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To quote the Vice President, this is a Big F'n Deal:

The last Ebola patient in Liberia was released from a hospital Thursday, according to media reports.

Beatrice Yardolo, 58, was discharged from the Chinese-run treatment center in the Paynesville district of the capital Monrovia, the Associated Press reported.

Yardolo, an English teacher who was admitted on Feb. 18, told the agency she was "one of the happiest persons on earth today."

Source: USA Today

It wasn't long ago, in fact, that Liberia was the poster child for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) spiraling out of control, with armed gangs raiding Ebola clinics and the military enforcing quarantines in the slums. In six months, Liberia, with a lot of help from the rest of the world, has turned the situation around. The EVD plague is, as far as anyone can tell, contained. And as long as there isn't another patient out there in a remote area, waiting to infect someone else, we can hope that Liberia will be declared Ebola-free in 42 days.

More under the squiggle.

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In case you were wondering, Ebola is still a thing, and it's still tearing West Africa apart. The latest manifestation of this is the Vice President of Sierra Leone putting himself in voluntary quarantine after one of his security guards died of Ebola. Quoting:

Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana voluntarily decided to quarantine himself for 21 days following the death from Ebola last Tuesday of one of his security personnel, according to a report issued late Saturday by the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation.
Surprised? You shouldn't be. Ebola disappeared from the American media after a very small scare in Dallas, but it's been an ongoing fight in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea for over a year now.

More below the squiggle:

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I can't believe I'm the first one here writing about this:

Today, U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen ruled that Virginia’s ban on marriage for lesbian and gay couples is unconstitutional in the case Bostic v. McDonnell brought by the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER). Her ruling is stayed pending appeal, meaning marriages will not occur immediately in the commonwealth.
More over the Squiggle Of Doom.
Poll

Are laws banning same-sex marriage in the United States doomed?

21%9 votes
73%31 votes
4%2 votes

| 42 votes | Vote | Results

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Sat Dec 21, 2013 at 08:48 PM PST

2014 Predictions

by maxomai

I just gave you my scorecard for my predictions for 2013; if you missed it, you can find it here. Now, I present my predictions for 2014. As usual, I'll grade myself on these a year from now -- but feel free to print them out or save a PDF to keep me honest!

My predictions are:

  1. Neither the US House nor the US Senate will change hands.
  2. Mitch McConnell will lose his Senate seat.
  3. Wendy Davis will lose her bid to become Texas governor.
  4. The major issues of 2014 will be guns and health care.
  5. Oregon will become the first (and perhaps only) state to reverse its own anti-gay-marriage ballot measure by a subsequent ballot measure.
  6. The US will start putting boots on the ground in East Africa
  7. The US U3 unemployment rate will go below 6.5%.
  8. The movement to divest from Israel will become a major news story.
  9. Major reforms in surveillance methods will pass Congress.
  10. George Zimmerman will have another run-in with the law.
  11. Super Bowl XLVIII will be Denver versus Seattle.

By the way, since the Alamo Bowl is December 30th, it doesn't make sense for me to predict the winner as part of my 2014 predictions. Nonetheless, I predict Oregon in a blowout.

With that said, my reasoning for all of the above predictions is below.

Poll

Where am I most wrong?

12%8 votes
11%7 votes
11%7 votes
7%5 votes
7%5 votes
0%0 votes
12%8 votes
3%2 votes
6%4 votes
11%7 votes
0%0 votes
3%2 votes
12%8 votes

| 63 votes | Vote | Results

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Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 07:23 PM PST

2013 Predictions Scorecard

by maxomai

Last December, I gave you my predicions for 2013. Unlike most prognosticators, I try to hold myself accountable each year. This year, I can score myself relatively early, because enough stuff has happened that I can definitely mark my successes and failures. I did pretty well this year, with five right out of eight, although I had a couple of softballs to help me out. Let's go through which ones I hit and missed, below.

Poll

Which outcome was the biggest surprise?

14%27 votes
1%2 votes
4%8 votes
38%70 votes
21%40 votes
10%20 votes
2%5 votes
5%11 votes

| 184 votes | Vote | Results

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In fact, it's just beginning.

Those of us who have been around a while may remember Bonddad and New Deal Democrat. They started their own blog a while ago, and are now live-blogging the financial sector's reaction to the possible default. So far, we have this dire note:

Marketwatch at 8:01 CDT: "[C]learing banks are unwilling to finance paper that matures by the end of year, causing a fairly chaotic environment," said Thomas di Galoma, co-head of fixed-income rates trading at ED&F Man Capital Markets, in a note.
What does this mean? Follow me over the Orange FSM.....
Poll

Will the US recover from the damage done to it by the Tea Party?

12%8 votes
30%20 votes
23%15 votes
15%10 votes
4%3 votes
13%9 votes

| 65 votes | Vote | Results

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I think we all agree that the people who won the gun control debate, at least this time, were the paranoid wing of the gun rights side.

I consider myself in the rational wing of the gun rights side, and I think I can defend this by pointing out that I've been saying for years that we've needed universal background checks, which is exactly what the unamended bill that was just yanked from the Senate would have established. If nothing else, UBCs would have given the BATF the best of all hammers to use against gun traffickers that supply the majority of firearms to street gangs. This, and not assault weapons, is the major firearms problem in the US, and it should have been addressed. For this reason, UBCs should have been a slam dunk.

Instead, they went down in flames.

What went wrong?

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Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:03 AM PST

What it takes

by maxomai

Ladies and gents,

We now know what it takes to get the Right pissed off about our government assassinating American citizens.

It takes the government threatening to take their assault rifles.

Wherein they finally worry about civil liberties

I wonder what it will take to piss off the Left?

Discuss

Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 03:53 PM PST

2013 predictions

by maxomai

I just gave you my scorecard for my predictions for 2012; if you missed it, you can find it here. Now, I present my predictions for 2013. As usual, I'll grade myself on these a year from now -- but feel free to print them out or save a PDF to keep me honest!

  1. Meaningful action on the "fiscal cliff" won't happen until February at least
  2. The credit rating of the United States Government will take another hit
  3. No federal assault weapons ban will pass
  4. Assad will lose the Syrian civil war, but only after much blood
  5. Scott Brown will win the special election to fill John Kerry's Senate seat
  6. Obamacare will dominate the second half of 2013 politics
  7. Inflation will remain below 10%
  8. The Oregon Ducks will win the Fiesta Bowl

My reasoning for each of these predictions is below.

Poll

Which prediction will I get wrong in 2013?

19%8 votes
4%2 votes
2%1 votes
2%1 votes
54%23 votes
0%0 votes
2%1 votes
14%6 votes

| 42 votes | Vote | Results

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Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 04:47 PM PST

2012 Prediction Scorecard

by maxomai

A year ago - December 27, 2011 - I gave my predictions for what would happen in 2012. Unlike most other political pundits, however, I score myself on my predictions a year later.

My predictions for last year were:

  1. Barack Obama will be re-elected to a second term as President.
  2. John Boehner will be ousted as Speaker of the House.
  3. Democrats will just barely hold on to the US Senate
  4. The US unemployment rate will dip below 8%.
  5. The European Union will hold on .. barely.
  6. Inflation will remain below 10%.
  7. Protest movements in the US, Russia, Europe and MENA will accelerate.
  8. The US will substantially reduce its troop presence in Afghanistan.
  9. Oregon will win the Rose Bowl.

Let's see how I did!

Poll

What of the above surprised you last year?

3%1 votes
18%6 votes
30%10 votes
6%2 votes
15%5 votes
3%1 votes
18%6 votes
0%0 votes
6%2 votes

| 33 votes | Vote | Results

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Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 06:01 AM PST

WHAT HAPPENED TO MY KPOJ!?! (A Primer)

by maxomai

Q: So I turned on my radio, which is tuned to KPOJ, and instead of Carl in the Morning I have this Fox Sports bullshit. What the fuck?

A: Yes, I thought you might wonder about that. What happened is that KPOJ changed its format from Liberal Talk to Sport Talk at about 6PM Friday night (Nov. 9th). No more Carl Wolfson, no more Ed Schultz, no more Thom Hartmann, no more Randi Rhodes, and so on.

More Q&A over the fold!

Poll

How will you get your progressive talk when the terrestrial progressive talk stations are all wiped out?

61%114 votes
10%19 votes
23%44 votes
4%8 votes

| 185 votes | Vote | Results

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Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 12:30 PM PST

Romney Campaign concedes Florida

by maxomai

Via the ThinkProgress Twitter feed comes this Miami Herald Story:

Romney campaign: We lost Florida

President Obama will win Florida when all votes are counted, judging from the makeup of the ballots still outstanding from heavily Democratic counties.

This then completes the election, giving Obama 332 EVs to Romney's 206, and completing Nate Silver's sweep of the state-by-state predictions of the Presidential race.
Poll

Be honest. Did you expect Obama to win Florida?

62%111 votes
37%66 votes

| 177 votes | Vote | Results

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