Quick Note On A Developing Story

The plane is isolated, and CDC officials are checking passengers. It appears that some of the passengers are being released.

An earlier report on ABC said that the number of sick passengers was 100, which now appears to be wrong. The symptoms reported are fever and coughing.

As you might expect, there are panicky tweets that try to be humorous. But, as usual for an incident that gets the public eye, early reports are likely to be inaccurate.

One speculation I’ve seen is that this may be related to food poisoning, although the reported symptoms don’t check out in my limited knowledge of such things.

What the symptoms seem to fit with is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, which is serious but seems to be not easily transmitted. It’s one of the viruses the public health people keep an eye on for possible epidemics. It will probably take a day or more to figure out exactly what the illness is.

As usual, take anything you read with a grain of salt, and don’t spread rumors.

Repub Venality Open Thread: Unserious People, Serious Problem

So it turns out that Darla Shine, who is married to the man who used to expedite Roger Ailes’ workplace sexual harassment and who has just been hired by Donald Trump, is the sort of lazy white suburban racist who whines endlessly in public about not being able to use the n-word. And also, of course, about how vaccines cause autism, especially in those darker-skinned kids, because you know their genes just aren’t resilient like ‘normal’ peoples’ or something. Per the Washington Post:

The wife of Bill Shine, the new White House deputy chief of staff for communications, has come under scrutiny for racially charged remarks and unfounded medical theories posted to her Twitter account, according to a report by the website Mediaite.

Darla Shine, a former television producer and the author of a book about the joys of being a stay-at-home mom called “Happy Housewives,” reportedly made statements questioning why white people would be labeled racist for using the n-word while black people would not, defending the Confederate battle flag and highlighting instances of black-on-white crime.

Shine’s Twitter account has since been deleted…

Shine also tweeted stories that put forth debunked information about the danger of vaccines at least a dozen times, Mediaite reported. Any link between autism and vaccines has been disproved by various studies over the years.

“Biggest national security threat is autism!” she wrote in a tweet that tagged Trump, according to HuffPost. “How can we run a country when half of all boys will be autistic by 2050?”

“1 out of 10 black boys has autism,” she wrote in another tweet.

She also implied that the addiction treatment drug Suboxone, not racism, induced Charleston, S.C., church shooter Dylann Roof to kill nine black parishioners.

“Yes lets blame the Confederate Flag instead of Big Pharma and the psychiatric violence inducing Suboxone Dylan Roof was taking,” she wrote in 2015, according to Mediaite…

Of course, when one of his own precious class is threatened, Erick “Voice of the GOP Gate Community” Erickson was compelled to leap to her defence…

(Erickson once called Justice Souter ‘a goat-fucking child molester’ on Twitter, which contrasts badly with his more recent professional-Christianist grifting, which is one reason why he’s so tender towards other white grifters’ Kinsley-gaffe tweets.)

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Gun Violence Open Thread: Heartbreaking

The mother of a teenage girl killed earlier this month in a massacre at Santa Fe High School in Texas tells PEOPLE she challenged President Donald Trump‘s views on gun violence during his Thursday meeting with survivors of the mass shooting and families of the victims.

Trump, 71, repeatedly called the gunman “wacky” while speaking at the gathering, at a Houston military base, according to Rhonda Hart…

She then explained that her daughter had anxiety, Asperger’s syndrome and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and “took medicine daily.”

“I said, ‘[The shooter] might have been depressed, but he wasn’t wacky.’ But if that kid needed help, he needed to have proper access to it,” Hart says, “meaning you shouldn’t repeal the Affordable Care Act [one of Trump’s cardinal promises] and get them the help they need and take away the stigma of mental illness.”

She says she told Trump, “Mental illness needs to be addressed.”

“I said all that and he didn’t say anything,” she says. “He was just like, ‘Uhhhh …’ ”

So… when do we get to the part where I talk about my bigly Electoral College win?

Per The Hill:

The mother of a Texas school shooting victim said that in a recent meeting with families, President Trump repeatedly suggested arming teachers as a way to combat school shootings…

Hart, who is an Army veteran, told the AP that she suggested employing veterans in schools to serve as guards, and that he responded, “and arm them?”

“It was like talking to a toddler,” she said…

Joy-Ann Reid Has Apologized

I wasn’t going to do a front page post on this, but the same clown has tried to spam two different posts on two different nights about this, so now that Joy-Ann Reid has formally apologized, I reckoned I’d put up a post on it. Here’s her apology:

And here’s her guest/fill in host and Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart’s transcribed response:

My guess is that this won’t put the issue to rest. That the same people who have been screaming for Reid’s head all week will continue to do so. Especially as the person who went spelunking through a ten year old defunct blog in order to bring things to this point has now decided to go after Markos Moulitsas over something someone else posted on Daily Kos back in 2005 and appears to now be going after Rachel Maddow for backing (at this point in time) Tom Brokaw in regard to the sexual assault allegations against him (I’m not linking to that, you can go and find it if you want. Same twitter handle that was publishing Reid’s old blog posts).

I don’t know who this puritanical pony is who has decided to make it his or her work to go after these people because he or she is hiding behind a nym, nor do I really care why they’re doing it. But I reckon that he or she won’t stop because too many people are now weaponizing his or her work, which was likely the point.

One final and important point: does anyone actually want to be judged on something they wrote ten years ago? Or twenty? Or five? Or, in some cases, one? When they’ve clearly based on recent words and deeds changed their positions? Just in my professional work alone my views have changed significantly in the past decade largely because of adding first an experiential element to my work when I left academia and began doing applied work for the military and then when I transitioned from doing tactical work to strategic level work. Nothing is static – not people and not the world. Everything changes. Sometimes for the better. Sometimes for the worse. Perhaps, just maybe, we should cut ourselves and each other a bit of slack. After all we’re only human.

Open thread.

Reverse-Midas Open Thread: Adieu, Dr. Jackson

Had this post all written & scheduled, checked the twitters one last time before going to bed…


Of course, Trump hasn’t got the guts to actually fire anybody, especially someone who might be tempted to admit on the record that maybe Lord Smallgloves’ physical status was not quite so magnificently godlike as is currently the pretense. Also, how long will it take to find a replacement who can juggle the Oval Office Occumpant’s Adderall / sedative dosages correctly? Politico‘s ‘Morning Playbook’:

… THE PRESIDENT’S NOMINEE to run the beleaguered VA has never managed more than a small cadre of people, and is now up for a job that involves managing the second-largest government agency, a department with 377,000 employees. He has also been accused of dishing out prescription drugs recklessly, allegedly passed out drunk at a hotel during a presidential trip, is said to have banged on a woman’s door after a night of drinking and allegedly crashed a government car after boozing at a Secret Service going-away party. Jackson has denied many of these allegations.

THE GENERAL CONSENSUS: Dr. Jackson will withdraw, which will give the president a chance to nominate a vetted candidate that the Hill can confirm. This is an election year. Republicans want the president to make things easy for them…

Given the information currently available, I kinda feel sorry for Dr. Jackson. He seems to be a perfectly competent mechanic for human machinery; Murphy the Trickster God knows that neither admirals, doctors, nor mechanics are generally famed for their temperance and humility. You might well trust your mechanic with your wallet, if not your life… but you wouldn’t necessarily propose he be promoted to CEO of General Motors. Or Microsoft.

But that’s the problem: Everyone Trump touches ends up the worse for it!

It would be funnier if there weren’t so much hanging on the resolution of this issue…

Upbeat Open Thread: Why We Fight

For our lives, the lives of our loved ones, and those of strangers we’ll never meet. Because it’s the right thing to do, of course. But also, to WIN!

Jim Newell at Slate:

Costello, a 41-year-old serving in only his second term, announced over the weekend that he will not run for re-election. What would have been a challenging race became near-impossible when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court redrew the state’s congressional lines, turning the state’s 6th Congressional District from an R+2 to a D+2 seat, and one that Hillary Clinton would have won by 10 percentage points in the 2016 election. Costello has called for the Pennsylvania judges behind the new map to be impeached.

Costello described the health care fight as the most “intense” experience of his brief political career, “period.” He remembered being one of the 15 or so members who would decide the fate of the House GOP health care bill and “getting it from all angles.” (He voted against it.) When you’re serving in a swing district in this environment, he said, “you have to know every single issue, and why you’re voting the way that you are, and to be able to explain it. Because you will get asked about it by everyone.”

“The way that these bots work”—“B-O-T-S,” he spelled it out to me, presumably referring to those deluging him with talking points—“and these Indivisible people, it’s not like they think for themself, they’re just told what to say,” he said. “They’ll take what some other expert told them to say, like Topher Spiro, or whatever that guy’s name is.” That is indeed the name of the excitable Center for American Progress policy fellow who built up quite the Twitter presence during the health care fight by imploring his followers to flood congressional phone lines.

“It’s not as though the criticisms or questions are illegitimate, but you are on the spot for answering them,” Costello said. “And so you have to be very well-prepared, and you just have to accept that no matter what you say, it’s not going to be good enough, the next criticism’s going to come at you. Which is fine.”…

“People in any district, but especially in [suburban] districts, they want to know that their member of Congress is looking out for them, not for any particular party,” he said. “It could be trying to get EPA funding for the remediation site, it could be a public transportation project. It could be forcefully fighting for DACA, or pushing back against getting out of the Paris accord. Or trying to stabilize the health insurance marketplace.” …

These ‘bots’, or constituents — whatever — they want me to act like I represent THEM! They aren’t content that I’ve learned all my lines and made a very good on-camera presentation, they want me to WORK, not just ACT! It’s as though I was being paid to represent… them!

No wonder the poor bastid looks so stunned; he feels his efforts have somehow been misrepresented.

PA Open Thread: Sow the Windbag, Reap the Fartcloud

Of course, the Repubs prefer to blame… well, anything other than the obvious:

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