Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist
Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Md Troopers Assoc #20 & Westminster Md Fire Dept Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Carly Simon live in Grand Central Station 1994

Carly Simon live in Grand Central Station 1994


Carly Simon - Haven't Got Time/ Anticipation/ That's The Way: Live

20090429 Carly Simon live in Grand Central Station 1994

Layoffs at The Sun

Layoffs at The Sun

According to “various tribune employee reports and blogs,” the following employees have lost their jobs…

If you read this list and you see an error – or where an addition or a correction is warranted – e-mail me right away at kevindayhoff AT gmail DOT com with the word - Sun Mass – in the subject line.

If you are on this list and you wish to have your name removed for any reason – no questions asked – e-mail me at kevindayhoff AT gmail DOT com with the word - Sun Massacre – in the subject line.

However, think about, your name is already “out there”… I did a lot of thinking before I posted this and the bottom line is “we” in the journalism community can not help find jobs for “our” colleagues if we do not know you may looking for a job.

If you are like me - - I can no more stop writing than I can stop breathing…

Two quotes come to mind:

“When I stop working the rest of the day is posthumous. I'm only really alive when I'm writing.” Tennessee Williams

“Without writing I have no doubt I would turn into a basketcase.” Roy Meachum August 8, 2008 “Greasepaint Missing.”

Paul Moore, Deputy Managing Editor
Ann LoLordo, Opinion Editor
Larry Williams, Deputy Opinion Editor
Patricia Fanning, Education Editor
John McIntyre, Copy Desk Chief
Ray Frager, sports editor
George VanDaniker, sports editor
Eileen Canzian, metro editor
Steve Auerweck, Systems Editor
Jay Apperson, Regional Editor
Chuck Weiss, Photo Assigning Editor
Andrew Ratner, features editor and blogging columnist
Bernie Kohn, the investigative team's editor

Bureau Chiefs
Joe DeCarlo
Dan Clemens
Bill Caulfield

Columnists and critics:
Rashod Ollison, music critic
Rick Maese, sports columnist
Bill Ordine, sports columnist
David Steele, sports columnist

Liz Malby
Glenn Fawcett
Chiaki Kawajiri
Monica Lopossay
Doug Kapustin
Glenn Fawcett

Bill Wachsberger
Tracey Dieter
Carrie Lyle
Shirdell MacDonald

Copy desk:
Todd Windsor, designer/copy editor

Editorial Assistants:
Ellie Baublitz, editorial assistant
Makeda Crane, editorial assistant for opinion section
Fay Lande

Library staff:
Phyllis Kisner

This list is by no means complete.

If you wish your name added, e-mail me at kevindayhoff AT gmail DOT com with the word - Sun Mass – in the subject line.

Now let’s find jobs for everyone one this list.

20090429 Layoffs at the Sun


My columns appear in the copy of the Baltimore Sunday Sun that is distributed in Carroll County:

Another reason to not mow the yard

Reasons to not mow the yard ...

Mower sparks fire that destroys house [multimedia] By Gina Gallucci-White News-Post Staff Originally published in the Frederick News-Post April 30, 2009

Combustible materials left too close to a warm yard tractor ignited and caused a fire that destroyed a house Wednesday afternoon, according to the Division of Fire and Rescue Services.

Deputy Fire Marshal Ed Ruck estimated damage to the house at 5702 Catoctin View Court and its contents at $400,000.


The house had to be evacuated twice because the fire compromised the structure and the floor was starting to collapse, Ruck said. Several tankers had to be called because there are no hydrants in the area.

Members of the American Red Cross were called to the scene to assist the residents, he said.


Read the entire article here Mower sparks fire that destroys house [multimedia] – and then join me in advocating that the Maryland General Assembly outlaw mowing the yard.

20090430 Reasons to not mow the yard Number One

Charles Lollor Speaks at Solomons Island Tea Party

Charles Lollor Speaks at Solomons Island Tea Party

I had the wonderful opportunity to sit with Mr. Lollor last night at the Frederick County Republican Lincoln Reagan Dinner.

Kevin Dayhoff April 30, 2009

Charles Lollor Speaks at Solomons Island Tea Party on March 22 2009


Charles Lollor chairman of the Charles County Maryland Republican Central Committee is speaking at the Solomons Isand Tea party Rally on March 22 2009.
Kevin Dayhoff Soundtrack:
Kevin Dayhoff Art:
Kevin Dayhoff Westminster:

Easton town council elections May 4 2009

Easton town council elections May 4 2009



VOTE AT THE EASTON FIREHOUSE at 315 Aurora Park Drive and Creamery Lane

Polls open at 7 a.m. and stay open until 8 p.m.

Ward 2 Candidates - AARON WORSNUP * Edward Hoppe * Pete Lesher

Ward 4 Candidates - RON MITCHELL * Megan Cooke * Robert Tate


Candidates - LEN WENDOWSKI * John Ford * Moonyene Jackson-Amis

April 27th - Deadline for requests for absentee ballot applications

20090504 Easton town council elections May 4 2009
Kevin Dayhoff Soundtrack:
Kevin Dayhoff Art:
Kevin Dayhoff Westminster:

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Frederick Co Commissioners suspend incinerator bids

Meg Tully, Frederick News-Post: Frederick Co Commissioners suspend incinerator bids…

April 29, 2009

Frederick Co Commissioners suspend incinerator bids; will explore other options. Carroll Commissioners to discuss options Thursday morning.

From: Commissioners suspend incinerator plans Originally published April 29, 2009 By Meg Tully News-Post Staff:

Frederick County Commissioners are suspending deliberations on a proposed trash incinerator, and will focus instead on alternative disposal options.

The commissioners accepted bids on the project earlier this year, and appeared to have narrowed those down to a preferred site and contractor to build and run the incinerator.

But they voted 4-1 on Tuesday to suspend that process. Commissioner John L. Thompson Jr. voted against the motion.

Also known as waste-to-energy, the trash incinerator was intended to be a cheaper, long-term answer to the county's shrinking landfill space.


Commissioner Kai Hagen, an outspoken opponent of the incinerator, said he was willing to explore using a waste-to-energy plant outside the county, if it meant the commissioners would suspend the bid process for a
Frederick plant.

But he said that he believes other options, including increased recycling, composting and waste reduction efforts, are the best solutions.




Ay caramba.

Excerpted from: April 16, 2008 How to Make Trash Go Away Kevin E. Dayhoff
Tomorrow the Carroll County Board of Commissioners will deliberate in open session and – hopefully – make a decision regarding the offer from Frederick County to join forces to make 1,100 tons of trash a day go away.

Bear in mind, a further review of my files indicates that this is my fourth go-round regarding what to do with trash in Carroll County in 41 years – going back to 1967.

It was a few short years after the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970 that trash really hit the fan in Carroll County.

It has not been a pretty picture ever since. It was back in those days that the county began to take over or close a number of unpermitted de-facto landfills – and then proceed to open more.

Waste-to-energy was rejected once in 1984 and twice in the mid-1990s. Co-composting failed to get the nod in the late 1990s.

Since 1965, every landfill, except one, in which Carroll County has had some degree of participation remains to this day under consent decrees with the Maryland Department of the Environment for the necessary mitigation of environmental hazards. Currently there is no apparent relief on the horizon for the costs to the environment or the financial costs to landfilling.

Back in the first go-round in the 1972 time frame, many of us have felt that the best management approach to solid waste was source reduction and recycling.

It would take 18 long years to get the Maryland Recycling Act passed in 1988. That legislation required a recycling rate of 20 percent.



March 6, 2008
Making Trash Go Away – Part 2
Kevin E. Dayhoff
The February 26th joint meeting between Frederick and Carroll County over how to make trash go away came after two years of discussions and deliberations resulting from the Frederick County commissioners’ adoption of Resolution 06-05, on February 16, 2006.

March 5, 2008
Making Trash Go Away – Part One
Kevin E. Dayhoff
On February 26, the Frederick and Carroll County commissioners met to discuss how to make a combined 1,100 tons of trash-a-day go away.

20090429 SDOSM Frederick Co Commissioners suspend incinerator bids

Kevin Dayhoff Soundtrack:
Kevin Dayhoff Art:
Kevin Dayhoff Westminster:

The “spector” of Senator Arlen Specter

The “spector” of Senator Arlen Specter

Rick Santorum, Arlen Specter, and George W. Bush together in Spector’s April 20, 2004 re-election ad.

Arlen Specter loved Bush and Santorum in 2004

Yesterday Senator Arlen Specter announced that he has switched from the Republican Party to the Democrat Party.

The elite media loved it. It was Christmas in April.

At five terms, Senator Specter is the longest serving senator in Pennsylvania history and for three decades has served as a Republican.

Folks seem to want to get all wrapped around the axle over Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter switching parties – and that would be a mistake.

People who want to draw nationalize this and draw broad-seeping conclusions that it is a commentary on the state of the Republican Party are making too much out of it and missing the point.

All politics are local and this has little to do with the national Republican Party and everything to do with his upcoming 2010 re-election race – which at this point, he cannot win the primary…

As Mark Silva noted in “The Swamp,” “The Pennsylvanian said he had concluded that ‘the prospects for winning a Republican primary are bleak,’ and that he is ‘not prepared’ to have his 29-year record in the Senate decided by the electorate, the ‘jury,’ of the Republican Party primary. So he will run as a Democrat, enabling all the voters of the state that he has served since 1981 to cast a judgment on him.”

It would appear that Senator Specter has a knack for switching parties anytime the political winds deem it appropriate:

“Specter left the Democratic Party in 1965 when he was running for district attorney in Philadelphia, and was elected to the Senate as a Republican in 1980,” noted Silva

This too shall pass…
/posted by Kevin Dayhoff April 29, 2009

20090428 Senator Arlen Specter
Kevin Dayhoff Soundtrack:
Kevin Dayhoff Art:
Kevin Dayhoff Westminster:

McCabe and Mrs. Miller 1971

McCabe & Mrs. Miller

(Robert Altman directing Warren Beatty and Julie Christie in McCabe & Mrs. Miller. Photograph from Jerry Ohlinger's Movie Material Store)

(1971) Directed by Robert Altman. Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, Rene Auberjonois, William Devane, Shelley Duvall. Music by Leonard Cohen (121 min.)

McCabe & Mrs. Miller (Robert Altman, 1971) Trailer

Trailer for McCabe & Mrs. Miller directed by Robert Altman.The screenplay is by Robert Altman and Brian McKay from the novel McCabe by Edmund Naughton. The cinematography is by Vilmos Zsigmond and the soundtrack includes three songs by Leonard Cohen which had been issued on his 1967 album Songs of Leonard Cohen.


Warren Beatty - John McCabe
Julie Christie - Constance Miller
Rene Auberjonois - Sheehan
William Devane - the Lawyer
John Schuck - Smalley
Corey Fischer - Mr. Elliot
Bert Remsen- Bart Coyle
Shelley Duvall - Ida Coyle
Keith Carradine - Cowboy
Michael Murphy - Sears

McCabe & Mrs. Miller - McCabe (Warren Beatty) & Mrs. Miller (Julie Christie) meet for the first time

McCabe & Mrs. Miller, the unconventional 1971 western directed by veteran Robert Altman, could maybe best be described as "what reality TV would have looked like, if TV had existed back then". It's a very natural, bare bones, approach to film making, as if the audience gets a peek at the normal, every day doings of settlers in a new town. Warren Beatty is excellent in one of his best roles as John McCabe, small time entrepreneur and card player, who is riding on the reputation of some McCabe who - as the movie informs us - according to myth, is a legendary gunman. The McCabe who seeks residence in the newly developing town, however, is a far cry from the cowboys that we know from more conventional westerns.

But his mistaken identity helps him become the big man around town and soon he sets up several businesses, a whorehouse with possibly the most unattractive "chippies" ever put on celluloid being one of them.

This is mostly an atmospheric movie, that is filmed in chronological order, unlike most films. So, the actual sets were being built as the movie progresses, meaning they double as the expanding town. Beatty and Christie are excellent in their unassuming roles and all the bit players and extras deserve special compliments, as many of them were not real actors, but set builders and locals.

The wonderful and oddly fitting songs by Leonard Cohen complete this uniquemasterpiece. Also starring John Shuck, Rene Auberjonois and William Devane.

Related: My Wednesday, April 29, 2009 The Tentacle column: “The Mockingbird’s Song”:

20090429 SDOSM 19710000 McCabe and Mrs Miller
Kevin Dayhoff Art: (

Kevin Dayhoff Soundtrack:
Kevin Dayhoff Art:
Kevin Dayhoff Westminster:

Carole King “It’s Too Late” released April 1971

Carole King “It’s Too Late” released April 1971

This version here is from the 1971 album…

The song came up in my April 29, 2009 The Tentacle column, “The Mockingbird’s Song

The reclusive and enigmatic childhood friend of Truman Capote, Harper Lee, celebrated a birthday yesterday. She was born Nelle Harper Lee on April 28, 1926, in Monroeville, Alabama…

Carole King

Album: Tapestry

Song's name: It's Too Late

Song info: Lyrics and Music: Toni Stern and Carole King feat. Dina Carroll


Stayed in bed all morning just to pass the time
There's something wrong here
There can be no denying
One of us is changing
Or maybe we've just stopped trying

And it's too late baby, now it's too late
Though we really did try to make it
Something inside has died and I can't hide
And I just can't fake it

It used to be so easy living here with you
You were light and breezy
And I knew just what to do
Now you look so unhappy
And I feel like a fool

And it's too late baby, now it's too late
Though we really did try to make it
Something inside has died
and I can't hide it
And I just can't fake it

There'll be good times again for me and you
But we just can't stay together
Don't you feel it too
Still I'm glad for what we had
And how I once loved you

But it's too late baby, now it's too late
Though we really did try to make it
Something inside has died and I can't hide
And I just can't fake it

Don't you know that I...
I just can't fake it
Oh it's too late my baby
Too late my baby
You know
It's too late my baby

19710400 Carole King Its Too Late released April 1971

SDOSM 20090429

Kevin Dayhoff Soundtrack:
Kevin Dayhoff Art:
Kevin Dayhoff Westminster:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Red Eye at 500 by Matt Patterson

April 28, 2009

“Red Eye” has major cringe worthy moments… Matt Patterson has done a great job of making sense of this Fox show that more often than not, makes no sense – delightfully…

Often you just shake your head in disbelief and cover your eyes – and yet peak between your fingers. It is compelling, provocative and devoid of any socially redeeming value – and that is exactly why after watching it several times – you’re hooked. However, beware, admitting that you watch it has consequences and may subject you to ridicule. Whatever…

'Red Eye' at 500 by Matt Patterson Is there a stranger show on television than "Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld"? Careening between train wreck and brilliance (often within the same five minute segment), "Red Eye" has been providing necrophilia jokes and toilet humor alongside serious political commentary and biting social satire for over two years now. In...


Andy Levy, Bill Schulz, David Letterman, greg gutfeld, Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld, Steve Allen, Thaddeus McCotter Posted Apr 28th 2009 at 5:03 am in Daily Gut, Entertainment, Featured Story, Political Humor
More Featured Stories...

20090428 Red Eye at 500 by Matt Patterson

Kevin Dayhoff Soundtrack:
Kevin Dayhoff Art:
Kevin Dayhoff Westminster:

Mark Tapscott: Obama gives far Left 99 dreamy days

April 28, 2009

From Tapscott's Copy Desk

Tapscott's Copy Desk
Fresh and insightful opinion from Tapscott's Copy Desk, by the Washington Examiner's Editorial Page Editor Mark Tapscott. Got a tip or an oped to place? Send an e-mail to

Examiner Editorial Section Tuesday

Examiner Editorial
It's been a dreamy first 99 days of the Obama administration for the far Left in American politics.
Read the full story

Dirty Money Watch by Kevin Mooney
Will Sen. Tim Johnson, D-SD, give it back?
Read the full story.

Gene Healy, Examiner Columnist
A look at Obama's presidential power-grab.
Read the full story.

Marta Mossburg, Examiner Columnist
Maryland lawmakers should give College Park more independence, not more tax dollars.
Read the full story.

Scott Ott's Examiner Scrappleface
With flu strain running amok, Obama warns against anti-swine bias.
Read the full story.

Examiner OpEd by Douglas MacKinnon
Conservative journalists need not apply for Pulitzer Prizes.
Read the full story.

Examiner OpEd by Ana Carcani Rold
Taliban reigns over Pakistan's Valley of Death.
Read the full story.

Examiner OpEd by David Martosko
What you eat is everybody's business in the Nanny State.
Read the full story.
Sign up for the Washington Examiner Opinion Feed

Sign up for the Tapscotts Copy Desk RSS Feed
Sign up for Tapscotts Copy Desk Email Alerts

20090428 Obama gives far Left 99 dreamy days
Kevin Dayhoff Soundtrack:
Kevin Dayhoff Art:
Kevin Dayhoff Westminster:

The economy is so bad...

The economy is so bad...

April 27, 2009

Hat Tip: Grammy

I received this in an e-mail and it made me laugh – especially the last one…

CEO's are now playing miniature golf.

Jewish women are marrying for love.

Even people who have nothing to do with the Obama administration aren't paying their taxes.

Hotwheels and Matchbox stocks are trading higher than GM.

Obama met with small businesses to discuss the Stimulus Package: GE, Pfizer and Citigroup.

McDonalds is selling the 1/4 ouncer

Parents in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their children's names

A truckload of Americans got caught sneaking into Mexico

The most highly-paid job is now jury duty

Dick Cheney took his stockbroker hunting

People in Africa are donating money to Americans

Mothers in Ethiopia are telling their kids, "finish your plate, do you know how many kids are starving in the US ?"

Motel Six won't leave the light on

The Mafia is laying off judges

And finally...

Congress says they are looking into this Bernard Madoff scandal.
Hey, neat...the guy who made $50 billion disappear is being investigated by the people who made $750 billion disappear.

20090427 The economy is so bad...
Kevin Dayhoff Soundtrack:
Kevin Dayhoff Art:
Kevin Dayhoff Westminster:

The Swamp: White House apology: AF One 'photo-op' by Mark Silva

The Swamp: White House apology: AF One 'photo-op' by Mark Silva April 27, 2009

The low-flying journey of the United States of America jumbo-jet that serves as Air Force One when the president is aboard -- there are two -- created quite a stir today when the big blue bird, sans president but trailed by fighter jets, swept over the Statue of Liberty.

It was a military "photo-op,'' the Federal Aviation Administration said, and it had been coordinated with many local, state and federal agencies.


The White House at first indicated it didn't know anything about the photo opp -- but later in the day, Louis Caldera, director of the White House Military Office, said this about the flight of the presidential aircraft, sans president, over New York:

"Last week, I approved a mission over New York. I take responsibility for that decision. While federal authorities took the proper steps to notify state and local authorities in New York and New Jersey, it's clear that the mission created confusion and disruption. I apologize and take responsibility for any distress that flight caused."

Recommended for you:
Recriminations after lower Manhattan jet flyover sets off panic, memories of 9/11 (

Swine flu cases double in U.S.: 40 (@this site)

Flyover of 747, F-16 panics New Yorkers ( - Nation/World)

Effort to minimize the cost of pricey biotech drugs picks up steam on Capitol Hill ( - Business)

Big oil-producing countries forced to cut subsidies for gasoline at home ( - Business)
20090427 The Swamp WH apologizes for AF1 photo op by Silva

Kevin Dayhoff Soundtrack:
Kevin Dayhoff Art:
Kevin Dayhoff Westminster:

The First 100 Days of President Barack Obama

April 28, 2009 US Government Info

The First 100 Days of President Barack Obama President Obama's first 100 days in office come to an end on Wednesday. People expecting miracles and people expecting abject failure are both disappointed. Many Americans read many things into a new president's first 100 days, but there's plenty of time left. After Wednesday, you will still have 1,360 days to either look forward to or fear the rest of the Obama presidency.

Want $10 Million? Just Reform US Health Care If it's good enough, and it had better be really good, your idea on how to reform the U.S. health care system could win you $10 million, which would be just about enough to buy your own health insurance these days.

Bank Robbery Increases, FBI Reports Forget about stealthy identity thieves silently draining checking accounts through the Internet. Plenty of bank robbers still do it the old fashioned way, with guns drawn and getaway cars at the curb, according to the FBI.

Best Moves in a Bad Economy

Save & Invest the Right Way Find out how to beat a bear market, make smart choices, and keep your cool even when the economy is unpredictable.

More Topics
CDC Monitoring Mexico Swine Flu Outbreak
No travel bans, but some good advice

FDA Lowers Age Limit for Plan B Contraceptive
Now 17, with no prescription

Deceptive Mini-Wheat Ads Frosted by FTC
It was the 'alertness' claim

'Chameleon' Clothing Coming, Sandia Labs Says
Changes color to match surroundings

Obama Asks Cabinet for Cuts, Channels Dirksen
$100 million here, and there, and there

US Pledges Over $1 Billion in Aid to Pakistan
And that's just a 'down payment' folks

Get Government Info Headlines on Twitter Just follow me.

Visit Related About GuideSites:

U.S. Politics: Current Events Conservative Politics: U.S. Liberal Politics: U.S.

U.S. Military Civil Liberties

US Government Info Ads
US Government Grants Obama Quotes Obama Clothing Obama Shirts Obama Stickers

20090428 The First 100 Days of President Barack Obama

Kevin Dayhoff Soundtrack:
Kevin Dayhoff Art:
Kevin Dayhoff Westminster:

League of Women Voters Municipal Election Forums

League of Women Voters Municipal Election Forums

April 27, 2009

Recently the League of Women Voters hosted Municipal Election Forums at the Community Media Center for the upcoming municipal elections in Carroll County. “Forums are being broadcast on Channels 19 and 23. Residents were invited to attend and many submitted questions for the candidates which pertained to the municipalities.”

Election Schedule:

Hampstead -- May 12
Manchester -- May 19
New Windsor -- May 12
Sykesville -- May 5
Taneytown -- May 4
Union Bridge -- May 12
Westminster -- May 11
Mt. Airy -- Elections are next year

To access the Town of Sykesville Candidates' Forum for the upcoming election on Tuesday, May 5, 2009, please use the following link:

The City of Westminster mayor and council candidates’ forum may be found here:


New Windsor:



20090427 League of Women Voters Municipal Election Forums
Kevin Dayhoff: Westminster Maryland Online
Kevin Dayhoff Soundtrack:
Kevin Dayhoff Art:
Kevin Dayhoff Westminster:

Monday, April 27, 2009

Jerusalem Post: Iranian arms ship destroyed near Sudan

'Iranian arms ship destroyed near Sudan' By BRENDA GAZZAR AND JERUSALEM POST STAFF Apr 26, 2009

An Iranian vessel loaded with weapons to transfer to Hamas via Sudan was recently sunk in the Red Sea by an unidentified missile ship believed to be Israeli, according to Arab media.

The vessel was attacked by either an Israeli or American ship and destroyed, according to a report Sunday in the Egyptian weekly Al-Usbua.

"The ship was destroyed at sea near the Sudanese coast," sources told the weekly, adding that the cargo was to be taken through the Sudanese and Sinai deserts. They said the incident occurred within the past two weeks.

The unidentified ship that fired missiles at the Iranian boat was "likely an Israeli" one, according to an Egyptian security source quoted on Saturday in the Amman-based weekly Fact International.


The Iranian vessel was completely sunk and all personnel on it were killed, an event "expected to lead to further tension in Israeli-Iranian relations," the paper said.

Last month, Sudan said it believed that Israel carried out air strikes on its soil in February that targeted weapons smugglers.

While Israeli spokespeople did not comment on allegations of the country's involvement, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert hinted that Israel carried out the strikes, vowing that it would hit terrorist infrastructure wherever it was.

Sudanese sources said that one of these strikes destroyed an Iranian ship, possibly on its way to Sudan.

Read the entire article here:
'Iranian arms ship destroyed near Sudan' By BRENDA GAZZAR AND JERUSALEM POST STAFF Apr 26, 2009

20090426 JP Iranian arms ship destroyed near Sudan


'IAF planes bombed Gaza-bound weapons convoy'

Strike reportedly obliterates Iranian ship at sea

Security analyst: 'Sudan strike told Hamas, Iran: Your smuggling route is exposed'
Kevin Dayhoff Soundtrack:
Kevin Dayhoff Art:
Kevin Dayhoff Westminster:

WSJ: Presidential Poison

WSJ: Presidential Poison


APRIL 23, 2009

His invitation to indict Bush officials will haunt Obama's Presidency.

Mark down the date. Tuesday, April 21, 2009, is the moment that any chance of a new era of bipartisan respect in Washington ended. By inviting the prosecution of Bush officials for their antiterror legal advice, President Obama has injected a poison into our politics that he and the country will live to regret.

clipped from

Presidential Poison

[Review & Outlook]

Mark down the date. Tuesday, April 21, 2009, is the moment that any chance of a new era of bipartisan respect in Washington ended. By inviting the prosecution of Bush officials for their antiterror legal advice, President Obama has injected a poison into our politics that he and the country will live to regret.

Policy disputes, often bitter, are the stuff of democratic politics. Elections settle those battles, at least for a time, and Mr. Obama's victory in November has given him the right to change policies on interrogations, Guantanamo, or anything on which he can muster enough support. But at least until now, the U.S. political system has avoided the spectacle of a new Administration prosecuting its predecessor for policy disagreements. This is what happens in Argentina, Malaysia or Peru, countries where the law is treated merely as an extension of political power.
 blog it

20090423 WSJ: Presidential Poison
Presidential Poison

Kevin Dayhoff Soundtrack:
Kevin Dayhoff Art:
Kevin Dayhoff Westminster:

Westminster mayor and council agenda for April 13 2009

Westminster mayor and council agenda for April 13 2009

Home >> City Government



Mayor and Common Council Meeting of April 13, 2009

1. CALL TO ORDER – 7:00 P.M.

Mayor’s Proclamation – Fair Housing Month



Adoption of Ordinance No. 801 – Amendment of Water and Sewer Chapters Regarding Rates

Adoption of Ordinance No. 802 – Amendment to Utility Fee Ordinance Regarding Water and Sewer Rates


Episcopal Housing Corporation – Loan Subordination – Thomas Beyard



7. ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS (cont’d from above)

Suspend the Rules of Order and Procedure in Order to Introduce and Adopt Ordinance No. 803 – Sale of 18B Union Street – Thomas Beyard


a. None as of April 9, 2009


Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2010 – Marge Wolf




20090413 Westminster mayor and council agenda for April 13 2009
Kevin Dayhoff: Westminster Maryland Online
Kevin Dayhoff Soundtrack:
Kevin Dayhoff Art:
Kevin Dayhoff Westminster:

Cartoon: No Good Deed


Smiling Faces - President Barack Obama stopped by CIA headquarters April 20, 2009 Smiling Faces - President Barack Obama stopped by CIA headquarters…

20090420 SDOSM Remarks By The President To CIA Employees

20090422 SDOSM 1971 Smiling Faces Tell Lies by The Undisputed Truth

ALG Editor's Note: William's award-winning cartoons published at are a free service of ALG News Bureau. They may be reused and redistributed free of charge.

20090427 Cartoon No Good Deed
Kevin Dayhoff Soundtrack:
Kevin Dayhoff Art:
Kevin Dayhoff Westminster:

Jackie Robinson, the great American experiment

Jackie Robinson, the great American experiment

By Kevin Dayhoff April 15, 2009

Photo credit: Published in LOOK, v. 19, no. 4, 1955 Feb. 22, p. 78. Photo by Bob Sandberg: Jackie Robinson swinging a bat in Dodgers uniform, 1954. (19550222 1954 Jrobinson.jpg)

Art: (19880412 283) "Baltimore Baseball" by Kevin Dayhoff

Folks have been asking where they may find my column on “Jackie Robinson, the great American experiment.”

The column appeared in both the Westminster Eagle and the Carroll Eagle: Thoughts turn to baseball and Jackie Robinson Published April 17, 2009 by Carroll Eagle, Westminster Eagle and Dayhoff: Recalling Jackie Robinson, the great American experiment Published April 15, 2009 by Westminster Eagle

Pasted below is the column as it filed…

My thoughts today turn to one of my very few sports heroes – Jackie Robinson. For it was today, April 15, in 1947, that Jackie Robinson broke the Major League Baseball color barrier that had begun in the 1880s.

Wearing a Brooklyn Dodgers uniform with the number 42, Robinson, to paraphrase sports writer William McNeil, made his debut in front of 26,623 baseball fans at the old Ebbets Field. Approximately 14,000 of the spectators in the stands were African-Americans.

The Dodgers won 5-3; however, the real winner that day was all of us.

It was about time. As Washington Post columnist Shirley Povich wrote on March 28, 1997: “Four hundred fifty-five years after Columbus discovered America, white America discovered that blacks could play major league baseball. The first definitive clue was offered by the fifth child of a Cairo, Ga., sharecropper who was selected for the daring racial experiment.”

A brief account by the Library of Congress reveals “Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey signed a contract with Robinson to play for the team on October 23, 1945. Robinson then spent a year on a minor league team to sharpen his skills.

“Rickey, who called the move baseball's ‘great experiment,’ chose Robinson because of his excellent athletic record and strength of character. The first player to ‘cross the color line’ would have to be able to withstand intense public scrutiny and to avoid confrontation even when met with insults and hostility.”

As an aside, Richey also deserves a special place in history for having the character and insight to make it all happen. According to Povich, breaking the color barrier “had become a cause. Rickey was a former player and later a team president with high morals and a religious bent.”

It is interesting to note that Richey’s strength of conviction caused him, in earlier years when he played the game as an American League catcher, to “steadfastly” refuse to play baseball on Sundays, according to Povich.

Richey’s baseball scouts found Robinson playing for the Kansas City Monarchs in the “Negro baseball leagues” in 1945.

Povich writes that Richey “warned Robinson of the insults and the racial slurs he would hear from both players and fans in every city in the league. ‘I want a player with guts — the guts not to fight back, to turn the other cheek,’ Rickey told Robinson…”

“Rickey's bargain was for Robinson to hold his temper for two years. After that he was his own man, free to combat prejudice any way he saw fit.”

Robinson, by all accounts, endured a great deal of horrific abuse. However, according to the Library of Congress account, “Not only was Robinson able to quell opposition to his presence on the field, but he quickly won the respect and enthusiasm of the fans.”

That same account says that Robinson “retired from baseball after the 1956 season with a lifetime batting average of .311 and the distinction of having stolen home an incredible 19 times. A legend even in his day, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, his first year of eligibility.”

I should note that Robinson is the focal point of one of my three favorite baseball trivia stories – two of the stories happened in April and involve the Dodgers, but do have anything to do with a baseball. The third involves a potato…

The first favorite baseball moment also took place on April 25, 1976. It was that day that outfielder Rick Monday of the Chicago Cubs dashed between two men in the Dodger Stadium outfield in Los Angeles and grabbed away an American flag that protesters were about to burn.

The other event, which involves Robinson, is memorialized by a statute in front of “KeySpan Park,” a minor league baseball stadium in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York. The statute is of Dodgers shortstop Pee Wee Reese with his arm around Robinson.

Povich got the story behind the statute from New York Times’ writer Bob Herbert. In a game in Cincinnati: “As the crowd heaped abuse on Robinson, Reese called time and walked across the diamond and draped an arm around Robinson's shoulder, standing with him in defiance of the crowd's mood.

“It was at once a sentimental display of friendship for a beleaguered teammate and a resounding rebuke to the lackwits who could not come to terms with Jackie Robinson in a major league lineup.”

Povich notes that Roger Kahn, author of “The Boys of Summer,” said of the scene: “It gets my vote as baseball’s finest moment.”

And mine also.

And oh, the third story occurred on Aug. 31, 1987 and it involves a potato. Who knows the story? Tell us what you know of the “tater caper” in readers’ comments below.

That’s my two cents. What’s yours? Leave any comments here: Thoughts turn to baseball and Jackie Robinson Published April 17, 2009 by Carroll Eagle, Westminster Eagle and Dayhoff: Recalling Jackie Robinson, the great American experiment

Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster. E-mail him at kevindayhoff AT

Other Recent Explore Carroll columns by Kevin Dayhoff

Cutting the 'Horse Train Stop' of Sykesville out of Howard County
Published April 26, 2009 by Carroll Eagle

Dayhoff: Getting the Community Media Center out of the closet
Published April 21, 2009 by Westminster Eagle

Thoughts turn to baseball and Jackie Robinson
Published April 17, 2009 by Carroll Eagle, Westminster Eagle

Dayhoff: Recalling Jackie Robinson, the great American experiment
Published April 15, 2009 by Westminster Eagle

Mills' contributions to hospital follow a healthful tradition
Published April 12, 2009 by Carroll Eagle

Recalling the devastating Westminster fire of 1906
Published April 8, 2009 by Westminster Eagle
... Spring Carnival. It is never too early to start teaching your children fire safety. As history shows us -- it's everyone's concern and it can be a matter of life and death. Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster. E-mail him at kevindayhoff AT

County jail started out 0-for-1 when it came to holding prisoners
Published April 3, 2009 by Carroll Eagle

Dayhoff: A brief review of the Westminster Navy, and its role in American history Published April 1, 2009 by Westminster Eagle
... Navy; a proud heritage few Carroll Countians know. Now you know it too. Well, perhaps not. Happy April Fool's Day. Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster.

Merriment and joy, from one kind of cell to another
Published March 27, 2009 by Carroll Eagle, Westminster Eagle

Dayhoff says: When it comes to Obama on Jay Leno, get over it
Published March 26, 2009 by Westminster Eagle
20090415 Jackie Robinson, the great American experiment

This week in Explore Carroll

This week in Explore Carroll

just in
Victims' rights activist to speak in Sykesville
Posted 4/26/09 by Carroll Eagle, Eldersburg Eagle
Spring Fling, Taste of Eldersburg set for this weekend
Posted 4/26/09 by Carroll Eagle, Eldersburg Eagle
You're welcome to a meal, but we're cutting back on the 'gravy'
Posted 4/26/09 by Carroll Eagle
10 Days 04-26
Posted 4/26/09 by Carroll Eagle
Honorable Mention
Posted 4/26/09 by Carroll Eagle
Maryland Stars host Jaime Wohlbach catching clinic
Posted 4/25/09 by Eldersburg Eagle, Westminster Eagle
Sports Notes
Posted 4/22/09 by Eldersburg Eagle
Sports Notes
Posted 4/15/09 by Eldersburg Eagle
Posted 4/17/09 by Carroll Eagle, Westminster Eagle
'Fiddler' is lesson in culture
Posted 4/15/09 by Eldersburg Eagle
Five minutes with Floyd
Posted 4/09/09 by Carroll Eagle
2009 Carroll's Idol will be decided tonight
Posted 3/27/09 by Westminster Eagle
McDaniel president to retire
Posted 4/22/09 by Westminster Eagle
Century Idol will cap day of festivities
Posted 4/22/09 by Eldersburg Eagle
Teacher of the year finalists announced
Posted 4/02/09 by Carroll Eagle, Eldersburg Eagle, Westminster Eagle
Robo-Lions make it big in Annapolis
Posted 4/01/09 by Eldersburg Eagle
O'Malley tours 'best Main Street in Maryland'
Posted 4/25/09 by Carroll Eagle, Westminster Eagle
New Windsor bank to distribute survey
Posted 4/22/09 by Eldersburg Eagle
Krebs: SETT costs too high
Posted 4/22/09 by Eldersburg Eagle
Tight fit on Oklahoma?
Posted 4/22/09 by Eldersburg Eagle
Frederick William Will
Posted 4/22/09 by Eldersburg Eagle
Edna F. Trott
Posted 4/22/09 by Eldersburg Eagle
Lewis F. Thomas
Posted 4/22/09 by Eldersburg Eagle
The Rev. James L. Rousey Jr.
Posted 4/22/09 by Eldersburg Eagle
Garden veggie pizza takes on a new meaning
Posted 4/26/09 by Carroll Eagle
Here's a shout out to those who have learned to live with noise
Posted 4/26/09 by Carroll Eagle
Cutting the 'Horse Train Stop' of Sykesville out of Howard County
Posted 4/26/09 by Carroll Eagle
Posted 4/26/09 by Carroll Eagle

20090426 This week in Explore Carroll
Kevin Dayhoff Soundtrack:
Kevin Dayhoff Art:
Kevin Dayhoff Westminster:

Recent Explore Carroll columns by Kevin Dayhoff

Recent Explore Carroll columns by Kevin Dayhoff

Cutting the 'Horse Train Stop' of Sykesville out of Howard County
Published April 26, 2009 by Carroll Eagle

Dayhoff: Getting the Community Media Center out of the closet
Published April 21, 2009 by Westminster Eagle

Thoughts turn to baseball and Jackie Robinson
Published April 17, 2009 by Carroll Eagle, Westminster Eagle

Dayhoff: Recalling Jackie Robinson, the great American experiment
Published April 15, 2009 by Westminster Eagle

Mills' contributions to hospital follow a healthful tradition
Published April 12, 2009 by Carroll Eagle

Recalling the devastating Westminster fire of 1906
Published April 8, 2009 by Westminster Eagle
... Spring Carnival. It is never too early to start teaching your children fire safety. As history shows us -- it's everyone's concern and it can be a matter of life and death. Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster. E-mail him at kevindayhoff AT

County jail started out 0-for-1 when it came to holding prisoners
Published April 3, 2009 by Carroll Eagle

Dayhoff: A brief review of the Westminster Navy, and its role in American history Published April 1, 2009 by Westminster Eagle
... Navy; a proud heritage few Carroll Countians know. Now you know it too. Well, perhaps not. Happy April Fool's Day. Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster.

Merriment and joy, from one kind of cell to another
Published March 27, 2009 by Carroll Eagle, Westminster Eagle

Dayhoff says: When it comes to Obama on Jay Leno, get over it
Published March 26, 2009 by Westminster Eagle

20090426 Recent Explore Carroll columns by Kevin Dayhoff
Kevin Dayhoff: Westminster Maryland Online

Kevin Dayhoff Soundtrack:
Kevin Dayhoff Art:
Kevin Dayhoff Westminster:

White House press briefing on Swine Influenza

Press Briefing on Swine Influenza with Department of Homeland Security, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and White House

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

Secretary Napolitano, Department of Homeland Security
John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism
Dr. Richard Besser, Acting Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Robert Gibbs, Press Secretary

Mr. Gibbs: Good afternoon, guys. Thank you for taking some time out of your Sunday afternoon. We wanted to bring together many of the people that have the primary governmental responsibility in dealing with the situation and to discuss the government's capacity and capability to discuss the steps the government is taking to address this.

Three people we'll hear from today and then we'll take some questions: First, John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; Dr. Richard Besser, the Acting Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of Homeland Security.

So with that I'll turn it over to Mr. Brennan.

Mr. Brennan: Thank you, Robert. And thank you, everyone, for coming here today.

Obviously, President Obama is very concerned about the recent cases of swine flu that have been identified in the United States, as well as the outbreak in Mexico. The President's thoughts are with those who have been affected by this illness. He is monitoring the situation very closely and has supported a very active, progressive and coordinated response by his administration.

The President wants Americans to be fully informed of the situation, which is why we have convened this press briefing today. The vast majority of these cases have occurred in Mexico. Building on the close bilateral cooperation that President Obama advanced during his recent visit to Mexico, he has asked me to publicly convey his full support to President Calderón, the Mexican government and the Mexican people in their efforts to contain the outbreak.

Both the U.S. and Mexican governments are taking steps to reduce the potential for further transmission. Our goal is simple: to communicate information quickly and clearly for our citizens, to rapidly address any new cases that emerge, and to have the capacity to effectively limit the spread.

At this point a top priority is to ensure that communication is robust and that medical surveillance efforts are fully activated. This will enable both the rapid identification and broad notification of any new cases that may occur in the U.S., as well as in Mexico.

We believe that our increased surveillance efforts have resulted in the identification of new cases over the last 24 hours. Early identification is vitally important to the overall effort. In the event that additional cases or sites of infection occur within the United States we want to recognize them quickly and then respond rapidly with appropriate guidance for the public health community and the general public in the infected area. We also want to ensure medical surveillance and testing and the provision of medications and medical supplies are distributed where necessary.

I would like to share with you some of the steps the administration has taken to ensure that information about this evolving event is flowing swiftly among federal, state and local partners, between U.S., Mexican, Canadian and other governments and with the World Health Organization.

First, the President is receiving regular updates and briefings on the situation. I updated the President earlier today. The President has reviewed our national capabilities to mitigate the effects of a broader outbreak in the United States and the steps we are taking to support state and local governments and their public health experts.

I am consulting closely with Secretary Napolitano, who is the principal federal official for domestic incident management with responsibility for spearheading our efforts. The Homeland Security Council has convened an interagency body of senior federal experts to facilitate coordination among the federal departments and agencies that have a role in recognizing, responding to, and communicating with domestic and international partners regarding health incidents that have the potential for significant impact to our nation's well-being.

This group has been conferencing daily to share updates and to identify actions we can take now to respond to developments in an accelerated and effective manner. The information and decisions of the group are reported daily to senior leaders in the federal government and throughout the White House. Additional reports are provided as new information of significance becomes available.

While the President and his administration are actively coordinating the overall government response, individual departments and agencies with specific responsibilities as well as unique expertise and experience in dealing with public health risks are leading key elements of the effort.

For example, the Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for the overall effort to coordinate disease surveillance, medical preparedness, and guidance to public health professionals in the event that further cases are detected. The Departments — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has responsibility for identifying and tracking the spread of the disease and for communicating health-related information to the government, media, and public. To this end, the CDC has held regular public briefings since Friday.

In a moment, Dr. Richard Besser, the Acting Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will provide an update on the situation in the United States and Mexico, as well as where health professionals and the public can go for reliable information and guidance on swine influenza.

As I mentioned, Secretary Napolitano and the Department of Homeland Security have the overall lead for coordinating the federal response to an influence epidemic in the United States. The department is closely coordinating with Health and Human Services and CDC to monitor the situation.

After Dr. Besser speaks, you will hear from Secretary Napolitano, who will update you on the department's efforts to coordinate response preparations and actions to date. The Secretary also will describe actions that are underway to ensure communication of timely and accurate information at land borders and at ports of entry as well as to travelers who seek additional information.

Clearly we all have individual responsibility for dealing with this situation. We should all be practicing good hygienic practices, such as hand-washing on a regular basis; if you feel sick, it makes sense to stay home; and then also following the other practices that are common sense when we deal with an outbreak of flu every year.

I would ask that you hold your questions until after Dr. Besser and Secretary Napolitano have finished their remarks.

Dr. Besser: Thank you, Mr. Brennan. First, I want to say that our hearts go out to the people in Mexico and the people in the United States who've been impacted by this outbreak. People around the country and around the globe are concerned with this situation we're seeing, and we're concerned as well. As we look for cases of swine flu, we are seeing more cases of swine flu. We expect to see more cases of swine flu. We're responding and we're responding aggressively to try and learn about this outbreak and to implement measures to control this outbreak.

Let me provide for you an update in terms of where we are today and what kinds of public health actions are being taken here as well as abroad. Today we can confirm that there are 20 cases of swine flu in the United States. We have five affected states: There are eight cases confirmed in New York City, there's one case confirmed in Ohio, two in Kansas, two in Texas, and seven in California.

And again, as we continue to look for cases, I expect that we're going to find them. We've ramped up our surveillance around the country to try and understand better what is the scope, what is the magnitude of this outbreak.

The good news — all of the individuals in this country who have been identified as cases have recovered. Only one individual had to be hospitalized. But I expect as we continue to look for cases, we are going to see a broader spectrum of disease. What we know about this virus is it looks to be the same virus as is causing the situation in Mexico. And given the reports out of Mexico, I would expect that over time we're going to see more severe disease in this country.

There are some things that it's important people understand: Flu viruses are extremely unpredictable and variable; outbreaks of infectious disease are extremely unpredictable and variable. And so over time what we say about this and what we learn will change. Expect changes in terms of the number of cases. We're going to try and give you consistent information and have it on our web site once a day, so that we don't get into the situation where you're hearing different numbers of cases throughout the day — we're going to report that daily.

We expect that we're going to be changing our recommendations over time based on what we learn. And that's an important thing. You'll start to see different activities taking place in different parts of the country, depending on the local outbreak picture — and that's good. You want people to respond based on what the situation is in their community, based on what situations are in particular countries.

Because of this speed in which things are progressing, you will at find — at times find inconsistent information, and we're going to work really hard to make sure that that doesn't stay up for long. But as we're updating recommendations and they're going out through various sources, you may find some inconsistency and we will work to minimize that.

This is moving fast, but I want you to understand that we view this more as a marathon. We do think that this will continue to spread, but we are taking aggressive actions to minimize the impact on people's health.

It's important that people understand that there's a role for everyone to play when there's an outbreak going on. There are things that individuals do, there's things that families do, communities do to try and reduce the impact. At the individual level, it's important people understand how they can prevent respiratory infections. Very frequent hand-washing is something that we talk about time and time again and that is an effective way to reduce transmission of disease. If you're sick, it's very important that people stay at home. If your children are sick, have a fever and flu-like illness, they shouldn't go to school. And if you're ill, you shouldn't get on an airplane or another public transport to travel. Those things are part of personal responsibility in trying to reduce the impact.

It's important that people think about what they would do if this outbreak ramps up in their community. We understand that in New York City there's a cluster of disease in a school and New York City has announced that they're not having those children come back to school on Monday, so that they can understand better about transmission in that school. There's a similar situation in Texas. Those are very smart public health decisions. If there are other communities where we saw cases in a school, we would be recommending that they take those actions as well.

So it's time for people to be thinking — forward-thinking about, well, if it were my child's school, what would I do, how would I be prepared for that kind of an event. We view the public as partners in the efforts to try and control what's going on.

There are a number of sources of information. I want people to know that the CDC web site — — has our latest information on swine flu. There's a link from there to very current information and there's a link there to a Spanish language site as well.

So let me talk about some of the public health actions that are going on. We are working very closely with state and local public health on the investigations going on around the country. We're providing both technical support on the epidemiology as well as support on the laboratory in terms of confirming cases.

We're also doing a lot of work with the World Health Organization, the Pan American Health Organization, and the governments of Mexico and Canada on this outbreak. There's a tri-national team that is working in Mexico to try and understand better the spread — why are they seeing more severe disease in Mexico than we are here? That's a critical question. We're working to assist Mexico in establishing more laboratory capacity in-country. That, again, is very important because when you can define someone as a truly confirmed case, what you understand about how they acquire disease takes on much more meaning.

We issued two days ago an outbreak notice on our web site regarding travel to Mexico. It indicated that if you are traveling to Mexico, that you look at that to see what precautions could you take as an individual to reduce the likelihood that you became ill. We're going to continue to evaluate the situation in Mexico, and if need be we will increase the warnings based on what the situation warrants.

Later today we're going to be putting out some additional community guidance so that public health officials will know what our general recommendations are should they see cases in schools or additional cases in their community.

And I think that the last thing I want to mention is that whenever we see a novel strain of influenza, we begin our work in the event that a vaccine needs to be manufactured. So we've created that seed stock, we've identified that virus, and discussions are underway so that should we decide to work on manufacturing a vaccine, we can work towards that goal very quickly.

Our support to the states and locals will continue. We provide epidemiologic support, laboratory support, and we provide them support in terms of their medications and other material that they need to work on this outbreak.

So thank you very much, and I'll turn it over to the Secretary.

Secretary Napolitano: Thanks, Dr. Besser. A number of things going on and the purpose of today, this briefing, is to give you the most current information about what is happening. And as has been mentioned before, this is a changing picture. And so we intend to conduct these types of briefings daily for a while so that, you know, it can help up communicate to the public what is happening and so that with knowledge people know what kind of issue we're dealing with.

The first thing I want to announce today is that the Department of Health and Human Services will declare today a public health emergency in the United States. That sounds more severe than really it is. This is standard operating procedure and allows us to free up federal, state, and local agencies and their resources for prevention and mitigation; it allows us to use medication and diagnostic tests that we might not otherwise be able to use, particularly on very young children; and it releases funds for the acquisition of additional antivirals.

So you'll see those declarations coming out today. And when I say "standard operating procedure," that's exactly what I mean. We issued similar declarations for the recent floods in Minnesota and North Dakota and for the inauguration.

Second, I want to give you some information about where we are with respect to antiviral drugs. These are the kinds of things you would take should you get sick with this strain of flu. We have 50 million treatment courses of antiviral drugs — Tamiflu and Relenza — in the strategic national stockpile. We are releasing 25 percent of those courses, making them available to all of the states, but particularly prioritizing the states where we already have confirmed incidents of the flu. In addition, the Department of Defense has procured and strategically prepositioned 7 million treatment courses of Tamiflu.

The United States Department of Agriculture is heavily involved in monitoring and testing to ensure that there is no issue with our food supply, and everything looks fine. I want to underscore that you cannot get the swine flu from eating pork. So that's very important. And we're screening and testing livestock to monitor any developments there.

Next, in the Department of Homeland Security, we have a number of components with direct responsibility here. The CBP is inventorying for every duty station and every employee our resources, personal protective equipment, and so forth, to make sure that we have adequate supplies on hand at the borders themselves.

Secondly, we have implemented passive surveillance protocols to screen individuals who may arrive at our borders. All persons entering the United States from a location of human infection of swine flu will be processed through all appropriate CBP protocols. Right now those are passive. That means that they're looking for people who — and asking about, are you sick, have you been sick, and the like; and if so, then they can be referred over for further examination.

Travelers who do present with symptoms, if and when encountered, will be isolated per established rules. They will be provided both with personal protective equipment and we will continue to emphasize universal health measures like hand-washing and gloves. And if and when the situation develops all CBP sites can implement and we can deploy additional personnel to the borders.

In addition, at the TSA, many of the similar measures are being implemented there with respect to the protection of our TSA workers and also their experience with travelers. To date, the State Department has not issued official travel advisories for particularly Mexico, but again, as I said earlier, these situations are very fluid and so you need to keep up to date on that. In addition to the CDC website, the Department of State has a website that will keep travelers posted on what the situation is not only with our neighboring countries, but with countries around the world.

As I said earlier, our intent is to update you daily on this situation so that you can know what is happening within the federal government. State and local governments obviously now are in the loop. State and local public health authorities obviously are working very hard and will be working hard, because as the doctor said, this will be a marathon, not a sprint, and even if this outbreak is a small one, we can anticipate that we may have a subsequent or follow-on outbreak several months later, which we will be prepared for.

And again, the government can't solve this alone. We need everybody in the United States to take some responsibility here. If you are sick, stay home. Wash your hands, take all of those reasonable measures; that will help us mitigate, contain how many people actually get sick in our country.

Thank you.

Mr. Gibbs: With that, let's take a few questions.

Question: Thanks, Robert. Are there any U.S. clusters that suggest this is easily spread? Have we seen any pockets of suspected cases in the U.S. that suggest this could be on the scale of Mexico? And you say it's a marathon. How long is this marathon going to be?

Dr. Besser: Thanks for those questions. In terms of duration, my comment earlier about every outbreak is unique is really important to remember. And so it's very hard to say. There's one thing in our favor; we're nearing the end of the flu season, we're nearing the end of the season in which flu viruses tend to transmit very easily. And so we would expect to see a decline in cases, just like we're seeing a decline in cases of seasonal flu, at some point.

The issue of clusters is an important one, and New York City earlier talked about their school cluster, and that's important. Some of our early epidemiologic investigations are showing that contacts of people who have been diagnosed have a significant rate of respiratory infection — not confirmed to be this; we only have one documented by viral isolate case in this country of person-to-person spread — and that was an individual who had gone to Mexico and came back, and then there was a spouse who was diagnosed as well, and both are doing well.

Question: Robert, how concerned are you about the potential for this outbreak to set back the hopeful economic recovery both here in the United States and globally? And secondly, what if anything are we meant to read into the fact the President Obama decided to go golfing today? Is this part of your effort to reassure Americans that there's no need to panic?

Mr. Gibbs: I'm not sure I would draw a direct conclusion between the news today and the President's golf. (Laughter.)

I think as Mr. Brennan said, the President has been updated regularly on this and we'll continue to do so as we will continue to regularly update you.

In terms of anything that is affected economically both here and worldwide, I think it's probably far too early to determine whether that will be a case or whether that will have some factor. We just want to ensure that people understand the steps that are being taken both here and throughout government to address the situation, as well as, as each of these speakers have said, understand the individual responsibilities that people have. If you have questions, go to the CDC website at And as the doctor mentioned, there's also a Spanish version of that site.

Question: First to you, Robert. Why was it necessary to have the President checked this morning?

Mr. Gibbs: The President hasn't been checked this morning.

Question: Ms. Jarrett indicated today on a Sunday morning program that he had been.

Mr. Gibbs: I will double-check. I don't know of any reason why he would have been.

Question: And Dr. Besser —

Mr. Gibbs: Let me expand that a little bit. I think these guys obviously have more medical degrees than I do, but the incubation period for this is a 24-48 hour incubation period. The doctors advised us that the President's health was never in any danger. We've been gone from Mexico for now more than nine days.

Question: Dr. Besser, you mentioned seed stock for vaccines. What is the threshold that you have to meet before you consider developing that vaccine and deploying that vaccine?

Dr. Besser: There are a number of things that we look at going into the decision as to whether to make a vaccine. One is the severity of the strain, its sustainability in the community; do we anticipate that it's a virus that will be here next flu season — so you want to prepare for that. Then there are issues in terms of production. Currently manufacturers are working on seasonal flu vaccine for next season, which has three types of influenza virus — or influenza antigen in it. We have to have discussions to determine could they add a fourth; would it require substituting or changing production in another way?

All of those discussions are underway, so that if there's a decision to move in that direction we'd be ready.

Question: I notice that you're not recommending that people, even if they're ill, become vaccinated. Has the President been vaccinated by Tamiflu or Relenza? And at what level does this have to get before we go from a public health emergency to a federal pandemic plan?

Dr. Besser: I wanted to clarify a couple things you said. Oseltamivir and zanamavir are not vaccines. Those are antiviral drugs that can be used to treat somebody who is ill.

One of the points I didn't make before is that if someone is ill with flu-like symptoms, in particular if they've traveled to an area that's been involved, they need to contact their doctor and determine what type testing and treatment is indicated.

At this point there is not a vaccine for this swine flu strain. It's a new strain of influenza. And so what we're talking about is whether it's warranted at this point to move toward manufacturing a vaccine.

Question: Two questions. First, I want to know if the public health emergency declaration allows the federal government to invoke any kind of quarantine powers. And if so, how would that be used? And second, we've been hearing for years that we could have another 1918-like pandemic. So based on what you know right now, how likely is it that this could be a very, very severe outbreak?

Secretary Napolitano: The public health declaration does not, in and of itself, convey quarantine authority. And most quarantine authority is held at the local and state level, and we're nowhere near that sort of a decision. The decisions that have been made to date are the common-sense ones, the few places where we've had a U.S. outbreak, to close a school here, close a school there. But most quarantine authority is held at the state and local level. And this declaration does not, in and of itself, provide that.

Dr. Besser: The other part of your question had to do with 1918 and what we're seeing here. One of the very important issues that we're looking at is how severe is this outbreak that's taking place. What we're seeing in this country so far is not anywhere near the severity of what we're hearing about in Mexico, and we need to understand that.

It's also important to recognize that there have been enormous efforts going on around the country and around the world for pandemic preparedness and that our detection of this strain in the United States really came out as part of that. There was work going on in San Diego in terms of developing a point of care test kit, something that could be used in doctors' offices, that detected a strain they couldn't identify, and that was identified in our laboratories as the swine flu strain. And so that — really some of the preparedness activities, the laboratory capability that we have now is not what it was five years ago, let alone in 1918. We understand a lot about how flu should be managed and treated.

Question: And if I could just follow with one other question. Relenza and Tamiflu, how effective are they in treating this particular strain, if at all?

Dr. Besser: At this point, it's premature to talk about how effective they are. Those are some of the studies that we would want to undertake and assist Mexico in undertaking. We do know from seasonal flu that early treatment with antivirals can shorten the course of illness. But in terms of this situation, we know that the strain is susceptible, it's not resistant to those drugs. It is resistant to other drugs, amantadine and rimantadine. But it's not resistant to oseltamivir and zanamavir, which are the drugs that we've been stockpiling.

Secretary Napolitano: I just wanted to clarify — on the declaration of emergency, I wish we could call it declaration of emergency preparedness, because that's really what it is in this context. It's similar to what we do, for example, when we know — when a hurricane may be approaching a site, we will go ahead and issue an emergency declaration that allows us to preposition — frees up money, resources to get pre-positioned, to get ready. A hurricane may not actually hit a particular landfall, but it allows you to undertake a number of preparatory steps. And really that's what we're doing right now, the government. We're leaning forward, we're preparing in an environment where we really don't know ultimately what the size or seriousness of this outbreak is going to be.

Question: Dr. Besser, you said we were likely to see more cases and the CDC's Dr. Ann Schuchat said yesterday, "We do not think we can contain the spread of this virus." What exactly does that mean?

Dr. Besser: In strategies for outbreak control there's a concept of containment where if you can detect it very quickly in one community, that you could swoop in and try and quench it and knock it out so it doesn't go further. We don't think that that's a possibility, but we do think that it's very possible to mitigate or reduce the impact of this infection around the country.

In terms of detection, what we're seeing in this country is mild disease — things that would never have been detected if we weren't ramping up our surveillance. And so my comment there is that by our efforts of asking doctors to culture — we are asking doctors when they see someone who has flu-like illness who has traveled to an affected region to do a culture — take a swab in their nose and send it to the lab so we can see, is it influenza, is it this type. And I expect that as we do that we're going to find cases all — in many different parts.

When I mentioned the states we're seeing cases in right now, they're not all contiguous. The travel patterns of people now are such that we would expect that we're going to see cases in more states.

Question: If I could follow up on that, is it true that it took a week until after Mexico had invoked its own protective measures before the U.S. was notified of this? And is it a significant concern that HHS is in charge of this at a time when it doesn't have a Secretary?

Dr. Besser: In terms of detection and reporting, you know, the confirmation of swine flu from Mexico was shared with us immediately. There was great collaboration between Canada and Mexico on doing that testing. I'm in daily communication with their public health leadership and the collaborations have been absolutely superb. We share information about what we're seeing here and they're sharing information about what they're seeing in Canada and in Mexico.

Question: They sent those tests to Canada rather than the U.S., apparently because of paperwork.

Dr. Besser: Well, we have — there are quite a number of isolates that we've tested here from Mexico as well.

Mr. Gibbs: In terms of a Secretary, I think these guys have given you a pretty good indication of the response mechanisms that are in place and that have been activated relating to this. So I think it's all hands on deck and we're doing fine. I would say we're hopeful that we have a new Secretary very shortly.

Yes, ma'am.

Question: Secretary Napolitano, I believe Japan and South Korea have both now announced that they're going to begin testing on passengers coming in from the U.S. Why is the U.S. not doing that with passengers coming in from Mexico? And then also, do you have any indications — I know it's still very early yet — but any indications that perhaps this might have been caused by bioterrorism, this new strain of flu?

Secretary Napolitano: I'll let John answer the second part. With respect to that, we're doing, as I said, passive surveillance now. Right now we don't think the facts warrant a more active testing or screening of passengers coming in from Mexico, although obviously we are letting air carriers and our employees at the gates on those flights make sure that they are asking people if they're sick; and if they're sick, that they shouldn't board the plane — you know, that sort of thing, passively.

But again, this is a changing dynamic that we may increase or decrease that as the facts change over the next 24, 48, 72 hours.

Dr. Besser: Yes, the question about the strain that we're seeing here, we analyzed that strain and are continuing to do further analysis of that strain and we expect to see the emergence of new flu strains. That's something that we are continually watching for to ensure that we're ready should a strain emerge that there's not immunity and protection in the community for it. This strain is not unlike other new strains that have emerged. It's an assortment — it's got genetic components from a number of sources, including human, swine, and avian sources. And that's something that you see with new strains.

And so there's nothing that we have seen in our work that would suggest anything but a naturally occurring event.

Question: But from a security perspective, nothing to rule it out either — the possibility of bioterrorism?

Mr. Brennan: We are looking at all different aspects here, but as the doctor said, there is no evidence whatsoever that we have seen. But clearly, in order to make sure that we're doing everything possible, we're looking at all potential explanations here — but no evidence whatsoever on the bioterrorism —

Question: How do the — Madam Secretary, how do the stocks of effective antivirals today compare to previous outbreaks — SARS, for example? And will DOD stocks be available for the public, or are those just for DOD?

Secretary Napolitano: Right now the DOD stocks I believe are for the DOD personnel, but I'll have to confirm that for you later. I believe that to be the case. We have 50 million courses that are in the national stockpile. As I said, we're freeing up a quarter of those for use by the states, in addition to whatever state stockpiles they have, should they need it. Priority will go to the states that have confirmed outbreaks of disease. And I don't have the history on how that compares to what we had on hand for SARS.

Dr. Besser: The strategic national stockpile has considerable assets for treating flu. In addition to the antivirals, there's the supplies should we see hospitalizations that would warrant support. SARS is a different picture in that there were — there was not a medication that people could take to treat it, and so this is a very different situation.

And as part of our planning for a large outbreak this pre-deployment of availability is a leaning-forward step. We know that many states aren't seeing any cases, but it was our belief that having things there ahead of time was the way to go, rather than waiting until it got to a point where people were asking.

Question: Secretary Napolitano, you mentioned the quarantine power and, you know, that's really a state and local issue. What additional authority does the President have, what other powers does he have to contain this, to mitigate it, whatever. What else can he do?

Secretary Napolitano: I don't want to give you a legal brief on that right now, but that's —

Question: Perhaps later? (Laughter.)

Secretary Napolitano: Yes, exactly. (Laughter.)

We want to make sure that it's very precisely explained to you and to the public. So perhaps we could brief that to you later on this week.

Question: But there are additional things? You guys are confident that — measures that you can take, beyond a declaration of emergency — things that you can do at the federal level?

Secretary Napolitano: Yes.

Question: Okay. And Robert, actually, can you follow up on that eco question, on the eco trade. I just want to be clear, you're not at all studying this, measuring what sort of effect this could have economically — you're just not at that level yet?

Mr. Gibbs: I'll check with NEC. I don't know of anything related to that at this point, but we can certainly check.

Yes, ma'am.

Question: What haven't you banned U.S. travel to Mexico and why haven't you changed the U.S. alert level in the face of this — unless the declaration of public health emergency is doing that?

Dr. Besser: I can comment. We have at CDC posted an outbreak notification regarding Mexico, and we're continuing to watch the situation there and evaluate. And should it be warranted, we would make a change in that regard.

In terms of the stages and phases of pre-pandemic situations, the real important take-away is that we have an outbreak of a new infectious disease that we're approaching aggressively. And it matters much less what you call it. Those things are designed to trigger actions, but we trigger our actions based on what we're seeing here in-country as well as what we see around the globe. And given that this new strain is something we're experiencing here on the ground, we're being very aggressive and addressing that based on what we're seeing in each community.

Question: What has been discovered so far about why people in Mexico have died, but not elsewhere?

Dr. Besser: That's an unanswered question. We have folks on the ground and we haven't been able to find an answer for that. There are a number of different hypotheses and I'm hoping that we'll be able to shed some light on that as these teams get more established and continue their studies.

Question: For Dr. Besser, is there evidence of ongoing transmission in Mexico, or are the cases being picked up there ones that happened in the last couple of weeks and are over? Or are there new chains of transmission being generated?

Dr. Besser: Again, I don't want to comment on the situation on the ground in Mexico. I've not heard that it is stopping. Their overall flu surveillance is only showing a small increase from what they would see annually, which, again, makes it difficult to use some of the surveillance tools to measure the impact of a new strain when you're in the midst of another flu season.

Question: Just to follow up on what the President — for you, Robert — what the President — did you say that he has not been treated with any kind of —

Mr. Gibbs: I said yesterday that he had not been. I will recheck with the doctor. Again, based on the incubation period, neither he, nor anybody that he traveled with, nor anybody in the press corps that I'm aware of would have exhibited any symptoms that would have caused any heightened awareness.

Question: But the doctor didn't check him out —

Mr. Gibbs: No. Again, in the absence of symptoms — I think this probably goes without saying, too — in the absence of symptoms, you shouldn't go get tested. That's going to crowd any sort of either public health or private health infrastructure. If you are sick or you do have symptoms, then you should take precautions. But there's not reason to believe that his — or anybody that traveled with him — health was in any sort of jeopardy.

Question: Just to follow up on the HHS question. Apparently, HHS —- CDC, Surgeon General assured there are no —

Mr. Gibbs: I thought he was doing a pretty good job. (Laughter.)

Question: But it raises a political question about how movement there has been stalled because of HHS. I mean, do you have — has the President expressed concern about the fact that you don't have a team in place there, or at the —

Mr. Gibbs: No, because — I want to be very clear here. There is a team in place. The team is — part of it is standing behind me, and part of it is working as we speak to identify exactly what the doctor and others have talked about. I think this notion somehow that if there's not currently a Secretary, that there's not the function that needs to take place in order to prepare for this either this or any other situation is just simply not the case.

Thanks, guys.

This page was last reviewed/modified on April 26, 2009.

20090426 SDOSM White House press briefing on Swine Influenza

Kevin Dayhoff Soundtrack:
Kevin Dayhoff Art:
Kevin Dayhoff Westminster: