Archive for Government

Beneath the Wave

The results are still being counted, but Republicans “obviously” had a good night, as even Obama conceded. In the Senate, in the House, and in state houses across the country.

Some point to various ballot measures around the country to demonstrate either the electorate’s hidden liberalism, or its evident confusion.

Me, I don’t see it that way:

Big money was a boon to groups fighting for and against ballot measures across the states on Election Day.

In 21 of the top 25 most expensive state ballot measure races in terms of television ad spending, groups that won the war on the airwaves also won at the ballot box, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of unofficial election results and preliminary data from media tracking service Kantar Media/CMAG.

But surprising upsets also showed that in the wild world of direct democracy, money isn’t everything.

“The relationship is more complicated than just ‘spending more [means] having greater success.’ There are a lot of other factors in terms of the electoral environment,” said Daniel Smith, a University of Florida professor and expert on such initiatives. “Ballot measures generally are easier to defeat than to pass.”

That’s by way of background. Defeat is easier than passing, and big money is a big decider.

But I would argue so is libertarianism:

Here’s a rundown of the major ballot measure results:

Abortion. Coloradans rejected a measure, for the third time in recent years, seeking to grant “personhood” to the unborn. North Dakota similarly rebuffed an amendment to insert into the state’s constitution “the inalienable right to life of every human being at every stage of development.” In Tennessee, however, voters approved new legislative power to regulate abortion, which opponents fear will result in limits on women’s access to the procedure.

Marijuana. Measures to legalize the recreational use of marijuana by adults passed in Oregon and the District of Columbia and appeared on track for passage in Alaska as well. (In the case of Washington, D.C., though, Congress has review power to block the move.) Oregon and Alaska would follow the example of Colorado and Washington State in setting up systems for regulating and taxing retail sales of marijuana. In Florida, a measure dealing with the medicinal use of marijuana fell short of the 60 percent approval needed to pass.

Minimum wage. Voters in four Republican-leaning states approved increases in their minimum wage at a time when Republicans in Congress have resisted boosting the federal minimum from $7.25 per hour. The states are Alaska (to $9.75 by 2016), Arkansas (to $8.50 by 2017), Nebraska (to $9 by 2016), and South Dakota (to $8.50 by 2015). The California cities of San Francisco and Oakland also voted to boost base-level pay.

Guns. Washington State voters approved a measure to expand background checks to private transactions and many loans and gifts. Dan Gross of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence hailed the vote as a symbolic victory in a nation where the public “supports expanding background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and other dangerous people.” According to the group, seven states will now require checks on all gun sales, up from two before the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012.

Food labeling. Colorado voters rejected a measure that would have required labels to help consumers identify foods with genetically modified organisms. Opponents of the labeling requirements, including food corporations and biotech firms, argue that GMO foods are safe and that the labeling would create undue costs, open the door to lawsuits over labels, and put an implicit stigma on GMO foods. A similar measure in Oregon was too close to call at press time.

Schools. Missouri rejected a constitutional amendment to reform teacher tenure in public schools. It would have made it easier for teachers to be fired and would have required teachers to be evaluated in large measure based on student outcomes.

Gambling. Voters in Massachusetts were in favor of casino plans that are already on track, defeating a measure to pull out before the ventures launch. Rhode Island and Colorado rejected measures to expand gambling.

Hunting. In Maine, voters narrowly rejected a measure to ban the use of bait, dogs, and traps in hunting bears. Animal-rights advocates argued the methods were cruel and unsporting. Mississippi joined other states that have, mostly in the past two decades, enshrined a right to hunt and fish in their constitutions.

Taxes. Georgia voters supported a constitutional amendment to cap their income tax rate. Massachusetts voted to end gas-tax hikes that kick in automatically with inflation. Illinois voters gave an advisory thumbs up to the idea of a 3 percent surtax on income over $1 million to help fund education.

Not as much of a wave as the Republican monster, but on abortion, dope, taxes, the people mostly wanted less government involvement. Not true of Washington state on guns, of course, but the Sea-Tac metro area is reliably left wing (and anyway gun checks are not inherently wrong). Even the votes in favor of the minimum wage were underwhelming, as they all fell well below the $10.10 rate most libs want to impose. (I have gone on record as not opposed to a minimum wage hike, but purely on political grounds. I know it will cost jobs, but if opposing it costs votes, what’s the point? If people want fewer jobs, Senator BTL would like to keep his, thank you very much.)

No, I don’t see much evidence of liberalism, except where liberalism and libertarianism overlap. But if Republicans govern as the party to stop government encroachment (in ObamaCare, spending, amnesty for illegals, etc.), I think they will continue to reap the rewards of what Obama hath wrought.

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Why We Haven’t Cured Ebola

The bunnies needed their rubdowns:

Tom Coburn is going out with a bang with his final “Wastebook.”

In it, the retiring Oklahoma senator laces into the National Institutes of Health for complaining about lack of Ebola research money while NIH investigates the effect of Swedish massages on rabbits.

This particular study on rodent rubdowns cost $387,000 — a tiny fraction of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ more than $4 billion budget. But the ranking member of the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee cites many “unnecessary” spending programs that continue while NIH officials argue that important disease research has slowed.

The NIH director “claims a vaccine for Ebola ‘probably’ would have been developed by now if not for the stagnant funding for the agency, which has a $30 billion annual budget. Yet NIH did come up with the money to pay to give Swedish massages for rabbits,” Coburn writes.

Coburn notes that after the spa treatment, the rabbits were euthanized, so “those feet were not so lucky after all.”

Coburn identifies $2.1 million as the sum of the four NIH programs. NIH officials did not immediately comment.

Imagine how easily Ebola might have been cured if they had infected the bunnies and experimented with treatments, rather than give them “happy endings” (or maybe not so happy).

PS: I looked into the other wasteful boondoggle, origami condoms, but the missus told me to take it elsewhere:

Not that I blame her.

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Here’s Your Crown, What’s Your Hurry?

Today is the first day of the reign of Czar Ron, ruler of all airport arrival lounges and hospital ERs—and nearly his last day too:

Administration insiders say Ron Klain, who starts Wednesday as the White House Ebola czar, will be in line to succeed John Podesta as counselor to President Barack Obama when Podesta leaves, likely to chair Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

“The president has been talking to Ron about different roles for a long time, and he wouldn’t accept the Ebola job unless there was a promise of something bigger,” said a longtime Klain colleague.

A senior Democrat who works closely with the White House said: “He’s very good at seeing around corners. And they know they need someone who can do that.”

How hard is that?

We’re so sorry saving the nation from an epidemic of a fatal disease isn’t a big enough job for you, Czar Ron. But thanks for coming in today. So many people would have taken off the whole week. Not since Ivan the Terrible have we seen a czar with such determination.

PS: I was inclined to give Obama a break on the Klain appointment. We had doctors involved, and it was a cluster[bleep]. Maybe a bureaucrat’s bureaucrat could direct the machinery of government more effectively. Shame on me for giving Obama a break. As long as Klain gets his GS-15 pay grade, he’ll wait until the big job opens up.

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Ebola Ain’t No Thang

What, me worry?

Ron Klain, the man appointed by President Barack Obama on Friday to head up the government’s response to the Ebola virus in the United States, will not clock in on his new job until Wednesday.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz told reporters in Chicago on Monday that it isn’t unusual for it to take weeks or months for an appointee to complete the “onboarding process,” The Washington Examiner reports.

“It is not that long of a lapse,” Schultz said.

No, of course not. Ebola must be scared [bleepless], if you’ll pardon the pun, by this guy’s dogged determinism.

Press reports already have noted Klain missing two meetings with the president on Ebola since his appointment was announced. And he won’t testify on Friday before a Republican-led House hearing, because, Schultz said, “That will be day three of his tenure.”

Can’t he appear and just take the 5th, like Lois Lerner?

I just hope Ebola does the sporting thing and gives Klain the chance to set up his desk: fill his stapler, open his desk calendar to the correct date, get the right mix of coffee and Cremora. No fair infecting more nurses, Ebola! (Though Ebola has good taste; they’re cute!)

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Lies My President Told Me

Andy McCarthy in a solo worthy of Charlie Parker:

Of course you can keep your health coverage, and your doctor. And we’ll cover everyone while your premiums plummet. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda is “decimated” and these Islamic State guys are just the jayvee team. In fact (fact?), they’re not even Islamic — although they may not be quite as “secular” as the Muslim Brotherhood. Just extremists. (Extreme about what? Don’t ask.) Jihad is just a “purification of the self” . . . or, at most, “workplace violence.” Benghazi? A spontaneous “protest” incited by a video. The president was not told it was a terrorist attack . . . except by the secretary of defense right after it started — long before he responded by . . . going to Vegas, where he promptly announced al-Qaeda was “on the path to defeat.” Still, rest assured that the State Department’s top priority is the safety of American personnel . . . although we did reduce security in Benghazi after our facility was bombed. And rest assured that the Justice Department would never ever let guns walk . . . except for the thousands its Fast and Furious program transferred to violent gangs — who’ve used them in who knows how many crimes, including the murder of a Border Patrol agent. Still, at least there’s “not a smidgen of corruption” at the IRS, where citizens are harassed, evidence keeps disappearing, and the official at the center of it all takes the Fifth to avoid giving incriminating testimony. No matter. Just take heart that Ebola is not coming to the United States . . . um, well, if it does come there will be no outbreak . . . but, er, if there is an outbreak, we have careful protocols and health-care professionals fully trained to deal with it . . . and even if the protocols don’t work and the professionals don’t have adequate training, we’ll have a rigorous monitoring program for anyone who is exposed . . . or maybe a self-monitoring program for people who will isolate themselves . . . unless, of course, we tell them to go ahead and hop on a plane. Well, look, at least we can promise there won’t be a “serious” outbreak.

If you say so.

Whew! Give me a moment to catch my breath.

Finish it, Andy:

Why do we have a federal government?

Its purpose is to safeguard the American people and pursue our interests in the world, not to solve the world’s problems on our dime and, occasionally, by using us as laboratory mice. As free people, we can try to save the planet. The federal government, however, was not created to do it for us, much less to coerce us into implausible “humanitarian” schemes that always manage to line some crony’s pocket. National interest is our government’s only reliable compass, yet it has been discarded.

It is a short step to incompetence when you lose sight of what you are expected to be competent at accomplishing. It is an even shorter step to mendacity for a ruling class that is schooled to believe the country is fatally flawed and, thus, that the pursuit of our national interests is evil. It turns out that when real crises rivet their attention, the rubes still expect the government to protect and defend them. At that point, the government must either attend to those basic duties, or lie.

This government has made its choice.

And so did we. Twice. I wouldn’t have predicted we’d be hoist on the petard of Ebola, but I knew were in for a pretty severe hoisting sooner or later.

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Your Government at Work

Not at work for you—oh God no!

For itself:

As he prepares to leave office, Governor Deval Patrick is quietly transferring 500 of his managers into the state public employee union, a move that will qualify them for a series of 3 percent raises and insulate them from firing when the next governor takes over.

The change will automatically convert 15 percent of the 3,350 executive branch managers into members of the National Association of Government Employees, which has been fighting for the change for years, arguing the employees were “improperly classified” as managers.

While smaller clusters of management positions have been converted into union positions in the past, this is the largest sweep into the union in at least two decades, according to administration and union officials.

Rolling the managers into the 22,000-member union will effectively protect them from any house-cleaning that might occur when the next governor takes office in January — a particular likelihood if Republican Charlie Baker were to take over after eight years of Democratic leadership.

Union employees generally have to be removed “for cause,” while managers serve at will.

“With just a couple of months to go in the current administration, this has the whiff of a job protection action just before the governor leaves office,” said Jim Stergios, executive director of the Pioneer Institute, a conservative research organization.

The election to replace Patrick is barely two weeks away, and he pulls this stunt. One could almost dismiss it as Massachusetts being Massachusetts, but for the size (unprecedented) and the timing (cynical). This is Patrick (mini-me to Obama) being Patrick. Still, if it means he’s finally gone, it might actually be worth it.

Eric Kriss, who was secretary of administration and finance under Romney, was critical of the decision. “What this will do is continue to reduce, as has been done since the 1960s, any layer of what you would call managers,” he said. And once managers are moved into the union, “removing anybody is virtually impossible,” he said.

Here’s the state government, Governor Baker. Don’t choke on it.

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Ebola Follies

I’m no doctor, no public health official, but these imbeciles make know-nothing criticism so easy anyone can do it.

Join me, it’s fun!

As news helicopters swarmed over Dallas’ Love Field this evening to watch the second U.S. nurse to contract Ebola board a private plane bound for Atlanta, one lone mysterious man stood out from the pack.

Holding a clipboard and directing the transfer, the unidentified man seemed to be the only person on the tarmac without protective clothing, wearing just a button down shirt and trousers.

While Ebola is not an airborne disease, his presence so close to patient Amber Vinson’s medical team sparked fears after he was seen grabbing a container and hazmat trash bag from one of the workers’ in full-protective gear and later boarding the flight.

It is believed he flew with Vinson and the other hazmat-suited medical staff to Atlanta and local television crews spotted him with the stricken nurse as she disembarked at the airport in Georgia to be transferred to Emory University Hospital.

When the plane landed in Atlanta, the man had still not donned any protective clothing and was seen openly interacting with Vinson and the other medical professionals caring for the nurse.

This would be Nurse Vinson’s third flight while infected, by the way:

The second Dallas nurse to contract Ebola after treating U.S. ‘patient zero’ Thomas Eric Duncan received permission from the CDC to get on a commercial flight with a low-grade fever on Monday.

Miss Vinson was one of the nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital to treat Duncan when he was admitted a second time on September 28, in the first ‘high-risk’ days.

But on October 10, Miss Vinson left the Dallas area to plan her upcoming wedding in Cleveland, Ohio. Before her return flight on Monday, the nurse noticed a spike in her temperature and called the CDC several times to see if she should get on the plane.

When she finally got through to a CDC representative, she was cleared since her 99.5F fever was beneath the 100.4 threshold.

CDC Director Dr Thomas Frieden admits that was the wrong call.

‘Those who have exposures to Ebola, she should not have traveled on a commercial airline,’ Dr Frieden said Wednesday. ‘The CDC guidance in this setting outlines the need for controlled movement. That can include a charter plane; that can include a car; but it does not include public transport. We will from this moment forward ensure that no other individual who is being monitored for exposure undergoes travel in any way other than controlled movement.’

Wait a minute, doc. You have some ‘splainin’ to do too:

Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said during a telephone press briefing Wednesday that you cannot get Ebola by sitting next to someone on a bus, but that infected or exposed persons should not ride public transportation because they could transmit the disease to someone else.

“I think there are two different parts of that equation,” he continued. “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,” he said.

I title this series Ebola Follies because it resembles a goofy stage farce. But it keeps getting funnier. I see this show running for years.

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Mission Accomplished

Mission:

The resignation of Secret Service Director Julia Pierson and the launch of a top-to-bottom review of the agency Wednesday are an acknowledgment by President Obama of what he has long denied: that the force charged with protecting him is in deep turmoil and struggling to fulfill its sacred mission. [Sacred?! Vital, yes, paramount even. But sacred? ed.]

In the spring, Pierson was irate at what she considered the excessive security measures her team had planned for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, which Obama hosted this summer, demanding that it dismantle extra layers of fencing and reopen closed streets, according to two agency supervisors. Supervisors who had mapped out the security plan said they were taken aback when Pierson, who worked during high school at Walt Disney World as a costumed character and park attendant, said: “We need to be more like Disney World. We need to be more friendly, inviting.”

Accomplished:

An unidentified man posing as a member of Congress made it into a secure area backstage at President Barack Obama’s appearance at a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation awards dinner in Washington Sept. 27, according to a White House official.

The man entered the backstage area during or just after Obama’s speech at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center as members of Congress gathered there to have their pictures taken with the president, said the official, who asked for anonymity to discuss the incident, which has not previously been made public.

The unidentified man said he was Representative Donald Payne Jr., a Democrat from New Jersey, the official said. One member of the White House staff determined that the man wasn’t Payne, and another asked him to leave, the official said. He did so without incident and wasn’t detained.

The Secret Service did its job by screening everyone who attended the dinner, including the man, said Brian Leary, an agency spokesman.

“This guy went through security, fully screened,” he said.

Neither the White House official, nor another administration official aware of the incident, could say how close the man got to the president or First Lady Michelle Obama, who was also in the vicinity. Payne’s chief of staff, LaVerne Alexander, said yesterday that she had not been informed of the incident.

Could White House security be any more Mickey Mouse? Or Goofy? Why did they just let him go?

While this doesn’t reflect well on Obama, is it really his fault? Why would he put his own and his family’s safety at risk?

Political correctness, what else?

“I respect Pierson’s service, but she hasn’t been on a protective mission in two decades,” said one supervisor who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “She doesn’t know anything about security planning in a post-9/11 world.”

Yet it is a post-9/11 world. Nice lady, I’m sure, but what else but PC explains her ascension to the top spot of the most “sacred” Secret Service? Whether Obama made the choice or not, it fits in with an outlook that instructed NASA to reach out to Muslims.

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Headache, Cramps, Vomiting

It’s not Ebola; it’s the morning news:

With a number of prominent conservative politicians raising fears that the Ebola outbreak could spread to the U.S. via the country’s porous borders with Mexico and Canada, Customs and Border Protection and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sought to reassure a worried public that they are doing everything they can to monitor people entering the U.S. – whether legally or illegally – for the virus.

A CBP report published online earlier this week on Breitbart.com broke down where undocumented immigrants are coming from and, between January and July of this year, at least 71 people reportedly arrived from the three West African nations hit with the current Ebola outbreak.

Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia wrote to the head of the CDC last month about his fears that undocumented immigrants are carrying “swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus and tuberculosis” into the U.S.

“As the unaccompanied children continue to be transported to shelters around the country on commercial airlines and other forms of transportation, I have serious concerns that the diseases carried by these children may begin to spread too rapidly to control,” he wrote.

While the CBP did not mention in its statement how it plans to monitor undocumented immigrants for the virus, the agency did say that it has been on the watch for anyone showing overt signs of the illness and all officers have been trained on how to identify a prospective Ebola patient.

“When a traveler or alien is identified with a possible communicable disease or identified from information that is received from the CDC, CBP personnel will take the appropriate safety measures by donning personal protective equipment, to include gloves and surgical masks, which are readily available for use in the course of their duties,” Evanitsky said. “The traveler would be isolated from the traveling public while the CDC and local public health authorities conduct an evaluation.”

On a scale of zero to ten, how confident are you? Very well, I will accept negative numbers.

My reaction: even assuming the unassumable, that any government agency could manage to do anything more than pull its thumb out of its behind, isn’t a person showing symptoms (be it from Ebola or any other imported, non-native disease) at his most infectious? It’s all well and good that you’re kitted out like a space walker, but our “undocumented immigrants” tend to travel in packs or herds. What about the rest of the Walking Deadly who may well be carrying the contagion imported by Patient Zero?

And why are we still shipping illegal alien kids around the country when Ebola and polio-lite are popping up across the landscape?

We conservatives are used to being the target of our government. How does it feel to the rest of you?

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Made in Africa, Shared With the World

Rush has been hitting all week on how the reaction to the spread of Ebola is motivated by political correctness:

Right again, Rush:

David Quammen, an author of multiple books on science and diseases, including “Ebola,” and “Spillover,” argued against a ban on flights to Liberia by stating the US has a “responsibility” to the nation “given the fact that this is a country that was founded in the 1820s, 1830s because of American slavery” on Thursday’s “AC360” on CNN.

Quammen first argued that such a ban would not be feasible because “it’s impossible to track them [people flying from Liberia],” and “you can’t isolate neighborhoods, you can’t isolate nations. It doesn’t work.”

He then said, “people talk about ‘well, we should not allow any flights in from Liberia.’ I mean, we in America, how dare we turn our backs on Liberia given the fact that this is a country that was founded in the 1820s, 1830s because of American slavery? We have a responsibility to stay connected with them, and help them see this through.”

They always tell us that these quarantines won’t work (in spite of quarantining sick patients, which somehow does work), but they never tell us why. And I wish they’d explain why to the other African nations (and Saudi Arabia, during the hajj) that won’t let planes land if they come from an infected place.

How does one even answer the claim that we are responsible for a nation settled almost two hundred years ago, and has been independent for 167 years? Were we also responsible for the political turmoil that has besieged the country for the past 30 years? Where have we been?

If you think that our government has our best interests at heart, where have you been?

PS: Exhibit B:

“I wish we could get to zero risk by sealing off the border. But we can’t. The only way we are going to get to zero risk in this country is by controlling it in Africa. Until that happens, Americans may come back with Ebola. Other people who have a right to return or a visa to enter may come back. People will go to third countries and come from there. Sealing them off – first off won’t work. Second off, it will backfire. Because if we can’t get help in there, then we’re not going to be able to stop the outbreak and ultimately we will end up at higher risk, not lower risk,” he said.

Who said to stop helping them deal with the disease? Just stop importing it here! That’s all we ask—demand!

PPS: Rush noted that Obama had no problem suspending flights to Israel during the recent war with Hamass, when no one else did. Pure economic boycott. That’s why Rush earns the big bucks, and why I listen.

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Obama Goes Hurdling

Edwin Moses was the greatest hurdler of all time.

Until Obama:

Obamacare: New messaging hurdles ahead

There are several challenges: The 2015 enrollment period is shorter, the most motivated Americans are probably already enrolled and the law is still politically unpopular. That means that even if HealthCare.gov works well — and it couldn’t be worse than last October’s meltdown — proponents are confronting a tough messaging landscape.

“We believe enrollment this time around is going to be harder,” said Mike Perry, a partner at the health care research firm PerryUndem. “The low-hanging fruit is gone.”

There’s another factor that could complicate matters: the calendar. The upcoming enrollment period is shorter than last year’s by three months, and it competes far more with the winter holidays, when people typically are busier and pay less attention to the news.

Reaching them is “going to require more touches,” said Richard Onizuka, chief executive officer of the Washington state exchange. “It is going to be a challenge.”

Nay, a hurdle.

Three hundred thousand hurdles:

Hundreds of thousands of Americans face a Tuesday deadline to verify their income and are at risk of losing or having to pay back their federal health-insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

The need for people to pay back the government could become a headache during next year’s tax season, when Americans are expected to pay back any subsidies they weren’t eligible for.

The Obama administration has told more than 300,000 individuals who obtained coverage through the federal HealthCare.gov site that they may lose some or all of the subsidies if they don’t provide additional income information that jibes with Internal Revenue Service data. That information includes tax returns, wages and tax statements, pay stubs and letters from employers.

Hundreds of thousands of people who obtained health coverage through state exchanges also have documentation issues and could potentially be getting subsidies they aren’t eligible for.

Enrollees whose income changed during the year but didn’t update their information could also owe the government if they received larger tax credits than they were entitled to. The owed amounts could total thousands of dollars, health policy experts say.

“Most people don’t know they even got advance tax credits,” said Mark Ciaramitaro, vice president, health-care services at tax preparer H&R Block Inc. “They are going to be surprised and need to know what just happened, and a lot of people will be frustrated.”

I went to a doctor’s office and a CPA gave me an examination. I failed.

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Blown Away

On TV and in the movies, Secret Service agents and special ops forces run with razor-sharp efficiency. Maybe MI5 or Mossad can manage competence, but…

Just three days before a knife-wielding veteran broke into the White House, Secret Service let an armed felon ride in the same elevator as President Obama.

The startling revelation that the commander-in-chief’s life was compromised was revealed today, as the director of the Secret Service testified before Congress to explain the recent lapses in security.

The newest security slip-up happened on Mr Obama’s September 16 trip to Atlanta, Georgia for a briefing on the Ebola crisis at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At the CDC, Mr Obama and his security detail entered an elevator when a contract security officer operating the lift started taking photos and video of the president.

Sources told the Washington Exmainer and Washington Post that the unnamed CDC officer ignored Secret Service orders to out the phone away, and continued to act ‘oddly’ and ‘unprofessionally’.

When the president got out of the elevator, some of his Secret Services officers stayed behind to question the CDC employee with his supervisor, at which point they discovered he had three prior convictions for assault and battery.

When the supervisor fired the officer on the spot for acting ‘highly irresponsible’ she told him to hand over his gun – to the extreme shock of the Secret Service members present.

Ho Lee Fook.

Maybe that’s what happens when the president stages last-minute photo-ops to demonstrate his concern for West Africans. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Speaking of West Africans:

A Dallas hospital gave a man antibiotics and sent him home – only for him to be admitted two days later, it has been reported. Federal health officials later confirmed he has the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the US.

The unidentified patient has been in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital since Sunday, officials said.

‘#Dallas patient diagnosed with #Ebola was initially dismissed with prescription for antibiotics,’ CBS DFW tweeted.

Medical officials said the patient would not be given the experimental treatment ZMapp because there is none of it left.

The man recently traveled from Liberia to Dallas.

I write a little fiction on the side. If I plotted a story in which a character traveled from a plague-infested part of the world only to be turned away from the hospital with a bottle of Amoxicillin, I’d tear the proverbial page out of the proverbial typewriter.

But it happens. All the time. The best private army in the world gets liquored up with hookers in South America, lets knife-wielding maniacs wander the White House, and allows a lunatic packing heat to ride in the elevator with the most powerful man in the world.

Go on, pull the other one, as the Brits say. It’s got bells on.

PS: All of which confirms my belief in conservatism. Who in their right mind would have faith in government?

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