Where’s Obama on Ebola?

Where is President Barack Obama when you need him in a crisis? Pretty absent from the stage, unless he’s pointing fingers (at Republicans), disavowing knowledge of “situations” such as Obamacare’s website woes, the IRS scandal, and the horror show at Veterans Affairs — or simply refusing to take responsibility by retreating from the world.

And amid the current Ebola crisis, the incumbent-in-chief is off fundraising, deftly avoiding the people he’s supposed to be serving and protecting.

Last week, Liberian Thomas Duncan died from Ebola in Dallas at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. A nurse, who treated Duncan, now has Ebola. The Dallas hospital has shown Americans and the world how woefully unprepared the United States is to fight Ebola. What does President Barack Obama do? Demonstrate his audacity of incompetence and dereliction of duty to protect the American people by flying to Hollywood for his 53rd fundraiser of the year.

Thursday, the day after Duncan died, Obama attended a celebrity-studded, money-grab hosted by Gwyneth Paltrow. For the “paltry” price of $15,000 a person, any old average Joe could attend. (With income inequality top-of-mind, he wanted those of us peasants who don’t have Ebola to be able to cough up a few bucks.)

As Ebola raged on in Dallas with more than 48 people being quarantined who came in contact with Duncan and 18 health workers monitored, who treated him, Obama hobnobbed with the rich and famous in Los Angeles.

This week, a 26-year old nurse who treated Duncan contracted Ebola. Now we have two cases of Ebola in the United States and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Thomas Frieden telling us more cases are possible.

Despite assurances from Frieden and Obama over a week ago, that the US had the situation under control and there was nothing to worry about.

In fact Obama reiterated October 6, 2014:

“ . . .It is important for Americans to know the facts, and that is that because of the measures that we’ve put in place, as well as our world-class health system and the nature of the Ebola virus itself — which is difficult to transmit — the chances of an Ebola outbreak in the United States is extremely low.”

Uhm, let’s dissect these lies, shall we?

First, it’s clear the way Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital treated Duncan that America produces the most modern medicine in the world but has the most inept system of delivering it. When Duncan first arrived at the ER, he told the nurse he had been to Liberia. She entered notes in the hospital’s computer system, which the doctor who treated Duncan didn’t read. Instead he sent Duncan home with antibiotics.

Second, we know the hospital was NOT following CDC guidelines–whatever they are–for handling infectious diseases, because a nurse who treated Duncan has Ebola. The CDC concluded a safety breach occurred. No sh*t!

The story the federal government and our Commander in Chief is telling us isn’t adding up. Bonnie Castillo, Director of the Registered Nurse Response Network, a nurses union, told several media outlets America’s hospitals are not prepared and not educating nurses on CDC guidelines for putting on and removing protective gear.

Third, I wouldn’t call another person contracting Ebola within days of Duncan dying “difficult to transmit” or “a low risk to Americans.” If the risk is low, why did Frieden change his narrative from two weeks ago and now says we can expect more cases?

In fact Frieden announced the US needs to “rethink its approach to Ebola” and beef up training of health workers.

It’s time for our president to face the nation with a press conference where he and his leaders from “across agencies” address Americans and EXPLAIN “the aggressive steps” his administration “is taking to fight Ebola epidemic  and . . .to make sure that we are doing everything we need to do to prevent an outbreak here in the United States.”

For starters, Obama needs to tell us what is his plan for containing and preventing the spread of Ebola HERE at home, in America. The CDC needs to explain how it’s communicating with hospitals, spell out the prevention protocol procedures for health workers and tell Americans what we can do to prevent catching Ebola.

To win bonus points, Obama might consider taking questions from the media — and supplying candid answers.

After listening to an October 4th show I hosted for WMAL radio, during which I discussed the US response to Ebola, a doctor who was head of an infectious disease prevention program at NIH for 19 years, emailed me.  He indicated he helped develop containment procedures and laboratory equipment for retroviruses such as HIV, as well as developing the bio-hazard symbol, currently used throughout the world.

He added that he was “amazed experts” like Freiden emphatically keep insisting America can’t ban flights to and from West Africa. As Ann Randall wrote in the California Political Review, “Recall how swiftly the president grounded US flights to Ben Gurion during the Hamas terror attacks on Israel this past summer.”

His response: “The President has it in his power to curtail, by executive order, all air travel from West Africa to the US, including those individuals having U.S. visas. He should do so immediately. He should next use his persuasive powers to have World Health Organization impose a worldwide ban. The idea that this would do no good is ludicrous. Even if this prevents one additional infected individual from entering non-epidemic countries, it is worthwhile.”

While the current situation is manageable in the US, the doctor noted “if we have ten or twenty more cases we just don’t have sufficient CDC staff to send to manage sites. Most hospitals do not have the ability to decontaminate bedding and other contaminating material being generated by infected patients at their facility,” he cautioned.

It’s quite evident from what happened at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital that hospitals in the US are woefully ill equipped to handle a virus like Ebola.

If as Obama declared, “I’ve said from the start of this outbreak, I consider this a top national security priority,” then maybe he needs to start acting like it. Banning flights from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to and from the US is treating Ebola like a national security priority. Fundraising with Gwyneth in Los Angeles is not.

 

Hillary vs. the GOP Field of Dreams

chelsea-clinton-birth-charlotte-mezinsky-hospital-1-spl

The way Hillary Clinton is acting it seems to be a foregone conclusion she’s going to run for president in 2016. First her book tour, then her visit to Iowa for Senator Harkin’s annual Democrat steak fry, where she exclaimed, “I’m back!” And of course the recent birth of her granddaughter Charlotte, which seemed all too contrived by Chelsea to help turn her mother into the perfect mom, grandmother, wife and candidate.

Oh, and let us not forget prior to Charlotte’s birth, Hillary teases us more, saying she wouldn’t make a decision about running for president until after her Chelsea gave birth. Aw, the stuff dreams are made of. And of course the liberal, fawning media are helping Hillary along every step of the way, gushing over her holding her grandbaby, as if she and former President Bill Clinton were royalty, the King and Queen of America.

Hillary has been a career politician her entire life, held ever office under the sun from First Lady of Arkansas to First Lady of the United States, US Senator of New York and Secretary of State but what has she accomplished? As Obama’s first Secretary of State, she did nothing but fly around the world, implementing Obama’s lead from behind, virtually non-existent foreign policy. What Hillary has going for her is huge brand appeal.

People love the perception of Hillary Clinton because her record is as thin as the bench of Republicans who have hinted at taking a run for president in 2016. Megyn Kelly tweeted September 29, 2014 with photos of Senator Ted Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson, former Governor Mike Huckabee, former Senator Rick Santorum, Governor Bobby Jindal and Senator Rand Paul.

Two of the “contenders” have run unsuccessfully before and don’t inspire much enthusiasm. Senator Ted Cruz, like Santorum and Huckabee, wants to run a religious campaign, which doesn’t win elections. Government is about policies and allowing people to express their religious freedom not dictating yours upon them.

While I like Dr. Carson, he hasn’t put forth many policy ideas and is more of an academic than a president. Yes, charisma is part of being presidential, convincing Americans you not only have a vision but you also passionately want to lead the country toward achieving it.

Governor Jindal is good governor but he lacks the charisma to be convincing on the national stage. Among the group, Senator Paul certainly seems to have inspired the most intrigue among conservatives, especially young adults. Paul has strong positions on education, federal sentencing guidelines for non-violent drug possession, privacy and foreign policy. But many older conservatives tell me they aren’t convinced Paul is the one.

Looking at this field of GOP hopefuls, it’s hard for me to imagine any of them standing on the stand next to Hillary Clinton, looking and sounding formidable. Also, remember the GOP 2016 nominee will have to win over independents, women and minorities, the groups it lost the last two presidential elections. I have this gnawing feeling the GOP hasn’t learned much from its back-to-back defeats.

I’m not convinced among the current slate of GOP contenders there is a field of dreams candidate, who possesses a compelling message or strategy to win enough woman and minority votes absolutely critical to being elect president in 2016. I don’t think Hillary is a champion for women because she stood by her cheating husband for political gain and power. And she certainly isn’t a champion for average Americans, as she carped to ABC News Diane Sawyer about her and Bill leaving the White House dead broke, struggling to pay two mortgages, etc. etc. But many Americans, ignorant of the issues, are so seduced by the image of Hillary they are salivating at the prospect of giving her what she wants and making history.

Republicans need to give the American people a real alternative to salivate over, a candidate with substance, a record, a vision and charisma. While I hate to admit this, I’m beginning to think if Hillary is the Democrats forgone conclusion for 2016, the GOP needs to nominate former Governor Jeb Bush. I don’t agree with his immigration policy, but Jeb has a record of success as governor of Florida and he’s likable. Jeb could also go head to head with Hillary in debates. If the Clintons are going to keep running for president, why can’t the Bushes? Just saying.

 

NFL Bad Boys and the Company They Keep

Boys behaving badly. I mean very badly. That’s the image of the National Football League today and its Commissioner Roger Goodell is looking more like a joke, and a staunch defender of the locker room culture rather than the disciplinarian he pledged to be in 2007.

There’s been a parade of NFL players who have been suspended and or arrested for everything from brutalizing their women to abusing their children under the guise of “spanking.” All in a days work for these guys I guess. Hitting each other on the field for sport and hitting women and children for extracurricular fun. It’s sickening.

Baltimore Ravens Ray Rice was caught on video knocking out cold his then fiancé Janay Palmer. Vikings Adrian Peterson “spanked” his 4-year old son with a switch, “cutting his arms, legs and genitals.” San Franciso 49ers Ray McDonald was arrested for hitting his pregnant fiancée. Carolina Panthers Greg Hardy thought it was fun to throw his girlfriend on a bed full of 10 semi-automatic weapons and beat her up, for which he was convicted.

But Cardinals player Jonathan Dwyer head butting his wife, breaking her nose because she refused to have sex with him takes the cake for the most despicable NFL player. Dwyer didn’t stop there. Still angry the next morning, Dwyer punched his wife in the face for emphasis.

These guys look like a line up for America’s Most Wanted. Not only has these players’ behavior stained the NFL’s reputation; it also has given black men a bad name because the players mentioned are all black. Men remind me that 70% of the NFL players are black. So, that’s supposed to be an excuse for them to act like barbaric animals?

Evidently, the National Football League (NFL) didn’t get the memo that women and children aren’t property of men to be abused. Perhaps the players also missed Beyoncé’s song “Girls Run the World” not that girls should be run over or trampled upon like football opponents.

Goodell’s response to this avalanche of domestic brutality exhibited by NFL players has been an unconvincing press conference and hiring three women to advise him how to deal with this fiasco. Hey Roger, here’s a litmus test. Would you beat your wife and kids? Do you think that’s manly or acceptable behavior?

Goodell shouldn’t have to hire women to tell him football players acting like thugs is NOT acceptable and these players need to go. Period. But the billions of dollars the NFL is worth matters more to Goodell and companies who advertise or have sponsorship deals with the organization than doing the right thing.

Proctor & Gamble cancelled a breast cancer awareness promotion with the NFL but other companies haven’t followed suit. Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, and PepsiCo issued statements denouncing the horrific behavior displayed by these players. While the beer giant noted “We are not yet satisfied with the league’s handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code,” it’s not morally repugnant enough for AB InBev to pull its $1.2 billion deal for Bud Light to be the official beer of the NFL. But AB InBev isn’t alone.

A longtime sponsor of NFL, PepsiCo quenches the thirst of players during games with Gatorade and has “NFL marketing rights for several other brands.” PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi said in a statement that as “a mother, a wife, and a passionate football fan” she was “deeply disturbed” by “the repugnant behavior of a few players and the NFL’s acknowledged mishandling of these issues.”

But Nooyi wasn’t disturbed enough to end PepsiCo’s ties with the NFL until they clean up their act. Nooyi added she stood by her man Goodell and thought he was “a man of integrity” and urged him and the NFL “to seize the moment” and do the right thing. Mrs. Nooyi should heed her own words, show zero tolerance for domestic violence and pull Pepsi’s lucrative deal with the NFL. But that requires taking a real stand not just talking about one.

Many companies pulled ads from Rush Limbaugh’s show for his “opinions” about Sandra Fluke’s campaign for free birth control pills. The NFL situation is exponentially worse and companies are sitting on the sidelines telling women and children who are victims of players’ domestic violence they don’t care. It’s just how the game is played.

 

Women and NFL Stand by Wife Beater Ray Rice

I don’t know what’s worse, Ravens football player Ray Rice knocking his then fiancée, now wife, unconscious in an elevator, the NFL protecting him, or women defending Rice for punching “an unarmed woman.” All of the above are equally repugnant. But a woman, saying Rice’s wife Janay Palmer deserved it, is disturbing.

“She hit him first and any woman who hits a man deserves to be hit,” described a woman interviewed by NBC News. The woman was describing the video of Rice knocking out Janay in response to her slapping his body in an elevator of the Revel Hotel in Atlantic City. So, it was okay for Rice to respond by whacking Janay in the head unconscious and then drag her by her feet like a slaughtered animal out of the elevator?

“Why is it that the victimizer becomes the victim? Why is it that we want to protect these men? What is it about our society? What is it about us, as women, that we feel a need to protect them?” Robin Givens explained on the Today Show about her abusive marriage with professional boxer Mike Tyson.

An unarmed woman never, ever “deserves” to be punched or beaten by a man. Absolutely never! As a young woman, my parents taught me it’s not normal for a man to hit a woman and if a man ever as much as threatened me, he wasn’t a real man and I needed to run as fast as I could.

Yet society at large, as Givens elaborated, usually blames women who are victimized by men. In fact, it is very difficult for women in abusive relationships to get restraining orders to keep abusive boyfriends or husbands away from them. And even when women are successful, abusers often violate their restraining orders because law enforcement isn’t effective in enforcing them. In many cases, the result is women, who are victims of domestic violence, end up being seriously harmed or killed by their abusers.

With that said, why would any woman defend an abusive tyrant like Ray Rice? Because society tells women every second of each day that we’re nothing in life without being someone’s wife or girlfriend.

In fact, I would posit society holds married women with children at a higher regard than married women without children. A few weeks ago, when I was guest hosting WMAL’s Mornings on the Mall radio program with co-host Larry O’Connor, one of the topics was the media’s obsession with whether or not Jennifer Aniston is going to have a child. Many males phoned in and said they view married women with children as better than single women or even married women without children.

Through movies, fairy tales, the prom, and some parents, girls are socialized at a very young age that they must find prince charming and that even settling for an abusive man is better than no man at all. There’s no place for the single woman at dinner parties or galas. This is part of the reason why abused women stay in relationships with their abusers. Because society frown’s on single women.

By not pursuing an aggressive investigation against Rice, the NFL was telling women like Janay to “get over it, you’ll lucky to married to a rich, albeit a wife beater, football player.” But if an investigation confirms news reports the NFL saw the video of Rice punching his wife and Rice admitted to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in June that he did hit Janay, the message of professional football is clear. The NFL promotes and protects players knocking each other around on the field and battering their women off the field.

Arrogance: the Downfall of Governor McDonnell

20140905_MET_MCDO7

Guilty over greed, that’s what a jury of their peers found former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell and his wife Maureen. McDonnell, the 71st governor of Virginia, now has the distinguished honor of being the first governor convicted of a felony in the state’s history.

There were tears from the accused and shock from many Richmonders, including myself when the verdicts were handed down. I thought McDonnell and his wife would elude charges of corruption. But perhaps Virginians have had enough of politicians like McDonnell abusing their power for financial gain.

“I’m the governor of Virginia. I can have it all, live beyond my means. In fact I’m owed it all because I’m a very important person.” This seems to be what Bob McDonnell thought when as governor he accepted nearly $200,000 in money and gifts from Johnnie Williams, Sr., who was then CEO of Star Scientific. But when federal prosecutors indicted McDonnell and his wife on corruption charges, suddenly McDonnell played dumb. His defense was he didn’t think he had to pay Williams back for those gifts and loans nor did he believe he should give Williams anything in return, like promoting his Anatabloc product. Yeah, right.

And his wife’s defense was their broken marriage. Maureen claimed she was infatuated with Williams and didn’t believe accepting a Rolex from him and a $20,000 New York City shopping spree was wrong. Lawyers for McDonnell too used the bad marriage defense, arguing that because of their crumbling marriage, he didn’t know about the gifts Maureen received from Williams or the Star Scientific stock she purchased.

What man throws his wife under the bus like that? There was a picture of McDonnell wearing the engraved Rolex watch his wife got from Williams so it’s hard to believe he never asked Maureen how she acquired it?

Apparently, the jurors didn’t buy this or the couple’s “he said, she said” defense of a bad marriage backed up by the charade of the two living apart during the trial. To think this indictment against the McDonnells began as a result of the firing of the executive chef for the governor’s mansion Todd Schneider over stealing food from the mansion pantry. Schneider steadfastly has claimed he didn’t steal any food but took it as part of a bartering deal approved by Maureen.

When the FBI began its investigation of Schneider, he gave the FBI evidence proving Williams wrote a $15,000 check to pay for McDonnell’s daughter’s wedding reception. This uncorked the federal investigation into McDonnell’s other money dealings with Williams and the governor’s indictment. I bet McDonnell wishes he hadn’t fired Schneider or more importantly gotten caught for taking gifts and money Williams.

A few people tweeted McDonnell wasn’t the first or last politician to act unethically. One person tweeted it was a “corrupt and angry revenge seeking U.S Attorney General” Eric Holder who brought charges against a Republican Governor. Governor McDonnell’s arrogance and greed was his enemy not Eric Holder or President Barack Obama because McDonnell never thought he would get caught.

Even when prosecutors offered him a deal with no prison time in exchange for pleading guilty to one count of felony fraud and no charges brought against his wife, McDonnell rejected it. If McDonnell had been an average Joe robbing a bank, he would have been convicted and everyone would have said justice was served. There isn’t one set of rules for politicians and another for everyone else.

McDonnell thought being a governor meant he was immune to the laws of the land but jurors reminded him he needed to be held accountable for his actions just like any other American. I wonder if the McDonnells think their lust for things (a Rolex, clothes, multiple homes) and a lifestyle they couldn’t afford was worth going to prison and becoming convicted felons.

Death of Black Teen Michael Brown Incites Another Race War

“Unarmed” doesn’t mean doing “no harm.” A man can rape and assault a woman without being armed. A man can overpower an armed policeman and injure or kill him without being armed.

When a police officer or a white person kills an “unarmed black teen,” it doesn’t automatically mean that a police officer or a white person committed a hate crime. Yet ever since the race baiting mob led by Al Sharpton, rushed to judgment in Trayvon Martin’s death, even before charges or a trial ensued, it’s become de rigueur for the mainstream media to use the phrase “unarmed black teen” when black teens are killed by whites or police officers.

The word “unarmed” inherently suggests that a black teen bears no culpability in his or her tragic demise. But during the George Zimmerman murder trial of Trayvon Martin, evidence and testimony showed Martin fought with Zimmerman. Here we are again with the same narrative and cast of characters being played out in the tragic death of Missouri teen Michael Brown before the facts are in.

Benjamin Crump, the same lawyer who represented Martin’s parents, is representing the Brown family. No investigation or autopsy has been completed. And Al Sharpton, who never met a race war he didn’t like, headlined a protest in Ferguson.

These familiar faces injecting themselves into the situation makes one wonder are they in it for “justice” or money. Michael Brown was a high school graduate, preparing to start his freshman year of college, something his grieving mother reminded us is rare for black men these days. Michael’s death is awful.

But the mainstream media, many blacks and self-appointed “civil rights leaders” immediately pulled the race card on Twitter and hit the streets crying, “no justice, no peace,” as conflicting facts continue dribbling in. Some blacks used it as a reason to loot and damage buildings. A black teen dies and blacks respond in kind with violence on “unarmed” people of Ferguson? Isn’t that why blacks were upset in the first place, because a violent act was allegedly committed against an “unarmed black teen”?

And why did President Barack Obama once again weigh in before an investigation was completed on the death of Brown like he did when Martin was shot by “white Hispanic” George Zimmerman?

“The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and his community at this very difficult time,” Obama said in a statement.

Vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard, Obama succumbed to pressure from the Congressional Black Caucus and other “black advocates” and spoke publicly about the situation. Without an investigation being completed, Obama, as the nation’s first black president, is further stoking racial unrest in Ferguson and the nation.

If Obama is going to make it a matter of practice to comment on every black teen that is killed in this country daily, he has some catching up to do. Why don’t we see Obama sending condolences to the families of the hundreds of black teens killed in his own hometown of Chicago every year? Is it because the majority of these kids are killed by other blacks and that’s OK?

Is Obama saying the lives of blacks allegedly killed by cops or whites warrant national outrage? Why isn’t the FBI investigating the hundreds of homicides of black teens and adults across the country daily as possible hate crimes, like it is Brown’s death?

Yes, Brown was unarmed but that doesn’t mean he didn’t allegedly attack the police officer. Nor does it mean the police officer shot him simply because he was black. But facts be damned. “Hell”, said blacks from near and far, this is a race crime plain and simple. Only it may not be.

In a press conference, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said the police officer and Brown engaged in a “violent confrontation” before Brown was shot. “The side of his face is swollen,” said Jackson.

After days of pressure from the public, Jackson finally released the officer’s identity as Darren Wilson. During the same news conference, Jackson released new evidence suggesting Brown and his friend Darion Johnson were suspects in stealing a $48.99 box of cigarettes. But Johnson repeatedly insisted the officer ordered them onto the sidewalk, grabbed Brown by the neck and tried to force him onto the sidewalk. Johnson said when Brown ran away, Wilson shot him.

There are a lot of unanswered questions in this case. If Brown was brutalized by a police officer for stealing a package of cigarettes, the officer should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But while the court of public opinion has made up its mind that Wilson is guilty, the reality is, due process of the law hasn’t taken place.

Is it good that  in the town of Ferguson where about 70% of the 21,000 residents are black that of  that only three of the police officers are black? No, not necessarily. But does it mean the non-black officers are racist? No, not necessarily. Could the Ferguson police do a better job of recruiting black officers? Yes, probably.

A black St. Louis, Missouri councilmember, Antonio French, blamed Brown’s death on whites controlling government.

“Ferguson has a white government and a white mayor, but a large black population. This situation has brought out whatever rifts were between that minority community and the Ferguson government,” French said.

The District of Columbia has had black mayors and predominately black city council for nearly the past 30 years and blacks are killed daily most often by other blacks. I wonder if Mr. French considers the “black government in DC to blame” or if the race card is reserved only for blacks, who are allegedly killed by cops or white people?

Black advocates like French, Sharpton and President Obama need to start playing the honesty card for a change and allow true justice be served.