Bridgegate versus Benghazi – A Story of a Press Corps worthy of Pravda

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The truth is, Pravda is more honest today, but I am referring to the Pravda of the bad old days of the Soviet Union, when it was the laughingstock of the country.

The media had created a maelstrom with the Bridgegate scandal. Editorial writers are weighing in all over the country on the fate of Governor Christie. And yet compared to the real scandals of the nation this sensationalism is an anthill. Our press is doing the equivalent of what Pravda and Izvestia did to Stalin’s enemies when he liquidated them.

Just this morning, the State Department confirmed that Sufian bin Qumu, a former Guantanamo detainee, was one of the planners’ of the attack in Benghazi and that Al Q’aeda was behind it. The president of Libya told us this on December 13, 2012 and the New York Times said so on the 11th based upon US government sources. On September 26th, 2012 The Daily Beast outlined the case emphatically.

So we have a Gitmo detainee who should obviously not have been released and confirmation of what the press initially published. We have a President who knowingly lied. We have a SecState who knowingly lied. We have a UN ambassador who is now the National Security Advisor who knowingly lied.

All of them blamed an obscure video. Hillary even filmed an apology to the Pakistani people for the video that was aired in the country, God knows why.

4 Americans died in a premeditated attack by terrorists.

Robert Gates account, it was “low level” White House staffers who were trying to give the orders to the military, which never came. Remember, the President claimed that he went up to the White House personal quarters at 5:30 after speaking with Panetta  and did not come down until the next morning. In the middle of a crisis. The victims of Benghazi fought for hours afterwards and help never came. The US Ambassador’s body was dragged through the streets.

Hillary then stood before Congress and shouted ” The fact is; we had four dead Americans! Was it because of a protest? Or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?” This was over one year after the attack when the facts had established without a doubt. Crickets.

The White House is still hiding witnesses and punishing those who testified before Congress. The FBI case, which was announced shortly after the attack was a farce.

All of these facts have been established. The trail of crumbs is clear. There has been great malfeasance at the very top of our government. But somehow, it’s all about a 4 day lane closure 24/7. 20 to 30 times the coverage of Benghazi and growing by the day.

Our press and media being in the tank has reached a new low. Joe Stalin would be proud.

Losing face with China Obama style

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In Asia, “face” is everything. Standards of conduct and ritual are strictly defined, as they are in the diplomatic world. Image is managed to a precise degree.

Yesterday, Michelle Obama’s office announced that she would not be attending the Presidential Summit in Rancho Mirage this weekend in order to spend time with her children as the school year closes. This is a very bad mistake for our country’s face.

Xi Jinping is the recently installed General Secretary of the CCP and President of China. His wife, Peng Liyuan, is a superstar singer in China with what has become a massive global impact. Her stardom was earned, and she is herself a major celebrity. They have been on their first trip to the Western Hemisphere visiting Mexico, Costa Rica, Trinidad, and now the United States.madame pengmadame Peng Trinidad

There are serious issues under discussion; North Korea, the trade imbalance, the fate of nations.And there is serious kabuki necessary to the greasing of the political and cultural wheels. Face time is a big part of this.

Xi is under pressure from China’s military to support an expansionist agenda aimed at securing the nations raw materials and to a large order, the respect of the world, especially the United States. China is our country’s largest business partner and our debtor as well as the largest country by population in the world. Their culture is over 3,000 years old and highly defined even now.

And Michelle Obama has just caused Mr. and Mrs. Peng to lose face. By not attending the summit she has denied Ms. Peng an opportunity to shine on the global stage with one of her most important counterparts. She has denied her the dinners and shopping and photo ops and the bonding that comes with these meetings.

Especially in Asia, the medium is the message. And the message that can be crafted in the media not only in China but throughout Asia is that Mrs. Obama either doesn’t care or has deliberately offended Mrs. Peng. During World War II Eleanor Roosevelt met times with Madame Chiang at the White House and at Hyde Park to show the friendship between China and America.Eleanor Roosevelt - Madame Chiang

Since then, the first ladies of China have been in the background with the exception of Jiang Qing, of Gang of Four fame, and now Madame Peng.

Having spent much of my time in Asia and with my somewhat inadequate understanding of the culture and politics thereof, even I know how Americans can be completely insensitive to deeply held customs and protocols. With a massive State Department protocol section and her own Protocol Officer, Mrs. Obama must surely have known the importance of simply showing up and being nice. Smile for the cameras and go home.

This is a message almost all of our First Ladies have understood and most wives and many husbands do as well. make an appearance and make nice to help your spouse do their job, whether it is with the boss and his wife or ones colleagues at work or at a school function. It is common courtesy.

You can bet this will be reported not only in China but throughout Asia. While the Chinese President is winning friends and influencing people our President and his wife have committed a very serious faux pas.

And at a time when we are so dependent upon cooperation with China and other countries as our president has chosen that the United States is just one among many countries, we are especially dependent upon the good will and friendship of countries like China.

Dear Mr. President, please stop BS’ing us on AGW

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Yahoo today ran photos from across Europe this morning of the effects of early Spring snow. Britain, France, Germany and much of the rest of Europe have been faced with some of the most snow and cold since the 1960’s. I was a miserable winter and at Easter, still a miserable early Spring.

Today’s Telegraph estimates that 30,000 people will have died this winter season from weather related conditions. Earlier this year, a group of Norwegian students made a video mocking both the celebrity driven cause industry and global warming. Radi – Aid, sending radiators to Norway, can be seen here.

This week’s Economist gives another data point. Apparently, the models predicted by AGW advocates such as James Hanson, the NASA propagandist, for global warming are not working out the way they thought they would. Surface temperatures across the planet are at the low-end of the predictions and there hasn’t been any actual, you know, global warming in 10 years according to the numbers. What is emerging is that the climate change advocates really don’t know. Climatology is hard, you see. The weather in most places changes every day.

And those anthropomorphic polar bears the AGW crowd are using as poster bears for climate change? Well, there are a hell of a lot more of them on the planet than there were 25 years ago according to every single study written. It seems that our government has been trying to cover this up as well. ‘When the facts don’t fit the narrative change the facts” is government policy.

We have gone from Global Warming to Climate Change to WTF.

Yes, climates on the planet are changing. Why and how? We do not know. Climatology is a new science. It used to be called meteorology and we didn’t have a lot of faith in the TV weathermen in predicting tomorrow’s weather back in the ancient times oh 20 years ago or so.

Now we have experts with a kernel of data extrapolating some amazing consequences 50 or 100 years down the line. The data does not meet the bullshit test.

But this is what Al Gore and our President believe as gospel, and therein lies the rub. The president has authorized hundreds of billions, if not trillions of dollars in green energy projects that have failed or for which there is no real financial expectation of a reasonable return on investment, either ecologically or financially.

At the same time, the Administration has done its best to exterminate the coal industry, interfere with oil and gasoline prices, stymie nuclear power, and oppose natural gas. This is all part of their strategy. It is no accident. It is the stated goal of the green energy industry to work with government to raise the price of conventional energy to a point where green energy is competitive. Cheap energy is the enemy.

Bjorn Lomborg, the original skeptical environmentalist, wrote in the Wall Street Journal recently that the actual cost of green energy is much higher. The models used by corporations and government do not accurately reflect the energy, materials, and labor input in manufacturing green energy technology, which already relies far too much on government subsidies. I keep on thinking of all of those poor Germans in their worst winter in ages and their commitment to solar power. I wonder what the output of a solar array is in a snowstorm or the fog?

Solar power survives on voodoo economics. They don’t discuss the failure rates of modules or inverters or other components or the fact that dirt will drop the efficiency of a module array by 30-50%. All of the models reflect and unicorn and rainbow logic.

Just this morning, the EPA announced a new set of rules reducing sulphur and its emissions that would raise the price of a gallon of gasoline by a minimum of $0.09/gallon at a time of already record energy prices.The United States consumes 368 million gallons of gasoline per day, so this new tax will cost us $33 Million/day or $12 Billion/year. And who pays? Everybody. Who does it hurt the most? The middle class and poor.

The heavy thumb of government is already being felt in CAFE standards driving the standards for MPG up to a level that will kill the current automobile industry. And by the way, you and I have no voice in the discussion. It is a diktat by bureaucratic fiat. Stroke of the pen, law of the land government.

And the guy at the top of the pyramid is driving this bus. It is one of his core beliefs. The President is willing to use all of these tools because he feels that the United States uses too many of the world’s resources. How he came to that conclusion I am not sure, but it probably has to do with his elitist leftist education and the echo chamber he lives in. Facts, to them, are an inconvenient truth. It is about control.

So as the central tenets of anthropogenic global warming become shakier and the economics of green energy are seen to be a lie what happens? The record of this president indicates that he will double down. It is crucial to his political agenda to be right in all things.He is still in campaign mode. And if one of his core beliefs is challenged he is inflexible. This much we do know after four years.

But facts are pernicious. He has created an edifice based upon inaccurate information, and his policies must be challenged. BS should not be government policy.

Was he taking his meds?

Depakote. Zyprexa. Risperadol, Abilify, Haldol, risperidone, olanzapine and an alphabet soup of other names of various drugs are used in the treatment of schizophrenia. There are others for ADD (Ritalin, Adderall), ADHD, etc, etc. Many times, there are multiple diagnoses and psychiatrists work with combinations of drugs in order to stabilize their patients. the bottom line is that psychiatric treatment in this country is primarily prescribed today.

David Kupelian hints at the lack of coverage of the Newtown shooter’s mental health profile. The media reports that the shooter had clinically defined mental health issues but stopped their investigations to chase after gun control. And yet it is the shooter’s mental state that is the crux of the matter. Guns are inanimate objects, and yet banning firearms is the easy solution.

Our prison system is filled with inmates with psychiatric issues. Studies report that 20% of inmates nationally have been clinically diagnosed. Many of the denizens of skid rows around the country have similar issues. Medication; mismedication, refusal of medication, and misdiagnosis are all a part of the puzzle that makes up our mental health wasteland today.

Here in California, a homeless man named Kelly Thomas; delusional and paranoid/schizophrenic was beaten to death by Fullerton police poorly trained in dealing with 5150 cases.  5150 is the section of the California Welfare & Institutions Code that allows a 72 hour psychiatric hold for patients who may be a harm to themselves or others. Mr. Thomas was held several times on this basis before his brutal death.

The Newtown shooter; Adam Lanza, had a history of mental illness. So far though, this has been undisclosed. Instead, the Left is going for the guns. It’s what they think is an easy play with sentiments in an uproar. They would rather abrogate the Constitution than deal with the real issues.

Rather than addressing root causes not just of this shooting but of crimes by and against the mentally ill nationally, the issue has become another tool for politicization. As Rahm Emmanuel famously said “never let a good crisis go to waste.”

Mental health care in this country is in crisis. We have a subculture of addiction; to pot; to prescription drugs; to heroin; to alcohol. Many bipolar individuals become addicted to routines including exercise and sex. We don’t deal with it. We prescribe medications to shut them up.

The consequences are upon us. From Jared Loughner in Tucson to Aurora, Colorado, to Newtown we have created a perfect storm of fantasy violence and enablement and psychiatric malpractice and institutional indifference. It is cheaper to gun down mad dogs than deal with the real issues. We don’t want to deal with the causes; only the symptoms. That is the politician’s way of dealing with crises.

The Cabinet Merry Go Round begins

The headline on Drudge is that Attorney General Eric Holder will be stepping down. The odds on favorite according to the Washington Post is Janet Napolitano, the former Governor and Attorney General of Arizona, who would be leaving a tainted Department of Homeland Security.

At State, it seems Hillary Clinton will be leaving post-haste, with either John Kerry (D-MA) or U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice as the favorites. One way or the other, we’re screwed. Kerry has been central to the mess in Afghanistan, which we can expect to blow up in our faces next year while Rice was the President’s prime interlocutor in the Benghazi fiasco.

The rumor is that Timothy Geithner will be replaced by Goldman Sachs (there’s that name again) Suzanne Nora Johnson or Erskine Bowles. Either way, once again we’re in trouble.

Leon Panetta is out of Defense as soon as possible, with juniors Ashton Carter or Michelle Flournoy named as the possible replacements. The knife is out, so the President seems to want a henchman (or woman) more than anything else as he winds up Afghanistan. Former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel is also in the mix. This would signal an even stronger shift against Israel as Hagel has repeatedly shown his antipathy. Unfortunately the world has become a much more dangerous place, and we will, I think, be sorely tested.

Steven Chu and Lisa Jackson at Energy and the EPA respectively are looking to leave as well. I must assume that their commitment to Green Energy, carbon taxes and the important work of saving the planet has waned mightily.

The stable door is open and the horses are bolting. The names of the replacements do little to assuage the concerns of a very concerned electorate.

One of the problems one has as a poor leader is in attracting the top talent. The Woodward book is damning. Being an outsider in the Obama administration is a form of gelding, and unfortunately the country is the loser. It is going to be a very long four years.

More on the Liverpool Care Pathway Controversy

Lost in the news about the election yesterday was an article in the Daily Telegraph on the uproar surrounding the Liverpool Care Pathway, or as it is known to some, Crematorium Lane. Over 1,300 doctors, nurses, and caregivers wrote to defend the policy, which is used in almost all UK hospitals today.

Since the inception of the concept in the 1990’s, doctors have been struggling with end of life care. The LCP is a multidisciplinary process of assessing and treating seriously ill patients with little hope of recovery. Solutions include cessation of treatment, withholding of food and water, and even of IV drips.

It is not an evil process in itself, but rather in its application. death comes to us all and death with dignity is a right.

But it has been revealed that many hospitals stand to reap performance bonuses for “Commissioning for Quality and Innovation” (CQUIN), or setting targets for the number of patients who are treated using this regimen.

In 6% of all cases, the families were never informed that their loved one had been placed on the Liverpool Pathway, and in 25% of the hospitals participating doctors and nurses had failed to inform the families in half of all cases. Strange statistics indeed. Consultation with the family is a centerpiece of the Pathway as written. There have been several calls for a parliamentary inquiry.

Statism is a way of life where bureaucracy takes over the simplest and most complex of decision making processes. In an article only the day before, the Telegraph reported on the case before the High Court of accident victims being placed on “do not resuscitate” orders without their families consent. There has been a litany of similar cases in the UK press of late.

In an article only a few weeks ago, family physicians are being asked to identify patients likely to di, which really, is all of us, in order to make the process more efficient. from those guidelines:

“Doctors are told to pick out such patients during routine consultations that show ‘indicators of frailty and deterioration’ and are told that ‘older people are a priority to consider”.

They are also told to use feedback from district nurses or hospital consultants, while patients in care homes should be “actively considered for your register”, the advice states.

So it is up to you. The brother of Rahm Emmanuel, Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuel, has argued eloquently for patient rights and against euthanasia. The Liverpool Care Pathway recognizes that same human dignity, but is failing in its application. When the sorts of abuses and potential abuses reported in the UK press are considered, we must once again reconsider state sponsored medicine.

 

Bush vs. Obama – Disaster Edition

There is another strange disconnect just before this election. As some New Yorkers dumpster dive and many Jerseyites spend another cold night without basic services, the president has been bouncing across the map like a pinball trying to shore up his election chances. What is more strange is how the press have given him a hall pass for doing so.

In 2005 in the aftermath of Katrina, the media made it its mission to blame Bush for every hiccup in the relief efforts. Whether it was the response of the National Guard or the New Orleans Police or FEMA, it was “Bush’s Fault”. On the other side of the Mississippi though, Governor Haley Barbour and his team quietly went about rebuilding his equally damaged state and never was the breakdown in leadership in Louisiana mentioned.

In New Jersey this week non-union power crews were shunned and went to Pennsylvania instead. 1,000,000 homes and businesses are without power in New Jersey. Rescuers are still finding new victims as of this morning.

400,000 homes and businesses on Long Island are without power with temperatures in the 30’s and 30,000+ are homeless in New York City. There are few if any television cameras. The election is sucking up all the air time.

The President on the other hand left the White House this morning for stops today in New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio and Colorado. He will not be back in Washington until Tuesday night. How can he have time to deal with the crisis if he is spending all of his time campaigning?

And the response from the media? crickets……

A new storm is moving in on New York and New Jersey and temperatures are in the icebox. Hundreds of thousands of people need shelter now. Would that the media might hold the President’s actions up to scrutiny, but we can be certain that isn’t going to happen. They have proven themselves completely partisan.

What will it take to force the media to do their job? How many people will have to die before they shine the spotlight on the limited efforts and engagement of our government?