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Take a deep breath through your respirator and relax, America! Barack Obama is going to appoint an Ebola Czar to coordinate the government's response to the not-really-an-outbreak of Ebola in the USA.


The appointee, according to CNN, will be Ron Klain, who served in the past as chief of staff for Old Handsome Joe Biden, and earlier, for Al Gore when he was veep. Get ready for some screaming on the right, since Klain is not a doctor -- which is a good thing, as Vox points out, since the position actually requires someone who can coordinate all the various agencies, from the Department of Health and Human Services to the World Health Organization, involved in addressing Ebola. Klain is a lawyer and Democratic operative, although CNN reports that he has a good reputation as a problem-solver kind of guy:

Klain is highly regarded at the White House as a good manager with excellent relationships both in the administration and on Capitol Hill. His supervision of the allocation of funds in the stimulus act -- at the time and incredible and complicated government undertaking -- is respected in Washington. He does not have any extensive background in health care but the job is regarded as a managerial challenge.

On the other hand, early Twitter responses tended toward "he's not a doctor he's not a doctor he's not a doctor." This is rather what we expected, especially considering that much of the right has spent the last couple weeks announcing that they don't believe a word the doctors at the Centers For Disease Control say, since the Obama administration lies about everything, and who largely paint science as a conspiracy driven by dangerous leftists.

It's probably a good thing that we'll have someone in charge of coordinating planning and strategy, who can be available for press conferences and such. Republicans stalled the confirmation of surgeon general nominee Vivek Murthy because the NRA worries he might take away everybody's guns -- a traditional duty of the surgeon general, in addition to being the nation's point person on health issues. So maybe that's part of why Obama went with a manager-type instead of a doctor: this frees up doctors to do doctor stuff, and the people actually running the CDC and NIH are already very familiar with health issues.

Will this make Republicans -- who spent most of 2009-2011 crying about "Obama's Unelected Czars," and the last two weeks demanding an Ebola Czar -- happy? Hahaha, you ask such silly rhetorical questions, Doktor Zoom! Virtually every aspect of the Ebola crisis had been an occasion for the right to lose its shit (a primary symptom of Ebola), and so Obama has made this totally transparent political move to appease people, and has appointed a guy who at least has some expertise with handling PR messes. But no, when Bill O'Reilly demands that the head of the CDC resign because he won't explain himself to Bill O'Reilly, let's not count on it. If Obama really wants the Republicans to trust him on Ebola, he'd institute a travel ban (which wouldn't do any good, but feels nice and tuff) and appoint Ted Cruz as President of Ebola.

[CNN]

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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It started with them damn hats. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

A guest post by "Knitsy McPurlson," which we suspect is not a real name.

Yr Wonkette is not the only website run by brilliant peoples unafraid to poke people with sharp, pointy sticks. Ravelry.com – a website for knitters, crocheters, and other folks interested in textiles and fiber arts – is poking people with knitting needles, which are very sharp indeed.

This past weekend, Ravelry.com's founders showed the world how easy it is to de-platform white nationalists and racists when they banned all "support of Donald Trump and his administration" from their website, concluding they "cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow support for open white supremacy." Seems like people smart enough to decode a knitting pattern are also smart enough to decode Trump's not-so-hidden message of racism and white nationalism.

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One day, God willing, my grandchildren will click open their history textbooks and read about the Central American migrant internment camps. They'll learn about sick kids, locked in cages, kept hungry and dirty and cold for weeks on end, and they'll be horrified.

"Bubbie," they'll say, "how could this happen in America? How could there be toddlers sleeping on the ground without blankets, without soap or toothbrushes to clean themselves?"

"I don't know. I wish I had done more. I'm ashamed," I'll say. We will all have to answer for this atrocity. But some of us will have to answer more than others. Not just the archvillains like Stephen Miller and John Kelly, but the people who kept right on doing their jobs, even as those jobs morphed into defending concentration camps.

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