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Joy … hmm ? 26 October 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, U.S. House.


Representative Steny H. Hoyer, the House majority leader, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi are hoping to bolster Democratic numbers. [Brendan Smialowski for The New York Times]

I see it… don’t you? All over their faces…………..  It’s a recent shot too, just appearing in the Times today.  Here is a snip from the text:

If Mr. Obama, of Illinois, defeats Mr. McCain, he could be the first president since Jimmy Carter to enter office with wide control of the House and 60 votes in the Senate. That in theory would give Democrats the power to overcome procedural hurdles that have bedeviled both parties in recent years.

“Whether or not the Democrats have 60 is something that is going to be a very significant factor in the way the country is governed,” said Robert A. Caro, the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer and Senate historian, referring to the number needed to cut off Senate debate and push legislation to a vote.

Cheer up.. I am sure the pale pink lambkins are en route.  Probably the [city transit] bus broke down, but Legions of Lambchops will get here to sing songs of overwhelming Democratic majorities.  Songs of joy… what else?

Democrats said they were well aware of the mistakes of the past and the overconfidence exhibited during one-party rule of the Clinton and Bush administrations that led to Democrats’ losing control of the House in 1994 and to Republicans’ experiencing a similar defeat in 2006.

Chastened by their years in exile, Democrats said they were determined to avoid those pitfalls should voters deliver them control of the White House and Congress.

The nature of the Democratic majority, expanded partly through the election of centrists and even conservatives, would also temper Democratic zeal to pursue an overly ideological agenda, Democrats said.

“We are going to get new members with a clear understanding that the reason they won is appealing to independents and disaffected Republicans, and they are going to want to continue to do that,” said the House majority leader, Representative Steny H. Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland.

Yet even in the last two years, with a slimmer majority, Mr. Hoyer, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders have struggled to manage the competing demands of party factions, including antiwar liberals on the left and fiscal hawks on the right.

Buck up Democrats!   Remember!  You’re getting the keys to the global meat locker!

Meanwhile the lambkins are unavoidably delayed for an unknown time… they tried continuing overland, street level, after the bus breakdown, but shooting broke out… so they found space with a convoy heading up to the elevated inter-state, but a tanker burst into flames, consuming several cars and the road surface itself… so they are back down on the street level.  Right now, they are hiding in back alleys…  and thinking they will pass on that sing song gig with the Dems… it’s occured to them the Dems really wanted them as items for the bar b q menu…



1. diane - 26 October 2008

Is that Steny telling the cook he wants his rack of lamb rare?

2. bayprairie - 26 October 2008

Lightnin’ Hopkins: Two Songs

Hurricane Beulah

you know the shack where i’m living
its been robbed but it never fell
you know the shack where i was livin
its been robbed but it never fell
how that cyclone started
no one but the lord can tell

3. diane - 26 October 2008

Thanks for that link bay!

4. Intermittent Bystander - 26 October 2008

Morning, all. Had to quit blogworld for a while to gird my brains for the final daze of the election cyclone.

One good hurricane tune deserves another . . .

The Duhks (from Winnipeg), Mighty Storm.

5. marisacat - 26 October 2008

hmmm TimesOnline pops up a back ground piece on Nouriel R… with this in it:

What does Roubini think is going to happen next? Rather worryingly, in London last Thursday he predicted that hundreds of hedge funds will go bust and stock markets may soon have to shut – perhaps for as long as a week – in order to stem the panic selling now sweeping the world.

What happened? The next day trading was briefly stopped in New York and Moscow.


Contacted in Madrid on Friday, Roubini said the world economy was “at a breaking point”. He believes the stock markets are now “essentially in free fall” and “we are reaching the point of sheer panic”.

What does his objectivity tell him now? No end is yet in sight to the crisis.

“Every time there has been a severe crisis in the last six months, people have said this is the catastrophic event that signals the bottom. They said it after Bear Stearns, after Fannie and Freddie, after AIG [the giant US insurer that had to be rescued], and after [the $700 billion bailout plan]. Each time they have called the bottom, and the bottom has not been reached.”

Across the world, governments have taken more and more aggressive actions to stop the panic. However, Roubini believes investors appear to have lost confidence in governments’ ability to sort out the mess.

The announcement of the US government’s $700 billion bailout, Gordon Brown’s grand bank rescue plan and the coordinated response of governments around the world has done little to calm the situation. “It’s been a slaughter, day after day after day,” said Roubini. “Markets are dysfunctional; they are totally unhinged.” Economic fundamentals no longer apply, he believes.

“Even using the nuclear option of guaranteeing everything, providing unlimited liquidity, nationalising the banks, making clear that nobody of importance is going to be allowed to fail, even that has not helped. We are reaching a breaking point, frankly.”

He believes governments will have to come up with an even bigger international rescue, and that the US is facing “multi-year economic stagnation”. ::snip::

6. marisacat - 26 October 2008


hey hey IB how are you???

7. Intermittent Bystander - 26 October 2008


WASHINGTON (Reuters)WASHINGTON, October 26 (Reuters) – Two earthquakes shook northern California early Sunday but local officials said there were no immediate reports of injuries or damages.

A magnitude 4.6 quake occurred about 19 miles west of Petrolia, California, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The town is about 265 miles north of San Francisco. The quake hit at 2:26 a.m. PST (0926 GMT) and was 11 miles deep, according to the USGS National Earthquake Center.

A second quake struck the same location about a minute later, the center said in a revised report. USGS originally reported that the second quake, measuring 4.1, hit near Fort Ross, California.

Johnny “Lockjaw” McPained is on MTP “disagreeing” with Brokaw about the polls. “We’re closing in!”

8. Intermittent Bystander - 26 October 2008

6 – Hey hey! I’m hangin’ in. Starting to get chilly hereabouts, with big rains yesterday.

Lovely pelicans a few threads back. Those birds have got elegant design.

9. marisacat - 26 October 2008

hmm I was awake at 2:26 and felt nothing… at all.

10. Intermittent Bystander - 26 October 2008

Ha ha ha! A headline the other day (something about Obama and McCain trying a little “western swing”) and the strained visages of Pelosi, Steny, and McWarHero (it was 41 years ago today, oozed Brokaw, that you were shot down over Hanoi . . . how does it feeeeeel, Senator?) ALL made me think of Riders in the Sky’s version of (Sons of the Pioneers’) Blue Shadows on the Trail, complete with 3-part coyote howls. Just played it here and the neighbor’s dog chimed in!

11. Intermittent Bystander - 26 October 2008

Blue shadows
Shades of night are falling
As the wind be-gins to sigh
And the world’s silhou-etted a-gainst the sky.

Blue Shadows on the Trail
Blue moon shinin’ through the trees.
And a plain–tiff wail— from the distance
Comes a driftin’ on the evening breeze.

Move a-long, Blue Shadows, move a-long
Soon the dawn will come and you’ll be on your way

Un-til the darkness sheds its veil
There’ll be Blue Shadows on the Trail.

Move a-long, Blue Shadows, move a-long
Soon the dawn will come and you’ll be on your way

Un-til the darkness sheds its veil
There’ll be Blue Shadows on the Trail.
Shadows on the Trail.

Audio link with coyote howls in the mod canyon, I think.


12. Intermittent Bystander - 26 October 2008

Glad to hear you missed the rattle and roll!

The Playing for Change vid at Moyers was great. Much more joyful than the American Gothics up top!

Got some coyotes stuck in the mod pod, I think. . . .

13. liberalcatnip - 26 October 2008

Cheesecake for all. I found a new place to live – outside of the city. Yay.

Hi IB!

14. liberalcatnip - 26 October 2008

I think these stories about diva Palin going rogue are more than a bit ironic considering she was chosen for her so-called “maverick” ways. McSurge chose a “reformer” and now she’s reforming his campaign. You get what you pay for and, apparently, she doesn’t want to dance with the one who brung her. [insert more cliches here]

As for the Dems, if they win with absolute power I give them 4 years max.

15. liberalcatnip - 26 October 2008

Israel heading for election

Israel is heading for a period of political turmoil after prime minister-designate Tzipi Livni on Sunday gave up efforts to form a coalition government.

Her decision, which was widely expected, means the country is heading for parliamentary elections, probably early in 2009.

Livni, who took over the ruling coalition headed by her Kadima Party in September, could not come to terms with the ultra-Orthodox Shas Party, which said Friday it would not back a Livni-led coalition.
Recent polls indicate that the hawkish Likud party, headed by former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, would win an election if it was held immediately.

Netanyahu has said he would not continue peace negotiations with the Palestinians. Livni has been Israel’s top negotiator, although both the Israelis and Palestinians have acknowledged that the deadline for a deal this year is not realistic.

16. Intermittent Bystander - 26 October 2008

Congrats, lc! (And thanks for the raspberry mini – I was just lamenting my failure to obtain cider donuts during yesterday’s stop at the farmstand!)

So . . . will you have room to fling pumpkins? When will you (shudder, shiver) make the move?

17. marisacat - 26 October 2008

Two of IB’s out of Moderation… sorry there was a delay!

18. liberalcatnip - 26 October 2008

16. So . . . will you have room to fling pumpkins?

Yup! In the field behind the place I’m moving to. That’d be a good way to get to know the neighbours, eh? 🙂

When will you (shudder, shiver) make the move?

Nov 15th – 1 year to the day that I moved in with The Dysfunctionals here. On to different dysfunctions…

19. marisacat - 26 October 2008


yeah but didn’t you [have to] move along with the dysfunctionals? I mean, making a decision that it was best at the moment, in terms of available housing at the time and so on?

That’s a lot of moves. Hope this works out well and stays copacetic.. 😉

20. liberalcatnip - 26 October 2008

19. Yes. Ms Dysfunctional decided to buy a house when her rent went up so I ended up moving with her in June. I advertized at that time for a different place but didn’t really get many responses. One of them, ironically, was from the woman I’m now moving in with who replied to my latest ad too. I decided not to move out there then because I was concerned about not being able to get into the city if I needed to (I don’t have a car) but she offered to let me use hers any time I need to so that helped to seal the deal. That and the pure fatigue I’ve developed after a year of living with The Dysfucntionals here, not to mention the recent addition of a massive dog and the return of her juvenile delinquent car thief son from jail a few days ago. (Good kid, actually, but he needs help with impulse control problems and he’s not getting it.)

Yup. Time to move on.

I’m starting to think that there’s a reason I keep falling into peoples’ lives. Might make for an interesting book – “The Housemate” or something like that. Stories from a roaming (and relatively sane) roommate. 🙂

21. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 October 2008

Sunday Morning: Medical Care In France Is Efficient, Quick, And Costs Half What Americans Spend On Health Care

Of course, all this comes with a price tag.

On a per capita basis it costs the French about $3,400 a year for health care, most of which, they complain, comes from taxes.

But in the U.S., per capita spending for health care is almost double that figure

And there are still roughly forty six million Americans who are uninsured.

And while the French are determined to preserve their system (it’s currently running a 12 to 14 billion dollar deficit), most agree something’s got to change.

“People come to France just to have free care and they don’t pay,” one doctor said.

So, is their system really better than ours?

Well, the only thing I can really say definitively is, in France you can go to the hospital without going broke.

I always laugh at the unwillingness of American reporters on these stories to say that something done here isn’t as good.

22. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 October 2008

It’s interesting to see reports like the one on CBS Sunday Morning and the excellent series NPR did earlier this year, not all that long after plenty of journalists went after Michael Moore’s doc (most famously on CNN w/ that hack Sanjay Gupta).

23. marisacat - 26 October 2008

France covers you thru out the EU as well.

24. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 October 2008

There was also a story talking about healthcare here, and comparing the two candidates’ inadequate plans.

But who really ends up paying for the uninsured? All of us.

“Maybe the standard amount that you charge a person with health insurance is a little bit higher to make up for all the uininsured?” Braver asked.

“Correct,” said Dr. Feussner. “Patients with health insurance probably pay disproportionately more than they might if everybody was insured.”

The two presidential candidates have radically different approaches to the health insurance crisis.

Sen. John McCain says it’s time to move away from employer-based care …

“I want to give every American family a $5,000 refundable tax credit,” he said. “Take it and get anywhere in America the health care that you wish.”

As a trade off, McCain would tax – for the first time – employer-provided health insurance policies, which average about $12,000 annually for a family.

“The practical effect of the changes in the tax system that he’s talking about are going to decrease employer sponsored insurance,” said Linda Blumberg of the non-partisan Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center.

That’s because, according to Blumberg, young, healthy people will be able to find cheaper coverage on the open market than at work. And employers may no longer feel obligated to offer group insurance for everyone else.

The McCain plan, I think, would actually hurt people who have health conditions and people who are older, because they would not fare as well obtaining health insurance coverage away from their employers.”

Fr the highest-risk patients, like Sharon McGovern, McCain says he would get states to subsidize special insurance pools called “guaranteed access plans.” How they would be funded is unclear.

As for Sen. Barak Obama, he said, “If you’ve got health insurance through your employer, you can keep your health insurance, keep your choice of doctor, keep your plan.”

Obama wants to build on the current employer-based system, subsidizing small businesses that can’t afford insurance.

He would also create large insurance pools to sell affordable coverage to the uninsured, including those with severe health problems like Sharon. Larger businesses that don’t offer employee health insurance would be required to pay in.

Health policy groups estimate that many more of the uninsured would be covered under Obama’s plan. But it would be more expensive:

“The Obama plan just sounds like it’s going to cost taxpayers so much money,” Braver said.

“Well, there is potential for big increases on spending if we’re not careful about putting a serious emphasis on cost containment,” Blumberg (left) said.

Today, more than half of all bankruptcies are due in part to health care expenses. It has not come to that yet for Sharon McGovern, though she did lose her house.

It’s costing us now, and it’s depressing that this is the point where the discussion always ends.

It boils down to the sad fact about people in this country is we don’t want to pay for other Americans not like ourselves, people who don’t “deserve” it, whatever THAT means.

25. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 October 2008

IOZ linked to THIS. Frakkin’ great.

26. marisacat - 26 October 2008

The other bad bad bad bad bad thing in US health care is THE DOCTORS.

And I think i have been thru the wringer, between both parents and myself. Drs make it clear, they want to choose their patients (malleable) and, further, the illnesses that interest them. And I am not talking about specialties.

I am talking about being in a business with a fully alive component and basically being there just for the money. It is too common. It’s the norm. Most of them should be mediocre sales people. Restaurant supplies, something like that. There is a live component, the restaurant clientele, but they are not in “critical” condition and exist a ways down the line….

You’d have to change American society to change that mess.

27. marisacat - 26 October 2008

I read that Ob now is being advised by one of the architects of the MASS plan. Which is NOT a good plan.

And there was some fake hoopla in the WashTimes that Orrin and Teddy (old buds) are all up in a tizzy. Teddy WILL leave us with a medical plan. He is convening meetings at Hyannisport even as Ob and Knob and Michelle polish the crowns.

Shit why bother now? He never cared before.

We have such utter scum in office. All of them.

28. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 October 2008

You’d have to change American society to change that mess.


29. marisacat - 26 October 2008

Gah. NY Mag has some slobberation on who Ob might pick…

“Given the unusually crisis-plagued environment into which Obama will be stepping, he will want to move quickly, especially when it comes to selecting his Cabinet. Almost certain to come first, perhaps within days, will be his economic and national-security teams. And with those choices, they say, he will want to send a message of centrism and bi-partisanship. It’s conceivable that Obama will ask Bob Gates to stay on as Defense secretary; Chuck Hagel, too, might find a place high in the administration. But although there has been chatter that Obama might also retain Hank Paulson at the Treasury, the inside betting is on a Larry Summers encore. ‘They’re gonna want somebody who knows the building, knows the economy, has been confirmed before and been advising them on economics,’ says the former Clinton aide. ‘I’d be flabbergasted if they chose somebody else.’”

I want a button that says:

I voted for Clinton once – 16 years ago, it was enough. The Restoration bores me.

30. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 October 2008

Larry Summers??!!??

Really, that’s the best they can do?

31. marisacat - 26 October 2008

The Chicago Defender puts out slobber promoting JJjr to the Obama seat.


We believe that Congressman Jackson has proven to be the very best person to carry on Barack’s legacy and to represent all Illinoisans in the Senate.

Not only that, Jesse Jr. would serve as a stalwart and loyal advocate in the U.S. Senate for the new administration, which could critically prove important in the tough years ahead.

Great, another pro lifer to the senate. And I am sure Delaware will put in another slippery Catholic who will service all of Biden’s financial services constituents. And play the old Catholic footsie game. WIth the church but diddling the wimmen voters.

32. Intermittent Bystander - 26 October 2008

Catnip – hope the new house and housemate are functional to the max. Pumpkin trebuchet-ready or not!

(Perhaps the neighbors would prefer some understated gourd art, instead.)

Madman – congrats on the new blog! Good to see you in a fresh space all your own, unhaunted by the ghosts of liberal streetfighters past.

Speaking of fights . . . the BBC has this:

US helicopter-borne troops have carried out a raid inside Syria along the Iraqi border, killing eight people including a woman, Syrian authorities say.

Syria has summoned the US and Iraqi envoys to Damascus to protest against what it called a US military attack, official media reported.

33. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 October 2008

Thanks IB!

All Work, No Play

Medical and poll-based evidence indicates that we seriously need relief. Work-related stress can lead to sudden heart attacks, obesity, anxiety and depression. A World Health Organization and Harvard Medical School study last year put the United States at the top of the list of depressed (or otherwise mentally disordered) countries, while the Gallup Daily Happiness-Stress Index finds that the only consistent upswing in mood occur when Americans get some time off on the weekends or holidays.

As John de Graaf, executive director of the Seattle-based advocacy group Take Back Your Time, puts it, Americans are “time-starved and vacation-starved.”

Americans put in more hours at work than any other nation, surpassing even the workaholic Japanese. We average nine more weeks of labor per year than our working counterparts in Western Europe, who get at least 20 paid days of vacation each year.

34. marisacat - 26 October 2008

Work-related stress can lead to sudden heart attacks, obesity, anxiety and depression.

They never want to discuss that one. But of course it is all the worker’s fault. Just rush to a mid day 15 minutes of yoga, that will do it.

35. Intermittent Bystander - 26 October 2008

The US could do with a few more “bank holidays” right about now, anyway.

Wish we had more (as in any) thoroughly secular, non-historical, non-military, and (is it too damn much to ask?) nature-based holidays on the frickin calendar. Plum Blossom Festival, anyone? Leaf-Peeping Day? Public Park Celebration Day?

Perhaps you all saw this a few news cycles ago, but it probably bears repeating: Uninsured not to blame for long emergency waits.

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Contrary to conventional wisdom, hospital emergency departments in the United States are not overrun by uninsured people with minor ailments who want free treatment, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.

The findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, contradict widespread assumptions that the nation’s 46 million uninsured are to blame for long wait times and overcrowding in U.S. hospital emergency departments.


“The uninsured are actually underrepresented in the emergency department. Seventeen percent of Americans are uninsured, almost one in five people. But in the emergency department, we see somewhere between 10 and 15 percent uninsured, closer to 10 percent,” Newton said.

One reason for this, she said, is that unlike the insured, people with no insurance are billed for the full cost of the visit.

Newton said emergency departments are required to treat and stabilize anyone who shows up. “That doesn’t mean we don’t send bills,” she said.

“When they show up at the emergency department, instead of showing up with sniffles and backaches as is the common assumption, they are actually showing up far sicker than the average person because they delay care,” Newton said.

36. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 October 2008

Pretty entertaining piece at The Humanist website by Pete Stark: The Accidental Atheist: From Hippie to Humanist in Half a Century

I was born eight months after my parents were married in 1931 and from there my life has been one accident after another. My identity was forged in part by my father, who both told a lot of stories about, and always seemed to relate to, the underdog. My mother worked to keep my brother and me in Lincoln Grammar School and out of reform school, which was a full-time job in those days. As I often describe it, although we weren’t poor, I never slept alone until I was married.

After childhood I became an accidental scholar. I scored 800 on the math SAT, and somebody decided I ought to be an engineer. So I went to MIT and promptly flunked out by Christmas of my freshman year. In fact, I was the first president of the freshman class who ever flunked out. I returned, however, to avoid going to Korea. Most of my relatives came from Germany, and we have a long history of cowardice that stems back to Bismarck in 1893. They would emigrate whenever there was a major war, and I didn’t want to spoil the Starks’ record. So, I ran back to MIT in June of 1950 to stay out of the war and stay in ROTC.

I then became an accidental pedagogue. MIT had, until 1953, an unblemished and perfect record of placement of its graduates. Lo and behold, here came Stark, limping along with a marginal record and no offers. So MIT and I decided on an arrangement whereby I could be a teaching assistant in the Sloan School of Management. I could work for a year for $300 a month, teaching two courses and taking two. That was the agreement. At the end of the year I would get a recommendation to any graduate school I chose, except MIT.

Next I became an accidental warrior. I had to serve my time in the U.S. Air Force and was transferred back to my hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After finishing my active duty, I decided to go on to graduate school. Berkeley didn’t know any better and admitted me.

At the University of California, Berkeley, I became an accidental hippie.

And then I became an accidental Democrat.

I opposed the Vietnam War in the 1960s so when Eugene McCarthy came along I said, “That’s my guy.” I’d been what you might call a La Follette Republican when I moved from Wisconsin to California. But then, when I was working for McCarthy, somebody said, “If you want to be a delegate, you’ve got to be a Democrat.” So I went down and changed my registration and the rest is history.

In 1972 I thought I could be Secretary of Health and Human Services under George McGovern. When it became apparent that wasn’t likely, I became an accidental congressman. I was sitting in my office one day when a group came in and asked if I would like to run in the primary against a senior incumbent Democratic congressman who was for the war, said there were no hungry people in our district, and didn’t think the environment was in any danger. These folks wanted somebody to challenge him in the primary. I did, and I won. I went to Congress in 1972 and, again, the rest is history.

The next accident made me a health care expert in 1984. Every two years Congress reorganizes itself and in our committees we select subcommittee chairs by virtue of their seniority. Earlier I had chaired what we called the Welfare Subcommittee on the Ways and Means Committee. We dealt with aid for dependent children and a whole host of programs that I still work on diligently, as does my wife, Deborah Stark. Then from 1981-1984 I chaired what we called the “Teeny Tax Committee,” rewriting the Life Insurance Tax Code (for any of you who want to fall asleep some night, read the Life Insurance Tax Code).

In 1984, Rep. Jake Pickle (D-TX) opted for my committee. I was left with the choice of Social Security or Health. I took health, never having served there before. I became Chairman of the Subcommittee on Health on a Tuesday. By Thursday I learned about six organs in my body that I didn’t know existed. Each one had a lobbyist in Washington representing it and Humana offered to transplant any of them for free, and there I was.

37. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 October 2008

I think that humanists are on the cusp of a movement, and I would like to offer some suggestions about how it could be expanded to help those of us who have progressive interests in the world. But first I want to suggest what little I have learned about God and governments.

I think that most of my colleagues, and politicians in general, just pay lip service to one god or another. Go back in history–was Caesar placating gods or was he chasing after Cleopatra? Was Napoleon more concerned with the pope or the Prussians? Did Hirohito really think he was a god? Did he need Hitler or did he need oil? The answer is that it has never been about God for politicians. It has been about power. It has never been about peace on Earth. It has been about profit in your pocket.

We have a president who, commendably, put his alcoholism under control without treatment. And I say this in all sincerity because beating or controlling alcoholism by oneself is a monumental task. So, we could say it’s understandable that under those circumstances George W. Bush felt he was born again. (And if the Supreme Court made me president, I might think I’d received a message from God.) But I think it’s this sense, misguided or not, that has gotten this country into war, brought economic problems, denied our children education, denied 47 million people decent health care, and has led the United States into an economic disaster. We are in a recession, and only the very poorest among us realize the true magnitude of that recession. I think we have to look to this person who has thought more about good and evil than about what we ought to be doing for the population at large.

If we can empower the least powerful among us, we’ll be on our way. I would confine God to currency, constitutional control, and colloquialisms like “Godspeed” and “gadzooks.” Then we can begin to deal with the real problems in the world, such as those related to education, health care, poverty, and human rights. But we can’t move ahead if we’re going to tolerate abstinence-only training, creationism, denial of environmental destruction, and oppression of reason. The power of simple solutions can fill a vacuum caused by the abandonment of reason, and that has got to end.

38. marisacat - 26 October 2008

I’ve decided the country can’t, in fact, be rational abut anything at all, til it has real health care. Which it will not get. We won’t be getting anything worth having.

I heard an interview with Fran Drescher on what she went thru, with insurance and with sufficient personal wealth to pick and choose doctors, in the more than two year effort to get a diagnosis. which turned out to be cancer. 8 doctors and a list of advisories and recommendations that make you want to beat your head agasint the wall.

If the good care is so bad, think of the bad care and no care.


There si a very badly written article in the LAT on Wall St wives having to face life with less money. But along the way they told the story of a WSW who, the day that either Lehman or Bear Stearns crashed (forget which her husband was with) was alone at the hospital being prepped for a mastectomy (and was pregnant) on the phone to the husband (at work amid the crash), asking, if they go bankrupt TODAY, am I covered TODAY.

Geesh. The only answer is single payer. The only.

39. diane - 26 October 2008

Congrats catnip!

Good to see read your words Intermittent Bystander

I see soctors as little as possible, not interested in a doctor with an MBA in Business, will take my chances…

talkin about rack of lamb,…..havin a conversation about Dianne …and yeah, I’m interested in CALI – because it’s one of the largest economies in the world…….

So how does it work……Dianne acts like San Francisco is her home base….witness the insane 49ers/sports stand she took as a Senator who presumably is supposed to represent everyone in her state……………

Yet, just look at the defense money…her neighbor, Santa Clara County, which is one of the largest recipients of that money in the US; whose major newspaper, the San Jose Mercury News,…is run by Dean Singleton, a close friend of George Bush. His Murky News is run as if it’s a newspaper for a small town of a few thousand…when, in actuality, Santa Clara County has likely the highest median income (all income divided by the population, a rather nebulous statistic, since the foreclosure rate in that county, is said to have increased in one year, by 428%) in the US (along with an incredibly high rate of incest, last I read) yes an inverse relationship of Poverty to Wealth, i.e.: the more wealthy, the more poor) and lets not talk about studio apartments for $1,300 dollars. Santa Clara County encompasses the Hoover Institute, NASA/Google Yahoo, all three four five blocks of Cisco, HP, et al…yet it’s Major Newspaper is run like it’s a local boy’s club rag, would you care to make a comment on that Dianne?……well, oh is that right, along with the Real Estate ( what exactly does “Real Estate” mean by the way dearest?) your fortune thrives on defense money….shall we head off to Southern Cali now,..and your pals Ms Harman and the Groper?..or shall we stay in the Sly Con Valley area, and discuss Raytheon and their quaint, yet highly popular, pain ray (nothing like having someone subject you to the sensation of being burned alive with no visible marks to prove it, and who were the possible unwitting victims that technological milestone was tested on?) ..well it must be a winner, the LAPD is interested…San Jose surely is, what with an ex, or is that current member, was that Sheriff? (not good on the police terminology) a member in good standing, with the Hoover Institute…………………..

And just how did you manage to swing it that that SEC office in CALI (wasn’t that SF?) was so incredibly small (I mean really, I seem to recollect reading that it was about three people (with the highest rate of Public Corporation domiciles (homes) in the Nation), as to investigating public (wall street), DEFENSE for one, corporations as to what they might be doing behind closed doors? well,…but then agin,…rabbit holes…ever fockin where, as if the head of the SEC was really interested?

40. marisacat - 26 October 2008

LOL I ma unaware of any paper of any note, and believe me the SJ Mercury News next to the SF Chronicle IS a big time paper!, but I don’t know of any paper in California that is not run like a small principality’s personal notepaper.

I think Hearst was a very good exemplar of the state, myself.

41. Intermittent Bystander - 26 October 2008

Breakkkkking . . . AP has an onnymouse military official admitting “special forces” raid in Syria.

“We are taking matters into our own hands,” the official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the political sensitivity of cross-border raids.

42. diane - 26 October 2008

Yes, but the Chronicle, does not act quite as small time as the Murky, and much of the blood being let has every bit to do with the Murkies domain (the last time I looked, there really was no national news at the Murky, and certainly no Matier&Ross, calling folks to account locally, or at least even pretending to), far more so than the Chronicle. I would analogize silicon valley to the creepy shit going on behind closed doors in the Tyson Corners/VA/MD/DC/Swinefest.

But then again, could be because a bulk of that sly con valley money is coming out of quiet families centered around SF …just pondering…….

43. diane - 26 October 2008


doctors, not soctors, although the folks I was referring to might as well be soctors………….

44. marisacat - 26 October 2008

From the AP that IB links to:

The area targeted is near the Iraqi border city of Qaim, which had been a major crossing point for fighters, weapons and money coming into Iraq to fuel the Sunni insurgency.

But the righties tell us the Sunni Awakening, the successful cash based partnership in al anbar, is the key to all things.

Elsewhere today I saw headlines that the negotiations, US and Iraqi, for 2011 (as if it matters, what year is named) were “falling apart”.

45. marisacat - 26 October 2008

I cannot begin to say how small the SF Chron is. It appalls me… the same as ti did when I was ten years old and the interracial marriage of a local woman, Flicka McGuerin, made the FP. It has not changed. It has been a horror on Sanctuary City issues, immigration issues, issues of the big sweeps, the gang crack downs, the recent Ms 13… on and on. By comparison to the Chron, Gavin looks liberal, which he is not

It is a compendium of local events, festivals and promotions and then it covers Cal St Business, as it sees fit. it’s a shameful miserable paper. Decades of no investigative journalism, NONE. (they finally did cover issues of intervention via Feds and FBI in Berkeley in the 60s and won an award, likely as everyone dropped dead from SHOCK) No large pieces on the area, its history, stresses etc. Just lousy from the get go.

46. diane - 26 October 2008

Yeah you fockers…who puppeteer, under the auspices of whatever, may your frikken Brie curdle and rot into some sweating horror…and your precious white, red, brown, and yellow, wine….be loaded…with plastic dinnerware waste product…………..

when exactly, are we going to get around to the fact that all of us, at least most of us when relieved from our hideous addictions, just want to live a life that’s really actually healthy…all the way around…….?

47. Intermittent Bystander - 26 October 2008

Yo, diane! Thought of you when I saw that Dion DiMucci has a new record out – Heroes: Giants of Early Guitar Rock. His last one, Son of Skip James, followed up Bronx in Blue with more fine covers of Robert Johnson, Willy Dixon, Chuck Berry, et al.

48. liberalcatnip - 26 October 2008

A quick example from Dysfunction Junction:

– Juvie Dysfunctional gets out of juvie jail on Thursday and starts calling his friends.
– Juvie Dysfunctional tells his mom on Friday that (we’ll call him) Bart down the street had a party recently where a fight broke out over crack and one kid was stabbed in the head. He lived. The perpetrators fled.
– Juvie Dysfunctional asks Dysfunctional Ma on Saturday nite if he can go to a party at Bart’s next weekend.
– catnip, walking by, overhears and says, “Isn’t that the place where a kid was stabbed in the head?”
– Juvie Dysfucntional, “Yeah”. “Can I go Ma?”
– Dysfunctional Ma, “I’ll think about it”.
– catnip, leaving the scene of the latest dysfunctional thought crime, wanders downstairs thinking, “Hold crap, these people are fucked”.

49. liberalcatnip - 26 October 2008


(My atheist self resists religiosity subliminally sometimes.)

50. diane - 26 October 2008


indeed…I recollect a visit to SF…where some cadaverous thing in a gleamy black porsche came a hairs glimpse of running me into the pavement after running stop sign…and looking at me, like I needed to be dead……

51. diane - 26 October 2008

say, hey hey hey Intermittent Bystander……listenin to BB,….in part because I always get traumitized finangling shit on internet links, and thank you for the link and thinkin about me hon!

52. diane - 26 October 2008


Might have suspected it was Gavin….bet it was a tid bit older than that bot………..

53. diane - 26 October 2008


well I always think, look to those who’ve mentored them, and yeah….armed robberies will be in every neighnorhood soon…..as the scum just continually rises…..if our leaders our scum, well……..with no reprieve…until? sure wish I knew.

54. diane - 26 October 2008

hmmm our scum =are leaders…but then again, I guess we do collectively own them….what a mess..to say the very least.

55. diane - 26 October 2008


hmmm I rather like neighnorhood (should I really correct it?)…not really sure why as of yet…

56. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 October 2008

38 – agreed, but I don’t see it coming.

57. marisacat - 26 October 2008


You’re going to hear this argument a lot this week; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., has even come up with a handy nickname for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and (in this construct) President Barack Obama: “RePO”.

via Tapper at ABC

58. marisacat - 26 October 2008


yeah no me neither.

When the Dems showed NO interest in cleaning up Medicare Part D (the prescription mess) any odd trailing little thought that we might ever get an improvment, of any kind, died.

Part D is a horror. A cantilevered winger (McClellan, the brother at FDA or HHS or where ever they stuck him to do his dirty work) mess. And the Dems are fine.

59. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 October 2008

Stop the Raids in the First 100 Days

The first of the 388 workers arrested in the immigration raid on the Agriprocessors meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa, were deported last week, having spent five months in federal prison. Their crime? Giving a bad Social Security number to the company to get hired. Among them will be a young man who had his eyes covered with duct tape by a supervisor on the line, who then beat him with a meathook. The supervisor is still on the job.

60. marisacat - 26 October 2008

Stopping the raids would be a big marker.

But ya think Young Ob has the strength to stand up to all the forces that want a destabilised work force in the nation? (I sure don’t hear sht OR shinola from the Catholic Church that made such fancy showing, Mahoney for one, of standing with the demonstrators, two years ago).

And I contend we don’t know the extent of what hsi Chicago backers really do want.

61. Intermittent Bystander - 26 October 2008

Ha! I was just bitching about these omnipresent pix the other day . . . .

The Brokers With Hands on Their Faces Blog. Stay tuned for updates!

62. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 October 2008

60 – I don’t expect much. Willing to be surprised, but not counting on it to happen.

63. marisacat - 26 October 2008

what a great blog. Cannot tell you how many picture galleries I have trolled thru just hunting for pics of ongoing pain on the selling floor.

What a hoot!

64. marisacat - 26 October 2008


I am reading the Heilemann in NY Mag on what is to come. A tad thin, but there are a few nuggets….

[N]ot that dealing with a pair of institutions led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid will be any kind of picnic. “They’re incredibly weak leaders running a Congress with 12 percent approval ratings,” one Democratic think-tank maven says. “They’re not people with much of a record of, you know, actually getting things done.” Making matters worse, Obama will be hounded constantly by the old-school liberal interest groups, with all their bottled-up desires and demands. The unions, the health-care groups, the teachers, and so on: Everyone will have their hand out.

Yet the very feebleness of Reid and Pelosi may work to Obama’s advantage; they are much more likely to see their fates as bound up with his than Tom Foley and George Mitchell ever did with Clinton’s. Obama’s race, in a funny way, may make him less vulnerable to mau-mauing by the left. And the unconventional way he ran for office, the whole bottom-up movement thing, may grant him a degree of independence unique in modern history. “Personally, I think the depth of the Obama realignment is being underestimated,” says the Republican media savant Stuart Stevens, who helped elect Bush twice. “They have basically invented their own party that is compatible with the Democratic Party but is bigger than the Democratic Party. Their e-mail list is more powerful than the DNC or RNC. In essence, Obama would be elected as an Independent with Democratic backing—like Bernie Sanders on steroids.” ::snippy::

Well, Good Luck. Love the intimation that the non existant Left will leave him alone as he is Black. YEARS of an unassailable Bush due to 9/11 and now Obama whose people will invoke prayer circles and rumors, lies nd truths of assassinations should anyone say anything much at all about him.

And this from/about Rahm:

Emanuel doesn’t hesitate when I put the question to him. And his answer is one to which attention should be paid for reasons beyond the obvious. Emanuel is more than one of the shrewdest, savviest, toughest Democratic pols of his generation. He is a close friend and confidant of his party’s nominee and certain to be a pivotal player in putting meat on the bones of Obama’s campaign mantra of change, change, change. Obama’s chief strategist, David Axelrod, plays an identical role for Emanuel, whose congressional campaigns he has engineered and whose maneuvers in the House he has often guided from afar. Rarely does a day pass by in which the two men do not speak. The three-way mind-meld is nearly total.

“My view is that we gotta be the party of reform,” Emanuel begins when I reach him on his cell phone. “There are four reforms. There’s financial-regulatory reform, tax reform, health-care reform, and energy. Regulatory will kinda come down the chute fast. Tax reform will take a little longer, because it’s not until 2010 that Bush’s tax cuts expire. Energy, you can do some things immediately. And with health care, you’ve got the children’s health insurance as the first piece of a series of things you gotta do.”

Emanuel’s reform agenda is helpful because it’s clarifying—in terms of timing, in terms of priorities, and in terms of suggesting where Obama’s plans and the appetites (and political tolerances) of congressional Democrats intersect. In the early phases of the nomination contest, Obama was pilloried, and fairly, for a maddening vagueness on policy, for being long on inspiration but worryingly short on specificity. But over time, Obama has developed a litany of proposals laundry-listy enough to make Hillary Clinton proud—and pricey enough to have deficit hawks screeching at the moon. He’s pledged $60 billion in infrastructure spending, $80 billion for middle-class tax cuts, $150 billion for a green energy/jobs program, along with a raft of tax credits for college tuition, child care, clean cars, and, most recently, small businesses.

LOL Should be great! he’s been offering those lists of promises for months. Tacked em onto speech after speech.

65. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 October 2008

64 – Am I the only person who finds the use of “mau mau” in this context really inappropriate?

66. marisacat - 26 October 2008

Here is another tidbit, on the last page.. and remember, the Blooooooooooooooooooooo Dogs are swelling, as we speak. More and more and more and more conservative, pro lifers.

Some Democrats will say—are already saying—damn the deficit, full speed ahead. They are talking about a new New Deal, about the revival of Keynesian pump-priming.

On the other side, however, stand the fiscally conservative House “blue dogs,” without whose support Obama will find it nearly impossible to move his agenda through the lower chamber. His outreach to that group—including his embrace of pay-as-you-go rules for budgeting—has been ardent, and if he were to spurn them now, the political consequences could be dire.

67. marisacat - 26 October 2008


Honestly i have stopped caring. It goes back to Tom Wolfe if I recall correctly. Around the time Ob was an 8 year old. To slap back that tired line.

68. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 October 2008

67 – I know it doesn’t really matter, but I’m just sick of lazy, inaccurate historical analogies being thrown around without any relationship to what they really mean. Like “socialist” and “marxist” lately. Comparing the weak pathetic left (ESPECIALLY the official orgs) in this country to a revolutionary movement by Africans against Brit colonial rule is just stupid and wrong. Even worse to use an slur-like nickname for that movement ..

69. marisacat - 26 October 2008

It was colorful language that (iirc, not going to look) Wolfe employed. It has become part of the vernacular. Fast on the move political assessments are not going to check themselves.

And, I don’t know, after “What Left?” is there left to say.

I constantly hear Pelosi called “hard left” or “far liberal wing of the party”, because it suits the speaker, whoever it may be, to keep that trope going.

The two people who ran against her, in 87 after Sala Burton died, to the left, Ruth Carol Silver and Harry Britt are long gone from the political scene.

Jesus. She comes from a minor, now major, Dem party dynasty… and the Pelosi family is officially an “investment class” family. Has been since the early 60s.

The whole thing is hilarious.

I really only see fiction around. Like, you know, ”Obama is a liberal”.

And so on.

70. liberalcatnip - 26 October 2008

Hmm…Frontline is on tonite. Season premiere: The Choice 2008 (Obamalama and McSurge)

71. marisacat - 26 October 2008

We get Frontline on Tuesdays here… let me know how it is. Will try to remember to watch it on T’day.

72. Intermittent Bystander - 26 October 2008

65 – I think I once got into a spit-fight with RonKSeattle about his use of the term “mau-mau” in some context or other on DK way back when. (Up against the wall, motherfucker!, I cried as we hit the margins.) Good times!

Ultimately, he refused to listen to a song called Ondiek, which means Hyena (and is No. 4 at the playlist here) by the Kenyan singer and lyre player Ayub Ogada, and I refused to continue listening to (or arguing with) RonKSeattle. (First censorjob I ever saw at the Legacy So-Called Golden Era Glowing Orange Site was RonK’s – and was mostly just arrogant pique.)

Anyway, not sure if that particular brawl was in the same thread where he was relentlessly and scathingly defending some US Military senior’s (CENTCOM, broadcast stateside) use of the term “Ali Baba” to describe looters and thieves in Iraq.


I love colorful language, like crazy. But Wolfe got to borrow the term ’cause he was making a specific point, I think, in relation to history. Tend to agree that American appropriation of foreign political shorthand tends to turn into either a loaded bullet turned on foreign ideas, or else a bit of a lotusland absorbing any and all actual global historical awareness.

But hey, American English is sort of Pandora’s Walk-In, Fly-Out Closet, isn’t it. Might as well call “Halt!” to the river.

Beautiful tunes at the link, though.


73. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 October 2008

catching up on “Chicago 10”, that I recorded on Independent Lens this week. Great film, though very depressing.

74. Intermittent Bystander - 26 October 2008

Kenyan lyre-player and RonKSeattle spitfight in spam! Bonus hyena tune!

75. marisacat - 26 October 2008

“Chicago 10” is coming on here too, I think maybe Monday night.

76. Intermittent Bystander - 26 October 2008

Thanks, MCat!

Wikipedia on Ogada.

77. marisacat - 26 October 2008


Ron K was an operative. Some Dem party paid functionary up in Kings Co, around Seattle. And what a nasty piece of merchandise he was. He REALLY let loose at the Clark blog… and ti was ugly.

78. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 October 2008

I don’t remember ever seeing some of the footage used in Chicago 10. The weight of the military turnout is stunning. Jeeps driving down the streets of Chicago with barbed-wire-lined sections of fence stuck on the front, fixed bayonets.

Nothings changed, it’s only gotten worse. Now they don’t need the National Guard, the regular cops are armed like the Guard was then.

79. liberalcatnip - 26 October 2008

71. I usually get Frontline on Tuesday too. I don’t know why this is on tonite. It’s interesting so far.

80. Intermittent Bystander - 26 October 2008

I bought Sarah Vowell’s The Wordy Shipmates to send to an elderly Scottish relative recuperating from surgery, and I’ve been dipping into it before sending it off. Interesting topic.

From Wiki:

The Wordy Shipmates is a 2008 book by Sarah Vowell that chronicles the 17th and 18th century history of Puritan colonists in Massachusetts, United States. The book delineates a dichotomy between the puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and those who settled Plymouth, Massachusetts. The thesis of the work is that the early puritans were bibliophiliac advocates of education, thus being “wordy shipmates.”

But as the blogcritics review indicates, there’s more to it than that. She goes quite to town on John Winthrop’s “shining city on the hill” and all it spawned.

81. Intermittent Bystander - 26 October 2008

Ron K was an operative.


That there is an understatement! Let’s spell it OPERAtive!

82. marisacat - 26 October 2008


Too true!!

83. Intermittent Bystander - 26 October 2008

For bayprairie, diane, NYCee, and Marisacat – housecleaning music!

Dion, Dust My Broom.

84. Intermittent Bystander - 26 October 2008

catnip – Sympathies re up-close family pathologies. Maybe you can be a transformational figure and leave the kid with a few words of wisdom (drawn from your own exotic past) to remember.

And then, you and your new housemate should go see the Duhks (Gateway Bar, November 20), to celebrate!

85. marisacat - 26 October 2008

I admit that for housecleaning I have completely fallen apart. Other than bath and kitchen, I mean. I basically rely on Clorox wet wipes (no streak, the Lysol version leaves streak marks) for all manner of incidental cleaning…

I alwyas was pretty lackadaisical, but about quarterly I would get it together. a big clean, sometimes iwth help. Then I’d collapse wtih chocolate chip cookies or ice cream for a couple of days and watch rented Arnold Schwarzenegger idiotic movies. Years before he became Our Leader of course.

86. Intermittent Bystander - 26 October 2008

FYI to Madman – David Byrne is playing at the Egg on November 5th – which could be interesting, as an election aftermath therapy, no matter what – but the cheapest tix are $58!

More coyote howls, etcetera!

87. liberalcatnip - 26 October 2008

84. catnip – Sympathies re up-close family pathologies. Maybe you can be a transformational figure and leave the kid with a few words of wisdom (drawn from your own exotic past) to remember.

We already had that talk back in the spring. He has to make his choices and live with them, just as I did, I guess. And, yes, I also had that talk with his mom at the time too. That’s all I can do.

Having been an addictions counselor and as a recovering addict (21+ years now) I’ve watched a lot of people fall. It’s harder when it’s a kid though.

88. liberalcatnip - 26 October 2008

84. And then, you and your new housemate should go see the Duhks (Gateway Bar, November 20), to celebrate!

I still won’t have recovered from the move by then! (It takes me a while.)

89. Intermittent Bystander - 26 October 2008

85 – I alwyas was pretty lackadaisical, but about quarterly I would get it together.

Ding ding ding!

Then I’d collapse wtih chocolate chip cookies or ice cream for a couple of days and watch rented Arnold Schwarzenegger idiotic movies.

Whoa, now that’s a dirty secret!


I managed some carpet attention today, so I figure I’m triumphant for a good six months.

90. Intermittent Bystander - 26 October 2008

87 – One of my nephews’ stories about the drinking games (and delivery apparati) routinely played at college curled my hair even crazier than usual. It really starts to sound like alcoholic Russian roulette.

What’s your impression of the new roomie?

91. liberalcatnip - 26 October 2008

90. What’s your impression of the new roomie?

She’s 29, very quiet (yay) and has a cute 2 yr old boy along with a b/f who’s a long haul trucker type so he’s rarely home. I did meet him though. She’s gone through some tough times (haven’t we all?) and she’s a bit lonely (but doesn’t seem clingy at all and is working and busy with her son) so it will be a LOT less stressful than this place with the revolving relatives who were all so bloody loud.

She’s really nice and has been very accommodating. I’ll have more private space there and, who knows? Maybe I’ll finally get my book written.

My current roomie has a sign on the fridge that says “Relatives and fish both stink after 3 days”. She needs to read that more often as a reminder.

92. liberalcatnip - 26 October 2008

Plus, I’ll have one more kid to crochet for. Remember those masks? lol

93. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 October 2008

IB, I highly recommend you go. You will not regret it.

94. liberalcatnip - 26 October 2008

On a culinary note, my roomie had a parteh this evening – one of those home party things to sell overpriced spices and dip mixes and ridiculously-priced kitchen stuff. But the taste-testing made it all worthwhile. I’m stuffed – on crackers and veggies and fruits and dips.

95. liberalcatnip - 26 October 2008

Update on the Frontline show: it basically chronicled the histories of Obamalama and McSurge. Nothing new there. I do find that Frontline narrator’s voice oddly soothing though. 🙂

96. liberalcatnip - 26 October 2008

Uh oh. ‘US troops’ strike inside Syria

US helicopter-borne troops have carried out a raid inside Syria along the Iraqi border, killing eight people including four children, Syrian officials say.

The official Syrian news agency Sana said the raid took place in the Abu Kamal border area, in eastern Syria.

It said that American soldiers on four helicopters had stormed a building under construction on Sunday night.

The US says it is investigating. It has previously accused Syria of allowing foreign militants into Iraq.

Syria has summoned the US and Iraqi envoys in Damascus to protest at the raid.

“Syria condemns this aggressive act and holds American forces responsible for this aggression and all of its repercussions,” a government official said.

If confirmed, the raid would be the first known attack by US forces inside Syrian territory, says BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus.

Its timing is curious, coming right at the end of the Bush administration’s period of office and at a moment when many of America’s European allies – like Britain and France – are trying to broaden their ties with Damascus, our correspondent adds.

Not curious at all. Bush isn’t done yet.

97. marisacat - 26 October 2008

hmmm.. the election special is on pbs here…. big obrama opening

98. liberalcatnip - 26 October 2008

This is comforting, isn’t it? Gun Sales Thriving In Uncertain Times

99. marisacat - 26 October 2008

I’ll say one thing, there are some shattering black and white shots of McC and Teddy, McC and Daschle from the post ’00 era.

Looking like just what they are, ghouls from Dante’s Inferno.

100. liberalcatnip - 26 October 2008
101. liberalcatnip - 26 October 2008

A snippet of what is a wholly depressing article:

The Dysfunctional society: Much has been made in the US presidential campaign of the $70 billion oil surplus the Iraqi government built up in these last years as oil prices soared. In actuality, most of it is currently being held in American financial institutions, with various American politicians threatening to confiscate it if it is not constructively spent. Yet even this bounty reflects the devastation of the war.

De-Ba’athification and subsequent chaos rendered the Iraqi government incapable of effectively administering projects that lay outside the fortified, American-controlled Green Zone in the heart of Baghdad. A vast flight of the educated class to Syria, Jordan, and other countries also deprived it of the managers and technicians needed to undertake serious reconstruction on a large scale.

As a consequence, less than 25% of the funds budgeted for facility construction and reconstruction last year were even spent. Some government ministries spent less than 1% of their allocations. In the meantime, the large oil surpluses have become magnets for massive governmental corruption, further infuriating frustrated citizens who, after five years, still often lack the most basic services. Transparency International’s 2008 “corruption perceptions index” listed Iraq as tied for 178th place among the 180 countries evaluated.

The Iraq that has emerged from the American invasion and occupation is now a thoroughly wrecked land, housing a largely dysfunctional society. More than a million Iraqis may have died; millions have fled their homes; many millions of others have been scarred by war, insurgency and counterinsurgency operations, extreme sectarian violence, and soaring levels of common criminality. Education and medical systems have essentially collapsed and, even today, with every kind of violence in decline, Iraq remains one of the most dangerous societies on earth.

102. liberalcatnip - 26 October 2008

Is this Syrian attack the October Surprise? Hmmm…

103. marisacat - 26 October 2008

I don’t know what the coverage of the Syria bombing will be tomorrow (depends on the overnight and opening markets, I wuld guess and I have not looked… ), but it made it thru to my local NBC news Sunday evening,

No question Bush was gonna hang a new tail on the war, somehow, or expand the war in some messy way. Either for fun or profit or to set some explosion for Ob early on… LOL as if Biden had not nicely told us.

9 days to go. 8, really. It cannot end fast enough. Just so we drag ourselves or are somersaulted to the next part. argh.

104. bayprairie - 26 October 2008

4. said

The Duhks (from Winnipeg), Mighty Storm.

fantastic band/song.

Death your hands are clammy
You’ve got them on my knee
You come and took my mother
Won’t you come back for me

31 said

The Chicago Defender puts out slobber promoting JJjr to the Obama seat.


what a coninkidink. im studying blues recording ads in the defender circa 1920s and 30s that contrast the sales pitch of the recordings with the stance of the editorialists. which basically could be summed as:

go north young (black) man!

i guess after 90 years the defender philosophy finally docked.

epitomized by barry, the new black be white.

105. marisacat - 27 October 2008

hmmm Michael Petrelis here in SF who blogs on politics and gay issues has a nice slap back up at Sully, for his weeks of nattering that everyone else is not doing enough… . LOL I quite enjoyed it.

I applaud all the links you provide to make a donation, but some might say you are apathetic because you’ve not held a fundraiser at a cafe or restaurant on Washington’s Dupont Circle. It’s not too late to hold a “Bloggers Against Prop 8” party and rattle a tin cup. Hint, hint.

Petrelis also says what anyone iwth a brain and an eye says, get gay people in the ads, fully, on their wedding days with their children and parents and friends. Stop being afraid!

If only we were working the system to put gay peoples’ live and loving relationships. A great opportunity to build on the saturation media coverage of May, when the state Supreme Court ruled in our favor, was lost because of fears of the consultants running the No on 8 effort.

Working the system, during this historic election season, to me as a gay man, meant showcasing gay couples, their families and out celebrities in our campaign’s outreach media. Instead, we have the political consultants and official gay leaders shoving us back into a closet.

106. marisacat - 27 October 2008

nu post…


……………………. 8) …………………….

107. NYCO - 27 October 2008

The other bad bad bad bad bad thing in US health care is THE DOCTORS.

I had a great idea for a one-hour TV drama now that “ER” is going off the air this season: The Herbalist. Set in the Great-Recessive near future, it’s about a straight-laced noble young newly graduated doctor who realizes the U.S. health care system is shit and devotes his life to challenging traditional medicine, healing his financially strapped friends and neighbors with nontraditional medicine and black-market Canadian prescription drugs, while eluding the ire of the medical establishment and Blackwater goons. Consider it the “anti-ER.”

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