Patterico's Pontifications


First U.S. Case of Ebola in Dallas

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:53 pm

My inclination not to panic is counterbalanced by my inclination not to trust the U.S. Government when it tells me everything is OK.

You’ve already heard the reassurances from the government. But apparently the infected man was at an emergency room with symptoms and then left:

The man had some symptoms on Sept. 24. Early Friday morning, the patient went to the hospital emergency room on his own with nondescript, nonspecific symptoms. He was evaluated at the hospital and given antibiotics, then left, Goodman said. On Sunday, he was taken to the hospital by ambulance and admitted.

Goodman said they were looking into why he left Friday and were going to monitor those emergency room doctors closely. They are also looking into whether the man was asked if he had recently traveled to West Africa.

Who was in the emergency room with him? I’m guessing we have no idea. Who did he contact between the time he left the ER and the time he returned to the hospital? I’m guessing we have no idea.

Supposedly, it’s relatively difficult to transmit; it doesn’t fly through the air, but is typically transmitted through bodily fluids or direct contact. However, it’s not clear to me that touching a contaminated surface is not enough. And since a symptomatic guy was apparently walking around, the possibilities do seem scary.

My plan: don’t panic, but be skeptical of government statements.

Not Buying What Julia Pierson Is Selling

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:31 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson faced a tough grilling this morning at a House oversight hearing. She testified that she took “full responsibility” for the failures at the agency and also reassured the committee that “The president is safe today.”

Not everyone was buying:

“I wish to God you protected the White House like you protected your reputation here today,” Democratic Rep. Stephen Lynch told Pierson at a public hearing that was followed by a classified, closed-door briefing. Rep. Chaffetz said afterward: “The more I learn, the more it scares me.”

Further, Darrell Issa brought up the questionable reporting of the incident by the agency:

But she also faced accusations — which she did not directly rebuff — that the agency initially gave a “false” account of what happened that evening.

In his opening statement, Issa noted that the knife-carrying intruder in fact made it to the East Room. Issa said that was contrary to an “early, false report” that claimed the intruder only got just inside the residence door.

Under questioning by Issa, Pierson acknowledged that the intruder “knocked back” an officer who was standing at the White House doorway, made it into the hallway and “stepped momentarily into the East Room.”

Ironically, just hours after Pierson’s grilling this morning, another incident was revealed:

A private security contractor with a gun and a violent criminal past rode in an elevator with President Obama during a visit to Atlanta in September, a congressional source confirmed Tuesday.

The presence of the armed man in a confined space with Obama violates restrictions blocking anyone but sworn law enforcement agents from carrying guns in a location the President is visiting.

It alarmed whistleblowers who reported the incident to Congress, the latest in a series of embarrassing missteps by the Secret Service.

But hey, the White House front door now has automatic locks!


Julia Pierson resigned today:

“Today Julia Pierson, the director of the United States Secret Service, offered her resignation, and I accepted it,” Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement. He announced that Joseph Clancy, retired head of the agency’s Presidential Protective Division, would come out of retirement to lead the Secret Service temporarily.

Fundraiser for Mandy Nagy

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:41 am

Bill Jacobson has announced the official fundraiser for Mandy Nagy, also known as Liberty Chick — a fighter for justice whom I am proud to call my friend. As I mentioned to you before, Mandy suffered a serious stroke earlier this month. Publicly available details about her recovery have been posted as a series of updates to this post at Legal Insurrection. The long and short of it is that she is expected to recover, but she has a long road ahead of her. She’s going to need some help. Please join me in aiding that effort by clicking on the official GoFundMe page here and making a donation.

Three Great Evenings of Music

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:28 am

Mrs. P. and I are coming off of three unforgettable evenings of music in a row. Over the weekend I told you about Saturday night’s star-studded Big Star tribute; if you missed that post, catch up here. But that was just the beginning.

Sunday night we were treated to a once-in-a-lifetime experience: a show given by the Posies’s Ken Stringfellow in a living room in West Los Angeles. The performance could not have been more intimate — unless, maybe, he had been sitting on our laps. Stringfellow, who has a powerful, distinctive voice, performed without a PA system for his vocals, which allowed him to stand directly in front of the couch that Mrs. P. and I were sitting on. Had he taken a very small step forward, he would have stepped on Christi’s feet. Early in the show, Stringfellow said he had forgotten something. He handed the guitar to Christi and asked her to hold it while he ran to the other room.

Stringfellow is an entertaining performer in every respect. His arrangements of his songs are fresh, many of them done on the piano. His between-song (and sometimes during-song) banter is spontaneous and amusing. He did Posies songs, solo songs, and covers from Big Star and The Beach Boys. This video is from a different performance, but replicates the experience pretty well:

One lovely bonus: Skylar Gudasz, a vocalist from the Big Star tribute, was in attendance, and came up and performed Big Star’s transcendant song “Thirteen.” That had been one of my favorite performances from the tribute, and the guy who videotaped most of the songs had notably missed that one. However, I found this video from a different tribute show, with the same vocalists, to give you a flavor of what it sounded like at the tribute show:

It sounded like that at the Stringfellow show too — just more intimate and with Stringfellow doing the harmonizing. Can’t argue with that.

The Big Star theme continued last night, when Mrs. P. and I went to Largo at the Coronet and saw the Watkins Family Hour with guests Susanna Hoffs and Dan Wilson, who had both performed at the Big Star tribute. We sat 15 feet away as Hoffs and Wilson performed two of the songs that I linked in my review of the Big Star show: “The Ballad of El Goodo” and the gorgeous “I’m in Love With a Girl.” Hoffs sang a few other numbers, including the Michael Nesmith song “Different Drum” (made famous by Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Poneys) and “Eternal Flame” by the Bangles. (That last number was included to fit the Watkins’s “wildfire” theme for the night.) Here’s a video of that last song, from a different performance, to give you an idea:

We are in Music Nerd Heaven.

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