Patterico's Pontifications

10/18/2014

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Texas Voter I.D. Law In Upcoming Midterm Elections

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:45 pm

[guest post by Dana]

The U.S. Supreme Court this morning decided that Texas can continue enforcing its controversial voter identification law for the upcoming Nov. 4 midterm elections. This in spite of challenges by the U.S. Dept. of Justice. There was no explanation of the ruling provided from the court’s majority. Dissenting were Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Writing a scathing dissent, Justice Ginsburg opined:

The greatest threat to public confidence in elections in this case is the prospect of enforcing a purposefully discriminatory law, one that likely imposes an unconstitutional poll tax and risks denying the right to vote to hundreds of thousands of eligible voters.

Last week, President Obama appointee U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos ruled that the law would discourage and deter minority voters, the majority of whom are black and Hispanic, as well as referring to it as an unconstitutional poll tax. Justice Ginsburg continued the line of thought:

The potential magnitude of racially discriminatory voter disenfranchisement counseled hesitation before disturbing the District Court’s findings and final judgment. Senate Bill 14 may prevent more than 600,000 registered Texas voters (about 4.5% of all registered voters) from voting in person for lack of compliant identification. A sharply disproportionate percentage of those voters are African-American or Hispanic.

(As a reminder, Texas allows for seven forms of acceptable identification. Also, if voting by mail, one does not have to submit a photo ID.)

–Dana

President Obama: Quit Being Hysterical About Ebola, People!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:47 am

[guest post by Dana]

Attempting to quell Americans’ growing concern and fear about an Ebola outbreak here at home, President Obama addressed the issue this morning:

This is a serious disease, but we can’t give in to hysteria or fear-because that only makes it harder to get people the accurate information they need. We have to be guided by the science. We have to remember the basic facts.

First, what we’re seeing now is not an “outbreak” or an “epidemic” of Ebola in America. We’re a nation of more than 300 million people. To date, we’ve seen three cases of Ebola diagnosed here-the man who contracted the disease in Liberia, came here and sadly died; the two courageous nurses who were infected while they were treating him … As our public health experts point out, every year thousands of Americans die from the flu.

Second, Ebola is actually a difficult disease to catch. It’s not transmitted through the air like the flu. You cannot get it from just riding on a plane or a bus. The only way that a person can contract the disease is by coming into direct contact with the bodily fluids of somebody who is already showing symptoms. I’ve met and hugged some of the doctors and nurses who’ve treated Ebola patients. I’ve met with an Ebola patient who recovered, right in the Oval Office. And I’m fine.

Third, we know how to fight this disease. We know the protocols. And we know that when they’re followed, they work.

The president also addressed the increasing demand to impose a travel ban from the worst-hit countries:

Finally, we can’t just cut ourselves off from West Africa, where this disease is raging. Our medical experts tell us that the best way to stop this disease is to stop it at its source-before it spreads even wider and becomes even more difficult to contain. Trying to seal off an entire region of the world-if that were even possible-could actually make the situation worse. It would make it harder to move health workers and supplies back and forth. Experience shows that it could also cause people in the affected region to change their travel, to evade screening, and make the disease even harder to track.

(Of course, it just isn’t possible that putting a temporary hold on issuing visas and instituting a travel ban from West Africa might just benefit Americans more than risking the continued spread of Ebola in our country! And, maybe even keep us safer!)

What one man sees as hysteria another man sees as reasonable caution.

(emphasis added)

–Dana

Reading Vox Can Make You Dum

Filed under: General — JD @ 8:30 am

[guest post by JD]

Voxplainer, and Israel-hating Max Fischer has a post about potential threats to the American people.

The list of errors, flaws in thinking, leftist illogic, and outright nonsense would embarrass anyone not affiliated with Vox.

Threat to Americans: If you are an American in West Africa in close proximity with Ebola victims, the threat is moderate. If you are an American health worker in the US assisting an Ebola victim or someone who frequently comes into physical contact with one, the threat of infection is minor if you use proper protective equipment. Otherwise, the threat is pretty close to zero.

That gives you just a hint of the idiocy to follow. Shockingly, he finds global climate change to be a greater “threat” than ISIS or Ebola. Household furniture, televisions, and driving a car he deems to be more dangerous than ISIS or Ebola. 2nd Amendment rights are more dangerous than Ebola or ISIS. It is odd how he lumps Cancer and heart disease together.

It is abundantly clear that Max does not know the difference between a list of causes of death and an actual threat analysis. Or anything, for that matter. He should stick to locating bridges from Gaza to Israel, and hating Jews.

What seems quite clear is that they want to minimize the failures of Obama to recognize and address the actual threats posed by Ebola and ISIS.

Feel free to point out the other idiocy you can find, it shouldn’t be difficult.

Go!

—-JD

10/17/2014

Marie Harf Is Finally Asked A Question On Her Level

Filed under: General — JD @ 6:17 pm

[guest post by JD]

John Hudson ✔ @John_Hudson
A reporter just asked @marieharf why the State Department is not starting an Ice Bucket Challenge for Ebola

Given the propensity of Harf and Psaki to engage in #hashtag diplomacy, sadly, in this context, the question isn’t ridiculous.

This reporter should get an award for this.

—JD

Thought Experiment, Or …. If The MFM Wasn’t A Roving Gang Of Dem Apologists

Filed under: General — JD @ 5:59 pm

[guest post by JD]

Let’s think back over the last 6 years, and how the MFM and the Left (I know, redundant) were apoplectic that Sarah Palin had the temerity to have children, hunt, and be selected as a VP candidate. Her, her uterus, and her children’s actions have been more closely scrutinized by the MFM and the Left than Obama’s carefully crafted Narrative.

Imagine if her son in the military previously had drug issues, and was subsequently discharged from the military for cocaine usage within months of signing up. Imagine if her daughter also had issues with cocaine. The level of scrutiny you are easily able to conjure up in your mind is that of a former Governor and former VP candidate.

It would only stand to reason that a sitting VP encountering the above scenarios would undergo similar, if not more scrutiny. But that would not be the case. And everyone knows why.

But they are unbiased. Just ask them.

—-JD

Obama Names Political Hack As Ebola “Czar”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:12 pm

Nothing says “trust” like a political hack:

President Barack Obama will appoint Ron Klain his “Ebola czar,” knowledgeable sources tell CNN.

“Key player in Solyndra scandal”? Check.

Debate prepper for Obama and Biden? Check.

Knowledge of health care issues? Er . . . uh . . .

But he knows politics and damage control, and that’s what we need in a Damage Control Czar.

Ebola Czar. What? I didn’t say Damage Control Czar. No, I didn’t.

P.S. I’m sick of “czars” of any stripe.

Ezra Klein Is A Moron

Filed under: General — JD @ 11:50 am

[guest post by JD]

As a palate cleanser from all the Ebola coverage, I present to you, Ezra Klein. As you should know, Ezra is a hyper-partisan leftist JournoLista, that started Vox, an enterprise that does not let a day go by without a dramatic display of dishonest and/or ignorance, while claiming to be news explainers, the smartest thinkers, while simultaneously having the likes of Klein, Yglesias, and other mental midgets on their staff.

Most recently, Ezra posted about how the Yes Means Yes law in California is a horrible law, and that’s why he supports it. His support distills down to you have to shatter a few dozen eggs in order to make a hipster omelet.

Today, Sean Davis tears apart Ezra’s attempt to explain the different burden of proof in civil and criminal actions, and the difference between due process and substantive due process.

In doing so, he managed to set the practice of law on its ear. In an article that sets out to outline “what most people get wrong”, WunderMoron proceeds to get basically everything wrong.

I blame typos.

—-JD

Rand Paul: At Least This Patterico Guy Got the Facts Right

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:27 am

As I told you last night, Senator Rand Paul accurately cited the CDC’s advice on Ebola and got pilloried for it by the Associated Press and other outlets. However, he did find one outlet that he says got it right:

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 7.18.12 AM

I was considering changing my slogan to: “Patterico: higher standards than the AP!” . . . but it just doesn’t sound that impressive, does it?

UPDATE:

10/16/2014

What the . . .? Health Care Workers Who Cared for Ebola Patient Barred from Public Transportation — But Allowed to Work at Hospital

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:43 pm

Surreal:

From Sept. 28-30, staff treating Duncan wore basic personal protective gear consisting of gowns down to the knees, face shields or a mask and latex gloves. Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas said in a release that once Duncan’s Ebola test came back positive, staff members were issued hazmat suits. But they admitted some were too big and nurses had to pinch and tape the suits for them to fit.

Some of the health care workers being monitored are being furloughed, but others have continued to work, depending on the level of their exposure. None are allowed to use public transit.

So they aren’t allowed to ride the bus for short periods of time, but they can work at the hospital.

Meanwhile, Obama tells people they can ride the bus with Ebola, while the CDC says that one is “exposed” to Ebola if they are within three feet of someone with Ebola for prolonged period, such as health care settings.

It sure is reassuring to have the federal government on the case, isn’t it?

UPDATE: Commenter nk notes something I should have noticed: the “no public transportation” rule is not the federal government’s, necessarily. It was a rule emanating from the Democrats who run Dallas. (Yes, they are Democrats.) Which just goes to show you that there are nincompoops at every level of government.

Rand Paul Engages in Blatant Fearmongering By . . . Accurately Citing CDC Advice on Ebola Exposure

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:24 pm

From our betters at the Associated Press:

Rand Paul Contradicts Experts, Says Ebola Is ‘Incredibly’ Contagious

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky told a group of college students Wednesday the deadly virus Ebola can spread from a person who has the disease to someone standing three feet away and said the White House should be honest about that.

His comments directly conflict with statements from world health authorities who have dealt with Ebola outbreaks since 1976.

Stupid fearmonger. Where did he get the ridiculous idea that anyone considers it “exposure” to be standing three feet away? Those who read all the way to the ninth paragraph get a hint:

Still, Paul’s team pointed to the CDC’s website that says being within three feet of an infected patient for a prolonged period of time without the proper gear is a “low-risk exposure” for Ebola.

So: the characterization by the AP is this: Rand Paul — not the CDC, mind you, but Rand Paul — is making the claim that standing three feet away can constitute exposure. This “contradicts experts” and his comments “directly conflict with statements from world health authorities.” And apparently the best he can do to defend himself is to lamely claim that he is somehow basing this on something on the CDC site.

Well . . . is he?

Journalists? Journolists? Bueller? Bueller?

Oh, never mind the journalists. I’ll answer this one: yeah, he is accurately citing the CDC. Here is the page. Grab your screenshots before they scrub it. I have saved it as a .pdf here in case they memory-hole it.

A low risk exposure includes any of the following

  • Household contact with an EVD [Ebola Virus Disease] patient
  • Other close contact with EVD patients in health care facilities or community settings. Close contact is defined as:

    a. being within approximately 3 feet (1 meter) of an EVD patient or within the patient’s room or care area for a prolonged period of time (e.g., health care personnel, household members) while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment (i.e., standard, droplet, and contact precautions; see Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations)

    b. having direct brief contact (e.g., shaking hands) with an EVD patient while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment.

  • Brief interactions, such as walking by a person or moving through a hospital, do not constitute close contact

So Rand Paul has accurately repeated what the CDC says: namely, the CDC defines “exposure” (albeit “low-risk”) to include being within “three feet” of an Ebola patient for a “prolonged period of time” — whatever that means. I assume it could include riding on an airplane — or, perhaps, the bus?

Oh hey — remember this?

“First, Ebola is not spread through the air like the flu,” Obama said in the video released by the White House Thursday. “You cannot get it through casual contact like sitting next to someone on a bus. You cannot get it from another person until they start showing symptoms of the disease, like fever.”

It’s almost as if . . . the White House is not telling us the same story that the CDC is telling us.

Which is exactly what Rand Paul was saying.

Look, folks: as Shepard Smith has told us, if things get bad, we need to relax and start listening to our leaders. And if your leaders appear to be saying completely contradictory things? Then get your ears checked, citizen.

UPDATE: Thanks to Senator Rand Paul for the links on Facebook and Twitter. If you like what you see here, please bookmark the main page.

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