Why you should vaccinate your kids

Apparently, there’s an epidemic of whooping cough on the West Coast, even though there’s a vaccine that can wipe it out. (Via USA Today):

Scientists are searching for clues to the resurgence of whooping cough, a nearly forgotten childhood infection causing outbreaks around the country.

California last week announced a whooping cough epidemic, reporting more than 800 cases in two weeks, along with two deaths in infants. Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports nearly 10,000 cases so far this year of whooping cough, also known as pertussis.

Although whooping cough is cyclical, peaking every three to five years, cases have soared in the past decade, with 48,277 cases in 2012, the largest number in 50 years.

The best defense against whooping cough is vaccination, says Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health.

The reason: There are people in this country who, when faced with getting their medical advice from either a Nobel Prize winner in medicine or a former Playboy centerfold figure the boobmeister has a better grasp on health issues.

I don’t know. I guess that’s God’s way of thinning out the herd.

Anyway, listen to this. It makes sense.

Stop listening to the kooks.

The right’s new hero

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Did you notice how when the GOP’s favorite rancher and Tea Party terrorist, Cliven Bundy, got in touch with his inner racist, Benghazi all of a sudden became the urgent Fox News/Republican talking point? That and new criticism of Hillary Clinton?

Karl Rove suggested at a conference Thursday that Hillary Clinton suffered a “traumatic brain injury,” according to the New York Post’s Page Six.

“Thirty days in the hospital? And when she reappears, she’s wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury?” Rove told the audience, as quoted by the Post. “We need to know what’s up with that.”

The Post reported that Rove repeated the claim several times at the conference, where he was speaking alongside former Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs and CBS correspondent Dan Raviv. He urged Republicans to continue pressing for answers about the Benghazi attacks and said voters deserve to know about the former secretary of state’s health issues if she decides to run for president, according to the Post.

The scumbaggery never ceases to amaze. (You know, of course, that the New York Post is owned by Rupert Murdock, who, coincidence of coincidences, owns Fox News.)

Divide and conquer: The GOP solution to the poor

North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis in action:

Do you really need a translation? When a Republican says:

And we need to get those folks to look down at these people who choose to get into a condition that makes them dependent on the government and say at some point, “You’re on your own. We may end up taking care of those babies, but we’re not going to take care of you.” And we’ve got to start having that serious discussion.”

These people means “those people” because for a GOP crowd it’s always a matter of Us vs. Them. And for a Republican, who might “them” be?

Let’s stop pretending we don’t know when Republicans are speaking in code. Tillis gets away with what he’s saying because he knows how to use the code words. Listen to the message: Thom Tillis is saying EXACTLY THE SAME THING Cliven Bundy is saying. The difference? Bundy was just using the language of the past, when you could run as a politician in the South against the “nigra”.

Time to quote the godfather of racial code Lee Atwater:

You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”

For anyone running against the GOP, it isn’t a matter of divide and conquer. There’s no difference between the sophisticates and the troglodytes in that party. The focus has to be conquer.

Rep. Vance McAllister (R-Adultery)

What a wholesome politician:

Oh, yeah. What was it he did a couple of days ago?

Anything else we need to know?

Aides to McAllister confirmed to The Post that the staff member, who had recently joined the staff at the time of the romantic encounter, has been dropped from the congressman’s payroll.

According to Legistorm, a congressional staff salary database, the staffer in the video worked part-time and earned less than $22,000 a year. She is one of the only members of McAllister’s staff who is not a holdover from the staff hired by former congressman Rodney Alexander (R), who resigned last year and now serves as Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs.

So, family-values Republican Christian protector of the unborn smooches with a staffer who is not Mrs. family-values Republican Christian protector of the unborn. The said non-Mrs. loses her job. The horny family-values guy will keep his.

And the Republicans don’t understand why they have a problem with women voters?

Anyone want to add anything else? Hit Girl?

 

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Another family values Republican caught in the act

From Talking Points Memo:

The video was published online Monday by The Ouachita Citizen, a conservative-leaning newspaper that endorsed McAllister’s opponent in last November’s special election to fill Louisiana’s 5th District seat in the House. The newspaper, which has a paid circulation of 5,200, credited an “anonymous source” with providing the surveillance video of what it described as an “extramarital encounter.” …

McAllister issued a statement Monday afternoon saying that he was asking for forgiveness “from God, my wife, my kids, my staff, and my constituents who elected me to serve.” The statement did not directly address the content of the video itself, or the identity of the woman in it.

Because?? Freedom!!

 

Paul Krugman and “Equivalences”

In light of the Supreme Court ruling that people with lots of money can spend as much as they want to get the people they want elected, Paul Krugman takes a look at “Equivalencies”:

There are definitely times when it seems that our winner-take-all society is also a whiner-take-all society; it’s really amazing how quick billionaires are to portray themselves as victims because some people say nasty things about them.

One remarkable aspect of this whining is that the nasty things aren’t really all that nasty. Saying that the Koch brothers are using their wealth to promote a political agenda that will make them even wealthier is a substantive claim, not character assassination; it’s not at all the same as, say, suggesting that Hillary Clinton is a murderer. Yet the Kochs and Perkinses act as if this kind of thing were utterly vile, an attack on their liberty.

The other remarkable thing is the instant escalation of hurt feelings into a Godwin’s Law violation. You see, liberals criticize the Kochs; that makes them just like Hitler and Stalin, who murdered their opponents.

But wait, there’s more. What I’ve been hearing from Koch defenders is that people like me have no standing to ridicule billionaires. You see, I sometimes say sarcastic things about the arguments of people who disagree with me, and even question their motives when they say things I consider obviously wrong. And that’s just like comparing such people to Hitler.

The thing is, I don’t think the crybaby thing is an act, put on for strategic purposes. I think it’s real. Billionaires really are feeling vulnerable despite their wealth and power, or perhaps because of it. And the apparatchiks serving the .01 percent are deeply insecure, culturally and intellectually, so that ridicule cuts deep.

It’s kind of sad, really – but also more than a bit scary: When great power goes along with fragile egos, seriously bad things can happen.

Hungry like ‘the Wolf’

I saw this movie a couple of weeks ago, and really enjoyed it:

It was truly a celebration of rich people behaving badly, and Leonardo DiCaprio was excellent in it.

Technically, it’s not supposed to be an inspirational movie. You know, bad people doing bad things and all that. Apparently, some stock brokers don’t see it that way (from the London Evening Standard):

Cinemas across London are preparing to welcome thousands of bankers, brokers and traders to bespoke private screenings, the Standard has learned, and a cinema booking company says there is more corporate demand for this film than any they can remember.

With one company planning to dress up Nineties Wall Street-style for the occasion, the City’s buzz about [Jordan] Belfort has the ring of an enthronement. It is tempting to think that DiCaprio’s character might be a new cult hero for a new generation of bankers, as Gordon Gekko (protagonist of 1987’s Wall Street) was to their bosses. You can imagine the Square Mile’s new generation quoting Belfort’s corny phrases about money, drugs and women like their pre-crash predecessors did Gekko’s.

A comedy email flying around between bankers in London and New York this week makes the link, plotting a market index since the Eighties with arrows showing major price falls on the release dates of Wall Street and its 2010 sequel Money Never Sleeps, and a Wolf of Wall Street arrow pointing at today’s high price. Will the Wolf consign so many bankers and traders to therapy and rehab that the markets will plummet on its release, the jokes goes. At least I think it’s a joke.

For those of you not familiar with international financial markets, “the City” referred to here isn’t London. The City is what the Brits call their version of Wall Street. They’re treating this movie like it’s a blueprint for success. Maybe they’re thinking all they have to avoid will be the drugs, the prostitutes and the money laundering. That way, they can steal people’s money legally, I guess.

Oh, by the way. The Wolf lives. Jordan Belfort is now a motivational speaker in California. Here’s an interview with him:

Got to admit. The guy is smooth.

Big business to GOP: ‘No fools on our ticket’

Looks like the political world is about to have a civil war. But it’s being narrowed to one party (from the Wall Street Journal):

Republican leaders and their corporate allies have launched an array of efforts aimed at diminishing the clout of the party’s most conservative activists and promoting legislation instead of confrontation next year.

GOP House leaders are taking steps to impose discipline on wavering committee chairmen and tea-party factions. Meanwhile, major donors and advocacy groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads, are preparing an aggressive effort to groom and support more centrist Republican candidates for Congress in 2014′s midterm elections. …

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce early next year plans to roll out an aggressive effort—expected to cost at least $50 million—to support establishment, business-friendly candidates in primaries and the general election, with an aim of trying to win a Republican Senate majority.

“Our No. 1 focus is to make sure, when it comes to the Senate, that we have no loser candidates,” said the business group’s top political strategist, Scott Reed. “That will be our mantra: No fools on our ticket.”

Any idea how this is going to work? You can’t stop fools from running. And you can’t stop fools from voting for them.

Meanwhile (via the Arizona Evening Star):

PHOENIX — Republican gubernatorial hopeful Al Melvin is using quotes from Abe Lincoln in his running fight with President Obama and his policies.

The problem: The 16th president never said the things about class warfare Melvin is quoting.

For example, in postings last week on Twitter, the state senator from Tucson wrote, “You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.” That quote, Melvin said, came from Lincoln.

Ditto for a quote of, “You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich,” and “You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.”

None of these came from Lincoln, Brooks Simpson, a professor of history at Arizona State University, said when asked about the quotes by Capitol Media Services.

“I can tell you that these quotes are spurious,” Simpson said. “They do not appear in Lincoln’s writings or in his recollected words.”

Seems the “no fools” strategy is off to a rocky start.