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12 Mar

doug smith

DOUG SMITH: Author, Historian and a regular contributor to FSP

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Political language — is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language” The oldest political speech I can recall was from Cain: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Short, but all the elements. The Lie: I have no idea if his body is where I left it when I killed him. The respectability of the murder: I’m not responsible for him. He’s the one who put his head in the way of my fist. Unfortunately, his audience (God) was not easily swayed. But Cain showed the way. Politicians, in particular progressive ones, have been busily perfecting the art the political speech ever since.

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Language is important. That is how we communicate our ideas. If I tell my kid “You cannot have a cookie.”, and he counters with “I didn’t. I only took a baked confection.”, then we have a problem. Words have meaning, and those who twist and shade those meanings are not trying to tell the truth. In the Dark Ages in Britain, from the fall of Rome to the beginnings of the Renaissance, the art of writing was all but lost. Few outside Irish monasteries could either read, or write, and thus, be aware of their history and culture. Communication devolved to the bare minimums needed for survival and civilization to a mean and barbaric existence. (Thank God for the Irish, who preserved the core of written knowledge in monasteries to form the yeast from which the Renaissance rose.) Words have meanings. The written word lets us record those meanings for others besides those sitting near enough to hear us speak. Words, meanings, are the lubricant without which our social interactions cannot rise above barbarism. But, as with Cain, so with many today, there is an assault on language. When words have no meaning, or when they can mean anything, then scoundrels can hide their meanings and intentions from people. Take the word, Democrat, for example. A country that says it is Democratic is meant to be perceived as having a free and benevolent government. However, few people, even those on the progressive left, would describe Die Deutsche Demokratische Republik as anything but oppressive. Fidel Castro was elected over and over by voters with guns to their head, but elected he was. Yet “his” democracy remains one of the most brutal, repressive regimes in the world. He and his cohorts came to power with ruthless murders, and maintained it with a police state, political prisoners, and the theft of wealth of citizens. Just tossing the word democratic at a Gulag does not make it Coney Island.

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But if people can hijack language, destroy meaning, than they can avoid calling evil or stupidity what it is. They can avoid making rational arguments for nonsensical goals. In short, they can be progressives. Hence, an Army deserter is said to have served with honor and distinction. Taxing and spending become investing and paying your fair share. One who is Rich has steady work and a paycheck that can be robbed. Anyone who opposes higher taxes and out of control spending is a right wing extremist. Conversely, Muslim terrorists who murder children with an electric drill are NOT Muslim terrorists, but just extremists. (I guess they REALLY hate taxes.) A backward, corrupt, poor country with tribal warfare and warlords who confiscate any foreign aid becomes a developing country. (One might ask, in fairness, into what they are developing.) A self-serving shakedown artist becomes a civil rights leader. (Again, one might ask, whose rights, other than his own rights to a fat bank account, has Al Sharpton led?) Patriotism becomes a joke, a synonym for a bumpkin, or in the opposite extreme it becomes a blind following of a party or person, rather than a nation. Affordable housing and Affordable Health care provide neither, but put control of both in government hands, where both are ravaged.

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Words become so imprecise that they mean nothing, or everything, or whatever a dishonest speaker or writer wishes them to mean. Thus, they can never be held to account for what they say, or promise, or swear. Reporters cannot even manage to write a simple paragraph or sentence, and readers become accepting of sloppy writing, and reporting, and outright lies. Imprecise and meaningless language makes people vulnerable to nonsense phrases that say nothing but sound good. Hence, “I feel your pain” makes us feel you are one of us. “Hope and Change”, uttered with Greek Columns and fireworks, sounds profound. In reality,both phrases are semantically null: they mean absolutely nothing. So the hearer can project into them whatever he or she wishes to believe, and the slick politician can never be held to account for his promises, because he has promised precisely nothing. But it sounded like something! To quote Orwell again: “the slovenliness of our language makes it easier to have foolish thoughts.” Foolish thoughts lead to foolish actions, foolish decisions, and foolish leaders, leading foolish people off a foolish cliff. We need to take back our language. We can start with simple words. Halt. About face.

Mark Caserta: Broken promises caused election losses

11 Dec

Lying is simply part and parcel of the progressive movement

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Dec. 11, 2014 @ 12:01 AM

Apparently honesty, integrity and the rule of law have little meaning for liberals. For they would have you believe these missing qualities in the Obama administration had nothing to do with the shellacking Democrats took in the November election.

Despite the fact that the pattern of disingenuous governing by Barack Hussein Obama has become as evident as the nose on your face, liberals continue to make excuses for this president and ignore his lying in the interest of propagating progressivism.

And frankly it’s laughable for someone to blame “the poor” for not voting or the two-thirds of the voters who didn’t go to the polls, rather than ask themselves “why” would many who had previously supported this president’s policies turn on him.

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Perhaps progressives should consider these presidential canards which they’ve never been able to plausibly explain to the American people.

n “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan period. No one will take it away. No matter what.” This was, of course, Politifact’s “Lie of the Year” for 2014. Yet, for liberals the end justifies the means.

n “My administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government.” But the Obama administration has set a new standard for deceptive governing. Some recall during his 2008 campaign the president repeatedly promised health care negotiations in Congress would be televised on C-SPAN. But it never happened and liberals looked the other way.

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n “We agree on reforms that will finally reduce the costs of health care. Families will save on their premiums…” Barack Obama repeatedly promised Americans that Obamacare would cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year. But as rates spike across the nation, liberals just keep marching.

n “We’ve got shovel-ready projects all across the country that governors and mayors are pleading to fund. And the minute we can get those investments to the state level, jobs are going to be created.” Obama later referenced this failed objective of his stimulus package during a jobs council meeting and joked about the promise saying, “Shovel-ready was not as… uh … shovel-ready as we expected.” Liberals just laughed it off.

n “I don’t want to pit Red America against Blue America. I want to be the president of the ‘United States of America.'” Really, Mr. President? You’ve helped renew racial tensions that are sweeping the nation! And while Barack Obama counsels with Al Sharpton for a plan to “unite” America, progressives are silent.

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Do you suppose liberals would be “deaf and mute” to this fraudulence if it was a GOP president? They simply know they can’t deliberate these points on their merits, so they predictably play the race card or the blame game. Anyone not in denial can easily figure this out.

The American people have simply had enough of this president’s lies and broken promises, and Barack Obama’s “chickens are coming home to roost.”


19 Nov

Emperor Obama tests his executive power

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WASHINGTON (AP) — In a broad test of his executive powers, President Barack Obama declared Wednesday he will sidestep Congress and order his own federal action on immigration — in measures that could spare from deportation as many as 5 million people illegally in the U.S. and set up one of the most pitched partisan confrontations of his presidency.

Obama declared that Washington has allowed America’s immigration problem “to fester for too long.”

The president will use an 8 p.m. EST address Thursday to announce his measures and will sign the executive actions during a rally in Las Vegas on Friday. In doing so, Obama will be taking an aggressive stand that he had once insisted was beyond his presidential power.

As many as 5 million people in the country illegally are likely to be protected from deportation and made eligible for work permits under the plan. They would not have a path to citizenship, however, and the actions could be reversed by a new president in two years. Officials said the eligible immigrants would not be entitled to federal benefits — including health care tax credits — under Obama’s plan.

The 5 million estimate includes extending deportation protections to parents and spouses of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have been in the country for five years. The president also is likely to expand his 2-year-old program that protects young immigrants from deportation. The administration had considered extending the executive action to parents of young immigrants covered under the 2012 Obama directive, but immigration advocates said they did not expect the parents to be included in the final plan.

“What I’m going to be laying out is the things that I can do with my lawful authority as president to make the system better, even as I continue to work with Congress and encourage them to get a bipartisan, comprehensive bill that can solve the entire problem,” Obama said in a video on Facebook.

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Laying the groundwork for his actions, Obama invited 18 Democratic members of the House and Senate — but no Republicans — to dinner at the White House on Wednesday. Among the networks airing his Thursday speech will be Univision, which will interrupt the Latin Grammys to carry his remarks, assuring him a huge Spanish-speaking audience. The major broadcast networks — ABC, CBS and NBC — were not planning to air the speech, but cable news networks were.

Obama is to speak at Las Vegas’ Del Sol High School on Friday, a school with a large population of non-English speaking students where Obama unveiled his blueprint for comprehensive immigration legislation in 2013.

Republicans vehemently oppose the president’s likely actions but are deeply divided and have spent much of the week intensely debating how to respond. Some conservative members have threatened to pursue a government shutdown and one — two-term Republican Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama — raised the specter of impeachment on Wednesday.

House Speaker John Boehner’s spokesman criticized Obama’s planned announcement, noting that the president himself had said in the past that he was not “emperor” and was limited in his ability to act.

“If ‘Emperor Obama’ ignores the American people and announces an amnesty plan that he himself has said over and over again exceeds his constitutional authority, he will cement his legacy of lawlessness and ruin the chances for congressional action on this issue — and many others,” the spokesman, Michael Steel, said.

A wide-ranging immigration bill passed the Senate last year, but stalled in the Republican-led House. Senate Democratic leaders on Wednesday took turns declaring their support for Obama’s unilateral action, blaming Republican inaction for forcing Obama to act.

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“There’s one more chance: Just put the bill on the floor, Speaker Boehner,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., a lead author of the bill that passed the Senate. “Pass the bill and we will not even have to debate executive action.”

Even Republicans who supported the Senate bill that would have overhauled immigration laws said Obama’s go-it-alone approach would backfire. Still, they cautioned their party colleagues not to overreach in their response.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who worked on the Senate legislation, said the executive actions would leave the status of millions of immigrants unresolved and would not address what he called a broken immigration system.

“Our response has to be measured — can’t capitulate, can’t overreact,” he said. “Impeachment or shutting down the entire government would be an unwise move.”

Adjustments also are expected to a 2012 program that allowed immigrants under 31 who had arrived before June 2007 to apply for a reprieve from deportation and a work permit. More than 600,000 young immigrants have been shielded from deportation to date under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Removing the upper age limit so that applicants don’t have to be under 31 — one option under consideration — would make an additional 200,000 people eligible.

In one specific example, about 250,000 farm workers in the United States illegally would receive work permits under Obama’s actions, according to Giev Kashkooli, the national political legislative director of the United Farm Workers who met with White House officials and with Obama on Wednesday. The UFW had been hoping for a specific program that would provide work permits to more farm workers.

The 250,000 farm workers would be eligible by being parents of children who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

The beneficiaries of Obama’s new executive action would be treated in the same manner as those immigrants who were shielded from deportation in his 2012 directive, according to one official who discussed the limits of Obama’s action on the condition of anonymity, lacking authority to speak on the record at this point.

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Those young immigrants covered by the 2012 action can obtain work permits but are not eligible for food stamps, federal welfare benefits or disability benefits under the Supplemental Security Income program. They also are ineligible for tax credits under Obama’s health care law, though they can buy health coverage at full price on the exchanges created by the law. They may be eligible for public benefits provided by some states.

Mark Caserta: Senate shift in power may not be enough

6 Nov

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Nov. 05, 2014 @ 11:24 PM

The shift in the balance of power in the U.S. Senate affirms the disdain most Americans have for the policies of Barack Obama.

Unfortunately, Congressional balance of power could mean very little during the remaining two years of this administration. Obama’s intended reliance on his executive powers and his bully pulpit highlight his shortcomings in working with Congress.

Liberals blame a gridlocked Congress for Obama’s failures but conveniently forget that Democrats controlled Congress during the first two years of Obama’s presidency. Since then, his incapacity to reach across party lines and create any semblance of bipartisanship is the true reason for our congressional cul-de-sac.

Such an impasse never occurred under Bill Clinton, who faced a GOP majority during the bulk of his presidency, or Ronald Reagan, the “great communicator” who consistently placed people above big government. The inability to muster even the slightest “Clintonesque” or “Reaganesque” presidential leadership qualities has essentially rendered Obama a lame duck president.

But then there’s the executive order.

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Just two weeks before delivering his 2014 State of the Union address, Obama doubled down on his commitment to fundamentally change America with or without the elected voice of the people.

“We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help they need. I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone.” Obama said during a White House cabinet meeting. “And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward.”

Now it’s true other presidents have leveraged the “grant of executive power” provided in Article II of the Constitution, some more than Obama. But it isn’t the “quantity”; it’s the ultra-progressive “quality” of his actions that concern most Americans.

Attempting to minimize Senate seat losses, Obama postponed decisions on a host of contentious issues related to ObamaCare, immigration and the environment until after the midterm elections. But a tyrannical storm is brewing.

The administration announced that health-insurance premium rates on the ObamaCare exchange won’t be available until Nov. 15, when the website begins its 2015 enrollment. How politically convenient! It’s noteworthy that last year’s enrollment began on Oct. 1, making this year’s timetable clearly an intentional delay.

In June, Obama vowed “to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress,” but has taken no executive action on immigration before the midterms. The White House reportedly is preparing to provide amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants in late November.

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to release new power-plant restrictions that will cost the industry some $366 billion, but the rules won’t be finalized until later this year.

If Barack Obama’s policies are so popular, why was he compelled to hide them from the American people prior to such an important election?

Nevertheless, after the bureaucratic smoke clears, only a two-thirds vote by Congress or a Supreme Court declaration of unconstitutionality can overturn a presidential executive order.

So fasten your seat belts, America. It’s going to be a rough ride.

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Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Can we trust Barack Obama?

1 Nov


Let’s get folks out to vote November 4th

Obama forces Chris Christie into embarrassing U-turn to allow Ebola nurse to leave New Jersey quarantine tent

27 Oct


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  • New Jersey governor said Monday that the CDC has cleared a nurse on 21-day quarantine to go home after she tested negative for Ebola twice
  • The health care worker was held after returning from Sierra Leone, and threatened a federal lawsuit to get herself released
  • A 21-day Ebola quarantine order for Americans returning from western Africa was put in place by Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo
  • Under White House pressure, Cuomo changed his rules to allow home quarantines for those with no symptoms
  • Obama aides already lobbied Christie to rethink New Jersey’s rules after the nurse twice tested negative for Ebola 

Chris Christie was forced on Monday to allow a nurse being kept in a tent in a hospital parking lot to go home after intense White House pressure to relax a mandatory 21-day quarantine the New Jersey Governor had imposed at a state level.

The embarrassing turnaround came after Obama chaired a White House meeting on the rules and successfully lobbied Christie’s New York counterpart, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to relax their quarantine rules – even as Americans grow more concerned about the possibility of a pandemic emergency.

Cuomo gave in on behalf of New Yorkers. But as of Sunday Christie was still pushing for more aggressive measures to protect New Jerseyans, saying he had ‘no second thoughts’ about the policy. 

Christie is a likely entrant into the 2016 Republican Party presidential primary, and the intergovernmental Ebola skirmishes will provide both major political parties with new ammunition.

Nurse Kaci Hickox tested negative for Ebola twice, but she had remained in a forced hospital quarantine as of Monday morning.

The governors of New York and New Jersey announced last week mandatory quarantine for people returning to the United States through airports in their states who are deemed 'high risk' but the rules have now been relaxed to allow self-quarantine at home.  New Jersey, led by Chris Christie, pictured,  first resisted pressure to roll back the new rules but caved under pressure from the White House today

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, says mandatory 21-day quarantines are 'a little bit draconian'

The two states each have one of the five airports where passengers who have spent time in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea are allowed to enter the United States.

Illinois, home to Chicago O’Hare International Airport, also has a similar quarantine order in place, in open defiance of the White House.

The Obama administration pushed back on Sunday, following the latest all-hands Ebola meeting in the White House.

‘We have also let these states know that we are working on new guidelines for returning healthcare workers that will protect the American people against imported cases, while, at the same time, enabling us to continue to tackle this epidemic in West Africa.’

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday on the CBS program ‘Face the Nation’ that state-level quarantines send a message to health care professionals that volunteering in the Ebola hot zone will present new levels of inconvenience when they return. 

The New York Times first reported that aides to Obama were lobbying Christie and Cuomo to relax their new rules.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (center) says he doesn't know how his 'mandatory' quarantine would be enforced

There has been sharp criticism of the guidelines after Hickox was forcibly quarantined in a New Jersey hospital isolation unit, even though she had displayed no symptoms and had tested negative for Ebola.

Under the new New York guidelines, medical professionals who have had contact with Ebola patients can now be quarantined at home instead and receive twice-daily monitoring, if they have no symptoms.

Family members will be allowed to stay, and friends may also visit with the approval of health officials.  

Senior administration officials had called the initial decision on Friday by the governors to impose such rules ‘uncoordinated and hurried.’ 

Meanwhile, Hickox, the first nurse forcibly quarantined in New Jersey under the state’s new policy, said her isolation at a hospital was ‘inhumane,’ adding: ‘We have to be very careful about letting politicians make health decisions.’

Hickox is now suing and has now hired Norman Siegel, a high profile civil rights attorney, to challenge the order.  

Christie on Sunday defended quarantining as necessary to protect the public and predicted it ‘will become a national policy sooner rather than later.’

‘The government’s job is to protect safety and health of our citizens,’ Christie said on Fox News Sunday. ‘I have no second thoughts about it.’

In a  telephone interview with CNN, Kaci Hickox, the nurse quarantined at a New Jersey hospital because she had contact with Ebola patients in West Africa, said the process of keeping her isolated is 'inhumane'

In a telephone interview with CNN, Kaci Hickox, the nurse quarantined at a New Jersey hospital because she had contact with Ebola patients in West Africa, said the process of keeping her isolated is ‘inhumane’

Nurse Kaci Hickox was the first medical professional to be quarantined in New Jersey immediately upon returning to the United States from West Africa, where she had worked in treating Ebola patients.S he lashed out at Christie for giving her a diagnosis of sorts as 'obviously ill.'

Previously, Christie had characterized Hickox as ‘obviously ill.’

‘I’m sorry, but that’s just a completely unacceptable statement in my opinion,’ Hickox said Sunday during a phone interview with CNN. ‘For him—a politician who’s trusted and respected—to make a statement that’s categorically not true is just unacceptable and appalling.’

Cuomo also came under scrutiny over the weekend for criticizing Craig Spencer, a doctor who tested positive for Ebola on Thursday, for not obeying a 21-day voluntary quarantine. However, on Sunday, he called the health care workers ‘heroes’ and said his administration would encourage more medical workers to volunteer to fight Ebola.

Under the revised protocols Cuomo detailed on Sunday night, the state also will pay for any lost compensation if the quarantined workers are not paid by a volunteer organization.

‘My personal practice is to err on the side of caution,’ Cuomo said. ‘The old expression is, ‘Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.” 

‘We’re staying one step ahead,’ Cuomo said. ‘We’re doing everything possible. Some people say we’re being too cautious. I’ll take that criticism.’

For much of the weekend, the governors had been under fire from members of the medical community and the White House in what they saw as an overreaction. 

President Barack Obama gives a hug to Dallas nurse Nina Pham in the Oval Office of the White House on Friday, the day she was declared free of the virus

Patient Nina Pham is hugged by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, outside of National Institutes of Health (NIH) . Pham, the first nurse diagnosed with Ebola after treating an infected man at a Dallas hospital is free of the virus.

Dr. Anthony Fauci (left), director of The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned that the mandatory, 21-day quarantining of medical workers returning from West Africa is unnecessary and could discourage volunteers from traveling to the danger zone

‘The best way to protect us is to stop the epidemic in Africa, and we need those health care workers, so we do not want to put them in a position where it makes it very, very uncomfortable for them to even volunteer to go,’ said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Fauci made the rounds on five major Sunday morning talk shows to argue that policy should be driven by science — and that science says people with the virus are not contagious until symptoms appear. And even then, infection requires direct contact with bodily fluids.

He said that close monitoring of medical workers for symptoms is sufficient, and warned that forcibly separating them from others, or quarantining them, for three weeks could cripple the fight against the outbreak in West Africa — an argument that humanitarian medical organizations have also made.

‘If we don’t have our people volunteering to go over there, then you’re going to have other countries that are not going to do it and then the epidemic will continue to roar,’ Fauci said.  

Fauci said that close monitoring of medical workers for symptoms is sufficient, and warned that forcibly separating them from others, or quarantining them, for three weeks could cripple the fight against the outbreak in West Africa, an argument that humanitarian medical organizations have also made

The New York-area quarantine measures were announced after Spencer returned to New York City from treating Ebola victims in Guinea for Doctors Without Borders and was admitted to Bellevue Hospital Center Thursday to be treated for Ebola. In the week after his return, he rode the subway, went bowling and ate at a restaurant.

Hospital officials said Sunday that Spencer was in serious but stable condition, was looking better than he did the day before, and tolerated a plasma treatment well.

Hickox, the quarantined nurse who just returned from Sierra Leone, said she had no symptoms at all and tested negative for Ebola in a preliminary evaluation.

‘It’s just a slippery slope, not a sound public health decision,’ she said of the quarantine policy. ‘I want to be treated with compassion and humanity, and don’t feel I’ve been treated that way.’

Hickox has access to a computer, her cellphone, magazines and newspapers and has been allowed to have takeout food, New Jersey Health Department officials said.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called Hickox a ‘returning hero’ and charged that she was ‘treated with disrespect,’ as if she done something wrong, when she was put into quarantine. He said that she was interrogated repeatedly and things were not explained well to her. 

Commuters ride inside an L train subway car. This is the same train line that Dr. Craig Spencer, a Doctors Without Borders physician who tested positive for the Ebola, had taken to visit a bowling alley in Brooklyn

Official questions mandatory quarantines on health workers

Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who is on a trip to West Africa, said returning U.S. health care workers should be ‘treated like conquering heroes and not stigmatized for the tremendous work that they have done.’

In other developments, President Barack Obama met Sunday with his Ebola response team, including ‘Ebola czar’ Ron Klain and other public health and national security officials. 

According to a statement released by the White House, Obama said any measures concerning returning health care workers ‘should be crafted so as not to unnecessarily discourage those workers from serving.’

Florida Gov. Rick Scott ordered twice-daily monitoring for 21 days of anyone returning from the Ebola-stricken areas.

The World Health Organization said more than 10,000 people have been infected with Ebola in the outbreak that came to light last March, and nearly half of them have died, mostly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. 

Three US states impose Ebola quanantines

New York City Council District 7 Community Liason Fidel Malena hands out flyers about Ebola risk near the apartment building of Ebola patient Dr. Craig Spencer in Harlem

New York City Council District 7 Community Liason Fidel Malena hands out flyers about Ebola risk near the apartment building of Ebola patient Dr. Craig Spencer in Harlem

Postal worker Keven Ngo, wearing a protective mask and gloves, prepares to deliver to the apartment building of Ebola patient Dr. Craig Spencer in Harlem


Obama makes rare campaign trail appearance, people leave early

19 Oct

America tiring of this president…

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By Jeff Mason

Thu, Oct 16 2014

UPPER MARLBORO Md. (Reuters) – President Barack Obama made a rare appearance 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.

With approval levels hovering around record lows, Obama has spent most of his campaign-related efforts this year raising money for struggling Democrats, who risk losing control of the U.S. Senate in the Nov. 4 midterm election.

Most candidates from his party have been wary of appearing with him during their election races because of his sagging popularity.

Not so Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown of Maryland, who is running for governor, and Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois, who is running for re-election. Obama plans to appear at an event for Quinn later in the evening.

“You’ve got to vote,” Obama repeated over and over at a rally for Brown in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, near Washington.

Democrats have a history of not turning up to vote in midterm elections.

U.S. President Obama waves as he arrives for a campaign rally for Maryland Lt. Gov. Brown at a High School in Upper Marlboro

“There are no excuses. The future is up to us,” Obama said.

A steady stream of people walked out of the auditorium while he spoke, however, and a heckler interrupted his remarks.

Obama’s help, or lack thereof, may not matter much to Brown, who is 11 points ahead of Republican opponent Larry Hogan, according to an average of polls by RealClearPolitics.

Quinn’s race is tighter. He is ahead of Republican opponent Bruce Rauner by 1.8 points, according to the RealClearPolitics average.

Obama is scheduled to spend the night at his Chicago home after the campaign event for Quinn.

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(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)


19 Oct

95 percent of deported illegals were criminals


– The Washington Times – Thursday, October 16, 2014

President Obama has generally kept true to his vow to deport only criminals and repeat immigration violators, according to a new report Thursday from the Migration Policy Institute that undercuts many of the fears immigrant rights advocates have about the severity of his policies.

MPI said that 95 percent of the immigrants deported from 2009 to 2013 met Mr. Obama’s stated national security priorities for deportations, meaning only about 77,000 of the 1.6 million illegal immigrants removed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) over the last five years were rank-and-file border-crossers with clean records.

Mr. Obama has pledged to try to refine his deportation policies later this year, but the MPI study, said he’ll have to make major changes such as carving out exceptions for substantial categories of illegal immigrants if he’s to make a dent in his deportation figures.

That’s because Mr. Obama has already placed most rank-and-file illegal immigrants living in the interior of the U.S. out of any danger for deportations, the MPI report concluded.

“In effect, the Obama administration has shifted from a more generalized model of enforcement to a model focused almost exclusively on illegal border crossers, obstructionists and criminals,” the MPI said.

But the report also said it is unfair to describe it as a major shift, since even under President George W. Bush, 91 percent of deportations were of criminals, repeat-immigration violators or recent border crossers. Under Mr. Obama, that’s risen to 95 percent.

The MPI researchers said Mr. Obama has arguably added to the illegal immigrant population by nearly eliminating the risk that most illegal immigrants will be deported. The researchers said, however, that Mr. Obama’s policies could be deemed more “humane.”

“To randomly remove noncitizens who fall outside the scope of stated enforcement priorities and to purposely create a climate of fear and uncertainty competes with the effort to make enforcement more humane,” the researchers said.

While Mr. Obama has mostly kept his vow to only deport “priority” immigrants with criminal records, he has fallen short in overall deportations, according to statistics released Wednesday by the Center for Immigration Studies, which said in fiscal year 2014 ICE was projected to only deport about 312,000 immigrants.

That’s a drop of about 25 percent from the total that ICE has said it has the funding to deport each year.

ICE officials have countered that some deportations cost more than others, which might account for the steep drop.

The Center for Immigration Studies report also concluded that in fiscal year 2014, which ended Sept. 30, ICE agents encountered 585,000 potentially deportable immigrants, but released 442,000 of them without ever bothering to even try to deport them.

“Catch and release policies continue,” concluded Jessica Vaughn, the report’s author.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Mark Caserta: Obama’s policies are on November ballot

16 Oct

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Oct. 15, 2014 @ 09:20 PM

No doubt when President Obama told Mitt Romney during the first 2012 presidential debate that he “liked” the term “Obamacare,” he was confident the appellation would be revered as an historic accomplishment for his administration.

Certainly Democrats have been willing to spend your hard-earned tax money to preserve the president’s aspirations. Bloomberg Government reports the cost of has now exceeded the $2 billion mark, while the total cost of Obama’s health care reform is more than $73 billion.

But nowadays it’s difficult to find a Democrat who openly supports any of this president’s policies in their election campaigns, much less Obama’s signature health care legislation. But in a recent speech, President Obama assured Americans his policies were indeed on November’s ballot.

“I am not on the ballot this fall,” President Obama said. “But make no mistake: these policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them.”

Yes, there are people who now have healthcare who didn’t prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

But millions have been forced off their existing plan (despite Obama’s promise this would never happen, winning him the esteemed Politifact “Lie of the Year” Award) into health care exchanges where they’re experiencing less coverage, higher deductibles and fewer choices in providers.

In fact, if the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) had scored the ACA correctly, it probably would never have passed! According to Forbes Magazine, 12.5 percent fewer people are uninsured by 2014, rather than the 37.3 percent projected by the CBO.

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Additionally, of the millions with canceled coverage, 1 million remain uninsured. And Americans are experiencing far higher premiums than originally estimated while nearly $7,000 will be added in taxes/fees over a decade even for families in the lowest 20 percent of household income.

And all around the country businesses are preparing for the impact of the employer mandate under Obamacare. Understand, these companies will not simply absorb these additional costs. They’ll either cut expenses or raise prices.

Currently hundreds of employers are cutting back on employee’s hours to avoid paying for health care, forcing these individuals into purchasing coverage from an exchange or pay a fine.

And many people still don’t realize the IRS will be the enforcer for ensuring everyone meets their “shared responsibility payment” as decreed by the individual mandate of Obamacare. And Americans have already seen what IRS leadership is willing to do to propagate this president’s ultra-liberal agenda.

Now, there are points in the ACA which should remain, such as coverage for “pre-existing” conditions. But Democrats failed to engage in the necessary conversation about allowing the free market to work in the insurance industry by instituting healthy interstate competition and tort reform.

Instead, they went right for socialized medicine.

Simply put, Barack Obama and complicit Democrats passed legislation that forces Americans into purchasing a product, despite their wants or needs, so they can “redistribute” the assets as they deem “fair.” They’ve taken the “care” out of health care and made it health “control.”

So Democrats may want to run, but they cannot hide. They gave us Obamacare.


Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page

Trouble Looms for Obama, Democrats with Election Day 2014 Approaching

15 Oct

three amigos

By Gary Langer

Oct 15, 2014 7:01am

(Evan Vucci/AP Photo | Danny Johnston/AP Photo | Melinda Deslatte/AP Photo)

Barack Obama and his political party are heading into the midterm elections in trouble. The president’s 40 percent job approval rating in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll is the lowest of his career – and the Democratic Party’s popularity is its weakest in polling back 30 years, with more than half of Americans seeing the party unfavorably for the first time.

The Republican Party is even more unpopular. But benefitting from their supporters’ greater likelihood of voting, GOP candidates nonetheless hold a 50-43 percent lead among likely voters for U.S. House seats in the Nov. 4 election.

See PDF with full results, charts and tables here.

These and other results are informed by an array of public concerns on issues from the economy to international terrorism to the Ebola virus, crashing into a long-running crisis of confidence in the nation’s political leadership. Almost two-thirds say the country is headed seriously off on the wrong track. Even more, three-quarters, are dissatisfied with the way the political system is working.

Scorn is widely cast: Among those who are dissatisfied with the political system, two-thirds say both sides are equally to blame, with the rest dividing evenly between Obama and his party, vs. the Republicans in Congress, as the chief culprits. But as a nearly six-year incumbent president, Obama – and by extension his party – are most at risk.

pelosi, obama, reid

Beyond his overall rating, Obama is at career lows in approval for his handling of immigration, international affairs and terrorism (long his best issue) in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates. Approval of his handling of the conflict with Islamic State insurgents in Iraq and Syria has plummeted by percentage 15 points in the last two weeks, amid questions about the progress of the air campaign now under way.

Further, while Obama’s negative rating on handling the economy has eased, more Americans say they’ve gotten worse off rather than better off under his presidency; the plurality is “about the same” financially, for most not a happy outcome. Even with the recovery to date, 77 percent are worried about the economy’s future, and 57 percent say the country has been experiencing a long-term decline in living standards – all grim assessments as Election Day looms.

economy chart

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