Archive for the ‘DHS’ Category

Obama Health Team Reverses Flu Advice

May 5, 2009

“Never let a good crisis go to waste” became an Obama Administration motto after it was first said by Rahm Emanuel, the White House Chief of Staff. 
When the flu hit, everyone seemed to have embraced that philosophy in an administration hell bent on showing how much the nation needs a make-over of its health care system.  So every part of the Federal Government hyped the flu — especially Joe Biden, loyal soul and gaffe machine.

Now, for the first time, Obama health team people are saying maybe they went a little too far….


By MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer
U.S. health officials are no longer recommending that schools close if students come down with swine flu, the government said Tuesday.

Last week, schools were advised to shut down for about two weeks if there were suspected cases of swine flu. Hundreds of schools around the country have followed the government’s guidance and closed schools, giving students an unexpected vacation and leaving parents scrambling for child care.

“We no longer feel that school closure is warranted,” said Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the swine flu virus had turned out to be milder than feared and the government decided to change its advice. So far, the virus has not proved to be more infectious or deadly than the seasonal flu.

The CDC said parents should still make sure to keep sick children with flulike symptoms at home for seven days.

As the threat seemed to diminish, health officials also considered the problems the closings were creating for parents, Besser said. Officials were hearing about children getting dropped off at libraries, or parents who couldn’t take sick leave to care for their children.

“The downsides of school closure start to outweigh the benefits,” Besser said.

U.S. health officials are no longer recommending that schools close if students come down with swine flu, the government said Tuesday.

Last week, schools were advised to shut down for about two weeks if there were suspected cases of swine flu. Hundreds of schools around the country have followed the government’s guidance and closed schools, giving students an unexpected vacation and leaving parents scrambling for child care.

“We no longer feel that school closure is warranted,” said Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the swine flu virus had turned out to be milder than feared and the government decided to change its advice. So far, the virus has not proved to be more infectious or deadly than the seasonal flu.

The CDC said parents should still make sure to keep sick children with flulike symptoms at home for seven days.

As the threat seemed to diminish, health officials also considered the problems the closings were creating for parents, Besser said. Officials were hearing about children getting dropped off at libraries, or parents who couldn’t take sick leave to care for their children.

“The downsides of school closure start to outweigh the benefits,” Besser said.

Read the rest:

‘Maverick’ DHS Office Issues Glossary of Domestic Extremist Groups

May 5, 2009

The Office of Intelligence and Analysis uses a broad brush to define dozens of supposedly extremist ideologies inside the United States, in a report called “Domestic Extremism Lexicon,” which was withdrawn within hours after its release in March.

From Fox

The Department of Homeland Security is reining in a “maverick” division of the agency following criticism of a report it issued that details domestic “extremists” ranging from anti-tax movements to pro-environment groups, a DHS official told FOX News on Tuesday. 

The report, released in March and recalled within hours, was on top of a controversial document the same office produced last month that said U.S. veterans were ripe for recruitment by terrorist groups. 

The quickly withdrawn report, titled the “Domestic Extremism Lexicon,” comes from the department’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis, the same unit that produced the report on right-wing extremists recruiting vets. The document, first uncovered by The Washington Times, uses a broad brush to define terms used when analyzing dozens of supposedly extremist ideologies inside the United States. 

They cover: Jewish extremists, animal rights extremists, Christian identity extremists, black separatism extremists, anti-abortion extremists, anti-immigration extremists, anti-technology extremists, Cuban independence extremists and tax resistance extremists, to name a few.

Department spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said the report was not authorized and is not being used. 

“The lexicon was not an authorized I&A product, and it was recalled as soon as management discovered it had been released without authorization,” Kudwa said. “Since this happened prior to our last experience, our new internal protocols were obviously not in place. Even so, this product is not, nor was it ever, in operational use.” 

The Homeland Security official who spoke to FOX News said the office that released the report had taken on a “maverick” attitude by acting without authorization and is now being “reined in.” 

In addition to the report on right-wing threats issued last month — for which DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano apologized — DHS detailed left-wing threats in a similar report released in January.  

The “Domestic Extremism Lexicon” covers ideologies across the spectrum. 

An explanation at the top of the document claims the glossary is meant to provide “definitions for key terms and phrases that often appear in DHS analysis that addresses the nature and scope of the threat that domestic, non-Islamic extremism poses to the United States.” 

The authors wrote “that DHS/I&A intends this background information to assist federal, state, local, and tribal homeland security and law enforcement officials in conducting analytic activities.”

The definitions are rather broad and apparently raised flags within the department. 

According to the document, for example, tax resistance extremists are people who “vehemently believe taxes violate their constitutional rights … Members (of this group) have been known to advocate or engage in criminal activity and plot acts of violence and terrorism in an attempt to advance their extremist goals.” 

The top of the document also defines “alternative media” as something sinister — though the term is commonly used to describe blogs and popular publications like New York’s Village Voice. 

“Alternative media” is “a term used to describe various information sources that provide a forum for interpretations of events and issues that differ radically from those presented in mass media products and outlets,” the report says. 

The report also covers domestic groups more commonly referred to as extremist, like neo-Nazis.

Click here to read the extremism report.  

FOX News’ Catherine Herridge contributed to this report.

Flu Shows Why Government “Health Care” May Not Solve All Our Problems

May 3, 2009

Some Americans look toward Canada, Britain and  other nations as glowing examples of government health care making life better.

But the advocates of not nationalizing health care go to these very nations to ask doctors and those that feel wronged by the government systems to give their opinions — always negative.

And the Brits are now discussing a 50% tax for top earners to pay for health care and the other parts of their system….

Then we have the H1N1 flu: which might actually be a relatively normal flu and not one needing too much government intervention.

The noise of all the government crowing about the flu has actually, as far as we can tell, fueled not wisdom in health care but over reaction — which might be not helping and which could even prevent the government from being effective in a real emergency.

The face of the government response became Janet “watch out for veterans and Canadians” Napolitano — because Team Obama couldn’t come up with a Health Secretary who had paid his or her taxes before the flu hit….usually the flu doesn’t hit until autumn so this is understandable….

One student gets sick and the school closes for two weeks?  One passenger gets sick and the aircraft is diverted?  Please.

But our government kept the border with Mexico open and told border guards not to wear masks — looks too unfriendly.

I mean, who will listen to Joe Biden next time?  He told his family (and the nation) to stay off the train — then took the train home the very next day.

Mexico has taken an economic hit for the flu, and many will say rightly so.  Mexico has the most flu related deaths — maybe all the flu related deaths.  But it might be that Mexico needs better health care and not more “help” from outsiders.

China told people not to go to Mexico and Mexico told people not to go to China — so there.

One wonders how many Mexicans go on holiday in China anyway — with Cinco de Mayo and the USA so near.

Maybe we should try out nationalized health care in Mexico.  I’m just not sure I want Joe Biden, Janet Napolitano and the others who gave us this particular flu emergency to solve the more general problem…..


From CNN:

“There is too much hysteria in the country and so far, there hasn’t been that great a danger,” said Congressman Ron Paul, a Republican from Texas. “It’s overblown, grossly so.”

The United States’ only death this year from the virus was a 22-month-old boy in Texas who was visiting from Mexico.

“We have people without symptoms going into the emergency rooms asking to be screened for swine flu at the expense of people with real illness,” said Cathy Gichema, a nurse in Pikesville, Maryland.

“Schools are being shut for probable causes – sending these kids congregating to the malls. How is that helping,” Gichema said.

Dr. Mark Bell, principal of Emergent Medical Associates, which operates 18 emergency departments in Southern California, said the level of fear is unprecedented.

“I haven’t seen such a panic among communities perhaps ever,” Bell said. “Right now, people think if they have a cough or a cold, they’re going to die. That’s a scary, frightening place to be in. I wish that this hysteria had not occurred and that we had tempered a little bit of our opinions and thoughts and fears in the media.”

Read it all:


From Reuters

Mexico on Saturday accused Beijing of discrimination against its citizens and advised them to avoid China after a Hong Kong hotel was sealed off following confirmation a Mexican guest had the new flu virus.

Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa also condemned China and four Latin American countries for restricting flights from Mexico, the epicenter of an H1N1 flu outbreak that the World Health Organization fears may become a global pandemic.

At a news conference, Espinosa criticized authorities in Hong Kong for quarantining the Metropark Hotel on Friday after test results showed the 25-year-old Mexican guest was infected with the virus. Mexico on Saturday accused Beijing of discrimination against its citizens and advised them to avoid China after a Hong Kong hotel was sealed off following confirmation a Mexican guest had the new flu virus.

Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa also condemned China and four Latin American countries for restricting flights from Mexico, the epicenter of an H1N1 flu outbreak that the World Health Organization fears may become a global pandemic.

At a news conference, Espinosa criticized authorities in Hong Kong for quarantining the Metropark Hotel on Friday after test results showed the 25-year-old Mexican guest was infected with the virus.

Read the rest:


From AP

Health experts walked a tightrope Sunday, unsure whether the swine flu epidemic was starting to fizzle out or was just in a lull before another surge. Germany reported two more confirmed cases, and Hong Kong kept 350 people under quarantine in a downtown hotel as a precaution.

Read the rest:

Gibbs: “What the Vice President meant to say…”

April 30, 2009

Not only did White House spokesman Robert Gibbs clarify the VEEP Joe Biden’s remarks on NBC this morning, he used the demeaning “what he meant to say” line twice, as if to say he himself, Gibbs, was a lot smarter than Biden.

If you know Biden you knew this day would come….

Journalist Bill Samon called Biden a “gaffe machine…a political liability.”

Meanwhile the White House press briefing today seemed to revolve around the flu.

And why not?  Biden said don’t fly or ride the subway, he even mentioned sneezing in classrooms, the president was in Mexico 13 days ago and NBC used the word “panic” in the headline about Biden.

Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference at ...

In the Congress, a Republican said he couldn’t find ground truth at the DHS and Centers for Disease Control.

Rep. Brian Bilbray of California said he was told DHS and CDC told border agents and airport screeners not to wear protective masks because they looked too sinister.

“For somebody sitting in D.C., who won’t even allow their family to fly, and then to sit there and say, don’t put on the masks until you know someone is sick is absolutely absurd. And it shows that Washington doesn’t understand the procedures or the conditions along the border,” Bilbray said. “Washington ought to wake up.”

The Department of Homeland Security said Thursday it has not told agents at U.S. airports and border checkpoints that they cannot wear masks to protect from exposure to swine flu.

“The Department of Homeland Security has not issued an order saying our employees cannot wear masks. The health of our employees is of utmost importance to us. And today we are issuing department-wide guidance to our workforce,” DHS spokeswoman Sara Kuban told FOX News. 

Kuban was responding to a claim made Thursday that The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Homeland Security issued a guideline banning masks because they look too intimidating.

Hot Air:

Obama Must Be Lonely At The Top
 American Airlines: Biden “Fear Mongering” on Flu
Monkey See Monkey Do Doesn’t Work: Obama Says Wash Your Hands; Biden Says Stay Off Subways; NBC Says “Panic”
 Biden: Stay Off Subways During Swine Flu Panic (Actual NBC Headline)

Biden: Stay Off Subways During Swine Flu Panic (Actual NBC Headline)

April 30, 2009

Vice president Joe Biden said today he would tell his family members not to use subways in the U.S. as the swine flu outbreak spread to 11 states and forced school closures amid confirmation of the first U.S. death.

NBC New York

“I would not be at this point … [be] suggesting they ride the subway,”  Biden said when asked whether he would advise family members to use public transportation.

Biden made his comments during a brief interview on NBC’s “Today” show during an interview with Matt Lauer.

The vice president said if one person sneezes on a plane “it goes all the way through the aircraft.”

American Airlines: Biden “Fear Mongering” on Flu

See the video at POLITICO:

Biden said the advice to his family differs from that of the federal government’s to the public because, “That’s me.”

After the interview, co-host Meredith Vieira and NBC’s Chuck Todd discussed Biden’s statement, wondering if the vice president really had intended to caution the American public to stay off public transportation and airplanes. They noted his comments seemed to contradict public statements by other high-ranked White House officials.

In California, dozens of Marines were confined Wednesday after one came down with the disease. Some 100 schools were closed, and more might need to be shut down temporarily.

President Barack Obama pledged “great vigilance” in dealing with the situation as the total confirmed cases in the U.S. rose to nearly 100, with many more suspected.

Read the rest:


We at Peace and Freedom think its time, past time, for President Obama to tell Biden: “Use the Teleprompter, Stupid.”  Then he needs to fire the head of his military office that scheduled Air Force One to buzz New Yorkers.  Then he needs to tell Americans, “Don’t listen to me and Joe about the flu.  Listen to experts and your Mom.”

 Scientists see this flu strain as relatively mild

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 CNN Rates Obama in “Dancing With the Stars” Format

Scientists see this flu strain as relatively mild

April 30, 2009
Genetic data indicate this outbreak won’t be as deadly as that of 1918, or even the average winter.
By Karen Kaplan and Alan Zarembo
The Los Angeles Times
April 30, 2009

As the World Health Organization raised its infectious disease alert level Wednesday and health officials confirmed the first death linked to swine flu inside U.S. borders, scientists studying the virus are coming to the consensus that this hybrid strain of influenza — at least in its current form — isn’t shaping up to be as fatal as the strains that caused some previous pandemics.

In fact, the current outbreak of the H1N1 virus, which emerged in San Diego and southern Mexico late last month, may not even do as much damage as the run-of-the-mill flu outbreaks that occur each winter without much fanfare.
“Let’s not lose track of the fact that the normal seasonal influenza is a huge public health problem that kills tens of thousands of people in the U.S. alone and hundreds of thousands around the world,” said Dr. Christopher Olsen, a molecular virologist who studies swine flu at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine in Madison.

Read the rest:

Swine Flu: WHO Says “Level 5;” Cases: 51 In New York, Over 100 Nation-Wide in 10 States; Napolitano “Clarifies” Border Assessment

April 29, 2009

Ten U.S. states are now confirmed to have the H1N1 flu virus, also called the Mexican or Swine Flu….51 in New York, 14 in California and 16 in Texas. Two cases have been confirmed in Kansas, Massachusetts and Michigan, while a single cases have been reported in Arizona, Indiana, Nevada and Ohio.


GENEVA (Reuters) – World Health Organization director-general Dr. Margaret Chan raised the pandemic threat awareness level to 5 out of 6 on Wednesday, meaning the world is at imminent risk of a pandemic from H1N1 swine flu.


“I have decided to raise the level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 4 to phase 5,” Chan told a news briefing.


Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is asserting that the description she initially gave of the border swine-flu monitoring effort no longer applies.

Appearing Wednesday before a Senate panel, Napolitano said that “passive surveillance” is “not an accurate picture of what is going on” at U.S. entry points. She had used that term Tuesday morning to describe the nature of the monitoring for illness.

On Wednesday, Napolitano said that U.S. officials are “actively” questioning visitors at the border, asking questions about “whether they are ill, their travel history and the like.”

She also discounted turning to thermal meters to gauge whether people are carrying a fever, and Napolitano also said she does not believe the facts of the current situation would merit closing the borders.

From : AP


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Mexican toddler in Texas has died of the new swine flu virus, the first confirmed death outside Mexico, as the World Health Organization said the outbreak showed clear signs of spreading around the world.

Nearly a week after the threat first emerged in Mexico, Spain reported the first case in Europe of swine flu in a person who had not been to Mexico, underscoring the threat of person-to-person transmission.

“It is clear that the virus is spreading and we don’t see evidence of it slowing down at this point,” Dr. Keiji Fukuda, WHO acting assistant director-general, told a news briefing.

With Germany and Austria reporting cases, bringing the number of affected countries to 9, Fukuda said the WHO was moving loser to raising its pandemic alert to phase five, the second highest level possible.

U.S. officials said that a 22-month-old boy had died in Texas — the first confirmed U.S. swine flu death — but they added that he was on a family visit from Mexico, where up to 159 flu fatalities have been recorded.

Read the rest:

From CNN:

There are 132 confirmed cases in 11 countries, the majority in the United States, according to the WHO and the Centers for Disease Control. Those figures include seven deaths in Mexico and one in the United States.

The virus spread to five more U.S. states, and the number of people in the United States infected with the 2009 H1N1 influenza strain grew to 91, the Centers for Disease Control reported on Wednesday.


Governments around the world are scrambling to prevent further outbreak.

Some, such as China and Russia, have banned pork imports from the United States and Mexico, though the World Health Organization says the disease is not transmitted through eating or preparing pig meat.

Several others countries, such as Japan and Indonesia, are using thermographic devices to test the temperature of passengers arriving from Mexico.


New York Times:

Public health officials said Congress had missed an opportunity by excising nearly $900 million in proposed financing for pandemic flu preparation from this year’s stimulus bill. It was to be the final installment of President George W. Bush’s request for $7 billion in federal spending on vaccines, medical equipment and planning. Congress last allocated money for pandemic planning by state and local governments in 2006 — about $600 million over two years, said Dr. Paul E. Jarris, executive director of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

“The entire system is lining up to decrease resources at the time we need them most,” Dr. Jarris said. “We have to realize that we’re at the starting line. The stress will come if this escalates.”

Somebody Please Tell Specter, It’s Not About Who He Was, It’s About Who He Became

April 29, 2009

Again this morning at a carefully crafted photo op with Vice President Biden and President Obama gloating, Arlen Specter (D/R – Penna) repeated his mantra: “I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Republican primary voters of  Pennsylvania.”

Please someone stop this man before he says it again.

Tell him this is not about his resume of 29 years.  It is about his votes recently and especially one vote, for the stimulus, this year.  It is about lying and deceit.

Now Specter has joined the lying and deceitful Biden-Obama team.

Obama, for his part at this photo op, laucnhed into tackling a problem that can bring glory and praise to his administration without much controversey.  Obama is opposed to disease.  In this case, swine flue.

Never mind all that his contentious in our world and our government: wash your hands for 20 seconds and all will be well.

Beyond that: leave it to government.  Leave it to me.  The teleprompter says its so…..


How Bad Really is This Mexican Swine Flu?

April 28, 2009

The  outbreak of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) began in China in Novemebr 2002.  By June, 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported a cumulative total of 8,450 probable SARS cases and 810 reported from 29 countries.  In the current swine flu outbreak, 149 people have died in  Mexico and the outbreak has not proven to be very severe in other areas.  When the WHO and the U.S. government tells you to wash your hands, you are probably not dealing with an imminent disease disaster….

Also, Secretary Napolitano of DHS said during a “normal” flu cycle in the U.S. we can expect 35,000 deaths from the flu….

It seems to us here at Peace and Freedom that people of the United States are growing more and more comfortable with a “nanny state” that solves all their problems and gives them all they need to know via TV and the Internet.  This seems dangerous and Orwellian to us….

Some Critical of Obama for “Hyping” Swine Flu; Shows Distrust of O’s Overwhelming News Dominance
Scientists see this flu strain as relatively mild
Biden: Stay Off Subways During Swine Flu Panic


In 1976, President Gerald Ford orders a nationwide vaccination program to prevent a swine-flu epidemic.

Ford was acting on the advice of medical experts, who believed they were dealing with a virus potentially as deadly as the one that caused the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic.

The virus surfaced in February at Fort Dix, New Jersey, where 19-year-old Pvt. David Lewis told his drill instructor that he felt tired and weak, although not sick enough to skip a training hike. Lewis was dead with 24 hours.

The autopsy revealed that Lewis had been killed by “swine flu,” an influenza virus originating in pigs. By then several other soldiers had been hospitalized with symptoms. Government doctors became alarmed when they discovered that at least 500 soldiers on the base were infected without becoming ill.

It recalled 1918, when infected soldiers returning from the trenches of World War I triggered a contagion that spread quickly around the world, killing at least 20 million people. Fearing another plague, the nation’s health officials urged Ford to authorize a mass inoculation program aimed at reaching every man, woman and child. He did, to the tune of $135 million ($500 million in today’s money).

Mass vaccinations started in October, but within weeks reports started coming in of people developing Guillain-Barré syndrome, a paralyzing nerve disease, right after taking the shot. Within two months, 500 people were affected, and more than 30 died. Amid a rising uproar and growing public reluctance to risk the shot, federal officials abruptly canceled the program Dec. 16.

In the end, 40 million Americans were inoculated, and there was no epidemic. A later, more technically advanced examination of the virus revealed that it was nowhere near as deadly as the 1918 influenza virus. The only recorded fatality from swine flu itself was the unfortunate Pvt. Lewis.

History’s verdict of the program is mixed. Critics assail Ford, accusing him of grandstanding during an election year — it did him no good, because he lost anyway — while kowtowing to the pharmaceutical companies. Supporters laud the ability of the nation’s health bureaucracy to mobilize so effectively.

Those who remembered 1918 probably consider it money well spent.

(Source: Trentonian, The New York Times)


The World Health Organisation is not recommending travel restrictions and border closures to fight swine flu, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

Infected people may not show symptoms at the airport or when they reach a border crossing, so travel limitations like those imposed during the SARS outbreak are ineffective, spokesman Gregory Hartl said.

“Border controls don’t work. Screening doesn’t work,” he told a news conference, describing the economically-damaging travel bans as basically pointless in public health terms.

Still, the WHO is urging people to think twice before travelling to and from affected areas, and to avoid crowds and public transport in the presence of any flu-like symptoms.

“Certainly if you feel that you are ill you should not travel, in any case, to anywhere,” Hartl said.

Up to 149 people in Mexico have died of the new swine flu virus known as H1N1, which has caused milder symptoms in other countries including the United States, Canada, Spain, Britain, Israel, and New Zealand.

“We don’t understand why the disease has been more severe in Mexico,” Hartl said.

The first victims may not have recognised they were infected with a new type of flu requiring different treatment than normal seasonal flu, they may not have received the required medicines until late, or they may have been infected with other diseases reducing their immunity to the virus, he suggested.

All transmission of the disease so far appears to have been human-to-human and not from animal or other contact, according to the WHO.

“There is no danger form eating pork,” Hartl said. “If you cook pork well, if you cook all meat well, it kills all virus.”

The WHO does not yet know where the outbreak started from.

“We are still looking for the origin of this event. We don’t know where it is, we don’t know where the initial infection occurred.”

Read the rest from Reuters:

One Hundred Days of Obama: 100 Mistakes

April 26, 2009

1. “Obama criticized pork barrel spending in the form of ‘earmarks,’ urging changes in the way that Congress adopts the spending proposals. Then he signed a spending bill that contains nearly 9,000 of them, some that members of his own staff shoved in last year when they were still members of Congress. ‘Let there be no doubt, this piece of legislation must mark an end to the old way of doing business, and the beginning of a new era of responsibility and accountability,’ Obama said.” — McClatchy, 3/11

2. “There is no doubt that we’ve been living beyond our means and we’re going to have to make some adjustments.” — Obama during the campaign.

3. This year’s budget deficit: $1.5 trillion.

4. Asks his Cabinet to cut costs in their departments by $100 million — a whopping .0027%!

5. “The White House says the president is unaware of the tea parties.” — ABC News, 4/15

6. “Mr. Obama is an accomplished orator but is becoming known in America as the ‘teleprompt president’ over his reliance on the machine when he gives a speech.” — Sky News, 3/18

7. In early February, the 2010 census was moved out of the Department of Commerce and into the White House, politicizing how federal aid is distributed and electoral districts are drawn.

8. Obama taps Nancy Killefer for a new administration job, First Chief Performance Officer — to police government spending. But it surfaces that Killefer had performance issues of her own — a tax lien was slapped on her DC home in 2005 for failure to pay unemployment compensation tax on household help. She withdrew.

9. Turkey tried to block the appointment of Anders Fogh Rasmussen as new NATO secretary general because he didn’t properly punish the Danish cartoonist who caricatured Mohammed. France’s Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany’s Angela Merkel were outraged; Obama said he supported Turkey’s induction into the European Union.

10. . . . and he never mentioned the Armenian genocide.

11. The picture of Obama and Hugo Chavez shaking hands.

12. Hugo Chavez gave him the anti-American screed “The Open Veins of Latin America.” Obama didn’t remark upon it. At least it wasn’t DVDs.

13. Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega went on a 50-minute anti-American rant, calling Obama “president of an empire.” Obama didn’t leave the room. “I thought it was 50 minutes long. That’s what I thought,” he said.

14. Executives at AIG get $165 million in bonuses, despite receiving an $173 billion taxpayer bailout.

15. “For months, the Obama administration and members of Congress have known that insurance giant AIG was getting ready to pay huge bonuses while living off government bailouts. It wasn’t until the money was flowing and news was trickling out to the public that official Washington rose up in anger and vowed to yank the money back.” — Associated Press, 3/18

16. “After pushing Congress for weeks to hurry up and pass the massive $787 billion stimulus bill, President Obama promptly took off for a three-day holiday getaway.” — New York Post, 2/15


“Obama soared to victory on the hopeful promise of a new era of bipartisanship. During his inaugural address he even promised an ‘end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.’

“Too bad it took all of three days for the promise to ring hollow.

“Start with Obama’s big meeting with top congressional leaders on his signature legislation — the stimulus — on the Friday after his inauguration. Listening to Republican concerns about overspending was a nice gesture — until he shut down any hopes of real dialogue by crassly telling Republican leaders: ‘I won.’ Even the White House’s leaking of the comment was a slap at the Republican leadership, who’d expected Obama to adhere to the custom of keeping private meetings with congressional leadership, well, private.

“It’s only gone downhill from there. The stimulus included zero Republican recommendations, and failed to get a single House Republican vote.

“It’s not just the tactic of using Republicans for bipartisan photo-ops, and then cutting them loose before partisan decisions, that irks Obama’s opponents. The new president wasted no time rushing forward with policies and legislation guaranteed to drive Republicans nuts. The first bill he signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act — a partisan hot-button that drew all of eight Republican supporters in the entire Congress. Then there was the swift reversal of Bush policies on abortion and embryonic-stem-cell research — issues dear to the Republican base.

“And when Obama and the Democrats in Congress took up SCHIP — the children’s health-insurance bill that Republicans say vastly expands government’s role in health care — they had an easy chance for real bipartisanship. After all, the bill had been hashed out in the previous Congress, and a bipartisan accord was reached before President Bush responded with a veto. Did the Obama team push for the compromise version in the 111th Congress? Nope. They went back to the drawing board, ramming through the Democrats’ dream version.

“Of course, the lack of bipartisanship isn’t limited to Capitol Hill. Obama has taken gratuitous swipes at the Republicans who recently decamped Washington, blaming President Bush for everything from the economy and the war to the lack of sufficient puppies and rainbows. And who could forget the Rush Limbaugh flap — in which Obama’s top advisers, including chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, orchestrated a public relations campaign meant to undermine the Republican National Committee chairman, Michael Steele, by framing talk-radio personality Limbaugh as the real head of the Republican Party.

“For now, Obama’s back-pedal on the bipartisanship promise just makes him look insincere. But the real consequences of the mistake will be felt soon enough. As Presidents Bush and Clinton could tell him, congressional majorities do change — and at some point, Obama will need Republicans on his side. He’d be smart to spend his second 100 days making up for the serious snubs of his first.”

— Sarah Palin is the governor of Alaska

18. “The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.” — Department of Homeland Security intelligence report

19. Nixes a “buy American” provision in the stimulus bill.

20. “Yes, Canada is not Mexico, it doesn’t have a drug war going on. Nonetheless, to the extent that terrorists have come into our country or suspected or known terrorists have entered our country across a border, it’s been across the Canadian border. There are real issues there.” — Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. The 9/11 hijackers did not come across the Canada border

21. “The Obama administration is signaling to Congress that the president could support taxing some employee health benefits, as several influential lawmakers and many economists favor, to help pay for overhauling the health care system. The proposal is politically problematic for President Obama, however, since it is similar to one he denounced in the presidential campaign as ‘the largest middle-class tax increase in history.’ ” — New York Times, 3/14


“During his historic inaugural speech, Barack Obama promised to usher in a transformational age where hope would replace fear, unity would overtake partisanship, and change would sweep aside the status quo. But early in President Obama’s first 100 days it is obvious that the only thing that is changing is the Candidate of Change, himself.

“The same politician who proclaimed during his inauguration that ‘on this day we have chosen hope over fear’ soon warned Americans that the US economy would be forever destroyed if the stimulus bill was voted down.

“Why was it that same man who promised to put Americans’ interests ahead of his own political ambitions chose instead to use the suffering of citizens to advance his agenda?

“Maybe he was following the guidance of Rahm Emanuel, who famously said, ‘You never want to waste a good crisis.’

“They didn’t.

“The White House’s warnings were so over-the-top that Bill Clinton felt compelled to warn the new president against making such grim pronouncements. Americans would quickly warn that the White House would not channel FDR’s eternal optimism but rather embrace the gloomy worldview of Edgar Allen Poe.

“The Candidate of Hope also quickly adopted the Nixonian worldview that Americans voted their fears rather than their hopes. Over Mr. Obama’s first 100 days, that cynical calculation paid off politically for a White House that seemed most interested in appeasing the most liberal members of his Democratic Party.

“I expected more from Barack Obama. For the sake of my country, I hope I get it from the new president over the next 100 days.”

— Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and author of “The Last Best Hope: Restoring Conservatism and America’s Promise” (Crown Forum), due out June 9.

23. Sanjay Gupta was in discussions to become Surgeon General, but the TV personality withdrew after he was criticized for his flimsy political record.

24. Rasmussen finds 58% of Americans believe the Obama administration’s release of CIA memos endangers the national security of the United States.

25. Only 28% think the Obama administration should do any further investigating of how the Bush administration treated terrorism suspects.

26. “Obama thanked CIA employees for their work and said they’re invaluable to national security. He explained his decision to release the memos, then told everyone not to feel bad because he was now acknowledging potential mistakes. Theirs, not his. ‘That’s how we learn,’ Obama said, as though soothing a room full of fourth-graders.” — The Oklahoman, 4/23

27. By releasing the torture memos, Obama opened American citizens up to international tribunals. A UN lawyer said the US is obliged to prosecute lawyers who drafted the memos or else violate the Geneva Conventions.

28. In their first meeting, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown gave Obama a carved ornamental penholder from the timbers of the anti-slavery ship HMS Gannet. Obama gave him 25 DVDs that don’t work in Europe.


“Richardson’s value in Obama’s Cabinet had everything to do with appearances. First, he was the Hispanic pick. Second, because Richardson had run against Obama for President, tapping him for the Cabinet helped the media write the Obama-Lincoln comparisons by burnishing the ‘Team of Rivals’ image.

“But Richardson withdrew before Obama was even inaugurated when news came out about a criminal investigation involving David Rubin, president of a firm named Chambers, Dunhill, Rubin & Co. (although there was no Chambers or Dunhill), who had donated at least $110,000 to Richardson’s campaign committees and had also profited from $1.5 million in contracts from the state government.

“This was an early warning sign about Obama’s vetting process (various tax problems and the Daschle problem would reveal this as a theme), but picking Richardson to run Commerce also highlighted that Obama and Richardson’s promise of ‘public-private partnerships’ — such as Detroit bailouts, Wall Street bailouts, and green energy–was an open door for corruption and was at odds with Obama’s promise to diminish the influence of lobbyists.

“The Richardson mistake was one of Obama’s first, and it was emblematic. Richardson embodied Obama’s attention to self-image and the problems inherent in his vision of an intimate business-government connection.”

— Tim Carney is a Washington Examiner columnist

30. Timothy Geithner nomination as Secretary of Treasury was almost torpedoed when it was discovered he had failed to pay $34,000 in Social Security and Medicare taxes. He also employed an illegal immigrant as a housekeeper. He was confirmed anyway.

31. . . . Not so lucky, Annette Nazareth, who was nominated for Deputy Treasury Secretary. She withdrew her name for undisclosed “personal reasons” after a monthlong probe into her taxes . . .

32. . . . or Caroline Atkinson, who withdrew as nominee for Undersecretary of International Affairs in Treasury Department, with a source blaming the long vetting process. Geithner still has a skeleton crew at Treasury, with no one qualified — or willing — to take jobs there.

33. “Barack Obama has been embroiled in a cronyism row after reports that he intends to make Louis Susman, one of his biggest fundraisers, the new US ambassador in London. The selection of Mr. Susman, a lawyer and banker from the president’s hometown of Chicago, rather than an experienced diplomat, raises new questions about Mr Obama’s commitment to the special relationship with Britain.” — Telegraph, 2/22

34. Obama’s doom-and-gloom comments and budget bill push the Dow below 7,000, from which it’s only recently recovered.

35. “You’re sitting here. And you’re — you are laughing. You are laughing about some of these problems. Are people going to look at this and say, ‘I mean, he’s sitting there just making jokes about money–‘ How do you deal with — I mean: Explain. Are you punch-drunk?” — Steve Kroft, “60 Minutes,” 3/22

Read the entire article from the New York Post: