1 day ago
I generally try to avoid any topic about the president, because damn near everyone out there either hates the man reflexively, or sort of worships him. And so the comments turn into a disaster, and I have to keep monitoring, because some people simply cannot confine their comments to the issue at hand.
Today I am breaking that normal tradition because of all the answers to questions I’ve seen over the years, the president’s answer to an Ebola question the other day unquestionably strikes me as his worst. Some can argue the validity (politically or actually) of the “you didn’t build that” or the “you can keep your doctor” but for just straight up oddity, I give you the quote below.
But before we get to the quote, as a sort of framing of this, the backdrop is twofold. First, states are trying to quarantine doctors who treated Ebola patients. Some knucklehead decided that after treating victims in Africa, he’d just lie to the authorities:
The city’s first Ebola patient initially lied to authorities about his travels around the city following his return from treating disease victims in Africa, law-enforcement sources said.I literally have no position whatsoever on quarantines. I don’t know if they are needed, constitutional, fascist or ridiculous. I’m also not going to research it, because I suspect this topic de jure will be gone by the time I get back from my upcoming vacation. But, I also think that this guy, and the lady doctor in Maine (my home state) are being pretty selfish. You want me to be held aside, alone for 21 days? You’ll bring me food, I’ll have cable TV, and I can sleep as much as I want? Dude, sign me up.
Dr. Craig Spencer at first told officials that he isolated himself in his Harlem apartment — and didn’t admit he rode the subways, dined out and went bowling until cops looked at his MetroCard the sources said.
Second, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has decided to quarantine the troops when they get back from West Africa:
Sigh ... welcome home, Tim...A 21-day quarantine for all military personnel serving in Ebola stricken areas of West Africa was approved by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Wednesday.So there’s the meat and potatoes (an extra “e” for Dan Quayle) of it. Now the quote:
The quarantine was pushed for by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Hagel said. Initially the measure will apply to all personnel leaving the West Africa area. But Hagel said the policy will be reviewed within 45 days.
The policy creates a separate set of rules for military members than what the White House has pushed for civilian health care workers. President Obama has argued that civilian volunteer health workers returning from aid trips to Africa should not be quarantined and the White House has urged states not to impose their own quarantine policies. Science, Obama has said, does not support the need for a quarantines.
Q Are you concerned, sir, that there might be some confusion between the quarantine rules used by the military and used by health care workers and by some states?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, the military is a different situation, obviously, because they are, first of all, not treating patients. Second of all, they are not there voluntarily, it’s part of their mission that's been assigned to them by their commanders and ultimately by me, the Commander-in-Chief. So we don't expect to have similar rules for our military as we do for civilians. They are already, by definition, if they're in the military, under more circumscribed conditions.There is so much in there it would take me a generation or two to unpack it all. The first sentence alone makes no sense logically. So the troops will not be treating patients, but they are going to be subject to more rigid restraints? That’s like saying a motorcycle is more dangerous than a Big Wheel, which is why you should always wear a helmet while riding a Big Wheel. Huh?
When we have volunteers who are taking time out from their families, from their loved ones and so forth, to go over there because they have a very particular expertise to tackle a very difficult job, we want to make sure that when they come back that we are prudent, that we are making sure that they are not at risk themselves or at risk of spreading the disease, but we don't want to do things that aren’t based on science and best practices. Because if we do, then we’re just putting another barrier on somebody who’s already doing really important work on our behalf. And that's not something that I think any of us should want to see happen.
The rest of the paragraph makes more sense I suppose. When you do join, you understand you have fewer rights. That much is obvious to anyone that has joined. But from a public health standpoint, it isn’t even the slightest bit relevant. If this whole policy deals with the threat of Ebola to every day Americans, how does the circumscribed nature of military service add to the discussion? Huh?
The first sentence of the second paragraph is so long I get lost reading it. Presumably it is referring to the health people (nurses and doctors) volunteering overseas. But again, how is this different than the people in the military? Military people (believe it or not) ALSO have families, also have loved ones, also have difficult jobs, and we should decide for them based on “science and best practices” as opposed to the random selection by a magic 8-ball or a gorilla who can also pick Super Bowl winners. Again, it doesn’t really differentiate which is what the question was about. So again, huh?
The penultimate sentence though is the one that really (judging by my emails) has people angered. Again the specific question dealt with the differing ways we are dealing with civilians and military. So this sentence, “somebody who’s already doing really important work on our behalf” directed ONLY at the doctors, to differentiate them from service-members seems at first blush to be a complete insult. It’s really hard to interpret that sentence differently when given the context of the question.
I don’t know, maybe they were just free-wheeling an answer on the spot, and it was less that articulate. Lord knows I’ve said some dumb things in responses to questions. (Just ask my wife.) But this whole thing just seems insulting to me, and I don’t have a position on quarantines in general. But to differentiate between doctors who in their benevolence are dealing specifically with Ebola victims, from service-members who put their lives on the line, and then somehow create a policy that weighs safety with the value of the service, and deciding it favors doctors doesn’t make sense to me.
One of the suspects in a California shooting spree that left two sheriff's deputies dead was deported to Mexico twice, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.Let's see obama explain to the families of those dead officers why he refuses to enforce border security and immigration laws.
Kaci Hickox, a nurse placed under mandatory quarantine in New Jersey, went on CNN on Sunday and criticized the "knee-jerk reaction by politicians" to Ebola, saying "to quarantine someone without a better plan in place, without more forethought, is just preposterous."
"This is an extreme that is really unacceptable, and I feel like my basic human rights have been violated," Hickox told CNN's Candy Crowley on "State of the Union."While I respect her selflessness and compassion, she's way off base on this one. She's seen first hand what an Ebola epidemic looks like. Why on earth would she want to take even the slightest risk of that occurring here? IMO our right to be free of Ebola trumps whatever rights of hers that have been allegedly violated.
|Another gorgeous day. I wish I could take this weather back home with me.|
|I guess they knew I didn't have a turkey tag.|
|It's hard to see them, but there's a pair of birds more or less in the middle of this picture.|
|What, you want to get back on AGAIN?|
|This is the trail as seen on the return trip, after the sun came up. It's hard to get a feel for the scope and scale from this picture, but you can see part of the trail in the upper right. Now imagine coming up over the top, where those lonesome pine trees are in the upper right hand corner, in pitch dark conditions. Nerve-wracking...|
|I shot from the knob at the treeline over my right shoulder (your left). The distance was right at 200 yards.|
|Sunrise in the mountains - two hours after getting up.|
|My guide and I, dressed for the weather - not!|
President Barack Obama’s new Ebola "czar" Ron Klain has skipped another White House meeting on the Ebola crisis...
It's the second meeting in as many days on Ebola that Klain hasn’t attended after being appointed into the position on Friday.
Obama held the Ebola meeting after spending four hours and 40 minutes on the golf course...The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
A student who was born female felt perfectly comfortable identifying as a man at Wellesley College — until people said he shouldn’t be class diversity officer because he is now a white male.Where to start? If 'he' considers himself a man, why on earth did 'he' apply to an all-women's college? And who the heck comes up with these descriptions? A “masculine-of-center genderqueer”? WTF is that?
Timothy Boatwright was born a girl, and checked off the “female” box when applying to the Massachusetts all-women’s school, according to an article in the New York Times. But when he got there, he introduced himself as a “masculine-of-center genderqueer” person named “Timothy” (the name he picked for himself) and asked them to use male pronouns when referring to him.
...by all accounts, Boatwright felt welcome on campus — until the day he announced that he wanted to run for the school’s office of multicultural affairs coordinator, whose job is to promote a “culture of diversity” on campus.Stop and think about that for a minute. A “culture of diversity” on an all-women's campus. Seems like they've just eliminated half the population right there. What a tiny little exclusive world-view have the progressives at Wellesley.
...some students thought that allowing Boatwright to have the position would just perpetuate patriarchy. (How can patriarchy be perpetuated at an all-women's college? Never mind...) They were so opposed, in fact, that when the other three candidates (all women of color) dropped out, they started an anonymous Facebook campaign encouraging people not to vote at all to keep him from winning the position.So what's inappropriate? White, or male - or both?
“I thought he’d do a perfectly fine job, but it just felt inappropriate to have a white man there,” the student behind the so-called “Campaign to Abstain” said.
“It’s not just about that position either,” the student added. “Having men in elected leadership positions undermines the idea of this being a place where women are the leaders.”Sounds like the students at Wellesley need some mandatory transgender sensitivity training...
A rampage by a feral pig that consumed 18 beers has prompted warnings for people at campsites to properly secure their food and alcohol.Been there, done that...
The pig struck at the DeGrey River rest area, east of the remote Western Australian town of Port Hedland in the Pilbara, according to the ABC.
The animal was seen stealing three six-packs of beer from campers before ransacking rubbish bags for food.
One camper reported seeing the pig guzzling the beer before getting involved in an altercation with a cow.
"In the middle of the night these people camping opposite us heard a noise, so they got their torch out and shone it on the pig and there he was, scrunching away at their cans," said the visitor, who estimated that the pig had consumed 18 beers.
"Then he went and raided all the rubbish bags. There were some other people camped right on the river and they saw him being chased around their vehicle by a cow."
The pig was reportedly last seen resting under a tree, possibly nursing a hangover.
The CDC has announced that the second healthcare worker diagnosed with Ebola — now identified as Amber Joy Vinson of Dallas — traveled by air Oct. 13, with a low-grade fever, a day before she showed up at the hospital reporting symptoms.In response to the event and subsequent public concern, CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden had this to say:
“Those who have exposures to Ebola, she should not have traveled on a commercial airline,” said Dr. Frieden. “The CDC guidance in this setting outlines the need for controlled movement. That can include a charter plane; that can include a car; but it does not include public transport..."Let me get this straight. The head of the CDC says that people who have been exposed to Ebola should not be allowed on a commercial airline. Yet he and the obama administration refuse to ban or quarantine travelers from regions in Africa where the disease is raging out of control.
Frieden specifically noted that the remaining 75 healthcare workers who treated Thomas Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital will not be allowed to fly...
Dr. Nancy Snyderman is taking the heat from the media after she and members of her NBC News crew violated a mandatory three-week quarantine after returning from West Africa.So now we have imbeciles in the media reporting on imbeciles in the government (head -> desk...head ->desk...head->desk...)
Snyderman, who is NBC News' chief medical correspondent, recently returned from Africa after reporting on the devastating Ebola outbreak there. One of her cameramen, Ashoka Mukpo, tested positive for the virus, and the rest of Snyderman's crew agreed to a 21-day voluntary quarantine.
However, according to reports from TMZ and Planet Princeton, Snyderman and members of her crew were spotted outside the Peasant Grill restaurant in Hopewell, N.J., on Oct. 9.
(The Firestone rubber plantation in Harbel, Liberia) detected its first Ebola case on March 30, when an employee's wife arrived from northern Liberia. She'd been caring for a disease-stricken woman and was herself diagnosed with the disease. Since then Firestone has done a remarkable job of keeping the virus at bay. It built its own treatment center and set up a comprehensive response that's managed to quickly stop transmission. Dr. Brendan Flannery, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's team in Liberia, has hailed Firestone's efforts as resourceful, innovative and effective.Meanwhile, back here at home, the situation must be dire. barry has canceled fundraising trips to actually stay in D.C. and do his job.
President Obama on Wednesday night canceled his planned travel on Thursday, for the second straight day, so he could stay at the White House to oversee the government’s response to the Ebola crisis, officials said.obama is canceling fundraisers and overseeing the government's response?
The United States Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, which the Continental Congress established on 13 October 1775, by authorizing the procurement, fitting out, manning, and dispatch of two armed vessels to cruise in search of munitions ships supplying the British Army in America.
In 1972 Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt authorized recognition of 13 October as the Navy's birthday.
The problems came in waves. The attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, took place eight weeks before the election, but the many inconsistencies in the administration’s narrative dogged Obama into his second term...Then in May 2013 the IRS scandal broke.
The controversy over the talking points revived a scandal that the administration had hoped was behind them. At a press briefing just days before the new revelations, Carney had dismissed a question about the attacks six months earlier by claiming, “Benghazi happened a long time ago.”
... a damning report from the Treasury Department inspector general was made public. And those responsible for the targeting, it soon became apparent, were not “line officials in Cincinnati” but senior IRS officials in Washington.
Top Democrats in Washington had been publicly calling for the IRS to scrutinize Tea Party groups. But White House officials denied any role in the targeting, and President Obama was quick to condemn it. “Americans have a right to be angry about it,” he said. “And I’m angry about it.” The targeting, Obama said, was “inexcusable.”
Three days later, the public learned that the federal government was spying on reporters. The Department of Justice had obtained phone records for nearly two dozen reporters and editors from the Associated Press as part of an investigation into alleged leaks of classified information...
Days later, the Washington Post reported that the Department of Justice had gone even further in another investigation, closely monitoring the activities of Fox News correspondent James Rosen... Amid the ensuing controversy, Attorney General Eric Holder, who had previously testified to Congress that he had never contemplated the prosecution of a member of the media for disclosing classified information, admitted having approved the Rosen warrant application...
Less than a month later, the Guardian and the Washington Post, working from documents stolen by Edward Snowden, published detailed accounts of surveillance programs conducted by the National Security Agency...
These controversies were one part of Obama’s collapse. His failing policies were the other. Four years after Obama signed the stimulus into law, unemployment remained high and economic growth was anemic...
And then came health care. The Obamacare rollout in October 2013 was an unmitigated disaster. The front‑end of the HealthCare.gov website didn’t work. The back-end hadn’t even been built. Serious security issues made potential enrollees reluctant to sign up. And many of those who signed up did not initially make premium payments.
The promise that President Obama made more than three dozen times as he worked to pass Obamacare—“if you like your plan, you can keep it, period”—was inoperative. Worse, it was clear that Obama knew when he made the promise that he would break it. Analyses the White House itself conducted had concluded that millions of Americans would not be able to keep their health care plans, whether they liked them or not. The very structure of Obamacare requires the cancellation of plans that do not meet the standards of coverage mandated by Washington.
Obama knew this. So did his aides. And so did Republicans, who warned repeatedly and with great urgency that people would lose plans they liked.
The problems with Obamacare were so bad that they elicited public criticism from Obama’s two living Democratic predecessors. “His major accomplishment was Obamacare and the implementation of it is now questionable at best,” said Jimmy Carter. Bill Clinton urged Obama to keep his word. “The president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they got.”
The Obama presidency has seen many low points, but this has to have been one of the lowest—Jimmy Carter questioning Obama’s competence and Bill Clinton questioning his integrity. (emphasis added)
The administration scrambled to avoid a full collapse of the law. They suspended enforcement of the employer mandate. They granted the IRS authority to provide tax credits to those insured through the federal exchange despite the fact that the plain language of the law provided tax credits only to those who were insured through state exchanges. They provided carve-outs and exceptions to other aspects of the law on an ad hoc basis.
The scandals and policy challenges that shaped Obama’s fifth year have derailed his sixth. New revelations about the IRS and Benghazi scandals—widespread “computer crashes” among IRS employees investigated by Congress and Benghazi documents that further undermine the administration’s claims—have kept the stories alive despite the flagging attention of the establishment media.
Many of the policy decisions of yesterday have become the crises of today, particularly overseas...
Obama boasted that he had ended the war in Iraq. The administration erected obstacles to an agreement with Baghdad that would have left a residual force in Iraq, and Obama celebrated the fact that he was the president who had brought all U.S. troops home from Iraq.Speaking of barry and the golf course:
A year before he began his second term, Obama sent Robert Ford to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Syria with the hope that Bashar al-Assad would be a reformer. Instead, Assad responded to peaceful protests with the systematic slaughter of moderate rebels who opposed him. Obama called for Assad’s ouster but declined to do anything that would produce that result. He insisted that the movement or use of chemical weapons would be a “red line” for the United States, but balked when presented with evidence that Assad had repeatedly used those weapons.
In the face of U.S. inaction, moderate rebels turned to Islamic extremists for help, and jihadists flocked to Syria to join the fight. With better weapons, more experience, superior organization, and steadily flowing funds, the jihadists began to crowd out other elements in the Syrian opposition. Al Qaeda and likeminded groups saw an opportunity to seize territory and expand their efforts, and in due time the Islamic State controlled vast sections of Iraq and Syria.
The Obama administration dismissed or sidelined intelligence officials who contradicted the official line by warning about the growing threat from al Qaeda and the Islamic State. But that threat soon became too big to ignore.
In an announcement that at once made clear the administration’s failures on Iraq, Syria, and al Qaeda, Obama ordered airstrikes on jihadist targets in the region. The tide of war was rising once again.
The scandals and policy failures have had a devastating effect. With two years left in his presidency, Obama has no agenda. The major new investments and initiatives that he spoke of after his election never happened. Gun control measures he pushed went nowhere. Immigration reform—at least the comprehensive variety that Obama demanded—is dead. As the investigations of old scandals continue, new ones have taken their place on newspaper front pages across the country: the chronic failures of the VA and, most recently, a serious cover-up involving the Secret Service.
When he’s not on the golf course, the president seems to spend most of his time fundraising for vulnerable Democrats, threatening executive action on those things he can’t accomplish by leading, and working to minimize crises of his own making.
This is a failed presidency.
The First Duffer reached a milestone Sunday, playing his 200th round of golf since taking office, according to CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller.It's not like there's an outbreak of a deadly disease threatening the country or anything...
'I got lost in the streets of Paris,' he said ruefully.
I was leaving a store and had my arms full of packages. A clown held the door open for me.
What a nice jester.
"A Farewell to Arms" is Ernest Hemingway's novel about an American soldier in Italy during World War I. He falls in love with a nurse in the hospital, decides to go AWOL, and rows all night with her in a boat from Italy to Switzerland to evade the authorities.
His girl friend was sitting in the stern of the boat, and he was rowing in the middle. At one point he said, "Cathy, I love you."
She said, "Pardon?"
He said, "I said I love you."
She still didn't hear him, so he removed an oar from the lock, moved up to the stern, resumed steering the boat from that position, and said again, "I love you."
She said, "I love you too, but why are you standing there sculling when you can do so much better rowing where you were?"
He said, "You are undoubtedly right: I just sculled to say I love you."
To add to the punishment in Purgatory, Satan decided to make all the tormented souls listen to elevator music.
The Hells Are Alive With the Sounds of Muzak.
A farmer lived in ancient Rome. He was working in the fields one day when he came across a giant strawberry, about one foot wide and 18 inches high. He thought this would be a novelty that many would want to see, so he took it home, washed it off, and set up a display in a case. He advertised the giant strawberry far and wide, and people came from all over to see the exhibit. He charged admission and made a pile of money.
However, he failed to report his earnings to the tax authorities, so they came to his farm to confiscate the exhibit. When they arrived at his door, he said, "I suppose you have come all this way to admire my exhibit as well?"
"No," they said. "We've come to seize your berry, not to praise it."