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4/27/2009
US DECLARES HEALTH EMERGENCY WHILE OBAMA GOLFS

The Obama administration has declared a public health emergency as a result of the increasing number of Swine Flu cases being reported around the country and the danger that the virus could become a pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Democrats are blaming Republicans. And the president went golfing.

For those of us who are somewhat rational and take reality seriously, we might ask how in the name of all that is good and holy can the Democrats blame Republicans?

Because no Republicans voted for the president’s stimulus bill which, as Don Surber of the Daily Mail blog explains, contained $900 million for flu preparedness:

Actually, Republicans voted against the entire spending bill, which was 874.44 times as large as that single appropriation.

If we follow this silly Democratic talking point, then for every dollar spent on fighting swine flu will cost taxpayers $874.44 using Nichols example.

What is more, Republicans were right. An emergency appropriation could be made after the fact - as we do every disaster be it hurricanes, tornadoes or blizzards. Is he saying by not appropriating money for these certain disasters that Democrats favor hurricanes, tornadoes and blizzards?

Nichols is just mouthing the White House words.

Indeed. This tactic is being used to cover up the gross negligence of the White House in failing to name people to posts who are desperately needed to deal with this crisis.

No Secretary of HHS, no head of the CDC, no Surgeon General - whoops.

But as Fox News.com reports, our president left the crisis in the capable hands of his Homeland Security Secretary while he went golfing. Janet Napolatino may not know anything about her job, but  unlike the president, at least she was on the job Sunday:

President Obama went golfing and the Department of Health and Human Services is short a secretary, so other U.S. officials took the controls Sunday as the Obama administration ramps up efforts to find and isolate U.S. cases of swine flu.During a White House briefing, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that HHS will issue a public health emergency warning that will free up resources to address the outbreak that has hit 20 Americans in five states.

Richard Besser, acting head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the agency is prepared to move millions of doses of the U.S. anti-virus stockpile to areas of early and potential outbreaks.

Besser said the flu’s spread is in its early stages and the current situation is “extremely unpredictable.” He said the government will provide “daily” updates on the number of confirmed cases and provide advice and intervene at the local level as conditions warrant.

Bad enough he’s playing golf but does he have to look this dorky while doing it?

Our “hip” president looks decidedly “suburban” in this picture. I guess they couldn’t find a hat big enough to cover the ears.

Glad he’s having a good time. Meanwhile, he’s running half a government with the two biggest crisis - the economic crisis and now a health crisis - taking place as the departments he needs to deal with them - Treasury and HHS - understaffed and directionless.

Meanwhile, none of this is getting in the way of preparations to celebrate the president’s 100 days in office. As Ben Pershing notes in the Washington Post blog Rundown, the flu news will put something in a crimp in Obama’s self-congratulatory orgy:

Even for presidents, the best-laid plans can sometimes go awry. So as Wednesday’s 100-day milestone approaches, watch closely to see whether the White House’s carefully choreographed effort to tout the administration’s accomplishments and lay the groundwork for more big-ticker initiatives is instead overshadowed by a public health crisis. Swine flu has dominated headlines for the last two days, presenting President Obama with an unexpected challenge. The U.S. has declared a “public health emergency,” though Janet Napolitano yesterday cautioned, “That sounds more severe than really it is.” Administration officials did say they expect many more casesprime-time press conference could end up being dominated by flu talk, which is certainly not how the White House drew it up.
of the flu to be discovered in the coming days, which ensures that the focus on this crisis will only grow as the week progresses. Is there anything Obama can or should be doing to address the crisis that he isn’t already? It doesn’t appear so, but it does appear that his Wednesday

Too bad. I was so looking forward to The One ticking off his list of “accomplishments” on Wednesday. Now those mean old reporters are going to ask questions like, “Mr. President. Are we ready for this crisis considering the fact that most of the people you should be depending on in this situation haven’t even been nominated yet?”

I don’t think even TOTUS could get him off the hook on that one.

By: Rick Moran at 11:20 am
25 Responses to “US DECLARES HEALTH EMERGENCY WHILE OBAMA GOLFS”
  1. 1
    Derrick Said:
    11:32 am 

    Rick,

    No mention of the fact that the reason we don’t have an HHS secretary is because Republicans are obstructing a vote because they believe Seblieus likes to eat babies or something.

  2. 2
    michael reynolds Said:
    11:43 am 

    Derrick:

    Yeah, that’s kind of a big hole in brother Rick’s rant.

    On the other hand, blaming Susan Collins for stripping money that, even if appropriated, would have had zero effect on this current situation is dumb.

    As is complaining that the POTUS is golfing as opposed to running around freaking out over a few dozen cases of flu.

    It’s a big heaping pile of dumb all around. How about we all learn from the last half dozen health freak outs and wait until we have actual data? Right now it’s not exactly looking like the Black Plague.

  3. 3
    jambrowski Said:
    12:23 pm 

    maybe, maybe, maybe, smoke, mirrors, redirect, redirect, y’all got it down, how ’bout if she had paid her friggin taxes and was not so eager to vote yes on every single abortion measure before her (fyi, her name is spelled Sebelius)…
    hmmm, if y’all vote with your conscience it is called reason, if conservatives vote with theirs it is illogical…
    how ’bout this, get bent…

  4. 4
    William Teach Said:
    12:32 pm 

    Derrick, perhaps Obama, who said ad nausea that he was going to be post-partisan, could nominate someone a little more mainstream, rather then someone who is actually to the left of Diane Fienstein when it comes to abortion on demand. So, don’t lay the blame for that at our feet. Obama had 2 1/2 months after his election to get his team together, and, instead, he went on a long vacation. He went on his Blame America ‘09 world tour instead of getting a team together. You folks on the left wanted the White House, you got it. Now, man up and take responsibility for what is going on, instead of sounding like 4 year olds blaming the broken lamp on “Not Me.”

  5. 5
    michael reynolds Said:
    12:41 pm 

    William:

    See, here’s the thing: we won the election. You lost.

    So how about Obama gets the cabinet members he wants, unless you have some evidence of wrongdoing.

    Then, in the unlikely event that your side ever wins another election, the Republican president can get to choose his own cabinet.

    See how that would work?

    Holy Chirst Michael - and anyone else making the incredibly lame excuse that the GOP is somehow “obstructing” anything.

    In this case, there are a handful of dem senators who are joining the Republicans on this one.

    And how about a permanent head of CDC? Or someone besides a TV talking head as Surgeon General. Or any one of the other 17 positions he hasn’t filled at HHS?

    Face it, your man is far behind the curve at both treasury and HHS. He is dropping the ball and only a partisan hack would deny it.

    ed.

  6. 6
    Ad rem Said:
    1:34 pm 

    MICHAEL REYNOLDS=PARTISAN HACK

    Why…there it is for all to see!

  7. 7
    michael reynolds Said:
    1:56 pm 

    Rick:

    Your first post warns AGAINST silly attempts to exploit this flu.

    Your second post IS an attempt to exploit this flu.

    And I’m the problem? Your problem is that you earn a living feeding red meat to partisan idiots. But you’re not really a partisan idiot yourself. So we get these mood swings. One minute you’re WFB, the next minute you’re Michelle Malkin.

    And I’m the partisan hack? Which is the real you, Rick?

  8. 8
    MAS1916 Said:
    2:12 pm 

    Obama was actually trafficking the virus after his Mexico City visit. We can only hope that he passed this along to Hugo Chavez and Danny Ortega.

    Chavez’ public health system would be sure to help though, and would serve as a guiding light to all civilized nations providing universal health care.

  9. 9
    jackson1234 Said:
    2:43 pm 

    Paging Dr. Gupta?

  10. 10
    Tim Said:
    3:00 pm 

    Feeding red meat? More like baiting the chihuahuas nipping at Obama’s ankles. Oy vey. This is lame and starting to seem a little desperate, Rick. It’s way too early for desperation. Save some for 2010 and 2012,… Puhhleeze!

  11. 11
    BSJONES Said:
    3:36 pm 

    OBAMA GOLFED!!
    PEOPLE DIED!!!

  12. 12
    BSJONES Said:
    3:41 pm 

    Before this is over, it will reek as much havoc as y2k. I promise.

  13. 13
    Tim Said:
    5:08 pm 

    You forgot to add that he wore shorts! Where’s the outrage!!!! AHHHHH!

    What I forgot was that while Obama played golf, 19 desks sit empty at HHS, we have no Surgeon General, permanent head of the CDC, or HHS secretary. One would think a few of those folks might be useful in a crisis like this.

    But hey! The gala celebration of The Messiah’s 100th day in office are going to be swell, I’m sure.

    This is to go along with staffing failure at the other department that is dealing with a crisis - Treasury.

    Face it. Your man dropped the ball and continues to drop the ball. Stop being such a partisan dupe and admit it.

    ed.

  14. 14
    BD57 Said:
    5:29 pm 

    Michael:

    here’s the thing …. the Republicans in the Senate also “won the election”, which means they don’t have any obligation to roll over for whatever Obama wants.

    You are to be commended, though, for the full-throated hypocrisy of that response …. I don’t recall Democrats EVER believing Bush was entitled to deference because “he won the election.”

    And please - don’t waste our time with “because he didn’t win.”

  15. 15
    Joe Said:
    5:34 pm 

    Lets see, no HHS secretary yet. I wonder if the reason is because braindead gop senators are playing politics with Kathleen Sebelius? Its all fun and games until we actually need her on the job. But because she is pro-choice, the neanderthals that make up the gop, have to win some brownie points with their equally braindead base. But, its so much easier to blame Obama. When everything else fails, blame Obama. The party of no, the party of no new ideas. Obama golfed while the pandemic swept across America! OMG, whats wrong with Obama? I wonder if the gop/conservative movement ever gets tired of lies and innuendo? I doubt it, they just keep on shooting themselves in the foot.

  16. 16
    Kelly Said:
    6:05 pm 

    I enjoy dropping by occasionally to read your insights, but really Rick - you need a better class of trolls. The ones you have appear to be slightly, er, shall we say “over-caffeinated”?

  17. 17
    Allen Said:
    6:12 pm 

    Political appointees needed? What exactly are the skill sets many of them bring to the table?

    I’m pretty sure the non-political staffers at HHS, Treasury, and whatnot, have the experience and skills to “muddle” through. The question is, will any of their approaches be deemed “politically acceptable” and thus implemented.

  18. 18
    Anon Said:
    6:36 pm 

    The teleprompter will be just fine. No one is going to ask Obama any tough questions at a press conference designed to CELEBRATE his 100 days of achievement or what not. This isn’t a time to ask serious questions; it’s a time to allow The Narcissistic One to preen while his media lapdogs gratuitously fawn over him. The questions will be known in advance. The questioners will know they’re going to be picked in advance (hence the questions having already been vetted by the White House). Good grief. No one actually believes this is a legitimate press conference, do they?

    It’ll go something like this:

    “Mr. President. Some of your critics have said that your Health and Human Services Department might not be up to the job of handling a flu epidemic as it has no director. Tell us what you’re doing to make sure the country is spared the worst of this flu? And as a follow-up, tell us how Universal Health Care will ensure that epidemics like this are contained in the future.”

    “Mr. President. Some of your more vocal critics such as Fox News suggested it was irresponsible for you to go golfing in the midst of this potential health crisis. Can you explain how you were in constant contact with your health department staff during that time and describe the lengthy and complete briefings you received?”

    “Mr. President. As your administration reaches its first 100 days, what are you most proud of: the fact that you played hardball with the greedy auto companies, the fact that you told the greedy bankers they weren’t getting anymore greedy fat-cat bonuses, or the fact that other nations love us again because you’re the president?”

  19. 19
    Mr. Stuck Said:
    8:59 pm 

    This post is a testament to how batcrap crazy our politics have become. Maybe it’s the rise of blogs that have magnified the sillyness. Of course repubs are not to blame for crisis, if that’s what it is, and the jury is still out if it will become that. The money’s for Pandemics was passed, just in a different bill.

    And likewise, repubs are playing whack- a- doodle politics by holding up the Sebellius appointment to appease their anti-abortion base. A dem who is pro choice isn’t exactly breaking news and they won the election. She’s also a twice elected Governor of a true red state that is one of the most anti-abortion.

    And Obama playing golf on Sunday. The wingnuts were complaining he was doing too much, now he’s a slacker. Give me a break. And you have G. Beck going on about how fast Obama declared a state of emergency, to supposedly hatch some marxist plan to take advantage of the Flu outbreak. All of it nutso.

  20. 20
    Mr. Stuck Said:
    7:00 am 

    This post is a testament to how batcrap crazy our politics have become. Maybe it’s the rise of blogs that have magnified the sillyness. Of course repubs are not to blame for crisis, if that’s what it is, and the jury is still out if it will become that. The money’s for Pandemics was passed, just in a different bill.

    And likewise, repubs are playing whack- a- doodle politics by holding up the Sebellius appointment to appease their anti-abortion base. A dem who is pro choice isn’t exactly breaking news and they won the election. She’s also a twice elected Governor of a true red state that is one of the most anti-abortion.

    And Obama playing golf on Sunday. The wingnuts were complaining he was doing too much, now he’s a slacker. Give me a break. And you have G. Beck going on about how fast Obama declared a state of emergency, to supposedly hatch some marxist plan to take advantage of the Flu outbreak. All of it nutso.
    P.S. - Sorry, forgot to tell you great post!

  21. 21
    Wramblin' Wreck Said:
    2:45 pm 

    Headline:

    Obama Does Not Work Weekends.

    After 100 days Obama has taken almost every weekend off to go to Chicago or wherever. You can be sure our enemies know this fact. Will it make a difference?

  22. 22
    bobwire Said:
    8:18 pm 

    Go ahead and do a search, sample keywords could be “Bush”, “Katrina”, and “timeline”.

    Rediscover where the commander in chief was during that actual disaster, and what his focus was.

    Now, check out Rick’s archives.

    Pure diversion.

  23. 23
    Larry, your brother Said:
    6:33 am 

    How petty.

    Something like 20 people had mild cases of the flu on Sunday, the government declares a state of emergency, and the President takes a 4 hour break. What’s he supposed to do? Sit by the phone and wait for news of the 21st flu victim? Of course this is serious, but after preparing for an onslaught of sick people, what can anyone do? And because top people may not be in place to direct policy doesn’t mean career civil servants (see, there is value to government service) can’t handle the situation and follow protocol.

    If you’re going to pick on something, pick on something a bit more egregious.

  24. 24
    Elizho Said:
    11:18 pm 

    Rick you may want to ask the fellow Republicans to stop injecting the unfounded fear of Mexicans rushing to the US in masses over the Swine Flu and “earthquake” (!!!) You also want to advise the fringed segment of right to stop using the pandemic, which has been less deleterious compared to SARS of two years ago, to advance their nefarious immigration agenda.

  25. 25
    bsjones Said:
    1:04 am 

    We can whip this swine flu with a capital gains tax cut!
    If that doesn’t do it, we can repeal the DEATH TAX!!

    Problem solved.

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