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Important news from the "I know Obama's an obstructionist, what am I?" front. Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt explained on Meet the Press Sunday why America doesn't have a Surgeon General during this here Ebola outbarack: turns out that it doesn't have anything to do with the National Rifle Association whining that mean old Surgeon General nominee Vivek Murthy will take away all the guns, and Republicans like Blunt vowing to vote against confirming him. Not at all! It's all Barack Obama's fault, of course, for being so irresponsible as to nominate someone the NRA doesn't like:


Blunt blamed the vacancy on President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who has yet to put Murthy’s nomination to a full vote, and dismissed questions about the National Rifle Association’s efforts to block the nominee.

“The NRA said they were going to score the vote and suddenly everybody froze him,” said Chuck Todd. “That seems a little petty in hindsight, does it not?”

“Well, the president really ought to nominate people that can be confirmed to these jobs, and frankly then we should confirm them, there’s no question about that,” replied Blunt.

Duh! Obama's continued refusal to actually be a rightwing Republican has just caused all sorts of problems for Republicans who might otherwise be willing to support him, especially if he were Ted Cruz.

Murthy's comments about guns constituting a public health concern drove the NRA to say it would "score" his confirmation vote, meaning that anyone voting to confirm Murthy would lose valuable Goodness Points on their NRA Report Card. As ThinkProgress notes, Murthy's position is shared by "every major medical association -- and several former Surgeons General under Republican presidents."

Sen. Blunt refused to say whether he would vote for Murthy if a vote were scheduled. He insisted that Harry Reid and Barack Obama are the ones who are really slowing the confirmation of a Surgeon General. Besides, do we even really need one of those?

“Until this came up, frankly I’ve heard very little discussion about the Surgeon General,” he said.

On a similar note, Media Matters points out that after a week of calling for an Ebola czar, Republicans and Fox News (but we repeat ourselves) have decided that Barack Obama's choice of Ron Klain as coordinator for Ebola policy is no damn good, because he's not a doctor! Why is a non-doctor even involved in Ebola policy? (Also, you can't trust any doctor who works for the government, so there's that.)

Oh, and also, when George W. Bush appointed a longtime Republican political operative, Stewart Simonson, who had no medical training or experience in public health administration, as his administrations Bird Flu Czar. Simonson had previously worked as the general counsel for Amtrak. Strangely, Media Matters was unable to find any examples of panicked voices wondering why George W. Bush was bent on destroying America with bird flu by allowing a non-doctor to manage the crisis, much less any incompetent Fox News psychiatrists opining that, as a former pilot, George Bush secretly identified with the infected ducks instead of with Americans.

[ThinkProgress / MediaMatters]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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