Is Obama Politicizing Ebola?

by Keith Koffler on October 30, 2014, 12:24 pm

President Obama has chosen to make his policy points on Ebola by using the tactics he customarily employs during political campaigns - vilification and straw men – begging the question of whether he is using the Ebola crisis to buttress his own sorry standing with the American people and in the process help Democratic candidates who are being harmed by his tarnished image.

Granted, a White House so thoroughly politicized may not know how to talk in any tongue other than the language of confrontation.

But Obama’s approach to an issue on which he should be unifying the country stands out as particularly incongruous and can perhaps only be explained as a political effort. And the brutally sharp edge to his remarks likely is in part the handiwork of his Ebola coordinator, Ron Klain, who knows politics and not Ebola.

Obame Ebola East Room

Make no mistake, I think Obama is correct to oppose quarantining health workers when they return from Africa. I agree with his argument that quarantines will damage our ability to send workers there and defeat the Ebola outbreak before it gets here.

But Americans who disagree with me, and with him, have legitimate arguments and rational bases for their concerns that steps short of a quarantine may be an insufficient guarantee that health workers won’t come home and spread the virus. People with opposing views should not be attacked.

But that’s what Obama did during remarks at the White House Wednesday, accusing his opponents of descending into crazed state of fearfulness that he suggested was un-American.

From his speech, delivered surrounded by health care workers who had returned from West Africa:

We don’t run and hide when there’s a problem. Because we don’t react to our fears, but instead, we respond with commonsense and skill and courage. That’s the best of our history — not fear, not hysteria, not misinformation. We react clearly and firmly, even with others are losing their heads. That’s part of the reason why we’re effective. That’s part of the reason why people look to us . . .

America has never been defined by fear. We are defined by courage and passion and hope and selflessness and sacrifice . . .

So I put those on notice who think that we should hide from these problems. That’s not who we are. That’s not who I am. That’s not who these folks are. This is America. We do things differently.

Who, exactly, is being hysterical? Chris Christie? Who is providing misinformation? Why is Obama putting people “on notice?” Why the anger? This is standard Obama acerbic political speech, not remarks about health care.

And some of these men and women have recently returned; others are heading there shortly. But all of them have signed up to leave their homes and their loved ones to head straight into the heart of the Ebola epidemic . . .  And we need to call them what they are, which is American heroes. They deserve our gratitude, and they deserve to be treated with dignity and with respect.

Really? Do people who disagree with Obama on Ebola policies not think those who treat Ebola patients are heroes? Only Obama does?

Note the self-promotion in these next comments, Obama’s implicit claim that he is a steady leader while others are losing their heads and “hiding under the covers.”

When I hear people talking about American leadership, and then are promoting policies that would avoid leadership and have us running in the opposite direction and hiding under the covers, it makes me a little frustrated . . .

And it’s . . . our ability to learn from mistakes that are made, and our ability to work through problems that are really complicated, and to see something through, and not lose our heads; to have grace under pressure and apply ourselves with slow, steady effort — the kind that change and progress requires.

I think the only people losing their heads are the victims of ISIS, the Islamist terrorist organization that metastasized in part due to a failure of leadership from Obama.

The president should promote his point of view. But politicizing it in the heat of campaign season, as he appears to be doing, is a disgrace.

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Does New Jersey Play in Iowa?

by Keith Koffler on October 30, 2014, 10:11 am

Here’s some video of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie telling a heckler to “sit down and shut up.”

Now, where I come from – New York City, originally – this what’s known as “polite conversation.” But will Christie’s directness play when he gets out in the rest of the country to campaign for president? It’s hard from me to judge. What do you think?

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Economy Grows at a Robust Pace in the Third Quarter

by Keith Koffler on October 30, 2014, 9:56 am

The U.S. economy expanded at a robust 3.5 percent rate in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said today, but poor wage growth and a global slowdown still dog the recovery.

The increase, which was broad-based and beat expectations, follows a GDP growth rate of 4.6 percent in the second quarter and a decline of 2.1 percent in the first.

The White House used the poor performance around the rest of the world to tout its own performance. “Since the financial crisis, the U.S. economy has bounced back more strongly than most others around the world, and the recent data highlight that the United States is continuing to lead the global recovery,” said Council of Economic Advisors Chairman Jason Furman.

But the worldwide economic slowdown could bring the United States economy back down. And, that the White House is still talking about a “recovery” six years after the recession ended suggests the failure of President Obama’s economic policies.

What’s more, wages continue to just barely outpace inflation, meaning most Americans are gaining little to nothing back from the losses they incurred during the recession.

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GOP GOTV Humor

by Keith Koffler on October 30, 2014, 9:38 am

This is just out. RNC appears to have a sense of humor.

Conservatives have a better sense of humor than lefties. They take themselves less seriously. And the Left always thinks the world is about to end.

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The Obama Morning News || October 30, 2014

by Keith Koffler on October 30, 2014, 9:31 am

White House tries to walk back “chickenshit” . . . The White House on Wednesday sought to tamp down the controversy over a magazine piece that detailed deep tensions between the U.S. and Israel – and quoted an unnamed senior Obama administration official calling the Israeli leader a “chickenshit.”  Administration officials did not deny the quote. They also did not signal there would be any robust effort to find out who said it. But the asserted the criticism does not reflect how the rest of the administration views Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Fox News

Boehner blasts remark . . . House Speaker John Boehner lashed out at the Obama administration for reports that a senior official described Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “chickenshit,” while another unnamed official described him as a “coward.” Boehner said the comments suggesting Netanyahu is more concerned about his political self-interest than forging peace in the Middle East could threaten America’s relationship with Israel and the long-term security of the region. Newsmax

Jewish leader demands apology . . . Rabbi Marvin Hier, the founder and Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, has called on President Obama to “name, apologize for, and repudiate” the anonymous official quoted in an Atlantic Magazine article describing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “chickenshit.” Fox News

Activists fear Obama to scale back legalization . . . Immigration activists close to the White House worry that President Barack Obama could delay or scale back executive actions on immigration that he has promised to take before the year ends. Reuters

Obama scores Ebola policy opponents . . . A visibly agitated President Obama on Wednesday ripped into critics of the U.S. response to the Ebola virus, insisting that his administration was leading the charge to “snuff out” the deadly disease. “When I hear people talking about American leadership and then are promoting policies that would avoid leadership … [and have us] hiding under the covers, it makes me a little frustrated,” the president said, joined by healthcare workers who treated the disease in West Africa, including American Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly. Examiner

Labor secretary likes 12-months of paid leave . . . Labor Secretary Tom Perez on Wednesday praised Germany’s policy of giving new parents a full year of paid time off from work, and suggested the U.S. should adopt similar policies. The Blaze

Holder’s one regret: targeting Rosen . . . Attorney General Eric Holder says he has one regret: his department’s court order for Fox News reporter James Rosen’s emails labeling him a criminal “co-conspirator.” Fox News

For more of today’s news each morning, subscribe to REDLINE.

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Obama Schedule || Thursday, October 30, 2014

by Keith Koffler on October 29, 2014, 10:51 pm

10:00 am || Receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
2:15 pm || Departs White House
3:55 pm || Arrives Portland, Maine
4:30 pm || Attends a DNC fundraiser; Private Residence, Cape Elizabeth, Maine
6:40 pm || Delivers remarks at a campaign event for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud and other Maine Democrats; Portland Expo, Portland, Maine
7:40 pm || Departs Maine
8:35 pm || Arrives Warwick, Rhode Island

All times Eastern

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Live Stream || Obama Speaks to Health Workers About Ebola

by Keith Koffler on October 29, 2014, 3:01 pm

The event has concluded.

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Who is Going to Investigate Biden’s Boondoggle?

October 29, 2014

Vice President Biden, Jill Biden, and 11 family members had a grand vacation this summer at a lodge in the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. They spent four nights there in August, presumably doing what you do at national parks – hiking, fishing, canoeing, bothering wildlife, and taking in the marvelous views. And until […]

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Live Stream || White House Briefing – October 29, 2014

October 29, 2014

The briefing has concluded. Don’t forget to share

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Obama’s Sushi Roundtable

October 29, 2014

The battler-in-chief for the middle class decided Tuesday to hold a DNC fundraiser at an expensive sushi restaurant in downtown Milwaukee. Because, I guess when you’re golfing every week, you long ago stopped caring about appearances. At least, I assume it’s expensive. The menu on the website for the restaurant, Umami Moto, doesn’t list prices, […]

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Obama: “Only Vote Once – this isn’t Chicago”

October 29, 2014

President Obama Tuesday made a humorous, inadvertent little reference to the corrupt Chicago political machine that helped produce him. From remarks at a rally in Milwaukee for Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke: One week, Wisconsin. One week. One week from today you get to choose a new governor. And because early voting runs through this […]

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Crowd Walks Out on Obama – Again

October 29, 2014

Oh boy. The thrill is gone. The party’s over. And the bloom is off the rose. Like they did last week in Marlyand, listeners at an Obama rally Tuesday began to filter out before The One had even finished. This time it was during an event for Wisconsin Democratic candidate for governor Mary Burke. B.B. […]

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