Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Is it true that Obama led a “scandal-free” administration?

Obama claims that his administration has been free of major scandals
Obama claims that his administration has been free of major scandals

When Barack Obama was running for office, he promised to deliver a high degree of integrity and transparency. His teleprompter told him that he was going to be free of corruption and lawlessness, and he dutifully read those words out to his adoring fans. But after 8 years of Obama rule, does reality match his self-congratulating rhetoric?

Consider this article from the Daily Wire.

It lists 11 scandals that occurred during Obama reign of error:

  1. Operation Fast and Furious
  2. Benghazi
  3. The IRS targeted conservative organizations
  4. The DOJ seized Associated Press phone records as well as phone and email records from Fox News reporter James Rosen
  5. The NSA conducted mass surveillance against American citizens without a warrant
  6. The Obama administration paid ransom to Iran for hostages, and lied to the American people about it
  7. Hillary’s email scandal
  8. The Environmental Protection Agency poisoned a Colorado river
  9. The EPA also broke federal law in promoting a regulation
  10. The GSA scandal
  11. The Secret Service scandal

Surprisingly, Obamacare is not mentioned, even though Obama knowingly lied to the American people over and over about the true intentions and effects of the law – intentions and effects that are now understood by Americans who are being driven into bankruptcy by the law. The massive stimulus grants to Obama bundlers for “green energy” corporations that later went bankrupt are not mentioned. Giving green cards to refugees from Islamic countries without doing the proper background checks who then went on to kill Americans in terrorist attacks, (e.g. – Orlando, San Bernadino), is not mentioned. And of course the Democrat fascination with illegal immigration caused them to catch and release illegal immigrants who went on to commit crimes, including the murder of Kate Steinle. A lot more could be added to the list.

I think numbers 3 and 4 from the Daily Wire list above really show the character of the Obama administration: (links removed)

3. The IRS targeted conservative organizations. In 2013, Lois Lerner, who directed the Internal Revenue Service’s Exempt Organizations Unit, admitted that Tea Party organizations were targeted under the agency, but blamed it on lower-level employees. Such organizations were heavily scrutinized with invasive questions. Since then, Lerner and IRS commissioner John Koskinen have denied any wrongdoing and have stonewalled congressional efforts to investigate the matter, citing computer crashes for being unable to turn over related emails.

Meanwhile, a federal court concluded in August that conservative groups might still be facing targeted scrutiny from the IRS. It has also been reported that the Department of Justice (DOJ) knew about the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups as early as 2011.

4. The DOJ seized Associated Press phone records as well as phone and email records from Fox News reporter James Rosen. In the AP’s case, the DOJ was investigating a story involving “a CIA operation in Yemen that foiled an al-Qaeda plot in the spring of 2012 to set off a bomb on an airplane headed to the United States,” according to the Washington Post. The DOJ seized two months of phone records from the AP without informing the news outlet.

“There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters,” Gary Pruitt, president of the AP wrote to Holder at the time. “These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations, and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.”

In the Rosen case, the DOJ was investigating a story Rosen did involving North Korea and tracked “his movements and conversations,” according to Fox News, including phone numbers belonging to Rosen’s parents. The DOJ had listed Rosen as a “co-conspirator” under the Espionage Act in regards to the story—allegedly pressing a source for classified information. Rosen was never charged with a crime.

Fox News executive Michael Clemente called the DOJ’s actions against Rosen “downright chilling.” “We will unequivocally defend [Rosen’s] right to operate as a member of what up until now has always been a free press,” Clemente said in a statement, per the Washington Post.

 

The news media has a very short memory. They don’t focus on the scandals for more than a night or two, if at all. But conservatives have a long memory for scandals, especially the ones where government was used as a weapon against us.

Worst president ever leaves Trump a looming economic crisis

Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people?
Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people?

Consider this article from the Wall Street Journal, which discusses the latest CBO (Congressional Budget Office) report.

Massive budget deficits:

One lesson is that the days of easy deficit reduction are over. The annual deficit in 2016 rose for the first time in three years—by $148 billion to $587 billion. That’s 3.2% of GDP, up sharply from 2.5% last year. Mr. Obama has been able to ride falling defense spending from reduced military deployments overseas, but Pentagon outlays were flat in 2016. Military spending will probably have to increase in future years, no matter who wins Tuesday, to meet the growing challenges from Russia, China and Iran.

Looming entitlement crisis:

Mr. Obama will also leave town having failed over eight years to do anything to slow the booming burden of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Outlays for those three programs grew by $75 billion last year, or about 4.2%. They now account for 10% of the entire U.S. economy, the highest level ever, and rising.

More spending on welfare programs:

The President’s main contribution has been to put Medicaid on hyperspeed by expanding its coverage through ObamaCare. CBO’s budget gnomes report that Medicaid spending has climbed by nearly 40% in a mere three years—to $368 billion in 2016. That doesn’t include what the states are obliged to chip in.

Higher taxes and more regulations (e.g. – Dodd-Frank) killed economic growth:

Another lesson is that faster economic growth is essential to a healthier fisc. One reason for the deficit rebound in 2016 is that federal revenues increased by a mere $18 billion or less than 1%. Individual income-tax receipts were flat, while corporate income taxes fell by $44 billion or 13% as business profits sagged. This is what happens when the economy sputters at about a 1% growth rate for most of a year.

Massive spending:

Growth that slow couldn’t keep up with spending that increased 4.5% or $166 billion in 2016. Federal outlays were 20.9% of the economy for the year, up from 20.4% in 2014. A Republican Congress has kept that figure down from the heights of the Obama-Nancy Pelosi stimulus, but it is now set to take off again as more Baby Boomers start collecting Social Security and Medicare. (Millennials, get ready to pay even higher taxes throughout your working life.)

Looming crisis caused by rising interest rates:

This era may be ending as a new President takes office. The Fed may raise rates in December, and bond yields have been rising. Outlays for net interest on the debt increased by $23 billion or 9% in 2016, largely due to faster inflation. But inflation is still tame. If it begins to rise, the debt-financing burden will explode with more than $14 trillion of Treasury debt outstanding, much of it short-term. In January CBO said that if interest rates are 100 basis points above their projections each year for the next decade, the Treasury will have to pay an average of more than $160 billion per year.

And it’s not just fiscal matters. Investors Business Daily adds to the list of problems that Obama will pass on to Trump.

Low wages, high unemployment:

Obama, like every Democrat running for office, claimed to be the champion of the middle class, and that instead of “trickle down” economics, he’d growth the economy from the “middle out.” Instead, middle class wages stagnated throughout Obama’s term in office, with real median household income today exactly where it was when Obama took office.

And despite Obama’s constant bragging about the “longest” stretch of private sector job growth, the 15.5 million private sector jobs added since February 2010 hasn’t even kept pace with population growth — which climbed 17.5 million over that time. As a result, more than 14 million people have dropped out of the labor force since Obama took office. In fact, without the huge decline in labor force participation under Obama, the unemployment rate would be more like 10%, rather than the official 4.9%.

Higher health care costs and more health care regulations on businesses:

ObamaCare was supposed to be Obama’s grand legacy, showing how government could be a force for good. Instead, it’s become an epic failure that will have to dealt with by the next president. The reforms Obama said would repair a “broken” health system have themselves broken it. Premiums in the newly government-run individual market are up an average 22% nationwide, and at rates of 50%, 60%, even 113% in some states — increases unheard of before ObamaCare. Insurance markets that were once vibrantly competitive are now dominated by one or two carriers. ObamaCare has made Medicaid, an already terrible health program, worse by dumping millions more into it. ObamaCare’s taxes, mandates, and regulations are suffocating businesses.

Foreign policy disasters:

A list of Obama’s foreign policy failures would fill a volume, but here are just a few: Obama in 2011 prematurely removed troops from Iraq, creating a power vacuum later filled by ISIS; he let Iran’s covert nuclear weapons program continue, starting a nuclear arms race in the Mideast; after Obama called ISIS a “jayvee team,” it grew in clout and territory as a result of Obama’s neglect; Obama’s intervention in Libya during that country’s civil war led to the country becoming a terrorist haven, with no real government; he and Hillary Clinton pushed the “reset button” with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, and Russia launched hostile actions against its neighbors in Crimea and Ukraine, and threats to the Baltic states; Obama has signaled ambivalence over protecting traditional allies in Asia, leading to China arming up and bullying it neighbors. With massive defense cuts Obama put in place, it’s safe to say the U.S. hasn’t been this weak since the nadir of the Carter years.

This is not even to mention the $1.3 trillion dollar student loan bubble:

Federal student loans skyrocketed under Obama
Federal student loans skyrocketed under Obama

And yet another Democrat-caused mortgage lending crisis:

Another Democrat-caused mortgage lending crisis
Another Democrat-caused mortgage lending crisis is on the horizon

Democrats are always in favor of making it easy for people to borrow money, and leaving taxpayers on the hook to cover it. Are there enough people working to cover these debts? Has Obama been focused on helping to lower taxes and reduce regulations for job creators, so they can create new jobs? How will the millennials respond to being forced to pay for all the debt incurred by the man they voted for?

Obama’s weak Syria foreign policy produced the catastrophe of Aleppo

Neville Chamberlain Obama: peace in our time
Neville Chamberlain Obama: peace in our time

We elected a stupid man who doesn’t know how the world works. Although you would never know it from the mainstream media, Obama’s 8-year reign of error has been one foreign policy blunder after another. The retreat from Iraq, which created ISIS. The non-response to Russian aggression in Georgia and Ukraine. The disastrous interventions in Libya and Egypt. The deal to give Iran piles of cash to develop nuclear weapons. And his failure to react quickly to the Syrian crisis. Across the world it has been one failure after another, for 8 years in a row.

Here is the latest news from the far-left Washington Post:

THE BATTLE for Aleppo is ending in catastrophe, both for the tens of thousands of people who have been besieged there and for the future of Syria. On Wednesday, Syrian government and Iranian-led Shiite militia forces renewed attacks on the last rebel-held streets of the city, shredding a promiseto allow a peaceful evacuation. According to the United Nations, the pro-government forces have been executing civilians in the street or in their homes — including, on Monday, at least 11 women and 13 children. Thousands of men have been rounded up and gang-pressed into the Syrian army, or dispatched to an unknown but likely terrible fate. The United Nations’ term for this nightmare was apt: “A complete meltdown of humanity.”

The meltdown has several dimensions. One is the utter disrespect for the laws of war by the regime of Bashar al-Assad and its Russian and Iranian allies. These forces systematically destroyed hospitals, including pediatric facilities; decimated civilian housing with bunker-buster bombs and chlorine gas; and refused to allow food or humanitarian aid of any kind into the besieged districts of the city. Aleppo represents “the death of respect for international law and the rules of war,” David Miliband, the former British foreign secretary who now heads the International Rescue Committee, was quoted as saying . It sets a horrific precedent for conflicts in the 21st century.

The fall of Aleppo also means the elimination of any prospect in the foreseeable future for the end of Syria’s war or the waves of refugees and international terrorism it is generating.

Who is to blame for this?

The far-left Washington Post says it’s Obama’s fault:

Above all, Aleppo represents a meltdown of the West’s moral and political will — and in particular, a collapse of U.S. leadership. By refusing to intervene against the Assad regime’s atrocities, or even to enforce the “red line” he declared on the use of chemical weapons, President Obama created a vacuum that was filled by Vladimir Putin and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. As recently as October, Mr. Obama set aside options drawn up by his advisers to save Aleppo. Instead, he supported the delusional diplomacy of Secretary of State John F. Kerry, whose endless appeals to Moscow for cease-fires yielded — as Mr. Putin no doubt intended — nothing more than a humiliating display of American weakness.

And it’s not just the Washington Post.

Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people?
Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people?

The far-left extremist UK Guardian, one of the most radically secular and progressive newspapers on the planet, featured an article by a far-left writer entitled “Barack Obama’s presidency will be defined by his failure to face down Assad“.

Excerpt:

In an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic magazine earlier this year, President Obama said he was “very proud” of the moment in 2013 when, against the “overwhelming weight of conventional wisdom”, he decided not to honour his own “red line”, allowing Assad to escape accountability for a chemical attack that had killed more than 1,400 civilians.

Obama may be alone in this judgment. A year earlier, seemingly on a whim, he had set a red line on the use of chemical weapons at a time when none were being used. The red line was, in effect, a green light to conventional killing. But the regime called Obama’s bluff – and, predictably, he backed down. No longer fearing punishment, the regime escalated its tactics.

Nearly four times as many people were killed in the two years after the chemical attack as had died in the two years before. Obama’s abandonment discredited Syria’s nationalist opposition and empowered the Islamists. It helped Isis emerge from the shadows to establish itself as a major force. Together, these developments triggered a mass exodus that would displace over half the country’s population.

Everyone knows that the Obama administration bent over and bowed to the Russians and the Iranians from day one, with the “Russian reset” and the Iran nuclear weapons deal. Obama treated enemies like friends, and now we are seeing the consequences of his moral relativism and anti-American pacificism.

This part of the Guardian article is my favorite, because it really shows the fundamental problem – namely, that there is a complete disconnect between Obama’s high opinion of his own ability and the actual consequences of his policies in objective reality:

But in his valedictory press conference, last Friday, Obama defended his policy on Syria – albeit with logic whose fractures even his eloquence could not conceal. Inverting cause and consequence, he cited Russian and Iranian presence in Syria as his reason for not confronting Assad (neither was there in August 2013); he cited the disunion among rebels as the reason for not supporting them (they fragmented because they were denied meaningful support); and he cited the fear of deeper American involvement as his justification for restraint (even though a year later it would lead to a far bigger deployment across two states).

He really is in his own little world, where everything he does works fabulously well, because of his superhuman intellect. The man belongs in an insane asylum – never has someone so unqualified and incompetent had a higher opinion of himself, despite manifest failure that even the far left UK Guardian can see plainly. The American people elected an unstable clown who makes decisions based on delusions instead of evidence. And instead of correcting himself when his failures are known,  he persists in his delusions, casting the blame on everyone but himself. As if a narcissistic clown with no education and no resume ought to expect to be successful, and if he is not, then other people must be to blame.

What percentage of Muslims approve of radical Islam and terrorism?

Muslim populations in Europe
Muslim populations in Europe

Normally, when people ask me about this question, I go straight to the 2013 Pew Research survey which I blogged about before. But now I have something even better.

Here’s a post from Ben Shapiro at Breitbart News which looks at several polls from several different countries.

Shapiro writes: (links to polls removed)

So, here is the evidence that the enemy we face is not a “tiny minority” of Muslims, let alone a rootless philosophy unconnected to Islam entirely. It’s not just the thousands of westerners now attempting to join ISIS. It’s millions of Muslims who support their general goals, even if they don’t support the group itself.

France. A new, widely-covered poll shows that a full 16% of French people have positive attitudes toward ISIS. That includes 27% of French between the ages of 18-24. Anne-Elizabeth Moutet of Newsweek wrote, “This is the ideology of young French Muslims from immigrant backgrounds…these are the same people who torch synagogues.”

Britain. In 2006, a poll for the Sunday Telegraph found that 40% of British Muslims wanted shariah law in the United Kingdom, and that 20% backed the 7/7 bombers.Another poll from that year showed that 45% of British Muslims said that 9/11 was an American/Israeli conspiracy; that poll showed that one-quarter of British Muslims believed that the 7/7 bombings were justified.

Palestinian Areas. A poll in 2011 showed that 32% of Palestinians supported the brutal murder of five Israeli family members, including a three-month-old baby. In 2009, a poll showed that 78% of Palestinians had positive or mixed feelings about Osama Bin Laden. A 2013 poll showed 40% of Palestinians supporting suicide bombings and attacks against civilians. 89% favored sharia law. Currently, 89% of Palestinians support terror attacks on Israel.

Pakistan. After the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the Gilani Foundation did a poll of Pakistanis and found that 51% of them grieved for the terrorist mastermind, with 44% of them stating that he was a martyr. In 2009, 26% of Pakistanis approved of attacks on US troops in Iraq. That number was 29% for troops in Afghanistan. Overall, 76% of Pakistanis wanted strict shariah law in every Islamic country.

Morocco. A 2009 poll showed that 68% of Moroccans approved of terrorist attacks on US troops in Iraq; 61% backed attacks on American troops in Afghanistan as of 2006. 76% said they wanted strict sharia law in every Islamic country.

Jordan. 72% of Jordanians backed terror attacks against US troops in Iraq as of 2009. In 2010, the terrorist group Hezbollah had a 55% approval rating; Hamas had a 60% approval rating.

Indonesia: In 2009, a poll demonstrated that 26% of Indonesians approved of attacks on US troops in Iraq; 22% backed attacks on American troops in Afghanistan. 65% said they agreed with Al Qaeda on pushing US troops out of the Middle East. 49% said they supported strict sharia law in every Islamic country. 70% of Indonesians blamed 9/11 on the United States, Israel, someone else, or didn’t know. Just 30% said Al Qaeda was responsible.

Egypt. As of 2009, 87% of Egyptians said they agreed with the goals of Al Qaeda in forcing the US to withdraw forces from the Middle East. 65% said they wanted strict sharia law in every Islamic country. As of that same date, 69% of Egyptians said they had either positive or mixed feelings about Osama Bin Laden. In 2010, 95% of Egyptians said it was good that Islam is playing a major role in politics.

United States. A 2013 poll from Pew showed that 13% of American Muslims said that violence against civilians is often, sometimes or rarely justified to defend Islam. A 2011 poll from Pew showed that 21 percent of Muslims are concerned about extremism among Muslim Americans. 19 percent of American Muslims as of 2011 said they were either favorable toward Al Qaeda or didn’t know.

In short, tens of millions of Muslims all over the world sympathize with the goals or tactics of terrorist groups – or both. That support is stronger outside the West, but it is present even in the West. Islamist extremism is not a passing or fading phenomenon – it is shockingly consistent over time. And the West’s attempts to brush off the ideology of fanaticism has been an overwhelming failure.

A more recent poll says that 13% of Syrian refugees support Islamic State:

A first-of-its-kind survey of the hordes of Syrian refugees entering Europe found 13% support the Islamic State. The poll should raise alarms about the risks posed by the resettlement of 10,000 refugees in the U.S.

The poll of 900 Syrian refugees by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies also found that another 10% of the displaced Syrians have a lukewarm, but not entirely negative, view of the terror group. That means 23% — or almost 1 in 4 — could be susceptible to ISIS recruitment.

It also means as many 2,500 of the 10,000 Syrian refugees that the Obama administration is resettling inside American cities are potential terrorist threats.

Now contrast those facts with the views of Barack Obama and his allies in the mainstream media.

That video is from The Weekly Standard, here’s the text:

President Obama told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that 99.9 percent of Muslims reject radical Islam. He made the comments in response to a question about the White House avoiding using the phrase “Islamic terrorists.”

“You know, I think that the way to understand this is there is an element growing out of Muslim communities in certain parts of the world that have perverted the religion, have embraced a nihilistic, violent, almost medieval interpretation of Islam, and they’re doing damage in a lot of countries around the world,” said Obama.

“But it is absolutely true that I reject a notion that somehow that creates a religious war because the overwhelming majority of Muslims reject that interpretation of Islam. They don’t even recognize it as being Islam, and I think that for us to be successful in fighting this scourge, it’s very important for us to align ourselves with the 99.9 percent of Muslims who are looking for the same thing we’re looking for–order, peace, prosperity.”

So Obama denies all of these surveys, and instead invents a view of the world that is consistent with his feelings. A true man of the secular left.

This gap between belief and reality explains why he is now bringing 200,000 Syrian Muslim refugees into America, keeping Syrian Christian refugees out of America, and generally underestimating Islamic State (ISIS / ISIL) because he cannot believe that radical Islam is anything for us to be concerned about.

Is the government capable of vetting Syrian refugees to find threats?

Not so much:

The administration argues that it’s conducting interviews with Syrians at camps in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. But without security forces on the ground in Syria who can verify details, there is no way to back-check a refugee’s story to see if he is telling the truth and is, in fact, not a security threat.

Even when we had people on the ground in Iraq to screen refugees, terrorists got through the safety net.

In 2011, for instance, two Kentucky immigrants who had been resettled as Iraqi refugees were busted for trying to buy stinger missiles for al-Qaida.

It turned out that their fingerprints matched those linked to roadside bombs in Iraq. It was a major red flag that should have barred their entry, but U.S. screeners failed to take note. And the terrorists slipped into the U.S.

The administration’s vetting process for the massive influx of Syrian refugees is completely unreliable, admits the FBI official in charge of such security background checks.

“It’s not even close to being under control,” warned assistant FBI director Michael Steinbach.

We should not be believing the man who promised us that we could keep our doctor, keep our health plans, and that our health insurance premiums would go down $2,500. He is either lying, or he likes to speak on matters where he is not competent to know the truth of the matter.

UPDATE: ECM sends me this video from Ben Shapiro:

Awesome!

Communist Cuba’s violent suppression of dissenters under Fidel Castro

Communism in action: Cuban government arrests dissenter after a beating
Communism in action: Cuban government arrests dissenter after a beating

My mother was watching CNN on Saturday, and she called to tell me that Sanjay Gupta was talking about the great healthcare in Cuba. Now, I know that CNN hires a lot of Marxists like Gupta and Zakaria, but many people may not realize how far left they are, and how that bias affects what they say on air. Let’s see what Cuba is really like using some evidence for a change.

The Daily Signal has the numbers on Cuba’s treatment of dissidents from a respected source:

As for the dissidents, the Obama administration has abandoned them. Many have told me they feel betrayed by our president, and by extension, by the United States. Guillermo Fariñas, especially, has a reason to feel betrayed, as Obama promised him personally at a meeting in 2013 that he would take no step toward re-establishing relations with Cuba without prior consultations with the opposition. This did not happen.

And dissidents have suffered the consequences. Political arrests have intensified since December of 2014. Throughout 2015, there were more than 8,616 documented political arrests in Cuba.

And in 2016? There already had been over 8,505 political arrests during the first eight months, and they are expected to top 10,000. This represents the highest rate of political arrests in decades and nearly quadruples the tally of political arrests throughout all of 2010 (2,074), early in Obama’s presidency.

These figures come from the Cuban Committee for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, which is recognized by Amnesty International, Freedom House, and other major human rights groups.

Shutting down communication with the outside world to cover up the arrests, the torture, the human rights abuses, the poverty, and the horribly ineffective health care:

And because Cuba’s communist leaders cannot allow Cubans to be in free contact with the outside world, internet connectivity has dropped. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has something called the Measuring the Information Society Report, which is the world’s most reliable source of data and analysis on global access to information and communication.

Last year, the International Telecommunication Union dropped Cuba’s ranking to 129 from 119. This means that Cuba actually has lower internet connectivity than some of the world’s most infamous suppressors of the internet, including Zimbabwe (which is 127), Syria (which is 117), Iran (91), China (82), and Venezuela (72).

What about Cuba’s health care system and economy? Didn’t Castro’s communist reforms make that better?

Investors Business Daily explains:

Before the revolution, Cuba had the 13th-lowest infant mortality rate in the world. It was lower than France, Belgium and West Germany. Today, it ranks about 40th. That still looks respectable, until you consider how it was accomplished: Cuba has one of the highest abortion rates in the world. At the first sign of any trouble when a woman is carrying a baby, it is aborted — regardless of the parents’ wishes.

That’s why their infant mortality rate isn’t even worse.

But surely health care for all is a major accomplishment, right?

No. As has been noted in many other places, Cuba has three separate health care systems. One for paying customers from places like the U.S., who go to Cuba for discount treatments of cosmetic surgery and the like.

There’s another for Cuba’s ruling Communist elite, also a good system. This is the health care system visiting journalists are taken to see, and that they later glowingly report on.

But there’s still another system for the rest — the average Cubans. It is abysmal, and even that might understate how bad it is.

“Cubans are not even allowed to visit those (elite) facilities,” according to the Web site The Real Cuba. “Cubans who require medical attention must go to other hospitals, that lack the most minimum requirements needed to take care of their patients.”

It goes on: “In addition, most of these facilities are filthy and patients have to bring their own towels, bed sheets, pillows, or they would have to lay down on dirty bare mattresses stained with blood and other body fluids.”

As for doctors, well, they make an average of about $25 to $35 a month. Many have to work second jobs to make ends meet, using substandard equipment. Drug shortages are rife. As a result, one of Cuba’s ongoing problems is that doctors leave as soon as they can for other countries, where they can make a decent living.

The country has over 30,000 doctors working overseas officially. Why? Out of kindness? No. The Castro regime earns an estimated $2.5 billion a year in hard currency from doctors working elsewhere, which means Cuba’s poor must go without decent care or access to doctors.

As for “universal literacy,” please. Primary and secondary schools are little more than Marxist indoctrination centers, where students are taught only what the state wants them to know. That’s how they keep people quiet.

Then there’s  Cuba’s higher education, in which “universities are training centers for bureaucrats, totally disconnected from the needs of today’s world. To enter the best careers and the best universities, people must be related to the bureaucratic elites, and also demonstrate a deep ideological conviction,” notes Colombian journalist Vanesa Vallejo, of the PanAm Post, a Latin American news site.

Nor is it “free.” In fact, those who graduate from college must work for a number of years for the government at a substandard wage of $9 a month. They are in effect slave labor. As with most “free” things the socialists offer, the price is very high and nonnegotiable.

In sum, Castro took a healthy country and made it sick. Those who glorify him deserve the scorn they get for propagating such a longstanding lie.

Regarding health care in Cuba, here are a couple of videos that were smuggled out of the actual health care system used by  ordinary Cubas:

And:

So, that’s the truth about Cuba – very different from what the regime itself and its wealthy supporters in Hollywood and the far left mainstream media want you to believe.

I’d really like to read what Mary Anastasia O’Grady has to say about the death of Castro in the Wall Street Journal, and I hope she writes about this story soon. UPDATE: Here it is, finally.