Git-R-Done America vs. Washington

National Review

Today on NRO

RAMESH PONNURU: The GOP needn’t fix its problem with women. Mind Not the Gap.

KEVIN D. WILLIAMASON: If America is alone, is it therefore in the wrong? Anti-American Exceptionalism.

JOHN FUND: A new election law leaves the door wide open for abuse in hotly contested races. Braced for Voter Fraud in Colorado.

NEW NRO BLOG: Unnaturally Political.

SLIDESHOW: Meme Watch: Obama Fever.

Morning Jolt
. . . with Jim Geraghty

October 13, 2014

Git-R-Done America vs. Washington

You work hard. You pay what you think is more than enough in taxes. The economy hasn’t really felt good since 2008, but you manage to get by. If you’ve got a 401(k), it’s grown in the past few years — but the real-estate bubble burned you, and the dot-com bubble burned you before that. You know that nice sum in your 401(k) could plummet without warning. What you would really like is a better job, so you could feel better about the amount of income coming in every month.

You’re trying to play all of your roles — worker, parent, sibling, child, friend, neighbor, parishioner, and somehow find time to take care of yourself so you don’t keel over from a heart attack. It’s tough. Time is at a premium.  Speaking of which, your insurer announced your premiums are going up again. You’ve been thinking of trading in the old car, but you’re not so sure you could handle new car payments and the higher premiums.

But you get up every day and you take care of everything that needs care, because that’s who you are and what you do. You get it done. You take some pride in that. You look at your loved ones, your friends and neighbors, your colleagues, and you know that they know that they can count on you.


You know you want to come! Get complete info at

You kind of wonder about everybody else, though.

What’s with the Centers for Disease Control? They keep telling you “we’re going to stop Ebola in its tracks here” and then there are new cases. The NIH Director seems to think he’s reassuring us by telling us “the system worked” as we learn about new infections. Then there’s that enterovirus 68 floating around, killing kids. Terrifying, heartbreaking. Hey, guys, maybe a little less time studying gun control and a little more time spent on, you know, disease control? That’s your job.

What’s going on with everybody who’s supposed to be protecting us? First Obama says “We don’t have a strategy yet” — why not? Don’t we spend billions, even trillions, on national-security agencies, intelligence agencies, and a Department of Defense? Isn’t somebody in those vast, expensive organizations supposed to come up with a strategy? Then he said “they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria” — isn’t that their job? Wasn’t anybody watching?

Now they’re saying the airstrikes over in Iraq and Syria aren’t doing enough, and the Islamic State is knocking on the door of Baghdad. Sunday morning, National Security Adviser Susan Rice said we’re not reassessing our strategy. Well, shouldn’t somebody? Just in case? Doesn’t anybody over there believe in having a Plan B? Isn’t that the job of a national-security adviser?

How the hell did the top guys at the Department of Veterans Affairs not know about the waitlists and that veterans were dying, waiting for care? That’s their job.

How the heck did the federal government AND so many state governments manage to spend so much money and not build insurance-exchange web sites that worked? That was their job.

The president keeps insisting that test scores are up and that college attendance is up, when it’s actually been the opposite. Obviously, the public schools aren’t good enough for his kids. He promised the moon when it came to improving schools back in 2008. Wasn’t that his job?

In your life, failure is not an option. If you don’t pick up the kids from school, they’re stuck there. If you don’t go shop for groceries, the kids don’t eat. All around you, every day, you see things that have to get done, and you do them. You don’t tell the kids, ‘well, our intentions were good. We tried. We had some glitches.” You don’t get to blame your predecessor or the opposition party. You don’t get to tell them, or your spouse, or your boss, that the situation is the same, as normal, and that they’re “just noticing now because of social media.”

Where is this “get it done” attitude in Washington? Every time you turn around, it’s some new excuse. Americans do not accept this kind of incompetence and unaccountability in their personal and professional lives. Why should they accept it from Washington?

The Coming Spin: No One Would Get Ebola if Republicans Had Spent More Money

Over on Campaign Spot, a liberal group — tax exempt! — debuts a new ad declaring Republican budget cuts are responsible for the Ebola infections.

From their even-tempered, fair-minded release:

Today the Agenda Project Action Fund launched “Republican Cuts Kill,” a multi-pronged blitzkrieg attack that lays blame for the Ebola crisis exactly where it belongs -- at the feet of the Republican lawmakers. Like rabid dogs in a butcher shop, Republicans have indiscriminately shredded everything in their path, including critical programs that could have dealt with the Ebola crisis before it reached our country. Yesterday, a health worker tested positive for the virus– now, the effects of the GOP’s fanatical hatred for our government may finally be exposed.

. . .In launching this effort, we will be the first major progressive group to directly blame GOP budget cuts for the nearly 4,000 deaths caused by the Ebola crisis.

Our plan is to place a paid buy in Kentucky the week of October 18 with North Carolina, Kansas, and South Dakota to follow provided we complete the financing we need.

The NIH budget has doubled since 2000, allocations to the U.S. National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases rose to $4.3 billion in 2004 from $1.8 billion in 2000, and as Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal notes:

Consider the Prevention and Public Health Fund, a new series of annual mandatory appropriations created by Obamacare. Over the past five years, the CDC has received just under $3 billion in transfers from the fund. Yet only 6 percent — $180 million — of that $3 billion went toward building epidemiology and laboratory capacity.

Hey, could any of that $1 billion spent on been spent on vaccine research?

An unnerving new wrinkle in the Ebola crisis:

Louisiana State Attorney General Buddy Caldwell is seeking a temporary restraining order to block the disposal of incinerated waste from the Dallas Ebola victim's personal items and belongings at a Louisiana landfill.

It has been reported that six truckloads of potential Ebola contaminated material collected from the apartment where Thomas Eric Duncan became ill were brought to Port Arthur, Texas, on Friday to be processed at the Veolia Environmental Services incinerator. From there the incinerated material is slated to be transported to a hazardous waste landfill in Louisiana for final disposal.

Quick Check on Seemingly-Too-Precise Odds of a GOP Senate Takeover

Nate Silver’s gives Republicans a 57.9 percent chance of taking the majority. Ah, if only they had an even 58 percent!

The New York Times puts it at 64 percent. If you’re feeling nervous, there’s always the Washington Post’s Election Lab, boldly declaring Republicans have a 94 percent chance of winning the Senate.

Check Campaign Spot throughout the day -- throughout the week -- throughout the month – for more election coverage.

ADDENDA: Over the weekend, the editors indulged me and let me take a walk through the previous highs and lows of my beloved Twin Peaks, and why we eagerly await a second offering from its offbeat creative team:

Michael Anderson, the actor who plays the surreal backward-talking Little Man from Another Place, said simply, “Twin Peaks is not a fiction.” Lynch, speaking at a film festival in 2013, concurred: “It’s a real place. All the characters are real. And the place is real.”

If these men mean that literally, there are some disturbing theological implications. But perhaps it’s more accurate to say that something in the show’s dreamlike world seems to represent some truths about our real-life world more accurately than most fictional works on the large and small screen.

What truths are those? Appearances are deceiving. The world is a lot more than it seems at first glance, for good and for ill — simultaneously warmer and more loving and inviting than one would ever hope, and darker and more menacing and dangerous than we fear. In one of the DVD commentaries, Frost says that Twin Peaks was “really an examination of the nature of good and evil in people’s hearts, and how you don’t have to go to a big city or have famous characters to find that kind of divide. The human heart is capable of incredible goodness and remarkable darkness.”


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