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Oh to be a cat… 11 November 2008

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


NYCee’s Misty Willow……..

Unfortunately we are trapped in more mediocre climes.  Heilemann just irritates, this is the first graf of a lament that all the little sniggling special interest groups (who, let’s be frank are just the chorus, at the end of the day… no power) are daring to speak.

The mau-mauing of Barack Obama officially began less than 24 hours after he won the White House, when National Organization for Women president Kim Gandy piped up about the possibility of Obama picking Larry Summers as his Treasury secretary. Gandy told the Huffington Post she had “mixed feelings” about Summers, saying he “doesn’t seem to get” the economic implications of gender-based wage disparities. She cited Summers’s incendiary comments as president of Harvard about women’s intrinsic inaptitude for math and science—the ones that helped get him booted—as a cause for concern. And she expressed some displeasure that no female economists are being mentioned as contenders for the Treasury job. “We’re gonna be forwarding some names to the Obama transition team,” Gandy said. “It’s important that in this new administration women’s voices are heard and heeded.”

So… they may not?  They should not? They better not? All hail the lord?  What is the big deal?  What happened to “democracy is messy”?

Because, let it not be forgotten (and let’s engage in political fiction and pretend for a moment that what Kim Gandy of NOW says matters, at all) that the Democratic party (and thus Ob) ran on Lily Ledbetter.  She spoke at the convention, she campaigned for Ob.  Wimmens, for a few weeks there, in influential positions in the party, appeared to embrace the issue of equal pay and the loss in the SC.  They chirped, they sang… they twittered.  They pandered!

One thing I am interested to watch is if the Dems do anything at all about the issue.  Or, if Lily Ledbetter ends up feeling as the Jersey Girls did after they negotiated to campaign for Kerry, used as props and their negotiated issues, ignored (Breitweiser went on the record with Arianna, in more interesting pre HuffPo mode, immediately after the election).

We shall see.

Meanwhile, a few weeks ago on Moyers on a show about the annual nightmare mess of the big boondoggle in congress of the ag bill…. Reid was quoted as saying the biggest, most powerful interest groups are the insurance cos and the commodity groups (and Chicago commodities is a special interest that just won the WH, imo).  No shit!  Gandy and similar (itty bitty) groups cleave to the Dem party as there is nowhere else.

I’d vote to see the end of easy dismissal (to say nothing of political denigration) using political fiction.

It won’t be the likes of Gandy MAU-MAUING Ob.


Other than that, amusing overheard (so they say) comments of Ob’s late today, on a cell phone call, following his meeting with an unknown person at a fire station at a DC airport:

It wasn’t clear who the president-elect was talking with, or what exactly they were talking about, but he spoke clearly enough that your sharper-eared pooler from the Associated Press picked out a few sentences even above the snap-snap-snap of the photographers:

“I am not going to be spending too much time in Washington over the next several weeks.”

“I don’t want us to go lurching so far in one direction.”

“If we come up with some good solid sensible options … ”

After a couple minutes, Robert Gibbs, sitting down nearby, evidently noticed what was going on and stood up to tell the president-elect, who then turned away from the press pool.

I’d be so surprised if he leaned, much less lurched, left.


I just saw this at the NYT

WASHINGTON — The struggling auto industry was thrust into the middle of a political standoff between the White House and Democrats on Monday as President-elect Barack Obama urged President Bush in a meeting at the White House to support immediate emergency aid.

Mr. Bush indicated at the meeting that he might support some aid and a broader economic stimulus package if Mr. Obama and Congressional Democrats dropped their opposition to a free-trade agreement with Colombia, a measure for which Mr. Bush has long fought, people familiar with the discussion said. […]

I think it seemed long ago that Dem party opposition in congress to the upcoming trade deals (and whatever else) was pantomime.  So, go for it!  It’s an entertaining piece, loaded with fiction… but by the time I finished reading it, tho only a page, I had a headache…

Order in the popcorn, buy popcorn futures… melt the butter… i like sea salt on mine…



1. penlan - 11 November 2008

Is that pic of Misty Willow, NYCee’s cat? What an incredibly beautiful kitty & what a pose!!! 🙂

2. marisacat - 11 November 2008

Isn’t it? My cats who have liked to sit up like that were all fatties and instead of that too-damned-cute self hug, LOL, their upper arms were just to their sides… very different feeling..

3. marisacat - 11 November 2008

Civil liberties lawyers launched a feet-to-the-fire campaign in Monday’s editions of The New York Times, taking out a powerful ad urging President-elect Barack Obama to order the closure of the Guantanamo prison camps and war court on inauguration day.

”On day one, with the stroke of a pen, you can restore America’s moral leadership in the World,” says the full-page, six-figure ad purchased by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Half of the ad is a photo of Obama and recounts the president-elect’s campaign pledge to close the prison camps and abandon the military commissions established in response to the Sept. 11 attacks. The other half is an indictment of Bush administration detention policies.

It is a provocative message from a potential ally of the coming Obama administration.

ACLU Executive Anthony Romero called it ”a shot across the bow,” and said Sunday that his organization would invest up to $500,000 in the campaign that seeks to avert any appeasement to centrists.

The campaign calls for President Obama to issue an Executive Order on Jan. 20, the day of his inauguration, to put Guantanamo out of business.


For example, said Retired Navy Rear Adm. John D. Hutson, the new president has the unilateral authority to stop the trials and order a timetable to move the detainees elsewhere.

Hutson, a former head of the Navy JAG corps, is now dean at Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, N.H., and and was an advisor to the Obama campaign on Guantánamo.

He would not predict, however, how swiftly the new president would seek to change U.S. detainee policies.

”He’s got an awful lot on his agenda on day one and whether he gets to the `G’s for Guantánamo, I’m just not sure that’s gonna happen,” Hutson said Sunday.

“I think it’s unfair to President Obama to put that kind of pressure on that particular issue that early in his administration.” […]

No wonder Romero is pushing.. and frankly if the new president cannot move quickly to close Guantanamo, the rest, all of it, any of it, is completely up in the air. which it was and is anyway.. as all the slobberers are out there now saying, ”don’t look at me (hell I just sold the concept, on orders), this whole thing was a leap of faith we have no idea what he will do”.

4. NYCO - 11 November 2008

Speaking of cats, I must recommend this toy:


It’s a gag gift for humans, but my cat has developed an intense love/hate relationship with it. It runs on a single AA battery and you just put it down on the floor and it moves around randomly just like an animal. It’s sort of like a Roomba for kitties, great for when the hunting hormones are driving them crazy and they start bugging you and being super naughty. (For more fun, you can take out the plastic ball that provides the motion and just let it skitter around.)

5. NYCee - 11 November 2008

Oooooh! Awwww! How nice to see Misty Willow atop the thread. She isnt quite ready to understand all the links, current events and analysis, but she simply adores the attention!

xoxoxo =^..^=

6. NYCee - 11 November 2008

That toy looks wild, NYCO.

I was scouting toys in the pet store (PetLand Discount chain) around the corner, but they, every last one of them, are made in China, and I am kind of grossed out. There is a more elite grooming/pet item store across the street (and another one opening just across the street from it! Gentrification… I recall when we had veeeery different sorts of stores in this neighborhood), which I should check out. If I cant find anything I like, I’ll probably go online. There are other mom n pop pet stores studded around the city, even my zone, but I lost track of where they are… again, with real estate what it is, stores come and go with lightning rapidity.

My other cats loved these simple little catnip-filled flat, grey felt mice, with just a touch of colored yarn for whiskers. Very natural and fun for them to get wild with. However, they are not that easy to find in the city anymore. Im still using the balled up paper (which she often retrieves for more throwing) and curled pieces of ribbon.

Since she doesnt have any other cats to play with, I probably will get her some sort of go-hyper, stimulating toy soon.

7. NYCO - 11 November 2008

This NYT article on genetic theories of autism (and schizophrenia) brings up some prior research I always found fascinating – the idea that mothers’ and fathers’ genes “compete” with one another, and also that pregnancy is a struggle for resources between the mother and a fetus… not a full cooperation by any means.

The implications of the earlier theory about pregnancy are fascinating. We’re trained to think of women as being “perfectly made for motherhood” and that pregnancy is a passive thing that only holds risks for the mother if something goes wrong. But this theory hints that a baby really is more of an intrusion on a mother’s health than we might feel comfortable believing. (The evolutionary theory is that a mother who is able to limit one baby’s demands on her system will be able to have more — but smaller — babies, spreading her own genes around more. But if the baby gets too big and drains her during the pregnancy, she may wind up having less children, which will remove her own genes from the pool.)

I wonder what the implications of that are for the philosophical underpinnings of pro-life and pro-choice arguments.

As for autism, I recall a recent finding that intriguingly pointed to high testosterone levels in both parents as a predictor of autism in their child. I wonder how that might fit in to this new theory that autism is a “hypermale” sort of disorder.

8. marisacat - 11 November 2008

Oen of my cats adored balled up news print. We had a game, she’d sit on the sofa in the living room and I’d ptich her the “balls”… she’d bat them back. She was not too interested in playing run around and play with the paper ball on the floor.

Baby LOVED fur covered mice. Crazy mad for them… and I indulged her in it…

9. Intermittent Bystander - 11 November 2008

Dat’s a fine-lookin’ cat! (Not unlike Kiev catin the sidebar, eh?)

Supposedly there’ll be a presser at 2 pm to discuss homeowner help from the bailout boyz. . . .

10. marisacat - 11 November 2008

There is so much spin out there I am dizzy.

11. NYCee - 11 November 2008

Thanks for all the compliments on Misty, folks (penlan, intermittent bystander … oh, and those jokes the other day, IB! lol – banker stapled to chicken to cross road, etc. – was thoughtful, as I needed a bit of relief from the olive oil fiasco) I love MW’s striped hind legs … like footsie PJs … Im ridiculous, I know!

12. penlan - 11 November 2008

You aren’t ridiculous NYCee – Misty is absolutely gorgeous & as another cat lover I’m grateful you rescued this treasure of a kitty. 🙂

13. NYCee - 11 November 2008

Oh that sounds fun! (batting back from couch). That was sweet about the old red cat too – his gentlemanly use of newspaper when he needed to vomit.

She bats them around on the floor, like she’s playing soccer. Or chases, puts in mouth and carries back, proudly. I want to get her some nice colorful toys soon. She needs sound — crackle, bells — and the smell (catnip) will be good for her too, given that her sight is poor. Lighter colors are helpful. We put white tape on the edge of a wooden cabinet that is next to the doorway, because she loves to race from the living room into kitchen (and then down the long hallway to apt door) but sometimes she would bump into it. Now she does fine.

I cannot believe how convenient my locale is — except for subway. Now the vet that was about 8 blocks away has moved to just around the corner (and he is good)… next to the petfood store! She got a thorough check up at ASPCA (shots and all) but Id like to be there and get her the once over, ask questions, etc.

14. NYCee - 11 November 2008

12 – Sweet!

15. marisacat - 11 November 2008


well all of that makes a great deal of sense. I cannot imagine that pro life will care one way or the other… they have no interest in the mother or health of the mother. It makes pro lifers crazy to use any thing even resembling referring to the fetus as a “parasite” making use of the mother.. so I doubt they could even have the most basic discussion about this…

Some people just breeze thru pregnancy, birth and the aftermath and others really struggle, in every way… such wide differences…

16. Madman in the Marketplace - 11 November 2008

they don’t really care about the fetus, either, only maintaining male control of the whole enterprise. The fetus is just evidence of his domination.

17. NYCO - 11 November 2008

The last three surviving British veterans of World War I… ages 112, 110 and 108.


18. Madman in the Marketplace - 11 November 2008

Raped in the Military? You’ll Have to Pay for Your Own Forensic Exam Kit

Sarah Palin’s decision not to pay for rape kits when she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, was an issue in the campaign for the White House. But allow me to introduce the large pink elephant that has been sitting quietly in the corner of the room: TRICARE, the Pentagon’s Military Health System that covers active duty members, doesn’t pay for rape kits, either.

Spec. Patricia McCann, who served in Iraq with the Illinois Army National Guard from 2003 to 2004, raised the issue at the Winter Soldier Investigation in March. McCann read a memo issued to all MEDCOM commanders clarifying that “SAD kits” – which are forensic rape kits – “are not included in TRICARE coverage.” *

That would put Alaska and the military in a very special category.

Women in the military are twice as likely to be raped as their civilian counterparts. In fact, “women serving in the U.S. military today are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq,” Congresswoman Jane Harman, D-Calif., told the House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs in May.

Harman said, “The scope of the problem was brought into acute focus for me during a visit to the West Los Angeles VA Health Center where I met female veterans and their doctors. My jaw dropped when the doctors told me that 41 percent of the female veterans seen there say they were victims of sexual assault while serving in the military, and 29 percent said they were raped during their military service.”

19. Madman in the Marketplace - 11 November 2008
20. Madman in the Marketplace - 11 November 2008

Catholic bishops plan to forcefully confront Obama

BALTIMORE – America’s Roman Catholic bishops, long one of the leading political forces against abortion, vowed on Tuesday to accept no compromise for the sake of unity until there is legal protection for the unborn.

About 300 prelates gathered here for their national meeting adopted a formal blessing for a child in the womb and advised Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George as he drafted a post-election letter to America’s Catholics. The moves were meant to tell the incoming Obama administration, which supports keeping abortion legal, that the nation’s Catholic bishops are stepping up their opposition to abortion.

“This is not a matter of political compromise or a matter of finding some way of common ground,” said Bishop Daniel Conlon of Steubenville, Ohio. “It’s a matter of absolutes. Either you didn’t have slavery or you did have slavery. So it is with abortion.”

Bishops Thomas Paprocki of Chicago said the Freedom of Choice Act could threaten conscience clauses, putting Catholic health care institutions in jeopardy.

“There are grave consequences,” Paprocki said. “If Catholic hospitals were required by federal law to perform abortions, we’d have to close our hospitals.”

THEY WOULD LET PEOPLE DIE. Whole cloth my ass.

21. NYCO - 11 November 2008

Watching a town hall mtg with Paterson on the budget that was taped in Syracuse earlier today. Seems like there was a really huge turnout, 1,000+? Questions are very intelligent too (and not all softballs).

Paterson is really quite brilliant at the PR pulpit. Since the summer he has been constantly in the voters’ faces in live addresses on the local evening news, and stuff like this. He’s such a comfortable extemporaneous speaker (has to be, since he can’t read a teleprompter…), without seeming glib.

Spitzer’s PR operation was awful (and not just during Hookergate).

22. marisacat - 11 November 2008

I asked moiv about the Freedom of Choice Act, as he grandly told PP last year that he would sign it first thing (he has made that promise about lots of things, tra la) … and her take was he can promise all he wants, it has to make it out of Congress and she did not see that happening.

Maybe that is part of what the bishops’ ramp up is about to raise the stakes (with the larger majorities) and alert all the pro life and sorta pro life (and let’s not forget Reid and Knob and a few others are not really for choice at all).

If moiv is around tonight, she can speak for herself, but just to interject that…

23. Madman in the Marketplace - 11 November 2008

I’m sick of people being held hostage to zealots.

24. marisacat - 11 November 2008

Mindful that Sully is unable to face what his church, the Catholics, did in the Prop 8 mess he has an interesting email from a reader on the way the Mormons ran their op:

11 Nov 2008 11:00 am

Why The LDS Attack Is Different

A reader writes:

I believe you and the reader you quote are missing what is fundamentally different about the Mormon attacks. This was not typical church activism. The Mormon Prophet commanded that every California member give time and money to pass Prop 8. Each member was then contacted by a church authority to make sure the orders from Salt Lake City were obeyed. Mormons were organized into groups to canvas neighborhoods, knock on doors, distribute yards signs, and otherwise organize against gay marriage rights.

Sounds like standard civic participation, right? But remember, Mormons are not allowed to dissent.

Deliberately complicating matters for outside observers, church members were ordered to disguise their actions. Official church orders told them to disguise their Mormon identity, not go in pairs, and not to wear white shirts and ties. ::snip::

25. marisacat - 12 November 2008

Durbin: Joe Lieberman may be needed

LOL Just take that vestigial spine and grind it to dust. Get the Hoover out. Or the Roomba.

[“H]ere’s the reality,” Durbin said in an interview today. “The reality is that, at this moment, there are 57 Democratic senators. There are three races still in question–Georgia, Alaska and in Minnesota. And one may require a run-off in December.

“So at the end of the day, we may not have the 60 votes we need to enact measures in the Senate, and we will have to build on what we have. So every vote is important. That’s the starting point,” Durbin said. ::snip::

LOL Because they so care. I think I hear gum chewing and gum popping.

26. marisacat - 12 November 2008

gnu thred………………………


………………………….. 8) ………………………..

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