A No-Drama Ebola Policy, Ctd

Oct 23 2014 @ 12:40pm

On top of the modest travel restrictions from the DHS, the CDC announced yesterday that anyone traveling from the epicenters of the epidemic will be monitored for 21 days after they enter the US:

Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, said that anyone arriving from the three countries – Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia – will be actively monitored on a daily basis and will also face new rules about where they can travel within the United States. He added that about 70 percent of all travelers stay in six states: New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Georgia. People will receive a kit when they arrive at the airport that explains what the symptoms are, a guide to telephone numbers, and a thermometer, Frieden said. State and local officials will maintain daily contact with travelers for the entire 21 days.

Morrissey is skeptical these new measures will be effective:

The problem with this approach is that it’s still voluntary.

Read On

The Senate Map Turns Redder

Oct 23 2014 @ 12:18pm

Senate Map

That latest from Sabato’s Crystal Ball:

Our present ratings leave Republicans with 49 seats and Democrats with 47 seats, with four Toss-ups: Georgia and Louisiana, which both might be heading to overtime, and Colorado and Kansas, where incumbents Udall and Roberts are in deep trouble — especially Udall — but retain a path to victory. To claim a majority, Republicans need to win half of the Toss-up states. Democrats need to win three of them to achieve a Biden Majority (a 50-50 draw with Vice President Joe Biden’s tie-breaking vote giving Democrats the edge). Given the playing field, this arithmetic certainly advantages the GOP, but there is at least some chance that Democrats might pull off the unexpected.

So the Senate remains too close to call, but it’s clear that Republicans are well positioned to win a majority and that Democrats’ backs are up against the wall as Election Day approaches

Nate Cohn determines that, more or less, “Democratic chances depend on winning Kansas or Georgia, or another red state, South Dakota, which was largely taken for granted over the summer but where a Democratic and an independent candidate have a shot at an upset”:

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Face Of The Day

Oct 23 2014 @ 12:09pm

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A reader submits the above screenshot:

For your FOTD, might I suggest Kevin Vickers, Sergeant at Arms in the Parliament of Canada, walking the halls and making sure everything’s ok after having calmly left his office to shoot and kill a terrorist.

More on the hero here. Watch him get a standing ovation entering the House of Commons here.

Marijuana Doesn’t Make You Stupid

Oct 23 2014 @ 11:58am

Ingraham draws attention to a new study on teen pot use and IQ:

Even heavy marijuana use wasn’t associated with IQ.

“In particular alcohol use was found to be strongly associated with IQ decline,” the authors write. “No other factors were found to be predictive of IQ change.”

Read On

An “actual nerd” joins this reader in stating his case for true nerdom:

Female nerds take a stand against the reader:

He is a perfect example of everything that is wrong with this particular sordid corner of NerdCulture. As a woman, I earned my nerd status in exactly the same way as every other picked-on kid in school ever did: by being labeled that by my peers. I was bullied, I was mocked for reading too much SFF, for playing Dungeons and Dragons, and for not being very good at sports. Now this guy and folks like him want to tell me I didn’t earn that nerd card? That I don’t belong with the only group where I have ever belonged? I have some choice four letter words for him, as well as advice on where he can stick them.

The wonder of it all is that he clearly can’t even see his hypocrisy – that he is doing exactly the same thing to women that has been done to him. And while I may sympathize with his situation, I 1979474_354805564678076_7909139515221880476_ndon’t need his permission to lay claim to territory that has been mine since the first time I read The Hobbit at age five or discovered Batman comics at fourteen. Nerd territory is the domain of the outcast and the iconoclast, and it has never been about needing anyone’s approval. Watching these men try to say that they suddenly have some kind of say in who gets to wear the label would be hilarious if it wasn’t so infuriating.

Another is a tad more direct:

Speaking as a female nerd, your reader can definitely go fuck himself over that thought train. I’ve spent my entire life dealing with assholes like him and how I’m a “fake nerd” simply because I have breasts and a vagina. News flash dude: my adolescence was probably half as fun as yours.

Read On

Vote Early, Vote Often?

Oct 23 2014 @ 11:21am

John Fund argues against early voting:

Consider that for all of the hullabaloo about early voting, studies have shown it hasn’t increased overall voter turnout. Curtis Gans, director of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate, notes turnout is down even in states that have made it easier to vote through Election Day registration or early voting. Gans and other observers are also concerned that early voters won’t have the same information as those who vote on Election Day. They may miss out on candidate debates or be unable to factor in other late-developing election events. “Those who vote a month in advance are saying they don’t care about weighing all the facts,” says Adams, the former Justice Department official. One secretary of state I interviewed compared early voting that takes place before debates are finished with jurors in a trial who stand up in the middle of testimony and say they’ve heard enough and are ready to render a verdict.

In response, Chait proposes “a perfect solution that would address Fund’s professions of deep social commitment to a single national voting day while also addressing concerns about the inconvenience”:

You’d simply have to make Election Day a national holiday.

Read On

The Globe and Mail reports on Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the suspected shooter. He had been named a “high risk traveller” and blocked from leaving the country because of fears that he might become a jihadi:

“He wanted to go back to Libya and study,” [friend Dave] Bathurst said. He urged his friend to make sure study was on his mind and “not something else.” Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau insisted he was only going abroad with the intent of learning about Islam and to study Arabic. Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau was blocked from fulfilling those plans. Sources say he intended to travel abroad, but he had not been able to secure a valid travel document from federal officials, who have been taking measures to prevent Canadians from joining extremists overseas.

Reid Standish notes that the “attack comes as Canada has ramped up its role in the fight against the Islamic State militant group, though it remains unclear whether the attack has any connection with these recent decision”:

Canada has sent 26 special forces troops to Iraq to serve in an advisory role, and on Oct. 7 Parliament voted in favor of joining U.S.-led airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq. In late September, a video released by the Islamic State’s spokesperson, Abu Muhammad Al-Adnani urged the group’s supporters to kill Canadians and commit domestic attacks on Canadian territory.

Joe Friesen has more context:

For a country that lived through more than a decade of Western anti-terror wars largely without domestic bloodshed, Wednesday’s attack was a potential turning point.

Read On


Oct 23 2014 @ 10:20am

Ann Friedman raises an eyebrow at empowerment conferences:

These conferences all follow a similar formula. Take a vintage feminist icon (Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda), a Clinton, a media maven (Arianna Huffington or Tina Brown, but probably not both), and three or four celebrities with a conscience (Oprah, Angelina, Geena, Meryl). Throw in Sandberg — who is absolutely mandatory — along with a half-dozen women who run Fortune 500 companies. With only 24 CEOs to choose from, organizers can’t be too picky. Book a five-star hotel (Ritz-Carlton or similar) in Southern California or, if you’re keeping it simple, Manhattan. Choose a hashtag. Pay a few entry-level bloggers to flood the internet with 30-second video clips of the world-changing conversations taking place in front of a logo-spattered backdrop. And watch the sponsorship money roll in. …

For as long as there’s been a mainstream feminist movement, there have been corporations eager to capitalize on women’s desire for empowerment.

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Activists March In Ferguson On Nat'l Day Of Action Against Police Brutality

The WaP0 reports on the autopsy of Michael Brown. It “suggests that the 18-year-old may not have had his hands raised when he was fatally shot”:

Experts told the newspaper that Brown was first shot at close range and may have been reaching for Wilson’s weapon while the officer was still in his vehicle and Brown was standing at the driver’s side window. The autopsy found material “consistent with products that are discharged from the barrel of a firearm” in a wound on Brown’s thumb, the autopsy says.

Another key piece of evidence:

Seven or eight African American eyewitnesses have provided testimony consistent with Wilson’s account, but none have spoken publicly out of fear for their safety, The Post’s sources said.

But Trymaine Lee relays some pushback on the WaPo’s reporting. He writes that “one of the experts whose analysis was central to those claims told msnbc that her analysis of the findings had been taken out of context”:

Read On

Emily Singer introduces the innovative research of Harvard biologist Michael Desai, who “has created hundreds of identical worlds in order to watch evolution at work”:

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