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Ratzy again! [UPDATED, Ratzy baby! no really!] 18 April 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, California / Pacific Coast, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, San Francisco, U.S. Senate.

Why screw with a good thing………. left i on the news noted that Ratzy was greeted at the WH with a 21 gun salute.

and while i was there I gleaned this:

“I often get questions about impeachment at town hall meetings and I’ve said that is not something I think would be fruitful to pursue because I think that impeachment is something that should be reserved for exceptional circumstances.

… and this

“It’s an atrocity what is being perpetrated as punishment on the people in Gaza. It’s a crime… I think it is an abomination that this continues to go on.”

– Jimmy Carter, speaking in Cairo about the Israeli blockade of Gaza

Carter also noted that the people of Gaza “receive fewer calories a day than people in the poorest parts of Africa.”


I realise Bilal Hussein has been covered here (in comments, that is) but I scammed this from Angry Arab… of course the LAST graf of the MSNBC/AP report. I mean, why put the consummate reality at the top?

“He now joins a growing list of journalists detained in conflict zones by the U.S. military for prolonged periods and eventually released without any charges or crimes ever substantiated against them,” said Simon. “This deplorable practice should be of concern to all journalists. It basically allows the U.S. military to remove journalists from the field, lock them up and never be compelled to say why.”

While at Angry A, I scammed this summation of the debate…

Did you watch the Clinton-Obama debate tonight? Did you watch their references to Israel? I will summarize. Hillary said that if elected, she would urge Israel to occupy two more of its neighbors. Not to be outdone, Obama pledged to urge Israel to occupy four Arab countries. I watched the debate and learned about US Middle East policy what I knew not before.



I maintain that the Democrats, finally, are running smack! into every brick wall, oil spill, slow bump and smoke filled room (fake and otherwise) they EVER constructed. And I am much amused.

Here is the opening and closing grafs from a look at Howard’s request, beg, demand, that Super Dels fall into line, out of love, vote, DO SOMETHING!, save the day, hand over the nom, turn the heat down... etc…

Delegates to Dean: Make Us

Howard Dean was on Wolf Blitzer’s show yesterday, and Drudge picked up his admonition to the superdelegates with the splashy headline: “Dean To Delegates: Decide Now.” In the interview, Dean says that he wants the superdelegates to begin “voting” now.

“We cannot give up two or three months of active campaigning and healing time,” he said. “We’ve got to know who our nominee is.”

Unfortunately for the party, Dean is in no position to tell the superdelegates when to decide. The reason? The chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee carries with it very little political power – certainly not enough to sway superdelegates.

It has been this way for a very long time. Fifty years ago, political scientists thought of the political parties as “truncated pyramids.” The idea behind this metaphor is that it was the state parties that were really in charge. The national parties were powerless organization that few paid attention to. […] They were there to be used by the president for his electoral purposes and, when the President was of a different party, to host the national conventions. That’s it.

Flash forward to the 1970s. There’s a convergence of two trends in electoral politics. First is the rise of television and the mass media campaign. This induced a great need for campaign cash. Second is the imposition of the Federal Elections Campaign Act (FECA) of 1972, and the 1974 amendments that limited the amount of money that candidates could collect from individuals. This gave the national parties a new task – legal money laundering. [BINGO —Mcat]

This is their essential function today. All six national party organizations (the two national committees plus the four Hill committees) collect large sums of cash by waving the party banner, and then distribute this money to candidates. […]

… and the close:

This is why the “Democratic Party” cannot stop this nomination race. There is no party entity with the power to say, “OK, you two. Enough is enough.” In keeping with the “candidate control” model of electoral politics, the only two who can stop it are Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. That’s the modern party system for you. 20th century reformers thought the parties were meddling institutions that corrupted the political process. So, they stripped them of their power. Accordingly, the Democrats are at the mercy of their candidates.

Footnote: if you listen to Dean’s interview, he says that some superdelegates have already “voted,” and that he wants the rest to “vote” soon. This is not how the superdelegate system works. Dean knows that, and I think what he is trying to do is spin things a little bit. The fact is that the superdelegates have only endorsed candidates so far. They vote in Denver. Not before. What they say today does not necessarily constrain their votes in Denver. So, we should expect that, if the race remains close through the summer, both Obama and Clinton will work to “flip” superdelegates.

Tally Ho ho ho ho then! I am fine with High Noon in Denver. Fine if it sputters to some queasy, odd, quivering crack-up before then… fine if the thing de-constructs, combusts, in what the Dems foolishly thought was a gilded, glowing, ordained by GAWD winning year for them.

Good luck!


This is from Arcturus, near the end of the last thread:

via Angry Indian:

An outspoken Canadian native leader [Terrance Nelson, chief of the Roseau First Nation in Manitoba], is urging Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to throw his weight behind an attempt to block two multibillion-dollar pipelines that will transport oil from Alberta to the United States.

. . .

The letter asks Mr. Chavez to turn the international spotlight to human-rights violations against indigenous people in Canada and to champion their cause. It says Mr. Nelson and other native leaders plan to expose the damage done to Canada’s indigenous people in the runup to the 2010 Olympics in B.C., in a campaign similar to the protests marring China’s preparations for the Beijing Games.

Roseau River First Nation has just started a video campaign to raise awareness about the issue of oil, poverty, land theft, and violence against indigenous People in Canada – compared to that of what happened to Iraqis when economic sanctions were imposed on them some ten years ago.



This from catnip, from the last thread, fits in as well……….


65. There’s an annual Day of Action coming up for first nations’ people here on Mat 29th. Phil Fontaine (Assembly of Fist Nations) confirmed that even though they support the Olympics coming to BC, they will use the spotlight on Canada to stage protests to get international attention.

Thanks for those links, Arcturus. Our gov’t can’t continue to speak out about human rights abuses in places like China without taking a long, hard look at what’s going on here. Fontaine is working with the government on the wording of their official apology but that’s such a minor step considering the abuses first nations’ people have endured here.

I have to tell you that, after listening to the media pushing the fact that the sexual abuse scandal has cost the Catholic church a measly $2 billion to sweep under the rug, I was reminded of how hard that same church has fought against aboriginals here when it came to settling the residential schools abuse claims that decimated the people who were so severely affected by those actions. The longer they waited, the more claimants who died, never having received any kind of compensation, much less an apology. Oh, and they did the “healing” thing here too – as if that could ever make up for the effects of what was done. That chapter in our history is far from being closed.

From Love that wispy Nazi Ratzy voice…, 2008/04/18 at 3:18 PM


Other than that, I cannot say how quiet is a house without a cat. Dead quiet. An ever falling, somber, bottomless quiet.

When I was a child I used to visit in a house in what is (or was) Deep Marin, Laguanitas. An old clap board house with a big rangy living room and a fireplace, at the back of the house. Out the back door, off a sort of semi-connected sort of “mud room” was a rolling, soft green meadow. At the back of the meadow were trees, to the south, a creek. The back door was usually left open, and at times a Nanny Goat, sometimes with a kid, would walk in. Not just a neighborly nose-in at the mud room, but a full walk-in, to where the upholstered furniture was grouped near the fire… It was the happiest of scenes.

In contrast to a house with cats, dogs, rabbits and a visiting goat contingent, one would think a city house with cats often in full sleep mode would not be deathly still when an elderly cat moves on. But it is.


UPDATED, 8:14 am

Mein lieber Gott!…

So, I was hunting for a photo of il papa with his broadtail capelet… and what do I find, The Holy Baby:

arriving at St Patty's this am

OK! I am taking a flying leap here…. Ratzy wears the diapers in the family and Ganswein and he have a manger set up somewhere.

BTW, that is Ganswein, over Ratzy’s right shoulder.

I think I will head for the Campari early.


UPDATED, 9:54 am

I gather the call (and no doubt the response) at St Patty’s this am was for … get ready! … UNITY.   Hey, it means exactly as much for pols as for the pious (doubt me? WAIT!)

As for “unity” these guys got the memo (the trail behind of bishops):

Don Emmert/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Bishops attended Mass with the pope at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.



1. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 April 2008

Wonder what’s on the papal menu?

Baby back ribs?

2. marisacat - 18 April 2008


toasted sweet cheeks.

flambee’d baby fingers

crispy baby wings

[I could go on……..]

3. diane - 18 April 2008

Hugs Marisa….

Sometimes when I’m feeling really bad, I turn on a sizzling Puerto Rican salsa tape given to me quite a few years ago by someone who had copied it from someone else’s tape but didn’t remember the name of the artist; consequently, I don’t know the name of the artist or I’d share it.

4. diane - 18 April 2008


I’m playing it now in your honor…I do hope you enjoy Salsa…..

5. diane - 18 April 2008


Let him just eat the fuckin cake and go to bed hungry.

6. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 April 2008

For people who’re foolish enough to believe Obama is a “peace” candidate, he got two endorsements from pols who personify militarism:

Boren and Nunn Endorse Obama

7. liberalcatnip - 18 April 2008

3. I used to do the same thing with my calypso music tapes – great to clean a house by.

On the flipside, I remember staying overnite at my daughter’s and having a really good sleep because my cats weren’t there. They’re contstantly after me to get up in the morning. Cue the drooling in my ears. Yuck.

There’s no doubt that having pets is liking having kids around though. They do end up owning your schedule and the silence without them can be deafening.

8. liberalcatnip - 18 April 2008

Here’s my PA prediction courtesy of my spidey senses: Clinton by 7%.

9. liberalcatnip - 18 April 2008

What’s this “healing time” Dean is talking about? He seems blissfully ignorant of the Hillary/Obama supporter wars.

10. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 April 2008

Wake Up Call for Democrats

n fact, anyone who DOES speak out to these issues (whether inside or outside the party) is quickly dealt with by the official party apparatus, and marginalized, threatened or silenced with strong-arm tactics.

The quasi-heroic efforts of “progressive” stalwarts within the party, for the most part (oh, there are a few exceptions which prove the rule — and keep folks hoping, groveling), have had little or no effect on the ship’s course, and hasn’t for decades: it’s just marginal chit-chat, and keeps valuable, willing citizens all tied up in internal wrangling, preventing them from moving towards their dreams. Every four years it’s “Oh, THIS time we’ll elect a bunch of new progressives and that will change things.” Right. Meanwhile those in charge do all they can to prevent that. Why must you battle your “leadership” who are abandoning their country and acting close to treason? The leadership (and thus the main thrust, efforts and global effects of the party) silences dissent, distracts the public and takes its marching orders from obscenely powerful campaign funders who hedge their bets funding both major parties.

The Party, like it or not is in the Corporate Hip Pocket. The mainstream Democrat’s push for globalized corporate trade policies (which includes the neo-cons’ sick wars of plunder and control in the Middle East) and which walks all over Labor and the right to self -govern tells it all: they are now proud members, part and parcel of the MegaCorporate Bain on Life-on-Earth-as-We-Know-It. Willing (paid) Partners.

No WONDER they didn’t pay any attention to the vote of November 2006. No Wonder they pay no nevermind to pleadings of progressive elements inside. They are paid to represent Corporate Globalization, not the Citizens of the US, not those who “vote” for them.

THE VOTE, in fact, is just part of the Show. It serves to give false hopes to those still in their corral (to get their money), even though, as we’ve all seen, they don’t even lift a finger to fight when the vote is STOLEN. That ALONE is proof of whom they really represent.

Oh, when they WANT to, they FIGHT: They fight to keep the war funding going. They fight to stop impeachment. They fight to prevent more democratically-minded dissenters from blocking Alito and Roberts and Bolton and Negroponte and Mukasey. They fight to keep people like Kucinich or McKinney marginalized or out of office. They fight to keep progressives from leadership positions. They fight to keep Greens and Nader off the ballots.

11. marisacat - 18 April 2008

from TPM:

Bye Joe

Ed Kilgore: Face it. Lieberman’s not a Democrat.

Hopefully once the Dems pad their majority in the senate this November, he’ll be expelled from the congressional party. He’s gone well past the point of simply not being acceptable as a Democrat. He’s doing and saying things that would make him disgusting as a Republican. He’s way beyond the pale.

–Josh Marshall

Oh face it, esp ED KILGORE of DLC or NDN or which ever… Lieberman most certainly is a Demcrat. Very much so. I posted in 2004 after “The Great Loss” that he had campaigned in So Florida, on stump stages and in TEMPLES for Bush (he did). His motto. I said, was BIB, Bush is better for the security of Israel and America.

Think of all the appeasing ObamaRama has done, NOT of American Jews, but of Israel. See anything new there?

He won’t even have the wiggle room that GHWBush and Baker had, nor that BClinton had (not that he wanted any)… he will NEVER be able to reach out to anyone. Other than Israel.

Not like Hillary ever gave Suha an air kiss again, either. Among other things.

12. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 April 2008
13. liberalcatnip - 18 April 2008

What are the chances of the Dems losing control (such as it is) of the senate in this year’s election? (I’m writing something and was wondering about that.)

14. marisacat - 18 April 2008

LOL Oh truly we must stand down out here… The quake on the New Madrid Fault was felt thru SIXTEEN states. From WI to MS.

Apparently the lack of multiple faults, means it travels farther.

15. diane - 18 April 2008


My gut on it, after I read the McClatchy piece, race definately had something to do with her ire, the blacks get leg ups whites don’t is perpetrated in that landscape and every landscape where everyone is pitted against the OTHER, as they all try to survive.

This is obscured by her tradgedy, probably deliberately by those who chose to highlight the incident.

16. marisacat - 18 April 2008

hmm I think they add a few seats in the senate and however many in the house. Might be hard to avoid that.

17. Arcturus - 18 April 2008

here, this rhymes:

A former Catholic bishop popular with the poor is favoured to win Paraguay’s presidential election on Sunday and sweep away six decades of one-party rule.
. . .
“Lugo is somewhat of a spokesman for those who don’t feel included in the power structure or economy. If that means he’s a leftist, well then he is, but he’s not a leftist ideologue,” Alvaro Caballero, a political analyst, told Reuters.

Lugo branded the administration of outgoing President Nicanor Duarte as “without doubt, one of the most corrupt governments ever”. A campaign poster features Duarte and his candidate, Ovelar, as mosquitoes flying into a cloud of insect repellent. “With your vote, we’ll eliminate this plague,” the tagline reads.

The ruling party has in turn tried to tar the usurper with wild claims that he was complicit in the kidnapping and murder of the daughter of a former president. He has also been accused of turning his back on God, a serious allegation in this strongly Catholic country.

The Vatican, fearing a throwback to the “liberation theology” era of troublesome, leftist priests, has suspended Lugo. But the Pope is reportedly keen on cordial relations should its rogue former cleric prevail.

moonie bushies aren’t gonna like it

18. Miss Devore - 18 April 2008

Marisa–do the other cats notice the absence? I have heard that pets in same household mourn also.

19. diane - 18 April 2008


moonie bushies aren’t gonna like it

I hope he’s wearing body armor, not that that will prevent murderous thugs from carrying out agendas, but it’s better than nothing.

20. liberalcatnip - 18 April 2008

I seem to be having an ESP moment. I think some international story of importance is going to break tonite at around 2 am (my time). Then again, maybe it’s just indigestion…

21. marisacat - 18 April 2008

gah probably some nasty rumble out of Israel, to force the three on view to comment.

22. marisacat - 18 April 2008


last cat in residence.

Well imo animals mourn.

23. liberalcatnip - 18 April 2008

16. Hmm..well I wonder what’s going to happen if a Dem wins the WH and the Repubs win back the senate. I also wonder if the Dems are just going to end up electing more blue dogs if they manage to get a majority. My thought is that if either of those scenarios happen, it’ll be another 2 or 4 more years of Dems floating in the wilderness (rather willingly) while all of this “change” that’s being promised will just rot in the gutter (not that I expect any “change” anyway…)

24. marisacat - 18 April 2008


“turning his back on god”

well, THERE is the real sin.

25. liberalcatnip - 18 April 2008

well, THERE is the real sin.

In Paraguay and the US.

26. marisacat - 18 April 2008


Oh I am sure the Dems are running Blue Dogs… that is all they really cared about in 06, no one else got any media attention, at all. Not Loebsack certainly… a first term who managed to topple Leach, after 30 years (think in Iowa, obviouslsy from a red district). And Loebsack was/is for single payer and abortion rights and so on. No attention for Cohen an actual white liberal who ran agsint the machine hack black run by the Fprd family for Harold jrs old seat… and so on. Cohen for gay rights, abortion, and so on. Admittedly from a city, Memphis but one the party wished to keep wtih conservative hack blacks.

I am sure they wish they never heard of Ellison, the muslim from MN who struggled to take his oath on the Quran… but who now parrots Obama sludge. “Endling the war” is “redeploying to Kuwait”… and has some compromised sludge going on abortion.

The Dems championed their “fighting Dems” not too many of whom won, championed their ex military, like Patrick Murphy an Irish chinless wonder (an Obama supporter)… championed their Blue Dogs.. etc. To me the real story is about the bi partisan Conservative Coalition holding back what little progressives there are. And they are all WEAK.

Emanual and Bill Clinton pulled out the stops and over a half million to get a bona fide memeber of the Ohio Right to life elected as a Dem. Democrats fro Life an anti abortion group of Dems counted 6 new members of congress in their ranks… Bob Casey’s brother serves on the board.

And so on.

27. marisacat - 18 April 2008

It would be hard for the Dems to avoid adding to their majorities. There is an unprecedented (well it is described as “historical”) number of House retirements on the R. Well over 20. They could add another 30 seats. Think they won 31 new seats in 06…

seems they are likely to add several seats in the senate.

I still say they are scared to death of having all three arms of government. H, S and WH.

28. liberalcatnip - 18 April 2008

27. That helps. Thanks.

I still say they are scared to death of having all three arms of government. H, S and WH.

Dog forbid they might actually have to come through on some of those promises – which will no doubt be watered down anyway in the ole “spirit of bipartisanship/heal the country” movement. If the Dems actually had a spine, they’d plough ahead and tell the Repubs to fuck right off.

29. liberalcatnip - 18 April 2008

Just watching Larry King. Texas is keeping all of the cult children and they’re starting DNA test on the whole shebang – children, mothers and fathers – next week to sort this all out. That should be a nightmare.

30. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 April 2008

Graffiti artist Banksy pulls off most audacious stunt to date – despite being watched by CCTV

Banksy pulled off an audacious stunt to produce what is believed to be his biggest work yet in central London.

The secretive graffiti artist managed to erect three storeys of scaffolding behind a security fence despite being watched by a CCTV camera.

Then, during darkness and hidden behind a sheet of polythene, he painted this comment on ‘Big Brother’ society.

31. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 April 2008

Watching a good interview on Moyers

As the war in Iraq moves further into its fifth year, bombings and shootings continue — especially in Sadr City. Among the journalists on the ground in that conflicted area is Leila Fadel, the Baghdad bureau chief for McClatchy Company. Fadel spoke with Bill Moyers when she was in New York to receive the George Polk Award for Foreign Reporting.

32. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 April 2008
33. Miss Devore - 18 April 2008

I picked up John Krakauer’s ” Under the Banner of Heaven” from the library today.

Didn’t the author of “A Fire in the Lake” write about Mormon communities, also?forget her name. oh, yes, google…

Ok, it’s Frances Fitzgerald, but she wrote about Rajneeshpuram in Oregon.

My bad. (“Cultish religions all look alike”?)

The “Freedom Tower” plans in the garbage can. The original story was from NY Post. Psy op?

somewhere today I read that the US “uncovered” plans that Al-Queda intends to strike Baghdad.

I guess a follow-up to the GAO report that says the government has no comprehensive plan to fight terrorism.

Never has, never will.

34. marisacat - 18 April 2008

banging head agaisnt the wall

There will be much pious talk among Catholics (I speak from the inside) about how marvelous Benedict’s words were, how warm and gentle he proved to be. Parodies that paint him as a heartless enforcer are, of course, false, and while victims of the sexual abuse scandal understandably wish he had gone even further, he seemed determined to confess that great sin of the church and ask again and again for forgiveness. He was right to do so.

EJ Dionne broke his daily epistle for Obama, for RatzZingerWinger.

35. Arcturus - 18 April 2008

I was wondering – the Guardian didn’t mention it:

On a Mexican swing last fall, Lugo insisted that if elected, he would shut down the U.S. military operation in Paraguay [at Mariscal Estagarribia] much as Ecuador’s Rafael Correa has vowed to do with the U.S. drug war installation at Manta.

John Ross

Obama/Lieberman – Unity ’08! HOPE!

heard some wag on NPR clamoring for Obama/Nunn

o yumm

36. liberalcatnip - 18 April 2008

New, potential O supporters’ enemies listee: Larry King, who’ll be interviewing Hillary on Monday nite.

37. Arcturus - 18 April 2008

Ross also points out that “. . . without Chavez’s oil, Bush’s war in Iraq would be grounded.”

38. marisacat - 18 April 2008

Arcturus …. out of spam… sorry for the delay!


39. marisacat - 18 April 2008


yes I caught the Obama / Nunn push too.

I have no idea who he would pick OR who McCain would. There is a push starting … think Noonan has a piece in WSJ today and Kate O’Beirne weighed in at NRO… for McCain to declare for a one term.

I have mentioned he let that very thing drop once during the primary, and I thought then it would give him a lift with some people..

I think we are in the wide open high seas.

40. Miss Devore - 18 April 2008

“Under the Banner of Heaven” is an amazing read, though, imagine the difficulty of trying to hold a sentence like this in one’s mind:

“As his sixth wife, Debbie became a stepmother to Blackmore’s thirty-one kids, most of whom were older than she was. And because he happened to be the father of Debbie’s own stepmother , Mem, she unwittingly became a stepmother to her stepmother, and thus a stepgrandmother to herself”

41. melvin - 18 April 2008

40 — I’d hate to be the executor of that estate. Probate would take twenty years.

42. wilfred - 18 April 2008

#40 I felt like I swallowed that book whole. Krakauer does an amazing job.

43. moiv - 18 April 2008

Dana does Hillary.

In 1992, I saw Bill Clinton at the quad at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. (No, it’s not a woman, yes, it’s in Michigan). Bill had just schooled George Herbert Hoover Walker Bush in a debate at Michigan State University (AKA Moo U), and he was coming down to one of the finest public research universities in the world to say hey to some students. It was kind of a chilly night–iirc, it was about the second week of October–but the quad was so packed that you were warm, because literally people were jammed together. I was with a couple friends, but I was literally touching about four other people…including a woman who, I realized after about a half an hour, was quite enjoying her boyfriend’s hand below her belt buckle.

It was the night I learned the term MILF, and it was applied to Hillary Clinton.


44. liberalcatnip - 18 April 2008

31. Good show. I was surprised to learn that she’s only 26. Wow. She also echoed much of what Nir Rosen testified about. It’s unfortunate that the popular US journalists & pundits, who basically feed everyone the same tired line, eclipse the fine work done by people like those two.

Martha Nussbaum was interesting too but I disagree with her line that nobody really wants a separation between church and state. Also, I thought her explanation of why the so-called faith-based initiatives are here to stay (legally) was insightful. All Obama or Clinton would have to do would be to rescind the executive order that set them up – something neither one of them has the courage to do. Yet another cave to the religious lobbyists.

45. melvin - 18 April 2008

43 Did you even read his piece moiv? Or maybe you lack the necessary comprehension skills?

Class is the DickHead’s middle name. Note also the condescension tangled up with his failed attempt at humor, informing his readers that Ann Arbor is in Michigan.

46. moiv - 18 April 2008


It’s all perfectly comprehensible. After all, he’s only had 17 beers.

47. liberalcatnip - 18 April 2008

43. Clueless idiot:

Judging People By Their Ability to Read… (1+ / 0-)

…means you’re a fucking moron (which I already knew), because nowhere did I judge her.

But of course I expect a stupid, witless and aggressive comment from you, Mr Give Everyone a Pony.

The revolution will not be televised, but we’ll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

by DHinMI on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 11:00:16 PM MDT

* [new] Judge Her On Her Sexuality, That Is (0+ / 0-)

The revolution will not be televised, but we’ll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

by DHinMI on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 11:00:41 PM MDT

Unless “MILF” means something other than what I think it does, I’d say that Houle once again has made one huge ass of himself. Granted, he doesn’t be able to help himself in that regard since he’s eternally stuck in his pubescence.

48. wu ming - 18 April 2008

i didn’t know cesaire was still alive. brilliant, incendiary writer, i stumbled across his work after following one of edward said’s footnotes, and was blown away by how clearly it laid out the sickness of our civilization:

First we must study how colonization works to decivilize the colonizer, to brutalize him in the true sense of the word, to degrade him, to awake him to buried instincts, to covetousness, violence, race hatred, and moral relativism; and we must show that each time a head is cut off or an eye put out in Vietnam and in France they accept the fact, each time a little girl is raped and in France they accept the fact, each time a Madagascan is tortured and in France they accept the fact, civilization acquires another dead weight, a universal regression takes place, a gangrene sets in, a center of infection begins to spread; and that the end of it all these treaties that have been violated, all these punitive expeditions that have been tolerated, all these prisoners who have been “interrogated,” all these patriots who have been tortured, at the end of all the racial pride that has been encouraged, all the boastfulness that has been displayed, a poison has been distilled into the veins of Europe and, slowly but surely, the continent proceeds toward savagery.

And then one fine day the bourgeoisie is awakened by a terrific boomerang effect: the gestapos are busy, the prisons fill up, the torturers standing around the racks invent, refine, discuss.

People become surprised, they become indignant. They say, “How strange! But never mind – it’s Nazism, it will pass!” And they wait, and they hope; and they hide the truth from themselves, that it is barbarism, the supreme barbarism, the crowning barbarism that sums up all the daily barbarisms; that it is Nazism, yes, but that before they were its victims, they were its accomplices; that they tolerated that Nazism before it was inflicted on them, that they absolved it, shut their eyes to it, legitimized it, because, until then, it had only been applied to non-European peoples; that they have cultivated that Nazism, that they are responsible for it, and that before engulfing the whole edifice of Western, Christian civilization in its reddened waters, it oozes, seeps and trickles from every crack.


What am I driving at? At this idea: that no one colonizes innocently, that no one colonizes with impunity either; that a nation which colonizes, a nation that justifies colonization – and therefore force – is already a sick civilization, a civilization which is morally diseased, which irresistably, progressing from one consequence to another, one denial to another, calls for its Hitler, I mean its punishment.

49. marisacat - 18 April 2008

Listening to Fadel now on with Moyers.

Just finished the Dana – and the thread.
Honestly they sound naive, … I dunno, whatever it takes to guzzle beers and write that thing.

But that IS the place wehre regularly they put up threads (or they did) what is the Democratic party to you, what does it mean to be a Democrat…

And the most sudsy stuff would appear. Bizarre dreamscapes.

I don’t know. All it meant to me was I was nto a R. They harbor a lot of illusions.

50. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 April 2008



51. liberalcatnip - 18 April 2008

Top Bush aides pushed for Guantánamo torture

America’s most senior general was “hoodwinked” by top Bush administration officials determined to push through aggressive interrogation techniques of terror suspects held at Guantánamo Bay, leading to the US military abandoning its age-old ban on the cruel and inhumane treatment of prisoners, the Guardian reveals today.

General Richard Myers, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff from 2001 to 2005, wrongly believed that inmates at Guantánamo and other prisons were protected by the Geneva conventions and from abuse tantamount to torture.

The way he was duped by senior officials in Washington, who believed the Geneva conventions and other traditional safeguards were out of date, is disclosed in a devastating account of their role, extracts of which appear in today’s Guardian.

How could he not know the truth?

Myers was one top official who did not understand the implications of what was being done. Sands, who spent three hours with the former general, says he was “confused” about the decisions that were taken.

Myers mistakenly believed that new techniques recommended by Haynes and authorised by Rumsfeld in December 2002 for use by the military at Guantánamo had been taken from the US army field manual. They included hooding, sensory deprivation, and physical and mental abuse.

“As we worked through the list of techniques, Myers became increasingly hesitant and troubled,” writes Sands. “Haynes and Rumsfeld had been able to run rings around him.”

Myers and his closest advisers were cut out of the decision-making process. He did not know that Bush administration officials were changing the rules allowing interrogation techniques, including the use of dogs, amounting to torture.

“We never authorised torture, we just didn’t, not what we would do,” Myers said. Sands comments: “He really had taken his eye off the ball … he didn’t ask too many questions … and kept his distance from the decision-making process.”

Why didn’t he read the manual to find out what was allowed?

Sorry. Not buying that story.

52. marisacat - 18 April 2008

At this idea: that no one colonizes innocently, that no one colonizes with impunity either; that a nation which colonizes, a nation that justifies colonization – and therefore force – is already a sick civilization, a civilization which is morally diseased, which irresistably, progressing from one consequence to another, one denial to another, calls for its Hitler, I mean its punishment.

and we rationalise it, defend it every single day.

53. marisacat - 18 April 2008

on baloney. He knew.

54. liberalcatnip - 18 April 2008

48. I think Alice Miller did a good job of explaining the rise and acceptance of Nazism in her book ‘For Your Own Good’. She looked at it from the perspective of how strict German parents and culture were at the time, priming the populace to accept an equally strict, patriarchal leader. Society has to have arrived at some point of ideology that a person in power can feed of off to get away with spreading that ‘disease’. All of the elements fell into place before and after Bush arrived, allowing him to explain away his horrors. And he’s still getting away with it.

Which reminds me of that blog post I’ve been putting off writing all day.

55. liberalcatnip - 18 April 2008

And I know I’ve harped on this before and it may be because I’m Canadian that the slogans bother me so much, but hearing things like “the US is the greatest country in the world” etc on a seemingly endless loop in the media – in my mind – definitely contributes to those conditions that make many Americans think that empire building is somehow an acceptable pursuit. That goes to Nussbaum’s point about the repetition of “G*d bless America” (America above all others) too, as she stated it on Moyer’s show tonite.

56. wu ming - 18 April 2008

madman – it’s from this post that i wrote after reading his book discourse on colonialism, there’s an amazon link to the book at the bottom of the quote.

brilliant guy.

57. wu ming - 18 April 2008

um, that was poorly worded. i did not write that quote, cesaire did. i wish i was that good of a writer.

58. marisacat - 18 April 2008

the Nussbaum segment on Moyers is just beginning here.

59. marisacat - 18 April 2008

she’s right on the fucking faith based initiatives. WIll put up the transciprt if available when it is over.

60. marisacat - 18 April 2008

what a hoot! he’s going ot have Wright on next week…

61. liberalcatnip - 18 April 2008

what a hoot! he’s going ot have Wright on next week…

That will definitely be a two-tub popcorn evening.

62. marisacat - 18 April 2008

moyers luvvvvvvvvvs to have on religionists. I put up with as I want to hear what they say… and some I like. AND it is such a huge invasive issue in the country.

One more… Wright.

63. liberalcatnip - 18 April 2008

Off to watch Pinochet’s Last Stand.

64. Arcturus - 18 April 2008


Post on Cesaire at Arcturus’ blog

Link to comment, previous thread

post on cesaire at indigenist blog


& someone asked about Native Am schools – this goes into much else, besides:

link to South End Press

& I just noticed this:

indigenist blog, mass graves, Canada

65. marisacat - 19 April 2008

Asia Times… and don’t worry, the three grafs before this were on Burson-Marsteller/Penn:

Old school ties

Obama talks about a new style of politics, but his campaign team has plenty of ties to the Democratic Party’s recent inglorious past. Campaign manager David Plouffe’s roots run through Richard Gephardt’s work on Capitol Hill and his last failed presidential bid in 2004. Many other staffers have associations with the other half of the Democratic Congressional leadership that guided the party into minority, former top Senate Democrat Tom Daschle.

Obama media guru David Axelrod traces his political lineage to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley Jr, whose father was the city’s mayor during the riots outside the 1968 Democratic Convention. According to one Chicago pol turned professor in a 2007 profile, Axelrod now is “the guy who goes on television to defend Daley from charges of corruption”. [lovely! let me out of the cartoon! — Mcat]

Communications chief Robert Gibbs worked for Fritz Hollings and John Kerry, and in 2004 was with the independent group whose ads infamously linked Howard Dean, then the Democratic frontrunner, with Osama bin Laden, still a sore point in some party circles. [btw, because Howard raised that ad, as an example of what really rough primary runs are like, several blahgs are linking to it in their sidebars… well worth viewing, if you have never seen it —Mcat]

But the real problem with judging a candidate by their campaign is that the qualities to run a successful campaign – or pick a good campaign staff – aren’t necessarily the ones that will make you a good president. [snip]

66. liberalcatnip - 19 April 2008

Meanwhile, back at the ranch of horrors:

Fresh clashes break out in Basra

67. liberalcatnip - 19 April 2008

65. Lipstick on a pig.

68. liberalcatnip - 19 April 2008
69. Madman in the Marketplace - 19 April 2008

Thanks wu ming.

I flip on cable this morning and CNN, MSNBC & Faux are ALL showing the NYC papal mass LIVE.

Plus it’s on the local Archdiocese-run station, and another public access station is streaming NY1’s coverage.

No state religion my ass.

70. Madman in the Marketplace - 19 April 2008

Wu & Arcturus, thanks so much for the Césaire. I admit with embarrassment that I haven’t read him, or even heard of him before. I like to flatter myself that I’m well-educated, well-read, but I so often find that I’m not.

So much to learn, and life is so full of distractions.

71. marisacat - 19 April 2008

gas in San Francisco…………..3.97

The news report mentioned that it went over 2.00 in late 2003. So it has doubled in less than 5 years.

72. Madman in the Marketplace - 19 April 2008

Religion is stupid, part upteen million:

Bags of crumbs, a box of Cheerios, bagels, bread and other items flew into a fire next to the Milwaukee Kollel on Friday morning as about 75 Orthodox Jews tossed away their leavened food products in preparation for the start of Passover.

The eight-day holiday – called Pesach in Hebrew – begins at sundown today.

Milwaukee Fire Department Capt. Gerard Washington and a fire engine crew stood nearby, talking with adults and handing out plastic firefighter hats to the kids.

The Fire Department’s involvement started last year as it implemented a yearlong grant for multicultural outreach. It has helped make fire calls prompted by smoke from the annual burning a thing of the past, Washington said.

The fire is a ritual with ancient roots, part of the holiday’s remembrance of the Israelites’ flight from Egypt and liberation from slavery. According to Judaism, they departed in such haste, with no time for bread to rise, that they had to eat unleavened bread.

Hmmmm, in a time when hunger and food shortages and increasing strain on food pantries, one would think that a visit to a local shelter and donations would be a better idea.

73. marisacat - 19 April 2008

state religion… well I think ours is sheer authority, wth the stench of whatever religion is handy.

Charlie’s roundtable last night, first half was on il papa. Meacham of Newsqueak… Celopete from the NY archdiocese and a couple of others… WHAT FUCKING BULLSHIT.

Then he followed that with Michael Kinsley, always a questionable person imo, and now really so.

He, at some point in the greasy dissemble, slobbered his love for WFB (thankfully deceased! if only he could be forgotten!) and later gloried in his swoon for BHO. In fact he says we are more advanced than we had thought in race relations, when a black man can be called elite. He laughed but he was not kidding.

We are lost in prayerful ignorance and always ready with the lube to accommodate the latest Great Man.

74. marisacat - 19 April 2008


If the local shelter is still open. I just heard last night that the Haight Ashbury Free Pantry shut down. Gone.

75. wilfred - 19 April 2008

Exactly! I just put on Channel 1 here in NYC to get the weather and there is the Papal Mass and it’s also on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CNN and MSNBC.


As Maher said, if this man ran a Day Care center he’d be in jail.

76. marisacat - 19 April 2008

local news just showed Ratz arriving at St Patty’s… I could net tell for sure as it was a fleeting shot as he exited the limo… but I think he wore a capelet of pure white broadtail fur.

77. wilfred - 19 April 2008

as he exited the limo… but I think he wore a capelet of pure white broadtail fur.

all the better to demonstrate his vow of poverty 🙂

78. marisacat - 19 April 2008

well most priests don’t take a vow of poverty. Nuns and monks do and those who live in cloistered retreats.

I mean, they worked it out long ago, these princes of the church.

79. JJB - 19 April 2008

Melvin, no. 45,

Anyone who has followed college sports the last 50 years knows that Ann Arbor is a city. DH is just following the stupid, formulistic writing that the BBBs have developed, one of the tics being that no pun/gag is to be avoided, no matter how stupid and tortured, and no chance to show off the author’s supposed cleverness is to be passed up. It’s almost like the old Henry Luce mandated TIME magazine style, where backwards ran the sentences until reeled the mind.

BTW, it’s nice to see ABC get creamed for that awful “debate” the other night, but almost no one has pointed out that having George Stephanopolous as co-moderator was as obvious a conflict of interest as can be imagined. Eric Alterman is the only person I’ve seen point this out. It also seems that Charles Gibson thinks $200,000 is a typical yearly middle-class household income (Matthew Yglesias picked up on that). That reminds me of how Nelson Rockefeller, back in the mid-1960s, tried to promote some tax plan of his by discussing how it would affect a typical family of four with an income of $100,000 a year, at a time when maybe 1% of the households in the country made that much annually.

80. Intermittent Bystander - 19 April 2008

Close- up of the capeletted Crusader.

NYT on the early morning line:

Although today’s service was intended for clergy, several prominent special guests could be spotted in the crowd, including former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and his wife, Judith. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg was in attendance, and was thanked by a cathedral vicar and received a standing ovation from the clergy. “It is wonderful to be here this beautiful morning,” Mr. Bloomberg said from the lectern, adding, “I don’t know if the pope is responsible for the fantastic weather that we have had,” but “there are no accidents.”

Reciting reasons for New Yorkers to be proud, Mayor Bloomberg concluded, “To top it all off, it’s Passover.” Mr. Bloomberg said the city had been a beacon of religious tolerance.

I used to work in the Art Deco building next door to St. Patrick’s and had big sunny windows (excellent for phalaenopsis) with a direct view of the roof spires. (Good Friday could be a bit lugubrious, as the dirges rose up in late afternoon.) Every now and then ACT UP would throw a spanner in the heavenly machinery, and the police response clearly demonstrated the city’s religious tolerance.

81. marisacat - 19 April 2008


This is the story accompanying the photo up top…

I loved this comment from the thread:

# 5.
April 19th,
9:43 am

Popes come and go but there will never be another Pope John XXIII. When he was elected Hannah Arendt’s maid in Rome called out:

Signora, they’ve elected a Christian!

— Posted by norman ravitch

Yes because it almost never happens…

82. marisacat - 19 April 2008


irreverent minds….

Thanks for the close-up. Some kind of fur, maybe a beaver or nutria… the shearing made me think it ws broadtail… hmmmm looks like a rose or floral design.

Quite the fashion item.

83. Intermittent Bystander - 19 April 2008

No doubt we’ll get the vestmentdetails by and by. Maybe Barbara Bradley Hagerty will fill us in on NPR.

By the way, I wasn’t familiar with the term “broadtail,” and found this interesting at the Wiki (redirected) page:

Karakul pelts

Very young or even fetal Karakul lambs are prized for pelts. Newborn karakul sheep’s pelts are called karakul (also spelled caracul), swakara (coined from South West Africa Karakul), namikara or nakara (from Namibian karakul), astrakhan (Russian), Persian lamb, agnello di persia, (Italian) and krimmer (Russian). Sometimes the terms for newborn lambs’ and fetal lambs’ pelts are used interchangeably.[1] The newborn lambs have a tight, curly pattern of hair. The lambs must be under three days old when they are killed, or they will lose their black color and soft, tightly worn coils of fur. Dark colors are dominant and lambs often darken in color as they age. Fetal karakul lambs’ pelts are called broadtail, breitschwanz (German), and karakulcha.

Are they sometimes white, as well? Does that make them extra-special fetuses?

84. Intermittent Bystander - 19 April 2008

Fetal lambs in the mod pod. Feel free to kill their mothers to (briefly) rescue the little dears!

85. marisacat - 19 April 2008


well they don’t come in white that I have known of… (and i am not recommending broadtail, in any of its versions)… but I assume any organic material could be treated and bleached, by whatever method is used.in the fur biz.

hmmm… I am probably more familiar with the end product… I think of persian lamb fur as the still tightly curled version, broadtail as the sheared version, meaning sheared over all.

Persian lamb for coats and hats, etc.. and broadtail used for oh, cocktail suits … I have never seen either but in dark colors.

Maybe his capelet is of a deep pelt synthetic, then sheared to the foral pattern.

86. marisacat - 19 April 2008

Certainly easy tho to think of His High Holiness bedecked in fetal fur.

Seems strangely barbaric and appropriate.

87. Intermittent Bystander - 19 April 2008

Here’s a local story from Connecticut, where the outfits were made –
The Pope’s new clothes – but no detail on the capelet, per se.

At Sunday’s public Mass at Yankee Stadium, Pope Benedict XVI will be wearing large, ornate vestments designed by Baker Liturgical Art of Southington. His outfit will be in off-white to symbolize the Easter season. His vestments will have four small, red crosses, symbolizing the blood of Christ and derived from the New York archdiocese’s coat of arms.

Saturday’s clergy Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral will feature vestments designed to resemble the gothic cathedral.

88. Intermittent Bystander - 19 April 2008

Another local article, with more detail on the wardrobe preparations: Connecticut Firm Dresses Pope For U.S.

Although he would not reveal the Vatican’s budget for the project, Baker said it involved more than 150 artisans, including enamel workers, metal workers and 50 seamstresses who hand-embroidered many of the items.

More than 1,500 yards of fabric, nearly a mile-long swath, was used to create all the garments.

And this was pretty funny:

(Brian Baker has done work outside the liturgical arena. He was the general contractor hired by former Gov. John G. Rowland to do work at the governor’s privately owned cottage in Litchfield. Renovations made by state employees and contractors at the cottage contributed to Rowland’s decision to resign and his subsequent criminal conviction. Baker was not charged with any offense.)

89. marisacat - 19 April 2008

hmm very interesting that a CT company was used…. rather than Roman ecclesiastical haberdashers.

Thanks for those links…

90. marisacat - 19 April 2008

hmmm Baker Liturgical also does church restoration. And well in with Ratzy, clearly

91. Intermittent Bystander - 19 April 2008

Correction to my sloppy phrasing above – yes, Baker Liturgical did the designs (and their main gig is church renovations and restorations – quite the apt metaphor for Ratzy’s visit), but it looks like Baker’s Dutch partner – Stadelmaier BV – did the actual sewing of the vestments, and a Spanish company did the metalwork.

Here’s a Washington Times article including a Baker Liturgical press release, verbatim. Benedict: Traffic Nightmare?

92. marisacat - 19 April 2008

Hosanna! We are restored.

93. Intermittent Bystander - 19 April 2008

In 1999, ACT UP held a press conference commemorating the 1989 demonstration at St. Patrick’s. This page includes updates through 2003 or so, including a piece on the revisionism evident in Cardinal O’Connor’s obituaries even one day after his death in 2000.

O’Connor was a rabid right-winger whose grip on political power in New York City kept condoms and effective AIDS education out of the city’s schools and youth homeless shelters; denied drug users access to clean needles; condoned homophobic violence by the police and the public at large; encouraged US war-mongering and violent assaults on women and their doctors by anti-abortionists; and bolstered the Giuliani Regime, possibly the most repressive, heartless, culturally destructive administration New York City has ever experienced. No amount of harassing unfortunate people dying of AIDS in Catholic-controlled hospitals can make up for all that evil — and he was greatly to blame why they were in the hospitals in the first place.

Some will never be restored.

94. marisacat - 19 April 2008

Some will never be restored.

isn’t it the truth…….

95. Miss Devore - 19 April 2008

hey–I thought Jesus said to feed the lambs…not kill and accessorize!

wilfred–I’ve been reading “Under the Banner of Heaven” almost non-stop. very interesting and timely considering the Texas bust and the discovery that the Pentagon has contracts with Jeffs company.

sorry, for some reason can’t paste a link

96. liberalcatnip - 19 April 2008

Our reign of terror, by the Israeli army; In shocking testimonies that reveal abductions, beatings and torture, Israeli soldiers confess the horror they have visited on Hebron

97. liberalcatnip - 19 April 2008

Dear ms x and your “greenery”,

It’s been snowing steadily here since yesterday morning.

Grrr & Brrrr…

catnip in a parka and toque

98. wilfred - 19 April 2008

I just saw this documentary “Constantine’s Sword” about the origins of the cross as a symbol and about the Catholic church and Christianity’s turn to violence since adopting that symbol (it was made by the former priest and author James Carroll). It covers everything from the Crusades, WWII to Vietnam and the current Evangelicazation of the Air Force Academy.

Here’s a link to the trailer:

99. marisacat - 19 April 2008

Meet the Press: Obama strategist David Axelrod, Clinton strategist Geoff Garin

This Week: McCain

Face the Nation: Obama-backing PA Sen. Casey, Clinton-backing Gov. Rendell

Fox News Sunday: Sens. Dick Durbin, Chuck Schumer, Karl Rove

Late Edition: Former NJ Sen. Bill Bradley, NJ Gov. Corzine, Philly Mayor Nutter, PA Rep. Fattah, McCain economic adviser Fiorina

100. wilfred - 19 April 2008

This Week: McCain

What are the odds ole Steffie will ask McCain an hour full of the drivel he peddled to the Dems?

Yeah, i thought not.

101. liberalcatnip - 19 April 2008
102. marisacat - 19 April 2008


nu thread

tho I have to admit I am sorry to leave Ratzy in his lacy laying-in baby bunting behind… LOL. And the fetal furs…


103. diane - 19 April 2008

hi all, hope everyone’s having as good a day as possible………nothing to say, just checkin in.

104. Intermittent Bystander - 19 April 2008

wilfred – Thanks very much for the link to Constantine’s Sword. Sure sounds like it merits viewing. (FYI – The subject of the documentary is Caroll, but the filmmaker is Oren Jacoby.)

Catnip – Your questions are perfectly reasonable and your pfft is appropriate, but isn’t it thoroughly obvious that America’s political class – including all of the viable candidates – has decided to let history handle the indictments and (everlasting) punishments for war crimes?

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