In Hearing, GOP Chairman Issa Misnames African Country, Repeatedly Mispronounces ‘Ebola’

Congress is out of session, of course, but yesterday House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa hastily called his committee into session in order to fan public hysteria about Ebola after a physician in New York was found to have contracted the disease while tending patients in Africa. In his opening statement, however, Issa mistakenly referred to the African nation of Guinea as Guiana, a country in South America, and then repeatedly mispronounced “Ebola” so that it rhymed with “e coli.”

Here’s a rough transcript of the highlights of Issa’s statement:

Neocon US Senate Candidate Exploits ISIS Recruitment Video in Campaign Ad
ISIS-produced imagery GOP Rep. Tom Cotton used in a campaign ad for his U.S. Senate race in Arkansas

ISIS-produced imagery from an ad for GOP Rep. Tom Cotton’s U.S. Senate race in Arkansas

Tom Cotton, neo-con candidate for the Arkansas U.S. Senate seat held by conservative Democrat Mark Pryor, has been nailed for using graphic propaganda footage from a 55-minute terrorist-recruitment film produced by the extremist group ISIS in a campaign ad:

With Millions in Tax Revenue on the Line, Marijuana Legalization Is on Ballots in Three States and DC


As a spate of new studies find positive results from the legalization of pot in Colorado and Washington state, including a dip in traffic fatalities in Colorado — and with Washington state accruing $3 million in taxes since pot was legalized in July, Colorado tallying $18 million in pot-tax revenue since January, including $7 million in July alone, and a projection that $3.1 billion in taxes would be collected if all 50 states legalized weed — voters in Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C. will decide whether to legalize marijuana on Nov. 4, and Floridians will decide whether to allow the sale of medical marijuana. has a round-up of the initiatives:

Democratic N.C. State Senator Calls out Republican Majority for Seeking Retribution Rather Than Governing

Floor Speech on the 2014 Budget from Jeff Jackson on Vimeo.

This floor speech from N.C. state Sen. Jeff Jackson, a Democrat from Gastonia, a Charlotte suburb, is making the rounds. Here’s more information on Jackson, who is a veteran and was serving as an assistant district attorney when he was elected by the local party to succeed Sen. Dan Clodfelter, another Democrat who is now Charlotte’s mayor.

The South Is America’s Poverty Belt


Poverty has been on the rise in the South, which, not coincidentally is a bastion of Republican Party control, according to a Census Bureau report [PDF] released this summer, according to Huffington Post:

Anchorage Police Release 911 Recording from Palins’ Drunken Brawl
Bristol Palin to police officer: 'I don't want my face in a picture right now. There's nothing on my face except for beer and makeup.'

The Anchorage, Alaska, Police Department released 911 recordings yesterday from the Palin family’s drunken brawl at a party on Sept. 6.

It’s unclear why the Anchorage PD waited nearly two months to release the recordings, but the ultimate effect is to drag this unsavory story about the Republican Party’s 2008 vice presidential nominee into another news cycle. (And the next time you see John McCain holding forth on “Meet the Press,” keep in mind that selecting Palin to be vice president of the United States was the most important decision he ever made.)

TPM collected a few of the more interesting moments from the transcript:

Pew Study Confirms That Fox Is Dominant Source of ‘News’ on the Right – Liberals Rely on Many Sources

graph-pew-differences-in-liberal-conservative-news-sourcesThe PewResearch Journalism Project has released a study that confirms what is already clear: The American right gets most of its information about politics from Fox News, while the left relies on multiple sources, including CNN, NPR, MSNBC and the New York Times.

According to the study, consistent conservatives:

You Think Ebola Is Scary? Check Out How Many People Die from Plain Old Flu Every Year

Be afraid: The influenza virus kills thousands of Americans each year

Be afraid: The influenza virus kills thousands of Americans each year

Five cases of Ebola have been treated in the United States so far this year. Three were contracted in Africa. Two of these victims were Americans who were flown home for treatment. The other was the Liberian national, Thomas Duncan, who developed symptoms after he arrived in Texas from Africa. The last two were healthcare workers who treated Duncan in Dallas. Of the five, only one patient has died — Thomas Duncan.

Tragic as these cases are, the hysteria they have unleashed in the media and among Republican politicians is beyond over the top. The Ebola “crisis” has topped the hour on cable news channels for days. The lowest point, so far, was when news choppers tracked an ambulance for an hour or so one early evening last week as it transported one of the nurses to a hospital, bringing to mind the infamous “slow speed chase” on L.A. freeways that kicked off the O.J. Simpson murder scandal in 1994.

Meanwhile, with the midterm elections a few weeks away, Republicans have worked nonstop to blame the Ebola outbreak on Pres. Obama and, by extension, the Democrats. They have also incorporated the outbreak into their get-out-the-vote strategy by fanning the flames of fear to get their easily terrorized followers to the polls. Their unified message on Ebola — a call to ban flights into the United States from the affected areas in Africa — is typically anti-scientific and counterfactual. Experts say such a ban would likely create a bona fide crisis here, and there is the embarrassing fact that there are no direct flights into the United States from the affected countries.

GOP Does Double 180 Flip-Flops on Czars
Railed against czars in 2009, demanded an Ebola czar last week, now opposes the appointment as soon as it's made

The GOP and Fox News spent 2009 railing against so-called “czars” — actually senior level Executive Branch officials — appointed by Pres. Obama. Of course, presidents have been appointing czars for decades. See the chart below.

Recently, one of their leaders, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the GOP candidate for president in 2008, demanded that Pres. Obama appoint what he called an “Ebola czar,” to coordinate the government’s efforts in fighting the diseases. Predictably, after the president did just that — the appointment of Ron Klain, Vice Pres. Biden’s former chief of staff, was announced yesterday — now Republicans are in a full, spittle-spewing rage over the appointment.

Adding another layer of hypocrisy to the mile-deep pile: For over a year, Republicans in the Senate have blocked the appointment of a surgeon general, because the National Rifle Association objects to the candidate’s position that gun violence in America is a major health issue.

Deficit Drops to Lowest Level Since Before the 2008 Financial Crash



The budget deficit in the U.S. shrank in the last fiscal year to the lowest level as a share of the economy since 2007 as faster growth and falling unemployment boosted tax receipts, the Treasury Department said.

The shortfall was $483.4 billion in the 12 months to Sept. 30, compared with $680.2 billion a year earlier, the Treasury said today in Washington. That’s about a third of the record $1.4 trillion deficit reached in 2009. Revenue jumped 8.9 percent and spending gained 1.4 percent, the figures showed.

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said the fiscal improvement is partly tied to stronger growth, as the nation’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.9 percent in September from 7.2 percent a year earlier. Still, the deficit is forecast by the Congressional Budget Office to start widening again as an aging population prompts more spending on Social Security and health care.


  • 68%

    Of registered voters say they do not want to see most members of Congress re-elected — 14 points higher than in 2010 and 19 points higher than in 2006. And roughly a third (35%) say they do not want their own representative re-elected, compared with 32% four years ago and 26% eight years ago, according to Pew Research.

  • $7.4 billion

    Amount Americans will spend on Halloween costumes, decorations and candy in 2014, according to the National Retail Federation.

  • $292,000

    Amount Arkansas U.S. Senate candidate Tom Cotton (R) disbursed to Right Solutions Partners for “fund-raising consulting,” the New York Times reports. “But here’s the catch: It’s not clear that such an entity actually exists. It has no presence on the Internet, it appears that no other campaign is paying it this year, and it has no office at the Washington address listed on the articles of organization filed with the city last year.”

Poetic Justice

Rand Paul’s distancing himself from Libertarianism,
And he’s backing off from Ayn Rand’s Objectivism.
He’s shed Aqua Buddha,
And his old man Ron, too, ta
Hitch his star to something he calls Conservative Realism.


  • My comments are never almost universally interpreted the way I mean them.

    — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), quoted by the New York Daily News.

  • I mean, we suck. We really do.

    — U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez, quoted by Bloomberg, on the minimum wage.

  • I don’t think so. If there’s any lesson I’ve learned in the last five years, it’s don’t be so sure about what lies ahead. There are amazing doors that could open.

    —- Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), in an interview with People, on whether she’s interested in running for president.