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The Social Doctrine of the Church

Pope Francis Tuesday on the rights of the poor: "If I talk about this, some will think that the pope is communist. They don't understand that love for the poor is at the center of the Gospel. Demanding this isn't unusual, it's the social doctrine of the church."

Dude, Please

I want to zoom in on something Chris Christie said yesterday. Because it's such an obvious lie about such an important topic that it deserves attention. As you know, over the weekend Govs. Christie and Cuomo put in place a tough, mandatory quarantine policy which would require all medical workers who'd treated Ebola patients in West Africa to undergo a mandatory 21 day quarantine. (21 days is considered the longest possible incubation period for the disease.)

The whole point of the policy was that it didn't matter if the clinicians were symptomatic when they returned to the US. They were supposed to be isolated so they couldn't infect other people if and when they did become symptomatic, like Dr. Spencer did in New York City.

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Heckuva Job, Chris

Here's a pretty boffo Chris Christie interview this morning, trying to salvage his Ebola quarantine fiasco. It's not surprising that he tries to claim he didn't change the policy. That's standard for pols, particularly ones like Christie. But he actually claims that the nurse was symptomatic for Ebola (not true) and had a temperature (not true). They held on to her for 24 hours and now that she apparently doesn't or no longer has Ebola they're letting her go. Its a tour de force of projectile nonsense, with a high viral load of derp. Watch.

Blinded By Fear

There is a very important and illuminating article about Ebola this morning in Wired. The gist is that the unless we rapidly contain and stamp out Ebola in West Africa the future really is grim - just not for the reasons which have dominated press coverage in the US. Ebola will likely never be a significant threat in the US (or other wealthy, technologically advanced countries). And it is very unlikely that it will mutate into a more effective contagion (like the flu). The real threat is that it will become endemic in West Africa and then migrate to other parts of Africa and then or other parts of the globe like the many global mega-cities with vast slums with poor public health infrastructure where Ebola could take root and become endemic.

In this scenario, it's not always at crisis proportions as it currently is in West Africa but always there percolating at a low level and episodically erupting into major outbreaks at different hot points around the globe.

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Derp Singularity, Observed in UK

This is hilarious and happily innocent. But everyone involved truly deserves a big "Good Job, Everyone!" As you can see in this 'Vine' video, British PM David Cameron is walking toward his car when all of a sudden some random dude comes flying into the picture either slams into Cameron or almost slams into him. The PM's security detail quickly grabs the guy and Cameron appears uninjured and a little stunned.

Now, unlike planes and projectiles, normal sized humans on foot can usually be observed at a distance. So this seems like a bit of a shortcoming on the part of Cameron's security detail. But actually, it gets better, or worse, as the case may be.

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Sarah, Bristol & The Recurrence Of The Eternal Victim

As you've likely seen Sarah Palin and her daughter Bristol have now spoken out about their notorious boozy family brawl, recasting Bristol's attack on the event's host as a morality tale about violence against women and media bias. We should note that probably no one in American public life better embodies the echo-chamber of digital life. Most prominent public figures say their piece and then various memes and jabs and more bubble their way up from Twitter or blogs or whatever other parts of the digital commons. With Palin, they're always packaged together as a single product. So in talking about themselves they're already railing about Hunter Biden and Chelsea Clinton and media bias and the 'war on women' and the rest. As she has since she stepped onto the national stage six years ago, Palin is the ultimate avatar of base Republican culture since she views herself as an eternal victim, with all the grievance and resentment that entails.

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