Archive for the ‘“Intelligence”’ Category
The ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee took the Obama administration to task Friday for its “irresponsible” plan to allow as many as 100,000 Haitians to immigrate to the U.S. without a visa.
Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said the administration’s Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program — which will allow thousands of Haitians awaiting a U.S. visa to enter the country and legally apply for work permits — is “an irresponsible overreach of the executive branch’s authority.”
“Which countries are next on President Obama’s list?” Mr. Grassley said. “Will there by medical screenings before entry? Will work permits be granted automatically? How will this affect American workers?”
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the branch of the Department of Homeland Security that handles immigration benefits cases, announced Friday the program to unite Haitians already living in the U.S. with family members abroad will ramp up in 2015.
At that time the State Department’s National Visa Center will begin notifying families who may be eligible to take part in the program. Those immigrants will allowed to apply for work permits while waiting for issuance of their permanent visas.
The agency said the program will expedite “safe, legal and orderly migration.”
The selection of Democratic political operative Ron Klain as Ebola czar is the latest example of President Obama “surround[ing] himself with loyalists” rather than qualified officials to deal with the nation’s crises, says Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.).
“One would think, faced with the prospect of an epidemic, the president would task an expert in epidemiology not an expert in political spin,” Sessions said in a statement on Friday. “The American people can have zero confidence in Ron Klain’s competence to carry out this critical role.”
Klain’s Democratic ties run deep: He previously served as chief of staff to vice presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore, Gore’s general counsel on his recount committee in the 2000 election, and chief counsel during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s contentious confirmation hearings for conservative Supreme Court Justice nominee Clarence Thomas.
Sessions said the “danger” of Ebola spreading is “profound,” and called for a ban on travel from Ebola-stricken countries, as well as increased security on the Mexico–U.S. border if the disease breaks out in Latin American.
It’s no secret that liberal Democrats want to turn 11 to 15 million illegal aliens into US citizens and registered Democrats. Barack Obama has been on the verge of using his executive powers to override Congress and grant amnesty and open the road to citizenship for the millions of illegals. I believe his whole purpose is to undermine traditional American patriotism and to secure millions of votes for his fellow Democrats throughout the country.
Evidently, one Department of Homeland Security official in the extremely liberal land of nuts, fruits and flakes, otherwise known as California, has taken Obama’s agenda to a new level. Mai Nhu Nguyen, who immigrated to the US from Vietnam and became a naturalized citizen the legal way works for the DHS’s Citizenship and Immigration Services division.
Nguyen was, as one person put it, holding a fire sale on US citizenship. She was caught selling citizenship and legal residency status papers to illegals for thousands of dollars. In one instance, she sold a coveted ‘green card’ or paperwork indicating that a person had legal immigrant status to a Vietnamese person for $1,000.
The FBI worked with the DHS Inspector General’s office on the case and found that Nguyen, 48 years old solicited bribes from Vietnamese immigrants resulting in her abusing her power to approve or deny applications for immigration status and benefits.
To avoid a lot of publicity, which would be very bad for Obama and California Democrats, the case against Nguyen was kept quiet and she agreed to a plea deal that could land her up to three years in prison.
So why don’t we have an Ebola vaccine now?
“The main reason is that up until the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, it was not a very high priority,” says Dr. Myron Levine, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He’s been working on vaccines — including one for Ebola — for 44 years.
“With limited resources to test vaccines, et cetera, one always has to pick and choose what are the highest priorities.”
And when stacked against everyday threats like cancer and the flu, there wasn’t a financial incentive for pharmaceutical companies to put money into Ebola research. Dr. Anthony Fauci is the head of infectious diseases at the NIH.
“You have a company that says, ‘Let’s see, maybe I could make a pill that everybody takes every day, whatever it is, a lipid lowering agent, another kind of Viagra, what have you — they put a lot of money in to get that product, that wasn’t the case with Ebola,” Fauci says.
Top public health officials have collected $25 million in bonuses since 2007, carving out extra pay for themselves in tight federal budgetary times while blaming a lack of money for the Obama administration’s lackluster response to the Ebola outbreak.
U.S. taxpayers gave $6 billion in salaries and $25 million in bonuses to an elite corps of health care specialists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since 2007, according to data compiled by American Transparency’s OpenTheBooks.com, an online portal aggregating 1.3 billion lines of federal, state and local spending. The agency’s head count increased by 23 percent during that time, adding manpower and contributing to higher payrolls despite relatively flat funding.
From 2010 to 2013, all federal wages were frozen because of budgetary constraints, but CDC officials found a way to pay themselves through bonuses, overtime, within-grade increases and promotion pay raises.
Donald Shriber, deputy director of policy and communication at the CDC’s Center for Global Health, received the highest bonus in the six years analyzed — $62,895 in 2011 — netting $242,595 in take-home pay in a year when wages were supposed to be frozen.
Mr. Shriber was one of 54 employees governmentwide, and one of four in the Department of Health and Human Services, recognized with the Presidential Rank Award for his leadership abilities that year, which accounted for the bonus, said Donda Hansen, a media representative for the CDC.
The Centers for Disease Control told the incoming Obama administration in 2008 that it should establish 18 regional disease detection centers around the world to adequately safeguard the U.S. from emerging health threats like Ebola, according to an agency memo.
But six years later, as the government struggles to contain the fallout from a deadly Ebola outbreak at home and abroad, the CDC still has only 10 centers — and none of them operates in the western Africa region hardest hit by the deadly virus.
“The existing centers have already proven their effectiveness and impact on detecting and responding to outbreaks including avian influenza, aflatoxin poisoning, Rift Valley fever, Ebola and Marburg virus outbreaks,” the CDC said in its memo to the Obama transition team, which The Washington Times obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.
There had never been a case of Ebola in the U.S. until a few months ago. Since then, thousands of people have died of the disease in Africa, and millions upon millions of dollars have been spent treating Ebola patients in the U.S. who acquired it there, one of whom has died.
But the Obama administration refuses to impose a travel ban.
This summer, the U.S. government imposed a travel ban on Israel simply to pressure Prime Minister Netanyahu into accepting a ceasefire agreement. But we can’t put a travel restriction on countries where a contagious disease is raging.
It’s becoming increasingly clear this is just another platform for Obama to demonstrate that we are citizens of the world. The entire Ebola issue is being discussed — by our government, not the United Nations — as if Liberians are indistinguishable from Americans, and U.S. taxpayers should be willing to pay whatever it takes to save them.
Maybe we should give them the vote, too! If Ebola was concentrated in Finland and Norway — certainly Israel! — we’d have had a travel ban on Day One.
Naturally, Obama is sending troops from the 101st Airborne, the pride of our Army, to Liberia. Their general should resign in protest.
Quite obviously, the only way to protect Americans is to prevent Ebola from coming here in the first place. The problem isn’t that Ebola will leap across oceans to infect Americans; it’s that Obama doesn’t want to protect Americans.
At least he’s only putting expendable Americans on the frontlines of the Ebola epidemic — doctors, nurses, members of the 101st Airborne.
And don’t forget tracking overweight lesbians…
The federal government is spending more than $2 million to develop wearable insoles and buttons that can track a person’s weight in order to fight obesity.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded grants for two projects that will monitor “lifestyle behavior” through technologies that will encourage people to exercise more.
The first project, awarded to SmartMove, Inc., a company that provides physical activity “coaching solutions,” is creating insoles that will track a person’s weight.
“A single device that accurately monitors body weight, posture allocation, physical activity (i.e. movement), and energy expenditure would be an extremely useful tool for weight management,” the grant’s abstract states.
The insoles work with a mobile phone app that would show the user their weight and physical activity levels. A video shows a person using an early prototype in 2011 while walking around a fountain.
NIH “budget cuts.” Dr. Michael Rogers of Harvard Medical School/Children’s Hospital (Boston) follows up with a brief message providing a concise summary as well as a link to the authoritative CRS fact sheet setting forth a history of NIH funding (dated December 23, 2013):
Attached [at the link above] is a CRS analysis of the actual NIH budget for the last several years in inflation adjusted (real) dollars. It’s worth noting that after the Republican takeover in ’94, the NIH budget rose until the Dems took over Congress in 2006. The Pelosi/Reid Congress was the first to flatline the NIH budget in nominal dollars. If they’re not careful, someone might notice, take the Dems at their word that the decreasing NIH budget is the reason we don’t have Ebola drugs yet, and blame the Democrats.
He adds: “BTW, the increase in NIAID budget (which is congressionally determined) is a result of the post 9/11 anthrax scare.”
The president, who opened his 2013 speech at the University of Cape Town by saying, “Some of you may be aware of this, but I actually took my first step into political life because of South Africa,” is desperate to rebuilding his standing. He is trying to do so in foolish and dangerous ways.
Sending 4,000 American troops to the epicenter of the viral outbreak, to help build medical facilities and generally contribute manpower to the stricken and chaotic nations, can only end in tragedy. This is not what our troops signed up for.
At the same time, President Obama is refusing to cancel flights to the United States from the most stricken nations. Other nations’ airlines starting banning flights to and from Liberia, Sierra Leon and Guinea in August. By the end of that month more than one third of international flights to the region had been cancelled. Countries in the area, including South Africa and Senegal, closed their borders with their neighbors to help stem the spread of the disease. Chad closed its border with Nigeria after that nation saw an outbreak of the deadly disease.
Instead of banning the flights, the White House has TSA workers taking the temperatures of passengers arriving at five U.S. airports. The fact that people may carry the virus for as much as 21 days before displaying any symptoms – including fever – renders this effort half-baked at best.
In fact, the entire response to the Ebola outbreak by our government so far seems half-baked. Tom Frieden, head of the Center for Disease Control, recently wrote on his blog, “The U.S. health system has been preparing since late March” for the arrival of the Ebola virus on our shores. In light of the death of Thomas Duncan in Dallas and infection of one of his healthcare providers, many Americans are wondering: what exactly was the nature of those preparations?