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Scavenging.. 23 January 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, WAR!.


A group of greater adjutant stork search for food at the Deepor Beel bird sanctuary on the outskirts of Guwahati city, northeast India

Moyers had a very interesting program tonight, first up were Sirota and Thomas Frank…

THOMAS FRANK: And but exactly what David said. He doesn’t — maybe he does understand that he has the power, I mean, this is where they teach you the orthodoxy, you know? Harvard, Chicago Law School. I mean, these are the upholders of the orthodoxy, the idea that, no, we can’t have an industrial policy in America. The market has to decide. We can’t pick winners. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

He now has the power to throw all that overboard. History is demanding that he throw it overboard. The — you know, the orthodoxy is discredited like at no time since, you know, the 1930s. It is, you know, it is in his power to do that. I think he’ll rise to the challenge.

the last half hour was Patricia Williams who writes Diary of a Mad Professor for The Nation and Melissa Harris-Lacewell

BILL MOYERS: Last subject, everywhere we turn this week somebody was praying. I mean, I’m serious about this. What did you make of all the God talk all week?

PATRICIA WILLIAMS: Well, I think that the, you know, appeal to greater power is perhaps a necessary deflection to the fact that we are a very religious country. I would hope, however, because, again, I speak as a lawyer. I am a deep believer in a separation of church and state.

BILL MOYERS: You’ve written a lot about it-

PATRICIA WILLIAMS: And I’ve been very distressed by the degree to which faith-based analyses of late have permitted the allocation of funds even to organizations that discriminate on any variety of bases. And I hope that this deflection that he has made is not something that carries over into actual policy if it’s, you know, at you know, we can pray to the God of our choice. But, again, when he is actually governing, I hope that this takes very much a back seat.

hmm.  Way back in the knotty mess we are in, visions of the underwater congealing fuckball of the snakes comes to mind again… Sy Hersh had a long piece in The New Yorker, think it was March 31, 2003 and I found I went back to it over and over as the invasion blasted the war torn images around the world.  A template or road map, it constantly gave up information, as time moved.  Think Moyers managed an interesting template to return to……

With that in mind the opening from Moyers is instructive – and worth keeping ahold of as well.  Nice platitudes from the earnest and the willing is sometimes just a posy of wilting -or wilted- flowers.  Sorry to be blunt.

BILL MOYERS: Well we’ll find out what this means as President Obama confronts one of his first big challenges — the bankers and the bailout.

Usually it’s the bandits robbing the banks. But now it’s getting hard to tell the bankers from the bandits. Where have they stashed the loot — that 350 billion dollars of our money that the Bush Administration lavished on them to jump-start our failing economy?

For a story in last Sunday’s “New York Times”, largely overlooked in all the pre-inaugural hoopla, reporter Mike Mcintire reviewed investor presentations and conference calls to see how bankers talk when they think the rest of us aren’t listening.

This from Boston Private Wealth Management, a healthy bank that was handed $154 million:

“With that capital in hand […] we’ll be in a position to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves once this recession is sorted out.”

Once this recession is sorted out? Those funds are supposed to generate loans for people and small businesses in trouble — not to help banks ride out the recession on a cushion of cash.

Then there’s this bit of Simon Legree mustache-twirling from the chairman of Whitney National Bank in New Orleans. They’ve received 300 million dollars in bailout boodle:

“Make more loans?” he asked. “We’re not going to change our business model or our credit policies to accommodate the needs of the public sector as they see it to have us make more loans.”

I’m not making this up — Flushing Financial crowed that it was newly flush enough to use the bailout bucks to raise the ante and buy new companies:

“We can get $70 million in capital,” their CEO said. “So, I would say the price of poker, so to speak, has gone up.”

And, so to speak, he’s playing with our chips!

Warm and cosy…


UPDATE, 6:14 pm on the Pacific Coast


I don’t let myself read too far in some articles on Gaza, but I have certainly caught that, in addition to killing any one of any age, willing to shoot people in the head, sniper fire on streets, into homes, people shot carrying a white flag, shot when forced to exit their homes, the IDF also killed farm animals and livestock.. as well as household pets…

Anyway, I just saw this photo at Angry Arab:


“A Palestinian boy carries rescued cats inside a birdcage, on a stroller on a street in Gaza City in the Gaza strip, Friday, Jan. 23, 2009.” (AP Photo)

It’s from a post at AA of photos from Gaza, one a baby really, a small 4 year old burn victim… I can’t even see the body for the gauze.  The caption says they had to amputate because some parts  ”kept on burning”.  White Phosphorus?  Earlier I read the bombed out UN school, the one where so many died, burned for days, the WP again.


Angry Arab is also running serial entries now on “Obama bombs”

Obama bombs (and bullets)

“US soldiers killed an Iraqi couple and wounded their eight-year-old daughter during a raid against Al-Qaeda suspects near the northern city of Kirkuk on Saturday, police and the US military said.”

Obama bombs

“A claim by US forces in Afghanistan that they killed 15 Taliban fighters in the eastern province of Laghman, has been disputed by village elders. A US statement said on Saturday that soldiers killed the fighters after coming under fire from opposition fighters. But the elders say all those who died were civilians.” (Obama bombs will be a regular feature now). (thanks Olivia)



1. marisacat - 24 January 2009


[T]hursday’s filing by the Obama administration marked the first time it officially lodged a court document in the lawsuit asking the courts to rule on the constitutionality of the Bush administration’s warrantless-eavesdropping program. The former president approved the wiretaps in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

“The Government’s position remains that this case should be stayed,” the Obama administration wrote (.pdf) in a filing that for the first time made clear the new president was on board with the Bush administration’s reasoning in this case.

The government wants to appeal Walker’s decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, a legal maneuver requiring Judge Walker’s approval. A hearing in Walker’s courtroom is set for Friday.

The legal brouhaha concerns Walker’s decision to admit as evidence a classified document allegedly showing that two American lawyers for a now-defunct Saudi charity were electronically eavesdropped on without warrants by the Bush administration in 2004.

The lawyers — Wendell Belew and Asim Ghafoo — sued the Bush administration after the U.S. Treasury Department accidentally released the Top Secret memo to them. At one point, the courts had ordered the document, which has never been made public, returned and removed from the case. …

2. lucid - 24 January 2009

Last thread

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.

CRS, one of the largest NGO’s on the planet might institute unpaid furloughs this year in lieu of laying anyone off permanently. Its going deep. Thank the spaghetti monster my brother and his wife will probably not be subject to that.

3. marisacat - 24 January 2009

Its going deep.

Frighteningly deep. That’s my impression… merely as someone who engages in ”thought crimes of the restive shut-ins” (Hoover Hog sub title)

4. lucid - 24 January 2009

IB – thanks… I’m particularly attuned to sound… all of it. Funnily enough I get most of my ideas for writing music walking down the street and listening to traffic… but all things that make noise are good in my book – and have an internal rhythm just aching to get out.

MitM – Radiohead released their last album online as a ‘pay what you want’. Their record deal was done, they didn’t resign. They made about 10 million from people deciding what they wanted to pay for downloading their album.

We don’t need media companies anymore.

5. lucid - 24 January 2009

3 – that is a line that I will remember for an eternity… ‘thought crimes of the restive shut-ins’… a novel could be written around that line.

6. marisacat - 24 January 2009


oh yeah I just love it… esp since… I do it… 8)

7. marisacat - 24 January 2009

oops I took an unintended literary liberty, at The Hoover Hog it is

Recreational Thought Crime for Restive Shut-ins.


8. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 January 2009
9. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 January 2009
10. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 January 2009

On Being an Atheist Watching the Inauguration

Completely regardless of the content of these prayers and invocations, we have the unquestioned assumption that religion and prayers and repeated references to God and faith should have a significant part — indeed, any part whatsoever — in the ceremonies of our government. We have the unquestioned assumption that the prayers of a church belong in the single most important ceremony of our state.

Look. You can’t spend all day talking about how God’s grace is upon the nation, and how everything that happens comes from God, and how equality and freedom and opportunity are promised to us by God, and how the elected leader of a democratic country is God’s servant, and how forgetting God is a sin that requires forgiveness — and then mention once that some of the people making up the strong patchwork of this country are non-believers — and call that real inclusivity and recognition of non-believers.

Any more than you can spend all day talking about how same- sex couples shouldn’t be allowed to marry, and non- discrimination laws shouldn’t be expanded to cover sexual orientation, and LGBT people shouldn’t be allowed to serve in the military — and then say, “Oh, no, I’m not homophobic.”

Am I being churlish?

Should I just be happy about the mention of non-believers? Should I just be happy about this little baby step towards full recognition of atheists as actual citizens of this country, citizens with the same rights and responsibilities, the same expectation of respect and passion to contribute, that everyone else in this country has?

11. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 January 2009

Controversial CBO Report On Stimulus Turns Out Not To Exist

Reports of a recent study by the Congressional Budget Office, showing that the vast majority of the money in the stimulus package won’t be spent until after 2010, have Democrats on the defensive and the GOP calling for a pullback in wasteful spending.

Funny thing is, there is no such report.

“We did not issue any report, any analysis or any study,” a CBO aide told the Huffington Post.

Rather, the nonpartisan CBO ran a small portion of an earlier version of the stimulus plan through a computer program that uses a standard formula to determine a score — how quickly money will be spent. The score only dealt with the part of the stimulus headed for the Appropriations Committee and left out the parts bound for the Ways and Means or Energy and Commerce Committee.

Because it dealt with just a part of the stimulus, it estimated the spending rate for only about $300 billion of the $825 billion plan. Significant changes have been made to the part of the bill the CBO looked at.

The CBO numbers were given to a small number of congressional Democrats and Republicans, but were not posted online because they’re not an official CBO product. (Media outlets, while reporting widely about the “report,” have declined to post it online. Here’s the whole thing.) Democratic aides say they are certain that the GOP leaked it to the Associated Press in order to undercut the spending portion of the stimulus.

A Republican aide for the House Appropriations Committee denied involvement, saying that her staff did not see the CBO numbers until after the AP reported them. The Washington Post followed the AP and reported that aides to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) provided the report.

“I didn’t leak it. It was sent to the Hill and considered public. If a reporter was writing on it I made sure they had access to it; it’s a public document,” said McConnell spokesman Don Stewart in an e-mail.

Gonna be a fun four years.

12. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 January 2009

President Obama’s Call for Common Ground on Abortion Reduction – Jim Wallis

In breaking the symbolic cycle, President Obama showed respect for both sides in the historically polarized abortion debate, and called for both a new conversation and a new common ground. I hope that this important gesture signals the beginning of a new approach and a new path toward finding some real solutions to decrease the number of abortions in this country and around the world.

In his statement, Obama acknowledged that “this is a sensitive and often divisive issue,” but went on to say “no matter what our views, we are united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce the need for abortion, and support women and families in the choices they make. To accomplish these goals, we must work to find common ground to expand access to affordable contraception, accurate health information, and preventative services.”

I can feel the change bubbling up in the back of my throat.

13. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 January 2009

Joe Bageant

Obama, like any president, was fully aware he had to speak to all the people, not to mention the rest of the world, and his speech was about as good as it gets in that respect, with its necessary crimes of omission, such as mention of our longstanding global criminality both military and financial, and their remedy. But let’s face it, the subject of war reparations to Iraqi families is not a good opener for a guy about to pour most a trillion somolians into the pockets of the financial masters of failed American capitalism in order to buy a couple of years of public goodwill, so that he may (hopefully) accomplish something more substantial. For instance, he could provide free bread, water and toilet paper for every homeless street person. Don’t laugh. No American is guaranteed even that.

Also, we must remember that it doesn’t take much these days to be hailed as the new FDR. On the other hand, free asswipe for the homeless would automatically make him a Stalinist commie, according to the controlling corporate elites, that not-so-shadow government, who still own all the guns and money, regardless of who is elected. As an Irish friend recently wrote me: “No matter who you vote for, the government always gets in.”

Despite the comparisons to Martin Luther King, who never delivered a hypocritical speech or sermon in his life, Obama had his hypocritical moments. Such as “We will not apologize for our way of life nor will we waver in its defense.” That can be construed at least a couple of ways: It could mean that “As six percent of the planet’s population we will continue to use over a quarter of the world’s resources to consume needless techno-junk and pay for Madonna’s liposuction.” Or that “As a nation, we will continue to grow stupider, more provincial and more oblivious as a people, simply because we have the firepower to do so. Expect no apologies.”

Actually, when it comes to American apologies, certainly the Iraqi people are at the top of a very long list. But nations are essentially armed turf gangs and the most heavily armed — America at the moment — is no more likely to apologize to anyone than the LA Crips are for the latest drive-by shoot-up of a Blood Tupperware party.

14. marisacat - 24 January 2009

Sorry Madman… two of yours out of Moderation…


15. NYCO - 24 January 2009

Obama’s suit-maker files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Not only an empty suit, but a bankrupt one as well!

“Will the last solvent company in America please turn out the lights…”

16. marisacat - 24 January 2009

Putting the US Flag on your lapel cannot even save the suit maker.

Grand beginnings.

17. marisacat - 24 January 2009

For anyone with time and zeal… and whatever else! the House Rules Committee has put the Stimulus Bill up online … Tapper has the links

18. marisacat - 24 January 2009

My goodness… I followed NYCO’s link and the suit maker is Hart Schaffner and Marx.. among other labels under the parent Hartmarx. They made the top coat, suit and the tuxedo for Inauguration day/night… as well as the suit he wore the night he won.

19. NYCO - 24 January 2009

Maybe we should stop talking smack about Obama.

On second thought, maybe not.


(I know it’s not funny, but… hee.)

20. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 January 2009

I think it’s pretty funny.

21. marisacat - 24 January 2009

Well, he is fully in the flow of pop culture now. And they wanted that. So they get glassine eps with his name and this sort of thing too. A bit of Inauguration frivolity put online by Paste magazine, apparently.

Found it thru Tapper, he did one of his own, using the photo of Ryan, the waivered in lobbyist for Raytheon. A Fairey-esq-ed pic and the words “LOBBYIST” beneath.

22. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 January 2009
23. marisacat - 24 January 2009


How soon ’til the Saturday vid is a “Prayer for Bi-Partisanship”. I’d say a few weeks.

24. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 January 2009

Steven Pinker Explains Why Roberts Mangled the Oath of Office

Pinker hypothesizes that Roberts had an irresistible urge to avoid the “split infinitive”:

Though the ungrammaticality of split verbs is an urban legend, it found its way into The Texas Law Review Manual on Style, which is the arbiter of usage for many law review journals. James Lindgren, a critic of the manual, has found that many lawyers have “internalized the bogus rule so that they actually believe that a split verb should be avoided,” adding, “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers has succeeded so well that many can no longer distinguish alien speech from native speech.”

In his legal opinions, Chief Justice Roberts has altered quotations to conform to his notions of grammaticality, as when he excised the “ain’t” from Bob Dylan’s line “When you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose.” On Tuesday his inner copy editor overrode any instincts toward strict constructionism and unilaterally amended the Constitution by moving the adverb “faithfully” away from the verb.

25. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 January 2009

23 – and they’ll find somebody to play the part of nuns, rapping us on the collective knuckles if we don’t pray along.

26. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 January 2009
27. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 January 2009
28. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 January 2009

Coming to America from Japan: My travel agent has, thoughtfully, seen fit to provide me with a pamphlet of helpful tips to make my overseas travel less of an anxiety-filled social minefield riddled with white people and guns. I got such a kick out of these that I wanted to share.

* Most Americans are very polite, particularly outside of the big cities. However, outside of the big cities, everyone owns guns. Inside the big cities, almost everyone owns guns. Let’s be polite together!

* If you go shopping at an American department store, they will ask you if you want to open a credit card account. They are *not* asking whether you want to use a credit card. This may seem strange but it is an American custom to offer customers a credit card, in order to make them spend more money. We suggest politely declining offers of credit cards. You may have to politely decline several times. Don’t think of this as rude, the Americans have to do it too.

* Most Americans think we look like Chinese or Koreans. Try not to be too offended.

* Most Americans will think that a Japanese person standing on the street is an American, unless they are holding a camera. If you are not comfortable speaking English, you might try bringing along a camera to say “I am a tourist, please don’t expect me to speak English.” Except, don’t try this in the big cities — tourists get mugged in big cities.

* Americans have a social institution called a “gratuity”. Basically, the price on the menu at any place which serves food is not the real price. The real price is 20% higher. You have to calculate 20%, write it under the subtotal, and sum to arrive at the real price. Taxis work the same way. It is considered very rude not to pay the “gratuity”.

* In general, Americans consider it impolite to discuss politics. However, this January Obama will become the new president, and many people are excited! If they ask you what you think of him, a safe answer is [English] “Obama is really cool.” or [English] “Obama speaks so well. Not like me. Hehe.” Be very careful when pronouncing his name. O BA MA, just like Obama City. [Ask me later. Hilarity abounds.]

* Most big cities have Japanese food available. You may have to look hard, though — ask your hotel for some place to eat tempura. Restaurants which say they serve sushi probably only serve makizushi, like California rolls. (Americans think California rolls are [English] “sushi”.) If a restaurant says [English] “Asian” they really mean Chinese. They are probably not really Chinese, either.

* Ladies: if you shop for clothes, ask for where to find [English] “petite”. It means normal sized. Ladies who are petite may have difficulty finding clothes which fit in America, except at specialty shops.

* McDonalds: Has no teriyaki burger in America. Portions are bigger and food is cheaper. Sometimes the person taking the order does not speak English. Please relax! They probably understand the set menu, although it is called [English] “combo”, and you can hold up the number with your hands as shown. [Snip of chart for how Americans count on their fingers, which is actually different than how Japanese people count on their fingers, hence the need for a chart.]

29. marisacat - 24 January 2009


well the whole thing was mangled… not that it matters. obster wanted to get on with it, and broke into the first line he was handed… I don’t blame him, the incoming wants to get on with it, I noticed Bill did too, that day for him. Seems natural, you ARE pretzel, but you are stuck in this formal cranky minuet for the “peepuhl”.

But ti broke the cadence… and when I first listened to Roberts I thought he had moved something, I thought then he moved an “of” and used a “to”.. but I never picked it apart.

the Pinker is getting referred to I see… as this gets disssected and [cough] diagrammmmmmed …

what a hoot!

30. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 January 2009

Pinker’s tidbit did give me another thing to hate Roberts for, though. I HATE people who “correct” a quote when they are using it, as though the original writer/speaker didn’t know better.

31. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 January 2009

Gillibrand unpopular among peers

Within the high school gossip circle that is New York’s congressional delegation, Kirsten Gillibrand’s nickname is “Tracy Flick” — a not-so-flattering reference to the over-eager, blonde, bubbly and viciously competitive Reese Witherspoon character from “Election.”

Gillibrand, the newly appointed junior senator from New York, has never been shy about her political ambitions — or her willingness to vault over older, more experienced politicians.

That aggressiveness and self-confidence has endeared her to the powerful politicians who share her impatience to get ahead — including Hillary Clinton, whose seat she’ll take; David Paterson, who appointed her to it; and Chuck Schumer, who’ll be the senior senator to her junior.

But many of those who know Gillibrand best — Democratic members of the state’s congressional delegation — weren’t exactly high-fiving over the pick, and not just because several wanted the job themselves.

“Nobody really likes her,” sniped one New York City-area member, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“She’s smart and capable, but she’s rubbed people the wrong the way,” said another.

“I think she’s going to get a serious primary in 2010,” opined a longtime state Democratic operative who supports Gillibrand.

32. marisacat - 24 January 2009

oh no question Roberts is awful.. and listening .. twice… for my sins, to the Cathcart so called ‘partial birth abortion’ oral arguments before the SC I clearly heard Kennedy lean into and be seduced by Roberts.

Quite the day… surely do recall obster’s diary at Dkos too.. excusing those who voted for Roberts. A story surfaced a couple weeks ago.. can’t remember where now, that Ob had wanted to vote for Roberts but a senior aide (who was named) argued agaisnt it in light of any upcoming run for Head Pretzel. It may be a convenient story in light of the upcoming swear in, except for the diary now years ago.

I am still saying he’d like to put a Latina Pentecostal on the SC. And he’ll try… some version of Duckworth whom they all love and I suspect of being second generation mission xtian and a winger.. They will probably find some Latina Catholic whose family venerates the Latin mass.

have to laugh.. the game is so set.

33. marisacat - 24 January 2009


or her willingness to vault over older, more experienced politicians.

She’s a BOUNDER, so rare in politics…


34. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 January 2009

But wait … aren’t they bringing changey goodness?

Bush’s legal foes, Obama’s legal team

Those three — Dawn Johnsen, Martin Lederman, and David Barron — and others made the case that Bush’s interrogation policy was justified by flawed legal reasoning. Their arguments precipitated one of Obama’s most dramatic early acts: flatly repudiating all government legal advice on interrogation issued between September 11, 2001, and January 20, 2009.

“I think they will be an irritant for Obama in the best possible way — they’re very honest lawyers,” said Rosa Brooks, a professor at Georgetown University Law School, where Lederman also taught. “When Dawn and Marty and David think that he is asking if he can do something that in their view pushes the envelope and goes beyond the bounds of what is legal, they’re going to say, ‘Sorry Mr. Obama, we think that would be illegal.’”

They step into positions ripe for conflict, and have staked out clear positions that could possibly restrain Obama’s ability to, among other things, conduct military operations against the wishes of Congress.

“They have alarmingly narrow views of executive power,” said a former Bush aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Others said the key would be how Obama’s lawyers handle concrete questions and decisions.

“It’s important for OLC to remember that it’s not a professorial office: there are real lives at stake, there are real liberties at stake,” said Douglas Kmiec, who headed the office under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and who supported Obama and praised the Johnsen pick.

The OLC lawyers are only a few among the erstwhile opposition figures now entering the administration. Neal Katyal, who successfully argued a key Supreme Court case on the rights of Guantanamo Bay detainees, will be principal deputy solicitor general. David Kris, who was an internal and then external critic of warrantless wiretapping, will head the Obama Justice Department’s national security division. And David Iglesias, the former U.S. attorney for New Mexico whose firing drew bipartisan condemnation and helped bring down an attorney general, has been called up as a top military terror prosecutor.

The Office of Legal Counsel, though, occupies a unique position. Historically, it guards its independence, despite being located wholly in the executive branch. In the Bush years, though, it articulated the rationale for some of his most controversial policies, justifying interrogation practices like waterboarding and supporting the president’s defiance of a range of congressional actions. In a famous 2002 memo, an OLC deputy assistant attorney general, John Yoo, argued for unprecedented presidential power and an extremely narrow definition of torture.

So on the surface, they look good, but I notice that Ob’s buddy Kmeic is right there warning them to watch themselves.

We’ll see … but I’m not expecting much restraint when it comes to Executive power.

35. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 January 2009
36. catnip - 24 January 2009

Obama’s War

From the comments, let the denial begin:

Huffpost (0+ / 0-)

There are a bunch of trolls calling Obama a war criminal on Huffpost. I guess there has been an 8 year amnesia or something. Where were these people when some of us were out protesting the Iraq war?

You are just now against war and the murdering of innocent civilians?

I don’t hope for anything in war especially the death of innocent children. It is all bad.

by ShowMeMoBlue on Sat Jan 24, 2009 at 11:19:50 AM PST

Gee. Wasn’t that Obama complaining about “air-raiding” civilians not so long ago?

If the war crime fits…

The drone strike in Pakistan (0+ / 0-)

is the GWB War Crimes immunity Act.

Now that President Obama has spilled the ‘blood of innocents’ GWB is pretty much off the hook. I guess Israel should be cleared of war crime charges now as well.

by Samulayo on Sat Jan 24, 2009 at 11:57:57 AM PST

And then there’s that little tidbit about invading Pakistan’s sovereignty. Mind you, that was one of his campaign promises so I guess that’s how his supporters can choose to look at it. That or the belief that he’s the “antiwar” president.

37. marisacat - 24 January 2009

The death toll from that strike, or pair of strikes, is now up to 20. Of course with on going wars no wait for the traditional “blooding of the president”. Easily accomplished. Cross border, invasive, and civilians hit. High score pretzel.

What shits they all are. ALL OF THEM.

New US Administration Launches Airstrikes in Pakistan

LINK to Truth Out

R. Jeffrey Smith, Candace Rondeaux and Joby Warrick, The Washington Post:

“Two remote US missile strikes that killed at least 20 people at suspected terrorist hideouts in northwestern Pakistan yesterday offered the first tangible sign of President Obama’s commitment to sustained military pressure on the terrorist groups there, even though Pakistanis broadly oppose such unilateral US actions.”

38. marisacat - 24 January 2009

More frm the Wapo report above:

At his daily White House briefing, press secretary Robert Gibbs declined to answer questions about the strikes, saying, “I’m not going to get into these matters.” Obama convened his first National Security Council meeting on Pakistan and Afghanistan yesterday afternoon, after the strike.

The Pakistani government, which has loudly protested some earlier strikes, was quiet yesterday. In September, U.S. and Pakistani officials reached a tacit agreement to allow such attacks to continue without Pakistani involvement, according to senior officials in both countries.

But some Pakistanis have said they expect a possibly bumpy diplomatic stretch ahead.

“Pakistan hopes that Obama will be more patient while dealing with Pakistan,” Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington, said in an interview Wednesday with Pakistan’s Geo television network. “We will review all options if Obama does not adopt a positive policy towards us.” He urged Obama to “hear us out.”

Obama’s August 2007 statement — that he favored taking direct action in Pakistan against potential threats to U.S. security if Pakistani security forces do not act — made him less popular in Pakistan than in any other Muslim nation polled before the election.

39. diane - 24 January 2009

to see how bankers talk when they think the rest of us aren’t listening……

this reminded me of an email from Forbes mag I used to recieve re biz news, right after the bidding process opened in that quite special state known as Virginia, for contracts in Iraq in 2003 (remember the bit about…..loan versus GIFT?)…..paraphrasing here, but they called it something akin to a true swinefest….let’s go in and rake up some bucks while whole families are being bombed to smithereens and they would hope someone brave enough to enter that hell might also be brave enough to help their loved ones…………..


ahhhhh welll couldn’t find the Ouzo….so I got the Sambuca….lid’s still off…would anyone care for a taste?

40. NYCO - 24 January 2009

Heroic plumber does job. Film at 11.

Aren’t those plumbers just amaaaaazing? They can retrieve rings from toilets, even. Monday, he will get a phone call from the President and a ticker-tape parade.

41. diane - 24 January 2009

…yes, it looks like the last thing on those storks minds is delivering babies born starving…………………..

42. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 January 2009

Obama Announces “Final Solution” to “Indian Problem”

And here is Russell Means’ press release:

The inaugural address is THE most important speech a President EVER makes. Billions of People look at it. The speech is written over a period of many weeks by a whole team of writers. It is edited and re-edited. Each word and each phrase is scrutinized so as to not offend anyone. Click to View the VIDEO.

“For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers.” He has placed our successful AND peaceful way of life and Spirituality into the category of “Non-Believers!”

Then he uses the phrase “the lines of tribes shall soon dissolve.” What does he mean? Certainly, NOT the tribes of Israel. Who, but the American Indians are referred to as Tribes? We are the ONLY ones.

Obama’s “Final Solution” to the centuries-old “Indian Problem” is total dissolution.

(For any non-regulars stopping by who think Mr. Means is being “oversensitive” or any relation to that term, please come to the discussion after reading a bit.)

The genocidal movements by imperialist powers against the indigenous all over the world—at least where they might be living in lands with rich resources or access to them—rolls on, and on, and on. And the mighty presses keep rolling, ignorance rolling, lies a-rollin’, just like our mighty commerce machine rolls over those who power it at the bottom.

Gee, and I thought it was just me and Bay who felt that way about that speech.

43. diane - 24 January 2009

..not sure …but perhaps…one of the differences in Ouzo vs. Sambuca…may be the Fennel…(dog weed) and there does seem to be a taste difference between the two herbs, though I’m not a foody…the fennel seed is far more plump and less stringent than the anise seed which, from available “literature” (bottle labels) seems far more prevalent (spelling?) in the Sambuca…..

oh jeez………….

44. marisacat - 24 January 2009


the speech was completely imperial. Not much else in there….

But.. in particular. tho he is being heralded by all sorts of colors and stripes. I never, not once, got that off him. At all. In any way.

Lotta comfy projecting going on. IMO.

45. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 January 2009
46. marisacat - 24 January 2009

NYT has a report up on the coming surge (oh let’s be honest, they are playing the surge game) in Afghanistan… but not to worry, I just the pst two days read as high a number as 45,000 more in troops…

One question for Mr. Obama is whether 30,000 more troops are enough.

“I think that this is more of a psychological surge than a practical surge,” said Karin von Hippel, an Afghanistan expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. She said she favored the troop increase, but only as a precursor to getting the Europeans to contribute more, and to changing America’s policy so it focuses more on the countryside, as opposed to the capital….snipwhippy…

The report opens with just a lovely stanza from Kipling. Woe to any European country that joins, ups their number or amends their rules of engagement.

47. marisacat - 24 January 2009

ooo here is a good one

Drinking coffee may do more than just keep you awake. A new study suggests an intriguing potential link to mental health later in life, as well.

A team of Swedish and Danish researchers tracked coffee consumption in a group of 1,409 middle-age men and women for an average of 21 years. During that time, 61 participants developed dementia, 48 with Alzheimer’s disease.

After controlling for numerous socioeconomic and health factors, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure, the scientists found that the subjects who had reported drinking three to five cups of coffee daily were 65 percent less likely to have developed dementia, compared with those who drank two cups or less. People who drank more than five cups a day also were at reduced risk of dementia, the researchers said, but there were not enough people in this group to draw statistically significant conclusions.

48. marisacat - 24 January 2009

NYT on the designers of the moment… 😆

Parsons the New School for Design issued a press release boasting that Mr. Wu, Isabel Toledo and Narciso Rodriguez, all designers of clothes worn by Mrs. Obama last week, had once studied there (though it did not note that none of them graduated)….

Let’s hear it for drop outs (I’m serious!)!

49. diane - 24 January 2009

ahhh…..habitual coffee drinker I! ……….but……but…something I read and felt to heart somehwere…about …bliss?

50. marisacat - 24 January 2009

yeah me too… the darker the blacker the roast the better… the stronger the brew… I still use, mostly, the old Melitta pot and matching ceramic drip cone I bought about 35 years ago…

51. NYCO - 24 January 2009

42. Yeah, that line really must have rubbed a lot of indigenous people the wrong way — if they were paying attention.

But honestly, I don’t think we’re going towards erasing “tribal” lines (actual or metaphorical), sorry. In fact, probably the opposite.

52. diane - 24 January 2009

yes indeed….no fake stuff allowed….may as well quit it then…same goes for fake sweet……..

the older the pot the better!

53. diane - 24 January 2009

I use a tiny ancient aluminum drip pot…with the hole punctured drip pan above the main pot………well sure aluminum kills…but so many are stuck with it…I’d much rather “die” with them, than the ghastly ones.

54. diane - 24 January 2009

..thinking now about that movie Seconds.. with Rock Hudson…..

55. catnip - 24 January 2009

47. Picked the wrong lifetime to quit drinking coffee.

56. marisacat - 24 January 2009

hmm yeah diane I have one of those two, the Moka version. But mostly I use the little old pink ceramic set.

When i used to go visiting friends I would get them to show me the coffee pot and where to find CNN on the TV, because I was always up early… but soon I realised my cofee was like poison syrup to them.. so I started traveling with a little drip cone to make about a 12 – 15 oz mug of coffee and I’d set up the kitchen coffee ‘system’ with whatever strength they liked…


57. diane - 24 January 2009

…well I’m just a buzzin through the Sambuca (saved some for you bay, in case you like it)…….wish I could say something relevant (spelling? ant or ent, and the Latin for those are?) but I could hardly verbalize the hideous state we all know we’re in………

58. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 January 2009

57 – first time my ex’s parents visited us, in our first apt, I made coffee after dinner. Her dad got up, poured half his cup out and filled it back up with hot water from the tap. LOL … asked how I could drink that “sludge”.

I said I prefered coffee to colored hot water.

59. diane - 24 January 2009

ahh hon..do you have one of those sweet, simple, FUNCTIONAL, old, two part, magic, espresso pots with the rubber sealy in the middle, that sucks the steam through the upper half?


60. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 January 2009

nope … at the time is was a Krups 10 cup drip machine. I used to spend a weekend day drinking a whole pot myself while I hung around the apt. I’ve got a little four cup drip now.

61. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 January 2009
62. diane - 24 January 2009

oopsie apologies Madman, actually I was responding to marisa..your comment wasn’t visible when I posted……must say though, I remember the espresso “machines” from cocktail waitressing, have to say they were were a fucking pain in the ass…I was back in the kitchen slaving over scalding the milk properly while some asshole was gloating over that being a good excuse to treat me like dog shit when the High Ball didn’t arrive within seconds.

63. diane - 24 January 2009

actually the High Ball part isn’t true..it was usually the white wine, decaffe drinker or biz convention type that loved to stiff someone, not the heavy drinkin folk.

64. marisacat - 24 January 2009

magic, espresso pots — diane

no rubber to speak of but the three part, you put the coffee grinds in the middle part and put it on top of the stove. I don’t use it much as you have to listen for the water … I get distracted.


at the time is was a Krups 10 cup drip machine. — Madman

I have one of those too… used to use it from time to time, last time i hauled it off the shelves in the pantry, dusted it off… and plugged it in, nada. Did not work. gah.

65. diane - 24 January 2009


yes that’s the one, some came with the rubber seals….simple yet complex, I haven’t used mine in a long time, but I won’t ever be tossing it……

66. diane - 24 January 2009


Ahh well..those were the days…now days, at least in the large cities,..one needs a resume to qualify for a minimum wage job serving the well bred their meals.


National Service?????? whom have you served lately that’s a decent human being?

67. diane - 24 January 2009

(outside of your children whom you may vaguely realize you will answer to if you are cruel, like it or not………….)

68. diane - 24 January 2009

very sorry, I should have been much more careful with such an enormous crime as that which is going on:
that’s a decent human being?
should have read:
who is a decent human being

69. marisacat - 24 January 2009


at one point out here the Starbucks application was 5 pages long. Not for LOL corporate either, for working inside the coffee/bar/shops.

Don’t know what is happening elsewehre in the country or on cable, but net work out here is running glossy ads from Obama.. For days now, all week… pushing national service. Using the image of Martin, interspersing Martin and Obama. ObRama does the voice over and appears speaking. It pushes a site


I never bothered to follow it. I have seen the Obama logo seen the color coordination and so on. I can skip the government cult.

NOW if he’d like to talk to me about low wage dead end service INDUSTRY jobs being mandated to provide sick days, mandated annual earned vacation and so on, I might listen.

70. diane - 24 January 2009

…Indeed Marisa if all the folk the elite consider to be worthless stopped working for a week, maybe even less…the US would explode.

Yet pompous self-consumed blowhards are payed over six digits to pontificate maybe 20 hours a month which nigger is the better to hire in order to maintain the glittering lifestyles of a handful of human beings among a planet of the humans they haughtily proclaim to be their brethren.

71. bayprairie - 24 January 2009

as time passes, every day that goes by, we lose than we gain.

a pressure cooker.

For some readers it might help to review the now outdated technology of the pressure cooker—and how its introduction proceeded to liberate housewives to a limited degree, from the kitchen and the task of supervising the cooking of a meal. Starting in the 1950s, the availability of this widely popular household device among black Houston homemakers increased the possibility of their being able to escape the kitchen during the afternoon (i.e., once the evening meal was in the pot, and starting to cook). Some women took advantage of this convenience so they could attend the traditional Blue Monday parties, and some used it as a context for their own gatherings on other workday afternoons. As guitarist I.J. Gosely explains it:

Here’s how it started: ‘long in then—people dont use them now anywore—but they had a big old pot that they chould put their food in. and you put it on the stove. And on top of the pot it had a relife valve. so if it gets too hot it would automatically kick off itself. In other words, they valve on top of it would open up and let it cool down. That way they didn’t burn the food and they didn’t overcook the food. They called it a pressure cooker. SO the women could put the food on and leave home and come to the Blue Monday parties and other things, and when they got back home the food would be done.

72. bayprairie - 24 January 2009

Hughes Tool, Bethlehem Steel, Brown and Root—all the big industry was booming back then, so they had shifts going around the clock. And the club owners could be open during the day and always find people who’d want to come in and hear some music and have a drink, you know—before noon, afternoon, evenings, whatever. That’s when this whole thing got going. The men would all be out at the factories working, and they would show up at the shift change. You’d have a whole crew of ladies, and thes shift change would come and the men would suddenly show up. Some of the husbands would come find their wives at the club and join the party. But a lot of the ladies had to get home to get supper out of the pressure cooker for their husbands to eat.

Texas Johnny Brown

73. bayprairie - 24 January 2009

That was the place to be. It was what they called a Pressure Cooker. Thats where the wives come in. It was a daytime job. We’d start at about noon and played until about five, and all of the housewives would go home with the pressure cooker cooking, you know, with that stew on…It was Johnny Brown’s gig. And me and big Martha Turner…We’d be onstage together and she’d be on one end and I’d be on the other, and we’d be singing blues and battling them back and forth…The women would just go wild.

Gloria Edwards

74. diane - 24 January 2009

bay (72)

tip of the glass to ya sweetie pie! and a big bear huggy….

75. bayprairie - 24 January 2009

what sucks is that everyday black Houston women weren’t often permitted to have careers in music in the 50s. it sucks i cant post a youtube link to glorida edwards, or big martha turner, working the pressure cookers in the 3rd ward, down low blues clubs back in the day.

but i can prove that world existed.

gatemouth brown, pressure cooker

in the 50s he was the star of don robley’s houston-based peacock records and he knew how fucking kewl the women’s freedom was.

76. bayprairie - 24 January 2009

backatcha diane x 10. i hope you’re doing swell.

77. diane - 24 January 2009

well with those warm thoughts hon (times ten), of course I’m doin great!

actually, I have an old funky pressure cooker, love it!

and I hope you’re doin swell too!


78. bayprairie - 24 January 2009

one of my my grandmother’s used to fry chicken in a pressure cooker too. its one of my earliest memories .i love it like air.

and my surname is french. haha.

some things you cant beat with a stick, i suppose. pressure cooked fried chicken is one.


79. catnip - 24 January 2009

I’m pretty sure my mom still has her pressure cooker. She used it a lot when I was growing up. The steam release scared the crap out of me so I never did learn how to use it.

80. bayprairie - 24 January 2009

yeah we’ve all got hooks into the 50/60s. doesnt that fucking ROCK? haha


81. diane - 24 January 2009

nothing like wonderful early memories..they can’t ever be stolen………..Thank you bay, I’m going to sign out on your warm note and likely have sweet dreams because of it.

82. marisacat - 25 January 2009

Sorry! Two of bay’s out of Moderation…

…. 😯

83. marisacat - 25 January 2009

My mother could not cook… really really could nto cook… but she had a pressure cooker…

84. marisacat - 25 January 2009

Oh happy day.. Benedict has loads of people all whupset again. What else is new.

New post…


…………….. 😆 …………………

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