are calling for travel restrictions on West African countries as government officials in the U.S. fail to quell concerns about the threat free travel poses to the health and safety of Americans.
Democrat Senators Kay Hagan and Bill Nelson have called for temporary travel restrictions and today, Republican Senators Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch, Mike Lee, Jeff Sessions, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham and John Cornyn sent a letter directly to President Obama demanding the administration stop issuing visas to people currently living in Ebola stricken countries.
Here is the text of the letter in it's entirety:
Dear President Obama:
As members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has oversight over immigration and visa policies, we write to express our grave concerns about the seemingly inflexible position you have taken in issuing a travel ban or heightened entry requirements on individuals who may been infected with the Ebola virus.
On September 16 of this year, you spoke at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, saying,
“Now, here's the hard truth: In West Africa, Ebola is now an epidemic of the likes that we have not seen before. It's spiraling out of control. It is getting worse. It's spreading faster and exponentially. Today, thousands of people in West Africa are infected. That number could rapidly grow to tens of thousands. And if the outbreak is not stopped now, we could be looking at hundreds of thousands of people infected, with profound political and economic and security implications for all of us. So this is an epidemic that is not just a threat to regional security -- it's a potential threat to global security if these countries break down, if their economies break down, if people panic. That has profound effects on all of us, even if we are not directly contracting the disease.”
We couldn’t agree more that an Ebola epidemic is a national security issue, and a threat to global security. And, we couldn’t agree more with the American people that a travel ban must be put in place to protect our homeland and reduce any spread of the virus.
According to officials at the State Department, between March 1, 2014, and September 27, 2014, a total of 6, 398 visas were issued to nationals of the following countries; 3,135 for Liberians, 1,472 for Sierra Leoneans, and 1,791 for Guineans. Meanwhile, according to International SOS, dozens of countries – including many in Africa – have instituted travel and entry restrictions.
We urge you to immediately cease issuing visas to persons of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, and to consider expanding this ban to other countries that may not have standards in place to properly screen travelers entering the United States. We also urge you to more strongly use tools at your disposal to receive flight manifests ahead of time to screen and turn away passengers if they have traveled to or are coming from countries with an Ebola outbreak.
At this point, you and your administration must consider all options to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus. Dismissing a travel ban or a moratorium on visa issuances sends a signal that you’re not serious about containing the outbreak and preventing infections of individuals on U.S. soil. We implore you to immediately use your statutory authority under Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants who are detrimental to the interests of the United States.
Earlier a report from Breitbartrevealed the Obama administration started streamlining West African visas in August, despite the deadly and contagious disease raging out of control with a mortality rate of 70 percent.
Up until this point, the White House has refused to put the possibility of a travel ban or restrictions on the table. A Washington Post poll released earlier this week shows 67 percent of Americans support restrictions on entry to the United States.
Washington’s Action Plan for Ebola: Squalid Waste and Pork-Barrel Spending by the CDC and NIH
Daniel J. Mitchell
10/18/2014 12:01:00 AM
Years ago, I shared a very funny poster that suggests that more government is hardly ever the right answer to any question.
Yet in Washington, the standard response to any screwup by government is to make government even bigger. Sort ofMitchell’s Law on steroids.
And that’s exactly what’s happening with the Ebola crisis. The bureaucracies that have received tens of billions of dollars over the years to preclude a crisis are now expecting to get rewarded with more cash.
Governor Jindal of Louisiana debunks the notion that more money for the bureaucracy is some sort of elixir. Here’s some of what he wrote for Politico.
In a paid speech last week, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attempted to link spending restraints enacted by Congress—and signed into law by President Obama—to the fight against Ebola. Secretary Clinton claimed that the spending reductions mandated under sequestration “are really beginning to hurt,” citing the fight against Ebola: “The CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] is another example on the response to Ebola—they’re working heroically, but they don’t have the resources they used to have.” …In recent years, the CDC has received significant amounts of funding. Unfortunately, however, many of those funds have been diverted away from programs that can fight infectious diseases, and toward programs far afield from the CDC’s original purpose. Consider the Prevention and Public Health Fund, a new series of annual mandatory appropriations created by Obamacare. Over the past five years, the CDC has received just under $3 billion in transfers from the fund. Yet only 6 percent—$180 million—of that $3 billion went toward building epidemiology and laboratory capacity. …While protecting Americans from infectious diseases received only $180 million from the Prevention Fund, the community transformation grant program received nearly three times as much money—$517.3 million over the same five-year period. …Our Constitution states that the federal government “shall protect each of [the States] against Invasion”—a statement that should apply as much to infectious disease as to foreign powers. So when that same government prioritizes funding for jungle gyms and bike paths over steps to protect our nation from possible pandemics, citizens have every right to question the decisions that got us to this point.
What Governor Jindal is describing is the standard mix of incompetence and mission creep that you get with government.
Bureaucracies fail to achieve their stated goals, but also divert lots of resources to new areas.
After all, that’s a great way of justifying more staff and more money.
Especially since they can then argue that they need those additional resources because they never addressed the problems that they were supposed to solve in the first place!
Here are some excerpts from a story in the Washington Free Beacon, starting with some whining from the head bureaucrat at the National Institutes of Health, who wants us to be believe that supposed budget cuts have prevented a vaccine for Ebola.
“Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would’ve gone through clinical trials and would have been ready,” said NIH Director Francis Collins, blaming budget cuts for his agency’s failure to develop a vaccine for the deadly virus.
Yet take a look at how the NIH has been squandering money.
However, the Washington Free Beacon has uncovered $39,643,352 worth of NIH studies within the past several years that have gone to questionable research. For instance, the agency has spent $2,873,440 trying to figure out why lesbians are obese, and $466,642 on why fat girls have a tough time getting dates. Another $2,075,611 was spent encouraging old people to join choirs. Millions have gone to “text message interventions,” including a study where researchers sent texts to drunks at the bar to try to get them to stop drinking. The project received an additional grant this year, for a total of $674,590. …The NIH’s research on obesity has led to spending $2,101,064 on wearable insoles and buttons that can track a person’s weight, and $374,670 to put on fruit and vegetable puppet shows for preschoolers. A restaurant intervention to develop new children’s menus cost $275,227, and the NIH spent $430,608 for mother-daughter dancing outreach to fight obesity. …Millions went to develop “origami condoms,” in male, female, and anal versions. The inventor Danny Resnic, who received $2,466,482 from the NIH, has been accused of massive fraud for using grant money for full-body plastic surgery in Costa Rica and parties at the Playboy mansion.
Origami condoms?!? I’m almost tempted to do a web search to see what that even means, particularly since there are male, female, and anal versions.
But even without searching online, I know that origami condoms have nothing to do with stopping Ebola.
The Centers for Disease Control also have a long track record of wasting money. Here are some odious details from a Townhall column.
So now the federal health bureaucrats in charge of controlling diseases and pandemics want more money to do their jobs.
Gee, what a surprise.
Maybe if they hadn’t been so busy squandering their massive government subsidies on everything buttheir core mission, we taxpayers might actually feel a twinge of sympathy. At $7 billion, the Centers for Disease Control 2014 budget is nearly 200 percent bigger now than it was in 2000.…Yet, while Ebola and enterovirus D68 wreak havoc on our health system, the CDC has been busying itself with an ever-widening array of non-disease control campaigns, like these recent crusades: Mandatory motorcycle helmet laws. …Video games and TV violence. …Playground equipment. …”Social norming” in the schools. …After every public health disaster, CDC bureaucrats play the money card while expanding their regulatory and research reach into anti-gun screeds, anti-smoking propaganda, anti-bullying lessons, gender inequity studies and unlimited behavior modification programs that treat individual vices — personal lifestyle choices — as germs to be eradicated. …In 2000, the agency essentially lied to Congress about how it spent up to $7.5 million earmarked each year since 1993 for research on the deadly hantavirus. …The diversions were impossible to trace because of shoddy CDC bookkeeping practices. The CDC also misspent $22.7 million appropriated for chronic fatigue syndrome and was investigated in 2001 for squandering $13 million on hepatitis C research.
By the way, you may be wondering why we have both the National Institutes of Health as well as the Centers for Disease Control.
Is this just typical bureaucratic duplication?
No, it’s typical bureaucratic triplication, because we also have the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the Department of Health and Human Services.
And as Mollie Hemingway explains in The Federalist, this additional layer of bureaucracy has been MIA on Ebola, perhaps because the head bureaucrats diverted funds to a political crony.
…nobody has even discussed the fact that the federal government not ten years ago created and funded a brand new office in the Health and Human Services Department specifically to coordinate preparation for and response to public health threats like Ebola. The woman who heads that office, and reports directly to the HHS secretary, has been mysteriously invisible from the public handling of this threat. And she’s still on the job even though three years ago she was embroiled in a huge scandal of funneling a major stream of funding to a company with ties to a Democratic donor—and away from a company that was developing a treatment now being used on Ebola patients.
Here are some additional details.
…one of HHS’ eight assistant secretaries is the assistant secretary for preparedness and response, whose job it is to “lead the nation in preventing, responding to and recovering from the adverse health effects of public health emergencies and disasters, ranging from hurricanes to bioterrorism.” …“Lurie’s job is to plan for the unthinkable. A global flu pandemic? She has a plan. A bioterror attack? She’s on it. Massive earthquake? Yep. Her responsibilities as assistant secretary span public health, global health, and homeland security.” …you might be wondering why the person in charge of all this is a name you’re not familiar with. …why has the top official for public health threats been sidelined in the midst of the Ebola crisis?
Perhaps because of the scandal.
You can—and should—read all about it in theLos Angeles Times‘ excellent front-page expose from November 2011, headlined: “Cost, need questioned in $433-million smallpox drug deal: A company controlled by a longtime political donor gets a no-bid contract to supply an experimental remedy for a threat that may not exist.”…The donor is billionaire Ron Perelman, who was controlling shareholder of Siga. He’s a huge Democratic donor… The award was controversial from almost every angle—including disputes about need, efficacy, and extremely high costs.
So what’s the bottom line?
The Progressive belief that a powerful government can stop all calamity is misguided. In the last 10 years we passed multiple pieces of legislation to create funding streams, offices, and management authorities precisely for this moment. That we have nothing to show for it is not good reason to put even more faith in government without learning anything from our repeated mistakes.
And that’s the most important lesson, though a secondary lesson is that big government means big corruption.
Big government is incompetent government.
Writing for The Federalist, John Daniel Davidson puts everything in context,explaining that big, bureaucratic states don’t do a good job.
The government’s response to the outbreak has exposed the weakness of the modern administrative state in general, and the incompetence of the White House in particular. …The second nurse to contract Ebola, Amber Vinson, traveled from Cleveland to Dallas on a commercial flight Monday and checked herself into the hospital Tuesday with Ebola symptoms. She called the CDC before she boarded the flight and reported she had a temperature of 99.5—yet CDC officials didn’t stop her from boarding the plane. …Thus continues a pattern of crippling naiveté and ineptitude from the White House on…the Ebola outbreak. On the press call, Frieden explained that you can’t get Ebola from sitting on a bus next to someone who’s infected, but if you have Ebola then don’t use public transportation because you might infect someone. …whether it’s funding or regulation, it’s becoming clear that government “everywhere putting its hands to new undertakings” isn’t working out all that well. …In a hundred years, when Americans read about the U.S. Ebola outbreak of 2014 and antiquated government agencies like the FDA that hampered the development of a vaccine, they’ll laugh at us. …Likewise, future Americans will probably scoff at us for thinking our FDA, in its current form, was somehow necessary or helpful, or for how the Department of Health and Human Services could spend almost a trillion dollars a year and yet fail to prevent or adequately respond to the Ebola outbreak.
And if you want a humorous look at the link between bloated government and incompetent government, Mark Steyn nails it.
Since we’ve shifted to humor, somebody on Twitter suggested that this guy is probably in line to become Obama’s new Ebola Czar.
Last but not least, here’s the icing on the cake.
I mentioned above that we have bureaucratic triplication thanks to NIH, CDC, and HHS. And I joked that the guy in the Holiday Inn might become the President’s new Czar, creating bureaucratic quadruplication (if that’s even a word).
Well, that joke has now become reality. The Washington Examiner is reporting that Obama has named an Ebola Czar. But the guy in the video will be sad to know he didn’t make the cut.
President Obama has chosen Ron Klain, former chief of staff for two Democratic vice presidents, as his Ebola czar, the White House said Friday. …In choosing Klain, Obama is selecting a D.C. insider and veteran of numerous political battles to spearhead a campaign with major implications on his own legacy and how Democrats fare in the November midterms.
Great. I’m sure a lobbyist and former political operative will have just the skills we need to solve this crisis.
I’m going out on a limb and predicting that he’ll say the solution is more money and bigger government. And we know how that turns out.
Yup, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s government man to the rescue!