The Thrill Is Gone

ebola response team


Obama makes rare campaign trail appearance, people leave early

President Barack Obama made a rare appearance on the campaign trail on Sunday with a rally to support the Democratic candidate for governor in Maryland, but early departures of crowd members while he spoke underscored his continuing unpopularity.

With approval levels hovering around record lows, Obama has spent most of his campaign-related efforts this year raising money for struggling Democrats, who risk losing control of the U.S. Senate in the Nov. 4 midterm election.

Most candidates from his party have been wary of appearing with him during their election races because of his sagging popularity.


A steady stream of people walked out of the auditorium while he spoke, however, and a heckler interrupted his remarks.

Campaign rallies are filled with party loyalists, not average members of the public. If those people are walking out on Obama, then stick a fork in him. He’s done.

Posted in Uncategorized | 99 Comments

I Love A Good Rant


I usually love a good rant. Unfortunately, this one is just deranged:

This may be the richest country in the world but the riches are hoarded by some pretty selfish individuals and we don’t seem to be able to get our act together to force them to give up their loot for the greater good.

A little ray of hope came through yesterday when I saw that some television content providers are breaking away from the package deals offered by cable companies to allow viewers ala carte channel selection. That’s great because eventually I will no longer have to subsidize right wing propaganda from Fox News or be forced to pay for Fox to mislead unsuspecting American viewers. I’m betting that a lot of like minded individuals across the country will drop Fox from their lineup the second they are able to do it.

But the damage may already be done. The Senate may fall into Republican hands this November and in the next two years, the predators who have been stalking us since FDR got us out of the Great Depression will finally be able to finish us off. The willfully ignorant elderly and angry white males will finally stick a fork in us, and allow the extremists to carelessly destroy Social Security, roll back women’s rights and plunge us back into recession with unrestrained austerity. The only thing that will stand between the power extremists and us will be Barack Obama. That right there is a very depressing scenario. But maybe he will have the courage to stand aside when we finally pick up our torches and pitchforks.

We have been living a myth of our greatness. We’ve been in denial about how government works. We have told ourselves lies about how we can “starve the beast” that once made our country a formidable force of good around the world.

I’m only glad that the ebola crisis here will be under control before the next session of Congress begins and before the gung-ho, American exceptionalists who take over show us just how unexceptional we are to the hunters who prey on the young, old, and weak.

Unrestrained austerity? WTF is that?

The idea of being able to get cable channels ala carte has been gaining in popularity lately. It sounds nice, but let’s not forget about the Law of Unintended Consequences. I suspect that if it ever becomes reality that it won’t turn out quite like anyone expects.

As far as Fox News, it will probably survive because it is a subsidiary of Fox Entertainment Group, the crown jewel of Ruprecht Murdoch’s media empire. Not to mention the fact that Fox News gets more viewers than the other cable news networks combined. CNN and MSNBC are far more likely to get the axe if ala carte becomes reality.

As for that bit about the Republicans, I’m just gonna leave that steaming pile there for you to think about.

Posted in Uncategorized | 126 Comments

SMH Saturday – Racism Über Alles


Item One:

Police Officer in Ferguson Is Said to Recount a Struggle

The police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., two months ago has told investigators that he was pinned in his vehicle and in fear for his life as he struggled over his gun with Mr. Brown, according to government officials briefed on the federal civil rights investigation into the matter.

The officer, Darren Wilson, has told the authorities that during the scuffle, Mr. Brown reached for the gun. It was fired twice in the car, according to forensics tests performed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The first bullet struck Mr. Brown in the arm; the second bullet missed.

The forensics tests showed Mr. Brown’s blood on the gun, as well as on the interior door panel and on Officer Wilson’s uniform. Officer Wilson told the authorities that Mr. Brown had punched and scratched him repeatedly, leaving swelling on his face and cuts on his neck.

Well that destroys most of the narrative that we’ve been hearing for the past couple months. So much for the gentle giant who was running away or surrendering when he was shot for no reason. Right?


This is the first public account of Officer Wilson’s testimony to investigators, but it does not explain why, after he emerged from his vehicle, he fired at Mr. Brown multiple times. It contradicts some witness accounts, and it will not calm those who have been demanding to know why an unarmed man was shot a total of six times. Mr. Brown’s death continues to fuel anger and sometimes-violent protests.

When the evidence contradicts the narrative, the narrative wins.

But wait! There’s more!

In an interview, Benjamin L. Crump, a lawyer for the Brown family, dismissed Officer Wilson’s account of what happened in the S.U.V. that day.

“What the police say is not to be taken as gospel,” Mr. Crump said, adding that Officer Wilson should be indicted by the grand jury and his case sent to trial. “He can say what he wants to say in front of a jury. They can listen to all the evidence and the people can have it transparent so they know that the system works for everybody.”

He added: “The officer’s going to say whatever he’s going to say to justify killing an unarmed kid. Right now, they have this secret proceeding where nobody knows what’s happening and nobody knows what’s going on. No matter what happened in the car, Michael Brown ran away from him.”

Except that’s not how our system works.

Last but not least:

The grand jury has been meeting in Clayton, Mo., since Aug. 20. Robert P. McCulloch, the St. Louis County prosecutor, has said that he expects a decision on probable cause by mid-November.

That would be next month – AFTER the election.

Item Two:

The Ugly Racial Undertones In Our Panicked Response To Ebola

On Thursday, as the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) testifies before Congress about the potential failings in the recent response to a case of Ebola infection on U.S. soil, much of the country is in panic mode. An increasing number of lawmakers are calling for a travel ban to the affected countries in West Africa, and some school districts are canceling class over fears that students will contract the deadly virus.

Some observers have noticed that the national response to the Ebola outbreak — which is ravaging several impoverished countries in West Africa, but which doesn’t pose much of a threat here at home — has been disproportionate compared to how the U.S. reacted to the recent spread of other infectious diseases.

“With Mad Cow disease (in Great Britain), you didn’t restrict travel; when you had bird flu in China you didn’t restrict travel,” Leo Mulbah, who heads up the Liberian Association of Metropolitan Atlanta, told the Detroit Free Press. “So why now?”

In his interview with the newspaper, Mulbah suggested it’s because countries like Liberia don’t have the same political or economic clout as countries in Europe or Asia. That’s certainly true. On top of that, however, there’s another dynamic that’s been gaining increasing attention over the past few weeks: The undercurrent of racial stereotypes and prejudice.

Thanks to Ebola, some xenophobic attitudes have been on full display recently. Last month, a cover of Newsweek used a chimp to illustrate a story about how bush meat imported from Africa could be a “back door for Ebola.” Lawmakers have suggested that Ebola-infected people may stream across the Mexico border. A community college in Texas stopped accepting perfectly healthy students of Nigerian and Liberian descent. Liberian immigrants who live in Texas are getting refused service at restaurants. There are a lot of comparisons being made to AIDS, the last scary disease to come out of Africa that gave rise to similar racial fears and stereotypes.

Plus, there are some very basic racial factors at play. The vast majority of the people who are suffering and dying from Ebola are black. The handful of people who are being flown to the U.S. to receive care at top hospitals, given an experimental Ebola drug, and ultimately recovering from the virus are white. This dynamic was not lost on the family members of the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., a Liberian man named Thomas E. Duncan. Along with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, they have criticized the Texas hospital where Duncan was treated, saying he received substandard care because he was a black man and an immigrant.

Just the other night at a cross-burning my friends and I were saying how we would be totally cool with Ebola if it came from England.

No, that didn’t come from Salon, but you were close. It came from ThinkProgress.

Mad Cow Disease resulted in the destruction of 4.4 million head of cattle and many countries banning British beef. Mad Cow disease is transmitted by eating infected tissue, not from touching or getting sneezed on by cows.


Posted in #Ebola, Playing the Race Card, Racial Politics, Today in Race Baiting, Vile Progs | Tagged , , , | 103 Comments

FacePalm Friday – Obama’s New Ebola Czar Is A Political Hack

The euphoric haze/alcohol buzz from last night is gone:

New Ebola Czar Ron Klain Is A Long-Time Lobbyist, Democratic Operative

Earlier today, President Barack Obama announced that he would be appointing Ron Klain as an additional Ebola czar (he already had one before today). If Ron Klain sounds familiar to you, it’s because he has a long political pedigree. He has no medical, scientific, or federal agency administrative expertise, but he has a whole lot of political experience.

In January of 2011, Klain stepped down as chief of staff for Vice President Joe Biden. Before that, Ron Klain was a well-connected Washington lobbyist. According to Senate lobbying disclosure records, Klain’s clients included Fannie Mae, U.S. Airways, Time Warner, CIGNA, and Imclone.

Klain also worked as chief of staff for former Vice President Al Gore, Janet Reno, the Senate Democratic Leadership Committee, and the Senate Judiciary Committee. But that’s not all! Ron Klain did debate prep for both Obama and former president Bill Clinton. And if that weren’t enough, Klain was also general counsel of Al Gore’s election recount committee in 2000.

Ron Klain has a lot of experience. Unfortunately, absolutely none of it is related to public health, epidemiology, or cross-agency administration.

That Obama would appoint a long-time Democratic operative with zero public health or federal administrative experience tells us everything we need to know about how Obama views the Ebola panic: Ebola is a political problem for the White House, not a public health problem for the nation.

A far-fetched plot device in sci-fi and horror films is where the heroes are trying to warn everyone that bad things are happening and getting worse but the government is more interested in covering their asses than protecting the public. I guess it’s not so far-fetched after all.

If I was looking for an Ebola Czar one of the first names on my list would be Ben Carson. Too bad C. Everett Koop isn’t around anymore.

We need someone who will do and say what needs to be done and said, and the hell with poll numbers or political spin.

Instead, we got a political hack.

We are so fucked.

We're from the CDC and we're here to help you.

We’re from the CDC and we’re here to help you.

Posted in #Ebola, #facepalmfriday, Barack Obama, Department Of You Can't Make This Shit Up, Worst President Ever!, Zombies | Tagged , , , , | 53 Comments


It was glorious!

Posted in #SFGiants, Baseball | Tagged , | 195 Comments

Oops, they did it again!


Giants comeback leaves them 1 win from the World Series

In the Giants’ first and only bad postseason start, Ryan Vogelsong coughed up a four-run hairball over three innings, then retreated to the clubhouse, where starters usually go to watch the rest of the game. The only odd thing was, Vogelsong refused to strip off his uniform.

“I love this time of year,” Vogelsong said. “It was a disappointment to me to not be out there and feel the energy for more than I was able to. I guess I wasn’t ready to let it go yet.”

Neither were the Giants, who refused to let a three-run deficit stop them from moving within one win of another pennant.


The Giants closed the gap to 4-3 the traditional way: a leadoff single by Joaquin Arias (pinch-hitting for Vogelsong) in the third and RBI singles by Buster Posey (one of his three RBIs) and Hunter Pence, all against starter Shelby Miller.

But the Cardinals, more specifically first baseman Matt Adams, threw away the game in the sixth after Juan Perez batted for Travis Ishikawa and walked, Crawford singled for his first hit of the series and Matt Duffy pinch-sacrificed.

Blanco, whose bunt led to the Randy Choate throwing error that won Game 3 for the Giants, hit a grounder to Adams, who was playing in. Adams backhanded the ball, turned and bounced his throw home.

Even a good throw might not have gotten Perez, whose oblique slide got him to the plate to tie the game 4-4. But Adams didn’t give catcher Tony Cruz a chance.

Joe Panik then hit another ball to Adams, who should have turned an inning-ending double play and kept the game tied. But after Adams stepped on first, he fired a wide throw to second in a bid to double up Blanco.

Crawford scored to give the Giants their first lead at 5-4.


Posey lined a two-out RBI single to left to make it 6-4, and the bullpen did the rest.

AT&T Park was rocking, the Cardinals were reeling, and I was staggering.

It was a very good night.

MadBum takes the mound in San Francisco tonight to try to nail down NLCS Game 5 and another trip to the World Series.

The Kansas City Royals are already going.


Klown is very happy.

Klown is very happy.

Posted in #SFGiants, Baseball, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 90 Comments

Hump Day Open Thread

When did this become a thing?

I don’t own a cell phone or smart phone or whatever they are calling them these days, but that’s because I have about as much need for one as Abigail Freemantle had for an electric broom.

I am not a technophobe. I used to own a cell phone. I could have one now if I wanted one I know what this technology is and what it does. I just don’t understand the need or desire to be wired into everything 24/7/365 no matter where you go or what you’re doing.

I LIKE being disconnected. If I go to the movies I want to tune out the world and enjoy the movie. If I am playing with my grandkids I give them my attention.

Things got so bad I instituted a rule in my car – If you are riding with me you have to turn off your phone and talk to ME.

Rant over.

Posted in Uncategorized | 105 Comments