Thursday October 16th 2014

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World & National     

CDC examines protective gear protocols?


A preliminary investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) into how two Dallas nurses who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan became infected with Ebola has raised questions about personal protective equipment protocols and whether or not they are stringent enough at U.S. hospitals.

Amber Joy Vinson and Nina Pham both wore protective gear including face shields, hazardous materials suits and protective footwear as they inserted catheters, drew blood and cleaned what have been called “copious amounts” of Duncan’s bodily fluids. Still, the two somehow contracted Ebola from the dying man.

“The thing is that this patient required intubation and hemodialysis … those sorts of procedures and interventions markedly increase exposure to various different bodily secretions,”  Dr. Amar Safdar, associate professor in the department of medicine, division of infectious diseases and immunology at NYU Langone Medical Center, who did not treat Duncan, told FoxNews.com.. “That is the reason why there was a fairly high exposure of these bodily fluids to the health care personnel.”



Obama May Send National Guard to Liberia to Fight Ebola?


President Barack Obama is expected to issue an executive order Thursday paving the way for the deployment of National Guard forces to Liberia to help contain the Ebola outbreak there, sources told NBC News.

The sources said that eight engineers and logistical specialists from the Guard, both active-duty and reservists, would probably be included in the first deployment. They are expected to help build 17 Ebola treatment centers, with 100 beds apiece. The sources said that no decision had been made.

Defense Department officials said that the executive order was necessary to speed the deployments, and would allow the president to send additional forces as needed. Health officials have recorded more than 2,400 Ebola deaths in Liberia, the highest of any country.
NYT: EBOLA ANXIETY GROWS...
WASH POST: Threat of virus might interfere with commerce, daily routines...
Solace in Sanitizer, Prayer...
OH and TX Close Some Schools...
Dallas May Declare State of Disaster...
White House ignored CDC's Ebola advice...
Airport worker ordered to remove mask, gloves...
MYSTERY: Who Is Man Without Protective Gear Escorting Patient?
STUDY: 3-Week Quarantine Period Not Long Enough...
CRUZ: CONGRESS SHOULD BE CALLED BACK FOR TRAVEL BAN...


Nearly 1 Million Americans Have Cast Ballots Already for Midterm
              File photo of man voting. (credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Midterm elections are less than three weeks away, yet more than 904,000 Americans already have cast their ballots, with almost 60 percent of those early votes in Florida, according to data compiled by The Associated Press from election officials in 11 states.

Those numbers are climbing daily as more states begin their advance voting periods and more voters return mail-in ballots ahead of Nov. 4.

Early voting doesn’t predict electoral outcomes, but both major parties emphasized the opportunity in recentelections as they try to lock in core supporters. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia allow some form of advance voting other than traditional absentee voting requiring an excuse.



Top Justice Deputy Cole Ready to Leave

The U.S. Justice Department’s second-ranking official is stepping down, two Obama administration officials said.

Deputy Attorney General James Cole’s decision means that President Barack Obama must replace the top management of the department. Attorney General Eric Holder announced last month that he’s leaving as soon as a replacement is confirmed by the Senate. The department’s No. 3 official, Tony West, recently departed to join PepsiCo Inc. as its general counsel.

Among the leading candidates to take Cole’s job are two federal prosecutors from outside the nation’s capital: U.S. Attorneys Loretta E. Lynch of the Eastern District of New York, and Sally Q. Yates of the Northern District of Georgia, said the officials, who asked for anonymity to discuss the personnel moves.



CDC denies enterovirus link toillegal-alien kids
Disease common in Latin America was rare in U.S.

The CDC denies a causal link between the surge of illegal-alien children from Latin America and the enterovirus D-68 outbreak in the United States, but government data show the virus was rare in the U.S. before this year.

“There is no evidence that unaccompanied children brought EV-D68 into the United States; we are not aware of any of these children testing positive for the virus,” the CDC emailed WND in response to a request for comment.

The CDC argued EV-D68 is not new to the U.S., having been identified in California in 1962.



Bully pulpit: Houseton subpoenas pastors' sermans, then backs off

Pastors had slammed demand from Mayor Annise Parker, city as a threat to religious freedom

After calling church sermons “fair game” for subpoena, Houston Mayor Annise Parker backed down Wednesday from the city’s effort to force local pastors to turn over speeches and papers related to a hotly contested transgender rights ordinance.

The city had asked five pastors for “all speeches, presentations, or sermons” on a variety of topics, including the mayor, and “gender identity.”

The subpoena prompted a storm of criticism when it became public Tuesday. The pastors are involved in legal efforts to overturn the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, also known as the “bathroom bill.”



'Kerry Air' grounded Again...

The United States may be the mightiest military and economic power in the world but when it comes to shuttling its top diplomat around the globe, it's beginning to look like a poor orphan.

For the fourth time this year — and the second time in three months, Secretary of State John Kerry was forced to fly home commercially when his aging Air Force Boeing 757, known in military parlance as a C-32, was grounded on Thursday with a mechanical problem in Vienna.

Inconvenient? Undoubtedly. Kerry, heading back to Washington from nuclear talks with senior European and Iranian officials, made light of the situation, telling aides: "If the hardest thing that happens in a given day is that you have to fly commercial, your life is pretty good."



Los Angeles schools superintendent resigns

Los Angeles schools Superintendent John Deasy resigned as head of the nation's second-largest school system after failing to overcome technological problems, clashing with the teachers union and losing allies on the school board.

The resignation was announced Thursday in a joint statement by Deasy and the board. A separate statement said former Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines would return to head the school system for the third time starting Oct. 20 while officials search for a successor.



GOP Could Win Up to Eight Senate Seats


Republicans have a "strong and increasing chance to control the next Senate," says Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, projecting that the GOP could take up to eight seats on Nov. 4.

"Our projection remains a five-to-eight seat Republican gain in the Senate, and with less than three weeks to go we would much rather be holding the cards Republicans have been dealt versus the ones dealt to the Democrats as both sides play for a Senate majority," Sabato writes in his latest "Crystal Ball" analysis.

There are several "unusual and even a few bizarre features on the landscape," Sabato says, pointing out that the midterm election is "a classic sixth-year itch election" that will see the incumbent president's party lose seats in both the House and Senate.



We're living in drpressing times

Some people I know refuse to watch the news or read the papers these days, and who can blame them? The headlines are depressing and no one seems to be in charge.

The stock market rises and falls, playing “now you see it, now you don’t” with your 401k, the Ebola virus is on the move, infecting more and more people, while the United States pretends there isn’t anything at all to worry about.



Obama's Rodney Dangerfieldd economic performance

The economy’s strong second quarter has some asking why President Obama gets no credit for the recovery. The rest of America is asking: What recovery? While the White House may see itself as the Rodney Dangerfield of economic performance — getting no respect — there are plenty of reasons why a strong economy and Mr. Obama are not linked in the public’s mind.

For one thing, evidence of a real recovery is still slight. Granted, the economy grew 4.6 percent in the past quarter. However, if “a single swallow does not a summer make,” one good quarter does not equal a healthy economy. During Mr. Obama’s entire presidency, only one other quarter has equaled 4.6 percent growth.



Medal of Honor
The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States.
GeneTrerally presented to its recipient by the President of the United States of America in the name of Congress.
The first award of the Medal of Honor was made March 25, 1863 to Private JACOB PARROTT.The last award of the Medal of Honor was made September 15, 2011 to Sergeant DAKOTA MEYER.

Since then there have been:  • 3458 recipients of the Medal of Honor.
    • Today there are 85 Living Recipients of the Medal of Honor.

PETRY, LEROY A. Photo

PETRY, LEROY A.

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Organization: U.S. Army
Company: Company D
Division: 2d Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
Place / Date: 26 May 2008, Paktya Province, Afghanistan

Citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty: Staff Sergeant Leroy A. Petry distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action with an armed enemy in the vicinity of Paktya Province, Afghanistan, on May 26, 2008. As a Weapons Squad Leader with D Company, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Staff Sergeant Petry moved to clear the courtyard of a house that potentially contained high-value combatants. While crossing the courtyard, Staff Sergeant Petry and another Ranger were engaged and wounded by automatic weapons fire from enemy fighters. Still under enemy fire, and wounded in both legs, Staff Sergeant Petry led the other Ranger to cover. He then reported the situation and engaged the enemy with a hand grenade, providing suppression as another Ranger moved to his position. The enemy quickly responded by maneuvering closer and throwing grenades. The first grenade explosion knocked his two fellow Rangers to the ground and wounded both with shrapnel. A second grenade then landed only a few feet away from them. Instantly realizing the danger, Staff Sergeant Petry, unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his safety, deliberately and selflessly moved forward, picked up the grenade, and in an effort to clear the immediate threat, threw the grenade away from his fellow Rangers. As he was releasing the grenade it detonated, amputating his right hand at the wrist and further injuring him with multiple shrapnel wounds. Although picking up and throwing the live grenade grievously wounded Staff Sergeant Petry, his gallant act undeniably saved his fellow Rangers from being severely wounded or killed. Despite the severity of his wounds, Staff Sergeant Petry continued to maintain the presence of mind to place a tourniquet on his right wrist before communicating the situation by radio in order to coordinate support for himself and his fellow wounded Rangers. Staff Sergeant Petry's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service, and reflect great credit upon himself, 75th Ranger Regiment, and the United States Army.




From the Archives

American Fairness to a Fault — a Deadly One
Tuesday, 10 Nov 2009 02:28 PM

American’s tragic flaw is our unbridled fairness, which has been corrupted ever more by the cancer of political correctness to the point we put ourselves at risk rather than create even the perception of prejudice.

Sometime after the VOLAR (all volunteer) Army, the military veered from the “yes sir, yes sir, three bags full” blind adherence to all orders to the concept of refusing “unlawful orders” and that was ostensibly a good thing.

However, the uniformed services do not set or get to pick and choose foreign policy. The civilian leadership sets foreign policy, and the U.S. military enforces it — with a big, honking combined arms stick.

Retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters has been one of the rare pundits with the courage to target the “culture of political correctness” in leadership of the military. In at least two interviews on Fox, Peters (correctly) blamed the culture of political correctness for the Army’s diffidence in taking action against Nidal Malik Hasan in the wake of knowledge of the problem.

Many mechanisms exist for dealing with matters of deep conscience — all without killing those one might think disagree with in principle.

However, it is not prejudice to discriminate based on threat facts in evidence. Refusal to act judiciously for fear of a tainted perception is just plain dumb.

Notwithstanding the articulated fears of the Army chief of staff and the secretary of Homeland Security, officials made an epic mistake in handling suspicions about Hasan. A mistake founded on political correctness and sustained by diffidence that cost the lives of innocents.

Reportedly, U.S. intelligence agencies were aware (months ago) that Hasan was attempting to make contact with people associated with al-Qaida. He spoke openly to too many people about his angst and misdirected sympathies. He was apparently a poster child for suspicion, and the Army failed bigtime to intervene.

“It is not known whether the intelligence agencies informed the Army that one of its officers was seeking to connect with suspected al-Qaida figures," the officials said.

But you damnbetcha they SHOULD have done so.

Investigators want to know whether Hasan maintained contact with a radical mosque leader from Virginia, Anwar al Awlaki, who now lives in Yemen and runs a Web site that promotes jihad around the world against the United States.

In a recent blog posting titled "Nidal Hassan Did the Right Thing," Awlaki calls Hasan a "hero" and a "man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people."

Increasingly we are told people who knew or worked with Hasan say he seemed to become gradually more radical in his condemnation of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Subordinates and superiors had a responsibility to flag the inappropriate rhetoric, and they apparently did not.

The fear to speak out is a symptom of the PC disease fueled by recriminations and implied threats of discrimination — a fear that indirectly resulted in mayhem.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman said, "If Hasan was showing signs, saying to people that he had become an Islamist extremist, the U.S. Army has to have a zero tolerance," and despite the echo of shutting the barn door after the horse got out, he is right.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey Jr. is concerned that speculation about the religious beliefs of Hasan could “cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers.” He’s right, but such a backlash would be a direct result of the failure of command — not prejudice.

When confronted about whether he thought the Army “dropped the ball” in not responding to warning signs, Casey replied that the Army needs to be careful not to jump to conclusions based on early tidbits of information.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R.-S.C., and Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., both of whom are veterans, took pains to say that Muslims have served honorably in the military and at risk to their lives.

“At the end of the day, this is not about his religion — the fact that this man was a Muslim,” Graham said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

But, hey, it is (kinda/sorta) about religion (when the FBI says 10 percent of American Mosques preach jihad) — at least from a risk analysis perspective.