Ebola

The Problem With Blaming Obama For Ebola

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Whitehouse.gov

Should Republicans and conservatives be blaming President Obama for the government's handling of Ebola? Plenty of them are, but that might not be a good idea, says Philip Klein of The Washington Examiner—at least not for those who would generally prefer a smaller and less activist government. Klein, citing National Affairs editor Yuval Levin, argues that pinning the blame on President Obama lends credence to the idea that the president should be at the center of all national issues: 

Though there are fair criticisms of the CDC's handling of Ebola, by giving into the temptation to point fingers at Obama, Republicans run the risk of reinforcing the idea that any crisis or perceived crisis can be handled if only there were a better person in charge. And this could cut against many of the arguments that conservatives usually make about the inherent problems with federal bureaucracies.

Reacting to criticism of the handling of Ebola, Yuval Levin noted in a post over at National Review, "The attitude is premised on the bizarre assumption that large institutions are hyper-competent by default, so that when they fail we should seek for nefarious causes. Not only liberals (who are at least pretty consistent about making this ridiculous mistake) but also some conservatives who should know better respond with a mix of outrage and disgust to failures of government to contend effortlessly with daunting emergencies. But do we really expect (or even want) our government to have the power and ability to smooth all of life's edges and be ready in an instant to address the consequences of, say, a major hurricane or massive oil spill or deadly disease outbreak? What do we think that government would be doing with that power the rest of the time?"

One of the fundamental failures of Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign was that he didn't make a coherent, overarching, philosophical argument against big government. The impression Romney gave was that large federal institutions weren't necessarily innately flawed, but merely mismanaged. If only Americans elected Romney — the turnaround whiz who built businesses — to "run" the country, those institutions would perform well.

I think criticizing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is basically  fair, especially in light of some of its admitted mistakes and recent history of safety problems. The once-respected agency has taken a huge hit in public opinion recently, dropping from 60 percent public confidence in March of last year to 37 percent now. That's not unreasonable. The CDC should be doing a better job at this, its core mission.  

But Klein makes a good point about criticism directed at President Obama. What can Obama, himself, really do? I suppose he can appoint (yet another) Ebola czar, but is yet another high-level federal issue-czar really what supporters of limited government should want? Most of the direct action in treating and preventing Ebola happens at the local level, with local authories and health providers making crucial calls. The administration can provide those local authorities with the flexibility and resources they need, but otherwise, especially at this stage, the best option is probably to stay out of the way. 

A lot of the Republican calls for action, in contrast, have taken the opposite approach: We've seen Republicans call for travel bans to and from West Africa, and for massive efforts to tighten security at international entry points. GOP politicians helped lead calls for the installation of a new czar (despite opposing other czar appointments in the past). It's all just playing into the idea that if there's a problem, it needs to be a national emergency, possibly a panic, and the president needs to fix it. 

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369 responses to “The Problem With Blaming Obama For Ebola

  1. “The buck stops here.”

    1. The buck, not the blame!

      /Fundraiser

      1. Bull! It’s not reasonable to blame people for everything, much less disease… unless they had the power to mitigate it with a simple order and chose not to.

        That is where this president’s blame starts and ends. Refusing to terminate entry privileges for those who have been to West Africa is not doing what is in reason to do. Nobody’s saying he should throw himself in front of oncoming planes or erect some sort of national bubble.

        But the blame here is nothing more than blaming the guy who refused to close the front door when his excuse is simply that it’s possible that they might just break the window and come in that way.

        Which is possible, but a lot more convoluted. So in the real world, why do we shut and lock the front door to intruders when they could break in some other way? Simply put, shutting the door will keep many out and then you only have to deal with the few that are successful at hopping the fence.

        The other principle behind locking your doors isn’t to guarantee that nobody will ever break it, but to make it as troublesome as possible to do so. It doesn’t take a Mensa member to figure out that locked doors aren’t perfect, but they are a hell of a lot better than keeping it open with a welcome sign on it.

        1. Stop issuing tourist visas. Keep issuing other visas as needed.

          This is not rocket science.

          But we can’t have anyone getting any ideas about effective border control.

  2. CHEMTRAILS!

  3. Republicans run the risk of reinforcing the idea that any crisis or perceived crisis can be handled if only there were a better person in charge. And this could cut against many of the arguments that conservatives usually make about the inherent problems with federal bureaucracies.

    [citation needed]

    1. Oh, they make the arguments. They just never do anything about it.

    2. Conservatives do make the arguments, it’s just that Republicans at the most give it lip service, or like Peter says, guys like Mitt and Ryan just argue for improving those bureaucracies.

  4. ” Though there are fair criticisms of the CDC’s handling of Ebola, by giving into the temptation to point fingers at Obama,…”

    Who appointed the soda,salt, and trans fat warrior as head of the CDC? Who ordered them to spend resources studying fruit flies, fat lesbians, gun control, and lifestyle diseases? The biggest reason why the CDC can’t do its job is because they spend most of their time and money doing everything but.

    1. The biggest reason why the CDC can’t do its job is because it has inherent incentives not to. That is the nature of government. Fail, get bigger budget.

    2. Shorter Suderman: “Leave Obama alone! LEAVE HIM ALONE!!”

      1. There’s a reason he and his wife are such great buddies with guys like Dave Weigel and Sadbeard Yglesias.

      2. I’d say it’s more like “there is plenty of real stuff to criticize Obama for and blaming him for things he really doesn’t and shouldn’t control directly is a silly distraction.”

        1. I think I get what your saying Zeb, Obama is using this to distract us from the birth certificate controversy.

          1. Heh. Yeah, that’s it.

            I see it as another bullshit issue that people are using to beat their opponents with because it is convenient.

            It also rests on the abhorrent premise that we just need the right people in charge and everything will be grand.

            1. I completely understand where your coming from, but I think most people on this board and conservatives I’ve read are using it as launching pad to describe just how bloated and inefficient our gov has become when a branch keeps fucking up it’s only core competency.

              1. Exactly! It doesn’t get any more simple that “Shut the damn door!” And if you can’t do that properly, go the hell home.

        2. Please. Suderman, his wife, and his friends don’t think that Obama should be blamed for anything.

          Suderman, his wife, and his friends are the people who go hysterical during phony week-long government “shutdowns” in DC and proceed to blame the republicans for it.

          1. His wife also was for the banking bailouts.

    3. ^This^

      Preventing and managing epidemics is the CDC’s main mission. And it’s one of the few things you can argue are a legitimate function of the state. That the resources to that end were devoted to the administration’s hobby horses represents a failure of the organization.

      But, at the end of the day, the CDC is nothing more than a division of the U.S. government. And Barack Obama is the CEO of that organization. CEOs don’t get to escape judgement (if not legal liability) for the failures of the subsidiaries of their organization.

    4. Here’s the thing. The CDC needs something to do when there isn’t a serious infectious disease to control or people will start to wonder why they exist.
      I’m certainly not defending any particular thing that they do. I think that their getting involved with lifestyle diseases, etc. is a very bad thing. But that is the political reality, whoever the president happens to be. IF I were in charge, the CDC would be much smaller and wouldn’t do anything that doesn’t have to do with a dangerous infectious disease. But most people buy into the idea that doing something is better than doing nothing and don’t like to see government agencies that don’t do anything most of the time.

      1. Zeb-

        Given the woeful preparation for this outbreak, I think it pretty safe to say that there were things CDC could have been doing before this major outbreak.

        It isn’t like ebola is a brand new virus that no one saw coming. It is THE infectious “Oh Shit” virus that everyone learns about growing up.

        Antisocial-ist is right. The CDC’s mission has creeped out of control. Instead of continuous itteration and improvement on, say, infectious disease procedures, they have been studying obesity. It is a tragedy.

      2. Maybe they, like the military, should spend their time between wars TRAINING, rather than conducting social experiments. I will grant that, what with the Marine Corps experiments in trying to get women though Infantry Officer’s Course, even that is changing.

        1. Absolutely they SHOULD. I just don’t know why anyone thinks that they would. I don’t think they would have done any better whoever happened to be president, so I think it is silly to criticize Obama specifically on this when there is so much else that he should be specifically criticized for.

      3. Couldn’t they be on the cutting edge of searching for cures for communicable diseases when they aren’t trying to control them?

        1. Probably. Maybe I’m just in an extra-defeatist mood today. But I just keep thinking that it is absurd to expect more from government.

          1. Yeah, which isn’t really so much an argument as whining.

      4. If they just need to spend their budget each year to justify it, stocking places around the country with appropriate protective equipment might be a reasonable task, as opposed to “studying” how bad guns are.

    5. GOP: “People are worried about this ebola stuff. IT’S OBAMA’S FAULT!!!”

      Dems:”People are worried about this ebola stuff. IT’S RETHUGSTRUCTIONIKKKERS FAULT!!!”

      Both assholes. And Mike M. and WTF are assholes for buying into one side.

      1. Luckily, I don’t think many will place a heavy value on your opinion of commenters here.

      2. There is a democratic administration in charge of the CDC right now, dumbass. It is in fact Obama’s fault that he has failed to adequately direct the CDC under his executive control to adequately prepare for a virus everyone was aware of and a spreading epidemic in Africa everyone was aware of. But sure, a failure to address the problems effectively is just nobody’s fault.

      3. Which party is the party of TOP MEN in charge of everything?

        Which party is the party of government control of all health care?

        Which party is actually in control of the executive branch, the branch that oversees the Centers for DISEASE Control?

        1. If you want to be the party cheerleading big government, you’d like to think that they’d want effective government.

          Its like being a power tool enthusiast who only has drained batteries.

    6. Klein, citing National Affairs editor Yuval Levin, argues that pinning the blame on President Obama lends credence to the idea that the president should be at the center of all national issues:

      That idea is already fully embedded.

      The only way to beat the Top. Men. meme out of people is to give the Top. Men. a thorough thrashing every time they fuck up.

      They have already asserted their authority. Holding them accountable doesn’t some increase their authority or encourage them to grab even more power. Its the only way to back them down.

  5. Sort of how Team Red members thought Booosh was unfairly criticized for Hurricane Katrina but Team Blue members thought it evidence not only of incompetence and stoopid, but evidence that Booosh hated black folks.

    1. The problem with Bush and the resulting criticism was that he would prematurely declare some success. So he gives the grand “Mission Accomplished” speech and photo op three months into the Iraq war, even as it’s apparent the place is going to shit. Then he gives the old “Heckuva job, Brownie” quote, even as it’s apparent FEMA was totally failing.

      Obama (aided by a lapdog press) has always been able to deflect criticism, point the finger at someone else, and hasn’t really stepped in it with premature success stories. Obama’s handling of the Gulf oil spill, Bin Laden’s assassination, super storm Sandy was pretty slick. I still don’t give the man a pass, though.

    2. I think it’s pretty obvious that Obama hates black people too, given his lack of dosomethingism for ebola till it came here.

      /sarc

      1. He did just say at a fundraiser that he’s upset that help is not getting to the infected areas fast enough — of course he claimed the international community (nice dodge) is to blame.

        1. “I want to help you my African brothers and sisters, but the goddamn white man is STILL holding us down.”

    3. You want to agree that the City of New Orleans, and the State of Louisiana dropped the ball, along with the Federal Government? Fine, I can agree with that.

      You want to argue that the Dallas, and the State of Texas also dropped the ball? Sure, I agree.

      But it’s not like the Bush administration could have denied Katrina a visa like Obama could have denied Duncan’s.

  6. I think small government-types can carve out an argument that pandemics introduced from outside sources is a federal issue and an appropriate problem for a federal government to tackle, as opposed to school lunches, social safety nets, smoking, etc, etc, etc. Yeah, I know, it will go over everyone’s heads.

    1. And that maybe if the federal government wasn’t doing all of those other things, it might do a better job at the things it should be doing like this.

      But that is just crazy talk.

    2. I agree.

      1. Oh fuck off.

        We need big government for whatever you say we need it for. But big government is always evil and bad.

        1. The most amazing aspect of the many aspects of your ignorance and stupidity is that the thing you are most ignorant about is government. You really have no idea who government actually works. Yet, it is central to every single belief you have ever had.

          1. Says the man talking out of Sean Hannity’s ass a few inches down the page. Forget government, do you have any idea how anything works? Like, anything at all?

            1. Tony, I have literally forgotten more about how the federal government works than you have ever known. That has nothing to do with my ideology it is just the truth. You have never worked for the federal government. You have no clue about the law or the structure or how things get done. You know absolutely nothing about it other than what NPR and various Kos diarists, who don’t know anything either, tell you to think about it.

              It is not that your positions are wrong so much as that they are so ignorant and so removed from reality it is hard to even call them wrong. Your side does have reasonable arguments. It is just that most people who adhere to your set of beliefs are like you and too ignorant to even make your own side’s arguments properly.

              1. You’re obnoxiously smug for someone who never says anything of fucking substance.

                So thrill me with all your knowledge. What, precisely, are you arguing for here? Assuming you’ve begun arguing something, because I can’t quite make it out. Obama sucks–I did get that part, so you can leave it aside.

                1. I am arguing that Obama use his power under the Immigration and Naturalization Act to stop travel from the countries where there is an outbreak. The fact that he hasn’t done that makes him responsible for the case in Dallas and any other cases which occur as a result of that or anyone else traveling to the country who would not have had Obama done his job.

                  Its a simple argument and one you are apparently unable to grasp because it doesn’t fit into the narrative you have been fed.

                  1. Name me one credible expert who thinks a travel restriction is a good idea.

                    The president has said he is not opposed to such a policy if it would do any good. But nobody thinks it would, except people who have an established record of deriving all their political beliefs from the premise that Obama can do no right.

                    1. Name me one credible expert who thinks a travel restriction is a good idea.

                      Uh huh. Credible expert of course means someone who has political views with which you agree. Judge the person, not what they say, eh Tony? Well in your case you have no choice, since you are too stupid to do anything else. Retard.

                    2. Just one. I don’t care what their political beliefs are. I for one don’t give a shit–ban flights if it would have a positive effect. I just would like to know why John talking out of his ass is more credible than everybody who’s in a position to know.

                    3. I don’t care what their political beliefs are.

                      Bullshit. That’s the very first criteria you use for judging an “expert.”

                    4. Name me one credible expert who thinks a travel restriction is a good idea.

                      Oh, okay. How about the government of Belize?

                      Pretty sad when Belize, probably operating with not even a tenth of the budget we squander on the ridiculous CDC, is showing the U.S. how to protect its people from an epidemic.

                  2. He can’t grasp it because he is literally incapable of thought or reason. He’s a parrot. He judges a source based upon their politics, and if he likes their politics he repeats what they say. Otherwise he engages in personal attack because he can’t argue ideas. He’s a retard.

                2. hahahahahaha

                  Tony thinks he says anything of substance.

        2. And when I said above “go over everyone’s heads”, I meant Tony.

          1. Yep. The poor retard is incapable of understanding any principles. So there is no possible way he could have comprehended your post. It is an absolute impossibility.

    3. this isn’t a pandemic here.Even in Africa there are so many things that kill more people.This is not the black death or Spanish flu.Hell,more people will die of this years flu then ebola here.

      1. Yeah and, per above, one can rightly argue that it’s a legitimate function of the federal government to not let it become one.

      2. There are areas in west Africa on the verge of societal collapse because of this. What happens then? Sure malaria and other things kill more people but those things have not brought civilization to its knees like Ebola has in spots. Probably a good idea to keep it from spreading?

      3. Imagine if it really was a pandemic, or becomes one. We now have political assholes running the CDC and government responses. Where are the actual doctors and infectious disease experts? Why aren’t they in front of microphones and making the decisions?

        Anyone paying attention now knows that the government cannot be trusted to handle that situation and anything they say is a lie. Every doomsday prepper out there can feel vindicated.

  7. What can Obama really do? He could ban travel from the infected areas. He and he alone has that power under the Immigration and Naturalization Act. So he is absolutely to blame for a everything that happened in Dallas. Had he banned travel no way would an unemployed Liberian entered the country on a tourist VISA to see his fiance.

    You can say that we would have eventually had a case here no matter what. Maybe. But that doesn’t change the fact that Obama’s failure to ban travel is directly responsible for that case. And if you want to argue that banning travel would overall make things worse, then make that argument, ridiculous though it is. Even that argument still has to admit that Obama is responsible for what happened in Dallas. It just says stopping the Liberian would have required means that caused worse harms elsewhere.

    As far as Obama being responsible for the overall state of the CDC, well it is a big government. I do not, however remember anyone, and Reason in particular taking this attitude during Katrina. I seem to remember Bush being held very responsible for the failures of not only FEMA but for the Louisiana and New Orleans governments. But Obama gets a pass here? Why? Because black Presidents are not expected to be as competent as white ones?

    1. How do you ban travel? Do you mean all international travel? Because there aren’t any direct flights coming into the country from the affected countries. So people come indirectly through another country. If they purchased their tickets separately, and there’s no connecting flight, how do you know? Do you base it on their passport? Visa? Do you engage in profiling? How do you do it?

      1. I read there are 13000 open visas from people in infected countries. I assume that means they aren’t here yet, but had a local embassy issued visa. Knowing the gov, I doubt they could even track that accurately.

        They would have to profile citizens of those countries and could also prevent ticketing through (buying a ticket to Paris then on to NYC).

        Again, knowing they don’t even have a visa tracking system, I doubt it will be more than a band-aid, but it could have stopped Thomas Duncan.

      2. Considering the Feds are already getting a feed of everyone whose final destination is the US prior to departure, it shouldn’t be too hard. Stopping visas and entry based on passport origin would be an easy quick stopgap along with a “this lane only for people who have been in west Africa in the last 21 days” line at customs.

        1. “this lane only for people who have been in west Africa in the last 21 days” line at customs.

          Like this?

      3. It is one of the few things the federal government can actually do well. If you don’t believe me, go ask the people who are stuck on the no fly list.

        Before you ever get on a plane to fly into this county, a US customs officer looks at your passport. If your passport is from one of the infected countries or is stamped showing you have recently visited one of the countries, you don’t get on the plane.

        If you show up at a land border with such a passport, you don’t cross.

        Yes, people could still sneak across the land border for Mexico or Canada. But those countries are not where the outbreak is. Its pretty unlikely that someone from Liberia is going to fly to Mexico and then walk across the Mexican US border.

        1. If they did and they had Ebola, by the time they started walking the disease would already be starting to incapacitate them.

          It’s not that you have to ban all travel from the infected countries…you just have to impede it enough to get past the problem of the incubation period, where carriers of Ebola aren’t apparent. That’s the big issue.

      4. Many Americans are not aware that when foreigners from non-rich countries attempt to fly to America, they don’t just get on the plane and go.

        First you need a visa.

        Then you can buy the ticket. The airline also checks your passport for a valid visa before allowing you to board.

        Thus, if you don’t issue tourist visas, then those people can’t fly.

        Now, that is not a complete ban, but cutting down on non-essential tourists from West Africa would be no big deal.

    2. Every informed expert says a travel ban would be counterproductive.

      So of course Republicans are all jumping to support the idea. Isn’t it strange how these things play out exactly the same way on every issue?

      1. Can you explain why though Tony? Republicans would bitch regardless of what happened, just as would democrats if the republicans were in the whitehouse

        1. Why can’t they bitch without being apparently deliberately unwilling to accept any actual facts of the world? I actually can’t explain what makes Republicans so comprehensively fact-averse. It’s some kind of freakish sociological phenomenon I’m not equipped to diagnose.

          1. Yeah Tony, just like the Democrats understood that the aftermath of Katrina was largely the fault of the Louisiana and New Orleans governments.

            You actually say this stuff and think anyone is going to take it seriously. You really just have to laugh.

            1. Again, edit. The second sentence is totally unnecessary. If you’re going to hurl insults, make them count.

              It is fascinating how you take a self-serving political talking point (Katrina, a once-in-a-lifetime national-level natural disaster, is obviously the fault of local Democrats), and call people idiots for not accepting it as gospel truth.

              Like, do you even get information from anywhere but rightwing sources anymore? Have they completely sucked you in to the extent that one of those fat fucks said the moon is made of Arby’s brand Horsey Sauce, you’d call me an idiot for not believing it?

              1. Yes Tony, the complete lack of an evacuation plan, the complete breakdown of law and order in New Orleans was all the feds fault. The city and state government had nothing to do with it.

                1. It was the hurricane’s fault, most directly. For what it’s worth, when Katrina happened I saw it as a horrifying tragedy and didn’t jump at the opportunity to find a politician to blame. I realize that attitude might not make any sense to someone like you for whom no problem in the universe is too small to blame the president for.

              2. Bush made the levy’s break!

                1. It was the Halliburton Hurricane Machine with Darth Cheney at the helm!

              3. Once in a lifetime“???

                You are a blithering fucking retard Tony: Katrina, Cammille, David, Andrew, Sandy, Iniki, etc.

                1. I had 3 hit me the year before katrina.

          2. Why can’t they bitch without being apparently deliberately unwilling to accept any actual facts of the world?

            Except, what you’re relying on is most certainly not fact, but expert opinion.

        2. No he can’t explain it. It’s an article of faith for Tony, the cult of the Top Men.

      2. Every informed expert says a travel ban would be counterproductive.

        The voices in your head don’t count. And South Africa and Zambia have travel bans and they have been very effective.

        Moreover, the only argument put forth supporting a travel ban is that it would be counter productive because it would keep aid workers from getting to the area, because apparently a travel ban could never be tailored or planes ever chartered specifically for aid workers.

        It is of course absolutely no surprise that you would be dumb enough to believe such an argument and somehow convince yourself that stopping infected people from entering the population only makes an outbreak of disease worse. If the talking heads told you, I have no doubt you would believe that the solution to Ebola is to import infected people into the country.

        If it wasn’t so sad and you weren’t so completely unaware of it, your stupidity would be one of the funniest things on the internet.

        1. His informed experts are probably NPR. Fair and balanced.

        2. Your insults aren’t even witty, so you could benefit from some editing.

          My understanding is that a travel ban would be counterproductive because isolating affected areas would make it more difficult for them to deal with the problem, which means it would get worse and spread. Also, it would incentivize travelers to be deceptive, making it more difficult to trace their routes. I’m just going by what the experts say. Granted that’s not as authoritative as the hysterical knee-jerk horseshit you get from Steve Doocy or whoever the fuck.

          1. Hey retard. John is not getting his information from anyone. He actually knows his shit. Unlike you who chooses your source based upon their politics and then clings to their word like it is gospel, John can actually engage his brain and reason like a human being. You’re just a parrot. An animal. Squawk! Squawk! Retard.

            1. All John is doing is parroting the hysterics of the real dregs of FOX News land. What shit does he know? Which experts is he referring to? What science is he consulting?

              1. Yes Tony. Any point that contradicts what you have been told to think is just a Fox News talking point.

                You are not covering yourself with glory here. And didn’t you hear? The party is throwing Obama over the side over this. He is a lame duck. Even your talking points are out of date.

                1. Because it’s all about Obama.

                  I’ll give you credit John. At least you aren’t talking about the Mexicans yet like your cohorts at lesser rightwing watering holes.

                  1. Yes Tony for you it is all about Obama. Name the last time you commented on a thread that didn’t involve you defending Obama. Defending Obama is all you do here.

                    1. I didn’t bring him up. I’m not the one who needs every thing on the fucking earth to be about how bad Obama is as president.

                    2. “I didn’t bring him up. ”

                      You just came running to his defense.

          2. I’m just going by what the experts say.

            Which you always do. In fairness, if I were retarded I probably wouldn’t try to think through things logically for myself either.

          3. My understanding is that a travel ban would be counterproductive because isolating affected areas would make it more difficult for them to deal with the problem, which means it would get worse and spread

            Which is a complete fantasy. Those countries do not depend upon flights to the US for their subsistence. Further, there is nothing to stop aid going in. The travel applies to travel coming out. You ban anything but aid and essential workers going in and out and then you are able to quarantine that smaller population of people.

            Also, it would incentivize travelers to be deceptive, making it more difficult to trace their routes.

            Again Tony that is idiotic doesn’t apply to travel to this country. What other routes are there? Swimming?

            Further, when you leave or enter a country, your passport gets stamped. if you have been there it will be on your passport. If you are from that country, your passport is from that country. To be deceptive and evade a travel ban, you would have to have a second passport from another country that you used once you got out of the infected area. Could that be done? Maybe but by very few if any people. And a ban doesn’t have to be perfect to be effective. Outbreaks grow exponentially so the fewer infected people get into the country, the smaller the total outbreak will end up being.

          4. You are disappointing Tony, you really are.

            There is a difference between a complete travel ban and a travel ban of current international flights. Surely you are smart enough to see the subtle difference?

            All commercial international flights into and out of the currently afflicted areas should cease.

            This does not prevent other flights from going into or out of the area. It does not mean that emergency response teams/groups/organizations and humanitarian aid cannot get into or out of the areas.

            What it does is reduce the number of people going into and out of these areas and would reduce the probability of it spreading. It does not prevent emergency and aid personnel from going in. In fact it would probably make it easier for them to get in and start helping.

            1. *Shrugs.* All I know is that every person in a position to know has said this is a counterproductive policy.

              Though I’d love for you to defend it on small-government grounds. Or is a minor crisis like this the time to chuck principles out the window?

              1. *Shrugs.* All I know is that every person in a position to know has said this is a counterproductive policy.

                You don’t even know that. Several countries in Africa have instituted travel bans. Are they not experts too? Or are they just stupid black people that are not worth listening to.

                And yes Tony, all you know is what various leftist and pro Obama news sites tell you. But we already knew that.

                1. Several countries in Africa have instituted travel bans. Are they not experts too? Or are they just stupid black people that are not worth listening to.

                  It is telling that Tony elected to not respond to this.

              2. *Shrugs.* All I know is that every person in a position to know has said this is a counterproductive policy.

                Shorter Tony: I repeat what smart people say and it makes me smart.

              3. The CDC is a pretty small agency as far as big government goes. It could be even smaller if it adhered to the purpose of its existence.

                It is disingenuous of you to suggest that ‘small government’ means the same as ‘no government’. Either that or you lack the intelligence to tell the difference.

                No one here has ever once advocated for ‘no government’. Small government? Yes. A proper role for things that cannot be handled local officials? Yes. Accountability – there’s that word progtard fascists like yourself hate more than anything – hell yes. Accountability above all.

                1. Either that or you lack the intelligence to tell the difference.

                  *ding ding ding*

              4. All I know is that every person in a position to know has said this is a counterproductive policy

                I understand that adherence to this is critical to progressive/fascist thinking. It’s the Top Men Principle. Without your worldview collapses.

                Here is a little mental exercise for you. Supposing – just supposing – the Top Men are wrong? Because, after all, they are just men and are completely capable of making mistakes, or being co-opted or corrupted, and therefore capable of making a poor decision. What then? Do you have any orrginal thoughts on the matter, or do you just read the same books as all your proggie friends and then circle jerk each other at some Beltway wine bar?

                1. Here is a little mental exercise for you.

                  He has no mind to exercise.

                  Do you have any original thoughts

                  He is physically incapable.

                2. Maybe they are all wrong, or I haven’t been listening to the right people. So which medical experts are you consulting for your opinion?

                  1. So which medical experts are you consulting for your opinion?

                    Why do you want to know? Oh yeah, so you can judge whether they are “experts” or not by judging their politics. Retard.

                    1. I just want you to say a name. I won’t judge.

                  2. So which medical experts are you consulting for your opinion?

                    Why do you need to consult “experts”, a travel ban is one facet of quarantining the infected population. This is a time honored approach to infectious diseases.

              5. *Shrugs.* All I know is that every person in a position to know has said this is a counterproductive policy.

                So you have no thoughts of your own. I really feel bad for you. You think to yourself – What do other people think? – instead of – Well I know what other people think, but what do I think?

                I hope you grow intellectually someday. Until then piling on like this makes me feel bad – but I’ll keep doing it.

                1. So you have no thoughts of your own.

                  You finally caught on! Congratulations!

            2. Surely you are smart enough to see the subtle difference?

              No. He is not.

              1. I know, I am just hopelessly optimistic.

                1. Every conversation will devolve into “You only want government that you like! You don’t want any government at all! You get all your information from FOX News and Rush Libaugh! You’re racist! I agree with smart people! That makes me smart! Where are your experts? They’re not experts! They’re Republicans! You’re a Republican!”

                  Don’t bother to reason with him. No point. It’s more fun to taunt and mock him.

          5. You couldn’t fit what you understand on the head of a needle.

      3. Informed experts? Who are these mythical creatures? Are they like leprechauns?

        1. They are people with the correct political views. Therefore they are experts in all things.

      4. From the republicans i’ve seen, this is just another bullet point to add to the reasons they think we should secure our borders.
        *Took our jobs
        *took our welfare
        *drugs
        *Terrorists!
        *diseases

        1. So what? That they would like to make a reason to shut the borders down forever doesn’t make shutting them down temporarily any better or worse of an idea.

        2. You have got to love the “logic” of arguing that we should open the borders wider the more obvious it is we should close them.

      5. Every informed expert says a travel ban would be counterproductive.

        The entirety of their argument is that a travel ban will disrupt attempts to help out in Africa.

        Which is utter horseshit, as anyone with a half a brain will quickly realize. Aid flights can be chartered, etc.

      6. “Every informed expert says a travel ban would be counterproductive.”

        By which you mean your fucktard, absentee President and his Ebola czar who has no medical background.

        For a long time, I thought you were just a troll who engaged in logical fallacies to stir the pot. But no, you really are that stupid.

  8. The CDC should be doing a better job at this, its core mission.

    Yet the top executive ultimately in charge of this agency, the President, bears no responsibility for how the agency is run? Really? And restricting travelers from the epidemic areas would be bad because, why? Sometimes a national response is actually appropriate. This is almost a Chapman-level article.

    1. The CDC is doing its core mission perfectly well. It is, as a bureaucracy, avoiding responsibility, deflecting blame, and doing everything it can to defend its turf.

      1. I just saw a blurb somewhere (can’t find it) that Obama has appointed a lawyer/political fixer as the new Ebola Czar, so he and the CDC can do a better job deflecting blame and pointing fingers at nurses.

        1. Government no matter its shape or form can be seen as incompetent or wrong. To do so would pose a challenge to the legitimacy of government and in so doing threaten it with loss of legitimacy and loss of power. That cannot be allowed to happen no matter the cost.

          1. Kind of like how Kitzhaber in OR is going to win in a route even though his government royally fucked up their o-care site and wasted millions – zero consequences

  9. I blame Bush.

    1. Of course, BOOSH drove the economy onto a ditch so big Obama still hasn’t been able to fix it which caused not enough money for the CDC.

    2. I blame sarcasmic for not blaming bush hard enough.

      1. That’s all the blame I’ve got. But I can try banging the bush a little harder.

    3. I blame Bush.

      I do too. Fucking Rossdale. Wrecking a perfectly good Stefani…

      1. She never did anything for me.

        1. Heretic!

      2. I just did a GIS for Rossdale. He looks like the douchiest douche in Doucheville.

        1. Gross. However a GIS for Gwen yielded this:

          http://www.aufeminin.com/peopl…..85509.html

          1. I saw No Doubt play the opening of a pet store in Whittier, CA. Summer 1993. She was a cutie.

  10. Who’s ordering that world class dipshit stooge currently running the CDC to go all over the national media and spout some of the most absurd and laughable falsehoods many of us have ever heard in our lives?

  11. OBAMA IS SPREADING TEH EBOLA BECUZ HE HATES AMERICA!

    1. What does it say that I can’t simply rule this out as ridiculous?

      I’d pay money to be able to do that – but who to, and what for?

  12. Point taken, but this is actually a situation where “moar governmentz!” could be a legitimate solution. To the surprise of many, it has not been to this point.

  13. Let’s just nuke West Africa from orbit.

    1. Works for me.

      1. I saw that. And I think you actually believe it. I think you’re full of shit.

        1. And I think you actually believe it. I think you’re full of shit.

          Poor little retard can’t make up his own mind. I believe it and I’m full of shit. lol!

          1. Says the one with no moral compunction of murdering his political opponents (Tony).

        2. Certainly, an NAP adherent advocates destroying part of a continent with all its inhabitants, and you think it serious.

          You may be suffering from a concussion. Seek medical attention.

          1. I think he is serious. I think he’s a horrible racist idiot. Not that libertarianism would attract those kinds of people in general, or anything.

            1. You really are a one dimensional thinker. Impressive.

              1. It’s hilarious cause Tony and the Democrats are demonstrably racist, sexist, and homophobic.

            2. Of course you think that. You’re not intelligent enough to understand sarcasm (even though it’s his actual online name).

              It’s easier for you and your tiny, non-functional brain to scream “racist” at people you disagree with than it is to understand anything they’re saying (or when they’re joking). Slogans and slurs are a security blanket for intellectually-challenged followers.

              http://www.shmoop.com/animal-farm/the-sheep.html

    2. Not until the supply of cacao beans has been secured.

      1. Yep, it will be an epic tragedy if we loose our hot chocolate now that winter is coming.

    3. “It’s the only way to be sure.”

      1. NOTE TO TONY – he is quoting a movie line. NOT SERIOUS!

        1. Don’t waste your time explaining it to him. He’s not intelligent enough to get it, and even if he did he’s not intellectually honest enough to consider it in context.

  14. At least Ebola hasn’t raped any children. It it had, well, Reason wouldn’t have anything to say about it. Ebola is a serious threat to libertarian principles, whereas the serial raping of children and the subsequent cover-up by government officials and protection of its agents, along with the lack of prosecution of the perpetrators, does not represent any transgression of libertarian principles whatsoever. At least Ebola has that going for it.

    1. Wait, what?

      1. I don’t get it either — of course there is a little intersection as I read that they are not treating pregnant women with Ebola in Africa — too much danger of the disease spreading during birth. So I suspect there are a lot of children dying of this (I’ve never seen a breakout of vicitms by age, btw).

      2. Think “Rotherham” and the coverage here, as opposed to teh ebolaz.

        1. I see.

          Also, I heard something, something about a relative of Joe Biden. Nah, nothing to report.

        2. To be fair, that happened in the UK and couldn’t possibly spread here.

          1. Oh really, travel bans are “racist”. How far are we behind their stupidity?

  15. “The CDC should be doing a better job at this, its core mission.”

    How can you argue, on the one hand, that government needs to back off by not making a simple straightforward and easily alterable decision about travel, and on the other, that a government agency needs to “step up” in vague and open-ended terms?

    There is a simple, effective, and easily changeable solution that involves a temporary and limited travel ban. Then there is the vague, complicated solution that is akin to a long term “War on Ebola!” The only reason to pick the latter is if you have a political agenda, like Obama, or you’re pathetically concerned about appearing racist.

    1. Also, the thing we need to fear the most, if not Ebola, is the most politically expedient decision. That is NOT the temporary ban. If it was, it would already be made.

    2. ^^THIS^^

      The Reason objection to travel bans is idiotic. They are letting their ideology make them stupid. They have this prime directive about open borders and free movement. So they immediately object to travel bans like they are the same thing as changing the immigration laws. They just can’t seem to help themselves from doing it.

      1. It is only idiotic if you think rationally and do not hold yourself rigidly to an ideology.

        The Reason objection to a travel ban is completely consistent with its stand on freedom of movement and open borders.

        1. Sure it is. If you have a completely unreasonable view of what “freedom of movement” means. Just because you think people should be free to move across borders shouldn’t mean you think circumstances can’t in some cases justify temporarily stopping that. It is not like you won’t open them back up as soon as this is over.

          1. Serious question. if you believed in freedom of movement and ending any border restrictions wouldn’t that make you an anarchist?

            1. That is how I look at it. If a government can’t control its borders, then it isn’t a government. If you deny borders you deny sovereignty and really deny government.

              But most on here would disagree with that.

              1. Curiously, when the subject of border control comes up, many folks who support open borders are perfectly okay with checking the in-comers for criminal history and infectious disease. The rubber has hit the road.

                1. Curiously, when the subject of border control comes up, many folks who support open borders are perfectly okay with checking the in-comers for criminal history and infectious disease. The rubber has hit the road.

                  As one of those people, let me explain myself a bit. I see open immigration with checks for disease and dangerous criminality (as far as that is possible) as a practical compromise, not a principled ideal.
                  And I am not entirely opposed to a travel ban in this case, though I am not yet entirely convinced that it is necessary.
                  But as no one with that power gives a shit what I thing, I’d rather engage in pointless academic arguments about political philosophy.

              2. Yeah, you are right. I don’t buy that. Yes, there are reasons why a government would want to control borders. But you can certainly have government without border controls or even citizenship. If you are in the territory effectively controlled by a government, you are subject to that government.

                But the way I look at it, anarchy is reality in a way. Governments exist to the extent that they can convince or force people to go along with them. So perhaps my definition of government is broader than yours.

              3. “Controlling the borders” is not the same thing as “keep out immigrants”. Actually, for a state to remain a state, it just has to keep out other hostile, aggressive states. You can let immigrants in and still be a state and in “control” of your borders. A border is simply an administrative division…not some magical barrier that if breached causes the end of the world.

                Personally, in regards to immigration, I think the biggest problems stem from the hard cap on immigrants allowed to come here legally. I don’t have a problem with scanning and screening people as they come through (for criminal records, infectious diseases, etc.). I think that most immigrants coming here for work would willingly submit to such inspections, if they knew that doing so and passing those inspections meant they would be allowed in. That’s not how our immigration system works, though…because of the hard cap on numbers. There’s no positive incentive for immigrants who need to come here to follow the law.

            2. wouldn’t that make you an anarchist?

              I don’t really see how. A government could still enforece laws, collect taxes, etc. without border control. It may not be practical for various reasons to have no border control at all, but I don’t see how that means that there would effectively be no government.

            3. No. For the first 100+ years of its existance, that’s essentially what you had in the US.

  16. “Don’t blame Obama, those borders just run themselves.”

    (Unfortunately there’s more than a grain of truth is that statement)

  17. Everyone keep in mind that this is the same Peter Suderman who thinks we should reform ObamaCare.

  18. Either be competent at its task or stop taking my money from me for it. Since we don’t have the former, I demand the latter.

  19. Require everyone who has been in an Ebola country to be quarantined for 24 days. Including U.S. citizens. At their own expense.

    I can’t believe texas Presbyterian managed to expose 75 people while caring for one patient. They suck at this.

    1. They can’t do that. Who is going to pay these people’s bills? Who is going to pay for their food?

  20. Anyone at Reason gonna do a cost-benefit on this, or are we to simply take it on good faith that there’s some enormous benefit attached to allowing unobstructed travel to infected foreign nationals?

    1. I think what’s really driving the concern is that Africa’s economy would collapse that’s what someone was saying on NPR yesterday. If you restricted travel you would be restricting trade.

      1. I think at this point it is too late to prevent a collapse in the countries afflicted with this. Now you have to stop it from spreading.

        1. I’m just providing a relevant argument that I heard, because mostly it’s presented as THAT IS A STUPID IDEA and not explained further.

      2. What, they’ve never heard of telecommuting? The number of Africans from these countries who travel to the US for business purposes is minimal. And if we really are having Americans incur costs on behalf of the African economy, that’s pretty fucked up.

      3. Snort.

        Liberia exports rubber and maybe some coffee, etc.

        But let’s assume they need to have a salesmen or two flying.

        Fine, great.

        How about we stop non-essential tourism?

        Oh, and let’s not forget that Nigeria got its Ebola case from some government employee who just had to be at some regional trade conference.

        So, even though his sister died from Ebola, he went on an airplane.

    2. Apparently, infecting others with a deadly disease is only a violation of the NAP when it is done intentionally and with malice. Since it is not a violation of the NAP Reason won’t endorse it.

      1. Apparently, infecting others with a deadly disease is only a violation of the NAP when it is done intentionally and with malice.

        Unless it is done intentionally and with malice, how can you ascribe to the person the act of infection? The disease infects. This is like saying someone is responsible for a feral dog mauling children because the dog happened to pass through that person’s property. If you owned the dog, and you knew the dog was a threat to children, and you failed to contain the dog, then and only then are you fully culpable for the dog’s actions. Otherwise, you are only culpable to the extent blame can be attributed to you.

        1. Come to think of it, I am interested in the intersection of intentional but not malicious. Is there a case for this?

    3. Since when do libertarians do cost-benefit? Now is the time your free-market, limited-government beliefs face their true test. Don’t go soft on me now.

      Or, why is it always the small-government people who are the first to lurch toward a draconian big-government solution when they feel threatened by something?

      1. The CDC is pretty small as far as big government agencies goes. It’s too bad it decided to spend its budgeted money on stuff not remotely related to the purpose of its existence.

        Small government types readily acknowledge the need for government, just insist on accountability. I know you know this which makes you a disingenuous hack. Either that or willfully blind. Actually I guess you could be both.

      2. Since when do libertarians do cost-benefit?

        You do realize that cost-benefit is literally the crux of most libertarian arguments? Like every argument. Have you ever read a single article here?

        1. As I see it cost/benefit is the only way principled libertarians can justify the existence of government at all.

          1. Exactly.

        2. Bullshit. As political philosophies go libertarianism is among the most deontologically focused. Sure you can say all your weird ideological fixations are the result of a careful weighing of costs and benefits, but they aren’t.

          1. Derp de derpity derp

          2. As political philosophies go libertarianism is among the most deontologically focused.

            Whined the prog from his echo chamber.

  21. What are you haters whining about? As Commander-in-Chief, he is sending troops in. What are they going to do, if not slaughter the infected and burn their bodies? This epidemic is as good as over. Chalk up another victory for Hope.

  22. So, here’s a question, asked without prejudice.

    Should we assume that the CDC isn’t doing an adequate job here? Yeah a few things could have been done better, but things seem to be reasonably under control. I suppose we need to wait a few more weeks to really know, but so far there are only 3 people who have been out and about with Ebola and so far that seems to be it. Maybe I’m missing something as I have become completely bored with the news on the subject and mostly tune it out.

    Also, do we want a government who is capable of being that on top of a problem? If the apparatus is there to sufficiently control people to stop a disease from spreading, then it is there to control people for other purposes too.

    I’m really just asking.

    1. I think it is safe to say they aren’t doing an adequate job. This is the gov. here.

      1. Well, they aren’t doing a very good job. I wouldn’t argue with that. And I generally operate under the assumption that government is largely incompetent and fucked up. But adequacy is a much lower bar.
        If it doesn’t become a serious outbreak in the US, wouldn’t that mean that the response was adequate? Or would it just be dumb luck?

        1. I think it would be the third option possibly that we have a higher standard of living than most west african countries and therefore better equipped to fight disease.

          1. Oh yeah, there is that too. Having good hospitals and decent general knowledge about hygiene and germs helps a lot I’m sure.

            1. readily available household cleaners goes a long way.

        2. Either or both scenarios could be true.

    2. Actually it is not just the CDC that is not doing its job it is Obama. It really is him. The only thing that can be done right now is to ban travel from these places and Obama is the only one who can do that. This is one of those rare instances in government where one person really is responsible.

      The CDC clearly screwed up how it handled the case in Dallas. It clearly doesn’t understand fully how Ebola is transmitted how hospitals should treat cases of Ebola and is just making things up as it goes along.

      1. The point about Obama’s power to ban travel is valid. I don’t have a firm opinion in this case at the moment, but it is something that would certainly be the right thing to do under certain circumstances.

        As for the CDC handling of things, they certainly could have done better and been more prepared for something like this. But in the specific case of Ebola, does anyone understand very well how it should be treated and how it is transmitted?

        1. Apparently they don’t or Ebola would be contained.

    3. You are definitely missing something. Two people have a life threatening illness because the treatment plans for a known infectious disease failed. And further while we don’t know anyone else has been infected we do know containment has been broken.

  23. Or, possibly, you could just think a “travel ban” would be in practice completely unworkable. Merely a public relations sop to the panic stricken. Like naming an all-knowing and omnipotent “Czar”.

    1. The South African government (who John holds up as a paragon of infectious disease control) admitted that they instituted a travel ban despite there being no clinical justification for doing so, and (most importantly) to calm people down.

      Came right out and said it.

      This puts John’s earnest argument for doing it the South African way an unintentional tiger-repelling rock story.

      It’s annoying that I have to agree with Tony on something, but has anyone here thought of the second- and third-order effects of a travel ban? They’re not unlike the effects of ANY sort of ban, and they often lead to counterproductive results.

      1. First, South Africa has land borders to protect, we do not. Second, so far the bans have worked. You say it is a tiger protects rock argument but that is because you assume you must be right. All you are saying is “South Africa didn’t think it worked but it so far has so this is just tiger protecting rock”. That puts you in the difficult position of spouting nonsense.

        Beyond all of that, we don’t share a land border with these countries. They have to either fly or take a boat to get here. That makes a travel ban very easy to enforce.

        I get it that doing that goes against your ideology. And if you think the principle of free movement is more important than stopping disease, make that argument. But stop letting your ideology cause you to stay stupid things like “a travel ban would never do any good”.

        1. Who’s going to drive from Liberia to South Africa? Do you have any idea how far that is?

          South Africa instituted the ban with the full knowledge beforehand that it did not make a clinical difference and their aim was to quell hysteria. End of.

          If a travel ban is so easy to enforce (and the inevitable attempts to circumvent it so thoroughly taken care of), why don’t you take us through a tour of your plan?

          Further, Nigeria controlled their problem mostly through contact tracking. They “closed their borders” but as we have been hearing for years, Boko Haram doesn’t seem to have a problem penetrating it. They also BRIEFLY restricted flights, but did not institute an outright ban.

          Explain that, given that they are in much closer proximity, have a massive population density in the big cities, and serve as a travel hub from most of Africa.

          And finally, what IS my ideology, genius?

          1. The problem is your ideology. You are the one who can’t seem to grasp the reality that you have to show a passport to get on a plane or board a ship and the government can and frequently does stop people from boarding.

            And again, one South African official saying he doesn’t think the ban there does any good does not out weight the common sense that it would work here.

            1. Go fuck yourself, John.

              I’ve been through several of the major airports on the way back into the US. Passport checks are cursory at best. The interview is what they focus on.

              1. So what if they are “cursory”? It says REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA on the front. This is not difficult. All they have to do is not board people from the select countries and with the stamps. Even they can do that.

                And for the fifth time, if you don’t think they can’t, go ask someone on a no fly list about that. You are damned right they can and you know it. You just won’t admit you lost the argument.

                1. Have you ever tried not adopting an indefensible and stupid argument? Or do you do this for fun?

                  1. Tony|10.17.14 @ 1:14PM|#

                    Have you ever tried not adopting an indefensible and stupid argument? Or do you do this for fun?

                    Go ask Timon and of course you. One of the funnier things about you is that you are so stupid and fanatical you can never back off an inch no matter how idiotic your argument is.

                    it makes me think you are one of the REason staff trying to build hits, because sometimes even I wonder if anyone could actually be as stupid as you are.

                    1. John all you do is adopt stupid and indefensible arguments and then call people who disagree stupid. Like a child. I have no emotional attachment whatsoever to the idea that we shouldn’t enact a travel ban. I just think, by all that I’ve read and understand, that it would be ineffective at best and probably counterproductive. If evidence comes along that changes that, I’d be happy to change my mind. Care to offer any?

                    2. No Tony, you just parrot whatever people tell you to think. You have no idea why a travel ban is a good or bad idea, no idea how one would work and have given the issue no thought. All you know is that someone from your side told you it wouldn’t work. That is it.

                      You are the definition of the poorly educated and easily lead. They could have told you that having everyone drink lemonade on the plane would work and you would be on here saying so. Blind faith and ignorance are all you have.

                    3. And lastly Tony, no fly lists and such are part of my job. This is one area where I really am an “expert”. So when someone tells me that the government can’t keep a class of people off planes and boats coming into this country, I know for a fact that is bullshit because I know the government does that every single day and could easily do it here.

                      When you actually know something about a topic, you don’t just believe whatever some guy on NPR tells you. It is a great way to live. You should try it sometime Tony.

                    4. The argument isn’t that we can’t, it’s that we shouldn’t. Shutting West Africa off would cause the problem to get worse and put Americans at even more risk–this is the unanimous opinion of experts, and I, once again, ask if you know anyone besides yourself who disagrees.

                      Even restricting flights to medical personnel wouldn’t work. A humanitarian crisis is by definition chaotic, and you want to put up layers of bureaucracy between the sick people and their caregivers, and you want to do all this over something that is not actually a threat in this country.

                      On the contrary you are the one parroting bullshit artists who peddle in hysteria. I’ve heard your argument. You didn’t make it up. It came straight from the mouths of people who don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about, even if you claim you do.

                    5. Shutting West Africa off would cause the problem to get worse and put Americans at even more risk

                      How would keeping the exposed from coming here put more Americans at risk? There is no reasonable mechanism for this to be true. You have to be either a total Koolaid drinker or retard to actually believe this. And I know ‘Tony’ is both.

                    6. Because it means we’re not addressing the actual outbreak as well as we can. The only way to solve this is to end the outbreak in West Africa. Restricting travel to and from would hamper this.

    2. What is unworkable about it? Every person who gets on a plane has to have a passport. That passport has to come from somewhere and it is stamped with everywhere the person has been. If you have a passport from one of the countries or you have one that has been stamped showing you have visited one of the countries, you just don’t get on the plane.

      There are few things easier to enforce than a travel ban from small countries that you don’t share a land border with.

      1. You realize that those checking passports in, say, Europe are not CBP officers, right?

        1. No. They are not. The airlines check too. And every plane that comes to this country has a manifest of every passenger on it and every passport number sent to CPB before it lands.

          This is very easy. We stop people from flying all of the time. The airlines go to great lengths to make sure people without valid passports or VISAs don’t get on the plane because they are stuck with the cost of flying them back.

          If you think the US can’t enforce a travel ban, go talk to one of the poor bastards on the no fly list. They can enforce it very easy. You tell the airlines and the customs officials in the airports that people meeting this description don’t board. Again, if you don’t believe that, try getting on a plane to Ryiad from anywhere with an Israeli passport.

          You are just grasping at straws here. If you don’t want a ban, fine. But admit as much and stop insulting people’s intelligence by pretending one wouldn’t be effective. It would

        2. Who cares?

          The CDC has never – ever – stated that we could actually enforce a travel ban.

          They have utilitarian reasons why they think we shouldn’t. But the utilitarian calculations they are performing value the good of Liberians and the good of Americans the same. Our government should not calculate value that way.

          1. The CDC has never – ever – stated that we could actually enforce a travel ban.

            Sorry, that should read “could not“.

            The mechanics of a travel ban are trivially easy. We’re just being told not to do it…for the good of Liberians.

            1. Exactly. It is West Africa for God’s sake. There isn’t exactly a lot of commerce and tourism coming in and out of there, especially during an Ebola outbreak.

              A travel ban to Canada or Mexico would be unworkable. But West Africa? Who do these people think they are kidding?

        3. And think about what you are saying for a moment. Which is easier, having half assed health assessments at airports trying to get low level bureaucrats to guess if the person has Ebola or just banning travel and requiring the low level bureaucrats to simply read a passport?

          You are arguing that the former will work but the latter won’t. Have you lost your mind?

          1. Low level bureaucrats do not have contact with international travelers until they arrive at a US airport.

            Also “just” ban it! Because it’s like snapping your fingers!

            1. Low level bureaucrats do not have contact with international travelers until they arrive at a US airport.

              First, that is note even entirely true. We have CBP officers and preclearance facilities in all of the major airports in Europe, which is pretty much how most people get here from Africa. Second, even if the low level bureaucrat is German or Swiss or South African, they can read a passport and you know it. And if htey can’t the airlines will.

              Just stop it. You sound like Tony here.

            2. Lastly, even if they get on the plane, you can just send them back when they get here. Without a travel ban you have to let them out of the airport. Which is worse, an infected person showing up at the airport and being sent back or one going and hanging out with his fiance and her family for a week or so before showing up at the hospital?

  24. If the apparatus is there to sufficiently control people to stop a disease from spreading, then it is there to control people for other purposes too.

    Once we get Ebola under control, we can get to work on imbecility.

  25. Since when do libertarians do cost-benefit? Now is the time your free-market, limited-government beliefs face their true test. Don’t go soft on me now.

    Speaking of the curse of imbecility.

    1. This thread is not doing much to alter my assumption that you guys really aren’t cut out for the type of society you pretend to favor.

      1. Well that’s understandable given that you have no capacity to think beyond your one-dimensional worldview. What college did you leave your critical thinking abilities with, if you even had any? I’m guessing Yale.

        1. I get it, I think. Critical, nuanced thinking means big government is OK for things it’s entirely unnecessary for but which make you piss your pants in fear, but feeding a starving child? Bridge too far!!

          1. D-
            Lacks originality, cohesive thinking, and supportable conclusions.

          2. I don’t understand how someone could come in here as often as you do and be as obtuse as you are about libertarian ideology. I understand liberal doctrine pretty well and while I think it is misguided I don’t feel I make nearly as many mischaracterizions as you do about libertarians. If you really think everyone here is for starving children why the fuck would you want to associate with monsters? What do you hope to accomplish by coming here?

            1. Tony coming here as akin to a toddler hugging its favorite plush toy during a thunderstorm.

            2. I don’t think you’re actively for starving children, just for ignoring them. It is admittedly a bit confusing to parse a belief system that favors minimal government to the extent that government shouldn’t feed starving children–but it should impose draconian travel restrictions that affect the entire planet because one guy died in Texas.

              1. I don’t think you’re actively for starving children, just for ignoring them.

                You’re so right Tony! I mean, libertarians oppose charity at the point of a gun, which means we oppose all charity! We actively oppose anyone helping anyone under any circumstances! Not only that, but we want to ban charity! No feeding of starving children allowed! We hate children! We want to ban feeding any children! We’re monsters!

                Muahahahahahahah!

                1. What if charity is fundamentally not adequate to the task?

                  1. What if it is?

                    1. What if it is?

                      The goalposts are in constant movement, so it can never be adequate.

                    2. Then we have a good argument for why we should fill the gap socially, as we do for those government services you personally like, and so as not to live in a third-world shithole.

                    3. as we do for those government services you personally like…

                      There you go again, showing how you have zero understanding of libertarianism. Zee-fucking-ro.

                    4. Do you really think gov. is the thing that separates us from being a third world shithole?

                  2. What if charity is fundamentally not adequate to the task?

                    That’s life.

                    “The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”

                    ? Thomas Sowell

                    Government cannot cure scarcity.

                    1. So government can’t provide universal access to food even though it quite obviously does so every single day?

                    2. Government doesn’t provide universal access to food. If anything it makes things worse. Like in my state there is a price floor on milk. So when a poor mother has to buy milk for her kids, she’s got less money left to buy other things. But at least the dairy farmers are being protected.

                    3. So government can’t provide universal access to food even though it quite obviously does so every single day?

                      Nononononono.

                      To prove that “government” can guarantee universal access to food, you’d have to show that “government” has successfully supplied universal access to food everywhere it has tried to. And at all times it has tried to.

                    4. No it doesn’t. Private interests grow food and sell it. Look at every country where the government took over the food supply. People were starving in a few years.

              2. I have a serious question, Tony. Do you give much money to anyone for any reason other than when you purchase something for yourself? Do you give to any charities that feed starving children?

                Because if you don’t, then please stop trying to pretend you care about this sort of an issue.

                1. Charity and social insurance are two entirely different concepts.

            3. I don’t understand how someone could come in here as often as you do and be as obtuse as you are about libertarian ideology.

              That’s quite simple. He is incapable of original thought. That’s why he quotes “experts” and asks people who disagree with him to quote “experts.” So he can judge the “experts” based upon their politics. A libertarian cannot be an expert on libertarianism because their politics are wrong. Only a progressive can be an expert on libertarianism (or anything for that matter) because they’ve got the correct politics. So Tony listens to what progressives say about libertarians, and that’s what he believes.

              1. I am here all the fucking time, sarc. I listen to libertarians quite a lot, far more than you listen to liberals–I’d bet a lot of money on that.

                Nothing has convinced me that I’m wrong about the fundamental incoherence of your philosophy. Whenever I point it out, you just say I don’t understand, something something true Scotsman something. It is possible, you know, that libertarianism is fundamentally contradictory and that I’m right about that.

                1. Whenever I point it out, you just say I don’t understand

                  That’s because you don’t.

                2. You’d lose a lot of money.

                3. I am here all the fucking time, sarc. I listen to libertarians quite a lot,

                  Regurgitating progtard talking points and flinging accusations of racism is not “listening”.

                  And yes…you’re here a lot, and you still don’t understand anything about libertarianism and can’t dissect arguments or read for comprehension. That’s why we keep telling you that you’re stupid.

      2. I can’t speak for everyone here but the type of society I favor would literally be exactly the same as this one, but without people randomly thrown in a cage or worse for not paying the correct extortion fees.

        1. Tony can’t separate government and society. To him they are one and the same. So if you don’t want government to do something, you don’t want it to be done at all. And if you want government to do something, you want it to do everything. He’s a retard.

          1. That is exactly right. For him everything is government.

          2. Some things only government can do, so if you don’t want government doing those things, in effect you don’t want them done.

            1. I would agree with that. But I feel your definition of “some things” is completely different than mine. Serious question: how much interaction with the gov. would you say you have on a daily/weekly basis?

              1. Define interaction. I drive on roads every day. I employ my government-supplied education every day, eat at safety- and health-regulated restaurants several times a week, etc. I owe the very fact that I can make a good living on these and other services (such as law and order) provided by a stable, strong government. On the other hand these things go mostly unnoticed in daily life. It’s not like I feel the jackboot on my neck every day as you guys seem to. But maybe you’re doing something wrong?

                1. eat at safety- and health-regulated restaurants several times a week, etc

                  Well I think you would be surprised to learn just how extensive the black market is in this country. I meant more if you had been on receiving end of a inspection, acquiring a permit, selling goods to gov. agencies, or other various other administrative related interactions.

                  1. “eat at safety- and health-regulated restaurants several times a week, etc”

                    I’ve never had food poisoning from eating at home.

                    1. that sandwich, you didn’t build it.

                    2. I’ve never had food poisoning from eating at home.

                      Same here, and yet I got food poisoning twice from a restaurant that had an A rating from the government health inspector.

                      Funny how the government stamp of approval doesn’t actually guarantee quality.

                2. Most of the roads you have driven on were built by private developers who took a section of land and subdivided it. In order to sell the lots, roads had to be built. These roads then are deeded to the local authority.

                  Your safe restaurants are not regulated to any reasonable extent by any authority. I’ve been in the hotel business. A brain dead guy comes around once every six months, gets a free meal, writes you a report which no one ever reads, and you pay a fee for that. What keeps restaurants clean is restauranteurs who don’t want to lose customers and lose their business because people got sick.

            2. Some things only government can do, so if you don’t want government doing those things, in effect you don’t want them done.

              For example?

              1. Universality. Nothing else will guarantee universal access to basic needs and services.

                1. Universality. Nothing else will guarantee universal access to basic needs and services.

                  Government doesn’t do that either. It never has. Anywhere.

                  Not by any reasonable definition of the word “guarantee”.

                  1. Is this pedantry or what? Civilized countries have figured out how to offer universal access to basic services. They’ve done it. By universal I don’t mean it works 100% perfectly for all people all the time, and by guarantee I don’t mean an asteroid won’t hit and scramble things a bit.

                    1. Is this pedantry or what?

                      No.

                      I’m applying to you the standard you apply to me.

                      Your critique of libertarianism is “Not every individual would be guaranteed the fulfillment of their basic needs.”

                      You even fucking italicized the word for emphasis.

                      Well, that critique is only valid if government always and everywhere guarantees everyone fulfillment of their basic needs without fail. Because if it doesn’t do that, then your critique also applies to government, and you’re left without a position.

                    2. What a load of horse shit. The ONLY reason they’ve even come close to universal delivery (access is always fucking there unless the government actively bans you from doing something) is because we supply them with most to nearly all of their defense.

                    3. Civilized countries have figured out how to offer universal access to basic services.

                      And that’s why in “civilized” countries, you get to wait six months for a cardiology or oncology consult and two years for a surgery, whereas in the United States (before Obamacare, at least) you could generally start treatment on serious health issues immediately.

                      So, in Tony-speak, “civilized” is apparently defined as “provides poor quality services at a hidden cost”.

                2. Government doesn’t guarantee anything other than a bullet if you don’t obey.

      3. Contagious disease is a physical threat, Tony.

        It doesn’t have mens rea attached to it, sure. But minarchists do not dispute that the state has a legitimate role in protecting its citizens from physical threats.

        If there was a nation of men who were born radioactive, and everyone who touched them got radiation sickness, liberatian theory would not require us to allow the citizens of that nation to freely immigrate.

        1. Starvation isn’t a physical threat?

          1. Not in this country. And not because of government either.

          2. It’s not an interpersonal physical threat, no.

            Standing next to a starving person doesn’t make me starve.

            Minarchists justify the use of force to prevent one individual from physically harming another.

            If you’re trying to hit me with a shovel, I can use force to stop you.

            If you’re out of your mind and don’t know what you’re doing and are trying to hit me with a shovel, you aren’t morally responsible for what you’re doing and it’s inadvertent – but I can still use force to stop you.

            If you were born radioactive, you also aren’t morally responsible for your condition and and the physical threat is inadvertent – but I can, again, use force to make you stay away from me.

            And if you may be carrying a contagious disease, you once more also aren’t morally responsible for your condition and and the physical threat is inadvertent – I can once again use force to make you stay away from me for the length of the incubation period of that disease.

            All under minarchism.

            You can attempt to argue that the distinction between these physical threats and a failure to help someone who’s starving isn’t meaningful to you – but it’s a pretty straightforward distinction, and – again – pretty textbook minarchism.

            So saying “…you guys really aren’t cut out for the type of society you pretend to favor,” in this context is a non sequitur.

            1. This is consistent on the surface but rests on an incoherent premise: that the only harm we should pay attention to socially is that which comes from other human beings. Other people are just a part of your environment. What difference does it make if a person deliberately starves me or the environment I was born into starves me? The only meaningful consideration there is moral culpability–which, at any rate, is less important a concern than my not having any food.

              So when we get beyond moral considerations, say with communicable disease, we’re really only talking about harm from the environment. That a human is an intermediary is incidental. People get this disease because they come in contact with infected bodily fluids. People starve because they lack access to food. You can say we should only pay attention collectively to one of these problems, but you can’t say there’s a good reason.

              1. That a human is an intermediary is incidental.

                Tony proves again that he is incapable of learning.

              2. So, because the authoritarian socialist government of Stalin and its agents used starvation as a threat and actual political weapon to force compliance with its policies, the people of the Ukraine, denied access to food by their government, had legitimate recourse to what? Nothing? To starve? Fight back? What?

                Harm being inflicted on them by their government – was ok? Whereas harm being inflicted on them by their environment – was not ok?

              3. Thanks for the incoherent word salad.

                1. That was @ ‘Tony’ of course.

              4. What difference does it make if a person deliberately starves me or the environment I was born into starves me?

                How does your environment starve you? That doesn’t make any sense.

                People starve because they lack access to food.

                How do people lack access to food? Again, that makes o sense.

                1. People don’t trade for food, they only get from the magic wand of government. Unbelievable.

                2. How does your environment starve you?

                  Because the progtard rationale is that an environment that doesn’t provide for every need at zero expenditure of cost or effort for people like Tony must be an environment that is actively attempting to kill him.

                  In nature, Tony would be the bear that starves to death by the stream because he can’t understand why the fish aren’t jumping directly into his mouth and chewing themselves up so he doesn’t have to exert himself by moving his jaw.

              5. This is consistent on the surface but rests on an incoherent premise: that the only harm we should pay attention to socially is that which comes from other human beings.

                No, the premise is that the only harm you can punish me for or use force against me to prevent is that harm that comes from me.

                If you’re so pissed at your “environment”, go punish the environment.

                What difference does it make if a person deliberately starves me or the environment I was born into starves me?

                It makes an incredible amount of difference to the question of whether you can use violence against a person as a result of your condition.

                A person deliberately starving you? Use violence against that person.

                The environment is starving you, and NOT that person? Well, then using violence against that person is not OK.

                The only meaningful consideration there is moral culpability

                Right. The only meaningful consideration for law.

                which, at any rate, is less important a concern than my not having any food

                Less important to whom?

                So when we get beyond moral considerations, say with communicable disease, we’re really only talking about harm from the environment. That a human is an intermediary is incidental.

                The human is the one carrying the disease around. The way I will get the disease is if the human is near me. That makes it a primary and not an incidental concern.

                1. As usual, he disappeared in a puff of logic.

                2. You can’t get to “it’s okay to use collective (government) force to rectify this situation” from your premise of human agency being all-important. It still takes taxes and coercion to enable the services that react to problems caused by humans. If it’s never okay to tax and coerce, it’s never okay to tax and coerce. If it’s sometimes okay to tax and coerce, then whether the problem being addressed involves human agency or environment is not relevant except with respect to moral judgment and specific practical concerns. Anarchy is consistent (if insane); minarchy must explain each and every time why this collective action is good but that one is bad.

                  1. minarchy must explain each and every time why this collective action is good but that one is bad.

                    So in other words, you believe minarchy is terrible because it requires people to consider their actions and follow-on consequences before engaging in collective action that affects others.

                    You come here all the time, and had this stuff explained to you every time, and you’re still not smart enough to figure out that this is the point.

          3. Stalin used starvation as a physical threat and actual political weapon. Is that really the example you want to go with, the willful murder of millions of Ukrainians by the authoritarian socialist government of Stalin and it’s agents?

            Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if you do.

          4. Here’s a fun game…name the last famine that occurred in the United States, Tony.

            Then, once you’ve pointed it out, explain me how starvation is a rampant problem in a country that doesn’t control distribution of food supplies.

      4. This thread is not doing much to alter my assumption…

        Nothing alters your assumptions. You’re stupid. Stupid people don’t second-guess themselves or their core beliefs.

        Feel free to leave if you don’t like it…nobody will miss you.

  26. What can Obama, himself, really do?

    What he should have done, and what any competent leader of an organization would have done is:

    1. Go through the head of HHS to the CDC to the EBOLA “CZAR” (which contrary to media reports was not appointed today but rather has existed for years) and directed said Czar to put together a brief high-level presentation of the containment program.

    2. Review with various experts including outsiders.

    3. Only if item 2 is deemed sufficient get in front of the American public and assure them the containment plan is sufficient.

    The problem with Obama, and many politically oriented people, is that they don’t understand there should be a relationship between assuring people the containment plan is sufficient and the containment plan actually being sufficient. Obama, and the CDC head and the rest of the administration, understood the job to be handling the American public instead of handling the Ebola outbreak. Because of this basic misunderstanding an easy solution was missed and now some people may die and many others are taking much more drastic action than was originally required.

    1. You forgot step four

      Have a plan that works. Without that none of the other shit matters.

      1. That’s a separate issue from Obama’s failures, but since you ask let’s brainstorm what the containment plan should have looked like (at a minimum).

        We don’t know where (or if obviously, but we’re planning for where) it will show up initially. So we send alerts for the symptoms to everyone in the health field. But even casual consideration tells us not every hospital in the US is likely to have the necessary equipment and skill to deal with this. So we identify and train 4 hospitals around the country to handle it. We also require anyone to alert us for coordination purposes. As far as anyone can tell this is the extent of the CDC plan. Nice job guys.

        What would a competent manager ask?
        (1) Where is the oversight, how are we monitoring to ensure the process is successful? (2) What can we do to ensure the facilities we rely on are capable? What are the possible or likely points of failure?

        The responses to these questions would likely include creating an oversight team of people knowledgeable about the protocols, and to dispatch a member to any treatment location to evaluate their process (position it as a coordination effort). We know this is a likely response because when Obama got around to asking what we should do this was the answer.

        1. Continued…

          So how would this make a difference? It’s clear the protocols failed. Nurses on site believe their gear was unacceptable, others think the nurses didn’t have sufficient training. Either issue (or both) would be easily identifiable by someone knowledgeable of the protocols. If the gear was deemed unacceptable get more (CDC has to have some – right?). It’s easy to evaluate training by asking the head nurse what training they’ve given the attending nurses, then confirming each and every attending had it. If the answer is “we showed them your alert” you prevent them from going in until they can be trained, or you declare the facility unable to manage the patient and move them to one of the 4 prepared hospitals.

          If they are properly trained you move on to the next question, which is “why in gods name are the people attending this guy also assisting other patients?” Are you kidding me? They’re risking cross-contamination of already sick people by exposing them to people exposed to the virus.

          What should they have done? Asked the nurse what a minimum number of team members are to care for this guy, and then appointed a team to provide care to that patient only. Or moved the patient because it’s clear management is not taking the issue seriously.

          1. Continued (3 of 3, sorry)…

            The CDC plan was a complete failure. Ultimately the plan was “hope our system can handle this without our intervention or supervision”, show up on TV and take credit, whine about our budget not being big enough.

            The better question is “if this is what you came up with why do you exist at all”? And the answer is “to provide politicians and journalists with statistics and news hooks”.

            1. And studying fat lesbians. Don’t forget the fat lesbians. The CDC actually spent millions studying obesity among lesbians. Meanwhile, they didn’t have a plane for dealing with Ebola.

              1. Q: Why do they study fat lesbians?

                A: So the media have stories to write about fat lesbians, which in turn helps politicians create new programs administering medical services to fat lesbians, which just happen to be staffed by fat (or formerly fat) lesbians.

    2. Well said. Obama sees his job is to reassure everyone the tasks at hand are being dealt with, rather than ensuring they are being dealt with.

    1. I have no idea what to make of that. How could he not have Ebola?

      1. There are other things that can cause you to vomit and die.

        1. True but not many things. It would be one hell of an odd coincidence. Not impossible just very odd.

          1. I wonder how they could confirm it wasn’t Ebola after a ‘cursory’ est.

          2. Lots of things can cause you to vomit and die. Internal hemorraghing from an injury, dehydration, poison, alcohol or drug overdose…it’s an extremely common symptom. Ebola is actually much more rare.

            1. This is a major problem of this disease.

              I feel really bad for the sick people in these countries who don’t have Ebola and then get sent to an Ebola ward.

              Or do they test now in Liberia?

  27. Some things only government can do, so if you don’t want government doing those things, in effect you don’t want them done.

    “Describe in single words only the good things that come into your mind
    about your mother.”

  28. Obama DHS Expediting Visa Requests From Ebola-Infected Countries. Are they intentionally trying to feed conspiracy theories?

    1. Could people try not believing in ridiculous conspiracies? Is that an option? What is it? Obama wants to use ebola to destroy America? Do these people know he has nukes?

      1. No Tony. They are just that stupid. They are like you. They don’t mean harm. They just are so stupid and riven with politics they can’t help themselves.

      2. It’s possible to believe that expediting visa applications from the affected areas is an absurd and idiotic policy without thinking it is consciously intended to cause harm.

        1. I trust you actually read the document and understand that it applies to nationals of those countries currently in the US, and is meant as a relief measure, and has no possible fucking bearing on whether or how Ebola spreads.

          1. It matters if only because it means the administration is saying “We can’t send send Ebola country citizens back to Ebola countries because there’s an epidemic there” and simultaneously “There’s no reason to restrict travel from Ebola countries.” So Ebola is dangerous to anyone entering those countries, but not dangerous when people leave them?

          2. Why shouldn’t they fly back to their home countries if their visas run out.

            You’re side is claiming that travel must be totally open.

            But now you want to discourage travel.

            Weird.

          3. Why shouldn’t they fly back to their home countries if their visas run out.

            You’re side is claiming that travel must be totally open.

            But now you want to discourage travel.

            Weird.

  29. Oh look, Tony’s here.

  30. So Tony believes that limiting travel into our country from infected countries will make the Ebola situation worse.

    And he will not explain why, but will only say that experts told him this so it must be so.

    And he doesn’t even come close to seeing how religious this makes him.

    1. Whereas you believe the opposite because of all the data that suggests it’s correct, I suppose. Definitely not because you’re having a simplistic knee-jerk reaction or are parroting that of some talking head.

      Here is one article explaining why it would make the situation worse. There are plenty more. I’ve yet to see one in favor of the counter position, but you’re welcome to link me to one.

      1. Are you really this fucking stupid? You link to a vox article trying to explain to people that their basic understanding of disease is wrong?

        Shut the fuck up, and stop piling on your stupidity.

        If there are fewer infected people, the chances of infection spreading here are lower. This is basic, common sense disease control, and it supports a travel ban.

        It’s honestly shocking to see how many people are trying to gin up arguments about why this very basic fact is not true, and thinking themselves clever for doing so.

        1. They do it because they think that not giving into a very rational fear and following conventional, proven strategies for disease control somehow makes them better, more innovative people than the ones saying that we should probably try to control the spread of an infectious, highly-deadly disease.

          Or, as Penn Jillette once accurately pointed out…

          http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITI…..index.html

      2. We use reason. Not something you would understand.

        1. I understand that you slap the label “reason” on all the infantile bullshit you believe. I could do that too if I were as dumb as you.

          1. I could do that too if I were as dumb as you.

            If you were as dumb as sarcasmic, you’d be at least twice as smart as you are now.

            Your brain activity is so low, it’s amazing your organs still function.

      3. Three people in the US have been stricken by Ebola; more than 8,000 have in West Africa. The best way to avoid more cases in America is by protecting West Africans.

        So if you want to keep sick people out of America, then you don’t want to protect West Africans.

        Talk about a false dichotomy. Only someone as stupid as Tony would buy that.

      4. US lawmakers are now pushing to close off West Africa to the rest of the world. Allow Ebola to fester over there, and keep people safe over here.

        In opposing this idea, public health experts unanimously agree: sealing borders will not stop Ebola spread and will only exacerbate the crisis in West Africa ? and heighten the risk of a global pandemic.

        So, aside from the lie that we want to close off west Africa from the rest of the world, rather than just restrict people from that area coming into America, even Vox is only claiming it will make things worse in west Africa, not here, because they assume there would also be no charter flights of aid and aid workers, which is not actually being proposed. And also funny that ‘Tony’ considers an article on Vox “experts”. Of course they must be, because they repeat the trope that “all public health experts unanimously agree”.
        Tony is even more of an idiot than I imagined.

  31. The people who favor a travel ban have been clear they mean preventing potentially infected people from ENTERING the US, not preventing aid workers from going over there.

    Of course, progs being systematically dishonest, claim the pro-ban people want both.

    And then we have Tony’s idiotic argument that you can’t pick and choose what government functions should be allowed. Nope! In his mind, you’re either a prog or an anarchist.

    ? What stinks up threads?

    ? and spouts off lies?

    ? And makes a derpy sound?

    ? A troll, a troll! A marvelous troll!

    ? Everyone knows it’s a Tony!

    1. These really are some of the dumbest debates I’ve ever heard.

      1. Oh, I’ve heard much worse. My favorite one goes something like this:

        Me: We should repeal law X because it isn’t working.

        Other guy: Well, why not just legalize murder then?

        They never realize that they’re basically saying no law should ever be repealed.

        1. I noticed that gold prospecting is now banned in Boulder County in Colorado. Can you imagine? An area that was built on prospecting has now banned it. Cops will arrest you if they catch you panning for gold in a mountain creek. Absurd you say? Well, I called my leftist father who lives in that state, and he said they must have had a good reason. I couldn’t convince him of the absurdity. Some people will always defer to authority.

        2. I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

          It’s a simple point, and it eludes you because it undermines what you think is a coherent worldview that you hold dear. You cannot justify not having a policy because government doing stuff is bad if you also think that government doing stuff is good for other purposes. Just defend or reject a policy on its merits. Stop telling democratic polities that they don’t have a choice but to reject specifically those things you don’t like and must accept those things you do. Taxation doesn’t become legitimate only for the programs you like.

          1. Just defend or reject a policy on its merits.

            You’ve proven quite clearly that you’re not intelligent enough to judge merits.

            Actually, I’m not entirely sure you even understand what that word means. I think for you it means something along the lines of “What Rachel Maddow told you to think about it”.

      2. The other part these people are claiming is that we shouldn’t have a travel ban because it would only delay Ebola getting here. Yeah, I mean given the CDC and the hospital’s stellar performance in Dallas, having a few more weeks to get our act together before Ebola hits is clearly not worth inconveniencing a few African business travelers over.

        The whole thing is just amazing. I mean when Fluffy, Ayn Randian and I all three can agree on something and see it as being completely obvious, the other side has lost its mind.

        1. the other side has lost its mind

          You know why? It’s pretty simple. Right wing talk radio likes the idea. Therefore the left must oppose it. They have no choice. Doesn’t matter what the idea is. They judge an idea not by merit, but by the source.

          1. It also brings up border controls and suggests maybe we should pay attention to who arrives here.

    2. So perhaps you can point me to some credible person or persons who support the travel ban as good ebola prevention policy. I’ve asked a lot, and nobody has done anything. I only want the best policy. If you can provide some reason this is it beyond your own simplistic knee-jerk common sense, I am all ears.

      I’ll just go along with the apparent reality that you’ve abandoned all attachment to the idea that brute government force is a bad thing.

  32. The most amazing thing about this thing is how the Progs seem to have gone so insane they don’t even have their political survival instincts anymore. The real nasty progs of the past like LBJ or Wilson or FDR would have come down on this like a ton of bricks. They would have immediately realized that an Ebola outbreak in the US under their watch would be a complete political disaster for the Democrats and would have taken any measure, legal or illegal they thought necessary to stop it.

    Obama in contrast just appointed a lawyer and political hack “Ebola Tzar”, won’t restrict travel to the infected areas and is now apparently having DHS and State expedite VISAs to people from the infected area. Hopefully this thing will burn itself out before long and won’t result in any real tragedy in the US. If it doesn’t, however, this is going to be a political catastrophe for the Democrats of epic proportions. You know those free shit, low information voters that Democrats depend on to win elections? Let Ebola get lose and they won’t be so interested in free shit and gay marriage and Sandra Fluke’s birth control anymore. They will be interested in electing someone or anyone who is not going to let something like that happen again.

    1. Compared to the tragedy of a pandemic, the fortunes of either team is trivial. It nonetheless amazes and scares me that we have reached the point where our politicians have gotten so crazy they don’t even have a survival instinct such that they will do the right thing for the wrong reason anymore.

    2. Actually, Wilson is to a great degree responsible for the Spanish Flu epidemic, which started in Kansas and spread so well in part because Wilson wanted to ignore it because he thought doing something would interfere with the war effort.

      But you’re right about the political fallout. Women are even more frightened of Ebola than men, and the two nurses who got it here: 20-something single non-white women, i.e. a core Democrat voting block. For Obama to act like this in the weeks before an election isn’t shooting himself in the foot, it’s like cutting off his own leg with a chainsaw.

      1. That is a good point about Wilson. Of course Wilson also sought to keep the outbreak secret so he wouldn’t take any political hits for not stopping it. And largely he succeeded. Most people have no idea it started in Kansas.

        1. Yup…at Camp Funston, next to Ft. Riley. Named after the general that Wilson wanted to lead the AEF in WWI (until he died of a sudden heart attack).

  33. Whether we like it or not, it is the Feds that run the CDC, and the Administration which is supposed to give direction to the head of the CDC. You might argue for a different system, but based on what we have now in place, it is Obama’s responsibility to appoint good people to run these federal agencies. And, Obama must give direction to these people.

  34. I (personally) haven’t heard THAT many complaints that the government and the President “aren’t doing enough”, but rather that the things they are doing have been foolish, ineffective, and/or wasteful.

    Stuff like appointing an “Ebola Czar” with ties to Solyndra but zero medical experience, or the head of the CDC caught saying things that are demonstrable falsehoods.

    Arguing that immigration officials didn’t do their job when they allowed Thomas Eric Duncan into the country contrary to the six ways he was legally ineligible for entry, is an argument in favour of better enforcement of the laws we already have rather than an argument in favour of more laws.

  35. He can’t both claim to have the power to override Congress with his “pen and phone” and then claim to be powerless to affect how government handles this problem.

    Well, he can if the press lets him, of course.

  36. People may have forgotten what a czar is supposed to do. Like Caesar, a czar is supposed to cut thru red tape, get around technicalities, and generally circumvent inefficient and/or corrupt institutions in an effort to achieve the aims of those institutions. Is there evidence that those have been problems in the handling of Ebola? If an actual effective czar could be installed, it would at least have the salutary effect of uncovering the turf protection schemes, corruption, inefficiencies, etc. that have existed, even if nothing gets accomplished directly about Ebola thereby.

    The same publicity fx of a czar could be accomplished via a grand jury report, or possibly by journalists, but journalists don’t have subpoena power.

  37. Suderman you are such an Obama suck-up it is pathetic.

    How do you explain Klain, a man with zero medical or public health experience, as a choice for ebola czar?

  38. He can mobilize the national guard and send it to Africa. That should bring some disease vectors back to the US. Which should help with population control.

    IIRC the Republicans quarantined countries with outbreaks.

  39. Peter, in a “normal” America, you’d have a point. It is not normal. OsamaObama’s appointments to various government agencies, and the culture he has perpetuated throughout his “tenure”, has had a direct impact on how this country is being run.

    The CDC is no exception. Unqualified “minority hires”, sacrificing quality for votes, is just the tip of the disease permeating America.

    I can’t believe you’re so blind. Senior Editor? You sound like another shill planted by the “Usurper in Chief”.

    I cry for our children and their children.

  40. I don’t know if anyone in particular can be blamed for Ebola coming to the US. But if it breaks out and spreads like wildfire here, it’s because somebody wants it to.

    Something that deadly that we’ve known about forever doesn’t just accidentally spread in a civilized, medically advanced first-world country. If it becomes an epidemic, it will be because it was guided or allowed by someone.

  41. The president has been active where he should not be, and inactive where he should be. There is a need for government; governing is neither always good nor always bad.

    The president should not be sending 3000 US troops to epidemic areas. They can carry the virus back to America and around the world. This is simply altruistic grand-standing.

    The president should not be allowing people who have been in epidemic areas, into the US. This can be done mostly through the visa process. You do believe that the US can require visas, correct? Otherwise many of the wrong sort, with aggressive intentions, would prey on Americans (either purposely or not).

  42. We are paying trillions of dollars to run our government, and where the rubber hits the road, they either can’t do it, or can’t do it with existing management and need a “czar”, or need more money after we find out they have squandered billions of dollars on odd-ball research projects that really should be done by someone else, or not done at all.

    Then “BOOM”. A crises comes up that they are supposed to handle and they don’t, can’t, or don’t know how.

    So who’s going to stand up and tell me that my taxes aren’t being wasted, and the government really can stop the most deadly disease in the world.

    President Spock? Who says nothing and acts as if he going to be sued for what he says?

    We need a president, not a lawyer. A leader, not a guidance counselor!

    And the end of the day, trillions are spent on a government that needs a “do over” every time it has a job presented to it. This really is proof that the government is doing too many things that are distracting it from it’s original purpose: “To protect the country and the people”, and wasting billions in the process.

  43. But Klein makes a good point about criticism directed at President Obama. What can Obama, himself, really do?

    It’s a little late now, but he can at least admit that his policies and priorities for the CDC were wrong, and he can start fixing things. He can redirect funds from inessential functions of the CDC to essential ones.

    He can also speed up and simplify drug approval for medications for these kinds of diseases, encouraging companies to develop new drugs.

    I think blanket “travel bans” are a little too much, but I don’t see why potential exposure to Ebola shouldn’t be taken into account when granting visas and admittance to the US. After all, we’re already doing that for other diseases. “Have you been to West Africa in the last 3 weeks? []yes []no”. People who answer “yes” should be interviewed and scrutinized more carefully, and potentially quarantined or refused admittance if the interviewer has reason to believe that there is a risk.

  44. Our president must close our borders to people from Ebola stricken countries so no Ebola victims can get in, he’s the only one who can do it. That’s what Senegal did and now they report that they are Ebola free!

    Our current administration is constantly whining about they’re doing everything they can while actually doing nothing. The country is getting fed up as we’re constantly finding out how the government has messed up their response.

  45. I just read that in Liberia people aren’t going out to eat as much and staying home more. They also stopped shaking hands

    Strange. You’d think that such imposed micro travel bans would hurt more than they help…right?

    Now personally, I’m against a full travel ban. But how about we stop issuing tourist visas at least? I think we can take the hit to the economy of losing the West African tourist trade.

    I bet that will be quietly done after the election. or a ban. After the election, toujours after the election.

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