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Dog days of August… 29 August 2007

Posted by marisacat in The Battle for New Orleans.

       October 2005 New Orleans
           New Orleans – October – 2005

… hard to look back. 

Bill Quigley on 10 things learned:

Seven. Government will help businesses first and second and third, and if there is anything left, maybe fourth.

Who is in charge of government before the disaster? Governments will look to privatize the public sector –housing, health, education, transportation, every system after a disaster. That was what they wanted before the disaster, so the disaster offers them an opportunity to move their plans into action.

Corporations see disasters as opportunities. They look for valuable land that poor people were living on before the disaster. They decide that there is a better economic use for that land. Then they will push the government to come up with some excuse to take the land for other uses.

You will quickly see that those with power and money before the disaster end up with more power and more money after the disaster. You will see that 98% of the money distributed in a disaster ends up enriching corporations. Our most colorful example is the blue tarps that the government put on the roofs of houses after Katrina. The main contractor, Shaw Group, got $175 a square to put on the tarps. The subcontracted the work out to another corporation for $75 a square. The second corporation subcontracted the work out to a third corporation for $30 a square. Who in turn subcontracted it out again to guys who did the work for $2 a square. Two dollars a square for the actual worker is less than 2 percent of what the government paid out –guess who got the money.

Wonder why the Gulf Coast is not fixed up yet? This is not an accident. It is not that the system isn’t working. It is working for the benefit of those who create and fund and manipulate it. Read Naomi Klein’s THE SHOCK DOCTRINE: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. It spells it out in detail.

If government works primarily for corporations before the disaster, after the disaster it will be a hyper corporate-friendly environment.

Well.  A big fat bingo on that one!

Nine. A justice-based reconstruction will not be funded.

Money will flow. Charities, churches and governments will send money for charitable help. If your community is trying to create a more just community than the one destroyed by the disaster, there will not be funding for that. If you are trying to make the community fairer for and with the poor, the elderly, and those who lived in unjust circumstances before the disaster –get ready to raise your own funds for your organization.

Funding for charity will come, but funding for justice will not.

We must insist on some transparency and accountability from the non-profits and foundations and others who have raised and spent billions in the names of those in distress. They cannot be allowed to operate like multi-national corporations –they must open their books and involve people in their decision-making.

Solidarity not charity is one of the great demands to come out of Katrina from the Common Ground collective.

Another is “Nothing about us without us is for us” from Peoples Hurricane Relief.

After Katrina, it again became clear that decades of oil development has literally destroyed the natural protections around the gulf coast.

Yet the disaster actually enriched the oil companies who helped cause it, creating their biggest year of profit in some time.

Yet, do you hear the voices of those calling out for the oil corporations to be held accountable for what they have caused? Those voices are small and unfunded. But they, like so many others calling for justice, are out there and will one day be heard.




1. Marie - 29 August 2007

The NO natives are restless and ain’t buying what Georgie was selling.

The medical/industrial/complex strikes again:

ovary removal before menopause without HRT increases risk of dementia. Someday we may discover that not only have we squandered money on modern medical treatements but the cure was worse than the cause.

2. lucid - 29 August 2007

This is what I love about science reporting:

A second study, which included about 2,300 women who’d had the surgery and about 2,400 who hadn’t, found about a 70 percent increased risk for a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease or Parkinson’s symptoms like tremors.

What do you want to bet that if I look this study up on Pub Med what this sentence actually means in terms of the data is that among the 2,400 who hadn’t had the surgery there were 10 people displaying symptoms of or like Parkinson’s, while in the study of the 2,300 women who’d had the surgery, there were 17 people.

And did they screen for any other factors among these women which could account for this 7 person 70% discrepency?

3. wilfred - 29 August 2007

I think the dog days of August are relaxing a bit now that Michael Vick is off their tails 🙂

4. marisacat - 29 August 2007


well I am sure the dead dogs appreciate he needed a high profile DC atty – among all the others – to ensure a tightly worded plea deal…


5. Hair Club for Men - 29 August 2007

Wow. MSNBC just said that the students at the high-school in New Orleans Bush spoke at wanted to “heckle and ask questions” but “they were muzzled”.

Disgusting. Bush should go face his critics, even if they’re high school kids.

Now back to Larry Craig and Tucker Carlson’s gay bashing…

6. msxeno - 29 August 2007

I hope Bush at least offered to attend the afternoon Abstinence Only/No Fetus Left Behind class with them. Seems like the least he could do…

7. marisacat - 29 August 2007


Bush went to a charter school in the Ninth Ward.

No one should have shown up, imo. But i saw plenty of adults being nice to him. Just what was on film.

8. liberalcatnip - 29 August 2007

eugene gets the “obnoxious asshole of the week” award.

He studies the 60s for a living. Yay for him.

All of these post-60s clowns: Bowers, Stoller, Martin, thereisnoclue (and sibling), eugene…dry as fucking melba toast. The Melba Toast Brigade.

9. Hair Club for Men - 29 August 2007

Chris Matthews is puzzled about why Bush took so long to react.

Matthews doesn’t get it. Bush and his staff didn’t care. They were poor and black. Had they known this would have destroyed his presidency of course they would have gone in earlier.

Buit it never occurred to them that it would because they just don’t talk to people who would have known better. They only talk to red white and racist Amerikkka.

10. keirdubois - 29 August 2007

Isn’t there someone studying, say, the 80s, so we know what NOT to do? I’m sure there are plenty of Republicans doing it, but hagiography gets ril stale ril quick.

11. liberalcatnip - 29 August 2007

Bush is such a fool:

‘ll never forget, one time when I was governor of Texas, a woman looked at me and she said, “Reading is the new civil right.” It had a profound impact on the policies that we have pursued since I’ve been in public office, and Laura has pursued as a lifelong reader. And that person was right. We’ve got to start making sure those youngsters can read at grade level and stay reading at grade level.

Note that he didn’t say that he is a “lifelong reader”. He apparently discovered this “book” thing when he was forced to read My Pet Goat.

He’s definitley making sure that students “stay reading at grade level” – grade 4 level right into college.

12. liberalcatnip - 29 August 2007

I’ve been trying to forget the 80s for 20 years now, kd.

13. msxeno - 29 August 2007

Hey ! I LIKE Melba Toast ! I even named one of my sockpuppets after it !!

Of course, even better is Melba Liston.

14. liberalcatnip - 29 August 2007

Banging my head. More Bush:

And so it’s — my attitude is this: New Orleans, better days are ahead. It’s sometimes hard for people to see progress when you live in a community all the time. Laura and I get to come — we don’t live here, we come on occasion. And it’s easy to think about what it was like when we first came here after the hurricane, and what it’s like today.

Fuck. I just can’t wait until he’s gone. Sheesh.

15. liberalcatnip - 29 August 2007

#13. But you still have to admit that it’s dry as fuck.

16. liberalcatnip - 29 August 2007

I’ve now reached my usable quota of swear words for today.

17. keirdubois - 29 August 2007

Well, I’m sure there are plenty of people out there trying to forget the 60s, too. As a bicentennial baby I have no memory of them, of course, and only furtive blips of fear and loathing from my 80s childhood.

btw catnip, your post about the DKos worm attack reads like a breaking newscast from a natural disaster. Highly enjoyable.

18. Marie - 29 August 2007

HC #5 have just realized the limits of my ghoulishness — I can no longer participate in the political death watch of Craig. He’ll die quickly enough and there’s no need to study all the signs and syptoms that point out that death is near.

What does “pursued as a lifelong reader” have to do with educating children?

19. Hair Club for Men - 29 August 2007

HC #5 have just realized the limits of my ghoulishness — I can no longer participate in the political death watch of Craig.

It looks to me like an authoritarian culture self-destructing. Look at it from the outside. On the second anniversary of Katrina, the biggest news stories are a Senator trolling for sex in a public restroom and a high paid athlete executing dogs.

Now imagine yourself an Iraqi. Children with weapons of mass destruction have the power of life and death over you.

20. Shadowthief - 29 August 2007

My darlings, I hope no one has missed me. I’ve been out gathering information for you.

Apparently, Bush and Cheney’s attack on Iran is coming very soon.

Well, I’ve been predicting an attack for two years now, and pfffft, so take my prediction with a grain of salt.

Here’s some evidence I gathered up for you. I shall spread it at your feet and let you sort through it.

Exhibit A

Bush threatens to confront Iran over alleged support for Iraqi insurgents

· US president accuses Tehran of arming militants
· Speech aimed at shoring up support for ‘surge’

Ed Pilkington in New York
Wednesday August 29, 2007

George Bush yesterday ramped up the war of words between the US and Iran, accusing Tehran of threatening to place the Middle East under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust and revealing that he had authorised US military commanders in Iraq to “confront Tehran’s murderous activities”.

In a speech designed to shore up US public opinion behind his unpopular strategy in Iraq, the president reserved his strongest words for the regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which he accused of openly supporting violent forces within Iraq. Iran, he said, was responsible for training extremist Shia factions in Iraq, supplying them with weapons, including sophisticated roadside bombs. Iran has denied all these accusations.

Link: http://tinyurl.com/3734n6

Exhibit B

US Opposition Political Leaders Issue Urgent False Flag Terror Warning
Warn of imminent plot to “orchestrate and manufacture a new 9/11 terror incident”

Steve Watson
Monday, August 27, 2007
A group of former government officials along with current Congressional candidates, authors and activists has issued an urgent warning that a faction of the US government allied with Dick Cheney is planning to stage a terror event or provocation as a pretext for launching military attacks against Iran and implementing emergency powers in America.

Former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, along with former US Diplomat and Colonel in the US Army reserve Ann Wright have put their names to an open letter warning that massive evidence points to an upcoming event.

Current Congressional candidates Cindy Sheehan and Craig Hill are also among the signatories to the letter.

Link: http://tinyurl.com/3dgwqk

Exhibit C

Iran a grim shadow, Bush warns

By Anne Davies
August 30, 2007

Mr Bush said that once Iran had nuclear weapons it would set off a nuclear arms race in the region and would allow extremists to control a key part of the world’s energy supply, holding the Western world to ransom.

But Mr Bush did not mention military action against Iran — something that is being urged on him by some advisers — instead stressing that the US was pursuing a strategy of isolating Iran through economic sanctions.

Link: http://tinyurl.com/2qvqeb

Exhibit D

US troops seize, release Iranians in Baghdad hotel

Agence France-Presse
Last updated 02:08pm (Mla time) 08/29/2007

BAGHDAD — US forces swooped on a Baghdad hotel and briefly detained seven Iranians, officials said on Wednesday, in an action likely to further strain relations between Tehran and Washington.

A diplomat at Tehran’s mission in Baghdad said the seven, whose identities were not confirmed, had been “arrested by the Americans” on Tuesday from central Baghdad’s Sheraton Hotel.

They were released early Wednesday and taken to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s office, he said.

“The seven Iranians were released this morning,” added Yassin Majid, media advisor to Maliki.

The BBC showed video footage of the seven being led away blindfolded and in handcuffs by US troops from the Sheraton hotel, identifying them as Iranian experts helping to rebuild power stations in Iraq.

The arrests came hours after US President George W. Bush branded Tehran as “the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism,” and accused it of backing Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Shiite fighters killing US troops in Iraq.

Link: http://tinyurl.com/2wnf5y

21. Hair Club for Men - 29 August 2007

The Tucker Carlson thing is amusing. Tucker didn’t gay bash someone in a public restroom in Georgetown. The timing is off anyway. He came back in 25 minutes with a friend and knocked the guys had up against a stall THEN went out and brought back a cop and the cop arrested the guy they assaulted.

So many things off about this story.

What happened. Tucker, Abrams and Scarborough were hanging out at the playground. Tucker slipped and mentioned he got propositioned in a bathroom. We don’t really know if this happened or if he just imagined himself getting propositioned. Abrams and Scarborough caught onto the fact that Tucker was putting himself out just a bit too much and started teasing him. Then Tucker made up the story about banging the guys head against the stall.

BTW, Tucker’s still young enough to go to Iraq, where women actually die because they’re afraid to go to the bathrooms and gets raped so they don’t hydrate themselves.

22. Shadowthief - 29 August 2007

I could write Bush’s address to the nation now:

“Iran has supported terrorism around the world. Iran has backed insurgent fighters killing US troops in Iraq. Iran has sought to acquire nuclear weapons that would destabilise the entire Middle East and threaten world peace.”

All Bush needs–or maybe he doesn’t–is a triggering incident. Or maybe this is just more attempt to shift blame for the Iraq debacle onto the evil Iranians. But for those of us who believed that Iran was the target all along, the nation that both the US and the Israel want to knock down to the bottom rung of the ladder, this is more evidence confirming that a joint aerial/naval attack (along with a blockade of Iranian ports, aimed at strangling its feeble economy) by the United States will come before Bush and Cheney shuffle off to their retirement.

That is, if Bush and Cheney willingly leave office on 21 January 2009. I used to think they would, until Markos Moulitsas absolutely assured us that they would–since I always believe The Opposite of whatever that particular individual tells me, I now wonder if Bush and Cheney aren’t planning on staying just a wee bit longer with their hands on the levers of power.

23. Hair Club for Men - 29 August 2007

Larry Craig or no Larry Craig, what are the odds the Democrats are going to deny Bush funding on the war this Fall.



24. marisacat - 29 August 2007

shorter bush speech:

We have always been at war with Iran.

drawn from the stock speech file, “fill in the blank” folder. Hillary and Romney pre-approved, mass signing event – George P signed as well.

25. Hair Club for Men - 29 August 2007

Tweety put Gary Bauer and Frank Gaffney on within 5 minutes of each other.

Real balanced guest list there….

26. Hair Club for Men - 29 August 2007

Gaffney thinks we shouldn’t talk about Abu Ghraid because Islamofascists want to kill us.

27. Hair Club for Men - 29 August 2007

Jon Soltz got the better of Frank Gaffney. Tweety tried to save Gaffney and Soltz still outdebated him. Then Gaffney tried to fillibuster his way out of it.

You can always tell when a neocon gets beat when he started to fillibuster. It’s a common neocon last ditch tactic.

Wasn’t Soltz the guy at the yearly Kos who got pissed at the soldier who came in his uniform?

28. liberalcatnip - 29 August 2007

btw catnip, your post about the DKos worm attack reads like a breaking newscast from a natural disaster. Highly enjoyable.

Thank you. Must have been the Katrina influence today. 🙂


Why wouldn’t the Dems have known that Bush would be coming back with his hand out for $50 billion? Or did they know while hoping nobody else would figure out that all of their caving meant that Bush would be panhandling again? Or something…?

29. liberalcatnip - 29 August 2007

As for Iran, you don’t sell new products in the summer according to Andrew Card. September will be prime time. Season premiere of the New War.

30. Hair Club for Men - 29 August 2007

How does Chris Matthews know the Iwo JIma monument used to be a big gay cruising zone?

31. liberalcatnip - 29 August 2007

Porn & Spyware Found on Govt. and School Sites

It would be great if the compromised Web servers I wrote about last week at Lawrence Livermore National Labs were an aberration, but sadly they are not. Conducting a simple Google search for adult-themed search terms found in “.gov” domains produces some very interesting results, including pages serving up adult videos along with a generous helping of spyware.

Several pages on both the official Web sites for the State of Louisiana and the Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority show up prominently in the search results for porn at dot-gov domains. A handful of pages on those sites feature a blank video player that prompts the visitor to install a special video “codec” in order to view the adult movie.

Visitors who agree to install the codec inadvertantly agree to also install a piece of spyware that modifies your browser’s home page, produces security alert icons on the victim’s Windows desktop, and serves nagging pop-up ads to install bogus anti-virus and anti-spyware security software.

I submitted the codec for a scan at VirusTotal – a free services which uses the combined power of more than two dozen different anti-virus tools to test whether a file is malicious. The results were not encouraging: Only three anti-virus products flagged it as invasive, labeling it a variant of the Zlob Trojan.


I found some of the same Zlob spyware links in videos posted to several K-12 school sites. Searching for “porn sex free k12 site: .us” in Google brings up a long list of school Web sites that either include graphic images or link to porn sites. Be aware that it may not be safe for your computer (or your job if you’re at work) to click on the returned links. Some of the results are just the usual porn site links inserted into guest book entries or comments on school blogs, but an increasing number of them feature pages full of graphic images, some of which appear to include very young girls.

The Web site for Gilbert Public Schools in Arizona is one such example. Clicking on pretty much any of the 2,700 posts in the site’s user forum brings the visitor to an eye-popping page full of graphic images. Click on them and chances are you will be redirected to a video player page that then prompts you to install a special codec.

32. JJB - 29 August 2007

Here is the NY Times story about the death of Richard Jewell. Apparently, he was diabetic, and he died of a kidney ailment no doubt related to that. A very sad story, a genuine hero made to look like a villain by the incompetent Janet Reno’s Justice Department. He sued a bunch of MSM outlets who defamed him, and most settled quietly rather than go to trial. The one exception was the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, whose lawyer actually had the gall to state today that the paper “stands by” its coverage of the matter. Just what is that supposed to mean when a newspaper is so plainly wrong about something? You “stand by” something that is essentially true, even if it contains some errors of fact. Anyway, Jewell’s estate may still go on with the trial, currently scheduled for January. Here’s hoping they win a huge settlement. Jewell’s mother survived him, and I’m sure she could use the money.

33. liberalcatnip - 29 August 2007

TPMmuckraker has a list of this year’s GOP scandals. Heckuva job there, Repubs.

34. wilfred - 29 August 2007

Harry Shearer was interesting on Olbermann. He said that not only didn’t Bush mention Katrina in his State of the Union, Nancy Pelosi didn’t mention it either in her big speech after the elections when they took over control of the House. Not pretty.

35. marisacat - 29 August 2007

What a tragedy. It was so clear from minute one that Jewell did not do it. And I don’t know about elsewhere but out here, everyone could see it.

Some things are just clear.

A good ol’ boy who simply went out to work every day and did his best.

36. marisacat - 29 August 2007

Obama did not mention it/Katrina in his big Christian respnisbility speech a few weeks ago.

If i can find the post I did on that speech will link to it..

37. msxeno - 29 August 2007

Dear Catnip,

1 melba toast round + thin spread of cream cheese + thick spoonful of some tart jam like currant = bliss.

Also lovely dunked in a thick veggie soup, preferably homemade.

You heard it here first.

38. Hair Club for Men - 29 August 2007

Obama did not mention it/Katrina in his big Christian respnisbility speech a few weeks ago.

That leaves Edwards who, to his credit. has addressed Katrina repeatedly.

39. Glingle - 29 August 2007

ST @22
My nightmare scenario for them not letting go of power is…
Hillary and Obama get elected and sometime between November and January get jfk’d. The shooter/bomber/whatever turns out to be of iranian descent (and with connections to the current regime) thus providing a casus belli to a) keep the power in their hands under a state of emergency and b) allow them to nuke iran.

40. Hair Club for Men - 29 August 2007

TPMmuckraker has a list of this year’s GOP scandals

And yet Bush is in a stronger position than he’s ever been vis a vis te funding of the war in Iraq.

41. wilfred - 29 August 2007

Shearer mentioned that presidential candidates either don’t speak about it at all or in any detail. The people of N.O. are screwed doubly.

42. marisacat - 29 August 2007

Here is the post on the Obama speech, his big Christian “finger shake”..

It is mostly in the first part, but the absence of Katrina in the speech is also farther down, past “NC 17” and past Melinda Hennenberger bullshit on abortion.

43. Shadowthief - 29 August 2007


LOL, thanks for the “1984” reference. Seems the calendar always reads that year now.

As for Senator Clinton solemnly agreeing with President Bush Cheney that the Iranians are the greatest known threat to human civilisation ever known, and that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the new Hitler (never mind that the Iranian navy, which Ahmadinejad does not control, is virtually non-existent and never mind that the Iranian air force, which Ahmadinejad does not control, struggles to put a few dozen first-class fighter jets in the air)…well, of course she will. Clinton’s all in favour of “surgical strikes” against “military targets”–never mind that the targets are in civilian areas, a blockade of Iranian ports will mean the malnutrition and even starvation of tens of thousands of Iranian children, and the term “surgical strike” means carpet-bombing the fuck out of a square kilometre of target area.

I saw the American version of “surgical strikes” in Iraq, thanks ever so much. It means you bomb everything that moves and then bomb it a few more times just in case you missed the ants and centipedes on the first go-round.

Let us not forget that Cheney’s got tactical nukes ready–emphasis on the word “tactical” rather than “nukes”.

The Iranians will respond to American attacks by spreading grief and misery to every corner of the globe with terrorist attacks, but that’s Bush’s and Cheney’s dream: an endless war with an amorphous enemy, the Terrorist, with an indefinite suspension of civil liberties at home and a series of attacks on the Hitler du jour abroad. The ruling class consolidates its power at home and the military-industrial-congressional complex grows fat on the war profiteering while the rest of us can go stand in a soup queue.

44. marisacat - 29 August 2007


but Edwards is so fucking WEAK. I saw his campaign opener in NO, it was pathetic.

45. Shadowthief - 29 August 2007

Re: Iran and September.

General Petraeus’ report will conclude that a significant number of insurgents are being financed by/supplied by….IRAN.

And that the only way to “win” in Iraq is to attack…IRAN.

And then it’s on to the attack on Iran. Petraeus’ report will mark the turning point. Never mind if it’s true; neither was anything Colin Powell said in his address to the UN about Iraq possessing WMDs, but Bush ordered the invasion and occupation of Iraq, anyway.

Truth doesn’t matter if you have enough power, and Bush and Cheney have ruthlessly grabbed more than any executive in history, with the possible exception of Lincoln during the War Between the States. The Democrats have helped by rolling over and playing dead whenever Bush barked a command, of course.

46. Shadowthief - 29 August 2007

30. Hair Club for Men – 29 August 2007

How does Chris Matthews know the Iwo JIma monument used to be a big gay cruising zone?

Read graffiti on the men’s room wall?

Or did some, erm, undercover research?

I shall never forget Matthews giggling like a schoolgirl over Bush’s appearance in his flight suit on the deck of the USS Lincoln, when it appeared that Bush had a rather large “package”. I honestly thought Tweety was going to proclaim Bush “dreamy” and sigh like a 50s-era bobbysoxer.

47. Hair Club for Men - 29 August 2007

Or did some, erm, undercover research?

Carlson, Matthews, um, these guys seem to run into a lot of roving gay men trolling for sex.

I use the Washington Square Park bathrooms and Port Authority Bus Terminal bathrooms all the time and I’ve been to just about every rest stop on the NJ Turnpike and I’ve never been propositioned.

On that note, the ghost of the late Jerry Falwell is being interviewed on MSNBC and he’s saying that if gay marriage becomes legal Larry Craig might marry Leona Helmsley’s dog.

48. Shadowthief - 29 August 2007

I’ve never been propositioned, either. But perhaps we’re not as handsome as we think? I’m now feeling a bit insecure, as I always fancied myself quite a catch. I’m not gay, but I wouldn’t mind being propositioned for the same reason a vegetarian wants to be offered a meat platter at a party: one doesn’t want to be ignored 🙂

49. Hair Club for Men - 29 August 2007

I’ve never been propositioned, either. But perhaps we’re not as handsome as we think?

I guess I’m somewhere between Tweety and Tucker but STOP….

There’s no way you can have this conversation without getting yourself into trouble. Tucker found that out the hard way.

I think I may have got hit on by a schizophrenic homeless guy once. But he may have only been asking for money.

50. Hair Club for Men - 29 August 2007

Mens Room Etiquette

51. marisacat - 29 August 2007


ms xeno and Glingle just appeared in Moderation, tho the comments are a half hour old.

Upthread at 37 and 39

52. Shadowthief - 29 August 2007

All I can say is, that would have to be one VERY clean men’s room. Let’s be honest, we men are absolute pigs, and I’ve yet to see a public men’s loo that was clean enough to have sex. Unless the filth and so forth is part of the allure.

I once blundered into the women’s toilet by mistake (didn’t look up at the sign on the door) and found it rather pristine by comparison. “By comparison” being the operative word.

I think a presidential candidate could win a supermajority of electoral votes merely by promising clean public toilets, really.

53. liberalcatnip - 29 August 2007

Poor Beethoven who I’ve always had a fondness for since my family had a bust of him on the piano when I was growing up. (Well, his music helped too…)

The surviving brittle grey strands, 180 years on, that were sheared from Beethoven’s head have provided new and convincing evidence that the composer did not die as a result of his worsening illnesses. He appears to have been killed – albeit inadvertently – by his own doctor.

“Beethoven’s death was due to the treatments he was given by his own physician,” said Christian Reiter, a forensic scientist and author of a new study on Beethoven’s hair, yesterday. “The treatments amounted to lethal doses that permeated Beethoven’s ailing liver and ultimately killed him,” he added.
Analysis of 19th century medicines shows that doctors used lead salts to treat lung infections as these were effective in reducing fluid build-up. In general, lead, mercury and arsenic functioned as the antibiotics of the time. Their side effects were considered the lesser evil. Yet for Beethoven, lead appears to have been the primary evil.

54. brinn - 29 August 2007

re#43 ST — did the Americans kill as many Brits in Iraq in ’91 as they have in Iraq and Afghanistan in the past 4.5 years?

I read about the most recent bombing that killed 3? 4? British soldiers in Afghanistan this week and just have to wonder why they keep fighting along side the Americans….

55. Hair Club for Men - 29 August 2007

I once blundered into the women’s toilet by mistake

I don’t respect the Mens/Womens signs on single occupancy bathrooms at Starbucks.

I’ve had woman come close to smacking my head against the sink.

In terms of cleanliness, the womens bathrooms are usually worse than the mens.

56. marisacat - 29 August 2007

If there is a line at a womens’ rest room I always crash the mens.

And yes women get very upset if theirs is infiltrated, not sure why

57. Marie - 29 August 2007

Shadowthief The Iranians will respond to American attacks by spreading grief and misery to every corner of the globe with terrorist attacks, My guess would be that enraged Muslims throughout the world won’t wait for direction or orders from Iran. It would be like the Protestants and Catholics uniting to beat back communism.

I know Bush/Cheney really want to do this, and it’s distrubing to see the French Poodle (wonder wht sort of brainwashing heads of state get when they visit Crawford and Kennebunkport?) along with the usual cast of characters from the rogue’s gallery ramping up their support for taking on Iran, but strangely enough, I’m less concerned right now than I was a year or two ago. Not really sure why and it’s not any one thing that is filtering through and leading me to this conclusion.

Can’t see tht a second 9/11 would work for them like the first one. That fool me once thing has kicked in. What it’s going to take for them to get their war on this time is for Iran to take the bait and strike first, and if Saddam could resist it, Iran will do so as well. Those people probably understand the minds of Bush/Cheny better than we do. While the world still seems to be rather stupid, not sure a “Gulf of X” event will work a second time either. I’m not even sure the military would obey an illegal order from GWB to strike because there might be some back channels now between active and inactive top brass (Powell might even be tring to salvage his reputation).

Or maybe the negative repercussions from expanding this war are so huge that my brain can’t envision that anyone could be stupid, really stupid, enough to proceed with it. All signs to the contrary that Bush/Cheney and Hillary are this stupid. Will just have to remain as open minded and sensitive as possible to anything that develops that says I’m wrong and “it’s on.” God forbid.

58. brinn - 29 August 2007

I was just talking with my husband about a guy where he works who has been interested in him for quite a while….seems there were a few (men and women) who fancied him, we never had wedding rings before we got our tax return last year, so I guess there were people who he worked with who assumed that whoever the mother of his kids was, was out of the picture or something. Except the guy who is ALSO married with kids and is gay. That shit just pisses me off. If you’re gay, fucking be gay, there’s nothing wrong with it, and hell, if you feel the need to be closeted, be closteded, I’m not going to presume to tell you to live life as an open gay when the majority of society has such bassackward, at best, and downright vile and brutal, at worst, attitudes about homosexuals, but for fuck’s sake, don’t be such a selfish shit that you marry someone and have kids with him/her AND screw around behing their backs. That just fucking sucks.

59. liberalcatnip - 29 August 2007

Pat Buchanan isn’t a libertarian? (which he just proclaimed on MSNBC amidst all of the shouting about Larry Carig)

60. Shadowthief - 29 August 2007

Brinn–I’ve no idea of the comparison figures of “friendly fire” incidents between GW1 and the curent occupation of Iraq/Afghanistan. The comparisons are somewhat meaningless, anyway, for two reasons:

One, the Americans and the British (as well as other allies) acted together during GW1, and two, the period of combat was very short (100 hours!). The occupation, such as it was, was of Kuwait, not of Iraq. This does not really compare to the occupation of Iraq, with the Brits taking up the occupation duties in the south and the Americans in the rest of the country, so that the two forces are separate. And both the Afghanistan and Iraq operations have been dragging on for years now.

As for why the Brits keep playing tag-a-long with the Americans…there are lots of reasons, but the most cynical one is that unless the Brits ally themselves with the American superpower, they have to face the fact that they are just a middle-sized European country whose economic power is eclipsed by Germany and (ergh!) France. Italy’s GDP has surpassed that of the UK, for example.

Any British PM is free to tell the American President to piss off, of course, but there would be a heavy price to pay for that: the loss of the so-called “special relationship” in which the Brits are supposedly the bridge between the American superpower and the continental Europeans. As for Afghanistan, well, the British people initially supported that military misadventure but never truly supported Iraq, which is why you see British troops being shifted out of Iraq and into Afghanistan.

Long-winded answer, sorry, but it’s a bit complicated.

61. Shadowthief - 29 August 2007

Well, on the issue of sexuality, I don’t believe it’s an “either/or” proposition. I’ve always viewed sexuality along a continuum, with maybe 5% of the people as truly heterosexual, 5% of the people as truly homosexual, and everybody else some varying degree of bisexual. So some of these married gay men may have been trying quite hard to be heterosexual, but found that they were further along the continuum on the “gay” side than they had imagined.

As for why gay people live on the “down low” or whatever it’s called–well, it’s still quite legal in most places in the United States to discriminate against gays in employment and housing, and then there’s the recrimination of family and friends. I agree it’s best to be honest, but that’s why the government should stop making gay people into second-class citizens. Gay people pay their taxes and all the rest of it; if they have equal responsibilities, they ought to have equal rights.

I don’t believe in “gay rights”, because that implies that one is granting something special to gays that is not their due. I believe in human rights, which means everybody is treated equally, regardless of social class, skin colour, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, what have you. The only people who should be discriminated against are jaywalkers. I can’t stand them.

62. Shadowthief - 29 August 2007

Marie, re: Iran.

Wish I could be as sanguine as you. It seems there is no bottom to the deception and treachery of Bush and Cheney and the Vichy Democrats. The people would resist, but they are not organised, and they are either uninformed or misinformed by fascist propaganda.

I agree that in the long run, this treachery may come back on those who engage in it, but we are living in the short run–and in the short run, it quite clearly works. Bush’s presidency was fading and failing quickly after his inauguration; 9/11 resurrected it and has allowed him to grasp the tools necessary for dictatorship.

63. Marie - 29 August 2007

re: bathrooms- once went to a large industry awards dinner where the men outnumber the women by about 99 to one. What a delight to see all those guys in their tuxes waiting in line to use the john.

Women can be pigs too – and far too many restrooms are gross. Doesn’t anybody learn to clean up after themselves anymore?

Brinn #58 – spot on. For my money that was part of what made “Brokeback Mountain” such a tragedy. I loved that movie — and don’t understand why it was trivialized as a “love story” and that was what the enlightened people said. Yeah, right, “Romeo and Juliet” is a love story.

64. Miss Devore - 29 August 2007

Jay Elias has feminylons tonight at dk. but. but. but. can’t click for cooties fear.

65. Shadowthief - 29 August 2007

Clearly I need to do more research comparing the loos of the two genders. Or not. I’d rather not. It’s just that the one women’s toilet I was in, was cleaner than any men’s I’d been in.

However did we get onto THIS topic anyway? We need to stop free-associating on this blog and stick to the substantive topics 🙂

66. liberalcatnip - 29 August 2007

My daughter thought she had been crowned as the official bathroom inspector when she was a kid. She was ruthless in her criticism. Mind you, there are not a lot of options when you’re traveling in the middle of nowhere and Last Chance Gas has the only can in site. She adjusted accordingly.

67. Hair Club for Men - 29 August 2007

Olbermann very lamely awarded Fidel Castro a worst person in the world award and not Tucker Carlson.

Gee Keith, criticizing Castro. That takes guts in the USA.

68. brinn - 29 August 2007

Substantive topics?!? What the hell? 🙂

I love free-association — my whole life has been one big free-association so far, and I hope to keep it that way.

Re: your response, ST, at #60, yeah, I thought about the non-comparability issue right after I posted it, and just for the record? I LOVE your long-winded responses!!

Re#61 — I’d have to agree with you there on the sexuality continuum thing, and, as my husband pointed out, when I ranted as above to him: how do you know she doesn’t know? To which I had to say, quite right, and shut up about it. Except of course to tell him that fucking around on OUR marriage, male female or otherwise, would be a deal-breaker…at least without prior consent!

oh, and as mom to 2 sons anyone who wants to shoot me dirty looks when I go into a stall in a men’s room with my kid can just fuck right the hell off. I also take them into womens bathrooms and ladies who have that same look can do the same.

Aside from race, sexuality and sex is one of America’s biggest an most inane hang ups. I want to start a pulic bathhouse — I LOVED those when I lived in Japan!

69. brinn - 29 August 2007

re#63 — right on, Marie, but then again, it’s Hollywood, if they have found something the can’t trivialize the fuck out of, I don’t know what it is. Hollywood, aside, people have such a hard damn time seeing anything but the most superficial od interpretations of most things.

70. marisacat - 29 August 2007

The only laugh I got during Katrina was when castro offered us help.

Silly of Olberman

71. lucid - 29 August 2007

And yes women get very upset if theirs is infiltrated, not sure why

Perhaps because men have a tendency to pee all over the seat, which is something that bugs me to no end in men’s rooms. I mean don’t men ever need to take a dump in a public restroom. Do men really like mopping up the piss before sitting down?

72. marisacat - 29 August 2007


ugh some women would be upset if a man stepped in to wash his hands.

73. Hair Club for Men - 29 August 2007

1988-2016: Either a Bush or a Clinton in the White House.

Americans need to chill out about criticizing Castro. At least he knows how to plan for a hurricane.

74. Hair Club for Men - 29 August 2007

BTW, if there’s an attack on Iran, the chances are it will destroy the Daily Kos.

Elias/Moon, Pumpkinlove et all will stay to cheer it on. Everybody else will probably just leave.

There’s no way they’re going to be able to spin it for the Democrats when the Democrats cave and go along.

75. Hair Club for Men - 29 August 2007



The Democrats’ failure to defund the Iraq occupation has led, inexorably, to the likelihood of a border “incident” with Iran

76. lucid - 29 August 2007

I actually went to a school that had coed restrooms & showers. Basically, you’d flip the sign & if it was of the opposite sex, you knocked to see if it was OK to come in. There didn’t really seem to be any problems because everyone was mostly polite and no one generally cared if members of the opposite sex entered, even if they were in the shower or in a towel… those quakers can be quite evolved [except when they’re leaving Kucinich out of their election literature].

77. msxeno - 29 August 2007

Thanks for saving my all-important haute cuisine post, Mcat.

We have mostly unisex bathrooms in PDX. Seems to work out all right. The people I feel worst for in the arrangement where a commercial establishment has only one or two bathrooms are the disabled. :/

78. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 August 2007

I heard Haley Barbour on NPR today, spinning the usually Republican/suburban/country line about how Miss. is doing better than NOLA because they’re “good, hard working folk” who aren’t waiting for handouts. It’s a constant up hear in Milwaukee from our collar suburbs and the winger media here.

I’m so sick of that crypto-racist bullshit. The whole “heartland”, the “this is a NICE place where those things don’t happen” crap. We all know that EVERY place has it’s own fucked up and dangerous and subsumed dangers and peculiarities, and for the most part people try to work hard everywhere. As for the “no handouts in Miss.” thing:

Chris Floyd begs to differ.

79. marisacat - 29 August 2007

On Moyers Journal last Friday he had a couple of people on about Katrina. One thing mentioned is that tons of money has been siphoned off … for condos (the flyover looked extensive) built adjacent to the stadium for Alabamamamama U.

There is all sorts of slobber today around .. Oprah (who was so cosy 2 years ago with Nagin and the asshole police chief) who had Cooper on (he said it itakes “leadership), Brian Williams who had to say that there was widespread “looting” done “everywhere” in NO, day after day ny “young men”… and so on.

But no white paper on the insurance companies, FEMA, where the money really went … and so on.

80. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 August 2007

I worked one summer as the morning janitor at a seafood restaurant. Let me tell you, cleaning the “Mermaids” room was FAR nastier than the “Spouters” room. On top of the usual biological waste, NOTHING is harder to clean than the makeup that gets splattered on the damned mirrors. I swear mascara transmogrifies into cement overnight. Men w/ bad aim can be taken care of w/ bleach and a mop.

Oh, and you don’t want to know about the combination of nerves, lobster on the guy’s tab and alcohol.

81. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 August 2007

oh, and I found this today through Boing Boing, for all of my fellow caffeine addicts.

82. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 August 2007

More from Boing Boing, Clayton James Cubitt’s gallery of Katrina survivors. From his excellent, heartbreaking, inspiring blog, posting the interview he did w/ a photography mag:

Clayton Maxwell: On your website, http://www.claytoncubitt.com, the only description of this series of Katrina photos is: “Portraits of the survivors and volunteers of Hurricane Katrina, taken in the days immediately after the storm hit.” I know you had to fly down to New Orleans from Brooklyn to find your mom, who was living there at the time, and help out. When, amidst all of that, were these portraits taken?

Clayton James Cubitt: Most of the portraits presented here were taken in the week immediately following the disaster. There was no electricity, running water, phone lines, and the national guard was only just beginning to clear roads and distribute ice and MREs to survivors.

CM: Could you tell me about your ties with New Orleans – when did you live there? Who in your family was there when Katrina hit?

CJC: My family’s from New Orleans going back a few generations, and I spent most of my formative years there and on the Gulf Coast of Louisiana. All of my family lore comes out of New Orleans, and I credit it with forming who I am as an artist, besides making me who I am as a man.

My mother and little brother were missing for a week after the storm, and lost nearly everything, including the home I had just bought for them earlier that year. My aunt and uncle were left homeless, as were several cousins, some of who were forced to relocate in Texas.

CM: Why did you want to do these portraits? Was there a specific message you wanted to convey?

CJC: The people I most photographed were the poor and dispossessed. Those who had very little before the storm, and lost even that when the storm hit. This is the socio-economic class I grew up in – poor whites mingling with poor blacks, all being shut out of the American Dream. I intended to show their inherent pride, their dignity, and the hard work of their lives etched on their faces.

83. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 August 2007

oh, and something in the vein of my comment above, that people in NOLA are every bit as America, both good and bad, as any white suburban Republican asshole in MS:

New Orleans is an American city. Her porches fly American flags, just like porches in Peoria. Each morning her children say the Pledge of Allegiance, just like children in Boise. She was once attacked simply for being an American city, just like New York was.

So why has she been abandoned by her country? Why has she been abandoned by her President? Why do we spend more money each month in a foreign war of opportunity than we do in restoring one of our greatest cities from the worst calamity in its long history?

Why, in this second hurricane season after The Flood, is she all alone? Why is she still dark at night? Why are her citizens still scattered, forgotten, neglected? Why are her levees still weak? What happened to the promises?

84. wilfred - 29 August 2007

Those coffee drinks are so much nicer when you put DECAF in front of them! Love the taste of coffee but hate the jolt of ‘leaded’.

ST– we call them Gay Rights because we have to label them for the laws we are trying to change because these are the rights gays don’t have. Lots of humans already have ‘human rights’. Just like ‘women’s rights’ are rights that some humans already have too.

85. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 August 2007



Coffee w/o caffeine is like passionate kissing without the tongue.

86. liberalcatnip - 29 August 2007

Gee, you’d think this would be big news (?) If that was happening in Iraq, it’d be labeled “terrorism” (with some tie found to Iran or al Qaeda, no doubt). In the US? Just another day at the office.

87. Miss Devore - 29 August 2007

cnn has some thang up about Biloxi recovering better than New Orleans.I’m sure it all started with the reconstruciton of Trent Lott’s domicile.

I don’t know how much I can say I hate the way this country is going, but I think, when the country as a whole abided the abandoning of New Orleans (outside its Tv ratings at the time) –that it had to do with the least powerful– the poor, minorities and old people. The country, as a whole, has responded as if it was catharisis that these people were forsaken.

88. marisacat - 29 August 2007

double ”leaded” here… 8)

89. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 August 2007

Wired on the FBI surveillance net:

Together, the surveillance systems let FBI agents play back recordings even as they are being captured (like TiVo), create master wiretap files, send digital recordings to translators, track the rough location of targets in real time using cell-tower information, and even stream intercepts outward to mobile surveillance vans.

FBI wiretapping rooms in field offices and undercover locations around the country are connected through a private, encrypted backbone that is separated from the internet. Sprint runs it on the government’s behalf.

The network allows an FBI agent in New York, for example, to remotely set up a wiretap on a cell phone based in Sacramento, California, and immediately learn the phone’s location, then begin receiving conversations, text messages and voicemail pass codes in New York. With a few keystrokes, the agent can route the recordings to language specialists for translation.

The numbers dialed are automatically sent to FBI analysts trained to interpret phone-call patterns, and are transferred nightly, by external storage devices, to the bureau’s Telephone Application Database, where they’re subjected to a type of data mining called link analysis.

FBI endpoints on DCSNet have swelled over the years, from 20 “central monitoring plants” at the program’s inception, to 57 in 2005, according to undated pages in the released documents. By 2002, those endpoints connected to more than 350 switches.

Today, most carriers maintain their own central hub, called a “mediation switch,” that’s networked to all the individual switches owned by that carrier, according to the FBI. The FBI’s DCS software links to those mediation switches over the internet, likely using an encrypted VPN. Some carriers run the mediation switch themselves, while others pay companies like VeriSign to handle the whole wiretapping process for them.

The numerical scope of DCSNet surveillance is still guarded. But we do know that as telecoms have become more wiretap-friendly, the number of criminal wiretaps alone has climbed from 1,150 in 1996 to 1,839 in 2006. That’s a 60 percent jump. And in 2005, 92 percent of those criminal wiretaps targeted cell phones, according to a report published last year.

These figures include both state and federal wiretaps, and do not include antiterrorism wiretaps, which dramatically expanded after 9/11. They also don’t count the DCS-3000’s collection of incoming and outgoing phone numbers dialed. Far more common than full-blown wiretaps, this level of surveillance requires only that investigators certify that the phone numbers are relevant to an investigation.

The Justice Department reports the number of pen registers to Congress annually, but those numbers aren’t public. According to the last figures leaked to the Electronic Privacy Information Center, judges signed 4,886 pen register orders in 1998, along with 4,621 time extensions.

90. lucid - 29 August 2007

I don’t consume any caffeine… even tea or soda. It not only tweeks some sort of pinched nerve in my back that causes part of my left foot and left hand to get numb, but it has on occassion caused psychotic breaks [and once a grand mal]…

91. liberalcatnip - 29 August 2007
92. liberalcatnip - 29 August 2007

That’s wicked, lucid. I don’t drink coffee. I did for a few years or so and the funny thing is that when I quit, I treated it like my other addictions: no coffee ever again (for some reason). Coffee just made me wired and even made my head itch sometimes, but I do drink caffeinated tea and pop.

The absolute best coffee I ever had though was Jamaican Blue Mountain (in JA, of course – expensive stuff). Mmmm…that was good. I might even have a relapse to try that again. I’ve never had an espresso, latte or any other of those frou frou drinks.

93. liberalcatnip - 29 August 2007

Not that there’s anything wrong with frou frou drinks. 😉

94. marisacat - 29 August 2007

oh I love cofee, when I used to visit friends I would ask how the coffee maker worked and where CNN was on the dial. I’d be up at 5 or 6 am and want both things, right away.

then later, I just traveled iwth my own little manual melitta set up. Cone, filters + ground beans.

95. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 August 2007

I know I’d like to split them from their offices.

Terrorism Policies Split Democrats – Anger Mounts Within Party Over Inaction on Bush Tactics

The American Civil Liberties Union is running Internet advertisements depicting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) as sheep.

“Bush wanted more power to eavesdrop on ordinary Americans, and we just followed along. I guess that’s why they call us the Democratic leadersheep,” say the two farm animals in the ad, referring to Congress’s passage of legislation granting Bush a six-month extension and expansion of his warrantless wiretapping program.

Rep. Rush D. Holt (D-N.J.), who leads a newly created House select intelligence oversight panel, lamented, “Democrats have been slow to recognize they are in the majority now and can go back to really examine the fundamentals of what we should be doing to protect democracy.”

Reid and Pelosi promised last week that they would at least confront the president next month over his wiretapping program, with Pelosi taking an uncompromising stand in a private conference call with House Democrats. When lawmakers return in September, Democrats will also push legislation to restore habeas corpus rights for terrorism suspects and might resume an effort to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

But conservative Democrats and some party leaders continue to worry that taking on those issues would expose them to Republican charges that they are weak on terrorism. And advocates of a strong push on the terrorism issues are increasingly skeptical that they can prevail.

NO, they’re not really worried, they AGREE WITH THE REPUBLICANS POLICIES.

96. Sabrina Ballerina - 29 August 2007

ST, thanks for doing all that research –

Cynthia McKinney was one of the best in Congress when it came to questioning the war criminals. Her questioning of Rumsfeld at one of the hearing, was a lesson on how to nail them down and force them to answer questions.

If we had two hundred Cynthia McKinneys, there woud never have been a war in Iraq. If she says Cheney is planning to attack Iraq, I believe her. Not that it’s news.

I saw a headline yesterday about Gonzales and whether or not the Democrats would pursue the investigation. It was a question ‘Will Dems go after Gonzales now the he has resigned?’ It was interesting because no one expects them to stop these criminals. I doubt it.

As for Iran, half the Dems will vote for it. Nearly all of them recently voted for an Iran War Resolution. The way it looks now, it will be a surprise if it doesn’t happen.


Btw, regarding Rove’s car. That was a friendly joke by the WH staff, supposed to mean ‘he’s wrapped up (his job’ or something. The bumper sticker was meant to be a joke also. I saw on tv and thought it was dissgusting the loving way the bimbo news anchor read the report. They treat him like God!

She said that the two eagles were to signify how he had served his country.

97. marisacat - 29 August 2007

Think 97 of them voted for the Iran Resolution.

98. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 August 2007
99. lucid - 29 August 2007

The pinched nerve was the weirdest thing. When I was 20 [and consuming a ton of caffeine in all forms] I had this bizarre episode that seems to me stroke-like [the entire left side of my body went numb to the point that I had problems walking]. Once the initial thing passed, I had a persistent issue with intermittent numbness in my left hand, shoulder and foot [along with some wicked intermittent pain down the left side of my neck]. This persisted for about 9 years [as I don’t like doctors & didn’t see one from age 18 to age 29 save an emergency room trip for a panic attack once]. Anyhow, when I finally went to have a physical I mentioned this persistent problem, so she sent me for an MRI of my neck and back. The technician reviewed the report & told her ‘I don’t I’ve seen a spine in better shape for someone that age’. So I chalked it up to psychosomatic illness and just dealt with it as I always had before. 4 years later, while I was in a 6 month period where I was getting no sleep and drinking 3+ cups of coffee a day [plus tea and at least 1 soda], I went out to dinner with a friend, rolled my ankle when I got up from the table, sat back down and proceeded to have a grand mal. I requested from my Dr. [on hospital orders – I wouldn’t stay in the emergency room overnight] a referral for an MRI of the brain. Again zero problems [and of course confirmation that I didn’t have a stroke when I was 20]. It was at this point that I had started [in my obsessive exploratory medical reading] seeing things on caffeine allergy. And while not spot on, many of the feelings caffeine gave me seemed to match up. So I quit. Within 2 weeks, this now year 13 old chronic numbness problem disappeared completely. A few months later, on a day in which I’d gotten very little rest, I tried a cup of coffee. I had a complete psychotic break & almost went to the emergency room again. That was the last caffeine I’ve had [save the occassional dark chocolate].

100. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 August 2007

re: Rove’s car …

a.k.a. operation “he’s just a nice fella”

101. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 August 2007

I love the graphic for leadersheep.

102. mattes - 29 August 2007

Liberal catnip….I can’t find the link….but the reason Bush was pushing My Pet Goat was that, that book was part of No Children Left Behind, and a big republican fundraiser got the no bid, exclusive contract to publish the book.

103. liberalcatnip - 29 August 2007

She said that the two eagles were to signify how he had served his country.

I didn’t know it was done by WH lackeys. I can think of better symbols of how he has “served his country”.

Quite the medical history, lucid. I have problems with numbness too. I guess that’s caused by the scoliosis and bone spurs they recently found in my mid-spine – not to mention fibromyalgia.

The numbness in my left arm years ago was how I found out I had fibro. I was driving to work one nite, the arm went numb, thought I was having a stroke and went to emerg. Luckily, the dr I saw knew about fibro and referred me to a specialist who dx me.

As the numbness turns…

104. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 August 2007
105. mattes - 29 August 2007

Still can’t find link. Could have been McGraw_Hill… and one other. Bush was on the Corporate timeclock.

Focusing Resources on Proven Educational Methods: Focuses educational dollars on proven, research-based approaches that will most help children to learn.

* Implements President Bush’s Reading First initiative by increasing federal funding for reading programs from $300 million in FY 2001 to more than $900 million in FY 2002, and tying federal funding to the use of scientifically-proven methods of reading instruction.
* Implements a new Early Reading First program to support early language, literacy, and pre-reading development of preschool-age children, particularly those from low-income families.


Chris Doherty: Well, I am the program director for the Reading First program here in the Department of Education. I started a day before the president signed the No Child Left Behind Act into law on January 8, 2002. Reading First is a six billion program that is part of No Child Left Behind. It is a kindergarten through third grade reading program. Prior to coming to the department I was the executive director of a not-for-profit organization in Baltimore, Maryland that manages public schools and implements curriculum. I also did a bit of teacher training work.

106. lucid - 29 August 2007

Oh – it’s even more interesting than that… but I don’t want to bore everyone.

Suffice it to say, save the time I broke my face and the doctors successully restored it almost to the way it looked before, I’ve had more success self-treating my various issues with research than any doctor has had using the ‘common wisdom’. I often wonder what exactly doctors are taught in medical school besides how to patch you up if you’ve been shot, hit by a car, or had a heart attack [not to belittle those skills – as it’s pretty amazing what they can do in that regard].

107. Marie - 29 August 2007

On coffee – it’s good for you. Reduces alzheimers risk and has those bioflavanoids or something. But sure wish the caffeine did much for me — have been known to drink a pot and go to bed. For some reason a decade ago, thought it might be better to drink decaf. Was okay taste wise and didn’t notice any diff w/o caffeine. After three monts developed a horrible facial skin rash. Through a process of elimination thought it could be the decaf coffee. So went back to regular but wasn’t convinced that it was the coffee. Guess it’s like many allergies, once developed, hyper sensitive. Only took two cups of strong decap Starbucks to inflame my whole face. (Lovely sight) Still being curious, I tested some swiss water process decaf. Bingo, it’s not the coffee but whatever chemical is used to decaf it.

MitM- #88 -saw that article earlier today. They are getting warrants for those wiretaps. And seems not to have any relationship to the NSA programs and this one was authorized by Congress in ’96. Not sure how the FBI can manage this when last time I checked they were still having problems with an e-mail system. Important that we know about this stuff, and it can be misuse but not in high volume, is my guess.

The problem with the Bush team may be insufficient “gray matter”:
Liars Brains Wired Differently. Not sure we needed high tech research to figure this out — and the implications for use of this research is scary, so there you have it.

108. marisacat - 29 August 2007


Decaf gives me terrible headaches. At the base of the skull, ugh. The water process much less so.

But i like coffeecoffee … so I drink the full throttle dark roast.

109. lucid - 29 August 2007

MitM – gatekeepers everywhere… must keep the dominant mythology alive with manufactured ‘evidence’. Media [including blogmedia] is no different from the medieval Catholic Church – if you or your ideas fall outside the narrative, you don’t exist. And if you persist in your heresy, we will excommunicate you. And if you actually win people over to your side, here’s a nice pyre to bring you eternal damnation.

110. Marie - 29 August 2007

Marisa with you on the regular dark roast. I was fine with the dark roast decaf –except for when the horrible rash developed and spread. It looked as if I’d been burned with a hot iron.

As I almost never drink tea or soft drinks, never worry about drinking too much coffee.

111. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 August 2007

darker the roast the better, that’s what I say.

lucid – what I liked/was appalled by was how they wouldn’t let him tell his real story, that he was BETTER. They had their narrative, and they were going to get it. Sick.

I know I promised to go to sleep, but I had to finish reading this: Patients Turn to No-Interest Loans for Health Care

Zero-interest financing, a familiar sales incentive at car dealerships and furniture stores, has found its way to another big-ticket consumer market: doctors’ and dentists’ offices.

For $3,500 laser eye surgery, $6,000 ceramic tooth implants or other procedures not typically covered by insurance, millions of consumers have arranged financing through more than 100,000 doctors and dentists that offer a year or more of interest-free monthly payments.

Of course, going into debt to pay for medical procedures is nothing new for many people. And this type of financing is still only a fraction of the nation’s $900 billion market for consumer revolving credit.

But as the price of health care continues to rise and big lenders pursue new areas for growth, this type of medical financing has become one of the fastest-growing parts of consumer credit, led by lending giants like Capital One and Citigroup and the CareCredit unit of General Electric.

Big insurers, too, are devising new financing plans with various payback options. Upstart players have also aggressively cut deals with doctors.

The room for expansion looks ample, as rising deductibles, co-payments and other costs may force more of the nation’s 250 million people with health insurance to finance out-of-pocket expenses for even basic medical care.

“As more and more of the costs of care are shifted to consumers, people are going to need more credit,” said Red Gillen, a senior analyst at Celent, an insurance and banking research firm. “They are still going to need health care.”

The zero-interest plans are not for everyone. In fact, they are available only to the creditworthy — meaning they offer no help to those among the nation’s 47 million uninsured who are in difficult financial situations.

Creditworthy until these things are done with them …


112. lucid - 29 August 2007

Marie – coffee is good for you. I wish I could drink it. It’s full of anti-oxidants [like dark chocolate]. So is tea…. soda, well, notsomuch.

But caffeine does affect a certain percentage of people in a higly negative manner… unfortunately I’m one of them [you can’t imagine how I pine for coffee when I smell it brewing every day in the office, because I really do love the taste of good coffee].

So for my anti-oxidants I stick to copious supplies of berries, green vegetables and citrus. I eat more fruit & veggies than any other food group – the rawer the better.

113. Shadowthief - 29 August 2007

#84–I understand what they’re called “gay rights”, Wilfred, but I hope you take my point, as well…it may seem a silly argue over semantics, but “women’s rights”, “black people’s rights”, “gay rights” to me makes it sound as if people are asking for some special set of rights just for them, when what they are asking for is to be a first-class citizen. I would prefer the longer “equal rights for gays”, but then again, I’m a long-winded bastard and I do live a good preposition (not to mention a good proposition).

114. Shadowthief - 29 August 2007

Since we’re comparing coffee addictions (or lack thereof):

Shadowthief likes his coffee fully caffeinated, hot as hell and black as a Hollywood agent’s soul. Do not–repeat do NOT–put whipped cream, shaved chocolate, or anything remotely frou-frou on top of my damned coffee. Just make it strong enough to stand up without benefit of the mug and leave me alone until I’ve consumed enough to make the transformation from beast to human. And pray do not utilise Italian terminology in referring to my coffee, unless we are in Rome, and then feel free if you happen to be Italian.

Actually, I discovered this summer it’s not the Italians who do the best coffee–it’s the Swedes. #2 coffee drinkers in the world (slightly behind the Finns), and the Swedes and I are in complete accord on the Fine Art of Coffee Preparation and Consumption Thereof.

115. moiv - 29 August 2007

Ahh, coffee . . . nectar of the gods. Like Marie, I can quaff a quart and go right off to bed.

I’m told that mine gets stronger every year.

When I congratulated myself out loud for reducing my consumption to around half a dozen cups a day, my daughter remarked that I was like a crackhead “cutting back” from eight rocks a day to one rock the size of a softball. 🙂

116. Shadowthief - 29 August 2007

Oh, and I agree with Marie that coffee is good for your health–in my case, OTHER people’s health, because I’m far less inclined to homicide when fully caffeinated 🙂

117. lucid - 29 August 2007

Urrrgh… health is not a consumer good. It’s not a fucking option.

When I broke my face last November in a hit and run, the cops didn’t do their job & no one got the plate number. If I didn’t fork over the $325 a month premium for my health insurance [which I can only afford because I make a decent living – and it’d an extra $175 a month if I wasn’t part of ‘The Freelancers Union’ which organized as a group to negotiate a group rate], I would have been on the hook for an $18,000 hospital bill. Sure, I could have sued the city, because the cops didn’t do their job and recognize that there was a camera at the corner bar that caught the whole episode that had already been wiped when I did my own investigation a week and a half later [just out of surgery]… hey – they didn’t even bother to file a police report on the hit and run…

That aside. Fucking $18,000. $1,500 just to make sure I didn’t have a traumatic, life threatening head injury and the rest to perform a necessary surgery to keep my right eye from sinking & causing permanent vision damage & restore my jaw to a shape in which I could open it normally… not to mention look like a normal human being, as opposed to a Looney Tunes character after having a frying pan applied to the side of their head.

Could I pay that off over several years? Yes. Could a working family with a gross income of $35,000 or less and a couple of kids? Not in a million years.

118. Shadowthief - 29 August 2007

moiv, you do realise that eventually you have to just chew the beans in order to get your full caffeine fix?

119. Sabrina Ballerina - 29 August 2007

Mattes, I remember that re Chris Doherty. He is a friend of the Bushes. I thought they were investigating that scam, NCLB, and he was a prime suspect, airc. They were forcing schools to buy their education materials. I’ll have to look that up again. I think that’s why Neil (underage sex) Bush went into the Education business, and why Bush is always pushing reading This was another horror story of corruption involving Jeb also.

Lucid, lucky you figured it out. I wonder if allergies like that can eventually kill people if they don’t identify the cause.

Miss D cnn has some thang up about Biloxi recovering better than New Orleans.I’m sure it all started with the reconstruciton of Trent Lott’s domicile.

I heard that on Softball and they were falling all over that crook, Haley Barbour. I can’t watch tv anymore without feeling like throwing things. These dim-witted ‘news’ anchors fall all over themselves when they have a story on crooks like Barbour or Rove. They seem to know about these people.

I remember sometime in the ’90s, he was caught partying with a bunch of women, or something and there was video, airc. Probably why he hasn’t run for president.

Impeach Haley Barbour

impeachment, but the will is just not there yet to seriously go after the President or Vice President.

But what about Haley Barbour?

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour — former Chairman of the Republican National Committee — would be a great exercise in impeachment for the numerous Katrina-related ethics violations and beyond that he has been party to. Here is the impeachment clause from the Constitution of the State of Mississippi.

Bloomberg’s Timothy Burger deserves a Pulitzer for all that he is digging up in the muck of the Haley Barbour administration’s contracting decisions in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

They are just blatant about it all – but nothing is ever done.

120. moiv - 29 August 2007

Absolutely. Espresso beans dipped in near-bitter chocolate are my favorite snack.

But like you, ST, no adulerants in the cup itself. Utter blasphemy.

121. Marie - 29 August 2007

MitM – #111 send it to Keith O and suggest he compare that with what his worst person in the world manages to do for the people in his country. Did the guy bother to see SICKO?

Take my rich strong coffee with a little milk (steamed is better), no sugar. Black’s okay but prefer it with milk, not half/half or cream.

122. moiv - 29 August 2007

I can’t watch tv anymore without feeling like throwing things.

Sabrina, that’s why I turn on the television even less often than I drink decaf, and rely upon y’all to let me know if anything important accidentally slips through the net and makes it onto the screen.

It’s just not good for me.

123. Marie - 29 August 2007

On NCLB -one of the big winners was McGraw Hill (some long standing relationship with the Bushes) and not for programs or books but testing materials. That’s all NCLB is — tests. Another stupid waste of money. You want good education, pay enough so that the smartest people become teachers – the women’s movement sure took away this country’s right to get good education on the cheap.

124. marisacat - 29 August 2007

I supose the terrible HFC is still going. Household Finance CO.

I knew someone who made the mistake of borrowing from them. 36% and of course targetting people tapped out or ignorant.

You know, with the change in the bankruptcy laws, medical costs, and now foreclosure, people are desperate. And those not, soon will be.

For years, I get 5 – at least – calls a day offering bizarre rates and large mortgage loans. One reason I ignore the phone.

The country is just so deep in the hole to bad business practices. Criminal

125. Sabrina Ballerina - 29 August 2007

Marisacat, thanks, 97 voted for it. So, I think Cynthia is right. We didn’t even have that many for the Iraq War resolution.

Mitm, ‘he’s just a nice fella’ ~ that’s how they’re trying to paint Rove now. We’re supposed to love that his ‘friends’ are playing cute tricks on him.

Lucid, I can’t believe they didn’t even bother to investigate that accident. Sometimes it’s like we live in a third world country. I think our birthrate is worse than some of them now.

Oh, and coffee, I love coffee also, strong too, like ST. I hate our deli coffee – it’s like water. Burger King has good coffee …

126. moiv - 29 August 2007

lucid, that’s a real horror story. This week I read a magazine article written by a woman who was bitten by a copperhead. The hospital kept her overnight and gave her a course of antivenom.

The bill was $41,000 — over $36,000 of it for the antivenom alone. Most people bitten by copperheads in Texas live in rural areas, where most are uninsured. It pays to take an extra two minutes to slip your boots on, and not go out to the chickenhouse in flip-flops.

127. marisacat - 29 August 2007

The News HOur has been runing a series looking at the schools. Oh what bad news. Anyone who could left, at least the traditional classroom and some left entirely.. Some teachers they had profiled over the years, wept in the most recent interviews.

The plan was to break the schools. Like everything else, break it. Kill it, remove it from memory. And imo not a single national Democrat cared enough. They are mute animals. The game was to clean up as the country cratered.

and even then they are just like HFC, what moves in before the kill.

128. Sabrina Ballerina - 29 August 2007

Moiv, I hardly ever watch it, since the 2004 election, when I couldn’t even flip the channels in case I’d catch a glimpse of Bush, even for a second, just couldn’t handle it.

I thought I was going crazy but then so many other people said they felt hte same way, just couldn’t bear to watch him.

129. Sabrina Ballerina - 29 August 2007

Marisacat, too true, re the schools. The poorest schools are the worst victims of that vile program. Democrats signed on to it. And they sneaked that recruitment horror into it, which no one knew about for months. Also, I read, the whole program was conjured up by business with no educators involved. They called children ‘products’ or something. I’ll have to find all that again.

But what Matte linked, that was total profiteering on failure. Teachers were devastated. Marie and Matte are right, it was McGraw Hill, friends of the Bushes.

And then, speaking of Katrina. Remember when Barbara Bush ‘donated’ money to some NOLA schools, but only on condition that they use Neil’s stupid educational program. So, she gets a tax break and he gets a contract.

Sigh, I keep thinking of more … Neil was in the ME or involved with someone from there, selling his program also … I forget what that corruption was about now also. So much of it, you just can’t keep track.

Sickening, because you’re right, they do want to break the schools, and control them.

130. Marie - 29 August 2007

Hsu’s money apparently too hot now

Clinton to Donate funds to charity. Every other Democratic is rushing to do the same. Smart move, get rid of it while the Craig thing is in center stage (yesterday would have been even better).

131. marisacat - 29 August 2007


score one for the WSJ, I don’t know who else reported on the Hsu and Paw family connection (how the Hsus funneled the money to Hillary), but i linked to it a couple days ago.

The whole thing stinks.

132. moiv - 29 August 2007

It wasn’t long beore the story about liars’ brains cut to the chase — what it’s worth.

Yang, the study’s lead author, said the findings eventually could be used in making clinical diagnoses and may have applications in the criminal justice system and the business world.

“If [the findings] can be replicated and extended, they may have long-term implications in a number of areas,” said Yang, a doctoral student in the USC department of psychology’s brain and cognitive science program.

“For example, in the legal system they could potentially be used to help police work out which suspects are lying. In terms of clinical practice, they could help clinicians diagnose who is malingering – making up disability for financial gain.

“And also in business, they could assist in pre-employment screening, working out which individuals may not be suitable for hiring.

I guess we can figure out who will be funding the next study.

133. moiv - 29 August 2007

Just heard on the radio that Leahy has told Bush that he looks forward to a new AG who will “unite the nation.”

When did that become part of the job description?

134. Revisionist - 29 August 2007

Marie I blogged about that at PFF…

That isnt all the cash he gave her. He bundles it thru other people. That $23K is nothing. Probably just what is tied directly too him by name.

I think someone else blinked and Clinton had to give up the funds to not look as bad.

135. D. Throat - 29 August 2007

Wow… they are really getting good at misinformation:

It was a very interesting salvo (9+ / 0-)

Recommended by:
nolalily, Odysseus, Adam B, campskunk, pat bunny, Inland, serrano, scardanelli, dotster

Also check out Jerome’s diary from this morning.

What’s interesting about this is that it’s aimed squarely at the anti-regulation wing of the Republican party, charging that removing regulations hasn’t worked to increase our prosperity and welfare. He’s showing himself to be more than willing to mix it up with the forces that say that regulation chokes off economic growth, by arguing that any such unregulated growth, if it exists at all, comes on the backs of those unable to advocate for themselves. It does indeed sound like FDR, whose administrations gave us the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Company Act of 1940, and the Investment Advisors Act of 1940.

by Liberal Protestant on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 06:39:17 PM PDT

136. marisacat - 29 August 2007

oh too funny. SOmoene jsut sent me this.

I think fabooj is mistaken. All I ever saw here about her (and I never paid her any attention myself, only some people were of interest to me) – but I have seen comments here that she needs to stop posting about all her efforts – which come to naught – to diversify YkosWhacks.

Or, you know, get a clue. Because KosWhacks are not interested.

They need to cut taylormattd, or what ever the name is, a food check. Walking around money. That poster stands duty.

137. marisacat - 29 August 2007

Just heard on the radio that Leahy has told Bush that he looks forward to a new AG who will “unite the nation.” === moiv

jesusfuckingchrist. Most people don’t know who the aG is.

And really, knowing who it is has been painful for a couple decades at least. And if I think, probably for a long long time.

138. lucid - 29 August 2007

SB – it might have had something to do with the fact that I’d been knocked dead cold, for a good 10 minutes, was previsouly drunk & supposedly a bit beligerent when I came to, for a period of time I don’t remember, about not wanting to go to the hospital… Then again, I would think when someone is discarded unconscious in the middle of an intersection by a fleeing car, the police might want to make an investigation anyways…

Moiv – that Copperhead thing is insane. How can an anti-venom cost $36,000 when a 3 hour surgery & 2 day stay in the hospital to reconstruct 7 broken bones in my jaw and eye with titanium plates [in NY no less] only costs $16,500?

There are serious things amiss in our medical system beyond the lack of access.

As for Neil Bush – the only reason he never ran for political office is that he was one of the primary players in the S&L scandal in the ’80’s [big surprise there…]. Why should it surprise anyone that he’s now raking in the dough on government contracts to help destroy the public education system in this country.

As for TV, I stick with Star Trek and sports and movies… with indulgences in Law & Order on occasion. I can’t watch the news anymore… or any ‘reality tv’.

139. liberalcatnip - 29 August 2007

#89. Wiretapping – why has it become acceptable that this shit goes on on a massive scale? Nobody seems to care.

FBI wiretapping rooms in field offices and undercover locations around the country are connected through a private, encrypted backbone that is separated from the internet. Sprint runs it on the government’s behalf.

Where’s the call for a boycott against Sprint?

I couldn’t access my hotmail account earlier today. The MSN message was that my acct was “temporarily unavailable”. It wasn’t a connection problem at my end. My first thought was that it was being reviewed by some bot. How did we end up living like this?

140. lucid - 29 August 2007

An AG will be the uniter, not the divider!!!

Somehow I thought the job description was simply to enforce federal law. That would seem somewhat simple, however given that federal law no longer exists, I suppose it would now be difficult.

So now it’s political.

And you’re right Mcat – I can’t remember when it hasn’t been… Even Bobby was political in the manner he carried out the office.

141. lucid - 29 August 2007

Catnip – I’ve been on Sprint since ’97 for my cell service… but I would imagine a file was started on me much further back… when I was on the Earth First list from ’88 on [age 16]…

There you have it folks! I’m an ecoterrorist.

142. D. Throat - 29 August 2007

Money As Debt

Very good description of the Banking system and how and why we are getting into this crises.

143. marisacat - 29 August 2007

How did we end up living like this? — catnip

I was watching a PBS program tonight on the actual step by step defection of Nureyev. It was shatteringly beautiful at times, in photographs and recollections.

But as much as this country has supported hard right regimes and so on, it hit me suddenly hard, deep down they admired the soviet repression. The extreme brutality. The sheer overwhelming supporession of people by the State

Because we are in early to middle stages of lockdown. No question.

I read an interview iwth Frances Fox Piven a few years ago, where she said we are allowed these “little” things, our political books (the same number iof people read all the boooks, LOL) and political mvies and documentaries, blogs etc., as against the bulwark of ignorance in the nation, it really does not matter that we have these illusions of freedom.

That sounded on target to me.

144. liberalcatnip - 29 August 2007

Once again, Petraeus’ weapons inventory fuck up is news with US weapons showing up in Turkey via Iraq. (Added irony: just think about how much Bushco rails about Iranian weapons in Iraq damn near every day).

American officials said that it appeared that the weapons found in Turkey were given to Iraqi units in 2004 and 2005 when, in the rush to build police and army units, controls on distribution of firearms had been much weaker. Gen. David H. Petraeus, who was then in charge of training and equipping Iraqi forces and who is now the top American commander in Iraq, has said that the imperative to provide weapons to Iraqi security forces was more important at the time than maintaining impeccable records.

Heckuva job, Petraeus. Someone give that man a medal of freedom.

145. Hair Club for Men - 29 August 2007

: My first thought was that it was being reviewed by some bot. How did we end up living like this?

They wouldn’t have to shut you out to do that.

An e-mail account is just a folder on a server (computer) . If you have the password, you can look at anybody’s e-mail without their even knowing it.

I used to work for an ISP and part of my job was maintaining Unix servers. I could have read anybody’s e-mail any time I wanted to just by opening a file or two.

The problem is that random e-mail ir BORING.

Think about being on a commutor train and listeing to people talk on their cell phones.

“Hi. I’m on the train. Yeah. I’m on the train. Right now I’m talking on the phone on the train”.

You wouldn’t want to read that or listen to that.

That’s why they search for keywords. Bin Laden. Great Satan. Mecca. Zionist Entity. George Bush son of a pig and Hillary Clinton daughter of Satan.

And that’s why the NSA is so important. They can just vacuum up anything that goes through a satillite.

Of course the people who design these key word searches are flawed human beings. And its just too easy to get on a list by accident.

Down with Imperialist America.

146. Shadowthief - 29 August 2007

Television is the tool of Satan. I avoid it, except for watching movies rented on DVD. Sometimes I put things on top of the television, though.

Marisacat is absolutely right about the educational system–it was intentionally broken, and broken it shall remain. A first-rate educational system doesn’t rely on standardised test after standardised test, but rather builds inquisitive minds and challenges children’s established notions of the world. I know, because I went to a very good school and the teachers there turned me into a lifelong questioner.

Questioners and questions are not now wanted. What is wanted now is quiet obedience, passivity, and incurious minds. Questioners do not make good worker bees, and it is worker bees who are needed. This country wants people who will do what they are told, and the schools, which now teach rote memorisation rather than logical thinking, are doing the job of the ruling class just so.

One of my friends, a teacher for 32 years, dryly calls “No Child Left Behind” “Every Other Child Left Behind” because the feds only funded the mandate at 50% and left the states to scramble to pick up the other 50% (thereby achieving the dastardly double whammy of forcing schools into a soul-killing cycle of teaching to the test and endless testing AND starving more creative programmes of necessary funds).

If I were the governor of a state, I would tell the feds to take their educational funds and jam ’em where the sun never shines. The feds don’t provide that much money to schools, anyway; most is provided locally. I’d raise taxes to make up the difference and make the schools in my state not only the best in the nation, but some of the best in the world. Other governors would learn from the model and emulate it.

Well, it’s a dream I have. Suppose anybody would vote for a governor who spoke with a British accent?

147. moiv - 29 August 2007

Yes, that’s what we call down here un chingo de dinero, lucid, but 36K is what it cost. I looked around and found the article in the online archives of Texas Parks and Wildlife.

I could go on and on about the agony of trying to walk on a snakebite-swollen ankle, about missing a week of work, about sleepless nights with a green and purple foot propped up on six pillows under cold, wet washrags, but if you haven’t been persuaded by now to put your boots on, even for that last-minute dash to the henhouse, consider the ultimate ah-ha moment of this tale: the bill.

When my insurance company reported to me what the hospital had charged for my overnight stay, I laughed out loud. Their zero key must be sticking, I thought. But the itemized statement I requested from the hospital bore the same unbelievable figures: The charges for tempting fate in my flip-flops amounted to a whopping $40,471. The price of the antivenom treatment alone was — are you sitting down? — $36,102.

148. Shadowthief - 29 August 2007

By the way, I think I’m going to dream tonight that I’m starring in a remake of “Deliverance”, starring Tucker Carlson, Chris Matthews, Karl Rove, and me.

Karl Rove will play the Ned Beatty part….

…and I? Burt Reynolds, of course.

149. moiv - 29 August 2007

A $41,000 copperhead is struggling to free itself from the filters.

150. Hair Club for Men - 29 August 2007

I was just thinking.


The 28 years the USA will have been governed by one of two families.

Do you smell the oligarchy?

Why is Hillary the front runner? Because her husband was president. She was able to get a jump on fund raising because her husband could sell pardons in December of 2000. She has contacts in the elite she developed from 92-2000 that no other candidate can match.

Why is Bush president? Because his father was.

Why was his father president? Because HIS father had access to all that KEWL Nazi money he got while he was Senator.

And yet I’m a “purity troll” for wondering about this I guess.

151. liberalcatnip - 29 August 2007

#143. Because we are in early to middle stages of lockdown. No question.

I was going to write…”if there was a way for the neocons to keep the power of the WH, that lockdown would be coming soon”. The thing is – the neocons have already grabbed so much power that even if they seized the WH, locked themselves in it and ruled by only appearing on television, I don’t know how many people would even care. That’s the scary part.

I can just imagine the kossack brigade: “quick, write your congressperson!!” “send them roses even” “just don’t get up off your butt to actually DO something – that might be untidy for THE PARTY”.

It truly is a screwed situation already.

152. Hair Club for Men - 29 August 2007

Suppose anybody would vote for a governor who spoke with a British accent?

Are you kidding me? Americans will accept any total idiocity as long as it comes wrapped in a British accent.

Christopher Hitchens and Andrew Sullivan were saying the same things Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity are saying.

But we think they’re smart because of their accents.

153. Hair Club for Men - 29 August 2007

Because we are in early to middle stages of lockdown. No question.


I’m going to have to send 25 bucks to Darcy Burner RIGHT NOW.

154. liberalcatnip - 29 August 2007

That’s why they search for keywords. Bin Laden. Great Satan. Mecca. Zionist Entity. George Bush son of a pig and Hillary Clinton daughter of Satan.

Whoops. Well no wonder then.

I used to joke with a friend of mine when we’d suddenly hear a click on the phone line – we’d say hi to the NSA or CIA and tell them we hoped they were enjoying the conversation.

They obviously fear the catnip now. lol

155. lucid - 29 August 2007

it really does not matter that we have these illusions of freedom.

Because they are precisely that & always have been. We have never given up slavery in a true sense. Yes, we grant ‘illusions’, and have fought wars, and passed Constitutional Ammendments, but with the exception of the aristocracy – who cast these illsuions, we are all still slaves. It amazes me that even the lucky educated can’t reflect upon their own lives & understand this – after all, the priveledged are the ‘leisure class’ – they have enough time to recognize a demon when they see it. But I suppose now it just gets projected into the image of the dirty Mexican intruding into their suburb…

Such pathetic creatures we.

156. Hair Club for Men - 29 August 2007

I used to joke with a friend of mine when we’d suddenly hear a click on the phone line – we’d say hi to the NSA or CIA and tell them we hoped they were enjoying the conversation.

This must be on some kind of list.

157. Marie - 29 August 2007

Marisa #136 added my two cents – that’s the one that seemed to like me who might have gotten that memo. So, we’ll see if this calls him out.

liberal catnip – the FBI program started in 1996. And they do get warrants for what that’s worth.

HC is right, random communication intercepts are boring and useless. Doubt tht the data mining based on key words is of any use at all. Like a terrorist is going to send a message, “bin Laden will be pleased.” Give me a break. Whatever key words or phrases they can possibly use would either be so specific/special that they’d pick up nothing or so broad that the false positives would be overwhelming and there may not be a real positive in the batch. All this shit is like a really expensive virtual Maginot Line.

158. keirdubois - 29 August 2007

lucid, you’re harshing my delusions, man. 😉 I mean, I’ve had a whole lifetime to let them build up like psychic plaque, and now you just think you’ve a right to dissolve them with harsh, corrosive reality?

Like major bummer dude.

159. bayprairie - 29 August 2007

if that idiot in the white house was interested in helping the children of new orleans read at grade level, he’d do something about helping them reading at, or above, the water level first.

160. liberalcatnip - 29 August 2007

the FBI program started in 1996. And they do get warrants for what that’s worth.

But…thanks to the trusty Dems…since I am a foreigner, if I am suspected of being remotely involved in any kind of so-called terrorist activity, my correspondence with any American is fair game without an initial warrant, right?

161. Hair Club for Men - 29 August 2007

Like a terrorist is going to send a message, “bin Laden will be pleased.”

Bin Laden used to have a Satellite phone and he used to talk to everybody he knew in the Middle East from Afghanistan and he didn’t care if anybody heard him.

But then Clinton launched the cruise missiles and almost got him so he ditched the satellite phone and decided only to communicate by tapes given to trusted messengers.

162. liberalcatnip - 29 August 2007

Wasn’t there news just last week that suspected terrorists were talking about cheese and football as code words? And here I am blabbing on about cheesecake every day…

163. Hair Club for Men - 29 August 2007

Wasn’t there news just last week that suspected terrorists were talking about cheese and football as code words?

Well they couldn’t find anything with Jose Padilla actually saying “let’s blow shit up in America” so they concluded that his talking about studying Arabic or about his family was code for “let’s blow shit up in America”.

And he was also scary and Latin looking and they had the press conference anyway after they caught him then tortured him and turned him into a schizophrenic so they had to charge him with something that would put him in jail forever.

Oh yeah, they played a Bin Laden tape at the trial.

164. liberalcatnip - 29 August 2007

#156. lol…it’s not illegal to laugh at that, is it? (listening for black helicopters)

165. liberalcatnip - 29 August 2007

Oh yeah, they played a Bin Laden tape at the trial.

And that should be the issue in his appeal that reverses that verdict. (Well, it actually should be the fact that they drove him insane but that doesn’t seem to count for anything these days.)

166. liberalcatnip - 30 August 2007

You’ll probably like the pic accompanying this article, mcat: Upbeat Bush hints at more troops for Iraq. What a bizarre contrast between the story, the pic and its caption.

167. Hair Club for Men - 30 August 2007

(Well, it actually should be the fact that they drove him insane but that doesn’t seem to count for anything these days.)

It’s interesting. The woman who wrote “Reviving Ophelia” threw her presidential award back in the American Psychological Institute’s face because they won’t refuse to particpate in torture.

And do you know what inspired her to do it?

She saw photos of the 20 year old girl at the IWW protest in Rhode Island getting her leg snapped by the cops and concluded she couldn’t let a bunch of college kids take all the heat fighting for her freedom.

168. liberalcatnip - 30 August 2007
169. liberalcatnip - 30 August 2007

#167. Good for her. That’s inspiring.

170. marisacat - 30 August 2007

The woman who wrote “Reviving Ophelia” threw her presidential award back in the American Psychological Institute’s face because they won’t refuse to particpate in torture. HCfM

Fuck yes, I read that the other day. But that has got to spread. NOt enough of it.

I was appalled at who stood on the stage with Myers, Tenet, Bremer, etc when they got the presidential medal of freedom.


But I found it to be a signal event a couple months ago at a rally .. somewhere like PA or MD… for Hillary … a woman who had travelled to it from NY stood and screamed at her, did she read the NIE prior to voting for the AUMF, IWR Oct 2002.

Screamed. And it wnet on for a while, as Hillary oozed and skidded around.

hell why not scream. These people in DC are killers.

But when the woman was removed the audience applauded HILLARY.

Slip in the blood, because that is what they were doing. But, very revealing event.

171. liberalcatnip - 30 August 2007

Speaking of Iran – don’t know if this has been linked to here: Study: US preparing ‘massive’ military attack against Iran


172. lucid - 30 August 2007

HC – regardless of what happened on 9-11, I still don’t think Bin Laden was off the payroll… nor was the Pakistani ISI, which wired $100,000 to Atta about a week before 9-11…

I don’t think the cruise missiles to Afghanistan or the cruise missiles blowing up an aspirin factory in the Sudan were remotely an attempt to ‘get Bin Laden’… I could go on, but here’s a lovely article about the money trail & mythological setup should you like to read it.

173. liberalcatnip - 30 August 2007

a woman who had travelled to it from NY stood and screamed at her, did she read the NIE prior to voting for the AUMF, IWR Oct 2002.

The fact that she didn’t should dog her everywhere she goes. That is truly unforgivable. Imagine is she was president. How much would she actually read then before making decisions that end up killing thousands of people?

174. lucid - 30 August 2007

How much would she actually read then before making decisions that end up killing thousands of people?

Apparently reading is not a prerequisite for the office. However, blindly following foreign policy assessments of unelected militaristic scum is.

175. moiv - 30 August 2007

catnip # 160

Never email me! Never!!!

(I fear the power of catnip — FEAR it!)

When my daughters hear those funny sounds on the line, they mutter “Iran contra.” The one who lives in DC (and is married to a guy with one of those funny British accents) is our Early Warning System for black helicopters — and the SIL who lives here grew up El Salvador, and knows they’re real.

176. Revisionist - 30 August 2007

I cant make a medical diagnosis but something sounded strange and so I did a quick read to refresh myself. It is very rare that anti venom is used for copperhead bites. The antivenom can cause a more severe reaction Its only used in very extreme cases where there is wide spread tissue damage. The bites usually arent fatal because the snakes cant deliver enough venom for a lethal dose . several people are saying the most common treatment is simply a pain killer.

177. Revisionist - 30 August 2007

The copperhead is a viper BTW

178. marisacat - 30 August 2007

ugh it’s all of them. I doubt she even read the summary, which is her official answer. And of course she misrepresents the meaning of the AUMF anyway.

And despite Edwards grand apology, he never mentions he was a co author. I don’t think he even read the summary either. Sure di dnot listen to Graham of FL who begged senators to read it.

Frankly I loved watching Russert dissect him in … Feb I think it was. Poor blunt blowhard Russert could do it with his eyes closed… I used that trasncript for a post too.

179. marisacat - 30 August 2007


co author should be co sponsor of the AUMF

180. liberalcatnip - 30 August 2007

(I fear the power of catnip — FEAR it!)

Finally! Someone who gets it! 😉

181. Revisionist - 30 August 2007

from the guardian

Thousands of Chileans took to the streets yesterday in a burgeoning middle class revolt against the 17 years of coalition government that has ruled since the fall of Augusto Pinochet in 1990.
Hundreds of Chileans were arrested as they approached the presidential palace. Squares in and around the palace became a chaotic mix of mounted police, riot troops and teargas. As water cannons blasted protesters, waves of students counterattacked with rocks. Burning barricades almost closed central Santiago.

people should jsut start filing into the capitol here one by one until there are 1000s of us and just sit in.

182. liberalcatnip - 30 August 2007
183. moiv - 30 August 2007

Rev —

Yes, copperheads are pit vipers, and the most attractive ones, at that. They used to den up under the corrugated tin floor of my grandmother’s dog pen in the wintertime, where her hounds slept — for the warmth. And they like barns and corrals, too, because where there’s feed there are rats.

Even as children, on summer nights we ventured out to the “little house behind the house” with a flashlight in one hand and a hoe in the other. Because if you stepped on one of the damned things, it was seven miles to town.

184. lucid - 30 August 2007

It’s quoted tirelessly. I’ll quote it again:

We are stardust
Billion year old carbon
We are golden
Caught in the devils bargain
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

But that blockquote must be in your mind in the way she sings it:

We are stardust [3-4-1-dom7]
billion year old carbon… writing out changes in this way is insane
We are Golden
caught in the devil’s bargain
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden…

Damn, just think about it in your minds… ‘Ladies of the Canyon’, beautiful rehash on ‘Shadows and Light’.

These moments, on these albums, exemplify everything beautiful to me. And everything true.

185. Hair Club for Men - 30 August 2007

To combine this

don’t think the cruise missiles to Afghanistan or the cruise missiles blowing up an aspirin factory in the Sudan were remotely an attempt to ‘get Bin Laden’… I could go on, but here’s a lovely article about the money trail & mythological setup should you like to read it.

and this

people should jsut start filing into the capitol here one by one until there are 1000s of us and just sit in.


with Katrina.

A lot of the 9/11 truth people think that if you can prove that 9/11 was a false flag operation, people would be so outraged at the killing of Americans by the US government they’d rise up in rebellion and overthrow the government.

But people saw Bush leave tens of thousands of people on their roofs to die two years ago and didn’t rise up in rebellion. It was right on national TV, live. And the reaction of a lot of Americans was “I better git me a gun in case them nigras try to loot my store”.

186. Hair Club for Men - 30 August 2007

Anyway though I think the true significance of Katrina was this.

After it happened, noone could lie and say he/she didn’t know what Bush was about. It was the virtual equivalent of getting the walk through the Nazi death camps in 1945. Once it happened, no German could plead ignorance.

Once you saw the way Bush reacted to Katrina saying all you needed was “more and better Democrats” was laughable.

There’s no excuse. These people are fascists who don’t care about American lives. They do care about taking away your civil liberties and taking your money.

The fact that the proof is hidden in plain site (in the live televised coverage of Katrina) and not in some unreadable “9/11 is an indide job” book is proof that God has a sense of humor.

To see the “truth” white Americans have to take off their racist blinders. Then it’s as clear as day.

187. Miss Devore - 30 August 2007

a military strike against Iran would truly be the end of this country. and the people who would make that decision know that they will be shielded from the consequences.

and really, the only way to cover-up the disaster of the Iraq war is to have a world war that makes Iraq a footnote.

188. JJB - 30 August 2007

liberalcatnip, no. 144,

We gave Chiang Kai Shek huge amounts of military equipment for use against Mao’s forces in the late 1940s. A lot of it was sold to the Communist by his soldiers. Same thing happened during the Vietnam War.

Of coffee and copperheads,

When in Ireland, make sure you sample the Bewley’s. They actually have a few Starbucks branches there now, but if you can get Bewley’s (and most places have it, even in small towns) you won’t miss any designer brews.

And what’s even more of a wake-up than a good, strong cup of your favorite coffee? How about returning your garbage pail to its normal place outside your garage and finding yourself looking at a tan and brown spotted snake resting peacefully in the branches of a dying evergreen just outside your garage door? That was what I found myself doing at 7 AM this morning. This is a very old and tall tree, and the thing was more or less at eye level for me, which put it at close to 6 feet off the ground (I’m 5’10”). As I mentioned the tree is dying, and this part of the it where the snake was is largely denuded, so it was pretty obvious. When I saw it, the thing couldn’t have been more than 3 feet from me, probably less, but it didn’t move in the slightest. It was arranged across the branches so that it’s head and tail were both hidden. The exterminator who came said it probably wasn’t a copperhead as they apparently never leave the ground, and from a perusal of Internet pictures I think it was most likely some variety of brown snake which is absolutely harmless (most of them don’t even bite). Anyway, the guy spread a lot of stuff that smells like mothballs around the immediate area (the snake had departed by the time he got there and he couldn’t find it). I’d been wondering what had happened to the chimpmunks I’d seen so much of a few months ago, I guess now I know. There was another non-venemous black snake living in the outside wall of my house that some construction workers discovered a couple of months ago when I had an old wooden deck replaced with a concrete patio. They killed that one and stuck it in their ice cooler, for what purpose I don’t know.

189. msxeno - 30 August 2007

Lots of good stuff over at NO Indymedia this week. Just to state the obvious, in case anyone got distracted by other equally interesting stuff.

190. msxeno - 30 August 2007

What got me about Household Finance when I was still Union: They were the holders of the AFSCME credit card offered to all members. I mean, WTF ?! Not that I’m an expert on financial regs like some of you but a fucking national union wouldn’t have wanted its employees, oh, I don’t know– IN A CREDIT UNION where we could bring our business to OTHER UNIONIZED EMPLOYEES ?

So much stupidity, so little time. >:

191. marisacat - 30 August 2007

new thread — better late than never… 😉


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