Monday, October 20, 2014

Cluelesston Gazette

After 141 years of publication the editorial board of the Charleston Gazette still doesn’t get West Virginians. Board members have not one clue.

In other words, it’s the epitome of modern newspaper journalism.

From its editorial page today: “Campaign signs of Republican Steve Thaxton, seeking to represent the 36th District in the House of Delegates, display a Christian cross and boast ‘Pro-life, pro-coal, pro-gun.’ We wonder if any other state has Christians-for-guns politicians. Oddly, many West Virginia Democrats fit his GOP agenda.”

That is a stunning admission that its writers wonder what life is like in the very state they live in. The Gazette staff often comes off as anthropology professors on a year's sabbatical in Appalachia. But what does one expect from people who largely live in South Hills and associate only with others who are anti-life, anti-gun atheists and view with disdain the rest of us in the hinterlands.

(For the record, editorial writer Jim Haught lives in a gated community in Cross Lanes, but it is the same South Hillyard mentality.)

Oh yes, the staff indeed refers to areas outside South Hills as “the hinterlands.” Phil Kabler wrote in 2011 of the efforts state Senator Brooks McCabe to be elected Senate president: “For McCabe, he faced the additional burden of the old anti-Charleston and Kanawha County bugaboo, prevalent among many legislators from the hinterlands.”

Phil Kabler in 2011 also applied the word in discussing congressional redistricting: “Likewise, it’s logical to presume that citizens in fast-growing Berkeley County have more common interests with citizens in fast-growing Monongalia County, than they do with the hinterlands of Wirt, Calhoun or Clay counties with whom they currently share the 2nd District.”

Of course, Mister Kabler merely followed the lead of the editorial board, which argued against carving up the 7-member legislative district dominated by South Hills in a weird editorial on July 19, 2011, entitled “Redistricting: Why Balkanize?”

That’s right, West Virginia is Bosnia-Herzegovina in the eyes of the people who run the Charleston Gazette. The editorial began:
Should Nitro have its own delegate in the Legislature, working for just one town’s interest? Should St. Albans? And Loudendale-Alum Creek? And Dunbar-Spring Hill? And Charleston’s West Side? And Kanawha City? And East Bank-Cedar Grove? And Clendenin-Elkview? And Sissonville?

Should Kanawha County be Balkanized into a patchwork of 10 or 11 domains for the House of Delegates, each self-interested, not representing wider interests of the county?

This is the heart of the “single-member district” battle as the Legislature struggles to redraw boundaries to fit new population figures of the 2010 census. Republicans are pushing for stand-alone House districts. Apparently the GOP thinks it will win more posts if each enclave gets to elect its own lawmaker. Small and rural places tend to be conservative. A few Democrats also back the clamor for 100 separate districts statewide.

But we hope that cool heads prevail, not selfish interests. We hope lawmakers retain the current system in which the best leaders, chosen from a wide region, represent Kanawha.

The Legislature has numerous experienced figures who have spent years learning the technical tangles of government and budgeting. It will be a shame if many of them are squeezed out by boundary changes, and are replaced by far-right, inexperienced newcomers from towns and hinterlands.
By dismissing the majority of its audience as mouth-breathers living in the hinterlands, the Charleston Gazette editorial board is a paragon of modern newspaper journalism. The once honorable trade has become a lower-echelon profession.

HGTV election

So far this year, pundits have tried to cast this campaign as a battle between Starbucks and Chick-fil-A (conservatives boycotted Starbucks, liberals Chick-fil-A) or Target and Walmart. I suppose, but where do we Tudor's eating, Dollar General buying voters go? (There's actual a site on Tudor's nutrition. Ho ho ho. No one who ever ate at Tudor's cares.)

But when it comes to determining what this election is about, I turn to the words of wisdom of the philosopher J. Giels, who once sang, first I look at the purse. (This is why when they ask the Ginger-or-Mary Ann question, I answer Mrs. Howell. She's loaded. Turns out in real life, so was the actress who played her.)

Looking at the purse we find out where the battle for the 2014 midterms elections is being played on HGTV, a network that I flip through on my way to USA (love "Modern Family," surprisingly the most conservative network comedy). All I know about HGTV is they flip a lot of houses and occasionally someone plants something.

So imagine my surprise when I discovered that it is No. 4 in cable political ads this season, behind Fox News, CNN and ESPN.

And it is the second-most evenly divided cable battleground with Democrats buying 51.75% and Republicans buying 48.25% of its political spots. (FX is slightly closer with a Republican buy of 51.52%, Democrat 48.41%, independents the rest.)

It is No. 3 in Republican buys behind Fox News and ESPN. It is No. 3 for Democrats behind CNN and USA (barely).

Now the No. 1 and No. 2 buys for Republicans and Democrats are to gin up the base. Based on cable ads, Republicans should be way ahead with 43,755 political spots bought on Fox News alone. That's double the spots Democrats bought on their No. 1 station (CNN).

But while Fox News is red and CNN blue, HGTV is purple. ESPN is slightly red with Republicans buying 17,532 spots, Democrats 13,003.

So what is up with HGTV? Why is it the cable battleground of choice for the two parties?


The audience is loaded.

According to HGTV, 43% of its viewers live in a household with an income of $100,000 a year or more and it is No. 1 in "upscale adults 25 to 54."

That makes sense. Who else can afford to flip houses? (Which reminds me, "Modern Family" had a hilarious episode about flipping houses).

You know who is at the bottom of the list of audience by income? WE. It did not even make the list of the top 30 political spots sold. Guess that tells you who matters in politics. Which is why first, I look at the purse.

The stats are courtesy of Echelon Insights.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Myth of no gay agenda

On Wednesday, the federal court struck down Idaho's constitutional amendment that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman only. Within 48 hours, two chaplains sought a restraining order to prevent the government from ordering them to perform gay marriages.

Now what was this guff about there being no gay agenda?

Frankly, I have no problem with two men -- or two women -- marrying one another. Their business, not mine. It's not really the state's business either. My religious view is marriage is between three people: A man, a woman and God.

But for 124 years, Idahoans got along fine without gay marriage. Rather then go through the process of legislating gay marriage -- which many conservatives such as me an Dick Cheney would support-- liberals litigated it. The people can repeal laws and even constitutional amendments. But U.S. Supreme Court rulings stand until the end of the Earth even if the decisions ignore the Constitution. See Plessy v. Ferguson, which kept black Americans as second-class citizens despite the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments.

The Idaho case is whether Donald and Evelyn Knapp, ordained ministers, must perform gay marriages at their The Hitching Post chapel in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The city has a gay rights ordinance. But both the state and the federal governments have religious freedom statutes that protect a business owner from having to violate his religion. This was the crux of the Hobby Lobby decision. The Knapps sought a court order to keep the city from forcing them to go against their religion.

From the Spokesman-Review on Friday:
The owners of the Hitching Post wedding chapel filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Coeur d’Alene Friday, claiming that the city is unconstitutionally forcing them to violate their religious beliefs by performing same-sex marriages.
Owners Donald and Evelyn Knapp say in the lawsuit that they believe marriage is a sacred covenant between a man and a woman.
“Performing same-sex wedding ceremonies would thus force the Knapps to condone, promote and even consecrate something forbidden by their religious beliefs and ordination vows,” the suit reads.
The city passed an ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in 2013. It applies to housing, employment and “public accommodation.” Religious entities are exempt from the ordinance. But in May city attorney Warren Wilson told The Spokesman-Review that The Hitching Post, which is a for-profit business, likely would be required to follow the ordinance.
According to the lawsuit, a man called the business Friday to ask about a same-sex wedding ceremony and was turned down. The Knapps are now asking for a temporary restraining order against the city to stop it from enforcing the ordinance. Violation of the ordinance is a misdemeanor punishable by fines and jail time.
“The Knapps are thus under a constant, coercive and substantial threat to violate their religious beliefs due to the risk that they will incur the penalties of jail time and criminal fines for declining to speak a message and perform a wedding service that contradicts their religious beliefs and ministerial vows,” the suit reads.
When reached by phone late Friday afternoon, Coeur d’Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer said he was not aware of the lawsuit and had no comment.
Wonder if any Islamic mosques will be forced to perform such ceremonies.

This is not about gay marriage -- or gay rights. It is an attempt by socialists to eliminate religion from our lives. Government sees religion as a competitor. Jesus posed a threat to Rome simply by telling people there was a life after death. That's revolutionary because it liberates people from having to think only of themselves in the moment. No God, no morality and the government does as it pleases. When God enters the room, He changes the game.

Gay marriage was the means, not the end. The purpose is to strip any meaning from religion. That their chapel is "for profit" -- a loaded term journalists should avoid -- is inconsequential. Newspapers are for profit but that does not diminish their First Amendment rights to a free press.

This battle, by the way, will never end. Liberals do not see victory as an end of a battle. We still have an equal pay argument 51 years after it became law. We still argue civil rights 50 years after it became law. We still argue abortion 41 years after it became "law."

Why believe the NAACP?

More than two months after all hell broke loose in Ferguson, Missouri, we finally find out what happened -- why Police Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown. While Brown was unarmed and a teenager, he was far from an innocent black kid shot and killed randomly by the police. He was a big dude who had just threatened and shoved the owner of a convenience store and walked out without paying. He and a friend then walked down the street the middle of the street, snarling traffic. Confronted by a police officer, Michael Brown attacked the officer.

From the Associated Press:
The police officer who fatally shot an unarmed 18-year-old in a St. Louis suburb last summer has told investigators that he was pinned in his vehicle and in fear for his life as they struggled over his gun, The New York Times reported.
Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson has told authorities that Michael Brown reached for the gun during a scuffle, the Times reported in a story posted on its website Friday night. The officer's account to authorities did not explain why he fired at Brown multiple times after emerging from his vehicle, according to the newspaper.
The Times reported that the account of Wilson's version of events came from government officials briefed on the federal civil rights investigation into the Aug. 9 shooting that sparked racial unrest and weeks of protests, some of which turned violent. Wilson is white and Brown black.
Wilson confronted Brown and a friend while they were walking back to Brown's home from a convenience store. After the shooting, Brown died at the scene. Some witnesses have told authorities and news media that Brown had his hands raised when Wilson approached with his weapon and fired repeatedly. An independent autopsy commissioned by the family says that Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head.
The Times reported that Wilson has told investigators that he was trying to leave his SUV when Brown pushed him back in and that once inside the vehicle the two began to fight. Wilson told authorities that Brown punched and scratched him repeatedly, leaving swelling on his face and cuts on his neck, the Times reported.
That's a such far cry from the NAACP version of events that the organization should lose all credibility. Nor is this the first incident of inciting racial tension by lying -- Tawana Brawley, Crystal Magnum and Trayvon Martin pop into the head first.

But we live in a country where liberal groups are always right and the police always wrong.

Yes, there are incidents where police are wrong. They should be punished and if the wrong reaches the level of criminality, prosecuted.

But until there is a penalty for lying about such incidents, expect more false reports by the NAACP, which the media refuses to hold accountable.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Obama to sue Ebola

Well, I have a head cold and a fever. Must be a cold because I ain't puking or crapping myself. How's that go again? Feed a cold, starve a fever? No, that does not sound right. Starve a cold, feed a fever. No, that doesn't sound right, either.

Screw it. I declare this a bourbon and Benadryl weekend. Three fingers of the first, one of the latter.

On to Ebola which is the thing this week that is going to kill us all. President Obama is taking this so serious, he appointed a lawyer to head the Ebola battle.

Yes, Ebola. I'll see you in court. Fear my deposition.

I get that Obama is a dipshit who no longer could lead a high school to a pot farm. But really, the media is pushing fear itself instead of just reporting the news. (4,000 deaths in Africa? Out of 1.1 billion people.)

So I made up a little chart.

This does not mean we should not hold this idiot presidency accountable for letting Ebola in. This FUBAR's only question is who should be fired first: The CDC or the NIH?

Still, I get a queasy feeling the bungling may have a more serious consequence.

Glenn Reynolds posted this:
JERRY POURNELLE: A New Ebola Czar; Military deploys to plague zone. Competence in government. “God protects fools, drunks, and the United States of America. Of course we were a much more devout nation when Bismarck made that observation.”
Plus: “The rest of the article is worth your time. Five of the 58 medical professionals involved in the Science Magazine study died of Ebola before the paper was published. . . . Nine Doctors Without Borders physicians, all equipped with the best of isolation and prophylactic gear, have died of Ebola. Of the physicians and nurses who have died of Ebola in this epidemic, most (more than 60%) had what was considered more than adequate protective gear and were instructed in its use. The US Military being sent into the plague zone have had four hours of instruction.”
My head says, well, we can expect over 50,000 Americans to die of flu or pneumonia this year.

My gut says it could be more may die of Ebola.

Or not.

It's the unknown that is what upsets me.

Somebody sent me this. It's a Photoshop but emblematic of the problem: the president.

I wish Bush were still president. He took the job seriously.

I tell myself out loud that all is fine. I don't feel that way inside. It may just be the cold. I hope so.

Friday, October 17, 2014

NBC legal expert gets Stand Your Ground wrong

Today’s media moron is not the twit who tweeted "Not sure when Senator Rand Paul became a doctor,” mocking his advice not to let Ebola patients sneeze within three feet of you. The answer of course is 1988 when Duke awarded him his M.D.

No, I don’t mess with guppies. I hunt sharks.

Gloria Allred’s kid, Lisa Bloom, 53, “is a television legal analyst on CBS News, CNN, HLN and MSNBC, who also appears on The Early Show, The Insider, Dr. Phil, Dr. Drew, The Situation Room, Reliable Sources, The Joy Behar Show and Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell,“ according to Wikipedia.

Her bio at Huffington Post lists her as a legal analyst for NBC. On April 23, Miss Bloom posted a lengthy article, “4 Reasons Why Stand Your Ground Made a Difference in the Michael Dunn Trial.“

Michael Dunn stood trial at the time for shooting and killing Jordan Davis, 17, over loud music.

Miss Bloom wrote:
I’m shocked that some commentators are claiming that Florida’s Stand Your Ground law was not relevant to the recent outcome of the Michael Dunn “loud music” murder trial (which I prefer to call “another suspicious white man shooting an unarmed black kid” trial). Stand Your Ground was very much a part of both the Dunn trial as well as the George Zimmerman case. In both, defense attorneys opted not to have a pretrial hearing that might have exonerated their clients based on Stand Your Ground. However, that’s only one part of the law. Stand Your Ground went on to play a part in both trials and contributed to unjust outcomes in both cases.
Her four reasons:
1. The judge directly told the jury Michael Dunn had the right to stand his ground.

2. The jurors who wanted to convict Dunn did not have the pre-Stand Your Ground jury instruction to support their position, though they were arguing its logic.

3. Dunn’s defense attorney explicitly argued Stand Your Ground at trial.

4. Stand Your Ground is a well-known, highly publicized law in Florida that contributes to a swaggering “shoot first” mentality.
She ended her piece: “We do not yet have a conviction for the killing of Jordan Davis. The very least we can do is be honest about the law that stands in the way of accountability for his killing.“

Six months later, we do indeed know the outcome of the trial.

From the Associated Press:
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A Florida man convicted of first-degree murder for fatally shooting a teenager in an argument over loud music outside a Jacksonville convenience store was sentenced Friday to life in prison without parole.

The life sentence imposed by Circuit Judge Russell Healey was mandatory for 47-year-old Michael Dunn after prosecutors decided not to seek the death penalty.

“Mr. Dunn, your life is effectively over,” Healey said. “What is sad, is that this case exemplifies that our society seems to have lost its way.”

Dunn was convicted of first-degree murder at a second trial in September after jurors deadlocked on the charge at his initial trial in February. Prosecutors say Dunn, who is white, fired 10 times into a sport utility vehicle carrying black teenagers in November 2012 and killed 17-year-old Jordan Davis of Marietta, Georgia.
I have no idea why anyone would hire this clown Lisa Bloom to do anything more than water the plants.

Good news from Newsweek

Never follow the polls. Follow the pols. On September 9, I boldly predicted a Republican net gain of 10 seats in the U.S. Senate.

After reading a Newsweek article, which I shall discuss later, I see no reason to alter my prediction.

Let's look at the pols. The Democrats are fleeing President Obama whose popularity is sliding into Nixon/LBJ territory. Among whites he is likely below the 36th and 37th presidents.

Democratic candidates can run, but they cannot hide. In fact, their running from their leader makes them look untrustworthy and disloyal.

My original forecast was based on Democrats going Judas on the president, whom I also expected would tangle himself up on some big issue.

In fact, Obama is doing worse than I expected despite an apologetic press corps. The press stopped paying attention of the border collapse in favor of the Islamist State, a safer subject for the president, which gave way to Ebola. The sum total voters now see is a president with three Katrinas he cannot handle.

And still he golfs.

Back when I first publicly said 10, Real Clear Politics had it a gain of 7, but would slide to 6 -- the minimum needed to control the Senate -- and then 5 which would keep Harry Reid as Senate leader.

But as early voting began this week, Real Clear Politics upped it to an 8-seat gain of Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia.

However, New Hampshire and North Carolina seem winnable, but once long shots Michigan and Minnesota are unwinnable.

While Kansas is close, Real Clear Politics ceded it to incumbent Republican Pat Roberts.

It is getting pretty ugly out there.

Democrats have vacated Kentucky. Liberal newspapers in Colorado are backing the Republican. And Michelle Obama is so slow that she cannot pronounce the Iowa candidate’s name she was stumping for.

Which brings me to Newsweek, where Matthew Cooper penned an epic, “It’s Neck and Neck in the Bellwether State of New Hampshire."
New Hampshire illuminates the vicissitudes of this election: Republicans are gleeful about linking Democrats to Obama, even in a state he won twice, albeit losing to Hillary Clinton in its Democratic primary. Like the rest of the country, it’s a money swamp for shadowy interest groups to throw dollars around, including outfits largely funded by the Koch brothers. (They’ve run TV spots up against one congresswoman: “Tell Ann Kuster ObamaCare isn’t working for New Hampshire.”) And it’s a forum for half-truths and absurdities. (The Senate race has been thick with claims about who missed which Senate hearings, as if attendance were a measure of greatness.)

New Hampshire also shows why it’s so hard to make generalizations about which party will capture the closely divided Senate this fall. It’s a cliché that all politics is local, but it’s a cliché for a reason. The deep roots of some candidates will have as much to do with victory as ad buys or Barack Obama. That’s surely true in the Senate race, where Scott Brown, the Republican, recently changed his residence to run here after losing his seat as a senator from Massachusetts in 2012. He may overcome the charge that he’s treating New Hampshire as a consolation prize.

The Senate race, in which Brown is challenging Jeanne Shaheen, who served three terms as governor and now wants a second six-year stint in Washington, is one of the most closely watched in the country. Shaheen has pretty consistently held a lead, but it’s narrowed considerably. Part of that is due to Brown constantly linking her to Obama. And Brown, who served more than three decades in the Massachusetts National Guard, has played up national security and the threat posed by the Islamic State, better known as ISIS: Shaheen, he says, “supports America’s failed foreign policy.”
So if a liberal rag like Newsweek says it is neck-to-neck in New Hampshire, Scott Brown likely has a better than 50/50 shot.


Here’s the punchline: The reporter is married to an ad writer for Scott Brown’s opponent.

Vote early and often. It ain’t over. But the fat lady is squeezing into her costume. Keep the faith.

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.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Vox preposterous

Ezra Klein rode the Internet to stardom in his 20s, arriving just as blogging took off. He wound up a star at the Washington Post. He did gigs at MSNBC.

Then as he was about to turn 30, Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post and canned him. Considering Bezos started Amazon, perhaps he was not as in awe of Klein’s “innertube” skills or traffic.

So now Klein is at Vox Media, along with other exPostriates Melissa Bell, Matthew Yglesias, and Dylan Matthews.

Why liberals hate the disabled

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