Patterico's Pontifications

7/14/2014

Governors Livid, But Don’t Speak Up

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:41 am

[guest post by Dana]

An article came out on Friday titled Governors livid over border crisis and was was covered at a number of conservative sites. However, when I read the article, what jumped out at me – and made me livid – was something altogether different.

In the article, readers were informed that state governors (about 30 of them) assembled in Nashville for the National Governors Association’s meeting. Apparently, a number of the governors are livid about a lack of support and information coming from the federal government with regard to the influx of illegal detainees.

“I found out in the last 48 hours that approximately 200 illegal individuals have been transported to Nebraska [by the federal government],” said Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, a Republican, in an interview. “The federal government is complicit in a secret operation to transfer illegal individuals to my state and they won’t tell us who they are.”

And from Governor Mary Fallin (Oklahoma):

…whose state is housing 1,100 immigrant children at Fort Sill – just 100 shy of total capacity – said she’s still grasping at the scope of the problem and worried about the conditions the children now face.

“We had one case of chicken pox. We’ve had many cases of scabies and lice,” Fallin said.

She added that there’s been no guidance about how long the children will be housed, whether they’re entitled to any taxpayer-funded benefits, from education to Medicaid to foster care. And she’s unsure whether they might be “let loose in the United States” once they turn 18.

“Those are all the questions and concerns that governors like myself,” she said. “They are children so we want to treat them very humanely, but we also have a lot of concerns.”

The governors are clearly right to be so concerned (and frustrated) about an ongoing crisis that threatens them with staggering hits on state resources. And there is no doubt that the federal government is being anything but transparent, thus leaving states to muddle through the mess as best as they can.

But here’s the rub: keynote speaker at the NGA meeting was Vice-President Joe Biden and after his speech, held a Q&A session with these frustrated governors. And what did these, our elected representatives, bring up at the Q&A session?

The border crisis was on the tip of nearly every governor’s tongue in the early part of their meeting here, yet the group passed on the chance to grill Vice President Joe Biden on the subject when he appeared before them Friday.

During a question-and-answer session that followed a keynote address by Biden to the governors, the state executives asked him relatively tame questions about workforce development and jobs.

Livid, my ass! Because this is not what livid looks like to me. I am not a politician nor an elected official, but I am a reasonably intelligent person and know that if I, a private citizen, had the opportunity to speak to the Vice-President of the United States, the second in command, about the most significant “humanitarian crisis” we face – regardless of whether he were in a position to do anything other than placate – you can be certain that I would take full advantage of such an opportunity. So how much more should our elected officials take advantage of every such opportunity – especially in a room packed with state leaders? At the very least (and perhaps at the most), Biden has the ear of the president to some degree and could have gone back and reported the frustration of the governors. (“Wow, Barack, these governors are seriously pissed off at us! I mean, like they are seething with frustration! We gotta do something, man.”) Even that would have been … something. But instead, they remained silent.

And what did Biden say in turn?

[B]iden — who also may run for president in 2016 — didn’t refer to the controversial topic, either.

And why would he?

Too bad these governors didn’t take a tip from that other governor’s playbook.

Note: This was the thrust of Biden’s address delivered to the governors. However, in no way did it provide an excuse not to bring up the staggering “humanitarian crisis” our country faces.

Vice President Joe Biden called on the nation’s governors Friday in Nashville to help break partisan gridlock and lead the way in building infrastructure and investing in job training programs.

“You’ve got to lead us out of this mess we’re in,” the Democratic vice president said.

The vice president’s speech focused on two main goals: to shore up infrastructure, especially for transportation, and to build the nation’s workforce. He encouraged the governors to push for federal legislation such as the Grow America Act, which would pump $302 billion over the next four years into highways, bridges, transit and rail systems.

–Dana

73 Responses to “Governors Livid, But Don’t Speak Up”

  1. [B]iden — who also may run for president in 2016 — didn’t refer to the controversial topic, either.

    This is the real “Third rail” of American politics.

    Obviously, they weren’t livid.

    What some Governors said is actually a form of avoiding the issue, i.e. – “how can I say anything? I don’t know nothin’, because nobody in the federal government is telling me anything.”

    They didn’t want Biden – or anybody – to tell them anything.

    Sammy Finkelman (c33275)

  2. yet the group passed on the chance to grill Vice President Joe Biden on the subject when he appeared before them Friday.

    Hmm, how many of those governors are Republicans, how many are Democrats? IOW, which group (the left or the right) is more likely to follow a certain protocol or etiquette, if you will, no matter how dumb such “good manners” will be in the context of a Q&A session with a sitting vice president and a major controversy at the border? Throw in a bit (or a lot) of squish throughout the populace, and this is one reason why the right can easily be at a disadvantage on the national stage. Moreover, I’m not even factoring in forces like the leftist tilt of the media.

    Mark (8cacab)

  3. They are not looking for answers. They know that there’s nothing much to complain about. Maybe they could have an excuse for asking for a trivial amont of money, but that’s it. They don’t want to say there’s nothing for them to complain about.

    Saying they need to know more ernables them to satisfy those people with paranoia. They don’t have to diappoint them, and neither do they have to get opposition from the other side.

    Sammy Finkelman (c33275)

  4. They know that there’s nothing much to complain about.

    Yep, Sammy, and the folks in New Orleans after Katrina or the politicians stuck with the 1992 riots (or “uprising”) in Los Angeles also had nothing to complain about.

    Mark (8cacab)

  5. Dana – Climate change is biggest humanitarian and national security crisis facing this country, not the current mess on the border. Obama, Biden and pals have been spouting the climate change nonsense for years now. Women and minorities hardest hit!

    Get with the program.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  6. Also, Joe Biden is an idiot, so why would anybody ask him any meaningful questions?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  7. Sammy Finkleman,

    What??!!!

    Dana (4dbf62)

  8. daley @5,

    Thank you for correcting me. I’ll trot off and grab you a beer and samwich now.

    Dana (4dbf62)

  9. why hasn’t boehner introduced legislation to allow the central american urchins to be treated like mexican ones?

    Mike Rogers, a Republican congresswhore from Michigan, says he thinks the law should stay as it is – that it’s flexible enough that Obama is free to interpret the law so that it functions the opposite of how it’s functioning now

    this is why voting for Republicans is stupid anymore

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  10. Mark (8cacab) — 7/14/2014 @ 11:11 am

    Yep, Sammy, and the folks in New Orleans after Katrina or the politicians stuck with the 1992 riots (or “uprising”) in Los Angeles also had nothing to complain about.

    They didn’t say they needed more information.

    Sammy Finkelman (c33275)

  11. 7. Dana (4dbf62) — 7/14/2014 @ 11:18 am

    Sammy Finkleman,

    What??!!!

    By saying they need more information, they avoid saying there is a problem with what the federal government is doing, while agreeing with their most radicalized supporters that maybe there is.

    Do they really want to hear there’s nothing to worry about? No!!!

    When a Governor has to talk about ONE case of chickenpox, and a significant number of cases of scabies and lice, among ten thousand or more individuals, which were dealt with correctly in a military base they are stretching to find somethig to complain about.

    Sammy Finkelman (c33275)

  12. It would be interesting if the governors suggested an Article V Convention was under discussion, but it would probably just get them arrested.

    Kevin M (131754)

  13. I am going to hazard a guess that asking Joe Biden any questions about the border crises would have garnered a variation of the answer “I am rubber, you are glue..”

    felipe (960c75)

  14. What question could they ask of Biden that they would have a reasonable chance of receiving a coherent answer….What day is it?
    The Administration sends Slow-Joe when it doesn’t want to say anything of substance on any issue of importance….because they took too long to put the plugs in.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  15. daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 7/14/2014 @ 11:16 am

    I agree, that there is the possibility that no matter how livid some were (purple faced, BP spiking, “about to burst a blood vessel” livid), the idea of bringing it up for discussion with VP Biden and the “in the bag” press brought up a reaction of “what’s the point?”.

    I think someone with skills should just reach back into time and document an early Obama promise, that “Sheriff Joe” would monitor where all of that stimulus money went and list it on the web,
    maybe with video of a Google duckduckgo search coming up with nothing.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  16. Mark’s got it right in comment #2. These men stand for patronage, not principle. We are a party of Thad Cochrans, dedicated only to the perpetuation the spoils system. A little self-righteous indignation goes a long way to satisfy the grassroots, but don’t let it fool you. The real business at hand is apportioning federal funds to friends and supporters and, thereby, perpetuating the system. Sure, the influx of illegals cuts into the cash available to be spread around, which is undoubtedly a concern to the governors, but the bigger issue to these governors, Republican and Democrat, alike, is to keep the funds flowing. Antagonizing the Subvener-in-Chief’s right hand man doesn’t advance the cause. Dana, I love your posts, but I think you misapprehend just who these men are and what they stand for (the short answer is that they stand for virtually nothing.).

    This is precisely the reason that men like John Boehner seem so flummoxed by Obama and Democratic intransigence. Standing up for principle, which is what we need most desperately at this moment, is outside the experience of far too many of our Republican officeholders. The one thing they do seem to be proficient at is protecting the status quo. When an upstart like Chris McDaniel threatens to upset the apple cart, organizations, like the NRSC, step into action.

    You may not realize it, but you have undoubtedly voted dozens of times to support and reward precisely the behavior you are complaining about in this post. Voting for the Mitt Romneys of the world only works to perpetuate the system. It is something that we Republicans, collectively speaking, must stop doing.

    ThOR (130453)

  17. @ Sammy,

    By saying they need more information, they avoid saying there is a problem with what the federal government is doing, while agreeing with their most radicalized supporters that maybe there is.

    I think that ship has sailed, Sammy. By saying they need more info *reinforces* the government’s lack of info and being less than forthcoming. I don’t know who you are referring to by “radicalized supporters”? No matter, I don’t think there is anyone in any of the states, no matter their stand on immigration, that doesn’t see that this is a huge problem. The linked article in the post references this.

    Do they really want to hear there’s nothing to worry about? No!!!

    While I agree with this, there is also an advantage to collectively voicing a frustration. It’s in the open and forcing Biden to go on record. At the least, his bullshit response can become a campaign slogan: Biden lied while Obama’s orphans cried or some nonsense.

    And there is a pressure when confronted by a group of elected officials consistently and collectively airing the same grievance. It makes it harder to brush away with trite phrases of placation.

    When a Governor has to talk about ONE case of chickenpox, and a significant number of cases of scabies and lice, among ten thousand or more individuals, which were dealt with correctly in a military base they are stretching to find somethig to complain about.

    Tell that to the border patrol agent who will face complications from pneumonia contracted from an illegal immigrant. Tell that to the families of border patrol agents who have been exposed to scabies from their spouses contact with the illegal immigrants. For you to brush off very real concerns is irresponsible. Also, the health issues are only one factor in the situation. You conveniently ignore the financial burdens, the burdens on state resources, etc.

    Dana (4dbf62)

  18. I ask, is it responsible of our governors to remain silent simply because it’s Slow Joe and he’s an idiot? Isn’t there the very real possibility that he could have been so greatly pressured by the collective voice that he could have at least taken that back to the WH? Maybe it wouldn’t change anything, and likely not, but if it has to make this administration work harder in their struggle to keep all the plates spinning in the air, then all the better. Why on earth let any administration official off so easily?

    Dana (4dbf62)

  19. ThOR,

    Thank you.

    I understand your point, but doesn’t my point speak to it as well? These governors are already in the position of leadership – they are not candidates. They are the shooting match, right here and right now. Should there not be a high bar of expectation held, no matter what?

    Dana (4dbf62)

  20. Dana, of course you have a good point.
    I’m just saying I do not know where their hearts and minds are. One does have to decide what hill to stand on, but if one is always saying that, one will never get around to standing on one.
    But still…

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  21. When a Governor has to talk about ONE case of chickenpox, and a significant number of cases of scabies and lice, among ten thousand or more individuals, which were dealt with correctly in a military base they are stretching to find somethig to complain about.

    What about dead bodies? Hey, it’s only a couple, or something. I think it’s time for a joke about building codes, right Sammy?

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  22. “Thank you for correcting me. I’ll trot off and grab you a beer and samwich now.”

    Dana – You are very welcome. No need to spend our time on local issues and phony scandals.

    Please be sure to cut the crusts off the sammich just the way I like it. :)

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  23. “I ask, is it responsible of our governors to remain silent simply because it’s Slow Joe and he’s an idiot?”

    Dana – No it doesn’t make sense, but are they speaking up individually where the Administration does not have the opportunity to counter with their standard absurd talking points about Republican obstructionism? I think some have as well some Senators and Congressmen on both sides of the aisle and perhaps they have felt those have been better opportunities than to have Slow Joe lay a bunch of malarkey on top of their remarks.

    I don’t know.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  24. Hey, Sheriff Joe went down to south to convince Mexico and the Central America countries to stop sending their unaccompanied minors to the US. What happened? Mexico agrees to grant safe passage to US border.

    Why would you ask Slow Joe anything? He’s going to do the opposite of what you want anyway.

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  25. Dana – Mark Kirk, the RINO Senator from Illinois questioned the number and secrecy surrounding the transfer of over 700 illegal immigrants to Illinois, trashing the complete lack of transparency.

    http://www.progressivestoday.com/it-gets-worse-illegal-immigrant-minors-in-chicago-up-to-748/

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  26. MD in Philly (f9371b) — 7/14/2014 @ 12:16 pm

    No need to monitor, Joe was the Reverse-Bag Man for the administration, passing out the goodies to the favored few.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  27. Dana @ 17….
    They were just being polite. Something unheard of when dealing with Gov’s like O’Malley of MD, or Brown of CA.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  28. Lifeless bodies of dead children having been washing a shore of rio grande river banks as they are too small to make it and have no money to get them across. These small children should be alowed to be taken into custody and border crossing stations.

    vota (04b38d)

  29. Slightly off topic, but over at RCP, Bill Kristol seems to be saying that Sarah Palin is not a responsible Republican.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  30. Lifeless bodies of dead children having been washing a shore of rio grande river banks as they are too small to make it and have no money to get them across. These small children should be alowed to be taken into custody and border crossing stations.

    I think we can all agree that lifeless bodies of dead children should be allowed to be taken into custody at the border crossing stations. Is anyone arguing otherwise?

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  31. vota (04b38d) — 7/14/2014 @ 12:56 pm

    No, they never should have been given transit visa’s by the Mexican Government.
    Their deaths reside at Los Pinos.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  32. @ askeptic,

    They were just being polite.

    I’m not sure if you’re being sarcastic, but in the event that you aren’t, there is a time to screw courtesies and speak up – and be a voice for one’s constituents. And a good time for that would be when laws have been utterly ignored and a certain form of lawlessness (if I can use the term) is taking place.

    Dana (4dbf62)

  33. In a day when so many school districts, and so many state governments are dependent in one way or another on Federal “aid” programs you need to remember: A fellow who has got you by the wallet, also has got you by the balls. Tell O’Bozo’s mental midget Biden that you are unhappy with the Feds, and watch the flow of funds get cut off.

    Skeptical Voter (12e67d)

  34. 31- Dana, I was just a smidgen.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  35. “I found out in the last 48 hours that approximately 200 illegal individuals have been transported to Nebraska [by the federal government],” said Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, a Republican, in an interview. “The federal government is complicit in a secret operation to transfer illegal individuals to my state and they won’t tell us who they are.”

    Gov. Heineman will certainly be pleased to know that Obama has sent his Stassi into the Cornhusker State for the purpose of hassling citizens of Norfolk who have the temerity to insult King Barack the Wise and Benevolent.

    JVW (feb406)

  36. We need an entire fleet of Humphrey-scooters – an outhouse built on one of those old “meter-maid” 3-wheelers (extended, of course).

    askeptic (efcf22)

  37. JVW,

    It boggles the mind, doesn’t it? While I’m no fan of that sort of criticism toward the president, the fact that their priorities are so immensely and intentionally – confused, speaks volumes. Which again, makes me feel even more strongly about any elected official taking full advantage of a forum chaired by the veep to SPEAK UP!

    The reason this administration gets away with so much crap, is because sitting elected officials allow it. In turn, if those who hold office choose to sit silent and squander an opportunity to SPEAK UP, then it’s because voters have allowed them to be passive. This does not negate other opportunities they have used to SPEAK UP and voice their frustration, but to opt not to in a governor’s meeting chaired by the veep, is preposterous.

    Dana (4dbf62)

  38. I thought the same thing. Who the heck cares how livid you are? What are you going to do about it?

    Now we have our answer.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  39. I have to agree with daleyrocks @ #5 – who in their right mind would expect any useful answer from Biden? He will just spin around his talking points. The most you could hope for is him expressing some concern about it which might be played into a bigger rift if the news media were out for blood – but they represent the First Aid Station for this Administration.

    You can bet Biden had drilled his immigration talking points on the way there. There wasn’t going to be any substantive answer because he isn’t a man of depth or substance.

    It’s hard to get mad at the Governors for understanding that.

    Estragon (ada867)

  40. Misfeasance, malfeasance, and nonfeasance of office, all of them.

    htom (412a17)

  41. Wasn’t the trillion-dollar stimulus supposed to shore up our infrastructure? While that was five years ago, it was also a trillion dollars.

    bridget (2e3e1c)

  42. Sammy @11: I would sort of agree with you (at least as far as the pestilence issue goes) if we weren’t talking pestilence. One case of chicken pox or lice rarely stays that way, and chicken pox and lice are diagnosed by laymen. What we don’t know is if these kids have TB or any other disease that has been virtually eradicated here but not in other parts of the world.

    For those who couldn’t figure it out for themselves, Occupy Wall Street proved how very fast we go from sanitary, safe first-world conditions to a third-world hellhole. And all those kids are born here and given all of our vaccines. Those of us who are concerned about the same thing happening at schools all over America shouldn’t be mocked.

    bridget (2e3e1c)

  43. You can bet Biden had drilled his immigration talking points on the way there. There wasn’t going to be any substantive answer because he isn’t a man of depth or substance.

    Agreed. All of thought that Sarah Palin and especially Paul Ryan would clean his clock in the VP debates, but the one thing that Slow Joe is good at is memorizing talking points and sticking to them. And he is fortunate that his well-earned reputation for buffoonery seems to inculcate him from total derision when he says something outlandish — it’s just “Joe being Joe.”

    JVW (feb406)

  44. Estragon @ 39,

    who in their right mind would expect any useful answer from Biden?

    At no point in time would I ever expect a useful answer from Biden, nor anything remotely truthful, and I don’t believe any governors would either – and I suspect that goes for both sides of the aisle (they’ll play lip service, but it’s hard to believe any Dem really buy the bs…). We all know that he is full of it – *but* – that should not prevent elected representatives from pinning him down when given the opportunity. Give voice to their collective grievances, for the record, and even if nothing comes from it, it openly establishes that they are not buying what he’s selling. It may seem like nothing, but add up enough nothings like that, and you’ve got something that may no longer be ignored.

    I think Patricia is right @ 38: What are you going to do about it? Now we have our answer.

    Dana (4dbf62)

  45. I see over at Legal Insurrection that the gov’t of Egypt has advanced a cease-fire proposal, and that Bibi has accepted, but no word from Hamas.
    I would assume that Hamas might be having difficulty lining up enough tunnels to run new supplies through while the IDF is grounded.
    We’ve seen this movie before, and it always ends the same way.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  46. “He encouraged the governors to push for federal legislation such as the Grow America Act, which would pump $302 billion over the next four years into highways, bridges, transit and rail systems.”

    More correctly titled the Union Fund Enhancement and Democrat Election Fund Enrichment Act of 2014.

    in_awe (7c859a)

  47. askeptic (efcf22) — 7/14/2014 @ 12:50 pm

    Oh, I know,
    but I thought that after 6 years of one kerfuffle over another (did you her that Bergdhal is supposedly going back on active duty…)
    I thought maybe if we went back to something that was real simple, straightforward, and well documented and obvious,
    that maybe a few people would say,
    “Hey, that’s right, he didn’t keep that promise!!”

    Meanwhile, the PA gov. race has started,
    the early ads read that Tom Corbett might be the incarnation of the devil… but he’s really too mean for that…

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  48. bergdork’s return says some very very terrible but clarifying things about insidious corruption of america’s once-proud armed forces what’s taken place under food stamp and vajajay’s reign

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  49. *the* insidious corruption i mean

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  50. ==One does have to decide what hill to stand on, but if one is always saying that, one will never get around to standing on one.==

    Doc–great point. A fair reading of comments just on this site alone over the years shows that there are significant regional, state and personal differences with respect to priority order and what specific hills they, as right leaning people, are willing or eager to die on. It should not surprise, then, that the elected lawmakers also have some trouble reading, balancing and appeasing their constituencies (and their constituents’ lobbyists). Not excusing Washington. Just an additional observation to support your observation. .

    elissa (1d9a3d)

  51. I think the administration has badly miscalculated and very very badly wounded itself with the border crisis actions. As long as it was sort of left there, and covered up at the border the story was localized and could be narrated nationally from D.C as not a big deal and merely a few border governors and activists “being racist and uncaring of the plight of these poor children”. Between the media lockdowns and the enforced secrecy the administration mostly concealed the truth, the numbers, the horrors, and the health threats for quite a while. But sending them out to California on buses, and to Boston and Michigan and Nebraska and Chicago etc. etc. on commercial planes and then placing the migrants into non-secure shelters and with questionable “family members”, has changed everything. It has caused the lid to pop off the buried stories and has raised the awareness and profile of the problem considerably via local media and citizen journalists.

    elissa (1d9a3d)

  52. yes if food stamp had gone to the border it would have remained a border story i think

    now it’s america under siege

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  53. Ref comment #2 (Mark at 10:52 am) “Hmm, how many of those governors are Republicans, how many are Democrats? IOW, which group (the left or the right) is more likely to follow a certain protocol or etiquette, if you will, no matter how dumb such “good manners”…”

    *MY* question is more like, “How many states getting unannounced influxes of ‘unaccompanied alien children’ have Republican governors, or are Red states?” In other words, is President “I WON” using the border crisis to “punish {his} enemies”?

    A_Nonny_Mouse (6cfcc3)

  54. 42. bridget (2e3e1c) — 7/14/2014 @ 3:08 pm

    Sammy @11: I would sort of agree with you (at least as far as the pestilence issue goes) if we weren’t talking pestilence. One case of chicken pox or lice rarely stays that way, and chicken pox and lice are diagnosed by laymen.

    This is not a case of laymen diagnosing it. The federal government told Governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma about the chicken pox case. It was on the military base. Anybody being transported from there has bene through a medical examination. Chickenpox indeed can become many cases, whch is why gathering all these people together is a risk, but one they probably can handle. If a military base didn’t know how to handle that, that wouldn’t be handling it right in the case of soldiers, either, and people would be and should be afraid of any soldiers leaving the base, and they are not afraid that way, even in Okinawa. Maybe the Japanese demagogues aren’t imaginative enough.

    You could have a miniscule argument about people people who did not pass through amilitary ase, but there’s no reasonable case to be made for worrying about people who did – and that’s what all this concerns.

    Sammy Finkelman (c33275)

  55. elissa (1d9a3d) — 7/14/2014 @ 7:44 pm
    I have come to the conclusion to never assume any wrongful action by this administration will ever end up with repercussions as justly deserved. If we could harness the spinning done by these pols and the MSM we could produce more energy than the sun on a hot day.

    You know how bad it has become? I would not be surprised if somehow Elizabeth Warren became not only the next Dem candidate for president, but the next President of these once United States.
    It would be totally unreasonable, but so what?!?!

    Sammy Finkelman (c33275) — 7/14/2014 @ 9:22 pm
    chickenpox smickenpox
    a pox be on all their houses
    for either hiding the truth
    or going nutzoid on minutiae

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  56. What we don’t know is if these kids have TB or any other disease that has been virtually eradicated here but not in other parts of the world.

    There’s not such a great disparity. There is some, but we’re not talking about malaria, yellow fever, or polio. And if anything is going to spread anywhere, it’s going to spread right there in the military base.

    Now TB – I looked in the book by James Gleick about the physicist Richard Feynman (Genius, Pantheon Books, 1992)

    His first wife had tuberculosis and died of it. (Incidentally, it ws not diagnosed right at the start, being confused with cancer, and was thought to have been acquired by drinking unpasterized milk)

    It looks like, yes, people were scared of it. This was in 1941. I think they didn’t know how somebody actually caught it. But more informed people were not so worried about it. His mother warned him against the marriage.

    James Gleick writes: (page 149-150)

    Melville [Richard's father] took a calmer tack. He asked Richard to get professional advice at Princeton, and Richard obeyed, consulting his department chairman, Smyth, and the university doctor. Smyth merely said he preferred to keep out of his staff’s private affairs. He kept to that position even when Feynman went to the extreme of pointing out that he would be in contact both with a tubercular wife and with students. The doctor was concerned that feynman understood the danger of pregnancy, and Feynman told him that they did not intend to make love. (the doctor noted that tuberculosis was an infectious rather than a contagious disease, and Feynman, typically pressed him on that point. He had a suspicion that the distinction was an artifact of medical jargon – that, if there was a difference at all, it was a doifference of degree only.)

    Let’s say that. What comes out? Like I said, as is obvious from the history that you can gather just from reading and there, tuberculosis is not very contagious!

    Like I said, and this book, citing a doctor in 1941, backs me up.

    How do you get from there to 1/3 of the world’s people having been infected? They get infected, but they don’t come down with the disease. They’ve actually been immunized.

    A small fraction does get sick, who maybe had a different than usual exposure.

    Anyway they are worried about the spread of tuberculosis, and if they caught an active case, they would start treatment, and make sure that it didn’t stop.

    For those who couldn’t figure it out for themselves, Occupy Wall Street proved how very fast we go from sanitary, safe first-world conditions to a third-world hellhole. And all those kids are born here and given all of our vaccines. Those of us who are concerned about the same thing happening at schools all over America shouldn’t be mocked.

    But these particulat children, the ones on the buses, the ones being sent around all over the country by the federal government have all, in effect, been in quarantine. TB is not totally wiped in the United States.. A soldier, or his family could get it too. They’re always on guiard against this on military bases.

    Sammy Finkelman (c33275)

  57. oh no
    Sammy, let me repeat what I previously said, one last time
    In the United States, when a person is diagnosed with active TB, the local governmental Public Health officials are notified,
    and they track the person down, go to their home, and make sure they take their medicine like they are supposed to for months until it is finished.
    And if necessary, they can and will put a person in a hospital room with armed police at the door for weeks as necessary to make sure they take their meds.
    That is a lot of work and confiscation of rights for something that is “not contagious”.
    maybe you should tell the surgeon general and work to change the laws, so that no one is ever forcibly quarantined for having active TB again.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  58. Sammy:

    May I refer you to this post at ChicagoBoyz

    http://chicagoboyz.net/archives/44047.html

    Granted, Trent Telenko may not be the expert that the 1941 doctor referred to above is.

    Just — who really wants someone from HIS family to be the guinea pig (or the Patient Zero) when we-who-have-no-clue are trying to determine whether the “no big deal” doctor is correct, or the “Panic Now!” guy is correct?

    A_Nonny_Mouse (6cfcc3)

  59. Of course, the advice to Feynman by that dcctor was personal. He maybe had only 1% chance of getting (active) tuberculosis from such close proximity, and also a fracion of that chance of giving it to someone else. Maybe you might advose something else from another viewpoint. But these days anyway, non-drug resistannt TBis treatable.

    There’s another famous disease hat only a fraction of the people infected get a serious disease from yet people weer worried about it nontheless. Polio.

    I see in the Spring 5774/2014 Jewish Action an article by someone who got polio as a child in 1955. (and a really bad case. Iron lung and all) This is an excerpt of a book by Chava Willig Levy “A Life Not with Standing”

    She writes:

    and they never told me that, of the hundreds of children populating their bungalow colony, polio came after me and me alone.

    That probably would not be medically accurate. Many must have gotten infected – only she got a much bigger dose and.or did not fight it back, or got infected n the wrong place first.

    We wiped out smallpox (except for a few vials)

    We were close to wiping out polio, when al Qaeda took a stand against polio vaccination. All al Qaeda affiliates are against polio vaccination, most of he time.

    It then sporead further at the Moslem pilgrimage to Mecca. The Saudis aren’t exactly good at managing crowds.

    Sammy Finkelman (c33275)

  60. A_Nonny_Mouse (6cfcc3) — 7/14/2014 @ 10:02 pm

    May I refer you to this post at ChicagoBoyz

    http://chicagoboyz.net/archives/44047.html

    Granted, Trent Telenko may not be the expert that the 1941 doctor referred to above is.

    Just — who really wants someone from HIS family to be the guinea pig (or the Patient Zero) when we-who-have-no-clue are trying to determine whether the “no big deal” doctor is correct, or the “Panic Now!” guy is correct?

    Well, if you ignore the commentary, and the big fat lies, like “The current public health paradigm of track, isolate and treat TB is about to come to a horrible end for the American public health system” (because supposedly a lot of people vaccinated by BCG are about to come to the United states which he has no basis for saying at all since that is done in only a few places like Quebec and Honduras is not Quebec, and furthermore after a few years the false positives decline, and if the TB test came to an end they’d still have the otehr things they’d just have to do more of the other tests, but they’d lke to save time and trouble and money)

    If you ignore the way he’s trying to confuse and misinform people, and get down to what that post quotes, there’s no disagreement.

    There’s no guinea pig. The facts are pretty clear. There’s a small negligible risk, which is taken all the time in order not to stop the world.

    Testing positive is not the same thing as getting a case of active tuberculosis. Now you may say that a small chance of getting an active case is worth worrying about, but he’s not telling you this and he’s implying that all these cases that tested positive mean disease. That it doesn’t is exactly what that 1941 doctor said. Infectious, but not contagious (in the usual sense of the word)

    Also, these days, if someone develops an active case, it should be very treatable. And the cases coming into the country are also treatable, unless they turn out to be drug resistant, in which case this is the place to deal with that.

    And also, about two weeks of treatment renders a person with an active case of regular tuberculosis non-infectious. And while not everybody is examined for TB, these people on those buses almost certainly were. If there was reason for some suspicion, they would have been tested. This is not an new disease to military doctors. The cases on California and Texas weer not from people who were passed by military doctors, or there’s no reason even to suppose the Patient zero case for those schools was a recent immigrant.

    If you want to talk about a “catch and release” policy, that would be sending people back right away without giving them medical examinations. Maybe not others, but the Border Patrol people, the people from ICE, ought to be exposed, right?

    In fact allowing anyone to cross the Mexican border into the United States, with a visa or without a visa, regular border crosser or not regulat border crosser, American citizen or not, without quarantining them ever time and testing them for TB would be dangerous.

    Somebody might drive up to the border and have a case of active TB. Someone might come on a plane from Latin America with case of active TB.

    HOW IS HE NOT TERRIFIED OF ALL THAT, TOO?

    Sammy Finkelman (c33275)

  61. Joe Biden once got into trouble talking about the spreading of disease:

    http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1945379_1944338_1944286,00.html

    The Top 10 Everything of 2009

    Top 10 Political Gaffes

    1. Joe Biden’s Swine Flu Hysteria

    “I would tell members of my family, and I have, I wouldn’t go anywhere in confined places right now. It’s not that it’s going to Mexico. It’s that you are in a confined aircraft. When one person sneezes, it goes everywhere through the aircraft. That’s me.”

    Or see:

    http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/archive/Swine-Flu-0428.html

    http://dallasmorningviewsblog.dallasnews.com/2009/04/biden-on-swine.html/

    or instance, If he’s telling us to avoid planes and trains as part of our daily course of business, then his advice begs the logical extension, whether the U.S./Mexico border should be closed, or whether air travel between the U.S. and Mexico be temporarily halted. I dread to consider the political and economic ramifications of either approach — a subject that DMN business reporter Brendan Case raised earlier this week on our EconomyWatch Blog.

    But maybe some people here would say Joe Biden was right.

    Flu is much more contagious than TB.

    Sammy Finkelman (c33275)

  62. 45. askeptic (efcf22) — 7/14/2014 @ 5:06 pm

    I see over at Legal Insurrection that the gov’t of Egypt has advanced a cease-fire proposal, and that Bibi has accepted, but no word from Hamas.

    This is actually a temporary ceasefire proposal.

    I would assume that Hamas might be having difficulty lining up enough tunnels to run new supplies through while the IDF is grounded.

    The tunnels are all closed – they were closed by Egypt. Unless somethinbg changes, Hamas is almost entirely cut off from new supplies of rockets (unlike the previous two times)

    They can manufacture some of their own, but only short range.

    But hey have a lot already.

    Hamas is trying not to run out of missiles before Israel runs out of anti-missiles. There are also missiles in Lebanon and Syria but right now Syria/Hezbollah and the Islamic State are preoccupied with the capture of territory held by what used to be called the Free Syrian Army in eastern Syria -they are both besieging Deir ez Zor.

    I don’t think we can expect any more attacks by either of them until this is done. After that, there may be something like the Nazi-Soviet pact between Iran and the caliphate.

    Assad in fact saved ISIS’s headquarters in Raqqa Syria from being overrun in January by bombing – something the United States has refused to do. The United States has now helped Iraq considerably by briging in some officers who are probably de facto 3 and 4 star generals in the Iraqi army even if they have much lower ranks. This is exactly the kind of super-cost efficient assymetrical warfare that Obama likes.

    We’ve seen this movie before, and it always ends the same way

    And with eacvh iteration the rockets get worse. The anti-missiles have also gotten better, though, and so far Hamas is facing a shutout. Nobody on the Israeli side killed. This is worse than Brazil when they got eliminated in the world Cup of soccer. Hundreds, even 1,000 maybe of rockets fired by Hamas and not one goal scored!

    Numbers 31:49

    And they said unto Moses: ‘Thy servants have taken the sum of the men of war that are under our charge, and there lacketh not one man of us.

    Sammy Finkelman (c33275)

  63. Note where the illegal immigrant “children” are not being sent:

    - Georgetown, Washington DC
    - Potomac, Maryland
    - Great Falls, VA
    - Pacific Heights, San Francisco, CA
    - Upper West Side of Manhattan
    - Beverly Hills, CA

    No, they are getting shipped to lower and middle class communities.

    Ain’t that somethin’?

    Gregory of Yardale (76cf9f)

  64. Iowa’s Governor, Branstad, told Obama not to even think of dumping the Illegals in Iowa. What he didn’t say was the Democrats of both IA and IL have made Iowa the dumping grounds for Chicago’s Section 8 seekers so much so native Iowans can’t get a Section 8 voucher because they are all gone. Our violent crime has increased, and the imports do not want to assimilate. They are waiting their year and then going back to Chicago with their Iowa Section 8 voucher.

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  65. Sammy Finkleman,

    This one is for you:

    The U.S. is facing a major health threat due to the explosion of disease at detention centers holding thousands of illegal-immigrant children on the southern border, says Dr. Elaina George, who specializes in ear, nose and throat afflictions.

    “It’s absolutely a health threat,” George, a board-certified otolaryngologist, told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV Monday.

    “It’s like a perfect pressure cooker … a culture medium if you really want to think about it in that manner — a 1700 mile track by foot, by train or however else they’re coming up.

    “They haven’t been fed, they’re dehydrated their immune systems have basically taken a major hit and you have to remember that they’re young children so they don’t have a lot of reserve to begin with.”

    And the illnesses are plentiful, ranging from the common cold to tuberculosis.

    “Frontline health professionals that say that they’re seeing people with active TB who are coughing up blood, who are short of breath, who are physically in the throes of active TB and they are communicable,” George said.

    Not everybody shows symptoms right away, but they could have the disease before it actually manifests or shows itself. So they’re just as infectious.

    Further,

    TB, once fairly common to treat, is a menace again, George noted.

    “That is the most frightening part about TB. In the past they had treatments for it, but now it’s become so difficult to treat that even as a healthcare worker provider like myself we have to take tests every year and actually do questionnaires to make sure that we’re not able to pass any diseases,” she said.

    “[And] there’s mumps, there’s chickenpox, which most of us have been vaccinated for, but infants haven’t yet and the senior citizens are all at risk or people with HIV or other immune compromising diseases.

    “Then you have … all sorts of tropical diseases that I, as a healthcare professional don’t have a lot of facility with … People on the front line are really going to have to brush up on tropical diseases so that we know what we’re looking at. It’s just the tip of the ice berg, I’m afraid.”

    Dana (4dbf62)

  66. Anyone remember Jack Kemp’s visit with Black Pastor on what the Reagan Admin could do to help the black community? The Black pastors said to dump the parolees, criminals who served their time into other communities to give the Black communities a break.

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  67. Sammy, I’m sure glad you know all about this disease-exposure stuff, and that I can rely on your judgment that everything is fine, REALLY FINE, and Wiser Heads Than Mine have it all under control.

    Good to know.

    I’m reassured.

    A_Nonny_Mouse (3df1b1)

  68. Sammy sure knows a lot of stuff, it’s too bad that most of what he knows just ain’t so.
    (with apologies to Ronald Reagan)

    askeptic (efcf22)

  69. A_Nonny_Mouse (3df1b1) — 7/15/2014 @ 12:10 pm

    Sammy, I’m sure glad you know all about this disease-exposure stuff, and that I can rely on your judgment that everything is fine, REALLY FINE, and Wiser Heads Than Mine have it all under control.

    Good to know.

    I’m reassured.

    What reason is there to suspect that things are not out of control in the first place?? Is it anything but wild speculation?

    And if things were out of control why would it specially show up now and here?

    And anybody who went through a military base should be the least of your worries. And if the military dodctors don’t know what they are doing why should it happen only now?

    You don’t read about veterans Of Afghanistan and Iraq catching TB. What you can find instead is this:

    Science Daily June 2, 2008:

    US Soldiers In High-tuberculosis Areas Face New Epidemic: False Positives

    Recent deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, which are reported to have among the highest rates of active TB in the world, have raised concerns about TB exposure. However, many service members do not have sufficient contact with locals to raise their risk of contracting TB. As a consequence, “testing after recent deployments to the endemic and hyperendemic areas has occasionally resulted in large numbers of U.S. Army service members with [positive tests] and massive efforts aimed at preventing active TB,” wrote Dr. Mancuso.

    Because the positive-predictive value of a test–that is, the likelihood of a positive result indicating an actual case–is dependent on the prevalence of disease in a population. The lower the prevalence of a disease, and the higher the variability in the test and testing procedures, the less the positive-predictive value of a test will be. “This may dramatically reduce the positive-predictive value of the test to below 50 percent,” said Dr. Mancuso.

    Dr. Mancuso and his colleagues conducted outbreak investigations in deployed locations such as the Balkans and Afghanistan, where they collected and reviewed medical records of reported active and latent TB cases in deployed U.S. Army service members. They then obtained the medical histories of these soldiers, including prior diagnoses and treatments, determined current symptoms and interviewed the subjects to identify other possible risk factors. Finally, they retested all available skin test converters.

    “Repeat testing of converters (positives) found that 30 to 100 percent were negative on retesting,” wrote Dr. Mancuso. In one case, 95 percent of positive TB tests (38 of 40 tests) from Army National Guard servicemen in Kosovo were subsequently found to be negative, and the pseudoepidemic was primarily attributed to variability with the test administration and reading, as well as to the specific type of test used.

    “The testing of [a] predominantly low-risk population leads to false-positive results in individuals and pseudoepidemics of false-positive TST conversions in U.S. Army populations,” Dr. Mancuso concluded, recommending three actions to reduce the occurrence of false positive skin tests and these apparent outbreaks: test only truly high-risk personnel; standardize testing procedures; and use the more reliable of the TST tests, Tubersol, in lower-risk populations such as the U.S. Army.

    “As always, an individualized assessment of each patient’s risk of tuberculosis should be used to target testing and treatment of latent tuberculosis infection. In the absence of other risk factors, clinicians and public health officials should interpret reported skin test conversions after deployment with caution,” he added.

    Conversions to positive mean almost nothing serious. and what wa sthe rate before and after?

    ——————————————————————————–

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  70. Sammy, if you do not think that tens of thousands of unvaccinated people are a threat to the public health, do you support repealing laws regarding mandatory vaccinations?

    Curious, that’s all.

    bridget (3a8b13)

  71. It would be interesting if the governors suggested an Article V Convention was under discussion, but it would probably just get them arrested.

    For what, and by whom? Don’t be paranoid.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  72. Slightly off topic, but over at RCP, Bill Kristol seems to be saying that Sarah Palin is not a responsible Republican.

    Nope. “No responsible Republican elected official has called for impeachment.”

    Milhouse (b95258)

  73. 70. bridget (3a8b13) — 7/15/2014 @ 3:02 pm

    Sammy, if you do not think that tens of thousands of unvaccinated people are a threat to the public health, do you support repealing laws regarding mandatory vaccinations?

    Curious, that’s all.

    Well, this actually gets into a different issue, but I will come to this one, too.

    I think the laws are too strong, but are not that serious because they don’t kick in till age 5 oR 6, by which point a child should be able to handle them, or diagnosed with a problem, but I also think there’s probably a problem with one or more vaccines. And it may very well cause autism, but it causes it by stimulating the immune system and creating an auto-immune disease, but the vaccine that is the problem is almost certainly not the measles mumps rubella vaccine. (I keep on reading this “disproof” but this disproof is limited to one particular vaccine. That doesn’t disprove all vacxcines, particularly since the obvious mechanism by which a vaccine could cause autism or other problem is never talked about but they have some otehr crazy explanation if they have any.)

    I also think the key factor might not be a vaccine, but a viral or other infection for which there is no vaccine, but which is somewhat common, but gets no attention.

    Or it could even be something eaten, the way feeding cow’s milk to children before the age of 6 months is a prereuisite for getting juvennile diabetes (no juvenle diabetes without having been fed cow’s milk before 6 months of age – and that’s a fact, not speculation, although not universally acknowledged. Of course there are co-factors, and risk factors, particularly individual genetic differences in HLA’s, bit the one factor without which you cannot get juvenile diabetes is drinking cow’s milk at a time when the antigens from milk leak into the bloodstream.)

    Juvenile diabetes is another one of those iatrogenic diseases, if women not doing early breast feeding can be considered a medical intervention.

    Now both autism and juvenile diabetes may be triggered by a totally unrelated infection or vaccination, because these things cause the immune system to ramp up and the problem is that the immune system has previously been primed. Thus, autism might follow a vaccine, particuylarly a combination vaccine, without the vaccine itself actually being a cause.

    I think this is something that needs tro be examined, and taken seriously, and it’s not. There are only efforts to debunk the whole idea as nonsense. (One problem was that lawyers could only make money if an “impurity” in a vaccine caused the disease, so they lied.)

    As I said, it might not be a vaccine, but some earlier infection, or food, that primed the immune system, that’s responsible, and if so, children whose immune system has been primed should be treated very carefully, as maybe the ramp up can be avoided.)

    I also should say there isn’t usually a problem with unvaccinated children. There’s just occasionally a problem. with more occasions the more there are.

    These mandatory vaccinations are something done for the long run, not the short run. Mandatory vaccination only applies when somebody enters school. There are no roving bands of bounty hunters looking for unvaccinated toddlers..

    The children coming across the border and then coming into federal custody have – the ones being placed by the federal government , no doubt have been vaccinated by the military for any diseases for which there exists a recommended vaccination (which was the subject of another complaint, that vaccine supplies were being used up!) and if they enter school, they are subject to the same regulations.

    Some schools don’t have them, but usually only expensive private schools.

    The argument for mandatory vaccination is that a lot of children (because of age, parental opposition or neglect, or medical reasons) are not vaccinated. That’s the whole premise for it.
    i.e. when a lot of children or adults are not vaccinated or able to become immune through a vaccination, the absence of a pathogen caused by herd immunity disappears (when there’s enough unvaccinated or non-immune people close enough together for an epidemic to start)

    Sammy Finkelman (c33275)

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