Majority Of Americans Feel We’re Heading In The Wrong Direction

ObamaTransparentBranco852014Here we are, a couple of weeks away from the 2014 Mid-Term Elections, in which voters will go to the polls to decide the future direction of our country.

The outcome of the Mid-Terms will most assuredly depend on how Americans feel about the present course which Obama’s Ship of State has us traveling on as a nation.

Breitbart.com reports that

A devastating new Politico poll reveals voters believe America has spun off its axis and is “out of control.” 

“An overwhelming majority of voters in the most competitive 2014 elections say it feels as if events in the United States are ‘out of control’ and expressed mounting alarm about terrorism, anxiety about Ebola and harsh skepticism of both political parties only three weeks before the Nov. 4 midterms,” reports Politico.

The poll, which surveyed states and districts in the most competitive congressional races, found that 64% of Americans believe “things in the U.S. feel like they are out of control right now.” 

Specifically, the poll found that 84% of voters believe the Islamic State (ISIS) represents a “serious” threat to America. Just 12% said ISIS terrorists do not pose a serious threat.

On the issue of Obamacare, the poll found that 57% of Americans believe their health care costs will increase, and just 7% believe that Obamacare will do as President Barack Obama claimed and reduce personal costs. 

Politico’s poll also found Obama slightly trailing former President George W. Bush on managerial effectiveness. When asked “Which President do you believe was more effective at managing the basic functions of the federal government?” 38% said George W. Bush, 35% said Obama, and 26% answered “both about the same.”

The Politico poll sample contained 36% Democrats, 36% Republicans, and 28% Independents.

Voters head to the polls in 15 days.

So, how are individual average Americans feeling about the present problems plaguing our nation?

According to wsj.com,

The only time the public has felt worse was in October 2008, during the first, deep spasms of the recession. Then, 78% said the nation was on the wrong track, and only 12% felt good about the country’s direction. The last time “right direction” beat out “wrong track” was in January 2004 — and the last election cycle where that was the case was 2002.

Why are people so gloomy? Well, it might just be everything,” says pollster Micah Roberts, sounding a bit like Eeyore himself. Mr. Roberts is vice president of Public Opinion Strategies, which along with Hart Research Associates conducted the poll. “We haven’t had a plurality saying ‘right track’ in over ten years so that’s pretty amazing. After 10 years it’s just part of the collective consciousness of Americans,” to think the nation’s gone off the rails, he added.

The most negative responses came when people were asked, “Tell me, what are the one or two reasons you feel things in the nation are (headed in the right direction/off on the wrong track)?”

A politically independent millennial from California had quite a few more than that on her list:  “Disease, economy. Like Ebola and economy as in people can’t really find jobs. I guess turmoil, like I can’t explain it. Senseless slayings, like in St. Louis downtown there’s like cops shooting people for no reason, public fighting, public riots, people fighting outside of Congress offices, and there’s still a sense of racism. I guess human trafficking. I noticed there was like weird public fires in San Diego. That’s all I can think of right now.”

As if that weren’t enough.

Even those who said they thought the nation was on the right track seemed to doom the future with faint praise.

Take this response from a Democrat, a middle-aged white woman living in the swing state of Pennsylvania: “People are not buying enough. I work for a company Neiman Marcus and we sell to the richie rich. Jobs are an issue. There are none to be had in this area. I believe free trade killed us. I believe it’s done that. I don’t know, there are things that are going in the right direction. This was not done by one President, meaning the damage. As far as I’m concerned, jobs are the most important. The healthcare, a lot of companies aren’t hiring because they have to pay the health insurance. The minimum wage is disgusting. People are not making a living on minimum wage. Anything under ten dollars an hour is not a wage. I believe the minimum wage should be raised.”

Or this, from an African-American Republican female, aged 55-plus, living in New York: “For one thing, we haven’t got wars going on, or fighting.” Or, from a young Republican man in California: “I definitely think the economy is picking up a little. I just left a bank job. So I’m aware of more of that than the Obama administration…That’s it.”

If things seem that bad among people who are happy with where the U.S. is headed, what about the rest?

Here’s a Democrat, a white, retirement-age woman from Iowa who said the nation is on the wrong track:  “The wars, the bombings, the terrorism and that, this Ebola thing, that’s not good. Social Security, is that enough. I guess I don’t know what else to tell you.”

Many among the 1,000 voters surveyed named Ebola as a concern. The poll was conducted during the second week in October–just after Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person in the U.S. to be diagnosed with Ebola, died Oct. 8, and a nurse who cared for him was diagnosed.

An astounding 98% had seen, read or heard something about the disease, and 70% had seen, read or heard “a lot” about it. Compare that with the General Motors recall of cars linked to at least 54 accidents and a dozen U.S. deaths: 75% of people surveyed by CNBC in June knew something about it, and 32% knew a lot.
Only slightly more than half of Americans, 56%, think the U.S. is prepared to handle an Ebola outbreak, according to the WSJ poll.

A disturbing 42% feel the nation isn’t prepared enough, or not at all. This Virginia woman is likely one of them: “The economy sucks, jobs suck, health-care sucks,” said the 30-something Democrat.

However, the absolute, chart-topping bogeyman for Americans was again Congress. Indeed, the poll’s overall negativity “is about Washington, about an economy that seems stuck and not improving –and of course Ebola, ISIS, endless wars,” Mr. Roberts said.

“Collectively, this is all a weight on the shoulders of the average American.”

Average Americans, those good-hearted people, living in America’s Heartland, know that something is wrong with our country, the country which the overwhelming majority of us were raised to pledge our allegiance to, and to thank God for the blessing of an American Birth.

During the almost 7 years of the Obama Presidency, those who were raised differently from the rest of us, have been in charged of steering this Ship of State…and, they have us headed straight toward the shoals of destruction.

The overwhelming majority of Americans have been raised by their parents and extended family to know the difference between right and wrong.

The Still Small Voice, which resides in each and every one of us, is positively shouting that our nation is headed in the wrong direction, being led that way by people who do not believe in American Exceptionalism, the unbridled potential of the individual, and individual responsibility.

During this Administration, they have experimented with introducing an amoral, self-indulgent, nanny-state, socialist-syle government, here in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, a country which was founded on the principles of Liberty, Inalienable Rights, and Individual Accomplishment.

As the walking-out by the crowd at Obama’s campaign rally speech this weekend and the above articles solidly demonstrate, Americans have had enough of empty rhetoric and unfulfilled promises.

The Mid-Term Election promises to be a Political Tsunami of epic proportions.

Until He Comes,

KJ

 

Leadership Vacuum At The Department of Homeland Security

HomelandSecurity9212014The Office of Homeland Security was formed in the aftermath of the worst Terrorist Attack ever committed on American Soil, in the days following September 11, 2001.  President George W. Bush picked Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge (1945-) as the first Office of Homeland Security Advisor.

The office became a department on November 25, 2002, as President Bush signed into law the Homeland Security Act, which created the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and mde Ridge a cabinet-level administrator.

The DHS pledged to carry out new initiatives to, the extent possible, protect the nation from further attacks.

In creating Homeland Security, Congress lumped together 22 previously unconnected federal agencies under a new Cabinet secretary. 108 congressional committees and subcommittees oversee the department’s operations.

In an Organization so huge, as you can imagine, some “little things” may “slip through the cracks” from time to time.

Some “BIG THINGS”, too.

Back on September 8th, Reuters.com reported that

The Department of Homeland Security failed to assess the supplies it needed to deal with a potential pandemic and now has expired stockpiles including medications, 200,000 respirators and 4,184 bottles of hand sanitizers, an inspector general report showed.

The department bought 16 million surgical masks and 350,000 white coverall suits without establishing the need for them, according to its inspector general’s report, which included photographs of stacks of unopened boxes piled high in a storeroom.

Eighty-one percent of DHS’ supply of 296,000 doses of antiviral medication, called medical countermeasures, will expire next year, according to the report completed in late August and released on Monday.
 
DHS also did not keep track of its supplies or where they were kept.

“As a result, the department has no assurance it has sufficient personal protective equipment and antiviral medical countermeasures for a pandemic response,” it concluded.

The report comes as the United States prepares to help African countries devastated by the rapid spread of the Ebola virus and work to keep it from spreading to its shores.

The inspector general said DHS spent $47 million Congress appropriated in 2006 for a potential pandemic on the preparedness equipment, medication, research and exercises.

The Transportation Security Administration’s stock of pandemic preparedness equipment includes 200,000 respirators that are past the five-year manufacturer’s guaranteed usability, the report said.

The inspector general said 84 percent of the department’s 4,982 bottles of hand sanitizers were expired, some by up to four years.

The inspector general made 11 recommendations.

“While DHS concurs with the OIG’s recommendations, we had already previously identified many of the issues prior to the review, and have taken comprehensive actions to address them,” including finalizing the recall of the expired medicines, DHS spokesman S.Y. Lee said in a statement.

So, with a virus attacking young asthmatic Americans from coast to coast, and with Obama sending 3,000 of our Brightest and Best into the heart of Africa’s Ebola Outbreak, it has been shown that DHS is not prepared to handle the possibility of a pandemic in our country.

Unfortunately, that “little problem” appears to be just the tip of the iceberg.

According to The Washington Post,

An exodus of top-level officials from the Department of Homeland Security is undercutting the agency’s ability to stay ahead of a range of emerging threats, including potential terrorist strikes and cyberattacks, according to interviews with current and former officials.

Over the past four years, employees have left DHS at a rate nearly twice as fast as in the federal government overall, and the trend is accelerating, according to a review of a federal database.

The departures are a result of what employees widely describe as a dysfunctional work environment, abysmal morale, and the lure of private security companies paying top dollar that have proliferated in Washington since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The department’s terrorism intelligence arm, for example, has cycled through six directors during the Obama administration, decimating morale and contributing to months-long delays in releasing intelligence reports, according to interviews and government reports.

A parade of high-level departures, on top of other factors, has meanwhile helped slow the rollout of key cybersecurity initiatives, including a program aimed at blocking malicious software before it can infiltrate civilian government computers, former officials say.

With the country facing a crisis of unaccompanied minors crossing the southwest border in recent months, the pair of DHS agencies responsible for tackling this problem have been hindered by turnover of top officials. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, for instance, has had six commissioners under President Obama, four of them in a caretaker role because they were not confirmed by the Senate.

And at the Transportation Security Administration, a DHS agency created after 9/11 to enhance airport security, the hemorrhaging of both senior and junior personnel has “had a tremendous effect,’’ said Kenneth Kasprisin, a former acting TSA head who left the agency in May.

“You cannot sustain a high level of security operations when you have that kind of turnover,’’ he said, attributing the defections to “a toxic culture” and “terrible” morale.

Seriously, would you want to work in the Obama Administration?

As I wrote the other day, their planning for the prosecution of the war-which-is-not-a-war against ISIS/ISIL, alone, is reminiscent of a Benny Hill Show-Ending Chase Scene.

How can there be any sort of consistent leadership in such a huge organization experiencing a “revolving door”, spinning at the speed of the turnstile at Disney World or, Madonna’s Bedroom Door back in the 1980s, take your pick.

Why is this department experiencing all this turnover in personnel?

Well, the fact of the matter is that DHS is mirroring the instability and misplaced priorities of the entire Obama White House.

In order to do a good job at any position, much less a Government Job, you have to be a dedicated employee, or, in the case of DHS, a dedicated public servant.

If those above you, from the President on down, are not dedicated public servants, then why should you be?

Let’s face it:  The President went golfing, immediately after announcing that an American Journalist had been beheaded by the Muslim Barbarians known as ISIS/ISIL.

If the Leader of the Free World doesn’t give a hoot ‘n holler about performing his job duties to the best of his ability, why should his employees at DHS?

And, with jobs available for them in the private sector, it is very easy for them to “Take the Money and Run” (hoo hoo hoo).

Unfortunately, as I alluded to earlier, without consistent leadership, to keep employees motivated and “on mission”, any organization will begin to swirl down the ol’ porcelain receptacle very quickly, resulting in the “toxic culture” and “terrible morale” mentioned in the article.

Because, just as they say in the Military and the Business World,

**it rolls downhill.

And, any organization is on;y as strong as its leadership.

However, when it is an organization that has the powers and responsibilities of the Department of Homeland Security, this vacuum of leadership becomes a volatile and dangerous situation, which affects the safety of our entire nation.

So, until January of 2017, DHS is screwed.

And, so are we.

Until He Comes,

KJ

Last Night, Obama “Talked the Talk”. Today, He Must “Walk the Walk”. Never Forget 9/11/01.

911firefightersThe President of the United States of America appeared before the citizens he is supposed to be protecting, promising action against the Muslim Terrorist Organization, known as ISIS.

The New York Times reports that

The president took pains to distinguish between the military action he was putting in motion and the two wars begun by his predecessor, President George W. Bush. He likened this campaign to the highly targeted airstrikes that the United States has carried out for several years against terrorism suspects in Yemen and Somalia, few of which have been made public.

After enduring harsh criticism for saying in a news conference two weeks ago that he did not have a strategy for dealing with ISIS in Syria, Mr. Obama sketched out a plan that will involve heightened American training and arming of moderate Syrian rebels to fight the militants. Saudi Arabia has agreed to provide bases for the training of those forces.

The White House has asked Congress to authorize the plan to train and equip rebels — something the Central Intelligence Agency has been doing covertly and on a much smaller scale — but Mr. Obama said he had the authority necessary to expand the broader campaign.

“These American forces will not have a combat mission — we will not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq,” Mr. Obama pledged, adding that the broader mission he was outlining for American military forces “will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; it will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.”

For all of Mr. Obama’s efforts to reassure the public, his remarks were a stark admission of the threat posed by the militants, whose lightning rampage through Iraq and Syria and videotaped beheading of two American journalists have reignited fears of radical terrorism.

The president’s remarks, on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, will thrust the United States into a civil war in Syria that he had long sought to avoid, and will return the country to a significant military presence in Iraq, from which Mr. Obama withdrew the last American combat soldiers at the end of 2011.

It is ironic that Obama chose to make a speech in which he finally, forced by a growing public backlash, addressed the reality of the Muslim Terrorist Group, ISIS. For today, our nation remembers the 13th anniversary of the worst Terrorist attack ever perpetrated on American Soil. Over 3,000 Americans lost their lives that day, including the heroic First Responders of New York City, who ran into Hell, while others were running away from it.

Here is the tragic toll  of 9/11/01, broken down by the numbers.  Courtesy of nymag.com:

The initial numbers are indelible: 8:46 a.m. and 9:02 a.m. Time the burning towers stood: 56 minutes and 102 minutes. Time they took to fall: 12 seconds. From there, they ripple out.

  • Total number killed in attacks (official figure as of 9/5/02): 2,819
  • Number of firefighters and paramedics killed: 343
  • Number of NYPD officers: 23
  • Number of Port Authority police officers: 37
  • Number of WTC companies that lost people: 60
  • Number of employees who died in Tower One: 1,402
  • Number of employees who died in Tower Two: 614
  • Number of employees lost at Cantor Fitzgerald: 658
  • Number of U.S. troops killed in Operation Enduring Freedom: 22
  • Number of nations whose citizens were killed in attacks: 115
  • Ratio of men to women who died: 3:1
  • Age of the greatest number who died: between 35 and 39
  • Bodies found “intact”: 289
  • Body parts found: 19,858
  • Number of families who got no remains: 1,717
  • Estimated units of blood donated to the New York Blood Center: 36,000
  • Total units of donated blood actually used: 258
  • Number of people who lost a spouse or partner in the attacks: 1,609
  • Estimated number of children who lost a parent: 3,051
  • Percentage of Americans who knew someone hurt or killed in the attacks: 20
  • FDNY retirements, January–July 2001: 274
  • FDNY retirements, January–July 2002: 661
  • Number of firefighters on leave for respiratory problems by January 2002: 300
  • Number of funerals attended by Rudy Giuliani in 2001: 200
  • Number of FDNY vehicles destroyed: 98
  • Tons of debris removed from site: 1,506,124
  • Days fires continued to burn after the attack: 99
  • Jobs lost in New York owing to the attacks: 146,100
  • Days the New York Stock Exchange was closed: 6
  • Point drop in the Dow Jones industrial average when the NYSE reopened: 684.81
  • Days after 9/11 that the U.S. began bombing Afghanistan: 26
  • Total number of hate crimes reported to the Council on American-Islamic Relations nationwide since 9/11: 1,714
  • Economic loss to New York in month following the attacks: $105 billion
  • Estimated cost of cleanup: $600 million
  • Total FEMA money spent on the emergency: $970 million
  • Estimated amount donated to 9/11 charities: $1.4 billion
  • Estimated amount of insurance paid worldwide related to 9/11: $40.2 billion
  • Estimated amount of money needed to overhaul lower-Manhattan subways: $7.5 billion
  • Amount of money recently granted by U.S. government to overhaul lower-Manhattan subways: $4.55 billion
  • Estimated amount of money raised for funds dedicated to NYPD and FDNY families: $500 million
  • Percentage of total charity money raised going to FDNY and NYPD families: 25
  • Average benefit already received by each FDNY and NYPD widow: $1 million
  • Percentage increase in law-school applications from 2001 to 2002: 17.9
  • Percentage increase in Peace Corps applications from 2001 to 2002: 40
  • Percentage increase in CIA applications from 2001 to 2002: 50
  • Number of songs Clear Channel Radio considered “inappropriate” to play after 9/11: 150
  • Number of mentions of 9/11 at the Oscars: 26
  • Apartments in lower Manhattan eligible for asbestos cleanup: 30,000
  • Number of apartments whose residents have requested cleanup and testing: 4,110
  • Number of Americans who changed their 2001 holiday-travel plans from plane to train or car: 1.4 million
  • Estimated number of New Yorkers suffering from post-traumatic-stress disorder as a result of 9/11: 422,000

9/11/2001 was indelibly seared into the memories of Americans on that fateful day, regardless of the present-day wishes of a minority percentage of our population.

It was a another day, “which shall live in Infamy”.

It must not happen again…ever.

I hope and pray that Obama was not just blowing smoke last night, as he is wont to do. If decisive action is not taken against ISIS over there in the Middle East, they will be knocking on our door, very soon.

Last night, President Barack Hussein Obama talked the talk.

Today, he must walk the walk.

Until He Comes,

KJ