Remember when Republicans were screaming about all the “czars” President Obama appointed? No? Good. That’s what they’re counting on (and don’t expect the “liberal media” to remind you of it).
Fast forward to the last few days during which Republicans have been beating the drum for Obama to do just that again…appoint another “czar:”
GOP senators who opposed Obama ‘czars’ now want one for Ebola
Obama caved today — still hoping for bipartisan reconciliation or what; I don’t know — and he appointed an Ebola “czar.”
Three hours later, this is where we are:
Obama appoints Ebola czar… and we are so screwed
Obama Bows to Pressure, Appoints Ebola Czar
GOP blasts Ebola czar pick
Google “Obama appoints Ebola czar” and you’ll see links to hundreds of critical articles.
Nothing like Mr.-Cave-to-Republicans-Since-Day-One to go into the November election caving again. Way to rally the base, huh?
As Jeff Sacks wrote today:
There is no case for an American Ebola czar, least of all another political “fixer” who has no expertise in public health. This is just another case of the Obama administration putting politics before substance, and cowering at the idiocy and vileness of the Republicans in Congress.
The CDC is the world’s pre-eminent public health institution, and Tom Frieden is a consummate professional. And yes, the CDC is overstretched in this epidemic and under-funded, given the relentless attacks on “government” by the Republicans in Congress. And yes, a hospital in Texas performed poorly. These are not signs of disaster; they are signs of the suddenness and unusual circumstances of the Ebola epidemic.
The sad reality, however, is that during his administration, Obama has been so insecure, so incapable of bold leadership, that he has, in the end, sided with the Republicans on the budget cuts that have put the CDC, USAID, and even the World Health Organization (WHO) in danger —the latter because of the U.S. unwillingness to fund the UN properly. Therefore, when the crisis hit, the U.S. and the world were not ready for it.
This is just downright painful to watch.
Oh, and P.S. – I heard on CNN about an hour ago that banning flights is now “on the table” in the White House, something Obama was adamantly against: Ebola: Obama will increase airport screenings, won’t ban West Africa flights.
Expect another cave even though no public health expert says a flight ban would be a good idea. Why? Because Obama = ring in nose led by Republicans.
October 17, 2014 at 6:46 PM
(Betsy McCaughey via Wikipedia)
The Ebola scare is exposing the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into here in the U.S. with the privatization of our hospital system:
Dr. Betsy McCaughey, the CEO of Defend Your Healthcare and former Lt. Governor of New York, appeared on Fox just after she had attend a CDC conference call with hospitals this afternoon.
Host Stuart Varney asked her what it would take to set up 50 hospitals to be ready for Ebola.
McCaughey’s answer is stunning.
According to her, after the CDC outlined its preparation strategy, one hospital administrator responded, “What you’re telling us would bankrupt my hospital!” She said that that administrator represents a Southern California hospital.
McCaughey noted that there was no word on the call of who would pay for hospitals to get themselves ready for Ebola patients.
And then she added: “Treating one Ebola patient requires, full time, 20 medical staff. Mostly ICU (intensive care unit) people. So that would wipe out an ICU in an average-sized hospital.”
In the case of Texas Presbyterian, McCaughey says that the hospital cordoned off its ICU to care for Thomas Eric Duncan and sent the rest of its ICU patients to other area hospitals. She added that many communities will not have multiple hospitals to choose from, so one Ebola case could cripple ICUs in small towns.
“But the most important thing,” McCaughey said, “is that doctors and nurses are not ready for the challenge of using this personal protective equipment even if you see them with the helmet, the respirator, the full suits, as the CDC said on the call today, even all that equipment is not enough to guarantee the safety of health care workers because it is so perilous to put it on and particularly to remove it once it’s become contaminated.”
McCaughey said many of those on the call were “daunted by the expectations, the separate laboratory next to the isolated patients, all kinds of — all kinds of adjustments, where to put the waste. Many states won’t even let you dispose of this waste from such a toxic disease.”
So, the next time some guy from the CDC hems and haws about why mandatory procedures aren’t being implemented across the country, let’s remember that behind that hemming and hawing is his inability to say outright that the hospital system is privatized and the CDC has no authority to force them to do anything.
Ah yes, the “best health care system in the world.”
October 15, 2014 at 1:33 PM
I had no idea any ice anywhere on Earth ever got this thick. Ever.
(Image via Robin Wylie on Twitter)
October 13, 2014 at 4:15 PM
Oh my God, this is delightful!
(Image via NYTimes.com)
One Saturday afternoon last month, six second graders from P.S. 295 in Brooklyn got a head start on the fine-dining life when they visited the acclaimed French restaurant Daniel. There, five waiters presented them with a seven-course tasting menu (after the trio of canapés and an amuse-bouche, naturellement). The meal was overseen by the star chef and eponym himself, Daniel Boulud, whose goal was, he says, “for the children to really discover a lot of flavor, a lot of layers, a lot of texture.” These discoveries included Smoked Paprika Cured Hamachi (the “most-foreign thing for them,” Boulud says), Crispy Japanese Snapper (“which they loved to see”) and Wagyu Beef Rib-Eye (“a big success”).
GO HERE to watch the video.
October 13, 2014 at 4:10 PM
Look at that face! This little guy reacts just like you or I would:
October 10, 2014 at 8:05 PM
We humans think we’re so cool but maybe we’ve got a thing or two coming (love this):
On Oct 8th, I was flying my quadcopter at Magazine Beach Park in Cambridge, when a hawk decided he wasn’t too happy with my invasion of his airspace…
As far as I could tell, the hawk came out unscathed, and having defeated his prey, was happy to retreat. (As soon as he flew at me, I throttled down the props to try to minimize any harm to the bird.) The quadcopter came out unscathed as well.
October 9, 2014 at 6:05 PM
Remember back in 2010 when Rahm Emanuel, then President Obama’s Chief of Staff, reportedly said liberals were “f*cking retarded?” And surely you know about the meme about how Democratic politicians don’t really have to act like Democrats or vote like Democrats because, after all, “where else do Democratic voters have to go?” I mean, they’re not going to vote Republican so they’ll keep voting Democratic, right?
No, they probably won’t vote Republican but they do have another place to go. They can go to their couch instead of to the polls.
What I’m hearing about November is Republicans are way more fired up than Democrats and lots and lots of Democrats have to vote in order to keep Republicans from taking the Senate. But this is precisely the kind of thing that makes Democrats take to their couch in utter frustration:
Democratic FEC Commissioner Joins with Three Republican Commissioners to Gut Political Party Contribution Limits
October 9, 2014 at 4:16 PM