10/22/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations : ‘You Usta be My Girl’ Edition

The Watcher’s Council

http://www.theblaze.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/600x399151.jpg

The president hasn’t been invited to do too much campaigning for his fellow Democrats this year. In fact, they have pretty much treated the idea of him making an appearance on their behalf like the president was suffering from Ebola.

One of the rare exceptions was Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who’s seeking the governor’s seat in Maryland. He thought it would be a great idea to have the president as a headliner at a campaign event to gin up black turnout. Instead, the largely black crowd in Maryland streamed for the exits while the president was still reading his speech to them off of the teleprompter.

The story was so embarrassing that Facebook actually blocked the link to a Yahoo news story about what happened like this:

And anyone attempting to post the story on their own Facebook account got this message:

This week’s edition gets its title from the variation of the title of an old O’Jay’s tune that was undoubtedly echoing in President Barack Hussein Obama’s head as he watched the crowd walk out on him and remembered happier days. They did usta be his girl (or another word I could think of), after all, but some of them are apparently getting tired of the same old song.

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

This week, The MidKnight Review, Changing Wind.Org, Blazing Cat Fur and The Pirate’s Cove earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members, while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

10/20/14

Forum: Why Do You Think Obama’s Actions On Ebola Have Been So Ineffective?

The Watcher’s Council

Every week on Monday morning, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum with short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture or daily living. This week’s question: Why Do You Think Obama’s Actions On Ebola Have Been So Ineffective?

The Independent Sentinel: Mr. Obama is ineffective in handling Ebola because he sees everything as political. He doesn’t do anything for the right reasons.

Everything is done for political reasons with the goal of manipulating the public.

Mr. Obama has trouble making decisions. He’s a political coward. He’s so afraid of what people will say or how it might affect his political agenda that he can’t seem to do anything effectively. When he finally does act, it’s too little.

He has politicized every agency. Agencies are no longer doing what they are entrusted to do. Agencies we used to respect are now failures because they are working on the leftist political agenda.

Obama’s a political animal without the usual moral strictures.

He is always a day late and a dollar short and will continue to be for the next two years.

Simply Jews: Frankly, it is hard for me to blame the current POTUS in a situation like this.

The whole heavy and creaky government juggernaut is not a creation of the last POTUS but of many decades of out of control growth, decay and increasing inefficiency.

Besides, vigilance and preparedness is not something the government institutions are known for – in any country of this world.

I am not a natural born optimist, so in my opinion, things will get much worse before everyone in the health system will get a handle on what is exactly the right thing to do and stop doing stupid things. This is, unfortunately, the human way of learning.

JoshuaPundit: Honestly? I don’t think he cares about anything but the politics. Ron Kain is simply a partisan hack operative who can be relied on to toe the party line and keep things as buried as much as possible.  Dr. Thomas Frieden was a little too obvious and kept tripping over his own stupid tongue, so the regime wants him out of the spotlight.

Two things, BTW that very few people are discussing. First, the connection between the appearance of Ebola and other infectious diseases like Enterovirus D68(AKA EV-D68) and the president’s open borders policy. EV-D68 has already killed half a dozen Americans and there are currently over 500 cases in hospitals all over America, particularly in areas where the White House shipped illegal migrants without any in depth health screening from Central America, where there has been a major outbreak of the disease.

And second, given previous actions by this president, the racial aspect. I would happily be wrong about this, but I have a feeling that if Ebola was endemic in Ireland or Poland rather than West Africa, not only would there be a strict travel ban in place already, but I doubt we’d have 3,000 U.S. troops in Dublin or Warsaw exposing themselves to infection.

Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason: President Obama never fails to put politics ahead of everything else, especially when there is a good crisis to manage. CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden’s inability to convince us that a travel ban is not necessary to prevent others from bringing the virus here only helped to fuel the hysteria of a possible epidemic in America. Whatever happened to erring on the side of caution, at least until we know exactly how the two nurses in Texas contracted Ebola from Thomas Eric Duncan?

Dr. Frieden couldn’t sell the Administration’s talking points. The media has been relentless in its coverage and furthering the hysteria. Caving to political pressure President Obama appointed political insider Ron Klain as his “Ebola response coordinator”; a man with no medical experience or credentials. Presumably they believe he will do a better job with the talking points than Dr. Frieden. It’s not about getting control of the situation; it is about getting control of the narrative.

On a positive note, the CDC policy of contact tracing seems to be working. Today (Sunday) is day 21 and we have not heard of any of Mr. Duncan’s family members or other contacts, or any other health care workers who were in contact with Mr. Duncan, developing symptoms to indicate they contracted Ebola.

Hopefully we have seen the end of this latest crisis.

The Right Planet: ONE WORD: POLITICS! The Obama Administration handling of the Ebola issue is not just ineffective … it’s criminal. Let’s just apply a little common sense here and stick to the who, what, why, where, when and how.

Shall we?

We have a deadly virus called Ebola. We know viruses can mutate, and often do over time. There are several species or genus of Ebola, from what I understand–namely Ebola Zaire, Ebola Sudan, Ebola Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Ebola Bundibuygo (Uganda). I find the regional nature of the Ebola species rather intriguing. I would assume the deadly virus is quite virulent, and is able to adapt to a wide range of environmental factors, considering the outbreaks have steadily increased since 1976, and across numerous regions.

There had been a rather linear and steady increase in Ebola deaths since the first case appeared in South Sudan in 1976. But Ebola deaths have increased dramatically in 2014. Fatalities caused by the Ebola virus steadily began to rise during the month of May, and then a dramatic and alarming increase in Ebola deaths began in mid-July 2014. The concern now is there could be an exponential increase in deaths if the Ebola outbreak is not contained.

But I’ll leave all that to the epidemiologists and infectious disease experts … which brings me to President Obama appointing Ronald Klain as the “Ebola Czar.”

Are you kidding me?

Without even going off on a rant about the whole unconstitutional nature of the “czar” regime, one would think the president would appoint an expert in epidemiology with an extensive medical background. This is not the time for a “revolutionary change agent.” Ebola is a disease. The appointment of a extreme-left political hack is nothing more than Obama employing his former debate coach to help manage his public relations in order to protect his precious political image, when the focus should be on preventing a possible pandemic.

One thing I’ve heard from some medical experts is the Ebola virus is being spread because of the “opening up” of travel within western and central Africa. So, would it not be logical to listen to the medical experts and restrict travel in the affected and effected regions? It’s not like the travel bans would be permanent. It makes no sense to me that a patient infected with Ebola must be quarantined here in order to prevent others from becoming infected, yet the administration refuses to quarantine Ebola at its point of origin, in western Africa–which is the only real way to isolate the virus, that I’m aware of.

Up until now, the Ebola virus was isolated to Africa. But now, the virus has killed a Spanish nurse and a man in Texas. Will we have new species of Ebola now? Like Ebola Spain and Ebola Texas? The consistent minimizing of serious threats by the president screams to me that he is far more concerned about his firm hold on power than he is about doing the right thing. Banning travel in western Africa is not a “racial issue.” Ebola is no respecter of race; it will kill a white man just as fast as it will kill a black man. But, apparently the only person Barack Obama listens to is … Barack Obama.

 GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: Unbelievably Jay Vee.

Selecting an organizational partisan hack (no matter how great at organizing) shows 44 and his posse are all politics all the time. Cats like General PAce (Retd) from the Marine Corps or even somedobby like former TN Senator Bill Frist (who by happy double chance is a doctor AND has been to West Africa bunches of times) would maybe might be more better.

It’s like the longest running gag on Jack Ass – and we the people are the punch line.

The Glittering Eye: They’re only ineffective if you believe there are real material risks posed by Ebola in this country. If you think that the only risks are psychological or political ones, what he’s been doing have been effective. Under pressure to “do something”, he’s committed troops to West Africa, presumably to build hospitals without staff or equipment. They certainly don’t have the training to treat patients or even handle dead bodies.

That’s how I interpret the appointment of Ron Klain as “Ebola czar”. His job is clearly to keep the story tamped down until after the November elections to minimize the damage it might do to Democratic chances of holding the Senate.

Well, there you have it!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks’ nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter…’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

10/20/14

NICOLE LURIE: Obama’s First Ebola Czar Was Embroiled in a Massive Scandal in 2011 and Still Holds Her Job

Doug Ross @ Journal

In November 2011, David Willman of The Los Angeles Times described another instance of taxpayer abuse by the Obama administration, this time in the Department of Health and Human Services. Obama’s first “Ebola Czar” — Dr. Nicole Lurie — is said to have directed nearly half a billion dollars to a huge Obama donor for a vaccination no one wanted.

Perhaps some of the geniuses in the GOP can dredge up this article when they’re accused — falsely — of slashing someone’s budget. First off, no one’s budget’s been slashed. Second, MRC has documented the copious, criminal waste of money by the National Institute of Health and the Center for Disease Control.

But back to the original Ebola Czar, Dr. Lurie. Let Willman tell the tale:

Cost, need questioned in $433-million smallpox drug deal

A company controlled by a longtime political donor gets a no-bid contract to supply an experimental remedy for a threat that may not exist.

November 13, 2011|By David Willman, Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Washington — Over the last year, the Obama administration has aggressively pushed a $433-million plan to buy an experimental smallpox drug, despite uncertainty over whether it is needed or will work.

Senior officials have taken unusual steps to secure the contract for New York-based Siga Technologies Inc., whose controlling shareholder is billionaire Ronald O. Perelman, one of the world’s richest men and a longtime Democratic Party donor…

Costs “well above what” specialists said was reasonable

When Siga complained that contracting specialists at the Department of Health and Human Services were resisting the company’s financial demands, senior officials replaced the government’s lead negotiator for the deal, interviews and documents show.

When Siga was in danger of losing its grip on the contract a year ago, the officials blocked other firms from competing.

Siga was awarded the final contract in May through a “sole-source” procurement in which it was the only company asked to submit a proposal. The contract calls for Siga to deliver 1.7 million doses of the drug for the nation’s biodefense stockpile. The price of approximately $255 per dose is well above what the government’s specialists had earlier said was reasonable, according to internal documents and interviews.

A Waste of Time and a Waste of Money

…Dr. Thomas M. Mack, an epidemiologist at USC’s Keck School of Medicine, battled smallpox outbreaks in Pakistan and has advised the Food and Drug Administration on the virus. He called the plan to stockpile Siga’s drug “a waste of time and a waste of money.”

The Obama administration official who has overseen the buying of Siga’s drug says she is trying to strengthen the nation’s preparedness. Dr. Nicole Lurie, a presidential appointee who heads biodefense planning at Health and Human Services, cited a 2004 finding by the Bush administration that there was a “material threat” smallpox could be used as a biological weapon.

“Outrageous” Profit Margins for Perelman’s Company

…Negotiations over the price of the drug and Siga’s profit margin were contentious. In an internal memo in March, Dr. Richard J. Hatchett, chief medical officer for HHS’ biodefense preparedness unit, said Siga’s projected profit at that point was 180%, which he called “outrageous.”

In an email earlier the same day, a department colleague told Hatchett that no government contracting officer “would sign a 3 digit profit percentage.”

In April, after Siga’s chief executive, Dr. Eric A. Rose, complained in writing about the department’s “approach to profit,” Lurie assured him that the “most senior procurement official” would be taking over the negotiations.

“I trust this will be satisfactory to you,” Lurie wrote Rose in a letter…

Lurie Lied About Forbidden Contact with the Company

Lurie denied that she had spoken with or written to Rose regarding the contract, saying such contact would have been inappropriate.

But in a subsequent statement, an HHS spokeswoman acknowledged Lurie’s letter to Rose, saying it “reflects the critical importance of the potential procurement to national security.”

Ties to the SEIU

…[In 2004] Siga purchased the rights to what became known as ST-246 and other assets from a Pennsylvania company, ViroPharma Inc., for $1 million in cash and 1 million shares of Siga’s common stock…

…In June 2010, Siga further heightened its presence in Washington by naming to its board Andrew Stern, former head of the Service Employees International Union and a frequent visitor to the Obama White House. The union is a wellspring of campaign money and volunteers for Democratic candidates.

On Oct. 13, 2010, Siga announced that the government intended to award it a contract for ST-246 worth as much as $2.8 billion. Within days, Siga’s stock price soared.

More Skulduggery

But the federal contract required that the winning bidder be a small business, with no more than 500 employees. Chimerix Inc., a North Carolina company that had competed for the contract, protested, saying Siga was too big.

Officials at the Small Business Administration investigated and quickly agreed, finding that Siga’s affiliation with MacAndrews & Forbes disqualified it.

The Obama administration could have awarded the contract to Chimerix as the only eligible small-business applicant. Or it could have reopened the competition to companies of any size.

Instead, the administration moved to block all companies — except Siga — from bidding on a second offering of the contract.

You can read Willman’s entire expose here.

10/19/14

Newt: Ebola Could Kill Millions Worldwide

Hat Tip: BB

Six Reasons to Panic:

So for now, the Obama administration will insist on keeping travel open between infected countries and the West and hope that they, and we, get lucky.

At a deeper level, the Ebola outbreak is a crisis not for Obama and his administration, but for elite institutions. Because once more they have been exposed as either corrupt, incompetent, or both. On September 16, as he was trying to downplay the threat posed by Ebola, President Obama insisted that “the chances of an Ebola outbreak here in the United States are extremely low.” Less then two weeks later, there was an Ebola outbreak in the United States.

The CDC’s Frieden—who is an Obama appointee—has been almost comically oafish. On September 30, -Frieden declared, “We’re stopping it in its tracks in this country.” On October 13, he said, “We’re concerned, and unfortunately would not be surprised if we did see additional cases.” The next day he admitted that the CDC hadn’t taken the first infection seriously enough: “I wish we had put a team like this on the ground the day the patient, the first patient, was diagnosed,” he said. “That might have prevented this infection. But we will do that from today onward with any case, anywhere in the U.S. .  .  . We could have sent a more robust hospital infection-control team and been more hands-on with the hospital from Day One.”

The day after that Frieden was asked during a press conference if you could contract Ebola by sitting next to someone on a bus—a question prompted by a statement from President Obama the week before, when he declared that you can’t get Ebola “through casual contact, like sitting next to someone on a bus.”

Frieden answered: “I think there are two different parts of that equation. The first is, if you’re a member of the traveling public and are healthy, should you be worried that you might have gotten it by sitting next to someone? And the answer is no. Second, if you are sick and you may have Ebola, should you get on a bus? And the answer to that is also no. You might become ill, you might have a problem that exposes someone around you.”

Go ahead and read that again.

We have arrived at a moment with our elite institutions where it is impossible to distinguish incompetence from willful misdirection. This can only compound an already dangerous situation.