Patterico's Pontifications

12/29/2014

Dave Barry: There’s Just No Explaining 2014

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:43 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Some funny stuff from a funny guy:

On the domestic front, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, who oversaw the rollout of Obamacare, resigns from the Cabinet to take a position overseeing e-mail storage for the Internal Revenue Service.

In Washington scandal news, the Internal Revenue Service, responding to a subpoena, tells congressional investigators that it cannot produce 28 months of Lois Lerner’s e-mails because the hard drive they were stored on failed, and the hard drive was thrown away, and the backup tapes were erased, and no printed copies were saved — contrary to the IRS’s own record-keeping policy, which was eaten by the IRS’s dog. “It was just one crazy thing after another,” states the IRS, “and it got us to thinking: All these years we’ve been subjecting taxpayers to everything short of rectal probes if they can’t produce EVERY SINGLE DOCUMENT WE WANT, and here we lose YEARS’ worth of official records! So from now on, if taxpayers tell us they lost something, or just plain forgot to make a tax payment, we’ll be like, ‘Hey, whatever! Stuff happens!’ Because who are we to judge?”

But all kidding aside, you can bet that before this thing is over there will be a strongly worded report.

… when the Ebola virus takes center stage as a parade of medical authorities appear on cable news to assure the American public that there is absolutely no reason to panic about Ebola so we should just stay calm regarding Ebola because given what we know about Ebola there is probably no danger that you will get Ebola so just stop worrying about Ebola Ebola Ebola OMIGOD EBOLA! After a solid week of being reassured 24/7 about Ebola, the public has been soothed into a state of panic, which is not improved when the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does an interview for CNN from inside a bubble.

President Obama, responding decisively to the mounting crisis, appoints as his “Ebola Czar” Ron Klain, a lawyer who is never heard from again.

In politics, the big story is the looming midterm elections, which have President Obama crisscrossing the nation at a hectic pace in a last-ditch effort to find a Democratic candidate willing to appear in public with him. The president is finally able to schedule an event with 94-year-old R. Nordstrom Fleemer, who is running for his 17th term as road commissioner of Carwankle County, Tennessee. Fleemer appears pleased by the endorsement, although he refers to the president repeatedly as “Mr. Truman.”

–Dana

President Obama: Putting Our Military Men And Women First

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:53 pm

[guest post by Dana]

self·ish[ sélfish ]
looking after own desires: concerned with your own interests, needs, and wishes while ignoring those of others
demonstrating selfishness: showing that personal needs and wishes are thought to be more important than those of other people.


Natalie Heimel and her fiancé, Edward Mallue Jr., a pair of captains in the Army, were walking from their wedding rehearsal on Saturday at the 16th tee box at Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course in Hawaii when they were informed they’d have to move their wedding, scheduled for the next day.

President Barack Obama wanted to play through.

It was the second time that day that the couple heard from the nation’s commander in chief, whose affinity for golf has, at times, caused political headaches for the White House. Stationed in Hawaii and knowing the president spends his Christmas holiday on the islands, they invited him to their ceremony on a lark. They had received a letter earlier on Saturday saying Obama regretted he couldn’t come and wishing them happiness on their wedding day.

“It was kind of ironic they got the letter from them and then, within hours, they were told they had to be moved due to him,” Jamie McCarthy, Mallue’s sister, said in an interview. “It was emotional, especially for her—she’s the bride and in less than 24 hours they had to change everything they had planned.”

The wedding ended up being re-located to a lovely spot with an ocean view. The article states that it was unclear if the White House knew in advance of the wedding arrangements. Given that securing a venue for a wedding is the first thing anyone planning a wedding does, this had to have been on the books for some time. And while it’s possible that the White House may not have known about it in advance, would that have even mattered? The obvious fact of the matter is, the president could have postponed his golf game. He also could have used the opportunity to generate some good P.R. “Look, how could I have insisted on keeping to my plans in light of two people not only committed to selflessly serving their country, but also wanting to make their public commitment to one another. What could be more important than that?” Instead, what the president showed us is, if the president wants to golf, then by god, the president is going to golf.

–Dana

Update: Per elissa:

These “little people” were both West Point grads. The presidential golfing foresome [sic] included White House staffers Mike Brush and Joe Paulsen and friend Bobby Titcomb. Brush and Paulsen are responsible for planning and coordinating the president’s travel itinerary. Heck of a job, guys.

Here.

President Obama: Race Relations Have Improved, Except When They Haven’t

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:15 am

[guest post by Dana]

In an interview with NPR, the president answered questions regarding current race relations in the US:

Is the United States more racially divided than it was when you took office six years ago, Mr. President?

No, I actually think that it’s probably in its day-to-day interactions less racially divided. But I actually think that the issue has surfaced in a way that probably is healthy.

It’s understandable the polls might say, you know, that race relations have gotten worse — because when it’s in the news and you see something like Ferguson or the Garner case in New York, then it attracts attention. But I assure you, from the perspective of African-Americans or Latinos in poor communities who have been dealing with this all their lives, they wouldn’t suggest somehow that it’s worse now than it was 10, 15 or 20 years ago.

For the president, it’s better to focus on perceived improved race relations rather than focusing on the economic conditions of the black community under his tenure:

The unemployment rate for African-Americans has fallen by 1 percent per year, down from 16 percent in February 2010 to 11 percent in November 2014. That rate is double the national average, and it matches the high unemployment rate among low-skilled people who did not graduate from high-school, and who are now losing jobs to machinery and low-wage immigrants.

But Obama has made the employment situation worse for African-Americans by ending enforcement of immigration laws and by offering work-permits to roughly 6 million illegals, guest-workers and future immigrants. Overall, almost half of the jobs added since January 2010 have gone to migrant workers, not to Americans. In fact, fewer Americans held jobs in December 2014 than held jobs in 2007.

Obama dodged the uncomfortable fact that African-Americans’ wages have drifted down amid the surplus of low-skill labor. The median weekly wage for blacks was $601 in 2009, and $644 in the fall of 2014. That’s a $15 decline, once inflation is considered.

On one hand, the president will tout that race relations under his watch have improved, yet when considering the economic condition of black America under the same watch, those relations really haven’t improved all that much:

“I’ve been consistent in saying that this is a legacy of a troubled racial past of Jim Crow and slavery. That’s not an excuse for black folks… they’re starting behind, oftentimes, in the race.”

–Dana


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