Ted Cruz says Ebola czar lacks medical expertise, but Cruz himself contradicts medical experts

Let me see if I have this straight: Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican,  argues that President Obama’s Ebola Czar Ron Clain is not qualified for the job because he’s not a medical expert. Cruz also faults Obama for not imposing a travel ban on flights to and from West Africa. But Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top man at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says the travel ban proposed by Cruz would be a big mistake and would only make it more difficult to track potential carriers of the Ebola virus. In other words,...

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On matters of sex and marriage, Catholics are more liberal than the Vatican and everyone else

The conservative wing of the Roman Catholic hierarchy made a big fuss last week about the moderate tone of a preliminary report on a closely-watched synod on family issues. The report was seen by critics as too squishy on matters of homosexuality, divorce and premarital cohabitation. But this backlash from orthodox prelates seems to fly in the face of prevailing attitudes among rank-and-file Catholics, as we see HERE: In the U.S, the General Social Survey, which is conducted by the research organization NORC at the University of Chicago, has...

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Here’s good news and bad news about the frequency of tornadoes these days

Those of us here in the America’s Heartland have always found ourselves at greater risk from tornadoes than are folks who live in certain other regions of the country. It behooves us, then, to pay attention to any changes in the patterns of tornado occurrences. On that score, HERE‘s some good news and  bad news: Something weird is going on with the tornadoes. It’s not that the U.S. is getting hit with any more of them than usual — our average has held steady at about 500. It’s just that when they do come, they’re tending to arrive...

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Wisconsin Tea Partier Ron Johnson doubles-down, as it were, on ISIS and Ebola

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, the Wisconsin Republican, waxes grossly hypocritical in his scare-mongering warning that ISIS terrorists might use the Ebola virus as a weapon against America. Johnson says, for example, that such a threat is something “you really don’t even want to think about, you don’t even really want to talk about.” But then he proceeds to think and talk about it and claims that it’s “a real and present danger.” FBI Director James Comey says, however, that there’s no evidence that...

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Chance that Dems will win Senate equal to your chance of rolling 9, 10, 11 or 12 with two dice

As I’ve evidenced here on previous occasions, the one exception to my record as a poor student of mathematics is my fascination with laws of probability. That’s why I’m a big fan of Nate Silver and Sam Wang, the celebrated political numbers-crunchers. I pride myself, for example, in understanding that if Silver or Wang see a 60 percent likelihood that Candidate A will defeat Candidate B in the coming election, that doesn’t mean that Candidate A has a 20-point lead in the polls. On the contrary, a 20-point lead in the...

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Yipes! Right-wingers approvingly quoting left-wing union bosses!

Charles Dudley Warner, a 19th century essayist, once wittily observed that politics makes strange bedfellows. That truism comes to mind with the sudden outbreak of praise among right-wingers for sharp criticisms from Deborah Burger and RoseAnn DeMoro, top officials of National Nurses United, of how Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas has dealt with the Ebola situation. Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog says THIS: I’m amused… to see this union and its officers being quoted favorably by outraged conservatives at Right...

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