Mary Landrieu's "No Shit, Sherlock" Moment: Obama Unpopular in the South Because of Racism

In an interview with Chuck "Chucky T" Todd, Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, in a tight and possibly impossible race for reelection, threw down some truth when asked why President Barack Obama wasn't popular in the South. After talking about the shutdown of Gulf of Mexico oil drilling after the BP accident, Landrieu added, "I'll be very very honest with you. The South has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans. It's been a difficult time for the president to present himself in a very positive light as a leader. It's not always been a good place for women to present ourselves. It's more of a conservative place. So we've had to work a little bit harder on that."

If we lived in a wiser country during wiser times with wiser politicians, Republicans may have said, "Well, yeah, she's right. There is still a great deal of sexism and racism everywhere, but the South does have a history to deal with. Now vote for the Republican who will make everyone rich enough to not care." And that's that.

But wisdom is scarce in this filthy century we're damned to live in. Instead, Republicans are acting appalled, as if Landrieu is a whistleblower on racist whites. "That Mary Landrieu would ascribe ugly racial motivations to voters’ displeasure with the policies advanced by President Obama and her shows both how out of touch and how desperate she is. Senator Landrieu’s comments are insulting to me and to every other Louisianian," said Roger Villere, chair of the Louisiana Republican Party. It's as if he were really saying, "Oh, shit, Mary, don't tell everyone."

The Rude Pundit can guarantee you that there are very few people in Louisiana who would hear or read Landrieu's comment and not think, "Yeah, sounds about right." Unless you get your prejudices soothed by the dulling rhetoric of talk radio and Fox "news," you know the score. And if it's not you, you know at least a few people who don't like Barack Obama just because he's that uppity Negro. The Rude Pundit has mentioned someone he knows in Louisiana who won't vote Landrieu because "she's a bitch." This ain't brain surgery. Hell, it's barely even Lincoln logs in complexity.

Then again, you have tragically unpopular Gov. Bobby Jindal commenting, "Senator Landrieu's comments are remarkably divisive. She appears to be living in a different century." Are they divisive? Or are they actually shocking because Landrieu said what everyone knows but is afraid to say out loud? Why can't we do that? When it comes to race, it is unutterable unless some right-wing dickhead wants to tar Obama by saying that he's "using" race (no one ever says how white people "use" their race). Hell, the right is already pulling Obama into this. But talk about race as a factor in why so many people are passionately hateful towards Obama? Beyond the pale, man, beyond it.

The fear for Republicans is that Landrieu's remark will jolt the black population in Louisiana to get more engaged in the election. Because if that constituency shows up at the polls, it will fuck with the whole plan to take over the Senate. So you will see denigration of Landrieu and false outrage. Her pretty mild words, which simply recognize that racism and sexism exist and that they affect people's perspectives, will be blown up until it seems as if she said that Louisianians want to lynch Obama and force Landrieu back into the kitchen (although some people surely think that already).

Creepy ass Republican opponent Bill Cassidy responded to Landrieu with "We're not racist, we just have common sense." Others have called on her to apologize. Remember that Landrieu is not a wild and woolly liberal who wants to join hands with Al Sharpton and march through the French Quarter. She is firmly moderate-right, but she also takes no shit when it comes to sexism in politics and in her career. She knows of what she speaks.

Yet, by the time you read this, Landrieu may have apologized. She may have crawfished her remarks, blamed it on campaign exhaustion, or something. But let's hope not. She should end up provoking a conversation about how racism has affected the Obama presidency. In the deranged endgame of this pathetic campaign, don't count on it.


The Death of Democracy in Two Ads, Arkansas/NRA Edition

One day, some politician in the South or the West, someone who has an honest shot at winning, is going to say, "I am so tired of sucking the NRA's dick. And if it tries to shove its dick in my face again, I'm gonna bite it off." And then that very fictional politician from Arizona or Mississippi will get off his knees, brush off his pants, stand up straight, and ask, "Can someone get me some mouthwash so I can get the taste of NRA jizz out of my mouth?" Yes, that will be quite a day. But we're nowhere close right now.

In Arkansas, the House race in the 2nd Congressional District may come down to who the NRA wants to face fuck. For the Democrats, you have Patrick Henry Hays, the former 6-term mayor of Little Rock who has a solid damn record to run on in a district that includes his city. Currently, he's up by a couple of points.

Hays says that he's a "proud lifetime member of the National Rifle Association." He repeats that in his latest ad where, no shit, he features his church, his guns, and his family, in that order. On his website, Hays says, "In Congress, Hays will oppose any law, including an assault weapons ban, that would take guns away from law-abiding citizens. But as a Mayor, Hays understands that we need background checks on commercial gun sales – to help keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill." At one point, over 90% of the public supported background checks, so it's not exactly controversial.

But because of that, the NRA gives Hays an "F." One might think that you earn an F only if you want to ban all guns and pry them out of people's cold, dead hands. What the fuck's a C+? If you think children shouldn't be allowed to open carry loaded assault rifles in schools? The NRA endorsed Republican French Hill and put out an anti-Hays ad. And it's hilarious.

We open on the doorway to a bedroom where a man is snoring. The ominous voice says ominously, "In an elegant New York mansion, billionaire Michael Bloomberg sleeps safely while a team of armed guards protects him." We track over to photos hanging over a mantle: Bloomberg and Hays, which would be really creepy, if true. Then the voice says something like, "Patrick Henry Hays will assign a murderer to every neighborhood and cackle, 'Excellent' as his stormtroopers take your guns." Actually, that's not far off. The NRA says Hays supports Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns, who want "extreme gun control," which does not involve snowboarding, but does mean to "allow states to decide on concealed carry laws." You know, extreme extremeness.

Yeah, Hays is butt buddies with the Yankee billionaire Jew. Ain't that enough?

And, for some reason, Hays's campaign felt compelled to respond in the absolutely stupidest way possible, of course, when it put out a pro-gun pamphlet that "cited a letter he received from the NRA earlier this year saying he had been nominated for the National Patriot's Medal and praising his work on behalf of gun rights." Except the problem is that that's just one of the thousands of skeevy ways that the craven whores at the NRA try to squeeze money out of people in order to make ads that would be called "class warfare" if anyone slightly liberal had made it. Yeah, about 5 million people were "nominated" to be National Patriots and receive a medal. So it was less a Congressional Medal of Honor and more like the Golden Globes. (Boo-yah!)

There's other issues, of course, like jobs and Obamacare, but, in the waning days of what is looking to be a brutal race for Democrats (partially because of a self-fulfilling prophecy by the mainstream media - more on that Monday), it's tragicomic that this race may come down to the NRA saying, "We like the way that French guy doesn't neglect our balls. He gets an A double plus good."

Why is this an indication of the death of democracy? While Democrat Hays devotes a section of the Issues page on his website to "Upholding the Second Amendment." Hill doesn't even mention guns on his. It's just assumed that Hill is bugfuck crazy about guns because no Republican from Arkansas would stand a chance otherwise.

So even though Arkansas has benefited from the policies that Hays supports, like the Affordable Care Act, the citizens of the state may just shoot themselves in the foot.


The Death of Democracy in One Debate, New York City Edition

Oh, how merry the Rude Pundit was, having been given a VIP ticket, no less, to sit in the first four rows at a theater at the College of Staten Island to witness the apotheosis of our American democracy in action: the candidates' debate. This would be between Republican incumbent Congressman Michael Grimm, he of the indictment on perjury and other charges and of the threat to throw a NY1 reporter off "this fuckin' balcony," and Domenic Recchia, a Democrat who was on the New York City Council for over a decade and is best known at this point as "that guy The Daily Show destroyed for being a meathead who can't beat a corrupt asshole." (Grimm has also been a Daily Show joke, so...balance.) The race is for a district that includes all of Staten Island and a distinctly non-hipster section of Brooklyn (although Bay Ridge is well on its way).  It's like South Carolina with a harsher accent.

It was a full house, a raucous crowd that had to be quieted multiple times by NY1 host Errol Louis, who totally deserves a network gig. One loud bastard directly behind the Rude Pundit yelled, "Yes!" every time Grimm spoke and kept making a popping sound with his mouth when he was bored by Recchia.

How to summarize the evening? Imagine that the Devil has given you two choices: you can get ass-raped by starving Kodiak bears or you can beat your head against a wall in a room alone, both for all eternity. You might try to logic it out. You might think, "Well, chances are the ass raping, clawing, and biting will hurt a great deal more than the head beating, but, if we're talking long-term, the bears would at least be company." Of course, no matter what your choice is, you still end up bleeding in Hell.

So it was last night as the gut-wrenching reality of the election took hold. Grimm was slick as Ebola diarrhea, looking like a GOP version of The Wire's Tommy Carcetti. He referred repeatedly to having been a Marine ("Semper Fi," yelled the numbnuts behind the Rude Pundit) and to having been an FBI agent for nearly a dozen years. He used well-worn Republican talking points, calling Recchia a "tax and spend" politician, which is a fucking laugh when said by any Republican who supported George W. Bush, who threw away money like he had terminal cancer and chose to die in a whorehouse. Grimm spoke against the Affordable Care Act, attacked Recchia for his lack of foreign policy experience (which one assumes most incoming members of the House lack), promised to cut taxes, and, really weirdly, said he's always there to help his constituents, but "I pray to God you never need my help." Currently, Grimm has no House committee assignments because he might be in jail sometime next year.

The rumor before the debate was that Recchia was going to try to push Grimm to explode. So he was constantly harping on Grimm's indictment over a failed restaurant, Healthalicious (a name for which Grimm should be pantsed in public), and Recchia berated Grimm for not being able to run a business, an argument that worked so well for Mitt Romney in 2012. The sad part is that Recchia supports a higher minimum wage, marriage equality, and pay equity for women and said he would vote for Hillary Clinton for president, but he is such a terrible messenger, such a bumbler at expressing these opinions that he couldn't rationally explain why he had initially accidentally said he was against a minimum wage hike (which made members of the rollicking crowd yell, "No!" in order to get him to correct himself).

It'd be great to have a regular-guy liberal in Congress, but the sadder part is how firmly Recchia has his nose planted in Michael Bloomberg's anus. He couldn't go two minutes without mentioning how he worked with Bloomberg, constantly referring to the independent-since-2007 Bloomberg as a Republican. It was a demonstration of how he could work with Republicans, he claimed, which might have worked if Bloomberg were still Republican and that Republicans in Congress were more like Bloomberg.

This could go on. There were absurd moments, like when neither candidate could name the last book they read or the last politician they donated money to. There were compassionate references to Staten Island's Liberian population in the time of Ebola. There were constant cheers and boos from the audience. There were references to 9/11 and to Superstorm Sandy. There were slams on NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. It was entertaining as hell, to be sure. Who won? Who the fuck cares? If it were the Rude Pundit's district, he'd vote for Recchia because who the fuck else is there to vote for who even vaguely has a shot?

What's so frustrating here is that this should have been a slam dunk for the Democrats. There's simply no reason that the DNCC shouldn't have found a strong candidate to wreck Grimm. Instead, they got Recchia, and that has kept Grimm not only in the fight, but will likely keep him in office. This race, like so many around the country, demonstrate that there is no national strategy by the Democrats. They are merely hoping to eke out victories wherever possible instead of creating a movement based on a cogent message. Candidates all over abandoned the president because the Democrats have always been afraid of defending him.

And you know what's even more depressing? This whole election is a goddamn cosmic joke by some wizened trickster god of politics because, unless the turnover in Congress is massive one way or another, nothing will fucking get done for the next two years, at least. Republicans have abdicated their duties, and this debate, with its bullshit useless arguments, never addressed that enormous fucking gorilla in the room. This is how democracy dies, one worthless election at a time, a slow accretion of poisoned bodies forming an insurmountable mountain for Progress to climb.

At the end of the debate, a Democratic operative who was on the Rude Pundit's left leaned over and whiskey breathed, "You know the old saying. People get the elected officials they deserve." The alcoholic is right. We deserve this. We let it happen. And we don't have leaders who would make it better.


Republicans Count on Americans Being a Bunch of Pussies

The other day, the Rude Pundit got into a discussion with the Rude Brother about RB's politics. RB wanted to know how he should vote in the Louisiana Senate race. He thought he might want to actually go for Mary Landrieu after leaning towards the Republican because, for instance, he doesn't give a shit if people of the same sex want to get married while Bill Cassidy does. But something was bugging RB about the Democrats.

"I've seen Cassidy's ads against Landrieu and I'm totally against amnesty," RB said, which is when the Rude Pundit cut him off.

"That's a lie. Obama isn't pushing for any amnesty," the Rude Pundit said. Then he explained how it was Great God Reagan who actually did give amnesty to millions of undocumented immigrants and that Obama has been tougher than Bush in his use of deportation. Then he said that what Obama has done when it comes to enforcement of immigration laws is a kind of triage: "Obama just said that he'd rather devote resources to going after the bad guys and leave the kids who were brought here by their parents alone. It's like when the police decide to spend more time and money on investigating murders than arresting dope smokers. Republicans are just trying to scare you. Fuck them." (He might not have been that articulate, but the spirit is there.)

At the end of the day, that's what Republicans have to offer, once again, as in so many other elections: be very afraid of the world that Democrats, especially Barack Obama, have created. The Republican National Committee is up with an ad that throws every scary thing in the world at you. "ISIS gaining ground. Terrorists committing mass murder. Ebola inside the U.S. Americans alarmed about national security," says the ominous voice ominously. "What’s President Obama doing? Making plans to bring terrorists from Guantanamo to our country. Ignoring the Constitution, the Congress, and the American people. November 4th, Obama’s policies are on the ballot. Vote to keep terrorists off U.S. soil. Vote Republican."

Just for a moment, let us explore the logic of the ad. Leave aside that ISIS wouldn't exist if we hadn't invaded Iraq, which Obama distinctly did not do. And leave aside that blaming Obama for Ebola in the U.S. is about as absurd as allegations get. Instead, look at a couple of phrases: "Ignoring the Constitution," for instance. Would that be the same constitution that guarantees people habeas corpus rights, which the Gitmo detainees have been denied? And if Obama is "ignoring...the Congress," how the fuck is electing a Republican going to make the President listen to Congress? As for "ignoring...the American people," how'd that go when 90% of Americans wanted expanded gun background checks? Fuck these fuckers with a pineapple dildo.

But the Gitmo argument, that's kind of insane, no? We bring terrorists to the United States all the goddamn time. Last fucking week, a terrorist who has been held at Bagram Air Base (aka "Afghan Gitmo") since 2009 was flown to New York City to face trial. A couple of days before that, a henchman of a terrorist who was convicted earlier this year in a U.S. court was extradited to face trial here. The few dozen men, at best, from Guantanamo, who have been waterboarded and solitary-confined into insanity? Are we really supposed to be afraid of them?

That's what Republicans are counting on, that Americans will once again show what giant pussies we are when it comes to security, willing to be fucked again and again by exploitative microdicks who have nothing else to campaign on. Check out Kansas Senator Pat Roberts' ad with Election Day a week away. The message is that Roberts will never, ever allow detainees at Gitmo to be transferred to the military prison at Leavenworth. In the most ironic move, Roberts is portrayed as the tough guy for standing up to Obama while his opponent, Greg Orman, is Obama's bitch who wouldn't stop Obama from letting terrorists blow up wheat fields.

You got that? If you think, like Obama, that the United States is strong enough to put terrorists on trial, you're weak. That's all kinds of reverse logic bullshit. As Washington Monthly called Roberts and those who refuse to close Gitmo, they're the "Bedwetter Caucus." (Just to be clear: Orman actually agrees that Gitmo should not be closed. Independents can be bedwetters, too.)

Goddamnit, American motherfuckers, every single one of us: Aren't you tired of being afraid all the time? Isn't it exhausting? Aren't you tired of being told that you're just a fuckin' wimp who would be murdered the second a terrorist touched our precious soil? Aren't you sick of these assholes making you think that Ebola is going to jump out of the Dark Continent and turn you black or whatever the fuck we're supposed to fear it does?

The new Democratic ad, the closing argument, if you will, should be: "Don't let Republicans tell you that Americans are pussies. You're not a pussy. Vote for the Democrats."


The Threats Against Women on the Internet Are Witch Hunts Without the Physical Commitment

This morning, the Rude Pundit was reading about the firing of CBC radio personality and host of Q, Jian Ghomeshi, because of fucked-up rough sex stuff alleged by several women. In his reading of the investigation in the Toronto Star, he came across this: "None of the women filed police complaints and none agreed to go on the record. The reasons given for not coming forward publicly include the fear that they would be sued or would be the object of Internet retaliation." The women have every reason to fear the wrath of the trolls: "A woman who wrote an account of an encounter with a Canadian radio host believed to be Ghomeshi was subjected to vicious Internet attacks by online readers who said they were supporters of the host."

Whatever you may think about the Ghomeshi situation or the allegations (if you think about it at all), consider for a moment: Women who say they were beaten and choked, with no safe word, were afraid to go to the police because they thought that assholes on computers would berate, degrade, dox, and threaten them. And, while public shaming has always been a hindrance to women reporting sexual violence, rape, and harassment, this seems different. The plague of online threats is propagating faster and faster, going from public figures to women who write or speak their minds to women who accuse men of crimes. Whether it's the anonymity or the ease with which one can say that they will ass-fuck someone in front of her kids before killing them (see? That was simple), it's a bullshit word game that most are playing - who can most creatively put the following words into the most original order: "bitch," "cunt," "skullfuck," "my cock," "suck," "rape," and "dead." The goal is to shut these bitch-cunts up with their cocks. Or at least make them scared enough to disappear from public (and maybe even their homes). If you can get your sub-Reddit fans to upvote your threat, all the better.

The Rude Pundit spoke to some gamer friends this weekend about GamerGate; their replies ranged from "What the fuck is that?" to "Why the fuck do I care?" to "I don't read that shit." This totally unscientific poll shows that most actual gamers could give a shit less about anything but the quality of the next GTA. GamerGate has become notorious because it has ensnared so many people in its talons because, depending on who you ask, chicks suck at making or writing about games or "ethics in gaming journalism." As for the latter, seriously, if you're spending your energy trying to hound into silence unethical journalists, maybe you could head over to the Fox "news" website for a while and use your superpowers of anonymous tweeting to take down someone who actually harms the nation.

If, by the way, you really think GamerGate is about anything other than degrading feminist writers, you should probably look at the statistics and find a new movement to be a part of.

Essentially, what's going on here are witch hunts, not in the McCarthyism sense, but in the Salem and Early Modern Europe sense. Argue if you want over what caused the witch hunting madness, but the ultimate goal of the torture and execution of primarily women (yes, there were some men) was to keep women in their place. Independent women were targeted, especially women who had some financial means to live on their own. They were accused by men and women. If a woman was particularly sexual, either in appearance or action, she was targeted.

What we have now is a variation on that. Women who piss off a certain group of (generally) men are subject to virtual burnings (yeah, yeah, the witch trials ended in hangings, mostly). It's all the fun of witch hunts without the effort of having to get out of your chair and physically carry a torch. Both the virtual and actual witch hunts come from the same cowardly place: the fear that the world is changing and you need to try to stop it. Oh, and if you can impress your friends on 8Chan with your way-cool insult of some cunt, all the better.

Whether it's that women get to create, play, and critique games or women would dare to say that their sex was nonconsensual, old gender orders will be disrupted. And there will always be men there trying to maintain their power. Perhaps the time has come to ask who is really a cunt: the woman trying to give a speech or the man who threatens to shoot the place up if she speaks. Take your time.

The witch hunts stopped eventually in Europe. Of course, it took about three centuries.


The Rude Pundit's Chicken Soup for the Ebola'd Soul

The Rude Pundit's gotta admit it: when he walked outside his place in the New York City area this morning, he was kind of pissed that it wasn't a raging hellscape of bleeding-eyed zombies and streets full of corpses. He felt like he was promised at least that. Not even an overturned car or garbage can fire, and that ain't atypical around this neighborhood. Nothing. Just parting clouds, man, and the sun coming through for the first time in a few days.

The subways are crowded. The streets are crowded. The restaurants are crowded. There's not even extra surgical mask-wearing going on.

Life is always a battle, you know, between the existential dread that, someday, something is gonna do you in and the affirming effort of not allowing that to define what you do every day.

All around the country, we're being watched up here, even more closely than usual. There's a good number of craven conservatives who desperately want us to freak out. They want us to panic. They hope we panic. They're begging us to. They want to puncture what they see as our pretension, that "we're better than you" image that we have when, in reality, every place has it. But because, unlike Texas, we're pretty liberal, the conservative ghouls want us to suffer, as if to prove us wrong about caring about people different than us.

So, sure, a doctor who treated patients in Guinea came home to the city. And, yes, he has Ebola. And, yes, he rode the trains and went bowling, probably had sex with his girlfriend, even. If you are someone who wants a travel ban on people from West Africa, are you saying that we should have just left him in Guinea, that we should leave Americans there?

Within 12 hours of this news, we got word that Nina Pham, the nurse who got Ebola treating the first Ebola patient in Dallas, is leaving the hospital, just fine. And by April, we could start having mass vaccinations of populations who are at risk for Ebola. Medicine and science. Who would have thought.

The Rude Pundit had a conversation today with a friend who lives in the South. She badly wants to leave, wants to move up here, to the Northeast. "You know what it is?" she said. "I just can't stand the Jesus crap anymore."

"I know," the Rude Pundit responded. "And it's like it's gotten worse in the last few years."

You could have heard her nodding through the phone. "It definitely has. You can't go anywhere without someone pushing Jesus at you. And they expect everyone to think the way they do."

He spoke to another friend sub-Mason-Dixon and that one told the Rude Pundit, "I got so pissed off at my dentist's office. In the waiting room, they were playing Christian music. I shouldn't have to hear that shit. I told the dentist, 'You know I can't come here anymore.' He knew and understood, but the women working the front, they were just confused that I didn't like it."

They're not homogenous down there. There's a lot of people in the South just like the Rude Pundit's friends. And we're not homogenous up here. We are filthy with religion, too.

But here's the difference, the reason that we're not freaking out. Our lawmakers, for the most part, know that science, not Jesus, shows us we shouldn't freak out. The people, for the most part, think that, too (and, besides, it's a helluva lot easier to go about your daily routine than change it up). So the pressure will be on us to panic. People who profit from such things will attempt to assure that it does. And maybe you will be able to wipe the smirk off our smug faces as we board our windows after another half dozen cases.

Until then, the Rude Pundit's got plans that involve being in crowded spaces. He'll be fine. It's the weekend and the sun is out at last.


The Human Ebola Bomb Fantasies of Marc Thiessen

This is what Washington Post columnist and torture advocate Marc Thiessen has to have pictured: A swarthy Middle-Eastern man, with full-on, untreated Ebola, which means he's shitting and vomiting all over the place, bleeding from several orifices, staggering unnoticed into a crowded area, maybe a mall, and detonating a suicide vest, spraying bits of his body and fluids all over everyone who didn't die from the actual explosion, a kind of biological bomb, thus giving Ebola to perhaps dozens of people.

Every once in a while, you can read the most fucked-up shit in what is ostensibly mainstream media, shit that envisions the darkest scenarios or describes the most horrific crimes, like there's an editor whose sole job is to troll the internet for nightmare fuel and send it to the writers. "Hey, Thiessen," he'd say, "which do want: human Ebola bomb or Muslim sex dungeon for donkeys or Vladimir Putin's baby-eating?"

For in his latest "column" (if by "column," you mean, "playground of dementia built by a particularly savage masturbator"), Thiessen is all about making us wonder "What if?" as in, "What if the terrorists weaponized Ebola?" As he explains, "[T]he Ebola infection is raging right now in parts of Africa where Islamist extremists could have easy access."

And it ain't just suicide-infecting that Thiessen is talking about: "Terrorists could collect samples of infected body fluids, and then place them on doorknobs, handrails or airplane tray tables, allowing Ebola to spread quietly before officials even realize that a biological attack has taken place." That's right: some enterprising young terrorist could find Ebola patients, tap some of their blood or diarrhea or snot or something, maybe jack off a few lucky, unsuspecting Ebola dudes, perhaps "fill up a few Zip-Loc bags" with Ebola spooge, as Salon's Simon Maloy says in his Thiessen takedown, and then swab it on subway seats or vegetables or something. Then...profit?

Let's put aside that even if you popped an Ebola patient like a pimple, you'd have to get the fluids into an open cut or a mouth or eyes to even have a shot at sickening someone. Let's put aside the chances of someone getting Ebola from touching an infected doorknob are incredibly low. Let's put aside that the Ebola in the Zip-Loc would have to be used within a couple of hours of defrosting for it to survive on the surface of a restaurant's fork.

Instead, let's focus on how quickly Thiessen's column went from ludicrously over-the-top to completely useless bullshit. For, perhaps, when he was writing it this weekend, Thiessen felt free to say, "[I]f our health-care system was unable to handle a single Ebola patient, imagine what would happen if 50, 100 or more Ebola patients started showing up at U.S. hospitals." Now we know that our health care system handled it. Quite well, in fact. And with screening underway at all airports that West Africans can fly into, unless that Ebola-filled terrorist is gonna risk an ocean voyage, it's gonna be pretty tough to get into the United States without a hospital visit if you're sick.

But, hey, as the start of Thiessen's new fantasy dystopian novel, an Ebola man-bomb is pretty good. In reality? Let's be real.