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Just a thread… ;) 22 January 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, 2010 Mid Terms, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.


Troublemaker –
This young adult Sulawesi black-crested macaque, nicknamed Troublemaker, was more interested in the photographer than foraging for food, so getting a close-up wasn’t difficult. Troublemaker’s expression captures, Stefano says, “the spirit of these wonderful monkeys”, and the setting makes it an unforgettable portrait

[Photograph: Stefano Unterthiner, Italy/Wildlife Photographer, Animal Portraits,  of the Year 2008]

I don’t know about you … but I am pooped.  Ushering in a new pretzel is just so damned hard………

While I was fishing around for a photo… I landed on this short little series between a Ridgeback and a pelican… the photo series is called Pelican Wars.  Pretty funny… and I think the Ridgeback will be sticking to his own food bowl from now on, for thine is the power and the glory amen… speaking of the pelican there, I am.



1. marisacat - 22 January 2009

hmm He might roll back the Global Gag Rule tomorrow. He specifically did nto do it today, to signal some shit or other. Are we to catch on he is King? Or something? Because I think we got that peevish message. I did.

Obama has signaled that he’s interested in making something of a centrist shift in the abortion debate – with more focus on the importance of reducing the number of abortions. The statement he released Thursday on Roe signals as much.

2. marisacat - 22 January 2009

Signal you are weak on (and dismissive of) abortion rights and bingo, you, your image and your family’s story gets used in an anti abortion ad. By Catholic Vote dot com.

One directed at Af Americans via BET. I have to say I thnk it is fair (the article in the On Faith section of the wapo, does not)… and who knows, may be quietly approved.

3. lucid - 23 January 2009

A repost of a Dkos diary from years ago… somehow seems relevent…

I hear songs in my heater.

Do you? Songs of liberation, or sorrow? Do you hear the desperation of hunger in your refrigerator fan? Do you hear the quiet melancholy of an unfulfilled evening alone as the gas boils a lone pot on the stove?

I do.

I live in a world of sounds that constantly remind me of how separated we are from each other. I live in a world of voices, or noises that sound like voices, decrying what we’ve done wrong to deserve this; to deserve the sadness and travesty of that which we all value most, our lives.

It is a world that most don’t live in – even if their lives lead them there in solidarity, joy or despair – because it is the world of a musician. It is the world of one who ‘hears’ their life. It makes me wonder sometimes if artists are wired differently. Visual artists do see their lives, after all. And I have no doubt that cooks smell their lives. And writers have all ears on conversation.

But that is what I live with every day. I hear things. I hear songs and voices, the gurgle of engines, and the subtle settling of the buildings. No shit, I’ve listened to every building I’ve ever lived in.

And to me, those buildings always tell the same story. A story of sad decay, a story of abandonment, a life that desires love and recognition. The buildings want love and recognition – and yet they’re inanimate creations of brick, wood, steel, mud.

If the buildings want that, and the heaters sing songs of liberation, or sorrow, what does that say for us – the beings that can only live with each other, the ‘social animal’.

I think we all need to listen to the things that make sounds. And I think that we need to recognize, that our own animate beings also make the same sounds, the same gurgling, the same cry for company, liberation, sorrow, life.

We all cry. Why is it so hard for all of us to hear this?

4. lucid - 23 January 2009

Another funny… I’d forgotten I’d written that one… Look at the date stamp… prescient of me, no? Would anyone there now acknowledge I was right? [though granted I was off by 6 months…]

5. lucid - 23 January 2009

I’m just rereading the thread on that one too… Jan 2008… What would all those fuckers be saying in January 2009… If I had the energy, I’d do a rebuttal diary, quoting all of them in light of what has transpired.

6. marisacat - 23 January 2009

oh! So shocking! not...

There may be less than meets the eye to the executive orders President Obama issued yesterday to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay and prohibit the torture of prisoners in American custody. Those pronouncements may sound dramatic and unequivocal, but experts predict that American policy towards detainees could remain for months or even years pretty close to what it was as President Bush left office.

“I think the administration’s commitment to close Guantanamo is heartening; the fact they want to give themselves a year to do it, not so much,”, said Ramzi Kassem, a Yale Law School lecturer who represents prisoners like inmate Ahmed Zuhair, who was captured in Pakistan in 2001. “That would bring men like my client to eight years imprisonment for no apparent reason.”

Here are a few of the delays, caveats and loopholes that could limit the impact of Obama’s orders: …snip….

Points 3, 4, 5 and 6 on page 2 would seem to be the dirty guts of government-by-showy-headline. Which seems to me to be the hallmark of The Era of Obama.

7. marisacat - 23 January 2009

LAT page 2

[B]ut Obama appeared to leave an opening for the CIA to again have expanded authority. The order calls for the creation of a special task force, headed by the U.S. attorney general, to study whether the Army field manual is adequate and to recommend “additional or different guidance for other departments or agencies.”

Administration officials emphasized that there was no intent to create a loophole.

“This is not a secret annex that allows us to bring the enhanced interrogation techniques back,” said a senior Obama administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity when discussing legal strategies. “It’s not.”

But the language left the impression that the Obama team could later decide to adopt separate standards for the military and the CIA, and that any additional methods approved for the agency would remain classified. …

Obama’s orders did not ban the controversial CIA practice of “extraordinary rendition,” in which prisoners are transferred by the CIA from one country to another.

Those transfers can continue, according to the orders, as long as prisoners are not taken to other nations “to face torture” or as part of a CIA effort to circumvent international laws on detainee treatment.

“There are some renditions that are, in fact, justifiable, defensible,” said the senior Obama administration official. “There’s not going to be rendition to any country that engages in torture.”

8. marisacat - 23 January 2009

“Too combative”.

Past presidents have instituted or revoked the ban on January 22, the anniversary of the Roe v Wade decision, but President Obama held off on that move, thinking it too combative.

9. NYCO - 23 January 2009

Am rather enjoying the kerfluffle over Gillibrand. OMG! Barbarians at the gate apparently. (I do hope she “reforms” her views on immigration though, although sadly those will play even better on Long Island than they would Upstate.)

If New York City is Rome, then she is Boadicea. Not significant in and of herself, but an uncomfortable reminder how it ain’t safe out there for the toga clad, even in The Cradle of Progressive Civilization.

10. marisacat - 23 January 2009

Just reading that Schumer has thrown his public support behind Boadicea….

11. NYCO - 23 January 2009

10. But of course. If Schumer hadn’t wanted her, she wouldn’t have been picked.

Sometimes I wonder if Schumer is the only thing holding the damn state together at this point.

12. ms_xeno - 23 January 2009

Yo, lucid ! (Last thread.)

Yeah, I know about the technical details of Unemployment. I just don’t want to listen to the lecture. When I contrast how much of my life the bosses got with how much they had to pay in order to get it, I’m just not all that interested in hearing about how I should get on my knees and pray to them in gratitude. Particularly since nobody anywhere could live on what the state’s paying out for this extraordinary privilege– unless his or her “condo” was made of cardboard and its walls were doubling as lunch. Yeesh.

13. marisacat - 23 January 2009

Sometimes I wonder if Schumer is the only thing holding the damn state together at this point.

Well that must be fun. he and his wife are really gag making. IMO.

14. marisacat - 23 January 2009

Roubini in WSJ on global recession.

[P]olicy remedies will have limited effect as insolvency problems constrain the effectiveness of monetary stimulus, and the risk of rising interest rates (following the issuance of a wave of public debt) erodes the growth effects of fiscal stimulus packages. Only when insolvent banks are shut down, others are cleaned up, and the debt level of insolvent households is reduced will conditions ease. Between now and then, we can expect further downside risks to equity markets and other risky assets, given the likelihood that markets will continue to be jolted by worse-than-expected financial news.

The U.S. twin fiscal and current-account deficits will rise over the next two years as the country runs trillion dollar-plus fiscal deficits. We’re all aware that foreign actors have financed most of this debt over the past several years. During the 1980s, the U.S. also faced the burdens of twin deficits, but relied on financing from key strategic partners like Japan and Germany. This time, the situation is more worrisome because today’s financing comes not from U.S. allies, but from strategic rivals like Russia, China and a number of relatively unstable petrostates. This leaves the U.S. perilously dependent on the kindness of strangers….snip…

15. Intermittent Bystander - 23 January 2009

What a gaggle of NYS pols on MSNBC right now, waiting for Paterson to show up at the presser. “Troublemaker” above has more gravitas, by far!

16. marisacat - 23 January 2009

yeah I thought the portrait of Troublemaker was pretty stellar.

17. Intermittent Bystander - 23 January 2009

I thought it was a painting or movie still, at first. . . the seascape background is sorta Winslow Homeresque. Absolutely gorgeous.

Loved the pelican series too! Second to last looked like a dental exam, and the final was a riot!

18. marisacat - 23 January 2009

That pelican meant business. no orifice above the neck left unchecked.

19. ms_xeno - 23 January 2009

Green Romanelli still on the hook in PA.

Not coming soon to any Democratic blogs near you. Ho hum. :/

20. marisacat - 23 January 2009

chuckles. Ben Smith

[M]ost striking though: former Senator Al D’Amato, a Republican — and now a lobbyist — standing just to Paterson’s right.

It’s intended, perhaps, as a visual mark of her electablity and crossover appeal; it’s also a mark of how wired she and her family are on both sides of the aisle, with her father a major Republican lobbyist close to the last GOP governor, George Pataki.

“I aspire to follow in her footsteps,” Gillibrand said of Clinton.

ALTHOUGH: Chuck Schumer can’t love the fact that D’Amato is in the shot, and he’s not. And it’s not exactly what she needs with worries about a primary from the left.

21. marisacat - 23 January 2009

Fox News Sunday: McCain, Sen. Schumer

Face the Nation: Biden

Meet the Press: House Minority Leader Boehner. Roundtable with Thomas Friedman, Michele Norris and Stephen Hayes.

This Week: Pelosi

State of the Union: Mayor Bloomberg, Rep. Pence

22. Intermittent Bystander - 23 January 2009

NO idea why D’Amato was there. What a schmuck. Doesn’t he have some poker players to protect somewhere?

At least Gillibrand is from upstate and reportedly works hard. Not sure how blue-doggy she is really likely to be, apart from the fiscal discipline thing. Reckon we’ll see!

Mind you, things could continue to get interesting very quickly . . . former NYS GOP Senate leader Joe Bruno just got indicted for public corruption – mere minutes ago. Gillibrand’s dad was involved in some real estate partnership with Bruno – not sure yet whether any of that figures in the charges.

23. NYCO - 23 January 2009

22. Yeah, I saw that too – interesting timing on the Bruno thing, that – but I doubt it will have much of an impact on Gillibrand’s fortunes.

24. marisacat - 23 January 2009

Ugh.. if true… and not that surprising. US is nto going to fund real transportation infrastructure beyond some structural repair, stuff related to expansion (such as it is)… and so on. Plus Oberstar is a real shit. Not anyhting new. And Obster is a liar. Not a rare occurance.

FSZ diary from yesterday… Krugman and TPM

Thanks to Paul Krugman for providing this information.

According to Talking Points Memo, Congress and the Obama administration are preparing to make huge cuts in mass transit funding to make room for tax cuts for the wealthy.

25. catnip - 23 January 2009

Forbes has a slideshow of The 25 Most Influential Liberals In The U.S. Media that includes Friedman, Sully and Hitchens. lol

26. catnip - 23 January 2009

From the article:

Broadly, a “liberal’ subscribes to some or all of the following: progressive income taxation; universal health care of some kind; opposition to the war in Iraq, and a certain queasiness about the war on terror; an instinctive preference for international diplomacy; the right to gay marriage; a woman’s right to an abortion; environmentalism in some Kyoto Protocol-friendly form; and a rejection of the McCain-Palin ticket.

Who wrote that? A 12 year old?

27. catnip - 23 January 2009

Oh yay. Blago’s holding a presser today. I’ve missed him.

28. marisacat - 23 January 2009

Just saw this at TPM:

Madoff’s Collateral Damage: The ACLU

The ACLU has had to lay off 10 percent of its national staff, in part because two foundations that were big backers of the group were “wiped out” by Bernie Madoff.

–David Kurtz


Word is out here, aside from Madoff issues, charitable foundations are pulling way back, not only due to investment losses, but some are wondering if their 20, 50, 100 year plans are even executable.

And the starving shall starve MORE.

29. catnip - 23 January 2009

lol…watching Blago…someone on Twitter (on CNN) wrote that Blago’s playing the “cowboy card”.

30. Intermittent Bystander - 23 January 2009

Cowboys and mobsters and Rahm, oh my!

31. catnip - 23 January 2009

He does have a point though if he isn’t able to even defend himself against the impeachment due to the rules involved.

32. Intermittent Bystander - 23 January 2009

Suspected US missile strike kills 18 in Pakistan.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Suspected U.S. missiles killed 18 people on the Pakistan side of the Afghan border Friday, security officials said, the first attacks on the al-Qaida stronghold since President Barack Obama took office.

At least five foreign militants were among those killed in the strikes by unmanned aircraft in two parts of the frontier region, an intelligence official said without naming them. There was no information on the identities of the others.

33. catnip - 23 January 2009

I was hoping he’d quote some cowboy poetry. Alas, it was not to be…

34. Intermittent Bystander - 23 January 2009

Itzhak and Yo-Yo Vanilli. (Wondered how the hell they could stay tuned in that weather.)

35. NYCO - 23 January 2009

I simply can’t get over the squealing as it finally dawns on people that Dems and Republicans in NY are very hard to actually distinguish from one another. As a rule.

I love the endlessly repeated fantasy mantras that NY is a very blue state. Yeah, that explains why we’ve been through Pataki, D’Amato, Giuliani, Bloomberg, Schumer, Clinton, Spitzer… really? that was just a handful of deer-hunting Tioga County farmers and Buffalo suburbanites who did that?

These are not great days for the progressive financial infrastructure (referring to ACLU/Madoff story). Or for their grasp on the real world. If they would just dump the fantasies, take stock of where they really are, then they could start fighting properly for stuff.

36. Intermittent Bystander - 23 January 2009

33 – LOL. I still crack up at Jon Stewart’s remark, as the Blago story was first unfolding: Clearly, the man has nothing to hide! Except for whatever he’s got written on his forehead, that is.

Shallow of me, I know.

37. marisacat - 23 January 2009

well they do the same to CA… you should have heard the shock when Los Angeles COUNTY went against Prop 8. By a shave, but they did.

The only hold outs on the Recall (and vote for Arnold) were the 9 Bay Area Counties and LA Co squeezed in by 1%. I clearly sat in a sea of Red. not that it was news to me. San Francisco went against Arnold by almost 80%.

38. marisacat - 23 January 2009


No matter what I heard some flat notes early on.

39. Intermittent Bystander - 23 January 2009

35 – Yeah, the outrage from Kennedy-worshippers (holy shit, who knew how vast their masses truly are!!), City-pol-connected bloghacks (no surprise there), and deluded out-of-staters (ditto) is something else.

38 – Maybe from one of the podium mikes, before they adjusted the level?

People sitting nearby could hear the musicians play “Air and Simple Gifts”, written for the inauguration by John Williams, but their instruments were not amplified.

40. Intermittent Bystander - 23 January 2009

Maybe the Kennedy Kidfanz would cheer up if someone told ’em about Gillibrand’s forebears’ (coughbetweenthesheetscough) ties to the four-decade Mayor of Albany, Erastus Corning II.

I remember watching “Eraspus” SUBTITLED on the evening news, so ancient and incomprehensibly decrepit was he!

41. NYCO - 23 January 2009


President Obama listened to Republican gripes about his stimulus package during a meeting with congressional leaders Friday morning – but he also left no doubt about who’s in charge of these negotiations. “I won,” Obama noted matter-of-factly, according to sources familiar with the conversation.

Oh yeah. The Age of Bush is definitely over. Definitely.

42. marisacat - 23 January 2009

written for the inauguration by John Williams,

wellllllllll he may have re arranged it… but the core of that piece has been around.

43. marisacat - 23 January 2009

“I won,” Obama noted matter-of-factly, according to sources familiar with the conversation.

when he says shit like that i REALLY worry that the toddlers are in charge of the preemie nursery. And I don’t mean this in an age-ist way, tho it sounds that way. He is such a fucking bullshitter it scares me.

Like the Lara Logan interview…

Any doubts…. ? None

Ever? Never.

And it was out there in SF at the famous clinging bitter fundraiser that he allowed as how he is smarter than any expert in any thing, smarter than any speech writer.

I mean holy fuck. Get over yourself. A pol and a handy tool for the Chicagoans.. and now for national versions of that.

Can’t say how disgusted I am.

44. marisacat - 23 January 2009


that would be my guesss… I wondered how on earth they would pull of string and wind (asn’t there a horn of some sort? Flute? I forget) in such bitter cold, but then they nattered on about the special cello etc.

That song sung would have been lovely.. but they already had Aretha, which certainly fit in with obster spring board.

45. Intermittent Bystander - 23 January 2009

Yes, the theme is a pretty Shaker dance tune.

Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free,

‘Tis the gift to come down where you ought to be,

And when we find ourselves in the place just right,

‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gain’d,

To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d,

To turn, turn will be our delight,

Till by turning, turning we come round right.

Special to lucid – Really liked your “songs in the heater” diary. Always a big part of a move, too, innit? Learning the songs of the new house. Did you catch the NPR piece some months back about someone who went around his house and measured all the electronic tones? I’ll see if I can find a link.

My current fridge is a one-machine percussion ensemble (modifiable by a literal swift kick in the side, I discovered), which makes for quite a baseline in tandem with steam heat. (And the old computer hums and buzzes like a wetland marsh, in its own right.)

As for #4 and #5, whoooeeee! But I had to quit the comments, once the random, slanderous splatter kicked in.

46. Intermittent Bystander - 23 January 2009

Shakers and Fosse in the mod pod, I think?

Obama signs order reversing abortion-funds policy.

47. marisacat - 23 January 2009

that’s it.. the words are lovely.

48. marisacat - 23 January 2009

IB do you see your comment now? I think it just was lost in a WP hiccup for a minute or so… nothing in Mod and nothing in Spam…

49. Intermittent Bystander - 23 January 2009

Yes, thanks. That was it at 45.

50. marisacat - 23 January 2009

Angry Arab has had a few posts from someone he knows in Saudi… this is just the latest… I always love loosely held collections of people bound by fractious family who run on gossip… better than the media.

The mother of all news from Saudi Arabia

My very well-informed Saudi source sent me this (she does not want to be identified):

“Here is the mother of all news: Naif has early stages of Alzhimer’s. The Fahad clan is meeting in Morocco to sort out what they are going to do next, and to reassess their position. My mom thinks once Sultan passes on, Salman’s influence will wane and he will become irrelevant. The children of the late King Faisal are working with King AbdulAllah, except for Kahlid al Faisal, whom is very close to his uncle because he took care of him while his late father was preoccupied with his turkish wife, the mother of Mohammad, Saud and Turki. Bandar’s statement over Hizballah in 2006 was an embarrassment to the King. Bandar has been set aside and is becoming irrelevant. The general feeling is that people want a younger Saud royal to take over. On an aside, the reputation of Abdul Rahaman bin Abdul Aziz, the deputy of the ministry of Defense is that he greedy, ignorant jerk (the words I heard in Arabic describing him were: jash3, laem, tama3).”

Posted by As’ad at 1:50 PM

51. marisacat - 23 January 2009

yeah very quietly… although there was constant reminding in news updates that it would employ tax payer monies to foreign aid for abortions. gah. it’s so much more than just funding abortions in various parts of the world… Plus it fulfills the original mandate of Good Old USAID to keep down global births of black and brown. It’s just an accidental side benefit that women get more chances in life with BC and medical care and so on. Smaller families.

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Friday quietly ended the Bush administration’s ban on giving federal money to international groups that perform abortions or provide information on the option.

52. ms_xeno - 23 January 2009
53. Intermittent Bystander - 23 January 2009

Personally, I don’t mind if he does things quietly, as long as he fucking does them.

I actually thought it was smart to sidestep the big fat anniversary (why give the marching baaaaaaabysavers more public airtime and consolidate their martyrdays?), and toss the media the Guantanamo set to chew over, on that day, instead.

Just fucking do it. And if it’s Friday and 5 o’clock, so much the better. Spare us some of the rending of garments . . . and the OTT gushery – like ms_xeno is pointing at – too.

54. marisacat - 23 January 2009

ms x

that thread is so dumb.

55. marisacat - 23 January 2009


well he made it a GAME imo, as tho he might not do it. Sort of as useful as “I won”. Just like with so much. Exhale a headline, float a truncated restyling (over seas is good) of something, then float another headline, then run a big headline that when one whacks at the weeds is meaningless. ObRama Closes Guantanamo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When R and D toss USAID monies for Family Planning back and forth as a vote bait. All it is. And misery around the world.

Not that it matters. It really does not.

56. marisacat - 23 January 2009

Amy had Chomsky on, on Gaza.

57. Intermittent Bystander - 23 January 2009

When R and D toss USAID monies for Family Planning back and forth as a vote bait. All it is. And misery around the world.

Well, that’s part of why I’m glad he uncoupled it from Roe Day and the usual shit-eating domestic fanfare. Maybe he played coy with the will-he-or-won’t-he of it all, and/or maybe the Party had ideas about where it belonged in the post-inaugural striptease (pssst – don’t worry sissters, he’s getting around to you!), but for its impact on women’s rights and health elsewhere, I’m just glad it’s fucking done, and without too much further ado.

58. marisacat - 23 January 2009

same undertone as june… don’t ask daddy for an abortion – if you’re just blue and don’t know your pea brained mind.

59. Intermittent Bystander - 23 January 2009

if you’re just blue and don’t know your pea brained mind

Gawd. His soaring oratory sure failed him on that one.

I just don’t give a shit about any of these people’s personal distaste for this or that, anymore. Wish I could say I hadn’t heard plenty worse from other so-called “supporters” of choice in real life. (Sons of single mothers, especially. Grow a uterus and get back to us all, babe.)

60. marisacat - 23 January 2009

hmmm… Lenin linked to this in the FT.. think someone there referred to ti as the Road Map to the Shock Doctrine. Pretty much, yeah.

[L]arge-scale change initiatives typically require eight to 10 years to complete and often run out of steam along the way. Downturns provide an ideal opportunity to re-invigorate an ongoing transformation. Managers can harness a downturn to renew a sense of urgency, justify unpopular decisions and overcome complacency or resistance to change. …

61. marisacat - 23 January 2009

I just don’t give a shit about any of these people’s personal distaste for this or that, anymore

Well Henry Hyde had a personal distaste for poor women and an innate knowledge that slashing monies for them would start the ball rolling. And it did. Roll forward from ’76 to 2006, now we have a medical procedure banned by Federal mandate. Things moved right along ignoring peoples’ likes and dislikes esp with 5 Catholics on the SC… and a virulent, nasty USCCB

Now we have the supposed rights orgs clearly stating over the past few months that they have no intention of seeking an overturn of the Hyde Amendment. Nor would Obama, tho he dangled it out in the primaries and GE depending on whom he spoke to, support the Free Choice Act. And as moiv says of the GGR, “wish he’d do the same thing for the domestic reality” (see Hyde Amendment).

Reid is beloved by the Democrats for Life, voted yes on every pro life bill (5 iirc) in 2005, a stellar year for them. He did what he wanted, for himself and against women and against NON BELIEVERS. One banned abortions in overseas US military hosptials. God knows what happens if you are pregnant from “command rape” in Iraq. I assume over the years it has happened. Find a friendly army doc who will perform it off base? Find an abortion in Iraq?

I would not care what any of them THOUGHT much less preferred for themselves, their families and their similarly aligned God Loving idiots, if they had a clue or a caring or an empathetic bone for humanity. Not even a bone, just the odd bit of useless spleen would be OK. I’d take a friendly bile duct by now.

I love the argument that abortion is some single issue item. It’s not, it is utterly tied to autonomy and it is tied to an increasingly militaristic nation, one that wants fodder.

One abortion doc (Press) in thsi country defied Israeli law over 30 years ago, when they banned abortion. Planning as they were for endless war. He performed them there, then came here and has worked as an abortion doc.

It is tied to everything. If it were largely considered non political as it is in some countries (UK) or if one could enter a hospital, rather than a special and isolated (all too often) clinic, and have it done under universal health care (France and many other countries) it would nto be the huge issue it is here. No, women, esp the poor and the young and the badly placed regionally, are segregated into a preyed upon group in every way possible over abortion, BC and related access to health care.

So, I do pay attention to the likes, dislikes, dismissals and disdain of the powerful legislative class. I surely do.

62. Intermittent Bystander - 23 January 2009

Oh, yes, don’t get me wrong. Paying attention is crucial.

63. Intermittent Bystander - 23 January 2009

If it were largely considered non political as it is in some countries (UK)

Maybe I’m wildly deluded, or falsely heartened by the seemingly encouraging noises about the Conscience Rule freeze, but I guess I’m just saying that I’m hoping the non-anniversary, late-Friday announce was a step in that direction, for once.

64. ms_xeno - 23 January 2009

Obama’s attitude about the overturn smacks to me of the same attitude he had inviting Warren to the big shindig: You are crucial to me at election time, and the rest of the year sit down and shut up.

Don’t worry your pretty little heads about things, Lefties. Daddy knows best. (To swipe a little of Margaret Kimberly’s column.)

65. marisacat - 23 January 2009

Obama values the Doug Kmeics and the Kirbyjon Caldwells. White Catholic legal scholar right wing, asshole. Black former bond trader collection plate minister, curer of gays and all the rest, previously supporter and personal friend to Bush currently a Bama prayer circle phone tree conf prayer etc..

That is who he values.

He has expounded more than a few times about how boys value their fathers and the small town busy stuff, going hunting and so forth and the little girls, why they went to church with mommy.

It is hopelessly prosaic and dumbed down. And I don’t think it is just itinerant drool from him either.

66. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 January 2009

Mysterious Rumble Vexes Sequoyah County

Sallisaw,Okla. — The Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Office has been flooded with over a hundred calls since Tuesday.

Residents from Tenkiller Lake to Roland have described hearing a mysterious blasting sound followed by a slight vibration everyday at noon.

They also said the vibration is causing the windows

and pictures to shake.

My theory is that all of the racist stupid has reached critical mass and the Earth is preparing to open us and swallow them up.

67. marisacat - 23 January 2009

President Obama ‘orders Pakistan drone attacks’

Missiles fired from suspected US drones killed at least 15 people inside Pakistan today, the first such strikes since Barack Obama became president and a clear sign that the controversial military policy begun by George W Bush has not changed.

Security officials said the strikes, which saw up to five missiles slam into houses in separate villages, killed seven “foreigners” – a term that usually means al-Qaeda – but locals also said that three children lost their lives.

Dozens of similar strikes since August on northwest Pakistan, a hotbed of Taleban and al-Qaeda militancy, have sparked angry government criticism of the US, which is targeting the area with missiles launched from unmanned CIA aircraft controlled from operation rooms inside the US.

Mr Obama has made Afghanistan his top foreign policy priority and said during his presidential campaign that he would consider military action inside Pakistan if the government there was unable or unwilling to take on the militants.

68. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 January 2009

If Schumer hadn’t wanted her, she wouldn’t have been picked.

Schumer LUVS him some Blooooo dawg.

69. marisacat - 23 January 2009

Stem Cell.. and of course he is so busy. Being Atlas. Last I saw there is a whole government, a really really big huge one…. But then, stem cell is perforce part of the moral issue of abortion and what we euphemistically call “life”.

[Y]et an executive order by Mr Obama reversing the Bush limits may not be the end of the matter— or even effective. It would be open to legal challenge and run counter to a law known as the Dickey-Wicker Amendment. This is a 1995 rider that was passed along with an appropriations Bill that bans federal grants that go toward research involving the destruction of human embryos.

The only way Mr Obama can definitely overturn Mr Bush’s restrictions on such research is by getting a fresh Bill passed by Congress.He has the majorities to do it, but with his groaning domestic and foreign policy in-tray, it is not at the top of his agenda.

70. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 January 2009

Yes, the theme is a pretty Shaker dance tune.

Due to the wonder that is US copyright law, you can (re)”write” an old piece of folk music as long as nobody else “owns” that particular piece of “intellectual property” and you rearrange a note or chord or two and call it your own.

Part of Willie Nelson’s stage patter for years has been musings about where he “stole” a particular song from. He and Johnny Cash had a good time joking about it when they did MTV Unplugged, IIRC.

This whole idea that you can wholly own a piece of culture, that has things that have come before woven all through it, consciously or not, is beyond silly, and is killing creativity.

71. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 January 2009
72. Intermittent Bystander - 23 January 2009

Don’t worry your pretty little heads about things, Lefties. Daddy knows best.

And I don’t think it is just itinerant drool from him either.

Suspect you’re both right about that. Just saying I’d rather have the signatures than the ceremonies, especially if the drool is so poor.

My theory is that all of the racist stupid has reached critical mass and the Earth is preparing to open us and swallow them up.

Everybody get Rupture-ready!

Madman, you switched your avatar! What’s the iconic source?

73. marisacat - 23 January 2009

I am not the least bit interested in bureaucratic ceremony. But he dragged it out, “may” was constantly, before and after inauguration, used, rather than ”shall” or ”will” — and the media reported all the wondering. The thing was not low key, in my view.

Again, not that it matters. Vote bait.

74. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 January 2009

Madman, you switched your avatar! What’s the iconic source?

I found it at a new site w/ public domain illustrations and comics: grandmasgraphics dot com.

Here is the original image it is cropped from, an illustration from “Vignettes from Tales of Mystery and Imagination”
by Edgar Allan Poe Illustrated by Harry Clarke.

I can’t remember where I found the link to grandma’s graphics … probably Boing Boing or Laughing Squid or something.

75. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 January 2009

Here’s the hompage.

Didn’t want to put too many links in one comment.

76. Intermittent Bystander - 23 January 2009

71 – Nice. That’s an Aaron Copland arrangement of the Shaker tune (from Appalachian Spring). I think he was the first to snag it for popular consumption, but I might be wrong.

(Quite a bit of Shaker history, round here.)

Can resist adding Patti Page’s version of Steam Heat, above.

77. Intermittent Bystander - 23 January 2009

(Can’t resist, obviously.)

Re the Poe – thought it looked nineteenth century, and a tad laudanum-intense!

Grandma’s graphics site very groovy! Sometimes, only pen-and-ink will do.

78. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 January 2009

77 – I love that they have sections with just page BORDERS and other weirdness.

79. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 January 2009

I really like this King Lear panel.

80. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 January 2009

And this one feels straight out of MIchael Moorcock.

81. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 January 2009

RFLMAO … NOW Conyers says he wants to do something:

I understand that many feel we should just move on. They worry that addressing these actions by the Bush administration will divert precious energy from the serious challenges facing our nation. I understand the power of that impulse. Indeed, I want to move on as well — there are so many things that I would rather work on than further review of Bush’s presidency. But in my view it would not be responsible to start our journey forward without first knowing exactly where we are.

We cannot rebuild the appropriate balance between the branches of government without fully understanding how that relationship has been distorted. Likewise, we cannot set an appropriate baseline for future presidential conduct without documenting and correcting the presidential excesses that have just occurred. After the Nixon imperial presidency, critical reviews such as the Church and Pike committees led to fundamental reforms that have served our nation well. Comparable steps are needed to begin the process of reining in the legacy of the Bush imperial presidency. I consider these three points crucial:

First, Congress should continue to pursue its document requests and subpoenas that were stonewalled under President Bush. Doing so will make clear that no executive can forever hide its misdeeds from the public.

Second, Congress should create an independent blue-ribbon panel or similar body to investigate a host of previously unreviewable activities of the Bush administration, including its detention, interrogation and surveillance programs. Only by chronicling and confronting the past in a comprehensive, bipartisan fashion can we reclaim our moral authority and establish a credible path forward to meet the complex challenges of a post-Sept. 11 world.

Third, the new administration should conduct an independent criminal probe into whether any laws were broken in connection with these activities. Just this week, in the pages of this newspaper, a Guantanamo Bay official acknowledged that a suspect there had been “tortured” — her exact word — in apparent violation of the law. The law is the law, and, if criminal conduct occurred, those responsible — particularly those who ordered and approved the violations — must be held accountable.

82. marisacat - 23 January 2009

Conyers should donate his brain to science. Get it over with. Jsut a babbler… and for how long one wonders.

83. Intermittent Bystander - 23 January 2009

79 – LOL. He chose rather to encounter the utmost fury of the storm abroad, than stay under the same roof with these ungrateful daughters.

84. Intermittent Bystander - 23 January 2009

How come they never mentioned it was a Cheshire bobcat

85. marisacat - 23 January 2009

California unemployment is 9.3.. up a whole percent in a month.. and the biggest rise since 76. (local NBC news)

86. Intermittent Bystander - 23 January 2009
87. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 January 2009

Monty Python’s free web video increased DVD sales by 23,000 percent

“We’re letting you see absolutely everything for free. So there! But we want something in return. None of your driveling, mindless comments. Instead, we want you to click on the links, buy our movies & TV shows and soften our pain and disgust at being ripped off all these years.”

And you know what? Despite the entertainment industry’s constant cries about how bad they’re doing, it works. As we wrote yesterday, Monty Python’s DVDs climbed to No. 2 on Amazon’s Movies & TV bestsellers list, with increased sales of 23,000 percent.

88. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 January 2009

Well, at least he’s not the Cat, formerly known as Cheshire … actually known within Jurisfiction as the ‘Unitary Authority of Warrington Cat’.

89. Intermittent Bystander - 23 January 2009

Marisacat, I’m really getting attached to Troublemaker. Now he’s starting to remind me of a (tall, white, bespectacled, blues-playing, Montreal) bandleader and bass player I know.

90. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 January 2009
91. Intermittent Bystander - 23 January 2009

What? Never heard of no unitary authority among cats!

92. Intermittent Bystander - 23 January 2009

Saudi dynasty piece was intriguing . . . thanks!

93. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 January 2009
94. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 January 2009
95. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 January 2009
96. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 January 2009

I can’t even pick out one post, one excerpt, out of the last couple of days. If you haven’t already, go read Perrin.

97. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 January 2009
98. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 January 2009
99. diane - 23 January 2009

just love that pic Marisa…..Wonder what Troublemaker’s teefsies looks like….quite the overbite goin on there…good thing that pelican didn’t have any fangsies….

those shots were hilariuos, thanks for the smiles

100. marisacat - 23 January 2009

new post


……………. 😆 ……………..

101. marisacat - 23 January 2009


you’re welcome diane. Yeah I loved the Ridgeback and the pelican too.. and Troublemaker.

102. diane - 24 January 2009


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