Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Cruising the Web

Have you been following this appalling, yet crazy story from the U.K. of how the authorities arrested parents for taking their child out of a hospital because the hospital refused the treatment that the family wanted for their cancer-stricken five-year old son. Think of that. Parents willing to pay for a special treatment for their child and leaving the country to get that treatment have been arrested. Authorities seemed to be willing to put extra effort to track these parents down in Spain and take them into custody away from their sick child.

Why couldn't authorities have been more active when they were informed in Rotherham about close to 300 girls being sexually assaulted and raped? Instead they refused to follow up on information that a researcher from the UK's Home Office because the me involved were men from Pakistan and it would be racist to look into the allegations. The authorities just didn't want to hear her story and then someone broke into her office and stole her data.
She said she was taken aback by the response from one official.

"They said you must never refer to that again, you must never refer to Asian men," she said.

"And [the] other response was to book me on a two-day ethnicity and diversity course to raise my awareness of ethnic issues."

A chapter of her draft report contained severe criticisms of agencies working to tackle the abuse including "alleged indifference towards, and ignorance of, child sexual exploitation on the part of senior managers".

It also stated: "Responsibility was continuously placed on young people's shoulders rather than with the suspected abusers."

Her report was never published. And the council even tried unsuccessfully to get the researcher sacked.

She said: "I was subjected to the most intense personal hostility - there were threats made from a range of sources. I've never seen back-covering like it and I still feel extremely angry about that."

Prof Alexis Jay, who wrote last week's independent report into the abuse in Rotherham, said the Home Office report was "effectively suppressed".

Her report states: "Had this [2002 draft] report been treated with the seriousness it merited at the time by both the police and the council, the children involved then and later would have been better protected and abusers brought to justice."
Now the estimates are that over 1,400 children were abused from 1997-2013. Although 157 reports of sexual exploitation of children were made to the police, only 9 prosecutions resulted. Anyone who was appalled at the stories about the abuse of children by Catholic priests should be even more horrified by this story and how it was covered up by the police because some of the abuse is so much worse. One girl tells of being raped once a week every week from the age of 12 to 15. She was gang raped over and over by different men. She reported the attacks to the police and they lost her clothing and then told her it was her word against the men's so she should just drop it. The sexual attacks continued while her parents were threatened if they didn't give the men access to their daughter. Another girl tells of when she was 11 years old and being abused and a police officer came and saw her naked in the room and did nothing to help her and she went on to endure that abuse for five or six more years with no help at all from the police when she went for help. And this horrible abuse wasn't limited to Rotherham, but reports have surfaced of quite a few other towns. The report that of all this abuse that has so shocked people details that authorities were afraid of being thought racist so they just ignored all the reports.

Get ready for employer health care plans to require even higher deductibles.

Michael Barone ponders how Barack Obama seems to be uninterested in other people. He clearly isn't interested in getting to know Republicans, but he doesn't seem all that interested in other Democrats either.
The ability to read other people comes more easily if you’re interested in others, curious to learn what makes them tick. It comes harder or not at all if you’re transfixed with your image of yourself.

Which seems to be the case with Barack Obama. Not only is he not much interested in the details of public policy, as Jay Cost argues persuasively in a recent article for the Weekly Standard. He is also, as even his admirers concede, not much inclined to schmooze with other politicians, even his fellow Democrats.

That goes double for Republicans. House Speaker Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, is one of the most transparent and least guileful politicians I’ve encountered. The late Sen. Edward Kennedy and liberal Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., had no difficulty reaching agreement with him on the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act.

But Obama has gotten nowhere with him. The president blew up the 2011 grand bargain negotiations by raising the ante late in the game; later budget agreements were left to Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Obama has taken to explaining Republican opposition as the result of “fever” or mental delusion.

Obama is also known to have frosty relations with most foreign leaders. He used to claim to be close to Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan. That hasn’t prevented Erdogan from sidling up to the Muslim Brotherhood and exhibiting blatant anti-semitism.

Obama critics have pointed out his fondness for the first person singular. He said “I,” “me,” or “my” 63 times in his 1,631-word eulogy for Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye. He spoke twice as long about his own family experiences as the heroism for which Inouye was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Bill Clinton and Rudy Giuliani succeeded in large part because they were curious about other people different from themselves. Barack Obama prefers to look in the mirror.

So more unsurprising partisan corruption news about Lois Lerner.
The official at the center of the Internal Revenue Service tea party scandal once dismissed complaints that labor unions were not reporting millions of dollars in political activities on their tax forms, according to an email obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Sure. Why not ignore corruption when it comes from groups supporting Democrats?

Of course, every thinking person is condemning ISIL. But one Democrat running for Congress has found some group worse than ISIL.
J.T. Smith, of Phenix City, is the Democratic nominee to represent Alabama’s District 3, The Birmingham News reported.

“The greatest country on earth is being bullied from within. Actions of Republicans in congress are worse than #ISIL,” he tweeted on Labor Day to more than 3,000 followers.
Can we just declare a moratorium on comparing other groups or actions to ISIS? And that includes the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest who made this ludicrous comparison.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday that President Obama’s “cautious” response to ISIS is similar to his response to the 2009 Detroit auto bailout.

“That was a risky maneuver,” Earnest said at a press conference, referring to Obama’s auto bailout. “It would not have been possible without this president, who is sometimes described as cautious.”

The Senate comes back from their August recess next week. Then they have a couple of weeks before the recess again so they can go campaign for the November election. So there isn't much time to get anything done in those two weeks and two days. But Harry Reid knows what is important for him to devote the time of the Senate.
Reid has decreed that the Senate's first order of legislative business will be a proposed constitutional amendment that would give Congress the power to regulate every dollar raised and every dollar spent by every political campaign in America.

Put aside the merits — or lack of them — of this particular proposal. Amending the Constitution requires a two-thirds vote in both House and Senate, plus ratification by three-quarters of the states. This particular amendment, supported mostly by progressive Democrats, won't even get past the first step. So why would Reid devote precious time to an entirely futile exercise?

Because the Senate's brief two weeks in Washington are all about the campaign to come.

In recent months, Reid has used the proposed amendment as a way to bash the Koch brothers, the billionaires who fund a number of conservative and libertarian political causes. Some strategists believe villainizing the Kochs will allow Democratic candidates not only to associate Republican opponents with the villains, but also to use the Kochs as a symbol for economic inequality and blame Republicans for the nation's economic woes.

But because of the special nature of constitutional amendments, the coming Senate debate could play out more as a time waster than a serious policy discussion.
This is just a partisan gesture. There is no way the Senate could get the 67 votes necessary for proposing a constitutional amendment and, of course, it has absolutely no hope in the House. But this is what Reid wants to spend the Senate's time on rather than dealing with the budget or the problems at the border or any other of the myriad of serious problems facing the country. All he wants to do is posture and demagogue. Gosh, I hope he will have a different job next January.

So which are the five most disastrous campaigns of 2014 so far?

The UN finally finds some entity other than Israel or the United States to investigate for human rights abuses.

Jonah Goldberg writes of something I hadn't heard of - the US military often abandons military dogs in enemy locations after they've served their usefulness.

So which candidate has the "It" factor for 2016?