100 Days Presser: The Nanny State

posted at 9:27 am on April 30, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The nanny state has apparently arrived, and Barack Obama took his place as National Mom last night in his 100-days prime-time press conference.  After the Obama administration spent the last two days stoking fears over the swine-flu outbreak, one reporter asked what exactly Obama intended to do to keep more cases from developing in the US.  Obama then turned into Mr. Mom while ducking the issue of closing borders:

Q: Thank you, Mr. President. With the flu outbreak spreading and worsening, can you talk about whether you think it’s time to close the border with Mexico and whether — under what conditions you might consider quarantining, when that might be appropriate?

OBAMA: Well, first of all, as I said, this is a cause for deep concern, but not panic. And I think that we have to make sure that we recognize that how we respond intelligently, systematically, based on science and what public health officials have to say, will determine in large part what happens.

I’ve consulted with our public health officials extensively on a day-to-day basis, in some cases an hour-to-hour basis. At this point they have not recommended a border closing. From their perspective it would be akin to closing the barn door after the horses are out, because we already have cases here in the United States.

Let’s stop here for a moment.  Having a few carriers cross the border does not mean that the entire country is infected.  I don’t know whether closing the southern border would prevent any infections from occurring, but the more people who cross while carrying the virus, the more people in the US who will get exposed to it.  It’s not a tremendously difficult computation to make.

I traveled to Ireland in the summer of 2001 when Britain and Northern Ireland were managing a raging outbreak of hoof-and-mouth disease, which nearly destroyed their agricultural industries.  The US was very, very particular about screening for that when I returned home, insisting that I account for all my travels (whether I’d visited farms, etc) and clean all of my footwear.  And that was for a veterinary illness.

So what exactly is the government recommendation?

The key now I think is to make sure that we’re maintaining great vigilance, that everybody responds appropriately when cases do come up, and individual families start taking very sensible precautions that can make a huge difference.

So wash your hands when you shake hands. Cover your mouth when you cough. I know it sounds trivial, but it makes a huge difference. If you are sick, stay home. If your child is sick, keep them out of school.

To — if you are feeling certain flu symptoms, don’t get on an airplane, don’t get on a — any system of public transportation where you’re confined and you could potentially spread the virus.

Well, it’s a darned good thing we cleared out a prime-time slot for President Obama last night … so he could tell us to wash our hands and cover our mouths when we cough.  What’s next?  Telling us to wear clean underwear when we leave the house?  Always carry mad money in case your date turns out to be a cad?

Obama makes a good point about public transportation, but unfortunately, not the one he wanted.  If you rely on public transportation with no other options when an epidemic sweeps into town, public transportation is practically designed to amplify it.  Where else will hundreds of strangers have to squeeze up against each other for minutes or hours every day?  Even airplanes leave you some personal space.  You don’t have to hold onto a rail on an airplane, either, one handled by God-knows-how-many sick people before you boarded the bus or train.

Actually, that may have been the most responsive answer Obama gave.


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Comment pages: 1 2

coldwarrior on April 30, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Just trying to kill time while I wait for someone to tell us who the hottie is.

bulgaroctonus on April 30, 2009 at 11:25 AM

We can’t have a good Nanny State without a good Sturgeon General. Obama, bring back Joycelyn Elders.

What would Elders do (WWED) to cure swine flu?

petefrt on April 30, 2009 at 11:25 AM

Oops. Your* right. Xenophobia is correct.

*If you don’t get it, that’s meant as a joke.

azlibertarian on April 30, 2009 at 11:27 AM

If Bill Clinton was our first black president, it makes sense that Barack Obama is our first female president.

Strangely enough, the paradigm works…

Bruno Strozek on April 30, 2009 at 10:44 AM

Classic. A little off topic, but can anyone imagine another president being asked what he found most enchanting about his first 100 days?

Let’s put aside inquiries regarding his birth certificate, his college and law school transcripts, and the like. I’d just like to get definitive confirmation that he is, in fact, male. Enchanted? Is the office of POTUS a fairy tale now?

BuckeyeSam on April 30, 2009 at 11:28 AM

I don’t know whether closing the southern border would prevent any infections from occurring, but the more people who cross while carrying the virus, the more people in the US who will get exposed to it. It’s not a tremendously difficult computation to make.

I can understand the gov’t wanting to limit disruption to commerce, but surely they could have taken steps to limit human traffic across the border without stopping commerce. They could have restricted border crossings to commercial vehicles only — temporarily prohibiting tourists, family visitors, etc., from crossing into the U.S. Eliminating all the casual traffic would have given our border agents more time to screen commercial traffic and make sure that none of them appeared to be infected. What would have been the big hardship in doing that for a week or two, until we’re sure that things are under control?

And if this thing does get out of control in Mexico, and/or if the virus morphs into something more dangerous, those of us in the border regions of the U.S. are going to have our hospitals overrun with Mexicans seeking better treatment here than they can get in the crappy, socialized health care system in their own country. I wonder what the oh-so-politically correct crowd in D.C. plans to do if that happens?

AZCoyote on April 30, 2009 at 11:28 AM

azlibertarian on April 30, 2009 at 11:27 AM

No problem.

bulgaroctonus on April 30, 2009 at 11:29 AM

Just trying to kill time while I wait for someone to tell us who the hottie is.

bulgaroctonus on April 30, 2009 at 11:25 AM

Hottie? Ya want hottie when it came to a nanny?

If you recognize this Nanny…you are old.

Extra points for name and television series and years.

coldwarrior on April 30, 2009 at 11:39 AM

coldwarrior on April 30, 2009 at 11:39 AM

I assume you’re referring to Nanny from Nanny and the Professor. Yes, I do remember the lovely Juliet Mills. (I also remember WIN buttons and pet rocks, for what that’s worth.) But that link also had a picture of my first crush, Elizabeth Montgomery, the most beautiful woman in the history of television. So Nanny kind of pales beside her. Sorry.

bulgaroctonus on April 30, 2009 at 11:43 AM

Extra points for name and television series and years.

coldwarrior on April 30, 2009 at 11:39 AM

As for the years, I would say 1968-1971, without looking it up on IMDb.

That means it can’t have been Obama’s fault because he was only 8 years old.

bulgaroctonus on April 30, 2009 at 11:49 AM

bulgaroctonus on April 30, 2009 at 11:43 AM

Tough room, tonite…yep. :-)

Elizabeth Montgomery…oh, yeah.

coldwarrior on April 30, 2009 at 11:50 AM

That means it can’t have been Obama’s fault because he was only 8 years old.

bulgaroctonus on April 30, 2009 at 11:49 AM

But it did take place at Clinton College.

coldwarrior on April 30, 2009 at 11:52 AM

But it did take place at Clinton College.

coldwarrior on April 30, 2009 at 11:52 AM

I can only imagine what the curriculum was like there.

bulgaroctonus on April 30, 2009 at 11:55 AM

Elizabeth Montgomery, the most beautiful woman in the history of television.

bulgaroctonus on April 30, 2009 at 11:43 AM

Sorry – Off topic again (and showing my age) but did you ever see her in the Outer Limits episode where she was one of the last people on Earth after a nuclear war, with Charles Bronson? My goodness, she was hot. I almost didn’t recognize her at first with the dirty face and military uniform. But those long beautiful legs, bright eyes and cute nose were unmistakable.

UltimateBob on April 30, 2009 at 12:01 PM

UltimateBob on April 30, 2009 at 12:01 PM

Twilight Zone.

coldwarrior on April 30, 2009 at 12:02 PM

UltimateBob on April 30, 2009 at 12:01 PM

Bob, I haven’t seen it, but now I have something to look for (and look forward to). I hope it’s available through Netflix.

Thanks!

bulgaroctonus on April 30, 2009 at 12:03 PM

UltimateBob on April 30, 2009 at 12:01 PM

Must be the German in me…a blond in uniform….oooohhh yeah…

OK…what was the topic of this Thread?

coldwarrior on April 30, 2009 at 12:04 PM

OK…what was the topic of this Thread?

coldwarrior on April 30, 2009 at 12:04 PM

I think it had something to do with some dude who lives in something called the White House. As I recall, it was a pretty unpleasant subject. I suggest we go back to talking about babes.

bulgaroctonus on April 30, 2009 at 12:06 PM

“It’s not a tremendously difficult computation to make.”

When you are a political whore like NOTUS…….

………… yes it is.

Seven Percent Solution on April 30, 2009 at 12:07 PM

bulgaroctonus on April 30, 2009 at 12:06 PM

Sounds reasonable.

coldwarrior on April 30, 2009 at 12:07 PM

This is akin to saying after 9/11 well we have sleeper cells in the US, so there’s nothing we could do about it, so we should just keep open the doors to allow more wannabe terrorists to set up shop. It’s the same excuse Obama uses for his multi trillion dollar deficit debacles, well George Bush splurged on a five hundred dollar suit, so Obama can splurge with a multi trillion dollar spending taxing borrowing spending spree.

eaglewingz08 on April 30, 2009 at 12:09 PM

I suggest we go back to talking about babes.

bulgaroctonus on April 30, 2009 at 12:06 PM

Now I feel like a troll for having hijacked this thread.

Aah, what the heck…. Obamugabe has nothing useful to say anyway. Might as well talk about Elizabeth Montgomery.

Twilight Zone.

coldwarrior on April 30, 2009 at 12:02 PM

Thanks. Yeah, she must have been about 18 in that one. I think it aired in the late 50s, during the Cold War frenzy.

UltimateBob on April 30, 2009 at 12:10 PM

she must have been about 18 in that one

Oh man.

bulgaroctonus on April 30, 2009 at 12:16 PM

I hope it’s available through Netflix.

bulgaroctonus on April 30, 2009 at 12:03 PM

Here ya go, you can watch it online now.

UltimateBob on April 30, 2009 at 12:20 PM

UltimateBob on April 30, 2009 at 12:20 PM

Thanks, Bob. I’ll see you guys later. I gotta go…alphabetize the bookshelves…or something.

bulgaroctonus on April 30, 2009 at 12:28 PM

Has he appointed a Putting the Toilet Seat Down Czar yet?

Jim Treacher on April 30, 2009 at 12:54 PM

bulgaroctonus on April 30, 2009 at 12:28 PM

Hmmm…he should have been back at least 20 minutes ago. Not that many letters in the alphabet…

coldwarrior on April 30, 2009 at 12:58 PM

Jim Treacher on April 30, 2009 at 12:54 PM

Biden?

coldwarrior on April 30, 2009 at 12:58 PM

Will Obama update the flag with 56 stars???

Odie1941 on April 30, 2009 at 1:03 PM

Stand up straight!

Don’t make me stop this country and turn around!

and with homage to the great William H. Cosby:

“For a long time I thought my name was Jesus Christ. And my brother thought his name was Dam*it. So one day I’m out playing in the rain, and my father says, ‘Dam*it, will you come inside!’ and I said, ‘But Dad, I’m Jesus Christ!’”

gregbert on April 30, 2009 at 1:14 PM

Hmmm…he should have been back at least 20 minutes ago. Not that many letters in the alphabet…

coldwarrior on April 30, 2009 at 12:58 PM

Maybe he has a lot of books.

UltimateBob on April 30, 2009 at 1:28 PM

Let’s stop here for a moment.

For Obama, it’s too late.

maverick muse on April 30, 2009 at 1:40 PM

Maybe he has a lot of books.

UltimateBob on April 30, 2009 at 1:28 PM

You have no idea.

bulgaroctonus on April 30, 2009 at 2:26 PM

I discribe last nights stand-up in one word “Disconnected”.

CynicalOptimist on April 30, 2009 at 2:27 PM

And don’t forget to inflate your tires!

Christian Conservative on April 30, 2009 at 2:29 PM

And don’t forget to inflate your tires Barack’s ego!

Christian Conservative on April 30, 2009 at 2:29 PM

bulgaroctonus on April 30, 2009 at 2:37 PM

You have no idea.

bulgaroctonus on April 30, 2009 at 2:26 PM

Would they by any chance be filed under Dewey numbers 305.3 or 306.7?

coldwarrior on April 30, 2009 at 3:23 PM

Must be the German in me…a blond in uniform….oooohhh yeah…

coldwarrior on April 30, 2009 at 12:04 PM

Coldie – actually she was a brunette in that episode. But still totally hot.

Check out the link that I posted at:

UltimateBob on April 30, 2009 at 12:20 PM

UltimateBob on April 30, 2009 at 3:48 PM

UltimateBob on April 30, 2009 at 3:48 PM

Yes, no I remember…hot nonetheless. Its the boots. :-)

coldwarrior on April 30, 2009 at 4:18 PM

Yes, no I remember…hot nonetheless. Its the boots. :-)

coldwarrior on April 30, 2009 at 4:18 PM

Yeah. Totally hot. Thank you, UltimateBob.

bulgaroctonus on April 30, 2009 at 5:37 PM

What’s next? Telling us to wear clean underwear when we leave the house? Always carry mad money in case your date turns out to be a cad?</blockquote>

Mother Goose always said:

Always carry the money so mad
In case your date’s revealed as a cad.

RD on May 1, 2009 at 1:04 PM

Soon we it will be about giving illegal aliens citizenship to put the final nail in the Republican coffin. My take on Obama’s presser

http://mark24609.blogspot.com/2009/04/100-days-1360-days-to-go.html

Mark

mark24609 on May 1, 2009 at 2:54 PM

Comment pages: 1 2