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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: One Flu Over the Cuckoo's Nest

“White House counsel Harriet Miers has never served as a judge before, and while this career ‘hard-nosed lawyer’ (as she is invariably described) from Texas certainly deserves some kudos for a trailblazing career as a female lawyer, she's not a legal scholar, either.

But she does know better than just about anyone else where the bodies are buried (relax, it's a just a metaphor...we hope) in President Bush's National Guard scandal. In fact, Bush's Texas gubenatorial campaign in 1998 (when he was starting to eye the White House) actually paid Miers $19,000 to run an internal pre-emptive probe of the potential scandal. Not long after, a since-settled lawsuit alleged that the Texas Lottery Commission -- while chaired by Bush appointee Miers -- played a role in a multi-million dollar cover-up of the scandal.”
-Philadelphia Daily News, October 3, 2005

“Ah yes.. A political crony who ‘knows where the bodies are buried’ (though with Miers, unlike Brownie, that isn’t necessarily a literal statement). At least she would only be on the highest court in the land, rather than in charge of taking care of a major disaster. Luckily we’ve learned our lessons about how to take care of major disasters.”

“Health officials have warned for years that a virulent bird flu could kill millions of people, but few in Washington have seemed alarmed. After a closed-door briefing last week, however, fear of an outbreak swept official Washington, which was still reeling from the poor response to Hurricane Katrina.”
-New York Times, October 5, 2005

“Hmm.. A problem that the government has ignored for years. How can we turn this around to make a power grab for the Executive branch of the government?”

“President George W. Bush asked Congress on Tuesday to consider giving him powers to use the military to enforce quarantines in case of an avian influenza epidemic.
He said the military, and perhaps the National Guard, might be needed to take such a role if the feared H5N1 bird flu virus changes enough to cause widespread human infection.
‘If we had an outbreak somewhere in the United States, do we not then quarantine that part of the country? And how do you, then, enforce a quarantine?' Bush asked at a news conference.
‘It's one thing to shut down airplanes. It's another thing to prevent people from coming in to get exposed to the avian flu. And who best to be able to effect a quarantine?' Bush added.
‘One option is the use of a military that's able to plan and move. So that's why I put it on the table. I think it's an important debate for Congress to have.”
-Reuters, October 4, 2005

“President Bush, stirring debate on the worrisome possibility of a bird flu pandemic, suggested dispatching American troops to enforce quarantines in any areas with outbreaks of the killer virus.

Dr. Irwin Redlener, associate dean of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and director of its National Center for Disaster Preparedness, called the president's suggestion an ‘extraordinarily draconian measure’ that would be unnecessary if the nation had built the capability for rapid vaccine production, ensured a large supply of anti-virals like Tamiflu, and not allowed the degradation of the public health system.

‘The translation of this is martial law in the United States,’ Redlener said.”
-Associated Press, October 4, 2005

“One little problem with the idea of using the military to enforce martial law during an epidemic.. Its illegal unless an act of Congress is made.”

“SEC. 15. From and after the passage of this act it shall not be lawful to employ any part of the Army of the United States, as a posse comitatus, or otherwise, for the purpose of executing the laws, except in such cases and under such circumstances as such employment of said force may be expressly authorized by the Constitution or by act of Congress; and no money appropriated by this act shall be used to pay any of the expenses incurred in the employment of any troops in violation of this section And any person willfully violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be punished by fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars or imprisonment not exceeding two years or by both such fine and imprisonment.”
-Posse Commitatus Act of 1878

“They’ll just have to burn that bridge when they get to it. There truly is no disaster to large that Dear Leader can’t figure out a way to benefit from it.”


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3:58 AM  

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