Thursday, October 16, 2014

What the Hecht, Gazette?

Over the years, the Charleston Gazette and its staff have looked down their noses at the working-class journalists of West Virginia. I am amused by their self-righteousness. Their haughty tone reminds me of the emperor with no clothes; they are oblivious to their own errors and shortcomings.

Today, the Gazette went lower than it ever has in my 30+ years as a reader. The Gazette ran an op-ed attack on Alex Mooney, the Republican nominee for Congress who just moved to West Virginia last year. Hit pieces against candidates that the Gazette loathes are not new. They are expected each election. But my complaint about the piece was not what was in it -- but what was left out.

Sue Hecht: I served with Alex Mooney in Maryland Legislature,” read the headline.

Her tagline read simply: “Sue Hecht, now of Palm Coast, Fla., is a former member of the Maryland House of Delegates (District 3A).”

The Charleston Gazette did not reveal that she is a Democrat.

Or that Mooney beat her 55% to 45% in a state Senate race in 2002.

Those would be important things to know. But since they would undermine her credibility, the Charleston Gazette chose to deceive its readers.

And no, I had no contact with the Mooney campaign or anyone else about this glaring omission. I simply read the headline, Googled her name, and laughed aloud when I read her bio.

I hope every reader of the Gazette did the same.

Dudes, could you be a little less obvious the next time you try to con readers like that?

By the way, for any new readers, I am an editorial writer and columnist for the competing Charleston Daily Mail.

Gun control will stop Ebola

According to lefties, the inability of the federal government to keep Ebola out of the country does not stem from the gross mismanagement of billions of dollars in research money by the CDC and NIH -- nor is it the political correctness that allows flights to infected areas to continue to land here.

Nope. Lefties blame the NRA. The NRA is why we cannot have any nice things.

Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times wrote on Sunday:
The NRA has put the kibosh on Dr. Vivek Murthy, whom President Obama nominated to the post last November, after the resignation of Surgeon Gen. Regina Benjamin. The NRA’s complaint was that Murthy called guns “a health care issue” in a 2012 tweet. It’s worth noting that the tweet came out almost two months, to the day, before the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, in which Adam Lanza’s gunfire took the lives of 20 children and six adults. One might take Murthy’s comment as, if anything, a grotesque understatement.

The NRA’s position sealed the opposition to Murthy’s confirmation among Senate Republicans and red-state Democrats. The appointment has been hanging in limbo ever since. During his TV appearance Sunday, did McCain call for action on Murthy’s nomination? No. It never came up.

Can any rational person really disagree that guns are a healthcare issue? In the average year, nearly 32,000 people die from gunshots in the U.S. and another 75,000 are injured. Number of deaths from Ebola in the U.S.: one.

Sen. McCain’s home state of Arizona, where he says his constituents are “not comforted” about Ebola, boasts the eighth-highest rate of deaths by firearms in the nation, 14.6 per 100,000 residents. Number of Arizona deaths from Ebola, per 100,000: zero.

Arizona has no prohibitions on assault rifles, magazine capacities or open carry. It does, however, have Sen. McCain, to distract its residents from the real threats to their health by pointing them toward a pseudothreat.
Gun control.

That will stop Ebola.

The problem for lefties is the United States indeed has a surgeon general. Actually he’s an admiral. Nevertheless, Rear Admiral Boris D. Lushniak, M.D., M.P.H., is the Acting United States Surgeon General. Has been since July 17, 2013. Democrats and President Obama seem to be in no hurry to replace him.

Why should they be? According to his official biography, Admiral Lushniak is highly qualified for the largely bureaucratic job. He should be the Ebola Czar, but those duties were passed along to Francis Collins, the inept head of the NIH who blamed a slide in his budget for the lack of effort by NIH in developing a vaccine. Its budget increased 70% since 2000 -- a year before it began research on an Ebola vaccine.

The president’s nominee for surgeon general is Doctor Murthy, 33, who like the president has never run anything other than his mouth. Granted this is a mouthy position. Luther Terry used the position in 1964 to begin the war on tobacco and good for him. Then again, Joycelyn Elders lost the job by advocating masturbation. Didn’t Hugh Hefner already have that covered?

Here is how President Obama is playing it. If he cannot have a gun control freak as surgeon general, President Obama wants no one.

Except he already has one anyway.

That’s how the bureaucracy works.

But if NIH and CDC can bungle Ebola without the aid of a surgeon general, why bother having one?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Helping Mexican drug cartels

For years the Charleston Gazette has pushed a War on Decongestants, much to my amusement. Slapping a prescription on an over-the-counter remedy to stop meth is like restricting sugar purchases to stop moonshining.

But our moral and intellectual superiors have a hair up their inner sanctums on this. Liberals attach themselves to one -- and only one -- answer on every problem and demand that we fall in line. End of discussion. Their way or the highway.

A few legislators still bow to the Gazette, but on this one, lawmakers are saying take a hike. Get used to it Gazette. A Republican takeover of the House of Delegates is underway. 

Which is good because prescriptions won’t end meth use. It will just make the home brewers buy from the Mexican drug cartels. That’s what happened in Nebraska, according to the Omaha World-Herald:
One of Mexico’s most powerful drug cartels is now the main distributor of methamphetamine in Nebraska, federal law enforcement officials say.

The Sinaloa Cartel has built a sophisticated drug-trafficking operation in Omaha over the past five to eight years, according to the FBI.

Cartels increased their presence in Nebraska about the same time state officials effectively shut down local meth labs through laws limiting the sale of cold medicines, U.S. Attorney Deborah Gilg said.
And there is this.
Officials find, at most, 10 percent of the methamphetamine transported and distributed by cartels in Nebraska, FBI Supervisory Special Agent Kevin Hytrek estimated. The Sinaloa Cartel recently began warehousing large quantities of meth in the Omaha metro area, meaning cartels are storing meth in homes or buildings until they are ready to distribute it, either in Omaha or in other U.S. locations such as Chicago, said Michael Sanders, assistant special agent in charge for the DEA in Nebraska.
“The volumes (of meth) that we are seeing now are significantly more than what we were seeing three years ago,” Sanders said.
So not only has the crackdown on meth labs helped the Mexican drug cartels, it led to an increase in meth use.

Never trust a liberal.


Who’s to say the drug cartels haven’t bought them off? The cartels have money and Democrats have no scruples.

Radley Balko of the Washington Post was less cynical than me: “These results may have been unintended, but they certainly weren’t unpredictable. Other states that put heavy restrictions on cold medication have seen similar problems. The pseudoephedrine restrictions went national in 2006 when Congress snuck the provision into reauthorization of the Patriot Act. Within five years, we knew the law had little effect on the meth supply.”

Unintended? I don’t know. Gangs have licenses to deal in every city Democrats. Over time, coincidence seems less and less likely.

How NIH wasted Ebola money

I don't know how readers feel but I am angry with the government for squandering millions of dollars in medical research money on junk science.

The London Daily Mail reported:
The $30 billion U.S. National Institutes of Health blamed tightening federal budgets on Monday for its inability to produce an Ebola vaccine, but a review of its grant-making history in the last 10 years has turned up highly unusual research that redirected precious funds away from more conventional public health projects.
The projects included $2.4 million to develop 'origami' condoms designed with Japanese folding paper in mind, and $939,000 to find out that male fruit flies prefer to romance younger females because the girl-flies' hormone levels drop over time.
Other winners of NIH grants consumed $325,000 to learn that marriages are happier when wives calm down more quickly during arguments with their husbands, and $257,000 to make an online game as a companion to first lady Michelle Obama's White House garden. 
The agency also spent $117,000 in taxpayers' grant dollars to discover that most chimpanzees are right-handed. 
That's correct. Right-handed monkeys stole our Ebola research money. But that's not all.
A generous $610,000 paid for a 120-nation survey to determine how satisfied people in different countries are with their lives. 
A staggering $1.1 million funded research into how athletes perceive their in-game surroundings, including one Purdue University study that discovered golfers can putt 10 per cent better if they imagine the hole is bigger.
And $832,000 went to learn if it was possible to get uncircumcised South African tribesmen into the habit of washing their genitals after having sex.
And yet the Bonzo whom President Obama appointed to head NIH -- Francis Collins -- had the nerve to blame Congress for this squandering of research money on origami condoms: "NIH has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001. It's not like we suddenly woke up and thought, 'Oh my gosh, we should have something ready here.' Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would've gone through clinical trials and would have been ready."

I won't go into how the CDC spent $106 million on a visitors center complete with waterfalls. Different agency. Different set of indifferent bureaucrats.

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