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Bush and Public Health Emergency Preparedness

An anonymous TPM Reader explains he complex Bush legacy on public health emergency preparedness ...

I'm an epidemiologist with Los Angeles County Public Health Department, and I worked there all through the Bush years, and have worked closely with CDC throughout my career.

I just want to inform your reporting on the trend of public health spending during those years. Bush sent a LOT of money to public health departments. A LOT. There was the push to vaccinate every person against smallpox (remember that?) and there were other foolish vaccination-type initiatives as well.

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Prosecutor to Tallahassee PD: Please, Dudes

You'll remember that earlier this month a 62 year old African-American was tazed by a Tallahassee police officer - notionally for 'resisting arrest' but in fact for doing no more than walking in the street. State Attorney Willie Meggs has decided that neither Viola Young nor her daughter or two grandchildren will face charges. Meggs noted that while the tazing "may have been technically lawful" it was unnecessary.

As for the decision not to prosecute, the court documents noted with an admirable understatement that "four arrests stemming from somebody walking in the roadway is not a scenario that lends itself to a successful prosecution."

Thanks to TPM Reader BJ for flagging this latest development to our attention.

Iowa Still in Play

Many states have one in-state poll which is considered the gold standard for that state and viewed as a first among equals, even in comparison to other respected national pollsters. The archetypal example is the Des Moines Register poll conducted by pollster J. Ann Selzer. The new DMR poll is out tonight and it has encouraging news for the Democrats. It shows Republican Joni Ernst at 47% and Democrat Bruce Braley at 46%. That's a statistical dead heat with a slight advantage for Ernst. But what's noteworthy is that the last DMR poll, from about two weeks ago, showed Ernst up by 6 points - 44% to 38%.

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It's easy to get riled up when North Carolina Republicans say that flying a rainbow flag over the Asheville city hall is like flying a Nazi flag. What's fascinating and perhaps even more troubling though is to think for a moment of the mindset and severely warped history these doofuses have been fed for the last decade or so that makes some of them actually think this makes sense. Sure, some of this is just provocation. But conservatives have been drilled for quite a while now with this 'liberals are the real Nazis' line from Jonah Goldberg's ridiculous book and Fox News and so many other arms of the right wing learned ignorance machine.

Think about it: the gays are like today's Nazis.

We'll Be at This in December

TPM Reader HM makes a very good point. The true politics junkies know that Georgia and Louisiana require run-offs if no one gets a majority of the vote. And there's one or possibly two races that could plausibly be won by an independent candidate (Kansas and South Dakota). When you figure in that any independent candidates likely won't show their cards until they know who controls the chamber and you've got a very complicated set of factors. Put it all together and I think there's a better than 50/50 chance, maybe a lot better, that we won't know who controls the Senate any time in November. Here's TPM Reader HM ...

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PollTracker #4

Day four of our 2014 election countdown. Remember to download our PollTracker Mobile app (available on iOS and Android.) It's the only app in the either app store which will alert you the moment a poll is released in any race in the country you're following.

Well, okay. There are barely any Senate polls today. So that's a bit of an anti-climax. But in the interests of making this the quick synopsis I want it to be, I'm not going to scrape the bottom of the barrel. Basically we are where we were yesterday: two big runs of polls (CNN/ORC and Fox) quite friendly to GOP - the question being whether they're outliers or more confirmation of the GOP trend. There's been a lot of activity around the North Carolina Senate race too. But everything points to Hagan holding a very small but very durable margin. Keep an eye out particularly for the next numbers out of Kansas.

Oh and also, find me someone with a rival model to obsess and fall down a rabbit hole about.