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Switch Bitch * 29 March 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Abortion Rights, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Italy, Sex / Reproductive Health.


*snitched the title from one of Roald Dahl’s books… 😉

AND I snitched this from a diary at PFF….

 [D]id he support the distribution of taxpayer-subsidized condoms in Africa to fight the transmission of H.I.V.?

What followed was a long series of awkward pauses, glances up to the ceiling and the image of one of Mr. McCain’s aides, standing off to the back, urgently motioning his press secretary to come to Mr. McCain’s side.

The upshot was that Mr. McCain said he did not know this subject well, did not know his position on it, and relied on the advice of Senator Tom Coburn, a physician and Republican from Oklahoma.

His press secretary, Brian Jones, later reported that Mr. McCain had a record of voting against using government money to finance the distribution of condoms.  ::snipsnappy::

sure he is a little old, a tad fuddled, but like most pols he just wants a position crafted for him, a few saleable reasons to give for it, if asked… whammo!, good enough for a government job! and home to whatever is the indulgence of the evening.

So often a partisan angel in the crowd:

This went on for a few more moments until a reporter from the Chicago Tribune broke in and asked Mr. McCain about the weight of a pig that he saw at the Iowa State Fair last year.

A pig rescue, so appropriate… Let ’em hang, I say.

… just a slight bit of nothing for an overnight thread……




1. rif - 29 March 2008

BTW, I ran across this the other day.

From Wikipedia re: The Conversation

As of September 2007, Francis Ford Coppola will produce a remake of this movie with Paramount Pictures. The script will be written by screenwriter Stuart Beattie. This new version is set for release in 2009, incorporating post-9/11 paranoia instead of personal demons. Mikael Hofstrom will direct the remake.

2. marisacat - 29 March 2008

oh thanks for that rif… I don’t off hand know anything about the screnwriter, nor the director.

The original is a stunning movie. And set in an in-between time for SF, the big building had begun here by the time it was made, but still lots of open space…

3. melvin - 29 March 2008

See this is where you rise above the crowd, in noticing the crucial detail of the prize-winning hog.

4. liberalcatnip - 29 March 2008

the prize-winning hog

Was it wearing lipstick? Inquiring herbs need to know.

5. liberalcatnip - 29 March 2008

Merkel says she will not attend opening of Beijing Olympics

We had competing protests in Calgary on Saturday. Chinese v Tibetan. The cops stepped in to change the Chinese parade route because the Tibetans were protesting in front of the Chinese embassy.

6. rif - 29 March 2008

Stuart Beattie

Mikael Håfström

Coppola wrote, directed and produced the original apparently. I was ten when it came out. I’m glad I wasn’t interested in things like this at that age. LOL. My parents were into westerns and football so my political education was fairly pathetic. I’ll have to add it to my netflix lineup. Love Hackman.

7. melvin - 29 March 2008

How many remakes are ever worth the trouble, really?

I heard some idiot was even going to do a remake of Casablanca. Like that is going to work.

I mean from an artistic point of view. I get the part about not having to pay for any writers. We see how well that has worked on American tv.

8. liberalcatnip - 29 March 2008

It never ends:

A US warplane strafed a house in Basra killing eight civilians, including two women and a child, Iraqi police said yesterday.


Five days after the start of the offensive ordered by the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, US military intelligence says that the Iraqi army holds less than a quarter of Basra, which has a population of two million. In east Baghdad, meanwhile, five hospitals have received 133 bodies and 647 wounded since the start of the fighting.

Saturday: 2 US Soldiers, 171 Iraqis Killed, 289 Wounded

9. marisacat - 29 March 2008

I hate remakes.

With this one I would only bother out of curiosity. It would be impossible to top the original.

10. marisacat - 29 March 2008


Thanks… 😉

I was glad the reporter put it in, seemed to be whole point…

11. melvin - 29 March 2008

The end of the road

But many long-distance travellers — from the whooping crane and the red knot to sea turtles and the rarest of the world’s large whales, the North Atlantic right — are in serious trouble. Over millions of years, they have been hardwired to undertake long journeys to survive. But these feats of strength and endurance are increasingly perilous in a world ever more congested and plagued by a changing climate.

The situation is so precarious that one of Dr. Wikelski’s Princeton colleagues fears that migration, as a phenomenon, is slipping away.
Many species are in trouble — almost one in four mammals and one in eight birds — but those that migrate, Dr. Wilcove argue, deserve special attention because almost everything about them, from the hardships they face to the way their genes govern their behaviour, inspires awe.
In time, Dr. Wilcove came to realize that birds were not the only migrants in danger of going the way of the passenger pigeon. Illegal logging threatens the hillside colonies in central Mexico where the monarch butterfly spends the winter. Overfishing, dam building, farming and livestock grazing have reduced the once-mighty runs of Pacific and Atlantic salmon to a trickle. All seven species of sea turtle are endangered and North American right whales are on the edge of extinction.

Part of the problem is that, while all species need a habitat, those that migrate depend on more than one. Birds, for example, have breeding grounds, wintering grounds and crucial stopover sites when travelling between the two. It’s a chain, and if you destroy one of the links, the species is likely to suffer.

For example, the red knot — a bulky-looking sandpiper the size of a robin — relies on a big feed of horseshoe crab eggs in Delaware Bay every spring en route to the Arctic from Tierra del Fuego. But the feast is not as lavish as it used to be. In the 1990s, commercial crab fishing increased dramatically in the bay, and the number of knots has dropped by 70 per cent.

I could be wrong, but I think this is not commonly understood. This is true of many sharks, the saiga antelope in Siberia and Mongolia, many of the great African herd animals, pronghorn antelope, lynx, bear, and wolverines in the western US, frogs in South Africa, butterflies everywhere. And also at a micro level in some cases. The marbled murrelet comes to mind, exposed to terrors at sea – gill nets, oil spills, chemical contamination, food shortages – and to a whole different set during its breeding inland – loss of habitat, increased predation. It is not a migration but the same arithmetic of multiple habitat, each one crucial individually, applies.

12. melvin - 29 March 2008

Um, looking at that post I guess I might be a bit of a bore. Sorry, but I thought there was a point. Some things interest me; others, like politics, really do not.

13. marisacat - 29 March 2008


you mean the post on long distance migration?

How could it be boring? Its a wonderful comment.

14. melvin - 29 March 2008

13 ok thanks m, just don’t want to be an annoyance, that’s all. Reading Maria Mudd Ruth’s Rare Bird – Pursuing the Mystery of the Marbled Murrelet tonight. Four stars. She had me at

I am a writer with attention surplus disorder.

and is gettin’ me all wound up.

15. marisacat - 29 March 2008

nobody is an annoyance…


16. liberalcatnip - 29 March 2008

Katrina Victims May Have to Repay Money

Just how much more insult added to their injuries can they take?

17. rif - 29 March 2008

12 & 13
Yes, I thought so too. I love science and nature and it cuts me deeply to see what is happening.

Bats are in trouble too. They eat an incredible amount of insects, pollinate quite a few plants and they migrate as well. They are particularly vulnerable when hibernating in their (surprising few) winter caves. Any disturbance can have really bad effects. Not to mention their sensitivity to noise. They simply cannot tolerate modern noise pollution.

And all of those habitats and all of those species interlock like a huge jigsaw puzzle. Competing, cooperating, evolving together. The more pieces of the puzzle the stronger and more flexible it is. Our biodiversity safety net is disintegrating.

18. melvin - 29 March 2008

16 Hey times are tough. We can’t afford any more losses – in the newly melded corporate/government sector anyway.

Perhaps you don’t understand how it works.

$230 billion to bail out corporations that pushed their rape of the public a little too far, well that’s just one of life’s little necessities. They must be insured against any loss, no matter how reckless their behaviour. We must insure them against any loss at all, and allow them to keep every nickel of profit. That is what we now call capitalism, praised be its holy name.

But those home buyers and flood victims and such, it’s their own fault, they don’t deserve a nickel. Bunch a welfare queens. You wouldn’t want to creat a culture of dependency.

19. marisacat - 29 March 2008

I caught a good segment on the bats somewehre this week. It was frightening. They seem to be dying at a fast rate… there was a report from a woman who has been to winter cave of theirs in the NE, an abandoned mine… again, they are just dying. Some clues, some things to observe but the scale is mystifying.

At least from teh report I caught.

20. melvin - 29 March 2008

Yellowstone’s Rabbits Have Vanished

No one knows what caused the rabbits to disappear

Britain’s disappearing butterflies

smelt are disappearing

the commercial harvest was as much as 6 million pounds and an average of 2 million pounds a year until 1993.

No such luck these days. Smelt dippers now often come away without so much as a single fish.
In November, the Cowlitz Indian Tribe petitioned for federal protection of smelt under the Endangered Species Act.

Britain’s most common wild flowers are latest species to disappear

21. marisacat - 29 March 2008

they just observed that the salmon in a certain location out here, are gone completely.

Bad years for the fishermen for several years now, but now simply gone.

22. rif - 29 March 2008

Has anyone seen the BBC’s Planet Earth TV Series?

I have. Simply stunning. Highly recommended.
Try to see it in HD or Blu-Ray. Widescreen. Was almost a religious experience for this atheist.


BBC Website

Just thought I’d throw something kinda positive out there.

23. melvin - 29 March 2008

We are probably going to see a perfect storm of the Himalayan glaciers melting and most of the marine fisheries collapsing at the same time.

To update Stain, a billion dead is just a statistic.

But half a billion boat people, fence jumpers and tunnelers, not just on the tv with Sally Struthers but making noise down at the end of the street?

24. melvin - 29 March 2008

22 Yes, fantastic

25. melvin - 29 March 2008

For those confused, that would be Joe Stalin, not Bill Staines.

26. marisacat - 30 March 2008

What a scream!! I think Obama shoulda thought before he gave her permission to go to June.


Clinton: All The Way to Denver

Sen. Clinton gave a pretty astonishing interview to the Washington Post in which she appears to say she will stay in the race till the convention in August, where she will take her fight to the credentials committee to have the delegates from the non-sanctioned Michigan and Florida primaries seated.

The convention of course starts on August 25th, roughly five months from now.::snippy whippy::

Josh seems shocked. So so shocked.

By saying she’ll continue through the remaining ten contests, regardless of the outcome, and implicitly, I take it, regardless of any superdelegate declarations over the next two months, Sen. Clinton is saying it’s no longer about pledged delegates, or superdelegates or popular votes. It’s about Florida and Michigan. Period.

27. marisacat - 30 March 2008

link to the Wapo report on the interview

And it rides right above the report titled “Obama: Go until June”…

It’s hilarious

28. rif - 30 March 2008

Chaos Reigns! LOL

Apparently we had our County/Senate District conventions tonight.

Yahoo AP
Clinton, Obama press for Texas delegates

Houston 11 News
Large crowds, frayed nerves for Dem party conventions

Chaos reigns in the District 15 convention at Delmar Field House in Houston as well.

Thousands have packed the auditorium, many waiting in line for hours just to get in and register. The process has not been smooth, as those in charge have to first get people to register according to their voting precinct.

More than 3,000 people — many who arrived at 6 a.m. for the chance to be chosen a delegate — showed up. The actually selection process did not get underway until after 4 p.m.

Many of those attending have told 11 News that they are suspicious of the process and worry if their voices will actually be heard at the state convention.

Burnt Orange Report

I’ve been here at Delmar Stadium since 7:30 and still haven’t registered, as they seem to have changed the process midway through. I’d estimate there are about 3,000 people here, without knowing who’s still outside. They are only now going to begin calling us by precinct to finish registration. With any luck, we’ll be finished with this by Passover.

A pissed off Obama supporter

29. rif - 30 March 2008

spam, i think
hope i got my code right

30. melvin - 30 March 2008

I’m sick and tired of these black congress people taking blacks votes for granted.

Obama’s coattails will propel plenty more candidates into office, at the expense of dinosaurs like (Sheila Jackson) Lee and Lewis.

Speaking of Sheila Jackson Lee:

“She needs to be booed.”

“she has chosen to help destroy her own party”

“Another machine politician that needs to be served notice”

“more than enough reasons to vote her out.”

This is the way those assholes treat Sheila Jackson Lee.

31. marisacat - 30 March 2008

Out of spam!

Format looks good tome…

I apologise, no preview with WP… One horse cart…


32. marisacat - 30 March 2008

BAR soemtimes runs a post from a contributor who runs the Monitor, a publication that observes and grades the CBC

A recent report (last year) said the women were marginally less corrupted than the men.

I assume the Obama run has sharpened splits in the caucus. Of all sorts.

33. rif - 30 March 2008

31 thanks


It’s time for AA’s and hispanics to wake up!!

Maybe it’s just me, but I think that white people are the one’s that need to wake the fuck up.

34. marisacat - 30 March 2008

The real story is more interesting, frankly. If less politically slap happy. From Dobbs/Wapo/fact Checker

[A] more accurate version of the story would begin not with the Kennedys but with a Kenyan nationalist leader named Tom Mboya, who traveled to the United States in 1959 and 1960 to persuade thousands of Americans to support his efforts to educate a new African elite. Mboya did not approach the Kennedys for financial support until Obama Sr. was already studying in Hawaii.

Mboya, a charismatic politician, was assassinated in 1969. His daughter Susan, now living in Ohio, said the mass airlifts of Kenyan students to the United States had a “huge” impact on the young African nation, which gained its independence from Britain in 1963. She cited a University of Nairobi study that showed that 70 percent of top Kenyan officials after independence, including Obama Sr., were products of the American program.

In the late 1950s, there was no university in Kenya, and educational opportunities for Africans were limited. The British colonial government opposed Mboya’s efforts to send talented young Kenyans to the United States for an education, arguing that there was a perfectly good university, Makerere College, in neighboring Uganda. The U.S. State Department supported the British and turned down Mboya’s requests for assistance.

During his 1959 trip to the United States, the 29-year-old Mboya raised enough money for scholarships for 81 young Kenyans, including Obama Sr., with the help of the African-American Students Foundation. Records show that almost 8,000 individuals contributed. Early supporters included baseball star Jackie Robinson, who gave $4,000, and actors Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier. :snipsnappy::

35. marisacat - 30 March 2008


I don’t think I said that… must be a quote from a diary?

Not me.

Be nice if people figured out if you give them your vote anyway, they will never deliver anything.

But that applies to all people.

36. rif - 30 March 2008

35 Oops. So sorry. Typo. It’s from melvin’s 30, first link.

True. In general, though, minorities, as a group, are much less asleep than the dominant group. In this case whites. Who also benefit more from the status quo whether they want to or not. Come to think of it, whites are probably more propagandized than anyone else. Again, as a group. Hm.

Also, just to be clear. I do not support any of them. Candidates that is.

37. marisacat - 30 March 2008

Face the Nation: Richardson, Philadelphia Mayor Mike Nutter, Joe Trippi, Slate’s Dickerson.

This Week: Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, Sens. Kerry, Lieberman

Fox News Sunday: Sens. Lindsey Graham, Jack Reed

Late Edition: Sen. Bill Nelson, Carville, Ex-State Dept. adviser Aaron Miller

Meet the Press: CIA Director Hayden, Columnists Brooks, Beinart

38. Intermittent Bystander - 30 March 2008

Noses are ruddy
Eyes, azure blue,
Sugar’s for birthday cake,
And condoms? Balloons!

39. wilfred - 30 March 2008

#22 Planet Earth was just amazing in every way. It still airs sometimes on Discovery i think.

Melvin– your comments are wonderful, don’t worry.

Marisa, that news about the bats is really disturbing, akin to canaries in a coal mine. This is the first I’ve heard of that and very bad news indeed. First the bees and now the bats, the whole ecosystem of Earth is ill and these are all symptoms.

40. Intermittent Bystander - 30 March 2008

When I was seven, I saw Moon’s 1982 mass wedding on TV. “Weird,” my dad said, and I didn’t understand why, so he explained about cults and how they prey on fragile people, separating them from their families. Growing up in NorCal, not far from Rev. Moon’s training camp, and Jim Jones’s old digs, you couldn’t escape stories of the loony, power-hungry gurus who roamed the land of “misguided Marin County hot-tubbers,” as George H.W. Bush calls us.

Imagine my surprise when, years later, I learned that Moon wasn’t some Berkeley relic…but a billionaire in control of the Washington Times, the influential conservative newspaper…jet-setting around the world with the Bushes. Then I discovered an empire of government graft involving the Faith Based Initiative and Abstinence-Only Education, and millions of tax dollars headed Moon’s way, an object lesson in why we need the separation of church and state.

(From Interview with Author John Gorenfeld at Naranjastan.)

41. Intermittent Bystander - 30 March 2008

Speaking of bloggy matters . . . Philly convention Eschacon winds up today. (Live-blogging and photo links from yesterday’s panels.)

42. Madman in the Marketplace - 30 March 2008

Sadr rebuffs Iraq government envoy as offensive sputters

BAGHDAD – After failing to break the resistance of Shiite militias in the five-day siege of oil rich Basra, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki sent a top general to hold talks with his Shiite rival, Muqtada al Sadr, Saturday night only to be rebuffed by the firebrand cleric, an Iraqi official close to the negotiations said.

Maliki denounced Shia militants in Basra as the equivalent of Al Qaida, and Sadr told his supporters not to hand over their arms to a puppet state of the United States.

The diplomatic initiative and the harsh rebuff further eroded expectations for a successful outcome to the offensive, which Maliki is personally directing from the presidential palace in the southern port city. It was not the only sign of problems.

Maliki issued orders Friday to enlist volunteers for the battle against the Shiite militias, and his Dawa party sought to enlist fighters. The U.S. military raised its profile in Basra still further, providing protection for installations including the palace where Maliki is housed, Iraqi Interior Ministry officials said.

There were more U.S. air strikes in the Sadrist stronghold of Sadr City, and local officials said U.S. forces joined Iraqi security forces in clashes against Sadrists lasting hours south of Hilla, which lies south of Baghdad. Meanwhile, Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia went door to door in Sadr City with a list of those employed by government security services, demanding that they not report to their jobs, local residents said.

The circumstances in which the negotiations with Sadr took place suggested the government is no longer able to dictate the terms of an agreement with Sadr but now must seek a deal. General Hussein al Assadi, a Baghdad-based commander, traveled to Najaf to call on the head of Sadr’s political bureau there, Lewaa Smaisam. From his office, the two men telephoned Sadr, who is believed to be in Iran, where he is studying religion. But they could not reach agreement, an official close to the negotiations said. He would not give his name due to the sensitivity of the subject.

43. Madman in the Marketplace - 30 March 2008

It’s about Florida and Michigan. Period.

You know, good. If there is one thing good that may come out of the Clinton’s crash-and-burn run, it’s that the idiotic enslavement to New Hampshire and Iowa is bad for the country, bad for that party, bad for all of us.

I hope she and Obama tear each other apart, and that President McBush finishes off the Republican party over the next four years.

44. Madman in the Marketplace - 30 March 2008


Emphasis on the CON.

45. Intermittent Bystander - 30 March 2008

Iraqi cleric calls off militias (BBC).

Moqtada Sadr’s statement said: “Because of the religious responsibility, and to stop Iraqi blood being shed, and to maintain the unity of Iraq and to put an end to this sedition that the occupiers and their followers want to spread among the Iraqi people, we call for an end to armed appearances in Basra and all other provinces.

“Anyone carrying a weapon and targeting government institutions will not be one of us.”

The cleric also demanded that the government apply the general amnesty law, release detainees and stop what he called illegal raids.

46. Intermittent Bystander - 30 March 2008

Other Keystone kronicles this weekend: Bowling for Altoona and an Utterance for Allentown.

47. liberalcatnip - 30 March 2008
48. Victor Laszlo - 30 March 2008

From the previous thread:

Marisacat opined that people’s long commutes and lack of vacations may have made it impossible for them to focus on their civic duties or anything else, really.

I agree. America has become Zombie Nation: many of us (not me) are sleep-deprived, over-timed, under-vacationed, over-commuted walking dead.

How did we come to this pass? The future was supposed to be brighter, with more leisure time and a higher standard of living.

A lot of people say Americans are dumb and lazy. I think that answer is far too easy and far too simplistic. Americans are hard workers (witness all the overtime Americans log, and the majority of American workers put in more than 40 hours a week), and so for the dumb part: well, it’s hard to think straight when you’re exhausted day in and day out. It’s like being strapped into a roller coaster and the carny refuses to pull the lever to bring it to a stop.

How do we get off this ride? The Populist Party had the 40 hour work week as one of its key platform planks. Maybe it’s time we brought that back. But who can organize a political party that can raise the $1 billion+ it would take to run candidates for Congress and for the Presidency?

49. Victor Laszlo - 30 March 2008

My prediction for the next President (probably McCain, but insert Clinton or Obama’s name in there if you wish):

Social Security will once again be in “crisis” and need to be “reformed”. By “reformed” I mean the trillions poured into Social Security need to be opened up to batshit crazy investments by the same geniuses who brought you the international mortgage meltdown fiasco. And in four or five years in the hand of those financial whiz kids, Social Security really WILL be in crisis.

Why will the next President focus on this? My logic:

Social Security is the last remaining pot of money in this bankrupt nation. It’s the coffee can full of twenties we buried in the backyard and now our ne’er-do-well alcoholic relatives want to dig it up to buy three magic beans. The Wall Street “investment bankers” have burned through all other sources of cash and credit, but don’t kid yourself: they dream of getting their hands on Social Security trust funds, and they will be unrelenting in the next Administration in doing so.

The next President, whomever he or she may be, will be all too happy to be the first one in the yard with a shovel, which I call: one tool wielding another.

And, of course, Social Security is the last surviving vestige of FDR’s New Deal, which Clinton, Obama, and McCain all despise. While they’re at it, why don’t they just take a dump on the head of FDR’s memorial statue? And on his little dog, Fala, as well?

50. liberalcatnip - 30 March 2008

But who can organize a political party that can raise the $1 billion+ it would take to run candidates for Congress and for the Presidency?

The bigger question is: why are people donating that amount to a Dem party that doesn’t recognize their interests and needs?

51. Victor Laszlo - 30 March 2008

Democracy in action:

(from CNN):

Clinton this weekend shot down calls by Obama backers to drop out of the race, and Obama said Clinton should remain in race “as long as she wants.”

Obama leads Clinton in total delegates 1,625 to 1,486, but it’s likely neither candidate will get the necessary 2,024 delegates needed to clinch the nomination before the Democratic National Convention in August.

Two of Obama’s leading supporters, Sens. Christopher Dodd and Patrick Leahy, said Friday that Clinton should rethink her chances of overcoming that deficit and consider folding her campaign.

Leahy, of Vermont, said Clinton “has every right, but not a very good reason, to remain a candidate for as long as she wants to.”

Speaking in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Obama said he did not discuss Leahy’s call for Clinton to drop out with the Vermont senator, who serves as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“My attitude is that Senator Clinton can run as long as she wants,” the Illinois senator said. VideoWatch what Obama says about Clinton’s campaign »

Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen on Sunday said he thinks the prolonged Democratic race is hurting his party “tremendously.”

“At the end of August, come Labor Day, we’re going to have a nominee, but if it’s the nominee of a divided party and an emotionally exhausted party, there’s just not time to conduct the kind of campaign we need to have,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“We can win this election, but we’re making it — that way a lot steeper and rockier road than it needs to be.”

The race could come down to the superdelegates, a group of about 800 Democratic party leaders who cast their vote at the convention and are free to pick the candidate of their choice.

Bredesen has been calling for a superdelegate convention before the national convention.

Pass out the popcorn and the cigars (can’t have a smoke-filled back room without smelly cigars). A brokered convention?

I know a lot of people scoff at it as “impossible”, but I think there will be a huge push for a unity ticket. However, the cure is worse than the illness, because Obama supporters won’t be happy if their man gets second chair, and Clinton supporters, same thing. A “unity” ticket would just make things worse for the Democrats.

And you didn’t think it was possible. But the Democratic Party brain trust is out there every day, 7 days a week, proving you wrong by reaching new nadirs of incompetence.

Rot them all. It’s on to McCain’s senile presidency. Pay close attention to his vice-presidential selection: that will be the Lord Chancellor, McCain’s Cheney, and the one who’s really in charge.

52. Victor Laszlo - 30 March 2008

#50 liberalcatnip:

Hope is killing us. The Democratic Party that represented working people died a long time ago. This is the reanimated corpse.

I haven’t done the research, but if memory serves, it’s actually the Republican Party that gets more small money donations, while the Democrats are heavily reliant on big money.

My conspiracy theory, which is not a far stretch, is that the big money props up the Democrats to divert progressives into a dead end alley, wasting their time and resources there instead of organizing a truly effective resistance against capitalistic predation.

53. liberalcatnip - 30 March 2008

50. it’s actually the Republican Party that gets more small money donations, while the Democrats are heavily reliant on big money.

That trend seems to be changing. Just look at how much Obama has raised from small donors. I don’t know what the figures are for Hillary. Yet, neither one of them promises anything more than a slight feeble limp away from centrist policies.

We’ve had this discussion before here and the point was made that change begins at home ie. electing non-status quo reps locally. That’s fine but local reps don’t make the big policies that could have a major impact on the electorate. There needs to be a change of mindset away from the “two-party” system. I don’t know how to overcome that considering how your system works. At least in Canada, minority parties have a voice and a vote at the federal level. That does help when it comes to having a broader discussion about important issues.

54. liberalcatnip - 30 March 2008

I should add as well that throwing people like Jackson Lee off the bus just because she supports Clinton is a sign of just how some Dems are willing to force useful people out of congress (from what I know of her record, she’s been a fairly strong progressive voice, n’est-ce pas?). Some people can’t see the forest for the trees.

55. marisacat - 30 March 2008

2 of Victor Laszlo’s out of Moderation…

sorry! for the delay…


56. liberalcatnip - 30 March 2008

an emotionally exhausted party

A lot of people would do themselves and The Party a huge favour if they’d put their emotions aside and start thinking rationally. Too much to ask, I guess.

57. Madman in the Marketplace - 30 March 2008

City Subpoenas Creator of Text Messaging Code

When delegates to the Republican National Convention assembled in New York in August 2004, the streets and sidewalks near Union Square and Madison Square Garden filled with demonstrators. Police officers in helmets formed barriers by stretching orange netting across intersections. Hordes of bicyclists participated in rolling protests through nighttime streets, and helicopters hovered overhead.

These tableaus and others were described as they happened in text messages that spread from mobile phone to mobile phone in New York City and beyond. The people sending and receiving the messages were using technology, developed by an anonymous group of artists and activists called the Institute for Applied Autonomy, that allowed users to form networks and transmit messages to hundreds or thousands of telephones.

Although the service, called TXTmob, was widely used by demonstrators, reporters and possibly even police officers, little was known about its inventors. Last month, however, the New York City Law Department issued a subpoena to Tad Hirsch, a doctoral candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who wrote the code that created TXTmob.

Lawyers representing the city in lawsuits filed by hundreds of people arrested during the convention asked Mr. Hirsch to hand over voluminous records revealing the content of messages exchanged on his service and identifying people who sent and received messages. Mr. Hirsch says that some of the subpoenaed material no longer exists and that he believes he has the right to keep other information secret.

“There’s a principle at stake here,” he said recently by telephone. “I think I have a moral responsibility to the people who use my service to protect their privacy.”

58. Arcturus - 30 March 2008

#49 – I’ve posted longer snips before from this 2003 interview w/ Michael Hudson (one of Kucinich’s econ advisors) by SF poet Standard Schaefer, & highly rec as well the Jan 2008 Debtor Nation: The Hijacking of America’s Economy [pdf]. This bit, on SS, is from the 2003 piece:

This brings us to the scenario for privatizing Social Security. If the system’s gigantic holdings of government bonds are sold off (with the Federal Reserve Bank supplying the funds to monetize the requisite credit) and put into the stock market, this rush of funds is going to push up stock prices. It will inflate the new bubble that is being promised, which will be called a “recovery.” Stocks will be pushed up for a few years as more paycheck withholding is channeled into Social Security than out-payments are made to retiring Baby Boomers, the Big Generation born right after World War II.

. . .This bubble is a symptom of the madness of crowds mainly to the extent that it is a psychologically orchestrated disinformation program.

The same thing is happening in almost every country. The Fed’s policy of lowering interest rates is a precondition for reviving popular hopes for a Bubble and suckering voters to approve Social Security privatization. Starting a new bubble will set the public up for the rip-off the financial sector is hoping will make the 2000s as nice for it as the 1990s were.

& I’ll repeat that BO’s econ adisor (the one w/ the silly-sounding name I can never remember) has been one of the Chicago skool’s major cheerleaders for privatizing (err, ‘fixing’) SS.

59. Arcturus - 30 March 2008

voice from the Sundarbans:

‘The sea is so violent at night. We know nothing of global warming. The scientists who visit tell us the West and their pollution is to blame. This is a very backward area, so we are the first people to suffer from global warming and the last to find out why we are suffering.

‘You can see our houses, they are made of the same mud that props up the dykes. When the water rushes through the dykes it does the same to our homes. When the typhoons come we lose everything.

‘Nature used to give us food and crops, now all it gives us is misery, a cruel sea that covers us in sores, destroys our homes and threatens to take our families’ lives. We are living in hell.’

60. marisacat - 30 March 2008

IMO all the Federal government plans to do now, is gut any social program, drain the SS trust fund and in any way they can, bleed the nation.

Very quietly the other day, Hillary updated her own position on SS (which had been marginally firmer than Obama, but, essentially, meaninglessly) by saying that what she wished to see protected were ‘people already receiving SS’.

That is very broad. Open for destruction.

Think it was a few weeks ago at Danny Schechter’s I read that for SS disability applications there is a back log of 750,000 cases, some (of course) very dire and all just hanging.

The same gutting of Medicare (off loading elderly to privatisation, even as company after company neatly takes clients and -then- $650.00 per month from the feds and then goes BANKRUPT) that began under BushCo One continued under Clinton. It sure never stopped.

All we hear/d from the three slobberers Obama Hillary and Edwards was bullshite. As the government sits back to see whose propaganda will pull us in. So we can be filleted.

61. marisacat - 30 March 2008

Austen Goolsbee is the econ advisor to Obama that has well documented policies for ruining SS.

Another U of Chicago special.

62. Victor Laszlo - 30 March 2008

#58 Arcturus:

That’s Jeffrey Liebman of Harvard U. who advises Obama. The advice? Loot…erm, I mean “privatize”…Social Security.

Or were you thinking of Austan Goolsbee? He’s a rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth “globalization/free trader”. Goolsbee had harsh criticism for Michael Moore’s “Sicko”

And then there’s Obama’s adviser David Cutler, who thinks that high health care costs are GOOD because it discourages people from popping in to see the doctor every time they get a sniffle.

Bastards, all of them.

There will be privatization of any President, including Obama, and there will NEVER be single-payer under any of the Terrible Trio.

Here’s a good source that rounds up their views:


63. marisacat - 30 March 2008

Thanks VL

I get all three of them mixed up.

64. Victor Laszlo - 30 March 2008

“For the first time in history, we are no longer at the top: Muslims have overtaken us,” Monsignor Vittorio Formenti said in an interview with the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. Formenti compiles the Vatican’s yearbook.

He said that Catholics accounted for 17.4 percent of the world population – a stable percentage – while Muslims were at 19.2 percent.

“It is true that while Muslim families, as is well known, continue to make a lot of children, Christian ones on the contrary tend to have fewer and fewer,” the monsignor said.

Formenti said that the data refer to 2006. The figures on Muslims were put together by Muslim countries and then provided to the United Nations, he said, adding that the Vatican could only vouch for its own data.

When considering all Christians and not just Catholics, Christians make up 33 percent of the world population, Formenti said.

Spokesmen for the Vatican and the United Nations did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment Sunday.

If yours is the one true religion, shouldn’t you be able to win converts in some way other than baptizing a helpless infant?

65. Victor Laszlo - 30 March 2008

No problem, Marisacat.

I suspect Obama has the same problem.

66. Intermittent Bystander - 30 March 2008

64 – Rockabye baby, Vatican. The revenge of the cradle swings back.

Bunny rabbits are funny
And pontiff crowns, too
But for March hare hilarity
Try combining the two.

67. marisacat - 30 March 2008


Pontiff Bunny is hilarious… thanks for that…

68. Intermittent Bystander - 30 March 2008

Easter was all about the giant rabbits, for me.

Remember this one?

Hare’s some more from the Google image hutch:


69. Intermittent Bystander - 30 March 2008

Big-ass rabbits with canine pals:

70. Intermittent Bystander - 30 March 2008
71. Intermittent Bystander - 30 March 2008

Giant PINK rabbit gone (quite logically) to spam.

72. wilfred - 30 March 2008

What a stenographer Leslie Stahl is. On this stupid 60 Minutes piece she actually says “Our Vice-President doesn’t believe these things (global warming) and he’s not alone” and Gore just looks at her and says “Do you mean Dick Cheney?” and she says “Yes” and he gives her a look that says it all. What a tool she is.

73. marisacat - 30 March 2008


a friend of mine got a rabbit years ago, a white Lop ear… I went to visit right after they got Buddie… she was under a bed so I peeked under the bed to see her. She bared her teeth.

LOL Beatrix Potter died instantly.

74. bayprairie - 30 March 2008

Bar and Bob

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Hopefully Ted Kennedy isn’t the jealous type, because it looks like Barack Obama has a new best friend: Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania.

Their weekend road show across the Keystone State stopped at factories, hot dog stands, sports bars and bowling alleys, where the two kept score as “Bar” and “Bob.” The freshmen senators played basketball, milked cows in matching new Timberland boots, and shared the stage here Sunday at Penn State University before 22,000 cheering fans.

Casey’s surprise endorsement last week brightened what had been a bleak electoral landscape for Obama in Pennsylvania.

i wonder who showed whom how to milk?

75. marisacat - 30 March 2008

BAR bowls… photo from The Caucus

76. Miss Devore - 30 March 2008

important bowling-related diary at PFF:


Mcat–I know you despise him, but you always make Obama look so good, visually. C’mon, if you a re capable of scaring a bunny…..

77. marisacat - 30 March 2008

–I know you despise him

I dislike everyone out to screw us over. Period.

78. Miss Devore - 30 March 2008

gawd, do I have to list everyone you dislike to make a comment on one person? you act as if I don’t notice .

79. marisacat - 30 March 2008

From halperin’s The Page:

WSJ: Minnesota Sen. Klobuchar to Endorse Obama Monday

A Democrat familiar with her plans tells the paper in front-page Monday story.

Also says North Carolina’s seven Democratic House members are poised to endorse Obama as a group — just one has so far — before state’s May 6 primary.

Paper says it’s part of a slow but steady strong of Democratic Party figures taking Obama’s side, raising the pressure on Clinton to give up.

80. marisacat - 30 March 2008

Can it Devore.

It’s boring.

81. Miss Devore - 30 March 2008

pardon me for not scintillating.

82. Miss Devore - 30 March 2008

don’t go the jeralyn route:


83. wu ming - 31 March 2008

Planet Earth was utterly brilliant, both beautiful and achingly sad. they did a really good job in showing how whole systems of ecosystems/climates work, and thus how they are all collapsing.

these days, i’m cheered when i see bees at all. i haven’t seen more than a couple butterflies in years. such a sad world we’re walking towards, we don’t even know how amazing the masterpieces we’re destroying even were.

84. marisacat - 31 March 2008

The thematic coding is almost identical, though Miller huffed-and-puffed, while Lieberman spoke evenly, struggling with a cold.

The message: The once noble Democratic Party has been taken over by peaceniks and radicals, who are weakening the country and threatening our security. Nearly two years after being rejected by his lifelong party in the Connecticut primary, it appears that Lieberman has only begun his effort to exact revenge. Look for him in September on a Twin Cities stage.

85. Hair Club for Men - 31 March 2008
86. Intermittent Bystander - 31 March 2008

Marisacat at #73 – My sister was given a black-and-white rabbit (ordinary size, not a giant breed) when we were kids, and because of the dropping-while-hopping issue, it lived in a cage when not communing with humans. Much to everyone’s guilt and dismay.

One day, we heard an ear-splitting, blood-curdling SCREAM from the room where the rabbit’s cage was parked. Ran downstairs, assuming death throes, and there was Sleepy, quivering quite a bit, but otherwise unmolested. A primal cry for freedom, everyone concluded.

We set him loose in the woods soon thereafter. Within a year, we spied one or two black-and-white bunnies scampering (along with the brown ones) in the wild.

(BTW – I think Potter’s best moments were more Dürer than Disney.)

A companion for Pope Bunadict – Our Lady of the Freshly Laundered Fur?

87. Intermittent Bystander - 31 March 2008

Screaming rabbit and Bundonna in moderation?

Have a good Monday, y’all.

88. JJB - 31 March 2008

Madman, no. 43,

What’s ironic about the whole Michigan/Florida mess is that they were tired of their primaries counting for nothing in the choice of the nominee, so they moved them up and lost their delegates. As things have worked out though, they would have been extremely important if they’d scheduled them in April. Funny how that worked out.

BTW, Bush took time out from his busy schedule to throw out the first pitch at DC’s brand new ballpark last night, and was lustily booed. The announcers (Jon Miller and Joe Morgan) ignored the negative fan reaction and gushed over how well he made the ceremonial toss. The NBC affiliate this AM ran video without sound, and made no mention of the booing.

89. wilfred - 31 March 2008

#88 do you have a link for that JJB, would love to see it!

90. Victor Laszlo - 31 March 2008

Here’s the link, Wilfred

Click on it quick before it’s pulled down.

The American media are now officially Super Pravda.

I wonder when Cheney will catch cold?

91. Victor Laszlo - 31 March 2008

I saved the video (downloaded it) for posterity.

If anybody wants to learn how to do that, Google “download youtube video”. If a technophobe like me can learn how to do it, anybody can.

92. lucid - 31 March 2008

RE: discussion at beginning of thread… I never really thought of Soylent Green as science fiction when I first saw it. It has always seemed like the natural outcome of capitalism to me.

With the bats & bees disappearing, what exactly will pollinate our crops?

This is of course why I’ve been steadily getting over politics. At this point 4 years of one candidate or another really doesn’t matter. We’ve already screwed ourselves & unless we completely dismantle the system, we’ll be in Soylent Green territory before I’ve lived out my natural lifespan [if I live out my natural lifespan].

93. lucid - 31 March 2008

I guess that should read ‘We’ve already screwed ourselves and every other living being on the planet’.

94. wilfred - 31 March 2008

#90 Is it me or could anyone else not hear booing on that youtube video? i just heard cheers, there may have been something underneath it but i couldn’t really identify it as ‘boo’s’.

The ESPN guys were certainly plying on the propaganda as thick as possible though, no wonder i’m turned off by sports on tv.

I’m sure the RNC bought a huge amount of tickets and trucked in the wingers by the busload for the game as soon as they were alerted W would attend just to make sure it wasn’t an average American crowd.

95. JJB - 31 March 2008



If you can’t hear that booing, it’s time for some hearing tests. Catch the expression on Dim Son’s face as he makes his way to the mound, he heard them just fine.

Incidentally, it’s now possible for the networks to do the kind of audio editing that would diminish booing as it’s happening rather than in the editing room afterwards, so it’s possible that the crowd response after his pitch was not as positive as you hear.

96. marisacat - 31 March 2008

More necrophilia:

She compared him to the late Hubert Humphrey, who served as a senator from Minnesota and as vice president.

97. Victor Laszlo - 31 March 2008

Wilfred, I viewed several YouTube uploaded versions of the video and quite clearly heard booing that was so loud it muted the cheers that were also coming from the crowd. I’ve no idea whether or not the live or recorded audio has been tampered with, as I didn’t see the original, but JJB is right: look at Bush’s face and you see that HE heard the boos.

Bush won’t be making any more unscripted appearances after this.

98. cad - 31 March 2008

surprised to read this from Geekesque (0 / 0)

The blogger who told us all that it was fine for Obama to be associated with Donnie McClurkin, because there’s a lot of homophobia in the black community, and we need the Democratic Party to be a big tent.

From Geek’s diary Your problem is with black people in South Carolina:

Let’s stop dancing around the fringes of what’s going on with the Donnie McClurkin story.

He’s said some really offensive, really ignorant, really appalling, and totally unacceptable things about LGBT folks.

So, the theory goes, this guy should be publicly repudiated by the Obama campaign.

This, quite frankly, is nuts. If you believe in a big tent.

The cold splash of reality below the fold.

* Geekesque’s diary :: ::

If this is the test, that Barack Obama–or any other Democrat who really cares about gay rights–needs to publicly denounce and personally repudiate anyone with Donnie McClurkin’s views about homosexuality, then you are essentially calling for a purge of African-American voters in the South from the party.

Obama fans put 150 tips in the tip jar of that diary, by the way.

99. melvin - 31 March 2008

Pepe Escobar talks to Sabah al Nasseri about Basra and the prevention of an outbreak of democracy in Iraq: Iraq ruling elite needs US troops to stay in power

If this comment doesn\’t work, it\’s because I\’m trapped in my proxy server yet again.

100. marisacat - 31 March 2008

I hate the simple knee jerk stuff…. but with McClurkin, replacing “gay” wiht “Jew” works.

And one reason I left the damned party was I ws sick to death of hearing how conservative, whether, white black or Asian or whatever, had to be pandered to.

The party is a whole bunch of conservatives and cntrists fighting with each other for power.

101. wilfred - 31 March 2008

lol guys, just listened to the clip again and only could hear the applause. I had the volume turned up to max, can’t figure out why i can’t detect it, my hearing is not that bad!

102. melvin - 31 March 2008

I would like wilfred to be guest judge for my American Idol appearance. I will be performing a medley of Sainkho Namtchylak\’s greatest hits.

103. melvin - 31 March 2008

Hmm. sorry about links. The Escobar/Nasseri is at Real News.

104. marisacat - 31 March 2008

Iraq ruling elite needs US troops to stay in power

AGAIN just the cops for the local thugs. Surely our Army Corps f Engineers can work out some solid gold toilets for the elite, like for the Kuwaitis. God knows they are nt troubling themselves too mcuh with LEVEES over here.

105. wilfred - 31 March 2008

#102 But first Melvin you’d have to make me watch American Idol and that will happen on the 12th of Never!

so weird, i had my hearing checked about 2 years ago and it was normal. What a bummer, there’s nothing i’d like to listen to more than Bush getting roundly booed (too bad no tomatoes were thrown but i’m sure Special Ops would have swooped down on them and the perpetrators flown to Gitmo).

106. Arcturus - 31 March 2008

hey melvin, yr Sainkho link doesn’t work – but she’s certainly one of the most amazing vocalists in the world today

107. marisacat - 31 March 2008

nu thread…



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